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PGMOL v Arsenal: the score after eight games

PGMO v Arsenal – After eight games is it evening out yet?

 

by Andrew Crawshaw

We are now approaching matchweek 9 in the Premier League, surely after 8 games things should start to even out shouldn’t they?

Our recorded results so far :-

  • Arsenal v Crystal Palace   2 – 1
  • Everton v Arsenal               2 – 2
  • Leicester v Arsenal             1 – 1
  • Arsenal v Man City             2 – 2
  • Aston Villa v Arsenal          0 – 3
  • Arsenal v Spurs                   1 – 1
  • Chelsea v Arsenal              2 – 0
  • Arsenal v Hull                      2 – 2

Played 8, won 2, drawn 5, lost 1.  Goals for 13, goals against 11. Clean sheets 0. Points 11

How are the results looking like for the PGMO?

The Untold Referee review: Arsenal – Crystal Palace

Referee – Jonathan Moss – 81% overall score (weighted), 6 yellow cards right out of 9, one red card correct out of 1, 2 penalty calls right out of 4 and all three goal decisions correct. All wrong decisions in favour of Palace – bias against 100/0

Three Wrong Important decisions (second yellow, red cards, penalties or goals) all favouring Palace :-

  1. Minute 2 8 Ramsey was pushed in the penalty area, Arsenal not given the penalty kick
  2. Minute 64 Chamakh should have had a second yellow for persistent fouling
  3. Minute 72 Hangerland pulls Giroud down by the neck in the penalty area again without the penalty being given

So no change to the overall result with Arsenal winning but scoreline should have been 4 – 1

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

Referee – Kevin Friend – 60% overall score (weighted) 18 wrong decisions in all 16 favouring Everton, 2 Arsenal so bias against the two teams 11/89.  There were two wrong Important decisions

  1. Min 44 Naysmith was offside when he scored the opening goal for Everton, goal shouldn’t have stood
  2. Min 53 Wilshere should have been given a red card for studs up challenge on Barry

It should also be noted that the yellow card earned by Chambers should not have been given.  Mr Garratt was the Assistant who missed the offside (and has previous when is comes to bad offside decisions against Arsenal)

One thing is for certain the first Everton goal shouldn’t have counted.  What the effect on Arsenal of having to play with 10 men from minute 53 is a matter of conjecture.  On balance a draw was probably the right result.

Ref review Leicester – Arsenal

Referee Anthony Taylor  – performance 61% (weighted)- 14 wrong decisions, 13 favouring Leicester, 1 Arsenal so bias against the two teams 7/93.  There were 3 wrong Key decisions, all favouring Leicester

  1. Min 44 Naysmith was offside when he scored – goal shouldn’t have counted
  2. Min 58 Moore should have had a second yellow card
  3. Min 84 Hammond should have had a red card for treading on Ramsay’s leg

This was a true game changing performance from the Mr Taylor.  The result should have been an Arsenal win and a clean sheet.

Ref Review : Arsenal – Man City

Referee Mark Clattenberg – Overall score(weighted) 71% 11 wrong decisions 3 favouring Arsenal, 8 City so bias against the two teams 73/27.  There were  2 Wrong Important Decisions one favouring each team

Min 18 (and again in Min 45) Milner should have had second yellow card

Min 53 Wilshere controlled the ball with his arm, should have been a City penalty

The first wrong decision was crucial.  City should have been down to 10 men in minute 18, I can’t view this game as anything other than the PGMO robbing Arsenal of two points.

Ref Review Aston Villa – Arsenal

Referee – Mike Jones – 82% overall score (weighted) and only 5 wrong decision in total of which 4 favoured Villa and 1 Arsenal so bias against was 20/80.  There was one wrong Important decision (favouring Villa)

Min 83 Clark should have red card for tackle on Podolski

A second game where the refereeing had no impact on the outcome of the game.

REFEREE REVIEW: Arsenal – Tottenham

Referee – Michael Oliver – 65% overall score (weighted), 13 wrong decisions, 2 favouring Arsenal, 11 Tottenham so bias against the two teams was 85/15

Min 18 Kabul fouled Wellbeck in area should have been a penalty

Min 30 Rose fouled Wilshere in area – another not given penalty

Min 72 Mason should have seen red for his assault on Özil (see photo)

Another game where the PGMO rigged the result,Arsenal should have won by 3-1

Untold’s Unacceptable Referee Review: Chelsea – Arsenal

The referee was Martin Atkinson and as we predicted we were royally screwed.  His overall performance rating was 44.7% (weighted). 24 wrong decisions favouring Chelsea, 4 Arsenal.  The bias against figures were 14/86. Three were at least 7 wrong Important decisions % favouring Chelsea, 2 Arsenal

  1. Minute 20 Ivanovic should have red card for elbowing Özil
  2. Minute 20 Cahill should have red card (instead of the yellow he got) for a studs up challenge half way up Alexis’ shin.
  3. Minute 30 rose fouled Wilshere in penalty area again nothing given
  4. minute 40 (of 45+2; or 74) Oscar should have second yellow card
  5. Minute 43 Alexis should have red card for punch on Ivanovic (who shouldn’t have been on the pitch since minute 20)
  6. Minute 62 Handball by Fabregas should have been a penalty, he should certainly have been booked
  7. Minute 90 Alexis should have red card for bad foul on Fabregas

To add insult to injury Chambers was wrongly booked in Min 86 for a minor foul on Lennon, his second wrong card of the season.

The key events were in the 20th minute with the score at nil nil.  There were two separate incidents occurring virtually simultaneously.  Cahill made one of the worst tackles of the season getting his studs well up on Alexis’ shin – a red card every day of the week in any league in the world except the one controlled by the PGMO, Atkinson awarded a free kick and a yellow card.  At virtually the same time and on the opposite side of the pitch, Ivanovic elbowed Özil as he went past him again a clear assault that should have resulted in a red card.  In the 20th minute Chelsea should have been down to 9 men with the game goal-less.  There is no way Chelsea would have won two nil from that position with Arsenal having a two player advantage.

Atkinson decided the result as we predicted he would and gifted Chelsea the points.  Had we had an honest referee Arsenal would almost certainly have won the game.

