by Andrew Crawshaw
This weekend we have
- Referee – Martin Atkinson. Age 45 from West Yorkshire and FIFA Accredited
- Assistant 1 – Gary Beswick. From Durham and FIFA Accredited
- Assistant 2 – Adam Nunn. From Wiltshire
- Fourth Official – Robert Madley. Age 30 from West Yorkshire and FIFA Accredited
Second time this year for both Martin Atkinson and Gary Beswick, who assisted Michael Oliver in our delightful home win against Chelsea. First time for Adan Nunn and for Robert Madley in the Fourth Official role although he was on hand as referee in the home game against Southampton
I have no ‘flags’ against Gary Beswick from this year but he carries three from our visit to Liverpool last January when he failed to flag for a foul by Ibe on Monreal right in front of him in Min50, then failed to see that Henderson was carded for showing dissent in Min73 and failed to flag Lallana offside in Min78.
He was also on hand in our 5-2 win at Leicester where he was ‘flag’ free. He was running the line in two games in 2014-15 as assistant to Anthony Taylor (our draw against Leicester and our win over Aston Villa) both times ‘flag’ free.
Adam Nunn was missing from Arsenal games last season but put in a solitary appearance in 2014-15 when he was assisting Roger East in our 2-2 draw at home to Hull. One ‘flag from that game for one of the Assistants and I’m afraid I don’t know if it was Adam or the other assistant (Mr Foy). A clear foul by an attacker on Flamini in the build to to a Hull “Goal”. Mr East too far away to see the incident but the linesman was well placed and should have indicated the foul to the referee.
Mr Atkinson’s first game this year was week 10 our 4 – 1 win away at Sunderland
|Ref Review : Sunderland – Arsenal: Was this not knowing the laws? Or just plain bias? The latter looks more probable|
Overall weighted score 61%, bias against the two teams of 10/90 and six wrong Important Decisions (second yellow cards, red cards, penalties and goals).
- Min12 Rodwell should have had a straight red card for an elbow of Coquelin,
- Min 33 Ndong was wrongly given a yellow card instead of a red for a foul on Coquelin,
- Min 41 Pienaar was given a yellow card for a foul on Coqyelin but it should have been his second (his first should have been in Min26 for a trip on Sanchez),
- Min 62 Kone should have been dismissed for fouls on Sanchez in the penalty area which should also have resulted in a penalty (nothing was given).
A pretty poor piece of refereeing made worse by Coquelin being directed off the field following treatment after an offence which resulted in the opposition player being cautioned. This was contrary to a newly introduced ruling at the start of the season.
How has Mr Atkinson done overall this season? Here are his charts from our latest weekly review (Week 12)
|Wrong Important Decisions|
|Correct Important Decisions|
So apart from his six wrong decisions in his one Arsenal game he has made 12 wrong Important Decisions in nine games which is actually pretty good but makes you ask the question why six wrong ones in a single Arsenal game?
2015-16 Season Looking back to last season though Mr Atkinson didn’t cover himself in glory. We had him three times and he barely got half of the decisions right in any game.
Arsenal v West Ham 9 August 2015 (0 – 2)
|ARSENAL vs. WEST HAM UNITED ref review|
54% overall weighted score, bias against the two teams 100/0 and 3 wrong Important Decisions;
- Min 37 Tomkins should have had a second yellow card for a foul on Monreal,
- Min 43 Mr Atkinson awarded a ‘phantom foul” against Ramsey from which West Ham scored – there was no foul so neither free kick or goal should have happened and
- Min 62 Noble should have been given a second yellow following a dive – a foul was wrongly awarded against Giroud. I reckoned that we were robbed of one point.
Arsenal v Spurs 8 Nov 2015 (1 – 1)
|Ref Review : Arsenal – Tottenham|
41% overall weighted score, bias against the two teams of 82/18 and eight wrong Important Decisions.
- Min 18 not given penalty to Arsenal following foul onGiroud by Vertonghen;
- Min 25 second not given penalty following another foul by Vertonghen on Giroud;
- Min 35 Following yet another incident between Vertonghen and Giroud in th epenalty area both players should have been red carded for violent conduct;
- Min 54 Arsenal should have had a third penalty following yet another foul in the penalty area which should have earned Vertonghen a second yellow card and in
- Min 89 Dier should have had a second yellow card for a foul on Giroud.
Mr Atkinson lost control of the game in the first quarter and never regained it. The three not given penalties to Arsenal should have ensured a comfortable win so two points robbed.
