by Andrew Crawshaw
The PGMO have announced all of the referee appointments for the festive season – that’s matchweeks, 18, 19 and 20. I have them entered into my spreadsheet and have the following comments.
- There are two teams who will have seen a referee four times in the first half of the season. Hull with Lee Mason (1 home and 3 away) and Liverpool with Michael Oliver (twice each home and away).
- There are 34 combinations where a team has had a referee 3 times in the first half of the season and no team that hasn’t seen at least one referee three times. Four teams have has three referees three times
- Chelsea with Anthony Taylor, Martin Atkinson and Jonathan Moss, three times
- Spurs with Mike Dean, Michael Oliver and Robery Madley
- Sunderland with Anthony Taylor, Martin Atkinson and Robert Madley
- Swansea with Michael Oliver, Jonathan Moss and Neil Swarbrick
- There are 94 combinations where a referee has not visited a team at all in the first half of the season.
- Three referees have had 17 out of a possible 20 games – Anthony Taylor, Michael Oliver and Robert Madley
- In contrast four referees have had either 4 or 5 games – Roger East, Stuart Attwell, Paul Tierney and Graham Scott
Effectively the PGMO are only using 14 referees to officiate the Premier League, thirteen have done 11 or more games and the combined workload of the four in the last bullet point between them make up the fourteenth.
This is an extremely unhealthy state of affairs. For the richest League in the world to only be ably to find 13 referees is truly scandalous!
How have the Referees Performed in Arsenal games so far this year – a league table
Taking the Overall weighted performance percentage scores for each game over the first 15 weeks we have:-
4 at the top with excellent scores including, of all people Mike Dean, 5 at the bottom with scores below the 70% we consider to be the minimum acceptable, Andre Marriner, Martin Atkinson, Mark Clattenburg (twice) and Craig Pawson way out on his own in last place with a score of 38.2%
So who do we have this Sunday?
- Referee – Neil Swarbrick Age 50 from Lancashire
- First assistant – Stephen Child from Kent and FIFA Accredited
- Second Assistant – Constantine Hatzidakis from Kent
- Fourth Official – Keith Stroud from Hampshire
This will be the first time this year for Neil Swarbrick in an Arsenal match. In our Matchweek 13 referee report he is right at the bottom of the table of Major Wrong Decisions having 8 in his first 7 games and has 11 correct decisions so absolutely nothing to fear there. This is a hopeful sign but is there anything that we should be aware of from previous years?
2015-16 Last Season he did not referee an Arsenal League game so nothing to learn there
2014-15 he was in charge for one game only our 2 – 1 away win against West Ham
|Ref review West Ham – Arsenal|
80% overall, bias 11/89 and no wrong Important Decisions. Usual bias against Arsenal but that is what we should always expect. Many minor decisions in West Ham’s favour along with several ‘phantom fouls’ allowing long balls into our box and a couple of not given yellow cards but overall not too bad at all.
- Very little recent history in Arsenal games so little to go on really.
- He has been one of the stand out referees in our reviews of the first 13 weeks of the season getting more decisions right than wrong and only making 1 wrong decision per game.
- He is 11 correct from 14 on penalty decisions
- He has failed to send off any of the four players who deserved to go in his seven games so has some improvement to make there
- The little history we have indicates that we should still expect the vast majority of wrong decisions to be against Arsenal so look out for
- not given yellow cards
- ‘phantom fouls’ enabling West Brom to launch the ball into our area
- West Brom players being allowed far more leeway than Arsenal in the level of forse they are allowed to use
- I am hopeful that this weekend we might just see a decent game from the referee and will be talking afterwards about the football not Mr Swarbrick.
And from the Arsenal History Society