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The Untold ref review: Tiny Tots – Arsenal

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By Walter Broeckx, the Untold ref

So we had ref Atkinson for this game and I think the final score will have pleased him. But does his own score pleases him? Or you? Just take a look.

Min Type Text C/NC pts weight on
2 OTHER Foul on Cesc given C 1 1 1
5 GOAL Cesc to Walcott who is on side and finishes well. C 1 3 3
6 OTHER Foul from Diaby C 1 1 1
6 OTHER Foul on Walcott not given NC 0 0 1
7 GOAL Nothing against the rules with the first Tottenham goal C 1 3 3
12 OTHER Foul on Nasri advantage given C 1 1 1
12 GOAL Very good advantage given as Nasri scores a few seconds later C 1 3 3
19 OTHER Foul given against Diaby?? NC 0 0 1
20 OTHER Blatant foul on Sagna who gets a push in the face. But nothing give. NC 0 0 1
20 OTHER as a result Song makes a foul and gets punished. Should have given the first foul NC 0 0 1
20 OTHER Foul from Diaby C 1 1 1
22 OTHER Foul on Song not given NC 0 0 1
23 OTHER Foul on Diaby not given NC 0 0 1
24 OTHER Foul from Diaby not given NC 0 0 1
24 CARD That would have been a yellow card for Diaby if I was the ref NC 0 0 2
29 OTHER Foul on clichy not given NC 0 0 1
32 OFFSIDE Offside against Tottenham C 1 1 1
38 OTHER Foul on clichy not given NC 0 0 1
38 OTHER Foul from Clichy not given NC 0 0 1
39 OTHER handbal Cesc given C 1 1 1
39 OTHER Push in the back of Nasri not given NC 0 0 1
40 GOAL Nothing against the rules with our third goal C 1 3 3
44 GOAL Again nothing against the rules with this goal C 1 3 3
45 OTHER Foul from Djourou C 1 1 1
47 PENALTY Foul from Djourou on Modric. Djourou used his arm to block him. This was a penalty. NC 0 0 3
48 OTHER Foul on Nasri C 1 1 1
49 OTHER Foul from Clichy C 1 1 1
49 CARD A well deserved yelllow card for this tackle from behind C 1 2 2
46 OTHER Foul on Cesc not given NC 0 0 1
46 OTHER Foul from Song C 1 1 1
46 CARD Yellow card for Song also correct. C 1 2 2
47 OTHER Foul from Djourou C 1 1 1
47 CARD Yellow card for Djourou also correct C 1 2 2
48 OTHER Foul on Van Persie not given NC 0 0 1
51 OTHER Foul on Cesc first advantage given ref comes back to it when Cesc loses the ball C 1 1 1
56 OTHER Foul on clichy C 1 1 1
57 GOAL A Robin Van Persie goal is cancelled for offside. As the stadium is like the club itself it has for some strange reason a few posts in the stand. And let this just be the place where RVP is situated. So I had to do my best to find some evidence. A picture taken at the moment that Cesc is swinging his leg and then you can see that RVP is onside when you look at the different shades in the pitch. When he reappears behind the post he is just past the defender but then the ball is already being played. For me he was at least level when the ball was played so it should have been a goal NC 0 0 3
58 OTHER Foul on Song given C 1 1 1
58 OTHER Foul on Walcott not given NC 0 0 1
60 OFFSIDE Offside against Tottenham C 1 1 1
62 OTHER Foul on Crouch not given NC 0 0 1
63 OTHER Foul on Djourou not given NC 0 0 1
63 OTHER Foul on Crouch not given NC 0 0 1
70 PENALTY Szczesny just comes to late when Lennong is put through on him and he touches the striker. C 1 3 3
70 CARD No card is given. I would have given him a yellow card but never a red card as the striker is going to the outside NC 0 0 2
74 OTHER Foul on Crouch given C 1 1 1
77 OTHER Foul given for tottenham C 1 1 1
78 OTHER Foul given against Crouch C 1 1 1
79 OTHER Foul against Sagna C 1 1 1
79 OTHER Szczesny punches a corner away and gets caught by an onstorming tottenham player. Should have been a foul given on the keeper NC 0 0 1
81 OTHER Foul given against RVP??? For what? NC 0 0 1
83 OTHER Another foul given against RVP? Again I don’t see much wrong NC 0 0 1
85 OTHER Foul from Arshavin advantage given C 1 1 1
87 OTHER Foul from Gallas given C 1 1 1
90 OTHER Foul from Wilshere C 1 1 1
93 OTHER Foul on Van Persie not given NC 0 0 1
    TOTAL   31 46 77
    %   55,36% 59,74%  
  CARDS 3 5 60,00%  
  PENALTY 1 2 50,00%  
  GOAL 6 7 85,71%  
  OTHER 4 5 80,00%  
  TOTAL 14 19 73,68%  
  WRONG CALLS Arsenal 18 78%  
    Tottenham 5 22%  
    TOTTENHAM 8    

So two very complete different score lines from the ref in this game.

