DISGRACEFUL REF RUINS GAME, BUT, DON’T IGNORE THE CLARITY OF VISION

by .

Every season there’s a game that you play where you are utterly f*cked by circumstances beyond your control. It hurts. It’s unfair. It stings. That game was last night against Wolves.

The game hinged on a very poor decision from a very poor referee.

David Luiz was adjudged to have fouled Willian José when his foot clipped the Brazilian’s knee. Craig Pawson, desperate to give the penalty, was backed up by VAR and he issued a red card, going against double jeopardy ruling. This is Mark Clattenburg on the incident.

David Luiz was incorrectly sent off after giving away a penalty at Wolves — it should have been a yellow card.

The Arsenal defender made accidental contact with Willian Jose as he ran clear on goal and that caused the forward to fall. No one can dispute it was a foul and the award of a penalty was the right decision.

However, a law exists that protects teams from conceding a penalty and losing a player to a red card if a genuine attempt to play the ball has been made.

It was a horrible decision and it completely ruined the progressive football we’d been playing for the previous 46 minutes.

The penalty was scored and shortly after kick-off in the second half, Moutinho let off a screamer that beat Bernd Leno from about 25 yards. Saka and Partey should have done more, but really, it’s quite harsh to apportion blame, the strike was lethal.

Things got worse for Arsenal, Bernd Leno, an absolute rock for us, misjudged a long ball and was sent off when he handled outside the area. Matters were made worse when we gave the ball boy keeper gloves and played out the game with an amateur between the sticks.

We lost. It was rough. The game shone an light on a harsh reality… Premier League referees are awful.

I don’t want to be a conspiracist, but simply put, if you cannot make good decisions when you have the luxury of technology to support you, there needs to be a change. Arsene Wenger had it right, he said that no one wants to have this conversation, but when it comes to the World Cup, FIFA don’t exactly line-up for our referees. How could they be good, the managing director for PGMOL is Mike Riley, a bad referee famed for incompetence is leading them.

PGMOL lacks accountability. The standard of officiating in the UK is terrible. This isn’t mere gripping, it’s fact. Technology is used poorly, bad refs keep ruining important games, and there seems to be no one competent in charge to drive improvement.

Back to Arsenal. David Luiz needs to take some accountability. If you know the refs are shit, don’t take risks. If he were a driver, he’d be the guy going 80mph on a country road, 3 inches behind the car in front… chances are, that sort of motoring is going to get punished at some point. It was, and it happens too often. Still, the simple fact is, history doesn’t matter here, we were totally fucked by a shit referee… again.

However, let’s put some things in perspective, especially for all the ghouls that showed up after the game to condemn the project.

Arsenal are going places under Arteta. We all had our doubts before Christmas, but the transformation on the pitch has been nothing short of electric. If you can’t see it, it’s because you don’t want to see it.

That first half was the best half of football we’ve see all season. The energy was outrageous, we looked powerful, we pressed with intent. The attacking football at times was sublime. We’ve gone from one power-play to a whole plethora of options when we move forward.

Thomas Partey made amends for his average performance at the weekend. He was world-class. He is the balance between attack and defence. His instincts for the game are unreal. He was everywhere. Can you believe that people said they wouldn’t take him on a free? Embarrassing carry-on.

Bukayo Saka, you absolute beauty. He’s so, so important to us. He dominated in attack. His finishing was off, but my oh my is it clear that we missed him for the United game.

Xhaka was very impressive. Cedric had another good game. Lacazette played that false 9 role like a demon.

Nicolas Pepe… OH MY… is it starting to look like I bet on the wrong opinion. He should live on the left. He was unplayable at times. He is working like his career depends on it. His body language was excellent, his desire to be involved felt different, and he showed up with a goal. He won the ball back with the press, he held of challenges, retained balance, and smashed home with a clinical finish. A thing of beauty.

We’re shaping up nicely. Every issue we’ve had with Arteta is being resolved one game at a time. We’re still defensively resolute, even with 9 men, just look at what happened to Southampton. We’re getting better and better in attack, some of the football was scintillating. We are starting to look elite even without our best starting 11. Our bench had Martinelli, Gabriel, Auba and Odegaard… true strength in depth. We’re also rattling the naysayers… which makes me happy. Too many Arsenal fans hate it when we’re doing well, a shame, but the reality of the modern-day superbore.

A bad day at the office, but plenty to be pleased about.

This season is done. That’s terrible. It wasn’t on the bingo card this year. So we have to move on, we have to look to next season, we have to start thinking about how we can best used the remaining months as a preseason to a normal year in 2022.

We were robbed. 3 points would have been ours had it not been for that pesky ref. Time to show we have the strength to come back from it at the weekend.

Onwards and upwards, ignore the melts, we’re progressing very nicely.

Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Play

510 Responses to “DISGRACEFUL REF RUINS GAME, BUT, DON’T IGNORE THE CLARITY OF VISION”

Jump to comment form ↓

  1. henleygooner

    if a genuine attempt to play the ball has been made.

    wasn’t the problem that he wasn’t trying too play the ball – he was just trying to do nothing?

  2. Pierre

    The failure of VAR is more down to the fact the league didn’t employ an independent body to oversee it.

    They should have brought in a professional, highly trained group who have no connection with the PGMOL who would give decisions without fear of recrimination from the PGMOL.

    Instead we have a bunch of amateurs who are making it up as they go along..
    None of them want to upset the status quo so they support their colleagues on the pitch even when it is obvious that a decision is wrong .

    The PGMOL have no one to answer to , and never have, and there lies the problem

  3. andy1886

    Pierre, as usual the issue is that referees have almost always zero experience of playing the game at a high level. We need people who actually understand the game from a player perspective in refereeing. Also as per my last entry on the yesterday’s post referees are not permitted to use ‘common sense’ or do anything but rigidly adhere to the laws of the game and the interpretation given to them.

  4. Le Professor

    “Onwards and upwards, ignore the melts, we’re progressing very nicely.”

    Totally agree re the “melts”. Quick scan of Twitter you can see Arteta being blamed for the result. Really?!!!

    Personally I think these “melts” are just saddos after the attention.

    As you positive is the football for 44 mins was incredible and Pepe hopefully finally gets it.

