The Untold referee index: Sunderland – Arsenal

By Walter Broeckx, the ref

A visit to Sunderland and the  home referee for Sunderland  was Mr. Phil Dowd

OTHER: From the start Sunderland can’t commit any fouls it seems. The moment we come near a player who falls down ref Dowd blows his whistle. 0/1

GOAL: A lucky goal but they all count. 1/1

PENALTY: Nasri crosses and Ferdinand is standing in the penalty area with his arms wide from his body. The ball hits his arm. If you keep your hands like that and stop the ball it is a penalty. The defender was not out of balance he just stood there with his arms spread, so a deliberate move from him.  Bad decisions from the ref, but at this time in the game a decision you could expect from the ref if you take in mind how he was doing his job.  0/1

CARD: Card against Wilshere who holds his man and brings him down. 1/1

PENALTY/OTHER: Bent runs in to a defender who is standing still. No penalty, an indirect free kick could be given. The ref gives nothing. 1/1 and 0/1

CARD/OTHER: Song gets booked for…..nothing. The Sunderland player just falls to the ground as they know by now the ref will give a foul. Song jumps up in frustration and gets booked. This is a silly booking mr. Dowd. A very bad point for the ref is the fact that he called Song over to give him a yellow card and Song just didn’t go to the ref. And then the ref had to go over to Song to show him the card. WEAK, VERY WEAK, Mr. Dowd. But keep this in mind when we come on later in the game. 0/1 and 0/1

OTHER: During the first half Sunderland committed no fouls according to the ref. Well almost no fouls. And on the other hand he could see when we made a foul. So he knew the rules but it looked as if they could do what they wanted. I remember fouls on Arshavin, Wilshere, Nasri, Song, Wilshere again that went unpunished. 0/1


CARD: Welbeck gets a card for a late tackle on Sagna. Correct decision, has the ref finally realises  he can punish both sides? Has something been said to him by his assistants or by the 4th official?  Anyway, 1/1

OTHER/OTHER/CARD:  Chamakh is being held by his defender. The defender has both his arms around him. The ref does not give a foul when Chamakh loses the ball. A typical moment for the refs game for most of the time.  Song commits a foul in the Sunderland half  and is given a second yellow card. It was  a foul but to give a card for this? Was this his revenge for the fact that Song was not coming over to collect his first yellow card????? 0/1 and 1/1 and 0/1

OTHER/CARD: Wilshere is being brought down at the edge of the penalty area. The defender comes in hard and hits him on his legs. The ref gives the foul but keeps his card in his pocket. 1/1 and 0/1

CARD: Card against Riveros from Sunderland, I almost fell of my chair that he did this. 1/1

OTHER: Gyan goes down under a challenge from Koscielny – but it was no foul. Correct decision from the ref. 1/1

PENALTY: Clear foul on Nasri in the penalty area and the ref gives the penalty. Rosicky shoots over. 1/1

CARD: Malbranque trips Denilson who was running towards the defence. Correct decision. 1/1

OTHER: 4 minutes extra time. That is okay for me. Sunderland kick a corner on the last second of those 4 minutes. The ball is well cleared and at that time the ref could have blown the end of the game. No one would have complained.  He doesn’t and let Sunderland launch another attack from which they score. 0/1

GOAL: the goal itself however hurtful it was a correct goal.1/1

OTHER: If you have a goal in extra time you must add 30 seconds. He didn’t. He immediately blew the end of the game. Suddenly he thought the time was up? 0/1.

OTHER: 3/10

GOALS: 2/2


CARD: 4/7

TOTAL: 11/22 (50%)

Some real bad decisions that did have an influence on the game. The first yellow against Song was laughable. And the amazing fact was that he was standing a few meters away from it. Replays showed that Song did not made contact with the Sunderland player. In fact to be fair the Sunderland player even didn’t ask for a free kick.

