Untold Ref Review: Arsenal 7 – 1 Blackburn Rovers

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Today’s referee is Andre Marinner – Was his score as impressive as the final score line of the game?

MATCH REVIEW DETAILS – Andre Marinner (2012-02-04)
Period 1
Min Type Foul from On C/NC Comment Weight
1 FOUL Pederson Ox C 1
6 OTHER C Ref plays a good advantage after a foul on Ox, he nearly creates a chance for RVP 1
6 OTHER Modeste Veremaelen C He misses ball, then has a kick at Vermaelen, Ref should have a word 1
6 OTHER C Ref has a word with player who earlier fouled the Ox at the first break in play, well done 0
7 OTHER RVP Lowe C Push un back 1
8 OTHER Dunn Song N/C Push in back to win ball 1
9 OTHER Modeste Arteta C Ref has a word, he needs to calm Modeste down 1
12 OTHER Modeste Sczezney C his 3rd foul in quick succession 1
12 YELLOW Modeste C Ref has no option. 0
15 OTHER Nzonzi Song C 1
16 OTHER N/C Ref gives a goal kick, Arsenal should have had a corner 1
19 OTHER Dunn Coquelin C Off the ball, good spot 1
20 OTHER Pederson Veremaelen C 1
21 OTHER Blcbrn Arteta N/C He jumps into man in the air, makes no contact with the ball, Arteta has to pull out of challenge 1
24 OTHER N/C From a corner, Mets wins the ball, Nzonzi deflects it over, Ref gives a goal kick, wrong decision 1
24 OTHER Nzonzi Rosicky C 1
24 YELLOW Nzonzi C Ref was entitled to caution player for a clumsy challenge 1
29 OTHER Koscielny Modeste C He was all over player 1
29 YELLOW Koscielny C At the game I thought this was harsh, but Ref was entitled to caution as it was a good chance for Modeste to have a shot. 1
30 GOAL C Pederson 3
32 OTHER Rosicky Lowe C 1
32 YELLOW Rosicky N/C I felt Rosicky was reckless and should have been cautioned 2
35 OFFSIDE Nzonzi C This was the one where Sczezney came to the edge of box and missed a punch 1
37 GOAL C RVP, great pass from the Songmeister 3
39 OTHER C Great advantage played by the Ref after a foul on Rosicky by Olsson 1
39 GOAL C Ox, well done Ref 3
39 YELLOW Olsson C Well played Mr Marinner, that is an excellent application of the laws 2
42 OTHER Givet RVP C 1
42 RED Givet C Both feet of the ground, studs showing, easy decision 3
47 OTHER Vemaelen Blcbrn C 1
49 OTHER Nzonzi Song C 1
Period 2
Min Type Foul from On C/NC Comment Weight
48 OTHER Song Nzonzi C 1
50 GOAL Arteta C 3
51 OTHER Coquelin Hoilett N/C 1
53 GOAL Ox C Great run from Theo 3
55 OTHER Vermaelen Hoilett C This could easily have been a caution 1
60 OTHER N/C The Ref gives Blcbrn an advantage after a foul by Song, but they are down to 10 men, and have a player put on the floor by Song, they quickly loose the ball, possesion is not advantage 1
62 OTHER Blckbrn RVP C 1
68 OTHER Vermaelen Modestre C 1
69 OTHER Pederson Sagna C I am going with Ref, but from my TV view, I would not have given this one 1
72 OTHER Arteta C Handball, again I am going with Ref, but my view said ball to hand! 1
74 OTHER Hoilett Benayoun C 1
77 OTHER Benayoun Olsson C 1
77 OTHER Hoilett C Handball, again I am going with Ref 1
80 OTHER Benayoun Hoilett C 1
82 OTHER Orr Henry N/C Ref was very close, Orr went through the man to get the ball, the Ref is having a good game, but missing some easy calls 1
84 OTHER Vermaelen Modestre C 1
84 YELLOW Vermaelen C He was asking for it 2
87 OTHER Nzonzi Henry C 1
90 OTHER Pederson Sagna C 1
93 GOAL C TH14 3

The Ref put in a fair perfomance in a game that could have become difficult. He calmed Modeste down with an early booking after a foul on Sczezney, he could have perhaps done that for the challenge earlier, he also cautioned Olsson and Nzonzi in the first half for reckless challenges, but let Thomas Rosicky off with on similar to the two mentioned above. The sending off of Givet was easy, fortunately RVP saw it coming and was in the air.

Marinner had a calm presence the entire game, and his score reflects a game well managed.

A word for assistant Sian Massey, I was at the game, and watched her closely, she is running lines in the EPL on merit, I look forward to the day when she does some middles, if the PGMOL is a meritocracy, we will see her fairly soon I hope.

