Runners and Riders: Premier League officials in Week 10

Runners and Riders: Premier League officials in Week 10

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    Author: Jason Pettigrove

    Runners and riders2YATR’s Glenn Turner was just one of many completely agog at the appointments this week in the Premier League.

    PGMOL again don’t appear to be using their common sense when handing down the matches to the officials.

    “Neil Swarbrick performs superbly in the live TV game Liverpool v WBA and is rewarded with fourth official,” Turner noted.

    “Jon Moss performs well below par consistently and gets a Premier League middle – unbelievable.”

    Certainly could do with an explanation.

    Let’s see who has been selected for the EPL appointments in week ten….

    Martin Atkinson: Sunderland v Arsenal
    Assistants: S. Child and S. Burt
    Fourth official: C. Pawson

    Martin AtkinsonJoint top plays bottom and there can’t be too long left for David Moyes in the Stadium of Light hot seat.

    A last-second loss to West Ham was the cruellest of blows but he has the opportunity to blow the cobwebs away with a home win.

    Those who suggest that it’s never going to happen only need to refer to when Dick Advocaat ruled the wearside roost and went to north London and saved the Black Cats for another season.

    Arsene Wenger’s side are showing much promise this season and finally are looking like the real deal after many promising seasons.

    Moyes was charge with improper conduct towards referee Martin Atkinson back in 2010 and he’s not Arsene Wenger’s bosom buddy either, so PGMOL’s appointment of him here adds a nice little sideline and some extra spice to what is sure to be a memorable game for one reason or another.

    Martin Atkinson – all you need to know

    Matches in 2016/17: 9 (5 on TV)
    Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 3
    Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

    Mark Clattenburg: Manchester United v Burnley
    Assistants: J. Collin and R. West
    Fourth official: K. Friend

    Mark ClattenburgMark Clattenburg and Old Trafford. Hand in glove.

    Burnley will come to frustrate and annoy Jose Mourinho’s side and after their shocking loss at Stamford Bridge last weekend, the atmosphere at the Theatre of Dreams may not be the best.

    England’s best official needs to manage that first and foremost, then manage the expectations of both managers and teams.
    There’s a history between Jose and Clattenburg but surely not even the Special One is idiotic enough to call out PGMOL again this week if decisions go against him?

    Sean Dyche will only expect fairness. Win, lose or draw, he’ll hammer home the point to his staff to play to the very edge of what the rules will allow and look to Clattenburg to apply common sense at all times.

    That’s his middle name so if there’s any controversy here, it’s unlikely to come from the man in black. Or yellow. Or whatever shade he’s wearing this week.

    Mark Clattenburg – all you need to know

    Matches in 2016/17: 6 (4 on TV)
    Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 1
    Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

    Stuart Attwell: Middlesbrough v AFC Bournemouth
    Assistants: A. Nunn and D. Eaton
    Fourth official: M. Oliver

    Stuart AttwellBoth teams pulled off surprising but well deserved draws against their north London opponents last week, draws that will give them confidence ahead of this one.

    We’re almost certain to see a much more attacking game given than each side likes to express themselves in the same way.

    Aitor Karanka has a kindred spirit in opposite number Eddie Howe and although points mean prizes, if there’s an improvement from their staff, each manager will be happy. Likewise, the fans pay to be entertained and this is a game where they’ll get their money’s worth.

    If there’s one issue that Karanka needs to address it’s Boro’s lack of goals. Penetration in the right areas doesn’t seem to be a problem but finishing off attacks definitely is.

    Bournemouth will at least afford them chances to add to their meagre tally.

    Stuart Attwell takes charge of only his third appointment of the season which is unlikely to fill either manager with too much confidence. If PGMOL believe he is worthy of top billing then for goodness sake give the man matches.

    Peacemeal every now and then benefits no one, least of all Attwell himself, who isn’t known for being the most confident official at times. Eggs on their faces potentially here….

    Stuart Attwell – all you need to know

    Matches in 2016/17: 3 (0 on TV)
    Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 6
    Football League appointments in 2016/17: 8

    Robert Madley: Tottenham Hotpsur v Leicester City    

    Assistants: M. Perry and C. Hatzidakis
    Fourth official: G. Scott

    Robert MadleyIt was the Foxes who ultimately deserved last season’s English Premier League title but there won’t be too many arguments against those who suggested that it was Tottenham who actually played the best football.

