Runners and Riders: Premier League referees | Week 36

Runners and Riders: Premier League referees | Week 36

    Author: Jason Pettigrove

    With just two more fixtures left after this round of fixtures, you’d have thought that PGMOL would bring out all of its big guns.

    No Mark Clattenburg but Jon Moss gets the final game of the weekend. Roger East gets a look in too. Hmmmmm…..

    A couple of Premier League humdingers await this weekend but have the powers that be got the appointments right in those particular fixtures?

    Let’s see who’s out and about on week 36 of the Premier League campaign …

    Anthony TaylorAnthony Taylor

    West Ham United v Tottenham Hotspur
    05/05 - 19.00

    Assistants: G. Beswick and M. Perry
    Fourth official: R. Madley

    A Friday night special for Anthony Taylor, what a way to start the weekend!

    West Ham players and supporters must be quaking in their boots at having to host a Tottenham side that are continuing to play some of the best football in the division.

    Anthony Taylor – all you need to know

    Matches in 2016/17: 28 (13 on TV)
    Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 13
    Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

    Indeed, cumulatively over the last two seasons, they’ve earned the most points of any team in the EPL and have a hugely impressive goals-to-games ratio as well as a solid defence.

    In short, they are Premier League champions in waiting, if not this year then within the next two or three.

    A disastrous opening campaign at the London Stadium will soon be at an end and the Hammers can pick over where it all went wrong. Dreams and aspirations of European football to open the ground soon turned to dust and it’s been downhill all the way ever since.

    Anthony Taylor will enjoy this one because although both teams will want to play football, there’s bound to be an edge to it because of the history of the fixture, and the atmosphere will be electric under the lights.

    Nothing less than a win will do for either side so incidents aplenty can be virtually guaranteed. Taylor will earn his weekly wage here for sure.

    Michael OliverMichael Oliver

    Manchester City v Crystal Palace
    06/05 - 12.30

    Assistants: J. Collin and E. Smart
    Fourth official: J. Moss

    The clichéd ‘irresistible force meets immovable object’ game, and one that Pep Guardiola is getting fed up with, but Sam Allardyce enjoys with a passion.

    Michael Oliver – all you need to know

    Matches in 2016/17: 29 (18 on TV)
    Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 8
    Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

    Three points is vital for differing reasons and arguably the pressure is all on the hosts in this one, particularly as City come into the game on the back of a hugely disappointing draw against Middlesbrough.

    Guardiola has been so incensed with Michael Oliver’s application of the laws of the game before now, that he has taken to lobbying everyone to get a referee’s summit organised. His ire came because of an under-par performance from the official in City’s game against Liverpool which the former would’ve won if it weren’t for errors on Oliver’s part.

    Oliver has also felt Allardyce’s wrath on occasion – notably at West Ham – when giving decisions that Big Sam has felt opposition players have ‘made a meal’ out of contact in and around the penalty area.

    With the lily-livered Jon Moss as fourth official, anything could happen here…

    Paul Tierney

    Paul Tierney

    AFC Bournemouth v Stoke City

    06/05 - 15.00

    Assistants: I. Hussin and D. Bryan
    Fourth official: L. Probert

    Into double figures for Paul Tierney and we at YATR send our warmest congratulations.

    It’s just the second time he has refereed Stoke City (the first came against Luton in the League Cup last season), so perennial whinger, Mark Hughes, can’t have any preconceived ideas about the official before the first whistle.

    Paul Tierney – all you need to know

    Matches in 2016/17: 10 (0 on TV)
    Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 23
    Football League appointments in 2016/17: 9

    That he’ll probably have something to say about Tierney’s performance over 90 minutes is almost a given.

    Two years ago, the normally mild-mannered Eddie Howe complained vociferously at Tierney’s handling of a match that Bournemouth played against Sheffield Wednesday.

    So much so that Tierney reported Howe to the FA and he was hit with a misconduct charge.

    Will that already be in the back of the official’s mind as he seeks to continue to build his reputation at the top level?

