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October 2016
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Arsenal v Aston Villa 2015-16 Season Finale – The Match Officials

by Andrew Crawshaw

Last game for the first team this year and the last referee preview.  Usama and Walter haven’t published any more referee reviews for Arsenal games so I have an unaltered

Table of Shame

Wrong Important Decisions Favouring Arsenal Favouring Opponents
2nd Yellow Cards 1 44
Red Cards 2 16
Penalties 3 30
Goals 1 11
Total 7 101
Possible Cost in Points 0 29

Remember these figures are only up to Matchweek 34 (and we didn’t have a game in week 33 ) so are for 33 games only.

We did have an unexpected Referee Review for Mr Clattenburg’s handling of the Chelsea v Spurs game and – you guessed it – it earns an unparalleled third entry for Mr Clattenburg on our Wall of Shame.

I counted 19 wrong Important Decisions, 7 Spurs and 2 Chelsea players should have been given second yellow cards; 6 Spurs and 2 Chelsea players straight red cards, Chelsea were denied a penalty and one Tottenham goal should have been ruled out for a foul in the build up.  The referee lost control of the game in the first ten minutes and never got it back.

That no-one was seriously injured was little short of miraculous and nothing whatsoever to do with Mr Clattenberg who seemed to totally ignore his duty of care to the players.

Remember he is the referee who is :-

  • Going to officiate in the FA Cup Final
  • Going to officiate in the Champions League Final
  • Going to officiate in the European Championships

And he has done three games where our analysis shows him with less than 50% weighted performance.  What a reward for complete incompetence.

Here is the updated Wall of Shame

Ref Game Weighted Score Bias against (h/a) Link to Ref Review
Craig Pawson Stoke v Arsenal 34 5/95 Stoke v Arsenal
Lee Mason Arsenal v Southampton 34 80/20 Arsenal v Southampton
Mark Clattenburg Chelsea v Spurs 38 70/30 Chelsea v Spurs
Robert Madley Arsenal v Swansea 38 93/7 Arsenal – Swansea
Mike Dean Chelsea v Arsenal 41 5/95 Chelsea – Arsenal
Martin Atkinson Arsenal v Spurs 41 82/18 Arsenal – Tottenham
Craig Pawson West Ham v Arsenal 42 23/77 West Ham v Arsenal
Mark Clattenburg West Brom v Arsenal 42 9/91 West Brom v Arsenal
Mark Clattenburg Everton Arsenal 43 6/94 Everton v Arsenal
Anthony Taylor Arsenal v Newcastle 48 9/91 Arsenal – Newcastle
Jonathan Moss Southampton v Arsenal 49 22/78 Southampton v Arsenal


On to Sunday and the officials are

  • Referee – Mark Clattenburg
  • Assistants – J Brooks and A Halliday
  • Fourth Official – R East

Ah well so much for my hope to get a new referee to write about – I’ll try and find something fresh to say about the useless pillock we have got.

Starting with the Assistants

  • Mr Halliday has a flag from week 24 (our nil all draw home against Southampton) for not flagging Özil offside in Minute 2.  His other game at Arsenal this year was clear.
  • Mr Brooks has been clear of flags in all three of his previous appearances.
  • Nothing to be concerned about with either of these two then.
  • Mr Clattenburg – oh dear!  This will be his fourth Arsenal game this year (it could be worse Chelsea have had him six times).  There are links to two of the games via the Hall of Shame above.  The third game was
Referee Review: Arsenal – Chelsea

76% overall (weighted) score, bias against the two teams 35/65 and only 1 wrong Important Decisions (remember these are second yellow or red cards, penalties and goals).

In Minute 56 Kos fouled Fabregas in our penalty area and a penalty should have been given.  The red card to Mertesacker was quite correct and as we lost the game the wrong decision didn’t affect the result.  It was a hurtful game but not because Me Clattenburg was wrong.  In his other two games this season he has been atrocious.

During Last Season 2014-15 we had him 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 Campbell.  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

Now that was a real quality Saturday afternoon

Win nice, win ugly, we seem to be doing it all

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.

Last Week’s Fair Play League has Arsenal firmly as the good guys at the foot of the table with 230 points.  Aston Villa were at the other end at the top of the table on 356 points two above Watford.  So top v bottom.  This could be important with a referee quite capable of completely losing grip of a game.  The last thing you want is a weak referee with a team with a poor record regarding discipline.


