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So what is wrong with the PL Refs: Case study Atkinson

By Walter Broeckx

After having finished the articles in which we tried to find out under whom the teams did better than usual (or to see under which ref they have a bad to terrible win record) we now are going to have another look at those numbers but looking at it from the point of view of the ref and then show you how a ref performs with all the teams.

I had this planned when I started the series and I think looking at a few questions from people it could make things a bit easier for people who want to keep an eye on how a ref is doing for one team vis a vis another team.

People asking me how do Arsenal and WBA do under Webb? Well up to now you had to go to the Arsenal article and then to the WBA article. But now we will give you a nice and handy tool where you can see how each ref does with all the teams in the PL.

Let me give you an example of this. In general when we get Martin Atkinson Arsenal doesn’t have to fear him a lot.  Let us say that if we were to play Sunderland and Atkinson is in charge, we can expect him to do a good job. I’m not saying he will help us to a win but you can be sure that he will do a professional job. And after all that is all we want from a ref.

But us Untolders know that when we have Atkinson in a game against Chelsea that we are more or less doomed. Chelsea are highly over achieving whenever Atkinson is around. And it is finding out that combination that is teaching us a lot of the possible influence a ref can have on the outcome of a game.

So how should we use the table we are going to present to you? We give you the total numbers of games of each team and the result they had in numbers and in percentage terms. And then we have the result of the mentioned team under the ref.

And then I added a last column: “Achieving”. And that is where I tell how the team is doing under said ref. Average means that the results in general and the results under this ref are very much in line with what can be expected. In this table Arsenal is such a team.

When you see the word “over” this means that the team is over achieving when the refs is in charge. A good example of such a team that has a remarkably better score when the ref is around is Chelsea.  And when you see the word “Under” this means that this team is underachieving when this ref is around. An example of this might be Everton or Liverpool.

Now the art of this is trying to find interesting combinations. Let me try to give you an example. A few weeks ago ref Atkinson did Southampton – Manchester City. Now if you look at the result of Manchester City you see that they are overachieving under Atkinson in general by some 15%. So no big problems ahead for them at first sight. But then we have to look at the numbers of Southampton.  And then we see that for some unknown reason Southampton who only have a win percentage of 29% in general win 57% of their games when Atkinson is in charge. So they are overachieving by some 28%.  Almost the double win percentage than general!

So with those numbers Southampton beating Manchester City with 3-1 looks less surprising than it first was.

With this table in hand any win from Chelsea against any other team looks “normal”. Which it isn’t in fact. Because we all have seen this season how Atkinson tilted the result in favour if Chelsea by not calling obvious fouls against Chelsea and letting them score from this.  Or giving them penalties for players who dived.

Just have a look at the full table and from now on you can see before any game what could be the expected outcome of a game.  Just have a look at the table.

Total won draw lost won draw lost Achieving
Arsenal

797

426

212

159

53,45%

26,60%

19,95%

Atkinson

28

14

7

7

50,00%

25,00%

25,00%

Average
Aston Villa

797

287

249

261

36,01%

31,24%

32,75%

Atkinson

26

10

6

10

38,46%

23,08%

38,46%

Average
Chelsea

797

414

206

177

51,94%

25,85%

22,21%

Atkinson

24

18

4

2

75,00%

16,67%

8,33%

Over
Everton

797

282

230

285

35,38%

28,86%

35,76%

Atkinson

22

6

4

12

27,27%

18,18%

54,55%

Under
Fulham

443

137

128

178

30,93%

28,89%

40,18%

Atkinson

22

11

3

8

50,00%

13,64%

36,36%

Over
Liverpool

797

389

203

205

48,81%

25,47%

25,72%

Atkinson

32

13

9

10

40,63%

28,13%

31,25%

Under
Man City

607

226

159

222

37,23%

26,19%

36,57%

Atkinson

23

12

3

8

52,17%

13,04%

34,78%

Over
MU

797

520

165

112

65,24%

20,70%

14,05%

Atkinson

22

15

2

5

68,18%

9,09%

22,73%

Average
Newcastle

717

284

192

241

39,61%

26,78%

33,61%

Atkinson

23

8

5

10

34,78%

21,74%

43,48%

Average
Norwich

227

68

72

87

29,96%

31,72%

38,33%

Atkinson

7

4

0

3

57,14%

0,00%

42,86%

Over
QPR

227

71

57

99

31,28%

25,11%

43,61%

Atkinson

13

3

2

8

23,08%

15,38%

61,54%

Under
Reading

101

31

21

49

30,69%

20,79%

48,51%

Atkinson

8

1

3

4

12,50%

37,50%

50,00%

Under
Southampton

531

155

146

230

29,19%

27,50%

43,31%

Atkinson

7

4

0

3

57,14%

0,00%

42,86%

Over
Stoke

177

53

54

70

29,94%

30,51%

39,55%

Atkinson

21

7

1

13

33,33%

4,76%

61,90%

Average
Sunderland

443

119

112

212

26,86%

25,28%

47,86%

Atkinson

26

6

10

10

23,08%

38,46%

38,46%

Average
Swansea

63

20

21

22

31,75%

33,33%

34,92%

Atkinson

6

2

2

2

33,33%

33,33%

33,33%

Average
Tottenham

797

307

210

280

38,52%

26,35%

35,13%

Atkinson

22

10

5

7

45,45%

22,73%

31,82%

Over
WBA

253

62

64

127

24,51%

25,30%

50,20%

Atkinson

16

6

2

8

37,50%

12,50%

50,00%

Over
West Ham

641

210

164

267

32,76%

25,59%

41,65%

Atkinson

24

10

4

10

41,67%

16,67%

41,67%

Over
Wigan

291

81

73

137

27,84%

25,09%

47,08%

Atkinson

21

7

4

10

33,33%

19,05%

47,62%

Average

Now of course this is not written in stone. And accidents might happen. The favourite team having an off day, the ref having a bit of bad luck with the outcome of some of his biased decisions can change a game.

Just imagine, to stay with the latest Chelsea-Arsenal game that he didn’t give the foul on Coquelin as he did, but Chelsea failing to capitalise from his coloured decision. Or he could have done the right thing and give the foul. Nobody in the Chelsea camp could and would have complained. And just imagine him giving the penalty but Chelsea missing the penalty. Those things can happen and then even when you did all you could to help them it might happen that you failed.

A table like this might be a handy instrument if you want to make a few bets. You could use it to win more information about the possible effects of the refs on the games. But always remember the outcome of the games still remains a bit uncertain as I just explained. But if you look you will find some strange things and it might be interesting to put a bet against the odds at times. Don’t blame me if it doesn’t happen of course. Buy me a drink next time I come to the Emirates when you have won a few pounds using this table.  Or the other tables we will show you in the next weeks.

Arsenal receive amazing boost in their quest for a European place

Recent posts…

The referee analysis

The full index of articles in order of publication is now available here.

——————————–

The books…

The sites from the same team…

5 comments to So what is wrong with the PL Refs: Case study Atkinson

  • Robl

    @ Walter, thanks for the analysis yet again.

    So what do we think happens if we have Atkinson, are playing Sunderland and fighting Chelsea for a Champions League place….

  • ClockEndRider

    Excellent effort gents. Please keep up the good work in putting the spotlight on the PGMOL.

  • colario

    Thank you Walter for the link you gave me in a previous blog. Colario.

  • mark

    the FA and refs are corrupt. Mediocre refereeing is tolerated in the interest of adding controversy to the spectacle. Here in Australia, we have one of the most complex and chaotic sports, AFL, and the refs are outstanding. By comparison, football is so much simpler, yet the refs will make inexplicably bad decisions routinely. in fairness to the refs, the game is inherently corrupt as diving and simulation is exploited so as to win opportunities for penalties, set pieces and have opposition players carded.
    Refs should be given greater discretion to make common sense decisions.
    it’s all very simple to rectify, but the EPL isn’t one of the greatest leagues in the world for nothing.

  • Vinnie

    Interesting and informative as always, Walter. I was wondering if it would be instructive to compare the results under a particular ref with the results against the same opponents under all refs (as opposed to the results against the entire league). I realize this would reduce the sample size of the overall team stats, particularly in cases where the number of games under a ref is small. However, in cases where a ref does not handle games for some opponents at all, removing those opponents from the team results as well might highlight any hidden, or not so hidden, prejudice. Common decency and a sense of fair play should prohibit the mention of the name Dean at this point, but since he doesn’t have either of those traits either, WTF.