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REF REVIEW 2012: Arsenal. The miracle of coming 3rd

———————-

Who invented away support?

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By DogFace and Walter Broeckx

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.

After a start that was the worst I can remember Arsenal fought a long and hard battle and by the end of the season the big turnaround was completed. The finish of Arsenal in third place was something only very optimistic people, like myself, could have dreamed of after a few weeks in the season.

The question we can ask now is : did Arsenal got any help from the refs to achieve this big turnaround? Only one place (ok not the only one in fact) to find out: In the Untold referee review that is in front of you. Let’s not waste any more words on this but start at the beginning.

Untold Vs PGMOL - Arsenal 2011/2012

A 100% record for games covered. It can’t get any better we think. Unless being able to get this number for all teams of course.

As we don’t have much response from referees who support other teams the only way forward looks to be: finding a sponsorship. Or finding a company that is interested in this and wants to make a deal with Untold Arsenal. Lets have a look at the possible options to move forward.

If we could find some 5 or 6 extra refs we should be okay to do more games and to come to a score of 100% games reviewed next season.

A sponsorship or a deal with a company who is specialised in game analysis could be the other option. To put my cards on the table: I am willing to listen to any offer that would make it possible to review all the games in the PL. I am willing to stop working my day time job for one season   and dedicate all my time on such a project. Of course my wife and 4 children will need something to eat in that period. I also could use something to eat next season. But any reasonable offer will be listened to.

We just can’t stop it here and call it a day. Not after what we have achieved last season.

So if anyone is reading this and thinks this might be worth to continue: make yourself known.  Or referees: now is the time to make yourself known to us,  if you want to join.

After this last cry for help let us continue with what you came here for: the numbers.

PGMOL Vs EPL - Basic Competency - Arsenal 2011/2012

If we look at the numbers of the correct decisions we see that in the un-weighted numbers we get a score of 69.80%. That is more than 2.5% lower than the league average and under the 70%. So this is a bad result itself. But to be honest not the worst in the league.

If we look at the weighted numbers we see that the score is also some 2.5% lower than the league average. The score drops even more.

These numbers are not good at all.  Anything below the 70% score is bad. Not good enough for the PL. But they are not the worst of the league in fact.

Let us see at the different type of decisions.

PGMOL Vs EPL - Basic Competency Breakdown - Arsenal 2011/2012

The goal decisions are just above the 90% line. More than 1% below the league average. This is not good enough as has been said a few times before.

The offside decisions are better than the league average. Better with 0.5% approximate. But a score of 90.698% is far away from the 99% claimed by Mike Riley.

The other decisions are bad. The normal score was 71.96% in average. The score from Arsenal is around 4.5% lower than the league average and ends up with a very low score of 67,412%.

The penalty decisions also are bad. A score of 56% is more than 6% below the league average. This is like referees throwing up a coin to decide on a penalty decisions. The chance they get the same score is almost as high as it was last season.

The red cards decisions is almost the same as the league average. A league average which is not acceptable at all.

And if we look at the yellow cards they are 3% better than the league average. So finally a number that is really better than the league average. But a score of 59% is not really that good.

And now comes the final numbers that really matter: how was the bias in the wrong calls in Arsenal games?

PGMOL Vs EPL - Incorrect calls Breakdown - Arsenal 2011/2012

As has been said before when you go away in the PL you can expect a negative bias of -1.826 bias points. Arsenal had to face a bias of -10.054.

At home you can expect a positive bias of +1.826 bias points. Arsenal didn’t have a positive bias at all at home. In stead they got a negative bias of -8.264. So it doesn’t matter if Arsenal play at home or not: the bias is always against them.

So no real surprise to see that the total bias score is -9.158 bias points in total.

Let us put the weight on the decisions. And then we can expect a negative away bias of -2.619. Arsenal had to overcome a negative bias of -14.422 bias points.

At home they had to overcome a negative bias of -12.632. The league average is usually a positive bias of +2.619 bias points.

The total negative bias for Arsenal in the weighted numbers is -13.527 bias points. No other team in the league has or had to face such numbers.

Let us move to the referees.

EPL vs PGMOL - Incorrect calls Breakdown by Referee - Arsenal (Un-Weighted) 2011/2012

We had 17 refs in the 38 games. All had a negative bias score against Arsenal.

The only ref who comes close to having no bias is Mark Clattenburg. He made some mistakes in his games but they didn’t have a big impact and it was rather even spread over the two teams on the field. I thank him for that. I even remember him having an Arsenal games with almost no mistakes at all.

Lee Probert

The negative refs is a long list. A too long list to be good. I see that Lee Probert was the most biased anti-Arsenal ref in the last season. By a far distance compared to the rest. We had 8 refs with a bias of more than 10 bias points. This is totally unacceptable Mr. Riley.

I just suggest you look up the names of your favourite ref yourself and see how he fared in the Arsenal games.

If you still can take it we can have a look at the weighted decisions and the refs.

EPL vs PGMOL - Incorrect calls Breakdown by Referee - Arsenal (Weighted) 2011/2012

Well the picture remains largely the same. Only Mark Clattenburg stands out as a pariah amongst his fellow referees as the one and only fair ref in the PL.

12 referees have a negative bias score of more than 10 bias points. With again Lee Probert standing out as the most biased ref despite having some strong candidates to challenge him for that first place.

These results are so depressing that I really don’t want to talk about it any more. Let us see how the season went along.

PGMOL Vs Arsenal - Incorrect calls Seasonal Handicap - Arsenal (Weighted) 2011/2012

If there is one thing clear from this last graphic it is the fact that last season Arsenal has worked a miracle. I have shown when we reviewed other teams in their reports how difficult it is to win a game when the ref has a big negative bias against said teams.

If we look at the bias lines we see too many big lines going down. And we only see 13 games in which the negative bias was below the 10 negative bias points.  This means that in 65% of the games Arsenal had to overcome a negative bias of more than 10 bias points.

These numbers show that Arsenal not only has made the big turnaround of the season. No, for me they show that what we have seen was nothing else but a miracle. Arsenal having finished in third place  is just a plain miracle.

FINAL CONCLUSION

We only have seen acceptable referee performances in 13 Arsenal games this season.  And to put something to bed straight away: the biggest defeat I have ever witnessed of Arsenal in my living days on this planet was one of those 13 normal refereed games. This has nothing to do with Arsenal winning or losing a game.

It is no longer a feeling but from now on I consider it as a fact that Arsenal is not liked by the refs and by the PGMOL.

And I want to say it again: I don’t want the refs to give decisions to Arsenal. I can accept refs making mistakes. But I only want that those mistakes are spread even over the two teams on the field. When Arsenal is on the field this clearly does not happen.

Mike Riley: you got some explaining to do.

Of course you could say:  well this is an Arsenal blog so no wonder you come up with such numbers. You could say: your numbers are biased.

Well if you really have that opinion I can only point you at the next article we will publish in our referee review. An article in which I will show and prove to you that what we have found is not just some invention of an Arsenal blog.

If all goes well this should be published shortly after this article.  If you don’t believe this, then you will have to prove to me where we were wrong. There are only some 7000 decisions to criticize and I challenge each one of you to do this. The reviews are on the website, you can check each decision.

And look at the other article and if you still don’t believe us at Untold Arsenal because we are an Arsenal website it is time to show your numbers and it is time to say to us when you will believe anyone. Or is it just that you don’t want to believe that nothing can be wrong with the referees in the PL.

If you think that by reaching the end of the team reviews you have seen it all … don’t count on it. We got more to come. Much more in the next days and weeks. We ain’t finished yet Mike.

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Thinking of commenting?  That’s great but if you have not read our reviews in the past you really ought to have a look at this article first.

Did a club win the Premier League because of referee bias?  Read the analyses of referee decisions:  Manchester City    Manchester United

69 comments to REF REVIEW 2012: Arsenal. The miracle of coming 3rd

  • Stuart

    Do you reckon AW will see this? Especially the Visual Handicap chart. That would be very motivating to see how well you do in the circumstances.

