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The Untold ref review: Udinese – Arsenal

By Ref reviewer 04

We got ourselves in the Group stages of the Champions League. Can the same be said of ref Olegario Benquerenca? Only one way to find out and that is to read our ref review of the game.

Min Type Foul from On C/NC Comment points weight on
4 OFFSIDE Walcott C Correct 1 1 1
9 GOAL Di Natale C Disallowed for offside. Very clear offside 1 3 3
11 OTHER Udi? RVP C Trip 1 1 1
14 OTHER Di Natale Vermaelen C High foot 1 1 1
15 OTHER Udi17 Frimpong NC Trip 0 0 1
15 OTHER Udi? RVP NC Trip. Two fouls in seconds not given 0 0 1
17 OFFSIDE Udi20 C Correct 1 1 1
18 OFFSIDE Walcott NC Walcott was level with the last defender 0 0 1
19 OTHER Jenkinson Armero C Jenkinson held the striker by the shirt 1 1 1
19 OTHER Udi? Djourou C Push 1 1 1
22 OFFSIDE Di Natale C Came back from offside 1 1 1
23 OTHER Song Armero C Trip 1 1 1
24 OTHER Neuton Gervinho C Holding 1 1 1
25 OTHER Udi? RVP C Push in the back 1 1 1
26 OTHER Frimpong Badu C Trip 1 1 1
28 OTHER RVP C Handball 1 1 1
28 OTHER Frimpong Udi20 NC Got the ball but with the other leg the player. Was a foul 0 0 1
30 OTHER Song Udi? C Could not judge so ruling on the fiel stands 1 1 1
31 OFFSIDE Di Natale C Correct 1 1 1
36 PENALTY Song Badu C The striker lost his footing and just went to the ground without any contact 1 3 3
39 GOAL Di Natale C Correct goal 1 3 3
43 OTHER Pinzi Song C Trip 1 1 1
44 OTHER Udi? RVP NC Push in the back 0 0 1
46 OTHER Gervinho Isla C Trip 1 1 1
Half time 19 25 30
CORRECT 79,17% 83,33%
YELLOW 0 0
RED 0 0
PENALTY 1 1 100,00
GOAL 2 2 100,00
OTHER 0 0
3 3 100,00
OFFSIDE 4 5 80,00
Second half
47 OTHER Gervinho Di Natale C Trip 1 1 1
48 OTHER Isla Sagna C Holding 1 1 1
49 OTHER Song Pinzi NC Song played the ball the Udinese player dropped dead. 0 0 1
50 OTHER Rosicky Neuton C Again comedia del arte from Udinese, the ref sees throug it 1 1 1
50 OTHER Armero Jenkinson C Push in the back 1 1 1
50 YELLOW Isla C He kept moaning against the ref and got a yellow for his trouble. 1 2 2
51 OTHER C Ref tells the players to keep their hands off each other 1 1 1
51 OTHER Djourou Udi? C Djourou didn’t understand the message and held a defender. Correct free kick. As a ref I enjoyed this spell 1 1 1
55 GOAL RVP C Correct goal 1 3 3
58 PENALTY VERMAELEN NC Handball given by the 5th ref behind the goal. Vermaelen had his arms next to his body and he got a push in the back. It should have been a free kick to Arsenal for a foul on Vermaelen. Szczesny makes justice happening 0 0 3
58 YELLOW VERMAELEN NC Also not correct. There was nothing deliberate about this 0 0 2
60 Offside Walcott C 1 1 1
61 OTHER Pinzi Song C Trip 1 1 1
62 PENALTY Udi? Ramsey NC The Udinese defender first touches the ball a bit but the ball runs further and Ramsey can go further to the goal. The defender then lifts his foot and catches the ankle of Ramsey who goes down. Should have been a penalty 0 0 3
65 OTHER Jenkinson udi? C High foot but advantage given 1 1 1
66 OTHER Udi? Ramsey C Push 1 1 1
67 OTHER Badu Sagna C High foot 1 1 1
69 GOAL Walcott C Correct goal 1 3 3
72 PENALTY Neuton Walcott NC Neuton gives Walcott an elbow on the chin. Don’t know if the 5tth official could see it as Neuton covered the action with his body. Should have been a penalty 0 0 3
72 RED Neuton NC There is only one sanction for an elbow and that is a red card 0 0 3
72 YELLOW Sagna C Sagna gets a yelllow card for protesting with the ref. Stupid 1 2 2
74 OTHER Benatia Walcott C Kick from behind 1 1 1
74 YELLOW Walcott C Has enough of it and shows his discontent a bit too much. Understandable but not very smart 1 2 2
74 YELLOW Benatia C He also reacted a bit so another one in the book. All this from the missed elbow 1 2 2
75 OTHER Ramsey C First a holding foul 1 1 1
75 OTHER Rosicky Fabbrini C tRIP 1 1 1
75 YELLOW Jenkinson C Kicking the ball away after the whistle 1 2 2
77 Offside Walcott C Came back from offside 1 1 1
79 Offside Di Natale C Great decision wasn’t easy 1 1 1
81 OTHER Badu Song C Push in the back 1 1 1
82 OTHER Song Fabbrini C Trip 1 1 1
84 PENALTY Udi? C Handball but the ball was like a pinball between two players. No intention 1 3 3
85 OTHER Armero Ramsey C Trip 1 1 1
89 OTHER Rosicky Udi? C Trip 1 1 1
90 OTHER RVP Udi? C Push 1 1 1
91 OTHER dJOUROU Udi? C Advantage given 1 1 1
92 OTHER Jenkinson Udi? C Advantage given 1 1 1
2nd half score
TOTAL 31 42 57
% CORRECT 83,78% 73,68%
YELLOW 5 6 83,33
RED 0 1 0,00
PENALTY 1 4 25,00
GOAL 2 2 100,00
OTHER 5 5 100,00
13 18 72,22
OFFSIDE 3 3 100,00
TOTAL SCORE
TOTAL 50 67 87
% CORRECT 81,97% 77,01%
YELLOW 5 6 83,33
RED 0 1
PENALTY 2 5 40,00
GOAL 4 4 100,00
OTHER 5 5 100,00
16 21 76,19
OFFSIDE 7 8 87,50
Correct calls For Arsenal 25 50,00%
For Udinese 25 50,00%
Total correct calls 50
Wrong calls Against Arsenal 9 90,00%
Against Udinese 1 10,00%
Total 10