When we just look at the important decisions he gets a very reasonable score. But of course this is largely due to the fact that a lot of good goals were scored. If you take the goals away you end up around 66% and this is a bit closer to the other scores.

I do think he missed a few things and for once we have been on the good end of a possible penalty decision. When Djourou brought down Modric we could have had no complaints if the ball would have gone on the penalty spot. So this was a lucky escape for Arsenal.

The not given goal is on the other hand a blow for Arsenal. I will be trying later on to upload pictures of the position from Van Persie but this is not possible from the computer I am working on now. So both teams could point at a wrong decision or we both could say that at the end of the day it didn’t matter on the final result. But still I would say that a penalty still has to be scored as the Van Persie goal was scored. So keep an eye for later today if I can upload the pictures. If someone else has some evidence of this please let me know.

As one of our readers always gives the numbers of wrong calls and indeed this is a very important statistic I have added this to my review this time. This will save him some work and gives you some extra information.

A lot of wrong calls (or not given fouls) and this is something that has kept his score low. He missed a few real blatant fouls and this is something I also have been critical about him in his earlier games. So the ref did what I expected him to do (or not to do), the final result was what I expected to be a draw (but hoped for a victory and feared a defeat – you know when you have a bad feeling sometimes the day of the game….)

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Ball comes to Cesc. RVP clearly onside

Momen of Cesc kicking the ball. RVP is still visible at the right side of the post. At least level with the defenders.

RVP is visible at the left side of the post and looks to be at least still level with the defender to the left. The ball is already being played so in fact he can be past the last defender.

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35 comments to The Untold ref review: Tiny Tots – Arsenal

  • Cape Gooner

    Walter, why is it when Szczesny is late on Lennon, it is a penalty, but when Bale is late on Szczesny, it is not a free kick?

  • Davi

    It’s my personal bias that leads me to bring this up now, but I think there is something wrong with the lennon penalty, and many others like it. Surely the goalkeeper actually has to do something to stop the attacker unfairly. Szczesny made a mistake in coming out of his goal and not getting the ball, but the contact was really minimal, not enough to stop lennon, who dived (as anyone would in that position).
    It seems to be the attitude that because szczesny made a mistake, the penalty is perfectly justified, but is that really the case? Is it not more important that he actually didnt appear to hinder the attacker, at least not from my POV, and that lennon actually dived, greatly exaggerating the contact, that to my mind was no more than a touch, which happens constantly all over the pitch. This has happened before against us – rooney kicked the ball away and jumped over almunia to equalise with a penalty, and he did it to end our unbeaten run – and I think chamakh did it once FOR us earlier in the season.
    As I said, it is my bias that leads me to bring it up now, but I was wondering what the referees’ takes on this might be?

  • Here you go Walter, sorry about the poor quality!

    First one, the ball is just being played, RvP is behind the post :

    Second one, RvP emerges from his post and at this points looks to be just about onside :

  • Arselicked

    Agree with you Davi, i think football needs to re-think this. Maybe an indirect kick in the box should be given inside the box rather than a penulty.

    The player kicks the ball away, then gets fouled. This is completely different from if the player is about to shoot to score but then gets fouled. One could argue that the latter scenario has a chance of the bal ending up in the net. But in this case you haved covering defenders and so your chances of scoring that ball is greatly reduced.

    I think that this encourages players to dive knowing that payback is good if it comes off, if it fails its only a yellow (as we all know).

    By the way, what was that Tottenham guy on the bench doing coming into the Arsenal technical area. Commentators seem to miss this and it got AW angry. I think thats why he didn’t feel like shaking Harry Rednapp’s hand.

  • BobbyP

    Why do you include offside decisions made by the assistant in the score for the referee? Seems a bit harsh, especially given the personalized nature of some of the criticism

  • A Casual Observer

    @Arselicked – before you could do that you would need video technology. It would be a pretty grey area and for now just contact is the rule and that’s what you play to.

    I also noticed that spat.. although I was watching it in Russian so I didn’t catch what it was about.

