By Walter Broeckx
As you have probably seen the special on request ref review of the match between Chelsea and Tottenham was published earlier today.
Looking back at this all some questions can be asked. Questions about the standard of the PGMO refereeing in the PL but also about being consistent.
This really is a fine (sic) example to what PGMO officiating can lead. PGMO officiating means letting as much go as possibly can and hand out as few yellow or red cards as can. As a result a referee who tries to do this and bumps in two two teams who are out to kick each other then you get this …. I don’t know what to call it but surely not a football match.
If Clattenburg had stamped his authority on the match from the first minutes and got out his cards from the start and with the first serious foul all this probably wouldn’t have happened. Put this match in the hands of a Spanish or Italian referee (just to give an example) and the cards would have come out in the first 15 minutes and players would have known that they had to stop acting in this way or get sent off. Most intelligent footballers know what is the best way to act then (stop doing it).
But Clattenburg was afraid(?) or ordered (by whom?) to be lenient in line with the PGMO guidelines. And then we got this. I have a double feeling about Clattenburg whom I have seen do excellent matches in the CL where he did pull out the yellow cards when needed and kept the game in control. Now he completely failed to do this in this fight. Different instructions? Different interpretation?
In a way it was Clattenburg on the field doing a miserable job… but he was only the straw man for the person really responsible for this wrong behaviour when it comes to applying the laws of the game.
That person was once again out of the firing line during and after the match. That person is the head of the PGMO who is responsible in the end when his refs screw up badly as Clattenburg did. He is the one that should make sure that refs in the PL act according to the instructions world wide and not use a own version of the laws of the game because it is the PL.
This was a disgusting performance from the PGMO ref on the field who allowed two teams to behave in the most disgraceful manner I have seen for a long long time.
Thug football is a phrase that is more than appropriate to describe it. And thug football has been banned in the rest of the world for a while now but if the PGMO keeps on doing like they are doing we will see more and more of it. If you compare Clattenburg who was rightfully very strict in applying the laws of the game when sending off Mertesacker against Chelsea and then compare him with the one of the Chelsea-Tottenham match you can only start to wonder what and why there is such a difference in applying the laws of the game?
We all want consistency from the referees. Meaning they all should take the same actions when similar things happen. We know we don’t get this. Anyone who has a closer look can tell you that. The Coquelin sending off for a second yellow card (correct) and Dier not being send off for a second yellow card (not correct) in the same match by the same ref shows that there is too much inconsistency from the refs.
Clattenburg was clearly very strict in the application of the laws when sending of Mertesacker but now he just almost everything go in the Chelsea – Tottenham match. How can a ref be so different? It is the same ref (or was it a clone?) and as far as I know the laws of the game haven’t been changed halfway the season. And the difference in leniency between those two matches is extra ordinary.
I might see it from an Arsenal point of view and notice that there is no leniency for any Arsenal player and that other teams can get away with almost all they want. But how can such a match with so many violent fouls not see someone getting sent off??? I really cannot understand it. If you compare this with the treatment Arsenal players usually face… they only have to breath to get a yellow card at times.
And then people ask us to behave as Tottenham players do. With the difference we notice in how the referees act towards Arsenal players as opposed to other players we can be sure that if Arsenal would have played like that we would be down to seven man before we would realise it. Compare the way two of our players were sent off at Chelsea earlier this season to what happened in the Chelsea – Tottenham match!
Compare this and then tell me with a straight face there is no difference. There is a difference in how we are treated. All reviews indicate that there is this inexplicable difference.
And maybe instead of calling for the manager’s head, Gazidis head, Kroenke’s head and dividing our fan base it might be better to stop the infighting and look at the real enemy. The enemy outside the gates of the Emirates! How can Arsenal fight against teams who are allowed to do 10 times the things we aren’t allowed to do? So instead of asking change of the manager, board we should ask for change for something that is far more important: the referees.
But I’m not holding my breath… in fact the hate against Wenger/Gazidis/Kroenke is so big that most involved in it don’t even want to consider the difference we see in refereeing standards. While we are infighting we forget who the real enemy is. I will not judge Wenger as long as I notice that there is not a level playing field. Once our reviews show that there is no bias against Arsenal at all over a whole season, then I will judge him. But you as well as I know that if that level playing field would occur… we would win the league.
- Special referee review: Chelsea – Tottenham
- Arsenal U21s v Aston Villa U21s – Division 2 Play-off Final
- Theo to WHU, as Wenger buys Bundesliga megastar duo as Chelsea run into problems.
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