Silva charged by the FA

Tuesday, 12 March, 2019 94comments  |  Jump to last
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Marco Silva has been charged with improper conduct by the Football Association following his verbal altercation with officials at the end Everton's defeat at Newcastle.

The Portuguese was incensed that clear offside was not given against Salomon Rondon prior to Ayoze Perez striking the winning goal that completed the Magpies' comeback from being 2-0 down at half-time.

Everton had roared into a 2-0 lead, taking advantage of some fortune of their own when Jordan Pickford escaped punishment for hauling Rondon down in the box and then saving Matt Ritchie's penalty and then going down the other end where Richarlison added to Dominic Calvert-Lewin's opener to double the advantage.

The Blues crumbled under Newcastle's second-half recovery, however, and Silva made his complaints about the circumstances surrounding the winner known to referee Lee Mason in no uncertain terms at the final whistle.

"It was a clear offside,” he went to say in his post-match interview. “If you see the image it's not just one player or two players in offside positions, there were five Newcastle players in the same line in offside positions.”

Silva could be hit with a fine and a touchline ban like that recently handed to Tottenham boss, Mauricio Pochettino.


Reader Comments (94)

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Kev Jones
1 Posted 12/03/2019 at 06:36:08
Well done, Marco, for protesting the offside goal. I bet he knows full well that the offside goal is not the reason we lost the game.

He gets criticised here for seeming emotionless as he stands at the touchline, so good to see some passion and evidence of that other great wish from some ToffeeWebbers, being narky and getting in the ref's face.

Ken Kneale
2 Posted 12/03/2019 at 07:35:59
I believe he has been charged with obtaining wages under false pretences by impersonating a competent manager. I suspect they could throw the book at him on that one...
Derek Knox
3 Posted 12/03/2019 at 07:56:33
Ken, you could well be right there, but he won't be able to catch the book, as he will have his arms folded, and probably in the stands, but he may get Jordan to parry it away.

Bob Parrington
4 Posted 12/03/2019 at 08:02:43
Mmm! They are picking on the Portuguese now. Pochettino and now Silva. Something fishy with this. Maybe they had a bad serve of the salted cod (I think it's called Baccala or something close to this) for dinner recently.

Should have been given a bonus rather than being charged (and likely fined) because the officiating was really fishy, er sorry, rank awful.

As per Kev, it's good to hear he has some real emotion!

Derek Knox
5 Posted 12/03/2019 at 08:16:22
Bob, Pochettino is from Argentina, I believe, and although he would not speak in English when he first came, as he was learning it; his communication skills seem to be far superior to Silva's.
Anthony Flack
6 Posted 12/03/2019 at 08:41:01
Actually, the goal was the reason we lost the game.

The players do not protest even nearly enough!

Geoff Trenner
7 Posted 12/03/2019 at 08:46:37
Bob #4, Pochettino is Argentinian.

I forgive the Portuguese for the salted cod, but the deep fried pig's ears? I was served a small plate of them on a business trip in 2003 and I am still chewing!!

John Boswell
8 Posted 12/03/2019 at 08:53:35
While it cannot be disputed that 5 Newcastle players ( half of their compliment of outfielders ) were offside, that will not be mitigation for our Marco.
Hey ho.
Martin Nicholls
9 Posted 12/03/2019 at 09:48:25
No chance of officials being charged with incompetence then?
Derek Thomas
10 Posted 12/03/2019 at 10:02:44
Yes, they were offside; no, you can't get in the ref's face. Two wrongs still don't make a right.

Players and coaches are somewhat accountable... some less than others, eh, Klipperty...

The real point is that referees are not accountable. It's no surprise that referees from the Premier League never got a look in at the World Cup.

The Man Utd - PSG VAR penalty doesn't fill me with hope that it will help things in a positive way. And the 'silhouette' bollocks will just replace one form of vague with another.

'A Coach' – "Just thrash into the box lads, see if you can hit an arm or something, then work the ref, appeal like an old-style Aussie team in The Ashes."

Clive Rogers
11 Posted 12/03/2019 at 10:03:05
I have to say that in 60 years of watching EFC these are the worst set of officials I can remember. They are incompetent and biased. Mason is one of the worst.

I did consider not renewing my season ticket because of the reffing standard, but I have done in the end as it's still slightly better than shopping with the Mrs.

Don Alexander
12 Posted 12/03/2019 at 10:10:58
Given the rules, I regret to say it's obvious, again, that not even Marco understands "zonal".
Eric Myles
13 Posted 12/03/2019 at 10:25:43
Too true, Derek, #10, I can't believe they're bringing in the new handball rule to prevent defenders putting their arms behind their backs to deliberately prevent committing an offence!!

Now smart attackers will practice aiming at defenders arms to get a certain penalty.

Ian Hams
14 Posted 12/03/2019 at 11:02:16
I think the new law is to protect defenders so they don't need to hold their arms behind their backs, it only being a foul if the arm I extended outwards and not within a "natural silhouette".
Terry Underwood
15 Posted 12/03/2019 at 12:13:40
How about charging the match officials with improper conduct?
Tony Abrahams
16 Posted 12/03/2019 at 12:15:08
I've often thought the same thing, Clive, and could genuinely stay at home rather than watch Martin Atkinson referee Everton. I think with Martin being the most experienced ref (honest to god!) Everton have been made to suffer a bit more than most of his professional colleagues but some might say I'm just paranoid?

