Arsenal v Everton: are the officials failing as the media say, or is the media itself under a spell?

By Tony Attwood

The media in general has an approach to refereeing which runs like this.

On occasion they will spot an offside decision that is not given, and make a fuss about it.

That’s it in one line.  They don’t ask why.   They don’t ask if it happens against one team more than another.   And so they churn out the same statements over and over again.   It is as if some evil beast has put a spell on otherwise seemingly intelligent people so that they don’t ever ask the question journalists ought to ask more than any other: “why?”

Here’s the Guardian’s take…

“Marco Silva expressed frustration and bemusement at the Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang goal that sank Everton and gave Arsenal a 2-0 win at Emirates Stadium. Aubameyang was a full yard offside when he converted from Aaron Ramsey’s flick to build on the lead that Alexandre Lacazette had just given Arsenal on 56 minutes and there would be no way back for Everton.”

So what we don’t know from their report is,

a) Did the referee and assistant make a mistake in the view of the Guardian’s reporter because they were both corrupt and biased, because they were both incompetent, because the PGMO alone among major leagues in Europe has banned VAR, or for some other reason?

b) Were there any other errors made by the referee and his assistants during the match?

c) Is the sort of error that the newspaper man perceived just confined to Arsenal matches, or does it happen elsewhere?  If elsewhere is it more or less common for Arsenal to benefit or does it “all even out in the end?”

Of course without those first two simple bits of information we are just left with vagueness in the extreme, and a very very poor report which gives quite a bit of space to a rant by the Everton manager.

But then at least he gives an opinion on the “why?” question.  He says, according to the Guardian, “It’s really frustrating and I’ll tell you why.  We had in that moment just one defender in our box – Jonjoe Kenny – and so it’s too clear for the assistant referee. It was a counterattack and, after one pass, it’s two against one or three against one.  It’s clear where Kenny is in that moment and it’s clear on the second touch [by Ramsey] where the player who finishes is as well. He’s clearly offside. For me, it’s a little bit strange but it’s OK. I make mistakes; my players as well. The assistant referees can make them.”

Maybe he was being honest, or maybe he’d learned the lines that PGMO have fed all managers about what is allowable commentary.  But at least he gave an opinion.  Although it was not enhanced by of  his commentary which mixed opinion with fact: “Clearly, we didn’t deserve this result.  It didn’t reflect the performance of both teams. We were creating problems – we had many chances – and then, in one detail, a great moment for Lacazette, the game changed.”

Now let us turn to Keith Hackett in the Telegraph.   He writes,

“Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was clearly offside when the ball was passed to him ahead of the second goal. The referee Jon Moss missed it and the assistant referee Harry Lennard inexplicably failed to intervene.

“This was far from the first instance of an assistant referee not stepping up to make a big call recently. I have seen it happen time and again, including twice on Saturday when two players escaped what were clear red cards.”

Later, after some more examples, he continues, “The current generation of assistant referees are not up to the standard of predecessors such as Glenn Turner, Phil Sharp and Mike Mullarkey, experts in the job who used to rescue Graham Poll and Howard Webb in tight situations.”

Although I have edited out a lot of his article – clearly I have to abide by the rules laid down in the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 which prohibits me from reprinting the whole article – but I can say  there was nothing in the article as to why the standard has fallen.  That one vital question.  WHY?

Is it because of increasing inbreeding within PGMO, or because of instructions from the secret society as to what linespeople do, or because of PGMO’s refusal to accept VAR, or because the game is getting faster and those running the line can’t see things well enough (which would take us back to the question of why PGMO refuses to allow VAR), or because the sports channels want the top six of last season to be the top six again because it is their matches they have selected for televising?

It is the abject failure of the football media to ask “why?” and venture opinions as to why that has put a dead stop on important areas of debate in football.

Anyway, we all had a much more fun time than the poor old reporters, now firmly gripped by the same old same old restrictive rhetoric with multiple anti-Arsenal articles such as “Emery beats out dull rhythm that fails to entrance” and “Controversial goal puts gloss on Arsenal’s win”.

Mind you the Telegraph is being a little pesky in its coverage as it also has this

“Arsenal v Brentford first goalscorer: Pierre Emerick Aubameyang 23/10; Alexandra Lacazette 3/1”  A shame they don’t offer the odds on either of them actually playing.

Naughty Telegraph.


11 Replies to “Arsenal v Everton: are the officials failing as the media say, or is the media itself under a spell?”

  1. In the first half the ball hits Ramsey on the arm from one yard and Moss gives hand ball. Ramsey is bemused and questions the decision but his protest is brushed aside by Moss.

