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The Untold ref review: Arsenal – Ipswich Wall

Victory Through Harmony

By Walter Broeckx, the celebrating ref

The Ref in this second leg of the Carling Cup semi final was Mike Halsey.  Second time we had him this season and let us take a look at his game.

PENALTY/CARD: Cesc goes down in the penalty area. There was an arm from the Ipswich defender against his body but I don’t think we can talk about a real push. Was it a pull? Maybe, but from a replay very much in line with the view of the ref I know he couldn’t see it if it was a pull.  He gives no penalty and I can live with that. The suggestion that he should have given Cesc a yellow card is not correct. When there is contact a player can go down and then this is not a real dive. A dive is when there is no contact at all. So both correct decisions for me. 1/1 and 1/1

OTHER: Foul from Denilson which could have earned him a booking. The ref just lectures Denilson. The first real foul on the border line. So a good way of building the game as a ref. 1/1

OTHER: A foul on Wilshere and the ref waits to see the advantage. There is no so he comes back to the decision. Good job. 1/1

OTHER/CARD: A flying tackle from Ipswich player Wickham on Djourou. The ref shows the yellow card. Correct decision. 1/1 and 1/1

OTHER: Cesc goes down the middle and is attacked by 3 Ipswich players. The last defender stops the ball but the two other just bring him down. It is not because of one player committing no foul that the other two fouls can be ignored ref. 0/1

OTHER: offside decision given against Van Persie. And this was a correct decision but it was a close call. 1/1

OTHER/CARD: Koscielny goes in the book for a foul. He catches the Ipwsich player on his heel so I can accept the decision. 1/1 and 1/1

OTHER: Djourou and Priskin clash heads and the ref stops play immediately. This is the way it should be done. 1/1

So in we go at half time.

OTHER/CARD: A very strong challenge on Bendtner. The ref gives a foul but this should have been a booking. This was wild. But the ref only gives the foul. 1/1 and 0/1

OTHER/OTHER: A foul on Clichy, the assistant signals the foul the ref plays the advantage. I keep hammering on this nail but you don’t give advantage when a defender is fouled.  A point for the assistant but one lost for the ref 1/1 and  0/1

OTHER: Denilson wins the ball but the ref gives a foul. The ref was right. Denilons put out his arm to stop the player. So despite the majority of the Emirates disagreeing with the ref, I do agree. 1/1

GOAL: Great pass, great touch, great skill, great dribble, great shot. There was nothing wrong with this goal. 1/1

GOAL: Corner for Arsenal after some hard work by Arshavin who takes the corner himself. And Koscielny is quicker to the ball than the keeper and heads it in. Not forbidden by the laws. 1/1

OTHER/OTHER: My MOTM (Moment of the Match). Arsenal puts some high pressure on an Ipswich defender. He tries a pass but his ball hits the ref. The ball runs to an Arsenal player who passed the ball to Van Persie who was unmarked and could have start a run between two defenders on goal and then….ref Halsey blows his whistle. Why? God and only Halsey will know why. I have seen refs make mistakes in my life but such a mistake…I must admit I have never seen it before and certainly not on this level.

A ball hitting the ref is bad luck. Nothing you can do about it. But you never stop the game as a ref for the ball hitting you except when you are injured because of the ball hitting you. The unbelief on the face of the Arsenal players was understandable. And from the moment he had blown his whistle the ref knew he had screwed up big on this moment. You could see him apologise or trying to apologise but it was too late.

He then restarted the game with the only thing he could do: a dropped ball. He made a bad mistake which at the end didn’t cost us but imagine if it still would have been 0-0 at this stage of the game. I would have had a bad night’s sleep after such a mistake. I hope he learns from this. So the only thing we can do is to take away one point for making this mistake but on the other hand he recognised his mistake and didn’t hide from it by just giving a free kick to Ipswich but restarted the game in the way it should. 0/1 and 1/1

GOAL: Good interception from Denilson, great combination between Cesc and Arshavin and Cesc scores the goal. I think our captain needed this goal as he really was full of joy. 1/1

After that the game was actually over. Apart from a stupid person who ran on the pitch for whatever reason he had made the ref stop the game for a while. Another dropped ball in this game. Also the correct restart.

