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Arsenal vs Manchester Utd. Expect elbowing and wrestling with impunity.

The Referee Preview

by Andrew Crawshaw

Following Usama and Walter’s review of the Chelsea game Ref Review : Chelsea – Arsenal. How Mike Dean & Co screwed an entire game… here is the updated table of shame

Wrong Important Decisions Favouring Arsenal Favouring Opponents
2nd Yellow Cards 0 7
Red Cards 0 6
Penalties 0 5
Goals 0 3
Total 0 21
Possible Cost in Points 0 6

Oh dear didn’t Mr Dean make cock-up after cock-up.  

An overall (weighted) performance score of 41%, Bias against the two teams of 5/95 and no fewer than 9 wrong Important Decisions  (a record I believe since Mr Riley in Game 50).  Important Decisions are defined as second yellow, red cards, penalties or goals.

Costa could have been dismissed four times, in Minute 33 (second yellow card), Min 43 for striking Koscielny, Min 44 For striking Koscielny, and again in Min 81 for first elbowing then kicking Oxlade-Chamberlain.  According to Dean he never committed a foul!

In Minute 45 Fabregas should have been dismissed for a second charge of dissent, in Minute 63 Oscar was given a yellow card for a foul on Koscielny, this should have been his second and he should have been dismissed.  

Gabriel was wrongly dismissed in Min 45 (there can be no doubt about this being wrong as the FA rescinded the card).  In the aftermath of the wrong sending off Zouma attacked Gabriel and should also have been given a red card.  To add insult to injury Dean awarded Chelsea a ‘phantom’ foul in Min 52 from which they scored.

By my reckoning Chelsea should have been down to 8 men for the second half with Costa, Fabregas and Zouma off the pitch.  Oscar should have joined them in the second half.  The game should have finished 7 men v 10 as the two yellow cards for Santi were both correct.

Of course, if Mr Dean had taken the first opportunity to issue a yellow card to Diego Costa in the second minute and had awarded Fabregas a yellow card for dissent in Minute 42 none of the other incidents would have occurred and we could all have been talking about a half decent game of football.

Enough about the past, on to Sunday and a 4pm kick-off.  The Officials are :-

  • Referee – Anthony Taylor
  • Assistants – J Brooks and L Betts
  • Fourth Official – R East

Another referee disliked, with good reason, by Arsenal supporters – here’s the table showing how he did last year on his overall decision making.

Referee Correct total Wrong total
Lee Mason 86.44% 13.56%
Moss 83.17% 16.83%
Pawson 80.82% 19.18%
Clattenberg 78.85% 21.15%
Oliver 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%

So, without putting any weight on any of his decisions, we can see that just over one in four were wrong.  Not that great one can say.

Putting some flesh on those bones here are the summaries of his games from last year.  

We had him a total of six times (OK actually five and a half times as he came on as a substitute in our home game v West Ham) last year, in itself totally and utterly unacceptable.  No team should have a referee more than twice in a season, once at home and once away.  We have full referee reviews for the first four and I have linked Walter’s post game reviews for the last two games.

Ref review Leicester – Arsenal

61% overall score (weighted), bias against the two teams 7/93 and three wrong Important Decisions (Second Yellow or Red cards, Penalties or Goals).  

In Minute 50 Arsenal should have had a penalty when Hammond pushed Cazorla in the box, Minute 58 Moore should have had a second yellow card for a ‘professional foul’ against Sanogo (his first booking should have been in Min 35 when he dived looking for a penalty) and in Minute 84 Hammond should have had a straight red card for deliberately stepping on Ramsey’s legs as he was on the ground.  Two points robbed.

Untold ref Review: Stoke – Arsenal, the Anthony Taylor horror show. “Shockingly bad”.

59% overall performance (weighted), bias against the two teams 0/100 (yes every wrong decision against Arsenal) four wrong Important Decisions.  

In Minute 28 Crouch should have had a second yellow card for elbowing Mertesacker, or again in Minute 45 for another elbow (for which he got his first yellow card, Minute 77 Chambers was wrongly sent off (his first yellow card was incorrect in Min 60), Minute 83 Adams should have had a straight red card for impersonating a wrestler and applying a ‘sleeper’ hold on Alexis for which he was only awarded a yellow.