I do think that Dowd was waiting to be able to give Song his second yellow card. I think it was the fact that Song did not come over when he was asked for by Dowd that made the ref determined to take him out of the game and to use the first chance he got to do this. The ball was played through his legs and Song made a foul but to give a second yellow for such a foul on that place on the pitch. That was very soft if you take into consideration that there has been many fouls on dangerous places (eg. Foul on Wilshere) that were not punished with a yellow card.  So not very consistent from the ref.

A fact that I found very disturbing in the first half was that we almost didn’t get any fouls in our favour. They could push us and from the moment we touched them we got the foul against us. This was the tactic a ref can use to influence a game. You don’t give dubious penalties. No you just let one team do what they want on the field to win the ball. I am not saying Sunderland played dirty or dangerous. But they could push and shove like they wanted and we couldn’t. To be honest and give a bit of credit to the ref in the second half this changed and he gave fouls more both ways. And was it a coincidence that after he did punish the Sunderland fouls, we took control of the game? So I wonder, was it deliberate or incompetence? When I see that he could punish the fouls in the second half he showed he was competent.

About the  extra time after the extra time this was in line with the rest of his game. I got the feeling that he would let the game carry on longer than needed if possible. He did. I think he felt a happy man after the game. Well he looked happy with himself after the equaliser. But there is nothing we can do about this. It is up to the ref to blow the end of the game and as long as he doesn’t do this the game goes on and we had to be focussed. We can only blame him for not blowing the end of the game when he could have done it and for not giving another 30 seconds after the restart. I’m not saying we would have scored but it was another example of an afternoon full with bad refereeing and some bad decisions.

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46 Replies to “The Untold referee index: Sunderland – Arsenal”

  1. I like these analyzes you do but do the refs review their performances after each games?

    I mean it seems some continues to perform poorly on some decisions games after games.

  2. didnt know his name till now! but remember his face because he has always been dodgy. part of the hierarchy he is i bet. granted if rocky scored the pen i wouldnt have mattered but dodgy dowd did everything he could to hinder us, i presume the deal was nowt for an arsenal win, double for a draw and triple for a blkcat win!

  3. Bad, bad refereeing from Dowd which affect the course of the game and the result..

    I guess mr dowd had some directive from somewhere to take away the three points away from us in any way possible.. well, that’s the way i see it!

  4. Just a small note. The obvious decisions I monitor like goals and cards are clear that I take them on board.
    Some other points like I did today are based upon my live match report that I write for the Arsenal Benelux. Whenever I mention the ref (and this can be in a good way or in a bad way) but I take them in my ref review.

    So when a ref is invisble for 90 minutes you will only get goals, penalties and cards in the ref review, if there are any off course

  5. And did I mention this was the lowest score so far this season? Well it is. The “Dowdest” score one could say…

  6. And sorry to monopolise things a bit but just to tell you that a ref that has 90% of his decisions correct has had a great, excellent game. Having only 50 of the decisions right is very poor. Certainly for a ref in the EPL. The ordinary sunday morning ref in a pub team contest can be satisfied with such a score.

  7. Arsene is looking like a foolish old man at the mo and for me to say that is a difficult thing. I do love what football that his ethics has produced but the constant moaning is losing its effect and just seems like mundane droneing now. His myopic views will bring more pressure against us from many sources that we dont need to be battling with.
    Please can we just concentrate on our club and not solve the problems with world football …We have enough problems of our own making to work out.

  8. I think we may see a few more games this season where the ref awards fowls against Arsenal but not for similar offences against the oposition. In trying to cut down on “rugby style” play Wenger may have scored an own goal.Some refs will see this as a criticism & a case of him telling them how to do their job.