  • Matt Clarke

    For anyone who loved football these are shocking data.

    Thank you Untold for shedding some light on the whole sorry scandal.

    Here’s hoping that you get the sponsorship for a third season of reviews.

  • a99

    Rather than making this club specific I would guess normal fans would be interested in seeing this by ref: i.e. what percentage of calls have they got correct for each category and where their biases (if any) lie.
    I would guess you now have a large enough games sample to suggest that it is representative of the overall officiating even if you have not reviewed every match.

  • Elvis Senthil

    Hi ,

    To start, hats off to Untold Arsenal . You bring light on this shady patch of the EPL. A great effort considering all the time and energy put forth by all involved.

    We, the REAL Arsenal fans have stood by the team thro thick and thin. The media have realised its cool to bash arsenal. Any other club gets bashed and that club’s fans would boycott that stream. The AAA are my biggest disappointment as an Arsenal fan. I have even gained a modicum of respect (small though it is) for Liverpool fans defending Suarez, racist though he is, and the MU fans defending Young’s acrobatic theatrics.

    Keep the good faith and spread the good word.

    GOONER FOR LIFE FROM INDIA

    PS: Not even a little bit surprised at the facts on this page. Mere confirmation to us Fans , Big Slap on FA , EPL and PGMOL’s faces

  • Matt Clarke

    It also puts more of a twist on your Man City article. Yeah, they won the title without any obvious ref bias in their matches. But they would not have won if we had not been so biased against.

  • WalterBroeckx

    A99,
    We will be coming up with more data and more ref specific data in the next weeks.
    Just wait and see…
    This ain’t over yet…oh no, we’ve only just started… 😉

  • suspiciousgunner

    you should give serial number to graphs so that they are easy to refer…how is the goals call competency determined? (3rd diagram)..by 90.467% u mean for every 10 goals arsenal score we are denied 1?
    Also what does a bias score of 10 against physically mean?

  • suspiciousgunner

    Also i really appreciate your work but i want to properly understand all the maths and method you apply behind it…

  • WalterBroeckx

    Suspiciousgunner,
    it means that from every 10 goals scored in Arsenal games 1 goal decisions is wrong.
    This could be :
    a valid goal cancelled (eg: assistant gave off side and it was on side)
    A goal is given but it should have been given (eg assistant didn’t give offside and it was offside)

    But this could also apply to the other team of course. Because in that first table we look at the decisions in total not just for or against Arsenal. In that table it can go both ways.

  • Walter and Dogface, can I once again publicly thank you, not just for doing all this, but for doing it with Untold.

    And we have published these findings about Arsenal on the anniversary of the day Thierry Henry signed for the club. (There’s an article on that too, but I won’t distract from your work).

  • WalterBroeckx

    Suspiciousgunner,
    you could say that for every 3 decisions going for Arsenal, they face some 13 against them.

  • Horacio

    Having been given proof of what i believed to be true and that i was not crazy thank you my very good friend at football fixed (you get to learn a lot when you live with a person)i was sad when the site went down and we had not the time to continue our talks on footballs seedy underbelly,

    I was happy to find untold carrying on the same work and manage to cross the divide between fans of all teams that want to find the truth and not just hide behind the media fueled propaganda

    In closing please keep up the good work or i might have to move back to Manchester. (its not that bad really but Spain is warmer)

  • pleasedgunner

    Thank you for clarifying..and holy crap thats a shitload of wrong decisions!!! no wonder Arsene Wenger tosses water bottle in out of frustration!!

  • GoonerPhil

    Confirms all that I saw live last season both home and away. For many seasons now we have observed sudden changes in refereeing behaviour in order to help the opposition. I have often wondered how the players cope with this on the pitch, the frustration must be immense. The discipline of the players is commendable under this sort of pressure and has not been acknowledged either by our own supporters or the biased media. I have often discussed with my fellow gooners if this is another key reason why players opt to move elsewhere as they will at least have some less biased refereeing. I do remember seasons at Highbury where we would sometimes have referees biased towards us on occasion can’t remember this at the Emirates.When we get a referee close to neutral we celebrate. We must drive out this clearly corrupt system and get all true football fans across the country to ask for open and accessible refereeing assessments by the authorities. I don’t know about you but at times last season I got to the point where I wondered if I could justify the family spending c.a £10,000 per annum supporting the Arsenal when we were clearly not on a level playing field.

  • durk

    Wow thanks for this enlightening, can you give me a link to your lee probert review? i just cant find it, sorry.

  • Charlie

    My only question would be regarding the partiality and the credentials of the referees who were rating these decisions. You can be watching a match and fans of each team will see every decision slightly in favour of their team. For example the idiot Spurs fan screaming for Sagna to get up after what turned out to be a leg-breaking challenge from their player. If the referees of the referees are truly impartial this is excellent work.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Ok Durk, thanks for pointing at the fact that I forgot to include the links to the different games.. (red head)
    Will try to add it to the article later today.

    The link to the game Probert did is http://blog.emiratesstadium.info/archives/17795
    including images by the way 😉

  • WalterBroeckx

    Charlie, stick around in the next days I will try to answer your valid concerns.

  • Charlie

    Without meaning to distract too much Guardian reports that Cazorla is a done deal. Arsene has done it again, picked up a world class player for half the price of Andy Carrol even if it is Arsenals’ record breaking transfer fee. I’m full of optimism 🙂

  • Naughty boy Charlie, taking us off the main theme. I am glad you didn’t go further and point out that if all goes smoothly we might have two transfers today. That would have been too bad.

    Oooops

  • Tony

    Congratulations to all on a wonderful piece of analysis. I hope you will be in a position to conduct a similar year-long review if Mr Usmanov ever takes over our club, if only to demonstrate that it isn´t HIS influence that is causing this bias. 🙂

  • Armin

    Walter & DogFace I really admire to patience and effort you must invest in such dubious analysis. I believe it is hard to be objective doing it, honestly I think you arent. But I accept there is 10% of discount on subjectives (on 50-50 decisions to be precise). But even if we take off 10%, this stats look horrible.
    What really surprised me is how Phil Dowd stats arent even such bad, as somehow I believed Phil is Usama bin Laden with whistle.

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    What’s really surprising is that the referees make it off the field without the aid of a stretcher in Arsenal games!
    Perhaps this is where players like Tony Adams and Patrick Vieira came into their own, the presence of a club captain who may or may not have a violent temper might have a moderating effect on referees.
    I also agree, the Phil Dowd numbers are shockingly mediocre rather than terrible as we’d expect. Mike Dean might as well be wearing a Tottenham shirt for our matches, his goal Spurs celebrations would have seen him lynched by a Sunday league side.

  • El Gringo

    @Walter,

    I was thinking that a great way to get funding for further research would be through a doctoral program in statistics or sport psychology or something like that. Unfortunately I don’t have any connections in that field, or even know what the right program would be, but I suspect that there is some doctoral student at an American university that already has funding and needs a dissertation topic. If you could work that out, you’d have a respected source of funding free from potential connections to those pesky tribal loyalties (imagine a grant from the University of Manchester!) as well as the support of some professional stats and IT people.

  • @ Woolwich Peripatetic Dean’s celebrations are a mystery – why are they not investigated? They remind me of the ref in the FA Cup final 1971 (I wasn’t around at the time!) – after Charlie George and George Graham secured our first double, when the ref drops to his knees and pumps the air with his fists after he blows the final whistle!

    @Walter Have you spoken to other teams’ blogs to appeal for refs? These are amazing reviews. Even having just Arsenal’s 38 games monitored by qualified guest (non-Arsenal) refs and compared, would give the whole report really strong credibility.

