Ref Watch

Ref Watch – Roger East. West Ham vs Everton

Author: . Published: at 6:11pm

Written by Sam Royden

After yet another disappointing game last weekend against a team fighting for Premier League survival. We welcomed Everton to the London Stadium, of whom have not won away in the Premier League since January when they beat Crystal Palace. As ExWHUEmployee confirmed earlier in the week, West Ham have made four changes, with Adrian starting for the first time in goal since November and Jonathan Calleri, who is making his first start of the season. The referee appointed for this fixture was Roger East. This was only Roger East’s 9th Premier League game this season. East has been officiating throughout the three EFL this season with a tally of 17 games.

In a first half, where there was only one shot on target between both teams, Roger East’s performance was encouraging for a referee who has had limited exposure to the Premier League this season. The game as a whole was lacking in quality for large parts with both teams giving the ball away far too easily. Håvard Nordtveit got caught in position by Ross Barkley just inside Everton’s half and the West Ham man pulled the young England international down and was lucky to escape without a card within 90 seconds.

Adrian was starting his first game since November and avoided embarrassment after Fernandes’ throw-in bounced awkwardly and the spaniard tried to clear the ball with Romelu Lukaku looking to pounce on a mistake. Luckily for Adrian, his clearance ricocheted of Lukaku and Adrian was there to collect the loose ball.

There were two yellow cards in the first half, both of which were for tripping an opponent. The first caution went to Everton’s Idrissa Gueye after Jonathan Calleri won the ball at the half way line and the Everton midfielder tripped the Argentine. East made no hesitation to award the free-kick and to issued a yellow card. The second yellow card was for Edimilson Fernandes after the young Swiss brought Leighton Baines down after catching the left back with an out swung leg.

There were a couple of fouls by Tom Davis and Morgan Schneiderlin which could have been publishable of a yellow card. Tom Davis is still only 18 years old and looks a very good player but the young midfielder’s challenge on Winston Reid was rash & late, and caught the kiwi on the top of his foot. I’ve seen these fouls given yellow cards before and East had a word with Davis and moved on. Schneiderlin was guilty of bringing down a West Ham player in the same way that both Gueye and Edimilson Fernandes were punished for. As a referee, you need to ensure that you’re remaining consistent with your decision making throughout the game.

Lee Probert, who has only refereed once in the Premier League this season, was initially the fourth official for this fixture however he was forced to replace Sian Massey-Ellis as assistant referee due to an injury that she picked up in the first half. Referee and assistant referees train with each other on a daily basis throughout the week so I didn’t expect the forced change to cause any disruption within the team of officials.

I thought Roger East had a good second half and felt he controlled the game very well. There were three cautions in the second half with Williams, Barry and Fonte getting a black mark against their names. Ashley Williams was cautioned after the Welshman was man handling Cheikhou Kouyaté and eventually brought him down 20 yards outside Everton’s penalty area. This was certainly a yellow card and East was in a great position to make the decision. Gareth Barry was a half time substitute for Everton and it didn’t take long for the most booked player in Premier League history to get his tenth yellow card of the season. Andre Ayew’s quick feet put the ball past Barry before the ex-England international body checked the tricky Ghanian. Jose Fonte was the second West Ham player to be cautioned after the Portuguese international caught young player Dominic Calvert-Lewin late.

There were appeals by West Ham players for handball against Ashley Williams. The West Ham corner came in and was won by a West Ham player. The ball ricocheted off Ashley William’s arm while in the air and whilst he was challenging for the ball. For handball, it needs to be deliberate and on this occasion, William’s had no idea so it was the correct decision by Roger East.

There was an incident late in the second half when James Collins was walking a tight rope by holding Ashley William’s shirt during an Everton corner. Referees have been keen to crack down on off the ball incidents in the penalty area this season and in my opinion I felt Collins was very lucky. If East did see it Collins pulling Williams shirt and gave a penalty, there would be no argument on his decision.

Overall, I thought that Roger East had a good game and taking into consideration that he’s only officiated eight games before this fixture, I was unsure whether he would be up to the task but he definitely was. The game wasn’t as fast paced as other games this season but it was important that he managed, controlled and kept up with the game.

I thought West Ham played well and with the injuries and suspensions, it was good to gain a point against a good Everton side. I felt we had very good chances and got ourselves into good positions but felt that we lacked quality in the final third. West Ham currently sit seven points above the relegation zone with four games to go. Our next game is away to struggling Stoke next Saturday.

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  • Peter
    23rd April 2017 at 5:49 am

    Excellent report what are your views on assistant refs not being allowed to wear baseball cap or visa when sun in there eyes. My son is a football league assistant, and tells me how difficult it is to run with hand over eyes and flag in other, yet expected to keep up with play, and then make the right decision