The Untold referee index: Arsenal – WBA

by Walter Broeckx, the referee

Together with West Bromwich Albion came ref Michael Oliver.  A young ref with some kind of reputation. Let us see how his match was. Could it be worse than ours?

OTHER/CARD: the ref blows a foul against Eboue at the moment the foul is given. The ball runs to Nasri who could have made a run at goal but is called back by the whistle. The ref gives a yellow card against the WBA devender. The foul was correct but he could have given an advantage.  1/1 and 1/1. I will come back on the advantage later on.

PENALTY/CARD: the WBA striker goes on goal surrounded by Arsenal defenders. Almunia comes out, the player pushes the ball to the outside and is fouled. The ref gives a penalty and a yellow card. Penalty is correct and according to the instructions the yellow card is also correct. The player goes to the outside of the keeper and if the keeper brings him down it is a yellow card. If the player would have gone at the other side of the keeper (direct route on goal) it would have been a red card. 1/1 and 1/1.

CARD: late tackle on Sagna. Should have been a yellow card. 0/1

GOAL: as a supporter we can have some complaints but when you look at the rule book I cannot find anything to complain about. 1/1

CARD: yellow card against Koscielny and nothing to complain I think. 1/1

GOAL/CARD: as a supporter we can maybe have even more  complaints but again when I look at the rule book I cannot find anything to complain about.  The scorer gets a yellow card for pulling out his shirt. 1/1 and 1/1

PENALTY: Nasri goes down but I have only seen it once I think I would have done the same and not give a penalty. To be fair for the ref he had some 4 or 5 bodies between him and the incident so he didn’t go for a foul as he maybe couldn’t see it with his own eyes. 1/1

CARD:  Chamakh slides to the ball and hits the keeper. I would have done the same thing and given a yellow card. You don’t attack the keeper with your foot going in and if you touch him you get a card. 1/1 The keeper made a lot of it but that is what would you expect.

CARD: card against WBA and again the ref had it right. 1/1

GOAL:  a lot to complain about but nothing against the rules. 1/1

GOAL: finally something to celebrate and nothing to complain when I look at the rule book. 1/1

CARD/OTHER: the ref misses a foul on Nasri, who is kicked from behind. Rosicky then goes in and gets a foul against him. Correct that Rosicky  comes in late and gets a yellow but the ref should have blown his whistle before for the first foul. 1/1 and 0/1

GOAL: a good goal and nothing to complain about the rules.  1/1

OTHER: 1/2

GOALS: 5/5


CARD: 7/8

TOTAL: 15 /17 (88%)

Just one remark on his performance in the first half: right before half time a WBA player is injured. He is being treated at some 3 meter from the goal line. When he gets up he is not sent to the nearest touchline but he walks slowly to the side line and is winning some time there. As a ref you should keep an eye on that. But when I have to point at such a minor thing it means that the ref in general had an excellent game. And his score tells it all. 88 % is a very high score and one of the best so far.

About the time wasting. This is something that as a ref you can only punish by giving extra time or by giving yellow cards. So he could have booked the keeper. By doing this we would have lost another minute. You cannot wave a card from the half way line (where the ref is standing when the keeper kicks the ball in the field o play) so you should run over to the goal an give a card. You can see this costs a lot of time.  What he could have done is do a Dowd and that is to allow more time even after the extra time. But like I said before this is something up to the ref and the ref alone.

I think time wasting is something that can only be really kept if we stop the clock and restart it when the ball goes out of play.   It will be a point of debate until the rules are changed I’m afraid. I hate it as much as you all do but I think it is up to Fifa to find a solution on this.

About the advantage or better said the not given advantage to Nasri. I think the ref was very close to the fouls most of the time and as a result he got most of them correct (just one on Nasri that lead to the Rosicky yellow card that I can remember). So this is good but sometimes when you are a bit further you have a better look on a possible advantage. But when you see a hard foul that you want to punish with a yellow card you sometimes blow a fraction of a second to quick. It happened to the ref on this occasion and we could feel a bit hard done by. It happens to every ref that you blow and that just when you blow you can see the advantage but then it is too late. A ref who said it never happens to him is lying.  I think the ref new this but this is one of those things that in a fraction of a second you blow and then realise that you could have given an advantage. So bad luck for us (maybe) and for the ref.

