The Untold ref review – Arsenal – Chelsea

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By Walter Broeckx, the  happy ref.

For the third time we had Clattenburg this year and the last one hardly a month ago. A very bad situation for the ref. In fact it is shameful for the FA to always have to send the same refs over and over again to the same teams in the same season.

But let us just see how he did.

OTHER: Kalou makes a tackle in the first minute. The ref gives the foul but not a card. I can understand him not giving a card but he could have spoken to the player. In fact as a ref you should accept such an incident to stamp your authority on the game.  I thought he was a bit mild on not lecturing him to be honest.  But he gave the foul so:  1/1.

OTHER/CARD: Terry pulls back Van Persie when there was a chance of Arsenal attack. Clattenburg has a word with Terry. As this was the first lecture he gave it is understandable he didn’t give a card. 1/1 and 1/1

PENALTY: After a free kick Djourou goes down but the ref gives nothing. And I think he was right on this. Both players (Djourou and Terry) were pushing a bit but nothing to give really.

OTHER/OTHER: Cole goes in hard on Walcott but the ref gives no foul. It was a case of Cole hitting Walcott’ leg so it should have been a foul. As he gave nothing Song made a foul on Malouda which the ref gave. One wrong, one good. 0/1 and 1/1

PENALTY: Malouda hits Van Persie on his leg when Robin is on the line of the penalty area. Malouda also is on the line of the penalty area with the leg that he uses to touch Van Persie. It was  a foul, it was on the line and the line is part of the penalty area: this was a penalty. 0/1

Let’s tick the boxes in the big circle from left to right: Is there contact? Yes. Is the defender in the penalty area? Yes he is. Is the attacker in the penalty area? Yes he is. The line from the penalty area is part of the penalty area. So 3 times yes = penalty.

OTHER: A quick word of praise for the linesman. They got all their offside decisions spot on and also are doing a good job in helping the ref when they signal fouls. And I even include in this when they give fouls against us. When I can give praise, I will do it. 1/1

OTHER/CARD: Sagna plays the ball to Walcott and Cole has a go at Walcott. The player that tried to stop the pass from Sagna came in late and I think this was going through the refs mind when he gave the card to Cole. In a way Cole got the card for the fact that there were 2 consecutive fouls. A good act from the ref. 1/1 and 1/1

OTHER/OTHER: Theo is blocked and no foul given. Van Persie blocks a player and a fouls is given. A little bit inconsistent ref. 0/1 and 1/1

OTHER/CARD: Van Persie comes in from behind and picks up a deserved yellow card. 1/1 and 1/1

OTHER/CARD: Kalou comes in with an outstretched leg flying high in the air and catches Clichy. The ref gives the foul (did you take notice Mr. Webb?) and the ref gives a yellow card. 1/1 and 1/1

PENALTY/OTHER/GOAL: Cesc tries to run on to the ball from Wilshere and is brought down. The ball comes to the feet of Song who was running the same line as Cesc and Song scores. The ref could have given a penalty and in the replay it was clear to see that he gave the advantage signal when Song got to the ball. So at the end of the day by Song scoring he got the advantage right. But we will never know if he would have given the penalty if Song had not scored.  It would be my first question if I would have met him after the game. 1/1, 1/1 and 1/1

And in we go at half time. Bring on the hot coffee, tea or whatever hot drink they have in the Emirates.

OTHER/CARD: A late challenge from Ramires on Wilshere. Foul is given but deserved a yellow card. 1/1 and 0/1.

OTHER/GOAL: Walcott looks to be in an offside position but he was not thanks to the right back who played him on. And even then the pass was given by Essien so it never could have been offside. So another great decision from the linesman and also Cesc was onside when Theo played the ball to him. So a very good goal. 1/1 and 1/1

GOAL: Another great goal this time and well taken. 1/1

And then things suddenly changed.

OTHER/OTHER: Wilshere blocked: no foul/Cesc blocked someone: foul given??? Strange ref. What happened? 0/1 and 1/1

OTHER/GOAL: For the slightest of touches the ref gives a free kick to Chelsea. Okay one can blow a foul but if for the rest of the game you have let some things go then this looked rather strange. But Chelsea score from the resulting free kick. Nothing wrong with the goal itself but what a soft free kick. Certainly if you look at other situations in the game e.g. the not given penalty on Van Persie. 0/1 and 1/1.

