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Steffen on Davies dismissal

Posted on 18 November 2002  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

Steffen Freund described the first half sending off of Simon Davies against Arsenal on Saturday as 'harsh' and admitted the game was an uphill struggle after the controversial decision.

While not agreeing with the two bookings handed to the Welsh international, Steffen refused to condemn referee Mike Riley, accepting that he only had a split second to make up his mind either way.

It was the first booking for a challenge on Ashley Cole that has caused the most debate, a second tackle on Patrick Vieira minutes later saw Mr Riley reach for red and leave Spurs facing 70 minutes with a man short.

"It was a little bit harsh," reflected Steffen afterwards. "I spoke to Simon and the first one wasn't yellow and that is why it is really hard to go off after two fouls - or maybe even one foul!

"It was hard to play against Arsenal with only ten men, no question about that. We could have played better with ten men, but it was a harsh decision."

Steffen spoke to the referee about the dismissal and reasoned that in many Premiership encounters five or six offences go unpunished.

"I said to him that Simon Davies is not a guy to send off and not just because he is not a dirty player. It was maybe two fouls. I watch a lot of games and you have five or six fouls without a sending off.

"Here it was only one foul and he was a little bit too quick with that decision. He only has one second or even half a second to make a decision though.

"The referee is okay, you can talk with him on the pitch and I like that. That's why I came to him and said it was a little bit harsh.

"It was a key decision in the game."