By Walter Broeckx
Another eventful game I must say and once again some very strange things going on, on a football field.
Let me start with the actual field of play. In the Fifa rules, which Mr. Blatters finds so important, there are some clear rules concerning the lines on a football field. When I started looking at the game I was totally amazed with the lines on the field.
In the rule book there is a section on how a field should look and where there can be lines. And those lines in the rule book are the only one that are allowed on a football field. So in fact the other lines, for rugby I think, must be removed before you can play a game of football. I saw four lines that divided the football field in to all kind of sections which could cause confusion to the players. Are they in or over the midfield, is this the line of the penalty area?
Was it not Blatter who said that football has so much success because it is played with the same rules everywhere? Well if I came to a football field with all those extra lines on it, I would tell them to remove the lines before kickoff or there would be no game of football.
That the field was not of high quality is not a thing a ref can sanction. But I am rather sure that when I get to the ground I have to do my game today the pitch will be of a far higher quality than one I saw today.
The quality of the pitch affected our game as the ball just seem to hobble on the field without it rolling along the ground as we are used to. I think they send a few tractors on the field this morning to make it extra bumpy. But like I said there are no real rules on a bumpy pitch not being a good one. It just is a shame for the EPL to have a pitch in such a bad shape.
So let’s go on to analysing the ref’s game. He started rather well by not allowing the Hull players too much leeway. I wondered if he had seen De Bleeckere against Porto and learned from it. But sadly he soon he began to let too much go again and the Hull players were allowed to kick us and not much was done about it. And this inevitably once again led to some tackling and some incidents where the ref did not have the game in control.
Let us start with Boateng who pinched Bendtner on his nose, or so it seemed. The linesman spotted it and signalled to the ref. Boateng should have got a straight red card for such an act. Those things don’t belong on a football field. And then Bendtner also got a yellow card because he pushed the hand of Boateng away?? Poor decision from the ref.
Then came Boateng’s second moment of madness when he launched himself with an outstretched leg and hit the knee of Sagna who even tried to jump up to avoid the contact. And what did the ref do? He gave a yellow card, which was his second and so he did had to go, but this also was a tackle which should have been a straight red card.
But this is what you get when you are allowed to do things which should get you a red card in the first place and when the ref does not give it. The player thinks he can do about anything he wants. Fortunately Sagna did not get a serious injury from the tackle, but I will only be relaxed about it if Arsène Wenger confirms he is okay and not injured.
I will end with the goal from Hull. I’m not even going to talk about if it was a penalty or not. This is totally irrelevant. The Hull player, Vennegoor of Hesselink, was standing about 1 or 2 meters offside when the ball was played to him. How on earth can a linesman not see this? I never say anything about a close call but this surely wasn’t close. It was a very clear offside. I think not even Brown will argue with that.
I must say that you cannot blame the ref for this. It is up to the linesman to spot this and to raise his flag. For some reason he didn’t and I really wonder what happened to the poor man? Did he suffered from a suddenly paralysed arm? Did he loose vision in one of both his eyes? I really recommend a serious medical exam to see what was wrong with the man.
Talking about penalties. The foul on Clichy by Boateng should also have been a penalty. But it was an English ref and not an European ref this time and they don’t want to give us penalties unless the linesman really insists there is a clear penalty or a clear handball.
This reminded me of some strange decisions we had to face in the weeks after the horror tackle on Eduardo two season ago. In the following weeks we not only had to fight our opponents but also a number of strange decisions from refs and linesmen. It cost us several points at that time and I feared another déjà vu today.
But we managed to turn it around. We didn’t played great, we worked hard and we deserved our luck at the end to make up for the mistakes from the ref and his assistant.
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