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Untold Ref Review: Everton/Arsenal. What is an advantage, and what’s wrong with assistant Garratt?

By Walter Broeckx

Referee : Kevin Friend

Date 23/08/2014

Everton Arsenal

At the start of this match it seemed that the ref got an easy game. No real fouls. I think he fell asleep after some 10 minutes and then when he had to act he lost his touch somehow.

There was hardly a foul being committed apart from the first minute Wilshere was fouled halfway his own half near the side line. It was a cynical foul with no attempt or chance to play the ball. The ref signalled an advantage but there was no counter on, there was just possession. And possession is not the same as advantage.  This is a misunderstanding that sits deep in to the English referee style. As a ref you have to give a foul certainly on players in a defensive position unless there is a CLEAR AND VISIBLE ADVANTAGE. By chance last Saturday morning we got the instructions for the new season and our football authorities pointed at this difference once again.

As it was an unsporting foul he should have called it and give a yellow card. Cynical, deliberate, no attempt of getting even near to the ball. That is the moment to show the players who is in charge. Friend didn’t do this and I think he started losing the match at that moment.

No real talking points however for the rest of the first half….until the last minutes. The foul from Mertesacker on Naysmith could have been given but a yellow card seemed very harsh. Mertesacker just put his big body in the way and blocked the ball and the player. A foul okay I will not complain but a yellow card…  It was as if the ref had something against a German world champion on his field?

But then what followed seconds later was even more strange. I have just seen Don Mc Mahon dealing with the foul on Mertesacker so will leave it like that. Don also talked about the non-given offside when Everton scored their second goal. Of course this is a mistake that has to go down in the assistant’s book.  Mr. Andrew Garratt was the assistant in question. And we pause for a second with him now. As we had previous incidents with him. A few seasons ago Vidic blatantly punched the ball away with his fist and Mr. Garratt who should have been looking at it…saw nothing. Signalling handballs that cannot be seen by the ref is one of the duties an assistant has to fulfil. But he refused to do it.

We move on to the season 2009-2010. I came over from Belgium to watch Arsenal-Sunderland. And I saw Arshavin going one on one with Mignolet and scoring and then the assistant raised his flag to indicate an offside. Within seconds I got a message from one of my sons (also a referee) texting me that the assistant made a terrible “mistake”. Arshavin was meters ON SIDE and not offside at all.

So then Mr.  Garratt signalled Arshavin offside despite him being meters onside. And now he couldn’t see Naysmith being offside despite being it clearly.  So if we take these incidents of just this assistant (and those are only things I could remember like that so there might be others) we seem to have a strange misfortune when he is around. This could have 3 reasons:

1. Mr. Garratt needs to go to the eye specialist to have his vision checked.

2. Mr. Garratt is biased against Arsenal

3. Mr. Garratt is not a good assistant

Final result is that I sure don’t like to have Mr. Garratt around when Arsenal plays.

Back to the second half and the referee.

I don’t know what happened at half time but I wouldn’t be surprised if the ref got the news about their mess up with the second Everton goal and the soft Mertesacker yellow card. And maybe he wanted to avoid further trouble. So he gave Wilshere only a yellow card for what was very close to a red card. Remember intent doesn’t matter it is the possible impact or result of the foul that matters and this could have gone wrong.

Apart from that it was after a while a bit ridiculous to see how one player in particular got all and every decision from the ref he could get. Naysmith could have murdered an Arsenal player last Saturday the ref wouldn’t have blinked an eye. But every time an Arsenal player breathed heavily at Naysmith a foul was given.  And when you fouled Naysmith the chance of a yellow card was somehow doubled. 3 out of 4 yellow cards for fouls on Naysmith.  Don’t touch my friend, Mr. Friend?

On to the numbers. This is only the second time that I can remember that Mr. Friend let me down a bit. First half score of 70% is already low (62,5% weighted) in general but his important decisions were only 40%. Not acceptable.

Second half he was even worse. His overall score dropped to 60% (59% weighted)  and his important decisions slightly improved to 50%.

Total score 63,83% general and weighted 60.32%. So a bit far away from Mike Riley and his 95% decisions score he tells us through the media. On the important decisions he got a score of  45,45%.

Offside decisions had a total of 66,67% correct. Where are the days that Mr. Riley talked about them being correct for 99%? The can be classified in the same map as stories that begin with: In the days that the animals could still speak. Yep, fairy tales.

Bias? A very big bias in favour of the home team.

Reality check with the previews?

I quote: (AND COMMENT)

In Summary

  • A referee with high overall performance numbers and one who seems to have no particular favourite teams. A complete off day?
  • A referee who can have a significant bias in favour of the Home Team. CORRECT PREDICTION
  • He can be too lenient when he should issue a yellow or red card. CORRECT PREDICTION
  • He has a history of setting the tone of his performance by seeing and correctly acting on the first fouls by both teams Match started too easy and probably lost his concentration a bit
  • Neither Arsenal nor Everton should be unduly concerned by his appointment on Saturday This goes for the home team from now on.  As we only had reviewed him in home matches with Arsenal we didn’t know how he would be away from home. But there he was as predicted in general : a home ref.

Final conclusion: Bad day at the office for the referee and one assistant in particular.

113 comments to Untold Ref Review: Everton/Arsenal. What is an advantage, and what’s wrong with assistant Garratt?

  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    Thanks as always Walter for all the hard work in putting this together.I hope our club are looking in!Would be interesting to start handing over the pages to Mr.Webb for his perusal- could be interesting?
    COYG! Aha and Amen!

  • Rob Reed

    Watched the game on sky and could not believe how poor the referee was!! Great article..

  • ClockEndRider

    Excellent analysis as usual Walter. The effort you put in is enormous and you truly are appreciated.
    These reviews ought to be compulsory reading for All referees not to mention halfwit journalists. But then as long as their bosses are telling them to go in the opposite direction, well just have to trust to their integrity.
    There: first laugh of the day and on a UK Bank Holiday too. Truly, I am spoiling you……

  • Kenneth, we’ve got no way of making the refs notice us, but, I have the feeling that the ref preview that we introduced last season and which continues this year does seem to get noticed – although not every time.

