- Referee: Phil Dowd
- Assistant 1: Andy Garratt
- Assistant 2: David Richardson
- 4th Official: Michael Oliver
Good morning stat-fans and welcome to RefWatch… First of all – greetings to all new readers who may have come here off the back of the Everton article – also welcome those who were linked here from the Media Watch section of the official Arsenal Web site. This is RefWatch – where we take a statistical look at referee performance and model it in ways that helps us not only understand what kind of referee he is but also what kind of referee he is for YOUR team – know what I mean?
To do this we use a variety of established data streams from commercial football analytics organisations and the gambling odds information spanning all the major European and Asian bookmakers.
Let’s have a look at the Referee:
- Full name: Phil Dowd
- Date of birth: 26-Jan-1963 (Age 48)
- Place of birth: Staffordshire
- Resides: Staffordshire
- EPL Referee Since: 2001/2002
- EPL Games to date: 214
Alright Untold… easy on ‘t stats eh?
It’s Phil Dowd again… you remember him, the ‘Staffie’; he’s the one from that Newcastle game where we ‘threw away’ [sic] a 4 goal lead:
And the Blackburn game after that:
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Interesting… looking at those links we can see how Walter’s Ref Review articles have improved over time – as have my RefWatch articles; I hate looking at the old ones, they seem so crude now. One wonders, at the rate we’re going, where we will be a year from here and what we might discover?
Anyway – this week we have only half a RefWatch as Dowd has not yet officiated a Norwich game in the EPL – so we will have to make do with only his performances against Arsenal in our analysis.
Let’s check out his stats!
Phil Dowd has had 17 games for Arsenal consisting of 9 wins, 6 draws and 2 losses.
Arsenal are currently in 2nd in Phil Dowd’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 1.94 PPG.
In Phil Dowd’s personal Handicap Swing League (for teams with a minimum of 5 matches played), for matches in the English Premier, Arsenal come 15th with an average negative swing of -0.06.
Arsenal are currently in 13th in Phil Dowd’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 1.88 BPM.
In Phil Dowd’s personal Fouls Per Booking League (for teams with a minimum of 5 matches played), for matches in the English Premier, Arsenal come 20th with an overall average of 6.19 FPB.
OK looking at the graph above we can see that statistically our performance [the wobbly blue line] was ok under Phil Dowd until last season where it took a dramatic downturn both in performance against the betting line (the Asian Handicap Swing) and our Points Per Game. This is a good time for regular readers (in terms of the merit of this series of articles) to remember the games under Dowd last season and how they are reflected on the performance statistics in this graph. We can also see that since the 2009/2010 season, Phil Dowd has punished us more in the challenge than our opponents – the orange line rides high and thin while we [the red line] falls low and fat.
Let’s break that down in our next series of graphs:
Again we can see that is recent seasons Phil Dowd’s pattern against us has become ultra-punitive – you can see clearly from this breakdown that, from the 2009/2010 season Dowd has peppered our midfield and defence with bookings on average around the half way mark… and also bunged a few at our goalie and substitutes last season too.
Above we can see our opponents bookings, Phil Dowd has booked later and less in recent seasons with only a few bookings, on average, in the defence and midfield around the 60-70 minute mark – our opposition has also seen their strikers take a few cards too… which makes sense as Phil always seems to me to be heavy on the draw in our matches.
Let’s move on now to check out how Phil Dowd performs against selected teams in the EPL:
OK now I have included the main teams here and bunged in Everton for the blue side of Liverpool who may still be taking an interest in our work. What strikes first me as pretty incredible is the rise of Manchester City in Phil Dowd’s figures going from blowing the bottom off the chart in 2006/2007 to blowing the roof off the chart in 2011/2012… which is interesting as Manchester City’s recovery in Phil Dowd’s figures seem to correlate with our fall – and you could also include Chelsea in that. One could conceivably then ask the question if this is somehow related i.e. could it be in the last few seasons that ours and Chelsea’s seasonal objectives have conflicted with Manchester City’s – or is this just a speculative stretch too far?
Something has changed with the way Phil Dowd handles our games in recent seasons and for us it’s not been good… with that in mind – the obvious question for this game and this season is this: do we pose a threat to Manchester City?
That is, of course, if we assume a causal relationship between our underperformance under Dowd and Manchester City’s over performance?
The Predictortron gives Norwich City a -0.562500 of a goal disadvantage – but seriously – he’s going to have to give Norwich an awful lot in the defensive challenge and many set pieces to pull a draw out of this one… isn’t he?
One other thing I would mention is that this is a highly exposed game – I’ve talked about the advantage of the 3pm Saturday kick-off [for the best team] before and look how it played out in our rare 3pm game this season with West Brom?
Phil Dowd is Untold Arsenal’s top performing ref this season; I really hope this continues and, win or lose, we have no complaints – but this is a 12:45 kick-off so keep your eyes peeled for all and any uncharacteristic underperformances on the pitch.
Arsenal are giving 3/4 ball on the handicap, odds:
Norwich pays 2.0
Arsenal pays 1.9