Arsenal v Newcastle – 28 April 2014 – The Match Officials
By Andrew Crawshaw
- Referee – Neil Swarbrick
- Assistants – L Betts & I Hussin
- Fourth Official – C Pawson
A second time this year for Mr Swarbrick, we had him in our away game to Villa in January which we won 2 – 1. One game at home and one away is what the PGMOL should aim for with every referee/team combination as a maximum, so we shouldn’t have any complaints about this appointment should we?
But is he any good though I hear you ask?
In last year’s hall of shame he was by far the worst referee we had in terms of bias against us with a massive score of -61, our last two referees Kevin Friend and Jonathan Moss scored -4.5 and 6.67 as a comparison, and Moss should have, but didn’t, given us two penalties against Hull and probably sent off a Hull Player as well.
Aston Villa v Arsenal 13 January 2014 – Here is a link to Walter’s post game piece :-
Aston Villa – Arsenal: the happy, angry Gooner When reading the piece it is important to remember that Atkinson was the fourth official and that Walter referring to him wasn’t a mistake.
We won the game with two first half goals in the space of two minutes and then basically controlled the game. Swarbrick showed what a poor ref he is by allowing a number of physical assaults on our players going unpunished, culminating in Rosicky getting a broken nose following a deliberate elbow that wasn’t even called a foul. Furthermore despite it being a head injury Swarbrick didn’t stop play in direct contravention of the rules! Completely unacceptable!!
Last year there was only one game he did for us
Match Review: Neil Swarbrick – Arsenal Vs Everton (0 – 0) [16/04/2013] – 58% overall, bias against 84/16 and one wrong Important Decision (second yellow, red card, penalties or goals). Key talking points were:-
- Minute 4 – First wrong decision Arsenal player holding, not given
- Minute 13 – Everton player trips Arsenal player not given
- Minute 14 – Everton Player throws himself into Cazorla blocking his leg on the ground, not given
- Minute 16 – Arteta tries to recover ball but is pulled back by Pienaar, nothing given
- Minute 20 – Jagielka runs into the back of Giroud preventing him heading the ball, nothing given
- Minute 22 – Mirallas comes in late to Arsenal player, nothing given.
- Minute 25 – Everton player displays open dissent to linesman , should be yellow card but nothing given
- Minute 27 – Gibson rightly gets yellow card for foul.
- Minute 32 – Gibson commits blatant body check should have been a second yellow card. Wrong Important Decision. Arsenal should have had a man advantage for nearly an hour.
- Minute 34 – Pienaar rightly gets a yellow card for a foul.
- Minute 36 – Sliding tackle from Arsenal player should have been called a foul
- Minute 46 – Gibbs tripped but retains his footing then is pushed – where is the free kick?
- Minute 53 – Fellaini fouling Giroud long before ball arrives, foul not given
- Minute 55 – Arteta rightly given yellow card for foul
- Minute 67 – Anichebe comes in late to the back of Mertesacker, nothing given
- Minute 69 – Barkley rightly given yellow card for foul
- Minute 74 – Baines takes out Arsenal player at full speed stopping promising attack. Foul given but this should have been a yellow card
- Minute 90+3 – Monreal rightly given a yellow card for foul. This time the ref remembers the rules (or was it just that the offence was committed by an Arsenal player?)
A dreadful piece of refereeing – 58% overall score, only Lee Mason in the Stoke v Arsenal game managed lower 55%. There were 26 wrong decisions called against Arsenal, 5 against Everton. Everton should have been reduced to 10 men in Minute 32 which surely would have made Arsenal favourites to win the game rather than draw. Thirty one wrong decisions in total – one every three minutes – Unbelievably bad!
Interestingly all five of his other reviewed games were judged at 80% or better, WestHam v Southampton got 95% and Wigan v West Brom 100% so it seems to be something about Arsenal that causes his judgement to disappear.
In 2011/12, he was in charge for two games:-
Sunderland v Arsenal (1-2); 82% overall, bias against 0/100 but no wrong Important Decisions (second yellow, red cards, penalties and goals)
Wolves v Arsenal (0-3); 70% overall, bias against 35/65 including two wrong Important Decisions. Zubar should have been booked for a wild late challenge on Walcott when he scored in Minute 12, he got a booking in minute 56 for a second wild tackle on Benayoun and so should have been sent off. In Minute 84, Ramsey was fouled in the penalty area but kept his feet and shot resulting in a corner, a foul in the penalty area should result in a penalty kick not a corner.
For Arsenal Swarbrick is a dangerous referee, his inability to apply the laws of the game means that our players are at severe risk of being physically injured.
What is Mr Swarbrick’s history with Newcastle?
Last year there was one reviewed game:-
Match Review: Neil Swarbrick – Manchester City Vs Newcastle United (4 – 0) [30/03/2013]; 86% overall, bias against 100/0 and no wrong Important Decisions. Key moments were:-
- Min 7 – first foul correctly called against David Silva
- Min 15 – first Newcastle foul correctly called against Sissoko
- Min 25 – Sissoko should be booked for persistent fouling, he was warned following his previous foul
- Min 25 – Anita rightly booked for foul
- Min 28 – Cabaye rightly booked for foul
- Min 40 – Tevez scores (1-0)
- Min 45+1 – Silva scores (2-0)
- Min 55 – Kompany scores (3-0)
- Min 63 – Jonas should be booked for foul on Nasri
- Min 68 – Perch scores own goal (4-0)
With 86% overall not a lot wrong, but two Newcastle players allowed to get away with challenges for which they should have been booked.
This year Crystal Palace v Newcastle on 21 December 2013 (0-3)
A comfortable win for Newcastle, Cabaye scored in Min 25, an own goal by Gabbidon in Min 39 and Ben Arfa (penalty) in Min 86 were the scorers, Yellow cards for Tiote (min 64), Coloccini (min 670 and Chamakh (min 83) were the headline decisions. The text coverage on the Newcastle site raised no questions about any decisions.
Newcastle v Spurs on 12 Feb 2014 (0-4)
Newcastle well beaten in the end, two from Adebayor, Paulinho and a late goal from Chadli from long range curling into the top corner. Loris had a good game repelling a number of goal bound efforts, Tim Krul made three saves which fell directly to Spurs players to score from close range. Again no mention on the Newcastle site of any significant wrong decisions.
- For teams other than Arsenal, Swarbrick seems to be a fairly decent referee
- For Arsenal he is not a good referee – unbelievably bad at times
- He has problems generally in being able to consistently award cards being far too lenient – this is exaggerated in Arsenal games where he allows our opponents almost free range to kick the s..t out of us.
- I am fearful that one of our players will get a serious injury in this game, Rosicky got his nose broken in the last game he was in charge of without it even being called a foul.