Referee preview – England v Algeria
It would be difficult to get fans and players to agree on which referee at this years finals’ deserves a second game (some, especially after today, have questioned why some officials were given a first) but if there was going to be a unamious decision, it would probably be Ravshan Irmatov. He oversaw the first match of the finals between South Africa and Mexico to wide praise and now takes charge of another African teams contest as Algeria take on England.
On balance, the inaugral event at Soccer City wasn’t a tremendously hard match to officiate over but Irmatov was decisive, had excellent positioning and was quick with his calls. He certainly wasn’t overrawed by the billions watching.
If we are being ultra-critical, he maybe could have eased off the whistle slightly on that occasion but that’s just personal preference. Don’t expect him to wait for a few seconds as other officials have been and wait for appeals or blow his whistle and then appear to decide why (no names mentioned).
Players who need be careful are the Three Lions’ skipper Steven Gerrard, defender Jamie Carragher (both expected to start) and James Milner (who probably won’t feature) who were all cautioned in their last match against the USA.
For Algeria, influential midfielder Hassan Yebda is in the same position after his side’s game with Slovenia and needs to watchful.
When Irmatov is feeling stressed out by the rigours of life, he likes to retreat to the Uzbek mountain range of Chimgan but don’t expect to retreat tonight. If he can keep up his level from last Friday then we should see a flowing game settled by skill and not poor refereeing. Might be a first today….
Just a note about how much I’ve been enjoying this blog. As a recently retired referee, I’m enjoying the previews and the summaries. This particular preview is particularly well written. Keep up the good work!
I agree, Andy has provided some very nice reviews and commentary on an aspect of the game which is usually discussed in an emotion-fueled manner.
I eagerly await his assessment of today’s games, since both Ger-Serb, and USA-Slov had some particularly contentious calls. So far, Eng-Alg looks pretty good and up-to-snuff for Ishmatov.
Posted from United States
Any idea who the ref for the USA Algeria game will be?
Posted from Belgium
No word yet Doug, we should have it by tomorrow
Comments are closed