Friday, November 30, 2007

What a bummer!!

Hmm - praised Green a coupla weeks ago; now I see yellow!! Roar V Newcastle at Lang Park tonight; Williams gives the Jets a free kick; kick taken quickly and ball kicked straight into Seo's butt, because he wasn't facing the ball; Williams gives Seo a yellow card. What did I miss?

Okay, so technically Seo was inside the 10 yards, but it's hard to see it as encroachment when he was heading the other way. Hard to say he was time wasting or delaying the restart of play because he had his back to the kick and didn't seem to me to be blocking or delaying the kicker. Newcastle wanted the quick kick huh? While why kick it up Seo's rear end? One could be arguing that such an action is unsporting and the yellow card could have gone against the Jets. On the otherhand, it could have been play on because the Jets wanted the quick kick and if it wasn't deliberately kicked at Seo, I'm definitely missing something!! It's certainly putting a new meaning on the term "dot shot"!!

Mind you, to be totally honest, the Roar only have themselves to blame for losing this game. They weren't playing like a team on a roll. Poor penalty kick by Lynch. Defence asleep at the 90th minute. So how much does a ref's decisions affect a game? Tonight - not much.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Williams or just the Willies?

Being a totally impartial spectator, I am at a little bit of a loss as to how best keep the objectives of this blog site intact after Friday's Roar V Melbourne game. So let's be objective about this: half time foul count - Roar 8 & Melbourne 10. Half time yellow card count: Roar 1 & Melbourne 0. Full time foul count - Roar 20 & Melbourne 20. Very even match one would think. But wait, full time yellow card count - Roar 4 & Melbourne 1. Oh, the Roar must have been very naughty in the second half. Yea right!!

Ben Williams had a fairly good, but far from perfect first half. Pity about the second half. His positioning was very average, at one point running from nearly halfway to award a free kick to Melbourne. His positioning behind the ball, instead of at an angle made this call even more dubious. Also, in a less than perfect position, Mr Williams awarded a Melbourne throw in after his assistant referee, (in a good position), has signalled a Roar throw in. Apart from a few biased Melbourne supporters, about 17 000 other people also saw it as a Roar throw in as well. So Benny Boy, revise your ABC and put some trust in your AR's please.

What was more irritating was the lack of consistency in what constituted a foul. As the impartial spectator that I am, (dressed in orange), it seemed that a number of fouls were committed against Roar players and they were not pulled up. Even the Foxtel twits, I mean commentators, were amazed at the fouls that weren't identified as such. Interestingly, free kicks to the Roar tended to be given when it was in their defensive third and free kicks to Melbourne tended to be awarded when they were close to the Roar's 18 yard box. Hmm.

Finally, I think something needs to be done about the targetting of particular players by the opposing team. I know it is not just against the Roar, but since the young guns of Kruse and Zullo have been firing, they are not given any space and are brought down cheaply. Solution - persistent infringements, (yellow card), can be awarded against a team for constantly fouling one player. Give the captain a verbal warning and card the next player to put in a cheap shot. The young players in the A-League need to be tough, but they also deserve a fair go to develop and not end up bruised and sprained - or worse.

Who was the best ref this round? Not sure, perhaps Matthew Breeze. What do you think?

Monday, November 5, 2007

Green Day

Typical - the Roar win away from home against the League leaders!!

Watching on TV, I thought Peter Green had a very good game. Why? Because you hardly saw or heard from him. When you did, he seemed to be pretty spot on with the call and he seemed to be in good position to make the call. Controlled the simple things too, like telling Seo to move back to the mark on a throw in. The yellow cards appeared warranted as well, although Reinaldo's was possibly harsh. It was funny listening to the home crowd going off when Green pulled Adelaide up for obvious fouls. 90 minutes - 90 emotions once again.

I noticed an assistant referee start to flag a throw in to the Roar, only to suddenly change hands and signal it to Adelaide, so obviously Green was taking full control of proceedings. Only thing was, from my position in the lounge chair, thousands of kilometres away, I thought the AR was had a better view and was right.So there you go, not a perfect game, but a consistent game where the officials let things flow and didn't dominate the game. Isn't that what we want?

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A-League Of Extraordinary Men? (and one woman!)

Okay - Whistler is at the Roar V Perth Glory game last week and the crowd is expressing their disapproval of the calls or lack there of being made by the ref. Comment from behind is something like, "They set up the A-League as a professional competition and they give us Z grade referees." So I wonder - is the A-League a truly professional competition? (For sure, it is a major upgrade of the NSL, but not all players are truly professional are they?)

Granted the match officials are "part time" and rely on a day job, but most of them wear FIFA badges, which means they have passed more than a fitness test. Quiet a few of them have had some kind of international experience, although this may be at youth level. What do we do? Pay a lot more to say we have full time refs? There's still only 4 games a week for them to develop their skills. We could pay heaps to get overseas refs, but one of the best EPL refs can't count to two and issues three yellow cards, before the red. (Actually that's another blog topic!!)

So what's the solution, or do we not need a solution?

Friday, October 26, 2007

Not Offside!!

"I'm blind, I'm deaf - I wanna be a ref!!", was a chant that went up around Lang Park, (aka Suncorp Stadium), during A-League Version One. Well I wear glasses for reading, my kids say I'm deaf and I am a ref. Our two sons are refs, but one pulled out a couple of years ago. Why? He was sick of the abuse from the sideline. Was he a lousy ref? Not from what I saw. He blew the whistle fairly and consistently for both teams on the field. Spectators with little or no understanding of the laws of the game simply destroy the game by burning out young officials. Common to virtually all sports I know.

At the same time - no one is perfect. It is said that refs may make mistakes, but they are never wrong! So I'd like to set up a blog, with a positive focus, to discuss the impact of refs on the game. I have been caught up by the hype and bias at A-League games, only to go home and watch a replay and realise that this call or that call was in fact correct. So let's see where this goes, but please - no emotive comments like, "The ref was crap!"