Michael Oliver has been announced as the referee for this weekend’s derby between Manchester City and Manchester United, while Stuart Attwell has been confirmed as being on VAR duty.
Attwell, in particular, is a rather controversial figure, having been in charge for City’s win over Arsenal on New Year’s Day. He has also been involved in some contentious decisions that have gone against United this season.
Some fans on Twitter believe Attwell could help City’s cause once again on Sunday, while others fear the furore surrounding Rodri’s ‘handball’ against Everton may see the Citizens suffer a backlash from officials:
Our dad on VAR pic.twitter.com/1jMcSEypxw
— Baldiola (@TeacherOfBall) February 28, 2022
Attwell on VAR pic.twitter.com/CkQ0Okt0m3
— Silva (@Silva070_t) February 28, 2022
MY REFEREE 😍😍😍😍
— Yellow River (@itszeem458) February 28, 2022
We better not even tackle.
— Neil (@mancityneil) February 28, 2022
Attwell my guy
— Tinolah (@Tinovimbanash10) February 28, 2022
God help City with those two in charge.
— Michael Wilson (@Cafelover259) February 28, 2022
There will be payback for the ‘penalty’ that Everton think they were denied….
— JoeC163 (@JoeC163) February 28, 2022
— Adrian🏴 (@mcfcAdriann) February 28, 2022
VAR officials and the ref will be beyond help this weekend because of the Everton fiasco.
— TheSheikhsBillions 🎗 (@SheikhZammo) February 28, 2022
Stuart has our back pic.twitter.com/zuqrOhNZmR
— sus (@Bender_101_) February 28, 2022
To be honest, it is a difficult one to gauge. Supporters tend to bang on about ‘bias’ when it comes to referees but, really, poor decisions are generally down to incompetence. Hopefully, Oliver and Attwell don’t make any glaring mistakes this weekend so the focus can be on the football instead.