Arsenal v Chelsea



GB at 2016-01-24 19:25:32

There is no doubt that Mark Clattenburg brought that one to a satisfactory conclusion, but there were just a few un-customary wobbles along the way in the second half. Having set the bar so high in the first 45 minutes, I believe that Mark will be disappointed when he sees the contact in the 55th minute again from the camera angle available to us, as the Arsenal player had made no attempt to go for the ball, so for me a penalty decision got away. Talking of angles – refereeing is a team game as well, so Jake Collin should also be thinking hard about why he did not assist the referee on that one. What made this coming together stand out for me was the foul by a Chelsea player a few minutes later in the centre of the field of play which was given, along with a yellow card.


So, if we park that isolated blot on the landscape, what have we got left? This was a very competent and confident performance by anyone’s standard. Mark Clattenburg set out his stall in the first half and soon gained the players respect and confidence, which was always going to be so important in a game of this magnitude. He managed the players expectations and apart from the missed penalty, there was hardly any dispute about the way he managed the game and gauged the temperature and tempo skilfully throughout.


From a coaches perspective, I mentioned his advantage decisions a couple of times and I would be asking him to review two in particular in this game. In the 51st minute, deep into the Arsenal half, an Arsenal player was fouled and Mark immediately put his whistle up to his mouth but did not blow it for an age as he waited for an advantage to accrue, then eventually stopped the play and gave the free kick after a late advantage signal. Advantage can make or break a referee’s game, so you can’t have it both ways. It would have been much safer to give the free kick in that position on the field of play, rather than jeopardise credibility by trying to be too clever in the defensive third.  Then in the 4th minute of added time, there was an opportunity to give a free kick to Arsenal just outside of the Chelsea penalty area, when Mark chose to allow play to continue. Comparing these two incidents, this was the place to just give the free kick. Advantage is normally a very positive part of Mark’s game, but they did not all exactly work out for him today.


Don’t get me wrong, there is probably only one other referee on the elite list in England at the moment who could have refereed that game as well as Mark Clattenburg, but when you set the bar as high as he consistently does, sometimes even the slightest inconsistency will draw comment. That said, he is still the one to watch.


Simon Beck kept out of trouble well today, but Jake Collin would also do well to review some of his off-side calls and “non-calls” in the second half.


That’s it for me until the Premier League gets back into swing.


GB at 2016-01-24 18:53:15

My final summary will follow very shortly.


I trust you have enjoyed this RefCam coverage this weekend and please keep your views coming on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at


It’s FA Cup weekend next week, but RefCam will be back soon on 3rd February when West Ham take on Aston Villa in another must win game for the Villans!


A list of all the big games coming up on YATR is always available at:


GB at 2016-01-24 18:52:22

Full Time

Arsenal 0 v 1 Chelsea


GB at 2016-01-24 18:50:43

supreme confidence to play advantage at this stage


GB at 2016-01-24 18:49:27

Proximity again was the key to waving away the Chelsea protests when the player went down on the edge of the Arsenal penalty area – thats how to sell decisions, by being right on top of them


GB at 2016-01-24 18:47:50

A referee can only give a decision like that in the corner if he is right there – as he was


GB at 2016-01-24 18:46:56

minimum of 5 added minutes


GB at 2016-01-24 18:44:58

I always enjoy watching the way Clatts is not afraid to break into the penalty area when his presence is required as he did in that last Arsenal attack. So many of the Premier League referees these days seem to be reluctant to get across that line


GB at 2016-01-24 18:41:47

I have to say I thought Clatts read that challenge on the goalkeeper correctly there – no offence


GB at 2016-01-24 18:40:59

The referee just raising his profile again now by ensuring these free kicks are taken from exactly the correct position


GB at 2016-01-24 18:40:06

Going back to when Clattenburg turned around that throw-in a few minutes ago – how many other referees would have got way with that with hardly any dissent??


GB at 2016-01-24 18:38:01

Don’t see that very often in the Premier League – the referee quite correct in law then to give the throw to Arsenal after the Chelsea player had encroached too far along the touch-line before the ball was thrown back into the field of play


GB at 2016-01-24 18:35:56

This may not have been a “dirty” game, but the referee has clearly needed to keep the lid on it at times. He has managed the players and they have responded well towards him so far


GB at 2016-01-24 18:31:31

That looked like a foul challenge from behind to me – the officials were picking those out in the first half. Got to stay focussed to the end guys – lot more refereeing required in this one yet


GB at 2016-01-24 18:29:24

Yellow Card

Mikel John Obi (C 12)

common-sense then by the referee – definitely worthy of a yellow card but nothing more. Unsporting behaviour displayed by Obi – not violent conduct


GB at 2016-01-24 18:27:14

That was a dreadful mistake by Jake Collin – both Chelsea players were off-side on the far side when the ball was played forwards – lucky the move did not come to anything


GB at 2016-01-24 18:25:02

It remains to be seen if that decision in the 55th minute will affect the final result of this game but at least one other person out there agrees with me on Twitter.

Clattenburg’s an excellent referee but have to say that looked rather like a penalty for Chelsea!


What are your thoughts on that big decision? Do you think the officials got it right? Let us know on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at


GB at 2016-01-24 18:22:20

It has to be said that it is a mark of the respect that the players have for this referee that there was very little complaint when he did not give Chelsea a penalty in the 55th minute. The more times I see it on replay the harder it is to defend why either the referee or his assistant did not see that contact as worthy of stopping the game – which would have been a penalty of course


GB at 2016-01-24 18:19:56

That was holding by the Chelsea player even if it was “just a little one”

Temperature clearly rising in the game now


GB at 2016-01-24 18:17:50

Yellow Card Nemanja Mati? (C 21) for unsporting behaviour – has to be said it was similar to the contact in the penalty area just now – but importantly it was NOT the same! The player clearly knew what he was doing


GB at 2016-01-24 18:14:45

Big call for the referee there as the Chelsea player goes down in the box. Clatts was in a great position just entering the penalty area as the contact was made, but who ran into who? He obviously felt the Chelsea player was looking for the contact and the defender could not get out of the way.


GB at 2016-01-24 18:12:22

I hope all you referees out there are studying these signals by the referee – so much better than weak or sloppy ones


GB at 2016-01-24 18:10:32

That off-side signal for Walcott was actually not as close as it seemed


GB at 2016-01-24 18:09:16

Well that just shows that Mark is human! waited far far too long to bring the game back for that free kick after not signalling the advantage early enough – dont get over confident Mr Referee!


GB at 2016-01-24 18:06:56

Very tight call by Jake Collin to give Costa off side then – may just have got that first one right and definitely got the second one spot on. We can do without any mistakes from the assistants today when the referee is having a blinder!


GB at 2016-01-24 18:04:42

That looked like an old fashioned “sandwich” offence in the centre then which the referee did not need to be side on to spot that timne


GB at 2016-01-24 18:02:54

The referee is not overreacting to that first careless challenge of the second half – nothing in that


GB at 2016-01-24 18:01:38

off we go again

GB at 2016-01-24 18:01:01

Thanks for your Tweet Secret Ref – I could not agree with you more!

Souness showing what a dinosaur he is. Carragher is spot on with the red card.


GB at 2016-01-24 17:56:05

Well so far so good for all the officials – and it doesn’t get any better than this!


Mark Clattenburg hit the ground running from the opening seconds of this game and has kept a firm grip on the proceeding’s (including a nailed on sending off –regardless of how slight the contact was), and you would hardly know he was out there. How does he do it? Easy, Fitness – concentration – accuracy of decision making – getting the big calls right, I could go on and on …..


I have undertaken a number RefCams with Mark Clattenburg refereeing, and sooner or later I always find myself commentating on the basic things which he does so well too. I always tell the referees that I coach to watch the way this referee enhances his credibility by not only getting the big calls right, but also by the way he pays so much attention to detail with things like his signals, and general body language. Just watch the way he will continue to remain calm in the second half when the going gets tough and also note the confident sharp delivery of his signals, which clearly helps to sell his decisions. These are the types of mannerisms and characteristics which are available to every referee to employ to help them stand out from the crowd in a very competitive environment.


Of course, it helps if the decision is correct as well, like the red card for denying a clear goal scoring opportunity!


Even in a game of this magnitude, Marks has also shown how to manage the tempo and keep a low profile as much as he can by only drifting in and out when his presence is required – more of the same in the second half please!


Both Assistants doing all expected of them competently so far.


GB at 2016-01-24 17:47:41

If I had a pound for every time someone shouted “That was a fair charge Ref! Shoulder to shoulder!”, after one player had completely “wiped his opponent out” by using excessive force, I would be a very rich man! So if you are in the camp that thinks the game is getting too soft, check out this latest article by Patrick Barclay  which provides a fascinating history lesson about when the amount and nature of physical contact in the game changed dramatically back in the 19th century! It might not be as rough these days, but Patrick makes some very relevant points about how the amount of contact, including grappling, can have a detrimental effect on the entertainment value.

As always, YATR values your opinions on all the points raised by out experts via Twitter @youaretheref or email us at

Don’t miss Monday’s edition of Ref Show in which our panel of experts will be running the rule over all the big decisions and discussion topics from Week 23. You can always catch up with all the previous editions here at any time videos

The You Are The Ref Facebook page is also proving to be a great place to keep track on what’s new and is well work a “like” at


GB at 2016-01-24 17:47:02

Half Time


Arsenal 0 v 1 Chelsea


GB at 2016-01-24 17:46:21

great work again

Clatts demonstrating his timing in making the decision – just waited to see if there might be an advantage then issuing the Yellow CardLaurent Koscielny (A 6) for the recklessness challenge.

