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Many refs make one wrong call every ten minutes. But when does this figure start to look suspicious? Part 1 of our new enquiry

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By Walter Broeckx

This is an attempt to get a bit further in our ref reviews and most of all in finding out what is hidden behind the numbers we gather in the reviews.

So in this article I will go and dig a bit further in the wrong decisions that refs have made. From all the 71 games we have reviewed so far, (not just the Arsenal games),  I have been counting the wrong decisions. And in the next table you can see how many wrong decisions the ref have made and how many they make on average in a game.

 

Ref Games Total wrong calls
Walton

4

60

Atkinson

6

62

Dean

7

88

Dowd

6

49

Halsey

3

47

Jones

6

73

Mason

3

47

Probert

5

78

Webb

8

111

Atwell

3

18

Clattenburg

6

71

Marinner

4

62

Friend

2

20

Taylor

2

30

Foy

3

54

Oliver

2

15

Moss

1

4

     
     
Total

71

889

Of course it is obvious the more games you have been reviewed the higher the number of wrong calls will be. So Webb who was reviewed more will certainly have more numbers than Moss who we only have done once.

So to find out how bad a ref really is, or better said how many mistakes he makes during a game we have to see how many wrong calls he makes on average per game. And this we can find in the next table

 

Ref Games Av wrong calls/game
Walton

4

15

Atkinson

6

10

Dean

7

13

Dowd

6

8

Halsey

3

16

Jones

6

12

Mason

3

16

Probert

5

16

Webb

8

14

Atwell

3

9

Clattenburg

6

12

Marinner

4

16

Friend

2

10

Taylor

2

15

Foy

3

18

Oliver

2

8

Moss

1

4

Now this table is more interesting because now we can have a better view on the refs and how many times they get it wrong in a game. And so we see that Foy makes on average 18 mistakes in a game. This is the same as saying that he makes one mistake every 5 minutes. I don’t know how long you will keep your job if you made a mistake every 5 minutes? Now I’m not wanting to single Foy out because there are a lot of refs who make more than 10 mistakes per game. Meaning they make one mistake every 10 minutes.

Now we all can be thinking what is wrong with the refs but still this doesn’t tell the whole story in a way. Because if we, for once, use the “it evens out” theory that we keep hearing this would mean that each team would suffer half of the wrong calls those refs make.

Now I will try to calculate how many wrong calls a team can expect from a ref. Because if he makes on average 10 wrong calls in a game this would mean (from the “it evens out” theory) that each team would suffer 5 wrong calls from this ref.

Of course I calculated this also and this is what we get when we do this

 

Ref Games Av wrong calls/game Av wrong calls/team
Walton

4

15

 

8

Atkinson

6

10

 

5

Dean

7

13

 

6

Dowd

6

8

 

4

Halsey

3

16

 

8

Jones

6

12

 

6

Mason

3

16

 

8

Probert

5

16

 

8

Webb

8

14

 

7

Atwell

3

9

 

5

Clattenburg

6

12

 

6

Marinner

4

16

 

8

Friend

2

10

 

5

Taylor

2

15

 

8

Foy

3

18

 

9

Oliver

2

8

 

4

Moss

1

4

 

2

And now my readers the pictures becomes really interesting. Because now I could calculate in fact from which point a ref starts to become suspicious in a way. Because if a ref makes mistakes in good faith it would mean that each team would suffer in the same way from his mistakes. So if you go above the number in the last column it means that the ref somewhat is doing something more wrong than he usually is doing. And on the other hand when you get a lower number of wrong calls than the ref is normally having it means that the ref is acting very nice towards that team.

So the next step I will take on for now is to see how things stand for each ref and see when they cross the line of making too many or too few mistakes. Mmmm I think this could lead us to some interesting numbers.

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Follow us on Twitter @UntoldArsenal

Reference points

40 comments to Many refs make one wrong call every ten minutes. But when does this figure start to look suspicious? Part 1 of our new enquiry

  • DAVID

    what would be more interesting is a premier league table of wrong calls to see which team has suffered the most from bad decsions referees have made

  • seagoon

    You need to put this in context and measure against the number of correct calls.

  • WalterBroeckx

    David that table is on its way

  • WalterBroeckx

    Seagoon, for your information (and others)

    So far refs had to make 3168 decisions in the games we reviewed. 889 were wrong. In % that means 28,06% was wrong in some way. 71,94% was correct.

    And of those 3168 decisions 372 were offside decisions.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Look forward to seeing the table.

    IF any of these refs or others are involved in anything corrupt, if this is true, they may want to be thinking again…some high prices to pay

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/16486311.stm

  • The Spartan

    Everytime I access this site I feel like im witnessing the birth of a revolution.Good work to everyone involved!FORWARD!

