June 13, 2016

Refereeing Analysis - Matches 5-7 (Eriksson TUR-CRO, Hategan POL-NIR, Atkinson GER-UKR)

Please find our analyses and assessments of yesterday's refereeing (matches 5-7) below!


Jonas Eriksson's Team in Turkey vs Croatia

Swedish Europa League 2016 Final Referee Jonas Eriksson was chosen to officiate the first more emotional match that was widely expected to belong to the toughest games of the entire group stage. So the main goal was: Ensure match control! A task which he solved quite well.

VIDEO 1, VIDEO 2

Important Situations:

1| Public Warning after 3 minutes

Even though there were no particular big decisions to take, e.g. in or around the penalty area, there was one situation which I consider as the most important and therefore as a key decision in this match.

After 3 minutes, Turkey's Ozan tackled Croatian Luca Modric - a tackle surely between careless and reckless. Eriksson recognized the need to step in and used that incident as the opportunity to set a clear preventive and tacticla signal: With stern - and maybe even a bit too much - body language, he made clear to everybody "You are lucky that we are in minute 3! No more!".

The match stayed calm for the whole first half. At the beginning of the second half, Eriksson missed to do the same again. His approach was too relaxed in the first half of the second half. Some clear yellow cards were not given - in my view, deliberately not given. Eriksson knew what he was doing. In retrospect, I think a more active and strict management of the one or other combatted duel would have helped to keep the temperature of the players and game at an adequate level. At the end of the game, this became better again.


Positive Points:

1| He accomplished his main mission: Match Control was, overall, given.

2| Good preventive, tactical approach at the beginning of the match sending the right proactive signals.

3| Empathic management of the players.


Points for Improvement:

1| Be careful: Don't misinterpret a seemingly easy-going game in the first half as a reason to become more relaxed and laissez-faire-like in the second half. Keep your concentration high, keep control (refrain from an inflation of unnecessary advantages), stay consistent and predictable in your foul detection (some phantom fouls in half 2) and disciplinary control (o-tone Jaap Uilenberg after WC 2014: "It cannot be that clear yellow cards are not given!", e.g. 34', 49', 51') - otherwise you might lose the acceptance and respect of and grip to the players.

2| Card-presentation: Despite his respectful and empathic dealing with the players, he should be careful with regard to his card presentation. Having the whistle in the mouth while showing cards does not radiate much respect.

3| Positioning at free-kicks: At free-kicks that are taken from a central position, it is risky to be positioned to the right. The whole left side of the penalty area could easily turn into a blind spot due to dead visual angles for the trio Ref-AR-AAR.


Our Observers' Mark Proposals


Ø
Artur (SUI)
Carter (AUS)
Chefren (ITA)
Detelin (BUL)
Edward (GRE)
Harry
(ENG)
Niclas
(GER)
RayHD (POL)
Rik (NED)
Maxi (GER)
Ref: Eriksson
8.24
8.3
n.a.
8.2
n.a.
8.2
n.a.
8.2
8.2
8.4
8.3
AR1: Klasenius
8.35


8.4


8.3

AR2: Wärnmark
8.40


8.4


8.4

AAR1: Johannesson
8.40


8.4


8.4

AAR2: Strömbergsson
8.45


8.4



8.5

4OF: Collum
8.30


8.4



8.2












TEAM AVERAGE
8.32









 


Ovidiu Alin Hategan’s Team in Poland vs Northern Ireland

The probably most unknown match official of all EURO 2016 referees has found a positive start into the tournament. Romanian Ovidiu Hategan controlled Poland vs Northern Ireland quite well, delivered absolutely solid and in every manner good, attentive refereeing and therefore fulfilled the requirements at the expected level.

VIDEO

Important Situations:

1| Penalty Appeal by Poland (handball?)

Northern Ireland’s defender touched the ball with his hand as you can see in the above placed video. But he never did so deliberately. There was no sign for a careless act either. The ball bounced back from his body totally unexpectedly, the arm was not significantly outstretched. Little discussion – simply a correct decision and nothing else.

2| Holding at a free-kick inside the POL penalty area

Maybe no key situation, but nonetheless important. At the very last free-kick of the match, there was a player duo that started to pull and hold each other even before the free-kick. In this case, it would be the task of the referee to preventively step in and warn both players, reminding them on the consequences of continuous holding and maybe telling them sth like “My teammate has an eye on you!”.. Indeed, it would have been the task of AAR1 Tudor to inform Hategan about the persistent holding before the free-kick was taken. Both Hategan and Tudor did not step in which resulted in a quite blatant holding of the Polish defender. Nobody wanted a penalty there and it would have been against common sense, but… this situation indicates the negative results you can obtain when you fail to act pro-actively as a referee. A point to improve for the referee trio on that side.



Positive Points:

1| Uniform, even though rather pedantic, line in his foul selection. Predictable, here and there maybe a bit fussy, but no problem as long as you are consistent: Hategan was consistent in it.

2| Self-confident, stern but respectful personality and body language. Calm, but nonetheless self-assertive.

3| Good use of verbal warnings and disciplinary sanctions in the course of the game, logical and suitable approach.


Points for Improvement:

1| Preventive verbal warnings at set pieces, specially free-kicks around the penalty area and corner-kicks.

2| Throw-in accuracy (e.g. mistake in 77’). Throw-in decisions might be minor calls to make in a game. But every referee knows that making (too) many mistakes in that can lead to frustration and a loss of acceptance among the players. Stay alert and accurate to ensure that this does not happen.

3| Vanishing Spray: First position the wall, then draw the line. (negative effect visible in 57’).


Our Observers' Mark Proposals


Ø
Artur (SUI)
Carter (AUS)
Chefren (ITA)
Detelin (BUL)
Edward (GRE)
Harry
(ENG)
Niclas
(GER)
RayHD (POL)
Rik (NED)
Maxi (GER)
Ref: Hategan
8.38
n.a.
n.a.
8.4
8.3
n.a.
n.a.
8.4
8.3
8.4
8.4
AR1: Sovre
8.40




8.4
8.4
AR2: Gheorghe
8.40





8.4
8.4
AAR1: Tudor
8.30




8.3
8.3
AAR2: Coltescu
8.40




8.4
8.4
4OF: Sidiropoulos
8.40





8.4
8.4











TEAM AVERAGE
8.38









 


Martin Atkinson’s Team in Germany vs Ukraine

The first of two English Referee Teams at EURO 2016 has given their debut in yesterday’s Germany vs Ukraine Group C match. Martin Atkinson, whose participation was unsure given a late injury some weeks ago, headed his team into Lille Métropole’s Stade Pierre Mauroy.

Against expectations, Ukraine dominated the first half with brave attacks that put the German defensive walls under fire. The second half became calmer for both the Germans and the referee team so that this was a match of the sort you as the referee cannot wait to end. A very fair game with a low level of temperature and no real conflicts – very easy to referee on paper. In such matches, your main task is to keep your concentration at a high level and always expect the unexpected. Atkinson did not completely manage that.

VIDEO1, VIDEO2

Important Situations

1| Free-kick for Germany leading to the 1:0 goal

Based on the first 7 matches, I have the feeling that the match officials have a relatively pedantic line in evaluating tackles where both ball and players were touched. An example of that also was Carlos Velasco’s first Yellow Card in Albania-Switzerland or the one or the other free-kick given by Jonas Eriksson.

It surely also depends on the referee’s approach and line in the rest of the game. If he is generally pedantic or prefers to whistle rather too much than too little by missing something, this makes a free-kick decision in the GER-UKR situation more acceptable than if the official’s line is rather lenient. Atkinson’s line was something in between. The tackle itself was targeted at playing the ball and indeed the defender did play the ball at first. Of course he then also “tackled” the attacking player with some intensity. In my view, the free-kick decision is fussy and actually incorrect.

2| Neuer’s rescue action in 87’

Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer of course knew what he was doing. Specially from behind – from Atkinson’s view – it however looked like a too easy and wanted descend of the Ukrainian attacker. For me, this is never enough for a penalty kick. Neuer of course positioned himself in the way of the attacker, but neither too blatantly nor by just standing there and clearly blocking him unfairly. Instead, he was still moving and got in the attacker’s running path, making a clever shoulder-shoulder-contact. No foul for me, although there have already been cleaner rescue actions.

