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The man in the middle

The referee seen as a hero one minute in the game, then a villain in the next. That’s just the way it goes. Or is it? I personally believe that referees have one of hardest jobs in sport and in the world, apart from soldiers and doctors, but that doesn’t matter because referees have to face a stupid amount of problems just to look after some men that run around kicking a ball.

Referees not only have to concentrate on the game to give decisions, they also have to deal with abuse from players that believe they are correct no matter what the referee says to them. One incident in the game would follow like this. A player nearly breaks another players leg with a challenge that could only be described as cynical and the referee stops play and gives a free kick, the player who then committed the foul begins to shout and swear because he thinks that football has actually turned into kung fu. The referee then tries to talk to the player, but  the player who has no respect continues to hurl abuse at an innocent human being that has just blown a whistle and given a free kick. When the referee has eventually had enough and the moronic player has shut up, the referee tells him that he is going to be booked for the foul and for shouting like a complete and utter k**b. ( Obviously the ref wouldn’t swear because he isn’t allowed to act like the player who was, in all fairness, being a k**b)Personally if it was me in the middle of the pitch getting abuse from some crap Sunday league player who thinks he is Cristiano Ronaldo, he would hear every swear word under the sun and then be told to leave my pitch before he receives a punch or two. The referee then tells the player “Any more of that son and you won’t get a second chance you’ll be off” All of a sudden it is as though the players mouth has been glued shut and he walks away to stand in the wall for the free kick.

Just from that one example you can see what the man in the middle has to deal with for the smallest of things. But in the beautiful game it is not just players that the referee has to deal with, oh no, managers are another burden on their job. Take Tony Pulis for instance, earlier on this season he accused a top premier league referee of being biased against his precious Stoke City and it isn’t the first time Mr Pulis has accused referees of favouring the opposition team. I don’t understand how at the top level of the game, in which there are the best referees in the country managing the games, apart from Clattenburg who just believes he is God when he is in charge of 22 players on a pitch, that a premier league manager can accuse the referee of being biased towards the opposition team when they have to be impartial or they will lose their job.

One thing I believe that managers don’t understand is that referees give a decision based upon what they, or their assistants see happening on the pitch, the managers just think that if a decision goes against them the referee suddenly becomes the 12th man for that team. It’s not Serie A, the referees aren’t corrupt and they don’ take payments to hand the game to a particular team. The standard of refereeing in the premier league is the best bar none, in my opinion because they control the game well, even when managers or players don’tagree with them, but they don’t care they aren’t going to change their mind if you continue to shout at them. In addition managers need to realise that the man in the middle is not the enemy just because he gives a decision against their team, I hope your listening Mr Pulis because I would like to see you stood in the middle of the pitch trying to control 22 overpaid, pre madonnas effectively.

My final moan of this blog is at the fans who abuse the referee, or as they refer to him, ” the b*****d in the black”. Fans in addition with players and managers don’t understand just how important the referee is to ensuring that they see a good game and get their money’s worth when they go to see their favourite team playing home or away. They just believe, like managers, that the referee is against their team every time they give a decision that they don’t agree with and this is why referees feel that they have to give decisions to please the fans that are turning on them. This shouldn’t be happening in top divisions in the footballing world, referees should be able to give decisions that are correct every time and not have to think about what the fans are going to think. In addition the fans are probably the biggest problem for the referees because they are the only ones who can voice their opinions whenever they want and they can also say whatever they want without having to think about the consequences of their actions. The fans at football matches always have an opinion on the referee before and after the game, generally after the game it is not a positive opinion because of one decision or another. Finally football fans will continue to call the referee ” the b*****d in the black” and disagree with what he gives during the game, but one thing I don’t understand is that the fans will then think of him as a messiah in the next minute because he gives them a decision that results in them scoring.

To end my rant defending referees in football I will say this, referees are the most important thing in a football match because without them fans wouldn’t be able to watch their favourite team week in week out, players wouldn’t have a job that pays them thousands for kicking a ball and most importantly the so called ” beautiful game” wouldn’t exist at all.

So just think next time when you shout ” whose the b*****d in the black” or if your a  player just be aware what might happen if you hurl abuse at them one more time.

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