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by Walter Broeckx, the SM ref
Sometimes I love doing the refs reviews. And sometimes I hate it. But if a dirty jobs needs to be done, someone has to do it. So I try to switch off my Arsenal heart and try to switch my brain to ref mode. If I can succeed in this. I really tried to do my best to be as neutral as possible when looking at the incidents.
And believe me, the last thing I wanted to do is to see the whole game again and look back at some phases all over and over and over again.
So let us see what we can say about ref Dowd this time.
GOAL: Nothing to report on this goal. 1/1
CARD: Sagna gets a booking and we cannot complain about this. 1/1
Note to linesman: level IS NOT OFFSIDE!
OTHER: Chamakh is sent through on goal, the linesman flags but it was no offside as can be seen on the picture. He was level with the defender below and so not offside. What a mistake to make….. And now that we are talking about it and I have such a clear picture of the situation I can tell you that the linesman his position was wrong. You need to be at the same level as the second last defender and in this case it was Esso Ekotto.
As you can see when you look at the grass the linesman is behind this position (about 1 or 2 meter- one could say in an offside position himself). But the problem is because of his position he will get the impression that Chamakh is offside. Because if he would have been level it would mean that he couldn’t see Chamakh (because the defender blocking his sight on him and therefore you know as a linesman he was level and onside) and he would keep his flag down. But now he could see Chamakh (but only because of his own bad position) and so he thought it would be offside. That is why it is so important for a linesman to keep absolutly level with the second last defender. Anyhow a very, very bad mistake. 0/1
CARD: VDVaart goes deliberately in on Denilson in an aerial duel. You could see him looking to be sure he would hit him. He gets a lecture but no card. To be fair he didn’t use his arms to hit Denilson, just his body. A card was not needed in this case. 1/1
OTHER: Song gets a little kick from behind but stays in possession but his pas goes to a Tottenham player and Dowd comes back on the advantage. Good work. 1/1
GOAL: Nothing wrong with this goal. 1/1
CARD: VDVaart again goes in this time with an arm against Denilson and catches him. He has been lectured before for a similar challenge in the air and this time gets another lecture. This is one lecture to many. After you give a player a lecture for a foul and he does it again there is no other option than to give him the yellow card. The ref fails to do it this time. 0/1
GOAL: we could write a book about this goal and point at mistakes from different players but I could find nothing against the rules. 1/1
OTHER: The ref plays a good advantage and Modric can shoot on goal that just goes over. 1/1
CARD: Gallas goes in from behind on Chamakh. The foul is given but this should have been a yellow card. Tackles like that from behind is a yellow card. 0/1
Song puts his body between the ball and Modric and the ball is in playing distance: no foul
OTHER/PENALTY/GOAL/CARD: : The ref gives a foul for Tottenahm. Modric goes down. The ref indicates with his hands that there was a sandwich. But to have a sandwich both players should be closing the door, as they say in my country. The picture clearly shows that the other Arsenal defender was not closing the door. So there was no sandwich. Was there a foul from Song? No. Song just anticipated the run from Modric and put his body between Modric and the ball. Song had the ball in playing distance so he didn’t commit an obstruction. Modric just ran against Song and fell and the ref made what proved to be a costly mistake. 0/1
Cesc lifts his arm and it is not in front of his face. So the ref cannot do anything else but give a penalty. The penalty decision itself is correct and also VDVaart does nothing wrong when he scores, except break our heart a bit. But this all is the result of a free kick that never should have been given. And it all came as a direct result from the ref’s mistake. Vdvaart gets a yellow card for his celebration but I wonder if Dowd finally realised his first mistake in the first half but not much was wrong what I could see on TV.
But maybe he did something that was not shown on TV. Surely a ref will not give a card for nothing?? So I cannot agree with final outcome of these decisions at all but the decisions itself were correct. So I thougt I would give them points on a scale of 2 and make it 1/2 and 1/2 and 1/2
Note to Cesc and Chamakh: how wrong the free kick might be, please keep your hands down.
GOAL: Disallowed goal for Arsenal for offside and this was a correct decision. 1/1
PENALTY: Song gets a push in the penalty area and the ref does not give a penalty. It was a push in his back so it was a penalty for me. 0/1
CARD: Denilson comes late, should have been a yellow card. 0/1
CARD: Koscielny gets a yellow card for a foul on Bale. Correct decision 1/1
GOAL: how painful it might be I could see nothing wrong with the goal itself. 1/1
So this gives us a total score :
Total score: 13/22 (59%)
The big talking point was the penalty but for me it was the foul which lead to the penalty was where it all went wrong for us. Song did nothing wrong in my opinion as he just put his body between the player and the ball and the ball was in his reach. And this is where the major damage was done. Of course Cesc/Chamakh should have kept his hands low and so the ref could do nothing else but give the penalty. And this was the mistake from Cesc/Chamakh.
As a ref you have to look at each situation with a fresh eye and mind and so he could not think: well it was a light foul or maybe not a foul so I will not give the penalty. It doesn’t work that way, you cannot compensate a decision because you have doubt on a previous decision. So I don’t blame Dowd for giving a penalty, I blame him for giving the foul which lead to it all.
For the rest he had once again some moments where he made life difficult for himself. You can only lecture a player once and if he does the same thing again you have to show him a yellow card. He didn’t do this with Van der Vaart and so undermined his own position on the field and that is something you cannot do as a ref.
Did the ref cost us the game? Now that is an interesting question one could say. And to be honest I cannot give you an answer to that. But let me put it this way: after seeing the game live I had some kind of bad feeling about the ref, but I thought it was just the bitter feeling of the defeat. After seeing the game again 2 times and analysing his decisions I have the impression that the ref did all he could to prevent Tottenham from losing the game. I’m not saying that he wanted them to win the game. But a very wrong offside decision, a foul in an interesting position that wasn’t a foul (from which our troubles started) and a penalty decision not going our way, or going Tottenham’s way means that they surely where the luckiest team and benefited from most of the refs’ mistakes in this game.
Last time around ref Dowd got a score of 50% so I think he is just that kind of level ref in the EPL. And under 60% is not good in my score book. His average is around 54% so not good at all in total ref Dowd.
Best score so far this season 93% and lowest 30 %.
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