OTHER/CARD: Late tackle from Lampard on Song and Lampard gets what he deserves : a yellow card. 1/1 and 1/1

OTHER/CARD: Cesc gets a yellow card for a little pull a Chelsea player. He put a hand on his shoulder.  A foul but what a very soft yellow card if you ask me.  1/1 and 0/1

OTHER: Chelsea players don’t foul. Well so it looks in the eyes of the ref for the moment. Only when they make 3 fouls in the same move the ref gives a foul to Arsenal.  0/1

OTHER: Every time a Chelsea player goes down in the same area from where the first goal came the ref gives a free kick to Chelsea. Is this some kind of coincidence???? It sure doesn’t feel that way to me.  Every dangerous attack from Chelsea comes from a not given foul from the ref. 0/1

OTHER/OTHER : Ramires catches Cesc on his ankle and the ref let play continue. This was a foul ref. Oh and seconds later he gives Chelsea another free kick and guess what… yes on the same spot from where Drogba scored last year and gave the assist to the Chelsea goal. 0/1 but it was a foul for Chelsea I have to admit so 1/1

GOAL: A Chelsea goal is being disallowed for offside. Another correct decision from the linesman. I didn’t get to see any replay from the linesman position but if I can trust them for the rest of their game this was correct and it looked that way. 1/1

And so the games comes to an end. A lot of things and a lot to count if you ask me. So now let us see how many points he got.

CARDS: 5/7


GOAL:  5/5

OTHER: 16/22

Total score: 27/36 (75%)

We all have seen games of two halves in which a team has an excellent game in the first half and then mess up in the second half. I had this feeling from Clattenburg in this game. I think he did rather good in the first half apart from the missed penalty on Van Persie but this can happen. But in the second half when it got to 3-0 he suddenly changed drastically. I had the impression we could do nothing good any more and Chelsea could do nothing wrong. I think it would be interesting to see a statistic on to see how many fouls he gave to us up to then and then how the fouls were given when after we had made it  3-0.

But despite this he still got a good 75% and this still is a good number. He certainly was helped a lot by his excellent assistants who did everything right I felt. So a good team work and this is important also for the ref.

I still think he is one of the better refs in the EPL but I didn’t feel completely satisfied with his game today. Certainly the difference in punishing some pushes was a bit strange. But as we have won we are in a good mood and we can forgive him. But I sure would like to see this changing a bit in the future. He lost a lot of points in the last half hour.

And a total score of 78 % in 3 games doesn’t look bad at all. This shows he can be an excellent ref if he keeps himself focused during the whole 90 minutes.

Untold untold’s

And what’s been done in the dim and distant

Making the Arsenal

32 Replies to “The Untold ref review – Arsenal – Chelsea”

  1. Great read as always. You might be interested to know that Sky reported they spoke to the ref at half-time and he confirmed he would have given the penalty if Song had missed. Cesc also confirmed this on his twitter.

  2. Walter, the ref did say he would have given the penalty if Song had not scored. I agree with you that he is probably the best ref in the PL though (at the moment).

  3. Another good coverage. The one point of debate for me is how Terry escaped a caution for pulling back RVP, but when Cesc did something similar he was (correctly) cautioned. Clattenberg should have cautioned Terry.

  4. You should have added boom to this. 😉 Sorry, couldn’t resist.

    Thanks for the information. If I saw his gestures I could understand that he had seen the foul and would have given it, but as I don’t have the information from over here like you do I didn’t know this. So thanks for telling me.

    And then I can confirm that he really is a good ref and had a good game for some 55 minutes yesterday. I still cannot understand how it came that he changed after that. If he would have carried on like he did before in the game he could have had at least in the 80%

    In fact in the first 55 minutes he had this marks in the category others:

    others 12/13 (92%)

    This would have meant a total score of 85%.

    And after that he had in this category others 4/9 (44%)

    This difference is really unexplainable for me…..

    I honestly can say that I did not change my point of view or change my way of giving points to the ref during a game. So it was Clattenburg who changed it. And I have a feeling that many people noticed it.

