Ref goes bonkers and decides 8 seconds is really 23 seconds



By Tony Attwood

We should be clear about what happened last night.  Tomiyasu held onto the ball before taking a throw in for eight seconds.   Prior to that he didn’t have the ball: it was just eight seconds, and he got a yellow card.  That was a grotesque and unreasonable mistake and Arsenal need to appeal that yellow, and through that appeal that red.   Not just in the hope of getting them rescinded but in case PGMO officials have decided to target Arsenal.  After all they gave us a referee whose performances previous have been notorious, and the Arsenal fight back needs to start at once.

David Coote was the referee for this game, and in the preview we pointed out the problem we would have with him.  And true to form, he made the mistake of adding the time Tomiyasu held the ball onto the time the previous man had held the ball for before passing it to Tomi held the ball.

On this the Analyst says “Over the summer, new directives were brought in to crack down on two of the most prevalent scourges of the game. Time-wasting would be monitored with extra minutes added on at the end of each half and referees should dish out cards for any ‘clear and impactful actions’ that waste time.”  But that direction is not clear as to who should get the yellow card – why should it be a player who has been given the ball to take the thrown in and does so?

The fact that the referee decided it was to be Tomiyasu suggests he was looking for a weak target to help Palace get into the game.  Or else he was just being plain daft.   Or he is home-biased (ah, what were we saying yesterday….)   What was Tomiyasu supposed to do?  Refuse to take the throw because time had already been used up?

Arteta got it exactly.  When the Guardian put it to him ludicrously that Tomiyasu had held on to the ball for 23 seconds he replied, “It wasn’t, I think it was eight seconds” According to the Guardian.. he added, “We might have to play with a stopwatch.”

Tomiyasu was shown a controversial second yellow card says the Telegraph although they don’t go much further.

On the issue of Declan Rice the manager said, “I think he was great. He was bossing midfield. I think he dominated the game. He was very influential, both attacking and defending.”   Which I’d go along with, as well as all those who pointed out that Arsenal had six defenders over six feet tall, and Palace just kept on crossing the ball for those tall men to get rid of.   But they must know what’s what.  They have a manager who is “cherished”.

And so, yesterday, before the match, we published the league table as it would look after a 1-0 win – and indeed that is how it looks now.  But let’s take a look at where the rest of the big seven are as well.


Team P W D L F A GD Pts
2 Manchester City 2 2 0 0 4 0 4 6
3 Arsenal 2 2 0 0 3 1 2 6
5 Liverpool 2 1 1 0 4 2 2 4
6 Tottenham Hotspur 2 1 1 0 4 2 2 4
8 Newcastle United 2 1 0 1 5 2 3 3
12 Manchester United 2 1 0 1 1 2 -1 3
15 Chelsea 2 0 1 1 2 4 -2 1


And of course it is only two games.    Can it mean anything?   Well, here is the table from last season after two games, showing the same clubs.


Team P W D L F A GD Pts Final
1 Manchester City 2 2 0 0 6 0 6 6 1
2 Arsenal 2 2 0 0 6 2 4 6 2
4 Tottenham Hotspur 2 1 1 0 6 3 3 4 8
5 Newcastle United 2 1 1 0 2 0 2 4 4
7 Chelsea 2 1 1 0 3 2 1 4 12
13 Liverpool 1 0 1 0 2 2 0 1 5
20 Manchester United 2 0 0 2 1 6 -5 0 3


So yes clubs can go up and down, and probably that little exercise doesn’t tell us too much.  Except that last season and this season Arsenal and Manchester City won their opening two games as now.  Tottenham had four points last season, as now.   But no, the rest are different.

Still, even for those who worry about the lack of goals, we can always say, at least we are not Everton.   Here to finish things off, is a table showing how much they have spent in recent years supplied by EFC Statto.  Spending can take a club to the upper reaches, but it is not guaranteed.  The league position in the final column has been added by us.

But do note that in the Net Spend column, a minus sign means they have received more than is spent, and the + sign means they have spent more than earned: that is how EFC has produced it.  But either way it shows that spending more and more money can lead to decline, and then not spending it, leads to further decline!  It’s a funny ol game.


Season Income Expenditure Net Spend Lge  pos
2023/24 £34,200,000 £10,800,000 -£23,400,000 20
2022/23 £90,000,000 £67,000,000 -£23,000,000 17
2021/22 £23,850,000 £30,700,000 +£6,850,000 16
2020/21 £3,600,000 £61,700,000 +£58,100,000 10
2019/20 £83,060,000 £109,350,000 +£26,290,000 12
2018/19 £21,500,000 £80,200,000 +£58,700,000 8
2017/18 £110,100,000 £177,600,000 +£67,500,000 8


17 Replies to “Ref goes bonkers and decides 8 seconds is really 23 seconds”

  1. Sorry but you’re wrong about that first booking.

    We were timewasting collectively and had been warned about it less than a minute before.

    In that situation, if you keep doing it then someone’s going to get a booking. You shouldn’t be looking at how long Tomi took but how long we took as a team to get that throw taken. So yeah it may be a bit arbitrary who actually gets it, and you could argue that Tomi was a little unfortunate to draw the short straw, but the booking was completely normal and justified. And you could also argue that he should have been aware of what was going on and taken the throw as without hesitation.

    What else is the ref going to do? He can’t allow us to pass the ball from one player to another, each one taking a reasonable amount of time individually.

    The second booking was ridiculous, but I blame that on Ayew rather than the ref. You can see how it looked to the ref and without VAR for that kind of incident those things will happen. That’s why you need to be more aware and avoid those daft ones for timewasting.

