April 26, 2015

Who should referee the last 10 matches?

This question surely bothered most of us following Friday's drawing at UEFA's headquarters in Suisse Nyon. Gianni Infantino and Karl-Heinz Riedle allocated the Champions League title holders to Italian Juventus Turin, while Bayern's manager and FC Barcelona's registered member Pep Guardiola will return to his former domain Camp Nou. Also in UEFA Europa League, there are two draws that promise tension and leave some room for a surprise with Napoli facing Dnipro and ACF Fiorentina last year's winners Sevilla CF.

But: Who will take control over these matches? For whom the slogans "Road to Berlin" and "Race to Warsaw" will become true in a couple of weeks? Prediction time.



For this purpose, it is helpful to take into account all Elite referees UEFA currently has. It is very unlikely - though not impossible - to see First Group referees nominated for one of the semifinals. Actually only one of them comes into consideration for that: Szymon Marciniak of Poland.

It is quite sure that he is going to be promoted this June, has been assigned for U21-EURO 2015 and took charge of 3 UCL and 4 UEL matches this season. His advantage: he never handled SSC Napoli this season and did not take charge of any Dnipro game either. So: in case of a decided first leg or even for the first leg he might be an option to be kept in mind. His disadvantage: there were some controversial situations in Dynamo Kyiv - ACF Fiorentina, his last UEL match. Two of them were supportable, but indeed he missed a red card in the very last minute of the match. It could be that this cost his performance a good mark, which means that his Europa League season could have come to an end. 

In general, a relevant question is whether UEFA's refereeing responsibles are going to appoint both the referees for the first leg and those for the second legs at the same time or whether they are going to wait for the first leg results (which would be much wiser, but conflict with the usual time frame in which the referees get to know their appointments and can plan their absence from work etc.: 7-10 days prior to the matches).

Also to be kept in mind:
Referees, who handled a Team X in the quarterfinals, are very likely no options for handling a semifinal involving the same Team X.

But now, let's focus on the Elite Group.

Some match officials are unfortunately out of form and showed rather poor performances, have just returned from injuries or are no options given their nationality (no Italian referees in Europa League, for example, no Spanish officials in Champions League).

David Fernández Borbalán (ESP), Viktor Kassai (HUN), Gianluca Rocchi (ITA), Damir Skomina (SVN), Paolo Tagliavento (ITA), Alberto Undiano Mallenco (ESP, already handled Dnipro)

The remaining referees are:

Martin Atkinson (ENG), Deniz Aytekin (GER), Felix Brych (GER), Cüneyt Çakır (TUR), Mark Clattenburg (ENG), William Collum (SCO), Jonas Eriksson (SWE), Pavel Královec (CZE), Björn Kuipers (NED), Antonio Mateu Lahoz (ESP), Milorad Mažić (SRB), Svein Oddvar Moen (NOR),  Nicola Rizzoli (ITA), Craig Thomson (SCO), Carlos Velasco Carballo (ESP)

Let's "erase" the more unprobable candidates among them.

Deniz Aytekin was just promoted to Elite last December and convinced in his Champions League and Europa League K.O. stage matches. However, he had significant problems with penalty area decisions in Montenegro-Russia. Additionally, he is currently having problems with the same topic (penalty area decisions) in Bundesliga and 2nd Bundesliga. It is unlikely that he is considered for Europa League, specially since Felix Brych's very good performance in Madrid - Brych would be the first German choice and not Aytekin.

A Björn Kuipers in "normal" top form is helpful for every game at every level, that's for sure. The four Champions League duels clearly highlight how much he would be needed in the middle. But after his performance in Chelsea - Paris SG, which was not meeting the requirements in any way, it is very likely that UEFA won't appoint him again this season (this was already 99% sure immediately after his final whistle at Stamford Bridge).

