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Arsenal v Man City 21 December 2015 – The Match Officials. “For a FIFA accredited referee he really isn’t up to scratch.”


by Andrew Crawshaw


Following Walter and Usama’s review of the Norwich Game

Ref Review : Norwich – Arsenal – these acts of thuggery must be stopped

Here is the updated Table of Shame

Wrong Important Decisions Favouring Arsenal Favouring Opponents
2nd Yellow Cards 0 19
Red Cards 1 9
Penalties 1 14
Goals 0 4
Total 2 46
Possible Cost in Points 0 11


The table is based on the first 14 games of the season, so there is a net value of 44 decisions against Arsenal in that time – still more than three a game!

In the Norwich game under Mr Moss there were three wrong Important Decisions, all involving Norwich Players who should have been sent off.  The most obvious was Bennett for his cowardly push on a mid-air Alexis in Minute 40 which propelled him into a camera pit and was probably a main contributing factor in his subsequent injury.

A repeat of the shove on Debuchy last season when the referee was – Mr Moss.  Not good enough Mr Moss; an assault on a player like these two should always result in a red card.

The other main issue in the game was O’Neil being given carte blanche to foul any of our players with impunity.  He should have had 3 yellow cards for persistent fouling in the first half (Mins 27, 36 and 45+2) and again at the start of the second half (Min 48).  

Eventually he was given a card in  Min 57 which should have been a second yellow and a dismissal.  Even then he didn’t stop and Mr Moss missed a second chance to dismiss him in Min 90+1 for a further cautionable foul.  No points lost but an important player badly fouled under a cowardly referee who really cannot keep track of minor fouls or recognise major ones.

On to Monday and our officials are:-

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

Andre Marriner has been under-used this year, this is Matchweek 17 and yet will only be his 10th game in charge, nine referees have had more games so either he has been injured or has lost the trust of the PGMO.

I have no flags against Mr Perry but I have a provisional one (pending Walter and Usama’s review of the Villa game against Mr Cann who flagged Walcott offside when he ‘scored’ on the stroke of halftime (to me he looked to be level)

Mr Taylor is an official who I trust as much as Mr Dean.

This is the second time this year for Andre Marriner, he was on hand in Matchweek 4 for our trip to Newcastle which we won scoring the only goal of the match.

Ref Review : Newcastle – Arsenal

76% overall weighted score and bias against both teams of 33/67 – both amongst the better scores so far although 76% right still means that effectively one in four decisions were wrong so not that great a score.  

In terms of the Important Decisions he got two wrong.  Minute 12 Thauvin fouled Bellerin in the penalty area, which should have resulted in a spot kick for Arsenal and a booking for Thauvin (neither of which were awarded).  

In Minute 26 Thauvin rightly was given a yellow card but this should have been his second.  The decisions didn’t affect the final score but the match was made far more difficult than it should have been by his decisions.  For a FIFA accredited referee he really isn’t up to scratch.

Looking back to previous seasons here is his recent record with Arsenal :-


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 relaxed 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.)T

he fourth official on the day Mr Taylor seemed the person giving the orders during this fiasco.  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 correct 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. Mr Marriner is not a very good referee and doesn’t deserve his FIFA accreditation
  2. Yet again we have Anthony Taylor as fourth official and his hatred of Arsenal is on a par with Mike Dean, if he can get involved to stir things up for us he will.
  3. In five of the last eight games Mr Marriner has failed to award us a justified penalty.  Last week against Villa Kevin Friend was shamed into awarding a penalty by one of his linesmen (Mr Cann I believe) invalidating a similar prediction in my preview – none the less don’t expect a penalty at the City end on Monday.
  4. Mr Marriner is quite likely to buy a City Dive and use the opportunity to needlessly card one of our players.
  5. Like all PGMO referees, Mr Marriner will award ‘phantom’ fouls to City to assist them to regroup or give them attacking opportunities.
  6. Again City players will have far more leeway than Arsenal in making challenges and Giroud, Özil and Walcott could well find themselves battered and bruised at the end of the game.



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8 comments to Arsenal v Man City 21 December 2015 – The Match Officials. “For a FIFA accredited referee he really isn’t up to scratch.”

  • nicky

    Yet again it would appear that to obtain 3 points, we have to win IN SPITE of the referee.
    One day I’m sure it will all come right but for the life of me I cannot forecast when…

  • A win for me in spite of the ref. If we can somehow manage that, then I seriously think we will strike real fear into people’s hearts about our intentions to bag the title this season. I think it’s doable, in spite of the ref being as evil in his officiating as we all know he can.

  • goonersince72

    Recent matches between Arsenal and City have been very tight contests. One decision can affect the outcome. That’s why the appointment of Marriner is so worrying. It’s a toxic combination of ineptitude and bias.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Looks like his stats in the recent Newcastle game weren’t great, but I do seem to remember him cracking down …..against a Geordie crowd….on Newcastles overtly physical play……eventually……or is my middle aged memory playing tricks with me?
    I am hoping Peps recent announcement may have a destabilising effect on city, and that we can get at a defence without Kompany, but they can be a very dangerous team.

  • Pedro

    Our last 4 games v city read
    City 0 Arsenal 2
    Arsenal 2 city 2
    Arsenal 3 city 0. community shield
    Arsenal 1 city 1

    So we should go into the game with confidence , without fear and win the game 1-0 (giroud) with another clean sheet.

  • Jerry

    Great preview as usual Andrew! Hoping Marriner does not tilt the pitch unfairly tomorrow.

    Also, just wanted to note, so far this season Arsenal has lost only 1 game against the Top 11 clubs (West Ham) of the Premier League table with draws against Liverpool! and the Spurs.

    The win checklist:
    1st Leicester
    4th Spurs (League Cup)
    5th United
    6th Crystal Palace
    7th Watford
    10th Everton
    11th Stoke

    Against the Top 11 teams this season: 7 Wins, 1 loss, and 2 draws

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Am hoping for a win to keep within touching distance of the runway leaders, so that we can overhaul them in the New Year , and a clean sheet for improving Petr Cech ‘s record !
    Do us proud guys ! Up the Gunners !

  • Menace

    I am hoping for a quick start Arsenal to win with many goals. It is time to show the FA & PGMO that cheating can disguise some results but good football can win despite the cheating officials. I want a Giroud hat trick & a couple of Ozil assists. A clean sheet will be a cherry on the cake.