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The Untold ref review: Blackpool – Arsenal

Arsenal on Twitter @UntoldArsenal

Untold Arsenal on Facebook here

By Walter Broeckx, the ref who tells it how he sees it

So we had ref Mason this week at Blackpool. Did he have a good game? Let us try to find out.

Min Type Decision correct points weight On
4 OFFSIDE Offside against Blackpool C 1 1 1
6 OTHER Foul from Diaby advantage given C 1 1 1
8 OTHER Foul on Cesc C 1 1 1
14 PENALTY Blackpool shout for a penalty but it looked to me Koscielny touched the ball and not the player who went down very easy C 1 3 3
17 OTHER Foul on Diaby C 1 1 1
17 OFFSIDE Offside against Arsenal C 1 1 1
18 GOAL Goal for Arsenal. Van Persie was behind the last defender so on side and Diaby also was well onside. Correct goal. C 1 3 3
21 GOAL Goal for Arsenal and Eboue is the scorer and also nothing wrong with this goal C 1 3 3
25 OTHER Wilshere goes down after a clash of heads. The ref stops play immediatly. As there was not a foul the games restarts with a dropped ball. C 1 1 1
27 OTHER Foul from Cesc, advantage given C 1 1 1
30 OTHER Wilshere gets a clear push in the back and goes down. The ref gives no foul NC 0 0 1
30 OTHER Wilshere clamps the ball down between his legs and makes the bal unplayable. This is a foul and normally the ref should give a free kick for Blackpool. He restarts the game with a dropped ball. NC 0 0 1
31 PENALTY Blackpool shout for another penalty. The ball hit the arm of Squilacci but his arm was in front of his chest. This is never a handball or a penalty. C 1 3 3
31 OTHER The ref judges Eboue makes a foul but it was clear that he kicked the ball and not the player who went down easily NC 0 0 1
38 OTHER Offside given against Cesc who could go on goal on his own. According to the lines on the field he was level with the last defender. The first miss of the assistant in this game. NC 0 0 1
41 GOAL Goal disallowed for offside. Van Persie was indeed offside when the bal was headed in his direction C 1 3 3
41 OTHER Foul on Van Persie not given NC 0 0 1
44 OTHER Foul given against Diaby C 1 1 1
45 OTHER Foul given against Diaby C 1 1 1
45 CARD Diaby is unhappy about this decision and kicks the ball away in frustration and gets a yellow card. Fully deserved C 1 2 2
45 PENALTY Van Persie goes down but the ref let play continue. No replays were given so I can only accept that the ref had it right. But the Blackpool defender looked to use his arms and pushing Van Persie in the back. C 1 2 2
45 OTHER Foul on Koscielny not given NC 0 0 1
45 OTHER Foul on Eboue given C 1 1 1
46 OTHER Foul from Wilshere given C 1 1 1
47 PENALTY Blackpool claim a penalty for handball from Diaby. This was a ridiculous call. C 1 3 3
48 OTHER Foul given against Wilshere NC 0 0 1
48 OFFSIDE Offside against Blackpool C 1 1 1
49 OTHER Foul given against Eboue. I didn’t see much wrong with this NC 0 0 1
52 OTHER Attempt from Blackpool to counter. Wilshere makes a foul. Ref gives advantage C 1 1 1
52 GOAL The ball is then played to a Blackpool striker who is brought down by Lehmann but as the ball rolls to another striker the ref waits and when the ball goes in he gives the goal. Great refereeing on this occasion C 1 3 3
52 CARD Wilshere gets his yellow card for his tackle C 1 2 2
53 OTHER Foul on Diaby C 1 1 1
53 PENALTY Koscielny brings a player down who gave a pass to a teammate. This was a penalty but the ref didn’t give it.  We have escaped in this occasion. NC 0 0 3
54 OTHER Foul on Nasri C 1 1 1
56 OTHER Fouls on Nasri not given NC 0 0 1
58 OTHER Foul from Eboue C 1 1 1
61 OFFSIDE Offside against Blackpool C 1 1 1
62 OTHER Foul against Van Persie not given NC 0 0 1
64 OTHER Foul on Wilshere C 1 1 1
64 OTHER Again foul on Wilshere and a flying challenge C 1 1 1
64 CARD Card given for this foul C 1 2 2
64 OTHER Foul against Cesc C 1 1 1
67 OFFSIDE Offside against Arsenal C 1 1 1
69 OTHER Foul on Walcott C 1 1 1
69 CARD Another wild tackle and another yellow card C 1 2 2
74 OFFSIDE Offside against Arsenal C 1 1 1
75 OTHER Foul from Eboue advantage given C 1 1 1
76 GOAL If the laws stinks or not I will leave aside but nothing wrong with this goal. Van Persie was offside when the ball was played outside to Walcott who was on his own half so could not be offside. When Walcott gives the ball to Van Persie he is behind the ball and not offside. Correct goal C 1 3 3
77 OTHER A Blackpool player clamps the ball between his legs. This is a foul because you make the ball unplayable and you bring yourself in danger of being kicked. The ref gives another dropped ball. Should have been a foul for Arsenal NC 0 0 1
79 OTHER Foul on Wilshere C 1 1 1
80 PENALTY Foul on Cesc by a Blackpool defender who just runs in his back and pushes him. A foul on the line of the penalty area, this was a penalty. NC 0 0 3
81 OFFSIDE Offside against Blackpool C 1 1 1
85 OTHER Foul on Diaby not given NC 0 0 1
87 OTHER Fou on Cesc C 1 1 1
88 OTHER Foul from Wilshere given C 1 1 1
90 OTHER Foul on Wilshere C 1 1 1
91 OTHER Foul on Walcott given C 1 1 1
TOTAL 43 64 82
% 75,44% 78,05%
CARDS 3 3 100,00
PENALTY 3 5 60,00
GOAL 4 4 100,00
OTHER 5 5 100,00
15 17 88,24
OFFSIDE 6 7 85,71

