The Ref Factor : Stuart Attwell

By on November 9, 2010 - 357 views

The Ref Factor: The feature that judges whether or not the bloke with the whistle really is a w*nker.

Ref: Stuart Attwell

Born: Nuneaton

Age: 28

Biggest cock-up: 20th September 2008 – Watford VS Reading

In what was one of the most remarkable refereeing blunders of all time, Stuart Attwell allowed a goal for Reading to stand which had in fact gone wide of the post and out for a corner. Known by many as the notorious ‘ghost goal’, the controversy that followed reignited the tedious discussion for goal-line technology. Now, over two years on, it has sparked an even more significant debate: ‘Is Stuart Attwell a w*nker?’

This season: With 24 yellow cards shown in just five matches, Attwell is certainly making a name for himself in the Premier League. Having dished out 12 of those cards in a match between Wolves and Newcastle, the young official received criticism from numerous national papers – The Telegraph reported that “this was yet another display which demonstrated he is simply out of his depth at this level”. Harsh but fair.

In his following match between Arsenal and Bolton, Attwell failed to punish a horror-tackle by Paul Robinson on Abou Diaby. In perhaps a bid to amend the situation, Bolton were reduced to ten men when Gary Cahill was given a straight red after a clumsy foul on Marouane Chamkh.

In addition, Attwell landed in further controversy at Anfield, in a fixture between Liverpool and Sunderland. Michael Turner was awarded a freekick outside his own penalty area and the defender decided to casually touch the ball back to goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, who assumed that the ball was not active. Alert to the situation, Fernando Torres continued play, passing the ball to Dirk Kuyt who scored into an empty net. Meanwhile, Attwell’s back had been facing away from goal, and consequently the young official had not seen the entire incident. Steve Bruce later branded the incident ‘a joke’.

How the ratings stand…
Bias towards top teams = 6
Tendency to dish out cards = 7
Prone to embarrassing errors = 10
Total = 23 out of 30


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