By Walter Broeckx
The ref for this important NLD is Mark Clattenburg.
Mark Clattenburg is 37 years young, was born in Consett and I had to look it up on the internet and that is some way up North in the North East to be precise. [In case you are new to this site, Walter is resident in Belgium, and is only half way through his “Out of the way places in England” course, provided by the senior management of Untold. – Ed-]
He has been a PL referee since 2004 and is listed as a Fifa ref since 2006.
According to some sources he is a Newcastle supporter and therefore doesn’t do games involving Newcastle and Sunderland. As Newcastle is not directly involved in the battle for CL spots we can expect his alliance with Newcastle to have no reasons to favour one or the other team.
Before we move on to the stats let’s look at a few key incidents in his career that raised some controversy. Some will remember the MU – Totts game in 2005 when MU keeper Carroll fumbled a ball over his own goal line when a long distance shot was made.
Clattenburg didn’t give a goal to the Totts even though the ball was way over the goal line. In my humble opinion one cannot blame the ref for such an incident as it has to be the assistant who has to follow this and try to look if the ball has gone in or not.
Another incident with those two teams was when he gave a goal to MU when Nani tapped in when the rest thought play was stopped for a clear previous foul. To the letter of the law Clattenburg was right as he didn’t stop the game so players should have continued. But even I think he should have given the previous foul. So I can understand the Tottenham grief about that.
We also remember this season the controversial racism/sending off diving players incident between Chelsea and sorry I but can’t help it MU again. He was cleared for the racism accusation and my sources within the English game (us referees do talk to each other) made it very clear to me that there is no doubt he isn’t racist.
Let me say however that the sending off was rather harsh in my opinion. The good thing though is MU is not to be seen this coming weekend. Tottenham, of course, are.
Now let us look at the stats.
Arsenal in the PL.
Already a bit familiar with these of course but for new people around we keep on giving them. This is based on 20 years worth of PL games. And in a graphic this looks like this
But now the new thing. How did Arsenal do under Clattenburg? The numbers are based on 24 games in total:
And in graphic this looks like this
So this looks a rather interesting score that we have achieved under Clattenburg. We hardly had any draws under him. Only 1 in 24 games. And for the rest more wins that usual but also more losses than usual. One could say we owe him or he owes us a few draws in the near future.
But all in all a rather promising score under Clattenburg but also rather black and white score (can I use this with Clattenburg in the light of the Chelsea accusations?): either we win or we lose.
Let us move over to the other side of what was not that long ago Middlesex.
The overall statts of the totts in the PL look like this:
And in a graphic this looks like this
And when they have Clattenburg in charge the stats based on 25 games in total look like this…
And in a graphic this looks like this
So we also see that the totts are having more wins than in general but not by a big margin. It all is rather close to their overall average numbers. And they had a few bad experiences in the past as described above.
The next point is the referee review of last season. His personal score can be found here . In short in case you don’t want to click the link: a high competency score, a relative low home bias score, and in 70% of his games and that included 2 Arsenal games we almost found no real bias at all. In fact one number stood out a bit and that was the biggest bias in favour of Manchester United. So if he is true to his past we should have an unbiased ref in this game.
But I also want to point at our election of the best referee of last season based on the numbers we found and this can be found here . And again for those not wanting to click the link I will reveal to you that our referee reviewers added all the numbers together and we came to the conclusion that he was the best ref in the PL in the games we reviewed last season.
Let us look at his past in NLD games.
15/09/2003 : Totts – Arsenal 1-3
31/10/2009 : Arsenal – Totts 3-0
14/04/2010: Totts – Arsenal 2-1
From that last game only 1 player remains at Arsenal in the starting line up and that is Vermaelen who had to get off with in injury early in the game. Amazing how we have a completely new team in less than 3 years time. I didn’t count Sagna as he was ruled out by Wenger and that would have been only 2 players from the starting line up that day.
And that’s all I have to tell you about the ref who will be in charge next Sunday.
But I do want to end with another thought of the PGMOL. People know that I have been attacking them and their head Mike Riley on more than one occasion. And don’t worry Mike, I will be on your tail and will attack you as usual in the future.
But being a follower of the principle that if something is good we should also mention it, I think we can only be satisfied with this appointment. Not as much for the win stats we have under him, but for the fact that I think that he is a good ref with a good eye for the fouls and also for the dives (be warned some of you) but he also is in general one of those refs where you feel that if he makes a mistake it is an honest mistake.
Of course we will crucify the ref and Riley if his mistakes let the game turn against Arsenal, don’t worry. But I feel assured that with this ref it will be mostly down to the players to put the final score on the scoreboard and not down to the ref. Unless he has a complete off day of course.
- Woolwich Arsenal: The club that changed football – Arsenal’s early years
- Making the Arsenal – how the modern Arsenal was born in 1910
- The Crowd at Woolwich Arsenal FC: crowd behaviour at the early matches
- Royal Arsenal: from the Common to the Manor. Coming next.
The sites from the same team…
- Referee Decisions – just what are the refs up to this season?
- Parent News – what is going on in schools these days?
- The weight loss programme: The only guaranteed way to stay fit
- The Arsenal History Blog from the AISA Arsenal History Society
- Untold Dylan – the music, the lyrics, the meaning
- School sports minibuses: providing your child’s school with a bus
- The Massage Centre, serving Northants and Rutland