This article is part of the series : REFEREE REVIEW 2012
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.
Next in our series we see how ref Probert did in the games we could review of him last season.
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We managed to review 40.91% of his total games in the PL. Not that far away from the 50% mark so should give us a clue on how he is as a ref. He can’t have been unlucky every time we reviewed him I think.
It was 9 games we could review and lots of different teams involved. He did 3 Liverpool games in this review. Let us see how competent he was in all the games we reviewed.
People who have followed this series before know that 70% correct decisions is the score you must get as a ref in other countries to keep yourself in the top league. Well in the un-weighted decisions Lee Probert surely didn’t make that 70%. He only manages to get a score of 67.10%. So not good at all.
And if we look at weighted decisions the score goes even lower. He then only gets a total score of 66.60% of the decisions correct.
Again I would like to point at the fact that in our reviews when we have serious doubt we give the decision to the referee. So in a way we are rather soft on the refs and then he still can’t make the 70% score… a rather poor score.
Let us now see at the different type of decisions we cover in our reviews
Well certainly one type of decisions are great! All the goal decisions in his games were correct. So that really is some good news. This is the score each and every ref should get in his games.
The offside decisions are slightly better than the league average but not really close to the 99% Mike Riley claims.
But then the good news stops. His correct score on the other decisions is only 62.85%. This is bad. This is the second worst score we have found this season. The worst score on this was Peter Walton. You know Walton who now is head of the referees in the USA. So where will Probert end up later on? This is a really bad score. What good is it to get a maximum score on the goal decisions whilst the rest of the game you just get it wrong all the time?
The penalty decisions are also not really what we should expect of a ref in the PL. Just over 54% correct. Not really a score that brings joy to my referee heart.
And one correct red card decision in the 8 he had to make… well this is in line with his score on the “other” decisions. Something we also saw when we looked at the numbers from Walton.
The yellow card decisions are also not something that makes us wild. Just over 56% correct.
So apart from the goal decisions, these are rather poor numbers.
Let us see if he had any home/away bias in the games we reviewed.
And yes he sure was a biased ref. His negative away bias against the visiting teams is much bigger than the league average. Giving the home teams the calls when he could.
And if we put weight on the decisions the trend remains the same. The away teams have a bad day on the field in general and the home teams get the calls most of the time.
So what do we have so far? Bad competency numbers overall, a home biased ref. Can it get even worse? Let us see how the different teams do when Probert is the ref.
We had 12 different teams in our review. And for 8 teams he was rather good in his bias. I mean that he had a low bias score with only small differences between both teams. So in fact he can be rather balanced. And this exposes the other results even more. Manchester United gets the calls a bit more than average. And West Bromwich Albion gets the negative calls a bit more than average.
And then we come to a team that for reasons only he will know is on his black list: Arsenal.
Arsenal only had Probert one game last season. And they will have been very happy that they only had him once. Last season and then we also noticed that Probert had a very negative bias swing against Arsenal. There sure seems to be a problem in his mind when he enters the field and when Arsenal is on the field.
Maybe he doesn’t like French? Or maybe he doesn’t like Wenger? Or maybe he didn’t liked it that the PGMOL had to apology for the fact that Probert wanted Wenger sent to the stands at Old Trafford when he placed himself on a platform in that famous pose? Ever since that day when Arsenal/Wenger cross the path of Probert we can see that he is clearly biased against Arsenal/Wenger. We have seen it at Wigan a year later and at Fulham last season.
There is clearly something going on and he is not able to do Arsenal games in an unbiased way. I am convinced that it is not that he has it in for Fulham or Wigan (not that I know specific) but he clearly does not want Arsenal to win when he is on the field. He was making a complete fool of himself in that game and thus making a fool of every ref in England at the same time.
Let us put some weight on the decisions.
And then again we see almost the same picture. But with some higher numbers for some teams. Lee “poor general decisions” Probert we could call him.
Now only 5 teams have what we can call an acceptable score. Chelsea joins the teams that are seeing some bad decisions. Sunderland suddenly gets some big calls in their favour. West Bromwich Albion and Manchester United are each others opposite.
And of course Arsenal is the one that stands out with Fulham the team that benefited from Probert and his grudge against Arsenal/Wenger.
The bias exposed in those games is unacceptable. And the fact that the PGMOL didn’t punish Wenger when he rightfully exposed Probert after the Fulham – Arsenal game for his comments on Probert show that even the PGMOL knew Probert was way out of order in that game. But no apology this time for Arsenal or Wenger for Probert and his behaviour.
This ref has got a competency score of below 70% so he is not fit enough to stay in the PL.
He is a home biased referee that doesn’t get the required score. That could be the short final conclusion.
However the fact that he has a grudge against Arsenal and more in particular against Wenger is something that is unworthy of a PL ref.
The Old Trafford incident can happen. Probert got it wrong according to Keith Hackett and Wenger got an apology. By the way the ref on the field was Mike Dean that day. More food for thought I would say. Hackett said that Probert and Dean failed to handle the situation properly. Since that day Arsenal can hardly win a game under Dean and Probert. Coincidence?
But as a ref you should get over it. Okay you made a bad decision at the time and the PGMOL didn’t back you. But as since that day Probert is shockingly against Arsenal in his games the PGMOL should take note and act. They should make sure that Probert nowhere gets near a field where Arsenal is playing a game.
Apparently he can’t control his emotions since that day (I don’t have any numbers of games before or incidents before the Old Trafford incident to be honest) against Wenger and/or Arsenal. And that is the worst part for any referee. Holding a grudge against a team or a manager should result in him asking not to be involved in a game with that team or manager. If he feels he cannot control himself he should ask not to be appointed for those games.
But he clearly didn’t ask for it and he gets the odd Arsenal game now and then. The PGMOL should know about that and if they didn’t know it until now they are negligent in their job. They should have noticed it. Hell, even I have noticed it for almost 2 years and I have written about it since the Wigan game. How the hell did the PGMOL not notice it as they should keep there eyes open for such things?
So Mike Riley, if you read this and have any decency left inside you must talk to Probert about this. You must confront him with this situation and tell him to stop his feud against Arsenal and Wenger and if he cannot do it you should demote him or never let him near Arsenal games in the future.
His competency numbers are clearly bad enough for getting demoted, so act or be part of the rubbish that Probert makes when he does an Arsenal game.
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