When it was announced that Jon Moss would referee the FA Cup final, the world bounced as fans everywhere banged their heads on their desks.
Why? Because he’s a fool.
The announcement prompted Mark Halsey to call the decision a ‘joke‘, as he said “Greg Dyke has got to take a look at the appointment process for the FA Cup referee because, frankly, it’s become a joke.
“It’s quite clear Mark Clattenburg should be in charge. He’s consistently our outstanding referee who time and time again proves himself on the biggest stage.
“Look at the job he did in the Champions League match between PSG and Barcelona recently, he won major plaudits for his performance – and rightly so.
“Simply, his face doesn’t fit and the powers-that-be in this country are sending out a message to the rest of the world that they don’t rate him.
“Seriously, Jon Moss at Wembley? I can’t be having that. He’s made too many high profile mistakes this season already.
“Even last weekend he missed two blatant penalties, one for Palace and one for West Brom.”
If you know anything about the referee’s union, you know they don’t criticise each other heavily for no reason.
Moss has taken charge of 36 games this season, issuing 137 yellows and six reds.
The last Arsenal game he took charge off was the 3-0 win against Stoke, you know, the one in which Marko Arnautovic shoved Mathieu Debuchy, an action that resulted in a dislocated shoulder for the Frenchman and another three-month spell on the sidelines. Moss did nothing.
He also did nothing when Peter Crouch and his flailing arms caught Nacho Monreal in that game although he did manage to book three Stoke players. Eventually.
Hailing from West Yorkshire (it’s seemingly illegal to be a referee if you’re from the south) Moss has refereed just the two Arsenal games this season – the opening day win over Palace the other – and has issued just two yellow cards to Arsenal players (Chambers, Cazorla).
He has also refereed two Villa games (their 0-0 at West Ham and 2-1 win at home to West Brom). In those two games he issued nine yellows, five of them going to Villa.
It’s hard to predict what we’ll get from Moss at Wembley other than incompetence. Beyond that, it’s anyone’s guess.