Arsenal – West Ham : what can we expect from the ref?

By Walter Broeckx

As a few people were interested in my comments on the refs in previous games when we talked about the refs (and they did gave us plenty to talk about) I will try to add my referee part to the reviews if I can find the time.

Otherwise they say I talk with hindsight as with the case of Dean. But I thought I had bored you to death with me (and Dogface) warning you for him.

Yet apparently some people still didn’t know it. And some people telling me to talk after the game was a bit easy. It was but that is not my fault. That is more to do with what Dean has been doing again and again for years. But I could and should have warned you more before the game.

And I should have warned you also about the Atkinson-Chelsea combination.  A combination I also thought was well known. And we had it confirmed during the game by the official not being able to hide his bias and resulting in some very debatable goals for Chelsea.

So I will try to do this and if Tony doesn’t mind we can add this to our game preview articles. Not that I possess all the graphics Dogface has but if possible I will try to add a few. But don’t know if I can make it work!

So Andre Marriner it is for the game against West Ham United. 42 years old and should be in his top years. He only has 4 seasons left as a Fifa ref where they have an age limit of 45 and he is from Birmingham it seems. So an outsider for a derby game. Well it couldn’t be any other way as …well there are no London refs to be found.

So how do we usually fair under Marriner?  For those who like some graphics I will try to make it visible.


According to my numbers we have had him in 15 games in the PL so far. And we won 9 of those games, had a draw in 2 games and lost 4 of those games. So this gives us a win percentage of 60%. And that is a rather normal win % for Arsenal.

And the same thing we do now for West Ham and try to show you a graphic.

He has done 17 games when West Ham was involved and West Ham only won 3 of those games. That is far worse than their average win % this season but I think not that far off their usual record in the PL over the last years.

When it comes to penalties I have seen that he gave the same amount of penalties in our favour as against us and the same goes for West Ham.

In fact in our last year’s review he came out as one of the best refs in total. He had great competency numbers in general. A total of 75% of correct decisions was well above the average score of 70%.

And also his bias numbers were rather good. His home/away bias was almost the “normal” bias we found. And in the team bias we found many teams having no real positive or negative bias in the games we reviewed.

So the overall picture is of a ref who usually is not really biased. But who can have a bad game. One of those games was last years game between Blackburn – Arsenal. He gave an offside goal to Blackburn (assistant missed it) but he also didn’t give a blatant penalty for a foul from Robinson on Walcott in the last minute of the game. That cost him lots of points and gave him a rather negative Arsenal bias score. Some may also remember the game Arsenal – Liverpool two seasons ago with some late penalties being awarded in that game.

But in the other games he did when Arsenal was around I can’t remember much wrong. So I think it was more down to a bad day at the office.

So unless he has a bad day today I expect a referee who knows his rules and who will not try to tilt the game.

If you like it I will try to do this for each game. That is, if I can find the time. Because with the work I also do for the website where you can see a review each day of the week of a PL game coming online, I sometimes find a day should have more than 24 hours.

The books…

The sites…

81 Replies to “Arsenal – West Ham : what can we expect from the ref?”

  1. Yeah, I remember the Liverpool game where 12 minutes injury time was played when 8 was shown, and then first excuse to give a penalty against Arsenal and deny us a well earned victory, the referee obliged. Having said that, Marriner hasn’t got an image in my mind as being a regular agent of corruption, if you will. He does do it sometimes, but not every time. Will this be one of those times? We’ll see.

  2. The penalty decision was easy to give. Eboue should never have charged out. Had he stopped and blocked any attempt at a turn we would have seen that game out.

  3. Dominic,
    Agree that Eboue should have used his head more in that moment. But Eboue and using his head… in the same sentence 😉
    a case of too much passion I think…

  4. I’m no fan of Eboue but in fairness what do you do when you are behind an opposition player chasing the ball and , while not in control of the ball, that players stops? You can only run into him. The referee should have spotted it for what it was- cheating. But then that would mean he was doing his job and we cant have that can we?

  5. I remenber the Eboue incident and it was not close to being a genuine penalty. My memory must be failing in other respects, as I had thought that Atkinson was the referee.

  6. i don’t know how well it sits with you pre-empting a referees performance before we’ve actually played granted that we’ve seen dodgy refereeing case in point arsenal v newcastle 4-4..this analyzing feels like we’re looking for scapegoats if and when we loose matches,are we taking on the character of wenger? always whining at refs if things dont go arsenals way on the pitch..

