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The Untold ref review: Arsenal – Manchester United

By Walter Broeckx, the Untold ref

So we had ref Foy yesterday. For Arsenal the result was great. Will Foy also have a great result? Only one way to find out. Just read on.

Min Type Text C/NC pts weight on
1 OTHER Foul on Nani given C 1 1 1
2 OFFSIDE Offside against Arsenal C 1 1 1
4 OTHER Foul on Nasri not given NC 0 0 1
5 OTHER Foul from Ramsey given C 1 1 1
7 OTHER Foul on Nasri not given – advantage given. This results in a chance for Arsenal which Walcott misses C 1 1 1
8 OTHER Foul on Koscielny given C 1 1 1
9 OFFSIDE Offside against MU – play continue as Szczesny gets the ball C 1 1 1
10 OTHER Foul on Djourou who is being held just outside the MU penalty area not given NC 0 0 1
11 OFFSIDE Offside against MU C 1 1 1
13 OTHER Foul on Nasri not given NC 0 0 1
16 OFFSIDE offside against Arsenal C 1 1 1
18 OTHER Foul on Djourou not given – advantage given. There was not really advantage NC 0 0 1
19 OTHER Wilshere goes past Vidic at the edge of the penalty area. Vidic throws himself in the path of Jack and brings him down. The ref gives…… nothing????!!! NC 0 0 1
19 CARD This was a deliberate foul as Vidic had no chance to play the ball anymore. It was a promising attack. This should have been a yellow card for Vidic NC 0 0 2
19 OTHER Foul on Rooney given C 1 1 1
23 CARD After having played the ball Evra is unhappy with the close presence of Wilshere and he makes a slapping move to Wilshere’s face. The ref was looking in another direction so could not see it. But even an attempt to slap a player in the face has only one punishment: a red card. You don’t have to hit the player just the movement is enough to get the card. And certainly for a man like Evra who should know better. As a man you don’t hit boys. NC 0 0 3
27 OTHER Foul from Ramsey not given NC 0 0 1
27 OTHER Foul on Nasri not given NC 0 0 1
28 OTHER Foul from Koscielny given C 1 1 1
28 OTHER Handball from Rooney given C 1 1 1
29 OTHER Foul given against Wilshere. This was correct as he was holding the foot of the MU player when he tried to get up C 1 1 1
31 OFFSIDE Offside against MU C 1 1 1
31 OTHER Push from Fabio on RVP not given. Arsenal keep the ball as Fabio heads it out NC 0 0 1
32 PENALTY Vidic punches the ball away for the unstorming Van Persie. This was a delibarate handball inside the penalty area. Always a penalty NC 0 0 3
32 CARD This should also be punished with at least a yellow card and this should have been his second so it should have been a red card. I know that the ref could have given a straigth red also as this looked like denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity. But hey I am mild for the moment. But he should have been removed off the field now. That is something that cannot be denied. NC 0 0 3
34 OTHER Foul on Anderson not given NC 0 0 1
34 OTHER Foul given against Anderson C 1 1 1
40 OTHER Foul from Rooney against Wilshere C 1 1 1
40 CARD Rooney gets a yellow card as this looked a promising attack C 1 2 2
41 OTHER Foul from Song on Nani not given NC 0 0 1
43 OTHER Ref gets in the way for the second time. It can happen once, the second time it means you are not runnig the lines you should run NC 0 0 1
45 OTHER Foul from Clichy given C 1 1 1
46 OTHER The ref gets in the way again when Arsenal try to counterattack. This is a bit ridiculous in fact now. And when the blind assistant walks in he gets a nice pat on the back from Phelan. Yea they are happy with him NC 0 0 1
47 OTHER Foul from Ramsey not given NC 0 0 1
48 OTHER Foul from Song not given – advantage given C 1 1 1
48 OTHER Foul from Song given C 1 1 1
50 OTHER Handball from Nani given C 1 1 1
54 OTHER Foul from Wilshere given C 1 1 1
54 OTHER Foul from Song given C 1 1 1
56 GOAL Nothing wrong with the goal. Nothing wrong at all. C 1 3 3
60 OTHER Foul from Vidic on Djourou when MU have a corner. Clear push in the back not given NC 0 0 1
62 OTHER Foul given against Song. And I agree with the ref on this. He got man and ball and so it was a foul. C 1 1 1
62 CARD The ref books Song and indicates it is because he has made a number of fouls before. Again I agree with the ref on this. C 1 2 2
65 OTHER Foul from Park on Sagna C 1 1 1
65 CARD As it was a tackle with a foot raised against Sagna the ref books Park C 1 2 2
66 OTHER Foul on Arshavin not given NC 0 0 1
69 OTHER Foul from Arshavin given C 1 1 1
70 OTHER Foul from RVP given C 1 1 1
71 OTHER Offside given against MU C 1 1 1
73 OTHER Foul from Ramsey given C 1 1 1
74 OTHER Handball from Ramsey given C 1 1 1
76 OTHER Foul from Fabio on Wilshere C 1 1 1
76 CARD He threw himself to Wilshere in a frontal tackle and didn’t get the ball. Correct to give him a card for this C 1 2 2
83 OTHER Foul on Arshavin from Fabio given C 1 1 1
87 PENALTY Owen goes down and there is contact with Clichy.For me this was a penalty. I don’t think Owen was offside so the ref refuses to give another penalty in this game NC 0 0 3
89 OTHER Foul from Arshavin given C 1 1 1
92 OTHER Foul from Song not given – advantage given C 1 1 1
93 OTHER Tackle from behind on Rooney and foul is given. This was correct. C 1 1 1
TOTAL 38 44 73
% 65,52% 60,27%
CARDS 4 6 66,67%
PENALTY 0 2 0,00%
GOAL 1 1 100,00%
OTHER 4 5 80,00%
TOTAL 9 14 64,29%
Wrong calls Arsenal 13
MU 5
Total 18

