After ‘Hand of Sanchez’ goal, Clattenburg challenging Dean in worst referee title race

And the big one-handed spike at the net

Hands up! Who’s voting for Mark Clattenburg in our poll for worst referee?

Before Saturday’s unintentional hand-ball goal by Arsenal’s Alexei Sanchez in their 2-0 win over the embattled Hull City Tigers, it was referee Mike Dean who had the lead in voting after his red-card meltdown in January’s West Ham versus Manchester United match.

Then fresh referee controversy erupted Saturday as the Gunners’ Chilean striker smashed in the game’s winning goal with his hand. We all know he didn’t mean it, right? But nonetheless the ball had rebounded into the path of the gifted Chilean striker during a goalmouth scramble with the rebound hitting his hand and pushing the ball over the goal line.

Whether the act was intentional or accidental doesn’t matter, The goal should have been called back and a free kick awarded to the Tigers and no caution to Sanchez. As Hull fans raged and commentators rabbled into their tea, at least ‘Clat’ wasn’t too proud to say “Sorry, my bad” during the interval.

Clattenburg told Hull City players at halftime that he was in error and the goal should have been disallowed in this interview with Hull manager Marco Silva:

 Well, good on him for issuing an immediate apology and the  normally slow-to-react Professional Game Match Officials Board (PGMOB) for eventually admitting and telling NBCSN that the goal should have been disallowed. Stating that because Sanchez guided the ball in with his hand it “Doesn’t sit well” with them.

The comments by the referee and match officials left many observers thoroughly confused. Does it matter that there is intent when a player bats the ball in the goal with his hand? My belief is that if a player has his arms raised over his head and handles the ball in the box to put the ball in the net it is an automatic foul, whether the intent is there or not. If the hand ball prevents the ball from going in the goal or the opposite pushes it in the  net there is no way in the world it should stand.

What? Who…Me the worst?

Poor Clattenburg, he’s already already the centre of controversy and comedy more than once this year. Back in September Manchester United coach Jose Mourinhio was surprisingly diplomatic, albeit briefly, and somehow managed to control his emotions after a nightmare performance by Clattenburg. The incident also involved a controversial hand ball. 

Now back to us…and the enraged global movement of referee-cursing, middle aged, washed up, couch potatoes hell-bent on determining who really is the worst referee.

Immediately following the incident traffic on lit up with fans weighing in on our poll. While Dean currently leads Clattenburg by approximately 100 votes we expect the two to be battling for the lead in the race for the infamous tag of England’s Worst Referee.

Dean placed second in last year’s poll and has always been among the front runners for a variety of “issues”.

Good ‘Ole Howie was a bitter pill to swallow.

Voting results by year

2017: VOTE NOW

2016 Kevin Friend: Results

2015 Kevin Friend: Results

2014 Howard Webb: Results

2013 Howard Webb: Results

It’s a puzzler how Clattenburg is currently rated by FIFA and UEFA as England’s top referee and former two-time winner Howard Webb also held that unofficial pecking-order title too for many years.

Dizzying Dean

Perhaps a little all-too revealing considering the “issues” threatening to destroy our governing bodies reputations such as corruption and match-fixing allegations; Or conversely maybe us soccer fans are a cruel and twisted bunch who should respect the men in black and understand the difficulty of being a referee and working for a dark overlord.

But lastly the questions of sensitivity and compassion are not for the purposes of this editorial blog. So what do you think? Is Dean a duntz? Or is  Clattenburg crap? Or is there someone else more deserving of the title (besides us couch potatoes)? CAST YOUR VOTE BELOW:

Who is the worst referee in the English Premier League (2016-17)?

  • Stuart Atwell (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Simon Hooper (1%, 4 Votes)
  • Mike Jones (1%, 5 Votes)
  • Paul Tierney (1%, 7 Votes)
  • Neil Swarbrick (1%, 10 Votes)
  • Roger East (2%, 12 Votes)
  • Keith Stroud (2%, 13 Votes)
  • Craig Pawson (4%, 24 Votes)
  • Martin Atkinson (4%, 29 Votes)
  • Robert Madley (5%, 36 Votes)
  • Andre Mariner (6%, 37 Votes)
  • Lee Mason (6%, 38 Votes)
  • Kevin Friend (6%, 38 Votes)
  • Anthony Taylor (7%, 44 Votes)
  • Jonathan Moss (7%, 49 Votes)
  • Michael Oliver (9%, 62 Votes)
  • Mark Clattenburg (16%, 105 Votes)
  • Mike Dean (31%, 205 Votes)

Total Voters: 672

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The best or worst there is?