  9. Watching ManU-Liv & ref is clearly soft on ManU! O’Shea should have been off but gets a yellow. Still, 2-2 for now.

  10. No the problem is not AW it is the media. They distorted his words. AW was actually criticising dangerous tackles where the player is targeting the player not the ball. That is all he said really. The various media spun it as criticism of physical play, protection of his players, criticism of the ref for not giving a red card over Robinson tackle, etc, etc (and he said none of these things). This distorted reported creates controversy and puts pressure on the ref against Arsenal. ESPN even had their comments girl standing right next to Dowd repeat loudly just before kick-off that AW was trying to influence the refs.
    I’m glad to hear that Arsenal are changing their media personnel (chief media officer leaving the club). They have been too soft on the media for too long. Lets watch this space for changes.

  11. Though, the ref was wrong on a number of decisions, i dont think we can give it as an excuse now. We should have played better, our finishing should have been better. We got a chance to seal it but we didn’t. But stil its not rosicky’s fault. The whole midfield shud have played better.

  12. I think I can put it like this Dark Prince: the ref did everything to take some points away from us, but we should have scored that penalty and then we would have won it.
    If you look at the number of chances in the game we had more than they had and we played more than half an hour with 10 men.

  13. I have just watched Liverpool against ManU, and realised how many dangerous tackles that went without a card in comparison with our game against Sunderland. So I realised that may be all the cards we get given unfairly, lead to all the suspensions when the time comes to play the big teams or key matches. Is it a coincidence? I think some teams are favoured, that’s why Vidic couldn’t get a red card as a last man when he impeded Torres, and yet a simple body check by Song in the middle of the pitch could draw a second yellow card!
    I think, Arsene should start playing Gibbs and one other Englishman, may be Eastmond of JET more regulary, then our luck with the refs will change, May be!

  14. Should have been a free out as sunderland player clearly handled ball before it went to clichy. (shown on irish tv, not sure about on motd)lines man should have seen it if dowd was unsighted . i still cant figure why denilson doesnt take all freekicks and penalties ,nobody strikes the ball like him, not even cesc from dead ball situations imho.maybe hes not assertive enough
    game would have been over,we,ve only got ourselves to blame

  15. We lost because of our own failures, despite sunderland’s thuggery aided by biased referee. EPL referees are well known for their bias. Generally the FA, epl and media, including clubs and managers are anti-arsenal due to their anti-french prejudices.. This is well known in history.

  16. @jbh – you’re dead right about the media spin put on Wengers statements that were initially about the blocking of goalkeepers (aimed at Blackburn who did it again to Fulham yesterday and got complained about by Mark Hughes!) and about dangerous, career threatening, tackles.
    However you’re wrong about the departure of the head of press relations. I’ve met Amanda Docherty and she was very, very good at her job and was, on more than one occasion, responsible for banning individual journalists from Arsenal press conferences because they stepped out of line.
    Always remember that the short term effect of a campaign to get things changed can seem sleight – but over the long term it can have a noticable effect.
    Lastly – another example yesterday of how an English manager coaches his team to play the long ball and ‘get amongst them’.
    Truly dire.

  17. Walter- its eventually the points that matter in the end of the day. Obviously, we played well though we had only 10 men. But it was ours to win. Its games like these which we have to win if we have to win the league. I’m happy we got a point out of it, but it should had been a win.

  18. It’s time for Arsene Wenger to stop these press interviews all the media hacks just look for the oppertunity to take the piss and wrongly report what has been said, maybe the next one Arsene should not attend just put a big sign on the table saying ” Just make it up like you usaly do”
    On the game at Sunderland, “Fixed” ref has either been payed off or he has an agenda against our club which means he’s a cheat!!

  19. Totally biased ref. He was so biassed you could use a video of the performance as a training aid to show what to look for when concerned about bent refereeing. How Riley can accept such a distortion of fairness is incomprehensible. If this, streamed onto standard TV as it was, is allowed to go without a major investigation, then the only conclusion to make is that the Premier League/ FA are also in on the act. The reason Arsenal do so well in Europe seems to be because they are NOT shafted by sad English refs. After that performance at Sunderland you really do have to start and look at racism, secret trysts and organisations or gambling as an explanation. Incompetence just cannot stretch that far.

  20. I am surprised that so many can see the racism from the meia and referees yet so few complain about it. Why is Wenger’s French origin always mentioned in any reference to him? There is rarely any mention of Ferguson’s Scottish origin or or Lawrensons Irish origin.

    Just imagine a report ‘The English adulterer Rooney intercepted the backpass and prodded it home. It was his first goal. The allegedly corrupt Scot Fergusons response was joyous although the agulterer’s Irish wife was subdued and made no comment.’

    This would be more humourous. “The allegedly talented Englisman Sam ‘pork pie’ Allardyce has claimed to be qualifed to coach Real Madrid and Inter Milan. To prove his credentials he got his Franco African player Diouf to barge into the opposing goalkeeper within spitting distance of the English referee who has selective ‘specs-saver’ vision and just didn’t see the incident.” The FA were observing Yom Kippur and as a result said that they will do FA (passover) it.

  21. I am surprised that so many can see the racism from the media and referees yet so few complain about it. Why is Wenger’s French origin always mentioned in any reference to him? There is rarely any mention of Ferguson’s Scottish origin or or Lawrensons Irish origin.

    Just imagine a report ‘The English adulterer Rooney intercepted the backpass and prodded it home. It was his first goal. The allegedly corrupt Scot Fergusons response was joyous although the adulterer’s Irish wife Coleen was subdued and made no comment.’

    This would be more humourous. “The allegedly talented Englisman Sam ‘pork pie’ Allardyce has claimed to be qualifed to coach Real Madrid and Inter Milan. To prove his credentials he got his Franco African player Diouf to barge into the opposing goalkeeper off the ball and within spitting distance of the English referee Atkins who has selective ‘specs-saver’ vision and just didn’t see the incident.” The FA were observing Yom Kippur and as a result said that they will do FA (passover) it.

  22. @ top, double post oops

    well a bunch of disastrous, controversial decision from the ref.
    but in real life, sh## happens…
    all we can do is walk forward and pray not to losing any more precious points from bad ref like this…

    btw we played with 10 men, not a bad result until the equalizer

  23. I was so frustrated after the game, that I called up my XXX friend for a night relief… The referee was as bad as rotten egg… That smug-looking face makes me sick all the time… And I need that relief again the next morning after reading the local newspaper about Wenger moaning, groaning, yawning, blah blah…. A man had crossed over from a better land into a plain of dungeons and dragons to improve the quality of football and life… And to be screwed up by fellow professionals, officials, medias and even by his own players (Hleb, Diarra, Wright & Campbell) again and again unfairly is just getting into my nerves… SIR Arsene Wenger, do you need someone like Stone Cold Steve Austin to watch your back…? I can get that done… Just say the words…

  24. To be honest about it I have been criticized by another ref for this article. I have two sons who are also refs. One has seen the game and read my review.
    He told me it sucked, he told me it was bad.

    It seems that I have been to gentle for Dowd….

  25. Too right Walter – Dowd was a disgrace. The Sunderland players were just shoving our players over towards the end to break up the play – I can’t really believe what I read when some people claim that they played well, showed more spirit and deserved the point they got?

    Blatant fix… but at least I saw it coming made a lot of money out of it – as a fan it takes the edge off.

  26. Ohh… you always know when games ‘like these’ are on the way as the bookie sponsored media do an exercise in damage limitation and wool pull-overage of mug punters eyes immediately prior to the gravy train rolling into the station, for instance:

    It would seem that far from Wenger influencing the media – the media engineer consent in the proles and instill in their minds the agenda of the day.

    Some advice for you punters out there – always trade against media disinformation!

  27. Hi

    Interesting that you don’t cover the various other Song fouls that he could have been booked for – as a for instance the one where he held Henderson on the floor and then tripped him as he got up which Dowd did not book him for, it was before the first yellow.

    Perhaps his first booking was for dissent since Song jumped around in a tantrum when the free kick was given, or a cumulative booking for several fouls and then dissent. I can’t help but think that if, for example Cattermole/ Riveros had made the same ‘tackles’ as Song did in the game you’d have been writing how he deserved to go and was a thug!

