Howard Webb Inconsistent With Sunderland v Stoke City

howard webb

American Premier League fans welcomed ESPN’s Monday broadcast of Stoke City v Sunderland as we all wait out the HD debacle that is FSC, Comcast, DirecTV and others. The match was broadcast in beautiful HD and I quite enjoyed getting the English feed that included a short halftime analysis with Mick McCarthy and Craig Burley. I really could listen to Mick McCarthy talk all day, I love his no nonsense delivery and he’s sure to have a career as a TV pundit when he’s done in management. The game itself ended 0-0 and was an ugly slug fest with multiple flash points and a match devoid of much creativity.

It was a first half that Burley summed up perfectly as he described the match “like two drunks slugging it out in a back alley, lot’s of punches thrown but none really hitting at the moment“. But what caught my eye was the ridiculous refereeing of the supposed top referee in England and potential World Cup representative Howard Webb. I myself like Webb. I like his strong demeanor, his stern and confident decision making and his ability to make tough decisions when he needs to. But during the first half of Monday’s match, I think he got it all wrong.

On multiple occasions, Stoke City defender Ryan Shawcross had more than a handful of Kenwyne Jones’ shirt while in the penalty area and even looked to be physically holding him down as Sunderland attempted a corner. I hope readers remember Portsmouth v Manchester United and the Dubious Penalty where Mike Dean gave a penalty in Pompey’s favor for far less as Nemanja Vidic barely seemed to tug the shirt of Federic Piquionne. Why didn’t Howard Webb award a penalty to Sunderland? Jones was definitely fouled on multiple occassions in the box. For me, Webb got it wrong.

Also in the first half, Stoke City player Dean Whitehead seemed to kick a lump out of Sunderland midfielder Lee Cattermole. This was blatant violent conduct on the part of Whitehead who was only shown a yellow for the assault. Whitehead and Cattermole continued to jab at each other for the rest of the first half and even had a few words as they headed to the locker room for halftime tea. In my opinion, Webb didn’t do enough to calm both players. Why not bring them together for a quick chat to dispel the bad blood? I’m still shocked that a red card or penalty wasn’t awarded during the game. The match definitely could have benefited from a goal as both teams lack of creativity canceled each other out.

In the 62nd minute, Webb and his linesman again came up short as the two of them seemed to have missed an obvious penalty as Stoke City defender Robert Huth handled in the box. There were moments of quality in the match, but honestly they were few and far between. Tuncay’s back heel in the first half to pick out the streaking  Dean Whitehead was worthy of a far better finish.

A point each, Sunderland’s first of 2010 and enough for Stoke City to stay two points and one place above the struggling Sunderland. Ultimately the refereeing of the match was as frustrating as the play on the field.

9 thoughts on “Howard Webb Inconsistent With Sunderland v Stoke City”

  1. Couldn’t agree more with your take on things. I sometimes wondered what Webb was looking at. He would call Mickey Mouse throw-in fouls, but somehow miss the muggings.

    I also couldn’t help comparing this to the Arsenal/Man Utd match in terms of the quality of play. However, as I think McCarthy stated, it was indicative of why the two clubs are where they are in the standings.

  2. I was a bit confused to find out this game was also on FSC. Isn’t that against the contracts?

    Anyway, I Found the match very entertaining. It was un to watch “England’s top referee” make an absolute fool of himself and his assistants.

  3. Last night’s performance by Howard Webb, wasn’t inconsistent, it was downright disgusting. – he let the Stoke defender, Shawcross, get away, at least 4 times, with blatantly fouling Kenwyne Jones in the box, and at one point, Shawcross had pulled Kenwynes shirt up towards his neck, and still Webb, failed to notice anything amiss, and thus robbed Sunderland of a few penalties, and possibly the dismissal of Shawcross too.
    A red card should have been branded to Whithead who lashed out at the Sunderland midfielder, Cattermole, aiming a retaliatory kick at the midfielder.
    A blatant Huth handball in the penalty area, right in front of the linesman, late in the 2nd half, also went unpunished, and yet another penalty offence, was ignored.
    How the hell, Webb is considered to Britains best referee is beyond me, when he puts in such a stinking performance has he did last night, and if he watches a re-run of the game, he really ought to be ashamed & embarrassed by his “performance”.
    Anyway, I’m sure he’ll be keen to make amends, and perhaps one of the top teams will benefit from a generous decision, which don’t seem to be awarded for the “lesser” clubs.

  4. This is football, get used to it. I have been tearing my hear out/letting off multiple foul-mouthed rants for years at the idiosyncrasies and incompetencies of 90% of referees in every country, level and league’s matches i’ve seen.

  5. He missed a Sunderland defender practically dragging Fuller back by his shorts when he was through on goal as well. And somehow allowed Catamole to get away with 3 or 4 deliberate fouls. I guess he was consistant in THIS game.

  6. This game was poor overall. I nearly fell asleep. Almost as bad as my beloved Hammers v. Blackburn. Almost. Did you ever stop to think that Webb was just trying to fit in to a crowd of bad? Bad match, bad refereeing. Sounds fair to me.

  7. Yes Mr Hammerin’ Man, it wasn’t a good game but it was made worse by a bloody awful referee – if he’d given the correct decisions it would have been a lot better match to watch as Sticky Stoke may have tried to spoil the game a bit less. As for Wist ’em..well at least we’re not owned by pornographers – but I don’t suppose you lot care after the Iceland debacle! Any port in a storm ay? :O) Blowin’ bubbles out of your arse again as usual.

    1. Not takin’ a dig mate.
      Just sayin’ it was poor all around.
      I expect better football from Sunderland. SoL has a great atmosphere and it’s always a nice trip away from the Boleyn.
      Stoke, well I expect crap football from them.
      Frankly, I couldn’t care less about the Pornographers. Quite funny songs those two have gotten from the fans already. As long as they keep us financially afloat, I couldn’t care less if they bought the fans ‘toys’ for their troubles.
      Blowin’ bubbles indeed, fella. COME ON YOU IRONS!
      We’ll be just fine come the end of the season. We ARE stayin’ up.
      Cheers, fella.
      p.s. What’s the difference between a Mackem and a coconut?

      One’s thick and hairy, and the other’s a tropical fruit.

  8. howard webb is disgrace . he never gives sunderland any decisions its about time he was demoted and the assitant refree for there lack of bisis .
    its about the fa did something about this . instead of banning managers for the reffrees mistakes. but because its sunderland nowt will happen and saturday the same inconsistancys will happen again and we wont get a decision

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