Antonio Mateu Lahoz was observed by many committee members this season, has been promoted to Elite in December and received sonorous and important matches in both competitions. One can have different views on his performances in the three matches, but it is surely not a long shot to say that Pierluigi Collina must have some sympathies for him. As he handled Napoli in Wolfsburg, he is no option though for UEL - but he should be kept in mind, as you never know what UEFA is going to do with him.

Craig Thomson had no good season either - only 2 minor Champions League matches and 2 Europa League matches. His last appointment was Brügge - Besiktas in the Round of 16, where he was overall solid. What counts for Aytekin counts for Thomson as well: if there is a Scottish referee to be appointed, then it is rather a countryman (William Collum).

The remaining referees are (11):
 
Martin Atkinson (ENG), Felix Brych (GER), Cüneyt Çakır (TUR), Mark Clattenburg (ENG), William Collum (SCO), Jonas Eriksson (SWE), Pavel Královec (CZE), Milorad Mažić (SRB), Svein Oddvar Moen (NOR),  Nicola Rizzoli (ITA), Carlos Velasco Carballo (ESP)

Now we can become more precise. 4 referees are searched for the following 4 Champions League matches:

First Legs:
FC Barcelona - Bayern München & Juventus Turin - Real Madrid

Second Legs:
Bayern München - FC Barcelona & Real Madrid - Juventus Turin

Collina and his crew are surely aware of the circumstance that the decision in favour of four referees for these games is also a decision in favour of one referee who will handle the final in Berlin. There are actually only 3-4 referees who possess the necessary experience, career-readiness and personality to handle this final (which could be el clásico or Real Madrid - Bayern):

Felix Brych (GER), Cüneyt Çakır (TUR), Jonas Eriksson (SWE), Milorad Mažić (SRB).

Felix Brych has performed brilliantly in Madrid and even earned positive criticism by Spanish newspaper Marca and ManUnited player Wayne Rooney - nothing which goes without saying... But he would only be an outsider option if the final would be FC Barcelona - Juventus or el clásico. And his appointment would mean that UEFA has to wait for the second leg results. If Bayern go through, they would have to find someone else (e.g. Çakır), if Bayern fail, they could choose Brych but in this case the other referee (e.g. Çakır) would get nothing. So: very unlikely.

Cüneyt Çakır has surely become a more stable (but maybe less courageous) referee since the trouble in the aftermath of Manchester Utd. - Real Madrid in early 2013. His World Cup 2014 has been very good and was rewarded with a deserved semifinal. He was one of the few good examples who stayed themselves in Brazil and filtered the instructions of certain referee managers. In late 2014, he suffered from a pneumothorax as reported here in the blog, but returned very well and cured onto the pitch. The performance in Paris SG - Chelsea FC underlined the committee's trust in him and was overall good - some people would even say excellent. His advantage: due to the clever Round of 16 appointment, he is able to handle every match. Çakır's subsequent Europa League performances were good or even very good, too, maybe except his last performance in Napoli in front of Jozef Marko. Here, Çakır revealed some rooms for improvement, while parts of his team were not as concentrated as usual. But that is still much better than the other two officials' current shape.

Jonas Eriksson had a great 2013/14 season and an overall good / ok World Cup 2014. In my eyes, he was however not completely able to perform at the highest level in this Champions League season. One performance was surely good (Basel-Liverpool), in one match, he was not challenged at all (Schalke 0:5 Chelsea) and in another match, he awarded a wrong penalty (AS Roma 1:7 Bayern). In Porto-Basel, his Round of 16 match, he was quite challenged but did not manage to be accurate enough in the level of punishment of certain situations (our mark: 7.3) and missed 2 red cards. Eriksson was appointed for ACF Fiorentina - Dynamo Kyiv and made a match influencing mistake there as well. In the 40th minute, he wrongly sent off an away player for an alleged dive. Replays clearly show a contact between studs and foot which caused the attacker to fall (naturally). Simulation was a harsh and simply wrong decision. Three minutes later, Fiorentina scored the first goal and later qualified for the next round. Although the Swedish official one day definitely deserves to handle the biggest European club competition final, it's not his time this season in my view.

