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  • Jlock Jlock May 7, 2009 22:39 Flag

    Refs, Bad Decisions and Cheating

    I'm easily wound up by what I see as 'injustice'.

    This thread isn't ref or player specific per se, but I will name players and refs.

    IMHO the ref last night was ok - he made some decisions, that, with the aid of slow motion and 200 different camera angles, may have been wrong, and lots that were correct. The thing being is that he (as far as I'm aware - and not believing in the latest conspiracy theory) didn't *try* to get the decisions wrong - he tried his best and made a couple of mistakes.

    Now, we all allow even the best players to have off days. Even Pat Jennings had some howlers - and the odd Hodd 40 yarder didn't always go to the right recipient. We quite happily accept that - and just shrug it off as '...oh, he just had a bad game...'. If it's ok for a £5m a year player, then why can't a ref have a bad game? That was a simple point 1.

    Point 2 is then based on my opening 'IMHO...' paragraph. I am not aware of any ref purposely 'cheating' and say sending off a player simply because he could (although I think some should and just send Rooney off 'cause he's an obnoxious git - even not allow him on the pitch in the first place). Last night, I caught the game from 10 minutes into the second half - in time to see Drogba drop to the floor just inside the box after going for a header with a Barca defender. Fine, there was a very slight collision, but Drogba went down holding his head - which wasn't touched at all. Now how could this player (and this is why this isn't player specific) or any other player who purposely 'cheats' by diving, intentionally fouling, shirt pulling ...blah blah blah have the bottle to call a bloke who had tried his best ' a disgrace '? Is it me? has the world turned upside down? Surely the 'disgrace' accusation should be onec and for all levelled at these so called top class players who can't play without cheating.

    Maybe I'm old fashioned, but if I thought my only way of beating an opponent at football was by cheating, then I'd give up. That includes shirt pulling and holding and diving and ..... I know you'll never stop it - but then the cheating b'stards can't then have a pop at an honest ref...

    Finally (honestly), going back to the Rooney comment above, maybe all players should have to undergo some form of psychological/personallity test before being allowed on the pitch...how many playable players would be left in each squad?

    Here endeth the rant....

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    • it is very thought-provoking reading the opinions on this subject.....serious ,well balanced,reasoned arguments.....conclusions seems to be coldly that life is linked by a helical molecular lattice of dna of luck and circumstance......bad judgement or inspiration starts off a domino effect....and to a certain degree we have no control over the consequences....like an avalanche.....frightening .....as john said 7 seconds for works can cause a life....
      then again you stray into the theory of 'was it predestined....or just accidental?'....either way the effct is the same....
      the best is (if you can)....accept it.curse a bit and move on!
      ....that'll be the day.....lol!¬
      boy am i pompous........lol!

    • Sfer,
      The point with technology used in subjective situations is still that - the subjectiveness. A ball crossing a line is not subjective - it either did or didn't happen. So, me being me, when I saw the Chelsea game would not have given the two 'handballs', as I (IMHO) didn't think that the player moved his hand to the ball in either case. The Dogba foul, I think I would have given. But that's me. You probably have other ideas. Refs are the same as you and me - they decide. I bet, even if you had 10 top class refs watching those replays at 1 frame a second, there'd still be some disagreement as to whether it was hand ball or not - simply because the rule itself forces the ref to use a 'subjective' view. IF, the rule said any contact with the hand whether ball to hand or hand to ball, would eliminate that subjectiveness - but it would also make the rule a nonsense - as someone hitting the ball at a player from 2 yds at 60mph - it make it difficult to get out of the way! (and players would then intentionally try to get a player to handball it by whacking the ball at them when they couldn't get out of the way - and that is what the current rule tries to stop).

      So although a replay may sway a decision (and do you then also use replays for when a ref gives something that wasn't, or didn't give something that was?) - it will still be a subjective decision in certain cases. So should a third judge have given those 'handballs' even after looking at the replays? As I said before, even the pundits disagree week in week out after having seen these incidents a hundred times over. Why stop a game to get another subjective view? That you may also disagree with.

      As much as I dislike Drogba as a cheat, I honestly don't know that in that collision with whoever it was, that it didn't jar his spine and cause a rick in his neck. No idea. So was he justified in holding his head and acting as though he had been pole axed? I don't think so - but that is subjective.

      How about a rule, that every time a player holds up play, he has to leave the pitch for a longer time - 10 secs, 30 secs, 1 min - so the more times you drop to the ground 'feigning' the more time you spend off the pitch.


      PS the sock thing ... it does hold, the point was to show the effect of the smallest decision... it wasn't the immediately obvious 'jumping the light' (ie cheating) that only caused the accident (although that was the obvious thing), it was the myriad of smaller decisions that also had to occur for it to take place...

      You may not know it, but your life and anyone elses is simply a concatenation of situations all caused by the weirdest decisions. No one analyses it - but try it. The next time something big happens, look back at all the decisions that you made (concious or not) and those that the ones close to the incident made - then extend that out to what influenced them, then back further ....like looking in one of those reflected images in a mirror - it just goes on an on and on ( a bit like me...;-))

    • I agree with you to a certain extent John but there is a big difference for example in making the wrong decision about a throw in and whether or not a ball crossed the goal line. Then add in the vast sums of money involved in the BIG games and I really am not sure we can leave those decisions to a bunch of Ref's that, in my experience, have never played the game themselves.

      I am behind technology being introduced but only for specific calls such as Penalties, over the goal line or not, fouls that the Ref wants to check to see if it is worth a red or violent off the ball incidents. Other than that we should accept the Ref's decision whether we think it is right or wrong.

      Anyway, your sock analagy works both ways i.e. if the guy does not change his socks somebody could get killed because he was on time rather than late so nobody can live by that theory otherwise no one would do anything at all for fear of some terrible accident happening to somebody somewhere in the World. We are not talking about general life issues here - this is about the same issues that the rulers looking after Rugby and Cricket thought about and came up with a "Yes" to introducing technology.

      On balance, subject to careful control, I am in favour of it if only because it would cut out a lot of the cheating that t0ssers like Drogba gets away with. I could put up with a few minutes of delays during a match if people like him were put off playing for fear of getting caught.

    • I'm not sure. I think for ball over line etc where the ball can be chipped. Objective. It did cross the line or it didn't.

      But in normal play and where the decision is subjective - just look at what happens to the pundits - they sit there in their cosy office, twenty million screens, cameras from all angles, computttters that predict where the ball would have gone if it had been deflected by .0005 of a degree - and the upshot is that they still don't always agree on whether it was a penalty/foul or not.
      The replay can show the ball touching the hand - but can it show intent? The replay can show a foul - but was it malicious and warrants a yellow or just mistimed?

      To me the answer is and always will be 'respect the ref', 'respect the decision'...hard to swallow at times - true. But it's all swings and roustabouts anyway. What decisions got Chelsea through to the final in the first place (.....oops, going down the metaphysical again....) - does anyone really complain that much when the decisions go for you? No.

      So if you're willing to take the ups, then take the downs.

      I liked Arshavin the other day, when it looked like he was fouled in the box - and he got straight up and pointed to the corner flag. He went up in my estimation 100%. Fair play.

    • The thing with referees is that they seem happy to make these decisions at times and not at others. I know things like the game will affect it (e.g. us playing a friendly against Accrington Stanley would probably have softer reffing that a semi-final against our neighbours up the road), and the ref's mood can't help but have some influence, but it does strike me that it gets softer as it gets higher.

      For example, Tommy H got a straight red for England U21s about a year ago within about 5 mins of coming on the pitch because when the ref gave a throw in the 'wrong' way (as according to Hudd, I can't remember if he was right) he said "oh for fucks sake!". He didn't shout it, it didn't appear to actually be at the ref, but he was using "offensive, insulting or abusive language or gestures", so off he went. Can you imagine that happening in any of the matches this week?! Or any given weekend - Chelsea would never finish a game with more than 3 players!

      I do think video tech should be brought in (although I'm not sure where I think the cut-off should be ), because, as I said somewhere else I think, I reckon the introduction of that would actually protect the 'old-skool' game; people aren't going to push their luck as much because they know they'll get caught out, and so the aggrieved players will respect the referees authority more and be less likely to form those disgusting gangs around the ref, which in turn means they'll feel mre confident and less intimidated about making big calls.

      If that's what it takes these days then bring it on.

