The ref review of the season, 4. The bias doesn’t come close to evening out.

Does it even out? Really?

By Walter Broeckx

But now comes the main question: did it all even out at the end of the season? So we will go and try to analyse this a bit more from now on.

So how did I try to do this? Well I tried to make it a bit simple and took each game and looked for wrong decisions that could have influenced the final score.   For example, when a goal that was given should have been disallowed had a influence on the final score I took points away from the team that got the benefit of the decision.

I hope I can make this clear when you read further. And for this I only took the league games as the cup games are what they are : cup games with a stay in/go out system. In a league you have a continuation of games which end in a final table so it all adds up…or it will even itself out at the end of the season.

To do this I started with  the real key decisions such as penalties and goals. These are the most important things that have a direct influence on the final result. I also took notice of some red cards that also can have a devastating effect on a game. So here we go…

Game ref penalty goals Points +/-
Liverpool – Arsenal Atkinson 100 1 /
Arsenal – Blackpool Jones 100 100 3 /
Blackburn – Arsenal Foy 100 3 /
Arsenal – Bolton Atwell 75 100 3 /
Penalty not given for Arsenal  but not important for final result. Also red card not given but also not important for final result.
Sunderland – Arsenal Dowd 66 100 1 +2
Penalty not given for Arsenal and equaliser from Sunderland after the extra  extra time. Song was sent off with a two yellow  cards by Dowd. Remember those names as they clearly don’t like each other.
Arsenal – WBA Oliver 100 100 0 /
Chelsea – Arsenal Dean 50 50 0 +1
First Chelsea goal came after Song was tackled from behind but the foul was not given. We could have had a penalty when Cech tripped Chamakh but the ref gave nothing. Two major decisions going against us.
Arsenal – Birmingham Atkinson 100 100 3 /
Man City – Arsenal Clattenburg 100 100 3 /
Arsenal – West Ham Jones 50 100 3 /
A penalty not given by the ref for Arsenal but not important for the final result
Arsenal – Newcastle Dean 100 0 /
Wolverhampton – Arsenal Halsey 100 3 /
Everton – Arsenal Webb 100 66 3 /
The Everton goal should have been cancelled for a blatant foul on Song but it didn’t have an impact on the final outcome of the game
Arsenal – Tottenham Dowd 33 85 0 /
Arsenal could and should have had a penalty for a push in the back of Song. A penalty that Dowd later in the season liked to give against us for a soft brush of the hand. The foul that led to the penalty for Tottenham was not a foul from Song (again Song and Dowd) as he read the run of Modric and took the ball away from Modric who bumped in to Song and fell down.  So I can make a few claims but I will not say that we would have got points from this game. I try not to be too biased.
Aston Villa – Arsenal Clattenburg 50 83 3 /
Aston Villa should have had a penalty but one of their goals should have been disallowed for offside.  So they could have had a goal more but one should have been cancelled so one can say that it didn’t affect the final outcome of the game
Arsenal – Fulham Foy 66 3 -2
The second goal of Arsenal should have been cancelled. RVP was offside when the ball was played to him and then he played it to Nasri to dance his second goal in. This is a moment when we were lucky with a decision of the ref.
Man Utd – Arsenal Webb 0 100 0 /
Utd got a penalty that wasn’t a penalty. Fletcher assaulted Webb without getting a red card and Ferdinand made an assault against Sagna without getting a red card. But other than that nothing wrong. The Fletcher assault was when the score was still 0-0. But I will be generous and not claim a point from this game.
Arsenal – Chelsea Clattenburg 50 100 3 /
We should have had a penalty a clear one on Van Persie. But as we won it didn’t matter for the points we won.
Wigan – Arsenal Probert 0 75 1 +2
Ref Probert gave a penalty for a dive from Nzogbia. And he refused to give Arsenal 2 penalties one for a foul on Walcott and the other one for a handball in the wall.  A copy of the penalty we got against Tottenham. So a not correct penalty which lead to a goal and two penalties not given for Arsenal. I think we can claim 2 points for this
Birmingham – Arsenal Walton 0 100 3 /
Arsenal should have had a penalty and Birmingham should have had one. So both teams can be unhappy about a decision but it didn’t change he final outcome of the game.
Arsenal – Man City Jones 0 1 +2
We should have had a penalty after Kompany sticking out his arms to block a cross from Walcott.
West Ham – Arsenal Mariner 100 100 3 /
Arsenal – Wigan Friend 50 100 3 /
We should have had another penalty but it didn’t matter at the end
Arsenal – Everton Mason 66 3 /
The Everton goal was a blatant offside but it didn’t matter at the end of the game as we managed to turn things around
Newcastle – Arsenal Dowd 50 80 1 +2
Phil Dowd didn’t give red cards to Barton and Nolan but did give one for Diaby after he pushed Barton in the neck after Barton assaulted Diaby for the second time in the game without punishment.  He then gave a silly penalty to Newcastle. The assistant tried to help us out and rectify a few things by flagging for offside when Newcastle scored but he was wrong.  All who have seen the game have seen how biased Dowd was in this game. If he had done his job Newcastle would have been down to 10  and not Arsenal.
Arsenal – Wolves Foy 0 100 3 /
Both teams should have had a penalty. So it didn’t really matter for the final outcome.
Arsenal – Stoke Walton 0 100 3 /
Arsenal should have had a penalty but it didn’t matter for the final outcome
Arsenal – Sunderland Taylor 0 0 1 +2
A clear penalty on Arshavin was not given. And when Arshavin scored the goal was ruled offside. He wasn’t offside. We lost 2 points to the refs
WBA – Arsenal Atwell 100 100 1 /
Arsenal – Blackburn Dowd 100 0 1 /
Blackpool – Arsenal Mason 60 100 3 /
Both teams should have had a penalty so not really influenced the final outcome of the game
Arsenal – Liverpool Mariner 33 100 1 +2
Arsenal should have had at least 2 penalties in the regular game time. The Liverpool penalty was a nice dive from Lucas and the ref fell for it. Lost 2 points because the ref failing to give us the penalties we should have had
Tottenham – Arsenal Atkinson 50 85 1 /
Tottenham should have had another penalty for a foul from Djourou. Arsenal scored a valid goal which was cancelled for offside. So it wouldn’t have mattered for the final result.
Bolton – Arsenal Jones 0 100 0 +1
The ref was quick to give a penalty for Bolton which was missed. But he failed to see the blatant foul (even according to the BBC) on Walcott. I don’t even want to mention the penalty on Koscielny which I just did now.  But I want to be generous and only claim one point from the ref.
Arsenal – Man Utd Foy 0 100 3 /
Both teams had a claim for a penalty. Arsenal for the Vidic handball and a red card for Vidic, Utd for a foul on Owen late in the game. So no direct changing of the final result I would think.
Stoke – Arsenal Halsey 100 100 0 /
Arsenal – Aston Villa Oliver 0 100 0 +1
A blatant penalty for a foul on Ramsey not given and the red card for Dunne didn’t come out the ref his pocket. A disallowed goal from Chamakh and this was the first I have seen ruled out in a long season for such a light contact between a defender and a striker. But I will not go over the top and will claim only 1 point for this game from the ref.
Fulham – Arsenal Atkinson 100 100 1 /
Total 2234 3977 2874
Overall % correct decisions 48,57 86,46 62,48
Total points that could be claimed by Arsenal this season down to bad referee decisions 13

So where does this leaves us when we do the adding of the whole list? I count some 13 points in total that could have been ours. No, that should have been ours.

Just add those to our points total and also keep in mind that some of the decisions at the time did not only cost us points in the game but also cost us a mental blow. And no one can figure out how important those mental blows are that we had to deal with.

To finish I made a table in which you can see how much points some refs have cost us this season. And this with visible mistakes that have been made on the big decisions.

Ref Total points cost
Dowd -4
Jones -3
Probert -2
Taylor -2
Mariner -2
Dean -1
Oliver -1
Foy 2

And I don’t think it is a big surprise that you see that Dowd is standing first in this table.  I really wonder how ref Foy must feel. He is the only ref who has brought us some points due to a mistake. I can imagine him getting some stick next time the refs come together to train. He will be the lonely figure in the dressing room. The one to avoid.

But to finish this article I come back to the main point or it and the remark you hear  ‘it evens out at the end of the season’ is not correct for Arsenal.

NO, it didn’t even out for Arsenal. It doesn’t come even close  to even.

The overall performance of each individual ref this season – and is the Untold ref analysis biased?

The 10% bias – how refs fix the odds against Arsenal, and who is to blame.

Half the penalties in Arsenal games were wrongly given this season!

Untold Arsenal and Arsenal History on Twitter @UntoldArsenal

Untold Arsenal on Facebook here

Untold Arsenal Index

History of Arsenal: a continuing review of Wenger’s reign, season by season.

Making the Arsenal – the book of Arsenal death and rebirth

92 Replies to “The ref review of the season, 4. The bias doesn’t come close to evening out.”

  1. I think you were pretty soft on the referees in some cases (Michael Oliver) and it still proves what I’ve been saying for a month now – we would have won the league if not for the referees. If your work could be replicated ten/twenty times the FA’s position would be untenable. This season has been an absolute joke.

    13 points, and that’s being more generous than I’d have been.

  2. Interesting, but in order for it to be relevant to our final standing in the league table, wouldn’t you also have to collate similar data for Man Utd, Chelsea, Man City, Tottenham, Liverpool? Whilst we as Arsenal supporters feel aggrieved by decisions going against us, surely it is the same for supporters of other teams?

    Or maybe not. Maybe Man Utd really do get the benefit of the doubt more than anyone else. But it would be interesting to see.

  3. @Walter: Your blistering report arrives simultaneous with the latest highly-relevant news: So, I wanted to add this contextual bit to our proceedings and your report:
    As the BIG MATCH looms and the two select(ed)teams (that we beat) get ready to do battle, the Guardian reports this:
    “The claims against Blatter mean that 10 of Fifa’s 24-man executive committee have now either been found guilty or accused of corruption in the last 12 months.”
    I think that context matters and perhaps it will turn out that Dowd, our Champion, is a butler-in-residence at Chez Blatter or Kastle Fergus. Anyway, the link:

  4. great article…idea for next season would be to follow how many points manure and chelski gained through decions, tho i guess you do enough sterling man hours already

  5. Lew, that is indeed something to have a go at for next season.

    And maybe we could turn this in to a new series: the league table without the ref mistakes…

  6. the common denominator in the

    Sorry I didn’t take this one down earlier – been out all day. But the same old message – if you choose to write about something utterly different from the work but up here, then you can’t expect your message to stay up.

  7. Excellent review as always Walter, well done fella! A bit more info which may (or may not Dark Prince) indicate bias and tactical point reduction.
    1) North/South divide – of the 8 teams against which we lost points (14), 7 are from the north. Only 1 point lost against a southern team (Chelski) and 2 gained from Fulham.
    2) Tactical Voting – we’ve seen it in Eurovision, are we seeing it in the EPL? Of the 15 points lost, 10 points were to teams outside the top 10. Are they using low profile matches to hide their deceit?

  8. @manny, if our players are rubbish, how did they manage to beat the two “greatest teams” (man iou & barca in case you’ve missed the news today)? Lets go through your list of players which are better than what we have –

    Adebayor; really??? you want that turncoat in the dressing room?
    Hleb; on loan at birmingham where he’s warming the bench…
    Gilberto; Legend, now playing @ Grêmio in brazil, too old now.
    Henry; Legend, now earning his pension in MLS.
    Flamini; glory chaser, now at Milan where he’s won 1 trophy since signing from arsenal, good player but no loyalty.
    Pires; Legend now warming the bench @ Villa…
    Lgunmberg (or Ljungberg if you prefer correct spelling); Legend, warming the bench at Celtic.
    Diarra; what?! He played 7 games for us then went to Pompy. I get the impression he folllows the coin.
    Silvestre; Your’re clutching at straws now!
    Eduardo; never came back after being assaulted, could have been a great & will always be a hero at the ems.
    Gallas; Scum. Weak.
    Toure; Shame he’s been banned for DRUGS!
    Reyes; bless him, just not good enough
    Cole; wtf???
    Senderos; again, wtf???
    Sol; Legend, but is really past it now.

    Out of all the players above, there’s only one which I would now have in the squad & that’s Toure. The rest are either not good enough, or are legends from the invincible era, and if you think they would win anything for us, cast your mind back to the season after the invincible season where we won fuck all with the same players!
    With regards to your not winning because of not spending, maybe you should have a chat with Roman Abramovich, his £70,000,000 xmas prezzie didn’t work out too well did it? If only it was so simple, Man city would have won everything this year…

  9. I like how you’ve done this because you can say the number of points refs have cost us, but just looking purely at big decisions, it’s even worse. The stats go even further against us. Not only did they cost us 13 points, but they made a lot of them even more difficult to win because we had to contend with bad decisions against us. This builds fatigue, and I’m sure led to some players having to carry knocks into the next game; things like that, anyway.
    I would love to see how the players at Utd would respond to this kind of treatment from refs. It would be quite a sight. They’d probably be halfway down the table, given how often things go their way and how tight a lot of their wins are.

  10. Great work, but i agree with @ak47. Just spent the better of an hour arguing with a manu fan where all i wanted to do was throw everything on untold in his face, only to realize my memory was quite shady. Just out of curiosity, would you plan on releasing any of this informartion to a specific source or starting a case or anything like that? I would love for the truth to finally come out so we could actually have a crack at the league, instead of watching manu ease their way to number one with their band of merry men helping them along the way

  11. @stevie
    Reyes was great for us. We missed him when he left. Same goes for hleb and adebayor, although it’s true that there are rumours that ade was a disruptive influence.
    Senderos was a very good defender. Buckled under pressure a few times, but this all happened before he turned 24, and he did a lot of good for arsenal as well.
    The only point to be made here is that almost all of the players manny mentioned have left because they wanted to leave. There’s no point in forcing players to stay when they don’t want to be there.