Last but not least, Milorad Mažić was definitely in the run for Berlin or rather for Warsaw. His group stage has been good / ok - you can have different views on that. But for sure, his 4 (!) Champions League group stage matches were important. Dortmund-Juventus in the Round of 16 was overall well solved with much personality and feeling for the game, although he missed some relatively clear cards. Thus, he was justifiably assigned for the Madrid derby in front of Pierluigi Collina and performed, unfortunately, below expectations: After a good first half, he made one wrong decision which influenced the whole match negatively - the missed reckless elbow by Sergio Ramos on Mario Mandžukić inside the penalty area. Following this missed penalty, the entire 2nd half was dominated by multiple infringements all belonging to the illegal usage of arms. The match became more and more heated, but never turned extremely challenging. Mažić lost the grip to some problematic players and the match, was no respected authority in some situations and failed to send off Mandžukić with a 2nd YC for - of course - recklessly using the elbow as a tool in a deliberate way. For this reason, Mažić's run for a final this year should be over from my point of view. It might be that Collina, Batta and Dallas have a different perception though. Impossible is absolutely nothing. At any rate, his appointment for any match involving a Spanish team could become difficult to sell with regard to the Spanish press (headlines like "El polémico árbitro de Atlético-Real dirigirá el Barça-Bayern" are probable). We'll see.

After all, I think Cüneyt Çakır should receive the Champions League final this year. But this season's decisions are surely more complicated and difficult than usual. 

Çakır, his team and Jozef Marko after the last test prior to Berlin? source

Jonas Eriksson should be a safe bet for a Champions League semifinal - despite his recent mistakes, he is nonetheless a reliable personality needed for these matches. Same goes for Nicola Rizzoli, who fell for a dive and wrongly awarded a match influencing penalty in St Petersburg, but who is nonetheless a 100% sure name for FC Barcelona-Bayern. Finally, Mark Clattenburg deserves to be in the middle of a semifinal as well, but as he handled Barcelona in the quarterfinals away match, he will probably get the Juventus-Real tie. 

But one official is still missing. There are three young referees who have performed quite well this season or at least achieved much. Scottish William Collum (he was solid in Bayern-Shakhtar and Monaco-Juventus, but is still young, needs more experience and should be out as he handled the Italian team), Czech Republican Pavel Královec (despite a rather dissatisfying performance in Leverkusen-Atlético in front of Pierluigi Collina, he was assigned for Juventus-Monaco - a wrong penalty (contact outside, missed by AR Slyško) decided the tie though) and Svein Oddvar Moen (good development over the last years, but still making too many minor mistakes in his matches and thus lacking the complete acceptance on the pitch here and there). As described, all three officials are probably not yet ready for a Champions League semifinal - at least in my opinion. However, it might be that Svein Oddvar Moen, who made no media-attracting mistakes and has not taken charge of a Real or Juventus match this season, comes into question for exactly this duel. If not, well, then only Milorad Mažić is left. 

In Europa League, things are similarly difficult. 

As it is quite unlikely that we'll see Felix Brych again in the Champions League this season and as he handled the Europa League final last season, he should get Fiorentina-Sevilla.

Mark Clattenburg's countryman Martin Atkinson was just solid in Schalke-Real (Jaap Uilenberg) but issued a wrong sending-off in Sevilla (UEL Round of 16) and was not good at all in Bayern-Porto (Vlado Sajn, our mark: 8.0). I think he should not be appointed again this season as a consequence.

While William Collum's and Pavel Královec's performances were good and solid, but maybe not good enough for a CL semifinal or even a EL final, they should be rewarded with a UEL semifinal (would be the second time for Královec).

Carlos Velasco Carballo took charge of FC Porto - Bayern München and was overall on expected level. No extremely good performance, but no bad one either. He recovered decently from his apparent loss of motivation and quality visible before, during and shortly after World Cup 2014. He has not yet handled Napoli or their opponents Dnipro, so that he should be kept in mind for the first or second leg of this duel.

And finally, I consider Mark Clattenburg (maybe after a successful Juventus-Real performance) as the most probable candidate for Warsaw's Europa League final. 

The way I see it, all depends on how UEFA proceeds with Milorad Mažić... 

Predictions if Mažić is considered for something more:

UCL:

FC Barcelona - Bayern München: Nicola Rizzoli (ITA)
Juventus Turin - Real Madrid: Jonas Eriksson (SWE)

Bayern München - FC Barcelona: Milorad Mažić (SRB)
Real Madrid - Juventus Turin: Mark Clattenburg (ENG)

Final: Cüneyt Çakır (TUR)

UEL:

SSC Napoli - Dnipro: William Collum (SCO)
Sevilla FC - ACF Fiorentina: Pavel Královec (CZE)

Dnipro - SSC Napoli: Svein Oddvar Moen (NOR)
ACF Fiorentina - Sevilla FC: Felix Brych (GER)

Final: Mark Clattenburg (ENG)


Predictions if Mažić is not considered for something more:

UCL:

FC Barcelona - Bayern München: Nicola Rizzoli (ITA)
Juventus Turin - Real Madrid: Svein Oddvar Moen (NOR)

Bayern München - FC Barcelona: Jonas Eriksson (SWE)
Real Madrid - Juventus Turin: Mark Clattenburg (ENG)

Final: Cüneyt Çakır (TUR)

UEL:

SSC Napoli - Dnipro: Carlos Velasco Carballo (ESP)
Sevilla FC - ACF Fiorentina: Pavel Královec (CZE)

Dnipro - SSC Napoli: William Collum (SCO)
ACF Fiorentina - Sevilla FC: Felix Brych (GER)

Final: Mark Clattenburg (ENG)


In conclusion, it is very difficult this time. Many referees have recommended themselves for higher tasks, but are not ready for the last big step which is demanded on Champions League semifinal level. It is also evident that although UEFA's Elite Group consists of more than 20 names, maximum 5-6 of them are - at the moment - capable of handling really huge matches. The time where Collina and his team could revert to a large pool of candidates for such games (including Kassai and Skomina) seems to be over.
Another question is whether UEFA should trust Björn Kuipers, who is urgently needed in Champions League considering the limited options UEFA otherwise has.

What are your predictions?

53 Comments:

  1. Not Mazic more this saison.
    Not Çakir for one Final.

    I hope....
    Juventus-Real, Clattenburg
    Barça-Bayern, Rizzoli
    Sevilla-Fiorentina, Bebek
    Napoli-Dnipro, Moen

    ReplyDelete
  2. UCL:
    FC Barcelona - Bayern München: Jonas Eriksson (SWE)
    Juventus Turin - Real Madrid: Björn Kuipers (NED)

    Bayern München - FC Barcelona: Nicola Rizzoli (ITA)
    Real Madrid - Juventus Turin: Mark Clattenburg (ENG)

    Final: Cüneyt Çakır (TUR)

    UEL:

    SSC Napoli - Dnipro: William Collum (SCO)
    Sevilla FC - ACF Fiorentina: Pavel Královec (CZE)

    Dnipro - SSC Napoli: Carlos Velasco Carballo (ESP)
    ACF Fiorentina - Sevilla FC: Felix Brych (GER)

    Final: Mark Clattenburg (ENG)

    Great post Niclas,

    That's what I think, I agree other than I would hope UEFA trust Kuipers, yes he had a very poor game but he is an excellent referee and needed at the moment, wheter or not UEFA do this is maybe not so likely.

