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RefWatch – Manchester United Vs Arsenal (28/08/2011 – 16:00)

Untold Arsenal on Twitter @UntoldArsenal

By DogFace

  • Referee: Howard Webb
  • Assistant 1: Darren Cann
  • Assistant 2: Micael McDonough
  • 4th Official: Lee Mason

Good morning stat-fans and welcome to RefWatch… It seems that the PGMOL’s official website is now officially defunct – it has been replaced with a message saying:

“Content is being developed with premierleague.com and will be available there this winter.”

Winter you say? The one of our ‘discontent’ no doubt! So still no official news on the referee, we’ll go with the unofficial ones as they have been reliable thus far.

Let’s have a look at the Referee:

  • Full name: Howard Melton Webb
  • Date of birth: 14-Jul-1971 (Age 40)
  • Place of birth: Rotherham
  • Resides: South Yorkshire
  • EPL Referee Since: 2003/2004
  • EPL Games to date: 207

Howard Webb
I’m Howard Webb and I represent the the ethos and credibility of this badge 100%.

It’s Howard Webb again… you remember him; he’s the one that made a bit of a tit of himself in the World Cup final… not that anyone really cares about the world cup anymore – they should rename it to the ‘Coca Cola Cup’ I reckon – more apt init and they would coin it in on the naming rights.

So let’s refocus our lens on Webby and come a little closer to home and, before we crunch the numbers and scrape the stat barrel, look at the games he’s had between Arsenal and Manchester United in the EPL in the extra wee table I’ve knocked up for you:

Home Away Date HT Fouls AT Fouls HT Yel AT Yel HT Red AT Red
Manchester United 1 0 Arsenal 13/12/2010 (20:00) 7 16 0 4 0 0
Arsenal 2 1 Manchester United 08/11/2008 (12:45) 16 7 3 2 0 0
Manchester United 2 1 Arsenal 13/04/2008 (16:00) 12 7 2 6 0 0
Arsenal 2 2 Manchester United 03/11/2007 (12:45) 15 15 1 2 0 0

Cor, look at that on the 13/04/2008 – we made 7 fouls and got 6 yellow cards and a fine for ‘failing to control our players’ (i.e. we should have just laid down and ‘crumbled’ with ‘fragility’ when faced with the mighty red devils – due to a lack of ‘English spine’ just like the EPL script said)… they [Manchester United] made 12 ‘official’ fouls that day but memory seems to serve that they kicked the living shit out of us.

Any more happy memories of Mr. Webb from these matches, then please feel free to document them in the comments below; personally, for me – it’s quite difficult not to spin off into a filthy torrent of abuse, aspersion casting and foul language. No reds though… yet – but a penalty for Manchester United in every match.

Let’s check out his stats!

Howard Webb Vs. Manchester United (EPL)

Howard Webb has had 26 games for Manchester United consisting of 17 wins, 3 draws and 6 losses.

Manchester United are currently in 1st in Howard Webb’s personal Points Per Game League (for teams with a minimum of 5 matches played), for matches in the English Premier, with an average of 2.08 PPG.

In Howard Webb’s personal Handicap Swing League (for teams with a minimum of 5 matches played), for matches in the English Premier, Manchester United come 8th with an average positive swing of 0.25.

Manchester United are currently in 18th in Howard Webb’s personal Booking’s Per Match League (for teams with a minimum of 5 matches played), for matches in the English Premier, with an overall average of 2.04 BPM.

In Howard Webb’s personal Fouls Per Booking League (for teams with a minimum of 5 matches played), for matches in the English Premier, Manchester United come 20th with an overall average of 5.77 FPB.

What strikes me here is the number of games Howard Webb gets for Manchester United – if the referees were randomised against matches then this seems statistically unlikely – also statistically unlikely is the number of games Howard Webb has refereed between Arsenal and Manchester United. Do we believe in coincidences?

Also we can see that his swing against the handicap looks about right at 0.25, we should think about that in terms of his overall [seasons] PPG figures in which the Mancs come a clear first and their nearest rivals (in the EPL) being Liverpool with an overall average of 1.64.

So we see – that Manchester United seem about right from Howard Webb’s figures (given they are a good side) but, coincidentally, the other ‘good sides’ (i.e. Manchester United’s competition) doing rather less well in terms of both their performance against the handicap and their PPG figures.

Howard Webb Vs. Arsenal (EPL)

Howard Webb has had 21 games for Arsenal consisting of 8 wins, 8 draws and 5 losses.

