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Untold Ref Review: Arsenal 2 – Sunderland 1

By Ref Reviewer 03

For the game Arsenal – Sunderland we had for the second time in 8 games in the PL ref Howard Webb in charge.

Min Type Foul from On C/NC Comment points weight
1 GOAL C Van Persie  -goal okay 1 3
3 OTHER Vaughan Gervinho NC Shove – not given 0 0
3 OTHER Koscielny Sessegnon NC Webb called for a trip but it looked like Koscielny won the ball fairly 0 0
8 OTHER Richardson Walcott C Obstructed Walcott so he couldn’t complete the give and go 1 1
10 OTHER Sessegnon Jenkinson NC Pushed Jenkins so he could not get to the ball after Jenkins had blocked the ball. Sunderland got a corner kick as a result. 0 0
12 PENALTY Mignolet Gervinho NC After Van Persie’s shot came of the post and across the goal, Mignolet pushed Gervinho so he couldn’t tap the ball in. 0 0
12 RED Mignolet NC The Keeper denied an obvious goalscoring opportunity and should have walked 0 0
13 OTHER Colback Koscielny C Obstruction 1 1
13 OFFSIDE Gervinho C 1 1
15 OTHER Elmohamady Song C Shove 1 1
16 OFFSIDE Sessegnon C 1 1
18 OTHER O’Shea Rosicky NC Fouled Rosicky and dispossed him – not given 0 0
19 OTHER Turner Gervinho C Contact may have been very minimal but he was showing studs – correct call 1 1
20 OTHER Richardson Rosicky NC Came in with a raised boot and caught Rosicky on his foot – not given 0 0
20 YELLOW Richardson NC Should have been booked for dangerous play 0 0
21 OTHER Larsson Arteta C Shove
21 YELLOW Colback NC Kicked the ball away so Arsenal couldn’t counter – should have been booked 0 0
26 OFFSIDE Gibbs C Close call – assumed correct 1 1
27 OTHER Szczesny C Sunderland argued for a deliberate pass back to the keeper, this call could have gone either way depending on the ref’s discretion 1 1
27 OTHER Larsson Song NC Wrestled to ground – not given 0 0
27 OTHER Gibbs Elmohamady NC Tugged on his arm – not given 0 0
28 OTHER Van Persie Cattermole C Trip 1 1
29 OTHER Arteta C Handball 1 1
30 GOAL C Larsson – goal okay 1 3
34 OTHER Larsson Jenkinson NC Shoved Jenkinson – not given. Sunderland almost scored from this foul with Szcesney making a brilliant save 0 0
36 OTHER Brown Van Persie C Slid in on Van Persie from behind 1 1
36 YELLOW Brown NC He could have seriously hurt Van Persie – should have been booked 0 0
37 OTHER Cattermole Song C Knocked Song over – no advantage so foul given correctly 1 1
38 OTHER Jenkinson Brown NC Brown was fouled as he tried to clear, Arsenal quickly won a throw-in in Sunderland’s half 0 0
39 OTHER Turner Gervinho NC Shoved Gervinho in the head – assume ref played advantage but there wasn’t much of one 0 0
39 OTHER Cattermole Rosicky C Trip 1 1
40 OTHER Song Sessegnon C Shove 1 1
44 OTHER Mertesacker Colback C Foul 1 1
45+2 OTHER Colback Rosicky C Holding – advantage correctly played 1 1
45+2 Sessegnon C 1 1
Half time 19 23
CORRECT 54,29% 51,11%
YELLOW 0 3 0,00
RED 0 1 0,00
PENALTY 0 1 0,00
GOAL 2 2 100,00
OTHER 0 3 0,00
2 10 20,00
OFFSIDE 4 4 100,00
Second half
46 OTHER Richardson Van Persie C Trip 1 1
49 OTHER NC Turner blocked Van Persie’s attempted cross out for a corner but Webb awarded a goal kick to Sunderland 0 0
52 OTHER Vaughan Rosicky C Tripped Rosicky with a sliding tackle from behind 1 1
52 YELLOW Vaughan C Killed the dangerous counter attack with the foul – booked 1 2
54 OTHER Mertesacker Sessegnon C Bumped into him 1 1
55 OTHER Larsson Van Persie C Intentionally pulled him back to stop promising attack 1 1
55 YELLOW Larsson C Unsporting behaviour – yellow very much deserved 1 2
56 OTHER Elmohamady Song C Shove 1 1
56 PENALTY C Walcott wanted a penalty for handball, but Richardson was only three feet away, and ball hit stomach – right not to give it. 1 3
56 OTHER Song Sessegnon C Stepped on his boot and tripped him up from behind 1 1
56 YELLOW Song C Perhaps a little harsh considering it was only Song’s 2nd foul and there were 3 other defenders covering, but Webb had just booked 2 Sunderland players for similar offenses. 1 2
58 OTHER Cattermole Song C Foul – advantage played 1 1
58 OTHER O’Shea Rosicky C Trip – broke up promising attack 1 1
58 YELLOW O’Shea NC Not a whole lot different than what Song was booked for – where is the consistency? 0 0
60 OTHER Cattermole Song C Song was first fouled by Sessegnon, then by Colback, and then by Cattermole.  It took 3 fouls before Webb blew the whistle. 1 1
61 OTHER Brown Walcott C Took out Walcott late and hard as he was going past into the area 1 1
61 RED Brown NC This looked an intentional and somewhat dangerous tackle to stop a goalscoring chance.  It should have been red not yellow. Also note that Brown should have been booked in the 1st half for a bad tackle on Van Persie. 0 0
62 OTHER NC Webb allowed a wall of considerably less than 10 yards 0 0
63 OTHER Koscielny Sessegnon C Koscielny looked to have the better position as Sessegnon ran across and got tripped up, but I’ll give the linesman the benefit of the doubt 1 1
63 YELLOW Koscielny NC It’s debatable whether Koscielny even fouled him – definitely not a yellow. 0 0
71 OFFSIDE Turner C 1 1
73 OTHER Sessegnon Song C Shove 1 1
77 OTHER Benayoun Cattermole NC Benayoun was tackled unfairly from behind, Benayoun then fouled back by holding, but ref should have given the first foul 0 0
82 OTHER Brown Van Persie C Trip 1 1
83 GOAL C Van Persie – goal okay. Note that the wall was set up properly 10 yards back 1 3
83 YELLOW Van Persie C Players are not allowed to remove their jerseys in celebrating a goal 1 2
84 OFFSIDE Ji Dong-Won C 1 1
87 PENALTY Turner NC Intentionally handled the ball in the area to stop a goalscoring chance. 0 0
87 RED Turner NC Should have been sent off. 0 0
88 PENALTY C Colback wanted a penalty but hard to tell if Theo’s challenge was normal or if he made enough contact to justify Colback falling down like he did. The ref may have also thought Theo had won the ball. The ref’s judgment was perhaps influenced by not awarding Arsenal a penalty a minute or two earlier. I marked this correct, but the decision might have gone the other way. 1 3
90 OTHER NC Added time of 5 minutes is too much.  3 or 4 minutes would have been right 0 0
90+1 OTHER Richardson Benayoun C Trip 1 1
90+2 OTHER Song C Handball 1 1
90+3 OFFSIDE Elmohamady C 1 1
90+4 OTHER Turner Van Persie NC Holding – not given 0 0
90+5 OTHER Song Gardner C Trip 1 1
2nd half score
TOTAL 26 35
% CORRECT 72,22% 64,81%
YELLOW 4 6 66,67
RED 0 2 0,00
PENALTY 2 3 66,67
GOAL 1 1 100,00
OTHER 4 5 80,00
11 17 64,71
OFFSIDE 3 3 100,00
TOTAL SCORE
TOTAL 45 58
% CORRECT 63,38% 58,59%
YELLOW 4 9 44,44
RED 0 3
PENALTY 2 4
GOAL 3 3 100,00
OTHER 4 8 50,00
13 27 48,15
OFFSIDE 7 7 100,00
Correct calls For Arsenal 30 66,67%
For Sunderland 15 33,33%
Total correct calls 45
Wrong calls Against Arsenal 23 92,00%
Against Sunderland 2 8,00%
Total 25

