by Andrew Crawshaw
I posted after our Semi-final win that I believed Anthony Taylor was the strong favourite to be given the FA Cup Final this year and so it turned out. I claim no special skill to make that prediction – referees are only ever given one FA Cup Final and of those who hadn’t already had that honour, he was the referee who had been trusted by the PGMO to undertake the most matches in this season’s Premier League.
The Full list of officials is:-
- Referee – Anthony Taylor 38 years old from Cheshire
- Assistant Referee 1 – Gary Beswick from Durham
- Assistant Referee 2 – Marc Perry from Birmingham
- Fourth Official – Robert Madley from the West Riding of Yorkshire
- Reserve Assistant Referee – Adam Nunn from Wiltshire
Anthony Taylor is one of a trio of referees who have been in charge of 30 Premier League matches this season (the others are Robert Madley and Mike Dean), the only referee who has done more has been Michael Oliver. Mr Taylor has been in charge of four Chelsea games but, surprisingly, only one for Arsenal.
Mr Taylor was fourth Official at the 2013 Final and now gets his only chance to be the ‘main man’. The Chairman of the FA Referees Committee, David Elleray, said
“Anthony’s appointment is richly deserved.…. he has refereed both of the other FA major finals – the FA Vase and FA Trophy…..his wealth of knowledge of the game and his ability to manage players effectively means that he is one of the country’s most respected officials….. he will be working with a team who are at the height of their abilities and the whole team will be fully aware of the enormous responsibility taking charge of the FA Cup Final involves….. The Committee were unanimous in their selection of Anthony, Gary, Marc, Robert and Adam and have full confidence that they will contribute to what we all hope will be a marvellous match.”
Fine words and we all hope that the match officials will be diligent in their endeavours and even handed in their decisions but how likely is that?
I will look first at our analysis of the first 160 games of the season during which Mr Taylor was in charge for 14 games
|Wk||Match||Wrong Important Decisions||Comments|
|1||Chelsea v West Ham
(2 – 1)
|Costa should have had two yellow cards for dissent Min 11 & 18, Min 18 Chelsea should have had penalty, Min 66 Costa should have had red card, Min 72 Chelsea should have had penalty and Min 83 Kante should have had second yellow card.||We said he was the worst ref of the week although the result was probably not affected|
|2||United v Southampton
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(2 – 0)
|Wrong penalty and goal against Southampton (Shaw dive).||Result probably valid but score wasn’t|
|3||Stoke v Spurs
(0 – 4)
|Wanyama should have been sent off in Min 50 with the score at 0 – 1||With a man down would Spurs have managed to score another three goals or would Stoke have been able to score the equalising goal. Distinctly iffy result|
|4||Leicester v Burnley
(3 – 0)
|No wrong decisions||Good game|
|5||Sunderland v Palace
(2 – 3)
|Min 60 Sunderland goal shouldn’t have counted as Defoe was offside||Result valid|
|6||Hull v Chelsea
(0 – 2)
|Chelsea should have had two penalties Min 26 and Min 77||Result valid|
|7||Liverpool v United
(0 – 0)
|Hererra (United) should have had a second yellow card in Min57, Liverpool not awarded a penalty in Min 62, Ibramovic (United)should have had a red card in Min 90||With a not given penalty and United ending the game with 9 men this should have been a win for Liverpool. Poor refereeing which decided the outcome of the game|
|10||Everton v West Ham
(2 – 0)
|Min 12 west Ham should have had penalty, Lukaku (Everton) should have been dismissed for use of the elbow in the 14th minute and Gueye (Everton) also dismissed for a last man foul in the 31st minute||With a penalty in Min 12 and Playing against 9 men for the majority of the game it should have been a comfortable win for West Ham. Another poor refereeing performance that wrongly decised the outcome of the match|
|11||Burnley v Palace
(3 – 2)
|Min 60 Wickham (Palace) was in an offside position when he scored a ‘goal||Valid result as his error favoured the losing team|
|13||Liverpool v Sunderland
(2 – 0)
|No wrong decisions||good game|
|14||City v Chelsea
(1 – 3)
|Min 13 Fernandinho (City) should have had second yellow card, Min 30 no red card against Luiz (Chelsea) last man foul, Min 90+8 Fabregas should have had red card for slap on Fernandinho||The result was probably valid but it was a poor performance from the ref|
|15||Watford v Everton
(3 – 2)
|Everton should have been awarded a penalty in the 90th minute||Should have been a draw, wrong decision decided the outcome of the game|
|16||Stoke v Southampton
(0 – 0)
|Min 37 Long (Southampton) should have had a red card for elbow on Indi, Min 49 Southampton should have had penalty (Adam handball||We deemed both of these to be worth a goal so probably a Valid result|
I would argue that these 14 performances are far from outstanding and argue strongly that in three of them his decisions definitely determined the outcome of the game to be contrary to how the match should have finished.
In total in the 14 games he made 5 wrong calls regarding second yellow cards, 8 regarding straight red cards, 10 wrong penalties and 3 wrong goals – 26 in all. The all referee figures were 322 wrong decisions in 160 games so Mr Taylor was fractionally better than average.
I will now look at the one Arsenal game from this year – this was 17 April Middlesbrough v Arsenal (1 – 2) and Walter hasn’t yet done the full minute by minute review of the game – nevertheless here is his post match review.
Middlesbrough – Arsenal : 1-2 – Our first game with a back three, ‘Boro not getting yellow cards when they should and probably escaping a red card.
Looking back over the past two years We have :-
Last Season 2015-16
Matchweek 8 Arsenal v Man United (3 – 0)
|Ref Review : Arsenal – Man Utd, more of the same|
59% overall weighted score, bias against the two teams of 97/3 and 5 wrong Important Decisions.
- Min 4 Schweisnteiger held and threw Gabriel to the ground in the United penalty area following an Arsenal corner no penalty awarded,
- Min 45+2 and 45+3 Schweinsteiger should have had a second yellow card, and
- Min 73 and again in
- Min 90 Fellaini should have had second yellow cards for persistent fouling.
These decisions didn’t alter the result of the game bur Mr Taylor certainly did all he could to keep United in the game.
Matchweek 20 Arsenal v Newcastle (1 – 0)
|Ref Review : Arsenal – Newcastle|
If he was bad in the United game this one was a real stinker. 48% overall weighted score, bias against the two teams of 91/9. Surprisingly only one wrong Important decisions when in Min 53 Colback dived and won a free kick, it should have been a second yellow card.
Matchweek 32 – Arsenal v Watford (4 – 0)
|Ref Review : Arsenal – Watford, a game of two halves…|
This was the nearest he got to an acceptable performance. 66% overall weighted score bias against the two teams of 45/55 and one wrong Important Decision when in Min 17 he failed to give a penalty to Arsenal following a push on Wellbeck by Prodl. Again the result was correct
Matchweek 37 Man City v Arsenal (2 – 2)
|Ref Review: Man City – Arsenal: A tale of Jekyll and Hyde|
63% overall weighted score, bias against the two teams of 16/84 and 5 wrong Important decisions.
- Min 50 Mangala fouled Wilshere in the city penalty area – no penalty and no fewer than 5 not issued yellow cards for Fernandinho (four of which should have been second cards)
- Min 50 foul on Sanchez,
- Min 68 foul on Wilshere,
- Min 86 Sanchez again, Min 90+2 Giroud – this was his first yellow of the game and finally Min 80+3 on Giroud again. This time the non awarded penalty and Fernandinho remaining on the pitch did cost us 2 points.
Going further back to 2014-15 we only had him once
Week 15 Stoke v Arsenal 3 – 2
|Untold ref Review: Stoke – Arsenal, the Anthony Taylor horror show. “Shockingly bad”.|
59% Overall weighting, bias against the two teams of 0/100 and five wrong Important Decisions.
- In Min 14 Crouch should have had a yellow card, he should have had a second in Min 28 for a forearm to Mertesacker,
- Min 56 he should have had a third yellow card for another elbow which actually earned him a first booking,
- Min 60 Chambers was wrongly given a yellow card and in
- Min 77 he was wrongly given a second yellow card. Finally
Min 83 Adams executed a perfect wrestling sleeper hold on Alexis for which he only got a yellow card instead of a red. A disgraceful performance and one where Mr Taylor ensured that all of the points went to Stoke.
- There is absolutely nothing in these performances for us to have any confidence that Mr Taylor is capable of delivering an evenhanded and unbiased performance on Saturday afternoon
- Mr Taylor exhibits a particular blindness in seeing/dealing with sending off incidents whether straight red cards or two yellows. How the FA Referees Committee square that with an ‘ability to manage players’ is beyond me. I guess they just operate to different rules.
- Expect Chelsea to kick the crap out of our players without the referee doing anything at all to stop it. Our players will pick up cards for the most minor of offences.
- If any penalties are awarded they will almost certainly be against Arsenal. There have been 10 against us this season so far, I wouldn’t be at all surprised for another.
- The majority of the wrong decisions will be to Chelsea’s advantage, probably by a factor of four to one or higher
- Burnley v Arsenal. Is it really that easy to influence a referee? Seemingly yes.
- Burnley v Arsenal: the team and this season’s appearance numbers
- Burnley v Arsenal: the injuries, and an encouraging run of results
- The key tactical issue that Arsenal must observe in the game v Burnley
- We need to do well, they need to do worse. Could Arsenal really make the top six?