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Arsenal's return to action after their ghastly opening-day experience was against Fenerbahce on Wednesday night, and it was a satisfying one. Admittedly, the calibre of the opposition in Turkey was a little like ascending the highest point in Holland after failing to scale Everest, but that's not Arsenal's fault. They did the job well.
It seemed as though Arsenal fans (and perhaps their manager, too) didn't know where to aim their ire after Saturday. Was it the players, the bench, the media or the referee? Or maybe a combination of more than one? I would argue, in terms at least of the big decisions I have seen, that the referee got plenty of important calls RIGHT, so I'd be suggesting they focus their attention elsewhere.
I am particularly interested in two calls that occurred in similar areas of the pitch - one on Saturday, one on Wednesday - that resulted in a penalty being given each time, both for and against Arsenal. On Saturday against Villa, Laurent Koscielny gave away a penalty for a tackle on Gabby Agbonlahor, whilst against Fenerbahce Theo Walcott going down under pressure from Michal Kadlec saw a spot-kick awarded to Arsenal.
I think both decisions were correct, but it is more the manner in which those decisions were reached that interests me.
Before we explore, let's take a quick deviation to the game of cricket, where decision-making has been a hot button topic throughout this summer's Ashes series. Cricket has all manner of technology, used in varying ways and containing numerous caveats, and it is starting to overshadow the action on the field. It isn't necessarily the technology that is always at fault, but just as often it is its application by umpires, and the fuzziness of certain guidelines they have to work with.
Obviously the experimentation of technology in football is still embryonic, and I'm still confident it is a good idea, but it is worth noting the problems the bat and ball game is having. It sounds utopian to suggest various computerised methods to help things out, but in reality not everything is rosy. I think the decision by football to go with goal-line tech and no further is the right one.
An innovation that has been widely panned over the last couple of years, and often with justification, is the addition of the extra officials on the goal-line. The problem has not necessarily been the concept, but the application. For the amount they seem to do, it appears to be an unnecessary extravagance that doesn't offer sufficient return. But surely the notion of more people to help out is a good one?
When Arsenal visited Fenerbahce, the penalty they were awarded which led to their third goal seemed to be given by the extra official. Walcott slid in front of Kadlec, who I felt bumped him to the ground illegally. So did the extra official, who told his referee that he felt it was a spot-kick.
Let us, though, imagine there was an extra official at The Emirates, assisting Anthony Taylor ion making up his mind. I would argue, having seen replays from the angles that each man had or would have had, that you could come up with two different decisions. A camera angle over the shoulder of Taylor shows what looks like a very clear foul by Koscielny on Agbonlahor, but if you assume an extra official, his angle would likely conceal the contact Koscielny made with Agbonlahor's back leg.
So, who do you go with? Ultimately, the referee is in charge, so the responsibility lies with him. However, if you are bringing in teams to help out, shouldn't you be using them? There are probably Arsenal fans reading this who think it should not have been a penalty. How would they feel if there WAS an extra official, but Mr Taylor still ignored him?
In cricket, on-pitch umpires have in some ways been emasculated. They nervily give decisions, or sometimes deliberately give nothing, so that when things are appealed the blame can focus on the third umpire in the stand. The grey area over 'Umpire's call' borderline LBW decisions is shot to pieces, and generally there seems to be chaos.
Yes, the 'Hot Spot' system for judging whether bat has struck ball appears flawed, but other technologies have been misused so frequently, the onus is definitely on the poor quality of umpiring that has pervaded the series. You can be given all the right tools, but you must still build your house using the right judgement and technique.
Cricket umpires are being presented with what appear to be matters of fact and video replays, and are coming under more fire than ever. We still await the first significant impact of the new goal-line system, and the extra official experiment is still way up in the air. But it is important that football analyses all sides of the situation and explores impacts in other sports.
Rob McNichol - follow him on Twitter but be warned: He tweets a lot about wrasslin'