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Ref Review : WBA – Arsenal. Biased by circumstance more than by nature

Ref : Chris Foy

WBA Arsenal

Just look at that first half from referee Chris Foy! Only one wrong call in the entire first half. Brilliant one could say. If it wouldn’t have been for the fact that the only wrong call was a not given penalty when Mulumba kicked Giroud in the penalty area and no foul and penalty was given.

Now I want to point that both teams played the first half well within the laws of the game and almost made no fouls at all.  Only 5 fouls in total in the entire first half from both teams! Well done to both teams for playing it like that within the laws of the game.

Also Foy did rather well with not calling a few minor pushes and giving a few good real advantages even.

First half score: a total score of 87.5% and if we put weight on the decisions it goes down to 70%. Only one important decision and he got that wrong so a score of 0% on that.  We know Foy doesn’t want to make big controversial calls going against the home team. Something that has been documented well over the last years by our referee reviewers.

But the second half the referee performance dropped a lot.  And his assistants didn’t help him a lot either by making a few mistakes.

But with the tempo going up in the second half it looked as if his age was catching up on Foy. I think we predicted that more or less in our referee preview that this could happen.  It is not for nothing that in most other countries in Europe they do have an age limit for referees to do matches in the top division. The human body goes in to decline whether we like it or not. Even I admit it does and I am from the same generation as Foy.

Now most mistakes were small fouls and nothing really big. There was one big penalty shout from Arsenal when Welbeck went down between two WBA players. There was a foul on Welbeck. Welbeck’s leg was caught by the WBA player. But the player that made contact with the leg of Welbeck was outside the penalty area. So it should have been a free kick to Arsenal but just outside the penalty area. Foy decided to give nothing at all. A bit the coward option one could say and also the option he usually makes as we have found out in our reviews over the years.

There was also another shout for a penalty for WBA this time. A shot from just outside the penalty area was blocked by Mertesacker.  Handball claimed the crowd but the images showed it was more balls than hand. And if you care to keep an eye on Mertesacker shortly after the incident you will know what I mean with balls. In my part of the world we sometimes say when a ball hits you there that he played it with his third leg. So certainly not a hand and a correct decision from Foy to let it go.

Another missed foul was when Dawson jumped up for a header and lead with his arm against the chin of Giroud. It wasn’t a punch but as Dawson jumped towards Giroud and had him in his sight all the time he shouldn’t have used his arm like that. Foy didn’t call the foul as it should have been and it should have been a yellow card also.

For the rest his yellow card decisions were correct in this half. And the goal also was a correct goal with nothing to argue about.

Score in the second half was 63.64% in total and when we put weight on the decisions it goes up to 70%. So he had most of the important decisions right one could say. If we look at the important decisions only, he even had a score of 83%.

If we look at the whole 90 minutes we see a total score of 70% and if we put weight on the decisions he also scores 70%.  And if we only look at the important decisions we see that he scored 71%. So a rather even score on the same level. Not the highest level but that is something we are used to with this ref.

If we look at the bias score we see the usual Foy score. A bias against Arsenal is natural for him but we have seen worse. I think he is not that biased against Arsenal by nature but more by circumstances. The circumstances being away from home or have him at home. This time we were away from home so expected and predicted bias numbers.

I feared before the match that if WBA tried to kick us off the park we might be in serious trouble. But credit to WBA that they didn’t really revert to that tactic and made it a rather fair game of football.

Untold: the home page

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