Tuesday 12 February 2013

Clattenburg's Consistent Crouch and the Usual Encroachment

The following incidents occurred during the EPL match between Aston Villa and West Ham United on Sunday 10 February 2013. The match finished 2—1; there were 5YCs.

These are just some observations of referee Mark Clattenburg.

Incident One: DFK

There is a DFK to West Ham (blue) and Clattenburg takes up the standard recommended position prior to restart.

Incident Two: Penalty Call

In the 73', West Ham's Mark Nobel (blue 16) makes a clumsy challenge and trips Aston Villa's Charles N'Zogbia (maroon 10) in the penalty area. Here are the freeze frames:

 Mark Noble (blue 16) carelessly sticks a leg out and does not get the ball
 It is an easy call to make


Mark Noble approaches Referee Mark Clattenburg and begs innocence and pleads leniency

This kind of approach, where one player (the player who committed the offense, in this case Mark Noble) speaks to the referee is perfectly fine and understandable. And a competent, credible and experienced referee like Clattenburg has no trouble managing this situation.

However, when more than two players approach the referee to dispute and challenge the referee's decision (often in an angry, aggressive and intimidatory manner), that is where things will get out of hand. Clubs (i.e. coaches and players) should be reminded of this and to uphold the Respect Campaign.

Incident Three: Penalty Kick

Notice Clattenburg's crouching stance. Also, he does not do anything about encroachment (see related posts here).
 Encroachment at penalty kicks

Incident Four: DFK

In the 77' Clattenburg awards a DFK to Aston Villa just outside the penalty area. Here are the freeze frames:

Clattenburg's crouch. Again, there is nothing wrong with his crouching stance except for the fact that it looks odd especially when other people (i.e. players on the pitch) stand "normally" and are ready to react to play.


Despite Clattenburg's Classic Cowboy Crouch, his positioning is of more concern, since the question to ask is whether this is the optimal position for the referee to stand.
Last week, Clattenburg gave a DFK in a similar location and also stood behind the ball.
Referee Howard Webb does this too and Phil Dowd dawdles. Is this a PGMOL recommendation for positioning at free kicks?

What impression does the referee give by standing like this?
Are impressions important for match officials?

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