Roger East will take charge of Arsenal’s game against Crystal Palace at the weekend.
The referee, who was last handed an Arsenal game when they faced Burnley in the FA Cup, loves to give out penalties this season, but don’t be expecting him to give too many to Arsenal on Sunday. The Gunners have been awarded just two penalties all season (in contrast, Leicester have had 10, six to Mahrez, four to Vardy).
With no big decisions against him so far when he’s been in charge of Arsenal, the only thing they really have to fear is his inexperience at this level and the fact that, like most refs in the division, he’s just not very good.
Thankfully, unlike many of his colleagues, he’s not so bad you want to claw your eyes out but he was the referee who sent off Wes Brown last season when a foul was clearly made by Brown’s Sunderland team-mate John O’Shea on Manchester United’s Radamel Falcao. East denied making the mistake.
With 92 yellows and one red in his 32 matches this season, East averages just under three yellows per game. The red came in the League Two game between Portsmouth and Morcombe.
That he still takes charge of games at that level tells you where he is in his career.
This will be his third Arsenal game of the season and his fourth overall.
In the game against Burnley he produced one yellow per side (Koscielny, Arfield) and in the other, the league game against Bournemouth which Arsenal won 2-0 at the Emirates, he again booked two players, but this time both of them Arsenal (Ramsey, Chambers).
This will be his first Crystal Palace game of the season.
Hilariously, one of his assistants is called ‘R. West’ (M. Scholes and M. Dean as fourth official complete what sounds like an awful quartet).