Lee Mason will take charge of Arsenal’s match against Stoke at the Emirates on Saturday afternoon.
The absolute liability of a referee will take charge of his first Arsenal or Stoke game this season and it seems like the Stokies aren’t too fond of him either.
This season, he has issued a total of 33 yellows and 1 red in 8 games and he has refereed the fewest games of all the top refs by a distance – he is the only one not to reach double figures so far.
Last season, the Lancashire man took charge of three Arsenal games – the 2-1 win at Palace, the 2-1 win against Everton at home and the 0-0 v Southampton at the Emirates. He issued a total of eight yellows across those three games (five to Arsenal players, three to opposition) and one red (to Gareth Barry for two yellows in a game, if I remember correctly, should have seen him pick up at least four).
With Stoke last season, Mason refereed four games (2-1 home win v Bournemouth, 1-0 win at Southampton, 2-1 defeat at West Brom, 2-1 defeat at home to Southampton). He issued eight yellows in those four games (four to Stoke players) and two reds (one to Stoke).
Mason often allows the opposition to kick Arsenal yet has no problem whipping out his cards for any old Arsenal foul. Look at the cards above – Arsenal players got more yellows from Mason in fewer games than Stoke last season. STOKE!
In one game that we looked at in detail from last season in which Mason was in charge, Southampton totalled between 19 and 25 fouls (depending on where you get your stats) and received one yellow. Arsenal had two players booked for fewer than half that number of fouls.
In a way, I’m kinda glad my surgery was postponed last weekend and I’ll be under general anaesthetic when we face Stoke this. That way, I won’t have to watch Mason allow Stoke to kill Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez.
Break the news gently to me when I come round, won’t you?