Really positive arm signal to sell the decision and disciplinary sanction as well


GB at 2016-01-24 17:42:59

great pace gin there from the referee through the centre


GB at 2016-01-24 17:41:22

Great anticipation in that last Arsenal attack by the referee as he sprinted across field “off his diagonal” even before the ball was played. I know it is a lot easier to anticipate play the higher the skill level of the players, but this anticipation is one of the things which define a top official


GB at 2016-01-24 17:38:55

Clatts right there again – may have been worth at least a word for that challenge from behind? But he is the only one who can gaudge the temperature down there.


GB at 2016-01-24 17:37:02

After the period following the sending off, the referee has been able to take his foot off the pedal again slightly now and the game is flowing with little interference from the officials – tempo management again being displayed


GB at 2016-01-24 17:34:54

First off side for Jake Collin – one of the easiest decisions he is likely to have today


GB at 2016-01-24 17:34:01

interesting body language displayed by the referee again then – for the second time when a hand ball offence is claimed, he places his hands behind hid back as if to emphasize no offence.

This was followed quickly by another shout turned down with a tap to his chest at the other end.


GB at 2016-01-24 17:29:02

Commentators picking up on the fact that Costa realises this is not the day for any of his theatrics.

That is how this referee consistently gains the respect and confidence of the players because they know where they stand with him


GB at 2016-01-24 17:27:37

Straight forward hand ball offence by Costa – but how often have we seen those missed? Good teamwork again


GB at 2016-01-24 17:26:42

Just before the red card offence of denying a clear goal scoring opportunity, Clattenburg was perfectly placed to judge “no handling the ball” offence in the Chelsea penalty area then had to really sprint and move onto the next crucial decision at the other end – concentration and fitness all in one go


GB at 2016-01-24 17:24:59

This is a classic display by Clattenburg of managing the tempo of the game so far. All free kicks are being picked off and there have been no surprises at all for the players to moan about.


GB at 2016-01-24 17:23:16

GOAL! Diego Costa (C 19)

Arsenal 0 v 1 Chelsea


GB at 2016-01-24 17:21:52

Jon Moss making sure that the substitute does not enter the field of play until the player coming off has left the field of play


GB at 2016-01-24 17:21:04

Thats why referees get side-on – to spot those pushed from behind


GB at 2016-01-24 17:20:07

Big call for Clattenburg and perfect for me.

He gave himself just the right amount of thinking time then brought out the correct coloured Red Cardcard for Per Mertesacker (A 4)


And how calm he was about the whole process as well


GB at 2016-01-24 17:17:50

Good teamwork there as Clatts just checked with SB before cracking out one of his characteristic decisive signals for a throw-in


GB at 2016-01-24 17:16:46

Good sprinting displayed by Simon Beck then as well


GB at 2016-01-24 17:16:11

fantastic sprint displayed by the referee there as the Arsenal broke out of defence


GB at 2016-01-24 17:15:28

The referee was just seen managing the player then with his voice as to where to take that throw-in near the half-way line. Again, it is important to open the communication lines with the regular throw-in takers early in the game so it heads off issues later


GB at 2016-01-24 17:13:09

It remains to be seen, but the experience of Clatts in taking the first opportunity to be firm with Oscar could prove one of the best decisions he makes for the rest of the game


GB at 2016-01-24 17:11:39

Yellow Card Oscar (C 8)

So the line in the sand has been crossed

Great firm positive refereeing – now everyone knows where they stand – no doubt that was a reckless challenge and NO REFEREE can manage those – particularly in a game like this.


GB at 2016-01-24 17:09:55

Watch how this referee is not afraid to utilise his backwards running skills whenever they are required. More and more referees come up with excuses not to do this (stress on Achilles etc – but it is definitely a dying art which I personally believe needs to be reawakened)


GB at 2016-01-24 17:07:47

Safe refereeing – straight forward free kick in the centre of the field of play given from less than 5 metres away.

It is always so important to get these first few free kicks correct to set your stall out for where your tolerance level is going to be for the rest of the game


GB at 2016-01-24 17:05:49

Clatts already squeezing the play right over in front of Simon Beck on the far touch line to ensure he is “all over” these early exchanges

GB at 2016-01-24 17:04:33

AR1: Jake Collin (JC) is patrolling the touchline in front of the technical areas.


