Stoke City v Swansea City


AH at 2016-10-31 23:11:41

Full Time

Are these mistakes preventing Michael Oliver from moving from being a very good referee to being an outstanding referee ?

Thanks for joining us this evening, and keep your tweets coming into us @youaretheref

Full Time

AH at 2016-10-31 23:08:46

Full Time

So, much to admire about Michael Oliver’s refereeing – but just a couple of ‘strange moments’.  Let’s start with the positives …


  • Fitness, positioning, movement – an object lesson in how use his outstanding athletic ability with purposeful movement and be in the optimum decision making positions, especially in the closing stages of the game.


  • Reading the game – the ability to anticipate play and to be ‘on the move’ as plays develop.


  • The use of the delayed whistle to see if an advantage accrues, and bringing back play if it doesn’t – there were many examples of this this evening.


However, I was disappointed with referee for not cautioning Taylor in the first-half when he had an ideal opportunity to assert his authority, and then he compounded the problem when Arnautovic was cautioned for a lesser offence in the second half.


I also have a concern over the over-intervention by Assistant Mike McDonough, which led to a penalty-kick not to be awarded.  Replays show a clear offence inside the penalty area, irrespective of what has gone before.


Overall, although there is no doubt that the referee controlled the game, the occasional mistakes are of a concern.

Full Time

AH at 2016-10-31 22:52:46

Full Time

Summary to follow ……


AH at 2016-10-31 22:50:43

4 additional minutes, game over as a contest, just see it home Mr. Referee …..


AH at 2016-10-31 22:49:48

Yellow CardWell here’s a talking point, Pieters first challenge is outside of the penalty area, the player’s momentum takes Pieters inside the penalty area, and he offends, clearly inside the penalty area. Michael Oliver initially gives the penalty, but Assistant Mike McDonough intervenes and the free-kick is given outside of the area.  Incorrect in my opinion, it is clear that an offence took place in the penalty area, the correct outcome has to be a penalty kick.  The referee should have gone with his first instinct, but no blame should be attached to him for accepting his colleague’s intervention.


AH at 2016-10-31 22:39:14

Yellow CardArnautovic receives the first yellow card of the game, and in the opinion of this observer, he is very unlucky.  Swansea’s Neil Taylor commits a poor challenge in the first-half and the referee shows leniency, a lesser challenge by the Stoke #10 and the caution follows.  This is disappointing as the referees performance has been commendable outside of those 2 decisions.


AH at 2016-10-31 22:34:20

GOAL! At the risk of repeating myself, take a look at the position the referee has taken up as Bony extends Stoke City’s lead …….. fitness, reading the game, experience and pure instinct takes him to close to the goal-line …. well done MIchael ……


AH at 2016-10-31 22:27:28

Which leads on to the question, if another ‘yellow card’ opportunity arises, will the referee issue the card, or will he be consistent and only issue a warning, as he did with Taylor.  If you were refereeing the game, what would you do – tweet us @youaretheref to let us know.


AH at 2016-10-31 22:24:12

25 to go, and, at all levels of the game, there is a danger in thinking ‘job done’, especially when the game is going so well for the officials.  Now is the time to refocus, remind your self and your colleagues that there is still work to do, and see the game safely home ….


AH at 2016-10-31 22:17:39

What’s your opinion on the game so far, let us know, contact us on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at


AH at 2016-10-31 22:15:29

GOAL! A Mowson own-goal reestablishes the Home Team’s advantage, but did you notice the referee’s positional play – again ……


AH at 2016-10-31 22:11:54

Faultless positioning by Michael Oliver, deep and wide outside the penalty area to give him the perfect angle to judge the restart – 2 words – TEXT BOOK !


AH at 2016-10-31 22:08:13

In fairness to the players, the match had been played in a relatively good spirit, hard but fair ……


AH at 2016-10-31 22:05:33

Second half underway, the referee will be hoping for more of the same……

Half Time

AH at 2016-10-31 22:01:11

Half Time

Why not visit for our views on this weekend’s Premiership and Championship games – by and large, the Premiership games were well controlled, but there were some serious errors in the Championship games, in particular the non-penalty award at the Derby County v Sheffield Wednesday game, where the away team were undoubtedly unlucky.

Half Time

AH at 2016-10-31 21:55:19

Half Time

Apart from that talking point, which in my opinion should have been a yellow card, the referee’s performance has been first class; highlighted by the fluidity of his movement around the field of play

Half Time

AH at 2016-10-31 21:52:39

Half Time

So, from a refereeing viewpoint, Michael Oliver has ‘gambled’ by choosing not to caution when Taylor offended, when the expected decision was a caution.

Compare and contrast to several of his Premier League colleagues who wield cards around like they are going out of fashion, they too are consistent, so who is right and who is wrong ? Discuss please on twitter @youaretheref – surely we should have one set of standards so the players know where they stand?



