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Debatable Decisions EPL – Week 10

Week 10 of the Premier League season sees the return of Debatable Decisions overlord Simon McPolin, me. Many thanks to Simon Furnivall for stepping in whilst I took a rest from casting a condescending eye over referees. In that time we’ve lost two judges, Mike and Ant deciding that it was one handball decision too [...]

Week 10 of the Premier League season sees the return of Debatable Decisions overlord Simon McPolin, me. Many thanks to Simon Furnivall for stepping in whilst I took a rest from casting a condescending eye over referees. In that time we’ve lost two judges, Mike and Ant deciding that it was one handball decision too many, but we’ve also welcomed two newcomers, David and Michael who are raring to get their teeth stuck into Howard Webb’s backside. Enjoy!

LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 27: Santi Cazorla of Arsenal reacts after a missed chance on goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and QPR at The Emirates Stadium on October 27, 2012 in London, England.

Manchester UnitedArsenal

Cazorla Handball (Penalty Awarded)

Simon M – I saw the internet’s biggest whopper, FourFourTom, claiming that this shouldn’t have been a penalty because protecting your face is allowed. That’s fair enough, shame Cazorla’s face isn’t half an arm’s length higher than his head.

Simon F – His arms are high and there’s no justifiable reason for that. A clear penalty in my view.

David – Arms up high, can’t be considered natural, significant deflection of the ball. Has to be penalty.

Callum – Looks like enough of a handball to award a penalty. Would have given a yellow card at most.

Michael – Handballs can often be a tricky business but I am not sure Cazorla left the referee with any option here. He was far enough away from the ball to react and react he did – by flinging his arms towards it

Overall Verdict – Correct Decision

Wilshere Two Yellow Cards

Simon M – That second one is really nasty, maybe just short of a straight red, but both tackles combined were worthy of two yellows.

Simon F – Both were nailed on yellow cards for me and Wilshere can have no complaints about either.

David – Both yellows, with the second being a case for a straight red. Clumsy, late tackles with injury potential.

Callum – First foul was a yellow card, however, I don’t think that the second foul was worthy, other than it being his ‘final warning’. He’s trying to win the ball and gets there, before reaching Evra.

Michael – There will be those who will argue that there should be a place in the game for tackles like the first, but that is immaterial. The fact is that right now there isn’t. If the referee had brandished a red card for the second challenge alone which was high and pretty dangerous, I am pretty sure he could have found some sound justification for it in the rule book. Wilshere can have no complaints.

Overall Verdict – Correct Decision

LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 03: Bryan Ruiz of Fulham (R) in action with Leon Osman of Everton during the Barclays Premier League match between Fulham and Everton at Craven Cottage on November 3, 2012 in London, England.

Fulham – Everton

Free Kick For First Fulham Goal

Simon M – On first viewing this looks a little soft, but then you watch the replays a few times and see how Neville reacts to it. He knows he’s caught Berbatov and he knew a free kick was going to be rightly awarded.

Simon F – I think this is a foul. Berbatov is caught and the referee got it right.

David – Neville puts his hand up straight away, he knows what he did. Kicks Berbatov’s leg and gets nowhere near the ball.

Callum – Looks like a foul to me. Nothing of the ball, all of Berbatov. Correct decision.

Michael – Seems a pretty bog standard ‘kick a flair player to punish him for making us look silly’ kind of challenge from Neville. Nothing malicious or shocking about about it. It was just a seasoned old-school response from the most seasoned of old-school players. But a foul nonetheless.

Overall Verdict – Correct Decision

Swansea – Chelsea

Hazard Penalty Shout

Simon M – It’s not as blatant as some of the penalties we’re seen this season, but there does seem to be an awful lot of pushing and shoving going on into the back of Hazard. I think I would have given it.

Simon F – It’s one of those where if it happened against my team I’d probably be shouting for a penalty in the heat of the moment, but looking at it objectively I can’t see the justification for one and I’m siding with the referee

David – I’m just not sure about this one. This is pressure on Hazard, but I don’t see a push from the hands or significant enough leg contact. Both players have their arms up and in the other’s faces and I think the Belgian goes to ground easily enough. Can’t give it.

