Kees van Wonderen picked up his fourth yellow card and a one-match suspension in the weekend’s 4-3 win in Doetinchem. The game also saw Gérard de Nooijer and Thomas Buffel take an early bath. But it’s not so much the cards as the approach of the referee that seems to rankle with many Dutch players. Indeed, Kees Van Wonderen feels that it might be time to introduce some English referees into the Eredivisie.

‘Football is an emotional game, certainly when a match is especially important to both sides. In that case, the role of the referee is crucial. I don’t like talking about referees. They have a very difficult job, they are human too and they can make mistakes. The most important thing for a referee is that he has a good appreciation of the game, the players and so also the different interests. ’There are good refs and less good refs, but there are also refs who don’t have a feel for the game and are constantly causing irritation. When I watch games in England and I see the referee give a player a yellow card, he calls the player to him and calmly explains why he is giving him a yellow card. In Holland most referees sprint up to a player and almost shove the card in the player’s face with an arrogant look on their own face. In the Champions League we’ve often had referees from England and they are always calm and making jokes. They also admit when they’ve made a bad decision and have natural authority.’

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