The Untold ref review: Arsenal – Everson

By Walter Broeckx, the onside referee

Is it a good sign that all the talk is about the ref after the game? Most of the time not. But let us just try and find out if we reached new heights or lows in our ref review.

Ref today was Lee Mason, for the first time we had him this season in the Emirates.

OTHER/CARD: First foul. Wilshere gives a barge against Arteta who drops to the floor as if he was dead. No lecture immediately the first yellow card comes out against Wilshere. 1/1 and 0/1 (Mason thinking: lets make sure he cant do anything anymore in this game and it affected Jack in the way he was playing)

OTHER/CARD/OTHER: Cesc steps on the back of the boot from Arteta. Arteta has lost his shoe and he is allowed all the time in the world before the game can restart. It took actually 1min30 seconds. The ref gave advantage to Everton but he could have given a foul. And even a card. But I think he didn’t want to overdo it that much. But letting Arteta wasting that much time without really doing anything about it is a bit too much ref. 1/1, 0/1 and 0/1

OTHER/CARD: Disting comes in with a flying tackle and catches Sagna who can jump out of the way. A correct call and a correct booking. 1/1 and 1/1

OTHER/OTHER/OTHER : 3 consecutive fouls on Walcott and when he is past the last tackle the ref stops game and comes back to the earlier fouls. If the fouling repeats itself you don’t have to come back to the first fouls you just give the last foul. Or you give the first foul or you give the last foul but you don’t come back to the first foul when there are other fouls made. 0/1, 1/1 and 0/1

No other Everton players near to Saha, the ball is played in his direction. The linesman should only look at one

OTHER/GOAL/OTHER: Saha is offside  when the ball is played to him and gains advantage from his position. PERIOD. That’s it. Nothing more to be said about it. As you expect me to tell you some more I will give you 2 possible drawings from the laws of the games made for refs who cannot read and they both can apply to yesterdays situation and both are offside according to the laws of the games. And oh my God that linesman is having a Fifa badge!!!!!

One possible explanation

Another explanation but they all have one thing in common: it is offside!

Those who are saying it was a back pass from Koscielny know nothing about football. Koscielny was trying throwing himself in the line of the ball that is something completely different from giving a pass.  This was so totally wrong 0/1, 0/1 and 0/1

OTHER/OTHER Foul on Saha given after changing his mind of giving advantage around 3 or 4 times. The call is correct but if you want to make yourself look like a stupid ref; this is how to do it by changing your mind and doing it so openly . 1/1 and 0/1

OTHER/CARD :Foul on Fabregas who starts a counter and is brought down. Foul given but no card?  1/1 and 0/1

OTHER/CARD : Walcott wants to start a run for a break after a corner and no foul is give!!!!! The Everton player clearly stuck out his arm to prevent Walcott to run after the ball. Arsenal lose possession and the chance for a counter. He only had Neville to beat further up field. This was cynical and deliberate.  0/1 and 0/1

OTHER: Foul on Van Persie who still manages to play the ball to Walcott who is judged offside. Our ref doesn’t come back to the foul as he should do but gives the offside. 0/1

OTHER/CARD: Rosicky makes a foul on Fellaini and the ref gives it. Fellaini pretends to be broken in two and the ref is happy to give a yellow card to Rosicky. Replay shows Rosicky did make a foul but it wasn’t that bad to give a card. 1/1 and 0/1

OTHER: Saha barges Djourou when he is hanging in the air to head a ball away. The ref sees nothing wrong and as a result Djourou falls heavy on his shoulder. It was a deliberate barge on a defender. Which you should always give. Oh well what do you expect by now… 0/1

Half time. Time for the refs  to celebrate their mistakes.

Start of the second half and the ref is counting if all the Everton players are in the field: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15 okay we are all here.

OTHER/CARD: Two footed tackle on Walcott. The ref gives the foul and  a yellow card. He couldn’t let this one go. Or is he trying to make up a bit? 1/1 and 1/1

OTHER/CARD: Van Persie brought down foul given but without the foul Van Persie would have had a chance to shoot on goal from the penalty area. This looked a promising move from me and should have resulted in a booking. 1/1 and 0/1

OTHER/CARD: Cesc brought down without any chance of playing the ball and from behind. Correct decision and correct card. 1/1 and 1/1 Oh my god, did I really had to write this down.

OTHER/CARD/OTHER: Van Persie comes in strong against Areta. It is a fouln no question. Arteta pretends to be injured and the replays shows that he hardly was touched. Van Persie has enough of his time wasting and pull him off the floor. Strangely Arteta suddenly is healed and has no injury what so ever. An attentive ref would have seen this and would have booked not only Van Persie but also Arteta for his un sportive behaviour. But he only gives Van Persie a yellow card, which is correct. Oh, booking Arteta would have been his second. You can understand why the ref didn’t do it I think. 1/1, 1/1 and 0/1

OTHER: Diaby is fouled but gets past his man and beats the second man and has some space. The refs stops play. You cant give advantage to Arsenal too much. 0/1

GOAL/CARD: What a lovely goal from the little Russian after another great ball from Cesc. Nothing against the laws of the game this time. During the replays keeper Howard got a booking it seems. Don’t know why but a booking against an Everton man should be correct with this ref. 1/1 and 1/1

OTHER/CARD: Walcott is tripped from behind no chance of playing the ball. Correct decision for the foul and the yellow card 1/1 and 1/1

The ref puts the wall on the required distance finally and it needs a superb save to keep it out of the goal.

GOOAAAALLLLL: Koscielny brings justice to the world with his goal. Nothing against the rules again with this goal and with our goals. 1/1

OTHER/CARD: Fellaini gives a late kick on the ankle of Walcott after the ball has gone. Nothing seen by the ref. A foul and a yellow card should have been the verdict… if it would have been Wilshere remember. 0/1 and 0/1

OTHER: Walcott down again but Everton play on and also the ref sees no reason to stop play. Walcott is being urged to leave the field as quick as can be. Compare this with the 1m30s Arteta got when his shoe was off. 0/1

OTHER: Szczesny shows that in the final minutes we also can do some time wasting. The ref blows his whistle and tells him to speed it up.. The ref blew his whistle within 20 seconds after the foul and it took our keeper less than 30 seconds.  He said nothing all game when Howard did the same. So do it on both sides or do nothing ref  0/1

The end of the game. What can we say of the ref in numbers? Lets start counting:

CARDS: 6/13


GOAL:  2/3

OTHER: 12/26

Total score: 20/42 (47%)

Additional “winning” numbers for the ref:

Fouls not given for Arsenal 16

Fouls not given for Everton 4

Fouls not given for Arsenal because advantage signalled 2

Fouls not given for Everton because advantage signalled 1

Foul given not correct against Arsenal 1

Fouls correct given (apart from the one I talked about above) both teams 7

It is amazing to see that he even got some decisions right. Take away our two valid goals and he ends with just 42%. He was piss poor yesterday but this is like saying that rain is wet for those who have seen the game.

And if I include those last numbers in to the final report without given weight as I intend to do from next season on the score is around 46%. If I should give weight to some decision this number would sink below the 40% mark.

He was biased, he was trying to tilt the game in favour of Everton or he is not competent. I think based on the numbers that Dogface gave us it is clear that he is on the Everton side of things.

A Fifa linesman who makes such a mistake is totally out of order if you ask me. I will be on the line myself this Sunday and believe me I will not screw up like he did and I don’t have a fifa badge. This are basic rules you should know as a ref and certainly as a linesman. What was he thinking when not raising his flag when Saha was offside? Or was he just following some discreet given orders?

I will be keeping an eye on this in the next months but if this is the way it is going to be for the rest of the season we will have to beat not only the other teams but also the refs. Not a pleasant prospect in fact.

Score above 80 is good, score between 60 and 79 is low to acceptable. Any score below 60 is bad and scores below 50 should lead to a ref being put back to lower divisions.

68 Replies to “The Untold ref review: Arsenal – Everson”

  1. The Howard booking after the Arsenal goal was for timewasting. He was stopping the arsenal players from returning the ball to the centre circle.

  2. A possible conversation between the assistant and the ref:

    A: Just look on the screen it was offside
    R: Never mind you done the right thing
    A: yeah, but don’t I look stupid?
    R: Never mind the boss will be delighted
    A: Are you going to recall it?
    R: Never, you done a great job
    A: Are you sure?
    R: Just look at how far it got other refs to destroy Arsenal. I give the goal

  3. Walter,
    I’m disappointed with the review. I was expecting a score around 30%. 😉

    On a serious note, thanks for clarifying the Saha’s goal with relevant evidence from FUFA’s rule book.

  4. Hi Walter – thanks for another great ref review. When all the commentators started talking about LK6 playing the ball and playing Saha onside, I got my laws of the game out. I totally agree with you – it was offside, and could only be given as offside. I was even looking at pictures 4 & 12 which you posted.

  5. The thing that saves the ref his numbers is giving fouls which results in yellow cards. I credit them both and so for calling the foul correct he gets one point and then for giving the card correct or not he gets an extra point or not.
    Without that and the goals it would have been below 30%.

    I dont want to repeat myself too much but this will be taken in from next season on in the final score of the ref.
    Let me say I learn from my initial mistakes as a ref reviewer but have to stick to them for now. Will the refs learn from their mistakes?? I hope so.

  6. Paul, in my country the commentator was also not sure and was talking about Kos playing him onside. Our sports channel has a facebook page on which you can comment about the game but they ask to be polite and not talk about the commentators.
    My son told me he has broken the rule yesterday. He told them something in the style that they better can give the game without commentator or else that they could learn the rules before opening their mouth.

  7. Love it Walter – I’m so excited about the new RefReview format! The ‘not given’ data is so revealing… I would kill for this kind of data for all EPL games – can you imagine how clear a picture we would get?

    Excellent work!

  8. It is confusing. I remember as a kid (and thats going back many decades) the phrase ‘the defender played him on -side’. Is there ever a situation where you can be played on-side? I mean, if you are off-side when the ball is kicked, how can you suddenly not be off-side?

  9. Yes it shows that the ref doesn’t give all the fouls but with an unbiased ref this should be also a bit of a level score. But a ratio of 4 to 1 is way over the top and shows the bias from the ref. This is a way of helping teams.

    And I am ready to even admit that I could be biased and I even willing to accept that the the difference in those numbers can have a ratio of 1,5 to 1. But from the moment you get over that that mark there is starting to raise some suspicion from my part.

  10. SonteRoses,
    I think the phrase is used in a different way in the sense that when for example there is one defender who didn’t move up with the others it is him who plays him on.

    And now off to find a new adapter for my laptop which broke down during the first half of the game yesterday. Almost at the moment they scored. It was too much even for my poor old laptop so see so much injustice. 😉

  11. I have no wish to worry anyone but with a minimum of 16 domestic games to play that must be refereed by an EPL standard ref and with only 16 refs of this standing, the odds are that we will see Mason again (and Webb who has probably already been pencilled in for the home game with Manure). Happy thoughts!!!

  12. Walter

    Like your comments. I wrote yesterday that Assistant Child is very poor. How he ever made FIFA is a mystery – actually how he ever progressed further than something like the Kent or Isthmian League is a mystery. The guy is poor. There are few commnets about how he also missed Fellaini’s late challenge on Walcott in about the 90th minute.Officials of the standard of Child and Mason should not be let loose on the EPL. This is not just biased opinion. Mason had an awful game recently when Everton played WBA. He completely seriously lost it at one stage and allowed some awful challenges and thuggery to take place.

  13. Lee Mason is also one of those annoying refs that insists on giving a lecture every time he speaks to a player. GET ON WITH IT!!! Yeah, you are booking a guy, so show the card and get on with it. The players knopw what they have done wrong and what the card means. There is no need to stop the flow of the game with a long, drawn-out card showing display of ego and power. Show the card and let the game commence. If you are giving a final warning then give the “Final Warning” gesture and get on with it. All these things can be done in a split second and I know as a player I always appreciated it, and as a referee (I refereed Rugby) I always seemed to get loads of respect from players for doing things quickly without a lot of fuss.

