Arsenal - We've Got Howard The Coward AGAIN
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We've Got Howard The Coward AGAIN

It seems as though someone in a position of power really doesn't want Arsenal to win the league after Howard the Coward has been awarded the massive clash between Arsenal & Man Utd at Ashburton Grove this weekend.

In an unprecedented move, the FA has given the responsibility of enforcing the rules in a Premier League match featuring the mighty Arsenal for the second game running to our favorite ref, Howard Webb.

Whilst the game at Anfield on Sunday was by no means a Carling Cup final, HTC missed both a sending off type challenge on Bacary Sagna by Mascherano, and what seems to now be a trademarked shirt pulling session by Jamie 'Why wait till the final whistle lets swaps shirts now' Carragher on Cesc Fabregas in the penalty area.

Whilst I don't like to harp on about refereeing decisions (as every team have to put up with their incompetence) Webb certainly seems to have a disliking for the Gunners.

Or am I imagining things?

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

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The Journalist

Writer: Rocky7 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday October 30 2007

Time: 12:52PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
All I can say is I bet tippex are well pleased with the refusal to sack Webb in the aftermath of the Carling Cup Final. How can a proven liar be allowed to officiate ANY game? Let alone two consecutive games against a side for which he has a clear problem with. Seriously, if I lied about a colleague throwing a punch in my workplace I'd be sacked wouldn't I?
Little Dutch
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30/10/2007 12:56:00

From what I recall, Sagna wasn't injured, it was a little forceful and Mascherano got a yellow, but there have been significantly worse tackles completely missed in other games. All defenders pull shirts, and to me it always seems that players who make a big fuss about it never seem to get penalties awarded. I don't recall Webb lying after the CC final ... I recall the linesman adjusting his report and that was clearly a problem with what was said and what was communciated, but surely this hides the fact that Arsenal players lost their discipline at the end of the game. Complain all you like about the penalties subsequently imposed but surely the greater concern for Arsene is that loss of self control by his players.
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30/10/2007 13:11:00

Ferguson will be well aware of the history between Arsenal & the Coward, so I fully expect to see a full blown rant about how Webb missed a clear penalty, plus 2 sending's off & numerous other yellow card offences when Arsenal played Liverpool & that he will try & put them right during this match. Infact to be honest I wouldn't even blame Alex for doing that because he knows the FA will be watching him, so the decisions will all go in Utd's favour. He probably cannot believe his luck getting this t****r as ref or maybe it was decided by Gill.
Ashburton Gooner
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30/10/2007 13:12:00

I remember him refereeing the United v Chelsea game last season at Old Trafford and that performance was faultless. Hopefully we'll see more of the same cause I don't want a referee blunder to decide the game. I would not say Webb has a dislike for Arsenal: he was bad during the CC final and followed the FA instructions on Sunday that Liverpool must be brought up somehow.
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30/10/2007 13:15:00

If the FA are honestly saying they only have 1 person good enough to referee Arsenal v Man Utd, then serious questions have to be asked. To say how well he done in the Liverpool/Arsenal game is a complete joke & shows them up for the farce they are. Of course though midlothian99 could be right about them needing Liverpool to be challenging at the top, in which case Webb had a terrific match on sunday!!
Ashburton Gooner
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30/10/2007 13:24:00

English Spur - Just because Sagna wasn't injured means it wasn't a red card?? Rubbish. Did Dirk Kuyt even make contact with the player at Everton? No. Was that a sending off? Of course. Just because a player isn't injured doesnt mean the tackle wasn't wreckless and shouldn't be punished. There has been a rise in these types of challenegs recently, unfortunately something will only be done when a player gets his leg broken. Just because lots of players pull shirts doesnt mean it should be let go. It is against the rules so it should have been a penalty. It's not my place to argue for every other team in the country.
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30/10/2007 13:25:00

Rocky7, there seems unfortunately these days an awful lot of whinging about the ref missing things here and there, being too lenient, being too harsh etc. I don't want to see instant replay after every event. It is up to the law makers to say any feet of the ground is a red card, but then players can inadvertently hit the ball and go over the top into the player. Watching the Rugby World Cup final again 12 of South Africa's 15 points shouldn't have been awarded as the ref called the penalties incorrectly and I'm sure if he'd had longer than 0.02secs to make a decision might have made a different one. What happens? .. you just accept officials make mistakes and move on rather than berate them as cowards and liars. If a colleague said another person had thrown a punch but in fact hadn't then undoubtedly you would have to explain yourself. If the person was 100% innocent then you'd probably be seriously disciplined. If you had over exaggerated and although punches were not thrown, the accused had charged aggressively into others, you probably be asked to be more accurate in future. You only get sacked if you make something up completely, not for inaccurately reporting an incident
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30/10/2007 13:41:00

So you're saying we should accept a poor standard of refereeing? If a player underperforms, he is dropped, if someone isn't up to scratch at work he would be sacked......but if a refferee is not good enough, we just have to accept it? I'm not buying that. The way the FA behave is that their referees are infalable. Take for instance the ruling that if a ref see's and incident, and acts accordingly, then no further action can be taken after the game. It's ridiculous. Pierre Lugi Collina was one of the finest refs ever, he took no ***** and mistakes were a lot rarer than with other refs. If he can do it, why can the others?
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30/10/2007 13:52:00

**why can't others
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30/10/2007 13:53:00

I'm not sure Webb has a dislike, its more a case of mistakes being made by the ref. It will be interesting to analyse ALL his games, and look at the number of bad calls that he makes, and if that data is skewed towards a particular side.
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30/10/2007 14:16:00

