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August 2021

Arsenal v United – 12 February 2014 – The Match Officials

By Andrew Crawshaw


Referee – Mark Clattenburg

Assistants – M Mullarkey, D Cann

Fourth Official – L Mason


A brief one this time but with plenty of extra reading.


Another third timer this year as Mr Clattenburg takes charge.  His previous visits were 28/09/2013 for the away game v Swansea (1-2) and on 23/11/2013 for the home game v Southampton (2-0).  Surprisingly he hasn’t done a United game this year


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His two assistants have not done any games with Mr Clattenburg this year, he normally has Mssrs. Beck and Child.  Both Mr Mullarkey and Mr Cann are regulars with Howard Webb (Fulham v Arsenal 1-3 and Arsenal v Everton 1-1).  Mr Cann has also appeared at West Ham v Arsenal with Mr Dowd (1-3)


There were three Untold articles about the refereeing referee at the Swansea game


Swansea v Arsenal 28 September 2013. The referee preview


Now that was a real quality Saturday afternoon


Talk Sport go bananas as Arsenal make it 12 away wins in a row


and a further three from the Southampton game


Arsenal v Southampton: how will ref Clattenberg treat to the Arsenal?


Arsenal – Southampton, the now completed incomplete match report


Win nice, win ugly, we seem to be doing it all


Now I really can’t think of anything too dramatic that Mr Clattenburg has done to us this year, he missed a penalty decision in the closing stages of the Southampton game shortly before Giroud made it two nil.  The main talking point for the mainstream media in the Swansea game was the incident when Szcz stopped playing as the ball crossed the dead ball line before a Swansea player crossed it across the face of our goal, hence the Talk Sport go Bananas headline above.


So how did Mr Clattenburg do for both teams in the past?


Surprisingly Mr Clattenburg is one of the least biased of all of the Premier league referees as well as consistently getting scores above 80% in last year’s reviews. He is also one under whom Arsenal outperform their league average (in terms of winning games) and United underperform.  Figures from Walter’s excellent analysis  So what is wrong with the PL Refs: Case study Clattenburg




All Referees win %



All Referees draw %



All Referees loss %



Clattenberg win %



Clattenberg draw %



Clattenberg loss %





Perhaps that’s why he hasn’t yet done a United game this year, who knows how the minds of the PGMOL work.


Overall then Mr Clattenburg seems to be one of the fairer minded referees when it comes to Arsenal, and historically hasn’t given United the benefit of too many soft decisions.  Should be a good appointment with no warning klaxons sounding.


Don’t be tempted to put money of a draw, Arsenal win or lose with him in charge and statistically it looks good for a Home win.  It’s about time we gave that bunch of mid-table no hopers a really good spanking and show the world that we have the “character” to win the league.

I have heard that ref Clattenburg is a ref who is very self critical and always wants to improve himself.  And in order to do so he usually looks back at his games and reviews his decisions on video. At least that is what I have been told a while ago. Don’t know if he still does it.

But in a way he reviews his own games like we did our reviews. He also tries to get as much feedback on his decisions as possible in order to improve himself. I always think this is a good thing for any ref to do.

Hell, he might even have used the Untold reviews to work on some things.


35 comments to Arsenal v United – 12 February 2014 – The Match Officials

  • Mandy Dodd

    one dark cloud….Mason…

  • para

    What does the Fourth Official actually do, except to keep the managers and coaches in line, or does he have a more involved role?

  • Gord

    OT: I don’t know if we’ll see much of Tony today. Apparently WordPress sites have been under attack for a bit more than 1.5 hours now.

  • para

    @ Walter.
    Would love an article on “the prodigal son” returning to Arsenal. Yes, i mean the hated one who turned traitor. Would be interesting to see the comments, as rumours has it that AW does not rule it out, but hey, rumours are as we all know, just that.

  • Damilare

    Talking about rumours:
    *Partying responsible for woeful defeat at anfield

    *AW slumped at the train station after liverpool match

    * Moyes has been told to win at the ems or risk being replaced immediately by Sir rednose

    * Refs have been charged to help save manure CL hopes

  • AL

    para 5:22
    He keeps the managers in line as well guess how much injury time to add depending on who’s losing. At least that’s what I can the 4th official doing, but I’ve never understood the duties of that official behind the goal in Uefa matches.

  • Gord

    Policing the managers and players is part. While in practice the 4th official may help with time keeping, that is still the referees job (I believe). Another thing the 4th official should be doing, is inspecting the players prior to being substituted on to the field. Wearing shin pads, no dangerous cleats on shoes, possibly things like jewelery.

  • AL

    Oh, I think I know the duties of that official behind the goal line; he should…,erm..just stand there.

    Funny the game started with having 3 officials only, then came the 4th official. Now we have behind the goal officials, to make it 6 officials altogether manning one match. And to think technology could do 50% of these guys’ job, meaning we could slash that number of officials by half. With better and conclusive results too.

  • AL

    Oh, I see, thanks for clarifying the added time Gord. I wasn’t sure whose responsibility that lies with. So apart from inspecting players his other role is to ensure managers stay in their technical areas(hmm, don’t think I ever really saw managers getting on the field for it to become an issue – except Ferguson, who I may add he did it with the 4th official present). So before the 4th official who inspected the players, the linesman? Well, he could still do so, after all there can only be 6 players he can inspect, and the time gets added on. It all sounds like a convenient way of taking more money out of the game by the officials, this ever increasing number of officials.

  • Gord

    In most of the games that I officiated at, it was the players crowding the line that was more of a problem. The linesperson must have a clear line to see and run on. And nothing that might trip a running linesperson (water bottles) should be there.

    I’ve also done a lot of athletic first aid, and the 4th official needs to keep medical staff off the field until the referee allows them on.

    Other have remarked as to how much playing time a game actually has. Walter or others may overrule me, but if the ball goes out of play, and is returned to play in 10 seconds or so, I think that 10 or so seconds is actually considered part of the playing time. But if the ball is out of play for a long time, then time should be added on.

    I’ve tried a couple of times in the last year to find it, and failed. But I seem to remember reading about a game, I believe in Greece, where the second half had something like 60 minutes of time added on for stoppages. Rival villages (towns?) were playing each other, and the home team would kick the ball into the stands at every chance they could get. And the fans took their time returning the ball into play.

    I don’t think the officials get paid very much. High speed cameras are expensive. I think for the EPL to get enough cameras to do 10 games, you probably need 10 cameras per game, and they are well over $100k each, and they need memory to dump into, so a truck full of hard drives and optical cable to go to the computers. More than $10 million just for the cameras, it isn’t cheap.

  • Pat

    Talking about referees …

    Just caught the half time pundit discussion in the match between Cardiff and Aston Villa. We see a clip of Kenwyne Jones being held in a wrestling grip by an Aston Villa player. All the pundits in the studio agree it should have been a penalty. Neil Warnock (well known British manager, who agrees it should have been a penalty) says, ‘Oh it’s Chris Foy. He doesn’t give them.’ Astonishment from the other pundits along the lines of, it’s either a penalty or it isn’t.

    If Neil Warnock’s comment on referee Chris Foy is accurate and based on experience, what does it say about premier league referees and their attitude to the laws of the game?

  • Pierce Holt

    Someone give us a hand please……WHERE IS MESUT OZIL

    Where’s Mesut Ozil? Arsenal playmaker has made only one assist in his last nine matches…and scored no goals.
    Hodvanishing act is really hurting our title aspirations….

    I hope someone finds him for the ManUre game.

  • WalterBroeckx

    spamming is a reason to get kicked out

  • Pierce Holt

    ? walter?

  • Robl


  • Robl

    Up yours my little pony! Bring on United.

  • Pierce Holt

    so much for class 1 eggs, eh Jose?

    well done the WBA

  • Gord

    Well, that was a pleasant surprise, having Brom take 2 points off Chelsea.


  • Pierce Holt

    all set for a 4-0 drubbing of ManUre and MESUT brace

  • Arvind

    This one never gets old – . I don’t know how many times I’ve watched it.. Martin Tyler sends goose pimples up my spine every time : )

    Thanks Andrew. Hopefully Clattenburg does a good game and doesn’t screw us.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    I just want three points tomorrow, a good performance is a bonus but three points takes us back to top of the table no matter what City do


  • WalterBroeckx

    posting the same comment below different articles and who have not really something to say about the subject

  • Ugandan Goon

    @Pierce Holt,
    I think the question you are really asking is who knew Ramsey and Theo would turn out to be such key players for Arsenal? ( Wenger, that’s who).
    If Ozil is not getting as many assists, it is because he seldom has anyone to hit with a pass we need that movement to provide the angles, i remember saying the same thing about gervinho although the other way around, he made the sharp clever movement but we moved the ball too slowly to make it count.
    So my fellow gooner, ask not what Ozil can do for the team, rather what the team can do for Ozil?

  • AL

    Ugandan Goon
    Spot on. This isn’t a knock on Giroud or anyone in particular, but we need someone who will make runs into space or behind the defenders constantly to make full use of a player like Ozil. Otherwise as it is the most we’re getting out of him is just holding on to the ball that extra few seconds, which helps if you’re trying to run down the clock. Having no one to make these runs(the ones good at this area out currently) with a player like Ozil in the team is akin to having the best crosser (like Beckham) in your team but with a short striker who can’t even head the ball. Very little is going to come out of those crosses, regardless of how good they’re.