    This should probably be deleted for going off topic 🙂

  12. @Davi, i thing you’re remembering Jose with rose tinted glasses. I remember him playing well for us until we played man iuo & gnevil kicked him all over the park. Since then, he never turned up for us. I may be wrong but we wouldn’t have sent him out on loan if he was the real deal. Helb, 7 goals in 4 years? Not exactly a machine. Ade is an idiot, that’s it. Senderos isn’s AFC quality, not then, not now, not ever. Sorry. You’re absolutely right though, if players don’t want to play for the club, they’ll go elsewere.
    Tony, please don’t delete me! 😀

  13. I am so with you in this Walter! And it’s one thing about the points, but the mental thing…. I don’t think it’s possible to estimate how much damage this has done to the players self esteem.

  14. Reyes scored and created goals for us after the neville incident, even if his heart wasn’t truly in it. His passing ability was very underrated.
    Hleb likewise. He didn’t score many, but he was very important to the side, which was a quality side, in 2007/08. His ability to hold on to possession, and draw in players, before releasing a quality pass was vital to the way we played. He also put in a decent defensive shift, and he helped sagna to look as good as he did.
    Ade is an idiot, but I don’t think he’s this demon that people make him out to be. I think his heart is in the right place, but he has made mistakes. At least he is relatively complimentary about arsenal despite being pushed out the door. There’s no doubt he’s a quality striker now, which he acknowledges is largely thanks to wenger, who gave him a big chance despite his poor scoring record for monaco.
    And senderos helped get us to the CL final! He was vital in that run, and he was vital in at least other two stretches of good defensive play from our side. He is/was far from the poor defender he has been made out to be. I expect him to continue to improve and eventually to become a top class centre back.

  15. @anatra: The mental thing would have a lot of layers to it. Self-esteem, yes. Maybe cynicism or realism (or in Arshavin’s recent words, to paraphrase, no matter what we did we would not win the league – and just add the words: We knew no mater what we did we would not win the league) Maybe massive fatigue. Maybe carrying knocks to the next game that leads to injury. Maybe carrying anger to the next game (like when Diaby and Sagna had their rage-outs) that leads to cards. Maybe, get me out of the EPL or Arsenal because there’s no long term future here due to either injury or to lack of silverware. There’s a whole chain of probabilities that together result in a negative spiral, implosion, etc. THIS is NOT the whole story. But it doesn’t take a rocket scientist, or our resident logicians demand for quantitative expression only or it’s not real, to fathom the depths of these outcomes. The players are young, yes; some players are substandard under such pressures, yes. But those who only argue forever about players, without focusing now (c’mon mates) on this report and its implications; or those who only blame poor refereeing without mentioning that there are not enough quality players on the bench (depth) or wherever, do not see (or do not wish to see) the whole picture. I think at this moment Tony should exercise editorial control and have us stick to the reports, for now, rather than get de-railed into endless regurgitating of old arguments about Ade and Hleb, etc. etc. This report is now in your face and you guys get off on those tired tales. Let’s look forward and use what Walter’s gifted us here so we can pressure toward some practical reforms – especially as Fifa is now under SERIOUS doubts as a MAJOR corruption scandal is about to break.

  16. Another brilliant piece, thank you. How can anything change though? How long will OMR be in charge at PGMOL? Until Frigginson keels over, I fear. Our players must feel half beaten before any game with these refs, whereas the arrogance of MU players always affords them a confidence, knowing decisions will be arranged to suit. Wow, an extra 13 points…

  17. Alright, then: what to do about Walter’s ref report? That is the question. A few suggestions – part one: pressure for video replay (as in many sports from tennis to US football); radios on the ref (as in rugby, etc.); pre-match random drawing/assignment of the ref 48 hours before (Arsene’s suggestion); a post-match ref press conference; publication of the PGMOL ref review within 24-48 hours of the match; etc. Surely we already have this laundry list going for years, all around the league, and on this website. And everyone can add, critique, do better. This series of reports is a massive boost to these otherwise very common-sense reforms (that don’t even need the reports to be obvious). The point, as ever, is for us to take the finger out. Good for Football means Good for Arsenal.

  18. @Bob: I totally agree with you. There will be plenty of layers. One of the things some fans (those who scream for a new manager and that our squad is crap?) seem to forget is what kind of mental challenge this is for our, quite young, squad. It must be hard to believe in what you’re doing when nothing you do seems to be enough. I truly feel for them and the staff, working against it all.

  19. @bob I think the best we can hope for in the short term is transparency, be it from refs after a match or from the PGMOL releasing their own ref reports. If they have to be open & honest about the decisions that are made, it will stamp out biased/poor reffing. No ref is gonna want their “must do better” report aired for the press to tear apart, and the PGMOL aren’t going to want their standards analysised. I think we need to focus more on what we are trying to achieve from this, I firmly believe in targeting. It’s all very well gathering data, what ae we going to do with it? How will it be broadcast to the wider public? What do we want? A targeted attack is much more likely to succeed than a scattergun approach.

  20. @Stevie E: No problem. Perhaps, say, we all could get a PDF version of Walter’s Reports – perhaps a brief Intro by Tony/Walter – into the hands of that BBC writer, a few Guardian writers who have been sympathetic in print in the last few months (even as others there are swill), and anyone that UA people feel could echo the analysis and its implications. Getting a targeted list together in the media, to sympathetic bloggers like Desi Gunner for one, emailed to friends who are on-side or skeptical. UA contributors could provide ideas hereabouts for who to focus on and then with that PDF, and perhaps the companion video to put up on YouTube, or on this website, and we have exhibits A and B to massively help spread this perspective. Watcha think?

  21. Very interesting article, thats a lot of points! I can think of several games where refs have had to step in and help Utd – I wonder what the points differential caused by poor/ biased / corrupt refs between us asd Utd actually is? I think it could well exceed 20-25 points given all the decisions they get in their favour.
    What would have happened in the likes of Blackpool were givien that cast iron pen against Utd? If Rooney and Vidic has been sent off when they should have been. We could easily have been looking at a very different table.
    I think it will get worse – there is another team in Manchester that may well soon be getting favours from these refs.
    Is it our club or our manager these people want to get at?

  22. this 4 page thread has been the most impressive of articles i have come across lately . really well compiled , stating valid arguments to support the same . hats off to you walter and the untold team . when ,hopefully , in 2-3 yrs time ,i see a referee- fixing gang exposed big time , i’d like to believe that untold was the site that started it all . well done !

  23. @Bob – the beeb have picked up on this already so we’ve got a foot in the door there. I was also thinking that bbc/itv london news would be interested. They are always looking for a local angle and actually ran a story that was started on a blog only last week. I don’t know if immediate coverage is a great idea, we don’t want the research done so far swept under the carpet because of arsenal bias, therefore tarnishing all future data. Your thoughts?

  24. Concerning all the comments that are off topic, I have deleted the original one, because it was so blatant, but I have left the rest in, because I was slow off the mark, what with it being a summer weekend and all. And I needed to get my kit sorted for the big match at the Ems tomorrow.

    But please, if you see a comment which is way off topic, don’t comment on it, as it only encourages others to do the same – and many of these people are out to destroy this site and its discussions.

  25. My immediate thought is we cannot ever control the media spin, even with the big study in the works (dogface, etc.) which they can simply say “well, it all started from a biased Arsenal blog, so what’s that worth” etc. etc.) That said, I think that the reports (bundled as a PDF) paired with the companion video (in progress, hopefully) available as a necessary component, comprise a double-whammy for us. And that we say this, widely, that this is a formidable part one in a set of widening efforts that are going beyond Arsenal to bring fairness to the pitch. That the point of the project is to level the playing field, raise the standards of refereeing for all, insist on fairness wherever the chips may fall. We can do our work with these good tools and let people read/view the results for themselves. We can’t out-do the media spin against us; but any publicity will help get a wider audience to these viewpoints. The point to make, in my view, is that this is good and meant for Football as a whole; and so, to avoid presenting it with an air of victimization or uniquely been hard done by. Rather, this is what happens at our club; and it could well be happening to your club. And, in any case, it’s to ensure that all have their fair share. I would also think that some borderline relegated clubs and their fans might well get into the swim. Anyway, this for starters. There’s something worth doing here and, thanks to UA, we have the start of fantastic tools in doing it. What do you think?

  26. On/off topic: I wouldn’t be surprised if Man Utd will feel very frustrated by the ref tonight. Not that I care I will not even see the game as I’m not interested anymore in the Corruption League.

    Kassai as the ref….if he continues like he did the last time I saw him… If he does like I think he will do then it could show some kind of pattern…

  27. Yeah, you’re absolutely right, however from what I’ve read so far, there’s a lot of info which could/shoud be included in the reports to eliminate the arsenal bias. Also, the report have grown and evolved since Walter first started them so aren’t a true and accurate reflection of the season as a whole. I’m just keen for that the work done so far, and yet to be done, isn’t rubbished because we shot our bolt so to speak. I’m just very aware that the public have a very short attention span and probably won’t want to wait for another full season before reaching a conclusion. I want this sorted as much as you, but going in all guns blazing isn’t the right way to go…

  28. @Stevie E: Further to the above (sorry forgot to alert you), we have a massive international Arsenal fan base to think about how to reach. It’s there, hiding in plain sight. How to reach them, not necessarily all of footballers; and anyone fraction of that massive number of people can do their bit in sending the analysis/video pairing to anywhere and everywhere. Let’s break into the idea that both Arsenal and the Premiereship are worldwide brands; and that Arsenal fans everywhere, for the good of football and fair play (and of course EPL wouldn’t be on side), need to read and view this pairing. A lot of people would be talking and considering and hopefully pressuring for transparency. If the League’s legitimacy is being called into question, then, for its own well-being it will or it won’t start to reform its ref-shite, if only to head off more sweeping calls for reform. Your thoughts?

  29. @Steve E: So, yes, shouldn’t run wild (what a problem to have to deal with, a boy can dream), but the alternative, I fear, is the safety of doing nothing until our report, a multi-season effort by dogface and cohorts, is ready will deflate all the momentum that the UA report can start to build. Any specifics you have toward momentum that don’t require a year’s wait would be most welcome to me, at least… (It would be great, btw, if this wasn’t just our dialogue, you know what I mean?)

  30. @bob, I think you’ve answered your own question re. momentum… AFC have a worldwide fan base, surely getting all to speak with one voice (sorry, that sounds a bit nobby but I couldn’t phrase it any better :)) is the way to build a united argument without showing our hand before we’re ready. I’m just afraid of the old todays news is tomorrows chip wrapping… And yeah, where is everyone?

  31. Once again Walter a great analysis.

    Hopefully with the can of worms called FIFA trying but not knowing how to cover up, all the publicity may help your timely series of analyses to highlight potential EPL corruption.

  32. @bjtgooner: Yes, the FIFA could be a great opening to much wider publicity inside/outside our slice of the AFC universe. Their co-chairman, Jack Warner, is threatening a “tsunami” (his word) of revelations by Monday because he’s being hung out to try by Blatter (who is hiding in Zurich and may not show up at tonight’s Corruption League showdown) for the rest of the week’s meetings to come. The stench is surely spreading and I can only second your hopes that it add receptivity for Walter’s analyses.

  33. @Bob @ bjtgooner – or it gets lost in what is to perceived to be a much bigger story! I’m reminded of politicians releasing bad news when there’s a major event happening because they know it will go under the radar…

  34. @Stevie E: If we’re smarter than getting lost in it, our efforts/analysis will be able cite the FIFA mega-scandal to be grist for our own mill hereabouts. I don’t think every Big Opportunity will drown us out; and we should be alert to what is an opportune time and how to use a big event, if/when possible. I’m really saying the obvious, and must apologize; but, again, I want to caution us against an excess of caution that drowns ourselves in our own timidity.

  35. @Bob, PPPPPP = perfect planning prevents piss poor performance, that’s the real motto of the SAS and for a reason. I understand you want this out in the open, I really do but don’t I honestly don’t think the data gathered to date is sufficent to do any damage. Fools rush in etc.

  36. @ Stevie E and bob.

    We have an opportunity to piggyback Walter’s analyses on EPL refereeing onto the back of current FIFA corruption revelations.

    The well documented ref errors in the Champs league, which seem to favour Barca could be used as a link.

    The window for this will not last for long. My view is go for it now. Do we know anyone who can use parlimentary privilege?

  37. @btjgooner: Isn’t there an MP who’s been holding these recent hearings on Lord T and the Olympic shannigans. Don’t recall his name right now, but he might be both interested and of interest to this effort. I think Walter/Tony might have an opinion on the readiness of the research and the ripeness of the moment as well, from their pov; as will others, methinks, once the CL coronations are over and done with tonight and we get the UA community back from Wembley and on to our e-pitch.

  38. Meanwhile, a somewhat familiar pattern from the Chumpion-site by the Guardian’s play-by-play man:
    60 min: Dani Alves becomes the first man to go into the referee’s book, for a late clip on Park.
    56 min: Valencia should be booked for a blatant body check on Messi as the Barcelona goalscorer tears at the United back line again. He isn’t, though

  39. @Bob & bjtgooner
    MP is Louise Bagshawe. I see I’m being outvoted 2-1 tonight which is cool, I repect both your opinions. Bob you’re right, tonight probably isn’t the best night to garner opinion, we’ll have to wait until the UA faithful get back online. I can’t belive they’re out on a Saturday night! 🙂

  40. A nice great beautiful fantastic peace of work that must really have taken up enormous amount of patience and application of mind.

    If at all it meets the right kind of people.

    Would do a world of good if someone can write up something like what transpired after a denial of a penalty or a wrong decision, the aftermath. For example when we consider the Newcastle game we can not only see how biased Dowd was but also how his bias turned the match on.

  41. A nice great beautiful fantastic piece of work that must really have taken up enormous amount of patience and application of mind.

    If at all it meets the right kind of people.

    Would do a world of good if someone can write up something like what transpired after a denial of a penalty or a wrong decision, the aftermath. For example when we consider the Newcastle game we can not only see how biased Dowd was but also how his bias turned the match on.

    P.S: Let my previous comment be removed due to the spelling mistake.

  42. Alright, then. Don Fergus now returns to Kastle Fergus, snorting steam, snarling from his wounded E-GO; readying His Plans for the next season: His Quest for the Twentieth Now Underway. Will will be there? Up the Shire! Go Gunners!

  43. @ Stevie E & bob.

    I agree with your comments – garner UA opinion at this stage esp Walter/Tony – if we have a concensus then lets move!

