Chapter 27 – Spot on!

A lot of controversial decisions were made by the men in the middle in the recent round of Premier League games.

At Southampton Vs Swansea there were calls for Fraser Forster to be sent off but the referee, Andre Mariner, got this right as it was more of a coming together. The keepers momentum took him into Sunderland’s Fletcher

In the Manchester City Vs Tottenham game we saw a record equalling four penalties awarded!

The first was awarded to City for a push on Lampard by Lamela. The view referee Jonathan Moss had it looked like a nudge in the back. Lampard was very clever to win the penalty. Having seen all the replays I wouldn’t have given it bit if I had the view of Mr Moss then I would have.

IMG_3339.JPGMan City’s Lampard wins the first of 4 penalties in this game

The second City penalty was awarded for a foul on Silva by Kaboul. Not sure how anyone could argue with this decision although it didn’t stop Kaboul protesting his innocence. If you go to ground like the Spurs defender did then you have to take he ball. Very risky to go to ground like that especially in the area!

In amongst all the penalties awarded there was a shout for one which was rightly turned down. Sagna, only being a few yards away from the shot, couldn’t have done much to get out of the way and this was definitely a case of ball to hand.

The next spot kick was awarded to Spurs after Di Michelles had clipped Soldado. Replays show that the contact was outside but to be fair to the referee and the assistant on that side how quickly it happened it would’ve been difficult to know it was outside as it was so clots to the line and Soldado fell a few feet into the area. This was very unfortunate. If the officials had access to video replays it could’ve been correctly awarded as a free kick without any additional delay to the game.

The forth and last penalty of this game involved a red card. As the ball is played across the six yard box Fazio pulls Aguero. Jonathan Moss did very well here as he waited a few seconds before awarding the spot kick because the outcome could’ve been different. If the ball is cleared before it would got to Aguero then Fazio would only receive a yellow card. This has to be the best piece if refereeing I’ve seen this season.

IMG_3340.JPGFazio is told to go for an early shower!

Crystal Palace against Chelsea is a game, despite being a London derby, that you would’ve though would go by without much incident, but there was a few moments of controversy.

John Terry avoided a booking after fouling Frazier Campbell. He slid in to attend win the ball and stop Palace going on the counter attack but Campbell was a little big too quick. The ref was right not to book Terry as the challenge was more careless than reckless.

A few moments later Delaney goes in to tackle Remy, but the Chelsea striker nicked the ball away and the Palace player clattered his opponent. The decision to book Delaney was correct as I would say the challenge was reckless.

Azpilicueta received his marching orders after he slid in to a challenge with Palace’s Jedinak with his studs high. This was clearly a challenge with excessive force and the referee was correct in issuing a straight red.

IMG_3341.JPGPoor challenge from Azpilicueta

Delaney then received a second yellow card, this time for pulling back Remy. Although Remy’s fall seemed a little theatrical the pull was obvious to the ref and a yellow card was correctly shown. After the game the Crystal Palace manager said that the referee was influenced by the Chelsea. I would hope not and will assume that he game himself a few moments after awarding the free kick to decide if further action was needed.

The last game I will look at from last weekend is Stoke Vs Swansea. There was two penalties in this game, one for each side. Both sides felt that the others shouldn’t have been awarded.

The first is for a foul at a corner by Stoke City’s Ryan Shawcross. He was spoken to by the referee before the corner was taken about keeping his arms to himself. The referee takes up a great position and as the corner comes in he clearly sees Shawcross throw Swansea’s Bony to the ground. Does this happen at every set piece that comes into the box? Yes. Are penalties always given? No. Should penalties be given all the time? Well that depends on the referees view and of or was as blatant as this incident. Most of the time both players are pulling each other so it can be difficult to judge who’s at fault! The next was for a foul on Moses by Rangel. The referee was conned here as the replays show that the contact was minimal and not enough to send Moses to the ground the way he did. But the referee doesn’t have those replays. Rangel did put an arm out and at normal speed with the way the Stoke man fell it would’ve looked like a penalty to the referee.

After all that has happened last weekend take a second to think about the views you have access to before saying how poor the referee us and remember the refs view!!

Chapter 26 – You Don’t Know What You’re Doing?

Every referee that does the big games hopes to show what he can do, whether it’s a big derby, a cup final or a game between two fierce rivals, like Chelsea versus Arsenal at the weekend.

