Martinez unusually sharp for ref: "Not on level from first to last minute"

It’s actually not his habit. But Roberto Martinez was remarkably sharp for the race management after the defeat against Italy. “The Nations League is one of the biggest competitions, the best referees should whistle in it. But this one was not at the level from the first to the last minute.”

Already during the match it was clear that Roberto Martinez was not a fan of the Serbian ref Srdan Jovanovic. The national coach grumbled remarkably often against the fourth ref.

“I am left feeling disappointed after the two penalties in as many matches. I sometimes wonder where football is going… The penalty kick today was not a mistake on reflection. And yet the VAR did not intervene – that is frustrating .”

The ball advantage was not used well, the yellow card ratio was not okay and he whistled for the penalty before the ball went out.

Roberto Martinez

“I didn’t like the referee,” Martinez continued. “In these matches they can get emotional, because they are not used to whistle again in front of a large audience. That caused big mistakes. The ball advantage was not applied properly, the yellow card ratio was not okay and he already whistled at the penalty. before the ball went out.”

“The Nations League is one of the biggest competitions. The best referees should whistle in it. But it was not at the level from the first to the last minute.”

Praise for De Ketelaere

Martinez was also, despite the defeat, satisfied with the performance against Italy. “I remember the excellent reaction after the 2-0. We can build on this. Okay, we conceded 5 goals in the past two matches, but we were not outplayed. We had better chances than Italy.”

The national coach also praised Charles De Ketelaere. “He has shown that he is ready,” Martinez said. “The way Charles fitted into the attacking game was impressive. It was the first time he had this free time with the national team. I didn’t feel like he was ready before, so it’s great to have him on now. to see this level.”

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