Who is the bar steward in the black?

Written by Red Arse

As a dyed in the wool Gooner, I have become so enraged by appalling refereeing decisions, in game after game, that I realised it was becoming a serious health hazard.

The incandescent fury that descends upon me, at the perceived injustice, causes my face to mottle and go purple, like an over-sized plum, and my eyes to bulge like demented headlights on stalks, while my hand, of its own volition, spasmodically throws at the screen anything not tied down. My girlfriend has narrowly escaped being hurled like a spear at the set when sitting innocently besides me reading her astrological stars. Bet they did not forecast that, eh?

So, who are these satyrs in the black? These sylvan refereeing beasts whose revelry seems to lie solely in infuriating all fans, especially Gooners, at every turn?
Why do they choose, in their goat like obstinacy, to turn a deaf ear to our appeals for justice, or whose dim mole-like eyesight prevents them from seeing the blindingly obvious, while displaying an incredulous incomprehension of the basic laws of the beautiful game?

Well, believe it or not, it seems they are not satyrs nor devils nor simply just bad eggs, but just a cross section of the human flotsam and jetsam that we all belong to, with all the virtues and vices that are inherent in our species.

Why then, when they don the black garb of the referee, do they so frequently behave in an inexplicably arbitrary, confrontational and controversial a manner?

In part, at least, it is a battle between human frailty and technology.

Let us have a quick look at the human aspect. The human brain is itself a wonderful computer, but it has limitations as we shall see, and we are expecting it to work at maximum efficiency in a hostile and physically stressful environment, under the baleful glare of hostile managers!

What is the science behind the brain/technology that causes the problem?

Light travels at 186,000 mps in a vacuum, or about 671 million miles per hour.

Einstein’s theory of relativity shows that we never really see moving things in the “now” because of the space/time laws of physics. Our brains have had to evolve a predictive capability to adjust for the lag in our perception of movement.

When a player kicks a ball, light strikes it and is projected onto the referee’s retina. By the time the brain processes this image, the ball has moved at up to 65 mph away from where the referee “saw” it. In effect, the brain of the referee, and those of the observers (fans), is continually “predicting” where the ball is going to be, rather than where it was when the image was first projected onto his retina.

This parallax applies to all objects, including players, and makes the interpretation of the Offside, Law 11 into an extremely complex calculation, taking into account the distance the ball has or will travel, while also allowing for the movements of a group of jostling players, who may, or may not, be fouling each other, or who may, or may not, have already been in an offside position at the exact moment the ball was kicked.

Ludwick Fleck, the famous doctor and biologist, showed that a person’s subconscious belief can alter his observations. That is to say, the ‘human confirmation bias’ leads a person, with a particular belief, to see things as reinforcing that belief, even if another observer would strongly disagree.

Therefore, a referee will observe what he expects to observe, until shown otherwise, and his beliefs will therefore inevitably affect his observations, and his subsequent reactions, in a self fulfilling way.

Mark Clattenberg, in the Wigan v Manu game, did not give a red card to Rooney, despite almost everyone else’s perception of a deliberate elbow into his opponents face. This was compounded by a smile and an arm around Rooney’s shoulders.

This a perfect example of the human confirmation bias in operation. Clattenberg may have thought of Rooney as a ‘good’ guy; and an England player; and a much maligned sporting hero, not capable of committing such a dreadful foul, and therefore he does not see it. He simply saw what he expected to see, and not what had actually happened!

This human confirmation bias applies to us all, from victims of the con artists ‘three card trick’ to witnesses who give wildly contradictory statements of what happened at a bank robbery or accident.

Television technology has simply heightened our ability to compare what the referee thinks he saw against the reality of what the unbiased camera actually sees, using slow motion playback.

For myself, I will probably just carry on, irrationally, hurling abuse at the men in black, when I think they have transgressed against my beloved Gunners.

But, in the back of my rational mind, I will know they are just normal human beings doing their best, subject to both the laws of physics and human psychological conditioning.

It would seem that referees are not, after all, the cheating, incompetent, sporting pariahs that we sometimes believe them to be!

Who would have thought old Einstein with his theory of general relativity, as well as Dr Fleck and his philosophy of scientific sociology would play such a part in our very own beautiful game of footie!

Arsenal for the Double!!

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68 Responses to Who is the bar steward in the black?

  1. chas says:

    Haha RA, thanks. Not sure I understood a word of that!

    Busacca was wearing white. I think they changed it because of the black equals bad guy connotations. Shame it has had no effect at all.

  2. Morning all

    Thank you Red Arse for an impassioned plea on behalf of referees and the difficult job they have to do. I agree that sometimes their job is hard, their decision making is taxing but other times they are just plain stupid and anti-Arsenal and their bias is plain to see.

    Video technology is the way forward and as long as UEFA resist it the more the strange decisions will smack of corruption.

  3. Morning chas – Rocky made a good point last night that I hadn’t thought of before. The ref on Tuesday was handing yellows out to Arsenal players willy nilly in the first half – to ensure that someone got sent off?

  4. There’s some pretty fiesty stuff coming out of Arsene Wenger at the moment – Uefa are a dictatorship, they should apologise for Robin’s sending off …….. now if that was Old Red Nose or Maureenio we’d be quick to see through the bluff and bluster and say they were diverting attention away from their teams shortcomings ;)

  5. Wonderman says:

    Morning All, very good post RA I like the different perspective. But have’nt we forgotten the other two culprits who are in my opinion often more culpable …the linesmen !!!! how often do they stand there like dummies waiting for a ref to decide a decision from 40yards when it happens right infront of them, or do nothing ala the Newcastle incident with Chesney. I think the refs often take the flack unneccesarily

  6. Red Arse says:

    Morning Peaches, :-)

    Is my friend the Rasper being contrary today? I am amused that having written an alternative abbreviated Post, he has published the longwinded original?? :-)

    Morning Guys, to make up for that rubbish, I will have to give you a couple of my musings!!

    Have you ever wondered what the definition of male courage is?

    (a) Courage: Is arriving home late, after a night out with the guys; being assaulted by your wife with a broom and still having the guts to say, “Are you still
    cleaning?” or “are you flying somewhere?”

    (b) Courage: Is coming home late after a night out with the guys, smelling of perfume and beer, lipstick on your collar, slapping your wife on the ass and having the balls to say…… “You’re next!”

  7. Jaygooner says:

    Eureka! Thank you Red Arse, it all makes perfect sense now. The throat grabbing by the genial Barca senor’s were merely handshakes. They clearly assumed that Rvp’s throat was where his hand would have been and my rage has now subsided. My effigy of a hanging bent Swiss roll-over ref can be dismantled and life is back to normal. Phil Dowd Howard Webb Atkinson Taylor et al do not consistently favour Northern Clubs and FA/UEFA/FIFA are definitely NOT on the take. Meanwhile, back in the real world, WE WERE CHEATED! lol

  8. Red Arse says:

    Jay,

    You are right!! :-)

  9. Big Raddy says:

    Very interesting read RA.

    The Fleck philosophy can be explained thus ….

    One goes to a club with a group of friends, Spot a very attractive girl/boy and spend the evening enchanting her/him. You meet your friends to boast about her/his beauty and they all tell you she/he is in no way a looker. You take her/him home and in the morning and wake to find someone unattractive sharing your bed.

    Your conception has been perjured by your desire ( and in the case of the Barca ref.,…… a suitcase of Spanish Euros

    p.s. There may well be holes in my explanation :-).

  10. Gooner In Exile says:

    My head hurts!

    I’m sorry but I don’t buy the light travels excuse, are you saying that a TV camera picks up the action differently?

    Offsides are more understandable as they require the assistant to look in two places.

    Regarding their inherent bias that is something we should not accept.

    Neither will I accept that they are doing their best. They are paid to do a job, if their best does not get it right then they are not fit to referee.

    When anyone defends our referees I refer them to Collina impartial, authoritative, respected. It’s easy to respect referees when they are as good as him.

  11. Red Arse says:

    Raddy,

    I think you have explained it brilliantly! :-)

    Time for another apologetic anecdote. :-)

    A middle-aged couple had two beautiful daughters but always talked about having a son.
    They therefore decided to try one last time for the son they had always wanted.

    The wife quickly got pregnant and delivered a healthy baby boy.
    The joyful father rushed to the nursery to see his new son.
    He was horrified at the ugliest child he had ever seen.
    He told his wife: “There’s no way I can be the father of this baby. Just look at the two beautiful daughters I fathered!
    Glaring at his wife he said “Have you been fooling around behind my back?”
    His wife smiled sweetly and replied: “Not this time!”

