Referee Mark Clattenburg was at the center of controversy during Man United’s goalless draw against Burnley. One of his most esteemed former peers has now had his say on the issue, and the revelations could also stir up controversy for Clattenburg
Graham Poll is considered to be one of the best English referees of all time. The retired whistle blower recently reviewed the performance of the referees during the recently concluded match week.
One of the biggest talking points in that regard was Mark Clattenburg’s refereeing during the Man United versus Burnley tie. Clattenburg made two big calls during the game, and the 53-year-old retired referee said that they may have been made with some bias.
“Everton fans will testify that Clattenburg has an Achilles heel, which is that he gives nothing to a side once their fans turn against him,” wrote Poll in his column for the Daily Mail.
“It was their derby match in October 2007 when the Geordie dug his heels in and ignored clear offences by Liverpool players and now United fans know the same.”
Poll cites the incident in the first half where United right-back Matteo Darmian was tripped by Burnley’s Jon Flanagan just inside the penalty area as a tipping point. This moment would go on to have a huge impact on the game, as the Old Trafford faithful were incensed by this decision.
Jose Mourinho was equally furious. The Portuguese manager ended up having some strong words with Clattenburg at half-time, and was sent to the stands in the second half as a result.
Although Poll states that this was a reasonable decision, he criticized Clattenburg’s second big call of the game against Man United.
Spanish midfielder Ander Herrera was given a second yellow card and sent off for a foul on Dean Marney. Subsequent replays showed that Herrera had in fact slipped while going in for the tackle. Poll deemed the decision incorrect and said that there was ‘no allowance’ for Clattenburg for making that call.
Man United continued to dominate the game even with just ten men, but ended up with just a point. However, it may have been easier for them to find a goal if they weren’t unfairly disadvantaged by the referee.