Kevin, Kevin, Kevin.
The man who is nobody’s Friend.
So far this season, Kevin Friend has taken charge of two Arsenal matches – the 2-2 draw with Everton and the 2-0 win at Sunderland.
In those games he issued a total of 11 yellows, seven of which went to Arsenal players which is quite an achievement when you consider the opposition and how kicky they tend to be.
In fact, in the Everton game, four out of the five cards went to Arsenal players (Chambers, Mertesacker, Flamini, Wilshere) while only Leighton Baines was booked for the Toffees, despite Steven Naismith, Kevin Mirallas and James McCarthy starting, all players who should really begin with a yellow.
Yet to referee an Arsenal home game, he has only been the man in the middle for one QPR match, their 2-0 defeat at Swansea. He booked four players that day, two from each side.
A referee who has awarded as many red cards as he has penalties this season (3), Friend was the ref who denied a number of claims from Southampton when they hosted Liverpool recently, a performance that came in for heavy criticism.
He did manage to solicit both a private and public apology from Jose Mourinho at the start of the year, however that only seems to be because Friend told the Moany one what he wanted to hear.
To be honest, when I think of Friend, I don’t automatically want to vomit at the thought of him being in charge of an Arsenal game.
Given the (poor) standard of refereeing that the league has experienced over recent seasons, that’s about as good an endorsement as I can muster.