Well that didn’t take long did it. One week down and already there’s a black mark against Craig Pawson who left the Stamford Bridge pitch with extra security and forced to run a gauntlet of a cacophony of boos and abuse.

A 13th-minute red card was never going to please the locals, but in fairness Gary Cahill’s studs were showing and you can understand why the official came to the conclusion he did. Less so for Cesc Fabregas’ red and other decisions during the game.

His colleagues were a bit hit and miss too, so one can only hope for better in week 2.

Let’s see who is out and about …

Jonathan Moss


Swansea City v Manchester United
19/08 – 12.30pm

Assistants: E. Smart and A. Halliday
Fourth official: M. Jones

Finally, Manchester United are beginning to look like their old selves again.

Jose Mourinho had always said he should only be judged once the team was moulded by him. That’s now the case and the results were seen against West Ham on opening day.

[quote_box_right]Jonathan Moss – all you need to know

Matches in 2017/18: 2 (1 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 0[/quote_box_right]

Romelu Lukaku is already justifying his hefty price tag, Nemanja Matic’s hire has freed Paul Pogba to do damage in forward areas, and everyone else is singing to the Portuguese’s tune.

Swansea still don’t know whether they’ll have Gylffi Sigurdsson in their ranks come the end of the month and the disruption that’s causing behind the scenes could affect them here.

The Swans have punctured United’s momentum before but it would be a surprise to see them do so here.

There is a variable of course, in the shape of referee Jon Moss, someone who is not Jose Mourinho’s favourite person it must be said. However, despite his shortcomings, if he can see this one through without too much trouble, there’s a small chance that the football going fraternity might continue to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Clearly, PGMOL are happier with him in their ranks than without, so let’s see if he can repay their faith this season.

Roger East


Bournemouth v Watford
19/08 – 15.00pm

Assistants: M. Scholes and S. Massey-Ellis
Fourth official: C. Sarginson

A number of matches on week two promise much and this is one of them. Two of the more unfashionable names in the division, with respect, play football the right way and are, at times, a joy to watch.

Three goals on opening day from the Hornets evidence to Eddie Howe and his side that his opponents have got a sting in their tail, but the Cherries will fancy their chances at a sold-out Vitality Stadium.

[quote_box_right]Roger East – all you need to know

Matches in 2017/18: 1 (0 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 1[/quote_box_right]

At the end of 2016, Roger East emailed Howe to apologise for not awarding Bournemouth a penalty in their game against Stoke.

The local paper, Stoke Sentinel, said at the time that “East has faced criticism from all parties for his performance,” so it really beggars belief that he’s been put in charge of this one.

We’re all for second chances and righting wrongs, and perhaps credit should go to East for fronting up and admitting his mistake.

The fact is however, he’s another official that isn’t good enough at this level and is only farmed out when availability amongst his peers is low.

Martin Atkinson


Burnley v West Bromwich Albion
19/08 – 15.00pm

Assistants: P. Kirkup and S.Child
Fourth official: C. Kavanagh

This might well have been a game that Tony Pulis had marked down as three points on his calendar, but after the way in which the Clarets outplayed champions Chelsea, he will be thinking again.

West Brom head north looking to impose their long-ball game on a team full of gritty, determined characters, who’ll be keen to show the wider public that their performance at the Bridge wasn’t just a one-off.

[quote_box_right]Martin Atkinson – all you need to know

Matches in 2017/18: 2 (1 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 0[/quote_box_right]

Sean Dyche is as level headed as they come and has been in precisely this situation before. Often, he has overseen a ‘two steps forward, one back’ scenario, so he’ll impress upon his players why building an early season head of steam will be important.

The appointment of Martin Atkinson here is an odd one, though it’s by no means a one-off given that during last season he was often overlooked for the more glamourous fixtures of a weekend.

The hosts will be cock-a-hoop at the choice of official mind. In the last seven Burnley fixtures that Atkinson has overseen, the Clarets have won six and drawn the other.

Not so Tony Pulis, who has previously campaigned for a ‘promotion and relegation of officials’ after a poor Atkinson performance.

