Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Friday January 21 2011
The referee in the Wigan Athletic, Fulham Premier League game last weekend, Anthony Taylor, gave one of the poorest performances by any referee at any level that I have witnessed.
I have waited until now to write this, I wanted the disappointment of the result to fade so as not to cloud my opinion, I didn`t want to rant about his poor decisions costing us the game, because they didn`t, but some of the strangest, most inconsistent refereeing decisions certainly got the blood boiling.
Now I don`t know if Taylor was equally bad for both sides perhaps a Fulham fan or a neutral observer could comment on this, but with stats of a Latics foul count of 22 compared to Fulham`s 7, suggests that either Martinez`s men were tackling like raging tigers or Taylor was leaning towards the opponents.
The first outrageous decision came on about 10 minutes when Latics left back Maynor Figueroa brought the ball out of defence, he was challenged by a somewhat robust Clint Dempsey.
The Fulham striker was late in the tackle, caught the Latics left back on his ankle with studs raised, he also caught Figueroa flush on the jaw with his fore arm. Figueroa received treatment for approximately 3 minutes.
To the amazement of all in the DW Stadium, Taylor awarded the free kick to Fulham, when I say all I include the Fulham players who had actually taken up defensive positions thinking the kick was going the way of the home side. I`d love that one to be explained.
Decisions throughout the game were seemingly going this way, though strangely Dempsey, as is common with most modern strikers, hit the ground at every opportunity (diving), but I can`t remember the US international winning one free-kick, neither was he spoken to about two blatant dives in the area when no one was even close to him.
Fulham had the ball in the net mid-way through the second half but the assistant referee rightly flagged that the scorer, Dempsey, had deliberately controlled the ball with his arm before firing home. Liked using his arm on Saturday did Clint.
The Fulham players surrounded the assistant protesting, Danny Murphy actually ran a distance close on 50 yards to remonstrate about the decision, which was a well spotted deliberate handball and correctly ruled out.
I thought that deliberate handball was a bookable offence? If Dempsey didn`t go in the book then surely Murphy should have for his aggressive demeanour towards the referee`s assistant. But he didn`t.
Franco Di Santo did though, 90 minutes, Di Santo carrying the ball forward gets tackled by a Fulham defender, the ball goes out of play for a throw-in but Fulham are awarded a free-kick, another strange one, Di Santo throws his arm up, Taylor rushes over with yellow card aloft, so it was ok for Murphy to run 50 yards to scream at an official for making a correct decision that stopped a player cheating to score a goal, but not ok for a Latics player to throw his arm up in the air when a decision went against him?
There were many instances throughout the game that had the crowd scratching their heads, I would love to see the assessors report because I am sure it would make interesting reading, I would also love Mr Taylor to explain some of his baffling decisions, contact me here Anthony if you would be so kind as to provide the reasons behind the whistling and the cards.
A game with no malice, no bad tackles or challenges (Dempseys was borderline) yet a foul count of 22 to 7, just doesn`t add up.
Fearing I was paranoid, I decided to run a poll on the site, Anthony Taylor, Worst Refereeing Display, Ever?, the result was an overwhelming yes: Yes - 73%, Sour Grapes - 16%, Not as bad as Stuart Atwell - 11%, all other options 0%.
The worst refereeing display that I have seen without doubt, if I was rating Anthony Taylor I would give him 1 out of 10, he had an absolute shocker.
Is Taylor the Premier Leagues worst referee? On this performance without a doubt.
If you were there and agree or disagree please comment below.
Not surprisingly Taylor is `dropped` from the Premier League this weekend and he has been allocated the Championship game between Portsmouth and Leeds
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Date:Friday January 21 2011
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