The Stoke goal in Minute 45 should not have counted as Shawcross pushed the Ox with both arms, Crouch headed the ball against the Ox which fell to Walters to tap in.  Clear foul on defender in penalty area goal shouldn’t have counted.  The two linesmen on the day I Hussin and R East ruled out another Stoke ‘goal ‘ for offside and awarded Arsenal a penalty so well done to them both – Mr East is Fourth Official on Sunday.  Taylor was diabolical and without doubt cost us three points on the day.

Ref Review : Arsenal – Aston Villa. Arsenal commit two fouls in 45 minutes.

A good performance from Taylor with an overall weighted score of 85%.  Mind you all of the bias was against Arsenal 100/0 so not so good there.  He missed a yellow card for Sanchez for an arnm in the face of Giroud but there were no wrong Important Decisions just a totally dominant display from Arsenal who dominated from the start and gave Taylor no opportunity to influence the game.

Ref Review(s) : Arsenal – West Ham, two for the price of one

73% Weighted score for the time he was on the pitch and a bias of 83/17 with no wrong Important Decisions.  Again he missed giving a yellow card for Collins for a high foot into Giroud’s stomach.

Arsenal – Liverpool 4-1 another fine win in our run

Possibly handball in the Liverpool penalty area ignored in the opening exchanges, just a corner awarded.  Bellerin opening the scoring in Min 36, Özil adding a second 2 minutes later from a correctly awarded free kick 5m outside the ‘Pool penalty area.  Alexis made it three just before half time.  

Sterling awarded a penalty on 75mins – three one.  Arsenal wrapped up the scoring in the first minute of added time with Giroud.  Could easily havebeen 5 but Wellbeck wrongly called offside when well placed.  Our talismen the Belgian Gooners in town for another fine win.  Taylor being his usual twattish self at times but again unable to tilt the field enough to affect the result.

Arsenal – Sunderland, 0-0 only a complete disaster can keep us away from 3rd place.  

Taylor typically myopic when it came to Sunderland fouls, ramsey pulled back outside the Sunderland penalty area but on Taylor’s blind side, Defoe trying to take off Bellerin’s shirt.  Cattermole making foul after foul with impunity.  Arsenal dominant but Sunderland kept us out with last minute blocks and their keeper, Pantillimon as man of the match.  No indication from the report that Taylor actually cost us points.

So six games that almost certainly cost us five points.  Where we took control of the games early he was unable to affect the overall result.

Looking at his games from 2013-14 and (surprisingly we only had him once) – the opening game of the season v Aston Villa. Mind you that was enough for all Gooners!

Arsenal v Aston Villa 17 August 2013.  If you really need to see how a biased referee operates then please go to the Arsenal Player on and watch the game again.  You might need to sign up as a Digital Member – but that’s free – and you then have access to all of the past matches on the site whenever you want them.

Arsenal 1 – Anthony Villa 3  A bent result from a totally biased referee almost certainly gifting the points to Villa.  The club must have made serious representations because we didn’t have him in charge again that season.

Going back one more year to 2012/13 and there are reviews for both Arsenal and United

Match Review: Anthony Taylor – Arsenal Vs Queens Park Rangers (1 – 0) [27/10/2012]

71% overall score (weighted), bias against both teams 81/19 and 1 wrong Important Decision when in Minute 57 Granero should have had a second yellow card for a foul and dissent.  Another game where Arsenal’s task was made a lot harder by Mr Taylor not properly applying the rules and failing to send off a player.

Match Review: Anthony Taylor – Reading Vs Arsenal (2 – 5) [17/12/2012] 70% overall score (weighted), bias against both teams 16/84 but no wrong Important Decisions

Match Review: Anthony Taylor – Sunderland v Arsenal (0 – 1) [09/02/2013]

58% overall score (weighted) bias against both teams 11/89 and 2 wrong Important Decisions with Mr Taylor failing to send off two Sunderland players Cattermole in Min 21 and Larsson in Min 62.  No cost to Arsenal in terms of points but a pathetically low score and the usual appalling bias.

