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July 2021

Villa v Arsenal 13 Jan. It’s Swarbrick and last time he was truly awful

Aston Villa v Arsenal 13 January 2014 – The Match Officials

  • Andrew Crawshaw
  • Referee – Neil Swarbrick
  • Assistanta – S Ledger and A Haliday
  • Fourth Official – M Atkinson

Hello Neil Swarbrick and Mr Haliday – first time in an Arsenal game this season.  S Ledger was with Mr Taylor for the Villa game and Mr Mason for the 1-1 away draw at West Brom.  Perhaps tainted by association but none of the officials covered themselves in glory in either of those games.

There was one game reviewed last year :-

Match Review: Neil Swarbrick – Arsenal Vs Everton (0 – 0) [16/04/2013] – 58% overall, bias against 84/16 and one wrong Important Decision (second yellow, red card, penalties or goals).  Key talking points were:-

  • Minute 4 – First wrong decision Arsenal player holding, not given
  • Minute 13 – Everton player trips Arsenal player not given
  • Minute 14 – Everton Player throws himself into Cazorla blocking his leg on the ground, not given
  • Minute 16 – Arteta tries to recover ball but is pulled back by Pienaar, nothing given
  • Minute 20 – Jagielka runs into the back of Giroud preventing him heading the ball, nothing given
  • Minute 22 – Mirallas comes in late to Arsenal player, nothing given.
  • Minute 25 – Everton player displays open dissent to linesman , should be yellow card but nothing given
  • Minute 27 – Gibson rightly gets yellow card for foul.
  • Minute 32 – Gibson commits blatant body check should have been a second yellow card.  Wrong Important Decision.  Arsenal should have had a man advantage for nearly an hour.
  • Minute 34 – Pienaar rightly gets a yellow card for a foul.
  • Minute 36 – Sliding tackle from Arsenal player should have been called a foul
  • Minute 46 – Gibbs tripped but retains his footing then is pushed – where is the free kick?
  • Minute 53 – Fellaini fouling Giroud long before ball arrives, foul not given
  • Minute 55 – Arteta rightly given yellow card for foul
  • Minute 67 – Anichebe comes in late to the back of Mertesacker, nothing given
  • Minute 69 – Barkley rightly given yellow card for foul
  • Minute 74 – Baines takes out Arsenal player at full speed stopping promising attack.  Foul given but this should have been a yellow card
  • Minute 90+3 – Monreal rightly given a yellow card for foul.  This time the ref remembers the rules (or was it just that the offence was committed by an Arsenal player?)

A dreadful piece of refereeing – 58% overall score, only Lee Mason in the Stoke v Arsenal game managed lower 55%.  There were 26 wrong decisions called against Arsenal, 5 against Everton.  Everton should have been reduced to 10 men in Minute 32 which surely would have made Arsenal favourites to win the game rather than draw.  Thanks Mr Swarbrick.

Looking back to 2011/12 there were only two games reviewed, the Arsenal games away to Sunderland and Wolves.

Untold Ref Review: Sunderland 1 – 2 Arsenal  overall 82%, bias against 0/100 but no wrong Important Decisions.  Key talking points were:-

  • Minute 9 – RVP judged offside, looked level
  • Minute 14 – Pass to offside Larsson was blocked and went out for corner, should have been free kick to Arsenal
  • Minute 18 – Richardson rightly booked for foul on Sagna
  • Minute 28 – Arsenal claim for penalty but Turner got ball cleanly off RVP, good no call
  • Minute 38 – Sunderland shout for penalty but Mertesacker had handled unintentionally, another good no call
  • Minute 44 – Campbell clearly charges into RVP, kicks ball away and complains – rightly gets yellow card
  • Minute 63 – Frazier kicked Szcz’s arm as he tried to gather ball, should have been free kick, Sunderland wrongly awarded corner
  • Minute 70 – McLean scores for Sunderland (1-0)
  • Minute 75 – Ramsey scores for Arsenal (1-1)
  • Minute 77 – Rosicky rightly given yellow card for kicking ball away
  • Minute 90 – Ji handles ball, not given and Sunderland get a scoring opportunity from following play
  • Minute 90+1 – Henry scores (1-2)
  • Minute 90+5 – Following a trip, Seggerson stamped foot on Arteta grazing his leg, should have been a yellow card.

Fewer wrong decisions than in the Everton game last year but all against Arsenal, left the reviewer with a good impression.

