Graham Poll was regarded by many as one of the best British referees, despite some famous mistakes, none more so than his three yellow cards to Josip Simunic in Australia’s group match with Croatia at the World Cup in 2006. An error he believes cost him the chance of refereeing the World Cup final.
Poll was often accused of being arrogant, a trait he vehemently denied. However it would be hard to deny that he had a fairly sizeable ego.
Which begs the question of the modern day referee, do they too have egos that outweigh their jobs?
In Australia, the standard has definitely not kept pace with the improvement in standard of football since the birth of the A league. As many of the overseas players have commented the tackles that end up with a yellow card are going to deter many players from making a move to the Hyundai A league, as they will have to alter their game considerably to avoid suspensions.
One worrying trend that appears to be creeping into the select group of A league referees is that of personalised number plates on their cars. Is that not rather egotistical and explain the posturing witnessed once they are on the park?
If they had a sense of humour about them and had signed up for a number plater reading “Whistleblower” or “Red Card” it may be more acceptable, than their current choices.
A good referee is the one you don’t notice, that applies on and off the park.