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By Walter Broeckx, the untold ref
So for our visit to Birmingham and to Aston Villa we had ref Clattenburg and he leads the ref table so far with his performance when we played at Manchester City. Could he have the same almost faultless game? Let us just find out.
PENALTY: A first chance in the first 20 seconds and Friedel comes out blocks the ball from Nasri and takes Dunn down. The ball then hits the hand of the falling Dunn who almost pushes it in his own goal. No one really saw it and if the ref would have seen it, it wasn’t a penalty. I don’t know if the ref saw it but the final result was correct as it certainly wasn’t a penalty. 1/1
CARD: A tackle from behind on Squilacci who is shielding the ball to let it run out. The Villa player had no chance of playing the ball. He clamped his foot and my first fear and thoughts were with the tackle on Eboue. Lucky no injury this time but I think this should have been a booking. It was from behind and he had to go through the man to maybe touch the ball. 0/1
OTHER: A chance for Villa but the replay and the picture clearly shows that Young was offside but the linesman didn’t flag. Just imagine if that would have gone in. What a miss from the linesman! Must take a point away from the ref for this. Sorry ref but it is teamwork and you pay for your assistant here. 0/1
PENALTY: Handball from Wilshere? What a tough decision to make in an instant. The ref lets it go but if he would have given a penalty I don’t think we could have complained. When you want to block a cross or shot you must keep your hands close to your body and head and not raise your hands. The problem is that it all depends on how the ref is looking at it. But I do think we are a bit lucky on this. 0/1
GOAL: Great goal from a lively Arshavin and nothing against the rules. 1/1
GOAL: Another great goal from Nasri this time and nothing against the rules. 1/1
And we are in for a half time biscuit.
GOAL: Clark shoots from just on the edge of the penalty area. But Carew is standing in an offside position and should the goal have been disallowed? Let us first look at a picture.
And then let us start with the rulebook.
A player in an offside position is only penalised if, at the moment the ball touches or is played by one of his team, he is, in the opinion of the referee, involved in active play by:
• interfering with play or
• interfering with an opponent or
• gaining an advantage by being in that position
And then the rulebook goes further in trying to explain what they mean by:
“interfering with an opponent” means preventing an opponent from playing or being able to play the ball by clearly obstructing the opponent’s line of vision or movements or making a gesture or movement which, in the opinion of the referee, deceives or distracts an opponent”
So let us also just take a look at an image from the rule book
and compare this to the picture above and see if it looks familiar? Well it does look familiar to me. In fact you could call it a copy book example of the rule book. So the goal should have been disallowed. 0/1 on the ref his score sheet but I will come back later on this if you allow me.
CARD: The goal scorer gets booked for a foul on Sagna and correct decision from the ref to give him a yellow card. 1/1
GOAL: Fine goal from Chamakh and nothing against the rules.1/1
GOAL: Villa score their first/second goal and nothing wrong this time. 1/1
CARD: Chamakh gets booked it was a cynical trip with no chance of playing the ball so I can agree with the ref on this. 1/1
GOAL: Great first PL goal for Wilshere to wrap it up and completely within the rules. 1/1
The game comes to an end and let us see what we got on the score board for the ref in total:
Total score: 8/12 (67%)
So in all I think ref Clattenburg had a good game. And he loses some points because of his linesman in this. He kept the game good in control for most of the game and found the right balance so that the play was kept fluent but didn’t get out of hand or out of control.
And now a bit of further explanation about the goal. In an ideal world the linesman should have raised his flag. And then it was up to the ref to decide if Carew was interfering with an opponent. Now I know, and we all know he did, but I must tell you that when standing on the pitch this isn’t that easy to see always. Also the linesman can see the player standing in an offside position but from his position he cannot see if the player is blocking the vision of the keeper. So I would have liked to have seen an conversation between the ref and his assistant before taking a final decision.
And I am rather sure that it would have got as a result that the goal would have been given as they didn’t have the replays and the pictures we have. So I did deduct a point from the ref for giving this goal but I will not blame him for giving the goal, if you can understand the difference between those two things. But maybe this is a case in which some technological assistance could be brought in the game and where a manager can challenge a decision. And as explained before : it should have been disallowed.
As this is the second game from Clattenburg I can tell you that he has an average of 80% and this is not bad I must say.
Highest score so far Clattenburg 93% and lowest Dean 30 %.
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