Match Review: Anthony Taylor – Norwich City Vs Manchester United (1 – 0) [17/11/2012]

An extremely rare event when the reviewers found that Mr Taylor got every decision absolutely correct – 100% score!

Match Review: Anthony Taylor – Manchester United Vs Aston Villa (3 – 0) [22/04/2013]

72% overall score (weighted), bias against both teams 17/83 and three wrong Important Decisions.  All three of RVP’s goals that day should not have counted as all were offside – unbelievable to seal the title with a hat-trick of illegal goals!

In conclusion

  1. Mr Taylor is rightly regarded with extreme suspicion by Arsenal supporters, his performances as referee over recent years are blighted with wrong big calls.  In this regard he is kind of a Dean ‘light’.
  2. His bias against Arsenal in the calls he (like all other referees) gets wrong is extremely regular exceeding 80/20 and ofte being 100% against Arsenal.
  3. He is quite likely to incorrectly send off Arsenal players and we will have to be extremely careful on Sunday not to give him any opportunity to tilt the playing field and red card any of our team.
  4. On the United front they will be given far more freedom to foul our players with impunity and will almost certainly end up with 11 men on the pitch providing they don’t turn up with machine guns.  Elbows and wrestling moves are usually OK against our players.
  5. An Arsenal penalty is most unlikely, Mr Taylor has an extremely well developed blind spot for fouls on Arsenal players in the opposition box.  On the other hand he is quite likely to give a ‘soft’ one (or even invent a foul) to award one against Arsenal.
  6. He does, however, have limits and will be relatively honest if Arsenal are dominant and get a couple of early goals.  Let’s hope that is the case on Sunday.
  7. Where a game gets sticky or where Arsenal’s opponents gain the upper hand there is little he won’t do to enable our opposition to press home their advantage.

COYG – lets have a quick start and a couple of early goals to take Taylor out of the game.

Football and the drive towards evidence based football commentary

The anniversaries

  • 3 October 1896: Arsenal played their second game in the United League – a 2-2 home draw against Luton Town – with a not insignificant crowd of 8000 – very high for the United League.
  • 3 October 1903: 20,000 in crowd the Man U home game, compared with 1,000 for the next away game!  Arsenal won 4-0, making it 21 goals for and 0 against in the first five games of the season.  The next game was away to Glossop.

42 comments to Arsenal vs Manchester Utd. Expect elbowing and wrestling with impunity.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Have a nasty feeling this will be one of those unerringly accurate previews.
    Sending this ref for this game smacks of a statement by Riley, especially after we and the fans have exposed to the world exactly what Mike Dean is.
    Rooney is the one I fear here, a bit of a master of the dark arts, and the England captain, which elevates him to special status with even the least biased of refs…..which is certainly not the case here.
    Our best bet will be to not let him influence the game, but that will be difficult against a team who have recently spent a quarter of a billion.
    We need to be prepared for the opponents and the ref, I really hope Wenger and the coaches do account for some,of these refs in team prep.
    If we srart getting on top, I expect yet another crazy red card.
    The fans need to show the world if Taylor does anything untoward.
    Dean against Chelsea, Taylor against Itd, guess Atkinson when we play Spurs?

  • nicky

    The Emirates faithful have an important role to play in tomorrow’s game.
    It is not only to convey 100% support for those who wear the Arsenal shirt, but also to try not to add to the obvious tension on the team.
    We have the players, we are the better side, we are at home and we should win.
    ‘Nuff said…

  • Samrat Jha

    first half chelsea vs Southampton ref has ensured chelsea are level at the break. Southampton denied two penalties plus Mane wrongly booked for diving.

  • Tom

    I hope there’s enough of LVG’S influence on this Man U team that we won’t see any of the old antics and habits installed in his players by Ferguson.

    Having said that , never underestimate the incompetence of Taylor.

    Here’s what works against Arsenal though. There are enough Arsenal fans out there , even within our home crowd , who are quicker to boo our own team if the performance isn’t there, rather that the referee if his performance is subpar.

