Watford v Liverpool



GB at 2015-12-20 16:46:57

That may have looked straight forward for the referee, but anyone who has been involved at this level will tell you that Mark Clattenburg’s performance today would have been like the proverbial swan drifting across the water – all calm on top, but underneath (an in his case inside), he was working really hard!


When the players see the slightest chink in the referee’s armour if he looks indecisive or flustered for a split second, they will capitalise on it immediately. This is why the top referees always work so hard on portraying the positive presence which helps them deal with any incidents likely to cause dissent from the players. Today’s referee had to raise his profile only on a few occasions, but he identified the pinch points immediately and drifted in only when he needed to then drifted back out again. From early in the first half is was important to be able to display an empathy with the Liverpool players as there was always the chance that some of them might show their emotions in a negative manner as their team fell behind.  Mark spotted this straight away and did really well to keep the lid on things.


I covered the 1st Watford goal in detail a half time, but I should emphasize again the importance of confidence and composure by the referee which helped him sell his decision, which in the end had no bearing on the game. The Laws of the game set out in black and white that: “When a goalkeeper has gained possession of the ball with his hands, he cannot be challenged by an opponent”. I keep coming back to the point that the referee obviously felt that this was not the case as the goalkeeper had dropped the ball and had failed to completely regain control of it. If this was a tennis match, then I am sure the commentators would be calling that an “unforced error” by the referee, but it was a very difficult one which took a lot of re-runs and angles confirm what happened.


At the end of the day, Liverpool were well beaten by the better side today and cannot look to the officials for any serious get out of jail free cards from them as their Manager has just conceded in his post-match interview.


That said, there was another poor off-side call from one of Mark’s wingmen who will be expecting to go to France with him, when the score was 2 – 0. Simon Beck had a lot of off-side decisions in the second half, but that does not mean that he can afford to get one wrong, when a Liverpool player was in a clear attacking situation.


Well done to Adam Nunn today for doing his job competently this afternoon.

More RefCam to come

GB at 2015-12-20 16:22:54

My final summary will follow very shortly.


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


The action continues tomorrow with the much awaited clash between Arsenal and Manchester City KO 8:00pm, which has been entrusted to Andre Mariner.


Then it’s flat out over the Christmas period for RefCam:


26th Dec, 7:45pm  Southampton v Arsenal (Jonathan Moss)


28th Dec, 5:30pm Manchester United v Chelsea (Martin Atkinson)


29th Dec, 7:45pm Leicester City v Manchester City (Craig Pawson)


30th Dec, 7:45pm Sunderland v Liverpool (Kevin Friend)


A list of all the big games coming up on YATR is always available at: http://you-are-the-ref.com/ref-cam/


GB at 2015-12-20 16:22:06

Full Time


Watford 3 v 0 Liverpool


GB at 2015-12-20 16:21:29

Simon Beck demonstrating the standard practice to stop moving before signalling for that corner then


GB at 2015-12-20 16:20:15

how can you argue with a referee standing so close and with such a clear signal for that throw-in then?


GB at 2015-12-20 16:19:11

that makes it 10 off-sides again Liverpool today – only one wrong!

minimum of 3 added minutes to come


GB at 2015-12-20 16:17:32

Body language is everything and Clattenburg demonstrated the two palms down actions which were used first by David Elleray years ago to signal a non-confrontational stance which helps the player see that the referee is only trying to calm him down not get into an argument


GB at 2015-12-20 16:14:19

Very tight call for Adam Nunn who did well to keep his flag down for the 3rd Watford goal


GB at 2015-12-20 16:13:24

GOAL! Odion Ighalo (W 24)

Watford 3 v 0 Liverpool


GB at 2015-12-20 16:11:29

Clatts is starting to assert his authority now as Watford start to look for way to delay the restart when they have a free kick


GB at 2015-12-20 16:10:25

great camera shot then of the referee directly side on to the dropping ball for the 9 on 5 challenge in the centre of the field of play


GB at 2015-12-20 16:09:04

Mark clearly moving into a safe refereeing mode now as he looks to close this game out and not to spoil all the hard work he has put in so far


GB at 2015-12-20 16:07:35

1st Yellow Card Miguel Angel Britos (W 3) fully justified – you cannot manage them

A caution for unsporting behaviour must be issued when a player holds an opponent to prevent him gaining possession of the ball or taking up an advantageous position


GB at 2015-12-20 16:06:23

Clattenburg demonstrating then the importance of the referee getting into a position where he can see the edge of the penalty area line as that last Liverpool attack developed. On the far side the assistant can help judge if a foul takes place in or out


GB at 2015-12-20 16:04:17

The Watford player seemed to have his arm out purely for balance then and there was not question of him trying to catch the Liverpool player in the face


GB at 2015-12-20 16:01:46

Another example then of the players thinking twice about arguing about that throw-in as the referee was right there with a clear confident signal


GB at 2015-12-20 16:00:05

Clattenburg was clearly starring straight at the players as they shoved each other before that free kick and just a look from them made sure they stopped their actions before the ball was in play


GB at 2015-12-20 15:58:33

considering the passion being displayed by both teams it is surprising that we have only had 10 free kicks in the game so far.


GB at 2015-12-20 15:56:50

good support by AN for the referee then in not flagging for an offence right under his nose when no foul had been committed


GB at 2015-12-20 15:55:52

I am convinced that the referee’s calm body language is just what the game required and he shows it again as he communicates with the Watford player


GB at 2015-12-20 15:53:45

regardless of the protests from the players they are often swarded by the proximity of the referee to the incident. Once again a shout for hand ball in the centre was dealt with quickly and decisively by the referee as he was right there


GB at 2015-12-20 15:49:21

SB well placed that time right on the goal line to judge ball out of play


GB at 2015-12-20 15:47:44

I was surprised that the referee did not penetrate into the penalty area then when that goal-line scramble was going on


GB at 2015-12-20 15:46:22

Well at least the more off-sides Simon Beck needs to make in this game will help his average! he got the last one correct as well


GB at 2015-12-20 15:45:25

great example of Clattenburg’s speed displayed then as play switched from end to en


GB at 2015-12-20 15:42:11

3 decisions in quick succession for Simon Beck – 2 out of 3 correct!


GB at 2015-12-20 15:40:40

That was the first clearly incorrect decision by Simon Beck as the Liverpool player was not off-side when the ball was played – he will really need to cut those out of his game before the summer. That was a clear chance for Liverpool which has been taken away by another poor lining call


GB at 2015-12-20 15:38:45

I cant help thinking that this is going to need all the referee’s experience to keep the lid on this one judging by the way the players are behaiving


GB at 2015-12-20 15:37:45

delayed off-side flag by SB then but no complaints from the players


GB at 2015-12-20 15:35:31

looks like it could be a lot different second half if opening minutes hare anything to go by.


GB at 2015-12-20 15:34:17

Any thoughts on that big decision for the first goal? Do you think the officials got it right? Let us know on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at Info@you-are-the-ref.com


GB at 2015-12-20 15:33:34

Liverpool start second half


GB at 2015-12-20 15:33:04

Mark Clattenburg has continued to ply his trade again today in a calm and controlled manner and has taken a potentially tetchy and feisty encounter at times in his stride. His mana management skills have been very evident as he has communicated with the players and shown positive awareness and empathy towards their feels, which has allowed him not to over-react in his efforts to control this game so far.


The main talking point in the first half for us is whether the first goal for Watford should have been allowed. Technically if the goalkeeper had full control of the ball before it was kicked out of his hands, then it should have been a free kick, but there seems to be some doubt whether he really did have full control over it? It was definitely a very difficult one for the referee as he seems to be explaining to the goalkeeper after the event, that he did not think he had the ball under control as he was pulling it into his chest. If that’s what Clattenburg thought, then he cannot guess so he goes with his gut feeling that the players was entitled to make a play for the ball. The Referee was well placed to judge the challenge but he did have players between him and the keeper when the last touch on the ball was made by the Watford player. It would have been impossible for him to see what the cameras are showing from behind the goal, so here we seem to have another case for goal-line technology to be expanded!?


