Ref Review Liverpool – Arsenal. Someone put something in the ref’s tea at half time

Ref for this match was Michael Oliver

Liverpool Arsenal

A match of two halves for the ref. The first half he was excellent. Just falling for a dive from Coutinho and not giving a foul in favour of Alexis when it was a foul. But for the rest spot on with his decisions. So an excellent score 87% in general and when we put weight on the decisions it even ends up over 90%. And if we only look at the important decisions he gets a score of 100%.

But then I don’t know what happened or what was put in his interval tea. Because he had a disaster start of the second half.

Sterling pushing the ball past Debuchy and throwing himself against Debuchy and falling for the tumble. And giving Debuchy a yellow card for this dive from Sterling. Sterling should have been booked for diving as he went down clearly before any contact was made and then made sure he ended up against the body of Debuchy.

The ref then let go a clear foul on Chamberlain when Coutinho pulled him back and he lost his speed and then lost the ball. It looks silly when a ref indicates advantage when the ball is lost by the player that was fouled.

The next bad game management was the treatment of Skrtel on the field. Where was the “keep the game flowing” at that moment? The instructions are clear. Only when a player is seriously injured and cannot be moved unless a doctor is doing it the player should be removed from the field as soon as possible and be treated outside the field of play. It was just a bleeding head wound that Skrtel had so he could have been moved outside and get stitched up there. Now the game was interrupted for 5-6 minutes. If the ref would have done his job the game could have been restarted after 2 minutes at the most.

Yes Liverpool could have then faced a period of a few minutes being a man down but it is not up to the ref to stop the game in such cases. So that was bad game management from the ref. It helped Liverpool in those few minutes and helped them at the end when the match otherwise would have been over as then there wouldn’t have been the need to allow 9 extra minutes.

Another big miss by the ref was the cheating handball from Sterling. He clearly took the ball with his arm away from Szczesny outside the penalty area and Liverpool almost scored from this cheating. That should have been a yellow card for Sterling and after his dive a bit earlier he should have been send off.

Let us move on to Borini. After smashing the ball on the floor in anger because he didn’t get a throw in he got a yellow card. He then got a second when he kicked Cazorla in the chest and wounded him. You could clearly see the flesh wound from his studs through his torn shirt. The ref gave a second yellow card but this was a straight red. The final result of the incident didn’t really change as Liverpool had to play with 10 men but this was a wrong referee decision and so we have noted it.

As a result of all these misses the score from the ref dropped dramatically to only 57% overall. And when we put weight on it he only gets a score of 51%. If we only look at the important decisions it drops to only 36%. What went wrong at half time????

The overall score after 90 minutes + extra time was 72%. If we put weight on the decisions it is 67%. If we only look at the important decisions he gets a score of only 50%.

The bias score over the whole match was one-sided. In case of doubt give the decision to Liverpool seemed to be his motto on the day. So he gave all what was wrong to Liverpool.

After a brilliant first half it all went terribly wrong for the ref in the second half. I have witnessed it before with some refs. You have an excellent first half, go in the dressing room knowing how great you did. And then you lose your concentration when you have to come out for the second half, you think you have the match in the pocket and then suddenly you start to lose the grip and you end up with a bad report. It can happen and it even happened to me in my early days when at half time both teams and their staff went off and told me I was the best ref they had seen that season and at the end of the match after a bad second half I was the worst they had ever seen. I learned from it and vowed to not lose any focus or concentration at half time no matter what they said.

However I must admit that Sterling made it difficult for the ref to spot it. But this was a classical case where a video ref could have helped the ref a lot in making better decisions.

Classic Untold

Why dont the refs call obvious penalties?

Is trading in teenagers the new solution to FFP?

19 Replies to “Ref Review Liverpool – Arsenal. Someone put something in the ref’s tea at half time”

  1. Sorry if I’m pre-empting you here, but presumably Antony – let ’em kick the f*ck out of Arsenal – Taylor will be appointed as the referee for our game vs Stoke on Sunday ?

  2. In the PGMO’s own words, a clear and present example in this fixture for all watching of “game management” 🙂

    It’s not easy for the officials. With players desperate to cheat, with so much money into the game, they deserve the support. Who could argue otherwise? The PGMO? FUFA? *coughs*

    Of course there is no reasonable or rational logic that could be used to explain the lack of assistance or any safeguards for the officials in an era when the English Cricket Board gives advice to all professional cricketers in the UK in all divisions, with the aid of security agencies, on how to deal or respond to fixers and groomers in Sport ( video replay was introduced decades ago…and the respect for the officials in that sport only increased as a result. Not an opinion, but an observation. Old Dickie was in the wrong there, for once! 🙂 )

    Yet still some, those who have the right credentials, they will try to argue against the tide of history and the inevitable.

  3. Didn’t beachball Oliver do the Stoke game, last season? Whichever he done/does, it’s the same old story. He’s learned to do mickeys bidding, so can be trusted to fill in for Deano & co.

    I don’t think it’s about the half time cuppa – more the bussaca-time.

    Thanks for the review.

  4. Poll on talk sport :-
    In the week that has seen a whole host of debatable decisions from Premier League referees, Graham Poll has told talkSPORT confidence amongst referees is at an all-time low.

    A number of calls, including a clear handball by Robert Green which was missed by Anthony Taylor during QPR’s 1-1 draw with Swansea, has sparked fury amongst fans.

    But former referee Graham Poll insists the key issue is with the Referee Association and not the current crop of officials.

    “The situation is very similar to a team, and you always view the referee group as the 21st team in the league,” he said, speaking on Drivetime. “Every team has a weak link and you never have a team where you think, ‘yeah brilliant’. You always have one player you wish you could transfer out.

