By Walter Broeckx, the speachless ref
As some supporters had a lot of questions about the ref I tried to be as complete as I could. So I did try to count the numbers of fouls not given during the game from both sides. I did not include the correct given fouls as this is part of the job of the ref. I have the names (not the minutes) and for those who really want them I can give them in the comment section and say which fouls and from whom and on whom it was.
OTHER/GOAL: Bendtner scores from with a deflected shot. This is not against the laws. Was there a handball from Chamakh just before? Replays suggest that Chamakh controlled the ball with his upper arm. Clattenburg had a clear view on Chamakh. Clattenburg made a gesture with his arms indicating that he thought the arms were close to his body and it was not deliberate. A border line decision from the ref. But he had seen it as he indicated it not being against the rules.
If you look at it from behind Chamakh it looked different and more a handball. But as the ref saw it from his angle he didn’t see anything wrong with this. Would we have liked it the other way round? I don’t think so. But I have to make a judgment and I give the handball and cancel the goal. 0/1 and 0/1
CARD: Gibbs gets a stupid yellow card by kicking the ball away. Correct decision from the ref. Something I don’t like at all. And such a card can be important later in the game 1/1
OTHER/CARD : Squillaci brings down a Huddersfield player and he is the last defender. Some will think it harsh. I don’t. He stuck out his arm to stop the player. It was a deliberate foul. It was not obstruction. By putting his arm out and hitting the player it was a foul. Squillaci could have let him run and then the player would have a free run on Almunia. So in my opinion a correct decision from the ref. It doesn’t matter how far or how close from goal you are. Last defender making a foul = red card. And Clattenburg gives those cards as we have seen at Manchester City. 1/1 and 1/1
PENALTY: a shot from Huddersfield goes over the ground. Gibbs and another attacker stand next to each other. The attacker touches the ball and the ball hits the arm of Gibbs. He was standing with his arms open a bit. But as the ball was on the floor he was entitled to stand in this way. The shot only came to his arm from within a metre distance so this was a case of ball to hand and not hand to ball. Correct decision not to give a penalty. 1/1
GOAL: Nothing wrong with the goal from Huddersfield. 1/1
OTHER/ CARD : Tackle from behind in a scissor on Diaby. Foul and a yellow card. 1/1 and 1/1
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On came Cesc.
OTHER/CARD : Foul on Rosicky given and finally the ref blows and even gives a lecture. This was a series of fouls on Rosicky should have been a card by now/ 1/1 and 0/1
OTHER/CARD: Last minute tackle on Bendtner from behind. The defender got the ball but he also got the man at the same time. A tackle from behind is not a foul when you only play the ball. He plays ball and man so it should have been a foul and a red card. Bendtner was clear on goal and it was the last defender. There was another defender some 3 metres to the side but he could never have interfered if Bendtner would have got a free run on goal. 0/1 and 0/1
OTHER/CARD: Foul on Cesc given and the Huddersfield player kicked the ball away. Just as Gibbs a deserved yellow card for kicking the ball away. 1/1 and 1/1
PENALTY/CARD/GOAL: I will start with saying that at first I thought it was a soft penalty. But after seeing it again the Huddersfield player barged in the back of Bendtner who didn’t feel the need to stay on his feet. The defender held an arm around Bendtner for a split second. There was contact, it was a foul so it was a penalty. Let us move on to the card. I really cannot see how the ref only gave a yellow card. This was wrong. When you give the foul and as it was a clear goal scoring opportunity and Bendtner had a clear way to goal and it was the last defender the only card possible was a red one. Nothing wrong with the conversion by the way. You can slow down while running to take a penalty. So 1/1, 0/1 and 1/1
CARD: Cesc goes in the book for holding on to a ball that was out. Correct decision. 1/1
OTHER/CARD: Foul on Cesc when he tries to enter the penalty area. Correct decisions 1/1 and 1/1 By the way ref Clattenburg the wall was standing very, very close to the ball.
My foul counting in this game came up with this numbers in total:
Foul for Arsenal not given: 19
Foul for Huddersfield not given: 5
Now I am not saying that the ref should have given all 19 fouls. As I can understand that in some moments you just let the game continue as the team stays in possession. But this is a vital way of handling a game: calling the little fouls.
On many occasions I have seen the Huddersfield players do some late pushing in the back when the ball was already gone and on an occasion also a bit of a late kick. I didn’t like it and I didn’t include them in the numbers for the fouls not given. But this is an annoying way of playing football which went unpunished during the game.
But enough words for now, give me numbers I can hear you shout. Here they are:
Total score: 15/21 (71 %)
Holy cow, bang, boom boom how about that score. You didn’t expect it. Well this is the first time I also was totally on the wrong foot with the ref.
The most important lesson I have learned today is that I will have to look at some things in the future. The valuation of the cards in a different system is on the cards already for next season. But I have to stick with the way I have done it all season. So next season this will be different. But we cannot change the rules during a season, sorry about that.
But what really kicked me out of my shoes was the counting of the fouls not given. As I, like many of you had the impression that he was firm against us and a bit more lenient when it came to Huddersfield and this clearly is visible in the fouls not given numbers but this isn’t visible in his final score.
Which in a way is understandable as the score is focussed on the big decisions. So I have to find a way in getting this in the numbers from next season. Sorry once again, can’t change the rules during the season.
But this was a case of a ref who was not playing with the big decisions which apart from the red card against Huddersfield which he didn’t show were rather correct. No it was a case of the ref who was taking on the little fouls during the game to level the game.
Was it with intent that he let Huddersfield get away with much more than Arsenal? Or was it the underdog sympathy that got in his way when seeing the game in midfield?
Apart from the not given red card he was doing all right in the important things, but I am grateful for the fact that he made clear that we need to fine tune things a bit and add another dimension to this ref reviewing system and find a way to get the little fouls on board and expressed in numbers.
I said on a forum in my country yesterday we are still in the FA cup, thanks to Clattenburg and despite Clattenburg.
Final note +80 is a good score and everything between 60 and 79 is a bit so and so. Below 60 is bad.
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