Friday, November 23, 2012

Clattenburg should show the class that Chelsea didn't

The morning after the FA's decision that clears Mark Clattenburg of all the dirty accusations thrown at him by Chelsea, I would humbly suggest it's time for him to swallow his perfectly natural desire for some kind of retribution and get on with his hugely successful life.

It's most regrettable that there's been no apology from Chelsea. It would have revealed a touch of class that has been painfully lacking throughout this sorry episode.
But let's think rather of Clattenburg than Chelsea. Because he now needs to get his kit on and get back onto the field of play as soon as possible.Like anyone at the top of their game, a top referee needs the routine of match action to stay sharp, confident and efficient.
I'm sure he's kept himself physically fit, but it's his head that has to be right. He's been under an enormous amount of strain for the past threee weeks but he will have developed coping mechanisms for times like this. He has already faced down difficult times in his life, and he will have to face more if he wants to reach the very top of his trade.
One challenge at a time will be fine. I actually think it would be a good idea to give him a Championship game this weekend to get him back into the swing, before he tackles his first Premier League match, probably next weekend.

UPDATE - Clattenburg wuill be 4th official for Tottenham's game on Sunday an return to the middle for Norwich vs Southampton next Wednesday. These are the two best behaved teams in the premier league.

It would be wise of the PGMOL, which runs our elite referees, to keep Clattenburg away from Chelsea for a few weeks, but not much longer. Give him a Chelsea away game at some stage. Clattenburg already can't referee Newcastle because he has declared his support for the team as a fan so it's going to get too difficult if he cannot referee Chelsea either.
No, Clattenburg should take the moral high ground, shake the hands of the Chelsea players and referee as he always does, fairly and well.
I'm going to be facing my own comeback soon enough, on a slightly more modest level. I'm hoping the consultant today will give me the all clear so that I can shed a cumbersome boot and crutches and look forward to reffing sometime in December.

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