Referee review : Arsenal – Hull : East, West not the best

Referee Roger East – 50% overall weighted score, 14 wrong decisions favouring Hull, 3 favouring Arsenal so bias against of 82/18.  Surprisingly only one decision that could be described as a wrong Important Decision (second yellow,red cards, penalty or goal) again favouring Hull

Minute 17 the Diame equaliser for Hull should not have counted as he fouled Flamini obviously in the build up.

In summary.

Game Recorded Result “Corrected” Result Arsenal points
Arsenal v Palace 2 – 1 4 – 1 3
Everton v Arsenal 2 – 2 1 – 1 1
Leicester v Arsenal 1 – 1 0 – 1 3
Arsenal v Man City 2 – 2 Arsenal win 3
Aston Villa v Arsenal 0 – 3 0-3 3
Arsenal v Spurs 1 – 1 3 – 1 3
Chelsea v Arsenal 2 – 0 Arsenal win 3
Arsenal v Hull 2 – 2 2 – 1 3

Arsenal should be top of the table undefeated on 22 points, twice as many as we have been allowed.

Referee Overall score (weighted) % Bias against Arsenal
Jonathan Moss 81 100
Kevin Friend 60 89
Anthony Taylor 61 93
Mark Clattenberg 71 73
Mike Jones 82 80
Michael Oliver 65 85
Martin Atkinson 45 86
Roger East 50 82

Two referees with an acceptable score, thank you Mssrs. Moss and Jones, Appalling anti-arsenal bias from everyone though.

No there is absolutely no signs of it evening out yet.  Arsenal 11 points, PGMO 11 points.

COYG

Untold’s index and anniversaries 

92 comments to PGMOL v Arsenal: the score after eight games

  • Mike T

    @Andrew

    I wont go over the incidents one by one but:

    Lennon doesn’t play for Chelsea nor does Rose. Chambers wasn’t booked in the 86th minute against Chelsea. Alexis didn’t commit a foul against Fabregas in 90th minute.
    Naismith doesn’t play for Leicester, there was nothing wrong with Leicester’s goal so should really Arsenal have kept a clean sheet

    You say with regard to the Everton game that it would be a matter of conjecture in truth that applies to every game when you try and assess what would have happened if a decision had gone another way.

  • Greg

    Naysmith apparently scored two offside goals against us, one for Everton and one for Leicester. Rose also apparently plays for two teams and gave away a penalty when he played for each of them.

    The Ivanovich “elbow” was a body check, yellow card at best, and it happened about ten feet away, not the other side of the pitch.

    I’m an Arsenal fan who wants to believe you, but how is anybody supposed to take these findings seriously when they are so riddled with errors?

  • Alex

    yeah.
    2 is to much

  • Alex

    oh…
    and lennon was playing for chlencie…

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Sorry folks, looks like I had a senior moment with this post..

  • bjtgooner

    Andrew

    A good attempt to put a lot of data together, its always very easy for others to find something to complain about.

    This is still a very recent post – any chance you can do some corrections before the main discussion starts?

  • Mandy Dodd

    Thanks Andrew. I just get the impression things are just getting worse with the refs……we get very very little these days.
    Kevin Friend this weekend at Sunderland so more of the same.
    Got to get those North West clubs into the top four!

  • Henry Root

    I echo the previous criticisms re mistakes. Naismith scored the second goal for Everton not the first but I agree he was offside. But our defenders made two incredibly stupid challenges and were out of position.
    The report is sloppy and exaggerates from an incredibly pro- Arsenal perspective.( I have supported Arsenal for 55 years and had a season ticket for twenty five)
    Let me ask do you really think this team is playing well enough to be unbeaten and leading the table with twenty two points? If you presented this to a neutral audience you would be laughed out of court. And you would deserve to be

  • Quincy

    Mike T:

    Palace:
    If we awarded the two penalties, and Chamakh sent off, it’s very unlikely the result would have changed.

    Everton:
    One goal should not have been awarded to Everton, and Wilshere sent off in the 58th minute. Here you might have a point regarding the sending off.

    Leicester:
    Two sending offs for Leicester not given. Hard to see how that wouldn’t have changed the game, in all likelihood. Can’t comment on the error including Naismith.

    Man $ity:
    Milner sent off after 18 min., meaning we have a man advantage until the 53rd minute, i.e. for 35 min. Considering we outplayed Man $ity anyway, and deserved to win on the balance, seems pretty likely that would have tipped it in our favour.

    Villa:
    Hard to see how sending off a Villa player would have changed the result.

    Tottenham:
    Two penalties in our favour and a Spurs player sent off. Hard to see how that could fail to help us.

    Chel$ea:
    Do I really need to comment on that travesty? Nevermind the speculation, that was a god-awful performance by Atkinson in Chel$ea’s favour.

    Hull:
    If the Diame goal had been correctly disallowed, hard to see how that doen’t tip the balance in our favour.

    I don’t see much wrong with the speculation there, perhaps in the Everton game. The Chel$ea was so extremely badly reffereed it’s hard to draw any conclusions, I agree. But it is at least clear Atkinson was clearly in Chel$sea’s corner, un-intentionally or not.

  • AL

    Henry
    You’d be laughed out of court by idiots who swallow everything the media throws at them line hook and sinker without doing an analysis for themselves. I don’t understand anyone that says yes this goal should not have stood but our players should not have done this or done that. Point is an illegal goal was allowed to stand when it should not have. And that changed the outcome of the bloody game! I am confident if the offside and illegal goals had been disallowed(Everton and Hull), the penalties against the likes of Spurs, Chelsea, then that’s at least 7 points assuming we’d ve drawn with Chelsea(I’m being generous to think this way coz if Cahill had walked in minute 20 surely we’d have taken all 3 points). So that’s an easy 18-20 points by adjusting those games alone, without even including Leicester in the equation. Only an idiot can laugh at such obvious figures.

    Good article Andrew. Predictably those with their own agendas will pick on simple typos where clearly you meant Welbeck but put Sanchez. The crux of the matter is the incident did happen, that’s what we should focus on, not that you put the wrong name in there.

  • AL

    Andrew
    Is it possible to correct the errors, this is a good factual piece and need to forward the link to colleagues who are abroad I’ve been telling we are where we’re in the league due to referees. But it’d be nicer without the obvious errors. The context won’t change much, but don’t want people picking the article apart on the basis of such minor errors. Thank you.

  • AB

    Heads you win tails you don’t lose !

  • Rantetta

    Thanks, Andrew.