  2. As I see this with the throw- in, the player was given a card as the defending team were doing a good job marking the attackers. Can one argue that by this action the defending team were the ones wasting time? Surely if they had been less efficient in their marking the throw would have been taken quicker. This idea feels like it is failing to recognise the quality and intelligence of the players on the pitch. Defensive goodmarking and attackers not blindly throwing the ball into perhaps the stands as they are to treat the football like it is high explosive is a cardable offense? The second yellow is noted as wrong by the English commentary team. There is no shirt pull. There is a very minor foul if any. It seems that introducing the time wasting rules has given the pigmob another chance to prove themselves inept, possibly to take tha attention away from their VAR inabilities

  3. Coote is either inept, a cheat or a coward. Ayew had already been booked when he pulled Saka back by his shirt but Coote did not show him a second yellow? Why? Is he scared of the home crowd? Does he not know that the laws apply to both teams? Or did he have an Arsenal player getting sent off in the PGMOL sweepstakes?

    A number of players on both sides also waved imaginary cards and he booked none of them. Has this rule been scrapped already or does it only apply to Arteta?

    On the Tomi throw in, the ball had already been thrown before he blew his whistle to stop the game and waste more time.

  4. Rupert

    Tomi did not commit a bookable offence. Whether as a collective the 3 players exceeded the time allocated for a throw in is irrelevant.

    In any case as said elsewhere the time is being added now so NO TIME was wasted anyway.

    I’m sure you’d love a speeding ticket because the previous 2 drivers had been on the basis they had to fine somebody.
    So what if Tomi had it for 2 seconds, would that have still been okay to book him? How about 5?

    How on earth can you justify a player getting a yellow when HE didn’t commit an offence. Absolutely ridiculous.

  5. We feared the worst when Coote got the job.You knew what was coming.Absolutely bloody useless or Bias.Not sure which is worse.The PGMOL knew what they were up to with his appointment.Expect a lot more of this “ tactical” refereeing as the season goes on.Will get no favours from Webbo & his cartel.
    As for Arsenal.They should appeal the 2nd yellow( Prob won’t.As they’re weak)Why did Var not check it? A serious offence,that results in a MAJOR game changing decision?
    Yourselves or whoever should be questioning our club what they’re going do do( probably nothing.see above) If no action expect plenty more of the same.

  6. Positive Pete

    You cannot appeal second yellows and var cannot intervene in sending offs when it is 2 yellows.

    It is an easy way for referees to affect the outcomes of games without having any recourse. I.e book a player twice on one team for two innocuous things but only book an opposition player once for two worse things.

  7. Nitram,

    I’ve read somewhere that among the changes for this season, FIFA has decided to punish a eam whose players surround the referee by giving a yellow I believe to the captain – who may not have been involved. I ain’t certain, but it was something like this : a sort of ‘team punishment’. However I was not aware that this applied to time wasting. Then again, there is time wasting and Arsenal time wasting which is a whole different story….

  8. Not a major point, but did Arteta not shake Coote’s hand after the match? Seemed that way on the broadcast. He shakes an asst’s hand, seems to bypass Coote and shakes the the other asst’s hand. Anyone else notice this or am I reading something in?
    I don’t blame him for the anger towards Coote who was blindingly, exceedingly biased but after spurning him, Coote could, if possible, be worse next time. Something to keep an eye on.

  9. Thanks Michael. I didn’t know that. It is indeed the ultimte get out clause for referees. I feel an article on that very subject coming on.

  10. The Sky interviewer asked Arteta for his observations on the sending off. My answer would have been “if you guarentee paying my fine I will give you an honest assessment”. No doubt it will be Attwell or Tierney Saturday to heap more misery on us

  11. Just read that the Liverppol red card was cancelled…. Don’t imagine for a second same will happen with Tomy.

  12. Chris

    As soon as I heard Liverpool had appealed, it was 100% certain it would get turned over.

  13. Wasn’t Ben White booked in the Forest game for taking 9 seconds for a throw-in?

    It was interesting that Palace took 27 seconds to take a throw-in during the game on Monday. I don’t remember Coote giving them a card.

  14. Tony Attwood correctly pointed out the referee was a “homer” and has already been said there is no recourse for Arsenal because you cannot appeal a caution (Yellow card). Who remembers Michael Oliver cautioning Martinelli twice in one go again no appeal allowed. Refereeing is fraught with favouritism from the lowest levels right to the top. How else could Stuart Attwell become a premier league referee after comically awarding a goal when one was not scored. I don’t think referees are institutionally biased but some of the decisions they make certainly make them appear so. The only referee that would make my list currently is Rob Jones who in my opinion is the best there is at present.

  15. @Rupert Ward…

    I agree 💯 with you.

    I think, a team like Arsenal that always desires to play football and play fairly should be very happy with the new time-wasting rules.

    What Kai Harvetz did was to craft a way of wasting time and getting away with it. That’s cheating. Arsenal is too decent a club to be involved with cheating. Even as a Gunner, I would have booked Takehiro Tomiyasu as well in the ref’s shoes.

    Harvetz held the ball close enough to 23 minutes. Tomiyasu would have used his brain to throw immediately he collected the ball. And since the cumulative time the Arsenal duo wasted crossed the Rubicon, the last man, who should have factored in his teammate’s time on the ball should carry the can. Tomiyasu’s yellow in this regard was well-deserved. Nothing to blame the red about, in my sincere reckoning.

    His second yellow was nowhere anything like a card, especially after the the same Ayew should have collected his second booking after his foul on Saka. But all in all, taking the rough with the smooth is ever a fair game. Ayew wasn’t sent off but our goal came from his foul on Saka. Tomiyasu was sent off but his loss didn’t deny us three points. I will take that manner of cookie crumbles any day.

    My warm regards @Tony Attwood.

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