All the numbers point at a good game. Some people will not agree with this and I can understand it when they point at one big decision when it was 1-2 for Arsenal.

Yes Koscielny made a foul but the ref didn’t give the penalty. And this is a moment I will include in my year review on the lucky decisions for Arsenal. Don’t worry.  But I can assure you that on the side where the going against our decisions there are far more things I can point at. But nevertheless we have been lucky this time. No doubt about it.

As one swallow doesn’t mean spring is here I will be holding my breath if this was a one off or are we going to get back some decisions that were absolutely against us so that it can even out at the end? Then  we are awaiting happy times.

Why this change in tune? I don’t know and I cannot make any conclusions yet. Some people even tell me I cannot do this after more than 40 games in this season so how can you expect me to make a conclusion on one decision?

Would we have won the game if he would have given the penalty? It would have been back to 2-2 and after that the Blackpool storm died down just like after some 15 minutes in the first half when they started furiously but then had to cope with the rest of the game. In the second half they also ran out of steam after a while.  But I will not deny we have been lucky when he didn’t give the penalty to Blackpool.

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But apart from that big decision (and I even will not go in to the fact that we also should have got a penalty) he had a rather good game. Some strange decisions like with the dropped balls but overall I was satisfied with the way he did the game.  But I must say that even I was surprised that his total scores were that high for this game.

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30 comments to The Untold ref review: Blackpool – Arsenal

  • gooner80


  • Phoenix Gunner

    I think the other major potential turning point was whether Lehman deserved a red card for the foul on Campbell, which the ref played advantage on. In my opinion this should probably have been a yellow, I don’t really know though, but anyway, just thought I’d point it out

  • Shard


    The very fact that they showed no replay for the potential penalty incident on Van Persie in the first half, leads me to conclude that it in fact was a penalty.. I’m not saying you should say it was a penalty and say the referee was wrong without proper evidence.. I just want to constantly stress that I have noticed that it is how Sky operate (the match was on sky right?) They do not show replays of certain incidents which potentially erroneously assist ManU, and which potentially erroneously harm us.. It might also be the case with certain other teams, but as regards ManU and us, I am sure of it.. I just hope other people start to notice this too, because that is probably the only way it’ll stop.

