The untold ref review: Birmingkick – Arsenal. There’s something rotten in the state of football.

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By Walter Broeckx, the new year’s ref

Peter Walton was the ref at Birmingham today. And he was in charge when Stoke finally managed to break Ramsey’s leg last season after letting go too many tackles. Was he up to it today…?

OTHER: ….With less than a minute gone Fabregas is brought down clearly and the ref gives nothing. 0/1

OTHER: A back pass from a Birmingham defender and the keeper takes the ball in his hands, realises it and throws the ball in the air. I think the linesman saw it and told it to the ref who gave the indirect free kick. A good decision. 1/1

Shiver, shiver, shiver

OTHER/CARD: A Birmingham thug comes in with a frontal tackle and catches Fabregas just above the ankle. My throat was in my mouth  for a few moments. And if you do want to look at a replay of this you must try to keep your attention on how long it took the ref before he blew the foul. Way, way, way  too long it took. And it took even longer before he finally decided to hand out a card. A yellow one.

Just take a look at the picture and realise with my how lucky Cesc has been not to been lying down like Eduardo with his leg in two. This the kind of tackle you don’t want to see in any game and certainly not in a game between Birmingham and Arsenal.  Now I do admit that I have some kind of bias against Birmingham. And I do find it difficult to accept that he didn’t gave a red card. It was a frontal tackle but not a complete outstretched leg (if it would have been Cesc would be in hospital right now). But I do keep on struggling with the fact that it took ages before he even gave the foul.  I had the impression that at first he didn’t want to give the foul at all.  But as he got it right at the end of the day I will give him the points for that. 1/1 and 0/1

OTHER/GOAL:  There was a pull on Van Persie so it was a foul. And scoring with a little help from the wall is allowed. In fact the player in the wall hit the ball with his hands. 1/1 and 1/1

OTHER: Fabianski has a good intervention on  a cross and receives a late kick from Jerome. The ref does nothing. When you kick the keeper that has the ball, you must give a foul. 0/1

Jerome plants his foot on Fabianski who has the ball in his arms. A coincidence? or tactic?

OTHER: Van Persie is being kicked… nothing seen by the ref again. 0/1

OTHER/CARD: A blatant pull on Walcott and the ref gets out his card. Correct decision. 1/1 and 1/1

PENALTY: From the resulting free kick Djourou is held back with an arm around his neck and he can’t get to the ball. The defender held Djourou for a few moments like in a wrestling competition. But the ref who was not in the position he should have been (already tired?) did or could not see it. But it was a foul and should have been a penalty. 0/1

I give you this image to explain why the ref made a mistake. The circle on the right is his position when the free kick was taken. You can see he is some 20-25 meters away from the edge of the penalty area where the players are. The second circle on the left is the position that he should have been in when the free kick was to be taken. The arrow indicates that he would have had a clear sight on the incident and maybe would have given the penalty. Now he was too far away and couldn’t see it. Maybe this has something to do with his age and the fact that he couldn’t run the distance and was having some kind of break?

OTHER/CARD: Djourou blocks Jerome and gets a yellow card. It looked a bit like Jerome just ran in to the back of Djourou and then went down. But Djourou had his arms spread so he blocked Jerome. So it was a foul (obstruction) and a card could have been given. 1/1 and 1/1

PENALTY: Van Persie tries to head a ball away in our penalty area and misses it. His arm is raised and clearly touches the ball. We are lucky not to get a penalty against us. So the ref got this wrong and we were lucky on this occasion. 0/1

OTHER: Djourou heads the ball away and gets charged from behind. When a defender is being charged like that almost on his own goal line (just 5 meters out) you should always blow the foul.  There cannot be any advantage to the defending team in such a situation.  0/1

OTHER: Koscielny clears the ball and Jerome puts his foot on the ankle of Koscielny.  Koscielny is in pain and the ref and the linesman, who is only 10 meters away didn’t do anything.  I really had the impression that Jerome put his foot deliberate on Koscielny.  Certainly after what happened earlier and later on in the game. 0/1

Koscielny has kicked the ball away a few seconds ago. And Jerome keeps on dancing until he can plant his foot on the leg of Koscielny. Second time this happens to Jerome.

In we go at half time with a 1-0 advantage.