  • apo Armani

    Its like taking a sprint toward a brick wall with your head!!!

    Unreal how some people (anti-Arsenal) are so much in denial.

  • InitialsBB

    “Arsenal should be top of the table undefeated on 22 points in the same universe”. This is the type of statement that sets Untold apart from the rest

  • Mike T

    The issue really isn’t about was this or that decision correct its more the flawed contention that if the decision had been different the outcome would just about always lead to Arsenal winning more points.

    Look at the Man City game. Say Milner had indeed been sent off how can you possibly know how Pellegrini would have reacted? It is well known that teams reduced to 10 and change their shape offer a far different challenge. Would the game followed the same pattern? Would Arsenal have changed the way they were playing?

    It is suggested that had Cahill walked then you surely would have taken the 3 points. There is no doubt that Chelsea would have continued to be set up with two CD & in so doing players would have been moved around or made a substitution how would that have worked out? As we have seen time after time if Chelsea have to defend they are far more equipped than the majority to do that. How would Gibbs and Chamberlain have re acted ? Would Arsenal have pushed forward would that have meant Hazard gained more space? Who knows

    Even the Hull game. If their first goal had been disallowed (which it should have) would Hull have changed their shape? Would they have made a substitution at half time? How would Arsenal have reacted or changed things at half time?

    The reality is none of us know how a changed decision would have impacted and those suggesting its possible to predict are really just kidding themselves.

  • Steve0

    My lord, this post is awful.

    Forget all of the errors in this, but the omissions of Arsenal booboos are numerous too. We’re getting on Oscar for several bookable fouls, and completely ignoring Chambers doing the exact same thing. He should have been off in the first half.

    We’re calling Ivanovic out for a pretty soft “elbow”, and ignoring Ozil’s far more blatant elbow to his throat (I believe it was early second half). We’re also making the assumption that Cesc’s handball was in the box, which after seeing it about a dozen times, I’m still unsure about.

    The Chelsea game was a total cluster[fun] that probably would have turned out completely differently with a competent ref, but there are just way too many refereeing screw ups on both sides to pretend that Arsenal would have won that game.

    Look, it’s very, very clear that the refereeing this season has been beyond poor. It’s also pretty clear that some Arsenal fans are confusing that with corruption, because they’re looking for someone not involved with the club to blame for not topping the table. Should Arsenal have more points than they do at the moment because of some bad decisions? Sure. It’s not anywhere near as bad as this post indicates though.

    I think it’s time for this community to stop scapegoating the referees as a way to ignore the issues with the squad and approach. You can support the manager and the club without resorting to creating this narrative that the FA is out to get Arsenal. Honest.

  • Pete

    Having looked at it several times I think the Ivanovic body check/elbow on Ozil was probably more a yellow than a red – although I am not a qualified referee.

  • Pat

    The key points are the referee bias and the number of referee errors committed which are unfavourable to Arsenal. Also the poor overall scores from several referees and the appalling one from Atkinson, who is one of the PGMOL’s four FIFA accredited referees.

    You can quibble about exactly what difference any particular decision might have made in any particular game. But the overwhelming overall incompetence and bias must have an effect on our results.

    And that is even without taking into account the effect on our injury list of the failure to control violence by opposing players on Arsenal players, and the obvious effect that too must have on our results.

  • Wooby

    @Mike T – fair points you make.

    Yet at the same time, we do need to put into context the decisions that are continually being made against us by the refs, no? Simply saying a ref score is 40% or 60% is meaningless if there is no attempt to correlate these performances with what matters, which is position in the league table.

    So while I think Andrew maybe a little optimistic in suggesting that PGMOL has cost us 11 points, I also think it is fair to suggest that some of the decisions involved have had a material effect on our point total:

    Against Leicester – the water logged pitch probably had as much an effect as the ref, so let’s leave that a draw.

    City – they are a good squad and have enough quality that even if down to 10 men, they can secure a point (see performance against Chelsea).

    Spuds – the penalties…if we scored one of them, we likely win the game given how deep they defended.

    Chelsea – we might not have won but we would have had a greater chance of securing a draw if Cahill was properly sent off and Ivanovic cautioned for playing rugby.

    Hull – I like our chances of winning if the ref had called the foul by Diame properly and they did not score the first goal.

    So let’s say 5 more points (more conservative than Andrew). We’d be tied for Southampton for third at 16 points – probably a fairer reflection of things than 11 points.

  • apo Armani

    Then blow and behold BBC run this of all stories!!!

    http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/29712118

  • Mike T

    @Woobly

    More realistic I agree but who knows?

    @Pat

    England has 7 (Webb still holds FIFA accreditation) FIFA appointed referees.
    http://www.fifa.com/associations/association=eng/footballofficials/referees/peoplekind=ref.html

  • apo Armani

    Neville: “We knew how to beat Arsenal. We knew how to ruffle them and rile them. We got into Reyes, as well as [Thierry] Henry and [Robert] Pires. We knew if we got into their flair players, the players who made them tick, we could go on to win the game with the quality that we had.”

    Reyes: “In all my sporting life, I have never received so many kicks as I did in Manchester. It was the hardest match I have played.”

    Wenger: “Riley decided the game, like we know he can do at Old Trafford. We were robbed. There was no contact at all for the penalty, even Rooney said so. We can only master our own performance and not the referee’s performance.
    “We all know him [Van Nistelrooy], he can only cheat people who don’t know him.”

    NOTHING HAS CHANGED…the word is: JUST KICK them no one will notice!!

  • apo Armani

    “We got into” = Kick the hell out of them!

  • Steve0

    @Pat

    I think the idea that the refs have a “bias” is incorrect in itself. First, Arsenal are a possession based squad. Possession based squads will always have more fouls against them allowed, as they have a majority of the ball during the game. It’s not hard to see why clubs like Arsenal, Bayern, or Barcelona would look like they’re on the wrong end of more calls than their opponents, because by having more possession, they are.

    Second, and this is the far more important part, there actually is a bias involved in the reviews. We’re asking people with an emotional attachment to one of the clubs involved in the match to do a bias-free assessment of the referee. In every single one of these reviews, that bias shows. Marginal fouls on Arsenal are all clear infractions. The severity of these fouls is nearly always overstated. When it’s an Arsenal player committing the offense, the card or foul is often understated. All you have to do is look at how some of Chambers’ yellow cards have been evaluated to see this at work.