COMPETENCY SUMMARY – Andre Marinner (2012-02-04)
Period 1 Called Total Correct %
FOUL 1 1 100.00
GOAL 4 4 100.00
OFFSIDE 1 1 100.00
OTHER 16 20 80.00
RED 1 1 100.00
YELLOW 4 5 80.00
TOTAL 27 32 84.38
WEIGHTED 41 47 87.23
Period 2 Called Total Correct %
GOAL 4 4 100.00
OFFSIDE 2 2 100.00
OTHER 13 16 81.25
YELLOW 1 1 100.00
TOTAL 20 23 86.96
WEIGHTED 29 32 90.63
Totals Called Total Correct %
FOUL 1 1 100.00
GOAL 8 8 100.00
OFFSIDE 3 3 100.00
OTHER 29 36 80.56
RED 1 1 100.00
YELLOW 5 6 83.33
TOTAL 47 55 85.45
WEIGHTED 70 79 88.61

I’m not quite sure yet as I have to check all my numbers from this season but this was one of the highest scores of a ref this season I think.

BIAS SUMMARY – Andre Marinner (2012-02-04)
Period 1 Arsenal % Blackburn Rovers % Total
Correct For 19 76.00 6 24.00 25
Correct For Weighted 28 77.78 8 22.22 36
Incorrect Against 4 80.00 1 20.00 5
Incorrect Against Weighted 4 66.67 2 33.33 6
Fouls Commited 4 23.53 13 76.47 17
Fouls Penalised 4 100.00 11 84.62 15
Period 2 Arsenal % Blackburn Rovers % Total
Correct For 10 50.00 10 50.00 20
Correct For Weighted 18 62.07 11 37.93 29
Incorrect Against 1 33.33 2 66.67 3
Incorrect Against Weighted 1 33.33 2 66.67 3
Fouls Commited 8 57.14 6 42.86 14
Fouls Penalised 6 75.00 5 83.33 11
Totals Arsenal % Blackburn Rovers % Total
Correct For 29 64.44 16 35.56 45
Correct For Weighted 46 70.77 19 29.23 65
Incorrect Against 5 62.50 3 37.50 8
Incorrect Against Weighted 5 55.56 4 44.44 9
Fouls Commited 12 38.71 19 61.29 31
Fouls Penalised 10 83.33 16 84.21 26

And if we look at the wrong calls we see that the ref made few mistakes in this games. And there were very even spread between the two teams. I can live with these numbers in fact. As with the final score of both the ref and the game.

Another incident worth mentioning and maybe escaped the people who were present in the Emirates was the little collision between Nzonzi and the ref. They ran in to each other because both were looking in a different direction and Marinner got a knock on his cheek. Luckily he could continue his game because I know from experience that those accidental knocks can hurt a lot because you are not expecting it.

How nice it is when you have a ref that has been mostly fair for both teams in the game. And my final word about the assistant our reviewer had an eye on. I have seen her a few times and must say that she most of the times does a great job. Not just for having two dumb reporters removed from TV but for her decisions on the field. And if you had the choice of being screwed on the field by Dowd or by her…  (Lucky Tony is not back yet or I could get a yellow card for this remark 😉  )

Serious now, she does seem a very good assistant and if she is as good a ref as she is an assistant she can be a very good ref. Only time will tell…



71 Replies to “Untold Ref Review: Arsenal 7 – 1 Blackburn Rovers”

  1. I think the way the ref handled the third Arsenal goal, seeing the foul on Rosicky, seeing the possible opening, when RVP was turning Marinner had a quick look to see if Rosicky was still alive 😉 and then the Ox could score. And then to think of also handing the yellow card against Olsson was a master class in refereeing. That was a moment that you can be proud of yourself as a ref.

  2. I agree – I would like to see more female match officials working their way into the shady PGMOL as, merit aside, I think generally speaking women are less open to corruption than men.

    That goes for the established structures, lodges and ‘old boy’ networks that can influence behaviour and not just for the fact that men’s heads are more easily turned by a pretty face.

  3. Thank you Reviewer. There were 2 incidents that I would like you to comment on.

    The first was on 80 min when Rosicky went into the box. He was ahead of the defender who lunged at the ball. Rosicky tapped the ball with his extended right foot and the defender was so far behind that he caught Rosicky’s left – or back – leg. Rosicky went down. Why no penalty?

    The second incident was when RvP steamed into the box in the inside right channel. The defender came across and attempted a shoulder to shoulder challenge. RvP had raised his arm so his shoulder was not available to receive the challenge. The defenders shoulder went into his side/chest. Is this a foul?

  4. I would like to see more female referees, more foreign referees, a video of the seasons refereeing howlers, video tech now and no more riley or webb.

  5. Thanks for the review – gratifying for me that my impression of the ref was as you called it – excellent overall, a few minor wrong decisions. Very well done. And I also agree about Sian Massey – her concentration and eyesight are very impressive. In general, women are less likely to be involved in “old boy” networks (ha ha – see what I did there?), or to be starstruck in the presence of a big player.

  6. Good review–first time this season that Arsenal has been on the better side of the wrong calls? Three cheers for a relatively fair match! The result suggests that better reffing might lead to better football as well.

