RefWatch – Arsenal v Blackburn Rovers (02/04/2011 17:30)
- Referee: Phil Dowd
- Assistant 1: Dean Mohareb
- Assistant 2: Ceri Richards
- 4th Official: Anthony Taylor
Good morning stat-fans and welcome to another RefWatch!
I would like to say first that I try to approach these articles with an open mind, I research, I investigate and I report my findings as they are i.e. un-doctored numbers… I throw in some opinion, sure; if you don’t like it then just skip to the pictures and make up your own mind. I also, when possible, try to keep the format the same each week to ensure easy digestion for the regulars – but I am aware that we’ve had a few new ones so, for the uninitiated, here is the key to the graphics:
o English Premier League
o The ‘sample group’ or number of matches played in the specified Season under the specified Referee.
- Avg. FPB*
o The Average Fouls Per Booking played in the specified Season under the specified Referee.
- OPP Avg. FPB*
o The Average Fouls Per Booking for all Opposition sides played in the specified Season under the specified Referee.
- Avg. PPG
o The Average Points Per Game for the specified team, played in the specified Season under the specified Referee.
- Avg. AH Swing
o The Average Asian Handicap ‘swing’ played in the specified Season under the specified Referee (this is the deviation, be it positive or negative from the bookmaker assigned betting line or ‘handicap’).
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*The FPB figures are based on what the referee defines as a foul during the course of a match – as we know from experience these figures do not reflect exactly what happened on the day but, given a wide enough sample group, we can hope (baring a conscious bias) that they roughly indicate the form for that season.
I know what a lot of you regulars are expecting from this article i.e. you expect me to rip fat Phil a new one but it’s not that simple… this path, that I and my colleagues here at Untold have taken, is not an easy one, we cannot stand by and ignore what is obvious and wrong to us. We have opened our eyes and our minds and we can read the game as it is, not as it should be, there is no going back to sleep for us. We do not trust the pundits or the ‘experts’, we know they lie and we realise that they are merely the public relations face of the brand and disseminators of disinformation for the insiders and bookmakers.
We, at untold, have no such agenda, we are not paid to bite our tongues and tell you that everything is ‘ok’; if someone serves us up a big bullshit sandwich and tells us it’s Atlantic prawns with thousand island dressing and a crisp lettuce leaf – we are not the kind of characters to ignore the smell, chow down and recommend it to you for its distinctive flavour. Much like the small boy who laughed at the naked Emperors arse in the face of the credulous masses, we do the same and more – for we realise that our fellow fans and consumers, want desperately to believe in the dreams they have been sold and will cling to them and defend them as they transcend the reality while the principle and the truth is left to the ravages neglect and corruption – although principle is noble; reality and truth, I’m afraid to say, are looking more ugly and unpalatable with each passing season. The image has phased at the top of English football, it is a business, a product and a gambling industry and we conceive what is being twisted, sold and lost to us, not just we Arsenal fans but for all lovers of the beautiful game; so we do more and search in the dark corners; to turn over long forgotten rocks and cast light on any fat slugs that may be lurking there…
With that in mind, let’s have a look at Referee:
- Full name: Phil ‘me pockets’ Dowd
- Date of birth: 26 January 1963 (1963-01-26) (age 48)
- Place of birth: Staffordshire, England
- EPL Referee Since: 2001/2002
- EPL Games to date: 199
When I was a child, I spoke like a child; I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child.
This week we have the dubious pleasure of Phil Dowd, you may remember him from about four matches back when he “blatantly fixed” the result of the Newcastle Vs Arsenal match… a sad day indeed. MOTD described this match as the most ‘exciting’ entertainment ever… Gary Lineker even let it slip that, while he and Alan Shearer were watching the match, Alan just laughed at half time and said with that they [Newcastle] would score 5 in the second half – one wonders where that confidence came from? The BBC, in their highlights, saw fit to interview Joey Barton to explain this unprecedented miracle of triumph over adversity – I bet they were laughing down their fucking sleeves!
I can only reasonably deduce that, with regards to the 5th of Feburary 2011, at half time, Phil Dowd got a rocket fired up his arse and it was suggested to him that he get back on that pitch and do the job he was there to do? What else could possibly explain it… in-play markets maybe?
Phil was subsequently demoted from the EPL after that match (see ‘told to lie low’), but he was back a week later when the heat was off make a further mockery of this notion of a competitive ‘sport’ that we, the muggy masses, cherish… in fact – do they even call it a sport anymore? I have noticed certain Select Group referees refer to it as the ‘spectacle’ which is revealing in itself.
This week we have also seen the slithering emergence of Richard Scudamore, from whatever crevice he inhabits, to inform us that he is going to embark on a crackdown on “unacceptable” behaviour of players and managers towards referees. This will go hand in hand with the ‘Respect’ campaign to further censor any legitimate criticism of the EPL match officials. I quote:
“I think we do need to concentrate on the player and manager relationship with the referee this time, as every one of us knows that there have been elements of unacceptable behaviour.”
I would agree with that statement 100%… although probably in a different context to the one that it was intended – no doubt this will be forced down our throats along with tales of six year olds imitating Wayne Rooney and calling the referee “a cunt”. But wait – surely the referee already has powers to send off a player for this? And, indeed, what if the referee really WAS “a cunt” – surely that’s just a statement of fact? Does Peter Scudamore really care that much for the working class children in this country that he has to continually generate these campaigns to protect them – or is he simply trying to protect an innocence of a different kind; i.e. the innocence of the working class public who buy his product?
Phil Dowd has had 16 games for Arsenal consisting of 9 wins, 5 draws and 2 losses.
Arsenal are currently 3rd in Phil Dowd’s personal Points Per Game League, for matches in the EPL, with an average of 2.00 PPG.
In Phil Dowd’s personal Handicap Swing League, for matches in the EPL, Arsenal come 13th with an average positive swing of 0.08.
Arsenal are currently in 22nd in Phil Dowd’s personal Booking’s Per Match League, for matches in the EPL, with an overall average of 1.94 BPM.
In Phil Dowd’s personal Fouls Per Booking League, for matches in the EPL, Arsenal come 29th with an overall average of 6.06 FPB.
Those figures don’t seem terrible but if you consider the graph above you will see these numbers broken into the seasonal trend. Phil Dowd has been terrible for us this season – statistically our worst referee. We have an average handicap swing of -0.83 goals and a relegation form of 0.67 PPG.
Phil Dowd has had 19 games for Blackburn Rovers consisting of 11 wins, 3 draws and 5 losses
Blackburn Rovers are currently in 5th in Phil Dowd’s personal Points Per Game League, for matches in the EPL, with an average of 1.89 PPG.
In Phil Dowd’s personal Handicap Swing League, for matches in the EPL, Blackburn Rovers come 8th with an average positive swing of 0.40.
Blackburn Rovers are currently in 31st in Phil Dowd’s personal Booking’s Per Match League, for matches in the EPL, with an overall average of 2.26 BPM.
In Phil Dowd’s personal Fouls Per Booking League, for matches in the EPL, Blackburn Rovers come 21st with an overall average of 7.05 FPB.
From the overall numbers it seems that Blackburn do rather well out of Phil Dowd – but that is nothing when you compare that to this season’s form – they, like us, will be seeing their 4th match under Phil Dowd but unlike us Phil Dowd is by a very long way, their best referee with an average handicap swing of +1.08 goals and a EPL title winning 2.0 PPG.
<Phil Dowd Vs EPL (AHS).gif>
If we look now at Phil Dowd’s form against the EPL (selected teams) – we can see the crash, in recent seasons, of the bigger teams such as Manchester United (who it seems he’s always had it in for), Chelsea and Arsenal. On the rise in Phil Dowd’s form book are Manchester City and, for reasons best known to him and the club in question, Newcastle. We can also see the sharp rise of Blackburn Rovers over the last two seasons – although in the 2007/2008 to 2008/2009 seasons, where they did rather badly and crashed from the dizzy heights of circa +1.5, he only had them for 1 game per season… and, I believe, that in the 2008/2009 season that 1 game under Phil Dowd was against Arsenal and we did them 4-0, so there is hope!
So what can we expect from Phil Dowd this weekend? I’m in two minds, on the one hand it’s hard to even conceive the insensitivity of this statistically unlikely selection and fathom the reasons the PGMOL might have for this; but then I remember that this is the same organisation that chose Mike Dean and Peter Walton to officiate in two back to back games, this season, on the respective anniversaries of the two broken legs suffered by Aaron Ramsey and Eduardo for the Stoke and Birmingham games – these were the same officials (in reverse) who refereed the original fixtures.
Even with such a small pool of officials to choose from, there is a lot in the way of coincidence here.
One of the comments I saw on Untold this week struck a chord with me as the same thought was lurking at the back of my mind too – I think it was Marcus (sorry if I got it wrong) who said that as Phil Dowd’s profile was so high after the Newcastle match – it would be reckless, in regards of the chameleon image of the EPL brand [that Peter Scudamore strives to protect with his various ‘respect’ campaigns], to send him back again so soon to what would be an undoubtedly hostile crowd. On the contrary, Marcus suggested that something smelled rather odd about this appointment in that it could be the perfect opportunity to change cynical hearts and minds in that if Phil Dowd were to give us a lot or even, really shock us all like doing something utterly random like: have a good game, then it would serve to ground a lot of the static surrounding the situation.
Personally, I’m not sure that the EPL-Cartel are really that cunning and/or our campaign of concerned dissent is even pricking their ears… and even if it did – would they care?
I think not… but, whatever the day brings, I’ll still be there to support my team.
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