    Last week we got the shock that Mark Clattenburg isn't going to referee the FA cup final, the europa league final is only three days before perhaps the English FA are not appointing Clattenburg as they are predicting he gets the final, and considering his performances, he deserves it.

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  3. Anonymous26/4/15 13:49

    I definitely would appoint Kuipers. He is a very good referee who did a great job in many, many games - he cannot be out of focus due to only one bad performance. In my opinion, he would be the perfect candidate for the "missing" CL semifinal but I don't believe in it.

    It will be interesting who whistles EL final if Clattenburg is not good in the CL semifinal he probably will handle.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. IMO, Kuipers is performing well in the Dutch 'eredivisie'. He is appointed every week, almost always with his regular assistants. Maybe UEFA has not appointed him for a few rounds on purpose, to let the 'storm' after Chelsea - PSG calm down a bit before appointing him again? But of course, it may also very well be that this UEFA season is over for him after his performance at Stamford Bridge, although I personally think that he did not lose match control in that particular match...

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    2. Anonymous28/4/15 16:47

      If Kuipers get one match, this is a scandal of Uefa (about his performance this CL-season) and a punch in the face to all the other referees with a good season to have no chance for a match.

      Delete
  4. Very good analysis, some small remarks:
    -Velasco and Rizzoli should get the first leg, because of Sevilla and Juventus.
    - In your case 1 and a good performance by Mazic, he should be back in the "race to Warsaw"
    - I would put a bigger questionmark behind Eriksson after several mistakes this season.
    - IMO Kralovec made a decisive mistake in Juventus-Monaco and should not be appointed again.

    My predictions:
    Napoli - Dnipro: Atkinson / Kuipers
    Sevilla - Fiorentina: Collum / Brych
    EL final: Mazic
    Barcelona - Bayern Munich: Rizzoli / Eriksson
    Juventus - Real Madrid: Moen / Clattenburg
    CL final: Cakir

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. On your points:
      1) Agreed, maybe Rizzoli would also make more sense in Bayern as he has never attended AllianzArena so far ;) Will be switched.
      2) Agreed.
      3) Yes, nonetheless he is one of THE personalities UEFA has and this should not be underestimated.
      4) The penalty was AR1's mistake, not Královec's. The question is whether this changes something. We'll see.

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    2. Anonymous27/4/15 22:36

      Sorry guys, In Czech Republic was discussion about penalty outside or inside box. Královec was critisided in newspapers, Tv Etc. The Chef of Commission rules Mr. Kureš therefore commented this situation and said: The first contact was inside, but foul continued to inside penalty area. It said, it was correct decission by referee Pavel Královec. What was the opinion referre observer Pereira, I don't know.

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    3. I think Mr Kures should have a look into the LotG book and the video clip of the situation again. Thanks for information though.

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    4. Anonymous28/4/15 00:07

      Translation of Kures information: ""If the actual physical contact not played at one time or in one place, but in a longer period of time or in the path of movement of players (defender attacker holds a long time in a certain section of their movement) must, when deciding on where the offense favor the team whose player offense committed. For example, when an attacker grabs the defender in front of the penalty area and holds it up to the penalty area, then the place where the offense where possession was completed - in the penalty area and ordered a penalty kick (see Fig. Match Juventus - Monaco). But if, for example, the attacker was in the movement out of the penalty area and defender caught him still inside and held up under the penalty area, the place where the offense early possession, or inside and ordered a penalty kick that was again favored the guilty (defending) the team "

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    5. Anonymous28/4/15 00:08

      It's Rule 12 - Prohibited style of play.

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    6. Anonymous28/4/15 09:21

      That is limited to holding only. Page 118 (rule 12 explanation). Juventus-Monaco was a normal foul. Here first contact counts!!! Good defending strategy by Czech referee chief.