OTHER/CARD: The Ipswich captain then came sliding in on Szczesny (how I like his name more and more) with his feet forward. The ref gave the foul but when you attack a keeper with your feet like that you need to get a booking. I think he left it in his pocket as the game was entering extra time and the outcome was already known. But still don’t like it.  1/1 and 0/1

So what do we have in total?

CARDS:  3/5

PENALTY:  1/1

GOAL:  3/3

OTHER:  11/14

Total score:  18/23  (78 %)

So very respectable score for the ref in this difficult match. Ipswich wanted to defend in large numbers and then you always get a lot of players in a small place and this makes it more difficult for the ref. You cannot always see things as players can block your view on things.

Most of the fouls he called were correct.  On occasion he kept the cards in his pocket but I think that by the way he was doing his job he made the players clear that he was the boss on the field. He didn’t fall for any arguments from the players and did what he thought was correct.

When my MOTM came I must confess I had a difficult job. I got rather a few messages on my phone and I must say looking at the game and typing a match report is difficult but also answering in message form what went wrong was asking a lot for me at the moment. But this was a big mistake from the ref. And I think within seconds he knew it himself. But once you have blown the whistle nothing can be done any more.

Those are the moments that as a ref you hope that somewhere on the pitch a big gap will appear and you can step in to this gap and just disappear. Mostly the gap doesn’t come. And no one better than another ref can understand what it’s like. I must say I have never done something like this but I do remember that I also have made mistakes (certainly at the start of my career) which still make me blush when I think of it. So for a ref in the EPL with all those cameras it is double embarrassment. But he will get over it. I think he has come over bigger hurdles in his live.

So a bad mistake but he regained control of himself for the rest of the game and this also is the mark of a good ref and a good day. It can happen to anyone, no ref is safe from making silly mistakes. But if for the rest of the game you have done a good game this will not affect you much in total.

And when you have reached a cup final, even if it is just the Carling cup final, even this untold ref can be said to be in a  very forgiven mood.  How is the old idiom: let those who are without sin, throw the first stone? I think this mistake is not as bad as the not given penalties and the given penalties we have seen in favour of United this season. Once again.

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Arsenal 74 Ipswich 5

Arsenal v Ipswich.  In Arsene we still trust



29 comments to The Untold ref review: Arsenal – Ipswich Wall

  • Paul C.

    Agreed. Apart from his brain-lock moment I thought the ref was always in control and kept the game moving at a nice tempo. wWhen he spoke to players it was quick and sharp, nothing is worse than a ref who insists on lectures.

  • Gf60

    Halsey had previously provided a great ‘running interference’ on an Ipswich tackle to allow us to break in the first half.

    I think I know why he did it. For sure he broke (and knew he’d broken) the rules. No doubt he’ll take much flak from the hierarchy as a result. But was it the moral thing to do? In my opinion, yes. No doubt it would have led to our 3rd goal and at that stage of the game, killed any Ipswich chance.

    Halsey is a ref you have to respect. Not only for his fight against the cancer that threatened his career but his ability to see all aspects of the game. Remember his cancelling the penalty he’d awarded against us at Fulham some years back?

    If it had been the other way round with 3 Ipswich attackers clear on goal, we would have been delirious at the “wrong” decision.

  • nicky

    Thank goodness that thickhead Gray wasn’t commentating on Halsey’s error. He’d have probably said “That’s a typical female ref’s sort of mistake”. Luckily, we won’t have to listen to any more of his sexist foulmouth on British TV ever again.

  • ugandan goon

    ii must admit i am impressed halsey scored quite highly, the incident when csec was raped by three defenders was a foul and dangerous play, i feel the game should have been stopped and the ipswich players given a warning of sorts.
    Nicky i agree it is time gray was let go- it seems that richard whatshisbollocks has escaped the sack(no pun intended!), so that atleast proves that things will carry on as usual, btw did you see alistair campell’s tweet on the matter?-he suggests it’s all because gray was suing the news of the world- as a muckraker extrodinaire he should know!

