Arsenal rise, referee as expected, bonkers journalist, last six games triumph



Arsenal continues to fail to excite the newspaper columnists and bloggers.  Today it is “sleepy Arsenal” and notes about how useless Burnley were.   Arsenal obviously can’t be responsible for the quality of the opposition, but sleepy?  Not from where I was sitting.

True we are four points worse off than after 12 games last season, but the defence is actually better than a year ago, although the attack has scored four fewer.  and this season five of our games have been against other “big seven” clubs.   Last season by this point there had only been three.


Team P W D L F A GD Pts
2 Arsenal 2023/4 12 8 3 1 26 10 16 27
1 Arsenal 2022/3 12 10 1 1 30 11 19 31


The Telegraph goes with “struggling Burnley” and “Vieira horror tackle” in their headline.   They also tell us that “Managers have been united in condemnation after a series of controversial decisions” by refs and VAR.    So was that a multi-managerial rant?  Or a rant ensemble?  Seemingly not.  It’s only a rant when it is Arteta.

Indeed the Mirror still won’t let it go.  “Arsenal fans blast Newcastle hypocrisy after goal disallowed because of Bukayo Saka”, is part of a bonkers article in which they reprint last week’s story only now call Arteta’s speech a “passionate rant”.   And that commentary takes up around 50% of their article on yesterday’s match!

The Daily Mail tells us that Ben White was left out of the squad as he was injured – which is helpful, since no one around me in the ground seemed to know why.

So how did the referee do?  

Before this game Oliver was giving out 10.50 fouls on average per game against the home team, but in this match he gave 8 fouls against Arsenal.

Before the game, Oliver was giving 10.56 fouls on average per game against the away team, but in this match he gave 9 fouls against Burnley.

Before this game, he had given 14 yellows against home team and 23 against the away team.  In this game, Arsenal got no yellow cards and Burnley got one.  So he was pretty much staying on track with this previous performance.

But in terms of results, he remains far away from the league’s average results.  55.6% of his games have now been home wins and 44.4% have been away wins, with no draws.   There have been 115 games in the League this season as of this morning, and 40 of them have been away wins (35%) 23 have been draws – which is 20%.   It is becoming more than a statistical quirk that this referee just doesn’t oversee draws.

There is perhaps one other table we might look at this morning – the last six games.  And I mention this because I heard on the radio driving back from the game a discussion about the great Everton revival of late – which surprised me since I thought they were still struggling.

And indeed a look at the last six games table shows that Everton, even on this account, are not featured in the top ten.  Arsenal however most certainly are… Arsenal are top on the basis of the last six games played (although I would be surprised if any national outlets of football news are willing to report this).

And this being top is not only on points (where Arsenal are equal with Aston Villa) it is also on goals scored (ditto) and on goals against (Arsenal have conceded just four to Manchester City’s five) and thus of course on goal difference (+11, while our nearest rivals are on +9).  Here’s the top ten based on last six games only.


Premier League Form (Last 6)
Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Arsenal 6 4 1 1 15 4 +11 13
2 Aston Villa 6 4 1 1 15 6 +9 13
3 Manchester City 6 4 0 2 14 5 +9 12
4 Tottenham Hotspur 6 4 0 2 9 8 +1 12
5 Manchester Utd 6 4 0 2 6 6 0 12
6 Liverpool 6 3 2 1 12 6 +6 11
7 Newcastle United 6 3 2 1 11 6 +5 11
8 Wolverhampton 6 3 2 1 10 8 +2 11
9 Chelsea 6 3 1 2 12 7 +5 10
10 Brentford 6 3 1 2 11 8 +3 10


In terms of the Big Seven that we particularly note, the interloper continues to be Aston Villa, and the outlier is Chelsea.  So I’d say it is all going rather well.  Although of course these figures are produced on Sunday morning (12 November) and there are games being played today and tomorrow so things might change a bit.  But even so, given the way the fixture list has gone, I’m rather satisfied thus far.

19 Replies to “Arsenal rise, referee as expected, bonkers journalist, last six games triumph”

  1. As I said before the game yesterday, Tossard is our best number 9 and our best clinical finisher in that position. I hope that Arteta keeps him in that position, even when Jesus and Nketiah are both fit. Jesus should be the back up and sub for Tossard and Saka. Nketiah and Viera should be sold along with injury prone Partey and smith Rowe. ZINY should be promoted to cover for Odeguaard when he is not fit. A new Front Tall TargetMan should be brought along with a versitile defensive player to cover full backs and midfield until Timber is fit again.

  2. How was the Burnley goal allowed after the obvious foul on Tomiyasu? Nothing to do with Oliver refereeing could it?

  3. Why haven’t legacy media asked the 5 man group of experts to give their opinion on Saka being penalised for doing exactly what the Newcastle player did to Gabriel last week? 100% example of the persistent inconsistencies of the officials. But being Arsenal maybe it doesn’t fit their agendas.

  4. It seems most times Oliver referees us he gives, or doesn’t give, a major decision against us:-
    Martinelli dismissal at Wolves
    Kovacic not being sent off
    Not giving a foul preceding Burnley’s goal
    Any more?

  5. According to “quite the” commentator at the West Ham match today, an elbow in the face “is perfectly acceptable”.

    What are they smoking at SkySports?

  6. Yellows against Chelsea today : 5 for 13 fouls
    Yellows against City today : 3 for 12

    The numbers from the Burnley game are so out of line with this…Burnley 9 fouls, 1 yellow….

    Just no coherence…. just this sense in utter incompetence.

  7. Rodri got a yellow card for pushing a Chelsea player in the back using two hands today. The irony.

    I wonder whether the “independent” panel will take a look at it. I doubt it.

