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RefWatch – Swansea City Vs Arsenal (15/01/2012 – 16:00)



Untold Arsenal on Twitter @UntoldArsenal


By DogFace

  • Referee: Michael Oliver
  • Assistant 1: Peter Kirkup
  • Assistant 2: Mike Mullarkey
  • 4th Official: Lee Probert

Good morning stat-fans and welcome to RefWatch… as always – I am pushed for time but I haven’t been wasting it. You might be interested to know that I am working with Walter on some data-sets that are going to prove rather interesting I think… in fact – pretty soon we might actually see RefReview data integrated into RefWatch analysis – exciting times.

I have also been deep in the database and rewired a few things and generally nailed my shit down in prep for the next great leap forward, created some interesting views and produced some lovely graphs – followers of my Twitter account have already had a taste of these and they should still be there in my timeline in case you are interested.

…Let’s move on from my Twitter time line to the Betting Line…

Asian Handicap (betting line) market:

Home Handicap Away
1.800 3/4 – 0 2.100

The Under/Over market:

Over Handicap Under
2.050 2 1/2 1.850

We should bear in mind that this game is the 4pm kick-off on a Super Duper Sunday which means, you guessed it, maximum liquidity and maximum motivation for uncharacteristic under-performances, refereeing ‘mistakes’ and unusual betting patterns – or indeed quite normal betting patterns and unusual results… resulting in happy bookies.

This is what I believe Wenger is talking about when he suggests that some teams fix the schedule (via media distributers) for their advantage – yes, an extra day’s rest is important but what is also important is not playing every game on your run in on a Sunday afternoon exposing it to a black market with over a billion quid of liquidity… of course he can’t say that – but I’m sure he is well aware.

Let’s have a look at the Referee:

  • Full name: Michael Oliver
  • Date of birth: 20-Feb-1985 (Age 27)
  • Place of birth: Ashington
  • Resides: Northumberland
  • EPL/ECH Referee Since: 2007/2008
  • EPL/ECH Games to date: 69

Michael Oliver
Michael Oliver – Sponsored by “prominent Malaysian entrepreneurs” Tune Group

It’s Michael Oliver again… you remember him:

Untold Referee Reviews
Season Score Match
2010/2011 88.000% Arsenal 2 – 3 West Bromwich Albion
2010/2011 65.310% Arsenal 1 – 2 Aston Villa
2011/2012 76.920% Manchester United 4 – 1 Wolverhampton Wanderers
2011/2012 86.360% Arsenal 3 – 0 West Bromwich Albion
Average score: 79.148%

Let’s check out his stats!

FPB = Fouls Per Booking (vertical axis)
BPM = Bookings Per Match(line width)
AHS = Asian Handicap Swing i.e. the deviation from the expected result(vertical axis)
PPG = Points Per Game(line width)
Therefore a high thin line for FPB/BPM would indicate a lot of fouls and very little bookings – and a low thin line for AHS/PPG would indicate an underperformance against the betting line and very few points taken.

Michael Oliver has had 3 games for Swansea City consisting of 2 wins, 1 draw and 0 losses.

Swansea City are currently in 2nd in Michael Oliver’s personal Points Per Game League (for teams with a minimum of 3 matches played), for matches in the EPL/ECH, with an average of 2.33 PPG.

Swansea City are currently in 2nd in Michael Oliver’s personal Booking’s Per Match League (for teams with a minimum of 3 matches played), for matches in the EPL/ECH, with an overall average of 0.33 BPM.

In Michael Oliver’s personal Fouls Per Booking League (for teams with a minimum of 3 matches played), for matches in the EPL/ECH, Swansea City come 2nd with an overall average of 28.00 FPB.

Ahh ha – check it out, my database upgrade to include Championship data pays off as we see that Michael Oliver has a history with Swansea City going back to the 2008/2009 season… actually – quite a happy history – look at that fat blue line of success and, with being allowed to commit 28 fouls per booking, barely a booking in sight… that said this is only going back 3 games and some of the data here (i.e. bookings in the Championship) I’m going to have to review for it’s accuracy.

The below graphs use a more reliable data source with regards to the bookings breakdown – it’s far more complex but I think I’m going to have to migrate some of this to my other views during the week… more work for me!

