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Messages - Leggy

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I Spy Old Refs! / Re: Final Games
« on: Thu 10 Sep 2020 16:44 »
D Axcell – Millwall v Bristol Rovers, May 1993

So this was a "double last" as it was Millwall's final game at the old Den.  David was joined by Colin Henderson and John Smythe on the lines for his final game (plus me on the Boards).

The game was interrupted by a couple of "good natured" pitch invasions and ended a few minutes early after another.  I distinctly remember Millwall 'keeper Casey Keller trying to reach the safety of the players' tunnel and finally doing so wearing nothing more than a jock-strap - the rest of his kit falling victim to souvenir hunters!  I still used the dressing room towel from that game in my gym kit until about two years ago when Mrs Leggy insisted it would disintegrate if it went through the washing machine again and it was finally retired.

Most of these were before my time, but I worked with / for Tony Williams, John Abbott (I succeeded him as Secretary of the AIFLR&L), David Keen, Mike Topping and others.  Ray Parker was my first Isthmian Referees' Secretary.

General Discussion / What do we need to do?
« on: Tue 18 Aug 2020 10:55 »
From the BBC Sport Website:

"Too much whistle?

With officials worldwide looking to tidy up the breakdown, a long-standing area of concern for the game, a high penalty count was inevitable.

The games at Harlequins, Exeter and Bristol especially were punctuated by the referee's whistle as players struggled to adapt to new interpretations, leading to a few disjointed spectacles.

"I think the referees have wanted to make a mark, and we have to work with them," said Diamond.

New Leicester head coach Steve Borthwick also refused to complain after his side haemorrhaged penalties - 22 in all - in their defeat at Sandy Park, putting it down to some "over-zealous" players keen to impress, while Quins head of rugby Paul Gustard said preparing for the tweak in the officiating was a major focus of the lockdown.

"We've had four referees in [to training] over the past two weeks," he said.

But while players will have suffered both physically and technically from a lack of pre-season games, it is also the same for the officials.

"Don't forget the referees are no different to us; they are getting back to refereeing regularly. This is very much their 'pre-season' as well," added Baxter."

I nearly put this in "non-footy" but it is about football because this an attitude / reaction that is almost universally absent in football.

What do we need to do to change attitudes and reactions?

General Discussion / Re: FA Cup Final
« on: Sun 02 Aug 2020 13:02 »
Whilst Taylor's performance hasn't been good, I would say what a shocking display by professional players from both sides. The number of times players have gone down "injured" from the slightest touch is embarrassing. So called "hardmen" like Xhaka screaming and feigning injury at every opportunity. I don't know how they survive the pain when they have all that ink done on their bodies.

It is so depressing to see what is becoming of our national game.

Agree.  Players reap what they sow.  If a player goes down as if mortally wounded solely with the intent of getting his opponent into trouble, then he (and all his colleagues) cannot complain when the same thing happens to them.  Crocodile tears I am afraid.  A Chelsea player would have 100% over-reacted in the way that the Arsenal player did.

The answer to diving and theatrics is not in the hands of the referee but the players and those who tell them what to do.  Until they decide to address it, the problem will persist.

So, Mr Taylor will go down in history as the first (only?) referee to issue a 2nd yellow card in two FA Cup finals.   And I seem to recall that the one to Moses for an alleged dive in 2017 was considered dubious.

Moses' dive would only have been dubious in a swimming pool.  On the football field, it was a "stick on" yellow card.  That was the general view of the Chelsea fans I was sat around at the 2017 cup final.

General Discussion / Re: Man City V Norwich
« on: Fri 31 Jul 2020 15:13 »
Come on guys, it is the new Laws according to VAR. You ignore everything that has happened as long as you go along with the VAR decision.
IFAB will probably write it into the directived for next season, although, with only six weeks to go, they had better get on with it otherwise nobody will know what is happening!  :D

Any chance we can dial down the sarky comments every time VAR is mentioned?  We get you are not a fan (neither am I) but it does get tiresome after a while.

General Discussion / Re: Refeering standards in England
« on: Thu 23 Jul 2020 16:27 »
Reading the above discussion has got me wondering whether there is (or should be) a similar structure in place at National List Level, to that lower down the pyramid ... specifically, from personal experience, at Level 3.

