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21st Oct 2016

Howard Webb reveals the player he found the most difficult to officiate

He has had a lot to pick from..

Robert Redmond

Howard Webb refereed in the Premier League for over 10 years before retiring in 2014, so he’s come across some fiery characters in his time in the English top flight.

Roy Keane, Luis Suarez and Joey Barton were among the more controversial players Webb has encountered during his career, but the retired ref has opted for Craig Bellamy, the former Liverpool forward, as the player he found most difficult to officiate.

“I think the Premier League player who gave me the most grief would be Craig Bellamy,” Webb told The Daily Mirror.

“I struggled to gain a rapport with Craig. Again, being balanced, [he was] a great footballer and he might be a lovely kid away from the game, but on the pitch he was always quick with an opinion and didn’t want to listen to yours so much and I found it quite difficult to gain a rapport.”

West Ham United v Cardiff City - Premier League

Webb also said that he found Barton and Robbie Savage easier to officiate than Bellamy, as the pair were more open to hearing his point of view.

“There are other players who you think might fall into that category. Players like Joey Barton and Robbie Savage who wore their heart on their sleeve but would actually enter into dialogue and I found that quite healthy and I was happy to referee those types of characters.”

Of all the managers Webb has encountered, it sounds as though David Moyes was the difficult to deal with.

Webb says the Sunderland manager “held no love for the refereeing profession.”

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