The untold ref review: Arsenal – Fulham

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By Walter Broeckx, the Untold ref with a sick note

Today we had ref Chris Foy at the Emirates and we just have to see how he did this game.

GOAL: Nothing wrong in the rule book and what a beauty. 1/1

OTHER: Offside given against Chamakh when he does a 1-2 with Wilshere. It was not offside. Just look at the picture. 0/1

OTHER: Offside given against Fulham and at the moment of play Kamara was not offside. 0/1

GOAL: Kamara scores. Seconds earlier Squillaci and Koscielny collided with their heads. So first let us see what the rulebook is telling us.

It is up to the ref to deal with injured players and up to him to decide what to do. But in the rule book you can find that there is an exception to this and these are :

Exceptions to this ruling are to be made only when:

• a goalkeeper is injured

• a goalkeeper and an outfield player have collided and need immediate attention

• players from the same team have collided and need immediate attention

• a severe injury has occurred, e.g. swallowed tongue, concussion, broken leg

So if we take the rulebook strictly ref Foy could have had two reasons to stop play immediately. But the fact that Koscielny at first was trying to play on put the ref on the wrong foot. The ref looked at him and then Koscielny was trying to make an interception. Then the ball when away from Koscielny and the ref then turned his head towards the Fulham player who was having the ball and Koscielny was behind his back but still on his feet.

So I really think that the ref could not know how serious the injury was at that moment in time.  I think no one really did as Koscielny tried to play on and thereby mislead the ref and his teammates. So I will give it as a good goal as the ref could not know what exactly was going wrong with Koscieln. 1/1

OTHER: Djourou makes a sliding tackle at the half way line from the side but a Fulham player comes in with his foot stretched and dangerous the ref let play continue. This is the kind of tackle you should always rule out. 0/1

OTHER: Kamara is through on goal and not judged offside. The problem is that the image does not give us a 100% certainty. But I do know that the linesman as you can see on the picture is not at the position he should have been. He is meters closer to the Arsenal goal and therefore has a false angle on the situation. It looks like the assistant was right but he never could have judged it 100% from his position. 1/1

In for half time tea.

CARD: Clichy comes in from behind the ref gives no foul. This was wrong. Should have been a foul and a yellow card. 0/1 and 0/1

OTHER: Dempsey tries to win some time by faking an injury. The ref does not allow treatment (rightly so) but he did win some time as the ball was kicked out by Fulham and then given back by Arsenal. But good work from the ref. 1/1

GOAL: What can you say from a dribble like that.  1/1

CARDS: 0/1


GOAL:  3/3

OTHER: 2/5

Total score: 5/9 (55%)

In a way I feel a bit sorry for the ref who had a better game in my opinion than the final result is showing. He was let down by his assistants on a few occasions but this is how it goes when you have assistants. The ref takes the good and the bad from his assistants in his account.

Most of his foul calling was good. He missed a few tackles and if you have a game with not many calls to make it is a big difference in the final result for the ref.

I leave it for that for now as I will get under my sheets and hope that I feel better tomorrow.

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23 Replies to “The untold ref review: Arsenal – Fulham”

  1. great job,walter!i thought the ref did quite well.kept the game under control.and,i think koscielny should’ve gone down there.better than conceding a goal atleast!his attitude shows that he is a real fighter.wishing him a quick recovery.

    off topic.i may sound stupid,but i really noticed that the last home game felt a lot like highbury!maybe it was the evening light but i felt very happy and cozy with the atmosphere.what say gooners?

  2. I love the refereeing analysis and
    it’s one of my favorite post-mach blog
    posts across all the arsenal sites.
    I love Arsenal and I will never forget
    this game.
    Now please don’t get me wrong. I love Arsenal
    and I would love to see them win by any means and by any
    I really mean any: foul, hand-ball , own goals,
    offside, you name it…
    I am not Fair-play, and I don’t care as long as we win.

    Now my question to Walter:
    Don’t you think RvP was in offside when he got the ball from AA?
    I checked the goal several times and I did it frame by frame.
    I believe it was offside but I am surprised no one else mentioned this.
    And the goal was superb anyways. And did I mentioned that I don’t care if it was offside ? We got screwed so many times from offside or attacking fouls on our players that any that goes our way I see it just like a bit of a justice balancing act.

  3. Walter I’d a quick question for you (sorry Tony this is a bit off topic but might be interesting for many).

    Suppose a player does something stupid while being substituted i.e. The board with the numbers has gone up, the ref has seen it and allowed it, the player is on his way out, but before leaving the field abuses the ref or kicks an opponent. The ref now gives him a red card. Would the substitute be allowed to come onto the field of play? I guess the question here is “when is the substitution considered to have taken place?” Is it when the ref acknowledges the board of when the sub actually enters the field.

    I guess if the player goes out and then does something stupid he might get a red card but the numbers on the pitch will still be 11. So I was wondering how it would be if the player commits the offence while he is in the process of leaving the pitch.

  4. Its a pity that there were no replays from a side angle for the fulham goal which looked like it could have been offside.

  5. Like you, Walter, I thought “The old man of Hoy” had a very good game and may have been let down a trifle by his assistants.

    Admittedly not a difficult 90 minutes but no cards? When was the last time any game involving us had that?

  6. Dark Prince December 6th, 2010 at 2:43 am
    Its a pity that there were no replays from a side angle for the fulham goal which looked like it could have been offside.

    In my paranoia I assumed that meant it was offside! On the evidence presented it seemed that Sagna was close to being level.