  14. The referee (and linesman or whatever they are called these days) allowed what was clearly an offside goal to stand last night. We can all talk and complain but can anything be done officially to formalise these complaints? Clearly neither fully understands the offside rule, which states “A player in an offside position may be penalised before playing or touching the ball if, in the opinion of the refereee, no other team-mate in an onside position has the opportunity to play the ball”. So clearly an error was made, which could have had great significance on Arsenal’s future progress this year. Surely some formal complaint should be made? But to whom? In my opinion, the linesman was primarily to blame as the referee was not in line with play, so has to rely on his linesman. So by all means let’s moan about the decision (as we do thoughout most games) but this was a serious error that shows a lack of understanding of the rules. What can be done formally to get this linesman stopped officiating again?

  15. Walter, I usually just read and marvel at your lamenting poor refereeing but yesterday’s game was such a joke I felt a need to comment.

    Lee Mason is a poor excuse for a ref at the best of times and yesterday was no exception. But that goal?! OMG!

    Just thought I would say how much I enjoy the scathing review the idiots’ receive at your hand (when deserved) and its great that somebody does this after every game. Keep up the good work.

    Also, I agree with DogFace. Next year will be very revealing…


  16. Great write up, Walter. As usual.

    As for the “offside”, I tweeted yesterday my interpretation. If someone’s dumb enough to claim that Koscielny’s misclearance was an intentional move (hence it cannot be treated as pure deflection from example 12), then he should compare it to a goalkeeper parrying a shot. Trying to make a save is obviously intentional (as is trying to intercept the ball), but if Saha had scored on a rebound, he would’ve been flagged offside immediately.

    Terrible, terrible mistake from the ref (and I’m using Hanlon’s razor here)and one that proves, that even if we allow video replays, we won’t eliminate mistakes from football as long as refs don’t start using their brains.

  17. Walter:
    Great piece. You trully delivered on your promise.
    I have a question, is there a way we can encourage every club in EPL to conduct private and professional evaluation of their games per FIFA ref rules and make the result available in both the EPL sites and other public sites?
    That way, we can let all refs and EPL know they are being watched and critique and we can let EPL know that we are gathering an objective data on the probabilities that their refs are exhibiting systematic bias against some teams and in favour of some other teams.
    EPL will never want to cede power to such a process but their awareness that such a process exists at respective clubs as the clubs’fans’ intititive will have a moderating effect on refs’ tendencies to show blatant biases.
    – don’t whether all these make sense but I just think there must be a way to take your refwatch farther and higher…

  18. Maybe someone less biased should do these ref reviews. We could probably ask any supporter of any team and they would say “we always get fucked by the ref”.

  19. Apart from me falling in love with Arsenal, other thing which attracted me to English football is “gentlemanship”. At last thats what I was told when as kid watched my first games, back in time when Liverpoo and Aston Vila was meaning something in football and Chelsea was second division team (telling you this to figure how far was that time). And while English was always synonymous for fair-play Italian, necessary mean something dirty and corrupted.

    Now-days I often watch Italian league, and I swear to god, Lee Mason & Friends there would not be allowed even to sell tickets on stadium.

    Even here in Bosnia, which have corrupted league, Lee Mason would not be allowed to blow whistle, not even one for calling dogs.

    So I am not surprised referee can get such low grade, but I am surprised it happens in English Premier League, in best league in world. In country which is cradle of this beautiful game.

  20. finally i got an idea about all that manu debth. all those refs must cost a fortune.

  21. If anyone can find this on Youtube, please send a link. This made last night’s Masonics seem like choir practice. (From Read more:

    The main talking point will of course be the fiasco surrounding Colchester’s ultimately disallowed goal. The assistant on the West Stand side appeared to be raising his flag but changed his mind. Referee, Darren Sheldrake, whistled as Steven Gillespie shot past Rob Elliot.

    Sheldrake pointed to the centre circle, indicating a goal, before appearing to change his mind as Christian Dailly led the protests. Colchester then protested and Sheldrake conferred with his assistant and awarded the goal as Gillespie celebrated.

    As the teams lined up for the restart Chris Powell voiced his protest to the fourth official. Sheldrake then spoke to the fourth official before again conferring with his assistant. This time the pair reversed their original decision and started with a drop ball on the edge of the Charlton area.

    Once Sheldrake had blown his whistle the goal had to be disallowed. The hapless official was probably trying to correct his error of blowing prematurely but got it all wrong. The incident contributed hugely to the seven added minutes at the end of the game.

