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April 2021

Everton, the assistant, carrying the flag and an experiment

By Walter Broeckx

After a few articles about our match against Everton a few interesting discussions could be read in the comment section.  I thought it would be interesting to go in to this matter a bit deeper.

As an assistant with over 100 matches done including teams of the Jupiler League in Belgium I can add a few things about positioning of assistants and how to signal offside.

The correct position from the assistant would have been level with the last outfield Arsenal defender. But as he was 1 meter in front of them it makes the angle of his error even worse.

Let me explain.

If he had been level with the defenders he would have had a perfect view. And he would have noticed the offside. As it was at high speed but also a rather simple decision to make with only one striker being really involved and two defenders who were kind enough to almost  stand in one line.

If he had been behind the defenders he would have had the view that Naysmith was level with the defenders. That is just down to the straight vision we have as human beings. And that is why it is important to try to not be behind as it gives the impression that players are level when they are not. That is why being fast in a sprint is oh so important for assistant referees.

So with his angle he always should have had the impression (correct impression) that Naysmith was offside. Why did he have that view?  Because from where he looks it would look as if Naysmith is at least one meter offside. Not just,  but even possible more than one meter offside. That was how he will have seen it.

You can test this with a little experiment now. You take two ballpoint pens. And then you put them in one line on your desk.  Done it? Imagine the nearest pen is the defender and the furthest the striker.  Ok now put your eyes in the same line. (mind your back if the desk is rather low).

If all goes well you will only see one pen. Now move your head to the left. That is the position you would see if you are an assistant and are running behind the last defender.  And what do you see? You get the impression that the striker is well on side and even behind the defender. But he is actually  on the same line unless you have moved the pens.

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If you now would put the attacking ballpoint pen in an offside position you will notice that (if you keep your head behind the line of the last defender) it doesn’t look offside but level.

Now move your head ‘ahead of play’ to the right and you will suddenly see that the striker is meters offside.   And that is the view Mr. Garrat had. If you would move the pens in one line again but keep your head in the ‘ahead of play’ position you will see that the striker still appears to be offside while in reality he is level.

End of the experiment, put down your pens tell your boss that no you are not unwell, and of course you are working as you should be, and continue reading.

Of course as a qualified and experienced assistant referee I also look at different things. And know how an assistant behaves. Because we don’t just run around like idiots. No, we have certain rules and instructions on how to carry the flag.

The instructions are: you must always carry the flag in the hand that is closest to the playing field. So when you run towards the goal you have it in your left hand. When running towards the middle you have it in your right hand.

This is to make sure that the ref can always see the flag from his standing point. And has another big advantage. But more on that advantage later

Now having the flag in your left hand is one thing but to signal an offside you have to change the flag first to your right hand. Because an assistant MUST signal offside with his right arm. And this also has a reason. If you signal offside as an assistant you stand (or should stand) with your face in the direction of the playing field. And then if you would signal offside with your left arm you block your vision on the biggest part of the field where most of the players are.

And imagine signalling an offside with the left arm and then one player punching another and you didn’t see it because you had your arm raised for the offside, the ref also missing it because he looked at you for the offside call. So it is forbidden for an assistant to signal offside with his left arm. And if you do so you can expect low points from a match assessor.

The advantage for running with the flag closest to the field is that in, let us say, 90% of the attacks the assistant will have his flag in his left hand.  And when he sees an offside he quickly changes his flag to his right and and raises his arm.

Also when a ref is moving sideways as he should when the defenders are more or less in a stable state (no quick counter but just holding a defensive line) you should keep the flag in the left hand. And again when an offside happens you change the flag to your right hand and raise the arm.

The biggest benefit this has is that you will not raise your flag too quickly. We have to wait and see before we signal an offside unless there is only one attacker involved over the whole field and he is offside; then you can raise the flag immediately. Although even then you can wait and see but if you think that a possible collision between a striker and keeper could happen and no other player is involved you can raise he flag immediately.

When I do matches and move sideways (up or down doesn’t matter) I make sure that the flag is always left so I will not signal too soon. But when I see a player in an offside position I (and I know many do this it is a bit of a good habit) I already move the flag in a position where we hold it with both hands.

When you look at an assistant and you see he brings his hands together to hold the flag you can be almost 99% sure that he has spotted a player in an offside position. And after having done a few hundred matches I can say that this is a bit of a second nature for me (and most assistants when I keep an eye on them). It is to make sure that if the ball goes to that player you can raise your flag in a fraction of a second.

So what did I see what Mr. Garratt did when the ball went to Naysmith? He moved the flag to his right hand to signal an offside but then refused to lift his arm. If he would have been 100% sure of Naysmith being onside he wouldn’t have had this spontaneous reaction to move the flag to his ‘offside hand’. But he did.

