Bobby Robson – Stamp Out Players’ Disrespect

Former Newcastle United manager Sir Bobby Robson has appealed fto the football players of today to show more respect to referees.


Bobby Robson – appeals to players

Bobby told BBC Radio Five Live:

“It’s a very big problem at the moment. It has got worse and I think in a way it is not only down to the self-discipline of players – and that has to improve magically – but also down to the authority and clout of managers.”

“Strong, tough managers will have no problems with disobedient players. But players have to show far more respect to referees”

“I want to go back to the Bobby Charltons, the Bobby Moores, the Billy Wrights. These were very wonderful footballers but they also knew how to behave on the pitch.”

“We must stamp out the awful disrespect which is ongoing and is spoiling our game.”

We saw all those players play the game, and there was never more of a gentleman on the field than Ashington-born Bobby Charlton, but those days seem to have gone.

An example of the current lunacy on the pitch was Liverpool’s Javier Mascherano’s bout of madness on Sunday against Manchester United.

Javier had already been booked once, and he came running over to referee Steve Bennett after 44 minutes, and started to argue vehemently with the referee, apparently about why Bennett had booked Fernando Torres.

He kept in the face of the referee, like a little kid, and was then rightly shown a second yellow card and sent off. To us he was pleading with the referee to send him off and he got his wish, and by his deeds lost Liverpool any chance of getting anything from the game.

He should have been kicked up the behind but no, Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez actually defended him. That’s what the problem is today, right there. Managers have to discipline their players.

We know football players don’t live in the real world, and they often behave like children, but Mascherano deserved to be sent off. He acted like a spoiled little kid.

We hope he’ll learn from this episode, but from the comments after the game we don’t think he will.

Maybe he’ll eventually grow up when he retires, but don’t bank on it.

Comments welcome.

20 comments so far

  • Nev

    Mar 25, 2008 at 11:02 AM

    Comment #1

    i dont see this happening anysoon tbh
    they couldnt give a toss about the ref with there wages anyway
    “o, im suspened for 3 games, ill just sit off and do nothing with my £80k a week, hmm i need a another ferrari”

  • Stami - PLAY CARROLL

    Mar 25, 2008 at 11:04 AM

    Comment #2

    like spoiled rich brats, who are used to getting what they want all the time, because they have tons of cash… Rightly so, the refs should toughen up! i play Ice Hockey, and if a player other than the captain even speaks to the ref, he gets penalised! thats what the refs are there for, to keep order! let them do their jobs!!!

  • Leo

    Mar 25, 2008 at 11:13 AM

    Comment #3

    i bet rafa gave him the boot up the arse in private though!

  • Graham

    Mar 25, 2008 at 11:22 AM

    Comment #4

    The players aren’t gonna change until the referees stop taking as much grief as they do. It should be like rugby where only the captain speaks to the referee. To make this happen you have to do what was done on Sunday when Mascherano was booked for running 30 yards to complain about something that didn’t concern him.

    It will take time and during this time there will be massive amounts of bookings etc but its the only way it will work.

    At the same time, however, refs should have some sort of footballing background in order to make qualified decisions

  • Graham

    Mar 25, 2008 at 11:23 AM

    Comment #5

    kicked all over the dressing room at half time me thinks Leo!

  • tony

    Mar 25, 2008 at 11:24 AM

    Comment #6

    dont bank on him getting a kick up the arse he wouldent feel it with all the wads of money in his back pocket

  • HeronMag

    Mar 25, 2008 at 11:25 AM

    Comment #7

    This is why we love Bobby. He says exactly what the fans think.

    For me there should be a simple rule. The captain and only the captain should be allowed the approach the referees to calmly discuss any refereeing decision. Any shouting or mockery of the referee should be dealt with swiftly and severley. When this happens protests will quickly stop.

    Leave it to the fans to do the shouting and screaming!

  • Cockney Magpie

    Mar 25, 2008 at 11:56 AM

    Comment #8

    man what day, i tell ya if u eva want a job where the unexpected ALWAYS happens, become a prison officer! with out this website i dunno wat id do it always brings me back into my normal frame of mind.