Untold Ref Review: Wolverhampton Wanderers 0 – 3 Arsenal Overall 70%, bias against 35/65, two wrong important decisions.  Key talking points:-

  • Minute 8 – Bassong wrapped leg round Walcott bunling him over in penalty area.  Only one possible set of decisions could be made; Bassong rightly given red card, penalty awarded and scored (0-1)
  • Minute 12 – Theo scores (0-2), Zubar came in late with a flying tackle after shot was taken, should have been booked.  If Theo hadn’t scored it should have been second penalty and sending off.
  • Minute 18 – Djourou pushed Doyle, not given
  • Minute 25 Stearman deliberately blocked RVO off the ball, should have been a yellow card but nothing given
  • Minute 40 – Flying tackle from behind by Doyle, Arteta saw it coming and jumped out of the way, rightly given a yellow card
  • Minute 56 – Zubar rightly given a yellow card for wild tackle on Benayoun’s ankle (but it should have been his second see Minute 12 – wrong Important Decision)
  • Minute 58 – Knightly wrongly given yellow card – reviewer couldn’t see much wrong with the challenge
  • Minute 69 – Arsenal score (0-3)
  • Minute 84 – Penalty shout from Arsenal.  Milijas clips Ramsey’s ankle from behind, Ramsey remained on his feet and shot resulting in a corner.  Should have been a penalty.  Wrong Important Decision
  • Minute 90+1 – Penalty shout for Arsenal, Zubar on RVP.  Reviewer giving the Ref the benefit of the doubt on this one.

The referee started very well showing he wasn’t afraid to do what he had to, after that he started letting Wolves get away with more and more.  The two wrong Important Decisions didn’t alter the course of the game as it was a comfortable win for Arsenal against a very determined Wolves who never capitulated, but still disappointing that he didn’t make them.

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For Villa last year again one game reviewed:-

Match Review: Neil Swarbrick – Tottenham Hotspur Vs Aston Villa (2 – 0) [07/10/2012] – 80% overall, bias against 10/90 but no wrong Important Decision.    Key talking points were:-

  • Minute 8 – Bale takes a dive and should have been booked.
  • Minute 14 – Albrighton trips a Tottenham player, ref plays advantage, leading to a Tottenham corner, Ref doesn’t then go gack and issue a yellow card for the initial offence which was metres away from the ball at the time.
  • Minute 18 – Ref plays a good advantage to Villa
  • Minute 26 – Delph rightly gets a yellow card for foul from behind
  • Minute 44-45+1 – Tottenham player comes in with forearm into face of Lowton, should have been foul and yellow card, Ref restarted with a dropped ball once Lawton recovered
  • Minute 46 – Bennett (Villa) rightly gets a yellow card for foul
  • Minute 56 – El Ahamadi rightly gets yellow card for foul
  • Minute 57 – Caulker scores a goal (1-0)
  • Minute 66 – Lennon scores a goal (2-0)
  • Minute 70 – Penalty shout by Tottenham.  Ball crossed by Bale, hit Clark but arm in front of face and no movement towards ball, correct non decision
  • Minute 72 – Walker rightly gets yellow card for foul
  • Minute 85 – Adebayor rightly gets a yellow card for a stupid late challenge

Ten wrong decisions against Villa, one against Spurs but none look to be vital.  He got the Important Decision right in not awarding Spurs a penalty but failed to issue two yellow cards to Spurs players.  The bias was clearly in favour of Spurs

Mr Swarbrick has only officiated in three Arsenal games so there is not much to go on in terms of a rigorous statistical analysis but there do seem to be some worrying trends in terms of bias.  On the other hand he was one of the few referees last year to get a 100% score in the game he did between Wigan and West Ham on10/11/2012, he also got 95% in the game between West Ham and Southampton on 20/10/2012.

Mr Swarbrick will make a big decision in favour of Arsenal but only if it is so blatant he really has no other choice.  In other circumstances he seems to be happier to follow the ‘party line’ and not make a call for which he might be criticised.  His overall bias against Arsenal is too great to be healthy and certainly can’t be explained by the normal home/away bias that most referees have

Mr Ledger has been an assistant in two poorly officiated games this year so we need to keep our eyes open for him as well.

So Mr Swarbrick, please forget that you are refereeing Arsenal on Monday, imagine it is a nice safe game between two lower table teams and judge all incidents on their merit, you have shown that you can do it more than once last year – please repeat.


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85 comments to Villa v Arsenal 13 Jan. It’s Swarbrick and last time he was truly awful

  • Damilare

    Aston Villa 1 – Arsenal 4 …and then I will agree that ‘it all evens out in the end’ COYG!

  • finsbury

    I was at that game against Everton game and Swarbrick wasn’t fooling anybody around me.
    A transparent and embarrassing effort from the official. Indefensible, unless he thought he was officiating a different sport. Mistakes can happen, I guess.

    Nothing new there in the life of Riley for observers of the game. Of more interest at the time was the question: Why had Moyes/Gollum brought his Everton to play for a precious point (after the first fifteen minutes, that was the extent their ambition) when they were still in with a chance of taking that fourth place off Arsenal at that time late on in the season? Well, we got the answer when Slurgus announced his unsurprising successor.

