By Walter Broeckx
STOP if you don’t like referee talk or you think the ref plays no part in a football game. It will save you a few minutes of your life.
CARRY ON if you are interested and I can tell you some strange things will be revealed for your delectation.
The ref for the game against Stoke is Chris Foy.
Chris Foy is 50 years old. A ref who in most other countries would no longer be allowed to do games in the top division. He could no longer do games in Europe if he had been a Fifa ref. But in the PL he still can do games as the age limit has been challenged in court a few years ago and as a result we could have a 65 year old ref in the PL. Don’t think it will happen in reality to be honest.
Foy is a ref in the PL since 2001 so has loads of experience. So old and experienced. But first let us see at his past when doing games of Arsenal.
So far Foy has done 24 games of Arsenal in his career. And we have won 17 games under Foy. We had 4 draws and lost 3 games. If you put this in a graphic you get something like this:
That doesn’t look bad to be honest. His win percentage is some 10% higher than our average win % in general. The 3 losses contain 2 games against Manchester United and one game against Manchester City in the league cup when we played with a very young side at their stadium a few years ago.In fact only one defeat happened in the league.
Let us take a look at the record Foy has with Stoke.
Foy has done 18 games so far and Stoke won 3 of them. Had 9 draws and lost 6 of these games. In a graphic you see something like this
So Stoke has had a draw in half of their games. Didn’t lose many games but couldn’t win a lot of those games either. But if you look at the results Stoke have had this season this is rather in line with this. They had 12 draws, 6 wins and 6 lost games so far. So also rather in line with the way they get their points in general.
Foy had done one previous game of Arsenal against Stoke. Last season near the end of the season he was in charge when we had a 1-1 draw at their ground.
What might be interesting is that Foy is one of the refs who has declared an interest in a PL team. So he is not allowed to do games of that team. That team is Everton. Now I don’t blame Foy for being appointed to a game that includes Arsenal at all. But I do want to raise a big question mark towards the PGMOL.
Just have a look at the league table. There you see Everton in 5th place with 3 points more than Arsenal. And the PGMOL then sends out a ref to do an Arsenal game knowing that this ref is a having ‘an interest’ in Everton. This is beyond me. I would say keep this in mind when you see strange things happening.
Let us move on to the next stage of this ref preview. Let us move on to our own findings in our ref reviews of last season. on Foy.
His score on important decisions was one of the lowest of all the refs. You can read it here if you want. A lot of poor games and lots of poor decisions in those games. I do think out of my own experience that maybe, just maybe his age is having an influence on this.
But another worrying part is that the team that got the most favours in the games we reviewed of him last season is …Stoke. I maybe could give you an explanation for this later in this article but let me first start by making things worse and let you know that Arsenal was the team that was hit most by his decisions if we don’t count Chelsea. Chelsea has had even more decisions going against them and then it was Arsenal.
So things are not really looking good now. A ref that had Stoke as its main beneficiary of his wrong decisions, Arsenal suffering very bad from his decisions last season. And an Everton fan.
But let me finish by something positive. Or even a few positives. Because we also found that Foy has a rather large home bias. A very big home bias in fact. And then we can see that the games we reviewed of Foy that had Stoke involved were home games. And the games involving Arsenal were….away games. So maybe we are looking more at his normal home/away bias than a pure bias in favour of Stoke and a bias against Arsenal.
The second positive remark is that we play at home.
And finally we had Foy just a few weeks ago. I think we all remember that game. Our last game in 2012. Yes the 7-3 win against Newcastle. And in that game he got a rather high score in total and his bias was rather balanced in total.
So it will be an interesting ref watch in this game.
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