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Newcastle v Arsenal 29 August 2015 – The Match Officials: proving Untold’s own pundits wrong

Newcastle v Arsenal 29 August 2015 – The Match Officials

by Andrew Crawshaw

Towards the end of last season Tony and a few others here at Untold were saying that they had detected a change in the way our games were being officiated, with fewer rotten decisions being given against Arsenal. At the time I countered that I couldn’t see evidence of that in the numbers in the Referee reviews.

What I thought was happening was that we were playing well enough for the bad decisions not to show in the final score.  Poor refereeing has a far bigger impact on the outcome of a game when the team isn’t playing at ‘full throttle” and with maximum confidence and that is where we are at the moment.

After the first three games this year we have had one win (which would have been far more comfortable had either or both of the non-awarded penalties been given). One draw which should have been a win had Aaron Ramsey’s perfectly good goal been allowed to stand or Giroud awarded his penalty. One loss was against West Ham who should have had Tomkins sent off in the 37th minute and Noble in the 62nd minute and their first goal came from a ‘Phantom’ foul awarded in a dangerous position.

I am quite sure that those decisions cost us at least a draw and probably the win as I would always fancy us to score goals against 9 men.

On to Saturday and we have the early kick-off, not traditionally our most favoured kick-off time.

  • Referee – Andre Marriner
  • Assistants – D Cann and M Perry
  • Fourth Official – A Taylor

Andre Marriner is 44 years old and one of the most experienced of the PGMO referees having officiated in the top flight since 2004. To date he has been in charge of 204 matches issuing 42 red and 672 yellow cards. He is also FIFA Accredited (although how given his competence ratings it is hard to see).

Last season Mr Marriner was just outside the relegation zone in terms of (in)competence

Referee Correct total Wrong total
Mason 86.44% 13.56%
Moss 83.17% 16.83%
Pawson 80.82% 19.18%
Clattenberg 78.85% 21.15%
Olivier 78.18% 21.82%
Dowd 73.44% 26.56%
Taylor 72.88% 27.12%
Friend 70.59% 29.41%
Marriner 70.42% 29.58%
Jones 70.00% 30.00%
East 67.92% 32.08%
Dean 67.37% 32.63%
Atkinson 66.47% 33.53%


A Score of 70% is the barest minimum we should expect from any referee, it means that 3 in every 10 decisions was wrong – not good in anyone’s books! NB the figures above are the raw numbers for all decisions with no account made for their importance

To put some detail on the figures above, last season we had him in charge for two League games, both at home

REF REVIEW Arsenal – Southampton

A truly awful weighted performance of 59%, bias against the two teams 77/23 and two not given penalties to Arsenal In minute 87 a Southampton player punched the ball away (luckily Aaron was on hand to score from the rebound) and in Min 90+2 Alexis was fouled in the penalty area with nothing given). A one-nil win for Arsenal so the poor decision making didn’t affect the final score.

Ref Review : Arsenal – Everton: a first half to cherish.

Slightly better with 69% overall similar bias of 75/25 In the first half he missed one foul from Coquelin and that was it – perfect for everything else. Someone must have reminded him of his duties at half time or else he ralaxed too much as he was piss-poor at the start of the second half. A familiar feature of a not given penalty in Minute53 when Jagielka handled the ball. A two-nil win for Arsenal so again the poor decision making didn’t affect the final score.

Looking back to 2013/14 we had Mr Marriner on three occasions. There are no formal referee reviews but here are links to Walter’s post-game posts:-

Arsenal – Hull 2-0, may I present to you : the machine

A totally dominant Arsenal performance but too many missed chances so only a two goal win. It could easily have been five or six. We should have had a penalty when Ramsey was caught on the ankle and Özil in particular had the shit kicked out of him without anything being called a foul.

Soft free kicks given to Hull but nothing for Arsenal – typical refereeing of an Arsenal game in fact.

Arsenal – Sunderland, a view from the North Bank

A thumping 4 – 1 home victory. No mention of the referee so I assume that he had a good game (I was there and can’t recall anything terrible). Mind you we were so dominant that there was little that Sunderland could do, we were great, Sunderland weren’t and the game was over by half time.

Errors and mistakes for free by players and referees Chelsea v Arsenal (6 – 0)

If we were great against Sunderland we were truly awful in this game Arsène’s 1000th. Two terrible mistakes early on when firstly the OX and then Santi lost the ball and we were 2 goals down. Marriner then got in on the act letting a foul go on Arteta so that Chelsea could break and the OX deliberately handled the ball. After that a complete Keystone Cops comedy by the officials. A penalty was duly and properly given. Then for some reason Gibbs gets shown a red card. Gibbs was nowhere near the incident and as the ball wasn’t going to be a goal it shouldn’t have been a red card anyway. However this was the PGMO and Gibbs was sent off (the decision was rescinded on appeal later in the week as was the transferred red card for the OX but on the day we had to play the rest of the game with 10 men. That Chelsea scored again and again was no real surprise.

