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Howard Webb endured a difficult World Cup final. We look at how the Premier League referee coped.

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Comments (65)

Conan Smith (AC Milan fan) says...

Yet again, the media states it's "impartial" opinion on the final, lambasting the Dutch for underhand tactics. And yet again, there is no mention whatsoever of Iniesta's off the ball lash out against Van Bommel - which I hasten to point out is a straight red card offence, or always has been until it crept into the Spanish game - God forbid they should have a man sent off

Posted 16:32 17th July 2010

Peter Anderson (Newcastle United fan) says...

Did anyone ever think this was a bit of a set up after the english are obviously going to push for technology in football after that terrible mistake by the officials against the germans. As if it's a way of saying look you have the best referees and they make mistakes or let's have a dig at the english so they can't dig at us (FIFA point of view) Just getting it out there WE NEED TECHNOLOGY IN FOOTBALL

Posted 15:15 14th July 2010

Paul Clover (Liverpool fan) says...

I find it surprising to see so many negative reports of Howard Webb's performance, begs the question did we all watch the same match? I was supporting Holland and I felt they were fairly unsporting throughout the match as they kicked the heck out of Spain. So many cynical late tackles and you can only have that many yellow cards... I was surprised there weren't more dealt out. Watch the match again and not the statistics, see how there were some truly horrific tackles. The fluency of the game was interrupted but not by Howard Webb, more so due to the crunching tackles of the Dutch who had played so well to get to the final. I would hope that FIFA would punish the Netherlands for playing in such a way as this is the pinnacle of world football, that should be won by tactics and flourish but not by brute force. As the fella says in the report, they tried to win ugly... I hope Webb's allowed to tell the world how he feels about Hollands performance. Very Dissapointed.

Posted 08:44 14th July 2010

Jonathan Dalmeida (Liverpool fan) says...

Webb did a fantastic job under very difficult circumstances. The dutch were losers so of coarse they are going to complain. No loosing team gives credit to the ref.

Posted 04:01 13th July 2010

Dani Boscanini (Chelsea fan) says...

I don't know Webb from Adam but in a game where you see too much of a referee...that is a bad game. Stopped the flow of the game. The yellow on De Yong could have been a red, but you could also say Alonso run into it. Dutch played hard, Spain held the ball and always falling like they were Italians. Webb did not meet expectation ashame.

Posted 02:58 13th July 2010

Steve Durham (West Ham United fan) says...

Webb simply got it wrong. Dishing out cards is one thing, not spotting a blatant corner is another. The resultant goal kick lead to the winner. That was what the dutch bitterness all about. so let's take off our blinkers and get real. Webb had a poor game..

Posted 00:42 13th July 2010

Ryan Ryan (Liverpool fan) says...

Me thinks a bit of English favoritism towards Webb. He is an awful match official and all of you see it week in week out in the Prem. He was horrible last night, had no discipline over the players and gave every 50/50 to the Spanish. Awful Cup, Awful Final, Awful Officiating.

Posted 23:47 12th July 2010

Tris Ellis (Arsenal fan) says...

Webb started booking players too early, making his job harder. Not wanting to defend the Dutch - van Bommel should have been sent off in every match I saw him in, he seems untouchable! De Jong should have had a straight red, so the Dutch were lucky not to lose more. However the Spanish were no saints themselves, if people are going to talk about "the letter of the law" then what about the mandatory yellow card for players mimicking the showing of a card to get opponents booked? Xavi and Iniesta were the main offenders there, the latter also getting away with several late tackles. Not an easy game to ref, and as someone who has refereed at grassroots level, I can sympathise, but as usual I'm left disappointed by Webb. And as for missing the corner and foul at the end...

Posted 23:27 12th July 2010

Matt Wallis (Macclesfield Town fan) says...

Glad Spain won after the disgracful performance by the Netherlands. Webb and the team did a fantastic job and were almost faultless. I would like to see some of his critics try and ref a local 11-a-side game never mind a world cup final! It's a very hard and thankless task. How Kuyt can say Webb favoured Spain when he could have easily sent 3 or 4 Dutch players off!!

Posted 22:24 12th July 2010

Ivan Attitude (Ipswich Town fan) says...

Webb did OK; but he should have sent DeJonge off for the boot to Alonso and Robben for diving when he let his trailing leg drag over the Spanish goalkeeper after the Puyol thing. Shame on Holland for turning it's back on the rich football that they brought to the world. They obviously felt inferior to the Spanish, from the get go, a fact proven by their brutal tactics. Former Holland Fan

Posted 21:32 12th July 2010

Richard Auckland (Barnsley fan) says...

I dont know how the Dutch have got the audacity to say anything about Howard Webb, the manner in which they set about trying to cripple as many Sapnish players as possible put Howard Webb under tremendous pressure, if it had been anything other than the final I am sure that he would have sent 2 dutch players off in the first half. It was a shame that the Dutch conducted themselves in such an appaling manner on the biggest stage of all, upto the final they had played some scintilating football and I still cannot believe that they actually played in the meanner that they did. Unfortunately the whole 2010 world cup will probably be remembered for the shocking tactics and conduct of the Dutch players in the final.

Posted 21:14 12th July 2010

Steve Morgan (West Ham United fan) says...

The Dutch had 120 minutes to score a goal but couldn't, they had 120 minutes to play football but couldn't, the had 120 minutes to try and kick Spain off the pitch and this is about the only thing they acheived and should actually thank Webb for allowing them to play with 11 and then 10 men for as long as they did as they should have been down to 9 by half time and found themselves on the end of a spanking from Spain. typical of footballers to look outside of them and their team mates for their failures and look to blame someone else, bet Robben has not been moaned at by his mates for missing two clear cut chances! well done Spain, best team won the tournament, no one should be talking about refs let alone blaming them when the game is too fast for the naked eye and FIFA and their main man are not waking up to reality and introducing technology to assist them. all the tennis, horseracing, cricket, rugby, swimming and athletics top bods must all be wrong then i guess........