The colour of the line represents the player type.
The position of the line against the vertical axis will indicate the average time of the booking and the thickness of the line indicates the average number of bookings of players in that position.
Therefore a high fat orange line would indicate that the referee often books the specified teams defence out of the challenge early, a low thin line or no line would indicate the opposite.  The number of minutes bottoms out at 100 to indicate no bookings.

Above is a seasonal breakdown on how, when and where Swansea City took all their bookings under Michael Oliver.

As we can see Swansea have taken no bookings this season under Oliver and it looks like they got some in the defence in the previous season averaging out at around the 40 minute mark.

The colour of the line represents the player type.
The position of the line against the vertical axis will indicate the average time of the booking and the thickness of the line indicates the average number of bookings of players in that position.
Therefore a high fat orange line would indicate that the referee often books the specified teams defence out of the challenge early, a low thin line or no line would indicate the opposite.  The number of minutes bottoms out at 100 to indicate no bookings.

Above is a seasonal breakdown on how, when and where Swansea City’s opposition took all their bookings under Michael Oliver.

Swansea City’s opposition have been fairly consistently booked throughout the defence and midfield over all of the three seasons he has taken charge.

Let’s move on now and see how Arsenal fare under the whistle of Michael Oliver…

FPB = Fouls Per Booking (vertical axis)
BPM = Bookings Per Match(line width)
AHS = Asian Handicap Swing i.e. the deviation from the expected result(vertical axis)
PPG = Points Per Game(line width)
Therefore a high thin line for FPB/BPM would indicate a lot of fouls and very little bookings – and a low thin line for AHS/PPG would indicate an underperformance against the betting line and very few points taken.

Michael Oliver has had 3 games for Arsenal consisting of 1 win, 0 draws and 2 losses.

Arsenal are currently in 17th in Michael Oliver’s personal Points Per Game League (for teams with a minimum of 3 matches played), for matches in the EPL/ECH, with an average of 1.00 PPG.

In Michael Oliver’s personal Handicap Swing League (for teams with a minimum of 3 matches played), for matches in the EPL/ECH, Arsenal come 17th with an average negative swing of -0.25.

Arsenal are currently in 18th in Michael Oliver’s personal Booking’s Per Match League (for teams with a minimum of 3 matches played), for matches in the EPL/ECH, with an overall average of 1.67 BPM.

In Michael Oliver’s personal Fouls Per Booking League (for teams with a minimum of 3 matches played), for matches in the EPL/ECH, Arsenal come 18th with an overall average of 7.20 FPB.

Again – it’s only 3 games worth of data for Michael Oliver over two seasons but, with 2 losses and a win, it’s averaging out at a point per game – which may be a bit of a result if you are, say Derby County, but it’s pretty poor for a team like Arsenal. This season, however we have seen a solid over performance combined with 3 points when we comfortably beat West Brom 3-0.

The thing is though that I can’t really recall Michael Oliver being that bad – nothing specific – so maybe we just played a bit shit for the two games we lost?

The colour of the line represents the player type.
The position of the line against the vertical axis will indicate the average time of the booking and the thickness of the line indicates the average number of bookings of players in that position.
Therefore a high fat orange line would indicate that the referee often books the specified teams defence out of the challenge early, a low thin line or no line would indicate the opposite.  The number of minutes bottoms out at 100 to indicate no bookings.

Above is a seasonal breakdown on how, when and where Arsenal took all their bookings under Michael Oliver.

Wow – look at that – one booking to our midfield in the 2010/2011 season and he would have had a full house!

The colour of the line represents the player type.
The position of the line against the vertical axis will indicate the average time of the booking and the thickness of the line indicates the average number of bookings of players in that position.
Therefore a high fat orange line would indicate that the referee often books the specified teams defence out of the challenge early, a low thin line or no line would indicate the opposite.  The number of minutes bottoms out at 100 to indicate no bookings.

Above is a seasonal breakdown on how, when and where Arsenal’s opposition took all their bookings under Michael Oliver.

Again – we see very similar booking patterns for our opposition, all looks very average in the 2010/2011 season but with no bookings as yet this season.

