Journalist Beren Cross has slammed referee Stuart Attwell for his ‘inconsistent card policy’ in the most recent Leeds United match.
The official was very much the centre of attention as he sent off Luis Sinisterra for two yellow cards, while he also handed out bookings for Robin Koch, Marc Roca and Rodrigo, as well as opposition players Leon Bailey and Ludwig Augustinsson.
Despite the result, while discussing the match for LeedsLive, Cross seemed to be particularly unhappy with the display of Attwell, who he labelled as ‘poor’.
He said: “For now, Stuart Attwell’s the man that needs to be covering his face, because that was pretty poor, to be honest.
“Referees, every single week in football at all levels, seem to be the major talking point. I personally don’t like to get stuck into them too much, I find it quite boring. But today, in a match like that, it’s very hard to get around it.
“I actually thought he started fairly well in the first 5-10 minutes, but ultimately set a very low bar for blowing his whistle and for a very inconsistent card policy.
“I think most of us would agree, as long as every minor thing gets booked, then at least there’s consistency. But I think that was one of the great failings today.”
TIF Thoughts on Stuart Attwell and Leeds…
According to Transfermarkt, Leeds actually tend to win more often than lose when Attwell takes charge of their games, while he has also never given them a direct red card before, so it would be unfair to suggest that he has any kind of personal bias against the club.
Even so, on this occasion, he did seem to be rather card-happy for just one side, as he dished out five bookings to the Whites (including the two for Sinisterra) and just two to Villa.
While writing about the game for the Yorkshire Evening Post, journalist Graham Smyth also slammed Attwell for his efforts, noting that he ‘blew for no fewer than 18 fouls’ in the first half, which halted Leeds’ momentum early on.
Taking that into account, it’s easy to see why the standard of refereeing was questioned, and it certainly seems as though Attwell could have done much more to make the game less about himself by keeping his cards in his pocket and his whistle out of his mouth.