The West Ham United v Wigan Athletic Premier League fixture on Saturday at Upton Park is set to be refereed by Burtonwood official Alan Wiley and this will be the second time this campaign that he has ref`d a Latics v Hammers game after he was in charge at the DW Stadium back in September when we won 1-0.
The 49 year old has been refereeing in the Football League since 1994 and a member of the Select Group of Premier League referees since 1999 and he ref’ed the Latics Vs Man United Carling Cup final in 2006.
Altogether this will be the 5th occasion so far this season that the Staffordshire official has taken charge of a Latics game, the other four were a mixed bag, there was of course the West Ham win then Manchester City 1-1 draw at home and the Portsmouth 4-0 defeat at Fratton Park and lastly the 3-0 loss against Spurs at the DW back in February , so a win, a draw and two defeats. Wiley was also scheduled to referee the Latics v Bolton game that was postponed in December.
Fat boy Wiley as he is known to Alex Ferguson was scorned earlier this season by Manchester United boss following Uniteds game against Sunderland, Fergie said: `He was not fit enough for a game of that standard. The pace of the game demanded a referee who was fit. It is an indictment of our game. You see referees abroad who are as fit as butcher’s dogs’
Well with it being Lent here`s hoping that Mr Wiley keep`s off the pies on Saturday so his fitness wont be an issue.
Alan Wiley though appears to have a soft spot for the Latics and he cites our appearance at the Carling Cup final in 2006 as one of his career highlights, below is an excerpt from an interview that Wiley conducted with refworld.com which confirms this:
How did you get introduced into refereeing?
I used to go with my father to watch professional football when I was younger, and like other fans I used to moan and groan about the match officials. That was when my father said to me ‘If you think you can do any better, have a go at refereeing.’ I took a referees course and that was how I started.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
It has to be the 2005/06 season when I was appointed as referee to both the Carling Cup Final and the FA Cup Final.
What is the best game you have officiated and why?
The 2006 FA Cup Final between Liverpool and West Ham United was the best game I have officiated. It is not very often you get an exciting and high scoring Cup Final, but this game ended 3-3 and a great advertisement for the English game. The bonus for me was that it was the Cup Final that I was appointed to.
In your opinion who is/was the best referee?
I can think of several referees who have been outstanding in the past and present. In the 1970’s Jack Taylor was outstanding with is strong match control.
George Courtney was consistently good with his decision making and dealing with players. More recently, Philip Don was the model for consistency and for fitness, and over the past few years Graham Poll was always seen to manage top games both in England and abroad.
Obviously, Pierre Luigi Collina was outstanding in the way he prepared for games, down to the most intricate detail.
All those mentioned have been appointed to major European or World Finals, and England have a potential future World Cup Final referee in Howard Webb. Howard has taken the European stage by storm and has a fantastic future in front of him.
Card Watch – In 35 games so far this season Wiley has issued 117 yellow cards and 5 reds
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