    Look, the referee reviews are a wonderful idea. The problem in them as currently done is bias, and it’s not bias from the refs. To be taken seriously, Tony and Walter need to stop having Arsenal fans do these assessments, or if they’re going to continue to use the same fans, find some qualified fans with the other sides bias to at least get a second and different point of view. I’d be extremely interested to see what a true neutral had to say about each of these games, as well as what a knowledgeable fan of the opposition did.

  • Mandy Dodd

    From what I understand, the ref reviews on here have at various stages been undertaken by fans of several teams, including,I believe a Spurs fan.
    You may not like or rate the manager or whoever , but the refereeing performances we seem to be regularly on the end of should also be considered when evaluating the performance of the team. Atkinson has history with Chelsea….a history I would imagine Chelsea are quite plapeased about.
    Can anyone honestly doubt the possibility some of these refs are biased….because if they are not, English refs must be unique on,this planet.

  • Steve0

    @Mandy

    I hate the assumption that people are “anti-Wenger” because they don’t think the FA are somehow manipulating results. I’ll never call for Wenger to be relieved of duty, I’m happy with him in charge of Arsenal as long Arsenal are meeting minimum expectations (which are fairly reasonable).

    There’s a chance, obviously, that some of these refs have a bias against certain managers or players. If you’re going to start to tell me that the entire FA has it out for one particular club though, I’m going to roll my eyes.

    And lastly, refs everywhere are generally terrible, not just in England. Watch some of the godawful Champions League games, which are often called far worse than Premier League contests. The game is too fast and the players exaggerate contact far too often for any human to be close to flawless. More often than not, many, many mistakes will be made.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Not saying you are anti Wenger SteveO, more of a general remark, some want all perceived faults , underperformance,or issues blamed on wenger, and completely dismiss other negative factors around the club, some of the refereeing performances we have recently been experiencing being amongst them…..as are some illegal tactics of opponents…that said refs seem to be happy to permit.
    Not sure the FA as a body are anti Arsenal, but do believe the EPL have their favorites, perhaps for brand purposes at the very least. I also believe,the whole,game is,corrupt, and refs can be a weak link. Yes referees worldwide are not especially good at the moment, and yes, they need all the tech help they can get, but they seem to be less good for some than others. For instance, nobody will even convince me that fergie did not have an influence on referees over and above that of other managers. Starting to think Jose may have a similar influence.

  • bjtgooner

    Steve0

    “Arsenal are a possession based squad. Possession based squads will always have more fouls against them allowed”

    This statement in itself is illogical.

    A possession based system may suffer more tackles simply because they have the ball, the problem arises when such tackles are illegal and become fouls or indeed very dangerous fouls – the possession team will then suffer more fouls if the ref is not doing his job.

    I am not sure how long you have followed Untold, but the suggestion that the ref reviews is biased in Arsenal’s favor is total rubbish – many of the reviews have been carried out by non Arsenal supporting refs.

    And you own anti Arsenal bias – looks like a case to answer?

  • Tom

    Mike T

    I’m not gonna get into how flawed this post is since the author himself has admitted this much already ,but for me personally the crux of the argument is the fact that Arsenal haven’t got any decisions from refs this season yet.

    Every major decision seems to always go against Arsenal , no matter who their opponent is.
    I’m as unbiased as they come and for that reason I have been received , shall we say, less than cordially on here by most of the regulars most of the time.

    Arsenal have been anywhere from average to awful this season and one could never predict what outcome of any game might’ve been, whether opponent’s player had been sent off or not , but your Chelsea / Arsenal assessment was regrettably very biased in itself.

    Like I said before, Arsenal are naive and amateur-like in their approach at times, especially against Chelsea. Mourinho’s tactics against Ozil have been so blatantly transparent, yet Ozil still thinks of Mourinho as his friend. Quite pathetic if you ask me. I’m sure Ozil believes Ivanovic just has a nasty streak , when in fact the Serb only plays that way against him ,as instructed by Mourinho . In the first game he almost got decapitated by him on the touch line, and this time around he didn’t fare any better.

    To be honest , I’m not terribly bothered by Ivanovic’s antics against Ozil, who should be able to protect himself, but I’m disturbed by a tackle from Cahill on Sanchez and I will tell you why.
    This type of tackle , at that particular moment in the game happens ONLY as per manager’s instructions before the game.

    You might say ‘don’t be silly Tom , where’s your proof?’
    I don’t have any , but I did have some fifteen years of professional football at a club level in two countries , to know Cahill’s tackle was premeditated.

    No player puts in a tackle like that in the opening stages of a game at 0:0, where no tempers had flared and his team hadn’t been dominated , unless told to do so by his manager to either send a massage or take the opposition’s best player off his game.

    ‘ Cahill was lucky to stay on the pitch’ was your verdict.
    Mine was , it was Sanchez who was lucky to have stayed on the pitch.
    That type of a tackle gives the player on the receiving end no chance to protect himself , unlike the Welbeck tackle on Fabregas.

    Straight red. Anytime, anywhere any league.

    I’m only posting this because you keep referring to the Chelsea game on different treads, where the wise thing probably would’ve been for you to sit this one out.

    Still , looking forward to all your other comments on here, just not where Chelsea v Arsenal are concerned 🙂

    Ps. The answer to your question , whether Hazard would’ve had more room to operate had Arsenal fullbacks pushed up the pitch , after Cahill’s red card, is probably yes. More room in the showers or on the bench , as most likely he would’ve been withdrawn from the game 🙂

  • Blaisehayest

    The problem with opinions isn’t that everyone has one it’s that most of them are not based on fact. Here are some foul statistics from last years top three possession teams in the EPL.

    TEAM POSSESSION FOULED FOULS COMMITTED

    Southampton 1st 12th 4th
    Manchester City 2nd 20th 15th
    Arsenal 3rd 7th 19th

    Obviously possession has no correlation to fouls (don’t get me started on foul to card ratio). To many it’s been clear for a long time that Arsenal are on the wrong end of calls. Instead of pointing out small mistakes (nothing worse than the punctuation police) and basing arguments on supposition and opinion why doesn’t someone out there put together their own ref reviews to counter (or support) Untold’s findings?

    To everyone at Untold keep up the good work, it will pay off eventually.

