Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Thursday March 3 2011
Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez is being incredibly diplomatic regarding the referee appointment for the Latics Saturday clash with Manchester City.
In the corresponding fixture last season Stuart Attwell refereed the match, he sent off Latics skipper Gary Caldwell for what he termed a 'two-footed challenge`, the sending off came with the game poised at 0-0, City went on to win the game comfortably 3-0 and Martinez was left seething at the ref`s decision.
Seething is probably an understatement and after the game the Latics boss went on TV and heavily criticised the performance of Attwell saying: 'We are all human beings and we all make mistakes, but to give a decision after something you don't see, that is lying, you are making it up'
'He (Attwell) said he saw Gary Caldwell with both feet off the ground. That's why he gave the red card. But Gary Caldwell only went with one foot. That is a real injustice.'
Following Martinez`s comments he was summoned up to the FA, charged, fined and warned about his future conduct. So surprise, surprise who do we find in charge of the game this season, none other than Stuart Attwell
The ever diplomatic Martinez says he is surprised that Attwell`s been appointed but not perturbed and he is sure that 'Stuart` will have a good game. Martinez said: 'It was the first time I had been fined and it was disappointing because it was a big decision.
'I know how difficult the role of the referee is but it was just that particular incident.
'The more you watch it on television - my player got heavily punished in a very important game and then got suspended for three games in a relegation scrap for a two-footed challenge he never made.
'That is something that is difficult to take but it is water under the bridge.
'Now it is time to look forward and make sure Stuart can enjoy his refereeing in the game on Saturday.
'It was a little bit of a surprise to see him in this fixture.
'There are too many similarities to what happened last season - it is an evening kick-off, live on the same TV channel - but I am sure he will be composed and at his best.
'I know Stuart has been refereeing very well, he is a referee with a very bright future.'
Why not take a look at our totally unbiased `Meet the Ref` article ahead of the game to get the complete low down on Hapless Attwell.
Latics and Proud
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Date:Thursday March 3 2011
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