Watford v Arsenal



GB at 2015-10-17 19:31:08

Well, with a unashamed nod towards Clive Dunn …… I would have to say that Mike Jones has brought home the bacon once again tonight!


This was not a difficult game to control by any means, but he recognised the pinch points and responded accordingly.  He kept his profile low when he could and raised it when he needed to. But above all, his biggest contribution to this game was that he controlled it whilst getting all his decisions correct! It is not rocket science, just good refereeing.


His movement was fully satisfactory, even if it was not excellent, he was never too far away from the play. On the contrary, he was always close enough to sell his decision when he needed to. All acts of unsporting behaviour or technical offences were dealt with appropriately, and all in all I have to say that was a job well done!


Both Assistants played a full and active part in a very good team performance right to the end.


Bank that one boys, and come back with more of the same next week please!


GB at 2015-10-17 19:21:20

My final summary will follow in a few minutes.


I trust you have enjoyed our RefCam coverage so far this weekend and please keep your views coming on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at Info@you-are-the-ref.com


Tune in again tomorrow for EPL action from Newcastle United v Norwich City at 4.00pm, followed by another helping from the MLS as Houston Dynamo take on Seattle Sounders KO 10.00pm UK Time


Its back to the EPL on Monday for Swansea City v Stoke City KO 8.00pm


Then we pick up on the Champions League action on Tuesday and Wednesday with Arsenal v Bayern Munich and Manchester City v Sevilla which both KO at 7:45pm


A list of all the big games coming up on YATR is always available at: http://you-are-the-ref.com/ref-cam/


GB at 2015-10-17 19:20:23

Full Time

Watford 03 Arsenal



GB at 2015-10-17 19:18:17

Richard West gets his first off-side of the game in added time – but he was still alert to give it


GB at 2015-10-17 19:17:21

MJ showing excellent positioning then right near the end as he was directly side on to the dropping ball even though it was deep into the Watford half


Minimum of 3 minutes to be added


GB at 2015-10-17 19:15:17

MJ doing the right thing then to pull the two grappling players out and deal with them before the corner is taken – no need to let anything boil over at this stage in the game


GB at 2015-10-17 19:14:06

MJ has been very static and predictable in his positioning for every corner kick and he might do well to consider a slight variation dependant upon where the corner is being played


GB at 2015-10-17 19:12:30

Good use of the whistle then by MJ to emphasise that the ball had only just crossed the line for a throw-in


GB at 2015-10-17 19:07:52

Ten minutes of hard word, effort and concentration required from all the official now to see this game to a satisfactory conclusion


GB at 2015-10-17 19:06:50

I mentioned in the first half that I thought Mike Jones was conserving energy very early on, and now he seems to be displaying more mobility at the end than he did at the start!


GB at 2015-10-17 19:04:03

Another tick in the box for Mike Jones tonight as he made sure he had the last word with the Watford player on his terms following that careless challenge


GB at 2015-10-17 19:02:54

I don’t like to see referees running away from a free kick with their back to the ball as the free kick is being taken. Best practice is at least to keep a trailing eye on it just incase it is not taken in accordance to law


GB at 2015-10-17 19:00:46

GOAL! Aaron Ramsey (A 16)

Watford 0 – 3 Arsenal


GB at 2015-10-17 18:59:31

If Mike Jones was being assessed tonight – which he isn’t of course – then the assessor would have been sure to congratulate him on his use of the advantage clause it this game


GB at 2015-10-17 18:58:11

The officials have passed all their test so far, not they need to start focussing on closing this game out in the last 20 minutes


GB at 2015-10-17 18:56:43

Mike Jones has come through that brief period of excitement well and kept his cool and managed expectations well and got the big decisions right


GB at 2015-10-17 18:54:41

GOAL! Olivier Giroud (A 12)


Watford 0 – 2 Arsenal


GB at 2015-10-17 18:53:36

Yellow Card for Heurelho Gomes (W 1) presumable for dissent after the Arsenal goal


GB at 2015-10-17 18:52:33

The replays of the challenge at the Arsenal end showed that Mike Jones was correct in not stopping play as there was no foul committed


GB at 2015-10-17 18:50:46

GOAL! for Alexis Sánchez (A 17)