  • Gerry Lennon

    I guess one of the follow up themes will be the double whammy? That is when the Ref has positive bias towards one team, and a negative one for Arsenal, are his figures are twice as bad as when the bias is against both teams??
    Then again, it may just show he is actually a pretty crap referee?
    I have followed every article and I can only imagine the man-hours that have gone into putting all together. Big thanks to your entire team. Truly dedicated work.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Arsecheeck,
    We tried to find interest people, well I tried to find them on other club websites but couldn’t find much response. Well none to be honest. 🙁
    But that could just be me visiting the wrong websites 😉

  • Stuart

    Walter / Dogface
    Will you be producing a ref bias comparison between top 4 (or 6 is it nowadays) and the rest top establish if the bigger teams truly do receive all the bias in their favour as claimed by many smaller teams fans (no disrespect intended to fans of other clubs)

  • Stuart

    Walter,
    Just an idea, but would it be worth creating a fairly short write up / summarise on the ref reviews pointing out the main issues but definitely NOT focussing on Arsenal being hardest hit by all the wrongness? The report could also be an invite for more refs to come on boards in the name of the campaign for fairer football. You / I or anyone who would like to help make this more widely known could then approach the Admins of other football blogs asking if they would publish the brief overall report as a guest post.

  • shotta

    I want to commend Untold Arsenal and especially Dog Face and Walter for bravely pursuing this work despite the ridicule and censure by many in the Arsenal blogsphere who are afraid to challenge the conventional wisdom that (1) there is no systemic bias by the refs vs Arsenal, (2) if there is such a bias it is impossible to prove, and (3) all clubs face ref bias/incompetence and it “evens out” in the end. This is the same kind of nonsense that many of us, people of color in the colonial and post colonial era in the Caribbean and elsewhere, had to put up with especially from our own who were too timid to resist. Unfortunately because your work challenges too many deeply held beliefs it won’t be given the credit it deserves. But you have sown some very important seeds. The Ref Reviews may not have been as scientifically rigorous as as research into drug efficacy but there is no such comparable study. At least the timorous and the flag wavers for the very best league in the world will have to do some serious studies of their own to disprove your findings.

    PS: By my reckoning a 10% bias is always a mountain to climb as it is very easy for a win to turn into a draw and a draw to turn into a loss, instead of the 70 pts in the EPL it could easily have been 80.

  • richie

    why don’t you simply outline the goals and methodologies used in the study and place a donations button on the site and collect voluntary donations from readers who appreciate the work you are doing?

  • Goona Gal

    I want to take my time and catch up on the ref reviewss I’ve missed over the past few days, so won’t comment too much on them yet, but I am hoping that our ‘luck’ will change now that the FA have found the time inbetween twitter policing to do something fantastic.http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/ivan-gazidis-appointed-to-governing-posts

  • Gooner S

    Very compelling. I understand the hard work that goes into this sort of research and analysis….so hats off to all of you. Bravo.

    As a suggestion you might want to rebadge this work to get away from the cries of “Arsenal bias”…just a thought but and this is the big but……what is to be done with this? Can you talk about where you are trying to take this? Do you have irons in the fire so to speak?

  • durk

    gee thanks. keep up the good work and thank you very much sir.

  • Menace

    Untold Arsenal have gone to a level equivalent of a murder enquiry to source evidence of bias. Well done. As an ‘older’ season ticket holder I have seen the bias grow with the value of the game. The game is corrupt and the FA are the prime cause and culprits.

    Many Arsenal fans ask for new players and almost everyone gets surprised and laugh when I say all we need is a couple of referees. If we had a level playing field we (Arsenal) would have had many more trophies in our cabinet.

    The area that Untold has not covered is the racism that exists within the bias. I have seen (and shown several supporters during the game) typical examples of racist bias. The referee talks to the ‘local’ player while he has no conversation with the ‘foreign’ player but does show him a card.

    Patrick Vieira was red carded for foul and abusive language and when it was proved that the language was neither, the FA deemed it ‘unsuitable’ and upheld the red card. That was a very clear example of racism, particularly when one observes the colourful language of the likes of Rooney.

    I hope Untold will shake enough people to irradicate all bias.

  • bob

    Walter and Dogface,
    Just the beginning!, indeed. You have given us square one. The benchmark study against which all others need be referenced and judged. A north star for the dazed and confused. A new beginning. A fresh start. As the Bard once put it: “So foul a sky clears not without a storm.” You have given us the perfect storm. Let the games begin…

  • Menace: I agree with you entirely on the vieira issue, but there are a couple of points that run on from this.

