Manchester United v Newcastle United


Full Time Summary

GB at 2017-11-18 20:43:50

#manu #nufc #munnew

The main points in this game from the officials perspective were:

  • A solid performance from Craig Pawson without any frills or major disasters.
  • Only one decision to talk about, but luckily it had not effect on the outcome of the game.
  • On the whole, the referee’s movement around the field of play was fully satisfactory in this game.

I covered the “missed” penalty decision at half time and I have nothing more to add to my comments here, suffice as to repeat that we can expect that precise decision to be the type where VAR will eventually come into its own. For all the inconsistency of its use in the trials around the world so far, and even the clear errors as a result of its use, the identification of a penal offence from a camera behind the goal will surely be the reason it comes in eventually!

Craig Pawson seemed to grow in confidence for me the longer the game went on, and I am pleased for him that the only call he got wrong was because he could not see it, rather than an error in judgment. So that brings me onto his positioning and movement. On the whole, there were no real question marks over his stamina or general movement in this game and he even put in a few quick dynamic sprints which have been missing in some of his previous performances. To be fair though, his movement is often deceptive, and he is never very far from the play because he reads the game and covers the ground so smoothly. He also showed good alertness and awareness in staying out of the player’s way whilst remaining within a credible distance of the ball. This was not a particularly fast end to end game, so there were not many opportunities to really show a smart turn of pace, but Craig did everything he needed to do in this one.

Both ARs put in a decent shift in this one as well, with AR2 Constantine Hatzidakis in particular standing out for me for a special mention of how well he held his flag and did not raise it unnecessarily when players did not get involved in active play. It may seem like a simple thing to do, but believe me, when an AR is not at the top of their game in this respect, it can be very disruptive to the referee.

A solid performance all round and one to bank safely and move on from.

More RefCam to come this weekend

GB at 2017-11-18 20:23:31

#manu #nufc #munnew

My final summary will follow very shortly.

I trust you have enjoyed our RefCam coverage today. We have two more ELP games in the next two days:

19.11.17 Watford v West Ham Utd KO 16.00 PM

20.11.17 Brighton & H A v Stoke City KO 20.00 PM

Then we delve into the Champions League again on Tuesday for:

21.11.17 Manchester City v Feyenoord KO 20.00 PM

Please keep your views coming on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at

A full list of forthcoming RefCam games is always available at:


GB at 2017-11-18 20:22:53

Full Time

Manchester United 4 v 1 Newcastle United


GB at 2017-11-18 20:21:43

Another great wait and see and no flag from AR2: Constantine Hatzidakis – he really has run the line intelligently in this game.


GB at 2017-11-18 20:20:14

minimum of 3 added minutes to be played


GB at 2017-11-18 20:18:15

As the game meanders to a close, the officials still cannot afford to relax yet!


GB at 2017-11-18 20:14:33

Without wishing to set up a major talking point in the last few minutes – it has to be said that this game will have done Craig Pawson’s confidence a lot of good because of the way things have gone. Quite rightly he is managing what tempo there is out there now in these closing stages so as not to spoil all the good work which has gone before.


GB at 2017-11-18 20:09:46

With little else going on in terms of big decisions to make in this game I have been concentrating on Pawsons positioning and movement. The one major positive thing is his alertness to the “player’s space” and the way he keeps himself out of the mixer whilst still staying in touch with the play.


GB at 2017-11-18 20:06:06

Substitution for Manchester United as Zlatan Ibrahimovic (MU 10) enters the fold and gets the biggest cheer of the game!


GB at 2017-11-18 20:02:13

GOAL!  Romelu Lukaku (MU 9) and everyone is back on script again!

Manchester Utd 4 v 1 Newcastle Utd


GB at 2017-11-18 20:00:22

#manu #nufc #munnew

Chris Smalling (MU 12) picks up a yellow Yellow Card for that reckless challenge from which Pawson was able to play a great advantage and go back for the caution. It looked a naughty one in slow motion, but it was not even orange for me. In order for it to have endangered the player’s safety, it would have had to have been committed with much more force and speed.


GB at 2017-11-18 19:57:12

Great little cameo from AR2: Constantine Hatzidakis then as the ball ricocheted towards a Man Utd player in an offside position in the penalty area. He chanded hands with his flag but waited to see if he needed to raise his flag and then correctly did not get involved.