  12. Red Arse – its my fault, I’ve put up the wrong one!!

  13. And now I can’t find the ammended one :oops: Back in a bit

  14. Apologies to you Red Arse, I’ve ammended the post now so all who read it from now on will read the updated version.

  15. chas says:

    Of course referees aren’t biased or corrupt. :)

    This comment on another site made me laugh. It was posted near the end of the dippers versus mancs game on Sunday.
    “Fergie needs to bring on Howard Webb for Dowd”

    RA, why apologise for a post that’s witty, intriguing, thought-provoking and well-written? #
    I can’t help it I’m a bit of a thicko. :)

  16. Red Arse says:

    GIE,

    I apologise for not making myself clear. But it is difficult to explain scientific and biological thesis in a short essay.

    Bias, as you point out, should not be tolerated, but the ‘human confirmation bias’ is quite different as it is an inherently subconscious human condition.

    As regards the TV camera question; the TV picture captures and records an event, which allows a playback of an elapsed time sequence of an already past event.

    The referee s not a recording device but a living entity with a brain trying to calculate immediate events and make a cogent decision.

    By the way, I am not trying to make excuses for referees, but simply to explain a well researched scientific evaluation of what makes human beings arrive at certain decisions.

  17. dandan says:

    RA.. Magical explanation superbly written, but my ed urts now. Einstein? for Flecks sake I must be getting old…

    Now hang on while we are being scientific can you explain Slide Rule Passes to the younger generation :-)

  18. Red Arse says:

    Thanks Chas. :-)

    The summarised version might be more understandable, but science and biology, though affecting us all, is not everyone’s cup of tea! :-)

  19. Red Arse says:

    Dandan. :-)

  20. goonermichael says:

    I tried reading the post but it lost me. Personally I think the ref was bent. Is it clattenberk on Saturday?

  21. goonermichael says:

    I’ve gone right off gallas as well

  22. Big Raddy says:

    I like the idea of your girlfriend being thrown spearlike at the TV. I must give that a go because the swearing doesn’t seem to be working.

    We have suffered badly since Xmas with poor refereeing decisions .

    I really do not want the title to be decided by bad referees.

  23. Big Raddy says:

    Fairplay to GM for seeing something AW didn’t – that Gallas would have a swansong. He was excellent on Weds.

    Still pleased he left,

  24. Mad Dog says:

    Baffled certainly? I think its sufficient to say that RVP was “stitched up like a kipper!”

    ps That was nt Einstein, think it was a fish-monger from Finchley!

  25. mickydidit89 says:

    RA,
    Absolutely love the post. Thank you.
    BR,
    Your his/her pick up tale reminds me of words by Groucho: “If you have the choice between marrying a good looking woman and an ugly one, always marry the ugly one, that way if you wake up in the morning and discover that she has left you, then it doesn’t matter”.

  26. mickydidit89 says:

    Not around much next few days, so keep at it all. Have not worked out how to comment from a mobile without the perpetual scrolling.
    Offing again.

  27. Carlito11 says:

    Wow! RA you can certainly turn a phrase! No time to stop now- hopefully be back later :-)

  28. Top Tottys says:

    Have to say to you guys, the referees decision to send Robin off was a farkin DISGRACE!!! Its not like it took more than 3 seconds to get the ball back!!! Referees are all bent, they are controlled by the football authorities, and many many matches in our league and in Europe ARE FIXED!!!! No doubt about that im afraid, many games are fixed!!! The amount of money gambled around the world on the EPL and the CL far exceeds the actual gate receipts and merchandising those games bring in. Our league and Euro competitions have seen some ludicrous refereeing, decisions which almost defy belief, and RvPs sending off for such a minor offence is just another 1 of them!!!! Definitely that game was fixed for Barcelona to win!!!

  29. RockyLives says:

    Genius Redders

    Another definition of Courage: Starting the day with an essay on quantum physics on a footy blog site – and managing to carry your audience with you.

    Of course, what I liked most was the underlying tone of irony throughout. Very amusing.

    And this line made me laugh out loud: “My girlfriend has narrowly escaped being hurled like a spear at the set when sitting innocently besides me reading her astrological stars. Bet they did not forecast that, eh?”

