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Arsenal v Swansea: the ref preview. Almost 25% of Probert games are Arsenal!!!

Arsenal v Swansea 25 March 2014 – The Match Officials

Andrew Crawshaw

  • Referee – Lee Probert
  • Assistants – R Ganfield and I Hussin
  • Fourth Official – R East

After one FIFA accredited referee demonstrated on Saturday that he doesn’t know the rules of the game nor is he able even to recognise the players involved can we expect any better from My Probert on Tuesday night?

This will be the fourth time we will have had Mr Probert this year and that is too many for any referee – good or bad.

It will be his 17th game so nearly a quarter of them have been with us.  So far we are unbeaten with him in charge – v Norwich (4-1) on 19 October, away at Newcastle (0-1) on 29 December and v Fulham(2-0) on 18 January.  He has not yet done a Swansea game this year, or a reviewed game last year come to that.

Mr Ganfield is a regular with Mr Probert, this will be the 11th time they have been together, although the only Arsenal game was the home fixture v Norwich.

Mr Hussin has only been with Mr Probert once before, in the Newcastle v Arsenal fixture and that is the only time he has been involved in one of our games.

It will be Mr East’s third appearance as fourth official in an Arsenal game this year, none of the 5 games he has refereed have involved Arsenal although one did feature Swansea (1-1 away to Everton on 24 August)

Lee Probert is from Wiltshire, so nominally a Southern referee.  He has been a Premier League referee since 2007 and was FIFA Accredited in 2010.  He is 42.

What of his history with Arsenal?

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At the end of last year Walter had the following to say about Mr Probert :-

“Statistically speaking ref Probert is a walking disaster for Arsenal. We know Dean better as we see him more but believe me Probert is as bad if not even worse than Dean for Arsenal.

“I really would like to know why he hates Wenger that much as I do think it is something personal, not least after Wenger kicked a water bottle at Old Trafford and Probert tried to send him to the stand.  You will remember the scenes with Wenger standing there at the top of a part of Old Trafford in some kind of Jesus Christ impersonation with his hands wide open, asking Probert: why are you crucifying me?

“Later on everyone agreed that the reaction of Probert to have sent Wenger sent off was over the top and the PGMOL had to apologise in name of the ref and the 4th official on that day. To complete the story: the ref was Dean and the 4th official was as said before ref Probert. I wonder how much is still playing a part when he is around an Arsenal game? If so I think the PGMOL should take action and remove him from Arsenal games.”

So not a referee for us to trust yet I think.

Last year He was in charge of the following Arsenal games

Norwich v Arsenal 20/10/2012 (1-0) – 73% overall, bias against 6/94 and no wrong Important Decisions (second yellow, red cards, penalties or goals).

This was a pretty poor piece of refereeing overall, whilst he got the big calls mostly right he made 16 wrong decisions, 15 against Arsenal, including allowing an offside call for an Arsenal player who made no attempt to get the ball which was played towards two onside attackers who had one defender and the keeper to beat.  A rotten decision that may have cost us a point

Southampton v Arsenal 1 Jan 2013 (1-1) – 68% overall, bias against 23/77 and one wrong Important Decision, when he should have awarded Arsenal a penalty for handball which prevented a Podolski pass reaching Wilshere.

Another rotten decision probably costing us two points as the score was 1-1 at the time.

This year

Arsenal v Norwich 19 October (4-1) – The ‘Wonder Goal’ scored by Wilshere, a brace from Özil and a fantastic dribble and finish from Ramsey.

Norwich worked hard and made the game difficult at times and Probert refused us a blatant penalty in extra time and a clear handball not given on the edge of the Norwich penalty area were the worst examples of his bias.

Newcastle v Arsenal 29 December 2013 (0-1) – A second half goal from Giroud’s head from a cross by Theo was the only goal of the game.

Probert, as usual, useless allowing Tioté and Williamson free rein to kick our players but carding Arsenal players as soon as they retaliated.  We just held on to the win with some pretty desperate backs to the wall defending.

Arsenal v Fulham 18 January (2-0) – A second half brace from Santi after a pretty torrid first hour where Fulham parked the bus pretty effectively, after the first we looked comfortable and fully in control.

I can’t remember Probert having a particular influence on the outcome of this game and there were no challenges deserving of cards.

To sum up

  • Mr Probert is normally a strong “Home” referee, although this is rarely evident in Arsenal games.
  • He seems to have an active dislike of Arsenal and Arsène Wenger in particular
  • He will actively seek to minimise the chance of Arsenal having a clear cut advantage in a game – a penalty in our favour is almost unthinkable
  • Our players are most unlikely to get any protection from being kicked all over the park but will be carded as soon as they seek to retaliate.
  • This will be a difficult game for us to win and three points will be a major achievement.


