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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.