    The Lilywhites have carried on where they left off whilst their visitors have tailed off – in their domestic league at any rate. Unbeaten and unbowed in Europe, Leicester need one more win to be mathematically certain to reach the knock out stages of the Champions League at their first attempt.Clearly this isn’t going to be all plain sailing for the hosts, but at home, Spurs are fearsome going forward and solid in defence.

    In short, they’re already bearing the hallmarks again of a side that is more than capable of challenging for the title at the tail end of the campaign.

    If they’re to win here however, Riyad Mahrez has to be marked out of the game from the first whistle.

    Allow the mercurial midfielder to get into the game and he will, as he has done many times before, cause havoc.

    Robert Madley officiated in exactly this fixture at the start of the year and Leicester fans won’t forgive his awarding of an 89th minute penalty to the hosts, converted by Harry Kane, to give Spurs a share of the spoils.

    It’s a brave one from PGMOL but it does give Madley a chance to prove he has the mettle to move on, and if he wants to continue moving up the ladder, these are precisely the appointments he needs to get his teeth into.

    Robert Madley – all you need to know

    Matches in 2016/17: 7 (2 on TV)
    Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 5
    Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

    Jonathan Moss: Watford v Hull City
    Assistants: A. Halliday and H. Lennard
    Fourth official: N. Swarbrick

    Jonathan MossThe most controversial appointment of the weekend? Almost certainly.

    Jon Moss gets another crack at proving he has the right credentials at the highest level.

    With respect to Watford and Hull, if the official can’t do it in this type of fixture then PGMOL really have to look long and hard at themselves from this point onwards, as to whether they continue Moss’ employment within the Select Group.

    The visitors have sunk like a stone after a promising start to the campaign whereas their hosts have flattered to deceive in almost every game they’ve played.

    Mike Phelan’s side certainly need to reverse the trend and will be looking for Moss and Co. to be right at the top of their game for the entire 90 minutes.

    Jonathan Moss – all you need to know

    Matches in 2016/17: 7(2 on TV)
    Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 4
    Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

    Lee Mason: West Bromwich Albion v Manchester City
    Assistants: S. Ledger and I. Hussin
    Fourth official: M. Dean

    Lee MasonAfter looking likely to streak away with the title, Pep Guardiola’s City side have been pegged back and are now locked in a three-way tie at the top with Liverpool and Arsenal. Chelsea and Spurs sit just a point further back.

    The Hawthorns probably isn’t the best next fixture for the Citizens either because Tony Pulis will try every trick in the book against a team he knows are far superior in the football department.

    Lee Mason will surely have to watch for the more industrial challenges that are likely to come from the Baggies and it certainly won’t be appreciated by the Catalan if his players aren’t protected.

    Mike Dean has a job and a half keeping things cool on the touchline too.

    A VERY interesting side note to this one is the selection of all of the officials. How many of you noticed that Mason was fourth official for Dean in the week when City played against Manchester United in the EFL Cup? Who was one of the two assistants….Ian Hussin.

    Doubt that three officials presiding over the same team for two games in a row has ever happened before in Select Group history. Care to explain PGMOL?

    Lee Mason – all you need to know

    Matches in 2016/17: 5 (1on TV)
    Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 5
    Football League appointments in 2016/17: 5

    Andre Marriner: Crystal Palace v Liverpool                                   

    Assistants: S. Beck and A. Garratt
    Fourth official: P. Tierney

    andre-marrinerAll of the focus pre-match will be on Christian Benteke and whether he can derail his old side’s terrific start to the season.

    The Belgian has his critics but given the right service, he is a beast of a centre-forward. Unfortunately, his style was one that didn’t fit into the manner of play which manager Jurgen Klopp desired – which is the German’s prerogative.

    You can’t really argue with him given how well the Reds have done to this point.

    Although Benteke will be the danger man, Klopp is likely to have his players concentrate on stifling the creativity of Palace’s wingers, such as Andros Townsend. Stop the crosses, you stop the goals.

    Palace meanwhile, face a team that are quick on the counter and decisive when necessary. Play them at their own game and there’s only one winner. However, Alan Pardew won’t set up defensively because it’s not in his nature to do so.

    It’s laudable from the Eagles to come out fighting but they should really be taking a leaf out of Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United. OK, it wasn’t pretty, but it was effective.

    Andre Marriner has been excellent all season and continues to impress. His grasp of the laws is second to none and he has the nous to know when to let things go or get involved.

    Players love him and that is the best sign an official can have that he’s doing something right.

    Unlikely to be any complaints from either manager about this appointment.

    Andre Marriner – all you need to know

    Matches in 2016/17: 7(5 on TV)
    Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 6
    Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

    Anthony Taylor: Everton v West Ham United 

    Assistants: G. Beswick and S. Bennett
    Fourth official: J. Moss

    Anthony TaylorWest Ham got out of jail at the London Stadium last weekend with their winner against Sunderland coming in the last 10 seconds.

    Although the Hammers were dominant for long periods, they’re not clicking in anything like the same way as they were last season. Against Everton, they will be ripped apart.

    The Toffees are the east Londoners bogey team, and at Goodison Park the visitors have a wretched record. The last thing that Slaven Bilic’s side would need after a morale-boosting victory – however it came – is to be up against Ronald Koeman’s swashbucklers.

    Although they found Burnley a tough nut to crack, as did neighbours Liverpool, against a team like West Ham, that will come to play football, the hosts will showcase their full repertoire and the match could be over before half time.

    There’s no doubt that when they’re on their game, the Hammers can be a match for anyone but they just can’t get going. It’s far too early to suggest that Bilic could be on his way but clearly he needs to provide something extra at this point. Perhaps he can take a leaf out of Koeman’s book.

    This is an ideal game for Anthony Taylor to referee too. He’ll appreciate the flow of the game, which he will contribute too – no need to be over officious here.

    If he’s as good as he’s been all season, there’ll be little for PGMOL to worry about. The only issue is whether both teams do come to play or not. If the visitors take a stance such as Jose Mourinho’s United did at Liverpool, which forced Taylor into overuse of the whistle, then this will be killed as a spectacle too.

    John Moss as a fourth official here is an interesting choice also because he’s been on the receiving end of West Ham’s ire in the not too distant past.

    Anthony Taylor – all you need to know

    Matches in 2016/17: 9 (4 on TV)
    Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 3
    Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

     

    Michael Oliver: Stoke City v Swansea City 

    Assistants: M. McDonough and E. Smart
    Fourth official: P. Tierney

    Michael OliverAmazing what a win can do for the confidence and for league table positioning.

    Stoke are now up to the heady heights of 16th after being marooned in the bottom two for what seemed like an age.

    Their visitors have now replaced them there and Bob Bradley brings his Swansea side to the Midlands still getting to grips with the team, the club and English football in general.

    If it’s an easy introduction he’s looking for then the Britannia Stadium is the wrong place to look for it as Mark Hughes’ troops will be as unforgiving as always.

    Michael Oliver doesn’t mind if the battle lines are drawn but does need to start administering punishment a little faster than he has been just lately.

    It’s almost as if his leniency is beginning to author his outlook and teams have begun to pick up on the same.

    Juicy challenges are all well and good but the expectation is that the official will grab the game by the scruff of the neck when necessary and lay the law down. Oliver hasn’t done that for a while.

    Michael Oliver – all you need to know 

    Matches in 2016/17: 9 (4 on TV)
    Fourth official appointments in 2016/17:3
    Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

    Mike Jones: Southampton v Chelsea          

    Assistants: A. Holmes and D. Bryan

    Fourth official: G. Scott

    Mike JonesThe Blues are beginning to find their rhythm under Antonio Conte now and are one of the best teams to watch in the division.

    Diego Costa is thriving again in a side that has exorcised the demons of Jose Mourinho and reinvented itself as a contender once more.

    Southampton will be a positive opponent for the west Londoners, the Saints always a team who like to play the right way, getting the ball down and their wide men funnelling the channels.

    The width could cause problems for Conte’s own attacking intent given that his wing-backs may have to sit a little narrower than they have been used to at this point.

    A fiercely contested midfield battle is where this will be won or lost, and so Mike Jones will need to get a grip early – especially where Costa is concerned.

    He certainly won’t want reminding that this was the venue where he booked Sergio Aguero for simulation when in fact, the Argentinian had legitimate claims for a stonewall penalty.

    Only six appointments from 10 so far this season is poor on PGMOL’s part because Jones in the main is a solid and reliable official who gets the job done.

    Mike Jones – all you need to know 

    Matches in 2016/17: 6 (3 on TV)
    Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 5
    Football League appointments in 2016/17: 7