    Mar 25, 2008 at 12:10 PM

    Comment #9

    who here is goin to the spurs match cos i cant find a ticket which is rather unfortunate

  • Leo

    Mar 25, 2008 at 1:00 PM

    Comment #10

    ####does anyone know if there is a restraunt inside st james park? im sure i read somewhere that there was one called harveys’, but i rang the club to find out and the receptionist said she hadnt heard of it… hope someone knows better#####

  • Egar

    Mar 25, 2008 at 1:14 PM

    Comment #11

    Wise words indeed from SBR.

    There are too many players nowadays whose speed of the mouth is faster than the speed of the brain. Definitely lacking are strong, tough & righteous managers to cleanse the beautiful game.

  • chuck

    Mar 25, 2008 at 1:47 PM

    Comment #12

    Sure there`s more dissent on the pitch these days,why? A cultural mixture ,players from different parts of the planet attracted by the big dosh doled out by the wealthy Prem. Div.clubs who bring their cultural differences to the game.What might be unacceptable in England may be the norm in other countries,also the high wages paid at Premier clubs makes fines look like a slap on the wrist.
    What few mention is the poor and often emotional refereeing decisions ,which leaves a lot to be desired and often is the reason behind player dissent.
    An improvement in the quality of the officials may play a more important role than trying to change cultural differences among the players.
    So lighten up Bobby its just a game!

  • Egar

    Mar 25, 2008 at 1:50 PM

    Comment #13

    Can’t help thinking that some managers are behind the training routine to increase the players speed of the mouth over the speed of the brain.

  • Benn..Geordie Down South

    Mar 25, 2008 at 1:52 PM

    Comment #14


    Playerz should respect referees .. but referees need to learn the rules and show consistency in decisionz.. then the playerz wil start to respect them more..

  • Tripp

    Mar 25, 2008 at 3:44 PM

    Comment #15

    The refs need more help. I bet the speed of the game is the source of the problem. Football is wildly under officiated and now that big money and big stakes are involved people are starting to whinge and moan with every blown call. It’s time for more refs or the introduction of technology to assist the refs in getting it right.

  • mitch

    Mar 25, 2008 at 3:58 PM

    Comment #16

    It should be like rugby where everyone can here what is being aid then these flash arse charlies footballers would not be so disrespectful If you notice it is mainly players at Arsenil manure and the other two in the top four who are like this


    Mar 25, 2008 at 4:46 PM

    Comment #17

    ed i am sorry but i cant agree with you
    javier hardly shouted at mr bennet he just asked what was happening? and i think he can do so, plus you have to consider that it was such a high pressure situation with so much at stake. the question is that the referees need to look at themselves , they are pathetic with their consistency levels and thats what gets the players mad. why wasnt ashley cole sent off? and javier was sent off as a knee jerk reactions to the cole incident it woulnt have occured 2 weeks ago, the prob is that our referees are not properly trained unlike their european counterparts in england everything is rule bound and by the letter of the law but there is no place for common sense and rationality to prevail
    note to the referees – first be more consistent then ask for respect

  • IrishMan

    Mar 25, 2008 at 10:34 PM

    Comment #18

    Rahul, You are wrong. The guy was being consistently obnoxious and “off-side”. This is supposed to be family sport and entertainment. The referee was absolutely right to send him off.

  • AdamCF

    Mar 26, 2008 at 9:02 AM

    Comment #19

    I have to say that the response by players to referees in the Premiership is a major concern. More respect needs to be given to the officials during the game, there should be no answering back. Otherwise, let the refs comment on players performances. I’m sure that’d be quite interesting. Hearing Alan Smith give a mouthful to a ref because of a bad tackle and having the ref answering back as to why he hasn’t scored for donkey’s.

  • AdamCF

    Mar 26, 2008 at 9:03 AM

    Comment #20

    Rahul. Give me a break. Javier was yapping away from the start of the game. He deserves what he gets. Shut up Mr Mascherano and play football.


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