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The referees’ comparison table: which refs call it right, which refs call it wrong, where and when


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By Walter Broeckx

As promised I will try to give you some insight on how the EPL referees are doing in the league what each referee’s good and weak points are.

To do this I have joined the tables of my former article and put them in one unified table…

Nr. Ref Overall score % Nr. Ref Weight score % Nr, Ref Average score important decisions %
1 Dowd 85,38 1 Dowd 84,8 1 Dowd 83,42
2 Friend 81,40 2 Mason 80,47 2 Jones 77,92
3 Mason 81,16 3 Friend 79,55 3 Mason 73,1
4 Jones 79,80 4 Jones 79,44 4 Dean 71,89
5 Dean 77,21 5 Dean 77,82 5 Webb 67,85
6 Clattenburg 76,18 6 Atwell 76,76 6 Probert 65,4
7 Atkinson 73,97 7 Clattenburg 73,54 7 Clattenburg 62,66
8 Taylor 73,17 8 Probert 71,1 8 Friend 61,9
9 Atwell 72,16 9 Atkinson 70,09 9 Walton 61,65
10 Webb 71,74 10 Webb 69,46 10 Marinner 59,4
11 Marinner 70,39 11 Taylor 69,23 11 Atwell 58,59
12 Halsey 69,09 12 Marinner 69,2 12 Atkinson 57,41
13 Probert 66,60 13 Halsey 66,9 13 Halsey 55,24
14 Walton 63,77 14 Walton 64,9 14 Taylor 53,33

From this table we can begin to draw conclusions as to how each referee is doing and what each referee’s good and bad points are.

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In fact I think even the PGMOL would like this exercise, although since this analysis is © Untold Arsenal 2011, the PGMOL will have to ask Tony’s permission before it can be used.

We can start with the top of the table, and work our I will take them based on the first table and then go further down to number 14. The numbers are all taken from this season only – we are not using any of last season’s figures here.

So far Dowd has been outstanding in his games. He is strong in all the decisions he has to make. Be it the minor push in the middle of the field or the penalty decision. He gets a high number throughout.

Ref Friend is good at the decisions in the middle of the field. He calls the fouls like they are. But in his numbers you see that he starts going down the table when the decisions become more important. And when he has to make a really important decisions he misses them. Going from 2 to 3 and then to drop to 8th place tells a story.

Ref Mason has also a good season so far. He is very consistent in his score. But he also loses some more points when it comes to important decisions. So his weakness is also in the important decisions.

Ref Jones is a bit of a reverse situation. He is very consistent in the overall decisions and the weight decisions. And he also has the same level in the important decisions. This tells me he doesn’t “freeze” when the penalty area comes near and he has to make a decision.

Ref Dean also does it rather well in the middle of the field and is rather consistent. But he also gets a lower score when the important decisions come around the corner.

Ref Clattenburg has a very flat line in the table. Meaning he is consistent throughout his decision making this season. In the middle of the park or in the penalty area, he messes them up equally. A bit harsh words maybe for a ref in the middle of the table but I kind of expected a better score from him to be honest.

Ref Atkinson has a declining line. Okay in the middle of the field but going down when the important becomes more important and a big drop when it is really important.

Ref Taylor is another example on the penalty area fearing ref. Okay in the middle of the field but when it is important he lets himself and the teams down.

Ref Atwell is all right in the middle of the field, is better when we put some weight on his shoulders but again the important decisions is not his strong point.

Our world wide beloved ref Webb is well rather mediocre for a ref that has been chosen to do the world cup final wouldn’t you agree? But to be fair to him he is one that is better on the important decisions. Going from place 10 suddenly to place 5. This is what I would call a ref who can influence a game without people noticing it. But he is not afraid to get noticed when needed I would like to add.

Next we find ref Marinner. And I must say I also am a bit surprised by his low score. For a ref that has been chosen to do some top games this season he gets a low score. Or has this low score has something to do with the way he handled or tried to handle those games? Something to think about.

Ref Halsey finds himself at the lower end of the table and the best you can say is that he is consistent in doing what he does. Being consistent is important for a ref but getting consistent low score is not what people want when we talk about being consistent.

A different ref is ref Probert. Not good in the middle of the field but the more important a decisions becomes the better he gets. So one could say that he is also a ref who neglects the overall game a bit and let the players take control in the middle of the field. But when it comes to an important decision he wakes up and improves.

And finally we have ref Walton. Part of his low score is the way he totally messed up the Newcastle-Arsenal game at the start of the season. He messed up a lot and so it is no surprise he is near the bottom of the table in two tables. But to be fair to him since then he has done better games. And his overall important decisions making has improved a lot since that first game of the season.

So what can we learn from these numbers. A ref that has a good numbers in all the tables is normally a ref that has done good games and didn’t mess up too badly in his games. But when there is a big difference it can point at refs who changes depending on the place of the field they find themselves (and maybe the teams involved?).

Getting the important decisions right is important. Very important. But as we have seen in the past you can also tilt the playing field by making wrong calls in the middle of the field. And a ref that has a low score in the middle of the field but makes correct decisions when it matters can point at the fact that he isn’t focussed enough on the whole field but could also point at trying to tilt the game a bit but trying to stay invisible about it. Giving a stupid penalty puts the ref in the spotlight. But giving 10 soft free kicks to a team that has a specialist in the team to try to help them score goes more under the radar.

But with these numbers and my description of the refs and the Ref watch from Dogface you should have a fair chance of knowing how the ref will do his game before they start. And if you are smart enough and focus on it you could be able to see if he his doing his game according to a certain system.

And then a final remark for this article. As you can see so far we have done 42 games and had 14 refs. Last season I remembered we had 16 different refs in the EPL. Has this number even gone down? Or is this a coincidence? Because 16 was way too low and now if this would have gone down to 14… well this is insane.




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10 comments to The referees’ comparison table: which refs call it right, which refs call it wrong, where and when

  • WalterBroeckx

    Oh just to let you know the search for the refs missing in action can stop because after writing this report the two missing refs came above water. So we are back to 16 refs again.

  • Just sorting out the formatting…

  • Laundryender

    Walter this is fanastic stuff, just fantastic, feeling very proud of UA today.

    Love the bit about the PGMOL and copyright, they are exposed for what they are

  • Micko

    Will Dowd still be top once he’s done an Arsenal game?

  • WalterBroeckx

    Micko, if he does his game in the same way like he did them this season… probably yes.

  • Micko

    If Dowd gets a score anywhere near his current average when he does an Arsenal game then it really will be time to hold a party and say that Untold is, maybe, having some influence.
    I will look forward (I think!) to seeing the ref review of that game when it comes Walter.

  • Ugandan Goon

    Probably not the place to moan the imminent death of the european union, or even to encourage violence BUT one cannot suppress those longing sighs at what we might have missed out on the foods, the friends, the cheap labour…. i mean take a look at this fantastic example of direct democracy, swift justice in action…
    you’ve got to admire the ref’s turn of pace but the more astute will admire more the guy who brought his bike!
    Sorry Walter.

  • MOG

    There is this thing about this Dowd guy with arsenal games,i hope he does well this season,good for him all the same

  • toto

    As fate would have it, we have Phil Dowd for our next match against Norwich away from the Emirates.It will be particularly interesting to see if he maintains his high level performance in this match.

    On the number of referees, Walter asks a very important question why only 14? If we had 19 referees, it would be theoretically possible to ensure each referee only handles 1 home game and 1 away game for each team in the league, and that would go a long way towards fairness. I know that’s no guarantee but it is certainly better than what we have now where certain teams get certain referees rather too frequently.