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October 2016
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Arsenal v Swansea 2 Mar 2016 – The Match Officials. Into the unknown.

by Andrew Crawshaw

Here is the Table of shame

Wrong Important Decisions Favouring Arsenal Favouring Opponents
2nd Yellow Cards 1 33
Red Cards 1 11
Penalties 3 26
Goals 0 9
Total 5 79
Possible Cost in Points 0 17

Here is the current Wall of Shame (unchanged since the Leicester Referee Review)

Ref Game Weighted Score Bias against (h/a) Link to Ref Review
Craig Pawson Stoke v Arsenal 34 5/95 Review Stoke v Arsenal
Lee Mason Arsenal v Southampton 34 80/20 Review Arsenal v Southampton
Mike Dean Chelsea v Arsenal 41 5/95 Review Chelsea v Arsenal
Martin Atkinson Arsenal v Spurs 41 82/18 Review Arsenal v Spurs
Mark Clattenburg West Brom v Arsenal 42 9/91 Review WBA Vv Arsenal
Anthony Taylor Arsenal v Newcastle 48 9/91 Review Newcastle v Arsenal
Jonathan Moss Southampton v Arsenal 49 22/78 Review Southampton v Arsenal

Here are Wednesday’s Officials

  • Referee – Robert Madley
  • Assistants – P Kirkup and S Burt
  • Fourth Official – Kevin Friend

Second time this year for Mr Madley and for the first he was absolutely brilliant, only two wrong decisions in the whole game (mind you one was a non given penalty to us)

Ref Review : Arsenal – Sunderland

I have a single flag against Mr Kirkup this year for a (close) not-given offside decision against Mitrovic in our away game against Newcastle.  Mr Burt has no flags at all.  As Mr Madley gained FIFA Accreditation this season, there is no reason to appoint a ‘Minder’ as Fourth Official and I have no reason to suspect that Mr Friend will try and interfere.

In 2014-15 we had Robert Madley only once – the last game of the season when we enjoyed a comprehensive 4 – 1 win over West Brom.  Unfortunately there is no full referee review of that game but here is Walter’s post-game piece.

Prior to that we only saw Mr Madley as a Fourth Official in the League and in three Cup games, last year he was in charge as we beat Hull in the third  round and the year before in the fourth round when we beat Coventry 4 – 0.  The year before that he was in charge in the third round of the League Cup when we drew against West Brom 1 – 1.


  1. There is very little statistical data to go on regarding Robert Madley and Arsenal, this will only be his sixth game.  What little there is is really quite encouraging.
  2. All five previous games have been against teams that we would expect Arsenal to beat and we have a W4, D1 record, the draw being in a League Cup game where we fielded a less than full strength team.
  3. His only game with a full referee review got the highest score we have seen in the past two years.  In that game he made only two mistakes all game.
  4. If he performs anything like that on Wednesday night it should be a game when we can just watch and enjoy the football which will be a fantastic change.



  • 1 March 1987: Tottenham 1 Arsenal 2. League cup semi-final, 2nd leg.  This was the one when the announcer at half time told supporters of Tottenham how to get cup final tickets.  Anderson and Quinn got the goals.
  • 1 March 1993: Chelsea 1 Arsenal 0.  Arsenal scored four goals in 14 league matches between 21 November and this game.  During that period Arsenal won just two league games, both away, both 0-1 against Man City and Oldham.

Also on this day, Nostradamus’ Book of Centuries was published in 1555.  Depending on how you read it, it predicts the fire of London in 1666, the fall of the French monarchy in the 18th century, two global wars and the coming of the anti-Christ from the deserts of Persia in the 20th century.  Or not, as the case may be

The Untold Books

The latest Untold book is Arsenal: The Long Sleep 1953-1970 with a Foreword by Bob Wilson, available both as a paperback and as a Kindle book from Amazon.   Details of this and our previous and forthcoming titles can be found at Arsenal Books on this site.

44 comments to Arsenal v Swansea 2 Mar 2016 – The Match Officials. Into the unknown.

