Weekend’s games review from Mark Halsey

Burnley 2 Everton 1

Chris Kavanagh took charge of this one and my first thought is to remember that he’s new to the list of Select Group 1 referees. The players probably aren’t fully aware of him so it will take time for him to be a face that Premier League players know.

He needs to make his mark. The players need to get to know him because he’ll be refereeing these guys for many years to come and early on in his career if they see a sign of weakness they’ll take advantage of him.

Regarding Ashley Williams’ sending off I certainly wouldn’t criticise him for producing the red card, what I will say is that a more experienced referee might have taken different action. The incident was a subjective one and it depends on your interpretation over whether it’s violent conduct or reckless use of the arm.

Why do I say that? If you look at Williams arm, it’s not straight, it’s bent indicating it’s not meant in a violent manner, he’s just trying to shrug him off.

A more experienced referee would have cautioned Williams for the latter. If I was coaching him, I would say after the game that as a referee you should be more aware of what’s going on around you, the little niggles, the battles that can be created between different players etc.

I know Ashley Barnes likes to wind players up, not at all against that by the way, but in the back of my mind I would be aware that Barnes was starting to get on Williams’ nerves and a little word here and there might stop the center back using his arm and forcing the referee to make a decision on whether it was violent conduct or not.

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