  44. Hello all.. Seeing ManU outclassed made my day. Though you can bet there will be some amount of spin put in so as not to disgrace England’s finest team. Walter, I’m very interested in what pattern you thought we’d see from the referee. The ManU players indeed did get frustrated, but I thought the game was called fairly. In fact Valencia in particular got away with a lot of fouls.

    Also Walter. Today, I know what you mean. I understood why people say they will not watch because they feel it is fixed. It’s not anger or annoyance that causes that. It’s apathy. I normally am very excited by watching The UCL final, but today I just saw it out of habit. Had no real interest in it. No motivation. Nothing to get me excited. I was in fact looking forward to the League 1 playoff final tomorrow and wondering if Afobe is playing.

  45. “Tottenham should have had another penalty for a foul from Djourou. Arsenal scored a valid goal which was cancelled for offside. So it wouldn’t have mattered for the final result.”

    A valid goal cancelled for offside would change the game – it is a GOAL on the score sheet. A penalty that was not given could be missed (in case it is given.) A potential penalty is not a goal.

    You were waaaay too generous in your article, nonetheless I like it. I have a theory that what happened in Italy might happen in England one day. Arsenal lose on average 10-15 points a season to referee decisions. I no longer get disheartened because I have no doubt Arsenal is targeted. Dowd is the worst.

  46. Shame the EPL Refs are targetting Arsenal and even worse the press joining in we loose to Barca and we are useless Utd looses and it was a spirited performance against a great team …

  47. Last nights result proves that manure are a shite side and without help from the refs, would have won nothing this season. We can only hope that the work here will revel the truth and show just how undeserved their title win is.

  48. ‘bob
    May 28th, 2011 at 9:42 pm
    Alright, then. Don Fergus now returns to Kastle Fergus, snorting steam, snarling from his wounded E-GO; readying His Plans for the next season: His Quest for the Twentieth Now Underway. Will will be there? Up the Shire! Go Gunners!’

    What drugs are you on mate?

    Ferguson stated, calmly and clearly, that the Barca side he lost to were the best he has played against.

    There was no ranting, no complaints, nothing. He took defeat like a man.

    It is the people at this website who are are snarling and snorting.

    When the reality is this:

    1. Arsenal were the closest this season to beating Barcelona in the Champions League.
    2. Arsenal showed they could beat Man Utd and Chelsea fair and square this season.
    3. Arsenal showed that despite all the talent and beautiful offensive play, they do not have the discpline of a Barcelona through a season of defending.
    4. Arsenal have not learned how to pace themselves through a season.
    5. Arsenal are blaming referees for their own incompetence at closing out matches. I have documented here numerous times 15 pts dropped through Arsenal incompetence, not referee cheating.
    6. Arsenal will not win anything until they take responsibility for their own weaknesses.

    The same discussions will happen next summer unless points 5 and 6 are addressed.

    My contributions to debate are over.

    I trust that points 5 and 6 are addressed in the next 12 months……..

    Because Barcelona HAVE addressed them. And that is why they now win trophies regularly.

    Arsenal have the ability – they showed it in flashes.

    They need the professionalism week-in, week-out.

    End of story…….

  49. what is wrong with arsenal? dont look outside, look inward. yes. referees have been harsh on us but that is not the reason why we did not lift the trophy,n if u want to know why, ask arsene. it is absurd when we want to have our star players committed to arsenal but it is not possible. a player is remembered for the trophies he won and not for how many times he played in champions league. he said he will be happy to be in 2nd position position for the next 20yrs and yet wants to keep stars like nasri, fabregas, robin, etc in the squad. it is not possible, the quest for glory is inborn in the heart of every man. how do u think cesc will feel to see messi and pique, his mates at catalans lift two champions league while arsene only promises a champions league place. arsene has made a name for himself and the players must be allowed to make theirs. you cannot keep players with good football alone. our measure of success at arsenal is false, arsenal is not a failure but neither are they successful. if ur child goes to school and comes back for six years on the same position, you dont say that the child is successful. tropy is the first thing you use to measure a club, not academy, not reserve players, not profit made. if u want profit, turn into a business, even our academy cannot be compared with barcelona and sporting lisbon that have produced ronaldo, figo and messi. let us tell ourselves the truth and stop spending time analyzing referees and looking for whom to shift our blame to, it is not a way to live. i have seen a stubborness in arsene i dont like, inability to see an obvious mistake. last season, by january, we were in good position but needed a striker because bentner was out, robin out but fabregas and arshavin was helping but u dont win a league with ur midfielder as the hughest goal scorer. instead of buying, he calculated his usual statistics and told us that every body in the midfield is scoring until the table turned against us. one of the reason why arsene will try to buy this summer is (1) Stan Kroenke takeover (2) the restlessness of the players like nasri to commit their future to a club that has lost touched with reality. i am still an arsenal fan, loves wenger but not his mistakes. Usman Dan Fodio said and i quote “Conscience is an open wound, only the truth can heal it”. Untold, pls arsenal fans have been wounded but your inability to tell the truth is not helping in the healing. yes, u dont want to insult the manager, i also do not, but i am not afraid in the midst of arsenal fans to say that wenger missed it here and there. forgive me if i am too rash but i just want to tell the truth in the best possible way. thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  50. Nice one Walter. I would have been shocked if things *did* balance out for us. It will be great to see if consecutive seasons go against us so badly!

    @RedGunner and Adam, just FYI, I replied to your posts on yesterday’s thread; I think you didn’t read/understand mine properly

  51. Walter

    I admire your hard work but all your analysis really proves is that Referees make mistakes and that this year Arsenal experienced more than most over and above the norm. That’s it really, nothing more sinister than that.

  52. Great ananlysis Walter. However, I don’t think I agree with all your assements. I don’t think that it’s fair to compare an obvious unbelievable game like Dowd @ Newcastle, to Dean @ KGB, for instance. There are a couple of more examples, but my point is that (and it goes the same to answering Jebedaih about boundaries of reasonableness) some matches, the ref’s decisions weren’t SO outrageously wrong, and usually there were a LOT of other factors that mingled in together – so it’s really difficult for me to agree to a 13 point tally.

    “MY” points lost due to ref’s decisions are:

    2 for the sunderland away match, 2 for newcastle away, 2 for wigan away. Those are 6 undisputed “ref points”. The villa @ home and sunderland @ home – true, those were bad mistakes by the refs, BUT we played poorly. VERY poorly. The rest of the matches I have to disagree, but what it goes to show that “calculating” points lost due to ref’s decisions isn’t pure science, and like some others pointed out, we need to see how many points were “lost” by other sides. In my opinion, the fact that we lost most points to lower sides can actually support that there is no special bias against arsenal in particular.

    On a side note (plus Shard’s comment) – I really feel that a minor, yet very important re-adjustment of your (maybe also Tony’s?) stance is very important towards achieving the goal of your project: it might be semantics, it might be politics, but as an Arsenal supporter (who considers himself a balanced, mostly obejctive, rational person) it’s not contributive, in my opinion, to be so militant. You present evidence? Good, present the evidence, defend the claim that they are biased, pose the relevant questions – but leave your conclusions modest. Calling the champions league the corruption league adds nothing to the argument. I does, however, makes people like me – who watched last night’s match – feel that whatever you’re trying to do isn’t serious. The ref last night was (in my unprofessional opinion) having a very good match. He didn’t help Barcelona one bit. And to use Mr. Jose (Dr. Evil) Mourniho to support yourself… well, it’s just bad. The guy would do anything to take away media attention from his team. And the same goes towards our league – calling it “bent” “fixed” “corrupt” without evidence to support THOSE serious allegaions – makes YOU sound a whole lot less serious. Why not say – there MIGHT be bias, which highly likely resulted in this and that ? It sounds so much better, so much more modest, and less irritating.

