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What exactly does a referee want out of a game?

By Don McMahon

Despite the unceasing and apparently increasing criticism of officials doing Arsenal (and other Club’s) games, based on Walter and his elves’ excellent match reviews and some live observations from those at these games, I felt that we also needed a balancing perspective to understand what officiating a professional game can be like. I welcome any objective and positive criticism of my article from any UA members, since this post is based solely on my personal experience and expertise.

1) The first thing spectators need to understand is that NO official worth his or her salt EVER starts their match preparation with a desire for one or the other team to win. This is the direct opposite of most spectators and supporters, whose preference is justly focused on their own team winning. This is important to understand, since even the slightest desire to see the ¨best¨ team win can subconsciously influence how one makes a call or doesn’t as the case may be.

2)     Officials usually have only three wishes at the start of a game; that it is played in a fair manner, that it is played safely and that the game is played out without major incidents (riots, fights, fan interference, contentious events,etc.) meaning that the officials always have control.

3)     As well, officials desperately hope to focus on the successful management of the game, NOT the players or managers or the crowd.  We are human so we can’t ignore the latter but we prioritize our focus on the management of the game (applying the Laws firmly and fairly,time keeping, communication with their colleagues, etc.).

4)     Officials always work as a team (despite the occasional evidence to the contrary) and the key rule in such teamwork is to AVOID embarrassing your colleague(s). That translates into timing your signals to coincide and to be coherent with the referee’s. A linesman signalling a penalty (if permitted by the referee) when the referee signals play on, is a classic example of poor communication and teamwork and vice-versa.

5)     Many supporters forget that for the most part officials are older and less athletic than the players they are officiating. Why should this be important? Because the referee runs almost as much as the average player BUT he or she doesn’t have the right to a substitution, with the exception of injury or other debilitating condition.  This puts a tremendous strain on the officials and often leads to them making some fundamental mistakes or missed calls. In bad weather conditions, it is extremely hard for the officials to get it right all the time.

6)     Most good officials refuse to become ¨pals¨ with the players, as this can lead to unpleasant and uncomfortable circumstances. An overly ¨friendly¨ official can be put in a nasty situation if he or she has to eject a player they are supposed ¨buddies¨ with. Clattenberg’s comment to Lallana is an example of stepping over a line that is very easy to miss.

7)     Officials need excellent vision and fitness but also excellent analytical skills in order to judge whether a foul has been committed, a player has to given offside or a goal was scored. The German FA did a study about how much time on average an official has to make a key decision and get it right. They concluded that most events occur over 1-2 seconds and the officials have less than 2 seconds to make the call. I can speak from experience when I say that after a tough 80 minutes of officiating, it can be really hard to get it right the first time. That is why many referees will hesitate before putting whistle to mouth and no competent referee will ever run with the whistle in his mouth.

8)     Every official is permitted to interpret and apply the Laws according to their convictions and the Laws were designed to be that way. I don’t mean that Dean can decide that offside means one thing and Webb can take a different view. The Laws and the mechanics of applying them effectively remain the same but the leeway given to an official to adjudge what really happened is their best defence against committing serious errors or being so whistle-happy that they ruin the flow of the Game.

9)     Two of the best compliments an official can get from the players and managers are the following; He or she is a players’ referee – meaning they take care of all 22 players on the field with respect to their safety and their ability to play without unlawful interference or frustration. The second is; we didn’t notice there was a referee, the Game went so smoothly.   That is why , as referees, we generally dislike a grand-stander who thinks the game is all about themselves. I have officiated with these types and they’ll kill the fun and anger the players very quickly. They are also often willing to throw you under the bus if it means they don’t lose face.

10)  We, as professionals, know when we screw up and if we don’t the assessor is there to remind us in no uncertain terms. Referees, being more or less human, do make mistakes and the measure of a great official is their ability and willingness to remedy their mistakes. I once worked with an old timer who made a few mistakes but always blamed someone else AND refused to admit that they were even mistakes, despite repeated proof that he was responsible. His argument was that admitting to mistakes would diminish his authority and leave him open to retribution or reprisals from the powers that be. I find this attitude both sad and unproductive. An official who screws up MUST admit to the error, try and improve and seek help from his colleagues if needed. That is why the Laws state that as long as the game hasn’t been restarted, we can correct any error.

