Andre Marriner Sends off Wrong Guy?

UPDATE: Premier League has transferred the red card to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (most likely at Marriner’s request, but that’s unconfirmed). AOC will now serve a one-match ban.

So, by now you’ve heard that the only thing worth talking about in Chelsea’s 6-0 thrashing of Arsenal at Stamford Bridge was the fact that Andre Marriner sent off Kieran Gibbs by mistake.

The basics are that when Arsenal were already 2-0 down with less than 20 minutes gone, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain decided to play goalkeeper and saved a shot on the line with his hand.

Only he’s not a goalkeeper.

Marriner awarded the penalty, then did a lot of talking to his assistants and sent off … Kieran Gibbs?

It seems to be a clear-cut case of mistaken identity, and it led to a lot of inappropriate jokes on Twitter and media pearl clutching from the media.

(A note to Twitter: The specsavers joke? It’s been done. Can we maybe retire that one, gramps?)

BBC claims Marriner said it was his mistake, and if so I have to accept that. But I must say:

Andre Marriner draws terrible assistant referees.

Look. AR Perry was right on the line when AOC did his best Szczesny impression. Why did he not see the guy’s number?

Marriner did the right thing. He took his time and consulted with Perry and Anthony Taylor, the fourth official, because obviously his angle wasn’t great. And he got bad information.

This happened to Marriner a few weeks ago, as well, when he was originally going to give Tottenham a corner, and instead ended up erroneously sending off Danny Rose on the advice of Scott Ledger. (Ledger was at the other end of the pitch and can’t be blamed this time.)

Referees are a team, and without video replay, center referees have to rely on their team to help them. They can’t see everything. Unfortunately for him, Marriner’s teams this year have made him look like a much worse referee than he actually is.

 

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