  • Zanzzibar

    Madley loves to hate us.
    Even with decent form behind us I can only see 3 points for Arsenal.

  • thierryhenry22

    Looking forward to this one! COYG!!

  • rich

    Getting a bit weird now. Swear I and others, probably even articles, talked a lot about how long it had been since we had both Oliver and Madley about a week ago. I din’t think we’d see either unless we dropped completely out of the title picture.

    I also thought Pawson made an excellent start to the game but admit I could barely concentrate on anything he did once we went 2- down. It certainly wasn’t the awfulness I expected, though I’ve not seen any replays of the handball other than one very suspicious one.

    As the days pass it seems more and more outrageous that Sky could choose not to mention it and not to show the slew of replays that are utterly standard for such a big call.

    Too much to ask from Henry to slip in a mention of it at half time, even an innocuous-seeming ‘i’d really like to see that potential handball again’? Of course it was. Actually, I didn’t watch at half time so I’m just guessing and relying on the fact I’d have heard mention of it if he brought it up

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    Well then, Mr Andrew Crawshaw, we should have nothing to fear as regard to any anti – Arsenal whistling by Ref’ Robert Madley in our home BPL encounter with the Swans on Wed’ night, if all d high marks you’ve given him can be relied upon. And d 4th official, Mr. Kevin Friend has always been a friend in AFC games. And I hope he’ll continue being our friend in this our BPL home game against the high fighting Swans of Swansea City.

    But at any rate, Arsenal SHOULD be on their guards to guard against any unfavourable decision against them by the match officials officiating in this well predictable Arsenal victory in this game. They SHOULD be on their toes so as not to be caught unaweres by any negative whistling and flagging against them by Mr Madley & his linesmen.

    Arsenal will beat Swansea City to oil our Premier League title lamp to keep it burning. I have the belief and confidence of the Gunners ovecoming whatever the Swans have on offer against them and beat them thoroughly by 4 goals to nil at fulltime.

  • para

    Samuel Akinsola Adebosin
    March 1, 2016 at 5:28 pm

    Would be great to score some goals with the 3 points.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    I’ll settle for another Özil free kick and Wellbeck header for one nil deep into the second half. Three points is the only critical outcome tomorrow night. Goals galore would be nice to build some confidence but are secondary to the need for three points.

  • Menace

    I would like to see Ozil running the show & Giroud putting a few balls into the goal. He is due a bit of luck & with a little aggression he will deliver.

    I am watching the Leicester game v WEst Brom & looikng forward to the baggies sticking the foxes back into the hole. There’s always the whistle that can put the foxes in a good position. The horn blowing is so stupid because it signals the hounds chasing the fox.

  • Menace

    Rondon puts the baggies ahead with a ‘muscle past’ Huth & a well struck ball through Schmichael.

  • finsbury

    Thanks for the preview!

    Re: the airbrushing of replays of the handball on the line by these renowned broadcasters, it is following a familiar & strong pattern for them with AFC. “Omertà” is the word some might be looking for. Clear and unpresent danger to the integrity of the or any sport

  • finsbury

    I wouldn’t blame the Arsenal for not setting Murdoch’s well known and obvious agendas as described by more agile minds then mine (JGBallard for instance) for decades, upon his broadcasters

  • Menace

    Lots of pacey agression by Foxes but nothing getting through then a lucky deflection beats Foster for the equaliser.

  • Menace

    Sessegnon gets booked for complaining abot a leg braeking tackle that PGMO blind mice dont see. The FA will have to cat or behave in their usual racist way of its a foreign complainer.

  • Menace

    spelling abot – about a leg breaking tackle

  • Vince

    Funny also to see that just to before his goal, Drinkwater (who shouldn’t even be on the field, had Atkinson and the FA done their job about his nasty tackle on Ramsey…) got a free kick, when he kicked a WBA leg with excessive force after getting the ball, and then threw himself to the ground…

    It is getting quite clear which team the FA wants to win the title

  • Menace

    Good break away & Mahrez lays one for King to pop into goal. 2 – 1 to foxes.

