Is officiating worse than it’s ever been?

BusbyMalone

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To my eyes, at least, it seems like the standard of refereeing is at its lowest. It’s so bad. Obviously, fans complaining about referees have been a thing since time immemorial, but it seems like every week there are a few decisions that defy comprehension. Obviously, we just had one in the Liverpool and City game where Milner somehow stayed on the pitch when it absolutely should have been a red. United have had a few clangers go against them this season as well.

Mike Dean has basically become a meme at this point. Parading around the pitch like a pantomime villain, gesticulating flamboyantly over every decision, to the point where it’s almost become acceptable that he’s going to make one or two howlers a game because “that’s Mike Dean for you” I think Sky even had a video out at one point labeled “Mike Deans funniest moments!” He’s not the only one, of course.

Journalists will often defend referees saying that they’re underway more scrutiny than ever before. This is true, but even still, the scrutiny they’re under is almost of their own making.

Paradoxically, the advent of VAR probably hasn't helped their cause either. But what do you think? Is it more of the same, who has the standard got progressively worse?
 

SuperiorXI

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The game is now faster than ever so it's only natural it will get worse. Doesn't help that even though they have the technology they don't like using it because it might upset their colleagues.
 

Sandikan

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They've made it a little worse by telling the refs to ignore little contact fouls.
Gives them license to miss more stuff.
 

ShinjiNinja26

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The absolute state of the officiating for the supposed biggest league in the world is an utter disgrace. Is this really the best the PL can muster?
 

kouroux

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The game is now faster than ever so it's only natural it will get worse. Doesn't help that even though they have the technology they don't like using it because it might upset their colleagues.
Not sending off Milner had nothing to do with the game being faster. This was the decision of a referee who decided it on his own. You do have a point and I agree with you but many decisions are made due to the incompetence of refs
 

PlayerOne

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Last season was pretty bad too, but VAR saved them a few times. This season, in some games, it feels like there is no VAR so bad decisions are highlighted even more.

Nothing will be done about it either, never seen a job that shielded.
 

Nero

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Take one look at Jonathan Moss and that tells you all you need to know.
 

TsuWave

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it's really bad

I also think some refs are trying to be "personalities". I don't know how to articulate it though
 

100

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It happens everytime there's a deliberate change in the ruling, they take 12 months to adjust properly. Its ridiculous. VAR gives them a bit of a safety net too
 

Strats

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You get the feeling that the refs are a bit of a sect of big egos that despises VAR. There have been plenty of situations where the right decision could have been made but they decide to stick with the original call even without giving it a proper look.

And thats just getting started on VAR, in general they are absolutely terrible and its just getting worse and worse. Hope that aussie bloke proves to be good.
 

Parma Dewol

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Is it a Premier League problem? Whenever an international tournament comes along I’m always impressed at the competency of the officials.
 

Morty_

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No, shit decisions has been part of the game forever, but few seem to remember that anymore.
 

berbatrick

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The new instructions have taken things pre-VAR. Liverpool-City there was a foul in the first half on Foden on the edge of the box from Milner. Pre-VAR there was no way anything gets called. Last season, 100% either a pen or free kick/red after a VAR check. This season, just like before, I was 100% sure nothing would be done, even though it was a clear foul, and indeed nothing was done while replays showed exactly what happened.
My stream was off for Milner's "second yellow" but I imagine everyone watching knew that the decision wouldn't come and VAR would do nothing.

It's not just the decisions themselves, it's knowing with certainty that doubtful on-field decisions aren't going to get looked at. The way these instructions have been interpreted is basically to revert back to the system where home bias and feeling and match situation matter much more than what happened on the pitch. Which seems to be mostly a negative.
 

TheLord

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There are dozens of different angles and all kinds of possible replays, and ultra-high-definition video quality.

I am sure the referees (overall, in general) have gotten better with time, but as technology has improved so rapidly, we are able to find many flaws we wouldn't have noticed in the years gone by.
 

Monkey bus

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I think the standard hasn’t changed too much. There’s a lot more football broadcast which leads to more conversation. I feel Sky and BT like to sensationalise the refereeing more than they used to in the absence of controversial players and tough tackling that seems to have been phased out of the game. That used to be the main talking point post match. Now it seems to focus on referring and VAR as there isn’t always much more for pundits to talk about.
 

cyberman

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They’ve obviously decided to hide behind VAR under the guise of letting it flow. They can pretend they’re allowing a more physical game but it’s only because they have less decisions to make.
look at these obvious pen decisions for example. Letting them go automatically raises the bar for a pen simply because it has to be clear and obvious to overturn.
It’s a cowardly move
 

Ekkie Thump

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From this weekend and the games I've seen there's been Milner's none red, Burnley's none pen, Watford's none goal and Leeds' none pen. In all of these game changing instances I think the obvious decision was the opposite of the one chosen. It hasn't been a good weekend for refs.
 

caid

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Is it a Premier League problem? Whenever an international tournament comes along I’m always impressed at the competency of the officials.
Premier League refs haven't been getting games in international tournaments so that helps.
Its not so much a problem with modern refereeing as the current line up in the premier league the vast majority are total dogshit and no amount of help will ever make them competent
 