  • AL

    Just to add to the above, IMO I think that’s why we have been seeing what some might describe as negative body language from Mesut; he gets the ball, looks up and sees noone running into the box or making some space to receive the ball, and more often than not he has to pass the ball back to Sagna.

  • AL,

    This is probably the first time ever that an Arsenal player’s dip in performance has been blamed entirely on the actions or inactions of others. Cazorla came in for a fraction of Ozil’s worth and was player of the Month for months after months. We never blamed anyone when he under-performed did we?

    You know you and I seldom disagree but I refuse to accept the premise that Ozil’s lack of productivity is the fault of others. I prefer to go with AW’s rationale that he is still getting used to a new more physically demanding league rather than blame the movement of other players.

    The truth about Ozil that we can only say in hushed tone is that he is not a fighter. He is a Berbatov kind of player. Look at Rosicky. On his worst day, you are sure that he is going to fight for every ball till he gets substituted. Even Cazorla would up the tempo when he can. I don’t expect all players to be the same. Ozil is who he is and we need to accept the fact that he does not get down and dirty, which is a trait that fans love to see in their players.

    What I would not accept, for the umpteenth time, is for Ozil’s shortcomings to be blamed on his team mates. Let’s trust Arsene and Mesut to work on his shortcomings together so that we can all have the player that we desire.

  • andy bishop

    Ozil is a class act but he needs players to make runs. Giroud is not that player

  • Bugziie

    A balanced and reasoned take on tonights game, as well as Saturday’s loss if I may say so myself

  • AL

    I agree there are various factors contributing to Ozil’s “dip” in form. In my view though I don’t think he has dipped in form, we still see him popping up in all areas of the pitch; the right wing, left wing, deep in midfield, etc. He still holds up the ball superbly, and passes are usually successful. The only difference I’ve noticed is the lack of that final killer pass leading to a goal. If he did it with such regularity in the first 10 or 15 games, what has changed now? That’s when we will probably start looking at who he was making those final passes to; Aaron. So my view is not so much as trying to pin the blame on anyone for his “underperfoming”, but trying to explain why the killer passes dried up 🙂 In fact, I think it’d be fair to say Ozil is now making a lot more passes backwards than initially, as alluded to by Persian Gunner 🙂 There could be many reasons for that, but some might include the shift in the shape of the team.

    What you wrote made a lot of sense, and sure you’ll find what I’m trying to say here making some sense too. Every player has difference strengths, and I think Ozil is just trying to adjust to a play where he’s not only looking to making final through balls. I think there’s been a shift in the general team play lately, and I can’t put a finger on what it is really. But we have not really been scoring many goals from beautifully weighted killer balls into the path of someone to finish off, like the Ox’s second goal v Crystal P, or Wilshere’s wonderful goal (ok, think I’ve overused the word ‘killer’ so I’ll stop now 🙂 anyway Ozil isn’t the only one who can do that in our team, just that he did it more regularly.) So to sum up my thoughts are that the current shape of the team doesn’t favour anyone trying to make a delicious final through ball, whatever the reasons for that I don’t know(teams parking the bus? Possible)

  • AL

    Of course one other plausible reason for my last question above is the type of players we have out injured, who gave us a bit more width.

  • AL

    Oh, and Bootoomee, think your comparison of Ozil with berbatov is a little too harsh 🙂

  • AL,

    I agree with you on how our injured players have affected our attack. That is a team issue. As long as no player is being scapegoated to excuse another player’s —— (fill in the gap 🙂 ) then I’m on board.

    Cazorla took a while to get into the groove too but look at him now. The only difference was that no one else was blamed when Cazorla was not at his best. I know that Ozil will be back on top. He is a classy player and they always come through.

  • AL

    Yes Bootoomee, I don’t agree with the scapegoating thing too, not helpful. I’m sure the team will soon be firing on all cylinders soon, and the important thing is we are still up there with the sugar-daddy clubs even though we might have been going through what might ne termed a rough patch by own standards.

  • Hi guys im not a coach bt in tonights game i need to see Gibbs instead of monreal,monreal is a nice guy but he needs a breezer then Ox and Poldoski if we need that attacking flair and Varmleen in the middle if he is not injured to track back and have shots which will destabilize degear , otherwise if we are going to pass manure into the goal then we have lost this one,then Carzola in a free role.
    Lets do some unexpected changes and give manure a surprise.
    What team should you guys have on such a day when only a win counts??

  • Ugandan Goon

    You complete me.(The Valentine’s day spirit hovers briefly at Untold Towers!)