Moyes still rues Rodwell red

BY foxsports • October 14, 2011

Rodwell was sent off by referee Martin Atkinson in the 23rd minute of the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park on October 1 for an innocuous-looking challenge on Luis Suarez. The Toffees were subsequently beaten 2-0, with Moyes left fuming at Atkinson's decision, which he felt had "ruined the game". The Football Association last week upheld Everton's formal appeal and Rodwell - so long as he is fit after sitting out England Under-21s' win over Norway as a precaution - will now be available for Saturday's clash with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. But while Moyes was glad with that outcome, he has stressed that no amount of support for his view that Atkinson got it wrong will make up for what happened during the match. "It is pleasing and it was correct - the right decision was made (by the FA)," Moyes said. "We've tried to move on from it, but obviously it is still very much on our mind. "It was a big derby game and we wanted to try to win it if we could, but that was hindered. "The hardest thing is that every single person I meet in the street comes up and says 'it was the worst decision I've ever seen."' He added: "It doesn't make any difference if I get any support or not for it, really. "I've never heard a more unanimous sort of feel for what happened, but it doesn't make it any better because I can't do anything about winning the game." Moyes says he is no great fan of referees being demoted for mistakes, but did note that Atkinson was in line to officiate at another Barclays Premier League game this weekend, Stoke's encounter with Fulham at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday. "We played Manchester City and Howard Webb had a Championship game after that, so you can read into that what you like," Moyes said. "I think Mark Halsey admitted to a mistake he made in the Wolves game and he has probably been demoted. "But the referee who every single person I meet tells me they can't believe his decision has got a Premier League game. "I'm actually not a great believer in demoting referees, I don't think it is always the right thing to do. "But there seems to be a rule in place, and it would be hard to say that if that is the rule, the referee who did our game should have another one." Moyes also has strong feelings about another recent high-profile disciplinary case, describing Wayne Rooney's three-match ban for England as a "joke". Rooney's suspension, which resulted from his sending off for kicking out at an opponent in last Friday's final Euro 2012 qualifying game in Montenegro, was yesterday increased by UEFA from one match to three, meaning he will miss all of England's group fixtures at the finals in Poland and Ukraine next summer. It has led to debate over whether national head coach Fabio Capello should take the Manchester United man to the tournament at all. Moyes - who managed Rooney when he was a Toffees player - thinks that is something that does not need to be decided for some time yet, but he certainly believes the punishment that has been dished out is too harsh. "I think the three-game ban is a joke," Moyes said. "But nevertheless, I don't think you need to make a decision just now. "We are talking about it, but nobody is going to make a decision about it - there is still about six months until the summer time. "I'm sure the manager won't make a decision until then. You can decide then on a lot of things - the form of other players, the group, your chances of getting through, Wayne's form. "So it might be better to leave the boy at home and get a good summer. I'm a Scotsman, so I hope he stays at home!"


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