Arsenal took on Sunderland at the Emirates with Howard Webb and crew officiating.  Webb is definitely not a favourite amongst Arsenal fans and today’s match will do nothing to improve that even if Arsenal did come away with all three points.  Webb’s score in the first half was a dismal 54.29%, and 63.38% overall.  Wrong calls were numerous and almost exclusively in favour of Sunderland with 23 of the 25 incorrect decisions going against Arsenal.

Van Persie opened the scoring in the first minute and nearly doubled the lead just over 10 minutes later with a chip that hit the far post and rebounded across the goalmouth.  As Gervinho was running past Mignolet to knock in the rebound, the Sunderland keeper pushed Gervinho preventing him from playing the ball cleanly.  This was an intentional foul which denied an obvious goalscoring opportunity and as such, Arsenal should have been awarded a penalty and Mignolet should have been sent off.

Webb reffed this match very loosely and Sunderland got away with a lot of pushing and shoving, and would often resort to fouling when Arsenal quickly threatened in attack.  Amazingly Arsenal had the same number of players booked as did Sunderland – three apiece.

Van Persie’s booking was mandatory for removing his shirt.  Song’s yellow was deserved though a couple of Sunderland players made similar challenges without getting booked.  However Koscielny’s yellow was derisory.  It may be argued that it wasn’t even a foul.

On the other hand, Song made a couple of infractions in injury time and he was perhaps lucky not to have been sent off with a second yellow.

One thing I noticed, not only in this match, but in many matches, is that the referee often lets the defense set up their wall much less than the 10 yards that is specified in the rule book.

For example, in the 62nd minute, Sunderland looked to be only about 5 or 6 yards back from the free kick that Theo Walcott took.  Is it any surprise that when Theo tried to curl his shot around a player so close that he would miss dreadfully?

Now compare this to the free kick from which Robin Van Persie scored the winner in the 82nd minute.  This time Howard Webb had forced the wall to be set up the full 10 yards, and as a result Robin scored his first goal from a free kick since January.

There were also a few penalty shouts in the 2nd half.  Walcott wanted one given in the 56th minute, but that ball hit Richardson in the stomach, not the arm, and from very close range.

