It’s been a nutty week for referee Graham Poll. First, he was accused by Ashley Cole of vowing to “teach Chelsea a lesson” during last weekend’s loss to Spurs. The other night, Poll issued a red card to James McFadden in Everton’s Worthless Cup loss to Arsenal after supposedly mishearing the forward call him “a fucking cheat.”

So who better to rush to Poll’s defense…than world-class tantrum tosser Roy Keane? From the Independent’s Jason Mellor.

In a volte-face likely to stun Andy D’Urso, the official who was monstered to within an inch of his life by the snarling Manchester United midfielder in one of his many run-ins with the men in charge, the Sunderland manager mounted a compelling defence of the much-maligned arbiters.

“Players are conning each other, there’s a lot of sneaky stuff going on and I’m glad I’m not playing. There were lads I played with who went down like they’d been shot, and it drove me crazy. I’d pull my hair out. We all know the players and I wouldn’t give them the time of day. I can’t get my head round a player who rolls round then he’s up 30 seconds later. I’d be embarrassed. It’s cheating and if I’d done that my family would disown me. Referees are scrutinised left, right and centre and the players aren’t helping them.”

Keane’s revised stance rests uneasily with his vein-popping pursuit of Andy D’Urso (above, left), who had the temerity to award Middlesbrough a penalty at Old Trafford. “I wouldn’t say I’m embarrassed by that, but it’s hard to make excuses. I was 100 per cent wrong,” Keane said of the incident seven years ago. “I still think the veins were superimposed by a bit of camera trickery. Mr D’Urso was the middle man in the Arsene Wenger and Alan Pardew incident and my heart went out to him, it always seems to be him.”

Former Superhoops Midfielder Richard Langley will face his former club tomorrow when QPR travel to Kenilworth Road to take on Luton Town. Mike Newell’s Hatters were strengthened over the summer with the addition of striker Sam Parkin, a prodigious scorer during his spell at Swindon Town, somewhat less so when toiling for Ipswich Town last year.