Friday 16 December 2011

Martin Atkinson Up and Down Part 1

The following 3 of 5 incidents occurred during the EPL match between Norwich City and Newcastle United on Saturday 10 December 2011. The match finished 4—2.

Incident One Missed Handball

In the 28', Norwich (yellow) cross the ball into the Newcastle penalty area from the right wing. The ball travels about 20 yards before it hits the outstretched arm of a Newcastle defender (black/white). Here are the freeze frames:

AR Mike Mullarkey was well positioned to spot the deliberate handball but did not assist the Referee who also missed it.

Why did Mullarkey miss this obvious handball?

Subsequently, this missed incident may also be playing on his mind ...

Incident Two Missed Foul

In the 36', Newcastle midfielder Jonas Gutierrez fouls a Norwich player with a late tackle but Referee Martin Atkinson misses this because he has already followed the path of the ball away from the two players.

The ball runs to a Newcastle player whose deflected shot is pushed wide of the Norwich goal for a Newcastle corner.

Incident Three Controversial Corner Kick

In the 39', a Norwich cross is going wide of the Newcastle goal. The Newcastle goalkeeper can either leave it to go out for a goal kick or catch it to keep possession. The goalkeeper chooses the latter but the AR signals for a CK. Here are the freeze frames:

From the resulting corner, Norwich score.

AR Mullarkey is an experienced match official who officiated at the 2010 World Cup Final. Unless there is clear factual evidence to the contrary, it is important to believe and accept his call. However, a small nagging doubt exists because of this perceived controversial decision that led to the first goal of the match.
This controversial decision may also be related to Mullarkey having a small nagging doubt of his own regarding the missed handball eleven minutes earlier (Incident One). Perhaps subconsciously (or consciously?) he wanted to return some semblance of justice to Norwich and therefore awarded a CK to Norwich? Who knows!? Sometimes, the mind works in mysterious ways!

... continues with Martin Atkinson Up and Down Part 2

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