Mike Jones has been handed the game against Leicester at the Emirates on Tuesday night.
A referee I don’t have too many bad memories of, which can only be a good thing, throws up some interesting results when you Google his name, namely being responsible for what many called the ‘worst refereeing decision of the season’ as he booked Sergio Aguero back in November for diving when it was a clear penalty.
Those people have clearly never seen many Arsenal games if they think that was the worst decision of the season.
It doesn’t take long to come across some ‘Wenger slams Jones’ articles either with the Arsenal boss furious after Jones gave a penalty to Stoke back in March when the ball struck Laurent Koscielny’s arm, prompting the manager to remark
[The penalty] was a gift. The referee couldn’t give it quick enough. How many situations have we seen like that? They give penalties…
I don’t know anymore when it’s a penalty with handball or not. Nobody knows anyway. It’s just a decision of the referee in the second of the decision.
Jones was dropped at the start of last year for ruling out Chiek Tiote’s goal against Manchester City, not the first time he was axed for wrongly ruling out a goal after he did the same when Leroy Fer netted against Cardiff.
But it hasn’t been all bad from Jones as he handed Arsenal a penalty back in 2012 against West Brom, a decision that was widely regarded at the time as being incorrect and saw Cazorla accused of diving.
This season, the man from Chester (still searching for a southern ref) has taken charge of 21 games issuing 73 yellows and six reds, the joint third highest number of the season so far.
Refereeing just one Arsenal game in 14/15 – the 3-0 win at Villa Park – Jones has been the man in the middle for three Leicester games, none of which the Foxes have won (2-2 at home to Everton on the opening day, a 2-0 defeat at Swansea and the 2-2 at Anfield on New Year’s Day).
In his one Arsenal game he issued four yellows, three of which went to Arsenal players (Chambers, Ramsey, Wilshere) while he issued a total of six yellows during his three Leicester games (three of which went to Leicester players).
Jones, like most refs in this division, is capable of getting big decisions wrong quite frequently and while there would certainly be no history of his seeming to be biased against Arsenal he is, sadly, another who is just not that good at his job.