The Untold ref review: Everton – Arsenal

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By Walter Broeckx, the untold ref, not the world cup ref.

So for the first time this season we had the honour to have a game from the ref that has done the Champions league and the world cup final. Did he perform at this level? Let us find out and see what I saw and found of it.

OTHER: Right in the first seconds a hard tackle from Pienaar who goes in very hard on Sagna. The ref lectures Pienaar. I think a good attempt from the ref to tell that he will not allow those tackles. 1/1

CARD: Heitinga tries to kick Song two or three times. He just kept on kicking at him. This was a yellow card. This was deliberate kicking. O/1

CARD: Pienaar fouls around a bit but not card despite being warned early on by the ref he does not give him a card. 0/1

CARD: Heitinga finally gets his card.  A late tackle on Wilshere which deserves a yellow card. But this should have been his second card. So a point for this card but this should have been his second. 1/1

GOAL: Nothing wrong with that goal. 1/1

And we are in for half time.

GOAL: very nice passing from Arsenal and nothing against the rules. 1/1

CARD: Saha is brought down by Squillaci and in my opinion he was the last defender and he was in for a goal scoring opportunity  so should have been a red card. 0/1. It should have been 10 against 10 if I was on the field.

CARD: Fabregas gets a yellow card. The replay shows that it was actually  Distin who kicked Cesc and Cesc did nothing wrong in fact. I’m not saying that Distin kicked Cesc deliberately. I think it was just a stupid collision from two players with neither wanting to hurt the other. I think this card was a result from the media hype around the Wolves game and so Webb gave Cesc a yellow card, which he always does when he has an Arsenal game with Cesc on the field.  But this was wrong and I will call it a MOTD-yellow card. 0/1

PENALTY: Foul on Arshavin? Was it a penalty?  Well to be honest as they didn’t show any replays I have to give the decision to Webb. It looked that Jagielka kicked the ball away so I can agree with him for not giving a penalty. 1/1

CARD: against Coleman as he was protesting a decision rather fiercely against the linesman. Good work from Webb in this case. A ref should protect his linesman and this is something I don’t  see enough sometimes. So credit for the ref. 1/1

OTHER/OTHER/GOAL:  Now there are a few things that look strange in this goal. First of all Webb is holding Sagna with him to talk to him. So this means he cannot take his normal position. But then as a ref when you have told the players to wait with the execution of the corner ( he made a gesture to the player who wanted to take the corner) you must give a clear signal that the corner can be taken. But as the camera zoomed in it looked to me that Webb gave no signal to take the corner and that Sagna suddenly pointed at the ref that the corner had been taken.  This is a mistake from the ref.

When you hold play to talk to a player you must give a clear signal to let the game start again.  I didn’t see him give any signal at all, also form other angles. Also the fact that he did not let Sagna take his normal position was down to his mistake and you cannot lecture a player and then allow the game to restart without letting him take his place. 0/1 for this.

Saha comes in and I don’t mind it when a player jumps higher than another player but Saha is holding his two hands in the neck of Song and holds him to the floor.  He was leaning on Song to stay in the air. If he wouldn’t have used his arms he wouldn’t have made a foul but now he was clearly holding Song down with his hands.  A clear foul in my view so the ref should have given a foul against Saha for a push against Song. But I think this was down to the fact that Webb also lost his concentration after lecturing Sagna and the restart which he didn’t expected and therefore lost it a bit at that time. So he missed the foul from Saha: 0/1

And as a result from his previous mistakes comes a goal which is down to two mistakes by the ref as explained so this goals should have been disallowed. 0/1.

So where does this take us from here? Up to the adding bit I think.

CARDS: 2/6


GOAL:  2/3

OTHER: 1/3

Total score: 6/13 (46%)

So it was not a world class performance from Howard Webb or should I say a bit more in line with his world cup final game? For some reason he let Heitinga and Pienaar off the hook early on in the game. Especially Heitinga who was trying to kick Song and kept on kicking. One kick could be an accident but if you keep on kicking like that you must get a booking. Well, maybe Webb likes Dutch cheese and wants to keep the Dutch people as friends?

Also Pienaar got a lecture in the first minute, a good thing, but if  as a ref you  don’t book him when he keeps on committing fouls then you weaken your own position. And after that first minute tackle he should have been on his toes and he should have seen alarm lights flashing that he should keep the game in close control by handing out an early booking.