    I thought when I watched the match that Mertesacker was pushed rather strongly in the back while contesting a header immediately preceding Koscielny’s foul on Modeste that led to the equalizing free kick. It seemed to me that Arsenal should have had a freekick near the centre circle. At the time I thought, O dear, here it comes again. I never saw a replay, so it would be great to know if I was imagining things. Did anyone else see that?

    And spot on about Massey. She’s class, and I don’t remember her getting a call wrong in several matches I’ve seen her in. Are there other good male assistants that we simply don’t notice because they never get the camera?

  7. I would like to take the moment to thank all the reviewers. What they are doing is a lot of work. I started “forcing” the reviews into a “database” a couple of days ago. The data is subtle in places, and so far, it is a few hours just to do a single game. And I don’t even have to take the time to watch the game. And reviewers have said they have watched the game sometimes more than once.

  8. Did anybody else notice how the commentators (Sky TV) went on and on about Rosicky not being booked for the challenge ? I don’t think they were looking forward to being served humble pie hence the moaning and groaning.

  9. Indeed, Spartan, the commentary is, and remains – horrible. Andy Townshend opined that RVP gave the defender a little shove – and carried on about that for about 30 seconds, and then mentioned it again. The thing is, the defender backed into him.

    The commentators are unbelievable, literally. You should hear some of the bollux they talk, especially if Arsenal have the ball. They never talk about how a move is developing, or how ‘so + so’ made a certain move – knowing that his team-mate would do ‘such + such’.

    Then, an opponent has the ball and is looking to attack. The commentators suddenly know who’s on the ball and even names them. If an Arsenal player intercepts the ball they don’t talk about how wonderful that was, instead they go back to talking about something that’s irrelevant to what’s actually happening on the pitch.

    There’s no mention of how Arsenal’s opponents’ fouls, and the frequent-resultant non-calls – affect Arsenal’s players. No, it’s all about making sure Arsenal don’t get any credit they deserve, which in turn, some fans think; we’re useless (or whatever).

    This is why Untold is so very valuable.

    In my opinion Marriner has screwed the Arsenal on several occasions. There’s Liverpool’s penalty at the end of last season, at the Em’s – some 8 or so mins injury time, where some Liverpool player obstructed Eboue. Remember that? Mr M would’ve played ’till midnight to get that result right. And I don’t have the strength to re-visit the 4-3 at Blackburn earlier this season. If one goes back a season or two you’ll find some horrible non-calls against the likes of Hull/Wolves (I could be wrong about the team(s) but I remember gold shirts.

    In this match Marriner seems to have just done his reffing.

    It fascinates me that Dogface’s previews, and the ref reviews, are so available, and seem to mirror my thoughts (on how I see the game being played, and how they’re reffed. (I only “study” the graphs in a purely aesthetic way, as I ain’t got a clue quite how they work, and I have to read the comments below, or are they above?) One way or another, these are fantastic articles which I really appreciate.

    And Dogface, the piece you wrote at the start of your preview of the Blackburn match was magnificent.

    Just imagine if all games were reffed like this, not just Arsenal games. I watched some German and Italian footy over the weekend and the refs don’t let things go (supposedly to “keep the game flowing”. If a player hacks someone or pulls others around while waiting for a corner, or does so once the corner’s taken, then a foul is given. That’s it. Them’s the ****ing rules. So enforce them, refs.

    And get rid of this whole generation of commentators and pundits. They’re shameful (or perhaps, shameless).

    I beg your pardon/indulgence.

  10. Is Darren Cann the latest to be ‘de-selected’ by Ferguson after incurring his wrath yesterday? (Jeff Winter, Mark Clattenburg, etc.) He’ll be straight on to Riley about it. Can someone keep an eye on how long it is before he’s allowed to ref Man U after having the temerity not to give them a big decision?
    Watching that game yesterday and hoping for Man U to take points off Chelsea, it felt so different willing a team on and getting favourable decisions from the ref. (Webb chosen for that one? What a shock.) It was like they were flying with a strong tail wind behind them. It’s little wonder they never stop believing. In fairness, their attitude was fantastic though.

  11. ..sorry, I’m very aware he didn’t ref yesterday, hence ”allowed to ref Man U” may sound incorrect, but I’m sure you can see my point.

  12. I can’t wait to see the review of Chelsea v Man C. I predicted Howard Webb would get the World Cup final. I based my assumption on the fact that Webby made a documentary with either FIFA or UEAfa. I tried to see this film but couldn’t find it with English subtitles. I can’t pretend to know or understand its content but I could see that Webb, when questioned after certain ‘performances’ by officials, looked very uncomfortable. (Might be called summat like Don’t kill the ref’. If anyone can post a link of this film in English, I’d appreciate).

    So once England were out of the WC2010 – that’s when I made my prediction. And so it came to pass.

    And what a ****ing mess he made of it. Outrageous!

    This final – in Africa (will they ever recover from the costs of new stadia, et al) was a showpiece, as they all are. What is the message received by all those watching, as to how the game should be played and reffed? Kung Fu kicks? Multiple hacking? Serial diving? Let the game flow?

