June 7, 2016

EURO 2016 Referee Portrait: Martin Atkinson's Team from England


Full Name: Martin Atkinson
Nation: England
Residence: Wakefield
Date of Birth: 31/03/1971
Age: 45
Occupation: Police Officer
Hobbies: Fitness, Golf, Referee Development
Referee since: 1986
International since: 2006
UEFA Elite Category since: 07/2009
Champions League Matches: 26
Europa League Matches: 20
International Matches (Total): 97
Yellow Card Average (Int.): 4,31 per match
2nd Yellow Card Average (Int.): 0,07 per match
Red Card Average (Int.): 0,06 per match
Domestic First Division Matches: 293
Biggest Achievements: UEFA EURO 2012 as Additional Assistant Referee, UEFA Europa League 2015 Final, selected for UEFA EURO 2016

What you should know

Martin Atkinson is an experienced referee despite his relatively small number of international achievements. That's basically due to the circumstance that he was the no.2 behind Howard Webb for a long time. He also benefits from UEFA's decision to nominate 18 referee teams for the largest EURO ever - besides Clattenburg, he is one of two English match officials at the tournament.

Similar to Howard Webb, Atkinson has been a police sergeant in his normal life. So he is definitely used to managing conflicts and protecting the Law.

A big advantage: His Assistant Referee 1 Michael Mullarkey (46 yo) is the most experienced Assistant Referee of the whole EURO roster. 142 international games, 2 EUROs, 2 World Cups and several finals are a solid basis to run the lines in France...

Refereeing Style 

Laissez-faire (?). Martin Atkinson's style is usually characterized by a relatively tolerant line in his foul selection - he lets play flow, gives players some freedoms and is sometimes even a bit too passive. With regard to disciplinary control, that's definitely different: He has one of the highest yellow card averages of all EURO Referees and usually applies a roadblock approach: Sending a clear signal with an early yellow card.

His signs of recognition. With his light grey hair, he sometimes looks like the players' grandpa. As it is usual for older people, he does not run that much. Indeed, he walks for most of the time and refrains from making short sprints.

His Strengths*

1| Self-presentation, Body Language.
2| Match Control, abilitiy to bear crowd pressure.
3| Player Management, Communication.
4| Foul detection, Law 12.
5| Tactical approach.

His Points for Improvement* 

1| Predictable Line in Disciplinary Control.
2| Inactivity and passivity in some situations, a problem of motivation?
3| Prevention, Verbal Warnings, sending clear signals.
4| Positioning and Movement (too far away and walking most of the time).
5| Free-kick Management.

*based on our Referee Observation Reports since 2012

His Team 

Assistant Referee

Assistant Referee 1: Michael Mullarkey
Nation: England
Residence: Devon
Date of Birth: 03/05/1970
Age: 46 yo
Occupation: ---
Hobbies: ---
International since: 2007
Champions League Matches: 46
Europa League Matches: 24
International Matches (Total): 142
Domestic First Division Matches: 254
Biggest Achievements: FIFA U20 World Cup 2007 (Semifinal), UEFA EURO 2008 (Group Stage), FIFA Confederations Cup 2009 (Group Stage), UEFA Champions League 2010 Final, FIFA World Cup 2010 Final, UEFA EURO 2012 (Quarterfinal), FIFA Confederations Cup 2013 (Semifinal), FIFA World Cup 2014 (Round of 16), UEFA Europa League 2015 Final, selected for UEFA EURO 2016

Assistant Referee 2: Stephen A. Child
Nation: England
Residence: Kent
Date of Birth: 21/08/1973
Age: 42 yo
Occupation: ---
Hobbies: ---
International since: 2010
Champions League Matches: 21
Europa League Matches: 15
International Matches (Total): 78
Domestic First Division Matches: 232
Biggest Achievements: FIFA U20 World Cup 2011 (Semifinal), FIFA Olympic Games 2012 Final, FIFA U17 World Cup 2013 (Group Stage), UEFA Europa League 2015 Final, selected for UEFA EURO 2016

Additional Assistant Referees

Additional AR 1: Michael Oliver
Nation: England
Residence: Cramlington
Date of Birth: 20/02/1985
Age: 31 yo
Matches as AAR: 31
International himself? Yes. (1st Group)

Additional AR 2: Craig L. Pawson
Nation: England
Residence: South Yorkshire
Date of Birth: 02/03/1979
Age: 37 yo
Matches as AAR: 25
International himself? Yes. (2nd Group)

Reserve Assistant Referee

Reserve AR: Gary Beswick
Nation: England
Residence: County Durham
Date of Birth: 10/08/1977
Age: 38 yo

Chances at EURO 2016

Martin Atkinson's team has good chances to reach the K.O. stage for sure. However, I think that they are - before the tournament - a bit behind Clattenburg's team. So it might be that if UEFA has to choose between two English officiating crews, Clattenburg's will be favoured. Furthermore, Atkinson's shape in Champions League was not that good in the past months. We'll see how far they come!

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