A surgeon’s view on the handball incident

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By Walter Broeckx, the surgeon ref

One of our critical readers, and thank God we have many critical readers, didn’t accept right away my view on the penalty incident in our game against City.

Fair enough I think it is everyone is right to contest what I write and I am not a divine person who cannot make mistakes. I think those days are a few hundred years behind us I think.

So on a special demand I tried to make a short clip of it and then I will take a few frames from this clip to show you on what I based my decision.  If you click on the link here

Handball or not

you should see a clip opening up somewhere on your computer.

Lets analyse this a bit and I will try to take a few frames from this clip. I left the running outside the penalty area out of this frame by frame pictures as nothing was wrong over there.

Walcott is fainting a possible shot or cross. Look at the arm of Kompany who is stopping his run and also has already managed to steady himself and has  his arm  behind his body.

Theo decides to run further and Kompany his arm are very close to his body, both arms in fact if you want to look very close.

A bit further on the field as Theo is running to the goal line. Kompany his arms are bit further away from his body.

Theo is setting himself to cross the ball to goal. You can see this and as Kompany is very good defender he knows that Theo will try to cross the ball.  The goal line is coming nearer and it is a matter of now or never.  And now look at the movement of the arms from Kompany as he opens his body and he also opens both his arms to make himself as wide as possible and to have the most chance to block the cross somehow.

And blocking the cross is what he does. He blocks it with his outstrechted left arm. Also take notice of the fact that in the whole action his arms never have been so far outstrechted as until the moment he knew the cross would definitly come.

The most important thing for me is the fact that he could have kept his arms close to his body as they were not running on high speed anymore. But as you can see the moment the cross was going to come he opened his body and swing out both his arms to spread himself.  So there certainly was a movement from his arms and his arm blocked the cross.

So for me it is and was a penalty.

I also would like to thank anyone who doesn’t agree with me every now and then. Mostly it has as a result that I try to look at it again, again, again and again. And I go watching deeper and down and deeper.

So I do welcome any criticism on the ref reviews and in this case I left my wife, and a very popular TV quiz on TV over here in my country, to spend time seeing if I made a mistake. I think that I was right from the start on this. But if I had changed my mind I would have let you know.

Only a bad ref never admits a mistake.

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55 Replies to “A surgeon’s view on the handball incident”

  1. Hmmmm…to be honest, when i saw the handball during the game, it looked more like the out stretched arm was a result of tryin to balance his body. But with the replay, i can admit it looks like a definate penalty appeal. Also it was surprising to see that only Walcot was appealing confidently for the penalty. Maybe that could have been a reason for the ref not awarding it.

    Also another interesting statistic, Arsenal are now the team with the most shots hit on the post in this season- 14!!!! That post is almost acting like a 12th man for the opposition.

  2. I thought it was a penalty at the time and you proved it Walter. I don’t think anyone would disagree after seeing these pictures. With reference to one of Tony’s earlier articles, this is the second time in 3 matches that a clear penalty was not awarded to us. Case in point: The handball not awarded which was exactly the same as Cesc’s.

  3. @DP .. you mean the 13th man for the opposition .. the 12th slot was reserved to the referee most of the time 😉

  4. Arsenal never seem to get an important penalty call…..And the refs seem to side with opposition more often than not at the Grove (this incident and vs Spurs)

  5. Thank you Walter. You have converted me from the ‘it was just an accident, why are Arsenal fans so paranoid’ camp to at least agreeing that Kompany cheated, if not that the referee filled his wallet on the strength of it. Thanks for a detailed explanation. Sorry about your wife – make sure you get a good lawyer.

  6. La Shiz – I count 5 penalty decisions have gone against us in 3 games. 1) the Wigan penalty given against us which was a fairly blatant dive. 2) Walcott being taken down in the Wigan penalty area. 3) The handball in the wall from the Nasri free kick. 4) Djourou being pulled and tugged all over the box against Birmingham and 5) the Kompany handball from the Walcott cross.
    These decisions have most likely cost us 4 points (2 Wigan 2 Man C) and 5 on our goal difference.
    Meaning we would have currently been top of the league on goal difference were it not for the ineptitude of the referees in the EPL (and this is before taking into account the red card and penalty that should have come against Neville and Utd for West Brom(which would have put WBA 2-1 up with a man advantage!))