Both assistants are supporting the referee well so far.


GB at 2015-12-20 15:19:13

It was a big news week from the PGMOL as they formally announced radical plans for the setup of referees and assistants at the elite level for next season – Full time assistants and championship elite list confirmed


Former FIFA Referee Keith Hackett, of YATR, welcomed the second tier. He said: “It will act as a feeder for the best referees to the Premier League. “Hopefully it will also improve standards in the Championship which currently leave something to be desired.”


This week also saw our headline blogger suggesting that the time has come for action on grappling and holding in the penalty area. Check this out and tell us if you think that would work? Time to apply shock treatment on grappling


With two nailed on red cards and a debateable penalty at the Hawthorns yesterday, along with a few more penalties dotted around the Premier League this weekend, Monday’s edition of Ref Show should be a lively affair tomorrow. You can always catch up with all the previous editions her videos


All the other content on our site continues to provide a deep insight into refereeing matters with video features and Blogs with regular contributions from all around the world.


With such impressive content and access to top officials who are willing to give help and support, YATR followers know this is the place for all referees to improve their knowledge, understanding and performance.


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


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



GB at 2015-12-20 15:18:41

Half Time

Watford 2 v 0 Liverpool


GB at 2015-12-20 15:17:46

Frustrations just showing again over that throw-in at the end of the first half


GB at 2015-12-20 15:16:09

3 added minutes


GB at 2015-12-20 15:15:04

The point being that he was off-side when the ball was played, even if he was onside when he received it – correct decision


GB at 2015-12-20 15:14:17

Players was clearly returning from an off-side position then


GB at 2015-12-20 15:13:37

Mark Clattenburg has done really well to get a hold of this game since the frustrations started to show earlier. What he is doing is managing the expectations of the players well and they are reacting respectfully towards him – all done without yellow cards as well!


GB at 2015-12-20 15:09:02

Adam Nunn did well to delay the flag for just the correct length of time for that off-side


GB at 2015-12-20 15:07:45

and another example of when you are close to an incident you do not need to stop play unnecessarily as Clatenburg managers the centre of the field of play as the players claim offences which are not there


GB at 2015-12-20 15:03:48

this game looks like it has even more goals in it as Watford pile on the pressure


GB at 2015-12-20 15:01:45

Another angle of the first goal shows that the Referee was in the ideal position to judge the challenge on the goalkeeper for the first Watford goal, but it may be that he had players between him and the keeper when the last touch on the ball was made by the Watford player.


GB at 2015-12-20 14:58:51

The Liverpool players were always going to start to look for “everything”, but the referee needs to be alert that the Watford players are stating to get tetchy as well. This one could end up needing a firm hand to keep the lid on it


GB at 2015-12-20 14:57:10

Tight call for AN for ball over the touch-line but it did not all look out to me


GB at 2015-12-20 14:56:15

The Liverpool manager seems to be brewing up nicely on the line!


GB at 2015-12-20 14:55:14

The referee is prepared to let Ighalo use his strength in his challenges providing he does not use possessive force


GB at 2015-12-20 14:53:43

the number of free kicks starting to increase as I predicted and Clattenburg using his presence and experience now to take a minute out of the game to manage the tempo as he calms the protagonists down


GB at 2015-12-20 14:52:13

MC well placed to give his opinion on corner or goal-kick – if in doubt always go defence and look confident! seemed to be the case then


GB at 2015-12-20 14:50:59

Good work by SB on the line not falling for that “fall” in front of him


GB at 2015-12-20 14:50:18

The referee will have spotted that the Liverpool players are already getting very frustrated and are starting to show it – watch how he raises his profile for a few minutes now


GB at 2015-12-20 14:49:08

There was another big call for the referee in the Watford penalty area but that would have been a very soft penalty then


GB at 2015-12-20 14:46:05

GOAL! Odion Ighalo (W 24)

No question about that one!