    Can you write some more please?

  30. RockyLives says:

    On another note, United will have neither Nani or Valencia available for the game tomorrow, so they won’t have much width. The loss of Nani is a blow to them as he has played well against us of late.

  31. Red Arse says:

    Hi Rocky,

    Thanks for your comments. :-)

    I tried not to be too smart arsed, just wanted to show that we are all wonderfully complex creatures.

    I still want to yell and rant when the refs get it wrong tho’. :-)

    Time for another anecdote!! :-)

    Politics of an affair:

    A married man was having an affair with his secretary.
    One day they went to her place and made love all afternoon.
    Exhausted, they fell asleep and woke up at 8 PM.
    The man hurriedly dressed and told his lover to take his shoes outside and rub them in the grass and dirt.

    He put on his shoes and drove home.
    “Where have you been?” his wife demanded.
    “I can’t lie to you,” he replied, “I’m having an affair with my secretary. We had sex all afternoon.”

    She looked down at his shoes and said:
    “You lying bastard! You’ve been playing golf,again!”

  32. 26may1989 says:

    Hello there, top bit of writing that Mr Arse, no-one else could have come up with that stuff!

    * Do refs have a hard job? Yes.
    * Is it impossible to get all the decisions right? Yup.
    * Should players, managers, fans and pundits be more tolerant of errors? Goes without saying.
    * Would the use of technology help? Of course (though goal-line incidents aren’t really the big issue, it’s offsides and replays of big incidents that are more acute).

    But, even accounting for all of that, there is something very wrong in refereeing at the elite level. Despite the grotesquely bad performance of our Swiss friend on Tuesday, I maintain that we see the worst of the worst in English football, especially in the tolerance of violent and reckless play. In English football we know we routinely get the bum end of reffing decisions because our players are too foreign and efete, while the sly violence of Davies, Nolan, Barton, Rooney, Gerrard, Carragher, Shawcross, Henry and Hunt is accepted by referees as being part of the manly game rather than cheating and physical abuse, which is what it is. But ironically, on Tuesday I felt part of the reason the referee treated us the way he did was because he saw us as an English side, too ready to use the physical side of the game.

    There are various things that can and should be done to improve reffing, almost all of which have been suggested for years: referees should be required to understand football tactics so they understand the context within which they make their calls – they should be trained by ex-players; players and managers should be tested on their knowledge of the rules (it’s shocking how few actually know the current offside rule, which has been there for years); referees should be miked up to explain big decisions during the game and should give post match interviews, comfortable in accepting they may have made mistakes; we should have a tennis and cricket-style review system; there should be sin-binning so that there is a meaningful punishment between a yellow card and the nuclear option of sending off; when an injured player is off the pitch (or injured for a prolonged period), the player who caused it should be off the pitch or suspended for the same period; perhaps we should, as in hockey, have a referee in each half of the pitch, to account for the speed of the modern game.

    But whatever changes are made to rules etc, what we really need is more Pierluigi Colinas, he might be a mad-eyed psycho, but he knew how to ref a game and retained the the respect of all while he did so. Is cloning possible yet?

  33. Red Arse says:

    26,

    An excellent analysis of the current state of play as regards refs and the need for more training of players and managers.

    I see nothing wrong with pinching ideas off other sporting bodies. In NFL it is de rigeur for the officials to publicly explain their decisions.

    Sin binning works very well in rugby, it penalises the offending player immediately, rather than giving any potential suspension benefit to the next team down the line.

    We are singing from the same hymn sheet, as is often the case …… except when we are not, of course!! :-)

    I also have an addendum to your reasons as to why refs treat us badly, either in the EPL or in the CL.

    In the EPL, as you say, we are seen as a team of Frenchy whingers and are expected to “man up” and take our punishment. Whereas in Europe we are seen as over zealous and physical and need to be kept in check.

    These views are self contradictory, and there is no logic or grounds for either belief.

    Solution? In both the EPL and the CL, learn to rotationally foul opponents, and fall over and squeal loudly whenever there is the slightest contact.

    If Arshavin had done that when fouled by Bramble in the Sunderland game, instead of trying to stay on his feet, he would have been awarded a pen and we would have won the game.

    Manu and Chelsea are arch exponents of the tactics outlined above, and it’s about time we emulated them!

  34. 26may1989 says:

    You’re right Arse, but that rotational fouling crap is another thing I’d like to see addressed, with the introduction of team punishments, eg, permitting the innocent team to sin bin an outfield player of their choosing when there has been a clear case of rotational fouling.

    I wasn’t around yesterday, so missed out on any angst going on about Spurs’ progress in the CL, but I just wanted to say something about the exciteable Mr Peter Crouch:

    Peter Crouch (aged 9¼) said: “Why can’t we get to the final? I can’t give you one reason why not. Barca are fantastic but we have match winners too and we have shown that we can be resilient.”

    William Gallas (a grown-up) said “After what we saw against Arsenal on Tuesday night, nobody wants Barcelona”.

    Bless little Crouchy, sweet deluded freak that he is. Though I guess technically he is right: we can’t give one reason why Spurs can’t get to the CL final; there are many more reasons than that…..

  35. Big Raddy says:

    NO- we shouldn’t emulate cheats.

    We should take the FACTS to the FA and ask whether it is their intention to create an entertaining product which they can be proud of. Ask them if as parents they would like their children to emulate Rooney and Terry, or Thierry and Arshavin?

    The answer is obvious and it is up to them through their officials to clean up the game we love.

    We always hear the old adage from the untalented that “it is a contact sport”, which is a misnomer. It is a skill sport with a physical element not the other way round.

  36. 26may1989 says:

    Bloody right Raddy, spot on.

    But I’m afraid many would not consider the question “Would you like your children to emulate Rooney and Terry, or Thierry and Arshavin?” to be a rhetorical question, they would quite likely pick the lovely Wayne and John as role models.

  37. Big Raddy says:

    26. I choose not to believe that. But as I chose foreigners perhaps you are right :-)

  38. Red Arse says:

    Raddy, 26,

    Who could argue against what you say from an ethical viewpoint.

    Sadly, in the real world the FA are emasculated with no control over the Premiership big cheeses, who have their own agendas, and are also being hammered by the Government for their poor management.

    The solution I suggested above, however reprehensible it may sound, should first be implemented by our club immediately, and secondly, the wider ideas, outlined by 26 and myself above, as to “borrowing” refereeing ideas from other sports and the immediate introduction of mandatory “rule” training for young professional footballers and managers should be canvassed as hard and as frequently as possible.

    Will it happen? Nah!! :-(

  39. Big Raddy says:

    RA. Sadly nothing will change. UEFA have not taken goal line technology because they say there in no adequate and defining system. What nonsense.

    Until video technology is introduced football results are at the behest of questionable referees,

  40. Red Arse says:

    Raddy,

    The FIFA argument against goal line technology has always been that it is not available at grass roots level.

    This specious nonsense tries to equate amateur, youth football on the Hackney Marshes with the multi-billion dollar behemoth that is professional football.

    So they introduced 2 more goal line officials to add to the ref and the 2 assistant refs already extant to adjudicate on penalty area decisions.

    And of course every amateur game has 5 officials adjudicating. NOT.

    Embarrassed by the Lampard goal/non goal at the last World Cup, Bladder has now said goal line technology will be in place for the next World Cup in Brazil, provided a “suitable” system can be found.

    I wonder if that means a sackful of dosh might swing it? :-)

  41. 26may1989 says:

    To be honest, how often do goal-line issues affect a game? Once a season? Twice? It got traction recently because Fat Frank scored that one, but it’s not that big a deal.

    At least not when stacked up with the far more common problems in officiating and regulating the game. That’s no reason to avoid developing goal-line technology, but as a matter of priority, I’d be far more interested in a system being developed to detect precisely when players are in offside positions so that officials don’t have to do the impossible so often.

    The excuse for not changing the rules and arrangements around the game that most pisses me off is: “Mistakes are part of the game”. Sure, mistakes will happen, but why should they be accepted when there might be ways of avoiding them? That sort of complacent clap-trap from the authorities and the referees really winds me up.

    Tomorrow: 2-1 to the good guys (that’s us by the way).

  42. Red Arse says:

    26,

    I read recently that many (most?) EPL referees would be in favour of using technology across the spectrum of the game.

    It used to be said that referees were a major stumbling block in the introduction of technology. It was suggested they did not want to be subjected to a ‘big brother’ presence which could be used to query/over see their decisions. Perhaps these were the old time refs who worked in a different era.

    The current (useless) bunch have now said (unofficially) that it would be a relief to allow technology to take the strain. They would then be off the hook and not subjected to all the vilification that comes their way.

    Sensible guys. That’s the way to go refs!

    In cricket, umpires also were initially reluctant to embrace technology, because they did not want their decisions publicly overturned.
    Now technology has been introduced for no-balls (what’s that all about?), stumpings, run outs, boundaries the works apparently, and umpires are happy that allegations of cheating, biase, incompetence, especially of international games, have been largely overcome.

    That ego-maniac Bladder has a lot to answer for, as well as his self serving, noses in the trough, acolytes.

  43. Red Arse says:

    Another consideration in helping improve our team’s treatment by referees, at least at home, is the attitude of the Emirates crowd.

    I was struck by the vervour of the Barca fans, including their ill mannered whistling, which undoubtedly had a major impact on the ref and his abysmal decision making.

    Contrast that with the frequent quiet ‘observation’ mode of the Arsenal fans at the Emirates, which frankly has sod all impact on the refs.

    These same fans then accuse the referees of bias, cheating, corruption etc while wanting ‘Wenger Out’, blah, blah.

    These quiet fans must bear some of the blame too, because loud support or dissension does affect referees, and like it or not that is part of the game. I know loyal AA season ticket holders have remarked on this many times, and I excuse them from this criticism, of course. :-)

  44. Red Arse says:

    My Post has obviously bored the arses off most of the regular AA’ers, including the mighty Rasper, so I am taking myself off too, to imbibe a little alcoholic refreshment and sulk! (I am allowed to drink wine again, thank goodness). :-)

  45. Rasp says:

    Afternoon RA,

    Sincere apologies for not being able to join in the debate on your thought provoking post – nothing to do with boredom, I’ve been out all day and alas I’m just about to go out again. Be assured I rate your post very highly and it is my loss that I haven’t had the opportunity to add my 10 pennyworth :)

  46. 26may1989 says:

    Rasp, don’t get in the way of RA and his booze, poor guy’s been off the sauce for long enough.

    But if Raddy’s still around, perhaps I could get a row going with him about the penalty awarded against Koscielny on Tuesday. He (and apparently various Danish pundits) say it was a bad call on account of Kos’s leg being planted. I disagree with my honourable friend on that one – only if you use super slo-mo does it begin to look like that, but in real time, Kos put his leg out as Pedro was running into the box. 100% penalty, not contested by Kos or by Wenger afterwards.

    But Raddy will say I’m wrong!

  47. Gooner in Exile says:

    I agree 26 it was a nailed on pen.

    As for RA’s suggestion that the crowd can influence a ref unfortunately EPL refs do not seem to react, Everton at home is a case in point Mason had given the goal and proceeded in the face of a noisy Emirates crowd to keep giving decisions to Everton.

    The difference then to the last few games is that the team found a way to win inspite of Masons performance, we might have to do that a few more times to win the PL.

    COYRRG …… Time to put ManU in the firing line of the media.

  48. Gooner in Exile says:

    More importantly the team and manager should just ignore questions about the ref if they have wronged us.

    Whilst we are seen as using refs as scapegoats we are not earning respect from other fans and media. Time to let our football talk.

  49. SharkeySure says:

    Red, I make no apology to any other author AA, when I say that was one of the best posts I’ve ever read, here or anywhere.

    Your ‘almost manic’ style is legendary from your comments, but to wrap it all so beautifully around a top quality scientific analysis has really struck a chord with me.

    Very well played.

  50. SharkeySure says:

    Another one of those days when I wished I had read an AA post a lot earlier than I actually did.

    Beikng unemployed/resting this last 3 weeks has played havoc with my ‘schedules’. I’ve been studying, interviewing and taking exams. Its been harder than actually working!!!

  51. Big Raddy says:

    SS. Work/Life balance is one of the major challenges of the modern world, something I cracked about 20 years ago – I work when I need money or when I enjoy what I am doing.

    Luckily that has been less than most folks, though had I been privileged to have 3 small BigRaddy’s I may have had to put in a few more hours :-)

    26. I stand by my opinion. Though I fully accept that without video tech it appears to be a penalty. What was Kos meant to do? He didn’t try to trip Pedro who fell over his leg. Was Kos going for the ball? – as far as I can see, no. Surely a penalty is given for a deliberate foul.

