Arsenal

Know Thy Enemy …Alan Wiley

We all love to hate referees, whether it be for awarding a goal that was clearly offside, failing to award a blatant penalty or sending off someone for a meaningless tackle. Even though they are supposed to be unbiased and fair, some officials blatantly love or hate certain clubs. Howard Webb, for instance, has screwed Spurs in so many games by awarding stupid penalties or disallowing obvious goals. But now we turn our attention to Mr Alan Wiley, who may have a case for hating Manchester United in particular, mainly because of Sir Alex Ferguson’s constantly doubting his ability to officiate a game.

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Wiley has been a Premiership referee since 1999 and has officiated the FA Cup final in 2006, as well as the Carling Cup final in the same season. Wiley has been on the receiving end of numerous tirades from Fergie, particularly in 2008 when Chelsea were awarded a penalty at Old Trafford, when Michael Carrick was adjudged to have handled in the box. Even though the assistant referee made the decision, it didn’t stop Fergie taking it out on Wiley. In September’s 2-2 draw with Sunderland, Ferguson once again criticised Wiley, saying he was not fit enough to get up and down the pitch and accusing him of “walking up the pitch for the second goal needing a rest.”

Wiley said he was thinking of quitting after that game, but continued to carry on officiating. He was criticised by Bolton boss Owen Coyle for not punishing Arsenal’s William Gallas back in January, after a tackle by Gallas went unpunished and led to an Arsenal goal. The most recent game Wiley was in charge of was Man City’s 6-1 demolition of Burnley on Saturday.

What do you think of Riley – do you hate him or love him?

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