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August 2021

Referees’ mistakes all even out in the end. Well actually, no….


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By Walter Broeckx

After almost every article I write about the refs in which I try to shed a light in to things I get an interesting question from one of our readers. And I do like those questions a lot because it brings me new ideas and every time I start to dig deeper and deeper in to the numbers we have gathered from our ref reviews. I will warn you when I pass the centre of the earth one of these days.

So the question was if we could look at some numbers and see which refs are getting close to a 50 % in their wrong calls for each team. Because if a ref makes wrong calls, but these are equally distributed to either team then it may well be that he is just a referee who makes mistakes, rather than a referee who is biased against one team or the other.

In this regard an average of 50% against each team is the target.

Of course the table you get is an average and it only tells a part of the story. But this is how we get the decisions and how the average divides between wrong calls for and against any team the refs have done.


Ref Average wrong calls between


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One could say that the more mistakes you make the less biased you are.   For example,  Halsey is a ref with a high number of wrong calls but on average he makes it closest to the 50% mark.

And if you see at the other end of the table you can see that Oliver is the ref who has shown the biggest difference in his games when it came to making mistakes. He goes up to 66% against some of the teams on the field in his games. A rather high number but note that this was only from 4 games and two of them were Arsenal games. So if we would have more material on him it could lower his number…..and make him more suspicious.

The next thing that then entered my mind was if I could see when refs go over that line. And I took 2 guinea pigs: the refs we have reviewed most so far this season. Let us take a look at the interesting numbers of Mr. Webb and Mr. Dean.

Webb/team Average Average 57%










































So Webb can be excused to have a wrong decisions calling between the divide of 57% and 43%. This is what I would call his normal mistake divide.

And then you can see that Arsenal has 18% more wrong calls going against them as they get the total of 74% of the wrong calls against them from Webb.

Also notice how United is nice in the middle with Webb. Some might have expected a better score for United but this is only based on 2 games and one of those games he didn’t have to do anything at all to help United. The Arsenal score is based on 3 games so far this season.

Notice how Tottenham is very kindly treated this season by Webb in the 3 games he did so far.

But there are a few extraordinary numbers in there. The team that was treated the best by Webb this season was Sunderland. I think it was a game against Arsenal and that could explain it a bit. Oh and Chelsea is on the wrong side of things, just like Liverpool. But this last is only based on one game so far.

Now let us move on to Dean and in general he has a lower number of wrong calls against than Webb with only 55% and 45 as his base line.



Overall average= 55%
































The worst treated team so far is Swansea but that was only based on one game at Manchester City. And in second place when it comes to getting more wrong calls against is Arsenal. Based on 3 games so far and I think this is not a real surprise. With Dean in charge we get 75% of the decisions going against us. 75 % of the wrong decisions that is. And this for a ref who is capable of only making it to 55% in his average games. Amazingly high number. I bet this is a coincidence!

The extraordinary low number of Fulham can be excused. This was based on a game against Arsenal. Oh well, it will be another coincidence I think.

But look at United. You can have a one off but this is based on two games. So we could conclude that in general he is very weel-disposed when it comes to United. I once again bet this will be another coincidence.

Another team that is well treated is Manchester City. The new rich boys can have a nice record of a low number of wrong calls going against them so far. Oh well, another coincidence I think.

Or is it that Dean knows who to please at the moment he has to please someone? Because that is just what Dean is doing in my opinion. He has that “fingerspitzengefuhl” on when to give a little hand to which team. Apart from his good relationship with Harry Redknapp, he also just knows where the power is shifting towards and who he has to keep as a good friend in order to get his career at the highest possible level.

And there is another coincidence: only 3 games after our last game under Dean we welcome him back at the Emirates for the game against Tottenham. You know that team that has Redknapp as a manager. You know the one who Dean has a special relationship with. Oh, well it will be another coincidence.

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24 comments to Referees’ mistakes all even out in the end. Well actually, no….

