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.
The next ref in our series is Mark Clattenburg. Despite him being a Fifa referee and thus should have more top games… you rarely see him in one. Let us see if we can find a reason for this?
We managed to do 9 games from Clattenburg and that was 37.50% of his total games. The reason that this is rather low is the fact as mentioned that he didn’t get many top games. Well he did one but after that was mostly involved with the smaller teams (with all respect).
Of course he did a few top teams and that is where we get his numbers from. Lucky that he was send to games from Manchester City and Chelsea a few times and Arsenal twice. But a Fifa ref doing only one Manchester United game in a season looks rather strange to me.
Let us see if he was competent in the games we reviewed.
Well that surely looks to be the case. A score of 76.74% is a good score in the un-weighted decisions. One of the better scores from all the refs we did.
If we put weight on the decisions we see that he drops a little bit but with a final score of 75.54% he still is one of the better refs of last season in this category.
Let us have a look at the different type of decisions.
With 92% of the goal decisions correct he does better than the league average. Just. But I think that one wrong goal in 10 goal decisions is too high for the best league in the world. This percentage should be higher.
The offside decisions are also better than the average. Also just. But still not the 99% correct claimed by Mike Riley last season.
The other decisions are also better than the league average. By a bigger margin this time. So good foul calling in general from this ref.
The penalty decisions is where he let himself down a bit. Slightly below the already unacceptable low league average. This really is something that needs working on.
The red card decisions are better than the league average. Almost twice the league average in fact. So good job but still a bit too low I would say. But that goes for all the refs of course.
And also with the yellow cards he has a better score than the league average.
So in total good numbers apart from the penalty decisions.
Let us see if he has any bias?
Of course I don’t like it when a ref has a home bias. But this is surely one of the better refs when you look at the bias.
His negative away bias is lower than the league average. As is his positive home bias of course. So all in all you could say that he has been one of the refs with a very low bias in general. And that is something I really like to see from a ref.
And if we put weight on the decisions the numbers go up a bit, but not by a lot. He still is staying below the league averages that we found.
So he still has a slight positive home bias but it all is rather very close to each other and that is something we can only be happy with.
Let us check the teams bias.
And now we see a very, very interesting graphic. Apart from a few things I will talk about later I would say that this is how a team bias graphic should look.
From the 10 teams we have numbers on we see that there are 7 teams (70%) who have a very very small bias number. A number between -1 and +1. So in making his mistakes he treated those teams in the same way you could say. The first exception is Manchester City with a negative bias. But even this negative bias is small. In fact for most refs this is a negative bias that I would find even acceptable if you look at their other numbers. The second is Fulham with a positive bias that is just a bit higher. But even with +3.5 it is rather in control.
The only team standing out is Manchester United. And some might remember this but the only game he did from Manchester United was the derby against Manchester City when United got beaten by 1-6. And even though Clattenburg was rather biased in favour of United in that game he never got another United game since that day. Is this a coincidence? Remember he is a Fifa ref so… well rather strange for me.
Let us put weight on the decisions and see if it changes the team bias numbers.
As regular readers know by now the numbers usually go up when we put weight on the decisions. But if you look at the numbers once again you see that now 6 teams still only have a bias swing of -2 and +2. That is amazingly low.
And I point at the fact that Arsenal in both tables has one of the smallest (in fact the smallest) negative bias from all referees we did last season.
You can also see that Clattenburg had games when he made some mistakes but in general (for 6 teams) one could say that it evens out almost.
The real exceptions are Manchester City with a bigger negative bias but even then it still is way below what we have seen so far as the most negative biased team. And we see a bigger positive bias for Wigan, Fulham and of course Manchester United.
We here have a ref that can make lots of good decisions. And that is surprising as I remember that the first game we reviewed from him last season was a complete disaster. He had one of the lowest scores of the season in that game. But after that he recovered and went on to do a great season. A ref that is very competent when he has a good day. But as said he can also have a bad day.
But even in those bad days he mostly is evenly bad for both teams in general. And that is something I can live with. I can accept a ref having a bad day. But then it should even out for both teams. With Clattenburg the chance of having a bad day is rather small, but even when it happens he can come close to being unbiased.
The only question remains: why didn’t he get to do another Manchester United game after their defeat against their local rivals? I remember from that review he did all he could to not help Manchester City. He refused to give a blatant penalty for City. But for some reason it looks as if a certain person didn’t like the final result, and thus didn’t like the ref who allowed this to happen…and he never came back.
This is the second time we see such a thing. Two seasons ago a ref didn’t do what Manchester United liked at Chelsea and he got no more United games for over a year. Has the same happened to Clattenburg?
What this shows most and for all is : refs can get in trouble when United lose a game. And that is a message that will be clear for all refs in the PL.
In fact these great numbers from Clattenburg show that there are some sinister forces at work in the PGMOL. And that might be the most important conclusion.
- Champions League Draw
- Ref Review: Arsenal v Sunderland
- Next Gen, Wembley, Champs League
- Lee Probert, a total anti-Arsenal ref
- Chapman’s brilliance with wingers
- Arsenal v Marseille
- Who referees the referees?
- Calling football chaotic gives chaos a bad name
- Bill Parker, an Arsenal man who went to the States