Monday 26 November 2012

Serious About Simulation?

The following incidents occurred during the EPL match between Wigan and Reading on Saturday 24 November 2012. The match finished 3—2. There were 2 YCs.

Incident One: Positioning at Free Kick

In 19', Referee Howard Webb awards a DFK and positions himself without actually seeing the DFK being taken. Here are the freeze frames:

Perhaps the final frame shows approximately where he should have positioned himself initially for the DFK!?

Incident Two: Penalty or Simulation?

In recent matches, Referees in the  EPL have been trying to clamp down on simulation which has resulted in several cautions already being awarded.
In 60', Reading's Jay Tabb (yellow 16) is the first to get to the loose ball in the penalty area and knocks it forward. He is then challenged by Wigan's Maynor Figueroa (blue/white 31) and falls to ground. Here are the freeze frames:

Referee Howard Webb makes no call. A penalty decision is not called. Simulation is not called. In this incident, the match Referee has to decide on one or the other. It is either a penalty or simulation.

Does Referee Webb have the angle? How about AR2 Darren Cann?

Note how Wigan's Jean  Beausejour (blue/white 22), who initially made the poor headed clearance waves his hand for an "imaginary card". Beausejour actually has the best angle of view and is very close to the incident. However, he is dishonest and unsporting and wants the Referee to caution Reading's Tabb.

Incident Three: Tight Offside

In the 67' the AR (who is not Mike Mullarkey) flags an offside against Wigan. Here's the freeze frame:

Was this offside?

Incident Four: What is an Own Goal?

In the 80', Reading's Hal Robson-Kanu (yellow 19) shoots at goal. The ball is deflected up and falls back down still heading towards goal, whereby Wigan goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi (grey 26) further deflects the ball into his own goal. Here are the freeze frames:

What constitutes an own goal? Should Robson-Kanu be credited with the goal since his shot was on target before the deflections?

Incident Five: No Simulation?

In the 90'+2' Reading (yellow) are attacking the Wigan goal, desperate for the winner (Reading have yet to win away from home). Here are the freeze frames:

Referee Webb waves his hand to motion the Reading (yellow) player to get back up. If it is clearly no foul, should Webb take any action against simulation? Is this consistent with how Webb handled Incident Two? If Webb clearly thinks there is no foul, then should he indicate this to the players?

Wigan (blue/white) immediately clear the ball from their penalty area. Here are the freeze frames:

Referee Howard Webb signals advantage as Wigan's Jordi Gomez skips past the Reading challenge

Wigan's Jordi Gomez scored the match winner (and bagged a hat-trick)

There is nothing wrong with Referee Webb's fitness. He has sprinted and positioned himself well following Wigan's quick counterattack.

Comment by Reading manager Brian McDermott:
"I think if the referee had given the penalty on Jay Tabb we would have gone on to win the game. Someone of Howard Webb's experience and quality, you would have expected him to get that one right."

HKRef would say the same for AR Darren Cann. If he knows Referee Howard Webb did not have the angle to see the incident, then perhaps he could have helped? Someone of AR Darren Cann's experience and quality ...

Friday 23 November 2012

In-Swinger, Six of One and Half A Dozen of the Other

The following incident occurred during the EPL match between Chelsea and Liverpool on Remembrance Day 2012. The match finished 1—1, with 4YCs.

In the 73', Liverpool take a corner kick. Here are the freeze frames:

AR Darren Cann is in the standard recommended position, as is Referee Howard Webb. As soon as the in-swinging corner kick is taken, AR Cann quickly moves in line with the second-last defender to accurately judge whether Liverpool striker Luis Suarez is onside. A previous discussion about match officials being aware of in-swinging corners and tactics in general can be read here.

Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo was disappointed with Liverpool's equalizer claiming that Suarez (red 7) had pushed Chelsea midfielder Ramires (blue 7). Here are the freeze frames:

Both number 7 players are holding and pushing each other. The English media love to use the phrase, it was six of one and half a dozen of the other to say that both parties are equally responsible or equally guilty.

Amid the accusatory and acrid atmosphere generated mainly by Chelsea's ongoing disrespect for match officials due to results not going their way, the match officials of Howard Webb, Darren Cann and Mike Mullarkey—the 2010 World Cup Final trio—performed competently. A professional job done professionally.