AH at 2016-10-31 21:49:39

Another good example of delayed non-advantage as the first-half ends


AH at 2016-10-31 21:45:32

More goal-mouth action as Routledge’s tests Grant, but the keeper does well to turn the ball around the post to retain parity as we approach half-time


AH at 2016-10-31 21:42:54

5 minutes to go to see the game safely through to half-time, probably 3 or 4 to add for the goals and the substitutions …


AH at 2016-10-31 21:40:26

Great non-offside call by Mike McDonagh as Arnautovic times his run to beat the offside trap, and the Home Team hit the post for the 3rd time !


AH at 2016-10-31 21:37:42

Great piece of refereeing, waiting to see if an advantage accrued before penalising Boney for his offence….


AH at 2016-10-31 21:34:37

After a flowing first 15 minutes, the second 15 has been untidy and anything but fluid.  The refereeing team will be hoping the game goes back to being more open, which is always easier to control.


AH at 2016-10-31 21:32:09

“Juicy challenges are all well and good, but the expectation is that the official will need to grab the game by the scruff of the neck”


AH at 2016-10-31 21:30:05

Interesting quote on our Runners & Riders pre-match article re Michael Oliver:: see for details re being required to “lay down the law”



AH at 2016-10-31 21:25:49

Whoops, commentators’ curse – sorry Michael, but that was a yellow card challenge by Taylor – he has spurned the opportunity to assert his authority – one question – what is the expected decision ?


AH at 2016-10-31 21:23:03

Half-way through the first period and what is noticeable, as always with Michael Oliver, is the fluidity of his movement – he glides around and always seems to be well placed for key decisions. If there is a more natural athlete on the Premier League list, let me know ……


AH at 2016-10-31 21:18:33

First talking point of the game, was Llorente’s challenge on Martins Indi as innocent as he made it out to be – Michael Oliver probably does right to give the big Spaniard the benefit of the doubt with a lengthy warning.


AH at 2016-10-31 21:16:00

Loving this – 8 shots in the first 14 minutes, are you watching Manchester United and Liverpool after their Monday evening match …..


AH at 2016-10-31 21:12:17

12 minutes gone and because of the exciting 2-goal start, the refereeing team have gone largely unnoticed – don’t you just love it when that happens ….


AH at 2016-10-31 21:10:12

GOAL! What was I saying about an 8-goal thriller – Routledge scores with a strong and brave header and we are back on level terms ……


AH at 2016-10-31 21:08:00

GOAL! Well that didn’t take long – Bony is the fox in the box as the Home Team take an early lead ….


AH at 2016-10-31 21:04:27

Good confident start by Michael Oliver as Shaqiri is fouled close to the half-way line.


AH at 2016-10-31 20:59:51

Here we go – are we due for a 0-0 horror show or an 8-goal thriller ……….

Pre Match

AH at 2016-10-31 20:56:38

Michael Oliver is in charge this evening, supported by Mike McDonough and Eddie Smart, with Paul Tierney in 4th official duty.   Michael continues to perform at a very high standard and I am looking forward to watching him and his team officiate this evening …..

Pre Match

AH at 2016-10-31 20:55:06

Best wishes to our refereeing colleague Kevin Johnson after his episode over the weekend ……

Pre Match

AH at 2016-10-31 20:52:33

As the game unfolds, let us know your thoughts? Contact us on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at

Pre Match

AH at 2016-10-31 20:44:09

This illustrates the lack of consistency being shown by Select Group 2 who referee week in / week out in The Championship. Compare James Linnington’s decision at Derby County to the excellent performance by Andy Madley over the weekend and this illustrates these inconsistencies.   Here at You Are The Ref, we are undertaking a detailed study of the new full-time, professional referees in SG2 and we will be publishing our initial findings shortly.

Pre Match

AH at 2016-10-31 20:42:11

Whilst waiting for the game, why not visit for our views on this weekend’s Premiership and Championship games – by and large, the Premiership games were well controlled, but there were some serious errors in the Championship games, in particular the non-penalty award at the Derby County v Sheffield Wednesday game, where the away team were undoubtedly unlucky.

Pre Match

AH at 2016-10-31 20:38:27

I know from my own experience that the wind whistles across the A50 close to the stadium and it can be a cold place to officiate, but it’s a mild night here in the Midlands and an ideal night for football.

Pre Match

AH at 2016-10-31 20:34:57

Welcome to our coverage of Stoke City v Swansea from the Bet365 Stadium.  17th v 19th in the Premier League doesn’t have the glamour of the Manchester derby, but these are the games where the match officials need to be fully focused as the points, even at this stage of the season, are precious, and, dare I say it, it’s the proverbial “six-pointer”.

Pre Match

AH at 2016-10-31 20:28:53

Welcome to our coverage of Stoke City v Swansea from the Bet365 Stadium – we will be with you shortly for a pre-match ‘chat’ …………………………..