  5. CazOnARola

    How is the season over? That is not really the mentality to go by. Other teams lost too. Getting 6-7th place (if two top 6 sides win the domestic cups).
    We need you be in Europe next year. All this talk of Europa league is a distraction and we are better off without it to concentrate on the league is nonsense.

    We need every penny with that 120mn loan on our head.

  6. Goddie

    What was Luiz doing upfront with just one minute to end of first half leading 1,0. Just like Mustafi he is always seconds away from disaster

  7. grooveydaddy

    Pierre

    I seem to remember you being one of the biggest proponents of VAR prior to its introduction.

    Curious to hear how you feel about it now?

    It certainly doesn’t feel like it’s leveled the playing field from an Arsenal perspective. We’ve been hurt by it far more than we’ve benefited from it.

  8. David Smith

    The standard of refereeing is terrible, and there is zero accountability for them or their organisation, but they also know that if they look after the right people and teams, as they conspicuously do, nothing will happen against them.
    Someone somewhere in the game should be looking at how Utd are refereed in this league, if they do indeed get things handed on a plate to them, that is matchfixing , nothing less.
    that, along with the general abysmal standard of these refs. Very poor

  9. Davey

    Let’s be clear it was a penalty but no sending off, but can anyone justify with 20 seconds left why the fuck was Luiz so far up field? Go in H/T we win the game easy the man is a liability and I pray this was his last game for my club.

  10. Words+on+a+Blog

    When we play poorly for several matches in a row. It’s fair game to blame Arteta and to question his decisions and his tactics

    But it’s really fucking stupid to do it when we are playing well and a referee decides to make a ridiculous intervention in a match where we’re playing well to affect the result.

  11. Nelson

    “he issued a red card, going against double jeopardy ruling.”

    But Luiz wasn’t trying to play the ball. Hence, by that stupid rule, double jeopardy didn’t apply. The Ref called the same thing in the Manure game.

  12. The Bard

    Totally agree Le Professor. We looked a very good side until the Luiz incident. It may have been a refereeing mistake but Luiz shouldn’t have put himself in that position. Take the ref out of the equation.
    Agree with you Pedro some cracking performances, nothing to get too upset about. Shit happens in football.

  13. Samesong

    I feel for saka was unfortunate to not get a goal yesterday.

    I can see him scoring against Villa on Saturday. He looks more hungrier to score goals now.

    Got to look out for Grealish in the penalty box on Saturday.

  14. Nelson

    Now that we all know the stupid rule, always try to play the ball.

    By the way, now that we have Partey, we don’t need Luiz’s long ball.

  15. Terraloon

    “However, a law exists that protects teams from conceding a penalty and losing a player to a red card if a genuine attempt to play the ball has been made.”

    Did Luiz make any attempt to play the ball ?

    If it was judged a foul, which the majority agree it was then it was a red. Clattenburg wants to play to the audience as always. Romberg this is the ref that allowed Spurs to break every law against Chelsea because he didn’t want to be accused of losing Spurs the league.

  16. curse

    reminds me of when van purse got sent off against Barcelona.

    I would have walked off the pitch. mankind fuckin irritates me.

  17. TT

    @Pedro

    “Too many Arsenal fans hate it when we’re doing well, a shame, but the reality of the modern-day superbore.”

    If that’s the case I would not call them Arsenal fans at all.

    Nothing wrong with not liking a manager or certain players, we all have our opinions. But if you cant be happy when we do well then I question that “fans” support.

  18. Emiratesstroller

    What seems to have gone unnoticed in debate about last night’s outcome is that the person
    in charge of VAR was Jonathon Moss one of the worst referees in the business.

    Personally I think we should move on now. We had a bad result notwithstanding that we played very well in the game.

    We need to reset and get back to winning ways as quickly as possible starting with game against AV.

    My main concern is the absence of Leno and not Luiz. We are not short of replacements for
    Luiz. Both Gabriel and Mari are decent CBs to have as replacements.

  19. Mysticleaves

    “What seems to have gone unnoticed in debate about last night’s outcome is that the person
    in charge of VAR was Jonathon Moss one of the worst referees in the business.”

    Does it matter who was in charge when he made the right decision?

  20. Emiratesstroller

    I am assuming that both Leno and Luiz will miss only one game since the red card will be
    considered a “professional foul” rather than “violent conduct” which attracts a three game
    ban.

    Is that the correct analysis?

  21. Samesong

    My main concern is the absence of Leno and not Luiz. We are not short of replacements for
    Luiz. Both Gabriel and Mari are decent CBs to have as replacements.

    ES

    We are in trouble if Runasson goes in goal on Saturday. We are also in trouble if we rush Matty Ryan back from a muscular injury.

  22. NorwegianGooner

    Only thing Arteta can be blamed for is how well we played from the off. We should have been 2-0 up within 10 minutes, and the game would have been buried. It was a freak game, and sadly, again, Luiz cost us.

    This season is about forging an identity, getting rid of bad apples, and streamlining the club from a-z. We’re finally seeing a proper team that’s progressing very nicely with the right age profile, and in my opinion we will only get better from here. It’s fun and exciting to watch Arsenal again, and for me this is a strategy and vision worth getting behind as a supporter.

  23. Terraloon

    Mystic

    In one.

    The introduction of VAR was done so to take away the likelihood that the ref didn’t have a good view or similar excuse now officials use those replays that previously we supporters were able to see
    Unfortunately the laws so many supporters think are in place aren’t and when the officials make a correct call which they do in the vast vast majority of instances they do so using an upto date knowledge of the laws.

  24. andy1886

    Nothing quite as boring as reading the ‘superfans’ chastising other fans who just happen to have a different viewpoint. I’m in the ‘shit happens’ camp on last night’s game, no point in blaming anyone individual. May change my mind if Luiz get’s another extension though.

  25. Terraloon

    ES

    Leno definitely misses one game.

    In respect of Luiz the fact that he was deemed not to have made an attempt to play the ball could , potentially be classed as violent conduct

    As an aside here is FIFA law and emphasis why Luiz was sent off

    “Where a player commits an offence against an opponent within their own penalty area which denies an opponent an obvious goal-scoring opportunity and the referee awards a penalty kick, the offending player is cautioned if the offence was an attempt to play the ball; in all other circumstances (e.g. holding, pulling, pushing, no possibility to play the ball etc.) the offending player must be sent off.

  26. Mr Serge

    Andy some need chastising they talk shit and just come on here to gloat and push their agenda
    If they were not doing that they would come on here when we win but they never do
    True fans or super fans as you call us come on here win or lose

  27. GARY_SSSSS

    The decision to send Luis off was pathetic and ridiculous. To then have to sit and listen to Peter Walton defend the decision at half time was really rubbing salt into the wounds. Yes, the laws state that if a player commits a ‘careless foul’, then it is a penalty and a sending off, but the law also says that an ‘accidental foul’ is a penalty and a caution only. The contact is clearly accidental, and anyone with half a brain cell can see it was accidental (if there actually was any contact???)

    Once again, the way the PGMOL interrupt the laws and apply them to the Premiership is jobsworthy and bureaucratic to the extreme. The Premiership referring standard is shockingly bad. Pedro is correct, the PGMOL and their bunch of jobsworth idiots ruin too many English Premiership games with their ridiculous implementation of the rules, as well as the inconstancy. As for how they use VAR, I am not even going to go there!

    PGMOL = Jobsworth morons!!!

    First half performance up to that point was fantastic. Where did the extra minute of extra time being played at the end of the first half come from, by the way. The half time whistle should have already have been blown well before the penalty incident.

  28. andy1886

    Mr Serge, sorry but people are only ‘super fans’ in their heads. You need to differentiate between people who just happen to have a different opinion and trolls. I’m not going to tell anyone how they should support the team, that’s their business. Better to have a reasoned discussion where possible and just ignore the trolls.

  29. Words+on+a+Blog

    Terraloon.

    Presumably there is also a FIFA rule that stipulates that if Bruno Fernandes intentionally rakes his studs against the back of a player legs then a VAR review should not seem the action to be worthy of any card?

  30. Terraloon

    DENYING A GOAL OR AN OBVIOUS GOAL-SCORING OPPORTUNITY

    Where a player denies the opposing team a goal or an obvious goal-scoring opportunity by a handball offence the player is sent off wherever the offence occurs.
    GARY

    Pease show me where in the laws it says that if the foul was accidental?

    Where a player commits an offence against an opponent within their own penalty area which denies an opponent an obvious goal-scoring opportunity and the referee awards a penalty kick, the offending player is cautioned if the offence was an attempt to play the ball; in all other circumstances (e.g. holding, pulling, pushing, no possibility to play the ball etc.) the offending player must be sent off.

  31. andy1886

    “Not saying you are one of them btw Andy think your views are always balanced”

    Thanks for that although I’m not sure Pedro would agree!

    Most people on here are reasonable even if we sometimes get frustrated when things are going against us. Just life I guess.

  32. andy1886

    BTW I’m pretty sure that Pedro knows that any mention of the PGMOL is sure to drive a frenzy of comments and bring in some of the conspiracy theorists from a certain other Arsenal site. He’s not daft.

  33. Danny+S

    How was David Luiz attempting to play the ball by running across the back of an attacker so close that his heels clip him?

    Luiz didn’t even contest it. He knew what he had done.

  34. kamal

    Waiting for Sid & I’m telling you this for free wind-ups!

    On another note, anyone blaming Arteta for yesterday has an agenda and that is that!

  35. Words+on+a+Blog

    Terraloon

    My point is about the consistency and the pattern of the application of the rules by the referees.

    It does feel like Man United get the VIP treatment

    Whereas refs are happy to throw the book at any Arsenal player at each and every available “opportunity.”

  36. Bergkamp63

    Well, as disappointed in the overall result, I refuse be downhearted about the performance, the changes are well under way and the future is looking bright.

    Ignore the rantings of adolescents, they have a Monochrome mindset in a world of colour.

  37. Pierre

    Terraloon

    “In respect of Luiz the fact that he was deemed not to have made an attempt to play the ball could , potentially be classed as violent conduct”

    Violent conduct ?

    I’d remove the Terra from your name…loon is suffice with a comment like that.

  38. DUIFG

    Can’t argue with the post but I do ha e an issue with Luiz, this was coming in the post, maybe not a red yesterday but he got done and he was in and aroud the back of the guy desperate to take him down.

    He played OK sat does not mean he’s ready for Tues, his eyes looked a bit shocked pre goal, if you bet on Luiz this might happen.

    So disappointed for pepe, was storming it and all spoilt, team selection Saturday will be interesting, odegarrd needs some minutes for sure, but esr should probably still start

  39. AFC Forever

    Morning all.

    Still seething at the injustice of it all. Makes it worse when you listen to every pundit and ex-player criticising yet another pathetic decision from the unaccountable and incompetent Riley mob at PGMOL.

    Thought I would share this link. It’s a great watch and explains the decision from someone involved in approving the rule change at IFAB, Shaka Hislop. He explains why Moss and Pawson got it wrong as they misinterpreted the rule.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gsP_3EeJDCsThe intent

    Essentially the reason the law was changed was to avoid double jeopardy, being punished twice. The penalty was punishment enough. The rule, therefore, operates on what should be a very simple basis to anyone with half a brain:-

    1. If you (accidentally) foul someone while making an attempt to get the ball, then it is a FOUL and a YELLOW card.

    2. If you make NO ATTEMPT to play the ball, in a deliberate attempt to commit a professional foul & prevent a goalscoring opportunity, (for example pull the player back or deliberately trip him) then it is a FOUL and a RED card.

    According to Shaka Hislop, the PGMOL mob have misinterpreted the rule; they should have applied the ‘accidental’ part but chose to ignore it and instead called it a ‘Professional Foul’. They have actually done against the reasoning for the rule was changed.

    From the horses mouth.

  40. Ben D

    The root cause of Luiz sending off lies with the team, and not just the ref or even David Luiz himself. The whole backline pushed up to the centre line for a goalkick with 30 seconds to go until halftime. That singular decision made us lose the match as it led to everything that followed. Annoying because it was completely avoidable and we would certainly have won that game. We were excellent until that point

  41. Ernest Reed

    “Too many Arsenal fans hate it when we’re doing well”

    Look at the standings and then you concede that the season is over, Pedro.

    Geez but you contradict yourself enough times. How exactly are we doing well f you have already conceded the season?

  42. Valentin

    The law is not wrong, the interpretation of the law by PGMOL and English pundits that is wrong.

    It’s a red and a penalty if the player commits a foul. If there is no foul, then there is no red nor penalty.

    Not all contact are fouls.

    An accidental tangle of legs is just an accidental tangle of legs not a foul.

    People talk about changing or clarifying the law, by referee incompetence cannot be eradicated by law.
    Remember the ManCity offside goal that was not offside. PGMOL issue a clarification of the interpretation of the law that did not change the law nor its interpretation. Instead of admitting that the referees got that one wrong.

  43. andy1886

    As I’ve said they should involve ex-professional players much more in refereeing and until they do refereeing bodies will continue to make poor laws and apply them in obscure ways. That said until that happens you can’t say a referee ‘got it wrong’ if they are following the guidelines that they have been given. What you mean is they followed their instructions correctly but the applicable law is a stupid one and should be changed. Different thing altogether.

  44. Ernest Reed

    Said it yesterday and will say it again, you introduce David Luiz into a match and the chances of a calamitous episode increases exponentially. Why Arteta chose to introduce Luiz lies solely with him, the rest is history, like the outcome or not.

  45. andy1886

    Val “An accidental tangle of legs is just an accidental tangle of legs not a foul”

    It is if the player is careless. Anyone who has ever played football at any level knows that if you run across the back of a player in motion there could easily be contact so you don’t do it unless you want to risk fouling them.

    What bugs me far more than this is how easily players win penalties from minimal contact. Getting clipped from behind you’re very likely to fall but some of those where a player gets brushed by an arm or where the attacking player initiates contact are a totally different ball game.

  46. Nelson

    I really enjoy watching Partey operating in the midfield. Some of our players are still not anticipating his passes. Bellerin passed the ball to Partey and then stood still even when there was lots of room in front of him. On the other hand, Xhaka has developed good chemistry with Partey. Our game should look even better once our players are familiar with Partey’s game.

  47. AFC Forever

    Valentin

    “The law is not wrong, the interpretation of the law by PGMOL and English pundits that is wrong”

    CORRECT.

    That is exactly what Shaka Hislop of IFAB is saying and he should know.

    He says the rule is fine but PGMOL are not applying the ‘accidental’ element – they chose to misinterpret it as a professional foul, which it was not.

  48. Savage

    “…we gave the ball boy keeper gloves and played out the game with an amateur between the sticks…”

    We’re Arsenal fans and we’re more classy than this.

  49. andy1886

    Ernest, is anyone surprised that Luiz gave away another penalty or got a red? We should have never given him a second year, or at the very least labelled him as ‘for use in an emergency only’. That’s not hindsight, it was the opinion of the vast majority of gooners last summer.

  50. Terraloon

    AFC again show me where the word accidental appears in the rule. It doesn’t feature at all nor does the question of intent

    Look again at the rule

    DENYING A GOAL OR AN OBVIOUS GOAL-SCORING OPPORTUNITY

    Where a player denies the opposing team a goal or an obvious goal-scoring opportunity by a handball offence the player is sent off wherever the offence occurs.

    Where a player commits an offence against an opponent within their own penalty area which denies an opponent an obvious goal-scoring opportunity and the referee awards a penalty kick, the offending player is cautioned if the offence was an attempt to play the ball; in all other circumstances (e.g. holding, pulling, pushing, no possibility to play the ball etc.) the offending player must be sent off.

    So once a penalty was given , I don’t think anyone is suggesting Luiz made an attempt to play the ball Pawson in accordance with the law MUST send the player off.

  51. Samesong

    As I’ve said they should involve ex-professional players much more in refereeing and until they do refereeing bodies will continue to make poor laws

    I don’t agree with this. What the same ex-players that tried to cheat the ref’s in their career by diving in instances. Are we advocating for them to be refs? I don’t see a big difference in ex players making a big difference at all.

    They will also be prone to making the same mistakes as current refs. Even if they sat on a board for VAR they will make mistakes.

    Their will still be biases towards certain teams a player may of supported a team other than the one they played for.

  52. Ernest Reed

    “This season is done. That’s terrible. It wasn’t on the bingo card this year. So we have to move on, we have to look to next season, we have to start thinking about how we can best used the remaining months as a preseason to a normal year in 2022.”

    “Onwards and upwards, ignore the melts, we’re progressing very nicely.”

    You do know the season is basically at the halfway point, right Pedro?

    Your own words can and will come back to haunt you. Lots to play for and plenty of games left to play. A lot of good things can happen, but you seem more focused on the “melts”. Methinks that perhaps you yourself are a prime candidate for Melt of The Year with those words. You are better than this, Pedro.

  53. Terraloon

    AFC

    Is Hislop a FIFA rep on IFAB ? Not sure he is and he certainly isn’t a rep from any of the four home nations he is a pundit for ESPN

  54. Valentin

    Ben D,

    The reason why the team pushed up is because against a team like Wolves, they were instructed to not try to syatematically beat the press. So more restart were made by going long.
    But going long only make sense if the team is setup to receive the 2nd ball, because Lacazette is not going to dominate in the air.
    Against opposition with pacy powerful wingers, teams don’t tend to push that high, but also they tend to ask the extra midfielder to drop off the strikers to retrieve any knock down or clearance and the wide men to man mark to block any kick over the top clearance.

    Unfortunately that did not happen on that passage of play. However putting David Luiz in Back 4 in a game you want the team to be aggressive is a recipe for disaster. Too many, we have seen it happen, a long ball beat the press and David Luiz commits a foul or a desperate lunge.

  55. SpanishDave

    As I said earlier the additional time was up so why did the ref let play go on?
    The incident was 39 secs beyond the finish of the game.
    Man U get penalties after the final whistle has been blown.
    Our refs are crap compared with European refs.

  56. Nelson

    The schedule is getting tight. It is important to keep the players fresh. Saka has rested for a game and yesterday he had so much more energy than Laca. My preference is to put higher priority on the Europa Cup. No EPL game is easy. And there are too many teams in front of us in the standing. I think we have better chance to win something with the Europa Cup..

  57. Jamie

    Jesus Christ, the ref conspiracy fanatics on here..

    Rui Patricio made just 2 saves all game, including when we has 11 players on the pitch.