  5. Great review, and the image from the penalty incident is very helpful.

    I found it interesting that Clattenburg seemed to give us the fouls on Wilshere and Walcott, but not when similar tugs or shoves were made on our foreign players. Did anyone else get this impression, that the referee was kinder to the English players with his decisions?

  6. Red Jessie, the difference is in the timing I think.

    He did called Terry over to give him a verbal warning. The last step before a yellow card. As a ref you can use this in your game. And after such a warning you have to produce the cards. And he did this.

    And yes the Cesc ‘pull’ was very light. It was a foul in this Clattenburg was correct. But the card well…. YOu can give a card when there was a dangerous attack going. With the whole defence in place you couldn’t say that there was a possible goal scoring chance so this couldn’t be the reason. You can give a card when a player keeps on pulling the other player for meters and doesn’t let him run. This was just a slight and very short pull by putting a hand on his shoulder. So again no reason to produce the yellow card.

    The only reason I can see is that Clattenburg was losing it in that last half our. See my notes in the game and my reply just above this one. Really strange those last 35 minutes from the ref….

  7. And I agree with you Walter, I also thought the ref was tilting the game in Chelsea’s favour after we went 3-0 up.

  8. Tony,were you at the grove??i thought i saw someone just like you,holding up the scarf,towards the end of the game.did i just see you?

  9. spot on, strangely, ref was tilting the game in charity’s favour,every small push or tug was given as foul and ramires tackle on wilshere wasn’t given….very suspicious behaviour by ref…which makes this win even more jolly. We need 2 understand that ref might also be against us and we have 2 win despite that.,

  10. Just some further thoughts on the coverage of Clattenberg’s decisions. The RvP penalty I thought was a clear penalty but the commentators (at least for the US feed) disagreed. They conceded that it was probably a foul in the box but then said they wouldn’t have given the penalty. Huh?!

    I thought the foul given which resulted in Chelski’s goal was very harsh, if there was a foul at all. I was surprised (maybe I shouldn’t have been) that there were no replays of that foul and no comment made over that decision.

    Ramirez’s clear foul on Cesc wasn’t called and when Cesc was lying on the ground injured from the foul, they said the ref couldn’t stop the game for every little injury. They then showed the replay and said it wasn’t a foul. I know I have Arsenal colored glasses on when I watch these replays but it completely boggles my mind when the images seem to show something very clearly to me but the commentators say it shows the opposite. Walter, you and I must share the same lack of clear sightedness and objectivity.

  11. abrhamovich can’t overspend on the squad due to uefa financial rulings, but still he can spend in other ways, so can arabs and we all know why utd are in so much debt.,while fa demands “respect” for refs without any review system.

    The bottom line is chances of corruption are very high due to lack of review system, handful of refs and poor salary(i guess… and want 2 knw how much 1 earns).

  12. Walter, according to Guardian chalkboards before the third goal was scored Arsenal had conceded 6 fouls, while Chelsea – 12. After Theo & Cesc’s masterpiece the stats are: AFC – 7 fouls, CFC – 4 fouls.

  13. Tee Song, the first thing just shows how much these commentators actually know. Or want to know. A foul in the box is a penalty, except when it is an obstruction or a keeper who handles a back pass: then it is an indirect free kick. The foul on RVP was not an obstruction, it was bringing a player down. So no other option than to give a penalty.

    The foul on Cesc by Ramirez is the same thing. I think I will be blinded somewhat but to call this no foul… well then you should stop as a football commentator. Then you are totaly useless. But we know most of them are. This is why many people turn off the sound or as silent as possible to just hear the crowd a bit but in such a way that you don’t have to listen to the rubbish they are telling you.

    Now, where is my white walking stick and my dark glasses.. 🙂

  14. we love these analyses you do, they are a better review than some who give marks out of ten to our players based on god knows what,(the tabloids? judging by harshness).
    by the way, we discussed on this site the potential for the corruption in refereeing based really on the small pool of refs chosen to officiate games involving the big four, i am unwaivering in my view that unless we have more refs and the selection process is made more transparent we will continue to have referees trying to balance out games. i would like to refer you to the west ham away game last season where zola brought on diamanti their dead ball expert and then all of a sudden their players start diving and the ref was more than obliging, did i mention we were cruising that game 2-0 and being wasteful when one fo theri players assaults diaby just outside the box, free kick to west ham!. there is a flipside to all this , that was the last time i bet on football or anything else, there is nothing that will induce me to take anything football related seriously anymore. (excepting this site, naturalement)

  15. Hi Walter

    You and I both know that timing should not influence a referee’s decision. If an infringement is worthy of a caution, the time should have no beraing. Terry’s tug on RVP was cynical and deliberate. He knew exactly what he was doing. As an assessor I would have marked down a referee if there was a similar incident in a game at the level where I operate.

