- How referee bias works: the details and the statistics
By Tony Attwood
While of course it won’t make a blind bit of difference to PGMO because they are in their own world, it was good to hear Mikel Arteta speak out plainly concerning the Newcastle away match.
He called the goal situation an absolute disgrace…” adding “There’s so much at stake, we’ve put in so many hours to compete at the highest level and you cannot imagine the amount of messages we’ve had saying this cannot continue. It’s embarrassing.
“It’s not acceptable, there’s too much at stake. I don’t want to be in the hands of these people. I don’t know how to feel. I’m wasting my time, we are wasting our time. It’s difficult enough to compete against Newcastle – they are a really good team, but we have to talk about how the hell this goal stood. It’s an absolute disgrace it was allowed. For more than one reason it should not be a goal.
“I have been in this country more than 20 years and [the officiating] is nowhere near the level of the best league in the world. I feel sick to be part of this. I feel sick. It’s not a goal, it’s not a goal.”
And that seems about right. But what on earth do we do?
If you are a regular reader you will know that Untold has been calling out PGMO for years (see for example 160 games analysed) for its approach to refereeing via its deliberate use of a very small number of referees, and the way it fails to question the bias of some of those referees as revealed through their statistics.
In our run-up to the game we saw some very curious figures for referee Attwell…
|Stiart Attwell now||7||42%||56%||0%|
|Attwell this year prior to game||6||33.3%||66.7%||0.0%|
|Stuart Attwell last season||25||72.0%||12.0%||16.0%|
So now his numbers look a little more “balanced” – a little more in keeping with the league’s average.
Before today’s (5 November) games there have been 107 Premier League matches this season. 38 have been away wins, (35%), 22 draws (21%) and and 47 home wins (44%).
So that win for Newcastle brings Attwell’s figures back into the mainstream for home wins, although I imagine he’ll be expected to continue to cut down on those away wins.
We are still waiting for the official figures on Stuart Attwell’s performance in terms of tackles and fouls in last night’s game, and when they emerge I’ll compare them with where he was before this match so we can see if he changed his stance in terms of fouls etc.
Meanwhile the league table is looking a little less exciting than it did before.
So we can see that last season after 11 games Arsenal were one point better off than Manchester City are now, but were in fact four points ahead of Arsenal today. Arsenal’s goal’s are down by two and Arsenal’s defence has let in two more. So we’re not at the standard of last year.
However the difference is not enormous and there’s no need to start much gnashing of teeth. And we really must continue to remember how quickly things change. This is the league table in 2021 after 11 games, and in the right columns I’ve added a note showing where these clubs are this morning
|3||West Ham United||11||7||2||2||23||13||23||14|
*One game still to play this weekend.
So yes a disappointment indeed but still progress over a two year span, and although we wouold not compare Arsenal with the likes of Chelsea and West Ham United normally, it is worth noting just how far they have each declined in a couple of seasons.
For just two years ago in November 2021 Chelsea were top of the league and tipped by pundits to stay there. West Ham United were third. Today they are 12th and 11th respectively. Chelsea however (to be fair) have a game in hand, which is away to Tottenham. I think perhaps just on this occasion we might offer them our best wishes.
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