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by Bulldog Drummond
In our regular preview of referees we have a look at the results of matches overseen by referees so far in the season, and from the start of doing this we have noted that the referee figures often stray far from the national average.
This season the premier league teams have cumulatively played 194 games. Of these 66 have been away wins and 36 draws with 92 home wins.
In percentages that is 34% away wins, 19% draws and 47% home wins, showing a real benefit from being at home. The reason for the chances of the home win being that much greater than the away win was established in research carried out at London School of Economics (part of the University of London) which is described in full here. The clear result of that work (which involved looking at matches when crowds were present and when not, and the impact this has on the referee) is that referees can be influenced by the crowd.
But this does not happen in every case as the table below shows. 47% of games have ended as home wins this season but Paul Tierney has seen under 17% of his 12 games as home wins while Stuart Attwell has overseen 63% of his games as home wins.
Three referees have each overseen half of their games as away wins, whereas the average in the league is fractionally over one-third. Stuart Attwell has not overseen a single draw while Anthony Taylor has overseen over a third of his games as draws.
Now of course there is going to be some variation between referees but these variations from the average are enormous, and given that we know from the LSE research (which has since been replicated by other researchers) that crowds influence referees significantly, this obviously must be a matter of concern – although equally obviously not for PGMO nor their lapdogs in the media.
|League average 2023/4
|Josh Smith PL
|Josh Smith Champ.
|Josh Smith combined figures
Josh Smith as the extracted figures above show is a newcomer to the League and has thus far only been entrusted with three games in the Premier League and that is too low a number of consider in this sort of analysis.
But Mr Smith has been beavering away in the Championship and WhoScored kindly records these games for us and they can be seen in the bottom lines of the table above. He seems to be one of those referees that has learned just how much a home crowd can influence a referee, and in his 16 Championship matches, half have been away wins.
Looking at all his games this season we can see that 42.1% have been away wins as opposed to a 34% Premier League average which is encouraging for us today.
However, there is a word of warning necessary. Several times this season we have revealed the statistics of a referee and suggested that this is good or bad news for Arsenal – but the result has not gone that way. Several points come out of this and one is that of course we are talking about averages here and looking at referees who on average have a tendency to favour the home team because of the crowd.
All we are saying is that this referee does not have that tendency to favour the home team, and generally has a tendency to favour the away team. That’s good news for us, but doesn’t mean we are bound to win.
|Smith Premier League
*The figures in relation to fouls and yellow cards per game is dervied by taking the referee’s figures for both teams and dividing by two so that these can be compared with the figures for Arsenal. Thus we can see Arsenal are committing a smaller number of fouls per game than this referee normally sees, and are likely to get one or two yellow cards in the game. Any deviation from this will raise suspicions (although no more than that) that all is not being properly adjudged.
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