  7. Well you can never please everyone 🙂

    If I talk after the game it’s not good.
    If I talk before the game (and we did this last season in another format) it’s not good.

  8. Edu,

    the ref is the most important player on the field. What happens when a player is send off? The game goes on. What happens when two players are send off? The game goes on. In fact you can send 8 players off and still the game will go on. Don’t get any ideas for tonight 😉

    But take the ref off the field….and the game is over. So he is the most important person on the pitch.

    And his performance is of absolute importance for the outcome of a game. Any game.

  9. The question should be, what can we expect from the team?

    Agree with Edu. The continual whining about refs reflects what sort of club we’ve become. You can see it in our manager who has become one of the sorest losers in the history of football.

    And yes there have been lots of bad decisions this season, look at old red nose in trouble again for his comments on an official. Wenger seems far too silent on this issue because as we know the more Fergie complains the more pliable refs become, at least that’s the theory many promulgate.

  10. Relax Rupert, it is not whining about refs, Walter has just put together a few facts BEFORE the game. But you contradict yourself in the second paragraph, so why bother too much…

  11. @ walter.,the ref wouldn’t have have a job to do if the teams dont show up..players should’t play to catch the refs eye but do thier best to implement tactics and strategies laid before hand for the team their playing against..the way i look at it the most important player is the on doing his job for his team.

  12. Could someone point me where I am whining about the ref?
    Damned I even thought I was praising the ref.

    Or is it just that you refuse to take any other thing in account apart from the manager?

  13. The question should be what can we expect from Wenger and the team? All I care about is if the team gets its shit together because nothing less than 3 points will do.

  14. true i’m focused on wenger a wee bit too much,the way things are going for the moment the ref. is the least of my worries..
    i insist play the game not the ref.

  15. If the ref sends off the same player almost each time he does a game of our team he should be a worry
    If the ref gives a penalty almost each time he does a game of our team he should be a worry

    And again I ask: where am I whining about Marriner?

    Or is it forbidden to speak about the ref?

  16. both of chelsea goals are debatable but it doesnt happen at every those games we’ve lost hands-down who do you analyze then the team,coach,board,FA,UEFA,FIFA who?..

  17. I think there is a new kind of tactic doing the rounds. As today I came on another blog and I noticed that people told the writer to not write about this.
    It was an article that wasn’t doom and gloom.

    By accident I now see that people tell me not to write about this.

    Now of course this could be a coincidence but as the author on that site wrote: we publish what we want to publish. No need to tell me/us to say what we can write about or not.

    So you can say that you disagree with me and think Marriner is the worst ref ever to have set foot on any PL field and come up with numbers you have found or put together. Or you can come up with numbers saying that Marriner is the best ref in the world and has never made a mistake. That would be a bit on topic.

    But telling us/me that we cannot write about it (or anything else for that matter) is a bit silly.

    We have a various range of articles about all kinds of things in relation with Arsenal and football in general and that is what makes us untold. And I think Tony will try to keep it untold till it is told by Untold.

    And last time I checked refs are part of the football world and as we write about football we are entitled to write about refs.

  18. Walter
    Arsenal has a 60% win rate with Mariner while Westham have 17%.
    If we get a dodgy decision today and, we you say Mariner is “sponsored” by Wenger and the board?

  19. For those moaning the game preview has been published.
    The most serious of reviews ever. And with some amazing tactical innovations. I think.

    Ah well, it will probably be just a bit of rubbish…

  20. re: “I think there is a new kind of tactic doing the rounds. As today I came on another blog and I noticed that people told the writer to not write about this.
    It was an article that wasn’t doom and gloom.

    By accident I now see that people tell me not to write about this.

    Now of course this could be a coincidence but as the author on that site wrote: we publish what we want to publish. No need to tell me/us to say what we can write about or not.”

    Since you have given little information about the other article on the other blog (besides “not being doom and gloom”) assuming it’s a ref (or some other external factor affecting our state current or future) article, it’s unsurprising that fans are increasingly having little time for this.

    It’s not a new kind of “tactic”, or that these fans are AAA or whatever, it’s the increasingly more and more fans (yes they are true AFC fans) realize that much of the problems the club is facing from a sporting point of view are self inflicted (and not just money matters, but even tactical etc) and are within the club’s power to start rectifying or regardless of the rich kids on the block, if the will is there to address them.