  7. Tram,
    I didn’t actually left her. Just left her behind on the seat yesterday evening when we had agreed to see at the quiz together. 🙂

    Well she understands my passion for the Arsenal. Lucky me.

  8. One thing you have forgotten to mention in your otherwise concise and potentially flawless analysis of Vincent Kompany’s evil plan to thwart Master Walcott’s cross is that he was only about a metre from the young Arsenal winger/utility midfielder at the time of the incident. Close Kompany, you might say.

    I’ve done some rudimentary calculations and assuming Baby Theo crosses at a reasonable 50mph (see how he swings that right boot), Mr Kompany would have had less than 5/100ths of a second to get his arm in or out of the way.
    0.05 seconds. That’s about one quarter of the average reaction time for an average human being.
    Could he really have done much about getting in the way, as you suggest – or getting out of it?

    No axe to grind here – I’m not a fan of either team and happily had a draw predicted in my football prediction league. But I would imagine that if such a penalty were given against your team (perhaps Adam Johnson whipping one into the forearm of Gail Cliché), then you’d be mightily annoyed.

  9. The boys gave everything last night, they played well, were solid at the back and controlled the game but just lacked that final finish to hit the net. The post denied us three times, Joe Hart with 2 brilliant saves and we really measured up to the Man City “bruisers” in tackles. Anybody else see Clichy outjump Yaya Toure to a header? Unbelievable Jeff. Disappointed we didn’t get the 3 points we obviously deserved but with us starting to at least show signs of good form and spirits in tough games I’m feeling buoyed by our chances.

  10. Oh, and your assertion that “he could have kept his arms close to his body as they were not running on high speed anymore” is a bit harsh as well.
    (Sorry – meant to mention this in the original comment).
    Look at your stills from the clips – all of this happened within a second (42:49 – 42:50).
    With reference to Monsieur Kompany’s arm position, might I once again bring physics into play and suggest that as a defender of perhaps 90kg (he’s a big guy), his inertia would have forced the lack of balance. As a measure of this, note how little Theo’s arms are also further away from his body in those last clips. And he only weighs the same as a bag of sugar.
    Plus he had the interaction of his foot with the ball to further steady himself.
    The jury therefore finds that there was nothing untoward or deliberate about the upper limb action of Vinnie and upholds the decision not to give a penalty for the reasons laid down hereto and hither.

  11. 6000,

    In the same short period of time he had the time to raise both his arms when he saw the cross was going to be made. Sticking out your arms is making a movement.

    Let us imagine for a moment that Kompany was standing on the goal line. Theo shoots and Kompany spreads his arms and from his arm the ball goes over the goal in corner. So the question is: can a player use his arms to block a shot or not?

    If a keeper does something like this when a striker is coming on goal towards him they call this technique: making yourself wide (to block the ball). But a keeper can use his arms to do this (in the penalty area). A player not. He can not do this. I remember a bit of comedy capers attempt on that at Newcastle a few season ago when a defender made himself wide and stopped the ball with his arm. He then did as if his body has been hit by a bullet but the ref had seen it : penalty and red card.

  12. 6000
    At risk of labouring the point (although it is the article’s subject, so I feel entitled), I understand Walter to be saying: at the end of his run Kompany turned to face TW, and his arms, as seen, went down. Then he raised them again. If it was to stop the ball he would only raise his left arm, and yes, only a superhuman could have reacted that quickly. But he raised both arms – if anything the right arm even higher. Given that he had already stopped, balance isn’t the motive – he was ‘making himself bigger’. If a keeper in the same place with the same threat had done that he would be praised for a fine save. Making yourself bigger means he deliberately used his hands, arms and everything else to prevent the ball passing. In that sense it is 100% deliberate, so I agree with Walter.

