In what has been one of the most difficult weeks for the football family, due to the untimely and tragic deaths of five people outside the Leicester City Stadium, Lee Probert has been tasked with overseeing the Bluebirds’ home game against the Foxes. An emotional occasion for all involved requires a strong character. How does this week’s Nini-man in the middle measure up?
The Bluebirds haven’t been involved in a match overseen by Mr Probert since January, when he oversaw a drab nil – nil draw between Cardiff City and Mansfield in the third round of the FA Cup. In terms of decisions made, he could have sat in the Ninian Stand and enjoyed a cup of tea to keep warm.
That game was low on excitement, low on attendance and low in priority, as Neil Warnock plotted a way for the Bluebirds to leave a dire December behind and push on in their quest for promotion from the Championship. Suffice to say, there wasn’t too much disappointment when Cardiff left the FA Cup behind some weeks later, after a footballing lesson against Manchester City.
The last time Probert oversaw the Bluebirds in the league was in September 2017, which saw the Bluebirds snatch a late, late draw at home against Sheffield Wednesday. A point that became crucial on the Championship run-in. See below for an overview of his Premier League stats this season:
- 4 games refereed
- 12 yellow cards issued (an average of 3 yellows per game)
- 2 red cards
- 3 penalties awarded
Probert may be the most card-happy referee we have seen at the CCS this season. Brighton versus Fulham on the 1st September saw no less than six yellow cards and two penalties. The game resulted in Fulham throwing away three precious points, leading manager Slavisa Jokanavic to label his side’s defending as “sloppy.” A theme that continues to this day.
There will no doubt be an emotional element to this match that perhaps wouldn’t have been present before Saturday’s tragedy. A calm head will be needed by all involved. Let’s hope the Bluebirds come away with three points and show the world just what Cardiff City are all about.