I think the headline makes it clear what I think of Lee Probert personally. My opinion is based on watching Norwich play Derby County this evening, a game won by Derby, thanks to two great goals and a referee called Lee Probert, who makes Andy D'Urso look good. Let me explain why it is my personal opinion that Lee Probert is unfit to referee, and based on what I saw, why some might believe him to be a cheat.
1) In the first half there was a foul on a Norwich player (Chris Martin), the ball ricocheted through to Lee Croft who was then one on one with the goal keeper. Does the referee play an advantage and allow Croft to shoot ? No. Lee Probert blows his whistle and brings play back for A Norwich free kick. Why didn't he play the advantage when a Norwich player was clear on goal ?
2) Second half, Darren Huckerby robs a Derby defender of the ball on the half way line. Huckerby knocks the ball past the defender, and he is one on one with the goalkeeper. The Derby defender bring Huckerby down. By the rules of the game, this is a red card offence, but no, the ball goes through to Chris Martin, another Norwich player, the ref signals that he is playing "the advantage". Martin brings the ball down, takes a touch, controls it and scores. But wait, now the linesman raises his flag, some five seconds later and signals that it is offside. How can the referee allow an advantage if the player he is giving the advantage to is now penalised for being offside ? There was no advantage to give ! Absolutely appalling refereeing.
3) When Derby took the lead, time wasting of the first order kicked in. I don't blame Derby for this, but the referee did absolutely nothing. It took Derby nearly a minute to take one corner at one point and he did nothing. When a Derby player claimed he had been hurt, Lee Probert, the fool in the black, allowed the Derby player to run quickly in to his own penalty area, away fro the sideline where he was first injured before then doing a dying swan act so that the trainer had further to run. If he had been hurt, wouldn't the player have run off to the side of the pitch ?
4) Injury time. There was at least 8 minutes of injury time. Lee Probert gave four minutes. Two minutes of injury time was used by a player being injured and treated. Then he blew his whistle on exactly four minutes, allowing no extra time for the two minutes of injury time used dealing with the injury ?
5) A Derby player (the goalkeeper Steven Bywater- Watch him, he should be Oscar nominated next year), threw the ball out of play claiming he was injured. To be fair, he was so badly injured that he was able to chase after a Norwich player and had to be restrained by the referee, such was his serious and debilitating injury. You know, you can always tell when a player is paralysed with pain by the way they suddenly start sprinting around the pitch in the most able bodied way. Lee Probert, doing his Zippo the Clown impression, then insisted that the goalkeeper be given the ball back, no drop ball, despite FA rules stating that if a team kicks the ball out of play when their own player is injured, the games should continue as normal. Absolute incompetent refereeing.
6) Lee Probert them gave a yellow card to a Derby player for celebrating scoring the winning goal. What an absolute pillock !
I really could go on and on and on. After the game, all the talk was about the referee's incompetence, and had nothing to do with what had been an engrossing game.
Words really do defy what a fool and an imbecile I believe Lee Probert, a supposed Premiership referee, was tonight. He obviously realised he made a mistake when he failed to send off a Derby player and then allowed the bizarre "advantage" only to give the offside, but then proceeded to try and dig himself out of it be giving bizarre free kicks for any reason to Norwich, thus making himself look even more stupid.
He also became aware of the anger of the crowd because he appeared unwilling to move, for most of the last 20 minutes, out of the centre of the pitch so that he couldn't be shouted at by fans.
Fair play to Derby, a neat and tidy team, and I wouldn't want to detract from their gutsy display. They didn't deserve to win, but then neither did Manchester United last weekend, and the sign of a good team is that they can win when they don't always deserve to. However, having joke referees like Lee Probert really should worry all teams.
Getting in to the Premiership is worth £30 million next year. A joker like Lee Probert could have made a decision that could cost a team promotion, or condemn a team to relegation. All teams, all fans should, in my opinion, fear seeing the name Lee Probert on their match programme as he is, in my opinion, incompetent and a disgrace.
P.S. Lee Probert does have "form" when it comes to dubious decisions against Norwich. In August of 2005 when Southampton missed a penalty against Norwich, he allowed them to retake it because, get this, a Southampton player had encroached in to the area. So Southampton, because of something they did, gained themselves the right to re-take the penalty, from which they then scored. Words really cannot explain how people like this are allowed to referee what is supposed to be our national game.
P.P.S. Check out this review of his performance from the now sadly defunct Rate The Ref website. Its from a few years ago, but says much about his abilities, and still he is getting promoted . At this rate he will be a premiership ref soon !