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Ref Review: WBA – Arsenal. When oh when will Neil Swarbrick learn the laws of the game?

There are clips included in the report for every wrong decision and every major decision in red bold text

WEST BROMWICH ALBION vs. ARSENAL

  • COMPETITION: English Premier League
  • MATCH NO. 27
  • DATE: 18th March 2017
  • VENUE: The Hawthorns (West Bromwich, England)

MATCH OFFICIALS:

REFEREE: Neil Swarbrick
1st LINESMAN: Scott Ledger
2nd LINESMAN: Constantine Hatzidakis
4th OFFICIAL: Kevin Friend

First Half

Fouls, Advantages, Cards, and Penalties

Time Foul by Foul For Notes Points
03:06 Alex Oxlade Chamberlain (Arsenal)

 

Solomon Rondon (West Brom) Trip. 1 (FOUL)
06:38 James McClean (West Brom) Alex Oxlade Chamberlain (Arsenal) Clear push on Chamberlain. Foul should had been given.

01. McClean Foul on Ox

-1 (FOUL)
11:48 Darren Fletcher (West Brom) Petr Cech (Arsenal) Fletcher positions himself to block the keeper from coming for the ball so a foul. He can stand there but can make no movement that can impede the keeper.

02. Foul Goal Cech

02. Foul Goal Cech002

02. Foul Goal Cech003

-1 (FOUL)
13:11 Jake Livermore (West Brom) Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal) Livermore was holding Sanchez, should have been a foul.

03. Foul on Sanchez

-1 (FOUL)
18:29 Gareth McAuley (West Brom) Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal) Pull. 1 (FOUL)
22:45 Jake Livermore (West Brom) Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal) Pull and trip from Livermore not given.

04. Foul on Sanchez

04. Foul on Sanhcez002

-1 (FOUL)
25:03 Craig Dawson (West Brom) Danny Welbeck (Arsenal) Obstruction foul on Welbeck not given.

05. Foul on Welbeck

-1 (FOUL)
26:32 Solomon Rondon (West Brom) Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal) Foul correctly given.

A yellow card should have been given against Rondon as he had no chance of playing the ball while.

06. Rondon Yellow

1 (FOUL)

-2 (YELLOW CARD)

32:27 Alex Oxlade Chamberlain (Arsenal) Solomon Rondon (West Brom) Hold 1 (FOUL)
41:23 James McClean (West Brom) Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal) Correct Yellow card, as he came in from a distance but had his foot at ball height. If he had raised his studs, it would have been a red card.

07. McClean Yellow

07. McClean Yellow002

1 (ADVANTAGE)

2 (YELLOW CARD)

44:39 Allan Nyom (West Brom) Theo Walcott (Arsenal) Push. 1 (FOUL)
47:17 Darren Fletcher (West Brom) Danny Welbeck (Arsenal) Push and trip on Welbeck not given.

08. Foul on Welbeck

-1 (FOUL)

Offsides

Time Player Offside Defending Player Notes Points
07:54 Solomon Rondon (West Brom) Shkodran Mustafi (Arsenal) By Assistant Ref Scott Ledger. 1 (OFFSIDE)
22:01 Solomon Rondon (West Brom) Shkodran Mustafi (Arsenal) By Assistant Ref Scott Ledger. 1 (OFFSIDE)

Goals

Time Goal Scorer Notes Points
11:48 Craig Dawson (West Brom) Fletcher positions himself to block the keeper from coming for the ball so a foul. He can stand there but can make no movement that can impede the keeper. Dawson scored the header after Cech was fouled.