The penalty shout everyone seemed to have seen except for Webb and his linesman was the handball by Sunderland in the 87th minute.

Turner fell to ground and Arshavin was about to skip past him when he stuck out his arm and swiped it away – an intentional handball, a penalty and a sending off.  At least it should have been.  Webb looked to his linesman with his arms outstretched seemingly asking if his linesman had seen it, and Sunderland escaped what would have most likely killed off the match.

One or two minutes later Sunderland had a penalty claim of their own when Colback went to ground from a challenge by Walcott.  The contact looked minimal and Colback went down easily, but I have seen penalties given for less.  In the end, Webb decided not to give it, perhaps the fact that he did not give Arsenal a penalty minutes earlier weighed on his decision.

100 comments to Untold Ref Review: Arsenal 2 – Sunderland 1

  • WalterBroeckx

    Amazing pictures by the way. Not only showing that when a ref does his job the job for the striker is much easier (as was the case with Larson).
    And it highlights that Webb is not a consistent ref.

  • cape gooner

    Thanks Reviewer 3, excellent job!

  • Wow… that was an eye opener – great review Reviewer 03!

    3 points is a very good result considering how tilted the pitch was!

    Bit of a formatting problem there Walter… might need to tweek that.

  • I was watching the Man city/Aston villa game and i saw a similar hand ball which was counted when we played spurs. You remember Vandaveert! Im waiting for untold ref review Mancity/Villa to see if it was a right call or a wrong one. Im in Kampala but i tell you we have a very big following but they surface the next day after the match,but during matches there are all gone.
    One question though,when we lose the British media talks about our end but when we win we scrap the win or Van the man or Scezny saves us aint those our players or they belong to the opposite team?? I,m going to like it this week when the so called big teams are all kicked out the Champions League and see what the media will talk.

  • Ok – I think I’ve fixed it now.

  • Justin

    an observation about wall for 62nd min free kick:

    Ref Reviewer 03 is saying “in the 62nd minute, Sunderland looked to be only about 5 or 6 yards back from the free kick that Theo Walcott took”

    I think the box dimension are 18*40(?). From the pic, it looks to have 3 grass patches along the width, and approx 7 along the length (6 full and 2 half). So one grass patch can be considered 6*6..

    Here the distance is diagonal. So around 8.5 yard. And the freekick is taken from outside the box, so distance there should at least be 9+. Kind of hard on Webb there, aren’t you? 😉

    Am i wrong somewhere?

  • Marcus

    Every week I vow to end my interest in football, and every week I hold out for the Gunners to win.
    But you have put the the kibosh on my support Walter. Appreciate your analysis.

    Wretched sport, wretchedly corrupt.

  • Stuart

    I thought it was an appaling display of refereeing and this guy was given the responibility of World Cup Final. There were at least three instances where they should have had players shown second yellow cards let alone first yellows; Brown and O’Shea being two that stick out in my mind.

    Brilliant ref review by the way and the pics are a really good idea to refresh ones memory.

  • Hmmm – Justin… let me run it through the old calculator. I’m shit at maths and have wikipedia and a few fuzzy pictures of the Emirates pitch to work from so please correct me if I’m wrong.

    The pitch size at Aresnal is 105m x 68m

    There appear to be 18×12 rectangles mowed into the pitch – therefore each rectangle is:

    105/18 = 5.83
    68/12 = 5.66
    ————-
    5.83m x 5.66m

    ok, to calculate the diagonal of a rectangle we use:

    sqrt(length^2 + bredth^2)
    =sqrt(5.83^2 + 5.66^2)
    =sqrt(33.99 + 32.04)
    =sqrt(66.03)
    =8.13m

    Or 8.86 yards… assuming that the squares do not crossover the touchlines.

    The freekick was on the edge of the area but also closer along the axis – there is also a stray player to the right that is shortening the gap (he appears to have stepped up in anticipation of the kick) – so you are correct and I would estimate the distance at more than 5-6 yards and more in the region of 8-9 yards, but still short.

    Ref Reviewers may now use this as an official Untold caculation of the mown in squares on the Emirates pitch.

    😉

  • Abhishek Kumar

    Hi Walter..

    Some formatting issues still there.. Great review,…

    Even I was not sure how Gevinho missed it as he was ahead of the keeper but the Arsenal player was not so clear in its replay..

  • M.V

    Was shocked at some of the challenges from sunderland players. They should issue a new card = Orange.

  • Justin

    @Dogface- thats a ‘scholar’ response!! 🙂

  • Timmy

    Theo walcot had a closer range shot than that of van Persie and had the distance between the wall and the ball were correct. he would have had a good shot at goal considering that van Persie had a longer range than him (Theo) and still scored.

  • WalterBroeckx

    The distance on both free kicks that went in was the wall almost the correct distance (a little less than 2 blocks in the lawn)
    The thing is the closer to the goal line a free kick is, the more important it is for a ref to put the wall on 10 yards distance.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Oh and please don’t praise me for the review: it wasn’t me 😉

  • WalterBroeckx

    About the distance: I know in Italy, France and Germany they use a circle line on the TV with the correct distance on it. It’s clear visible in seconds to show if the distance is correct or not

  • WalterBroeckx

    Dogface, I tried and I also came up with the 5.66m being one side of such a block… but then I gave up…

  • Abhishek Kumar

    Hi Dogface

    In both the cases if you watch the breadth is the same but the length is twice in the case of Van Persie so now using your calculations for length and breadth the distance comes around 14 yards for Van Persie’e case which I dont think is right..