I also would like to invite the Sunderland fans who came over here telling me that I was a biased as can be and other rubbish. I think I can be neutral when it comes to looking at a ref. I don’t feel the need to blame a ref just for the sake of it. I don’t need to blame a ref when we lose points. I only feel the need to blame refs when they had a bad game or showed that they had a bad performance or made blatant mistakes. So despite the pain of losing the game I will not blame the ref for us losing the game.

I think that I can say as a final conclusion that if our 11 players would have been as good as the ref we would have won the game and by a large margin.

19 Replies to “The Untold referee index: Arsenal – WBA”

  1. If the referee books a goalkeeper the first time he wastes time then it stops it happening again. Time and time again the ref told West Brom players to get a move on but didn’t punish them. Wasting time is cheating – it’s a deliberate ploy that disrupts the flow of a game. It’s no better than the intentional, rotational fouling that other teams use.

  2. A few years ago there was a change in the laws allowing a goalkeeper to take a goal kick from either side of his goal area. Previously he was required to take the kick from the side where the ball crossed the goal line. This law change was intended to save time. The reality is, however, that a goalkeeper can waste time by taking the ball to the furthest point from where he collects it. Scott Carson was doing this from the first whistle on Saturday.
    This should surely be redressed either by a further change in the law or a directive to referees that this act is time wasting or unsporting behaviour and should be punished by a yellow card.
    This would appear to be the only way to resolve this problem.

  3. I think there is a good reason why this ref got such good marks. Its bcoz our team never had their rhythm going. I’ve seen when we play our best, we have many fouls on us and half of them go unnoticed which results in more errors for the ref and hence their poor performance. Against West Brom, as Wenger said, we were not the Arsenal team. And hence West Brom didn’t have to do too many mistakes against us to give us a fight.

  4. Yup – I’ll agree, the ref had a couple of random moments but we have no reason to feel hard done by.

    Let’s hope it was all worth it (treating the game like a light training session) and we have enough in the bag now to spank Partizan Belgrade tomorrow… I think if I were a lino/ref in that game I might feel intimidated somewhat by the support – their fans are proper hard-core nutters – so we’ll need to play well from the first minute to silence them.

  5. Thats it my minds made up ‘Untold Arsenal’ have to be on Arsenals payroll, what a waste of time reading this! You should of done a player index all the misplaced passes centimeters of grass covered. Wenger has got you lot right where he wants you,you are easily led you dont lead. with the mentality of this blog no wonder we have been STALE for 6 seasons come 2014 it will be 11seasons since the league and you and tony will STILL be saying eveythings ok and blaming eveything else if its not. remember football is a SPORT FIRST and BUSINESS SECOND.

  6. AKB hater:

    Walter is a qualified referee and thus as to his expertise he evaluates the referee for each of our games which no other site does by the way.
    Player ratings are subjective with no established framework or rulebook for judgement, it is left to other sites to appease the malcontented tourette-like nimrods like you.

    Heres a player rating for you: With the exception of Nasri they were all rubbish.

    Hard to fluff that out as a full article eh.

    hey speaking of 2014, did you know that we will have a new improved shirt deal? Now that is success!!!!(windup).

  7. LOL – yeah, it’s obvious he’s never read anything here and wtf is this supposed to mean: “SPORT FIRST and BUSINESS SECOND”? Can we deconstruct that a bit and work out if that statement has any relevance to reality?

    So ‘sport first business second’…in this universe (where the sky is pink) we SPEND some MONEY on players who demand high WAGES and we go BANKRUPT but on the plus side we WIN the F(uck)A(all) cup!


    That’s what sport is all about apparently.. and we’re the ones easily led!

    ho ho ho

    PS – Spurs fan on the troll, so obvious.

    Apologies to for the capitalisation.

  8. No doubt about that wenger have made a big mistake keeping almunia his first GK, but which one is more businesslike Arsenal OR CHELSKI,MAN IOU,REAL,INTER,AC MILAN,MAN CITY with their sugar daddies?

  9. Walter

    More than happy to come on and say that the above suggests you’re more fair-minded than your critique last week suggested. That said though again there’s a reference to “do a Dowd and that is to allow more time even after the extra time” which still seems to suggest a belief that a minimum of X minutes means the same as exactly X minutes.