Let us begin with the first penalty kick. The handball from Vidic. I had the impression that the ref should have seen it. But when the ref couldn’t see it the linesman should have seen it. There was no other player between the assistant and Vidic. Vidic stuck out his arm and made contact with the ball and by this contact the goal scoring chance was gone.

I think the assistant should have signalled it to the ref. He clearly didn’t have the guts to do it.

And I noticed when he went in the dressing room at half time that Phelan gave the assistant an nice pat on his back. A disgusting gesture.

Foy clearly was determined not to give a penalty unless 200% sure. Okay that is a position he can take as a ref. The foul on Owen was also a penalty for me. Owen looked to be onside and Clichy cought him with his foot. Yes Owen was looking for it as he realised the ball was too far to reach. But it doesn’t matter a foul is a foul and when in the penalty area it is a penalty.

So both teams can be unhappy about the penalty decisions from the ref. Another reason for Arsenal to be unhappy was the slapping gesture from Evra against Wilshere. It went unnoticed for everyone apart from your Untold ref, at your service. In our country and it should be the same in any other country according to Fifa you must send a player off when he throws a punch at another player. It doesn’t matter if he hits him or not. Trying to slap another person is violent conduct.

About the rule book about a handball and if a red card should be given it is telling us:

“A player is sent off, however, if he prevents a goal or an obvious goal-scoring opportunity by deliberately handling the ball. This punishment arises not from the act of the player deliberately handling the ball but from the unacceptable and unfair intervention that prevented a goal being scored”

So Vidic should have been sent off at least with a second yellow card if not a straight red card if the ref judged that it was denying an obvious goal-scoring opportunity. This would have meant that Vidic surely would have missed next week against Chelsea but even could have missed the rest of the season. So this bad miss from the refs goes much further than just missing a penalty for Arsenal against United.

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To be fair I must say that the ref in the first half had a very poor result. Around 40%.  But he did a better job in the second half. One could say about the penalty decisions it evened itself out in this game. But did it really? I mean United playing for an hour with their best defender missing and Arsenal being 1-0 up (if Van Persie would have scored the penalty). It sure would have made the task for United even more difficult and it would have meant that United could be in trouble in the next weeks also.

So maybe the not given penalty decision against Vidic could be the miss of the season from the ref’s point of view.