    What is the ref to do if a player speaks to the ref in what is considered an aggressive abusive manner, but in a language the ref doesn’t understand. I think Walter needs to come in on this one.

    The other is the troubling difference between racism and country-related abuse. In the UK it is not an offence to say, “Typical bloody Pole – lazy thieving bastard”. That is abusive but not racist, because we do not define the Polish people as a race. Gypsies are, i think, defined as a race, but not people of individual countries. Insulting countries doesn’t seem to count.

    (And of course I chose Poland by way of example. I could have said, “Typical bloody Yanks,” or “Typical bloody English” or “Typical bloody Northamptonshireians”

  • Arsecheek – your idea

    @Walter Have you spoken to other teams’ blogs to appeal for refs? These are amazing reviews. Even having just Arsenal’s 38 games monitored by qualified guest (non-Arsenal) refs and compared, would give the whole report really strong credibility.

    is really interesting. I might have an idea on how we could do this. Walter I’ll email you some thoughts.

  • bob

    Walter and Dogface,
    This sets the bar for what is a proper multi-factor analysis of any side. Comes the next season, we should be cognizant and willing to bring this analysis of refshite into play when we analyze the pluses and minuses of our team’s performances on the pitch. It’s easy (actually lazy) to ignore the refshite and focus only on performance; and equally lazy to only cite refshite as if there are no problems to correct in any given performance. Both dimensions are needed to get a full picture. (Which is where I started when I first began to weigh in hereabouts and rant on and on. 🙂 ) Again, major kudos are due!

  • Mandy Dodd

    This is absolutely unbelievable, worse even than I imagined. I really hope Wenger and co are aware of this, I would guess they are. I think this goes beyond Fergie having a bit too much influence, this seems to be an agenda against the club- we can all speculate as to why.
    One ray of hope, I fould the refs in the recent Euro 2012 , with a couple exceptions to have been very fair. Hopefully, exposes like this will increase, and the game will one day be up for them.
    In the meantime, as posted earlier, Ivan Gazidis has a new role, hopefully this will bring about more influence for this club. Such roles certainly did under Dein, but I am not sure Ivan is one for the darker arts in the same way as DD. But congratulations Ivan, so far, looks like you have had a good summer. Maybe you deserve a holiday, just do not tell Robin or his agent

  • bob

    Mandy Dodd,
    Gaszidis’ inclusion appears nice and respectful. They’d be foolish to continue to exclude an Arsenal presence, if only for the appearance of illegitimacy. But, to be honest, my fear (for none of us really knows what it actually means) is that someone(s) at the FA decided that it’s better to keep your opponents close and under the tent, than footloose and run amok. I don’t know if this really is a favorable development or not. Only time will tell; until them, the appearance looks good. Then again….

  • bob

    Mandy Dodd, Tony,
    In the next article, Tony divulges that the clubs have near zero respect for the FA. If so, why would Gazidis enter those pearly gates? Curiouser and curiouser. Any thoughts?

  • Mandy Dodd

    Interesting Bob. ivan strikes me as a man of intelligence and integrity, he would only go into such a venture to be part of some sort of positive outcomes, presumably for the game itself.maybe his inclusion reflects changing times? A lot of clubs seem to be going the Arsenal way. Another thing about Ivan, I heard from a very reliable source citeh tried to poach him when their CEO …MR Cook messed up slightly and had to depart. We can only guess what they offered Ivan, and I think he actually was a city supporter but he stayed with us to do a job. The AAA may hate Ivan but believe me, we are lucky to have him, hope he is a positive force in his new role as I am sure he will be.

  • Mahdain

    Disgrace doesnt even begin to describe this.. Riley if there is no bias in the pl then what is this huh? i knew it was bad but not this bad. just proves what a near miracle it was for us to finish 3rd
    On the subject of refs have to say it doesnt suprise me one bit to see Lee Probert up there cos of that one particular match which imo was the worst refereed match second only to Chris Foy`s robbery of spuds at the cavemen home

  • Mahdain

    maybe someone can post this on AAA sites and see what they come up somehow blame it on Wenger? i would have done it myself but honestly i just cant stand those sites one bit

  • Matt Clarke

    @Tony:
    “Northamptonshireians” (?) – sounds like Cobblers to me.
    ;D

  • GoingGoingGoone

    A thought.

