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Spurs Odyssey Reviews the Premiership Season
for 2011-2012 - Match 22
More woes with Webb

Why is it that whenever Howard Webb is announced as the referee for a Spurs game, there is a massive collective sigh of exasperation? I won't go into chapter and verse on his World Cup and general football history here, but clearly he is regarded as one of the game's top referees nationally and internationally.

However, Spurs Odyssey has been monitoring referees more closely for the last two years, and Howard Webb is one of just six referees on the Premier League list who have been in charge of a Spurs game seven or more times. Five of those have refereed exactly seven games, and Mike Dean has officiated in 10 of our games since January 2010.

Bad grades and good grades are not always linked to bad or good results, but I think when we can look at seven occasions, then the average score is a reasonable assessment. We also now have that collective complaint when Chris Foy (not Hoy) officiates, but he will be in charge of his seventh Spurs game this Friday night at Watford. He does have a worse average than Howard Webb!

Until then, I can tell you that over the last two years, World Cup Final referee Howard Webb is considered by Spurs Odyssey voters to be the worst of those six who have done seven or more games. He scored a measly 4.3 for his efforts on Sunday at The Etihad, when he missed not one, but two occasions of violent conduct by a City player. We remain mystified why Lescott will go un-punished for his elbow on Kaboul, and the fact that Balotelli will now face an FA ban of 4 games, unless successfully appealed, is no consolation to Spurs fans who had to suffer his last second penalty defeat.

In referring to Howard Webb by name, I should point out that the voters are invited to grade the referee and "his team of officials". All four of them missed or ignored the Balotelli incident, and I have to be honest and tell you that I am unaware of any Spurs fan in the ground who was aware of what had been revealed by numerous TV replays.

In Webb's case a trend has been established, with just two exceptions over the last year. We liked him when we beat Liverpool at Anfield 2-0 last May, and he even awarded us a penalty, scored by Modric, after Steven Pienaar was adjudged to have been fouled by young full back Flanagan. We also liked him when we beat QPR 3-1 at home in October.

We didn't like him in December, when we drew at home to Chelsea, and in fairness he arguably missed/ignored a handball by each team. In the case of an offence by Ashley Cole, his cross led to the Chelsea goal. Mr Webb was also accused of missing a potential penalty for handball by Assou-Ekotto and second yellow card offences by our own Adebayor and Chelsea's Ramires. Mr. Webb scored 4.7 on this occasion, and the complaints were not just about issues that affected Spurs.

In March 2010, Spurs beat Blackburn 3-1 at home, but Mr Webb scored only 3.4 for his refereeing. His major offence was to refuse Gareth Bale a penalty when he was brought down by Salgado. 69% of voters gave Mr Webb less than half marks then, and 50% gave him less than half marks for Sunday's game.

Of course there is a general bias against any referee by a lot of football fans, but in my experience over the last two years, Spurs fans are able to give credit when it is due, and criticism is usually valid. Mr. Webb has another performance to reflect upon this week, and we must hope that he will learn and improve.

In defence of Howard Webb and other referees

Manchester City completed their first league "double" over Spurs since the 1991-92 season - the last season of the old Football League Division One. City won both games 1-0 then, and finished fifth, whilst Spurs finished fifteenth.

Gareth Bale was your man of the match, with a score of 7.6. It was his fifth such "award" in 22 starts in all games this season, and he has now scored 9 goals in all competitions, 8 of which have been in league games. Jermain Defoe is our top scorer in all competitions from only 15 starts, with 12 goals, 8 of which have been in the league. Adebayor remains our top league scorer with 9 goals to his name.

Links to this week's "Spursometer" and the full results of this week's survey can be found below this week's league table.



Results 21-22.01.12

Bolton     3-1   Liverpool
Everton    1-1   Blackburn
Fulham     5-2   Newcastle
Norwich    0-0   Chelsea
QPR        3-1   Wigan
Stoke      1-2   West Brom
S'derland  2-0   Swansea
Wolves     2-3   A. Villa
Man City   3-2   Spurs
Arsenal    1-2   Man Utd

       Barclays Premier League
 
Pos Team      P  W  D  L   F  A  GD  Pts

1  Man City  22 17  3  2  60 18  42  54
=======================================
2  Man Utd   22 16  3  3  54 21  33  51
3  Spurs     22 14  4  4  41 24  17  46
4  Chelsea   22 12  5  5  40 25  15  41
=======================================
5  Arsenal   22 11  3  8  39 33   6  36
6  Newcastle 22 10  6  6  32 30   2  36
7  Liverpool 22  9  8  5  25 21   4  35
8  Stoke     22  8  6  8  23 33 -10  30
9  Norwich   22  7  8  7  32 36  -4  29
10 S'derland 22  7  6  9  29 24   5  27
11 A. Villa  22  6  9  7  26 29  -3  27
12 Fulham    22  6  8  8  28 31  -3  26
13 Swansea   22  6  8  8  23 27  -4  26
14 Everton   22  7  5 10  22 26  -4  26
15 West Brom 22  7  4 11  22 31  -9  25
16 QPR       22  5  5 12  21 36 -15  20
17 Bolton    22  6  1 15  28 47 -19  19
=======================================
18 Blackburn 22  4  6 12  33 45 -12  18
19 Wolves    22  4  6 12  25 40 -15  18
20 Wigan     22  3  6 13  19 45 -26  15

League Form Guide - 22.01.2012

WDWWDL

 Your grades for Man City (A)

 Full survey results here


All the Spurs Stats you could hope for here! THFC6061 Sports Stats

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