Posted 20:31 12th July 2010

Ian Probyn (Bradford City fan) says...

Holland are a disgrace, if Howard Webb refered the game to the letter of the law, thDutch would have been down to 7 men. He did not send people off early in the game, as it would have ruined th game, and he wanted it to flow. I wanted the dutch to win before kick off, at half time, I wanted the Spanish. The Dutch got what they deserved, nothing, and all they can do is blame our ref, who handled the game brilliantly. The best team won, and am I glad, that football was the winner. If the dutch had won, I don't think I would have watched another game.. Well done Spain you deserved it !!!!!!!

Posted 14:01 12th July 2010

Mark Gillings (West Ham United fan) says...

Ever been a ref? Yes the Dutch were brutal, yes they deserved to lose, overall Mr Webb and his team made the best of a bad job, when players set out to ruin the showpiece event of the worlds biggest sport, then what choice did he have? Maybe if he had sent off De Jong for his karate kick things may have settled down, hind sight is easy, biggest game of your life, millions watching and re-watching your every move, not easy! Well done Spain and Howard Webb and his team for trying to make it an even contest.

Posted 14:00 12th July 2010

Benjamin Tam (Chelsea fan) says...

If Robben had scored when he had the cahnce (two actually), I suspect the result might have been different and the Dutch song would have been more positive regarding Webb. Van Bommel was very lucky to remain on the pitch, and regarding the Robben/Puyol issue, for once Robben stayed on his feet (when he probably should have gone down legitimately) and Webb rightly played the advantage. He really had the advantage and should have scored...so what is the referring problem if he didn't score??? Well done Mr. Webb I think it's just a painful experience for the Dutch; coming so close and yet being so far! And Van Bommel...what a player (I think he had a great WC), but he should just keep quiet because he was one of the luckiest players on the pitch...he should have been sent off!!!

Posted 13:57 12th July 2010

Stu Stuart (Liverpool fan) says...

He did an excellent job in a difficult match, De Jong could have already been sent off , before the second yellow and Van Bommel was kicking people all tournament so he cant complain about anything....

Posted 13:47 12th July 2010

Anthony Woodall (Birmingham City fan) says...

I can't believe there are people slagging Webb off. I thought he had an excellent game, as did the overwhelming majority of Ref's in the tournament. He had to deal with a very difficult situation with the Dutch players kicking lumps out of anything that moves and was restrained in not sending two off in the first half. If De Jong had done that flying kick anywhere else but on the football field he would have been arrested for assault! It was appalling. I think the Spanish players reactions were in the most part admirable. They didn't resort to acting like cry-babies and didn't react to it (with the exception of Iniesta, who was possibly the victim of most of the brutish tactics of the Dutch). To my mind he made one out and out wrong decision, which was the corner fro Holland towards the end. The others could be put down to him being lenient for the sake of the game. Well done Spain on a deserved World Cup victory. Well Done Mr Webb for a good game and tournament.

Posted 13:43 12th July 2010

Chris Beeching (West Ham United fan) says...

If only players would spend as much effort trying to stay on their feet as they do throwing themselves to the floor like they've been shot then the beauitiful game would once again be beauitiful.

Posted 13:40 12th July 2010

Sandy Dance (Arsenal fan) says...

I think Howard Webb did an excellent job in what was a very brutal game of football. Holland tried to kick their way to a result, and whilst I cannot condone their brutal tactics, in fact they should have been down to at least 9 men by half time) neither can I accept the way that some of the Spanish players fell about after being tackled. Some of them went down as if they had been shot, rolling over at least half a dozen times, totally exaggerating the severity of the tackle. Must admit that 14 yellow cards in one match seems a bit over the top, but if he had sent off all the players who deserved it, it would have been a shame. I think considering the way that the players behaved, all in all well done Mr Webb and your team.

Posted 13:10 12th July 2010

Adam Kelly (Queens Park Rangers fan) says...

Did the Dutch forget this was "A World Cup Final", the pinnacle of the sport we all love! I'm ashamed to say I wanted to see them win the game: after witnessing that performance, Cruyff and all the past Dutch masters must have squirmed in disbelief at what their modern day counterparts lay before the world in lieu of the beautiful game!! In light of the dreadful way that the Dutch cynically tried to stop the Spanish playing through them at every opportunity, I think it is laughable for the Dutch to claim Howard Webb robbed them of the game! Yes, Mr Webb may have got a couple of decisions wrong, but overall he gave BOTH teams every opportunity to keep all their players on the pitch. The De Jong assault of Alonso was a definite red card incident, Mr Webb may have been slightly unsighted and unaware of the full impact, otherwise I feel sure he would of given a Red! Robben is his own worst enemy for falling down at every opportunity, a la Ronaldo, so what was probably a free kick at best, wasn't given, tough! As for Spain, they were as culpable at times, for spoiling the show, with their diving and play acting, however overall their performance and will to keep playing decent football, merits their winning of the World cup! It just saddens me that this game, the most important in World Football will be remembered for number of Cards shown, rather than the football played! The players have as much if not more responsibility to the game to ensure it is played in the right spirit and make the referee's job as easy as possible! Don't blame Mr Webb for what was a very very difficult task in light of how the players set out to play the game and try to con him at every given opportunity! Makes a complete mockery of the FIFA Fair Play standard!!

Posted 13:09 12th July 2010

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