11) Not many players, managers or spectators are aware that officials ENJOY a beautiful game as much as the latter do. Seeing a perfect goal scored following a beautifully crafted series of moves is an aesthetic delight, regardless of who scored it or what it means to the game as a whole. To us, as officials, it is the equivalent of making the perfect call at the perfect moment, like recognizing advantage which leads to a legitimate goal or refraining from carding a player who then redeems himself or herself by playing at a better and more responsible level in the game. We ALL want to sit in the dressing room at the end and feel we had contributed to a great game for all involved.

12) No official EVER seeks or hopes to eject a player. THAT is NOT what the game was intended for. The verbal warning quietly whispered in an overly aggressive player’s ear, the discrete word to the team captain to have a chat with his or her miscreant player(s), the yellow card meant to advise and warn a recidivist lawbreaker, are all intended to avoid ejections and injuries that can happen because of this misbehaviour. As well, few officials look forward to awarding a penalty. They occur, but I have never met an official who said a prayer before the kickoff in order to have the opportunity to award a penalty…usually it is the reverse.

13) Officials talk about the ¨temperature¨of the match and how to keep it cool or at least lukewarm and always under control. As many UA fans can attest, failure to punish obvious fouls or make impartial calls, for either team, can quickly lead to a nasty situation where the referee loses control. The Laws describe what to do when this happens but they also repeatedly advise the game officials to do everything in their power to avoid such incidents, as it brings the game into disrepute and hurts the officials reputations. This can explain why many EPL officials will talk a great deal to the players and seek to calm things down.

14) Allowing oneself to be touched, confronted, verbally abused or bullied by players or managers is an invitation to be dis-empowered. Once that happens, the players lose respect for and will no longer support the officials. The great referees like Colina, Courtney, Merk, Michel etc. never tolerated such abuse and made it very clear that severe consequences would occur if it happened. However I have noticed that certain PGMOL officials’ tolerance for this harassment is dangerously excessive. To me, it is a sign of weakness and even cowardice. It is a slippery slope if an official tolerates this….they can expect such behaviour to exacerbate and even lead to violence against them, especially at the amateur level.

Hopefully this little monologue will help the stakeholders and others to appreciate the role and risks officials must undertake in order to keep the Beautiful Game, beautiful.

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49 comments to What exactly does a referee want out of a game?

  • Gf60

    Trust a copy of this will go to the PGMol (or Pig mall as I saw it described recently)
    Good reading. Thanks

  • Chris

    A very good post – we almost forget the ref is human. I have refereed myself and made some bad errors, and realize it’s impossible to be right all the time, even with linesmen. Also, seeing the pundits on the telly not being able to agree on incidents proves that the ref cannot be right in everyone’s eyes on every decision, even when he is right!

  • Mike

    An excellent article; most enjoyable. Sadly, the idiosyncratic behaviour of the PGMOL and ineptitude of its leader means that we have professional referees that clearly do not opearte to your 14 very sensible principles.

    Few fans would deny the difficult job that referees undertake. It would appear to me though (having been a regular attendee since the 60’s) that officiating in this country is as poor as it has ever been. This is not helped by the PGMOL secrecy to which Walter regularly refers. Indeed, the unwavering and patronising attitude towards fans and clubs that referees cannot be wrong, makes matters much, much worse. Fans accept that referees make mistakes, it’s the fact that it isn’t admitted that is annoying and the idea that we shouldn’t retrospectively change a bad decision just makes this worse.

    Whilst the PGMOL remains a self-perpetuating elite the problem merely persists and festers since the only person one has to keep happy is Riley. Talk about the blind leading the blind!

    Once again, a very enjoyable article. Thanks.

  • ClockEndRider

    Don,
    An excellent article. However the assertion in point 1 that no official worth his/her salt ever starts a game wanting one or other side to win doesn’t appear to stand up to the statistical evidence produced by Walter, Dogface et al which shows an enequivocal bias against Arsenal across almost all referees. How can you square that with your assertion unless by stating that few if any premiership referees are worth their salt when it comes to refereeing our games?

    Many thanks

    CER

  • WalterBroeckx

    Clockendrider,

    I think in his point 1 Don referred to referees in general. Not specifically the PGMOL version of referees 😉

  • WalterBroeckx

    I must say that as a ref I can find myself in the points he wrote down. Not saying I don’t make mistakes but I can swear that in my referee career I never have done anything else than being impartial to all teams I had to do.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Well put , Don . It would be great if everyone did their jobs without fear or favour .We would witness the beautiful game as it should be played .
    In reality , there are too many shortcomings and shady goings on .This season there is more debate and dissension ,
    especially from the other clubs ,who have just woken up to the reality that the EPL is fixed !

  • colario

    It is not bad decisions by referees that bring the game into ‘disrepute’.

    It is the FA, the EPL and the PGMOL ‘closed shop’ response to them that brings the game into disrepute.

  • Mandy Dodd

    surprisingly, seems like dancing dean wanted a swansea win!
    http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/funny-video-mike-dean-frustrated-2992307

  • Gord

    After too much work, I have all 420 games (scoring, penalties, cards) of 1992/3. I assume there were missed penalties, I only found 1. If someone has ideas?

    A person can assume that all 40 referees used in this first season are good. In which case, if I divide the season into pieces, the rate of card issuance should be about constant. Or, a person can say that some referees (possibly most) have a soft desire to “protect” players on high ranked teams from players on low ranked teams. Or, a person can say there is a SAF effect, and I divide the season into 3: games that ManU are playing in (42 of those), games played before last game against ManU, and games played after last game against ManU. The season is not balanced, I think there is 1 team that played both games against ManU before the end of September. ANd obviously, there is one team that had no after all games with ManU had been played.

    Any other possibilities to look for?

  • Mick

    Terrible news guys. Theo out for 6 months at least, ruptured anterior cruciate ligament. Just announced on the radio, it is official by the sound of it, not speculation.

  • Arvind

    Yep it’s on Arsenal.com now. What an awful awful disaster. Big resemblance to the Pires injury all those years ago. Gutted really.

  • OMGArsenal

    Clockender…..there are clear indications of PGMOL officials being influenced (they’ve even admitted it openly) and some being ¨prone¨ to prefer certain clubs over others. I am ,as Walter pointed out, not saying that these guys and gal are free of bias, I am saying that no referee I have ever known has started a game determined that one side WILL win.
    Mandy….Dean’s reaction to the Swansea player losing the advantage he gave is normal among referees. I have shopwn frustration after making what I thought was a great advantage call, only to see the attacker or defender miff their lines. That is human nature.
    It is inevitable that a referee who is respected by one team and abused by another will react differently to the two BUT, as Walter said, no honest referee will punish a team because they are being ¨difficult¨ or reward a team because they are being ¨nice¨. We seek to level the playing field by punishing infringements of the Law where it helps the game proceed smoothly and perhaps occasionally letting play go on if they are so minor as to be insignificant.

  • finsbury

    Walter, the injury for Walcott is as you feared.

    I don’t know about the refs but I’d like to see some protection for Arsenal players.
    Two kicks in the build up to Walcott’s tackle and injury mentioned by the gaffer. If the referee had called those focus would he have been injured. Who is the real loser from the refs, Arsenal or England (Lennon? Dear god, please no, have mercy on our souls)?

    Similar injury to Chamberlains, although in that case Chambo dived in after the ref had allowed the game to completly spiral out of control. And Walcott’s injury is more serious. I suppose it’s a good thing that he’s out for the WC and will have the whole Summer for some serious rehab.