    I’ve read that dear Webby got booed when he went up for his medal. (That hasn’t changed anything). Embarassing, ‘specially after ‘whatshisface’ gave some player 3 yellow cards (another “celebrated” English ref, who now writes his opinions in some rag. English refs, eh! Where would we be without them?

    OK, I’d better go.

  13. well turms out my worries for PGMOL sending probert were unfounded but they have send us a new face N Swarbrick…im not sure if we have had a match before this under him but im really hoping he is not of the dean-dowd-webb esque…speaking of dowd looks like he has been called upon by fergie to do what webb did yesterday on saturday while webb takes a much needed rest at bolton vs wigan

  14. Gord–I second the thanks to the reviewers. It’s a lot of work they put in without remuneration, so it’s well to let them know we’re grateful!

  15. @All:

    What a great score for a ref, and such a refreshing change from what we’re used to.

    I think that this ref score is very interesting in relation to what DogFace had to say before the game in RefWatch:

    “This game falls on day 13 of the Chinese new year so, again, the Asian markets don’t really matter all that much, and [despite the early kick-off] we might see something of a competitive fixture…”

    Well called once again, my friend.

    And boy, did Arsenal rise to the occasion! In fact, I would say that this fixture actually wasn’t “competitive,” but for all the right reasons 🙂

    Oh, and Walter, I wouldn’t give you a yellow card for your Sian Massey comment. It made me laugh so hard that I nearly fell off my chair.

  16. @DogFace:

    Using my own experiences with politics as a reference, I’d say that there is truth to what you say about women being less susceptible to corruption than men.

    On the other hand, due to the power of “old boy networks” and the like, combined with the fact that women are held to a much stricter standard of behavior than men on essentially all levels, non-corrupt women can be targeted and their influence diminished much more easily than non-corrupt men.

    I mean, look at the ridicule that Sian Massey was subjected to just on the basis that a couple of jerks made some unwarranted and sexist comments about her.

    In the most extreme cases, women are much more vulnerable to blackmail than men. And by that I mean, it’s much easier to destroy a woman’s career and reputation based on collateral issues than it is to destroy a man’s.

  17. Shouldn’t N’zonzi get a yellow card on 87mins for the foul on Henry, which would have been his second. It looked to me like a promising attack. I thought the ref didn’t show him the card because he felt sorry for Blackburn who were 6-1 at the time.

  18. Archive # 13794, Liverpool versus Sunderland (3rd game of year).

    At end of first half, is an incident which seems to point to a foul involving Bardsley. Barsley is cautioned for protesting. In the records of the second half, after minute 69, is supposedly a foul at minute 68 of Barsely on Suarez. This foul is out of order as it stands, but could it be that this is the foul Barsley was protesting, and it is actually at minute 47 of the first half?

  19. As I am going to wait a little while for this answer involving Liverpool, and Liverpool happen to be playing Tottenham at the moment, it was remarked in the BBC commentary that the most exciting thing in the first half, was when a cat wandered onto the field during play.

  20. Gord,
    If I remember right Bardsley was protesting a foul on Carroll by his team mate and this was the reason for his booking

  21. I thought the ref did well throughout and did not look to try and even things up for Blackburn later in the game which was a nice relief.

    As the great man himself said it was a great performance matched by a great result. My only minor criticism of the game was of Chesney for the equaliser as he has looked increasingly immobile and quite static in the box.

    I thought the ref today in the Liverpool Vs Spuds game did quite well too.

  22. This is a good review and a much better performance by Marinner compared to the previous match between the sides. I also liked Sian Massey, she was very accurate and professional and after the comments made last season by the two loudmouths she has had to be exemplary in every decision – otherwise another loudmouth would crawl out of the woodwork.

    It was a great performance by the team – but we were lucky that RVP and Sczezney were not injured by rash challenges.

  23. The ref and assistants had a very good match. Kept the game going and got the significant and match-changing decisions correct. Keep it up Andre plus Mr & Ms Assistant! Nice result for the scousers and the tiny-totts tonight too! Good weekend! Come on you Gunners and Gooners!
    Wrt yesterdays game, I can definitely see why the pens were given by Webb for ManU (not that he needs much invitation!) and he was right to do so. They were definitely soft, especially for the away team, but they were the correct calls! Cahill should have had a red-card for his non-called foul on Welbeck, but it’s getting quite difficult to be a ref now when players just keep diving at the slightest touch in dangerous positions. What’s more, looks like the English players are now becoming the worst culprits (n.b. Johnson at Citeh!)

  24. @ Gord, I agree with you. I thought I was the only one that thought that far from an exciting game between two sides with everything to play for, it was quite boring. If that is what’s considered the best attacking football in the league at the moment, I would beg to differ.

    I actually thought the funniest thing was the SKY comentator’s’walking on eggshells’ as they went out of their way to complement both teams and were quite measured in their criticism of both sides. In the end they seemed to run out of things to say as even after the Suarez’s intro the game was still flat. The Anfield pitch looked huge with all of the space given to the Spuds and as for strikers Andy Caroll and Adebayor ….well I think it would of been better to physically flush money down the toliet because at least you would of known where the money went.

