In case you missed it, Papiss Cisse had yet another perfectly good goal ruled out as offside against Norwich on Saturday, yet another linesman seemingly judging Cisse on his reputation, rather than what he could actually see.
Luckily for Newcastle United, they still won 2-1 and got the three points so all was well that ended well. Even so, that hasn’t always the case and it is getting absolutely ridiculous now, to the point where lazy linesmen are just saying “oh it’s Papiss Cisse, it must be offside.”
I use the word “reputation” above, though it might come as a surprise to some so called fans (and Sports Direct News rent a quote, Malcolm MacDonald) that Cisse is not the most ‘offside’ striker in the Premier League by any means. Romelu Lukaku, Christian Benteke and several others were caught offside more often last season.
However, when it comes to having perfectly good goals wrongly ruled out as offside, Cisse in in a league of his own. He had seven wrongly ruled out last season, including two in one game against Metalist Kharkiv, and one which robbed us of a derby win against Sunderland. This means that he would have scored at least twenty goals last season had those seven goals stood.
Sadly, as we could see on Saturday, this phenomenon shows no signs of changing this season either. Perhaps the worst thing of all though is that it has been slowly but surely breaking Cisse’s confidence.
Put put this in context, it seems all the more ridiculous when you consider that the Premier League in their annual report for the 2012-13 season claimed (on page 29) that referees got 99% of all offside decisions right, and for the third season in a row too. With poor Papiss’s goals last season though, they only called 65% of them correctly, which is a scandal.
Of course. we all know (and it’s certainly repeated often enough) that match officials are human like the rest of us, and correspondingly prone to the odd mistake, but that stat for Cisse are a complete embarrassment for supposedly professional match officials at the highest level of the game.
It’s about time the club called them out on it.