Manchester City v West Bromwich Albion


Good night

GB at 2016-04-09 19:48:08

That’s it from me until Wednesday

Good night until then!


GB at 2016-04-09 19:46:36

I am not quite sure what I saw in that game? Every time Mike Jones made what I considered to be a mistake, he seemed to “get away with it”! At times it seemed like the players could not be bothered to argue. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that it is a bad thing for officials to be given respect, but that reminded me of the type and level of respect often only afforded to the most highly respected referees in the country!  We have all seen games over the years when the likes of Poll, Collina and Webb etc. made mistakes but seem to just “get away with it”. What made it even stranger to me tonight was that at least one of the mistakes should have resulted in a penalty for WBA (57th minute)  – but it almost seemed to “melt away” in a game where the referee was never centre of attention, even when he was! Whether the players make a fuss about it or not though, that was a nailed on penalty for me and I am sure Mike will be disappointed when he sees the replays later tonight, particularly as he seemed to raise his whistle up to his mouth to blow it, but then changed his mind.

There were mistakes splattered throughout the game, both from the assistants as well as the referee, but apart from the missed penalty, none of the errors resulted in a key match decision being highlighted.

But now let us take a step back and ask, “Did the referee have control of that game”? The answer has to be yes!

And also “Did he keep the game moving in dreadful conditions and always look confident and positive in everything he did”? The answer to that has to be yes as well.

So this performance just seemed to sum up how a referee can cruise through when he is performing at the top of his game, even when he does not necessarily get every decision right. His fitness was good, but his positioning saw him caught up with play a few times – “did it matter”?, well yes it did in the build up to the first goal.

So there we have it, I have seen this referee perform far worse than this, but it was a shame he showed his old Achilles-heal again once or twice by making some decisions (or not making them), which surprised everyone looking on.

More RefCam to come

GB at 2016-04-09 19:23:23

My final summary will follow very shortly.


I trust you have enjoyed today’s RefCam coverage and please keep your views coming on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at


There is plenty more to come in the next four days starting with two more crucial Premiership games tomorrow – Sunderland v Leicester City, 1:30PM and Tottenham v Manchester United, 4:00PM


Followed by the Champions League second leg decider on Tuesday 12th April, Manchester City v PSG, 7:45PM


And then on Wednesday 13th April we have the game which will complete the FA Cup Semi-finalists with West Ham United v Manchester United slugging it out, 7:00PM


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


GB at 2016-04-09 19:22:41

Full Time

Manchester City 2 v 1 West Bromwich Albion


GB at 2016-04-09 19:21:21

Mike Jones was just playing “safe” then as he has in this game by giving that free kick after he waited to see where the play developed after a foil on the touch-line. He blew his whistle really hard to signify that he had not blown for a throw-in but for a foul instead.


GB at 2016-04-09 19:18:33

minimum of 4 added minutes to be played


GB at 2016-04-09 19:18:02

Another good learning point as MJ blew his whistle hard for that throw-in to sell a disputed direction decision.


GB at 2016-04-09 19:16:28

There was a good learning point then. When the ball was blasted at the post right next to the WBA goalkeeper, the referee did not immediately signal for either a goal-kick or corner, but just kept his tinder dry and allowed the players reactions dictate who should restart the game!


GB at 2016-04-09 19:14:33

On a surface like this, it shows the confidence of this referee again to keep the game moving as much as he has as much as he can.


GB at 2016-04-09 19:13:19

Credit where it is due to Mike Jones in this game he has really played the advantage when ever he can tonight.


GB at 2016-04-09 19:07:53

That was another strange decision by the assistant – there seemed to be no City player involved in the active play when Ian Hussin raised his flag then. The mistakes seem to be spreading out across the team of officials now.


GB at 2016-04-09 19:04:25

I can offer no explanation at all for why Andy Garratt did not raise his flag for off-side then as the ball was played straight to the player on the penalty mark in an off-side position. A few more decisions like that and surely the players will start to lose their patience soon?


GB at 2016-04-09 19:02:41

Mike Jones was right to make sure the ball was moved back that extra yard for that off-side free kick. The closer the ball moves towards the half way line, the more chance the defence has to launch it into the opposite penalty area.


GB at 2016-04-09 18:59:11

Excellent decision by AG not to raise his flag for off-side then on a very tight call when the ball was played through to the WBA striker.