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

The ine thickness represents the average Points Per Game and the position of the line against the vertical axis represents the average swing againd the handicap.

Now what is entirely interesting here is that in the 2010/2011 season, all the ‘big’ teams did incredibly badly under Michael Oliver… all of them that is except Manchester City who have nearly taken the roof off with a big over-performance of +3 goals. Since then Arsenal and Manchester United’s figures have recovered but Liverpool are still performing poorly.

As we can see, Swansea City are solid and consistent performers under Michael Oliver and have not as yet shown an underperformace.

The Predictortron gives Swansea City a -0.500000 of a goal disadvantage… and this comes close to the betting line of 3/4 ball; so this could be a tough one – but also remember that this fantastic gambling opportunity (otherwise known as ‘the beautiful game’ to you and me) is being played at 16:00 on a Super Sunday – so expect the unexpected.


Untold Index
History Index
Making the Arsenal

41 comments to RefWatch – Swansea City Vs Arsenal (15/01/2012 – 16:00)

  • Marcus

    Good spot Dogface…

    I heard the news presenter on Radio 2 read Arsene’s remarks about betting today. Interestingly, he adopted a mocking slurred voice when quoting Arsene…funny that…anyhow, when I don’t agree with the editorial slant of a news organ, I don’t use it. Shame really, because as a bit of a saddo I used to enjoy Steve Wright

    but you are right, Arsene is talking elliptically again…to avoid things like legal trouble and FA trouble……

    ……basically the sub-text of what he is saying as I understand him is that certain teams are influencing games, (& refs)…

  • FrostyGooner

    Nice writeup DogFace, I think the Predictotron is spot on this time. Could you tell me, is the line thickness in your graphes indicating some kind of error bar or just aesthetic? If the latter, its really not necessary as statistics are sexy enough as it is. Up the Arsenal!

  • bob

    Marcus,
    He wasn’t that elliptical. He’s saying what’s hidden in plain sight, audible in the ether; but the stenographers are trained not to heed any but their master’s voices and ignore or warp the rest. Arsene’s “dark conspiracies” offer them proof that he is paranoid; as manifest in the Guardian’s (Mr. Lurking With Intent) David Hytner’s Arsene-bashing recent article. It signals that dark conspiracies are indeed afoot. Hopefully a spate of goals will overcome the fact that the baleful Lee Probert will be in the house.

    Dogface,
    Speaking of the unspeakable Lee Probert, what range of influence, if any, can a 4th official cause during a match?

  • Menace

    Fergies Probe is part of the PG Monkeys Officials Limited. They have already proved beyond doubt that they are unfit and unsuitable for professional sport. The gamble is that they will survive as long as corruption can be dressed in the cloth of ‘professional’with the FA’s blessing. As a 4th official the probe will influence Wengers reactions and probably have him confined to the stands at the earliest chance. Watch out for the Song booking or red card. It is a prerequisite for the Man U match.

  • @FrostyGooner

    You can find a breakdown of the RefWatch graphs here:

    http://blog.emiratesstadium.info/archives/16867

    And a breakdown on some of the data used here:

    http://blog.emiratesstadium.info/archives/17099

  • Tasos

    Nice work Dogface.

    Mr Oliver definitely has previous with us.
    Arsenal 1-2 Aston Villa 15th May 2011. Mr Oliver questionable performance denied Arsenal at least one blatant penalty during this match when Richard Dunne clearly clipped Aaron Ramsey’s heal in the area as he seemed set to score towards the end of the first half. The implications of that lose were huge, the result meant automatic qualification for CL were taken out of Arsenals hands and gave the advantage to Man City.

    I’m pleased Arsene’s has finally commented on the influence that Sky/ESPN has on fixture changes during the season.

    “I don’t believe the Premier League have played, in the last months or the last year, a very fair role in the distribution of the fixtures. They are sold to television and television is influenced by some clubs to choose the fixtures. And some clubs get advantaged by television, if it’s Sky or ESPN, because they have an influence from the clubs directly”.

    Once again Arsene insinuate’s all is not fair within the EPL.

  • Tasos

    Sorry to go off topic but Arsene’s comments on the subject of TV re-scheduling are worth a second glance.

    ‘If, tomorrow, you buy a club and your best friend is the owner of Sky TV you don’t think you will tell him, “Look, you put us on Friday night. That’s not fair.”?
    ‘Or, “You put us on Sunday night, that’s not fair.”? Temptation? Of course it is.

    “I do not want to go personally on any one club, but if things are repeated then it’s not a coincidence any more.
    ‘I’m not the only manager who thinks that. There’s a real problem there.’

    Last April Arsene said he believed Arsenal were the victims of a conspiracy that gave Manchester United an advantage in the title race. He was upset that many of his club’s games had been scheduled for Sundays, meaning United always had the opportunity to play first.

    Yesterday Wenger pointed out that his team were forced to play a rearranged League game against Stoke City just four days before losing the Carling Cup final last February.
    Arsenal won 1-0 but lost Theo Walcott and Cesc Fabregas to injury, while their opponents at Wembley, Birmingham City, saw their corresponding League match against Everton delayed owing to bad weather.

    He said: ‘You can look 50 times (and) we are 50 times always in that situation.
    ‘Of course it happens to many clubs. It happens less to some than others. The responsibility of the Premier League is to make sure that Premier League fixtures are better distributed than they are.’

    Wenger and his captain, Robin van Persie, were also upset Arsenal had to play a televised League match at Fulham on January 2, which they lost 2-1, just two days after beating QPR.
    Van Persie said: ‘To be honest, I still don’t really see why we had to play twice in three days. ‘We could have played on the 31st and then the third, or even the fourth, like other teams did. That would still have given us enough time before the Leeds game. It looks like the fixtures were all in a rush for no apparent reason.’

  • Well written Dog Face. So i knew that today we are gona have it rough as always but we need to take our chances.
    We need to utilize the ten chances we get and at least score thrice.Remember its really hard for Swansea to score twice. As always the referees hates Song and he has to be very careful or else he wont be available when we play manure.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Dogface, can only agree with your interpretation of Wengers comments on TV scheduling.
    This game worries me a bit, the Spuds dropped points, as did Liverpool, Chelsea looked lucky to me (yet again Mr Dowds performance makes headlines, whatever happened to the old maxim that you dont even notice a good ref during a game).
    If there is any sort of agenda against us, and rivals have dropped points or looked unconvincing…well….
    Agree Kampala, this is the sort of game where the likes of Song and maybe even JD are really going to have to watch themselves.
    I will be very pleased with three points from this game and a full team on the pitch at the end.

  • dan

    OH lord what have done to deserve this sad excuse for a ref?

  • dan

    Correction

    OH lord what have WE done to deserve this sad excuse for a ref?

  • bob

    As others are saying here, in EPL terms, this game is THE prelude to the Manure match. Injuries and red cards to be are in the hands of puppets. (Will their masters want Arsene/AFC punished for his criticism of their collusive scheduling?) My hypothesis: the march toward Fergie XX has started this weekend. (As Mandy Dodd has noted above, Dowd may well have now done his share. Will other puppets and Riley-wannabees feel the tug of strings and willingly follow suit? And lo, there will be dots to connect, as we swim against this tide. Up the Arsenal! Go Gunners!

  • bob

    Dan,
    It’s not the Lord that one needs to ask. As we both know, the answer is far more with Mammon.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Yet another ref giving us nothing. This club MUST do something about this, before it is too late.
    Very soft pen, yet constant pushes on the likes of Song and RVP right in front of the ref go unpunished.
    How many games in a row has that been the case.
    Ivan, do something about this!

  • Kentetsu

    Twice offside and no replays shown. Coincidence?
    First Arshavin who may or may not have been offside. But towards the end of the second half with Van Persie, I already thought he could never have been offside. And the lack of a replay confirmed my suspicion.

  • T Ross

    and guess what…. penalty simply wasn’t. Why do I even bother?

  • John L

    another shocking performance from the ref. that was never a penalty. arsenal havent been great but swansea havent created anything to tie it up. ramsey hasnt fouled dyer, and there were three defenders between dyer and the goal…

    i wish there was a way i could boycott the premiership and still support my arsenal! its honestly getting to the point where i want to find a new sport!

