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August 2021

Swansea v Arsenal 28 September 2013. The referee preview

Swansea v Arsenal 28 September 2013: The Match Officials

  • Referee – Mark Clattenberg
  • Assistants – S Beck & S Child
  • Fourth Official – A Marriner

Well after the defeat of the Dark Lord’s trusted Lieutenant last week we have a change of tactics by the PGMOL – they are using our own data!

Walter produced this bias graph in his summary of Mark Clattenberg’s performances for 2012/13.  Now I wonder why he was chosen for the Arsenal game?  Could it be that of all his games his most favoured team is Swansea and his least is Arsenal?




I’m going to dig a little deeper into the figures for last year to see where the bias has come from – starting with Swansea.

Last year the only reviewed game featuring Swansea was their away game at the Emirates on 01 December which they won 2 – 0.  72% overall weighted score and bias of 93% in favour of Swansea in the wrong decisions.  But there were no wrong key decisions (second yellows, reds, penalties or goals).

Overall there were 13 wrong calls in total favouring Swansea and 1 favouring Arsenal; Swansea scored two goals in the last five minutes to pinch the game.

Two contentious wrong decisions, Minute 59 claims for a penalty to Arsenal, but referee said the defender got a touch on the ball and it was definitely outside the penalty area.  So the reviewer judged the Ref. to have got that one right.

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The second was in Minute 61 when Walcott was tripped just outside the penalty area without it being called.

Looking at the Arsenal games, there was the Swansea game covered above and also our away game at Spurs on 3rd March where we lost 2-1.  A better refereeing performance with an overall score of 85%, and bias against Arsenal of 85% (but fewer wrong decisions overall – eight favouring Spurs and three Arsenal).  Again no wrong key decisions.  Two Spurs goals in two minutes in the first half with a Mert. goal in the second to complete the scoring.

Going back to 2011/12 Mr Clattenberg appeared to be far more neutral in his bias numbers particularly with reference to Arsenal and there were no Swansea games reviewed.  In his year end summary Walter said “Only Mark Clattenburg stands out as a pariah amongst his fellow referees as the one and only fair ref in the PL.

So what has happened – has Clattenberg been ‘spoken to’ – that would explain his change in bias numbers this year compared with last.  My fear is that he might start to buckle and give ‘Key’ decisions against us as well as the less obvious routine fouls, in the last two years he has been very good with getting those right.

On their day Swansea have shown they are capable of beating us without referee assistance and I have applauded them off the pitch when they have done just that.

So come on Mr Clattenberg, let’s have an honest game and may the best team win.  You know that we are watching you.

PS: The last ref summary review published was Michael Jones.  There is an index to all the referee summary reviews at the foot of that article, along with details of how these reviews are compiled, and by whom.



The books…

The sites from the same team…




15 comments to Swansea v Arsenal 28 September 2013. The referee preview

  • Pat

    Oh dear, I’m a year out of date! I’ve been telling people how fair Clattenberg is. Let’s hope he reverts to his previous form.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Last season was a poor season for Clattenburg in total. The Chelsea-MU game and the allegations seemed to have had a big impact on his game and he got a few bad games after coming back.

  • bjtgooner

    Agreed Walter, Clattenburg was not the same after the Chrlsea/Manure game, looked as though he had been got at. Not a good choice for tomorrow’s match – but where can we find an honest referee?

  • bjtgooner


  • Mahdain

    @bjtgooner exactly. Where in this shady refereeing world run by Lord Voldermort can we find an honest death eater? Clattenburg was the only ref i ever trusted to ref a match fairly and im hoping he regains my trust by showing that last season was just a blip and refs it down the middle.

  • Marcus

    Ref the way we like, or be branded a racist and take a permanent P45. The choice is yours

  • Mahdain

    Whats worth to note is that chelsea vs united match was Clattenburg first united match in a year and a few days his last being the 6-1 mauling at hands of City. I think he got the message very clear as marcus pointed before this comment.

  • Mahdain

    Speaking of referees getting “coincidental” breaks from united matches, how long a break would Webb have had thanks to the latest city mauling if Fergie still had the helm? Infact would Webb still not intervene when it was 2-0 had red nose been on the sidelines? I highly doubt it seeing how he intervened when united were losing 3-0 against Chelsea and he single handedly brought them level.

