Third Yellow – Mark Halsey’s Big Mouth


Mark Halsey opened his mouth, but rather than be for the common good, it is for his own interests. His choice of words was poor and the media pounced, as they do. Howard Webb spoke out about video replay, surprise surprise. Last, we look at triple jeopardy and that it STILL exists despite the new rules.

Mark Halsey Cries Foul at the PGMOL

The media has gone a little crazy over the Mark Halsey comments. The media has spun it a bit to make it sound like the PGMOL is really favouring some teams but that’s not entirely the case and definitely not the Aguero situation with Andre Marriner.

The context is that Aguero threw a rather vicious elbow. Had it been seen in the match it was a red card. If Marriner did not give a red in the match, but claims he noticed it, then aguero cannot be punished. If Marriner missed it completely then Aguero could be suspended in retrospect. It’s the third area where Marriner was maybe “told” to say he missed it. Aguero deserves at least a three match ban. At least. In this instance, a referee saying he didn’t see it or the PGMOL telling him to say he didn’t see it, it’s not an issue for me. The correct punishment is being dealt.

That said, it is troubling that the PGMOL management is getting involved at all. It shows that there is a gap in the rules. It shows that there is a variance in the interpretation in the laws of the game. It also shows that there is still a massive gap between the FA and the PGMOL.

Mark Halsey’s comment that concerns me is his recurring complaint that officials were told to favour certain clubs. It stands to reason because how else could Manchester United have such a great penalty record at home? How could the Red Devils win every Mark Halsey match? Mark Halsey often got the big matches at Old Trafford, but are you really telling me that United could not lose at the theatre of dreams?

When I started writing this blog I covered statistical anomalies in refereeing records. Why was Arsenal so much worse with Mike Dean or Martin Atkinson and yet so impervious with Neil Swarbrick, Kevin Friend and then perfect (until last season) with Jon Moss? How could chelsea have such an increase in winning percentage when Arsenal and QPR have such lower win rates with Mike Dean?

It all stinks to high heaven.

Howard Webb is Old School

Howard Webb recently penned an article in opposition to the rapidly expanding use of video replay. The flow of the game is important but in a world of instant analysis and replay it could work very quickly.
Stick a referee or two in a booth. One is watching the main action and flags every incident of contention. The other ref has 20 seconds to review to confirm the call or call the downstairs referee for an increased stoppage for further review.

What would happen is actually more playing on. More flow. Because on an offside the tie goes to the attacker because it can always be called back.

Or after every goal the play can be wound back 20 seconds to investigate for an offside. That one I really like.

Triple Jeopardy STILL Exists

I watched some MLS this year. Actually, I’ve watch a lot. I’m a little ashamed, but it has also given me a chance to evaluate the new rules changes. Sadly, some of the rules are not being applied in the manner that reflects the revisions to the Laws of Football.

In a previous article I covered some of the rules changes, one of which is the red card, suspension and penalty for a take down in the box. Wenger loves the change because of the Lehmann sending off in the 2006 Champions League Final. However, the rule was still called the old way this week in the MLS.

I watched the Impact and Orland City match this week. Evan Bush, the Montreal keeper, took down some Orlando player and was red carded. I cannot remember who the Orlando player is, and I do not care, it wasn’t Cyle Larin so I don’t care. Anyway, the Orlando player had nudged the ball past Bush, and Bush’s hand caught his ankle. Definite penalty. Under the new rules it should have been a yellow. Even the commentators were expecting it. Silviu Petrescu brandished a red, which in my opinion was the wrong move.


While I’m happy there is the PGMOL to increase the standards of officiating, there is no debating that it interferes more than it should. When the fuck will Mike Riley be removed? Howard Webb stepped down after less than a year. Peter Walton has gone on to do a tremendous job with the PRO. Keith Hackett has a tirade nearly weekly. All of those officials have moved on, but Mike Riley is still kicking it. Let’s hope he kicks the bucket soon.



About Author

Morgan Rubes

Morgan is our Arsenal contributor, the former Chairman of Arsenal Canada, and the lead writer of "The Third Yellow", the only referee blog on the internet. We look at Morgan as the villain of the show: listen and you will see why.

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