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Referee Preview: Watford- Arsenal

Watford v Arsenal 17 October 2015 – the Match Officials


by Andrew Crawshaw


The Table of Shame – now up to date for all eight games played


Wrong Important Decisions Favouring Arsenal Favouring Opponents
2nd Yellow Cards 0 11
Red Cards 0 6
Penalties 0 7
Goals 0 3
Total 0 27
Possible Cost in Points 0 6


Two league referee reviews since our last game, one good, one bad.


Ref Review: Leicester – Arsenal, good performance from the ref

Ref Review : Arsenal – Man Utd, more of the same


Firstly the good, Craig Pawson in our away game at Leicester, 84% overall, bias against the two teams not unreasonable at 20/80 and most importantly no wrong Important Decisions (second yellow, red cards, penalties and goals) If only all games were like this!


Secondly the bad, Anthony Taylor in our home game against United, 59% overall, bias against the two teams 3/97 and 5 wrong Important Decisions, pretty much as predicted really. The wrong important decisions were a missed penalty in Minute 4 with Schweinsteiger wrestling Gabriel to the ground within 10 seconds of all players being warned about infringements, Mr Taylor then missed two opportunities to award the same player a second yellow card for persistent infringement in Minutes 45+1 and 45+2. In Minute 62 Fellaini should have had a yellow card for a deliberate handball and again Mr Taylor missed two opportunities to award a second yellow card in Minutes 73 and 90.


Finally, the table is showing no signs yet of ‘evening out’ eight games played and three wrong Important Decisions per game with a cost of at least 6 points.


Enough of the past, on to the future –   Our Match Officials this Saturday are :-


Referee – Mike Jones

Assistants – R West and A Holmes

Fourth Official – K Friend


Mike Jones scored a barely acceptable 70% unweighted score in his games with Arsenal last year, worse than Mr Taylor so hardly a good recommendation.


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%


Last Season 2014-15 he refereed three games, all of which we won


Ref Review Aston Villa – Arsenal

82% overall score (weighted), bias against the two teams 20/80, one wrong Important Decision when Clark should have had a straight red card for a tackle on Podolski. Other than that a pretty good performance


Ref Review : Arsenal – Leicester

54% overall score (weighted), bias against the two teams 90/10, three wrong Important Decisions, in Minute 18 Upson should have been dismissed for a two footed frontal tackle on Alexis (he should have had a first yellow card in Min 18 for pulling back the same player), in Min 88 Simpson should have had a second yellow card for blocking Özil (his first yellow card should have come in Min 45 for deliberate handball in the penalty area, his second should have come in min 85 for a foul on Özil – take your pick of a second yellow Minute 85 or 88)


Ref Review : Newcastle – Arsenal: an overwhelming bias

58% overall score (weighted), bias against the two teams 5/95, three wrong Important Decisions. Two sending off offences both second yellow cards for Cabella, In Minute 13 he should have had a first yellow card for a challenge from behind on Coquelin, he should have had a second in Minute 62 for a forearm to Coquelin’s forehead and a further opportunity to dismiss him occurred in Min81 when he dived trying to win a penalty. The third wrong decision was a not given penalty to Newcastle when Chambers handled in the penalty area. I counted two points incorrectly gained by Arsenal.


One decent and two very bad performances, opposition players not being sent off in all three games. Awful bias figures in the last two.


2013-14 – No formal reviews from these games but I have linked Walter’s post game pieces for context. Two games, one home and one away (as it should be) one win one loss both one nil.


01 Mar 2014 – Stoke v Arsenal (1 – 0)


Home referee as predicted, bad day at the office not as predicted Adam treading/stamping on Giroud when he was on the ground, not seen/ignored by the referee and a very soft penalty awarded to Stoke for handball, Walters kicking the ball against Kos from half a meter away, a home referee and Arsenal as the away team easy decision. Two points robbed.


04 May 2014 – Arsenal v West Brom (1 – 0)


Arsenal – WBA, where to begin….

Arsenal – WBA, after the beginning now on to the match…


A rather pedestrian match which we won one-nil, one eye on the up-coming cup-final. No mention of the referee so I guess he had one of his better games – or maybe Arsenal were the home team.


2012-13 – Another year when we had Mr Jones twice, both at home and we won both games.


Match Review: Michael Jones – Arsenal Vs West Bromwich Albion (2 – 0) [08/12/2012]

69% overall (weighted) score, bias against both teams 52/48 and two wrong Important Decisions both arising from an incident in Minute 24 where Cazorla dived to win a penalty from which we scored


Match Review: Michael Jones – Arsenal Vs Norwich City (3 – 1) [13/04/2013]

60% overall (weighted), bias against the two teams 73/27 and 4 wrong Important Decisions. In Minute 45+1 Turner should have had red card for elbowing Ramsey, Minute 55 Norwich player dived to win free kick from which they scored, Min 64 Arsenal should have had penalty for a foul by Snodgrass on Walcott, Min 90+1 Arsenal goal should have been ruled out for offside.


