Reffin' Hell

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How Things Would Be If The Refs Got It Right.

The Effect

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Teams that have suffered from ref errors

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Week 09

At Leicester, a potential 2nd goal for Burnley was chalked off after the VAR decided that Chris Wood's accidental ankle tap on Jonny Evans was a foul (Evans would never have reached the ball anyway, but this is not relevant to the foul/no foul judgement.)  At Man Utd, Lindelof kicked Origi's leg from behind, nowhere near the ball, but Son of Ron didn't see it, much as Jon Moss didn't see the Wood/Evans incident.  MU collected the ball, raced down the pitch and scored.  After extensive VAR action, the goal was allowed to stand; that is, Lindelof was not penalised for doing exactly the same thing as Wood, who was.  The only significant difference between the two events was that Lindelof's action was deliberate, where Wood's was not.  At Wolves, Raul Jimenez used his upper arm to control the movement of the ball before burying it past Angus Gunn, and was not too surprised to have it ruled out by  the VAR for handball.  At Spurs, Dele Alli used exactly the same tactic to control the ball before netting against Watford, but the VAR allowed the goal to stand, once he'd worked out which button to press.  In the same match, Vertonghen clearly and obviously slid into Deulofeu from behind, hooked his legs and sent him flying.  The VAR reviewed this as well, but declined to award a penalty.  John Brooks - mark that name - was the VAR, and if he'd been alive in 1986 he would have waved play on after Maradona's Hand of God.  This whole business with VARs is now, as Lewis would say, completely beyond the pale.  You'd think that having the officials able to see what happened, with slow motion and multiple angles, would improve their decision making.  But in a typically English fashion, they've decided to assert their authority by denying the referee sight of the video recordings (the FA have instructed refs not to use the expensive pitch-side monitors) and leaving the decision making to barely qualified yes-men (Brooks has never refereed a Premier League game, and is not a Select Group 1 referee) who are well aware that their own decisions may shortly be reviewed by the same guys they are themselves reviewing.  The game deserves better than this.


Ryan Fraser  :/:  Miguel Almiron  :/:  Daniel James  :/: Daniel James(2)  :/:  Dele Alli  :/:  Harry Kane  :/:  Sergeant Callum Wilson  :/:  Mark Noble  :/:  Elmohamady  :/:  Danny Rose :/:  James McArthur :/: Sadio Mane :/:  Danny Rose(2) :/:

Week 08

Week 8 and I was only able to spot one shocking error, but that was more than enough.  Liverpool faced losing their 100% record against Leicester, so in the 95th minute Mane feels a touch on his left foot from Albrighton, which somehow causes his right leg to collapse underneath him.  The referee, Chris Kavanagh, buys this ludicrous shit and awards a penalty, which Milner scores to preserve the Scouser's winning run.  I though VAR was supposed to stop this kind of cock-up, but it now appears that any player feeling any kind of contact from a defender - even one they have themselves engineered - can now plummet to the turf and expect a penalty.  It's a shambles, but then it's being run by the FA, so what else could we expect.


Ryan Fraser  :/:  Miguel Almiron  :/:  Daniel James  :/: Daniel James(2)  :/:  Dele Alli  :/:  Harry Kane  :/:  Sergeant Callum Wilson  :/:  Mark Noble  :/:  Elmohamady  :/:  Danny Rose :/:  James McArthur :/: Sadio Mane

Week 07

Week 7 had nothing of interest for me. One diver in McArthur of Palace, but no mindbending result twisting cock-ups we've come to enjoy so much.  Fingers crossed for next week.


Ryan Fraser  :/:  Miguel Almiron  :/:  Daniel James  :/: Daniel James(2)  :/:  Dele Alli  :/:  Harry Kane  :/:  Sergeant Callum Wilson  :/:  Mark Noble  :/:  Elmohamady  :/:  Danny Rose :/:  James McArthur

Week 06

Week 6:- Having been robbed of my usual viewing platform, complete with slow-mo, pause and rewind and magnify facilities, my examination of this week's Reffin' about has necessarily been a bit limited.  Nevertheless, with the assistance of Lewis and his eagle-eyed, completely unbiased review system, we have managed to spot a coupla clangers.  Arsenal's 10 man comeback against Villa should have ended in a draw, as  Jon Moss failed to penalise Sokratis for a completely nailed-on handball, and the VAR just kept nice and quiet like a good little boy and said nowt.  This decision is utterly inexplicable.  The FA apparently gave Match of the Day commentators five different reasons why a hand/ball contact would NOT be penalised, but absolutely none of them applied in this case.  So Jon Moss gets it laughably wrong, and VAR stays laughably silent.  If it weren't so funny you'd be in tears.  Elsewhere David Coote at Burnley refused Norwich a penalty for a clear McNeil foul on Byram, and also, just to be even handed, refused Burnley a penalty for a 'clear and obvious™' hack down of Barnes. These wouldn't have altered the result, just Burnley's clean-sheetery.

And yes, Danny Rose, your god-awful dive was spotted, and you're going in the book, you cheating git.


Ryan Fraser  :/:  Miguel Almiron  :/:  Daniel James  :/: Daniel James(2)  :/:  Dele Alli  :/:  Harry Kane  :/:  Sergeant Callum Wilson  :/:  Mark Noble  :/:  Elmohamady  :/:  Danny Rose

Week 05

Two more gratuitous errors this week that defeated VAR and altered the results of matches.  Manchester United, surprise surprise, were the benficiaries of  Son of Ron's poor eyesight, as he failed to see Andreas Pereira handle the ball before Rashford rushed towards it and earned a penalty.  I though hand contact by attacking players, regardless of intent, that preceded a goal was supposed to negate said goal, but apparently handling the ball immediately before a defender's foul that earns a penalty is a different category, and not handball at all.  At Sheffield, Lee Mason and his Linos not only missed a clear and obvious handball by James Ward-Prowse, but refused to watch the video of the incident, presumably because it would have slowed the game down.  Or possibly because none of them believed they could possibly have made a mistake.  It's hard to tell the difference.  Whatever, Leicester and Sheff Utd were swindled out of a point, and MU and Soton each have 2 points they didn't deserve.

Elsewhere, Paul Tierney allowed Everton's Calvert-Lewin to balance on Steve Cook's shoulders for ages before heading his goal, and also allowed Everton's wall to stand no more than 7 yards from a Bournemouth free kick, despite having paced out the distance and being in possession of a can of Gillette Super-Shave.

Divers this week include WHammer Noble, collapsing with no discernible contact in the Villa box, and Villa's El Mohamady, who got Masuaku sent off by the eagle eyed Mike Dean, who saw a foul that even the most advanced high-tech cameras couldn't.


Ryan Fraser  :/:  Miguel Almiron  :/:  Daniel James  :/: Daniel James(2)  :/:  Dele Alli  :/:  Harry Kane  :/:  Sergeant Callum Wilson  :/:  Mark Noble  :/:  Elmohamady  :/:

Week 04

After 4 weeks of last season, without the all-seeing eye of the VAR to help them, officials had managed to alter the result of two matches through wrong decisions.  This season we've had five.  Somebody needs to get a grip before the whole officiating community is tarred and feathered and run out of town on a rail.  This week it's Palace v Villa, where Villa's equaliser was chalked off by Kevin Friend due to an alleged dive by Grealish.  It was not a dive, Grealish was chopped by Gary Cahill, something that Friend would have known if he'd bothered to review the incident himself on the pitchside monitor.  Oh, wait!  Despite the clubs forking out £mucho to have the pitchside facilities installed, at the insistence of the FA, the refs have been told NOT TO USE THEM!  Well, we can't have the refs being able to see what actually happened, can we?  According to Lewis this whole business is 'Beyond the pale!'  And at Newcastle, there was a replay of the Laporte-accidental- handball-Jesus-goal-chalked-off incident. This time it was a Newkie hand that diverted the ball, unspotted by Graham Scott, to Schar, who scored.  Obviously, it was reviewed by VAR, but incredibly, allowed to stand,  What the actual fuck is going on?  Does nobody have any idea of what the rules are?  Elsewhere both Dele Alli and Harry Kane executed blatant dives trying to cheat a penalty out of Son of Ron, but neither was booked.  Kane's dive did concede an indirect free kick for obstruction, but as he deliberately ran into Sokratis and then fell down, that's a ridiculous conclusion (Ian Wright - "I don't want to say he dived, but he doesn't look like he's trying to stay on his feet.")   And West Ham should have had a penalty for a foul on Haller, seen but not given by Paul Tierney, and Peter Bankes(?) was in a generous mood at Leicester as tackles by Tielemans and Lerma could easily have been red cards.