OTHER/OTHER/CARD: Sagna is being kicked from behind. The ref gives nothing. Sagna who is still on the ground kicks the ball away. What else can you do when the ref gives no foul. Then Bowyer comes in and kicks in a nasty way with his studs on Sagna who was down on the ground. This was mean and nasty and deliberate and should have been a red card. The ref missed it all. 0/1, 0/1 and 0/1

Sagna is being tackled from behind and it is a blatant foul but nothing given. Sagna kicks the ball away. Watch where the ball is and where Bowyer is aiming his leg at….

No ball in the picture anymore and Bowyer has a go and kicks Sagna right above his knee. This should have been a red card! The second one against Birmingham.

OTHER: A defender comes charging in the back of Van Persie jumping in from  a few meters behind him. The ref was blinded by the floodlights I think. 0/1

CARD: Another card against Birmingham and a correct one. 1/1

GOAL: A very fine goal and if you look at it again, please take a look at the way Fabregas runs and makes room with his run for Nasri to score. Sorry for going off topic but this was well within the rules. 1/1

OTHER:  A defender kicks Wilshere to the ground. The ref does nothing.  This was just a kick trough the ankle of Wilshere. 0/1

OTHER: Jerome goes in on Fabianski and the ref gives the foul. Correct decision this one. 1/1

OTHER/CARD:  Sagna gives a pass back to another defender and Bowyer again kicks him deliberate on his Achilles. The ref let it all go and Bowyer did not get a yellow card. But in fact he should have been off the pitch already at this moment in the game after his first kick at Sagna. 0/1 and 0/1

Again Bowyer kicks Sagna when the ball is already played. But we take revenge by scoring. But Bowyer shouldn’t have been on the field anymore by then.

GOAL: They all count and it is not against the law to score an own goal after a double deflection. And there have been 3 one-two combinations after each other between Cesc and Nasri.  1/1

And after this even Birmingham stopped kicking a bit and the ref wasn’t troubled anymore. So where does this leave our ref when we try to count his points?



GOAL:  3/3

OTHER: 6/16

Total score: 12/27 (44%)

So hey, for the first time in a while we can count ourselves a bit lucky with a penalty decision. The Van Persie handball should have been punished with a penalty.  Keep your hands close to your body Robin when in our own penalty area. It could have gone wrong and this time we can be happy for once with the fact that the ref did not see it.

But again the ref missed some things that he shouldn’t have missed. The deliberate “landings” on ankles and legs by Birmingham players when they could have easily avoided the legs of their opponents went on unpunished during the game. Even MOTD pundits found it necessary to highlight them.  Are you reading  my ref reviews,  over there on the BBC? Anyway, thanks for pointing it out.

The overall score is still below the 50% mark and not acceptable in the EPL. As long as it was not 3-0 I was afraid some Arsenal player would have been kicked off the field with a serious injury. Cesc  escaped, Sagna was lucky and I had some kind of Stoke feeling creeping in. Lucky we managed to score that third goal and then Birmingham was thinking: let us not risk any more cards as this game is lost and we could get suspended for next games.

The ref missed so many dangerous and mean attacks on Arsenal players leg is maybe isn’t a surprise to see that he missed the penalty from Van Persie. The behaviour of Bowyer was really shameful and he should have been sent off after his first attempt to assault the knee of Sagna.  He sure didn’t help Birmingham with missing the penalty but he sure did not try to stop them much in kicking us all over the field.

59 Replies to “The untold ref review: Birmingkick – Arsenal. There’s something rotten in the state of football.”

  1. Walter, Laws of the Game clearly state, that handling of the ball must be deliberate for the ref to call it. The guidelines stress that the ref must take into consideration “the movement of the hand towards the ball (not the ball towards the hand)”. It also says that “the position of the hand does not necessarily mean that there is an infringement”. It was obvious that RvP wanted to hit the ball with his head, missed it and the ball somewhat accidentaly fell on his outstretched hand. It was the same case as with Chamakh’s missed header in the game against United.

    So how can you say van Persie’s handball should’ve been punished with a penalty?

  2. This article is pretty poor…… I’m a Arsenal fan but please, the Jerome “stamp” on Kos was an accident, don’t all fall into a berk bracket. Just because Bowyer was being an early contender for “Bastard of the Year” doesn’t mean the whole team are gits.

