Mark Clattenburg: I was intimidated by Keane but he wasn’t the worst player to referee

Clatts says he never, ever trusted Keano

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Mark Clattenburg has set the record straight about being intimidated by Roy Keane as a referee and recalled how a young Leeds midfielder was one of the nastier players he ever took charge of during his 13-year Premier League career.

Speaking on the latest episode of Paddy Power’s twice-weekly From The Horse’s Mouth podcast, Clatts gave his take on Manchester United legend Keane, who had a reputation for getting in the face of officials using his Old Trafford career.

I once made some banter about being scared of Roy. I made a joke about it and then everybody – it went viral. I remember saying that I gave a corner and he screamed at us, so I gave a goal kick.

That was just a bit of fabrication, but you know what? That’s the way he was. He used to shout and scream at you and sometimes you’re like, ‘woah, what’s going on there?’

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Especially when I was a young referee, I was probably a little bit intimidated, but then the more I got to know him, you see a different side of him – especially when he’s working as a pundit.

When he was on the pitch, he was a player that you would never, ever trust because he would put a tackle in and as a referee, if you missed it, you were the one that got the blame – not Roy Keane for actually making the tackle.

Protecting players

You try not to let moaning players affect you, but probably when one gets snapped in a tackle and he’s holding his leg and he’s whinging at you, you’re more likely to say ‘you deserve everything you get, you f*cking whinging tw*t’.

At the end of the day, you can protect players and you can look after players but some players who actually were just downright nasty to you – why would you protect them and look after them?

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The ones that were genuinely nice to you, you probably would look after – and it’s all walks of life isn’t it I suppose. If you get looked after and you’re treated well, then you are going to react differently.

But there was some players in particular, you just didn’t give the 50/50s.

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I remember young Alan Smith when he was coming through at Leeds. He was booked that many times because he was so nasty on the pitch – foul-mouthed and that.

Then when he got older, he probably got less yellow cards because he’d got a bit wiser and started actually buttering the referees up.

Alan Smith Premier League

Then when he was buttering them up, he probably was getting away with the 50/50s when in the past, he wasn’t.

I can remember one or two where they’d probably give us some verbals and when they went into a 50/50 ball they weren’t getting looked after by me, that was for sure.

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