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Southampton, Man U and Liverpool managers start to take on PGMOL, FA and the PL over referees

Sometimes it seems that Premier League managers are not the brightest of individuals.

They have known for years that bad refereeing, dodgy refereeing and indeed fixed refereeing can scupper their teams’ chances in a match or across the whole season.

But they have constantly bent the knee to the authorities who run the system of refereeing so badly.  When PGMOL announce insanely high accuracy rates for referee decisions the managers say nothing and do nothing, despite the total lack of evidence that accompanies such lunatic claims.

Instead they wait until their team is hurt by either inept or bent refereeing, and then complain.  It’s a crazy way to behave because

a) it always looks like special pleading

b) it leaves the individual manager exposed and isolated as no other manager will join in to help a rival

c) they know in the end they will accept whatever stupid punishment is handed down from on high.

It seemed at first that nothing much had changed when B Rodgers expressed his views about refereeing of a Liverpool match except that his outburst was particularly vehment.

But then along came Mauricio Pochettino of Southampton, who upped the odds by talking not about one game but about the whole season.   Now we have Moyes laying into the ref in no uncertain terms.

A Man U manager having a go at refs is nothing new of course.  Sir F did it endlessly as part of the constant campaign he had to get his own way.  Occasionally he was picked up – I remember him calling Wiley “unfit to referee” and complaing that Atkinson was neither fit nor strong.

But there seems to be something different emerging now, as if, maybe, perhaps, someone in the backroom has told the deputy under assistant to the assistant to the manager that Referees Decisions and Untold have made it totally clear: all is not well in the world of refereeing in the Premier League.

Mauricio Pochettino made it clear that he felt Southampton have been picked out by referees for biased treatment, after  Clattenburg had a particularly “dubious” (its the only word I can find) game when Southampton played Everton recently.

Speaking through his translator he hsaid, “I was angry about some of the refereeing decisions.   There was not one but actually two clear penalties not given to us. We have been suffering all season long. Many injustices have gone against us. It is easier to referee a Southampton side that are all young, friendly players. It is very easy to have decisions not go for us. It is a lot easier to have decisions to go against us.   We just want Southampton to be refereed with the same rigour as all other clubs are judged.”

It was just about the most eloquent statement on bad refereeing from a manager I’ve heard in a long time.

David Moyes, sadly, has no such gentility of expression, but his contribution, as with Rodgers, coming along at the same time as each other and that of Mauricio Pochettino gives PGMOL and their lackeys in the FA and PL, a growing problem.  Much more of this and they’ll have half the managers in the league in the stand.

Moyes had a go at Howard Webb – which is not hard to do – over Lloris’ attack on Ashley Young. Moyes’ view was that “If you follow through on a player anywhere else on the pitch with your foot high, it would be a red card. You couldn’t do that anywhere else. The goalkeeper comes out, Ashley Young gets the ball before him and he follows through.”

But then he said something quite odd:  “You’d hope the people who put the referees out there would have a look at it and look to see if they think the referees are doing as well as they can be. If they are they keeping picking them.”

It almost suggests that Moyes doesn’t know who picks the refs, how they do it, and why there is such a huge problem as there is at the moment.  Maybe Man U have been such beneficiaries of dubious decisions (at least according to the statistics) that no one there has ever looked into the matter before.

Interestingly Alan Green on Radio 5, a long term critic of referees in the Premier League, was particularly scathing in his commentary on the Man U game yesterday, which we listened to on the way back from the victory over Cardiff.   We’re all used to the commentator telling us that the ref had got things wrong, but this time he too seemed to be going further.
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But of course, as matters stand, the FA, PL and PGMOL could simply pick these three managers off one by one, and that would be it.  But if a few more managers have the ability to stand up and speak along the lines of Mauricio Pochettino then maybe we would actually start making some inroads.
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If you want some more reading, here it is…
.
In this series
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The bias that teams get from playing at homeWrong second yellow cards Wrong red card decisionsWrong PENALTY decisions, a closer look.