  • roger crates

    i wonder does anybody have the stats for all refs win loose and draw rate for Arsenal compared to our overall win loose and draw stats for say the last 5 seasons.
    I read that of the 21 games Mike Dean has ref’ed we have only won 3.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Quite a disturbing ref and worryingly Atkinson as fourth official. For some reason Atkinson concerns me more than any of them there is something quite sinister in his approach to the game. Hope the away fans let em have it if the refs starts acting up or gives villa a licence to kick

  • AL

    I’m with you regarding being uncomfortable with Atkinson. Could it be because he never had the credentials to be a ref, and only got there by being a bootlicker? Don’t know, but that makes me feel he owes certain people favours.

    Meanwhile, very keen to see if Tiote is allowed to kick city players like he did ours.

  • bob

    “Well, we got the answer when Slurgus announced his unsurprising successor.”
    Memory plus dot-connection = inconvenient truth. Spot on! 🙂

  • bob

    With Swarbrick/Atkinson/Riley on hand, surely it’s due Time for the away-support to consider bringing and flashing them red cards at the first sign of trouble. Red for refshite and Arsenal red to boot. (Oh dear, did I suggest action?)

  • bob

    Let’s face it, favors would seem a necessary tick box in the checklist for employment under PGMob rule. That said, Sian Massey doesn’t appear that way at all. Perhaps she’s there because they need a qualified woman in order to appear to be fair while (in their powerful but aggro minds) ignoring their own rules.

  • AL

    Oh my f*****g goodness, just seen a perfect goal disallowed for Newcastle. Oil dollars at work for sure.

  • manky city money is working wonders newcastle dissallowed beauty goal

  • AL

    Sure bob, Sian Massey seems to be the exception. Not sure why they don’t let her ref any games as she’s a qualified ref as well.

  • Because they don’t want to sure the bribe money AL

  • TommieGun

    well, at least we know who are the PGMOL favorites this year.

    dis – fuckin – gusting.

    that’s all I got to say.

  • TommieGun

    Oh by the way –

    If anyone had a doubt on how “ROBBED BY THE REF” looks like – well ladies and gents, Mike Jones has made it very clear…

  • Shakabula Gooner

    Whao! A center ref. just allowed his linesman to disallow his correct decision to allow Newcastle’s goal! Less time would have been spent reviewing the video than all the time spent conferring with the linesman – just to change a correct decision to an incorrect one!

  • bob

    Wow! It would be verrrry instructive to follow in detail how this travesty gets spun for us by damage controllers among the punditry and medja. Cynicism, INC.

  • Shakabula Gooner

    3 mins into the 2nd half and it is looking unlikely that Newcastle will finish with 11 players on the pitch.

  • bob

    “Less time would have been spent reviewing the video than all the time spent conferring with the linesman – just to change a correct decision to an incorrect one!”
    Shakabula Gooner,
    So right! The manager tosses a flag. There’s instant video replay from the booth. And the decision gets reviewed and made. All within a minute. This to ensure a fair outcome. Of course, those who wink-wink it away will want to argue to preserve their precious flow, no matter what it contributes to the sewage of a result.

  • TommieGun

    Peeing in the swimming pool.

    Little Johnny comes back home early from summer camp. His mum calls the guide and asks him why her son was dismissed from camp, and the guide says: “your son peed in the pool”.
    Johnny’s mum says: “Well, don’t all kids pee in the pool?”
    And the guide replies: “Yeah they do. But they don’t do it from the spring board!”.

    I mean, back then in Fergie’s era, it was the additional 5 minutes instead of 3, or the dubius penalty decision. And we knew that there was a difference between decisions in Old Truffles to decisions away from OT; etc.

    Now it seems refs has lost all shame. An absolute cracker, disallowed for no reason, away from the Etihad.

    Maybe they didn’t just pay off Mike Jones – I presume they paid for his body guards as well.

  • @Al,@TommieGun@Shakabula how on earth can such a thing happen! I remember the very Newcastle scoring a goal when one of their players was infact blocking Fabiaski’s view but the goal was allowed to stand but with this the oil cash is in play.
    Wonder how much they where paid?? And with what I have seen today Man$ity are champions already.

  • bjtgooner

    The excuse for setting up the PGMOL initially was to improve referee standards. In this the PGMOL have surely failed – but what they have achieved is control of bias – which can only be based on the whim of someone very well placed.

  • bob

    Would you know who PGMob’s is hired by? Is their contract with FA, FIFA, EPL? All signatories? And when one of them refs a Champions League game, does UEFA also contract with them?

  • AL

    The standards of refereeing in the epl are truly appalling; virtually every game has a key decision the refs get wrong. And the decisions always go for the same sides, dispelling the myth they may be genuine mistakes.

  • bjtgooner


    I can’t be sure exactly who hires and fires, logically it should be the PGMOL – but the description of their responsibilities seems deliberately vague.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Didn’t see it but sounds like city got a fair bit of assistance? Liverpool now winning if it ends that way would mean ALL the top clubs have won so far this weekend could be a great opportunity to punish Arsenal on Monday and swarbrick would clearly not be shy in doing so

  • WalterBroeckx

    Anyone got a link to the disallowed goal?

  • WalterBroeckx

    Now come on guys… keep calm. Rupert would ask : you should give me the reason. If not it…well…er….probably will even out at the end you know… 😉

  • bob

    I meant who hires (contracts with) the PGMOL, who then do the hiring/firing/monitoring of refs.

  • bob

    Thanks for the link. Just in case any nutters out there 🙂
    doubt the quality of what they are seeing, week after week, we have this directly from the PL’s website about the PGMOL, all of which (ahem) ensures quality control:
    ” – Premier League matches can only be officiated by (16) Select Group referees and assistant referees.
    – They meet for a ‘training camp’ twice a month, where they perform physical and technical training sessions, and analyse match videos.
    – There is a robust system for measuring Select Group performance over the season. Former referees (Match Assessors) measure their technical performance, and former players and managers (Match Delegates) assess the accuracy and consistency of decision making and their management of the game…
    – There is a support team which mirrors that of a football club: sports scientists, sports psychologists, physiotherapists, sprint coaches, podiatrists and vision scientists are all employed to improve referee performance.
    – Technology is used as an aid too: detailed performance analysis is supported by ProZone, which provides statistical data on each match, while training sessions and games are scrutinised with the aid of Polar Heart Monitors.”

    Speaks for itself, so shut your gobs.

  • WalterBroeckx

    thanks for the link….

    so Mike liar Riley still claiming 99 offside decisions as correct? Then how come that in the last games a whole lot of offside decisions going in favour of City?

    Maybe Rupert could give the reason… Because finding patterns is not enough if you cannot give the reason. According to Rupert.

  • bob

    ” Former referees (Match Assessors) measure their technical performance, and former players and managers (Match Delegates) assess the accuracy and consistency of decision making and their management of the game…”
    Any idea of specifically who these shop stewards might be? Might getting such a (presumably paid) assessor/delegate position be an extra perk to go along with the 50K that ref’s get on retirement (if they sign the non-disclosure agreement)?

  • Mandy Dodd

    Thanks for the link. May as well put your house on city the refs are making their instructions very clear, that is unless Russian oil money can change things.
    The sad thing is the refs don’t even feel the need to be subtle over where their preferences lie. If people need a reason for what we are seeing just follow the money

  • bob

    Just as a further thought experiment: might there be ex-players who, thanks to their Tight-Lipped participation in certain key matches (ex: MU aggros who kicked us silly at Riley’s signature pre-planned debacle at OT) get rewarded as trustworthy (tight-lipped about the past) TV/media pundits?

  • Tom

    New Castle get 2 “soft” ( read ; wrong) penalty decisions against Arsenal to draw at 4-4 and they get a perfectly legal goal disallowed against City to possibly loose a point they otherwise would’ve gained so you see it all does even itself out at the end. 🙂 Oh! Wait a minute . Who gets fucked both times? Arsenal do.

    If City get all those game changing calls going their way by sheer luck ,I think it might be time to schedule that appointment with a proctologist . Having a horseshoe up one’s ass for such a long time might be detrimental to one’s health 🙂

  • bob

    Now, now…Maybe such calls are actually a protest by the refs! That is, they make such outrageous decisions to spark a public outcry that demands fair play and which finally saves them from their string-pullers. (In my dreams, eh?)

  • Mandy Dodd

    Very amusing suggestion Bob!

  • para

    Aston Villa. How i have(it’s one of those games,ManU is the other one)waited for revenge. [Film Music…] Alas it looks like the forces of ANTI-ARSENAL are busy plotting our downfall. But AW has a secret weapon, THE OX. He will cut through the enemy like a sharpened, toughened blade through a leaf, exacting their deserved reward, for joining forces with the, yes…, the CONTROLLERS.
    There have been many rumours, they have attacked NEWCASTLE by disallowing a perfectly valid goal, oh what devilry do they have in store for us?
    Nae matter, they will fall.
    Come on ARSENAL. Can’t wait for Monday.

  • Tom

    “If people need a reason for what we are seeing just follow the money”

    If British government can exert pressure on Scottish government to release Megrahi, a convicted Pan Am Flight 103 bomber who killed some 270 people , from prison to secure lucrative oil trade deals with Libya(allegedly ),then what’s an innocent phone call or two, to PGMOL or English FA to make sure that Sheikh Mansour has a happy and fruitful time pursuing his little hobby in Manchester .

    Sheikh Mansour is a deputy prime minister of the United Arab Emirates and a member of the ruling family of Abu Dhabi and a brother of current president of UAE.

    He also sits on the Supreme Petroleum Council and International Petroleum Investment Company and boards of many other influential companies which Great Britain has dealings with.