In conclusion


  1. Mr Jones is a referee who we tend to get when playing against teams you would expect Arsenal to win and, in general, that is what tends to happen.
  2. Mr Jones is not a very good referee, rarely averaging above 70% on weighted decision making and usually displays a very strong anti-Arsenal bias in his decision making. He is also likely to make three wrong Important Decisions each game (probably, but not exclusively) against Arsenal. Typical of the referees provided by the PGMO in fact.
  3. He normally displays a bias in favour of the home team so our fantastic away supporters will have to be ready to get on his case if necessary.
  4. He usually fails to enforce rules of fair play against Arsenal’s opposition and rarely issues second yellow or red cards in accordance with the laws of the game
  5. Usual tricks to watch out for – opposition players given license to be far rougher in challenges than Arsenal, penalty decisions less likely in the Watford area than Arsenal and ‘phantom’ fouls in dangerous areas.
  6. He may try to tilt the playing field but I don’t think he will do it in too obvious a fashion, if we turn up and play anywhere near our best we should have more than enough to beat both Mr Jones and Watford. A quick start and a couple of early goals should ensure three points.COYG

14 comments to Referee Preview: Watford- Arsenal

  • Usama Zaka

    Good preview Andrew. One more key point about Mike Jones, last season against Newcastle I remember in the second half he started out giving phantom fouls against Arsenal. Often when referees give phantom fouls they stand tall and ignore the reactions of players, looking as if they are correct.

    But Mike Jones after every foul, he himself started to approach the Arsenal player involved and tried to justify or explain every single decision as why it was a foul even if it was clearly incorrect. I have a feeling that he realizes that what he’s doing is wrong and then justifies it during the match to give himself a temporary clean conscience in his own mind.

  • nicky

    I’m beginning to wonder whether referees are deliberately targeting Arsenal for retribution, following the sustained criticism levelled at virtually all of them by Walter and his cohorts.
    That is not to say, of course, that our brave rebels should abandon one iota of their cause.
    It just seems to me that biased, inept and outright anti-Arsenal decisions are the weapons the
    PGMOL continue to use in order to retaliate.
    Do other patrons of Untold share this view?

  • Jambug

    Great work as usual Andrew.

    I’m just waiting for our supposed Arsenal fans who constantly deride these previews/reviews, and by definition make the accusation of bias, to come out of the closet and prove them to be so, rather than just ‘claim’ they are.

    You know who you are.

    I wont hold my breath.

  • omgarsenal

    Nicky ……….as a retired professional referee I cannot attest to a universal conspiracy of omission or commission on the part of all PIGMOB officials BUT I can attest to what appears to be a concerted effort to hide a real bias on the part of some officials (Dean, etc.) as part of Riley and his PIGMOB cohorts’ apparent dislike for AFC.

  • nicky

    ‘Nuff said…

  • Eric

    Nicky, in my opinion it was just as bad before untold even started. Difficult to measure if it was worse or better though.
    But it’s easily verifiable, just pick a random game or 2 before 08/09 and you’ll have your answer

  • Mandy Dodd

    Thanks Andrew. Clearly,another ref the players need to be a bit wary of.
    As you say, early goals could,be very helpful.
    I expect Watford to be physical, and play on any leniency from the ref. we should be ok, but need,to be wary of tired international limbs.
    I am going for a two nil to the Arsenal, bout time one of our defenders scored!

  • nicky

    I’m sure you’re right but I just wonder how all the fatwah started.

  • Menace

    I’m a sceptic when it comes to PGMO. I wouldn’t trust them with an empty dust bin. In fact they probably have the intelligence of an empty dust bin but they use it to curry favour with Manchester United.

    They can rob any team of victory if they are given the oppertunity…& they do with the FA helping to ensure their freedom to cheat.

  • para

    Regardless of refs, we need to be focused, want to win and play to win.
    May well be changes, with Bayern coming in 3 days.

  • Al

    I think the very obvious bias against Arsenal is what gave rise to the birth of UA. So it couldn’t be because the refs are retaliating to UA.

    This ref worries me too; he certainly appears ambitious to want to follow in the footsteps of the deans, atkinsons, etc. You just need to look at him awarding a free kick to stoke against Giroud in this link to see how biased he can be.

  • Jambug


    9 dislikes?

    Not one of them with the statistics to refute what Andrew says.

    As I predicted.

  • Menace

    The PGMO worms pick on Giroud because they think he gets upset like he did in the CL against a wrong decision. Giroud & all Arsenal players must not get baited by PGMO cheats nor their opposition.

    One day the vermin that control football will get their just desserts.

  • WalterBroeckx

    I think this was once again spot on Andrew 🙂