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August 2021

Boxing Day ref preview. Phil Dowd we (and the guys in the press box) are watching you

West Ham v Arsenal 26/12/2013 – The Match Officials

Andrew Crawshaw

  • Referee Phil Dowd
  • Assistants – D Cann, L Betts
  • Fourth Official – C Breakspear


At last this year new officials – welcome to C Breakspear as fourth official.  OK he is unlikely to play a great part in proceedings apart from having to placate one or other (or possibly both) of Arsene and Big Sam.

It’s also the first time for our old friend Phil Dowd.  You all remember him from years gone past though don’t you?  You should if you are a supporter of Arsenal, aston Villa, Norwich, Swansea or Sunderland because last year he gave every wrong decision in a game against you.  Five games with a 100/0 bias – amazing.

OK Arsenal games last year:-

Match Review: Phil Dowd – West Ham United Vs Arsenal (1 – 3) [06/10/2012]  Overall rating 76%, bias against 0/100, three wrong Important Decisions (second yellow, red cards, penalties and goals).  Key talking points were:-

  • Minute 11 – Handball from Carroll not given
  • Minute 21 – Diame scores a goal (1-0), he also rightly gets a yellow card for an excessive celebration
  • Minute 26 – Diame called for a bad foul on Arteta, should have been a yellow card and he should have been sent off.  Wrong Important decision.
  • Minute 35 – Reid rightly gets a yellow card
  • Minute 40 – Giroud scores (1-1)
  • Minute 45 – Gervinho rightly gets a yellow card
  • Minute 59 – Vaz Te plants his foot against Manone’s head foul given but should have been a straight red card – wrong Important Decision
  • Minute 71 – Ramsey fouled on edge of penalty area – nothing given but it should have been a penalty to Arsenal.
  • Minute 76 Walcott scores (1-2) and rightly gets a yellow card for an excessive celebration
  • Minute 82 – Cazorla scores (1-3)
  • Minute 85 – taylor rightly gets a yellow card

Overall a game that We won fairly comfortably despite serious efforts by Mr Dowd.

Match Review: Phil Dowd – Arsenal Vs Fulham (3 – 3) [10/11/2012]  Overall 71%, bias against 78/22 and two wrong Important Decisions.  Key talking points were:-

  • Minute 5 – Riise fouls Walcott who was going for the returnball – foul given but should have been a booking
  • Minute 10 – Giroud scores (1-0)
  • Minute 22 – Podolski scores (2-0)
  • Minute 28 – Berbatov pushes Sagna in back with both hands then scores a goal (2-1).  Goal should have been disallowed for the immediately preceeding foul – wrong Important Decision
  • Minute 39 – Kacaniklic scores a goal (2-2)
  • Minute 40 – Yellow card to Sidwell – harsh decision
  • Minute 59/60 – Sidwell commits a foul, Ramsey gets yellow card for off the ball foul Ref goes to his pocket looking at Sidwell then to his pocket.  Realising that it will be a second yellow card he then calls over Ramsey to give him a yellow card.  He then has a word with Sidwell – Bizarre refereeing.  Sidwell should have second yellow card and be sent off Wrong Important decision
  • Minute 65 – Penalty correctly awarded against Arteta
  • Minute 66 – Berbatov scores resulting spot kick (2-3)
  • Minute 68 – Giroud scores (3-3)
  • Minute 93 +3 – Penalty awarded to Arsenal for handball, the player was close to where the ball was kicked and had his arm close to his body so penalty shouldn’t have been given.  Wrong Important decision.  Arteta didn’t score from the spot kick.

A tough game but one where the referees decisions cost Arsenal two points.  Berbatov’s first goal shouldn’t have counted.

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Match Review: Phil Dowd – Arsenal Vs Manchester United (1 – 1) [28/04/2013]  Overall 75%, bias against 44/56 and two wrong Important Decisions.  Key talking points were :-

  • Minute 0 – Walcott scores goal (1-0) but he was offside and the goal should have been ruled out.
  • Minute 16 – Phil Jones rightly booked
  • Minute 23 – De Silva rightly booked
  • Minute 27 – RVP rightly booked
  • Minute 29 – Evans rightly booked
  • Minute 32 – Walcott rightly booked
  • Minute 41 – Sagna fouled RVP in penalty area and is rightly booked.  RVP scores resulting spot kick (1-1)
  • Minute 60  – Arsenal player (un-named but must have been Theo) should have had second yellow card and been sent off
  • Minute 64 – Valencia rightly booked for handball
  • Minute 80 – the Ox rightly booked for off the ball foul

A most unusual game with Mr Dowd giving Arsenal the benefit of both important wrong decisions.  Without them we would probably have lost the game.  Also one of the only three games where the overall bias was in favour of Arsenal (the others being our away game to City – ref Mike Dean of all people 83% overall, bias 71/29 amd our away game at Swansea – ref Jonathan Moss 92% overall, bias 78/22).