Lee Probert


Leicester City v Brighton and Hove Albion
19/08 – 15.00pm

Assistants: A. Garratt and D. Cook
Fourth official: C. Pawson

Craig Shakespeare and his Leicester side can feel hard done by after scoring three times at the Emirates Stadium and still finishing up on the losing side.

[quote_box_right]Lee Probert – all you need to know

Matches in 2017/18: 1 (0 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 0[/quote_box_right]

However, the manager’s decision to bring on a striker and take off a midfielder when they were leading at Arsenal and looking comfortable, was probably the single most important factor in why they were unable to hold on.

Chris Hughton’s Brighton will feel a little bruised after an opening day defeat but they are a team that won’t change their principles and will play a large part of this one being an entertaining watch.

Lee Probert has the chance to put himself right back in the refereeing mix this season.

After a terrible time with injuries, it was good to see him back last April after an almost two-year top-flight hiatus.

An official of integrity and good standing, we at YATR wish him well back in the big time.


Liverpool v Crystal Palace
19/08 – 15.00pm

Assistants: A. Holmes and H. Lennard
Fourth official: M. Dean

Both sides let in three goals on the opening day and it’s hard to understand which manager will be the more angry.

Frank de Boer can perhaps be forgiven his baptism of fire and he will be under no illusions now as to the task ahead.

Jurgen Klopp will have seen that his Liverpool team haven’t learned any lessons from last year against the mid-table sides.

[quote_box_right]Kevin Friend – all you need to know

Matches in 2017/18: 1 (0 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 1[/quote_box_right]

Expect this game to be an absorbing 90 minutes and one which will highlight why the Reds will need to do everything in their power to keep Philippe Coutinho from Barcelona’s clutches.

It’s a decent 2017/18 debut for Kevin Friend up at Anfield and one that he’ll likely enjoy. He’s jousted with Jurgen Klopp before now but won’t be swayed by the German’s ire should the game not be going as expected for the hosts.

Mike Dean will easily be able to keep the peace on the side lines in any event and this is a game that’s likely to be played at a frenetic 100 miles an hour pace, and will keep Friend on his toes too.

Let’s hope the official spent his summer wisely.


Southampton v West Ham United
19/08 – 15.00pm

Assistants: C. Hatzidakis and M. Wilkes
Fourth official: N. Swarbrick

This isn’t a game that Slaven Bilic will be contemplating losing.

After a record summer spend on transfers, most of whom underperformed at Old Trafford, West Ham fans will be expecting immediate results. As will their Croatian manager, who suggested that the performance against Manchester United was one of the worst from his time in charge.

[quote_box_right]Lee Mason – all you need to know

Matches in 2017/18: 1 (0 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 2[/quote_box_right]

Four away games in a row because of the World Athletics Championships at the London Stadium was always going to test the Hammers, but six points from the opening four games is surely the minimum expected.

On a previous occasion that Lee Mason took charge of a Southampton game, he was barred from officiating the following weekend because of a string of errors in his performance.

A red card to then Soton striker Sadio Mane was quickly rescinded in a damage limitation exercise by PGMOL. A strange decision therefore, to hand him another fixture at St. Mary’s.

YATR’s Keith Hackett has previously described Mason as “full of nerves and never looks calm. The players struggle to put their faith in how he is officiating.”

Work to be done it seems.

andre-marrinerANDRE MARRINER

Stoke City v Arsenal
19/08 – 17.30pm

Assistants: S. Beck and S. Ledger
Fourth official: R. Madley

Always a game where we can rely on the managers to have something to say about the official’s performance – especially when the fixture is played at the Britannia Stadium.

It’s Arsene Wenger’s ‘bogey’ ground and after getting out of jail against Leicester, the Frenchman will want a commanding performance to both put this particular ghost to bed but also to enthuse the support who are still largely unenthusiastic about his continued employment.

[quote_box_right]Andre Marriner – all you need to know

Matches in 2017/18: 2 (1 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 0[/quote_box_right]

Stoke will have new signing Jese Rodriguez in the side and the former Real Madrid marksman will have a point to prove after failing dismally at Paris Saint-Germain.

