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July 2021

Why Arsenal will lose on Saturday: Probert is in charge

Arsenal v Norwich Saturday 19th October 2013 – The most predictable referee appointment, the most predictable result

 “One incorrect decision favouring Arsenal, fifteen favouring Norwich” 

  • Referee – Lee Probert
  • Assistant Referees – R Ganfield and M Scholes
  • 4th Official – K Hill

Lee Probert – Has done four games in the premier league so far this year (Cardiff v Man City in week 2, Palace v Sunderland in week 3, Fulham v W Brom in week 4 and Spurs v West Ham in week 7) issuing two yellow cards and one red.

He has been fourth official twice and seems to have had one week off so far.

His total career in the Premier league is 121 matches issuing 321 yellows and 21 reds.

He is 41 years old and first appeared in the premier league in 2007 on Jan 13th in the Sheffield United v Portsmouth game.  In 2010 he was given FIFA accreditation.  His County FA is Wiltshire.  He is an experienced referee and, being FIFA accredited should be amongst the best. But is he?

Walter’s review of him for last year was less than enthusiastic under the heading  Lee Probert: This is not acceptable

40% of his yellow cards, 14% of second yellow, 12.5% of red cards, 50% of penalties and only 67.7% of fouls and free kicks were correct.  Surely not good enough for a referee in the top flight, let alone one who is FIFA accredited.

All that is bad enough but as for his bias figures :-

L Probert bias

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Now let me think – who are we playing this weekend – ah yes Norwich, now who did he favour most last year.   And who did his wrong decisions do the most harm to?  Norwich.

So no surprise that he gets to referee this game.  We’ve been here before this year.

Having a look in greater detail at the matches that led to the above figures.

For Arsenal there were two games Southampton v Arsenal 01 Jan 2013 (1 – 1).  His overall weighted performance score was 68%, weighted bias figures against each team were 23/77 and he made one wrong key decision (second yellow, red, penalty or goal).

The main points in the game were:-

  • Minute 34 – Ramirez scores a goal for Southampton (1-0)
  • Minute 35 – Wilshere tries to start a counter attack but is brought down by Puncheon who should have been booked but wasn’t.
  • Minute 40 – De Prado scores an own goal (1-1)
  • Minute 44 (key decision) – Southampton defender stuck out his arm to block a pass from Podolski to Wilshere, defender was in the penalty area so penalty should have been given but wasn’t.
  • Minute 50 – Gaston kicks the ball away in front of the face of Wilshere – dangerous play but nothing given, not even a free kick.

So a game where Arsenal should have been given a penalty but had to settle for a one one draw.  Two points taken by the referee.

Norwich v Arsenal 20 Oct 2012 (1 – 0), overall score 73%, bias against 6/94 and there were no wrong key decisions.  The main points in the game were :-

  • Minute 0 – Advantage played following foul on arsenal defender near own penalty area ball had to be played backwards – this was no advantage and the foul should have been given.
  • Minute 7 – Gervinho given offside from a ball by Jenkinson.  He was two metres from the sideline but the ball ended up in the middle of the field with Giroud who was clearly onside and who had one defender to beat with Podolski next to him.  A really poor decision.
  • Minute 17 – Turner wraps his arms around Giroud pulling him to the ground whilst winning a header – should have been a foul to Arsenal.
  • Minute 19 – Holt scores a goal for Norwich (1-0)
  • Minute 23 – Johnson gets a yellow card for a foul.
  • Minute 38 – Holt grabs hold of Arteta then Vermaelen jumps in the back of Holt.  free kick given to Norwich rather than to Arsenal for the first foul.
  • Minute 54 – Hoolahan gets a yellow card for timewasting.
  • Minute 57 – imaginary foul by Arsenal giving Norwich a free kick.
  • Minute 61 – Holt gets a yellow card for dissent.
  • Minute 70 – Turner gets a yellow card for a foul.
  • Minute 74 – Giroud attempt to trip a Norwich player but he can jump over the leg of Giroud.  Good advantage given as Norwich can start a counter.
  • Minute 75 – Vermaelen first to ball, free kick wrongly given against him.
  • Minute 86 – Another imaginary foul giving Norwich a free kick after Holt goes to ground with the ball.

One incorrect decision favouring Arsenal, fifteen favouring Norwich including the denial of that possible goal scoring opportunity in the seventh minute.  A game we could quite probably have drawn so another point taken away by the referee.

For Norwich last year there are no other reviewed games.

Going back to the 2011/12 season there were no Probert games reviewed featuring Norwich so no further information from that source.

For Arsenal Walter’s review is linked here REFEREE REVIEW 2012: Lee Probert – a total anti-Arsenal bias.  he got all his goal decisions, 54% of penalties, 57% of yellow cards and 12.5% of red card decisions correct and overall only 67% of all decisions were right – and he is a FIFA accredited referee – WHY?

His bias against Arsenal was massive, a single game against Fulham where he was so poor that the PGMOL didn’t punish Arsene for his comments about Mr Probert post game showed how bad he was.  There were 27 wrong calls in the game (one every 4 minutes on average), 23 favouring Fulham.  The key points were :-

  • Minute 12 – Song played the ball upfield to RVP who then had a nit of a run going, referee pulled the play back for a minor foul on Song instead of playing advantage.
  • Minute 13 – Senderos fouls Gervinho as he goes past him and would have had a shot on goal from 4 metres out, should have been penalty and minimum yellow card or sending off but ref looked the other way and gave nothing.
  • Minute 21 – Correct goal to Arsenal (0-1)
  • Minute 25 – Ball bounces back to Hangeland who has some troubles to control it. Song kicks the ball to RVP who wants to start a dangerous Arsenal attack. Ref invents a foul to stop Arsenal.
  • Minute 41 – Djourou gets the ball from under the body of Riise and goes past Riisse who makes a tackle from behind and clamps the leg of Djourou. Ref does nothing – then Djourou again gets up and plays the ball and is caught late by a Fulham player and again…Ref does nothing. Fulham create a chance because of this.
  • Minute 53 – Murphy should have got yellow card for deliberate foul breaking up an attack.
  • Minute 63 – Djourou correctly gets a yellow card for a tackle from behind unlike Fulham players who have been doing this all game without fouls even being awarded – lack of consistency.
  • Minute 78 – Second yellow for Djourou for foul breaking up promising attack reviewer saw this as correct but again Ref showing a lack of consistency as he had allower several similar Fulham challenges to go unpunished.
  • Minute 85 – Correct Fulham goal (1-1) An Arsenal player interfered the keeper
  • Minute 92 – Correct Fulham goal (2-1)
  • Minute 93 – Celebration takes 55 seconds of the 3 minutes added on. Ref clearly doesn’t tell the players to get on with it
  • Minute 94 – Fulham player kicks the ball in the crowd who doesn’t give it back for 30 seconds.  Refs brings the game to an end and only allowes some 40 second when 1,5 min is lost and gives nothing for the time wasting.

It was a game I attended and the referee was truly awful and single handedly decided the outcome of the game.

