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July 2021

REFEREE REVIEW 2012: Jonathan Moss


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.

After a little break in our ref review summary we now continue with the referees.  The first ref we take a closer look at is Jonathan Moss. But allow me to that at this moment that this review may not seem relevant.  But I would ask that you look at it as a way of introducing the way we reviewed the referees and their performances. I will try to explain the numbers as clearly as possible.

Jon Moss
Jon Moss

First of all we have 18 of such referee reviews. We start with the refs for whom we have done the fewest games. And when we enter the top 10 it will become a bit more interesting as we will try to award a prize at the end. Yes the last review we will announce the referee that our referee reviewers found the best of them all. This will be based mostly on the numbers of correct decisions and combined with the smallest bias index.   In short, the UNTOLD REFEREE of 2011/12.

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Let us start now at the beginning.

Untold Vs PGMOL - JonathanMoss 2011/2012

We only reviewed 1 game from Jonathon Moss in the last season, simply because Moss mostly got the lower placed teams in his games and rarely got a top team in his games.   Now for referees who are rather new to the league this is a normal procedure.  Given his age however, it is rather strange to bring in a ref in the top division when being over 40. But the PGMOL runs its own mysterious ways.

One game reviewed means we only did 9% of his games in the PL. So keep this in mind when we look at the numbers. It could have been a good day or a bad day. But we cannot draw real conclusions about him based on this game. We will do it for the sake of explaining things a bit, and for completeness – after all it would be strange to do a full review of the referees we saw, but then leave one or more of them out.

At the right hand side you can see all the games he did in the PL. Notice that each team involved is counted as 1. So you can see that Swansea has seen Moss the most with 4 times and Wolverhampton has seen him 3 times last season.

At the bottom of the right hand side you see the game(s) we have reviewed of this ref. In this case it is clear it was the game Aston Villa – Arsenal.   Obviously some referees we saw over and over again – but as I say, not in this case.

Now let us see at his basic competence in this game.

PGMOL Vs EPL - Basic Competency - JonathanMoss 2011/2012

And look at that score! A correct decision score of more than 86%! That really is a great score. It really is  a terrible shame that we couldn’t review him more to see if this was a fluke or to confirm he is a good ref. Please enlighten me if you remember any bad games from him or big mistakes.

If we put weight on the decisions, the numbers drop a bit. But with a score of 83.72% correct decisions he has a very good score.

People who have followed us over the years know that in other countries a ref can only stay in the top when he has a weighted score of 70%. Based on these numbers Jonathan Moss can stay in the PL.

Let us see at the different type of decisions.

PGMOL Vs EPL - Basic Competency Breakdown - JonathanMoss 2011/2012

  • And it will be no surprise to see that the numbers are good.
  • 100% of the goal decisions were correct.
  • 100% of the offside decisions were correct.
  • With the other decisions he almost gets a score of 89% correct decisions. A really great result I would say.
  • In his game he did miss one penalty. He made one correct penalty decision, but he missed a second decision.
  • He had to give one red card and nobody could complain about that decision as it was a correct one.
  • When it came to the yellow cards he made one mistake on the 4 decisions he had to make.

But all in all very good numbers apart from the penalty decisions.

Let us now enter the bias zone of this ref.

PGMOL Vs EPL - Incorrect calls Breakdown - JonathanMoss 2011/2012

As this is a one game review we can see that this is based on 30 decisions and only 4 wrong decisions.

And then we see that all the wrong decisions went in favour of the home team in this case. If it would have been over more games we could ask ourselves if the ref is a typical home referee? But I really can’t stick out my neck and declare such a thing. I leave this to refs whom we have covered more. A bias of +4 to the home teams could indicate such a thing. Of course the bias against the away team is also -4.

If we put weight on the numbers we see that the numbers go op to a +7 bias for the home team and a -7 bias against the away team. In these numbers you can see that getting one important decision completely wrong has a bit influence in the numbers of a ref.  In this case it was not giving a penalty for the away team (after he had given one correct in the first half) that caused him some bad points.

Let us now take a look at the different teams involved in the games we reviewed from Jonathon Moss.

EPL vs PGMOL - Incorrect calls Breakdown by Referee - JonathanMoss (Un-Weighted) 2011/2012

In the un-weighted decisions we see that the 4 mistakes he made all were against Arsenal. Of course these numbers just based on one game is similar to the bias graphic.  When we have more teams in this we can of course compare that with the “home and away bias” and see if there are any strange things to be seen.

