Arsenal News

Live Arsenal News

Arsenal latest news

Arsenal News & Transfers
As featured on NewsNow: Arsenal newsArsenal News 24/7

Arsenal News, Only Arsenal, Blogs, Transfer News


August 2021

Untold Ref Review: Swansea City 0 – 2 Newcastle United

This article is part of a series stretching over several seasons in which a team of referees analyse the work of refs in Premier League matches.

Our figures show that when we analyse the errors made by refs there are consistent trends which do not “even out” through the season, as some commentators would have it.    All the earlier ref reviews plus analyses of the errors made by refs, and articles relating to our campaign to have the body which organises referees activities reformed, plus an analysis of the background to this campaign, can be found on:

Although this is a site built for Arsenal supporters we welcome comments from fans of other teams, although we tend not to publish comments which are simply abusive or which are completely off topic.

Today’s referee is Howard Webb –

MATCH REVIEW DETAILS – Howard Webb (2012-04-06)
Period 1
Min Type Foul from On C/NC Comment Weight
4 GOAL Cisse C Good finish 3
5 OTHER Cabaye Dyer C 1
6 OTHER Swans Ber Arfa C 1
11 OTHER Moore Perch C 1
11 OFFSIDE Demba Ba C 1
12 OTHER Demba Ba Rangel C 1
18 OTHER Simpson Routledge C 1
20 OTHER Moore Williamson C 1
30 OTHER Cisse Swansea C 1
33 OTHER Dyer Guittarez C 1
36 OTHER Cisse Williamson C 1
38 OTHER Williamson Swansea C 1
38 YELLOW Williamson C The first serious challenge in the game and Webb pulls out a yellow, well done sir! 2
40 OFFSIDE Newc C 1
45 OTHER Moore Guittarez C 1
Period 2
Min Type Foul from On C/NC Comment Weight
49 OTHER Dyer Taylor C 1
55 OTHER Swansea Cisse N/C He came through from behind. Cisse was hurt from a kick on foot, Webb was close but was probably obscured 1
58 OTHER Williams Cisse C 1
58 YELLOW Williams C Once again have to say good decisive authorative reffing 2
68 GOAL Cisse C Dennis Bergkamp would have proud of this finish 3
73 OTHER Perch Routledge N/C Puts his arms around him, missed by Wbb who is right there 1
73 OTHER Routledge C So Routledge goes chasing the ball and commits a foul 1
75 OTHER Ferguson Swansea C 1
81 OTHER Williams Gosling C 1
86 OTHER Simpson Sinclair C 1
87 OTHER Sigurdsson Guittarez C 1
92 OTHER Simpson N/C Handball, the ball was clearly kicked at his hand from 2 yards, Webb gives the free kick 1

Sometimes when you Ref a game, you just have to go up to the players and say “Thank you, that was a nice game”. This was one such game. A good game of football played well within the laws, by two teams with a great spirit. This may well be Alan Pardews Newcastle, but it is not the Newcastle of Joey Barton and Kevin Nolan. This was sophisticated technical and considered football. And with a constant threat up front (Cisse, blimey!!). Swansea look like a team who need the season to come to an end. Too small a squad for the EPL.  Newcastle will be hoping the season goes on and on.


COMPETENCY SUMMARY – Howard Webb (2012-04-06)
Period 1 Called Total Correct %
GOAL 1 1 100.00
OFFSIDE 2 2 100.00
OTHER 11 11 100.00
YELLOW 1 1 100.00
TOTAL 15 15 100.00
WEIGHTED 18 18 100.00
Period 2 Called Total Correct %
GOAL 1 1 100.00
OTHER 7 10 70.00
YELLOW 1 1 100.00
TOTAL 9 12 75.00
WEIGHTED 12 15 80.00
Totals Called Total Correct %
GOAL 2 2 100.00
OFFSIDE 2 2 100.00
OTHER 18 21 85.71
YELLOW 2 2 100.00
TOTAL 24 27 88.89
WEIGHTED 30 33 90.91

An amazing high score in the first half for Webb. A complete correct half. With not real pressure from one or the other team involved he just could do his part of the job. So the perfect score in the first half. But in the second half he couldn’t keep up with that high standard and dropped a bit by making a few mistakes. But all in all a very  high score from the ref in this game.

BIAS SUMMARY – Howard Webb (2012-04-06)
Period 1 Swansea City % Newcastle United % Total
Correct For 9 60.00 6 40.00 15
Correct For Weighted 10 55.56 8 44.44 18
Incorrect Against 0 0.00 0 0.00 0
Incorrect Against Weighted 0 0.00 0 0.00 0
Fouls Commited 5 45.45 6 54.55 11
Fouls Penalised 5 100.00 6 100.00 11
Period 2 Swansea City % Newcastle United % Total
Correct For 3 33.33 6 66.67 9
Correct For Weighted 3 25.00 9 75.00 12
Incorrect Against 0 0.00 3 100.00 3
Incorrect Against Weighted 0 0.00 3 100.00 3
Fouls Commited 5 55.56 4 44.44 9
Fouls Penalised 4 80.00 3 75.00 7
Totals Swansea City % Newcastle United % Total
Correct For 12 50.00 12 50.00 24
Correct For Weighted 13 43.33 17 56.67 30
Incorrect Against 0 0.00 3 100.00 3
Incorrect Against Weighted 0 0.00 3 100.00 3
Fouls Commited 10 50.00 10 50.00 20
Fouls Penalised 9 90.00 9 90.00 18

Only 3 mistakes in a very fair game. the all went in favour of the home team Swansea. I have noticed it more that Swansea is rarely on the wrong end of things in the games we have reviewed so far.

Webb had a good game, but in truth, this was a very easy game to ref.


Watch Arsenal Live Streams With

Untold Arsenal


23 comments to Untold Ref Review: Swansea City 0 – 2 Newcastle United

  • All Newcastle games are like this expect of course against Arsenal which seems to be a trait of the north London club.
    Can’t quite put my finger on why but they seem pretty unfriendly games also confirmed by fans and officials of other clubs too!

    Be careful Arsenal you are getting a reputation!

  • COYF

    I’m a Newcastle season ticket holder and I think the tactics against Arsenal are to go in hard because they don’t like it.

    If you put the ball on the floor and try and pass Arsenal off the park you will be beaten 9 times out of 10.

    Arsenal think they deserve to be protected for some reason, its a man’s game so man up.

  • WalterBroeckx

    What a sexist remark COYF…. Woman do play football.
    Well in my part of the world. 😉

    I never found it in the rule book that it is a man’s game to be honest. And I think I know the rules a bit.

  • Andy Kelly


    Why did the Football Association bother writing laws for the game back in 1863? Why not just let both teams kick each other to bits? Last team to have a man standing wins.

    If a defender trips a forward in the penalty area it is a penalty no matter who is playing.

  • Matt Clarke


    Good to see you visiting 🙂

    Please clarify your comment as i have some confusion/concern as to what you mean:

    Going in hard…for the ball (or shoulder to shoulder on the ball player) – that’s fine. I don’t think that many here will disagree.

    Going in hard…for the player’s legs- is not fine. It is not manly, it is nothing to be proud of.

    My worry is that some less able teams (that’s ALL teams btw :p) confuse the two – with bad results.

  • Tasos


    I take it when Nigel De-Jong crunched into the talented Hatem Ben Arfa and broke his leg, you said the same.

  • catchy

    massive toon fan , but love the way the gooners play football, what i dont like about the gunners is , if its not going your way , to many of your players start spitting there dummies out, in vieira, you had one of the best players but also one of the dirtiest players in the league, let him play , he will kill you but get in and around him he kicked anything that moved, your manager winds everyone up by not seeing anything, but on the other hand sees everything,

    i have to say though, this is the most light wieght arsenal team iv seen in many years,

  • bob

    No catchy this time. Lightweight?: well, try our unwanted losses (to various reasons) of: fab and na$ri, wilshere and diaby, arshavin, mertesacker and now arteta, and you have what would make a heavyweight lineup out of commission.

  • doanythingformoney

    Thanks for the excellent review. Just shows what refs can do when there is no agenda!

  • COYF

    RE: WalterBroeckx
    That wasn’t a sexist remark; this discussion is about the EPL which does not allow Women in, hence the comment “man’s game”. If this discussion was about women’s football I would not have made that comment, because I’d be just looking at the pictures and not reading the text. NOW THAT’S A SEXIST REMARK.