    And it is interesting that the reference to Untold and Referee Decisions which appeared on Wikipedia’s page about PGMOL under the heading “Controversies” was removed by someone, although of course we know not who. But we can guess.

    Plus within days of Walter’s series of articles about video refereeing and the way this is going in Holland, compared with in England, PGMOL put together a piece defending their work, which was published in the Telegraph.

    None is conclusive but each suggests we are having some effect. And remember, Mr Wenger mentioned “that organisation that reviews referees”…

  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    Tony, good to know that Walter reviews and findings are having some affect!Long may it last, and Untold too!
    COYG! Aha and Amen!

  • Barry Morrison

    If you really expect these reports to be taken seriously, you probably need to drop the bias. This whole report is heavily weighted in Arsenal’s favour and reads like it is writen from an Arsenal point of view. I’m sure a diligent Everton fan could counter this report quite easily (excepting the obvious mistake on the second goal).

    If I were a referee receiving this, I would be ditching it as a partisan fan article. It is interesting for this supporters’ site, but cannot be taken seriously as any sort of critique of the referee (as some comments have suggested) due to the obvious bias.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    I have looked at Flamini’s yellow a number of times and Naismith was already going to ground when Flamini came in AND there seems to have been no contact. Chambers yellow…Chambers got the ball clearly.

  • Barry, it is better to look at the historic context of any web site, or indeed newspaper, before you start pontificating, considering what has been done in the past, what has been achieved, the responses of other parties (like PGMOL) and so forth.

    But thanks for giving us a laugh – it is always amusing when someone just walks in and starts lashing about without the foggiest idea what is going on, who they are talking to etc.

    Most amusing.

  • i rememberd watchin wit my bro ad sis(al arsenal fans) ad we cud predict wen a yellow wil b issued nt based on d chalenge bt base on d reaction of d crowd, pple watchin wit us were amaze at our accuracy.

  • El Gringo

    Walter,

    At 46 minutes, when Naismith jumped in the back of Debuchy but no foul was given, should either of the players have been booked for the little kicks after the foul? Naismith clearly stamped on Debuchy’s leg, and Debuchy kicked out a little in revenge. Friend had a direct view of the whole incident.

    Excellent review by the way.

  • JOHN DRING

    I like the Arsenal goal – both fouled = no foul haha

  • ClockEndRider

    El Gringo,
    The correct response would have been to send the Arsenal player off for retaliation and award the Queens Medal for Gallantry to the valiant Opposition player. Can’t believe friend Friend got that so wrong. Expect he’ll be receiving a call from Riley this morning.

  • John

    No sign of Dermot Gallagher or Howard Webb, in his new role, appearing on television to discuss the Everton off-side goal.

    Guardian completely ignores it. Other pundits have acknowledged it, but said that goal was OK, because he was not off-side by much.!!!

  • dan

    Much if the content here trickles into the media, which was purposely ignored.

  • bjtgooner

    Very good review Walter.

    I have reviewed Flamini’s yellow several times – I agree with GoingGoingGooner – Flamini did not make contact with Naismith – the latter executed a clever but dishonest sideways dive to win a free – he should have been carded rather than Naismith.

    Looks like the PGMO(L) have given instructions that Arsenal are to be treated differently to all other teams, yet again!!

    As for Garrett – his record of incompetence should have removed from the listings.

  • Mick

    @Barry Morrison
    You are a plonker aren’t you. If the report is as biased as you say why has it given the yellow card for Wilshere incorrect (53 mins) and says should have been red.
    Have you read any of the other reviews, most of which were done by non Arsenal supporting refs.

  • Mick

    @Barry Morrison
    Which parts of the report show ‘obvious bias’ as you put it. Be a bit more specific.
    Or are you simply saying that because it is written by an Arsenal supporter it must per se be biased.
    If you are suggesting that it is impossible for a qualified ref like Walter (who wrote the report) to isolate their allegiances from their decision making then you would have to concede that refs in general would be susceptible to the same instincts. On that basis it could be possible for a staunch Yorkshireman, possibly brought up in an anti southerner community environment, to favour a team from Liverpool over one from London, even if it is done subliminally.

  • El Gringo

    ClockEnd,

    If I’d had tea in my mouth when I read your comment, it would be on the keyboard now. Fortunately I’d just swallowed.

  • Pete

    Walter – Quick question: where has Don dealt with the events prior to Everton’s second goal? Can’t see a comment of his on other relevant threads (although could have missed)?

  • maz

    Great analysis…… Kp up d gud work….
    🙂

  • Ryan F

    @ Mick

    Yeah, I think it’s a rule in England that referees aren’t allowed to officiate clubs they support. IIRC Jeff Winter was a Middlebrough fan and so wasn’t allowed to officiate them, their rivals, or at any match that would have affected Middlesbrough’s league position.

    It’s a sound ruling, I think – in a 50-50 call, where a decision could go either way, even the most staunchly unbiased ref could side with one team over another because SUBCONSCIOUSLY he has feelings for one team over another.

    A great write-up by Walter by the way, I agree with much of his analysis… however I do feel that these criticisms would carry more weight if someone a bit less partizan was behind them.

    Critics of this site could easily dismiss these reports; by having Walter conduct them it makes him an easy target for accusations of bias. I know he tries to be as professional as possible, but if there’s even a hint of bias you know that people are going to jump down his throat (as seen by a comment on this very thread).

    I know some more neutral observers have done work on the ref reviews in the past; why not let them do the Arsenal games and let Walter do other matches – then nobody can complain about the findings.

