Howard Webb to mark his Premier League return in front of critic Harry Redknapp
Webb, whose controversial handling of the World Cup final provoked criticism from many quarters, had been on an extended post-World Cup break, which will end when he takes charge of Harry Redknapp's Tottenham Hotspur at West Bromwich Albion. Recently, the former police officer admitted he should have sent off Holland's Nigel de Jong in the World Cup final for his first-half kung-fu kick on Spain's Xabi Alonso. Related ArticlesRedknapp relief at Dawson scanDawson ruled out for two Euro qualifiersHarry Redknapp: 'I'm no wheeler-dealer''De Jong should have gone'Howard Webb 'satisfied' with World Cup finalHolland attack 'chump' Howard WebbIn April 2009, Webb apologised to Redknapp for making an error in awarding Manchester United a penalty against Spurs. United were trailing 2-0 but were thrown a lifeline when Webb pointed to the spot after goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes was judged to have fouled Carrick. Television evidence suggested that the Spurs goalkeeper had touched the ball before the player and United went on to win the match 5-2. Redknapp described the decision as a "terrible mistake" at the time but, Webb was honest enough to admit he may have made an error and apologised. The Spurs manager accepted the apology, saying: "He is an honest man and an honest referee. He's a top referee. He made a ricket, you know, we all saw that, but what can you do now? It's done." However, last September Redknapp criticised Webb again, this time after Chelsea visited White Hart Lane. Redknapp's complaint centred around Webb turning down appeals for a penalty after Ricardo Carvalho brought down Robbie Keane appeals television replays subsequently proved to be merited. Redknapp said: "It's a nailed-on penalty but Robbie tried to stay up. They don't want people diving, but if he felt he dived, why didn't he [Webb] give him a yellow or a red card? It's either a penalty or a red card for diving. "We had a diabolical penalty decision at Old Trafford last season when we were 2-0 up and he gave it. He apologised for that." Webb was heavily criticised by the Dutch after the World Cup final with one player, Arjen Robben, claiming he "wasn't up for the final". And he could face a member of that Dutch side with Rafael van der Vaart, an extra-time substitute in Johannesburg, set to make his Spurs debut after joining on deadline day from Real Madrid.
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