    “It doesn’t matter who you appoint, whether that is Michael Oliver, who is a brilliant young referee, Mike Jones, who is not a brilliant referee, or Anthony Taylor, who is a mid range referee. They are all making these mistakes. You have to start wondering if there is a problem above them.

    “There must be something wrong with the management, motivating and support of that group of referees. I do speak to some of these guys, and I know from them that confidence is at an all-time low. There isn’t the motivation or the guidance to help them.

    “You have to be totally focused and totally confident in your own ability to step out in-front of 60,000 people, none of whom want you to do well or like you. You have to be brimming with confidence to go out and make good decisions.“

    Poll also revealed that he believes that Mike Riley should speak out and take part in a weekly press conference to explain to fans why certain decisions have been made.

    He said: “Every manager does a press conference every week, they have to they are contractually obliged too, so Mike Riley should have to do the same.

    “I am not expecting him to come out and blame certain individuals but he has to accept it is not good enough. He has to explain what is going on behind the scenes to improve things.”


  5. “However I must admit that Sterling made it difficult for the ref to spot it. But this was a classical case where a video ref could have helped the ref a lot in making better decisions.”

    Or the FA can ban him for cheating! But surely they will have to ban themselves forst

  6. Mandy, I have to agree, it very often looks as if the ref has had a call at half time.

    A good report Walter and yet again an unsatisfactory performance from the PGMO!

    The Dippers have had a number of serial divers amongst their ranks – any one of whom could have been a role model for Sterling or Coutinho – but it is past time when the PGMO started doing their job properly and fairly!

  7. Sorry to disagree, Stirling will never get booked for falling over. The ref could and should have ignored it and played on.

    If you watch liverpool they do one thing well. Get the ball, run with the defender, try to cut infront of the defender and fall over. Nearly always a free kick given.

    The next sneaky bit is then to move the ball forward as far as possible.

    Liverpool have been allowed to do this for years and it isn’t going to change now

  8. What about Flamini fouling Lallana in the first half that should have been a second yellow and then a red card, the ref missed that.
    Also Sanchez totally dived to win the freekick that led to arsenals first goal, he was already falling over.

  9. Thanks for the report, Walter.

    In the match at the weekend the referee also seemed much more biased towards Hull in the second half. You could be right, Mandy.

  10. On a different matter

    Short, Sweet & True!!!

    I dialed a number and got the following recording:
    “I am not available right now, but thank you for caring enough to call.
    I am making some changes in my life.
    Please leave a message after the
    Beep. If I do not return your call,
    You are one of the changes.”

    ( I LOVE THIS ONE! )
    My wife and I had words,
    But I didn’t get to use mine.
    Frustration is trying to find your glasses without your glasses.
    The irony of life is that, by the time
    You’re old enough to know your way around,
    you’re not going anywhere.


    God made man before woman so as to give him time to think of an answer for her first question.
    I was always taught to respect my elders,
    But it keeps getting harder to find one.

    A woman asks a man who is traveling with six children, “Are all these kids yours?”
    The man replies, “No, I work in a condom factory and these are customer complaints”.


    Nominated as the best short joke this year…

    A three-year-old boy was examining his testicles
    while taking a bath.
    “Mom” he asked, “are these my brains?”
    “Not yet,” she replied.

  11. Hackett has named 5 referees that should be sacked. This is old news, it was out this morning.

    There is an article about 20 young people going through a refereeing course. At the course, they got a presentation from an EPL referee (who is not on Hackett’s list). John Moss, who is to ref us on the weekend. I believe I recently posted a note about volleyball, where John Moss talked to a group of volleyball people about officiating. So, maybe he is making a living on the talk circuit?

    Some reporter from Stoke, thinks Stoke will have a tougher than usual time at Arsenal on the weekend. And to read his dribble, he honestly seems to believe that Arsenal usually get a “home” referee, and that they are given regular gifts by the referees. I can well imagine that when Stoke visits, the crowd is louder than average. Stoke seems to think that kicking everything in sight is allowed in the Laws. And I suspect this medja person, probably last read the Laws about the time the Domes Day survey was finished.

    I’ll wait for Andrew’s pre-game, but I really doubt Mike Riley 😈 really assigned Moss to us, because he thinks Moss is going to benefit us. Probably another 70% bias to Stoke game. And hopefully we still manage to win.

  12. @Walter,

    I agree his performance seemed to drop in the second half. I couldn’t believe Skrtel was allowed to get stitched on the field for so long consisting there was no concussion that I can tell.

    I was also wondering if you saw Keith Hackett’s latest comments on Mike Riley and the current horrible ref standards. He even mentioned 5 refs that should be let go for next season:

    Andre Mariner, Mike Jones, Lee Mason, Chris Foy, and Lee Probert

    Maybe the media is finally starting to catch up that there is something wrong with the officiating.

  13. I think the year 2015 will turn out to be a wonderful year for Arsenal. Come gunners, at least continue the CL tradition. Make your boss proud!

  14. So, we have to accomodate Adams & Stoke at the Arsene Wenger Stadium. I hope he is given a rousing ‘you should have been arrested’. We play football at the Arsene Wenger Stadium.

    I hope someone with a sense of humour throws a rugby ball onto the field.

    I hope Arsenal somehow get a fair share of luck & trounce the swine.

  15. I spent quite a while on the Hackett blog and thought was quite interesting, but have noted in all of the listings on various sites of poor refereeing and the decline of refereeing supposedly since Christmas (as they were amazing before that) still no mention of no error against Arsenal, and as we know we have been on the end of some howlers!

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