This article is part of the series : REFEREE REVIEW 2012
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.
In this article we will focus on the most important decisions by referees this past season. The decisions about red cards, penalties and goals. I think nobody will disagree that these are the most important decisions that directly and openly have an affect on the outcome of a game. People who are a ref or have been a ref will know that the “other” decisions that are taken care of in an earlier article can also show something. But in the other decisions the impact is not clearly visible. As in the decisions in this article the outcome is more clear to see.
Before we start with the red cards I would like to make the point that this is only about the decisions on the field. In case of doubt we agree with the ref and stick to his decision. When something happened behind his back and he didn’t see it, the decision was marked as not correct. If in such case the FA took action after the game is something we didn’t take account of it in our numbers. We only judged the ref on the field and his decisions on field.
The league average on red cards was 21,43% correct decisions. A ridiculous low number.
|Correct decisions||red||+/- Average|
The first thing we notice is that in the games we reviewed Aston Villa the refs got it spot on when a red card had to be given. This shows that it can be done. But alas…Aston Villa is the only team to even come close to a perfect score in this type of decisions.
12 teams have a higher score than the league average. So this means 8 teams have a lower score. And 4 of those teams have a score of 0 (zero). This means that the refs didn’t make any correct decisions on red cards! Be it sending someone off that should have been sent off. Or sending someone off who shouldn’t have been sent off… Nothing was correct!
Do you have any other word apart from disastrous for such a score?
As this is an Arsenal blog I would like to point at the fact that Arsenal had a score higher than the league average. In fact the score from Arsenal came closest to the league average. So if you think 1 correct decision in 5 decisions is all right… then the refs did all right in Arsenal games. Needless to say that I totally disagree with this and that I think the score should be around the score of Aston Villa. For all teams in fact.
This type of decisions leaves a sour taste in my mouth. Obviously referees are not that interested in keeping the game clean. I have seen people slapping other players against the head without being sent off. I have seen players kicking each other when the ball was out of play or on the other side of the pitch. I have seen two footed tackles with studs showing over the ball. I have seen studs planted on knees that could have easily cost a player his career. I have seen nasty and disgusting things that don’t belong on a football field. Things that belong in cage fighting but not in football.
And far too many of those things went unpunished by the refs. Sometimes even without calling a foul. At times it looked as if refs were afraid to show the needed red cards. I think this is cowardly behaviour from the refs. Maybe inspired by the fact that the media are too quick to say: the ref ruined the game by handing out that red card. THIS IS BOLLOCKS!!! It is the player who commits the assault or who punches another player that is guilty of ruining the game! I repeat myself: IT IS THE PLAYER WHO DOES THIS WHO IS RUINING THE GAME! NOT THE REF!
The ref is only ruining his game and that of the team who wants to play football when he doesn’t give a red card when it should be done.
After making myself clear on this we move on to the penalty decisions. Again I would like to point at the fact that in case of doubt we give the referee the benefit of the doubt. The overall league average of correct penalty decisions was 62,24%.
|Correct decisions||penalty||+/- Average|
In the penalty decisions we see that again Aston Villa has taken the best place. With a score of 83.33% they have a score above the 80% mark and this means that the refs have done more than 21% better than the league average.
In this table we have 3 teams with a score above the 80% mark in fact. Wigan and Swansea also join Aston Villa in this.
If we look at the 70% mark (the minimum score that is acceptable) we see that only 8 teams have a higher score. So 12 teams have to live with the fact that the refs couldn’t produce the strict minimum that should be reached!
Bottom of this table we find Blackburn. With a score of just 30% of the penalty decisions in their games as correct. In the Fulham games it was just slightly better with 33.33%.
Mike Riley, do you think this is serious? Do you think this is acceptable? This is crap refereeing. There are not enough words to describe my disappointment about those numbers.
I know lots have been said about Arsenal and penalties in the past season. And yes Arsenal has been treated badly with a score of 56.06% correct penalty decisions. But we weren’t the only victims. Not that this is a big consolation of course.
Teams don’t deserve this crap, no matter which team that is on the field. Each teams deserves good and fair referees who are capable of scoring at least 70% on this type of decisions and in fact for penalties the bare should be raised to at least 80%. If not more.
Leaving this behind us we move on to the most important type of decisions: the goal decisions.
This type of decisions is what wins games and what wins titles or loses titles. So this is what should be the most correct of them all. And to start with some good news: this is the decision that the refs got the highest score in. The overall league average was 91.75% correct decisions.
So this is good, one could say. But I’m not that easy satisfied you know. Because as this type of decisions decides who takes the points home this should have a score of 99%. I could have said I want a score of 100%. But even I will admit that 100% perfection rarely exists. So I could take with the 1 mistake in 100 goals.
But what I cannot expect is the fact that the number we have found means that almost 1 goal in 10 is wrong! That is an average of almost 3 wrong goals each game day! That is awful.
Let us move on to the table.
|Correct decisions||goal||+/- Average|
The team that came closest to the score I would like to see was Newcastle. So in the games from Newcastle the refs done a good job. Showing it can be done in fact. The final score of 97,86% is decent and is more than 6% above the league average. And as they like to be good neighbours the score from Sunderland comes close to the Newcastle score.
In fact we have 12 teams that have a higher score than the league average. But this also means that we had 8 teams that didn’t manage to get the league average score.
Arsenal is leading the pack of the teams that didn’t got the league average score in 13th place.
To be fair 19 teams are rather close to the league average if you want to look at it in a nice and gentle way. But there is one team that has seen the most crap referees of them all. Stoke is that team and in their games the refs came only up with a score of 66.67% correct goal decisions.
This means that of every 10 goals that were scored in games that had Stoke on the field at least 3 were not correct! This is a ********* disgrace. Teams don’t deserve such crap decisions! NO team!
FINAL TABLE AND CONCLUSIONS
If we put all the tables together and calculate the average we end up with an order that we will show you below.
The higher the place in this league table means the better the decisions in total have been for the games with the teams involved. Of course in individual cases in some games things will have been the reverse situation. But this is an average referee league table based on 155 games.
This is not saying that the teams on the top got the decisions their way. Or the one at the bottom got the decisions against them. No this is the score of how the different referees did when the teams where on the field. This is a league table based on the % of correct decisions in total from the refs. Completely different than what we will show you in the next article when we look at the bias.
But the next table is showing which supporters have been blessed with good refereeing in general and which teams have been pestered with bad refereeing in general. This is based on all the different types of decisions we have given you so far.
THE FINAL REFEREE LEAGUE TABLE
So Swansea has seen the best refereeing in the whole league last season. closely followed by Aston Villa and West Bromwich Albion.
The 3 teams that have seen the most crap referees this season are QPR, Fulham and Stoke.
Check out your own favourite team in this table and try to remember if what you have seen was good or bad from the referees in general. Don’t think of getting advantage for your team or not. That isn’t the point in this table. The only thing that matters is: whether the refs correct in their decisions for both teams or not.
I will pick my own team of course. It is in 14th place. So on the side of the league table where we have seen more of the crap refereeing style.
Where is your favourite team placed Mike?
- Arsenal – starting from zero, in decline or still a top team?
- The Competence of the refs, part 2
- What happens when the manager leaves? (Or Redknapp – more of a menace outside than in?)
- How we moved to Highbury – for the first time ever, a complete chronology