GB at 2016-01-24 17:04:11

first chance for the referee to make his presence felt – needed to let everyone know he saw that careless challenge


GB at 2016-01-24 17:02:40

Note the way this referee always patrols “his” edge of the penalty area so he is perfectly placed to judge offences in or out


GB at 2016-01-24 17:01:16

Clatts already tuning into his colleagues on the comms kit following that first challenge


GB at 2016-01-24 17:00:14

Chelsea won the toss so it will be Arsenal  to kick off.


Good luck to all the officials and may the ball run kindly for you!


Feel free to interact with me during the game by joining in on Twitter @youaretheref or e-mail at


GB at 2016-01-24 16:56:06

Not long to go now as the players and officials prepare to leave the tunnel


GB at 2016-01-24 16:53:32

Today’s officials are:

Referee: Mark Clattenburg  (MC)

AR1: Jake Collin (JC)

AR2: Simon Beck (SB)

4th Official: Jon Moss (JM)

Referee Mark Clattenburg

Mark Clattenburg starts his 19th game of the season and you would have found very few people out there surprised that he has been given the plumb appointment of Week 23! YATR have been consistent with their opinions in respect to Clattenburg’s ability since the beginning of last season, so it is pleasing to see the quantity and quality of his appointments matching the status of one of the two outstanding officials again this season. London derby games always have that extra edge and bit of history, but the top referees are used to taking that in their stride.


For the stattos amongst you out there, Clatts will be working with his “old” crew for the first time in 6 games on the Premier League. Both Assistants (Jake Collin and Simon Beck), suffered individual dips in form in December and were each guilty of a couple of uncharacteristic errors on the line, so they have spent a few games out of each other’s company until today. The other thing I noticed when researching for this game is that Jake Collin has been announced as 1st Assistant instead of Simon Beck, for the first time this season and for only the 3rd time in the past two seasons when they have worked together. This actually makes no difference when there is a 4th Official present, as it really only serves to assist identification (for the Assessor, Media & spectators etc), with the first Assistant normally taking the “Red Flag” and patrolling the touch-line in front of the technical areas. In the lower leagues, when there is no 4th Official available, a “Senior” Assistant is always confirmed by the referee before the start as the one who will take over if he or she becomes injured during the game.


Jon Moss gets the best job of the day, watching a master at work from close quarters. Being the 4th Official when the referee is having a good game can be the easiest job on the circuit, so I will be surprised if Moss needs to break into a sweat today in order to earn his match fee!

Here are the starting line-ups for this game:

GB at 2016-01-24 16:49:40




Petr Cech (A 33)

Per Mertesacker (A 4)

Laurent Koscielny (A 6)

Mesut Özil (A 11)

Olivier Giroud (A 12)

Theo Walcott (A 14)

Aaron Ramsey (A 16)

Nacho Monreal (A 18)

Mathieu Flamini (A 20)

Héctor Bellerín (A 24)

Joel Campbell (A 28)


Kieran Gibbs (A 3)

Gabriel Paulista (A 5)

David Ospina (A 13)

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (A 15)

Alexis Sánchez (A 17)

Calum Chambers (A 21)

Mohamed Elneny (A 35)





Thibaut Courtois (C 13)

Branislav Ivanovi? (C 2)

Cesc Fàbregas (C 4)

Kurt Zouma (C 5)

Oscar (C 8)

Mikel John Obi (C 12)

Diego Costa (C 19)

Nemanja Mati? (C 21)

Willian (C 22)

John Terry (C 26)

César Azpilicueta (C 28)


Asmir Begovi? (C 1)

Nathan Aké (C 6)

Eden Hazard (C 10)

Andre Schürrle (C 14)

Loïc Rémy (C 18)

Gary Cahill (C 24)

Ruben Loftus-Cheek (C 36)


GB at 2016-01-24 16:45:53

There is always a lot more than bragging rights up for grabs when these teams meet and it must be a long time since there was such a gap between them in the Premier League table at this stage of the season. Arsenal will obviously be desperate to press home their home advantage today and keep the pressure on the teams at the top of the table. Whilst Chelsea cannot afford to go into any games thinking that a point will be good enough if they are going to seriously make a charge towards a top 4 place at the end of the season.

Arsenal can only boast about one victory over the Blues in their last 10 meetings in all competitions stretching back for the past 5 years, so something might be due to give in this one. The passions are sure to be high so let’s hope all the talk at the end will be about a classic encounter rather than any effect the officials have had on the result.


GB at 2016-01-24 16:44:09

Welcome to this afternoons RefCam coverage of the premier League game between Arsenal and Chelsea.

Thanks to Andy Martin for keeper the seat warm for the Everton v Swansea game just now – another sound all-round performance from Anthony Taylor to well and truly move on from his headline grabbing mistake last weekend – Anthony Taylor provides a lesson on how to bounce to back

Feel free to interact with me at any time during the game by joining in on Twitter @youaretheref or e-mail at