Ref Review with Mark Halsey: Manchester City & Arsenal unlucky with penalty shouts

Another weekend of Premier League saw plenty of questionable refereeing around the grounds as seven of the weekend’s games come under scrutiny from‘s Mark Halsey….


Neil Swarbrick (West Brom vs Arsenal)

Neil has refereed really well this season, he’s been given more games and he’s been more confident. He’s done a really good job together with his assistant for West Brom’s second goal, the player isn’t interfering with anyone and doesn’t touch the ball so the goal is given correctly.

But Neil could have given Arsenal a penalty, in real time it wasn’t clear but when you slow it down or watch the replay you can see it’s a penalty. Maybe when technology comes in you’d be able to give those…

Martin Atkinson (Crystal Palace vs Watford)

It’s opinions, isn’t it? Was it a foul? There was another 100 yards to go even after that foul so there’s still a lot to happen before that goal goes in. You can go back two or three minutes and look at other incidents, how far back do you go? It’s easy to look at the referee there but maybe Watford need to look at how they defended it too.

Paul Tierney (Everton vs Hull City)

I knew Hull’s appeal would get rejected and that it wouldn’t get overturned. It’s another opinion and my opinion is it wasn’t a sending off, it wasn’t reckless with excessive force but at worst you could say it was reckless and nobody could complain if he’d been cautioned but I thought the red card was very, very harsh.

It continues this theme of referees’ recognition of careless and reckless challenges because if you look at Eric Dier’s challenge, that’s worse than Huddlestone’s yet he only received a caution. I felt that was a red card and Huddlestone’s wasn’t so we’ve still got inconsistency from our select group referees.

Anthony Taylor (Stoke City vs Chelsea)

I’ve refereed Stoke and Chelsea and the Britannia is always a tough place go and referee, especially when Chelsea have Costa up top and Stoke have Shawcross up against them.

I thought Anthony handled it quite well to be fair, you’re always going to get players moaning at you but sometimes Costa doesn’t help himself. He lets himself slip a little with his actions, the way he goes down under challenges because he goes down so theatrically and he tries to deceive the referee.

Once he gets cautioned he knows what he has to do to stay on the right side of that white line, up until he gets cautioned he shows no control but once he’s cautioned he suddenly controls himself, you rarely see him get a second yellow card.

With the disallowed goal, my only issue is you can see it’s a clear push but he starts in an offside position too. Anthony gives it as a clear push but awards an indirect free-kick, if he’s given it for a push then it’s a direct free-kick so what’s he given it for? It’s a soft push but he was consistent because he gave Stoke a penalty for a soft push too, I didn’t think that was a penalty but he was consistent with those sorts of challenges.

Jon Moss (Middlesbrough vs Manchester United)

You can only referee what’s in front of you and it’s good to see Jon come through unscathed because he usually creates problems for himself.

I thought he handled the fracas at the end very well, maybe he should have had a word with Gestede but he got the players out and dealt with it really sensibly. So, for a change let’s say well done Jon Moss.

Andre Marriner (Tottenham vs Southampton)

It’s a stonewall penalty on Dusan Tadic but I don’t think the way he’s gone down has helped him, why don’t they just go down naturally because I’m sure they’d get more penalties that way. Just go down simply, you’ve been tripped and that’s that.

It puts doubt in the referee’s mind because you don’t want to get conned, it was no different to Alli’s in terms of it being a penalty but Andre’s not given it. Do you blame Andre? Possibly not because of the way he’s gone down but I did think Dier should have seen red for his foul, it was reckless with excessive force and endangering the player’s safety.

Andre’s a good referee but he comes across as lethargic, he hasn’t got that extra bit of pace that someone like Michael Oliver or Mark Clattenburg has.

Michael Oliver (Manchester City vs Liverpool)

Yaya Toure’s challenge is another you can compare to Tom Huddlestone’s but Michael has had a tough, tough week. He’s done the Chelsea vs United game, then gone to Turkey and he’s come back to do the big game of the weekend.

People go on about players getting fatigued but it’s the same for the referees on a physical and mental level so first of all you have to question the appointment. Mark Clattenburg had a weekend off so why not give it to him? It was a tough game to referee on Sunday but I don’t think Michael learned from Monday night, he didn’t slow the game down and played too many advantages and you start to lose control a bit.

Last week he failed to stamp his authority with the Darmian challenge and he’s done the same by failing to caution Emre Can for holding early doors, if you don’t do it players realise they can get away with a murder. Though I do think the FA have hung him out to dry by saying he saw the Rojo stamp last week because I don’t believe he saw it, if you see that you send him off.

On Sunday, he fails to caution Emre Can and later in the game Toure makes a clear reckless challenge that endangers the player’s safety and I believe he knows exactly what he was doing, I was amazed he wasn’t shown a red card.

There were penalty shouts all over the place but I thought he got the shouts on Aguero and Mane right but the one where Aguero is pulled back at the same time as Milner challenges Sterling is a penalty for me. Silva’s put the ball across the six-yard box, there’s two penalties in one action there and Michael hasn’t spotted either of them. I just think he was mentally fatigued because he’s not looking in the right area, he’s still watching David Silva as the ball comes into the box but there’s nobody around Silva so he doesn’t need to be watching him.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: