Sunday 10 February 2013

Clattenburg's Consecutive Loss of Concentration

The following incidents occurred during the EPL match between West Bromwich Albion and Tottenham Hotspur on 3 February 2013. The match finished 0—1; there was 1YC and 1RC.

In the 32', three incidents occurred one after another that lead to questions about the first-half performance of the match referee Mark Clattenburg. How focused is he?

Incident One: Attacking player fouled

In the 32', Spurs' Jermain Defoe (18) is fouled in the D and the ball falls to another Spurs attacker Clint Dempsey (2). Here are the freeze frames:

Referee Clattenburg whistles here ... just before Dempsey (2) takes a shot from the 18 yard line

Dempsey's shot sails wide of the upright ...

... and Clattenburg perhaps breathes a sigh of relief !!

Referee Mark Clattenburg is too hasty in whistling for a DFK. This time the ball was shot wide; however, imagine the uproar if the ball had gone into the net.
Q1: What should the referee do in such circumstances?
If that scenario ever happens (and they do occur), here is a recent example of what NOT to do (click here for Major Law Screwup in an MLS Match).

Incident Two: Clattenburg's Cowboy Stance and Positioning

Clattenburg has a characteristic standing or crouching position (first called Clattenburg's Classic Cowboy Crouch on this blog).
Note: There is nothing wrong with this ... it is just an observation and many match officials have their particular irks, perks and quirks (which will be highlighted on this blog whenever they are seen ... without fear or favour!).

Clattenburg likes to stand with his legs apart (another example here)

Q2: During the taking of this DFK, is this the best position for the match referee?

Incident Three: Holding an Opponent

From Clattenburg's position (he is standing directly behind the ball), can he see the pulling and holding in the penalty area? Here are the freeze frames:

Spur's Scott Parker (8) has pulled Albion's Graham Dorrans (17) out of the way so that Gareth Bale (11) can have a clear shot on goal

Q3: Did (and could) Clattenburg see the infringement?

In summary from these three consecutive incidents in the 32', it is natural to ask how focused was Clattenburg during the first-half of this match?

Incident Four: Spitting at an Opponent

In the 49', Albion's Goran Popov (4) spits at Spurs' Kyle Walker (28). Here are the freeze frames:

Popov's spit can clearly be seen against the blue background (blue left sleeve of someone clapping)

Clattenburg is quickly at the scene and correctly sends off Popov. No doubt that Clattenburg is refreshed from the half-time break, and this incident has helped him keep his focus for the remainder of the match.

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