2012-13 Going back one further year saw another two games under Mr Marriner

Match Review: Andre Marriner – Arsenal Vs West Ham United (5 – 1) [23/01/2013]

67% Weighted performance, bias against the two teams 69/31 and one wrong Important Decision (second yellow cards, red cards, penalties or goals) when in Minute 41 Vaz Te should have been booked for dissent to add to his first (non given) yellow card when he kicked Mertesacker on the achilles after the ball had gone out of play. One all at half time but a stunning start to the second half by Arsenal saw four goals in the first 10 minutes of the second half blew West Ham away. The play was stopped for a long time in Minute 71 when Potts and Sagna collided and after a very long time Potts was carried off.

Neither team showed any interest in the game after that.

Match Review: Andre Marriner – Fulham Vs Arsenal (0 – 1) [20/04/2013]

75% Overall weighted score, bias against the two teams 15/85 and no wrong Important Decisions.

A game marked by dreadful weather (rain in almost biblical quantities) and two red cards. Sidwell being given marching orders in Minute 11 for a truly dreadful tackle that left Mr Marriner no choice. Arsenal scored the only goal courtesy of Mertesacker in Minute 42.

The ref got his wires crossed in Minute 51 when he booked Arteta after a blatant dive by Emanuelson. Giroud was also sent off in Minute 89 when he clearly slipped and caught a Fulham player. The decision was right but in this instance there was no intent as there had been with Sidwell in the first half.

In conclusion

1. We must hope that he has ‘mugged up’ on the players of both teams, we don’t want any repeats of mistaken identity.

2. The fourth official on that day against Chelsea was Anthony Taylor as it will be on Saturday. He is the official who I fear most of all and seems to have an almost pathological hatred of Arsenal (particularly when we play Chelsea but also against other opponents). If he can get involved to hurt us he will.

3. Andre Marriner is most unlikely to give us a penalty he has erred four times in the last seven games – no change there from the normal PGMO stance.

4. Look out for him ‘buying’ a dive from Arsenal’s opponents and card an Arsenal player.

5. Again, standard fare (and a bit boring), look out for ‘phantom ‘ fouls either to give Newcastle an opportunity to punt the ball into our box or to allow them time to regroup if we are on the attack.

6. Lastly and again same as always, Newcastle players are likely to be allowed far more leeway in challenges as Arsenal and Özil and Alexis in particular are likely to receive some old fashioned “tasty” challenges quite out of keeping with how the rules say the game should be played these days.

COYG – a quick start needed.

From the anniversary files…

  • 28 August 2011: Arsenal lost 2-8 to Man U.  See also:   Ref Review    Taking Stock.   Arsenal’s goals came from Walcott and Van Persie, and the first Man U goal from Welbeck.   It took Arsenal until October to recover when a run of seven wins and a draw in eight games restored the team’s self-belief.
  • 28 August 2015: Manuel Almunia forced to retire from football due to a heart condition.  He had just signed for Cagliari Calcio but was unable to play for them.  He played 405 games for all his clubs in all competitions.

Information from The Sack Race, Arsenal History Society, the Guardian

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10 comments to Newcastle v Arsenal 29 August 2015 – The Match Officials: proving Untold’s own pundits wrong

  • Rich

    A good indicator of how things stand with refs is that on Monday I was grateful, pathetically almost, for a referee who didn’t award us either of two decent penalty shouts and who, technically speaking, didn’t award us a perfectly good goal.

    Oliver truly looks…normal to me, not to mention he displays exceptionally good judgement on many occasions.

    When what should be the norm stands out like a near revelation, something is badly wrong.

    The best way of summing it up is that his not dealing correctly with Mignolet highlighted how atrociously Atkinson, like others before him, dealt with the same situation.

    Goalkeepers, or any players, should get a stern warning the first time they excessively time waste, then a booking, then if they do it again another booking.

    Atkinson did not give the warning. Atkinson awarded 5 minutes injury time when the injuries to Noble and Tomkins/Giroud took 4 and a half minutes between them. In a game which saw 4-6 subs. In a game in which goal kicks and free kicks and corners were taking 30-40 seconds by the end, and even throws more than 15.

    More than that outrageous Cahill foul and Atkinson’s shocking decision to call it a yellow, the West ham game allowed me to see, second time around, with the aid of pen and paper, that there is no way in the world pgmol could not see Atkinson doesn’t ref us properly.