  • Mick

    Cape Gooner, I absolutely agree with you though I would go further than just a free kick. I think it was reckless and dangerous play by Bale, he was totally out of control and could have seriously hurt Szczesny. Red card in my opinion. How was it any less dangerous than a lot of the tackles in open play for which we see red cards awarded.

  • todd

    Re: Cape gooner.
    I had the same thought. Why did tottenham end up with a throw in, when it should clearly have been an Arsenal kick and a yellow card for Bale??? They then went and scored from this.

    Anyway great game overall, and although i thought the ref was a bit too lenient, I also thought he was trying to keep the game flowing as much as possible. And given the amount of heavy contact going both ways, he let alot of the small fouls go.

  • todd

    Re: Mick

    I agree completely, i somehow didn’t read your post before replying.

  • Prasanna Veeraraghavan

    As far as I could see the Van Persie goal which was ruled offside was not offside but sadly espn here(the Sky sports group) did not show the reply more than once. Still I doubt its offside at all or was very close and I remember the commentators too talking on those lines but only once and they moved on.

    I also do believe the Lennon penalty was rubbish. It was a perfect dive and I really believe had it not been for Szczesny jumping or coming out of his post there might not have been a goal and the ball was not going anywhere near the post.

  • Who

    Walter, thanks for another excellent write-up. Could the Djourou obstruction of Modric have been an indirect free kick (since the ball had been kicked away with Sagna covering)?

  • walter

    After having kicked myself a zillion time in the last half our, punched myself on the nose till it bleeds I come over here and appologise for something that the readers on this site have seen and noticed and I didn’t.

    And this is something that most refs will not do but you are absolutly right.

    What is the difference between Bale coming second and clashing on Szczesny who had the ball and Szczesny coming second and touching Lennon????? THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE!!!

    The player who comes late (Bale and Szczesny) makes a foul.

    And even I didn’t got that. And I think this is because as a ref you are focused on the ‘is it a penalty?’. No it isn’t as the goalkeeper played the ball and then you make a mistake.

    I think this is down to the fact that Bale injured himself in this incident and so it can slip out of the refs mind that it was Bale who came in late and was catching the goalkeeper.

    Just as Szczesny could have opted to step out of the tackle, so could have Bale done. Both went for it and made a foul.

    And I have missed that also. just because I was focused on the : Is it or is it not a penalty.

    And Arsenal should have had a free kick and then Tottenham wouldn’t have scored their second goal.

    I appologize for my mistake. This only shows that even this ref is only human and can make mistakes (and you can point at them and correct me).

    On the other hand it also shows that whatever some may think of me: I’m not thinking of painting it the Arsenal way completely.

    The ref leaves the field and gets all the abuse he deserves from the Gooners…..

  • walter

    And re-enters the field to say that in regards of the Lennon penalty there is no other option between a penalty and give nothing (or give a foul against the striker).
    But it is a foul when you go in like that and don’t touch the ball. Szczesny didn’t touch the ball so it was a penalty. In fact how much or how little contact was made is not that important. You must be on the ball and if not you must be sure you don’t bring your body (or arms) in such a position that the striker cannot run further like he wants to.

    So I have no problem with the penalty call of Lennon.

    But how could I not think of the Bale foul… still beyond me…

  • Shard


    BOOOOOOooooooo.. 🙂

  • Shard

    For the Bale incident, I did think Red Card at the time. It was highly reckless and if Szczesny hadn’t put his arms down to protect himself he could have had a very serious injury. To cap it all, we let in a goal from that throw. Not that the ref is to blame for that.

  • walter

    Okay, just throw the rotten eggs.. 😉

  • Davi

    Walter – having watched it again, Lennon’s dive is amazing from a distance, but sczcesny really did nothing to stop him moving forward at all. Lennon saw him coming and chose not to lift his legs in a running motion, and dropped to the ground. Surely the rule is not that ANY touch is a foul? We can say szczesny was naive in coming off his line, but that’s not what made the ref decide to give a penalty; it was that lennon flopped to the ground while close to our keeper, despite the fact that the only contact that was made Was made because lennon chose to dangle both his legs to the ground, having already decided to basically kick the ball off the pitch and look for some contact.

    Seeing it in real time, I can’t fault the referee at all because I doubt very much I would have seen it differently to him, but I really think this is a 2nd case in a week of a player fooling the ref into giving a penalty, although this is more understandable than the lucas one on the part of the ref.