  • Gord

    There was a report on the BBC a few months ago (I referenced it here somewhere) that some new ligament had just been found. It is commonly blown away or damaged when the ACL goes. So, hopefully the surgeons are keeping up to date, and know about this new guy that might be in there (they weren’t sure if it is in all people, or just some).

    But, a decade or so ago, ACL reconstruction usually meant harvesting some tendon to rebuild the ACL. And typically that tendon came from semitendinosis and semimembranosis (sorry, I don’t normally spell latin stuff, could be wrong). These are two “minor” components of what are referred to as the hamstrings. Maybe there is something synthetic now? But it would seem to me that if they need to harvest some of the hamstring to repair the ACL, Theo may lose a bit of speed in the deal. But, my knowledge of this is old, and I am not a surgeon (I am an engineer).

  • finsbury

    focus < fouls

    To clarify: following those earlier kicks which left him hobbling, he probably should've avoided making the tackle…

  • Gord

    Spectra is an ultra strength synthetic, made from UHMWPE. And UHMWPE has been used in joint reconstruction, so it is bio-acceptable. Maybe people are rebuilding ACL with braided spectra? How you connect it on the anchor and ligament sides? Or maybe the anchor point broke loose, which is a different problem?

    I wish Theo the best. Certainly he should get good care at Arsenal.

  • Stuart

    Dom,
    In light of point 1, how does that explain the actions of a certain ref at the end of game 50? Further to this, I have seen comments from Arsenal fans hoping for us to lose in the hope it would cause Wenger to be sacked.

  • bjtgooner

    Best wishes to Theo, I know it will be some time but I am looking forward to seeing him out on the pitch once again.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Good luck theo. Unfortunately we do not do injuries by half. We have others to cover him but maybe not as prolific at scoring as theo.
    He certainly was not in the red zone. Maybe it was the kicks, or a result of running awkwardly after them but wish we would look into these injuries, cannot reel out stats but we do seem to get a lot of serious knee injuries.
    Ox and gnabry will have an important few months

  • AL

    Before the tackle Theo attempted to make on Rose, he had had his left ankle trod on minutes earlier by…. Chiriches(?). He was down for about a minute or two, and the commentators initially said he went down with no contact but then replays showed the spuds player clearly stepping on his ankle. I’m not entirely sure of the chain of events after that but it appeared the only other attempt Theo made to get the ball after that incident was the Rose challenge which then left him in a heap. Not sure if the damage had been done in the initial foul, or if he had had some damage and then aggravated it with the challenge on Rose? Hard to tell coz the incidents were so close to each other.
    Sad for Theo.

    Mandy,
    Many thanks for that link on ‘dancing dean’, it is so funny and so obvious that he was disappointed Swansea lost the ball after his attempt to give the an advantage 🙂

  • OMGArsenal

    Stuart….I have seen that match at least 20 times and use it as an example of how NOT to officiate a game. My only explanation for that travesty is that Riley was clearly eager to allow United to come at Arsenal and ignore as many of the Laws as he could get away with. It was one of the most incompetent displays of officiating I have seen in my 50 years of Footballing and my 30 years as a referee.
    I never said that officials don’t actively favour one team over another, but I still believe that officials don’t start a game with the intention of helping one team beat another.
    It reminds me of one game where I was a linesman and the referee was a former winger, apparently quite good. The attacking team’s striker was horrible and missed a ton of clear chances to score. Finally this referee got SO frustrated that when a beautiful cross was sent across, the striker missed it but the referee didn’t and headed a beauty intoi the net…nedless to say pandimonium ensued. I had to take over the game as both teams were eager to hang that man on the spot. As you should know, if the ball hits the referee and goes in, it is a goal, so I had to mark it as one but I did report the referee to the League and the game was replayed since it has ended as a 1-1 tie!!!
    I can tell UA members that almost EVERY official has, at one time, silently bemoaned a clear missed chance but few I know have scored while referring!!!

  • Damilare

    Good Article Don. In view of your well highlighted points, refs should welcome technological assistance…except they are really bent.

    Sad news about Theo. Loss to Arsenal and England but the latter would feel his absence more. I wish him quick recovery and goodluck to England’s WC campaign.

    Arsene, are we in the transfer market yet?

    Ehr…if we find qualidee, we would buy…but top top qualidee is hard to find in January.

    But sir, you are a genius at finding players. Either buy or make one now. Our season may depend on it.

    COYAW!

  • Sammy The Snake

    Get well soon Theo.
    Time for Gnabry to shine!

  • robl

    … and The Ox and Ryo.

  • AL

    Theo was becoming more clinical in front of goal too, and the way he led the line against the spuds was just unbelievable. Even Ian Wright said he couldn’t understand what all the clamour for a new striker was all about with Theo around, and it was one of the few occasions I found myself agreeing with him. Will be a big miss.

  • Florian

    Does anyone remember when Giroud and the others are supposed to come back from injury?

  • alex

    Swift recovery to you Theo !!!
    The spuds fan are coming out of the box to celebrate Theo`s injury ,Little they know that Gnabry an the Ox are in line to slaughter them.

  • finsbury

    From positively arsenal

    Forgive the copy and paste but foreverheady’s efforts at describing what I tried to say above were much better then mine:

    foreverheady on January 6, 2014 at 9:13 pm
    Theo was studded two minutes before on the halfway line and went down in a heap. Nobody put the ball out (not even us): he struggled to rejoin the play, and then backtracked to defend which is when his major injury happened. If the ref (or linesman) had correctly called the studding, or if the spurs had put the ball out, or if we had when we finally had a chance he would probably still be alive and kicking.

  • finsbury

    Though I’ve just noticed that Al managed to describe the incident (better then i) as well!
    🙂

  • alex

    I feel we will miss more of Theo during the champion league ties.Surely his pace will be missed as for the other ties in the league an the FA cups easily Gnabry and the Ox will do much better.

    I am Gnabry and the Ox fan.

  • bob

    “It was one of the most incompetent displays of officiating I have seen in my 50 years of Footballing and my 30 years as a referee.”
    OMGArsenal,
    How do you account for a man capable of this display being appointed to head up the PGMob? It defies credibility that he’s not there for his utility. You have the faith; others don’t. I think your decency has, in this case, morphed into a defense of the realm. A toxic realm.

  • rantetta

    When I saw that vicious stamp on Theo’s leg I knew he’d end up with the same or a different injury. It wasn’t even called a foul and yet it should’ve been a red card:

    http://arsenalist.com/f/arsenal-vs-tottenham-fa-cup/walcott-s-foot-gets-stepped-on.html

    Retrospective action anyone? Nah, let’s talk about tw14 making a 2 nil gesture that threatened lives. You cunting scumbags. I hope karma catches you all.

    It would be amazing if Gnarbry, Ox, Sanogo, Poldodlski, Bendtner and Ryo find the necessary form and fitness, when required. I’d love to see Campbell the Costa Rican brought to his club during this window.

    I’m livid about Theo. Heal well.

  • AL

    rantetta
    And to think the FA are not going to do anything about this either;
    https://vine.co/v/hYgZppDiHOX
    Makes my blood boil.

  • rantetta

    Don

    You’re shitting me, right?

    Due to me being the last person to learn of Theo’s injury, I posted a comment at 11:20 pm – without reading your article or the comments. Once I posted I noticed and read the comment from bob, directly above mine.

    ‘Why is bob stating the bleedin’ obvious’, I wondered.

    I started reading…

    “The first thing spectators need to understand is that NO official worth his or her salt EVER starts their match preparation with a desire for one or the other team to win.”

    WHAT? YOU typed NO and EVER in capitals!

    For me, that was a bad start. I re-read your introduction to the article as I thought I must have misread first time around. Perhaps you’d said; Ideally, most refs try to be fair.

    I also noticed “welcome any objective and positive criticism of my article”.

    As I increasingly skimmed over your article I found myself giving up on really taking anything in – by about no.14 (ho ho, the same number as one of our player’s wear, whom I guess Clattenbugger deliberately set out ‘to protect’.