So what can Arsenal expect this coming weekend?  I’m afraid that we are in for another lopsided refereeing performance.  In his last three games for us he has stopped us getting points in all of them and we will have to be on our best form to come away with all three points on Saturday.

I expect to see Norwich being given lots of ‘phantom fouls’ to break up our rhythm; any clear Arsenal advantage from fouls to be called back; Arsenal players carded at every opportunity; Holt to win several free kicks or penalties when he trips over grass and Norwich players being given license to kick our players throughout the game.

We need the crowd to be on his case throughout the game and call him out every time he shows bias (I’ve said that before this year haven’t I?) and to encourage our team on throughout.

Our players also need to avoid giving Mr Probert any excuse to brandish the cards.

Despite all this I believe we are much the better team and should have enough to win the game but I think Mr Probert will ensure that it will be close and I wouldn’t rule out a draw.


The books…

The sites from the same team…




128 comments to Why Arsenal will lose on Saturday: Probert is in charge

  • Jammathon

    Grant Holt plays for Wigan. Well done.

  • Rupert Cook

    Is there no confidence in our team? Or is this just getting excuses in early should we lose? Norwich are a very ordinary team, we should win easily, even if the ref turns out to be Delia Smith.

  • Flopadob

    There’s only one person who is biased around here and that’s the writer of this nonsense of an article!

  • Flopadob

    Have you written any reviews of the match last season at the Emirates where Mike Jones single-handedly gifted Arsenal the win? Thought not…

  • Sid

    I think (hope) that Probert is just a poor ref, not biased against Arsenal. The other games we have been hard done by we’re away from home. This guy seems to be another Dowd. A homer. A weak ref scared to go against the home side.

    Therefore expect Arsenal to get the rub of the green!

  • Tasos

    If I remember correctly it was Mr Probert, as the fourth official, who perceived Arsene Wenger’s action of kicking a water bottle at Old Trafford as “Not acceptable” & called referee Mike Dean over to send Arsene Wenger to the stands.

    Wigan away 2010, Lee Probert gives another biased diplay agaisnt Arsenal;

    This referee appointment stinks. Well done for informing us, keep up the good work UA.

    BTW Grant Holt prefers the meat pies at Wigan Athletic nowadays.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Tasos, I see a cunning plan here, Norwich will place water bottles all over the pitch and our players will kick them out of the way and then be sent off. Notwithstanding that outrageous scenario I expect us to win by two clear goals.

  • Bigsix

    Truth be told, Mr Probert is anti Arsenal. This has nothing to do with confidence in our team but clear pointing out Mr Probert’s flaws in favour of the opposition.

    Though we will play well tomorrow, expect more than few eye catching punishable offences by Norwich which will of course go unnoticed.

    We have seen it, and expect it to be the same as before.

  • Tasos



    Agree, Arsenal are the better team and should be able to overcome any ref shite.

    UA are doing a great job here though. Keeping us all vigilant.

  • WalterBroeckx

    yes we have published a review of that game.
    But as you think we write nonsense I will not bother and give you the link. You can look for it yourself.

  • @babakrdaemi

    Why didn’t he ref cfc games? Is he a fan?

  • ClockEndRider

    Jam author,
    Grant Holt weighs the same as Wigan.

  • Va Cong

    Rupert can you stand in front of the bottles when arsene kicks out of sheer joy when we beat 13 Man Norwich that would be fun! 😉 flopadob the piper of AAA you can join him while you play the pipe… Pipe… Pipe… Boom! Woohoo! To the happy gooners. It’s ok you don’t have to celebrate when we win, you’ll moan about weak players who have been injured through awfully good ref decisions. 🙁

  • goonerkam

    well done on a great writeup. Keep up the good work. Nevermind the flapydope.

  • Stuart

    This is a write up about Lee Probert as an official in Arsenal games, it’s nothing to do with Mike Jones.

  • Stuart

    Great article, thanks for putting all the time and effort into researching and presenting the data in a relevant format.

  • Flopadob

    I find it odd that so many ‘Gooners’ fall into the trap of believing this website to be honest. You’ve all been twisted to think the world is against you when, if you were to take a more objective view, you’d realise that you get the ‘rub of the green’ more often than most clubs in the Premier Division. I’m not even a Norwich fan, I’m Watford through-and-through, but I attended the match against Norwich last season as a guest of an Arsenal fan and the referee was entirely incompetent, on that we can agree, but he was incompetent in YOUR favour, not the visitors’. Lee Probert is a poor referee, but he is not biased – he is just not very good at his job! There is no conspiracy against Arsenal or any other club for that matter. You ALL come across looking incredibly foolish and any neutral who reads this site is going to be laughing at you. I know I am.

  • Laugh your head off, Flopadob.Then we can play keep-ups with it.

    Crazy name, crazy guy . . .

  • elkieno

    I just hope probert doesn’t get wind if this and do us in out of anger.
    But as usual well done Tony and Untold, flipadop you obviously don’t frequent here. You should though it might enlighten you a wee bit?

  • Flopadob

    Enlighten me? I’m afraid I don’t have to resort to making up refereeing mistakes or claim bias against individuals or teams in order to make me feel better about my own football club’s on-field failings. But thanks anyway.

  • But thanks anyway.

    Our pleasure, mate.

  • Matt

    You can’t win Flopadob, the damage has been done on here and they do actually beleive what they say so save your breath.

  • jon

    I’m sorry Flopadob but if you can’t grasp the potential ramifications of what being said here, then you’re not a real football fan at all. It’s like nobody cares about the massive number of broken legs Arsenal players (and Arsenal players alone) have had to suffer because of incompetent and biased refereeing. You seem to think that the trophies are what matters. It’s not about that for me. Poor, one-sided refereeing leads to players getting too physical and then you have situations like Aaron Ramsey lying in hospital with his leg in three pieces.
    You don’t have to go along with what’s here or agree with the conclusions but don’t suggest that it’s made up when there’s three full years of hard-work by neutral football supporting referees on here. Do yourself a favour and READ THE REVIEWS instead. You’re showing yourself to be a pretty small-minded mug by just dismissing it, to be honest. We’re talking about the fairness of the entire league here. Contribute something constructive or jog on.

  • Mick

    Game, set and match to Flobadob I think you will all agree. His thoughtful and in depth use of statistical evidence, persuasive and intelligent argument compared to Untolds flimsy efforts clearly wins the day.
    We salute you Flobadob, the new King of the Oiks.

  • Mick

    Who dug Matt up?

  • WalterBroeckx

    So flodapob,
    did you then see how Jones gave a free kick to Norwich from which they scored that was a pure dive?
    As far as our reviewing referee saw it there was only one goal that was correct and that was an Arsenal goal.
    But if you are so obsessed with Jones, don’t worry we have covered him on this website and we have all the data and we will talk about him when we gets an Arnenal game. That is if the PGMOL still wants him around at Arsenal as he seems to not be completely in line with other refs like Dean,Taylor, Mason, Probert who time and time again show their bias against Arsenal.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    After having read this fine post ,was not too surprised to see some AAAA types joining in .This joke reminds me of them and IS for them.

    The great debate

    A cow, an ant & a Donkey are debating on who is the greatest among three of them.

    So here it goes………………

    The Cow : I give 50 liters of milk every day and that’s why I am the greatest.

    The Ant : I work day and night, summer and winter, I can carry 52 times my own weight and that’s why I am the Greatest.


















    Hello – Why are you scrolling down ???

    It’s your turn now— please speak up………!!!!

  • Flopadob

    Jon, you miss the point entirely. ALL the reviews are biased. All of them. Every single last one of them. I’ve read a dozen or so and ALL of them say Arsenal, beautiful, glorious and picked-upon Arsenal get more injustice than anyone else. It’s bollocks. Every fan (outside blinkered Gooners) knows this, but by all means, continue with this hyperbole. It all adds to the general feeling that Arsenal fans are deluded.

  • Flopadob

    Walter, my overriding memory of that game was that Norwich were completely robbed and all around me agreed. Most of these Arsenal fans were Belgian, no idea why but that is irrelevant. I do not recall all the incidents but you may be right with the visitors goal. However, your claim that all referees are biased against Arsenal is nonsense. You mix up ‘bias’ with ‘incompetence’. Having watched many a game over the years featuring Arsenal I can assure you that Arsenal get more ‘dodgy’ calls go in their favour than against and anybody who tells me otherwise is not telling the truth. You can make your ‘analysis’ say anything you want but the only people who believe you are fellow Arsenal fans. Nobody else does. Do you know why? Because it is biased nonsense.

  • colario

    Flopadob. This forum is for adults. If you want creditability for your claims you will have to share the evidence you have.

    You could start by showing us your referee reports showing that the reports given here are wrong, instead of just saying they are wrong, like some demented teenager.

  • Rupert Cook

    The refs are terrible. I don’t believe they’re anti-Arsenal any more than I believe many are anti-Oxford whenever a decision appears wrong. All football fans feel hard done by by refs’ decisions every single game. No, it’s the incompetence of the majority of the officials that is shocking. There have been plenty of dire decisions for all teams this season, in fact you could conclude that most refs are anti-everyone fc judging by the amount of mistakes made.

    @Jon, just how many broken legs have we suffered? And has no other team had a broken leg in the last five years? Also I don’t think Flopadob cares about trophies seeing as he’s a Watford fan.

  • Tasos


    Referee bias does exist, you even admit it yourself(Norwich were robbed), yet you want to claim people on here are “deluded” when they make similar conclusions.

    You are true to your name, you spout nonsense.

  • Mick

    Let’s call a spade a spade. Flobadob is a pratt. End of argument.

  • Flopadob

    Rupert Cook.

    Finally, a sensible post.


    If I was a teenager, do you know what I’d do? I’d cry about every single wrong decision that goes against my team and then set up a forum where I can post about every single wrong decision that goes against my side and cry my heart out with every one else who is as deluded as me.

    Referees in this country are not biased. There is no conspiracy against certain clubs. They are not brilliant and they makes mistakes sometimes but they are certainly not biased, and that is where you all fall into the trap the hosts of this site want you to. When you fail you need to blame somebody, anybody. Pin it on the referee. Because it’s unthinkable, impossible even, that it might be your team letting you down.

  • Flopadob

    Tasos, Norwich weren’t robbed because the referee was on Arsenal’s side – THAT would be bias. They were robbed because the referee made some bad calls on the day because he is human and makes mistakes. These things happen. Deal with it like an adult instead of crying on an internet forum which pretends the whole world is against you when it isn’t.

  • Stuart

    You highlight your misunderstanding of bias.

    Bias does not mean to go out of ones way to make life difficult for someone, it simply means in someones favour whether intended or not. The reason for the bias is as you highlight, he is not a very good ref (if it is not intended)

  • colario

    Flopadob you wrote ‘They are not brilliant’ by they you mean referees. Where is your evidence for this.

  • Stuart

    Your 12.25 comment also highlights bias and I agree, the refs are only human hence why video technology needs to be used.

    Earlier on in the comments, you also stated that “I’ve read a dozen or so and ALL of them say Arsenal, beautiful, glorious and picked-upon Arsenal get more injustice than anyone else.”

    Well considering most of them are not about Arsenal, I find that hard to believe. You should also consider that most of the reviewing refs were actually fans of other clubs – NOT Arsenal fans!

  • Flopadob

    Stuart, if that’s your interpretation of ‘bias’ then you may as well make up your own meanings for other words too. If by your own interpretation a ref is ‘not a good ref’, that’s all it is – that in itself does not make them ‘biased’!

    Referees make mistakes. They all do. They do not do it intentionally. Fact is, they sometimes get things wrong and they do this for ALL teams. Arsenal sometimes get bad decisions go their way, sometimes they go against them but it is not because of referee bias.

  • jon

    Hi Rupert,

    I think that actually, if you count up:
    Diaby, Eduardo, Ramsey, Sagna twice. Now, if you were to take Arsenal vs the rest of the premier league, then the figures would be comparable. I am waiting to hear of another team that has had to deal with this many broken legs from challenges in open play of competitive games. Now of course, I think this is serious, so if someone can give figures of another team that have a similar record in the top flight of another league, then I’m open to correction but from what I understand, this has never happened. If you know anything about stats, then you’d understand that in an environment where that does not happen regularly (as with the premier league, where it doesn’t) for this to happen to the SAME team in consecutive seasons, is HIGHLY unlikely if things are just down to chance. That really freaks me out.
    So if someone can provide evidence that this sort of thing happens to other teams, I’ll actually feel better about it. I don’t want to think that officials are involved in something with leading to players getting hurt physically, because that’s actually a serious, serious crime…

  • Flopadob


    If refs were ‘brilliant’, there would be no need for people to moan about decisions because they would get near as damned it everything correct. They do not. The standard of refereeing in this country is OK in my opinion, it could be better but it could be worse but my point throughout is that the underlining current on this website that ‘referees are biased’ (mainly against Arsenal) is complete make-believe. Unfortunately it’s a difficult job. I’ve done it myself and it’s horrible, and I for one am all for helping them as much as we can with technology. I know many are against it but I certainly am not.

  • Stuart

    You are assuming the ref must CHOOSE to be biased – not the case.

  • Stuart

    Yes referees make mistakes but something needs to be done to ensure they are not mostly going one way.

  • Flopadob

    Jon, your post has nothing to do with refereeing standards. Arsenal have for a number of years now had skilful and talented ball players who control large swathes of football matches against slightly less talented players. The best way to win the ball from these players is a thing called a ‘tackle’ – you may be familiar with the term. Sometimes, these ‘tackles’ are mistimed and can unfortunately result in injuries, occasionally serious. This is one of the drawbacks to football but unless you would like to see it become a non-contact sport, skilful players will continue to be ‘tackled’ by opposing players who are trying to do their jobs for their teams by winning the ball back. To suggest it has anything to do with some form of conspiracy is FUCKING NUTS!!

  • colario

    There is a big between ‘They are wrong.’ and ‘I believe they are wrong.’

    With ‘they are wrong’ you must show why they are wrong and it is possible for others to argue otherwise.

    With ‘I believe they are wrong’ It is not possible for others to argue that you don’t believe ‘they are wrong’.