At this Level, if any official has not featured in the Top 40% of the bandings for three consecutive seasons, then they are in the frame for demotion.  This ensures that that those 'scraping by' each year, without showing any indication of the talent to progress upwards, will not be allowed to 'clog up' the system.

It's harsh, but IMO fair

It's far from fair.

If a referee is the 41st best out of 100 at a particular level, that is something he/she can be reasonably pleased with and he/she deserves to continue at that level. Those referees who are not thrusting for promotion can often be relied on to provide a good solid, empathic performance to the benefit of the game. Plenty of aspiring referees have been so keen to showcase their "talents" to the detriment of the game.

Football does not exist simply to provide a pathway for ambitious referees.

Agree.  And football needs the "foot soldier" referees to keep the show on the road while the superstars briefly show us their stardust before moving on to higher and better(?) things.

I Spy Old Refs! / Re: Twitter!
« on: Sun 19 Jul 2020 10:17 »
Tony Ward continued refereeing after leaving the League list.  The Capital League was around at that time and provided reserve team football for (obviously) London Bases teams - League and non-League.  It also featured the likes of Dave Axcell and other "characters" of that era and geography.  Tony was always a good candidate for a testimonial.  The guy on the right is wearing an Isthmian League badge so could well be Dave Buckeridge.

General Discussion / Re: Martin Atkinson, Villa v Palace
« on: Mon 13 Jul 2020 18:30 »
New clarification for handball next season should help a bit although I'm sure there will still be times the pictures are inconclusive.

Martin Atkinson was never going to look at the monitor for the disallowed goal this season under PGMO directives but the point about being able to explain to players is a good one - I was watching Inside Video Review recently and by going to the monitor for penalty encroachment the referee was able to explain to the players exactly where the goalkeeper was positioned - about 4 mins 30 here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W__1pVN3EdY

I think Jon Moss reversing the Aston Villa penalty decision was one of the best VAR decisions in the PL this season and an example of why I don't think a strict time limit would work because it took a bit of time to find the best camera angle to show it.

There will still be doubt / controversy next season.  As the "line" is not drawn people sill see an incident and some will say it is one side of the "tee-shirt line" and other will call it the other way.  Its the same with offside - if you give the attacker (say) six inches of leeway, then there will always be an offside where the attacker is 6.01 inches offside.

Wherever you draw the line - unless you draw an actual and real line - there will be controversy.

For every test match three Elite level umpires are appointed.  Two of them stand for the entire game, a five-day stint of (usually) seven and a half hours a day.  The other one sits in a comfy chair and gets involved when required.

Would it not be more efficient to do each day what is actually happening for each test match during the current England .v. West Indies series?

By that, I mean that Messrs Illingworth, Kettleborough and Gough are standing in two matches and working the TV replays in the other.  How about they stand in two sessions per day and work the TV replays in the other?  It might make for less fatigue and better decision making.

General Discussion / Re: Is it time for Riley to go?
« on: Sat 11 Jul 2020 13:23 »
I think it’s time for him to step down standards are nowhere near the level they should be. The running of VAR is a prime example of this. It has been nothing short of an absolute embarrassment. One of if not the best league in the world and some of the worst officials. The appointments are a prime example of this absolutely shambolic. I think they need a well respected ex official someone like Webb but he’s unlikely to with his role in the MLS. Or another option could be Mark Halsey someone who was very well respected by fans, managers and players alike and who has previously said on Twitter he would consider taking the role if offered.

After the public attacks Halsey has made on some of the SG1 referees there is absolutely zero chance of him getting the role should it ever become available, even less so since he teamed up with Keith Hackett to continually criticise PGMOL. 

Have to agree with that! He has burned his bridges with way too many people with that.

I'd be tempted to appoint someone foreign like Kyros Vassaras (sorry Romania...) who would not be intimidated by the PL shareholders.  That is one of the biggest problems faced by whoever takes the role, if and when it becomes available, over the years Sky & the PL shareholders have been and still are allowed too much say. If they jump up and down and cry about too many penalties for pushing, out comes a directive telling the refs to ignore all but the worst ones, they cry about shirt pulling being ignored then out comes a directive saying punish every single one - maybe a slight exaggeration there but only slight! The PGMOL needs to be made 100% independent of the PL and the 'rights' of the PL shareholders and Sky TV to have any say in refereeing matters taken away - until it is then things won't really change whoever is in charge. Their hands are tied from Day 1 because the wants of Sky and the PL shareholders are given too much weight.

Correct - the shareholders of PGMOL create a fundamental and - as they currently stand - unresolvable conflict of interest. 

Nothing will change, regardless of who is in charge unless this changes.  Riley is doing what his paymasters want him to do.  A replacement will be required to do the same.  Why do you think they got rid of Phil Don?

They have not been great but:
i) The cricket world is not hyper-ventalating over this.  The accepted view is that DRS has corrected the errors and we move on with the game.  Compare with football.
ii) The umpires have not properly worked for a very long time.  How good were any of us in the first pre-season friendly of the season?

General Discussion / Re: C KAVANAGH -Arsenal v Leicester
« on: Wed 08 Jul 2020 16:38 »
Let's remember there was nothing special about Kavanagh going to the monitor. It's now policy that no red card will be shown or downgraded after a VAT intervention without the referee looking at the screen and has been since mid January - hence the likes of Paul Tierney, Graham Scott and Andy Madley all looking at the monitor previously.

Surely a VAT intervention would be too taxing for many referees  ;D ;D ;D .

General Discussion / Re: Sheffield United V Tottenham
« on: Fri 03 Jul 2020 11:21 »
Should not the defender be sent off because by pushing the defender to the ground, the ball hits his hand which it otherwise would not have done and denied a goal scoring opportunity confirmed by subsequence events? If the laws are so pedantic and inconsistent why was the defender allowed to stay on the field? Bit tongue in cheek but that is the mess the laws have created....
The foul didn't prevent an obvious goal scoring opportunity; there were covering defenders.  It stopped a promising attack.  It was a yellow card offence.  The ball hit Moura's hand after being played by another defender.  This disallowing of the goal was correct in Law (albeit the Law is an ass).  I would have hoped for some communication between VAR and referee that would have given Chris Kavanagh the opportunity to go back to the original offence, award Tottenham a free kick and caution the defender, regardless of whether he had actually called and signalled advantage.

That would have been the correct thing to do.  Playing "advantage" ultimately ended up penalising the offended team.  If the VAR is going to apply the Law, then it should also confirm the correct restart of play.  Applying the Laws and restarting play (correctly) are duties of the referee.  One right and one wrong here.

The way football's use of VAR seems to me (at least in theory) to be a bit different to most other sports. In rugby, it seems the referee can opt out of making a decision initially and just ask the TMO to check, whereas in football the procedure is they should actively make a decision first (either way) and then VAR checks everything and overrules if wrong.

I'm sure some of the poorer/weaker officials do make non-decisions in the belief VAR can bail them out if wrong but let's remember plenty of mistakes were made before VAR so I doubt this is the case every time. Some referees just miss quite a lot!

It would be interesting I suppose to hear what the error rate for KMI decisions was this season before VAR intervention and how it compared to the KMI errors last year without VAR (I think it was around 82% accuracy in the PL last year?)

I don't know what the procedure is in Rugby Union because I have no interest in that aspect of rugby, however, In Rugby League the referee makes his decision and indicates on the field whether he thinks it is a try or not an asks the TMO to check various aspects. It is then dependent on whether or not the TMO can see anything concrete to overrule the original decision. In the NRL in Australia they have also introduced a Captain's Challenge where the skipper of each side can challenge ONE onfield decision per match, if he wins the challenge it retains the opportunity to challenge again, however, if he loses the challenge then that is the end of it. Certainly seems to work very well and is amusing to hear the ref getting a bit of grief, smiling at the player and asking if he wishes to challenge and grinning broadly when the player shakes his head.

The NRL's "Captain's Challenge" is also used (in one form or another) in Cricket and Hockey.  It creates a "put up of shut up moment" with dissent.  Football should adopt it.

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