56 comments to Arsenal v Swansea: the ref preview. Almost 25% of Probert games are Arsenal!!!

  • WalterBroeckx

    This is telling the PGMOL story completely Andrew.

    A Chelsea ref for the Chelsea game and we have seen him messing us up
    Then the poorest ref apart from Dean for the next match but luckily he is a home referee SO THE FANS NEED TO GET ON HIS BACK FROM THE FIRST MINUTE!!!

    And then the icing on the cake will be Dean again for the game against City. Only two matches between him doing the match at Tottenham and now again him.
    Maybe Riley wasn’t satisfied with what Dean did at Tottenham and told him to make up for it?

    Mike Riley has opened the attack on Arsenal it seems.

    I wonder if Riley has phoned Wenger already to apologise for the mess Marinner made at Chelsea?

  • Florian

    It is worth noting though that this year the refs have been in the spotlight for the wrong reasons far more often than before. Don’t remember such a turmoil when SAF was around. Just keeping my fingers crossed that the string of blunders will result in somebody being asked some questions. But yes, wouldn’t bet my life on it 🙁

  • Rupert Cook

    I couldn’t care less if Tim Sherwood was reffing the game there should be no excuses for not being able to beat Swansea, especially after that 6-0 drubbing.

  • Damilare

    Thanks Andrew for the review. The PGMOL is either bent or incompetent. Why would they give mariner another game immediately after his show of shame without carrying out a psychiatric exam on him first? He could have sent our keeper off in error since he could just pick on anybody.

    Why would we have a ref 4 times out of 17? This is exactly what UA had been complaining about for long. Too few refs at PGMOL give opportunity to a ref to affect (positively or negatively) a team too much.

    I believe we would rise above whatever the officials and swnsea throw at us tonight and bounce back. Our season is redeemable. Let’s go gunners!


  • andy1886

    As we’ve won the other three games that Probert has officiated in this season then it seems a bit harsh to suggest that this will be a difficult game to win (presumably because of who the referee is). Maybe he does have a grudge against AW, but the evidence so far suggests that this isn’t reflected enough in his performance to influence the result to any great degree in a home game against a pretty average Swansea side.

  • Edu

    i notice this site won’t discuss the elephant in the room of wenger’s ‘imminent’ departure, and keeps hiding in statistics..fool hardy and naive..

  • c-rog

    Seems like your getting excuses lined up ready before the game?

    And if you think Swansea will go to Emirates to kick the Arsenal players “all over the park” then you clearly don’t know your opposition this evening. Swansea are most probably the least physical side in the Premier League.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Andy that is because we played 2 of the matches at home with him. He is a home ref.
    At Newcastle he allowed the home team to kick us and only luck made us survive without too many casualties. Giroud could have broken his leg (unpunished) after a terrible challenge.

    There will be few fouls called and if Swansea wants to kick the shit out of us, they will be allowed to unless the home crowd forces Probert to act.

    so whoever is going: get on his back!

  • WalterBroeckx

    we will discuss his departure when the time is there of course.
    By the way I have heard that Georges Leekens wants to manage Arsenal. Should I write an article about it? 😉
    Georges who? Look him up 🙂

  • WalterBroeckx


    No I just said that if they would decide to such tactics they have the perfect ref to do it.

  • Walter,

    There you go pre-moaning about refs again, like you ever got any of your ridiculous predictions right. Pffff.

    Instead of writing about that terrible and inept Arsene Wenger and his useless players, you continue to blame the ref. Have you ever heard Mourhino (a.k.a. the special one) blame the refs after losing a game before? NEVER. Did Alex Ferguson ever blamed the refs after any poor result? NEVER.

    It is only you going on about how bent or incompetent the refs are. Give it a rest and write about how crap Arsenal are. That is the realistic way to support your team. Ignore them when they do well and beat them to death when they perform poorly. It’s called tough love and it is the right way to support Arsenal. You ought to be ashamed that many who are posting on this site for the first time are much better at supporting the team than you.

    This team will win nothing this season and may not make 4th because Martinez (who ought to be given the job instead of the senile old Frenchman) will nick it ahead of this team of losers. Martinez knows how to win things. And he is not French. His old team will beat Arsenal in the semi-final of the FA cup by merely remembering what he taught them 10 months ago. Arsenal is doomed, doomed I tell you and blaming the refs is like hiding your head in the sand. Get a grip and start knocking your team. It’s the right thing to do.

