Runners and Riders: Premier League officials in Week 2

Runners and Riders: Premier League officials in Week 2

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    Author: Jason Pettigrove

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    The opening weekend of the Premier League went by with more of a whimper than a bang, unless you happened to be at the Emirates Stadium. What a game!

    Mike Dean garnered most column inches amongst our refereeing brethren – both for what appeared to be poor decision making and for his over the top gestures.

    The latter is starting to grate, and until he learns to master the art of officiating sufficiently, he should, arguably, cut out the song and dance routine.

    PGMOL handing him the TV limelight for the second week in a row could spell disaster.

    Let’s take a look at who’s joining him in being given the nod for week two of 2016/17…

    Anthony Taylor

    Anthony Taylor: Manchester United v Southampton
    Assistants: R. West and A. Holmes
    Fourth official: A. Marriner

    Jose Mourinho’s first Old Trafford outing as manager of Manchester United, and he gets to lead his team out on a Friday night in front of the TV cameras. Pure football theatre.

    His opposite number, Claude Puel, might have something to say about Anthony Taylor taking charge of this one, particularly as the official was only born a few miles up the road.

    Although his impartiality shouldn’t really be questioned, it’s yet another own goal from PGMOL who’ve started this campaign as they ended the last – by not helping themselves.

    Taylor can rest assured that he will have the Portuguese on his case all night long and could be swayed by previous meetings, when this man in the middle has had cause to grovel and apologise to the Special One for making mistakes in previous encounters.

    As was noted on Ref Cam by YATR’s Mark Halsey, Taylor needs to improve on his body language and be a bit more relaxed and pro-active.

    Some Friday night fun is almost guaranteed here.

    Anthony Taylor – all you need to know
    Matches in 2016/17: 2 (1 on TV)
    Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 1
    Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

    Lee Mason

    Lee Mason: Burnley v Liverpool
    Assistants: S. Beck and S. Ledger
    Fourth official: K. Friend

    Lee Mason opens his 2016/17 account at Turf Moor and, like the hosts, will be hoping to get off to a flyer.

    It should be a match of two very contrasting styles; the determination, grit and work ethic of Sean Dyche’s side against a swashbuckling but wide open Liverpool.

    When Jurgen Klopp’s Reds went into a 4-1 lead at Arsenal, you could see just how pleased the German was with how his charges had followed the blueprint. Come full time it was a different story.

    With respect, Burnley don’t have the class of the north Londoners but they do have a fighting spirit and never-say-die attitude. Something that’s won them their fair share of points in the past.

    Mason could be a little rusty and probably needs to work on his dynamic sprinting to keep him up with the lightning quick breaks that are becoming a hallmark of this Liverpool side.

    Lee Mason – all you need to know
    Matches in 2016/17: 1 (0 on TV)
    Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 1
    Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

    Mark Clattenburg

    Mark Clattenburg: Leicester City v Arsenal
    Assistants: J. Collin and S. Bennett
    Fourth official: A. Marriner

    Both teams meet having lost on the opening day. The first time a reigning champion has failed to pick up all three points on the first game of the following season for 27 years, and the third time in a row that the Gunners have lost their opening home fixture.

    Whilst the pair will have worked hard on the training pitch to ensure it all clicks come Saturday afternoon, Mark Clattenburg arrives back onto the scene after an extended sabbatical.

    The Euro 2016 final followed the Champions League final which itself followed the FA Cup final. What an incredible summer for the official, and fully deserved it must be said.

    These are the type of games that Clatts enjoys and if there is to be controversy in the game, it’s highly unlikely to come from the official.

    The Foxes will want to exact some sort of revenge on Arsenal, having lost to them at the death last season at the Emirates.

    Expect the ‘Wenger Out’ brigade to be in full voice if that happens.

    Mark Clattenburg – all you need to know
    Matches in 2016/17: 1 (0 on TV)
    Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 0
    Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

    Mike Dean

    Mike Dean: Stoke City v Manchester City
    Assistants: S. Long and A. Garratt
    Fourth official: R. East

    Seriously…

    The second TV game for Mike Dean and for a fixture involving a manager who has not been pleased with the referee’s past performances.

    Mark Hughes has had cause to complain about this particular official time and time again. Going back to the time in fact, when the Welshman was boss at Fulham some three years ago.

    There’s no love lost between Hughes and a person who he sees as deliberately controversial and pig-headed.

    Against Pep Guardiola’s side, there’s more than likely to be a flashpoint or two. The Catalan wizard showed everyone just what he was about tactically in the Sunderland opener, even though it took until late for City to take all three points.

    Expect a similar pattern to emerge here and if there are one or two late tackles flying in from the hosts, don’t be surprised to see Dean on the spot theatrically brandishing a card or two.

    Much to the chagrin of Hughes who’ll do well to keep his mouth shut for the duration.

    Mike Dean – all you need to know
    Matches in 2016/17: 2 (2 on TV)
    Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 0
    Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

    Stuart Attwell

    Stuart Attwell: Swansea City v Hull City
    Assistants: S. Child and M. Perry
    Fourth official: R. Madley

    Long over his ‘ghost goal’ nightmare, Stuart Attwell makes his bow in Wales and could do with some more regular top flight employ from his paymasters.

