The last weekend of Premier League action before the international break didn’t provide the most dramatic of matches, but diving was once again at the forefront of the discussion come the end of the first game on Saturday.
Elsewhere, there were good performances from Martin Atkinson and Jon Moss as youaretheref.com’s Mark Halsey once again gives his analysis and opinion on the weekend’s big decisions…
Huddersfield vs Tottenham (Neil Swarbrick)
It’s not just Dele Alli who’s at it [diving], we’ve brought in this retrospective action for simulation but it’s only used when a team has benefitted from that simulation.
Alli is a role model for many youngsters and going down like that is basically cheating. In some respects, it’s good to see Neil Swarbrick has picked it up but it may have actually ended up being better if he had missed it, gave the penalty and then Alli gets a two-match ban. But that doesn’t help Huddersfield and it wouldn’t have helped Burnley last week when it was a Huddersfield player doing the same.
The time has come now for the International Football Association Board (IFAB) needs to look at the laws of the game, if a referee deems a player has simulated then it should be a red card on the day. It’s a disease and the discipline they’ve put in place isn’t adequate enough because players are still doing it.
Swarbrick got the decision right but is a caution adequate enough? I think a lot of people will say it’s not now because it’s becoming too frequent.
Bournemouth vs Leicester City (Graham Scott)
It’s good to see Graham Scott getting some more games and some experience, but you can see Danny Simpson commits a handball and it’s a penalty. He’s denied a goal so Leicester City could and should have been down to 10 men and Bournemouth should have had a penalty.
It’s difficult for Scott to pick that up because he’s blind side, but had VAR been in operation you can say we’d have seen both a penalty and a red card in that game. Bournemouth players and Eddie Howe will be unhappy but that’s a very difficult one for the referee to see, and as I always say, you can’t guess.
West Brom vs Watford (Michael Oliver)
I thought Oliver was absolutely right to give a free-kick at the end of the game which led to Watford’s equaliser.
You’ve got to look at James McLean, why does he need to make that challenge? He’s got a touch on the ball but he’s taken the player out from behind as well, it’s a free-kick all day long.
I think when Tony Pulis sits down and looks at it properly without the emotions of the 90 minutes with him, I think he’ll find he agrees with the decision. I think he’s deflecting attention from his player because it’s easy to put it on the referee but I think Oliver’s got that spot on.
Chelsea vs Manchester City (Martin Atkinson)
It was a big game and an excellent game of football. Manchester City were awesome and I thought Martin Atkinson contributed to a good game.
The players behaved themselves and his recognition of careless and reckless was excellent. His awareness was good, he set his tolerance levels high and he managed the game really well. It was a very good performance from Martin Atkinson.
Everton vs Burnley (Jon Moss)
I thought Jon Moss refereed the game very well and it’s nice once again to see him bringing consistency into his games – that’s satisfying for me to say.
He managed the game well and managed the players well. The penalty shout, when Wayne Rooney headed the ball onto Matthew Lowton’s hand, wasn’t deliberate and I thought Moss was absolutely right to not award a penalty.
I like how he went over to Ronald Koeman to calm things down and explain the situation, it was a good performance from Moss.
Mark is heading to Tanzania with youaretheref.com next week to climb Kilimanjaro in order to raise funds in aid of the Steve Prescott Foundation, helping people fight cancer.
If you can donate to Mark and his group to help change and save lives, please do so at https://justgiving.com/fundraising/YATRKILI2017