Refereeing veteran Keith Hackett has defended Stuart Attwell’s performance during Aston Villa’s 3-0 defeat at Chelsea on Saturday.
Attwell has come under fire from Villa fans for some of his decisions during the Stamford Bridge clash while head coach Dean Smith described his performance as “inconsistent”.
“I’ll be honest, I thought there was a lot of inconsistencies with decisions throughout the game,” said Smith.
“John McGinn doesn’t deserve a yellow card, there were a lot of fouls allowed to carry on.
“If you referee that way, it has to be consistent and that’s the difficulty we face as managers.”
But refereeing expert Hackett, a former FIFA and Premier League official, has sprung to the defence of Attwell.
He said Villa should instead be questioning the error made by Tyrone Mings which led to Chelsea’s second goal rather than the display of the official.
“The one thing about Stuart Attwell is that he’s mobile and a fit referee. I thought it was a solid performance,” Hackett told Football Insider.
“If they’re going to question anything, just look at Tyrone Mings and how he missed putting in a challenge on the player and it was pretty poor defending and Chelsea went on to score.
“It might well be, sometimes referees do have baggage. We don’t know how Attwell refereed in previous Aston Villa games.
“But in this game, I thought he officiated quite well. He’s a referee that’s done quite well in the Premier League. He’s refereed four Premier League games this season so that puts him in a top echelon of referees.”