    Mike Jones 3

    Mike Jones

    Burnley v West Bromwich Albion
    06/05 - 15.00

    Assistants: A. Garratt and M. Scholes
    Fourth official: M. Dean

    A proper battle is in prospect at Turf Moor with both teams making up for a lack of technical ability, with respect, by adopting a more physical approach.

    Mike Jones – all you need to know

    Matches in 2016/17: 17 (4 on TV)
    Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 22
    Football League appointments in 2016/17: 3

    Burnley could end the weekend as high as ninth if other results elsewhere go their way. It would put them just two points behind West Brom and surely the players won’t need motivating to bring that even closer to reality.

    On a shoestring budget, to be able to finish in the top half would be a dream come true.

    Mike Jones has gone backward rather than shown an improvement this season, and that probably explains why most of his employment has been in the Football League rather than at the elite level.

    Can he give PGMOL food for thought here, or will he be relegated to the Championship again?

    Neil SwarbrickNeil Swarbrick

    Hull City v Sunderland
    06/05 - 15.00

    Assistants: C. Hatzidakis and M. Wilkes
    Fourth official: S. Attwell

    No doubting the importance of this game for Hull City, but Sunderland come to the KC Stadium as a quite dangerous opponent.

    Neil Swarbrick – all you need to know

    Matches in 2016/17: 21 (3 on TV)
    Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 20
    Football League appointments in 2016/17: 4

    With relegation now confirmed and with nothing to play for but pride, the Black Cats will be free from pressure. We’re likely to see a reasonable performance from David Moyes’ men as a result.

    The more desperate the home side become, the more rash and ill-timed the challenges. Expect a high-octane last 30 minutes and that’s when Neil Swarbrick will need to be at his most alert. Experienced enough to deal with this game with ease, a silly mistake here that ends up punishing the hosts will never be forgiven if it contributes to Hull’s eventual relegation.

    Full concentration required.

    Roger East

    Roger East

    Leicester City v Watford
    06/05 - 15.00

    Assistants: H. Lennard and M. McDonough
    Fourth official: S. Hooper

    Coming in from the cold is Roger East, for just his tenth appointment of the season – the same amount as relative novices at this level.

    If nothing else, that hints at the sort of game we might expect from an official who is out of touch with the game in so many respects.

    Roger East – all you need to know

    Matches in 2016/17: 10 (1 on TV)
    Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 24
    Football League appointments in 2016/17: 11

    It’ll be the third time (in those 10 games) that East has taken charge of a Watford game, and he’s already produced a red card for a Hornets player in one of his previous two assignments with the team in 2016/17.

    Suffering from a terrible lack of confidence, and not getting any younger, East needs to puff out his chest and prove he still has a performance of real quality left in him.

    This time last season, Leicester were being crowned champions. Now a win to get them in the top half of the table would be just the ticket.

    Referee Martin AtkinsonMartin Atkinson

    Swansea City v Everton
    06/05 - 17.30

    Assistants: S. Burt and S. Child
    Fourth official: K. Friend

    After a stunning result against Manchester United, Paul Clement’s Swansea side now need three massive points to help haul themselves out of the relegation zone.

    Martin Atkinson – all you need to know

    Matches in 2016/17: 25 (10 on TV)
    Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 10
    Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

    Everton, who were on the end of a hiding from Chelsea last time out, will be keen to put that straight behind them.

    Although he has had a busy week, refereeing the first leg of the Champions League game between Real and Atletico, Martin Atkinson shouldn’t find that jet lag is a problem, given the extra say to recover.

    With Mark Clattenburg leaving, the mantle of the country’s best ref could well fall at Atkinson’s door.

    Let’s see a performance from the official that’s worthy of such praise.

    Robert Madley

    Robert Madley

    Liverpool v Southampton
    07/05 - 13.30

    Assistants: A. Nunn and P. Kirkup
    Fourth official: A. Taylor

    One of the games that every purist looks forward too. These two teams were born to play the game the right way and an end-of-season treat is surely in store at Anfield. Despite spending significantly less that both Manchester clubs, the Reds are ahead of them in the race for the final automatic Champions League spot.

