Arsenal 2, Liverpool 1 – Oh What A Webb You Weave Howard!!

Unlike last week after Liverpool’s 5-1 demolition of Arsenal, quality of football and goals wasn’t the main talking point after the game. Yet again, the talking point was Howard Webb, the incredibly inefficient referee who somehow has booked himself a flight to Brazil for this summers World Cup.

The game itself was full of incident and could have seen Liverpool manage a repeat performance of the league game a week earlier in by scoring two quick, early goals if Daniel Sturridge hadn’t left his shooting boots at home.

Liverpool were the better team and created the more and better chances by some distance. Arsenal at times, despite their normal spells of “tippy-tappy” football looked a bit ragged. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain gave the Gooners a 16th minute lead when Liverpool, for the umpteenth time this season, failed to deal with a set piece. Straight after the break, Liverpool were 2-0 as The Ox set up Lukas Podolski for a simple finish.

Even so, all did not seem lost for Liverpool as they were playing so well and not deserving to be 2-0 down. Steven Gerrard scored a penalty for Liverpool in the 59th minute to give them the lift and the momentum they needed. As much as the 59th minute decision was a penalty, the incident a few minutes later, again involving Luis Suarez was as big a “stonewall penalty” as you will ever see. Incredibly though Howard Webb didn’t award it.

Now there can be mitigating circumstances with some refereeing decisions. For instance, the referee’s view may be obstructed or he may have been too far away to see the incident clearly. But in this case there is no such defence for Mr Webb. He was probably about ten yards away at most and had an unobstructed view. So, why didn’t he give it and why didn’t he give the other “nailed on” penalty at Stamford Bridge when Samuel Etoo brought down Luis Suarez? Only Mr Webb knows, which is so wrong. Football has moved on so much over the last 20 years or so but unfortunately one big part of the game – ie the match officials – are still protected by “dinosaur rules” and have not advanced into the modern footballing world.

So, what is required? Video refereeing? Most definitely. But, just as important, they should be accountable. They should be made to stand in front of the cameras and explain such key decisions. If not, then why not? It is as if the match officials are placing themselves above everyone else involved in football, but ask any football fan who are the most important people in football and to a man they will emphatically announce that it is the fans. And it is the fans who are kept in the dark and denied what should be a routine explanation by the match referee. It needs to be sorted, and sorted soon, otherwise officials Mr Webb will continue to make such crucial mistakes and continue to hide in his ivory tower, safe in the knowledge that he is fireproof.

FIFA and UEFA, listen to the fans, and get this fundamental requirement sorted….soon.

If you haven’t seen the “non-penalty” incident watch it here……

Suarez penalty-Howard Webb horror decisionSuarez penalty-Howard Webb horror decision
Karl Pilkington decides to referee Arsenal vs Liverpool in the FA Cup.

and see what the panel on ESPN thought about the incident….

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