Wrong goal decisions

It doesn’t all even out in the end

Extrapolating important decisions

The earlier series of reviews:

70 comments to Southampton, Man U and Liverpool managers start to take on PGMOL, FA and the PL over referees

  • WalterBroeckx

    Poor Moyes after suffering lots of strange things when Everton played MU in the last decade he surely must have thought that from now on things would go his way.
    His only hope is that SAF (who still has MR his phone number and maybe also that of the one they don’t speak of) makes a few phone calls to correct the situation.

    Now on to the question on who is responsible for the referees it is Mike Riley as head of the PGMOL of course but also the PL as they are the ones that have given the PGMOL the job to give them the referees. So the head of the PL is also very much involved and responsible for. So their CEO has also a big responsibility in any wrongdoings in the referee world. Their CEO being a referee himself by the way. So he must know a bit about the subject himself….

  • HenryB

    It is hard to take your Post seriously as it is replete with so many emotive and unnecessarily pugnacious and aggressive words.

    All the allegations in your essay are just rather facile muck stirring.

    You have provided no hard evidence, simply innuendo, and out of context comments supposedly uttered by managers who themselves obviously felt under pressure about a perceived injustice (or two) against their team which could impact on their own livelihoods, no matter how much many of the rest of us disagreed with them.

    You need to work harder on this.

  • wambam

    Squakey bum time at United:)

    Anyone seen Van-Perstrings???

  • wambam

    whoops….meant to say Squeaky bum time….:)

  • Florian

    HenryB,

    Thank you for providing evidence of your own.

  • robl

    @ HenryB, if only you’d spent less time being pompous and more time researching the issue before spewing forth your ignorant knee jerk opinion. Instead of coming across as intelligent and erudite you just look a bit of a twat that swallowed a dictionary.

    The author provided no less than 66 links to other articles, much of the research and numbers being provided by qualified refs, not all Arsenal supporting to back up his comments.

    But then you wouldn’t know that would you as in your haste to grandstand you did the literary equivalent of knocking one out.

  • TC

    Most games I have seen over the Christmas period have had abject decisions being made by officials. Every time I watch a game I bitch and swear and even laugh at their incompetence – and I will continue to this. Why? Because it is the officials own fault – they should have requested technology help. No iffs and buts they should have taken action regardless of any FIFA bluster. We all use technology to help us in our lives today so I do not understand their reluctance. However as they continue to shun technology then I will continue to bitch about it.

    I could go on about loads of referee screw ups but I will write just one that sums up for me the ridiculous situation. Most ‘great and exciting’ games based on Sky and general punditry reviews are games that have been decided by numerous refereeing screw ups (sometimes this is NOT making a decision as opposed to making one that is wrong). Games being decided by referee screw ups and incompetence and not FOOTBALL skills and athletism. Very very sad.

  • Mahesh

    Tony,

    Moyes might be talking about PGMOL or referee employers being not upto the task. Or he might have meant something different (yet same old from our perspective) “PGMOL and MR should make sure that referees do what they are supposed to do i.e. give ManU penalties and ‘ensure’ that ManU wins at home and away whenever possible!” He certainly expected Webb to do his ‘job’! 🙂

    Just a thought!

  • bjtgooner

    Pochettino and Rodgers have valid reasons to complain about recent incorrect ref decisions. However, Rodgers sat back very quietly and said nothing when Arsenal were ripped off match after match, so it is hard to have any sympathy for him or Liverpool.

    Moyes seems to have inherited the MU belief that they deserve dodgy decisions (including when required match winning ones) to go in their favour every match.

    It looks as if his previous differences with Riley are counting against him and that Riley, instead of furthering fair play now that the bridle of the red nosed horse trader has been removed, has switched ref bias to favour the Oilers and Chel$ki.

  • Lekan Gunner

    @henryB was so quick to post, he didn’t even read d article
    “Oga” pls next time take ur time to read b4u post
    there r enough links for evidences if u want

  • Brickfields Gunners

    About turn…

    A man walks into a hospital for a routine examination. Just as he reaches the main entrance, another man, who had just exited the hospital, keels over on the sidewalk.
    The first man runs towards the second and notices that he is obviously dead. with this he rushes into the hospital, grabs the first doctor that he sees, and screams,” Doctor, Doctor!! what should I do?, a man just walked out of the hospital and dropped dead on the sidewalk!!”