Silva, shows no emotion, and should just take a few threads from ToffeeWeb to prove his innocence (honest!) but you can't ask impotent refs why they make such poor decisions when you have just made the biggest cock-up yourself, Marco. But it wouldn't surprise me to see our manager banned and Mason given another Premier League game this weekend?

My only real concern is can our manager learn?

Christy Ring
17 Posted 12/03/2019 at 12:15:37
A lot of it was frustration, because he knows his decision to change our shape, cost us, changing to a back five, replacing a winger with a centre-back, had us on the back foot, he bottled it.

I do find the FA totally arrogant, the winning goal was embarrassing, with 4 or 5 players offside. Why aren't match officials held to account, after major blunders and made stand down for a number of matches.

VAR will make a huge difference, but the FA should take a look at Rugby Union, where the referees are so professional, and explain decisions to the respective captains, instead of waving them away with total arrogance.

Clive Rogers
18 Posted 12/03/2019 at 12:27:06
Tony, Atkinson is slightly different, poor but seems to dislike us for some reason. Falls into the biased category. Had a spat with Jagielka a couple of years ago who said he was unapproachable.
Dave Abrahams
19 Posted 12/03/2019 at 12:29:39
Good post Christy (17) concerning Rugby Union officials and Premier League referees, what an absolute world of difference between them: sensible and helpful on one side, complete arrogance and total indifference on the other.
James Hughes
20 Posted 12/03/2019 at 12:32:51
We do seem to be on the wrong side of these decisions too often. Just look at the Millwall game this year.

The decisions seem to be getting worse in general. Can anyone honestly say we would get an offside decision reversed like Man City did last weekend? The one that always sticks in my mind is the Rodwell sending off. Even after all these years.

These refs need to be held to account; mind you, so does Silva!

Raymond Fox
21 Posted 12/03/2019 at 12:44:33
It was another game where the officials were incompetent. There's little point in Silva protesting after the game is over, okay he lost his cool but all you get is a suspension. It's the officials who should be suspended!

I don't think we can feel that hard done by though – Pickford should have been sent off for his rugby tackle.

Jamie Crowley
22 Posted 12/03/2019 at 12:51:30
When I first came to TW years ago, there was a big, big "Scouse learning curve" for me. Part of that process was the indoctrination to a perceived bias against the Northwest of your country, and Everton being the brunt of that bias in sport, as the rs have their media love-in.

Now, after years of watching from afar, I've no doubt in my mind that bias is latent, but very real.

How many coaches pull this garbage every game, yet ours gets fined?

It's a joke.

Kev Jones @1 I agree it's at least gratifying to see Marco get fired up about something. I've been critical of his demeanor on the touchline and his lack of emotion, so it's good to my eyes he's letting go a bit.

Christy @ 17 I think you hit the cause of the "outburst" in your first paragraph perfectly.

Karl Masters
23 Posted 12/03/2019 at 13:02:49
Good on him. Bloody useless officials and yes, some are definitely biased.

You can't blame him; after a result like that he was understandably very upset (like we were), and he did exactly what we would have liked to do.

I hope he told Lee Mason he looks like a cross between Mr Rumbold from ‘Are You Being Served?' and Humpty Dumpty, with the word ‘kuntz' thrown in somewhere.

Peter Warren
24 Posted 12/03/2019 at 13:25:06
The ref was awful (and this particularly ref always is) – mostly in our favour in first half.

Second half I actually thought ref was okay, more balanced – it was his linesman who was shocking.

Andrew James
25 Posted 12/03/2019 at 13:38:39
While Pickford should have seen red, the offside joins the Arsenal goal, the two mistakes at Old Trafford, the goal ruled out versus Spurs and various challenges on our players that have gone without censure in what has been a terrible run of official errors against Everton. Oh and the Millwall goal and the Jags sending off.

I reckon it's about who is your coach and for many seasons now the refs haven't cared nor been reproached for these errors. Interesting that these mistakes seemed to stop under Allardyce who has been around for years but have plagued Silva and Martinez before him because officials didn't respect them perhaps?

That explains why for years they wouldn't dare go against SAF or Wenger over 50/50 decisions with opponents.

Tony Abrahams
26 Posted 12/03/2019 at 13:55:31
I actually blamed Jagielka rather than Atkinson, Clive, and don't think Reid, Ratcliffe, or Andy Gray would have found “smug Martin” unapproachable.

They might have got the cheating fucker to send them off but then I'm sure this would have given the ref some explaining to do, which would be a miracle in itself, when you consider Everton had to contest the Rodwell decision rather than the ref just holding up his hand to say he'd got one wrong.

Steavey Buckley
27 Posted 12/03/2019 at 14:12:40
VAR should take away the need for touchline bans next season; crucial decisions will be decided by refs having a second look. VAR should have been included this season, because VAR always advantages the attacking teams, who lose out to 'soft decisions' when there is no VAR. That's why there are over-actions by managers at the end of matches.
James Lauwervine
28 Posted 12/03/2019 at 14:54:13
All this stuff about Silva appearing unemotional is irrelevant nonsense to me. I don't care if he has his feet up reading the bleedin paper during the game. It's what happens on the pitch that matters and, yes, that hasn't been good enough. Do you really think Silva running around and throwing his arms up would make a difference?

