Football

Mark Clattenburg Got Absolutely Hammered By Robbie Savage And Ian Wright On BT Sport

Mark Clattenburg Got Absolutely Hammered By Robbie Savage And Ian Wright On BT Sport

Ah, the Premier League. You know the football season is well and truly back in full swing when a referee is getting absolutely pilloried for making a wrong call in a big game. When his failure to spot something that happened (generally) in the blink of an eye is critiqued by millions on bar stools and couches who have the benefit of slow-motion replays and every camera angle imaginable.

This week, it is the turn of Euro 2016 final referee, Mark Clattenburg. Leicester City hosted Arsenal in a tie that had the pace and intensity of a cup game, both sides keenly aware of the significance of the match even so early in the season. Clattenburg was booed off the pitch by the home fans at the end of a game in which Leicester had two penalty claims waved away and Gunners midfielder Francis Coquelin was lucky not to get a second yellow card for a trip on Riyad Mahrez.

And there was a heated debate in the BT Sport studio after the game on the subject of Clattenburg's performance. Ian Wright criticised the "disdained look" on the referee's face after Coquelin's foul (indicating perhaps that he thought Mahrez dived), while Michael Owen leapt to his defence.

The debate gathered steam, with Wright and Robbie Savage widely condemning Clattenburg's performance and Owen expressing his reluctance to "absolutely slam" referees. It got fairly heated and is well worth a watch, with some interesting insight from a ref's perspective in the form of Howard Webb, who himself refereed a World Cup final in 2010 between Spain and Holland.

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And so, the question arises, as it does every year: who the hell in their right mind would become a referee?

Conall Cahill

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