    But yeah, as I say, good write-up, nevertheless.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Pete,

    sorry for the mix up. When doing the review I saw a post coming in from Don. I thought that Tony would publish that first and then the review but the did the review first. So there will be another article about the ref later on. Different angle and perspective but same conclusion 🙂

    Don his article is excellent by the way. Stay tuned 😉

  • WalterBroeckx

    I would have gone for a title for this article like: PGMO refusal to move themselves out of the dark ages cost Arsenal 2 points.

  • Mick

    @Ryan F
    You are correct, certain refs are exempt from doing certain teams due to known allegiances with those teams.
    The interesting thing to conclude from this is that the two faced PGMOL are tacitly admitting that bias is a possibility amongst their flock even though they say the opposite.

  • doubleu

    Thank you for clarification in ref review. I did not see Giroud and Distin holding each other before. I heard Everton fans pointing Giroud’s foul during his goal.

    So it should be 1-2 from correct goals. Another question is alleged Jack’s red card.

  • finsbury

    Thanks for the review as always

    Interesting comments from a former professional footballer on the growing technical divide following the investment in coaching and facilities in other European countries and the decling grass roots scene here in the UK:

    “The last amazing technical English player I saw was Joe Cole and he had that kicked out of him. He was never allowed to play his game. Paul Scholes, a player admired by the greatest players of recent history, was put below Lampard and Gerrard in the pecking order. Crazy.”

    http://www.column10.com/2014/08/leon-knight-the-face-that-fits/

    It is a strange spectacle to see, England’s No.10 hacked without any protection game after game at the same time as being derided by the 24/7 football hacks whilst, for example, Naysmith was treated as if he was Messi in all liga!

    The Sky plundit in the Barcelona game last night called a similar offside call to the one in the Arsenal-Everton game as a run of the mill decision, one you would expect a professional official to get right.
    In contrast the day befoe the plundits for the PL match described the decision in the Everton Arsenal game as a difficult call.

    They’re words. Not mine.

    The charade is there for all to see, no matter how hard they may try to ignore it.

  • oldgroover

    Walter
    Is it fair to mark the referee down for the lineman’s mistake.
    I know there was a foul on Mertesaker in the build up, but Friend couldn’t look across the line to see the offside, so not really his fault.

  • AL

    Thanks Walter, your review debunked the myth that the lino was not suitably positioned to see the offside. He was perfectly in line in fact, but unfortunately a few were trotting out some lies that he was not best placed to see this. It was started by one individual on here and I have seen it again used by another poster this morning. And the fact you say he swapped his flag from one hand to the other, but didn’t raise his flag, tells us a lot doesn’t it.

    Just out curiosity, who were the linesman for the two incorrectly flagged offsides in the 6-3 loss at City? Think we may need to find out a little more about those chaps too.

  • proudkev

    Good morning all
    I don’t believe that referees cheat. I do believe they referee Arsenal games differently and treat us unfairly. This is what I believe:

    For years the media have popularised the view that arsenal can be bullied and that they way to play against us is to get stuck in. A horrible phrase because we know what it means.

    It has therefore become acceptable for teams to get amongst us and try to stop us playing the ball quickly. This means there is a higher likelihood of mistimed tackles, because we move the ball so quickly. This acceptability has become ingrained in our culture and the referees are not immune to this. They are football livers and fans like teh rest of us. They watch football shows and read newspapers.

    Ask yourselves if it is a coincidence that we are the only club to have been victims of two horrendous leg breaks. Both incidentally committed by ‘British’ players who have been brought up in this culture of getting stuck into Arsenal. The Eduardo and Ramsey leg breaks are not coincidences, they are the result of players knowing they can get stuck into Arsenal. Mistimes reckless challenges that we seem to be on the end of. Look at how Diabys career was literally ended by Dan Smith, another reckless tackle from a British player.

    Yet whenever an Arsenal player makes a mistimed tackle you have a high likelihood that it will be a yellow.

    This is the problem. On the one hand we have to expect teams will try to stop us playing with these tactics. They will also break up the player with little fouls to stop us playing at tempo. However, on the other hand, we have the right to be treated the same as every other team. A foul is a foul. A mistimed tackle is a mistimed tackle. The Evwrton game was no different to any other I have watched away from home. It’s natural to have a degree of home bias but when that is combined with the tolerance allowed when tackling Arsenal players, you see a one sided performance.

    Look at all the soft red cards we used to get for second bookings. No other team were receiving these. Were we dirty? Of course not.

    As you know I am well in my fifties. Arsenal since Wenger came have become a target for the media. Now we have radio presenters dedicating their air time on a daily basis to knock Arsenal and tV programmes dominated by Liverpool, Man Utd and ex Spurs players.

    Sorry but the referees are only human. The problem is that they too have been brainwashed into believing the Arsenal are fair game and a bunch of softies and the way to play us is to get stuck in. In other words, make late tackles and foul us. That’s the problem.

  • AL

    I was thinking, as crazy as it may sound, how about unfurling a banner (a la utd fans) before a match asking for fairness from refs? I know the fallout may be damaging, but possibly that could be the most effective way to bring the world’s attention to this and get people talking.

    I don’t like the idea myself but it seems despite all the hard work being done by selfless people like Tony and Walter, things are steadily getting worse imo. Two matches so far, and not the best refereeing in either.

  • oldgroover

    Barry Morrison
    Welcome to the completely 100%, without a doubt, no question, who could dispute it unbiased Untold Arsenal.
    No bias here mate, whatever gave you that idea?

  • proudkev

    Yes there is a rule a referee cannot ref their own team.

    BUT this does not stop them refereeing games that may affect the club they support.

    As I said, I do not believe referees cheat. However, as they are partisan football fans it is only natural to expect them to have. A level of bias, the debate is whether or not this is sub conscious or deliberate. I prefer to believe it is sub conscious.

    hand on heart if I was refereeing Liverpool vs Southampton and Liverpool needed 3 points to beat spurs to the title, would I give that last minute foul that looked like a penalty for Liverpool? I like to think I would be fair but cannot guarantee that my sub conscious would take over.

