Date: 6th November 2013 at 1:00am
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The talk continues over referee Martin Atkinson’s decision not to allow Luis Suarez to take a quick freekick against Arsenal in Liverpool’s 2-0 defeat on Saturday.

Former Liverpool striker John Aldridge has hit out at Atkinson and said he made a shocking decision when he called back play. Aldridge was speaking in the Liverpool Echo and said:

Liverpool didn’t deserve anything from the game against Arsenal but they weren’t helped in the first half by a shocking decision.

When Bacary Sagna brought down Luis Suarez, the striker did brilliantly to spot the chance to take a quick free-kick. He found Daniel Sturridge who crossed for Jordan Henderson to score.

What did Martin Atkinson do? He pulled play back so he could book Sagna and made Liverpool take it again.

I don’t care whether the letter of the law says that was the only time the ref could have booked Sagna. What about giving the advantage to the attacking team?

Liverpool would have much rather the goal was awarded and Sagna got away without a yellow card.

We’ve all seen how referees love to throw their arms in the air to show everyone how brilliant they are allowing a game to flow. Atkinson would have been applauded for a great decision but he used no common sense.

Exactly the same thing happened to me once in a game for the Republic of Ireland against Scotland at Hampden Park. I was fouled and took a quick free-kick to Mark Lawrenson who scored and the goal stood.

Intelligent play like Suarez’s should be rewarded not penalised.

I know many Liverpool fans are still upset by this decision but the rule book states that if the referee is going to award a yellow or red card for the foul then he has to stop the play. It is a dumb rule in my opinion and something that should be changed so that situations like this do not occur again.

We can continue to complain about it but it will not make a difference now, what’s done is done. Bad or good refereeing calls are all part of the game today and sometimes they do not go our way like on Saturday. Arsenal too are going to get their day when they are on a similar end of a bad call and they too will complain.

Against West Brom we had another bad call go against us when the assistant referee awarded a penalty to West Brom as he deemed Lucas had bought down a player in the box. It was never a penalty in a million years but luckily it did not cost us the game.

Referees have to be 110% sure with the decisions they make as they have the potential of really killing our beautiful game.


10 responses to “Aldridge on shocking refereeing decision against Arsenal”

  1. SY4 says:

    Makes sense to stop play. What if Sagna had brought the player down after the quick free kick? Two yellows without warning or showing a card.
    Everyone stopped play way before he scored.
    This rule was brought in to stop quick free kicks like Henry when keeper was not ready plus to book players

  2. Joe says:

    What Aldridge fails to mention is that the Arsenal players all stopped playing when the referee blew his whistle, so they wouldn’t have scored anyway, and look at the angle of the cross, Scezney would have caught the ball. the defenders would also have tracked back quicker.
    Rose tinted glasses I think Mr Aldridge.

    • jim says:

      Arsenal deserved to win that day.

      The point is whether they would have been able to stop the goal?

      They were actually caught on the back foot by this perfect vision of Luis Suarez.

      Scezney chance to stop the ball was meagre .

      The defenders are very quick yes but that precise moment, they were caught flat footed.

      and yes Sagna deserved a straight red for that manoeuvre.

      A goal, a valid one that day may have changed the outcome of the match.

  3. Dave R says:

    Aldo you would be better off commenting on the ridiculous decision to play Lucas week in week out .

  4. William says:

    That is why the ref board must be tough on all repeat all error prone refs. They shd be reprimanded as to why spot kicks are not given,
    Unless there is a common standard regarding fouls,all refs will be free to act as they like. Take for instance the penalty kick for hand ball.It’s up to the ref to deem whether it’s intentional or unintentional.The best option will be to remove the grey area thereby forcing any player in the box to avoid his hands coming into contact with the ball.
    Btw,in a certain country,if you see a stranger in your car,the police can’t take any action until he drives. I think this is really naïve and nonsensical.

  5. I feel that Sagna deserve a straight red card instead of a yellow.

  6. Mark Lawrenson's Beard says:

    This is pretty much the first place I have seen any comment on this incident, which is strange as it was potentially game changing, however shite Liverpool were overall in the first half. I have to totally agree with Aldo here.

    Basically Suarez was punished twice for the same incident, initially because of the foul by Sagna when he was through and then 1-on-1 with Mertesacker (I think?) after that and bearing down on goal, then being punished again for taking the free kick too quickly and losing any possible further advantage for his quick thinking. Yes, you could hear the whistle go just as Sturridge was playing the ball to Henderson but I think they probably would have finished the move.

    I’ve seen lots of incidents over the years where a ref will play advantage and then booking the player when the ball goes out of play, I don’t know when that changed?

  7. wole says:

    the rules has not changed mate the decison of ref was perfect. Let us stop been biased mostly when result did not go our way. The foul was committed, suares handed the ball, card was given to sagna why would suares took a quick free kick when sagna is to be booked? Aldridge should reasonable more than that, this is not a street soccer. Be wise!

  8. @brdgunner says:

    It was a non-event. The ref blew his whistle twice to stop the game before the final pass was made.

    Get over it.

    • JOE says:

      Have to agree with you , it seems Liverpool fans want the rules changed just to suit THEM( sound like manu fans there) ie : Sagna’a foul.But you clearly heard the referee’s whistle being blown and yet Suarez played on, then again should both players be booked for kicking the ball away after the whistle has blown?( remember Van purse bags against barcelona , who got sent off).