GB at 2016-04-09 18:56:17

Mike Jones seen communicating with the City player as he ran back after being penalised for being in an off-side position, but I hope he had a word with the WBA player who collided with him whilst off the field of play as well


GB at 2016-04-09 18:54:42

GOAL! Samir Nasri (MC 8)

Manchester City 2 v 1 West Bromwich Albion



GB at 2016-04-09 18:53:33

Mike Jones does not seem to have learned from getting in the players way in the first half as the ball still seems to be pinging around him. He could do better by just dropping back a yard or two to release the space where the players want to play the ball.


GB at 2016-04-09 18:49:34

First off-side in the game is given by Andy Garratt for an offence right under his nose – they can often be the difficult ones to spot.


GB at 2016-04-09 18:47:40

The City defender simply wiped out the attacking player with a push in the back with his body. Mike Jones was well placed to see the offence from the side but failed to make the call. That one will certainly be reflected upon at the end and once again I am amazed at how little dissent this referee is getting in this game.


GB at 2016-04-09 18:45:14

There we have another example of the respect the players are showing to the referee – when a CLEAR PENALTY decision is not given!

GB at 2016-04-09 18:42:37

I used to love refereeing in conditions like this as the players just want to get on with it rather than stand around and moan!


GB at 2016-04-09 18:41:38

With still no let up in the rain, I should really like to congratulate the groundsman and reflect upon how much the playing surfaces have improved over the years. There was even shots of the pitch being watered before the kick off, but we have hardly seen a player slip over at all.


GB at 2016-04-09 18:38:31

You would have to be very observant to spot this, but if the camera focusses in on Ian Hussin on the far side again, note how his index finger is straight down his flag at all times which ensures his flag is an extension of his arm when he raises it – very neat!


GB at 2016-04-09 18:35:40

The new Mike Jones on display again then. Let it continue if you can but don’t be afraid to stop play and bring it back for even a minor offence. Also good to see the stepped approach and not a yellow card for the WBA player – no need for it.


GB at 2016-04-09 18:32:41

City get the second half under way


GB at 2016-04-09 18:31:56

This has not been a bad game at all so far from the officials’ perspective, although I have to say that it proves the old adage that you make your own luck sometimes. Mike Jones has so far approached this game like he has been performing all season. He no longer seems to be overalled by any game thrown at him this season, so when you are on a roll, the ball runs with you! What this brings is a maturity about his decisions which makes it easier to sell them.


It was a petty that the City player ran into the referee in the build-up to the first goal, but the thing is that no-one will really make a big deal about it, because the referee is not carrying any baggage this season – “it happens occasionally”.


The same goes for the penalty decision – the slightest of clumsy challenges and the player goes down and no-one complains! I have seen lesser decisions cause a lot of consternation between the players, but not today – the players have respect for the referee and he is making the most of it.  Only 7 fouls free kicks given in the game (including a penalty), so everyone is happy so far with the way the game is flowing.


All I want to see now is the consistency Mike Jones has shown this season so that he does not relax and take his foot of the pe3dal – there is another game to referee now, and as I said, he has used up all his chances in the first half for the players to keep on his side.


Ian Hussin is looking really sharp on the far side, but I was disappointed that Andy Garratt did not give a clear foul right under his nose in the first half.


GB at 2016-04-09 18:19:43

Here are a few links to articles posted on our web site this week which capture the diversity of what You Are The Ref is all about:

The decision by the FA Panels (devoid of any referee), to overturn the Red Card issued by Mark Clattenburg, certainly caused a lot of discussion on social media this week. In this blog, Keith Hackett considers whether the Panel’s call is likely to open the door to over-the-top foul challenges

The PGMOL have announced a new Select Group Manager this week – if you were expecting it to be an ex experienced Top Flight Referee, then think again! See what our headline blogger thinks about the appointment – Select Group in the wrong hands

The debate about the amount of abuse which referees are subjected to continues to roll on, and in this article thought provoking article, Patrick Barclay considers whether Zero tolerance is the way forward – starting from the TOP!

As always, YATR values your opinions on all the points raised by out experts via Twitter @youaretheref or by email to us at


The You Are The Ref Facebook page is also proving to be a great place to keep track on what’s new and is well work a “like” at


GB at 2016-04-09 18:18:49

Half Time

Manchester City 1 v 1 West Bromwich Albion


GB at 2016-04-09 18:17:11

Good sharp positive corner signal from IH – even if I was not convinced the defender touched it last! That was how you sell them though!