    So I do think there is bias, for the reasons I explained in my previous post, the question is whether or not it is pre-meditated or conscious.

    But the tackling issue is definitely pre-meditated and we are treated differently and receive less protection. I am 100% believer of that.

  • oldgroover

    Al

    It would have been just one lino in the City match, as they ( the offsides ) were both in the second half. Add on Milner’s dive for the penalty and you get one very dodgy match.
    I’m surprised not more was made of that result.

  • TommieGun

    @ Walter, thanks ! Missed the reviews a lot. Keep em coming.

    @ Proudkev, couldn’t agree more. Exactly what I think – there is no conspiracy, Riley and Webb aren’t the elders of zion and there is no one pulling the strings. Just a bunch of refs who had been brainwashed.

    @ Barry Morrison, please care to explain and enlighten us – which of Walter’s above assements are biased. Cheers…

  • Mandy Dodd

    Thanks Walter for a very thorough analysis, as ever. Quite shocking really from a ref with no history of anything as bad as this for us. Have they been ordered to get Utd back into the CL places, and are we to be sacrificed if possible?
    For me, a few points from this
    1/ save this as a general template for any game we play away in the fair cities of Liverpool and Manchester, or perhaps away in Europe,though they may at times ensure the result is worse than this one

    2/ Jack needs to be careful, not only in terms of cards, but where he positions lower limbs in tackles, hope the coaches are picking up on this, because with the refs and opponents we face, he is an Eduardo, Ramsey, Diaby waiting to happen. That is the least thing he can afford at this stage of his career. We all admire his passion and bravery, but guile and self preservation are equally admirable qualities at times

    3/ Anyone wanting to indulge in some harmless gambling, of course at a responsible level and on sums you can easily afford, my tip for this season is “death by yellow for Arsenal”, sounds obvious with what we are seeing, but not sure the odds compilers have caught up yet

  • WalterBroeckx

    Oldgroover,

    referees and assistants also form a ‘team’. And as we don’t follow each assistant and mark his points the leading person gets the good points and the bad points. For instance the good non-offside decision at the first Everton goal was a good decision from Mr. Garratt but the good points go to Friend who only had to see to his linesman and then point to the middle.

  • Barry Morrison

    Oldgroover (11:46) – fair comment. My point was to the people before – and many after – holding this up as some sort of unbiased account. It is not.

    The report may be part of a campaign to highlight unfairness against Arsenal, but you cannot by any stretch say it isn’t one sided. E.g. ‘Oh come on ref – a little foul in midfield; his first foul’.

    This may be a valid exercise to achieve a specific goal, but let’s not pretend it’s unbiased.

  • para

    I wonder what has happened to the description of the “new” radio setup being used by refs:

    From the introduction to radio refs.
    “The referee has an open mic, his two assistants and fourth official can hear what is being said by him so they can have an insight into the feel of the game.

    The referee can ask questions to his assistants with a push-to-talk mic system that can be used to talk to the referee.

    It has lots of benefits – the most important being speed of communication.”

    This should be made public i think, instead of the mostly dull commentary.

    I also wonder who else is talking to the refs during the game?

  • finsbury

    On a previous article I wrote:

    “It is not possible to defend the incredulous circumstance the worlds most popular (& richest) sport finds itself in (so far behind other sports)

    Why would anyone attempt to do so?
    Strange behaviour. From and for any sports fans. Very odd.”

    The startling contradiction in the following sentence written above
    might have escaped the writes notice. I hope so. A good example of the futility in trying to defend the indefensible:

    “Riley and Webb aren’t the elders of zion and there is no one pulling the strings. Just a bunch of refs who had been brainwashed.”

    No need for any further comment.

  • I think the linesman at the citeh 6.3 game was the same one as sat

  • TommieGun

    @ Finsbury, as I wrote that sentence, and as what you wrote is quite obscure, please care to elaborate.

  • Mark

    Is this meant to be unbiased? Wow

  • ARSENAL 13

    No one here is saying referees are cheats. We are complaining about incompetence and apparent bias.

    All we are asking for is a fair game. Referees are humans and can make mistake. And can have a bad day too. But that bad day has to affect both teams not just ARSENAL.

  • Mandy Dodd

    I am sure some refs are cheats, a certain Barca game away comes to mind, as does a certain mike Riley performance, but a lot of these guys may have sub conscious bias, maybe brand bias, career aspirations, affected by home fans, and fears of media …….and in the past, Scottish manager fallout. But that aside, still think there is a north west thing going on.
    Illegal gambling is estimated to run into hundreds of billions worldwide annually, a lot of it on EPL games, we know they have got to some refs….no evidence whatsoever our refs are bent in that way, but with FIFAs lack of action on such things, can only be a matter of time, IF it is not happening already. Then, there is the Italian scenario…….

  • WalterBroeckx

    Barry,
    of course we throw in personal comments. That is why we call that column “comment”.
    We had it very sec a few seasons ago and then people complained asking to livening them up a bit.

    Mind you I could have written: a small foul in midfield and with the defender having made no foul yet, not a promising attack as there were lots of players around the ball and far away from goal so there is no need to give a yellow card. Add in the section of the laws of the game applicable for this situation (or show why a yellow wasn’t needed with that). But then it all gets a bit long.

    In fact the only thing you do need to read is the smallest column: the C(correct) NC(Not Correct). The rest is just to help people a hand in remembering the situation or being able to see it again.

  • AL

    The linesmen for the city game were S.Burt and H.Lennard, not sure which of the two was the guilty one.

  • Mick

    @Barry Morrison
    I notice you have answered oldgroover who kind of agrees with you but failed to answer my questions to you. Do you not have an answer.

  • Mick,

    oldgroover always agrees with anyone who have something bad to say about Untold Arsenal. I just can’t understand why he hangs around here when he objects to the site and its regulars’ ways.

  • Barry Morrison

    Mick, I thought I had addressed your point by using an example.

    As for the issue of refs being unable to be unbiased, I think human nature dictates that this is probably true. Maybe not to the northern/southern extent that you describe latterly, but certainly to the point where a supporter of a specific team should not be involved in the matches of the team they support.

    From my point of view, I can hold my hands up and say that as objective as I try to be, I will just not see the Everton vs Arsenal match in the same way that you do. I know from watching games with opposition supporters that we can both see an incident and wholeheartedly believe different things about said incident.

    My point initially, and I stand by it, is that if you are trying to make a stand against perceived bias by referees against Arsenal, then your case would be stronger if you were using someone independent to assess the matches. If that’s not the point if this exercise, and it’s just for Arsenal fans to have a partisan discussion about the officiating at the game, just ignore me.

    I’m starting to wish this article hadn’t popped up on the Everton Newsnow page…

  • GoingGoingGooner

    Comment on the Everton match. I watched the game and it irks me to hear people start with the comment that we were crap for 80 minutes and pulled it out in the last 10. We were out of synch the first half and Everton was playing well. We were not being bullied but rather outpassed. But from about the 55th minute on we played OK and from about the 65th minute we dominated the match. The goals didn’t come until the last bit but we were pushing for them.

  • Gianni Dioro

    @AL – I am pretty sure that was Harry Lennard who made the bad offside calls in the Citeh match. I was remembering because he is also a police officer/referee/linesman like Howard Webb and Martin Atkinson.

  • Gianni Dioro

    Does anyone remember Arsenal being denied of a perfectly good goal by Sanogo late last season against Everton?

    Strange that Everton have got an offside goal decisions in their favour in each of their past 2 matches played against Arsenal. Coincidence or enemy action?

  • Gianni Dioro

    @Walter – Touche pas à mon pote! How accurate to describe Friend’s friendly relationship with Naismith.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Hi Gianni, long time since we have ‘seen each other on the internet’ 🙂

    That expression just entered my mind after each and every decision going to Naysmith. I wouldn’t be surprised if Naysmith had wrapped up the ref in the first half hour or so by telling him how great he was and how excellent he was. As referees we know there are some players out there who try to be sympathetic towards the ref at the start of the match to ‘win him over’.
    And I admit for an inexperienced ref it can be easy to fall for it (we all were inexperienced at one point in time) but for a ref in the PL it is a bit soft to fall for such things if that is what it was of course.

    Or are they close neighbours? 😉

  • AL

    Gianni Dioro
    Hmmm, all coppers, certainly interesting that one. And you’re right, Everton seems to get offside goals against us too often. I remember Louis saha scoring at the ems about 3 years back when he was miles offside. Then last season Lukaku was offside again when they equalised. Once maybe a mistake, but two or three times? There’s a worrying pattern there.

  • oldgroover

    Bootoomee
    Why are you always such a knob? As you well know I only support other commenters who get bullied by you & your mates on here.
    I was pointing out ( rather sarcastically i have to admit ) to Barry that he was in the wrong place for unbiased opinion and certainly wasn’t siding with him, but he seems an Ok bloke.
    By the way another quite well known Arsenal blogger was taking the piss out of you yesterday. You’re quite famous in the Arsenal bloggosphere, but not in the way you’d like.

  • john

    Last season, I calculated that match officials cost us a minimum of 8 points.

    This year we are off to an early start, with 2 points denied after only 2 games.

  • john

    Did anyone else notice the shots of the 4th official engaging in pleasant chat with Martinez, when he was trying to claim for a non-existent penalty, in contrast to his blanking of Mr. Wenger when he complained later in the game?

  • oldgroover,

    A link to the piss taking blog please? Didn’t know that there is now a blogs dedicated to the little old me. Wow, I have arrived! I didn’t know I am now a celebrity – cool! No publicity is bad publicity as the saying goes!

    Considering that the type of pathetic Internet commenters that you are always defending and apologising for call Arsene Wenger (a world renowned football manager) and many of Arsenal’s players all sorts of names, I am proud and honoured to join the group of those they detest.

    As you have started the name calling by referring to me as a “knob”, I hope that you don’t whine and complain of bullying when I call you a wanker.

  • john,

    I don’t like Arsene talking to the 4th officials because of what you highlighted. It happens all the time. The little, insignificant twat (Oliver) acted like Wenger was talking to the wall. I have seen other 4th officials act in a worse manner. Remember Friend (the ref on Saturday) sending him into the crowds at Old Trafford for kicking a bottle of water with the Man United mob taunting and jeering as Arsene stood helpless before them? Friend would later apologise behind closed doors but the video of the sad incident remains forever.

    Being disrespectful towards the Arsenal manager is socially sanctioned in this country but sadly, it is led and encouraged by the pathetic wankers who call themselves Arsenal fans.

  • john

    Bootoomee,

    Thank you. My recollection of the OT incident was Mr. Wenger standing with dignity and courage and outfacing the baying crowd.

  • Mick

    Bootoomee
    It was our old mate Probert at Old Trafford who reported Arsene to Dean for kicking the bottle, not Friend.

  • AL

    The fourth official blanking Wenger was disgraceful. And yet as you say guys it happens all the time. They laugh and joke with other managers and yet ignore Wenger when he’s trying to make a point, how is that impartial?

  • Mick,

    You are right. Thanks for the correction.

  • oldgroover

    Bootoomee
    I’m Ok with “wanker”, self abuse has never been an issue with me.
    As for a link I can’t be arsed, but it was as you might have guessed on Le Grove where someone (not the blogger) tweeted that “those cnuts on Untold Arsenal are pulling limbs off each other” This was when you were blundering all over the blog yesterday and had to be calmed down by Tommiegun. Someone else tweeted that “the fat fool Bootoomee is about to self explode.

  • oldgroover,

    Of course, wanker suits you perfectly. Bear it with pride.

    Le Grove commenters are saying bad things about an Untold Arsenal regular; THE SHOCK & HORROR! OH, THE HUMANITY!!!!

