Graham Poll: Mark Clattenburg did himself no favours in bid to return to the shadows

07 March 2011 09:33
Who'd be a ref? It's the question I get asked most and, after his horrible week, Mark Clattenburg will probably be asking himself it, too.

After missing Wayne Rooney's forearm smash on Wigan's James McCarthy before being involved in further controversy at Manchester City on Wednesday, all he wanted was a quiet day at Craven Cottage on Saturday.

Trouble on the cards: Mark Clattenburg sends Blackburn's Gael Givet off at Fulham

    More from Graham Poll. Graham Poll: Carragher was lucky to avoid a straight red 06/03/11 Graham Poll: FA should give Fergie leeway for reacting in heat of moment02/03/11 Graham Poll: Referee Atkinson got the big calls wrong and that cost United 01/03/11 Graham Poll's official line: 'Where video evidence exists why not use it?'28/02/11 Graham Poll: Has Attwell finally banished ghost of the 'phantom goal'?28/02/11 Graham Poll: Wayne Rooney will probably be let off after elbow incident27/02/11 Graham Poll: Pest Gattuso should be banned from White Hart Lane15/02/11 Graham Poll: Hats off to Houllier for keeping cool as Makoun lost his head14/02/11 VIEW FULL ARCHIVEThe appointment to Fulham v Blackburn - with due respect to the two clubs - was a sensible one. It was a low profile Barclays Premier League match, yet Clattenburg once again left the field amid acrimony

That though is how refereeing can go. If you are prepared to make big decisions, as the very best referees are, then controversy often follows.

I can remember sending John Terry off at White Hart Lane on a Sunday in 2006 and then being investigated over alleged comments to Chelsea players. On the Wednesday evening I went to Everton and sent James McFadden off for abusive comments in a Carling Cup tie against Arsenal.

The players said that I was looking to be the main attraction, the media agreed and Sky Sports then advertised their next live game on Saturday lunchtime as 'Graham Poll's next game'. I hated it and Clattenburg should be feeling the same.

The problem is he created the controversy himself on Saturday and compounded it by his arrogant manner. After missing another elbow by Blackburn's Steven N'Zonzi, I think he knew that he failed to award a penalty when Andy Johnson was brought down by Grant Hanley.

He was certainly looking very closely for any potential offences form the resultant corner and, as happens at most of them, there was some holding and so a penalty was technically correct.

Blackburn boss Steve Kean called it absolutely correctly: if all of those were given there would be loads of penalties every week. The point is, as it does happen every week then referees should give penalties and it would stop.

The time to start awarding spot kicks though is not in the 89th minute just after missing a penalty. I did exactly the same in a World Cup qualifier in Slovenia and the Russian defenders were justifiably incensed.

In the spotlight: Clattenburg had a week to forget in the Barclays Premier League

All referees should crack down on this annoying and persistent offence from the start of every game at the start of a season. It's no good one ref doing it on a random game.

Clattenburg then appeared to have no choice but to dismiss Gael Givet after the Blackburn man raced from the dugout after the final whistle and abused the under siege referee.

Whatever the situation players and managers must show restraint. After all, Clattenburg wasn't wrong to award a penalty, he just picked the wrong incident. Now he'll just be hoping for a quiet few weeks. I'm just not sure he'll get them.

 GOOD WEEK FOR.Calum MurrayBAD WEEK FOR.Mark Halsey

Scottish ref Murray remained calm and dignified throughout disgraceful scenes at the Old Firm match last Wednesday. Neil Lennon and Ally McCoist should hang their heads in shame after losing their tempers and squaring up. As for El Hadji Diouf, words fail me. In such situations you are churning inside as a referee but try to appear unaffected. Well done, Mr Murray.

Halsey was in charge of the superb Wolves v Tottenham game, which was affected by a couple of decisions from the ref who was poorly positioned too often. Alan Hutton should have been dismissed when conceding a penalty - Halsey appeared to be affected by player pressure. Perhaps more baffling was disqualifying Richard Stearman's late 'equaliser'.

 Explore more:People: John Terry, Graham Poll, James McCarthy, El Hadji Diouf, Alan Hutton, James McFadden, Wayne Rooney Places: Slovenia

Source: Daily_Mail

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