Arsenal are currently in 10th in Howard Webb’s personal Points Per Game League (for teams with a minimum of 5 matches played), for matches in the English Premier, with an average of 1.52 PPG.

In Howard Webb’s personal Handicap Swing League (for teams with a minimum of 5 matches played), for matches in the English Premier, Arsenal come 15th with an average negative swing of -0.09.

Arsenal are currently in 21st in Howard Webb’s personal Booking’s Per Match League (for teams with a minimum of 5 matches played), for matches in the English Premier, with an overall average of 2.38 BPM.

In Howard Webb’s personal Fouls Per Booking League (for teams with a minimum of 5 matches played), for matches in the English Premier, Arsenal come 22nd with an overall average of 5.44 FPB.

The main thing that grabs my attention from the chart is the FPB figures in which Howard Webb seems to consistently punish Arsenal quite harshly in the challenge against their competition – this evens out in 2009/2010… but it’s then resumed to the trend immediately following the FIFA World Cup. This is what I call the Howard Webb ‘Pinch’ in that Webby’s stats, in the season immediately preceding him being picked as FIFA’s top enforcer of policy, his statistics seemed to almost find a perfect ‘normality’ before pinging back on track the following season.

This would suggest to me that Howard Webb is a referee who is aware of his statistics and is very careful in how he is perceived in terms of the ‘trail of evidence’ he leaves behind him; those years in the police force have paid off it seems?

The figures for Manchester United (above) also seem to point to this; that is if we take into account the anecdotal evidence of a nation of football fans who will swear blind that Howard Webb is a Manc through and through.

Let’s move on now to check out how Howard Webb performs against selected teams in the EPL:

Howard Webb Vs. EPL (AHS)

Ahh – and there we see it again, the Howard Webb ‘Pinch’, and this time it’s in the AHS!

What strikes me here is the steady decline of Chelsea in conjunction with the meteoric rise of Manchester City. Arsenal and Liverpool both spiked against the trend in the 2006/2007 season and Arsenal have shown a steady climb out of the gutter. Manchester United looks to perform pretty normally against the handicap.

The other thing here is the choice of fourth official (Lee Mason) – who has Manchester United busting both his AHS and PPG leagues with a mind blowing 1.85 and 2.60 respectively!

The Predictortron gives Manchester United a 1.326390 goal advantage but; well – I’m going to promote the ‘Winning’ mentality here and suggest that there may be an upset on the cards – after all, it is Super Sunday and this is the headline game at the end of another round of EPL gambling that will see a liquidity of around £5,000,000,000 in the Asian black markets…

…I hear that Fergie likes a flutter – anyone know what the odds are?

Better call Joe Sim!

The Untold Match Preview

The Untold Weekly Ref Review

;-D



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History Index
Making the Arsenal

31 comments to RefWatch – Manchester United Vs Arsenal (28/08/2011 – 16:00)

  • bob

    Dogface,
    After reading your super preview, I’m just left breathless with anticipation: Has the documentary about The Webbmeister aired on the telly yet? Do you expect any correlation between the match result at OT and whether he’ll be fast-tracked for an OBE? or for elevation (after Lord Football’s, of course), to the House of Lords for services rendered to the national pastime? or been named poster boy for “English Spine” (motto for the UK Chiropractic Association)? I expect he’ll be appointed Chief Statistician in charge of ref performance at PGMOL? Or made Special Consultant to FA’s R. Scudamore (and/or to FIFA’s Septic Bladder)on all Arsenal-Manure ties? Not so funny, but with the hurricane watch in full effect over here, I’m somehow more anxious over the Webb-watch and would lobby for you/Walter to extend it to cover Lee Mason. And so long for the day when the name of a Video Replay ref will be slotted in at the start of your articles.

  • XX

    HOWARD WEBB IS ONE OF THE BEST REFEREES IN THE WORLD.

    I’ve edited out the rest of this post since a) it came from a non-existent email address and b) it had nothing to do with the post on which it was supposed to comment.

    Really, if you can’t even announce who you are via a secret email address, your views are hardly likely to be taken seriously are they?

  • Oneniltothearsenal

    I think the AAA just discovered caps lock..

  • sahil

    Amazing review Dogface
    @XX: Go get a life
    @oneniltothearsenal: 🙂

  • Dino Abby

    The whole world knows Howard Webb is MUnited through and through. Let’s see how he’s gonna officiate this game knowing the world is watching. If he does it again. Let’s expose him as the most corrupt referee in as many blogs as we can find. Watch closely in the second half especially if the game is still even, he’ll surely start to show his devilish side. After all, he’s hired by red nose to support red devil..

  • Johnny Deigh

    Webb also screwed us against Chelsea in the Carling Cup final. Arsenal were up 1-0 and Webb inexplicably denied Julio Baptista a 100% penalty. Baptista was driving into the right side of the penalty area with Diarra chasing close to his inside, when Baptista decided to stop the ball and let Diarra pass by. Diarra stuck out his leg and took Baptista down. It would have likely put us up 2-0, but Webb ignored it.
    Drogba then scored an offside goal to level the score, and later Chelsea would get away with a horror tackle on Baptista: “Michael Essien is booked for a late tackle on Julio Baptista, sliding his studs into the Brazilian’s stomach. Painful.” (BBC)
    Another Drogba goal late in the match would give them the undeserved victory, but don’t forget the brawl that followed where where Webb would end up only sending off Mikel for Chelsea, but then sent off Kolo and Adebayor for Arsenal. Racist much?

  • Johnny Deigh

    It is my opinion that Arsenal would have won the league title in 2008 and 2010 if it hadn’t been for intervention. The 2009 team wasn’t as strong compared to its competitors.
    Also Man City never challenged for the title last season whereas Chelsea and Arsenal did.

  • bob

    mick, all,
    Earlier this week, SAF put the FA on warning that they owed him for taking so many of his players for the national team(s). Perhaps the WebbWeaver will provide the requisite second-half spin that puts paid to that debt.
    Indeed, for those on UA who felt that Don Fergus had shown high-road class in praising Arsene earlier this week as the best that AFC have ever had, let’s suffice it to say that he’s still on form with his yesterday’s comments (in today’s papers) as the countdown to the immediate game begins. Says the Guardian about Lord Football: “Sir Alex Ferguson says he would never have allowed Manchester United to go six years without winning a trophy. After expressing his support for his Arsenal counterpart Arsène Wenger, who has not won any silverware since the 2005 FA Cup final, the United manager said a barren period lasting for more than half a decade would have been unthinkable at Old Trafford. “I would not have allowed it to happen,” Ferguson said before Sunday’s Premier League home game against Arsenal. “The press would have played their part and you expect that, but I could not have contemplated these things.” The Rednose does not shed its hue. Let the games, begin.

  • bob

    p.s., a bit more from the Book of Fergus: “Arsène has got his way of managing and I have got mine,” he said. “You do the best with what you believe in and that is what Arsène is trying to do. I don’t know exactly what his philosophy is but for a long period he had a group of good young French players but that seems to have dried up a little bit. Teams go in cycles and you just have to hope that you are part of that cycle. For years it was Arsenal and ourselves competing for the title. Then it was Chelsea and now Manchester City are on the map. We have always been part of that cycle.” So let it be written. So let it be done. NOT!

  • bob

    Walter, all,
    Anyone wish to guesstimate when in the second half Webb will have his Busacca Moment? 🙂

  • Great stats that made for a fascinating read Dogface.Like all gunners i eagarly anticipate every arsenal game,and this fixture more than most.However,time and time again Howard webb gets this game…why?I swear if we some much as breath on the sacred rooney or glance at the diving gold medalist nani we will be booked by mr obe.I dont mean to sound negative(i am actually a optimistic person) but there is always a feeling of knowing the events of this match(at old trafford and not the emirates) before they happen.These events usually are like this,1 we start well and are looking threating with not much penetration,2 suddenly, howard webb notices that 30mins has passed and manure have not scored…so sublety begins to give dubious decisions in manures favour for free kicks and corners(thus shifting the momentum of the game),3 Suddenly out of nowhere, on his one game of the season park ji sung scores via a deflection,cross into the net or the ball gets wacked of his face into the net at which point the “neutral commentaters scream “yes what a goal”(remember gary neville now commentates on sky)or the cliche “that is the difference between boys and men”.I hope today is different but dont be surprised if its like last years game at old trafford.

  • bob

    Alex,
    Say what? Gary Neville now commentates on Sky!? I’m shocked! Shocked, I say. (A ManUre/Sky link, you suggest?)
    And here I was hoping G. Neville had found the light and become an anonymous ref reviewer at UA. Do you think he’ll be commentating at today’s match? Maybe he’ll be designated video ref in the booth to ensure that Webb’s Busacca Moment is properly explained to the great unwashed.

