One of the reasons for the formation of the PGMOL was to ensure that referees can prepare thoroughly for the unceasing demands placed upon them to officiate Premier League football.
The speed of the game was increasing – placing physical demands on match officials.
The ability of players to make long cross-field passes with great accuracy was resulting in referees being caught out of position and missing incidents.
Nutrition advice and training programmes were introduced thanks to the then Sports Scientist Professor Matt Weston.
Training and the demands on referees changed from endurance to explosive sprinting. More time was available not only to physically train, but also to work with Sports Psychologists to enhance management and communication skills.
Incidents started to be reviewed and discussed on a one-to-one basis with referees and with the group as a whole.
Confidence, consistency and courage must be the requirement of referees
I was disappointed to see Chris Kavanagh – and at times Jon Moss – losing contact with the game at the weekend.
It’s difficult to understand why Kavanagh required the intervention of VAR to award the first penalty kick during the tie between Manchester City and Leicester. Was there a lack of courage?
In the case of Moss during Tottenham vs Crystal Palace, he failed to meet one of the key criteria that makes a good referee. He was too far away. Proximity to play can prevent an escalation of a problem.
It is likely that had he acted on the first foul on Crystal Palace forward Wilfred Zaha. The first yellow card issued to Zaha could have been avoided. If he had been closer to Zaha and shouted he also might have stopped the Palace man wrestling his opponent to the ground.
Yes, these are ‘what ifs’ and whys, but these types of incidents could have both been handled much better.
Sadly, we have too many referees in Select Group One, coasting and lacking a more athletic approach to their officiating.
A moment of madness from Wilfried Zaha ?
He receives his second yellow card for this shove on Davinson Sánchez! ?
From bad to worse for Crystal Palace… pic.twitter.com/sP6whMwezo
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) December 26, 2021