Football: 'That blond man should not be on the pitch'

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GRAHAM TAYLOR, the England manager, gave his bitterness and disappointment full rein last night after seeing his side beaten 2-0 by the Netherlands in the Feyenoord stadium. 'I feel totally cheated,' he said.

Taylor's anger was directed at Karl Josef Assenmacher, the referee, and principally his decision not to give Ronald Koeman the red card. Taylor was convinced that Ronald Koeman committed a professional foul on David Platt in a position that may have even warranted a penalty. 'Whether they decide that's a free-kick or a penalty, that blond man should not be on the pitch,' he said.

'This was not about selections, it was about incidents like that. No one can convince me Platt was not in a scoring position.'

Arguably, that one decision altered the outcome of the match as, minutes later, Koeman scored. 'It was the turning point of the game,' Platt said. 'The laws of the game state it should have been a sending-off. The Dutch should have been down to 10 men. The referee has got to make a decision, but he made the wrong one, I think.'

'Koeman should not have been on the field to score Holland's first goal,' Taylor said. 'The laws of the game state that if a person's going down on goal then it should be a sending-off. That's a Fifa rule and the referee has not applied the laws of the game. We have been at the rough end of things tonight.'

Taylor admitted that England's future looked bleak. 'We are looking for a major miracle now. We need Poland to beat Holland and then to hit San Marino 7-0 ourselves. I suppose it could be an even worse night then if we beat San Marino 4-0 and then learn that Poland have beaten Holland.

'I'm frustrated and disappointed with the way things went and I suppose this game brought my most annoying moment in football. What else can any manager or group of players do when things like this happen? It is totally out of your hands.'

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