Mr Clattenburg is a referee trusted to be in charge of the most important cup games in both this country and in Europe yet gets three entries in our Hall of Shame for scoring below 50%.  He must have some friends in high places!

I would like to think he would put in a performance on Sunday to show why he has been awarded the honour of these prestigious games, but I’m not betting on it.

I expect him to follow his usual pattern, allowing reckless challenges without effective sanction, exhibiting a completely different application of the rules to the two teams with Villa being the beneficiary in almost all cases

The last time we were awarded a penalty at home was February 2015 against Villa and Walter and his wife were in the ground.  Anthony Taylor was the referee.  Even with the two of them visiting again on Sunday, I wouldn’t count on us getting one this game.

Look out for the old ‘phantom foul’ routine to give Villa a helping hand when needed or an opportunity to punt a long ball into the box.

On the other hand I could be completely wrong and Mr Clattenburg could put in an honest performance, or we could start at a great tempo and be three goals up inside 20 minutes which would completely take him out of the equation.

Whatever happens


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27 comments to Arsenal v Aston Villa 2015-16 Season Finale – The Match Officials

  • goonersince72

    Clattenberg was a once promising official who was practically banished for, shall we say, trying to referee the game. Once he toed thePGMO line he’s got the top assignments. I don’t think he’ll try anything because we can’t win the league and CL is assured for next year.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Half time at Wembley and TO THE ARSENAL ONE NIL. Danielle Carter with a magnificent curler from the left side high into the right hand top corner of the net. Unstoppable. Well done Ladies.


  • Menace

    Arsenal attacking & making chance after chance but just not finishing.


  • Menace

    Arsenal using strength to prevent Chelsea from gaining advantage but ref calling the the tackles foul. Amazing how the same tackles made by Chelsea in the league are not called.

  • Menace

    Chances galore but Arsenal not finishing. Henning heading wide from a corner,

  • Menace

    Match stopped for new flag as old one like PGMO past sellby date,

  • Gord

    I just looked up the Guardian commentary on the game. Bunch of MCP at the Guardian. Apparently the Womens FA Cup game needed “validation” by two men before the game.

    I was looking for attendance information. Apparently there is about 50,000 at the game, which is a big improvement over last year (37000).


    Oh, apparently Alan Smith is happy that the PA system is turned up so loud, as he left his hearing aid at home today.

  • Menace

    Crowd around 32,000. Not 50,000!!!

    Arsenal tiring after being all over the pitch. Wembley always tires players because of the grass size. Cards being brandished by the ref. now as players make mistakes & some just go down at the slightest touch.

  • Menace

    Arsenal Ladies holding on as Oshoala is subbed & Katie Chapman is swearing her off the field. Poor refereeing – Chapman should have been booked. Arsenal defending up high & pressuriseing the ball so Chelsea losin the ball easily.

  • Gord

    Hmmm, so the Guardian made a mistake. Imagine that. 🙂

    Thanks Menace.


  • Menace

    4 mins added time as Chelsea make their first attempt with no luck. Chelsea looking for olympic gold in diving!

  • Menace

    Dying minutes & Chelsea trying to force a goal from a corner but blues are not getting anywhere.

  • Menace

    Arsenal have won the FA cup again & again & again & again & again & again

    Well done THe Arsenal Ladies.

  • Yes. Arsenal have won the Cup again

  • 14th time Arsenal have won the Women’s FA Cup.

  • Gord

    Mirror is reporting 32,912 for attendance. Apparently a new record. Well, if last year was 37,000, I don’t know how that works. So it must be that last year wasn’t 37k, but something closer to 30k. And I never looked it up.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Great game great result great Arsenal!

  • Leon

    I thought the refereeing was typical for a womens game. Two bad decisions early on (a wrong offside & A high boot) and a probable handball in the area later. I wouldn’t bother with players bad mouthing each other, the ref would run out of space on the card sheet.
    These games can’t be that hard to control. They’re slow with hardly any foul play and the only free kicks usually arise from technical transgressions, but they still get them wrong. The standard in the world cup was appalling.
    Anyway, we won the cup again. Well done to the ladies who keep our name up there.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    I won’t have time to write a proper review of the Ladies 14th FA Cup final victory till after the Villa game tomorrow and am doing this on my phone so please excuse spellings etc.