  52. Gooner in Exile says:

    Oooooo toughie that one Raddy, the only question I would ask is it a free kick anywhere else on the pitch, if yes it’s a penalty.

    One of my major annoyances is penalties not being given as the striker got his shot away but is clattered by the defenders attempted block, free kicks are given all the time (not for us naturally) when a player passes the ball but is subsequently clattered. Penalties seem to have a different set of judgements applied which do not adhere to the basic law which is penalties are given for any Direct Free Kick offence occurring in the 18yd box. How often does someone see a penalty given where anywhere else on the pitch it would be an indirect free kick for obstruction.

    Football has very few laws but a lot of interpretation which is why referees should be asked to explain their reasoning, perhaps then we will see how consistent they are.

  53. 26may1989 says:

    Raddy, the Laws don’t require it to be deliberate, they just say that a direct free kick (or penalty) is awarded if a tackle, trip etc is “careless, reckless or using excessive force”. Personally, I saw Kos’s tackle on Pedro as being, at the very least, executed carelessly, therefore pen. Kos didn’t do much wrong, it wasn’t deliberate, he got suckered into making his move by the skill, pace and intelligence of Pedro. I don’t think any defender would have done any better.

  54. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    How come Arsenal always play FA Cup ties against man utd @ Old Cow Paddock?

  55. Carlito11 says:

    Red Arse- just had another read- I’d never had unconscious/ subconscious subjectivity scientifically explained to mr before- if o can remember the thread of the argument I think it may serve me in good stead in the future. Apart from anything else it’s a compelling argument for the use of video replays- problem is trying to get the detail of it over to the wider audience. If everyone really understood the implications of your above argument it would be an open and shut case for goal line technology at least. Ther would still be no legislating for bussaca’s extreme myopia however! Sorry to have missed the day’s banter- big game tomorrow- looking forward to tearing up the wings at OT! COYRRG!

  56. Big Raddy says:

    26. Let’s agree to differ. I saw it as an unavoidable collision. There was no intentional trip by Kos.nor would I say that Pedro dived – though he did take advantage of the situation.

    Carlito. Unlike you I am not looking forward to another 95 (dependent upon SAF’s watch) minutes of tension

  57. Big Raddy says:

    GG9. Because SAF went down to the Crossroads and sold his soul to the devil.

  58. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Thats a funny way to carry out a quarter final draw. I hope Karma sneaks up behind him then & gives the old jock a boot Up the Arse.

  59. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    With a lack of height in utd’s team, the old sweaty sock may have to actually mow the pitch this time round, so that should help Arsenal’s passing game.

    The down side will be that Shrek will be easier 4 the ref to spot when he dives in the box ;)

  60. London says:

    I think that is the most highbrow football rant I have ever read, I enjoyed it, albeit a bit late but nevertheless I really enjoyed reading it. Top post RA.

  61. Evonne says:

    RA – here is another twist to your theory, proving that we often see selectively. PLEASE do this test http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJG698U2Mvo

    As soon as I post a comment there is ‘New post…..’, I wonder why?

  62. Big Raddy says:

    Evonne ….. Timing

  63. chas says:

    Evonne, I didn’t see it. :)

    Are we saying there’s no such thing as objectivity?

    Busacca was concerned at the 2 or 3 seconds RvP may have wasted and then takes 45 seconds to send him off!

    I hope Chris Foy has read RA’s post…..

  64. Rasp says:

    Morning all,

    Evonne, I am afraid your prediction is correct for the reason given by Big Raddy :?

  65. Rasp says:

    Morning chas,

    I have offered the same argument for video technology. Those who that claim it would slow down the game forget the time lost when players are swarmimg around the referee and shoving each other around when they perceive an injustice.

    Video technology would reduce time lost and improve the ‘fairness’ but remove the ability of corruptive forces to influence the outcome and it is for the latter reason that those at the top oppose its introduction.

  66. Evonne says:

    Rasp – I was thinking you are trying to shut me up :)

  67. Rasp says:

    No way Evonne, we need our Polish correspondent to keep us updated on the fitness of our GK’s

  68. Rasp says:

    I’ll shut myself up now…

    ……. NEW POST

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