Andre Marriner has previously been on the end of an official complaint by the Potters for his standards, and though he’s redeemed himself since then, the locals still remain wary.

Ditto Arsenal who’ve never really got over his decision to send off Kieran Gibbs at Chelsea rather than Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

The odd errant decision aside, Marriner is made of stern stuff and isn’t frightened to make the big calls as he did last week when sending off Jonjo Shelvey.

If there’s headlines made in this game, they’re unlikely to be from the referee.

craig-pawsonCRAIG PAWSON

Huddersfield Town v Newcastle United
20/08 – 13.30pm

Assistants: S. Bennett and R. West
Fourth official: C. Kavanagh

A battle of the two promoted teams, both of whom had differing fortunes on day one.

No one could’ve foreseen just how well Huddersfield would’ve taken to life in the Premier League but being something of an ‘unknown entity’ will only last so long.

[quote_box_right]Craig Pawson – all you need to know

Matches in 2017/18: 2 (1 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 1[/quote_box_right]

What they do have in abundance is players that are prepared to put in a shift and go to war. Newcastle have more quality in their ranks but their application can sometimes be questioned.

Without their creator Jonjo Shelvey, Rafa Benitez may need to adopt a different tack against hosts that will come flying out of the traps and be at it for the entire 90 minutes.

It’s fair to say that Craig Pawson didn’t have the best opening to his campaign, but PGMOL have ensured he gets straight back on the bike here.

Though he can expect less focus and pressure than that which he received in west London last week, it’s imperative that he produces a performance of quality.

Highly respected by his peers and employers, he is, nonetheless, an official that often undoes previous good work.


Tottenham Hotpsur v Chelsea
20/08 – 16.00pm

Assistants: G. Beswick and A. Nunn
Fourth official: M. Dean

Chelsea always play well at Wembley and they’ll need to be at their best after a shocking reverse against Burnley on opening day.

By contrast, the national stadium has always appeared to intimidate the Lilywhites, so when better than a game against one of your fiercest rivals to get the monkey off of your back.

[quote_box_right]Anthony Taylor – all you need to know

Matches in 2017/18: 2 (1 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 0[/quote_box_right]

Without Gary Cahill and Cesc Fabregas the Blues are weakened, Antonio Conte relying on some early season shuffling to grab three points. A lack of top-quality signings is evident on both sides and in truth this game probably comes a little two early for them.

In any event, no quarter will be asked or given, as is normal for this clash.

Can’t really fault PGMOL for this appointment, we remain big fans of Anthony Taylor’s incredible consistency and high-level of performance.

This is a fixture that will need a guiding hand in the early stages and a heavier hand if things start to get a bit tasty. Taylor is adept at both and will have no problem in bringing both teams into line.

Mike Dean, in his second fourth official appointment of the weekend, could be kept busy by a manic Antonio Conte, so expect some touchline fun and games.

Don’t go looking for controversy from the man in the middle because you simply won’t find it.


Manchester City v Everton
21/08 – 20.00pm

Assistants: M. Perry and L. Betts
Fourth official: M. Oliver

Another early season classic on the cards at the Etihad Stadium on Monday night.

Though both teams weren’t exactly convincing in their wins last weekend, they have the personnel to ensure a fluid and eminently watchable game.

[quote_box_right]Robert Madley – all you need to know

Matches in 2017/18: 2 (1 on TV)
Fourth official appointments in 2017/18: 0[/quote_box_right]

Wayne Rooney, off the mark in his second debut, will enjoy playing against City, his local rivals for so many years when wearing the red of United.

He’ll be given licence to roam by Ronald Koeman and could well be a thorn in the hosts’ side again.

Pep Guardiola is under the most pressure of any manager in the division so replicating the start of his debut season in England is a pre-requisite for 2017/18.

The Catalan will be delighted in the choice of official as just three months ago he hailed Robert Madley as “brave” for disallowing a penalty that Riyad Mahrez had touched twice.

It was a decision which typifies why Madley is a firm fixture in the elite group. Despite the odd ricket, he continues to be one of the better exponents of the refereeing art, and one whom Ronald Koeman also has a great deal of time for.