I hope I will be able to explain this a bit more when we have more teams and more games in our reviews.

EPL vs PGMOL - Incorrect calls Breakdown by Referee - JonathanMoss (Weighted) 2011/2012

If we put weight on the decisions we see the same thing as in the weighted bias index numbers. In this case it mostly shows that our maths are correct.

All the wrong decisions went against the away team (in this case Arsenal) and the home team (Aston Villa) got the benefit of the decisions.


The only conclusion we can make is that we cannot make a conclusion on this ref. One game is not enough and would be unfair. If we were to do it I could say that Moss is a definite home ref who is biased against Arsenal. And that would be very harsh based on one game.

Or we could praise him in heaven for his high percentage score of correct decisions. But it could have been an easy game and he just maybe had a great day.

Based on his number of correct decisions we will give him the benefit of the doubt and we say that he can have his place in the PL for the season 2012-2013.

And hopefully when we can do more of his games we will know if he really is a good ref (or even a great ref) or if it just was a one off. And then hopefully we will be able to see if he is a home ref or that it just was a coincidence that his mistakes benefited the home team. In his advantage speaks that he gave a penalty for the visiting team and send a home player off the field. So it could have been a coincidence.

Taking all this in account I think Moss is not a bad referee at all. And I look forward to this coming season and hope he can confirm his overall correct decisions percentage and just work a bit on his wrong decisions and make sure they even out a bit.

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11 comments to REFEREE REVIEW 2012: Jonathan Moss

  • Reviewer02

    I remember doing this review very well, even the big decision Moss got wrong required detailed slow mo to clarify his mistake, it really was an outstanding performance. lets hope we we get to see some more of him so we can build establish some credible data

  • robl

    Hi Reviewer 02, first of all thanks for all your hard work, we appreciate it.

    Without wishing to cast aspertions on the good work you have done, would it not have been better to give the ref the benefit of the doubt and not deduct points where a slo mo was required that he had no access to?
    Thanks, Rob.

  • Charlie

    Keep up the good work. Don’t let this be brushed under the carpet, it’s time for detailed scrutiny of refs because your results show that they are having a major influence on results. Although robl makes a fair point about it being harsh to penalise a ref who would’ve needed a slo-mo it’s a black and white system where a decision is either right or wrong. I don’t think there’s room for benefit of the doubt in this analysis but to highlight that it was a tough call is a good precedent. Statistics never tell the whole truth which is why we need to include some discussion.

  • Stuart


    No, the point of this is to assess two things.

    Firstly if there is any bias (intentional or un-intentional) from the referees. The second is to see if the refs are capable of making the right decisions. If they can’t get it right then they need more help and giving them the benefit of the doubt defeats the object.

  • RobL

    Hi Stuart & Charlie, whilst I take your points on board, in reviewing a ref for his performance surely it should be as is – ie as there is no technology available to Mr Moss, he can’t be penalised for something he couldn’t possibly see?

    Any way as you say it was highlighted so we can take it into account ourselves.

  • Stuart


    We are kind of agreeing without realising. The entire referee structure can be criticised for being out dated and insufficient for the modern game!

    This is not to blame the ref, this is to say they need more help so that mistakes can’t happen.

  • WalterBroeckx

    I even remember this being one of the games where we had to make a vote. But my memory could be wrong on this.
    Not being able to see can be because of mainly 3 things.
    1. something behind his back. Then the ref has no blame and he could be giving his points.
    2. hundreds of arms and legs behind his correct position and the incident. The decision is still wrong so he gets no points. this is harsh on the ref but here comes the team work in to action. Assistants should take their responsibility.
    2. Ref being out of position and therefore not seeing it: this is a big mistake from the ref. Zero points even with the joker.

  • Reviewer02

    The way we work is application of the law, was it a right or wrong decision. we expect referees to make mistakes, and we expect them to even out in the end. Despite the mistakes in this game, which were very difficult to call, the referee still put in an outstanding performance.

    What this shows is that our methodology is good, and that it allows for human error. remeber that if we regard 70% as a good score then the ref has 30% of slack to play with. On this occassion John Moss was comfortabley inside that margin.

  • Jitty

    You guys should look him up on the Footbalisfixed blog


  • Matt Clarke

    Thanks guys – a great, gentle, introduction.

  • Reviewer02

    I was aware of the WBA stuff before i did the review (if that is what you are refering to)

    But i can only go on the performance he put in on the game I reviewed