Martin Atkinson was the man in charge for this clash at Stamford Bridge. It was always going to be a busy afternoon for him but I don’t think he expected to be as busy as he was.

It was 20 minutes into the game when he had to make the first of many big calls. Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez had the ball by the touchline, and Chelsea’s Gary Cahill comes across to try to tackle his opponent, but he gets it all wrong and goes over the top of the ball and into Sanchez’s knees. Mr Atkinson shows the Chelsea defender a yellow card. For me this challenge was with excessive force and should’ve been a red card! To defend Mr Atkinson, it looked like at the point of impact his view may have been blocked, so he may not have seen just how bad the challenge was.

Chelsea were rightly awarded a penalty when Koscielny brought down Hazard. The Arsenal defender was showed a yellow card. Had he not brought Hazard down the Chelsea player would’ve had a clear shot so therefore Koscielny should have seen red.

RosickĊ· could also have seen red for a kick at Fabregas. He may have got the ball but it was a wild swing while his opponent was on the floor. Credit to Fabregas for not feigning injury as some players may do!

Another player that was shown a yellow instead of a red card was Danny Welbeck. Immediately after the RosickĊ·/Fabregas incident, Fabregas had the by the touchline. Welbeck came steaming in and both feet left the floor therefore he couldn’t be in control of the tackle and should’ve received his marching orders. Not sure the view Martin Atkinson had but his assistant had a very clear view and should helped the assistant out.

Callum Chambers was lucky not to be shown a second yellow card in this very feisty London derby. So why was the referee so reluctant to give players red cards? You would have to ask the man himself. I know sometimes in the big games especially between rivals the challenges can be a little harder than normal and the referee will want to show common sense to try and keep all 22 players on the pitch but the players safety has to be the priority for the referee and no matter what the game or how long has gone sometimes red cards just have to be issued. Not the best day in the office for Martin Atkinson but he is a good referee and I’m sure he’ll bounce back.

IMG_3298.JPGThe managers felt the referee needed more to deal with!

On social media after the West Ham versus QPR game I read many hammers fans saying how bad Anthony Taylor is for disallowing a 3rd goal the East London side. The Rangers ‘keeper Rob Green took a quick free kick inside his area which Valencia intercepted from a few yards away and slotted the ball home. The referee disallowing the goal had nothing to do with distance. All free kicks as well as goal kicks need to leave the area before another player can touch the ball.

IMG_3299-0.JPGAnthony Taylor making his point to the West Ham players

How many fans feel silly for their outburst and will they be more understanding next time? Probably not a lot because nine times out of ten if a decision goes against a team you will always hear “this refs rubbish!” Or “you don’t know what you’re doing!”

Chapter 25 – A Champion Idea

A few years ago when it was announce that there would be an extra official behind the goal lines I thought this was a great idea. It would help the referee with decision in the penalty area and for goal line decisions too, helping reduce the errors and missed incidents. However Man City will be feeling the extra officials may as well not gave been there, in their Champions League match against Roma.

At the start of the season I wrote about handballs, why some were given and others not. When Roma’s Manolas slid to block a cross by City’s Jesus Navas, he left his arm trailing on the floor, when the the ball strikes it, it bounces up and a chance for Aguero to have a shot gone.

IMG_3270-0.JPGif the extra official had been this side he would’ve had a clear view.

I’ve not seen a replay where I can see what view the referee had, so let’s just assume that his view was blocked. If he can’t see it he can’t give it. I once ignored shouts for a handball because the sun was in my eyes. I was told by both teams that maradona would’ve been proud of it! But I wasn’t 100% sure gave nothing.

I can’t help but think that if the extra official behind the goal was in the right back area instead if the left back, he would’ve seen the handball and been able to advise the referee he should award a penalty. To have assistant referees covering the left back it would make sense to have the extra official the other side to give the officiating team more coverage.

This week I was an assistant referee at a game where a bizarre incident occurred. Team A took a corner and one of their players noticed that Team B’s keeper was changing his gloves and as a sporting gesture caught the ball much like West Ham’s Paolo Di Canio against Everton and alerted the referee to the keeper. Much to everyone’s shock the referee awarded Team B a free kick. The referee actually did everything by the book, but I felt sorry for Team B. I thought the referee could’ve shown common sense and allowed Team A to retake the corner but he was somewhat older than me and I think set in his ways, nothing wrong with that of course.