Ref Review – West Ham harsly done by, Manchester United player sees red against ex-club

By Rich Laverty.

Once again it’s that time of the week, time to have a rant about the latest batch of poor refereeing decisions and the midweek group of games provided plenty of talking points. This week Sam Allardyce decided to have a moan, Phil Dowd gave everyone just a little bit of hope whilst Roger East had a nightmare at Old Trafford, but he’s not the first.

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Murray and Mile

As ever, the Premier League got off to a quiet start where referees are concerned, not. Sam Allardyce seems to have moaned about everything since suggesting he was the most ‘sophisticated’ manager in the league. Hmmm. He had a right to complain that Glenn Murray wasn’t sent off earlier given the striker scored two goals in a 3-1 win and Mile Jedinak later went on to elbow Diafra Sakho. It was snide, he did it in a way the referee couldn’t see and the Australian has been given a retrospective ban.

Grade (Mike Dean): C, not perfect, but he can’t be blamed too much.

Wesley and John

Everyone loves a case of mistaken identity. The internet memes that followed on from Kieran Gibbs seeing red instead of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain last season were fantastic. This one was a bit different though, it’s quite difficult to mix up John O’Shea and Wes Brown, but referee Roger East was adamant Brown made the foul.

From one angle, it’s understandable. Brown does appear to connect with Falcao but O’Shea has already done the damage and East should have noticed it. The penalty decision was clear enough; at least he got that right.

Grade (Roger East): D, for donut.

Maynor and Stephen with a touch of Crouchie

You know a referee hasn’t had a particularly good game when both managers (even the winning manager) are fuming after a game. Mark Hughes was incensed with Maynor Figueroa’s challenge that left Stephen Ireland needing 12 stitches. It wasn’t a purposeful challenge, just reckless and clumsy, but if Neil Swarbrick had seen the damage at the time, he may have whipped his red card out.
Steve Bruce was equally wound up that Peter Crouch appeared to be offside when he headed home a late winner. It was close, but a top linesman should have noticed it and it cost Hull a crucial point in their chase for safety.

Grade (Neil Swarbrick): C, Crouch wasn’t really his responsibility.

Michael and Federico

Given they haven’t won in seven games and are once again struggling to beat the drop after a brief renaissance, Sean Dyche probably felt a bit harshly done by when his side didn’t get a penalty against Swansea on Saturday.

Michael Kightly burst into the box before a shot deflected up on to the arm of Federico Fernandez. You’ve seen them given, but it would have been a bit harsh in my opinion, and Dyche didn’t seem overly concerned after the game.

Grade (Jon Moss): B, ran out of generosity after giving it all to Harry Kane last week.

Stephane Sessegnon, or was it Tom Daley?

Given I’m busy slating referees most weeks, it’s really nice to be able to praise a referee, but this one wasn’t even difficult. Some divers are good, not good in terms of diving being good, just a player being good at diving. Ashley Young was good at diving, as is Wayne Rooney. They get what they’re after, but Stephane Sessegnon’s attempt to get a penalty against Southampton was beyond pathetic.

He wasn’t even near enough a defender to initiate contact himself, he simply flopped to the floor. Phil Dowd was right on it and my favourite part of any dive is when a player looks disappointed with the decision straight after. In my opinion Stephane, you should be grateful you were only booked.

Grade (Phil Dowd): A. Bravo, sir.

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