Refereeing is the only profession where poor performance is accepted on the basis that 'it's a difficult job'. You wouldn't accept mistakes from your aircraft pilot or surgeon on that basis and neither should you accept it in football referees. There are only 17 refs on the prem register (40% of the european average). Other countries have more to minimise the celebrity cult affecting referees. You also find that of these 17 referees only about half referee the televised games regularly so that the major games are often officiated by the same names. This creates the risk with so few referees that teams can allow for the idiosyncrasies of individuals and know what they can and can't get away with. Teams know the 'homers' so for officiating to be level we need more referees and fewer show ponies looking to make themselves the centre of attention.
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30/10/2007 14:23:00

But Rocky7, thats the same in all sports ... you can only cite a Rugby player, if the referee has taken no action on the pitch. Here is one individual trying to keep his eye on 22 grown men and often with a split second only to make a decision only seeing the incident from one angle which might be contradicted by a TV angle from elsewhere. And until someone can suggest a system that might work even better without ruining the flow of the game we just have to accept that over the season these decisions iron themselves out.
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30/10/2007 14:57:00

ok first of all howard webb is not all that bad.he is exremely lenient thats one thing for sure.wel he did create a major blunder the CC final but i feel that was cuz cuz he got the wrong info from the linesman.wel if he is told by the linesman that ade threw a punch well he has no choice but to send him off does he?......well from wat i ahve seen he is the better of the lot and hasnt made too many howlers.though i feel he had a bad game at anfield.......i am quite surprised that he got awarded this game........i dunno with wat mentality he is goin to go in to this with........hope he has a gud game cuz i dont think a referee shud ruin such a spectacle
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30/10/2007 15:15:00

But as I said, if Collina can do it, why can't we find other officials who are as competent as he is. If the FA put as much effort into finding quality officials as they did into pulling people up on such petty things as players celebrating with thier fans then we'd be a lot better off. And I don't care if other sports have similar rules, its crap. If a ref issues a yellow for something that is blatently a red, the FA should have the bollox to stand up and say our ref made a mistake, and now this player will be banned for 3 games. It's not that difficult is it? We have a dubious goals panel, why not have a dubious refereeing decision panel?
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30/10/2007 15:46:00

I think the dubious goals panel looks at who the actual scorer is not whether a goal was actually scored. The idea is that once a punishment is issued on the pitch it can't be upgraded. If a yellow was upgraded to a red, then the other team would complain they had not suffered the benefit of their team having an extra man.
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30/10/2007 17:46:00

Stop whinging about the refs, they do their best. Just look at that fine example Graham Poll one of the Best and most solid refs in the Issteree of Footy...EVER. Now maybe it´s your turn to get some Justice dished your way.
Blue is the colour
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30/10/2007 18:16:00

It's ridiculous that this guy is officiating again. Even a neutral can understand that we might feel insecure about him given our strained history. Why put us AND the ref in this situation - when they could let somebody else do it, and so avoid all the speculation about favouritism? Like Amos said, we need more refs to dilute their profile. Their job is hard enough without being made to feel like they are so frequently the centre of attention.
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30/10/2007 18:18:00

BITC - All you do over at VC is bitch about how the whole world and his dog is out to get you so don't come over here with you hypocrasy. EnglishSpur - If the offence in question was clearly a red card offence then the opposing will be complaining about it anyway. Late justice is better than no justice at all. As a Spurs fan do you ever feel happy when Mark Clattenberg and his crew are officiating a Spurs match after the debacle at OT a couple of years ago?
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30/10/2007 18:47:00

Howard really didnt do that bad in our game vs Pool. He missed Cara try to rip Cesc shirt off but thats about it. The Mascherano was a yellow but nothing more. Where i have a problem is that Cesc goal celebration gets the same punishment as that tackle and that is not Howards fault but the stupid rules committee who havent ever played the game.
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30/10/2007 20:00:00

Lets hope we are not talking about the ref after the game on satuday, but instead the wonderful talents of the two best teams in europe right now. Yes, thats right BITC :)
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30/10/2007 20:16:00

Cara's shirt removing exploits were on display the week before vs Everton, when he did the same thing to Lescott. It's not just shirt pulling, it's man handling worthy of the Rugby team, and has to stop. The guy is a cheat, and once the thick headed refs figure out his gameplan and award a penalty or two, maybe he'll stop. Too late for us and Everton though.
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30/10/2007 23:24:00

At least he's notoriously lenient, and shouldn't fall for either Ebue's or Ronaldo's swan dives!
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30/10/2007 23:24:00

I hate this ref. He lets the players kill each other and barely calls fouls.
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31/10/2007 02:53:00

Bit odd to have the same ref two weeks in a row; but the FA are odd so we have to just get on with it. Bet Old Red nose is laughing his head off, wait for his comments leading up to the match.
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31/10/2007 06:57:00

I think one of the problems with all this vitriol against referees, is that the next generation of refs give up. Amos has made a good point about a lack of referees compared to Europe, but is the level of abuse they get discouraging the next generation? Yes, they are professionals, but even top professionals in any career make mistakes. Already glaring errors are punished by refs getting demoted. Recently on the news there was a case of school football matches being cancelled because there was no-one to referee the game, and in the interview, a 16year old said he'd been attacked by parents, whilst another Sunday league ref had had his car vandalised. Unless fans keep things in perspective and turn down this constant and unnecessary level of abuse against officials because they make errors or award decisions against your team, we could be killing the game. I know you lot didn't like Martin Jol, but he rarely critised the ref despite some 'interesting' decisions and I think he should be congratulated for that.
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31/10/2007 09:46:00

Webb was below-par in our game against Liverpool, but we've all seen worse. Mark Clattenburg, anyone?
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31/10/2007 11:48:00


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