Tuesday 18 October 2011

Webb Positioning

The following incidents occurred during the English Premier League match between Arsenal and Sunderland on Sunday 16 October 2011. The match finished 2—1.

There are two incidents of positioning at ceremonial free kicks and one during free play.

Incident One: Webb's walk back

In the 30', a free kick is awarded to Sunderland (blue).

Webb whistles for restart at this point!
... and continues to walk blindly in between player and ball

Referee Howard Webb had his back to the ball at all times, which is not recommended because the attacking player can move the ball at anytime without the referee knowing. First, Webb walks forward towards the Arsenal (red) wall. Then he walks backward toward the Sunderland (blue) kicker. In doing so, Webb shows no concern or awareness of the Sunderland player (Larsson) who is about to take the free kick. He whistled for restart and then continued to walk backward and in between Larsson and the ball.

Webb then positions himself nearby and behind the ball.

Incident Two: Webb's wayward positioning

In the 82' minute, a free kick is awarded to Arsenal (red).

Referee Howard Webb again positions himself nearby and behind the ball.
Q: Is this the best place for him to see either a shot at goal or a cross into the penalty area?

Incident Three: Webb's central interference with play

In the 85' Referee Howard Webb gets caught up in the middle of the park and therefore interferes with Sunderland's possession and helps gift Arsenal an attacking opportunity.

All Webb can do is apologise to the Sunderland players.


Avoid the Ampersand

Webb Scrutiny

Monday 17 October 2011

Attwell Anticipation All Right

The following incidents occurred during the English Premier League match between Manchester United and Norwich on Saturday 1 October 2011. The match finished 2—0.

After some high profile blunders in the past couple of years (e.g. see here and Leading With Elbows Is Serious Foul Play), Referee Stuart Attwell appears to be feeling more at ease and established with his role as a Premiership Referee. This can be seen by his unorthodox and cheeky positioning at the second half kick off. Here are the freeze frames:

Attwell anticipates where the ball is going at kick off

Stuart Attwell displayed excellent anticipation at the kick off, and therefore put himself at the right place and at the right time. It would be interesting to know what his assessor said to him about this unorthodox, although, effective positioning at kick off.

For balance, in the first half Attwell should have been paying more attention to what is happening behind him. Here are the freeze frames:

Because Attwell is so focused on getting into position after an offside decision to Manchester United (red) he has forgotten to pay attention to the group of players behind him, and more importantly, to where the ball is. If something unexpected happens, such as the goalkeeper slipping and miskicking the ball, there is the danger of missing the subsequent play.

It would be better if Stuart Attwell can reduce the number of times he has to look over his shoulder. Overall, Attwell's anticipation has been very good.