While Premier League managers Jose Mourinho, Mark Hughes and Nigel Pearson began the New Year in a state of referee rage, they weren’t the only ones.
The opening day of action in 2015 was rife with fresh refereeing controversy and the level of officiating unraveled so badly over the holidays that even former referee Graham Poll weighed in on their poor form.
“What a disastrous festive period it has been for referees,” writes Poll in his latest column for The Daily Mail. “They have sunk to their worst performance level I can remember. It does not seem to matter who is appointed to which game as the majority of them cause ill-feeling.”
Things must really be pretty bad when one of your own starts taking shots at the referees’ union.
Poll a former Premier League referee isn’t the only one up in arms with the level of officiating.
Thursday’s action brought a fresh wave of refereeing idiocy. Here is a synopsis from my blog post on RantSports:
Stoke were denied victory at The Britannia and were forced to settle for a 1-1 tie against Manchester United after defender Chris Smalling clearly blocked a goalward header by Stoke’s Peter Crouch with his arm inside the penalty area. Instead of pointing to the spot referee Michael Oliver waved play on leading to harsh criticism after the match by Crouch and manager Mark Hughes.
Meanwhile over at Anfield referee Mike Jones applied the opposite rationale to the handball rule and awarded Liverpool a bogus penalty kick in their 2-2 draw with Leicester City. Jones perplexingly pointed to the spot, judging Leicester City defender Wes Morgan had handled the ball but television replays clearly showed Morgan had cleared the ball with his head.
Referee Phil Dowd felt the wrath of The Special One in the London Derby at White Hart Lane as Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho came out swinging at Dowd after a 5-3 loss to Tottenham.
Mourinho questioned Dowd’s level of fitness while Chelsea fans chanted “You’re too fat to referee” at Dowd throughout the match.
Don’t forget to cast your vote in our poll for worst referee:
Who is the worst referee in the English Premier League? Total Voters: 927
Who is the worst referee in the English Premier League?
Total Voters: 927