Ref watch

Just a blog to talk about the weekend’s controversial refereeing decisions from my refereeing point of view. Here goes:

Match: Chelsea v Cardiff

Date: 19th October 2013               Venue: Stamford Bridge               Referee: Anthony Taylor

Incident: David Marshall bounces the ball, Samuel Eto’o kicks the ball when it was on the ground, and around 15 seconds later Eden Hazard scores the equaliser for Chelsea.

The Laws of the Game (LOTG) clearly state that a goalkeeper is considered to be in control of the ball ‘while in the act of bouncing it on the ground’ Pretty clear cut.

The referee should have given an indirect free kick to Cardiff and booked Eto’o for unsporting behaviour.

It’s irrelevant whether we as fans or referees agree with the LOTG or not, referees are there to apply them correctly. Sometimes certain laws can be interpreted differently, like fouls and offsides but on this occasion it is clear in black and white.

BW9hKoqIIAINfzj.jpg large

The laws of the game in black & white regarding goalkeepers being in contol of the ball

The assistant referee and the 4th official could have helped Taylor better in this situation too, the 4th official can inform the referee when he is wrong in law. Many people think back to Gary Crosby and Andy Dibble (see clip below) in the 89/90 season and assume the law is still the same.

Match: Chelsea v Cardiff

Date: 19th October 2013               Venue: Stamford Bridge               Referee: Anthony Taylor

Incident: Hazard shoots, Eto’o is lying on the floor and the ball flicks off him and into the net. Eto’o’s lower leg is ahead of the second last opponent (in this case the Cardiff goalkeeper – see picture below).

BXCq9xcCIAIqWQxEto’o lying on the floor in an offside position, the ball hits him and goes in

I was amazed how many people on Twitter didn’t know the offside saw tweeting that Alan Shearer was wrong in saying it was offside. Alan was CORRECT in his assessment. Stephen Caulker was on the line, but he was the last opponent, not the second last opponent.

Some people also said that Eto’o didn’t intentionally mean to touch it, that is also irrelevant, the word intent only appears in the LOTG for handball situations.

I would sympathise slightly with the assistant, it is almost impossible to see the touch in real time, only when it is slowed down can you really see it.

Match: Chelsea v Cardiff

Date: 19th October 2013               Venue: Stamford Bridge               Referee: Anthony Taylor

Incident: David Marshall picks up a long ball from Chelsea outside of the goal area.

On this occasion the referee and assistant did nothing, the assistant is not in line with the incident so cannot guess and the referee is in no position to judge it either. People were saying Marshall would have been sent off. Not the case. Nowhere in the LOTG does it say that a goalkeeper handling outside the area is an automatic red card.

The only time a red card would be given is either for a second yellow for deliberate handball or a red card for denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity. Eto’o did not have possession of the ball and there was a defender in front of him anyway. A yellow card and a free kick should have probably been the outcome.

Anyway enough about Cardiff……….

Match: Everton v Hull

Date: 19th October 2013               Venue: Goodison Park                 Referee: Neil Swarbrick

Incident: Kevin Mirallas of Everton shot from outside the box, Gareth Barry was in an offside position when the ball was struck. The ball hit him and went into the goal.

A bit of sympathy for the assistant again on this one, when the incident is shown on TV afterwards in freeze frame Barry is about a yard offside. The assistant only gets one look at it in real time and a split second later the Hull defender is in line with Barry. I hate these type of instances when I run the line. Though thankfully the games aren’t filmed so I can’t see if I was wrong or not!

Match: Hoffenheim v Bayer Leverkusen

Date: 18th October 2013               Venue: Rhein-Neckar Arena:                 Referee: Felix Brych

Incident: Stefan Kiessling heads a corner wide but the ball trickles in through a hole in the net.

I’m guessing we all saw this one! The referee awards a goal despite the fact it didn’t go in, his name wasn’t Stuart Attwell either. A bad call for me and no real excuses at the top level. The assistant probably should have spotted the hole beforehand and maybe the lack of inital celebration might have made Brych think this wasn’t a goal.

Goal-line technology to be in the Bundesliga next season then?

Match: Bolton v Sheffield Wednesday

Date: 19th October 2013               Venue: Reebok Stadium               Referee: Chris Foy

Incident: Jermaine Johnson heads in a Stephen McPhail free kick, a fellow Wednesday player, who was in an offside position, jumps in front of Bogdan but doesn’t connect with ball or goalkeeper.

Sian Massey disallowed the goal, much to the annoyance of the Sheffield Wednesday players and Dave Jones (What’s new?). Sian Massey, as she usually is, was correct to disallow the goal. Under the new amended offside law, which was changed in the summer, a player should be given offside if he/she challenges for the ball. Someone tell Dave Jones please?

Sian MasseySian Massey getting it right as usual

Match: Tranmere v Leyton Orient

Date: 19th October 2013               Venue: Prenton Park                     Referee: Richard Clark

Incident: David Mooney of Leyton Orient hits the post with a penalty and puts the rebound into the net.

This ‘goal’ was correctly disallowed as a player cannot touch the ball twice unless it touches an opponent. The goalkeeper did not get a touch on the ball so an indirect free kick must be given. I do wonder how many Orient fans berated the referee at the time though……….

This just goes back to my point that a lot of players, managers and fans don’t know a lot of the Laws of the Game. I always think players and managers should read them, just to give them a better understanding on certain things.

It’s not so much the lack of understanding; it’s the way some fans react to correct decisions under law. If you have a free kick, goal kick or indirect free kick inside the goal area the ball MUST leave the area for play to continue. If it doesn’t it just gets re-taken, no big deal really would you agree?

It has happened twice to Michel Vorm this season, the referees have correctly ordered a re-take, cue a torrent of abuse from supporters as if the ref has given a penalty and sent one of our players off.

Had Malky Mackay and the Cardiff players made more of a fuss at the time for Chelsea’s equaliser, the referee may have thought he was wrong and checked with his team. Mackay said in his post match interview that he wasn’t aware of the laws. I guess he is now!

I am surprised that Anthony Taylor has been given a Premier League game this coming weekend. The last time a referee was wrong under law he was given a few weeks off. That was Andre Marriner when he gave a goal in the Wigan v Blackburn game after Pedersen touched the ball twice whilst taking a corner.

Marriner had assumsed Yakubu had touched the ball initially before running away.


One thought on “Ref watch

  1. You know what really confuses me is that officials seem unaware of players reactions,as these show an immediate response to a situation or event. Footballers are a bit like dogs wagging their tails,the first reaction,a look of guilt or a sneaky glance shows the true story.
    It’s similar to a player rolling around on the ground feigning injury,if they’re injured they do not move,some officials appear to be getting wise to this,but many are blissfully unaware,apparently.
    Nice review though mate.

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