    Robert Madley – all you need to know

    Matches in 2016/17: 27 (11 on TV)
    Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 14
    Football League appointments in 2016/17: 0

    For all those that believe Jurgen Klopp needs to win the league to prove his credentials, remember that he asked for six years in the job and that everyone would see a steady progression along the way. A third-placed finish and strengthening in the summer would be a fine end to this particular campaign and stand them in good stead for the next.

    Whether Claude Puel is at Southampton next season remains to be seen. No word from either club or manager suggests that they may be looking elsewhere, though with limited resources, Puel has still managed to get his side to a cup final and finish somewhere in mid-table. There’s a number of clubs that would bite your hand off for that if it was offered at the start of the season.

    Robert Madley remains one of the most respected and employed officials at the top level throughout 2016/17.

    Just don’t go telling Klopp, who has already had two run-ins with him during the current campaign because of his decision making. An unwanted hat-trick could be because the official has seen to it that Liverpool kiss goodbye to third place with two to play.

    Andre Marriner

    Arsenal v Manchester United
    07/05 - 16.00

    Assistants: S. Beck and A. Ledger
    Fourth official: C. Pawson

    What a game we have in prospect at the Emirates Stadium, although it doesn’t carry quite the same cachet as when Messrs. Keane and Vieira ruled their respective roosts.

    Andre Marriner – all you need to know

    Matches in 2016/17: 26 (15 on TV)
    Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 22
    Football League appointments in 2016/17: 1

    Seeing these two teams at fifth and sixth respectively is criminal, they should, at the very least, be challenging the top two, if not surpassing them, but then it shows how far the mighty have fallen.

    Andre Marriner will need to be on his toes because there’s no love lost between the two managers. Don’t be surprised to see it go off on the sidelines as well as on the pitch at some point.

    Neither team can really afford to lose, though Arsene Wenger’s tenure would appear to be hanging by a thread now. Support is dwindling, especially since the meek surrendering of the north London derby.

    The jury is still out on Jose Mourinho at the Theatre of Dreams but at least he will be given time to build. In 12-18 months time is when he should be judged. Wenger doesn’t have that.

    For all sorts of reasons, this could be an absolute classic.

    craig-pawsonCraig Pawson

    Chelsea v Middlesbrough
    08/05 - 20.00

    Assistants: A. Holmes and S. Long
    Fourth official: L. Mason

    Top plays next to bottom. Highest scorers play the lowest scorers. It’s only going to end one way, right?

    Not necessarily, as Man City found out to their cost. Home advantage could be crucial for Chelsea but don’t rule out Boro doing to them what Crystal Palace did a few weeks ago.

    Craig Pawson – all you need to know

    Matches in 2016/17: 23 (13 on TV)
    Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 17
    Football League appointments in 2016/17: 2

    The visitors will be aware that if they lose this game, they will be all but down. If Hull get a point and Boro lose then they’re definitely down.

    Against that backdrop, there’s only one way to play. Come out fighting and with your head held high.
    Craig Pawson gets another opportunity to shadow the league leaders, and it was he who was in charge when Palace staged their smash and grab at the Bridge.

    A bad omen for the Blues perhaps? Certainly Antonio Conte was none too happy with a clear penalty shout that the official missed in that game. Time to make amends with an accomplished 90 minutes that leaves no room for doubt.

    Jonathan MossJonathan Moss

    Southampton v Arsenal
    10/05 - 20.00

    Assistants: E. Smart and S. Bennet
    Fourth official: M. Jones

    Normally you save the best till last but PGMOL clearly didn’t get the memo.

    Jonathan Moss – all you need to know

    Matches in 2016/17: 26 (10 on TV)
    Fourth official appointments in 2016/17: 15
    Football League appointments in 2016/17: 2

    Another must win game for the north Londoners, in front of a TV audience, and who should be running the gauntlet on the night – Jon Moss.

    The eyes of the football world on the game, the only one from the English top flight on the night, and PGMOL roll out arguably their worst exponent. Are they deliberately trying to shoot themselves in the foot?

    When showcasing your wares to all and sundry, you want to put on your best face. If Moss comes through this unscathed, it’ll be a miracle.

    Pressure is very definitely on here – he simply cannot afford to put a foot wrong.