GB at 2017-11-18 19:51:04

Pawson showing signs of a quick sprint then, but I wish he would not stand still so much and work on his body language so he does not look so laid back!


GB at 2017-11-18 19:47:53

Good positive intervention by Pawson then as the Newcastle player was clearly less than 9.15 metres from the ball at the corner. It is important not to ignore the basic stuff and use times like that to assert your authority in a “quite” game.


GB at 2017-11-18 19:44:28

GOAL!  Paul Pogba (MU 6)

Manchester Utd 3 v 1 Newcastle Utd


GB at 2017-11-18 19:41:01

Judging by the way these players are challenging each other in this game, it seems very unlikely that we are going to see much misconduct, but the referee needs to be alert in games like this to not relax and get lulled into a false sense of security. Always expect the unexpected!


GB at 2017-11-18 19:36:05

Second half underway

GB at 2017-11-18 19:35:09

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Half Time Summary

GB at 2017-11-18 19:34:02

#manu #nufc #munnew

That just goes to show what a tightrope the officials at every level walk in every game! 44 minutes and nothing to bother the officials at all, then along comes the BIG call – which unfortunately none of them were in a position to see without guessing. At first view in real time, it looked to me as if Romelu Lukaku (MU 9) was the player who was pulling Ciaran Clark (NU 2) in his attempt to get to the ball, but with the benefit of a camera angle from behind the goal, it is clear that Ciaran Clark (NU 2) has committed a penal offence and a penalty should have been awarded. Not only that, but if any of the officials had spotted that, then it would have been a red card DOGSO offence as it holding, so Ciaran Clark (NU 2) would have been on his way! I know you are all shouting VAR again, and yes, that was another nailed on incident when the VAR could have intervened. Before I leave that incident though, I always say to the officials I coach that you are never in the wrong position unless you miss something – was Pawson’s failure to spot the shirt pull as a result of him getting too wide on the left as I said earlier? Any thoughts on that big decision? Do you think the officials got it right? Let us know on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at

Now if we can park that one talking point for a moment  (particularly as the officials got lucky 2 minutes later as Man Utd scored!), it has to be said that Pawson had done everything expected of him until that point, and also seemed to me to be putting a little more effort into his movement.

You make your own luck as an official sometimes, so crack on Craig and move on!


GB at 2017-11-18 19:20:59

Half Time

#manu #nufc #munnew

The YATR Team sends our congratulations to the 36 referees selected to officiate at next year’s World Cup Finals in Russia. See the full list and read what the former Head of Professional Referees in England has to say about the lack of any English Officials here: Hackett’s Verdict

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GB at 2017-11-18 19:19:49

GOAL! Chris Smalling (MU) makes it Manchester Utd 2 v 1 Nwecastle Utd and the officials can breath a sigh of relief after that penalty got away a minute earlier!


GB at 2017-11-18 19:16:48

Impossible for Craig Pawson to see the holding by the Newcastle defender on Romelu Lukaku (MU 9) then. Camera angle from behind the goal shows that the Man Utd player was clearly held by his shirt


GB at 2017-11-18 19:14:29

“Play to the whistle again”

Great pick up by the touchline microphone of the AR2: Constantine Hatzidakis shouting “Its still in” at the player who claimed a throw-in – excellent communication by the official


GB at 2017-11-18 19:12:03

Pawson has consistently swung right out wide of the penalty area for every Man Utd attack down the left wing in this game. Getting into a position where you have an angle on the challenge coming in is clearly good practice, but he seems to be giving himself a lot to do to make a decision on the other side of the penalty area if the ball is crossed to the other side.


GB at 2017-11-18 19:08:36

GOAL!  Anthony Martial (MU 11) ensures that normal service is returned!

Manchester Utd 1 v 1 Newcastle Utd


GB at 2017-11-18 19:06:50

When a goalkeeper is injured and has the ball in his hands, the sensible thing is for the referee to stop the game. There is no need to tell the keeper to throw the ball out of play. I keep saying safety first in this blog, but a restart with a drop ball back to the goalkeepr (which is not contrived of course), is better than someone intercepting the ball as the keeper tries to throw it out of play!


