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By Walter Broeckx
As you will probably know there are other people around who do something similar to what we do. One of the most visited (I think) is the website debatable decisions that can be found here.
There is however a big difference in their work and ours. One could argue that we try to do our job in a way that when we cover a game it is covered from the first second till the last second. As a result we cannot do each and every game. And thus we focus on the teams that are near the top of the league.
They work on a different level. They work with what is shown on Match of the Day. And as we have seen MOTD is not complete. It cuts bits and pieces out of a game that are important. I just have to refer to the blatant penalty foul on Rosicky when we played Everton away. A stonewall penalty not given AND MOTD chose not to show it. And as a result it stayed under the radar of the debatable decisions website.
Both ways of working has its value. Covering and analysing each decision from the ref in a game is only done by football federations who want to rate their refs. So we can hope the PGMOL does it in a similar way because if not… what are they getting paid for?
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Our way of working also gives us an advantage on other things. We look at what appears at first sight less important decisions. But as we have shown this season: getting your major decisions right is one thing. But if you refuse to give any decisions at all to one team in the middle of the field you are tilting the game as a ref. We can show that in our analysis. The Debatable decisions cannot do this.
They focus on the important decisions and can do all the games thanks to MOTD. We do our own work based on the live match reports we record.
Another very important difference is the fact that we work with qualified referees for our reviews which the other sites choose note to do. They have a panel of a few people who decide correct or not correct and the majority wins. We also have a moment where we doubt a decision and then we talk about it behind the scenes and also take a vote and the majority wins. So again different but still a bit the same way of working.
This intro is to give you a link to their website and over there you can find a summary of the decisions for and against a team. http://www.debatabledecisions.com/the-decisions-so-far
For those who are to lazy to click on the link I have taken the table from Arsenal and put it in the article. And this is what they found of debatable decisions going in favour and against Arsenal.
- Song stamp against Newcastle.
- Arshavin avoiding second yellow against Man Utd.
- Thomas penalty shout against West Brom.
- Song not shown red card against Wolves.
- Milijas red card against Wolves.
- Drenthe disallowed goal against Everton.
- Gervinho penalty shout against Newcastle.
- First goal for Liverpool offside.
- Evra penalty against Man Utd.
- Robinson tackle on Walcott no pen in Blackburn game.
- Robinson tackle on Walcott no red card in Blackburn game.
- Van Der Vaart handball against Spurs.
- Chamakh penalty shout against Stoke.
- Santos fouled in build up to Mata goal against Chelsea.
- Young handball in area against QPR.
- Gervinho penalty shout against Fulham.
- Djourou second yellow against Fulham.
- Nathan Dyer penalty against Swansea.
- Bale penalty against Spurs.
- Suarez penalty against Liverpool.
- Gardner no red against Aston Villa.
- Van Persie penalty shout against Man City.
- Balotelli no red for tackle on Song against Man City.
Don’t bother to try and count them. It is 6 decisions going in our favour and 17 (yes seventeen) against us. In their wrong decisions table we are in second place of having decisions going against us. Liverpool had 19. And we are also in second place of having decisions in our favour. Everton only had 5.
Alas for us those are the worst places to be. Okay it could have been worse. 1 place to be exact. But if we make the difference between things against us and in our favour we should have zero. That is if Mike Riley and his acolytes are telling the truth.
So in the total count we have had 11 important decisions going against us in the season according to the debatable decisions website. I think that is far from an even out situation.
But to make things worse I just want to highlight the fact that because of their reliance on MOTD highlights they have missed a few Arsenal incidents. The one that got censored like the not given penalty for a foul on Rosicky at Everton. In the calculation of the debatable decisions it cost us 2 points in their real league table. If they would have shown it on MOTD we would have had 2 points more.
And finally a last thing I want to point out and want to criticise the debatable decisions website a bit. They sometimes are not as strict as we are at Untold. We look at an incident and say: the decision was correct or not correct. Over there they sometimes base their decisions partly on the fact if “it was difficult to see”. We don’t care if it was difficult to see. If it was visible and the call was wrong it is wrong. That’s it. But they sometimes make up excuses and use the “it was difficult to see for the ref or assistant on the field” so we agree with the ref.
As an example I can give you the Blackburn – Arsenal game where Yakubu scored from an offside position. They called it a correct decision because “it was difficult to see – blah blah”. We said : no he was offside when the pass was made and close or not: offside is offside so a wrong decision.
This example to highlight that in their table the Yakubu goal is not counted as an incorrect decisions against Arsenal. But it should have been included. So just those two examples would lead to Arsenal being on the top of the wrong decisions table with 19. The same as Liverpool. And would have given us 4 points more in total in their real league table.
Now I didn’t wanted to be over critical for them and I hope that nobody takes it that way. I just wanted to point out that both ways of working have their pros and cons. I think this is also because of the fact that we review it as refs and they review it as football lovers. Which is a big difference.
So at the end of the day or should I start saying at the end of the season we will not just have the (Arsenal) biased Untold numbers to count but also those from the debatable decisions website. And I think if we combine both numbers a bit we will be very close to being able to analyse what went wrong with the referees in the EPL this season. We as an Arsenal blog and they as an independent (there is no Arsenal supporter in their panel) website will be able to come to a final conclusion.
And the conclusion with only a few games to play is: We have been screwed by the refs. Over to you Mike R. Why don’t you shed a light on to this? Or will you keep on saying: it will even out?
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