  16. Excellent analysis Walter.
    UI cannot shake the feeling that Clattenburg was favouring Chelsea and rather like those away trips to Oligarch owned clubs in the Ukraine and Russia, a win when you have 12 opponents is pretty sweet.
    Still itt is nice to see Man Utd drop 2 points to a goal that should never have stood.
    Perhaps Lady luck is favouring us with her fickle charms once more.

  17. Walter, as terrible as the commentary is, I like to listen to it because it helps me understand the media biases that exist and why some fans espouse certain views on players, tactics, and the inherent “physicality” of the game. On the missed RvP penalty, the clear implication of the commentators was that he went down “too easily” and that justified the non-call. Never mind that when Cesc barely pulled on Essien’s shoulder, a player known for his strength crumpled to the ground as if he’d been rugby tackled. It actually appeared as if he simply stopped moving his legs. Yet there was not a peep mentioned of Cesc’s masterful application of the Vulcan nerve pinch which seems to me to be the only possible explanation that such a light touch could render a player like Essien temporarily paralyzed from the waist down! In hindsight, it was comical but at the time I was thinking if they scored off the subsequent free kick, I’d explode. I also got the feeling that Crapenberg was doing quite well until we went up 3-nil and then the calls began to distinctly favor Chelski. Surely, it was my Arsenal colored glasses!

  18. Excellent analysis as ever Walter!
    Clattenberg did try to let the game flow as much as he could in the first half but his inconsistency was clearly evident in the second half when we took such a commanding lead. Thank God we were playing at the Grove cos had we been playing at their home in Fulham, they would have received far more charity! A situation that invariably occurs whenever we play any of the media’s favourites when at their place (e.g. ManIOU recently at OT)

  19. There was a handball in the penalty area by the last defender just before Nasri had his goalscoring oppertunity. His shot was stopped and the game went on. Should the referee have given a penalty? I think that neither the Assistant nor the referee ‘clocked’ the handball. They both saw it but didn’t make anything of it. It was in the Chelsea ‘can run riot’ period so perhaps it was another blinkered decision.

  20. Re Cole’s booking: I presumed that the booking was because Cole, hearing the whistle, kicked the ball off to prevent a fast re-start. My commentator (DSTV, S.African) didn’t know, and nobody else has indicated it. Is there a published record of bookings and causes?

  21. Are refs mic linked to there linesmen and 4th official. If so it might go some way to understand the fouls they give, and we would be able to hear the reason they give the play for any cards they get.

  22. Great analysis as always Walter. I was watching the game with Italian commentary (I don’t speak Italian) which was great! I can see what’s going on without some dumbass stating the obvious, and still get the atmosphere of the crowd. Think I’ll be doing it like this from now on 😉

  23. @Terence Mcgovern

    Why do yo say Birmingham’s goal against Man U should not have stood? It was a perfectly good goal.

  24. Our lino had his finger in his ear on his headset prior to any call he made – it was well suss… I don’t mind video technology being used but it has to be transparent and consistent.

    Also – why can’t we have access to the ref/lino/4th official mic – broadcast it on an internet stream, it wouldn’t be too hard?

  25. We should remember that the yellow card for Fabregas meant that he was suspended for the Wigan game – which, I guess, he had already been told that he would be rested for. I’ve seen Cesc get a yellow before for a fairly innocuous pull on someone in exactly the same circumstances before. I think it may have been on purpose again.

  26. Was the 4th official LEE PROBERT anything to do with that yellow card I wonder..?

  27. @ Shard, a birmingham player blatantly handled the ball before the goal was scored. As much as the sight of steam escaping from fergies ears delights me, it has to be said that the ref had a good view of it and it shouldnt have stood. It was a poor decision, but not half as bad as almost all the decisions made by probert last night at wiggum.

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