  • Shard

    I have a theory that the past few matches the bias against us hasn’t been evident mainly because of the work being done here being noticed. Perhaps that is overstating the impact Untold has had, but nevertheless, the people in power are bound to have noticed that there have been rumblings. So they hand Ferguson a 5 match ban. They hand Rooney a 2 match ban. They stop their assaults on us.. All so that it is forgotten, or indeed is never mentioned by anyone else, and the work here remains a ‘conspiracy theory’… They have already done enough to make a mediocre team win the title, and of course, if push came to shove they could still do it again.

  • Northbanksy

    I’ve never seen so many drop ball decisions in a game (3?) On reflection, I liked this approach. To me it was the ref saying
    ‘I’m not 100% convinced either way’…a little humility & fairer.

  • A Casual Observer

    I rather think that a certain Stan Kroneke and his recent share dealings may have caught the attention of the EPL/FA/PGMOL more than our rumblings.

    Here’s to good luck!

  • Shard

    @ A Casual Observer

    But until he gains control, how does that change anything?

  • C4

    I think we got away with that pen as well, for once. Blackpool played well, could have been level. On the big decisions, the ref’s bad deisions seem to more or less even out in this game. It just seems worse for Blackpool because they were trailing and eventually lost.

    @ Shard:
    I’ve seen the same thing you speak about regarding the lack of replays on certian incidents. I noticed it quite a while ago, when I first began to pick up on the fact that a foul changes definition, depending what shirts the perp and the victim are wearing.
    So, although i shouldn’t have been, I was shocked (for a few seconds) there was no replay on the Van P. incident in the Blackpool box.
    Business as usual then.

    @ Walter:
    I think the change in tune is because the corrupt officials are trying to make our games look fair now that they’ve achieved what they needed to. Manure is firmly in the lead, and highly unlikely to lose the title. We’re now left with a small mathematical chance of taking it, but only if the red devils (wow, what a name, and a logo to match. And to think guys kiss that badge when they score…) slip up.
    So job done, and all of a sudden they know how blow their whistles for us again, and who knows, we might even gat a pinanty before the season ends.

  • Shard


    I’m glad there are other people out there who have noticed such things. I think the decisions in favour of ManU are grossly understated due to so many such decisions simply not being shown properly..

    I pretty much agree with all you say regarding the referee’s motives.. In that it represents a slight change in modus operandi.. In years past, they have cheated us, and Chelsea out of the title during the final run in.. This season I guess they decided to do it from the start. That may have partly been in order to disguise it, and partly because United are so poor this season that there was no guarantee they would be involved in the run in at all.

  • walter

    Yes about the Van Persie penalty incident in the first half. I must say that looking at it from the one camera angle it looked like a clear penalty to me. The way the defender came in from behind and with his arm pushing him (arm movement was clear to see). But the line has been that if I am not 100% sure I will not go against the ruling ont the field.

    I also have noticed the fact that when calls should have been made in our favour the replay device doesn’t seem to be working properly… 😉

    But I do try to stick to the line I set out and so I will give the benefit of the doubt to the ref.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    I think we were lucky with Jens not being sent off – but it was good to see the ref allow the play to go on -but suprised he did
    not at least yellow card him.Just wish the ref at the CL final against Barca had done the same .
    I have to agree with C4 that as ManUre had got their result ,there was no need to demonstrate any bias against us.It also earned brownie points for “fair play”.
    And Walter , I’ve heard that a swallow doesn’t a summer make ,but it keeps the stork away.Spitting too !

  • gooner80

    Penalties to me are like criminal law they need to be proved beyond a reasonable doubt, where as fouls outside the box are like civil matters and based on the likelihood .

