REFEREE Mike Jones will not take charge of a Premier League game this weekend after his questionable performance during Manchester City’s victory over Southampton.
The 46-year-old was criticised for booking City striker Sergio Aguero for diving early on in the champions’ 3-0 win at St Mary’s last Sunday.
The decision – one of many baffling calls made by the official – was described by both Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher and Daily Mail columnist Graham Poll as one of the worst of the season.
Jones will be in the middle for the SkyBet Championship clash between Wolves and Bournemouth on Saturday and will be the fourth official for Aston Villa’s Midlands derby with Leicester on Sunday.
It is unclear whether the Cheshire-based whistler, who has averaged two Premier League games a month so far this term, has been intentionally dropped by the PGMOL or left off the list as part of the rotational process.
He had already been appointed to oversee the Premier League encounter between West Ham and West Brom at Upton Park on Tuesday night.
The match at Molineux will be only the third he will take charge of below the top-flight this term – and the 13th in total. He has averaged three yellows per game, sent off three players and awarded two penalties so far.
Jones – a surprise choice to take charge of the second v third clash – showed Aguero his first ever booking in English football for simulation even when the Argentine was blatantly taken down inside the penalty area by Saints defender Jose Fonte.
It led to a lengthy discussion with City boss Manuel Pellegrini – under the watchful eye of fourth official Phil Dowd in the technical area.
Some of Jones’ advantages were also disputable and, after the break, he sent off City centre-back Eliaquim Mangala for a second bookable offence.
In his weekend refereeing review, former Premier League official Poll said Jones is “often considered as the weakest member of the Select Group of referees” and his confidence has “always been fragile.”
Jones was promoted at the start of the 2008/09 season – after spending 11 years in the Football League – and has since gone on to officiate more than 130 Premier League games.