The usual signal if it was close but not offside is to keep the flag in the left hand and run along with the striker and you can add a gesture of almost pushing the flag in to the ground also use your right arm and point in the goal direction as to signal go on, carry on. This signal was not to be seen. I saw the handing over of the flag to the offside hand. But then he deliberately kept his arm down.

So all suggests to me that he did make a deliberate decision to not give the offside he saw. Why? God and he knows.

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88 comments to Everton, the assistant, carrying the flag and an experiment

  • joe

    Very, very interesting.

  • Jambug


    Apologies for cut and paste but I just put this on the preceding thread but seems a bit more relevant to what you are saying.

    “Humans have good vision across an horizontal plain of about 110 degrees, which obviously equates to around 55 degrees either side of an object directly in front of you.

    By good vision we are talking about the area in which we as humans still have binocular vision which is what enables us to perceive distance.

    55 degrees either side of central covers a pretty extensive area of a football field that you are seeing clearly.

    Obviously the closer to you the play is the more limit your good visual field becomes as further away makes things more difficult for obvious reasons.

    I would suggest about 20 to 25 yards in front of you (a distance at which both passer and receiver in this case would be about 35 to 45 degrees apart) would be pretty much perfect for seeing EXACTLY what did happened.

    Unless of course you don’t want to see it of course.

    Sorry to get all technical but this issue about the difficulty of seeing both passer and receiver at the same time, in 99% of cases just doesn’t hold water.”

  • Jambug

    And this:

    And one last thing on this.

    What I’m talking about isn’t even getting into the area of peripheral vision. That more or less is the non binocular vision outside the parameters I mentioned above, that in Humans extends to almost 180 degrees.

    Most of of use use our peripheral vision extensively, and well, in day to day life, not least when driving.

    We make regular, crucial, decisions in our cars on what we see peripherally all the time. If we did not we would be dead.

    Footballers do it all the time. It is part of the make of those special players that seem to have ‘eyes in the back of there heads’.

    And this is the vision way outside what I was talking about above.

    For those that don’t believe me have a look into it and see how difficult this being a linesman really ISN’T.

  • Will

    Thing we are all missing is, the offside is moot as Lukaku fouled our player.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Jambug nice addition.

    Talking about vision. All the players involved were in an area of maximum 10 meters apart (think they were even closer) and that is the ideal distance to make decisions. The most difficult are the long punts from the defence that hang in the air for a while. Because it is at the moment the ball is punted up and forward you had to see the possible offside some 30-40 meters away from the ball. That is much more difficult.

    I have been told once that people who have some slight strabismus could have some benefit from this when being an assistant referee. As they could train their eyes to looking in a bigger angle. Don’t know if this is true so pass it on and wait to be corrected if needed

  • Jambug

    Walter and all.

    Again really sorry to cut/paste but what I was saying on the other thread is much more relevant to this article. Whether it’s of any interest is another matter all together 🙂

    For 4 years whilst injured I ran the line. It is NOT difficult.

    Peripheral vision and sound as well as rapid looks from ball to across the back line all aid to make calling offsides nothing like as difficult as you seem to be suggesting.

    And even if it is occasionally a tough close call, that decision on Saturday was not one of them.

    -The pass was made from a position easily within the linesmans Peripheral vision. It was actually close to his ‘line of sight’ at that distance.

    -It wasn’t a matter of a defender ‘pushing up’ at speed, crossing a forward advancing at speed. It was a retreating back line and a slightly miss timed ‘run’ or ‘pass’ whichever way you want to look at it.

    -The linesman was not moving at speed but almost, if not totally static.

    -The linesman was ‘square on’ looking directly ‘across the line’

    And this is the point.

    The Linesman was in the perfect position, with the perfect view, of a clear cut infringement, and yet failed to call it.

    Either he is diabolical at his job, in which case, as would happen to me, he should be disciplined for it.

    Or he’s a cheat, plain and simple.

    I cannot abide this preposition that it is a difficult job, or at least a job that is too tough for officials to get right even in the most obvious of cases.

    Brain surgery is difficult. Running the line at a f***ing football match is not !!!

  • Jambug

    PS: References to other posters/article are relevant only to the other thread.