    This is a basic lesson that as teenagers we have to learn. Sadly some teenagers become adults ‘age wise’ without learning the lesson most learn in their teens.

    If you wish to share your opinion with us fine no problems there, this is an open forum everyone is welcome to share their opinion.

    If on the other hand you are going to make claims as facts then you must support your claims with evidence if you wish to be taken seriously. Your claims are hollow with out facts.

    If you don’t believe the reports presented here fine no problem with that. Your welcome to your belief.

    As a teenager you will understand that because you don’t believe it, it is therefore wrong.

    I refer you to the second law of Teenagerism.

    ‘If I say its right – its right. If I say its wrong – its wrong. I don’t need to prove it.’

    As an adult in adult debate you must say why you believe something is wrong and provide the evidence.

    So far in my opinion you have been posting at the level of……. Well you tell me.

  • colario

    at 1.20 pm correction ‘there is a big difference between.’

  • jambug


    Are you suggesting the referees reports on here, that are done almost entirely by neutral referees, are made up?

    If not, please explain under what premis you dismiss there findings.

    Whatever your reason try backing it with evidence, rather than jut your opinion, because to be fair you could be just as ‘Biased’ as you acuse UT of being couldn’t you !

    I mean lets put this in perspective, if you took UT to court to try and prove them wrong in there findings, just saying it’s ‘Bollocks’ I’m afraid wouldn’t do.

    So do yourself a favour, back up your allegations with evidence or just go away and stop making a twat of yourself.

  • jon

    Well Flob, out comes this ridiculous, puerile and morally corrupt argument that you hear bandied around the press and in pub conversation all over Europe, but if you’re so confident of this, then why don’t other top teams have similar stats? Where are the broken legs for Man U and Chelsea, or Aston Villa? Or in other leagues: why aren’t these figures replicated SOMEWHERE?? Arsenal is head and shoulders above everybody else when it comes to this, when barely anybody else suffers. Can you explain that? Are you going to try and make the argument that other teams don’t have fast, technical players? Of course you’re not, because that would be a stupid thing to say.

    Incidentally, it doesn’t have to be a conspiracy. The referees are supposed to ensure the safety of all players on the pitch at all times, regardless of the physicality of the league. The fact that Arsenal’s figures here are so shocking, while no other team in Prem has similar figures, indicates that that is not the case. The referees association should be doing everything it can to ensure that NO TEAM has to deal with this sort of injury, and you watch the first game of our season and tell me with a straight face, that players aren’t going to get injured with a referee performance like that. So instead of coming on here and giving a half baked opinion, think about this for a second. These are real people here. Real people. We’re not in the Collesium and this isn’t the Gladitorial Games.

  • Mandy Dodd

    And just how long did Man Utd go without a penalty conceded or player sent off in the league during the last season? Think it was a top flight record by some distance. Then the referees that did upset Fergie, and never went near a Utd game for 1 year plus. No bias in the game then?

  • Andrew Ryan


    Please don’t think this site is typical of Arsenal supporters. It isn’t.

    Don’t bother wasting your breath with them, Matt’s comment is correct: “You can’t win Flopadob, the damage has been done on here and they do actually beleive what they say so save your breath”

  • WalterBroeckx

    There are some +40.000 decisions waiting for you.
    Please show us where our referee reviewers were wrong. After having finished that we can do a debate that covers all.
    But as we are the only ones to have covered all those decisions and you only give your opinion ‘they are wrong’ we will not get very far.

  • jambug

    For you Flob.

    COM: ‘The Arsenal fans are getting very upset with the ref’

    CO COM: ‘Yes they are. What they have to realise is teams aren’t just going to let them play’

    Sharp intake of breath

    COM: ‘That wasn’t good’

    CO COM: ‘No it wasn’t. I think the refs going to book him for that one’

    COM: ‘Oh, no he’s not’

    CO COM: ‘Thats because he’s not player X, thats player Y’

    COM: ‘Oh, I think thats his first one’

    Through laughter. Yes laughter !!!

    CO COM: ‘It looks like they are being clever and doing it(by ‘it’ you can only assume they mean fouling) in rotation’

    That was a conversaion (or near as dam it) between commentator and co-Commentator on BBC Radio 5 lives coverage of Arsenal V Aston Villa this year.

    Under what premis is it ever ‘Clever’ or even worse ‘funny’ for one team to rotationaly foul another?

    Answer: When it’s Arsenal on the end of it !!!!!!!

  • colario

    Andrew Ryan. You are so right ‘we are damaged’ We only accept claims based on facts and evidence not teenage spouting. – ‘I say it therefore I am right and everyone of you here wrong’

    The type of debate that is your measure is found ‘elsewhere’ – go there stay there, enjoy your beliefs that have no substance.

  • Flopadob

    Andrew Ryan.

    I am only prepared to listen to sensible replies.

    Therefore, as yours is the ONLY sensible reply on here, I shall indeed ‘not bother’ any longer. Needless to say, I am aware not ALL ‘Gooners’ are complete ‘Goonies’ but it is staggering how mindless many are on here. A real eye-opener I have to say, and not in a good way! Some of the things I’ve read on here are so stupid and deluded that I’ve shared the content to a number of other people who work within football and needless to say, its been most enjoyable and very funny for us all. Good luck in your title fight. Obviously you will need tonnes of luck as all the referees are fighting to allow Manchester City to win the title…

    Unbelievable. Literally. Ciao x

  • WalterBroeckx

    And specially for you and for Andrew who forgot another game of Probert but I will take it up later in another article showing what a complete anti-Asenal ref Probert has been over the years.

    But this is a nice link to start with. Even some images in the review

  • WalterBroeckx

    Flabopod probably was just a spud fan. 🙂

  • WalterBroeckx

    And if you are still here just tell me what reviews you have read and where they were wrong. I will not ask you to review all +40.000 decisions.

    Just take a review and let us see where they were wrong. Shall we?
    And by wrong I mean wrong according to the laws of the games. Not wrong because some pundits tells the public it is wrong.

  • jambug

    Fop, Andrew, Matt.

    Not a single solitary shred of evidence to counter years of data, mostly amased by neutral, ex, or still operating referees.

    Proof of your allegations aginst UT’s statistics or your protestations are basically pointless.

  • Mike

    @ Flopadob

    a) I get where you’re coming from but am slightly disappointed that you steadfastly ignore the comments that ask you to provide evidence or any recognition from you that most of the ref reviewers are not Arsenal fans but are referees. (You have yet to declare your refereeing status.)

    b) What makes you so sure there is no bias……either against (or in favour of) Arsenal or any other club? Match fixing goes on all over the world, why not in the premiership with refree involvement?

    c) Could it just be possible that some referees are weak and sub-consciously cave in to more agressive and/or powerful clubs/managers or the squeaky clean reputations (or otherwise) which are painted of some clubs/players.

    d) Consider the fact that a few seasons ago, one Mike Riley (not exactly reknowned for hating Man U) refereed 49 games in a season. 41 did not involve Man U and he gave one penalty. 8 involved Man U and he gave 9 penalties, all to Man U. You do the maths and tell me that there isn’t a small likelihood of bias there. In fact check out the whole of Riley’s career before replying.

    Your arguments have some basic credability but your unerring refusal to accept that any other viewpoint has any validity is indicative of less sustainable overall evidence base. No offense.

  • jambug

    Looks like Flops conceded defeat then. Unless of course he’s just off to find his proof !!!

  • jambug


    I do love it when a brain confronts a void.

    Well put Sir.

  • jon

    You know, I just have to say that it always saddens me when people just ignore the point about player safety. You say it and people have no come back, so they pretend it doesn’t exist. It amazing that people are prepared to just brush aside watching other people get hurt unnecessarily in their national sport, simply because slagging off Arsenal is an accepted social norm. Arsenal players are not real people and therefore don’t deserve the same rights.

  • jambug


    When Ramsey had his leg broken that was the 22nd foul by WBA against Arsenal that day, and there had not been a single booking up until then.

    It was like an open invite to the players to just keep fouling.

    Look, I’m not saying it was deliberate. I’m not even saying it was the worst foul I’ve ever seen. Both the fouls on Eduardo and Diaby where, in my opinion, far far worse. But what it was, was an unneccessary, and highly likely outcome, of giveing a team free rain to continualy foul.

    I would of thought referees had a ‘duty of care’ in much the same way a lot of us have at work.

    In any other job neglegence like that would get you in big trouble. Why not in football ?

  • Mandy Dodd

    Fortunately, though it will be dismissed by the likes of Flobagob, insiders like Mr Halsey come along and write books confirming much of what is said on here and other sites. Glad to see our friend is shaving a laugh sharing this stuff wth people he “knows in football” – that will be Championship Manager then

  • Mahdain

    Dont waste your time with idiots like flopdoodie because it aint worth it. He says reviews were biased and yet he cant show where. He must be one of those people who put the word “fact” at the end of every argument as if its going to make what they say to be true. Utter waste of space

  • jon

    It was Stoke but apart from that, yes, I agree with you completely and entirely. The point about incompetent/biased reffing is that one team see a constant escalation in their physicality while the other is hamstrung by the refs decision making. There is only really one place that can end up because human beings are make of flesh, not stone.

    A lack of dealing with this, whether explicit or implicit is a dereliction of duty by the referees because they are the only ones that can protect the players. So if a ref favours the physicality of one team over another and a player ends up being hurt, it is that refs responsibility but I guess Andrew Taylor doesn’t think so, considering his performance in our first game.

    And also, the argument that Flop-a-dupe was making is erroneous. Suggesting that if you want physical football, you have to deal with broken legs is incorrect and, as I said, morally bankrupt. You don’t have to: Remove Arsenal from the Premier League stats and you have all the evidence you need on that, ironically! And even if that wasn’t the case, in the end physical injury is NOT a price worth paying for physical football. If this is want the refs want (as Riley so often goes on about), then you have to improve reffing standards to ensure that players don’t get hurt anyway, not settle for any player having to deal with an injury like Ramsey or Eduardo had.

    As you said, in any other work place in Europe, this would not be acceptable but apparently Arsenal players are red and white pinatas, ready-made for a good kicking, whether at the Ems or anywhere else in England. Our players don’t seem to pick up so many injuries when playing in Europe though. Hmm, imagine. Wonder why that is…

  • Matt


    WBA? Try again!!

  • PrawnBrigade

    Unbelievable, absolutely unbelievable jus how ignorant Arsenal fans come across throughout this debate.

    I hope one day you gooners will look back at this site and be embarrassed by the drivel you are spouting – christ I would be.

    Flobadob has made a boy of each and every one of you time and time again and you think you’r winning the debate?? Beyond hilarious, we’ve been cracking up in the office at this garbage all day hahahahahahahahahaha

  • Prawn Brigade, instead of name calling, why don’t you actually present some facts, statistics, analysis….

  • Matt


    I can remember many a time our players being injured on international duty.

    When Ramsey,Diaby & Eduardo broke there leg i am sure all the players were sent off for the fouls.

    Did you want the ref to prempt the tackle and send them off before it happened?

  • Big Arsenal Fan

    The arguments of the Arsenal fans on this website make perfect sense because they think this is an independent and scientific analysis.

    It isn’t.

    All the “qualified” referees on here are Arsenal fans – it’s the “Untold Arsenal” blog – can’t people see that? Of course it’s biased. If you came on here for an objective view, you’re a fool and naive.

    Everyone needs to calm down and take this blog with the pinch of salt that it intends. It is clearly not serious. It is just a few guys having a laugh and enjoying assessing a few games from an Arsenal perspective. That it panders to the aims of our lunatic fringe merely helps them get hits.

    After all, they clearly state that they don’t review every match and we all know that 75% of footballing decisions can be argued both ways.

  • jambug

    Sorry Stoke. I suppose as it was Stoke that makes it alright.

  • jambug


    So the 20 odd fouls on the run up to Ramseys leg breaker where alright where they?

    So the fact a mugger gets his cumuppance that makes that alright does it.

    Honestly matt !!!

  • PrawnBrigade


    I don’t have as much time on my hands as some people clearly do, and anyway, some things are just so ridiculously obvious as lies, ignorance and propaganda they don’t need to be disproven with facts. Like 98% of the comments from gooners on here for example.

    Hogwash of the highest order, wall to wall embarrassment for your football club, absolutely hilarious – please keep it coming hahahahahahaha

    Oh, and why have you got a photo of a lady as your avatar Tony? It looks like Barbaba Woodhouse to me hahahahaha

  • Tasos


    Dan Smith only received a yellow card for his assault on Diaby. Not red.

  • WalterBroeckx

    If I’m not mistaken the player that broke Diaby his career was not sent off.
    Dan Smith only got a yellow card

  • Matt

    Ramsey wasn’t fouled 20 times before he broke his leg in that game.

    You live in a fictional world. I watch all of the Arsenal games live or on TV and dont see the things you’re talking about.

    Yes were on the receiving end of good and bad descisions but cant see the huge bias against Arsenal you’re talking about.

  • Matt

    My bad, he should have been because that was a shocking tackle at 3-0 down with 5 mins to go.

  • WalterBroeckx

    nice to notice that some commenter use other names than the ones they used previous.
    Even one admitting in his first comment a while ago he was a spurs fan in peace and now he named himself a big Arsenal fan and told us how bad we are at Untold.


  • jambug


    Simple quistion. Do you believe the statistics assembled by UT?

    If not, Why?

    If yes, why do you find them funny?

  • para

    I wonder why the people who cannot read and understand the articles on refs and the work done to get those stats together and the fact that the stats are not faked, but for all to see.
    Then they comment here all sorts of foolishness that we have no confidence in our team, hence blaming refs, etc.
    These people obviously cannot read and understand the unbiased reporting of these stats, they just want to comment on something they don’t or can’t understand.
    Anyway, people who do understand these things are not really surprised at which ref we have on saturday, we have become used to these things long before Untold started the refs reviews, and we were deemed to be paranoid by many.
    So let us hope our players are well aware now of what they have to face, and play with the spirit and strength to win the game outright, try to avoid some needless tackles and not leave ourselves open for the ref to make his “mistakes”.
    Forward gunners, we are with you.