I really didn’t like how he was handling the Everton goal. There was no need to lecture Sagna as far as I know and as Sagna is one of our defensive headers and is very important at corners, he was getting him out of his concentration. You could see Sagna thinking: just let me go to my position and take on an attacker. Maybe it was Sagna who should have been dealing with Saha? Who knows? But I do know that by taking him out of defence Webb disrupted our defence and Sagna was in no-man’s-land when the corner was taken. As a ref you should feel those things and he should have let the corner be retaken as, like I did pointed out earlier, you must give a clear signal and now I didn’t see him make any signal.

And to be honest I didn’t expect his final score to be this low as I thought that on some other incidents he had seen things right and we must give him some credit for that. So a very mixed up game in the end.

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30 Replies to “The Untold ref review: Everton – Arsenal”

  1. Walter – the only thing I disagree with is the Sqillacci incident. Clichy was there, and the ball came right to him. I dont think Webb could have made the decision that it was a goal-scoring opportunity, OR that Squillacci was the last man. Tough call, but on that occassion I think he just about got it right. The fact that Clichy then flubbed up his attempted clearance was neither here nor there. From Webb’s angle he would have seen Clichy coming fast across. The Everton player was going ACROSS the field, not straight downhill towards goal. I would have been very dissapointed had Webb shown a red card there.

  2. Great one Walter. I was once again thinking few times “Walter will/might drop your points for that Webb”, Oh and so you did.

  3. I also saw that Fabianski was screaming and calling Sagna back to come to his position but Webb just didn’t let him go. And okay if Webb found it necessary to lecture Sagna for something but then you have to keep things in control after the lecturing also and if you call out a player in defence you must let him get back on his place.

  4. Paul C, well its nice to disagree then. Mind you I was delighted at the time with the yellow card. But I had to disagree on the call itself. Squilaci maybe was the most clever and didn’t wait till Saha would turn face to goal and brought him down early. But still he would have gone at my field.
    Oh and Saha would have missed anyway. 😉

  5. Walter, great report as always. But just a quick question, slightly off topic.

    Your favourite EPL ref, Mike Dean, failed to award Vidic a 2nd yellow for his celebration but gave Ashley Young a yellow card for a similar celebration. Did you see the incident and would you have done the same?

  6. Excellent Walter. The Saha on Song’s shoulders incident should have been pulled up by the assistant who had a clear view. The same assistant that was supported by the referee. It is quite amazing how little a Linesman did and how much less the Referees Assistant does.
    One aspect of the game that needs addressing is the placement of the ball at corners. I believe the ball must contact the ground in the quadrant. There seems to be no clear interpretation.

  7. Mike Dean on Vidic – the Laws of Football in England say that a Manchester United player is above the Law at all times and that all referees will ensure that Manchester United go undefeated this season so that SAF can retire with another record.

  8. Even Jonathan Stevenson on BBC live text thought the Cesc challenge was “innocuous”. Very much a MotD-inspired booking. Webb is a joke, but at least he didn’t send someone off or award a comedy penalty to Everton at 94 minutes.

  9. tOOfargOne, are you serious on this????? I must say I didn’t knew Vidic was booked already as I watched the game only with half interest until Villa scored. Well I thought Dean was bad in that game for a few things.
    Nani forearmed Downing (I thought) in his face. This was a clear retaliation for a kick on his achilles which Dean missed (surprise, surprise). But the next time the ball came in their direction Nani looked back (2 times even) to check where the Villa player was and then suddenly stuck out his forearm and hit him on the face. Because you could see Nani looking I knew it was deliberate so this should have been a red card.

    Now you tell me Vidic was already been booked and when you book a player from one team for going in the crowd to celebrate, you must book another player who does the same also. How disgusting from Mr. Bean. I’m sorry I cannot call him with his real name as he is just a walking joke of a referee. And he is more and more acting like the Mr. Bean character who is just making a fool of himself (and of other referees in fact).

    Oh but he did give a yellow against that chicarito player who made a copy book foul like Cesc did against Wolves. So he did get something right.

  10. Well, to be honest unexpected high score got our beloved Webb this game. I know 46% is bad, but I was afraid it would be even worse.
    But in one thing I don’t agree with you Walter, I believe Cesc made foul and was it his intention or was not, I have no clue, but to me it seams that he was a bit “careless” with start. But I dont agree it was for yellow card.

  11. Walter – you are just such a harsh referee!!!!! 🙂

    I think the Cesc incident was a classic “crowd” booking. It looked bad in real speed, but the replays showed it was obviously not a booking. Any chance of appealing such a card?