  • walter

    “bringing down a player” is a foul and to bring him down you don’t even have to touch him in fact. You can bring a player down by throwing yourself in his path and so he has to jump in such a way that he cannot stay on his feet.
    And yes Lennon anticipated the contact and made sure he would make a nice tumble to the ground. But if Szczesny would have backed out his challenge and not go for it Lennon could have looked like a real fool. If Szczesny hadn’t committed himself in the challenge Lennon could have stayed on his feet. sometimes it is wise for a keeper to stay out of the challenge at the last moment. But he stuck out his hands and made contact with the left leg (I think) so there was all the reason to give a penalty:
    Not touching the ball
    Touching the opponent
    bringing him down (and as being impeded in his run and as there was contact Lennon had every right to go down.

    Believe me if we would have been refused a penalty like that my boldest letter wouldn’t be bold enough to cry out in anger and frustration.

  • Walter,
    I added a comment earlier with some screenshots of the Robin Van Persie offside call but it is still in your moderation queue, I think perhaps because it had 2 links in the comment (to the pictures of the incident).

    Here’s the first image :

    The second is the same but change rvp1 to rvp2.

  • Davi

    Yes I agree with what you say, in that you don’t need to touch the player, or at least not with very much force, and impeding the run of lennon would/should be a penalty, but Walter, what in fact happened (in my opinion at least) was that lennon touched szczesny (as opposed to szczesny touching lennon) because he purposefully let his legs hang down. I know szczesny made a big mistake in rushing out when he was 2nd favourite, but that doesn’t make it a penalty still. If he had been a little slower, his mistake might have allowed lennon to sidestep him and pass the ball into the goal, in fact the mistake he made yesterday might have done that, but imo lennon chose the easier route by kicking the ball on and diving for the penalty. It is just the same as the infamous eduardo dive in the CL which imo was a dive as the keeper didnt impede eduardo any more than would/should be legal, in that he forced him to take the ball wider than edu would have liked.

  • C4

    And surprise surprise, we have Sky failing to give us a decent replay again, with the van P “offside” goal. How many cameras were in that stadium? And which monkey chose to only show a replay from behind a pillar, which shows us nothing? As soon as I saw that it wasn’t being shown from another angle, I just knew it meant he was onside. Was that the ONLY camera on him at the time???
    I also couldn’t understand why we weren’t given a free kick after the Bale vs Szczezny incident. That implies there was no foul committed. I saw it as at least a yellow for Bale, which is what I screamed during the match (much to the annoyance of my manure and tiny tott supporting girlfriend).
    I meant to ask Walter about this, but I’m glad I’m not the only one who saw it. What irks me is that the ref failing to give us possession resulted in the tiny totts scoring.

  • Laundryender

    Hi Guys

    On the Lennon penalty, it was clear cut, Lennon got to the ball first, Chesney was late and should have pulled out. It was a pen!!

    On the Bale incident, it happens so fast the ref will see it as a 50-50, and both players going for the ball. I was delighted that our big pole took Bale and the ball. it was textbook. Had chesney been left rolling on the ground, and Bale still got there 2nd, the ref would have viewed it differently.

    The simple fact is that seeing something like that in real time, and seeing it only once from one angle, whilst you are running makes it almost impossible to call the foul on Chesney.

    Chesney never considerd it a foul, he was just delighted to have gone through the little welsh prick for the 2nd time in 5 minutes. he winked at Johan D as Bale was being treated.

    I love that Big Pole, I just wish he would change his bloody name!!!

  • RedGooner

    Walter I am begining to wonder what difference does it make anymore. Every single media outlet want to hide the facts and sh#t ref decisions continue to the delight of those commentating on matches giving them something gloat about.
    No one wants to change anything only hide behind smoke screens covering up inadequacies and keep promoting the witch hunt on wenger.
    Chelsea no league in 50 years before the russian arrives and its never mentioned.
    Liverpool 20 right now and its ok.
    The whole thing is a joke right now they want to sell the premier league next season with the story UTD break Liverpools record and it dont matter if its corrupt or not.

  • WalterBroeckx

    I have added the pictures about RVP in the article

  • Shard

    Pictures seem to show what we suspected (knew because of the camera angle actually). RVP was onside and it should have been a goal.

    By the way. Does anyone know whether the Newcastle-ManU match was shown on Sky or some other channel?

  • gooner80


    the man u match was on sky

  • Shard

    Thank you.. Strange that. They actually showed the Anderson foul in the penalty box in slow motion 4 times. I wonder if someone got fired for that.