    Re the second half – yes it was a coincidence – you gained control when Sunderland reverted from 4-5-1.

    The added time is a minimum of 4 minutes, so it could be 4 minutes 59 seconds, since beyond this it would be a minimum of five minutes!

    You don’t add 30 seconds on for a goal, as a referee you stop your watch like you do for an injury, here Dowd stopped the watch when it had c. 2 seconds left, Arsenal kicked off and the two seconds elapsed so he blew the whistle. If he had blown for full time while Sunderland were celebrating you’d have a case but he didn’t!

    Just because Arsenal don’t win a game does not by extension mean the referee was biased, racist, or anything else.

    Maybe the opposition played well,
    maybe a draw was a fair result,
    maybe Arsenal aren’t as good as Braga made you look,
    maybe a team that has only lost once at home in 2010 actually aren’t that bad,
    maybe the fact you’ve now taken 2 points from your last 3 trips to the Stadium of Light (one of them courtesy of an injurytime equaliser from Fabregas) means a point might have been something to have been happy to “settle for” at the start.

    Just a thought or two!

  28. What a load of tosh!!

    Song was booked for persistant fouling. I counted at least 4 maybe 5 fouls before the 1st yellow card. The second was an easy decision as song had been beaten and instead of letting the man go past he stepped right in his way. Deliberate obstruction and a correct yellow card.

  29. It’s apparant to me that none of you watched the game, I was there, I watched it, Arsenal were VERY lucky to come away with a point, they were played off the pitch, the extra time is a MINIMUM time, the goal was scored on 4m 11 seconds, it may not have went over the 4 if the Arsenal plays wern’t trying to waste so much time, as for song, he made 4 fouls before he was spoken to, he was rightly sent off.

  30. Load of Arsenal fans are a load of whingers.Sunderland deserved something out of the game and the IDIOT who mentioned Sunderlands thuggery – you need a new pair of RED specs.

  31. oh bugger I wrote a whole reply and then I got a message that something was wrong with my reply.

  32. I keep hearing this analysis particularly from the media about Song’s 1st Yellow card. Did you see all his preceeding fouls? The card almost certainly wasn’t for the foul in isolation but on a persistant offending basis.

    Song / Arsene / Arsenal Fans / Telly / Papers etc. who are suggesting the 1st yellow was soft aren’t giving an honest assessment (or are extremely ignorant of the Laws of the Game).

  33. Andrew, are you also a ref?

    Because I am and never I have heard that the ref should stop his watch after a goal. Do they teach you that where you live? Strange…

    Or are you Dowd himself as you seem to know how much time was on his clock when you scored?

    Just a few answers to the many questions:

    As I watched the game on my TV I saw just at the end of the first half there was a statitisc showing that Sunderland commited 2 fouls and Arsenal 8. At the end of the game it was Sunderland 12 and Arsenal 14. So we were very much treated the same way during the game. Sunderland not. Or else Sunderland played extremely correct in the first half and suddenly were 5 times dirtier in the second half? I don’t think Sunderland played different from the first half when it came up to fouling, so the only difference could have been the ref.

    And if it was because of Bruce changing tactics then you should get him fired for being a bad manager. 😉

    The booking from Song for not a foul (he certainly didn’t touch the player who actually wasn’t claiming a foul but just tried to play the ball) was because he jumped up. And his jumping up was very understandable. If you only give fouls against one team it is obvious that players from the same team wil make more fouls and you can book them easier.

    As I am a ref myself I know how you can work it out to get on the nerves of a team. If I would I could make a bet at the start of each game and tell you when I will sent a player off or make him so annoyed with my refereeing that he will get booked for making gestures or talking to me. In fact it is easy and no one will notice it. Except a ref himself who knows at what to look.

  34. 2 litre,

    I have seen the game twice completely.

    I also see no one of the Sunderland fans mention the fact that after some 20 minutes we should have had a penalty for a handball. If Cesc (still on the pitch and he can convert penalties with a broken leg so a little hamstring would not affect him to take penalyty) would have buried it like he usually does we would have been 2-0 up at that time.

    I think we didn’t delayed the game in extra time a lot. In fact we could have when Denilson had the ball and if he goes in to the corner and holds the ball there the game would have been over. We just tried to score a goal and got punished for not wasting time.

    Oh and I do want to give credit for Sunderlan for their game as I thought it was a good game and very much a fair game. I don’t blame Sunderland for the blackout ref Dowd had in the first half. It can happen to a ref as I know very well. He did get his act together in the second half and had a decent game when it came to fouls and so. He did missed the fact that the Sunderland player was taking Chamakh with both his arms around him to win possession which lead to Song his second yellow card. And he also missed the booking for a dangerous foul on Wilshere.
    And I even didn’t include a dangerous tackle on Chamakh deep in the second half when a tackle came in from behind where he did a scissors tackle on his legs. Should also have been a yellow.

    In fact in the first half Dowd got a score of 33% and in the second half he got some 60 of his decisions right more or less.
    So he upped his game a lot in the second half and it normally takes a good ref to do this.
    Anyway it will be interesting to see how he does when we get him again this season and see if it was a bad day at the office.

  35. Re the 30 seconds you see you are absolute that you “must” add 30 seconds for a goal in added time – where is this in the laws of the game (and why only in added time?) – I was at a 5-4 game a few weeks ago and with 7 of those in the seond half together with 4 subs we should have presumably had another 5 1/2 minutes added just for goals and subs let alone injuries – yet we didn’t so there’s clearly a lot of confusion over something you say is so clear as to be a “must” do.

    As a ref then when do you stop the watch? – because refs do it for an injury, time wasting, etc. but not for a goal even though the play is dead at thaa point?

    You see I think you want it both ways, there was too much time already played when Sunderland scored but then after that irrespective of how long was actually left in the game (and I said two seconds as that is how long was subsequently played!) thirty seconds should have been added on!

    I notice you still don’t recognise Song as a persistent fouler in the game and if you feel Arsenal were over penalised in the first half yet the foul count (along with almost every oher stat in the game was level by the end) surely folliwng your logic that means Sunderland were, proportionatley, over penalised in the seecond half.

    At the end of the day I accept you are a ref but perhaps the way you are viewing this match (and your comments in your final paragraph re knowing how to wind one team up!) are all the evidence needed for why no ref can/should ever take charge of a game where his team is playing. I certainly hope you never take charge of a game my son plays if you are willing to be biased in a game because of some perceived injustice to you as a ref.

    As with any fan you watched this game through the blinkers of your passion for your team – on the balance of play, etc. a draw was a fair result. The fact Arsenal did not win was down to failings with the players and the management not to the referee – as so often though all the media want to talk about is Wenger and his moaning about referees and the like (deflecting attention from the team – how very Ferguson) rather than give credit to a team that came up against an Arsenal team in full flow in midweek and had a plan that stopped them playing like they did against Braga.

  36. It just goes to show that there are no shortage of mugs in the world – keep apologising for the corruption and watch you game degenerate into horse racing.

    There was clearly no consistant enforcement of the rules – it was biased. If you really cannot see this then you have absolutely no understanding of what you are watching – you’re just nodding along to the spectacle with the commentator.

  37. To A Casual Observer,

    I don’t know how casual you are but your observation is very poor.

  38. Andrew if I made it sound that I was attacking Sunderland than you must know this was not my intention.

    I only give my opinion on the ref, or better said I try to give my opinion based on how refs are looked at in my country and the things those observers tell the refs on how to act and handle.

    About the 30 second extra this is not in the rule it is in the instructions they gave us during the course. You could say an extension to the rule book.