  25. Sorry to take it off topic, but I am surprised someone thinks the Pens were correct for Man Utd?

    This season many players seem to have realized that all they need to do to get a penalty is to make contact with another player while they have the ball. ie move their own leg into a defender and then fall over.

    You’ll notice Evra stops suddenly and spreads his legs wide knowing the defender behind will have no chance of avoiding his outstretched leg (possibly he could have just been trying to shield the ball.. but that is a very strange thing to do while running into the box).

    Wellbeck’s is even more blatant as the ball is heading across to his right yet instead of following the ball as the natural reaction would be, he moves his leg to the left into Ivanovic.

    If this keeps going then they may need to bring in a ‘charging’ rule like in basketball, because refs are either being fooled by it or are using it as a good excuse to give a penalty to whichever team they support for the day.

  26. @Rocky RIP:

    This license that Ferguson apparently has to deselect refs is quite interesting indeed and should definitely be kept an eye on. I’ve been trying to keep an eye on the PGMOL in general lately (quite an uphill battle, btw),and I’ll try to keep an eye on this particular ref as well.

    On a related note, does anyone happen to know where the PGMOL is incorporated? Since they’re a private company, and have “Limited” at the end of their name, this would mean that they’re a “limited liability company,” unless I’m much mistaken.

    Which, in turn, would seem to indicate that there must be at least SOME related records, incorporation documents,regulatory filings, etc, that might explain who officially owns them and some of the finer details of exactly how they’re running their “business.”

    Would be quite interesting to know, I think, because even if they won’t tell us what they’re doing, we might still be able to figure out what sort of business activities they’re structured to engage in as a company.

    But at this point, I haven’t even been able to find out where they’re incorporated. Not even the country. I would assume UK, but you never know… Their primary business relationships seem to be with Asian companies, from what I’ve found so far.

    But if I can find out where to look, I might be able to turn up some of their records, which I would very much like to do. Anyone have any tips?

  27. Several retired refs have referred to being deselected by fergie. I think Webb missed a poss penalty for utd when welbeck had his shirt pulled, was reminded of this in a half time visit and used the second half to get back into his now acknowledged masters good books. How many big games involving utd has this ref had in recent years?

    As for us, good to see a decent ref performance, and a performance by the team to embarrass the petty plastic protesters.anyone missing the game in protest, well serves them right.
    A bit off topic and not the best source, but is it just possible there could be a minuscule amount of truth in this?
    If true, that is one hell of an ask,

  28. @Gord – looking at the match commentary from the bbc:

    In the 46th minute of the first half, Phil Dowd gave a free kick for a foul by Anton Ferdinand on Andy Carroll. Apparently Bardsley didn’t like the call and complained to Dowd who then booked Bardsley for dissent. Bardsley didn’t make the foul himself but he complained about it, perhaps using colorful language as well, I don’t know, but he got booked for it.

    So his card in the first half was unrelated to his foul in the second half that you mentioned.

  29. Very interesting link tasos. See last year, when we were doing well and utd needed help, he reffed utd vs us and Liverpool within a month, and guess what utd won both one nil.
    Thing is, Chelsea at least appear to have a lot more clout than we do, I wonder if they are making complaints in the corridors of power at that disgraceful second half performance by webb. Still, at the end of the day, he may have inadvertently done us a favour.
    Maybe one day when the pigs learn to fly, an untainted unbiased Sian Massey might ref us vs utd .

  30. @ Mandy Dodd,

    I don’t believe that article, firstly it’s an article by the very rubbish John Cross, secondly it seems he has cut and pasted quotes and facts. Which are that Arsenal DO need to make a profit in order to pay down the debt. Arsene has used those words to describe Hazard and we were interested in him a while ago.

    To me a £30m price tag slapped on the player is too high but the club or player is still trying to keep the story alive in the hope that another club will come along and ‘steal him from under our noses’. Last summer I think we were rumoured to made an offer for £20m but Lille wanted more. I wouldn’t be surprised if the club invited us to come back to the negotiating table though as they need money. Us buying Eisfeld should give them something to think about. Obviously the interest from Man C and Chelsea didn’t come to much this transfer window.

    Most of John’s pieces seem to be 2+2 = 5

  31. @Walter and Johnny Deigh

    Thanks, I adjusted my copy of the comment to explicitly point out what the YELLOW is for. Which still leaves the question about the order of fouls in the second half. We have a foul and a booking by Charlie Adam at 68 minutes, followed by a foul of Bardsley at 67 minutes, followed by a foul by Sessegnon at 69 minutes. I see that the BBC commentary puts the Bardsley foul at 69 minutes as well.

    I’m getting faster at this transcribing, but still too slow.

  32. @Mandy Dodd

    When Man Utd need him most, he rarely if ever disappoints.

    BTW I doubt we can afford the likes of Eden Hazard. Terrific prospect that he is but John Cross just doesn’t get it, we simply cannot compete with the oil money on transfers/wages.

