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5th November 2014

Arsenal eventually got the better of rock bottom Burnley but if they hadn't I'm sure Wenger would have been whinging again. With some justification as Boyd cleared handled in the penalty area.

Another missed handball occurred for luckless Swansea City at Everton where Alcatraz got out of jail when he made save that Tim Howard would have been proud of. Gary Monks' meeting with Ref's chief Mike Riley clearly hasn't helped him with decisions!!

Surely no complaints with the decision to send off Jonjo Shelvey. An idiotic booking for kicking the ball away, then having received that caution he foolishly body checks an opponent. No chance of a successful appeal this time. Well they couldn't anyway for two yellows but you know what I mean.

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In the Newcastle v Liverpool game Sissoko was very lucky not be shown red for a very poor challenge.

Onto Sunday and the Manchester derby. Smalling copied Shelvey in the stupidity stakes, daft first caution then a mindless lunge for a second. City held on as United launched a late barrage but the margin of victory could have been much greater had City have been awarded at least one penalty.

They actually had three shouts, the first two very good ones. I don't think Referee Michael Oliver had the best of views. The first saw Fellaini catch Aguero and perhaps his theatrical fall went against him, but it should have been a spot kick.

The second appeal would have also seen another red card had it been given as Rojo went in with his wrong leg on Toure, again the Ref wasn't ideally positioned and may have thought that the players had just come together. The next appeal in the second half wasn't given either as Aguero appeared to be already going down when contact was made with his leg.

For the second time this week Aston Villa featured in a live Sky game. Away from the hype, both of these matches proved how mediocre at times games can be. To add to the lack of quality we also saw a complete lack of discipline that was not helped by some pretty weak refereeing.

Neil Swarbrick never appeared to have control of this bitchy argumentative affair, in fact at times I thought Weiman was actually in charge. The Ref took far too much dissent and Villas total lack of discipline left them losing a game that they looked like winning because of Spurs inadequacy. Benteke's messy sending off changed that giving Spurs a lifeline which they gratefully accepted.

Tuesday and listened to my former colleague and old adversary Graham Poll. Don't forget I know him personally and the perception of him being a smug, self opinionated prick aren't too far of the mark.

That being said he does know refereeing and his views on the lack of strength of Refs and their poor positioning was spot on.

Monday night football and we needed a strong problem free performance from one of the senior statesmen of the reffing fraternity. Well that went down the tube within thirty seconds!!

Phil Dowd was as close as physically possible to the incident but the contact happened as he looked through the players, it should have been a penalty and a red card to boot. The hapless award winning own goal scorer Vergini caught Bolaisi and should have walked.

There was another penalty appeal turned down to infuriate Neil Warnock. If it was a foul it was outside the penalty area and to me Zaha looked like he was on his way down before any contact was made by the defenders attempt to stop his progress.

Another silly sending off stopped any chance of a Palace comeback, cheap unnecessary cautions and again a stupid challenge when Zedinak was on a yellow. I wasn't totally convinced that the incident couldn't have been handled without the need of a red card, just like Dowdy's late dismissal of a Chelsea player recently at Old Trafford.

Poll made the comment that 51 and 52 year olds still reffing on the Premier league is a sign that sufficient talent isn't coming through. Once again I can't disagree.

Experience is vital, physical fitness may still be apparent but the thinking and reactions do slow down as you get older. The current problems were evident to the blindest man but a lack of forward thinking and planning has led to the present situation and the lack of numbers of a high quality with the necessary experience to handle top flight games.

Have a good week.

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