    In the second half an almost identical occurrence, only this time the ball hits an Everton defender on the arm from one yard. This time no hand ball given by Moss.

    Personally I don’t think either were deliberate so no freekick or penalty should of been given, but if you give one you have to give the other, not to do so shows a clear contradiction.

    This was either a very bad mistake or a clear case of cheating.

    I know what I believe it was.

    Could someone better at these things than me put up a short clip of both events to show the similarity between the 2 in order to graphicly highlight just how incompetent/corrupt Moss is.

  2. What was very clear at the game was how overweight Moss is. I wonder how much ground he covers during a game compared to Clattenburg, for example, who always seemed very fit? As noted, it is much easier to get a decision right from 10 yards away than 20. Moss rarely seemed to even break into a jog never mind a sprint.

  3. Hmmm, but to think of it, were not the PL clubs excluding Arsenal l, Man Utd & one other club side that voted against the use the VAR in PL matches this season, and not that the Pgmol outrightly refused not to allow it’s use? But after Monsiuer Arsene Wenger has left Arsenal who was the PL clubs target to unlawfully stop his Arsenal from winning the PL Title again, the majority of the PL clubs who voted against the use of VAR this season in the PL have appeared to be regretting their decisions not to have the VAR used in the PL this season as they have now renege on their decisions not to use the VAR. Thus, paving the way for the Pgmol to officially use the VAR application in the PL matches next season. Let’s hope the use of VAR next season in the PL will come to be.

  4. As the Arsenal vs Everton match last Sunday at the Ems in the PL, a match I enjoyed watching live on my TV set because after Everton gave Arsenal a game to fight for almost their lives, Arsenal went on to beat them by 2 goals to nil at fulltime. But Aubameyang goal, the 2nd for Arsenal became a subject of controversy between the media and us the Gooners who viewed the goal as compensation for the penalty refused Arsenal in the game by referee Jonathan Moss. But the media saw the goal differently to say it should have been ruled out for offside. Okay, let the media take the goal away to leave Arsenal with the Lacazette’s goal which will still have won the match for Arsenal anyway. Everton who didn’t score any goal in the match to say least have no case to argue,

  5. Tony,
    The point of most newspaper reports of a match is just that. A report of the match. A thesis on the possible bias and general incompetence of referees isn’t what the sub editor or general readership want. If that’s what floats your boat, then you come to Untold. Obviously. We can’t all be obsessives.

  6. On a special meeting the PGMO has decided to introduce VAR from next weekend on. A Riley spokesman said in another reality. LOL I wouldn’t have minded the goal being ruled out at all. But now we know that just after the Kosielny ‘handball’ goal it will bring the PGMO to change its point of view on VAR. Excellent

  7. @ Mark Mywords

    “The point of most newspaper reports of a match is just that.”

    Whilst I take your point, wanting to see fair play is nothing to do with being obsessive, it’s about right and wrong. Besides this, the level of concentration paid by the media on any fortunate decision that goes in our favour, far outweighs the number of bad decisions that do not get a mention. Not obsessive at all.

  8. The object of reporting on a game, is mostly to describe what happened accurately and well, so that people not in attendance will have some idea as to what happened. But even if someone was actually at the game, they are not usually sitting the best seat to understand everything that happens. Nor do they typically have the benefit of magnification or video replay.

    If there are N different commentaries on a game, you will probably find that none of them agree with any other one. The gross details (like the score) is likely the same, but things like when was a goal scored, what was the infraction that led to a foul being called, was some player offside, did any players require treatment for injury “on the field” or require treatment “off the field” are often not even touched in a commentary.

    Why send one or more people to a game, or place them in front of TVs to watch a TV feed, if you are not going to do a good job of reporting on the game?

    If the job you are supposed to be doing is always poorly done, why should we possibly be interested in any crap you are advertising? You probably know even less about that, than the job you are supposed to be doing.

  9. My view of the Auba goal is that not only was Auba when played through by Ramsey but that Ramsey should have been flagged offside when he received the ball. When the pass was made to Ozil both Auba and Ramsey were in offside positions. Ramsey had certainly gained an advantage from that when he received the pass from Ozil.
    What is your take Walter?
    Roll on VAR, if it only cuts out some of the mistakes, it’s got to be progress.

  10. I’ll leave Walter to reply of course G-i-E but I would add one thing – that decision needs to be seen within the context of other decisions. It may well have been a mistake, but I feel it was far from being the only one in my view.

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