    So either Van Persie got a wall which is very far or our calculations for the distance is wrong… No disrepect for your calculations but I think our basic assumption are wrong..

  • WalterBroeckx

    I have been told that the length of such a block is mostly something between 5-6meters. And if you look at the free kicks from Larson and RVP the wall is just under two blocks away which is very close to the correct distance.

    In fact when you put the wall at the correct distance my defenders are always very surprised about the distance between the ball and their body.

  • dan

    Why wasn’t Richardson sent off? seen the replays still cant see why.

  • Shard

    Hmmm. A few disagreements. I didn’t think Jenkinson being dispossessed was a foul. I don’t think the foul on Walcott should have been a red card. A yellow seemed fine, since he wasn’t heading straight towards goal but slightly at an angle. Plus, I’m not sure that Gervinho was fouled really when he was trying to reach the rebound from RVP’s brilliant shot. If the situations were reversed and Szczesny impeded a striker that way, I wouldn’t think it was a penalty. So while I can’t believe what I’m saying, I think this review is harsh on Webb.

    Having said that, I certainly didn’t think he was helping Arsenal in any way in the match. If Song deserved his yellow, there were at least 3 Sunderland players who should have seen yellow too. Koscielny’s booking was a joke. Plus the handball on the floor was a definite penalty, which was not given. All that along with the 5 minutes stoppage time means that I still think Webb is unreliable (and perhaps clever in how he manipulates games?) However, as I said, I think this ref review is unfair to him as regards a few incidents.

  • dan

    manu vs shitty, Webb involved?? If so expect a home win!

  • @Abhishek Kumar – actually I reckon that I’m spot on.

  • Poovan Raj

    Webb was very bad. Inconsistent. He looked that he did all of these on purpose. Why wasn’t Wes Brown sent off? Has he got anything against ARSENAL? Every game most of ref’s decisions go against Arsenal? Kudos to your ref review. You were spot on man. Keep it up.

  • Shard

    I looked at some incidents again and here’s my view. Gervinho was offside from RVP’s shot. Just offside. In any case, I still don’t think the goalkeeper pushed him in a way that can be called a foul. Jenkinson dispossessed also isn’t something that I would call a foul, but it also can be called I suppose. Just before Koscielny’s yellow card, I think Arteta was fouled just on the edge of the Sunderland box, and the review doesn’t mention this incident at all. The handball was blatant and it is shocking that neither the referee nor the linesman saw it. Walcott did not commit a foul and the penalty was rightly not given. I suppose why we have to think about that is because we have seen so many penalties given against us when something like that happens. But if the same decision takes place in a ManU match, it won’t even be mentioned.

  • dan

    Arsenal are always cheated by English players from the opposition, e.g. Barton, Richardson, Rooney, A.Cole, Gerrard. The only none English player that comes to mind is VdV (hand ball and not getting a 2nd yellow)in the recent derby. The big calls are never in our favour, we are a french team in EPL.

  • Ref Reviewer 03

    I had thought the squares in the box were 5 by 5 yards, but after reading the comments here they are probably 6 x 6 yards. Nonetheless, I’d still say that most of the wall was only back about 8 yards and the one player on the right was closer than his teammates.

  • kodjo

    I also think Howard was inconsitent to the point that arsenal were disadvantaged. I’m tempted to say purposefully…though i dont have any proof…If he is England’s best ..i really shudder

    Brown should have walked for 2 dangerous tackles, 2 penalties could have been awarded for either side. Walcott’s tackle was almost similar to Eboue’s in the last seasons game against L’pool.

    Song’s yellow card was ridiculous in view of the countless infractions by S’land players.

    All in all i believe it was terrible officiating.

  • Ref Reviewer 03

    Shard, you’re right about Gervinho being offside on that play. I still think the keeper pushed him, but that doesn’t matter anymore because Gervinho was in an offside position when Robin took his shot. Sunderland should have got a free kick.

  • Ref Reviewer 03

    As to Brown’s foul on Walcott, while it probably did not tick all the boxes for being considered an obvious goalscoring opportunity because the touch was at a slight angle away from goal, the foul appeared to be deliberate, late, and somewhat dangerous. It was a professional foul, and therefore I thought it deserved a red card.

  • Ref Reviewer 03

    Shard, are you referring to the incident at 9 min. 41 seconds?
    Sessegnon tries to go past Jenkinson. Jenkinson blocks the ball, then Sessegnon sticks out his arms and impedes Jenkinson from playing the ball with a little shove.

  • Mahdain

    the ref appointments are out and guess who we got vs the rugby side? yep you guessed it correct its lee mason *sighs*

  • Laundryender

    For your information the mower lines on the pitch are 6 yards apart, they are one for the 6 yard box, one for the penalty spot at 12 yards and one for the 18 yard line. They are sq so working out the diagonal distance is easy with a bit of trig.

    Re Webb, watching the game is just a annoying with him in charge, he is so inconsistent and arrogant, and he has a demeanour that says I will do this my way. He tried that in the World Cup Final and was roundly booed by the crowd when he collected his medal. He clearly has not learnt.

    He was inconsistent and distant. Two things that will always annoy players and supporters alike.

    Re decisions, the review suggests 70 incidents in the game, that is very high and has surprised me, was the game that niggley? I never felt so watching it but clearly the review was performed with eagle eyes. well done reviewer 03

  • Mahdain

    and man city are getting screwed im telling you.. clattenburg has been appointed to ref the manchester derby

  • Shard

    Ref Reviewer 03

    I meant on 34 minutes. The one that Sunderland almost scored from.

  • dan

    Told you so!!!

  • Shard

    Also, I thought a professional foul deserves yellow. And since it wasn’t a clear goal scoring opportunity, I really think a red would have been a wrong decision for that foul on Walcott.

  • Mahdain

    we all remember lee mason from that game against everton at emirates last season dont we? the one where louis saha scored an offside goal even a blind man would see? yep its him

  • Laundryender

    @ Shard

    The Laws Of The Game make no mention of a Professional Foul

  • @Laundryender My calculations made them 6.35 yards long by 6.17 yards wide – but that assumes that they are all of equal sizes.

    If we assume that they are 6 yards long at the goals to fit in with the white lines (and possibly stretching a bit up the pitch to get them to look nice) then we can say that the diagonal would be: 8.606329066448714 yards.

    Or there abouts.

  • Laundryender

    @ Dogface

    Speaking as a man who has marked out many pitches, I will let you in on a little secret, the groundsman uses the lines both along and across the pitch as guidlines for keeping the mower straight. that is why the mower lines always appear to change tone on those marks.

    6 yards is exact

  • They can be 6 yards exact in some places but 6 yards does not go into 114.45 yards (which is the length of the pitch.). as that would make 19 squares long ways rather than the 18 that I can see on my photo..

    …so there must be some cunning mowing in there somewhere!

    Or – the first square at each end is exactly 6 yards and the ‘squares’ overlap a bit at the ends, if this were the case then… Damn – anyone know the groundsman or got a good aerial photo – this is pissing me off now and I NEED TO KNOW!

    <-OCD

  • Philbet

    I think the easiest way to review the distance on the wall from Theos free kick is to use the penalty spot, the player on the left of the wall and therfore the ‘furthest away is leval with the pen spot,which is six yards from the edge of the penalty area the ball is maybe two foot outside the pen area so the wall can only be 7 yards away, with RvP free, the players are again about leval the the pen spot but the kick is from 3-4 yards outside the area meaning they were much closer to 10 yards away.

  • nicky

    From the comments on Untold Ref Review it is clear that many enjoy the in-depth look at the work of the officials.
    For me though, in advanced years, I find it yet another vehicle by which minute introspection is made into human frailty during a sporting fixture played at great pace.
    The result is that mistakes are publicised after the event to the natural chagrin of the fans when penalised unfairly (and occasionally vice versa).
    To me, all I would like to see is some sophisticated means of eliminating, (or at least reducing) the most grievous mistakes during play. It has happened in cricket and rugby and it will come to pass in football. On behalf of all the “crumblies” I hope the day will come before it’s too late!!

  • Tony – raise this with ASIA at the next meeting, get me full specifications of the mowing – I will write a ‘PitchWatch’ article detailing the spacing ratio to the center line and back again and contrast and comapre this with thr fret spacing ratio on guitars/uke’s and the like… might be quite interesting? No… just me then?

    As I recall Manchester City used to have some mental pitch mowing patterns well worthy of an article.

    😉

  • Laundryender

    @ Dogface it is simple

    The mowing is cunning, the guys use the lines on the pitch and where they need to they overlap an extra one to tidy it all up, there are some pictures of the pitch being cut on Google Earth. For the sake of the pen box they cut horizontally along the goal line, then change direction along the pen spot, then again along the 18 yard line. the distance as we all know is 0 – 6 – 12 – 18.

  • @Laundryender

    That’s simple for the first 3 lines up to the 18 yard box but the other lines have to be steadily longer in order to meet the center line exactly on point to 9 boxes (see my above comment). I have quite sadly watched a mowing video of the emirates on YouTube – but they are only going up/down.

    But I think I am/we are at risk of digressing from the quite excellent ref review – but I’d still be interested to know if there are any specifications for a seperate project I have (enhancement of the RefWatch) in which I am plotting hot-spot zones in which free kicks are given i.e. I quite fancied using the mowing layout to define the zones and make it easy for the reader to visualise… etc.

  • Tasos

    Mr Webb never fails to enrage The Emirates faithful, he allowed Lee Cattermole and Wes Brown the freedom of persistent and consistent foul play before finally administering a caution to Wes Brown in the second-half and yet Koscielney received a booking for what appeared his one and only one debatable foul all game.

    Also from where I was sitting the handball incident from Turner in the 77th minute was blatantly obvious. How Mr Webb or his assistant failed to recognise this is beyond Me.

    I have since watched the game again on TV only to discover SLY SPORTS failed to replay the Turner handball incident at all during the game. I have noticed how this has now become a regular pattern from SLY SPORTS and ESPN (English Soccer Propaganda Network) on Arsenal games in recent seasons.

