Lee Mason will take charge of Arsenal’s game against Hull at the KC on Monday.
The referee, who has issued fewer cards than any other who has been in the middle for more than 20 games (29 games, 90 yellows, six reds, second lowest card count of all refs), has only been in charge of one Arsenal game this season – the 4-1 home win over Newcastle.
On that day he issued four yellows (his average is 3 per game), with two going to either side (Bellerin, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Janmaat, Tiote). This will be his first game in charge of Hull this season.
The game against Newcastle, which took place in December, saw Mason try to out-rubbish Anthony Taylor with an awful display. This was the game that saw Chiek Tiote assault Alexis Sanchez with a studs-to-the-chest challenge, a perfectly good goal disallowed and a blatant penalty not given.
In short, Mason is not a good referee and if it wasn’t for the existence of Taylor would certainly be vying for the title of ‘worst of the worst’. As evidenced by his low yellow card count when compared to others, he’s a ref that lets a lot go, mostly because he’s missed it rather opting for a more lenient approach.
So it’s not great news that he’s in charge of a game against Hull, the side who sit one place off the bottom of the fair play table.
Expect them to kick and Mason to do nothing about.
Good thing we have a lot of players available. Will we be able to say the same next week?
I wouldn’t be so sure.
Tiote on Alexis: