Leicester City v Arsenal



GB at 2016-08-20 20:05:04

Here are the main points about this game from the referee’s perspective:

  • This was a game of two penalty calls, one 100% correct at the end of the first half and one 100% wrong at the end of the second half.
  • No doubt the referee was in total control of this game and consistently stuck to his game plan to keep the game flowing as much as possible with numerous advantages played.
  • This unfortunately fell short of the standards we are used to seeing from this referee on a few isolated incidents in this game.
  • A second yellow card was not issued to Francis Coquelin (A 34) when the same offence committed by any other player not already “on a yellow”, would surly have been sanctioned.
  • The one consistent factor was the exceptional fitness and movement displayed by the referee in this game.

I suspect that Mark Clattenburg will be disappointed when he looks back at some of the incidents in this game which he will no doubt be debated all over the country tonight. I must say though, that there were signs to me in the opening 20 minutes which I described as looking like the referee was “rusty”, and showed a few chinks in his normally impregnatable armour. This manifested its self to me as he allowed a few holding offences to slip by and also a high foot, which I would have expected to be penalised by a Mark Clattenburg who was firing on full cylinders. I expect that all the officials would have seen most of Mike Deans game at lunch time, so they would have been aware of the talking points about his zero tolerance on grappling, but there is no doubt that Mark Clattenburg is his own man, so he was always going to manage this game in his own style.

That’s usually OK, but at the end of the day all referees are judged by getting the big decisions right, and unfortunately a clear penalty decision for a trip from behind was not appropriately punished in the closing minutes. I cannot criticise the referee proximity to the incident, but unfortunately he just did not have the angle to spot the contact on the back of the Leicester player’s ankles.

Whilst on the subject of appropriate punishment, the other major talking point has to be the challenge by Francis Coquelin (A 34) in the 55th minute which did not result in a second yellow card. There are times when you can defend a referee for “managing” certain incidents when the game really “doesn’t need” a red card, but then there are the ones where the referee leaves himself open to the charge of not being strong enough when faced with the very unpopular decision to make. For me I felt it was strange that the second yellow card was not shown to Coquelin.

As usual, there was very much to admire about the way this referee performed in this game, not least by the way he demonstrated a level of fitness and movement which puts nearly every other referee on the Select List in the shade. Then there is also the brilliant decision not to award a penalty at the end of the first half when Daniel Drinkwater (LC 4) took a tumble following a fair tackle which nicked the ball away from his feet.

So there we have it, some great decisions and some poor ones, may be it just goes to show that even the best referees need a game to get themselves “match fit”, like the players?

As for the teamwork, I must congratulate both of the assistants for their performances which included some very big off-side calls which went almost un-noticed. When the referee is the centre of attention, the last thing he needs is controversy surround and decisions made by his wing-men, so they both did particularly well in that respect in this game.

More RefCam to come

GB at 2016-08-20 19:24:14

My final summary will follow very shortly.

I trust you have enjoyed our RefCam coverage so far this weekend and please keep your views coming on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at Info@you-are-the-ref.com

Tune in again tomorrow for the North East derby game:

Sunderland v Middlesbrough 21st Aug, 1:30PM

Then it will be back to the MLS later the same day for DC United v NY Red Bulls 21st Aug, 8:00PM

We have 3 more Premier League games lined up for you over next weekend:

Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool 27th Aug, 12:30PM

West Bromwich Albion v Middlesbrough 28th Aug, 1:30PM

Manchester City v West Ham United 28th Aug, 4:00PM

A full list of forthcoming RefCam games is always available at:  http://you-are-the-ref.com/ref-cam/


GB at 2016-08-20 19:23:30

Full Time

Leicester City 0 v 0 Arsenal


GB at 2016-08-20 19:22:41

Spot on decision right at the end by Jake Collin as there were three Leicester players off-side at that final free kick


GB at 2016-08-20 19:20:53

And here is another big call with the free kick on the edge of the Arsenal penalty area and a Yellow Card for Rob Holding (A 16)


GB at 2016-08-20 19:17:30

3 added minutes to be played


GB at 2016-08-20 19:16:59

There is the BIG CALL I thought was coming and the referee was right in there again breathing down the player’s necks as the Leicester player was tripped from behind. The referee had the proximity, but just did not have the angle to spot that the contact was with the player not the ball


GB at 2016-08-20 19:13:27

I have lost count now of how many advantaged Mark has played in this game, but I am pleased that he has used the same signal for each one.

GB at 2016-08-20 19:11:59

Arsenal seem to want to walk the ball into the net!


GB at 2016-08-20 19:11:04

excellent decision by Simon Bennett again NOT off-side, even though the player’s arm was ahead of the defender, that does not count as he cannot score with his hand!


GB at 2016-08-20 19:08:30

All the players knew that was never deliberate hand ball on the edge of the Leicester penalty area as Clattenburg explained the players were to close to the ball when it was played to get their arms out of the way.


GB at 2016-08-20 19:06:56

Safe refereeing coming into play now as the referee wants to see this one out without any controversy in the closing stages


GB at 2016-08-20 19:04:43

Good communication then by Jake Collin to ensure that the throw-in is taken from the correct place.


GB at 2016-08-20 19:02:24

The longer this games goes on I cant help thinking that there is one more BIG CALL to come yet which could affect the result


GB at 2016-08-20 19:00:20

Into the 70th minute and the referees positioning is right up there again as the play continues to switch from one end to the other


GB at 2016-08-20 18:59:14

Excellent interpretation of the off-side law by Simon Bennett then as the returning Arsenal players did not get involved in active play


GB at 2016-08-20 18:56:52

I saw a Tweet the other day which said they would like to see Clattenburg in a race over 100 metres – I think we just saw why. The referees pace of the mark is simply staggering at times


GB at 2016-08-20 18:54:26

The referee can clearly be seen communicating with the players around him during fluid play. This always enhances the respect from the players when they know the referee is “approachable”.


GB at 2016-08-20 18:51:16

The level of respect being shown to the officials in this game is worthy of note as there has been no blatant challenges to the referees authority despite a few big calls which have not been black and white


GB at 2016-08-20 18:49:06

Great advantage played by the referee, then perfectly placed to see a fair challenge at the other end on the Leicester player.


GB at 2016-08-20 18:46:22

Simon Bennett has a very important off-side decision to make then and got it spot on as the Arsenal player was ahead of the Leicester defenders when the ball was played forwards to him


GB at 2016-08-20 18:43:57

That looked like a strange decision not to issue a second yellow card to Francis Coquelin (A 34) then. It may not have been a reckless challenge, but it has to be said it was very premeditated to stop a promising attack


GB at 2016-08-20 18:39:45

The referee seemed to be like a magnet for the ball in that passage of play, but to be fair would have needed to step off the field of play to get out of the way! If thats what you need to do to get wide enough, then so be it.


GB at 2016-08-20 18:35:34

The referee is still giving himself time to make his decisions, but that “safe” free kick near the centre line was correct to set the tone in the second half.


GB at 2016-08-20 18:32:46

second half underway

GB at 2016-08-20 18:32:17

Is it my imagination, or does anyone else think the players are finding ways to hold opponents at corners without using their hands and arms in this game?

The message seems to be getting through, but as normal they are still trying to get around it!


GB at 2016-08-20 18:29:03

Well the game definitely needs a goal for me, and it very nearly got a good chance of one with that massive call in the 42nd minute with Leicester fans screaming for a penalty when Daniel Drinkwater (LC 4) went down in the box. The underlying aspect of the decision not to award a penalty for me was the need for the official to be 100% certain than a foul has been committed. Clattenburg did really well to get himself close enough to have any opinion at all and did the right thing for me, as it looked like the defender nicked to ball away before any incidental contact was made on the attacking player. Jake Collin on the nearest line also did well not to “guess” from his position, so well done to both of them.

Before than incident, Mark had set his tolerance level quite high in the opening stages in respect to a couple of holding offences which got away, along with an offence where a high foot was raised into a player’s face. As for the holding, Mark was clearly in the mood to let more go that Mike Dean earlier today, but after what I described as a few “rusty” decisions, normal service was resumed. Once the players bought into how much this referee was trying to keep the game flowing with all those advantages, they just got on with things and the referee’s total control was evident.

This seems nicely set up now following the key match decision near the end, so expect Clattenburg to raise his profile and increase his presence in the second period.

GB at 2016-08-20 18:17:27

The topic of a fair pay deal for top flight officials in England was recently highlighted by You Are The Ref’s headline blogger Keith Hackett and the debate is picking up pace – catch up with the latest here: Referee Pay

As always, YATR values your opinions on all the points raised by out experts via Twitter @youaretheref or email us at Info@you-are-the-ref.com

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 2. No prizes for guessing that the goings on at the Potteries are sure to be given a good hearing! 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 https://www.facebook.com/youaretheref


GB at 2016-08-20 18:16:55

Half Time

Leicester City 0 v 0 Arsenal


GB at 2016-08-20 18:15:34

Yellow Card Nampalys Mendy (LC 24) – persistent misconduct communicated by the referee


GB at 2016-08-20 18:14:34

Big call for the referee then as the Leicester City player goes down in the penalty area but that looks like an excellent decision for me that the defender nicks the ball away and makes no contact with the player first.


GB at 2016-08-20 18:11:12

Great supporting flag from Jake Collin there for that foul right in front of him and good to see him on same wavelength as the referee so not further action required


GB at 2016-08-20 18:09:54

Advantage remains a major factor in the referee’s game plan for this game with another example in the centre circle


GB at 2016-08-20 18:08:35

Fantastic sprint around the outside of the play demonstrated then by the referee to monitor “his side” of the penalty area


GB at 2016-08-20 18:05:32

The referee has certainly been consistent in his efforts to keep this game flowing with another advantage in an attacking position for Leicester and turned to remind the player than he had seen the offence again. The skill level of these players often makes it easier to play advantage as they can understand what the referee is doing, but the lower the level of football the more difficult it is to pitch these decisions as the players would rather have the free kick.


GB at 2016-08-20 18:02:52

Mark Clattenburg could clearly be seen being pro-active with the Leicester City defender then and warning him of the outcome of any grappling today. It remains to be seen if he listened to the referee.


GB at 2016-08-20 17:59:11

I have to say it every time I watch Clattenburg, but all referees would do well to copy his clear straight armed signals


GB at 2016-08-20 17:55:03

Yellow Card Francis Coquelin (A 34) – reckless challenge

Great confidence shown by the referee to play advantage then go back for the yellow card



GB at 2016-08-20 17:53:57

The best observes I met during my career were those who were prepared to stand back and look at the “whole picture” at the end of the game when considering the way a referee manged a game, so it remains to be seen how these opening exchanges will be viewed.


GB at 2016-08-20 17:50:33

There is another “offence” which got away. A clear case of Vardy’s high foot into the Arsenal player’s face is not spotted, or is allowed to go unpunished. It almost appears as if Mark seems a little “rusty” in the first 20 minutes. He will need to get focused soon in this one.


GB at 2016-08-20 17:46:22

The referee has set his tolerance level in these opening exchanges very high with a couple of holding offences which have gone unpunished already. The players will be looking for consistency from now on.


GB at 2016-08-20 17:43:47

We never hold back in challenging the decisions made by this referee when necessary, but there is no doubt that the reason he makes less mistakes than most, is due to his superb movement and positioning.


GB at 2016-08-20 17:42:50

There was a great example of what I just said about the referee’s positioning. If you are going to “sell” your decisions, even if they are the ones “not to stop play”, then you have to be within a credible distance.


GB at 2016-08-20 17:40:53

10 minutes gone and as usual Mark Clattenburg is getting in close when he needs to as the teams test each other out


GB at 2016-08-20 17:38:19

Great shot of the player “shielding” the ball out of play whilst keeping in within his playing distance – so no offence committed.