  • re bob:oh he will be commentating all right expect a lot of “we” and stony silence if we win.

  • mick

    Bob
    I admit to being hoodwinked by SAF earlier in the week and after considering the alternative view which you presented me with I admit to a certain naivety in thinking he was being supportive to Wenger. I should have realised a leopard doesn’t change its spots. In view of subsequent comments he has made I can see how cunningly manipulative SAF actually is, what a piece of work he is. I should have known better.

  • bjtgooner

    @ Dogface, good ref watch, unfortunately Webb has given us plenty of material to comment on.

    @ Bob, re Busacca Moment – if the manures are not winning by mid second half a Busacca fix is almost certain. But I think he will try to tilt the game from the beginning with a series of minor biased calls – free kicks & yellows.

  • I am fascinated by the issue of the lateness of announcing the ref. Indeed it is one of a couple of things that make me just ponder a little.

    I have always hesitated to accept that Untold can be having any influence – it was just a place whereby people can express views and have a chat. To suggest that those in other areas of football are taking notice of us seems way over the top, and I try to keep a lid on my megalomania.

    But one of the most obvious things to do if you wanted to screw up Dogface’s reviews would be to stop announcing the ref early in advance on a public web site, and maybe instead just email the details directly to the newspapers instead.

    Then there’s the separate issue of newspapers coming out and saying “how stupid of anyone to think that the press is against Arsenal. We love Arsenal”. Big articles of that nature in both the Times and Mirror of late. Could they have noticed to depth of analysis the writers we are honoured to have contributing to Untold (and I really am not talking about me here) are bringing to how the media deals with Arsenal?

    Maybe it is all coincidence – but you know I am just starting to wonder.

  • Laundryender

    Gary Neville has kindly exposed Utd tactics V Arsenal http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2030841/Gary-Neville-How-did-Manchester-United-beat-Arsene-Wengers-Arsenal-We-bullied-them.html

    The bit he omits is the fact that it needs a compliant ref. The public are aware and know what to look out for. I am looking forward to the game, we all know there will be a turning point, and HW will play a part.

    Our young team are going to have to show a maturity that is beyond there years. Big performance from SzCzeney to demoralise them please and TV5 in holding position.

  • bob

    Dogface,
    I’d like to offer a high-brow meditation with a low-brow conclusion as all are vigilant re: Webb’s probable Basura moment to be:

    You see, in the dramas of ancient Greece, they used to have the deus ex machina (a god hoisted in on a machine) to come in at the last second and decide the course of events.
    Today, in the dramas of current Greece and the Barclay’s EPL, they now have the deus ex crementa to fertilize the field. Hence the origin of ManUre.
    This said, perhaps, at the top of the RefReview, where you list the dramatis personae for each match, you could label the role of certain Referees with their proper title: Deus ex crementa. Today’s match would merit such designation. 🙂

  • @Laundryender – did he menton the ‘genius’ tactic of not cutting the grass and turning the hoses on the pitch for 3 hours before kickoff?

    @bob – lol

  • bob

    p.s., so here’s my proposed revision for special occasions, like today’s match, in the march to the Rednose XX:

    RefWatch
    Deus ex crementa: Howard Webb
    Assistant 1: Darren Cann
    Assistant 2: Micael McDonough
    Substance spreader: Lee Mason

    Note: All role titles are based on the historical record. Any resemblance between the actors and real life are strictly quantifiable.

  • XX

    HOWARD WEBB COULD HAVE SENT ARSHAVIN OFF ALREADY. YOU COULD ARGUE THAT THE PENALTY AWARD WAS GENEROUS, YET WE ARE 3-1 DOWN. LET’S FOCUS ON THE ISSUES BEDEVELLING OUR CLUB NOT THE CONSIPIRACY THEORIES FROM A CLEARLY STUBBORN, INCOMPETENT, TIRED AND CLUELESS WENGER. WHY HAVE WE NOT MADE THE REQUIRED SIGNINGS WHEN WE KNEW THAT THE FIRST MONTH WAS GOING TO BE TOUGH AND OUR DEFENCE WAS SUB-STANDARD. WHY DID WE NOT SIGN: CAHILL, BAINES, PARKER,MATA AND RODHALLEGA IN THE FIRST WEEK OF THE TRANSFER WINDOW. WHAT WERE WE WATING FOR? TO MAKE EXCUSES ABOUT SKYSPORTS, REFEREES AND OTHER SILLY EXCUSES? THIS IS SHAMEFUL AND BORDERS ON INSANITY

