Anything Raheem Sterling can do, Leon Osman did better for Everton

The penalty awarded to Raheem Sterling for Man City after his foot prodded the ground and he fell over against Shakhtar Donetsk, having suffered absolutely no contact from any defender, has revived the debate about whether players should own up. Yes, it does sound a preposterous notion in 2018. Keith Hackett, a former referee talking on TalkSport, said that while a ref could take account of a player’s honest admission and change a decision, it was not something officials actually expected to happen. Oh dear.

But worst penalty decision in history, a question that we’ve seen being asked today? Sterling is in perfectly good company, Think back to Boxing Day 2011 at the Stadium of Light. This is the piece we published then, after Everton’s Leon Osman, untouched by any Sunderland player, missed his kick, stubbed the ground and went down with his hand raised in appeal mode. A world-class referee, Howard Webb, was fooled and Everton equalised from the spot to save a point. Go to the link to read the lively debate that followed …

Postscript: Sterling did offer a public apology to the referee Viktor Kassai and to Shakhtar (the penalty brought the second of City’s six goals). I am sure an Everton supporter will put us right if Osman, too, finally admitted he had ‘misled’ Webb …

Read moreAnything Raheem Sterling can do, Leon Osman did better for Everton

Everton’s Martinez and Deulofeu: what is right and wrong about football

A man with previous?

Roberto Martinez is an admirable manager who appears to be doing an excellent job with Everton.

Everton, if their more high-minded supporters can bear to hear this, are a club Sunderland fans can identify with. And their club walloped ours on Sunday after we had flattered to deceive only to crumble in a manner with which we are all too familiar.

There is, of course, a “but” coming.

Read moreEverton’s Martinez and Deulofeu: what is right and wrong about football

Leon Osman’s unwanted accolade as cheating finds a new level


For all Salut! Sunderland
knows, Leon Osman is a regular at church, helps old ladies across the road, spends hours daily feeding the homeless and plays Scrabble without even thinking of snatching a sneaky glance at everyone else’s letters.

He also stands accused of being a prize cheat.

Read moreLeon Osman’s unwanted accolade as cheating finds a new level

Soapbox on Everton, Howard Webb and pantomime villainy

Sixer's Soapbox


Oh no it wasn’t the worst refereeing decision you’ve ever seen. Oh yes it was. Take your pick. It was a shocker however you look at it and we await either a fulsome public apology from Howard Webb or a formal announcement that he is returning to a less accident-prone life as a sergeant of the South Yorkshire constabulary. Leon Osman might wish to say something, too, about the upraised arm which any observer is entitled to interpret as a fraudulent claim for a penalty after he fell over his own feet. Pete Sixsmith has plenty to say …

Read moreSoapbox on Everton, Howard Webb and pantomime villainy