Stuart Attwell’s name will not be quickly forgotten by Arsenal fans after his performance in their game against Manchester City on New Year’s Day, but did you know he was previously removed from the Premier League for four years after making some pretty spectacular mistakes?

Arsenal's English defender Rob Holding (L) is shown a yellow card during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Manchester City at the Emirates Stadium in London on January 1, 2022. (Photo by IAN KINGTON/IKIMAGES/AFP via Getty Images)
Arsenal’s English defender Rob Holding (L) is shown a yellow card during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Manchester City at the Emirates Stadium in London on January 1, 2022. (Photo by IAN KINGTON/IKIMAGES/AFP via Getty Images)

Arsenal fans can point to a host of decisions made by Stuart Attwell in their game against Manchester City that could hint at a problem for the referee when it comes to keeping up with the pace of the Premier League, to put it politely.

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That’s before you even factor in that he didn’t think an Everton player stomping on Takehiro Tomiyasu’s face earlier this season was anything to bother with.

But the 39-year-old referee from Warwickshire, who was once promoted to the Premier League as the youngest official, was kicked out of it for being so bad – an exile that lasted four years.

Just one month after he was promoted to the Select Group, Attwell awarded a goal to Reading, despite the ball (maybe) going out for a corner rather than over the goal line.

He then sent off the Watford manager for complaining.

Attwell also awarded Liverpool a goal against Sunderland when the Black Cats were under the impression the ball was dead.

Sunderland had been given a free-kick and Michael Turner backheeled the ball to his goalkeeper for him to take it.

Attwell, however, ruled the ball live, allowing Dirk Kuyt to score.

Even the commentator in that video mentions that these ‘sorts of mistakes’ tend to ‘follow him around’.

Attwell also reached for a red card to send Wigan’s Gary Cahill off for denying a clear goal scoring opportunity against Spurs, despite the foul taking place on the half-way line.

The red card was later rescinded, but not until after it had helped Spurs.

In 2010, Roberto Martinez accused Attwell of lying about his reasons for sending Gary Caldwell off while Stoke’s Danny Higginbotham claimed Attwell could be too easily influenced by players.

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The ref was also accused of ‘losing control’ of a game between Derby and Nottingham Forest when he disallowed two Derby goals late in the game, having to book two players and send off Forest’s Lewis McGugan.

After the Arsenal game game, Albert Stuivenberg said of the penalties and sending off, “Of course, there are some moments in the game that I think decided the game.

“You had the first moment with Odegaard in the first half which I think is a clear penalty, but at least a moment for the referee to check, and then it happened in the second half for their penalty which is not really consistent.

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“Then of course the sending off was an important moment after that, but to be fair, we still had a very good performance against a very strong team in how we defended with 10 players. To end up in the last moment with zero points is very frustrating.”

Stuivenberg then asked reporters if they knew why Gabriel had received his first yellow because it wasn’t for scuffing the penalty spot. “That’s not what the players are telling me.

“He made a remark to the referee and also other players confirmed that, it was just a normal comment and he gave a yellow card, but it doesn’t matter in the end because if you have a yellow card you must control your emotions a little bit better.”