    In every way he manages the game for a desired outcome to the best of his ability- meaning he’ll let us dispossess someone after a slight tussle in which just maybe a foul can be awarded, but only in positions which aren’t dangerous, or he’ll save weak free kicks in the oppositions favour for dangerous positions for them. But if they can dispossess us after possible fouls (or clear fouls) in a dangerous position- on you go,son. Watch him, he follows that pattern constantly through our games.

    I can’t imagine the frustration for Ozil when he is penalised (and told off for his stupidity by commentator’s) for the slightest touch on someone trying to protect the ball, when he has barely won a single free kick in those situations in the last two years and, more often than not, is derided as a weakling should he lose the ball when shoved from behind (think that horrible game at Anfield)

    They see it, and they obviously approve, and will continue to reward him with the maximum amount of games including key ones for us. Decisions which involve judgement are one thing, and can be argued over, but a stop watch can’t be. There were nearer ten minutes injury time in the West Ham game and he gave five, then allowed them to waste a full minute of that.

    He isn’t right and pgmol therefore can’t be either. What they make of Oliver I don’t know. They can’t really like a man who, reffing us, tried to do something about the most obvious , undeniable and easiest-to-counteract form of cheating there is, time wasting.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    Arsenal must play this game in a robust way to thwart any bias officiating from Ref Andre Marriner. The Gunners must be tefficient with their game play so as not to allow the Magpies to dominate them in any aspect of the game. Steve McClaren has a game plan he has planned to unleash on the Boss and the Gunners. And has now upgraded the it to a Game App Data Plan. And the App which is running on football data plan has been stored in the memory of his 18 man match day players he will use to assault on the Gunners. McClaren’s Game App Data Plan has been identity as: SWAMP ON THE GUNNERS TO OVERRUN THEM. The Magpies are renowned intelligent group of entity. However, the Boss has devised a superior Game App Data Plan running on football 4G data application to undo McClaren’s App Data Plan running on 3G. The Boss’ superior Game App Data Plan will overwrite McClaren’ Game App Data Plan during the entire course of playing this game at St James’ Park, Newcastle. Since the Boss has disabled McClaren’s game plan, the Gunners should take care not to give away any penalty or concede an own goal during the game. The Gunners must defend stoutly irrespective of the likely unavailability of Rhinosacker and Koscielny. And they Must bury their chances in front of the Magpies goal mouth. They Must eschwed all kinds of profligacy in front of the Magpies goal. The Gunners should endeavour to force the Magpies into committing errors during the game with the Gunners taking full advantage of them.

  • Pat

    Mariner AND Taylor. Let’s hope, with this being our fourth game, that we have warmed up even more. And that our good away form continues.

  • Pat

    Sorry, spelled Marriner wrong.

  • Menace

    Rich – you’re lost in the old belief of sport & football. We are in a world where players get obscene amounts of money to play the game & if they can’t be arsed to learn the Laws then they should be red carded & eventually kicked out of the game.

    There is no room for conversation when the Laws are broken. If it is a card, then it should be card. I have lost patience for the cheats & ‘professional foulers’. They are wasting my ticket money & robbing my entertainment time. I want them booked, fined & hounded out of this high worth business football.

    Look at how we are being treated by Government & West Ham owners. They are taking the piss by getting a stadium & being paid to use it. BEING PAID TO USE IT (that is as close to shouting I can get).

    If football is going to get away from the corruption it is presently wollowing in it needs to be policed by its Laws rigoursly. It is time for zero tolerance of Law breakers in the game.

  • Menace

    rigoursly -should be rigorously.

  • Gord

    It’s after 10pm local, which means 5am British time, and I still need supper and to have a bath after living in a tent for the week. Such is life on the farm. Having Arsenal play at 5:45am (my time) isn’t conducive to me being able to follow the team from before game time starts.

    I hope the Gunners do well. I hope Jayram and the other AAA all get into accidents and find they cannot use their fingers any more. It was nice to see the Ladies won their midweek game (Continental Cup?) and the U21 won their game against Derby.

    Come On You Gunners!

  • Gord

    Cayman Islands (yet another CONCACAF member) is sending reports to local police.

    Jeffrey Webb (Cayman Islands) is having problems meeting bail conditions.

    Blatter has been claiming he is clean for a week (in the news). I have no doubt he uses soap when taking a bath or shower. That there is so much corruption on his watch, and he is responsible being the top dog, means he is part of the corruption.

    FIFA puppet charged with “reforming” FIFA can’t get lines correct.

  • apo Armani

    August 29, 2015 at 12:56 am


    Why can’t people see whats happening to the game??

    Enough with CHEATS already!!

  • para

    Menace: I totally agree.

    BUT i have long wondered why i even thought football could be fair and non corrupted when the world is not.

    I am rapidly losing interest in football, as i have with TV, music, movies and all of the other things of entertainment. I may well soon get rid of my PC too and go live in the wilds somewhere in a hot country. 🙂