Everton v Arsenal 23 August 2014 – The Match Officials

Everton v Arsenal 23 August 2014 – The Match Officials

By Andrew Crawshaw


  • Referee – Kevin Friend
  • Assistants – A Garratt & M McDonough
  • Fourth Official – M Oliver

Kevin Friend was born in 1971.  His home county FA is Leicester and Rutland.  He started refereeing as a 14 year old in local football and Midlands leagues before he started to progress through the Football League pyramid.  He was elected to the select group of referees for the 2009/10 season and to date has been in charge of 94 matches issuing 15 red and 336 yellow cards.

He was in charge of the 2012 Community Shield game between Manchester City and Chelsea and was Fourth Official in last year’s Cup Final.  Arsenal have had him in six games in his career, winning four and drawing two.

Mr Garratt partnered Mr Friend four times last year

Mr McDonough partnered Mr Friend once last year although not with Mr Garratt.

Last season the two assistants were paired together on 26 October under Mr Taylor for Villa v Everton (0-2), on 22 March under Mr Foy for Hull v W Brom (2-0) so there really shouldn’t be any excuses for any failures of communication

I always look out for Mr Friend to be appointed to an Arsenal game as he has been, in my humble opinion, by far the best referee we have seen over the past two years (mind you we don’t see him very often).

In 2013/14 Mr Friend was in charge of 18 Premier League games and we had to wait until 15th April before he was appointed to an Arsenal game – our home victory against West Ham (2-1).  He did the Everton home games against Spurs (0-0) on 3 November and Norwich (2-0) on 11 Jan.

In 2012/13, Mr Friend did two Arsenal games for which there are full performance reviews

Match Review: Kevin Friend – Arsenal Vs Southampton (6 – 1) [15/09/2012]

Match Review: Kevin Friend – Arsenal Vs Liverpool (2 – 2) [30/01/2013]

In both he was excellent, calls were made on merit and there was no bias to speak of

He was also reviewed in one game involving Everton

Match Review: Kevin Friend – Everton Vs Tottenham Hotspur (2 – 1) [09/12/2012]

This was the only game of the three games involving either Arsenal or Everton where he made a wrong Important Decision (second yellow card, red card, penalty or goal) when he failed to send off Dembele who got carried away protesting over a decision and put his hand on Mr Friend and seemed to push him – aggressive physical contact with the referee should always result in the player being sent off.

If there was a general complaint against Mr Friend in 2012/13 it was that he didn’t always give cards when they were deserved.

In 2011/12 he wasn’t appointed to any Arsenal games, I’m posting a link to Walter’s season end review of his overall performance which was quite good.  Everton did well in terms of favourable decisions.  The only downsides in his overall performance being a high bias in terms of home teams and only one correct red card out of three decisions

REFEREE REVIEW 2012: Kevin Friend

In Summary

  • A referee with high overall preformance numbers and one who seems to have no particular favourite teams
  • A referee who can have a significant bias in favour of the Home Team
  • He can be too lenient when he should issue a yellow or red card
  • He has a history of setting the tone of his performance by seeing and correctly acting on the first fouls by both teams
  • Neither Arsenal nor Everton should be unduly concerned by his appointment on Saturday


The books
The complete Arsenal Anniversary series is to be found on the Arsenal History Society site.



10 Replies to “Everton v Arsenal 23 August 2014 – The Match Officials”

  1. Good news! Here’s to a fair match settled by the players instead of the officials!

  2. Thanks Andrew for the preview. I hope Mr Kevin Friend is a football friend indeed. May the better team win tomorrow.


  3. Great.

    But why are these type of refs not at the top of the ref tree?
    They should be promoted for being good at their job, yet they get no games, and another thing, what is an “important” game today?

    Some refs get these “important” games over and over again, leaving out good refs like Kevin Friend. All games are very important to all the clubs in the PL, these decisions decide futures.

  4. In my humble and completely ignorant opinion Mr.Friends was the best referee we saw in N5 last season.

    What was interesting was that before the game I was able to refer the west ham fan and some fellow Arsenal fans that I watched the game with to the Untold Preview before the game, as we took our seats, and therefore make the accurate prediction that the referee’s performance would not be the main topic of conversation afterwards for either set of fans.

  5. Thanks for the analysis, does not sound like a bad ref at all……but always have this wary feeling on officials when we play in the north west.

  6. I was interested to see photo’s of our Ryo Miyaichi in training. It reminded me of his last game.

    FA CUP
    9 March 2013 • 12:45 • Goodison Park, Liverpool
    Referee: K. Friend • Attendance: 35068

    Mr Friend and the media ignored a red card tackle on Ryo by Mirallas. So, an Arsenal player gets taken crocked by a reckless 2 footed out of control tackle. SO WHAT! (Oop in ‘t Norf West):

    Go to 69:00 (match play) or 26:20 on the video file

  7. Thanks for reminding me Rantetta. I don’t need to watch the vid I can remember the foul clearly. Mirallas knew exactly what he was doing.

    This young players career has been setback since that hack. One to add to the list alongside the bruised bones, broken legs, etc. you won’t find a comparable list at any other club.

    “He can be too lenient when he should issue a yellow or red card”
    We hope that’s what it is

  8. Yes Fins.

    I just can’t help wondering if our Friend has a liking for Everton. On the day the match was played Everton were decidedly off-key. There was naturally – a “cup feel” about the way both sides played, and by “cup feel”, I mean “violence”.

    I can’t bring myself to watch it all over again but I remember thinking that Friend was possibly more sympathetic to Everton’s ‘plight’.

    Still, we must be optimistic, and pray to whomever – for a match played without shitkicking from the Everton players.

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