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By Walter Broeckx, the ref review-reviewer
Blaming the ref when your side doesn’t win is part of football. It is what many supporters do. Indeed it is so common that anyone who starts to make such an argument seriously is just laughed at by the media, the football authorities, and the anti-Arsenal groups.
Each of course has its own reason for saying everything is all right. A football league in which there is a suspicion of the refs’ are not doing their job properly is one that falls into disrepute. TV audiences go down, newspaper reports are not believed, and the league’s position in the world begins to slip. The AAA won’t accept any reason for failure to win trophies other than the manager.
So everyone wants to say – no, the refs are ok, it is just some fans making a fuss because they lost.
And yet… there is a worry that something is not right here. In this series of articles we begin to investigate if it could be possible that the sort of corruption that we have seen in other countries could be spreading to England.
We do this by looking at the analyses that are made before and after each game that Arsenal plays, and seeing if that shows any trends.
So we have played 19 games and we are halfway in the season. So let us start with the bare facts and give the points the ref have got during the season so far.
|Liverpool – Arsenal||Atkinson||66||100||83|
|Arsenal – Blackpool||Jones||50||100||100||83|
|Blackburn – Arsenal||Foy||50||100||17||56|
|Arsenal – Bolton||Atwell||50||75||100||50||68|
|Sunderland – Arsenal||Dowd||57||66||100||30||50|
|CC Tottenham – Arsenal||Lee Probert||71||100||80||0||75|
|Arsenal – WBA||Oliver||87||100||100||50||88|
|Chelsea – Arsenal||Dean||28||50||50||14||30|
|Arsenal – Birmingham||Atkinson||50||100||100||60||68|
|Man City – Arsenal||Clattenburg||100||100||100||50||93|
|Newcastle – Arsenal CC||Mariner||60||100||100||0||62|
|Arsenal – West Ham||Jones||66||50||100||16||50|
|Arsenal – Newcastle||Dean||83||100||0||60|
|Wolverhampton – Arsenal||Halsey||60||100||54||61|
|Everton – Arsenal||Webb||33||100||66||33||46|
|Arsenal – Tottenham||Dowd||50||33||85||50||59|
|Aston Villa – Arsenal||Clattenburg||67||50||83||0||66|
|CC Arsenal Wigan||Atkinson||42||67||100||60||58|
|Arsenal – Fulham||Foy||0||66||55||40|
|Man Utd – Arsenal||Webb||60||0||100||0||40|
|Arsenal – Stoke|
|Arsenal – Chelsea||Clattenburg||71||50||100||72||75|
|Wigan – Arsenal||Probert||66||0||75||10||29|
Just look for your favourite ref, if you have one, to see how he has done.
And this gives us a total for all the games so far of
Now we can argue for hours about the cards that should have been given but I just leave it with the remark that only around 6 out of 10 cards are given correct in the EPL. We had one ref who did the perfect job with handing out the cards and this was Clattenburg in our game at City. And the worst ref is Dean, closely followed by ref Webb.
But look at the penalties: also only half of the penalties are correct. This is far below the standard we should expect. And you do have refs who miss all the calls when it comes to penalties. Webb at United, Probert at Wigan: they messed it up completely. They couldn’t get one decision right. In fact no ref managed to get all the penalty decisions right in all the games I took in my reviews.
So the question arises, shouldn’t we start using some kind of challenge on this? When a penalty is given there is almost always time for the 4th ref to have a look at the replays. And if like on Wigan it is clear to see that it is a blatant dive he should correct the ref on the field and they should give a foul against the diving player and a yellow card. And many of the fields in the EPL have big TV screens they should expose the divers immediately so that the crowd can see why the decision has been reverted.
I sure could image some players not wanting to dive and being exposed as the divers they are. I really think it would stop a lot of players from diving.
And we still have to deal with the fact that 1 goal out of 10 is not correct. We had 6 (six) goals given against us that were wrong and we had one goal given that should have been disallowed so far. This is far too much to my liking. Also here I would like to ask for a review right away after a goal. And when there is something wrong they should show it on the big screen so again the crowd knows what was wrong with the goal. It will make the game more fair for the players as they know that disputable goals will be less in numbers. And for a player on the field it is very important to know that all is going according to the rules.
And in the category “others” this is poor refereeing. Not dealing with dangerous tackles, time wasting, not giving blatant fouls, you know the rubbish that we see week in week out where refs do not what the rule book is telling them to do. The score in this category is so low it is shocking. Because missing an offside is possible. Failing to see a dive from a player can happen. Not giving a card, well this is more or less part of the technical area of the ref and is in fact less acceptable.
But missing dangerous tackles is something that is bad for the ref AND the players. It means that you are not able to give the players the protection you must give them. As a ref you are there to see that all the players at the end of the game are still healthy and not with broken legs in hospital. We don’t need to blame the refs for every injury as accidents can and will always happen on a football field. But when you start allowing dangerous tackles it is just a matter of time before you can call over the ambulance to bring a player to the hospital.
So in fact this low figure means that the refs don’t recognise these fouls enough and this is bad for football in the EPL. As has been said many times when the English teams have to play in another country with rules that are more strict than in the EPL they start with a handicap and don’t realise that the things they are allowed to each game is suddenly forbidden when playing another country.
The overall score is just 60 and this is rather poor. 90 % is an excellent game. Anything above 80 is a good game. Everything above 70 is a reasonable game. And when you enter the 60% zone things are getting poor.
So after 19 games and the Carling cup games having an overall result of just 61% is very bad. These are professional refs most of the time and they cannot get a score of at least 70% in their games. In fact the only ref that had more than one game with us and managed to get a score of +70 is Clattenburg. A ref with good potential but who, when I look at the last half our against Chelsea, can change his game during a game and this is a bad thing for a ref.
And the most known refs in the EPL apart from Clattenburg like Webb and Dean are big failures in their games so far. Webb managed an average score of 43% and this is supposed to be the best ref in the world remember. And Dean is just slightly less worse with a score of 45%. And these two are mostly the refs in our big games.
So overall a bad report on the refs so far this season.Not fit to wear the Ref shirt one could say.
But there is more to come on the refs and what comes up next are both interesting things and scary things. Frightening things. Sad things.
This is not a good story, and it is only just the start of it. More in the next article.