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Everton v Arsenal 19 March 2016 – The Match Officials. More of the same from PGMO this weekend

by Andrew Crawshaw

Following our Referee reviews of the United and Swansea games, here is an updated Wall of Shame and we see an entry in third place for Robert Madley.

In his previous game this year he scored 90% and made only two mistakes in the whole game.  Clearly he had been given a stern talking to by his bosses and reminded of his obligations as a FIFA accredited referee.  There really isn’t any logical explanation for a referee to put in two performances that were so different.


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
Robert Madley Arsenal v Swansea 38 93/7 Ref Review : Arsenal – Swansea, when is it going to start to even out?
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

Table of Shame

Wrong Important Decisions Favouring Arsenal Favouring Opponents
2nd Yellow Cards 1 38
Red Cards 1 12
Penalties 3 27
Goals 0 11
Total 5 88
Possible Cost in Points 0 23

The number of wrong Important Decisions favouring our opponents keeps on growing.  In 28 games the average number is just over three a game.  Let that sink in – three game changing decisions against us every single game on average and in some games we have seen seven.  No team can cope with that level of bias.  There is absolutely no wonder that at times we play safety first football when every time we are within touching distance of an opposition player we are called for a foul.

The number of points we have been robbed of has gone up by 6.  The penalty and two sendings off at United should have resulted in a win rather than a loss and neither of the Swansea goals were valid so two wins instead of two losses.  We should be 13 points ahead of Leicester not 11 points behind.

In the Swansea game, neither of their goals were valid, the first came from one of the most obvious fouls on Özil you will ever see, but a FIFA accredited referee looking straight at it refuses to give it.

The second was offside, just maybe but in the Watford game the linesman had no trouble in flagging Giroud for the same degree on offside.  The second half saw 10 correct decisions and 19 wrong ones – two in three decisions were wrong!  For God’s sake this is the same referee who only got 2 wrong in an entire game earlier in the season.

OK Rant over – now on to Saturday

  • Referee – Mark Clattenberg
  • Assistants – S Beck and R West
  • Fourth Official – J Moss

This will be the third time this year with Mr Clattenberg one of our other FIFA referees.

Ref Review : WBA – Arsenal

42% overall weighted score,bias against both teams 9/91and 5 wrong Important Decisions (second yellow cards, red cards, penalties and goals).  Three points taken from Arsenal and awarded to West Brom.  A goal from a ‘phantom’ foul in Min34, two not given penalties to Arsenal (minutes 46 and a re-take of the one we were awarded in Min 84 due to encroachment) and two West Brom players wrongly remaining on the pitch (Min 46 Olsson and Min 75 Morrison)  Clattenberg displaying the full gamut of refereeing tricks of the trade in this game – a masterful performance in how to tilt the pitch.

Referee Review: Arsenal – Chelsea

76% overall, bias against both teams 35/65 and more importantly only one wrong Important Decision when in Min 56 Kos fouled Fabregas in our penalty area and the penalty to Chelsea wasn’t given.  See all you doubters we do call wrong decisions against Arsenal!

The key decision was in the first half when Costa persuaded Mertesacker to foul him, last man red card correct decision despite little or no contact.  After that no need for further assistance to be given and Mr Clattenberg showed that he can be a good referee.

Last Season 2014-15 we had Mr Clattenberg twice

Ref Review : Arsenal – Man City

71% overall weighted score, bias against the two teams 73/27 and two wrong Important Decisions In Min 45 Milner should have had a second yellow card and in Min 76 Wilshere should have conceded a penalty in favour of City for handball in our area.

Ref Review: Crystal Palace – Arsenal

80% overall weighted score, bias against the two teams 18/82 and one wrong Important Decisions when in min 3 Coquelin should have been dismissed for a high foot on Campbel.  I counted this as three points given to Arsenal, a game we should probably have lost.


Again Mr Clattenberg for two games but no reviews for this year.  We beat Swansea away 2 – 1 in September and Southampton at home 2 – 0 in November.  Here are links to Walter’s post game pieces for context

Swansea v Arsenal 1 – 2

Arsenal v Southampton 2 – 0

And for completeness here is the one match from 2012-13

Match Review: Mark Clattenburg – Arsenal Vs Swansea City (0 – 2) [01/12/2012]

72% overall weighted score, bias against both teams 93/7 but no wrong Important Decisions.

Regarding the other Officials I have a flag against both Assistants this year.  Mr Beck for  not flagging Costa when he was offside in Min14 of our home game v Chelsea and a possible flag against Mr West for a wrong offside against Ramsey in our 3 – 0 win at Watford.  The other official was  Mr Holmes and the report didn’t identify who was at fault.


  1. A referee that is difficult to predict, capable of both good and terrible numbers in Arsenal games.
  2. He doesn’t like awarding penalties, only doing so in extreme events.
  3. He knows every trick in the referee’s book on how to influence a game and is quite prepared to use them.
  4. In the five reviewed games over four seasons he had made 9 wrong Important Decisions but 5 of them came in one game.  His bias numbers against Arsenal have been 93, 91, 82, 73 and 65 so only once has he got anywhere near neutral (I regard a score within 60/40 as one which most fans would regard as neutral).
  5. I think that we should expect more of the same from the PGMO this weekend, a one sided performance designed to put another nail in the coffins of both Arsène and Arsenal.
  6. Everton players being given Carte Blanche to foul us anywhere on the pitch, clever use of ‘phantom’ fouls, inappropriate advantages, our players called for fouls when within touching distance of Everton.

I’m sorry for the downbeat note of this preview but to answer Walter’s question in the title of the Swansea review I don’t think it is going to even out any time soon, we may get better results for the last 6 games of the season when it will be practically impossible for us to win the league but it is still too soon for that to happen yet.



On the anniversary of Gedion Zelalem singing a new Arsenal contract in 2014… Arsenal scout Danny Karbassiyoon answers Untold readers’ questions on being a scout for Arsenal

Anniversairesthe full index is to be found here

  • 18 March 1898: Sunderland manager Bob Campbell accepted post as manager of Arsenal but then changed his mind.
  • 18 March 1910: Woolwich Arsenal went into liquidation.  Fortunately Henry Norris was on hand to bail the club out, and he eventually paid all the debts (including non-football debts and debts that were not disclosed at this moment).  Such behaviour is utterly unknown among football clubs today.   See also here.

Today in history… (there’s one on the home page most days)

18 March 1950: Roger Bannister runs the first four minute mile



25 comments to Everton v Arsenal 19 March 2016 – The Match Officials. More of the same from PGMO this weekend

  • Usama Zaka

    The Wall of Shame is getting bigger and bigger each week. As I said to Walter earlier, just as Arsenal’s squad gets stronger each new season and challenges for the title from start… we see more and more and more huge number of major decisions going against us.

    Now everyone knows that Arsene Wenger is the manager of AFC and is a true professional person, he knows that in every match we get robbed by the refs but he tries his best to not to blame them because he knows he would get fined and banned heavily and result in AFC getting targeted further.

    So what to make of the other senior people at AFC; Stan Kroenke, Ivan Gazidis, Sir Chips Keswick, Ken Friar even Josh Kroenke… Do they all know about this blatant ref bias against AFC? Do they keep quiet even after knowing all this? Have they been taking action against PGMO throughout? Is there a bigger party than AFC and PGMO involved in this?

    To be honest I don’t even have a word of answer to any of this.

  • Usama Zaka

    Slightly off topic… but its more of a news update for the readers and Untold Arsenal as whole.

    The review for the game against Spuds will be done shortly, along the with upcoming Everton game.

    Secondly, as we are out of FA Cup and Champions League (partly thanks to shady refereeing) the ref reviews for those matches will be conducted and published shortly after Arsenal’s end of season 2015-16. This is because the reviews for the Arsenal’s EPL games are given priority as always.

    Lastly, I am currently working on something big and by big I mean huge. It is that something that the English FA and PGMO have failed to do for a number of years… “The Referee Reviews of all the 380 EPL games of 2015-16”

    I am currently developing a new review format, that will significantly shorten the time required to complete the review and will maintain the level of detail. This will make it possible for me to reviews very quickly. To be honest if I had started this at the start of the season I would surely had done it.

    To be honest not all 380 games can be reviewed, because the full match footage of some matches are not available. But around 300 should be possible. In the coming 3 months of summer I am free as a bird. All these ideas are currently in planning and development stages. The execution is to be made when I am fully assured.

    P.S it was Bulldog Drummond who sparked this idea. 😀

  • That is fantastic and thank God we have people on this site who are doing the work they do. Very well done guys.

  • Ralph77

    To follow on what Usama wrote above. What the hell did we, Arsenal, do that this is what we get?

    It’s now gotten to the point where every game seems to have a gimme goal given or taken away to our opponent’s benefit. And it seems so blatant due to the frequency. I just don’t understand, and it’s frankly making it harder for me to get excited for match day any longer. It’s become a farce, and I don’t understand how when it’s so obvious how it hasn’t become a thing. Does no one who matters/has power care?

    One time, two times, fine, but game-after-game dubious decisions consistently going against Arsenal and having real effect on the outcomes.

    At some point we move beyond the point where questions are dismissed as just the rantings of biased fans. Aren’t we there yet? Obviously not, by why the hell not!?!

  • omgarsenal

    Great job as usual! There will be nothing done until the assembled EPL managers unite with the appropriate politicos and fanbase to shame the FA and the EPL stuffed suits into facing this issue frontally and honestly. Then we will have a FIFA-like house of cards disaster in England and maybe in the rest of Britain as well! there are way too many vested interests trying to hide the corruption and incompetence of all our PIGMOB clowns.

  • Chrissie


    I completely agree that it is difficult to look forward to games anymore, as you say every time we have more of the same. The club, the players and the fans are cheated week in and week out but I do think that we fans have at least some power (just think of the petition against Dean). Instead of hoisting up banners asking for Wenger to leave (which really infuriated me), we should have banners stating that we want fair and unbiased refereeing. You can’t blame Wenger for what is basically the referees fault, for with fair referees I am sure we would have won at least a couple of Premierships in the last decade.

    Also I wish that the club would do more, after all they must have enough evidence by now with what has been going on. They must have lawyers surely. Trouble is who do they present it to? The FA?

    By the way, look forward to your work Usama Zaka.

  • Al

    23 points!? That’s enough to put a team out of the relegation zone at the moment, if you just add another two points.

    Ralph77 & Christie
    It’s infuriating the way we get robbed left right and centre with nothing being made of it. Every sane person can see the bias, but it’s all swept under the carpet. It’s made worse when people like Thierry join sky to become one of the manager’s biggest critics. I used to respect that guy but nothing left in me anymore for him. You’d think with the way he was treated by the british media after his handball against Ireland know better… Like you I no longer looking forward to any of our games for the simple reason I know there will be blatant bias against us.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    The first leg of the U18 Youth Cup has just finished. City 2 Arsenal 1. All to play for at the Emirated. Well done Young Gunners

  • Jammy J

    @ Usama – I believe that every single one of the higher-ups, involved in football, know all about the corruption (or have at least heard rumblings about it). Whether anyone is actively trying to fight against it, is a whole different matter. I imagine such accusations would have to be handled with the utmost care and discreetness.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    The other FA Youth Cup semi finished Blackburn 0 v Chelsea 1. No away goal advantage rules for thic competition, so all to play for in this tie as well.

  • Mandy Dodd

    It seems one of the most powerful owners in world sport, and a CEO on every committee going are doing nothing about the refereeing we get.
    Would be interesting if they would be so passive should we lose,a top four space.
    But my sad conclusion, the board, if not the manager know there are tangible gains in their silence…..either a top four place, cups, something in the future……..