  • Big Arsenal Fan

    Err Walter – check your servers. I’ve not posted as a Spurs fan. I work in a building with 4,000 people – maybe our IP addresses are the same?

    You are not bad. I enjoy the blog. It is an Arsenal blog for Arsenal fans. I don’t understand why other supporters are so up in arms?

  • Mandy Dodd

    Why do so many Spurs fans have to disguise their true allegiance….come to think of it, silly question

  • AL

    probert is bad news for Arsenal, and thanks for highlighting these previous misdeeds by this bent man. I’m just as concerned as I was before the Villa game. Worrying like this against lowly opposition at your own home ground, when you’re the form team in the whole league, should never have to be the case. But with officials like probert losing in such a match is a real possibility.

    I had a dream and it ended 2-2, with Norwich ‘coming’ from 2-1 down to level near the end, but this will be one case where I wish my dreams never come true. Well, this one only.

  • Big Arsenal Fan

    Christ, you even troll your own supporters.

    I’m out.

  • jambug


    Where did I say Ramsey was fouled 20 times?

    I said Stoke (in error WBA) had commited 20 odd fouls without recieveing a single card until the Ramsey incident.

    I’ve also only refered to the Ramsey, Eduardo and Diaby incidents, and the radio comentry in the Villa game. Are you suggesting I made those up !! Or perhaps you were’nt watching/Listening after all !

    And what do you mean “The huge bias against Arsenal you are talking about”

    With respect it’s not what ‘I am’ talking about is it? This whole thread is really referenceing the refereeing statistics assembled by untold and whether you believe them or not.

    I, like you can form opinions. I have always felt we have had a bum deal from refs. You obviously feel we havn’t. Untold has assembled a mass of statistics useing unbiased, neutral, impartial referees that suggests that my view is overwhelmingly backed up. You have yet to produce I shred of evidence to counter that.

    Until you do so I shall assume you have non and are mearly talking from an emotional standpoint rather from a knowledgeable one.

  • AL

    Mick 11:47am

    Yeah, who dug matt up??

  • jon

    @Matt are you seriously suggesting that in order for fouling to matter, all of the fouls have to be committed against ONE player??! That’s just…er, weird. It is a team sport, right? 11 players moving as one…you do realise?

    Anyway, I think the point here is not that this is the be-all and end-all of scientific analysis but that it is SOME analysis, that is as independent and even-handed as it can be. Actually, it’s a far better effort than we see from the official organisations, which is why people like Flob-a-doofus and Big Arsenal Fan and Prawn Sandwich (heeeelarious, by the way…), can’t counter with meaningful arguments. Part of me kinda wishes they could, because then, at least, it would mean the official organisations are generating some data, at least thinking about their responsibilities.

    I mean for instance, if someone was to say: “PL refs give more red cards to black players than anyone else”, I would like the refs to be able to refute this legally, with statistics, showing that referees are even handed. They can’t though, because there is no official information available, at least publically. I think this is through laziness and lack of organisation leadership from the from the PGMOL and PL. But, part of me is scared, that they don’t collect stats because there’s no way they can hide the bias against some teams and reputational damage to the league from that would be so high, that they are desperate to deflect attention.

    Of course, the press are rubbish uncovering anything of substance when it comes to the PL, so they’re getting lots of help there, I guess…

  • bjtgooner

    Looks like rupert was first out of the sewer this mornung & unfortunately didn’t replace the lid behind him.

    Good article and much appreciated – except by the inane AAA sewer rats.

  • jon

    Actually, and also Matt: A player being sent off is NO substitute an Arsenal player with both legs intact. You turning around and saying “Oh I’m sure the players were sent off” is verging of disgusting. Actually, only Shawcross was sent off. The other two were not and to be honest, doesn’t really matter:
    Those players had their legs broken dude!! Come on! Where your fucking humanity? Where’s your civility???!! Christ, I despair sometimes, barely human beings, some people…

  • Matt


    Taylor was sent off for the foul on Eduardo.

    It has nothing to do with being human or civil, it’s sport these things happen. Players will always suffer injuries and have from time to time leg breaks or worse.

    Stop being so melodramatic far worse things happen in the world than a footballer breaking his leg.

  • jambug

    And still we await ONE single solitary statistic to counter UT’s hard work!!!

  • Matt

    @ Jambug

    Unbiased,Neutral & Untold Arsenal do not belong in the same sentence.

    I will make my own opinion on what i think and dont need a blog to make my mind up for me. Thanks.

  • jambug


    You are beyond reason or debate.

  • Flopadob

    I lost interest in this whole charade a while back but a friend of mine has pointed me in the direction of a website called ‘Debatable Decisions’. The table is not complete so I have no idea how it would have panned out in the end but surely even the most deluded amongst you can see that most of the stuff on this website is at the very least iffy, if not complete nonsense?

    One of your posters, Walter Whathisface, has his own summary in his blog, also below, where it shows the total opposite result to the one above and with an outrageous gulf in disparity which is nigh on impossible to achieve. But surely the stuff on here cannot be massively exaggerated (it blatantly is by the way). No doubt you all will believe its fine because as I say, you’ve been hoodwinked into believing the claptrap by endless figures. But does that mean that its everyone else is making stuff up? They can’t BOTH be right after all.

    Both these links are about the 2012-13 season yet Arsenal register polar opposites. I wonder why? It can’t have anything to do with one being independent and the other written by Gooners…

    Judging by the enormous gulf between results in ‘Walters’ post below compared to the more likely (and no doubt correct) table on ‘DD’ I think its pretty bloody obvious that this whole website is nothing but a complete lie.

    Enjoy your evening and good luck tomorrow. If only there was no referee, then you’d definitely win.

  • jon

    I think you’re lack of concern for you fellow human beings is really, really disappointing. “Stop being melodramatic”. Wow. The 18 months recovery for Ramsey doesn’t matter. The physical pain of the leg-break isn’t important. The risk to the life of the player, because any operation involving anesthetic carries a risk of death. The cost to Arsenal in rehabilitation, the worry of the players’ families and the risk to their careers…none of this is important.

    It’s all just ‘melodrama’ apparently. I know that if my leg was broken for just turning up to work, I’d be (I think rightly) pissed. Obviously, not you though. Fair Enough. Glad you’re not in charge of any other humans. Don’t think you’d be very good at that…

  • jambug

    I can only assume by your 4.12 comment that you are accuseing Untold of lieing about the neutral status of the people who have assembled the Refereeing statistics in this blog.

    Saying you will ‘make up your own mind’ as a counter arguement to a set of statistics is just silly.

    I say again, and still we await one single solitary statistic to counter Untolds hard work !!

  • Peter

    As others have alluded to, it is really simple.

    UA/RR have presented evidence demonstrating a degree of bias that is not explainable within normal statistical bounds (leaving aside the incompetence).