  13. As I pointed out in my second comment, I think that Mr Kompany’s lifting arms were due to the movement of his body in the dynamic and fast moving situation he found himself in.
    No ulterior motive here – unless you feel that his arms had been taken over by some malevolent spirit from White Hart Lane, Old Trafford or the like.
    Much as you insist that he couldn’t have done more to get in the way, I feel he couldn’t have done anything to get out of the way.
    If it of any interest/value, maybe I should point out that I am a FA-qualified ref. And I wouldn’t have given it.
    It is worth noting that only Theo appealed for a penalty (and even then, without a huge amount of conviction). He should have kept going – those officials were pushovers, as proved by Sagna’s nastiness late in the game (sad, cos I rate him) and… er… Zabaletta’s red card. Hmm.

    I saw that you avoided comment on your feelings should this have happened at the other end.

    Incidentally, I did see Gail Cliché outjump Yaya Toure and I was impressed. But then I thought it was a superb game for the neutral. Jumpers for goalposts and all that. Superb.

  14. In truth I would have been gutted to concede a pen from that… we would have though in any other game and we have conceded penalties for far less.

    What is the law from the book, how is it worded – one of you two refs must have it handy?

  15. @ DogFace (is that your real name?)

    Herewith the rule in question – part of rule 12 – (edited by me to remove irrelevant stuff about spitting, holding and kicking):

    “A direct free kick is also awarded to the opposing team if a player commits any of the following offences:

    • handles the ball deliberately (except for the goalkeeper within his own penalty area)

    A penalty kick is awarded if any of the above offences is committed by a player inside his own penalty area, irrespective of the position of the ball, provided it is in play.”

    So it really does come down to whether you think Kompany handled it deliberately or accidentally. Hence the difference between Walter and my opinions, I suppose.

    Since 2006, referees have been told that they must be convinced that it is deliberate handball before giving a penalty.
    I was far from convinced that this was – and while Walter would rightly give a spot kick if he felt it was a deliberate attempt to block the ball, I think that if the ref on the night was less than 100% convinced (as I feel he should have been and as the linesman obviously was), he would have been further swayed in the favour of non-givage by the fact that the distance between little Theo’s foot and big Vinnie’s hand was so very small.

  16. Walter all this reconfirms how inconsistent officiating is in the PL. Too much subjectivity is permitted, while the laws of the game are clear.
    home club
    size of club
    managers images
    player profiling
    time of the incident in the match
    treatment of officials during the match (respect or abuse)

    Actually, there is a tremendous amount of psychology involved in how to leverage the subjectivity.

    By having video replay for defined issues, much of the pressure on the officials (because the game is too fast and human error) would be relieved.

    thanks so much for providing your experience……

  17. 6000,
    he could have done by holding his arms next to his body to prevent his arms touching the ball?
    Nasri also asked for a penalty. But players asking for a penalty is not a criteria to give penalties.

    In the rule book :

    Handling the ball
    Handling the ball involves a deliberate act of a player making contact with the ball with his hand or arm. The referee must take the following into consideration:
    1. the movement of the hand towards the ball (not the ball towards the hand)
    2. the distance between the opponent and the ball (unexpected ball)

    My view on ti

    1. The player made himself wide so he was moving his arms
    2. The distance : it was short but it was not unexpected. Everyone and if you look at Kompany his movements he was expecting a cross

    And really have to go now but we can go on about this later if you want

  18. And I’m a ref in another country 6000. Inconsistency and refs…. it will never go away. 🙂 and 😉

  19. I have to admit I think Wenger is incredibly clever, how he has done this I really don’t know, but now when Arsenal fail to win or actually lose, SOME of Arsenal’s fan believe that it is not the fault of the side, it is the tactics adopted by the opposition or some other outside factor – Pitch doctoring, mud, etc. Over the last few days I have witnessed SOME Arsenal fans blaming City’s tactics for Arsenal’s inability to win, I have seen Sydney blame Arsenal’s recent loss at United on the grass being too long and the previous loss last season on mud. For sometime now I have seen SOME Arsenal fans blame the Tactics of teams like Stoke, Blackburn etc for Arsenal’s inability to beat those teams. The thing is if United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Spurs, City in fact 99% of other teams fail to beat a side the majority of the fans will come on here and blame their own team’s tactics, their manager’s choice of players, individual players for not turning up, or in many cases the opposition team for the way they played. So like I say fair play to Wenger he has SOME Arsenal fans under some sort of spell that makes them believe that they are the most attractive team in the world, they play the best football, they never lose or draw because of the way they have played, many losses or draws are the result of other teams negative or underhand tactics and he has them believing this even though they have won absolutely nothing for nearly 6 years. I cannot believe any other manager in the league has been able to pull this off, I truly believe that Wenger is the most untouchable manager in footballing history, not because of what he has achieved and won, but because of the aura he has built up around himself and his team – Hats off to him. Cheers

