Disproportion of the perception of wrong decisions
The relevant wrong decisions that are put up for discussion are the following ones, which are in a certain sense “decisive for the game”. Namely, those which award a goal or those which disallow a goal. The formulation is chosen to make it as vivid as possible. The wrong decisions against a goal are special and even more complex, so that they require a specification, which will, however, be elucidated in the course of the text. Nevertheless, this subdivision applies for the time being: decisions for a goal or against a goal and in each case (acknowledged in retrospect, by all those making the judgement and/or involved) wrong.
What is the perception of this and how do subsequent discussions proceed? The thesis put forward here is as follows: Wrong decisions that have made a goal possible are discussed in far greater detail and thus have a disproportionately high perception compared to those in the other direction. This has both causes and certain consequences. Both are also examined in more detail below.
There are at least two causes named in more detail here for the increased perception of wrong decisions that allow a goal to be scored. Whereby one should also partly accept justifications in the psychological field here.
1) A goal that is recognised actually changes the score and thus the distribution of chances. A fictitious goal would only allow this possibility or deprive the disadvantaged team of an improvement in its chances of an advantageous match outcome. In fact, however, everything would remain status quo if there was a recognised error against scoring a goal.
2) The intuitive sensing of this disproportion mentioned here, without ever having pronounced or heard it, ensures that the wrong decisions that made a goal possible are emphasised much more, also in the media perception. This is how one creates an inner balance.
Insofar as a goal is recognised that had some kind of flaw, there are the more or less recognised voices of those affected, which at least discreetly point out: “Perhaps everything would have turned out quite differently if…”. Of course, the indignation can also be expressed more intensely. At the same time, the situations and the meaning of them clearly differ as well. Of course, the final outcome of the game plays a role, as well as the distribution of chances beforehand or the amount of favouritism. In other words, if the favourite scores an incorrect goal and thus wins, but possibly even deserves to do so due to the superiority shown in the game, it is likely to be perceived less than if a blatant underdog wins in the same way. At the same time, however, it should be mentioned here that psychology in the interpretation of the situation (i.e. also in the recognition of a goal or the awarding of a decisive penalty) ensures a shift in the number of wrong decisions in favour of the favourites, regardless of their construction. This could be translated into: the referee decides intuitively in many situations because it would not be possible to decide absolutely unambiguously. The one who deserves it more can benefit from this intuition. Often enough, there would be two or three critical situations in the penalty area where there was already discussion, including the commentator (“was there something? So there was contact…” or something like that). Now the third situation would not be interpreted independently, as perhaps “officially demanded”, but on the basis of the previous situations per striker. Even if then the individual situation right now is also ambiguous: nobody would complain in the slightest, so it is easy to point to the point.
Nevertheless, there are a sufficient number of neutral cases in which a goal is scored, which in retrospect (sometimes also directly after the goal because the replays make it immediately clear) is tainted with irregularity.
The fact is that a goal that is actually scored always leads to a shift in chances (of not insignificant proportions). This simply reinforces the perception (additionally). “We were whistled” may have been heard frequently (also in the amateur sector, without any possibility of proof) but also mostly mildly smiled at, because that would always be the “one-sided perception with attempted justification” of a loser. However, if it can be proven that this was the case, one is forced to acknowledge this at least to that extent (even if a game ends 2:0 and the mistake of the latter was favouring the 1:0, just as an example).
A goal has a very high value, you just know that. If it is given incorrectly, one automatically perceives it more, especially in the predominantly close games and scores in modern professional football.
Conversely, those decisions against goals are usually more complex. Rarely does the ball actually end up in the net, and if it does, one could often enough cite “weakening resistance after the whistle” as the cause (for example: the goalkeeper no longer throws himself when he only sees the raised flag on the sidelines; ball in; “so what? I would have taken it out with my cap!”). Penalties that should have been given are by no means less frequent. The question is always: would it have gone in at all? Chance, ok, we agree, but to argue with a goal now? No, that would be going too far.
Ball in, counts, shouldn’t have been: the mistake is exactly the size of a goal. Offside given, but it wasn’t, ball in or not, and even if in with the possibility of the (so omitted) chance to defend, penalty not given, it is always less than a goal in size, the mistake in the other direction. In this respect alone, it would be justified to discuss a wrongly recognised goal longer and in more detail (error exactly 1, otherwise always less than 1). Nevertheless, this alone cannot be the cause.
