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July 2021

RefWatch – Blackburn Rovers Vs Arsenal (17/09/2011 – 12:45)

Untold Arsenal on Twitter @UntoldArsenal

By DogFace

  • Referee: Andre Marriner
  • Assistant 1: Gary Beswick
  • Assistant 2: Scott Ledger
  • 4th Official: Michael Oliver

Good morning stat-fans and welcome to RefWatch… Today I unveil the latest evolution of the RefWatch series – but before we get into all that; please allow me to explain where I’m going. Apparently the old RefWatch was too numbersy – stats are nice but the graphs were cluttered and confusing to the uninitiated reader – i.e. it was not very accessible.

The New RefWatch cuts down on clutter and numbers BUT (crucially) it actually contains way MORE data – the kind of data I wanted to put in it last season but it choked the graphs when I did.

Here’s a breakdown of how the new charts work – each line on the graph will visualise two related figures one will be the plot point on the graph and the other will be the width of the line (I’m still tweaking the widths and trying to standardise these graphs– it’s a work in progress), for example:

FPB/BPM breaks down as:

FPB: Use the vertical axis to find out the average Fouls Per booking figure for that season
BPM: The width of the line will indicate the average Bookings Per Match for that season.

So a high thin line for FPB/BPM would indicate a lot of fouls and very little bookings – and a low thin line for AHS/PPG would indicate an underperformance against the betting line and very few points taken.


Hover over the graph for a key to the acronyms – good luck!

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Let’s have a look at the Referee:

  • Full name: Andre Marriner
  • Date of birth: 01-Jan-1971 (Age 40)
  • Place of birth: Birmingham
  • Resides: West Midlands
  • EPL Referee Since: 2004/2005
  • EPL Games to date: 113

Andre Marriner
My god DogFace… where did you get this data?!

It’s Andre Marriner again… you remember him from that game against Liverpool last season when he shoved a metaphorical stick in the spokes of our title challenge by denying us a penalty and giving Liverpool an incorrect penalty off the back of an incorrect free kick in the dying moments. Wenger said ‘sacreblu’; Kenny said ‘Piss off’… how are them there peno calls going for you at the moment eh Kenny? Whinging all the way to the FA at the first mugging I see?


…honeymoon over?

Let’s check out his stats!

FPB = Fouls Per Booking 
BPM = Bookings Per Match
PPG = Points Per Game
AHS = Asian Handicap Swing (the deviation from the expected result)

Andre Marriner has had 11 games for Blackburn Rovers consisting of 6 wins, 0 draws and 5 losses.

Blackburn Rovers are currently in 7th in Andre Marriner’s personal Points Per Game League (for teams with a minimum of 5 matches played), for matches in the English Premier, with an average of 1.64 PPG.

In Andre Marriner’s personal Handicap Swing League (for teams with a minimum of 5 matches played), for matches in the English Premier, Blackburn Rovers come 7th with an average positive swing of 0.14.

Blackburn Rovers are currently in 16th in Andre Marriner’s personal Booking’s Per Match League (for teams with a minimum of 5 matches played), for matches in the English Premier, with an overall average of 2.09 BPM.

In Andre Marriner’s personal Fouls Per Booking League (for teams with a minimum of 5 matches played), for matches in the English Premier, Blackburn Rovers come 15th with an overall average of 6.22 FPB.

From the graph we can see that Blackburn’s FPB/BPM figures both for Blackburn and their opposition are fairly in line with each other – if anything Blackburn tend to get booked a little more than their opposition – this could be due to the way they approach the game.

In the wobbly blue line we can see a slight dip in form under Marriner last season in that it is showing a trend towards an underperformance; the thinning of this line indicates the average number of points per game are reaching a more realistic level.

Let’s look now at an all NEW graph that I call the Booking Index – this graph details, on average, when in the match the specified team gets booked and the player position booked. As before the position of the line against the vertical axis will indicate the average time of the booking and the thickness of the line indicates the average number of bookings of players in that position.

So – a high fat orange line would indicate that the referee often books the specified teams defence out of the challenge early, a low thin line or no line would indicate the opposite. The number of minutes goes up to 100 and if there are no bookings then, for the clarity of the graph, the line will ‘bottom out’ at that… let’s check it out!

Andre Marriner Vs. Blackburn Rovers (Booking Index)

So from the above graph we can see that Blackburn’s opposition get booked by Marriner less frequently than Blackburn.