  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    What the hell has got into Michael Owen in his Telegraph article today?- (Ok, its easy to work out)
    He reckons that Arsenal aren’t top four material, strange if anything that one thing after all these years I would say we are!!
    Plus Owen thinks that Arsenal havent faced any major tests yet….poor old Chickens, Michael obviously doesnt rate you as fourth place either, and its then we see the whole thing is just a media morale boost for Liverpool FC.
    Strange that the only player that he can rate is Ozzle(ye old Scouse way of pronouncing Özil). Perhaps Mickey wants to get some of those cheap non prescription glasses from the chemist, the ones that magnify things greatly and sit a bit closer to the screen when Arsenal are playing and he would see the caliber of the players we have!
    Anyway,lets hope we keep our heads at Swansea today..

  • Max

    Kenneth Widmerpool – you just beat me to it re M Owen! Dear M Wenger, please post on changing room door…

    “Facing the great Arsenal sides of the past was a thankless task. On the rare occasions when a pass would find its way through their midfield and land at your feet, Patrick Vieira and Emanuel Petit would turn and run at you while Tony Adams and Sol Campbell would put you in the crusher.
    Four giants would be on you, and sometimes it was as much as you could do to see a team-mate’s shirt to pass to. You would stand next to them in the tunnel and see these huge athletes, who were all fast, all consistent, all ever-present. Even after eight years without a trophy, those images are still sharp in the memory when we talk about Arsenal’s struggle to return to the heights they reached with the Invincibles.
    Of course Arsenal, who face Swansea at 5.30pm today and Napoli in the Champions League on Tuesday, no longer have the strength of Vieira and Petit, the pace in wide areas of Robert Pires and Freddie Ljungberg and the guile of Dennis Bergkamp, not to mention the firepower of Thierry Henry, Robin van Persie and Ian Wright.
    After the exodus of the last few years – Cesc Fabregas, Van Persie, Samir Nasri – Arsenal fans await that turning point where strength is being gained instead of lost. They are top of the Premier League and won their first Champions League fixture in Marseille. Has the tide finally turned?
    From the start I had my reservations. They seemed not to be spending but then came up with one big investment right at the end of the transfer window.
    When I look at a squad I see a decent collection of players but not a top-four operation.
    From the back: the goalkeeper, Wojciech Szczesny is capable but I would have the keeper of all the other top teams ahead of Arsenal’s. David de Gea (Manchester United), Joe Hart (Manchester City), Petr Cech (Chelsea), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham) and Simon Mignolet (Liverpool) would all get my vote ahead of Szczesny.
    In defence, Arsenal are decent, but again none of their back four would make a composite Premier League XI. If I look right the way through the Arsenal team, with a view to picking an all-star side from the top six clubs, I would struggle to nominate one Arsenal player. Mesut Özil is the only one who would have a chance.
    Clearly Arsenal have a fabulous manager, a wonderful stadium and a great fan base. You would tend to give Arsène Wenger the benefit of the doubt but the depth of quality is not yet there in this squad. If Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud went back to being the players they were last year Arsenal would start to look fairly average by their standards. Ramsey looks a totally different player this term and will need to sustain that improvement.
    Theo Walcott is now missing for a few games, and without that depth of quality I wonder how many players they have who are capable of winning trophies. On the other hand, they have points on the board, started well in the cup competitions and are playing with more fluency and confidence. All that looks rosy, but I would not get carried away by these early signs of promise because they still need to strengthen in one or two positions.
    The Özil deal lifted the spirits of Arsenal fans, and kept the critics quiet, but they still need a couple more of that calibre to be considered title contenders. Giroud has made an excellent start to the season, but, again, he would not make the starting XIs of Manchester United or City. If United have an injury to Wayne Rooney or Robin van Persie they can call on Javier Hernandez or Danny Welbeck. City can choose from Alvaro Negredo, Edin Dzeko and Sergio Agüero. Giroud is a very good player, but no Henry, Wright or Van Persie.
    I want Arsenal to do well. I love their heritage. As a 13-year-old I was invited there as a potential recruit. Ian Wright looked after me and took me in to see George Graham, the manager. I was starstruck.
    The distance from home ruled them out but everything about Arsenal impressed me. They always have their badge to fall back on, and will always be attractive to players, for their history, their stadium and location, in London. But I would need to see more evidence of consistent improvement. They have played one or two teams at the right time, notably Sunderland away. The last days of Paolo Di Canio were a cracking time to catch them. They have not faced many big tests yet, and when they look at their neighbours, Spurs, who have really caught my eye, they see £100 million of new investment.
    My respect for Wenger stems from the revolutionary effect he has had on the English game. Up until 2004 or so he really made Manchester United stretch. Arsenal were the best team in the country. The Invincibles were sensational. Wenger took sports science and professionalism to a new level, and forced the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson to change their own outlook. That early success still protects Wenger from those who say eight years without a trophy is unacceptable.
    That barren run is one of the great anomalies because Arsenal have always been well run and wealthy. The confusion starts with their failure to improve the squad over the past few years. The only explanation I can come up with is Wenger’s resistance to inflated transfer fees, which he has always disliked. His calling card was good value signings who turned out to be worth more than they cost. It was as if Wenger could not bring himself to splash out because it was never his way of doing things and he did not agree with it.
    If you can’t beat them, you just have to join them, even if the prices are inflated. Wenger stood back from that until the Özil transfer, which, I suspect, was to ease the pressure building from Arsenal’s fans, who were angry that no marquee signing had been made earlier in the summer. It was too late to bring two or three in, so they went for one superstar, whatever the cost.
    Özil is a world-class player and has started particularly well. That level of purchase is what the fans want, the club deserve and the team need – and they need to stay at that end of the market if they are to return to the days when Vieira and Petit, Adams and Campbell, made it so hard to keep the ball when all four of them bore down on you.”