  22. The most annoying thing was that the 3 English newspapers I read today all claimed that it was a correct decision to give Sahas goal. And of course they all put the focus on Moyes comments about Cesc rather than the game itself.

  23. The ref was just pathetic he needs a brain surgery. You guys up there could u explain why we are hated that much, why cant we do it the Egypt and Tunisia way?

  24. I believe there was some fuss about sexism on Sky Sports lately. Missed it cus I’m living in Canada. Anyway I firmly believe that my 94yo gran without her bottle bottom glasses should apply to officiate in the PL now that women are allowed. She’d do a much better job than this joker.

  25. I’m not condoning disgraceful refereeing but I can accept that mistakes do happen in the heat of the moment (although this level of mistakes should be cause for demotion.) What I cannot accept is, after watching countless replays, commentators agreeing with these shocking decisions! Surely the commentators must know the offside rule?!

  26. It is the job of the commentator to distract from, misinform on and conceal the blatant corruption that the viewer is watching.

    His script is a lullaby for the credulous masses – atomised, in their arm chairs and utterly confused.

    Above all else he must protect the percieved integrity of the brand.

  27. Isn’t there some irony here. Soon after a commentator says women don’t understand the offside rule two male officials and countless male commentators prove that they also don’t understand it.

  28. At least we know Arsenal aren’t bribing the officials so it’ll be one of our rivals relegated to the Championship as Juve were.

  29. Thanks again for another great write-up, Walter. I’m actually surprised that Mr. Mason scored as high as he did. The two uncalled assaults on Walcott, first half by Arteta, second half by Fellaini, were among the most egregious of Mason’s sickening display. The way the lads overcame this disadvantage, however, was clearly the talking point of the night. Cheers!

  30. You sound a little piece-off,must have felt the way I felt. It was really fustrating seeing the goal allowed but somehow felt for linesman,whom I believe,saw his wrong doing & wanted to right it in other to have a nightmare free night but the ref…. Walter,Moyes claimed that cesc should’ve been sent-off for saying whatever he said in the tunnel to the ref,can the ref do that(an off the field incident)? Though I remember Moyes running on to the field sreaming his heart out to the ref when they played manu for ending the when they had a counter.

  31. ….13 14 15 okay we are all here. Nice one Walter!

    It was always an unwritten code that what goes on in the tunnel stays in house. Even Sir F word never divulged who through the pizza. Steve Bruce didn’t speak to the media about Ian Wright breaking his nose.
    Moyes is a disgrace – Give him the Phil Brown ‘Snitch of The Year’ award!

  32. thanks for ur work walter,

    i have some doubts though.

    backward movement(towards own goal):
    If suppose saha is offside, kozzer back passes and saha interrupts will it be offside? (as can be argued in the case of walcott against charity)

    bacward/forward movement:
    If saha is offside, kozzer is taking the ball forward, saha comes from offside position and wins the ball, that will be certainly offside, i guess???

  33. Hey Walter, love the posts. As someone who works in assessment and index development, I suggest you start weighting events to get more precise scoring. For example, a red card, a missed offside that results in a goal, or a wrong penalty call should count for far more than multiple missed fouls or a missed offside in the middle of the pitch. The former kinds of events are usually game changers and should be counted as such.

    Keep up the great work!

  34. Walter, Excellent article not that many needed a report to see how biased last night was.
    I agree also we will have to beat 15 probably every game to win the league and supporters at the Ems need to be right up for every match to help the team across the finish line this season if we are to win.
    On the Moyes subject talking about Cesc here is one for you all “Pot an Kettle come to mind”

  35. Critic, if there is a real backpass then the Saha can be 10 metres offside he can go on. By real I mean playing with the intent to play it in that way.

    I think you mean Kos intercepts a pass and controlls the bal, Saha is offside (at the moment of the intercepted pass) and comes back and comes from the back of Kos to take the ball from him than he should be called back. Then he is coming back from an offside position and by taking the ball from Kos is gaining an (illegal) advantage.

  36. Thank you Dats, it looked very funny when I wrote it down. 🙂 So appreciate someone noticed it. 🙂

  37. To Robby I can only say to have a look at my article (I think in December) when we gave a ref review review and I gave the points of the refs we had untill halfway in the season.
    Best ref was Clattenburg when we won at City. Second best was the ref in the game against WBA which we lost at home.

