Discussion in 'Referee' started by ctsoccer13, Aug 25, 2006.
How can they call it SFP? The ball was gone.
It looks to me that *no* official could have seen the elbow. The CR was blocked by the defender's body.
The lead AR was at least 60 yards away and being near the goal line was blocked by the attacker's body and who knows how many other players. There was a good chance that he was concentrating on the 2LD.
The fourth was 80 yards away and also blocked by the defender's body.
The trail AR would have had the best chance of seeing the elbow *if* he was watching active play. When I am trail I watch play just long enough to see where it is. If it is unlikely that the ball will be played out of bounds I watch the CR's back. So there is a good chance he was at least looking in the right direction. But he was still about 50 yards away and the angle wasn't the best to see an elbow thrown like that one.
I agree that the force of the collision was enough to warrant a red, especially since it was late.
I have blown my whistle and gone to check on the player. I had intended to show a yellow but seeing ugly cleat marks where he was fouled I showed a red instead. IMO, Mendez's condition combined with the force of the foul was enough to call for a red. The only doubt should have been SFP or VC.
And I ask, who is "they"? Did the FA say serious foul play, or did the media? I haven't seen anything except a one-line quote directly from the FA.
Ok, I finally watched the clip on youtube.com. It sure looks like a definite sendoff, even without seeing the elbow to the face which *is* hard to spot as others have pointed out. That much speed means a lot of force, and there really was no attempt to play the ball and the player was late. In this case, I can't give the ref the benefit of the doubt and say it was merely unfortunate/bad positioning. It seems to be a case of everyone associated with EPL (league officials, refs, coaches, players, fans) is accustomed to a level of aggressiveness and physical style that is just too much. I.e. no broken bone protruding through the skin? Then no red card. There are so many tackles I see in EPL games that I feel should be sendoffs but aren't. Just watching the 2 recommended links that popped up on youtube.com regarding Giggs getting cleated and then retaliating... both of those should have been sendoffs, if you ask me. The ref opted for a caution in both cases.
I would agree with that unfortunately accurate assessment. But, remember, USSF shies away from red cards at least as often as the EPL. (See the USSF Youth Clips and USSF recommendations of punishment for a couple of great examples.)
Terje Hauge sent off Asier Del Horno for a charge on Lionel Messi at just about this same speed in the Chumpion's League last season, and most of the refs on this board agreed that it was excessive force. How, then, could Thatcher's tackle be anything less to the same referees?
Hhmmm, not sure about that. I don't know anyone who thinks the Thatcher and Brown incidents shouldn't have been red cards. Those were clear red cards on replay evidence. It wasn't a case of the referee seeing them clearly and deciding they merited yellows. Both referees were 'demoted' last weekend for missing them, so it's not a case of it being the PL so they're only yellows. Other than that, I think we have the right tolerance level in our league, for the physicality level. I, for one, am absolutely delighted we don't have the approach of La Liga, Serie A and Bundesliga.
Well, it is nice to see the LEAGUE acknowledge post-match that these should have been sendoffs, but the point remains that all 3 of those tackles were punished with cautions, not sendoffs, by EPL referees. This is significant, IMO. Without making any excuses for poor positioning or anything else, the bottom line is that in those 3 situations, the referees gave a caution and not a sendoff. To me, this supports my view that the EPL in general, and in this particular case the EPL referees, has its sendoff bar set too high.
That to me, says that you believe that if a PL referee saw those clearly, he'd still only caution because the PL "has it's sendoff bar set too high", which I think is clearly not the case.
For me, it is safe to assume that the ref saw the speed / timing / aggression / level of contact in the Thatcher/Mendes incident quite clearly. That should have been enough for a sendoff, even without the elbowing aspect, IMO. Some days in the EPL, maybe it would have been. On that day it wasn't. I'm sure in other parts of the world it would have been more likely to draw the red card from the ref.
I suspect the ref didn't really see Giggs get cleated on purpose, but figured something must have been fishy because Giggs really seemed badly hurt. So he opted for a caution even though he initially didn't see anything wrong with the challenge. Fair enough - this sort of thing happens all the time. Better a caution than nothing, and if he didn't see it clearly there's very little chance of him showing red because he'd have no idea if red was warranted and you don't normally send off players on a hunch. So benefit of the doubt to the ref on this one because of the positioning aspect.
With Giggs' retaliation, I find it hard to give the ref the benefit of the doubt due to unlucky positioning. It was pretty obvious Giggs was tracking down the player with the ball and slid him from behind and cleaned him out and, IMO, with no intent to play the ball. Why no red here? Is it because the other guy who cleated Giggs received only yellow, so the ref felt that yellow for Giggs was the fair resolution to this mess? I hope that was the reasoning, instead of the ref genuinely feeling that this foul, viewed in a vacuum independent of the first incident, was a caution rather than a sendoff on the merits.
I agreed with a lot of what you said.... up until the highlighted lines.
Retaliation needs to be dealt with more harshly in my opinion. While the original foul could have been premeditated, often they happen in the heat of the moment. Retaliation is a preconceived decision to physically do harm to someone and looking for the time to injure them. The original player/offense was already punished by the referee (within the laws of the game)... if I'm absolutely certain it was retaliation, I think it should be red.
Players should know this. I'm not saying it's going to stop retaliation, but at least the player who retaliates violently shouldn't be suprised if they are sent off.
I'm not saying I agree with yellow for the retaliation simply because the initial foul also was yellow. I'm just saying I can understand that line of reasoning. It makes me think there was some logic to his decision, although some may disagree with that logic, instead of making me think he flat-out blew the call -- i.e. poor recognition of misconduct or the seriousness of misconduct. The tackle was a tackle from behind with no intent to play ball and dangerous to the opponent and generally should be a sendoff. The fact that it was an obvious retaliation would seem to cement the sendoff as the proper sanction in the mind of many folks.
Your points about the seriousness of retaliation are well made and well taken.
Here's another link, this one from ESPN:
Would the punishment toward the referee been any different had the referee been England's top man, Graham Poll?
I think you're barking up the wrong tree, here. Gallagher used to be the FA's top man. He went to EURO 96, worked the UCL regularly, and got an extension to continue reffing past the retirement age in England. It's not like they sent down a borderline Premiership referee. They suspended a former FIFA referee who has reffed at the top levels in the world.
It'd be like the USSF suspending Tamberino or Baharmast if they had stuck around past retirement.
True enough, but he isn't their top man RIGHT NOW. In my view, he is more 'expendable' than whoever the EPL feels is currently their top referee -- in spite of his pedigree and strong standing historically.
Afaik, Graham Poll is yet to make a 'major' mistake in the PL/FL since KH took over.
As for Gallagher, it's a difficult one. On the one hand, it was a error in judgement rather than an error in law. Had he seen the elbow, he'd have shown a red, no question. However, given the media and public outcry about the tackle, and the position he put The FA in wrt punishing Thatcher, the PGMO didn't really have much option. Suspending him is a bit harsh though!
As for Peter Walton, there's no real excuse for that. It clearly hit the defender's head, and his refusal to consult with the AR looking straight at it, or the ARs refusal to communicate to Walton only compounded the decision. Rob Styles is another interesting case. Was he punished for giving the penalty, or not sending off the defender? If it's the former, it's a worrying precedent, as any referee who falls for a dive will have to be punished. If it's the latter, then that's more understandable. Andy Marriner was also rightly relegated for missing the Brown stamp.
Equally as worrying though is that this punishment system that Hackett has implemented to play up to the LMA, is already showing signs of great inconsistency. Uriah Rennie missed a very blatent penalty in his first game, but wasn't removed from his second game (Man City vs Arsenal, where he missed another one/two pens), whilst last weekend, Mark Halsey failed to caution Andy Johnson for lifting his shirt over his head, but has yet to be 'punished'.
No one is denying the standard so far has generally be very poor, but I don't necessarily agree with the comparison between refereeing mistakes and footballer mistakes. You always hear from managers and the media "if a player makes a mistake, they'll be dropped from the next match, but if a referee makes a mistake, they're patted on the back and told 'better luck next time'." Now I've seen Frank Lampard, Steve Gerrard, Thierry Henry, Wayne Rooney, Alan Shearer, etc, make many mistakes. Henry missed so many chances on Saturday it was a joke. Will Arsene drop him for the next game? Of course not. Very rarely do players get dropped for making a mistake. They will, of course, if it continues over a number of games. We'd all like to see referees making 100% accurate decisions, but it won't happen. Mistakes are bound to happen. If the same referee is making the same mistakes game in game out, then there is a problem with that referee. If they make one mistake every now and again, then that's more understandable, just as it is for a player to have an off-game. So I'm not sure I really agree with this current climate of demoting/suspending referees for making genuine honest mistakes at the first time of asking. Sure, suspend/demote them if they make errors in law (a la Andy D'Urso, Matt Messias), or if they do something to bring the PGMO into disrepute (a la Mike Dean) or if they are continually under-performing, but one-off errors in judgement are part and parcel of the game.
And anyway, the SG is only 17 1/2 members big (I say a half because Lee Mason isn't technically a SG ref but is in terms of his appts). Take out long term injury sufferer Barry Knight, that leaves 16. 10 games a weekend (plus FL games marked out for SG appts) doesn't leave much room for demotions/suspensions, unless you're going to give NL referees PL games. I think KH may find his/LMAs plan may come unstuck, especially when the annual injury crisis takes hold.
Oh, and if you're looking for the blue-eyed boys, yes, Graham Poll may be one, but also look at Howard Webb, Clatts and Martin Atkinson, and see if they get preferential treatment when it comes to mistakes...