  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    Bootoome- your last post cracked me up laughing mate!Wenger out! Arsenal are crap! Martinez in!
    COYG! Aha and Amen.

  • andy1886

    Well let’s hope that the boys give as good as they get, let’s see the crowd get on the referee’s back and put the pressure on as he’s a ‘Homer’. Let’s hope that confidence hasn’t been too badly affected and we show some real determination to prove that we are so much better than what we saw last time out.

  • Macduff

    “Statistically speaking ref Probert is a walking disaster for Arsenal”

    Except for this season where we won 3 out of 3 where he officiated. I don’t know what that is where you are from but in the UK that’s 100%-statistically speaking

  • finsbury

    A.Taylor has been prompted to Riley’s reserve. Not as experienced or subtle or sly as Grand Master Dean. E.g. Saturday’s credibility destroying decisions made in front of the watching world (“rules? where we’re going we don’t need rules!”). To have the officials conferring like that against their own guidelines or rules is just a little bit too obvious.

    It’s not often the PGMOB will let (Arsenal!) players off punishments in order to protect their bungling interpreters of the laws of association football.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Because you also have to look at the past of course.

    Unless you judge a team/ref only on their last match of course…

  • Macduff


    No, I do not judge a team/ref by their last match, but a full season is usually telling. And from his last 3 games we have a 100% success rate. That is not a disaster “statistically speaking”, as you say. How many other refs (with 3 games or more) do we have a 100% success rate with over the course of a season?

  • Kenneth Widmerpool,

    I am only trying to bring some ‘reality’ to this deluded site. It is not my intention to amuse you because going 9 years without a trophy is no laughing matter.

    Yes, I have turned to the dark side and I am not returning until Arsene Wenger is sacked.

  • finsbury


    I did not know statistics or even numbers obeyed different rules or laws in the UK (do they answer to Riley?) but a pool of three is not going to provide much of a study when we consider that two results are the minimum requirement for any kind of analysis. Statistically speaking.

  • Macduff


    In the 5 games mentioned above the win rate is 60%, higher than Wengers average over 17 years and 1000 games- statistically speaking

  • Macduff


    As for you not knowing that statistics or even numbers obeyed different rules or laws in the UK. I can tell you that they do not, I gueess statistics are pretty much universal, which is why I said that 100% or 3/3 is pretty good here, as opposed to disaster, as stated by the author

  • WalterBroeckx


    the numbers from Probert pre this season:

    Arsenal matches 8
    Won 2
    Draw 3
    Lost 3

    In %
    Arsenal matches pre this season
    Won 53%
    Draw 26%
    Lost 19%

    The Probert stats with Arsenal

    Won 25%
    Draw 37.5%
    Lost 37.5%

    So this is a terrible win % don’t you think? I would say disaster comes to mind.

  • finsbury

    If you like numbers then you’ll love this link (by the author):

    It’s the bias charts* that I like, but I think there’s enough work in there for all to enjoy. Enough numbers (not three, not five…). Have fun 🙂

  • finsbury

    Thanks again to Untold for these previews. They do add to the match day experience.

    This season it’s been possible to walk down to the stadium (for some at least 🙂 ) to watch a game after having paid my hard earned Wonga for a ticket knowing whether I will be able to focus upon the actual football or upon one of the bunglers
    E.g. Say you have a Clattenburg for a game – Everton. A good game with a decent official, Arsenal pulled away in the end but it was a great contest and spectacle. What delights are in store tonight? Who knows, heh.

    Alongside many others as usual I’ll be heckling the poor offcials into giving every call the Arsenal way. It works, sometimes. There was that penalty for shirt pulling on Giroud. The poor lino had possibly made one or two errors earlier in the match and received robust heckles all game long and after a culmination of pressure during the shirt pulling incident he gave the a correct decision! Of course, the furore in the Meeedjah was that the referee did not give the (correct)decision but the lino. Plundits were spitting grit into the microphones in outrage.
    What a stark contrast to the reactions to A.Taylor’s bodge job and error that was far too transparent for the PGMOBs own good? One article in the Metro by a Stoke fan (Why?) claiming that this was just another example of big clubs getting the rub of the green. Clearly this Stoke fan has even more problems with numbers then some others, because Riley and friends can be seen and be recorded in not liking the Arsenal. Which is why they broke their own rules in order to send off an Arsenal player. Which is something the Arsenal players would have been aware of.