  3. I said on this blog prior to the game that Walton is poor and he allows play that is too physical. Think back to Stoke last year. He only dismissed Shawcross after a long delay and when he realised the severity of Ramsay’s injury. His officiating was poor yesterday. How he missed so many key incidents is worrying. Brum should have had a penalty because RVP did handle the ball. Walton also missed a number of other big incidents, including incidents of violent conduct. The Premier League is supposed to be the best in the world, but it is riddled with inept officials. This week we have suffered because of Probert and Walton. The WBA v Man U game yesterday was riddled with mistakes from another poor official – Chris Foy Boy and Lee Mason made a mess of Chelski v Villa. Mike Riley is the referees’ supremo but he is effective as our defence on a poor day. Massive changes are needed. I accept that the players are not perfect but the cost of attending games is huge and to have a spetacle ruined by an inept and incompetent referee is not good enough.

    Now who do we have for Wednesday and who will we have for Dirty Leeds on Saturday?

  4. Miko, after seeing it some 12 times more or less I do still see that he moved his arm in the direction of the ball. Yes he went in with his head but his arm was following the path of the ball also and he stuck his arm out and made an interception.
    The Chamakh handball was when he was standing still and he moved forward and did not move his arms in the direction of the ball. His arms were in the same position all the time. And Chamakh missed the header and the ball hit his arm that did not move.

    But RVP his arm moved in the direction of the ball.

    This is why I say this was a penalty and the Chamakh one not.

  5. Wrenny thanks for the link. On the video you can see clearly how Jerome easily could have avoided Koscielny. But he kept on moving and jumping around in order to hit him. So disgusting. I already felt that the picture did not do justice to my disgust about the situation. But thanks to the link you can see what I was pointing at.

    And from my part I just discovered that I even forgot to cut the points for the ref for not giving a yellow card and as this was the second time he had to give Jerome a yellow card (Fabianski the first!). I admit I’m not perfect myself… 🙁

  6. Walter – thanks for your work on this -must have have taken you a long time today -Paul (another referee) – btw I wouldn’t have given a penalty against RvP – didn’t look intentional to me

  7. Paul, it did actually as I wanted to add the pictures to make clear why and what I wanted to explain my decisions.

    And about the RVP handball, the one thing that I do want to avoid is that people get the feeling: ‘Oh he just is giving it all the Arsenal way’. I could have given a few reasons for not giving a penalty. But I do take the hard way when I think I must take it.

    A bit like when the ref for my sons match didn’t show up and I did the game. As both teams new my son was playing I was so doing my best to be unbiased I gave 2 penalties against my sons team. Both missed as my son was the keeper who stopped the first and the second was shot over the bar.

    My sons didn’t like me to ref their games. 🙂 Neither did I… going to a game with the mindset to support their team and then have to be the ref takes a bit of a mind switch. And then I sometimes switched too far…

  8. Sean, as a ref you know accidents can happen. I can accept that Jerome kicked Fabianski “by accident”. No problem with that. It can happen.

    But as a ref I also know and feel that when it happens twice this usually is not an accident anymore and then I know that the first time was no accident either.

    An example given in my own games: a player is argueing from the first minute with my decisions. I ignore the first time, I tell him when passing by to stop it the second time, I call him over the third time to tell him I have had enough of it, I give him a yellow card the 4th time and 15 minutes later he makes a dumb challenge and picks his second yellow card.
    You would be amazed how many times after such an incident the manager or the responsible people of that team tell me after the game: He does this nearly every two or three games. He just does it all the time, it’s part of his game.

    So it is a bit down to experience from my part to see these things and I can be misguided with one “oh sorry I stamped on your foot by accident”-incident. But if the same player does it again I know this is no accident but just part of his game(plan?)

  9. Walter -I know the problem – living on a small Island, with 1 team in a league, I seem to end up with most of their home games, when I am refereeing them I have to be seen to not to be favouring them

  10. Superb article again I’ve been saying exactly the same things to anyone whod listen , but i thought I was going mad. By the way rvp should have been a pen pleased it wasn’t tho. Keep up the good work

  11. Great analysis again.
    Regarding the VP penalty incident I think it was Johnston who headed into the box; did he jump onto the back of an Arsenal player to do so?

  12. Add Webb to my previous comments about inept officials in the EPL. I have just seen the handball he missed in the Wigan v Geordies game. Another poor referee

  13. MOTD2 repeated again tonight that Bowyer can ‘expect a call from the FA’……

    I’m not sure the definition of violent conduct but if it were up to me it would be a retrospective red card associated with ‘violent conduct’, which I believe carries worse punishment than a straight red for a professional foul preventing a clear scoring opportunity…..

    3 game ban seems the least of it……..

