Manchester City v Newcastle United


at 2015-02-21 20:33:41

I hope you can join us again tomorrow on the RefCam for two more crucial games as we enter the business end of the season:


Everton v Leicester City 2:05pm, followed by;


Southampton v Liverpool  4:15pm


There is also the return of the RefCam  into the Champions League next Wednesday for Arsenal v Monaco 7.45pm


A list of all the big games coming up on YATR is always available at:


That’s it for me for this week.

Thanks for following the website this evening

Until the next time, keep your comments coming through on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at

at 2015-02-21 20:32:48

In my view this was a satisfactory performance by Chris Foy this evening, but not one to shout about. Yes he got the big decision right in the first minute and VERY WELL DONE for that, and yes he did not micro-manage a game which had no aggression in it at all, but he just looked a little lethargic at times and did not exactly glide around the field of play.


If there had been a young keen enthusiastic referee in charge of this encounter they would have been looking for ways to look impressive without “finding things” or creating problems to look good when you sort them out, but you can often make your presence known in other ways so that you stand out from the crowd.


Don’t get me wrong, I am pleased to be talking about a referee performance that will not be mentioned in any negative aspects in all the reports of the game tomorrow, but from a technical perspective there was room for improvement. Apart from looking a bit more energetic, the other area I felt could have gone better was the consistent reactions to reckless challenges in the first half which I mentioned at half time. One caution clearly missed, then another REALLY soft one issued soon after – had Yaya Touré (MC 42) received a second yellow card then there would have been a lot more discussion about his first one.


I felt that the level of teamwork displayed this evening was sound and Andy Garrett in particular displayed precisely the type of exaggerated positive body language I have been stressing which gets you noticed in games which have very few contentious issues to deal with.


So I think all the officials can bank this one and look forwards to much harder games to come before the end of the season I am sure!

at 2015-02-21 20:19:46

Full Time


Manchester City 5 – 0 Newcastle

at 2015-02-21 20:19:23

Bit of encroachment at the free kick there – but not something worth making a big deal over at this stage of the game

at 2015-02-21 20:17:56

minumum of 2 more minute for the Toon Army to suffer

at 2015-02-21 20:14:39

Great positive throw-in signal from AG then. Cracking flag work!

at 2015-02-21 20:11:23

Yellow Card  Edin Džeko (MC 10)


That is the third one of those deliberate hand balls by an attacker this season. Good spot by AG.

Great example of what I have been talking about seeing the games like this out professionally and not taking anything for granted or switching off for a split second

at 2015-02-21 20:09:16

Have you noticed the referee’s whistle tone in this game? Because the game has been low-key, he has often just “peeped” his whistle rather than really blowing it hard every time there if a free kick to be given This is the type of thing assessors are looking for when they make comments about making the whistle “talk for you!”

at 2015-02-21 20:06:22

HL accepts the opportunity to wave his flag to get involved with that offence right in front of him.

at 2015-02-21 20:03:58

As a referee you sometimes need games like this just to counteract the tough ones that come along unexpectedly. The aim for games like this is to come through unscathed and with your reputation intact without having been too over involved

at 2015-02-21 19:57:35

I think the assistant was correct not to flag for an offence there when the player appealed that he had been blocked. It would have been a very “cheap” free kick and not in tune with how the referee has reacted to similar incindents in the game

at 2015-02-21 19:54:45

The referee looks like he in ploughing a furrow up and down the middle as the play switches from one end to the other

at 2015-02-21 19:52:40

This is the type of game when the referee CAN allow quick free kicks. If it was a tight blood and guts encounter then it is far safer to manage the tempo of restarts around the edge of the penalty area until everyone is ready

at 2015-02-21 19:50:30

Nice to see a quick free kick for a change and for the assistant to be alert to it – not convinced the Newcastle player was actually off-side though

at 2015-02-21 19:48:03

it is début time for  Wilfred Bony (MC14). Something else for the officials to remain alert to the changes this substitution could make

at 2015-02-21 19:46:15

It is important for referees to always look calm and collected, but there is a fine line between when the referee’s body language looks too laid back. I am not suggesting that CF needs to raise his profile unnecessarily, but I wish he would at least look interested!

