Penalty or Not: Mark Clattenburg and Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere Handball
There’s a lot of buzz about this supposed Jack Wilshere handball in Arsenal’s 2-2 draw with Manchester City Saturday. Manuel Pellegrini thinks it should have been a penalty; referee Mark Clattenburg did not.
Let’s be clear:
This issue is not why Manchester City did not win this match, despite what Pellegrini wants you to believe. The two Arsenal goals happened before this, and both were clean goals that just made City’s defense and goalkeeper look like kids.
Let’s also be clear that I’m a Tottenham fan, so hardly a biased voice for Wilshere or Arsenal.
But I am a fan of Clattenburg, and I know how he manages games. He tries to let players play, and I think this would have been a harsh call. Wilshere never “handled” the ball; it hit him twice and he was clearly trying to keep his arms out of the way. The first time, as you can see below, you might be able to claim he moved it with his arm, but so did the Manchester City player it bounced off next.
Clattenburg would naturally be reluctant to penalize for Wilshere for deliberate handball.
And that’s the key. For a referee to call a penalty for a handball in the box, it has to be deemed deliberate. It’s hard to look at the video below and believe Wilshere was deliberately handling the ball, unless you’re very partisan or anti-Sweden.
Note: I’ve mentioned before how difficult video is becoming to obtain. Most media outlets are showing still photos of the incident, and claiming it as proving handball, which shows only a nanosecond in the play and is unfair to Wilshere. This is why it’s important for reporters and people like me to have access to video.
What do you think? Should City have had a penalty?