Background: Initially Untold Arsenal started to publish referee reviews of Arsenal matches, and through this we found some evidence of what appeared to be consistent bias by referees against Arsenal. The point was then made we would get a better overall picture of what is going on if we also analysed errors made by referees in non-Arsenal EPL games as well.
This site records our findings. A summary of our position from the point of view of evidence is given here. There are links to our central sites on ref reviews and on corruption in football here…
By Ref Reviewer 03
Stoke – Manchester United. Ref was Peter Walton.
|3||OTHER||Nani||C||A little contact but Nani threw himself to ground as an afterthought – correct non call||1||1|
|4||PENALTY||Woodgate||Chicharito||NC||Woodgate makes contact from behind with the back of Chicharito’s knee. He also gives a little shove for good measure – not given||0||0|
|4||RED||Woodgate||NC||Chicharito was through on goal, Woodgate the last defender. Should have seen red.||0||0|
|6||OTHER||Whelan||Evra||C||Recklessly got to the ball 1st with a dangerous tackle following through on Evra||1||1|
|6||YELLOW||Whelan||C||This was worth a yellow at an absolute minimum||1||2|
|13||OTHER||Crouch||De Gea||NC||Interfering with keeper during throw-in – not given||0||0|
|20||OTHER||Crouch||Jones||NC||Ran into Jones after he cleared ball – not given||0||0|
|25||OTHER||Crouch||Ferdinand||C||Hand on shoulder to win header||1||1|
|27||GOAL||C||Nani – goal okay||1||3|
|28||OTHER||Delap||De Gea||C||Fouled the keeper during corner kick||1||1|
|28||YELLOW||Delap||NC||Delap tried to gain advantage by fouling the keeper. Unsporting tactic should be discouraged with a card||0||0|
|30||OTHER||Wilson||Nani||NC||Shove – not given||0||0|
|34||OTHER||Anderson||Wilkinson||C||High boot – Advantage rightly played||1||1|
|35||OTHER||Whelan||NC||Handball – not given||0||0|
|43||OTHER||Wilkinson||Anderson||C||Little tug – advantage played||1||1|
|45+3||OTHER||NC||Throw-in wrongly given to Stoke||0||0|
|45+3||OFFSIDE||Crouch||C||Came back from offside position – assumed correct||1||1|
|45+4||OTHER||Evra||Crouch||NC||Shove – not given||0||0|
|49||OTHER||Walters||Fletcher||NC||raised boot, a bit late – not given||0||0|
|52||GOAL||C||Crouch – I have my doubts as to if Delap wasn’t interfering with the keeper during the corner, but since it wasn’t an obvious infraction, I’ll give the ref the benefit of the doubt||1||2|
|65||OTHER||Nani||NC||Handball – not given||0||0|
|68||OTHER||Walters||Young||NC||Shoved Young to open a hole in the defensive wall – not given||0||0|
|69||OTHER||Fletcher||Crouch||NC||Slid in dangerously to win a 50/50 ball – not given||0||0|
|69||OTHER||Nani||NC||Handball – not given and United almost scored from it||0||0|
|69||PENALTY||Shawcross||C||Handball not intentional, good non-call||1||3|
|83||OTHER||Crouch||Jones||NC||Hands on shoulder to win header from corner – not given||0||0|
|2nd half score|
|Correct calls||For Stoke||12||46,15%|
|For Man U||14||53,85%|
|Total correct calls||26|
|Wrong calls||Against Stoke||4||26,67%|
|Against Man U||11||73,33%|
Well, even Manchester United can be hard done by the ref once in a while as they found out in their trip to Stoke.
The ref for the match was Peter Walton who had a rather poor performance getting only 63.4% of the calls right. Wrong calls were 11 to 4 in Stoke’s favor (8 to 1 in the first half).
Controversy struck early when Chicharito was through on goal and was brought down from behind by Jonathan Woodgate in the 4th minute. Woodgate may have got the slightest of touches on the ball or maybe he didn’t. The one thing I know is that he first made contact with the back of Chicharito’s knee, and as a result the Mexican couldn’t control the ball. Then Woodgate appeared to give Chicharito a shove in the back for good measure. The United striker then crashed into the Stoke keeper and went off injured minutes later.
Now, the ref and the linesmen are at a distance of maybe 30-35 yards from the action and perhaps they thought that Woodgate won the ball cleanly, and so it’s not the easiest call to make. However it was a penalty and Woodgate was the last outfield defender taking out a player from behind when he was face to face with the keeper so he should have been sent off. This is another reason the ref perhaps didn’t give the penalty. A ref doesn’t want to give a penalty and a sending off especially so early in the match unless he is almost certain of the foul.
Wrong calls were decidedly in Stoke’s favour, especially in the first half. On set pieces, Stoke almost always had a player trying to distract the keeper, sometimes it was obvious, other times it was more subtitle.
Stoke’s goal came from a corner. Delap started out by standing in front of the keeper. He saw that the keeper had moved to his left and so then Delap also took a step to his left. He really didn’t mess with the keeper though and for that reason I gave the ref the benefit of the doubt and marked it as correct, but I feel if a player is going to stand next to the keeper like that, he had better keep still until the ball is kicked and then only move towards the ball without interfering with the keeper.
There was another controversial incident from a 68th minute Stoke free kick. This was a crafty play – Wilson would take the free kick, but first Pennant would walk past the ball. This looked like a signal that the kick would be taken. Three Stoke players had formed in the middle of United’s wall, one of them being Walters who pushed Anderson as the three Stoke players broke away from the wall leaving a hole through which Wilson blasted a hard shot that De Gea was lucky to parry. Peter Walton missed the shove on Anderson and Stoke came close to scoring.
United also wanted a penalty for a handball against Shawcross in the 69th minute, but Peter Walton was right not to give it. The shot was hard from fairly close range. Shawcross had turned his back and had his arms tight to his body. The ball looked like it hit Shawcross in the back of his arm, but this was not an intentional handball and thus he made the right decision
Important notice: All referee reviews on Untold Arsenal are written on the basis of television coverage. It should be noted that from time to time some TV channels choose not to show an incident involving the referee (preferring for example to show a replay instead). This can lead to our reviewer missing something that would have been spotted by the crowd. We’re sorry this happens, but really can’t find any way around this at present.
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