at 2015-02-21 19:42:19

As I said in the first half though, from the officials perspective there is still a job to do to see the game out to a satisfactory conclution

at 2015-02-21 19:40:20

GOAL! David Silva (MC 21)


It is beginning to look like men against boys now


at 2015-02-21 19:38:26

GOAL!  David Silva (MC 21)

at 2015-02-21 19:38:01

Look at that – he just seems to be letting the game move around him. Compare his movement to that of Clatts – on a different planet

at 2015-02-21 19:37:04

He certainly looks a lot more comfortable when he is “walking”!

at 2015-02-21 19:36:30

CF already seems to be “digging-in” to find energy at the start of the second half

at 2015-02-21 19:34:10

Could we still have a game on I wonder?

at 2015-02-21 19:33:46

Fantastic start there to the second half by Newcastle

at 2015-02-21 19:32:34

And the second half starts

at 2015-02-21 19:32:17

For those of you who have just joined us for the second half, today’s officials are:

Referee: Chris Foy (CF)

AR1: Harry Lennard (HL)

AR2: Andy Garrett (AG)

4th Official: Robert Madley  (RM)

at 2015-02-21 19:31:28

Keith Hackett’s first blog this week contains the statistical evidence that the average number of cautions in the Premier League has far outstretched that of last season and begs the question “Has the game become more difficult this season, or are the referees adopting a tougher approach?” His second editions gives the You Are The Ref team great pleasure in being able to give credit where it is due to our top officials performing at the top of their game as we approach the critical stage of the season for all concerned. Have they kept it up this week I wonder?


What do you think? Contact us on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at


You can catch-up on all the blogs at /

at 2015-02-21 19:30:29

Any thoughts on the big decisions so far? Do you think the officials got them right? Let us know on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at

at 2015-02-21 19:30:07

There are still a few tickets left for this Thursday:



at 2015-02-21 19:28:58

Chris Foy can at least take comfort that he is having a better game than Newcastle!


Seriously though, after that extraordinary start with a penalty in the first 30 seconds, there has not been a lot for the officials to become overly involved with. That said I felt there were a couple of incidents which highlighted how games like this can catch the officials out if they are not careful. Having cautioned Vurnon Anita (NU 8) for the offence which resulted in the penalty, Chris Foy set his tolerance level for unsporting behaviour for the rest of the game. The next reckless challenge which came along was greeted by a mandatary yellow, but then there was a BIG surprise when Fabricio Coloccini (NU 2) did not get a caution for a very poor challenge on 28 minutes.


This seemed effect Chris Foy as he then dished out a couple of cards in quick succession, but the second of these at the very least just showed up the inconsistency in not taking action against the Newcastle player earlier.


Positioning and movement wise, with Manchester City looking like they are just going through the motions and at times the energy rate displayed by the referee has looked a bit pedestrian as well.


All in all, could be a lot worse from the referee, but could improve as well by looking more “up-for-it” and being consistent with his disciplinary sanctions.

at 2015-02-21 19:17:40

Half Time

Manchester City 3 – 0 Newcastle

at 2015-02-21 19:16:49

As the game enters the minimum 2 added minutes, the official’s will probably feel satisfied with their participation so far but it has hardly been dynamic!

at 2015-02-21 19:12:56

The assistant had an important role then as the players held each other in the Newcastle Penalty Area – he could see that they were “both at it” so there was no decision to make

at 2015-02-21 19:11:13

Another Yellow Card this time for Yaya Touré (MC 42)