    I digress.

    I can hardly give you positive criticism when I haven’t read your article thoroughly. Indeed, I’d probably write a long list of complaints about what I’d ‘skimmed’, so I won’t.

    Ref without bias?:
    https://vine.co/v/hYHM2WgxvgA

    This report speculates FA will look into ‘stuff’. Yeah right!
    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1912342-tottenham-fans-set-for-fa-probe-after-alleged-theo-walcott-let-him-die-chant

  • rantetta

    Thanks AL.
    Can you imagine that being missed if done by an Arsenal Player? It would be “Wenger has his millionth trillionth player sent off – this decade. Dirty bastards, that Arsenal”.

    I’ve made a comment – above this – that’s in moderation, so it mightn’t appear during the night, if at all.

  • para

    I am a little sceptical about this. See, this is how we would really want it to be, but experience and a good look at the world we do live in, tells me that this is a “childlike”(i am not being disrespectable) view of the world, that usually brings “shock, horror” and other such reactions when the opposite is revealed. I have said it before, this is the world we do live in and as much as some of us would love it not to be so, there are those that have the opposite view and their actions reflect this. It is obvious to me in my long years of living that what is projected is usually not what is practiced, and “getting away with it” carries a very high target of achievement.
    //
    Anyone remember the new MANU logo in issue 39 of their mag?
    Then the outrage that it caused?
    Then Moyes proclaiming that there are going to be lots of changes at MANU.
    I may be wrong, but i do think we are going to see much increased favouritism of MANU from the media and pundits and refs from and in the new season 2014.
    We are going to have to be VERY AWARE to catch the new subtle attempts of them to restore MANU back to “their proper status” as THEY expect it to be.
    Call me conspiracist, and i hope i am wrong and we can just have football pure and simple, but when money is involved in the amounts that are, then my experience have always shown me that nothing is ever left to chance.

  • Florian

    Ok, courtesy arsenal.com, the situation on Jan 3rd was looking like this:
    – Giroud – out with sickness for the Totts game, might make it in time for Villa.
    – Bendtner – scan not assessed yet, might be out a few weeks.
    – Sanogo – back this month, no specific date, probably not in time for Villa.
    – Ox – Back in training this week, seemingly another 3 weeks away from a competitive game.

    Looks like Podolski is our only viable 100% fit option for a center-forward. With Cardiff he looked like he needs to practice making runs in the box, otherwise he seems ok. Maybe starting Poldi, and introducing Giroud later if the situation calls for it.

  • Gord

    @Para

    I’m back to beginnings (1992/93, beginning of EPL). A cursory examination of the half season data showed that Arsenal was not being treated differently. But the cursory examination did not show the league was “likely”.

    Referees (like Walter and others who post on this list) want to assume the best. I was a referee for a while a long time ago, but I much preferred running line to being in the middle. And I was probably a lousy assistant referee because I concentrated entirely on the offside problem.

    So, I am going to look for “best” in a couple of forms in this original data. But, it seems possible the ManU effect is present, even in 1992/93. Today, I read through SAF’s page at Wikipedia. Wikipedia tries to be objective. I’m Autistic, and don’t get accurate feedback from anyone. My reading of SAF, is that he isn’t looking to control officiating. But he very much wants to control players.

    SAF falls into ManU from being involved in the Scottish national team. Did SAF see something in Scotland records which provides the mojo to control officiating at ManU? Did SAF witness some event (car accident, …) which gave him mojo for keeping silent?

    Or, alternatively, has ManU been purchasing mojo?

    I am just looking for correlation. And this never substitutes for causation (which the pharmaceutical industry still can’t figure out).

    I am willing to believe that SAF did what he did on ability and luck. My interest in this is to try and expose the negative bias on Arsenal, and as this first year is seemingly clear, it gives me something to work from. But possibly having to account for a pre-existing positive bias for some teams before negative bias with respect to Arsenal complicates things.

