Football - Referees not consistent over holding - Villas-Boas

Andre Villas-Boas thinks referees are not being consistent enough in the way they deal with holding in the penalty area.

Several Tottenham players, the most notable of which was Emmanuel Adebayor, were unhappy at the way the likes of Ryan Shawcross and Robert Huth grappled with them as they jostled for position in the box during Saturday's 0-0 draw against Stoke.

Tensions threatened to boil over in the second half of the stalemate when Adebayor squared up to Shawcross as the striker tried to wriggle away from his marker only to be held back by the England centre-half.

Despite the authorities vowing to clamp down on shoving and holding in the box, it is rare for referees to give a penalty to the attacking side even when their forwards are being manhandled in the area.

And Villas-Boas thinks some referees are failing to uphold the law.

"The referees decide on it so differently," the Tottenham manager said.

"You saw a couple of examples (against Stoke). The referee had a difficult game because they're put under so much pressure.

"But it's about trying to get some consistency when you come to analysing these different situations.

"The law was created not so long ago when it comes to pushing and shoving in the box. A couple of referees have decided on the situations, others haven't."