02. Foul Goal Cech

02. Foul Goal Cech002

02. Foul Goal Cech003

-3 (GOAL)
14:33 Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal) Clean goal. 3 (GOAL)

First Half Referee Report

Incorrect Decisions Against Arsenal

Fouls = 6

Yellow Cards = 1

Goals = 1

Total = 8

Incorrect Decisions Against West Brom

Nil

 

Number of Correct Decisions

Fouls = 5

Advantages = 1

Yellow Cards = 1

Offsides = 2

Goal = 1

Total = 10

Number of Incorrect Decisions

Fouls = 6

Yellow Cards = 1

Goals = 1

Total = 8

Number of Correct Decisions (Weighted)

Fouls = 5

Advantages = 1

Yellow Cards = 2

Offsides = 2

Goal = 3

Total = 13

Number of Incorrect Decisions (Weighted)

Fouls = 6

Yellow Cards = 2

Goals = 3

Total = 11

 

 

First Half Correct Decision Percentage = Total Correct Decisions / Total Decisions (Correct + Incorrect) = 10/(10+8) = 55.5%

 

 

First Half Correct Decision Percentage (WEIGHTED) = Total Correct Decisions / Total Decisions (Correct + Incorrect) = 13/(13+11) = 54.1%

 

Second Half

Fouls, Advantages, Cards, and Penalties

Time Foul by Foul For Notes Points
47:44 Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal) Craig Dawson (West Brom) Trip. 1 (FOUL)
51:46 Nacer Chadli (West Brom) Nacho Monreal (Arsenal) No clear view or replay available, assumed correct.

09. Monreal Penalty

3 (NON-PENALTY)
64:46 Hal Robson-Kanu (West Brom) Shkodran Mustafi (Arsenal) Clear penalty not given. Mustafi won the ball and is then kicked from behind on his leg by Robson-Kanu.

10. Mustafi Penalty

10. Mustafi Penalty002

-3 (PENALTY)

 

68:09 Chris Brunt (West Brom) Danny Welbeck (Arsenal) Trip. 1 (FOUL)
69:37 Hal Robson-Kanu (West Brom) Shkodran Mustafi (Arsenal) Shirt pull. 1 (ADVANTAGE)
74:35 Darren Fletcher (West Brom) David Ospina (Arsenal) Fletcher moves around in front of the keeper to impede him and moves against the path of Ospina to unbalances him for a moment so a foul on the keeper

11. Dawson Foul Goal Ospina

11. Dawson Foul Goal Ospina002

11. Dawson Foul Goal Ospina003

11. Dawson Foul Goal Ospina004

-1 (FOUL)
82:57 Danny Welbeck (Arsenal) Jake Livermore (West Brom) Pull. 1 (FOUL)
84:04 Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) Allan Nyom (West Brom) Trip. 1 (FOUL)

Offsides

Time Player Offside Defending Player Notes Points
53:02 Granit Xhaka (Arsenal) Allan Nyom (West Brom) By Assistant Ref Scott Ledger. 1 (OFFSIDE)

Goals

Time Goal Scorer Notes Points
54:59 Hal Robson-Kanu (West Brom) Hint of McClean playing offside, not interference in play. Clean goal. 3 (GOAL)
74:35 Craig Dawson (West Brom) Fletcher moves around in front of the keeper to impede him and moves against the path of Ospina to unbalances him for a moment so a foul on the keeper

11. Dawson Foul Goal Ospina

11. Dawson Foul Goal Ospina002

11. Dawson Foul Goal Ospina003

11. Dawson Foul Goal Ospina004

-3 (GOAL)

Second Half Referee Report

Incorrect Decisions Against Arsenal

Fouls = 1

Penalties = 1

Goal = 1

Total = 3

Incorrect Decisions Against West Brom

Nil

 

Number of Correct Decisions

Fouls = 4

Advantages = 1

Offsides = 1

Penalties = 1

Goals = 1

Total = 8

Number of Incorrect Decisions

Fouls = 1

Penalties = 1

Goal = 1

Total = 3

Number of Correct Decisions (Weighted)

Fouls = 4

Advantages = 1

Offsides = 1

Penalties = 3

Goals = 3

Total = 12

Number of Incorrect Decisions (Weighted)

Fouls = 1

Penalties = 3

Goal = 3

Total = 7

 

 

