This article is part of the series : REFEREE REVIEW 2012
By DogFace and Walter Broeckx
Untold Arsenal has a team of qualified referees who have reviewed more than 40% of the EPL games from last season. The reviews themselves were based on full match video footage with the advantage of video technology features such as slow motion and pause.
By reviewing those 155 games we have made a database of more than 7000 decisions that have been judged by our panel of dedicated and qualified referees.
The numbers you will see are based on those decisions and those reviewed games.
Phil Dowd is the next ref in line in our reviews. And if ever a test had to be made on judging the quality and the bias of our reviewers this ref would be the proof of our reviewers being biased or not.
The reason for this is that since that day in Newcastle 2 seasons ago we just started hating him for showing such an extreme bias against Arsenal that it really got too nasty. So how would our reviewers judge him the season after? Would we be open minded and just judge the decisions? See for yourself.
We did 12 games from Phil Dowd last season and that was just under 43% of his games. So a respectable score all in all and a good way to see how he was last season.
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And remember this current season we will even have more numbers as we seem to manage to do all the games so far this season on our new website.
Let us see how he scored in the competency numbers
BLIMEY!!!! WHAT A SCORE!!!!! Our ref reviewers found that this ref managed to have a score of more than 80% correct decisions. 81.62% to be exact. That is an extra ordinary number. And this was given by a site where the reviewers were known for there Arsenal allegance and thus we could have expected to be very biased against Dowd. Not such a thing. We reviewed him fair and this is the result. An extra ordinary high score.
And if we put weight on the decisions we see that he even then scores higher than 80%. This is simply amazing stuff.
Let us have a look at the different type of decisions.
I will for once start with the red card decisions. A score of 0% correct. At first sight this looks bad. And for those who still hate him for the Newcastle game a reason to say: see he is useless. But if you check the little numbers below you see that he only had to make 3 red card decisions in the 12 games we reviewed! That is very low. And the reason can be found in the rest of the numbers.
The goal decisions are lower than the league average. And they coincide with the offside decisions. Who also are much lower than the league average. I will not even mention 99% correct decisions from Mike Riley. Well I just did.
I know that he gave a few goals after bad mistakes from his assistant referees. He is not really at fault for those decisions but they come on his score sheet. Because well that is the way we work.
Then take a look at his other decisions. A score of 83% is very high.
And if you look at his penalty decisions… a score of 80% correct. Now we are talking about a ref who can make good decisions in the penalty box. This is a minimum score I would like to see with all the refs in fact.
So that is 4 different decisions type well above 80% correct.
And the yellow cards drop a bit but a score of more than 71% correct cards is something most refs can only dream of.
And the low number of red cards decisions is just down to the fact that in the games we reviewed Dowd made it clear from the first minute of each game that he wouldn’t accept much crap from the players. And thus the players obliged and made sure that he didn’t get the chance to give red cards.
After the high numbers on competency we move on to the home and away bias.
And then we see a bit a few things. Despite Dowd making few mistakes it is clear that when he made a mistake it contained some bias. The away teams suffered more wrong decisions than the home teams. So if you want to say something bad of Dowd you can say that he looked to be a home ref last season. Maybe not that far away from the truth…?
If we put weight on the decisions we see the same numbers with a big negative bias against the away teams and a positive bias for the home teams.
But the good thing is that he made few mistakes.
Let us see at the different teams and see if we can find much bias in those numbers.
We had 12 teams involved in his games in total. We can say that Arsenal, Chelsea and Everton are clearly not his favourite teams. Or in other words those teams suffered most when he made mistakes. And on the other side it was Manchester United, Manchester City and Norwich who gained most from his mistakes.
A bit strange that Manchester City got so many things going their way together with United.
We also should mention that 6 teams of the 12 had a rather small bias score from Dowd in the games we reviewed.
Let us have a look when we put weight on the decisions
The first thing we notice now is that we only have 4 teams left with a small bias score.
Arsenal are on the wrong end a lot as is Chelsea, Wigan and Everton.
With the teams who got the decisions in their favour we see that Norwich, Manchester United and Manchester City are rather close together in their bias score.
Our reviewers have proved that they did not look at the name of the ref to give their score. That is maybe the most important conclusion and I want to give credit to our reviewers for this.
It will be a big shock for many who have followed us in the last years. And those who know how we slaughtered Dowd after his game in Newcastle on that terrible day. But as a phoenix Dowd burned himself to the flames that day but he came back as a completely different ref the season after.
In a way this proves two things to me:
1. Dowd can be a great ref when he is determined to be a great ref. And he was determined to be a great ref. I have seen his body language in the games I reviewed. My other reviewers have noticed the same without us saying it to each other that much. This was a completely different Dowd. And he rightfully and deserved the high score he got in our reviews.
2. But those numbers prove that his day at Newcastle was maybe down to something very sinister. Something he will only know or something other people will know about. How could he sunk so low that day?
Maybe this was a moment that afterwards he questioned himself and asked to himself: will I be remembered for that day where I (for whatever reason) did what I did that day and loaded myself with shame? Or will I stop with the nonsense and do what I am supposed to do: be a good ref?
I think he chose for the last option. And when Arsenal related referees can judge him in an unbiased way like we did it shows that he had a great season and that our reviewers did the best possible job they could do.
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