    The doctor thought about this dilemma for a few seconds, and then suggested, “spin him around. Make it look as if he was comming in.”

  • Mick

    @bjtgooner
    ‘…..has switched ref bias to favour the Oilers and Chel$ki.’
    And Tottenham, given the amount of ‘luck’ they seem to have enjoyed this season.
    I read or heard recently that the PGMOL claim 99% accuracy on offside decisions. This is absolute nonsense, anyone with half a brain can see this is simply not true. Every game I watch has at least one, usually, more wrong offsides given or not given, quite often costing goals or denying chances of goals, and of course the opposite eg Boney’s offside scoring header for Swansea yesterday. Does the arrogant idiot Riley think we are stupid.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Mick,
    he does… 😉

  • colario

    What can turn the PMGOL from a closed shop to an open shop?
    How is it that in a democratic country we have two non democratic organisations controlling our country’s biggest export?
    The FA and the PMGOL are bringing England into world wide disrepute.

  • Ben

    Once upon a time not too long ago lots of opposition fans accused this site and some Arsenal fans of paranoia about refereeing standards, where are they for their input on this?

  • para

    I have said for years that unless the refs get their important work as a full time properly paid job, the rules are stuck to without any “let the game flow”, “it was a soft tackle”, and many such other avoidance of the rules, the situation will get worse.
    If the rules are kept to the letter, then every team knows exactly what to expect, after all the rules are there for a reason, at the moment no one really knows what to expect concerning rules. We’ve all seen two exactly the same situations get different reactions from the ref, and this is unacceptable in the game, especially at this level.
    Then there is the differences between refs in CL and refs in PL, these need to be erased out.
    Glad that something is starting to happen, although i wonder if there will be any change soon. These things seem to take forever, changes, i mean.

  • nicky

    I could just about tolerate the sheer incompetence of referees, if I could be sure it wasn’t due to deliberate corruption.

  • bob

    “But of course, as matters stand, the FA, PL and PGMOL could simply pick these three managers off one by one, and that would be it. But if a few more managers have the ability to stand up and speak along the lines of Mauricio Pochettino then maybe we would actually start making some inroads.”
    Tony,
    Beyond managers actually sticking together, if fans and blogsters (continue) to realize and challenge their usual tribalist indifference to the other guy’s refshite problems, then these welcome inroads would surely expand. (Btw, it’s spelled PGMob.)

  • Tasos

    Howard Webb not awarding Man Utd a crucial, dubious penalty appeal at Old Trafford. Never thought I’d see the day.

    Up until yesterday Man Utd had still been the recipients of “generous” refereeing decisions this season.

    Could this signal a new year’s resolution or a rebellion?

  • bob

    “our country’s biggest export”
    colario,
    Really striking comment. Is it right? Are there numbers that support it? Any links? (not a challenge, but seriously want to know)

  • The FA have had almost the perfect set up for a scam for a long time – they know that managers are self interested. They will only complain about their own team and not refereeing overall. Managers will always come across as biased – and of course to an extent they are.

    I agree with you that the ONLY way to change what is going on with refereeing (bias but not sure of motive) is for all managers to come together to sort it out and stand against the PGMOL. Where are the LMA on this?

  • Nelson Wong

    Can clubs take FA, PMGOL and individual ref to court because their wrong decision cost $$$?

    I think they probably have it in their contract with FA to forfeit such right and claims under all circumstances.

    Such action however will be very powerful and if somehow the jugde rules that the decisions are wrong and FA, PMGOL and individual ref are responsible only it won’t be the case because the terms in the contract. Then it would really shock the foundation of those guys.

  • Jax

    @Nicky
    Isn’t that a contradiction in terms? If it was deliberate corruption (which I don’t believe) then it wouldn’t be an incompetence. Incompetence by definition is ineptitude so couldn’t be deliberate. I’ve never believed there are bent officials in the Premier League, but have recently begun to agree with the accusations of “unconscious bias” against many of them. Like you I can tolerate it but would like to see some evidence that the PMGOL isn’t putting it’s head in the sand over the issue.

  • Jax

    & Nelson Wong
    That’s an interesting one. Ex Liverpool midfielder Raul Meireles climbed down after threatening to take Turkish referee to court over an alleged spitting incident because it tarnished his role model image but didn’t proceed probably for the contractual reasons you state. I’d love to see it happen though.

  • there was a nice moment in the first half , where Norwich chance was saved by chezer. per brought down Campbell while kosicleny was already behind per and the flame covering, Moss let the play go on since mutch was attacking and then came back and gave a yellow to per.

    That tape should be showed to all refs until it is imprinted in the back of their eyes – that was playing advantage. Playing advantage and getting back to the foul later – not forget the foul once the advantage was played out. If this simple thing was followed , we will be playing against 9 men against most sides. – Well done Moss just for that piece of refereeing.

  • there are double points(next yr onwards) and tyres that break after 5 laps in F1 and similar other nonsenses in other sports that get a “bit of randomness” to the sport. May be the refs are fulfilling that role in the PL.

  • colario

    @bob
    January 2, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    “our country’s biggest export”
    colario,’.

    What other product ‘made in England’ is seen by more people?
    I don’t know of one do you?

  • jitty

    Utd had such an enourmous tilt for 18mths so that SAF could get no 20 (look how poor that team really is!)

    My guess is that SAF used up his political capital on that – and he is no longer very relevant.

    There is a new landscape now with BT and especially BT’s acquisition of the CL rights.

    Sky & BT both need “competition” and excitement – so that is what the show runners are creating.

  • Persian gunner

    Last night Oscar scored once and made an assist for Chel$i, while he should be sent out by a direct red card for tough tackle in Liverpool game!

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Dear Mr.Riley ,
    New Year Wishes from all of us at UA….

    ecard text: A New Year lesson to learn: Never try to f**k up someones life with a lie when yours can be destroyed with the truth.

    http://www.rottenecards.com/card/328495/a-new-year-lesson-to-learn

  • WalterBroeckx

    r. iris,
    yes I also mentioned it in my post-match article. I think. Blimey new years day… But that was first a real advantage given the space and room and Mutch getting in (the only?) shot for Cardiff in the first half and a decent save needed from Szczesny.

    Mind you for the first time I must say that he should have given us a penalty but didn’t give it. I have praised him too much in the past I think 😉 Maybe he felt a bit uncomfortable and is afraid of getting a pro-Arsenal label at the PGMOL?

  • Asif

    An interesting take on the “it all evens out in the end” hypothesis: (Sheringham on Ashley Young’s penalty claim) –

    “I haven’t seen it back, but at the time I saw it, I thought it was a penalty,” Sherwood said. “I think it’s one of them that could go either way but if we have got away that one then I’m pleased because I remember coming here with Harry (Redknapp), we were 2-0 up at half time and [Heurelho] Gomes made a save and I think it might have been Howard refereeing and he quite clearly played the ball first, but United got a penalty so they even themselves out.”

    Is he being sarcastic? hahahaha…

  • Asif

    Sherwood/Sheringham/Spuds Manager/Rosy/Arry – all the same! No apologies tendered for the wrong name…

  • Walter , he would be out of a job before he can say pro Arsenal at the PGMOL. 😀

  • bob

    colario,
    Agreed, the worldwide numbers who see the epl (or is it Bpl) must make it the most seen export (beyond the “007” franchise). I’m wondering which english industry makes the most export profits. (Also, when team ownership is increasingly non-english, is epl really truly english?) Economic figures are kept somewhere on this; so I was curious whether you or other readers had them handy, or knew of a link to such figures.

  • Stuart

    HenryB
    I don’t know if you noticed the 66 links following the article. If you are looking for evidence, these links will provide it – the titles of the articles give away what they are about too so it shouldn’t take too long to find the evidence you need.

  • Stuart

    Tony / Walter,
    I have started this year to up the campaign and ensure clubs are aware of the referee reviews. Following the public comments from Liverpool and Southampton managers, I have emailed the respective clubs with links to the season summary pages on http://www.refereedecisions.co.uk/ and as it happens, both teams received an overall negative swing in their bias figures last season. I am hoping it will provide some ammo for their case and put more pressure on a review of rthe PGMO. I will of course continue this throughout the season and each time a club is stitched up by the officials, I will send the clubs info of reviews where the ref was biased against them last season or the end of season summaries (whichever is worst).

