"The subject of referees is always a hot topic at whatever level of football you play or watch. I know how hard it must be for the referees because without fail they will get some stick from players, managers and fans at almost every game they officiate. I do wonder why some of them do it because most of the time it can't be much fun! Most referees are on a hiding to nothing from players, managers and fans and no matter what they do, good or bad, you can probably find someone ready to criticise them for something.
In my opinion though, this all comes from the fact that they are always so inconsistent, and that goes a long way to making people feel the way they do. I find that the lower down the leagues you go the MORE the referees want to be centre of attention and make the game all about them.
I have heard officials say to opposing players that they will 'give them one' which is not the sort of thing you want to hear from someone that has a big say in your team's results, and could have major consequences at the end of the season. It goes to prove that there could be some logic behind the old theory that officials weigh things up when they make a wrong decision. Which is not the right thing to do if a player makes a wrong decision and misses a chance he can't then move the ball somewhere else and have another go, what's done is done. Move on.
The way officials talk to us players really annoys me at times. It's the attitude of "you are not worthy of talking to me now obey my decisions", and that's why a lot of players go mental at them to be fair. Also why do you never see a referee come out after a game and say 'yep I made a mistake'? They must go home and review / talk about it with their linesmen, and sometimes think wow that was a mistake, yet they still remain so inconsistent. It's crazy.
There is also a hypocritical side to some referees as well, which is something that really drives me mad. If us as players get booked or sent off for swearing at a referee then I find it remarkable that a number of officials think that it's ok for them to aim obscenities toward players! That's just complete double standards. They have respect on their shirts just like us players do, and that is one thing I have lost for officials, especially when they do things like that.
A lot of officials crumble under the pressure of an assessor sitting in the stands watching over them during a game and you can normally sense when one is watching as the referee under scrutiny is not letting the game flow and keeps blowing up for the minor incidents. When these officials don't let the games flow it becomes frustrating for players and surely for fans too? If as a fan, I have paid to come and watch an entertaining game, and get one man stopping the flow of it on what could be described as a power trip, I would quickly lose my patience with him.
That said the linesmen could really be a big help to their mate in the middle but often choose to stay quiet instead of doing the job they are there for. This really infuriates especially when they act over something very minor but choose to remain quiet over bigger issues. Also when you think about things like when there is a decision to be made on a throw in where it could go either way, they never flag which way the throw is until the referee points what way he thinks it should go. What is the point of them being there?
To be fair not all referees are inconsistent. I must admit we have had 2 or 3 decent ones this season that let the game flow, talk to the players without being condescending or abrupt, which is brilliant and doesn't get the players all riled up. The best referees are the ones that whilst playing you actually forget they're actually out there with us. If a referee talks to me during a game on a level and has a laugh with you it makes the game so much easier and you don't get players screaming and shouting at officials which in my opinion always looks poor on both sides, players and officials.
If more referees were people who had played the game instead of just people who had learned the rules, then I'm sure at least from a player's point of view, things would work a lot better. How do you get player's to want to be referees though and deal with all that goes with it? That is a question I think we will all benefit from if we had an answer to it..."