Blackburn take the majority of their bookings under Marriner in the midfield and defence positions around the halfway mark in the game – this seems fairly consistent… although – we could assume that the dip in the defence bookings for Blackburn under Marriner last season was taken up by the rise in substitute bookings later in the game – this could indicate that a physical tactic was used and players under a booking were swapped out to avoid dismissal?

Feel free to analyse at will – and comment on anything you see and theories you might have.

Let’s crack on now and see how Arsenal perform under Andre!

FPB = Fouls Per Booking 
BPM = Bookings Per Match
PPG = Points Per Game
AHS = Asian Handicap Swing (the deviation from the expected result)

Andre Marriner has had 9 games for Arsenal consisting of 6 wins, 2 draws and 1 loss.

Arsenal are currently in 2nd in Andre Marriner’s personal Points Per Game League (for teams with a minimum of 5 matches played), for matches in the English Premier, with an average of 2.22 PPG.

In Andre Marriner’s personal Handicap Swing League (for teams with a minimum of 5 matches played), for matches in the English Premier, Arsenal come 3rd with an average positive swing of 0.44.

Arsenal are currently in 1st in Andre Marriner’s personal Booking’s Per Match League (for teams with a minimum of 5 matches played), for matches in the English Premier, with an overall average of 1.00 BPM.

In Andre Marriner’s personal Fouls Per Booking League (for teams with a minimum of 5 matches played), for matches in the English Premier, Arsenal come 1st with an overall average of 10.67 FPB.

From the above graph we can see that it looks like Arsenal gets away with more in the challenge than our opposition (wobbly red line). Our average FPB figures are quite high and our average BPM relatively low. Our opposition under Marriner (wobbly orange line) is fat and low[er than ours] which is encouraging and would Arsenal’s more technical approach to the game.

The fat wobbly blue line shows that although our form has taken a slight dip of late under Mariner, we seem to be on the rise and our average Points Per Game is consistently good.

Andre Marriner Vs. Arsenal (Booking Index)

From the above graphs we can see that over the last 4 seasons we have, on average, been booked earlier in the game under Marriner than our opposition. Although last season these bookings have come later in the match and have predominantly consisted of our defence and midfield. On the whole the difference between bookings patterns between us and our opposition under Marriner are not what I would expect considering Arsenal are a technical team of non-physical players – the 2007/2008 season seems to reflect what I would expect (given the Marriner likes to ‘let the game flow’) but the 2008/2009 to 2009/2010 it looks like our opposition’s game ‘flowed’ a little bit more than ours in certain areas of the pitch.

Let’s move on now to check out how Andre Marriner performs against selected teams in the EPL:

Andre Marriner Vs. EPL (AHS)

Right – there you go – much like the last incarnation of this chart except the line thickness represents the, you guessed it, Points Per Game… sorry about the untitled Axis’ – it’s getting late and that’s something I’ll fix for next time.

We can see from the above that Arsenal’s performance under Mariner has dropped over the 2008/2009 season to the 2009/2010 season – yet taken an upturn last season while retaining a fairly healthy PPG average. Blackburn’s performance has gone downhill under Mariner – but it seems very up and down over the seasons. Nothing much more of note here except for the crash in Chelsea’s AHS swing and PPG in conjunction with Manchester City’s rise.

The Predictortron gives Blackburn Rovers a -2.635416 goal disadvantage… and after a busy start to the season – let’s hope we’ve got the legs left for a solid 3 pointer.

Untold Index
History Index
Making the Arsenal

39 comments to RefWatch – Blackburn Rovers Vs Arsenal (17/09/2011 – 12:45)

  • This is a work in progress – so there might be some bugs in the article generation.. I’ll try and standardise as much as possible the graphs and line thicknesses in future articles – unfortunately there are only so many hours in the day and I can’t do this full time!


  • Johnny Deigh

    I saw that Andre Marriner let Bolton unleash a few bad tackles early on against Manchester United last week without pulling out the cards, including an injury-causing tackle from behind on Tom Cleverley by Kevin Davies.

  • arseternity

    Will be interesting to see how our new positive team ,plays against one of our northern bully boy teams cant wait

  • Kentetsu

    It took me a couple of rereads and careful looks to understand the new graphs, but indeed it does seem an improvement. Good work, Dogface.
    One thing, though. In the first graph, the data is obfuscated as the orange and red line are quite similar. Ideally, the ref of course treats both teams the same way, but right now it’s not possible to read the opponent’s data accurately. Any way to make that clearer?

  • Hi Kentetsu… thanks for the input – I’m looking into it, always trying to make improvements, bear with me as this series evolves.

