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October 2016
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Arsenal v Swansea Sat 15 October 2016 – The Match Officials

by Andrew Crawshaw

Well Mr Pawson nearly managed to completely cock up the game at Burnley scoring a (to date) season low of 38.2% on our weighted performance chart.  I have now had to add a ‘Wall of Shame’ table to my season spreadsheet which I had hoped to avoid this year.  Here is the link to our full referee review.

Ref Review Burnley – Arsenal: at least he got that one right

His trouble was that he really didn’t have that much to do so his mistakes probably counted for more than they might have done on other occasions – mind you with three wrong Important Decisions he was never going to get a very high score.

In the first half he had seven decisions to make and got three of them right, his linesmen got all three offside decisions correct.

In the second half though he was not so good.  Min 72 Keane made a deliberate handball in the penalty area that Mr Pawson ignored. In Min 86 Vokes elbowed Mustafi in the head causing a blood injury for which Vokes should have had a red card and in Min 90 keane again committed a deliberate handball in his own penalty area which should have resulted in a second penalty to Arsenal.

The one incident that all of the so-called ‘experts’ were up in arms about though was the Koscielny goal in Min 90+3.  First they said it shouldn’t have counted because one or other of the Arsenal players were offside – they weren’t; then they said it shouldn’t have counted because of handball by Koscielny, clearly ignoring the fact that for a handball to be given under current rules it has to be intentional.  Replays show no such intent.

In the end we conclude that Mr Pawson got that decision absolutely correct.  One out of four in the game.

On to Saturday and our officials are

  • Referee – Jonathan Moss – 45 years old from West Yorkshire
  • First Assistant – Harry Lennard – from West Sussex
  • Second Assistant – Marc Perry – from the West Midlands
  • Fourth Official – Neil Swarbrick – 50 years old from Lancashire

In the first six weeks this season Mr Moss has officiated in five games and has made a total of 10 wrong Important Decisions (5 second Yellow Cards, 1 Red Card and 4 Penalties but no wrongly awarded Goals).  Here is a table showing how he compares with the other referees.

Referee Games Wrong Important Decisions
2nd Yellow Red Penalties Goals Total Highest in a game Average per game
Mike Dean 5 2 4 2 1 11 6 2.2
Jonathan Moss 5 5 1 4 0 10 4 2.0
Robert Madley 4 2 3 3 1 9 4 2.3
Anthony Taylor 6 1 0 1 2 9 5 1.5
Mark Clattenburg 4 3 0 4 1 8 3 2.0
Michael Oliver 5 4 1 0 1 8 4 1.6
Craig Pawson 4 0 0 3 0 5 2 1.3
Kevin Friend 3 1 2 1 0 5 2 1.7
Andre Marriner 4 1 2 1 1 5 3 1.3
Neil Swarbrick 3 1 1 2 1 5 3 1.7
Martin Atkinson 5 1 2 0 0 4 2 0.8
Roger East 4 0 0 2 1 4 2 1.0
Lee Mason 3 1 0 0 2 3 3 1.0
Graham Scott 1 0 1 1 0 2 2 2.0
Mike Jones 3 0 0 0 1 1 1 0.3
Paul Tierney 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0
Stuart Attwell 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0

The majority of referees are averaging between 1.5 and 2.3 wrong Important Decisions per game including Mr Moss.  Of the referees with more than a single game Mike Jones stands out with only one wrong in three games.  Everybody else is pretty much the same.

This will be the first time this season that we will have had the pleasure of Mr Moss.  Our record over the past three years with him in charge is pretty good – two wins one draw and one loss in 2015-16, two wins in 2014/15 and three wins in 2013/14.  I can provide a more detailed breakdown of 2015/6 and 2014/5.

2015/16 Season

Arsenal v Stoke 12 September (2 – 0)

Ref Review Arsenal – Stoke

71% overall weighted score, bias against the two teams 100/0 and two wrong Important Decisions both arising from an incident in Min 90+2 when Pieters should have conceded a penalty and been sent off for denying Giroud a goalscoring opportunity.

Norwich v Arsenal 29 November (1 – 1)

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

Not so good this time 57% overall, bias against the two teams 8/92 and three wrong Important Decisions.  Min 40 Bennett should have had a red card for a deliberate push on an airborne Sanchez which caused him to land in a dangerous sunken camera pit, Min 57 O’Neill was given a yellow card but it should have been his second.  He should have been sent off again for a further foul on Giroud in Min 90+1.

Southampton v Arsenal 26 December (4 – 0)

Ref Review : Southampton – Arsenal

49% overall weighted score, bias against the two teams 22/78 and 5 wrong Important Decisions Min 19 Southampton’s first goal should have been ruled out for offside, min 45 Southampton’s second goal should have been ruled out for a foul by Long on Kos, Min 69 Southampton’s third goal shouldn’t have happened as it was scored directly from a wrongly awarded corner (should have been a goal kick).  Min 73 Wanyama should have a straight red card for a foul on Ramsey.  He should also have been sent off in min 75 for persistent fouling.

Arsenal v West Brom 21 April (2 – 0)

Ref Review Arsenal – WBA

65% overall, bias against the two teams 82/18 and one wrong Important Decision when in Min 84 Yacob should have had a second yellow card.

2014/15 Season

Arsenal v Crystal Palace 16 August (2 – 1)

The Untold Referee review: Arsenal – Crystal Palace

A good performance 81% overall weighted score, bias against the two teams 100/0.  Three wrong Important Decisions; Min 8 Ramsey was pushed over in the penalty area nothing awarded, Min 64 Mr Moss had a final word with Chamakh over persistent fouling (he should have had his first yellow card in the 8th minute and was at it all game) when he really should have issued a second yellow card and Min 72 Arsenal should have had a second penalty with Hangerland pulling Giroud down by the neck.