What is more concerning is how we address this fragile confidence issue which goes back to the days of Moyes and probably beyond (can't remember that far back). If we are winning and concede, we generally fall apart, it's been the case for a very long time.

Alan J Thompson
29 Posted 12/03/2019 at 15:48:57
It seems that nobody knows how to improve the standard of officiating without technology but, in this day and age of affluent, moneyed football, could they not consider also four linesmen or assistants and then, as managers have to, the referee could attend a post-match press conference.

In all honesty, I don't think it helps with FIFA changing and reinterpreting rules at what seems at least every other season in the misguided belief that they are improving the game.

Darren Hind
30 Posted 12/03/2019 at 16:39:04
Easy to improve the standard of officiating. Bin Lee Mason.

I don't think I've ever seen this fella have a decent game. How the fuck did he miss that challenge on Digne? ... stone-wall penalty. It's beyond belief that he and Mr Magoo on the lines missed all those players offside.

Silva deserves to be charged, but Mason wants locking up... and If he'd have done his job and sent Pickford off, it probably would have done us a favour! :)

David Greenwood
31 Posted 12/03/2019 at 16:47:49
Finally nice to see Marco show some backbone and highlight the incompetence, cheating and bias that masquerades as refereeing in the top flight. However, I believe he's done it for the wrong reason and the rant was more about deflection and avoiding questions about his own performance.

I would have liked to see him come out after the derby game and highlight some parts of Atkinson's performance. There was plenty he could and should have said.

Not only was Atkinson blatant in his bias during the game he was also incredibly subtle and three almost identical incidents highlight this for me.

The last-gasp tackles by Keane and Digne in the second half saw the ball go out for corners to them. In both incidents, after they played the ball, our lads were caught by their opponents. Not much in it but both were hit after they played the ball.

Contrast that with late in the game, when the momentum was building our way, one of them (no idea which one, some cretin in red) put the ball out for a corner and Tosun caught him as he tried to shoot. Atkinson immediately blows for a foul and avoids them having to defend a corner.

Almost identical incidents but each one with an outcome that favoured the media favourites. To sum up, the ref the week before was dreadful, but no mention of it but, after balling up a two-nil lead, it just looks like a pathetic attempt at deflection.

John Pierce
32 Posted 12/03/2019 at 17:07:30
Despite the guffaws in the cheap seats, the standard of officiating has never been higher. They ultimately are professionals trying to get everything right. They are trying to give an advantage which leads to the a good chance, trying to believe the players are doing the right thing, and not repeatedly conning, cheating and abusing anything that moves.

Yet they are thought of as the enemy, demonized before a ball is kicked, and judged on past performance. As VAR comes around the corner, everybody, including myself, now acts as if VAR was in operation. The guys are on a lose-lose. The objectivity simply isn't there because most people don't want it to be. As a fan, I get that. There's nothing in it to defend or praise an official.

As long as they are seen as second class beings in the game, nothing will change. There still is so much contempt towards them but, hey, most of us have never a walked one foot in their day. If there is debate to be had, then it's the rules and laws.

Technology is good, it's there to support but not replace humans. But the thing is, the laws are not fit for the modern game. However much we resist, "They've been great for 100 years" etc – why change them?

The referee makes any subjective decision based on the tenor of each game, then you are asking them to apply the text book version when you use technology. They simply don't marry up.

Handball, advantage, dissent, unsportsmanlike conduct are just few of the items that need to change. Penalties & personal penalties (very different) need to evolve to make the players understand it affects the team and not them. The outrage then is directed inwardly towards a teammate and discipline becomes self-monitored.

Until these issues are addressed, even though from time to time I lose it with an official, I feel no-one is listening to what they need to make it better for everyone.

Dave Abrahams
33 Posted 12/03/2019 at 17:12:55
John (32), have a glance at David (31) then how do you account for the bias of certain referees? It is patently obvious it occurs with more than one official.
Minik Hansen
35 Posted 12/03/2019 at 18:03:30
Great to see some no more Mr Nice Guy stuff. Let's get some more energy out in a good way and on the pitch.
John Pierce
36 Posted 12/03/2019 at 18:04:32

I'd argue ‘bias' is a hugely emotive word and one that cannot be proven. I understand when a large number of decisions go against one team, the response is raw and often extreme. I've been there myself. It's a very subjective judgement, there's often a rational reason why but we rarely stop to think in those terms.

Moreover, never have I thought a referee is 'biased'. It's hard enough to do your best without adding the matrix of building key decisions against one team. That would make an official, well just super-human to be able to carry it off. In fact, you'd be amazed how little they care who is playing etc. Officials are concerned with their integrity first and foremost.

Mistakes, however poor, on reflection, are just that. Officials need a high profile, visible advocate who counters the crap thrown at them, crap they are just meant to take and be above responding to. The game needs to revise its culture and take issue with lack of respect in the game shown to officials at the top level. It's absolutely abhorrent.

My belief is the laws or rules have neutered officials to the point where they have few tools to manage and proportionally deal with the issues on the field.

Dave Abrahams
37 Posted 12/03/2019 at 18:18:25
John (36), fair enough, bias may be impossible to prove, but plenty of us knew, or at least thought it was highly likely, that we get very few 50-50 decisions from Martin Atkinson, and he didn't let us down.

I agree that refereeing is a very hard job to do, especially now with dozens of camera's reviewing every decision, two seconds after you have made it.

I also agree there are plenty of honest mistakes made, but a decent percentage of decisions are pure guesswork, added to the undeniable favourable ones given to certain teams usually in the top six. But finally, I would say, if you can't prove bias, John, you can certainly see it.

David Greenwood
38 Posted 12/03/2019 at 18:19:49
John @36,

I do agree with many of your points about how difficult it is for referees and they need help.

I would disagree with you about bias though. It's (in my opinion) very clear to see when the current top six clubs play against clubs outside this group.

There are many examples of essentially the same incidents been given for one club and not their opponent. Far too many to highlight or even attempt to!

I don't know whether the Clattenburg derby comes under cheating, incompetence, or bias but I'd certainly not be able to class his performance as 'honest mistakes' from the referee.

Rob Halligan
39 Posted 12/03/2019 at 18:47:21
We all know it's a difficult job for referees and their assistants, and yes, they need all the help they can get. VAR will provide this, providing they still don't favour the so-called big six with their decisions?

Let's take the incident with Man Utd last week as an example. Anyone of the so-called top six are playing a top outside of this so-called select group. So, for example, Everton v Liverpool. The score is 0-0 or 2-1 for Liverpool. We have a shot which deflects off a Liverpool defender's arm and goes behind for a corner. The referee gets word in his ear to look at the pitch-side screen for a possible penalty. He could easily decide no penalty or, looking at it from a Liverpool perspective, could decide a penalty is the outcome for them.

So, even with VAR, it will still be possible for a referee to show bias towards the so-called top-six clubs.

Brian Wilkinson
40 Posted 12/03/2019 at 18:51:22
So what happened to a small fine and a slap on the wrist?

Oh yes, I forgot, it does not apply to Klopp getting a touchline ban.

Simon Dalzell
41 Posted 12/03/2019 at 19:00:01
Sack the useless fucker .... I'm tired of this fiasco.
Steavey Buckley
42 Posted 12/03/2019 at 20:01:58
VAR gives the referee a second chance to change his original decision. That is good for football.
Tony Abrahams
43 Posted 12/03/2019 at 20:36:57
I would have to disagree with you John, with regards a ref having to be superhuman to carry off being biased.

Atkinson has been reffing for years, and having all this experience, would make it easy to carry out an agenda, is how I see this man.

28 minutes for a free kick against Liverpool, although because he's not biased, he did over-rule his linesman to give us a throw-in before we got our first foul.

He's not alone though and anyone who tells me some refs aren't personal, would honestly never be able to convince me otherwise, because I see it happen on a regular basis, with some refs even changing their decisions weekly, depending on the player and the team.

Roger Helm
44 Posted 12/03/2019 at 20:44:50
I don't agree with abusing the referee – this is the reason why thousands of amateur refs are leaving the game, and maybe why the quality at the top is so poor. In both codes of rugby, arguing with the referee is not tolerated and leads to a yellow or even red card. They explain their decisions (often wrong) to the player and the captain, who accept it, and that's the end of it.

If we import the top foreign players to our Premier League, why can't the FA import good foreign referees? A 0.25% tax on players' salary would fund a good wage for the professional referees – maybe even have two on the pitch like in the NRL. I bet the standard would rise then.

Andy Riley
45 Posted 12/03/2019 at 20:57:21
For the third Newcastle goal there were 5 Newcastle players clearly offside. That is so poor that it can only be gross incompetence or something even worse.

The only way to stamp out such things is immediate summary dismissal of the linesman. No wonder Silva was upset – he could conceivably lose his job at the end of the season on the basis of the inability of the linesman to do the most basic part of his job.

Typical of the corrupt FA to charge someone who highlights gross incompetence rather than dealing with the real issue.

Dave Abrahams
46 Posted 12/03/2019 at 21:03:04
Talking about VAR, it has just taken the ones doing the Man City game FOUR minutes to decide whether City's third goal was okay. According to the report it seems there was little to decide.
Mike Gaynes
47 Posted 12/03/2019 at 21:04:53
Roger #44, I watch games from multiple leagues, and I've never seen a bit of evidence that "foreign" referees (ie, non-British) are in any way superior to Premier League refs. I see just as many bad calls in La Liga, the Bundesliga, Serie A and Ligue 1 as I do in the Prem, and the standards on my side of the Atlantic are even worse – Brazilian, Argentine, Liga MX and MLS refs generally aren't even up to the European standard.

However, I strongly agree with your take that rugby standards should be applied to footy when it comes to dissent. It would have shortened my playing career dramatically – at 62 I still pick up yellows for arguing calls (got one last season for a mistaken penalty), but, as a longtime ref, I think it would make the game a whole lot more welcoming for young referees, and I applaud your idea.

Mike Gaynes
48 Posted 12/03/2019 at 21:12:36
Yes, Dave A., but Juve was just given a tying goal exactly 3.8 seconds after Oblak had apparently saved Cristiano's header off the line. The ref's watch went off, he pointed at the center spot, and a goal was properly given that would have been denied without VAR.

So there are some applications in which VAR is working perfectly. It has a ways to go, but I have no doubt it will soon be integral to the game. As it should.

