Semi-final referees and has Raddy signed?

I should probably start with the reason I bet you clicked the news feed… one source is reporting the deal to sign up Radoslaw Majewski has finally been tied up.  If it were true, I’d be amazed if Forest weren’t champing at the bit to announce it, but well, hopefully it is true – because it’s been apparently hanging in the balance for too long and I desperately want him to sign!  Fingers crossed the chaps at Vital Forest are right on this one!

UPDATE… Raddy’s blog suggests he’s signed a three year contract!!

There has also been confirmation of the referees who will be taking control of our forthcoming play-off semi-finals against Blackpool.  Up at Blackpool will be officiated by Phil Dowd, whilst at the City Ground we can ‘look forward’ to the attentions of Mark Clattenburg – who for most of us probably sticks in the memory for his last play-off appearance at Trentside, when he sent off Michael Dawson (and of course that he sounds like a rather nice kind of cake).

I don’t normally bother researching referees, but given the magnitude of the occasion (and some of the shit refereeing we’ve witnessed of late!) I think it might be worth a look…

"Look at me! I'm Phil Dowd!"

Phil Dowd (from Staffordshire) has taken charge 37 games this season, dishing out 124 yellow cards, and 5 red cards.  He’s been mostly in the top flight this season, only dipping in to the Championship for Newcastle vs Sheffield Wednesday, and Cardiff against Swansea.  He of course didn’t cover himself in glory in the League Cup final in February either, opting to not send off Vidic after blatantly hauling down Agbonlahor early in the game when clear through on goal, handing Manchester United a massive lifeline in the game.

"Are you looking at me? I hope so!"

Mark Clattenberg (from Tyne and Wear) has taken charge of 40 games this season, issuing 101 bookings and 5 red cards – so a little less card happy than Mr Dowd.  Whilst again he’s largely operated in the top flight, we have experienced his attentions this season at home against Coventry.  An excerpt from my match report reads: ‘…as Clattenburg and his assistants provided another hapless performance in officiating.’  I still haven’t forgiven him for sending Daws off either.

In all honesty though, despite attempting a modicum of balance and unbiasedness, the nature of the football fan is one of perhaps a slightly blinkered creature!  I rarely have many good things to say about referees (I try not to labour it), and whilst of course they can have a bearing on a game ultimately we shouldn’t be worrying too much about them and just attempting to play our game.