    And yesterday we won and I come up with a low score and normally you would say that as we won I would be so happy that I would praise the ref. Sorry it doesn’t work that way. As it didn’t work that way when we won at Everton and we had ref Webb that day and his score was alos below 50%

    So if you want to accuse me of bias we should have excellent refs when we win and afwul refs when we lose. This isn’t the case so I think I can be more unbiased than most supporters when it comes to looking at a ref.

    And believe me I don’t like it to give low points to refs. I don’t do it for fun. After all refs are somewhat collegues to each other and when the standard in the EPL is bad that also shines down on the other refs and even in other countries: ‘If the refs in the highest leagues are so bad, how bad must be the refs in league Z from country X”.

  38. its my first visit to de site…It ‘ll indeed be fair to say i lovIng it….
    Coming to the article, spot on; yesterday ref. was in biased so to say the least.

  39. Will someone please tell me why our great club allows members of the most anti Arsenal organisation in the country inside our hallowed club?

    Talk Sport – even the name is a joke!!!!

    All members of that red top rag of a radio station should be banned for life from entering our clubs ground.

    Sorry rant over.

  40. We have had some shocking peformances from referee’s for many years in relation to other teams. Lee mason refereeing a ManUre games is totally different to last night I am sure.
    I have never heard the famous chant “THE REFEREE’S A HOMER” at the ems from the opposition fans because of the simple fact that it has not happened.

  41. What I found worrying about last night’s game was, in the absence of proper protection and professionalism by a poor referee, the tendency by Arsenal players to retaliate. Whilst fully understandable, care must be taken not to add to our injury list by needless suspensions.

  42. Another fine article. Dreading the CC Final as I’ve just heard Mike Dean is the ref. His stats should be interesting.

  43. @walter
    So that’s basically the grey area which was turned black by ref.
    If u remember ur ref analysis for charity fc match, u said or some1 said something this ” theo was onside, even if he was offside last touch was from essien making him onside” and i can assure u that was certainly not a back pass.
    Why have double standards? Sure most people r blind follower of untold, but surely few have brain of their own…am i one of those? or am i about to be abused heavily for being a moron?

  44. ok, that last line was bit rubbish, untold is always open for discussion, sumthing which i admire.

  45. Critic you have a valid question and this is what I wrote on our second goal against Chelsea:
    Walcott LOOKS TO BE IN AN OFFSIDE POSITION BUT HE WAS NOT thanks to the right back who played him on. And even then the pass was given by Essien so it never could have been offside. So another great decision from the linesman and also Cesc was onside when Theo played the ball to him. So a very good goal.

    The difference here was that Essien kicked the ball in the path of Walcott. It was not a deflection where the ball bounced of his body. It was not an attempt to clear a pass.

    I think these two incidents give a good view on what the meaning is between a pass from an opponent and a ball coming off a opponent where the ball bounces from his body when he is attempting to make some kind of clearance on a pass or a shot

  46. wasn’t the goal van Persie scored in the last minute at Old Trafford in 2009 ruled out because of a similar offside situation?

    Anyone remember the incident? Or am I completely wrong?

  47. Walter what conversation were you watching? Here is what really happened between Mason and the lines-person:

    Ref: “oh shit did you see what happened?”
    LP: “yes I did. The Arsenal player chipped the ball over the top (see his hand gestures) in a clear attempt at a back pass! It fell to the Everton player who was caught by surprise as he was attempting to get back onside – I can see nothing wrong with the goal!”
    Ref: So why are the Arsenal players & supporters hurling abuse at me?”
    LP: “because they are wankers…just ignore them, the A.A. Ass-h*les will all start booing their own players in a minute”
    Ref: “will you hold my hand as we walk off at half time? I am feeling a little vulnerable..”
    LP: “don’t worry, if that Wenger touches you I will slap him from here to Highbury Corner!”
    Ref: “Thanks darling..That’s all the reassurance I need”

  48. Well done Walter. Any decent ref at any level will– when faced with rotational or persistent fouling– insist on speaking to the Captain of the offending team. When they do NOT do that- it is a give away that they are prepared to ref in in a ‘flexible’ fashion. To most people that is plain and simple cheating. And because it happens- statistically– to Arsenal all the time then there is a definite agenda. By contrast Man U get away with daylight robbery and, by implication, must be part of that agenda. Can the Authorities investigate this REFGATE please!!

