If you thought Neil Warnock had calmed down after Cardiff City’s controversial defeat against Chelsea on Sunday, you’re wrong.
Warnock, 70, was incensed with the officials during the game, on the pitch after the game, in his post-match interviews and in radio interviews on Monday as Cesar Azpilicueta’s late equalizer was clearly offside but was missed by the officials.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek‘s stoppage-time winner rubbed further salt into Cardiff’s wounds, as the Bluebirds now sit five points from safety in the Premier League ahead of their trip to Manchester City on Wednesday (Watch live, 2:45 p.m. ET online via NBCSports.com).
Speaking about the current head of the Professional Game Match Officials Limited, Warnock didn’t hold back.
“I always thought Mike Riley was a manufactured referee from day one,” Warnock said. “I don’t think he’s changed since then. He’s been coached, manufactured, almost like a robot. He knows everything about the rules, but I feel these people struggle to understand the game and the human element. A lot of referees are like Mike Riley and that’s why I think we have gone backwards. Common sense is not allowed nowadays, but the best refs still use it.”
Of course, the decisions was extremely unfortunate and with Cardiff still to play Man City, Man United, and Liverpool in their final seven games their chances of staying up look slim.
Warnock and his players are scrappers and they will give it their all to stay up. Cardiff were one of the favorites to go down for a reason. Their unexpected promotion last season saw the club fail to back Warnock heavily in the transfer market due to previous financial issues after promotion in 2013-14, and many will applaud them for being in with a chance of staying up with seven games to go.
What can’t be applauded is the way Warnock and his staff have gone after the officials in the aftermath of this incident. The veteran manager speaks his mind, but he overstepped the line when talking to talkSPORT on Monday.
“When I came in yesterday, my wife said to me: ‘darling, if you had wanted to thump the referee and linesman, I wouldn’t have stopped you’. It was so unjust,” Warnock said.
The FA have yet to charge Warnock for the manner in which he has reacted, but they probably should.