  20. I browse many blogs but must say this one offers the most logical explanations (thought sometimes a bit too optimistic) guess it’s a bit like your manager eh!!!

  21. @terry: Good to hear that you think that Wenger is clever – he certainly seems to be. I agree totally with the fact that it is for the home side to come out and break down the away team. If Arsenal want the points it is for them to score. The fact of the matter is that they did not do enough on the day and did not deserve to win. I am sure that he said after the game against Manchester City that he did not have a problem with the way that City played so I am not sure why SOME Arsenal fans think to the contrary. I am aware that some fans love to blame other things apart from their teams performance. Teams must play to their strengths and if this means that physical force is all they have (ie Stoke) then this is what they do. If they do not have the skill then who can blame them. I disagree that Wenger is ‘untouchable’. He certainly is in a great position in terms of stability. We are not privy to what goes on at board level but I would assume that he is delivering a fantastic ROI. It is the media, press and tv pundits that claim that Arsenal play the best football in the EPL, not Wenger. If Arsenal get labled as playing the most attractive football then so be it. In regards to the ‘best’ football; Arsenal have not won a thing for over 5 years now, so claiming to be the best is crazy. Surely Arsenal need to win the title to claim this.

  22. oh terry if arsene could work like fergies mind games with refs we’d get more 97 minute goals and more phantom penalties, you are one to talk about brain washing! lol But at least we’re not in huge debt and awaiting an arab sugar daddy! 😉

  23. @terry,
    welcome to untold, first and foremost i would like tosay the aura you speak of around wenger is a long lost personality trait known as integrity. we cannot accuse knights of the realm of being cads but lets just say knighthoods are a dozen a dime these days.
    secondly if you were to examine wengers statements without the medis spin put on them you would find a decent amount of truth to them taking for example the pitch at old trafford that day, we may laugh at city’s tactics this week but it we hadnt lost to you it would have been the talking point, Sir clearly went defensive and looked to catch us on the break, but also left the grass overgrown to slow our passing down. nobody is denying it worked but lets not pretend it did’nt happen. so the real issue you highlight is most arsenal fans on this site at least know hte difference between propaganda and reality, we may be challenging for the title but it is not won yet, we may have a decent team but we are a couple of seasons from getting there etc etc i know some united fams(sic) to whom i have to defend john o’shea because he is a decent squad player, as for wednesday trust me it is man city you want to thank.

  24. @6000
    welcome to untold,
    i see that to you the controversy is what makes the game interesting, eh. never mind the skill, tactics, teamwork etc etc
    i am resisting the cheap shot as one of our players is currently on loan at sheff. utd, i hope that he is learning more just being controversial. broken cheekbone, fighting….. this does not augur well for someone tipped to be our next CB.

  25. Hi 6000,

    Yes DogFace is my real name. Do you have any ref mates? if so how do you fancy analysing a few games evey week along with walter so we can collect some real data.

    I would love data like that to model refs performance/bias on the calls they should have made rather than what was actually made.


  26. As a qualified ref (with vastly less experience than Walter) I’d be happy to help out come the summer , as I think it;d be a very worthwhile project

  27. Maybe we could get our heads together and make a spreadsheet in a format that I can import into my database?

    I would consider this to be very valuable research – could we get a team of refs to do ever game?

    The thought of that makes me very excited!

