The Untold ref review : Shakthar – Arsenal

By Walter Broeckx

Today we got a ref from Switzerland and one of the big names in Europe. Did Mr. Busacca live up to his reputation? Well why don’t we just try to find out?

GOAL : Walcott gives Arsenal the lead and nothing wrong with that goal when I look at my rule book. 1/1

OTHER/CARD/CARD/OTHER/GOAL/OTHER: Now I have to take a few things and try to sort them out as there was a really awful moment for the ref just before Shakhtar scored. I really feel he made a mistake there and a costly one.

A foul on Wilshere. The ref wants to play advantage but Arsenal lose the ball immediately and Shakhtar can break. Foul from Eboue needed. Booking for Eboue and a booking for the Shakhtar player for his body charge on Wilshere.  Shakhtar score from the free kick.

You can play advantage when there is a clear advantage. But when you have a foul that you feel that needs a booking and there is no real advantage you must stop play. By not stopping play the ref has handed the advantage to Shakhtar. The ref could have stopped play at the moment Bendtner got dispossessed.

You can always reverse your initial advantage when you see that there is no advantage. So the ref has not only taken away our advantage but also  his mistake resulted in a yellow card for Eboue and a goal against us. I bet this is what Lucescu was talking about getting the decisions.

So 0/1 for the wrong advantage. 1/1 for the yellow card from Hubschman. The card for Eboue was correct but it shouldn’t have happened and is down to the ref’s mistake.  So I will give him a point for the card but will take a point back as the ref made the first wrong decision. 1/1 and 0/1.

The goal itself was a valid goal but once again the foul should have been given at the other side of the pitch. 1/1 and 0/1. This was a case of the domino principle.  From one bad decision followed the other. And I hope you can still follow me with all those points for the moment.

GOAL: Second goal from Shakhtar. No mistake by the ref this time and a valid goal. 1/1

CARD: for a foul on Wilshere and a correct booking. 1/1

PENALTY: Shakhtar claim a penalty but replay suggest that the attacker went down without contact. The ref is standing some 5 meters away and waves play on. Correct decision. 1/1

PENALTY/CARD: Another Shakhtar players tries to win a penalty from nothing by going to the ground very easy and again the ref has it right by giving nothing. Maybe a card could have been given against Srna because two attempts to win a penalty in a few minutes should be punished with a card. 1/1 and 0/1

CARD: Yellow card for wasting too much time by a Shakhtar player.  Correct decision. 1/1

OTHER: After the ref has warned the Shakhtar players on several occasions to get up and not waste time and even giving a yellow card he only gives 3 minutes extra time and that is only the time for substitutions as you give normally 30 seconds for each sub and there has been 6 subs on in the second half. So the ref did not punish the time wasting at all. A bit disappointing as I would have thought he would have acted after all these warnings. Again not so brave from the ref.   0/1

CARDS: 4/5


GOAL:  3/3

OTHER: 0/4

Total score: 9/14 (64%)

I must say that I have some mixed feelings about the ref today. I think overall he did a rather good job. But he got it wrong in a crucial minute when we seemed to have the game under control.

Giving advantage can only be done when there is a real advantage on. Like a goal scoring chance or a possible promising attack. I didn’t have the feeling that when Bendtner received the ball from Wilshere he was having a promising position as he was up on his own at that time against some 4 defenders.

Now you can always try to give an advantage but if you see within seconds that there is no advantage and the foul on Wilshere was a foul that rewarded a yellow card you still can come back on this. You just blow your whistle, point at Wilshere (who was still on the ground recovering) and book the player who made the foul.

But I know the crowd would not have liked it over there but you can always come back on your initial advantage and come back to the foul. Brave refs do this. I’m not saying you should come back to the foul if Arsenal would have had possession for a minute afterwards or so. But if the ball is lost almost immediately you can come back to the foul.  He didn’t and it cost us a goal at the other end. If he would have dealt with that situation better he would have had a good game if not a great game. So for a ref with his calibre he should have seen that there was no real advantage on.  But I think he will realize it when he sees the game again. I hope he learns from it.

I also would have expected him to be a bit more brave about the additional time which was the strict minimum that he could and should have given. His body language during the game indicated he knew they were wasting time but he didn’t act according to it at the end. But I am not telling that we would have scored if he would have played 5 minutes of extra time.

But apart from that he did all right, but not as brilliant as I would have expected when I saw he was the ref of our game as he is one of the top refs in Europe.

Background notes

Now then about that Christmas present

What were Arsenal doing changing their name part way through the season?

I live outside the UK.  Help!

I wish to read everything Untold has ever produced.  I need a nurse and an  index?

17 Replies to “The Untold ref review : Shakthar – Arsenal”

  1. Hi Walter
    good report – I was wondering if I was the only one that noticed the advantage mistake re Wilshere – I agree with you.
    I am sure you find that as a referee when you watch the game, you always look at the referee – I know I do.
    Paul (referee, Alderney, Channel Island)

  2. Well reported Walter, the ref probably found it to hard to whistle, owing to the laughter he was producing by our bad play, left me speachless, i could’nt have blown a whistle if you had paid me.

  3. The team generally played poorly eboue looked tired,walcot lost sharpness,bentner tired,so only fabianski and rosisky are the one who tried to show some seriousness.imentioned earlier qualifying early in CL eases pressure,so chamakh should have started the game,JET should have played for atlest 20 min with vela to ease off the tired legs.However they need to be patient until nov to finish the assinment

  4. Walter dont like to change the subject,but just read that somone has just offered 30 mill for Spud’s G Bale, do you think they would consider taking Eboue if we pay them.

  5. Steve Palmer: So 1 (one) not-so-good game and you want to gift Eboue away? Tell me, How many mistakes have you made in your place of work since you started there? May be you should have been sacked ten times over for each one of them.

    What planet do these people emanate from, for crying out loud? Overreaction over every loss. Why don’t you gift the whole team away while you are at it?

    So it is loss. So what? Let’s just help them with our support to do better next time. Arsene has told them off. Isn’t that enough?

  6. I absolutely agree with you when you say “mixed feelings”. There is bunch of good decisions, vital ones. But from the other side, there is whole one army of small, look alike, irrelevant things, which made us “disappear” from pitch. He allowed too much roiling on the pitch for mine taste. Can you remember even one Shakhtar attack which didn’t end with penalty kick claims or asking for card. Than wasting of time by Ukrainians was more than irritating,and childish, what he missed to punish, one way or another. At end there were only 3 added minutes, what I find ridiculous if we consider only how many times Srna was on ground asking for help.

  7. Steve Palmer you are a total idiot. I think all of the players were guilty of mistakes in varying degrees last night and Eboue was no worse than most of the others. We lost; what a disaster; lets pick on Eboue, why not, and while we’re about it lets sell the lot of them, they are all useless. You are typical of the childish, impatient, unreasonable ‘I want it now’ so called supporters who really get up the noses of the majority of decent, reasonable fans. Grow up.

  8. Good morning, Walter,

    Am in agreement with your points but would like you to clarify one ruling for me (and maybe for others).

    If I’ve read the ruling correctly, a ref MAY (not must) add time on for substitutions. Thus, we see managers making changes only to run down the clock and the player being substituted strolling from the pitch for the same reason.

    Is this incorrect?


  9. Gooneraside, yes there is no definete ruling in the rulebook that tells how much time should be added for a substitute. However the instructions are you add 30 seconds for each substitution. So 6 changes means 3 minutes added time.
    But if a ref decides that the game is over after 90 minutes no one can stop him and no one can argue about it. One of those ‘it’s up to the ref’-thing in the rules.