    More and more people want serious discussions about our problems (with the aim of finding solutions wherever they lie) as opposed to saying we’re fine if it weren’t for the; refs, media, FA/UEFA/FIFA, rich clubs, greedy players, disloyalty, injuries, the weather, poor pitches, TV scheduling, being jaded, internationals, stadium debt, FFP not yet implemented, goal posts perhaps not being regulation size, the very fans themselves not giving the players belief, etc etc etc etc.

    At what point does the club, (and UA) start to take even the merest of serious curious looks internally as to how we (AFC) have contributed to our own problems, and what we (AFC) can do within our power (regardless of others) to try to solve the issues to the best of our own ability and resources.

    Everything can’t always be someone else’s fault for so long, and I simply think more fans are simply seeing that now, as opposed to it being some “new tactic” .

    And this article just smacks of a preemptive excuse should we not do well today (personally I see a comfortable 2 goal margin win for AFC), even though the article’s analysis supports that it’s WHU that should be more worried about any “ref bias”.

    Additionally, I think as football fans first, more simply want to talk about the actual playing on the field, be it negative or positive, and not all sorts of nefarious evil plots so expertly planned to coincide to conspire against specifically Arsenal Football Club.

    I enjoy this blog, as I do pretty much every other AFC blog regardless of slant, however, there is precious little actual football tactical focus on here (yes I’m sure you can point to some articles or whatever) in previews or reviews, when compared to focus on more external factors.

  21. Swings and roundabouts. We have been fortunate to not have Chezzers red carded and other players recently. Focusing too much on only one side of a coin and you soon forget there’s a coin and that it has another side. The same stats you have at your disposal to make this type of analysis can also show which refs are favourable to us. Presenting only bad things about refs shows you have an unhealthy obsession. For it to be a healthy obsession and to be truly beneficial you need to balance it out with times a ref has negated the consequences of another ref. It will highlight more than anything the unfairness of ref decisions if the benefits of ref decisions are seen next to unbeneficial ref decisions. It will show the balance which I reckon will be around 50/50. If this analysis was done for each of the teams in the league … only then can we see straight if there really is a conspiracy to kill The Arsenal’s season with ref decisions. I think also that this more fairer approach would taken notice of by the FA and any other ruling body or judge. The fact you omit to include beneficial ref decisions shows from the start you are attacking refs and not presenting a fair case. There is always two sides to a story. To hide that side of a story can make you look like a liar. It looks like the manipulation of facts to make one thing seem like another or to make an inconsequential thing seem like a major problem.

    For example, they who bark from their soapbox the perils of global warming are never heard mentioning how ice is increasing at one Ice Cap as it decreases at the other, thus maintaining a balance. It is not in the interests of these eco warriors to point this out – and so really they are lying by leaving out a pertinent side of a story.

  22. A.Stewart

    I think the opinion on Untold is more complex than everything is fine if only the referees,media etc. were better. It’s not Untold’s fault if you can’t realise that. Most people seem to want anything to be attributed to only one factor. Makes it easy to compute. In the real world though, it doesn’t work like that.

    Against Chelsea for example, Arsenal had a useless first half, but both Chelsea goals came from decisions which went against us. If we were better, we won’t have conceded those goals. If the referee had been better/fair, we wouldn’t have conceded those goals. Both are true.

  23. Well Walter, at least let me say thank you for publishing a ref review in advance.

    I was just wondering who was the ref and what was he like and came on Untold and you told me.

    Otherwise I would have had to look up his record in last year’s Untold. This is a lot easier.

    It still doesn’t make me feel entirely easy since he has had a couple of off matches. But it is reassuring to know that in general he has a good record and a good score.

    If you have the time to do this in future, I for one would be grateful.

  24. Having followed Walters great articles for nearly 3 years, his stance hasn’t changed and its 1 I fully agree with.even if the team is playing bad it doesn’t excuse the facts that we are constantly cheated by corrupt for the usual trolls Rupert and edu what bore offs

  25. Every time I see edu or ruperts comment I always think
    I am on the untold arseholes site by mistake !!!
    Anyway am on way to the game and looking forward to a convincing win.
    I realise if that isn’t the case after the game I will be trolled but I cannot ever imagine a situation where I would want my own team to lose to prove a point.
    Come on the Arsenal !!!!!!

