Ref Focus: Mike Dean, Man City v Chelsea

All of the referee decisions from the BPL match between Manchester City and Chelsea, 21 Sep 2014.

After reviewing the video, I believe Dean does an excellent job in administering a compelling match.  One could quibble about where he sets the threshold for the issue of cautions, but he administers them consistently and equitably.

Previously unnoticed is that Dean plays advantage on the goal scored by Chelsea, adding to a long list of goals that have been scored from play-on decisions by this official.

As for the second caution and send off of Manchester City right back Pablo Zabaleta, the video backs Dean’s decision, as Zaboletta clearly kicks out at Chelsea forward Diego Costa.  Costa rightly received a caution for his response.

Also noteworthy is the referee’s significant use of facial expression and gestures to communicate with the players (and supporters and TV viewers).


Ref Focus: Cüneyt Çakır, Brazil v Mexico

Turkish Referee Cüneyt Çakır took charge of the match between Brazil and Mexico in the group stage of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.  The match was a 0-0 thriller, with plenty of chances for both sides.

Çakır’s performance in this match seems to have divided opinion in the referee community, with some saying he allowed too much physical play in the first half before tightening things up in the second stanza.

For me, this was a very difficult match to referee, with lots of flopping and rolling players on both sides, two managers who worked the referee and fourth official tirelessly, and loads of end-to-end play in the second half.

Throughout it all, Çakır maintained a smile and a calm, professional demeanor, which is one his hallmarks.  Only when Mexico’s Giovanni Dos Santos was complaining for a caution to be given to Brazil did Çakır change his facial expressions to a more stern appearance.

FIFA rewarded Çakır’s performance in the tournament by appointing him to the Netherlands v Argentina semi-final match.

Ref Focus: Mark Geiger, ESP v CHL

Ref Focus is a recurring feature here at In The Opinion Of The Referee that condenses all of the referee’s decisions, player management incidents and goals into a much shorter video format.

USA Referee Mark Geiger, along with assistant referees Sean Hurd (USA) and Joe Fletcher (CAN) turn in a solid performance in the group stage match between Spain and Chile.

Of note in this match is Geiger’s aggressive handling of dissent.  See the incident in the 25th minute of the match for a particularly good example. I understand that Geiger speaks some Spanish, so it is possible he is addressing the players in Spanish (notwithstanding the fact that many of the ESP players speak English).

In contrast to many of the Premier League referees that we’ve studied on these pages, Geiger’s approach tends to be a bit more firm and formal.  His performance demonstrates that many different styles of refereeing and player management can be effective.

Case Study: Ref Focus #2, Michael Oliver

The second installment of Ref Focus takes a look at a recent match refereed by Michael Oliver.  The match featured Chelsea at home to Southampton.  This Barclays Premier League match was played on 1 December 2013.

Ref Focus features video from the entire match, edited to include the following events:

  • goals
  • fouls
  • offside decisions
  • misconducts
  • player management incidents

The video is 16 minutes long.

Young Mr Oliver continues to demonstrate why he has been handed big matches at the relatively young age of 28.  His foul selection was appropriate, his cautions judicious, and his player management continues to impress.

Share your thoughts on Oliver’s performance in the Comments section below.

Case Study: Ref Focus #1, Andre Marriner

For the inaugural installment of Ref Focus, we’ll look back at a match played between Liverpool and Manchester United on 1st September 2013.

Ref Focus features video from the entire match, edited to include the following events:

  • goals
  • fouls
  • offside decisions
  • misconducts
  • player management incidents

For this match, the video is just under 17 minutes long.

Match referee Andre Marriner did an excellent job overall, but especially with regard to managing the players.  A total of six cautions were issued by Marriner: four to Manchester United and two to Liverpool.  There were no send offs.

Share your thoughts on Marriner’s performance in the Comments section below.