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Ref Watch, Birmingham v Arsenal

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Editorial what-not.  The series that we have been running on referees and corruption takes a breather for a moment as we focus on the forthcoming game with Birmingham.  The next article in the series will follow in a day or two.  Meanwhile we are still on the issue of referees with Dogface’s regular match preview focussing on the old fellas.

RefWatch – Birmingham v Arsenal (01/01/2011 17:30)

By DogFace

  • Referee:              Peter Walton
  • Assistant 1:         Mike Cairns
  • Assistant 2:         Ron Ganfield
  • 4th Official:         Anthony Taylor

Good morning stat-fans and welcome to yet another Ref Watch!  First of all I would like to offer my sincere apologies for failing you all by not producing an article for the last game pointing out exactly how and why Lee Probert is a majassive c*&t… he was under the instruction of Mike ‘Coupon Buster’ Dean that day (as 4th official) and we all know what the dynamic duo can do… remember Manchester United v Arsenal where Wenger was sent to the stands?

Same pairing just flipped on its head; interestingly we also had Lee Probert as the 4th official for the Chelsea match – maybe he was making a few notes eh?  And was it he who ensured that Fabregas got the yellow that stopped him playing in his next game – the Wigan game – where he mugged us blind?

Inquiring minds need to know!

Of course, we should forget the fact that the game appeared to be blatantly fixed and argue the toss over team selection, Denilson and scenarios pertaining to Wenger just spending some money on ‘world class’ centre-backs so we would be just ‘gooder enough’ to win anyway; or something or nothing.  At least that’s the poison that Adrian Duram of TalkShite was pouring into my ear the very next day – also amusing that after Manchester United’s draw, due to a bad refereeing call, he proclaimed that the match should be replayed to make it fair to the Murky Mancs – allow me to translate:

“Go on, fcuk Arsenal we won’t complain as long as this sweet gravy train we’re on keeps on rolling.”

I must assume that Arsenal (and some other clubs) don’t feed the media in the way that the big spenders do and are thus out of favour – being prudent, doing things the right way and playing great football is obviously ‘well boring’ for the atomised fanbase and doesn’t generate enough juicy, distracting sound-bites to pop in between the adverts for the pawnbroker and bookmaking industries?

I digress… and I apologise yet again – this is Untold, this is Ref Watch, and we are of an entirely ‘different gravy’.

Let’s have a look at Peter Walton:

  • Full name:                           Peter Walton
  • Date of birth:                     10 October 1959 (1959-10-10) (age 51)
  • Place of birth:                    Long Buckby, Northants, England
  • EPL Referee Since:          2003/2004


*Caption competition – please leave comment*

The first thing that catches my attention is that Peter is 51 years old… ok – there’s nothing wrong with that of and in itself but WTF?  16 referee’s for the “best league in the world” and we have four of them lurking around the half century mark?  Where are all the talented young referees… are they made of the ‘right stuff’ or do they all have too much integrity to fit in I wonder?  There must be a reason for this sorry state of affairs I hear you cry – and there is; the reason being that this shabby, run down, not ‘fit for purpose’ organisation exists this way because, as Nietzsche once said, ‘power walks on crooked legs’ – it is like this because it is to the benefit or fit’s the agenda of an individual or organisation.  Apply that to video technology, transparency of selection process and data or anything else that may make the game less open to corruption [in terms of the standard of refereeing] and you will come to the same conclusion.

Let’s check out Peter’s stats:


Peter Walton has had 11 games for Birmingham City consisting of 3 wins, 5 draws and 3 losses… that sounds about Birmingham’s level to me; but let’s dig a little further – from the graph above it seems that Birmingham do quite well in a physical game – as the FPB lines cross you can see the PPG and AH Swing take a distinct negative hit – this appears to be a direct correlation… one wonders what Walton was thinking though in the 2004/2005 season where he let Birmingham romp away with a chart busting 27 FPB to their oppositions 7.5?!

