"After all, if the assistant was better at decision making he would surely have been promoted to the referees’ list."Writes Graham Poll in his newspaper column.
At the highest levels, there are various reasons why some match officials embark on the path to become an AR or an R, and sometimes they have no choice in the matter. This should not diminish or devalue their development path in football officiating. Where the criticism of an official is overdone and over-the-top, then it smacks of hitting "below the belt".
Referee Mike Jones initially signalled a corner kick to Newcastle Utd but then accepts AR John Flynn's decision to overrule for a penalty kick against Man Utd
I agree that the AR John Flynn made a significant error during the EPL match between Manchester United and Newcastle United on Saturday 26 November 2011. Poll also highlights a similar error by another AR Paul Kirkup who overruled Referee Martin Atkinson during the EPL match between Liverpool and Manchester City on Sunday 27 November 2011.
Therefore, by all means criticise the performance of the ARs and keep it relevant to the specific match or matches. But by no means is it justifiable to criticise an AR for apparently not being good enough to be an R.
Puzzled by Poll