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July 2021

Untold Ref Review: Arsenal 2 – 1 Newcastle United


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Today’s referee is Howard Webb –

So we had Howard Webb for the 4th time this season and after a hard and long fight Arsenal got the better of Newcastle. Did Webb get the better of our ref reviewers?

MATCH REVIEW DETAILS – Howard Webb (2012-03-14)
Period 1
Min Type Foul from On C/NC Comment Weight
1 OFFSIDE Arsenal C Assumed correct 1
3 OTHER Ba Vermaelen NC Didn’t see him do anything wrong 1
5 OTHER Cabaye Arteta C came a bit late 1
5 OTHER RVP Coloccinie C Sliding tackle ball but also standing leg 1
7 OFFSIDE Newcastle C correct, ref plays advantage as keeper has the ball 1
8 OTHER Tiote Song NC came late not given 1
9 OTHER Rosicky Tiote C Trip 1
12 OTHER Santon Walcott NC Sticks out an arm to prevent Walcott getting past him, not given 1
13 OTHER Tiote Arteta C a trip but advantage given, Arsenal get a corner 1
14 GOAL Newcastle C correct goal 3
15 GOAL Arsenal C correct goal 3
16 OTHER NC Ref overrules his assistant who had a clear view on the throw. According to Riley assistants get their calls correct for +99%? 1
17 OFFSIDE Arsenal C Assumed correct 1
21 OTHER Song Obertan NC Ball and man came in from the side 1
21 OTHER Tiote Rosicky NC Pushed him from the ball, not given 1
21 OTHER Coloccini Walcott C came in wild got the attacker 1
24 OFFSIDE Arsenal C Assumed correct 1
26 OTHER Rosicky Tiote NC push in the back not given 1
29 OTHER Tiote Walcott NC Trip when the ball was gone 1
31 OFFSIDE Newcastle C Assumed correct 1
32 OTHER Santon Walcott C Trip 1
33 OTHER Rosicky Williamson NC Nothing wrong with that except Newcastle lose the ball in a dangerous position? 1
36 OTHER Ba Koscielny NC Koscielny kicks the ball forward and Ba comes late and catches him on his leg, nothing given. Even the Newcastle players admit this is always a foul and kick the ball out of play 1
36 YELLOW Ba NC Should have been booked for a late challenge 2
40 OTHER Koscielny Ba C jumped in his back 1
42 OTHER Koscielny Ba NC Jumping in the back not given 1
44 OTHER Tiote Rosicky C Trip 1
45 OTHER Jonas Sagna C pull 1
46 OFFSIDE Arsenal C Assumed correct 1
Period 2
Min Type Foul from On C/NC Comment Weight
47 OTHER C clashing heads and ref stops play immediately 2
50 OFFSIDE Arsenal C Assumed correct 1
50 OTHER Tiote The ox NC Arm in the face, not given 1
52 OFFSIDE Arsenal C Assumed correct 1
53 OTHER Perch Walcott C obstruction given by assistant 1
54 OTHER Rosicky Tiote C Trip 1
58 OTHER Song Tiote C holding 1
61 OFFSIDE Arsenal C Assumed correct 1
63 OTHER Tiote Rosicky C Trip 1
63 YELLOW Tiote C stopping a possible promising attack 2
64 OTHER Arteta Jonas C Trip 1
69 OTHER Ameobi Rosicky C Trip 1
72 OTHER Rosicky Jonas C looked like a push in the back to me 1
73 OTHER Ameobi Arteta NC Jumped in his back not given 1
75 OTHER Arteta Ameobi C Pushed with his hand 1
78 OTHER Koscielny Ba C Came in from behind 1
78 YELLOW Koscielny C Promising attack stopped 2
80 OTHER Ameobi Sagna C Trip 1
82 OTHER Ben Arfa RVP C push 1
84 OFFSIDE Newcastle C Assumed correct 1
85 OTHER Jonas Sagna C deliberate block 1
85 YELLOW Jonas C took the man with the ball already gone 2
91 PENALTY Coloccini C Walcott called for handball but the ball hit his arm a bit but his arm was in front of his body, correct non call 3
92 OTHER Koscielny Cabaye C From the ref his position a free kick for coming in and getting ball but also the man a bit 1
95 GOAL Arsenal C correct goal 3
96 YELLOW Krul C No need to run out of his penalty area to confront RVP0 2
96 YELLOW RVP C Not a smart move to provoke an opponent 2
99 OFFSIDE Arsenal C Assumed correct 1

Was the ref having any controversy with his decisions on the day when it comes to important calls? No. There was one appeal for a penalty when Walcott took a shot on goal in the last minutes and it hit the arm of Coloccini and then went out for a corner. Coloccini had his arm in front of his body and close to his body. Unless a surgeon doing a quick remove of his arm while the ball flew to him he could not have his arm out of the way. So it was correct from Webb to ignore the appeal from Theo.

If we look at the both halves I only can say: a very strange game from the ref. After a while as a ref reviewer you get to know your refs a bit. And most of the time Webb has a rather decent first half and then his numbers drop in the second half. This time it was the opposite. A disastrous first half and an almost perfect second half. He did make a few mistakes of course but all very well  within his normal margin.

A bad moment in the first half was the foul from Ba on Koscielny. The typical striker who wants to block off a clearance from a defender, coming late a bit and catching the defender. To the surprise of the 60.000 in the Emirates and a few million people who were watching the game on TV Webb gave nothing. Not even a foul. And even without touching Koscielny it would have been a foul. Ba came in with a high foot and studs showing.

This non call was so outrageous that even the Newcastle players didn’t agree with it and they voluntary stopped play and kicked the ball out. A refs nightmare where the players in fact demoted that decision and showed to the world that the ref was very wrong in not giving a free kick.

COMPETENCY SUMMARY – Howard Webb (2012-03-14)
Period 1 Called Total Correct %
GOAL 2 2 100.00
OFFSIDE 6 6 100.00
OTHER 9 20 45.00
YELLOW 0 1 0.00
TOTAL 17 29 58.62
WEIGHTED 21 34 61.76
Period 2 Called Total Correct %
GOAL 1 1 100.00
OFFSIDE 5 5 100.00
OTHER 14 16 87.50
PENALTY 1 1 100.00
YELLOW 5 5 100.00
TOTAL 26 28 92.86
WEIGHTED 35 37 94.59
Totals Called Total Correct %
GOAL 3 3 100.00
OFFSIDE 11 11 100.00
OTHER 23 36 63.89
PENALTY 1 1 100.00
YELLOW 5 6 83.33
TOTAL 43 57 75.44
WEIGHTED 56 71 78.87

The incident between Krul and Van Persie was well dealt with. On the replay on TV you could only see Krul suddenly running towards Van Persie in an angry and aggressive way. Judging on the smile that Van Persie was showing he enjoyed the reaction of Krul very much. As a ref this is a moment that you could feel the urge to kick them on their bottom and tell them to behave like grown up man. There was no need to provoke anything in my eyes as the game was played in a hard but fair way. As I just pointed out before. So as a ref I will say to RVP and Krul: don’t do such things again.

About the extra time and time wasting. There had been 4 substitutes and the general rule is then to give half a minute for each substitution so that means 2 minutes. There had been a clash of heads that the ref stopped play for that took at least one minute of time to restart the play. So a total of 3 minutes was the absolute minimum.

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Watching the game on TV is something from which you can learn how much time is wasted. With every goal kick that had to be taken by Krul we got an enormous amount of replays sometimes from 7 different angles (could have been only 6 maybe) while Krul was taking his time to kick the ball back in to play. The more replays I see in a game at such moments, the better I know that a keeper is taking his time and thus wasting time. I even don’t have to see the wasting, by looking at the replays shown I know he is doing it.

And then it us up to the ref to count the time. It is the ref in the middle who indicates (or tells with the headset) to the 4th official how much time he will add. So with an absolute minimum of 3 minutes another 2 looked appropriate. Maybe Newcastle fans will disagree on this and I must admit that I didn’t expect Webb to give 5 minutes. But anything less than 4 minutes would have been not enough.

About the remark that everyone is doing it, has nothing to do with it. It shouldn’t be done. Everyone is kicking their opponents from time to time but is this a reason to not punish it?  I don’t think so.

BIAS SUMMARY – Howard Webb (2012-03-14)
Period 1 Arsenal % Newcastle United % Total
Correct For 9 52.94 8 47.06 17
Correct For Weighted 11 52.38 10 47.62 21
Incorrect Against 8 66.67 4 33.33 12
Incorrect Against Weighted 9 69.23 4 30.77 13
Fouls Commited 10 43.48 13 56.52 23
Fouls Penalised 7 70.00 8 61.54 15
Period 2 Arsenal % Newcastle United % Total
Correct For 12 44.44 15 55.56 27
Correct For Weighted 17 47.22 19 52.78 36
Incorrect Against 2 100.00 0 0.00 2
Incorrect Against Weighted 2 100.00 0 0.00 2
Fouls Commited 11 55.00 9 45.00 20
Fouls Penalised 11 100.00 7 77.78 18
Totals Arsenal % Newcastle United % Total
Correct For 21 47.73 23 52.27 44
Correct For Weighted 28 49.12 29 50.88 57
Incorrect Against 10 71.43 4 28.57 14
Incorrect Against Weighted 11 73.33 4 26.67 15
Fouls Commited 21 48.84 22 51.16 43
Fouls Penalised 18 85.71 15 68.18 33

If we look at the bias table we see that Newcastle had things mostly going their way. A few inconsistent calls where sometimes a player could block another player with his arm (Santon on Walcott) where no foul was given and when Rosicky did the same later in the game a foul was called.  An invented foul from Rosicky when Arsenal gained possession in a dangerous position just outside the Newcastle penalty area was also a strange decision. Even the Newcastle players didn’t appeal for anything and the “fouled” player was just concentrating on getting back in to position.

And now to finish this review I will go and open a bottle of champagne to celebrate something. But I will let you know what in another article coming your way soon.

38 comments to Untold Ref Review: Arsenal 2 – 1 Newcastle United

  • WalterBroeckx

    If I may add a strange thinG: NO offside decision was shown in a replay. So it was made impossible for the ref reviewers to check the offside. Maybe this is the way for the PGMOL to get to a high score for offside decision by not allowing others even the chance to check them?
    So the 100% score on offside decisions has to be taken with a pinch of salt

  • Thank you Walter. Having been at the game I have to admit I had very little idea how good the ref was – the passions were so high.

    But sitting behind the goal Arsenal attacked in the second half I can say that the Newcastle keeper was taking a huge amount of time in placing the ball, running back, and finally kicking it. It was hilarious to see him in the last minute trying to rush the process – great jeers from the crowd.

    I don’t expect keepers to rush the ball back into play, but a mid-point between the slow-slow-slow approach until the 95th minute and then the panic-rush approach of the last 2 minutes would be good.

  • Johnny Deigh


    Thank you for the review.

    A couple of things regarding injury time added, there was also the incident where Jonas Gutierrez smashed into Sagna and then laid on the ground for 25 seconds or so holding his foot, then Webb proceeded to give him a yellow card. Play was stopped for about one minute. I’m not sure but I also believe Arsenal were not allowed to make a quick free kick during this time (goal disallowed).

    My question is should Jonas have been made to leave the pitch for the following free kick because he was lying down injured for 25 seconds or was he free to stay on the pitch because Webb was going to book him once he recovered and got up?

  • Shard

    The offside flag definitely went up wrongly when Walcott was flagged offside despite coming from behind the defense, though Van Persie was offside at the time he was nowhere near where the ball was played and wasn’t interfering. There might have been other instances, but this was quite clear to the crowd all around the stadium, as was the invented Rosicky foul.

  • WalterBroeckx

    This highlights one of the problems us ref reviewers have at times. We are down to what is shown on TV or the internet. I also had my doubts about some offside decisions but as we couldn’t prove anything we had to stick to the call on the field.

  • WalterBroeckx

    The Jonas-Sagna collision was a heavy one and it could have troubled Jonas a bit. I thought he tried to avoid a sure yellow card by feigning a bit. Maybe Webb would have said to him: “now get on your feet because if I have to call the medicals on the field I will count at least another extra minute”.

    It sometimes helps to get a player back on to his feet. 😉

    Being ran over by 80kg Sagna on full speed will hurt even if you made a deliberate block on him. But it cost some time and maybe he added that also?

    Allowing the medics on the field and getting a player off the field loses sometimes more time than allowing him to stay on.

  • Mickess

    Shard is quite right about the Theo offside. It was outrageous and incensed me at the time.
    One thing the authorities could do though is to change the way goalkeepers are allowed to choose from which side they take the goal kicks. I’ve never been able to understand why they are allowed this choice when corners have to be taken from the side where he ball went out of play. It would in my mind seriously reduce the scope for goalkeepers to waste time as they invariably make the slow walk to the other side of the goal and then meticulously place the ball.

  • Very fair review as always Walter – I must admit that I didn’t even notice Webb in the second half as I was so focused on the game.

    Just goes to show how a good performance from the officials can render them invisible.

  • WalterBroeckx


    there was a time when they had to do it that way. But then they changed it because there was too much time wasting …
    So it didn’t help at the end.

    One thing i cannot understand is that there is only one ball in the EPL that can be used. In all major competitions like CL they use more balls in order to keep the game going.

    A good suggestion would be that the keeper has 10-15 seconds to bring the ball back in play or otherwise a corner kick should be given to the other team. 😉 Now that would be something…

  • @Walter – I think you have a choice on the number of balls used before kickoff – could be the home teams choice or coin flip… or maybe it’s just one ball now?

  • WalterBroeckx

    We missed something apparently…Szczesny should have been booked

    Oh my God, his name is Wojciech Szcheeky 😉

    It’s already visible that Jens Lehman is at Arsenal again 🙂

  • Kentetsu

    The FA cannot afford more than one ball per match, with that white elephant in Wembley.

  • Kentetsu

    Walter, if Krul was wasting so much time, should Webb not have handed out a yellow card instead of just adding extra time after 90 minutes? I don’t think the Rules of the Game allow for the ref to do whatever he thinks fit. (Although that never stopped the EPL refs before.)

  • Kentetsu


    Marvellous picture of Szczesny heading off with the match ball. Was definitely worth circumventing the Great Firewall of China to see that.

  • Johnny Deigh

    Krul was obviously going to keep wasting time until he got booked, never happened though.

  • Good write up. From watching the game in the pub I thought Webb was OK. It was a fairly physical game but we dished plenty out too, so it was on OK performance from Webb in the end. Strange how his performance changes from half to half though…

  • LRV

    Great review Walter! Our goalkeeper is turning out to be quite cheeky. Sneeking the ball away in itself is another form of entertainment. The Jens influence indeed. lol.

    BTW Walter, I hope that the 22 Flander’s school-kids who died in that swiss accident reported today is not too close to home? I absolutely hate when such things happen to children. My condolences to their families.

  • Great write up Walter.

    I’ve always thought Mr Webb has got to be the worst referee in England, mainly because he influences every of his matches too much. Important calls he has to make and doesn’t(check Ba on Kozzer, compare with Ferdinand on Sagna last season), calls he needs not make and he makes, delaying the use of his cards unnecessarily etc.

    All these lead to error strewn matches whixh ultimately make him very bad. He has never impressed me and i wonder how he gets rave reviews in the refereeing world.

  • nabby

    Nice review as usual. The only thing I wondered was with the foul given against Koscielny on Cabaye in the 92nd minute. From what I saw on TV it looked a borderline yellow card which would have been a red card for Kos as he was previously cautioned. Any thoughts?

  • Gord

    Apparently, a Newcastle player (Cheikh Tiote) was getting racially abused at the game. Supposedly Arsenal is investigating this.

  • zdzis

    Watching the game, I felt that if it wasn’t Webb, we would have seen two red cards for Newcastle and one for Arsenal before the 60 minute mark (Tiote being the most obvious of candidates). He did a good job, apparently ,though I really don’t fancy his style of approving fairly indecent behavior so long as it’s not ghastly.
    The poor performance in the 1st half might have been an issue of adjusting to Newcastle’s tough style of play. I felt he let some pretty hard challenges go, kind of like he was expecting the players to be capable of even more rash actions and didn’t want to go about picking every other one. Whatever it was, his control in the 2nd half was very good and it allowed Arsenal to show up in style & take control of the game eventually.
    But I still think Tiote should have got sent off.

  • Tee Song


    I can only assume that RvP’s yellow card was given on the basis of unsporting behavior for his taunting of Krul. I absolutely agree that taunting is unsporting and therefore worthy of a caution if the laws of the game are strictly interpreted. However, we should also acknowledge that multiple players in every game will be taunting their opponents. Anyone who lip reads can see that offensive language is part of the game and players are not sent off for it, as they should be if the strict language of the rules are enforced. Anyone who has ever been to a professional match will agree that taunting is often tolerated without even a word from the referee. So it begs the question as to what constitutes a taunt which is ignored versus one which merits a yellow card.

    I suppose most people would agree that racist, homophobic, or anti-religious insults warrant a yellow card. Is it the degree to which a player reacts to the taunt? Krul felt obliged to run 30 yards from his goal to confront RvP, he considered it so unsporting. On the other hand, Materazzi didn’t receive a yellow card for provoking Zidane’s headbutt.

    I think that Webb cautioned RvP because the Krul/RvP spat brought into clear focus the issue of Krul’s persistent time wasting and more importantly, Webb’s game long failure to even warn Krul, let alone caution him. Webb probably felt angered that RvP’s public displeasure at Krul in the first half and the crowd’s subsquent boos represented a rather scathing indictment, in front of a larger than normal TV audience, of his own mismanagement of Krul’s time wasting. Krul’s over reaction to RvP presented Webb with the perfect opportunity to stamp his authority back on the match.

  • marcus

    In the post match interview, Arsene spoke about overcoming a good team, and some er, “negative vibes”.


    Kudos to Newcastle for interceding when Webb ignored the bad challenge. I suspect if teams self-reffed, we could get a much higher standard of refereeing overall.

  • Adam

    Krul got a lesson in “professionalism” when it matters. How much time was taken up by that incident after we scored. As for Szczesny legging it with the ball, Funny.

  • @Gord – I hope they can identify the cunt and ban him for life – if he would have sat by me we would have had words… some ‘fans’ are a total fucking disgrace and this sort of behaviour reflects badly on all of us.

  • Laundryender

    Hear hear!!

  • Laundryender

    sorry, here here!!

    Fucking spell chekc 😉

  • Gord


    You certainly don’t mince any words.

    Can we all hope it is someone from Le Grove that was abusing Tiote?

  • WalterBroeckx

    Off topic so no need to read further if you are only interested in football as this is related to the terrible bus crash in Switzerland that cost the life of 28 people from whom 22 children aged 12

    @ LRV
    Thanks for your words.

    As Flanders is in fact a small country it is always near to us when something like that happens.
    One of the towns is 15 km from where I work and only one little town between it.
    As there is a habit of such school journeys in Flemish schools almost any child or adult knows this journey as he did it himself as a kid or his kids did it. My daughter did such a trip twice and it slips your mind when they are gone and you hope that they return safe without any broken bones from a ski accident. But such a horror thing…you cannot imagine such a thing.

    As a father of 4 children I cannot even come close to imagining what it must be for those parents without losing it. I will translate a few lines that circulate on Flemish websites today that express the sentiment in the country.

    Going on the holiday of your live being 12 years old
    Together with your friends learning how to ski
    Having fun and having the time of your live
    Throwing snowballs to your teachers,…..
    All those days you have been waiting to tell how great it was
    All those days you have sealed your lips until you get home
    All those days of anticipation to tell all the things you did
    You had some great stories about your adventures to tell
    Stories that never will be told

    never knowing that this would be your last holiday
    Never going home, never having fun….never
    For always a star in the sky

    We wish a lot of strength in these horrible times for the parents, brothers and sisters, grandparents, family and friends of the children and for the teachers, children and principals of the schools involved

    And with the risk of another Rhys attack I also would like to mention that amongst the 22 dead children there are also 8 or 9 Dutch children from Dutch people who live in Belgium as one of the schools is near to the border between Holland and Belgium/Flanders. So there is a strong Benelux feeling about this on both sides of the border.

    Flanders mourns…

    what a nightmare

  • Donnyfan1

    Excellent review, posts and sentiments- very, very chastening. Thanks to all contributors.

  • rantetta

    May those who have passed Rest In Peace.

    May the families and all those affected find peace, in time.

  • Gord


    My condolences on this tragedy.

  • Adam

    @Walter, It’s a parents worst nightmare. I remember last year, September, my Partner was taking my boy to visit her parents, when I realised they were flying on September 11th I immediately booked myself onto the flight and went with them. This year I had to stay home to work, I await there return this Sunday. I now wish I went with them. My thoughts go out to all those affected by this loss.

  • AnT.

    It’s terrible to hear about the accident. My deep condolences to the family and friends.

  • Gord


    Of the current threads, this seems to be the closest.

    I guess Ryo is making a big impression at Bolton. He was player of the month for February, and has been man of the match at least once since then. The Daily Mail is reporting that Bolton would like to get Ryo on Loan for next season.

    Which is wonderful news for Ryo. And also lets Arsenal know there is another forward/winger for next year.

  • TC

    Good review but I still think Webb is an obnoxious referee whose mannerisms really wind me up.

    The goal kick either side of the goal was brought into speed up play. Time plays tricks but I think it was late 80’s or early 90’s. Anyways, 3 weeks after it was introduced it was obvious to all concerned that it did the exact opposite. I have always considered this yet more incompetence by FIFA.

    All this time wasting stuff could all be sorted so easily by giving the board holder – the 4th official a real job! The game should be 30 minutes each way – ball in play. Injuries feigned or not, drying the ball, goal kick messing about, referees and their admonishments etc would not matter. A nice big clock that starts and stops would be good for all to see.

  • Mike

    @TC – I’ve argued this for years.

    Most matches see the ball in play for between 29 and 31 minutes per half. The advantages of an electronic stopwatch for the fourth official (what the hell does he do anyway!) as per basketball, american football etc etc are completely obvious. No Krul, no feigning injury, no substitutions in the 89th minute……………wasting time would become a waste of time.

    The authorities do not like players doing anything that might incite the crowd. This simple change would stop timewasting which…………incites the crowd.

  • none

    Seems that there is a difference in opinion in the Ref community: