By Walter Broeckx
This article is part of the series of the Referee Review 2013. You can find links to earlier articles on the bottom of this article.
For the next ref in our series we have ref Mark Halsey. Now retired ref Halsey has been in the PL for many years and stopped at the end of last season.
And if you have been paying attention you will know that we have been hearing from him because he refused to take the ‘silence money’ that retiring referees are offered at the end of their career if they sign an agreement in which they promise to not tell any secrets.
So he’s spilling beans, and we are getting new insights into the closed world. And thus despite being retired we will keep on watching what Halsey does in the future.
In the season just gone ref Halsey did 18 games in the PL and we reviewed 5 of his games. That is 27,78 % of his games we have been able to cover. So a rather low number and this makes it more difficult to draw conclusions. In fact this is the lowest percentage of all the refs we have. But it is still massively more than a sample undertaken to predict an election result, and anyway we can only work with the numbers we have and we have to take them as they came and that is what we will do. So how did he do when we look at all the decisions?
In those five games we reviewed we have seen that Halsey had to make 719 decisions in total. Our panel of referee reviewers found that he had 597 of the decisions correct. This is one of the lower scores we had in the PL. But better than refs like Probert. Mind you this is also better than last season but this might be down to what I will tell you next.
Of course for those who have been following us for a while, you know that judging them as correct is not the same as being correct completely. When we can’t judge a call or when we are not 100% sure he made a mistake we call the decision correct. But it might be that if we had seen other angles we might have seen an incorrect decision. So in general the numbers could be even flattering the refs but this goes for all the refs and not the refs we are looking at today.
But having some kind of decent general score is one thing. What matters more is seeing how his important decisions have been and this is something we can see in the next table.
When we look at the important decisions we see that Halsey had to make 338 of them. And our panel of referee reviewers found that 228 of these decisions were correct and this gives him a score of 67,46 % correct important decisions. We have seen worse in this series and in last years series but still one of the lower scores. But better than his last year score.
His foul/free kick decisions were not really great with only around 70% correct.
His goal decision was not good at all. With a score of around 80% this is terrible I feel. After all goals is what makes the difference in the league table.
His penalty decisions were bad with not even 50% correct. Maybe at some point in life age is taking its toll on what is a very intense and demanding job?
His yellow and red cards score is also very below par. But this is in fact the way Halsey was in his later years. Very soft when it comes to handing out cards. Too soft.
But as he is retired now we will not think about it too much. Just have a quick look at his bias numbers.
And there we see that I think someone will have send him a good farewell text. Liverpool with a big negative bias. Manchester City with a negative bias and Everton also with a big negative bias. He didn’t like teams from Liverpool it seems. The Not should have been Norwich with a small negative bias. Sorry.
On the good side we see Tottenham with a small positive bias and Fulham also had some things going their way.
But on top we see that even though he claimed that once crossing the line there are no favours given…that he actually did give Manchester United and his phone friend some favours.
I could go on and tell bad things, but as he has retired I will let it go. I just hope he returns the favour and will be telling us more juicy tales about refs texting and phoning managers from a certain team.
And finally I want to applaud him for one decision he once made in a game between Fulham and Arsenal a long time ago. It was a game when Cole was first adjudged to have fouled a Fulham player and Halsey pointed to the spot. But the Arsenal players were so enraged that he started doubting his decision and went over to the assistant who was closest to the action who confirmed that Cole had played the ball and that then the Fulham player tripped over his leg and it was no foul. Halsey corrected his mistake and gave a dropped ball if I remember the end correctly. That was a brave thing to do.
So lets hope we hear lots more from Halsey in his new function and lets hope we can here a bit more about phoning the refs.