Steve McClaren has suggested that referees are possibly too busy watching Match of The Day rather than ‘assessing their own game’.

The pointed remarks sparked by the sending off of Aleksandar Mitrovic against Arsenal on Saturday.

The Newcastle Head Coach is clearly referring to the amount of coverage given to Mitrovic after he picked up two bookings, each within seconds of his first pair of substitute appearances in the Premier League.

McClaren believing that referees such as Andre Marriner are guilty of judging Mitrovic in advance of taking charge of games where he is playing.

Certainly Marriner didn’t appear to have to think twice before whipping the red card out on Saturday, with Coquelin no doubt helping to make the referee’s mind up with his embarrassing histrionics.

The Newcastle boss hopes that the club will appeal against the sending off, even though he accepts that it would almost certainly lose.

Steve McClaren:

“I have seen it over and over, the ball comes over his head, his eyes are on the ball and he has stamped on his foot, he wasn’t look at the man and there wasn’t any intent.

“I definitely don’t think it was dangerous. It was clumsy but I have seen plenty of clumsy challenges, it is a contact sport.”

Match of The Day

“I know him well and there is no intent in anything he does – he just wants to win the ball, he is a winner.

“He has only played a couple of games. Maybe referees are too busy watching Match of the Day instead of assessing their own game, that can be a problem.”


“I hope we can appeal because we will, we will probably lose it. You can gauge a lot from the players and even the Arsenal players looked surprised, they weren’t appealing.

“I wouldn’t say it was a dirty game and we haven’t kicked them off the park, there were fouls and the referee has reacted too harshly with all of them – he was rash.”