Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur


GT at 2015-08-08 14:47:32

Thanks for following today’s live blog, but it doesn’t end here…

Stick with us here on YATR for more live commentary on Refcam, as we have Arsenal v West Ham United and Stoke City v Liverpool coming up tomorrow, followed by MLS action in LA Galaxy v Seattle Sounders.

Then it’s back to the Premier League on Monday as West Bromwich Albion entertain Manchester City.

There is, of course, loads of other great content on the website including ‘The Ref Show’, a great feature called ‘Cards on the Table’ and, of course, the superb ‘Hackett’s Blog’. It is also the place to read that startling admission by Mike Riley over the declining standards in English refereeing.

Whilst you can also read all about the recent hugely successful Youdan Tournament and realise why YATR is THE place for all referees to improve their knowledge and understanding whilst having access to top performers for advice and guidance.

Keep it here on

GT at 2015-08-08 14:45:38

As the curtain comes down on the opening Premier League game of the season, United will be pleased to take all 3 points, albeit in a rather unconvincing fashion.

An own goal from Kyle Walker separated the sides today which was the only shot United had on target.

But we need to look back further back in the build up to the goal to get the whole picture.

Edward Smart failed to live up to his name as he stopped an very promising attack for Spurs with an awful offside decision. The Spurs man was clean through on goal, and he was denied the chance to score with a dreadful piece of lining.

United took the resulting free-kick, went up field and got their winner.

Those are game changing decisions and we had our first of the season after just 22 minutes.

As for our referee, Jon Moss did well. His decisions were credible and justifiable in the main. Although I have concerns over his ability to stay close to play as games move into the final quarter. The rest of the season will show us if Jon has improved his fitness levels from last season.

Jon Brooks – I can only recall two moments of involvement for him in a very easy game. He got the first one wrong, and didn’t help out his referee with the other. He remains a most unconvincing assistant referee for me who last season showed himself to be anything but a team player. He really must get that out of his psyche.

GT at 2015-08-08 14:37:03

Full Time

GT at 2015-08-08 14:36:51

Incorrect decision as a thrown in is given to United, which allows them to eat up the final few moments of this game.

If Jon had put in a little more effort and got close to play he would have seen that one correctly

GT at 2015-08-08 14:34:23

Jon will be hoping no one does anything stupid now in the final couple of minutes, as he won’t want to issue the first red card of the season

GT at 2015-08-08 14:33:37

It’s all getting a little tetchy now as Delle Alli is cautioned for a foul on Ashley Young Yellow Card

GT at 2015-08-08 14:32:53

That’s the end of normal time, 4 added minutes to go on now…

GT at 2015-08-08 14:32:41

Mata is correctly cautioned for a foul on Mason Yellow Card

GT at 2015-08-08 14:31:34

Spurs pile on the pressure and almost score on a couple of occasions…

Nut eventually relieve the pressure as Jon awards a free kick to them for a foul on Rooney.

GT at 2015-08-08 14:29:16

Good spot Mossy as he awards a free kick against Schneiderlin for a push on his opponent

GT at 2015-08-08 14:27:57

Juan Mata falls victim to that early season problem…


GT at 2015-08-08 14:27:26

Just 5 minutes of normal time to go…

Will there be another goal at Old Trafford today?

GT at 2015-08-08 14:26:31

No…nothing but the free kick given by Mossy.

Jon Brooks should have helped him out there, and advised him to issue a caution.

Not great teamwork.

GT at 2015-08-08 14:25:34

That has to be a caution as Luke Shaw hits Kyle Walker late?

GT at 2015-08-08 14:22:29

United make their last substitution as Valencia comes on as a straight swap for Darmian

GT at 2015-08-08 14:19:48

and now Dier leaves play as he is replaced by Delle Alli

GT at 2015-08-08 14:19:02

Yellow Card for Eric Dier who s furious with Ashley Young for an over reaction. There was some contact though, and Jon’s decision is credible and understandable.

GT at 2015-08-08 14:17:15

With a little over 15 minutes to go, my attention is drawn to Mossy’s movement.

His stride pattern has shortened noticeably and he isn’t putting in the sprints we saw in the first half.

I hope the fitness concerns we had over him last season are gone, and he is simply trying to read play breaking down and coming back his way…

GT at 2015-08-08 14:12:11

Yellow Card

for Shweinsteiger – well, that didn’t take long did it!

Good decision Jon Moss, he kicked out unnecessarily and deserved that one

GT at 2015-08-08 14:10:41

Memphis’ debut lasts just over an hour for United as he leaves the field for Herreira


GT at 2015-08-08 14:04:29

Half an hour to go in the season’s curtain raiser.