  • nicky

    Ugandan Goon
    You’ll be pleased to hear that Richard Keys has resigned (before
    he could be sacked!). That means both sexist foulmouths will no longer taint our screens.
    As for Campbell, I wouldn’t believe a word he said. He did enough damage at No.10 to last a lifetime.

  • ugandan goon

    @nicky
    hurrah!! do you think it was a solidarity thing? you know, honour among bigots.i hear ron atkinson was advocating a slap on the wrist. we should sound out nick griffin just to test the hypothesis. ha!

  • I think you’ve gone really soft ,Walter. Or could it be the euphoria of reaching a cup final. I’m no ref, but in my book, i don’t see Mr Halsey scoring 78%. Maybe you also got caught in what Desigunner called ‘Sympathy reffing’, where the underdog must get all the 50-50 calls.

    Mr Halsey got a lot of calls wrong. Ipswich got away with numerous dangerous kicks and other fouls. Look at the replay again and you’ll see that Fabregas had a 100% penalty call. We’re in a cup final so we won’t complain, that’s the way it is, isn’t it?

  • gulp

    Well sky did not have a choice really did they? Imagin how many mums are paying this for their sons or how many girls are actually watching footy these days. Imagin how many men that have actually realized that women are good for more than hosework. All of these vieweres would have left, and nobody would want to buy comerical spots with those idiots there.

    I mean how thick can you be? Did they really expect to get away with it? They basically insulted 50% of skys potential customers. and over 1/3 of sky sports paying customers. From a buisness perspective, those two must be utterly retarded…

  • nicky

    @ gulp
    Couldn’t agree more. A couple of sexist retards mouthing off and are probably so thick that they are wondering what they did wrong. We viewers are well rid of both the pillocks.

  • RedGooner

    Walter, The “moment of the match” as you described it reminded me of Norman Wisdom it was that comical.

    Mind you watching Howard Web tonight ref Westham v Birmingham I sure as hell hope he doesnt get the league cup final.

    Fun to read your article as ever.

  • Hypocrites....

    You Arsenal fans are unbelievably hypocritical, so if theres a slight contact but your player and he then dives, its ok! but when Agger slightly touched Berbatov (and yes he did choose to go down) it was all “Berbatovs a cheat, he blatently dived” blah blah!!

    So lets look at both incidents, Berbatov got a very slight KICK to the leg and he chose to go down. Arsenal fans claim a dive.

    Fabregas got a very slight touch from an ARM, no kick to the legs whatsoever but falls down like he got shot! Arsenal fans claim penalty!

    It is quite unbelievable how pathetic you mugs actually are, you are all so biase its unreal! Only seeing what you want to see.

    Its no wonder your club cannot win anythong, when its manager and its fans do nothing but make excuses instead of looking at the facts!

    Pathetic mentality, pathetic team, pathetic succesd.

    Goodnite muppets, keep wearing your rose-tinted ‘Arsenal are the only victims’ glasses….idiots

  • walter

    9jagunnerdoc,
    When I start my ref review I start with a fresh mind. Or better said: I try to start like that. Yes I felt good today so it could have affected my view on things.

    But I try to look at the incidents one by one. And I can have a general feeling on a game and on the ref but when I start the review I work on a point per point basis and at times I am even surprised by the total outcome of the ref score. Sometimes it is higher than I thought it would be and sometimes lower.

    He got himself a few points from his assistant in this review. But this is a thing that works in both directions. The ref loses and wins points from his assistants. When they mess up the ref gets points deducted. When they are good the ref gets their points. I did this because I couldn’t check each assistant and give them a score. And also as a ref I consider them as a unit, as a team. For a ref goes the same thing as for the football teams: you win together, you lose together.

    If you take the points I gave him from his assistants away he ends up with 69%. Not that good but not completely bad also.

    As I have done it this way all season I must keep on doing it that way. Maybe next season I could change it and just mention the good or wrong decisions from the assistants in a separate score? I will think of that.

  • Caribkid

    What was even more amazing were the commentators agreeing with the REF on his MOTM decision and saying he had no choice.

