Better late than never: what did you make of Steve Martin at the Valley?

A message from Ken Gambles, whose idea led to our mini-series Rate the Ref, presents an opportunity for Monsieur Salut to offer a final encouragement to supporters to mark Steve Martin’s performance in charge of the 1-1 draw at Charlton.

In his 1-10 list of ratings for each edition of the series, Ken chose a special ignominous mention for one hapless man with the whistle, David Coote. Alongside the (lowest) 1/10 option appears this explanatory note: “Coote-like (the ref for the Peterborough game). Enough said. Abysmal.”

Now Ken alerts me to a report indicating that Watford players and supporters with little or no interest in our 2-2 draw against Posh back in early October have their own thoughts on Mr Coote after they were held to 3-3 at Bournemouth on January 2.

The FA has asked their captain Troy Deeney to explain his comments on Match of the Day when he accused Bournemouth’s Dan Gosling of “trying to do” Tom Cleverley and said the failure to dismiss him – he was shown a yellow – was one of a “few” instances in which Coote “bottled it”. Oddly enough, Deeney even said his own teammate, Abdoulaye Doucoure, ought to have been red-carded, too, for a tackle on Ryan Fraser.

Of the Gosling foul, Bournemouth’s manager Eddie Howe produced a variation of the time-honoured “not that kind of lad” mantra: “Yes he’s mistimed the tackle. But in terms of those words [from Deeney] that’s not in Dan’s make-up.”

But do we get over-excited about refereeing standards? I have always argued that however wretched and game-changing some individual mistakes may be, referees by and large commit very many fewer glaring errors than players [though I have fond memories of my brother Phil, a rugby ref, joining in the “don’t know what you’re doing” chant at a Sunderland game in London years ago}.

The same point was made in different terms by Ian Todd, co-founder of the London and SE branch of the SAFCSA, in a comment posted after the Portsmouth game but lost when the Salut! Sunderland site crashed soon afterwards.

Ian wrote:

Probably make myself unpopular here but we can’t keep blaming the refeeeeing.

We’re in the 3rd tier so we’ll get 3rd tier refeeeing. Yesterday [the 3-1 defeat at Fratton Park] was a feisty game and overall I felt [Peter] Bankes played the occasion well letting play flow instead of constantly punishing questionable tackles.

I sidn’t see the alleged stamp on Honeyman (nor it seems did the officials) so why are so many of our 2,700 seemingly experts on it?

I blame Loovens for the penalty not the ref. Why not get the foul in before you reach the box. Still a likely red card but less chance of going a goal down. Could have sent their 9 off – and clearly Jackett agreed as immediately subbed him. And the surprisingly large 6 minutes extra time was clearly the answer to the time wasting for which he kept pointing to his watch. I’d give him a 6.

And he was right.

In case you were at Charlton and decide to offer your own rating for Steve Martin, tick the relevant box. I gave him 7/10 since I felt he got most important decisions right and, as Ian said of Bankes, let play flow. As I write, voting has been on the low side but more than 60 per cent clearly agree he was up to the task or better.

Monsieur Salut, adapted by Jake from Matt’s cartoon. Click on it to reach the Salut! Sunderland home page

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Salut! Sunderland is written, illustrated and edited by - and principally for - supporters of Sunderland AFC. The site aims to be sufficiently literate and entertaining to appeal to people who do not follow SAFC but enjoy good football writing.

3 Responses to “Rating the Ref: Watford don’t appreciate a SAFC bête noire either” Subscribe

  1. David Gladstone January 8, 2019 at 1:03 pm #

    How do they choose the refs that get Premier League games? Any assessor watching him against Peterborough must have given him a terrible mark yet, January 2 was a Premier League game and he was apparently the ref! I can understand Andy Madley getting premier games as he is excellent (and also seen the same by neutrals – I remember hearing him mentioned as the best football league ref on a talk show recently).
    Coote was astonishingly bad yet appears to be regarded as among the best. Who on earth watched that game?

  2. KenG January 8, 2019 at 3:14 pm #

    I agree wholeheartedly,David. I’ve no axe to grind with Mr Coote personally but any fair assessment of his performance in the Peterborough game would have raised serious questions about his ability at third tier level. How subsequently he is given a Premiership game is beyond me. Andy Madley is by far the best ref we’ve had all season and it was the difference between him and Coote which spawned the idea of ‘Rate the Ref’ So far most contributors have taken the concept seriously.

  3. Dave January 8, 2019 at 3:48 pm #

    Just a pity the FA assessors took it less seriously

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