Leeds United lost in London yet again yesterday, this time against old rivals Millwall at The New Den. The managerless home side claimed a 2-1 win against Marcelo Bielsa’s men, who had a man sent off.
Indeed, Leeds fans were not impressed with the refereeing on show during this loss.
Gaetano Berardi was harshly sent off by referee James Linington. The Swiss defender made minimal, if any, contact with Tom Bradshaw for the penalty award. Regardless, Kalvin Phillips was on the cover and it seemed a harsh decision to produce a red card. Perhaps the Leeds perspective was best summed up by fansite Through It All Together, who dubbed the decision a ‘display of true incompetence’.
Leeds United’s last visit to the capital also ended in defeat, as Charlton Athletic claimed all three points at The Valley recently. The Addicks manager Lee Bowyer is, of course, a cult hero at Elland Road and received a positive reception from the travelling fanbase. So Leeds fans will love what Bowyer had to say about the same referee last season.
Speaking after losing to Peterborough United last August, Bowyer slammed Linington, as reported by South London Press.
“There is no denying it. Everybody in the stadium saw it. It wasn’t a penalty, has never been a penalty. Now he is sitting in his little room over there and thinks it’s acceptable to make a decision and then he’ll go home and he’ll sleep alright. But I know I won’t, my players won’t and most of my fans won’t.
“Is it acceptable? No. Am I probably going to get into trouble? Yeah. But should he get in trouble? Yeah. He shouldn’t be reffing. He shouldn’t be able to ref the next game…
“…It’s an absolute disgrace how he can make that decision.”
Not many Leeds fans will be disagreeing with this assessment from Bowyer. His outburst last season saw him charged with misconduct.
Leeds’ current boss Marcelo Bielsa may have the nickname ‘El Loco’ but he had a far more reserved response to the officiating error.
So Leeds fans can live vicariously through their former midfield general’s anger from last August instead.