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56 comments to The Untold ref review: Arsenal – Manchester United

  • Gf60

    In fairness Walter, Robin was possibly the only player who saw that handball. Yes the assistant should have seen it but then he has previous against us. He’s the b****d we should have a real dip at.
    Actually I thought old boy Foy did well apart from wanting to play the ball all the time! 😮

  • Naren

    Hey Walter!
    Some popular websites have started their own ref review…but can we say it all began here first?
    It was infuriating to hear Fergie moan about Man Utd not getting decisions their way when all the season, that’s what has been happening.
    Seems your compatriot De Bleeckere is the ref for the Barca-Real match…is there really any conspiracy going on as Mourinho says?
    Why do Barca get away with the incessant and extreme hounding of the ref? Are there no provisions for caution players with cards if it crosses the line, though it may be so for 7-8 players? For example, for the Pepe red card, Valdes sprinted from the goal to about 30-40 yards outside to wave imaginary cards in the air when there were already 7 players surrounding the ref?It was a pity to see Stark leave with riot police protection after that haranguing he was put to through the match.
    Officiating is a very thankless job and the administration is only making it worse for you refs without technology.

  • John

    I dont dislike Utd becuase they are very successful what really gets my goat is bad losers …some people say you cant be a winner unless your a bad loser I disagree.

    How Fergie had the neck to talk about not getting the penalty decision yesterday is quite frankly disgracful I’m having trouble taking taht comment seriously. I mean they get one or two big decisions every game they play and have done for many year?????

    It was very silly by Clichy and it could have cost us and thats not the first time he has made bad mistakes this season but thankfully I think we were due some luck in the big matches.

    Good result for the team and nice to see Rambo get the goal we really need to start shooting more. I really feel our play at times is trying to reach for perfection rather than getting the ball into the net which is the object of the game. Yes if you can do it in style thats the bonus really.

  • Simon Bailey

    United should be happy with the result. very happy indeed. if vidic had received the red he deserved, we would have been 1-0 up and playing against a ten man united side which with 11 werent as good as us.
    our midfield destroyed theirs, with rooney really not doing his job at all.
    now united can take vidic into the last 3 games which for them is ore important than the 3 points against us. lets face it, united without vidic at the back are vunerable.
    even tho the owen decision should have been a penalty, the ancient one dived like a good-un.
    once again united have had the rub of the green.

    chin up tho folks, if united lose all their matches, chelsea only win the united tie, and we win all ours, the title is ours!!!

  • adam

    Foy had a poor game and ask your opinion not mention by yourself on 40mins.

    Rooney fouls Wilshire shoving him to ground with both hands, referee blows, Rooney reacts and kicks ball in anger towards Wilshire’s head on ground. Was amazed he stayed on field.

  • Sami

    About the Owen penalty claim, I agree that it’s a penalty but an instant before berbatov was offside and involved in play and it was not called or was I not seeing things right?

  • Mr Venger

    Great analysis as always. However I think the Evra incident was only worthy of a yellow at most. Red would have been harsh. But Vidic should have been booked for Wilshere tackle ( not even a free kick ?), plus a straight red for the handball, then a cynical push on Djouro resulting in a clear goalscoring opportunity constitutes a yellow imo (why doesn’t johan protest this?). This guy (Vidic) just does it week after week all season with impunity. Put him in an arsenal shirt and he’d be labeled a liability with a short fuse who chokes / cheats under pressure. Shows you how much difference the refereeing decisions make.
    One point worth making re the high number of wrong calls going against Arsenal is that while I agree there is a bias, the fact that we control possession for long periods will also mean we are the team sinned against more often as we generally would need to commit less ball winning tackles during the game, as opposed to being tackled and sometimes fouled ourselves. Considering the style of refereeing in the premiership ( Letting the tackles go – aka the British / proper game ) its easier to understand why we could see a slight bias in the figures ( even with the same standard of refereeing for both teams ) just because of our style of play.

  • Johnny Deigh

    @ Walter – Could you look at Owen’s penalty shout again? At first I thought it was a penalty, but later when watching it again, I noticed that Berbatov was offside and was shielding Koscielny from the ball, and thus interfering with play from an offside opinion.

  • bjtgooner

    Again a good analysis Walter.

    Regarding the Clichy penalty incident, I agree it was probably a penalty but Owen seemed to be going down very early. It was very hard to see clearly. My impression was that Owen lost his balance as he turned, felt a contact and dropped. Clichy seemed to make two movements, the first was a minor contact at which point Owen started down (in best manure tradition),I think Clichy tried not to lean too hard on Owen initially for the obvious reason, as Clichy tried to regain balance he made a second firmer contact with Owen, by which time Owen was already nearly down. In normal time it almost looked like a slip, but at Old trafford it would have been a cert penalty.

    I missed the attempted slap by Evra, Rooney has obviously been coaching his team mates!

  • Gooner80

    @Mr Wenger

    that is an excellent point

  • bob

    For what it’s worth, former “top ref” Keith Cooper has told EPL to get the finger out, to hell with FIFA, and to bring in VIDEO REPLAY. He doesn’t go far enough in my view, but then again, many others who should be screaming for this and spreading the word don’t go far enough either. Arsene himself says he is a “massive” fan of technology, but that he lacks the power to decide. SO, can we take that as a HINT and lend our voices to the growing tide of common sense that demands a level playing field and adopt a technology that could be a STEP in that direction?

  • Evil

    I would like to second Johnny Deigh’s motion. Look at when Rooney makes the pass. Berbatov is standing exactly on our goal line and there is no one else there. He then moves and shields the ball from Kos which is the only reason why Owen can get to the ball at all. Never ever a penalty.

  • bob

    Again, Nobody Loves Arry (perhaps a hit TV show to be?), but when Arry and Arsene and Morono and now Keith Cooper and it’s starting to steamroll, it seems disingenous for Arsene to say he has no power. That is true alone; but it is not true in combination. And, again, it is methinks a broad hint, and he said it just yesterday, that the time is ripe. Arsene does know a lot and surely readers hereabouts know the need. Whant’s needed is a vehicle – say, a petition? an online petition? The starts to push the most common sense demand toward the start of a level-pitch. Even if it exposed a third of the game-changing calls and non-calls, that would be a great leap forward.

  • AlanMac

    I have seen a few comments on the Vidic penalty call stating that it was just a flick so hard for the Ref or lineman to pick up. they did manage to pick up the fact it hit SOMETHING of the defender as a corner was given, and given how far his head was from the ball when it hit the arm, I cannot believe it was missed by both officials.
    And I agree with someone else on here, Fergie is having a laugh with his comments on Ref decisions. But it is more likely a desperate attempt to get every edge he can and not hand the EPL back to the Chavs.

  • Wrenny

    Great review Walter, keep up the good work. I’m sure it was much more fun to re-watch this game than it was to do the last few games 😀

    That we won with the youngest starting 11 put out by ANY club in the whole of this PL season is quite amazing (23 years and 296 days average). It wasn’t even a weak or purposefully young side, it was virtually our strongest team with only Cesc and Vermaelen missing.

  • Adam

    A good report as always Walter. I saw the Evra slap to Jack’s face and saw Jack round on him before thinking better of it. A sign that he is maturing perhaps and won’t get drawn into things that are likely to get him booked/sent off. Also I have seen the Owen penalty shout from all the angles that TV have provided and I still believe he was offside. it is close certainly but he is clearly between Clichy and the goal with a leg in the box. What I haven’t seen is a conclusive view across the line so it will have to remain dubious. When you think about the penalty shout we have had turned down I don’t think we should worry about it at all.

  • Prasanna Veeraraghavan

    From the commentators of the ESPN team which I got to see in India, the Owen thing was not a penalty at first go and it was trifle too slow and was a soft tackle. But they seemed to have changed the idea when they saw the replays.

  • sid

    @walter: what do you make of rooney’s foul on wilshere?well not so much the foul itself but On the sideline(after the lad is muscled out by shrek), while wilshere is still on the turf, the turd delibrately kicks the ball albeit softly onto wilshere’s face with the onlooking ref?

  • Sara

    what do you think about Rooney kicking the ball on Wilshere’s face after receiving the yellow card?

  • Johnny Deigh

    @Walter, @Adam, @Evil – Here is a photo showing just after Rooney lofted the ball towards Berbatov and Owen.

    You can see that Berbatov’s right foot is standing on or above the line of the penalty area. All of Arsenal’s 10 outfield players can be seen and Berbatov is in front of all of them.

    If you look at the replay, you can see that when Rooney lofts the ball towards goal, Berbatov immediately moves to screen off Koscielny so that he can’t play the ball. Berbatov was in an offside position and interfered with play. If he hadn’t interfered then Koscielny would have easily cleared that ball.

  • Johnny Deigh

    Here is a 2nd photo about a ½ second later showing Berbatov interfering with Koscielny:

  • Johnny Deigh

    @Adam – While Owen may or may not have been offside is debatable, there is no doubt about Berbatov’s offside position nor of his involvement in the play which followed.