  • legolas still trust Wenger

    i believe most of EPL Referees hate Arsenal this is getting annoying . besides they r not Good enought for EPL. FA should do something abt it

  • Ganesh

    You can’t blame the referees for Arsenal fielding a team that’s not good enough or for a lack of bottle. We’ve been having controversial calls since the early 90s. There’s a limit to cribbing against the officials.

  • Stuart

    Startling. Will be interesting to see how it ‘all evens out’ at the end of the season.

  • T Ross

    The fact that Dean is refereeing the this match, so soon after the last time we got him, and, considering he refereed the last NLD almost made me vomit with rage.

    You can be almost 100% certain: if the referee makes the difference, it won’t be in our favour.

  • Will

    YOu need to send this to The Arsenal.

  • Toye

    If Atkinson has not reffed Man this season, how come we are getting Mike Dean for the umpteenth time

  • Ganesh, you offer no evidence or proof for your statement, whereas our stats clearly show that Arsenal get more bad calls than other teams. In order to win the league Arsenal now has to overcome the transfer system that has been warped (see earlier articles about how transfers now work) and a referee system that is warped. Just saying “you can’t blame refs” doesn’t take us anywhere.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Err Toye because the refs are randomly chosen for the games. LOL.

    That is what they try to make us believe… Complete and utter bollocks

  • Nice one Walter though i was excepting a separate table for the rating’s of phil dowd.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Imagooner, still working on it

  • Potter

    You only have to look at the man that appoints them . Mike Riley,I bet his stats over a career would make interesting reading.

  • WalterBroeckx


    Dowd average between 57% and 43%
    Ref wrong call against team
    Team wrong deviation
    Liv 25% -18% (one game)
    Sun 49% no score
    MC 24% -19%
    Tot 40% -3% (one game)
    Che 80% 23%
    Bla 100% 43% (one game)
    Ars 83% 26%
    Nor 22% -21% (one game)
    Wig 100% 43% (one game)
    MU 9% -34%

    Look at that MU score… and then think back one year and who was the biggest threat for MU when we played Newcastle…

    Arsenal and Chelsea on the receiving end so far this season….

  • WalterBroeckx


    I now wished that I had included Dowd in this….

  • Neil

    we have not won a match in 11 games with dean in charge i truthly beleieve that this ref tries to screw u every time. also i have notives phill dowd is very poor against us too

  • MK

    Thankyou very much for that Walter, much appreciated!

  • El Gringo

    @Walter–great analysis, with results that (unfortunately) do not surprise me. But could you help out my numerical illiteracy and explain how some teams have negative percentages in the right hand column? I don’t understand how a team could have a below-zero percentage of wrong calls against them; surely zero should be the lowest?

  • WalterBroeckx

    El Gringo, thanks for asking the question. While doing the article I know what I am doing and then you forget that other people do not know this.

    Zero should be the lowest but in this case we work with the number 50% as the middle of things.

    In this table the ultimate goal is that it should be 50/50 (hence the things even out) but most of the times you get something like 60-40. this hypothetical 60/40 means that between those numbers the situation is rather “normal”.
    So team that has 75% of the wrong calls has a score of +15 (meaning 15% more wrong calls than the ref on average has)
    But another team that only has let us say 20% of the wrong calls gets a score of – 20%. Meaning 20% less than what should and could be considered as normal.

    So any team with + x% is a team that gets more wrong calls going against them.
    Any team with – x% is a team that gets less wrong calls going against them.

  • El Gringo

    Thanks Walter. I think I’m on my way to getting it. My next question then is, shouldn’t the highest scores either way be 50 and -50?

    By the way, I love Untold Arsenal. It’s nice to read some good sense sometimes. I’m also one of the people who started reading after the scandalous Newcastle draw last year, and I was relieved to find some real evidence suggesting that I wasn’t bonkers for thinking refs were out to get us. Thanks!