  • Blaisehayest

    @Tom

    I’m split 50/50 on wether it was pre-game pre meditated or pre meditated payback for the collision Sanchez had with Courtois. Either way Mourinho gave the go ahead.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Beggars Can be Choosers.

    A man walks past a beggar every day and gives him $.10 and that Continues for a year. Then suddenly the daily donation changes to $.7.50.

    ” Well,” the beggar thinks, ” it’s still better than nothing.”

    A year passes in this way until the man’s daily donation suddenly becomes $.5.

    ” What’s going on now?” the beggar asks his donor. ” First you give me $.10 every day, then $.7.50 and now only $.5. What’s the problem?”

    ” Well,” the man says, ” last year my eldest son went to university. It’s very expensive, so I had to cut costs. This year my eldest daughter also went to university, so I had to cut my expenses even further .”

    ” And how many children do you have?” the beggar asks.

    ” Four,” the man replies.

    ” Well,” says the beggar, ” I hope you don’t plan to educate them all at my expense !”

  • Mick

    Good post Tom. Agree re Cahills tackle being deliberate and very probably following orders. He only had eyes for Sanchez, whom he made contact with before the ball had even arrived. He never appeared to look at the ball at all.

  • 4evered

    So stat’s are produced to show bias against Arsenal and when it is pointed out that those stats are incorrect and therefore call into credibility this whole notion of Bias against Arsenal – this is then cited as …………….. you’ve guessed it

    Bias Against Arsenal

    of which I will now be accused for making that very point – wow it’s like a hall of mirrors

  • Mandy Dodd

    Jose…and Chelsea in general always plays that way against Arsenal, and probably others if it is not Cahill, it is Ramires, Terry, Mikel or Essien ….and the refs in England always seem let his team away with rather a lot. There is a valid debate, if you cant beat them , join them, but Wenger, these days at least is wedded to a philosophy that doesnt go with that type of play…Jose, as Gary Neville says in not hindered by any philosophy, just win at all costs, and seriously test lets face it…some very weak refs on the way.
    Agree with Tom on the Cahill tackle, and the media say he is not that sort of player!
    Yes our performances have been poor at times this season,as Per says, time to get the season going, hard work on the training ground, hopefully players returning as well

  • jambug

    Mike T

    Funny how so often according to the media ONE wrong call in Arsenals FAVOUR can somehow change the destination of the Universe, yet they, and you it seems, try every trick in the book to trivialise a massive, irrefutable bias against Arsenal as a mere irrelevance.

    However you try to discredit, trivialise or dismiss Andrews piece the weight of bias it shows against Arsenal is quite simply a disgrace.

    The one problem I would say with the piece is the conclusion that given a fairer rub of the green by the refs would put us top of the table.

    Taken ‘literally’ that may be true but in reality we have NOT been the best side in the PL and to suggest we have I think only goes to undermine the point of the article.

    But to be fair I doubt Andrew is really suggesting that, rather drawing an unavoidable conclusion from the data used.

    But that anomaly aside the nub of the argument remains.

    We get Royally stitched up time and time again.

  • bjtgooner

    @jambug

    Re your comment to Mike T: –

    “However you try to discredit, trivialise or dismiss Andrews piece the weight of bias it shows against Arsenal is quite simply a disgrace.”

    I agree with this comment & would take it a bit further – Mike T – in a misleadingly pleasant way – often seeks to undermine the referee reviews and hence Walter’s meticulous work. I find his approach disingenuous at times and his motivation hard to follow, even making allowance for his allegiance to Chelski.

  • apo Armani

    @jambug
    October 24, 2014 at 10:12 am

    Perfectly put – word for word!!

    @bjtgooner
    October 24, 2014 at 10:53 am

    “Mike T – in a misleadingly pleasant way – often seeks to undermine the referee reviews and hence Walter’s meticulous work…”

    Dito!!

  • jambug

    bjtgooner

    “Mike T – in a misleadingly pleasant way – often seeks to undermine the referee reviews and hence Walter’s meticulous work”

    Well put.

    Mike T is a good poster. He doesn’t seem to be contentious just for the sake of it and by and large is fair and balanced.

    He obviously likes this site as he visits it so often.

    So bearing all this in mind I would suggest he must have a least a degree of respect and trust in the founders and Authors of the site, IE Walter, Tony, Andrew, Bootoomee etc.

    Yet he still constantly dismisses the referee reviews as works of fiction.

    Not putting a too finer point on it he is basically accusing the ‘reviewers’ of bias or worse fabrication.

    I challenged him once to do his own review and publish the proof of his assertions.

    He did ONE review, conceded what a difficult job it was and proved nothing.

    Well, apart from what a wonderful stoic lot the reviewers are.

    So again I say, come on Mike T, stop making baseless accusations of bias (all be it covertly) and PROVE YOUR POINT.

    Otherwise stop making accusations you cant, or wont back up.

  • proudkev

    I think we need to be careful we don’t go over the top on this subject. Lets just stick to the really obviously failings of the match officials or else everything gets discredited. Certain decisions are a bit nip and tuck but for me there are too many key decisions going against us, where the letter of the law is not being applied.

    The Chelsea game for me was a perfect example of that. Everyone in football knows the Cahill challenge was reckless and dangerous. Everyone. The referee was right on top of it but the person with the best view was probably the 4th official. When you watch that tackle from the camera angle behind Cahill (see below), you can see how bad it was. That was one of those leg breakers. I am still amazed he got away with that.

    Funny that nobody stands up for Arsenal or Mr. Wenger. Arsene knew that had the potential to be another Eduardo or Ramsey. And it is no coincidence, we receive these tackles from ‘English’ thugs. It’s only Arsenal and you have to ‘get at them’. Joke. The club needs to ask Mike Riley what is going on.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-C9r3mGRug

  • jambug

    proudkev

    You have to ask yourself why all the post match ‘hullabaloo’ was about the ‘shove’ by Wenger on the odious one, as opposed to a potential leg breaking challenge that effectively went unchallenged?

    If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a thousand times that the refs know full well that ‘screwing’ Arsenal, ie allowing assaults like that, not giving obvious penalties, booking us at will (currently we get a booking every 4.4 fouls)gets them nothing but praise from there bosses, the media.

    As has been said elsewhere, apparently we have the best referees in Europe !!!!

    Honestly, if it wasn’t so shameful it would be funny.

  • jambug

    Corr: …went un punished.