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ Usama Zaka -March 18, 2016 at 6:38 pm – I take my hat off to you , in attempting to undertake such a mammoth task , and all in the name of justice and fairness.
    I wish you well in your noble endeavours and pray god to give you the strength to enable you to complete it .
    Will look forward to read it as will millions of other fans of all clubs.
    Cheers !

  • Al

    Jerry pointed out an interesting stat that showed that in the last 3 months Leicester have been awarded 5 penalties and conceded none, Tottenham awarded 4 and conceded none, City awarded 3 and conceded 1, Arsenal awarded 0 and conceded 1. This doesn’t take into account any denied penalties, which I’ve no doubt Arsenal would have the highest number. In the whole season Arsenal have been awarded less penalties than any of the other 3 sides in the top four received in last 3 months alone. Yet Arsenal are the side that spends more time in the opposition’s box than the other 3….

    Now whoscored have the following stats for this season on reds and yellows;
    Arsenal players have received 33 yellows and 4 red cards, Leicester players received 42 yellows and 1 red, Tottenham 58 yellows and 0 reds, City 48 yellows and 0 reds. So, from the least number of yellows Arsenal players get punished the most.

    Obviously the yellows for the other teams would be much higher if they were treated like Arsenal players who are carded at their first offence, but that’s besides the point. Given that red cards usually have a huge bearing on outcome of match, just as penalties, can anyone say the referees aren’t influencing the outcome of the title race? These figures are worrying, and something needs to be done.

  • nicky

    I’m beginning to wonder whether our loss of confidence in EPL games, is due to the players reading these pre-match referee reviews.
    The scathing reports must surely have an adverse effect…….unless of course, Arsene bans Untold a week before matches.

  • Al

    Penalties (Last 3 months)
    Leicester 5
    Tottenham 4
    City 3
    Arsenal 0

    Red cards (All season)
    Arsenal 4
    Leicester 1
    Tottenham 0
    City 0

    Very interesting tables above. Would make a nice banner, to hold up in the stadium I think 🙂 I think it’s also very interesting that the penalties table almost mirrors the current league table! These are facts, as Rafa once said, and noone can argue with these.

  • Al

    The players experience these things first hand themselves, so they will know more than any stats compiled anywhere on the internet. Don’t you think it’s a little insulting to their collective intelligence to assume they were completely ignorant of any bias and would rely on reading about these things online 🙂 I am guessing though your comment was just being toungue in cheek… 🙂

  • ClockEndRider

    Fantastic work. Can’t wait to see the output. Thanks so much for putting the thought, time and effort in. Hugely appreciated.

  • rich


    It’s always been an obvious conundrum : if the refereeing is as bad as many of us think here, it takes some explaining how Wenger and the players are able and willing to get themselves right for games.

    However, that’s nothing to do with Untold. Wenger and the players experience the refereeing directly, every week, and in most cases can compare it to international refereeing, how they were treated at previous clubs and, of course, in european competition.

    If it stinks as much as we believe, they ought to be very aware of it, and in the case of the older players with lots of options in the game it should be particularly damaging and greatly increase the chances of them looking elsewhere.

    To me, it is the biggest reason to make me doubt what I am convinced I see. The only explanation I have is that as well as remarkable resilience, Wenger is one stubborn man (though not in the ways the critics say) and simply views it as a serious opponent to be battled against. This would take him into dubious territory were he to believe a new manager would bring new treatment from officials which would leave the club with a better chance afterwards of success. That territory is avoided for me as there is far too much uncertainty involved.

    If follows for me from there that Wenger would quite seriously downplay to the players what we face with referees. He might try give them pointers from game to game and overall about how to mitigate the effects of bad refereeing but it would be a disaster for all sorts of reasons should he talk of refs to them as we talk here. Quite simply, it would make it impossible to prepare correctly for a game, and leave every player thinking ‘hmmm. I have one career, and options; football is a hard enough game as it is, why should I battle against this nonsense constantly?’

    So I think it would have to be played down a lot, with all efforts turned to positivity and concerning yourself with your own game.