    PGMOL. What are they good for?

  8. @ Seimic

    If you’re old enough to remember Edwin Starr, you’ll know all too well that the answer to a very similar question (albeit on a different topic!) is….”absolutely nothing”!

  9. The incompetence of the organisation becomes more blatant with every game.
    It looks to me like it is a cover for individuals who referee games the way each of them want (I am the captain and only report to God if I want to). They do as they please, with their bias, their fear of home crowds for some, their contempt for them for others, as the stats show.

    There is no basic rules of engagement that PGMOL has established. No quality control. Just smoke screens and posturing, threats against managers and clubs followed by punishments handed out.

    There is a total lack of personnel making incompetents even more so indispensable. Which in turn means they can do their mischief unhindered and unsanctionned.

    It is still an old boys network in the splendid caricatural english style. It has encroached itself onto the PL and knows it cannot be removed.

  10. And all this inconsistency is a result of the subjective nature of so many of the decisions. Basically they cannot be wrong, at least not in regards to the rules, because it’s all down to interpretation.

    Take the Newcastle goal that should not of been. According to ex referees Halsey, Gallagher and Hackett it was a foul. Okay Gallagher tried to say not enough to overturn the on field decision but he doesn’t even know if the ref even saw the incident so he’s just talking nonsense. The other 2 said a clear foul and a clear error. The PL Panel voted 4-1 no foul, so even they were not all in agreement.

    So, where does that leave us?

    Well, it basically means the decision as to whether it was the correct call or not is down to what the media say, and we all know what way they will go.

    The bottom line is the media dictate how the rules are applied. This is why, despite the outrage they actually want the chaos we have because it gives latitude to the officials to referee in accordance to their wishes.

    We have seen blatant inconsistencies over the weekend with goals disallowed for less than the Gabriel push. Sendings off for less than what Joelinton did, and I haven’t heard a single word about these glaring double standards and that’s because that’s exactly how they like it.

    It’s a joke.

  11. @Nitram,

    I agree with most of what you write, just that my standpoint is that this is all comes down to incompetence from top down. They ain’t following media orders. The media laps up all these errors and make their money raising the level of upset, serving as amplifyers of anger and horror.

    PGMOL is a ship without a rudder and without any captain or crew trying to steer the boat. It is just a wreck, with a motley crew unable to do anything to right it and sail. Just trying to keep the ship floating knowing full well they are doomed. Because doomed they are, whatever they say or think. When the only subject monday after monday is PGMOL, at some point something’s got to give.

  12. @Mike,

    bent because unable to rise above their own parthisanships, ie : incompetent.

    Incapable of being neutral, of assessing a situation like a previous one and like the next one in the same way.

    As for the organisation, it is incapable of maintaining a consistent level of refereeing, of decision making, a staff of referees large enough to enable ‘competition’ between individual referees, to enable sidelining ones who screw up, incapable for some reason to find referees south of the 52nd northern parallel. Incapable of preventing the same glitches/screw-ups week-end after week-end. Incapable of accepting any criticism and of having an open discussion about refereeing. Incapable of seeing the conflicts of interests when some countries owning clubs in the PL hire its referees – and I doubt they flew coach and slept in a camping site.

    This incompetence and arrogance will be it’s doom because at some point, there will be the drop, the spark, the last straw, the too much and the sh.t will hit the fan. We just need to keep on pounding that drum.

  13. Chris

    “Incapable of being neutral…..”

    But that isn’t incompetence. Not being neutral, is bias at best, cheating at worse.

    “…..of assessing a situation like a previous one and like the next one in the same way”

    But that is my argument. They do not assess a situation like a previous one, they assess a situation in accordance with how they feel the decision will be judged by their rulers, the media.

    Crudely speaking, they know a 50/50 given in Arsenals favour will be attacked by the opposing manager and he will be roundly supported by the media. ‘Arsenal got away with one there’. The referee will be criticised. A 50/50 (or worse) goes against us, our manager complains and the media slaughter him.

    This has been going on for years. No wonder referees err against us, because when they do they are hardly ever criticised, as with the Kovacic incident(s) at the Etihad where in some quarters the referee was even praised for making acknowledged wrong decisions.

    Yes, I agree they are incompetent, or at least look incompetent, and that is because they are not applying the Laws Of the Game as they should apply them, but as they think they are ‘supposed’ to apply them.

    It’s all a matter of opinion, but I think what we can all agree on is that refereeing is poor and VAR is even worse.

    Alas, where we disagree is what the future holds. I cannot see anything changing. Not now. Not ever.

  14. I think Howard Webb will be appearing with his complicit stooge, Michael Owen, tomorrow night (14th Nov) in the latest edition of Mic’d Up. It will be interesting to see PC Webb wriggling and squirming in a futile attempt to justify the shambles we saw at St. James’ Park. As usual, we can expect the sycophantic Owen to obediently trundle along behind his master, wagging his tail.

    Shouldn’t it be Miked Up?

    Were the corner-flags at St. James’ Park positioned correctly? If they were, the ball was definitely out. If they weren’t, there should be a fine coming Newcastle’s way.

  15. So the Professional Gerry Mandering Organisation Unlimited rolls on
    None of us are fooled , just over a fortnight ago these cheats were paid and instructed how to proceed.
    2024 champions Man C
    Infantino still in hiding
    The pgmo secret society living life high on the hog
    115 Man C charges met with the same delaying tactics that worked so well before
    Here’s more I wouldnt object to :-
    No away fans inside the Emptyhad all season , and that goes for any Saudi owned club (shedsea and loonytoon)
    No more media at Arsenal
    Time we left this rigged League if we cant kick out state owned clubs .

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