Second Half Correct Decision Percentage = Total Correct Decisions / Total Decisions (Correct + Incorrect) = 8/(8+3) = 72.7%

 

 

Second Half Correct Decision Percentage (WEIGHTED) = Total Correct Decisions / Total Decisions (Correct + Incorrect) = 12/(12+7) = 63.1%

 

Full Time (1st Half + 2nd Half) Referee Report

Incorrect Decisions Against Arsenal

Fouls = 7

Yellow Cards = 1

Penalties = 1

Goals = 2

Total = 11

Incorrect Decisions Against West Brom

Nil

 

Number of Correct Decisions

Fouls = 9

Advantages = 2

Yellow Cards = 1

Offsides = 3

Penalties = 1

Goals = 2

Total = 18

Number of Incorrect Decisions

Fouls = 7

Yellow Cards = 1

Penalties = 1

Goals = 2

Total = 11

Number of Correct Decisions (Weighted)

Fouls = 9

Advantages = 2

Yellow Cards = 2

Offsides = 3

Penalties = 3

Goals = 6

Total = 25

Number of Incorrect Decisions (Weighted)

Fouls = 7

Yellow Cards = 2

Penalties = 3

Goals = 6

Total = 15

 

 

Full Match Correct Decision Percentage = Total Correct Decisions / Total Decisions (Correct + Incorrect) = 18/(18+11) = 62.0%

 

 

Full Match Correct Decision Percentage (WEIGHTED) = Total Correct Decisions / Total Decisions (Correct + Incorrect) = 25/(25+15) = 62.5%

 

APPENDIX

Key Decisions in the Match Points
Advantage 1
Foul 1
Incorrect Corner 1
Incorrect Goal Kick 1
Incorrect Throw-in 1
Other (Ref Positioning, Injuries, Time Wasting, etc.) 1
Offside 1
Yellow Card 2
Red Card 3
Goal 3
Penalty 3

 

NOTE: FOR ANY WRONG DECISION MADE THERE WILL BE NEGATIVE POINTS AWARDED FOR THAT SPECIFIC KIND OF EVENT.

NOTE: ANY INCORRECT OR WRONG DECISION/NON-DECISION WILL BE HIGHLIGHTED WITH A RED COLOUR.

NOTE: ANY DECISION THAT INVOLVES DOUBT IS HIGHLIGHTED AS BLUE IN COLOR.

NOTE: The word ‘FOR’ is used to show IN FAVOR OF.

NOTE: All the Laws Of The Game used are referenced directly from the following link. “LAWS OF THE GAME 2016-2017”

http://static-3eb8.kxcdn.com/documents/60/Laws%20of%20the%20Game_16-17_Digital_Eng.pdf

Neil Swarbrick was the ref for this match.

And well it looked like a poor performance from the start. And a very one sided performance. Multiple clear fouls on Arsenal players were ignored at every occasion he could do.

And a bit a lack of understanding of the modern laws. Modern in the way that this has been reported a few seasons ago. So maybe he forgot a few things or maybe he didn’t learn them.

A while ago the instruction was given to referees to get rid of the blocking of the keeper at corners. WBA had 4 corners and on each of them they put a player in front of the Arsenal keeper. Now standing on the field itself is never a foul. But if you place yourself in front of the keeper in order to prevent him from moving you are breaking the laws. So if a striker goes and stand in front of the keeper without making any movement at all there is no foul. But from the moment he moves and makes it difficult for the keeper to move himself he is making a foul. So Fletcher doing what he did was clearly intended, and successfully undertaken so to impede the keeper and it was a foul. So the first WBA goal should have been cancelled.

In fact this is one of the moments where a ref can show the players his knowledge. If he sees a player taking his place in front of the keeper he should go up to him and tell him that from the moment he moves in front of the keeper he will be whistled back. But Swarbrick didn’t do that and allowed WBA to block the keeper on each corner. Which resulted in their 3rd goal later in the match.

