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Everton v Newcastle – Incompetence v Being Human

8 years ago

Last night’s second-half was class but the big talking points after the match have predictably missed the point.

No doubt the newspapers this morning will focus on whether Everton’s chance was over the line and throw in some oh so close offside decisions to beef it up.

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Having now seen the frame by frame slow motions I still can’t tell if the (whole of the) ball was definitely over the line, it probably was but if slow motion/freezeframe shots are needed to prove it was almost certainly a ‘goal’, it hardly equals the biggest travesty in history that from thirty yards away in a split second a linesman can’t say for sure it was over the line.

The same with offside decisions, in a fraction of a second, defenders run five yards one way and the attackers five the other direction, last night (again, only having seen the playbacks) Fellaini was unlucky that this time the linesman called his ‘goal’ offside.

These things happen every match and unless you give the officials some kind of addition help via technology, they always will happen. Even if goal-line technology had been in use I’m not convinced it would have called goal anyway with the margins so small, it wasn’t like Lampard’s in the world cup or other nailed on examples.

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The question is, could the officials last night have done a better job with those decisions? To me the answer is clearly no, they went with what they saw with their own eyes and that is all that can be expected of them. The same can be said of Alan Pardew pushing the linesman at the Spurs match, you can sympathise with our manager but the official just made a mistake.

However, by far the worst piece of refereeing was visited on Newcastle United last night.

The official on this occasion had all the information he needed but made the WRONG DECISION. He wasn’t mistaken with what he saw, he simply didn’t follow the rules.

I’m of course talking about Newcastle breaking away seconds after the goal-line incident at our end, Hatem Ben Arfa stays on his feet despite Pienaar’s cynical foul and it is three against one defender as we go over the halfway line.

Rules were changed to help referees for exactly this kind of incident. It is a clear foul but the referee has then a period of time to see how play develops and whether the injured party (Newcastle in this incident) have an advantage by being allowed to play on.

The official can allow play on and then if it proves the attacking team don’t have an advantage, he can then bring play back and nothing negative is thought of that decision by the referee.

Pienaar fouls Ben Arfa and despite staying on his feet, the referee can’t blow quick enough.

My reading of the situation is that the referee still has the goal-line incident of a few seconds before on his mind and panics by blowing his whistle instead of being on the ball.

That behaviour to me equals somebody who can’t handle the pressure and should be penalised for his poor decision making, while officials not seeing something in a split second from a distance away shouldn’t be taken apart by experts sitting in a studio looking at slow motions and freezeframes.

I know what the headlines will be this morning but it still doesn’t make them right.

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