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Bruce: this can't keep happening

Filed: Thursday, 5th March 2009
By: Staff Writer

Wigan boss Steve Bruce has called for calamity referee Stuart Attwell to be dropped after he booked eight and sent off two in last night's 1-0 home defeat to West Ham.

Bruce, talking to the BBC after the game was scathing in his appraisal of Attwell, who has been at the centre of a string of controversies this season.

The Latics boss - who watched his team slip to their first home defeat in four months - claimed that Atwell 'ruined' the game, whilst pleading for the Premier League to drop him form their referee's list.

"He's runied the game as a spectacle and got the major decisions, the key ones wrong," stormed Bruce. "Carlton Cole, a little bit of common sense, he's put his foot up but he's never trying to kick anybody or intentionally hurt anybody. A little talking to would have been enough, keep 11 against 11 as that's what we all want to see.

"It was a good game up until then, the first 35 minutes. West Ham were excellent and as good as any team that's come here. They caused us all sorts of problems, got a really good goal and it was a good game that would have been interesting to see ... then the whole thing turns on its head, they're down to ten men and just want to defend - which is obvious.

"And then the second half the big tackle is Lucas Neill's tackle, and having seen that [again] that is a horror tackle which breaks people's legs. I don't want to speak about other players but they're the ones that you want to protect your players from and he's let that go because he's made a mistake with Carlton Cole. He's under pressure.

"For me Cattermole's one, that decision was right - but for the whole game we're talking about Mr Attwell's decisions and unfortunately for me, he's got them all wrong and that can't keep happening.

"He [Cattermole] was silly; he's a young lad, dives into the challenge and got caught up in the whole thing," added Bruce. "He'll go home tonight and have to learn for it, from being stupid. We've told him that and he was downright silly, but it wasn't half as malicious as Lucas Neill's that's for sure.

"I was convinced at the time that that was the red card of the evening and they're the ones that the referee's have got to get spot on. Never mind people 'high footing', two yellow cards ... he's got it totally wrong and I hope that he learns from it as well - but I think it's a little bit too early for the feller, I have to say that.

"He keeps getting these big decisions wrong and the last thing I was to do is talk about referees. West Ham deserved to win, for me they were the better team but the whole game and the whole spectacle was ruined by the referee.

"Once West Ham went down to ten men we struggled. I don't think that, had we been playing 'til midnight, we would have scored. We just missed that cutting edge."

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by cadiz hammer
11:15AM 5th Mar 2009
''Can't say I've ever agreed much with Bruce but all of these comments are 100% correct. Credit where it's due, he's talking absolute sense here. Neill should have gone and if he had perhaps Cattermole wouldn't have tried to break Scotty's leg. And Cole's sending off, well that was just plain stupid. Mind you, Bruce doesn't mention the role played by the delightful Michael Brown....''

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