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Arsenal v Stoke City: the pre-match review of the ref

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RefWatch – Arsenal v Stoke City (23/02/2011 19:45)

By DogFace

  • Referee:              Peter Walton
  • Assistant 1:         Martin Yerby
  • Assistant 2:         Patrick Keane
  • 4th Official:        Phil Crossley (Who?!)

Good morning stat-fans and welcome to the best damn pre-match statistical based (with a dollop of cynical/satirical opinion) EPL Referee analysis for Arsenal games there is on the internet ever.

FACT!

Today we face Stoke City… under Peter Walton and, it’s fair to say, we have a bit of history.

With that in mind, let’s have a look at Referee:

  • Full name:                          Peter Walton
  • Date of birth:                     10 October 1959 (1959-10-10) (age 51)
  • Place of birth:                   Long Buckby, Northamptonshire, England
  • EPL Referee Since:          2003/2004
  • EPL Games to date:         143


Another nice young English lad sent off for doing what he does best.

Ok, the picture is evocative, has something of the da Vinci about it and there is not much of Walton in there – to be fair, I do not blame Peter Walton for this sporting atrocity, I rather blame the Stoke manager, the thrall of SAF and the apologist gray-train riding media for not only promoting the violence and the Arsenal ‘soft lad’ myth but for also reacting with spectacular stupidity to the Shawcross incident by suggesting that we [the credulous mugs] should sympathise with young Ryan because his mammy had to drive him home as he cried and cried into her big floppy tits for ‘what he gone done’ – casting him as something akin to Steinbeck’s ‘Lennie Small’…

“Won’t you tell (us) ’bout those rabbits, Tony [Pullis]?”

…Hmmm – where as I’m prepared to accept that Ryan Shawcross is something of a ‘weak willed footballing retard’; I am not prepared to forgive (and certainly not to forget) and neither should Peter Walton – no referee wants that on their record and no league wants incidents like this in it – they rock the aforementioned gravy train by stretching the credulity of the mugs with the type of Orwellian mental gymnastics the media have to then promote and spin to divert from their agenda and lull us back into our now troubled sleep.

What was that TalkShite?  His leg would have probably broken anyway you say and you can tell all that from a fuzzy picture in the Daily Telegraph?

Righto then, with the authority of the pundit invested in me, I’ll be sure to mention that one down the pub… but first, just to be sure, let me run it by my 3 y/o daughter:

“That man kicked the Arsenal man and hurt his leg”

Conflicting opinion there – who to trust… just who to trust?!

As you can probably tell – I’m still pissed right off about this and I’m using this soap box (that Tony kindly lets me borrow from time to time) to indulge a bit of self-therapy… you may recall that I once told you that I [the DogFace alter-ego] was born on the 23-02-2008 (3 years to the day today); Mike Dean was the midwife to my awakening and subsequent research… which reminds me, wait just a minute there – who are we playing next and under who?  That’ll be Birmingham under Dean for those of you who aren’t paying attention – what are the chances eh?  What are the odds?  And what is that dreadful smell?

Our buttons are being pushed – remember, recognise, speculate and discuss!

The Shawcross/Ramsey incident, although very different in many ways to the Taylor/Eduardo incident, reminded me that I must never stop my quest to investigate, calculate and, hopefully, educate.

Anyhoooo – let us examine now Peter’s numbers for both Arsenal and Stoke to see what lessons have been learned over the last year or so.

Peter Walton has had 10 games for Arsenal consisting of 7 wins, 3 draws and 0 losses – get in!

Arsenal are currently in 2nd in Peter Walton’s personal Points Per Game League (for teams with a minimum of 5 matches played), for matches in the EPL, with an average of 2.40 PPG.

In Peter Walton’s personal Handicap Swing League (for teams with a minimum of 5 matches played), for matches in the EPL, Arsenal come 2nd with an average positive swing of 1.00.

Arsenal are currently in 2nd in Peter Walton’s personal Booking’s Per Match League (for teams with a minimum of 5 matches played), for matches in the EPL, with an overall average of 0.90 BPM.

In Peter Walton’s personal Fouls Per Booking League (for teams with a minimum of 5 matches played), for matches in the EPL, Arsenal come 4th with an overall average of 9.56 FPB.