  • para

    There are many things wrong, but the main ones to me are:

    Why are they so few refs in the PL to manage so many games.

    Why do only a few of these refs get to manage games.

    Why do the same refs get to manage the “top” games.

    and most importantly
    Why are refs not told to follow the law to the letter, (that is, NO individual perception and if stuck, he can query his assistants).

    These alone in my view would change the game for the better.

  • jambug

    para

    “and most importantly
    Why are refs not told to follow the law to the letter, (that is, NO individual perception and if stuck, he can query his assistants.”

    Simple, because they WANT the ambiguity.

    If they where held to account they would not be able to tow the media line.

    The FA Cup final Referee was a disgrace and missed at least 3 penalty calls and still got praised for his display.

    What chance have we got to sort this disgraceful mess out when that kind of judgement is made??

    And anyway they obviously already think they do ‘follow the law to the letter’ because we apparently have the BEST REFEREES IN EUROPE !!!

  • finsbury

    Let’s be honest.

    You don’t need to have experience of playing football at even a vaguely semi-professional level to acknowledge what was going on in the Cahill foul. People know when a player is targeted, it’s why the foul rule and eventually cards were introduced to the game! A long, long time ago.

    Anyone attempting to argue is, as can be seen above, they are acting in bad grace. And digging themselves into a hole. In public.

  • jambug

    4evered

    “……when it is pointed out that those stats are incorrect…..”

    How does 2 or 3 errors justify that statement in any way?

  • jambug

    Even if you want to dismiss the statistics above Wenger has a very good point in that, overall we haven’t got as many points out of our matches as our play has deserved.

    Again using statistics just take for example our five draws:

    Key:Shots = self explanatory, On T = Shots on target, Poss = Possession.

    The first figure is Arsenal the second figure in brackets is the opposition.

    Also it is 3 home and 3 away games so a balanced sample.

    Everton:

    Shots: 13 (8)
    On T: 3 (2)
    Poss: 54% ((46%)

    Leicester:

    Shots: 24 (9)
    On T: 6 (3)
    Poss: 68% (32%)

    Man City:

    Shots: 15 (15)
    On T: 8 (6)
    Poss: 45% (55%)

    Spurs:

    Shots: 16 (6)
    On T: 6 (4)
    Poss: 68% (32%)

    Hull:

    Shots: 25 (4)
    On T: 9 (4)
    Poss: 66% (34%)

    All together:

    Shots: 93 (42)
    On T: 32 (19)
    Poss: 60% (40%)

    Out of all those stats JUST ONE went against Arsenal and that was Man Cities possession stats.

    To me these statistics strongly back up Wengers assertion that, indeed, we have not achieved the points return from these games that our performances have deserved. To suggest otherwise, as that cretin Merson did the other night, is ingenuous in the extreme.

  • jambug

    Sorry 2 home 3 away.

  • jambug

    Corr again. 3 home 2 away. This is what happens when I post sober 🙂

  • jambug

    Even the Chelsea game wasn’t the drubbing some would have you believe.

    Chelsea had 5 shots to our 10.

    Our problem was we did not hit the target once, but then again Chelsea only hit the target 3 times and one of those was the penalty. As I say, hardly the comprehensive performance certain quarters would have you believe.

    We also topped the possession 53% to 47%.

    All in all with just a bit of luck a a fairer hand from the officials and we would be so so much closer to the top, despite not even hitting our stride yet by a long way.

    I am still very optimistic about the rest of the season.

  • Mike T

    @ Jambug

    As I have said on many occasions the reason the reasons I have problems with the reviews is that the reviews are made ;

    1)With the assistance of many different camera angels and not in real time
    2)With the assistance of technology such as slow motion
    3)Without knowledge of what has been said through out the game by the ref to the players & indeed the players to the ref
    4)Without the knowledge of what the ref has been told by the 4th official or his assistants
    5)Without any idea how good or indeed how bad the referees view of an incident was or was wasn’t
    6)The reviews only document a small % of the decisions made by a referee during a game yet draw statistical conclusions

    Its not that I have an issue of how you see an incident or how I see an incident differently for as they say football is all about opinions where I have the problem is that the conclusions reached as to how and more importantly why something is or isn’t given is nearly always attributed to one thing when there are many other factors that need to be factored in

  • apo Armani

    yep Mike T as always a sideways answer…perhaps all players should now have inbreeded hidden cameras for those WHO CAN’T see (no names mentioned).

    You should be a politician mate!

  • apo Armani

    If the ref can’t see at that level – the bleeding obvious – he should sit at home and watch TV with a cupa-tea in hand!!

  • apo Armani

    Mike T did you see the bleeding obvious (video) of the CHOP attempt ?? have a look…if you have any idea about football you will understand…if not…you will come up with ANOTHER sideways argument!

    For your assistance (not in brail):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-C9r3mGRug

  • apo Armani

    In my time during playing football, that would be considered as CHOP…a BUTCHERS COP!!

  • bjtgooner

    Mike T
    October 24, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    Mike I don;t think the reasons you have given to justify your continued devaluing of the UA ref reviews are valid in any way.

    If the excuses given in that post are the real (to you) reasons you keep trying to undermine the ref reviews – I would suggest you quit and occupy your time trying to get your own team to play football rather than engage in selective rotational thuggery and serial diving.

  • apo Armani

    @bjtgooner
    October 24, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    I ask Mike T through us all…where were you be ‘mate’ 10 years ago before your Gazprom dirt cash entered UK??? I tell you what; you wouldn’t dare spout the arrogant science fiction theories you come up with here!!! stick to Chel$kie business !!!

  • jambug

    Mike T

    Sorry mate but that’s bollocks.

    I thought you better than that.

  • jambug

    Mike T

    As your response was so trite and fanciful, at first I couldn’t be bothered to respond in full but rather than risk accusations of being rude I thought I’d explain why I feel you are talking bollocks.

    1)With the assistance of many different camera angels and not in real time

    -Totally irrelevant as different angles are just as likely to prove bias for us as against.

    2)With the assistance of technology such as slow motion

    -see above

    3)Without knowledge of what has been said through out the game by the ref to the players & indeed the players to the ref

    -Are you suggesting what is said between the ref and the players affects his ability to make correct red card, offside, penalty calls etc. etc. Get real Mike.

