The God of a Football Game


Mark Clattenburg

Manchester United played like same old this season Manchester United who had no idea who and what they were playing for. The following Premiere League match on Sunday night in Old Trafford against Liverpool was once again a disaster for the home team. Manchester United fell to the mediocrity at home after last week’s fantastic winning against West Bromwich Albion just like they used to be when they play a game at home against any team in the PL.  They were outnumbered in midfield, slow in the back four, imbalance in the wings, and lost at the front. Liverpool was clever to exploit United’s weaknesses by couples of excellent through passes and strong defense. Despite of the lame game United had, there was something or more likely someone who I thought responsible for United’s embarrassing defeat from Liverpool. It wasn’t David Moyes, it wasn’t anybody on the team, it was the referee.

I had been telling you since the day the FA appointed Mark Clattenburg as the referee for Liverpool game, he would bring so much trouble to Manchester United. The referee who was famous for giving United an offside goal and sending off two Chelsea players in the game back in 2012 seemed struggled to have himself out of the Manchester United supporter reputation he had since that day. He decided to make it spectacular by doing it on one of United’s biggest games in the league.

To be cleared to myself, I had no idea what was in Clattenburg’s head when he was leading the game on the pitch, but those three penalties awarded to the visiting team showed how unreliable he was for leading that game. I could take the first penalty because it was a clear handball from Rafael, but the second? The third? They were unacceptable!

I didn’t see how Phil Jones made a foul for the second penalty because my sight toward the screen was blocked by an idiot who thought his body was as thin as a flag stick, and I don’t want to watch the highlight because it was unbearably painful for me. However, the third penalty the ref was given to Liverpool for a foul against Nemanja Vidic who was later red-carded for the diving Daniel Sturridge did seemed unfair for United. Vidic cleared the ball away, and somehow Sturridge fell like he was fouled by him. Although I was cursing during United players protested the referee, I could later thanking God because He showed His justice through Steven Gerrard’s third penalty that was blocked by the bar. In the end, United had to admit Liverpool’s superiority in that game by losing three goals to nil with two penalties scored and an open-play goal from Luis Suarez.

One question that kept floating on my mind after the game was what kind of game which had three friggin’ penalties against one team? The answer would be either United’s back four played ugly (which they were), or there was something wrong with the referee. Looking back to Mark Clattenburg’s performance, the penalties weren’t his only unbelievable decisions of the game. There were a lot of fouls made by Liverpool players that Clattenburg wouldn’t even bother to blow his whistle to stop the game and observe the situation. The most obvious would be Adam Johnson’s clear handball in Liverpool’s penalty box. Even I could see it clearly!

I read Clattenburg’s track record in refereeing games throughout his career and found out that he is a referee with full of controversy decisions. That was exactly why I concerned when he was appointed by the FA to lead United vs Liverpool’s game. Anyway, how bad a referee’s reputation is, he is still the one who takes charges on the pitch. Whatever decisions he makes, they are always considered as true and neither the players nor the managers can do anything about them. Let alone the supporters who only have rights to watch the game. Referee’s decisions toward the players when he leads a game is just like God’s roles towards the destiny of the mankind. Only the referee isn’t the God. He is just a human being who happens to have God’s power on the pitch when he blows a whistle for the next 90 minutes of a football game.


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