  28. @gandiv – FACT: Wenger has spent £220.80m sold: £194.41m – amazing record. Ferguson have spent: £392.44m, but over 10 more years and sold: 244.12 so Wenger has done a good piece of business OR has he? United have won 10 league titles, five FA Cups, three League Cups, and the Champions League twice. 20 major trophies in 22 years. Arsenal: Three league titles and four FA Cups (including two doubles) so despite bigger spending Uniteds ROI is so much bigger. Last fact: since 2004 United hav spent only 30 mill more than Arsenal! That can be down to one player, Berbatov! Wenger cannot save money and expect to win! FACT 🙂

    If United dont win it i want arsenal to win it but there is no way i see that happening. In fact i easly see us going unbeaten and we’ll whip you lot in your own back yard like we have been doing for the past few seasons – enjoy the false hope for the time being

  29. “United hav spent only 30 mill more than Arsenal! That can be down to one player, Berbatov!”

    Hmmm.. I don’t suppose the sale of Ronaldo comes into those figures or is anyway a ‘FACT’ worth mentioning… I imagine you’ll have to sell Rooney next to balance the books.

    United are the Glaziers lil’ bitch, a surreal entity on the thershold of implosion – FACT.

    Or am I feeding the troll here?


  30. terry- dont you think it pretty early to go out for a victory lap?? Have you ever wondered why United fans r complaining so much about the Glazers?? its not that Ferguson just spent 30 mil more than Wenger in last few years, the fact is that Ferguson didn’t hav anythin to spend…and thats the reason why United cudn’t match up last year and thats why the fans r complaining about the glazers. Thats the difference between an Arsenal supporter and a United supporter. We know what restrictions we have in our budget. Ferguson didn’t have a stadium to build. Just ask yourselves, which player has come out of your Academy in last few years except for Fletcher?? None!! Ferguson has bought his way to success, really didn’t have any competition in this regard in the first few years of EPL. When Wenger came, ferguson came to know that even buying all the best players cudn’t do it. Then Arsenal had to build the stadium, one the best stadium, so we switched on to a plan, a plan to create a team from scratch, something which Ferguson can never do. Yes, we are taking our time, but its gettin closer to comin back to our trophy winning period, even you can sense it. And the wait is makin it more special. Maybe you, as a United fan should know what problems you’re facing, and just let me know honestly whether Ferguson could have done even half of what Wenger achieved when you cant buy superstars for atleast 7-8 yrs.

  31. @DOGFACE – I’m not having a go, but the comment: “we’re not just focused on the number of trophies we’ve won. THAT is the genius of Wenger. He has, and I’ll happily admit I’m one of them, demonstrated that the number of trophies you have is not everything” The genius of Wenger is convincing some Arsenal fans that winning things isn’t important. If Arsenal were a club that didn’t have a history of winning things I could accept the point you are making, if you were a club that had a history of sitting between midtable and the relegation zone, I could see how a manager that assured you of CL football each season would be seen as a genius, but you’re not. Arsenal throughout it’s history has been a club that has challenged for cups and titles. The genius of Wenger is convincing you that playing “pretty” football and qualifying for the CL is the pinnacle of football for Arsenal. There was a comment from sexyspurs who predicted that if you win the league many Arsenal fans will see this as the most prestigious title ever – I have to agree, even though many, yourself included have said that the usual top teams are far worse that they have been for years, but if you win I think you will think this has been the hardest league ever to win and the best title for decades. If Arsenal don’t win though, for you and a few others I don’t think it will be Wenger’s fault it will be the “anti-football” teams, teams like City who parked the bus and didn’t give you the opportunity to win. That is the genius if Wenger. Cheers

  32. @dARKPRINCE – No I dont think so. Who is going to challenege us? Arsenal? Dont make me laugh I have to admit your team plays better football but where does it get you? Nowhere. And if you dont buck up then I can see you not winning anything. AT LEAST bARCA Are capable of winning trophies wheras you are just imitators. In case you didnt hear the Glazers have settled tje debt so you best be careful we’re coming for you – Oh wait we’re not as we are already top.

  33. @vacong – is that your pathetic excuse for not winning any trophies in how many years is it now? Oh wait i forget you play just to take part dont you?