3| Offside Goal Ukraine and No Offside in the 2:0

Michael Mullarkey, the oldest and most experienced assistant referee of all EURO match officials, showed his excellence yesterday. Very good and important decision to disallow the possible 1:1 goal for offside in 38’. No offside in Germany’s late 2:0 was a great call as well – also apart from that, the assistants made a good impression. Only minus: AR2 Child missed an offside at the end of the match during an Ukrainian attack.



Positive Points

1| Full Match Control and Acceptance. Yes, it was a very very easy match, but a) the referee usually contributes to that either positively or negatively and b) by having a EURO match under full control, half of the job is done.

2| Empathic Management of the Players – he was their partner.

3| Although not all advantages were really game advantages (in some cases the ball was even played back), Atkinson managed to keep the match at a fluent level and avoided evitable stoppages in many cases which was accepted by the players. Given the rather calm atmosphere in the stadium, it was IMO ok in this match to choose this fluency-orientated approach.


Points for Improvement

1| Avoid an unconcentrated beginning: Atkinson took some irritating decisions like signalling for a corner (corrected by a teammate) even though goal-kick was the clear decision (3’) and then missed a stonewall foul against the Ukrainian goalkeeper in 24’ (only upon advice of a teammate he gave foul) – maybe a matter of suboptimal positioning at set pieces. The first impression thus was not positive. And the first impression is vitally important! Maybe Atkinson was mentally a bit distracted which is quite human after an injury – nonetheless, this should actually not happen.

2| Accuracy and Uniformity in Decision-Taking: Too generous in his disciplinary control by missing 2 mandatory yellow cards (1 reckless elbow which he clearly saw in 23’ and 1 reckless tackle in 45+1) on the one hand, soft free-kick resulting in the 1:0 goal on the other hand.

3| Fitness Level. Not convincing – neither positioning nor movement led to big wrong calls or clear deficits, but his general physical condition has not convinced our observer team. And, keep in mind: This was not the fastest match of this EURO tournament.


Our Observers' Mark Proposals


Ø
Artur (SUI)
Carter (AUS)
Chefren (ITA)
Detelin (BUL)
Edward (GRE)
Harry
(ENG)
Niclas
(GER)
RayHD (POL)
Rik (NED)
Maxi (GER)
Ref: Atkinson
8.13
8.1
8.0
8.2
8.4
8.1
8.2
8.0
8.1
8.1
8.2
AR1: Mullarkey
8.50
8.5



8.5

AR2: Child
8.40
8.4




8.4

AAR1: Oliver
8.40
8.4



8.4

AAR2: Pawson
8.40
8.4



8.4

4OF: Madden
8.40
8.4




8.4













TEAM AVERAGE
8.28










 

5 Comments:

  1. I cannot agree with the decision of not according the penalty for Ukraine: the only aim of Neuer was to stop Selezniov, he did not have any interest in the ball, his trajectory was not a line towards the ball, he was seeing the ukranian player coming. For me, penalty.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I agree with Manuel here. Neuer, like in the 2014 final, played on the border of legality, and to my taste he overstepped it. He is allowed his space, but he is not allowed to block deliberately the path of another player. Shoulder-to-shoulder contact is allowed (was it shoulder v. shoulder, though?), but only for the purpose of playing the ball. Neuer did not seek to play the ball, and the ball was not within playing distance. In fact, he blocked the Ukrainian player and then immediately stepped away. To me, that is an illegal action, and should have been punished by a penalty (and YC). To me, the more I look at it, the clearer it gets.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your view. What would be the exact type of offence if it was illegal in your view?

      Delete
    2. I'd go for "holding an opponent", although I could see "charging an opponent" justified as well. The new LOTG clarify that "obstruction" with contact must be a DFK/PK, therefore "holding".

      I just re-watched it, and the contact is not shoulder-to-shoulder. Neuer moves in front of the Ukrainian to provoke a collision. He is clearly seeking the contact, and the ball is several meters away (not in playing distance).

      Delete
  3. Why move the wall then spray? So so often referees measure the ten and then allow the wall to come back near their mark and just spray in front of them, thus causing the wall to be closer than 10 yards.

    ReplyDelete

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