  • Jerry

    Excellent work as usual Walter! I can’t wait to see Dean against Tottenham (smh)

  • Wooby

    Of course it would be Dean assigned to the Spuds game. How foolish would it look for the FA to bring ‘Arry onboard as England manager if the Spuds do not finish ahead of their neighbours who have an American owner + CEO and a French manager … just sayin’ …

  • Arseboy70

    Just want to defend Mr.Webb a bit… I am sure it was pure coincidence that a man who gives MU penalties all over the place failed to give Robin v Persie a stone wall penalty vs Sunderland in the FA-cup recently (O’Shea ‘tackle’) with the score 0-0! Pure coincidence I say… 🙂 NOT!

  • Paul

    El Gringo,

    Same story here with me, started looking for answers after that suspicious Newcastle draw and found this website 🙂 All my Newcastle, Man U and Chelsea supporting friends think I am bonkers saying that the refs look bent towards Arsenal, for them it’s like ah yeah it was a penalty, he didn’t give it, whatever, unlucky and so on. They are just too used to not questioning the performances of the refs, as for me this is getting too much towards Arsenal, I am a decent person and know when Arsenal play bad and don’t deserve to win, but when they get robbed of the win, this is when I am really boiling inside and don’t know where to turn to cause I don’t really have that many Arsenal supporting mates who have enough sense to see the obvious. Untold is just awesome 🙂 P.S. slightly off topic, but just wanted to mention one thing, people on this site probably do know how thick headed spuds fans really are? I was working on a project in Munich in autumn and one of the senior consultants (20 years older than me) was a proper through and through spud fan, I didn’t care about it, but he obviously did cause once he found out that I support Arsenal he just couldn’t shut up (pretty embarrassing for a man of his age), he was always asking me why I support Arsenal, always telling me how great tottenham are and how **** Arsenal are, he was even so thick to say that Van der Vaarts goal wasn’t a handball but a really well worked shoulder move, I mean what the hell? I was always calm about his idiotic remarks, but one evening when our whole team were having dinner at a restaurant the waitress has accidentally given me the pint of beer he has ordered before me, he just went: “Typical Arsenal fan, always taking things that belong to us”. That’s when my patience finally gave in and I responded with: “Typical tottenham fan, can’t stop complaining about the neighbours”. Well what can I say, my whole team (there were like 10 of us) had a really good laugh at him, the guy has never spoken to me again and guess what, he was good friends with one of the senior managers, so I bet it was a coincidence, but one week later I have lost my job under strange circumstances and all my colleagues knew that it was him who contributed to getting rid of me. My only words are: “What a ****!”. We really should have a spud encounter section, just a thought 🙂

  • Ganesh

    @Tony: I know that not blaming the refs doesn’t take us anywhere. But blaming doesn’t either. It takes the attention away from the mediocre team that we have.

  • Jon

    @ganesh I’m sorry but if you think we have a “mediocre” team, then you have no concept of how to spot quality football players. In our team, we have:

    A full german international with 75 caps
    The (youngest ever) captain of the Welsh national team
    A guy who has scored basically 1 goal in 2 games for a year and a half
    Mikel Arteta
    The Russian Captain (who single handedly got them through to the world cup finals)
    A forward who scored the goal to get Ivory Coast through to the African Cup of Nations finals…
    and that’s only six players!! We haven’t even started talking about koscielny, who most were convinced was shit, or Vermaelen, or Oxlade-Chamberlain or Walcott, or {the future of english footbal} Wilshere…how about Lansbury, on loan at West Ham, the midfielder who put in a stellar performance last week IN GOAL. Or Miyaichi, the Japanese Rolando on loan at Bolton. What about Sagna, or Santos, or Gibbs or Song. How.Good.Is.Song?

    These are all international players, not mediocre players and we don’t have a mediocre team. This is a team of human beings and humans are complex creatures. It requires a far more mature attitude to begin to try and understand how to bring the consistency required to win any league and having to factor in the bias (conscious or not) of referees just.isn’t.fair. If you don’t get why this is important, then don’t comment on it. Simple.

    But please, please, don’t come with some ultra-simplistic rationale, the crux of which is that we support a pub team. They deserve more respect than that, thanks very much.