  26. fir people new to this site, when u want to pit a comment please read the whole article first, cause there was nothing said badly about this ref, even walter was praising him, and he said we have better chances with him than west ham, so 1st point argued down.
    2nd whoever want to start hitting on Walter, at least read what he done for whole 3 years now, last specially the answer of 50,50 was answered, and i believe this site has one of.most polite and honest people who like to be infirmative and constructive, opinions here are accepted no matter what they are, but being stupid is not…

  27. I cant believe people are moaning about this! Are they for real? Thanks Walter for this piece, I found it helpful as my only memories of Mariner were bad ones from that Eboue incident and think from another time about December 2011 when he was a 4th official and seemed to snap at Wenger. I had a bad view of this ref, but thanks to these numbers you have put up there my view has definitely changed.What is wrong with publishing information that helps fans make up their own minds about officials? SMH. The only slight concern I have, and this has nothing to do with this article, is who the opposition manager is, I dont like him. Hoping we should win this though.

  28. Walter this is a good review, lets hope Marriner is fair tonight.

    I note you mention a new tactic – posters telling you what not to write about. Unsurprisingly Rupert, the AAA sewer rat (of suspected Russian inbred ancestry) doesn’t want the debate about the ref – instead he wants to debate how the team will perform. This is not really new – the Rupert tries to hijack every debate.

    Also, the Rupert accuses UA of whining about the ref – but it is OK for him to whine about the team, manager, board and almost everything associated with the club – except a certain Russian – what a two faced rat Rupert is.

  29. @bjtgooner ha ha ha ha ha ha rupert is a moron i have said this and i will say it,he pukes and eat he will never ever appreciate and when we win like today you wont see his ass not until we have a bad in office and you call that a fan? Magwampiki character.
    As aerier as i saw that we had these F.A (F… ASSES)giving us those matches,i mean who have had such fixtures like us; i told you people that we are going to be in a shit hole.
    Thanks to GOD we are through that hell and lets begin once again and all will be fine.
    Peace n Love

  30. bjtgooner

    Simple question for you. The lasagna gate issue where Arsenal came 4th because of you know what….
    Was that corruption by the F.A and Wenger to secure 4th place or was it coincidence?

  31. You are a sad bunch some of you with your pathetic insults. Sometimes there is some decent debate on here usually started by A. Stewart, Shard, Mandy, Bob and Adam and several others I’ve forgotten.

    But some of you are so unintelligent that you cannot see that stupid insults do not make your arguments stronger, only weaker. You seem to take great pleasure in hurling childish abuse at people who have different opinions. I suppose it’s some sort of consolation for what’s shaping up to be another forgettable season.

  32. Piss off Rupert, sick of you now.

    Nasty tackle on Wilshere that was, hope it didn’t cause any serious damage.

  33. @Al, very funny. But you know you’re really pissed off with the team always letting you down and project your frustrations on someone who has no influence on the team’s performance because at least a little outburst consoles you.

  34. It’s amazing that the goal scorer could have been sent off for the tackle on Wilshere. That luck happens easy too often for us.

    Rupert, if you hate the posters on this blog do much, why do you continue to visit? There are plenty of other blogs or sites that share your view. Why not go there? You claim we say the same things over and over. It’s funny because that’s why I don’t visit other sites as often, if ever.

  35. Spot on Dave, that tackle was twice as bad as the one on Coq by ramires, and nothing done on both occasions. But what a wonder strike by Podolski:)

  36. It happens a few times a year to us. I understand a ref can miss calls, but what are the odds the player in question scores fairly soon after especially two games in a row.

  37. OMG, off topic but Ramires is quickly becoming the hatchet man, isn’t he. He’s just dished another ott tackle on Ki, perhaps worse than the one on Wilshere in this game. Don’t think Ki will carry on.

  38. Ramsey makes a tackle but its ok by you, a westham player makes a tackle but you see it as bad…

    Call a spade a spade and stop being a hypocrite.

  39. Adam

    it’s coming to me..


    I don’t know which of the various lotteries in the world those numbers are for, but there you go 🙂

  40. You’re ignoring the main point about a player scoring after a bad foul. The foul commited by Ramsey is irrelevant to the point being discussed because he didn’t get away with something, then score. Which is why I questioned your agenda. Now if you wanted to compare the missed call on Ramsey to the kick from VazTe on Mert, we can. Let’s compare apples to apples shall we?

  41. Dave C
    Westham scored from a corner. Jack had gone off the picth and come back on so its not like the tackle led directly to the goal

  42. Oops, I didn’t correctly read the initial post because of my agenda. Time for a deflection using semantics. You’re a hypocrite because he didn’t score during the same run of play; it was moments later.

  43. There are a few of the AAA being twits, and sending their twits to the BBC.

    In the other game tonight, still scoreless. But, in the BBC commentary, we have:

    > 2124: RED CARD- Eden Hazard

    > This is truly remarkable. Eden Hazard has been sent-off for kicking a ballboy.