  14. Walter – I was under the impression that a penalty is only suppose to be given for a “deliberate” handball in the area … to me it looked like Van Persie had his hands up to propel himself forward to head the ball, when he missed the ball with his head it then hit his arm … you can therefore argue it was an accidental handball and therefore not deliberate … can you clarify the rule and the interpretabtion that refs have been asked to adopt.

  15. I agree, Walter.

    I do think Jerome did it intentionally, as he had the time and space to avoid Kos.

    But I also think RVP made the handball deliberately, and tried to cover it up by making it look like a header that went wrong. It turned out well, because the Birmingham player behind him couldn’t kick the ball, which would have been goal bound en we didn’t concede a penalty.

    After all of this ref reviews, I ask myself the question if anything could be done to this bad refereeing?

  16. Having read Walter and Tony’s 2-part analysis, I hereby connect some dots in our unfolding drama:
    Working title: Guilt (Gilt, Gelt) by (F)Association
    Crime scenes: Birmingham, Stoke
    Backdrop: Shaky table top (ManU); beckoning R-Zone (Burr)
    Starring: Sir F-Word (as Godfather); Pulis/Shawcross (as Capo 1 and his hit man); McLeish/Jerome & Bowyer (as Capo 2 and his hit men); Peter Walton (as Crocked Cop, both locations); complicit refs, flunky linesmen, media stooges, and nervous big investors (from real life);
    Online Lavatory: Le Grove
    Sequel: expected, through 2011 at The Emirates
    Antidote: Blowing the whistle, Spreading the word, Publicizing connections, Shining the light
    Reward: Winning the PL, Rescuing our Game from the Gamers

  17. I think Sagna got it the worst… even against the man united thugs… theyre scared of him and his strength that they opt to injure him..

    Sagna needs more ref protection.. he earned it.

  18. Nice work again Walter!
    I think we more than deserved our abit of incompetence from the muppet refs wrt RVP’s handball but all the garbage that’s been spouted by the Arsenal haters from yesterday is just that, garbage!!! The lads were fabulous and up for it and they were going to pummel Birmingham no matter what! Damn fine performance from our Xavi (Cesc) and Iniesta (Samir)! The team pressure on the ball, defence and Lukasz weren’t bad too!
    Lord Wenger’s words of continuing discipline and togetherness, with luck and hopefully punishment for all the thugs we play against, will ensure that our superior talent will come through against all teams (such as it did for Spain against Holland in the World Cup final)! Bring on De Jong and the Arab Mercenaries midweek! Nice result for the Villa this evening! Lol!

  19. What a difference from the the game last week. Was Bowyer dishing out his thuggery against Manure? Did Rooney have to survive a leg breaker from Johnson? Of course not! Everybody, including the refs, are scared to death of SAF and I wonder how much he meddles in the tactics of Stoke and Brum against Arsenal? It is time our weak-kneed sychophantic press started to look at the sick interference and bias in the Prem. Is there a man amongst you Winter, Custis, Woolnough, Samuel, Lipton, Lewis- or are you party to the sad tryst? I agree that there was far too much sly after the ball ‘treading; in this game for it not to be organised. All you then need is a biassed, compliant ref. How many Arsenal players can we kick back onto the treatment/ operating table!!

  20. Can we also add to the missed decisions from the lines men and Ref, the two possibly more Larson corner kicks that were very clearly outside of the corner box lines. It happened more than once. Twice from what i saw (the commentator of my stream brought up the second corner i had seen).

    Also the Jerome incident by far was on purpose. And the commentator and Co commentator brought up a fantastic point. If it was an “Accident” Jerome would have gone back to check on Kos… he didn’t he walked off like nothing had happened. Now i’m sorry he clearly knew he trod on something that wasn’t flat ground.

    I thought Jerome was trying to take pieces out of our defenders to give his solo efforts a chance. And i believe the tactics shown against us should be investigated. It is absolutely despicable a red card was not shown in that game.

    The fact that neither Bowyer or Jerome got a yellow card is beyond me.

    And somehow we ended up giving away more fouls to them our 9 to their 8… has the world gone mad? No advantages were played… just straight on “I didn’t see it”.

    Surprised none of our boys got injured from that game.

  21. At least justice was served with that animal scoring an og!
    Also nice AW avoided being drawn in the subject.
    How Webb got rewarded with an OBE is laughable!
    I dare say these refs aren’t prejudiced against Arsenal, they’re just not very good!

