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Victory Through Harmony
By Walter Broeckx, the OH MY GOD referee
When I saw that Mike Dean was the ref I felt something bad in my stomach. I do admit that I don’t like him. He has a style of refereeing which I absolutely don’t like.
But I will try to forget this when I start my review as this is what you expect from me: An unbiased view on the ref.
GOAL: Nasri scores the first goal for Arsenal and no law can be found which could suggest that there was anything wrong with this. Nasri dancing his way like only he can. 1/1
OTHER/CARD: Arshavin is fouled just outside the Leeds penalty area. This was a foul and should have been a yellow card as Arshavin was running to goal but there was still a defender in the middle so not a red card. Dean closes his eyes. Please do remember the combinations of these two names as I will come back to them later after my ref review. 0/1 and 0/1
OTHER: Song gives a little pull on a Leeds player and Dean has spotted this little infringement against the laws. What a sharp view from Dean. I must admit that he is not blind for such fouls. A good call from the ref. 1/1
GOAL: Sagna scores with an incredibly powerful shot. This is not against the laws of the game. And if you look at a replay you will see that it was his tackle in his own half that directly made the goal. Great work, Bacary! And a point for the ref. 1/1
OTHER/GOAL: Arshavin is helping out in defence after a Leeds free kick. Yes, Arshavin. He is being pulled on the arm once, then he is being held and gets another pull with an arm over his shoulder. Arshavin goes down and our beloved Mr. Dean who minutes before this has seen that Song pulled a Leeds player once has seen nothing at all. Leeds win possession from this foul and seconds later the ball is in the Arsenal goal after a thunder strike from a Leeds player.
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A goal that never should have happened. For the zillionth time I say to you that a foul on a defender in his own back area or close to it should always result in a free kick in favour of the defender. This is something that they learn any person who wants to become a ref. ALWAYS STOP THE GAME WHEN A DEFENDER IS FOULED!! ALWAYS!! This is such a basic rule for any ref that I really cannot believe that a Fifa ref doesn’t know this. And it could be that Dean was so far out of sight that he couldn’t see it but then it is up to his assistant to signal the blatant fouls to the ref. He did nothing. He is as poor as Dean. So this goal was the result of the incompetence of Dean and his assistant. It should have been an Arsenal free kick and then the goal never would have come from this situation. 0/1 and 0/1
Nothing more of interest for my ref review in the first half after this.
OTHER: When I have to give credit to a ref I will do it. Even when it is Dean. He was having a good game in the first half hour of the second half. For a moment I even forgot it was Dean. He deserves a point for this. 1/1
GOAL: He worked hard, he defended or tried to defend at times and when he had the ball on the right flank Bendtner floated in a magnificent cross which was headed in by Van Persie. All very legal. And doesn’t Robin look back completely now? One with the right foot, one with the left foot and now even a header. The new Robin has arrived. 1/1
OTHER: Cesc is playing a magnificent ball in the path of Gibbs who has a run on goal. The flag goes up. Bendtner was in an offside position on the right from the centre circle and Gibbs was running some 20 metres to the left of him. Gibbs had 3 defenders between him and the keeper so never was even close to be offside. A bad miss from the assistant who also didn’t see the fouls on Arshavin. Bad work. 0/1
OTHER/CARD: Leeds looks a bit frustrated after that third goal as they know they are out of it. They try to impress with a few kicks. Dean reacts and gives a foul. Snodgrass is telling the ref what he thinks of him and gets booked. Good work. You see it isn’t that difficult. 1/1 and 1/1
OTHER/CARD: Another clear foul and another booking for dissent against Leeds. Good work from the ref. 1/1 and 1/1
OTHER/CARD: Another useless and brutal kick on Cesc from a Leeds player in extra time. Frustration is high amongst the Leeds players. Foul given and a deserved yellow card. I think he is starting to like it. 1/1 and 1/1.
And then ref Dean brings the game to an end. So how was his final score?
PENALTY: nothing to report
Total score: 11/16 (69 %)
So what can I make of this for the ref? A reasonably good game but the goal was bad from the ref’s point of view. Or it was Dean who completely missed it or his assistant? Was Dean waiting for the assistant to signal it? I don’t know what has been said before the game but when I am the assistant and I see a series of pulling and shoving against a defender (Arshavin at that moment was a defender) like that, I would signal it to the ref.
This is the second time (in this season) Mr. Dean hands our opponents a goal like that. The first time was against Chelsea where he let a blatant foul on Song unpunished which lead to their first goal at Stamford Bridge. I repeat again: Always stop play when a defender is fouled in his own penalty area: there never is any advantage to play for.
Which then leaves me to the question: what is wrong between Dean and Arshavin? Alone in this game we had to important decisions. The foul on Arshavin early on and the foul on Arshavin which lead to the Leeds goal. Has Arshavin done something wrong before coming to Arsenal that has Dean troubled? Because in a way it looks as if Dean doesn’t want to give him anything. Just remember United last season when Arshavin was brought down by Fletcher (I think) with a two footed tackle and then he even handled the ball away and Dean who was standing some 10 metres away did nothing. Okay, it was at Old Trafford and you don’t give penalties against United over there but it really looks as if Arshavin will get nothing from Dean even when it is clear to see for everyone. What is it that you dislike in Arshavin, Mr. Dean?
To finish this ref review and looking back at what I have seen so far I want to introduce a few new words that should become common language when it comes to reviewing refs. New words that from now on should be clear and need no further explanation any more. New words that should find a place in the English dictionary in the future but let us start with putting them in the reftionary to start with. The reftionary is the dictionary when it comes to refs and football.
WEBALTY: It speaks for itself. This is the must give penalty in favour of Manchester United. When things go wrong or when you need to secure the victory for United or when you just want to give them a one goal advantage early on in the game you just give them a penalty. There always will be a United player going down in the penalty area and you just give a penalty.
DEANGOAL: this is a goal that is the result of the ref not seeing fouls on defenders. It is named after a ref who seems to be specialised in such goals, certainly when it is going against Arsenal.
SAFTACK: This is the kind of dangerous challenges that goes unpunished when it is done by Manchester United players. Jumping in with your legs outstretched aimed at the opponents head or stomach are within the rules for United players. Other teams cannot do such assaults and will be red carded. Much to the amusement of SAF.
George Allison was our manager – and a successful one at that. He was also the first person to do a radio commentary on a football match. And a journalist. And yet, as we have exclusively revealed, he re-wrote Arsenal’s history in way that is, shall we say, not quite right. Why did he do it? There’s some background and a suggestion in this article from the new George Allison season on the Arsenal History site.