You can see from the chart that the Opposition FPB figures under Peter Walton have crashed since the last time we played Stoke City – this would indicate a perhaps slight paranoia from him in the protection he gives us.  This is good, in fact all our numbers look good… and I remember off the top of me head a few controversies under Walton in our favour – I think Hleb slapped some geezer called Murty once while Walton looked the other way and he also denied fat Sam a ‘clear penalty’ (was it) when we done his cloggers 6-2, that match brings back particularly happy memories for me as I got (and took) the opportunity to tell Sam exactly what I thought of him and his ‘work the wings and hoof it at big man’ tactics… right into his ear no less!  Ahhh – a story for another time.

Peter Walton has had 9 games for Stoke City consisting of 1 win, 1 draw and 7 losses… oh fuck yes!

Stoke City are currently rock bottom (21st) in Peter Walton’s personal Points Per Game League (for teams with a minimum of 5 matches played), for matches in the EPL, with an average abject relegation form of 0.44 PPG.

In Peter Walton’s personal Handicap Swing League (for teams with a minimum of 5 matches played), for matches in the EPL, Stoke City come 19th with an average negative swing of -1.17 – ha, bloody ha!

Stoke City are currently in 20th in Peter Walton’s personal Booking’s Per Match League (for teams with a minimum of 5 matches played), for matches in the EPL, with an overall average of 2.11 BPM.

In Peter Walton’s personal Fouls Per Booking League (for teams with a minimum of 5 matches played), for matches in the EPL, Stoke City come 21st with an overall average of 4.89 FPB.

So again, since Ramsey’s injury we can see in the graph Walton taking a more punitive approach to Stoke’s tactics… and although their handicap form has risen slightly – they still remain sub-zero while their PPG figures this season have dropped to 0.5 per game!

If we look now at the handicap swing figures for Peter Walton Vs. the EPL (selected teams) – we can see a few encouraging things – the first being that he does no favours for Manchester City (which is always a relief) and second the fact that, of late, Manchester United’s figures look entirely realistic – the same can be said for Chelsea although Chelsea have done very well across the board under Peter Walton (much better than Arsenal) and this may be due in part to a slight Southern bias in his data.

I would say that this match is a good 3 pointer for Arsenal, we should keep some stars on the bench, saving them for the Wembley Quagmire, and bring them on in the second half if needs be and I would expect Peter Walton to explain the rules clearly and concisely to both teams before kickoff – after all, we don’t want any drama on the Wednesday night before cup final weekend do we?

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39 comments to Arsenal v Stoke City: the pre-match review of the ref

  • gooner80

    Hey great analysis, I think it was you or walter said that sometime you need to book a team early to not let the game get out of hand, if a bad tackle goes unpunished it provokes more bad challenges. So I hope he gets the game under control very early.

    I hope arsenal players dont have the cup final in mind because stoke will deliberately try and go in hard knowing that the players will be frightened of missing the final

    this game is so important

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EksWiZcc-ew

    Interesting about the ref. I was reading somewhere, perhaps even here I think, that betting circles can be massively affected by who is refereeing a certain team.

  • FinnGooner

    Great work. For me this gives bit more confidence that Walton learned from last year and will do his best to prevent anything like that to happen again (hopefully).
    I’ll be happy next week as long as our players get out of these matches without injuries. (and winning both matches).

  • I love reading these.
    Something the Fifa video games have which real television commentary tends to lack is comments on the ref.
    Refs have a personality and have traits but they’re rarely discussed (their bias obviously is sometimes). It’s why I find these great to read to find out if a ref is the protective type or the “let them get on with it” type etc.

    Also I didn’t realise Dean was the ref. It makes me slightly nervous considering an awful show at major games last year.
    I think I’m going to have to drink more.

  • *Obviously mean ref of the Carling Cup match.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Very interesting. Must admit, I had him down as a Fergie ref, especially after the recent Blackpool game but these numbers seem to tell a different story. Perception eh!

  • Sammy The Snake

    Relief!

  • DogFace

    @Andy – this is true… I would say that the ‘smart money’ factors in the referee as one of the major actors to influence the outcome.