    • You make some good points John and you are sure to get a sympathetic ear from some of the old timers in here as well as a youngster like myself!
      Over the last few weeks we have seen several appalling refereeing displays...its astounding the incompetence sometimes but thats all it is ....amateurs in charge of something thats too big to handle.........maybe its time to review how we manage this monster that money has created?
      I have played Sunday football all my life and apart from the odd clumsy foul have never cheated.....if a player goes past me ...well fair play to him...if Im tackled I do all I can to keep the ball rather than fall over.....Ive never dropped like a sack of sh*t, pulled a shirt or taken a dive, feigned injury or timewasted....I simply dont know how to.....it was never taught to me as a lad and my dad never did it when I watched him play.
      I now watch my son play and its unbelievable what the kids are getting up to these days...and where are they learning it all I wonder?
      I dont have a solution to the problems you mention..where do you start? teach the kids a bit of sporting, honour maybe?
      I shudder when I think that in 10,15 years our kids will be talking about the likes of Drogba, Ronaldo and Rooney in the same breath as we wax lyrical about Moore, Greaves, Dalgliesh

      • 3 Replies to A Yahoo! User
      • when the tiger moth was a caterpillar as they used to say,i used to play cricket....i was a leg break spinner and in one match in particular i got a batsman caught behind twice.....the umpire gave him not out both times.....i found out later he was his father!....i was incensed ...it ruined my day because i knew i had been cheated.....so i can understand Chelsea's reaction.maybe (not condone).....and i think that the referees incompetence both at man u and stamford bridge cost
        spurs and chelsea the game.....i can empathise.....i was livid over webb.....it seems wrong somehow that there is no redress.....but that is life i suppose.....i think we have had suffered more than we have gained from ref's incompetence or lack of bottle....i .could have an idealistic outlook rather than a realistic one.....ah well....it is history now..../

      • EY,
        How do you stop it?
        I don't hoenstly know - I think that the malaise is symptomatic of society. Rudeness, thuggery, ignorance and overbearing sense of self seem to be entrenched. That's the first point.
        Secondly, the 'media' love it. Just look at how many 'news' stories it spawned - let alone the fact that it gave Jamie something to go on about on Sky. Bad news sells. Rooney acting the tw*t sells.
        Thirdly money. The 'game' needs the big names to attract the audiences to fuel the money-go-round. So who will act against the cheats and ban them? Who would have the bottle the red card Rooney when he next hurls a tirade of foul abuse at an official?

        I saw that poll over J Barton and there are still 21% of those who bothered to vote who say he should continue. The man is a thug - and I know that you can also have a plumber who's a thug, a banker who's a thug (although in a rich way!) and I know that thuggery isn't a valid reason to get rid of anyone - BUT - he's a thug on the pitch. That then is different - I don't think a plumber would be employed if he beat up his mate or abused a customer or his boss. So that needs to be addressed - those 21% need to realise that that sort of behaviour isn't acceptable anywhere, let alone on a football pitch.

        'Respect'. What happened to that? To me only one person should be able to approach the ref or linesman - the captain. If he is abusive in any way, then it should be an instant red card. You can make a point without abuse - you can be angry, frustrated, adrenalin fuelled - but you don't have to be abusive.

        'Cheating'. The Andy Gray 'Its a man's game' type comments should be banned. If someone cheats by pulling a shirt, it's a foul. It's a free kick and in the area it's a penalty - simple. Using your arms to obstruct a player is just that obstruction. That is also a free kick. The rules are already there. Use them. I would announce that the rules will be enforced - then have a high profile friendly to show what the refs will accept and won't. I bet by the time the saeson starts there will still be a couple of shirt pulls - but at least you'd have started to drive it out of the game.

        Finally, education. My son went to a local summer soccer school a few years back and the first thing that the coach said was that if you spat or swore you're straight off the pitch. But why did he need to say that? The kids only spit/swear cause they see it on the box. They also now argue with the ref - at kid level, because they see theor heros doing it and think it is acceptable. It isn't.
        By the time the kid has been playing from age 6 to under 18 level, then there's 12 years of bad practice to eradicate. Teach them well from the outset.

        Football is a beautiful game - hard, fast and not for wimps. I'm not saying in the slightest '...make it no contact...' far from it - the art of a good tackle (and some dodgy ones) is intrinsic - without that the game loses it's edge. It's an art. Teach it. Don't teach jumping in with two feet at ankle level.

        Bet you wished you'd never asked....!

      • The only thing the ref got wrong last night was not issuing red cards to all the chelsea players who surrounded him at the end. Spurs have now had 2 shocking decisions at Old Trafford, a yard over the line anyone?! and a penalty that never should have been given.Its all part of the game. No sense threatening to kill people over a what is just a game.