Bobby Madley will take charge of Arsenal’s trip to Liverpool on Saturday.

When I went to see who had been given the game, I feared a ref like Mike Dean. But when I saw Madley’s name, my head just dropped as I let out a huge sigh. It’s not that he’s a pantomime villain like Dean, it’s just that he’s so unbelievably hapless. Or, I think he is. I think. Read on, you’ll see what I mean.

With 24 games, 98 yellows, and three reds this season, Madley has taken charge of two Arsenal games – the home win over Southampton in September and the FA Cup win at Preston.

In the Southampton game he issued seven yellows – five of which went to Saints players. For the Preston match, it was a similar split with three of the four yellows going to the opposition. So far, so good, right? He looks like a ref that protects Arsenal players. That’s always a good thing. Madley even gave us a ‘harsh’ penalty against Southampton after ignoring an poor foul by Nacho Monreal. In the match report from that game, I say Madley was awful, but don’t actually seem to have anything to show for it.

So what’s my problem?

Madley has also taken charge of two Liverpool games – their 1-1 at White Hart Lane and their 4-3 defeat at Bournemouth. Eight yellows were handed out at Tottenham, five of them going to Liverpool players. Just the four were shown at Dean Court, evenly split between the sides.

As I write this, I have to be honest – I’m not entirely sure why I don’t like Madley. Maybe it’s just his face.

He’s a referee that doesn’t seem to do much wrong – at least not with big calls – but my gut is just growling at the thought of him.

None of the stats seem to back up my feeling that he’s a bad ref and my memory is too full of other stuff to remember any significant cock-ups. I’ve checked through this site, certain I must have complained about him before but found nothing.

Seems I could be worrying over nothing…

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