The untold ref review: Arsenal – Wigan

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By Walter Broeckx, the no bear drinking ref.

Another Carling cup game in a snow cold London and the ref today was Rowan Atikinson, sorry Martin. I couldn’t let this one go. Was he as funny as the one who has the same name? We have to find out.

CARD: Vela gets booked.  Moses tries to break and Vela is holding him and trying to pull him back a few times. If he just would have made one attempt you could leave it like that. But if you keep fouling him for several meters and several times a booking is on the cards. 1/1

OTHER: A foul on Denilson from Thomas, just a little kick against the ankle but the ref spotted it.  Well spotted by the ref and I know for sure some refs would have let this go. A good call. 1/1

OTHER/CARD: Dangerous tackle on Wilshere. The ref gives the foul but he doesn’t even call him over to lecture him and it was on the edge of a yellow card as he came in with his studs showing and his foot above the ground. Come to think of it, it should have been yellow. 1/1 and  0/1

CARD: Thomas from Wigan gets a lecture from the ref and the ref points rightly so at different places where he committed some fouls. And some of them where late tackles.  But if as a ref you noticed he committed different fouls you just book him and you don’t lecture him. 0/1

CARD: Figueroa gets booked for a cynical challenge on Walcott. 1/1

PENALTY/CARD/CARD: Figueroa handles in the penalty area.  But the referee gives nothing.  It was handball he stuck out his arm. So a definite penalty AND a yellow card as it took a chance away from Arsenal. And to make things worse for the ref it would have been his second yellow card. 0/1, 0/1 and 0/1.

GOAL for Arsenal and nothing wrong in the rule book. 1/1

PENALTY: Another ball comes against the hand of a Wigan player when Walcott is trying to cross. But this time I can agree with the ref. The ball came from very close and it  hit him on the arm that was behind his body at first but because of his attempt to block the cross with his leg his arm came out in an attempt to keep himself in balance. So this wasn’t a deliberate handball to me and no penalty.  1/1

All of us go inside for a nice and, most of all hot, cup of tea.

OTHER: Walcott is fouled the assistant signals the foul but the ref give advantage as Walcott is past his man and can get a cross in when unchallenged. Bendtner heads it wide. Good advantage played.  1/1

OTHER: N’Zogbia goes in hard on Eboue with a frontal tackle. The ref doesn’t give a foul. Oh, I don’t like them that way and nor does the rule book. This should have been a foul. And yes he did play the ball but because of him sliding in frontally on the slippery pitch he hit Eboue. This is always a potential dangerous tackle and you must blow for them and certainly when the foul is made on a defender so you cannot give an advantage.   0/1

GOAL: Bendtner scores and nothing wrong with that. 1/1

CARD: Finally Thomas gets his yellow card for a heavy tackle in midfield. This could and should have been his second after his continuing  fouling in the first half when he didn’t get booked. 1/1

PENALTY: A Wigan defender blocks a shot with his hands. His hands are in front of his chest but he sticks them out and he doesn’t hold them flat to his body. He tried to make himself as wide as possible to block the shot. To be fair to the ref he could not see it from his position and then he shouldn’t give a penalty. I can agree with the ref for this. So I will give him a break for this. 1/1

OTHER: Foul on Nasri from behind right under the refs nose and he let game continue. Extraordinary! 0/1

And then the game came to an end after Arsenal missing a lot of chances.  But never mind the game, lets mind about the ref and see how many points he earned today.

CARDS: 3/7


GOAL:  2/2

OTHER: 3/5

Total score: 10/17 (58%)

The last time we saw him I gave him 67% on his report. And the problem is that he loses a lot of points on the same item as last time: the cards. The fact that he had seen that Thomas was making fouls all over the pitch is good. And that he tried to let play continue  a lot is also good. But when Thomas took Walcott down that was in itself a foul which one could give a booking for. He then called him over and told him he had seen all his previous fouls of which a few late tackles. So if you have seen it you must not talk to him but just give him the card and then tell him it was for making a lot of fouls.

He tried to let the game continue as much as he could. He wasn’t always lucky with this but this is something you have to live with and it didn’t affect the game at the end.

His handling of some penalty decisions was not completely bad but he missed a very blatant penalty for handball in the first half when the score was still 0-0. But trying to give him the benefit of the doubt I will admit that the vision from the assistant was blocked by Van Persie and that the vision from the ref was blocked by the Wigan player who handled the ball. So I can accept he couldn’t see it but the fact remains it was a blatant and deliberate handball that went unseen and unpunished. This could be a perfect example of how some kind of video ref could have changed this decision. And just in this moment the ref lost 3 valuable points in his report. If he would have seen it and given the penalty and give the cards it would have been a score of 76%. Just to show you that making a (possible) vital mistake has a big impact on the final score for the ref.

In his two games so far ref Atkinson got a score of 63% and this is on the low side I feel. Best score so far for Ref Clattenburg with 93% and the lowest score ref Dean with 30%.

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18 Replies to “The untold ref review: Arsenal – Wigan”

  1. The issue I have with some refs is consistancy, they will book an Arsenal player very quickly most times but allow the opposition to make persistant fouls…

  2. Excellent assessment, I felt the tackle on Walcott by McCarthy in the 2nd half was bordering on a straight red, alas Mr Bean gives not even a foul.

