Arsenal v Norwich City


RH at 2016-04-30 19:45:46

The Refereeing talking points in this game were

  • Changing your game plan to match the tactics and changes in tempo
  • Not getting sucked into the penalty area during sustained attacking play
  • Adjusting your threshold on allowable player contact
  • Ozils poor conduct at the 85th minute caution

Not a classic of a game, nor was it a robustly contested considering what was at stake, but the result was in doubt right up until the end and it posed one or two interesting dilemma’s for the Referee. But to Mike Jones credit he showed good awareness to change his game plan as the game unfolded. During the first half this was evidenced  in his positional change during sustained periods of Arsenal attacking play, as I said at half time he hanged back more and maintained good penalty area viewing. In the second half he needed adjust the level of player contact that he was prepared to allow, there weren’t many reckless challenges in this game but Mike was in danger of getting a bit picky in what he was penalising, again to his credit he let some slack out and the game was the better for it. He was right on the Arsenal penalty appeal, Gary O’Neil was trying to get out of the way of Bassongs clearance which was played at him from close range. However what did concern me was Ozils behaviour following his high boot in the face of O’Neil. He arrogantly brushed Mike Jones aside and then refused to acknowledge him as he whistled the Arsenal player back. I’m not sure what the yellow card was for either the challenge or the players conduct, but as I said in my blog it didn’t look good. Both Assistants worked hard, Richard West looked sharp and Mark Scholes showed the confidence to get involved at a corner with verbal prompting of Norwich players who were too close to the ball. But as we often say they won’t be talking about the match officials after this one and rightly so, Mike Jones and his team did well here

RH at 2016-04-30 19:23:38

Full Time

Summary to follow!

RH at 2016-04-30 19:23:17

Good decision to penalise Welbeck there, a break way Arsenal attacks after that challenge would have been risky

RH at 2016-04-30 19:20:15

As the play has become less congested and more open Mike Jones has narrowed his patrol path, particularly as the game is more end to end now, that’s good Refereeing!

RH at 2016-04-30 19:19:02

A minimum of 4 minutes additional time to be played

RH at 2016-04-30 19:17:47

There is more bank holiday action coming your way on Refcam! We’re featuring four games tomorrow starting at 12.00 when Swansea entertain Liverpool who are mounting a strong finish to the season. Then we go straight to Old Trafford for a 2.05 kick off for what could be the defining game in determining the Premier League Championship when Manchester United face Leicester. Game 3 is at St Mary’s where Southampton host Champions League semifinalists Manchester City, a 4.00 kick off here. Our final games is MLS game between Portland Timbers and Toronto with a 8.30 kick off

RH at 2016-04-30 19:17:11

Mbokani unlucky there to concede a free kick as its looked like Monreal was the guilty party in that challenge

RH at 2016-04-30 19:15:40

Yellow CardOzil showing a complete lack of respect for Mike Jones following a high boot on O’Neil, he arrogantly brushes the Referee aside and then won’t respond to his whistle to come back, that didn’t look good at all!

RH at 2016-04-30 19:12:03

Interesting observation on the Twitter feed from Neil Irvine

‘Arsenals goal shouldn’t have counted as it came from a goal kick where an opposing player was still in the penalty area’

What are your thoughts? Contact us on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at


RH at 2016-04-30 19:09:20

Although Naismith stood near Cech at that last Norwich corner, there was no suggestion of an offence, I’m sure that’s down to the Referee’s alertness at the previous corner!

RH at 2016-04-30 19:05:32

The Referee has established a better threshold on allowable player contact at the moment, the game is the better for it!

RH at 2016-04-30 19:03:58

Great spot from Mike Jones as Howson was clearly blocking Cech on the goal line at that last Norwich corner, well done!

RH at 2016-04-30 19:02:38

Good save by Ruddy from Ozils shot on goal but a goal kick is given

RH at 2016-04-30 19:01:29

Good verbal prompting by Assistant Mark Scholes at that last Arsenal corner to ensure that the Norwich players observed the correct distance at the restart

RH at 2016-04-30 18:59:48

Great non offside flag in that last Norwich attack as Mbokani was just onside, well done Richard West!

RH at 2016-04-30 18:56:29

Other than that Howson challenge, no reason for cards so far, interesting considering what is at stake!

RH at 2016-04-30 18:52:58

Howson fortunate not to receive a yellow card for a reckless challenge on Elneny

RH at 2016-04-30 18:52:02

A penalty appeal as the ball strikes O’Neil arm from a Bassong clearance, would have been extremely harsh as the O’Neil was close to the ball which was struck firmly by his colleague, no penalty for me!

RH at 2016-04-30 18:49:42

Just before that goal was scored it looked to me that Mike Jones was trying to allow a bit more contact when Monreal went to ground under pressure from Redmond

RH at 2016-04-30 18:48:00

GOAL!Substitute Welbeck breaks the deadlock, 1-0 Arsenal

RH at 2016-04-30 18:43:30

Mike Jones just needs to think about the level of player contact he is prepared to allow, a couple of times he’s blown up for free kicks where it isn’t immediately obvious was the offence is, this game needs to breathe given the tactical constraints of tactics

RH at 2016-04-30 18:40:49

More use of he delayed whistle from Mike Jones following a holding offence by Martin on Giroud

RH at 2016-04-30 18:39:19

A break in play as Gabriel replaces Mertesacker who has pulled a hamsting

RH at 2016-04-30 18:36:49

Giroud goes to ground with Bassong in close attendance, but no contact there, wasn’t too theatrical though!

RH at 2016-04-30 18:33:48

The second half has begun!

RH at 2016-04-30 18:26:36

Not a classic first half of football where the visitors will feel happier with the game. The game has no real width and the midfield is getting congested. Norwich are superior tactically where they have snuffed out any wing back play from Arsenal and kept things tight. Fortunately overall player discipline has been good so far with an absence of reckless challenges but that may change if Arsenal get frustrated and Norwich become desperate to defend their penalty area. The Referee has done well so far and has adjusted his positioning at sustained Arsenal attacking play so as not to get sucked into play in and around the Norwich penalty are. Mike Jones always looks comfortable in movement and today is no exception. Both Assistants have been involved, Richard West with some astute offside reading, however Mark Scholes was a little too quick to signal Jerome offside early in the game. My only concern is that emotions could rise if the deadlock continues, but so far its looking sound

RH at 2016-04-30 18:18:23

Half Time

RH at 2016-04-30 18:17:50

Bassong jumping too early and planting his arm across Girouds face, careless not reckless but another one of those could earn him a yellow card!

RH at 2016-04-30 18:16:29

A minimum of 2 minutes additional time to be played

RH at 2016-04-30 18:16:01

Again good use of the delayed whistle by Mike Jones as Howson was fouled

RH at 2016-04-30 18:14:32

The first half ends as it started with the visitors on the attack!

RH at 2016-04-30 18:13:20

There is no real width in this game with many players contesting a congested midfield, fortunately player discipline is good so far with the absence of reckless challenges

RH at 2016-04-30 18:11:50

Elneney blocking Redmond for the latest free kick

RH at 2016-04-30 18:10:39

There is more bank holiday action coming your way on Refcam! We’re featuring four games tomorrow starting at 12.00 when Swansea entertain Liverpool who are mounting a strong finish to the season. Then we go straight to Old Trafford for a 2.05 kick off for what could be the defining game in determining the Premier League Championship when Manchester United face Leicester. Game 3 is at St Mary’s where Southampton host Champions League semifinalists Manchester City, a 4.00 kick off here. Our final games is MLS game between Portland Timbers and Toronto with a 8.30 kick off

RH at 2016-04-30 18:09:40

Ozil penalised for a careless midfield challenge on Martin

RH at 2016-04-30 18:07:07

Good delayed whistle there from the Referee as Ozil is grounded!

RH at 2016-04-30 18:05:43

Like the first corner good to see the absence of grappling on the second!

RH at 2016-04-30 18:04:20

Mike Jones wisely halts play after that Arsenal corner as Howson takes a blow in the face, from his colleague Bassong!

RH at 2016-04-30 18:02:03

A really astute flag there from Richard West who delayed his offside call against Giroud until the Arsenal man had come back from an offside position to contest the ball, great awareness!

RH at 2016-04-30 18:00:00

A robust challenge by Kosclelny on Pinto TV replays showing that he focused on the ball although he did catch his opponent on the way through!

RH at 2016-04-30 17:56:47

Good offside call by Assistant Richard West against Giroud

RH at 2016-04-30 17:56:04

I remember being amazed at the amount of running that Mike Jones did on the Liverpool Arsenal game at Anfield earlier this season, I don’t think he’s going to cover anywhere near the same amount of ground today!

RH at 2016-04-30 17:53:30

The other advantage of not getting sucked into the penalty on a game like this is that the Referee is well positioned to track any counter attacking on the break by Norwich!

RH at 2016-04-30 17:51:22

Noticeable as Sanchez ran towards the Norwich goal that the Referee stayed out of the penalty to view from further back, I think that is a response to the point I made earlier  about not getting sucked into the penalty area!

RH at 2016-04-30 17:49:23

Same again in that last Norwich attack, the Referee moving in the right hand channel to squeeze play with Assistant Mark Scholes

RH at 2016-04-30 17:47:42

Interesting watching that last Norwich counter attack how much the Referee moved over towards the active Assistant to squeeze play. What a contrast with the European games we covered this past week where the Referees seldom crossed into the section of the field of play closest to the Assistant

RH at 2016-04-30 17:44:30

Mike Jones has dilemma here which is not of his making, this being that when Arsenal attack the Norwich goal sometimes the strike is blocked, if the ball rebounds Mike who has rightly closed in, finds himself too close to the action and he is then retreating in the hope of regaining that optimum viewing range and angle!

RH at 2016-04-30 17:40:29

Arsenal showing a slower more possession led attacking build up as opposed to Norwich who are counter attacking with pace!

RH at 2016-04-30 17:38:09

Ramsey gives away the first free kick with a careless midfield challenge

RH at 2016-04-30 17:36:48

Mike Jones showing a good turn of speed as Norwich counter attacked, I’m sure he’ll be doing that again a few times!

RH at 2016-04-30 17:34:42

Mark Scholes flags Jermoe offside but a TV replay suggests that he was trigger happy with the Norwich man being level!

RH at 2016-04-30 17:33:31

Mark Scholes is operating with the sun in his face whereas Richard West is operating in the shade

RH at 2016-04-30 17:31:16

If you are watching the game on TV, Mark Sholes is operating on the far side and the other Assistant Richard West is running the nearside touch line.

RH at 2016-04-30 17:30:37

Our match Referee Mike Jones gets us underway!

RH at 2016-04-30 17:27:26

The teams and match officials have entered the field of play!

RH at 2016-04-30 17:25:00

Mike Jones – all you need to know Matches in 2015/16: 26 (5 on TV) Fourth official appointments in 2015/16: 17 Football League appointments in 2015/16: 36 Last refereed Arsenal: 13 January 2016 Last refereed Norwich City: 13 February 2016

RH at 2016-04-30 17:20:11

Today’s Match Referee is Mike Jones. His Assistant Referees are Richard West and Mark Sholes. The Fourth Official is Kevin Friend

RH at 2016-04-30 17:15:58

When the action comes at the ‘Business End’ of the season there are games where there is so much at stake, this of one of them! For Arsenal it’s a top four place and the continuation of their amazing run in the Champions League, but for Norwich it’s about nothing more or less than Premier League Survival!