Sometimes, life just is not fair. You battle away at something, only for it to be snatched away at the last minute by someone in the right place, at the right time. Opportunistic they say, and other things.
All that hard work, all that chipping away is rendered useless and, indeed, pointless. Doesn’t matter how well prepared you are, or how much effort went in to it – it still hurts and disappoints. That hopelessness was epitomised in John Steinbeck’s seminal work ‘Of Mice and Men’.
Transpose Steinbeck’s George and Lennie from a failing mid-30’s America and into the cauldron of Elland Road and you have a similar narrative. A narrative of hard-work, industry and, ultimately, a seemingly unstoppable failure ahead of them.
Just as the characters in Steinbeck’s novel couldn’t get a grasp on the maelström of madness ripping America apart in the 1930s, neither could Leeds United grasp out at Brentford’s slender 1-0 lead as the game drifted away from them.
Life was both harsh and punishing in California in the mid 1930s for migrant workers. It was a time where The Wall Street Crash, The Great Depression and the Dust Bowl Droughts created a spiral of failure for much of the nation. The odds were stacked against them, a sense of an unfair nature punishing them.
There was definitely that sense of unfairness and injustice facing Leeds United at Elland Road this afternoon as time ticked by. It was caused by this incident:
Here’s the incident that gave @BrentfordFC the chance to take the lead…
Was the referee right to award a penalty?
Watch the final 20 minutes live on Sky Sports Football now! ⚽ pic.twitter.com/aNL6DJ94ka
— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) October 6, 2018
Viewed from the back, it looked a stonewall penalty, Ollie Watkins going down under the challenge of the onrushing Bailey Peacock-Farrell. Yet, viewed from the back a shapely silhouette with shoulder-length dark hair can soon turn into Keith Richards when viewed from any other angle.
As the video (above) shows, switch the view to any other angle and you can see just why Leeds United’s Pontus Jansson is likely to be facing an appearance before the authorities and a fine for his rather colourful summary of the referee’s efficacy whilst being interviewed on Sky Sports.
It’s perhaps a little harsh to blame the referee for giving that penalty away, he was behind the action and fooled by angles. To him, from where he stood it looked like Christie Brinkley. One the camera angle is switched though, there’s no doubt about it and Jansson is right to tell him everything he feels.
The closer scrutiny before the glare of the Sky Sports cameras shows that ‘penalty’ to have more Keith Richards about it than Christie Brinkley. In fact, Ollie Watkins was falling even before making contact with Bailey Peacock-Farrell – and it was him that made the contact! In fact, I’d go so far as to call it a dive that Greg Louganis would have been proud of.
9.5s all around there for that.