  • bob

    I know it’s a bit obvious to you, but I think there needs to be more hand-holding up front in the article for some of us — for the really new and/or statistically-challenged and/or trying-but-number-phobic and/or next week’s (month’s, year’s) first-time readers. Baby steps first, to be more inclusive would bring in more of us. It shouldn’t take repeated readings or folks won’t necessarily put in the time to digest your obviously great work. So, more up front explanation of your acronyms and why they matter: like what’s AHS? Why does it matter? What does the combination of these curves show? Give us a primer – perhaps in a separate article that people can refer to for the first time – real baby steps there; and then can go from there to each week’s Ref Review. This primer could always be kept in the Ref Review section of the Homepage. And so new visitors can be led there first. This way there will always be the opportunity for new and first time visitors or readers of the Ref reviews to climb on board. I don’t think you should underestimate people’s fears or difficulties when it comes to stats and graphs, and taking the time out to do a very basic primer (which I know you think this is) as a kind of stand-alone article would be most welcome. Use a sample set of graphs and label what each curve and axis means on each chart; plus a summary of what the interaction of the curves means for each chart. If you do this as a reference article (which new readers can link to from each new Ref Review going forward), you’ll have a more inclusive and ongoing and widely-read Ref Review. At minimum, don’t depend on this article as sufficient orientation for everyone and anyone (and surely not for say, next week’s newcomers) going forward. So, a baby-step primer as a stand alone teaching document would be golden. Please consider.

  • jayj

    This is a joke, what the fuck worst defenders in the world, times up, exscuses up, Wenger has brought the club down, wenger out before we go down. He spends money on crappy kids 15mil on fucking wanker who hasn’t kicked a ball, 4 goals against blackburn, a clu that sits in the bottom. Wake up people this is an embarassment. Wenger must go no two ways about it. OMG Chamack coming on!

  • jayj

    on yeas and you can hear the boos.

    jayj please bring on your ass and coach our team Moron. Last season how many did we lose??
    We will be there and Wenger is going no where. Gunners dont lose hope.

  • The zonal marking is not working for us,lets go back to our ways.

  • Cape Gooner

    Can there be a more obvious penalty than the last second foul on Walcott by Robinson? What was Marriner thinking?

  • Keith

    I know this site is pro Wenger but he must swallow his pride, act as an executive and bring in a defence coach to drill in the art of defending. Our defence lacks cohesion.

    The top 4, I believe is beyond us unless people start to wake up and realise we are still displaying the same defensive frayilties we have for the last 3 years or so.

    Our results since February are probably not far off relegation form in the league. Time for Ivan to pull Wenger aside and suggest he needs defensive assistance. We’ve now let in more than 30% of the total goals we let in last season!! Scary.

  • @Cape Gooner what about Yakubu’s 2nd !!Anyway Marriner’s entourage is always like that;if that was Liverpool he will have given it.
    Though we lost i think we are showing some togetherness but for how long!!

  • walter

    Cape Gooner, yes you are right. The keeper came out in an attempt to stop or the ball or the player. He certainly didn’t get to the ball but he brought Theo down with his challenge. A clear cut penalty.

    Marinner gave the softest of penalties against us in the Liverpool game but this time did nothing.

    Two stupid and unlucky own goals.. shit can happen
    an offside goal… okay I think we are getting used to this by now
    a not given penalty in the last seconds… well we are Arsenal…

    I would bet for a few pounds that if it would have been the other way round he would have placed the ball on the spot.

    I don’t know how you can win games when lady luck turns her head away and the ref and his assistant are blind

  • Kentetsu

    I did not see any replays of the last incident with Robinson going for Walcott (?) as the broadcast here (China) switched to commercials right after the final signal, but it seemed like an obvious penalty to me. Has anyone seen any replays and can confirm that it was indeed a penalty?

  • Ronnie Brown

    Extremely poor game from the ref, it cost us the game, never a freekick for the goal and a blatant offside so we should have won that game, overall defensivly I felt we were incompetent and not good enough though for whatever reasons, and being like that doesn’t help, we were actually pretty good going forward, started brightly, very upset with this result as we didn’t need to do this to ourselves, we are by far better than them so to loose in that manner is disapointing.

  • @Keith, nice piece but what i think is lets give these guys some 2 more matches and then we judge them from there.

