Saturday 21 May 2011

LOTG and Laws of Physics: Part 2

This post adds supplementary content to LOTG and Laws of Physics [in response to comments from PrimeTime and dubhe. Thanks for the comments.]

Howard Webb is a good competent Referee (see The Big Decisions, my previous comments about him in Webb's Weak Woeful Week). And probably a nice bloke from Yorkshire too; a Sheffield lad, I'm told. What concerns me is that he is a full-time professional, and has received excellent training, tools and resources, and yet for the Elite category of Referees he appears to fall short of what is expected.

My take on Howard Webb's foul decision in the Liverpool v Spurs match is that it is a difficult call to make unless the Referee also considers the movement of the colliding bodies after impact. That is, try to use the Laws of Physics to help. Granted, this is difficult to do in real-time but it is reasonable to put full-time professional Referees at a higher standard; also, the intense interest and scrutiny in the professional game demands it. I believe full-time professional Referees set the benchmark for the rest of us.

There was a similar incident in a recent MLS match between Colarado Rapids and DC United on Saturday 14 May 2011 [Week 9]. The match finished 1—1. In that incident, the Referee called the foul, which happened to be inside the penalty area, and therefore a penalty was awarded to DC United. Here are the freeze frames:

In the back!

Before that penalty decision in the 61', DC United were trailing 0—1 and were understandably feeling aggrieved about an earlier penalty appeal that was not given. Here is that earlier incident:

DC United player Joseph Ngwenya (black) is fouled in the box, but the Referee played on

This foul occurred in the 56'. For whatever reason, the Referee missed the penalty decision and subsequently the fouled DC United player, Joseph Ngwenya, ran up to the Referee shouting and seemingly charged the Referee. Because of this, the Referee was perhaps affected and influenced.

DC United player Joseph Ngwenya getting up close and personal

[Note: If needed (and requested by readers), I have yet another example of the importance of using the Laws of Physics when considering body collisions. In that example, two different camera angles give two very different views and highlights the need for everyone to accept the Referee's decision at the time it is made. After all, there is only one Referee of a football match.]

Regarding Emile Heskey

Following up after Heskey's outburst, in the Aston Villa match away at Arsenal, caretaker coach Gary McAllister benched Heskey and subbed him on in the 90+1' to help run down the clock.

News reports have also made noises about Sven Goran Eriksson claiming to move for Heskey, who they say appear to be unsettled. Eriksson is currently manager at Championship side Leiceister City, Heskey's first professional and boyhood club. During his time as England manager, Eriksson was an admirer of Heskey, regularly pairing him with Michael Owen.

1 comment:

  1. I would like to give my view on the laws of physics that can be applied in the webb's penalty decition:
    As I said in the previous comment: the attacker (Pienaar) stepped in front of the defending player (Flannagan). Thus, in the moment of collision Pienaar was leaning leftwards and his body was supported by his right foot. That's why it was much harder to overturn him to the right - in the way Flannagan hit him. As they were moving forward, it is natural that their tendency to fall was forward. In fact, Pienaar falls more to the side and not to the front.
    For that reason: it did not only look like a should-on-shoulder charge, in fact, it was!

    I appreciate your raising point of using laws of physics. I think it's very useful and I also often use it. I also suggest referees focusing on the sound of the bouncing ball (it is different when it bounces off a hand / leg / head / stomach) and colliding legs. It can help when referee have only a clue what happened but he didn't clearly see.