    Do these overpaid louts ever read the rule books seeing that they are making tons of money for disseminating information to “Yanks” and other countries around the world who know nothing about the beautiful game.

  • Tee Song

    @ Walter. Off topic I know but I was wondering what you’re opinion was of the controversial lack of a penalty call in the ManIOU v Blackpool match. For me the match commentary was again abysmal, brushing it off as “a good old-fashioned shoulder barge”. Clearly, these people are not being paid to be objective.

  • aaron

    Watching the game in a very good position, High and central. I thought Halsey was if anything a 50% max. Yes he got some good decisions. But time and time again Ipswich were tugging shirts right in front of his eye line and pulling limbs (For extended periods of time). Some he called but most he just let go.

    The Cesc incident was shocking. I went absolutely mad. He got scythed and then gestured to “Get Up”.

    The MOTM incident was completely wrong. Regardless of what might have happened, you can’t stop play. It’s like saying if the ball was going off for a throw in but hit the corner flag and actually went out for a corner… the ref would stop and say actually no it’s a throw in. It’s the way the cookie crumbles. Or if Turf affected the ball from jumping into the net as a keeper goes to collect. You just can’t do that.

  • RedGooner

    Walter have you ever considered doing a Ref report after each Utd game ? Just curious as to how many rediculous decisions Man Utd get and is there a conspiracy or are we all just imagining the decisions that go their way.
    They say over a season that things even themselves out, I highly doubt that in Utds case.

  • Andrew Chua

    Gray was paid 1.7 Million Pounds annually as a pundit. An outrageous amount for that sort of work. A lot of CEOs in my part of the world don’t even get to be paid that well. It goes to show how out of this world football, in particular England, is.

  • walter

    About the question of reviewing the Utd games. I would love to do this but the problem is time. Aint no mountain high enough for doing what I do for the Arsenal. Reviewing a game cost me on average around 3 hours. And as I do have to work for another 10 years minimum to earn my self a living before I can think of retirement I just think I don’t have the time for the moment.

  • walter

    About the Blakcpool penalty : I have seen it and the first word that comes to my mind : SHOCKING!

    The only challenge that is allowed is the shoulder challenge. But then again this is only within the laws when it is shoulder against shoulder. And this is not a shoulder against shoulder challenge. This is just a complete body check from Rafael. Maybe nothing wrong with this on an ice hockey pitch but as far as I know this is football and you are not allowed to do this. In fact he not only gives him a body chek but he also trips him with his legs. Whatever way you look at this, this is a blatant penalty.

    But this is United, this is the EPL. These are the refs who try to walk in the footsteps of Mike Riley. Be good to sAF and United and you will get your reward. This is how the system works in many countries (with other teams) and this is the way the system works in the EPL.

    And any commentator or pundit who is saying something different is worthless and knows nothing about the laws of the game. I would challenge them to point in the official laws of the game the place where you could find that this is allowed. I think they never read it. And if they did it they clearly didn’t understand it.

  • walter

    Caribkid, did they really said “he had no other choice”? How on earth can they be football commentators and pundits?

    Okay, Halsey screwed up on the time but he sure wasn’t the only one…. dear oh dear….

  • WalterBroeckx

    Dear Hypocrites, what a well chosen name.

    Did you actually read my report? Or what part was not in English that you are able to understand?

    I actually agreed with the ref on the not given penalty decision on Fabregas. Other can have different opinions but for me as a ref I wouldn’t have given a penalty for this.

    Oh, I also wouldn’t have given a penalty for Berbatov against Liverpool.

    Oh But I would have given a penalty for Blackpool on tuesday night and given a yellow card against Rafael. The difference between 1 point and 3 points.

    Oh and I would have given a penalty for WBA and a red card against Neville a few weeks back. The difference between 1 point and 3 points again.

    Oh and I would have given a red card against Fletcher when he ran to the ref and pushed him at Old Trafford.

    Oh and I would have given a red card against Ferdinand for his karata kick attack on Sagna when we played at Old Trafford. Just like Eboue got send off a few season ago for the same thing. Would you still have won with 9 men on the pitch?

