Howard Webb keeps messing up, and it keeps happening in favor of Manchester United. Alex Ferguson immediately went out on the attack, complaining the linesman screwed Manchester United in their 3-3 draw again Chelsea, but it was a poor attempt at deflecting the usual post-match criticism of the, currently, worst referee in the Premier League.
What do you want from a ref? To keep the flow of a match going and make it right through the big calls – Hard fouls, penalty kicks and goal-line/offside situations. Yes, he needs a linesman to help him out more than once during the 90 minutes on most matches.
Webb used to get things right, and even when he didn’t, he’s imposing figure made it difficult for players to argue with him. He quickly rose through the ranks in Europe and England, getting to referee in a Champions League final and a World Cup final within a few months of each other in 2010. His World Cup final form was poor, letting the match, brutally, get out of hand. Nigel de Jong kicking Xabi Alonso in the chest was probably the most memorable moment from a violent Netherlands performance.
And there is always the Manchester United link. From Liverpool matches to Ryan Babel’s famous tweet and pic. Webb misjudges the action, despite not being too far away from events. He arrogantly brushes off hard, often deliberate challenges as mere colliding and calls for penalties and red cards when there was no reason to.
His Everton-Sunderland debacle not too long ago was probably the lowest and worst decision he’s ever made. Sometimes refs don’t get the angle right, and things look different from different places on the pitch. Not that dive, not that time. The 3-3 Chelsea and United draw was another example of his poor decision making and rash judgement. He was a good referee, but something has changed. Maybe success gone to his head, feeling untouchable. But right now, Webb doesn’t deserve to be getting any officiating duties, big matches and small.