All change: referees falling over themselves to admit they make mistakes


By Tony Attwood

The PGMO head bossman Howard Webb has announced that the referee in charge of the 3-3 between Manchester City and Tottenham made a mistake.   This comes on the tail of the failure of the media-hyped campaign against Mikel Arteta in which he raised the issue of the failure of VAR.

This move by PGMO has of course been ignored by the media none of whom have apologised for calling Arteta’s analysis of the VAR failure a rant, when in fact the official body has agreed it was simply a pointing out of a failure of the system.

Arsenal of course were penalised because a goal was allowed when it should not have been, thus depriving Arsenal of the result they had earned.

Will Arteta and Arsenal go down in history as the manager and the club which finally got PGMO to back off and see sense?   No of course not; the tirades against the manager and the club will continue at full speed.

Arsenal’s next game is against Brighton and Hove Albion…


Team P W D L F A GD Pts
4 Arsenal home 8 6 2 0 20 8 12 20
10 Brighton and Hove Albion away 7 3 1 3 15 16 -1 10


This table shows Arsenal in a superior position when comparing home and away games.   Even removing the advantage Arsenal have of having played an extra home game compared with Brighton’s one fewer away game, there is still an advantage.  Arsenal are on 2.5 points per game as opposed to Brighton’s 1.43 points per game.

The goal difference is also very much in Arsenal’s favour; Arsenal’s average home score is 2.5 goals for and one goal against.  For Brighton it is 2.14 goals for 2.28 goals against.  It is difficult to see exactly how this balances out but 3-1 to Arsenal is a possibility.

Brighton’s away matches have by and large been against major teams and although the away win at Manchester United looks good, Manchester United have won five and lost four of their home games this season which makes that victory look less sensational.  Since then there has just been the win against Nottingham Forest – a club that has so far only won two of their eight home games this season.


Date Game Res Score
16 Sep 2023 Manchester United v Brighton a W 1-3
30 Sep 2023 Aston Villa v  Brighton  L 6-1
21 Oct 2023 Manchester City v  L 2-1
4 Nov 2023 Everton v Brighton  D 1-1
25 Nov 23 Nottingham Forest v Brighton  W 2-3
3 Dec 2023 Chelsea v Brighton and Hove Albion L 3-2

Arsenal are meanwhile one of only four clubs that have remained unbeaten at home this season, making the home win look more certain.

But the run against Brighton has been poor of late.   Leaving aside the one league cup match in recent times since March 2018 the two clubs have played each other eleven times since March 2018 and Arsenal have won just three games, and two of those have been away.  The only home win was in 2021 by 2-0 at the end of the season.

04 Mar 2018 Brighton and Hove Albion v Arsenal L 2-1
26 Dec 2018 Brighton and Hove Albion v Arsenal D 1-1
05 May 2019 Arsenal v Brighton and Hove Albion D 1-1
05 Dec 2019 Arsenal v Brighton and Hove Albion L 1-2
20 Jun 2020 Brighton and Hove Albion v Arsenal L 2-1
29 Dec 2020 Brighton and Hove Albion v Arsenal W 0-1
23 May 2021 Arsenal v Brighton and Hove Albion W 2-0
02 Oct 2021 Brighton and Hove Albion v Arsenal D 0-0


The injury news is positive: Martinelli should be back and Smith Rowe seems fine to continue.   All in all I fancy a good Arsenal win.

14 Replies to “All change: referees falling over themselves to admit they make mistakes”

  1. I think we will continue to struggle in front of goal and it will be tense.
    Hope Mitomi not playing as Zinchenko will be all over the place defensively as usual.
    Taking my grandson to his first game so fingers crossed

  2. Well, back to winning ways. One dangerous game done and won.
    And Havertz continuing his progress and notching goal Nr 4.
    Watching Pool! vs Manure and getting bored.
    Neither team playing any form of nice-to-look-at football.
    As for the crowd…compared to the Emirates – at least how I hear it on TV – is way less present.

  3. Looking at the Pool!-Manure game…I’m just worried about how PGMOL will screw us.
    That being said, what a crap game….
    The Pool! player just dives in the Manure box…not a hint of a yellow. Even the guys on TV were saying this was not right.
    Fouls after 80 minutes

    Pool 12 Manure 4

    I mean… just read the above !

    Yellow cards after 80 minutes

    Pool 2 Manure 2


    Talk about total incompetence. Wonder who the hatchet man will be next week

  4. BBC headline: “Arsenal edge past Brighton”. Stats: shots 26 to 6. Corners 10 to 1. Yep, we “edged” it!!

    Yet the media darlings (Liverarpool) fail to beat a mid-table team at home, “Liverpool dominated possessio”} and “failed to go top”. Seriously!

    It’s almost like the media and the PGMO have an interest in teams from the NW doing well!! :~)

    And in terms of the PGMO getting us back for Mikel not being hung, drawn and quartered, Ben White’s yellow card!! FFS this type of foul happens 50 times in every game without a card. Then when exactly the same happened the other way, the ref gives nothing. Obviously Arteta protests. The ref then realises he’s been caught out being completely biased. So gives a card to the Brighton player..AND Mikel. WTF….this is clearly just the start.

    We were so far ahead of Brighton we got the three points. When we have a one or two trickier games when there’s more of an opportunity to penalise Arsenal, we’re gonna get turned over big time, I have absolutely no doubt. Same old, same old.

  5. Just checking the odds for the Liverpool game next week. Skybet offer 6/4 fora penalty in the match. Sadly. They don’t offer odds on that being a Liverpool penalty…..I’m guessing they’re incredibly short though!!

