By Abdulaziz Alfarhoud (Follow me on Twitter @azizalfarhoud )


“Including all the penalties that refs denied to the Arsenal”

Two months ago I wrote an article about referees.  Now in this article I want to focus on Penalties that Arsenal should get and the ref denied it. I can talk about other teams & see how refs’ wrong calls helped them.  Call given for activities such as diving for penalties & the giving of offside goals (see West Brom’s first goal in the final match for example).  In fact I am sure if I would see all the other teams matches, I am sure they have more than 6 points from refs help.

Here are some analyses of how refs were corrupted and hindered Arsenal this season:

1)      Players collision without the ball:

A lot of times on this EPL season, we saw some bad tackles on Arsenal players where refs didn’t whistle for foul.  We even saw what amounted to a fight by players after which the FA didn’t even think about suspending the players!

There are many examples about bad tackling on Arsenal players such as Tiote of Newcastle  on Song and Baloteli’s tackle also on Song, the fight between Barton and Gervinho and how the ref sent off the innocent Gervhino while letting the guilty Barton stay on the field.  We also saw the FA give a 3 match suspension to Song after he stepped on Barton legs. Did we forget what Yaya Toure did to Mata & how the FA didn’t suspend him, allowing him to play against Arsenal the following week. Or Rooney’s elbow punch to a Wigan player last season.

We might also recall the ref at the Liverpool away match who didn’t give Liverpool players cards for their tackles, especially when Henderson deliberately hit Arteta so hard that he was rendered unconscious.  And we can’t forget the tackles during the Stoke City & Norwich games that the ref didn’t even blow for.

2)      Players dive against Arsenal for Penalties

A lot of players are trying to dive to get fouls or penalties, and in some Arsenal matches we saw how Suarez, Evra & Bale dived to get penalties.  I don’t know how refs gave them.  We should also not forget the imaginary penalty for Swansea against Arsenal when Dyer stepped on Ramsey’s leg & instead of giving a foul for Arsenal, the ref gave them a penalty!!

3)      Offside goals & penalties to Arsenal

On many occasions refs denied Arsenal penalties.  In fact I counted how many penalties Arsenal should have got: it was more than 20 penalties in the EPL this season & it surprised me that refs could give penalties to other teams and yet not some obvious ones to Arsenal.   Surprisingly, NO penalty was given for Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium this season.

Let’s focus on some matches. Arsenal lost against Blackburn 4-3, their 3rd goal that changed the game was from an offside position.  The ref denied a penalty after Scott Dann tackled Gervinho inside the box & gave Arsenal a foul instead.

In the Tottenham game, Van Der Vart had a yellow card, he used his hand in preparation to shoot the goal & he scored, after that he went to hug fans,  the ref didn’t see the handball & it was surprising that he didn’t book him a 2nd yellow card for going to hug the fans – which is technically an offence. Their 2nd goal came by long shot by Walker & on the replay we can see how Adebayour who was in offside position closed the view to Sezezney which means an offside goal.

In the Manchester City away game, Van Persie scored an onside goal and the Phil Dowd denied it as he said it was offside.  And there were two Penalties that the ref didn’t give to Arsenal. We should not forget what happened at the QPR away game when Mike Dean denied 2 real Penalties for Arsenal. Also in the Fulham game; instead of giving a yellow card for Zamora, the ref gave it to Djourou on the 81th minute of the game.  That wrong card changed the result to 2-1 to Fulham.  Or remember the Liverpool game at home, when they scored their 1st goal & it was offside, without forgetting how refs contributed to deny Arsenal many penalties in games such as at the Norwich & Stoke matches.

Here is a table with numbers of penalties that ref didn’t give to Arsenal this EPL season:

