Brighton Hove and Albion – Arsenal What can we expect of the ref?

By Walter Broeckx

As Tony said it earlier today we will write what we think we should write. So for those not liking, sorry. But here is another whining,…er….article about the ref we have today.

Of course this is a cup game and in cup games there are different rules. Well not in the laws of the game but I have noticed and written about refs behaving in a completely different way in cup games compared to PL games. The one exception might be Mike Dean. He always is out to get us. PL, Carling Cup, FA cup, no matter the competition he will do all he can to keep the surface in such a way we have to climb uphill to get a result.

But I have also noticed for example Phil Dowd being a total biased ref in the PL on occasion against Arsenal and then suddenly in a cup game he behaves as the ref he can and always should be.  So it is difficult to compare the way a ref behaves. I once suggested in an article that as cup games are games rather standing on their own with only two teams directly involved that there would be less pressure on the refs to …. well you know.

To start with the ref that is appointed for today’s game is always a smart thing I think.

Michael Oliver is the name of the young man in charge. And young he is. Only 27 years old and already in the top league since August 2010. I think he will be one if not the youngest ref in the PL lately.

So far we had Oliver in 5 games in the PL. Not really much. But the record is…BAD. For the moment my nice graphic presentation doesn’t work for some reason that is beyond me so I will just have to write it down:

5 games : 1 win – 1 draw – 3 losses meaning a win % of 20%. Compared to the overall Arsenal win % over the last years that is around 60% it is obvious that this is a really bad number for Arsenal. Are we looking at the younger brother of Mike Dean?  That is of course to soon to say.

Because as we reviewed all 5 of those games we can say that he was not really the reason why we lost those games. His first game was a 2-3 home defeat to WBA if you still remember that painful day at the Emirates when Nasri scored two goals in extra time. I think the ref got one of the highest scores in that season. The only win under Oliver came one year later. In a game against WBA. A 3-0 win that time.

Less good was his performance at Swansea last year when he gave a penalty to Swansea when it actually was a foul on Ramsey. But it helped Swansea to win the game 3-2.

The last game we had this ref was earlier this season at Everton when we had a 1-1 draw. For the moment I can’t really remember any clangers from him so I think he did rather fine in that game. Unless my memory is not what it used to be.

If we take a look at Brighton Hove and Albion his record is even worse. They had him once and they lost that game.  It was a league cup game that they lost 1-2 against Liverpool. That was the only time they had him according to my records.  I sure wouldn’t mind him keeping up his 0% wins for Brighton Hove and Albion after this weekend.

So what did we find about this ref in last years review?  Well we only did 8 games of him last season. But in those 8 games we found that when it came to making decisions he really was one of the better refs.  An overall score of 79,15% correct decisions overall is very good. That is excellent in fact. When we put the weight to the decisions it went down to 77,26% correct decisions but still this is well above the league average we found.

If we look at the home/away bias we see that he has a home bias but the home bias is close to the league average. So he doesn’t look to be a completely home ref. But at times he can become a bit home biased.

If we look at the team bias we see that Arsenal had a negative bias. The Swansea game playing a big part in that score when he made a few wrong decisions. But we have seen worse negative bias against Arsenal from other refs.

So the final conclusion is that he is a ref who is general rather good in spotting a foul.  That is always a good thing I would say. But he can be slightly in favour of the home team and as we play away this is not good. And he has a small bias against Arsenal and as I have just checked against all London teams. Maybe he doesn’t like it down there?

But as said before: this is a cup game. And then things can change. Refs can change. And it will  be important for Arsenal to come up with a decent performance. A West Ham United like performance I would say. So let us hope we can produce another good game. And let us hope that the ref has a good game and cannot be faulted by either side about the outcome of the game.


33 Replies to “Brighton Hove and Albion – Arsenal What can we expect of the ref?”

  1. Oliver didn’t give penalty to Everton against us when Arteta fouled Pienaar in the box. He awarded corner instead despite the fact Arteta didn’t touch the ball.

  2. Here are some figures from his performances this year taken from the Referee Decisions site. He seems to be a bit variable and capable of getting some major decisions wrong, but difficult to determine any particular bias for or against any individual team.
    Weighted competency 70, 83, 75, 64, 64, 69 & 79
    Bias against home team 20, 25, 68, 69, 17, 31 & 79
    Bias against away team 80, 75, 32, 31, 83, 69 & 21
    So yes tends to favour the home team.

    Walter, Im sure that Dogface could very easily give you a macro to extract the relevant information from the Referees database in appropriate table / graphical format

    Good to see you doing these reviews

  3. Thanks for the article Walter, another ref I was a little uneasy about, but thanks to your numbers I can see that it wasn’t without reason.

    Lets hope the boys turn in a good performance, marshalled by Captain Jack, to render any bias against us(should that happen) useless.

  4. Some things don’t change in cups. Howard Webb still can’t recognise dangerous tackles. ManCity’s Javi Garcia was lucky not to get a broken leg after a disgusting two footed jump/stamp by Stoke’s Whelan.

  5. Wilshere is on the bench. Diaby starts. As does Rosicky.

    I don’t hold the Swansea penalty call against the ref. It did look like a penalty in real time. Oliver seems ok usually, but that is just from memory.

  6. Thanks for the tip Andrew, will ask Dogface if he can be of any help on this.

    Feel a bit foolish to not have thought about this myself (leaves at the back door with a red face 😉 )

  7. Wasn’t this same M.Oliver who gave a pen against us at old toilet, even when it showed Clichy made no attempt to handle the ball.

    Reminds me of ref who blatanly cheated my under tens from a league title, a prick at the highest order!

