Mark Clattenburg was once among one of the top refs in England. Such was his reputation that he was plucked from the Premier League toFebruary 2017 to take up a role with the Saudi Arabian Football Federation.
The 43-year-old sat down with TalkSport to discuss his time refereeing in the Premier League and opened up on some of his relationships with various managers and players.
He named Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho as the worst manager he dealt with during his career in England, but the Newcastle native explained that it was not always like that:
When he first came to England, Jose Mourinho was special. He had time for everyone, you could have a conversation with him about football, about life, about anything.
But when he came back things were different. He had a difficult relationship with me and refereeing.
Clattenburg pinpointed a decision in a game against Stoke as a flashpoint for the deterioration of their working relationship:
I remember this game at Stoke, where he came in 30 minutes afterwards as usual. He was adamant I had missed a penalty decision and that he’d seen it on the video.
I then watched the video and the ball quite clearly hit Ryan Shawcross’ chest instead of his hand. I don’t know what video he’d seen or if he was just playing mind games but I had to drive 200 miles home thinking I had made another mistake which eats away at you.
When I got home and found I hadn’t made the mistake I thought ‘why?’
Being a referee is sometimes a tough job but you don’t need the other side of it where they play mind games to try and get into your head because there’s no need for it. Refereeing is a tough life at times.
Clattenburg also lifted the lid on his tempestuous relationship with Craig Bellamy which he says stemmed from when the Welshman played for Man City and Clattenburg incorrectly sent Bellamy off for diving.
But the referee also had kind words for the outgoing Arsene Wenger, Brighton's Chris Hughton and Burnley's Sean Dyche as well as Manchester City's Vincent Kompany.