Arsenal player they Tackeld or Handball Result Against No
Ramsey 2-0 “Lose” Liverpool “H” 1
Gervinho “Givin Foul instead of PK” 4-3 “Lose” BlackBrun “A” 2
Walcott 3
Ramsey 4-0 “Win” Wigan “A” 4
Richard’s Handball 1-0 “Lose” Man City “A” 5
Ramsey 6
RVP 1-0 “Win” Man City “H” 7
Gervinho 2-1 “Lose” Fulham “A” 8
RVP 2-1 “Win” Aston Villa 10
RVP 2-1 “Win” Sunderland “A” 11
Ramsey 3-0 “Win” Wolves “A” 12
RVP 13
Handball 1-1 “Draw” Wolves “H” 14
Young’s Handball 1-0 “Win” QPR “H” 15
Barton’s Handball 16
Taiwo’s Handball 2-1 “Lose” QPR “A” 17
Taiwo’s Handball 18
Chamakh 19
RVP 0-0 “Draw” Chelsea “H” 20
Shawcros’s Handball 1-1 “Draw” Stoke “A” 21
Benayoun 22
Chamakh 3-1 “Win” Stoke “H” 23
Lappin’s Handball 3-3 “Draw” Norwich “H” 24
Koscielny 25
RVP 26
Rosicky 1-0 “Win” Everton 27

4)      Wrong calls came for Arsenal

The only wrong calls that gave Arsenal any benefit that I can recall was the Everton offside goal in the away match.  But we should not forget the same ref “Lee Mason” was the ref last year for the same match and gave an offside goal at Emirates stadium for Luis Saha.

I am not here to find excuse about how Arsenal lost some titles but I’m surprised because ref wrong calls are increased season over seasons & Arsenal didn’t get some lucky calls from refs like other top teams.  To show that there are a lot of problems with refs, there is the selection of Mike Dean for Arsenal, every time when Arsenal were on good winning record, they chose him and there are many examples of how he can turn a game: especially the QPR game.


36 Replies to “Dear Refs: WHY ARSENAL?”

  1. At Newcastle after the ref red-carded Gervinho he then booked Barton, but the significant difference is that Barton committed his foul whilst the ball was still in play, and whilst he was in the penalty area. The law of the game says that the only possible outcome is a penalty. No other option fits (although I accept there are far better qualified people than me out there to call me wrong). The referee gave a goal kick. Perhaps he didn’t know the rules, or overlooked the difficult ones, but that indisputable penalty denial probably cost us two points and a lot of morale.

  2. Thanks for compiling the list! Really a shocking number when you see it all in one place.

    How is the table ordered, though? It’s not chronological, so I had a bit of a hard time recalling some of the incidents.

  3. Tram, you are right about it and as a ref I know the rules.
    And then when you think about the fact that this ref Walton now is the head of the refs in the USA???!!!!!!!

    He should have been banned to lower league football after what he missed in the Newcastle-Arsenal game.

  4. Thanks for all comments i will respond to all of you later today 😉

  5. Walter,
    Can you imagine: Walton, Thierry and me in the same neighborhood. Yes, it’s true. And if I see him at the local delicatessen I’ll surely send your best wishes. 🙂

  6. You forgot the not given nailed on penalty when Gervinho was tripped in the penalty area early in the game against Fulham at the Cottage. The problem was that Gervinho just got up and shrugged it off. It wasn’t until Sky showed the replay that the pundits acknowledged it as an error by the officials.
    Compare Gervinho’s lack of reaction to a genuine penalty to Ashley Young’s trailing leg tricks followed by the dying swan.
    Who said honesty pays and cheats never prosper.
    Same old Arsenal, always cheated.

  7. I dont know why these error prone refs are getting away with murder.Until such time the Fa take action against these rs,Arsenal will fac a hard time winning the games and epl trophy.

  8. I’ve thought for years now that there’s been a vendetta against arsenal by the match officials, MOTD Dodos, Talk sh**e creeps.
    How can any team go a season without getting a penalty at home? It is impossible if you are Arsenal and spend most of the match in their half/penalty area.

  9. Why Arsenal?

    We have a lot of money and someone wants to get their hands on it. And the way we’re supposed to make the payment is through the transfer market.

    How’s that for a conspiracy theory?

  10. I think we should all remember that the PGMOL is an august institution representing the highest professional and ethical standards.

    This has been proven, because 92% of all important decisions are correct.

    The notion that Arsenal can have had 16 penalties at home, and perhaps the same number away, denied them by inept officiating, is clearly delusional.

    We must stop questioning the official versions of events, and fall into line like good sheeple.

    Where’s the kool-aid, pass me the kool-aid…

  11. What was the game, think it was at home, when the ref. gave TV a YC for a tackle that Koscielny made? That was so incompetent and the decision wasn’t even reversed in retrospect!

    Refs. in football are the worst in the world and in a game where a single goal means so much it makes no sense.