Watford 0 – 1 Arsenal

It certainly looked like there would have been a penalty to Arsenal if they had not scored



GB at 2015-10-17 18:48:48

well I would like to see that challenge on the edge of the penalty area again at the other end to the goal


GB at 2015-10-17 18:47:56

once again, I would describe MJ’s performance as showing a better maturity than he has shown in the past as he is clearly keeping his alertness and awareness high to keep the lid on this one in the centre of the field of play


GB at 2015-10-17 18:45:57

another good Yellow Card issued to Per Mertesacker (A 4) by Mike Jones for that reckless challenge – no surprises in that one


GB at 2015-10-17 18:44:11

well done to AH then as he did not move back away from the touch-line as the ball and the players came towards him. He maintained his position on the line and looked back so he could judge the ball over the line accurately


GB at 2015-10-17 18:42:19

I think the game obviously needs a goal soon to spice things up a bit!


GB at 2015-10-17 18:40:04

good refereeing again to allow the quick free kick after that challenge from behind


GB at 2015-10-17 18:37:56

He is picking off these routine careless challenges now and giving free kicks to keep a tight grip on the game


GB at 2015-10-17 18:37:07

The tempo of the second half is already different to the first and well done to Mike Jones for spotting this and reacting accordingly so far


GB at 2015-10-17 18:36:07

The coms kit obviously used well then, either the buzzer or the microphone, something was used to inform the referee that the assistant had signalled as he had his back to him!


GB at 2015-10-17 18:34:22

great opportunity taken by Mike Jones at the start of the second half to show he mean business tonight with that Yellow Card for Allan-Roméo Nyom (W 2) for delaying the restart at a throw-in – good refereeing


GB at 2015-10-17 18:32:43

Any thoughts on how the officials are doing so far?  Let us know on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at Info@you-are-the-ref.com


GB at 2015-10-17 18:31:42

The second half is underway


GB at 2015-10-17 18:29:24

Mike Jones has generally looked calm as he has gone about his task so far, but I have to say that the interval may just have come at the right time for him. He had pitched his level of involvement well and had shown a credible empathy with the players to resolve some very minor challenges to his authority, but I just felt he started to relax a little as the game went on. His Achilles heel for me has always been that he has the ability in him to turn a very good performance into a dreadful one and there were a couple of incidents near the end of the first half when I just did not feel comfortable:


He had an opportunity to stop the play when Ramsey was on the ground holding his head, the players seemed happy to keep playing but had Watford gone straight up and scored, I would not mind betting there would have been hell to pay!


He called the play correct – no handball – when Cech came out of his penalty area, but he was miles away.


Then he “found” a very soft free kick just before an Arsenal player was penalised for being off-side as he broke through the Watford defence.


I would be telling him at half time to dig in and keep your concentration! Things are going well – don’t mess it up!


Both Assistants are doing well at the moment in and overall very good team performance by all the officials.



GB at 2015-10-17 18:18:05

Have you taken the name the referee challenge yet? Click on this link to test your knowledge of putting the names to the faces of a number of top referees from both home and abroad who have been active in the past ten years or so: Can you identify these football referees?


The recent articles which caught my eye on our new-look website both concerned the inevitable move towards the use of technology to assists referees and assistants where there is the most at stake at the highest levels of the game. Our resident expert Keith Hackett makes the case for UEFA to reconsider their stance on the use of goal-line technology in the Champions League followed by the news from across the pond that the MLS is preparing to follow the Dutch FA and undergo trials of “video referees” for next season.


All the our content continues to provide deep insight into all refereeing matters with video features alongside an increasing number of Blogs which offer insight into how English refereeing standards could be improved.


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 https://www.facebook.com/youaretheref


As always, YATR values your opinions on all the points raised by out experts via Twitter @youaretheref or email us at Info@you-are-the-ref.com


GB at 2015-10-17 18:17:02

Half Time

Watford 0 – 0 Arsenal



GB at 2015-10-17 18:15:48

Interesting decision here – Mike Jones “spots a foul” before the Arsenal player was correctly signalled for being off-side. I did not see a foul by a Watford player, more a case of the Arsenal player running into him


GB at 2015-10-17 18:13:32

no question of any deliberate attempt to handle the ball by Cech then, but it has to be said that the referee was miles away playing catch-up!