Some good things but also some less good things. I liked the way he handled the players all in all in this game. And my advice for the Arsenal players is to try to stay away from the ref as much as possible.

The penalty for Udinese. The turning point in the game. In fact it wasn’t the ref that gave it but he gave it because of the 5th or 6th ref behind the goal who made the call. The ball touched the arm of Vermaelen. But the ref should have seen that the attacker jumped in the back of Vermaelen. The ref behind the goal also should have seen it because he was not that far away from it. So a very soft penalty and even a yellow card which was ridiculous I think. Was this the arm from Platini/Busacca or the arm of Vermaelen that gave away the penalty? Time will tell I guess. Did you notice that no replays were shown from behind the goal? And in those replays the foul on Vermaelen would become very clear. Ah this will be a coincidence I guess.

Add to this the fact that whatever Udinese did it wouldn’t result in a penalty  and you might wonder about some things.

When it came to correct calls the ref was very good. And I think it is the first time a ref has a 50/50 score on this. But with the wrong calls… o dear we surely did not get the benefit of the doubt from this ref.

But it didn’t matter at the end as we won the game and got ourselves once again the group stages of the CL. Oh and with this score the ref will also be in the Champions League. That is if Busacca and Platini still want him there after last night.

33 comments to The Untold ref review: Udinese – Arsenal

  • WalterBroeckx

    I think our ref reviewer stayed up all night. 😉

    I like to point out that from the numbers I see is that he made a lot of calls very well but on some important calls he missed things or was let down by his colleagues.

    I really do wonder if a video ref would have changed the decision for the Udinese penalty. The push was clear visible on TV (both the thing you look at and our player in fact). But I also noticed the fact that no replays from behind the goal were given. Would a video ref get those pictures?

  • addi

    For my part, I thought the ref was pretty kind to us in the first half.

    Frimpong in particular put himself about a bit and although he made a few excellent challenges I remember feeling that the ref had let him get away with a few. I was pretty surprised that he made it to half time without getting booked.

    Of course it’s possible I’ve just become conditioned to expect a card whenever an Arsenal player has the audacity to make a tackle…

  • Jimin

    I kept on wondering whether arsenal ball positioning affects their calls or just maybe they win the balls back easily. Can someone just do a review of a baca match so we can compare to see if most of their calls ll be ignore. I think we play alike. Again if all of our fouls are giving we ll be very diff to defend against just like baca

  • bob

    Walter and Ref 04,
    Yes, a video ref in the booth would surely have shown the reality of the push on Vermaelen that lay behind the absurd penalty and near game-breaker leveled against us. The astonishng (unprecedented?) failure to show a view from behind the nets is really incredible, and indicates the need for an independent control over the camera work for purposes of review. I hope that all of the Ref Reviews would pay similar attention to the difference that a video ref could make on a match to match basis. If this tally is also kept, along with the nature/date/time of the incident and a characterization of the incident, a BRILLIANT case would have been made by JANUARY to issue a call for video replay based on the body of accumulated evidence to date from reviews of many sides. To ensure fair play in the season of the Rednose XX, it is essential to make an informed intervention that gets well publicized. To know is to do and I genuinely hope that the team of ref-reviewers considers issuing a joint mid-season report and call for video replay WHEN (not if, because it’s really not in doubt, judging by everything from the past, including last night) there is enough accumulated evidence from this season. Please consider this, as your work as real-world implications in this most important season.