    I believe a lot of refereeing decisions have a lot to do with the brand of the premier league as a whole, and the philosphy is “ALL TEAMS ARE EQUAL BUT SOME ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS” as a product arsenal are one of its cash cows of course man u are the main and like wrestling it is not about the winning but about the revenue bought in, the premier league needs its star attractions doing well and we do get some decisions go our way, doesnt anyone remember the dodgy lasagne of spurs which robbed them of fourth place it was very suspicious, it just so happens that man U is the biggest, they are massive globally and if they drop down the premier league as a product drops down this could lead to lower revenues there is a vested interest for all premier league clubs,it stinks to me, the way the fixtures come out again we have fulham last day of the season and always get manu chelsea close together, the hand picked refs,and the billions spent on gambling each week where there is money there is always corruption, but I think arsenal are favoured more than most just not more than man U,sometimes I could swear the refs are instructed to create drama just to ensure the most watched league keeps being most watched.

    I do hope blackpool stay up,people talk about spurs but blackpool have been a breath of fresh air and I feel they have been cheated this season esp against manU

  • mike_greece

    Walter, I have a question. I have read somewhere that the referees are encouraged to play the advantage except on two occasions; when there is a red card foul or when there is a penalty. In Blackpool’s goal, Lehman definitely makes a penalty that probably is a red card. Shouldn’t the referee blow the whistle instantly not allowing the game to go on? There is no advantage played in penalty decisions…

    For example, when Lehman recieved that red card against Barcelona in the Champion’s League Final. It certainly was a red card and the referee didn’t play the advantage (Barca then scored). As long as there was a red card foul, he instantly blew the whistle ignoring what went on after that. Isn’t that according to the rules?

    So the way I see it, we had two clearcut decisions going our way yesterday. And as it was not the first time either, maybe some of you have to stop making excuses about the referees ruining our season and about EPL fixing. Referees (especially bad ones) make mistakes and mistakes could go either way. It is up to the team to play their football and prove on the pitch that they are better than the competition and, thus, reach their targets…

  • jitty

    The bans for Utd from the FA are punishment for him going toe to toe with them

    That is not the same as what influence Utd has with certain refs, Sky or PGMOL

  • Wrenny

    Agree on the replays, there doesn’t seem to be any when Arsenal might have been hard done by. On the other hand, Koscielny’s challenge on Adam in the box/on the edge of the box was played again from how many angles? And five minutes later I think they brought the replays of it out again!

    Any bit of fortune we get must be heavily advertised. I wonder if they would have given us a second look at that tackle if it had been made by Vidic…

  • Yommex

    Lehman got the ball and that’s why there was a change in its direction. A penalty would only have been justifiable if he had not made contact at all with the ball. I think why a lot of folks here felt it should have been a penalty was simply because of the atrocious refereeing decisions that we have had against us all season long.

  • Shard


    Agreed.. One other similar incident I can think of is against Wigan in the 2-2 draw, where N’Zogbia dived over Koscielny’s outstretched leg. It wasn’t really a penalty, but we could all understand why it was given, so no ‘moaning’ occured. Wasn’t Lee Mason the referee in that match as well actually?

  • Johnny Deigh


    Yes, I too have noticed the bias from SKY. It used to be really apparent when Setanta was also broadcasting.
    I usually watch the matches on a local cable/sat channel outside of the UK with foreign announcers. So there is no way to know what channel is broadcasting the match in the UK.
    However, I noticed that sometimes when we had penalty shouts or perhaps when we were on the end of some nasty challenges, there would be no replay. Every time in these instances the match was always being shown on SKY in the UK.
    Yesterday too, I felt it looked like a shove on RVP in the area and was waiting for the replay. When it didn’t come, I checked on and saw the match was on SKY. Not too surprised really.

  • Johnny Deigh

    To add to above comment – Setanta was always seemed to be fair in regards to showing replays of contentious events.