GB at 2016-08-20 17:36:54

Sensible refereeing then as he gave himself a little time to see if there was a possible advantage for Arsenal before stopping the game

GB at 2016-08-20 17:35:44

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


GB at 2016-08-20 17:35:04

First advantage signal by the referee in the centre circle and I am pleased to see it is the “traditional” one. As I said in my last RefCam, the advice to all officials this year is to decide if you are going to use one or two hands then stick to the same for the whole game


GB at 2016-08-20 17:33:18

Its end to end stuff already and there was an example of how important it is as a referee to keep out of the way near to the penalty area arc


GB at 2016-08-20 17:32:02

I don’t think Mike Dean would have allowed that shirt pulling in his game earlier today!


GB at 2016-08-20 17:31:13

Straight away we see the referee right inside the penalty are to make his call in the opening seconds


GB at 2016-08-20 17:30:18

Leicester City 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 info@you-are-the-ref.com

GB at 2016-08-20 17:28:23

What do you think of the new referee’s colours this season? @youaretheref



GB at 2016-08-20 17:26:54

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

GB at 2016-08-20 17:25:36

@youaretheref Do subs now not have to warm up behind the assistant referee??? Not doing it at the Stoke game !!

GB at 2016-08-20 17:23:00

@youaretheref Coventry just had a man sent off for a professional foul but conceded a penalty ?

I have not seen it yet Dan, but not every every penalty will be just yellow this year – only if the player made a genuine attempt to play the ball!



GB at 2016-08-20 17:19:02

Referee: Mark Clattenburg (MC)

AR1: Jake Collin (JC)

AR2: Simon Bennett (SB)

4th Official: Andre Marriner (AM)

Mark Clattenburg

Well here we go then, as England’s top referee gets back in front of the desk for another day at the office, following his well-deserved extended leave after his heroics in the Euros. You are only as good as your last game is a phrase often used in refereeing circles, so with that being the European Championship’s Final, we should be in for a treat this afternoon.

Here are the starting line-ups for this game:

GB at 2016-08-20 17:17:35

Leicester City


Kasper Schmeichel (LC 1)

Daniel Drinkwater (LC 4)

Wes Morgan (LC 5)

Bobert Huth (LC 6)

Jamie Vardy (LC 9)

Marc Albrighton (LC 11)

Danny Simpson (LC 17)

Shinji Okazaki (LC 20)

Nampalys Mendy (LC 24)

Riyad Mahrez (LC 26)

Christian Fuchs (LC 28)


Luis Hernández (LC 2)

Ahmed Musa (LC 7)

Andy King (LC 10)

Daniel Amartey (LC 13)

Ron-Robert Zieler (LC 21)

Demarai Gray (LC 22)

Leonardo Ulloa (LC 23)



Petr Cech (A 33)

Laurent Koscielny (A 6)

Alexis Sánchez  (A 7)

Theo Walcott (A 14)

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (A 15)

Rob Holding (A 16)

Nacho Monreal (A 18)

Santiago Cazorla (A 19)

Héctor Bellerín (A 24)

Granit Xhaka (A 29)

Francis Coquelin (A 34)


Kieran Gibbs (A 3)

Jack Wilshere (A 10)

Mesut Özil (A 11)

Olivier Giroud (A 12)

David Ospina (A 13)

Calum Chambers (A 21)

Mohamed Elneny (A 35)


GB at 2016-08-20 17:15:20

Both these teams seemed to turn up late for the party last week as they each struggled to hit the ground running with an opening day win. The extra pressure that puts on all the players and management teams should add a little extra spice to this fixture, which would not have made the “B list” this time last season, but now becomes a glamour tie as the Champions take on the wannabes!


GB at 2016-08-20 17:13:26

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

Feel free to interact with me at any time during the game by joining in on Twitter @youaretheref or e-mail at info@you-are-the-ref.com