    Apart from that though no worries. I know it’s out of your brief as Arsenal were not involved but do you have a view on the Attwell incidents this weekend (Gerrard’s yellow card as well as the goal?)

  10. It just not our day
    Almunia did a good job on first half, but in 2nd half ough.
    Blame him for 2nd goal, but for the 3rd goal maybe not his fault, he was just being cautions coz he already got yellow.

    Well its not that bad, coz chelshit and manure dropping points too

  11. Andrew,

    thanks for the comment and the question.

    The “doing the dowd” was a small (and maybe failed) attempt to bring half a smile on ones face after the defeat.

    I have seen the incidents and must say that I would feel very, very unhappy with both decisions if I had taken them.

    The easiest: the elbow. Gerrard came in facing the opponent and leading with his elbow and hit him in his face. If an opponent comes from behind and you touch him you can say that it (maybe) was an accident. When you are looking your opponent almost in the eyes there is no such excuse. So a red card should have been the correct penalty for this.

    The first goal. Clumsy refereeing to say it gentil. Correct me if I’m wrong but I will try to run the whole incident from the start. A foul is given and Sunderland try to take it quickly. The ref refuses this and also indicates that it was taken from the wrong spot. Fair enough untill then.
    If you do this as a ref and you say: “come back this was not the right place” then you must take care and be sure that the ball is placed in the right place. And you may never turn your back to it when the free kick is going to be taken. The ref ran away with his back to were the kick was going to be taken and this was wrong. You must run backwards to see that the players are following your instructions and upon the place where to take it. (all as a result of the refs first action to say: it should be taken there).

    (sidenote: Running backwards is one of the most important skills as a ref and we even train on it every week. )

    So the ref should restart the game by a signal (a whistle or a signal with his hand). I have not seen him do this so in fact he hadn’t give permission to take it. (If he has given a signal then what will follow is wrong off course!!)

    When the Sunderland player kicks the ball a few yards back to the keeper to have it taken the ball is actually not in play (ref didn’t restart play with a signal) and if the free kick is not given Torres should not have got permission to go on and let Liverpool score.

    The argument that the ref sometimes doesn’t give the signal to restart the game is only when you have a quick restart. But by calling the ball back you can not have a quick restart any more and the ref must give a signal to restart the game. I didn’t see him give a signal and so the goal should not have been given.

    However if the ref has given a signal then this means that he is pleased with the place of the ball and then the game restarts from the moment the Sunderland player moves the ball.

    So the main thing here is: did the ref give a signal to restart the game? I’m not sure that I can review it again as I think I have wiped MOTD off my hard disk last night.

  12. Dear AKB Hater & Hooshi

    You are entitled to your opinions – no problem. However please behave and have manners to obey the house rules. These innovative articles seek to evaluate the performance of referees in as balenced a manner possible (to an Arsenal Supporter).

    It would be easy to make excuses after a humiliating home defeat, this piece does not! I think it says ‘NOT down to the Ref. look elsewhere’, perhaps the team and manager got it wrong ‘discuss’. Sir Walter does this by referencing the facts i.e. FIFA/FA rules, something you could learn from! Also from being a qualified Ref.

    May i direct you to those worthy sites which cater for random unqualified statements and meaningless waffle.

    This has been an Untold Service Announcement – No need to thank me:)

  13. Untold on Arsenal’s payroll. Now what a lovely idea that is. AKB, please tell me, how do I achieve that? I don’t ask for much, but every little helps.

  14. I also could use the money. LOL. Just let me know when they pay you Tony. 😉
    just the thought : being paid by Arsnal… just wetted my pants. 😉

    And would make my life at home a bit easier when I sometimes think I neglect my wife a bit when doing all those things: sorry dear just earning my money. 😉

    Well always nice to have a smile on a monday.

  15. Walter

    Thanks for the comments re Attwell – pretty much my layman’s view as well, especially re the need for him to signal the restart!

    On re-reading I can see the Dowd comment in the light intended so apologies for the misunderstanding. You’ve an interesting perspective and l’ll probably visit regularly to see what you have to say,


  16. No problem Andrew. I think it is nice to have someone from another team and have a civilized chat about football, referees and so…

    And sometimes things ar not what they look like at first sight.

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