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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.
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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