Have the referees been any better in Arsenal games recently?
by Andrew Crawshaw
This question arose as Tony, Blacksheep and I were having a drink in a bar before the Cup Semi-final. The essence of the conversation was that both of them were convinced that the refereeing had improved in more recent games. I was unsure and said that I would add something to the Referee Preview for the Chelsea game covering it. Having looked at it I think it warrants a piece on it’s own.
I have decided to use the following rules to present the information :-
- I have divided the season into four quarters and am presenting the results of the first three in this piece (Walter has only just published the review for Week 30 which would be the first game in quarter 4).
- I am going to use the wrong Important Decisions – by now you know that I mean Second Yellow Cards, Straight Red Cards, Penalty Decisions and Wrong Goal decisions.
- As the majority of these decisions are against Arsenal, I will quote the Net figure against Arsenal, any negative numbers will indicate a balance in favour of Arsenal.
- I will also quote the weighted overall competence figure of the referee in each game and the bias of the referee
- I am also ignoring the correct decisions made by the referee
Quarter 1 Weeks 1 to 10
- Wrong Second Yellow Cards : 5
- Wrong Red Cards : 3
- Penalties : 5
- Goals : 2
- Total : 15 i.e.1.5 per game
- Possible cost in points : 11
Referees overall Performance Scores : 81, 60, 61, 71, 82, 66, 45, 62, 65, 72
Bias against Arsenal : 100/0, 89/11, 93/7, 73/27, 80/20, 85/15, 86/14, 82/18, 75/25, 86/14
Quarter 2 Weeks 11 to 19
- Wrong Second Yellow Cards : 6
- Wrong Red Cards : 5
- Penalties : 6
- Goals : 4
- Total : 21 i.e. 2.33 per game
- Possible cost in points : 10
Referees overall Performance Scores : 73, 53, 70, 59, 59, 76, 67, 70, 80
Bias against Arsenal : 88/12, 80/20, 78/22, 77/23, 100/0, 100/0, 100/0, 87/13, 89/11
Quarter 3 Weeks 20 to 29
- Wrong Second Yellow Cards : 6
- Wrong Red Cards : 4
- Penalties : 4
- Goals : 0
- Total : 14 i.e.1.4 per game
- Possible cost in points : (-3)
Referees overall Performance Scores : 78, 72, 64, 85, 61, 54, 80, 69, 69, 73, 77
Bias against Arsenal : 86/14, 90/10, 73/27, 100/0, 90/10, 90/10, 82/18, 75/25, 80/20, 83/17, 100/0
I must be honest and say I can’t see much of an improvement in the numbers.
- The Disciplinary cards have remained distinctly absent. 8 in Quarter 1, 11 in Quarter 2 and 10 in Quarter 3 – averaging above one a game so we should be playing with at least a one man advantage in virtually every time. Opposition players are certainly being allowed to ‘kick the shit ‘out of us.
- Wrong penalties are consistent, 5, 6 and 4 in the three quarters
- In Quarter three there were no wrong goal decisions which is better than 2 and 4 in the first two quarters.
- If we regard a score of 80 plus as a decent one for a referee, In Quarter 1 there were two, Quarter 2 there was 1 and Quarter 3 two, so again no real signs of any improvement
- A score of 70 plus should be the minimum we see. Quarter 1 – 2, Quarter 2 – 4 and Quarter 3 – 4 again no real signs of improvement.
- In my opinion a score of 60 to 70 should require the referee to be demoted. Quarter 1 – 5, Quarter 2 – 1 and Quarter 3 – 4 so again no signs of improvement.
- Again in my opinion a score below 60 % should require the referee to be re-trained and re-assessed before being allowed anywhere near the a professional game of football. Quarter 1 – 1, Quarter 2 – 3 and Quarter 3 – one
- The overall bias against Arsenal in every game is staggering, the nearest we have seen to level handed is 73/27 or 3 to 1 against Arsenal. At the other end of the scale we have had 100/0 six times.
What does seem to have changed is our ability to cope with the stuff the referees throw at us. In general we are not allowing the referees crap to upset us or throw us too far out of rhythm and seem to be playing as though we are expecting it. Unquestionably we are playing better as well.
Today on the History Site
Why did we play a friendly against Hibernian on a Wednesday in October 1952, and why did 55,000 people turn up to watch?
And from the Anniversary Files
- 22 April 1911: Although no one thought of calling it St Totteringham Day, the first occasion on which Arsenal finished above Tottenham was on this day – with one game to spare. Between 1894 and 2014 there were 49 occasions when Arsenal were above Tottenham at the conclusion, and only 28 the other way round. On 32 other seasons the clubs were not in the same league. Arsenal and Tottenham