Arsenal

Know Your Enemy …Steve Tanner

Looking through Steve Tanner’s refereeing history, you can tell that he is one of those back-up refs that will only get what looks like ‘average’ fixtures every Premiership weekend.

Tanner’s records are strange. Having started the job in 1987, he stayed in the Southern League until 2002. That’s 15 years in the amateur rankings; surely he must have had an ambition to progress? Wasn’t he spotted in all those years? Then again, a lot can be taken in from the fact that arguably his biggest achievement is taking charge of the 2003 FA Trophy final.

It just so happen that the five years in between 2002-2007, Tanner was a Conference football referee. Before he had the privilege of being promoted to the Football League, he took charge of a Championship play-off semi final between Watford and Crystal Palace in May 2006.

Luck hasn’t gone the way of the official either. In one of his early Premiership matches, for which he was on trial for, the game he took charge off was abandoned after just 10 minutes due to heavy rain. The fixture was in between Watford and Wigan. What is it about games with Watford and referees? Anyway, better move on before I get side-tracked…

By 2008 Tanner was added to the FIFA list of referees, which basically means you can referee games abroad. From Mansfield to Madrid, good on ya Steve. However, two years later, and now Tanner has lost his place on the international list.

Now a lot of managers don’t hold back on their views of managers post-match, sometimes pre-match as well. It was no different for Harry Redknapp either. After Tottenham lost 2-0 at West Brom, in 2008, Redknapp described Tanner’s performance as so bad he claimed it was ‘scary’. He said: “‘To be honest, I walked into the referees’ room and saw who was in charge and I knew what was coming. I expected that sort of performance.”

The usual suspects have hit out at Tanner…yes, step forward Mr. Ferguson, Mr. Wenger and Mr. Warnock and it seems that he ain’t no Premiership favourite.

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