West Brom Vs Middlesborough


RCT at 2016-08-28 15:28:54

Full time summary:

Not a very entertaining match but nevertheless one that needed to be effectively controlled and there were a number of decisions and one key-match incident for the officials to deal with.

Unfortunately, the major talking point of the game was again holding and pulling.  In the latter stages of the first half, West Brom were denied a certain penalty when ‘off the ball’ the Middlesborough number 6 pulled the shirt of a WBA player inside the penalty area.  The referee was correctly focusing his attentions on the player who had the ball but the Assistant Stuart Burt had a clear and unobstructed view of the incident and he failed to act.  Burt is an international Assistant Referee but none one who is in the higher echelons.  If he wants to emulate the career of his new line manager Mike Mullarkey, he will have to start to make important decisions and assist the referee more effectively.  Turning a blind eye seems to be the option that far too many Premier League Assistants are taking at the moment.

Referee Anthony Taylor has a great deal of potential, his positioning, fitness and movement is extremely impressive and his recognition of fair and foul is also very good.  Where Anthony could benefit from expert guidance and coaching is with differentiating between careless and reckless challenges and between when and when not to card.  There were a number of inconsistencies today in this regard.

Harry Lennard did a commendable job and supported the referee very well as did the fourth official Stuart Attwell.

RCT at 2016-08-28 15:21:11

Full Time



RCT at 2016-08-28 15:20:17

Sub – M18 Off M11 on


RCT at 2016-08-28 15:17:57

4 minutes added time


RCT at 2016-08-28 15:15:36

Although WBA are unhappy with the free-kick award, it is correct and the referee in the closing stages of the match will not want to take any unnecessary risks by allowing that type of challenge to go unpunished


RCT at 2016-08-28 15:12:01

The referee correctly decided not to play advantage there as the Middlesborough player had little support and was moving towards the corner flag.


RCT at 2016-08-28 15:08:40

Sometimes when there is a scramble for the ball match officials run towards the situation to let players know they are there.  However, very often, this can reduce the viewing angle a referee has.  Anthony remained calm and made an accurate judgement from a few yards away there.


RCT at 2016-08-28 15:04:26

Yellow CardM17 dissent – AR Harry Lennard correctly indicated a free kick and the player approached the AR to question the decision.  Correct caution.


RCT at 2016-08-28 15:03:09

WBA Sub 47 off 8 on


RCT at 2016-08-28 15:02:26

As the game progresses, Anthony’s work rate and fitness has remained consistently high.  This really is a good feature of his refereeing.

RCT at 2016-08-28 14:53:06

Anthony Taylor is a very confident and able referee but he really does need to work on his recognition of offences.  YATR expert Mark Halsey indicated this in his ref cam review of the Chelsea v West Ham match.  Something for Premier League Coach Eddie Wolstenholme to work with Anthony on to help him make that next step to becoming an elite referee


RCT at 2016-08-28 14:52:45

Yellow CardWBA 5 for a reckless challenge – correct but again Anthony is lacking consistency here.  The Middlesbrough player committed a similar offence at the other end a short while ago and the referee had a word.


RCT at 2016-08-28 14:50:28

WBA Sub 45 on 14 off


RCT at 2016-08-28 14:45:39

As the Assistant Referee indicates that the Middlesbrough player is offside, the player returns to his own half to touch the ball.  Under the new Laws of the Game, the resulting free-kick is taken from where the ball is touched.  Hence the reason that the WBA offside free-kick was taken in the Middlesborough half.


RCT at 2016-08-28 14:40:45

Assistant Harry Lennard did well to indicate a push from the WBA player, that offence caused the Middlesborough player to handle the ball.  This was an example of good assistant refereeing.

RCT at 2016-08-28 14:38:36

Referees should remember to cover incidents like this in their pre-match instructions.  Assistants can be a great help in monitoring the number of a player who commits an offence which the referee wants to penalise after playing an advantage.  As a referee, retaining the number is very important as losing the player could result in a detrimental effect on control.


RCT at 2016-08-28 14:36:30

Referee Anthony Taylor played an advantage for a reckless challenge by M21, the ball did not go out of play for another minute or so but Taylor still cautioned the player correctly at the first available opportunity.  This was good refereeing, not only did he play a worthwhile advantage, he retained the number of the player who committed the offence and then cautioned him correctly.


RCT at 2016-08-28 14:33:21

First free-kick of the second half

RCT at 2016-08-28 14:27:28

Don’t forget to join Alan Biggs and tune in to the REF SHOW tomorrow with former FIFA Assistant Referee Glenn Turner and ex England International and Sheffield Wednesday player David Hirst

RCT at 2016-08-28 14:25:20

Half Time Summary:

Shirt pulling once again becomes a topic for discussion as the inconsistent approach to this area is highlighted again in this match.  Just before half-time, the M6 clearly grabbed the shirt of the WBA player who was in the area, moving towards goal and awaiting a cross.  The match referee will have been focusing on the player with the ball but AR Stuart Burt has failed to indicate the offence, despite being in the best position to do so.  An assistant of Stuart’s experience has to be brave in these situations and by failing to intervene, he has let down the referee very badly.