      Delete
  5. Out of curiosity: why do you disqualify Clattenburg from CL final on the grounds of lacking experience? Surely Clatts has shown he is able to perform on the highest level? Why not consider him for CL?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In my opinion he has not yet shown that he is able to handle the really big CL matches (of course he handled many of top clashes in Premier League, no doubt he is actually able to do so, but in fact he has not handled any extremely huge match in UCL thus far). Bayern-Juventus some years ago was poor, Real-Dortmund and Paris-Barca were both good on QF level, but nothing too challenging. I would not rule him out completely, but after the wrong penalty in Basel-Porto, another crucial mistake in Shakhtar-Athletic and a very good, even though not too difficult task in Paris, he should start with a semifinal and maybe the "smaller" of the two finals this season.
      Additionally, I do not see a completely stable team so far. Sometimes Beck and Burt, sometimes Beck and Collin...

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    2. Looking at recent premier league appointments I think it will be Beck and Collin from now on.

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  6. Anonymous26/4/15 14:27

    As for Marciniak:
    I don't think he'll get something more this season, but I can provide you with what Stempniewski said during the Liga+ Extra (Ekstraklasa's matchday review programme). There was a question whether Marciniak make a good call by not whistling that handball and Stempniewski said that 'Yes, UEFA are very liberal with handballs. Such are also DFB and we must be aware that the observer was Eugen Strigel from Germany. Both federations are some kind of pioneers in refereeing and - whether we like it or not - we must accept what they (in this case UEFA, of course) want from referees. It's not a deliberate handball for UEFA and... Eugen Strigel was very satisfied with Marciniak's performance and gave him a very high mark.'

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous26/4/15 15:47

      You obviously are not aware of how much you text and publish estimates UEFA Referee Observer can leave Marciniak of possible nominations. Strigel? Yes. Very influential observer. But for the semi-finals, and Marciniak not elite referee needed observer profile Collina, Dallas or Batta.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous26/4/15 20:55

      I write only this what is openly discussed in Polish media, so nothing confidential. At least, it's not me who breaks a potential confidentiality. ;)

      Delete
  7. You have forgot about Alberto Undiano Mallenco xD

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous26/4/15 15:43

    My predictions:

    Napoli - Dnipro: Moen / Collum
    Sevilla - Fiorentina: Mazic / Brych
    EL final: Clattenburg

    Barcelona - Bayern Munich: Rizzoli / Eriksson
    Juventus - Real Madrid: Kuipers / Clattenburg
    CL final: Cakir

    Kuipers should be appointed; a reliable referee with an offday. It never stops Rizzoli before; but again it is UEFA so its very likely we will not see Kuipers again this season. In that case I would appoint Moen. But the risk is very high; Moen/Collum/Kralovec are IMO not ready for a CL semi-final.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Why was David Fernández Borbalán promoted to the Elite category? I was baffled at the time, and still am now...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous27/4/15 00:25

      Spot on, Nur! It's totally absurd! Reason? Ángel María Villar!

      Delete
  10. Anonymous26/4/15 15:53

    One thing to factor in regarding Clattenburg is that he already has had one final this season. He refereed the Super cup final, and maybe it is too much even for UEFA with two finals the same season (even though it has happened before: Proenca in 2012)?

    /Swedish observer

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous26/4/15 16:03

    A question to Serbian users:
    Mazic has refereed the Beograd derby today...the last 6 or 7 times always Mazic for this match (6-8 cards always). Before that, Gogic and Grujic, 2 cards by Gogic. Has Serbia only Mazic, why are not there other officials for this match? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous26/4/15 18:03

      Unfortunately, the Serbian El Clasico, is something far above all on what normal people accustomed. It was literally told struggle of life and death. You've seen the pictures that have traveled the world and are horrific, unacceptable in the 21st century. That's why I sounded a little funny statement about who said they Mazic not experienced the derby in Madrid. The only one who has the authority, who is mentally strong enough to bring the game to the end (not only that the refereed), because the pressure not only on the field but also outside it. Senior politicians in clubs that put pressure not to go who else is present. Gogic and Grujic were refereed match, the Championship was resolved, and usually it happens, as well as yesterday, the derby to decide championship. This is Milorad Mažić seventh El Clasico in a row. I repeat, the only one in specific conditions can't hold the game under control. Look at the horrible pictures and everything will be clear! This is also the second consecutive game in the Domestic league where Mazic go with a complete team that was in UEFA competitions.

