Gary’s got previous and it’s just not right

WATCHING the crazy scenes at Yeovil on Tuesday was like an action replay for me – and not a very nice one.

Back in August of 2009, I took my Palace side to play Gary Johnson’s Bristol City and we were cheated out of a perfectly good goal.

If you don’t remember what happened, Freddie Sears took a shot for us that went in, hit the stanchion at the back of the net, and then bounced out.

Everybody knew it was a goal – the fans, the players, me and Gary. It wasn’t even in the corner, it was right down the middle. Our players were all piled on top of each other celebrating, theirs were down on their knees, gutted about losing a goal.

Yet the referee, Rob Shoebridge, and his two assistants somehow didn’t see the ball cross the line and waved play on.

I ran down the touchline and I said to Gary ‘You saw it go in the net, you’ve got to let us have a goal, surely?’ Even the fourth official was backing me up.

But we couldn’t change his mind. Sod’s law of course, we conceded a last-minute goal and ended up losing 1-0.
I remember saying to Gary at the time ‘You’ll live to regret that’ and to be fair I don’t think Bristol City ever recovered from it. They had a really poor season and Gary himself eventually left.

It’ll be interesting to see if Yeovil are affected because other clubs will certainly remind them about it.

When a man is down injured and his team-mate has put the ball out, you have to give it back. Yeovil didn’t just keep the ball, they actually scored a late equaliser!

It wasn’t a nice feeling and you can understand Birmingham boss Lee Clark being very angry. Yes, I know players go down to waste time when they’re not injured. But the referee can add time on for that.

It was ungentlemanly conduct and he realised did Gary. Having thought about it for 15 minutes, he knew they were in the wrong.

That’s why he let them walk a goal in for 3-3 but it was too late because Birmingham should have won in normal time. I bet if the lad who scored could have his time again he’d give the ball back.


I CAN’T see Peterborough slipping up this year. The squad is too good. The manager, Darren Ferguson, knows what he’s doing.

They didn’t deserve to go down last season and they’ve done incredibly well to get over what must have been a crushing disappointment.

Of course, they will be desperate to keep Lee Tomlin who’s on fire at the moment. I’d be very surprised if they didn’t get a few offers.

But as things stand, they’ve won every game, they’re scoring loads of goals. Darren will have learned so much last season and I see them walking away with League One.


YOU couldn’t help but laugh could you? Watching those poor Doncaster players trying to sweep the rain off the pitch like amateur gardeners!

I felt for them, and their manager Paul Dickov. To see a game called off when you’re 3-1 up is heartbreaking.

And talking of laughing, I had a right chuckle when I heard Chris Powell say he wanted to carry on but he ‘sympathised with the referee’! I might have said something diplomatic like that if I was two goals down. I know Doncaster were down to ten men but you’re talking two goals before Charlton were even level so they definitely got away with it.

It’s hard to take but it’s difficult for referees. I’ve been in Paul’s position and at the time I disagreed bitterly. But refs are the ones entrusted with player safety and when the ball isn’t running properly that’s what they have to think of.

Mind you, I also remember many years ago pushing to get a game called off and the referee giving in. Then in the rearranged game we got battered – ever since then I’ve just left it to the referees!


BILLY Davies has taken a lot of stick for stopping the media talking to his Nottingham Forest players.

Personally I think it’s a bad idea, but you just have to let Billy do what he feels is necessary. He’s earned that right because he’s very good at what he does.

He’s been stitched up a few times – or at least feels he has – and has made a decision to avoid the Press. He’s got rid of a lot of club staff since he took over, primarily those who he didn’t like so much the first time round. It’s dramatic but so far it’s proving a successful recipe.

That said, I don’t think stopping players talking to local media will do him any favours long term. To be successful, you need those people right behind you – that’s been the case everywhere I’ve been.

Yes we’ve had sticky patches and when things don’t go well it’s inevitable they’ll write something you don’t agree with.
But usually, the best thing is to sit them all down at a table, explain the situation and come to a mutual understanding.

It’s a no-win situation for a club when you ban the Press. They are your link to the fans and create a good atmosphere around the place.

Right now, Forest are winning and nobody cares. But if Billy loses two or three games, they won’t half make his life difficult. Because they know that if he loses his job, theirs will get easier

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