John Pierce
49 Posted 12/03/2019 at 21:15:30
Tony, whilst I stand little chance of convincing you otherwise, I'll leave you with this thought. 😜

A referee has to make somewhere between 200-400 decisions in a game some are obvious and some are made in the head in the form of a non decision. You've pinpointed a handful of calls in the Derby, one specifically and concluded he is biased?

Personally, he had a fair game, nothing to grumble about. So he got the vast majority right and didn't err on what if any major incidents there were. Big picture, a decent game from him.

Are we as a group still hanging on to a past performance and using that to measure him by? Maybe, it was a poor call to send Rodwell off. But each performance should stand on its own as no two games are the same.

But... then again, you might be right! 😛

Paul Burns
50 Posted 12/03/2019 at 21:16:54
Jamie Crowley, can't believe it took you years to suss out the bias you talk about or even that you were unaware of it.
Rob Halligan
51 Posted 12/03/2019 at 21:27:23
Dave #46. So far, every Man City goal, including a penalty, has been reviewed. They also had a goal disallowed due to VAR. The disallowed goal was the correct decision, whilst while Sterling's goal was given offside, it was overturned and awarded.

While we all know Newcastle's winning goal was clearly offside, does anybody else think their equaliser was also offside? I watched the Sky highlights yesterday, and for me, when the shot was struck (which Pickford only parried out), Perez, who followed in, appeared to be just offside. VAR with all their lines across the pitch might well have ruled that goal offside as well.

Tony Abrahams
52 Posted 12/03/2019 at 21:28:02
Fair enough, John, but I always feel like Atkinson has an agenda with us, mate.

Everyone makes mistakes, the Rodwell one, only really got to me because Everton had to appeal that decision, where I think, if the ref had any moral decency, he could have just come out and apologised, for getting a decision badly wrong?

The semi-final at Man City was worse, same ref, an even worse decision, with Jagielka telling us how arrogantly smug, Martin Atkinson really is. But I think I'd already made my mind up well before then anyway though.

Dave Abrahams
53 Posted 12/03/2019 at 21:31:39
Mike (48), if the goal was given because the ball had gone over the line, then that is the one thing that nearly everyone agrees with, goal line technology. A lot different from VAR making decisions, wouldn't you say, Mike?
John Pierce
54 Posted 12/03/2019 at 21:33:43
Roger it will come, I echo Mike's comments too. Eventually I believe two yellows will get you 10 minutes in the ‘bin', a third will see you off.

It will help dramatically with dissent, & unsportsmanlike conduct which I alluded to before. At the moment, referees are reluctant to give players a second yellow, especially if it falls into the categories above. Obviously the punishment is expulsion, so it seems churlish. If they had wider measures in game, the conduct could and would be managed better.

Leading 2-1 with minutes left would you kick the ball away if you knew a second yellow gets you binned? Your teammates would go mental at you.

The self-pass, allowing the player to dribble the ball from a free-kick. It allows play to restart quickly and concentrates the players mind, far less to challenge a call when the player is already off with the ball. Coaches rapidly instill the need for discipline as not doing so often will result in a goal.

Just some measures that will transfer the responsibility to the players and away from the official. I repeat my original post – the laws aren't in step with modern football.

ps: Mike, I love watching Oblak. What's he worth? I think he's the best in the world atm.

John Pierce
55 Posted 12/03/2019 at 21:41:08

The guys that have helped me and mentored me have always told me to own the errors. Players in the main get an explanation of what I saw, that doesn't preclude me from being wrong, it's non-confrontational and a better human interaction. As long as the tail doesn't wag the dog and they try and manipulate things, it goes down well.

Players and referees should spend time together post game. They should get time to talk about it. It humanizes both parties, it resets the system so you don't think next time ‘Oh fuck not this fella'.

If anyone's watching Atletico vs Juve, Kuipers is having a brilliant game. Up the man in the middle!

Paul Birmingham
56 Posted 12/03/2019 at 21:43:09
The refs should be under performance scrutiny and Be fined for gross negligence and miss conduct, and bringing the game into disrepute.

People on this forum will remember Uriah Renny, and how've he got demoted to the Championship.

That must be at least 12-15 years ago, so surely the arseholes at the FA can bring the management of the game into parity; standards have worsened.

The Managers and Players Union should take this issue up high. Mason should be sacked and wouldn't see out 10 minutes on the Old Saturday Leagues, and why should he not get fined or taken away for proper Referee coaching?

The game in this country will never be what it was and has changed in some aspects for better but overall for me, it's got worse in view of entertainment, mass media coverage, killing Saturday football, and arseholes like Mason ruining games, and after a Toon Saturday, if the FA take no action, there's no hope.

With the vast amount of on tap, default funds the FA has, they in my view have lost all connectivity with the heart and soul of the English game, the supporters.

It does make many fixtures become farcical so Messrs Atkinson, Mason etc are naps for dodgy results.

EFC is in the doldrums of football, and that's a fact, but these officials get away with murder every week. Clattenburg was poor, but these lot make him look good. Something is wrong, but let's not make excuses for the rank performances this season.

A long hard road ahead, unless some miracles happen this summer.

Rob Halligan
57 Posted 12/03/2019 at 21:43:43
Tony, talking of Atkinson, he's back at Goodison this Sunday. Good news for us is he's only the fourth official.
John Pierce
58 Posted 12/03/2019 at 21:48:26

Make sure you ask for his autograph lads. Don’t get star struck! 😂

Eddie Dunn
59 Posted 12/03/2019 at 21:51:37
When you actually ref even a five-a- side with mates, you soon see the blinkered views of the various players. It is amazing just how stupid nice people become when questioning decisions.

