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Ne Moe Imya

This new "let them play" refereeing

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I know the commentators and "real football men" like Andy Gray seem to love it, but I think it's utter garbage and it makes the game so much worse.

 

Was going to talk about it last week after Elliott got yanked back into a scissor tackle and half the neutrals in the media suggested it was a harsh red (!), but better to complain this week when we were the beneficiaries of the loose refereeing today.

 

I don't care if it helps us, or hurts us, it makes the game worse IMO. Obviously it's a balance - you don't want to overcorrect and start calling ticky-tacky fouls for every bump and contact, but they have gone far to the other side and it needs to come back. Last week it was Burnley yard-dogging all over the pitch and just hacking and kicking every time one of our skillful players was on the ball. This week it was more balanced and it felt as if we were reacting a bit to the refereeing by putting in a few kicks ourselves.

 

Whoever it is doing it, I don't like it. I don't understand the people who would rather watch a crunching tackle than a skillful pirouette with the ball. Any grock can thunder into another player and clean him out. If that's what you want to see, go watch Sunday league football. I want to watch football at a high level because they're doing things I can't do!

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I agree totally. It's great to let the game flow and not let it be stopped by shithouse by diving but they've let it go too far and a lot more lads are going to get bones broken.

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I don’t think Struijk’s tackle had anything to do with the lenient refereeing style we’re hearing so much these days. It was just a bad tackle.

 

I for one rate the thinking behind the new refereeing style. At the moment it’s not perfect but it’s worth persisting. If it doesn’t look like a foul don’t blow it, VAR will correct you if it’s serious (red card or pens).

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30 minutes ago, aws said:

I don't mind too much which approach they take so long as we have a bit of balance and consistency.  

This. The ref wasnt bad today but I can think of at least 3 instances where our players were virtually assaulted again today and the ref waved play on.

 

Surely the idea is you let little 'things' go but when opp players are trying to swap shirts with Sadio and co in game that's a foul that needs giving.

 

Tsimikas got booked because he flew into a challenge after seeing Sadio man handled by a couple of Palace players and nothing given.

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My argument is not a partisan/pro-Liverpool thing, either. This tackle on Richarlison should be a borderline red, a yellow MINIMUM, instead wasn't even given as a foul:
 

 
It's crazy. We're already dealing with more rotation and injuries due to the pandemic shortening seasons, and now you want to add absolute yard dogs like Burnley's taking out every player with more skill than them in the name of "letting the game flow" while the referee just looks on and nods approvingly.
 
If it continues we will see a huge increase in injuries. Look forward to all the Premier League teams going out in the last 8 to Bayern and Atletico at full strength while half the English first teams are out with torn ACLs and fractured ankles.

 

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55 minutes ago, AngryOfTuebrook said:

I thought James Milner took to it quite well today.

Not sure the free kick they got in the first minute when he won the ball perfectly off zaha fits this, though.

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As usual the English refs and media seem to have taken a good idea (let the game flow as much as possible, fouls shouldn't be given for clear dives or exaggerated reactions to minor contact) and come up with a distorted and braindead interpretation of it (dirty yard dog challenges are completely fine and shit defenders can just try and kick flair players out of the game with impunity). The officiating so far this season seems designed to benefit the shittest footballers and anti football teams like Burnley.

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Always disliked refs getting praised for "letting the game flow". They're not there to dictate tempo, they're there to administer the rules. If there are loads of fouls, blow your whistle. By all means play the advantage where necessary, but if it's a stop-start game that's on the players.

 

Imagine the same approach in F1. Bollocks to the safety car lads, let the race flow.

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On balance, and it's a delicate balance, I think it's an improvement. There were a few occasions yesterday where players would come together and one team would be worse off, i.e. they lost possession. In the past, you just knew the ref would feel he had to 'do something'. Now, he feels he can play on. There was an incident in the first half (I haven't watched the highlights so I may have this completely wrong) where Konate stood his ground in the penalty area and the chance for Palace went a-begging with their player hitting the deck without having taken a dive. Again, the ref did not feel the need to be seen to respond to an event. In short, it felt right, and there were cases where Liverpool lost out where I was content that justice had been done.

 

With respect to the Harvey Elliott incident, Ken Early had an interesting take on it on the Second Captains podcast where he noted how hatchet men ploughing in from behind back in the day was justified because the more creative types who were likely to be victims of this kind of brutality had a response - if they were quick enough, they could vault the challenge and bring their studs down on the hatchet man's exposed knees. He posited that Elliott is from a generation who have never even lived in an era when this as the done thing, let alone had the chance to practice it on the field, and therefore it was an unequal fight as he had no way of knowing how to deal with it when Struijk came flying in on him. I'm not convinced that football was really such an unspoken duel between bludgeon and rapier, but it was thought-provoking stuff. Most tellingly, he wondered what the reaction would have been from the punditocracy had Cristiano Ronaldo been taken out for several months by such a tackle. No prizes for guessing. However, i think it's too early (pun unintended) to say that it's indicative of a pattern of players recklessly flinging themselves in and therefore causing a spike in serious injuries. Time will tell, I guess.

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9 hours ago, dockers_strike said:

This. The ref wasnt bad today but I can think of at least 3 instances where our players were virtually assaulted again today and the ref waved play on.

 

Surely the idea is you let little 'things' go but when opp players are trying to swap shirts with Sadio and co in game that's a foul that needs giving.

 

Tsimikas got booked because he flew into a challenge after seeing Sadio man handled by a couple of Palace players and nothing given.

In fairness, we got away with an obvious yellow card early on: I think it was Thiago who pulled someone down to stop a counter-attack after 3 or 4 minutes.

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4 minutes ago, Paulie Dangerously said:

Just wait till the Derby. Mo will have a target on his back 

Just Mo? I’d have thought all our player would be targets. 

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Burnley have seemingly taken this new “freedom” to be more robust literally, and appear to be the new Stoke when it comes to being everyone’s favourite team to criticise. Looking at the table after 5 games and it doesn’t seem to be giving them any advantage in terms of points won though.

I think this is because their diving shithouses aren’t winning the free kicks or penalties that lead to the dead ball situations they rely on to gain points in games where they are generally being outplayed. It may continue this way, it might not, only time will tell.

There is a simple argument though, that allowing more “physicality” to go unpunished will lead to more injuries, (not all season ending or with significant time out, probably more niggling) and then the sides with larger squads will likely be able to gain an advantage due to them being able to cover those absences without serious drop off.

This is where we could fall foul, literally, as we all know that we don’t have the depth of squad that others do. I say could fall foul, we might not pick up any injuries, again only time will tell.

The other thing that has to be taken into account is how our game will fare in the eyes of continental referees, if our players get used to “leaving a foot in” or other more excessive challenges, when it comes to playing in European competition.

There has to be consistency across all facets of the controlling aspects of the games for it to be fair and accurate, not just in England.

 

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Thought a couple of the free kicks yesterday were not in the spirit of letting the game flow (the one where Henderson lost his rag was ridiculously soft). The problem with this is it almost encourages the refs to be inconsistent in their attempt to manage the game. Teams that are behind given cheap free kicks in their half, while able to hold on to our forwards as much as they want.

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