    In the NRL (Rugby League competition in Aus/NZ) they have a review system. Punishment for dangerous tackles are reviewed heavily and can be reversed. Refs. are subject to a review panel which has led to stand downs for shockers. Retroactive punishments for infringements not seen by the ref. and players accrue demerit points which leads to harsher punishment for repeat offenders (imagine what that would do to Barton or to persistent divers).

    The system is by no means perfect but the authorities try because they want to make the game as fair as possible. They’re trying to cut down ref. errors, unsportmans like conduct and dangerous play, and ensure that a try is a try and not a complete balls up. FIFA is a dinosaur of an organisation that operates like it has the intellect of one and the FA is its brain damaged cousin that gave birth to Foy, Dean, Clattenburg and WEBB! Urggh.

  12. @Abdulaziz I am a massive fan of this website and of course Arsenal too,and I understand where you have probably got the incentive to write this post(after untold’s excellent refwatch which I find original and innovitive,covering the top 6ish teams for every match). But to argue your case with a table that only shows the Arsenal stats for unfair calls without comparison to all the other teams seems to me to be a bit baseless. In point 3) quote ‘lets focus on some matches’.Of course I realize that untold does not have the resources to concisely cover refwatch for every game in the Epl but surely the point of analysis is to look at all the facts not just some that suit. I give credit to untold for allowing different people to blog their views but I now find myself concluding for the first time, that untold has posted something which many would perceive/argue that without a clear and complete breakdown/assessment of all games played in the EPL why bother posting something so inconclusive? Very un-Untold

  13. Until it can once be proven that some referees are in the pay of certain Clubs, there is little that can be done. The outcome of Walter’s reviews will continue to be denied by the PGMOL.
    In the case of the English game, it might be possible to have a detailed post mortem on random matches, under the auspices of the FA, always provided of course that the will was there to clean up officialdom. Even as I typed the last sentence, I just can’t imagine the FA admitting there is any need for such action.
    Back to a simmering drawing board…Grrrr.

  14. The level of refereeing in Premier League is much lower than in other top European leagues. Other sides found themselves on the wrong end of bad ref call ,,atselike Wigan or Tottenham just to name the few. Having said that , Arsenal are at a disadvantage because of the predominantly foreign squad. There is an English bias in the Premier League. Players like Paul Scholes are afforded an extra bad tackle or two before they get sent off. Jamie Caragher nearly dismantled Nani’s knee with his studs, stayed on the park. Eduardo dives and he is a dishonest foreigner , Ashley Young does the same and he ‘s just lost his balance . Gallas lost his cool after Birmingham loss and it’s a lack of leadership and character . Jamie Caragher lost his cool and shoved his teammate and all English pundits said it was a sign of character and leadership

  15. I think d FA should restructure how refs are trained and plcked the error 4rm them is really getting uncalled for

  16. @Seagoon – I already mentioned Gervinho penalty on the table

    @Ross – the game was against QPR

    @Rog B – this isn’t my 1st article here but there are other top clubs didn’t take any penalty on their Home this season, Unbelievable Arsenal didn’t get penalties in EPL at Home

    @Tom W – agreed with u on Bias issue

  17. this as always is complete rubbish. you always say we were not given this or they were unfairly given that. You, like any fan are clearly bias. We have had some clear penalties turned down but we have also had our players avoid red cards which were blatant and penalties that should have been given against us not given.

    This sort of conspiracy theory nonsense does nothing for our club. Do you really think the whole structure of english football is against arsenal for some reason? Why? oh wait I know why because it is a convenient excuse for some of or problems of our own making.

    Maybe the grass isnt long enough or the pitch is too poor?

  18. North South bias maybe.

    The only other club that got no penalties at home were the Spuds.

    The top two teams with the most penalties Man U with 9 and man City with 8.

    And only one Prem ref out of 17 comes from south of Warwickshire whilst whilst almost half (8 of them) come from the North West of England. No coincidences there then!!!

