Tom, Louis, Howard and a new old-fashioned weekend

Match referee Howard Webb awards a goal-kick after a challenge on Liverpool's Luis Suarez
Match referee Howard Webb awards a goal-kick after a challenge on Liverpool's Luis Suarez
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​It was a weekend of out with the old, in with the new - and then back in with the old again.

Let me explain.

Firstly we had the death of Tom Finney at the age of 91.

A man from a black and white age of big boots, wavy quiffs and bandy-legged wingers.

An age when supporters, on a midweek whim, could get the train to London, turn up and pay their half-crown on the turnstile to watch men like Tom Finney and Nat Lofthouse batter Belgium 5-0 at Wembley.

An age when English football thought it reigned supreme. It didn’t, we just hadn’t played Hungary enough times to realise yet.

But it was an age where footballers got kicked and got on with it and wouldn’t, at any price, let on that they had been hurt.

Not so now.

Luis Suarez at Arsenal on Sunday afternoon was brought down for as clear a penalty as you’ll ever see.

Howard Webb, undoubtedly one of the world’s best referees, if not the best, was five yards away with a full, unimpeded view of the incident.

The reason he didn’t give the penalty in my view is that Suarez hit the deck and bounced himself 18ins into the air with his back arched and his face twisted in ‘agony’.

He out-did himself. If he’d fallen through his natural momentum without scream or grimace Liverpool might still be in the FA Cup.

Referees now have to see an incident, play it back in their heads and ask themselves three questions: Was it a foul? Did he dive? Or was it both?

The first two are hard enough to get right. The third is the new and impossible bit.

If the player is fouled and then dives is it still a penalty? It should be but the refs end up having to ignore the dive to see the foul and save the striker from himself.

That way madness lies.

Back in with the old again and the F A Cup tie at Bramall Lane. Glorious old-fashioned stuff with goals, a Blades comeback and a good-natured pitch invasion to finish with.

Not strictly acceptable but understandable in the circumstances. Now we await the Wednesday and Charlton tie to see if we can look forward to an all-Sheffield quarter final.

How old-fashioned does THAT sound?

A blast from the past that we could all learn to love again, no simulation required there.