  7. @desi….i think the red card holds as long as the player stays on the pitch..if the player is being substituted and attracts a red card then the substitution is not allowed.


  9. i m a big arsenal fan but being realistic the second goal (a beauty by nasri) started off with a pass from arshavin to persie n then to “magical” nasri… now if u watch it carefully, arshavin pass to persie was clearly offside which cannot be overlooked.. i m taking nothing away from the brilliance of the goal.. but i looked at the replays again “trying to prove myself wrong” but that is not the case.. it was an offside pass to van persie.. sorry lol

  10. Hi Walter

    Great analysis and well done on identifying the weak assistant on the far side. I sit on the North Bank and it was clera that he was often poorly positioned. I feel you are a little generous on Foy Boy on two counts. First, he should have stopped play in the move that led to Fulham’s goal as the player was cleraly distressed; second, did you note how often Foy Boy got tangled up in play? This is a reflection on his lack of fitness and his poor reading of the game.
    My only other observation is when will referees start to clamp down on time wasting? Schwartzer and Pantisil were both poor in this regard.

  11. Walter thank you for the post. Like I said earlier when you started this project – your rating system is very unfair because in relatively incident free matches, each mistake is very costly. Here, missing a foul (and a card) cost the ref 2 negative points out of 4 negative points. So 50% of what made him receive a crappy 55%, boils down to missing a foul incident. The other 2 incidents are the djourou halfway line incident (which was not a glaring mistake) and a wrong offside call (the linesman fault + it wasn’t even a goal denial or something).

    So with all due respect I think that games like the previous one prove that you need to tinker with your points system because to me it really felt like the ref was having a very solid game, in the area of 80% or so.


  12. Hi Tomie Gun

    There were too many technical mistakes in this game for Foy Boy to score highly. Walter is pretty accurate in his assessment. For 80% or more we would be saying ‘Wow’ about the referee.

  13. I would like to reiterate the question of dogmatix to Walter:

    was Van Persie not offside on the pass from AA for the second goal’s assist?

  14. Thanks Walter for a good analysis, I have come to expect it after every Arsenal match. I would like to reiterate Dark Prince’s comment on the Fulham goal. I really believe it was offside, and the only reason there were no replays shown strengthens my conviction (that it was offside), since the media wanted to emphasise the porousness of the Arsenal’s defense. For me the back four were very good against Fulham but were let down by the midfield of Song, Wilshere and Rosicky. If the midfield had been good, Fulham would not have seen Arsenal’s goal site.Beacause if Arsenal’s defense was poor, how many serves did Fabiansk have? If I remember only two. So much for a porous defense. Djourou was particularly good in the air in the second half.

  15. Hi Walter.
    Good report as ever. I would like your opinion on the Chelsea penalty at the weekend. Did you think this was a penalty? i wasn’t so sure yet it hasn’t been mentioned at all in the media (perhaps it is a one of those that If it happened to Nasri running through I would be sure it was a pen). I thought that Anelka touched the ball around Howard and then ran straight into him and howard was stood still, he made no attempt to play the ball or the player and he is surely not required to get out of anelkas way, just so long as he doesn’t intentionally body check him or take him down? I’d be interested to hear your opinion/the rule to back this decision up.

  16. Having lost 5 kg in the last 24hrs but feeling a bit better I have reviewed the second goal and yest RVP was with one leg in a offside position. So the goal should have been disallowed.
    So we were lucky on this occasion.

    About the Fulham goal: They didn’t show any replay from the angle of the camera which is situated at the penalty area and this should have given a conclusive view if Kamara was offside or not. So a bit strange no one gave this camera view in the replays. Or have I missed them?

    About Koscielny: if he would have gone to the ground the ref should have stopped play immediatly. But like I said in my review if the player stands up then as a ref you can presume he was allright. So I cannot say that Foy was wrong to let pley continue.

  17. Hi Walter

    I disagree. The referee has a duty of care. What if Koscielny (or any other player) had sustained a cut and was bleeding. The Laws are crystal clear. Play must stop. Nowhere does it say that play stops only when the injured player is on the ground. Foy Boy got it badly wrong.

  18. Red Jessie – had Kos had a cut and was bleeding the ref could indeed have stopped play, but Kos didnt have a cut and wasnt bleeding, so that analogy is irrelevant. The fact is that Koscielny was so out of it after the bang on the head that he mistakenly tried to play on. I dont fault Kos at all for this, he was concussed. The ref, seeing Kos play on, must have made the (understandable) assumption that he was okay, and allowed play to continue. Kos should have just gone to ground immediately, but was probably too concussed to think straight and actually thought playing on for the sake of his team was the correct thing to do.

    Nobody was to blame. Had Kos gone straight to ground I am certain the ref would have done the correct thing and blown the whistle. Tough one on all counts. But I definately cannot blame the referee, because Kos was still moving around freely when that first, instant decision had to be made.

    Walter – a couple of the mistakes by the ref every week are actually linesmen mistakes. Is there any way to seperate out offside decisions and things like that which are the linesmans resposibility to make the actual ref’s grading more accurate?

  19. Paul C

    You missed my point. Some bloggers were saying that the ref can only stop when a player is on the ground. I was merely pointing out that their view was incorrect. Given how long Konscielny is out for I still say that Foy misread the situation. From where I sat on the North Bank on Saturday it was clear that the player was in great distress. Foy was closer but took no action. This represents bad refereeing as it shows a lack of awareness

  20. Paul C, you have been reading my mind as I was thinking about it but then I have to review all the games and changing the rules halfway the season sounds not that good. But I’m thinking on how to change it for the future.

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