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August 2021

Ref Review 2012/13: Aston Villa

By Walter Broeckx

This article is part of the series of the Referee Review 2013. You can find links to earlier articles on the bottom of this article.


After having dealt with the different teams and after having examined all the refs and this leading to the best ref of the season according to the views of our referee reviewers we now will bring you something that will be an easy manual to see who is good or bad for a team.

We will of course bring you this in order so that from now on if you see that your team will play and there is a certain ref assigned you can see in a blink of an eye if this ref has a bad or a good history with your team. At least in the season 2012/2013.  And if all goes well we will even try to add the bias from the season before in to each article. And that way you can see possible returning things.

As of course it might be that some referee performances are a one off. But if a ref has the same bias against a team it might show something more. If a ref of course has a big bias in favour of a team it also is saying something about that ref.

A little word of explanation about the graphics you will see. The ultimate referee performance would be that the bias score (which is based on the wrong decisions) is around zero. Alas you will find very few of those scores in the total series. So the zero line will be the middle line of each graphic.

If a ref has positive bias score for the team involved you will see a name (of the ref) and a green line and a number. The bias number for that ref.

On the other hand if the ref had a negative bias you will see again a name but then with a red line and a number. The negative bias score for that ref.

The longer the lines are means the higher the number and the higher that bias has been from the ref. Short lines are better and would be nicer for all. I also included a little table in the graphic just with the names and with a red or green label. This is for those who want to throw a quick look at the names as sometimes the numbers did get in the way with the name.

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Next in our series is Aston Villa

Aston Villa bias per ref


When we look at this graphic we see that Aston Villa had 6 refs who had a positive bias when they did their games.

You could also say they had 6 refs with a negative bias but one of them was so small that we didn’t paint him red. That was Phil Dowd by the way.

Going further with the negative refs we see that also Moss was a ref who had a small bias against them.  Anthony Taylor also didn’t seem to do them any favours last season.

Refs with a too big negative bias were Swarbrick and certainly Friend was not their friend in the last season.

Refs with positive bias in the games we reviewed were Jones and Probert with a rather small number.

Clattenburg, Mason and Oliver with already a too high score in my opinion but that is nothing compared to the bias score of Mike Dean. That sure looks to be out of order.

Let us now have a look at the season before.

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

This was only a few refs we reviewed in their games and based on last season and on the numbers from the season 2011/2012 we can say that Dowd seems to be the most fair ref for Aston Villa that you can find. No bias in this graphic and the smallest of numbers in the other season. I think based on the reviews Aston Villa should want Dowd for each game.

Taylor also with a negative bias against Aston Villa in that season.

Jonathan Moss then had a positive bias, so one could say that it evens out over two seasons with Moss.  Michael Oliver had a positive bias in both season for Aston Villa. Something to keep an eye on.



6 comments to Ref Review 2012/13: Aston Villa

  • TJ

    Kevin Friend should never be allowed to referee an Aston Villa match again. You think it was just last season? He robbed us blind at Stamford Bridge with one of the worst refereeing performances I’ve ever seen. Failed to send Ivanovic off for a clear elbow to Benteke’s face – he actually booked him which means he had a clear view of the incident. Ivanovic then scored the winner (which was also a yard offside). To top it off John Terry punched the ball in his own box in the last minute, clear for the whole stadium to see, with Friend standing 5 feet away looking straight at it. Nothing given.

    I do find your concept that Dowd is a fair ref for Aston Villa very funny. Clearly you aren’t aware of our history. A passionate hatred for Phil Dowd is the one real thing that unites the Villa fanbase, after he failed to send off Vidic in the first 5 minutes of the cup final when hauling down Agbonlahor as the last man. He cost us a trophy.

  • Dom

    I agree totally with TJ. I don’t see how anyone can say Phil Dowd is a fair referee for Aston Villa. He certainly cost us the 2010 Carling Cup final (although we had a penalty awarded by Dowd, many will tell you that Vidic should have sent off for committing two fouls on Agbonlahor in one; pulling his shirt while stretching his leg out to trip him up). Dowd also cost us a derby game against West Brom in October 2011 ,when Villa’s Chris Herd was sent off unfairly by Dowd in the first half. TJ is certainly right, Dowd is the pantomime villain at Villa Park, and with good reason.
    Also, I agree with TJ that Kevin Friend cheated us out of a point at Stamford Bridge earlier this season.
    This is a great blog, but I would like to know how exactly this referee bias is worked out, specifically what exactly is judged to be an incorrect decision from the referee in these stats. This is a very interesting read though, thanks for putting it up!

  • bjtgooner

    A great series Walter.

    I am surprised to note that Taylor has a negative bias towards Villa – that obviously changes when Villa play Arsenal!

  • WalterBroeckx

    and raises the question: why?

  • Florian


    Then we’re looking forward to the next article in the series;)

  • bob

    Would you address TJ and Dom’s disagreements on Dowd?