  22. No one has yet mentioned the studs-up Kung Fu kick in the back of Walcott that there wasn’t even a whistle for….And Cesc even got a telling off from the ref for mentioning it! But this is all good because the team has clearly passed through the fear factor of games like these…we are not easily intimidated anymore and that augers well for our season…the other bully teams (thankfully not many)will now have to find another tactic to try and stop us…and at the same time we have developed the capacity to stay calm under stress…so we are able to punish teams when they become unbalanced due to their frustrations when their illegal tactics are not working.

  23. Sorry for the second post: Does anyone else notice that out team is not looking so small against our opponents anymore? Against Chelsea it was they that looked the puny team…This is purely psychological I know but our team is beginning to stand up as men in a man’s game..

  24. Totally forgot about the Walcott incident. Nice one for remembering. I’m still unsure how mason got a 44% by Walter, he missed a lot of incidents. Blatant, Bookable incidents.

  25. Somewhat off topic but do you know the rules for who will get the CC medal (if Arsenal do win one)?

    As I’ve read several places, many believe winning a trophy will do a lot of good for the belief in the squad and should Arsene think about who “deserves” to pick up a medal? From a quick look at the 3 games we’ve played so far, 22 different players have been on the pitch + another 3 have been unused substitutes.

  26. I must have missed this Walcott incident, don’t remember seeing that at all. Is there any image or clip of it on the web?

  27. @aaron January 3rd, 2011 at 1:50 am
    “Can we also add to the missed decisions from the lines men and Ref, the two possibly more Larson corner kicks that were very clearly outside of the corner box lines. It happened more than once. Twice from what i saw (the commentator of my stream brought up the second corner i had seen).”

    The ball can be placed several inches outside of the quadrant and still have a part of the ball over part of the line. Can someone who has done school geometry work out how far?

  28. Good post Mr.Walter.
    I was watching sunderland vs Blackburn a while ago and was appalled by the poor officiating. How is this connected in anyway to us? May not be relating to Arsenal, but certainly it has got to do something with manu.
    And now that their is no sam at Blackburn, the decisions have to go against them. And it happened. Ridiculous decision making, clear corner kicks were denied, fouls were not given etc.
    Football is really in a bad state because of this biasing.

  29. Guys,

    The best part of all these is that they cant resort to beat us by kicking us anymore. Notice how Nasri retaliated when Gardner(i think) fouled him? That’s how u do it!! Get back in those thugs faces!!

  30. Part of the “high” score is the goals off course. If you take them away the score is only around 37%.

    I didn’t mention it this time but any score below 50% should not be acceptable for an EPL ref.

    If I would be resposable for the refs I would ban refs who get a score below 50% to the lower division for a few weeks. A score twice in a season below 50% would get you down to the lower division for a few months.

    That will be the only way to get the refs sharper.

  31. At the end of the day, what’s the point of it all… this voice reaches no one. Even if it does, it doesn’t have an effect.

  32. About the remark made of placing the ball outside the quadrant in the rules it is said that the ball has to touch the line in projection. So in fact it can be placed outside the line but if it touches the line in projection it is within the rules.
    This is the same thing to judge a ball in or out the field and for giving a goal as the ball has to pass the line in its whole.

  33. Sonal, you asked what the point is.

    It seems a fairly simple question to answer:

    First, if one is left fuming by the ref at a match, then it is good to know that others saw it too – and we are able to share information about that, and the fact that there is a chance that the FA will look at the fouls the ref missed and take action.

    Second, there is some evidence that our voice is being heard. Of course the FA/EPL don’t say, “Oh Untold Arsenal has said x” but there are very slight signs of awareness of what we are doing.

    And the fact that I often return to that the Lord Wenger has quoted us a couple of times. so someone is tipping him off about us.

    And I do it because I enjoy doing it. I think Walter would say the same – and Phil, and Dogface, and everyone else writing for the site.

  34. Actually Sonal if you’d look at the link I posted from the Guardian you might change your mind. I wouldn’t expect that piece written a month ago, really.

    Unreconstructed Miscreant …. ha!

  35. @Tommie Gun,
    Saw the article too and Lovejoy is usually a good journo!
    It’s interesting how Walton is reported to have remarked post-match that had he had been told about the challenges during the match and he would have red-carded Bowyer if he had seen them at the time! He also said he was relieved that Bowyer was substituted because he could sense the undercurrent of nastiness! What an absolute cretin and moron! It’s exactly that kind of “turning a blind eye” by referees to these kinds of tactics by players and teams without severely punishing them immediately that leads to our shocking injuries! Once a ref decides that he should perhaps start to take some action, it’s usually too late and a player has already been badly injured! That’s just shocking and I can’t see how that’s different from say, letting a kid play with a loaded handgun and you waiting till it’s gone off before you decide to take it away from them! What unbelievably irresponsible, incompetent and criminal refereeing! Refs who look after matches with that kind of reasoning should not be relegated to the lower leagues but should NOT BE ALLOWED ANYWHERE near a game of football!

