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Fleet Life with Ed Miller: Steve is right, Respect has to be earned

PUBLISHED: 16:59 26 November 2008 | UPDATED: 10:17 23 August 2010

IT MUST be difficult – if you re a big, mouthy windbag – to keep your trap shut when all you re used to doing for much of your life is sounding off at every single opportunity, irrespective of (a) the facts or (b) whether or not your brain is being gainfu

IT MUST be difficult - if you're a big, mouthy windbag - to keep your trap shut when all you're used to doing for much of your life is sounding off at every single opportunity, irrespective of (a) the facts or (b) whether or not your brain is being gainfully employed at the moment your mouth opens.

Step forward Crawley boss Steve Evans.

Following the Fleet's last-gasp victory at Crawley last Thursday, the grumbling Glaswegian has let fly once more...this time, about how much the world is against him and how there's an active campaign to give decisions any other way than his.

If it was true, I really wouldn't be surprised.

But it's not, because Evans is merely a little paranoid and a lot deluded.

His laughable demand for referees to obey the laws is in complete denial of his own scant disregard for rules and regulations.

Referring to the "penalty incident" - or Mark Ricketts' clean tackle to everybody else - Evans whined: "Things like that add weight to thoughts that some people may have an agenda against us.

"The big decisions we are getting against us are now bordering on the ridiculous..."

This is much the same complaint he made last season about a conspiracy against him by referees. Ah, diddums.

Of course, what actually happened is quite the opposite of Evans' gripe that other teams benefit from dodgy penalty decisions and that Crawley receive more red cards than anyone else.

The facts of the matter are that Crawley actually had more penalties given for them, than against, in 2007-08 and more red cards were handed to the opposition, than to Crawley, during matches between them.

Curse those pesky facts, eh Steve, they undermine you even more than your own behaviour.

According to a story on the Crawley website (its source being that bastion of honesty himself, Steve Evans), the referee actually phoned Mr Evans on Friday morning to apologise for not giving the "clear penalty".

Alas, I am not privy to Evans' phone conversations, but I'm mildly suspicious about match referees phoning managers to apologise for debatable decisions.

Did, for example, Liam Daish get a call for the blatant handball that the referee missed in the first half?

Could it be Evans is trying to deflect attention away from the niggling fact that since his touchline ban ended, the previously all-conquering Crawley Town's ascendancy has come to a skidding halt?

Perhaps, following that petulant little altercation in the tunnel at full-time - which left Liam Daish more amused than anything else - Evans is trying to get himself another ban so his assistant can run things properly again.

And, finally, a last word about referees from the man himself: "As for the Respect campaign, then leave it out - you earn respect, nobody in life just gives you it."

Indeed Steve. I don't expect you're exactly burdened by a great deal of it yourself.

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