  • Tee Song

    It seemed like in the second half, the ref wanted Udinese to go through. Like the reviewer, I thought he did well in the first half but three penalties missed wrongly for Arsenal in the second half is pretty bad. Add TV5’s yellow and lack of a card for Neuton and this ref was pretty horrible, despite actually getting most of the other calls correct.

  • On the issue of replays being shown, I am becoming increasingly concerned about this.

    For years the TV systems in the ground have been set up to avoid showing controversial events – to the extent that we had the nonsense at the Ems last season of one goal (Everton I seem to recall) only being shown via a camera shot from the opposite end of the ground!

    And the TV companies are under instruction not to show any crowd incursions onto the pitch. I think this has now been extended to any crowd problems at all.

    It is a creeping form of censorship imposed by football in an attempt to suggest everything is fine and lovely – and it is only done because things are not fine and lovely.

    As Zdzis said on this site earlier today, quoting Brecht, if the people lose trust in the government, the government should dissolve the people.

    That’s where we are going.

  • menace

    I called the penalty award as a cheat immediately it happened. It was so clear that Vermaelen chested the ball and his arms were by his side. I wrote this piece after watching ITV’s highlights and commentary.

    I find it incredible as I watch Andy Townsend on ITV accepting Theo’s yellow card as deserved. This overpaid commentator hasn’t got a digit of intelligence behind his bent nose. Walcott was booked for being fit and alert. He was fouled and got up of the floor quickly. There is nothing in the Laws that allows the referee to call it a foul or to show a yellow card.

    Leaving behind the wonderful media brains, I must first explain the officiating in Champions League football. They had four officials, three of them on the pitch and a fourth official a spare really but on the sidelines taking the flak from disgruntled coaches. They decided that the three on the pitch were insufficient and they needed more on. So they got two more on. For want of a better name, they have really earned the name ‘more ons’. I have watched them at the Emirates in several CL games and they really ignore all the fouls, penalties, shirt pulling, pushing and any form of fouling that goes on. Their job is apparently only to observe the goal line and ensure a goal is given if the whole ball crosses the line. That is until today, when apparently one of the ‘more ons’ saw a handball and got the referee to give a penalty.

    Being an Arsenal supporter I didn’t think there was anything that warranted a penalty. Neither did the referee until a little birdie started singing in his ear. Apparently it was a ‘more on’ who had spotted the ball on the goal line,,, oops he saw a deliberate handball and wanted a penalty to be awarded. If the ball glanced of Vermaelen’s arm it was because he was being pushed from behind, and it wasn’t deliberate. It was obvious that the referee was being instructed by radio and he did the most bizarre thing by not querying the penalty. In this era of technology and the amount of money involved, it is easy to broadcast to a referee and feed him sufficient to earn a few million. In my view referees must go over to the official that is communicating and validate the call before awarding the penalty. It is what should have happened at Newcastle. It happens when a fit for purpose referee is officiating in spite of having radio communication (or failed communication as in Newcastle).

  • Ronnie Brown

    Very bizzarre pentaly, Vermaleon was pushed and fouled and then has a penalty given against him, the truth is overall we do get bias from refs, the reasons for that are debatable.

  • para

    Quote: It was obvious that the referee was being instructed by radio.

    Who really knows if just the ref and co-refs are the only one listening to that frequency, or is there another who makes the decisions and passes them on to the ref?

    This has been a thought of mine when i see some of the decisions made in games.

    I still am convinced that much money changes hands during “betting” on football games, and it is not unlikely that games are “fixed” to facilitate this for the chosen few, who can then secretly bet millions on a game.

  • Davi

    @Ronnie – We’re used to it in the PL, but to get it in European matches, particularly one as important as this is too much. Has there ever been a game where the other team had a worse time from the refs than arsenal? I can’t remember seeing one. Sure we get lucky from time to time, like everyone else, but on I don’t think we’ve ever been luckier than the other side over the course of a game.