  • merakis

    Wow I can’t believe I’m going to say this but there’s a little part of me that isn’t sure whether we need a centre back next season. Vermaelen will be back, Djourou can partner him with Koscielny, Bartley (who has earned rave reviews for Rangers) and Squillaci as their back up. I think those two as our first choice will be solid, especially as in reality this has been Djourou’s debut season and he’s only going to get better at the tender age of 24. Also with the emergence of Szczesny our need for a GK has gone. I really want a defensive midfielder to challenge Song, as I feel a lot of our defensive problems stem from further up the pitch. Add to that a striker for when RVP gets his annual injury, and a speedy winger I reckon we’ll be a real handful next season.

  • bjtgooner

    @ Johnny Deigh

    Well spotted, you are right.

  • Red Jessie

    Foy Boy was poor yesterday and your mark rerflects this. In relation to the Owen penalty incident I have not heard anyone make refererence to Berbatov’s role – he was guilty of fouling Konscienly off the ball. What worries me is that Foy Boy is supposed to be a top official. At the level I assess referees if an official had got caught with play as much as Foy Boy did yesterday, I would be raising issues about fitness and positioning. Three occsaions were noted yesterday where Foy Boy got tangled with play. Once is perhaps execusable, but three times is far too many and is indicative of a referee who is having a poor game. I would also like to know where the respect campaign is with Mr Rooney. Rooney and nani tried to referee the first half and Foy Boy did nothing about their antics. When he cautioned Rooney, it was easy to lip read the intelligent Liverpudlian’s comments – something along the lines of ‘Jolly good decision old boy’!!

  • marcus

    I can understand Fergie’s frustration.

    Regardless of the offence, when a Man U player goes down in the box, it is nearly always a penalty. That’s a fact.

    So for them not to get a penalty was incredibly unjust, and unfair, because they normally get a penalty, especially at crucial moments. I am feeling very cut up for them, particularly Fergie. The injustice of it all is simmering in my breast. The fact that Arsenal have 17 penalties awarded against us just deepens the sense of injustice here…

    17 penalties. Liverpool got a penalty for Lucas doing his Gallipoli act….so Man U should definitely have got one…..I am throwing a tantrum now at the injustice of all this….my toys are coming out the pram

    However mediocre Foy was, I still congratulate him for not caving in at the end….in the current climate that takes bottle. Speaking of refs and bottle, has the Shrek lookalike ever bottled a ref?

    I just hope all the referees across the land are listening carefully, and remember there are huge betting interests at stake here. I mean people will lose livelihoods if Man U don’t win this title. (Besides you wouldn’t want a Triad knock at the door if you were a ref, would you)

    Regarding the Vidic handball and block on Wilshere….COME ON, GET REAL, he has done far far worse than that and got away with it. So I’m sorry, we really need a reality check here if we think that HE was worthy of being penalized for the multiple ogre-toothed offences….

    [please , try and remain partial here, we judge the player and the club, not the offence. That reminds me, where was Scholes yesterday?]

    Finally spare a thought for the bookies who have already paid out on Man U..hehe

  • marcus

    Shadenfreude………hmmmm… like a cold beer after an 8 hour trek across the Sahara….

  • Johnny Deigh

    @ Red Jessie – whether you call it “Berbatov fouling Koscielny” or “Berbatov jockeying for position”, the fact is that Berbatov did it from an offside position and thus any penalty claim that Manchester might have had is irrelevant, null, and void. It should have been a free out to Arsenal or advantage played to Arsenal.

  • walter

    Naren, could you give me a few names of those websites so I can have a look.

    About CL: De Bleeckere has had a past with both teams in fact. In Madrid they didn’t like him because he helped Liverpool once according to Madrid.
    In Barcelona the don’t like him because he did the semi final last year Barcelona-Inter. He then send an Italian player off early in the game. But he (or his assistant) ruled out a goal for offside which was not correct.

    So he has a bit of bad history with both teams.

    About the yellow cards for keepers who come sprinting out of their goal: the instructions are that when a keeper comes out his goal in midfield to interfere in any incident you should give him a yellow card.

    And believe me I am totally sick of the way the Spanish giants of debts Barcelona and Real Madrid behave themselves. Spoilt children.