    Talking about poor refereeing . Southampton should’ve had two penalties against Chelsea in the first half. A total incompetence of the ref is the only explanation, one would hope.

    The most blatant shirt pull by Ivanovic you will ever see in a penalty area.
    Trip on Mane by Ramirez was another.

    Shocking refereeing.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    nice to see Chelsea down 1-2 60 min.

  • Samrat Jha

    moaninho down 1-2

  • ARSENAL 13

    Chelshits trailing by a goal…..hahahahahahahaha…

  • GoingGoingGooner

    yeah 1-3

  • Samrat Jha

    moaninho down 1-3

  • ARSENAL 13


    This is fun..

  • Samrat Jha

    has the Moaninho crossed the Rubican?

  • soglorious

    Like I commented during Chelsea’s match against Newcastle , it is now very obvious that Chelsea would never had defeated us if not by the help of the useless Mike Dean. Now without Mike they fall both home and away.

    So loving this. let’s wait on who Mourinho will blame this time around. my guess – Wenger!

  • Samrat Jha

    Fabregas, anyone?
    think a bullet is dodged

  • soglorious

    I see JM getting sacked sooner than we expect.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    I’m pretty certain that it is Arsene Wenger’s fault that Chelsea is losing right now…Because he has no pressure and he started Ospina in the Champions League.

  • Rosicky@Arsenal

    So the most successful manager in the world has his team in the bottom half after 8 matches.

    People rating Hazard as the best player in pL should be reviewing there thoughts.

    Infact selling of Mata and De bruyne clearly shows Maureen is so bad in judging talent.

  • Shakabula Gooner

    I just heard Chelsea fans booing their team off the field. The victory over Arsenal has now cost Chelsea 5 points…in addition to coach and player unrests. Meanwhile some say JM may soon get a 5-game ban from the touchline for calling his now resigned team doctor names. I bet JM is one of the “better” coaches in Piers’ estimation, much better than AW. So, he may soon get the chance to rave and rant that we hire him after we we have obeyed him and kicked AW out.

  • ARSENAL 13


    He said it……Wenger is responsible. hahahahahahahaha.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    Quick, quick…print something negative about Arsenal before the world realizes the story this year is actually how crap Chelsea are.

  • soglorious


    You are in the spirit.


  • ARSENAL 13

    Hahahahahahahaha… Hez challenging Abrahmovic. Sack me if you want….hahahahahahahaha and adds, you lose the best manager by doing that….hahahahahahahaha..

  • Shakabula Gooner

    In his post-march interview, JM is basically begging not to be sacked – and, believe it or not, on the same grounds as Untold Arsenal has always argued: that a bad result, even a bad string of results is may not be a good enough reason or time to sack a coach. Then, he goes on to blame the ref massively but massively wrongly. i feel sorry for JM fans and pundits… they’ll have a hard time getting the gloss back on him at this time.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    @Shakabula…”they’ll have a hard time getting the gloss back on him at this time.”

    I’m all over that…why doesn’t someone just varnish the creature and place him in some torture exhibit to display to NAmerican tourists…”Europe at its medieval worst!”

  • Samrat Jha

    looking frightened, Jose.
    Ref tried to help Chelsea in the first half but Chelsea were so poor that even a bent ref could not save them.

  • Samrat Jha

    ha ha ha

  • GoingGoingGooner

    I must say that Mr. Mourinho did not cover himself in glory during his post-match interview. What a self-serving ramble.

  • Pat

    When Arsene loses he does so with dignity.

  • So we lost then , good I can start moaning straight away . Bastard ref I don’t know why I bother !

  • GoingGoingGooner

    one of the AAA or a Chelski spy clicking on the dislike buttons

  • Josif

    I can’t believe what I’ve heard from Mourinho’s big mouth after the game. I feel he is a guy that would habe no problems lying under oath or to police investigators. He is vaccined against truth, against dignity, against decent behaviour. If he was asked to give leathal injection to a convict, he’d do it if they allow him to have a press-conference afterwards in which he can blame Wenger for the convict’s sins.