It’s been a good performance so far by our referee, who has judged his involvement well.

GT at 2015-08-08 14:02:30

Schweinsteiger makes his Man United debut as Michael Carrick makes way for him.


GT at 2015-08-08 14:01:21

A public warning for Aldwereild from Mossy.

Good refereeing…if he goes into the book later everyone understands why and accepts he has had fair warning.

12:45 12:45

GT at 2015-08-08 13:59:12

There’s something we don’t see very often, as Mossy goes to the benches to speak with the Spurs manager.

Where was Andre Marriner, the fourth official though?


GT at 2015-08-08 13:57:57

The opening ten minutes have gone well for our referee.

We are yet to see either assistant tested yet though.

GT at 2015-08-08 13:55:24

First change of the game as Ryan Mason takes over from Bentaleb for Spurs

GT at 2015-08-08 13:52:02

And yet again…as Dembele fouls Schneiderlin.

Mossy has his game head on at the moment.

Good stuff, Jon.

GT at 2015-08-08 13:50:26

And he follows it up with an other good call as Ben Davies fouled Michael Carrick

GT at 2015-08-08 13:49:13

First minute and Mossy makes a good call for no foul on the Spurs man…

well done, Jon.


GT at 2015-08-08 13:47:25

The second half is upon as, and it’s Manchester United who get us going again.

Come on the referees…no more major errors, please.

GT at 2015-08-08 13:35:21

A bit of an unknown quantity, Edward Smart, but he won’t be looking back on this one with pride.

He has to get back into the dressing room and gather himself now.

As a top referee once said to me, “We know you’re a class assistant Glenn. But you’ll show us just how good you are immediately after you make your first big mistake”.

Edward has to learn to ‘park’ his error and get on with the second half.

GT at 2015-08-08 13:31:26

Half Time

GT at 2015-08-08 13:30:33

1 minute of added time to go…

GT at 2015-08-08 13:29:10

Just 5 minutes to go in the first half of the opening Premier League game of the new season.

Sadly, my pre match concern that one of the officials may affect the outcome of this match have been proven.

Edward Smart made a couple of good contributions but then awarded a howler of an offside against Spurs, who would have been through on goal. From the resulting free kick Man United went up the other end and scored their goal.

Not 30 minutes into the new season and things are, sadly, not looking good again from our officials.

GT at 2015-08-08 13:22:08

Good decision Mossy.

A small foul by Chadli on Mata, but a foul nonetheless.

GT at 2015-08-08 13:14:50

I like that…

Mossy refused an appeal by Ashley Young for a free kick.

Why should the defender get out of Young’s way? If you want to get past him, run around him Ashley!

GT at 2015-08-08 13:12:33

Yellow Card Vertonghen

Correct decision as he caught Mata with a late challenge

GT at 2015-08-08 13:10:56

One of the four officials needs to get on the headsets now and remind everyone to get their heads back on the game, as the past few minutes have been poor

GT at 2015-08-08 13:09:58

Now Jon Moss is joining in the madness as he awards a free kick to Luke Shaw who simply fell over

GT at 2015-08-08 13:08:40


It shows how crucial those incorrect decisions can be.

Spurs would have had a great chance to score, but instead find themselves 1-0 down.

GT at 2015-08-08 13:07:55

After some good work earlier by Edward Smart he let’s his standards slip with a highly questionable offside decision against Spurs…

and what happens…

United go straight up the other end and score with an own goal by Kyle Walker.

GT at 2015-08-08 13:05:38

Jon missed the opportunity there to clam down Ashley Young who was getting far too excited over being challenged.

Give the free kick to Spurs Jon, it was there to be taken…

GT at 2015-08-08 13:03:49

Good decision by Mossy not to award a free kick to Rooney, who was clearly looking for contact from his marker.

Well done, Jon.

GT at 2015-08-08 13:01:43

15 minutes have gone and we have seen just two free kicks.

These are the kind of games referees dream of.

Just let the players get on with it, no need for me to get all excited!

GT at 2015-08-08 13:00:04

More good work from Edward Smart as he gets into a great position to correctly judge a ball drifting slightly out of play for a United goal kick

GT at 2015-08-08 12:57:43

It will be interesting to see if the holding at corners continues this season, or are referees going to deal with it properly?

GT at 2015-08-08 12:56:19

Good work from new boy Edward Smart on the far side touchline.