    Just think about it.

  53. Thanks for clearing things up again Rhys, where would we be ithout you eh?

  54. It was great to see man utd involved in a game with a competent set of officials and how much difference it makes. The bully boy tactics used week in week out in the premiership were not even evident until late in the 2nd half and didn’t work any way. In the face of real authority they suddenly became well behaved what does that say for the premiership referees? The officials in this country are ruining Englands chances of ever being any good, but at least they stop the mighty manchester utd from going into administration so thats alright then.

  55. Its so obvious that there’s something wrong with the decisions we get , and that utd get in this country. Anyone who thinks they are just innocent mistakes needs to wonder why they are normally against us but in utds favour to such a degree every season , this one more than I have ever seen.Yes arsenal have weaknesses which were exposed under a microscope in the last few weeks of the season But Utd are an average team whose weaknesses are papered over with the help of preferencial treatment from officials ( 2-0 down to black pool & west ham wasn’t down to weakness? If you get the decisions you can come back, if you don’t -well just look at our game at home to villa) & the similarly’random’ nature of the fixture list including sky tv’s scheduling process in which 90% of the time we kick off a game or 2 behind them

  56. @Ryhss: Fergie takes it like a man, eh? Did you see him ripping flesh off Rooney’s back before the world, and you tell me he’s gracious? Did you see his gracious performance at the pre-match press conference whispering, in plain sight, to expel an Associated Press journalist (from further press conferences) who had the temerity to ask about the importance of the iconic Giggsy who scores well off the pitch (these days)? And you know what, man, my euphoria – which you call drugs – is sheer excitement, propelled by the truth nuggets that UA/Walter has cast before your drooping eyelids. That is, man, that even you – Mr. Accountability – would find me agreeing with your points 5 and 6; yes agreeing, but cautioning that you are too one-sided to marry Accountability with pushing back against the Ref-shite that is being documented here – which you contemptously dismiss with cliches and your snorts and snarls. Well, take it like a man, sir: we have a double-edged problem: the inside problem of personnel that needs addressing over the summer, and the outside problem of Ref-shite (a mix of incompetence and malfeasance). BOTH. At once. And you, man, focus on the former by labeling it Accountability, whilst being completely in denial about the Ref-shite. So, what drug am I on? I’d call it truth-seeking, the kind that Walter pursues; not the kind that you deny. The need is to actually have two thoughts at the same time: reform from within and reform of the outside. You are right to look within, yes, I concur; you are on a massive dose of DENIAL (highly addictive, mind you) by refusing to look outside as well, simultaneously, meaning at the same time. So why not substitute truth for denial next time you spasm forth about Fergie taking it like a man, while lathering, as Fergie does, over Walter’s reports as if they’re crap for upsetting your little world that words like Accountability are meant to set right. Extend Accountability to a smidgeon of alarm about the Ref-shite and we might sometime be able to shed more light than heat together, man.

  57. @Tony, Walter

    I agree with TommieGun on what he said about being less militant. I was, personally, not put off by it because I saw it as an ironic take on tabloid speak. Sort of like a fight fire with fire, but at the same time the content was the serious bit. I do not have a problem with it. But if we are to take the next step, take the site further as is being discussed on here these days, then maybe we should trim that sort of thing down. Because some well meaning, and genuinely interested people might get put off by claims of ‘proof’ or ‘fix’. My suggestion would be framing the hypothesis, and clarifying that it is only a working theory, separately, but prominently on the site, and making the headlines less militant, and reflective of the ‘facts’ more. I don’t know if that makes much or any sense, but that’s my 2 cents. Cheers 🙂

  58. @Tommie Gun: “a great analysis, Walter,” but you, TG, would have conclusions drawn and stated in ways more mild, modest, less irritating? Hmmm, when I read the name Tommie Gun, I think Al Capone, but hey that’s me. More below.) You want something less militant? Good. Now I’m called to query: Would it bring about even a mild reform to help us tweak the pitch into a proper place for high tea? Dear me, how I wish it were so. You know that people who like it mild and proper actually need people who are wild and wooly so that football life (at least) could then iron out its creases and cleanse the sticky wickets and allow true gentlemen to sort out the metaphysical meaning of the 13 missing points. Ah, Tommie Gun, at least that militant Al Capone understood a world that we both would prefer didn’t exist when he was asked: “Al, why do you rob banks?” “Why,” Al replied, “because that’s where the money is.” Now, to that, I would suggest that you cast an occasional glance at the context within which football today is being played and, dear me, we might see Seth Bladder astride the Beast. Many men, when faced with a “great analysis” feel blood rush through their veins. Not so mild, I grant you, but sometimes it turns to reforms – video replay, transparent ref reports, radio on the ref – that even reasonable men like ourselves could agree are, surely, no more than common sense. Please pass the crumpets, or am I being untoward in actually seeking food for my hunger. Hopefully the mention of hunger doesn’t ruffle too many feathers. Yes, I’ve been naughty and irritating. But please consider some (even one) practical means of responding to the “great analysis” that you mention at the start of your measured response.

  59. @Rhys

    I think you missed out on point 7 – Arsenal were not allowed to win the league by the refs. Add 13 points to 68 & you get 81 – more than the manures. (Points unfairly gained by the manures have yet to be assessed – but are contained within their total of 80).

    That does not mean that I am ignoring faults in our team. However, the effect our so many points lost due to bad refereeing and the failure of many refs to protect our players from unfair and dangerous fouls must have progressively dented team morale.

  60. @shard: “trim” that sort of thing down? How about not retreating from the truths being surfaced by this work in progress. You’ve been on-side, yeoman really all along. Now that a report comes out which makes its open, reviewable claims based on a careful analysis that show 13 points (and could show more) lost in the process – you urge that UA retreat into mildness? The vitality of this website matters – as it has become a hub with many spokes – mild, rash, moderate, stomping – ALL presumably wanting to achieve fair play. I fear that your “trimming back” is a yellow card that risks doing away with the very passion of the whole enterprise hereabouts that has attracted people here in the first place. You’ve been in the forefront of urging on these efforts; now that a report has been issued, I fear that a few stalwarts are not further energized. Offered with cheers and respect.

  61. @bob

    I know that is a risk. I just feel it could be of more benefit with more people coming on to the site and being open to the idea that this site does it’s utmost to be fair. I’m not really talking about backing down from the strength of the conclusions, merely saying that perhaps the headlines of articles should not be the medium of expressing it. I think offering a mission statement on the site prominently will be advantageous, actually even without the trimming down bit.

  62. @shard & Bob, surely the easiest way to solve this is create untold ref. That way UA retains all the features that has attracted its followiung so far and AR can be the balanced reporting site…

  63. @ TommieGun

    We have been treated very badly by the refs – their campaign has cost Arsenal a title, prestige and prize money. Through Walter and UA we have compiled a lot of data.