  6. Just checking again….. THE (unbiased) BBC headline is now, “Precious point at Liverpool…”.

    Arsenal are the seventh story, behind stories that include games from three other countries. So great to see the unbiased neutrality of BBC Salford at work……

  7. ARSENAL ease past sluggish Seagulls : 90mins
    Mikel Arteta picks up 4th Premier League booking in 2023/24 vs Brighton : 90mins
    Same old , same old , media
    The world of Arsenal through the 90mins lens eh?
    #1 Brighton had an off day
    #2 Arteta up to his usual , but the gallant ref put him in his place
    #3 The dear old Arsenal roll of dishonour makes a reappearance
    All any football fan needs to know re Arsenal; were so boring that Brighton were falling asleep or sluggish, must say those 1st half fouls on Saka were well dealt with by the referee , he let the game flow and totally ignored any protests.
    Meanwhile Manyoo put up a spirited fight
    Spurs swept imperiously to another fine win over one of the top sides
    Chelsea are resurgent.
    Arsenal could have paid dearly had some plucky Brighton lad had his shooting boots on.

    Somehow weve huffed and puffed and muddled our way to the top but just you wait . Liverpool will cuff Arsenal aside and all their stupid pretensions will be exposed .

    Whatever you do Untold keep producing the goods , aside from Arseblog and your good selves all I’m seeing out there is wall to wall tripe and onions .
    2-0 and im well chuffed , all the best to all the UA contributors .

  8. Mikey: I picked up on that coverage in Australia where I am at present, and where TV is not showing English football (at least not the TV channels that I can get!) It is really interesting trying to judge what is happening to Arsenal by reading the newspapers on line. Thank goodness for the internet where at least other opinions are offered.

  9. Mickey,

    my take is screw them….Arsenal are finding ways to win games against the will of PGMOL.

    As for the Pool! – Manure game, my take :

    1) boring, boring, boring.
    2) none of the teams were playing some sort of nice football. Exept maybe in the last 10 min, there was no emotion really. Both sides were inept at creating anything close to free flowing football.
    3) the referee was so incompetent. Visibly scared of the home crowd. I think it was Oliver, don’t know his stats, would be interesting to compare.
    4) All the hype about this clasico of clasicos, so many trophies between the 2 teams…and in the end a dud. The Arsenal-BHA was so much the better. And the crowd way more present.
    5) watching the game we were often laughing. Kind of Keystone Cops football, silly moves, errors, rebounds, pinball type ball moves…. pathetic
    6) Pool! at 68% possession and 13 fouls, Manure 32 % and 8 fouls go figure !
    7) Pool! with 2 yellows, Manure with 6 (one double on Dalot as he was legitimately protesting… the referee knew he was wrong, and so he punished him twice within seconds)
    8) What does incompetence mean ? Check this game and you’ll see it.
    9) 36 shots on goal on Pool! side…8 on target. Talk about an offensive line completely missing in action….
    10) We are top of the league by 2 points.
    11) If I could sign for this result next week-end, I’d do it….that being said, there is a blueprint on how to beat Liverpool to be taken from this game.

  10. While we should have finished them off early , yet we still are finding our way. I thought that we were good for most of the game and were positive in going forwards. Some wasted chances not taken , otherwise we would have been comfortable at the closing stages .
    Still we being on top , while still not firing on all cylinders , does give me much hope.

    Up The Gunners !

  11. Oliver nailed his colours ti the mast yesterday. His failure to send off Nunez was inexcusable. His dismissing Dalot was pedantic although Dalot gave him the chance.Typical Anfield refereeing. No doubt scared of incurring the wrath of Klopp. Same at Newcastle with the failure to dismiss Lascelles. How did Coufal stay on at West Ham after a cowardly elbow. No doubt Webb will justify all. Will be interesting to hear the referees’ defence lawyer Gallagher (he of the sheepish grin) exonerate them. Maybe Rumpole of the Bailey could help him!

  12. A little OT, but may I recommend subscribing to footballisfixed newsletters – I don’t agree with everything they claim, but they do reveal some explosive information.

    PS – Yesterday’s referee in N5 was from the county of…Sussex. I am sure Mr Webb will appoint someone from the London Borough of Islington for the return fixture at the Amex lol…

  13. Mikey

    “BBC headline: “Arsenal edge past Brighton”. Stats: shots 26 to 6. Corners 10 to 1. Yep, we “edged” it!!”

    As they say, you can fool some of the people all of the time, all the people some of the time, but you cant fool all of the people all of the time. People aren’t blind. The BBC, The Sun, whoever, they can misdirect, mislead, but by and large people are not stupid. They know we are top because we are a damn good side. They know we are top despite some ridiculous treatment from referees and VAR. But more importantly, people that actually know football can see how good we are, and the Brighton manager saw it for himself from close up yesterday, and I don’t think his comments suggest he thinks we ‘edged’ it at all:

    Roberto De Zerbi, “Arsenal played much better than us. They deserved to win the game. We suffered a lot. I think Arsenal are one of the best, maybe this season the best team in the Premier League. We are not used to suffering in this way. We are used to controlling the game.”

  14. Nitram,
    Nice comment from De Zerbi. I’m quite impressed with BHA, their current owner is of course a very rich man (intriguingly a successful gambler known in poker circles as The Lizard) but is actually a fan not just a sportswashing oligarch. Unusual in the EPL. When we win the title I hope they come second.

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