    Our first half dominance against a shockingly poor Wolves wasn’t that dominant, which is why we lost over 90 minutes.

    In the end, Wolves outshot us, outpassed us, had more touches, more dribbles, more interceptions.

    I’m more annoyed at Laca being offside for Saka’s goal than I am at either sending-off.

  58. Leedsgunner

    The referees did not do any favours for us but Arteta should have chosen Gabriel or Mari over Luiz… when they were available.

    I still don’t understand why he was chosen over other defenders.

  59. Valentin

    Andy,

    Not necessarily, I remember a game at a World Cup where the player deliberately crossed in front of a defender who was running back causing the tangle. The attacker was expected a penalty and a red, but did not get the expected penalty nor the red.
    The argument at the time that the defender had no possibility to avoid the contact.
    It is the same with a player suddenly stopping in the penalty box to trick the chasing player to run into him and shove him to the floor. Most of the time it is a penalty, but a referee is also free to interpret that as ungentlemanly and an attempt to initiate contact and punish the attacker.

  60. andy1886

    Samesong, tat’s exactly why we need players involved. They know all the tricks, they know if a player is feigning or if he has ‘bought’ a foul. Referees are clueless when it comes to understanding what the players get up to. Ever heard the term ‘poacher turned gamekeeper’? The best people to thwart dishonest players are those who already know all the tricks of the trade.

  61. AFC Forever

    Andy1886

    Andy, you make some excellent points. I have been to a charity game where some of these referees have played; they have never pulled on football boots before, shocking. That is the problem. They don’t understand the game.

    What you have essentially, are a bunch of lawyers and accountants making decisions about things they don’t understand.

    One of the great misconceptions is the idea that contact is a foul. It isn’t, this is a contact sport. Just because a piece of fluff has brushed against somebody’s sock does not mean that player has the right to fall over.

    On the one hand you think ex-players would be the answer, get them into refereeing but they are just as bad. They defend the right to fall over if you feel contact, Redknapp did it the other day, he called it clever play. It’s not clever, it’s cheating.

    Here are some suggestions:

    1. Sack Mike Riley
    2. Close down the closed shop that is PGMOL and introduce an independent panel
    3. Every referee must declare who they support and must not referee local teams
    4. Better still, introduce overseas referees
    5. Put Microphones on the referees so they can explain decisions – stop the secrecy
    6. VAR must talk through the reviews like in cricket to avoid dishonesty
    7. Any decision takes longer than 30 seconds stick with the on-field one
    8. Give advantage on offside decisions to the attacking team
    9. Publish the referee merit tables and demote and promote based on competence
    10. Accountability. Introduce a panel of ex-players to review controversial decisions, for example, the Luiz sending off or the Fernandez studs on Xhaka, and then sanction referees and the VAR referee, to eliminate claims of bias.

  62. andy1886

    Dave, as has already been pointed out it’s not 2 minutes, it’s a ‘minimum of 2 minutes’. How many times do stoppages add up to exactly a given number of minutes? Probably almost never. As I said previously the thing with the additional time being displayed is just another TV gimmick that’s unhelpful, let refs play the added time they believe is right and have done with it.

  63. andy1886

    Val, that’s not the same as what Luiz did though, the attacker doesn’t have eyes in the back of his head and can’t initiate a tangle without changing his stride which he didn’t do. I agree with the comment that attackers can initiate contact though as I said in my previous post at 10.53.50.

  64. Davey

    When Leno took the goal kick there was 20 secs of the 2 mins injury time remaining our 3 defenders sat deep and Luiz was near the half way line- Gabriel is our future play him not the long haired clown!

  65. Samesong

    andy

    So let me ask you if an ex-player gave the penalty last night for example what difference would that of of made to you? at first glance to most people would of deemed that a penalty.

    I’m just saying that ex-player’s don’t will not necessarily make better refs.

  66. AFC Forever

    terraloon

    Yes, he was when the rule was changed. Listen to him, don’t keep defending a bad decision. It’s a flat earth argument.

  67. Jamie

    AFC –

    If you can explain why we only hit the target 3 times over 90 minutes when we dominated the 1st half, I’ll behave.

    Until then, the ref gets a pass because he wasn’t the reason we hit the post twice or why Laca strayed offside for a goal that would’ve probably put the game to bed.

    No individual is to blame for the loss, least of all the ref. Luiz is very close to being responsible, though.

  68. AFC Forever

    “What the same ex-players that tried to cheat the ref’s in their career by diving in instances. Are we advocating for them to be refs? I don’t see a big difference in ex-players making a big difference at all”

    This is a valid point.

    Andy1886 is correct about footballers understanding the game and also all the tricks that players get up to. That would be useful, especially in VAR. However, you do have to temper that with your point about them also being less than honest themselves. Listening to Redknapp, Keane, Sounnes, Neville etc, you know they are on the wrong side of the law in many occasions. Neville was on a show with Rooney the other day and they were joking about how difficult it was to referee them because they were always in their faces.

    So it’s getting the balance right

    However, this lot are useless since Mike Riley took the reigns. Not a single referee selected for the World Cup says it all really.

    Sticking one of our referees behind VAR is like asking Jimmy Saville & Rolf Harris to look after the kids.

    .

  69. andy1886

    Some good ideas there Forever. As in so many cases in life refereeing is essentially a closed shop where to get anywhere you have to buy into the philosophy of the people running the show. You don’t make it to the top without sucking up or showing any initiative or common sense. The accountant analogy is apt, it’s like in business where the bean counters don’t understand what the salespeople do and the salespeople don’t understand what the engineers do, and the top brass don’t understand what anyone does. It’s all disfunctional.

  70. AFC Forever

    Jamie

    “If you can explain why we only hit the target 3 times over 90 minutes when we dominated the 1st half, I’ll behave”.

    What did you expect with 9/10 men? Daft question mate.

    In that first half we were dominant, played well, hit the bar twice had a goal disallowed and there is no doubt as Wolves tired we would have scored more goals in the second half. Definite. Game ended at half time as you should know. So not sure how many ‘shots on target’ you expect with fewer men than the opposition. They made a few blocks towards the end but ultimately the only reason we didn’t win was the sending off. Not the dubious penalty because we would have come back from that. 10 men no chance. Southampton shipped 9, that’s the difference fewer players has.

