Untold Arsenal on Facebook here
by Walter Broeckx, the untold ref
For the coming of Manchester Cattanacio we had ref Mike Jones at the Emirates. So let us try to see how he did the game from a ref point of view.
OTHER: A few early decisions, to keep the players aware of the rules. I liked his start. 1/1
OTHER/CARD: A body check on Sagna from Barry. A deserved yellow card is Barry’s part. 1/1 and 1/1
OTHER: Not seen by many (or Tony in block 99 did you noticed it? It was right in front of you) but Tevez comes in late against Sagna and sticks out a leg. Sagna is seeing it coming and keeps his leg out of the way to avoid a kick. The ref has seen this and give a foul against Tevez. This was a perfect example that a player does not have to go down to give a foul. Good vision from the ref and good call. 1/1 (Did I see it? I was down the gangway and abseiling down to the lower tier to complain about it before my guest for the evening called the firebrigade and they lifted me back up. It was terrible by Tevez and I had not realised until that moment quite what his game is. – Tony)
PENALTY: Walcott tries to give a cross and the ball touches the arm of Kompany. THE moment of the game as we will learn afterwards. The facts: Kompany is out there to try and block a cross. He does this with his arm open wide to make it more difficult for the ball to go past him. When you go in with arms wide open to block a cross and you get the ball with your arms it is a foul and should have been a penalty. For those who think this is a biased pro-Arsenal point of view: please read my Birmingham-Arsenal ref review and what I have written on Van Persie and his handball. It should have been a penalty. 0/1
Kompany is moving and spreading his arms to try to block the cross. You can see there is a few meters between the two players. If you want to spread your arms like that you can have no complains when the penalty is given.
Did Kompany think it was a penalty? He will not admit it in words I think, but just take a look at this picture. Before the corner kick he gives Walcott a low five to acknowledge the fact that he was very lucky. But after all it was not Kompany who didn’t give the penalty, that was up to the ref.
OTHER/CARD: De Jong comes in late and catches Wilshere. The ref gets in his pocket and produces a yellow card. Good decision. 1/1 and 1/1
OTHER: For some 55.000 people at that time in the stadium it was clear to see that Hart was taking all the time he could get to run the clock down. As we mostly see only replays during the time that a keeper needs to get the ball back in play I don’t know if the ref made any gestures about it, but I didn’t see anything. The faster you take action, the more successful you are in trying to stop time wasting. So he could have done something about it. 0/1 (Since I have already butted in once, the answer is, this timewasting went on from about the third minute by Hart, and the crowd got very agitated. This alerted the ref, and several times I saw him turn around, look at Hart and wave him to speed it up – but by the 20th time it happened it was all rather laughable – and sad to see a supposedly title challenging team behave like this.- Tony)
So in we go at half time.
OTHER: First seconds of the second half and Jo kicks Sagna on the ankle. The ref didn’t see it and let play continue. This was a foul, another on Sagna. Maybe the ref was not fully focused on the game in those first seconds? 0/1
OTHER/CARD: Koscielny with a foul from behind on Tevez. The ref gives a foul, but this should have been a yellow card in my eyes. Koscielny is lucky. 1/1 and 0/1
OTHER: Time and time again Hart is taking all the time he can get off the clock to keep it at 0-0. Again no indication that the ref does anything about it. I took the time and he was impressing with taking more than half a minute at times. 0/1
CARD/CARD: in almost the last minute of normal time Sagna and Zabaleta tangle outside the playing field, stand up and try to impress each other by going head to head. What an utterly foolish act from both players. The ref gets out a card and shows them the red one. I agree with the ref on this occasion. Leave such stupid behaviour out of our game please. No aggression on the playing field and if you do the ref has to send you off. I will come back later on this and on Sagna. But this was with all the time it took before the game restarted the last real fact in the game. 1/1 and 1/1
So where does this leave the ref:
Total score: 9/14 (64%)
In his overall game and foul handling he was doing all right today. I can’t recall that he missed a lot and he also had a few good decisions that many other refs would have let go. Some possible dangerous tackles which he stopped immediately. So we must give him credit for this.
Time wasting…. Well it surely is no subject with the EPL refs. Hart always took all the time in the world as if he was the Blackburn keeper and not the keeper of the most expensive team in the world. But the refs in the EPL just don’t do anything about it. They just let it go and stand there watching. I think this is rather disappointing as a ref. I think no person is coming to a football field to see a keeper wandering around with the ball examining the pitch very carefully to see where he can put the ball, then go to the other side of the goal to see if the pitch is better suited for a goal kick and then finally puts the ball down, goes to the goal to kick the dirt from his shoes, very carefully to be sure he wouldn’t slip of course and then finally kicks the ball back in play. I wonder if you can leave your seat in the Emirates, go our and order a drink and then come back in the stadium if the ball would have been back in play? Also I do want to remind the refs that there also is a time limit on how long you can keep the ball in your hands as a keeper. I noticed Hart holding on the ball for about 15 seconds in the first half.
The penalty. After 90 minutes one can say it cost us the possible 3 points. We still had to score the penalty of course but this really was a bad call from an Arsenal point of view. But I would like to point out that I think that from the position the ref was running he couldn’t see the incident properly. I think that Kompany his body was between the arm and the ref his eyes. I deduce this from the way he was running just before the handball as he was out of the picture when the handball was made. But then it was up to the assistant to give the call. But we are not United where the linesman do try to help the ref out even when it is no handball.
And then finally the red cards. First of all I think the reaction from both players was totally out of order. There was no need to do this. No need to go head to head at all. Yes they tangled a bit but why make any fuss of it? Just go on with the game. I felt that was the moment we finally conceded the draw. We lost the momentum for the last 6 minutes as that was the time we still had to play when it happened.
But if I do may say anything in favour of Sagna: I think it just was too much. In the last games he has been kicked and kicked and kicked again and then again and then another kick. And much has gone on unseen by the refs. The Birmingham game, today a body check and at the start of the second half another kick. So I do think that at a certain moment it can get too much for a player. But still he shouldn’t have reacted like he did.
I know many will say that in the spirit of the game the ref could have had another solution. And he could have given yellow cards and he could have said: it was a rather fair game until then, it was in the final minutes and other things to justify it. But this is opening the door to inconsistency. And we all hate that when it comes to football. Then it would mean that sometimes you get a red card for going head to head and sometimes a yellow. I think you should always give a red card for such aggressive behaviour. Football is a contact sport but not in an aggressive way and certainly not when the ball is out of play. You leave aggression out of the football field. And when you want to be aggressive you just accept the consequences and in this case: a red card. A stupid red card if I may say so. But it will give him a week rest now.
And now the big moment that you would not have seen on TV, Walter. At half time a young man arranged it so that the cameras went to him, and with those in the stadium who were not queuing for a drink would have seen on the big screen, he proposed to his girlfriend. She said yes. And the response of the crowd was… a prolonged chant of, “You don’t know what you’re doing, You don’t know what you’re doing.” An utterly wonderful and perfect example of north London humour. Tony
- Why is it becoming so difficult to find a sponsor for new football stadium?
- Corruption flares up again in Italy, as Premier League figures don’t look too clever
- How much does a club have to spend on transfers to get a trophy?
- Does the team that is top after 14 games usually go on to win the league?
- How the Taliban infiltrated the World Cup and used it to maintain its war on women