Callum – Looked at the time like it was a penalty, and it seems to have been confirmed. Not a bad challenge, just clumsy, and the penalty should have been awarded.

Michael – Had to watch this one back quite a few times and I still can’t be sure whether it was a foul or not. I think Hazard wanted the foul and he was singularly hoping to draw Williams in to making a challenge. That said, I don’t think the Swansea defender does enough to justify giving away a penalty. A coming-together perhaps, but not a foul in my book.

Overall Verdict – Correct Decision

SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 03: Sunderland player Adam Johnson in action during the Barclays Premier League Match between Sunderland and Aston Villa at Stadium of Light on November 3, 2012 in Sunderland, England.

Sunderland – Aston Villa

Possible Handball In Villa Area

Simon M – I don’t know about this one, it’s really difficult to call. Normally i’m pretty consistent when it comes to penalty calls and arms in unnatural positions, but there’s something about the way he’s went for the ball that makes me think his arm is in a natural position and he’s trying to maintain balance.

Simon F – What I think saves the Villa player here is the distance between the two players, giving him no time to react. Having said that, however, his arm is up and away from his body, definitely in an unnatural position and for that reason I would have given a penalty.

David – Strikes his arm alright and deflects the ball in a huge way. But I think it’s a fair example of the hand being up and out for balance as he goes for the ball legitimately with the raised leg. Not unnatural in my eyes, for this specific situation

Callum – That’s a handball for me. Penalty should have been awarded.

Michael – The ball definitely strikes the defender’s hand but it is quite clear there was nothing he could do about it. No way a penalty can or should be given in such circumstances.

Overall Verdict – Correct Decision

NORWICH, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 03: Passions overflow during the Barclays Premier League match between Norwich City and Stoke at Carrow Road on November 3, 2012 in Norwich, England.

Norwich – Stoke

Free Kick For Norwich Goal

Simon M – I honestly can’t see anything in this other than the fact Wilkinson tries to pull him back and fails. I think this was really soft.

Simon F – A clear pull on the arm from the Stoke defender.

David – His arm goes out to grab him and he gets in close enough from behind to send him toppling.

Callum – Think the Norwich player has gone down easily, wouldn’t of given a free-kick for that. Incorrect decision.

Michael – I think the referee has had a stinker here. I fail to see how the Norwich player has been impeded at all, never mind knocked off his feet. Call me a cynic if you like, but it looks like a case of an attacker utilizing what I have come to regard as ‘The Charlie Adam Gambit’ – i.e. run to the spot on the pitch where you would like to have a free kick, then cease all attempts at playing football and start falling over. I think the referee got this one wrong.

Overall Verdict – Incorrect Decision

Etherington Reaction In Area

Simon M – Kudos to the referee for taking the sensible approach here, how often have we seen handbags get turned into something they really aren’t? It’s a wee bit of a tussle, nothing else and nothing sinister or card worthy.

Simon F – I can’t tell exactly what has happened here, there appears to have been a small kick out by Etherington, but then Bassong pretty much had him in a headlock. A small flashpoint, and I think the referee was right to just get on with the game.

David – Basong goes for his face, has him in a headlock and then flops to the ground in a rather odd way when Etherington shoves him. If you’re applying the letter of the law both have to go for violent conduct but I think it’s fair enough under the circumstances to get on with the game since both are at fault

Callum – Booking. Couldn’t give a red for that myself.

Michael – Seemed a simple bit of handbags to me. Bit like when you start an argument with your mate at the end of a night out over what kebab shop to visit just because you are annoyed that he got a lass’ number and you didn’t. That does happen to everyone else, yes? Embarrassing and no one really emerges with any credit, but nothing to take too seriously.

Overall Verdict – Correct Decision

LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 03: Gareth Barry (L) and Yaya Toure of Manchester City challenge Mohamed Diame of West Ham United during the Barclays Premier League match between West Ham United and Manchester City at the Boleyn Ground on November 3, 2012 in London, England.

