Tag Andre Marriner

Tag Andre Marriner

City v United: the referee

April 25, 2012 Tags: , , Reads 2 comments

Few, bar BSkyB one suspects, hope that the officials play a key role in next Monday’s crunch derby at Eastlands when the 2011/12 Premier League title will surely be decided in favour of either Manchester City or Manchester United. So it is with some suspicion, and no little surprise, that Andre Marriner has been appointed by the Premier League to referee the biggest game of the domestic season to date. The Birmingham-born official is, after all, no stranger to controversy involving Sir Alex Ferguson’s team , as well as others.

Indeed, many supporters will be surprised that Premier League has not entrusted the most highly anticipated game of the season to Howard Webb, given that the 2010 World Cup final official is widely considered a safest pair of hands by the game’s governing bodies. The widespread, yet erroneous, belief that Webb has previously favoured United surely did for the former Policeman’s chances.

Yet, even away from the Yorkshireman, Marriner was not the obvious choice. After all Mike Dean, Martin Atkinson, Mark Halsey and even Phil Dowd have officiated more Premier League games this season than Marriner.

But Marriner it is, and while the Brummie may now be one of the country’s top officials, his introduction to refereeing came quite by chance. While attending a grass root match as spectator in 1992 Marriner was asked to officiate when the appointed referee failed to show. He was paid £10 for the privilege, so the story goes, and has rarely looked back since.

Marriner rose through the ranks of the football pyramid, achieving Football League referee status in 2000, and being appointed to the select group officiating in the Premier League by 2005 – his first match pitted Wigan Athletic against Fulham at the DW Stadium. By 2009 Marriner was appointed to panel of international referees, taking charge of the under-21 fixture between Norway and Romania in May of that year.

Yet, like many officials Marriner has fallen foul of Ferguson’s ire. The legendary United manager laid into the official after his team’s 2-0 defeat at Anfield in 2009, when Marrier failed to dismiss Jamie Carragher after the Liverpool captain brought down Michael Owen. Carragher was Liverpool’s last defender and few observers believed the foul did anything bar deny a goal scoring opportunity.

Worse for United, Marriner also sent off Nemanja Vidic for two cautionable offences, with Ferguson accusing Marriner of bowing to a hostile Anfield crowd.

“It is very difficult atmosphere here,” mooted Ferguson in the game’s wake.

“There was a wounded animal aspect to the game and it was something we did not overcome. I think it affected our players and it affected the referee.

“There were so many controversial things that happened we have to feel aggrieved at some of them. The Vidic booking was the worst decision. It is a foul, fine. But the player has played on, he won the second ball and knocked it for a throw in and got booked.

“The most controversial decision was Carragher bringing down Michael Owen. He was clear through. The laws of the game were altered to prevent professional fouls of that nature and if Carragher goes off, he is their best player and their captain. It would have been a different game. They would have been under pressure. Michael was clean through.”

More controversial still was Marriner’s pivotal involvement in the Luis Suarez – Patrice Evra affair at Anfield last October, when the official took no action despite the Frenchman pointing the finger at his Uruguayan abuser. Indeed, far from taking charge, Marriner simply told Evra to “calm down” after the defender accused Suarez of calling him a “negro.”

Further evidence of Marriner’s inconsistency came a year later in the Brummie’s career, when the official took no action against Steven Gerrard’s two fingered salute. The teflon-coated Liverpool captain not only unfurled the obscene gesture in the referee’s direction, but uttered a series of expletives. Gerard had been booked for scything down a Wigan player in the 2010 Anfield encounter at the DW, but received no punishment for the verbals.

This season Marriner was dropped by the Premier League after allowing a controversial Blackburn Rovers goal to stand in the November 2011 fixture with Wigan. Latics’ manager Roberto Martinez was incensed after Blackburn winger Morten Gamst Pederson dribbled a corner into the box and set up Junior Hoilet to score, even though no player bar the Norwegian had actually touched the ball before the goalscoring strike.

Martinez received an official apology from referees’ chief Mike Riley, and Marriner was dropped for one round of Premier League matches.

