How did you get here ? Referee Lee Probert

Every week I like to have a look at my blog statistics and see what old stories people are reading because a search engine has linked to it, This week's interesting search saw a number of people look up the "Lee Probert Referee".

One of the joys of blogging is that you can make people aware of things that they might not otherwise know about. But when it comes to football, it allows people to scrutinise a group of people who seem completely unaccountable and oblivious to the effect of the decisions, and these people are referees. I think my opinion HERE was pretty clear.

Now everyone is entitled to make a mistake, but there is a difference between making genuine mistakes and what I believe referee Lee Probert does, and that is that he has not got a clue.

This weeks has seen a number of "hits" on Lee Probert which does suggest he must have had another howler of a game somewhere. Oh dear !


The Secret Person said...

I think my favourite search term to reach my blog was "gay hard body"

I wonder if thery were disappointed to reach my post on a dead English monarch?

Stephen Smith, Senior County Referee said...

I'm sick of people saying referees are unaccountable. How do you account for the fact that the media prints such drivel but very rarely mentions when a referee or linesman is suspended?

An example that springs to mind is the linesman who penalised Reina last season for handling the ball outside his box when replays showed he didn't. The linesman was suspended for three months.

I wish I knew of more cases, but they're not reported. All I know is that suspensions are handed out regularly. The media is unaccountable for what it selectively reports.

Norfolk Blogger said...

Mark Clattenerg (Everton vs Liverpool this season) missed two Everton penalties, sent of an Everton player after Steven Gerrard told him to (the video replays showed him getting out his yellow card, Gerrard spoke to him, he put it away and got out his red card) and he gave Liverpool a penalty when no challenge was even made by the Everton player. What happened ? A one week suspension.

Lee Probert, what happened ? Promotion to the Premiersjip list. Well done mate. You were awful so why not have a promotion.

Stephen Smith, Senior County Referee said...

Video replays showed Mark Clattenberg getting out his notebook which has a yellow card tucked into an outside flap. The red card was correctly elsewhere about his person.

The notebook holders are standard-issue from parks to Premiership. If a referee wants his yellow card he'll also need his notebook, so they're kept together. Most referees keep their red card in a buttoned pocket in their shirts or trousers so that they don't make a rash decision. He took out his book because he knew there was a card. He gave himself time to think then produced the red card.

In these times of conspiracy theories, the media had a field day. If people think the referee was influenced by Gerrard it's because they're aware of how human nature works, as is Gerrard. So where are the complaints about him?

It's telling that Sky commentators only complained about the referee's penalty decision when they'd seen the replay. I'm sure Clattenberg also complained about the decision when he saw the replay!

Finally, one of the criteria for referee promotion and demotion at any level is marks from clubs. If you don't like Lee Probert, blame the Championship clubs who like him.

These are all issues about which the media has not got a clue, and has no interest in being educated on. If you can't blame the referee for changing the game, the blame would lie with players paid £1,800 per minute to change the game but who failed to do so, and that wouldn't be fair.

Norfolk Blogger said...

I notice you cannot justify Lee Probert's decision making in the Norwich vs Derby game last year.

It was, as far as I am concerned, the most appalling refereeing decision I have evet witnessed and spoke volumes about his competence.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, a ref has to have common sense and allow for a certain amount of natural justice. If someone takes a free kick too early and messes it up, don't blow up for a trechnical infringement and let them take it again, particularly if the team team taking the free kick/penalty/etc are the team committing the technical offence.

I am still at a loss as to why Clattenberg even awarded a penalty against Tony Hibbert in the Merseyside Derby. All the replays shows that Hibbert ran in a straight line and mad no challenge. Gerrard fell over by sticking his leg out in order to make contact with Hibbert.

As to the two penalties Clattenberg missed, his red scarf did obstruct his view.

I thiank you for your comments though and being brave enough to make a case for the defence.

Stephen Smith, Senior County Referee said...

How do you notice that I cannot justify it? You mean you noticed that I didn't pluck a game out of the air to comment on.

You've brought up the old nugget of common sense. Common sense is a great thing for a referee to have in his repertoire. The problems come when people know that referees can use it but don't know in what context they can use it. Many times the law tells a referee (to paraphrase), "If this happens, you will do this". Common sense tells the referee that he should do it. Where the law states (either actually or inferred) "In the referees opinion", then common sense comes into it.

The law states that a ball must not be moving at a free kick, and common sense tells the referee that he must be in position when the kick is taken (in the vicinity of where he and the players think the ball will land). If either of those aren't met when the kick is taken he is likely to have to retake it. I can almost guarantee that the referee told the player not to take the kick, so it's also common sense to show him and all other players that the referee must be listened to because a player cannot possibly know all the reasons why the referee has asked that something be done.

You want common sense - you've got it but can't see it. The problem is fans want their version of it (as do I when I'm in 'fan' mode), while referees, as custodians of the law, know when and where they can and can't use it. Sometimes that means following the law to the letter.

You've proved my point by bringing up the Clattenburg penalty again. Your comments are based on what "replays show". You can't base your argument on what you saw first time. Clattenburg is well aware of what replays show.