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July 2021

Untold Ref Review: Arsenal 3 – 3 Norwich City


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 Anthony Taylor –

MATCH REVIEW DETAILS – Anthony Taylor (2012-05-05)
Period 1
Min Type Foul from On C/NC Comment Weight
2 GOAL C Benayoun, goal okay 3
3 OTHER Rosicky Johnson C Trip 1
9 OTHER Holt Gibbs NC Push on defender not given 1
10 OTHER Gervinho Lappin C Push 1
10 OFFSIDE Holt C 1
12 GOAL C Hoolahan, goal okay 3
14 OTHER Lappin Gervinho C Trip/ran into from behind 1
17 OTHER Holt Sagna NC Push on defender not given 1
19 OFFSIDE Holt C 1
20 OTHER Ramsey Howson C Slid in recklessly from behind, trailing foot took out man 1
20 YELLOW Ramsey C Poor challenge, hard yellow 2
21 OTHER Hoolahan Song NC Push not given 1
22 OTHER Johnson Sagna C Trip 1
25 OTHER Lappin Sagna C Edged in with elbow 1
27 GOAL C Holt, goal okay 3
28 OTHER Holt Koscielny NC Holt called for a foul, but it looked normal 1
29 OTHER Jackson Koscielny NC Nasty studs to ankle tackle from behind, ref played advantage, but should have stopped play to send off Jackson 1
29 RED Jackson NC Easily could have broken or severely damaged Koscielny’s ankle. Should have been Red, given yellow 3
33 OTHER Hoolahan Coquelin C Trip/ran into defender, ref has a word, might have been booked 1
38 YELLOW Benayoun Lappin NC Kicked out at Lappin, should have been booked for his petulance 2
38 YELLOW Ruddy NC Keeper left his net to argue with ref, should have been booked 2
39 OFFSIDE Holt C 0
39 OTHER Johnson Rosicky C Shoved from behind, killed attack 1
39 YELLOW Johnson NC Should have been booked 2
41 OTHER Koscielny Holt C Both seemed to holding each other, but I’ll give ref benefit of doubt 1
42 PENALTY Koscielny Martin C Both players were holding each other, no penalty 3
45 OTHER E Bennett Ramsey NC Backed in under him while up for header, not given 1
45 OTHER Holt Coquelin C Push 1
48 OTHER Van Persie C Van Persie tried to hold off Martin by shirt and fell, correct no call 1
48 OTHER Vermaelen Jackson C Won ball but caught player 1
48 YELLOW Vermaelen C Reckless in the challenge, booked 2
Period 2
Min Type Foul from On C/NC Comment Weight
53 OTHER Koscielny Holt NC Holt was just as guilty of holding, not correct 1
53 OTHER Ramsey Naughton C Trip, advantage played, perhaps lucky not to get 2nd yellow 1
56 OTHER E Bennett Song C Trip 1
57 PENALTY Holt Koscielny NC Hung himself over Koscielny like a cheap suit, not given 3
58 YELLOW Norwich? NC Coqueling wants to take a throw and he pushes the ball out of his hand from behind so it drops to the floor 2
59 OFFSIDE Van Persie NC Just off, could have scored 1
60 OTHER Hoolahan Gibbs C Shove 1
60 YELLOW Hoolahan C Threw ball away to delay restart 2
61 OTHER Howson Benayoun C Pulled down so couldn’t participate in counter 1
61 YELLOW Howson NC Should have been booked 2
65 OTHER Hoolahan Rosicky C Trip 1
67 OFFSIDE C RVP correctly called onside 1
68 OTHER Rosicky Jackson C Shove 1
71 OTHER Holt Vermaelen C Push 1
71 C Ball was moving when Vermaelen took free kick, made to retake it 1
72 OFFSIDE C RVP correctly called onside 1
72 GOAL C RVPbeat offside trap, goal okay 3
74 OTHER Lappin NC Raised arm to block AOC’s cross into the area, ref only gives corner 1
74 PENALTY Lappin NC Way he raised arm is intentional, should have been a spot kick 3
75 OFFSIDE Morison C Assumed correct 1
76 OTHER Holt Song C Trip 1
76 YELLOW E Bennett NC Picked up ball and walked off with it, should have been booked 2
77 OFFSIDE Arsenal C TV showing replays, not sure what was called against Arsenal, possibly offside but ref did not raise arm on ensuing free kick 1
78 OTHER Morison Coquelin C Shove 1
80 GOAL Van Persie C Goal okay 3
85 GOAL Morison C Goal okay 3
87 OFFSIDE Van Persie C RVP correctly called onside 1
89 OFFSIDE Gervinho NC Offside and tried to play ball, negates penalty shout by RVP 1
91 OTHER Song Morison NC Obstruction, not given 1
92 OTHER Wilbraham Koscielny NC Threw elbow into Koscielny’s face 1
92 RED Wilbraham NC Should have been sent off for violent play 3
92 OTHER Wilbraham Koscielny C Smashed forearm into Koscielny’s head, got away with it 40 seconds earlier so he tried it again 1
92 RED Wilbraham NC Twice in less than one minute he should have been sent off for violent play, ref only books him 3
94 OTHER Morison Koscielny C Foul 1

Anthony Taylor from Manchester was the ref with Lee Probert taking duties as the 4th official.

Early in the match there was a goal apiece from each side suggesting that this match would be rather open affair.

Aaron Ramsey was the first to go into the book for a late tackle from behind on Jonny Howson.  It wasn’t going to be the best of days for the young Welshman and he can consider himself lucky not to have picked up a 2nd yellow in the 53rd minute for a late trip on Naughton.

While Ramsey’s challenges were poor, the worst tackle of the match belonged to Simeon Jackson.  In the 29th minute, Norwich striker should have been sent off for a studs to ankle lunge from behind on Koscielny.  This could have easily broken or severely damaged Koscielny’s ankle and I consider him fortunate that he was able to carry on and put in a solid hard fought 90+ minutes . If all goes well you can see the tackle if you click on the following link. 

Jackson on Koscielny

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After seeing it twice take a look at Jackson his left leg also and not just the right one. He sure was determined to bring him down and bring him down good.

Norwich had a penalty shout in the 42nd minute when Russell Martin and Laurent Koscielny tangled up in the area, but It looked that both players were holding each other and thus no penalty.  This is best seen from the replay angle from behind the goal.

Sagna went off in the first half with a broken fibula, under a challenge by Bradley Johnson.  Some have speculated that this occurred because Johnson stamped on Sagna, but if you look closely, Sagna’s slid to ground play the ball and his foot hit Johnson’s right foot or ankle.  Johnson, feeling the contact immediately tried to shift his weight off of his right foot to his left foot, and that left foot came down on Sagna.  It looked unintentional to me.

Arsenal had several penalty shouts in the match of which none were given, making it that Arsenal went 19 premier league matches at home without being awarded a single penalty.  Scandalous when you consider the type of football Arsenal play and of all the penalty shouts they have had this season.

In the 57th minute Holt hung all over Koscielny like a cheap suit.  Benayoun got a head to the ball which may have taken the ref’s attention away from Koscielny, but he was being held by Holt and was being prevented from playing the ball.

Later in the half, Simon Lappin blocked an AOC cross into the area with his arm.  He was aware that Chamberlain was going to cross the ball and he raised his arm to meet the ball.  It was a deliberate motion of hand to ball and should have been a penalty.

And in the dying minutes Robin was shoved in the area in what looked like a denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity, however Gervinho was offside on the play and attempted to shoot the ball before it got to Van Persie.  Therefore I ruled out any penalty shout due to Gervinho being offside.

Aaron Wilbraham was a late substitute in the match and made his mark unceremoniously.  He easily could have been sent off twice.  First for throwing an elbow on Koscielny, and 40 seconds later leading with his forearm against Koscielny, both offences occurring in the 92nd minute.

COMPETENCY SUMMARY – Anthony Taylor (2012-05-05)
Period 1 Called Total Correct %
GOAL 3 3 100.00
OFFSIDE 4 4 100.00
OTHER 12 18 66.67
PENALTY 1 1 100.00
RED 0 1 0.00
YELLOW 2 5 40.00
TOTAL 22 32 68.75
WEIGHTED 32 47 68.09
Period 2 Called Total Correct %
1 1 100.00
GOAL 3 3 100.00
OFFSIDE 5 7 71.43
OTHER 11 15 73.33
PENALTY 0 2 0.00
RED 0 2 0.00
YELLOW 1 4 25.00
TOTAL 21 34 61.76
WEIGHTED 28 52 53.85
Totals Called Total Correct %
1 1 100.00
GOAL 6 6 100.00
OFFSIDE 9 11 81.82
OTHER 23 33 69.70
PENALTY 1 3 33.33
RED 0 3 0.00
YELLOW 3 9 33.33
TOTAL 43 66 65.15
WEIGHTED 60 99 60.61

A rather poor overall display by the ref. Low numbers overall.  In fact if it wouldn’t have been for the 6 goals he would have ended up below 50%.

BIAS SUMMARY – Anthony Taylor (2012-05-05)
Period 1 Arsenal % Norwich City % Total
Correct For 10 47.62 11 52.38 21
Correct For Weighted 14 45.16 17 54.84 31
Incorrect Against 8 80.00 2 20.00 10
Incorrect Against Weighted 12 80.00 3 20.00 15
Fouls Commited 5 31.25 11 68.75 16
Fouls Penalised 5 100.00 6 54.55 11
Period 2 Arsenal % Norwich City % Total
Correct For 18 78.26 5 21.74 23
Correct For Weighted 25 78.13 7 21.88 32
Incorrect Against 8 72.73 3 27.27 11
Incorrect Against Weighted 17 85.00 3 15.00 20
Fouls Commited 3 20.00 12 80.00 15
Fouls Penalised 2 66.67 9 75.00 11
Totals Arsenal % Norwich City % Total
Correct For 28 63.64 16 36.36 44
Correct For Weighted 39 61.90 24 38.10 63
Incorrect Against 16 76.19 5 23.81 21
Incorrect Against Weighted 29 82.86 6 17.14 35
Fouls Commited 8 25.81 23 74.19 31
Fouls Penalised 7 87.50 15 65.22 22

Over 20 wrong decisions in this game for the ref. A high number and when you put weight to it the numbers for Arsenal become even more bad.

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241 comments to Untold Ref Review: Arsenal 3 – 3 Norwich City

  • dan

    Wow a ref that puts Dean to shame!

  • Legolas

    @ Dan indeed i am getting so damn furious about that . Always referees decisions cost us games and points this is not acceptable measures should be taken here we can’t accept that anymore . Riley & co are driving EPL downnnnnnnnnn . Please God next week we need to win against west bromwich we can’t loose our champions league spot pleaseeeeeeeee

  • SQ17

    What about Untold Manager Review for a change
    Discuss tactics from both side

  • Bluemoon

    The true story is the referee and FA didn’t want Arsenal win this match because they want Spur win the third place that why the referee didn’t do anything with Mr Johnson after he surely stamped on Sagna ‘s leg and didn’t give the penalty to Arsenal.

  • mark

    The foul against Kos was horrid and it warranted a red card. Thanks for putting in the video link.

    When the ref does not call fouls it encourages the players to keep fouling or to foul more. This was very evident in the game as Norwich’s play became even more physical as the game went on. Gunners fouls were called and they could not match the physicality of Norwich without getting cards. So they have to hold back and that means they are more likely to be injured. So while it may not have been intentional to brake a leg it happened again. Has any team in the EPL had as many broken legs as Arsenal in the past 5 years? Is this just by chance or is it due to poor and biased refs? I think the latter but not directly but indirectly by rewarding one team for fouls and punishing the other.

  • WalterBroeckx

    For those who were looking for our view on the push in the back on Van Persie you will not find it in the review.
    The ball was played and Gervinho tried to kick it but missed. But he was offside when Oxlade-Chamaberlain made his cross. By throwing himself to the ball he was interfering with play and should have been called back by the assistant.

    However the assistant didn’t raise the flag so play continued and Van Persie could have scored his hattrick but was denied by a defender who shoved him in the back.

    Now what really did baffle me is the fact that the ref thought this was a normal procedure on a football field. Running in the back of a striker who was about to put the ball in the net was not worthy of a foul?

    No way the ref could have known that Gervinho was offside as the assistant did not signal it. So until today I cannot understand why the ref did not give a penalty and a red card of course.

    And then they even didn’t give a corner to Arsenal. The Norwich defender anxious to prove that he played the ball pointed at it himself. Of course if you first push down a player and then play the ball it doesn’t make it a foul but to give nothing to Arsenal at that moment (after a mistake by the assistant) was close to being criminal incompetent.

    I have always defended the point of view that refs in the EPL cannot be incompetent because otherwise it would mean that the whole ref system in England is bad.
    In a way I hope that it is the whole system that is bad and produces the wrong refs at the top. Because the other option (biased or corrupt) is even worse.

    I think any story about refs giving something to Arsenal because of the big team influence or the big stadium influence can be rubbished for a few seasons.

  • El Gringo

    @Ref Reviewer: thanks for the great review and the time spent! These reviews are so important for trying to get fair refereeing in the EPL. Especially thanks for the reviews of games not involving Arsenal, the ones no one ever comments on. It’s thankless but crucial work. So well done!

    A couple questions, given the sensitive nature of what we’re up to as Arsenal supporters reviewing Arsenal matches, needing to avoid every appearance of bias.

    First, you say Ramsey “should consider himself lucky not to get a second yellow.” When I read that about other teams, I suspect it’s code for “he should have got one, but the ref didn’t have the balls.” How do you interpret that foul according to the Laws? Was the ref justified in not sending him off?

    And second, there was an instance late in second half (maybe when Bennet walked off with the ball) that Song clearly went through Holt’s back to get the ball for a free kick. Did he deserve a yellow for the off-the-ball shoving? I bring this up because the ESPN commentators made a big deal of it, so it might be worth acknowledging it as an incident even if there was nothing there. I don’t know the Laws well enough to comment on it myself. That’s why we love you Reviewers!

    And I watched the Jackson tackle. Oh dear. Totally missed that on telly. The first leg was bad enough–the second had no intention but to injure. Dastardly.

  • El Gringo

    @Walter: as I was saying to a mate after the match, the refs could give offside on Gervinho or a penalty and red card on Naughton. But giving neither one is intolerable.

    To be fair to the lineswoman, that sequence of play happened very quickly, and she had a hard time keeping up. I payed attention in the replay, and she was behind play but running hard. At least hers could have been an honest mistake. No way for the referee, though. Since he wouldn’t have known about the offside even if it had been called, he absolutely should have whistled. Bah. Grrr. Harrumph.

  • Canary

    Very biased review all told, though at least you got one or two parts right- particularly re. the second “penalty” shout for the push on RVP

    1) there is absolutely no way a referee would have given a red for Jackson’s challenge on Koscielny- it barely merited a yellow as a legitimate attempt for the ball and it certainly was not going to get something when it was so early in the game- considering Ramsey’s challenge was far worse in the second half. Yellow at most, even through gunner-tinted specs.

    2) you have completely omitted the foul by Coquelin on Hoolahan that should have been a penalty- he goes right through the back of Hoolahan and actually doesn’t touch the ball when you see the replays. The commentators mentioned it at the time, the bbc website noted it was a clear foul, odd that you’ve not even acknowledged it.

    3) both Coquelin’s foul and Koscielny’s pull on Martin were goal-scoring opportunities- therefore they could quite easily have merited a red card, which you have failed to mention.

    4) not in a million years is it ever a penalty for Holt on Kosciely- why? Because the ball had already been headed and so advantage had been played. Ridiculous to suggest otherwise- the ball wouldn’t have made it to Koscielny anyway.

    5) where are the two ridiculous incidents where Song ran over and pushed Holt? They had been at each other all game, so odd how you only focus on Holt’s activities. The second of those two was particularly ridiculous as it was when Song was fouled (but not by Holt…) and yet he then actively chased after Holt and pushed him. The commentary again specifically said how lucky Song was to get away with that, yet never once mentioned Holt’s activities.

    6) Everywhere the talk about Benayoun’s petulance was that it could easily have been given a red if the ref had had the stones- you dismiss this as nothing. Shameful.

    7) Both red card shouts for Wilbraham are quite frankly, ridiculous. The first one was nothing, would have been a very harsh yellow- you can’t help raising your arms to jump and he’s not looking at the player. He got a warning though and so the second one is a booking. Clumsy yes- violent not in a million years.

    Considering this I’m surprised you called the Vermaelen yellow as OK, given I thought that was the one incident (other than Lappin’s handball) that was a bit unfair.

    I read this blog regularly as I’ve found it very interesting, however having watched the same match I find the credibility of it has plummeted. I really think you need to go through this entirely and try to look at the match far more objectively.

    The other thing that is not taken into account is that the injustices on the Norwich team were all early in the game. We should have been out of sight by half time. This meant Norwich players were getting more and more frustrated with the refereeing and got clumsier.

    If there is one thing I think all fans can agree on though, is that the refereeing here was incredibly poor

  • zdzis

    Fantastic work! The review clearly shows what many of us missed, being entangled in our work as supporters. Norwich played a good game, but they did all they could to make the day miserable to Gunners. And the ref failed to deal with this. If there’s anyone in the FA resposible for assigning and evaluating refs, he should cross Taylor’s name out of all his notebooks. I also think that what we’re dealing with is gross incompetence rather than conspiracy or corruption. I think the PGMOL really want to believe they’re doing as good as possible. This season should have taught them otherwise.

  • El Gringo

    @zdzis: If it’s “gross incompetence rather than conspiracy or corruption,” how do you explain the fact that these reviews show that the bad calls almost inevitably benefit Arsenal’s opponents? Incompetence should work against all sides roughly evenly: but we’ve seen that the true situation is anything but even.

  • Paul

    Watched the game at my friend’s pub with like 200 gooners 20 % of whom were AAA (where the hell do they come from?). But everyone in the pub knew that the tackle on Koscielny was a red card, somehow the ref thought otherwise. I mean did he really assume that Koscielny was pretending to be in pain or something? Agree with you Mark, 5 broken bones in the last 6 years, call me biased, but every time I watch Arsenal play against teams like Sunderland, Stoke, Norwich etc (obviously not all lower table teams are playing it rough) the refs (especially the Northern ones) allow the opposition to be as rough as they want against out “tippy tappy french football”, but as soon as our players start to be rough as well, they get booked straight away without even a first warning. It just doesn’t make sense and the fact that Arsenal haven’t had a single penalty at home this season (apart from the FA clash with Villa) just proves that the referee system in England is just incompetent/corrupt/retarded call it whatever it is. Video technology all the way, let the game be fair instead of “assumed to be fair”. Blatter said that the human error aspect makes the game interesting to watch. Well if being pissed off about yet another decision going against Arsenal is considered to be interesting then Blatter can stare at my middle finger until the rest of his days. This week Arsenal play WBA, both these teams according to the debatable decisions site were once the worst treated teams in the table, let’s what miracles await us at the last game of the season. P.S. Walter hopefully you and your team could find the time in the summer to make up a list of all obvious penalty/red card shouts Arsenal were denied this season. I can remember at least 10, would be really interesting to see how it “evens out” at the end.

  • novicegooner

    61 minute: Howson v Benayoun incident

    If I remember correctly, at time we were on the counter attack. Gibbs brings the ball forward and the situation was 2 against 2 which of course very promising attack for us.

    I saw the Howson/Benayoun incident and also saw Gibbs running with ball approaching Norwich penalty area. I was sure that the ref gave us advantage (and he should’ve) but suddenly the ref blew his whistle and killed our attack. Gibbs was furious.

    The ref, I thought, would give a yellow card to Howson, but he just fuckin talked to him like friends. I shouted WTF??!!! The ref KILLED our promising attack just to talk to the offender???

    it’s beyond belief. and after that moment, it’s all clear. (I just watched the 2nd half)

  • Canary

    I’ll tell you how El Gringo- because I’ve realised the reviews aren’t as objective as I’d initially thought.