  • Rich_Fryer

    Dyer stamps on Rambo’s leg and earns a penalty. How many times! Plus Beny is getting nothing and being blown up for everything.

  • Johnny Deigh

    RVP looked on to me but couldn’t confirm without a side replay.

    Did you notice Dyer was about a yard offside and they got a good attack out of it?

  • Rich_Fryer

    @Johnny, yes, and the linesman was next to him. No excuse for that call at all.

  • Johnny Deigh

    Swansea made a substitution in injury time and he only played 12 seconds over the 4 shown on the board. Suspicious.

  • Rich_Fryer

    But not unexpected. To be fair, he did wait until it looked like we might get the ball forward.

  • marcus

    @bob
    I have a feeling that Arsenal will have been doing something under the radar..their own private investigations, or digging somebody in high places in the ribs…simply for the reason that the financial implications of the cheating are huge…..(Man U in spite of huge debts stay afloat by dint of the massaged league positions)

    If Arsenal drop out of Europe they lost 40 Million…so there is a huge financial incentive for them to try and stop the corruption.

    I sense in Arsene’s remarks a level of outspokeness I have never heard before…”Football has sold its soul”

    I suspect that some kind of investigation is nearing its denouement, and that things are about to turn ugly in the beautiful game…

  • marcus

    But its very hard to know how deeply entrenched the corruption is…don’t want to sound too churlish, but I can’t understand how Rooney made the WOrld Team and RVP wasn’t even on the list….

    you suspect that there is a level of mutual back-slapping and er, “ego rubbing”, going on that is very clicquey

  • Ugandan Goon

    Only got to see the final half hour after a massive trains planes and automobiles hare down from the lovely shannon valley, had i read your ref review i should not have bothered.
    thanks all the same for what is by far the most sophisticated piece on the arseweb.

  • Ugandan Goon

    the best thing about what i saw was alex chamberlain’s performance, excellent work from the young man!

  • Anne

    @DogFace:

    Unfortunately, your comment about “uncharacteristic under-performances” turned out to be prophetic. Hopefully not for the implied reasons.

  • GoonerVic

    The Arsenal-Villa game last season when he denied Ramsey a stonewall penalty. And then disallowed a perfectly good goal by Chamakh for reasons even the pundits couldn’t fathom.

    Yet when Ramsey is kicked in the opposition box it’s a penalty, and the man doing the kicking is man of the match. Says it all.

    Such a shame that Mr Oliver is the talking point rather than the excellent football Swansea played today, fair play to them they deserved to win because they beat Arsenal at their own game (ie passing).

    Incompetent referee who is second only to Phil Dowd on the list of referees that have cost Arsenal valuable games over the last few years. They will never catch Steve Dunn (1998-2002ish) though, so they should give up trying!

  • marcus

    Like I said, it’s just a hunch..

    but Arsene has been very restrained over the last two seasons…

    the other day he had to literally chew his words up not say mischief was afoot.

    My feeling is that some sort of investigation has been going on undercover, and the lid is about to blow.

    SKY (HOPEFULLY) will soon be ancient history, deprecated to Apple.

    When Arsene talks about Football making a Faustian compact with devil….its a very strong image….

    You can have all the league titles you want Faust..but at a price….

    I feel Wenger said this because something is about to give…

    I actually feel a lot of things are about to blow in February…just the state of the world ….could be a momentous month way beyond the world of football

  • @Marcus

    Didn’t Ferguson once say about television dictating fixture times:

    “If you shake hands with the devil, you have to pay the price.”