Apart from the Arsenal game West Ham had no reviewed games under Phil Dowd so nothing more I can add on that account.

Phil Dowd’s bias table from 2011/12 is reproduced below.


No surprise that Arsenal is at the bottom of this table and of course nothing for West Ham as they were in the Championship that year.

So a game that Arsenal should be easily capable of winning unless the refereeing is really diabolical – which of course it might be.


42 comments to Boxing Day ref preview. Phil Dowd we (and the guys in the press box) are watching you

  • Merlion96

    With a midfield of Noble-Diame-Lampard; and Big Mouth using Bolton-style tackling same as Mourinho 4-5-1, expect lots of stud-up tackles, tackles from the back and blatant body-check.

    Noble and Nolan will certainly go in hard with Dowd gesturing to Arsenal players get up and get on with it.

    Now, if Andy Carroll is fit, jumping in like Kevin Davies, all elbows and knees ..

    What we need to do is to emulate the first 20-minutes like against Napoli, all one-touch one-pass and let them chase after shadows …

    The other danger is we are playing with a high-line and with a speedy Ravel Morrison playing counter-attacks, dodgy off-side decision may goes against us.

  • Stuart

    So will Breakspear be looking to fast track his career?

    I’m going for an Arsenal win on this one based on the fact we have a higher than our own overall average win rate with this ref and West Ham have a lower than their overall average win rate with him.

  • Sammy The Snake

    Hoping big Sam won’t park the bus as he has lost too many games and needs some results. But it’s always tough to play teams above relegation zone.

  • Man Utd have been involved in corruption in my view, via Alex Ferguson. An example is his relationship with Sam Allardyce, the current West Ham manager.
    Why are people so surprised that Utd beat West Ham so easily recently ? It’s simple….Allardyce and Ferguson (even though no longer the Utd manager….he still wields influence in soccer circles) are mates, so whenever a team managed by Allardyce plays Man Utd, it’s 3 points guaranteed for Utd.
    For the doubters….kindly have a look back in history and see the results of Allardyce’s teams (Bolton come to mind) against Man Utd….It’s always been 3 easy points for Utd.
    Ferguson is an unscrupulous person who has fooled British people for decades.

  • bob

    When speaking of Dowd and (former Fergie enabler) Big Sam, diabolical doings and dedicated thuggery somehow float into one’s (bashed) cranium. On this note – and before it grows stale – I think that Thugmeister Maureen really mind-fucked his beloved former player: During the week he couldn’t praise our Ozil enough. To the heavens. During the match, however, he sent his thug, Ivan the Orc, to decapitate Ozil. No prohibitions or kid gloves for his kid there. I think part of Ozil’s rage-out against this thuggery was (conscious or not) a real sense of Maureen (his daddy figure’s) sadistic Treachery. There are observations made since about a shared wink and a nod between Chelski’s backline bouncers about their premeditated hooligan drama. Perhaps Ozil will have had his eyes wide-opened now to the nature of the EPL beast and that of his former mentor in chief, for whom nothing is too loathsome to achieve a result. It’s beyond boring, Maureen’s no holds barred. That said, If it re-awakens the sleeping giant inside Ozil, and if he can truly cope with this bent and brutal league, then Maureen’s thuggery will have backfired and have brought out the fire that burns inside our prize purchase toward a re-dedicated and voracious drive to our trophy. May it re-start tomorrow.

  • nicky

    It’s a sad reflection of our times when, in pre-match discussion, so much attention has to be paid to the character of the officiating referee.
    In any sporting contest, the referee/umpire should interpret the rules professionally and without fear or favour….and be seen and trusted to do so.
    One day….

  • AL

    Agree. Instead of talking tactics etc we are busy worrying about the ref. This certainly has been the case these last 3 or so weeks.

    I’ve noticed the rough treatment being dished out to Ozil is getting more and more and worse too. Let’s hope this combined with bent refereeing doesn’t make him think his future may lie elsewhere.

  • Florian

    The thuggery will backfire all the way to the DFB. Imagine what Mr. Low will have to say if the “preferential” treatment makes Ozil unavailable for the World Cup.

  • The font

    Ozil is one of the worlds best players but needs to put shifts in .I am totally pro arsenal but we still need to debate players that are not playing well or maybe dissergree with le boss the way he sets his stall out for certain games . I normally only come on when someone is unfairly criticising the worlds greatest manager or the team I know. With the AAA on here at every chance trying to destabilise
    Us true fans . It makes it more difficult to debate anything negative But we need to stay open minded and say it as we see it

  • The font

    only skipped through quickly I thought you were talking about criticism from fans
    Your absolutely. Right in what you say

  • lofty

    Why are you worrying about Dowd?