  33. If a player is clever enough to attain contact, and the other stupid enough to fall for it (and Sturridge was stupid when he ran into Evra), then a foul is a foul regardless of the motive and location on the pitch.
    Welbeck’s was a pen because whether Ivanovic pulled out, or did not in time, his foot was right there and did make contact with Welbeck thereby he lost his balance and was unable to take a clear shot. Whether Welbeck left his leg dangling to make the contact is actually unclear but I guess you have to look at the position in the box to decide if it may have been a dive or not. I’m not in anyway defending Webb but i can see how in a split second he gave both pens. Johnson’s penalty-award for Citeh was not a pen and certainly was a dive as he fell then stretched out his leg to ensure contact as he new he couldn’t take a shot with defenders still to beat in front of him!
    Football already has a charging rule (it’s called Barging) and a blocking rule (it’s called obstruction)! Unfortunatelt they’re not always enforced to the letter!

  34. Gord – The timelines can be a bit off. Sometimes they show replays of a given foul and because of that you don’t see the card being given. Then a minute or two later they show on the screen that someone has been booked. I don’t know if that was the case in your example, but if that did happen, maybe the reviewer was trying to put the foul and the booking together. In any case, you have the BBC website to fall back on.

    Note that while the bbc is usually accurate, sometimes I’ve seen they can make little mistakes like once in a while they might attribute a foul to the wrong person.

  35. Evra more or less backed into Sturridge. I thought it was a joke. Welbeck was worse, it was pure simulation.

  36. By the way, the photo of Webb celebrating with the United players is a fake. I posted above a couple of screen caps from the TV footage (the post is currently awaiting moderation), and Webb can be seen about 25 yards from the United players walking away at the time of the celebration.

  37. @Mandy Dodd,
    I too don’t believe this “20 million profit a year” nonsense!
    John Cross is a rubbish hack and self-publicist! Hazard will not go to any other club purely for money, he pretty much has stated that already, it’ll be about first team football at the highest level and under someone he knows he will learn from! Ergo, where else better than Arsenal and Arsene Wenger?!
    Incidentally, I’m going to start a campaign to have Brendan Rodgers as a possible replacement for Lord Wenger when he decides to go to the upper house! The more I see of Swansea play, the more I’m very impressed with their play and their young manager’s attitude! Wonderful stuff! The so-called “bigger boys” could learn alot from them!

  38. I have only seen Hazard play three times and I haven’t been over excited by what I have seen, simply because I am not sure he is mentally and physically strong enough to play for Arsenal in the EPL. I would expect him to deliver almost immeadiately for £30m and don’t think he able to do that. An adjustment period of over a year is a lot time and money to invest in a player who might not deliver.

    Especially when we have Ramsey, who admittedly is struggling a little bit with the attacking midfielder role he has been asked to play at the moment, but I believe he will come good once he relaxes a bit. He has a good eye for goal and it will happen once he stops trying to force it. Two years ago he was learning and playing a different midfield role and now he is learning another. He will get there and some of the pressure will come off once we get our fullbacks fits also I think.

  39. @DC

    Sorry I’m not buying it, the Welbeck penalty is never a foul for Me. Both Penalties were manipulated by the attacking players, Evra and Welbeck although I accept Evra’s probably was a foul.

    I noticed numerous occasions throughout the Chelsea game and also Utd’s previous game against Stoke that the Man U players were attempting the same simulation inside the penalty area, uncanny really.

    I only wish Arsenal were awarded penalties so easily and when so needed.

  40. @Johnny Deigh

    First pass is to just get the data from UntoldArsenal into a “database” here. What I want to do eventually, is use things like Fourier Transforms to look at the distribution of times between calls. But in order to do that, I probably need to firm up the times the calls are made. So, I will be looking at the Press Association timelines that the BBC has in their game coverages. If people have other sources of information on how to assign times, that would be wonderful.

    Hopefully, I can put together a database of all the work that the reviewers are doing, in as many formats as are useful, for UA to use as they see fit. But it is apparent in going through the data, that there are things which don’t need to be there (and later in the season, we see that some of this is being dropped in the reviews), and I am seeing things that should be there, and I am trying to add it where I see it.

    Referee associations don’t train referees to be scientists or statisticians. Engineers “cut their eye teeth” on mathematical analysis of data. I know that DogFace (I wish I had a better moniker, for me to write that makes me think I am insulting someone) has this data in a MS-SQL table somewhere. I think I am seeing structure in the data that a single table is not a good representation of. Hence, I am hoping to come up with a better dataset.

    But at the end of the day, it is really in the Premier League and the FA’s best interest, that should want to make the basic data available to everyone. If they haven’t been bought by the oil money of teams, or the gambling money from Asia, the best proof is to make the information freely available so that anyone can apply whatever mathematical tools they know to the data.

    They (FA and PremierLeague) want the game to be the best it can be. We suspect the PGMOL has other interests at heart. We know that big money has other interests at heart.