I do think some refs pander to the big boys or the home team and dregs like Moss, Mason and Atkinson may be the worst offenders, closely followed by Dean.

They may well have grievances but their job is hard and they know that if they upset the Sky Six their mistakes will be magnified.

However, it is ridiculously difficult and although VAR will cut out the really big errors, some decisions will still be down to interpretation – and humans have a habit of getting things wrong!

Christy Ring
60 Posted 12/03/2019 at 21:52:02
Tony, I agree referee's make mistakes, but Clattenburg should have been banned for good. How the FA just rested him for a couple of games, after the derby in October 2007, was shocking.

Also remember Poll disallowing the Hutchinson goal, he said time was up, even though there was 30 seconds left. He admitted years later he was wrong.

Tony Abrahams
61 Posted 12/03/2019 at 21:54:04
Great point about three cards, John, and an even better one about interaction between both the player and the ref.

I watched United at PSG, and before the controversy I thought that ref had also had a great game John, which had me thinking that something was wrong with English football, and maybe it has gone a bit soft?

It hasn't really, it's just over-analysed by too many phoney's making a fortune, and putting even more pressure on these refs, but again that's just my opinion of course!

If the ref is good, then this Ronaldo is just unbelievable. He might be theatrical, no he is theatrical, but what a player – already talented, but his application and dedication have definitely made him one of the greats.

Dave Abrahams
62 Posted 12/03/2019 at 21:55:19
John (58), not to prolong the debate on the standard of the referees, good or bad, but it is quite feasible that the outcome of who becomes champions of the Premier League could be decided by a mistake of a referee, honest or otherwise.
John Pierce
63 Posted 12/03/2019 at 22:00:27
Tony, last witterings before I hit the ale tonight.

The over-analyzing is a very pertinent point. The pundits get a free swing at the calls, but there's no-one to defend or help as the officials have to keep quiet. They deffo need an advocate or voice, it would help enormously in the debate.

CR7 over Messi for me, just a beast!

Colin Glassar
64 Posted 12/03/2019 at 22:03:38
I think a certain Mr Simeone might be up for a new challenge in the summer. Any takers?
Kunal Desai
65 Posted 12/03/2019 at 22:07:31

Moshiri and Usmanov, then... yes.

Moshiri and Kenwright? Definitely a No!

Tony Abrahams
66 Posted 12/03/2019 at 22:12:22
Christy, that's my point exactly, but very hard to prove at the same time, but just because it took Poll years to admit he got it wrong, the cheating bastard knew what he was doing, the second he disallowed the goal, IMO?

Remember him giving three yellow cards to the Croatian in the 2006 World Cup? That's Graeme fucken Poll for yer!

Imagine asking Martin Atkinson for his autograph? But that's the way the game has definitely gone, though, because they always used to say the ref was only good when you didn't notice him!

Colin Glassar
67 Posted 12/03/2019 at 22:23:54
Kunai, I think Ronaldo might want a change of scenery as well. C’mon Usmanov, you know you want to do it.
Jamie Crowley
68 Posted 12/03/2019 at 22:34:31
Paul Burns @ 50 -

I came into this flying pretty blind. The education I've received on these pages, in a multitude of subjects, is worthy of a doctorate from any university on earth.

It did take a while to recognize any bias towards Everton / Scousers because frankly I was suspicious of the notion.

This whole bias discussion is an interesting one.

I think the league as a whole can absolutely be biased, and is, against teams "from the north" and especially Everton. This fine against Marco, coupled with the fine against Niasse, is absurd. That type of shit happens every single week in the Premier League. Fining us absolutely smacks of a condescending attitude to me, as well as an agenda. Someone brought up Wenger as an example of the double standard, and that's spot on. Team in London, with a whining, bitching manager in the extreme, and I can't recall him being fined? Not for something like Marco did post-Newcastle at any rate.

Individual refs can absolutely be biased. There were a few coaches I detested. I never gave their teams any benefit of the doubt. I know professional refs are supposed to be more professional than that, but they're human...

Geoff Cadman
69 Posted 12/03/2019 at 00:39:41
If Referees would own up to mistakes, then fans would be more Tolerant.

I can only remember two incidents when a ref has apologised for a wrong decision. One for not playing advantage and disallowing what would have been a record-equalling 5th goal for Louis Saha against Blackpool.

The other the Yak v West Ham I think wrongly chalked off for offside which meant we drew the Game instead of winning.

Are refs biased? Phil Neville noticed the difference after his move from Man Utd, and publicly stated the top teams were favoured.

This week's Ref Watch showed Pickford's rugby tackle, Zouma's tackle, and the Sigurdsson penalty shout. Strangely neither the "winning goal" nor the Digne Penalty featured.

Bob Parrington
70 Posted 13/03/2019 at 00:47:45
Oops for my #4. Thanks to #5, #6 and #7 for clarification.

I genuinely thought Pochettinho was Portuguese so now I'll eat humble pie... Still tastes better than Baccala.

Hugh Jenkins
71 Posted 13/03/2019 at 08:50:22
Christie (17). Great point about the Refs in RU.

However, the teams in RU are also disciplined so that only the Captains protest to the Ref and the Ref only explains himself to the Captains.