    > I’ll say that again – Eden Hazard has been sent-off for kicking a ballboy.

    > 2122: Swansea 0-0 Chelsea

    > Oh my word. Eden Hazard has just tangled with a ball boy behind the goal!

    > The ball boy refused to give the ball back, he lies on top of the ball and Hazard gives him a kick to the ribs as he tries to reclaim the ball. Extraordinary!

    > Demba Ba goes over to help the young lad out. I’ve never seen anything quite like that.

    I suspect it is going to be quite a while before Eden Hazard plays again.

  44. Hazard just got a red card for kicking the ball from under Swansea ball boy.

    The ball boy’s got a great career in acting!!!

  45. The BBC commentary noted that Potts (defence) from West Ham was hurt, and received considerable attention, but they haven’t a clue as to what happened. West Ham has made all their subs, so they much be playing with 10 men. There should be another goal (or so) in this.

  46. Chelsea – Football’s most morally corrupt team. Hazard’s kick on the ball boy is simply shameful.

  47. Dream final, Swansea vs Bradford. Don’t mind who wins but as Bradford have won a major cup I’ll back the Swans.

    Meanwhile back at Wengerworld the Hammers are being hammered. The season starts now.

  48. Why was TV5 substituted at 57 minutes? The BBC didn’t even note the substitution in the commentary.

  49. As always, the team puts in a really good performance, and certain individuals disappear from these boards for days. Sad

  50. Just saw the Hazard incident. It looks like the kid was milking it, but how stupid is Hazard to kick out at the kid? There is no way that will be seen as anything but terrible to the fans even if the kid didn’t get hurt. If there really is a bruise on the kid from Hazard’s shin unintentionally hitting the kid’s ribs while he made contact with his foot on the ball, Hazard is in real trouble.

  51. What is the ball boy doing lying on top of the ball, Hazard kicks the ball. The reaction from the boy would make Deniro proud.

  52. @Walter, that’s your countryman, yes?

    I wonder what the ball boys father is thinking. Oh and can a ref send a ball boy off for time wasting?

  53. Gord
    TV5 got hurt when he and Ramsey got tangled while making a goal line clearance. That was before half time, so probably the manager dint want to risk it, considering the game was sewn up by then.

  54. Marriner might have made some minor mistakes, just like any ref could I suppose, certainly there were no game changing ones a la dean. Found it weird though this was the second game we played 12minutes of extra time under the same ref, on the same pitch. So perhaps we should prepare to play 102 minutes again next time Marriner is in town:) Hope the west ham player is ok though…

  55. The BBC just mentioned talking to Wenger after the game. Wenger apparently had heard that the West Ham player is okay. Still no mention as to what happened.

  56. Did you also enjoyed the perfect way the assistant the “wait and see-instruction” for the Walcott goal (I think – lost count)?
    Giroud in an offside position but Podolski came onrushing waving Giroud away…assistant holding his flag down (in such a moment you can raise it too quick and that is why he has to hold the flag in his left hand and to signal an offside he first has to put it in his right hand so he gets an extra half a second to wait and see) and then the game could continue and we scored.

    I got a “ref-gasm” at that moment 🙂

  57. Potts apparently has a concussion after colliding with Sagna. Apparently both were jumping for a ball. But the BBC thought it was some off the ball incident? Odd.

  58. @Walter/Tony

    Doublegooner and asd make the same sort of grammatical errors and both are AAA twits – any chance that they are one and the same?

    Anyway, great win tonight, some cracking goals, well done the team!

  59. another win under marriner. but I guess he didn’t have much to do. easy game for him.

  60. I saw a youtube clip of Potts’ injury, but I can’t find it again to post the link. It was a standard aerial duel between him and Sanga. Potts jumped a bit late and collided with Sagna’s arm or shoulder (couldn’t tell which). It looked like he lost consciousness before hitting the ground. I feel bad for Pott’s, and I pray he’ll be all right and recover with no lasting effects–a scary fall. It was a clean header from Sagna, though. Just one of those very unfortunate accidents that can happen in a physical game. Certainly no ‘off-the-ball incident’ or dangerous play. I’m not a ref, but I suspect the review will confirm that there was no foul play.

  61. So this moron Rupert happened to be watching the Swans game while Arsenal were playing! Why doesn’t he post his comments in proportion to his support for the club..that is nil!

  62. I’m astounded reading the comments and seeing people actually feel referee bias is acceptable and we should have to far exceed any other teams performance just to deal with this issue alone.

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