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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Nov, 10, 2006

Spurs manager Jol backing referee Poll

Tottenham boss Martin Jol has backed Graham Poll following the referee's controversial performance at White Hart Lane last week.

Poll was accused of deliberately targeting Premiership champions Chelsea during Spurs' victory but Jol points to the Tring official's previous record as one of the country's top referees.

Poll made a high-profile blunder at the World Cup this year when he gave Croatia's Josip Simunic two yellow cards without sending him off until he issued a third, but Jol still believes he is 'one of the best'.

'He's certainly one of the biggest personalities,' Jol said. 'On performances in the past, if you judge him on that, he's probably one of the best.

'In Europe they would judge him as one of the best.

'If you look at Graham Poll and if you only judge him, for example, on the three yellow cards in Germany, I would call that 'scoreboard journalism' - if someone makes a mistake he's bad. I don't believe in that.

'It would be the same if he made a mistake next time and gave them (the opposition) a penalty. I wouldn't change my mind.'

As well as Poll's controversial performance on Sunday, Arsene Wenger and Alan Pardew clashed on the touchline earlier in the day when the West Ham manager celebrated a goal in front of his Arsenal counterpart.

Jol was celebrating Tottenham's win himself when the final whistle went at White Hart Lane and Spurs had beaten Chelsea in the league for the first time since 1990.

He admitted he should have stayed clear of Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, but added: 'Mourinho was good.

'I was celebrating, I didn't even realise he was in front of me, and still he was good to me. Pardew did the same with Wenger and he wasn't.

'I was standing in front of him, I shouldn't do that, but it was spontaneous. I think he's a good man.'

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