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October 2016
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Liverpool v Arsenal 13 Jan 2016 – The Match Officials

by Andrew Crawshaw

Here is the Table of Shame updated to Matchweek 19 so the first half of the season.

Wrong Important Decisions Favouring Arsenal Favouring Opponents
2nd Yellow Cards 1 22
Red Cards 1 10
Penalties 2 15
Goals 0 8
Total 4 55
Possible Cost in Points 0 11

So in the first half of the season there were 59 wrong Important Decisions made in Arsenal games – as near as dammit 3 per game.  Of those, 4 favoured Arsenal and 55 were against, that’s 93% of the total.  Yet again IT DOESN’T EVEN OUT IN THE END.  All of the numbers are damming but the fact that we wave had 8 goals wrongly awarded against us probably stands out as does the 32 opposition players who should have been sent off but weren’t.

On to Wednesday evening and the match officials are:-

  • Referee – Mike Jones
  • Assistants – G Beswick and A Garratt
  • Fourth Official – R Madley

This will be Mr Jones 13th game of the year – about right assuming equal distribution of games – we have had him once in the first half on 17 October when we travelled to Watford

Watford – Arsenal

68% weighted overall score and bias of 10/90.  Two wrong Important Decisions (second yellow, red cards, penalties and goals) – Min 3 Should have been a penalty to Arsenal when Prodl was pulling Mertesacker’s shirt following an Arsenal corner, Min36 Capoue should have had a straight red for a deliberate slap to Alexis’s face.

Last Year we had him Three times and we won all of them.  Against Villa he had a good game and scored a creditable 82%, his other two performances in the Leicester and Newcastle games were terrible scoring 54 and 58%.

Aston Villa v 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.

Arsenal v 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)

Newcastle v Arsenal

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.

In 2013/14 we had him in two games, one at home and one away (no complaints there, that is how it should be with all referees).  There are no formal reviews for that season, but I have linked Walter’s post game posts as background information.

01 Mar 2014 Stoke v Arsenal (1-0)  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, Walter’s trip to the game

Arsenal v West Brom Match review

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. I can’t remember him doing anything outrageous.

Going back another year to 2012-13 and another two games, this time both at home.

Arsenal v WBA (2-0)

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

Arsenal Vs Norwich City (3 – 1) [13/04/2013]

Match Review: Michael Jones – Norwich City Vs Liverpool (2 – 5) [29/09/2012] – See more here  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.

2012-13 is the last year for we have referee reviews for games not involving Arsenal.  There was a review of one Liverpool game.

Norwich City Vs Liverpool (2 – 5)

68% overall, bias against the two teams 11/89 and three wrong Important Decisions (all against Liverpool).  Min 3 no penalty to Liverpool following Martin pulling Agger’s shirt, Min 21 Bennett brought down Suarez in the penalty area both tripping and elbowing him – No penalty awarded or red card for Bennett.  No better for Liverpool than for Arsenal on this one showing.

Regarding the Assistant Referees I have no flags against either of them this year.  I do have one for Mr Garratt from last year when he had a shocker in our away game at Everton.

In Conclusion

  1. Michael Jones still isn’t a very good referee, typical weighted competence 70% and usually 3 wrong Important Decisions per game.  He has an overwhelming home bias in most of his games and cannot be trusted to be even-handed in the way he deals with both teams on the pitch.  All in all a typical PGMO employee.
  2. Having said that our record with him in charge isn’t too bad, we generally tend to beat the teams we should be beating.
  3. In Arsenal games his bias is overwhelmingly in favour of our opponents, regardless of us playing at home or away.  Expect to see this at 80% or more against Arsenal.
  4. His ability to issue yellow and red cards is especially poor so don’t expect to see anyone being sent off (especially Liverpool players)
  5. He has been known to give a penalty to Arsenal (wrongly as it happens) but I’m sure that he has been reminded of that since and another is unlikely.  On the other hand, it is quite likely that he will buy a Liverpool ‘dive’ and award one to them.
  6. In his one reviewed Liverpool game he was as bad for them as he usually is for us but that was 2012/13 and again I’m sure he has been reminded of his duties since then.
  7. Like all PGMO referees I’m sure we will see the usual ‘phantom fouls’ called to either save Liverpool from Arsenal pressure or to give them an unwarranted attacking opportunity.
  8. Our away supporters will need to be ready and prepared to get on his case when he starts to tilt the playing field.


Apologies from the publisher – I pressed the wrong button this morning and published the wrong preview.  Sorry if you were inconvenienced.  Tony.


Memories of Liverpool on this day

  • 13 January 2002: Arsenal 1 Liverpool 1.  League match 21 of the third Double season.  Ljungberg scored.  Liverpool’s equaliser from a classic counter attack meant  that Manchester United ended the day leaders of the Premiership on goal difference from Newcastle.

Insult of the day (this one for Jamie Carragher)

He is every man in no man (The Merchant of Venice)

New from the history society

Arsenal in the 70s: July to Dec 1975. Just when we thought it couldn’t get any worse…

5 comments to Liverpool v Arsenal 13 Jan 2016 – The Match Officials

  • para

    “His ability to issue yellow and red cards is especially poor so don’t expect to see anyone being sent off (especially Liverpool players)”

    Well i hope that the lads are aware of this and are ready for some “hard” tackles, but get up and get on with the game unless the whistle is heard. This means we can also be hard in some(?) of our tackles too.

    It’s Liverpool, so i expect the will to win will be high. Will be an interesting selection AW may make. Klopp is a good manager and will have prepared his team as best he can to thwart Arsenal, but i think he knows if Arsenal are on form then pool have lost this one.

    COYG. Time to start a long run.

  • Pete

    Was feeling pretty confident about tonight… but have just seen the weather forecast. Heavy rain. 4C. Not really ideal.

  • Florian

    Aside from Mike Jones, who is the typical non-balls ref, the assistant Garratt is also suspect, having made a string of errors in our away game at Everton last year, when he failed to signal a blatant off-side from which Naismith scored, plus another few similar decisions.

  • Yes, these are the times where Champs have to show which metal there made of. Yes don’t expect smooth sailing while crossing the ocean, expect the an expected but weather on and fight, ebirungi bbiri mu maaso.

  • Mandy Dodd

    I wish all of the officials all the best, and hope they have the game of their lives, with no orders,agendas , bias…and as many as possible correct decisions.
    Going to be a tough game….