By Walter Broeckx
In my last article when I was talking about data we could gather from the ref reviews we do I told you about the way bad calls were made and which team suffered most and who benefited most.
But we can also have a look at the refs and see how many wrong calls they make in their games. Once again I must warn you that this is a starting point and not a final table. It is only about some 20 games and some refs have had only 1 game reviewed. And when by accident you have a bad game (which can happen) you could end up with a terrible score for the moment. But just like with the wrong calls against the teams it will be interesting to see how this develops over time.
So here is how things stand for the moment
|Ref||Games||Total wrong calls|
|Average wrong calls/ game||10|
So in 21 games we had 214 wrong calls from the refs and this means that on average a ref makes some 10 wrong decisions per game.
But the interesting part is to try and see which ref is doing better than the average and who is doing bad. We can see this in the next table:
|Ref||Games||Average wrong calls per game|
First of all I know that there is a difference at the bottom of both tables. This is down to the rounding of the numbers. As we can only work with real numbers because a ref can only make a good or a bad call but if you start to divide the numbers you get a chance of ending up with a different final number. So we could say that the number of wrong calls per game is between 10 and 11.
So when a ref is hitting that score we could say he is just average on that point. Now we must consider that refs can have a bad day. Just like players they can get it wrong. A player misses in front of an empty goal (can happen to the most expensive ones you know) so a ref could completely miss an obvious call. Let us for the sake of it imagine that all refs are doing the best they can in their games without fear or bias.
So who are the refs that make few mistakes then? Atwell and Dean are on top of this but this was only based on one game. Atkinson with only an average of 6 wrong calls per game based on 2 games is doing rather good also. And also Dowd has a very good score with 7 wrong calls based on 3 games. And in this score he has the MU-Chelsea game in which he made 11 wrong calls. I can’t help it but apart from the last game he had a strong start of his season.
We have a few refs who are averaging the average one could say. Clattenburg, Webb, Jones, Marinner and Probert.
And then we have a few refs who had many wrong calls. But all 3 of them this was based on only one game. So it could be that we just witnessed their bad day. Just as we could have seen Dean hitting a great day in his one game.
A question I left unanswered a bit is : how acceptable is making 10 or 11 mistakes in a game? At first sight I would say it is too much for professional referees like we have in the EPL. But the average is what it is so maybe it is not possible to do better with the games being played at high pace? Maybe a ref can do better on a good day but he will have bad days. And then we come back to the fact that there are only 16 EPL refs in the pool they can pick them from. And the fact that fatigue will creep in the game.
So the chance that the number of 10-11 will rise during the season is very likely. But now I am moving away from the facts we have until now and I am starting to tell what might happen in the future. So I better stop before the refs in the EPL make a fool of my prediction. Now that would be a great thing to happen.