    Stan Kroenke , on the other hand, has a stake in …….Wal- Mart ( through his wife) and can get you a sweet deal on a 60 inch plasma screen.
    I don’t suppose many British politician shop at Wal-Mart , Do they? 🙂

    But look at me ! My oh my, I think I’ve been spending too much time on UA and I’m starting to believe in conspiracy theories . It’s all your foult Mandy 🙂

  • Mandy Dodd

    Sorry Tom! You raise a valid point though with what we know goes on in the world I would imagine a ref would be one of the easier and cheaper targets for those with an agenda. People from mr mansours part of the world have clearly become very influential in the sport where most have their price

  • Tom

    I’m almost beginning to feel sorry for poor Chelsea and Mourinho. No oil deals to be had in Russia , are there? For all of Mourinho’s gamesmanship and machinations, Pellegrini doesn’t have to do any of that. It might’ve been prearranged for him at the very top 🙂

  • Mandy Dodd

    Yes Chelsea have certainly spent a bit. Have a feeling that this season they are a bit of a buffer, an insurance policy to keep us in our place should city completely bottle it ….even with the help they are getting. Chelsea themselves have been the beneficiaries of some….interesting…decisions

  • bob

    With due respect, lest we smiley-face jest away da facts, you almost make it sound like Stan’s merely the hubby to a mom and pop store owner. Just in case, so we do know, Walmart is the world’s biggest private employer. It is also at the top (revenue/assets) of the Fortune 500. And our Stan is married to an heiress of said firm. Our Stan is also No. 84 on the list of Forbes 400, the US wealthiest (and just a little ways down when we add in the world’s billionaires). And his son is on/or soon to be on our board and heads up other sports franchises. And presumably the Kroenke-Walton’s are able to pool resources as desired. AFC ownership are hardly threadbare, even if it feels satisfying for us to appear as paupers relative to the oilers.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Just seen Brendan Rogers comments about Spanish penalties after sterling a rather soft and looked for incident today. Not sure if the Spanish will be too happy being linked to such things!

  • marcus

    The ref was 100% right to disallow the goal though MC V Newcastle

  • Rupert Cook

    @Walter, nothing evens out in the end, don’t be stupid.

    Some of you people should give up watching football because you don’t actually enjoy it. You just moan about refs when they don’t let the team you want to win win. Man City have the best squad, that’s why they’re doing so well. On the whole the team with the best squad wins the league which is why we haven’t for some years. This year we’re roughly on the same level as Chelsea so we could win the league. The only thing that might let us down is the lack of a great striker. How I wished we’d signed Suarez.

  • Tom

    Dully noted.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Well Rupert we sure enjoy each time when Arsenal wins a match

  • bob

    Cheers, Tom. I hope not too dull(y) on my part 🙂

  • bjtgooner

    Yes Walter we enjoy each match we win and in addition we enjoy the absence of the AAA, especially a certain xenophobe, when we win!

  • bob

    “The only thing that might let us down is the lack of a great striker.”
    Rupert Cook,
    It may surprise you that we fully agree on this point. I’m holding my breath, fingers and toes crossed, and keeping my powder dry, lest I be (again) tarred and feathered for spreading doom and gloom for advocating this. I wait in hopes, and whatever we get done or not, I’m fully in support.

  • Tom

    Hello Rupert!
    Good to see you back. I agree some people take analysis of referee performances to the extreme but I don’t think pointing out game changing calls ,especially when they seem to go certain teams’ way more often than others ,is something that should be out of bounds of conversation .

    While one can make an argument that superior team like Man City gets more calls in the offensive third due to sheer amount of pressure they apply to the opposition, it’s a bit more puzzling for an honest observer to figure out why they would get them in their defensive third.

    Having watched all Arsenal games ( two in person) and all Man City games in HD and not having to rely on other people’s opinion , I must admit Arsenal haven’t benefited from any of those calls while Man City have from more than few.

    If it’s your opinion that Man City have a superior squad to that of Arsenal and you combine that with all those favorable calls they’ve benefited from thus far then you must say we fight an uphill battle and some people might be justified to feel agreeved.

  • Tom

    I don’t think “dull” can ever be appropriate a word for any of your posts 🙂

    By the way , thanks for taking time away from celebrating Walcott’s injury 🙂 to post on here again.

    That was some rant the other day in response to some who suggested you might be taking pleasure in calling it correctly as you have when you stated a few months ago that players coming back from injuries wasn’t a guarantee other players wouldn’t get injured in turn.

    Walcott’s injury of course is nothing to make fun of but certain posters’ reaction to your accurate prediction surely is.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Here’s graham polls take on the disallowed Newcastle goal for what it’s worth
    Don’t normally have a lot of sympathy with tiote but does look like he may have been a bit hard done by. In isolation yes this one maybe debatable but city seem to be getting a lot of decisions their way this season

  • Gord


    OMGArsenal had looked at some link someone provided earlier, and he thought the goal should be disallowed (or I haven’t had enough coffee and misunderstood). I looked at your link, and I would say the goal should be disallowed.

    The ball is passing so close to the Newcastle player, that the goaltender has to play the situation as if the player “might” change the direction of the ball, and hence be part of play. Some reports mentioned the player was running away from net, and that shows in the picture at the Daily Mail. But even if the ball were to accidentally hit the player, that player is interfering with play while in an offside position.

    If that player another few yards to the right, I think you would be hard pressed to say he was interfering with play.

  • Gord

    Was it last year, year before? I think Liverpool was playing. But someone took a shot, and the ball deflected off a balloon and went in the net. I think it was ruled a goal, and is should be. The balloon is part of the field of play. It isn’t supposed to be part of the field of play, but it was at that instant. Likewise, if the ball would have hit the referee and deflected in, it would also be a goal, as the referee is part of the field of play. But a member of the opposing team cannot be part of the field of play, and hence accidentally deflecting the ball off your own player (in an offside position) doesn’t work.

  • Va Cong

    Gord even MOTD said its a goal LOL

  • Gord

    I haven’t done as much refereeing as others, and I always preferred running line to being in the middle. But, I have also played every position in football. As a goaltender, I have to assume that player is part of play, and because that player is in an offside position, he is interfering with play.

    Doesn’t bother me that MOTD thinks it is a goal.

  • Gianni Dioro

    @Gord – An offside player is only penalised if he is interfering with play, interfering with an opponent, or gaining an advantage by being in that position.

    Tiote’s shot was drilled into the upper right corner of the net. Hart saw it late and was stranded. The shot was unstoppable.

    Goffran was not obstructing the keeper’s view nor obstructing his movement. He did not play nor did he attempt to play the ball. He simply got out of the way.

  • bob

    Cheers for appreciating my neurotic/quixotic foray into a defense of common sense. So much stick for Common sense.

  • Gord

    I didn’t see the game. The only image I seen, was what the Daily Mail article that Mandy posted had in it. The image doesn’t give me any information about whether the goalkeeper did see the shot early enough to act or not. It is hard to tell from 1 image, just how close the ball came to the player.

    If the goaltender seen the ball being kicked and was following its trajectory and reacting to that, I would say the Newcastle player is interfering with play (and one need not even consider intention). You are saying that the goaltender wasn’t following the shot, until too late to do anything about it.

    The training I remember didn’t bring up whether the goaltender could save the shot, or even if the goaltender needed to be cognizant of the shot. It was just a matter of of where the offside player was in relation to the goaltender and the trajectory of the ball.

    If people were tracking errors, from what you indicate the goaltender should be credit with an error. I still think the goal should be disallowed because the information I see, shows the ball passing within playing distance of the player.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Gord just seeing motd I think the ref was wrong but i have a bit more sympathy with him with the amount of bodies in there and the offside if not interfering Newcastle players. A lot to take in on a snap judgement without replays. But strange the linesman kept his flag down and the way the ref went over and seemed to convince him. Despite this I am willing to believe this was an honest and perhaps understandable mistake from this ref but what gets me is the amount of mistakes certain teams now including city get in their favour. But to contradict myself a horrible tackle on Nasri that deserved far more than yellow. This tiote goal or no goal was another clear cut case for tech help for refs. All in all a bad day for the refs looks like Raheem sterling learning from a couple master divers in his team. As I posted earlier if there is an agenda against us results this weekend provide a great chance to hit us tomorrow worth keeping a close eye. If things go wrong expect the media wankfest to go into overdrive in writing off our season would that please the pgmol?

  • Gord

    Did the ball take a curved trajectory (have significant side spin)? The linesman is not in a good position being so far away, to judge the trajectory of the ball. Yes, the linesman can see the player is in an offside position, but the linesman is also supposed to be looking at the interfering with play aspect. And to do that, he needs to estimate how close that player is to the trajectory of the ball.

    People on Untold like to bring up technology. I think that video technology for use by referees cannot be the 24 fps video that is used for TV. But, imagine Google Glass worn by the linesman. If there was an overhead view, the linesman could have help in judging the path of the ball.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Not sure there was significant curve and apart from anything else he really belted it in. Maybe the ref thought a NU player deflected it in , who knows?
    On another note seems that pardew is as classy as ever as wenger knows full well!

  • Gianni Dioro

    Gord okay, what about this scenario: A corner kick, defender runs out to leave an attacking player in an offside position just by the goal post. An attacking team mate rifles a shot from the top of the box into the net just inside the post with the goalkeeper stranded in the middle of his net. The attacking player who was in an offside position jumped out of the way to let the ball go in. As the player who was in an offside position did not interfere with play nor did he obstruct or interfere with the keeper or any defender, that goal should be allowed.

    That is more or less what happened for Tioté’s goal. City’s defenders rushed out leaving a few Newcastle players in offside positions. Tioté drilled the ball into the upper right angle of the net. Hart did not know anything about it until it was too late. He was never going to stop that ball. And Gouffran jumped out of the way to let it pass.

    There could be doubts as to whether Gouffran had touched the ball, and I think that is why the linesman stood his spot to communicate with the ref, Mike Jones. Mike Jones then ruled out the goal for being offside for whatever reason. However Mike Jones apparently told Newcastle manager Alan Pardrew that Gouffran was offside merely because he was in the 6 yard box.

  • Gianni Dioro

    @Mandy – I wonder if Pardrew will pick up a 2-match suspension for using such profanity. It is just as bad as what Jack did, isn’t it?

  • Gianni Dioro

    I wonder if they’ll bring racism charges against Pardew because he was abusing a Latino gentleman with foul language.

  • Tom

    The only way Joe Heart gets to that ball hit by Tiote is by walking into the back of the net to retrieve it
    If you egzamin the offside rule point by point , no New Castle player interferes with the ball nor obstructs Heart’s view of it and the goal should’ve stood. City got lucky again.

  • Ray from Norfolk, Virginia

    One major argument for the goal to stand is that Hart had no chance of getting to the ball; in fact, the ball took a banana-shaped trajectory.
    As to the Newcastle player who was closest to the ball, it was just a case of premature celebration.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Tom, a reasonable response. But every wrong decision is game-changing because the game follows an alternative path to the one it would have followed. I know this is an intellectual argument but it really isn’t hard to grasp.

    I recall an article on here where one game was analysed and the ref made some wrong calls but the writer concluded they had no effect on the result as there was no direct consequences, that is a goal was not scored from those incorrect decisions. But the game followed a completely different pattern so those decisions do effect the whole game. It’s a ripple effect.

    I find any argument that is pro Arsenal is rigorously dissected but when an argument does not favour Arsenal it is oversimplified and lacks intelligent cohesion.

    There was an uproar when we lost to Villa at home with cries of corruption etc. Ok the ref had a poor game, due possibly to ineptitude, corruption or maybe he caught his wife in bed with a man wearing an Arsenal shirt. But then it’s immediately assumed that if he’d had a good game we would have won. Football doesn’t work like that as City found out when they played Villa or maybe the ref was pro Villa. But surely that goes against the new perceived world order on here which is that City have bought the refs. So which is it?

    In actual fact we didn’t play very well against Villa and they got lucky because our defence was sleeping on a couple of occasions. Results like that happen sometimes which makes football so fascinating.

    If many believe that such things don’t happen, that is that sometimes underdogs triumph, witness Bradford’s march to the League Cup (whatever it’s called) final last year, then they either don’t believe in sport or they think that every result is fixed. If they believe the latter then perhaps they should stop watching the game and find another pastime where happiness is easily accessible.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Tom, regarding City’s squad strength I think the big difference is that they have such a powerful strike force, stating the obvious I guess, but if we had Aguero, Negredo and Dzeko I think we’d be walking away with the league. The irony is that I think they play the style of football we used to play when Wenger first arrived at AFC and objectively it’s a joy to watch.

    Defensively they’re not convincing but they don’t have to be. They’ve adopted a brand of football that reminds me a little of ours a few years ago when we seemed to be more interested in scoring than defending and if we’d had better strikers, not just one brilliant one, we might have won a trophy or two.

    That’s why I don’t understand this reluctance to improve our strike force. If I were Wenger I’d have broken the bank to acquire Suarez but that ship has sailed. I think if we don’t get another striker this month it’ll be a big mistake but choices are limited.

  • Pete

    I only listened to it for a few minutes shortly after 7pm, but 606 (with Ian Wright…) spent quite a lot of time discussing refereeing errors and possible ways forward. They were advocating in particular making the referee report public (unclear whether it was the referee’s report or the assessor’s report). If someone is really keen they could listen to the recording on BBC iPlayer?

    But the point is that the media (if 606 can be described as such) is taking a closer look…

  • bjtgooner

    Coming back to the Newcastle v Man City game, Dermot Gallagher
    has just admitted on Sky that the Tiote goal should have stood.

  • bob

    Thanks to TommieGun’s link (for those who don’t click), we have this meditation on “luck”, from an Arsenal fan, writing on the Metro Blog:
    “Title: Are poor officials gifting City the title ahead of Arsenal or Chelsea?
    “…For the fourth time this season (that I can remember) a perfectly good goal was ruled out against them for offside. No-one was interfering with play and Cheick Tiote’s goal should have stood. It would have been 1-1 and Newcastle would have had the momentum.
    …Against Arsenal, City had two goals against them ruled out for offside incorrectly, with at least another three instances of incorrect offsides flagged when a player was through one-on-one with their keeper. In the City game against Liverpool the same thing happened as another perfectly good goal was chalked off.
    …Luck. City have it in spades this season. They also have the best squad and the deepest pockets.
    It hardly seems fair does it?
    Arsenal’s luck, on the other hand, has been atrocious. Perhaps it’s paranoia, I don’t know. I don’t think so.”