  • Johnny Deigh

    @Davi, regarding Lennon’s penalty, you can see that he played the ball so that it would go out for a free kick regardless as to whether Chesney made contact or not. If Chesney hadn’t touched him, then there was no way Lennnon would have got onto the ball and stopped it from going harmlessly out of bounds for a goal kick.

    It’s a lot like when Shrek booted the ball hard against the boards and was already going down before Almunia made contact. Lennon didn’t hit the ball as hard as Shrek, but he did play it fairly hard and thus Chesney’s slight contact didn’t deny him at all.

    This is a similar situation like what exists in American football concerning pass interference – that is if the ball couldn’t have been caught, then there cannot be pass interference.

    Thus in English football, if the attacking player or any of his teammates could not have stopped the ball from going out of play before contact, then there should be no penalty.

  • Donnyfan1

    The easiest unobtrusive way to ruin the chances of a team that plays football- is to let the opposing side foul them and get away with it. It increases the chances of injury, it breaks up their attacking play- it creates chances for the other side (often on the break) that they would not get and it demoralises the footballing side, big style. In every game Arsenal has played in the Prem this year- there is evidence of that. The facts are there for anybody, clown or scientist, to see. All you have to do is be objective, look and count. If ManU, Chelsea or Man City had to play every game under these conditions- there would be ructions. The press would go mad and shout for a public inquiry. Polititians would get involved. But because it is Arsenal– they don’t. Without the cheating, Arsenal would have walked the title this year. That AW has a monkey on his back is a good smokescreen put out by spineless press and media who kmow what is happening (and probably why) but dare not deal in the truth. Oh,we can’t talk about cheating!! But since when have papers or the sports media ever bothered about truth. It’s lies and hype that sells. It actually took a current footballer, who is not frightened by editors. production staff and media moguls to come out with the truth when he praised AW for the miracle of keeping Arsenal at the top for 14 years, whilst building a stadium, on a zero transfer budget when all around teams are running transfer budget deficits approaching a billion over the same time period. Methinks my grandmother could run a successful team under those conditions!! But which of those wonderful managers the press love so much could have done what AW has done? None!! No chance. Arsenal club are being shafted for being a proper club doing it the right way. That is it– and fans moan about Wenger? The press. media, FA and Prem are the monkey on Arsenal’s back. They are what football lovers, everywhere, should be moaning about!!

  • walter

    Donnyfan1, I agree with you and that is why I will also try to include the numbers of fouls not given. As this is a way in stopping Arsenal from playing their football.

  • Davi

    @Donnyfan1 – I agree with what you say, but I wouldn’t include the FA in that. Imo they do their best to be fair. They’ve banned ferguson and rooney this year when it was appropriate, and when they were able to. To the best of my knowledge, their hands were tied when the referee said he saw rooney elbow that guy and saw nothing wrong, but when he swore into the camera, and they could act, they did. Imo our enemies are most of the referees, most of the media and the managers who take advantage of the anti-arsenal/wenger media.

  • walter

    Davi, the PGMOL (ref organisation) is the main concern for me.

    I do think the FA is trying to do something to get some things sorted oyt. at least they give that impression sometimes.

    But it is the refs and their organisation who should be looked after.

    Of course it could be that the FA wants let us say a rich oil billionaire to win something in the hope that he will donate something to the FA? Let us say do something about the Wembley situation in the future… ?? Just a wild guess of course but then again …money talks and runs the world…

  • Johnny Deigh

    @Walter, there was also an incident, just before Clichy was booked at the end of the first half – Theo was going through on goal from a Cesc pass and Assou-Ekotto pulls Theo back by his arm. Tottenham did have one defender back, but it looked to be a blatant yellow card that both the ref and the linesman didn’t see.

    I also felt that Van der Vart should have been booked for a tackle from behind in the 2nd half, not too long after Atkinson had booked 2 Arsenal players for somewhat similar challenges.

  • Mahesh

    Walter, Do you remember Crouch holding one of our players when he could not control the ball in our third of field? Was that not a yellow card offence? It was pretty blatant in my opinion.

  • jbh

    Walter, thank you again for an excellent review, and I do appreciate you putting the summary figures of number of Wrong Calls and how many favour Arsenal vs the opposition.
    It seems that for these refs to consistently be getting 50 or 60% of their decisions wrong and of those that often 90% go against Arsenal (80% this game) indicates clearly that something is seriously amiss.
    Your end of year summary will be interesting but I suspect that the number totals are very consistent.