GB at 2016-04-09 18:15:49

Minimum of 2 minutes to be played at the end of 1st half


GB at 2016-04-09 18:12:24

Thank goodness we did not get a hand ball decision when the ball stuck the City player on the arm! Mind you, we got a free kick just now when it did not even strike the arm so there was no offence of hand ball either deliberately or not.


GB at 2016-04-09 18:08:20

Come on Andy Garratt, join in! No excuses for not giving that one even if the referee is allowing the game to run very smoothly with the minimum of stoppages, you still need to pick out the clear fouls and act accordingly.


GB at 2016-04-09 18:06:29

Going back to the free kick awarded on the edge of the Man City penalty area, I had two observations:

  1. It was amazing that the players accepted the decision without a word. That just shows the level of control this referee is enjoying even when he makes a clear error.
  2. Good use of the pitch markings to ensure wall was precisely 9.15 metres from the ball
  3. Mike Jones has used his “get out og jail free card” already now in this game as the free kick came to nothing


GB at 2016-04-09 18:03:29

Yellow Card Craig Gardner (WBA 8) – reckless challenge


GB at 2016-04-09 18:02:10

Mike Jones dropped a dreadful clanger then – that was never a hand ball offence


GB at 2016-04-09 18:00:56

As the rain continues to pelt down, it has to be said that the players have not used it as an excuse for foul play in this game so far


GB at 2016-04-09 17:56:43

There was another example of how this referee gave himself time to see what developed after the City player was nudged in the back – confidence is everything!


GB at 2016-04-09 17:55:19

Because of the way this referee has been performing this season he has mixed more with the top teams. This leads to a tow way respect and makes it easier for the referee to communicate with the players on the same level and for them to respond appropriately rather than undermine the referee. This is coming through already in the way the referee is communicating with the players in this game.


GB at 2016-04-09 17:52:53

Mike Jones showing his excellent position there to spot the careless challenge and quickly use his presence and firm words to quieten the players down – no need to over-react with that one


GB at 2016-04-09 17:51:04

What a pattern of play that was!

Great advantage played followed by Twenty-Twenty vision required to see the slightest of touches by the WBA player for a PENALTY to City. It did not take much to bring the Attacking player down, but I have to say there was hardly a peep from the players close to the incident – no surprises there when the penalty was awarded.

GOAL! Sergio Agüero (MC 10)

Manchester City 1 v 1 West Bromwich Albion



GB at 2016-04-09 17:47:17

over 15 minutes gone and Mike Jones has really settled into this game and is showing the higher level of fitness and confidence which have really improved his performances so far this season


GB at 2016-04-09 17:45:34

Basic stuff, but good to see IH following the ball all the way back to the goal-line then. So often assistants at a lower level give up on that due to ignorance or lack of fitness.


GB at 2016-04-09 17:43:36

That was a case of the fans not understanding the laws of the game as Mike Jones went over to confirm that some of the ball was “lipping” over the corner quadrant line making it legally placed, even if the part on the ground was outside of the line.


GB at 2016-04-09 17:42:05

That looked like a nudge in the back on the WBA defender then – don’t let too much go Mike!


GB at 2016-04-09 17:41:11

Excellent lineing then as Ian Hussin let the holding go as long as he could before stepping in with a flag. It is a very important thing to remember when running the line that “you” cannot play advantage! Your job is to flag and let the referee make the decision to stop play or not, that said, holding the flag rather than jumping in too early can assist the referee’s control and add to the teamwork


GB at 2016-04-09 17:38:39

To be fair to the referee he could not have been much wider when he got caught up with the City players in the build-up to the first goal, but it will always lead to the charge of awareness and alertness


GB at 2016-04-09 17:36:56

Not a great thing to happen getting in the way like that by Mike Jones and now he can claim an assist?

GOAL! Stéphane Sessegnon (WBA 29)

Manchester City 0 v 1 West Bromwich Albion


GB at 2016-04-09 17:34:37

The overhead view a minute ago highlighted how well Mike Jones is moving these days


GB at 2016-04-09 17:33:44

Torrential rain like this can obviously have an effect on the game but the main thing for the referee to consider is not making too much allowance for the conditions. A reckless challenge is the same in the wet as the dry


GB at 2016-04-09 17:32:09

All ready the new improved Mike Jones allows the slight shirt pull in the opening minute to go in order to see if Man City could gain an advantage – the old one would have got involved unnecessarily then

GB at 2016-04-09 17:30:45

AR1: Andy Garratt (AG) is patrolling the touchline in front of the technical areas.