Another incident to note, was Anthony Taylor’s decision to caution the M4 after minute 1 but to not caution a WBA player for a similar challenge midway through the half.  This inconsistent interpretation was baffling as this apart, Anthony had controlled the game well, was moving with ease, adopting great positions and was refereeing with confidence.

RCT at 2016-08-28 14:17:01

Half Time



RCT at 2016-08-28 14:16:37

The M6 has clearly grabbed the shirt of the WBA player and a penalty kick should have been awarded.  Having commented on the need for the Assistants to be focused, that was a clear incident where the Assistant had to help the referee and indicate the offence.  He failed to that and as a result the incident has gone unpunished.


RCT at 2016-08-28 14:14:46

Both Assistants have so far had little active involvement but they have maintained excellent concentration


RCT at 2016-08-28 14:07:33

Good spot by the referee to penalise the handball offence against Middlesborough.


RCT at 2016-08-28 14:05:06

There is no ‘perfect’ approach in dealing with foul challenges and deciding when and when not to card.  However, when the referee makes a decision on a ‘border-line’ challenge they should enhance their control of the match by remaining consistent in that interpretation.


RCT at 2016-08-28 14:01:35

I am quite surprised that Anthony has not shown a yellow card to the WBA player, considering his approach in the 1st minute, that challenge was a very similar one and his approach is inconsistent


RCT at 2016-08-28 13:57:04

Again awarding a free-kick at a different time of the match or in a different game or situation may be a better option in that scenario but for Taylor in this game in that scenario he felt confident enough to apply advantage


RCT at 2016-08-28 13:54:28

Anthony Taylor is refereeing with a great amount of confidence.  The advantage played to Middlesborough deep in their defensive third was a brave one but has resulted in their corner-kick at the other end, so proved to be a positive move by the referee.


RCT at 2016-08-28 13:50:11

Prior to the WBA corner kick being taken Anthony Taylor was on his toes moving around to let the players know he is there.  This is very good refereeing as he is not remaining static but moving so he has the best possible view.


RCT at 2016-08-28 13:46:25

A key early feature of the referee’s performance so far is his movement.  Anthony Taylor moves around the field well, he varies his speed and anticipates play.  The referee is also not afraid to move in to the penalty area during the second and third phases of play.  This reassures players who know he is there and also acts as a positive deterrent should any of the players think about trying to get away with anything.


RCT at 2016-08-28 13:42:24

Anthony Taylor is trying to let the game breathe by keeping it moving but there is a fine balance as he will not want the tempo to rise and threaten his match control.  Although the advantage to West Brom in the midfield area was a reasonable one, it may have been better to award the free-kick and slow the match down a little.


RCT at 2016-08-28 13:37:42

First Corner of the match and Anthony Taylor has already created a positive presence by his movement and management of the game.  No holding or pushing evident and Taylor was right on the spot to make a goal-kick judgement.


RCT at 2016-08-28 13:35:22

Anthony’s fitness has been tested early as the game moves from one end to another.  He moves very well and is taking up excellent positions by creating a viewing angle, moving wide to do so.


RCT at 2016-08-28 13:32:46

Yellow CardThe first caution of the game for M4 for a reckless challenge.  Interesting to show the card so early in the match, we saw referees in the Euros try to manage these incidents but Taylor has opted to go for the card.

RCT at 2016-08-28 13:30:13

It will be interesting to see how the match referee and his team deal with holding and pulling in the penalty area today, read Hackett’s blog for his views on why leadership and direction is vitally needed in this area

RCT at 2016-08-28 13:25:39

Taylor will be assisted today by two experienced colleagues in Stuart Burt and Harry Lennard.  The Fourth Official is former FIFA referee Stuart Attwell who has returned as a Select Group referee for season 2016/17.

RCT at 2016-08-28 13:23:38

This game was a much quieter affair and Taylor controlled the match very well, he correctly awarded a penalty to Manchester United and the main talking points after the game were about Zlatan Ibrahimovic and not the referee.  Anthony Taylor is a referee who the PGMOL value and he is considered as one of the top performing officials in the Select Group.

RCT at 2016-08-28 13:19:37

However, whilst the You are the Ref team has expressed surprise at Taylor’s ongoing appointments to oversee Manchester clubs, due to his residence being in nearby Wythenshawe, Taylor’s second appointment was to referee Manchester United Vs Southampton.

RCT at 2016-08-28 13:15:30

During the Chelsea v West Ham match, Taylor drew criticism for not dismissing Diego Costa with You are the Ref commentator Mark Halsey summarising that Taylor struggled to differentiate between careless and reckless challenges, which had a negative impact on his overall decision-making.

RCT at 2016-08-28 13:11:44

The Match Referee Anthony Taylor is an experienced Premier League and FIFA referee he has refereed 2 premier league matches so far this season and issued 7 yellow cards, he has yet to show the red card.  His opening 2 matches have attracted contrasting views on his performance.

RCT at 2016-08-28 13:07:06

West Brom go in search of their first home win since March as they entertain newly promoted Middlesbrough in the first of a ref cam double header at The Hawthorns.

Referee – Anthony Taylor

Assistants – Stuart Burt and Harry Lennard

Fourth Official – Stuart Attwell