  • Davi

    @menace – and isn’t if funny the only time one of those goal-line refs does ANYTHING it is to give a ridiculous decision against arsenal. Poor old wenger; the magnitude of what he has to do to win something is incredible.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Davi,
    I do remember one team having a nightmare with the ref in the CL. It was Chelsea. In the semi final a few years back against…… surprise… Barcelona.

    But I will be coming back on this in another article in fact.

  • bob

    Davi,
    Are you kidding about Euro matches? Are you aware of how many scandals are currently being investigated since over the summer worldwide, including Europe – Greece, Hungary, etc. etc. And if it’s just CL that you mean, surely you haven’t forgotten Basura of Barca who doesn’t see choking and whistles us to 10 down and gets a promotion to top referee for his troubles. Corruption in Europe? Next you’ll be saying there’s gambling in Casablanca! Shocked, I say! Shocked! (shocked that you seem to be shocked)

  • Matoo

    One concern:

    We know that the Vermaelen “Handball” was a wrong decision, therefore the yellow to him was also clearly wrong as well.
    However, if the ref decides that Vermaelen did touch the ball with his hand intentionally (thus meriting a penalty), isn’t he just being consistent by applying the rules and awarding a yellow card?
    I’m not saying that the right call was made in any way, but calling the yellow card a wrong decision should probably have less weightage in this case because at least the ref was making a consistent decision.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Matoo, that is a valid point in fact.
    In fact we have a dubious yellow card decision for this which has weight 1 on 2. We could have used it.

    On the other hand (what’s in a word) you don’t have to give a yellow card if you think the penalty decision is enough punishment. Saying you bring a player down who was dribbling away from goal in the penalty area.

    But in this case if the assistent told the ref it was a deliberate handball a yellow card should be given. So weighing up the + and – I think a 1 on 2 score would be justified.

  • Matoo

    That makes a lot of sense, thanks for clearing it up!

  • Ronnie Brown

    The media (and some other outlets) are really in general vicious, evil, bias and manipulative, just today I have seen so many ridiculous things just on Arsenal News Now, cause we were loaning one of our young defenders, think it was Boetang, they said somethng like “another Arsenal captain poised for exit”, and now I just seen a long article basically insulting Arsene throughout and praising Ferguson, with bias thrown in in nearly every sentence, look at this…

    “It is becoming sort of a tradition this season, and Sunday’s Old Trafford faceoff might as well put the confirmation seal on it. “One Gunner will be given marching orders for a foolish tackle.”

    Wenger’s season started of on the wrong foot when his newly-signed striker, Gervinho, was given marching orders for his tackle of Newcastle’s Joey Barton. During last weekend’s poor loss to Liverpool, youngster Frimpong did no good when his idiotic tackle resulted in a red card and heaped further misery on the Gunners.”

    I won’t bother going into what is wrong with just that small paragraph of the article as it’s self explanatory…

  • walter

    What is wrong is that even don’t look at the matches but still write about it…

    Even a blind man can see this…

    Why on earth would people do such things? I think they are being paid to do such things

  • Ronnie Brown

    To be honest I remember quite a few dodgy decsions we have gotten in Europe, the goal where they let the player pass the ball into the net by taking a quick free kick, Barcelona with RVP, uneccesary bookings and sendings off, not to mention bans, it is suspicious…

  • Laundryender

    What is a fact is that so far this season we have played 3 competitive matches, 2 in the league and one in the CL.

    All contentious decisions have gone against us. All of them, 270 mins of football so far played and every single decision that is contentious, and in more than one occasion decisive have gone against us.

    We must find out the answer to why this is.

    Is it an idealistic approach from the manager and coaches?

    Is it naivety in the players?

    Is it the approach of the opposition and the fact that they work us?

    Is it the fact that referees just find it easier to judge against us?

    I haven’t a clue, it may be a bit of all of them, but whatever it is it disadvantages us so much year after year

  • Laundryender

    Sorry Walter

    Once again an excellent review, you are a Gooner Legend, no doubt.

  • Laundryender

    And some advice to I Gazidis

    SZCZENEY
    FRIMPONG
    WILSHERE
    JENKINSON

    Extend their contracts now, give them a massive signing on fee and apply a buyout clause as is the continental practice. These guys are the future of the club, they are also now!!!!

    Protect your assets and get proactive.