GB at 2015-10-17 18:11:12

its all well and good being praised for having more confidence but there is a danger with being “over confident” when safe refereeing is required to keep the lid on things


GB at 2015-10-17 18:10:04

once again MJ well placed to have a good view of the knock which Ramsey had then and so was able to sell his decision to the players to just carry on. That said, it would probably been safer to just stop the play with a player rubbing his head?


GB at 2015-10-17 18:06:13

there was an example then of even a minor decision like a throw-in in a “non-dangerous” area can start the players to interact with each other. Mike Jones has stopped this and has done well to have a word with the players.


There was a maturity about the way he handled that that he has been criticised for not showing in the past


GB at 2015-10-17 18:01:44

MJ was a little behind for that attacking move by Watford and he was lucky there was nothing in that possible nudge in the back


GB at 2015-10-17 18:00:14

Nothing wrong with how things are going for our officials as we pass the 30 minutes mark. There has hardly been a decision to make but the important thing has been to not go looking for trouble, and so far that is how all this officials are reacting


GB at 2015-10-17 17:56:10

That clash was dealt with sensibly by MJ then and was the first time he had to stamp his personality on the game. No need to over-react on that one


GB at 2015-10-17 17:54:40

Mike Jones has never been the type of referee who likes to raise his profile or become the centre of attention unless he needs to. There is nothing extravagant about him and if anything he actually lacks personality at times compared to some of his peers, so this type of game suits him down to the ground


GB at 2015-10-17 17:52:29

there have been very few opportunities for the referee to sprint much in this game so far, but I doubt he will be too worried about that!


GB at 2015-10-17 17:49:43

That was another example of how Mike Jones seems happy to hang back outside of the penalty area even when the players move inside it. There is always the danger of pushing in too far of course but referees at this level have to have the fitness to recover and need to be flexible and move into the penalty area “when required”


GB at 2015-10-17 17:46:29

MJ well placed close to that free kick for Watford and was able to snuff-out any dissent immediately from the Arsenal player because of his proximity to the careless challenge


GB at 2015-10-17 17:45:15

The clear lines on the playing surface where the grass has been mown will help the assistants today in this game


GB at 2015-10-17 17:44:18

It is a busy night already for Adrian Holmes and he is picking off these off-sides competently so far


GB at 2015-10-17 17:42:53

That makes 3 advantages already before Walcott was correctly flagged off-side for miss-timing his run too early


GB at 2015-10-17 17:41:42

MJ is moving round steadily and seems to be conserving his energy in these early stages. Another good advantage there in the Watford attack reflects the increased confidence he is showing this season as I said before the game.


GB at 2015-10-17 17:40:08

Ten minutes gone and Mike Jones will be happy with how things have gone so far. No need for the officials to step in and slow this down yet.


GB at 2015-10-17 17:38:02

MJ seemed reluctant to move into the Watford penalty area at that last Arsenal attack


GB at 2015-10-17 17:35:59

AH was correct to raise his flag early then before as the Arsenal player was just about to get involved with the play and the goalkeeper was coming out towards the ball. Those are precisely the occasions when an early flag for off-side is best practice


GB at 2015-10-17 17:34:01

MJ taking the opportunity to play an early advantage and let everyone know about it. I could not tell if Assistant AH signalled for the foul but the correct decision was to allow play to continue


GB at 2015-10-17 17:31:08

AR1: Richard West (RW) is patrolling the touchline in front of the technical areas.


GB at 2015-10-17 17:30:11

Watford  won the toss so it will be Arsenal 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 info@you-are-the-ref.com


GB at 2015-10-17 17:25:43

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


GB at 2015-10-17 17:24:02

It seems to have been another quiet weekend so far for referees in the Premier League so it falls upon this evening’s team to keep the momentum going in a season which generally continues to show considerably more consistency from our elite officials this time around.

If you don’t agree that things are going better this season, let us have your comments on Twitter



GB at 2015-10-17 17:19:45

Mike Jones starts his 7th game of the season having so far and to his credit he has continued to keep himself out of the headlines regarding any controversy in his games.


His performances this season have shown a refreshing consistency along with a new-found ability to get over the finish line without losing his concentration in the final stages. A respectable card count of 21 yellows and just one red in his previous 6 appointments also reflects the solid foundation Mike has made for himself for this seasons campaign.