    And where did five minutes of injury time come from at the end of the game?

    The stench of foul-play and corruptness is growing stronger and stronger.

  • Anne

    @Ref Reviewer 03 and Shard:

    I really enjoyed this review overall, but Shard, I’m glad that you went back over this because there were a fairly large number of incorrect calls in here that I didn’t recall seeing during the match.

    Well spotted Shard on Gervinho being offside after that great RVP shot. Perhaps, where we’ve identified errors in the review subsequently (with the distance issue as well), it would be a good idea to correct them? However, I agree with Reviewer 3 that Wes Brown deserved a red card for his foul on Walcott.

    When that happened during the match, I screamed “red card!” immediately 🙂 To me, it appeared that Walcott was even with the Everton back line when the foul occurred, and was about to break through. He would have been one on one with the keeper, and Brown cynically took him out to prevent him from breaking through on goal. So I think it was a clear goal scoring opportunity. And there’s also the fact that it was a terrible tackle. Taking both into account, I would have sent him off.

    That’s my two cents 🙂

  • Shard

    @Tasos

    Exactly. No replay. No post match discussion, at least in my neck of the woods, and I can bet match of the day wouldn’t have shown it. But that’s expected now. They do this all the time. What’s surprising is that Arsenal Player’s own highlights don’t show the incident.

  • Shard

    @Anne

    Walcott wasn’t going to get a clear goal scoring opportunity I think. Don’t make me argue the case for Webb too much because it makes me sick to the pit of my stomach. But I think the ref review has to be completely fair, and I think a red for that foul isn’t.

  • finsbury

    Maybe not a red, but it could’ve been his second, third or fourth yellow (using the cards dished out to the Arsenal players as my mean).

    I was starting to think that I may have to moderate my own comment left mid-game in bak in Dogface’s fine preview but looking at Reviewer 03’s stats above, maybe not!

    Maybe Webb is just a very poor referee?

  • finsbury

    Typo above ‘in bak’ does not = ‘Ong bak’ but does = ‘back’

  • Ref Reviewer 03

    I saw it like Anne did. It was an ugly, late, and deliberate tackle which denied a goalscoring opportunity.

  • Laundryender

    @ Dogface

    After the 18 yard box it depends on the distance to the half way line and on the width of the mowers, the halfway line will be used as guidance to ensure that lines are still straight.
    The lines will be cut as much as possible to ensure uniformity, but there will be a slight difference in size with a view to hitting the half way line.
    From the point of view of accuracy and measurement, only the 18 yard box could be considered exact, but all lines across the pitch could be used as gridlines for offside as they all run horizontally.
    I do have a contact and if you want the exact measurements I will obtain them for you, and any other matters relating to the pitch

  • Ref Reviewer 03

    @Shard, regarding the non-call on Jenkins in the 34th minute, if you look at their upper bodies, you can see that Larsson uses his forearm to shove Jenkins.

  • Laundryender

    @ dogface

    Man city used to mow the pitch in circles, using the centre circle as a guide, then countering it using the penalty arc, it was very striking, but TV dictates how pitches are mown now, not wanting too much contrast

    I remember the Crystal Palace Man Utd cup final, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqxSVE6pAts it was the last time the pitch was cut this way because TV said the pattern was distracting. each line here is 2 yards across.

    sorry for deviating from from the review

  • dan

    @Shard
    What do you mean no replays in your neck of woods, where are you from?

  • walter

    I can let you know that for the overall review we will change the points on the penalty/red/offside in the first half.
    But it would look a bit silly changing the article and then reading the comments and in 30 comments things are mentioned that cannot be seen in the article.

  • walter

    Oh and the wall was toooooooo close wether it was on 6, 7, 8 or even 9 yards out. The closer to the goal a free kick is the correcter and alerter a ref has to put the wall on the right spot. Amen.
    It is the attacking team that should get the maximum advantage because the defenders have already broken the rules by making the foul.

  • bjtgooner

    This is a really detailed and excellent review, well done Reviewer 03.

    My impression of Webb was that in the second half when Arsenal were pressing for the winner Webb handicapped the team’s efforts by allowing Sunderland to get away with deliberate fouls unpunished. His failure to book Brown in the first half for the potential leg breaker on VP no doubt encouraged Sunderland to feel that they could safely get away with thuggery. We could easily have had VP or others injured due to Webb’s apparent indifference to these fouls.

    Towards the end of the game, the extra extra time – which gave Sunderland a greater chance to equalise, seemed otherwise unexplainable and became more suspicious after Arsenal were denied a late penalty – which if converted, would have taken the game beyond Sunderland’s reach.

  • Anne

    @Reviewer 3 and Shard:

    I think that, on the question of yellow vs. red card on the Walcott tackle, it’s a personal judgment call in a lot of ways. But it is a close call. When I was watching the match and chatting with a friend, this is actually what I said:

    me: red card!
    ok, yellow…

    🙂 So I guess I may have been on the fence about it a little bit more than my earlier comment implied 🙂

  • Shard

    @Ref reviewer 03

    I guess where we disagree is that it was a clear goalscoring opportunity. It started from the left of goal, and the ball was going further left. It was however, a deliberate foul. No doubt about that. I guess we’ll have to leave it at that, even though I think that it is the wrong decision to have up there on the review board.

  • Shard

    @dan

    I’m in India. I was referring to the post match discussion and highlights when I said that. Because the replays during the match are the same here as they are in the UK.

  • Shard

    @Ref reviewer 03

    I can accept that you call the shove on Jenkinson a foul.. I didn’t think it was while watching the game, but having watched the replay, I can also see how it can be a foul. I wouldn’t have specifically pointed to it as a wrong call I guess. But nor would I say you are wrong in calling it a foul.

  • Anne

    @Walter:

    Good point about the comments not making sense if you changed the review too much. I didn’t think of it like that 🙂 Think you’re making the right decision about the offsides call, though.

  • Ref Reviewer 03

    @Shard – regarding that incident on Arteta at 62:27, Cattermole slid in on Arteta as he faked his shot, but I don’t think Cattermole made any contact. Then Arteta didn’t really have absolute control over the ball and Vaughan appeared to have won the ball fairly.

  • Mandy dodd

    Interesting seeing this review. Certainly looks like he tried to stack things in the favour of the visitors.
    Unfortunately, Webb twice already by mid oct, guess that means we get him six or seven or so times over the season, that is when we don’t get dean or dowd?

  • Shard

    Ref Reviewer 03

    I thought Cattermole tripped him and that prevented him from reaching the ball..But it wasn’t very clear on the video. You could well be right.

  • dan

    @Shard

    are you an indian gooner or a gooner who moved to india, just curious.
    I agreed thats was not a foul on jenkinson.

  • Ref Reviewer 03

    @Tasos – Truly shocking that Sky Sports did not show a replay of that Turner handball incident, especially considering that Sunderland made a substitution directly afterwards and thus Sky had 30 seconds to show replays of the event but they decided not to.
    Making it even more obvious, they immediately showed two or three replays of Walcott’s challenge on Colback minutes later.

  • Shard

    @Dan

    I’m Indian, and a gooner since 97. Now I’m curious as to why you were curious 🙂

  • dan

    I was visiting family last year in the Punjab and then Delhi. Staying at the Country inn (punjab) and Metropolitan (delhi), I noticed the ESPN coverage but otherwise it was all cricket. Remember watching Arsenal’s 1 nil win over the pool.

  • Shard

    @dan

    I’d say it is easier to watch all the matches on TV here than it is in the UK.

  • dan

    @shard
    too late for me, but having come back from sri lanka which has virtually no footie coverage India is much better. The far east is crazy over football, can i ask which part are you from?

  • Anne

    @dan

    This is a funny coincidence, but I once asked Shard nearly the exact same questions about where he was from, and I was wondering why you were so interested? 🙂

  • bob

    RefReviewer 03,
    Your important remark about Sky’s outrageous omission and visual change of subject makes it all the more important to advocate, for those few who currently care, that they (Sky) NEVER is allowed to be in charge of the video imagery that referees finally get to see when (and I do say when) video replay becomes the one and only way to restore fairness to the tilted pitch. I say this now to the people who will argue for delaying video replay with the argument that you can never ensure that those who control the images are not bent. The way to ensure it: full disclosure on the technical source of images and who individually is providing them on game day; and that no commercial outlet nor existing referee association be given the right to choose the technical source. Perhaps that contract will be decided by a judge, or Sports committee if Parliament, etc. There are far better legal minds than mine on this, but to move in this way, toward both video replay and video image neutrality needs some thinking through and measures taken.

  • menace

    EPL Coverage in India is excellent but I still have a lot of heart tugging as I’m a season ticket holder and prefer watching from my position behind the goal. I try to spend a few weeks in Goa so that I avoid the bitterest part of Winter and lend my ticket to another Gooner.

    Webb was so biased that I was almost sore screaming out at his cheating. He appeared to start soon bias after he walked a Sunderland player to the touchline (an action of guardian rather than ref!!). He ignored blatant fouls and chose to give advantage where there wasn’t any. He stil has a soft spot for Fergies old boys and let them off several bookable fouls. I enjoy football and I am losing heart with the crooked way the game is being dragged into a predetermined system of making money for corrupt people. The peoples game is being strangled.

    Is it possible to get FIFA to send 3 observers to assess the bias that Arsenal has to put up with?

  • Anne

    @All:

    I just noticed that, in my first comment on this article, I referred to “the Everton back line.” Just wanted to clarify that I am, in fact, aware, that Arsenal was playing SUNDERLAND (or was it Stoke? :)), not Everton. Cheers 🙂

  • Mahesh

    If King Kenny’s Liverpool are to make top 4 this year, then it is no surprise that Arsenal will get to see a lot of DeanDowdWebb this year. After all, to make it look like Arsenal have been playing bad all year, they need to make sure that results are more difficult to achieve than they should be! And the effort for that has started from this season’s beginning – there for all to see, but I doubt if anyone would take it up in The Media 🙂

  • Anne

    @Pete:

    I don’t speak, French, unfortunately. But I believe that this is the link to the interview. If anyone is able to translate, I would be very interested to know what Arsene actually said.

    http://www.rtl.fr/actualites/sport/football/article/club-liza-arsene-wenger-se-confie-avant-om-arsenal-7727221458

  • Phil

    Pete – the quotes are from here (there’s multiple audio files to choose). http://www.rtl.fr/actualites/sport/football/article/club-liza-arsene-wenger-se-confie-avant-om-arsenal-7727221458

    If you click the first one , the conversation largely follows the text of the guardian translation accurately, up until this paragraph “That last response was given in direct relation to a question posed on Nasri’s defection, with the France international having joined Cesc Fábregas in leaving the Emirates over the close season. “It was a very difficult summer because half the dressing room wanted to leave,” said Wenger.”