      Delete
  12. Anonymous26/4/15 17:24

    This was a clear penalty according to me that Oliver missed.

    http://www.gfycat.com/TintedOpenCur

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, penalty. Apart from Oliver, the assistant referee has to assume responsibility here.

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    2. Anonymous26/4/15 17:42

      Dubious yellow for simulation as well.

      http://gfycat.com/ChubbyWildCaribou

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    3. No wonder if you are that closely and poorly positioned. Hindering play and too close to the action. Studies showed that proximity is sometimes leading to inaccuracy in calls.

      Delete
  13. Anonymous26/4/15 17:49

    I don't understand why Oliver always get such big matches. Again his performance is below expectation. Missing two CLEAR yellow cards, his tactical approach is poor and again he missed a obvious penalty (handball). Too many times Oliver is negative involved in play.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous26/4/15 17:54

      And ofcourse a obvious penalty against the keeper of Arsenal. How can you not give a penalty for this. Shame!

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  14. Anonymous26/4/15 18:06

    Sometimes people say here that the comments are too often to damage Oliver. But we have to be honest. Oliver is just NOT a top referee. He is really average and will never be the number 1 in England. He is arrogant and he makes so many crucial mistakes. I think UEFA will be done with him very soon.

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    Replies
    1. So then Taylor and Pawson to take his place?

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  15. I really cannot understand why everyone is always so critical of Oliver. Remember, he is only 30 years old, and still he has shown that he can usually handle big matches very well. Just look at Manchester vs Arsenal. Sure, he made a poor error tonight, but every referee makes a crucial error once in a while. Also Pawson and Taylor are 6 and 5 years older than him respectively. He is very talented despite what people seem to think and he will be England's no. 1 within 5 years I think.

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    1. True Pawson and Taylor are older for me though Pawson in particular has real potential and deserves more appointments than he is getting currently and I don't think Oliver is a bad referee at all, however he won't ever be near to Clattenburg until he gets the big calls right. He generally referees excellently but his problem comes with KMI errors, and as we all know at the end of the day its the big calls that count.

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    2. I agree, Hugh. People seem to disregard the fact that Oliver is only 30-years-old... There's still plenty more room for improvement/development. Granted Oliver wasn't brilliant today, but I still think he did *okay* overall, in what was a game referees much older and experienced than him would struggle in.

      Howard Webb, arguably the best referee of the last decade, only came prominence in his late thirties! He was promoted to the Select Group at the age of 34, while Oliver was handling top clashes at 27/28.

      I watch him most weeks, and undoubtedly think he has the skill-set to have a very successful career, thus, I urge patience.

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    3. Exactly, I doubt that many people could name refreees who were at Oliver's level at his age.
      When he get to his mid 30s I see no resin for him to be one of the best in the world.

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    4. Nur and Hugh, the problem is that I don't throw referees who apparently are talented but need time to collect experiences into games like Arsenal-Chelsea on a regular basis. On a motivational perspective this is poor as well..... he has refereed the Manchester derby, the London derby aged 30...his career maybe lasts further 15 years. So...what to achieve? I am no supporter of these fast-track developments. These top clashes are no playground and I personally think that referees like Oliver, Zwayer and Turpin should IDEALLY (the problem is that refereeing often is not going ideally) receive the full trust by their associations on the one hand, but at the same time get the chance to develop slowly and carefully...

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    5. I completely agree Niclas!

