Saturday’s North London Derby will be remembered as another chapter in the unending story of incompetent refereeing by the PGMOL, this time by its most prominent representative, one Anthony Taylor. He together with his assistants, Gary Beswick and Adam Nunn, somehow conspired to get almost every big decision wrong.
It was obvious early-doors that Taylor was letting it be a physical game and to ignore fouls that contravened the laws of the game. According to the commentator on my TV broadcast, he was keeping his cards in his pockets. As I have previously observed, it is the equivalent of a cop refusing to enforce the laws while they are being violated in his presence.
As the game progressed Taylor and his assistants conspired to make a mockery of the standards of refereeing expected at the highest level of the game:
- 12 min: Missed Xhaka’s studs up challenge, scything down Kane from behind. Should have been yellow-carded.
- 74 min: Missed a blatant offside by Harry Kane and 3 other Spurs players as the free-kick was taken prior to Mustafi shoving Kane in the back and him deciding to award a penalty to Spurs as they equalized.
- 91 min: Awarded Arsenal a phantom penalty when Davidson Sanchez made little if any contact with Aubameyang as he fell to the ground. Lloris saved the penalty but Aubameyang is unable to take advantage of the rebound as Vertonghen is first on the ball having committed encroachment of the box before the pen was taken, an offense ignored by Taylor and his band of incompetents.
In their reporting most of mainstream media refuse to highlight the poor standard of refereeing and its impact on the match.
“Harry Kane’s penalty and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s penalty miss ensured the spoils were shared in the north London derby” (The Guardian)
“Aaron Ramsey shows what Gunners will be missing when he leaves” (The BBC)
Unlike the other two, at least The Telegraph mentioned the controversial decisions by the referee but decided to whitewash Taylor’s performance by singling out ONE mistake:
“….both managers had a list of other grievances they politely made about the performance of referee Anthony Taylor, who made a mistake on the Arsenal penalty.”
Nothing is more misleading and mendacious by The Telegraph. The entire game, as we have demonstrated, was a catalog of dodgy refereeing by Taylor. Even the red card he awarded versus Torreira smacked of inconsistency and bias. This is a referee prior who had not issued a red card in 58 previous PL games. In fact, as I will demonstrate below, so far this season Taylor has failed to issue a Yellow-Red. Arguably the verdict versus Torreira may have been correct but it was totally inconsistent with the serious offenses he let go in the game and his previous allergy to awarding red cards.
Taylor is the leading referee in the PGMOL
Unsurprisingly Anthony Taylor is the currently the top referee in the PGMOL based on the number of games he has been assigned. Statbunker updated their refereeing data prior to the West Ham-Newcastle game which is tabulated below.
|Premier League 18/19 Referees|
Taylor being top of the pile shows he is more trusted by Riley than all the usual suspects; Dean, Atkinson, Oliver, Marriner, Friend and Pawson (the 20-game club). Unlike Mike Dean and Oliver, Taylor is allergic to issuing red cards. As I demonstrated in a previous blog, the PGMOL is against penalizing dangerous and reckless tackles with the 2nd yellow card and Anthony Taylor is a perfect disciple with zero such cards so far this season. At least his peers have done slightly better with Yellow-Reds being 2% of all cards awarded. Damned with faint praise comes to mind.
Based on the numbers, Taylor has zero credibility when it comes to calling fouls and awarding yellow cards when merited. It is therefore no surprise that he would perform so disgracefully in the NLD. But don’t expect mainstream media and their cronies in social media to highlight a man with a history of poor refereeing getting the assignment to do such a big game.
Meanwhile at the end of the game both Emery and Pochettino argued that when VAR is implemented next year the refereeing will be better. According to Emery:
“VAR is coming to help the referees. It’s very difficult for the referees. To analyse with the TV is very easy. VAR I think will help them, and maybe today’s match would be different. But I understand it’s difficult for referees. But I like the manner of the referee today.”
I understand that Emery may have been speaking diplomatically to avoid being sanctioned by the PL for attacking the referees. Afterall two years ago Wenger described Taylor as a “f_cking cheat” and suffered a three game ban.
But I do not share Emery’s optimism about the VAR implementation especially in the hands of the PGMOL. It is clear from the trials that the Riley and company are seeking to implement a VAR that is less transparent than the FIFA-IFAB version. They have been experimenting to not have the pitchside monitor in violation of FIFA’s Law 4 which makes the on-field referee the final decision-maker. Furthermore how can the Anthony Taylors of this world be trusted with VAR when they are clearly intent on selectively implementing the laws of the game.
Finally Emery may have liked the “manner of the referee today” but Arsenal players being able to violate the rules without punishment as did Xhaka or getting bogus penalties is inconsistent with wanting fair and unbiased refereeing as we advocate at UFV.
Premier League fans in general, especially those clubs who are frequent victims of their bias and incompetence, are aware that whatever the PGMOL giveth, it will certainly taketh away.