    Put me on the field and I think after half an hour I can go back in the dressing room as both teams will not have enough players to continue the game. I will have sent them all off with two yellow or straight red cards. 😉

  • WalterBroeckx

    GF60, I certainly blame the linesman. He had a free view on the incident.
    And if no corner was given I could have accepted that they didn’t see it. But they saw the contact as they gave a corner.
    I think the assistant was affraid of the physical presence of SAF behind his back.

    If you cant stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen. You must take your responsability. He didn’t.

  • WalterBroeckx

    I will have a review of the penalty incident on Owen. I must say that I have been focussing on he contact between Owen and Clichy that I not looked at the whole picture.

  • WalterBroeckx

    And yes Foy did have a bad first half. A very bad one. But I must congratulate him for not doing what 99% of the refs would have done and that is give the penalty for United.
    That is something we should praise him for. Right or wrong most refs would have given the penalty.

  • marcus

    I feel we should spare a thought for Foy…he read the FA directive: ” A normal 1st half and then go barmy in the second”,
    so penalized Arsenal for anything and everything first half, and then went nuts and refereed the match properly in the second.

  • WalterBroeckx

    About getting in the way 3 times in the first half is really a lot. As 2 of my sons are also refs we even lauged about it that if it would happen to any of us and there would be an assesor he would have came in at half time (which they normally don’t do) and told us to run the proper lines or stop refereeing.

  • Naren

    Walter, these are the links to the latest editions at and
    There is another that I just stumbled across but this deals only with games in the US seems to have a history but the first time I saw the review at was last month when Chelsea won against Man Utd in PL and Graham Poll’s review using photos has just begun today;earlier he just mentioned what went wrong, no photos.
    How many players from one team can be sent off before the play has to be abandoned?
    Also look at this article from Graham Poll where he details the antics of the players on the field and clubs/coaches off the field.
    You will only be used to it…but if it’s known to everybody, how come it;s still a secret in the fact that nobody does anything against it?

  • WalterBroeckx

    Thanks a lot Narren. Interesting in the link ussoccer they describe a handball like Kuyt did from Liverpool and they reach the same conclusion as I did: when you make yourself bigger you should be punished with a penalty.

    Thanks I will be looking to those links later on. Must go to bed now

  • Naren

    My pleasure, Walter.
    As I am from India, I don’t know how to pronounce your last name. Please help me with that.

  • Mandy dodd

    If Chelsea do pip utd to the league, do you think the powers that be will just redouble their efforts to make sure utd win next season? Think they might.

  • walter


    It is pronounced like the English name “Brooks”

  • jeungnovi

    the best thing to see from this match is Wenger’s smile 😀
    He totally deserved this because the last few matches have been frustration to him.

    Up the Arse!

  • Naren

    Are refs employed on a contractual basis?Does it have any confidentiality clause?Walter, what was it that made you take up officiating?When I see Frisk having to retire because of death threats,it is too savage and vile to bear.I could have never tolerated that.How do you?

  • Adam

    @Johnny Deigh. Many thanks for those links. I think it makes things much clearer. Berbatov is clearly obstructing Kos so you are right. No penalty. Looking closely I still think there is a good chance that Owen is offside with his foot. I assume that Graham Poll has not seen these pics as he claims it was a penalty. After some of the shite I saw him dish up I guess this is no surprise.

  • walter

    Yes having seen it back it is clear that Berbatov comes back from an offside position and goes for the ball which he misses but because he went for the ball he collided with Koscielny who could not go for the ball. So yes Berbatov was interfering with the play and should have been penalised.

  • sid

    rooney kicking the ball on wilsheres face incident after his yellow. What do you think about that walter?

  • walter

    It was not a very nice gesture from a well educated person. But it could be explained as an attempt to just kick the ball in the direction where the foul should be taken.
    To be fair to Rooney: the ball wasn’t kicked very hard so he can get away with that.

    I cannot read his mind and I mostly think good of people so I will let him go with that one. 😉

    As a supporter: it just shows what a lousy person Rooney actually is.

  • walter

    Oh and on the links that Naren has provided us there was also the Graham Poll link who thought that Song should have got a red card for an elbow against Rooney. And then there was a picture.
    But for me it is clear to see in the picture that Song was only protecting himself with his elbow against Rooney who for whatever reason found it necesarry to get involved in some pushing and shoving for no real reason. Okay, we know the reason is that the UTd players wanted to get Song doing something stupid by surrounding him and hoping he would react. But please don’t say Song elbowed Rooney. He just stuck out his arm and pushed to get them away from him.