There is no doubt that one of the most important requirements for a referee is confidence at every level. With a great start behind him I hope this referee can maintain his present form today and seriously shrug off his reputation for blowing hot and cold from week to week in previous seasons. Another sign of how Mike has turned things round so far this time is the fact that this is his 3rd Live TV game already, to compare with just 4 appearances throughout the whole of last season. So come on Mr Jones, you have proved that you have the ability to put a string of performances together which reflect the experience you have gained from refereeing at the National List level for almost 20 years, now go out and prove that you can keep this up for a full season!


Both Richard West and Adrian Homles will be working with today’s referee for only the second time in this campaign. Mike Jones has not had a regular team of Assistant Referees to work with so far this season having been paired-up with ten different officials in his first 6 games.


Kevin Friend finds himself on board holding duties for the 6th time again already this season. Kevin is no stranger to managing the technical areas either, as he had exactly the same amount of 4th Official outings as he had middles last season (24).


GB at 2015-10-17 17:17:32

Today’s officials are:

Referee: Mike Jones (MJ)

AR1: Richard West (RW)

AR2: Adrian Homles (AH)

4th Official: Kevin Friend (KF)


GB at 2015-10-17 17:15:24

Here are the starting line-ups for this game:




Heurelho Gomes (W 1)

Allan-Roméo Nyom (W 2)

Sebastian Prödl (W 5)

Troy Deeney (W 9)

Craig Cathcart (W 15)

Nathan Aké (W 16)

Ikechi Anya (W 21)

Almen Abdi (W 22)

Ben Watson (W 23)

Odion Ighalo (W 24)

Etienne Capoue (W 29)


Miguel Angel Britos (W 3)

Valon Behrami (W 8)

Rene Gilmartin (W 13)

Juan Carlos Paredes (W 14)

Víctor Ibarbo (W 19)

Steven Berghuis (W 20)

José Holebas (W 25)




Petr Cech (A 33)

Per Mertesacker (A 4)

Laurent Koscielny (A 6)

Mesut Özil (A 11)

Theo Walcott (A 14)

Aaron Ramsey (A 16)

Alexis Sánchez (A 17)

Nacho Monreal (A 18)

Santi Cazorla (A 19)

Héctor Bellerín (A 24)

Francis Coquelin (A 34)


Kieran Gibbs (A 3)

Mikel Arteta (A 8)

Olivier Giroud (A 12)

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (A 15)

Calum Chambers (A 21)

Mathieu Debuchy (A 2)

Matt Macey (A 49)


GB at 2015-10-17 17:12:30

Back to today’s game:


Watford have made a respectable start in their opening 8 fixtures back in the Premier league, and this is their third matching up with a team in the top 4, so this should provide a great opportunity for them to seriously gauge “where they are” in the top flight.


Today’s visitor’s form puts them at the top of the current form guide and they arrive with their tails up after their last outing which saw them embarrassing Manchester United with a first half hammering. Watford supporters could be forgiven for thinking that a visit from their North London rivals (from only 14 miles away as the crow flies) may be a bit daunting, but games like this are what all effort was for last season!


History is actually on the side of Hornets looking back at this fixture in the past; although Arsenal have a 100% record of beating Watford in the Premier League in the 4 times the teams have met in this completion, Watford hold the honours for the most wins in all League meetings 8 to 7. The last time this fixture took place was back in 2006 when Mike Dean was the man in charge.


GB at 2015-10-17 17:11:04

Talking of Tweets, thanks to Tom:


Can we have an episode on league 1 & 2 refs. Would be interesting to hear the pros’ comments”


This was one of things on our “wish list” at the beginning of the season so please drop us a line at  Info@you-are-the-ref.com and who knows what we may be able to come up with ……..


GB at 2015-10-17 17:09:23

Welcome to this early evening’s RefCam coverage today of the Premier League game between Watford and Arsenal.

Thanks to Rob Harris for keeping the seat warm at lunchtime – let’s hope this evening’s game has a little more action in front of goal!

Feel free to interact with me at any time during the game by joining in on Twitter @youaretheref or e-mail at info@you-are-the-ref.com