Tottenham v Arsenal: Ex-Fifa official has major concern after 'big' news

By Keith Hackett

10th May, 2022 | 8:00am

Ex-Fifa official has major concerns as 'big' Tottenham v Arsenal referee news confirmed

Keith Hackett has questioned the decision to appoint Paul Tierney to referee Arsenal’s trip to Tottenham on Thursday (12 May).

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Fifa and Premier League referee claimed the north London derby was a “particularly big game” given its importance in the race for the top-four and therefore Michael Oliver should take charge of it.

The Premier League confirmed last week (3 May) that Tierney will be the man in the middle for the crunch clash at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium.

After the weekend’s results, Arsenal occupy fourth-place four points above Spurs with three games left to play.

“Tierney is regarded as a solid referee,” Hackett told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley.

“A big game like this, he should be comfortable with. But against that, I would have liked to have seen Oliver or Taylor.

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“To be honest with you, I’d be putting Michael Oliver on this game.

“I know the importance of that game so I’d look at the list and put the top referee on it.

“Tierney has had 24 appointments, the same as Oliver and Taylor. In the eyes of Mike Riley, he sees those as the ones in form. I still would have gone with Oliver.

“I would have even manipulated it. Look at the appointments the week before and the week after and made it work. I think this is a particularly big game.

“Tierney is regarded as one of the top four referees in the country and he is usually a safe pair of hands.”

In other news, a Tottenham insider has revealed what he’s heard about Antonio Conte’s future and ‘it’s all I’m hearing’.