  • Kenneth Widmperpool

    Bootoome,—no mate no!dont go to the otherside!Stay with us in deluded land, where theres always rainbows and singing and dancing in a happy land even when we get thrashed…and where we all have the IQ of nearly 30 and dont know anything about Arsenal.Think of your friends here think of your family,dont go to the other side,its worse than ITV over there!Its like living with Michael Owen all day long.

    Hang on I feel my self being pulled over there too, theres a voice in my head…ahhhhhh…..ahhhhh Wenger out! …Martinez in!Klopp in!(the voice interjects:”hey inselaffe Klopps not coming I keep telling you” sack Wenger sack him now…a few fallow years is better… the refs are on our side…Rosie Probert 33 Duck Lane,come on up boys Im dead(shite as a ref)… all Untolders are deluded…Ozil not Özil was a waste of money…spend some fucking money…Wengers got too much power…no tactics…Bradford, Blackburn,Bayern, cant compete…Wengers got all the money…and hes French…9 years no trophy…9 years no trophy…9 years no trophy…must go to Le Grove…Martinez Martinez…Michael Owen is right…must listen to Piers Morgan…

  • WalterBroeckx

    I nearly missed your comment 🙂

    I hang my head in shame 😉 Will never do it again 🙂

  • Sav from Australia

    Thanks for the excellent preview.

    Lol @ Boo and Kenneth

    Come to the dark side…we have cookies.

  • Pete

    Off topic, but talking of Borussia Dortmund – apparently their wage bill is less than QPR’s…

    So it’s got to be ‘Arry for me. A good, young promising English manager with unimpeachable levels of integrity. And supported Arsenal as a kid (it’s not just Tim Sherwood)! What more do you want?

  • Kenneth Widmperpool,


    Welcome to the dark side 🙂


    Hope you’ve learnt your lesson. No more supportive crap from you. What this team needs is some ‘realistic’ tough love.

    Wenger OUT!!!

  • alex

    Bootomee !

    Silly me thought you where an adult and all in a sudden I see your U turn and become a boy spoiled by the Chelsea result.

    Every thing that could go wrong in that game was there.

    REFEREE that cost us a lot that one can think.
    INDIVIDUAL MISTAKES at the wrong minute of the game.

    My only critic is the club why they didn`t bring reinforcement in January if they say they had and have money.Other times money was the issue so i do not criticize or ask something that is not available.

    We have the Swans in town and city coming next look forward not backward.

  • soglorious

    Boo, If you are joking PLEASE stop it. that is an expensive joke.

  • Pete

    Actually, after that very brief dalliance with the dark side (‘Arry – what had I been smoking?) – I think I prefer the light!

    BOOTOOMEE! You’re a disgrace! Sort it out…

  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    Pete! theres a big difference between the “dark side” and hanging around the farmyard animals from the Coop! It will take years to heal now…
    Wenger out! Kenneth Widmerpool in!Either that or Klopp!

  • soglorious & Alex,

    Y’all need to come to the dark side. It’s nice here and we are so clear eyed we see all that is wrong with Arsenal. We also have the solution but no one will listen to us. Here are the solutions:

    1. Sack Wenger – IMMEDIATELY. He is NEVER going to win another trophy ever. He has to go.

    2. Get rid of the current set of useless players and get Ronaldo, Messi and other regular trophy winners.

    3. Sell the Emirates stadium. Did I hear you say we can’t afford those fantastic world class players? No problem. Sell the Emirates stadium and use its fund to buy those world beaters. I fucking hate that stadium. It has been used to rationalise our trophy failures for far too long by people like Tony, Walter and even myself before I saw the light….I mean the darkness.

    I can now see very clearly now those great insights into how to run Arsenal that my delusions made cloudy to me.

    Please guys, come over to the dark side folks. It’s nice around here and we are always right.

  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    Good old Stewart Robson, hes my new vote for manager- Wenger out Robson in!

  • Kenneth Widmerpool,

    Great suggestion. You are a genius!

    Suggesting Stewart Robson to manage Arsenal is like nominating Darth Vader to lead the Empire.

    I love you man!

  • finsbury

    “I don’t know what that is where you are from but in the UK” Robson’s achievements as manager at Rushden and Diamonds will never be forgotten. It’s foreign managers like Vengaaar who are denying the Robsons of this world their rightful place protecting the purity and integrity of our national sport.


