Runners and Riders: Premier League officials in Week 6

Runners and Riders: Premier League officials in Week 6

    Author: Jason Pettigrove

    Runners and RidersA marginally more successful week for PGMOL but there was still enough discussion to be had as to the application of Mike Riley’s finest.

    Roger East for example is clearly suffering a crisis of confidence and could probably do with an extended spell out of the limelight.

    The last thing the Premier League need is for more risks to be taken with the Select Group, but that’s exactly what’s happened this week.

    Let’s take a look at the appointments for week six of the season….

    Martin Atkinson

    Martin Atkinson: Stoke City v West Bromwich Albion
    Assistants: S. Child and A. Nunn
    Fourth official: R. East

    Mark Hughes is most bookies’ choice to become the first managerial casualty of the new season and a loss here could see the Stoke hierarchy pull the trigger.

    When you’re down at the bottom nothing seems to go right, and it would be just typical luck that Tony Pulis and his West Brom side arrive in town after hitting West Ham for four.

    The Britannia Stadium has been a hospitable home for Hughes but the knives will be out. Martin Atkinson has often been the Potters’ nemesis and his appointment here could be another nail in the Welshman’s coffin.

    Hughes and his employers won’t want cause to file another official complaint but Atkinson is unlikely to provide them with the same after a sterling start to his 2016/17.

    Nothing to see here…

    Martin Atkinson – all you need to know
    Matches in 2016/17: 5 (2 on TV)
    Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 1
    Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

    Bobby Madley

    Robert Madley: Bournemouth v Everton
    Assistants: M. McDonough and H. Lennard
    Fourth official: J. Moss

    Two managers who enjoy playing football the right way could provide an early season classic at the Vitality Stadium.

    Eddie Howe’s side haven’t begun the season as well as might’ve been expected, whereas the Toffees have exceeded expectations under Ronald Koeman.

    This is a game that needs to be allowed to flow throughout and Bobby Madley is therefore a decent pick for this one. Although he’s still learning the trade, common sense is a watchword he lives by.

    No previous issues with either manager should see the official being given the benefit of the doubt if there are any borderline decisions.

    Strap yourselves in, this could be one of the games of the weekend.

    Robert Madley – all you need to know
    Matches in 2016/17: 4 (1 on TV)
    Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 4
    Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

    Andre Marriner

    Andre Marriner: Liverpool v Hull City
    Assistants: S. Beck and A. Garratt
    Fourth official: S. Attwell

    The upheaval at Hull City is in stark contrast to the continuity at Anfield.

    Jurgen Klopp has always maintained that it would take a few years for the Reds to get back to where they belong, but that they would eventually get there.

    After a superb performance at Chelsea last time out, the German’s prediction could well be coming true a year or two quicker than originally planned.

    Unable to win any of their away league fixtures this season, Mike Phelan’s side will do well to stop the Liverpool juggernaut at this juncture.

    Andre Marriner’s appointments have been sporadic this season – two on, one off – but he’ll handle this one with ease. Will he nick Sadio Mane’s ball if the former Southampton man should score another hat-trick?!

    A little bit of personality goes a long way – as Klopp himself will attest to.

    Andre Marriner – all you need to know
    Matches in 2016/17: 4 (2 on TV)
    Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 3
    Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

    Graham Scott

    Graham Scott: Middlesbrough v Tottenham Hotpsur
    Assistants: R. West and D. Bryan
    Fourth official: M. Jones

    In fairness to Graham Scott, he is being hung out to dry once again by Mike Riley.

    Either he is Premier League class or he is not, it’s that simple. Waiting six weeks before handing him his first top flight appointment of the season does he, and they, no favours.

    At the first sign of conflict, if Scott’s unable to step up and deal with matters arising, he’ll be swiftly removed from duty again.

    There will be an expectation from both teams that the standard of officiating befits a fixture of this stature.

    Mike Jones will at least be the best of sounding boards, should Scott decide to lean on his experience. Why their roles aren’t reversed is anyone’s guess…

    Graham Scott – all you need to know
    Matches in 2016/17: 1 (0 on TV)
    Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 2
    Football League appointments in 2016/17: 5

    Jonathan Moss

    Jonathan Moss: West Ham United v Southampton
    Assistants: A. Halliday and E. Smart
    Fourth official: C. Pawson

    What is going on at West Ham? Things are going from bad to worse for a team that was expected to make a dent in the Europa League and perhaps even push on to the Champions League at the end of this season.

    Only Stoke and Sunderland sit below then in the table but Slaven Bilic will be accentuating the positives in that they’re only two wins off of seventh position at this point.

    The London Stadium still doesn’t really feel like home and that could be something that tips the scales in the balance of Claude Puel’s Saints, another team that are finding their feet this term.