  • Menace

    Amazing commentators on StarSports Curbishley & Monk both ignore the leg breaking tackle but I suppose its the TV company driving the agenda. It wax a straight red & the assistant was a few yards away & saw it as did Clattenburg. Perhaps I can give Clattengurg some doubt but the Assistant should be jailed.

  • Don’t understand ,are the rules different for Leicester and the other teams??? What is happening? A tackle which might have broken a leg and the ref decides otherwise??

  • Menace

    Lovely free kick by Gardiner straight into the goal. Mahrez handled to give the free kick. 2 – 2

  • Yessssssssssss what a free kick

  • Menace

    Vardy looking for a pen goes down & does not get booked.

  • Josif

    How big c..ts are people from PGMO?

    They make an Arsenal fan feeling sorry for a Tony Pulis’ player!

    PGMO stands for Preposterously Gigantic MOrons.

  • GG

    Must be a good game, warm up for our big game tomorrow night, not to mention the Spurs game.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Just seen an amazing thing when Chelsea play the ball to Courtois from the corner flag, he picks it up and throws it to a teammate and ref Lee Mason ( I think) let play continue…. even our Belgium TV company (the one I will be sitting in the TV studio next Saturday) find it unbelievable….

  • Menace

    Not booking a Keicester player for a swipe at Berahinos legs is good refereeing according to Andy Townsend.

  • Menace

    Walter I am gradually getting angry at the officiating bias. It is truly corrupt.

  • GG

    Sounds end to end on the radio

  • Danm that was close Rondon could have wrapped it up,its to close to call,at least westbrom is not like The Arsenal they still have Lady luck or Sir luck on there side but if it was Arsenal that diffraction was going in. Wondering where our luck went too,hope its not in Syria no disrespect.

  • Menace

    No fouls or offside if its Leicester. Vardy can kick you & thats OK

  • Josif


    Have you ever heard Townsend saying anything close to a) smart statement and/or b) true statement?

  • @walter but why do they hate us like that??My kids ask me that question always ,they watch different matches but don’t see the same bias we get.

  • Menace

    Leicester are expert at playing dead when touched. They have been taught the Italian arts well. They also have a lot of pace so when they foul it appears like nothing happened.

  • Let them be given a penalty,instead of beating around the bush.

  • Gord


    I’m guessing you are talking about 58 minutes into game. t 3 different live commentaries, none of them seen anything.

    Dean had to blow the whistle early because Friend had passed out?

    It’s a strange day!

  • Menace

    Leicester fans baying for bias they have got used to. PGMO Laws are very special.

  • Oh my GOD no ofside for Leicester ,this is serious.No fouls

  • @Manace,really?? I get it now.

  • Menace

    I would put money on the PGMO giving Leicester the League. The blatant blindness of a red card offence is diabolical. Sessagnon is lucky to have walked off the field.

  • Col

    Litmus test for Arsenal fans: how do you feel about Leicester’s results? Up until recently I quietly assumed they would fade away. After the evaporation of hope at the weekend, however, I actually feel disappointed with their draw with West Brom. If Arsenal can’t win it …

  • Vince

    Incredible piece of journalism here :

    Talking about the Fuchs challenge, but instead of pointing out that Leicester got (once again) lucky on a leg-breaking challenge, they are using it to the agenda that Arsenal fans are always whining on refereeing.

    And guess what, some of the tweets they’re using are not even from Arsenal fans, but WBA fans

  • Gord

    Arsenal 13

    I was looking for information about AliExpress, and I ran across a t-shirt I think says you.

    About half way down. The Freshness Emoji T-Shirt


  • porter

    Then Costa wins it for Chelsea at Norwich blatantly offside and yet Mason gave it.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Just seen the Costa goal for Chelsea and I am completely shocked. That is one of the worst decisions I have ever seen….. This wasn’t even a close call… this was so openly and blatant offside that there are no words for this.

    But hey, let us just pretend it will even out in the end or that nothing is wrong with refereeing in the PL and that we have no need of video assistance for the referee….