  36. DC, I totaly agree with your remarks.

    As a ref it can happen that you did not see something. No problem we don’t have eyes on the back of our head. But must say that the blatant kick on Sagna was not when he was standing with his back to the incident if I thought.
    But it happened right in front of the 4th official who should have warned the ref with this mic on this. He didn’t why? I don’t know? Not allowed? Or maybe he did tell it but the ref ignored it?

    But as a ref when you feel that there is something going on (he told afterwards that he felt something), you must be extra attentive for that player. And you must look a split second longer before looking away from him. Or ask via the mic to your assistants and the 4th ref to keep an eye on that players behaviour after the ball is being played. The ref just waited for the coach to take action. That is just too much : wait and see what happens. You can and must act pro-active in some situations and certainly when you feel there is something going on.

    What you can do (I have done this in some situations) is to stay close to the players for a while (don’t mean minutes or so) but I have had situations when there was something going on and I hadn’t seen the first incident but players swearing at each other, shouting they will kick the other if he even comes near, and other rubbish. Then I place myself a few meters away from those players and run where they run and tell them I am watching them and if they want to do something that now is the time or otherwise grow some sense. If they do something stupid then thea are warned and they can go, but until know most of the time the calm down just by the thought of having me running behind them for a while.

    But I do admit that this last thing is a bit dangerous as when you do this, somewhere else on the field something could happen and then you are too far away. But when you have the extra eyes and assistants it is something you can try.

  37. Hello,

    Your analysis of the mistakes made by the referees and other officials reflects a dire need for video and other technologies as are working so efficiently in cricket.

    Not only are matches affected like this, it sometimes robs teams of vital points and drops teams into relegation areas.

    I think the ref at Birmingham had a poor game and Bowyer should have been sent off.


  38. Hey guys talking about the corner kick incident. I am well aware of the rule that as long as the ball us touching the line it’s legal. If this was the case I would not have posted. This however was past the line and clearly so. I’ll try get pictures.

  39. I’m so glad Walter that sensible officials like you are in the game to protect players from these thugs and their managers! Sadly though, most of you referee abroad!
    We can only pray that the likes of Walton are made to see the danger of their ways before it’s too late for yet another player in British football! Perhaps we should all lobby for a trial with referees from mainland Europe to see how they deal with these thugs and their ways?! It would also help educate the English players wrt international football! Many more Red cards and bookings I’m sure will result for players and teams that finally deserve them!

  40. What about referee Accountability? Does anyone know the name of the 4th official <> the miscreant Bowyer did the Sagna Stomp? And does the FA publish its proceedings? Will that 4th official get good matches for this? Will Walton benefit or not lose benefits? What happens to such so-called referees should itself be tracked; and that would mean making them accountable. That information is a potential window through the smoke. Kudos to the Guardian piece. Another way, Sonal, is to be heard is to generate some consensus and serious anti-violence advocacy among the blogs that the thuggery is become rampant and likely intentional, especially right now, as the Arsenal makes a serious bid for a championship, not when it’s too late as we lose a Cesc or Sagna or anyone as we reach the the top of F-Word’s table. This time is now, Sonal, not the sigh of resignation that itself can only abet the mounting thuggery.

  41. The above sentence should read: Does anyone know the name of the 4th official IN FRONT OF WHOM the miscreant Bowyer did the Sagna Stomp?

  42. Game management is the key I think for any good ref, DC.

    When I blow my whistle to start a game I know from the first seconds what I will allow and what not. And I make the players clear from the first seconds. So I cut out the little fouls from the start and the big fouls are punished with the needed cards. Players who feel that I mean business from the start realize this very fast and will adapt to me and so I try to get a game of football going and not a game of kicking.

    And I do admit that it sometimes goes wrong. I’m not some kind of god or so. I’m human, I can have a bad day, things can happen behind my back. But I can tell you that I really am angry with myself when I have a bad day (which happens every now and then I do admit). But such a bad day is mostly followed by a lot of good matches because I am so angry at myself that the next games I am so focussed on doing my job that my concentration level is very high and I can have good games. Concentration is very important for a ref.
    Analyzing yourself is also very important as a ref. And not just the bad things but you must also look at the things you have done good. This is why I do give points to the refs who appeared to have been totaly sh*t. When they made a good decision I try to take this on board.

