West Ham travels to Sheffield United on Sunday to resume their Premier League campaign. The Hammers will be hoping to make it two wins on the bounce.
For match week nine West Ham will have Martin Atkinson as the man in the middle the Premier League has announced. The 49-year-old has refereed fifty-five matches involving the Hammers, the third-most in his career. Atkinson has only refereed Arsenal and Liverpool more.
The Hammers should have a positive feeling from Atkinson’s appointment given their recent record with him as the referee. West Ham have won five of their last seven matches under Atkinson’s watch, winning all of the last three.
Atkinson has only refereed one of the Hammers matches this season. West Ham won that game 4-0 against Wolves, the clubs first win and points of the season. In the game, the 49-year-old did give the Hammers a favourable decision for their first goal.
Pablo Fornals played a quick free-kick through to Jarrod Bowen. The former Hull-city forward bared down on goal and finished the chance off superbly. There were some question marks over the taking of the free-kick as it was not clear if the ball was taken from a stationary position.
The other favourable news for West Ham is that Atkinson has only ever sent off one West Ham player in the Premier League in his career. The referee sent off Aaron Cresswell in a Hammers victory against Crystal Palace back in 2016 with a second yellow card. Furthermore, Atkinson has not even booked a Hammer in the last two games that he has overseen.
It might not all be good news, however, Atkinson has been in charge of games where VAR has come into play. Under Atkinson’s watch, West Ham had goals ruled out in victories against Chelsea and Southampton last season.
In support, Atkinson will have his assistants Constantine Hatzidakis, Peter Kirkup. The fourth official for the match will Robert Jones and looking after the VAR system will be Jonathan Moss and his assistant VAR Andy Halliday.