Thursday, June 21, 2018

Official’s performances must improve for the good of the league

Mark Clattenburg was centre of attention at Stamford Bridge

Sunday’s action in the Premier League showed just why the Premier League is such a well-loved spectacle.

Unfortunately two of the four games on Sunday were ruined by poor officiating. This has been a familiar story in the British top flight in recent seasons.


Manchester United’s winning goal at Chelsea was offside and I don’t think many people can argue with that.

Goal scorer Javier Hernandez was coming back from an offside position when Rafael fired the ball towards goal. The Mexican reacted quickest to turn the ball home.

The Merseyside derby produced another terrible error from a linesman. The game between Everton and Liverpool finished 2-2, but should have finished 3-2 in Liverpool’s favour.

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez fired home what looked like the winner in injury-time, only to be erroneously flagged offside. Replays showed that the Uruguayan was onside and at no point was offside.


Those two mistakes may have been may have been made by referees assistants, but the referees in the two fixtures were little better. Andre Marriner at Goodison and Mark Clattenburg at Stamford Bridge were both poor.

Mariner produced a very inconsistent performance at Goodison Park. His decision making was poor and his whole team were poor on the day. It’s a shame because whenever I’ve seen him referee he has been pretty consistent.

Mark Clattenburg has to be one of my least favourite referees in the Premier League. He is a man that courts attention on the pitch and seems to like having the focus on his performance.

I have seen him make some incredibly poor decisions in recent years. He wants to be a star, but he just needs to get on with his job. Unfortunately he seems unable to just to get on with the job without bringing attention to himself.

Chelsea have also made a complaint about the language that Clattenburg used to two Blues players. If he has used derogatory language towards players then he should be sacked. To be honest the sacking of Clattenburg would be a blessing in disguise for top flight clubs and fans, as he is by far the worse referee I have ever seen.


This season has already seen a number of poor decisions from officials in the top flight. These decisions could prove very costly to teams at the end of the season. It could cost teams millions of pounds in prize money.

Official’s decisions could cost teams the league title, European places or even their place in the top flight. If teams don’t achieve their objectives for the season then the clubs managers may pay the price, courtesy of poor decisions by so-called ‘professionals’.


Since officials have become professional the standard seems to have got poorer. It’s almost like since they have gained professional status that they now think that they are the most important people in the game.

The likes of Clattenburg and Mariner seem to have an inflated opinion of their own importance. I live by the idea that a referee has had a good game if he isn’t notice.

Unfortunately for officials nowadays there never seems to be a weekend without an official making a controversial decision.


There has to be an improvement in the standards of officiating in the top flight. I don’t know how the standard can be improved, but it has to be and quickly. Officials are only human and will make mistakes.

However, some of the poor decisions made this season have been no-brainers. These decisions are inexcusable. Managers do moan about officials, but that’s because the officials are just not good enough at the moment.

If standards of officiating doesn’t improve in the Premier League then the leagues reputation will take a dive, just like a number of its star players.

Are Premier League officials good enough?


David Nugent

David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.



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3 Comments on "Official’s performances must improve for the good of the league"

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I second this. I really hate the game where officials have too much influence, and most of the times, Man Unt benefit from it… Strange? aint’ it?

United does get a lion’s share of unfair calls in their favor, I’ll admit, but not all of it, I’ll remind you. It just so happens that the usual happened this past weekend. This is nothing new to me, and not just in football. . . the real kind, that is. If you pay attention to America’s NFL, you’ll know that we had problems with replacement officials doing stuff like this. Only, if real football’s case, FIFA has no excuse not to give these guys some help- in the form of instant replay. It would only take a few seconds… Read more »
Munir Namadi Mahmoud

Not only in EPL but also in LA LIGA barca are always given such undue advantage both la liga and UEFA leaques

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