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Two Crazy Offside Calls in the West Ham v Blackburn Game

West Ham

I enjoyed the West Ham / Blackburn game today, as a neutral.  There were goals, some red blooded tackling and a couple of contentious decisions to debate.

The first was the own goal ‘credited’ to Samba that put Blackburn 2-0 down.  That Dean Ashton was in an offside position is not up for debate.  The only question was whether he was interfering with play – he didn’t touch the ball, after all.  Yet he was clearly unsettling Samba – and therefore gaining an advantage – and also blocking the view of the goalkeeper.

This got me thinking: The linesman is in the best position to judge if a player is in an offside position.  But is he in the best position to determine whether a player is interfering or gaining an advantage?  His lateral view probably doesn’t help in this regard.  The referee is on top of play and can better make this call.

So how do the officials work together to arbitrate the correct call?  The answer is that they can’t easily do this – unless that microphone system is flawless – and certain circumstances fall through the cracks of the law, as we saw today.

Matt Derbyshire’s effort being chalked off was more run of the mill.  It was a close call but Derbyshire stayed level throughout.  For my money, it should have been 2-1 to Rovers at this point, rather than the other way around.  Rough justice for Paul Ince, much to the delight of the Upton Park crowd.

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  1. Doc's Sports Picks Guru

    September 1, 2008 at 3:43 am

    Great site. Keep up the good work.

    I will say that the linesmen are officials also, so it’s not as if they don’t understand an advantage situation. I don’t believe their angle affects their judgment that much in this instance. In a lot of ways it’s just like basketball refs, where the guy in the best position isn’t always the guy who makes the call.

  2. Raj

    August 31, 2008 at 3:02 pm

    News papers are not selling..all the sports writers have to make some money from bets..betting on curbs to go ! so they are just upping the ante !

  3. Phil McThomas

    August 31, 2008 at 10:36 am

    I found a good view at

    (Around 3:50 mins)

    It’s incredibly tight…could be level, could be slightly offside, depending where you freeze it.

    Maybe benefit of the doubt to the lino on this one.

  4. The Gaffer

    August 31, 2008 at 8:37 am

    Nice to see Bellamy’s return and a wonderful goal to boot.

    I agree that the press have seemed to have a vendetta against Curbs this summer. Hopefully this win can shut them up.

    The Gaffer

  5. Phil McThomas

    August 31, 2008 at 7:56 am

    h4gster – I’ll have to take another look tonight. I thought he was off by a good amount but I’ll keep an open mind.

  6. Joe J

    August 31, 2008 at 6:37 am

    This happens all the time in football, the next match might go in Blacburns favour witha couple of bad decisions, its swings and roundabouts my friend.

  7. h4gster

    August 31, 2008 at 6:02 am

    Ashton was level with Samba when Noble took the shot so how can he be offside? Agree about Derbyshire though.

  8. barry the hammer

    August 31, 2008 at 5:16 am

    thats football !!! now curbs has had the best start to a prem season in nine years, maybe those f**king w***ers in the press will leave him alone ! unlucky fabio capello its your turn now (well for two weeks atleast)

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