I am not sure that was really necessary. For me that is one which could have been managed with a clear public warning – again it just does not stand up against the earlier offence which was not punished with a caution

at 2015-02-21 19:09:04

No problem with the Yellow Card for Vincent Kompany (MC 4), but there will be questions about the consistency of the referee’s decisions now for not issuing a sanction to Fabricio Coloccini (NU 2) 10 minutes ago

at 2015-02-21 19:05:36

I know that this game is hardly end-to-end stuff, but there is still a lack of energy in the referee’s movement for me

at 2015-02-21 19:01:57

Just when I complemented CF he lets himself down very badly there as that challenge by Fabricio Coloccini (NU 2) was definitely reckless and should have resulted in a yellow card

at 2015-02-21 19:00:17

Good to see CF not sheering his responsibility there for that yellow card. These types of games do have a habit of coming back and biting you on the proverbial behind if you are not careful

at 2015-02-21 18:59:00

Frustration setting in now for Newcastle fully justified Yellow Card for Jack Colback (NU 14)

at 2015-02-21 18:58:14

CF obviously played an advantage there but did not use the approved signal – don’t copy that if you are up for promotion!

at 2015-02-21 18:57:19

No chance of that ball to hand being a deliberate act by the defender

at 2015-02-21 18:55:11

CF followed the players into the penalty area then to get as close as possible should a foul challenge come in on the attacker

at 2015-02-21 18:51:46

GOAL!  Edin Džeko (MC 10)



at 2015-02-21 18:51:20

20 minutes gone and CF has been able to keep a very low profile since that penalty decision in the 1st minute

at 2015-02-21 18:50:14

I read somewhere this week that the Irish FA have decided not to use the spray in their National League until there have been more trial – don’t ask me why?


I was interested to see Mike Dean’s style of using the spray the other day and wondered whether this was something other referees with the luxury of having a spray-can in their pocket would do well to adopt. What Mike did was pace out the 9.15m very purposefully, walking past the wall if necessary and drawing the line behind them. The players then moved back immediately to the correct distance without any fuss at all. This method works so much better than the traditional way of becoming the first brick in the wall as you pace out the distance, taking the wall back with you.

at 2015-02-21 18:48:38

This speeds things up so much.

at 2015-02-21 18:48:13

First spray of the game

at 2015-02-21 18:47:45

In my early days as a referee I once argued with an assessor who told me that “you cant give every little pull and tug in the game”, because I said that the laws state that holding is an offence. With the benefit of experience I soon learnt what he meant.

at 2015-02-21 18:45:35

That to me was a case of a player “looking for a foul” – not enough in it for the referee to give a free kick on the edge of the Penalty Area for that

at 2015-02-21 18:43:25

The game still needs refereeing though so it will be important for all the officials to remain alert and focussed throughout

at 2015-02-21 18:42:17

GOAL!  Samir Nasri (MC 8)


This could be the start of something big!

at 2015-02-21 18:41:23

First routine off-side for HL. Always nice to get that one out of the way!

at 2015-02-21 18:40:27

The opening 10 minutes have had a bit of everything so far and it is good to see that the Newcastle heads have not gone down

at 2015-02-21 18:37:49

That looked sloppy positioning by CF then at the taking of that free kick. He walked straight across in front of the players taking the kick

at 2015-02-21 18:36:33

Yellow Card was shown to Vurnon Anita (NU 8) as part of the incident in the first 20 seconds

at 2015-02-21 18:34:27

AR1: Harry Lennard (HL) is patrolling the touchline in front of the technical areas.

at 2015-02-21 18:34:06

Thats what we mean when we talk about the importance for the match officials to hit the ground running right from the off. To be fair to CF, he got that one spot on and was well placed to givethe big call.

at 2015-02-21 18:31:41

GOAL!  Sergio Agüero (MC 16)

at 2015-02-21 18:31:17

You have to give those penalties

at 2015-02-21 18:30:52

Well what a start

at 2015-02-21 18:30:11

Newcastle United won the toss so it will be  Manchester City to kick off.

Good luck to all the officials and may the ball run kindly for you!

