Hammers boss Grant blows his top at last

West Ham manager Avram Grant has described Michael Oliver’s decision not to give a late penalty as a ‘farce’.

IT HAD to happen sooner or later.

After weeks of watching the normally stoic Avram Grant sitting in the dug-out and then assuring everyone that things will get better in his press conference, the Israeli coach finally blew his top after Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Birmingham City.

And it was fledgling referee Michael Oliver who was the target of the manager’s wrath.

“I don’t know if the word is unlucky, it’s more farce, because the referee was just five metres away when he saw that Lars Jacobsen’s shirt was pulled and he didn’t give us a penalty – it was a farce, what more can you ask for?” said Grant.


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“We are trying to do our job, but there have been many, many mistakes by the referees. I respect them, but I also expect them to respect us too.”

So was it a penalty? There was certainly a shirt pull from City sub Jean Beausejour on Jacobsen, but the defender did not go down and it may have started outside the box, giving the referee two excuses not to give it.

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Grant was having none of it. “He was only five metres away and what we saw from 50 metres he could have seen from where he was standing.”

He continued: “He may be the youngest referee in the Premier League, but I am not a psychologist who can find out if age is the reason.

“Mark Clattenburg is older and more experienced, but he made a mistake against is too, and so have others.

“I’m sorry that I’m using Harry Redknapp’s words, but sometimes he’s right. Perhaps it’s because we are a polite team and do not jump on the referee.

Maybe next time we will have to do things differently.”

Maybe next time, West Ham will be able to hold on to a two-goal lead and they won’t have to moan about a referee’s decision.

It is good to see Grant showing some emotion, but perhaps he should have reserved it for his team and their surrender of a two-goal lead, rather than on something that he can do absolutely nothing about.

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