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Swansea v Arsenal 31 October 2015 – The Match Officials

Swansea v Arsenal 31 October 2015 – The Match Officials


by Andrew Crawshaw

The updated ‘Table of Shame’ following Usama and Walter’s  Ref Review : Watford – Arsenal

Wrong Important Decisions Favouring Arsenal Favouring Opponents
2nd Yellow Cards 0 11
Red Cards 0 7
Penalties 0 8
Goals 0 3
Total 0 29
Possible Cost in Points 0 6

Mike Jones was the referee and in the first half he had an absolute shocker.

He missed a penalty to Arsenal in the 3rd minute, and then should have sent off Capoue when he slapped Sanchez in the face in an off-the-ball incident in the 34th minute.  He also made a complete cock-up of decisions in the 45th minute when Walcott was fouled, passed to Ramsey who was onside and through one-on-one with the keeper.

Jones seemed to play advantage then immediately blew for a Watford free kick for offside.  In the second half he was much better (after Arsenal scored), maybe he decided that he could no longer keep Watford in the game and had better do an honest job for the rest of the match.

Swansea preview – Our Officials are :-

  • Referee – Kevin Friend
  • Assistants – E Smart and H Lennard
  • Fourth Official – A Davies

Firstly a warm welcome to a new Fourth Official – Andy Davies,  this is his first time at an Arsenal Game, he had one appearance last year at this level as Fourth Official, coincidentally also in a Swansea game (West Brom 2 v Swansea 0 on 11 Feb).

Andy is from Hampshire and has been in charge of three Championship, one League 1 and one League 2 games this season issuing 17 yellow and 2 red cards.

I have a flag against Mr Lennard this season for his failure to flag a clear offside in the Liverpool v Bournemouth game on 17th August.

Kevin Friend nowadays needs little introduction – a notable “home referee” who I used to look forward to seeing on game days.  This will be his sixth game of the season and his first for either Swansea or us.

In 2014-15 He was the referee for 4 Arsenal games including the Arsenal v Swansea game on 11 May – unfortunately we don’t have a referee review of that game.  In cronological order we have:-

Untold Ref Review: Everton/Arsenal. What is an advantage, and what’s wrong with assistant Garratt?

60% overall, bias against the two teams 11/89 and 2 wrong Important Decisions (second yellow or Red cards, Penalties or Goals).  In Minute 44 Naysmith was offside when he scored a ‘goal’ and in Min 53 Wilshere was given a yellow card, it should have been Red.  His scores would have been higher had he not been let down by his assistant Mr Garratt for both the Naysmith goal and for flagging for an imaginary foul in Min 70 when Arsenal were in a strong position.  The wrong decision for the Everton goal may well have cost us two points.

Untold Referee Review: Sunderland – Arsenal

65% overall, bias 25/75 and 1 wrong Important Decision when in Minute 19 he should have awarded a penalty to Arsenal for a foul by Rodwell on Chambers.  Arsenal won the game by 2-0 so the wrong decision didn’t cost us points.

Ref Review : QPR – Arsenal

69% overall, bias 20/80 and two wrong Important Decisions (both relating to the same incident) when in Minute 46 Henry should have been dismissed and a penalty awarded for a “Last Man” offence.  Another game when poor officiating didn’t cost us points as we won 2-1.

Arsenal v Swansea (0 – 1) 11 May 2015, as I said no full Referee review, but here is Walter’s post-game piece.

Arsenal – Swansea, sometimes football can be cruel

Swansea players not getting booked for pretty poor challenges, Swansea parking the bus and Fabianski in good form for the visitors.  Overall they frustrated arsenal and hit us on a counter.  every 50-50 decision in their favour.  Not just a home referee then.

In 2013-14 he refereed us only once

15 April Arsenal v West Ham (3 – 1) again no full referee review

Arsenal – West Ham, business as usual

West Ham took the lead, Podolski equalised just before half time, Giroud ten minutes into the second half and Podolski again with 13 minutes on the clock.  No mention of Mr Friend, so I’ll assume that he had a decent game.

2012-13  Two games both at home

Match Review: Kevin Friend – Arsenal Vs Liverpool (2 – 2) [30/01/2013]

94% overall, bias figures really irrelevant and no wrong Important Decisions.  Excellent refereeing.

Match Review: Kevin Friend – Arsenal Vs Southampton (6 – 1) [15/09/2012]

89% overall, bias 50/50 and no wrong Important Decisions.  Another excellent example of refereeing.

In Summary

  1. What on earth happened to Mr Friend between the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons? Up to 2013-14 he could be relied to referee Arsenal games in an even handed manner and his scores in our reviews reflected this, 89 and 94% in 2012-13.  In 2014-15 his scores were 60, 65 and 69% – all below the minimum acceptable level.  Perhaps he had a pre-season talk from his boss?
  2. Mr Friend now seems to be a typical PGMO employee with all of the usual traits.
  3. Don’t expect penalties for Arsenal
  4. Do expect Swansea players to have more leeway in challenges than those from Arsenal
  5. For the most part 50/50 decisions will be awarded in Swansea’s favour.
  6. Watch out for the awarding of ‘phantom fouls’ and incorrect application of the law of advantage.
  7. On the other hand Mr Friend, if by any chance you do read this preview, please re-visit your performances from 2012-13 when you were, by a country mile, by far the best referee we saw in an Arsenal game. You must have access to the videos of the games and the links to your reviews are above.  Please show that your efforts last year were an aberration.


The Anniversary Files

31 October 1898: Arsenal 5 Brighton United 2 in the third and final season of the United League.  Although Brighton Utd faded from history, they are better commemorated than many teams as one of their directors was a professional photographer.  They also played in the Southern League.

31 October 1932: Racing club de Paris 2 Arsenal 5 in the series of games to mark Armistice Day.  Four goals from Cliff Bastin.

The latest meanderings from the History Society….

The Untold Books

4 comments to Swansea v Arsenal 31 October 2015 – The Match Officials

  • para

    With engagement, determination and a little luck we should win this, at the least not lose it.
    It appears to be a tricky game 🙁 , but this is football and could turn out to be an easy game instead 🙂 .

  • WalterBroeckx

    What has caused the change? An interesting quesion…

  • finsbury

    Thanks for the preview.

    Have Arsenal had Clattenburg in a GazCorp game since the return of the specialist to the PL? Gollum stinking out the stadiums twice or more but no Clattenburg…

  • Rantetta

    Brilliant phantom foul during this match, which kinda followed on from those not given to Ars in the 1st half.

    It’s no use hoping for Clattenburg. (My fingers are sore from writing about the violence he’s allowed others to inflict upon Ars players, inc. Theo against spuds FA Cup Jan 2014).

    He’ll probably return in Fkup round 3 or 4 – to oversee another face-stamp or achilles-crunch. He does see them. He’s always very close. He just smiles.

    How comes they send the same refs to the same teams, year after year? Whys Deano doing totty on Sunday? (A: Cos it’s one of his fave teams).