  • LittleHedgehog

    Nice numbers. It absolutely destroys your joy from the game if refs are so bad… 🙁

    Walter, I have a question a little bit out of topic. What’s your opinion about Kompany’s tackle in match against Man. Utd.? We’ve had discussion with guys but no conclusion. In my opinion it was a foul and the red was right. But you are more educated. 🙂 Can you tell your opinion? Was it a foul? If was, red card was right? Thanks.

  • WalterBroeckx

    LittleHedgehog,

    I must admit that I still haven’t found the time to look at the Kompany sending off.
    If any of the other ref reviewers has seen it he can give his comment on this but I cannot say anything about it for the moment.

  • Mandy dodd

    Mark Hughes at QPR the return of a fergie gimp who loathes arsenal, kicks our players and whose teams seem untouchable with the refs. Look forward to seeing the ref reviews and stats involving his games….or maybe I don’t.

  • Anne

    This is fascinating, Walter. I can’t wait to see how these numbers keep panning out throughout the season.

  • WalterBroeckx

    It is fascinating Anne to see all those numbers. But none of this would have been possible without the other ref reviewers who do a great job on this.
    It is time consuming beyond belief at times to view, review, re-review and sometimes even re-re-review to get the decision correct.

    And then I come up with a new model just when they are used to the old model and then they have to adapt.

    come to think of it if Tony ever wants to erect a few statues outside the Untold building they must have statues of our ref reviewers outside the building!

  • Reviewer 02

    I am currently doing Webb in Newc V Man U game

    the figures remain consistent, it confuses me why he is so highly regarded.

  • Anne

    To all of Untold’s ref reviewers:

    Thank you so much for taking the time to do all of this work and help compile all of this data. I actually read all of these reviews, even if I don’t always take the time to comment, and I always find them very interesting. So, again, thank you. Your work is appreciated!

  • Anne

    Oh, and I didn’t realize there was actually an Untold building. Makes me feel important. 🙂 I’m sure it’s a 50-story skyscraper, right?

  • @Anne Untold Towers stands on the banks of the Thames it is a glorious 38 floor art deco structure with a damp and mouldy basement. Being the IT guy – I get a corner of the basement next to the brooms and boxes of Tonys old hats.

  • Mandy dodd

    Reviewer 02, look forward to seeing that Webb review. As someone who partly describes to the north south bias point of view, will be interesting to see how a Yorkshireman treats ne vs nw, or will it go towards widely held views of webbs bias?

  • Anne

    @DogFace:

    Well, I would have to say that a damp and mouldy basement is a small price to pay for a glorious view of the river. You do have a window, right? 🙂

  • Anne

    @Mandy Dodd:

    Great link. I was actually planning to link to that article here myself (after Shard sent it to me), but I see that you beat me to it. So, let me just voice my opinion that everyone should go back and look at Mandy’s link. In fact, here it is again:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/16486311.stm

    Thanks, Mandy 🙂

  • Gf60

    That link is really worrying. If a lower league player can be offered that sort of money to throw a game, how much easier to get a ref (whose pay is peanuts in relation) to make a few odd decisions that will not be reviewed/subjected to video ‘proof’?

  • Ref Reviewer 03

    Regarding Kompany’s tackle – if you look at it, the linesman doesn’t give the foul, the ref doesn’t give the foul, Rooney clamors for the foul and then the ref blows the whistle. Rooney holds up 2 fingers and says it was a 2-footed tackle and the ref shows Kompany a red card.

    It wasn’t a typical 2-footed tackle where the player lunges in studs first at the player. Kompany wins the ball cleanly and fairly with his right leg however his left leg is where I have a problem with the tackle. His left leg is slightly bent which is better than being straight, but he does show his studs a bit there and I think there is a little contact with Nani’s trailing foot – that is probably why the FA upheld the red card, because there was some contact with Nani’s boot.

    So was it really a sending off offense? By what you see week in and week out in the Premier League, many refs would have played on, and I honestly think that Chris Foy would not have even given Manchester United a free kick had Rooney not complained.

    However, seeing the replays in slow motion, Kompany was a bit reckless in the challenge and appeared to catch Nani with his left boot. I just wish that if the ref is going to send players off for that, it should be his own decision and he should book or send off players for similarly dangerous tackles, like Giggs’ attempted tackle from behind in the same match.

  • Rich_Fryer

    MSN have joined in the Untold fun by looking at some ref stats

    http://sport.uk.msn.com/football/which-referee-should-your-premier-league-team-fear

  • Micko

    Re: Kompany’s tackle – I always thought that Foy was a ‘soft’ ref who didn’t freely give out yellow and red cards. Which makes this sending off even more unusual. Or am I wrong ?

  • Brian Blogglesnap

    I believe that including offside calls dilutes and distorts your data.
    It is the Assistant that calls the offside not the ref.

    If the ref however ignored a flagging (sic) assistant,then perhaps you could include this. If a ref made an offside call without his assistant then also include this.
    But penalising a ref when a assistant makes a mistake is not at all logical if you are trying to analyse the performance of the ref alone.
    I believe your analysis will be stronger and more resilient as a result and consequently enable you to draw more accurate conclusions from your manipulation of this data.

  • Brian – I would agree with you if the lino wasn’t hard-wired to the referee via a 2-way radio reciever. The referee is responsible to make the call – not the assistant.

  • Stuart

    Brian, I agree with your point but also like the way the review has been conducted as it higlights the need for technology.

  • Apologies if someone else has sent this link. Any surprise we are bottom? …

    http://www.debatabledecisions.com/tables

  • Mahdain

    @rocky nope and that really shows that we HAVE all reasons to complain about these so called “professionals”…i really do wonder how many wrong decisions these refs need to make before they can be axed…

  • Mahdain

    and btw they decided to send lee probert against us again..only this time as the fourth official with michael oliver as the ref… seriously how can they even dare to send probert again after what he did to us against fulham?

  • david

    This new table is going to make some interesting reading… i have no doubt about that

  • Reviewer 02

    you want to see a bent Ref

    watch the 62nd minute, the Ref goes to make a caution, puts his hand to his pocket, and realises it is Rooney, so changes his mind.

    “The Premier League is full of Shit” sang the Wolves fans

    http://www.matchhighlight.com/full-match-game/premier-league-full-match-game/newcastle-united-3-0-manchester-united-2/

  • Mahdain

    atkinson at his best again denying everton a clear penalty against spuds…i really do fear for the postponement of st totteringham day 🙁

  • Mahdain

    actually 2 blatant penalties…it shouldnt come as a suprise to anyone but looks like our friends from pgmol will do their best to keep spuds floating

  • Gooner Gal

    @ Mahdain, I am now taking the Spuds seriously. It’s a shame that their team is doing so well, while we can’t break our injury hoodoo.

    I watched the Man C Vs Liverpool game which was interesting because:

    In keeping with the back to the future theme of the moment,Liverpool won the match with a Gerrard penalty. Andy Carroll was rubbish again but still drew little criticism from the match commentators, when Theo would of been hammered from the first whistle to the last. It was a risky decision by Daglish to defend the 1-0 for almost an hour, which luckly paid off for him. Although those that tuned in hoping to watch a decent football match between two ‘top’ teams were short changed a bit. Man C sounded silent compared to Liverpool fans and I would of thought the game would of been a sell out, but it wasn’t. I think there were about 8 – 10,000 empty seats at the Eithad Stadium.

    Moaning Mancini has been running on nervous energy for months and the stress cracks are begining to show now. He has won plaudits and the media have been fawning over him for reasons that remain unclear. He has churlishly been compared to Arsene Wenger, when he isn’t fit to be mentioned in the same breath. He is definately not a great manager, but for now lets see if he is a good manager. His first real test is this season to see if he can actually manage under pressure.

    The Man C players look jaded and toothless today as they have lost a bit of belief. I said a few losses would take the veneer off them and would encourage other teams to have a go, but it is still surprising to see how badly they have been affected now that they are up against it. The wheels are begining to fall off and Silva, Yaya and Kompany should ask for a pay rise. I wonder if we will see club in crisis headlines anytime soon?

    And lastly, Glen Johnson looked like he got away with an almost identical tackle to Kompany’s on Nani. Yep the FA have managed to keep their poor inconsistant standards of refereeing up for another game.

  • Johnny Deigh

    @Gooner Gal – Glen Johnson’s tackle was not identical – it was 100 times worse. Johnson slid in two-feet, legs extended, taking the ball with his studs off of the feet of the City player.

  • Shard

    @Mahdain

    I tried to find highlights of the Spurs-Everton match but all I could see were the Spurs goals. Any idea where I could see these penalty incidents that you mention?

  • emve

    nice one, but the numbers for Atwell are wrong from the second table onwards: 18 divided by 3 is 6 and not 9…

  • Mahdain

    @shard i watched the match and they was a blatant penalty and another one which he could have given..im not sure where but try footytube.com

  • Gooner Gal

    @ Jonny Deigh, you could well be right. Games and decisions like that, help clubs recoup some of the ‘English premium’ money spent.

  • mark

    The offside calls are correct more often because there are two people working to get it right. But with only one ref on the field the mistakes are way too high. There needs to be a second ref on the pitch. If there were two refs, I think the over all correct calls would increase toward a more acceptable level. It might also reduce bias unless the two refs are biased in the same direction. Refs are not perfect but they ought to be more consistent and make less mistakes than we see currently in the EPL.