Hughie77

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It's been objective in the last few years even before VAR, now it's just the same all depends on the ref in VAR box they are subjective calls.
I.E the 2 goals ruled out for leicester for offside, ref called along with linesman both of them , then VAR agreed. Now the Villa goal was exactly the same , but the ref sees it different so no VAR. This law has to be set in stone if a opposition player is in front of the keeper and offside no goal, simple. DDG has to push the guy out of the way to see, hows that not offside.
These calls need to be right.
To many subjective laws to make a weak referee right. Poor laws
 

BusbyMalone

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Is it a Premier League problem? Whenever an international tournament comes along I’m always impressed at the competency of the officials.
The same goes for the Champions League really. Don't get me wrong, there are some dodgy feckers there too, but I can think of about three or four (names escape at the moment but I know their faces!) who I look at and think "he's actually really good" They make one or two decisions where you may think it's a little off, but that's fine - you're always going to make mistakes. But honestly, here's not one single Premier League ref who I think is any good. No exaggeration there. Not a single one. The standards are appalling.
 

Classical Mechanic

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Is it a Premier League problem? Whenever an international tournament comes along I’m always impressed at the competency of the officials.
I'm sceptical of this idea. At international tournaments the best refs are selected from countries in the federation so obviously the standard will be better. The Premier League doesn't have an elite ref at the moment but Clattenberg was the ref in the 2016 European Championship final. Before that Howard Webb was in the elite bracket and refereed a World Cup final. When I watch the Champions League I don't feel that the refs are any better than what we see in the PL and they're supposedly among the best in class from the various countries in the competition

I think it is fair to say that the Premier League hasn't covered itself in glory since the advent of VAR though.
 

Sweet Square

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The new instructions have taken things pre-VAR. Liverpool-City there was a foul in the first half on Foden on the edge of the box from Milner. Pre-VAR there was no way anything gets called. Last season, 100% either a pen or free kick/red after a VAR check. This season, just like before, I was 100% sure nothing would be done, even though it was a clear foul, and indeed nothing was done while replays showed exactly what happened.
My stream was off for Milner's "second yellow" but I imagine everyone watching knew that the decision wouldn't come and VAR would do nothing.

It's not just the decisions themselves, it's knowing with certainty that doubtful on-field decisions aren't going to get looked at. The way these instructions have been interpreted is basically to revert back to the system where home bias and feeling and match situation matter much more than what happened on the pitch. Which seems to be mostly a negative.
100% this.
 

Ralaks

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It is shocking on so many levels. All teams are getting fecked, there is no conspiracy for any team, they are just patheticly bad. James penalties, Ronaldo penalties, Milner 2nd yellow, absurd amount of time wasting allowed without any yellows, and there is probably many more. It has begun to affect the enjoyment of watching the games when it is now a complete roll of the dice what sort of rules are in effect.

Wish the 20 clubs would band together and complain that the referee system in the PL needs reformation. It is pretty clear from Clattenburgs book that it is an absolute shit show of egos and spineless cowards
 

BlueMoonOutcast

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In reply to the title, yeah probably. How Milner stayed on the pitch today is a mystery. He could have seen a straight red for taking Foden out when he was through on goal, and he definitely should have seen a second yellow for taking out Silva. Referees have no oversight, they can be as biased as they like. That Salah goal, as amazing as it was, came from Milner and he should never have been there.
 

DWelbz19

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The new instructions have fecked games up
The problem as always is there’s never any consistency. If they put these new rules into place, make sure every referee uniformly follows them. Otherwise you get consistently differing outcomes in every game for very similar issues.
 

Shane88

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it's really bad

I also think some refs are trying to be "personalities". I don't know how to articulate it though
Because they see refs like Clattenburg getting ESPN and book deals. Walton on BT, Howard Webb was on BT and had a tidy gig in Saudi Arabia.

If they're a "personality" they'll have more chance of getting one of those deals when they retire.
 

Chipper

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Well, in 2018 for the first time in World Cup history no English referees were invited to officiate the tournament because none were deemed good enough.

The same people are still in place at the top of the PGMOL who appoint/train the referees and a lot of the refs who were around in the season before the World Cup still are. Martin Atkinson, Jon Moss, Michael Oliver, Mike Dean, Craig Pawson, Anthony Taylor, Kevin Friend, Graham Scott, Stuart Atwell, Chris Kavanagh etc.

VAR came along which was supposed to help refs if they miss something but all that happened is that a lot of matches got/get refereed by 2 people who are poor at their job instead of 1.
 

kouroux

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The problem as always is there’s never any consistency. If they put these new rules into place, make sure every referee uniformly follows them. Otherwise you get consistently differing outcomes in every game for very similar issues.
Couldn't have said it better
 

The Purley King

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As a qualified referee myself albeit only for a year (some years ago and registration long expired now) I can tell you it is all a big club where they are all in it together and everyone sticks up for one another.

The culture will not change anytime soon. I’d be amazed if there were any bent refs at the top level but incompetence will get protected and let’s be honest how many of us have had to make a split second decision with 40,000 mouth breathing scousers trying to pronounce a consonant without spitting.

Not good enough yes, but bent no.

Var is an extension of “let’s look after our own”.
I can’t imagine the pressure of the var official to agree with the on field ref even if said ref is nausing it up completely.

The whole system is broken.