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The Untold referee index: Arsenal – Braga

by Walter Broeckx

At first I only planned to do this series on refs in the EPL. But after the game I thought it could be nice to do this also for the Champions League so that at the end of the season we also could make a comparison between the refs in both competitions. Who knows what we will find? Maybe we could come to the conclusion that the refs in the EPL are not that bad or it could be the other way round. We will see at the end of the season.

For the first CL game we got the visit of ref Hammer from Luxembourg.

OTHER: Within the first minute sliding tackle from a Braga player towards Nasri. He comes in frontal towards Nasri with his leg outstretched. The Braga player gets the ball but the ref calls the foul. Great decision early in the game and a call that not many refs in England would make. “He got the ball”, you know.  A very important decision from the ref to show the players what he will allow and what not.  1/1

PENALTY: Cesc brought down in the penalty area. The defender made clear contact with Cesc and had nothing of the ball. Bad call from the ref on this one. 0/1

OTHER: Foul on Cesc. Player on his left pulls him by his arm OUTSIDE the penalty area. The other player blocks him also OUTSIDE the penalty area. So it was not a penalty, but it certainly was a foul just outside the penalty area. The ref refuses to be accused of give decisions under pressure of the home crowd, but it still is a bad decision. 0/1

PENALTY/CARD: Clear foul on Chamakh and clear penalty. Correct decision and I think even the most fanatic Braga supporter will agree on this. The yellow card is correct. The instruction is that if a player goes round the keeper and goes to the outside and is tripped it is a yellow card. If Chamakh would have gone inside and was tripped, it should have been a red card. 1/1 and 1/1

GOAL : nothing to report. 1/1

CARD: Yellow card against a Braga player for a trip on Chamakh. Correct decision. 1/1

GOAL: Arshavin gets the second Arsenal goal and nothing to report.  1/1

GOAL: Chamakh scores our third goal and Wilshere was very close to an offside position. Was he level with the last defender when the ball was played to him? I haven’t got a fancy computer thing to draw a line on my TV so I really couldn’t see it. It was a case of centimetres or inches almost not visible for the human eye.  A linesman should in case of doubt give advantage to the striker. Good decision. 1/1

PENALTY: Arshavin tries to go between two defenders but is blocked and some people fall to the floor. Neither defender touched the ball at all. And there was a foul on Arshavin. This is one of those fouls that in midfield the ref would give the foul without hesitation, but suddenly in the penalty area they don’t. 0/1

SECOND HALF

OTHER/CARD: Nasri comes in with two feet. Not a sliding tackle but a kind of attempt to block the ball standing. But he ends up on the foot of the Braga player.  Dangerous. The ref gives no card. Should have been yellow.  1/1 and 0/1

GOAL : Cesc scores the 4-0 and nothing to report. 1/1

OTHER: Chamakh gets an offside decision against him when alone on goal which was wrong. No penalty points because the doubt about our third goal. (I still think the goal was correct).

CARD: yellow against Sagna and he can’t complain. He comes in from behind. This was not a clever foul to make and needless at this point of the game. 1/1

GOAL: Vela scores after a move of some 17 passes started at left back from Gael Clichy. Nothing more to report apart from that. 1/1

GOAL: Vela scores his second and no offside during this move from Cesc or Vela. Another correct goal. 1/1

GOALS: 6/6

CARDS: 3/4

OTHER: 2/3

PENALTY: 1/3

TOTAL SCORE: 12/16 (75%)

A final remark on what some commentators/pundits have said about the first foul on Cesc and the not given penalty. They said it was too early in the game. Well I have heard some nonsense in my life but this can be classified in the big nonsense. It’s never too early and never too late for a penalty. A penalty is a penalty and it doesn’t matter if it is the first of the last minute of the game.

I think he should have given one more yellow card. The dangerous action from Nasri springs to my mind.

On the penalties, or better said the not given penalty this cost him in his points a lot. He could have done better with this.  But to give some credit to the ref he didn’t act in a way you sometimes see when after two doubtful actions in the penalty area he starts to add things up. You could imagine him thinking: I let the first doubtful situation go and now another doubtful situation so 2 doubtful situations I will give a penalty. He didn’t do it that way and a good ref should act that way and not add them up in his head.

So overall a mixed game I think. He did some very good things but at the end his refusing to give us some penalties cost him good points.

17 comments to The Untold referee index: Arsenal – Braga

  • Dark Prince

    I dont think that Arshavin gettin blocked by 2 players was a foul. It was Arshavin who collided with them. The 2 defenders just blocked his path, that wont count as penalty. I have often seen that a player falling on the ground due to colliding with a opponent is not given as a foul in the box but outside the box its given as a simple foul. So i’d say the referee got that one right.

  • walter

    For me the foul was made by the second defender who came in from the left. I mean not the one that fell to the floor. The one that fell to the floot one could say he committed an obstruction but this isn’t a penalty. It should be punished by an indirect free kick.

    If you look from behind the goal you could see that the intention at the left side was to give him a body check. And so he did went in with his arm and pushed him.

    And an interesting thing you mention Dark Prince is the fact that refs make a difference in or outside the box. In fact the refs should not make this difference. And according to the rules a foul is a foul, inside or outside but the only difference is how the game is restarted. With a free kick or with a penalty.

