McAnuff: Refs must improve

by Neil Sherwin

The debate on the standard of referees in professional football continues, with Reading winger Jobi McAnuff the latest player to speak out against officials.

The former Crystal Palace and West Ham man was upset at the performance of Andy Haines during the Royals weekend defeat to Derby County.

“It’s the little things which as a player you’ve seen how things happen, but these guys don’t seem to see those incidents,” he told BBC Berkshire.

“There are a lot of ex-players out there knocking about who’d love to be out here on a Saturday.”

He went on to say that the standard needs to improve as soon as possible.

“They’re OK when the game’s flowing around, but you’re going to get incidents during games, when everyone’s scrapping for their lives, and they seem to lose control and it descends into chaos. It’s a recurring theme,” he said.

“With all due respect, you look at the typical referee and there are certain images that get conjured up: middle aged, school-teacher types.

“If you could get ex-pros involved, on certain occasions when they honestly got things wrong, we’d give them a bit more leniency, because it would be a genuine mistake rather than a lack of knowledge or know-how from not playing the game.”

Author Info

Neil Sherwin

Neil Sherwin

Co-editor of BackPageFootball.com and BackPageRugby.com. Writes mostly on Premier League, A-League and MLS with contributions to other sites including TheFootballSack, InBedWithMaradona and Bloomberg's BSports. Has featured on The Guardian's Football Weekly.

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