  • Ronnie Brown

    I wouldn’t say no to a defensive coach or extra defensive training, one was Santos’ fault but it’s his first game for us so I don’t hold a grudge, they got through us far to easily though and are pressing play overall just wasn’t good enough. We did look a lot better going forward which was good but we had some poor play today in some areas and in defense we were just poor in my opinion, I think that has to be greatly greatly improved upon, and so does sometimes the work rate and pressing, I would have been angry if I was on that pitch, you need to kill of these games or you will be punished, there was several times we could have killed the game off but we didn’t, several times through our own fault, poor decsions, just very dissapointing, I am sure we can bounce back but todays result is very very disapointing to me, these are the types of games I hate loosing cause we are actually far better than that.

  • rufruf

    Everybody knows this ref, yet we act shocked. The point here is we should never be in that position, the defending is worse that div 1 team. Laurent Koscielny/Johan Djourou dont ooz confidence.

    Why have we signed a 15mil kid? Wenger has made some very big mistakes, he wouldn’t spend 18mil on a proven player (mata) yet gambled on AOC.

  • Sammy the Snake

    This was even worse than the ManU game, we conceded scored 5 goals but lost 4-3 to a team that started the day at the bottom of the table. There is no silver lining in this. Let’s look forward to Europa League for next year (if any thing at all).

  • rufruf

    I know this site is pro wenger, but should we start looking for a new manager. Wenger failed to address these issues for along time, Metersacker,Santos looked good. Vermalen is proving to be unreliable and Laurent Koscielny is irratic the orher being Johan Djourou is the kiss of death. Wenger may have lost heart and the fans are losing their patience.

    Its only a matter of time, one more bad result like today and the fans will turn.

  • Laundryender

    Sadly today was another typical Arsenal performance, again we flattered to deceive.

    Did not take our chances
    Did not defend our goal

    Simple really, since the Carling Cup Final we are in free fall, an atmosphere of defeatism has engulfed the club, a change is probably needed.

    And for the Authors of “Why Stuart Robson should be sacked”, perhaps he should be brought in as defensive coach, that was shambolic, every time Blackburn got in our box i was worried, every time!. 7 goals in the game, we scored 5 and lost.

    Every business needs to address its problems, if you keep repeating the same mistakes, it is cultural, and the culture needs to change, how you change culture, Sterilisation!

  • Laundryender

    @ walter
    Bad luck,I thought Blackburm worked for their luck, and when it came took adavantage!
    In life and sport you make your luck! We have been complaining about our poor luck for too long now instead of taking control of our own destiny.

  • Arvind

    Kinda tough to take that loss. Two own goals? Same game? Rarely see that. We’re creating all sorts of strange records. Comfortably numb right now.

    Power cut here so missed the first half so no defense review :(. But from whatever I saw:

    1st goal is a basic offside trap mistake
    2nd goal is a freaky own goal
    3rd goal is offside
    4th goal is kind of hard to take really. Poorish tackle.. total last ditch on the half line and Kos puts the ball in with his right foot. I think a left foot clearance for a corner would be better.

    Going forward I thought we looked good. RVP, Theo tried tons. Santos looks good going forward and should be a good asset when we’re looking to attack like today. Chamakh got a goal(but missed another :().

    Arteta scrapped a lot and looked to be in the zone all 90 minutes. If we have a lead though, Arteta tends to be the deepest player, with Song further forward..why I dont know. Song had a good game bar the goal. Ramsey vanished after around 65″.

    We kept shooting straight at Paul Robinson who has 4 good games a year.. 2 against Arsenal.

    I do think the title is too far ahead to think of right now, bar a spectacular collapse by multiple teams. The summer dealings have drained us and its too late for this year .. league wise. We have a chance in the cups of course but really just now… everything seems very dark.

    Lets just take one game at a time, keep giving our best like we have.. yes we have tried very hard and hey.. not much more can be done to be frank.

  • Laundryender

    Like WBA away last year we did not match the passion in Blackburn until we were down, our players walk on to the pitch with great technical ability, but a lack of passion, it does my head in, we have become more European than EPL, forgetting where the bread and butter is.

  • Bexxy

    Wenger, reap what you sow. You always have, and I will be forever grateful for what you have done for The Arsenal. Sadly, you have taken your eye off the ball in recent years. I can live without the trophies, but I now fear for our future among the European competitions.

  • rufruf

    people dont like the truth!

  • MV

    It was NEVER a freekick for the 2-2 goal…The REF even hesitated 2 seconds before blowing cause he MUST of seen ARshavin got the ball.. MUST OF?!?!…he was thinking “he got the ball…BUT it was a sliding tackle..not from behind, but a little bit from the side..might as well give a freekick then”. That TOTALLY changed the momentum of the game.