    4)Without the knowledge of what the ref has been told by the 4th
    official or his assistants

    -All you’re suggesting is that the 4th official is as incompetent/biased as the other 3

    5)Without any idea how good or indeed how bad the referees view of an incident was or was wasn’t

    Surely, if as you are intimating, he is ‘guessing’ some calls, that would happen without bias wouldn’t it? All you seem to be suggesting here is that he even guesses with bias against Arsenal !!

    6)The reviews only document a small % of the decisions made by a referee during a game yet draw statistical conclusions.

    No they don’t.

  • Mike T

    @ jambug

    No point me going through all the points again as I have given my reasons you don’t accept them . That’s fine and dandy but having said that lets just focus on point 6
    Are you telling me every goal kick, every corner, every throw in documented in the reviews?

  • jambug

    Ask Andrew.

    But surely even if every corner, throw in, goal kick isn’t analysed how does that affect Bad calls on Red cards penalties and off sides.

    Clutching at straws aren’t we Mike?

  • jambug

    Thinking about your post, I’m sorry but it is actually laughable.

    Are you suggesting if there was a proved bias in Arsenal favour on, and these are your words….every goal kick, every corner, every throw in… that would even it all out.

    Honestly Mike are you serious?

  • Mike T

    @ Jambug

    It doesn’t make any difference with regard to bad calls but it does alter the stats and that has been the point I have been trying to make time afer time

  • jambug

    Mike T

    The only thing you are trying to do is refute the irrefutable.

    Simple as that.

  • jambug

    Mike T

    Andrew is a valued and respected contributor to this site. His views and opinions are respected along with those of Tony, Walter, boo and the rest.

    I have no reason to believe they are anything other than honest and diligent in there work as contributors and assessors.

    That is why I come to this site. Because I believe in, and agree with a majority of the views and opinions held by it’s authors.

    When I think a publication is making things up, lying, biased or in complete contradiction to my core beliefs I tend to avoid those particular publications.

    That is why I no longer subscribe to the Sun, the Mirror, talkshite or a myriad of other media outlets.

    That’s why I don’t understand why you still come here Mike.

    You think the entire principles and ethos on which this site is founded is flawed at best and fraudulent at worst.

    In which case why are you here amongst a group of people who you seem to think just MAKE THINGS UP to suit there argument?

    Please answer because I find it very strange.

    very strange.

  • Mike T

    @Jambug

    You really are getting yourself into a pickle over all this.

    Just because I don’t agree the conclusions does that make me right, does it make me wrong? No its quite simple I don’t agree with someone’s take on something.

    It really is a sad world where you seem to suggest we should all withdraw too. A world where no one is allowed to have another take on things, a world where everyone follows the leader with blind allegiance or even worse they avoid engaging into debate.

    You are right in that I don’t agree that you can make statistically valid conclusions from the reviews as they stand.

    But when you say

    You think the entire principles and ethos on which this site is founded is flawed at best and fraudulent at worst

    Then quite simply you really haven’t got a clue for where have I ever questioned the ethos as you put it?

    I might not agree with peoples take on things and will say so but when someone, like it seems to me that you are trying to do, resorts to almost bullying techniques because someone dares to disagree then its clear that what really is strange.

  • bjtgooner

    @jambug

    Mike has now entered cyclic distraction mode.

    @Mike

    Re you debates: –

    Stage 1: you come into a debate and very often make comments or advance opinions which are contrary to what most contributors here believe or wrt fact, something contrary to what all others have seen.

    Stage 2: develops into a debate, in which you (often) very politely debate your point, often undermining Walter’s careful ref reviews, or become an apologist for your awful owner, manager or your thug players. By this stage you have often dug quite a hole for yourself.

    Stage 3: follows soon after, usually to try to get yourself out of the self dug hole (via stage 1 & 2) you go into a cyclic distraction – when you know you have lost or cannot win.

    So Mike, you are an intelligent guy, but the Chelski point of view is not helping you to have a fair or balanced outlook – you need to self appraise some of your opinions before you jump in.

  • bjtgooner

    ….Re your debates….

  • Mike T

    bjtgooner

    Love the phrase “cyclic distraction” had to google it (clearly I am not that intelligent) all it kept talking about was rabbits!

  • bjtgooner

    @Mike T

    Do I detect more distraction?

    The google ref refers to a technique used for the healing of bone fractures in which the rabbits are guinea pigs! 🙂

    Verbal cyclic distraction – as you already know – but pretend otherwise – means something else. 🙂

  • apo Armani

    and suddenly throw ins are game changing decisions…desperate!!!

  • apo Armani

    Rabits are either pets or pests…

  • apo Armani

    and breed to the detriment of most

  • apo Armani

    But googles description can also apply in most cases 🙂

  • WalterBroeckx

    Mike T,
    In the season with the biggest anti-Arsenal bias we found (referee decisions website) we covered every decision. Every goal kick, every throw in, every possible decision was covered.
    And more importantly it was covered by a majority of referees who didn’t support Arsenal.

    And yet the bias was higher than in the seasons we did it with only Arsenal supporting referees.

    But it has been done. Each and every decision. It was quite a job to be honest 😉

  • Gord

    Back to “civilisation”? Maybe, back to an internet connection for sure.

    @BJT, I seen you posted one request for help on something, but I don’t know what the something is. Some kind of problem with Windows 7?

    @BlackSheep, in the last pub food report, I got wordy. But you talked about beef being cooked too long. Please, investigate sous vide cooking. In terms of beef, a roast would be cooked 6+ hours at 135F (134?), and is expected to be incredibly tender.

    Someone in a thread was talking about someone digging themselves a hole. That is what happened at the farm this week. The farm, is at Dawson Creek, BC, Canada. Where the Alaska Highway begins. We had a steel water tank (2500 gallons) buried in the ground (bottom of water tank was 13 feet below ground level). It had problems a while ago, and we moved a small (1250 gallon) tank into the garage. This week, we started to replace the buried tank with a concrete lined cistern that is supposed to be 2200 gallons. So, at a couple of times on Wednesday, we had a hole more than 13 feet deep in the back yard. More than big enough for a few AAA.

    In some of the food articles on site, we’ve talked about cheese. That old steel tank must have been made in Switzerland! The only thing that was keeping water in that tank, was all the clay in the soil. I took a picture through a “tear” in the wall, at the bottom of the tank (which was towards the sun, so you could see the holes). There were hundreds of holes! The next day, we got our 3rd snowfall of the just beginning winter. I will guess 15cm of fairly wet snow. There was still snow on the ground when I left today.