    But having autism, I have no life and few employers want to try me, and what else should I do with all this knowledge? 🙂

  • Mandy Dodd

    Giroud should be ok but he needs help, Walcott and bendtner would be amongst helpers but not now. Giroud will be targeted, probably with no protection from refs. Wenger has some very difficult decisions to make in a very difficult transfer month. I do not envy him, get it wrong, the media, AAA and even some middle of the road fans will turn against him in a pivotal year for the great man.
    There are other options, we score from many positions, would almost be tempted to throw Chuba in though wenger clearly knows if he is ready. Unfortunately, seems like park not trusted at this level. But we do have potential false nines……

  • OMGArsenal

    Bob…..I’m not invested in any setup or ¨realm¨as you put it and I cannot fathom how Riley got the PGMOL job but I suspect it was for faithful and discrete service to the FA and the EPL, meaning he kissed ass sufficiently to get the job. That’s how it often is at the professional officials level, not just in England but worldwide. You should see the ass-kissing when a FIFA badge is at play…it is amazing!
    We already know there are bent referees everywhere, and I am sure England is not a haven of purity either. That said, my article was trying to point out that the crooked ones represent a infinitely tiny minority. Men like Walter and myself, as well as many women referees, are truly loyal to the Game, to the Laws and to the mission and vocation of being an official. We aren’t in it for the glory, the riches, the fame or the power….since we get none of those anyway….we are there because without us the Game would die and that would be the greatest tragedy since the Flood!

  • bob

    “Giroud will be targeted, probably with no protection from refs. Wenger has some very difficult decisions to make in a very difficult transfer month.”
    Mandy,
    Agreed. It has now come to this. And our championship run seemsat a crossroads.

  • Gianni Dioro

    @rantetta – Is this another example of the ref overlooking bad fouls against Arsenal players resulting in another serious injury?
    http://arsenalist.com/f/arsenal-vs-tottenham-fa-cup/walcott-s-foot-gets-stepped-on.html

    The way Theo reacted, you could tell he was caught from behind there. He may have actually injured his knee in that play, then going on to blow it out 2 minutes later.

  • rantetta

    Gianni Dioro

    That stamp surely contributed, including previous and following fouls.

  • Gord

    Re: Theo.

    I think the PGMOL is fiscally responsible for Theo’s repair and recovery.

    Quite a few years ago, FIFA mandated rules to stop tackling from behind because that was a leading cause of cruciate ligament injuries which were causing the premature retirement of athletes. PGMOL has deliberately instructed its employees to ignore that directive, and the injury to Theo is a direct result of that advice. And hence, PGMOL should be completely responsible for any and all costs to get Theo back into playing shape, regardless of how large such costs may be.

  • Nelson Wong

    Good article to high like what is a “good ref” or what the standards are.

    The refs are far from that standard however.

    Rather than jumping on individual ref although records show that several are problematic, its better to at PGMOL.

    I don’t understand why it can operate outside FIFA or even law courts for their poor performance and lack of modern accountability.

  • bob

    “PGMOL has deliberately instructed its employees to ignore that directive, and the injury to Theo is a direct result of that advice.” – Gord
    “… why it can operate outside FIFA or even law courts for their poor performance and lack of modern accountability. – Nelson Wong

    Gentlemen, Perhaps there is a legal basis here for an actual law suit, or at least a strategy to have the PGMOL enforce its rules and cease and desist from its demonstrable selective mistreatment and devaluing of AFC’s assets, and to the point of diminishing their value and what paying customers are getting back, etc., etc.
    Gord, is there a link or quote you could bring that shows how they instructed their minions to ignore the rule?
    Nelson, is there no legal precedence for suing PGMOL? Not one?

  • bob

    Rantetta,
    Have to agree on the face of it, but I have no expertise. Perhaps someone here – sports doctor, physio, trainer, physical therapist – could review your link (well done!) and analyze it as the possible to likely to actual source of the disastrous injury to follow in short order?

  • bob

    Gianni Dioro,
    My above applies directly to your link. Cheers.