    To prove that this evidence is flawed one would need to demonstrate either one or both of the following:

    1. Is the process flawed (i.e. a “neutral” qualified referee reviewing a game on TV)?

    2. Are the reviewed decisions perverse?

    As Flobadop’s main point of concern was the Norwich v Arsenal game last season, s/he needs to:

    1. Check with Walter whether the referee reviewing supported Arsenal (or Norwich). Walter should be able to confirm this – but won’t be able to confirm anything else due to confidentiality.

    2. Re-review the game to see if the review referee made any mistakes. We can then go through any discrepancies with a broader group. Is Flobadop a qualified referee?

    Even if Flobadop is right re this game, it does not necessarily invalidate the hundreds of other games reviewed.

    As others have pointed out, hurling abuse is no substitute at all for hard evidence!

  • WalterBroeckx

    aha flodabob, very interesting you bring this one in the light.

    In the season when our reviews were done by biased Arsenal reviewing referees we had very similar results to the debatable decisions website.
    But the thing is the debatable decisions website is not run by referees. It is ran by football fans.
    But at the end they found that Arsenal also was very much hit by bad referee decisions.

    The problem is that the debatable decisions website is only looking at the MOTD highlights. And as we did show on many occasions (just look at the WBA game) they don’t show all what happens on the field and they are censuring things that might shed a different light on things.

    But in the referee decisions we have covered every game we reviewed from the first second till the last second. And we did look at all events on the field.

    And this was done by referees and not just by fans.

    So who do you trust more? Referees based on complete games? Or just fans based on what MOTD shows?

  • WalterBroeckx

    And furthermore about debatable decisions website:

    One of the things I was critical about debatable decisions was that they didn’t take the laws of the games as their main point.
    They used things like: ‘it was difficult to see’ or ‘it was a crowded penalty area’ and other excuse me for calling it that way: blah blah blah.

    In our reviews over the seasons we looked at the incident and if it was offside, it was offside. If it was a foul that the ref didn’t give, it was a foul. We could mention that it was difficult to see for the ref (because of a crowded penalty area) but that didn’t take away from the fact that the decision(s) was wrong.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Horse To Water (lyrics) -George Harrison

    You can take a horse to the water
    but you can’t make him drink
    Oh no, oh no, oh no
    A friend of mine in so much misery
    Some people sail through life,but he has struck a reef
    I said ‘hey man let’s go out and get some wisdom’
    But first he turned on me, then he turned off his nervous system
    You take a horse to water but
    you can’t make him drink
    Oh no, oh no, oh no
    You can have it all layed/staked out in front
    of you but it still don’t make you think
    Oh no, oh no, oh no
    Someone I love is gotta problem
    Some people thirst for truth, but he would like a drink
    I said ‘Hey man this could turn out to be risky’
    He said ‘everything’s ok’ as he downed another bottle of whiskey
    There’s a preacher out there warned me about Satan
    Could be that he knows him
    Cause’ He acts like he’s possessed
    I said ‘Hey man let’s hear about God realisation
    For a change’
    he said “We ain’t got time for that
    First you must hear the evils of fornication”

    © George Harrison & Dhani Harrison
    RIP Ltd, 2001
    Recorded 2 October 2001

  • Flopadob

    No offence Walter, but I believe theirs 100% more than I do yours. Your’s wreak of astonishing bias. The fact you’ve not even re-refereed two of the games I watched correctly in your reviews tells me this. Indeed in both games your bias shines through.

    I’m saying nothing more on the subject. If people want to believe this twaddle its up to them I suppose but you’re all being taken for a ride and all look completely ridiculous.

  • Matt

    Statistics are for people who want/need them.

    I watch Arsenal games all the time and if the bias was as great as you say i would expect to be able to notice it.

    Funnily enough when we have had good teams we have done better than when we have had bad teams and the refereeing hasn’t really had much impact on that.

    Luck good and bad does have an impact on games of course but does it really effect how good a team is and where there likely to finish in a 9 month season.I dont think so.

    If we are so hated how comes we are currently top of the league and have more points this calender year than any other team?. Why have the refs allowed that?

  • jambug

    So useing DD as your barometer of referees performance is a bit like judgeing a film by it’s trailor.

    Hmmmm. I think we’ve all been there.

  • jambug

    How many more times Matt. It’s not what we say, it’s what the statistics show.

    Nothing you say changes that.

    And still we wait !!!!

  • Matt

    Football is like coucil tax it’s subjective so i dont need your stats as a comfort blanket.

    It’s like betting on the horses go with what you think and see stats cant really help you find the winner.

    Anyway i am off to the pub and to enjoy my weekend.

    Hope you all enjoy yours too.

  • Matt

    Is not like Council tax

  • Big Arsenal Fan

    So useing Untold Arsenal as your barometer of referees performance is a bit like judgeing a film by a rival director’s review.

    Hmmmm. I think we’ve never been there.

  • Big Arsenal Fan

    Bet that DD thing is written by Liverpool fans.

    Why? Because they come off worst.

    They’re all biased. It is impossible to do a statistical analysis of referee performance, because their performance cannot be measured statistically.


    Honestly Matt, there is not a truly objective football correspondent out there, so if you don’t like it, I suggest you stop watching football.


    Concerning Mike’s comment @ 2:01, What the fuck is Mike Riley officiating so many Man. Utd games in one season about. That’s almost 20 percent of his matches. The penalty decisions are ludicrous. Over here in the States, That bullshit wouldn’t be tolerated. We rotate our referees so nobody does a disproportionate amount of one team’s games. It’s not kosher, Doesn’t look like things are on the up and up on your side of the pond.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    So far this season we have had two matches with bad refereeing and we won neither. In neither game were we at our fluent best for any significant part of the game. From what I saw of both games we were disrupted by a series of niggly fouls and decisions which served to disrupt our pattern of play. On opening day we were also undone by a referee who was actively looking for reasons to reduce our playing squad from eleven men and eventually Koscielny was the one to go, a booking and penalty for one of the best defensive tackles you will see this year and a second yellow for a foul that was innocuous.

    Referees can and do influence the outcome of games without the need to make wrong big decisions. Look at the first four decisions for each team in any game and you will have a very good idea if there is a hidden ‘agenda’ or not. If the first calls are right then the players of both teams will know and won’t take liberties. If one team is punished and the other isn’t then the team not being punished will react more strongly as the game proceeds and that is when the risk of injuries increases.

    As to why referees should influence a game – your guess is as good as mine, but I believe from the evidence I see and from the only published reviews of referees by referees that such influence does occur.

    As supporters of football as well as Arsenal, we all have an interest in ensuring that refereeing is done in a fair, honest and competent manner. We want the result of the game to be decided by the players who should be able to play without fear or prejudice. The Football Authorities should act to bring in video reviews without delay for all penalty, goal and red card incidents to ensure that justice is done properly. The argument that this would waste time is specious. The ball is in play for little over 60 of the available 90 minutes anyway and it would be easy to add extra time on to compensate for that taken by the review.

    I also believe that team captains and managers should have the right to challenge any individual decision, say for a maximum of three per match. if the challenge is upheld then the challenge is retained, if not it is lost.

    In order to retain the interest of the crowd the video footage being reviewed could be shown on the big screens.

