RefWatch – Arsenal v Manchester City (05/01/2011 19:45)

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By DogFace

  • Referee:              Mike Jones
  • Assistant 1:         Darren Cann
  • Assistant 2:         Stephen Child
  • 4th Official:        Stuart Attwell

Good day stat-fans and welcome again to another article in the famous RefWatch series (as read in the Alpha Centauri system where they [the Gooolagh a tri-sexed silicone based sentient society] like a bit of a flutter).  As you may already know RefWatch is the first slice of Hovis in an Untold Referee Sandwich.  I was going to use the ‘spit roast’ simile here but the mental imagery that conjured up was such that… well, why stoop to such plutonious [I claim that word in the name of DogFace] titillatious [and that one] tabloid levels to draw attention to one’s cause when we are already light years ahead of the competition!

We invent words and assign meaning FFS, it don’t get more cutting edge than that son!

Ahem, as you recall we’ve already had Mike Jones this season and I took the piss out of him for not knowing the rules pertaining to beach balls on the field of play; or maybe he just forgot ‘em that day?  Either way, it’s fair to say, that in every match [so far], things have gone our way.

Let’s have a look at the referee known as Mike Jones:

  • Full name:                          Mike J. Jones
  • Date of birth:                     18 April 1968 (1968-04-18) (age 42)
  • Place of birth:                   Chester, England
  • EPL Referee Since:          2008/2009
  • EPL Games to date:         47


Wait… you lead and I’ll follow?!

Mike Jones has not had many matches, as you can see, being recently promoted to the Select Group and enjoying his first EPL game in the 2008/2009 season.  In truth – I do not have much in the way of data for either the referee or the fourth official, so take all the stats with a fat pinch of salt, but what we do have is as follows:


Mike Jones has had 4 games for Arsenal consisting of 4 wins, 0 draws and 0 losses – which is nice… and two of those games were this season which is even better.

Arsenal are currently in 1st in Mike Jones’s personal Points Per Game League, for matches in the English Premier, with an average of 3.00 PPG, which is again rather sexy but we should bear in mind that there are only 4 games there, all of them at home and all against teams we should expect to beat.

In Mike Jones’s personal Handicap Swing League , for matches in the English Premier, Arsenal come 1st with an average positive swing of 2.75 – double top for Arsenal in Jonesy’s stats although, as I said, fat pinch of salt – but it is worthy of note that an average swing of 2.75 is pretty chunky – in 4 matches (EPL) we have seen 15 goals scored by Arsenal (against West Ham, Blackpool, Fulham and Wigan) without reply.

Arsenal are currently in 11th in Mike Jones’s personal Booking’s Per Match League , for matches in the English Premier, with an overall average of 1.50 BPM… this is a little more worrying in that we come 11th but also that this figure is very low i.e. Mike Jones is not exactly ‘card happy’ and you can see this above, in the last two games [this season under Jones] we have seen an average of 11.5 FPB for both Arsenal and their opponents… although wait just a tick – in those four games our pal Mikey Boy (to his mates) dished out a red card to our competition [Blackpool] for a foul on the last man – which was a shame as I recall at the time as Les Tangerines were up for a proper game of football and it was shaping up to be a good-un.

In Mike Jones’s personal Fouls Per Booking League, for matches in the English Premier, Arsenal come 14th with an overall average of 6.67 FPB – again, this is not great but 6.67 FPB doesn’t seem too bad and it wouldn’t be unless you considered that 1st placed Everton get away with an average 18 FPB – which seems rather odd (I’ll get back to this later).

Let’s move on now and have a look at Manchester City’s form under Jones:


Mike Jones has had 5 games for Manchester City consisting of 4 wins, 1 draw and 0 losses – right, that’s disappointing from an Arsenal perspective, but let’s dig a little deeper.

Manchester City are currently in 3rd in Mike Jones’ personal Points Per Game League , for matches in the English Premier, with an average of 2.60 PPG – again, to be expected given the above.

In Mike Jones’ personal Handicap Swing League, for matches in the English Premier, Manchester City come 3rd with an average positive swing of 1.15.  That is also a very respectable swing against the handicap, not as good as ours – but still a great figure.  It seems though that this season, in the one game that City have played under Jones, City’s swing has swung into the negative (at -1.25) due to the home draw against Birmingham City on the 13/11/2010.

Manchester City are currently in 6th in Mike Jones’ personal Booking’s Per Match League, for matches in the English Premier, with an overall average of 1.20 BPM – overall, about right.

In Mike Jones’ personal Fouls Per Booking League, for matches in the English Premier, Manchester City come 4th with an overall average of 10.00 FPB – again, we see high numbers for Jones’ FPB and City can’t complain with 4th place.