  • XX

    SORRY GUYS, THE ANNOUNCER AT OLD TRAFFORD JUST ANNOUNCED THE FINAL RESULT TO WILD CHEERS: ARSENAL 2; MANCHESTER UNITED 8. TELL ME: WHY SHOULD WENGER NOT LEAVE!TELL ME YOU GUYS WHO THINK THOSE OF US UNHAPPY WITH THIS MEDIOCRITY DO NOT BELONG IN THE ESTEEMED ASRSENAL FAN BASE, TELL ME!! WENGER OUT, I AM EMBARRASED, CAN’T LOOK ANYBODY IN THE EYE – RIGHT NOW.

  • jayj

    Doujouru is the WORST. I feel for Jenkinson but this not player fault this Wenger and the board, man u fielded kids as well so it not all about our problems. Wenger must be held accountable the board must be pelted.

  • Dino Abby

    If only RVP has converted the penalty, the belief would have been lifted and it may have made a bit of a difference. I pity the players who were on the pitch. Their morale are down. Although I understand the problems we are having with injuries & suspensions, The Board and The Manager need to do some soul searching on their priorities. If I am not wrong, Arsenal recorded 2 wins over the last 14 games in the league.

    Wenger is a smart manager but too calculative when it comes to paying transfer fees when buying new players. Always trying to get players on the cheap and as a result never really get the players he originally wanted and had to continue to look for other alternatives until finally he gets players of second rated or with raw talents that needed some years to start deliver at top class. Meanwhile, the fans suffers having to hear all other teams bragging while making a laughing stock of Arsenal and The Manager.

    Anyway, all is not lost. I do hope he can bring a few outstanding players to stabilize the team and with injuries soon solved, we may just challenge for honors. Provided of course, he swallow his pride a little and take out the cheque book and start paying good money for top class players.

  • Arsene's Biggest Fan

    A few suggestions for tomorrows headlines on UNTOLD:

    1. If only RVP would have scored that penalty, Arsenal would have won!

    2. 8 players missing in action prevents Arsenal from a famous win!

    3. The team is young and we can still win the league!

    4. Arsenal show great courage, fight and resilience at OT!

    5. Wenger to bring in 3 new players and challenge for the title!

  • Gouresh

    Please stop wasting your time trying to find fault with the refe’s. one thing you do is either get the players u need or just tell every1 that we will try to get the 4th spot to pay for the stadium. thats all! no need to raise our hopes and now looks like we will finish out of the top 4, unless we buy at least 4 top quality experienced players

  • Macca

    Excuses, excuses, excuses!! Stop this blaming the referee nonsense. Arsenal are not good enough – there’s at least ten clubs in the league who could turn them over on any given match day.

    Your heads are in the sand.

  • Macca

    @Tony
    August 28th, 2011 at 10:34 am
    “I am fascinated by the issue of the lateness of announcing the ref. Indeed it is one of a couple of things that make me just ponder a little.
    I have always hesitated to accept that Untold can be having any influence – it was just a place whereby people can express views and have a chat. To suggest that those in other areas of football are taking notice of us seems way over the top, and I try to keep a lid on my megalomania.
    But one of the most obvious things to do if you wanted to screw up Dogface’s reviews would be to stop announcing the ref early in advance on a public web site, and maybe instead just email the details directly to the newspapers instead.
    Then there’s the separate issue of newspapers coming out and saying “how stupid of anyone to think that the press is against Arsenal. We love Arsenal”. Big articles of that nature in both the Times and Mirror of late. Could they have noticed to depth of analysis the writers we are honoured to have contributing to Untold (and I really am not talking about me here) are bringing to how the media deals with Arsenal?
    Maybe it is all coincidence – but you know I am just starting to wonder.”

    It’s coincidence.

  • Bring on the trolls…

    …anyway – already over it. Arsenal are BY FAR (note caps) the greatest team the world has ever seen!

  • bob

    Macca,
    Snorting Coincidence is your drug of choice, which you’ve confused with thinking.

  • Kentetsu

    Agree with DogFace. We lost to a team that had everything going for them, while we had everything going against us. In comparison, the defeat to Spurs nine months ago still hurts.