    And dont worry I will never be doing a game of your son I think. I like it a lot but to travel that far for a game is a bit to much to be honest. 😉

    And again I think you must try to make a difference between having comment on the ref and possible bad words on Sunderland. I think I never mentioned anything bad on Sunderland in my article.
    I even praised them in the two articles I wrote about the game (on other sites and in another language so you will not be able to read them).

    But I can understand you in a way because if I can say that the ref made mistakes you think it would take something away from the praise Sunderland could get?

    Last week we won against Bolton but I had some very harsh remarks for the ref in that game as well. Even the ref against Braga received a fair deal of critism from my part. So I think I have tried to be as neutral as can be in my approach during this serie so far. Like I said one of my sons, who is also a ref told me I was to soft for Dowd. And I admit that I could have taken even more negative points in my review but I try not to kill a ref completely. Because I know you can have bad games and bad moments and I also try to take the angle the ref is looking at an incident on board.

  39. This bleating about referees is a little rich. Arsenal seem only able to win matches when they are aided by referees sending off players.

    From Arsenal’s last twenty wins how many were achieved against ten players or fewer?

  40. Let me give an example on this and take Song and the first booking.
    Song stuck out his leg and touched nothing: no ball, no player. Not even close. It could have been that the ref his vision on the incident was taken away because there was another Arsenal player standing more or less in his way. The Sunderland player lost control of the bal and his footing, and when falling, down he tried to pass the ball but missed it. Now it could be that the ref thought that Song had touched him and caused him to fall. So he blew his whistle which made Song jump in frustration.

    If as a ref your view has been blocked you cannot give a foul. And if you do so because you think something has happened you have to take in your mind that you could be wrong.

    I never try to give a foul that I couldn’t see with my own eyes, unless an assistant gives me a signal. And then you sometimes get situations that the whole stadium sees a handball but because I cannot see it from the angle I am looking I cannot give it. Or do you think a ref should give a free kick every time the crowd or the players shout? Believe me, you wont last long as a ref.

    Anyway, I could accept Dowd blowing the foul if he thought Song tripped him. But as he maybe couldn’t see it you have to keep that in mind and allow the player some kind of reaction. I’m not saying you should allow a player running at you or making a lot of gestures but jumping up and turning around is not the worst way in showing some disagreement.

    So the thing is if Dowd could see it and he saw no contact and still give the foul, you must understand as a ref that there could be some reaction and allow this (if not an overboard reaction off course). If he couldn’t have seen it and just blew because the Sunderland player fel without him being able to seeing contact made he also should have let it that way.

    Another example that you see and hear a lot is the shout for handball. 50.000 in the stadium shout, but when you look at the replay it shows no handball. So you only give it when you see it.

    I had a game in which a player apparantly scored with his hand after a corner. As I was standing on my place behind the player I could not see it. I really cannot see through people. So he scored and half of the defenders called for handball and the other team said no handball. I gave the goal and maybe this was the wrong decision. Maybe he did score with his hand. But I couldn’t see him scoring with his hand. I couldn’t see it with my own eyes. To disallow a goal and saying: ‘I thought he scored with his hand’ is totally wrong. You have to be sure about your decision.

    A bit like offside. When a player goes alone on goal you always hear shouting for offside. But do I really have to stop every attack because someone shouts offside? No you only blow when you as a ref have seen it yourself.

    But anyway, you don’t have to believe me on my word. You just got to go take the course and try it yourself. Maybe you find it fun, just like I still find it fun.

  41. Macca,

    just read the last paragraph of my comment on 10:13.

    Maybe you are knew to this site but we do this every week, win or draw. And some refs got low results even if we won.

    Last week we won 4-1 against Bolton and the ref got a score of 58% on his match decisions.
    We won in the CL 6-0 and the ref only got 56% on his match decisions.
    A good ref who has a good game should have a score of around or + 80% on his decisions and when he has an excellent game it is +90%. And then you can do the final of the world cup. 😉

  42. To A Casual Observer.

    I’d probably score my wit at around 3/10. That’s still demonstrably better than you observational skills.

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