It seems to me though that the booking numbers (FPB and BPM) relate entirely to the team that is playing, i.e. the style of play – so I think I will have to do some research and find a correlation for these, against the results, on a team by team or ref by ref (or both) basis in order to get some value out of them in terms of referee performance and bias as, as it stands from my observations, they are not as useful as I thought they could be; for instance in the charts above; when we see the crossover of FPB (for the stated team and their opposition) we also see a negative correlation against the handicap, this is counter-intuitive but it crops up again and again – answers to that riddle on a postcard please?!

The 4th Official (Stuart Attwell)

Despite being a new boy in the EPL Stuart has a rich history of fairly high profile [for the championship] cock-ups in his wake and he has continued this fine form into the EPL – go on, for a laugh, google them:

This is why, no doubt, Stuart rose through the refereeing racks with such alacrity and I already have the ambitious little tyke earmarked as the next Howard Webb [who, in turn, is the next Graham Poll].

Due to the lack of sample data we have on Stuart Attwell for us and Manchester City I’m just going to do a quick run through what we have without the graphics.

Stuart Attwell has had 1 game for Arsenal consisting of 1 win, 0 draws and 0 losses – this match had a positive handicap swing of +3.00.  We were booked twice with an average of 5.50 FPB… in the one game we had under him against Bolton, on the 11/09/2010, we won 4-1 and Bolton saw a red card.

Stuart Attwell has had 2 games for Manchester City consisting of 1 win, 1 draw and 0 losses – these matches had a positive handicap swing of +1.50.  City averaged 2.00 BPM and 5.50 FPB which is identical to Arsenal including a red card for the opposition [Wigan] on the 29/03/2010 in which City won 3-0 – there other game was a 3-3 draw against Burnley on the 07/11/2009.

So… watch out for the reds and no wild challenges lads!

Let’s have a look now at how Mike Jones has performed against the League in terms of the handicap swing (selected teams only):

You can see that we’ve taken a big dive against the handicap but this was from the dizzy heights of +4.00 and we are still in the black this season with +1.5.  Manchester City has dived too; and into the red with -1.25 from +2.5 in the previous season.  Aston Villa seem to be solid performers under him and Tottenham are on the rise.  As I said, not much data but interesting to ponder none the less.

So in conclusion it is dangerous to draw too many conclusions on this one, Jonesy has been all right for us [for four games] but I just don’t trust this new bunch as far as I could throw them – if I had to call it I would say that, unless Mike Jones has a sudden and inexplicable change in his style of refereeing, we should take all three points… after all – in the last 5 games we have played under Mike Jones or Stuart Attwell we have scored 19 goals, conceded 1 and have had 2 red cards in our favour – Manchester City have [over 8 games under Attwell and Jones] scored 17, conceded 6 and had 1 red card in their favour.

Personally though – I’m just hoping for a fair match, if we get that we will win as we are the better team, we’ll have the pitch the way we want, no bus-ride home to the wastelands to look forward to and the crowd behind us.

Come on you reds – this is a big one!

An index that is so untold you won’t be able to tell anything from it

The much more restrained Arsenal History site

Not an index at all, but a book

33 Replies to “RefWatch – Arsenal v Manchester City (05/01/2011 19:45)”

  1. The more astute among you will have noticed a slight error in the sentence about FPB being counter intuative against the handicap – the the Manchester City example it wasn’t, but I do see this a lot (I had a lot of data in front of me and when I looked at it I was seeing this in both the Everton and Arsenal figures) – in fact, this correlation ‘against’ seems to be more pronounced with Arsenal possibly due to the ‘small foul’, as I mentioned in a previous article, to break up out play. Other than that I still stand by the notion that these figures require futher digging and analysis (i.e some kind of ‘rule’) to give value and I would welcome sugestions!

  2. Oh dear. Jones is the beach ball boy so loved by Liverpool and Attwell – well just recall our Game v Bolton earlier this season. Both are weak and poor referees. Still let’s hope for a good game where the referee will not be needed and a resounding 3-1 victory to the Gooners!!

  3. Lol I feel like my brain has gone otw (out the window) with the sdrf statistical data of referee-ing). I find difficult not to pwia (put words into abbreviations), after reading this lol. Good job though.

  4. Wiltshire is showing Mike the Manc Tango….

    “It’s simple Mike, imagine I’m Paul Scholes, then I lead, you follow…got it?”

  5. Mike as a matador tried to avoid the bull dressed in white-orange while Jack pretended to be an alive red cape.
    Sorry, can’t hold myself to write it. 🙂

  6. 4th officials have a huge impact. The interesting thing is that Jones seem to be pretty good for both teams so there no risk of him evening up his statistics.