  49. The wife and I were watching this game and at half time we both agreed there was only one conclusion:

    the ref was on Everton’s side.

    I’ve read some of the articles on here alleging it, and always shook my head thinking you went to far, were too partial to Arsenal to draw accurate conclusions… but…

    Yesterday was too far. There is no way you could make the decisions Lee Mason made just by incompetence. The goal, Wilshere’s yellow card, all the fouls on Arsenal that weren’t called. It was stone cold obvious Mason came out with some kind of pre-existing, Anti-Arsenal bias. You simply cannot overstate how one sided it was. Walter, you did a great write up, but something needs to be done about that. Mason has to go.

  50. @Walter Having watched the video for our second goal against Chelski, you’re absolutely correct in pointing out that although Theo was behind Cole, who was the closest defender, the R back on the other side of the pitch was behind Walcott and thus Theo was NOT in an offside position when Essien kicked the ball. However, I might disagree with you on the idea that Essien was actually passing the to Cole (the ball was moving toward Cashley and therefore IF he Essien was attempting a pass, it was to Cole). My impression is that Essien was attempting to clear the ball or tackle Robin rather than it being a controlled pass. In other words he was attempting to dispossess RvP rather than attempting to pass it to a teammate. To me that’s analogous to a rebound off a defender. IF Theo had been behind the second last defender, I would have thought it was offsides once he played it. This would have been much more debatable than Koscienlny’s attempted clearance, which was CLEARLY not a controlled pass.

  51. @tee song
    exactly what i wanted to say, u just spoiled the fun.
    But you are wrong, i guess. At least according to what walter said.

    The common thing between essien and kozzer was that both kicked the ball accidently in the path of an offside player(just citing an example of walter’s post and comments,”even if walcott was offside”). Hence it can’t be a legitimate back pass. But essien’s you can term back pass because he was facing his own goal then why not kozzer’s???

    The point that i am trying to make is, it’s a grey area left by fick fufa. Even you, sitting at home taking time, give different opinion at different point of time. How can you expect referees to give consistent decision (which actually he has) at such fast pace, when their is so little time to think.

    Lee mess-on has been consistently poor in pl and not specifically against us. Did you watched the game that wba won against everton at goodison park??? he did similar things. The point is he is just pathetic and not just against us.

    Waiting for your reply.

  52. @typeface
    you are completely wrong as last touch before rvp put the ball in net was of gallas head who was offside.

  53. @walter
    I don’t understand what u r saying. Essien wanted to knock the ball out of rvp’s feet, his touch was heavier and ball went away from him. No way that was an intentional back pass.

  54. In the instructions in courses they have given to the refs about such situations they have given the explanation that you can make a difference on how contact is made.

    A player who is standing on his feet and who is kicking a ball can be regarded as a normal pass. We all know that Essien didn’t want to pass the ball to Theo intentionally but he was in control of his body and feet. So it should be considered as a normal pass.

    The ball rebounding from a player or keeper is when a player tries to block a ball. It doesnt matter if is a shot on goal where a player throws himself in the line of the ball or a pass where a player tries to throw himsel in the line of the ball. This throwing yourself in the line of the ball and touching it is what should be considered as rebounding. There is nothing said that this part of the body should be considered as not rebounding. There is no rule saying that if the ball rebounds of the feet of a player that this would bring a player in a non punishable offside.
    For instance a striker shoots at goal with another player in an offside position. A defender tries to block the ball and throws himself in the line of the ball. If the ball comes of his head, breast, bum, leg or foot and goes to the other striker who is offside the flag must be raised.

    The same when a keeper makes a safe and the ball goes to another striker who was standing offside when the shot came in the first time.

    I can tell you that I made the decision even before the ball went in for the first time. Even from the central camera point it was clear to see that Saha was offside and should be called back. I couldn’t believe that the goal was given at first. And I am not a highly paid assistant with a fifa badge on my shirt but I knew the rule was broken in an instant.

    One of the reasons why I also volunteered to operate as an assistant every month is to keep me sharp on such matters. So I must say that it helps me to look at it from both angles.