    Pesto Losa had clearly prepared a game plan for this one and the Ladies delivered it to perfection. We were direct with Carter on the left and Ashaola on the right being given early balls and they used their pace and trickery to terrorise the Chelsea back four. Carter so nearly scored in the first minute, a lob only just landing on the food of the net with the keeper stranded.

    Chelsea were given no time on the ball, as soon as they received a pass there were two or sometimes three Arsenal players harrying them and more often than not winning the ball back.

    The only goal of the game was scored by Dani Carter. A quick diagonal ball from midfield, expert control and z driving run into the left side of the penalty area and a fabulous shot high into the right hand side of the goal. Always going in never going to be saved. Would have beaten most of the PL keepers it was that good.

    Arsenal had all of the best chances and really should have added further goals. Oshaola with an embarrassing mis- kick when a solid contact would have gone in and a couple of One-on-ones with the keeper which she would have wished to do better with.

    When Chelsea attacked our defenders were always there in numbers, either with a block or denying time and space. There were only two or three clear chances all game and none came to anything significant. In truth Chelsea never really looked likely to score and ‘squeaky bum’ time never really came.

    It was a dominant performance from a team that virtually everyone (including myself) had as second favourites for the win.

    A great performance which should renew the player’s belief in each other for the rest of the season.

    Well done Pedro, well done team and especially well done to Dani Carter awarded the player of the match award. Well done as well to the crowd and Wembley staff, the afternoon was far more pleasurable in terms of atmosphere and stewarding than has been the case for the Men’s semi finals and final I have attended in the last two years.

    Finally, two games so far this week and two good wins, let’s make it three tomorrow


  • Great result for the Arsenal Ladies, well done.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Congratulations ladies.
    As for tomorrow’s game, if we have a healthy lead, we may even get something I think I remember as being termed a penalty. But, unless Arteta plays, don’t think many of our players will remember how to take one.
    But should the game go towards half time as a stalemate, or , heaven forbid, Villa take the lead, expect the usual PGMOL shite.

  • nicky

    After having absorbed the scathing criticism of Mark Clattenburg, I can’t help feeling that he will do us no favours tomorrow. Referees are only human, enjoy a bit of publicity and will have read the Unknown pages with increasing chagrin.
    I question whether the timing of this criticism, however justified, should be published by an Arsenal-supporting site before a game.
    As I say, I fully accept the facts and figures produced by Walter and others, but it just seems to me that we are inviting anti-Arsenal bias by antagonising match officials unnecessarily before kick-off.
    Just a thought.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    nicky…sunshine is the best antiseptic for bacteria like the PGMO

  • Gord

    I see at least one medja outlet, “predicting” more anti-Wenger protests tomorrow (well, tomorrow for me anyway).

    What is just as likely as them being able to predict something like this, is that they have already printed up a bunch of protest material, and have arranged to meet “protestors” inside the stadium to pass over the banners and what not.

    That’s called, making the news.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ nicky -May 14, 2016 at 10:51 pm -” ….and will have read the Unknown pages…” ? Like most , I was under the impression that the refs are all legally blind .
    Does Untold Arsenal have Braille ?

    @ Gord -May 15, 2016 at 3:28 am – Hope that those poster boys and bannermen have something humourous to exhibit . You know , to get the crowd in high spirits and good cheer !

  • Menace

    I hope these anti Wenger protesters talk to Aston Villa supporters & realise what top 4 is as opposed to bottom. Basically knowing your Arse from your Elbow.

    I just want Arsenal to win this last game & celebrate the Ladies 14th FA cup & our great season under the great Wenger in ‘his’ paid for stadium.

  • para

    The players will more likely be cautious. None of them, including AV players want to be injured before their hols.

    But we should win this even with the “ref”, although they may well have acheived their goal this season (Leicester winning PL) and are in neutral mode again(when were they ever?).

    Utd can’t catch us and Manc will only go above us if they win and we lose. But Manu may win FA final although i really hope for CP to do the job on them.

    Is it not strange that the top 4 as it stands have scored around twice the number of goals than those from 5th place down? Well Arsenal only 1 and one half more.