Liverpool lucky, Arsenal profited from Bobby Madley’s low confidence, Mark Halsey’s Ref Review

It proved to be perhaps the busiest weekend of the Premier League for officials, and not just those with the whistle. Assistants and even fourth officials come under Mark Halsey’s spotlight, the ex-Premier League referee and expert is back to look at the weekend’s action…

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West Ham United vs Tottenham Hotspur (Michael Oliver)

When you look at the red card, Michael’s cautioned him for persistent infringing the laws of the game. Michael tried to manage the game and I thought he managed Aurier well, he could have cautioned him earlier but you tend to set your tolerance levels a bit higher in a derby match.

Michael was right to caution him because he kept giving away small fouls throughout the match. He’s told him the next time he commits a foul he’ll be cautioned, then six or seven minutes, to put in a reckless challenge where it’s virtually impossible for him to win the ball, he’s asking for trouble.

Nine times out of ten you’ll always be cautioned and you didn’t see any complaints from anybody, he knew he was going to be shown a second yellow card.

I thought Michael was in a poor position for the late penalty appeal, he’s looking through players and doesn’t have a clear view. Had he been more central he would have seen the push and awarded the penalty.

The melee at the end was created by Michael, he didn’t slow the game down and we’ve had this conversation about Michael last week. It was a lack of awareness of what was going on around him, you need to calm the players down and Michael didn’t do that. I think Hernandez got away with it because he showed the most aggressive attitude towards an opponent but Michael needed to be more pro-active in recognising the temperature of the game.

Burnley vs Huddersfield Town (Chris Kavanagh)

I thought Chris picked up the diving incident well and it was a nice game to ease him into his Premier League career.

He’ll have tougher games in his career but you can’t criticise him for that, he did a good job. Sean Dyche was unhappy but there’s nothing we can do about instant penalising for diving or simulation until VAR is brought in, all we can do for now is to look at it after a game.

It can be unfortunate that a team could benefit and another lose out from that incident but the whole law needs changing first.


Everton vs Bournemouth (Martin Atkinson)

I think Francis was lucky that Martin missed the elbow on Wayne Rooney, I thought he led with his arm in a reckless manner that endangered the player’s safety with excessive force.

When you’re jumping for a ball from behind an opponent, you don’t jump like that and lead with your elbow do you? I think Simon Francis is lucky that Martin didn’t send him off, personally I think he got away with one.

It’s not been looked at by the FA who probably think it was an accident.

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Southampton vs Manchester United (Mike Jones)

It was very, very poor management of the technical area by Mike Jones. I emailed Jose after the game and he said he had half a foot on the pitch to talk to Ander Herrera.

If Mike Jones had called me over for that at that stage of the game I’d have told him in no uncertain terms where to get off. It was very poor man management from Mike Jones, 30 seconds to go and he’s got half a foot on the pitch, so what?

All you’ve got to do is shout him and tell him to move back, you could see from Craig’s body language he didn’t want to put him up in the stands but he had to stand by his fourth official.

You can see the FA agree with me because they’ve taken no further action. Managers like Jurgen Klopp get away with murder, the way he berates match officials isn’t good for the game and they need to come down on him.

Leicester City vs Liverpool (Anthony Taylor)

They were right to rule out the offside goal, although I must say watching it live I thought they’d got it wrong. Okazaki is onside but it’s Harry Maguire who is offside and Adam Nunn got the offside decision right.

I thought Leicester’s goal should have been disallowed, there was a foul on Mignolet for me. I think the Leicester player knew what he was doing, but like with Michael Olivier, Anthony is in the wrong position on the corner of the box and can’t see through the players.

But he was spot on with the penalty for the home side, Mignolet might get a small touch on the ball but he’s wiped Vardy out and he was correct to only show him a caution too. But straight after that there’s another incident with the handball against Can and that was a penalty for me too.

Can’s made a deliberate movement towards the ball but the other assistant, Gary Beswick, has to be braver and step in and help Anthony there. Overall, I think Anthony did ok but his assistant has let him down on the handball.

Brighton & Hove Albion vs Newcastle United (Andre Marriner)

I said at the time that it wasn’t an accident and Hemed knew exactly what he was doing. He’d been clattered earlier on and was seeking retribution. If it’s an accident then he goes back and apologises but he shows no remorse whatsoever and the FA have quite rightly charged him for violent conduct and subsequently handed the striker a three match suspension.

I didn’t see a problem with Brighton’s goal as Rafael Benitez did, nothing there stood out to me as a foul at the time.


Arsenal vs West Brom (Bobby Madley)

This was never a difficult game for the match officials but the decision making wasn’t what it should have been. The assistants carried out their job well but Bobby Madley made significant errors which affected their match control.

The first incident is a clear penalty for West Brom on Jay Rodriguez, people are saying he should have stayed down but he got up because there was no whistle. Bobby didn’t play advantage, he didn’t signal for an advantage and only he can tell us why he didn’t give a penalty.

He’s got a clear view and for me that’s really poor. Everyone’s saying he’s played advantage but he hasn’t, when you play advantage you signal straight away. It was an easy decision but maybe he wasn’t switched on, he gave a free-kick to Alexis which wasn’t a free-kick and I think Bobby is lacking confidence at the moment.

He sent two players off incorrectly in a game earlier this season so something’s not right there, everything we do is about confidence. On Arsenal’s penalty, you run the risk and I do think that’s a penalty to be honest, but he’s missed another clearer one on Alexis earlier in the game when he has his shirt pulled.

Dawson was lucky to stay on too, he went through the back of a player late on when he’d already been cautioned and I think it shows Bobby has no self-belief in his decision making at the moment.

1 Comment on Liverpool lucky, Arsenal profited from Bobby Madley’s low confidence, Mark Halsey’s Ref Review

  1. I like reading a referee’s point of view on these decisions, but providing some (any) context would make this a whole lot more readable.

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