  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    Darkness!Darkness!Darkness!You must come, its so nice Bootoomee is right, Tony and Walter have been deluding you all these years!They know nothing about AFC!Theres so many trophies on the other side.On the dark side are only the best players ever,incuding Pele, Messi,Ronaldo and even me.. no losers its like football manger on the ZXSpectrum but the players can move their arms and legs.
    The darkside is already setting up a new oligarch to pour all the cash we want(billion sand billions and billions) so we can win all the trophies and maybe even make up a few for ourselves! Have you ever heard the song The Big Rock Candy mountain?Well its even better than that, as theres even more trophies to win.
    You will never be bullied ever again in the school playground.
    WENGER OUT NOW!….er… Klopp in…Robson in!

  • finsbury,

    Are you insinuating that the Dark Lord himself, Stewart Robson is not worthy of being Arsenal manager.

    Think carefully before you reply because I have a “death choke” ready for you right here.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Kenneth ,Boo may the farce be with you ,always !

    You might be a redneck Jedi if …

    You prefer the phrase, “May the force be with y’all.”

    The doors on your X-Wing are welded shut and you have to climb in through the windows.

    You’ve used a light saber to light the barbecue grill.

    The disturbance you detected in the Force was last night’s baked beans.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Me’sa so tempted to turn . Is that Gungan gin in that bottle ?

  • Brickfields Gunners

    The are still vacancies on the Deathstar ! Apply within.

  • finsbury

    Don’t try to frighten us with your sorcerer’s ways, Lord Bootoo. Your sad devotion to that ancient religion (of fair play) has not helped you conjure up the stolen data (these strange things called numbers – see above – that the Untold Rebels keep using to inform people of the poor percentages in the performances of the referees in all PL games), or given you enough clairvoyance to find the hidden fortress (where they keep the alien Video Replay tech being used in Rugby, Hockey and every other comparable sport).

    *coughs….chokes….& collapses*

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Finsbury * coughs …chokes..& collapses* ,
    snapped indeed did all of his brain’s synapses ,
    by the fatal death choke of Lord Bootoomee’s .
    Wait ,he stirs and rises ;what manner of magic is this ?
    Faith in our Lord (Wenger )has awoken another Lazarus !

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Goodnight ,guys .Hope we keep those cygnets quiet tonight. Keep the faith.
    Up the Gunners !

  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    But whats this Brickfields? the Grand Moff Ken comes in and starts lure Lazarus back to the other side, but dangling in front of his face a large trophy…and a interview with Stewart Robson on Talksport…

  • Mick

    Did you know that Robson only got that job at Rushden and Diamonds because he did such a fantastic job as reserve team coach at Southend United. A worthy successor to Arsene Wenger I think all will agree.

  • finsbury

    *cough cough choke*

  • finsbury


    He had a win% of 33%!
    I won’t tell if you won’t tell poor old Macduff who may or may be not too busy chasing three occult witches that the above a meaningless stat compiled from just three not so occult numbers (matches). Three. It’s the magic number.

    Robson did not last longer then the three games.
    *Drumroll, I thank you*

  • finsbury

    Yup. It is official. Ther PGMOB is a laughing stock. But it’s good to see the rare and misguided gritty enthusiast attempt and fail to defend their record, as recorded.

  • finsbury

    Clarification: The win% above is for the three games Robson the Great had as cartaker manager at Southend.

  • finsbury,

    *cough cough choke collapses*

    Well, you can’t say I didn’t warn you 🙂

  • andy bishop

    I know…. lets buy a centre forward

  • John Smith

    So much for the Probert hates Arsenal theory. He saved you.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    The medical Division of UA is now in discussion with the manufacturers of this product to come up with one that will be used by the AKBs.

    The Medical Division uses it extensively to probe and diagnose illnesses while at the same time to cauterise, clean ,clear and remove all the diseased bits .
    (Actually that sounds like what the moderators do in protecting and clearing this site of vermin and pests !)
    Anyway for the AKBs , this new weapon will have the following :

    1)The latest precision lightsabre technology to destroy the AAAA.
    2)In built ‘mind trick’ gizmo to turn them simple minded dolts into respectable citizens .Though ask I know ,but still we will make them ‘see the light’.
    3)Added features to incapacitate and render null and void the recalcitrant AAAAs – the ‘basket’ cases ,and send them to the Black hole with a big bang !
    4)To trap ,probe and research these vermin, rodents ,pests and other low life forms that we encounter in the Untold Universe.
    5)The beat feature is that we place them on our middle finger !How apt !

    All AKBs shall receive theirs once its ready and after the oath taking ceremony -on St.Totteringham’s Day !

    Have a look and send your feedback to AKBs Forever .com.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Sorry… A tough ask…