    You can count of the fingers of one hand the amount of Premier League appointments he was handed last season and for a man that is still considered as ‘up and coming,’ he needs to be given more chance to hone his skillset.

    It’s an ideal game to begin the season, and with an experienced team behind him, Attwell can approach this one with confidence. Confidence that should show through a commanding and authoritative performance.

    Hull are still in disarray after Steve Bruce’s summer walk out and though Swansea are a little more settled, it will still take time for their new signings to gel.

    Cool, calm and collected required here, which is certainly not beyond Attwell.

    Stuart Attwell – all you need to know
    Matches in 2016/17: 1 (0 on TV)
    Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 0
    Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

    Michael Oliver

    Michael Oliver: Tottenham Hotspur v Crystal Palace
    Assistants: G. Beswick and S. Burt
    Fourth official: D. Bond

    A lively London derby at the Lane and Alan Pardew will want to prove a point after losing Yannick Bolasie to Everton in midweek.

    Try as he might, the Eagles manager hasn’t yet brought in the big name or names that will hopefully propel Palace into the upper echelons of the table – and keep them there.

    A horrific slide down the table last season would’ve ended in relegation if the season had been a fortnight longer.

    Mauricio Pochettino hasn’t been too lively in the transfer market either, but he has the luxury of a fine group of players who give him exactly what’s required in terms of application and effort.

    This could be feisty, especially in the opening exchanges, and Oliver will look to his extended eyes and ears to pick up anything naughty.

    Another strong hand is preferred here, to get the best out of both teams in what promises to be a cracker.

    Michael Oliver – all you need to know
    Matches in 2016/17: 2 (0 on TV)
    Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 1
    Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

    Jonathan Moss

    Jonathan Moss: Watford v Chelsea
    Assistants: A. Halliday and E. Smart
    Fourth official: G. Scott

    A tale of two Italians as Walter Mazzarri’s side host Antonio Conte’s Chelsea.

    Two teams that have been renowned for playing good football could settle for 90 minutes of ‘catenaccio’. Great for the students of the game, not so the paying public.

    The intricacies might be lost on Jon Moss too, not that passages of play should overly concern him.

    As at White Hart Lane, Moss should expect a thoroughly intense game with both sides going at it hammer and tongs from the first whistle.

    Both managers are vociferous in support of their team and won’t hold back if they feel that the officials aren’t at the races.

    Backbone required please Jon…

    Jonathan Moss – all you need to know
    Matches in 2016/17: 2 (0 on TV)
    Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 0
    Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

    Neil Swarbrick

    Neil Swarbrick: West Bromwich Albion v Everton
    Assistants: D. Cann and D. Eaton
    Fourth official: S. Duncan

    Tony Pulis will have a field day if Neil Swarbrick puts a foot wrong here.

    It was Swarbrick who sent off Gareth McAuley at Manchester City the season before last, for a foul that had been committed by Craig Dawson.

    There’s no way that the Welshman will have forgotten such a misdemeanour which will leave the official on tenterhooks for this, his first appointment of the season.

    Ronald Koeman has also had players sent off by the official, whilst in charge of Southampton, however the Dutchman has, thus far, had no complaints as to Swarbrick’s handling of a fixture involving his teams.

    Let battle commence!

    Neil Swarbrick – all you need to know
    Matches in 2016/17: 1 (0 on TV)
    Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 1
    Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

    Referee Martin Atkinson

    Martin Atkinson: Sunderland v Middlesbrough
    Assistants: P. Kirkup and A. Nunn
    Fourth official: R. Madley

    A great first north-east derby for Martin Atkinson to get his teeth into.

    If not quite the rivalry of a Sunderland versus Newcastle game, it won’t be far off. Middlesbrough’s first big local derby in the top flight for years, and David Moyes’ home debut as manager of the Black Cats.

    Many were expecting Sunderland to get battered at Manchester City but Moyes showed that dismal spells at Manchester United and Real Sociedad were just blips on the CV.

    His team more than held their own for long periods and the same will be required again here.

    Aitor Karanka is just feeling his way into the division but knows only one way to play so we can expect an expansive performance from the visitors.

    Atkinson should be on guard for any flashpoints but isn’t likely to find this one too hard to deal with.

    Martin Atkinson – all you need to know
    Matches in 2016/17: 2 (1 on TV)
    Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 0
    Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

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    Craig Pawson: West Ham United v Bournemouth
    Assistants: H. Lennard and I. Hussin
    Fourth official: R. East

    In this fixture last season, Eddie Howe’s side stunned everyone with their maiden Premier League win, scoring four goals in the process.

    It came just a week after they were cruelly denied a point at Anfield, when an errant offside flag meant that Liverpool finished as 1-0 winners. The referee that day – Craig Pawson. Howe will be hoping lightning won’t strike twice.

    This is another for the purist as these opponents are two teams that like to get the ball down and play.

    A first Premier League home game will be another sell out and hopefully Pawson and his colleagues aren’t overawed by the sense of occasion.

    Craig Pawson – all you need to know
    Matches in 2016/17: 3 (2 on TV)
    Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 1
    Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0