    Oh and … well I could carry on for a while if you want but I will leave it like that as I don’t have to start about earlier years and blatant “mistakes” from the refs in favour of United. And blatant mistakes and fouls against Arsenal like canceling a goal for offside after a backpass from a defender and other very strange things.

    Yes, just look at the facts mr. Hypocrites. Your club may win things in that way and maybe you feel proud about it. Over here we try to analyse the ref and if you care to take a look you will see that even when we lose I can give refs high scores.

    In my country there is an idiom which is saying: the truth hurts. And by your angy reaction I think that you know that United gets the decisions from the refs (the truth) and that it hurts when other people talk about it. As it shatters your dream world of ‘a superior United’.

  • nicky

    Walter, I hope the creep called Hypocrite reads and re-reads your comment above.
    On the other hand, he is probably so thick (a relation of Gray?) that a commonsense argument will be way beyond his understanding.

  • Gf60

    Quiz for Hypocrites. (Answers provided as apart from “Spell your name”, getting answers might prove a problem.

    Q: How many MFU fans does it take to pave up a driveway?
    A: Depends how thin you slice them.

    Q. What would you call a pregnant MFU fan?
    A: A dope carrier.

    Q. What do you call an MFU fan with half a brain?
    A: Gifted.

    Q: How many MFU fans does it take to change a light bulb?
    A: Don’t matter, cos they’re all condemned to eternal darkness anyway.

    Q: How is a pint of milk different than an MFU fan?
    A: If you leave the milk out for a week it develops a culture!

    Q: What’s the difference between an MFU fan and a sperm?
    A: At least a sperm has one chance in 3 million of becoming a human being.

    Q: How do you save a red nosed MFU fan from drowning?
    A: Take your foot off his head.

    Q: What’s the difference between a busload of MFU fans and a Hedgehog?
    A: On a hedgehog, the pricks are on the outside.

    Q: What do Haemhorroids and MFU Fans have in common?
    A: They’re both a complete pain in the arse and never seem to go away completely

    Q. Two MFU fans jump off a cliff. Which one hits the ground first?.
    A. Who gives a F**K!

    Q: How do you define 144 MFU fans?
    A: Gross Stupidity

    Q. Why do MFU fans whistle whilst sitting on the toilet?
    A. So they know which end to wipe.

    Q: What’s the difference between an MFU supporter and an Onion?
    A: No one cries when you chop up an MFU fan!

  • nicky

    Gf60
    LOL……but a MFU fan wouldn’t see the joke.

  • A Casual Observer

    Chill guys – do not feed the troll, laugh at him – fine, but never feed a troll!

  • Samuel

    It,s becoming more obvious day by day match after match that the EFA and it,s incompetent refs. want Trash.United to win another dubious Premier League title,what with two penalties WBA vs Trash.United not given ,another one turned down vs Blackpool two nights ago a clear penalty for Arsenal vs Wigan ,handball in the Wigan defensive freekick wall,a dubious N.Zogbia dive vs Wigan, again and plenty other dubious Trash.United penalties awarded for what,only old red nose and the ref know ,so bring on the CL and hopefully competent European refs not swayed by loud mouthed managers ?

  • RedGooner

    lol @ Nickys Reply ….Brillinat just Brilliant 🙂

    Walter we will have to get more sponsorship for ANR and make you all full time paid writers so we can do a Ref review on Utd and highlight the cheating going on 🙂

  • Yommex

    I’ll rather we don’t win a title than go it the United way. It’s a real shame the manner most officials in the EPL fall over themselves to help Manchesster United to undeserved wins. Winning at all cost is not only unfair, it is also a shameful thing. I’m yet to be convinced that something similar to the inquisition carried out in Italy sometimes ago will not take place in the nearest future with more than half of Manchester United’s titles under Ferguson axed. Just wait and see. (Who knows, Andy Gray and Richard Keys may open some cans of worms as a fall out of their exit from “United’s” Sky Sports).

  • zubeir

    lmao
    do they manures get the joke.. I think all of em are so thick, i tried explaining (imagine xplaining) to a pal about the rafael incident, i couldn’t make him agree….
    I hope We Win This League.. Oh how i’ll laugh @ em

    gooner til i die