Keith Hackett has written an article in the Telegraph, in which he says “If you want proof of why no English referee will be represented at this summer’s World Cup finals in Russia, look no further than Martin Atkinson’s performance at the Etihad on Saturday.”
It is a fairly bizarre and convoluted sentence in that having one referee perform badly doesn’t actually prove anything at all. Apart from that we don’t need proof of the fact that no PGMO employees will be going to Russia, because it is self evident from the Fifa list that they are not going.
His argument is,
“Ashley Young should already have conceded a penalty in the first half for a handball, but his challenge on Sergio Aguero in the second half was not only a nailed-on penalty, but also a definite red card for the United player. It was a shocker – reckless, out of control and a foul that endangered the opposing player.
“You could not get a clearer case for a sending-off and I simply do not understand how Martin did not see it as such. He also seemed to be cutting his assistant, Stephen Child, out of the decision-making process; given the positioning of Child, he should have made a point of consulting him.”
So having considered what he meant to say, we now have to offer the explanation for the bits that Hackett openly admits he doesn’t understand. Let’s help him out…
The referee failed to give the right decisions there because of one of these three possibilities
a) He was having a bad day, possibly suffering a migraine or other debilitating illness, and instead of reporting himself as unfit to referee, carried on. This is clearly quite a serious offence for referees, as it is for people handling potentially dangerous machinery. They do have a duty to hand themselves in if they feel anything is wrong. If that was the case, the referee is utterly to blame and should be suspended.
b) The referee is generally incompetent. Without VAR referees are reported by PGMO to get 98% of decisions right, and I suspect in this case, that failed to happen. Again, he is utterly to blame and should be suspended for failing to maintain the high standards of PGMO – to wit, 98% accuracy.
c) The referee had been bought either by one of the clubs, or by a third party who wanted to influence the game (for example another club engaged in Type III match fixing, or a gambling organisation). In which case once more he is to blame and should be suspended.
But the PGMO do nothing.
Which raises the question of why they do nothing. If we had an independent arbiter of refereeing beyond the company that employs referees judging itself and supported by the fawning national media) they would be able to investigate this affair, (and they could also have a look at the refereeing in the Arsenal match too). But the fact that unlike most other countries there is no body overseeing the company that employs the referees means PGMO are (literally) a law unto themselves. It is a perfect recipe for corruption to flourish.
That of course does not mean that PGMO is corrupt. Not at all. It just opens the door for corruption and encourages people to be suspicious when things go wrong.
Of course it was a bad day for Manchester City, who have now failed to reach either of the achievements that Arsenal have reached in the past. First they failed in their attempt to equal Arsene Wenger’s record of an unbeaten season in the League. Now they have failed to equal George Graham’s record of just losing one match all season in the league. Not the best of times.
And of course they have to play Liverpool again this week, which means taking special action against any passing Liverpool fans who might want to throw things at coaches – something that a few of them seemingly like to do on occasion. It is a pesky business this one of not having a secure environment for bringing in players to a ground. But I am sure they will get it sorted – maybe PGMO could set up a security company on the side.
Anyway, since not too many people are mentioning I thought I would also throw in the issues of wins in a row:
|08 Mar 2018||AC Milan v Arsenal||W||0-2||Europa League|
|11 Mar 2018||Arsenal v Watford||W||3-0||Premier League|
|15 Mar 2018||Arsenal v AC Milan||W||3-1||Europa League|
|01 Apr 2018||Arsenal v Stoke City||W||3-0||Premier League|
|05 Apr 2018||Arsenal v CSKA Moscow||W||4-1||Europa League|
|08 Apr 2018||Arsenal v Southampton||W||3-2||Premier League|
18 goals scored four goals conceded, not bad.
By way of comparison Manchester City have won three and lost three, scoring nine, conceding eight. Of course they are going to win the league by a mile this season, and quite probably (given their money) next season and the season after that to equal the three in a row records of Huddersfield, Arsenal, Liverpool and Man U. But it is interesting to note where they don’t quite get everything that money might possibly just be able to buy. Such as the referee.
At least not this past week.
- Arsenal the most penalised by refs among the current top four teams
- Mykhaylo Mudryk now listed in 17 different articles as coming to Arsenal!
- Arsenal attacking problems… what attacking problems?
- Men’s football returns at last: Arsenal in action this afternoon
- Is the injury to Gabriel Jesus equivalent to the assault on Eduardo in 2008?