Newcastle v Arsenal. 1-0 to the referee.



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…


Referee Games HomeWins AwayWins Draws
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.



Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 11 9 0 2 28 8 20 27
3 Arsenal 11 7 3 1 23 9 14 24




Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Arsenal 11 9 1 1 25 11 14 28
2 Manchester City 11 8 2 1 36 11 25 26


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



Team P W D L GF GA Pts Now
1 Chelsea 11 8 2 1 27 4 26 12*
2 Manchester City 11 7 2 2 22 6 23 27
3 West Ham United 11 7 2 2 23 13 23 14
4 Liverpool 11 6 4 1 31 11 22 23*
5 Arsenal 11 6 2 3 13 13 20 24


*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.

7 Replies to “Newcastle v Arsenal. 1-0 to the referee.”

  1. There is one lesson I take away from the game. the Gunners are not scared of physical battles.
    They fought tooth and nail and did not flinch.
    And Havertz can absolutely stand his ground.
    Then, when the referee and VAR have decided to chicken out and not apply the laws of the game, I guess Arsenal can’t do much more on the field.
    I’m reading Arteta should be punished for his comments…. I do remember some other managers saying the same kinds of things since the start of the season, but can’t remember what happened to them ?

  2. I haven’t seen the game, I fortunately was busy as I never fancied watching it, I’m still getting over the game last season where the players were the victims of over the top and unpunished aggression. Despite winning there last season I felt that the effort and the physical punishment they went through had cost us too much and the tank had insufficient fuel to see us fight hard for the remainder of the season.
    The Man City game’s main talking point was the red card not issued during the early spells when city players were highly aggressive in challenging from behind the players receiving the ball from the keeper or defence, making Raya very nervous about playing a ball for fear of it being a hospital pass. However, referee Michael Oliver didn’t issue the red but the city players did cut out the OTT aggression ( cheating ) from that point on, and with the level playing field we beat them.
    We had a 10/10 ref against Sheffield United.
    Then West Jam let loose with a highly aggressive game plan and as usual we were not allowed to give back. But something utterly confusing occurred during the game that I haven’t seen discussed. Ben White smashed his elbow into a player’s eye during a challenge that split the skin a drew blood and absolutely no fuss was made about it by anyone, not even the victim. I’m stunned an Arsenal player actually injured an opponent and went entirely unpunished.
    To see Mikel wait for his moment to make the point regarding how embarrassing it all is encouraging as he’s not alone saying these things at this time, it might improve the situation. However, him being an Arsenal manager, it could well mean the start of the dark days to his ultimate demise, history repeating itself.

  3. Two clubs that are owned by the Arabians are getting beneficial decisions and treatment? What a surprise. Premier League is a corrupt and tainted competition, there is no element of fair competition.

  4. Said it yesterday.The only worries I had were Stuart ATWELL as ref.Incompetent.And Andrew Madley as VAR ,biased.Well VAR corruption won the day.But you won’t here anything on this.The only noise from the media will be them letting their hounds loose on Arteta demanding a ban for his outburst.But Arsenal should call their bluff & demand an explanation from the PGMOL & Webb.An apology won’t cut it this time.If need be,get lawyered up.

  5. Positive pete

    “But Arsenal should call their bluff & demand an explanation from the PGMOL & Webb. An apology won’t cut it this time. If need be, get lawyered up.”

    I really hope this is a turning point and this is indeed what Arsenal do, simply because I’ve had enough. But in reality I know that even if they do we/they/Arsenal will lose. Why? You said it yourself:

    “But you won’t here anything on this. The only noise from the media will be them letting their hounds loose on Arteta demanding a ban for his outburst”

    And you are dead right, because as I have kept repeating like a broken record for years, it’s the media that run our game, and it’s the media who set the agenda, and part of their agenda is to screw Arsenal at every opportunity.

    If Arsenal were to have any hope sadly they need the media on board and that simply wont happen, in fact it will be the exact opposite.

    Arteta is not Klopp and Arsenal are not Liverpool so we cant expect an ounce of the media sympathy they received.

    Unforetuneately Davsta is nearer the mark when he says:

    “However, him being an Arsenal manager, it could well mean the start of the dark days to his ultimate demise, history repeating itself.”

    Taking on the media is nigh on impossible. Wenger was a genius at it, but even he succumbed to their endless attacks in the end.

  6. I was unfortunately not able to see the match yesterday, but from the photo I am glad I missed it. Wasn’t Darren England the VAR person for the game as I remember someone commenting that he may tilt the field in favour of Castle but I still haven’t heard or seen anything about the game, It is just so sad that Sky keeps on telling all that the EPL is the best league in the world, while back at the ranch their officiating is probably on par with 1 of the African countries. So absolutely disgraceful it is not even worth getting upset or annoyed about it. Roll on the super league with honest officiators.

  7. The question to me is why are they making so many wrong decisions with all the help they have,
    Var should work, we saw the ball go off on TV how var miss ,that a push in the back miss ,handball miss
    It not var fault it the official who have either got a agenda
    Against us or are corupt the is the question that needs to be asked and needs to be asked now.

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