Feel free to interact with me during the game by joining in on Twitter @youaretheref or e-mail at

at 2015-02-21 18:26:01

Not long to go now as the players and officials leave the tunnel

at 2015-02-21 18:23:45

Not seen any footage yet, but it would appear there have been some “blinding” performances by the officials at Sunderland and Chelsea today? Let us know what you think on Twitter @youaretheref or e-mail at  especially if you were there.

at 2015-02-21 18:22:51

The latest addition of our Cards On The Table interviews by Alan Biggs contains an absorbing discussion with John Pearson and is well worth a visit. It includes some fascinating insights into some of the antics which went on behind closed doors in the dressing rooms at Professional Clubs in the past.

at 2015-02-21 18:18:58

Today’s Assistants:

AR1: Harry Lennard joined the National List in 2009 and was promoted to the Premier League 2012, since then he has completed 66 games in the top league. He completed the final eight days of the UEFA CORE (Centre of Refereeing Excellence) programme in July last year, which leads to a CORE diploma of achievement and is a pre-curer to being selected as a FIFA List Assistant Referee. He did not make the cut for this year but has already been involved in 3 UEFA matches.

AR2: Andy Garrett is one of the longest serving Assistant Referees on the Premier League having joined the Select Group back in 1999. He was never promoted to the FIFA List, however, he is a consistent high performer and can list both the League Cup and the FA Cup Final appointments amongst his prestigious achievements so far.


Today’s 4th Official:

Robert Madley has refereed 7 games in the Premier League so far this season.

at 2015-02-21 18:16:11

Today’s officials are:


Referee: Chris Foy(CF)

AR1: Harry Lennard (HL)

AR2: Andy Garrett (AG)

4th Official: Robert Madley (RM)



At 52 years old Chris Foy is now in what could to be described as his 4th year extension beyond the old 48 age limit. He has only refereed 12 Premier League games so far this season and has not been far away from controversy on a number of occasions, so I am sure he will be desperate to put in a  good shift this evening. During my 19 years on the National List I worked with Chris on the Football League and Premier League on numerous occasions and I must say that he was one of the most congenial guys on the circuit, as well as being a consummate professional and dedicated official. No referee can go on for ever though, regardless of how good they are, so I expect “Foy Boy” will be planning his exit strategy soon, to make sure that he ends his career at the top on his own terms, with his pride and dignity intact, allowing him the opportunity to remain on the circuit as part of the PGMOL coaching structure.

at 2015-02-21 18:11:51

Looking at the history of this encounter in the various Leagues in which the teams have met in Manchester over the years, the home team hold the honours with 42 wins to Newcastle’s 16, with 20 draws since the first time the two teams met back in 1893. Taking all League games into consideration both home and away, Newcastle are actually on top having 64 wins in the bag to Manchester City’s 58, and there have been 35 draws.


Manchester City came away from the reverse fixture at St James’ Park in August with a 0 – 2 victory, but the last meeting of these two teams here at the Etihad Stadium saw Newcastle turn that result around with a  0 – 2 win in the Capital One Cup at the end of October. This game was presided over by Stuart Attwell during his brief return to vogue this season which saw him also officiate at one Premier League game in November before being put out to pasture again.  Newcastle’s win at the Etihad Stadium last year was their first victory in 12 attempts, despite the stats showing that they were out played in respect to possession by 70% to 30%. With one eye on the visit of the mighty Barcelona to the home of The Sky Blues on Wednesday, this could be a real opportunity for Newcastle to upset the form book – either way it has the makings of being a very fascinating game.

at 2015-02-21 18:07:19

It is back to Premier League action for both teams following a forced break last weekend due to the FA Cup.

Manchester City will be eager to improve on their current form of only 2 wins in their last 6 games, which will not be good enough to maintain their pressure on the League leaders with only 13 fixtures remaining.

Newcastle will be out to make sure City don’t have it all their own way today though, as John Carver attempts to motivate his squad to enhance his chances of staying in charge for next season. Something is going to have to change soon for JC to remain as the boss with Newcastle having won just twice in their last 12. Judging by the amazing amount of support the Magpies used to bring down to the South Coast in my days on the Premier League, I am sure there will not be an empty seat in the Away End today and the Toon Army will be making their presence felt as the twelfth man on the team.

at 2015-02-21 18:05:10

25 minutes to go before KO and welcome to this evenings live RefCam coverage of the game between Manchester City and  Newcastle United. Feel free to interact with me during the game by joining in on Twitter @youaretheref or e-mail at