This was not a good weekend for the Premier League referees, also known as the
Not-So-Select Group. First, not even a minute had been played when Anthony Knockaert straightened his leg with a stamping motion and went studs-first into Luka Milivojević’s groin, turning a 50-50 challenge into 100-0. Somehow Craig Pawson only produced a yellow.
Knockaert then scored the winning goal.
Over at St. James’ Park, England number 1 Jordan Pickford was apparently playing rugby when he denied Salomón Rondón an open goal. Lee Mason didn’t even book him! At least he gave a penalty.
Pickford then saved the subsequent penalty.
Later in that match, 5 Newcastle players were in offside positions when Rondón received the ball before Ayoze Pérez scored the winning goal.
As Spurs went Spursy again, Moussa Sissoko lost his head, swiping and raking at Nathan Redmond’s feet multiple times, then shoved him and headbutted him when Redmond expressed his objections. Kevin Friend incredibly booked both of them.
And then there’s the Raheem Sterling offside. Watford had been keeping Manchester City off the scoresheet until then.
Let’s go through this line by line:
- interfering with an opponent by challenging an opponent for the ball – YES
- clearly attempting to play a ball which is close to him when this action impacts on an opponent – YES
- making an obvious action which clearly impacts on the ability of an opponent to play the ball – YES
It doesn’t get any clearer than this.
And then on Sunday, James Tarkowski took a piggy back ride on Alisson like a toddler as a Burnley corner floated into the goal. Neither Andre Marriner nor his assistants saw this or saw this as a foul.
But there is no need for any form of replay whatsoever to assist the referees because it’ll “change the game.”