    Referees have a very difficult job to do and need all the help they can get. The current situation where they are shown up game after game to be wrong doesn’t help in any way.

  • Andrew Crawshaw


    Mike Riley is now the head of the company supplying referees to English football, he is the person that allocates the officials to each game.

    You are absolutely correct in your comment that all is not well on this side of the pond.

  • Sammy The Snake

    No ref can stop this Arsenal momentum, Gunners will definitely collect 3 points at home on Saturday.

  • WalterBroeckx


    And big Arsenal fan,

    The reviews conducted by us showed that Liverpool also is one of the teams suffering from the bias in general. Not as much as Arsenal.

    Just check this out

    So are we also Liverpool supporters now….??

    I also like to point out that when only Arsenal refs reviewed the games the bias against Arsenal actually was smaller than when the games were reviewed by refs from other teams.

    Maybe they were closet Arsenal fans…? 🙂 And like I said if you want to know which teams the refs supported you can read this article

  • OMGArsenal

    lopadop won’t believe in actual bias but rather major officiating incompetence and that is easier to believe in and such a simple explanation doesn’t require any analysis or studied reviews, but the ultimate results are the same….teams are punished (ALL teams).
    Therefore Walter and UA’s efforts to highlight this ubiquitous incompetence (or bias depending on what you believe you see)become even more vital by pointing a spotlight on such unacceptable performances and eventually encouraging these men to improve and become fairer and better.
    The real issue here is the incompetence of the PGMOL and the FA in recognizing these officiating failures and to actively remedy them.
    However, denying the possibility of biased, bought and bent officials in the EPL is a mistake, since it is happening all over the world in professional football so why would the UK be different? We will probably NEVER know for sure if such things are happening in the EPL until someone finally confesses, but that doesn’t justify pretending that nothing is happening,aside from a few incompetent performances. As Andrew Cranshaw correctly points out, we all want a level playing field and whether it is by incompetence or by something more nefarious, every team in the EPL is being cheated by such unprofessional behaviour.
    Are the Arsenal or Watford or any other Club being targeted intentionally or accidentally by officials, that is yet to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt BUT the signs are there that all is not well and that officials are influencing critical games by failing to be fair…that is a crisis in itself.

  • Barney B

    I, too, winced at the news of Probert reffing tomorrow. I believe you used to refer to him as “Poor Bert”.
    However, all the games highlighted in your article featured Arsenal as the away side. Could it be – as an earlier comment has already mentioned – that he just tends strongly to favour the home team?

    Rather than a composite figure regarding the relative favouritism of decisions in the different matches reviewed of each team, are you able to segregate your data according to whether each match was at home or away, & thus produce different “bias” levels accordingly?

  • Tom

    “Why Arsenal will lose on Saturday” is a quite negative title to a post one might expect from a site supporting one of our rival clubs ,written to generate hits rather than thoughtful discussion ,or is it just a preemptive strike against a biased referee who had been known to hurt us in the past?

    For a preemptive action to work in this case however, it would require certain Mr Probert to read this post , which he most certainly won’t do.

    So is it the hits then?( it seems to be working),or maybe it’s the author’s way of hedging his bets in case Arsenal fail to win, so he can say I told you so after he points out a couple of controversial refereeing decisions.

    Or maybe it’s a promotional piece for the Ref Review conducted by UA that hasn’t gotten any traction outside of UA, who knows ?

    In any event I find this kind of negativity usually a common place after a defeat and not before the game that promises to be an attractive spectacle , seeing as there have been 21 goals scored between these two clubs in the last four meetings at Arsenal.

    Norwich are not exactly “park the bus ” type of club these days and with players like Van Wolfswinkel , Pilkington and Tettey showing plenty of attacking prowess, there should be more than enough chances created at both ends .

    With signing of Flamini , Arsenal have pretty much all by guaranteed never to repeat the events of an opening day fiasco , by which I mean giant wholes and acres of space between our midfield and defense exploited so ruthlessly by Agbonlahor .

    Arsenal should be more than capable of getting the job done against Norwich and I’ll go out on a limb and predict 3-0 to the good guys.

    Cheers everyone.

  • Stuart

    In regards to ‘my interpretation of bias’, there is nothing wrong about my interpretation of bias. You clearly need the help here as you only believe bias can be intentional and not accidental.

  • goonerkam

    How many more of our ARSENAL players have to get mangled and butchered before some idiots wakeup to the facts?
    How many?
    Very saddened and disappointed at the sentiments expressed by the AAA here today. And angered.
    UA , once again , thanks for all the hard work and countless hours spent on this project that has indeed confirmed our initial suspicions regarding this matter. How can a true ARSENAL fan watch some of these games and not come to the same conclusions I simply beyond me.

  • goonerkam

    I share your sentiments 100%. Protection of all players of all teams by the refs. All we ask is a level playing field. That all.

  • SomeoneElse

    Your Lee Probert analysis states that he gave eight red cards, seven of them incorrectly (in your sample which included less than 2/3 of his matches). But Lee Probert only showed five red cards last season in the Premier League.

    Please enlighten us as to how this apparent error has occurred – or does it demonstrate the innaccuracy of your statistics.

  • Florian

    Great work Andrew, a big thanks from me too for being realistic and giving us a grounded preview. I do hope that Arsene and the team have figured out some tactics to shut down the bullies. From the little I saw of them this season, Norwich are quite beatable. They changed their attacking line-up and it shows, as they scored only 5 goals in 7 games. They have Elmander that hasn’t scored yet, and actually only 1 of their goals was scored by a striker (van Wolfswinkel). Villa were more dangerous, with Agbonlahor and Benteke. Our team is more than capable of getting a win. All it takes is one goal more than them:)

    I’ll wake up at 7 AM to watch the game since no TV channel shows the match live here in Seattle, hopefully I’ll get a decent stream.


  • elkieno

    Wow, that’s untold squillions of visits a month not your average blog!
    It took a while reading this, but I suspect Walter, Tony et al knew that if they were going to do these reviews, then ppl like flop would come on here saying, ‘You are all wrong, I am right, the reviews are all biased done by Arsenal fans’, BUT as you said ‘they are just incompetent’ then we agree refs are ‘incompetent’ it is just that when Wakter reviewed the games with other qualified refs that don’t support Arsenal, the results show they are incompetent and we cop the worst if it. Or the refs are biased either way we are get bent over and not even given a reach around!
    Colario said it perfectly way up above, the teenagers comment, I remember being exactly the same when young with my sister about religion….
    So true!

  • Rupert Cook

    Why did we lose again? Oh, we didn’t.

  • Stuart

    @ SomeoneElse
    The figures are not Red Cards Shown but infact Red Card Incidents.

    I don’t have the actual numbers but incorrect red cards means both ‘incorrectly awarded’ AND ‘incorrectly NOT awarded’ (aka ignored / missed)

  • Rupert Cook

    @Stuart, explain to me how bias can be accidental. The very nature of the word bias suggests an intentional action. Accidental bias is a paradox.

  • WalterBroeckx

    as Stuart said it is red card incidents in total. Given red cards but also not given red cards when he should have given them.