Watford 2 v 0 Liverpool



GB at 2015-12-20 14:44:26

Once again Clatts shows how proximity to an incident can keep the dissent level down


GB at 2015-12-20 14:43:28

Adam Nunn will no doubt feel happier now he has his first off-side under his belt – good decision


GB at 2015-12-20 14:40:36

For any referee out there hoping to learn how to impress an assessor – just watch this referee’s signals and copy them!


GB at 2015-12-20 14:39:45

if the keeper did have two hands on the ball and under his full control then they may have a case, but as I said earlier, Clattenbirg was so decisive he sold his decision to everyone


GB at 2015-12-20 14:38:25

Replays of the goal are now inconclusive as to whether the goalkeeper did have full control of the ball before it was kicked into the goal. I have to say that the player reactions of those around did not raise any questions


GB at 2015-12-20 14:35:49

Already MC is showing how he stands out from his peers by the way he reacts so quickly to get off the mark whenever the play switches direction


GB at 2015-12-20 14:34:31

Clatts was well placed and so decisive when he gave the goal he was never going to be questioned over that one


GB at 2015-12-20 14:33:38

GOAL! Nathan Aké (W 16)

Watford 1 v 0 Liverpool

No question that the keeper dropped the ball before the attacker kicked it in


GB at 2015-12-20 14:32:13

MC very unlucky to get hit by the ball in the centre then – he could not have been stood anywhere else!

GB at 2015-12-20 14:31:04

AR1: Simon Beck (SB) is patrolling the touchline in front of the technical areas.


GB at 2015-12-20 14:30:31

Liverpool won the toss so it will be Watford  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 2015-12-20 14:26:00

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


GB at 2015-12-20 14:20:46

Today’s officials are:

Referee: Mark Clattenburg (MC)

AR1: Simon Beck (SB)

AR2: Adam Nunn (AN)

4th Official: Mike Jones (MJ)


Mark Clattenburg

Mark Clattenburg takes charge of his 14th game of the season and the first since the confirmation that he will be one of the English FA’s two representatives at the European Championship Finals in France this summer.


Premier League referees Mark Clattenburg and Martin Atkinson have both been selected by UEFA to officiate at this summer’s European Championships in France.


You Are The Ref’s team of experts have been debating for months about which referee should be selected for the tournament, hoping that UEFA would decide to take both – and that has proved to be the case. Premier League referees selected for European Championships


It has been patently obvious that Mark’s appointments have been much more sensibly assigned this season and this week’s wonderful news for both him and Martin Atkinson reflects how both of these officials have stepped up to the plate and repaid the confidence shown in them by the PGMOL, by generally maintaining the standards which have seen them shine out amongst the top officials on the UEFA elite list.


Mark’s trusted wing-man Simon Beck is doing his last game in Clattenburg’s crew for a couple of weeks, as the Christmas appointments see the European Championship Finals referee paired up with Beswick and McDonough for his next two appointments. I have regularly spoken about the value of officials working in teams and I am sure Simon will be back with Mark again soon in the New Year, along with Jake Collin, but I can also see the logic in Mark working with the likes of fellow FIFA Official Beswick in the run up to the Finals, just in case one of his regular partners is forced out due to injury or de-selection.


Adan Nunn will be running the straight and narrow on the other touchline and will be hoping to continue to stay out of the limelight again today. This will be his 8th game this season, which equals his total for last season after he only received one more appointment at the end of the season, after his dreadful howler in the Spurs v Sunderland game last January, when he flagged for an off-side with the player still in his own half when the ball was played. He has been in good company this season with poor decisions from the line of course, but let’s hope he has got that major error well and truly out of his system and continues to show the improvements he has displayed so far in getting back into the grove he was in before his infamous mistake.


