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The public gets what the public wants

Filed: Monday, 17th February 2014
By: Staff Writer

Referee Mark Clattenburg is to take charge of West Ham United's Premier League clash with Southampton this weekend - his first Saints appointment since they filed a complaint against him last year.

The south coast club reported Clattenburg to the Professional Game Match Officials Board back in December when it was claimed he told Saints captain Adam Lallana: "You are very different now, since you've played for England - you never used to be like this". The complaint was later dismissed by the FA.

It will also be the first time that Clattenberg - who West Ham supporters ironically chanted for during the 3-1 victory against Chelsea in December 2012 - has officiated a United game since New Years' Day, when he dismissed Kevin Nolan in the 2-1 defeat at Fulham. That was the most recent incident in a long charge sheet for Clattenburg where the Hammers are concerned.

On New Years' Day 2013, the Durham official angered Norwich boss Chris Hughton for refusing to either of two penalty appeals - correctly, so it was later proved - in a 2-1 win for the Hammers at the Boleyn Ground. Earlier that season he was criticised for being "card happy" when booking ten players in a 2-1 win for West Ham at QPR.

In 2010 Clattenburg left fans questioning his parentage on no less than three occasions. A 4-0 Carling Cup quarter final win against Manchester United would have been even more emphatic had he spotted a clear foul on substitute Zavon Hines in the game's closing stages, whilst his decision to rule out Freddie Piquionne's perfectly legal injury time 'winner' at Wolves baffled many.

The FA Cup 3rd round tie with Arsenal in January at that year also ended controversially when Clattenburg ignored a clear infringement on Alessandro Diamanti with the score at 0-0. West Ham went on to lose the game 2-1.

Clattenburg had previously left Gianfranco Zola fuming during a 3-3 draw at Hull in November 2009 when awarding a soft penalty against Julien Faubert - though Zola's mood improved somewhat when the 38-year-old failed to spot a far worse offence by Matthew Upson later in the same game. Zola was less forgiving three months previously when Clattenburg refused to award a penalty when Luis Jimenez was tripped inside the box by Spurs' Essou-Ekotto.

Lee Bowyer was another victim of Clattenburg's back in 2008, when he was dismissed for what appeared to be an innocuous challenge during a 1-1 draw against Birmingham. The FA agreed and rescinded the card on appeal. Then-manager Alan Curbishley had also criticised the referee in January of that year for denying Bowyer (again) a clear penalty at Manchester City.

West Ham's biggest away win in recent years - a 5-0 thrashing of Derby County at Pride Park back in 2007 - was also marred (very slightly, admittedly) by Clattenburg's decision to award a free kick instead of a penalty when Luis Boa Morte was felled inside the area during the first half.

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