    What a numpty.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ Max – thanks for Owen rant ! God , he’s good – seems to have read all the crap from all over the AAAA sphere and regurgitated it quite well !
    “…..kept the critics quiet …” Really ?
    “….Sir Alex Ferguson to change their own outlook .”
    No mention of the PGMOL ?

    And the cherry on the icing of the cake…..
    “Wenger stood back from that until the Özil transfer, which, I suspect, was to ease the pressure building from Arsenal’s fans, who were angry that no marquee signing had been made earlier in the summer. It was too late to bring two or three in, so they went for one superstar, whatever the cost.”
    Ah well , then again we could have bought Bale for 150 Million , just to show that we meant business and be crowned “Kings of North London” ! Wait we already are !

    I do hope we have a good game without too many ‘funny’ decisions ‘ or incidents . A 2-0 win for me !
    Up the Gunners !

  • Armin

    Well if we could beat Stoke+Dean, I don’t think Swansea+Clattenberg should be much harder. I always thought Clattenberg is fair enough, but now you make me worry.

    And about Owen, well, Lineker yesterday said Tottsomthing will finish above us, so he just joined to group. Though both, in their prime years, played for strong title contenders Liverpool and Tott****, so they are sure very competent in valuating who have champions material.

  • Mandy Dodd

    What is it about so many ex England players who think they can become pundits? With a couple exceptions of course. What Owen said there was rank stupidity, and a bias the pgmol would be proud of. They all seem to love the spuds as well, and have done for years. Remember a few weeks back, when terry butcher who has spent years moaning about arsenal not signing English players lauded spurs and this summers signings saying arsenal could learn a few things from our neighbours. How many home grown players did the spuds sign this summer terry? Think we need more foreign pundits, the English pundits seem to lack a football brain….now who was it who once said that about one of our players.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Origin of the Word ‘Politics’.
    The word ‘politics’ comes from the Greek ‘poly’ meaning ‘many’, and ticks of course are bloodsucking parasites.
    -1992 Libertarian presidential candidate Andre Marrou

    After reading the above ,I tried to find the origins of the word pundits , and have come up with this …..
    the humorous use of a word or phrase so as to emphasize or suggest its different meanings or applications, or the use of words that are alike or nearly alike in sound but different in meaning

    ditz (dɪts)
    slang chiefly – a silly scatterbrained person ; airhead

    Seems about right !

  • Rufusstan

    Owen seems to have bought into the standard Media narrative about Arsenal, rather than actually engaging some brain cells.

    The bit about not having a major test yet always makes me laugh because of the revisionist way Arsenal get treated in the media.

    Fenerbace were about the hardest draw in the CL playoffs and Arsenal were in trouble….until we beat them 3-0 away, and suddenly they became a poor side.

    Spurs had greatly strengthened and an unbeaten start showed how well the players had bedded in before the NLD….Afterwards, it was a squad that had not gelled yet.

    Even today was seen as a tough match. Some of the media are realizing what is happening with us, but after the game, a common thread was the Swansea –> who have not won at home this season in the league <– win. (By the way, their 3 home games have been us, a draw VS Liverpool and getting beaten by United on the opening day).

    You get the idea (and can probably think of other examples). I'm sure we could hammer Barcelona and it would turn out to be because Cesc couldn't focus properly on playing his old club, and that Messi had a bit of a sniffle.