Slovenia - Israel, Anthony Taylor

Overall I thought it was a very good performance by Anthony Taylor in this rather challenging match between Slovenia and Israel. A game which consisted of many many small fouls throughout the entire game, all well detected by the English referee.

=> Taylor read the match very well: already in the opening minutes of the match, he had to blow his whistle for some smaller fouls committed by players on each side. Therefore, the decision to open the cards at 6’ for a SPA challenge by ISR17 is fully understandable and fully correct. It did have an impact on the game, as the referee clearly managed to put a signal by issuing this first yellow card.

=> All the other cautions given were correct in this game: one more for a reckless foul in 45+1’, persistent infringement in 57’, dissent in 58’ and 90+1’ for unsporting behaviour (SVN21 took his shirt off after scoring). I especially have to praise the YC in 58’ for dissent: SVN7 makes a dissenting gesture after Taylor refused to award a potential free-kick for SPA. While play continues, Taylor interrupts the match and gives the YC to SVN7 for dissent. He is surrounded by Slovenian players but solves this very well, by remaining calm and firm at the same time. Well done!

=> One could debate about two missed YC: one for a reckless challenge in 7’ (at least a verbal warning would have been needed IMO, but YC would have been better, especially since it would have come very shortly after the first one: it would have made clear how the referee will proceed). Also a YC could have been awarded in 37’ for SPA.

=> Self-presentation: Taylor tried to stay in the background as much as he possibly could in order to benefit the game, in which he succeeded. He nevertheless was there when needed and managed the game in a calm but also firm manner (such as in the YC situation in 6' as well as in the confrontation in 57').

=> Both assistant referees executed their duties on expected level.

To sum it up, another very good performance by Anthony Taylor, who now definitely has arrived among the best referees in Europe. I would say that he has certainly overtaken his countryman Michael Oliver in terms of consideration by committee (which wasn’t the case when PLC was still at the head of committee). Keeping up with such performances should/must be rewarded with a participation at EURO 2020. I hope as well that Taylor gets now bigger matches in the Champions League, he deserves these after performing consistently well on a domestic as well as on the international level!

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