Former Premier League referee Mark Halsey – from youaretheref.com – is back to run the rule over another weekend’s worth of refereeing. This weekend, almost every game comes under the microscope as Manchester United vs Arsenal causes controversy, plus one of the most baffling decisions in Premier League history at the Britannia Stadium.
Andre Marriner (Manchester United vs Arsenal)
My first reaction was it was a penalty, Valencia went past Monreal and he was impeded and brought to the ground. However, it’s a tough decision and one that is certainly going to split opinion but I don’t think anyone would have had any complaints if Andre had awarded the penalty.
If you look at the Arsenal players, they look straight to the referee because they think it’s a penalty. Maybe Andre didn’t give it because he thinks Valencia has gone down too easy and he can’t see Monreal’s left arm. He’s also cut the assistant out of it straight away, he may have come in and said it’s a penalty but he’s cut him out of it immediately be signalling it wasn’t a penalty.
Matteo Darmian was lucky not to be sent off, in my opinion Andre went looking for trouble because Darmian didn’t touch Walcott for his first caution. But having already issued him with a caution, the same full-back has fouled Jenkinson and that one is a definite caution.
I think maybe the assistant has come in and helped him by telling him the first one wasn’t a caution and that’s allowed him to even it out. It doesn’t make it right but it’s evened out to one caution in the end.
For the goal, Juan Mata shouldn’t have been cautioned for celebrating his goal. It’s an entertainment business and players can celebrate goals with their fans. Andre was wrong in law [see below] because Mata didn’t commit any of the four offences you need to in order to pick up a caution. This happens every week but there is no law to state celebrating with the fans should be a booking. I don’t know why referees are doing it, we don’t see it in the Champions League or the European Championships, it frustrates me to hell.
Mark Clattenburg refereed the Champions League final this year and didn’t caution Antoine Griezmann when he went into the crowd to celebrate his goal, because it would have been wrong in law but it’s happening in the Premier League every single week.
Roger East (Stoke City vs Bournemouth)
I think there is a referee who is suffering with a lack of confidence. He hasn’t done a game for a while and you need some consistency to get a good run of games together so I think Roger is suffering at the moment. It comes from within, it comes from management and coaching for referees and getting little decisions right breeds confidence – just as it would for a footballer.
Unfortunately right now Roger is suffering in that department because he’s not getting the decisions right. You’ve got to ask what’s going through his mind not to give that penalty? It was such an easy decision to give and I look at Darren Cann and why he hasn’t come in and helped him too. You want those decisions as a referee, it’s so easy and I just don’t understand why he’s not given it.
Cynical isn’t in the laws of the game but clearly Ryan Shawcross has not made a genuine attempt to play the ball, it would have been a red card too had Roger given the penalty. There was also a challenge from Wilfried Bony and they didn’t show it on any of the highlights on Saturday, Bony’s already been cautioned at that stage too so it’s another decision that should be easy for the referee.
It’s not about battering Roger East, it’s about how can we help him because he needs confidence and obviously at the moment he’s very low on confidence. Later in the game he did give a penalty to Stoke and his recognition of that offence was good, let’s applaud him for awarding that penalty.
Lee Mason (Sunderland vs Hull)
The decision not to award Sunderland a penalty for the foul on Watmore is just as bad as the decision Roger East got wrong. Lee’s poorly positioned and he looks a little bit unfit at the moment, he’s another one who doesn’t have a consistent run in the league too.
Good managers turn good players into great ones and it’s the same for referees, there’s a lack of good coaches now at elite level and a lack of good management too. He’s also missed the penalty for Hull at 2-0, the defender hasn’t got the ball and if Hull score that penalty it’s a different game. The second decision is a bit more difficult than the first but they’re both really clear penalties.
Neil Swarbrick (Watford vs Leicester City)
I think Drinkwater’s investigation comes from me and BeIN Sports because I posted it on Twitter over the weekend, once again because none of the highlights showed it on Saturday night.
To be fair, I thought Neil had a very good game because he got a few non-penalty calls bang on and he’s rightly awarded Leicester City a penalty in the first half too. There were a few handball appeals and he’s got them all spot on, I wouldn’t be too critical of Neil for missing the elbow but seeing what we have now you have to wonder why he’s not seen the offence.
If The FA are being consistent they’ll give Drinkwater a three-match ban, you look at incidents earlier in the season like Aguero and Sissoko and they were both charged so there’s got to be some consistency across the board.
Mark Clattenburg (Southampton vs Liverpool)
It’s very difficult to tell whether the Van Dijk incident is outside or inside the box and it’s blind side of Mark which wouldn’t help him. He needs the assistant to come in and help him there and with it being a shirt pull it would be a red card offence too.
But the question is whether it was a clear goal scoring opportunity and I have doubts about that, so all we’re looking at is whether it’s in or out because it have been a caution if the decision had been given.
Mike Dean (Tottenham vs West Ham)
I thought Mike refereed the game very well, he’s one of the most consistent performers and he’s given nine penalties in the Premier League this season. Two or three have been dubious but he’s been consistent on shirt pulls and he’s got the one on Winston Reid bang on.
He’s got the Tottenham penalty spot on too but my only criticism was the second yellow card for Reid late on. Why go looking for trouble? It’s the 96th minute, Tottenham take the free-kick and then he blows for full-time. It’s not a reckless challenge, he’s just gone to jump up and caught the player. Mike’s had a good game but then gone looking for trouble right at the end and he didn’t need to do that.