Ref Watch: David Coote – Burnley vs West Ham

Author: . Published: at 8:48pm

Written by @SamRoyden

A frustrating day at the office for players and fans alike

After some very good results in recent weeks including the away win at Southampton and for the first time in our history, scoring the highest amount of points (15) in one month and to finish off 2018 visiting a Burnley in very poor form to date. West Ham had the opportunity to go into 7th in the league but with Sunday League defending and minimal service into the front 3, we couldn’t score against the team who have conceded the most in the Premier League so far this season. 

David Coote takes charge of his 5th Premier League game of the season

It was a frustrating day from all aspects including a somewhat average performance by David Coote. Before this fixture, Coote had only officiated 13 games this season throughout the EFL, and four of them in the Premier League. By most standards, Coote is a relatively inexperienced referee when it comes to the Premier League but has officiated over 118 fixtures during his career in the Championship over a 9 year period. With the Christmas fixtures come thick and fast, the Elite Select Group of referees including Martin Atkinson, who was the forth official today, requires rest and recovery like the players but whether it’s down to performance or injury, officiating only 13 fixtures this season is a concern for me.

As I mentioned on The West Ham Way twitter account during the match, Coote started the game well and cracked down on misconduct with some late challenges from Robert Snodgrass and Mark Noble which to Coote’s credit, he undertook a good position to see the challenges and react with deserved cautions. 

I felt that during the first half in particular, Coote wasn’t consistent with playing advantage. There was an incident when Ashely Barnes caught Angelo Ogbonna late just outside West Ham’s 18 yard box with West Ham on a promising counter-attack and Coote brought the game back to caution Barnes. The advantage was with West Ham and Coote should have read the game better and cautioned Barnes for his earlier challenge once the ball was out of play.

In the second half, the dynamic of both teams changed with West Ham and Burnley both going more direct. From the first whistle, Burnley adopted the long-ball approach with balls going into and behind West Ham’s defence which caused problems from David Coote’s perspective on reviewing aerial duels. With the introduction of Andy Carroll, the game became that little bit more physical which I believe Coote struggled with.

Is Andy Carroll judged before he steps on the pitch?

Within five minutes of coming off the bench, Andy Carroll was cautioned after a coming together with a Burnley defender whilst challenging aerially. It’s a well-known fact throughout the league that Andy Carroll can be a handful and especially when duelling in the air with his arms/elbows. 

Any preconception that a referee to has to any player whether he’s officiated them or not, even though Carroll was sent off for two cautions last season for reckless challenges with his elbows, is a mistake when making a decision fairly. For Andy Carroll’s caution, I am unsure how Coote got to the conclusion that it was a challenge with a reckless manner. Andy Carroll challenged for the ball and whilst attempting to head the ball, his head came in contact with the Burnley defender and the Burnley defender came off worse. There was no contact from an elbow or arm but the way the Burnley defender reacted, I believe Coote made an assumption of the contact and in my opinion, it was not a foul or a caution. 

Andy Carroll against Burnley at Turf Moor

In my opinion, I believe Coote struggled with the physicality of the game which is a cause for concern when we, as fans and spectators, want consistency from referees on decisions. Throughout the game, I felt that the physicality of Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood was considered ‘fair’ from Coote’s perspective compared to Andy Carroll against the Burnley defenders. If the referee offers inconsistency on similar challenges that he/she has pulled up earlier in the game, the players will become irritated and that’s when you experience player management challenges and can lose control of game management.

It’s unclear who will be officiating our next fixture at home to Brighton on Wednesday and with Brighton only two points below us in 13th place, we need Pellegrini to sort the squad out to get back on winning terms.

Reflecting on West Ham’s 2018

It’s been an up and down year for West Ham in 2018. Since Pellegrini has taken the reins, the chilean is starting to steer us in the right direction. With new signings like Anderson and Drop proving great buys, players like Snodgrass coming back from out the dark showing he’s quality and key squad players and future prospects in Mark Noble and Declan Rice signing new contracts. It’s a good time to be a West Ham fan and hope that 2019 is a good year for the club! 


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