West Ham – Manchester City

Nolan Goal Disallowed For Offside

Simon M – I think he’s onside, the only part of his body that isn’t onside is his arm, which doesn’t count. A lucky escape for City, but a very tight call for the officials to make.

Simon F – An understandable one for the assistant to get wrong as I had to look very closely at this to judge exactly where everyone was, but the fact is that Nolan was onside and the goal should have stood.

David – You can get away with an arm over the line because you can’t score with it. But you can score with your head and his head is offside.

Callum – Just off. By the smallest of margins.

Michael – The replays were pretty conclusive that Nolan was level and onside. One sympathizes.

Overall Verdict – Incorrect Decision

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 04: Fabrizio Coloccini of Newcastle United competes with Luis Suarez of Liverpool during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Newcastle United at Anfield on November 4, 2012 in Liverpool, England.

Liverpool – Newcastle

Suarez Penalty Shout

Simon M – Looks like a penalty to me. He’s clearly caught Suarez and the tackle he was intending to make didn’t come off, the fact the ball luckily hit him elsewhere doesn’t mean anything.

Simon F – Listening to Chris Coleman’s analysis of this was laughable, apparently it wasn’t a penalty as Coloccini wasn’t looking at Suarez. Nonsense. The ball is put past him and then he trips Suarez, a clear penalty.

David – He catches him. Typically overblown reaction from the Uruguayan, but the leg was left out and it’s a foul. Penalty.

Callum – A penalty should be awarded there, looks as if the referee has got a full view of it too.

Michael – Luis Suarez was definitely fouled, almost certainly taken off his feet, and it should have been a penalty. You can understand by the referee didn’t give it. With Suarez’s penchant for needlessly throwing himself four feet in the air and screaming you would likely still be in a quandary as to the integrity of his suffering if a bazooka blew his leg clean off. But they got this one wrong. It was a clear foul.

Overall Verdict – Incorrect Decision

Coloccini Red Card

Simon M – Really poor from the Argentine. Usual crap from Pardew, “he isn’t that type of player”, he obviously bloody well is.

Simon F – A disgusting, disgraceful and in my mind cowardly challenge. Late by several days and he straightens his leg as he goes in. Had he caught Suarez fully, the consequences of this would have been disastrous

David – The first angle makes this look way worse than it was, but it’s still late, studs out, and a seriously dangerous thing to do

Callum – Can see why he’s sent him off, hasn’t won the ball and is a wreckless challenge even though he hasn’t hit Suarez. Red card.

Michael – Still not that sure about how much contact Coloccini actually made on Suarez here but the intent alone is enough to justify the red card. Little focus on the ball, clear stamping motion, and plenty of time to pull out of it. Doesn’t look too good for the Newcastle skipper.

Overall Verdict – Correct Decision

LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 04: Jamie Mackie of Queens Park Rangers is closed down by Garath McCleary of Reading during the Barclays Premier League match between Queens Park Rangers and Reading at Loftus Road on November 4, 2012 in London, England.

QPR – Reading

QPR Penalty Shout

Simon M – Stoke-esque and shocking that the officials didn’t pick it up. The defender is holding him and then basically throws him to one side.

Simon F – The defender has his arms wrapped around the player and pulls him over. A definite penalty.

David – Arms wrapped around, pulling the shirt. Foul anywhere else on the pitch. Penalty.

Callum – Think he’s nicked the ball away as they’re both holding each other in the box. No penalty is the correct decision I feel.

Michael – Not a penalty for me. I think the forward is doing as much backing in as the defender is doing pulling. Just a good old fashioned scrap for the ball. Nothing to see here.

Overall Verdict – Incorrect Decision

Reading Penalty Shout

Simon M – Um, that’s a dive. Rightly booked by the referee.

Simon F – An embarrassingly poor dive. If you’re going to dive, at least try and make it convincing.

David – I think this is a dive. I can’t see contact with the foot and the QPR man withdraws it fast.

Callum – Watched this a couple of times, don’t think there’s enough contact to fall so dramatically. No penalty.

Michael – I think Le Fondre was looking for it. The defender does dangle a leg out but it doesn’t impede the striker in any way. Went down far too easily. Never a penalty.

Overall Verdict – Correct Decision

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