GB at 2017-11-18 19:03:54

#manu #nufc #munnew

And yet another “high foot” is penalised in the EPL again this season. It did look to me as if Pawson gave himself thinking time again then and may have fallen into line with a directive given to all the top flight officials following the controversial incidents we had earlier in the season – safety first was definitely to call of the day for that one – just give it!


GB at 2017-11-18 18:59:26

Just 6 free kicks in the game so far and the officials will be quite happy to keep out of this one as much as possible as long as the players want to play like this


GB at 2017-11-18 18:57:41

Romelu Lukaku (MU 9) was just onside when that last cross came in for his attempt on goal, which was just as well as the TV pictures showed that AR1 Lee Betts was a yard off of the pace. That just shows how important it is for ARs to be precisely in line at all times.


GB at 2017-11-18 18:53:34

Dwight Gayle (NU 9) seemed to get a knew in the head from a team mate then. In those situation no referee would be criticised for calling the trainer on before getting to the injured player


GB at 2017-11-18 18:51:20

#manu #nufc #munnew

Twenty minutes gone and all the officials have hit the ground running in this one and are all looking calm and composed as they go about their duties so far


GB at 2017-11-18 18:49:35

Classic example of “play to the whistle” then as even the Man Utd player did not seem to realise that the whole of the ball needs to cross the touchline before it is out of play! Luckily the AR knew what he was doing!


GB at 2017-11-18 18:47:09

All referees like to get the first goal out of the way without any controversy – well all of them really – but that first one helps to settle the nerves


GB at 2017-11-18 18:45:34

GOAL! Dwight Gayle (NU 9) – well that was not in the script!

Manchester Utd 0 v 1 Newcastle Utd


GB at 2017-11-18 18:43:29

#manu #nufc #munnew

Nailed on Yellow Yellow Card for Isaac Hayden (NU 14) for that reckless challenge. No need for any discussion about that one! Pawson gets it over with with no fuss!


GB at 2017-11-18 18:40:29

Pawson has already demonstrated his powerful running style across distance in this game – but has he improved his speed off the mark? Time will tell in this game.


GB at 2017-11-18 18:38:36

Good positioning by the referee then to be right up with play in order to not get any dissent when a coming together does not result in a free kick


GB at 2017-11-18 18:36:54

Pawson had a long think about that “foul” on Paul Pogba (MU 6), then decided “safety first” at this stage of the game. Not much in it, but worth more to his control to give a soft free kick in the centre of the field of play at this stage


GB at 2017-11-18 18:34:13

Good alertness then by AR2: Constantine Hatzidakis with his first tight offside of the night!


GB at 2017-11-18 18:32:45

Nice easy start for Pawson – I expect he hopes every foul will be that obvious

Kick Off

GB at 2017-11-18 18:31:24

And away we go

GB at 2017-11-18 18:26:04

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


GB at 2017-11-18 18:24:46

#manu #nufc #munnew

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World Cup Finals Officials announced

GB at 2017-11-18 18:23:43

#WorldCup #Russial2018WorldCup #WC2018

The YATR Team sends our congratulations to the 36 referees selected to officiate at next year’s World Cup Finals in Russia. See the full list and read what the former Head of Professional Referees in England has to say about the lack of any English Officials here: Hackett’s Verdict


GB at 2017-11-18 18:22:22

#manu #nufc #munnew

Today’s officials are:

Referee:  Craig Pawson

AR1: Lee Betts (Technical Area)

AR2: Constantine Hatzidakis

4th Official: Paul Tierney

Craig Pawson

Craig Pawson burst onto the scene of the Premier League back in 2013 with so much promise. He was certainly the best of the bunch at the time and fully warranted his elevation from the Football League where he had been operating since 2008/09. After a fine start at the Elite level, he was awarded his FIFA badge in 2015, but he seems to have failed to really push on since then. His speed off the mark and inconsistency when the big calls come along have held him back recently and one wonders if he has received the specific coaching he requires to fulfil his early obvious potential. An outing at the Field of Dreams is the ideal stage for him to show the world what he is made of.

