West Ham manager Sam Allardyce sympathises with tired referees

Officials are overworked during festive period

Referees struggle to officiate at their best during the festive period as they are overworked, according to West Ham manager Sam Allardyce.

Anthony Taylor dismissed West Ham striker Carlton Cole and Everton's Darron Gibson during the Toffees' 2-1 win at Upton Park on Saturday but both red cards have since been rescinded following successful appeals.

Allardyce reckons the pool of professional referees is not big enough to cope with the congested fixture schedule over Christmas and New Year and believes tiredness can lead to officials making the wrong call.

"This is a difficult period for referees," he said. "Why do they always seem to make more wrong decisions now? It's probably because they are overworked and they are fatigued.

"The system has to be looked at and in my opinion it's because they are fatigued. Referees are travelling all over the country and out in Europe and have been since the start of the season.

"There's not enough of them. They try their very best to get things consistently right. But it happens every year around this time of year, the controversy.

"We had a couple in our last game and there have been many throughout football over the Christmas period.

"Fatigue is everything in terms of decision making. Once it kicks in you lose the ability to make those decisions correctly."

Former Blackburn boss Allardyce thinks more money should be made available for the training of new officials.

"We've had professional refs for 12 years and the Premier League and PGMOL (Professional Game Match Officials Limited) and Football Association should treble the budget and create an academy of referees," he said.

"They need to ease the load on the referees we have. The game needs to move on and look at recruiting better refs from all avenues."

Cole is now available to feature in West Ham's Barclays Premier League clash with struggling Reading on Saturday and Allardyce is pleased to have the former Chelsea man in his squad for the trip to the Madejski Stadium.

He said: "The best news this week is Cole's red card being overturned.

"I wasn't surprised at the Cole decision but I was anxious, in the past what has looked like a good case has not been turned over. In this case we're very pleased to have him with us for a very important time of the year.

"He's playing very well, leading the line for us and in terms of creative play he's the pinnacle for us with his hold-up play. He's scored a superb goal against Everton and we're seeing the Carlton Cole we all want to see consistently - I hope he can keep it up because he's a big threat to anyone.

"Carlton isn't going to change hugely any more but he's far more consistent in my time here than I expected before I arrived based on the perception of him. I've really enjoyed working with him and his company and personality."

Reading currently sit 19th in the table following their goalless draw with Swansea on Boxing Day.

Royals' boss Brian McDermott has criticised officials on a number of occasions this season and Allardyce sympathised with his counterpart.

"I hear McDermott complain bitterly about some of the decisions he's had to suffer on a considerable amount of game," he said.

"I don't know if he's right but I've certainly suffered that myself in previous years in the Premier League.

"They do make an awful lot of difference, they don't even themselves out over the year and they can get managers the sack, especially when they happen at the wrong time on a consistent basis.

"It's not the only reason but it contributes - critical decisions against you end with you getting no points. We should always bear that in mind."

West Ham have been struck by a number of injuries in recent weeks but welcomed midfield duo Jack Collison and Alou Diarra back into the first-team squad for the Everton game.

Ricardo Vaz Te has also returned to training with Andy Carroll likely to join him in the next week although on-loan Chelsea midfielder Yossi Benayoun is expected to return to his parent club over the next few days after having his second spell at Upton Park disrupted by injury.

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor