2019/20 Matchweek 7 – a refereeing update

by Andrew Crawshaw

Firstly a fond adieu to Lee Probert who has announced that he is retiring as a football referee after some 20 years and with 181 PL matches to his name.  He has been struggling with a long term back injury and has decided that this is the right time to do something else.  He is planning to work with Par4 Sports offering training camps in Spain for amateurs and professionals from every sport.  He cites the FA Cup Final between Arsenal and Hull City as a career high light.

So far this season here are the referees used in the PL and the number of matches each has undertaken

Ref All Games Arsenal Games
Martin Atkinson 6 Week 1(Newcastle 0 – Ars 1), Week 4 (Ars 2 – Spurs 2)
Mike Dean 6 Week 2 (Ars 2 – Burnley 1)
Anthony Taylor 6 Week 3 (Liverpool 3 – Ars 1, Week 5 (Watford 2 – Ars 2)
Michael Oliver 5
Kevin Friend 4
Chris Kavannagh 4
Andre Marriner 4
Jonathan Moss 4 Week 6 (Ars 3 – Aston Villa 2)
Paul Tierney 4
Stuart Attwell 3
Craig Pawson 3
Graham Scott 3
David Coote 2
Lee Mason 2
Peter Bankes 1
Simon Hooper 1
Oliver Langford 1
Andy Madley 1

We can already see that two referees have done repeat appearances in Arsenal matches – same old story.

With 60 matches played and 18 referees in the list the average number of games per referee should be 3.  This means that the bottom 6 referees in the list aren’t being allocated anywhere near enough matches and Atkinson, Dean, Taylor and Oliver are already being overworked.

Here is a listing of all of this weekend’s matches and the various officials allocated

Sheffield United v Liverpool Saturday 12:30

Ref – Anthony Taylor

Assistants – Gary Beswick, Adam Nunn  Fourth Official – Oliver Langford

VAR – David Coote  Assistant VAR Andy Halliday

Aston Villa v Burnley  Saturday 15:00

Ref – Lee Mason

Assistants – Matthew Wilkes, Mark Scholes  Fourth Official – John Busby

VAR – Martin Atkinson  Assistant VAR Lee Betts

Bournemouth v West Ham  Saturday 15:00

Ref – Stuart Attwell

Assistants – Constantine Hatzidakis, Nicholas Hopton  Fourth Official Neil Hair

VAR – Tim Robinson  Assistant VAR Scott Ledger

Chelsea v Brighton and Hove Albion  Saturday 15:00

Ref – Chris Kavanagh

Assistants – Simon Long, Sian Massey-Ellis  Fourth Official – Robert Jones

VAR – Tim Robinson  Assistant VAR Scott Ledger

Crystal Palace v Norwich  Saturday 15:00

Ref – Jonathan Moss

Assistants – Marc Perry, Simon Bennett  Fourth Official – Tony Harrington

VAR – Peter Bankes  Assistant VAR – Peter Kirkup

Spurs v Southampton  Saturday 15:00

Ref – Graham Scott

Assistants – Neil Davies, Derek Eaton  Fourth Official – Darren Bond

VAR – Darren England  Assistant VAR Ian Hussin

Wolves v Watford  Saturday 15:00

Ref – Paul Tierney

Assistants – harry Lennard, Eddie Smart  Fourth Official – Matthew Donohue

VAR – Kevin Friend  Assistant VAR – Richard West

Everton v Man City  Saturday 17:30

Ref – Michael Oliver

Assistants – Stuart Burt, Dan Robathan  Fourth Official Craig Pawson

VAR – Andre Marriner  Assistant VAR Andy Halliday

Leicester v Newcastle  Sunday 29 September  16:30

Ref – Craig Pawson

Assistants – Lee Betts, Ian Hussin  Fourth Official – David Coote

VAR Simon Hooper  Assistant VAR Derek Eaton

Manchester United v Arsenal Monday 20:00

Ref – Kevin Friend

Assistants – Scott Ledger, Richard West  Fourth Official – Chris Kavannagh

VAR – Mike Dean  Assistant VAR – Stephen Child

I haven’t yet prepared a table showing who has done what for all the matches this season as I have had far more important personal matters to deal with.  I’m hoping to be able to do it and get up to date within the next couple of weeks.  I am now going to matches again, although more to watch the Women than the Men.

Looking ahead to Monday, I was pleased to see that we haven’t been allocated any of the worst referees but I am always worried when Mike Dean is anywhere near an Arsenal game and to have him on VAR duties doesn’t bode well.  We will certainly have to ensure that all of our challenges are ‘squeaky clean’ and give him no opportunity to influence matters.


6 Replies to “2019/20 Matchweek 7 – a refereeing update”

  1. Andrew,

    It seems just preposterous that after only 6 matches Arsenal have seen 2 officials twice. I’d be interested to know if this holds true for other top six sides. That’s probably a big ask but it would be helpful to know if that scenario plays out across the board or only applied to AFC. Of course the other factor is the bias for or against by a referee. As AFC supporters know, Atkinson and Taylor are not our biggest boosters, lol.

  2. Hmmm. Mike Dean at the VAR in the Man U vs Arsenal match on Monday night in the PL could turnout to be a potential danger to Arsenal in the match. Therefore, the Gunners should do whatever they can during the match to negate whatever danger Mike Dean could pose to them in the game using the VAR device to manipulate proceedings during the match to disadvantage the to advantage Man U in the match.

    Well, I was of the thinking that referee Kevin Friend is a friendly to all teams referee refereeing in the PL. But I later realise that he has switched from being the friendly referee who us used to see refereeing fairly in the PL matches. But has since joined the group of the anti-Arsenal referees who are refereeing in the PL probably on the orders of the Pgmol kingpin Mike Riley to do so.

    In this seemingly trap looking to be put in place to slow down Arsenal progression in the PL table on Monday night after they’ve beaten Man U as they are not only odds on by the book makers to win the match beating Man U in their Old Trafford backyard after failing to so for more than a decade. But apart of Arsenal being odds on to win the match by the book makers, the Gunners themselves are seriously looking to be more than ready and set to take on the Red Devils and whitewash them with a resounding defeat. But in their quest to beat the Red Devils, the Gunners should take into cognizance there could be the 12th player on the field of play on the side of the Red Devils in referee Kevin Friend who is installed in the match by the Pgmol to seemingly cause havoc to Arsenal in the match. But notwithstanding, the Gunners should deal with the threats and dangers that referee Kevin Friend could pose to them in the game and cancel them out by playing a superior winning game in the match beating the Red Devils which both Mike Dean at the VAR and Kevin Friend the centre referee will not only respect but honour.

  3. Just as I started reading this article , I was thinking that this would be an early and ideal game for Kevin Friend to show to his superiors his acquiescence to follow the rule book according to Riley .
    So no suprises there !
    But I think that we are more than capable of taking advantage of Man Utd’s present poor form , and help them on their way, and their fans’wish to get their manager the sack .
    But it will be quite strange to see AW sitting in their dugout when we next meet at the Emirates !
    And Kevin Friend to refree that one too. And what a conundrum it would be for him and his bosses !

  4. @Brickfields you know you shouldn’t do that. As a doctor frightening your fellow untolders with ‘quite strange to see AW sitting in their dugout when we next meet at the Emirates !’ is not good for our blood pressure.

    Hope we win on Monday night and go on to great results for the rest of the season.

  5. Sunday 6 October
    ARS 14:00 BOU

    Referee: Martin Atkinson. Assistants: Adam Nunn, Constantine Hatzidakis. Fourth official: Peter Bankes. VAR: Anthony Taylor.

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