Funnily I heard Pulis complain a few matches later that a ref had disallowed a WBA goal after a corner because one of their players impeded the keeper…. well well well… In a way he has a point of course as this shows that the laws of the game are not being applied in the same way by the PGMO refs.

Further unpunished fouling of Arsenal players went on during the first half. Resulting in McClean making a strong tackle on Alexis. After the advantage a yellow card was given. As he didn’t move his foot over the ball this can be defended as the correct card.

The first half score was 55.5% and 54.1% (Weighted). Very poor.

In the second half we saw only a handful of decisions to make. But the ref clearly missed a 100% penalty when Robson-Kanu kicked against the calf of Mustafi who had won the ball. The big deal was that this foul was inside the penalty area and so Arsenal should have had a penalty with the score being 2-1 (with one wrongly given goal to WBA). A game changing incident!

10 minutes later he made his second big mistake when Ospina was impeded by Fletcher once again and WBA could score their 3rd goal.

Second half score:  72.7% and 63.1% (Weighted) Below average and poor when weighted.

The ref made a total of 11 errors and all 11 went against Arsenal. And as they included 2 goals and a penalty it shows that the ref clearly influenced the outcome of this match.

Overall score over 90 minutes : 62.0% and 62.5% (Weighted) Poor.

3 wrong major decisions ( 1 Penalty not given for Arsenal, 1 wrong goal for West Brom after fouling Cech, 1 wrong goal for West Brom after fouling Ospina)

1 correct major decision of the non-penalty for West Brom.

There were not many decisions to make and the ref still managed to make a mess. And a 100% bias against Arsenal in the incorrect decisions.

.The question of fouls, and the origin on transfer rumours.

Tottenham v Arsenal preview: will it be a dirty game?

Who are the most fouled players? A clever way of forcing you to believe that the referees are always right.

Arsenal’s forgotten manager Joe Shaw wins the league for Arsenal. 28 April 1934.

Ref Review: Liverpool – Arsenal: Are we really that biased in our reviews?

Arsenal: the most successful team in the FA Cup of all time

The crowd at Woolwich Arsenal: Arsenal in the 2nd division 1893/4 to 1903/4

21 comments to Ref Review: WBA – Arsenal. When oh when will Neil Swarbrick learn the laws of the game?

  • Rich

    With the help of too much booze, my head went in this game, so it’s doubly interesting to read this.

    In the first half my impression was that Alexis was very heavily targeted and pathetically protected.

    I was 90% sure I remembered a pull back which was a near guaranteed booking earning a free-kick only, a clear foul for a kick right in front of the ref which received nothing, and Mclean’s lunge which I thought should have seen red (if judged on Xhaka red standards it had to be a red, as it was worse than either of those)

    The second half was an unhappy blur.

    Anyway, a few days later I checked the stats and to my astonishment saw there were only 11 free kicks in the game, with us making 6 fouls and West Brom 5*. An amazingly odd figure to me for any professional game let alone one featuring us and a Pulis team. Even Pulis’s staunchest admirers will admit his teams play extremely tough and aggressive football, so to commit only 5 fouls in a game is incredibly strange.

    Well, the report here suggests there were fewer fouls than I would ever expect against them, but of course more than were given.

    I expect, however, that the number of real fouls was much higher than that, and that West Brom players made small fouls all the time when near our players, shoves in the back, little pulls and pushes, little kicks as the ball is released. This has become completely routine in our games and the opposition have become expert at it. Hard to know what effect it has but it certainly benefits the opposition some and isn’t good for us.

    For a bit of context, PGMOL were very proud a few years back (covering Riley’s first few years) to report that they had overseen a big drop in fouls per game. Of course, this was trumpeted as a triumph for the flow of the game. Don’t have the figures to hand but I saw at the same time they were considerably lower than fouls per game in the champions league.

    For a bit more context, in Leicester’s impressive effort against A Madrid in the second leg, it was extremely noticeable that neither they or their notably physical opponents were making those small fouls. It was striking and a huge contrast to how teams, including leicester, play against us all the time.