  34. listen lads I have no issues with Arsenal as a club and never have had, I have a lot of respect for the club which mainly stems from the 79 cup Final, which we all know we lost, but as a distraught 9 year old walking back down Wembley way Arsenal fans were patting me on the head, giving me toffees and telling me there was always next year. I’ve enjoyed the title tussles between SAF and AW and I respect what Wenger has done. I’m just sick to death of hearing that United are rubbish and have been gifted titles over the last 4 years, that United fans are arrogant or dillusional to think we can win the title this year, but we are expected to accept that Arsenal are the main contenders for the title. Arsenal are a very good side you would struggle to find a fan of any club on here that would suggest differently, but we are all expected to accept that our teams are inferior to Arsenal. At the end of the day as many have already suggested this is football, it’s not a beauty parade or an exhibition sport it’s about accumulating points and the team that accumulates the most points wins the league and are the undisputed champions and rightly so. If that is Arsenal I will be one of the first on here as I was last year with Chelsea to congratulate them, but i know, because i have seen it in previous seasons that if it’s United, Chelsea, Spurs, City or whoever, there will be comments on here from SOME Arsenal fans saying the wrong team won it. Cheers

  35. Wenger blames everything but the team for losses and dropped points and that he does it to take attention away from the team – you know that I know that and most level headed football fans know that, but the point I’m making is SOME of your own fans actually believe what he is saying – read the comments and I assume you can see why many opposition fans get so frustrated, becaause over and over again we get told by these same Arsenal fans that Arsenal are the best team in the league, deserve to win everything and many are forecasting you will. They believe this “anti-football” description that Wenger has branded many clubs with and it becomes the reason you don’t win. I’m actually sick to death of hearing that Arsenal should have won the league every year for the last 10 years, that United only win because of luck and referees decisions, that Chelsea only win because of money, that Stoke, Blackburn and any team that dare to actually get stuck into Arsenal are cloggers not footballers. If Wenger is this footballing God that SOME Arsenal fans are suggesting, surely he has the tactics to deal with those teams? I’ve just read one comment that Wenger is “by far the best manager in history” – apparently because of what he has done with the money he has had – he has won 3 titles and 4 FA Cups in 14 years, nothing in the last 5+ years and in that time he has spent about £230m, now I know he has sold a lot of players (mainly in the last 5-6 years) and made the club a huge amount of money as a result, but his job is to make the club succesful and arguably the economic of the club is the job of the board, as such I question the fact that anyone could call him the best manager ever – he has them brainwashed. Cheers

  36. terry- lol as i said, ur on a victory lap way too early especially knowing that you have away games against Spurs, Arsenal, Liverpool n 2 games against Chelsea, oh wait, u got one against ur step brother City too…lol i shud be the one laughing…

  37. Terry- would really like to know from where you got the fact that Arsene has spent £230 mil in last 5yrs…i think you’re really misguided.

  38. We’ll see about that. Arsenal at Emirates is like playing them at OT anyway we play you off the park in your own back yard and if you cant see that then you’re just a biased supporter. Andeson will keep Fabergas in his pocket like he always does. Chelsea are no match for our superior team

  39. I seem to have a lot of stuff attributed to me that I have no recollection of saying… and you never did answer my question about the £80,000,000 sale of Ronaldo?

    What true Arsenal fans believe is that Wenger has given us, over these last few years, a bright future – we do not celebrate mediocrity as you imply, we see the bigger picture and we look forward to the club our children will support – a proper club that plays great football and is sustainable.

    Manchester United will soon go the same way as Liverpool – you know this, this is SAF’s final season, the party is all but over and he is calling in every favour – I suggest you sit back and enjoy this season, whatever happens, but don’t expect too much from your team after that.

    History will not look back at your club favourably after what has happened to it, and what has happened to it is a disgrace and I feel for you – but please don’t think that you have any bragging rights whatsoever over us – if anything we pity you in some ways. Enjoy your past glories terry because the future is red and white.

    And by the way – for your information – Arsenal is by far the greatest team the world has EVER SEEN!