Therefore to 2):
The thesis put forward here is such that actually everyone senses that there is a mismatch. Far too often you hear “it should have been a penalty, he missed it” as opposed to “it was never a penalty, but it was decided that way”. In order to ease one’s conscience a little – applies, of course, primarily to the media representatives who are so mainly responsible for the subsequent perception in the general public; this does not only apply to such decisions –, one simply emphasises the less frequent occurrence a little more and thus creates an intuitive balance. What remains in the memory are even more those decisions that caused a goal that should not have counted. So everyone will probably have an example at hand in which such a decision was made. You would not have access to a single one of those numerous cases, every weekend, where afterwards it was said: “That was a clear handball, that was a penalty” or “he generously overlooked the foul here” or simply “team X was lucky that the referee did not point to the spot” as well as “there are certainly referees who would have decided on a penalty kick” or also the famous “fifty-fifty situation”, which curiously (and unnoticed) turns out to be 100% against the attackers. Also heard often enough: ” … could not have complained if there had been penalties.”
All these sentences fall in a kind of stacchato in every summary of a Bundesliga matchday. In all these cases, rather than being over-emphasised, they are perhaps not emphasised at all. But then there is a case in point: for minutes on end, voices are heard from all sides, accompanied by all-round indignation. So the balance is restored, that for the inner balance. Something is not right, but in this way one deludes oneself: sometimes wrong this way, sometimes wrong that way. Does everything balance out?
In summary, these are the main causes for the above-mentioned imbalance. But in addition to the causes, there are also the consequences: every referee knows the maxim that has been proclaimed at some point: “… he is good when he is not noticed. So that means: when the cameras are on him, it was probably the other way round. He wants to escape the limelight. The only way to do that is to avoid bad decisions. Sure. But especially those that could put him in the spotlight. Which wrong decisions would these be? Well, obviously: those that wrongly allow a goal. This means: any flaw, no matter how small, is justified in disallowing a goal. Because: if it should be the other way round that even the slightest flaw is recognised afterwards, which escaped the referee, annoying questions will be asked. He in the limelight, no, that should not be. So: find the fault. Already in the making. The closer the ball is to the goal, the more critical the situation becomes and the more serious the mistake can be. So: it is better to find the striker’s foul at the cross, no matter how much the defenders have pulled and tugged at the same time. The striker did something, that was clear (even if objectively only a “fight back”), whistle – and all is well. No one crows about it. And if a reporter just asks a question over the air, his own microphone, or even concludes “Yes, what actually happened? Well, I didn’t see anything”, then the referee is still guaranteed to be unrecognised. It is guaranteed that no one will try to find out after the game.
The same applies, of course, to the offside situations that have so far been less argued for here. In principle, one has to conclude, if one observes closely and continuously, that one of the few possibilities of overcoming a defence consists of a vertical pass (a dying word; the facts remain unchanged, but are much more frequently referred to as “pass into the intersections”, or also “the vertical pass”, thus elevating the speaker to a higher level of understanding) at the right moment. Now, however, this right moment is extremely scarce. Already because of the much higher general movement in the whole game (constantly increasing, let’s say; everything goes faster and faster), but increasingly because of the increasing attention of the defenders. So they know exactly (increasingly more exactly) when the right step forward is to be taken and when it is better to steer directly to the attacker to stop him. Both are trained to a higher and increasing degree of perfection.
Now it is by no means the case that the attackers do not also train this and are inferior to it. No, they too have mastered the multiplication table and the high slide rule. Nevertheless, it does not become easier for them.
So back to the concrete observation: practically every such situation is extremely close. The cameras are often stopped, endeavoured “at the exact moment of play” to provide clarity, but even that is an illusion. There is no exact moment of playback and thus no equal height (this is more of a mathematical-physical realisation, but verifiable). So every situation is extremely close and the interpretation is by no means and ever “in favour of the attackers”. On the contrary, it is overwhelmingly in favour of the defenders.
This, however, is precisely the crux of football as a whole, which is to be illuminated and revealed here. It actually goes permanently and everything against the offensive actions.
Once again, back to the “exact moment of the pass”: the player with the ball would often know very well when the right moment would be, only he is already influenced by the (intuitively recognised) way of interpreting the rules. Although his decision is also intuitive, the thought behind it could be formulated as follows: “If I pass the ball now, it would be perfect, but since I already know the nervous arms of the man on the line, I prefer not to pass the ball; even if it is perfect, he still pulls up his arm. Thus the (neutral, and that should actually be the majority, if the game of football as such were attractive enough) spectator constantly misses yet more promising attacking situations. The passers are afraid of being “disturbed” by an offside whistle, regardless of whether this would even be the right decision. You don’t have to pass in time but a little too early so that, if the pass were to arrive at all, the flag wouldn’t go up. However, since the defence is equipped for this (for the too-early pass, that is), it doesn’t work out either way. Either it was offside or the pass was not “deadly”. A little too early is clearly too early, so to speak, because it simply does not allow a goal to be scored. Half a step is enough – but that is exactly what cannot be achieved, or at least hardly at all.
The fact that at the same time you have to catch the nasty words from the oh-so-understanding speaker that the player “missed the right time for the pass here” can only spoil your fun even more, once you have understood it (without internalising the facts outlined: he just spoils your fun one-dimensionally, without the epithet “additionally”).