  19. Finally I find an article to back up what i’ve been harping on about all season! It is outrageous that we were given ZERO penalties at home – its even more scandalous when you look at the stone-wall ones we’ve had denied us and massively important ones too. As you say it doesn’t mean we would have won the league or anything but then you can never know that for sure. Luck is a powerful weapon to have on your side – just look at Chelsea! NEVER in a million years should they have won the Champions League – look at the stats. The number of shots on goal Napoli, Barca & Bayern had against them without scoring is miraculous!
    And I will forever blame that little scum-bag Joey Barton for derailing our season from the off, Joey Barton and Peter Walton the imbecile in Black (that week!)!
    I remember that game like it was yesterday – Gervinho, who had had a great pre-season, ghosts into the box and is caught on the ankle – goes down – perhaps a bit theatrically but it was a foul and a penalty. The ref gives nothing and play continues. The Mr Barton (while the ball is in play) grabs Gervinho by the shirt and drags him up for a bit of eyeballs. THIS IS A FOUL as the ball is in play and so we should have been awarded a penalty. Instead Mr Walton does nothing and the scuffle escalates and Gervinho raises his hand and BArton hits the deck like a little girl leading to Taylor making the outrageous claim that Gervinho elbowed him.
    So we deserved a penalty for the original challenge – Not given
    We deserved a challenge for Barton’s “foul” on Gervinho while ball was in play – Nothing given
    Instead of being a goal up and Barton yellow carded we have Gervinho red carded and a 3 match ban and then Song gets a 3 match ban for seeking retribution later in that match. The result is a 0-0 draw, a bad start made worse when we lose to Liverpool next game due to us missing Song & Gervinho, then we lose Frimpong and we have a massive up-hill struggle when the season has barely begun.
    Rant over!

  20. More on the subject of the Arsenal penalty injustice – I love Wenger but I truly believe he is a contributing factor in this. He is far too accepting of referee errors and injustice in general. His oft used line “we have to take it on the chin” is a meek acceptance in the face of massive injustice.

    I detest Sir Alex Ferguson but he knows how to play the media to help his team. If Mau U are denied a penalty the whole country will know about it and it will be analysed for days because he makes a bit issue of it. In my opinion this makes referees more wary about NOT giving Man U a penalty.

    I love that Arsene is respectful and shows class week in week out but I also want our team to be treated fairly and I think Wenger needs to have a good old moan about the dodgy decision we are on the end of and I really do think if the press and fans are talking about it the ref’s will obviously hear and will think twice next time.

    At the end of the day it is far too easy for ref’s and linesmen to give a decision against Arsenal because they know there will be little or no fall-out. We are a “little” team in that respect and it’s Wenger’s responsibility and his job to change that.

  21. The Norwich van persie penalty shout was the one which convinced me that there must be something going on. Its just too consistent to be mistakes every time and that one would normally be shown in a referee video to show what a stone wall penalty looks like. It couldn’t have been a dive because he was on the line!!! A review board is needed and it must be independent from the FA and not former refs. AW does need to start saving his rants for the media and official channels as the outbursts during the game are not helping our case as it makes a mockery of what are very important decisions. Keep in mind this is an organisation which can’t even sort out goal line tech let alone a video ref which is what is really needed for serious misconduct and I think with the big screens it doesn’t have to delay the game too much. In uncertainty theres always the chance of foul play.

  22. Is there anything to do with the technology use that Wenger keeps fighting for???

  23. @Gooner49: Don’t be such naive. How can you compare AW with Rednose? Don’t you know how many games ban will AW get if he say anything that “touch” the ref? Didn’t you see how many games ban he got for virtually doing nothing? The only one who CAN say something like “I don’t know why he (the ref) is chosen” or “I don’t know why he (the ref) can be here in the EPL” is the ugly one with that big REDNOSE, because no one dares to touch The Lord of Cheating. That’s it!

    @Gary: Just tell me what’s your real name? Lee Probert?

  24. As I said before, if Arsenal were given all of our deserved penalties, we would have been champions this season. And without their invented penalties, Man Urine would have been somewhere at mid table. But that is just like saying “If there is no moron who always denies to see the obvious truth, my life would be much better”, err?

  25. Good job onthe stats.
    I think Arsene should learn from Ferguson and other English managers to get the players to roll around a bit more when tackled, especially in the box.
    The other stats you may consider doing is the different treatment between foreign and English players. When one watched games often enough you could see the obvious favourable treatment English players get, Maybe, being English they could banter with the ref. Also, the TV pundits bias towards English players is not helping.

  26. Let me know when Mike Dean or any other one of those biased refs intend to make a holiday in SEA … I leave no stone unturned to arrange a kind of same “fair” treatment on their holiday as they have blown the whistle ‘fairly’ …
    All I can do from here …

  27. I think this article is going overboard a little. Even ManUnited got only 11 penalties this season with 3 against.

  28. In the Bolton game,the Stoke forward scored the 2nd goal. Analysts were of the opinion that the goal shd not have been given. Poor Bolton were relegated and in terms of money lost is significant.
    Until The FA takes action against such blundering officials,teams have no recourse but to take this on the chin. Arsenal have suffered at the hands of these incompetent officials.
    That is why for the gunners to win the epl will be very tough.In the cl,there are few such blunders. I know such blundering mo have been relegated to the lower league but it aint good enough.How is the FA going to compensate Bolton for the financial loss?Relegating the official is just a slap on the wrist. He shd be sacked.Only when such guys are axed will we see better refereeing.

  29. The FA can but doesn’t want to do anything about it. Players get retrospective bans for fouls and violent conduct that went unnoticed during play. Surely some kind of penalty should be awarded to referees whose extremely bad calls affect the outcome of a game, especially an important one. Views please?

  30. Gary,
    Did you get your envelope yet from Micky R, for spelling the word “rubbish” correctly? That’s two syllabus. Impressive. Do you get paid by the syllable? I’d make it a demand in your next chat.

  31. nicky,
    it’s not a post mortem on “random” matches that’s in the works here. as you must know, the review will be forthcoming on a lot of this season, and a comparison to last season. so why despair about “random” matches. the work by walter and his ref team is much broader and better publicized than that. chin up, mate. pebbles tossed into a pond can sometimes cause happily unexpected results. 🙂

  32. we can go on and on……… BUT reffs are humans too. The game is getting faster, and therz a limit to human adaptability. I think a football version of Decision Referral System should be introduced.

  33. I don’t recall it right now, but probably as many as a half of the situations Abdulaziz is talking about were actually quite contentious. If a ref isn’t 100% sure about a situation, he can step down and let it go. It’s often 50-50 and some players can be quite devious, making use of the fact that, e.g., the ref’s behind them and can be made to believe there was a trip ahead.
    As for the rest, many of those were obviously blatant right-on-the-nose events (Barton red & penalty, yes Sir!). I’m always on the “it’s not a conspiracy” side, but I can definitely say that the pattern is there. In my opinion it results from Wenger not being a Fergie (little real media pressure on the refs), Arsenal doing Barca (lots of passes and “soft” “non-English” style, so the refs think their “sissies” to fall down too easily), but most of all from a failure of the reffing system. Other teams also get many wrong calls in their faces, less than Arsenal, but still. It’s a malfunction rooted in the unchanging approach to reffing. As long as there’s so few officials on and around the pitch, the mistakes will be there. FIFA, UEFA, and FA need to come up with a scheme to introduce double referee teams. The refs currently working for the FA often can’t keep up with the game, and when they can, they rarely know the rules well enough. So, apart from having more of them at a game, it would also be useful to get a review panel put all refs to examinations every round (pre-season and mid-season). And finally, of course, there should be an actual game review panel, not just an overpaid spin doctor who’ll tell us how good the refs are at doing their job.
    Otherwise the “respect” campaign will remain a sad joke.

  34. I was wondering how refs are appointed games. Is it done before the season kicks off, or is it done ad hoc during the season? And how is it that some refs have more games than others?
    Something is really very wrong with the whole setup.

  35. Why indeed.
    Debateable Decision website has Arsenal receiving the benefit of only 7 out of 25 debatable decisions last season-consistent with this data.
    What seems significant to me about DD is that Stoke City are out on their own at the top of the league- with not only far more debatable decisions-37 in total but only 8 against them. Given that Stoke play muscular set piece football (putting it politely)- and Arsenal don’t- does this not point in the direction of the refs bending over backwards to give the benefit of the doubt to those that play a traditional style of muscular English football and conversely with an antipathy towards foootballing teams like Arsenal.
    If Arsene Wenger does have a compiled list of bad decisions- why doesn’t he take it to the PL and publicly ask for an explanation? It is important to know what advice is being given to referees by the PGMOL.

  36. Shocking numbers…. Arsenal has been ignored in many ref’s decisions. Wrong penalties, offside and dives by other players costed Arsenal a lot of points in the title race. Most of us know that the level of referees in the EPL is very low. The FA should look for more professional referees. EPL is the best league in the world, so it’s our right to demand for the best referees.

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