by Walter Broeckx
It all evens itself out at the end of the season is a much used line in football. The same phrase is used if we are talking about having luck or not, about injuries in comparison with our opponents, and off course on bad or good decisions from the refs.
Last season I tried to have a look at the refs and their decisions at the end of the season. But this is not that easy. Because after 38 games you can forget some incidents which could have changed a game when a ref did not what he had to do or did what he should not have done. So from now on we are going to try to do this on a game per game basis. So after each game I will be analysing the decisions from the ref and try to keep up with a score on his decisions. And at the end of the season we should be able to see if it really evens itself or if it does not.
To do this I will have to make some kind of way in giving points to a decision. After each game we should see a final result. And we could be seeing how many good or bad decisions he has made.
I was thinking of dividing it in some categories. I only will take the things that could have an immediate impact on the game and on the result like:
- Giving a yellow card which is correct,
- giving a yellow card not correct, or
- not giving a yellow card which should have been given.
And some more important decisions:
- giving a red card which is correct,
- giving a red card not correct, or
- not giving a red card which should have been given.
The same importance:
- giving a penalty which is correct,
- giving a penalty not correct, or
- not giving a penalty which should have been given.
And of the most importance:
- giving a goal which is correct,
- giving a goal not correct, or
- not giving a goal which should have been given.
So we give a point for each decision or non decision was made and add the numbers.
To give an example: when a player makes a dive and a team scores from the resulting free kick I consider this as giving a goal that is not correct. We can argue about this until the end of time but if anyone comes up with a better way of doing it I will take it in to consideration. I might be a ref but I don’t think I know it all. Another example: not given a yellow card to a player can influence a game. When the player later gets another yellow card he should have been sent off. But because not given the first yellow card he can stay on.
Off course every game is different and in some games you have a lot of decisions to make as a ref and sometimes it is more easy. So I will calculate his decisions in to a percentage. But you will see how this works later on. And I know that some other things can influence a game. But when this happens, let us say a corner is given from which a team scores, but it shouldn’t have been a corner and then I will try to bring this in to it.
The second game of this season brought not only Blackpool to the Emirates but also referee Mike Jones.
1-0 Arsenal: correct goal – Good point for the ref
13th minute Chamakh goes on goal on the left flank and is brought down: should have been a yellow card but was not given. Bad point for the ref
30th minute red card against Evatt from Blackpool for a foul on Chamakh. This was the only correct decision the ref could give. And later in this article I will come back on this as Paul C asked me a question about it. Good point for the ref.
2-0 Penalty CORRECT. Now this may surprise you as even I said yesterday in a first reaction that the foul was outside the penalty area. Replays I have seen since then, showed that the foul began just outside the penalty area but when both players slid in to the penalty area the defender still was bringing him down There is an instruction given to the refs that if a foul starts outside the area AND CONTINUES INSIDE the penalty area that you should give the penalty. This rules mostly is used when you have a shirt pulling foul but it can be used for any foul that still is going on when moving inside the penalty area. So we must give the ref a good point for this.
3-0 Arsenal goal: correct and good point for the ref
4-0 Arsenal goal: correct and good point for the ref (btw: good advantage given by the ref)
5-0 Arsenal goal: correct and good point for the ref
6-0 Arsenal goal: correct and good point for the ref
For the rest the ref had to give no cards or had no real problems with the way the game went on. Maybe we can applaud the way that Blackpool played in a fair way and not went to kicking our players down.
Where does this leaves us for the ref:
Cards: 1/2 points
Goals: 6/6 correct so no deducting on points there. The penalty was correctly converted.
Penalty decisions : 1/1 as the foul was outside but continued when moving inside the penalty area.
So in total this gives us 8/9 or 88% on his report. And in all honesty this surprises me as I had the impression he would have got a higher score. But the result is what it is. Could have been better and so you see how one decision can make a big difference at times.
In the part of the world where I live and in referee circles they say that you have a very good game as a ref when you get 9/10 of the decisions right or 90%. So the ref did not spoil the game like Holloway said but he had an almost excellent game. It could have been even better if he just would have given a yellow card at one moment. Just to give you this information: If he would have given that yellow card like I said, he would have had a score of 9/9 or… 100%. So I think he has missed the chance for a perfect game.
The question is : did the penalty change the game or the sending off? As both decisions were correct it doesn’t matter. So whatever they tell you we did what we did, we didn’t get the help of the ref, everything what the ref did was according to the rules.
After the game Paul C came up with the question: “Walter, would you not agree that the rule should be tweaked a little bit so that when such a foul occurs inside the box and a penalty is given anyway, that the punishment should perhaps only be a yellow card? I just think if you are giving the red card for “denying a clear goal scoring opportunity” but award a penalty, then surely the “clear goal scoring opportunity” is being given anyway”? I would be interested to hear your views on this as a referee.”
Paul I can understand your question but the instructions and the rules are very straightforward on this: last defender, clear goal chance then it always should be a red card. In or outside the penalty area has no influence on this. Even if the players is just starting to run from the half way line but alone on goal it should be a red card and the same if it is in the penalty area. So the ref did what the rules told him to do.
But the question is if the rules should be changed if a penalty is given. I think it should not be changed as the chance is always there that the penalty is being missed or saved by the keeper. And that would have as a result that you have been denied a clear goal scoring opportunity and the other team would after that still have all their players on the pitch. So the team that has done something very wrong would not been punished in that situation.
When they came up with this rule it was to stop the hacking down of players going clear on goal and hoping to bring more fair play in to the game and more goals and more attacking play. But I agree at times it does looks harsh on a team like it was with Blackpool, who didn’t play it dirty in this game. But we cannot change the ruling according to the possible fair play for the rest of the game. So I am supporting the ruling as it is today and I really hope that Fifa keeps it like that. And we cannot change the rules because the opponents looks to be a nicer team than Chelsea or so.
I will be trying to do this from every game until the end of the season and so we can see how the refs have been doing their job and if we have suffered or have benefited from the mistakes from the refs.
For those who have any remarks on the system used, please let me know so maybe we can find an even better way of doing this.
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- Arsenal v Leicester: how will the ref handle Leicester’s multiple tackling?
- What sort of referee is Darren England? The statistics reveal some odd facts.