  • goonersince72

    Three and out, right on script. Win some, run the squad into the ground and leave. Some other money club hires him and the cycle starts again. More concerned about the referees than Mourinho.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Agree Tom, the ref was terrible in the Chelsea game, but he was not enough to save them, not like Dean did. Agree on our boo boys, just hope the rest drown them out. LVG is no Fergie, but done think Rooney will have forgotten his old tricks, Talyor could be putty in his hands.
    As for Chelsea, for once, I agree with Shearer…..surely there is something ….tho have no idea what….going on behind the scenes there?that said, Jose uses conflict as one of his main management tools, that will only work for so long, especially when used on his own medics and players. Interesting how he threw AAA/media darling, Matic under a bus today.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Interesting, Mike Dean totally screws Arsenal over, makes a fool of himself and his profession, gets just about everything wrong he can, the FA over rule him on two counts over the Chelsea arsenal game, but he receives no suspension, or disciplinary.
    BUT compare and contrast. Lee Mason is accused by the media of showing leniency to Coquelin, what happens as a result, just follow the link below
    I stand to be corrected if he is ill or injured or something, but looks to me like , despite a chronic shortage of refs, he went well over a month without an EPL game after the Crystal Palace game, where he showed some common sense over Coq.

    Wonder what Taylor is going to do tomorrow?

  • para

    Tomorrow should be the day the Emirates becomes a fortress again. Nuff said.

  • Pete

    Mandy – Thanks for flagging that. Absolutely damning.

  • WalterBroeckx

    completely off topic but the match of my local team (3rd division in Belgium) away at Sprimont had been stopped for a while because a medical helicopter landed on the pitch just before half time.

    I hope the link works…. amazing never seen such a thing before to be honest

    Text is in Dutch of course. But in this little town the nearest hospital is some 20 km away and for real emergencies they send a helicopter to this village and the only place it can land quickly and safely is on the football pitch…

    Oh my local team won 1-4

  • Mandy Dodd

    Sure is Pete. Again, assuming Mason is not in some way incapacitated, surely this is evidence for someone in the club to act. But it seems they never do.
    Smacks of Clattenbergs punishment after he was blamed for Utd losing 5-3 to Leicester last season….
    Why doesn’t one of these refs give Queens evidence ?

  • Mandy Dodd

    Off topic, but here is Chelsea’s version of crazy Claude
    A worryingly florid complexion there.
    Must admit, agree with him about fans leaving the ground though

  • Menace

    Mandy – the refs are tied to a lot of money so they keep stum to avoid financial loss. Corruption rules OK. The pimps that the FA use for human trafficking of officials are nasty.

    BT use Webb to pretend to be clean but their pundits are just as bad as PGMO. Webb pontificates without any detail of Laws, just his version of correct interpretation.

    Tomorrow we will see either a fair Taylor or a total cheat. I expect the latter.

    Please God I’m wrong.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Menace, he will cheat if he needs to. If we shoot ourselves in the foot, as with Olympiakos, he will not need to and all will look normal . I think we need a tactic to sucker punch both the opposing team and the referee in this case.

  • Sally Pally

    You have to laugh, really. The only reason pundits and the media get away with making rubbish comments and writing sensational stuff devoid of facts is that so many people, especially football fans it seems, have such a short memory nowadays. On top of this, we here know that facts are not really seen as important, unless they suit whichever sensationalist sound-bite is being regurgitated.

    There are many journalists who would write sensible articles with substance if they could and we do see some really good articles, in amongst the dross. However, for the most part Journalists don’t have the financial resources they once had and in-depth analysis take too much time and therefore money. So hastily written, sensational articles get a reader’s attention and then other journalists copy and paste, as we have seen so often. In fact, the vast majority of what we read is a regurgitation of a sensationalist rubbish article.

    So, would it not be a good idea to provide these time-pressed journalists with the ammo they need to actually write good quality articles, which are based on facts, rather than fiction? The same goes for pundits, who seem to get swept up in the sensationalism rather easily. That way, the journalists and pundits could look at real, meaty, factual data and then present that as far more impressive and more substantial articles and comments.