    He has reffed 23 Arsenal PL games and you have a W12-D8-L3 record in them. He has reffed Arsenal at West Ham twice and you won both times.

  • AL

    The font
    No probs, I don’t think the fans have been an issue. I feel Ozil may appear to have gone off the boil slightly because he’s being stopped from playing his game, with nothing being done to the offenders by the refs. I expect we will see some of the mandatory heavy handedness we have come to associate with allardyce’s sides tomorrow and I think the obvious targets will be Arteta and Ozil again, simply because they are the best passers of the ball in our side.

  • ‘True’ fans?
    I don’t recall anyone here being that up themselves.

  • Merlion96

    The Font,
    We can’t judge Ozil now; till he survives the first English WInter, we can have an overall view of hsi effectiveness within the TEAM.

    Remember, Ozil needs to adapt to new team-mates and a new style of physical football where he needs to put in a shift going box-to-box instead of being a luxurious players at Real where he cna concentrate in opponents’ half with a solid defensive shield behind him.

    The other aspect of why Ozil is sturggling is that lack of passing channels and options for through ball with an immobile and off-form Giroud and lack of udnerstanding with right-flanker; plus an off-form Rosicky and woeful Santi (and woeful Wilshere) that put-off hsi passing options.

    Plus, Ramsey is playing too deep in a more defensive role as compare in earlier of the season. We seldom find Ramsey in the box nor him creating shooting opportunity outside the box.

    Against Chelski, we only have two shots on target, the first one occuring in 85th minute with Cech saving a point-blank tap-in from Giroud!

    The other aspect is that our left-flank wing-backs in Gibbs and Monreal are woeful in joining the attacks, more frequently miscueing their crosses and losing the balls big-tiem during counter-attacking.

    I would say that the benchmark of our attakcing football is that first 20-minute against Napoli wiht one-touch one-pass football as if the entire MIDIFIELD and FORWARD-3 has a glorious telepathic understanding akin to the French Spine.

    WIltord: “I can run into space with my eyes closed and knew that the ball will be there at my feet.” … something like that as far as I can recalled 😀

  • Micheal Ram

    Yesterday I dreamt of giving the evil mourinho sh*t a stone cold stunner. Vintage. I hope to give alex fword butt licking a*s allerdyce a stunner tonight. In my dreams.

  • Sav from Australia


    Font was referring to the ‘fake fans’, i.e. paid agents, that come on Untold at times to hijack threads and debates.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Hope we are up for this one ,and play with a high tempo,
    while avoiding all those high and wild challenges and lunges.
    A 2-0 win for me .
    Up the Gunners !

  • Yeah yeah yeah,3-0 5-0 2-0 or whatever how will they come along if we can only shot at goal the entire 94 minutes two shots,guys guys,guys we need to start shootin other wise we are doomed.
    And what perturbs me more is the Prof is contented with it as he does not react in any way to show the boys that we need to shot to get the goals.
    Its high time we shot

  • nicky

    @Kampala Gun,
    I agree entirely. For many a season we have tried to walk the ball into the net, at the expense of opportunities by shooting. This season Ramsey showed the away early on. I only hope someone with the right boots will join us next month.

  • menace

    Once again Dean wins by cheating Arsenal of a penalty. He allows foul tackles to go unpunished and even has the audacity to book Arsenal players for imaginary fouls. It is a sad case brutal abuse of authority without any recourse to law.

    The ‘sporting’ aspect of football is now a laughing stock as referees do not have to stop play unless it is a head injury. ‘Just let the guy die if his heart fails!! his head is ok!!’

    Chelsea were kicking Arteta and Dean was loving it. Ozil was fouled and Dean was ignoring it. Walcott was brought down blatantly by Willian in the box and Dean said no penalty.

    Dean is a cheat without a concience and Riley enjoys appointing such morons knowing their arrogance.

    English Football is corrupt and the FA are an absolute disgrace.

  • elkieno

    I agree with Font about Ozil as he has not been as good as when first started, but this happens to every player when they change leagues. Every player that is brought in ideally would start from bench and work his way in. Ozil is do good that he just fitted in straight away but that was in early days when the season was getting started, now we are at the hardcore Xmas pileup, he is feeling it. He still needs time to really find his groove still, only half way through.
    We will come good, but need a decent squad striker to come in I think, Giroud wil find it tough. I think aw will give Podolski at CF a go to see if possible, we would need to change our play though.
    COYG beat hammers and we should up top again!