Mike Jones gets the pleasure of watching the master at work from close quarters today, as he is given the duty to assist the referee control the game from the technical areas.


GB at 2015-12-20 14:16:38

Here are the starting line-ups for this game:




Heurelho Gomes (W 1)

Allan-Roméo Nyom (W 2)

Miguel Angel Britos (W 3)

José Manuel Jurado (W 7)

Troy Deeney (W 9)

Craig Cathcart (W 15)

Nathan Aké (W 16)

Almen Abdi (W 22)

Ben Watson (W 23)

Odion Ighalo (W 24)

Etienne Capoue (W 29)


Valon Behrami (W 8)

Obbi Oularé (W 10)

Adlène Guédioura (W 17)

Ikechi Anya (W 21)

José Holebas (W 25)

Alessandro Diamanti (W 32)

Giedrius Arlauskis (W 34)





Ádám Bogdán L 34)

Nathaniel Clyne (L 2)

Philippe Coutinho (L 10)

Roberto Firmino (L 11)

Jordan Henderson (L 14)

Mamadou Sakho (L 17)

Alberto Moreno (L 18)

Adam Lallana (L 20)

Lucas Leiva (L 21)

Emre Can (L 23)

Martin Škrte? (L 37)


Kolo Touré (L 4)

Christian Benteke (L 9)

Joe Allen (L 24)

Divock Origi (L 27)

Jordon Ibe (L 33)

Ryan Fulton (L 39)

Connor Randall (L 56)


GB at 2015-12-20 14:12:26

Current form and recent results have set this one up very nicely to be a fascinating encounter, as only two places separated the two teams just outside of the top 4, before Match Week 17 commenced.


It’s a long time since these two teams met at Vicarage Road back in January 2007 and Watford fans will not want to be reminded about that game which saw Liverpool take all the points back to Merseyside after a straight forward 3-0 win. The teams have obviously changed a lot over the past 8 years, but interesting enough the referee is the same today! Things could easily be different this time though, as the Home team were coming into this one in second place in the latest form table before a ball was kicked this weekend and will fancy their chances to stop their visitors gallop today. Apparently Watford have played more “long balls” than any other team in the Premier League so far.  I am sure the referee will be aware of this and hope it doesn’t lead to him getting a sore next today!


Much has been made about the Liverpool Manager’s decision to rally his troops in front of their loyal supports at the end of their last Home game against WBA which ended in a draw, so all eyes will no doubt be on the response this week if his team can pull off a win for their travelling fans. Klopp also continued to show a passion and temperament akin to some of the more colourful English Managers we used to have in the Premier League last week. The press has reported that he later apologised to the WBA management team for his petulance at the end of the game, but the officials will have done their homework on that as well so the 4th Official will be ready for anything this afternoon.


Latest Premier League Form Table before Week 17:

CLUB League
Last 6
Leicester 1 W W W D W W 16
Watford 7 W L L W W W 12
Arsenal 2 W D L D W W 11
Crystal Palace 6 D W L W D W 11
Stoke 11 D W W L W D 11
Newcastle 15 D W L L W W 10
Man City 3 W D L W L W 10
Everton 10 W D W D D D 10
Liverpool 9 W L W W L D 10
Man Utd 4 D W W D D L 9
Spurs 5 W D W D D L 9
Bournemouth 14 L L D D W W 8
Southampton 12 W W L L D L 7
West Brom 13 L L W D D D 6
Sunderland 19 L L W W L L 6
Norwich 18 L W L D L D 5
West Ham 8 L D L D D D 4
Chelsea 16 L L W D L L 4
Aston Villa 20 L D L L D L 2
Swansea 17 L L D L L L 1



GB at 2015-12-20 14:08:10

Welcome to this lunchtime RefCam coverage today of the premier League game between Watford and Liverpool.

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