“Obviously, it is a very difficult action to explain. It is not something that you are going to see on a football pitch too often and I saw it as very careless at that moment. It is probably one of the few aspects where refereeing in a game is black and white, with no grey areas. You have to deal with it with a little bit more care,” said a dignified Martinez afterwards.

Yet the incident, alongside others, paints a picture of an official who has made mistakes like any other, but can also be impressionable and weak; an official who is not always in control. It is with hope, rather than expectation, that fans are not discussing the official after next Monday’s game.

Monday’s Officials
Referee: A Marriner (Birmingham)
Assistants: A Watts, M McDonough
Fourth Official: M Jones
Match Delegate: T Dolan
PGMO: J Worrall

Andre Marriner’s Career

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Referees 2011/12

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Andre Marriner j’accuse

October 27, 2009 Tags: , Reads 12 comments

Andre Marriner, the Birmingham-born official who drew Sir Alex Ferguson’s ire during United’s defeat at Liverpool Sunday, stands accused of gross-incompetence. While Ferguson will receive an FA ban for questioning a referee’s fitness, Marriner will not face any punishment despite a series of inexplicable decisions during the Anfield match.

Mr. Marriner, Rant accuses you of being guilty of the following charges:

  • Count 1: failing to send off Jamie Carragher
  • Count 2: incorrectly showing Nemanja Vidic red
  • Count 3: failing to award a penalty to Michael Carrick
  • Count 4: ignoring the spot kick claims of Ryan Giggs
  • Count 5: being soft on Lucas.

Count 1.

The Evidence: 87th minute, Michael Owen, set free with a clear run on goal, was deliberately hacked down by ‘Dipper Jamie Carragher. With no covering defenders, Owen would surely have been able to shoot undeterred.

The Verdict: Guilty. The rules say that denying a clear goalscoring opportunity is a crime punishable by red, so why didn’t Carragher see crimson? Former referee Graham poll says Owen didn’t have the ball under control but a striker of Owen’s class and pace doesn’t need to ball at his feet for control of the situation.

The consequences: The game finished in the 97th minute – that’s 10 crucial minutes United should have gained a man advantage.

Count 2.

The Evidence: Vidic saw red for a second bookable offence deep into injury time, hauling down an opposition attacker on the half way line. His first yellow, shown earlier, gained for tackling Fernando Torres, twice.

The verdict: Guilty. There is little argument about the Serbian’s second yellow, with only 60-yards distance between the player and a straight red for a professional foul. But Vidic only saw yellow first time out because he didn’t hear the whistle. That he took the ball cleanly only mitigates the crime.

The consequences: Vidic will miss United’s match with Blackburn Rovers in a week’s time.

Count 3.

The Evidence: Carragher tackled Michael Carrick inside the area, got a toe to the ball but clattered the player in the same movement.

The verdict: Guilty. It has long been a tenet of football’s laws that if a player takes the man with the ball a foul is given; unless it’s at Anfield’s Kop end. Commentators and – even – ex-referees have said the defender made contact with the ball. Factually this is correct but it makes little difference to the decision Marriner should have made.

The consequences: A successful United penalty with the game all-square could have completely changed the game.

Count 4.

The Evidence: Ryan Giggs, running into the area, received a shove in the back causing the Welsh winger to hit the deck.

The verdict: 50/50. It was a foul but a soft penalty, if given. Not a black and white decision for Marriner, who can be given the benefit of the doubt.

The consequences: A penalty might have been tough on Liverpool but who cares?

Count 5.

The evidence: Lucas Leiva commited nine fouls during the match; three in succession early in the first half.

The verdict: Under the totting up procedure Lucas should have seen at least one yellow card in the first period. That’s to say nothing of the merits individual fouls, which could have brought added yellow cards. More than that, Lucas’s treatment is the flag-bearer for Marriner’s general attitude on the day.

The consequences: Liverpool’s aggressive stance affected United’s play on a day when the visiting side failed to include a combative midfielder. Marriner’s lenient decision-making played into the home side’s hands.