    One way to deal with the perception of bias in this study would be to draw a line, by necessity somewhat arbitrary, and if a performance of a referee goes below this line, the match is automatically reviewed by another one of our reviewers. I would keep the bar relatively low at the start, say 55%-60% because of the potential number and then see what happens. This would be a way to deal with the outliers, at least. And if we start getting more referee reviewers the study could, in addition to refereeing more matches, raise the bar to 65% or 70% (Walter’s magic number) for doubly reviewed matches.

  • bob

    Walter, Dogface,
    Dom reminded us all yesterday of our having had ZERO penalties AT HOME. Is there any other team in the EPL last season that had no penalties awarded?! Please check.
    Secondly, can you compute the odds of a side going with no penalties at home? These two “factoids” would be amazing points of reference and talking points to publicize and help strike a blow for fairness in the courts of public opinion.

  • bob

    Does anyone know how many of Don Fungus’s minions are coaching in the EPL this coming season? Is it possible to have a primer going into this season on lessons learned and what to watch out for?

    One thing would be the ref handling of these sides. Favoritism toward these sides must be monitored, and be seen to be monitored.

    Another, imo, would be to note in an accumulating list, how many legitimate penalty-shot calls were not made for AFC. A repeat of last seasons ZERO shots must not be allowed to recur; and we must be seen to be monitoring for this.

    Surely people can come up with more such “items to watch for” to help level the pitch for everyone.

  • bob

    Mandy Dodd,
    There will be “acid tests” along the way, imo. Such as, whether and when to go to full video replay. If the FA say go slow, will Ivan go along to get along, or break ranks? This type of thing. Does membership in the club – and perhaps not the inner club, as iniez suggested exists in her posting yesterday – go a distance to stifling an AFC dissent from policies that can be shown to harm AFC’s prospect? There will be several of these policies, no doubt; and it seems imperative that having Ivan as a board member, or whatever it’s called, does not blunt our push towards fair play across the board as soon as possible.

  • bjtgooner

    Dogface and Walter

    This is another great piece of work. Like others I am amazed that we managed to clinch third place – despite the men in black.

    I suspected that from the beginning of last season there was a concerted effort to put Arsenal out of the top 4, we did very very well to defeat that campaign. When we had a full team out last season we were a match for anyone, even the men in black!

  • Mahdain

    im interested to see how PGMOL respond to this because eventhough they might act as if we dont exist, someone must be keeping an eye. I have a feeling the ref appointments for the season openers will go a long way to show us if things are going to change for the better or not.

  • iniez

    Wow, what amazing findings. I’m speechless. I did expect bias, but nothing like this. I’m surprised the players don’t fall on their arses the way the refs have been tilting the pitch. I agree with @Mahdain, I would love to see the aaa react to something like this. I can already see the smoke coming out their ears as the fuse in their little heads begins to short circuit.
    All I can say is thank you for taking the initiative. If this helps, I have managed to find a site where you can download full matches for free, and they’re usually up around 30 minutes after a game. You do need to create a profile with them but again it is free. If you’re interested in something like that I can drop you a link here

  • bob

    iniez,
    Please drop us a link. That’s a real find and a real favor. Does it go back historically?

  • Claver

    Fantastic bit of investigative work.

    Universities, journalists, the FA…never ever bothered to check all this. It is sinister. Most likely there is a criminal element to it as well.

    Hopefully, the in-game video analysis that Wenger has been calling for – I think – will be put into place.

    No wonder the rest of the world admires Wenger and feigns respect to Ferguson, as one would to Murdoch.