    I haven’t listened to all the audio files yet – got a seminar soon – but I’ve clicked on all the ones which have quotes that are vaguely relevant, so I’m 99% sure it’s fabrication.

    I will comment again later on to confirm 100%, though, when I’ve listened to all the interview.

  • WalterBroeckx

    I will listen to them later today and hear if he said that half of the dressing room wanted to leave. First dusting off my French. 😉

  • Pete

    Thanks folks. I’m getting very suspicious about much of what I read online – but I trust much of what I read here 🙂 so it’ll be very interesting to find out more about this.

    What I don’t like about this Guardian article is that it references the radio interview – but doesn’t say how they got the translations (or indeed, if they’ve been verified). In other words, how can we have any confidence in their sources? Lazy journalism…?

  • Pete

    Has anybody out there ever queried one of these articles via football.editor@guardianunlimited.co.uk …?

  • Anne

    @Pete & Walter:

    I’ll be waiting to hear 🙂

  • Anne

    @Pete:

    Unfortunately, the Guardian is well ahead of the game in providing a verifiable source to begin with. Normally, when an English paper attributes quotes to a “foreign” radio interview, you can bet your life that it won’t be something you can verify for accuracy (even if you do speak the foreign language in question). 🙂

  • Anne

    In my first comment above, I meant to say “@Phil & Walter”

  • Pete

    @Anne

    Yes, the fact that our French readers can confirm/deny the translation (thanks to the Guardian link) is rather intriguing 🙂

  • WalterBroeckx

    Just been listening to the french interview.

    Somewhere Wenger said “half of the dressing room wanted out”. In French: “le moitié du vestiaire voulu sortir”.

    Now as far as I know French and it once was my second language (until English took its place) I think that Wenger not meant to say: 13 players of the 25 wanted to leave. I think (but this is my opinion) that he was using the phrase not literally. Just a way of saying : “some (and the most important ones) wanted out”.

    It is the same if I would say: “I have been to a concert of Status Quo this Sunday and the whole audience was jumping, shouting, clapping and dancing.”

    Of course everybody will understand that only half the audience was doing this as the other half was sitting on their bum and only doing the shouting and clapping. But when you talk about it you use the “the whole audience was…” phrase.

    Actually it felt as if the whole audience was joining in… 😉

  • Pete

    I wonder if he meant half of the midfield – which would have been accurate? 🙂

  • cape gooner

    • Ref Reviewer 03
    October 17th, 2011 at 3:38 pm
    Shard, you’re right about Gervinho being offside on that play. I still think the keeper pushed him, but that doesn’t matter anymore because Gervinho was in an offside position when Robin took his shot. Sunderland should have got a free kick.

    My understanding is that the player only becomes offside when he plays the ball. If he is fouled before he plays the ball, the offside is moot.

  • cape gooner

    What is the rule about offside? I read somewhere that the legs need to be onside, but not the torso, head or arms. Any truth in this?

    If it is true, then Gervinho was being played onside by the player who was pulling back Gibbs.

  • Shard

    Lol @Anne

    It’s true. I remember you asking me something like that 🙂

    @dan
    I’m in Delhi. But yeah..how come you wanted to know? 🙂

  • Shard

    @cape gooner

    I am not sure as regards the ‘Laws of the Game’, but I believe the terms used are ‘becomes active’ (as opposed to touching the ball) and ‘phase of play’. Basically in this case, when RVP took the shot, Gervinho was offside. It’s true a defender may have gotten back in front of him before he reached near the ball, but for all intents and purposes, that remained the same ‘phase’ of play. So he was offside. Hope I could explain it well enough, but the referees should be along soon enough to sort it out 🙂

  • cape gooner

    @ Shard

    I don’t think so. Gervinho was offside when Arteta had the ball, and when RvP received the ball, but he was level when RvP chipped

  • Ref Reviewer 03

    Shard, any part of the body with the exception of the hands and arms are to be considered when judging offside.

    In the photo linked below it looks like Gervinho is definitely a step in front of the last defender when Robin takes his shot.

    http://i.imgur.com/zlbEv.jpg

  • C4

    Great work on the review, I’m only getting to see it now. Same ol’ Webb then, eh?
    Sunderland played in a 4-6-1 formation, with Howard Webb as the box-to-box midfielder.

  • Shard

    @ref reviewer 3

    Yes, that photo shows what I think too. Gervinho was offside. Which removes one point of disagreement we had about him being fouled by the keeper 🙂 I still disagree about Brown’s foul on Walcott deserving a red, as well (slightly) about Jenkinson being dispossessed by Larsson being a foul. But hey, what do I know 🙂