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ESPN FC Posted by ESPN staff
Mar 28, 2014

Marriner analysed Gibbs red 'to death'

ESPN FC's Ian Darke discusses the controversial red card given to Kieran Gibbs in Chelsea's 6-nil thumping of Arsenal.

Andre Marriner has told the Telegraph his incorrect decision to send off Arsenal left-back Kieran Gibbs has weighed heavy on his mind.

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Marriner branded a red card to Gibbs in the first half of Arsenal's 6-0 loss at Chelsea last Saturday despite Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain having committed the handball offence.

On Monday, the Football Association announced that neither player would be banned for the Gunners' meeting with Swansea the next day citing "mistaken identity" for Gibbs and "wrongful dismissal" for Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Marriner came in for intense criticism for his officiating at Stamford Bridge, and the referee has said in the wake of the game he analysed the decision "to death."

Speaking to the Telegraph, he said: "It knocks you for six to be honest. There's a lot of talk out there that referees make decisions, go home and don't care about it but that's so far from the truth.

"You're continuously playing the incident over in your mind. You think about how you could've arrived at the right decision and 'what could I have done differently?'

"You draw from all these other different sorts of aspects to try and find the reason why you've made a mistake but equally the best thing you can do is try to park it and move on because this incident happened in the 15th minute of the game. Afterwards I analysed it to death."

Marriner avoided punishment for his misdemeanour, with the Premier League confirming on Monday that the 43-year-old will take charge of Southampton against Newcastle at St Mary's on Saturday.

And he has expressed his gratitude to the Professional Game Match Officials' Limited, adding: "I made a high profile mistake last weekend but it's like a player who misses a penalty or goalkeeper who fails to make an easy save, you want to get back out there the week after to put those demons right.

"I'm delighted by the [PGMOL] decision, it shows what my bosses think of me as a referee and hopefully I won't let them down and I'll be able go out on Saturday and perform at my usual high standard.

"I’ve met all my colleagues this week so I've received a little bit of banter from them which has been good natured. I've been down in the dumps and it's made me smile and hopefully I've got my mojo back.

"You've got to draw on your experience and look at the good things you've achieved over a number of years. I took charge of the FA Cup final last year and you've got to take strength of character from that as it's the biggest game in English club football.

"I achieved that by doing things right so you draw from those experiences and it's about getting back out there and putting things right. The players experience the same things we do when they go home and think can they do better and as a referee I’m no different."

Meanwhile, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger feels Marriner should not be vilified for an “honest mistake”, but believes referees do need additional help from technology to make the correct calls in testing circumstances.

He said: “[From] where I was, I did not see the difference between Chamberlain and Gibbs as well, so I believe that maybe the referee needs more assistance to make the right decision.

“He [Marriner] does not have to do that [apologise personally], I trust his honesty. He made a mistake -- it can happen.

“We did not lose on top of that, the game became much more difficult for us of course, down 3-0 with 10 men, but I completely accept the fact Andre Marriner is an honest referee and a good referee.

“He did not do that on purpose, it was accidental.” Wenger added: “When they have a doubt, and I have said many times, the referees should have video assistance on his demand.

“For a long long time I plead for video, only on that purpose, when the referee feels he needs assistance, he should have that resource.

“I believe it would be very good to give them that opportunity, they need help, the game is too quick today for everybody to master everything.”

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.

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