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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.
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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