    Predicting the referee’s this season, seems to be as difficult as predicting which Arsenal will turn up. However after 5mins of any game it becomes more obvious when you know what your looking for.

    If De Jong, Barry & Toure are allowed to rotate the fouls with little or no punishment we are in trouble. If Jonesey boy gets the book out early, we are looking good for 3 points.

    Overall we have to be happy with the appointment as there are 3/4 referee’s out there who are swinging heavily towards City. This could have made the 3 points available tonight almost impossible to attain.

  7. HaHaHaHa!!! Great photo!!! Looks like Luke’s leading!!!
    I just pray that the ref at least keeps an eye on DeJong!!! Dirty player!!!

  8. good work, face a un chien!
    i am loving these analyses you are putting out in between astronomy (to the untrained eye just howling at the moon) and “grooming”. Poor Atwell really has copped it in the media and i agree he is not as bad as some would have you believe, just like arsenal his age seems to be the catalyst for the negative bias and that is just par for the course when our whole society is paternalistically(‘ave it!) run for the benefit of the graham polls of this world
    i am hopeful that although born in chester and likely to have supported either of the manchester clubs as a trike, mike ‘the bike’ jones will resist pleasing the folks back home.
    i am quietly confident(apropos of nothing) that mancini will keep his troops disciplined and we’ll have a decent battle, i cannot forget hughes playing pocket billiards in his shiny new suit on the touchline enjoying his team getting stuck into us (now you know why wenger would’nt shake his hand afterwards).
    here to 3 points, 4-2 and merry new year!

  9. Looks like City got their tactics right for this one… defend, defend, defend!

  10. So much money spend and not even one shot on target from City…
    And we mush check our goal posts a bit. I think they are to narrow placed this week. Damned what a missed chance.

    But we did our best, we made them look like a team fighting to stay in the league for the whole 90 minutes. It just wasn’t our day.
    Sh*t happens and the result was sh*t but we did played a good game but were unlucky.

  11. A win could have been a great result when you look at the other results. Chelsea and spuds losing….

  12. ManU was the great winner tonight. All their rival lost points. Just like many other seasons.

  13. I hate City more than Utd. At least Utd pay football. City are a disgrace. Mancini was a great player but is a boring catenaccio Italian manager who plays retard football. I hope they implode like Chelsea are doing when the money dries up.

    The Arse were the only team trying to win the game, well done lads, great effort. Think Chamakh should have come on for RVP though, we had no one in the box.

  14. Walter, it’s not at all a bad result because the boys were very unlucky! Had any of those attempts that hit the post gone either side, then 3 points were nailed on! Citeh were so poor it’s unbelievable! No attacking whatsoever and as usual, that’ll be overlooked and the D&Gs and AAA brigade will focus on our inability to hit the back of the net! If Citeh are a top side challenging for the title then I’m a monkeys uncle! Was very disappointed with the spineless officiating wrt Citeh’s time-wasting! Possibly Ferguson did have an influence afterall! Not a bad return on 4 tough matches in 9 days! Well done lads!

  15. I cannot understand Mancini and his tactics. If they would have won they would have kept in touching distance even with the game extra. Now if we win our game in hand we go second.

  16. For West Brom to play better at the Grove than Citeh; I’d be embarrassed if I was a fan of the Sheik’s mercenaries! “What a waste of money”!

  17. Mankini – so much money, so little ambition. Anti football against the top teams. Reduced to time wasting -with £450m spent!
    On the surface, Utd the winner this evening BUT they have a lot of difficult away games left, they have rode their luck and they have to play at the Emirates.
    This season is far from over yet. But with such a lack of ambition, I would rule City out on what I am seeing.

  18. @walter City is in a different boat – they maybe “challenging for the title” but they don’t have to win to declare it a successful season. If they finish in top 4 and qualify for CL it will still be improvement and I guess that is what Mancini is counting on. He inherited a lot of crap and the team is not that great even on the paper. Mancini needs time to sort it out so he plays it safely which so fa r puts him in position for this top 4 finish goal.

    So now with potentially 7 points clear United are in the driving seat and the title is theirs to lose. Unless you are counting on Spurs putting a dent MU’s undefeated record…

  19. I thought the result was a positive one. We are currently out playing the so called opposition for the title this year.
    I can see city loosing games for sure and ManUtd will also.

    It was a good performance we just needed a little luck and it didnt happen. roll on the cup games we are in a good position in all competitions still.