    Its time now to start the fightback and use the data available to us to try and ensure fair play next season. What would you prefer – to fire blanks?

  64. @Stevie E: yes, agreed, our double-edged sword. (Did I say sword, oh, dear me). Cheers!

  65. @Stevie E

    Yes, that would be a happy outcome indeed.


    And my enthusiasm for demanding fairplay has not diminished in the least. These people are killing the game and it isn’t something we should take lying down. Cheers, and a yo ho ho to a comrade-in-arms.

  66. @eche: To me, the best of your heartfelt and constructive analysis is not at odds with Walter’s. There’s no contradiction between internal reform and external reform. How is it that you can be so insightful internally, but so much in denial externally. If we combined a critique of both internal problems and external abuses, we’d move a step toward a trophy achieved by proper, dare I say, beautiful football. It’s not either one or the other that needs changing. And as long as we of good motives keep arguing whether the need is to fix the Ref-shite or fix the team, then we’ll get in our own way and not help the team progress. To put it, yes, mildly: there’s no basic contradiction between a better side and better refereeing. And so, absurd to keep denying that both are true and both need addressing immediately.

  67. @ Bob – If you read my (not s many) posts, you’ll know that I dislike fighting (at least over the internet). So I would highly appreciate it if you could tone it down a bit.

    As for my nic, Tommie is my son, dressed in a gunner jersey since he was 2 months old… knows all the chants now (2.5 years old). Ok? So you don’t need to work your imagination.

    There is a very big difference between making an accusation of a “fix” or “corruption”, and the facts that might or might not help support such an accusation. Right now, we are at a stage where I think, and I would think that I can say that, professionaly speaking, lack the evidence of making that indictment. Moreover: those accusations, as they stand now, are borderline libel.

    Can you prove ref X is corrupt? No, you cannot. Can you prove there’s a conspiracy to screw Arsenal over? No, you cannot. Can you prove there’s a conspiracy to benefit team Y? No you cannot. What you can do, is point to the evidence at hand, gathered so far by the good work of Walter and Dogface, and hypothesize. And repeating those “corrupt” “bent” “fix” enough times, will lead people into believing that this is reality. Look at some of the comentators – BJTGOONER – claiming the refs’ “campaign” cost us the title.

    No. That is a speculative opinion not based with facts, I am sorry. The MOST you can say with the evidence is that SOME refs made VERY BAD DECISIONS that had SOME effect on SOME of our results. We don’t know what the refs did with other clubs, how they were effected, whether ALL of the mistakes can be attributed to bias – or can some be attributed to shittiness of refs, not enough refs, a combination of above elements, or I don’t know what. There is not enough evidence !

    We will not get a second chance. Being outrageous now, without the necessary evidence, will result in people dismissing this project even when in the end of next year we have that evidence. Because we’ll be those paranoid guys who came up with those serious accusations without the proper facts to back them up with. So yes, some modesty and restraint are important.

    As a final note, I support all your suggestions: video replays, transparent ref report, and the public execution of Sepp Blatter. It has nothing to do with my wish for a more restrained portrayal of things.

  68. @ Stevie & Shard (and probably this should go to the saints who will be investing time in this project) – YES untold ref could be the biggest thing happenning for the refereeing bullshit going on …

  69. @Bob – re our conversation last night, TommieGun has reiterated what I was trying to say to you, we need to wait until will have compiled a fuller body of reasearch or all the work up to now and until project end will be dismissed out of hand. Even if we have nailed on proof, it stil wouldn’t be easy so to go in with an feeling, we will just be laughed at & ignored, totally ballsing it up before we start.

  70. Sorry, my typing is all over the place today, it’s as if my hands know it’s Sunday and should be doing something like DIY 🙂

  71. @Tommie Gun: I greatly appreciate your principled and constructive reply to my style. I do, and it will bring out a thoughtful response, now in progress. That said, the fact is also that we face another season with Phil Dowd and Seep Bladder. What, in practice, do we do with Dowd. Did he only do us last season? Are you against, in principle or tactically, having a cumulative, next season-long Dowd Watch? a Vidic Watch? A Rooney Watch on this website. We could also have a companion Cesc Watch and Robin Watch, all of which look at the calls and non-calls that accrue to all of them. Walter nodded that the Watch idea, for his part, was under consideration. Is that a step too-far for you? Is that borderline libel, having a watch on those who have been well-known – league wide, and without quantitative analysis to wait for – for their game changing shannigans? Is it borderline libel to call extra-extra time “Fergie Time”? Or does that also need to be put on hold for a year until the hoped-for analysis reaffirms these “folk-prejudices”? Surely there’s a middle ground between borderline libel and do-nothing quiescence that would help curve the arc toward fair-play in the meantime (i.e., next season)? To my lights, knowing that these Watches exist could exert some manner of chilling effect on the apparent referee issues (to me, Ref-shite, but mea maxima culpa here)if/when they know they’re under a microscope. TG (and I for one love the name and cheers to your boy!), can you really, (in the name of sober maturity and not seeming like luddites to the outside world who already and only see us that way), simply say that we be mild-mannered as some forces re-align themselves for the big media celebration of SAF/Manchester United’s 20th Coronation? I don’t have a strong enough stomach for that; and judging from your principled posting, don’t feel you do either. I welcome your further thoughts on the practicalities, and wholly concur on Seep Bladder’s fate. (Borderline libel, or truth telling there? We surely can find common ground!)

  72. @Stevie E: I take your point, but again, that’s the UA/UR double-edged strategy, or UA | UR strategy, no? Whatever distance you wish for UR to develop a hoped-for iron-clad outcome that will simply wow the football world with its candor and quality (and I would yearn for that!), there is still the issue of next season, and Dowd, and Vidic, and Don Fergus, and the lemming-march toward a 20th Coronation. That said, what about some interim set of practicalities – such as the Watch series I advocate, or anything else that’s practical like reaching the wider AFC community with Walter’s in-progress analysis, etc.? There’s two tracks, then, no? The year-from-now and next season. As ever, what – practical measure – is to be done?

  73. @ Bob – If you really intend on writing a thorough reponse, but all the same, felt the urge of writing the “not so serious” reply (posted 2:48 PM), it kindov helps me prove my point: if you have a serious, constructed response, then THAT’s your response.

    You acknowledge me taking the time to write a serious reponse to your post – you can do the same. It’s the same with jumping the gun with accusations: wait until you have a serious response, not based on bloody veins, feelings, or anything which is not cast iron coated with cement, drop it.

    And it’s not manners because we are polite. It’s patience because we want to nail them, good and proper. Trust me (I do it from the other side of the law): it’s frustrating to have a case dismissed for lack of evidence, and that’s where we are now. Oh, and double jeopardy applies even more severly in our case – it’s “judgment of the media”, first and foremost, and we all know you can’t sell the same story twice.