Here are the starting line-ups for this game:

GB at 2017-11-18 18:20:15

Manchester United

1       David De Gea (MU 1)

2       Victor Lindelöf (MU 2)

6       Paul Pogba (MU 6)

8       Juan Mata (MU 8)

9       Romelu Lukaku (MU 9)

11     Anthony Martial (MU 11)

12     Chris Smalling (MU 12)

18     Ashley Young (MU 18)

19     Marcus Rashford (MU 19)

25     Luis Antonio Valencia (MU 25)

31     Nemanja Matic (MU 31)


5       Marcos Rojo (MU 5)

10     Zlatan Ibrahimovic (MU 10)

14     Jesse Lingard MU 14)

20     Sergio Romero (MU 20)

21     Ander Herrera (MU 21)

23     Luke Shaw (MU 23)

27     Marouane Fellaini (MU 27)

Newcastle United

1       Rob Elliot (NU 1)

2       Ciaran Clark (NU 2)

7       Jacob Murphy (NU 7)

8       Jonjo Shelvey (NU 8)

9       Dwight Gayle (NU 9)

11     Matt Ritchie (NU 11)

14     Isaac Hayden (NU 14)

19     Javier Manquillo (NU 19)

20     Florian Thauvin (NU 20)

21     Joselu (NU 21)

22     Deandre Yedlin (NU 22)


10     Mohamed Diamé (NU 10)

16     Rolando Aarons (NU 16)

17     Ayoze Pérez (NU 17)

18     Chancel Mbemba (NU 18)

26     Karl Darlow (NU 26)

27     Jesús Gámez (NU 27)

45     Aleksandar Mitrovi? (NU 45)


GB at 2017-11-18 18:16:44

#manu #nufc #munnew

Manchester United will be itching to get over their recent wobble having lost two of their last 3 in the EPL and would happily have picked todays opposition to get back into winning ways, having lost only one of their last 32 league games against the Magpies.

Newcastle United’s mid table position going into this one would probably have been settled for by their fanatical fans after 11 games, but they have yet to really settle into a consistent run of form as they face a team in the top six for only the second time this season.

I expect only one team to be inclined to park the bus in this one, so it will be interesting to see how long the Geordies can hold out today, particularly as Jose Mourinho gets the closest to his preferred starting line-up for a long time!

Arsenal v Spurs

GB at 2017-11-18 18:16:05

In Reply to a Tweet received early:

Replying to @youaretheref

“Both goals down to decisions.
1st not a foul and certainly not for shirt tugging
2nd marginal offside? (Pls explain which bit of a player has to be offside these days?)”

A player is in an offside position if:

  • any part of the head, body or feet is in the opponents’ half (excluding the

halfway line) and

  • any part of the head, body or feet is nearer to the opponents’ goal line than

both the ball and the second-last opponent

The hands and arms of all players, including the goalkeepers, are not


Arsenal v Spurs

GB at 2017-11-18 18:14:40

Thanks to Andy Hogg for keeping the seat warm at lunchtime for the North London derby which through up a number of talking points regarding the official’s decision making in the build up to the only goals of the game. Tune into the Ref Show on Monday when the debate will continue over the “mystery” foul “seen” by Mike Dean which resulted in the free kick which led to Mustafi heading in the opening goal, having been in an offside position when the free kick was taken. Five minutes later and AR Ian Hussin had another massive decision to make, with the tightest of offside calls as an Arsenal player was dead-level with the second-last opponent with only his outstretched arm in an “offside position”, which meant that no call was the right call!

Whilst the second decision for Hussin was an excellent call, it is difficult to explain his error on the first goal. When the ball is played in from a set piece, there is no excuse for the AR making a poor decision. With all the players static it is easy to spot if someone drifts offside before the ball is played, then all the AR has to do is wait to see if that player gets involved in the active play. If anyone else except Mustafi had scored the first goal then the AR would have had my 100% support for not raising his flag, but as this player clearly became involved in the active play, then a delayed signal was called for and the goal should have been disallowed. That was a classic example for VAR to be used, when the “goal” would quite rightly have been chalked off!


GB at 2017-11-18 18:12:47

#manu #nufc #munnew

Welcome to this afternoon’s RefCam coverage of the Premier League game between Manchester United and Newcastle United. Minute by minute commentary from the referee’s perspective is about to follow.

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

Any thoughts on the big calls in the EPL over the weekend so far?