    It’s not that some fouls should not be given if they happen inside the box or not.

  • Ole Gunner

    Good analysis as usual Walter.

    I disagree that the trip on Chamakh warranted a booking. The defender could be seen trying to avoid contact with Chamakh. I doubt the ref would have been close enough to see that though.

    I also felt that Chamakh’s penalty was soft. He was going down before contact occurred. He played it well, the way strikers do but he could well have stayed on his feet. I think it’s unfair to keepers that they can no longer try to claim the ball off a striker’s feet.

  • Terence McGovern

    Nice analysis walter.

    I agree that nasri should have been booked. I also agree that Arshavin should have had a penalty. The bottom libne on this is that the defender played the man and not the ball, bringing the man down.

  • Micheal

    The Chinese friend went to the optician clinic today. Headache and migraine. Maybe because he opened his eyes too wide yesterday. Arsenal-Braga game was that delicious.

  • Paul Southcott

    Yes I agree that Arshavin should have had a penalty, when was blocked by the two players. Also agree with Walter that is doen’t matter what time of the game it is – a foul in the penalty area is a penalty. I also hate commentators saying the if it was outside the box it would have been given! – it makes no different in the laws of the game – a foul is is foul wherever it is committed – if inside the area it is a penalty. Regards Paul (also a referee).

  • indian_gunner

    Walter great analysis! but i think you have got your math right. My caculation says its 68.5% and not the 75%(though i admit math was never my strength) should’nt you be taking the least common multiple into account when you are adding numbers with different denominators?
    no offense but i think it just changes the numeric value and puts things in a slightly different perspective

  • Robbie

    I don’t think the Braga supporters would give him 75% Arsenal is starting to look like Man Utd at home. Lots of help from the refs.

  • walter

    Indian Gunner,
    Yes I know about the maths thing. For the moment I only give the ref a total score on all points. I look at it not as different sections at the end but look at it in total. I admit its a bit confusing the way I present it maybe.
    If he had to make 16 decisions and got 12 correct in total this means 75% on my calculator.
    But when I do a round up I will go in to this a bit more and will give them a more detailed report and take the 4 different categories more apart. Because most of the goals are correct (so far) so this can give a different picture on the rest of his game.
    Like on this occasion if you take out the goals he would have a score of 6/10 or 60%. (on total decisions)
    But this will be when we reach the halfway mark of the season and when I will try to compare all the refs a bit.

  • va cong

    michaels thats racist man; its all about the eye lids! I’m chinese by the way.

  • Fem Dee

    Robbie @ 1.45pm
    It would have been nice to read the basis for your opinion – as counterpoint to Walter’s piece.

  • Paul C.

    Robbie – God, I hope so. I really, really do. We have been waiting for years for refs to treat us at home the same way Utd and Liverpool have been treated for years. I dont think we are anywhere near that yet but I do agree that there are some really encouraging signs. Good point and we can all cross our fingers and hope for more. Keep the faith, brother.

  • Dark Prince

    @walter- though you are right that all rules should be followed properly regardless whether its in the box or out of the box. And the defender which was coming from the left side, merely closed the space for Arshavin. He didn’t deliberately went to tackle him. The defender just stood his ground and Arshavin crashed into him. And yes, sometimes, such things are given as a light foul outside the box, but inside the box, i wudn’t giv it as a foul. Even if you see, none of the Arsenal players protested for a penalty decision. Also if you see, sometimes a successful slide tackle outside the box is given as a foul. But never inside a box. Also in other cases, a unintentional hand ball is sometimes given as a light foul outside the box but whenever its inside the box, its never given as a foul. I guess d refs have been trained in a way that they are not supposed to give penalty when a foul is committed by obstruction or unintentional handball inside d box.

  • Dark Prince

    @walter- though you are right that all rules should be followed properly regardless whether its in the box or out of the box, i think the refs do not give penalties on many different type of fouls inside the box. And the defender which was coming from the left side, merely closed the space for Arshavin. He didn’t deliberately went to tackle him. The defender just stood his ground and Arshavin crashed into him. And yes, sometimes, such things are given as a light foul outside the box, but inside the box, i wudn’t giv it as a foul. Even if you see, none of the Arsenal players protested for a penalty decision. Also if you see, sometimes a successful slide tackle outside the box is given as a foul. But never inside a box. Also in other cases, a unintentional hand ball is sometimes given as a light foul outside the box but whenever its inside the box, its never given as a foul. I guess d refs have been trained in a way that they are not supposed to give penalty when a foul is committed by obstruction or unintentional handball inside d box.

  • indian_gunner

    walter ,
    got your point.Dont you think its rather unfair on the referee if all of points have the same weightage?Like a wrong penalty decision could have a lot to say in the way the match shaped up when compared to a foul comitted inside our own half?Dont you think?

  • walter

    Yes Indian gunner, you are right about that. I am still thinking on to give some coëfficent on the decisions when I do the comparison between the refs. Like the example you give this is very true. A bit like the golden boot trophy where in some leagues you can score lesser goals but still could win it because scoring in some leagues is more difficult than in other leagues.
    But the problem is which (extra) weight I should give to penalty decisions. X 1,5 ? X 2? I’m still thinking on this.

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