    You are either very slow or just VERY new to this thing called the Internet and how blogging works but here is a lesson for you:

    It is perfectly normal for commenters on rival blogs to say mean things about each other. If I am shocked by anything, it is the fact that you take that to mean anything important.

    Also, it is voyeuristic to be exploring the Internet sewers to see what mean things are being said about other people. Contrary to what you might be expecting because of your naivety, I will be embarrassed to learn that Le Grove commenters are saying anything good about. You on the other hand, they might give some kind of award for, for banal civility and stupid false equivalencies.

    I don’t give a flying fuck about what they are saying at Le Grove. That is why I don’t go there but thanks for letting me know that I cause them enough headache to make them abuse me by name. You might need to stay there more as it is the den of the fuckers that you are always defending here.

  • bjtgooner

    @oldgroover

    I am never quite sure if you are a plonker or a deliberate stirrer, but you have really dug a hole for yourself on this one.

    Your post at 4.37pm was a real disgrace. I am not going to say anything else in direct response to it, as Bootoomee has already responded, other than to say you have reached a new low.

  • Yassin

    Damn Bootoomee,
    Yiu are becoming famous on these AAA blogs, like somekind of a Monster. Hahahaha

    On another note, and now honestly, Old groover, re read yoyr comment and please specify below how that should generate any reply other than what you saw here.

    And yes Brad and Oldgroover, please show where was Walter biased, by making an incorrect decision, C or NC, not what he said. If you cant do that, then please dont accuse him of being biased, it takes him a lot of time, and that at least should be respected.

  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    Im with Boo and BJT.LG is worse than the Coop.Im glad that Tony and Walter keep thing civilised over here.
    COYG! Aha and Amen!

  • oldgroover

    bjtgooner

    Not surprised to see you supporting one of your bully boy mates.
    What actually did you object to & find “so disgraceful” in my 4.37 post?
    That I called him a Knob? He’s been called far worse than that I’m sure. e.g. “fat fool”
    That I confirmed my support for posters that the likes of you & him both bully?
    That I answered his criticism of my post to Barry?
    Or that I let him know other posters on other blogs are taking the piss. He seemed pleased enough to know.
    Just remember I’m not the confrontational one here, he chose to slag me at 2.45 as you have just done.
    For somebody who’s “not going to say anything else” you’ve already said too much.

  • oldgroover

    Yassin
    It’s an Arsenal blog, It’s heavily biased towards Arsenal. What else would you expect to find on an Arsenal blog?

  • AL

    Bootoomee
    If people are talking about you you must be doing something right, and I say whatever it is keep doing it 🙂

  • WalterBroeckx

    Barry,
    we did exactly what you demanded the season before the last one.
    We had a team of referees doing the matches who supported different teams

    you find all our findings on this site http://www.refereedecisions.co.uk/

    If you got the time, please read and enjoy

    And my knowledge about the referees over the last 3 seasons is rather valuable in knowing when a ref is behaving not as he uses to do.

  • Yassin

    Oldgroover man, its an Arsenal blog, its definitely biased, but what part of Walter referee review was biased. Please dont change the subject, if that was not what you meant in the first place, then you should change your defense to brad, cause that was his point.

    And really Oldgroover please a simple question, you always post good posts every now and then, why do u change to this out of a sudden when someone get here with anti-Wenger attitude.

  • bjtgooner

    @oldgroover

    Well looks like you want me to say some more.

    Bootoomee is a fine guy – is not afraid to stand up for himself – I like that – but he is not a bully.

    You on the other hand are can be insidious and treacherous, often commenting with sarcastic one liners and leeching onto an anti Arsenal contributor.

    Your line: –

    “By the way another quite well known Arsenal blogger was taking the piss out of you yesterday. You’re quite famous in the Arsenal bloggosphere, but not in the way you’d like.”

    is an insidious, cowardly piece of shit.

  • Yassin

    Sorry above i meant barry instead of brad, whats with me and names?

  • oldgroover,

    I am 6’2 and weigh 85kg, I am anything but fat. Having said that, it is very juvenile and extremely lame to insult people with the word “fat” but with your limited intelligence, I understand why this eludes you. The word “fool” doesn’t bother me either. I don’t need to defend my intelligence; it is apparent to those with intellect.

    The big question is why you are hanging around a site whose mode of operation and major patrons you disagree with. Every time some random new commenters say something snide about UA, you pop up your head to give them thumbs up.

    Barry Morrison @9:24 am wrote this unfounded criticism of Walter’s painstaking article:

    “If you really expect these reports to be taken seriously, you probably need to drop the bias. This whole report is heavily weighted in Arsenal’s favour and reads like it is writen from an Arsenal point of view. I’m sure a diligent Everton fan could counter this report quite easily (excepting the obvious mistake on the second goal).

    If I were a referee receiving this, I would be ditching it as a partisan fan article. It is interesting for this supporters’ site, but cannot be taken seriously as any sort of critique of the referee (as some comments have suggested) due to the obvious bias.”

    You @11:46 am sprang to his support with this snide remark against Untold Arsenal:

    “Barry Morrison
    Welcome to the completely 100%, without a doubt, no question, who could dispute it unbiased Untold Arsenal.
    No bias here mate, whatever gave you that idea?”

    Just fuck off to Le grove and mingle with your friends of like minds. We all know that Le grove is the epitome of tolerance and objectivity in the Arsenal blogosphere. Stay there and leave us biased bullies alone.

  • oldgroover

    Yassin
    Sorry, I don’t think you ( a few others here ) don’t understand my comment to Barry. After Barry commented that Walters article was biased I very (shamelessly) sarcastically let him know that he was on an Arsenal blog and every thing was going to be biased towards Arsenal, so what did he expect. I have not commented on Walters article. I have not said it’s biiased. It’s Ok with me.

  • bjtgooner & Yassin (of the Biased Bullies Grand Alliance 🙂 ),

    Thanks guys.

    As you know, this is about the millionth time that I will be having this kind battle around here. oldgroover is not the first and he won’t be the last. I got this!

    I must confess that I am loving my new ‘celebrity’ status though. The fuckers can dish it out but can’t take it back.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    Perhaps we should dial back the rhetoric. Name calling is somewhat purile. For what it is worth, I appreciate both oldgroover’s and Bootoomee’s comments when they are not talking to each other.

    For the record, WE ARE BIASED here. We acknowledge that. We engage in positive Arsenal apologetics…That doesn’t mean we are wrong and having an Arsenal bias does not mean, for example, that all the work by Walter is incorrect. It’s true, we sometimes go too far defending our points of view against trolls and there is collateral damage.

  • oldgroover,

    “After Barry commented that Walters article was biased I very (shamelessly) sarcastically let him know that he was on an Arsenal blog and every thing was going to be biased towards Arsenal”

    You are such a weasel! You couldn’t even stand by you own comment? You were using sarcasm to “shamelessly” encourage someone who was casting aspersions on Walter’s integrity. It’s a shame that you are the one who really lack it with your about face attempt to rewrite history.

    I may be a bully and every negative adjective you can come with but I am not a weasel. Everybody knows where I stand at all times and I don’t change the meaning of my words when they become unpopular.

  • oldgroover

    Bootoomee

    If you don’t want to have a row with me stay off my case. It was you who left a comment to mick at 2.45 which was critical of me for no reason at all other than you just like being a prick. And anyway I was letting you know what others said about you. I didn’t choose the “fat fool”, but thought it was funny.

    Sorry, but I was not supporting Barry, but sarcastically telling him he shouldn’t expect anything other than Arsenal bias on an Arsenal blog. No references to Walter’s article.

    I’m not ashamed to admit I read Le Grove, Arseblog, A Cultured Left Foot, 7amkickoff and UA. What’s any of to you?

  • TommieGun

    Cant really remember calming you down Boo…

    😉

  • oldgroover

    Bootoomee
    No I wasn’t encouraging or supporting Barry at all. I was being sarky to let him know that he was in conflict with the blog mission statement. Is that encouraging him? Having said that after reading his replies he seems a decent enough bloke who accepts he might be wrong.

  • Barry Morrison

    Walter – I quite clearly have not ‘demanded’ anything. All I’ve done is make a few observations, and you have been defended vociferously since. I stand by my point, but you are free to disagree and ignore. It is not my intention in any way to be a ‘troll’.

    This is a very hostile fan site.

  • TommieGun,

    Thanks for pointing out another lie by oldgroover.

    He said you calmed me down. I know you didn’t but I didn’t want to be pedantic or deviate from the crux of my grudge with him. You and I have debates frequently but we never get abusive and that is because I respect you and your honesty and of course, intelligence. oldgroover on the other hand is a back-biting weasel.

  • oldgroover

    GoingGoingGooner

    Yes, we do seem to piss each other off don’t we!

  • TommieGun

    Likewise matey thats why it was important for me to clear it up. Now lets all cool off and hope for a 0-0 bore with some red cards between Man Shitty and Loserpool.

  • oldgroover

    TommieGun
    It certainly seems like it to me from your comment at 12.23 on the Unbeaten run thread yesterday, especially following the earlier exchanges between you both. If that wasn’t a “calm down dear” I don’t know what was.
    But I’m sure you’ll tell me I’m wrong.

  • omgarsenal

    El Gringo…….quite often, when its a little snit between two players and there isn’t any really serious or malicious fouls as in the case of the Naismith and Debuchy, the referee rightly decides to try and cool things down….which a caution won’t always do.
    to those who claim that Walter or other reviewers are biased towards AFC, keep in mind that their reviews highlight errors in the officials application of the Laws, whi9ch is perfectly legitimate and is far from biased. The perceived bias one may imagine they see is when the reviewer makes a comment about what motivated the error and especially if it was against AFC. However, having been an assessor of officials for almost 30 years I can guarantee you that Walter and company do a first class job of assessing actual fact and trying to minimize spin on their comments.
    If you can and will agree to do some reviews in an ¨unbiased¨ fashion, please get in touch with Walter. If that isn’t your cup of tea then please reconsider berating Walter for doing such a thankless job.

  • oldgroover

    No 0-0 bore I’m afraid. I hate to say it but City look terrific. Liverpool are in for a thrashing.

  • ClockEndRider

    Guys,
    Have you not figured yet that OG is a classic troll?
    Since you can simply add le grove and other such narcissistic, vacuous sites to your internet banned list and then never see them again, people like this seek to gain the attention so clearly missing in their lives by going to other sites.
    The best course of action is simply to desist from feeding the trolls. Hope this helps.

  • For context, in case anyone is wondering (although TommieGun already clarified he did not calm me down).

    “TommieGun
    August 25, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    @ Boo – I don’t disagree with you at all, what I don’t understand is why you got so worked up…

    It’s just that you have a lower tolerance for negative comments.

    Bootoomee
    August 25, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    TommieGun,

    Yes, I have absolutely low tolerance for negative comments. Especially on a site that is famous (or notorious depending on who you ask) for SUPPORTING Arsenal players and manager. Criticisms are welcome but they should be evidence-based, fair and not abusive. We, the so called ‘deluded’ fans, should be left alone to wallow in our delusions in our haven (Untold Arsenal) in peace.”

    I am who I am.

  • Watching the way Liverpool is playing right now, I kinda feel vindicated by article of a few days ago 🙂

    It is not smart to go all out to score against a strong rival on their home ground especially after they have taken the lead. What should have been contained as a 1-0 loss is now to become at least a 3-0 loss.

    It’s 12 minutes to go and anything can still happen though.

  • Spoke too soon. It’s now 3-1

  • oldgroover

    ClockEndRider
    Thought you’d join in.
    Just leaves Wengerman, finsbury & jokerboy now to complete the hand.
    Funnily enough, you’re the first one to use the dreaded T word. It must come naturally to you.
    Is this all it is for you then. don’t you go onto other Arsenal blogs? Don’t you ever follow links from NewsNow?
    I’ve actually got 22 football sites & blogs in my list and you just go onto one, you’re a one site guy.
    This explains your myopic views completely.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Maybe my word choice was wrong Barry but you see we have been through what you suggested 3-4 years ago and did it for one season.
    I think that our knowledge about most referees is as good as the knowledge from the PGMO.
    And I can tell you that rather a lot of referees have been very interested in our work over the years. Yes I mean PL referees. They certainly were very interested in the referee of the season table 🙂
    We have received a lot of backing from people whose name I cannot mention who are NOT related to Arsenal but who support our battle to kick out the chumps that run football in the PL and the referees. Which is the same.

  • TommieGun

    Just for the record (there seems a lot of record straighting by me lately but anyway) –

    (a) I challenged Barry Morisson to explain which of Walter’s assesments were biased. No reply.

    (b) Some of you guys say “yeah this site is biased”. Fair enough, the site might be, but I think that the refs’ reviews are FAR from being biased, and are in fact very fair, balanced and accurate. I don’t even remember a single incident where I found one of the calls within the refs’ reivews incorrect.

    (c) Finsbury – you made a an obsucre comment about something I wrote – what did you mean ?

  • Jambug

    oldgroover

    You are a strange one.

    You come on here, an overtly pro Arsenal/Wenger site and get all upperty about how pro Arsenal/Wenger it is.

    What’s all that about?

    You get all self righteous accusing people of ‘bully boy’ tactics setting yourself up as some kind of paragon of virtue who would never stoop to such depths, then immediately call someone a ‘Knob’

    What’s that all about?

    You seem to see yourself as some kind of Wat Tyler figure leading the peasants against the establishment.

    Delusions of grandeur or what.

    Well I am no paragon of virtue and I am never afraid to stoop to such depths when addressing a ‘supposed’ fellow Arsenal fan, who is in fact no more than a shit stirring AAA Troll talking out of his Arse.

  • oldgroover

    jambug

    Yes I may be a strange one. Who knows.
    I don’t know why I have to keep repeating this, but I was pointing out to Barry that he shouldn’t expect anything different from an Arsenal blog. It was done in a sarcastic manner, which even you should have understood. Barry saw the point but
    nobody else other than your mate Boo had anything to say about it, and he did it in a snidey way to someone else, which makes him a knob in my book. And this is something he regularly accuses other people of, so he’s a hypocritical knob. And I’ve seen the stuff both of you call other commenters on here so don’t go all self righteous on me.
    How do you know what I see myself as? I don’t mind saying that I hate bullying, but it doesn’t seem to bother you ( I’ve read your posts too).
    One last word, he may be an Arsenal fan, but he’s not a “fellow fan” and neither are you to come to that. I couldn’t think of two more unlikely people I’d be a fellow to.

  • Th14thesecond

    Man, great work on this article. I couldn’t believe some of the stuff I was watching on saturday. It’s serious stuff too because we’ve been denied 2 points. It also makes the game harder for the players because they’ve got a dodgy referee to contend with. Thank you also for those facts about the linesman and his history of denying us decisions- thought I was going crazy. Really good read! thank you

  • Jambug

    Oldgroover

    I said

    “Well I am no paragon of virtue and I am never afraid to stoop to such depths when addressing a ‘supposed’ fellow Arsenal fan,”

    How does this make me self righteous.

    Bullying !!

    Get real you baby.

  • Jambug

    Oldgroover

    “And I’ve seen the stuff both of you call other commentators on here so don’t go all self righteous on me.”

    Back that up then.

  • menace

    I have not read all the comments but I got a little fed up with excuses for PGMOL.

    I am the same age as AW and I have seen football in Africa (including Stan Matthews) Europe & India. I am not a diplomat. I tell it like I see it & make no excuses for my honesty. I am an Arsenal season ticket holder and love my club. I have read the Laws of the Game and download the most recent from the net (including notes to referees.).

    Generally referees are fair and do occasionally make mistakes. The PGMOL however are a monopoly appointed by the FA and are corrupt in their interpretation of the Laws and cheat the Game of honesty.

    There is no excuse for appointing a known cheat to officiate in the game. Just as there is no excuse for removing a good official for correctly sending off an England captain.

    I believe there is a level of disproportionate appointments to the Referees list. There are no non white referees at the highest level. I suppose it is kick it out -it being open to interpretation!!

    In the Everton match Walter was right in most of his interpretation with diplomacy.

    I believe that the incorrect officiating will cause riots as younger generation supporters will not have patience to wait for change.

  • beatchelsea@stamfordI'llbeagunner

    Leave ref’s decisions for now,this team should find a way of beating rivals hands down in thirty backyard. Then d refs will be shamed!

  • Mahdain

    The appointments are out and guess who we got? Anthony effing Taylor. FU Riley

  • jambug

    Oldgroover

    You are all mouth.

    I’m still waiting for the facts to back up your accusations.

  • oldgroover

    jambug
    Just by suggesting that I’m self righteous (your 8.46 comment) and a couple of lines later smugly telling me that I see myself as “some sort of Watt Tyler figure” is a self righteous put down.
    I’m not going to go throughout the archive looking for other examples, but will give you a nod each time I see one from now on.

  • jambug

    oldgroover

    So you cant back it up.

    As you are such a sensitive little sole I’ll do my best not to offend you.

    Unless of course you insist on backing every troll that cares to come our way.

  • oldgroover

    jambug
    I thought I just did back it up.
    You asked, I told you.

  • oldgroover

    jambug

    And here’s another thing.
    You called me a sensitive little soul, which may be a reference to my support of people being bullied, something I was proud to do in my years as a Unison Health & Safety rep., but why then are you getting all precious over me calling someone else a Knob? A Knob? It’s one up from a Wally. Are you kidding? Are you his H & S rep (as if he needs one)?