In football the Ref is usually surrounded by a howling, baying mob of players from both sides, over any controversial decision and has no opportunity to talk sensibly to the two Captains, to explain his decision - hence the "arrogant" waving away of all protests.

Dave Abrahams
72 Posted 13/03/2019 at 09:35:16
Tony (66), talking about the best referee's being the one's nobody noticed, Mr Fussey (real name) was one of them. You noticed him only because of the way he ran, very fast, sometimes running backwards.

He gave his decision and ran away, waiting for the free-kick to be taken, I don't say he never made a mistake but he was very, very good.

Alan McGuffog
73 Posted 13/03/2019 at 10:02:35
Dave...was Fussey the one with the very high stepping run. Little bald fella ? Or was that Kirkpatrick ?
Alan McGuffog
74 Posted 13/03/2019 at 10:02:35
Dave...was Fussey the one with the very high stepping run. Little bald fella ? Or was that Kirkpatrick ?
Terry Underwood
75 Posted 13/03/2019 at 10:20:40
Personally, I would like to see FIFA make a yellow card mandatory for anyone except the captain to approach the ref over any decision, same as in rugby, even then a rugby captain is respectful and usually calls the ref "sir". While I'm on a soccer/rugby comparison rant just watch the rugby team of any nation, belting out their national anthems, then compare with the soccer team barely moving their lips in an inaudible mumble. IMO the national coach should make each player sing the anthem, solo, in the changing room, then they would not be embarrassed to make themselves heard when the NA is played before games...… OK rant over
Shane Corcoran
76 Posted 13/03/2019 at 10:40:55
Terry, if my national anthem contained the words "god" and "queen" I think I'd be frowning rather than belting it out.
Tony Abrahams
77 Posted 13/03/2019 at 11:07:25
Agree with Shane, but I thought the first part of your post made some very good points Terry!

It’s very rare you hear any football refs speak, they just call players towards them, take out a card, and brandish it in the air, which is something I’m sure some of them practice in the mirror!

So if like Rugby, the ref called over the captain, and explained his decision properly, then I’m sure most of these bad decisions would go out the window right away?

It’s easy waving people away, in an arrogant manner, but to have to stand there in front of the camera, (if the game is live on tv) and explain your decision, I’m convinced the standards across the board might just go up rapidly? Great point that Terry, mate.

Shane Corcoran
78 Posted 13/03/2019 at 12:02:25
Absolutely agree Tony. So simple yet football seems unable to want to make such changes.

If we could take the game of football and transfer it to the environment of rugby we'd be sorted.

Roger Helm
79 Posted 13/03/2019 at 12:23:21
I like the way rugby referees on televised games are miked up so we can hear the explanation. Doubt it would work in football because the foul language of the players would mean no televised matches before the watershed.

Also good are NFL games where after a foul the chief referee announces the foul called and the penalty awarded to the crowd. As far as I can see, they hardly ever make wrong calls, although I don't know much about that sport.

Dave Abrahams
80 Posted 13/03/2019 at 12:42:27
Alan (#74), Fussey to my recollection was about 5'-10", with a moustache, so I think you are referring to Kirkpatrick.
Jack Convery
81 Posted 13/03/2019 at 13:05:27
If any player is offside, the flag should go up – if the player is not interfering with play, then why is he on the pitch?

Defending is as much of an art as is attacking but defenders now have to contend with people standing behind them and apparently not offside if they don't move towards the ball – it's ludicrous and open to interpretation.

Let's return to the old way – offside is offside no matter what the player(s) in question is / are doing. It will help VAR get it right too.

Derek Knox
82 Posted 13/03/2019 at 13:26:40
Jack @81, I'm with you on that, it has been further complicated, by this second phase interpretation, if the person who was clearly offside before, but has not touched the ball, is then suddenly onside because some else has played the ball, it is deemed to be acceptable. Like all rules Jack, and not only in football, someone will find a way round them and exploit them to the hilt.

Like you said why not return to the old way, football is not that complicated a game, so why make it so, by changing rules, to suit who exactly?

Shane Corcoran
83 Posted 13/03/2019 at 14:39:19
Derek, it's to suit the goal hungry audiences who think a 0-0 has to be a bad game.

Add in the balls that's swerve all over the place with the offside and I don't see why they just don't get rid of the 'keepers and make the goals bigger.

Alan J Thompson
84 Posted 13/03/2019 at 15:01:39
Jack (#81),

Even under the old offside rule, you were not considered offside if you were not interfering with play, which FIFA in their wisdom decided was not until you played the ball, regardless of how close to you it passed, it was still a matter of some disagreement as along with your statement a lot believed if you were offside then you were interfering.

Similarly, in the FA Cup Final, Wolves v Blackburn 1960(?), old peg leg Whelan claimed one of the goals should have been disallowed as he was behind the goal line and therefore not on the field of play so there wasn't 2 players between the scorer and the goal. The Ref ruled he didn't have permission to leave the field, therefore he was still on it.
A cause of some magnificent discussions and apparently still is.

John Pierce
85 Posted 13/03/2019 at 15:27:09
Some great points on potential changes for the game. I’d say you have to think about the mechanics of the game, laws and rules which encourage time wasting, dissent and unsportsmanlike behaviour.

We like to think of football as a fast game. It’s not really. So many breaks, tiny delays, substitutes and mechanics which break the rhythm.

You want a game which is controlled but continuous. Any free kick in the game is often contested ie challenged, a player then stands in front of the taker delaying the game, often to the point the player to restart play quickly has to kick it sideways.

People throwing/kicking the ball away to delay the game. The dissent is there to delay too. Substitutes stop the game, instead of rolling subs who needs to check? And the idiots cannot count beyond 11 then they should be penalized.

Develop laws and penalties which penalize those horrible antics to keep the game flowing. A faster continuous game reduces dissent and poor behavior instantly.

In rugby and hockey if you even dare to challenge the referee the game has already restarted, any attempts to stop or break it down is punished by the laws of the game. In RU standout of position you will quickly find yourself conceding a kick at goal or in the bin. Hockey very similarly cracks down on severely on players stopping play deliberately. Referees are often taught to move away and restart rather than stand there and let players coalesce around you, it stops swarming.

Anyway back to Marco out!

Mal van Schaick
86 Posted 13/03/2019 at 16:19:07
Perhaps he should pay to get in and watch the shite tactics he employs. He’ll know where the fans are coming from then.

If we can have var for reviews of the decisions, about football then use var to review the officials.

Bobby Mallon
87 Posted 13/03/2019 at 17:14:22
John 32@ — the officials still got the offside blatantly fucking wrong!
John Pierce
88 Posted 13/03/2019 at 17:50:56
Bobby just like they got it wrong when we scored at home to Watford. Walcott active and offside. But let’s not that get in the way of things it still is a poor call.

They get it wrong it hurts us for sure & it goes for us. I don’t see you praising an official when they have a great game? Why because you want like all of us to use them as mitigation. It’s gotcha punditry!

I bet if the Lino had got it right on Saturday they would have still scored another .

There is barely a poster who wouldn’t disagree we deserved to lose that game. Where’s your thank-you card to Mason for not sending Pickford off?

What area of life are you expected to be ‘that’ perfect? The team is far from it so why expect an official to be? They regularly get over 90% of outcomes correct and one key decision incorrect. So yes they need support. But let’s focus on the wrong end of the telescope. It’s easy to scream and shout and narrow the field of view to a gotcha moment, I do it too. But it’s worth looking at things from another perspective fuck’nell Ref!

Tony Abrahams
89 Posted 13/03/2019 at 21:02:30
It looks like the ref has got one wrong at the Nou Camp, but it’s not easy when you have really top footballers still trying to cheat at every opportunity?

You can’t go to ground, it just gives the cheats more scope, and people in the studio, more chance to criticise, even though deep down, they all know the attacker is really cheating.

Bob Parrington
90 Posted 13/03/2019 at 23:55:45
Shane #83 Nice piece of tongue in cheek, mate!

Maybe you're on to something though. Aussie Rules Football style where there are posts outside the main posts, might make it more interesting. It means if you miss you get a consolation point (if you get the kick between the central sticks it's 6 points). Ha! Ha!

Alan J Thompson
91 Posted 14/03/2019 at 05:36:22
Steady, Bob (#90), we don't want to become a laughing stock but there are some things we can learn from other codes.

In AFL, if you don't immediately return the ball to your opponent on free kicks or step inside the "mark" then the kick is moved 50 metres downfield and if you back chat to "Sir" in Union then it too is marched forward. I think something like that was trialed in Non-League football but was scrapped as Continental referees claimed they didn't know how far forward it should be moved. FIFA got round this by giving Refs a can of shaving cream which meant that they waste the time that allows defenders to reorganize.

However, we don't want to get to the point of Rugby League where the scrum pack just stand there while the scrum half throws it through the legs of his own pack then runs round to collect it. After all, a fine mess has already been made of tackling which now is not far short of only being acceptable if you stay on your feet and don't touch your opponent.

Bob Parrington
92 Posted 14/03/2019 at 07:34:41
Alan: I watch the 6 Nations Union games when I get the chance and I'm pretty sure the same is happening to a degree in the scrums in this code. Union has become overcomplicated, too technical. I played school rugby on the Wirral in senior school. Besides losing 84 - 0, when a massive guy called Jeremy Jewitt ran through us as if he was a previous incarnation of Jonah Tali Lomu, I quite enjoyed the game.

Rather than put two additional posts outside the goal posts, I suppose we could extend the height of the posts and put a second net there for the consolation point??

Only jesting of course 'cos I see my grandchildren at school receiving trophies for losing. Makes me wonder if some of our players were brought up in this environment????

Phil Sammon
93 Posted 14/03/2019 at 08:25:13

Let's not borrow too much from the AFL. Next weekend in Round 1 my team, Western Bulldogs, will be wearing a Thor-inspired jersey at the newly renamed ‘Marvel Stadium'.

Is nothing sacred?!

Alan J Thompson
94 Posted 14/03/2019 at 15:57:58
Bob(#92); I think you are wandering into the realms of Gaelic Football now, Bob. Caldy or Birkenhead?

Phil(#93); That's not you sat next to Julia is it? Certainly have to pull the elbows in.

Alan McGuffog
95 Posted 16/03/2019 at 15:40:17
Watching Wales v Ireland. Love the refs being miked up. Particularly enjoyed the ref apologising to the players for making a mistake.

Even if he did use the expression “My bad”... could you imagine any of the onanists who referee Premier League football having the humility to do this?

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