  55. If you weight the scores, he doesn’t even come close to 20%. A goal can be significant in the long run. It demoralise players. Because of the effort that we had to put in, we could be too exhausted for the subsequent games.

    In addition we lost players because of the severity of the fouls, with Everton coming out fresh.

    Otherwise keep up the good work. Dogface’s predictions are to be applauded.

  56. @walter
    Do u even know what u r saying? Do u understand what i am saying?
    Kozzer was in control with his overhead kick if he wasn’t then he should be blamed for not being in control not ref for giving offside. Give him the most outrageous back pass award. But actually, he hit the ball in no man’s land(neither backpass nor deflection), so saha was not interfering in any kind of play and hence can’t be deemed offside.
    Goal was legitimate.

  57. @critic/@Tee Song
    The common thing between essien and kozzer was that both kicked the ball accidently in the path of an offside player(just citing an example of walter’s post and comments,”even if walcott was offside”). Hence it can’t be a legitimate back pass. But essien’s you can term back pass because he was facing his own goal then why not kozzer’s???

    This is not the common thing at all: it is not an offence to be in an offside position, TW could have been twenty yards the other side of the last opponent and still onside because the ball is played back by an opponent and not forward by an Arsenal player. If TW is in an offside position that becomes an offence only if the ball is played forward by one of his own team and in the referee’s opinion he gains an advantage by being in that position. It matters not a jot what Essien’s intention was; he played the ball back, it was not deflected off him following a touch, pass or shot by an Arsenal player.

    In Saha’s case the ball forward was played to him by Arteta and at the moment Arteta plays it, Saha is in an offside position and no other team-mate in an onside position has the opportunity to play the ball. Therefore, he commits an offence by seeking to gain an advantage by being in that position at the moment Arteta plays it forward – it matters not a jot that it rebounds of Kosser to Saha after it is played forward by a team-mate of Saha. Saha’s position is an offence at the moment the ball is played forward. He should have been flagged immediately the pass was made and before Kosser got involved. The only reason to delay the flag would have been if there was a team-mate who could have got involved from an onside position without Saha involving himself.
    Sometimes it is difficult to judge an offside when you have the likes of TW’s lightning pace to take into account. This one is not difficult at all; the officials have had a shocker.
    If you want to see this Law applied correctly watch the Ferdinand/Kalou incident in the Sunderland/Chelsea game on the same night. It’s amazing that we get exactly the same situation and the opposite outcome; and very little made of it by the football media.

  58. @critic, no, it was not a pass back by Kos, it was a pass by Coleman to an offside Saha. Kos’ attempt to clear was a miskick, same as a deflection. It should have been ruled immediately as offside regardless where the ball fell (unless the ball falls to an Arsenal player and the ref plays advantage).

    As to Theo vs. Chelsea, he was played onside by Ferriera:

  59. @Johnny Deigh
    Thanks for that; I stand corrected on Coleman making the pass. I was at the match and haven’t watched much in the way of TV replays. I got it in my head that it was Arteta.
    I agree that TW was never in an offside position in that example, but in an attempt to explain the Law, @critic should be aware that even had he been, an offence would not have occurred because the ball he latched on to was not passed forward by one of his team-mates. It was played back by an opponent.
    Kosser has his back to goal and it is testing the bounds of credulity to interpret his actions as playing the ball backwards. If there was another phase, i.e. Kosser brings the ball down , turns and passes it back to Chesney, then all well and good he brings Saha into the game.
    I realise this has taken on a life of its own and consequently appears to be as tortuous as a Stephen Hawking theorem; but in essence it is quite straightforward and is covered in simple clarity, in words and drawings, in the Laws. It really isn’t a difficult decision for the officials – it is a simple one.

    But why has Old Mother Riley kept his head below the parapet and not made a statement? You would think that such a high profile incident, and reaction, would have prompted/required a response. I would think that there are three things he could say: he could face up and say there was an error in Law made by the officials, he could say the lino made a mistake believing Saha had run through from an onside position at the time the ball was played forward by his team-mate or he could, and I hesitate here because I’m not sure….but then again it is Riley…, be self-serving, embarrass the brotherhood in the eyes of most, and say that Kosser played it backwards. Even I, though, can’t really believe that last one but……….

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