  71. andy1886

    Samesong, if you had an ex-player in the room with the VAR official they could certainly advise if a player initiated contact for example, or if an arm was in a natural position when jumping prior to a handball. Referees struggle with anything that isn’t black or white, ex-players understand the subtleties. Agreed that the Luiz foul was a pen either way, I’m advocating ex-players educating referees in the application and interpretation of the laws of the game.

  72. Valentin

    AFC

    Here are some suggestions:

    1. Sack Mike Riley
    Never going to happen. pGMOL is an independent organisation. Only way to get rid of it is to have premiership rescinding their agreement with them.

    2. Close down the closed shop that is PGMOL and introduce an independent panel.
    See my answer to 1). Only possible if a majority of premier League clubs votes for it. I can’t see ManUtd, Liverpool, Leicester and a few others voting for it.

    3. Every referee must declare who they support and must not referee local teams
    Officially already the case

    4. Better still, introduce overseas referees
    Never going to happen under Mike Riley, who shot down a similar proposal a while ago.

    5. Put Microphones on the referees so they can explain decisions – stop the secrecy
    FiFA is against that.

    6. VAR must talk through the reviews like in cricket to avoid dishonesty
    Technically, VAR is only about fact: offside, handball that do not need further explanation. The issue is when VAR is involved in interpretation and that should be dealt by the official on the pitch.

    7. Any decision takes longer than 30 seconds stick with the on-field one
    What about if the right angle is the last one. A correct decision taking longer is better than an incorrect judged in haste.

    8. Give advantage on offside decisions to the attacking team
    Technically it is already the case, but the non-sense of line within a few millimeters should be scrapped. The same action shot at 1000 frames per second may result in a different outcome than one taken at regular speed.

    9. Publish the referee merit tables and demote and promote based on competence
    Other countries tries that, but referees have refuse that because there was no clear criteria of scoring.

    10. Accountability. Introduce a panel of ex-players to review controversial decisions, for example, the Luiz sending off or the Fernandez studs on Xhaka, and then sanction referees and the VAR referee, to eliminate claims of bias.

    That is currently taking place, but some of the panels have been accused of authority bias. Only referees who commit blatant mistake were censured, minor mistakes were let off.
    Again we are back to the issue of how to properly score a referee’s performance
    The scoring need to take account:
    + Correct decision taken weighted by difficulty
    + Incorrect decision taken weighted by difficulty
    + No decision taken weighted by difficulty. No foul given when a foul could or should have been given.
    + Consistency. Was there a bias for or against a team during the game. Is there a repeated pattern of giving 50/50 call to the home team, ManUtd, …

  73. Samesong

    I’m advocating ex-players educating referees in the application and interpretation of the laws of the game.

    That’s a good start.

  74. AFC Forever

    Andy, yes I agree with that. The writing was on the wall when they promoted Riley because he is your typical been counter. He had an awful reputation which wasn’t helped when he refereed that 50th game, which is often cited as a fix. I want to believe it wasn’t dishonest, I like to believe he couldn’t deal with the pressure and intimidation. But he didn’t deserve to be promoted as we can all see.

    Accountability is the issue. They are buddies, almost enjoying a celebrity lifestyle. They are arrogant.

    I want them to wear Mics and explain decisions. I don’t like the fact VAR is done in silence, that worries me. The game is for the fans, they forget that.

  75. Gbat

    The rules need changing. But I also believe that ex players should be in control of VAR. Everyone could tell for example that Martial dived last night. Nobody falls like that if they are tripped/pulled back. Yet players get away with it over and over again.

    Referees are also so quick to get the cards out. A foul doesn’t have to mean a booking.

  76. Jamie

    AFC –

    We didn’t start the game with 9 men. I expect more than forcing the keeper into making just 2 saves in the first 45.

    It’s ok to be objectively critical rather than look for conspiracies. No one ever talks seriously about bad refereeing decisions after a win.

    We didn’t do enough to beat a shite Wolves side inside the opening half. That’s when the game was lost, imo.

    Call my questions daft all you want, mate.

  77. Dissenter

    Was Luis genuinely try to play the ball ?
    No, he was running behind the player and ran across his legs.

    The refereeing decision was perhaps the correct one, upon further reflection.
    The law of the game is cryptic but it appears the officials didn’t do anything wrong.

    It’s sucks but can we stop all these conspiracy theory nonsense.?

  78. Leedsgunner

    Incompetence amongst referees is just a symptom of the entire footballing infrastructure that is sorely lacking in integrity.

    If we want change, real change we need to start again and dismantle FIFA and UEFA altogether..

  79. AFC Forever

    Valentin

    You make some valid points but you have to start somewhere.

    VAR doesn’t work, we all know that it is ruining the game. It’s too slow and we have no idea what they are doing because they keep us in silence. I agree the on-field referee should make the decision not someone hiding in Stockley.

    1. Has VAR made football better?
    2. Has it stopped bad decisions?
    3. Has it stopped diving?
    4. has it stopped controversy?
    5. Is the game better with VAR or without it?

    I would like to scrap it as currently used.

  80. Marc

    Dissenter

    Surely the idea of “a genuine attempt to play the ball” vs “no attempt to play the ball” comes down to a cynical foul vs a tackle good or bad and not an accidental trip?

    I mean if Luiz had been goal side of the attacker and clothe lined him then it’s no attempt to play the ball and you could understand the red, Luiz didn’t attempt to make a tackle cynical or otherwise.

  81. Marc

    VAR is not the problem – there were always going to be teething problems with new technology but the issue isn’t the tech.

    To understand the problem you need to look at why there was a desire / demand to bring tech into the game. Quite simply because our ref’s are fucking useless and have been for years, the unwillingness to even admit they occasional get something wrong is a huge area for concern. To bring in a system that’s supposed to counter the uselessness of ref’s and then let the ref’s run it is beyond madness or stupidity.

  82. AFC Forever

    Diss

    “No, he was running behind the player and ran across his legs”.

    He did not run across his legs. That is not true.

    Nobody is making conspiracy theories just pointing out that a wrong decision was made. You can think what you like, just stop doing what you always do mate, trying to stir the pot.

    You think you are the police or moderator on here, you’re not. Join the convo or start a new one but stop acting like you’re more important than you are by accusing people of being something. Conspiracy theories? You just can’t help yourself.

