Ahead of Arsenal’s game against Stoke on Sunday, we look at the man charged with refereeing the game.

Referee: Jonathan Moss

Assistants: R West, A Halliday

Fourth official: Lee Probert

Jonathan Moss has taken charge of 17 games this season so far, issuing 58 yellows (average per 3.4 game) and six reds.

Hailing from West Yorkshire, Moss was born in Sunderland and is, of course, one of the overwhelming majority of officials to come from the north of England.

Moss was in charge of Arsenal’s opening Premier League game of the season against Crystal Palace which Arsenal won 2-1 and has not reffed them since. On that day he issued five yellows and one red for the second yellow for Jason Puncheon. He booked two Arsenal players on the opening day; Calum Chambers (who hasn’t booked Calum Chambers?) and Santi Cazorla (who books Santi Cazorla?).

He has, however, been in charge of three Stoke games, all of them away from home (Hull 1 v Stoke 1, Southampton 1 v Stoke 0, Manchester United 2 v Stoke 1). In those three games he issued 12 yellows (nine of those went to Stoke players) and no reds.

A Premier League referee for three and a half years, Moss started life as a player at Sunderland’s Academy before moving to Millwall but gave up football in 1999 having already qualified as a referee some 11 years earlier after first taking courses as part of his A-levels.

During the course of last season, Moss took charge of three Arsenal games (Arsenal 2 v Cardiff 0, Arsenal 2 v Crystal Palace 0, Hull 0 v Arsenal 3). His yellow was flashed eight times with only three of those cards going to Arsenal and they all went to the same player – Per Mertesacker.

In contrast, during 13/14 he was the man in the middle for three Stoke games (West Ham 0 v Stoke 1, Stoke 3 v Chelsea 2, Stoke 1 v Swansea 1) and booked 12 players, seven of them wearing  Stoke shirt.

Special note on Lee Probert, the fourth official. He was, as you might remember, the referee for the FA Cup Final against Hull in May. He was also the official who got Wenger sent to the stands at Old Trafford for kicking a water bottle and was the reason the Arsenal manager got an official apology from the referee’s governing body in 2009.

Arsene Wenger in the stands at Old Trafford
Watch as I summon an apology from the referee!

Cannot believe that was more than five years ago.

[stats via Soccerbase.com]