    Fail to plan, plan to fail

    Sorry for going off topic there

    To TA, and Dogface, Respect

  • Simon Bailey

    Laundryender, I agree with you wholeheartedly. We haven’t had a 50/50 all season and all of our misdemeanours have been punished like felonies. we have been punished for some righteous stuff, like frimpong second yellow that could have been a straight red. I think the reason is clear, and it stems from the 2nd leg at barca last season. There is no way uefa was not having barca in the final, and so it was. our club and manager are trying their hardest to buck the trend of using massive financial input for player trading. Uefa and fifa are businesses that make money out of football, the more swilling around, the more they earn. we arent playing their game and so are teama non grata. (i dont know if thats correct latin!)
    even though uefa has told us all they are bringing in these financial fair play rules, clubs like united have already started working their way round it with a 10 million sponsor deal for the reserve team from dhl. i dont think we can rely on these rules to make the playing field a but more level, and were not going to play them at their own game so we are just going to have to be the best footie team in europe despite this bunch of cunts. (sorry, but they are)

  • Jas777

    To whoever did the review.

    I know there is only one rule book but however depending on where you are in the world there are different interpretations or following strictly of the laws etc than others

    Do you take this into account when reviewing a EPL game as opposed to a Champions League game?

  • walter

    Jas 777,

    The interpretations on how to follow the rules should be the same everywhere in the world. Each year we have a refreshment course where we get explained some changes in rules.
    And in those courses we also get videos with scenes on how to apply the rules. And this videos are made by Fifa and are the same for the whole world.

    So basically it should be the same. The only thing is that when a country is faced with some specific problem they can enter this of course and give special instructions to their refs about that specific problem.

    So the rules are the same (from Fifa), the interpretation of the rules are the same (from Fifa). If there is any difference it will be the refs of the local FA who sets different rules (which they are not really allowed to do without Fifa permission)

    However for the moment we have refs from 3 different countries doing the reviews. And if there are any differences, by the way we organise the reviews those differences should be evened out at the end of the season.

  • bob

    Walter,
    “Why” on earth the media stenographers (who don’t [need to] see the match) do their vulture-like nasties is two-fold. In my opinion, because:
    (1) they need a new post-“Cesc Leaving” story to fill the massive vacuum and fill the coffers of their profit center – and the designated new story is “Wenger Out”; which
    (2) is itself part of an Operation that’s designed to turn the fan base against him, push him out (or have him walk), bring the club to its knees and desperate for a zillionaire saviour to come charging in on a black (oh sorry, white) horse to save us from ourselves and the team’s disaster.

    This (2) is a hypothetical scenario to seriously consider, but I have little doubt imo that (1) is fully at work – replacing one cash cow with another. Let’s not be so naive as to forget the oldest maxim: “follow the money”!

  • bob

    jas777,
    you are right that there are arsenal rules and non-arsenal rules, but both apply in most places in the world that are blessed enough with FIFA/UEFA oversight (or should I say over-sight).

    Laundryender,
    so that FIFA produces ManUre by any means necessary; and UEFA produces Barca by any means necessary; Howard Webb gets Celebrity Status; Basura gets to be chief of refs;

    and Arsenal Fans get the shaft.

  • Kentetsu

    @ menace: Ineed, it appeared the ‘more on’ (nice one!) behind the goal gave the call and it also appeared the ref was communicating with him through his headset. If they did and the ref got proper consultation, then there’s no need any more to go over the the ‘more on’ and repeat the conversation.

    Interesting point from para, though. Who knows if only the six in black are communicating? Might as well be that one of Platini’s puppets is giving orders during the game. As long as the communication is not made public, it is certainly possible.

  • bob

    Kentetsu,
    In big rugby the referee conversation is broadcast along with the match, as a selling point to attract/keep viewers, right? I wonder why big football doesn’t adopt that silly idea? Really baffled on this one. Help!

  • bob

    menace,
    putting a mic on ’em? Hmmmm?
    if it’s good enough for rugby, surely it’s good enough for….

  • Stevie E

    @bob & menace
    I think our very own Tony Adams put an end to micd refs when his choice language was broadcast to the nation during a trail. For such a big man, his voice goes really high when he’s calling the ref a effing c**t 🙂

  • Kris

    The answer to Laundryender

    We do have against us all the football managers in this world who cannot answer these 2 questions from their directors:1. How to the hell you cannot keep our team on top without been bankrupt? 2-How Arsene Wenger does this for Arsenal?

    Secondly, all the footballers agents are against us because we dont want to overpay for their primandonas.

    UEFA+FA +MEDIA are corrupt organisations…..Arsenal is not

  • I would implore…

    Sorry this post was deleted as it seemed to break virtually all the house rules on this site, in that it was from a seemingly invalid email address, it contained abuse and it really didn’t have anything to do with the post on which it purported to comment. The piece in question was about Udinese, but the commentary seemed to refer to Bolton Wanderers, who, I think, were not involved in the game.