Arsenal v Leicester 14 Feb 2016 (2 – 1)
|Ref Review: Arsenal – Leicester|
52% overall weighted score, bias against the two teams of 94/6 and seven wrong Important Decisions.
- Min 9 not given penalty to Arsenal following Kante handball (for which he should have had a yellow card),
- Min 37 second not given penalty to Arsenal for Huth holding and pulling Giroud following a corner kick,
- Min 43 Vardy barged into Monreal to win penalty, it was a foul by Vardy. Min 45 the subsequent goal from the penalty shouldn’t have counted;
- Min 48 Simpson was given a yellow card for a foul on Sanchez it should have been his second (the first should have been given in Min 30 for pulling Özil away from the ball)
- Min 55 Arsenal should have a third penalty for a foul by Morgan on Giroud and
- Min 71 Drinkwater should have had a straight red card for a challenge above calf high on Ramsey. Another shockingly bad example of refereeing from someone who knows better. This time it didn’t cost us points but Mr Atkinson did everything possible to deny us the win.
Going back to 2014-15 and we again had Mr Atkinson three times
Chelsea v Arsenal 5 October 2014 (2 – 0)
|Untold’s Unacceptable Referee Review: Chelsea – Arsenal|
45% overall weighted score, bias against the two teams 14/86 and six wrong Important Decisions.
- Min 20 Cahill should have had a straight red card for a foul on Alexis and in a separste off-the-ball incident Ivanovic should have had a red card for a deliberate elbow on Özil;
- Min 40 (0r 45+2 or 74 Oscar should have second yellow cards;
- Min 43 Alexis should have had a red card for a punch on Ivanovic;
- Min 62 Arsenal should have had a penalty for handball by Fabregas;
- Min 90 0Alexis should have a straight red card for foul on Fabregas.
Mr Atkinson lost this game in the 6th. minute when he failed to book Oscar and never had any control at all. Chelsea should have been down to 9 players in the 20th minute with the score at nil-nil and Arsenal should have won comfortably. Three points robbed.
Arsenal v QPR 26 Dec 1015 (2 – 1)
|Untold Ref Review: Arsenal – QPR|
70% overall weighted score, bias against the two teams of 87/13 and six wrong Important Decisions.
- Min 23 not given penalty to Arsenal when Onouha wrapped himself round Giroud like a coat and pulled him to the ground;
- Min 52 Ferdinand grabbed Giroud by the neck should have been a second yellow card;
- Min 75 should have been a second penalty to Arsenal for a foul by Fer on Mertesacker;
- Min 77 QPR wrongly awarded penalty (Debuchy fairly cleared the ball as Hoilet went Down; The goal scored from the penalty spot should not have counted;
- Min 90 Gibbs brought down Zamora should have been a penalty for QPR. No cost in terms of points but another game with Mr Atkinson doing all possible to avoid points to Arsenal.
Spurs v Arsenal 7 Feb 2015 (2 – 1)
|Ref Review Tottenham – Arsenal|
Overall weighted score 61%, bias against the two teams 10/90 and three wrong Important Decisions;
- Min 10 the arsenal goal should not have counted as the Arsenal player was a couple of inches offside;
- Min 59 Rose should have straight red card for stamp on Giroud’s achilles;
- Min 78 Mason should have had a second yellow card for impeding Arsenal attempting to take a quick free kick. With the Arsenal goal ruled out Mr Atkinson’s decisions probably didn’t affect the outcome of this game.
Whilst Mr Atkinson’s figures from the start of this season look to be good giving an initial impression that we have nothing to fear however, he has been a terrible referee for us over the past two seasons probably costing us seven points in six games.
This year he has made 12 bad calls in 9 (non-Arsenal) games. In his one Arsenal game he made 6 wrong Important Decisions, fortunately Sunderland were very poor and unable to take advantage of the referee’s largess.
In six Arsenal games over the past two seasons he has 33 wrong calls – averaging 5 and a half a game (so the six in the Sunderland game was bang on average).
If he Continues with his normal Arsenal form then I will have serious doubts about his honesty rather than his competence.
Like all PGMO referees his bias numbers against Arsenal are incredible (90, 100, 82, 94, 86, 87 and 90). I have absolutely no confidence that this will change on Sunday and I expect us to play against a very tilted field.
We are unlikely to be awarded a penalty but quite likely to have one awarded against us.
Serious foul play against our players will be tolerated
It is quite likely that Man City will be awarded a phantom foul in an area where they can attack our penalty area.
I expect we will see a typically cock-eyed performance on Saturday. A draw or better will be a very good result
Tales from Untold