  • Shard

    @Johnny Deigh

    Ya Setanta had a deal with Arsenal anyway 🙂

    Regarding Sky, I don’t even need to check anymore. I too live outside the UK, and I have no idea who the feed is sourced from. If you see above, I actually asked whether it was on Sky, but I could be reasonably sure that it was. They had time to show the replay of the goal mouth scramble just preceding the RVP penalty incident, TWICE in super slow mo, where we knew what had happened, instead of showing the RVP replay where we had no idea what had happened. I’m 100% sure that was a penalty, simply because they deliberately did not show it. It’s so obvious once you actually realise what is happening.

  • Tee Song

    Regarding Lehman’s takedown. The wide angle replays and one still photo I have seen certainly imply contact by Lehman. But I do find it interesting that I haven’t seen any close-up footage or angle which DEFINITIVELY shows whether or not he committed a foul. Given the number of cameras at a Premier League game and given how quickly they found definitive replays of Koscielny’s foul, I am curious how they managed to miss it.

  • walter

    About the playing the advantage with penalties. When as a ref you see there can be a goal scored immediatly you can wait to see if the ball goes in. As it did in thise case no further punishment is needed.

    About the Barcelona incident: as the foul was outside the area the ref could and should have waited one split second because Barcelona scored from the ball going forward within a second. Then the ref also wouldn’t have to give a red card. He just could have given the goal and Arsenal would and should have stayed with 11 on the field and with 1-0 behind on the score board

    In fact when a goal is scored immediatly you don’t need to give a red card anymore. Like a defender who tries to keep the ball out with his hands but if the ball goes in there should be no red card, just a yellow card.
    So whatever they tell you (the pundits I mean) Lehmann should never have gotten a red card unless the ref would have given a penalty

  • walter

    And about the not giving penalties: this is something psychological I think.
    After giving 3 penalties last week a ref sometimes has the reflex to not give them that easy in the next games. 3 penalties in one game is very exceptional (it happened once for me in 10 years time) and as most penalties are met with some controversy (even if you are 100% sure) you don’t like the controversy most of the time. And then you might (in the back of your head) think that you will not give them unless you are 200% sure (and not the usual 100%)

  • gooner80


    I get you it is denying a goal scoring opportunity if the team scores they were not denied

  • jbh

    Thanks again for the review.
    The key summary of your numbers is the following:
    Number of NC decisions/mistakes/bias = 14 (above)
    Number favouring Blackpool = 12
    Number favouring Arsenal = 2
    Percentage mistakes/bias against Arsenal = 86%

    From most of your reviews it seems that about 90% of the NC decisions go against Arsenal. This looks like clear bias to me.
    It is quite noticeable that many of the NC’s come after Arsenal score – leading one to believe that they are trying to even the game up.
    Can I suggest that you put this summary (% of NC’s favouring Arsenal vs % favouring opponent) in your end of year review.

    In terms of the missed penalty (by Kos) I can only assume that the ref missed it (incompetence or in the wrong position).

  • Johnny Deigh

    Here is the RVP penalty shout at the end of the first half. Sky Sports didn’t seem to want to draw any attention to it.

  • Shard

    Well done finding that Johnny Deigh.. As clear a foul as can be. Penalty for me.

  • walter

    Indeed Johnny, it is a clear cut penalty that is for sure. He first pushes him in the back and then takes the ball. So very strange non of the media even showed this on replay… Or well maybe not that strange…

  • Johnny Deigh

    It is strange that it’s always Sky Sports.

  • C4

    Is it just me, or does anyone else get the impression that teams now KNOW they can get away with more than they usually do when they play us? I sometimes watch other (non-Arsenal) games, and to me it seems like there’s a lot less of the cynical fouls etc. Things like those blatant shoves from behind when our players ease their way past whoever thinks he’s marking our player, and the constant pulling of arms and shirts. Especially Song, he just ALWAYS seems to have someone hanging onto him, and Theo is constantly being late tackled or shoved from behind.
    I recall the manure vs Blackburn Rugby Club game. Blackburn RC were like pussy cats that game…