Ref Review with Mark Halsey: Liverpool vs Everton, Chelsea vs Manchester City and more

It’s a bumper Ref Review to end the week as‘s Mark Halsey takes a look at some of the key decisions from not only last weekend’s action, but a select few of the midweek games too. 


Anthony Taylor (Liverpool vs Everton)

I think Anthony tried to manage the occasion rather than the football match. We’ve seen a lot of instances recently where early challenges have been let go but you get that early opportunity to stamp your authority on a match.

Nathaniel Clyne makes a foul in the 2nd minute and it’s a clear caution, you can’t let those go. You can’t let the players start to dictate how you referee and if Anthony books Ross Barkley for his first challenge the second one probably doesn’t happen. The second is a straight red card too, it’s a reckless challenge with excessive force that endangers a player’s safety.

I think Anthony was right on a couple of decisions later in the game, Ashley Williams wasn’t charged for his stamp and rightly so I think, he didn’t have anywhere to go and it was accidental. The 50/50 with Emre Can is exactly that, a 50/50. It’s a justifiable caution but nothing more.

Craig Pawson (Chelsea vs Crystal Palace)

Craig’s a very good referee but he’s just not living up to his potential right now and he’ll be disappointed to have missed a clear handball by Andros Townsend on Saturday.

He’s got a real calmness about his refereeing and his recognition of careless and reckless is better than most but he can be frustrating at times. He looks lethargic and doesn’t get himself in good positions, that’s why he’s missed the handball by Townsend and it’s cost Chelsea a clear penalty.

Jon Moss (Southampton vs Bournemouth)

It’s not a penalty, there’s nothing in it whatsoever in my opinion. There’s a long delay so he’s obviously seeking assistance but Jon is the man in charge and he has to make that decision.

It’s good to see him taking his time and thinking about it but it’s the wrong decision for me.

Andre Marriner (Arsenal vs Manchester City)

Referees overall recognition of challenges lately has been poor, they need to get themselves closer to these incidents and get themselves in better positions. Navas has caught his man high up but the outcome depends on the referee.

You look at Paul Tierney who sent off Tom Huddlestone a couple of weeks ago for a foul which I didn’t think was a red card and maybe Navas goes if it’s him. But Andre has more experience so he decided a caution was the best way to deal with the incident.

For me, it’s not a penalty against Monreal at the end, handball has to be deliberate and I don’t think you can say that’s definitely a deliberate movement. Technology will improve decision making as we saw in midweek, we have to help referees come to the right decisions.

Mike Dean (Chelsea vs Manchester City)

I thought Mike managed the game very well but it was unlike Mike, he was very lenient at times but it contributed to an excellent game of football.

He’s got the penalty spot on too but the Diego Costa incident is just one of those. Mike didn’t take any action and he said he’d seen the incident but we’re getting a lot of that lately. But is it violent conduct or is it petulance? There’s a difference, maybe he was lucky to escape a caution but I don’t think it was anything more than that.

Martin Atkinson (Arsenal vs West Ham United)

Martin’s had some up and down performances this season but as I’ve said a lot lately, you can’t perform at the top of your game week in, week out.

Sometimes you get fatigued, just like players do, but unfortunately for Martin Wednesday was one of those games for him. They were penalties, the ones he missed are penalties and he’s right there but he’s signaled straight away on each occasion but if he looks at them again I think he’ll be disappointed.

Neil Swarbrick (Manchester United vs Everton)

The penalty and the red card is spot on, I thought he refereed the game well but he missed too many little fouls that got the players backs up.

They lost a little bit of respect for him and his decision making, Ashley Young was lucky to get away with a caution for as long as he did but overall he did well.

Man United vs Everton is always a tough match to referee, I did it a few times but the incident with Idrissa Gueye was an odd one. I was astonished at that incident, it’s a clear foul and a clear caution but it’s also a clear corner, the defender has booted it out and a goal kick has been given!

Neil’s had an excellent season but he’s missed some fouls similar to these, it was a really odd decision.

Keith Stroud (Newcastle United vs Burton Albion)

I don’t agree with him and his team being suspended first and foremost, if it had been the second or third time he’s made that error then that’s different but Keith’s a very experienced referee.

I feel for Keith but he’ll be a stronger person for it, I know him very well and he’ll be distraught with that decision. We’ve all been there, I’ve been there and my assistants have helped me out so why haven’t his colleagues helped him? The game took four or five minutes to restart, even the referee accessor in the stand could have come down to help him.

That’s a big error to make, it’s something that shouldn’t have happened but it’s a lapse in concentration. That’s what I said earlier about mental fatigue, but it is a major error in law.


You can follow Mark on Twitter at @RefereeHalsey

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