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Julian Hall

Julian Hall is the comedy critic for The Independent, a role he has held since 2003. Previously, he spent two years writing for, and eventually editing, the paper's "Pandora" gossip column. As comedy critic he has reviewed most of the major figures in comedy (including Eddie Izzard, Ricky Gervais and Chris Rock) either at the Edinburgh Festival or on national tours. Julian has been on the judging panel for the Chortle Comedy Awards three times and for the Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year Award twice. He was also a member of the judging panel for the if.comedy awards (formerly The Perrier Awards) in Edinburgh in 2007 and in 2008. Julian’s book, Rough Guide to British Cult Comedy' was published in October 2006.

Julian's online portfolio can be found on: jnhfreelancearchive.blogspot.com

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Doing a Didier

Posted by Julian Hall
  • Thursday, 7 May 2009 at 03:26 pm

I've been musing on last night's Chelsea game and as much as it is certain that Didier Drogba faces censure, and that this will have to be seen to be done, I can't help feeling sorry for a sanguine but seriously miffed Gus Hiddink. The decisions of referee Tom Ovrebo (an anagram of 'boot mover' by the way though I'm pretty sure his name is 'mud' in West London) and his linesmen (assuming they were involved, as football isn't like rugby where dialogue between officials is encouraged) were really poor. This goes for both the penalty decisions and the sending off. I think I would have ranted at him if he'd been refereeing my 5-a-side league, let alone a Champions League game.


Of course Didier Drogba's impassioned public outburst raises all sort so of questions about discipline and displays of anger generally. I wonder if 'doing a Dider' (or 'Doing a Drogba' maybe) will now pass into common parlance for displays of anger? I'm thinking variations may include: 'I'm going to get Didier on your ass', 'Don't mess with me I'm Didier about this!' etc etc.


Whatever the linguistic ramifications I hope that Drogba gets a chance to show remorse but his punishment is mitigated in acknowledgement of the poor standard of the officials last night. Ovrebo should be disciplined too, losing his Champions League standing perhaps. Of course, it goes without saying that the death threats against Ovrebo (sadly inevitable based on previous instances) are beneath contempt and I am sure Drogba would be the first to say they were a disgrace too. Sport should epitomise fair play but it can never ever be a matter of life or death.


It might be tempting to suggest that an angry society, epitomised by Drogba's outburst, creates the kind of thugs that make death threats. It's too easy to join those dots and ignore the fact that Drogba's passion for the game got the better of him, a surprise to those who say that big pay packets make for muted appetites (mind you they do all still get paid too much - sorry lads). Yes, discipline Drogba but the football authorities might also like to pay attention to how often we end up talking about refereeing decisions deciding/ruining a game and that can't be good for anyone involved in the sport.


moxielegal wrote:
Friday, 8 May 2009 at 06:25 am (UTC)
Despite incredibly bad decisions during the match, Drogba's outburst should be the last straw for him at Chelsea. He has talents yes, but at his time of life should be able to control his outbursts far better.

Yes, the nature of the game was such that the pressure was really on and Chelsea should have sealed it, even without some mind-boggling decisions against them and I can understand why he would be upset. But acting in such a manner is really not helpful, especially when you are with a Premiership club.

His behaviour and the refereeing decisions should be looked at quite separately.

BTW, Mr Platini has got his way, and it will not be an all English final. Now can be please stop bleating about having too many Premiership clubs in the competition? HE'S the one who changed the rules, so that more money could be generated! He should have changed the name of the competition, since Champions League should be the top team from each league. Full Stop.

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