  40. terry- lol d way you talk jus shows ur over confidence. Chelsea r no match for you?? hmmmm…that proves you haven’t seen what happened last year…and kudos if Anderson can keep Fabregas in his pockets…but i dont think you can do much about Wilshere or Nasri or Van Persie or Walcott….oh yeah…forgot about Song too 😛 only time will tell…so i wud suggest you should keep the victory lap when United wins the title, rather than boastin it right now when you have all of you tough matches to come. Also maybe one statistic to help you on the way – the team who have been on top on New Year has gone on to win the title only 9 out of 18 Epl seasons. So just wait for the end of the season.

  41. To be honest Terry I blame the defeat at Old Trafford on the following.
    Vermalen best defender out for the game.
    Cesc best midfielder on for last 25 mins in no shape to play comming back from injury
    VanPersie same as cesc
    Keeper 19 year old in goal first EPL start.

    The whole spine of our team more or less missing.

    If Utd came to the emirates with Nani getting 25 mins and Rooney on way back from injury No Rio ferdinand and a 19 year old playing hes first gamee in the EPL in goals we would win by more than one goal.

    Its all about when you have your first team available to you Utd got the 3 pointe no complaints here but it wont be the same at Ems if we can field a full strength side.

  42. terry, you seem to have a lot to say.
    what have you got to say about your special relationship with stoke vis a vis preston NE and pulis rolling over on tuesday?

  43. Why is the Kompany handball any different from the Kos handball which earned Kos a second yellow and therefore a red card earlier in the season? Either it is, or it isn’t, deliberate – ffs refs, make your mind up!

  44. Your comments are hilarious Terry, can’t help but get a good laugh out of it.

    Great article again Walter! Love reading your articles on the ref reviews!

  45. @terry,
    you seem to think that the manager should be booting his player and giving them the hairdryer. this my freind is bullying and to sensible people a bit beyond the pale, we will take our kickings off fergie acolytes, thank you but in the camp we will treat each other with respect and confine the morals of a late 40’s scottish dockyard to history (apropos of nothing, ha!)

  46. Walter! Just uploaded this avi(2.5MB) to mediafire (http://www.mediafire.com/file/76yrt5z12w9535x/Theo-Penalty.avi). I’ve slowed it down a little and from what i can make out. I agree with you, it was a definte penalty. You can see in the close-up footage, Komp had his eye on the ball all the time, knew when it was coming (turning away from shot) and intensionally leaving his arm out to block the ball, in an upwardly direction. PENALTY!! Also, every Arsenal player in the box was calling for it. Bad call referees!! Keep up the good work.
    Sorry, if i’ve broken any rules for post a link!! Have i done wrong?

  47. This will always be a penalty. I understand why some people will talk about the distance between Kompany and Walcott making it ‘ball to hand’ but that does not hold water when the defender’s arms are so far away from his body. As for Kompany’s balance, please! How can a player hope to achieve balance by twisting his arm so unnaturally behind his body?

    As Theo shapes to cross, Kompany leans inside, so that if Walcott decides to cut in he can follow him, but also leaves his left arm swaying in the breeze at a bizarre angle, just where a gap for a cross happens to be. It’s ‘clever’ defending from Kompany, trying to cover both eventualities (a cross or a run).

    I’m not surprised that it wasn’t given as it’s almost impossible for either the referee or the linesman to have a clear view of such an incident, and it’s not something that bothers me too much – I don’t feel that it cost us the game. But it is a penalty, as I view clear intent from Kompany to use his arm as a barrier.

    And if an Arsenal defender were to do the same as Kompany, I would not feel aggrieved if a penalty was given. I would however be rather miffed by yet another example of inconsistent refereeing!

  48. I’m still being a little skeptical after watching the replay again….the pics and slow motions does prove Kompany guilty but the real time replay somewhat shows that it cud be either ways, Kompany looks a little unbalanced. You hav to honestly think, he cud be unbalanced as there was very less time. But then you cant say for sure. Its a 50-50 call.

  49. And a answer to 6000 on a question: if Arsenal would have a penalty against us for a similar situation I will be unhappy as a fan but will accept it in my ref review.
    I will however point at inconsistency.

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