    I really do want them to do a good job in fact. I don’t find any pleasure in telling a low score from a ref. As it does have some kind of a reflection on myself as a ref. Some kind of: if they are already that bad, how bad are the others, the non EPL referees….

    I will stop now. I could write a book about it… maybe I should do it one day. Not about where I have been but more about tips and tricks for refs on how to do it and how to deal with some aspects of the game, and my view on refereeing and the lack in education…

  43. As there is now a lot of press coverage on this (Guardian, Telegraph, etc.), and so, this is hardly the time to get resigned about there being any upshot. The multiplier effect that Walter’s efforts can achieve, especially if we who respect and applaud this work take it on to spread the analysis and raise the questions, rather than shrug the shoulders. To have matches and seasons robbed by crocked refereeing would be tragic and when the fans draw the line, the till keepers get nervous.

  44. Bob, the fourth ref was Anthony Taylor a unknown name in the EPL as far as I know. Dogface will have more data on him I think.
    If he sees anything going on behind the back of the ref he should take action. But the problem with the Sagna incident is that I think the ref was looking in that direction. I dont have the video over here but I will try to have another look at where the ref was standing. If the ref would have given the blatant first foul (a judo kick from behind) the Bowyer kick wouldn’t have taken place. Or if it did it would have been a blatant kick after the ref blew and the ref would have been looking at the incident (maybe he did turn his head to see where the ball was going??).

    About punishments, well this is some dark covered area. This is kept away from the eyes of the public. Why? Have a guess I would say.
    I do think refs are watched (they are in my country and need to get a minimum score over the whole season or they lose their ranking and go down to the lower leagues). But I don’t know if there is any consequences in it. With only a pool of 16 refs you cannot send too many down to the lower leagues. It would mean no ones left anymore.

  45. Walter, interestingly, the Daily Telegraph (Jason Burt) has raised the question today as to Walton’s Dilemma: “It is unlikely that the official will want to own up to having missed both incidents, and the second was less conclusive than the first. However, Bowyer will be fortunate if he escapes with only a three-match ban.” It will be most interesting to see how this gets spun by Walton and/or his betters (bettors?) I hope you’ll follow up on that aspect. Cheers!

  46. Well Walter, i for one would highly encourage and support you on a book highlighting refereeing conduct!
    Incidentally, I recall a few weeks ago listening to BBC Radio 5live when they were talking to Graham Poll about his time as a referee! He disturbingly admitted that when he refereed against certain players and managers, he wound give decisions in their favour as part of his in-game and man-management even if the decision wasn’t justified! He gave an example of how he used to do it for Ronaldo and ManIOU! Is it just me or was this incredibly bad, bearing in mind that he was labelled then as our “top referee”?! If he was indeed favouring certain players and teams then, I’m certain that that still exists right now; hence the bizarre, inept and dangerous officiating that we continue to see! Football really has to be cleaned up!

  47. DC, this is shocking what you tell. Fact is most refs will only admit that they favour teams when they are no more directly involved in football.

  48. Shocking indeed Walter! What’s more, the pundits whom he was talking to didn’t even question him further on this revelation!

  49. With respect to referees favouring teams, the referees in Scotland are forced to divulge their allegiances and tell all who they favour and support! All referees in English football should be made to do so to and investigated further if there is any doubt about their genuinety! Needless to say, it must be very difficult to be totally impartial if you are a strong football fan as I’m sure that if any one of us were to officiate in a match that involves one if our direct rivals such as MIOU or the KGB in Fulham, we’d find it difficult to be totally unbiased too! I guess that’s another reason why it’s such a tough job and in competitions such as the World Cup, an official cannot referee in a match involving his own national country!

  50. Ok I have trolled through the game for the bits of info i wanted to highlight.

    Ok my first target is Jerome. I really think he needs, Some investigating If Lee Bowyer is getting investigated. Ok so first Image slide. (Hopefully these will show as best as possible what i am talking about).

    This first picture slide, shows an early challenge Kos and Jerome are involved in. As you can see here their in ok Spirits. After the challenge is made, Jerome offers a hand to the back of Kos, for a well time tackle. No problems here.