  • Dutchie

    Hey Walter,

    I was wondering, where is the coquelin tackle? Cause it was very difficult to see if it was a foul or not. If it were a foul, then it should be a penalty and at least a yellow card.

    But i don’t think this ref was biased, i just think he’s a bad referee. If he was really biased i think he would have given a penalty when Koscielny and Martin were wrestling. Or he is biased and bad at the same time, so he didn’t notice everytime he could give Norwich an advantage.

    By the way i was really surprised with the Webb-display yesterday. In my opinion the best display the guy ever showed. I thought he would favor Newcastle the whole game, but he didn’t seem to have that intention.

    For Arsenal… it’s funny that when we mess up, Tottenham seems to exceed us. Best Tottenham-team in historie, refs in their favor, no important injuries and yet not capable of beating Arsenal.

  • Peter

    Cannot believe the bias of this. To say Norwich should be own to 8 men and conceded more penalties is disgraceful. What about two clear penalties to Norwich (both holding as you put it or the martin one is laughable) and the fact that Benni kicked out at lappin for red and also Norwich player taken out in one on one after drop ball with ball ten yards away the ref bottled.

    Also remember Gervinho was offside for naughtiness and RVP incident.

    Every pundit thought Norwich had worst of the decisions….. they were correct.

  • Cape Gooner

    Is it possible that there is an anti French agenda in the EPL?

    Diaby has had his ankle broken and been subjected to two criminal assaults, from Robinson and Barton. Sagna has had his leg broken twice this season. Koscielny experienced three red card assaults in this single game! Perhaps?

    However, an anti Arsenal agenda is easier to identify. Eduardo, Ramsey and Fabregas all suffered broken legs. Have all the other EPL teams had a combined total to equal this?

  • bjtgooner

    This is an excellent and detailed review, I have been looking forward to reading this review since the end of the match.

    The review shows what most of thought – that the ref was exceptionally poor and that his decisions (or lack of them) hurt Arsenal a lot more than Norwich. A number of Norwich fans have been trying to convince us that Norwich are not a dirty team, however, when they saw the ref let their fouls go unpunished Norwich started to play like a certain rugby team.

    Did the ref’s decisions cost us goals? – yes – if the not given penalties had been converted we would have had two more goals. However, I do agree that we created enough chances to win despite the bonehead in black, it is our fault that we did not take some of these.

    The important thing now is for the team to be in the right frame of mind to win our last game.

  • Canary

    This probably won’t get posted like my others, but bjtgooner I’ll refer you to the fair play league, where I think you’ll find Norwich are ahead of Arsenal…

    No, we are not a dirty team. We have a bit of steel when needed, particularly when up against a team technically much better, but there is a reason why Norwich are in the bottom five for fouls given against them

  • Paul

    Cape Gooner,

    Fabregas suffered a broken leg in the CL against Barcelona when Puyol tackled him. But without this it’s still 5 broken bones in the last 6 years. Diaby, Eduardo, Ramsey and now Sagna twice this season.

  • Canary

    What’s that? Yes, Norwich commit the fewest fouls per minute without possession of any team.

    Dirty my arse. Sounds like a loud of bitter Gunners to me.

  • El Gringo

    @novicegooner: the ESPN commentators were hilarious trying to cover the ref on that incident. Since Benayoun wasn’t able to join the attack, they reasoned, Arsenal didn’t have an advantage after all. Ridiculous. I too was stunned about the cardless friendly chat after killing off a great opportunity.

    @Dutchie, there’s no way the Coquelin tackle was a foul. It was a beautifully executed tackle: he kept his feet down and got the ball long before the attacker tripped over him.

  • Gf60

    I’m amazed that Taylor scored as high as we report. Have we had a lower mark in the reviews? Even Dean and Foy weren’t that bad.

  • walter

    GF60, his score was saved by the goals.

  • Good review – I too came away with the feeling that Taylor had a shocker, this is the second match we’ve had him and he’s been dreadful in both.

    Can we address some of the points from the canary fans. The only one that seems worth a look is the aforementioned foul by Coquelin on Hoolahan.

    Other than what Taylor let slide, Norwich set up well and had an OK game and I felt that they were good for a point but only because of the play from certain players in our squad who seemed determined to give it to them. Although – Norwich fans – this is NOT are review of your team, it is a review of the referee – so please don’t take it so personally.

    Very frustrating day!

  • marcus

    Sorry Canary, but you need to understand that this site is properly researched, and that we won’t tolerate sloppiness

    1) there is absolutely no way a referee would have given a red for Jackson’s challenge on Koscielny- it barely merited a yellow as a legitimate attempt for the ball and it certainly was not going to get something when it was so early in the game- considering Ramsey’s challenge was far worse in the second half. Yellow at most, even through gunner-tinted specs.QUOTE

    “and it certainly was not going to get something when it was so early in the game”

    Nothing in the rule book dilutes foul play according to the point of time in the match. After this
    fundamental error, I didn’t bother reading the rest of your summary.

  • Cape Gooner

    @Paul May 7, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    The weekend before the Barcalona game Fabregas was on the end of a horrendous studs up challenge from Shawcroft which was above the shin guard. The leg gave in as Fabregas converted a penalty. I believe that the Shawcross tackle was by far the most likely cause of the broken leg.

  • walter

    my view as ref on your remarks for which I thank you

    1) Fifa has decided a few years ago that tackles from behind going through the players should be punished with a red card. They also have instructed the ref that possible dangerous tackles should be punished with a red card. This tackle was a tackle from behind going through the man and with both his feet he caught the player from behind. I agree refs in the EPL don’t apply that rule but who is wrong? The rest of the world or English referees?

    2) Feel free to rely on the BBC commentators. Why don’t you believe Hansen as the ref specialist. 😉 Sorry match commentators are no refs and they think they know the rules but most of the time just adapt their story. I haven’t reviewed the game so cannot comment on the incident itself but I will try to do this when I get the time and come back to this.

    3) we also didn’t mention the possible red card of the Norwich defender for the foul on RVP. Offside should have been called so we ignore the rest. As we agreed with the ref on this it had no further meaning so we cant comment on this. Of course we can comment but in the comment section.

    4) Could you please tell me where in the rules they say that when there is an advantage you don’t have to give a foul. Let me give an example. Just imagine that Holt just punched Koscielny in his face while the ball was going to Benayoun. Would it then be no penalty and no red card because Arsenal had “an advantage”? You will argue that this is different well it is not. Punching a player in the face or grabbing a player like Holt did is the same “technical” foul. A foul that needs a direct free kick to restart the game. And in the penalty area a direct free kick is a penalty. I also would like to argue the fact that Arsenal gained advantage at the time. If Benayoun would have scored they would have had a clear advantage, now the ball was in the hands of the Norwich keeper and a blatant foul was not given.
    I could point at Dean at Newcastle-Sunderland a few weeks ago (I hate myself for praising Dean for the rest of the day 😉 ) It was the same situation a player clearly holding an opponent who was trying to run to the ball. If Koscielny would have gotten to the ball is irrelevant. He surely could not make it because he was held.

    5) We do the ref reviews based on the images shown live on TV. As I said I didn’t see the game but from my own experience when the game is stopped they immediatly show replays. We cannot choose the angle we want alas.

    6) as said before only saw the game live in the Emirates will look at that and get back to it

    7) Wilbraham had if I remember correct on both occasions Koscielny in front of him so he saw him coming. If you then go in with an arm raised you are asking for troubles and possible head injuries. Going in towards the opponent with arms or elbows towards the other his face is a red card offence. I agree the refs in the PL forget this all too often so we are not used to it. Believe me in a lot of countries the card is red and so you rarely see such attacks. And yes you raise your arms a bit when you jump. But you don’t have to raise your arms above your shoulders to make a good jump. And that is where at least on one occasion his arm was when he touched the head of Koscielny.

    I like that you admit that players get frustrated if they think they are badly or injustice treated by the ref. Imagine having to face it on a weekly basic since 2007/2008 and it is getting even worse since 2009. So maybe you can understand a bit of the frustration that is in the Arsenal team (and supporters) at times when they yet again face a ref that is showing how not to do it.

    If there is one thing I think all fans can agree on though, is that the refereeing here was incredibly poor. AMEN.

    By the way I think we could have won the game despite Norwich, despite the one in black if Van Persie would have scored another goal (and he should have done it)

  • Paul


    Are you a referee? Do you honestly think the whole untold ref review team don’t know what they are talking about? Do you really think people on this site are so biased that it would actually affect an honest ref review from TV replays? To me it looks more like you’re being overprotective of your team, but I can’t blame you cause everyone is. Seen the game myself and everything I feared for was absolutely spot on confirmed by this review here and believe me I always give an honest opinion.

  • Paul

    Cape Gooner,

    I see what you mean and you’re probably right cause that’s exactly what happened to Sagna. Btw have you noticed that Balloteli got away with his red card and a ban for a dangerous tackle on song whereas Danny Rose of spuds got a straight read for a similar tackle on Hutton yesterday? Shows how rubbish the referring really is.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Fabregas his leg gave in against Barcelona when it was hit for the second time. On the Saturday before it got a burst when a Birmingham player came in with a frontal tackle above the ball, studs showing just under his knee. Webb was a spectator 5 meter away and let the game continue.
    Fabregas got treated but even the simplest pass from a few meters went wrong after that. It was clear that at that moment the normal density of the bone was affected by something. The tackle from Puyol was the final thing that did his leg that gave way when he kicked the ball.

    A bit like Sagna yesterday, it got broken when the Norwich players stepped on him but it gave in when he tried to get up and put weight on it.

  • Dutchie

    Nasri also suffered from a leg-break.. but it was because of Diaby :p

  • Stuart


    The work carried out by the team on this site has proven time and again that the officials are wrong. We do not know if this is through choice or through incompetence but either way, it needs to be sorted out for the good of the game in England. The fact that you provide links to the official figures is either contradictory or ignorant. It would suggest that you feel referees get it correct 100% of the time.

  • bjtgooner


    You miss the point. On Saturday Norwich committed a lot of fouls including some serious ones. The ref did not call most of these – so where does that leave the validity of the fair play league?
    Norwich are a reasonable team and have done well in the EPL this season, so I would be disappointed if you let standards of behaviour slip. Some of my friends support Norwich and think Holt is a good player – but were embarrassed by his antics on Saturday .. as for Jackson…

    The other point is this – with a firm and fair referee many of the points of contention would not have happened.

    Don’t make the mistake of suggesting Gunners are bitter – disappointed about not getting the three points yes – but not bitter – despite Taylor, we had the chances to win, we didn’t take them and we gifted you three soft goals – our fault.

  • I just got home to take apart Canary’s comments but alas, Walter beat me to it.

    Canary – in accusing us of bias, you make yourself look foolish. Accusing us of bias is fair enough, we are Arsenal fans so it is plausible. But when the ref reviewers put together a concise analysis, and your criticisms reveal a total lack of knowledge of the rules, well, you don’t do your own case very much good!

  • WalterBroeckx

    Canary in all the games there is an average of 12 wrong calls per game by the refs. According to the once existing PGMOL website the refs have to make some 26 fouls in a game (their “correct” number). This means that in each official foul statistic you must take in account that there is almost a 50% margin that the statistics are not what they seem.

  • El Gringo

    @Canary, thanks for coming over here and posing awkward questions. Answering them keeps us honest.

    I also happen to think that Arsenal fans are overreacting on this particular match–but for good reason. We’ve been screwed by refs more times than I can remember (a whole season without a penalty at home? Legitimate goals chalked off, especially last year? Hand der Vaart?) that we’re understandably suspicious. The anger doesn’t come from this match as much as from several years’ worth of badly refereed matches. Those ones have consistently gone against us, and since this match was so important, our emotions were running high. The conditions are perfect for an overly strong reaction.

    Still, Jackson’s tackles and the silly, unpunished nonsense at throw-ins and free kicks don’t help. I still want to see Song’s nonsense acknowledged, but I think he was going after the ball since Bennett had carried it off without getting his yellow card. But Wilbrahim was being a thug. He’s a professional; he can head the ball cleanly if he wants, especially when he was reprimanded the first one. The second is absolutely inexcusable. It’s dangerous, and you should not defend that sort of play. Anyway, players get sent off for that sort of thing all the time in international football.

  • WalterBroeckx


    one of my teachers when I followed the referee courses once said: “the only good advantage given is one that results in a goal”.

    And another one: “keeping possession is not the same as advantage”

    In the Holt-Koscielny incident Arsenal even didn’t keep possession.

  • Canary

    Marcus- pathetic comment. I didn’t like some of what has been written about Norwich, but I don’t dismiss an entire post because of one or two lines. My point was merely practical- we both know referees are lenient for first time tackles and tend to be more lenient if a yellow card has already been given- see the second Ramsey tackle. Cheap shots like yours are not commendable.

    Paul, I am not qualified, but have refereed many games at a junior level and I know the rules inside out. I’m also a qualified rugby referee, although I know that has no impact here. In both codes the the black-letter rules are quite difficult- if a referee went by the book it would be impossible to watch the match. I was not pointing out where they had got the decisions technically wrong, I was more interested in the practicalities and realities of a (very) fast-paced game in this case.

    To claim “oh I’m a qualified referee therefore I’m not biased” is a very poor argument. They are not mutually exclusive concepts. The fact is we all now that it’s a fine line with these decisions and I’m pointing out the opposite interpretation (hence why I also mentioned the Vermaelen incident).

    Walter, thanks for your response. I went a bit harsh on you which wasn’t entirely fair (as I said I have enjoyed many of your articles in the past). The reason for this is because the vocal attacks by Arsenal fans have been quite outrageous and unprecedented in response to a match which was a draw, and frankly we felt hard done by. The Sagna quotes have been particularly shameful from a player who I think is one of the best in the world. The problem is that if an Arsenal player complains about a decision, the press and the world hears about it. No such luck for the little teams.

    As for your comments- yeah fair enough you haven’t been able to review all the incidents, but the problem is that the article doesn’t mention that and passes off all of them as determined fact.

    The Jackson tackle I maintain is a yellow card. We see at least three tackles from behind every match (certainly Ramsey’s second was from behind) yet you haven’t given it quite the same treatment. I understand your point, but rather than a rigid application of the law- the fact was that Jackson is far from a malicious player, hasn’t ever been red carded, and though the challenge was clumsy it was with no malice.

    Yes double-standards on the commentators I accept (Hansen and Lawrenson barely acknowledge Norwich’s presence in this league), but to be honest that doesn’t alter the fact that EVERYONE looked at it a second time and thought “foul”, but you. This seems strange. Occam’s razor and all that.

    I think it is facetious of you to suggest that there is nothing in the rules about playing advantage- you know full well referees play it and they use it to good effect. Giving referees this sort of discretion is useful, even if (as another poster pointed out) the referees sometimes get it wrong and it was very unfair on Gibbs. If you truly are a qualified referee (which I have no reason to doubt at all) you will well know that it is an incredible balancing act.

    It is also not very fair of you to compare a technical foul to violent conduct. We both know that violent conduct gets reviewed seperately- you cannot compare the two. They are not the same- violence should not be tolerated (such as by Benayoun).

    The first Wilbraham incident he did not see the player. The second he raised his arm, but there was no swinging arm that would justify a red card- hence a yellow. The one decision the ref got right!

    I accept that Arsenal players (and fans) get frustrated. I have thoroughly enjoyed watching Arsenal play throughout the years. However, I have unfortunately found the petulant and acccusatory reaction to this match has left a really bad taste in my mouth. It is a real shame because I would ahve thought that big teams like Arsenal, who play football the right way, would be better than that. They would also at least be prepared to accept when a team has outplayed them for 70 odd minutes. Wenger used to be like that.

    Anyway, the point I’m making is that we can argue the toss either way, but the real issue that Arsenal fans have forgotten (yet readily admitted at half time) was that Norwich should have been out of sight at 3-1 or 4-1 at that stage.

    It has also escaped many fans’ attention that Norwich have demonstrated throughout the whole season that they are not a “dirty” team. To accuse us as such is cheap and merely deflecting from the facts of the match.

    I looked forward to playing Arsenal next season, but I hope that next time, win lose or draw, there will be credit where it’s due and a little bit of grace. But most of all I hope they hire a referee that can actually do the job properly

  • Canary – your own comment betrays a lack of understanding of the rules! Talking about “honest attempts at the ball” as if that affects anything, not least a tackle from behind! Laughable, though I do think it is good having opposition fans joining in. You are simply being too partisan – we aren’t having a go at your team!

  • Malice. Is. Irrelevant.

    Jesus wept, do referees have to do a psychological evaluation of a player to send them off, to ensure “they are that type of player”?

  • Canary

    El Gringo, thanks for your reply.

    As I mentioned, I’ve watched (and enjoyed) a lot of Arsenal over the years and I have as much reason to believe you on that basis. However, I’m also 100% behind you that there has been a gross overreaction on this particular match. Particularly when you consider that actually, with the other results, it has been a point gained!

    In response to a couple of things you said though- Hoolahan was punished for pathetically throwing the ball away. Similarly, as you say Wilbraham had no excuse for the second lifting of his arms and got a yellow card. (Not that it excuses him in any way, but I would add that Wilbraham is technically woeful. He works hard and is a fan favourite, but has scored two goals in two years and is simply and awful player. It is as likely that he did it out of clumsiness and difficulty in a game about ten miles faster than he is…)

    As for the time-wasting overall. It is unacceptable and irritating part of the modern game, but all teams do it- yuou notice Vermaelen and Szczesny were in no hurry when you were 3-2 up. Unfortunately, when a game is in the balance, all players will do anything to get that little edge.

    Glad to see you Gunners can be reasoned with and I’m much calmer now! At least I can engage with you, unlike some fans of other clubs…

  • marcus

    Sorry Canary, I won’t let you get away with that on.

    Your opening salvo was this.

    Very biased review all told, though at least you got one or two parts right- particularly re. the second “penalty” shout for the push on RVP

    If you come in all guns blazing, expect to get picked apart.

  • Jacobite Gunner

    i predict that this article will cause the most amount of posts.

    Anyway,once this season is over I sincerely beleive walter et al should compile all the data into themed segmented summaries over the period these ref reviews began with all the bells and ribbon attached (graphs etc), for example:

    1. Referee performances for the games they have reffed
    2. Referees for specific clubs
    3. Any other themed headings that would be relevant

    From here the themed segmented summaries (articles) could then be sent to the sports editor of every large newspaper in the UK and we can see if any of them pick up on them, I know I could be a bit more clear on what themed headings we could use but let me know what you think…

    (cynicism in me thinks UA would jsut be ignored but it wouldn’t be from the lack of trying)

  • Terry White

    Thanks for your report. However,what changes?.What is the point ? Appalling refereeing, but what notice is taken by the powers that be ?, nothing!. To go one full season without a home penalty, is almost impossible, to part quote Fergie, “United get more penalties at home, because it is normal for the home team to attack more and spend more time in the other penalty area”. Makes sense, but apparently not for Arsenal who attack more than most teams.
    To repeat my question, what is the point?, unless we are all prepared to make a protest, perhaps even a legal challenge. An investor in Arsenal could see his investment decline specifically due to the incompetence of referees. Perhaps this is a call for the FSA, to investigate !!!
    I dream on

  • Canary

    Fair comments Phil, but as I said referees need SOME discretion- otherwise we would ahve a game as stop-start as some rugby matches I’ve reffed. I actually understand the rules fully, but I also understand the practicalities, which is often lost in the analysis.

    And actually, a lot of gunners HAVE been having a go at my team. A lot. Quite unfairly.

    What you are forgetting is that while these guys are qualified referees, they are only human and they are Arsenal supporting referees… They are a lot more objective than most analyses, but this one here I am just highlighting the imperfections.

    As for the malice comment, don’t be facetious you know that’s not what I meant- that wasw an explanation to you lot about the type of player Jackson is. I merely expect referees to make a good judgement call about whether the tackle was both dangerous and whether it was deliberate. Then they can make an reasoned judgement.

    As for comments like bjtgooner’s- I sincerely doubt you do have Canary fans based on what you say. Holt has been A LOT worse at times and has been criticised, on Saturday he was tame in comparison and I was delighted he didn’t dive. But as for the little argey-bargeying he does- that is all part of his game and is what makes him so difficult for defenders to deal with. None of it is violent, but he plays on the edge. I also don’t think a single Canary fan would have thought anything other than “you moron” about Jackson’s tackle. It was not deliberate.

    And as for your comment “we gifted you three soft goals”. You wonder why other fans call you arrogant? Even SAF was man enough to admit when they were outplayed. Truly shameful comment when you consider what all neutral observers said about Norwich

  • Canary

    Marcus- that makes no sense. I then proceeded to go through the review because I had read it. I merely provided you with the conclusion at the start.

    You, on the other hand, made no attempt to enter meaningful discussion and decided to resort to a petty cheap shot. Unless you plan on actually engaging the issues here on a fair level, I will stick to discussing them with the sensible, mature posters.

  • Andy Kelly

    “the fact was that Jackson is far from a malicious player, hasn’t ever been red carded, and though the challenge was clumsy it was with no malice.”

    Harry Redknapp said that Danny Rose “wasn’t that type of player” and he had picked up only 1 yellow card this season before Sunday…

  • Jacobite Gunner

    Quoting Walter:

    “In the 29th minute, Norwich striker should have been sent off for a studs to ankle lunge from behind on Koscielny. This could have easily broken or severely damaged Koscielny’s ankle and I consider him fortunate that he was able to carry on and put in a solid hard fought 90+ minutes.”

    Surely this in a prime case where Arsenal can refer this tackle for retrospective diciplinary action as the referee played advantage and did not card the Norwich player Simeon Jackson?

  • marcus

    It’s up to you Canary.

    You initially declared Walter’s report very biased, and siad he was only right in a couple of instances.

    But you then said Jackson couldn’t be sent off because it was early in the game.

    The referee team here are knowledgeable and in some cases professionals. You are welcome to have a discussion here,
    but try to get it civil…

  • marcus

    keep it civil I meant

  • I can’t grasp how a diving challenge from behind, with both feet off the floor and the second swung violently to be sure of catching the player CANNOT be a dangerous challenge.

    I genuinely, honestly cannot understand how you can’t see that (if you understand the rules). Arguing against that red and accusing us of being biased is just hilarious!

  • Canary

    Andy- I’ve already covered that statement. It was for your benefit after the accusations that Norwich are a dirty team. I accept that the ref should not take any of that into account and should assess each tackle on its own circumstances.

  • p.s. if the referee blew all the fouls, players would rapidly learn to stop being idiots and play the game by the rules. therefore, the problem of a stop-start game is negated!

    I’m not asking for ridiculously anal refereeing, I’m asking for consistent application of the laws of the game to avoid unnecessary injury and make sure that a good game gets played, rather than the likes of Stoke ruining the spectacle by kicking the hell out of the opposition.

  • Canary

    I stand by that comment. The original report is biased. I didn’t say he was only right in a couple of instances- I said a couple of instances I was impressed he got right, because many Arsenal fans have not and are crying a river about the Naughton foul on RVP (which it was had it not been for the offside).

    I have maintained throughout that I am looking at this from a practicalities point of view. The Jackson tackle was clumsy and stupid. It was not “two footed” as some have quoted- one leg is clearly trailing.

    Ha! you have the audacity to accuse me of not being civil when you were the one who was rude and dismissive of my posts without any real attempt to address what I have said. Unless you actually intend on saying something constructive rather than trying the boring ad hominem argument, I really won’t be engaging you any more.

    I have no doubt they are knowledgable and professional. I ahve enjoyed reading many of their articles and been impressed by their research. I was disappointed because in this case I feel their standards have slipped substantially and it needed addressing. What you have to remember is that while they are qualified referees, they are also Arsenal fans. Difficult to be entirely dispassionate…

  • Jacobite Gunner

    @Bluemoon, although I agree with you it could be argued that the EPL collude with the PGMOL to ensure that the EPL 3rd and 4th place are up to grabs until the final game of the season so create more national and global interest in the game to increase worldwide exposure and coverage and therefore more money?

  • bjtgooner


    You really are a spiteful git. Fortunately the Norwich fans I know are true gentlemen otherwise a wrong impression would be given about the Norwich fan base. And you are the creep who calls gunners bitter ….

  • Jacobite Gunner

    It happens an innumerable amount of times in the SPL with rangers and celtic

  • Canary

    Phil- in that case I completely concur. No one enjoys playing Stoke and a consistent application of the rules would be fantastic. Unfortunately, the fact is the “big” teams, and also a certain one or two of those, will almost always get the benefit of the doubt.

    Us “little” team supporters just have to sigh and move on.

  • Jacobite Gunner

    Also a tangent here!

    The different in goal difference between 2nd (barca) and third place (valencia) in la liga is a whopping (yes, i typed whopping) 65 goals. This is a ridiculous disparity between the 2nd team and the rest of La liga- I was quite astonished when I noticed it on saturday- have a look for yourself

  • Canary

    bjtgooner- care to explain how I am spiteful? Or are you just resorting to petty insults because you don’t have a response to what I wrote?

    I’m not saying you don’t have Norwich fans for mates. I’m just saying I doubt they had quite the attitude you were suggesting. As I said, I’ve shaken my head at some of Holt’s antics a lot more than Saturday’s…

  • Edward

    This “report” is a joke. I can’t believe you are honestly trying to argue that the Russell Martin shirt pull isn’t a penalty. The pundits on Goals on Sunday and everywhere else have all agreed it was a blatant penalty. There is no conspiracy to defraud you. This is the most embarrassingly poor football blog I have ever seen. You bring shame upon your fellow Arsenal fans. The majority of Arsenal fans I met outside the ground were classy, balanced and accepted the referee made bad mistakes on both sides. You could learn much from them.

  • marcus

    Chill out Canary.

    I am sure you have lots of valid points.

    Put them forward and thrash them out…..

    and, er, chill out mate

  • Canary

    bjtgooner- FAOD I see I made a pretty big spelling mistake in my original reply- as I said, I DON’T think you don’t have Norwich fan mates, I’m sure you do. And the “you’re a moron” was directed at Simeon Jackson for the tackle, not you.

    Marcus, I’m chilled, trust me. Just have to juggle several different replies- some measured, some not so.

  • Andy Kelly


    Do you really trust that the “pundits” know the laws of the game?

  • Canary – I agree on the big team bias (I don’t see Arsenal getting it though). That is why the work the ref reviewers do is important in getting things in the clear.

    Jackson tackle – both feet were off the ground = uncontrolled = dangerous = red card. it is as simple as that! The only reason one leg was trailing is because he used the back leg to whack Koscielny! Two red cards in a single challenge!!!

  • bjtgooner

    @ Canary

    You actually did say at 5.15 that you did not believe I knew some Canary fans, now at 5.35 you claim that you are not saying that. I think you have problems. In your efforts to discredit an excellent ref report you have got lost.

  • Canary

    If that’s the case then Ramsey’s second challenge was also a straight red card Phil!

    And as for the trailing leg- that’s not true at all, even on legitimate challenges the trailing leg often catches the tackled player. Also, a trailing leg is not anywhere near as dangerous because there’s not the same force going into it.

    I’m not saying it couldn’t be given as a red card and I am playing Devil’s Advocate partly, but I honestly believe most referee’s would look at that tackle and think “stupid, yellow card”. Same with Ramsey’s second.

  • Canary

    bjtgooner- I responded to say there’s a pretty big error in the sentence- it doesn’t make any sense and I clarified it to mean that I don’t think you have Norwich fans who thought like that. Don’t be petty.

    “I think you have problems”. Good to see you’re nice and mature.

    “In your efforts to discredit an excellent ref report”. I have stated a number of times that I am NOT trying to completely discredit it- I have pointed out the flaws. I ahve also pointed out that I have read this blog many times and found it otherwise excellent. I just felt this particular blog, judgement has been clouded.

    You still have not grasped the concept of a discussion- you persist in arguing ad hominem with no attempt to engage in the subject matter. You are not coming across well. Kindly address the points I am making or not at all.

  • Jacobite Gunner


    “I also don’t think a single Canary fan would have thought anything other than “you moron” about Jackson’s tackle. It was not deliberate”

    If the shoe was on the other foot you would be appalled that the arsenal player was not sent off. Further to this, as an objective arsenal fan, I would be very dissapointed if an arsenal player carried out that tackle to an opposition player and I would reluctantly agree that the arsenal player should have been sent off (if he hadn’t been- as was the case with Jackson).

    For this reason alone I find it hard for me to agree with anything else you have to say.

  • Jacobite Gunner

    * @canary “deliberate” or not is irrelevant although I hope it wasn’t

  • Can I just ask the refs here to provide more clarity of the rules about tackles from behind?

    The reason I ask is that Walter advises that according to FIFA, any tackles from behind that go through the player warrant a red card, yet early in the game for a tackle from Ramsey on Howson (and to quote the ref review here) “Slid in recklessly from behind”, only warranted a yellow card (described as a ‘hard’ yellow?), despite appearing to contradict what this type of tackle should receive according to the laws of the game.

    I’m not a ref and appreciate there can be some variation in regards to intrepretation of tackles, but surely if we applied FIFA’s rules here, then arguably both Ramsey and Jackson would have seen red – although we could also argue that the Jackson tackle may not have happened as a Ramsey sending off would have altered the game.

    I just want a bit more clarity here please, before I comment any further 🙂

  • Jackson didn’t “catch him” with the trailing leg! He intentionally swung it… violent conduct, no? As for Ramsey’s challenge I haven’t seen it, if you have a youtube link I could give you an opinion (for the record, I’m a ref but not a reviewer) but if one of the reviewers or Walter stepped in to clarify Ramsey’s challenge you would be in good hands!

  • Canary

    “For this reason alone I find it hard for me to agree with anything else you have to say”. Kind of gives the game away- you’re not willing to address each point individually on its own merits and prefer to partake in ad hominem, like your good friend above.

    *deliberate is not at all irrelevant- that is the basis of intention in law. It is the basis upon which tackles are reviewed (or not as the case may be…) by the FA disciplinary panel. Referees are advised to deal with deliberate challenges much more sternly, for obvious reasons.

    I said I was disappointed, I said it was moronic. I also said it merited a yellow card. If that’s the case I hope you were disappointed with Ramsey’s second tackle and it should have been a red- they were both equally bad. I, however, thought that Ramsey’s second tackle was a yellow card though.

  • Canary

    Phil- there is no way that leg swinging was deliberate- that’s natural momentum. He wasn’t trying to hurt Koscielny there.

    And actually Walter does mention it- see minute 53- but not with nearly the same level of condemnation as the neutral observers or his own condemnation of Jackson’s challenge.

    As I mentioned, I don’t think it’s impossible that Jackson could ever have got a red for that challenge, but I think in all the circumstances (“as an objective Norwich fan” to paraphrase the poster above), I would have felt very hard done by if Jackson had got a red card, and I think most people would have felt it was harsh. He definitely deserved, and got, a yellow though, for a silly, reckless challenge

  • bjtgooner


    I see your post at 5.40 & accept you realised you got in a tangle.

    Your argument with me started when you attaked my original comments – and that has been the basis of the continuance of that particular debate. But, do remember that you are not in a position to tell me or anyone else what points I can address. Your continued argument with others on this site as well as with me – on points where you are obviously in error – do bring your motives into question.

  • marcus

    Dear oh dear.

    Canary, I haven’t launched an ad hominem argument against you.

    Come on, engage properly or not at all

  • If most people think that is a harsh yellow, then most people are idiots.

    To clarify.

    An uncontrolled challenge is dangerous.

    A dangerous challenge is a red card offence.

    Not having at least a foot on the ground means a challenge is uncontrolled. (see uncontrolled challenges, above).

    Unless you believe that Jackson was in control of that challenge, it is a red card. Simple as.

    Unless you wish to pretend the rules are different to suit your own teams point of view. If an Arsenal player had done that to Jackson, you would be shouting for the red, no doubt about it.

  • Canary

    bjtgooner- this “attack” on your comments was in response to your original, pretty offensive post! Of course you can address what you like- but so far all you have done is attacked me, and attacked me and attacked me again, without any attempt to communicate on an articulate level. Now I can take a bit of punishment, but when you consider the measured responses of several of the other Gunners supporters, including the author, your comments stand out as pretty malicious.

    Where am I so obviously “in error”? I have accepted that my view is partisan towards Norwich, but that is all I have tried to do- to point out how the original article doesn’t have the high standards of impartiality that I have seen for the rest of the articles posted on this forum. I was disappointed that standards have slipped for this and they were not as dispassionate as they should have been. Which is a shame, because I really like Arsenal and that’s probably why it’s given me this reaction.

    As for your “motives” comment. Yet again, you choose to attack me… How could my motives be read as anything other than a defence of my team? How can they be seen as anything other than an attempt to provide a bit more balance to the comment at the end of the article where they suggest that Arsenal were significantly more hard done by than Norwich in this match? That is a very odd statement from you.

    Please try to address the topics, rather than try to attack me, otherwise you discredit yourself. I apologise for the misunderstanding earlier re. your Norwich friends.

  • Jacobite Gunner

    I’ll leave the rest of you to it for tonight. Off to the poker with the old man.

    Canary, I do not disagree with every point you have made but I hope that you can understand that the credibility of your points are decreased if you do not acknowledge that Simon Jackson’s foul on Kozzer was a straight red offence (jeez, walter has even provided video evidence for clarity).

    -at this point I don not dispute the ramsey tackle you are referring to, which you beleive was a red because I watched the game on an online stream with a lack of replays. If you provide a replay of the ramsey tackle i’m more than happy to give you my objective thoughts

  • Canary

    Marcus- you said “After this fundamental error, I didn’t bother reading the rest of your summary.” This is ad hominem. You are suggesting that because I made one error (which is highly debateable as to whether it was an argument at all), therefore the rest of my argument is invalid. The implication, of course being, that I am fundamentally wrong- which is manifestly untrue.

    Even if it is not ad hominem, it is not a valid argument.

    Phil, you can’t argue that “most people are idiots” just because they disagree with you. Majority consensus is not always right, of course, but it seems likely that if you were to be an objective Norwich fan, I think you would have felt hard done by if that had been red (and yes, you are right, ashamed that your player is so technically inadequate that he makes such a reckless challenge and thoroughly deserved a yellow card).

    That is not true at all- you can be in complete control of a challenge and get a red card- that is what is known as deliberate. Equally, you can be out of control and do something stupid, and get no card at all. Most likely if you are to blame for your own stupidity you will get a yellow- as happened here.

    The point of that single incident is, though, that it is debateable- this is not recognised in the original article. And even if you were to sway on the red card side of that incident, it doesn’t address the numerous other incidents that I noted which could be debated the other way, but were held out as certain.

  • Canary

    Jack- no, I don’t believe the Ramsey offence was a red, I believe it was a yellow. I also believe it was just as serious as Jackson’s challenge.

    Actually, getting one thing wrong does NOT discredit the rest of my argument. It just means that I may have got one thing wrong. Bear in mind, however, that it is only your opinion that I got this wrong and there are plenty of other people with the same opinion as me.

    Enjoy the poker

  • WalterBroeckx

    To put the dots on the i: I haven’t made the ref review of this game. One of the other ref reviewers did this. But I have seen a few incidents of course since then so I could answer on these points.

    And the more questions that are asked at me and at our ref reviewers the more focused we are on getting it right as much as possible.

    So I don’t see them as attacks on what we do or personal attacks. And after all: us ref reviewers are refs so we are used to getting some stick 😉

  • Paul


    You said that the reaction from some Arsenal fans left you with a bitter taste therefore I assume you came here in a bad mood, but you should know that a lot of Arsenal “fans” in the pub where I’ve been watching Arsenal for the last 5 years have left me with a bitter taste only because well, they are idiots. I mean who else criticises their own players, especially having a go at the likes of Scezney even before he conceded and swearing at Song and even RVP because apparently they’re shit and useless. Heard it with my own ears. The truth is that there are always supporters amongst bigger club crowds who support a particular team because they think the success the team achieves in a way glorifies them as people, if success stalls, they start to moan and are having a go at everything around them because at the end of the day the planet rotates around them and their own happiness is the centre of the universe. I know as a Canaries fan you don’t give a damn what happens amongst Arsenal’s supporters, but my point is that you’ve probably heard the abuse towards your team from these same bitter fans and you just took it too personally only because they didn’t have a clue what they were talking about. To be fair I was really angry at some things the Norwich players came up with, but I was also dissapointed with some displays from the Arsenal players, does it mean I would need to start having a go at your team, obviously not because as a reasonable person I know that the ref has the authority to control the game in the right way which he obviously failed to do by getting most of the important decisions wrong. Football is all about respect, if we will continue disrespecting each other after results like these, then we’re certainly dragging ourselves back to the middle ages. If you want to have a reasonable conversation with real Arsenal fans, you should be a guest of this blog more often.

  • I literally spelled out how it categorically was a red. Unless you can argue that Jackson’s tackle was controlled, you may as well argue that the grass outside is red underneath a green sky.

  • ncfcoap

    I have always thought of Arsenal fans as a decent bunch, maybe this site is not typical or maybe your manager is rubbing off on you , but my respect has rapidly wained reading this diatribe. I’m not sure why whoever wrote this is held up as an expert. It appears to me to be a fans extremely biased version..just being a referee doesn’t make you right, its just your view. I’ve just showed this to a qualified ref… he’s still laughing

  • Canary

    Paul- great post, thanks. You’ve hit the nail on the head. Actually I do care about what Arsenal supporters think- I’d like them to respect us because I for one respect them and especially the way Arsenal play football.

    Walter, also thanks and keep up the great work.

    Everyone else, thanks for responding and (in the grand scheme of things) keeping it nice (we all get pretty passionate about our team). I’m not expecting any of you to change your minds, but I hope I’ve given you all some food for thought, or at least the other side of the coin.

    It’s a real shame that the two clubs have “fallen out” a bit, because ultimately I think there is only one thing to blame for it all- the refereeing. Most Norwich fans I know like Arsenal, and while I’m sure we’re not really on your radar, I hope you don’t feel too hard done by with this match because certainly Norwich fans did.

    And as Grant Holt said- “best stadium I’ve been to”- I have to agree (though I had to watch on tv). I look forward to the match next year and hope it will be much less contentious because Norwich are capable of playing good football and most commentators felt this was the match of the season. Right, must go.

  • WalterBroeckx

    In a rush before my wife gets home… 🙂

    Just seen the Ramsey incident. The difference is that Ramsey goes in from the left hand side of the Norwich player with one leg (his right one) He hardly touches him with his right foot in fact. the problem is that Ramsey is sliding over the ground, sitting almost on his left leg that is bend under his bottom, and it is with this leg that is not pointed at the player but as a result of the sliding tackle carries him on to the left foot of the Norwich player. So the leg that hit the Norwich player was not even aimed at the Norwich player.

    The tackle on Koscielny was executed with an outstretched leg from behind and going between the legs of Koscielny and executed with both legs aimed and kicking at the player both his legs/ankles. Ramsey he came in touching him from the side and then because of the sliding he made contact but the hurting leg was the one he was sitting on.

    So there is a big difference between both tackles

  • WalterBroeckx

    I remember doing the Chelsea game and I remember that only in the 30th minute or so the first foul could be given by the ref.
    If my memory is right it was Clattenburg as the ref.
    And I know that he can become one of the best refs in the EPl (despite a few early career troubles) and most players know that he will pull out the cards when he needs to and even if this means sending off a player in the first minute.

    So I really believe that Norwich mostly play a fair game. The reputation of Clattenburg for dishing out when needed can keep teams in control.

    the knowledge by players that in Arsenal games they can do more from the refs is obvious for us and I think also the players know this and behave accordingly.

    The reputation from Taylor is poor in this and so it could be that they behaved in a different way.

  • Paul


    No worries mate, Norwich are actually one of the teams in the league I actually really respect because of your traditions and the way you approach the game, unlike Wigan you didn’t park the bus, played the game openly and that is what I really appreciate. So happy to see you stay up so the likes of pity Wolves and chicken Blackburn can finally stop boring us with their annoying presence.

  • Yellowinpeace

    Really interesting approach and some good judgements; i always enjoy it when fans and blog sites do genuinely interesting analyses – and this approach is certainly that.


    Many of the judgements don’t seem any more objective than the ref’s original judgement, and the language used does suggest an Arsenal bias – which somewhat discredits an otherwise good methodology. A ref who’s an Arsenal fan was probably an Arsenal fan first.

    From a fans perspective, Norwich have been on the end of conspiracy theories from fans of big clubs that clearly should be doing better. I suspect several of the other lesser teams have as well. Against Spurs (at the Lane) the whole City team were supposedly on drugs, against Liverpool (Anfield) we were a team of malignant cheats, and against Arsenal we’ve suddenly become a gang of ninjas with special ref mind control powers.

    All of this is bonkers – and no such conspiracies have been offered during the opposite matches when we’ve been soundly beaten.

    At the risk of sounding patronising – don’t go down the conspiracy theory route. Like people who deny the moon landings or think Princess Di was murdered, you look silly after a while. If Saturday was part of a conspiracy, the whole of the journalistic world were in on it (and not just the sky ones).

    Arsenal are a good team, but lack discipline – and get found out when they don’t apply themselves. And it’s not like they can’t look after themselves, as the bookings/red card table shows. Arsene needs to be more self aware – you can’t deal with a problem until you admit that it’s there yadda yadda. Have you any idea how Wenger and Dalglish’s bleating sounds to smaller clubs whose entire stadiums cost less than your top striker? It’s almost as bad when the fans do the same.

    Returning to Saturday – there were some odd decisions in both directions, but it wasn’t over-whelmingly against the Gooners. Really. Norwich didn’t become a dirty team for your benefit, and Johnson didn’t try and break Sagna’s leg.

    Good luck for third – genuinely.

  • Rawiri


    i have had this debate a lot, sentences like “he’s not that kind of player type” dont matter, actually the intent doesnt matter, if a way of playing is dangerous it should be dealt as such, dangerous is dangerous regardless of intent, i dont care if it’s at the beginning or at the end of the game and i certainly dont care which team the player belongs to, dangerous play shouldnt be allowed full stop.

    I have re watched the game a few times and while i can say that it was pretty much end to end stuff, no team dominated the other completely there were spells where Norwich spent more time in Arsenal’s half (specially in the first half) and times when Arsenal spent more time on Norwich’s half (specially in the second half) i wouldt say that a particular team was outplayed actually the game seemed balanced (ignoring the referee’s performance i can say that i was able to enjoy the game, indeed it was pulsating).

    No one is attacking Norwich (i kinda like the kit), the referee didnt take control of the game and player took advantage of it.
    if players can get away with stuff, they will do it regardless of the kind the person they are, if the referee considers it fair, players will consider what thei’r doing fair as well and keep on doing it.
    Norwich played well, got 2 good goals and a lucky deflection both teams got penalty appeals (in my view the Arsenal ones were much more clear, Norwich’s could’ve gone either way, koscielny was having his shirt pulled too, and coquelin got the ball before the forward fell on him).

    All in all a draw probably was a fair result in the end, but we’ll never know that for sure because, the ref was absolutely horrible.

  • WalterBroeckx

    I also would like to point out that the ref reviews are not really an attack on a team. If you want to see them as an attack you must consider it an attack of the ref

  • Anne

    That was a horrible tackle on Koscielny. And dangerous. I appreciate the Norwich fans who have come here with a respectful tone. However, that was a horrible tackle.

  • Anne


    “If Saturday was part of a conspiracy, the whole of the journalistic world were in on it (and not just the sky ones).”

    Would that be so surprising? After all, they’re mostly owned by the same people. Would it be so difficult? Haven’t you noticed that they all say the same thing all the time? For the most part?

  • Ref Reviewer 03


    1) Jackson’s tackle was truly awful – sliding tackle from behind, leg extended, studs to ankle, and then he brought around his other leg and kicked the other ankle.

    2) What minute was this suspected foul by Coquelin? Maybe I can take another look.

    3) Koscielny was grabbing Martin’s shirt, but Martin also had his arm hooked over Koscielny’s shoulder and was holding him by his jersey as well.

    4) As opposed to the above mentioned incident, in this case Holt was holding Koscielny but Kos was not doing anything wrong. And he would have likely put a better effort on goal had he not been held. Benayoun’s tame header and the foul by Holt occurred at the same time. If Yossi had scored, the ref can ignore the foul, but in this case you could instantly see there was no advantage and a penalty should have been given if the ref had seen it.

    5) Regarding the shoving by Song on Holt. Holt hacked at the ball and kicked Song in the back of the leg, tripping him up. The ref blew the whistle and Elliot Bennett grabbed the ball and started to walk off with it. As Song went to go after Bennett to get the ball back, Holt deliberately obstructed his path so that Song could not get the ball from Bennett. Song then tried to shove him out of the way. So let’s see.. that’s Holt and Bennett delaying the game and Song shoving one of them because of it. I suppose the ref could have booked all three of them, but it would have been best to have simply booked Bennett for time wasting and tell both Song and Holt to cool it.

    6) I said Benayoun should have been booked for it, though I didn’t think it merited a sending off.

    7) Like Walter said, in both instances Wilbraham knew Koscielny was there. In the first instance he threw his arms forward and then he snapped his arm back forcefully into Koscielny’s face. He didn’t either bother to attempt to head the ball. 40 seconds later he went head on into Koscielny’s face with his forearm.

  • @Canary I’m afraid next season we wont be discussing this at this very time as you will be already relegated.

  • Anne

    Does anyone have a link to a slow motion replay of the tackle on Sagna?

    I’m not going to take his comments lightly, considering that I’ve noticed in the past that, on certain occasions, opposing players have deliberately targeted the sites of previous injuries on Arsenal players. (I think I’ve most clearly noticed Arteta being the victim of this). This is what Sagna said:

    “He stepped right where the plate was.”

    However, that being said, based on what I’ve seen in real time, I can’t say that this was deliberate. Does anyone have it in slow-mo?

  • Ref Reviewer 03

    @Jacobite Gunner
    Simeon Jackson did receive a yellow card for the tackle on Koscielny.

  • bjtgooner


    See link below – unfortunately it is not very clear.

  • Yellowinpeace

    Anne – yes, it would be really surprising, and no, journos are not all paid by the same people. And I wouldn’t credit them with the coordination required to all present the same view. More likely they’re presenting a view of what happened as they saw it – and largely they present an even game punctuated by some good goals and a few big decisions that went both ways.

    I accept that this is a review of refs, not teams, but a lot of the views presented in the original article and subsequently confirm that Arsenal feel that someone else is to blame for their wonky performance. The bottom line is this: if someone had picked Morison up at the end, and it had ended 3-2, none of us would be having this conversation.

    If it helps, this happens at every club. There have been some mad refereeing performances at Carrow Road this year, and some crazy theories to explain those too. In the end both teams are where they are because they deserve to be, and for that matter so are most refs. To think you’re a special case is self indulgent at best. I’d happily say the same to any Norwich fan.

  • Ref Reviewer 03

    I thought a 2nd yellow for Ramsey might have been a little harsh, and obviously the ref did too. It was a judgment call. However I do believe the ref would have booked him had he not already been on a yellow. Refs are generally a bit more lenient concerning a second bookable offense.

  • Anne


    Thanks. That’s the only video I’ve been able to find as well, and I agree it doesn’t really show it. Based on that, I won’t call it a deliberate stamp or a non-deliberate stamp. Considering the level of controversy today, doesn’t it seem like there should be more videos of it? Why aren’t there? Or am I just not finding them?

  • Anne

    @Reviewer 03:

    Was your conclusion here based on the angle shown in the link above? Thanks.

    “Some have speculated that this occurred because Johnson stamped on Sagna, but if you look closely, Sagna’s slid to ground play the ball and his foot hit Johnson’s right foot or ankle. Johnson, feeling the contact immediately tried to shift his weight off of his right foot to his left foot, and that left foot came down on Sagna. It looked unintentional to me.”

  • FinnGooner

    Great review. Only thing that I think was missing was that stamp on Sagna.
    Anne I looked for it in Youtube but I could not find that part in slow-mo, I think director (who chooses what to show on TV) ignored the stamp but showed the part when Sagna kicks the ball again and falls down (trying to prove that the injury was cause by kicking the ball not being stepped on?).

  • Ref Reviewer 03

    Sagna in slow motion:

  • FinnGooner

    About Press I don’t know about English one but I know for the fact that most sportwriters for main 2 Finnish papers and a weekly sports (betting) magazine (belonging same company) are ManU, Liverpool or Barca fans. some do not believe that ManU is treated any different than other teams (all they penalties are deserved and so on). Naturally their fan point of view is shown in articles (I have seen it more clearly after talking with them over last few years). Also I find it funny that I usually know more and better all Arsenal related news than them, and other people have pointed it too).

  • Ref Reviewer 03

    After the so-called “stamp”, the ball was played across the pitch and then came back across again to Sagna who had got up. When Sagna tried to control the ball with his leg, he immediately dropped to the ground in pain.

    They only showed replays of when Sagna received the ball and collapsed in pain, not the intial “stamp” that occurred about 6 seconds earlier.

  • Stuart


    There was someone who commented in the past on this site about Journalists and how it works based on first hand experience at football press conferences. Can’t remember for sure but I think they were a jounalist in a former life but any way, they discussed how it all works at press conferences and how the journos from all papers and stations are together conversing and agreeing a line of questioning before things start. Would be quite easy for every journo to be along the same line of thought.

    I can’t remember all the details, maybe whoever it was is reading and could re-enlighten us?

  • WalterBroeckx

    REf reviewer 03,
    can you manage to give a clip of the Ramsey tackle so I can show the difference between the one on Koscielny and the one from Ramsey?
    I have it on my TV box but cannot connect this to my computer so I cannot upload it

  • Ref Reviewer 03

    Here is the foul for which Ramsey was booked in the first half:

  • TUFC

    You lot are paranoid! Come on conspiracy theories against Arsenal from the media, referees, the FA and other clubs get a grip! Yes the ref was crap but hardly biased Norwich could easily of had 2 pens while it was 2-1. Ramsey was lucky not to be sent off, although I don’t have much of a problem with that decision, no need to ruin the game for a genuine challenge. Jackson’s challenge received a yellow which was correct, poorly timed but not 2 footed or malicious. The VP pen at the end was offside anyway but yes you should of had one for hand ball. Football is a contact sport challenges will be made and injuries happen thats the nature of the game. Would you prefer it to be made non contact? Maybe Arsenal players recieve more injuries (as you claim) because they don’t commit 100% to tackles? This can increase the chance of injury, quite often why players who are concerned about games coming up end up getting injured before them. I do agree the refereeing in the prem is not that great and maybe “big” clubs get more decisions however it is not intentionally biased. The so called ref who claims any tackle from behind is a sending off offence is talking rubbish as this is not true. Its a foul yes, but can only be deemed a yellow or red if it endangers the player. As stated in the laws a “careless foul” as I would consider Jackson’s does not warrant a red card, even a “reckless” tackle is not necessarily a sending off offence. Also there is no where in the rules to say a 2 footed tackle is automatically a sending off. Although it could be considered dangerous so often receives a red. Personally I think they just need to make a stance and say all 2 footed tackles are reds or not (Jackson’s was not 2 footed). Just because a played gets injured does not make it a booking or even a foul. I will give it to you guys though, you have provided some priceless comments! Very entertaining.

  • Yellowinpeace

    Stuart – would be interested to see that, I can imagine collusion around their line of questioning, but would be surprised if they all then wrote the same stuff . Happy to hear another view though, especially someone in the press room. Either way, I can’t see that being the case on Saturday. There was no mass ref and press anti-Arsenal conspiracy – certainly there wasn’t any controversy around any of the goals, and again if Arsenal had defended as well as they did at Carrow Road then we wouldn’t be debating it now.

    I know you don’t need charitable kind words from fans of other clubs, but most really do want to like Arsenal. There’s a lot to like too. But the victim mentality thing is mad.

    The best thing about it is that Norwich got a good day out, and you get to keep third anyway!

  • Anne

    @Review 03:

    Thanks a bunch.

  • Jason

    47 goals conceded in 37 Premier League matches. Points dropped at home to Fulham, Wolves, Wigan and Norwich. Fortress Emirates? People were saying before yesterday’s game that if they cannot beat Norwich and West Brom when they had to, Arsenal wouldn’t deserve third place. An announcement in the programme stated, ‘We won’t open the window for season ticket renewal until the confusion over the Champions League is settled. Renewals must take place before by 31 May’. Actually, the club will accept your money in the middle of July if you tell them that is when you can afford to pay it. But more significantly, it demonstrates that behind the scenes, they are well aware that the team are unlikely to win two must-win matches against sides that have nothing to play for. The writing’s on the wall for Arsenal’s third place hopes. The sad thing is that the same cannot be said for manager’s future employment. Someone at board level has to develop the temerity to instruct the manager he needs to employ coaching staff that will concentrate on the defensive side of the team’s game and allow them to do their job. But no-one in the boardroom has the bollocks to stand up to the manager. And if you allow the situation whereby Arsene Wenger is interviewing candidates to be his own boss, that is what is going to happen. So more of the same next season…

  • WalterBroeckx

    So Jason anything to say about the ref for the rest?

  • the videos are a great addition. Perhaps gifs would be the best way of doing them however? as these videos don’t display unless you have the right player installed, and I think gifs are universal.

    That said, I have no idea how to make gifs, so it may well be a nightmare to do!

  • iniez

    Yellowinpeace, I can understand how we look to be paranoid, for a while I thought I was. Fact is quite a bit of work has been done here on Untold, and for quite some time. I feel if you’d been following this site from earlier on you would understand why we are more inclined to believe, not that everyone is out to get us, but that we get pretty hard done by refs and the media on a very regular basis, to the point where we need to start questioning their motives. It’s become an issue bigger than ref incompetence or journos just wanting to write a story. I don’t expect to convince you of what we believe and frankly you would need to have been around this site (and maybe arsenal) for a good amount of time to understand why we feel this way. Also, as someone mentioned earlier, we aren’t having a go at anyone’s team, in this case norwich. I can completely understand that it looks like we’re just being sore losers with a superiority complex, but all we’re doing is breaking down the ref performance, and clearly if we had a decent ref none of us would be having this conversation. Both teams were hard done by, but frankly I feel your reactions are more to do with you believing we’re belittling your team and not giving credit where its due, rather than us being upset with the referee. Both teams should have gotten calls that they didn’t, but honestly it’s in my opinion that norwich took advantage of the bad calls more so than we did. Not calling you cheaters, I haven’t watched norwich nearly enough to make that judgement, but other than a few incidents near the end of the game I have great respect for your team, some good proper attacking football. Again, I don’t expect you to understand why we feel this way, or even believe it could be plausible. Just that we didn’t wake up one day and suddenly decide the world was against us

  • walter

    Thanks reviewer 03.

    I think people now can see what I tried to describe in words. Ramsey came in from the side of the Norwich player and that is the difference at the end of the day. Also the long leg never hit the Norwich player it was the leg on which he was sliding and that was not aimed at the Norwich player that made contact

    So for coming late it was a yellow but it is a totally different one compared to the Jackson tackle

  • Anne


    I believe you are referring to the following comment that Tony left on one of my articles (Although I should point out here that I actually turned out to be the one that was guilty of a factual error in this particular case. I claimed that something had been attributed to Arsene that he hadn’t said, and I found out later that he did say it. I ran a retraction and apology to the journalists in question).

    Anyway, here’s Tony:

    “As one who has spent a little time as a journalist in the dim and distant past, perhaps I could throw a little light on how journalists work.

    It is not uncommon for journalists to liaise with each other over a point of detail to ensure that everyone gets the same story. In a simple example, in the days before universal televising of games, if a goal were scored and it was not clear who scored it the journalists would look at each other and agree who scored it.

    In this way every paper comes out with the same thing and no one looks odd by stepping out of line (even though the person stepping out of line might be right and the rest wrong).

    This is a key point – unless you are breaking a story which no one else has then you simply must toe the line – otherwise it is felt that the readers will simply think that your paper has got it wrong.

    A simple example in the UK concerns the case of Madeleine McCann in May 2007 and Shannon Matthews in 2008. Some of the facts were readily established – but in both cases the interpretation of the facts was unified among the press to such a degree that all debate was lost. (Sorry non-UK readers – it would take too long to describe these cases, but both involved missing children and both got major coverage).

    I would suspect that in the press conference one journalist wrote on his laptop a key word, showed it to the next guy and it spread – this was the way we would run the story. Everyone writes their own story then – but with this unified interpretation – including as you saw here, things that were never said.”

    If anyone would like additional clarification on this subject, I imagine that you can probably track down Tony somewhere around here 🙂

  • marcus

    I am surprised Jackson on Koscielny is deemed a red.

    Not a good challenge, but hardly the worst either..

  • Jason

    @wallter – so how long till you continue blam loggeding refs¿ ? yes the ref had a shocked but nori had some decisions that went against them. people keep making excuses for our inept performances and they wobderwhy we end up without a trophy year after year.

  • Gord

    @TUFC and others

    The game of football has simple rules. And ideally, the game is played under circumstances where a set of dis-interested, competent officials oversee the game being played.

    Let-the-game-flow: common argument about officials calling everything. It has come up before, now again. The referee has a small conversation with the captains at the coin toss. He can tell both captains, that he is going to call EVERYTHING. It is the duty of the captain, to report that to the players (and the coach/manager) before kick off. Players have two choices: either think this is a ploy, and they will foul as they normally do; or rein in their instincts to foul.

    Some people always have to push the rules. It is part of being human. It only takes a couple of minutes at the beginning of the game, for the referee to confirm to the players, that he will call EVERYTHING. And then the game flows, just fine. Game flow is only a problem, when the referee decides to be selective in what they call. If the referee is not seeing all fouls (which is possible), but they call every foul they see, this “flow” problem disappears.

    That is a blurb nominally from the players point of view.

    Maybe the manager/coach tells the players: hit this team, they don’t like being hit. Either before game, or at half time. Hitting a player, regardless of whether you are talking kicking, tripping, striking, holding, spitting or head butting (maybe I missed some) is NOT allowed. The manager/coach is telling his team to CHEAT.

    Yes, CHEATing will often see your team win. The neutrals want to see good football, they don’t want cheating in any way, shape or form. You the fan, do you want to see your team CHEAT to win a game? Wouldn’t you rather see the game played fairly, and take whatever happened?

    Arsenal (and UntoldArsenal) isn’t under a conspiracy theory problem. We want to see the game played under circumstances where decisions by officials do not influence the game. Calling EVERYTHING does not influence the result.

    It may make the first few minutes of the game drag a bit, for the first game or two. After that, everything just flows.

  • Pat

    Some contributors are accusing Arsenal fans of being paranoid. They say every team suffers in the same way. But let us take one example. Arsenal, a team with a high percentage of possession and an attacking style of play, has not been awarded a single penalty at home all season. Arsene Wenger has highlighted this several times. He presumably thinks this shows a particularly strong bias against Arsenal. So do I. I do not think this proves I or any other Arsenal fan is paranoid. I do think it must reflect the attitude of the refs.

  • Gord

    @Phil Gregory

    Making GIFs isn’t a problem. Copyright can be a problem.

    As I have looked at in terms of video replay (not goals), there is a requirement on how many frames per second. And TV I believe runs at 24 frames per second. Grabbing frames (probably interleaved), and trying to see what actually happens is not an easy problem. The easy solution, is to get the frame rate high enough that it can produce good data. You need something like 1000 to 2000 frames per second to produce evidence of fouls in the highest speed collisions.

    To work with lower frame rates, a person needs to model how the body of each person in the frame moves over time. And the model can be wrong, in which case the supposed movement cannot be used.

  • marcus

    Legally speaking, I believe a conspiracy involves breaking criminal Law.

    The blog analyses games, and these analyses have found clear trends that display
    bias against Arsenal.

    The cause of that bias is up for grabs.

    We don’t know what it is.

    All we know is that refereeing is of a very poor standard in the UK, and the
    refereeing of Arsenal games shows a pattern of dreadfulness.

    We can surmise why that might be, but until we get a national expose,
    we simply don’t know what is at the root of it.

    (Although the word root does give a clue I suspect)

  • bjtgooner

    @Ref Reviewer 03/Phil

    I can’t get the videos to open. Please help!

  • Gord

    Commenting on a twit:

    > “After watching Wigan completely outclass us at Anfield in March I hoped they’d stay up. To beat Liverpool, Arsenal, Man Utd and Newcastle in a relegation fight is an extraordinary achievement.”

    This is from the May 6 game between Wigan and Blackburn.

    The above comment completely demonstrates that there are not enough goals scored in football. If Wigan was to have played Liverpool, Arsenal, ManU and Newcastle many times, how many times would they expect to win. I suspect if many is 10, Wigan might hope for 1 win in 10. And that is what they got. In each of those 4 games.

    It is unlikely, it is what happened.

    Let us live with the unlikelihoods of games which happen. Get the effects of officials out of the game.

    We want games to be fairly officiated, and ALL fouls called.

  • Gord


    Sorry, the game was May 7, not May 6.

    West Ham versus Cardiff: West Ham won. Lansbury was a second half substitution, and got an assist in the final goal. The only other thing in the PA description, is he got a handball shortly after he came on.

  • marcus

    download VLC

    they are .mov and .avi

    In fairness to Norwich, I think Ramsey’s is worse than Jackson’s

  • Adam

    @Canary. Just read through most of your comments and have come to this conclusion. You state you have refereed junior football “I would not feel comfortable allowing you to officiate a game involving my son. What you think is not reckless I do not want my boy exposed too”. Stick to rugby.
    And just so you are aware “I like Norwich”. You have a view which is harmful to football.

  • Tasos

    Anthony Taylor came to the Emirates last season for a crucial league match and denied Arsenal a clear penalty for a shove in the back on Arshavin by Titus Bramble of Sunderland.

    Anthony Taylor appears again, another crucial league match and once again he denies Arsenal a clear penalty for a shove in the back on RVP by Naughton of Norwich.


    Not one single penalty awarded at home all season for a team that retains possession more than any other in the League (61%)

    Not one single penalty awarded at home all season for a team that tops the list in both Yellow(80) and Red(7) cards given to opposition teams for fouls committed against Arsenal players.

  • Jacobite Gunner

    @Paul at 6:36 pm.

    well said.

  • Gord


    No sport deserves bad officiating.

    Regardless of the level.

    Getting good officiating is something that all sports want.

    We also don’t want to see people willing to be officials, abused.

  • Adam

    @Gord, I hope you do not think my comment above is abusive. It was meant to highlight this individuals views and the impact they can have on a kid. If we keep allowing bad tackles in high level football it will very quickly filter down to lower level and kids football. That is unacceptable. What is also unacceptable is a person who officiates kids ball games to try and justify a very reckless challenge just because they support the club which the player represents. Forget ref reports or fan bating. He looks after kids, He needs to be more responsible.

  • Gord


    I am just getting back to looking at UA articles. I finally got a program which I think will make it easier for UA reviewers to produce reports more easily to the point where they could use it. I’m hoping it helps, but so far I don’t know.

    What children see on TV will effect them. What’s best is if the parent is there watching, but to do the best is be be able to watch the same segment more than once.

    To say it is not fair to break another person’s leg is helpful. But what does it take to break someone’s leg?

    The quest for good football starts when they people are young. Going out to watch your children play, or help coach them is good. But, if going out to games you notice the referee being abused (often because the referee is young themself), you need to support the referee. And if parents abuse the referee, write the association.

    I don’t doubt other things are required. That is what I have to offer. Hopefully it is a start.

    Walter apparently could not play because of being injured severely. I became interested in athletic first aid, and because of that became disinterested in anything which caused people temporary or permanent damage.

    None of us play sports to leave the remainder of our life in pain.

    Playing fair is in everyone’s best interests.

    And that is fair in the definition of most of society, not Seth Blatter.

  • doanythingformoney

    Thanks for that Tasos (and Marcos). There may be no smoking gun there— but what you said is ,if factual, evidence that would impress any reasonable person or jury member. And unless a good alternative explanation can be found– one must conclude that there ‘IS A CONSPIRACY TO DEFRAUD ARSENAL!’ Now, pooh poohers can pooh into the wind as they are want to do– but this jury demands the ‘good alternative’ explanation. The problem sems to be, not that evidence is out there which can denounce the ‘conspiracy to defraud case’ but that everybody– from the media to the FA knows it is happening, does nothing, and is therefore either part of the conspiracy. They are scared shitless to do something about it. A front line journo has told me.
    This is most important. We are NOT conspiracy theorists! We have the evidence and it points massively towards a real conspiracy. In the early 1930s people, who had evidence that Hitler had conspired against the German people when he ordered the Reichstag to be burned to the ground (and blamed on terrorists),– were labelled by the media as conspiracy theorists. The media knew Hitler was responsible but they were scared shitless to to tell the truth and purgered themselves big style. The ordinary people then, as now, swallowed the media terrorist twaddle without any self-research– and the rest is history. There is a political handbook (loved by Nazi conspirators everywhere) for would be chicaners and this particular succor punch is No.3. A footnote suggests that- ‘if you are going to pull this stunt– make it a big one! Punters will then only say– no-one would dare to pull a stunt like that- would they!’ The moral here is this. When the press or media start calling a group of people with evidence ‘conspiracy theorists’ you will know a conspiracy to defraud you is/was or will be taking place.
    We know we are being shafted. We know who is not doing anything about it and we know why. Now– who has the power to ‘control’ and co-ordiate ALL the media and the FA/EPL? Who would want to shaft some clubs and promote others? Come on Anne- it’s time for you to lead us on just a little bit more!

  • bob

    In the interests of truth-seeking – and I do believe you are truthful and insightful – I’d welcome any answers or further discussion on these:
    (a) What do you mean by a front line jorno?
    (b) Who is it?
    (c) Why not state his/her name?

  • Damien Luu

    @TUFC: Hello Anthony Taylor. You did your job very well, now go meet the Rednose to receive your award.

    I wish I can meet you in person. My fists are always ready.

  • Adam

    @Gord. Walter is not the only person to post on here to have been badly injured playing football. I can also tell you many a story about abuse from the sidelines a lot of it directed at me. Parents telling their kids to “Break his F*****g legs, number ten, him”. With my own folks watching, I was 15 at the time. Also the racial abuse my team mates got when we travelled. The anger and hatred in peoples faces.
    I have been spat on, punched, kicked up in the air more times than I care to remember, I have also been kicked in the face whilst on the floor(blood every where).
    It was a running joke that I had a season ticket at the physio’s. I have had surgery on my left shoulder, I shattered my left wrist, fractured my cheek bone, broke ribs, numerous concussions, Dislocated all my fingers on my left hand. But the final straw for me was dislocating my right hip (give me a broken bone any day of the week), Yet again from getting kicked up in the air. On top of all that you have the usual injuries hamstring strains, groin strains and numerous impact injuries. I had enough. It was obvious to me I was not going to get the protection needed to play the way I wanted too.
    Although, since I played things have got better, However there is so much more room for improvement.

  • novicegooner

    It’s a hell of a ‘debate’. I think this RefReview breaks the record for Numbers of Comment.

    I find something to smile about Canary. He said he’s a regular reader here at UA, and also watched Arsenal games, and coincidentally he was also a referee at junior level. If he was a referee, I believe when he watched Arsenal games prior to this game (v Norwich) he must’ve seen or found out that Arsenal is on the wrong end of Ref decisions on many occasions.

    and if he was a regular reader, I believe he could always comment or join the discussion on previous RefRewviews when he feels that the Ref Reviewer made a mistake in their review.

    Yet, he waited until now. And all of the sudden, he said that RefReview is biased.

    For me, that’s really funny.

    @ all Norwich Fans
    Wenger in his post match conference GAVE CREDIT to your team, just like he did to Wigan previously.

  • Yellowinpeace

    Iniez and others – fair enough, I don’t spend enough time on here or watching Arsenal to have any conclusive proof to discredit your suggestion of persistent wrong doing. However, Norwich bias aside, I’d be really surprised if there was any genuine ongoing campaign against the Gunners. Some thought:

    – statistically the ‘no pens at home’ thing isn’t really that unusual – normal situations produce odd stats like this all the time. More pertinently, if you’re trying to see a trend that you already believe is true, it’s not difficult to subconsciously gather evidence to confirm this. That’s not paranoia, but it is a well established scientific phenomena, and analysts with a far greater responsibility than those on here have succumbed to it.

    – Any comparison with Arsenal and actual conspiracies in Nazi Germany show a lack of perspective. And that is a symptom of conspiracy theorists. So is a sense of entitlement. Just saying.

    – Either way, if you genuinely believe that you’re being hard done by, it will eat you up and do you no good. A lot of Norwich fans this year have been consumed by rage about us not getting enough media coverage. They’re wrong, but it’s spoilt their season.

    – You’re 3rd!!!! Cheer up Gooners! You’d be genuinely off your rocker to suggest that you should be higher than the Manc clubs on merit – so what exactly is the problem? I think if I were in your shoes, I’d be thinking of ways to stay happy.

    Anyway, hope this isn’t too annoying.

  • Reviewer02

    I have followed this thread with interest, having reviewed Norwich 3 times this season I have come to admire the way they go about their work. I admire their tenacity and I admire the fact that Paul Lambert has put a bit of the devil inside them. They need that; they are a small club (no disrespect meant) who since he joined, have improved tremendously.

    My observations watching them are that they play with great passion, and belief, and that they foul a lot, I reached that conclusion with my review V Blackburn. and my review V Man City. The main protagonist is Grant Holt, who is the nearest thing to Kevin Davies I have seen for many years. He is though better at Kevin Davies at falling down. Winning free kicks and not making it easy for defenders. I went on record as calling him a diver in my Man City review and I saw nothing at the Emirates to change my mind. He was bought by Lambert to hold up the ball, win free kicks and score goals, and he does all of those very well. But does he push the laws of the game. Absolutely, he is a professional footballer, not hugely talented, though using what he has, and loving every moment of his shot at the big time. Good luck to him.
    The responsibility of the Referee in a game is to apply the laws of the game in an unbiased manner, nothing else! The objective of these reviews is to see how just unbiased they are, the original phrase was quantifying the bias. It is not a bias against Arsenal we seek to expose, but any bias. And all too frequently Referees show a bias. How else do you explain the penalties Man Utd win and other teams do not? How else do you explain the failure to caution Rooney (Wazza to the Refs) week after week? How else do you explain the change in Wigans fortune since Mike Riley called up Martinez to apologise for the offside goals scored by Chelsea? If it is not a bias, explain why so many Refs at the PGMOL are Lancashire based, and none from London, or the South, or the South West, or the East. Why is football in this country at National level run by a clique of Counties based in the North West? It is that, which we are against. (I mean no slight against Wigan, but certainly they have had no decisions go against them since that day)
    The fact that in this game (Arsenal V Norwich) the reviewer gave the Ref a poor score is not because we dropped home points against Norwich. We have given many Refs good scores when we have lost; please check out the archives, it makes great reading. Anthony Taylor from Greater Manchester got a poor score because he is a piss poor ref. He consistently gets poor scores regardless of what game he plays, and regardless of whether Arsenal are involved. The Norwich Blackburn game was a shocker, please check it out, Anthony Taylor is simply not a very good Referee. Apart from when He referees Manchester United of course. which considering where he was born, simply SHOULD NOT HAPPEN!
    On the subject of conspiracies, I am a season ticket holder at the Emirates (£1350 for your information), I want to believe that my money is spent in good faith, I don’t expect us to have a great season every year, or always beat the smaller teams, I am not delusional and as a supporter have pretty much seen it, done it etc, etc. My gut feeling is not that the league is corrupt, but that it is loaded in favour of certain teams. To win the league, Arsenal have to not only beat the big boys giving it to them from the “ Well Ard Northern Lads” but beat the system too. Arsene Wengers philosophy is to be so much better technically, that you overcome the odds. He succeeded for a few years, the Invincibles were just that, so much better than Manchester United that it was brought to an end by thuggery and brutality overseen by the now head of the PGMOL. That is well documented not just here, and on other sites, but in Gary Nevilles autobiography too. That day they effectively ended the career of Jose Antonio Reyes in the EPl, followed by Eduardo and possibly Abou Diaby, all brought to an end by those “Big Northern Lads”, and then Aarron Ramsey very nearly suffer the same fate. Fabregas suffer a broken leg at Birmingham and now Sagna two in the same season, all to challenges from English players (what are the odds on that one) so you can perhaps understand us feeling sensitive on the subject. So the failing in Wengers philosophy is when teams rough us up a bit, as Norwich did, the failing in the system is when that happens outside the laws of the game and they are not applied. The solution is for Wenger to find, He is very well paid to find that solution, but the Ref Reviews are neither about tactics nor formations, just the application of the laws of the game, and to highlight a pattern. So taking one review and saying that you feel it is biased is a bit like judging a team on one game. We will have reviewed over 130 games by the seasons end. That is about 520 hours of analysis, of every decision in 130 those games. If anyone is doing it more thoroughly point me in that direction please.
    We try really hard to be impartial, and when reviewing put on a Refs hat. But we also encourage participation from other clubs, we know that the weakness in the system is we are Arsenal supporters, that keep us in check, but it has been encouraging to find supporters from other clubs commending what we are trying to do. We want them to join us, this should be a football supporter’s crusade, a crusade for fair play in football, and it could well evolve that way, if other clubs participate. So if you support another club and are a qualified Referee, get on board. That way we gain credibility and become more powerful. We can then truly expose the awful standard of refereeing in not only the EPL, but UEFA and FIFA too. And maybe we can play a part in bringing technology into the game.

  • novicegooner


    I will only respond to your last point.
    Believe me we were very happy when we knew that we’re still in 3rd after Newcastle and Spurs failed to win. But our happiness won’t and shouldn’t cloud the underlying problem that we’ve been suffering all this time from incompetent refereeing.

    Tasos had highlighted earlier about the ‘coincidence’ between this and previous season. Last season we had the same ref who didn’t give us a penalty after a similar incident to Van Persie being pushed in the box by Naughton. The differences are the team we faced (Wigan/Norwich, players being pushed (arshavin/van persie) and the situation (arshavin was through on an open goal / gervinho was in offside position).

    In the past, people quickly said that Arsenal supporters are just bitter just because we say that the ref are incompetent. Now, especially at UA, we are ‘doing something’ to prove what we said about the ref. Yet, people still say that we are bitter, and even bias.

  • Canary


    What a pathetic and stupid thing to write on a blog that has generally been pretty sensible.

    I have said NUMEROUS times that the Jackson tackle was a yellow card. I am not alone (see Marcus and others) in that opinion. At NO point have I suggested it was acceptable. At NO point have I condoned it. It is inflexible, unacceptable attitudes like yours towards referees that makes it at times impossible to referee because there is no leeway. Most matches would end up with hardly any people on the pitch if your opinions are anything to go by.

    I am sorely disappointed that you feel you can take a cheap shot like that. Rugby and football are two completely different games in terms of refereeing. Rugby is more complicated, but considerably easier. It is also far less dangerous, in terms of the sorts of nasty injuries that can occur, so requires much a very different measure in assessing the situation.

    FYI, a “reckless” challenge is a serious offence. It does not mean that it should go unpunished. A reckless challenge is one that would get a yellow card at least. In Jackson’s case, no more than he deserved, but it was certainly a yellow. You are clouded by your Arsenal bias. You are always going to be so, because you are a fervent fan, but I have shown this video to several different neutral fans and they all said they would feel very hard done by if it was given a red card.

    It is people like you who put off referees and I hope you are ashamed of yourself. However, something tells me you are the sort that doesn’t give a crap and would rather shoot down anyone that gives are reasonable opinion that differs from your own.

    The bottom line is that this article is riddled with Arsenal bias (to be expected, given that it is written by Arsenal fans), but it should be read in that context. Talk of conspiracy theories is a farce and I’m not going to stoop to address that. At half time Norwich went in 2-1 up, yet absolutely deflated by how offensively bad the referee had been in the first half. In the second, did he make the error of trying to be too lenient to Norwich to make up? Maybe. All I know is that the refereeing hurt Norwich considerably more. To be perfectly honest, I think there’s a huge conspiracy to defraud the whole of Norfolk ever since we missed out on the title in 1993…

    If Ramsey had scored that sitter, or RVP had put the ball in the net when Gervinho was offside, we would be reading a completely different tone of report; Arsenal fans and the press would be going back to their “oh, poor little Norwich”- unlucky with the ref again. Instead, we have a well-deserved draw for Norwich, and the reaction is (in great part) petulant, arrogant and victim-complex Arsenal fans blaming all and sundry other than themselves.

    I can only conclude it comes from the top- starting with Wenger’s pathetic “handshake” (laughed at by all viewers) and ending with the extraordinary (and potentially libelous) statement by Sagna. And to the poster who said that Wenger was complimentary- are you fucking kidding me? He said we played well, but all the goals were Arsenal’s fault and blamed the ref. It was the most back-handed compliment I’ve ever seen.

    You should all be extremely ashamed of yourselves. EVERYONE has suffered from incredibly poor refereeing this season- the smaller teams more than most. I have read your blog numerous times and I certainly agree that Arsenal suffer more than the other big teams- partly, possibly, because they play in a league where football is viewed as a contact sport, but in a manner that expects the non-contact style in parts of Europe. It is NOT a conspiracy.

    I think you all need to take a big step away from that, and assess this match on its own merits. The fact is, commentators everywhere were saying it was a “thriller” it was “breathtakingly fast” and that it was the best match of the season. Commentators everywhere ALSO said that Norwich were hard done by. Very little comment on Arsenal, beyond the blatant hand ball and some discussion about the Naughton-RVP incident. Why? Not because the WHOLE WORLD IS OUT TO GET YOU. No, because they looked at it objectively and recognised a Norwich team that played open and attacking football (but admittedly can’t defend) allowed Arsenal to play their game when they got their act together in the second half.

    A bit of recognition of that wouldn’t go amiss. But no, I suspect you’re all too hung up in your victim-complex. Pity, I thought you might at least see some reason, but I was obviously just wasting my time.

  • WalterBroeckx


    Our main problem is that we not only need to beat the other team on the field.
    In general we also need to overcome a referee that is not going to give us any decisions at all. Don’t take my word on it but you could take the word of the non Arsenal related website

    Their table from last season also had Arsenal at the wrong end of the decisions. So if you don’t believe our ref reviewers fine. But people who are trying to analyze the game come to the same conclusion as we do. If you have looked at the table I can tell you that as in their table we also discovered that Stoke is the most loved team by the refs.

    And the third part we have to beat is what we call the AAA. A group (you will have noticed a few of them in the last days) of so called supporters (we think most of them do support a team but it ain’t Arsenal) who tell us that all our players and our manager are rubbish and shit.

    Maybe they are the most annoying ones 😉 Maybe even more than the refs.

    I think we can disagree on some things but at the end of the day I feel that most of the Norwich supporters who came on here and who could understand what our problem is, are far more capable of appreciating what Wenger has done for Arsenal than the AAA can.

    You know what the day is we fear the most? The day when the refs are announced for the next round of games. Isn’t it sad that we wait in tension and fear for who they will send? You could say we don’t fear any opposition team in the PL. The only thing we fear for is not having a fair ref. And alas history has shown that we have every right to be fearful at times.

  • Yellowinpeace

    Novicegooner: again, not going to disagree as I don’t know all the facts, but you really should have a look at the Championship and League 1 refereeing if you think this is bad. Every ground has rubbish refereeing performances regularly. It would be easy to conclude that it’s a trend, particularly given that good ref performances tend to be invisible.

    Anyway, it’s your choice of you want to spend the summer worrying about who’s out to get you. If I were you, I’d be getting excited about Podolski, I wondered when one of the bigger clubs would realise how good he was.

    See you next season!

  • Canary

    For the sensible Arsenal fans- the angry post above is not aimed at you- it was in response to that disgusting post by Adam and some of the worse things I’ve seen written about the game online. I know many (probably most because they are the quiet ones) are perfectly reasonable.

    And for everyone’s information, I have refereed many football matches and NOT ONCE had a major injury of any sort. I am trigger happy and very willing to get the yellow card out (possibly a bit of a carry over from rugby reffing). This means a few people get frustrated, but it means that I rarely need to resort to a red card.

  • Canary

    Walter- that table is interesting if it is independent.

    Mostly because it gives Man U?!?!?! six more points, Liverpool a massive eleven more points… If anything that shows that Arsenal are more favoured than the top teams other than Man City

  • Stuart

    I don’t think the revised league table can be taken too seriously on that site. The important one is the decisions table. This shows wboth Norwich and Arsenal are on the receiving end of more poor ref decisions the ones incorrectly in our favour. These are decisions which would have changed games and therefore outcomes in some cases.

  • WalterBroeckx


    I am the senior ref reviewer on this site and since I have started the reviews more than 2 years ago I never had to write a ref review when I could announce that the ref has given us the victory in a game. NEVER!

    And in a way I hope that I never have to write such a ref review (or one of the other ref reviewers) because it would make me very unhappy. Winning a game like MU did against QPR would make me feel bad. I just don’t like injustice. But after two years of analysing injustice I feel that I reach a point where I would take it.

    I feel that I reach a point where I would feel happy when a ref gives us the 3 points. And that is maybe the saddest part of it. After a while you get as cynical as the rest. And that is the last thing I want.

    I am totally convinced that there is some kind of calciopoli in the EPL like it happened in Italy. Do I think my club is part of it? No way, our numbers prove enough that we are certainly no part of it. Should my club join it? I hope they never lower themselves to that.

    I only want it to stop. I only want that the law in England does like the Italian police once did and start investigating things with all means.

    I’m fed up with it. But the good thing is that as long as there is need for what we do (and there is need but not everybody knows it yet) I will continue and try to get more ref reviewers on board.

    An open invitation to any ref supporting Norwich to join us by the way. If you think we are not good enough: why don’t you just join us and improve what we do?

  • WalterBroeckx


    what they do on the debatable decision website has some good and some bad things.

    A very good thing is that non of their panel members are Arsenal supporters. 😉

    A less good thing is:

    They base their decisions on what is shown on MOTD. So when MOTD does not show it, it doesn’t exist for them. Us Arsenal supporters know from experience that MOTD cuts a lot in what they show. Around half of the penalty claims for Arsenal are not shown on MOTD. So they don’t get counted at the debatable decision website.

    The most important table is on the home page under decisions table :

    A difference is also they cover all the games shown on MOTD we only count the complete games we have covered in our reviews.

    But both us and they come up with a few trends that are the same. Arsenal treated bad, Stoke treated well..

    A big difference is also that a ref who is clever and wants to tilt a game will not go for the big calls as it exposes him too much. If you know a ref, talk with him and ask him the hypothetical question what the best way is to tilt a game.

    He will tell you that doing like Webb did in the Chelsea-MU game is the worst way because it exposed his bias too open. Work with the fouls in the middle of the park. The little fouls that go unnoticed. That is the way to do it.

    And to discover such things our way of working is very valuable because we can keep an eye on such things.

    In the next months I will of course come up with our own numbers but I will also try to combine our finding with the ones of the debatable decision website.

  • WalterBroeckx


    I do agree not the whole world is out the get us.

    Just the one that matter in football are out there to get us

    I just rather would like it that the rest of the world was out to get us…


  • Matt Canary

    I’m sorry- that’s a poor account.

    1. Your penalty was offside anyway, Gerviniho was active and was a mile off

    2. Kicking out at Lappin was the same as Beckhams in WC98, it was a blatant red card

    3. Hoolahan was tripped in the area clean through on goal, that was a clear red card and penalty

    4. Russell Martin was clearly having his shirt pulled all over the place! Also a penalty (no card though)

    All that happened before you even had a penalty shout, so it anything is the case you’re lucky you escaped with a point!

  • WalterBroeckx

    Matt, are you the Norwich ref we have been waiting for?

    Do you think the ref was piss poor or not?

  • WalterBroeckx

    And Matt, if you would have read the report you would have noticed that we said Gervinho was offside. We even didn’t talk about a penalty.

  • Canary

    Thanks Walter, as I mentioned, I’ve watched enough matches Arsenal play (because I enjoy watching youse) to know that Arsenal, without a doubt, get the hard end of the stick. My real point the whole way through this thread has been that this is the ONE match where, OVERALL (given how the bad decisions on Norwich were much earlier), you weren’t hard done by (though obviously you were in individual incidents).

    Also, there are two sides to every coin- and the Jackson tackle shows that. I honestly think that tackle is nowhere near the level of Danny Rose’s, certainly not the Kevin Muscat/Nigel De Jong specials and I maintain that had that been an Arsenal player, you would have felt very hard done by if it was given a red card. You’re a qualified referee and we both know that practicalities, at times, have to have sway when you’re treading those fine lines.

    Apologies again for the rant above, but it was in response to a fairly disgusting comment by Adam. We have fans like that at Norwich and it is those who I am most ashamed about- unreasonable, mindless WUMs.

    I look forward to reading the debateable decisions on our match and I aslo look forward to playing you lot next year

  • WalterBroeckx

    thanks for that and a bit sorry that it got held because of the links because what you have written is very important

  • WalterBroeckx

    One more thing about the debatable decisions is that their panel are no refs. So the sometimes go for the “it was difficult to see” excuse to explain a decision. We work a bit different.

    But I welcome every attempt to throw some more light on the refs in the PL

  • FYI – a lot of Norwich fans coming here, I suspect, are off the back of this:

    And this

    The general view is one of ‘look at these wankers’ – which explains some of the comments of which not all were published.

  • Canary

    Reviewer02- watching three games is not sufficient to say Norwich foul “a lot”. Unfortunately for you, you picked the two other games where I’m not surprised you came to that conclusion! Against Blackburn Lambert had clearly lined up to play them at their own game- steel in midfield against battling Blackburn. Unfortunately, it was the one occasion where Lambert got the tactics completely wrong (we’re all learning in this league) and it went astronomically badly.

    You also picked the game against Man City- shame on you… You know full well Man City had the lion’s share of possession so of course, over the whole match, we were going to give away more fouls than them- even then we gave away ten fouls, which is one foul for every 4.5 minutes out of possession… very low.

    As you can see from the link I posted much earlier:
    Norwich in fact foul far less frequently than ANY other team- once every 4.9 minutes out of possession. (We haven’t given away the least fouls because we don’t get as much possession as some, but we’re pretty low on that front too).

    I should hasten to add I DO NOT think Taylor was a good referee. He was abominable. However, I sincerely think that your review too easily fell on Arsenal’s side- you were simply guilty of trying to make the facts fit the conclusion. I think it would have been better to have done a fairer review here, because there is ample evidence backing up your arguments elsewhere. You just chose the wrong match.

    I have thought long and hard about each of the decisions this ref has made and come to one conclusion: the decision he saw, he generally got right on the balance of probabilities. The issue with this ref was that he saw barely anything. I wonder whether the game was too fast paced for him? It was breathless for me sat in front of my computer… He simnply was not up to standard.

  • TUFC

    @Damien Luu- I said the ref was rubbish, just some of the things people on here feel are fouls/yellows/reds are ridiculous. But I am terrified you have your fists ready haha

    Genuinely would you lot prefer it to be non contact? If you really feel teams bully you unfairly and get away with it do you think you should not change your game sometimes to match them? Football is about using tactics and skills available to win games so I can’t understand why teams get upset about teams “parking the bus” etc. Its just good tactics if it works. Of course we all want the game to be played within the rules however Arsenal are as bad as any team at breaking them, they quite often do it in a different manner. Maybe not through tackling but cynical challenges, diving, time wasting etc they certainly do as do many teams. And to the ref reviewers on here, you say how poor prem refs are but what makes you better than them? Have you gone through the same training? Just not to as high a level. Why are they more biased than you? Or is it this conspiracy theory that makes them so?

    Refereeing standard is not as high as it should be. They need video technology, support of retrospective action, clarification of laws and a higher level of training to get it up to the desired standard. However, there are not that many refs, mainly because people are put off by the constant torrent of abuse from players, media and fans. But the are not biased, certainly not over a constant period as you suggest

  • Canary

    By the way Refreviewer2- you are spot on about Holt. He is a legend, but can be frustrating…

  • @TUFC – this thing is when we do try and meet fire with fire we give away penalties and get sent off or get retrospectively banned for 3-5 matches for what the referee didn’t see.

    I get the message that our more continental style of play is not welcome and, as we have chosen that route, we must now stick to it. Some of the up and coming english players will probably give us an edge as england internationals seem to get away with murder in the EPL – we shall see.

  • TUFC

    @DogFace- Its not that your continental style is not welcome. In possession when Arsenal are playing well they are great to watch, although even your own fans think you need more steel. Continental football is not a cleaner form of the game than in the prem. The substitute some of the tackling for diving instead and there is even more dissent. Tackles will be made its a contact sport. The prem is not even a very rough division, lets hope for Arsenals sake they don’t get relegated I don’t think you would enjoy the more ‘robust’ championship or below.

  • @THFC – no, I’m not saying that a lot of fans don’t like watching it – I’m saying that it’s not welcome from an establishment POV – the Premiership is a global brand based on fast paced agressive football.

    All this talk about ‘steel’ is just apologist nonsense, I do not accept it… if you disagree then please quantify this mystical English quality in something more than platitudes.

  • TUFC

    It is absolute rubbish to say the people at the top don’t want the Arsenal style of football in the prem, how can you possibly back up that claim? In fact they love it and they rave about how great you are most of the time and the attractive style you play. Having a bit of ‘steel’ in your side is hardly an English only thing. Most of the great sides past and present do/did. I’m just saying sometimes Arsenal look like they are not up for it if people are putting in a few tackles, where as other teams can handle it mentally and physically Arsenal can crumble. Why do you think it is nonsense?

  • @TUFC – if care to re-examine what I wrote – I said it was the “message I get” i.e. not a “claim”.

    If you cannot quantify this “steel” then our conversation is over.

  • FinnGun

    @TUFC, agree with you on the main thing: “Refereeing standard is not as high as it should be. They need video technology, support of retrospective action, clarification of laws and a higher level of training to get it up to the desired standard.”

  • Gord


    You’ve seen way more physio than I have. And parents should not be “encouraging” their children to do bad things. I think I did some amateur officiating in the early 1990s. We were told that if a parent was doing that to a child, to red card the parent (spectator).

  • C4

    @Yellowinpeace, and other canaries who agree with him:
    You seem to imply we’re a bunch of conspiracy theory nuts, and if that were the case, then basically all the work being done on this site monitoring the ref performances would be a waste of time, right? If we’re really so far off the mark, and delving into the realm of fantasy, then please explain to me why this website was the target of a sustained attack by hackers over a period of several days, during which Dogface, Tony and others fought to get it back online?
    Why, as the moderators can tell you, do several individuals come and post here under many different user names, each one trying to discourage us from doing what we do, much like you are doing?
    Why would anyone go to that much trouble to shut down a bunch of deluded conspiracy theorists?

  • Gord


    I was dreaming Poisson last night.

    Runs. The EPL is 20 years old? Consequently, each team (if never relegated) should have had 380 home games over that 20 year period. So, write a little code, and make a trial run. Assuming the average number of penalties given to the home team is 1.0 (it can be any positive number) and doing a single run of 380 outcomes, the largest number of penalties given out to the home team is 4. The longest run of 1 penalty being given is 6, as is the longest run of no penalties.

    The numbers sort of feel okay. Now a person wants to run that model a while to see what happens over many different sets of 380 outcomes. As we are looking for extrema in behavior, I need to do this with a few different random number generators, just to make sure any thing we see isn’t an artifact of a lousy RNG.

    I should have something in an 10-60 minutes. What I want, is to find a run having your 21 no-penalties, if possible.

  • novicegooner

    English is a foreign language for me, so sometimes I miss one or two words/expressions during this debate. So forgive me if I’m wrong, but I think this debate (Canary etc) is going nowhere because each party sticks to their own interpretation of the incident and laws.

    If Canary can accuse the ref reviewer as biased, then I believe I have every right to accuse him (Canary) as biased too. The ref reviewer and Walter have provided evidence for their claims, but Canary simply refuses all of them (evidence related to Arsenal v Norwich).

    For example, Russel Martin-Koscielny incident. Canary keeps saying that that’s a penalty, but he refuses to acknowledge that Martin also pulled Koscielny on his shirt.

    Why don’t we just call this debate a day, and move on. We can’t convince Canary to believe the review not because he is a Norwich fan, but because he refuses to believe it since it was done by a reviewer who is supporting Arsenal. His mind believes that an Arsenal fan will always be biased when it comes to Arsenal. And that clearly shows his own bias towards his own team.

  • Gord


    Still playing with a shaky RNG. But, if I drop the average rate of penalties to the home team to 0.8, I finally seen a single occurrence of 21 consecutive home games without a penalty being given. That is in a set of about 16 million games played. The other extreme statistic which has to go along with this, is the maximum number of penalties given in a game. And I am consistently seeing 8 or 9 penalties being given in a game.

    What is the maximum number of penalties which have been given in a real game?

    Oh well, on to a better (and slower) RNG.

  • Ref Reviewer 03

    Interesting to note that if you compare the ref reviews from the Arsenal v. Norwich and from the Norwich v. Man United matches, Norwich committed nearly twice as many fouls against Arsenal(23) as they did against Manchester United(12).

    Why is there this approach? Why do teams go out and foul Arsenal from the get go? Why don’t they do the same to Manchester United or other teams?

  • Gord


    Last run. Using a Mersenne Twister RNG and generating 38 million games, where the average number of penalties awarded is 0.8 per game, I again get a single run of 21 games without a single penalty being awarded. The longest run of games with a single penalty, is 17. The most penalties issued in a game is 10.

    Compare our single incident in 38 million games, to isolated games (run length of 1) where no penalties are awarded where we have just under 5.2 million of them.

    I am going to leave things there, unless you have some other question to ask.

  • Yellowinpeace

    C4 – you’re right, whether rightly or wrongly you do come across as conspiracy nuts. I don’t have the time or the data to do a proper analysis, but the methodologies used on this site set out to confirm the specific hypothesis that Arsenal are hard done by, when conspicuously they’re not. The Debateable Decisions web site is genuinely interesting, but clearly states that it’s methodology is flawed.

    Liverpool and Arsenal, the two great under-achievers of the last couple of seasons, are amongst the most debated – hence their place in the table. Both have furious fans, and woe-is-me managers who honestly think that they would be somewhere else in the table if the world were fairer. To be honest, Liverpool are worse, I’m just not sure they have the nous to set up a web site like this one.

    I could understand it if you were Blackburn, and that’s what sticks on the craw of fans of clubs like Norwich. You have no idea how lucky you are to see the kind of football that you do.

    I really don’t think you can see the sense of entitlement implied in your analysis and sense of indignation. Ref reviewer – you ask why Norwich fouled Arsenal more, as if we tried harder to spite you. In reality, the Arsenal game was quicker, more open and more intense, and both teams were being aggressive. I’d suggest that’s a more realistic assessment. You forget – Arsenal are not angels. For all of their undoubtedly great play, they get stuck in as much as anyone. Again, see the red/yellow card table.

    Seriously – if there is a conspiracy, it isn’t a very good one. Can anyone on here honestly say that Arsenal should have finished higher or further in any of the competitions this season on merit?

    I thought not – and anyone who says “we’ll never know” proves my point.

    Genuinely interested in Gord’s conclusions by the way.

  • Gord


    I’m just chipping away at things as I find time. Marcus had some data about a long run with no penalties, and I tried to find out how likely it was. I don’t know where Marcus found an average rate of 1 penalty per game to the home team, I suspect many people would regard 0.8 as being the same as 1. In terms of having a run of 21 games in a row, there is a huge difference between 0.8 and 1. But, we should also be seeing evidence of the other extreme. In the last 20 years of EPL, have their been games where the home team has been given more than 5 penalties? How often has this happened?

  • Adam

    @Canary, I’m glad my post upset you it was designed to hit a nerve, Maybe when your officiating in the future remember this. Jackson’s tackle, by your standards was reckless and deserved a yellow card. So that’s possibly 23 of the same challenges in a match you officiate over, before a red card is produced. I would not like to play in that game.
    I remember a game against Brentford where a poor lads leg was twisted backward from the knee down, that was a challenge from behind. never will forget the scream or seeing his foot facing the wrong way. Never found out if he played again.
    We obviously have a difference in opinion over dangerous tackles in football. Mine comes from the field. I hope you can get passed your anger and understand that those sort of challenges lead to the achilles being damaged or snapped, Have you heard someone’s tendons snap.
    I Hope no poor sole gets too badly hurt on your field of play before your opinion is swayed.

  • C4

    I didn’t ask you if you thought we come across a bunch of conspiracy nuts. You’re answering a question I never asked. Re-read my post and try again.
    And how can you tell us we’re wrong when you’re unwilling to put any effort into seeing if there’s something fishy going on?
    Isn’t that like saying the moon is made of cheese, and refusing to peer through the telescope of the guy who says it’s made of rock?
    You can’t be serious…

  • Yellowinpeace

    Ok, Ok, it’s still lazy on my part, but here goes :

    Arsenal aren’t even the worst off this season, and there doesn’t look anything particularly fishy in previous seasons.

    I’m assuming you’ve seen all of this – just saying how it looks from afar.

    C4, I know you didn’t ask that question, but you suggested an implication, and I confirmed it. Apologies if I missed the point.

  • Rawiri


    from what i could understand you are a referee and have good knowledge of football’s rules. since you seem to think that there is a bias going on with the ref reviews, if you had time to spare you could join the reviewing of matches for the site and make it less bias, it has been state a lot in here how it would be great to have refs who support other teams to give their contribution and from what i could read you seem like a reasonable person.

  • WalterBroeckx


    please read this article based on the same numbers you gave but with some perspective on it

    It will look conspiracy again but well…. 😉

  • Stuart


    I have to mention, the trouble with the link you have provided to myfootballfacts is that it only reflects decisions which have been made and doesn’t go into decisions which were either missed or ignored by the officials. It’s great for us (or not so depends which way you see things) to see that we are high up in the penalties given league for certain years however, this only scratches the surface as we should have had many times more that amount, the only team to be so hard done by. I think you will even find some of the Man Utd ones (among others) included there should not have been called as penalties.

  • Yellowinpeace

    It’s a good article pointing out some trends, and of course I’d agree that the figures don’t include incidents where pens were not given.

    However, looking at the figures objectively, there seems to be a reasonable distribution of values – there always has to be a highest and lowest, and Arsenal are rarely either. There also isnt a pure correlation between how well a team does overall and the number of penalties they get. I don’t know what explains the difference between Man Utd and Arsenal recently – part of me wants to point to them “loading” the box frequently whilst Arsensl tend to build up in a more considered way – but I have no proof for it. Also, they tend to score more goals. Clearly the presence of “divers” plays a part. This year it helps to explain United’s total, and to Norwich’s great pain it explains the Andy Johnson inspired Palace total in 2005. I don’t really see what this has got to do with Arsenal tho. It’s too far fetched to suggest refs hurt Arsenal to help United, or Palace for that matter.

    Look, I’m not saying you don’t have a point – I’ve questioned the motives of a number of refs this season. I just think that the notion that it’s a sustained attack on Arsenal is wrong. If it was true, I’d’ve thought that you’d have actually done worse in recent seasons, and there would be more consistent trends in the statistics, with Arsenal as a stark outlier. They are not.

    I feel compelled to say after all of that, that we should learn Italy’s lessons and never stop looking for signs of corruption – so don’t take this as objecting to the web site’s aims.

  • FinnGooner

    Walter and refreviewer 03 when at end of the season you make lists and compare how refs have done (combine info from all reviews)can you make list with which teams commits and suffer most fouls? It would be interesting to see if Arsenal really gets most fouls (as it seems lot of clubs decide to foul instead of playing nice football against us).

  • Gord


    I suppose there are official stats out there somewhere, but I don’t know what it is they compile. I’m fine tuning a “scraper” for the live commentary text streams that the Press Association does for the BBC. It spends a lot of time analysing the text of each comment. Hence, I see if corners happen (I might be able to pull out who kicks the corner, I haven’t a hope at finding out he gave it away), who is offside, who handles the ball, who is cautioned for dissent, who for persistent infringement, and a bunch of other things. It should be easy to get goals and own goals, assists probably aren’t hard. Is any of that of interest, but not in compiled stats you can find?

    This isn’t to say the Press Association data is error free. I’ve seen situations where the referee reviewer, the press association and UEFA (for champions league) all get different players involved in the same incident.

  • Gord


    Yesterday (day before?) Lansbury got an assist on the last goal, he had come on as a substitute.

    Today, Chelsea took firm hold of 6th, nobody else can get 6th now, and Chelsea can’t get any other position. Liverpool is 1 point behind Everton, with the same goal difference. 7, 8 and 9 is to be fought out by Everton, Liverpool and Fulham on the last day. QPR and Bolton fight it out for the last relegation spot, with Bolton 9 goals worse on goal difference.

  • none

    Way off topic, but after some of the more bitterness in this I thought we needed something more amusing.

  • MikeBassett

    On what planet are there 1.0 penalties per game for the home team?! In the Premier League, over the last 5 seasons, there is an average of under 100 penalties per season (83,86,111,103,100(currently 98 but I’ll guess 2 are given next Sunday). Now this includes away sides as well. I will suggest (generously) that 2/3 of pens are awarded to the home team. That gives 64 home team pens per season. There are 380 games per season. The ratio you should have been using is in the range 0.1-0.2. I think you will thus find that while your run of 21 games is improbable, it’s a long way from impossible.
    Which brings me onto a few other points. I am a Norwich fan who has frankly been stunned by this website. I’ve done a bit of reading around and I am genuinely shocked at the way your site looks at Arsenal FC and the premier league.
    Firstly, I have been on this site before and read a ref report on a Norwich game earlier in the season. On first glance I trusted the ref report as gospel truth (like a lot of posters on here seem to do). So I was curious to read it after our game at the weekend. Your claims that the ref report is totally objective is completely voided by the fact this is an ARSENAL SUPPORTERS’ website. Parading the fact a qualified ref has compiled the report is frankly a nonsense. A professional ref from Norwich or Daventry or even Ipswich would call it very differently. The only way to analyse this fairly would be to blank out all the faces of the players and their respective kits!!
    Another point I don’t agree with is your shear stubbornness to stick to the “laws of the game”. The trouble is you use this when you want to. Deciding Benayoun warranted a yellow for a kick out at Lappin is laughable when you suggest further in the piece that Wilbraham deserves not one, but two red cards. They were clumsy yes, but the arm was straight in both cases and there was absolutely no intent. Furthermore, anyone suggesting Johnson deliberately injured Sagna is making a bold and unfair claim. I really hope Sagna is back soon as he is a quality player but his accusation was made in the heat of the moment, it really seems innocuous on the replays. Finally, a red for Jackson for the tackle on LK? Never, never… never. It was a yellow all day! He simply slides in to halt the Arsenal player. It’s a textbook “tactical foul”. I realise my only qualification for making these judgements is having played for over a dozen years and watched football for 20 years. Not being a referee, doesn’t drastically hamper my view of the game. The laws are open to interpretation, to an extent, and so the way you are analysing these games annoys me. There are many cases you cannot give a concrete yes or no on a decision.
    What we can agree on is that the standard of refereeing was poor. But, it had little baring on the result as he was fairly equally bad to both teams.
    This whole conspiracy theory is indescribably arrogant. Arsenal are in decline. Face the facts. I moan about refs frequently and sometimes it feels like these things don’t even themselves out; it’s tough but invariably they do. Blame the tactics, blame the players and occasionally blame the refs. They are all to blame. I’m sure Arsenal have had it rough this year but try and enjoy supporting your club rather than moaning all the time and producing biased ref reviews!!
    I just want to say I was chuffed with the Norwich performance on saturday. Gone is the side that was bullied and pushed aside only 3 years ago. Under Lambert, we have steel, grit and determination as well as a healthy does of ability. There’s also an amount of gamesmanship that has crept into our play. I don’t agree with it all the time but so many other teams do it; you’d be foolish not to! I think Arsenal need to wisen up a bit. And you’re no angels yourselves, WS took noticeably longer over his kicks at 3-2 then previously. It’s natural. It’s infuriating when it’s against you but it makes perfect sense when you’re the team closing out the game.
    Finally I apologise for writing a short novel and realise my views probably won’t change yours. But I feel it is necessary for me to point out that you have altered my perception of Arsenal FC, and it certainly hasn’t been for the best. Quit whining, appreciate the fantastic football you view regularly and enjoy supporting a successful club. Having witnessed League 1 football recently, you are the lucky ones, trust me. Get off your high horse! Cheers.

  • MikeBassett

    Apologies, I meant to delete the top paragraph from that post. I posted it on the other thread and realised the discussion more focussed on the game should be here. I didn’t mean to spam every blogpost with the same response! Cheers.

  • Canary

    Adam, I wasn’t upset, I was horrified that someone could be so moronic as you.

    You can’t spell and you pluck the number “23” out of nowhere, so I’m guessing you struggle with normal communication, but let me spell this out for you nice and clearly.

    I have not had a major injury in any of the many games I have reffed.

    I am relatively “trigger happy” and don’t take any crap from anyone. This prevents bad tackles happening through a “pre-emptive strike”.

    I don’t dish out red cards just because screaming Adam thinks his son got his ankle tapped. You are clearly the despicable sort of father/supporter who goes all out to abuse refs when, in a contact game, accidents happen. You cannot blame someone for accidents.

    I don’t like resorting to this, but you’ve been so dense I have to: you obviously have no idea about injuries and are just making it up. Most serious leg injuries- anterior cruciate ligament rupture with associated medial collateral and meniscus damage or major bone fractures come from contact from the front or the side. (It is rare that it happens with no contact- e.g. Michael Owen). Ankle ligament ruptures and achilles tendon damage are just as likely to occur through rolling the foot as through contact. Trust me, you are clearly of substandard intelligence and have picked the wrong person to argue with this on.

    I have heard my own tendon snap. I then blacked out. Funnily enough, it was a rugby contact, from the front… (And an accident- I didn’t go screaming to the ref that the guy should get a red card)

    None of that alters the fact that Jackson’s tackle was not an accident. It was late, but also single footed and low. Therefore it clearly merits a yellow card. It was not two-footed (did you see Essien’s tackle last night?) So not only was it not “by the book” a red card, it was not a red card by the most recent referee recommendations.

    I hope you take a long hard look at yourself and your understanding of the physics/mechanics of injuries and tackling. I suspect that if you had actually ever had a major injury in football, or even actually play on a regular basis, you would know that this sort of tackle is stupid and deserves clamping out early, but it is by no means a red card offence. By contrast- Ramsey puts in a dodgy tackle, gets a yellow, and then makes another two nasty ones?!?

  • Canary

    I should further explain:
    The reason it is contact from the front leads to major injuries is, simplified, that if you look at your leg, most of the soft tissues (the stuff that takes longest to recover and least likely to go back to full strength) are on the back. They require an over-stretch to damage them, which, logically, generally occurs from pressure applied to the front, levered round the bones.

    (That’s not to say that major bone breaks aren’t very serious, just that when you have a mjor bone break you are far more likely to have serious soft tissue damage as well, which doesn’t recover quickly)

    By the by, the reason a tackle from behind is considered so nasty is not because of the injury risk per se, it is because the player is “blind-sided”. The bodies best defence against contact is being able to see it because our reactions are much quicker than our thought processes.

    Jackson’s challenge was therefore dangerous on that level, but it wasn’t seriously dangerous and cynical, which is what a two-footed challenge at 15 inches off the floor with your entire body weight behind would be.

  • Canary

    Oh, and Adam, judging by the rest of your posts and the fact that you have admitted to being a WUM, I doubt you will have the good grace to either reply or accept that you’re wrong.

    But if you do, try to be sensible/intelligent/insightful, please.

  • Tasos

    This website has accumulated its information over a long period of time and I have enormous respect for the people who carry out the work load here.

    This bias/corruption that exists in EPL has not just appeared over the weekend simply because Arsenal dropped points at home against Norwich.

    With all respect to Norwich fans here, this season is your first back in the EPL for many years and I very much doubt you will have experienced the type of biased behaviour from the referee’s that Arsenal have been repeatability exposed too, year on year, in your one short season.

    Many seasons ago a friend of mine pointed out to Me that he strongly believed Arsenal were being screwed repetitively by refereeing decisions, like many opposition fans who post here for the first time, I laughed it off and expressed My opinion that this type of bias/corruption simply does not exist in the English game and all things will “even them selfs out” in the end anyway.

    It was only once I had taken his point on-board and started to watch the games from a slightly different perspective that I began to witness the balance of refereeing decisions weighed heavily against Arsenal, game after game, year after year.

    Its extremely an difficult thing to overcome but not imposable, the odds however are stacked against you when the referees are tilting the pitch in this manor. Every Arsenal performance has to then be of a high level, and once that level drops, as it did against a very decent Norwich outfit, the much needed victory becomes an in-probability.

    Individually (Spurs at home amongst others) this bias can be beaten with a top level performance, but over a whole season its imposable to expect Arsenal to be able to produce such performances week in week out, and so it becomes too big an obstacle to have to overcome.

    The fact Arsenal are currently lying third in this League does enormous credit to both Manager and Players IMO.

  • @Tasos – we should also point out that certain other teams get a rough deal in terms of desicions… just as some teams seem to get it very easy.

    Manchester United’s team this season are utterly ordinary – their european form is probably a fair reflection of their ability… yet they are second in the EPL on GD?

    The EPL is becoming a joke and everyone except ‘little england’ are starting to realise this.

  • WalterBroeckx


    two world cups ago Fifa instructed refs to give red cards for tackles from behind. This was to protect the players and to prevent serious injuries like Achilles ruptures.

    This instruction is still the same it has never been withdrawn.

    What has happened is like many other rules that at the start it causes a shock wave in football and a few red cards are given. And then the players adapt and the bad tackle goes away a bit.

    After a few months the refs fall asleep and get less strict (the need of permanent reminding the instructions and the rules is one of the things I ask for) and when a first tackle from behind goes unpunished with the red card people think it is back okay to do it and the refs get less strict and less strict and after a while nobody remembers the instruction from Fifa anymore.

    Until a serious accident to a top player happens…

    So unless I have missed it the rule that dangerous tackles from behind should be punished with a red card is still as it should be.
    Did you see the ankle of Koscielny bending? If his foot would have been stuck in the grass it would have been two broken bones in one game.

    But I know because of the bad refs people forget that this rule does still exist. That is completely the fault of the refs in the PL.

  • WalterBroeckx

    And the “football is a contact sport” is a bit silly.
    Contact is allowed but sliding in from behind in a player has nothing to do with “making contact”
    Such things are not what is meant by “contact”

  • Canary

    Ok Walter, this is getting ridiculous.

    Here are the FIFA recommendations on Rule 12

    It clearly states:
    Careless, reckless, using excessive force
    “Careless” means that the player has shown a lack of attention or
    consideration when making a challenge or that he acted without precaution.
    • No further disciplinary sanction is needed if a foul is judged to be careless

    “Reckless” means that the player has acted with complete disregard to thedanger to, or consequences for, his opponent.
    • A player who plays in a reckless manner must be cautioned

    “Using excessive force” means that the player has far exceeded the necessary use of force and is in danger of injuring his opponent.
    • A player who uses excessive force must be sent off

    It further states:
    “A player is guilty of serious foul play if he uses excessive force or brutality against an opponent when challenging for the ball when it is in play.
    A tackle that endangers the safety of an opponent must be sanctioned as serious foul play.
    Any player who lunges at an opponent in challenging for the ball from the front, from the side or from behind using one or both legs, with excessive force and endangering the safety of an opponent is guilty of serious foul play.”

    Nothing specifying from behind being extraordinary- all “lunges”- are out of the question.

    Jackson’s was a reckless challenge- not excessive force- therefore a yellow card. It was not a “lunge”. They long ago removed anything specifying tackles from behind from the laws, now it is the discretion of the referee as above.

    I really think this should end the discussion because your rules are out of date

  • Canary

    Please note all:
    For a red card to be given it matters not whether you use one or two legs (though two legs is likely to indicate excessive force). What is in question for the referee is-
    Has the tackler endangered his opponent?
    Has the tackler used excessive force?
    It requires BOTH of these questions to be answered yes for there to be a red card offence. For excessive force note that the force must FAR exceed the necessary force.

    Jackson’s challenge:
    Has the tackler endangered his opponent? YES
    Has the tackler used excessive force? ABSOLUTELY NOT, NOT IN A MILLION YEARS

    Jackson’s challenge is textbook reckless- recklessly endangering the opponent- yellow card.

    End of.

  • Looks like a straight red to me… he lunges at his ankle then, for good measure, hoofs him in the air.

    Has the tackler endangered his opponent? YES
    Has the tackler used excessive force? ABSOLUTELY YES

    End of.

  • Canary

    Yes, but you are “looking” and not assessing the rules.

    Let me provide you with an example to help illustrate the point:

    I was refereeing a rugby match for schoolboys (aged about 11). It was between schools and all the parents come and watch. The matches are taken seriously, but the rules are much more limited than the senior game- only five man scrums, much smaller pitch etc.

    One boy ran down the wing and an opposition player clothes-lined him. Arm across the neck- quite painful (the boy was fine- he shook it off and played on). I immediately blew the whistle, signalled a penalty. There was nothing particularly deliberate about the tackle- the boys were not high standard players, it was more that the kid panicked and didn’t really know how to tackle properly.

    However, the father of the tackled player, an American I think (not that it matters, but the accent was obvious) screamed at me “That’s my fucking boy!! What the fuck are you doing?! What are you gonna do about it?” At a kids’ rugby match… Play had stopped and so I said “what do you want me to do about it- it’s a penalty”- and the bloke responded something like “The boy should be banned from rugby for life!!” I pointed out that I could hardly stick him in a Young Offenders Institution for a poor tackle. Anyway, I spoke to the tackler’s teacher and we agreed a sinbin for five minutes (they’re only short games) despite the fact that at their levelm, sinbins are NEVER given. Later, someone must have spoken to the guy and told him that’s not how it’s done in rugby and he came and apologised to me.

    Now the point of that is to illustrate that here, you are the father and the tackled player is Koscielny. He’s “your boy” and you immediately see something far worse than the actual rules specify. Sure, in a the men’s game that would be a yellow card for a high tackle, but the guy was asking for some poor little kid to be red carded and banned fromk rugby!

    You lot are doing the same thing. If you red carded this tackle, there would be three or four red cards a match. Most tackles receiving yellow cards are from the side or behind because they are professional fouls-m intended to break up play. But they are no worse than this one.

    I have read out the rules to you. I have clearly defined the parameters of those rules. I have demonstrated how you categorise Jackson’s tackle. If you can’t comprehend that, I feel for you.

  • Sorry Canary – I said ‘End of’ – did you not read that bit?

  • Canary

    No Dogface- you have forgotten to define excessive force- it has to be FAR in excess of what is necessary.

    That, this tackle was not.

    As for the hoof in the air, I can’t believe that if any of you have actually done a sliding tackle you don’t know this:
    – the trailing leg automatically comes round and straightens. There is nothing in that, it is a normal body movement
    – if the trailing leg did not come forward and straighten, it is likely that there would be a soft tissue injury in the groin or in the hip

  • WalterBroeckx

    Did you noticed that at the moment of impact Jackson had his leg outstretched? Stop the video at the moment of impact if you can and look yourself. From the moment you hit someone with your studs and with an outstretched leg you use excessive force.

    I remember someone on this site a while ago explaining the difference in impact for the human body and the difference about the forces the body that is hit with an outstretched leg has to endure compared to the forces if you get hit by a bend leg.

    The only reason Koscielny his ankle didn’t snap is because of the fact that the grass was wet and the pitch gave way and his foot could move with the impact. On a dry pitch it would have been game over for Koscielny.

    If Jackson would have gone in with a bend leg I can live with a yellow card.

    At the start of the season in the courses they gave for the refs in my country they said this is one of the things we had to look at when judging the difference between the tackles.

  • Canary – you are embarrassing yourself… I mean – a child’s rugby game – are you serious?

    Look in the mirror of your own apologies mate – agree to differ or fuck off, we are quite frankly sick of the injuries and the excuses.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Would have added the impact picture myself but it didn’t work and off in a meeting now. Sorry

  • Gord

    @ MikeBassett

    What planet? 🙂

    Sorry, in engineering school the subject about where to find accurate averages in football didn’t come up. Thank you for 5 years of data, much more useful than some kind of average with no measures of dispersion. Your data does indicate a significantly lower rate, which will reduce the maximum number of penalties per game as well.

    I don’t know if I agree with a 2/3 – 1/3 partitioning, is it twice as likely that the home team gets a penalty? I’ll try that, and also 1/e – 1-1/e (about 1.72).

  • Gord


    I will disagree with your rugby example. The poor form of the tackle, whether intentional or not, is largely at fault. Coaches at all levels need to instruct players on aspects of play which have greater chances of inflicting damage. Not all players are engineers or physicists who have spent time studying collisions. But the geometry of a collision governs how much damage can happen.

    With respect to Koscielny’s foot being on wet grass and hence slipped out, that probably wouldn’t have worked out here on the Canadian prairies. We don’t get enough water, and the ground is almost always hard. On some fields it is so hard, the slippage happens mostly with very dry fields. A certain pastor who just became certified to teach fitness has spent a lot of time in Ireland playing rugby. When he came (back) to Canada, he tackled a player and seriously hurt his shoulder. Difference in ground hardness was a contributing factor.

  • Gord

    @ MikeBassett, Marcus, et al

    Revisiting the simulation with an average of 96.6 penalties per EPL season, for the 1/e based split the home team rate is 0.16069 and the 1/3 based split the rate is 0.16947. Again letting the simulation run over 38 million games, the longest run I observed for the 0.16 rate is about 95 games without a penalty. The 0.17 rate gave a maximum run of 84 games, but I only ran it once. The longest run of games where the home team got 1 penalty was 8 or 9 games. The largest number of penalties seen in a game is 5 or 6.

    A run of 10 games without a penalty happens about 22% as often as a single game with no penalty. A run of 20 games with no penalty happens about 4% as often as a single game with no penalty. A run of 30 games happens about 0.8% as often as a single game with no penalty. And the last datum I dug up was the run of 40 games at about 0.15% as often. With the 1/3 – 2/3 split, the probability of observing the run goes to zero (a bit) faster with increasing run length than with the 1/e based split.

  • Canary

    I’m sorry- clearly you don’t understand. Connecting with force does not equal connecting with excessive force.
    The force used in this tackle was merely the normal amount used if you were to connect with the ball. The fact that he connected with the player is what makes it RECKLESS.
    He has not satisfied the definition of FAR beyond the necessary force. That is what is key here- it must be FAR. WAY BEYOND if you like, it must be EXTREME. The force used here is quite normal on a football pitch- the difference is that it is a (very) poorly executed tackle- which is reckless.
    Whether Koscielny’s ankle would have snapped or not is a moot point- that goes towards the category of RECKLESSNESS- we have already accepted that Jackson has satisfied this because he endangered Koscielny’s wellbeing. You have to seperate the two. Even if he had received an ankle injuury it would STILL have only satisfied the definition of RECKLESSNESS. I understand that this is not an easy concept to understand if you are not legally trained but the point is this:
    – The tackle must be reckless (anything about it being dangerous, it injuring the player etc. comes in here) We have 100% satisfied this definition. It was reckless
    AND (absolutely necessary)
    – The tackle must have used force FAR beyond necessary (this is where they look at whether it was two-footed, whether the player came in from a long way off and whether the tackler’s leg was way off the ground). Nothing else will satisfy the definition.
    It was a nasty challenge- no doubt. BUT it does not satisfy the second part.
    Dogface if you do not comprehend a metaphor and how they are used, I can’t really help you much.
    Telling me I’m embarrassing myself does not actually equal me embarrassing myself. However, I do appreciate that I’ve had to descend to levels of patronism that have probably rendered you absolutely unwilling to admit defeat, even with the evidence before your eyes. So yes, we can differ. You can have your own rules and I shall stick with FIFA’s.

  • WalterBroeckx

    I shall write a protest letter to the FA of my country for giving their refs wrong information.

  • iniez

    Canary, you yourself said at 9:26 ” I’ve watched enough matches Arsenal play (because I enjoy watching youse) to know that Arsenal, without a doubt, get the hard end of the stick. My real point the whole way through this thread has been that this is the ONE match where, OVERALL (given how the bad decisions on Norwich were much earlier), you weren’t hard done by (though obviously you were in individual incidents)”

    So for the most part you agree with us but now that your team is involved suddenly the Untold crew don’t know what they’re doing? Canary it feels like, in regards to the rugby example you posted earlier, Jackson is your boy and you’re just trying to defend him. I feel like you’re as closed minded as you’re accusing most of us of being. Nobody’s saying norwich fixed the game and that you should never win against arsenal. I give credit to your team for a good game, but fact is we had a shit ref, we both got bad calls, but we got the worse end of that shit stick. You’re just arguing for the sake of arguing and though you accuse us of being closed minded, you’re doing exactly the same

  • Canary


    Not exactly but you’ve got the right idea.

    Yes, overall I do believe that Arsenal have been hard done by referees, and it is a little odd. So yes, I agree with that point. However, overall means that there are a few games where the referee decision have gone in your favour. It’s just that the majority of matches do NOT go in your favour.

    What I am saying is that this match is one of the exceptions- it was actually harsher on us. All I am saying is that while, overall, in my experience Arsenal are penalised by referees, this is very much an overall conclusion. It doesn’t mean that EVERY match you have to find it happening. If anything, I would have said it would have strengthened your argument if you pointed out how extraordinary this match was in that it DIDN’T penalise Arsenal. I find that, personally, quite poignant. Otherwise you run the risk of undermining your entire argument across all matches with the accusation of bias.

    Walter- you said that you received this info two years ago? That link I sent you is the most up to date recording of the rules. It is in technical legal language (because the decision review panel is made up of lawyers). If you could quote me the most recent instruction you have received that would be helpful.

    The problem often lies in that technical legal jargon is not often easy to understand.

    In other news, if you want a really strong reason to be suspicious look at this panel though. Trained lawyers assess the decisions made by referees. They dismiss something like 99% of appeals. In ordinary courts the appeal success is more like 20% (in fact, footballers are supposed to technically be allowed to appeal to the High Court on these, I think, but for some reason don’t…) This is highly suspicious. There is only one conclusion- FIFA is putting huge pressure on the review panel to dismiss appeals. This is highly suspect and I would say linked to your work.

    I would strongly advocate a separate, independent, review panel like most employment tribunals. After all, these footballers are employees like any other- why should their right to a fair trial be restricted?

  • Canary

    Did you see the Eardley tackle just now btw?

    The speed he is coming in at means that it certainly comes close to satisfying the second category- FAR excessive force. However, even then it is not more than a yellow because it doesn’t quite make it to that high qualifying level…

  • iniez

    Canary, mate, in respect, I stick by my last sentence. Hopefully next time we play we’ll have a decent ref and we can enjoy a nice day of football

  • Canary

    Sorry, I didn’t address that.

    I’m not arguing for the sake of arguing. I’ve read this thread quite a bit and found the findings quite convincing. I was sincerely disappointed at this entry though, because it seemed that now that you have the conclusion, you are trying to fit the latest evidence to it.

    This means I’m now questioning all the other evidence. It would have been much better to have highlighted this match as the EXCEPTION that proves the rule.

    Also, you forget that us Norwich fans felt incredibly hard done by at half time. It was immensely infuriating to her Wenger whine so ungraciously and then to receive the torrent of abuse we have had since that sounds like sour grapes.

    I do also hope next time we have a ref who isn’t a pile of horseshit. Equally, I hope that whatever the result, there is credit where it’s due.

    What do you think of my ref review panel point though?

  • Canary

    *not “this thread” it should be “this blog”

  • Gord


    Is your post at 7:25pm directed at me?

    If so, what do you call far? To have twice the kinetic energy with the same mass involved, only required a 41% higher speed. Few people would call that far more. If we increase the mass of the “moving” player by 50%, the speed of that moving player only has to go up by 15% in order to double the kinetic energy of the collision.

    In some collisions, it is force per unit area (for liquids pressure, for solids stress) that controls the damage process. Going in with the studs makes it likely the contact area can be as little as the head of a single stud. Going in with the knife edge of the foot, the knife edge of a hand, the point of the elbow and a few other ways can all result in exceptionally small contact areas. The speed need not be changed at all in order to make the likelihood of injury severe.

    I haven’t seen the incident you have been talking to most people here about, all I see is the text commentary from the BBC. I was just pointing out physics.

  • WalterBroeckx

    I get the information each year on our annual course.
    The rules that have changed, the instruction and most of all: how to do it on the field.

    I don’t know where I said it was from two years ago to be honest?
    But mine are in Dutch so wouldn’t be a great help I think. 😉

    To be honest when the rules where explained most of the refs at the course were seeing it as if Fifa was giving way to dangerous and reckless play. We were a bit angry and found it a bad thing for football.

    Even the people from the FA who gave the course said that it only looked that way but that (indeed like you say) it was a result of making sure that it was legally all in order.

    Then they showed how to apply it on the field and it suddenly didn’t look that bad any more.

    They told us that in case of doubt punish the offender in the most severe way. Better to give one red card too many than one too few.

    I have seen red cards given in my country that in the EPL by half of the refs would not even been given a foul.

  • Canary

    Gord, no I wasn’t responding to you.

    You’ve picked up the exact point- what is “FAR”. It is highly unlikely that a legal review panel would take into account your physics (as reliable as they may be) because they would view them as too narrow and also as difficult to assess based on current video.

    They would also point out that assessing far on those terms is not achievable for a referee, so they would try to assess how a referee would. In these circumstances, it would need indicators- two-footed is a good one – it suggests that the footballers entire weight is behind the challenge, rather than the necessary weighting. Like wise the height off the floor and the speed- both indicate that the player has come in too fast, unnecessarily so.

    There is also no way that a referee could assess whether a stud has contacted or the flat part of the foot has. I would think (as Walter suggests) they would go for the hard end of the stick and judge that ANY contact is likely to be dangerous- but as I said above, this is not relevant to the FAR beyond necessary aspect, this is relevant to the dangerous aspect, which are clearly separate.

    I appreciate that it’s not helpful, but the point is that far means far, it has to be at the very upper end of tackles that you see. As well as seriously dangerous. Simeon Jackson’s is a standard speed tackle, but is stupid and reckless and dangerous, therefore satisfying all the requirements for a yellow card, but not a red. (reckless has a very strict definition which indicates no intent above a certain level, but that’s quite complicated).

    Walter- could you do a rough translation of the relevant section? I’m sorry, I thought there was a post earlier where someone mentioned that the rules had been changed a few years ago, my mistake.

    It is precisely in order to protect the player’s legal positions. It is dangerous to give a red card as a referee where a player’s livelihood is potentially at stake- I predict the shit will hit the proverbial fan on player’s rights soon, much like with the Bosman saga…

    What do you think about my panel fact Walter?

  • Adam

    @Canary, Good luck for the future, I think you are going to need it.
    Please remember every time you hand out a yellow card for a challenge like Jackson’s you are stating to the rest of the players on the pitch, that they will only get booked for a similar challenge (hence the 23 challenges, hoped you would be smart enough to work that out, obviously not). You may get away with your “pre-emptive strike” method with kids or amateur football. But take it up a couple of levels and I guarantee the players wont give a shit about your “pre-emptive” methods. You as an official mean nothing to paid players, your just an obstacle in the way of there objectives.
    I stand by my comments, that I believe you have a view that is damaging to football.
    Sorry if my grammar is not up to the same standard as yours, In my final years of state schooling I was allowed to leave school a lot to pursue other interests. Something I do regret.
    As for the injury list, What do you want me to do, post proof to you.
    As for.
    I doubt you will have the good grace to either reply or accept that you’re wrong.
    But if you do, try to be sensible/intelligent/insightful,please.
    “moronic”, “despicable sort of father”, “you’ve been so dense”, “you are clearly of substandard intelligence”.
    Thankyou so much for your sensible, intelligent and insightful comments they mean alot to me, and im very grateful you took the time.

  • Canary

    By the way, there are 21 other players on the pitch, not 23. I hoped you’d be smart enough to realise that.

  • Canary

    In fairness to you, Adam, you have a point about me being childish in kind. I withdraw the comments about your intelligence and apologise unconditionally.

    I would ask you to read through my clear analysis of the legal position of any challenge which is HIGHLY relevant to a footballer’s career. It’s very complicated, but unfortunately something that referee’s have to bear in mind. They can’t just hand out red cards because they feel a challenge was a little dangerous and the home fans are upset about it. It has to actually stand up to scrutiny.

    You may also be interested in my point about the suspicious relationship between the FA and the referee reviewing panel.

  • Adam

    Jesus christ Canary the 23rd would be the sending off by your standards.
    Look, we disagree, I can except that to a point, But it sounds like officiating is something you want to pursue, Im trying to convince you that, what you have stated is not a dangerous tackle is in fact dangerous. Forget who made the challenge. Can a player sliding in from behind gaurentee the other players safety. No he cannot, hence dangerous.

  • Canary

    Adam- I have said many times that it IS dangerous. A dangerous tackle is awarded a yellow card.

    I have never denied it is dangerous.

    Read my posts.

    What I have said is that it doesn’t satisfy the definition of a red card.

    A red card requires two things:
    (1) Dangerous
    (2) FAR beyond the necessary amount of force.

    It is the second aspect that is the only one which is in dispute- as Walter has stated above, these amendments to the rules were made to satisfy the legal situation. Footballers are employees as much as the next worker and have rights which need protecting.

    The “far beyond” is a complicated legal point. But this is something that referees have to bear in mind. The speed of Jackson’s challenge, but also the height and the fact it was single-footed indicate that it doesn’t come close to far beyond. I appreciate you don’t like it, but dose dem roolz.

  • Adam

    Next they will have to conform to Hasawa74. Seems somewhat of a side step. Look Canary this is the sort of inconsistency football can do without. I and others want tackles such as Jackson’s punished with a straight red. You and others see it as a booking. Either view sees something wrong with the tackle. Just outlaw it, Don’t take the risk of interpretation.

  • Canary

    You see this is the problem Adam. The rules are actually designed to promote consistency. (I think you’ll find football clubs already have to abide by the HSWA actually)

    The problem is, by it’s very nature, playing football is dangerous. I did my ACL the second time playing football- it wasn’t a bad tackle. Maybe a little reckless, but it would have been harsh to give the guy a yellow card (given that it was a group of mates it wasn’t even getting that…)

    What you have to remember though, is what you want is not what the rules state, and unless you change the rules, it won’t be classed as a red card.

    If you ban that sort of tackle completely, however, we will rapidly have a non-contact sport and the rules are designed such that it remains a contact sport. If you want non-contact, I can understand. There is sense in it. But it would change the game completely.

    I would also reiterate that these are professionals- their careers and reputations are on the line. It has to be fair and just, taking into account all the factors. This necessitates complicated rules. Sagna opened himself up to a lawsuit with his press release btw…

  • Canary – none of us agree with you, we never will no matter how many times you reiterate it.

    We have discussed it, we disagree – now stop being a troll.

  • Adam

    You miss interpret the rules.
    A player who plays in a reckless manner must be cautioned.
    This is a minimum punishment. It does not state
    A player who plays in a reckless manner must only be cautioned.
    They are the minimum punishments a ref can give.
    Quetion for you Canary. Could Jackson have injured Koscielny?

  • bjtgooner

    I came to the conclusion quite some time ago that corresponding with Canary was unfortunately not worth the effort. No matter what logic is put to him he will reject it and pretend he is continuing a logical debate. If he was in a room by himself he would probably still start a fight. I don’t know if he is an AAA sewer rat, mentally challenged or a troll, either way he is wasted space.

  • Adam

    People have to realise that it’s people like Canary that will try to be a pro ref. I see the mentallity, It needs directing or will become dangerous(in refereeing terms). They get fixated on the terminology within the rules and miss the objective of the rules which is to prevent injury and protect the integrity of the sport.
    Serious Foul play.

    A player is guilty of serious foul playif he uses excessive force or brutality against an opponent when challenging for the ball when it is in play.

    A tackle tat endangers the safety of an opponent must be sanctioned serious foul play.

    Any player who lunges at an opponent while challenging for the ball from the front, from the side or from behind using one or both legs using excessive force and endangering the safety of an opponent is gilty of sreiou foul play.

    Advantage should not be applied in situations involving serious foul play unless there is a clear subsequent opportunity to score a goal. The referee must send off the player guilty of serious foul play when the ball is next out of play.

  • Adam

    “Using excessive force” means that the player has far exceeded the necessary use of force and is in danger of injuring his opponent.
    A player who uses excessive force must be sent off.
    What people with the outlook that canary has will ignore is “Danger of injuring”. nowhere else in the describing of Careless/reckless/using excessive force has the term “injuring” been mentioned. You do not have to cause injury to get sent off just the high possibillity of causing injury. I was hoping to sway his thoughts but it seems to me that only a bad injury to a player might change his mind. Its worrying cause he shows the same mentallity as some of the refs we moan about.

  • Gord

    I think there are conflicting ideas at play here.

    Some people foul with the minimum amount of effort and force required. It would be an unusual circumstance that would see them foul someone in a manner which results in a short-term injury. Long term injuries would be almost unheard of.

    Some people typically foul with more force than is necessary, because they want the opponent to start “hearing steps”. These kinds of players typically don’t have the skill, and can only be competitive by cheating. And yes, there are probably exceptions.

    Some people want to inflict damage. In the old days they would file their studs (which is why all shoes are checked). But today, you could just as easily see them in martial arts classes, learning what the various striking parts of the body are, how to use them, what angle to approach contact from, and so on. These people will never satisfy Canary’s definition of excessive force, and yet they are among the people that need to be ejected.

    Some people are big and strong. They may not intend damage to anybody. But just because they are on the field, they can do tremendous damage to people. I know this type intimately, I’m one of them. Just average height, but when I was last playing, I was a bit over 100 kg. My 1RM bench press was 400 pounds. I used to do 6 sets of 110 reps on the 45 degree leg press at 400 pounds. If I “had” to collide with someone, my intention was to put my chest into their shoulder or back. Less chance of hurting someone. But, over the years I did hurt a few people. Heskey is much taller than I am, but he is the same player. He has to be careful to keep from hurting people.

    And there are probably others to look for.

    What is bad varies from place to place. When I played, there were people two foot tackling with their second leg at knee height. You can cripple someone with those tackles. South America apparently has a couple of favorites: coming down with a single stud on the edge of the instep of the foot, and reaching around the person and squeezing the Adam’s Apple. The UK was rumoured to have a lot of punches to the kidney. There are probably lots of other local variations.

    Nobody plays the game to get injured, let alone crippled for life. Or occasionally, die.

  • Gord

    I just seen this on the BBC site. 29 year old forced to retire due to knee injury. I don’t know the circumstance of the injury, but a foul wouldn’t be unheard of.

    Looking at the PA commentary for the BBC, I don’t see a reason for him to have been hurt. Either he did it to himself in a foul at 12 minutes, or some unreported incident is involved. He was substituted at 31 minutes.

  • Gord

    @ideas and offtopic

    I occassionally run across offtopic stuff, some more off topic than others. I try to find where to put it among current topics, sometimes there is no good answer. At other times I run across unusual news about Arsenal. Again, it is usually offtopic to whatever threads seem to be active.

    I see you have placeholders for various classifications of threads, would it be possible if every day (you are close to UTC, pick UTC=0 as the time) some program spawns a news thread. And if we find news items, we post them there. If we find items we think the UntoldArsenal Media people are interested in, there is an autogenerated thread to stick that in. If we find stuff that we think might be interesting to some, but still hasn’t found a home, have an autogenerated OffTopic thread. And by all means, prune it if things get out of line.

    Finally, I would like to suggest a geek thread, where however few of us are here, can ask things about software to write or use that will make the business of this blog work better. The geeks in Untold Arsenal isn’t limited to DogFace and myself. There are at least a couple of others. Doesn’t have to be daily, monthly would work just fine.

    Just an idea. Probably worth all of the $0.00 you paid for it. Or at least one hopes so.

    As sort of something to look at, Groklaw has News Picks, which I gather is derived in some way from what people suggest in the threads.

  • Gary

    I have played football for many years also have been coaching children for the past 6 years and I am also a qualified referee, I sat and watched this game and the decisions made by the referee to be fair were awful, to quote “canary” excessive force ? It is not only down to excessive force it is also down to intent, if excessive force is used it is a cautionable or sending off offence same as intent, did he intend to play the ball or player ? As is obvious from the replays intent was was there but not to get the ball this is a straight red card. Referees need help especially at top level football as the games are played at a very fast pace and can change ends within seconds, it is impossible to cover the amount of ground required to be able to give the correct decisions at all times.

  • @Gary – as a qualified referee would you be interested in joining the team to review the odd game (fill in a spreadsheet) next season – it would be great if you were not an Arsenal fan, but if you are then we still need help with all the non-Arsenal matches.

  • Gary

    @DogFace, yes mate will be pleased to help out. I am an Arsenal fan 🙂 best team in the land.

  • onwards and upwards for the ref review team!