No diving from Daniel James this week, so maybe Ollie has the pliers on the nutsack.  But we can tick off Dele Alli, Harry Kane (oh yes it was, Harry, despite your bogus analysis), and Callum Wilson.


Ryan Fraser  :/:  Miguel Almiron  :/:  Daniel James  :/: Daniel James(2)  :/:  Dele Alli  :/:  Harry Kane  :/:  Sergeant Callum Wilson  :/:

Week 03

To think I was worried that VAR would eliminate the refereeing howlers and give us nothing to talk about.  What a silly boy.   At Norwich, Son of Ron fails to spot Stieperman flattening Azpilicueta in the area, robbing Chelsea of a penalty.  At Bournemouth, Andre Marriner and his SailorBoys must have seen Kylie Walker hacking down Nathan Ake, because he gave a free kick, but declined to issue a yellow card.  So players can rest assured that if Marriner's your ref, as long as you don't actually break bones, you'll be OK.  These were egregious acts of gamesmanship, which were not reviewed by VAR and were not result changers.  At Spurs, however, Newcastle's Lascelles dived full length into Harry Kane's feet, bringing him down with a 'tackle' that is illegal even in Rugby.   Mike Dean saw nothing wrong and declined to award the penalty that should have given Spuds their equaliser.  VAR did review this, but, astonishingly, said no penalty.  So there's another handy tip for defenders - if it looks like an opponent is going to get past you with the ball, 'accidentally' lose your balance and fall headlong into their legs.  You'll be fine.  And, much as it pains me to say it, Manchester United were denied a penalty when Kelly wrestled Martial to the ground.  Short of executing an osoti-gari (major outer leg reap) there wasn't much more Kelly could have done to halt Martial's progress, but apparently it was all perfectly legal, according to Paul Tierney.    What appears to be the case now is that VAR won't alter decisions just because they're wrong.  They can be wrong and VAR can review them but won't alter the on-field call unless it's 'blindingly obvious'.  This is, by any standards, a shit system, and I suspect has been implemented in such a useless fashion by people who don't approve of it at all and want it rapidly discredited.

In Cheat's Corner we welcome a second appearance in three weeks for Man Utd prodigy Daniel James.  Solskjaer needs to get a firm grip on his nuts and keep twisting until he promises to stop diving, the scabby little fucker.


Ryan Fraser  :/:  Miguel Almiron  :/:  Daniel James  :/: Daniel James(2)  :/:

Week 02

More hassle at Man City, as  Michael 'More Please' Oliver and his Ragamuffins fail to spot Lamela bundling over Rodrigo in the area and award nothing, and neither did VAR.  City's displeasure was exacerbated in the dying seconds as an apparent goal by Jesus was ruled out by VAR for handball by Laporte. As IFAB  (International Football Association Board) have decided that any handball, deliberate or not, in the build up to a goal, will rule that goal out, the Jesus decision was correct.  But we now have two classes of handball. An attacking player handling the ball, even accidentally, will be penalised, but a defending player can escape any censure by VAR.  Witness the blocking of Watford's free kick against Brighton by Glenn Murray, who was leaping in the air with his arms crossed in front of his body when he deflected the ball away. A more 'unnatural' position for his arms would be hard to imagine, but the VAR decision was no penalty.  So, the ball accidentally brushing Laporte's arm IS handball, but Murray's deliberate leap into the path of a free kick is not.  It's something of a miracle, isn't it, that the lawmakers have taken a system designed to let everyone know what has happened, and twisted it, stomped it, melted and reformed it, so that it is even more blatantly unfair than the system it is replacing.


Daniel James registers his second entry before 218 other players have appeared even once.  Somekinda shit record?

Ryan Fraser  :/:  Miguel Almiron  :/:  Daniel James  :/: Daniel James(2)  :/:

Week 01

I suspected that the introduction of VAR would lead to fewer laughable errors, and so far that seems to be true.  Several events were VARred and official decisions were upheld or overturned as appropriate.  Can't argue too much with that - well, I can't, you may feel differently.  It didn't help Mike Dean spot Gundogan bundling over Haller to win the ball for City's 5th goal, even though he was looking right at it.  Fortunately the result wasn't affected, even if the score was. 


Some guys just can't wait to get cheating, they've probably been practising all summer.  Step forward Ryan 'Private' Fraser of Bournemouth, and Miguel Almiron of Newcastle.  The VAR is watching boys, you're gonna need to do better than that, ya cheating f'kwits.

Ryan Fraser  :/:  Miguel Almiron  :/:

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