Birmingham City are currently in 11th in Peter Walton’s personal Points Per Game League (for teams with a minimum of 5 matches played), for matches in the English Premier, with an average of 1.27 PPG…  again this seems fairly normal and nothing to worry us in terms of a hidden bias.

In Peter Walton’s personal Handicap Swing League (for teams with a minimum of 5 matches played), for matches in the English Premier, Birmingham City come 11th with an average swing of 0.00 – again, total consistency here with 11th place for the brummies and an even swing across all seasons.

Birmingham City are currently in 14th in Peter Walton’s personal Booking’s Per Match League (for teams with a minimum of 5 matches played), for matches in the English Premier, with an overall average of 1.55 BPM… this is good, and you can see in the chart above that Peter Walton has been cracking down on challenges from the Birmingham players since the 2007/2008 season to discourage [I hope] the kind of over physical play that destroys talent and ruins careers… but saying this Peter Walton is NOT the type of referee that dishes out the cards and 1.55 (for 14th) is a very low number… which leads me to suspect that he is the type that likes to ‘let the game flow’ as it were.

In Peter Walton’s personal Fouls Per Booking League (for teams with a minimum of 5 matches played), for matches in the English Premier, Birmingham City come 19th with an overall average of 5.94 FPB… again – it is reassuring to see Birmingham not an ‘in favour’ team in any of Peter Walton’s statistics and, over all seasons, are probably ‘there or there abouts’ under him.

Peter Walton has had 9 games for Arsenal consisting of 6 wins, 3 draws and 0 losses – OK, not a bad start – no losses and that’s nice to see!  What interests me though is the FPB lines again crossover in Peter Walton’s seasonal statistics for Arsenal allowing a high 17.5 FPB for opposition teams – is this all down to the small foul and rotational tactic used by teams to get an unfair advantage over us?  If so – referees need to recognise this and clamp down – free kicks do not benefit our game (unlike teams like Stoke who play for them) so this many fouls on our players will just stifle our play.

Arsenal are currently in 2nd in Peter Walton’s personal Points Per Game League (for teams with a minimum of 5 matches played), for matches in the English Premier, with an average of 2.33 PPG.  Good numbers I think you will agree – only Chelsea beat us there with an astonishing 2.78 PPG!

In Peter Walton’s personal Handicap Swing League (for teams with a minimum of 5 matches played), for matches in the English Premier, Arsenal come 4th with an average positive swing of 0.86… again,  this is good and again; Chelsea come first in Peter’s numbers with an astonishing average swing of +1.50 (worth an overall extra 12 goals over 8 matches played).

Arsenal are currently in 3rd in Peter Walton’s personal Booking’s Per Match League (for teams with a minimum of 5 matches played), for matches in the English Premier, with an overall average of 0.89 BPM.  Again – good numbers for us, sounds about right.

In Peter Walton’s personal Fouls Per Booking League (for teams with a minimum of 5 matches played), for matches in the English Premier, Arsenal come 6th with an overall average of 9.63 FPB – I won’t complain about 6th place and nothing much to worry about.

Let’s now look at Peter Walton’s form for the league (selected teams only):

It’s reassuring to see Birmingham on a decline into the negative against Arsenal bouncing around the positive – we did well against the handicap with Walton last season, very well, but we have yet to play under him this season… and I we had similar numbers for Phil Dowd (who seems to have now turned on us) – although Phil Dowd, as I recall, had a correlation with Arsenal’s (and other top clubs) form dropping in direct opposition to the rise of Manchester City in his numbers.

Thankfully, it seems, that Peter Walton is one the few refs who is hasn’t found a new love in the fortunes at Eastlands… talking of which – they have Mark Clattenburg tonight, so I will keep my beady eye on that match as it could affect our game [in terms of us playing the late game] as the standard mug double for today will be City/Arsenal – it’s just a pet theory of mine… but it does seem, from my data, that the amount of money wagered on a result seems to affect the outcome – especially in terms of multiples and the last team playing [in the popular multiple] being the ‘coupon buster’.