  • bob

    Rupert Cook, Tom, Walter,
    p.s. Well, is he (above) right? 4 legitimate goals disallowed – for the 4th time? (2@AFC, 1@Liverpool, 1@Newcastle)

  • Mick

    No doubt Rupert would describe this link to the Metro article as delusional rubbish.

  • bob

    Rupert Cook,
    To your calls to “show me”, well (as I wrote you yesterday):
    How about a response from you (anyone, really) to Walter’s summation of the refshite of last season:
    To date only a very few have replied/acknowledged its findings.

  • TommieGun

    No, no you got it all wrong guys.

    It ALL evens out in the end.

    [which means we are entitled to the ref actually taking the ball from the halfway line and scoring one for us in one of the next matches]

  • Wengerson

    @ AAA

    It seems that, everyday, you are trying to convince yourself that there is no bias against Arsenal. It must suck to go through that with all the information/evidence piling up.

    In general, and logically for that matter, we know the following:

    1. Football matche results can be influenced by parties other than the 22 players on the pitch

    2. These parties include, but not limited to, the referees

    If you disagree with the 2 points above, it is pointless for you to continue debating this

    Also, we know for a fact that football matches have been fixed and the parties involved were punished(in Italy). It is immaterial what the reasons for the bias against Arsenal are, which you seem to think is crucial, but we can see that something is not right.

    We can see through you pseudo-intellectual mumbo-jumbo. You have yet to produce any analysis to refute UA’s findings. Instead, you resort to bringing Walter’s character into question, when he has tabled all his data for all to scrutinize.

    Your desperate straw clutching arguments about red cards and penalties are just sad. I mean 10 vs 11 is the same as 11 vs 11? Why don’t your beloved man city play with 10 men for the rest of the season, since they have the best squad.

    Also the example about chelsea beating barcelona after going 1 man down missed the point completely. The issue was about dubious/imaginary red cards ie. van persie against barcelona.

    Unless/until you bring forth your data/analysis for scrutiny, you will bear the AAA mark forever.

  • Stuart

    Rupert Cook, you wrote :

    “But every wrong decision is game-changing because the game follows an alternative path to the one it would have followed.”

    Where does this fit in with your previous statement :-
    “I can’t recall a game where a team got a last minute penalty and robbed us of all three points or we were not allowed a penalty in the last minute, the only scenarios where you can really declare points as lost.”

    You can find it here:

  • Stuart

    Then Rupert Cook goes on to say in separate comments on this article:-

    “There was an uproar when we lost to Villa at home with cries of corruption etc. Ok the ref had a poor game, due possibly to ineptitude, corruption or maybe he caught his wife in bed with a man wearing an Arsenal shirt. But then it’s immediately assumed that if he’d had a good game we would have won.”

    He then goes on to say:-
    “if we had Aguero, Negredo and Dzeko I think we’d be walking away with the league.”

    Of course no contradiction there at all in claiming people can’t say we would have won without the ref hampering us yet claiming we would win with another striker.

  • Tom

    Every wrong decision is a game changing decision in a intellectual argument or a theoretical one ,whether you call it a ripple effect or butterfly effect but I try to make my football arguments in much simpler terms .

    Win or lose , I tend to be happy with refs if they get the most important decisions right and for me those are goals ,penalties, red cards and off-side calls that directly lead to goals.
    I’m less concerned with calls that could be argued both ways ( some penalties can)unless there’s a preponderance of the evidence that most of those go against one team.

    As to whether City have bought the refs ……, that of course is a speculation of the highest order and I mostly joke around when posting on this subject , hence the happy faces 🙂
    Although It has to be said City have gotten many important wrong decisions go their way in some high profile games in a very short period of time ,which considering how close this title race shapes itself to be, should perhaps raise an eyebrow. By my count four legal goals disallowed against Arsenal , Liverpool and New Castle in 28 days .

    You also bring up the Villa game , which is very timely since we play them today again.
    Taylor had a shocker but as I stated right after that game it was our defensive midfield ,or lack of thereof ,that lost us that game just as much as the ref.
    When you play teams like Villa , who’s biggest strength is a quick counter , having a defensive midfielder protecting the back four is of at most importance .Furthermore , allowing Agbonlahor to run with the ball unchecked through and into the penalty area was suicidal and I hope we deal with him better today then in the first game.

    One golden rule of defending is to avoid putting referees in positions where they are forced to make a decision especially when they are as bad as Taylor ,who at times looks like he should be sporting a pair of dark glasses and a red tipped white cane.
    Koscielny made that mistake and so did Stoke’s Mark Wilson against Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling , who clearly dived upon a minimal contact only to be awarded a pen for Liverpool in yesterday’s game.

  • WalterBroeckx

    I can also point at the Taylor performance in the first Villa match that Wilshere was pulled back by an arm around his neck and could not run on to a ball played to him. It was more than minimal contact but this time Taylor had nothing of it. It was a clear pull in the penalty area but well we expect such things…