    Sites like Untold, which deal in facts, also show a high degree of petulance towards certain slants in the media and towards certain referees. We here know that this is justified and it feels cosy to share all of this. However, it is not going to impress neutrals because the real, meaty items of substance are hidden within a petulance and hatred of the injustice we know to be present, not just towards our club but towards the whole footballing universe.

    If the same, well researched and meaningful ideas and statistics were sent by people on here and other similar places to certain journalists and pundits, in a way that was entertaining enough to generate high readership, it might well improve the quality of football writing and punditry. Its got to be worth a go. I know that some of the findings of the excellent people on here go to the club and the FA and PGMO sometimes. What about sending them to the time-pressed journalists, without the need to quote the source. Yes, some of you on here wouldn’t get the credit you deserve for this information but I bet not one person on here who formulates hypotheses and writes articles of substance would mind, if it helped the media and punditry to present facts in an entertaining way.

    So, we know that there is a great deal of injustice. We know that there is a genuine hatred of Arsenal (and Liverpool) by some in the press and some pundits. But we also know that the majority of football writers would prefer to be part of a system which uplifted football and increased knowledge and understanding and penetrative thoughts in the average fan. If such an environment could be gently helped to materialise, it would be to the benefit of all. It would require a whole lot of effective, targeted and timely intervention to the right people. In such an environment, people simply wouldn’t be interested in wishy-washy comments and articles. They would want this real, meaty, analytical stuff which is actually far more entertaining than the crap we are served most of the time. It would be good to create some powerful sound-bites to grab peoples’ attention as well. Who can do that? Any of you? I’m sure that you could – some of you spend so much time meticulously getting this stuff on here for us, but mostly, we already sympathise completely. It is no good expecting journalists to come here and read through hours of articles and comments. We know that some do but not enough. So, why don’t we, here, start to help create the kind of writing and commentary, backed up by cold, hard facts, which are packaged in a way to get peoples’ attention. Do the time-pressed journalists’ jobs for them. They would lap it up.

    Untold does occasionally get the attention of some big ‘players’ but, going to the source of the problem to allow other, neutral journalists to do this would be a real good move for our club and for football in general.

    These are just my thoughts but, the best solution to a problem is to cut it off at source and deal with it in the most effective and efficient way possible. The whole football press environment changes like the wind, why not plant the seeds to make that wind change to blow in favour of football. The rest would sort itself out quickly enough.

    The totally fake ‘siege’ mentality served Ferguson very well but, after several years of his teams being outplayed by Wenger’s Arsenal, he quickly generated the support of the PGMO and hideous bias by referees and usually the media. They were clever at sorting out the problem at source. Him and those around him created an environment where United could thrive, even when not playing the best football in the country, which, of course was played by us. We cannot get very far with this siege mentality. We have to laugh off the broken system of refereeing, punditry and football journalism, if possible. Point it out in these excellent articles, but then tackle the problem at source by helping the PGMO, the FA, journalists and pundits to get it right.

    If Taylor today does a ‘Dean’ on us, which many of us suspect he will, then you will see me ranting like a lot of the rest of you but I hope that these ideas might be of some use. I have gone on a bit, so I’ll shut up now!

    Good luck today to the team, to the referee and the pundits. Lets hope that football is the winner and we don’t have the carnival sideshow that some of us fear.

  • finsbury

    Apprentice Taylor cannot hold up a candle in the wind to his heroes Dean and Riley.

    The Lesser Dean is without any doubt the most appalling official i have ever had the misfortune to witness. The Sunderland performance against Arshavin was even more sinister a “performance” then the attempt to get the gaffer sacked during the Villa game. Arshavin’s comments on that run in are on the record.

    Taylor is not as smart as Gollum and is therefore not as good as Gollum at doing Riley’s job *gollum gollum*

    I hope he’s under instruction to try and protect the PL’s damaged reputation today but Utds rep. And rehab might be more important to Grandmaster Riley, there is some evidence. Conversely Taylor needs some ‘clean’ performances if he’s goin to follow in his heroes footsteps.

    Hopeully Football fans will be allowed to watch a genuine spectacle. After a the season is long and there’s still a trip to OT to come. C’mon Riley: be a Sport. 🙂