Hands on, a good decision?

Watford’s first goal against Liverpool, should it have been allowed to stand? WeIl, to us watching on TV it’s easy to say no.

Referee Mark Clattenburg can’t see it in slow motion. If I’m being 100% honest if I was in the same position I would ‘ve given a goal. As Bogdan attemps to claim the original cross he drops it, he gets two hands on the ball after it bounces. As he gets his hands on it, Watford’s Nathan Ake goes to kick the ball but catches the Liverpool keeper’s hands. The ball spiIls out and Ake has a tap in but with the naked eye in real time the referee believes he has spilled it for a second time.

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Ake knocks the ball out Of the Liverpool 'keepers hands

It’s difficult to know for sure if Bogdan would’ve had the ball under complete control if Ake hadn’t knocked the ball out of his hands, but I can only make my observations on what I see.

This isn’t a refereeing error, because it’s almost impossible to realise what happened at normal speed when you’re right there. Would a video referee have helped on this situation? For me, yes it would have, as by the time Liverpool restarted the game the replay could’ve been watched 3/4 times and from most angles too. The game could’ve restarted with a free kick in the same time. But lets not take too much away from referees as I would have nothing to write about!

Using technology has been a top debate since I can remember. How far should we go? What decisions should be made by a video referee? I may go in to more details on my views on this matter at a later date, but I do think referees at the highest level should have all the assistance available to them. Everyones biggest concerns are time.

lt’s easy to say referees are rubbish when you don’t have the refs view!  

A Top Performance From A Top Referee

There’s plenty I could talk about after week three of the Premier League. I will focus on one game and one incident in particular, West Brom Vs Chelsea and the John Terry sending off.

Usually all you here on social media and in the papers is how poor referees are and how they don’t know what they’re doing. Mark Clattenburg was the man in the middle for this Sunday afternoon game and once the final whistle had gone my first thought was that I have just seen the best refereeing performance in a long time

Every decision that he had to make was correct. He had a fair bit to deal with and wasn’t fazed by any of it. The penalty awarded to West Brom was correct. He didn’t blow for it straight away he gave himself a moment to think about it.

John Terry hasn’t had the best starts to the season and it didn’t get any better for him here. Brunt played a good ball up to Rondon and Terry was going shoulder to shoulder with the striker and just as they were about to go in to the penalty area Rondon just started to edge in front and Terry gave a little tug of his opponents arm and down the West Brom man went.

Terry receives his marching orders from Mark Clattenburg

Terry receives his marching orders from Mark Clattenburg

Some would argue that he went down a little to easy but that doesn’t mean there was no foul. Mark Clattenburg blew straight away and indicated a free kick. As he walked towards the area he would’ve been assessing what was in front of him so he could decide, if necessary, what further action was needed. It would’ve been clear to him that had the foul not occurred then Rondon would’ve had a clean shot at goal. There was nothing Clattenburg could do other than show the red card. Although I thought for a second it would only be yellow but it was just his cards sticking together.

Also Mr Clattenburg’s man management skills were superb in this game. There was a coming together between Diego Costa and Yacob, he quickly diffused the situation but calling both players plus their captains. Their heads came together at one point but he was able to deal with it with words. This isn’t always easy as sometimes players will go ‘yeah ok, whatever ref’ then the next time they’d be near each other they would be trying to have a kick, but on this occasion there was no further incidents between the two.

A fine performance by a top referee, and in my honest opinion, the best in England at the moment

Chapter 13 – A foul is a foul

I would like to start this article by saying how good the majority of the crowds were during the minutes silence around the grounds to mark the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough tragedy. After 25 years I hope Justice For The 96 is not too far away.

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Last weekend Luis Suarez was cautioned in the fifth minute, he was not happy and tried to tell the referee that it was his first foul.

The simple fact is, it doesn’t matter when or where the foul happens if it requires a caution or even a red card that’s what the man in the middle has to do.

I’ve mentioned this a few times in my previous blogs and for those that have not read before I’ll explain what a referee thinks about when awarding a free kick:

Careless = free kick
Reckless = yellow card
Excessive force = red card

Some referees give themselves a few seconds to decide on some free kick and penalty decisions. I am one of these refs. I’m not talking about playing advantage and bringing it back, I mean not blowing up the second the challenge comes in. Quickly replaying over in your head what you have just seen can be vital. There is a fine line between some challenges that are just a free-kick and those worthy of a yellow card. The same for some that can be a yellow card or red.

You will always get someone that will disagree with what the referee has given. Those that referee at an amateur level will know exactly what I’m talking about. No matter how clear the penalty is there will be a player, coach or parent that will say your useless and you don’t know what you’re doing!

I feel it’s important for every referee, at whatever level, to make sure they get the right decision each time even if they allow a couple seconds to do that.

Mark Clattenburg made the right call to issue the yellow card to Suarez at Anfield. Did he then make a mistake by not issuing the Uruguayan a second yellow card for simulation later in the game?

Was Suarez just avoiding injury by jumping out the way of the challenge? Or was he actually caught? One can only assume the referee thought that the defender got the ball and Suarez falling to the floor is just an after effect of the challenge as Mr Clattenburg waved play on.

Man City will argue that Luis Suarez went to ground too easily. With that in mind let’s jump to the Emirates stadium on Tuesday night.

Matt Jarvis knocks the ball away from Sagna, takes a leg to the chest as the arsenal defender fails to clear, and stumbles but stays on his feet. No penalty. Why did the referee not award a spot kick?

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Is it as simple as the West Ham winger didn’t go to ground? I can’t answer for the referee. Maybe he thought there wasn’t and contact and the stumble was a result of Jarvis going around the arsenal defender? Maybe his view was blocked so couldn’t see clearly?

I remember once a few years ago giving a penalty when an attacker got a kick on the ankle but didn’t go to ground. The defending quickly surrounded me and almost altogether said “but he stayed on his feet!” I paused for a few seconds taking in what was said before responding “so you think it’s ok to keep kicking a player until he falls down? A foul is a foul!”

My response was met with silence, they soon moved away and the penalty was taken and scored to which a defending player said “that was never a penalty, f*****g s**t ref”. I called him over took his name and issued a yellow card for dissent by word or action (C2)

I would like to finish of by saying congratulations to the FA Cup final officials, referee Lee Probert, assistant referees Jake Collin, Mick McDonough, fourth official Kevin Friend and reserve assistant referee Simon Bennett I’m sure they will all do a great job and enjoy the day!