    Jonathan Moss was blasted for his handling of West Ham’s game against Leicester last season, and to be frank, he’s not really recovered any kudos since then.

    His star is fading fast and Mike Riley must be careful in which fixtures he picks and chooses for the official. An official that is struggling on a weekly basis to keep up with play as a minimum requirement.

    God help him if he’s not on song here.

    Jonathan Moss – all you need to know
    Matches in 2016/17: 5 (2 on TV)
    Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 2
    Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

    Anthony Taylor

    Anthony Taylor: Sunderland v Crystal Palace
    Assistants: P. Kirkup and M. Perry
    Fourth official: D. Bond

    A big win for Crystal Palace against Stoke in their last Premier League fixture has seen them fly up the table – something the Eagles haven’t experienced for a year or so.

    As luck would have it, a very winnable game on Wearside is their next assignment, Alan Pardew looking to heap more misery on counterpart David Moyes.

    Just three goals scored for the Black Cats is less than Palace managed against the Potters and hints at the problems Moyes faces this season.

    It’s been some time since Anthony Taylor has been on the wrong side of the Scot and that’s as much to do with Taylor’s trajectory as an official as anything else.

    A studious referee who works hard to learn from his mistakes, he will – at least initially – have the full support of both managers and sets of players.

    A tortuous atmosphere might be of some concern and could influence the early exchanges, but there’s nothing to suggest that Taylor won’t be able to take it all in his stride.

    Anthony Taylor – all you need to know
    Matches in 2016/17: 6 (2 on TV)
    Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 1
    Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

    Neil Swarbrick

    Neil Swarbrick: Swansea City v Manchester City
    Assistants: S. Ledger and D. Eaton
    Fourth official: A. Woolmer

    Pep Guardiola is enjoying proving all the naysayers wrong as his City side continue to steamroller just about every opponent in their path.

    The Sky Blues have conceded only four in five games, the same amount that the Welshmen have scored.

    There’s nothing to suggest that this will be anything other than another routine victory for the table toppers giving City their very own super six from the start of the season.

    Neil Swarbrick has blown hot and cold already and that’s probably why he’s only taken charge of half of the Premier League games he could otherwise have been employed for.

    A decent showing here might see him retained.

    Neil Swarbrick – all you need to know
    Matches in 2016/17: 3 (0 on TV)
    Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 3
    Football League appointments in 2016/17: 5

    Mike Dean

    Mike Dean: Manchester United v Leicester City
    Assistants: S. Long and I. Hussin
    Fourth official: L. Mason

    Well, well, well… what do you know?

    The TV cameras are out at Old Trafford and everyone’s favourite entertainer, Mike Dean, is centre stage once more.

    PGMOL must be completely oblivious to the constant furore that almost always follows a Dean appointment that has been televised.

    If he can manage it, just for 90 short minutes, then Dean has to blend into the background here.

    Jose Mourinho is on the warpath with officials so it could be difficult, and Dean will do well not to rise to any bait from the Portuguese.

    Leicester will be keen to leapfrog their rivals with a win, so this one is bound to get a little tasty at times.

    Mike Dean – all you need to know
    Matches in 2016/17: 5 (3 on TV)
    Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 1
    Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

    Michael Oliver

    Michael Oliver: Arsenal v Chelsea
    Assistants: G. Beswick and S. Burt
    Fourth official: C. Pawson

    Michael Oliver has been handed the glamour game of the week, PGMOL standing behind one of their golden boys who, to be perfectly honest, has taken his eye off of the prize in recent weeks.

    He has all of the tools to do the job but a loss of focus has hindered his progress. Believing in his own publicity has come back to bite him on the backside.

    It’s a show of solidarity to give him a game that has so much history both in footballing and officiating terms and if he passes the test, it could go some way to restoring faith.

    A real Premier League classic awaits – and Oliver can play the fullest part in ensuring the same.

    Michael Oliver – all you need to know
    Matches in 2016/17: 5 (2 on TV)
    Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 2
    Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

    Mike Jones 3

    Mike Jones: Burnley v Watford
    Assistants: M. Scholes and D. Cann
    Fourth official: K. Friend

    It’s pretty clear now that Mike Jones has upset the powers that be at PGMOL towers. There’s no other reasonable explanation as to why he is being handed fixtures that are, by definition, not ‘A grade’ Premier League fare.

    That’s not to detract from the excellent work of both the Clarets and the Hornets this season. A 30-year wait for a victory was ended against Manchester United last time out and therefore Watford will prove formidable opponents for Sean Dyche’s side.

    The industrial approach from the hosts won’t go unnoticed by Jones, but he will allow proceedings to flow as much as possible before reaching for his pocket.

    An excellent referee who is being grossly undervalued and underused at present.

    Mike Jones – all you need to know
    Matches in 2016/17: 3 (2 on TV)
    Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 3
    Football League appointments in 2016/17: 4