  83. Dissenter

    Marc
    Luiz should have known better. There was no certainty that the player would score so he was always going to simulate a contact. That’s why you never run a cross the back of the legs of anyone, all they have to do is slow down and get a foul.

    I’ve slept over it. Luiz didn’t try to tackle and miss the ball, he was just doing a stupid thing running across the path.
    By the letter of the law, he wasn’t.trying to play the ball

    Its was the correct decision, red card and penalty.

    HE WAS NOT TRYING TO PLAY THE BALL.

  84. Valentin

    Dissenter,

    Like Marc (welcome back) said it was an accidental trip.
    The thing is when such accidental trip occurs outside the penalty box, they don’t necessarily result in a foul.
    So there is no reason why an accidental trip in the penalty box has to result in a foul.

    It is the same with an handball. Accidental handball do not necessarily result in foul and penalties.

  85. The Bard

    For those of you with a penchant for refereeing conspiracy theories I suggest Untold Arsenal. According to them Arsenal have never actually lost a game only been robbed by refereeing decisions.

  86. Marc

    Dissenter

    Some years ago (I can’t remember exactly when or who it was against) an opposition player get sent off for a second yellow after doing something similar to Henry although closer to the halfway line whilst Henry was making a break.

    The uproar by the media about he couldn’t help it was deafening. There has to be a punishment or players will start to accidentally do it on purpose but the pen and the red was excessive.

  87. Rich

    It’s the type of choices we want

    Arteta has a big decision to make about our forward line, we’ll need to rotate

    But Pepe’s form, alongside Lacazette waking up at contract renewal time

    With Saka nailing down the right wing spot

    Really should see Aubameyang benched against Villa

    Pepe deserves to play, dropping your captain is a big call

    But I think it’s the right one

    Aubameyang has been poor this season, Pepe suddenly looks up for the fight

  88. AFC Forever

    Marc

    “Quite simply because our ref’s are fucking useless and have been for years, the unwillingness to even admit they occasional get something wrong is a huge area for concern. To bring in a system that’s supposed to counter the uselessness of ref’s and then let the ref’s run it is beyond madness or stupidity”

    Marc, I think you nailed it.

  89. Marc

    “HE WAS NOT TRYING TO PLAY THE BALL.”

    No but he wasn’t attempting to cynically take the player down either – he was just tracking back. If he’d stopped running and just watched everyone would’ve gone mental at that.

  90. Foxy

    yes there was slight accidental contact but in the slow motion the wolves player appears to regain balance and then dive with a forward tumble – so it could be argued no foul and a yellow card for diving.

  91. Dissenter

    Valentin.
    Accidental contacts are still fouls and we all agree that the foul was a penalty.

    That ‘accidental’ foul meant he was not intentionally trying to play the ball so he doesn’t get the benefit of the double jeopardy rule.
    It was a red card, end of.

    I hate these conspiracy theories. It’s another symptom that’s showing what a loser club we have become. It’s lower table clubs that get consumed by refereeing conspiracies.

  92. Valentin

    “To bring in a system that’s supposed to counter the uselessness of ref’s and then let the ref’s run it is beyond madness or stupidity.”

    That’s exactly right.
    Repurposing the usual adage, if you give a word processing software to a monkey he is not more likely to come up with Shakespeare work than on a typewriter.
    Better tools can hide some incompetence, but it can’t fully eradicate incompetence.

  93. Dissenter

    Marc
    By the letter of the law, if he wasn’t trying to play the ball [for whatever reason] then he doesn’t benefit from the double jeopardy rule.

    Luiz was clumsy at best< casually stupid at it”s worst.

    People are presenting him as blameless when in fact he ran across the legs of a player ahead of him about to pop a shot in the box.

    I guess refereeing conspiracies unify Le-grove.

  94. Marc

    AFC

    The solution is actually quite simple but won’t be popular. Once things are back to normal you do 2 things.

    1) You take £2 or £3 million quid out of the TV money for each team and put it into a referring fund. This is then used to train refs up and pay them £150k per year – more if necessary. You have a program where people who want to apply are whittled down over time and professionally trained. As they qualify they start in the lower leagues and are then promoted. The most important thing is reviewed performance. If you keep fucking up you are fired – it applies to every other job in the world why not referring?

    2) We attract the best players and managers from around the world – why aren’t we doing the same with ref’s?

  95. AFC Forever

    Diss

    “He was not trying to play the ball”

    What? He was avoiding contact, there was no attempt on his part to attempt to either get the ball or commit a foul.

    The rule was changed to prevent players from being punished twice when they had not committed a professional foul. Luiz knew that if he had made an attempt he was so far from the ball he would have been red-carded so he didn’t make a challenge. The fact the strikers heel made contact with Luiz knee puts to bed your theory that their locks crossed.

  96. Dissenter

    “yes there was slight accidental contact but in the slow motion the wolves player appears to regain balance and then dive with a forward tumble – so it could be argued no foul and a yellow card for diving.”

    Yes but when someone runs across the back of your legs, the modern footballer will simulate contact.

  97. roaaary

    You know what……im actually feeling good about arsenal this morning. We got robbed of the result, but the 1st half performance was incredible.

    It shows we are capable.

    Winning with dire football is not where we want to be as a team and it looks like we have shifted.

    Can I say – Bellerin is dead as a premiership player. Hes getting worse and worse every game. Wolves bullied him last night and worryingly stood off him when he was on the ball – suggesting they know he is harmless. Time to upgrade there hard

  98. AFC Forever

    Marc

    “We attract the best players and managers from around the world – why aren’t we doing the same with ref’s?”

    I have said this for years. I remember a referee called Pierluigi Collini, what a great referee.

  99. DivineSherlock

    A very simple but a manageable solution with respect to VAR is to look at Tennis and Cricket . Teams and player challenge a call which they think is atrocious . Each team in cricket get two reviews . Second is to make the audio available during VAR , introduce some accountability. We all know thats not gonna happen.

  100. AFC Forever

    “People are presenting him as blameless when in fact he ran across the legs of a player ahead of him about to pop a shot in the box.”

    Bollocks.

    Look at the stills.

  101. Rich

    Marc

    One big problem

    You can’t teach common sense

    What if the bureaucrats training the referees, are even more idiotic than the current referees?