    This for me will work to an extent, and mitigate some of the damage, but by no means all. I think what we see is evidence that Herculean efforts go on behind the scenes to make the players reset and focus on each game, resulting almost in a kind of innocence as they set out with some hope of normal refereeing; but it does all register somewhere with them, as how could it not?

    I look back to the Norwich game where we seemed to drop badly in the minutes immediately after Sanchez was pushed off the pitch. I think something like that will get right into the players heads, and join up with all the countless similar incidents. Some part of them then must be thinking ‘what’s going on here, what is this crap?’ and that would be enough to negatively affect performance.

    Similarly, in bad situations, consciously or subconsciously they must know their fight to overturn things will be undermined by lousy officiating. They must know refs will break up their rhythm with invented free-kicks, etc.

    It’s a serious problem, and for those who believe the refereeing is seriously rotten, we have to hope that the players aren’t as conscious of it as we are. For us it is infuriating and heartbreaking, for them it would be soul-crushing.

  • Chris

    I believe Untild should organise via crowdfunding some bounty, a hzge one, to any person bringing in proof of type 3 match fixing, or at least proof of the incompetence and bias of the ref organisation. Proof that would discredit them and be scandalous enough to force a reorganisation of this system around transparency.

    Sure enough someone will look at the boutny and figure it is worth copying a document or an email or recording a conversation.

  • Al

    Well said Rich. I also pray and hope the players don’t view refereeing as we do, because how could one prepare positively for a match knowing they’re going to be screwed at the slightest opportunity? Even though I would want to hope they’re not as aware of the problem as us, one telltale sign that confirms they must know how bent it all is doesn’t come from our players themselves, rather it comes from the opposing players. When we play other sides it’s apparent the players from the other teams will fully be aware they can kick Arsenal players to bits with little sanction from the refs. These players raise their heavy handedness against Arsenal players than they would against say sides like Liverpool, Utd, etc. That tells you they know against Arsenal you can get away with anything. Thugs like Barton, tiote, Adam, Wanyama, etc, may be having a quiet season but they seem to wake up when they face Arsenal… it’s like they relish playing against us. And thats not coincidence. They know its open season when they face us, and their managers also seem eager to give them match time against us (some of them may not be featuring regularly for the sides, but get thrown into the fray against us). So in a way it shows our players must be fully aware they get treated unequally as opposed to other players. Whoscored confirms we’re the most fouled team in the league. It’s sad.

    As you pointed out, there must be some herculean efforts going on behind the scenes to reorientate the players psychologically before each match, otherwise how would they cope? If I faced that kind of discrimination at my workplace I don’t see how I could keep turning up for work at the same place, I’d pack it in. Huge credit should go to the manager and his backroom staff in the way they manage to keep these players focussed and motivated. I think the manager is a great motivator that he earns his players’ trust and loyalty; otherwise why would players like Ozil and Sanchez, who can walk into any team, want to stay with us risking life and limb?

  • finsbury

    Fantastic football from AFC so far.

    The official is giving every soft foul he can think of in favour of the home team so far. Let’s hope he applies the same code to both teams…

  • finsbury

    No flag in Lukaku? Yikes!

    Come on clatters surely the bookies want to keep it spicy 😉

  • Menace

    on the next thread.

  • rich

    Good post, Al. Agree with every word. I’ve noticed managers rush back half fit players of the Cattermole kind umpteen times against us. They all know.

    Similarly, it’s total bull that the likes of Silva, Hazard and countless others would cope any better than out technical players do with the treatment dished out to us. Even includes players like Rooney.

    Anyway, what a performance…absolutely loved it. Probably my favourite performance of the season

  • Al

    Yes Rich. I went to the Arsenal- Newcastle game on boxing day and me and my mates all commented on the Newcastle manager making Tiote start as odd (he had been out injured for two months or so). He couldnt finish the match though, as he was clearly unfit. Our conclusion was he’d been rushed back, as you say, to rough us up.