It's been hard to go onto a football site lately and not hear about the controversy that Howard Webb caused in the Man United v Liverpool match on Sunday. Although the penalty was a bit dubious, I think he got the sending off of Steven Gerrard spot on.
I think we should cut him a bit of slack though. He is easily one of the best English referees at the moment and you can't doubt that especially with the credentials that he has to his name. Unlike a lot of the referees that we see today, I think it is fair to say that Mr.Webb doesn't get pushed around by the players into making decisions.
I don't think the year could have got off to a worse start and especially after last year in which we couldn't run out of superlatives to describe the policeman, 2011 might just be the year that brings him back down to earth.
FIFA and UEFA found him worthy of refereeing both the Champions League and World Cup final respectively in the same year. I think it is fair to say that he didn't have his best performance in the World Cup final which was of course contested between Holland and Spain in Johannesburg.
But in fairness he didn't get much assistance from the likes of Marc Van Bommel and Nigel De Jong, in which they led the public to believe that it was a Kung Fu tutorial rather than a football match. Not even Spain could turn it in to a match worthy of watching as we had to endure 120 minutes of drivel.
Ryan Babel obviously didn't care what Webb achieved in 2010 as he had this to say "And they call him one of the best referees? That's a joke." Babel, like many others, knew he wasn't going to get away with it and quickly withdrew his comments. But do you agree with Babel? Is he over-rated? I personally don't think so, don't we all have "a bad day at the office"?
I would love to hear any comments that you may have.