    RE: Tasos
    My opinion on the De-Jong tackle during the live game was it is a yellow, replays show it should have been red. Newcastle don’t expect to be protected and understand that unfortunately these things happen. We lost a great player for a whole season because of that and don’t complain about it. Arsenal lost 2 points and are still complaining about Barton’s tackle. Why not look at the failings of the current Arsenal team instead of always trying to blame someone else.

  • Andy Kelly


    “Newcastle don’t expect to be protected”

    As I said before, that is the purpose of the laws of the game – to protect the players otherwise it would turn into a free for all.

    All teams have to play to the same laws of the game. As the ref reviews show on this site, this isn’t the case.

  • Tasos


    Thanks for the reply.

    I Notice the tone is slightly different when it concerns one of your own.

    Hatem Ben Arfa is a brilliantly talented player who deserves protection from the type of tackle that broke his leg. Every player deserves protection, not only Arsenal or Newcastle players.

    There is a bigger picture here though, why have England struggled to produce players of the calibre of Ben Arfa?
    and is there a direct correlation between the “MANS GAME” as you put it, and the lack of talented English players?

    BTW Ever heard of Sian Massey?

  • I agree with Tasos – the English mentality when faced with a technical player of superior skill is to:

    “plough through the tricky little twunt at the first opportunity – that’ll learn him”

    This is ‘the English game’ – but it wasn’t always this way… and in some ways Arsenal are to blame for this in their distant past (it can be argued) with the development of tactical awareness under Herbert Chapman leading to tactically negative play form less skilled teams – but I digress.

    There are 1000’s of talented and technically skilled kids out there who are being told they have no future in the game because they aren’t tall enough or their careers are over before they began because some knucklehead can’t handle the fact that he’s shit – look at Messi, if he were born in England he’d probably be flipping burgers right now with a ruined knee thanks to the “man’s game” mentality.

    Football left England a long time ago and although I still think that the English game has something to offer the world – this is getting less and less with every passing season… historically – back in the days of 2-3-5 the English game used to be about ‘fair play’ and passing and tactics were considered tricky, underhand and foreign and defending was frowned upon – nothing much has changes under the sun – well apart from the appreciation of a solid back four.

  • COYF

    Sian Massey does not play in the EPL, she is an official.

    The English game was about fair play; was that in the days of Chopper Harris and the likes???

  • LOL @COYF – No way before them…

    I would recommend this for a good history of football tactics including the changing philosophies of the passing/dribbling game and the cultural focus on individual brilliance vs teamwork:

    Interestingly though – ‘Hacking’ (kicking a player in the shins) used to be part of the laws of the game in the soft southern rules:

    IX. A player shall be entitled to run with the ball towards his adversaries’ goal if he makes a fair catch, or catches the ball on the first bound; but in case of a fair catch, if he makes his mark he shall not run.

    X. If any player shall run with the ball towards his adversaries’ goal, any player on the opposite side shall be at liberty to charge, hold, trip or hack him, or to wrest the ball from him, but no player shall be held and hacked at the same time.

    This was actually dispuited by the northern clubs (as I recall) and outlawed in the unified laws in 1863 – Correct me on anything Tony if I’m wrong.

  • toonrobbybobson

    Toon fan in peace.

    I have to say when people say the referee is there to protect the players I dont get? If a play decides to go in hard on a player and ultimately breaks his leg what can a referee do to protect the player? He cant do a thing? Its reactive after a serious incident has occurred there is absolutely no protection for a player its a nonsense term. A referee cannot predict what a player is going to do in the heat of the moment or a badly timed mistake or in extreme weather conditions.

  • @toonrobbybobson

    The referee can say to the captains of the two teams before kickoff:

    “Look any dangerous play or if you try to kick each other off the field then you’ll be off, I’m not going to fuck about with the cards today”.

    That and a few yellows to clamp down on anyone “having a go” should enable him to have control of the match to an extent where it is less likely that someone will have their playing career cut short.

    I reckon that would cut down on a few broken legs per season – if a player ignores this and goes in studs up then off he goes – no second chances.

  • COYF

    Good crack, just having some banter. Football wouldn’t be football without it.

  • @COYF – you’re welcome back any time, we like a laugh here and a bit of banter in a debate. Fans from other teams give us another perspective and make us think a bit harder about where we’re coming from!

  • WalterBroeckx


    A ref can do a lot. The fact that (as far as I know) no player in the last derby between Newcastle-Sunderland ended up in hospital (if so sorry) was not down to the ref. Only to extreme luck.

    I don’t even know which player went in in a wild and stupid and dangerous flying tackle in the first seconds of the game but that was a straight red card. I think it was Dean (well…. ) who only gave a yellow. In the MOTD “high”lights I have seen so many dangerous attacks on other players (and many went unpunished by the ref) because of him not acting in the first seconds of the game. We still have to review that game in fact so I will be publishing a review of that game later on this site. So stay tuned for that one. Or should I say stay “tooned” for that one? 😉

    This is not about being a mans game or not.

    I am a ref myself and in the more than 10 years of my career the worst injuries I have seen was a split eyebrow when two players went for the ball and their heads clashed and a player that twisted his knee when he tried to turn without another player even close. I have seen when I was an assistant other refs screw things up and not act and seen broken legs on their field. Since then I would have refused to assist that ref in the future if they would have appointed us together again.

    It is up to the ref to first of all start the game with the intent that the rules have to be applied. No matter what point of the game: a dangerous studs up attack should be red carded. Point end of the line. Be it first or last minute.

    And a ref is in a way responsible for what happens on his field. Not in the jurisdictional way but he should stop people from kicking each other. You do this by blowing the fouls (and certainly the dangerous ones) and so let the players know you are there and you will not allow breaking the rules.
    You will do this by handing yellow and red cards for those players who do not care about the rules. And one of the main rules is that you have to make sure that the other players are not endangered by some players.

    That is part of the job of the referee. The rules and the safety of the players. that is why for example when there is a pitch invasion or crowd trouble the ref can stop the game and order the players in. That is because the ref has to protect his players from getting attacked.

    Of course as a ref you have to be aware of that and keep your eyes open even before kick off.

    Now if you should wonder that a ref who is too strict would kill the flow of the game I can only tell you that this is down to the players. If they see the ref is quick to blow the foul they have two options: adapt to the ref and stop fouling and play football or keep on making fouls and thus make sure that there will be no flowing game.

    If a ref feels the players have understood him after a few minutes (depending on the brains of the footballers) he can gradually let the little things go a bit.

    So a ref can do a lot, if he wants. Both in the good sense and in the bad sense. I know, I’m one of them. 😉

  • COYF

    @WalterBroeckx – Your right; the NCL – SUN game was Cattermole in the first few minutes and it should have been a red card. BUT if he did give a red card then there would have to be about 5 given during that game.

    I know that is no excuse and managers would insist their players don’t foul if red’s were flying everywhere but there is a lot of pressure on ref’s because Sky want entertaining games and that is not what you get with a red card in the first few minutes.

    Look forward to the review on that match.

  • WalterBroeckx


    You touch a very good point about Sky. In fact I think maybe Sky wanted to see blood on the posts (as it is called in my mother language). But that is not the thing that a ref should have in his mind. If a player is dumb enough to get himself red carded in the first 20 seconds then so be it. It could have killed the game but who’s fault would that be? The ref? It would be that idiot Cattermole (thanks for making me remember his name – remember the tackle) who would have ruined the game.

    But yes Sky would not have loved it…must say an interesting point of view you have brought up. The possible pressure from Sky on how the refs do their games….That is why it is good that supporters from other clubs come over at times to bring another point of view. I thank you for that and for mentioning it.

    In fact feel a bit stupid now that I didn’t thought of that before.. 😉 🙂

  • Eurazian

    @ COYF:
    If Cattermole had been given a red though, those other red-worthy challenges might not have happened.
    When a ref neglects to punish dirty and dangerous play (and Clattermole’s tackle was certainly that), it often has two consequences:
    (1) it sends the message to the other players that they too can go in that hard and the ref will let them get away with it; and
    (2) it gets the other team riled up at the injustice of it all, and their anger leads to more reckless tackles and dirty play in response.

    The ref is like a society’s government and police put together. If he doesn’t do his job, everyone basically goes apeshit and does whatever they feel like.

    That’s how refs help protect players.