Anyhoo – I’m digressing again and I need to wrap this up (BTW I didn’t crunch the other fellah’s numbers [Anthony Taylor] as he’s a new boy and there is not enough data there).  So – in conclusion the figures look good, the only worry being that Peter will let the game be of the very ‘English’ variety.  We can cope with this although it removes an element of technical superiority as an advantage – but as long as it’s all fair in terms of calls we should do alright.  Walton needs to watch out for the small foul here [rotational and cynical shirt tugs] and punish it as, no doubt, this will become a result randomising factor that Birmingham will pick up on quickly and use to tilt the pitch their way… I imagine that Birmingham will also try to get aerial superiority so Peter will have to keep an eye on Birmingham leading with the elbow after the hoof – which is another standard randomising tactic used to great effect against us if ignored by the ref.

What’s really getting us worked up

The men who played 100 times for Woolwich Arsenal, the first Hotspur FC and other important historical questions.

The real meaning of everything: “Making the Arsenal”

There is something seriously wrong with refereeing in the EPL: Part 1 of our investigation

Referees: conspiracy theory or practice – Part 2 of the special investigation.

14 comments to Ref Watch, Birmingham v Arsenal

  • Just a little extra, that I happen to remember, having actually met Peter Walton at an event at which I was playing the piano (honest), he appealed against the retirement age rule for refs – which used to be 49.

    Peter Walton, Uriah Rennie, and Paul Taylor, all appealed together that the rule was illegal, and won.

  • mshmapton

    I find it really strange that the message hasn’t got through yet. If you write about something quite different from the article, your message won’t be published. tony

  • jummer

    I really hope we can win tomorrow please Gunners make my new year day all the sweeter

  • Tasos

    Very interesting article.

    Although I find it difficult to read such an astute analysis of the Ref, going into the finer details of his performances and then having to refer to its author as “Dogface”, without it bringing wry smile upon one’s boat race.

    Keep up the excellent work brother.

  • Tasos

    One other thing I wanted to add.

    Peter Walton, I believe, was the Ref at the infamous Stoke game last season, he appeared to officiate that game in a very English manner, continually allowing Stoke to foul without punishment which ultimately led to the wreck-less challenge by that lummox Shrawcross on Aaron Ramsey.

    I think we will all be scrutinising Mr Walton’s performance this weekend.

  • puma

    Deleted as it had nothing to do with the post

  • ugandan goon

    oh dear,
    i am hopeful we will win this one but expect injuries , two to three out. many people don’t credit it when i say it but fabregas’ latest injury layoff was due to a gardiner tackle off the ball that was waved play on last season, i havent forgotten much less forgiven.
    ps that is not a threat against his person

  • Red Jessie

    Tony is right. This guy appealed against the age limits and won. He also allows a lot of physical aggression. Did anyone see some of the incidents in the Liverpool v Wolves game when we were messing around in Wigan. Notice how many times he gets in the way of play because he plods through the centre of the pitch and never goes wide. Another weak referee who is not up to the requirements of the PL.

  • Grandpa Walton as the ref. That must be an omen (of what I have no clue). Here’s to 3 points (to us) later and no injuries in 2011.

  • roberto nakamura

    Personally I believe the EPL should use fifth degree black belt Japanese referees.
    I hope Stingy Voyeur does open his pocket book this month and does not implode.
    Also hope Mr. Alex’s nose does not explode. It’s becoming extremely red and swollen. No amount of Big Red or Juicy Fruit can cure that. Best to see a doctor nevertheless.
    Go you Gunners!

  • MGK

    Caption: You’re telling me two yellows make a red? You must be joking mate!

  • DogFace

    Uh oh… Man Utd win – Clattenburg giving everything to City and Tottenham are a goal up at HT.

    Our game could well be the coupon buster!

  • Andy Kelly

    Can’t wait to read Walter’s review of Walton’s pathetic attempt at refereeing a top class game. He stood and watched Birmingham players kick lumps out of Arsenal players – he was actually looking straight at them – and did nothing.

    On par with Probert’s performance but at least he screwed up for both sides.

  • DogFace

    The bookies are weeping tonight.

    🙂