    I hope it’s a good game tonight and Walton doesn’t have a shocker – if he got behind Stoke and played to their advantage it would be very out of character. If we get a fair game that is refereed to protect the players and encorage technicality – we should win… I would say that the crowd need to get behind the team tongiht and really put the pressure on.

  • Tasos

    Dogface

    Excellent work. The figures look very promising indeed.

    Yesterday I made damming reference to Mr Walton’s appointment for this particular fixture. I personally believe it to be an error of judgement from the PGMO, showing a lack of logic and sensitivity by appointing Mr Walton with the memory of that horrible incident at The Britannia stadium still fresh in the mind. I have My own interpretation of Mr Walton’s performance that evening and I am not so forgiving towards him as yourself Dogface.

    Maybe I’m being too sensitive Myself here, the stats you have produced Dogface are clearly favourable and instil Me with much confidence for tonight’s game but I can’t help feeling someone somewhere is mocking Arsenal with this particular appointment.

    I accept My suspicions may appear as Paranoia, and then I think back to 2008 and remember the Eduardo incident against Birmingham, by coincidence our opponents for the Carling Cup final this weekend. I can recall the official from that paticular fixture, a certain Mike Dean, calling for a stretcher as another Arsenal player lay prone with an horrific injury due to an opponents wreck-less challenge.

    By the way Dogface, who has been appointed by the PGMO to officiate this weekends final against Birmingham?

  • DogFace

    @Tasos – if you read my blah (above) I covered much of what you say:

    “…you may recall that I once told you that I [the DogFace alter-ego] was born on the 23-02-2008 (3 years to the day today); Mike Dean was the midwife to my awakening and subsequent research… which reminds me, wait just a minute there – who are we playing next and under who? That’ll be Birmingham under Dean for those of you who aren’t paying attention – what are the chances eh? What are the odds? And what is that dreadful smell?

    Our buttons are being pushed – remember, recognise, speculate and discuss!”

  • Rhys Jaggar

    In all humility, one thing I suggest you investigate across as many cases as possible, is how many broken legs occur when a player loses control of the ball to turn what was a player coming in to tackle them with the ball and a 50:50 scrunch.

    I’d also ask why spatially instinctive players like Scholes, Rooney, Giggs et al never broke their legs. I’d humbly suggest it’s that they have an instinctive sense of putting themselves in danger and don’t do it…….or they’ve just been unbelievably lucky……..

    I think any broken leg is a complete tragedy, but you’re going to have to get over all this hatred sooner or later.

    And I’d also like you to compile a list of absolutely horrendous challenges by Arsenal players which, by the grace of God, didn’t break someone’s legs. I’ve mentioned more than one in the past and we saw Flamini commit one last week too……as this blog has been highighting former Gunners’ actions, perhaps you’d like to highlight that one, eh????

    The situation is much, much more complex than you are presenting it and you do no favours to anyone by simplifying it thus. It also doesn’t seem to be lessening your anger, which will ultimately start to affect your health if you don’t alter your emotional stand points……..trust me, unresolved anger leads to personality change. And unless that anger is channelled constructively, the health outcomes are ALWAYS negative. ALWAYS. Think about that…….

    None of which affects the fact that Eduardo, Ramsey and Diaby all suffered horrendous injuries of which, I would say, the Diaby challenge was the least acceptable……..understanding that the distance between the other two and acceptable is rather longer than the length of the Emirates pitch……..

  • A Casual Observer

    @Rhys

    You seem to have a good deal of pent up anger yourself… calm down it’s only football – you should learn to compartmentalise a bit more. If we all just forget about it because it is something way beyond our comprehension (as you suggest) then it will happen again and again. I think that the anger will subside one the notion of the ‘English’ game has been laid to rest.

    Alternatively – if you would please like to present your much, much , much more complex case for the defence of reckless challenges – then I suggest you do the research and publish an article rather than dropping platitudes of ‘critique’ before fucking off to your bunker.

    BTW – say what you like about Flamini – nobody will disagree with you, it was a shocker.

  • steww

    Rhys
    They are Manure players. They don’t get targeted like Arsenal players. Any player attacking a Manure player would be hung drawn and quartered by the media and football establishment. There is no sense of open season on them like there is on our players.
    How can you support our team and not see that? Unbelievable.

  • bob

    Coincidence? Ineptitude? Paranoia? Conspiracy? Oh, pray, no. Friends, our two worst injuries augur EXACTLY their “enabling” (so-called) referees from the sewers. The beasts are slouching toward Bethlehem. What up, dudes? Methinks that the FA/SAF has indeed taken heed of our rumblings hereabouts(and UA’s recent very positive BBC echo!!) and either is going to try and derail/abort our EPL drive to the top; or, will try to “disprove” any charges or hint that their henchmen (The Lives of Riley) are anti-Arsenal or otherwise bent. Simply Amazing choice of refs. We should let them know through our collective Ref-Watch project and emails galore – before the fact – that they, the referee-mechanics, are now on notice, under the collective lens. Anything less than fairness will and must be trumpeted until bursting. They should not be allowed to block any fair victory or they will court their Lord of the Rings moment: when the Arse-Shire and all fair-minded creation moves against their Sauron (read SAF/Riley/FA brass) to blind their all-seeing Eye at Kastle Fergus and drain The Swamp.

  • DogFace

    lol @Bob – you crack me up.

  • WalterBroeckx

    A fact is that in my match report I do for the Benelux site I wrote just before the Ramsey leg break that the ref had to do something about the Stoke players tackling. He only started doing this after Ramsey was put in an ambulance. If he has learned from this: GREAT!!!!! I would say.

    About Dean: keep an eye on this site in the next days I would suggest. I’ve done a bit of homework on him. :-/

  • Tasos

    Dogface

    I apologize for My ignorance.

    For health reasons, I felt the need to get things of My chest, to vent My frustration for fear of a personalty change.

    Keep up the good work Brother.

  • MikeSA

    “Compile a list of absolutely horrendous challenges by Arsenal players which, by the grace of God, didn’t break someone’s legs. I’ve mentioned more than one in the past and we saw Flamini commit one last week too..”

    So all those who wanted the Flamster back will be delighted then?

    Or am I missing something, does he still play for AC Milan, like he has for a few seasons now?……………………..

    We’ve seen a few bad tackles from Arsenal players, that’s true, but no broken legs (or even close for that matter, despite the hypocritical media claiming Gallas’ tackle was the worst ever seen on a football pitch – complete crap – I don’t recall AW sanctioning them as being “part of the game”, “he’s not that sort of player” etc etc.

    I’m pretty sure he has a few stern words out of ear shot of the drooling media (and associated idiots)when we do transgress.

    The reason we have had several broken legs is precisely because a large portion of the media, and certain sectors of fans, continue to state things like “it was just an accident” etc etc.

    Rubbish!

    Read the rules of the game.

    A reckless challenge warrants a yellow card, no discussion.

    A challenge using excessive force requires and immediate red card.

    Shawcross used excessive force. So did taylor. so did smith. So did barton the other day.

    Referees in England are NOT applying the rules, especially when it comes to fouls against Arsenal.

    THAT’S why Arsenal players are getting injured.

    AW even pointed out a season or so ago that Arsenal players pick up more bookings for fewer fouls than any othercub, despite being the most fouled against.

    And that’s using the fouls that the ref blows, i.e many fouls given against Arsenal that weren’t fouls, and many fouls against Arsenal not being given at all.

    The manu players don’t get injured because SAF’s “pals” are too terrified of him, as are the refs, so incidents like those are unlikely to happen because the referees put a stop to it before it gets anywhere near that sort of situation.

    In Arsenal games, that does not happen.

    The shawcross neanderthal lunge was directly down to the referee that day not putting a stop to the thuggish antics from the start.

  • LRV

    Don’t mind Rhys. He ‘supports’ Arsenal but never really defends the team. He would rather defend anything English at the expense of Arsenal whom he claims to ‘support’. Well, mate, you are not the only one who is ENGLISH on this site. In case you haven’t noticed, quite a few readers are, including the founder of the site.

    The point is ‘Reckless Endangerment’, Dangerous tackles or any other thuggish behaviour that will earn a jail term when perpetrated off the pitch should be punished on it; irrespective of who commiteed it. Nationality has nothing to do with it. Full Stop.

  • bob

    Despite Ryhs Jaggar “medicalising” our anger at blatant injustice (perhaps a case of “denialism,” though I digress), the idea of documentation is spot on. Let someone or two among us do a YouTube video that takes, say, Walter’s Top Ten examples of unpunished violent/reckless tackling and string them together into a sequence. It would illustrate each event, explain the impropriety, raise awareness of the rule(s), spotlight the perpetrators [player-hit men, and blind-eyed referees] and be a gift to all fair-minded fandom. Upload/Download, it would go viral (in the best sense), give BBC a visual to go by, give UA a visual proof of concept, and let us all breathe the fresh air of the ancient rubric: “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Imagine what we can now do with a video put in evidence. Can we identify a top ten, have Walter finalize the list, and someone technical produce that “Greatest Hits” video that can be turned against the Hit-Men?!

  • Colonel Decker

    Listen to him DogFace, continued RefWatches will inevitably end one way………cancer.

    You have been warned.

    I am also positive about tonight as it will not be good for the ‘race for the title’ if United go into Saturday evening a possible 7pts clear.

    They had to decide whether to push or pull and I am pretty sure that, with this appointment, they have decided to ‘push’ the mighty Arsenal tonight rather than risk a more difficult ‘pull’ of United away to an inconsistent Wigan.

  • bob

    Despite the ambiguous “warning,” the good Colonel does acknowledge a “they” in position to impact/dictate/influence (choose your poison) the outcome of a match. If the good Colonel might add a specific reason or two for his being so positive, then perhaps truth and celestial calm might prevail as opposed to warnings and cancer. (I do concede that the Colonel might have been doing a tongue in cheek, but no problem if so. I’ve tried to extract a useful kernel from his ambiguity.)

  • MikeSA

    If Rhys is an Arsenal supporter then I have green dandelions growing out my arse.

  • Adam

    Good article, I do hope the two refs up next have learned their lessons and we do not see a repeat of any serious injuries. Weird though how we ended up with these two, anyone out there know the odds on such an occurrence just so we can remove “coincidence” from our thoughts. Rhys does have a valid point, Ball control has a massive impact on a players decision making when closing down an opponent. However a lunge at an opponent should always be a red card. another factor involved is poor positioning, when a player gets court out this could lead to a lunging tackle and a leg break. whichever way you look at it, for me it comes back to intelligence and decision making. And the only ones who are to blame are the football clubs that do not train there playing staff to the required standards.

  • bob

    @Adam,
    Why not show the coincidence factor that you imply was at work in say the “poor positioning” of Dudu, Ramsey, Sagna and Diaby. Please do so, dear boy, “just so we can remove ‘conspiracy’ from our thoughts.” You are a coincidence theorist, methinks, the last refuge of compulsive innocence. Please have a re-view of those actions and specifically tell us where our players were struck down by THEIR poor positioning. This is known as “blaming the victim” should a more scientific term be required by you and Rhys.

  • DogFace

    Has anyone else noticed that:

    Arsenal V Stoke – Peter Walton 23/2 = (Aniversary of Eduardo Birmingham V Arsenal – Mike Dean)

    Arsneal V Birmingham – Mike Dean 27/2 = (Aniversary of Ramsey Stoke V Arsenal – Peter Walton)

  • Red Jessie

    Just logged on to read who tonight’s ref is. My heart sunk. What an insentive appointment.

    On another note I am relaibly informed that Old Mother Riley has tried to defend Steve Child’s ridiculous not offside Saha Everton goal. My sources tell me that the premier league officials all felt that Child had dropped a huge rickett but Riley thought otherwise. What hope do we have?

  • Malaysian Gooner

    //his mammy had to drive him home as he cried and cried into her big floppy tits for ‘what he gone done’ – casting him as something akin to Steinbeck’s ‘Lennie Small’…

    “Won’t you tell (us) ’bout those rabbits, Tony [Pullis]?”
    //

    Jesus Christ I never laughed this hard before.

  • Malaysian Gooner

    //happy memories for me as I got (and took) the opportunity to tell Sam exactly what I thought of him and his ‘work the wings and hoof it at big man’ tactics… right into his ear no less! Ahhh – a story for another time.//

    Hahahaha I remember this one. Everytime I see Sam on TV I’ll think of this incident.