Arsenal v Stoke 11 January (3 – 0)

REF REVIEW Arsenal – Stoke

72% overall score and bias figures 90/10 and two wrong Important Decisions.  Min 10 Arnautovic should have had a red card for pushing Debuchy into the advertising hoardings which caused a three month injury (and probably effectively ended his Arsenal career) and Min 42 Crouch should have had a second yellow card for a studs up challenge on Mertesacker.


  1. Mr Moss is really not a terribly good referee either in Arsenal games or elsewhere.  In his last 6 Arsenal games over the last two seasons he has made 16 wrong Important Decisions – nearly three a game.  In his five games this year he has made 10 wrong Important Decisions two a game.  These figures simply aren’t good enough.
  2. In Arsenal games his bias figures are as bad as it gets two games with every wrong call against Arsenal and a ‘best’ bias of 78/22 against Arsenal.
  3. Despite these numbers we do generally manage to cope with him in charge and are far more likely to win than lose.
  4. Mr Moss is generally bad in dismissing players for disciplinary offences, he seems almost scared in Arsenal matches to show cards for even terrible fouls on our players and in other matches this season 6 of his 10 wrong calls are for cards.
  5. He isn’t great on Penalties either with three in Arsenal games and four in other matches this year.
  6. I do hope that he doesn’t suffer a repeat of his goal blindness he had in the game against Southampton last year when three of their four goals shouldn’t have counted.


Recent stories from Untold Arsenal and the Arsenal History Society

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The 10 major sources of corruption and dubious practice in football

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International football is dying, and at last the media discover why.

10 comments to Arsenal v Swansea Sat 15 October 2016 – The Match Officials

  • Gf60

    Who are we playing on Saturday???

  • laos gooner

    Is Untold becoming mainstream? Such an obvious mistake not corrected by the editor is a shame when the site is involved in calling reports hacks and scribblers. Is someone at untold hoping to work for the pigmob and attempting to demonstrate the level of blindness needed? The mistakes are definately more frequent these days so may I suggest some good old fashioned proof reading ahead of publication. I would rather have quality than quantity thanks.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    OK Guys, now corrected. My fault sorry. The body of the text was OK.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    I can put up with this error of the article heading since the main article is correctly headed and written. No body is above mistake.

    I watched Burnley vs Arsenal live. I think the ref’ was lenient with the Burnley player that elbowed Mustafi’s face during a heading tussle and didn’t send him off. Was that elbow deliberate? The video replay of the incident indicated it was. And the Ox’s/Koscielny’s effort goal was not a hand of God goal I’ve thought after watching the video replays of the goal which I believe the ball had hit Koscielny’s hand on it’s way to the back of the net.

    Arsenal will beat Swansea City at the Ems tomorrow by 3 undisputed goals to nil to baptize Bob Bradley into the Premier League with a little baptism of fire. Swansea will of course park the bus and rely on the counterattacks strategy to steal a goal as they’ve been doing at the Ems in their past visits. But this time, they will fail as the Gunners already have the dublicate key of any bus they will park to drive it away from their goalmouth and put in the 3 goals into the back of their net.

    It could be risky if Le Prof did not start for this game the same starting XI and bench he started for our last away game to Burnley before the last international break. Le Prof should stick to these same starters despite the purported fatigue to Alexis, Ozil & Bellerin if they are all available to start and are start able. I say this because I believe Bob Bradley will use this match, his first for Swansea as a launching pad to rejuvenate the out of sort Swansea’s team. And finally, I hope Le Prof will have a right back cover on the bench for this very importance 3 points we MUST collect match. Debuchy?

  • Usama Zaka


    Now that the week 7 report is in drafts, Jon Moss is leading the line with a whopping 14 major errors. And so far is the only ref to make more than 2 errors in every category. Our team needs to start strong and kill off any chance Mr. Moss might get to make a mess.

  • Robert

    Kudos to you, Andrew, for preparing these reports. Thank you.

    Samuel, Debuchy has reputedly been injured since the beginning of the season. I say reputedly because it’s never been confirmed on’s team sheet. However, it has been mentioned by Jeorge Bird and in the small print in articles. Ditto Sanogo being injured. Jeorge Bird said on Twitter recently that all our (officially) designated strikers were injured: Giroud, Perez, Akpom, Welbeck, Sanogo.

  • Andrew Crawshaw


    I had just finished this report when I got your copy of the Week 7 referee decisions. As you say Moss is now the highest scoring on the wrong Important Decisions Chart, moving above Mike Dean.

    As I sais in point 1 of the summary he really isn’t a very good referee. 16 wrong in his last 6 Arsenal games and now 14 wrong in his 6 PL games this year. How he gets as many games is beyond me. Mike Jones has only had half his games but has only made one mistake. In my opinion he should be featuring far more often.

  • Usama Zaka


    Yeah, agree on that.

  • Gord

    When I first seen this article (midway through the night for me), the I didn’t see a mistake, and there were only 3 replies. Andrew’s being the third, saying he had corrected the mistake. SAA had not at that point made a reply, and the timestamp shows it came along 70 minutes after Andrew replied saying he had corrected whatever was wrong.

    SAA is out of order in his reply, as he might not even have seen there was an error (I didn’t, as Andrew had already replied when I first seen this thread).

    So we are left with 2 people complaining about a well written article that had a mistake. A mistake so horrible, that this is the only thing they can talk about.

    In terms of a mistake in Untold being unusual, I would never suggest that Untold has been error free. So quit getting your shorts in a knot over something not intended.

  • Gord

    Same effect as a mistake, but has a note out about 6 games having been rescheduled to suit the TV people better. From Dec 3 to Jan 22.

    I hope none of the Untold are affected by this forced change in plans.

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