  20. @walter Surprisingly they maybe not that far away at least on the paper. They have another decent striker in Dzeko coming so they can offload Adebayor and wait to see how Balotelli experiment turns out. They probably need another good attacking midfielder to pair with Silva, they are good on defense and have a great GK (I wish Joe Hart was with Arsenal). They would need to trim the roster and sort out the team chemistry – that will take a bit longer and more then just spending millions.

    Anyway, you were wondering about Mancini tactics and I gave you my perspective on the situation. I don’t think that Mancini is in position to force adoption of Arsenal model. He has to work the system that is in place. Mancini is pragmatic and he knows that City do not have title caliber team despite millions spent. So as any professional manager in this situation he is trying to minimize the risk and increase chance for desired outcome. Wenger on other hand believes he has a team to challenge for the title and plays his cards accordingly.

  21. @DC Arsenal were unlucky in the first half though in my book they were wasteful. It doesn’t matter if you hit the post or blast ten yards over – you missed the chance. In the second half City adjusted and Arsenal didn’t change their game. Apart from RVP wonder strike and Hart world class save I don’t recall any clear cut chances. Gunner missed their chance to win in the first half. Based on the second half a draw is a fair result.

  22. @Andrei,
    You might be right but if you spout garbage as Mancini did at the end of the game at the City of Manchester Stadium that they would have beat us with 11 men that evening, then shouldn’t you at least create at least one chance that hits the target when you do have 11 men on the field against that same side on the return fixture? At least under Hughes, the Sheik’s mercenaries would have tried to score a goal! It’s hard to defend a manager that says one thing and thinks another! Utter Bullsh*t from Mancini!

  23. Anyhow, from what I personally saw at the Grove this evening, we’ll win at least 2 trophies, including the EPL, this season with that level of quality and intensity that the lads now have; as long as we don’t suffer any injuries to this starting line-up! 
    For the two sides that are probably the best defences in the EPL (i.e Chelsea & Citeh) to be utterly dominated and outplayed by the boys, and we not scoring tonight just because of unbelievably bad luck, is fantastic and exactly the same as what Barca did to us in the first half at the Ems last season in the champions league! Please bring on ManIOU, the Spuds and even Barca, right now with this settled line-up! At least 2 trophies this season and I’m so glad that I’ve put some of my hard-earned money on that already!

  24. Andrei think about what you are saying we missed some chances and apart from one RVP chance in the second half were quite so City deserved the result.

    Since when did creating 0 chances on target mean you deserve a result ? they were pathetic at best out played all over the pitch the wood work saved them twice with Joe Hart not having a clue where the ball went.
    I dont think bad luck is wastefull…. wastefull is missing chances with the goal at your mercy no one in the way.

  25. @RedGooner I didn’t mean that City deserved the draw. My point is that based on second half performance Arsenal didn’t deserve more that a draw. They missed their chance in the first half when City was struggling to stop Arsenal attacks. In the game like this and against competent opponent like City you cannot expect to keep on creating chances for 90 mins. You have to score when opposition is struggling or step behind you. And it doesn’t matter why if you didn’t.

    In the second half City adjusted as you would expect them to. They parked the bus – the only way for them not to lose tonight. And Arsenal couldn’t do anything about it.

  26. And what about Mancini his poor attempt after the game telling to the BBC that their defensive performance was down to the fact this was the 4th game in 12 days. Well, Mr. Mancini: this was our 4th game in 10 days.

  27. Manchester city’s aim this year is a top 4 ( possibly 3 ) finish. There is no pressure for them to currently gamble on risking 1 point on chasing 3 in certain games. They did it at home to Manchester united and were always going to set out for a point last night. It was a great point for them and not a bad one for ourselves. 3 prints at wigan last week would have given last nights point even more value.

  28. They did have 11 men… but we had 12 – or at least I would say that Jones certainly gave us ‘home advantage’ (something we hardly ever see). Manchini anticipated this and parked the bus – tactically it was the right thing to do as if he had gone out for a game his team would have been torn apart.

    We were unlucky – 8 shots on target to their 0 and their keeper had a great indiviual performance. It seemed at times like we were a bit too eager and lacked a little patience – let’s take the point and move on, it’s a good point.

    Anyone want to talk about the red cards?

  29. Looking back on the game I have to agree that we had the referee for this one. If you notice from my earlier post Jones did get the early yellows out for De Jong & Barry. At that point I knew City had no chance,especially when you add the fact that we were playing beautifully.

    We can talk about time-wasting but I was in the crowd and we were booing and whistling from the moment Hart got the ball from the ball-boy.

    I have not seen the red cards, as it was on the opposite side of the pitch to me, so I will have to have a look and come back with an opinion later.

    The general consensus from the BBC & sky sports updates were that Sagna was to blame but I take that with a pinch of salt from those sources in particular.

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