Tottenham pair should have walked, Manchester United lucky not to concede penalty in Mark Halsey’s Ref Review

‘Tis the season to be jolly, and some footballers will be getting Christmas off after another weekend of controversial red cards and even more simulation. We once again call’s Mark Halsey to talk us through what the referees got right and wrong…

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Martin Atkinson (Leicester City vs Crystal Palace)

I think he got the disallowed goal correct, but you’d expect Martin to pick those up. It’s really good he’s got the second caution for simulation on Wilfred Ndidi because he’s spot on, but he’s also missed a clear penalty for Crystal Palace.

You’d expect a referee of Martin’s calibre to pick that foul on Christian Benteke up, but you’ve got to make sure you’re in the ultimate position to spot those fouls.


Chris Kavanagh (Brighton & Hove Albion vs Burnley)

Some players are getting away with simulation, some aren’t. We’re seeing it all over the park now, the Chris played on but if a team doesn’t benefit then the panel doesn’t sit and Jose Izquierdo won’t be punished

If we’re going to rid this disease from the game then we have to look at every single incident, whether a team benefits or not.

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Michael Oliver (Watford vs Huddersfield Town)

For me, it’s not a sending off for Troy Deeney. I know Watford didn’t win their appeal, but I don’t think it fits the criteria of serious foul play in that challenge.

Michael didn’t give himself any thinking time, he went running in and gave the red straight away. It was a cautionable offence for a reckless challenge. I thought both cautions for Jonathan Hogg were harsh, they were careless challenges and that doesn’t mean it’s a caution.

Michael’s one of our better referees, but he’ll look back at that and be disappointed.


Graham Scott (Stoke City vs West Ham United)

It’s difficult for referees, but Graham has to get a better angle for the penalty incident. The problem is inconsistency, this was no different to Zaha last week and he didn’t get banned.

Manuel Lanzini has been suspended and I don’t think there’s any difference between that and Zaha against Bournemouth last week.

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Craig Pawson (Manchester City vs Tottenham Hotspur)

The FA deem the referee has seen an incident, so they won’t re-referee a game when a player has been cautioned for a challenge, that won’t change.

It was two poor cases of recognition of offences from Craig. He’s missed the push on Mangala by Danny Rose, his positioning is really poor and he’s left himself far too detached from play.

On Kane’s challenge, he’s turning the wrong way, all he has to do is hang back and he sees the challenge. He’s looking straight at Alli’s challenge, but at times he looked like a rabbit in the headlights. He puts his finger straight to his ear as if he’s looking for help, but he’s got the best view in the house. It just says to me that Craig isn’t ready for these big games, he takes one step forward and then two steps back.

You have to anticipate play and have an awareness of what’s going on around you. Craig should have known frustrations were rising and you nip it in the bud. You talk to them and manage the game, that’s the art of refereeing. It’s not all about the laws of the game, it’s about managing the game.


Anthony Taylor (West Brom vs Manchester United)

West Brom should have had a penalty, absolutely. If that happens anywhere else on the pitch it’s a free-kick. My initial thought was it was a penalty, Young has made no attempt to play the ball and it was a clear shove on McClean.

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Jon Moss (Everton vs Swansea City)

You can understand why Jon’s given the first penalty, it’s a silly little challenge by the Swansea defender.

The second penalty on Kenny was clearly outside the box, Jon’s got that wrong. But, you have to take advice from your assistant and from what I gather he did get a shout telling him it was outside, but Jon’s acted upon what he’s seen.


Bobby Madeley (Leicester City vs Manchester City – League Cup)

I thought Demarai Gray definitely simulated, Bobby didn’t have the best position to see it and he didn’t make himself a good angle.

Kyle Walker was cautioned for simulation and I always say don’t go looking for trouble. In that situation, was Walker looking to evade the challenge and lost his balance? I felt a bit for Walker there, I would have just played on.

[Gray wasn’t given a retrospective ban]


You can follow Mark on Twitter at @RefereeHalsey

2 Comments on Tottenham pair should have walked, Manchester United lucky not to concede penalty in Mark Halsey’s Ref Review

  1. Interesting that in reviewing the Spurs v. Man City game, where quite correctly it was stated that 2 Spurs players could have been sent off, no mention at all of the first significant foul, by Otimendi on Kane.

    Seems that Man City are so untouchable that we are not even allowed to consider their foul play in this instance

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