  • kiwigooner

    @ Marcus


    What great taste especially so soon after 25th April

    Shame on you.

  • Johnny Deigh

    @Walter – Glad to see you concur with Berbatov being offside and interfering with play.

    Poor Alex Ferguson was all upset about never getting the calls in the big games. Now he will certainly feel a whole lot better knowing he wasn’t actually cheated.

  • Johnny Deigh

    @Walter – A few more points:
    In the incident (29th min.) where Wilshere grabbed Carrick’s leg, Carrick had just slid in on Jack and appeared to foul him, in my opinion. I felt that Jack grabbing his leg was a response to feeling that he had just been fouled.

    There was also an incident I can’t remember when in the match when Rooney won a ball against Sagna with a raised leg/foot. Nothing came of it, but it looked like dangerous play.

    And finally, there was the penalty shout by Evra in the 2nd half. Foy didn’t give it, but in any case, it looked like Evra had fouled Clichy more than the other way around.

  • Menace

    The Vidic handball was seen by the linesman or assistant referee as they are called nowadays. The fact that the corner was given clearly indicates that the defender touched the ball. Foy was going to give a goal kick but changed his mind because his assistant was insistent. I was wondering why at the time because my seat is at the other end of the ground.

    Fabio should have not been on the pitch in the second half as he was consistently fouling the left wing players. He kicked Nasri so many times while holding him and did the same to Clichy. There are so many of these ‘hold the player and kick him’ fouls made against Arsenal players by others that it has become part of the ‘English way’ of robust football. Kicking the player who is shielding the ball is a foul. @Walter it is something you pick up but have not clearly mentioned.

    I always wonder how many supporters and players have actually taken the time to study the Laws and the advice to referees documents. There are so many assumptions that the commentators have implanted in peoples heads that are not even close to the Laws of the Game.

    ‘he got a bit of the ball’ is not an excuse to get a bit of the player!! The initial contact in a tackle must be with the ball and not with the player – yet it is very rare that that happens. Players usually use their hand(s) to grab their opponent and then attempt to get the ball.

  • Menace

    Everything is revenue driven. If SAF reports a referee, the referee loses his bonus. If any one else does there is no issue. Manchester United is the best revenue earner for the FA so they encourage their officials to favour them. UEFA have a similar position with Barcelona and Madrid and would love a Barca v Man U final because it would buy Platini some new suits.

    The referees organisation (PG Tips or whatever)should not be a Limited company and like law firms should be individually liable in law. It will ensure some level of honesty.

    I would also like the radio link between referees opened like in rugby so that the fans can follow on field conversations.

  • walter

    Menace, I think I have them mentioned in the “not given fouls”. Like in “Foul on Nasri not given” and one of my populars “Foul on Arshavin not given”.

    I think those are the most used words in my ref reviews since I do it in this format. To make the reviews not toooooooo long I use this short sentence but you are right it is much holding and then kicking the ball/legs at the same time that goes unpunished.
    But maybe a good idea to use abbreviations next time.
    For example: Foul on Nasri not given H+K (and where the H=hold and the K=kick)

    For those interested I think I will keep the format like it is for next season but will add a few more numbers.

    – the total actual fouls given by the refs. Because it is rather a contradiction but Arsenal get more fouls against them than in their favour. And with a team that has most of the ball it should be the other way round. But more of that in the next weeks after the season has ended.
    – the not given fouls and the team benefitting
    – the offside decisions

    And I was thinking on adding the corner kicks if they are correct or not but I don’t know if it is worth the trouble as I have the feeling that those decisions are correct for 95%. But still will have a look at it and see if I have to report them or not.

    Forgive me for not taking in the throw in unless they are blatantly wrong. My ref review would be too long.

  • walter

    How on earth does the FA or the PGMOL does not call for a ref from another country for this game? Oh yeah…right…

    How on earth can they send Webb to this game with all the things he has been doing for United in their games the last years?

    This season they had Webb in their home games against Arsenal, Liverpool and now Chelsea. We had three different ones in those games. So had Chelsea. It will be a unlucky coincidence. of that I am sure. 😉

  • Mahdain

    just when man united seemed to have bottled the tittle along comes mike riley with a final killer blow for chelsea…Howard webb… its a disgrace i tell ya..unlucky chelsea

  • C4

    I’m in shock…
    You must be f#$@ing kidding me…