  • iniez

    I’m not sure if my comments are getting stuck in moderation or cyberspace, so sorry if there’s a bunch of repeats

  • Domhuaille MacMathghamhna

    If any of you Gooners believe that these articles, as salient as they are and perfectly reasonable, even get as far as the PGMOL, then I have a bridge to sell you!
    The PGMOL and Riley are accountable to no one! They are a force unto themselves and will cite neutrality and exemption from outside interference as principles they follow to avoid being ¨influenced¨ by media or Club pressure. It is, of course a bold lie but their silence works in their favour…they ignore what irritates or embarrasses them and report near perfection, without ANY proof whatsoever, and all is correct at the FA, the EPL and the media. They are infalliable and beyond reproach, do anything with impunity and smile like the Cheshire cat!
    In order to get their attention, this UA stuff has to appear in the media and be delivered before a commons committee and/or be discussed in Parliament. Maybe that will ruffle their feathers but who knows?

  • Clock Ender

    Unfortunately with the media and sport authorities grovelling at the feet of Fungusbum, I honestly can’t see anything changing for the forseeable future.

    Football was fun, but ‘Bung Pantomime’ is like watching paint dry.

    Still, it gives me a good excuse to save money by leaving my Sky account cancelled when I move house.

  • Stuart

    Iniez,
    Do you have links to that site? I found a site a while back but then all the links turned out to be dead links so will be good to have a reliable site. Would also be interesting to see if the game ending the invincible run is available for the ref reviews.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Stuart,
    I am reviewing that game for the moment. I’m at minute 60 now;-)
    Not giving anything away for the moment…

  • iniez

    Stuart, bob
    I’ve been trying to link it but for some reason it’s not turning up, if i can ask you to google “mysoccerplace” you should hopefully find it. I’ll remind you that you need to create a profile with them in order to download the matches, but again it’s all 100% free. I’m happy to answer any questions should you have any as it’s a bit annoying to get around this site. I’ve been trying to find that infamous game but I couldn’t, hopefully you’ll be luckier than me

    Walter,
    You are a king for finding the game, I’ve been trying for god knows how long but to no avail. Really looking forward to the report

  • bob

    Walter,

    The tension is mind-boggling! More history to be made.

    Iniez, Stuart, Walter, you have my forever thanks for
    making this possible.

    And kudos to Andy Kelly who has told us that a re-view of Arse/ManUre in 1998/1999 is a must-see along similar lines to 2004; plus, he added, a few of Eric Cantona’s never-to-be-flagged tackles take the piss.

  • bob

    rantetta,
    Are you still out there? Do you see what’s forthcoming (above)? It will surely have been worth the long wait! 🙂

  • Stuart

    Hey Walter, great stuff, I’m looking forward to that one although I know I will be a bit angry (it gets me a bit like that sometimes) but it’s a relief to have the truth out there.

  • Matt Clarke

    I will welcome Walter’s review of THAT game (nice one Iniez, Walter and Stuart).

    [For what it’s worth, my prediction is a bias of -8.6]

  • WalterBroeckx

    Matt,
    I finished it….
    The first time I have seen the full game as in those days we didn’t have our sports channel yet.

    It was a ….. you will have to wait till we have it published but it was a real f….

    teasing teasing teasing 😉

    We now have to wait till Dogface can get it in his computer and do all kind of things wit it so it becomes a clear review. And then I will write my nice comments about the ref down of course
    And then Tony will publish it and then you will see the real truth about that game and the real truth about Mike Riley, our dear head of the PGMOL…

  • bob

    Walter,
    That will be Promethean. I mean literally. Taking the fire of the gods and shedding light and warmth for so many who have had to live with that unhealed memory. I cannot wait for the realization of that post-Weimar throng as to the big lie they have been living.

  • iniez

    I’ve found one more site where you can download free matches, it doesn’t require a profile, and seems more straight forward. I’m not sure it’s collection is as thorough as the previous one but variety can’t hurt I suppose
    http://www.fullmatches.net/

    Walter,
    I can only echo bobs words, this is HUGE. Oh the anticipation

  • C4

    @iniez
    fullmatches.net is where I’ve been getting all my games. Was about to post it, but, you beat me to it.

    @Walter, Tony & DogFace
    Have you hired private security yet?