  74. @bob, no matter what we do at that moment, next season will unfold in it’s own way. If you honestly think presenting Walters ref reviews as they are now (no offence Walter, I love em) will have the slightet effect, you’re gonna be disappointed. There are fans on the site who are loyal to Arsenal who don’t fully believe, if you can’t convince the converted, what chance the sceptical? What chance the press who love to mock AW every time he mentions a ref? I’m afriad you’re just gonna have to suck it up if manure win next season, but if they do & we are able to get that title taken off the, a la Juve, how much sweeter would that be? Like AW, you have to think further ahead 😉

  75. @Stevie E: and, as for “dismissed out of hand” worries, don’t you think that, for starters, a significant enough fraction of the wide world of AFC supporters would favorable respond to the work done here already? I would hope that Walter/Tony consider a PDF package with an intro of these season ending reports, and we look to ways to circulate it wider among AFC fans and stoke the larger discussion. If we don’t do that in the name of wait until the real report delivers the goods, then we risk repudiating the very purpose and hard-work achieved by this website and its supporters. Surely, you are not urging that we do/advocate nothing until UR has its report ready? Is eye-witnessed foul play only a matter of subjective interpretation? We risk becoming silenced by one method of truth-seeking, if it’s only about wait until the UR report. The public at large is also (despite media spinnings) able to see something before its eyes, and advocacy of a counter-narrative to the media-smoke and lens-crafting is also essential, as the UR report goes onward. Are you willing to cede next season to waiting for a report? (I pose that as a rhetorical question, but there is the matter of next season, and I think that you and Tommy Gun would help us all by focusing hearts and minds toward addressing that question.)

  76. @Tommie Gun: my response was not un-serious, and a more thorough one yes, is in the works. That said, if I might be permitted to have a shorter, and no less serious further rely?: I’ve asked you to consider Dowd Watch, et. al. Is the legal-eagle (you invoke the law, does one then bow/cower?) in you against taking that step? Be specific: is that step too forward to advocate? too luddite for UA to take on? Do you have a position you’d venture to specify on that? Or does your position of wait for the UR report rule it out of bounds? is there any specific, practical measure you’d advocate for before that yes, important and necessary report – to which I will contribute my hard-earned dosh – is ready to roll?

  77. @Bob – we haven’t convinced even half UA readers, never mind wordwide Arsenal supporters. Just think how short peoples attention span is at the moment, you’re asking everyody to have the same desire and passion for this that you have, but they just don’t. In 12 mths they will have forgotten all about a .pdf they couldn’t be arsed to read. If, however it was presented in bite size, 30minute, easy to understand presentation with all the facts & figures in place, then it MAY sink in. UR will gather it’s own momentum with subtle gorilla marketing, designed to garner support “underground”, because believe me, the press are not going to bite the hand that feeds them until they can be sure they’ve got an odds on, sure thing to back instead. Patience is whats required.

  78. @Stevie E: Alas, as you now seem to state it, for next season, are you/we really now prepared to “just suck it” up for MU’s 20th Coronation? Alternatively, are you willing to consider or actually back a Watch series as an interim measure? Not that you and I and the wall can bring even that into effect, but one lives in hope that others, including significant others (Walter, Tony?) might offer their thoughts on the near future, at some near-future stage…

  79. @bob, lets get UR up & running (please tony & walter)… there’s a lot to do before now & next season so lets not get ahead of ourselves, lets build a good case and see if we can make a change. And for the record, I dont think manure will win next season, even with the refs helping hand, they’re just not good enough. If it happens, then so be it but I think AW will have something to say about that.

  80. @Stevie E: I take on your points. But neither of us can speak to either everyone on this website let alone all of AFC fandom. Not at all. I am saying that since this website exists, and the reports are already public, obviously, then it’s a question of more widely exposing this already-public point of view as at least an interim set of findings which are being buttressed by another larger-scoped work in progress. The milk is spilt by this report; it’s already out of the bottle. Do we mop it up or help bring UA’s rating back into the top 10 on the visitation meter in the upper left-hand corner. Anyway, that’s my two-cents ’til later…

  81. @ Bob – not at all, having a watch is perfectly ok. I didn’t address those comments because they were (and still are) irrelevant to what I’m saying (and I’m very particular about it): the accusations of corruption, fixed league and bent refs.

    We can watch whoever we want, Dowd, Vidic, Rooney – are all good ideas. we can call extra time fergie time, we can do a lot of things that are (a) well within the boundaries of the law [and really I am not giving out legal advice here, I’m just saying it as a my own personal moral standpoint: don’t go out and accuse people with something just because you have a hunch; it’s not the right thing to do] and much more importantly (b) will not undermine the project with some premature over excited, well, you know what I mean (rhymes with jubilation).

  82. @bob and Stevie E

    We have not yet heard Walter’s opinion on whether or not to do something now with his analyses.

    If it is decided to do something now it does not mean we go off half cock. I can’t see anyone who has prepared so many meticulous reports wanting to do so.

    The advantage of starting careful action now is that we should help the cause of fair play sooner rather than later.

    To do nothing now will give the refs carte blanche to do the same again to us next season.

    However, lets have Walter’s opinion.

  83. Walter, is it possible in any way to do a review of man u or another team? In regards to how many points they gained or lost due to refs this year? I know that you do not review these games with as much detail but it would give your research higher correlation.

    I remember a few years back Wenger and Arsenal saying something about submitting a document to the FA, showing proof of bias, incompetance, etc towards Arsenal. Does anyone else remember this? Or what happened with that?

  84. @John L: it would be really nice contribution if you could research that and put up a link that we all could look at…

    @Tommie Gun: for now, so you know where I’m at, I’m choosing to hear walter/tony weigh in on tactics/strategy with the present study before I get too far out ahead of a working consensus. for now, there’s both overlap and principled disagreement between our views, as I see it, with more I suspect to come.

  85. @bob i think theres alot more agreement and I also think its best to wait for Tony and Walter to comment.

  86. Walter
    Excellent analysis.
    A couple of comments:
    1. Interesting that most of the 13 points related to decisions very late in matches so there is little that can be done to rectify and recover the points
    2. When moving forward you need to be very careful with your language. I appreciate the sarcastic tone to much of what you write but if you want media or others to take it as seriously as the ref reviews should be, then you need to be very neutral in tone and writing style.

    keep up the good work….

  87. I will come back to this later but for the moment I think it is important to cover the top 6 next season as a minimum. How we will do this is still wide open. I could do more games and as our sports channel has a see on demand option available I can see all the games later on that they have shown live. They usually have the top 6 games involved so I could have the chance to see 3 or 4 games every weekend and review them.

    It will cost me more time and it will have as a result that I will not be able to write other articles as much as I do now.
    Maybe some of you – I don’t name them – will be happy about that 😉

    On the other hand I could write all the ref reports down in articles and publish them. But I don’t know if many would come to Untold to read the ref review of Sunderland – Tottenham over here…

  88. About the possible points that we claim I just would like to point at the fact that I could have claimed more points. I could have claimed less points. The number at the end was just the result of what I thought was somewhat reasonable.

    Now the numbers of points lost itself is not that important. Be it 6, 13 or 18 the fact is and this is something nobody can ignore and deny that we did’t get in to a situation where one can say: well it did evened out at the end of the season.
    And that is for me the most important lesson I have learned from this season and this work: it didn’t even out. No matter what the popular expression claims: it is wrong when it comes to Arsenal and certainly for this season (and also the 2007-2008 season but I cannot back this up with a detailed review)

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