  8. Have u ever seen a player playing as casually as Santos in the first half?!!
    He looks like he simply doesn’t want to be there and is not interested at all.

  9. Your right Sammy, the whole team need to take this a bit more seriously! Poldi again is so quiet…hope we wake up in the second half…Rosicky trying hard to fill Jacks role, he looks like he wants to win at least.

  10. @Shard
    One of the worst fouls I have seen and Webb was right there and thought nothing wrong of it! In first half Shotton had made a bad tackle on Tevez too and didn’t get punished… See, we just ‘don’t moan’ about perceived injustices against arsenal, we just want consistent refereeing.

    Santos is too casual for my liking too. But happy with performance so far apart from the poor defending to their goal….

  11. The boys best do something in the remaining 10 or so minutes, can hear the knives being sharpened…..

  12. A typical cup game with no typical cup football.

    Both teams tried to play the game in the right way and I want to credit Brighton for their style of play.

    Arsenal was a bit too casual at times (as been said before) but at the end of the game I think it was only Arsenal that deserved to win the game.

    Another brace from Giroud and another one for Walcott. Great finishes from Giroud by the way. Remember him? You know that French “failure”.

    For me the best man on the pitch was Ramsey with yet another great performance. He worked his socks of for the whole team and I thought he was the one that made sure we won by his display of energy and will to fight for each meter on the pitch.

  13. Al,

    yes at first sight the ref did okay. A few good advantages (real advantages and not just possession) Good calling of the fouls in general.

    Well a bit like I predicted maybe 😉

  14. Norwich and QPR are out of the cup I see both lost a home to a lower league club.

  15. We certainly looked much stronger for the subs coming on. Poldi was a bit more alive in the second half and once Gibbs came on the left hand side was strong both in defence and attack. Santos was such a disappointment, I think hes a good player, but seems more interested in other things than playing to his full potential, a shame really. Again Per seems a bit timid.
    I hope we don’t get Luton at Luton…

  16. We need improve our set pieces, good result but too casual at times. The mancs get a penalty, I’m wondering if this a claus for all refs at the toilet under Riley?

    Unreal, just fucking unreal!!!

  17. Giroud ws brilliant today. At the other end though, Santos was terrible. He wasn;t as bad as he was being made out to be last season, but this season he’s been very poor. Mertesacker had a slightly off game too. But we won, and in a cup game, that was bound to be tough anyway, the result ws favourable. Decent runouts for Rosicky, Diaby and Ramsey too, so all in all, a good day.

  18. I think it was important for Rosicky and Diaby to get a game under their belt. You could see that Rosicky was having trouble to get going at the start of the game but gradually became a bit better. Still not the Rosicky that we know he can be but those things need a bit of time.
    Diaby also looked a bit rusty at the start but I also think he became stronger the longer the game went on.

    So all in all a good game for those two players who we know are can be great but also quickly injured

  19. Shard

    Im’ telling you no team would get the penalty, this game is a fix just look at Fulham.

  20. Agree on Giroud, starting to look a very good buy. Wonderful to see the continued renaissance of Ramsey, he just needs to be in his true position.In fairnessto Santos, he has not had much game time. We really need Steve Bould working on him…and maybe the defence in general. Still, a win is all that matters, some Wenger critics on some blogs…and their spud friends were hoping for a defeat…bad day for them then, shame!Credit to Brighton for the way they played and congratulations to MK Dons and Luton Town. Non leaguers winning at Norwich! Amazing, guess that makes them better than us….and Utd! Can also see Luton going to OT next!…assuming Utd get through of course.

  21. dan,

    If you say so. I had some work after half time in the ManU game, and when I come back they are suddenly 3-0 up. Oh well. It just means we’ll get to defeat them in the final again 🙂

  22. I have to say, I must have missed something with Ramsey. My impression was that he had a decent game, but was defensively a bit suspect. He mistimed a few tackles, and generally got turned or got past quite easily by the Brighton players. He’s always full of energy and running though, and he never hides on the pitch.

    Unlike the Ox in recent games. He’s not showing the sort of form that he’s capable of. But I suppose like Diaby and Rosicky, he needs a few more games. Jenkinson looked better and better as the match went on.

  23. I thought I was a good game of football, a game that should of been on TV. Both teams trying and succeeding in playing football with out resorting to hoofball, falling over to win set peices or timewaisting A credit to both teams.

    I put this on another page but as involves this game

    The second half I timed the ball in play over the 49 mins of the half. The ball was in play 29.30 out of the 49mins played at 90 mins the ball had been in play 27 mins. Can you imagine how little the ball must be in play in a stoke v Sunderland match????

  24. I wonder why teams are so over whelmed at the toilet but games against any other big team seem to be more competivite?

  25. A good win and a great strike for Giroud’s first goal. Overall a good performance, but we need some more work on set pieces. This was never going to be an easy match & with Rosicky coming back after a long injury & with Diaby only just back we were never going to be quite as fluent as we would like, however the team stuck at it and got the win they deserved.

  26. Agree it was vital to give Diaby, Rosicky & Santos some game time, considering we are now out of the CC this could on paper be the easy fixture from those remaining this season where we could afford to start with players who arent fully fit.

  27. Dan..I also wonder the same thing. Plus it seems teams are more motivated to beat us. When they play Mancs, they just lay and die..

  28. @ Shard,

    Ramseys game depends on his partners in the midfield. Diaby dint help. BUT as Wilshere came on he looked better. BUT overall a good cup game. OX I think was under the instruction, to protect Jenkinson. So couldnt do much in the final third.

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