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Someone mentioned the LMA ? Seems about right !

    ecard text: If we work as a team we’ll be more effective in hiding the fact that, individually, we really have no idea what we are doing!

    http://www.rottenecards.com/card/325145/if-we-work-as-a-team-well-be

  • bob

    Stuart,
    Aye, there’s the ruB. As you put it, it’s IF henry B. is actually looking for evidence. Always much easier to opine than care enough to research.

  • Stuart

    Nelson Wong
    “Can clubs take FA, PMGOL and individual ref to court because their wrong decision cost $$$?”

    How about can fans / fan groups take PGMO / FA to court on the basis that their ticket has entitled them to watch a fixed game instead of one where the best team wins. This would be a good reason for BSM to exist in my opinion – they could be a kind of Union for Arsenal supporters.

  • AL

    Ben
    Well said.

    I think the refshite is getting worse, there’s hardly a game without a controversial decision, and don’t think it was this way 10 years ago. Think Riley is overlooking competent refs for those that he can manipulate. Sian Massey and Moss are the only exceptions here, everyone else is rubbish.

  • Stuart

    Bob, Colario,
    The UKs biggest export is currency.

    This is to pay all the people / companies to manufacture goods and provide services that have been outsourced. On this basis, if this continues, the UK will eventually have no money left.

  • Gouresh

    My gut feeling is that refs are just showing Manure that they are in-charge. But at the end of it, they wont allow Manure to finish outside the top 4 as too much is at stake. Manure is a PLC and can you imagine if that happens. The investors might pull out, Looney toon will leave and so will Van-pussy. New or established players wont come in, they will sprial down then they are f**ked……i am just waiting for that day.

  • Pete

    Moss is getting too much credit here based on past reputation.

    It looked clear to me that he denied us two penalties – Wilshere in the first half and Walcott in the 2nd. Monreal’s “handball” wasn’t close to a penalty.

    Yes, he refereed the rest of the game reasonably competently but don’t overlook the elephant in the room!

    I think if balanced refereeing had been occurring through the season we would be 8-10 points clear of MC and Chelsea by now.

    Going forward, we need to keep racking up points against the weaker teams we are facing over the next few weeks and then hope we can hang on as the fixtures become much tougher in the Spring.

  • bob

    Gouresh,
    It is good for the league to have real competition throughout the ranks. The US National Football league is a mega-billion operation because in any given season most teams have a good chance to be in the competition to the end. It’s owned by very rich folk who recognize the value (read bu$ine$$ value) of a competitive league. It is a selling point and a win/win situation (from that perspective) for fans and owners. The PGMob-abetted EPL has not been win/win. It’s win for a tiny handful of operations (aka teams) and a loss for the rest. imo, the PGMob seems well in the way of a win-win business outcome for the clear majority of the sides in this league. Beyond the clear ethics of a level playing field, is there not a good business case to be made for far greater equity?

  • bob

    Pete,
    And didn’t Moss give too much extra time, especially given the time-wasting that (unusually) gave a yellow to Marshall/Cardiff?

  • bob

    Tony,
    Like him or not, do include that(even) Mark Hughes just recently railed against the (Atkinson’s) refshite. Given the track record, if a Stoke mgr reaches that point, that is a telling sign.

  • Pete

    My other thought around all this “buy a striker NOW” chatter is: what is the situation with Sanogo? Given that our play is structured around a big target man (clearly not Poldi) with lots of technically skilful and quick guys swarming around him, then, in the absence of Giroud and Bendtner then Sanogo would fit the bill. Of course, I suspect he is still crocked.

    Also, what little I have seen of Akpom, he also seems to fit the mould. Not sure if he is ready to start a NL Derby but quite excited about him nonetheless.

    I didn’t see the game last night (why bother with a mid-table clash? Particularly when you want both teams to lose…) but the Totts seem to be picking up their form again. They are also a big side so need our taller players in the team.

    So quite nervous ahead of Saturday…

  • Ray from Norfolk, Virginia

    bob,
    I agree with you about the NFL, but they are merely exploiting the fact that Americans love “football” more than Hockey, Basketball, and even Baseball. Also, American Football (and I admit to be a supporter of the New England Patriots) is quite boring in that the game is sliced with many commercials inserted to make even more money. And the NFL season goes only 5 to 6 months compared to at least 9 months for football. Refereeing is improved by the fact that they have more referees and usage of replay but that allows for even more commercials being inserted as video replays are performed by the refereeing team that is on the field.
    Football would perfect if we admit that rapid action is difficult to judge, that continuous review from a competent team works, and that referees on the field must, and we know they have failed often in this task, control the events on the field. With this in mind, a more scientific approach for time-keeping must be looked at, whereby two halves of XYZ minutes must be played, with the clock stopping when the ball is not in play, and only after a second player touches the ball when dead ball situations arise.

  • finsbury

    Happy new year Untold!

    I think the referee review team will enjoy the analysis of a certain pelanty call in this article:
    http://northlondonisred.co.uk/do-referees-hate-arsenal/?

    That is the long version. The short version translates as this: the official was not credible.

  • bob

    Ray from Norfolk,
    My point is less about the NFL per se, than the win/win which that league has by being competitive – that it not be fixed. Referees are more accountable. NHL has immediate replay. Etc.

    My main point is that not being compromised (fixed) is part of what has ensured the NFL’s quality and switched on the fanbase to new box-office heights. Like the EPL, NFL has a massive/rabid fan attention. And video replay, as you note, goes far to ensure that calls are good which means games are officiated on merit which means that fans can have genuine hope. Agree that such technology is essential (imo, as opposed to the ballyhooed but soft goal line [cough] Expense); indeed a long-needed remedy for the PGMob/EPL combine’s arbitrary pitch control.

    The main question I’m raising is whether we can argue good business reasons (in their language) to renovate the current edifice into a truly competitive and so, more solid enterprise for all stakeholders. Especially in hard economic times. Why would fans of a shut-out team shell out their hard-earned dosh for inferior entertainment. Might as well stay very local. Perhaps it’s that all the teams get something significant in the huge TV bonanzas; so that alone might be he silencing factor that prevents a vocal united front for better refereeing. Maybe the governing attitude among the rest (relative have-nots) is that having a slice of the TV pie by staying mum is better than risking nothing/relegation from the dinner table (at the hands of the powers that be and their on-pitch enforcers). In any case, I have to think that there’s a sound set of business reason for advocating reshite reform as better business for the greatest number.

  • nicky

    @Jax,
    If you’ve never believed there are bent officials in the Premier League, then I suggest you are one naïve individual, my friend.

  • Gord

    Another piece of 1992/93 first half.

    I am still looking up card information, but have looked at penalties and scoring. In this first year of the EPL, Middlesbrough ends up being one of 3 teams relegated (Forest and Palace are the other two). It’s a 22 team league, so 420 games, and I am at about 210.

    If one casts a skeptical eye at the penalty data, it looks like referees took 4 points away from Middlesbrough in the first half of the season. It looks like every other team in the north that got dodgy penalty calls, benefited a little bit. But who knows?

    Arsenal has no controversy in terms of penalties that I can see.

    I then looked at how difficult it would be to replicate the win/tie/loss record of each team with the same goals for and goals against by generating scores from a Poisson random number generator.

    Norwich has too good of a record both home and away. Ipswich has home record which is way too good. Coventry has an away record that is way too good. And Everton’s away record is too good.

    Arsenal’s home and away records look fine, absolutely nothing wrong with them, very close to most likely based on goals for and against.

  • AL

    nicky 6:44pm
    I wouldn’t worry too much about what some of these so called fans think or try to convince them about why refs might have it in for Arsenal, coz they never see your point. What I find a little funny is we have supporters of other teams, like Chelsea fan Mike T who are regulars here that while

  • AL

    Crap, hit submit accidentally whilst still typing…
    I was saying we have fans from other teams, who, while we will not agree with always, we at times find common ground with. There are certain times we will see or view things through the same lens with them. However, with some so called Arsenal fans, it seems it’s impossible to even agree on a single thing, regardless of whatever it is. They just seem to take the opposite view to whatever we are saying and dig their feet in the ground. Now I find myself asking the question; what kind of fan is that? If I find myself agreeing,at times, on one thing with a rival fan, but never with a fan who supports the same club as I do, then there’s something wrong there, in a big way.

    On a different note, sure most of you may be aware of this already but I wasn’t, I just found about this site that ranks footy sites and UA has been occupying the number spot for quite while there. Ahead of other fan sites of big clubs such as Madrid, impressive.

    http://www.soccerlinks.net/TheHitList/

  • AL

    Missed the word that matters the most 🙂
    “UA has been occupying the number one spot….”

  • Florian

    …and by more than double the next site. Heartily congratulations Tony, Walter and everyone!

  • Pat

    @finsbury and AL

    Thanks for the links. Very interesting.

  • Pete

    Just seen we have Clattenburg on Saturday. I know he is in trouble after allegedly dishing out some of his own foul and abusive language, but my view is that he is one of the best (although I’m sure the Untold previewer will put me right if that is not the case). Although “one of the best” is a relative term!

  • Mandy Dodd

    Clattenberg…..could be worse, could be Dean Mason or Taylor, but he will doubtless prove me wrong….and those refs do like the Spuds!

  • goonerkam

    You know what amazed me. That after a wonderful writeup WALTER asks, if you want some more reading on this subject check the following posts. Sixty some in number and growing. All filled with commonsensical Summaries and insightful opinions and yes FACTS TOO. Great body of work. May you always have the patiance and strength to stand up for what is right and clear . At least to me .
    Cheers for the hard work….

  • goonerkam

    I pitty the foolks that dismiss all this subject and discussion as some kind of conspiracy theory and refuse to educate themselves as to the happenings right in front of their eyes. I think it is a great disservice to the team they profess to support and to the sport of football.
    Some kind of serious injury is bound to happen if things don’t change. I just hope it isn’t a GUNNER and I don’t have to witness it watching a game Live.

  • Damilare

    Happy new year to the Untold Arsenal family.

    Everytime I come across the word PGMOL, I pronounced it as ‘Pig-mall’. I do not blame myself for it.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Al,
    yes Untold is top of that league also. Just as Arsenal is top in the PL. 🙂 😉
    I do admit I keep an eye on that from time to time and sometimes when we are not top I get angry, beat myself up and start writing better articles. 🙂 Or try at least.

    But it is nice to be on top. And of course this is thanks to the contribution of all those people who write for Untold from time to time. Not just Tony and me.

    And of course it is even more down to all those readers who come on to the site. And most of all also down to people who comment on this site. As I think that we have a great comment section and I like to read the opinion of many people. I admit some I just skip without reading… 😉

    And this month in a few days it will have been 6 years ago when Tony started all this with a first article. On 14 January 2008 it was.

    It has been an amazing journey I think…from zero to the top of the blog league (it actually took us less than those 6 years as we have been top or at least in the top 3 for most of the past 3 or 4 years)

    I do admit it is something that fills me with pride. It still is amazing…and there is no stopping us!

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Lets hope UA keeps going on and on , unlike this couple…

    A young couple fall in love and make plans to be married. A few days before the wedding the are involved in a car accident and are both killed. They enter heaven and are welcomed by St. Peter.
    The couple explains to St. Peter that they had planned to be married in a few days, are very in love and would like to spend eternity together as a married couple.

    “I am afraid you will have to wait.” says St. Peter, ” Come back in five years and we will see.

    Five years pass and the couple returns to St. Peter, repeating their request. “I am sorry you will have to wait another five years and return then”

    Another five years pass and the couple meet with St. Peter. This time they are married and after the splended wedding, they depart to spend eternity with each other. The couple were happy at first but as time went on there developed problems. They realized that they had made a mistake and did not want to spend eternity together. Again they went to St. Peter …This time to ask for a divorce.

    “What!” replied St. Peter, “It took me ten years up here in heaven to find a minister now you want me to find a lawyer?”

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Thank god he doesn’t run a football club ….