  12. I thought the match simply failed to flow properly , due to the constant fouling by both sides, especially Everton. A strong ref would have called both skippers to him,during play, and warned them of their conduct.Haven’t seen the stats on fouls but they must have been considerable.

  13. Interesting points, as always!

    Walter, what did you make of the Coleman “scissor” tackle on Cesc, which the ref failed to anything about? I thought that was highly reckless and once again, not highlighted by the majority of the English media.

  14. I think Howard webb had a decent enough performance he tried to let the game flow.. I hope we have webb when we play stoke away and please not Andre Mariner

    special mention to the traveling gooners they were amazing

  15. Neil B, I noted this tackle but forgot to take it on board. This was a yellow card booking.
    My mistake that I didn’t put it in the ref review.
    I have to take one point away from myself.

  16. This site is fucking Magic.

    And no… I’m ain’t gonna back up my one line/blythe/scientifically unproven assertion!

    This site is Ramp (or is it Romp?)

  17. Thank you for another great article Walter.

    Interesting that once again MotD decided to omit certain incidents in this match from their coverage. Perhaps they were just short on time, but they failed to show:
    – Cesc’s incorrect booking when he was stamped by Distin
    – Coleman’s scissor challenge from behind on Cesc
    – Jagielka’s tackle on Arshavin inside the box

    It looked to me like Jagielka touched the ball, but it would have been good to see a replay and receive confirmation of what actually happened. Jagielka might have gone through Arshavin to reach the ball.

    I agree with Paul C on the Squillaci booking/red card. Saha’s run was taking him away from goal and towards Clichy so I find it difficult to see it as a clear goal-scoring opportunity. But I would not have been at all surprised if Squillaci had been sent off, especially it being an away game.

    Thanks for confirming my thoughts on the Everton goal. The corner was taken without the referee’s knowledge or permission and should have been re-taken in the first place, not to mention Saha’s foul on Song.

  18. Congratulations on the win, no complaints in terms of the result, in particular you exploited our defensive weakness on the left.

    Much to complain about in terms of that nob Webb though, not least his decisions not to send off Squillaci, not to give a free kick when Pienaar was tripped on the edge of the 18, and not letting play continue (as he did for much of the match) when Coleman scored.

    Fabregas yellow – I reckon most people seeing the incident only once in real time (as refs must do while video replays remain off the table) wouldn’t seen that as a yellow, no?

    And Fabregas badly needs to stop whining in the ref’s face throughout the 90 minutes, it’s very bad form!

  19. Oops – meant to say

    Fabregas yellow – I reckon most people seeing the incident only once in real time (as refs must do while video replays remain off the table) WOULD’VE seen that as a yellow, no?

  20. “One aspect of the game that needs addressing is the placement of the ball at corners. I believe the ball must contact the ground in the quadrant.”

    The ball is only out of play if the whole of the ball is over the whole of the line. Similar thing when taking corners – as long as some of the ball is over some of the ‘line’ of the arc, it’s ok.

  21. Wrenny, about the Arshavin-Jagielka tackle I share your thoughts.
    I would like to see it again from different angles if possible.

    Because of no replays were shown at all there is a little bit of doubt about it but as I cannot prove the contrary I have to stick with Webbs decision.

    I think Jagielka got the ball but like you said: was it after going through Arshavin or not and this is something I really could not make up from the only angle I could see it.

    My suspicious mind tells me because no replay was shown, it was a foul. 😉

  22. Everton fan, nice to see you around and I think I can give you some answers.

    I agree with your complaint on the sending off from Squillaci (even if others dont) I would have sent him off like I have written in the article.

    About not giving the advantage after that I think it was because Saha played the ball with his hands. From that moment on the ref had to stop the game and come back to the foul. I think he would have given an advantage (not sure about when he blew his whistle for the moment) but as Saha played the ball with his hands the advantage was gone. It was like I have said in other ref review articles : you can give advantage and let Coleman play on and then wait what happens and give Squillaci a yellow card after that. But as I said, it was Saha who changed it around and maybe (not sure as I cannot look inside his head) this was the reason that Webb only gave a yellow card as at that moment Clichy was nearby.

  23. And like Everton fan has said: yes the ball doesn’t have to be in the quadrant. As long as the bal touches the line in projection it is within the rules. The same goes for when the ball goes out of play.

  24. Cesc in his post match interview laid the blame for the everton goal at howard webb.. He said sagna was supposed to mark the guy who sent in the cross. I thought the same thing when I was watching the match but couldn’t be sure. But Cesc confirmed it. Of course it didn’t REALLY matter in the end cos we won, but still..

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