    It’ll be like the blind leading the blind….

    Whatever problems your faced with, the answer is rarely more bureaucrats

  102. Valentin

    Marc,

    Not really. My company has made some redundancies, so now I have some very strange hours because I have to supervise Zoom meeting with people in Bulgaria (@GMT+2), HK and Argentina.
    Plus the IL calling incessantly because they have seen that a new strain is killing everybody in London. Including my BIL who lives in South Africa!!
    Even side of my family getting affected. Two of my Sibling getting into full conspiracy mode on why I should not take the vaccine.
    I am a zombie.

    My only fun is seeing some of my former colleague telling me about finding respectable colleague, wives on onlyfans.

  103. AFC Forever

    Divine

    “Second is to make the audio available during VAR , introduce some accountability. We all know thats not gonna happen.”

    Absolutely bang on.

    How difficult would be to let us hear the conversation between the on-field referee and his mate responsible for VAR. Also make it a bit more interesting than the silence.

  104. Dissenter

    AFC
    We are not going to agree on this.
    The wolves player was ahead and in a position to score
    There was contact’, the player running behind is always held responsible
    The penalty was 100% the right call

    The controversy was the red card.

    By the letter of the law, the pertinent question has to be ; was Luiz genuinely trying to play the ball ?

    My answer is NO, he wasn’t making an attempt in the ball

    This is a teachable moment, not one to start spewing angry conspiracy theories.

  105. MuddyGooner

    Strange VAR decisions.
    I thought there was more contact on Saka by Boly when we had a claim for a penalty than the one Luis made for their pen.

  106. Winthorpe

    Wow!! It looks like many of you have never kicked a ball in your lives judging by your comments

    Luiz ran behind the player because he was completely outpaced. What was he meant to do? Stop running? He’d have been crucified either way

    I’m no great fan of his at all but for me he did nothing wrong and did not deserve a red card. The penalty itself was harsh but the red card was a disgrace. Yet again the officials in this country out their incompetence and corruption front and centre of an important premier league game

    They never miss an opportunity
    Anyone who’s ever played the game knows it

  107. Samesong

    Can someone be honest to say to me if this happened the other way around would we be complaining about the decision for the red and Wolves player being sent off?

    I know I wouldn’t of.

  108. Captain Tierney

    The real villian yesterday wasn’t Craig Pawson but the ones sitting in the Var box. In real time, even I thought Luiz intended to foul Jose.

    I dont know how good a ref Pawson is but he was having a nightmare yesterday. Some of his decisions even before the red card were baffling. For eg. The two very soft yellow cards for Wolves players in the first half and then the foul which Partey earned which was not a foul.

  109. Samesong

    Wow!! It looks like many of you have never kicked a ball in your lives judging by your comments

    Winthorpe load of nonsense not everyone has to have the same opinion in how they saw the incident.

  110. Valentin

    Same song,

    There is a difference between accepting a wrong decision in your favour and denying that the decision is wrong.
    I would rejoice at any incorrect penalties given against Spurs, but that would not make them correct.

  111. AFC Forever

    Diss

    I haven’t read any conspiracy theories.

    What I have seen is Arsenal fans angry with a very bad decision that changed the game.

    You might not want to discuss it or even like the conversation, your prerogative, but it doesn’t give you the right to accuse people of conspiracy theories.

  112. azed

    Yesterday should be chalked off as a bad day at the office and we move on.

    Fair play to Arteta for coming back from the dead and learning the important lessons.

    On to the next one.

  113. Winthorpe

    DissenterFebruary 3, 2021 12:07:41
    AFC
    We are not going to agree on this.
    The wolves player was ahead and in a position to score
    There was contact’, the player running behind is always held responsible
    The penalty was 100% the right call

    Dissenter
    The contact was promoted by the striker and not Luiz though. If a striker kicks the defender then how can the defender be adjudged to have commuted the offence? He wasn’t even that close to him. He was a good 1-2 foot behind, only the strikers huge back lift caused the contact, if there actually was any, which is still debatable

    Funny how bt didn’t use their the full range of the technology at their disposal to show all angles, with their little red lines
    They would have had it been us
    They pretty much caused Aubameyang to be sent off last season with about 6 mins of replays to make it look as bad as possible

  114. Samesong

    There is a difference between accepting a wrong decision in your favour and denying that the decision is wrong.

    Valentin I would like to call it honesty.

  115. Dissenter

    Let’s put the shoe in the other foot.

    Had that been an Arsenal player ‘accidentally’ touched from behind
    Would we be satisfied with just a penalty and a yellow card?

    If the answer is yes, I would be satisfied then by all means continue the referees vs Arsenal mantra. We can invite Q to join in at some point.

    You can’t claim it was accidental and then think he genuinely trying to play the ball at the same time.

    We lost.
    Arteta was blameless except for subbing in Auba who’s a peripheral player and a deadweight when you’re one man down.

  116. Winthorpe

    SamesongFebruary 3, 2021 12:10:37
    Wow!! It looks like many of you have never kicked a ball in your lives judging by your commentsWinthorpe load of nonsense not everyone has to have the same opinion in how they saw the incident.

    Anyone who’s ever played the game knows that wasn’t a foul let alone a red

  117. AFC Forever

    Captain Tierney

    Yes agree. In real-time, I thought David Luiz had deliberately tripped him. It was only when I froze it I saw otherwise.

    The still Pedro posted was damning of Jon Moss and VAR.

  118. Winthorpe

    DissenterFebruary 3, 2021 12:13:53
    Let’s put the shoe in the other foot.Had that been an Arsenal player ‘accidentally’ touched from behind
    Would we be satisfied with just a penalty and a yellow card?If the answer is yes, I would be satisfied then by all means continue the referees vs Arsenal mantra. We can invite Q to join in at some poin

    😂
    Accepting a penalty that comes your way and knowing it wasn’t a penalty aren’t mutually exclusive

  119. Dissenter

    Winthorpe
    It doesn’t matter whether the offensive player simulated the contact.
    Running across the back of a player is like sticking a leg across the path a running player in the box.
    The modern player will simulate contact and go down.

  120. Samesong

    Anyone who’s ever played the game knows that wasn’t a foul let alone a red

    This is just your opinion and not a fact!