GB at 2016-04-09 17:30:14

Manchester City  won the toss so it will be West Bromwich Albion 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


GB at 2016-04-09 17:28:07

Not long to go now


GB at 2016-04-09 17:23:02

Today’s officials are:

Referee:  Mike Jones (MJ)

AR1: Andy Garratt (AG)

AR2: Ian Hussin (IH)

4th Official: Roger East (RE)

Mike Jones 3

Mike Jones has continued to keep himself out of the spotlight this season which is just how he would have liked it. His performances have generally been very consistent and it has been a pleasure to see him officiating with confidence again. He may have come under the inevitable scrutiny for one or two of his key match decisions this season, but the main difference this term is that they have been few and far between and he has not thrown it the outstandingly below par performance which he has been guilty of in previous seasons. He also he seems to have finally developed the skill to “park” the isolated controversial incident which confront all officials at time to time, and come out firing on all cylinders the next game with a positive attitude and newly found energy in movement. This has certainly been his best season for a while so far, so I hope it continues today.


1st Assistant today is Andy Garratt, who is 52 years old, is generally regarded as a very safe pair of hands as one of the longest serving Assistants on the Select Group List at the moment, having officiated in his first appointment in the top flight back in 1999.


At the other end of the spectrum, we have 2nd Assistant Ian Hussin, in only his 7th outing on the line in a Premier League game this season to add to his 36 matches since he was elevated to the Select Group in 2013/14.


Roger East will be in charge of keeping order in the technical areas and assisting the referee to control the game from there for his 14th Forth Official appointment this season. I hope he can keep his mind focussed on the job in hand today and not drift off and start thinking about Wednesday night already, when he takes charge of the FA Cup Quarter Final replay between West Ham United and Manchester United, which will also be featured on RefCam.

Here are the starting line-ups for this game:

GB at 2016-04-09 17:19:16

Manchester City



Joe Hart (MC 1)

Pablo Zabaleta (MC 5)

Fernando (MC 6)

Samir Nasri (MC 8)

Sergio Agüero (MC 10)

Aleksandar Kolarov (MC 11)

Wilfred Bony (MC14)

Jesús Navas (MC 15)

Fabian Delph (MC 18)

Eliaquim Mangala (MC 20)

Nicolas Otamendi  (MC 30)


Wilfredo Caballero (MC 13)

Kevin De Bruyne (MC 17)

Gaël Clichy (MC 22)

Fernandinho (MC 25)

Martin Demichelis (MC 26)

Yaya Touré (MC 42)

Kelechi Iheanacho (MC 72)


West Bromwich Albion



Ben Foster (WBA 1)

James Chester (WBA 4)

Jonny Evans (WBA 6)

James McClean (WBA 14)

Saido Berahino (WBA 18)

Gareth McAuley (WBA 23)

Darren Fletcher (WBA 24)

Craig Dawson (WBA 25)

Stéphane Sessegnon (WBA 29)

Sandro (WBA 30)

Salomón Rondón (WBA 33)


Jonas Olsson (WBA 3)

Claudio Yacob (WBA 5)

Craig Gardner (WBA 8)

Victor Anichebe (WBA 10)

Boaz Myhill (WBA 13)

Callum McManaman (WBA 19)

Jonathan Leko (WBA 45)


GB at 2016-04-09 17:16:49

Every game is obviously a “must win” for each team at this stage of the season, but the prospect of Manchester City not qualifying for next year’s Champions League from their Premier League position, would have been unthinkable at the end of January, when they were cemented in second place behind the foxes. Since then, their League form has not reflected a top 4 placing, whilst those around them have been more consistent, so they really need to pull their fingers out today if they want to relieve themselves from the requirement of winning this season’s major prize in order to ensure qualification for the Champions League.

The Baggies are not likely to be a push over today though, as they can boast 11 points from their last 6 games having only lost one, compared to the host’s form guide over the same period reflecting 3 losses and a total of just 7 points. Tony Pulis’ team have already reached the magic 40 pts, and have no chance of making it into the top 4, but their manager does not like losing any more than the next man, and his teams are always up for a “scap”. They will also be fully aware that they still have an outside chance of sneaking a Europa League spot, as well as the extra prize money which every step on the ladder provides at the end of the season, so I would not be at all surprised if this one turns out to be fiercely contested.


GB at 2016-04-09 17:15:54

Welcome to this early evening’s RefCam coverage today of the Premier League game between Manchester City and West Bromwich Albion

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


GB at 2016-04-09 17:11:43

Welcome to this early evening’s RefCam coverage today of the Premier League game between Swansea City and Aston Villa

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