  10. The advantage should have been brought back, you are right Walter, and by consequence it turned into a costly misjudgment, but i think marking the ref down 3 times for that one decision is over the top.

    In general i thought the ref performed v.well, and considering the pressure put on him by the Shakhtar coach to award them more and arsenal less Busacca reffed a fair game. It was particularly pleasing to see both penalty appeals dismissed with a rightful waft of the arm, however, a booking for either simulation would have been justified on top.

  11. Thanks Paul, yes I always have a close look at the ref. In the hope to learn something (good or bad). And sometimes I react to something the ref does and no one has seen it and I start shouting for something. I bet next Sunday the one who is sitting next to me in the Emirates (YES WE ARE COMING OVER THIS SUNDAY!!!!!) will be thinking after a while wondering what I’m screaming about.

    Oh yes I do follow the football also but I try to keep an eye on both.

    And maybe already a warning that my next ref review will be a bit later this time as I will be late home on Sunday.

  12. Viejo, I didn’t sleep good last night as I kept on thinking about how to give my points on this. Maybe because it was Busacca that made me a bit more severe in dealing with the points.
    If it would have been an unknown ref from let us say Cyprus I would have said: well he didn’t read the game well but he is unexperienced. But Busacca is one of the top refs in Europe who has been to world cups and european championships and who should have dealt with the situation.

    If I would have done it like that in my match I really would feel sick about. Well maybe he does feel sick about it.
    Giving advantage can be a dangerous thing and you have to be careful with it and not wave it around all the time. Only when a clear advantage is visible you have to give it, and never when a foul is made against a defender.

  13. I dont like to pick on players but sometimes one players mistakes can swing momentum to the other team I dont think eboue was poor… We took an early lead and after we scored we had them under pressure until Eastmond started giving possession away to easily and all of a sudden they were back in the game.

    I’ve seen him play before but last night he was bad I’m pointing this out cause It really shows us what song does for this team I think had he been on the field last night we would have won he constantly wins back possession instead of giving it away and thats when we are best when we have the ball.

    I have no issue with the own goal that can happen to any one even the best but sloppy passing in critical area’s of the pitch I’m sorry but not good enough.

    I think Song and Frimpong play that position the best then Diaby and Denilson if Eastmond wants to ever see it again he better pull his socks up real high. I think he needs another year before he’ll be ready and I think it’s a shame cause I’ve seen him play better.

    Even Wenger thought he was bad last night when was the last time Wenger took some one off before the 60th min unless he was injured.

    People love to bash Fabianski but he was brilliant last night if it wasn’t for him things could have been worse.

    I just hope Eastmond doesn’t read this blog cause I’m sure this will dent his confidence but it had to be said.

    If any one disagrees feel free to comment.

    Does any one think Djourou looks lost some times.

  14. I remember thinking last night that they should change the rules for time wasting, being warned or even yellow card won’t make it stop. Maybe if rule would be if you waste 5-10 minutes /halftime other team gets penalty or something that what would really affect on scoreline. Teams would not want to do that because it might mean losing the match.

    Anyways the positive thinking: We are still on top of the group and Braga needs to get more points than us to qualify, meaning winning us will not be enough they need get points from Shakhtar (which we could not do). I mean look at goal difference in our group: Arsenal +11, Shakhtar +1, Braga -6 and Partizan -6. That means only way to get above us is getting more points than us.
    Losing was disappointing, team didn’t play that well but we still have things going well. Keep the Faith.

  15. @Walter
    What are your thoughts on the incident early in the game, where Bendtner was held in the box? The one where the Shaktar goalkeeper was down for about a minute. Bendtner was running across the box while a Shaktar defender had his arms around him from behind the whole time. Should that have been a penalty?

  16. Evil, I must review the game on my TV later this evening. As we were watching on the internet the stream sometimes stopped and I haven’t seen it.
    I will try to check this later on as this really is new for me.
    Damned stupid TV channels who only give the game as live around midnight….

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