    As I was preparing to go to the farm last Monday, I completely forgot about the Champion’s League game. It was nice to see Arsenal win, for Gibbs to get a goal (he gets too few), and wonderful for Poldowski to get the winner. Especially with young Martinez in net. That has to be a result which will due him well.

    Canada had some terrorist problems this week. They could have well served society if they would have gone to the UK and hunted down Mike Riley 😈 instead. But no, they killed a couple of soldiers, one a young soldier at a memorial who only had a weapon with blanks.

    I still have a couple of newer Untold articles to read, but thought this note should not appear in them.

    Her’s hoping we do well against Sunderland. Sorry Mannone. 🙂

    COYG!

  • Gord

    Pre-night news (via Google News)

    A blogger from Central New Jersey, has a today in history entry of interest:

    http://unclemikesmusings.blogspot.ca/2014/10/october-24-2004-man-united-cheat.html

    Much of the article is about pizzagate,
    > October 24, 2004: Man United Cheat Arsenal Out of 50 Straight Unbeaten

    and the cheat Mike Riley 😈 is. But, there are other tidbits. I thought this interesting:
    > October 24, 1857: Sheffield Football Club, the world’s first football club, is founded in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England.

  • Gord

    Indian Super League

    It seems Pires was punched, and it appears the Ljungberg has picked up a hamstring injury.

  • Gord

    A MSL referee has been suspended for fraud.

    http://www.tsn.ca/referee-for-major-league-soccer-suspended-after-new-york-arrest-on-fraud-charge-1.115249

    The article does not mention any connection to Mike Riley 😈

  • bjtgooner

    @Gord

    We are hoping to devise a video compilation of all/many of the bad ref decisions that have been unfairly allowed by the PGMOL – very bad fouls or wrong penalty decisions – in effect game changers. The final call on this will be up to Walter/Tony.

    However, I was trying to examine the technicalities of this – lifting short clips from Arsenal Player, compiling these with minimum narrative & then making the result available for Walter/Tony to access.

    If/when the project gets going it would be helpful/necessary if much of the UA fan base could pitch in to help.

    For now, as I am not that technical re computers, I thought of you as someone who may be able to advise.

  • Sav from Australia

    I came late to the party.

    I like the point bjt makes @9:33 pm.

    Not particularly aimed at Mike T.

    But surely – since most of us have been here on Untold for years now – we have all noticed that when particularly controversial topics or anything remotely against the status quo gets aired on Untold – there are those who come on to ‘distract’ and ‘dilute’ and ‘dissipate’ the debate.

    I suspect that this an active plan. And I suspect that they masquerade as ‘bloggers’ for a while until they get found out, then switch names and continue. We all know the disengenous types that keep going until they dig a whole too large and then disappear. But there is always one or two disengenous types with the ‘exact same agenda’.

    Thats the real sticking point. Exact same agenda, different bloggers, different names, always just a few and always a different tack from the outright trolls. I suspect we can call this sort of thing ‘rotational fouling – internet style’ or something.

    Just pisses me off so I wanted to mention it at least.

  • Gord

    @BJT

    I think I ran across something usable along those lines a year or two ago, and I believe I passed it on to Walter. I will see what I can find again.

    I think a person needs to keep track of the original source (URL, data format, date) so that one can show fair use provisions.

    I was just checking email, as I woke up after only 3 or so hours. Back to sleep soon. COYG!

  • jambug

    Mike T

    You accuse Untold of not doing ‘Thorough’ reviews

    You accuse them of doing the reviews with bias.

    Walter @ 11.01 refutes both those accusations and you disappear.

    Funny that.

    Knowing you as I do though, you will return but I doubt very much it will be to apologise for make false scurrilous accusations but instead will continue with your misdirection.

    As I say, you seem to think this site is run by, and contributed to, by people who do a half baked, fictional, ill conceived job.

    Yet you love it hear.

    oh, well.

    More fool you I say.

  • jambug

    Corr: …love it here.

  • Mike T

    @ Gord

    I was wondering about commenting a day or so ago along the lines of your second paragraph and also around match day copyright.I even started to draft an email to Walter
    I am no expert but the PL, SKY & BT are really touchy on such matters and whilst I have my own views about the likely impact of the approach being suggested on here I would fiercely defend your right to make representation however I would hate it to backfire so would suggest that issue re copyright is covered or dismissed as a non issue by someone that is versed in such matters

  • Mike T

    @ Jambug

    I wasn’t going to comment but since you wont let it go does Walter say the referee reviews that have been posted on here this season or even last season covered all the decisions?

  • jambug

    Mike T

    Whatever, as I keep saying, if you think they’re a bunch of lying fraudsters go somewhere else.

    It’s easy really.

  • Sav from Australia

    I really did not know Mike T had so much to say against the Ref Reviews. I missed all this in previous posts over the years.

    As I have watched most of the Arsenal matches and quite a few of the non-Arsenal matches that were reviewed over the years, I have no doubts as to the integrity and skill of the referee reviewers.

    Integrity and skill is what they have. And we owe a big thanks to all who gave up so much time to conduct these referee reviews.

    I believe these disengenous attempts to create ‘doubt’ over the integrity and skill of the referee reviewers is despicable and really insulting. There is no debate here. There is just one more in a series of people who come on Untold to try and ultimately fail to cast doubt on the good work of the referee reviewers.

  • Quincy

    Mike T put on your specs please, Walter says it right here, October 24, 11:01 pm.

  • Mike T

    @ Quincy

    I suggest that you read what Walter says as opposed to what you think he says

    WalterBroeckx

    October 24, 2014 at 11:01 pm

    Mike T,
    In the season with the biggest anti-Arsenal bias we found (referee decisions website) we covered every decision. Every goal kick, every throw in, every possible decision was covered.
    And more importantly it was covered by a majority of referees who didn’t support Arsenal.

    And yet the bias was higher than in the seasons we did it with only Arsenal supporting referees.

    But it has been done. Each and every decision. It was quite a job to be honest 😉

    He is talking about
    a) A different website
    b) A passed season

  • Quincy

    I suggest you read it. You’re questioning the bias that shows up in the referee reviews. And yet what you quote dismantles your argument that a proper review would not show such a bias. Unless you’re trying to prove that you’re an irritating nit-picker.