  41. @Tasos,
    It is becoming very difficult with the permeating and disgusting culture of simulation so I now begin to look at the player’s position in the penalty area and determine how good the goal-scoring opportunity was when he finally decided to go down? If the opportunity was good and he had control of the ball, then you have to give the attacker the benefit of the doubt if you’re not sure. It’s certainly not easy when you only get one look at it but post-match video-reviews with subsequent disciplinary suspensions for blatant diving and cheating (since FIFA refuses in-game video reviewing) could be a worthy deterrent and help for the refs, aswell as supportive evidence for their competence or lack there of!
    There’s no doubt that some referees are more likely to give the decision to some sides, and players, over others but then again even that is not consistent (Webb could have given United at least 3 pens but settled only for 2)! But then again if the ref is seen as being too consistent, then surely that would only expose the favouritism in an unquestionable way?!
    Wrt Arsenal, you’re right, if only it is as easy for us with Webb et al! However, I would rather they got their decisions right for EVERY team rather than favour us in a corrupt manner.

  42. @Gord,
    Absolutely! Big money can never sleep with a massive commercial entity as the EPL and European football in existence! Goodluck, with Dogface, on your analyses!

  43. @DC

    I don’t believe that is correct according to the rules, if the attacking player deliberately makes contact with (kicks, pushes, treads on) the defending player then it is a foul against the attacking player despite him having the ball at the time.

    That is the ‘new’ technique of simulation that I am talking about that is becoming more and more common in the EPL.

    Evra’s was dubious as he was no longer really playing the ball at the time, similar to Lucas jumping into Eboue for a penalty, but I could see how you might give Evra the benefit of the doubt that time as it was done with much more skill than what Lucas did (and may possibly not have intended to do it? who knows what on earth he was trying to do if that wasn’t the case).

    Welbeck however actively went and moved his left foot into Ivanovic’s leg while Ivanovic was on the ground and then fell over (Not just leaving his leg dangling as per the usual style of simulation). He had to change direction and move his leg across to where Ivanovic was in order to do so and should have been given a yellow card for simulation as he was the sole cause of there being ANY contact at all between the two players.

  44. @ Gord

    I was the reviewer who did the Liv-Sund game, going to my original spread sheet, i can confirm what Johnny Deigh said about the Bardsley booking, it was for contesting a decision made by a teammate Anton Ferdinand. Re the timing of the other incidents, when you are using TV replays to look at incidents time and time again, and when you are dependent on LTV for the replays, sometimes the chronology may not be exact, but the incidents are.

    Re using BBC times, or other times (and when i am doing a review i sometimes use the daily telegraph to clarify identity) the times will never exactly overlap, this is down to the time delay in the reporter typing, or texting the information to his broadcast medium.

    @Cape Gooner

    Re Rosicky on 80minutes, it was a good tackle, the player made contact with the ball moving it away from Rosicky, Rosicky knew that and did not appeal for anything. Re the RVP incident, give me the minute and i will look at it again.

  45. @MK,
    If it’s deliberate of course you’re right but how does ANY well-meaning official (nevermind Webb) determine if it’s deliberate or not nowadays? Cheating, unfortunately, is now endemic and it’s very difficult for anyone to determine that in a split second with the speed of modern play pace of any incident.
    Other examples of bad-calls are the Balotelli stamp on Parker’s head and Lescott’s forearm smashes into the Spuds’ players at Citeh. I don’t think anyone can be sure, if you’re totally honest about many incidents during a match, especially at the pace that the EPL is now played at, that they could make the correct calls all of the time. Next time you watch any match (especially live at the ground), try to referee it yourself in real-time with one viewing then compare this with the reviews. You’ll find it’s not so easy when you only get one look.
    I certainly wouldn’t want to be an EPL referee as you would be guessing and probably making biased decisions (either consciously or subconsciously) on several occasions when you’re not totally sure of what you saw or just happened!

  46. I know the picture was photoshopped but it was as funny as the one Ryan Babel tweeted after another Webbesque performance in MU-Liverpool a while ago. The one with Webb in a UTd shirt.

  47. @Finsbury:

    “11.9% of footballers have been approached to consider fixing the result of a game”

    Good link, but to me, this number seems possibly a little understated. What do you think?

  48. @Walter – knowing Howard Webb, and while suspecting it to be fake, I still thought there was a chance it could be real.

  49. Anne,
    For my initial 2 cents, I’d observe that if PGMOL were not a UK incorporated firm, it Should raise eyebrows. Whether or not there’s a UK listing, someone here like Tony or Rhys, etc. etc. could readily determine; and/or at least point to where incorporation papers are traditionally filed in EU/UK. Then, if not here, well then where? Curiouser and curiouser, Alice would opine….

  50. Anne, Finsbury,
    How would anyone truly know the true percentage of approaches? Or, are these “reported” approaches? Reported to whom? How many players (or others, ahem) would acknowledge an approach and not fear that by going public they’d be courting at least a dodgy non-call on the pitch, etc. etc.?

  51. Anne, I don’t know what to think.
    But I would like to ask the England and Wales Cricket Board’s anti-corruption chieffor his thoughts on life in the EPL, and more intriguiingly, life in the lower divisions. The cricket ‘fixer’ who was at the centre of the trustworthy and ever reliable Murdochian fake sheikh’s astonishing revalations* was said to have some links to one a lower league club:


    *easy pickings in my humble and insignificant opinion.