  3. I agree Colnol Decker, I think you refer to the one near the end of the game out on the right, just outside the penalty area. I could not believe it, he didn’t even give a foul. That sort of unpunished foul play can infuriate the players and lead to no end of ensuing problems both from them and the spectators.

  4. I don’t care what the refs in England do this season,it is Arsenal’s time to win silver ware.Wit or without their help, we will win a gigantic trophy this season.
    I am saying this because most of the English refs are bias when it comes to Arsenal.
    The only i want to tell the gunners fans is that they take courage and be steadfast.

  5. Correct me if I’m wrong but I believe Bendtner went in studs first on a Wigan player near the sidelines towards the end of the game. Was no call the correct decision or did you forget about this incident Walter?

  6. I am urging Arsene Wenger to buy at least two players in the January transfer window.Buy a defensive midfielder, a prolific striker like Terry Henry, and central defender.

  7. So Patrick, who do we sell to keep within the “25” rule as our 20 year olds get older? And which ones of our team are going to be happy being in the Carling Cup side?

  8. Nice article, Walter! However, if I remember correctly, Bendtner also made a challenge studs up on the side line. Shouldn’t that be counted?

  9. Thanks Walter, I have question.. In your opinion what percentage is “acceptable”. I mean, ok its obvious no one is perfect and even Collina was making mistakes. But in your opinion where is border between good and bad referee? Can we say pfewwww 70%, or 65%?
    Clattenburg got than 93% but I somehow hardly believe he will, or anyone repeat that score in near future.. but at what level we could say “mistakes happen” and where start “this cost us too much”.

  10. Patrick T. Keynor – you say “Buy a …. prolific striker like Terry Henry”. Where oh where is this player like Terry (??) Henry? Please tell us where AW can find such a player, because I think every single team in the world (bar Barca perhaps) is looking for such a player. You might as well just say “AW should buy a striker like Maradona, a midfielder like Lothar Mattheus, a defender like Paolo Maldini, and a goalkeeper like Gordon Banks”. Yeah, that would be a good January transfer window.

    Walter – excellent as always. Like others here my biggest complaint about last nights officiating is consistency. Vela was booked for his first foul, which was borderline yellow, and yet each Wigan player subsequently seemed to be allowed multiple tackles before they were shown a card. I have no problem with Vela’s booking, but once you set out that stall of zero tolerance, then stick with it. Like you say the Thomas incident was the worst, pointing at tackles “there, there and there” and yet still not showing a card!!!! Based on his later leniency, theer is no way whatsoever that Vela should have been shown a yellow.

  11. Armin,
    In my opionon a PL ref should get a score of 70% minimum. And that is acceptable. Anything higher is good and above 80 is very good. Above 90 is excellent.
    Untill 60 I think is just acceptable. Below 60 = bad.

    That is my personal scale. Off course a sunday morning ref who is on his own will get another scale to be judged. But the amount of money he gets is much lesser than the EPL refs get.

  12. paul C, you are completely right about the consistency. I to have no problem with the Vela yellow card but then he suddenly lowered the standard for the Wigan players.
    Thomas came in late 2 times before he tackles Walcott and still got no yellow card (and he had made another 2 fouls on his own apart frome the one I now mention.) And this really is a problem.

  13. Mahesh, you mean I have to lower his score even more? 😉
    I will try to look at that tackle again. I think you mean in the first half? I will let you know.

  14. Thanks Walter again, I was really wandering. Knowing it is impossible to do it perfect. And of course more or less, mistakes can cost us points, but you cant avoid them. Thats why I asked what is acceptable. And even worse is when referee is aware of mistake he made, and he start trying to make it even… that is something what irritate me most, no matter is it for or against us.

    off topic a bit
    Paul C I agree with you, and by the way our friend Patrick T. Keynor somehow forgot that Thiery Henry wasnt THIERY HENRY when he just came than became it two seasons later. So as long as there is great possibility of Chamakh becoming it (and we already have RvP who is close) why should we spend 25-30 millions on Dzeko (apart from patriotic reasons, and I would so love to see him in our shirt) but it is wasting money. Again apologize to Walter for getting out from topic

  15. I must admit since the new castle game I have been feeling down.

    I think we are the best team in the world and some days we dont live up to it and some days the refs screw us over but watching arsenal play last night really brought joy to my heart.

    Watching Wenger on the bench made me feel emotional and I’m not an emotional person (my girlfriend will vouch for that).

    I dont think there is any one who loves arsenal more then Wenger to most coaches coaching at a team is just a job with wenger his like a father who takes care of everything.

    Last night a wigan player went down infront of wenger and had to be stretched off and he seemed more concerned about the player then the wigan manager.

    Another player I love watching is Eboue even when his on the bench u can see he just wants the team to win no matter what.

    Now a days when I watch arsenal I feel as if I am about to witness the start of something great and I honestly cant wait to see gibbs more often frimpong more often schezny more often ramsey more often vela more often sunu, wilshere, watt and …. (goosebumps) JET he could be so great its scary he has speed power control shot accuracy and dribbling ability.

    and the current players in the squad are only 3-6 years older then the ones I mentioned I dont know bout you but if I were a chelsea manu or liverpool supporter I’d be very scared of the arsenal tidal wave (title wave) thats coming.

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