Hate Week - Ref watch

Last updated : 19 January 2009 By Les Roberts

The Yorkshire official has taken charge of every game that has featured two of the 'big four' going head to head.

He has also refereed high profile derbies such as Tottenham's game at
Chelsea and the Manchester derby and is widely acknowledged as being the country's top official.

This generally means that the referee in question metes out more
cards than
any other official and, whilst not quite the case with Webb, he is high up on the cards per game count.

Howard Webb has shown 65 yellow cards and five red cards over the course of
his 18 games so far this season, which equates to an average of 3.89 cards per game.

Only Lee Mason, Mike Dean and…wait for it…Mike Riley have a greater
cards-per-game ratio.

The really troubling thing though is that, of the five red cards he's

administered this season, three of them have come in the more 'high profile' fixtures and two of them have been shown to players playing against the shite!

He sent of Man United's Nemanja Vidic in the last minute of their 1-2 defeat
at Anfield and Arsenal's Emmanuel Adebayor after an hour of Liverpool's 1-1 draw at the Emirates.

So, given our recent disciplinary record in derby matches, it'll be a

miracle if we don¹t have a red card shown to one of our players tonight.

And, tonight's game aside, it would have massive implications for the cup
tie on Sunday as anyone sent off in this game would automatically miss the fourth round clash!

The official is likely to be extra vigilant tonight as he has just come

through the "lowest point" of his professional career.

He was at the centre of controversy as he took charge of Wolves FA Cup third
round tie at Birmingham, arguably one of the highest profile matches of the third round.

Wolves won two-nil after Mr Webb had not only failed to award Birmingham a nailed-on penalty but then had a hand in Wolves second goal.

Webb accidentally deflected a pass from Birmingham's Radhi Jaidi into the
path of Wolves' Andy Keogh who then set up Sam Vokes to score the goal that effectively put the match beyond Birmingham.

And that was the last match he took charge of so it's anyone's guess what
his performance will be like tonight!