Search icon


07th Nov 2016

Ex refs have their say on Kevin Wimmer’s own goal and we’re more confused than ever

It was NOT offside. Except it might have been.

Rob Burnett

The great thing about having such clear rules in football is that everyone knows where they stand and there are no arguments about contentious decisions.

Even when there is something which is perhaps not as clear at first glance, at least we can always rely on referees to clarify things for us.

Except… yeah. No.

In the north London derby on Sunday, Tottenham defender Kevin Wimmer scored an own goal to give Arsenal the lead in the first half.

One little goal: a huge swirling galaxy of outrage, debate and confused head-shaking as the whole of football tried to work out whether it should have been disallowed for offside, as Alexis Sanchez was clearly in an offside position – but was he “interfering in play” as the official wording goes?

Screen Shot 2016-11-07 at 11.56.48

Mark Clattenburg was the man in the middle on Sunday and he allowed the goal to stand.

Naturally that didn’t end the matter as TV pundits and fans debated the issue for hours after the final whistle.

The big question is: was Clattenburg right? Should the goal have stood? Or should it have been ruled out for offside?

Good job we have two former refs with newspaper columns to clear it up for us.

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 06: Kevin Wimmer of Tottenham Hotspur scores an own goal for Arsenals first during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur at Emirates Stadium on November 6, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)(Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

First off, Garahm Poll in the Daily Mail, who wrote:

“As Mesut Ozil played a free-kick into the Tottenham area there were two Arsenal players in offside positions.

“Kevin Wimmer, under pressure from Laurent Koscielny, headed the ball into his own net but, as Koscielny was not one of those offside, the goal was rightly allowed to stand.”

during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur at Emirates Stadium on November 6, 2016 in London, England.

Phew. That clears that up then.

Until you read ex-refs chief Keith Hackett in the Daily Telegraph, who wrote:

Arsenal’s goal should not have been allowed.  Alexis Sanchez was clearly offside and interfering with an opponent and in my opinion it should have been disallowed.

“Sanchez has made movement towards the ball sufficiently enough to unsettle Kevin Wimmer and, as a result, he’s almost forced the defender to play the ball from Mesut Ozil’s free kick. That movement towards the ball has put Sanchez in an offside position.”

Clear? Us neither.

Catch up with the latest Football Friday Live here: