The Notts County Vs Wigan Athletic FA cup 4th round tie at Meadow Lane on Saturday will see Consett`s own, Mark Clattenburg take charge, he started refereeing at the age of 15 as part of the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme. I wonder if he ever finished it?
At 34 he is one of the youngest top flight referees and also one of the best, in my opinion, not afraid to make decisions and not afraid to make his point, he proved this the other month when he came out in defence of the under fire Alan Wiley when he was attacked by Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson, Clattenburg quickly responded to the taunts on his colleagues fitness levels with: ‘You just try to be in the best position to make a decision and, forget about the politics of Alan`s fitness levels, if you look back at his decision-making in that game it was practically faultless’
‘So if we are looking from a refereeing point of view, forget the politics, he called most things right. I could be two metres away and still not see it. I could be 20 metres away and see it. So what`s right and what`s wrong?
‘All Premier League football is so fast and I think we will accept that. The laws of the game are different. Even the back-pass law has increased the speed of the game. The multi-ball system in different stadiums has increased it.
‘Crowds are more compact, so the ball comes back quicker. As a referee you are wanting to draw breath, but you don`t try to take a natural breather.’
Clattenburg has already refereed the Latics three times this season, two away and one at home, the opening day win at Aston Villa and the 2-1 defeat at Hull and the Boxing Day 1-1 with Blackburn
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