  • River ranger

    Hi untold and followers. After watching the recent game against Swansea I was truely bewildered by the complete lack of professionalism displayed by the referee. I believe that as he was only born in 1985 he has many things to learn about refereeing in the EPL. There are several dubious decisions rewarded throughout the game to Swansea that I believe can be seen as deliberate acts of unjustly influencing the game. I am only making this aware to untold as I know there is a keen interest in these matters within the untold community. If the game was analyzed from a view of watching the referees reactions to decisions made I believe there are hints within the body language that show inappropriate influence on the rhythm and momentum of the game. To myself I could see conscious decisions within body language displayed by the referee to sway or subtlety sway the nights fixture. I am only saying this as I find it highly intriguing that refereeing is a secret society with no doors open for investigation except what is being shown on the ground. I was hoping there is a possibility that the resources at untold might look into the performance of the young apprentice referee and see if these reactions that I saw have any real basis or if I have a highly imaginative minds. Thanks untold. It’s good to see real journalists are still out there leading the way and not eating Murdoch and co. take away food. Cheers

  • River ranger

    Hi. Sorry to make other claims but the drop ball in the tottenham vs Wolves game was possibly one of the strangest and influencing decision I have seen in quite some time. I can not see in any possible scenario where what the referee enforced was ligitimate. He had time to tell the tottenham players to move away from the ball and give it to the keeper. I could not believe a referee at any level could see it fair to give a contested drop ball 5 metres away from the wolves goal and allow Adabayor to contest the ball. If the ball had somehow gone in the net it would in my opinion of been an assist to the referee as it was very dubious at best. There could easily be some form of influence on the referee to give this advantageous decision to Tottenham in this game. I think it should be looked into as Redknapp does have history and current form in these kinds of areas. Is it possible to see what the stats are when Redknapp is manager and Michael jones is referee because the decision made was truely only done to advantage the home side (tottenham). Anyway sorry for being a bore but I think the refereeing recently has gone to a new level of bias behavior. Cheers

  • james

    I have felt for the last few seasons referees and major broadcasters have been trying to control the outcome of the league just to prove they can, as if they have all sat around the table and decided who would be the team they support for the season and which one they would like to win the league (i.e Man UTD), knowing they can influence it without punishment.

    Last season some of the decisions that went for Man UTD on a rough estimate equated to Man U gaining around around 20 extra points they should never of had (espesially when man utd were woeful last season but somehow managed to win). This including penalties not given against and given for, Straight Red card decisions(gary neville on dorrans at west brom sticks out in my mind definite red card offense and a penalty but nothing was given end result points for the boys in red)and what has now become Fergie time 7-8 mins injury time to get a goal ect.

    Then you look at the decisions that went against the rest of the top four Chelsea, Liverpool even Man City (Arsenal in particular)combined with the fixture fixing debacle it does make you wonder are teams who participate in the league in control of their own destinies or has there been some kind of mason like meeting in which they have said “this will be the top four from 1-4” and “These teams will face relegation”.

    there are too many patterns emerging for me from a major media corporations who are under huge scrutiny i.e Mr Maxwell and co and i don’t like it

  • bob

    Marcus,
    I agree that he meant that, but did Arsene use the term “Faustian bargain”? Just wondering, as I hadn’t heard it.

  • Sorry to change the subject, and possibly covered old ground, but has Martin Atkinson reffed a Man U game this season?

    Jeff Winter’s comments about being de-selected from Man U games by SAF are key ..

    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/sport/football/3443120/Former-ref-Jeff-Winter-has-called-for-Manchester-United-boss-Alex-Ferguson-to-be-banned.html

  • Tasos

    @Rocky RIP

    Martin Atkinson hasn’t refereed Man Utd so far this season, if you include this coming Sunday’s game, that’s 27 games and counting in all competitions.

  • Johnny Deigh

    @Rocky RIP – No, Atkinson hasn’t reffed a Manchester United match since he reffed their controversial 2-1 defeat to Chelsea on March 01, 2011. That was 10½ months ago. I wish Arsenal could ban refs like that.

  • walter

    Since his first game in feb 2006 Atkinson has done 20 games with Utd. Until feb 2011 that is an average of 4 games a season.
    since the game at Chelsea he has done not one of Utd in now almost a year. Not one.

    yeah the PGMO eats out of the hand of Utd

  • walter

    And Atkinson is a Fifa ref so he should be doing most of all the top teams….

  • I assume nobody in the media has the balls to highlight this for fear of being banned themselves. (We have evidence of SAF doing this to journos who ask the ‘wrong type of questions’. Nothing new there.)
    There’s a great article in the making there, based on Winter’s comments and the hard evidence of events since.

    Mike Dean this Sunday? Hmmmmmm.