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    6. Niclas, you make a very good point. And I completely agree. However, I still believe that Oliver receives undeserved criticism. And it wont be too long before he will have the experience to handle such big matches, but I certainly echo your thoughts.

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    7. Anonymous29/4/15 02:21

      Pawson referees a UEFA u19 elite tournament in Bosnia in May, along with Ozkalfa (TUR) and Arnasson (ISL) with Baaker (NED) and Strigel (GER) as Observers.
      The final u19 elite round is in Georgia with Frankowski (POL), Siebert (GER), Petrescu (ROU) also with important observers De Bleekere (BEL) and Levnikov (RUS)
      all information on uefa.com http://www.uefa.com/under19/season=2015/matches/index.html

      Delete
  16. Hector Rodriguez was very heavily criticised both in Mexico and in Montreal for his performance in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions' League final. Montreal launched an appeal to CONCACAF regarding the yellow card that their goalkeeper received in the 90th minute for delay of game (see the video here: http://www.impactmontreal.com/en/news/2015/04/impact-going-through-appeal-process-concacaf). Personally, I believe that it is the America player who commits unsporting behaviour by challenging the goalkeeper for the ball after a goal; the ball will be put into play by Montreal, and as such it 'belongs' to them. It is to be noted that the America players involved received no sanction.

    The second main Montreal Impact grievance concerns a caution given for what seems to be a clear case of DOGSO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H86lxiyRqWU The only thing that makes me hesitate is that the forward does not have perfect control of the ball; nevertheless, I believe he has enough control for this to be a case of DOGSO and thus worthy of a red card.

    Henry Bejarano is up next, on the 29th.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for information, Emil. For me DOGSO. Nonetheless these are match-based decisions and should not be affected after the match, as they depend on the on-field-perception and interpretation.

      Delete
    2. Indeed, that was the reply of CONCACAF, which denied the appeal yesterday.

      Delete
  17. Anonymous27/4/15 16:18

    My predictions:

    BAR-FCB: Rizzoli / Eriksson
    JUV-REA: Cakir (Kuipers) / Clattenburg

    NAP-DNI: V.Carballo / Collum
    SEV-FIO: Moen / Brych

    ReplyDelete
  18. UEFA Referee Observer in Barcelona-Bayern: Bo Karlsson (SWE)
    So no Eriksson for the first leg.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rizzoli appointment seems a safe bet for this match.

      Delete
    2. I can add:
      04/05/15
      20:00
      Hull v Arsenal
      Fourth Official
      M Clattenburg

      So he is out from Juventus - Real Madrid.

      Delete
    3. So looking like he will get the second leg as predicted then

      Delete
  19. Referee Observers CL/EL

    Barcelona-Bayern: Bo Karlsson (SWE)
    all other 3 CL games without observer so far.

    UEL are complete, so it seems that all officials are designated:

    Sevilla-Fiorentina: Vítor Melo Pereira (POR) --> no Kralovec, Collum not that probable, as he observed him in 2013/14

    Napoli-Dnipro: Juan Fernández Marín (ESP) --> sounds like Collum or Královec

    Fiorentina-Sevilla: Jean Lemmer (LUX) --> Elite referee

    Dnipro-Napoli: Michel Vautrot (FRA) --> experienced Elite referee, Velasco or Brych.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Anonymous1/5/15 12:57

    Eriksson has a game in Sweden on monday. With Wärnmark and Hallin as AR. Not Klasenius.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Rizzoli, Rocchi and Tagliavento are all appointed as AAR in serie A matches, Rizzoli tomorrow, Rocchi and Tagliavento on Sunday.
    I'm quite sure that the appointment for Barça - Bayern will be: Rizzoli, Rocchi (AAR1 and Tagliavento (AAR2). Assistant referees perhaps Manganelli (he is back) and Tonolini, but I wouldn't rule out Di Liberatore. Cariolato could be the fourth official. Let's see.

    ReplyDelete
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