    Just proof that even the most aggressive teams tailor their approach, with ease, to what a referee will permit. Both those teams knew it wasn’t worth giving away free-kick for fouls which, individually, don’t confer much of an advantage, but which, over a whole game, if allowed, are extremely useful in upsetting the opposition.

    In the Fa cup at the weekend, which obviously had an extra 30 mins, there were forty fouls, 20 apiece. That was pretty much right in a game which the ref seemed, blessedly, weirdly, normal and even.

    *stats from BBC report

  • Rich

    few interesting stats here, inc comparison with other leagues, and, even better, some words from Mike himself

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/22253531

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Rich,

    Methinks Mike himself speak with forked tongue.

  • para

    Sorry, but
    “Fletcher positions himself to block the keeper from coming for the ball so a foul. He can stand there but can make no movement that can impede the keeper.”

    I’ve watched this over and over again.

    He(Fletcher) did not make any movement except when Cech pushed him away, so not a foul, or am i seeing this one false?

  • Leon

    para

    We debated this on the match day report thread and mostly came to the same conclusion as you have. No foul unless he moves around to impede the keeper…..and he didn’t.

  • Mike T

    Para/Leon I commented on that very point at the time and agree 100% that Fletcher didn’t block indeed he was perfectly entitled to take up the position he did..
    As I have said time after time these reviews are interesting but other than that they have no statistical validity far too many incidents in a game aren’t recorded or commented on.For instance a onside is called correctly and play carries on?Where is the credit given for letting play proceed , as it should?
    Again as I have said before when these reviews are compiled no one has any idea what has been said to the players by the ref nor do we know what view the ref had of the incident ?
    As an aside Walter/Tony are you able to explain why all of my postings now go through moderation?

  • Mike, we are having a problem with moderation on the site, and I am trying to sort it out. The heart of the matter is that with 5 million page views a year and the level of comments we get (many of which are not published because of their nature) the software we have is struggling somewhat. I am trying to resolve the matter not only for you but for others as well.

  • Leon

    5 million page views a year? That’s more than Harry Potter gets.

  • Jerry

    @para/Leon/MikeT,

    When Fletcher was standing there, it was not a foul, but if you watch, Cech first puts his left down, then Fletcher moves left slightly, and also bends his knee to have more strength to push back onto Cech when he makes a move for the ball. Clear foul. That was just my opinion when I saw it live and during the replays.

  • MickHazel

    I must say that I agree with Para and Leon.
    There is enough good evidence available of our being mistreated by the refereeing fraternity without resorting to “gilding the lily” tactics which will only undermine the object of the exercise and give ammunition to those who accuse you of bias.

  • Mike T

    Thanks Tony.

  • Scuba

    Chiming in with agreement with just about everyone here, there was no foul on Cech.

  • Leon

    The one on 74 mins was a bit of a mess as Xhaka positioned himself between Ospina & Fletcher which seemed to completely confuse Ospina who was left floundering for Dawson to score easily (& not foul Ospina as stated)

  • Menace

    The one on 74 mins was a clear impeding of the goalkeeper. Dawson sticks his bum into Ospina & his foot against Ospinas foot to cause him to trip & partly fall over. It was clearly against the Laws but not the ones that PGMOL & their Peon see it.

  • Menace

    More importantly Dawson is effectively in an offside position impeding the Goalkeeper when the ball is headed.

  • Leon

    Dawson was the goalscorer, who was nowhere near Ospina when the corner kick was taken. Get it right for a change or just shut up!

  • Menace

    Fletcher & Dawson all look the same to me. But as the Peon is awake swap the two in my comments.

  • Leonl

    There’s a good boy. Well done.😇

  • Leon

    There’s a good boy. Well done.😇

  • Mike T

    Menace

    What do they say about when being in a hole?

  • Menace

    Mike T – don’t know. I’ve never been in one with or without them.