Didn’t signal for a ‘soft’ free kick when under pressure from the United faithful, but held his concentration to see a tight goal kick in their favour immediately afterwards.

Good stuff, Edward.

GT at 2015-08-08 12:53:15

Jon Moss looks to have weighed-up his involvement well. He is staying out of the way, and letting the players take centre stage.

Well done, Jon.

GT at 2015-08-08 12:49:45

3 minutes in, and Jon Brooks makes his first mistake of the game.

Not a good omen…


GT at 2015-08-08 12:47:43

Just the kind of start to the game that Mossy would have hoped for.

Both teams wanting to play and not kick lumps out of each other.

Judge your involvement, Jon…

GT at 2015-08-08 12:45:17

Spurs take the kick-off and get us underway.

Bring on the 2015/16 season…

12:45pm (GMT)

GT at 2015-08-08 12:38:02

It’s almost time for kick-off at Old Trafford on this special day of Premier League football.

GT at 2015-08-08 12:24:34

As for our referees today…

One of last season’s luckiest referees, Jon Moss, takes charge of this season’s opener.

Making up the team are Jon Brooks and Edward Smart with Andre Marriner acting as fourth official.

After PGMO Referee boss Mike Riley finally accepted that the YATR team view is indeed correct, and last season was much worse than those which preceded it, as the number of major errors rose significantly, he will be on his nerve-ends for this one.

Jon Moss is a lovely man but weighed-in with more than his fair share of those key blunders, and Riley must be hoping and praying for little more than an error-free display today.

In that respect I find Mossy’s appointment surprising to say the least, especially when he has been coupled with one of the poorest assistant referees I have seen in many-a-year, Jon Brooks.

Why Riley hasn’t handed the curtain raiser to his safest pair of hands in Mark Clattenburg is a decision which only he could explain. I do hope there aren’t ‘politics’ around the forthcoming major tournaments and who our FA is planning to send as England’s number one referee.

A Select Group official since 2011, and after 89 top flight games, it really is way beyond time that Jon stepped up and refereed at a consistently high-level.

I know Mossy well, and he is a very decent bloke, but he was always one of those referees where I had little idea what he was likely to do next when I ran the line for him. And it is the second half of that sentence where I draw similarities between Jon and his boss, Riley, as neither displayed consistency which inevitably resulted in confusion.

Contrast that with top referees such as Mark Halsey, Howard Webb, Graham Poll and Alan Wiley when I could tell what they would do in a given situation before they even did it, and I hope YATR followers understand how erratic refereeing brings major errors.

Football people can accept errors, we understand they happen in the cut-and-thrust of a Premier League game. What is not acceptable are surprising decisions….the ones nobody can comprehend why the referee has given them, and that is where Mossy has to change his game.

Let’s hope that today sees Jon step up to the plate and lead a team to a successful conclusion because that last thing the new season needs is an opening match in which the result has been affected by one of the officials.

Come on Jon, we all really do hope you have a great game today…

12.45 (GMT)

GT at 2015-08-08 12:10:22

Hi everyone, and welcome to todays’ live Refcam commentary, the first one of the new Premier League season.

The season opener sees one of the title favourites take on a side very much on-the-up as Manchester United host Tottenham Hotspur.

It has been yet another busy transfer window for the Red Devils boss, Louis van Gaal. After spending more than any other side last season in the transfer market and on players’ salaries the Dutchman must be under pressure to produce some silverware this season, especially having splashed the cash again this time around.

This summer’s major signings include Memphis Depay, Matteo Darmain, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Morgan Schneiderlin and Sergio Romero.

Whilst some of LVG’s ‘flops’ from last season have been shown the Old Trafford door, the notable ones include Angel Di Maria, Robin van Persie, Rafael, Tom Cleverley, Angelo Henriquez and the expensive loanee Radamel Falcao. To add to his frustrations, LVG is without goalkeeper De Gea who looks like he’s on his way to Real Madrid any time soon.

Expectation is, as ever, high in Manchester and it is crucial they get off to a good start or who knows what may happen.

Standing in their way today though is a very good Spurs side.

Having ended last season in 5th position and again qualified for the Europa League confidence is high with the Londoners and they would like nothing more than to start the season with a win away to United.

It’s not going to be easy to take three points away from United at home but early season could be their best chance, before the new players have the chance to settle properly.

Spurs certainly have the players to do it with Harry Kane continuing to run defences ragged, whilst new signings Toby Alderweireld, Dele Alli, Kieran Trippier and Kevin Wimmer all want to get off to impressive starts.

With such prolific players on show today there should be goals in this one, with some open and attacking football.