The selection of referee for Manchester United’s trip to Anfield on Monday has caused controversy, with former referees’ chief Keith Hackett declaring the decision to appoint Anthony Taylor, who reportedly lives just six miles from Old Trafford, ‘grossly unfair.’ Quoted in the Mirror, Hackett commented:
"No-one is questioning Anthony’s integrity or his ability to handle this game.
"You could argue it’s testimony to his unflappable character and capacity to focus that he’s been appointed to it.
"But what if something goes wrong for him on the day – as it can for even the finest referees? That’s when the focus on him would be intolerable, especially if a controversial incident has gone in favour of Liverpool and it influences the result."
It seems the outspoken Hackett’s concern is less the potential for bias — Taylor reportedly supports non-league outfit Altrincham — than that the pressure could prove too much to bear. Rest assured, if this game is decided by a controversial decision, this story will surface once more.