Andre Marriner took charge of Arsenal v Everton knowing that he would have a job on his hands to top the worst performance of the weekend.
Roger East, who was the referee for Manchester United v Sunderland, had already sent off Wes Brown for a foul committed by John O’Shea despite the former United man’s protestations. It was a carbon copy of Marriner’s Oxlade-Chamberlain-Gibbs fiasco when Arsenal played Chelsea last season.
To be fair, Marriner didn’t have much to do throughout the game as Everton arrived at the Emirates and were decidedly less kicky than we’ve come to expect.
There were a couple of penalty calls in Arsenal’s favour that were more optimistic than anything else, the strongest being when Phil Jagielka clearly used his hand to stop an Olivier Giroud effort on goal. The fact that he spent the next few minutes with a very sore hand removed any doubt as to where it had hit him.
In the first half Mesut Ozil was wrongly flagged offside when through on goal, a fate that struck Romelu Lukaku late in the second as well but for the most part the referee dealt with what he needed to in an appropriate manner.
Issuing two yellow cards, both to Arsenal players, there can be no argument about either or the fact that no Everton player went into the book.
One note of inconsistency was the handball he gave against Santi Cazorla in the first half when he ignored the same from Ross Barkely later on, but given the refereeing displays we have seen this season, if that’s the worst of my complaints every week, I’ll be one happy Gooner.