I do think that the senior and most experienced PGMOL referees have got the season off to a much better start than in recent years.
It is my opinion that this is down to a much improved appointing process adopted by the PGMOL.
Matching the referee to the game is important, with no better example than Andre Marriner appointed to the Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool encounter and delivering an excellent performance at Wembley, the current home of the Spurs.
Using data highlighted on the Premier League website referee index I list below the number of games each official has received this season to date.
Craig Pawson- 8
Andre Marriner – 7
Jonathan Moss – 7
Martin Atkinson – 6
Neil Swarbrick – 6
*Anthony Taylor – 6
Robert Madley – 5
Lee Mason – 5
Roger East – 4
Kevin Friend – 4
Graham Scott – 4
Lee Probert – 3
Chris Kavanagh – 2
Paul Tierney – 2
* ANTHONY TAYLOR is currently out in India officiating the U17 FIFA World Cup
However it also highlights my concerns of the past that the list is ageing and several referees are passengers.
Martin Atkinson and Andre Marriner will be ending their international careers at the end of this year, leaving Oliver and Taylor to compete for Atkinson’s position on the UEFA Elite Panel and the opportunity to gain experience and stature by officiating regular Champions League games.
It will be a major setback if we do not have an English referee on the UEFA Elite list. I have already expressed my disappointment in the fact that an English referee will not be officiating at the World Cup in Russia next year.
I must say that I hold my breath when I see the likes of Mason, Jones, East and Friend appointed to games because frankly they lack consistency in their performances which is required at this level.
Pawson and Madley are also gaining experience in Europe and delivering more consistent performances in the Premier League.
Stuart Attwell must now deliver better performances, this weekend in the Newcastle United game he displayed a yellow card on a challenge that fulfilled the law with regard to excessive force, endangering the safety of an opponent, Mr Attwell take a look at the clip, this is a nailed on red card offence.
Dean and Swarbrick are experienced officials and capable of officiating any Premier League encounter.
Scott, Tierney and Kavanagh need to be appointed on a more regular basis to games to build their form and confidence.
Jon Moss to his credit appears to have started the season well and it is good to see Lee Probert out in the middle after a serious injury.
It is my view that the PGMOL need to promote four referees to this panel in order for them to build their experience and to be prepared to officiate the top tier. For me Andrew Madley should already be on that list.