Ref Review: Mark Halsey deems Arsenal goal offside, controversial calls at Chelsea

Mark Halsey from looks at Arsenal’s “offside” goal, failure to pick up Chelsea challenges and a controversial goal at Stamford Bridge. The former professional referee also dissects the refereeing performance at West Ham and praises a correct penalty decision at Bournemouth.

Arsenal 1 – 1 Tottenham Hotspur 

Ref: Mark Clattenburg 

I thought Mark Clattenburg refereed the game superbly, but the Arsenal goal was offside, in my opinion. Now, there are always grey areas in law and this is definitely one of them. They have reworded the law of offside to simplify it, but they’ve made it worse.

Being in an offside position is not an offence in itself; it’s when the player becomes involved with active play and is interfering with an opponent. When Mesut Ozil puts that ball across, is Alexis Sanchez seeking to gain an advantage by being in that position? Is he making an impact on Kevin Wimmer, and is he interfering with a defender?

Wimmer has to play the ball because he knows there is a player behind him. In my opinion, Sanchez has an impact on the defender in clearing the ball, thus interfering with play and an opponent.

But I thought Clattenburg got the penalty right, Laurent Koscielny didn’t play the ball and he plays the man. He looked sharper officiating than he has in recent weeks, he was outstanding on Sunday.


Chelsea 5 – 0 Everton 

Ref: Bobby Madley 

I think a referee of Bobby Madley’s level should be picking those challenges up – Seamus Coleman on Diego Costa. It was a reckless challenge that was worthy of a free-kick to Chelsea and a caution for Coleman. He should have used a bit of experience, saw the blood on Costa’s ankle and booked Coleman for a reckless challenge.

There was an incident a few minutes later with Phil Jagielka. Costa was unhappy and was losing his cool, but luckily for Madley, Chelsea scored two quick goals and things calmed down. It would’ve been interesting to see Costa’s body language otherwise.

Talking of controversial goals, was Pedro impacting on the goalkeeper for Chelsea’s first goal? He made a movement towards the goal, and once you do that you’re deemed as interfering with play. Though, I understand that was a difficult decision for the linesman to make.


Bournemouth 1 – 2 Sunderland

Ref: Mike Dean 

Mike Dean made the correct call on the penalty and he’s one of our top referees. The Bournemouth defender was making a genuine attempt to play the ball, but I would question the two cautions given to Steven Pienaar.

The first wasn’t a caution, but I haven’t seen if Pienaar made a couple of other challenges before that. In isolation, I don’t think that was a caution. The second one you can have no complaints. Dean was using his experience and giving himself a little bit of thinking time. It was a deserved caution, and with it being his second, he had to go. But the first was very harsh and very cheap; a free-kick would have done on that occasion.


West Ham 1 – 1 Stoke City

Ref: Andre Marriner

Andre Marriner is right on top of his game at the moment. He played a wonderful advantage for Stoke’s goal and went back to book West Ham goalkeeper Adrian. Hopefully he goes on to have many more good games because he’s in top form.

He will have a dip – because as referees – it’s not possible for the human body to allow you to be at the top of your game both mentally and physically all the time. The international break gives everyone a bit of a rest now and looking at his fixtures this year, Marriner is a strong favourite to referee the Manchester United vs Arsenal match after the break. I’ve done that game and it’s tough but I think Andre will be up for that game, if he’s given it.

But I thought Kevin Friend and Neil Swarbrick had good games too, and hope they also gain the trust of the PGMOL to referee big games because they’re not going to improve as officials otherwise.

Follow Mark on Twitter at @refereehalsey

1 Comment on Ref Review: Mark Halsey deems Arsenal goal offside, controversial calls at Chelsea

  1. Lynda Brownson // November 9, 2016 at 12:57 pm // Reply

    Would love you to review some of the FAWSL games.

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