    The second Slide shows Jerome’s “attempted” Jump over Fabi. Now if you notice here as he comes in, he has time to jump over Fabi (By the time Fabi has caught the ball at least 7 feet of distance arw between the two). By the placement of his feet he takes a couple of steps before his back foot makes way onto Fabi’s Knee. Now in real time it kind of looks like he slips last min. But when you slow it down, he plants a couple of small steps and then stamps on Fabi. However he comes over and offers a hand to Fabi… Professional Foul if i’ve ever seen one. He has so much time to get out the way. More so than a second half jump he is able to make over Fabi.

    Right the last video… well do i need to say more? Before he “attempts” to jump he looks at the ground. His foot obviously isn’t on solid ground when he lands, but someone’s ankle. He walks off, like nothing has happened. Hears the whistle, looks up then as he hasn’t been pointed out, just keeps walking with his head down again. Doesn’t look at Kos, doesn’t go over to see if he is ok… Blatant Stomp…oh yea guess who’s over at the Ref saying how it is not fair, and complaining?! Bowyer that’s who!!

    Right the Walcott challenge. Liam Ridgewell is obviously looking at the ball when he makes this challenge. And so I don’t think it was as bad as the others. But shows a little bit of the hypocrisy. As he rises, his leg is outstretched. It Plants into Walcotts hip thus allowing Ridgewell to get more height (As he uses Walcott as a springboard) and for Walcott to get none.

    Now, this also happened with Sagna with MANIOU, his shirt ripped with Rio Ferd, We got nothing. Happened against MANIOU with Eboue and the chap gets a red card. I mean come on…how does that work out?! From a Straight Red challenge to a no card challenge? [here’s some pics from untold :)]

    And Lastly the corner kicks. Now you guys suggested i had got the situation and degree of the law wrong. But if you look here on two separate occasions (Look at the time so you can see there two separate incidents) The ball is not touching the line. The first image and angle is perfect to see how far away the ball is from the line. Can i also say he doesn’t adjust the ball after at all. It stays there. But because the camera moves the ball out of shot, i didn’t take any pictures. Does it count if it is maybe touching a blade of grass which has the white paint on it? Probably…but i mean come on.

    The Linesman on the other side was in perfect view of the other corner kicks…what happened with these? Did they just turn a blind eye? It was just ridiculous.

    Walter i want your Opinion please! And the other guy who questioned me. I think it might have been DC but im probably wrong. 🙂

  51. I think it should be the rule that when you start refereeing you make public your favourite teams. I think there is only one ref in the EPL for the moment who was a season ticket holder of a team and he cannot do matches from this team I thought. I cant come to his name for the moment but I think it was him who came back after being treated for cancer a few years ago.
    But this doesn’t tell the full story as i have no season ticket but would you let me do an Arsenal game? Or would any other team be happy with me doing an Arsenal game? I doubt it. Even if I would try my best to be unbiased I even wouldn’t trust myself to be honest. But I bet they wouldn’t kick like the Birmingham players did. 😉

    In a world cup a referee cannot even do a game if he ever has appeared in the league of one of the countries. Last World cup one of the canditates for the final was De Bleeckere from Belgium.

    There is an agreement between the Belgium, Dutch and Luxembourg football federations to exchange refs every now and then. So in Belgium we get a few games a Dutch ref or someone from Luxembourg, and the other way round some Belgian refs go and do a few games in Holland.

    So as De Bleeckere has done a few games in Holland during the years he was not allowed to do the final which involved Holland. If Holland would have lost the semi final there could have been a big chance that it would not have been Webb in the final but De Bleeckere.

  52. Interesting stuff Walter! When the Dutch and Luxembourg referees officiate in Belgium, do you notice much difference in their quality?
    I think the only referee in the EPL who has formally divulged his allegiances is Mark Halsey who’s said he’s a Bolton fan! I think he even trains with them every now and then too!
    @Aaron, think you got me confused with someone else!

  53. Just heard that Lee Bowyer’s been banned for 3 matches for violent conduct! Yes!!! Should have been 6 matches though for the Achilles stamp too! Perhaps the FA should ban Walton for 3 matches too for being a dangerously inept git!

  54. I thought Halsey was a QPR fan (his brother is an Arsenal season ticket holder).

    My two penn’orth is that there is something seriously wrong with Walton’s judgement. There were at least two incidents where he was looking straight at them from 3-4 metres away with a clear view and didn’t see anything wrong.

  55. @Andy Kelly,
    You might be right and I think he’s developed some affection for Bolton from living in the area and using their training facilities every now and then! I know he’s certainly not allowed to referee any of their matches because of that!

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