There comes a time when a decision has to go your way and surely that time has long since passed for Ethan Laird who seems to be a victim continually of penalties that never get given.
Much has been written about the performance of referee Keith Stroud last Saturday when he failed to give Swansea what appeared to be some blatant penalties and it feels – from a fan perspective – as if not a single game goes by without Ethan Laird having a penalty shout that invariably gets waved away.
Aside from the two decisions on Saturday I look back on decisions against Bournemouth, Coventry and Peterborough and wonder just what he has to do to see the referee put the whistle to his mouth and point to the spot. That is five good penalty shouts in four games, all of them waved away. On none of those occasions has the referee seen a dive from Laird so you have to assume that – as on Saturday – the decisions are being taken because of a lack of contact.
The words of Russell Martin at the weekend showed his own frustration coming through when he said “I don’t know what Ethan needs to do to get a penalty. Same with Bournemouth.
“We’ve got a list and compilation of videos of where we should have had penalties and we’ll send it off after today.
“It can’t just keep happening really.”
All the referenced challenges on Laird are part of that video compilation and it is getting to the stage now where you start to wonder if Laird will ever get the decision going his way. Steve Cooper last season bemoaned decisions that didn’t go his sides way but we should never lose sight of the fact that we won a couple of key games mid season thanks to ‘disputable’ last minute penalties so maybe there is an even out of these decisions as people will always tell you.
Right now though it does feel as if the world (or at least the referee) is against Ethan Laird. Looking back over the five decisions, at least three look as clean cut as any decision I think could be. And when you watch Quest you see decisions getting given that make the challenges on Laird look even worse.
40: Ethan Laird wins a penalty!
— Milton Keynes Dons (@MKDonsFC) April 17, 2021
The lack of penalties has been picked up – as you would expect by Swans fans – with a series of Tweets referencing the decisions
*Ethan Laird runs into the opposition penalty box*
Any championship player:
Ref plays on pic.twitter.com/FmoGlD0Yef
— Ashley 🏴 (@ASCFC_x) November 20, 2021
What does Ethan Laird have to do to get a penalty? Get decapitated? pic.twitter.com/8muP7TIrFS
— Meghan (@meghankroles) November 20, 2021
You can just see it, Ethan Laird is assassinated in the penalty box. Keith Stroud waves play on.
— TattooedJack (@PziferJack) November 20, 2021
I think every club complains about referees but this season we've had a LOT of good penalty shouts (pretty much all involving Ethan Laird) and none have been given.
— Guto Llewelyn (@GutoLlewelyn) November 20, 2021
A player like Laird will continually attract penalty shouts. His pace is capable of often taking him beyond defenders and his trickery with his feet will often attract the challenge. It is difficult to know why they are not getting given but at some stage surely that all has to change and a penalty will be awarded. Stroud’s explanation of “no contact” and “not enough contact” gave his reasons to Russell Martin for the decision but when you watch those replays back it is difficult to even see where he is coming from in that explanation.
We sit and we wait for the momentous decision that Ethan Laird gets his penalty reward. I just hope we don’t miss the resulting spot kick when it happens!