by Andrew Crawshaw
Here, courtesy of premierleague.com are the full details of this weekend’s fixtures. nb kickoff times 15:00 unless noted otherwise:-
Saturday 2 February
12:30 Tottenham Hotspur v Newcastle
Referee: Andre Marriner
Assistants: Simon Long, Sian Massey-Ellis
Fourth official: Lee Probert
Brighton v Watford
Referee: Simon Hooper
Assistants: Daniel Cook, Darren Eaton
Fourth official: Roger East
Burnley v Southampton
Referee: Anthony Taylor
Assistants: Gary Beswick, Adam Nunn
Fourth official: Martin Atkinson
Chelsea v Huddersfield
Referee: Paul Tierney
Assistants: Adrian Holmes, Andy Garratt
Fourth official: James Linington
Crystal Palace v Fulham
Referee: Michael Oliver
Assistants: Stuart Burt, Simon Bennett
Fourth official: Gavin Ward
Everton v Wolves
Referee: Lee Mason
Assistants: Harry Lennard, Richard West
Fourth official: Mike Dean
17:30 Cardiff v AFC Bournemouth
Referee: Jonathan Moss
Assistants: Marc Perry, Andy Halliday
Fourth official: Graham Scott
Sunday 3 February
14:05 Leicester City v Man Utd
Referee: Mike Dean
Assistants: Ian Hussin, Darren Cann
Fourth official: David Coote
Referee: Martin Atkinson
Assistants: Stephen Child, Lee Betts
Fourth official: Craig Pawson
Monday 4 February
Referee: Kevin Friend
Assistants: Matthew Wilkes, Simon Beck
Fourth official: Graham Scott
So the first club to get a referee for 5 matches this year is Crystal Palace with the appointment of Michael Oliver for their home game against Fulham. 20% of their matches controlled by one person – incredible and, anywhere else in the world unbelievable. Of course being England it must all be above board mustn’t it.
The midweek games threw up some anomalies:-
Crystal Palace should probably consider themselves unlucky. Andre Marriner only called for 8 fouls against them all game yet gave them 3 yellow cards and a double yellow. A card for every two fouls. Southampton got a far more normal 2 yellow cards from 11 fouls.
In the Liverpool game referee Martin Atkinson only judged one of their 13 fouls to be worthy of a card, Leicester on the other hand had three cards from their 6 fouls
Wolves were also called for 4 yellow cards from 8 fouls, West Ham one from 10, David Coote was in charge of this match
Everton got 4 yellows and a red from their 10 fouls against Huddersfield according to Stuart Attwell. Huddersfield just a single yellow from 13 fouls.
In terms of highest number of cards per foul Brighton set the record against Fulham with 3 cards from 5 fouls, Lee Probert was in charge of this one.
Mike Dean again showed why he shouldn’t be allowed in charge of an Arsenal game with a typically one-eyed performance against Cardiff, inventing fouls against Arsenal and denying penalties for fouls on our players.
We have another of our old favourites in Martin Atkinson. It will be the third time with him in charge this season for both us and Man City. Neither team has yet recorded a win, we have a draw and a loss and City have two draws.
Chelsea (3) v Arsenal (2) 18 August – No bookings for Chelsea from 12 fouls and two bookings for Arsenal from 9 fouls.
Crystal Palace (2) v Arsenal (2) 28 October – No bookings for Palace from 8 fouls and one booking and two penalties from 16 fouls called on Arsenal.
Wolves (1) v Man City (1) 25 August – one booking for each team, 13 fouls by Wolves and 8 by City.
Liverpool (0) v Man City (0) 7 October – one booking for Liverpool right at the end of the game from 10 fouls, City 3 bookings from the same number of fouls but in minutes 21, 56 and 64.
Normally I am no fan of Martin Atkinson but he can normally deliver the results that his masters seek so in this case I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see a draw giving Liverpool the opportunity to stretch their lead at the top of the table when they play on Monday evening.
Of course for that to happen we will have to play better than against Cardiff, something we should be quite capable of doing.
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