  • Johnny Deigh

    Walton was shocking in the 2nd half. Let Stoke get away with several potentially leg-breaking lunges. Delap on Sagna. A 2-footed seated lunge on Theo. Shawcross lunges studs up on Arshavin, luckily our little Russian skipped over that one.

    I’m pretty sure Pullis told them at halftime to “get stuck in” and Walton just sat back and let it happen.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Walton is a joke. Denied Blackpool a clear pen when 2-0 up against Utd recently. He was also the guy Fergie said was not fit enough to be a ref. Suppose that having fallen from grace he has been trying to get back in Fergies good books ever since.
    But seriously, what is it with the refs we get these days? Guess Walter has covered it in his articles

  • bob

    THE FAIR-MINDED HAVE TUNED IN TO WITNESS
    THE DEFENSE OF FERGIE’S REALM AGAINST THE ARSENAL

    PART 1: WALTON RE-OPENS THE GATES AND STOKE’S BARBARIANS ENTER STUDS UP

    PART 2: SILVERWARE AT WEMBLEY: DEAN SIGNALS BIRMINGHAM’S HORDES TO ……

    PART 3: THE SHOWDOWN AT THE EMIRATES

  • Johnny Deigh

    The first 15 minutes of the 2nd half were very rough and Walton didn’t do anything. Whitehead also lunged at Arshavin during this period, and Carew threw his shoulder into Djourou to take him out of the play.

    Just looking again at the Shawcross lunge on Arshavin at 63:35. He would have easily broke Arshavin’s leg had he caught him.

    I’m going to try to post some caps.

  • Johnny Deigh

    I don’t know what network was broadcasting this match, but they sure didn’t show many replays of some of these lunges.

  • Johnny Deigh

    It will be interesting to get Walter’s take on these tackles, but as far as I’m concerned they all could have been red card offenses:

    49:45 Delap lunges in studs first to win the ball, gets the ball but also catches Sagna’s planted foot. Luckily for Sagna, Delap’s boot didn’t catch him too squarely:
    http://www.mediafire.com/?8o8bxiru3rdon8o

    51:12 Whitehead makes a nasty lunge on Arshavin:
    http://www.mediafire.com/?xedsn6391a8qpso

    59:37 Whelan (I think it’s him) makes a seated two-footed challenge on Walcott. These tackles are almost always red.
    http://www.mediafire.com/?wrrgk6pvmeff55d

    63:35 Shawcross at full speed lunges at Arshavin. This reminded me of Shawcross’s lunge on Adebayor and Martin Taylor’s lunge on Eduardo. Luckily Arshavin knocked the ball forward and skipped past Shawcross. If Arshavin had been a 10th of second slower, Shawcross would have undoubtedly seriously injured Arshavin.
    http://www.mediafire.com/?n4gz2wbb7yp91z0
    (I’m thinking of making a .gif for this one later)

    In all instances Peter Walton is looking right at the action sometimes less than 10 yards away. He didn’t book any of these players for their studs-up lunges at the legs of Arsenal players, and only in Delap’s case was he whistled for a foul.

    Also, the television only showed replays of Delap’s lunge but neglected to show replays of the other three that followed.

  • walter

    Johnny Deigh, exactly what I also was thinking. It looked as if the orders that had been given was: if we don’t show it, people maybe will not notice it.

  • Adam

    @ Bob, you are mistaken with my intentions and your attack on me is unwelcome and offensive. At no time did i write that our players have been pulled out of position and then resort to lunging tackles, the way Arsenal play ball and at the speed this happens pulls the opponents all over the place, You know this, as do most of the readers on this site. this opens us up for rash uncontrolled challenges which are going unpunished for the most part. Why you have to label and attack a person for a reasonable comment is Weird and would not happen face to face but only on the internet.

  • DogFace

    Well I did say a good 3 pointer!

    Everything was rosy until the first 20 minutes of the second half and Walton lost some control… it was like he said:

    “For being such good boys for 45 minutes I’ll let you kick them a little bit… just so the crowd don’t fall asleep at you defending a 1-0 loss.”