While it’s not unusual to hear Sir Alex Ferguson speaking out against a poor refereeing decision, it’s rare that the Scot comes out in favour of an opposition player. The Manchester United usually reserves his words when Cristiano Ronaldo is hacked down in the area and the arbiter fails to point to the spot, although he’s clearly as concerned about Newcastle’s plight as the Toon Army.
Many expected Steven Taylor to be hit with a retroactive ban after the Magpies defender swung an arm in the direction of Cristiano Ronaldo on Wednesday night. However, Setanta reports that the centre half has not been punished by the FA, something that Fergie is pleased about.
“The disciplinary situation does confuse you at times,” he said.
“No-one is really clear about it. But in actual fact we did not want the boy suspended because now he can play against Chelsea and Arsenal.
“In Newcastle’s position, with the injuries they have at the moment, it would have been devastating for them to lose that player. I am not really upset about it at all.”
Ah, the penny drops. All of a sudden, it becomes clear why the Manchester United manager doesn’t want Taylor to be banned. It would mean that Newcastle would be weakened further against Chelsea, who still have an outside chance of landing the title. If the Magpies were threatening the Red Devils at the top of the league (don’t laugh, it used to happen), we’re sure that Ferguson wouldn’t be quite so forgiving.