  • rufruf

    Comical defending, really no-one can seriously consider us any kind of title/cup/euro challengers. As soon as Djourou entered the frey we expected the worst. Most if not all Arsenal fans expectation will have lowered today even contemplating a mid table fight.

  • critic

    Will 40 pts be enough to avoid relegation this term?

  • @arvind nice piece.We are 15th in the table as of now, but if you look at the teams which have played today every team is improving game by game.So @Laundryender fingers crossed. Next is Shrews bury @home Carling Cup,Bolton @Home and Olympia-cos Champion league at home also these are the 3 games we need not to disappoint. But what we need is the support at HOME not the boos,we need all our home games to be won so we need to behind the team.We have no time to sulk we are the Gunners we need to look forward and carry on. Apart from the usual suspects with this they will moan more.

  • rufruf

    The comments are beyond belief.
    Dont give up hope – Really!!!

    Hope is very thin the realisation of the magnitude of matter is creeping in and most of the fans worry and foolishly this blogger comments “dont give up hope”.

    -8 goal difference only 5 games in, conceding 4 goals against blackburn (bottom of the table), two own goals in one match,but, “dont give up hope”, is this person a moron.

  • Laundryender

    Being a football fan is all about hope, it is what we invest in, it is what football supplies, the lifeblood of hope.

    I have been a match going Gooner for too long, and have seen it all before but, I can never remeber a time when we defended so poorly and for such a sustained period of time. It has not been addressed and that is a managerial failure.

    Christ i watched Jeff Blockley and Henry Mancini, I cheered on Chris White and Steve Walford, I know what a mediocre CB looks like. In those days expectation was low and i paid 50p or £1.50 to get in. We were sold the new stadium on the back of “we will be able to compete with the best”. We pay not the highest but very expensive tickets to watch football, in a stadium that is designed to maximise revenue but delivers a souless experience, and we continually loose our best players to clubs prepared to push the boat out. But worst of all, we have failed to face up to our shortcomings, in any business that is negligent.

    And for the record i have never booed the team, nor ever failed to turn up vocally. However i have also never felt so disenfranchised.

    A Life long Gooner and share holder via the supporters tust

  • RedGooner

    Seriously wtf could anyone possible say about that…. and those blaming the Ref need their heads seen to.
    We have far bigger issues with our defensive coaching, the 4 best defenders in the world couldnt defend that far up the pitch in the EPL without looking like mugs week in week out.

    If we dont do something about it and soon we will be in serious trouble.

    What chance Theo and Rvp resigning next summer ?
    Something needs to change within the club we all know that somethings been wrong for awhile.

  • Tone

    The Arsenal players are too busy doing their hair to worry about a trivial matter like their job.

  • Pat

    Laundryender you may well be right that the new stadium was built for reasons of greed. And certainly the team’s problems stem from the time Arsenal moved to the new stadium. Although, when I say problems, Arsenal has still been in the top four and qualified for the Champions League every year.
    I would think, though, that it is too early to lose hope in what is really a new team. It is bound to take time for so many new players to gel. Also, some have to get used to the premiership. The late transfer deadline really did us no favours, this year more than ever. I hope it doesn’t take too long.
    As far as defence goes, the team defended very well against Dortmund, and today’s mistakes don’t wipe that out, at least, not in my view.
    Why is rufruf being so constantly negative by the way? And does he have to insult people who don’t agree with him, and call them morons? And why does he say the same thing so many times?

  • walter

    rufruf is someone with two names as Dogface discovered so just don’t pay attention to the likes of him I would say

  • Gord

    On the topic of the change to the format of these reports, I thought you had done a good job. Well, except for the last graph, 3 colours stand out well from each other, the 3 blues look too similar. I like the use of line width to convey information.

    I am going to guess that the appearance of waves in much of the data is due to changes in policy by the refereeing association, UEFA and FIFA?

    On the game, I thought it was very unlucky to give two own goals. Hopefully this doesn’t happen any more. Is there any other variety of bad luck we can pick up? It would be nice to lose a bunch of the AAA supporters. Heck, I hardly read any blogs any more (except for my work on player ratings), I just can’t stand the negativity.

  • Thanks Gord… I have some ideas for further analysis and the graphs will improve – nice to get some good feedback. I will also try and get a page explaining some of the terms for other readers – I’m trying my best to visualise quite large data tables of numbers and boil them down into something everone can see and understand – it’s a work in progress and as it evolves, I’ll try to improve it.