  52. @bob:

    Curiouser and curiouser indeed… I mean, seriously… Whatever is going on with this company is absolutely fucking insane. I know how to do company searches, I know how to do google searches, and I know how to handle google searches even after the search results have been completely censored, and I can still turn up results. But I’ve never turned up results like I’m getting when I’m trying to look into this company.

    But in some ways, making yourself TOO opaque is the same as making yourself completely transparent… Get what I’m saying?

  53. • Reviewer02
    February 7, 2012 at 5:32 am
    @Cape Gooner
    Re Rosicky on 80minutes, it was a good tackle, the player made contact with the ball moving it away from Rosicky, Rosicky knew that and did not appeal for anything. Re the RVP incident, give me the minute and i will look at it again.

    Thanks Reviewer 2. The replay of the Rosicky incident is at 80:40 and gives a frontal view rather than the view from behind we saw in real time. It clearly shows Hanley makes contact with Rosicky’s back foot/leg and shows Rosicky being thrown off balance. A few frames later the ball changes direction, but Olsson has come between the camera and the action so we cannot see who kicked it. I don’t think that matters – Hanley kicked Rosicky first and the ball second – surely that is a foul.

    The RvP incident is at about 85:55 with the replay a few seconds later. Hanley (again) does get the ball, but only after putting his shoulder into RvP. Perhaps he wouldn’t have got to the ball without the contact.

  54. @Johnny Deigh:

    That’s an excellent link. It gets much more into the heart of matters than what you usually find.

    The main thing that I’d really like additional info on is who exactly places bets with VCI? And other companies like them? Specifically, do these companies tend to have a public or a private clientele?

  55. @Johnny Deigh

    It would appear the referee in question, Mr Moss, has had a very colourful history officiating West Bromwich Albion matches.



    All bookmakers would keep clientèle info private as much as possible. Inside information is understandably key from a bookmakers perspective, knowledge is king, therefore allowing certain prominent individuals the opportunity to place restricted bets with their company in return for “insider knowledge” can be very beneficial, potentially. Besides which if we are to believe what hear, who the hell would want to be a Malaysian bookmaker?

  56. @cape Gooner

    Hi looked at both incidents again, they were both good calls by the Ref, the first one the Ref is 3 yards away with a good view. The TV angle from behind the goal clearly shows that it is a good last ditch tackle making strong contact with the ball moving it away from Rosicky.

    The second one the defender just moves his body between RVP and the ball and stays strong. The ball is in the defenders zone of control, so he is entitled to see the ball out of play. Sol Campbell was an outstanding practitioner of upper body defending, which is all this was. It was not charging (a shoulder barge) or nudging with shoulder, simply not conceding ground once you get between the player and the ball.
    A good barometer is the reaction of the players, on both occasions all players just get on with the game.

    @Anne, I have played at Croydon Athletic, it is a shithole!!

  57. @reviewer02

    If a person is going to do any analysis based on Fourier transforms, (the inverse of time), the more accurately a person specifies the incident the better.

    My expectation is that over some large number of games, the probability of a call being made (or should being made) is almost the same everywhere. The exception is the beginning of periods (usually first half or second half).

    But, in terms of looking for irregularities, a person wants to look for incidents before how much extra time is indicated (typically 44m and 89m), incidents between 44 and end of first half, incidents between 89 and end of 90 minutes, incidents with respect to when goals are scored, incidents with respect to when penalties are are called, and so on.

    So, I am going to try and get the best times I can. I am not going to expect that you reviewers get things perfect. You are doing enough just looking at all this. (I just wish I could watch more games, I think I have seen 2 on TV this season).

    Being an engineer, my English isn’t perfect. But, I hope all of you reviewers don’t mind my correcting spelling or grammar where I can in producing this other version of a database. Of course, I can make a mistake. But, preserving a blog requires making no changes. Publishing data, means making the best information available. My hope, is that what I digest, is considered accurate by all the reviewers involved. And hence is publishable on its own regard in a number of formats, for others to use.

    One point which I am guessing might not have come up as often as it should, is advantage. Out of bounds I don’t see in UA reviews, and seldom in press association output at the BBC. Corners usually show up. I suspect advantage is under indicated in the press association output at the BBC, and possibly even at UA.

    Hopefully with time, things become better. But, in many aspects of society, the people charged with analyzing the data, have no control over how the data is eventually gathered. And so, they have to the best they can.

    The same is going to be true in football. A person could spend hours or days designing experiments, but at the end of the day one is often left working with what is available. Being not optimal, the best answer isn’t possible. But, perhaps with time a person can firm up the vaious problems?

  58. @Anne:
    The Companies House record shows that ‘Needtrack Limited’ was the original incorporated name of PGMOL Ltd. As the name change happened 5 months after incorporation my guess is that nothing much happened until the contract with the FA was sorted out and they decided to use the current name.

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