  • AL

    Come on guys, Ozil has and is still performing well. He’s just being targeted more now that teams are trying to work out how to nullify our threat, and it’s not helped by the refs standing by watching as he gets roughed up. The same thing happened to Jack, he was getting kicked off the park by teams as a way to stop him. It doesn’t matter even we got the best player in the world right now, they’d get just a few games before the kicking starts and before we know it they’ll be ‘struggling’. The problem is the officials who don’t do anything when our players get kicked, but are quick to pull out the cards the minute the same players put a foot wrong. I once gave an analogy where I compared football to boxing, if the ref let’s one fighter hold and clinch it’ll deny the better fighter from landing crisp shots, and could even win the fight for the other guy. We will see the same methods in use again this afternoon with west ham, we need a level playing ground but at the moment it just seems like wishful thinking.

  • C4

    I saw an interview by Big Sam where he pretty much says they’ll try and do what chel$ki did to nullify our strengths.
    Well, what chel$ki did was kick us to bits, so expect a similar game tonight. If Arteta plays, I expect they’ll go for the same ankle, like they do with Jack. With the precedent that the refs have set in our last few games, I fear we might lose a player to injury any time soon. Might be a good time leave Arteta on the bench until / unless he’s needed.

  • AL

    That’s the saddest thing about it all C4, that we have to leave our best players out for fear of them getting injured. It shouldn’t have to be that way, but we have a few heartless men running our game and they don’t care.

  • Double canister

    Manu scum have been non-stop bulling the ref all game long at Hull.
    They have a complete sense of entitlement.

  • Al the Gooner

    3d game 3d not penalty not given….

  • C4

    I’m following online mbm, nothing about a penalty. What happened this time?

  • Al the Gooner

    hand ball. as usual

  • C4

    Hmmm… funny how it was left out in the Sky and Telegraph MBM I was following. I’m shocked :O

  • Mandy Dodd

    Well done arsenal. The initial assault of the season went wrong but despite odds weighted against them the first wave established beach heads and bridgeheads and put us in a healthy position. Lately the first wave have tired and have been kicked especially our spearhead and our welsh fusilier as well as our new German recruit. But today we saw the second wave coming in to relieve our tired troops a second wave capable of goals sand assists in abundance. Some were sharpening knives some were drooling at the prospect of coming on here to annoy others were getting ready to publish broken cannons. But despite the best efforts of so many, still for now we sit top of the league. We now know people from the club see this website I say to them , plenty more work to do but so far, very well done , some of know what you are up against. Can’t make substitutions that wenger…..can he?

  • WalterBroeckx

    Think City is the new Utd…Another terrible offside decisions in their favour. Who pays the ferryman??

  • porter

    Scary isn’t it Walter , Offsides given wrongly seems the norm for the Etihad . it is happening too often , one has to consider brown envelopes or an agenda set by our old friend Mavis.

  • WalterBroeckx

    just seen the shirt pull on Suarez in the last minutes. I know he went down like his usual idiotic himself but you don’t need to go down even it was a clear shirt pull and a clear penalty for Liverpool.

    I think the PGMOL has a new sponsor?

  • porter

    But will any of our esteemed media have the bollocks to mention it. Or are they all feeding at the same table.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Just watching Newcastle and Atkinson was determined to help them all the way. I don’t like Stoke for a bit but the first double yellow looked a bit soft. I think Whelan will get a lot of stick from his team mates for getting such a soft sending off without any opposition player being left half dead.
    Wanting to bring Newcastle in good spirits to face their next opponent? Oh that’s right that’s Arsenal….

  • bjtgooner

    Walter, it does look as if the PGMOL has largely switched preferential favoritism to the Manchester Oilers from the Manures. We can only speculate why this might be.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Good to see Manone having a great game for Sunderland. I think he deserved it, not a world class keeper but surely a good keeper

  • WalterBroeckx

    bjtgooner, money money money…must be funny…

    Oh well MOTD moved to Manchester, I think the FA has decided to put the football museum in Manchester….

  • AL

    Seems both Manchester clubs are still benefiting from questionable decisions, although city may be getting the vital ones at the moment. The link below talks of a blatant dive by Rooney which didn’t get punished, as well as an unpunished vicious kick on a Hull player by Rooney. Let’s hope the pilot project used by the FA to ban Jack is used here to ban Rooney retrospectively. Oh wait, that doesn’t apply because he doesn’t play for Arsenal.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    WOO HOO , HOO ! Great win ,Gunners ! We are 1 point short of ensuring that we don’t get relegated this season !
    Have to agree that while we were attacking well , the introduction of Poldi changed the game .
    Hope he keeps fit to keep us in the frame till the end of the season .

  • Stuart

    MOTD moved to Manchester? Is that in keeping with tradition of being amongst the fans of the refs favoured team? I mean it was based in London initally amongst the majority of Moan Utds fans 😉