I once had a conversation with a friend who is a real big Manchester United fan about all things Premier League related. In particular, the conversation focused on me telling my friend about how for as good as the Premier League is, there are aspects of it which are overrated when compared to the other top leagues in Europe. In particular, I have mentioned how English referees are not that good.
After this weekend, I am able to say without a doubt that Premier League referees are overrated and are the worst of all of Europe’s top leagues.
In Saturday’s Merseyside Derby game between Everton and Liverpool, Everton forward Kevin Mirallas committed a very dangerous tackle on Luis Suarez. Such a tackle is a red card booking 100 times out of 100 times, but not in this case. The referee only showed Mirallas a yellow for a tackle that could have ended Suarez’s career.
Forget what you think about Suarez and how he is as a person, the fact is that the referee was negligent and lacked courage to do the right thing, which was show a red to a player who tried to seriously injure an opponent.
This is not the first time a Premier League referee failed to show a player a red for such a criminal foul. Clearly, Premier League officials have trouble showing courage in protecting players. In addition, the referees show a lack of courage in punishing certain players.
On Sunday in the game between Manchester United and Cardiff City, Wayne Rooney committed a terrible and obvious foul on Jordan Mutch. Instead of seeing a red like he should have, referee Neil Sawarbick only showed a yellow to Rooney. It was the type of tackle that has gotten Rooney rightfully sent off in games in Europe and in international play before but as usual, it only gets him a slap of the wrist by Premier League referees.
Again, this shows the referees’ inability to stand up to a player like Rooney, who has a history of dumb acts like the one on Sunday.
The two high-profile incidents over the weekend highlight what I have said all long about Premier League referees, who are the worst of all of Europe’s major leagues. All one has to do is look at how each year, the Premier League has several major season-ending injuries that were not punished by a send off.
Their lack of courage is one that needs to be called out more often, as English referees have seen far too many games go downhill.