Anthony Taylor has been appointed to officiate this weekend’s North London derby, which will be the first - and probably only - time this contest between Arsenal and Tottenham will be contested as a league match at Wembley Stadium.
While Taylor has yet to oversee a North London derby as lead official, his record officiating for Arsenal in the league tilts much more favorably: Arsenal have only lost one match in the last 12 with Taylor in charge, whereas Spurs have suffered defeats in six of their last 12 matches using the same officiating criteria.
However, Taylor has a bit of acrimonious history with Arsene Wenger and Arsenal. It was Taylor who fell for Eden Hazard’s embellishment of Hector Bellerin’s touch to his boot in last month’s first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final that led to a penalty that later converted. Last season, Wenger directed his ire and contempt at Taylor during a contentious match at Burnley which saw the manager earn a four-match ban for telling the official to “fuck off” and that he was “a disgrace to his federation.”
While the record with Taylor aboard is nice, many will be waiting to see how Taylor performs knowing Tottenham have been extremely light and dive-y on the pitch as of late.