Publication on July 20th: Woolwich Arsenal, the club that changed football.
The book that re-writes the Arsenal story.
Untold Arsenal has a team of qualified referees who have reviewed more than 40% of the EPL games from last season. The reviews themselves were based on full match video footage with the advantage of video technology features such as slow motion and pause.
By reviewing those 155 games we have made a database of more than 7000 decisions that have been judged by our panel of dedicated and qualified referees.
The numbers you will see are based on those decisions and those reviewed games.
The second team we have in our team review is West Bromwich Albion. They ended right in the middle of the PL table at the end of the season. The most memorable moment was the news that their manager Roy Hodgson was going to become the new England manager. How was his record with the referees previous to his appointment?
We were able to do 6 games from WBA in the last season. Not the favourite team of the TV channels. I fully agree with those who will say that this is not enough. But then again I can only ask if you are ref to let us know you want to help us. Or anyone else who wants to help us in our search for getting more referees and who can give us more games: make yourself known.
We did just more than 15% of the games and we will try to see what we could find in these games.
If we look at the competency in the games that involved WBA we see a higher average compared to the league average. The overall league average was 72,49%(unw) or 71,35(w) so in the WBA games this was higher some 4%. So not a really bad score but this is telling us not yet anything on who benefited and who was on the wrong end.
If we look at the different decisions we see that the goal decisions were great with only one wrong goal in the 6 games we did. Or should I not just say: one wrong decision too much in the only 6 games we did.
The offside decisions are worse than the league average.
Some good news when we look at the other decisions. They are much better than the league average. But this is a bit relative because one call in 4 wrong is too much if you ask me.
The penalty decisions are much better than the league average. Some 10% better in fact.
On paper the red number decisions are better. But a score from 50% is not that good in my opinion.
The yellow cards are worse than the league average by some 3%. So not a big difference but far far away from what we should expect and accept as normal.
Let us see who was benefiting from the mistakes the referees made
In all the games we did WBA got no points. That is a first remark we have to make.
When they went away from home they got a very high bias against them. They hardly got anything in their favour one could say. At home they have a positive bias. Just slightly better than the overall positive league bias number we found in all 155 games. This leaves WBA in total with a big negative bias against them.
If we put in weight to the decisions the general picture remains the same. A very high negative bias against them. More than 3 times the league average! Try to win some points with such a high negative bias against you I would say. On the other hand the home bias was better than the overall league bias. Not really the double of the overall number but not a bad bias I would say.
But the combination of both leading to a very high negative bias against them in total.
Let us look at the different refs.
We had 5 refs in total for the 6 games we reviewed. And it looks as if the ref was or very favourable or very negative for WBA. The one who came nearest to the zero score a ref should get was Michael Jones who did 2 games and who only had a positive bias for 2 decisions points in favour of WBA. Michale Oliver had a better score for WBA as he gave nothing against them in the game we reviewed.
On the negative side we see Mark halsey with a very high negative score. Lee Mason is also not a ref who feels a lot of sympathy for WBA and Lee Probert is the same. So we have 3 refs with a very very high negative swing against WBA. Would it help WBA if we put weight on to the decisions?
Well not really. The negative scores rise or should I say sink to big depths. WBA got absolutely nothing from Mark Halsey, Lee Mason and Lee Probert. And I don’t really want the refs to give them something. But it would be nice that the refs would split their wrong call a bit more even between the teams on the field.
The positive bias from Michael Jones is more a result of being bad in the game for both teams it seems as he made a lot of mistakes but for both teams but most against the opponents from WBA. The performance from Michael Oliver is one of giving it all to WBA. Also really not acceptable in my book.
In our new table we see that WBA got a bad start and was it a coincidence that they started in the first two games with no points but that in those games the bias against them was very big? It sure doesn’t help to win points when the refs seemingly are giving the wrong calls in favour of the other team.
We then had one game with few mistakes and the mistakes in their favour but no points for it.
Then again two games with the ref having a high bias against WBA and again no points won from those games. In the last game the ref tried to make up for all those negative referee performances maybe but they ended up with no points even though they got a bit positive bias in that game.
All in all in the games that involved West Bromwich Albion the refs had a better overall scored and made more than average correct calls.
Unfortunately for West Bromwich Albion they got nothing in return from it. Because if we look at the bias results it is clear that most of the wrong decisions went against West Bromwich Albion.
Two refs had a positive bias and 3 had a negative bias against West Bromwich Albion and in this case a very big one. An unacceptable big negative bias I would say.
It is very likely that in the games we reviewed the biased negative wrong decisions have cost West Bromwich Albion some points. This is another example that it is very difficult for a team to win points when the refs have a bias against you.
Next in this series: Queens Park Rangers
Some of the reviews