    A managed care company president was given a ticket for a performance of Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony. Since she was unable to go, so she passed the invitation to one of her managed care reviewers. The next morning, the president asked him how he enjoyed the symphony, and , instead of a few plausible observations, she was handed a memorandum which read as follows:

    1. For a considerable period, the oboe players had nothing to do. Their number should be reduced, and their work spread over the whole orchestra, thus avoiding peaks of inactivity.
    2. All twelve violins were playing identical notes. This seems an unnecessary duplication, and the staff of this section should be drastically cut. If a large volume of sound is really required, this could be obtained through the use of an amplifier.
    3. Much effort was involved in playing the sixteenth notes. This seems an excessive refinement, and it is recommended that all notes should be rounded to the nearest eighth note. If this were done, it would be possible to use paraprofessionals instead of experienced musicians.
    4. No useful purpose is served by repeating with the horns the passage that has already been handled by the strings. If all such redundant passages were eliminated, the concert could be reduced from two hours to about twenty minutes.
    5. The symphony had two movements. If Schubert didn’t achieve his musical goals by the end of the first movement, then he should have stopped there. The second movement is unnecessary and should be cut.

    In light of the above, one can only conclude that had Schubert given attention to these matters, he probably would have had time to finish his symphony!

  • AL

    Walter
    You guys have done a truly amazing job, and you rightly should be very proud of your work. And so should be every gunner. Your work is highly rated by true fans and rivals alike, despite what some may have been trying to say here. I stumbled across that site after having been on a Sunderland Football Club’s equivalent of UA site and in that article they were saying that while they agreed with your ref reviews they were trying to point out, albeit in a massively flawed argument, that they didn’t quite agree when you say all refs come from the north (well, according to their flawed argument the Midlands is down south to them, which misses the point as that is still some considerable way up north from London). But what I took from that article is that while they were begging to differ on that point, they had this to say about UA;

    “Walter Broeckx introduces his article as part of a series of referee reviews for the season just gone. Visit the link given above to see what they aim to do in the series, and how. And bear in mind Untold Arsenal is a bloody good site that happens, as I write, to be top of the soccerlinks website.”
    It’s that last sentence Walter, that filled me with pride. This is coming from a rival who is writing an article that is supposed to expose a flaw in your argument, but still had that to say about you! I know quite a few of our own fans here who seem to think UA is nothing but a site frequented by a bunch of deluded conspirators or lunatics. Really? When a rival pays such a glowing review of UA like that? I think it’s staggering that some who we call our own continue to dismiss the swathes of fact filled articles you’ve put up here as fantasy.

    Anyway, I just want to say keep up the amazing work you’re doing, the world is taking note, and congratulations on a job well done. A job done the Arsenal way; with lots of class and dignity. Long live UA!

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Shock treatment ….

    A woman went to the doctors offices. Where she was seen by one of the new doctors, but after about 4 minutes in the examination room, She burst out of the office, screaming as she ran down the hall.
    An older Doctor stopped her and asked what the problem was, and she told him her story. After listening, he had her sit down and told her to go relax in another room.
    The older doctor marched down the hallway to the back where the first doctor was and demanded, “What’s the matter with you? Mrs. Terry is 63 years old, she has four grown children and seven grandchildren, and you told her she was pregnant?”
    The new doctor continued to write on his clipboard and without looking up said, “Does she still have the hiccups?”

  • Pat

    @Walter

    Congratulations to you and Tony on Untold being such a popular blog. It shows that people do respect the presentation of proper analysis and are keen to know the truth when it is presented to them. Even my son, an ardent Arsenal fan, who was very sceptical at first and used to make fun of me for following Untold, is now noticing things about the refs. The other day he said, ‘Do you realise there are no refs from London?’ Never mind that I’d already told him this some time ago (getting my information from Untold of course).

    I think some people don’t want to be told about the referee bias because they just want to enjoy their football and realising that their team is being systematically done down is very hard to take. It is easier to blame the manager and the players.

    But now things are changing. Nobody can attack the team for being weak or under-achieving, and even the press have to give us credit for guts and persistence. And the record for 2013 speaks for itself. So when refereeing decisions go against us, maybe people are starting to take more notice of it. And all Untold’s painstakingly researched evidence will attract even more attention. Who knows, maybe in the end something might even change!