  • John Njamio

    Correct me if am wrong but isnt this assistant ref the same moron who gave everton an offside goal some seasons ago though we went ahead and won that game

  • WalterBroeckx

    Jambug don’t agree on this “and see how difficult this being a linesman really ISN’T.” 😉

    Let me give you an example.
    A few weeks back I did a match with my oldest son who is a referee and my second oldest son who is also an assistant referee. After the match when sitting in the canteen having a few sandwiches given by the home team our first division referee and former fifa referee J. Van De velde came to us. He lived around the corner and had been a spectator of the match. He congratulated my son with his referee performance, gave him a few tips and tricks, promised to call the authorities and ask them to have a closer look at him for being promoted quicker.
    We had a long chat with him about refereeing, physical tests, and then it came to being an assistant referee. And as all refs he said that they had to be an assistant referee before getting a promotion to a higher level (that is the rule in Belgium) and that he always hated it because he thought it was too difficult to do. He said he was terrible as an assistant. 🙂

    So a top ref (and our oldest ref in the Jupiler league I think) said that he couldn’t be a good assistant.

    Bottom line I think you have it or you haven’t. You can be a bad referee but an excellent assistant (or the other way round of course). It is work for specialists and only a few can do both good enough to do it well.

    Mind you we have had a few referees (good referees) telling my son and I that they admire a good assistant as they are important and as they also are not really specialists in that job.

    I almost felt insulted by your words. 😉 🙂 LOL.

    Serious now, I didn’t but just wanted to point out that you probably ‘had what it takes’ to be a good assistant and then it looks easy. As it usually does for me.

  • Mike T

    Thanks Walter for confirming, as I was trying to say last night that the assistant wasn’t in the perfect, correct and most would surely now agree the best position to make the call.

    I know others think the reason the offside wasn’t given is down to an agenda and nothing I say will convince otherwise but to a degree as he not in a perfect position I tend to think he in that split second realised he would to a degree be guessing and at that point bottled it.


    Have another look at the goal, bear in mind the pitch at Goodison Park is 75 yards wide and look where the player starts the run and indeed the point he is off side 2.09 seconds in. What you estimate the distance was from the player to the asst? My guess would be around 35 yards


    Have a look at the incident again

  • Jambug


    Not everyone is suited to every job. My job is not difficult. You do not need a single qualification.

    But…….only 20% of people who get invited to attend a day of mental aptitude tests pass because it requires very job specific mental abilities.

    But it does NOT make it a difficult job.

    Being a Linesmen may also require a very specific set of mental abilities. But again, once you have been assessed as having those abilities (which obviously linesmen will of been) the job itself is NOT difficult.

    That is not to say, like my job, it doesn’t have it’s challenges and difficult moments but isn’t that the same with every job?

    My contention is that ‘overall’ as a job, being a linesmen and making correct calls as to whether one player is a yard to the right of another IS NOT DIFICULT.

  • samrat

    brilliant post. Wondering if Mr Garrat did it to over compensate?

  • Will

    I had to do Lino a few times, hated it.

  • Jambug


    Did you find it hard to not watch the game?

    Did you find it hard to give decisions against your own back 4?

    Did you find it hard to maintain concentration?

    Did you find it hard to keep up with play?

    Did you feel pressurised from opposition/your own fans?

    One, two, or all of those points are things that other guys from my team/Club at the time had problems with. I did not have an issue with any of them, hence, in there words, not mine, I was a brilliant linesman. By definition I gave many many decisions that at the time made me very unpopular with my own mates.

    But overall they knew my honesty and integrity gave me credibility with Referees that few other guys had.

    In the long run it paid off.

    Some just cant handle it though.

  • Vintage Gooner

    Many thanks to Walter for this post which is a helpful and intelligent response to my short previous comment. Perhaps more surprisingly thanks also to Jambug who whilst disagreeing strongly with my comments did so in an informed and intelligent manner. In my brief period as a referee following too long enjoying playing football I was mostly in the middle rather than on the line although I probably found the line easier. I will strongly agree with Walter that with offsides sometimes this can be quite problematic although this should not have been the case at Goodison. Walters comments on the flag usage emphasize the gulf in class between the refereeing he has done contrasted to my humble experience.

  • Mike T

    But Jambug other than the fact that you made decisions and that the fact that some of your team mates were upset how do you know that your decisions were correct?

    That’s very much the point that time after time its only when you see the replays and then it may take a second , third or maybe fourth view to validate or otherwise the decision and even then the replay has to be slowed down.

  • Jambug

    Mike T

    I knew somebody would say this and of course you have a point.

    I cannot prove anything either way. You’ll just have to take my word for it 🙂

    Just on this one decision on Saturday I swear I called it as ‘off’ the second it happened.

    Even in your living room watching at real speed if it looks off side, smells off side, and tastes off side, it usually is.

    As you’re here go and look at the highlights and freeze the incident then explain to me how under any circumstances the linesman missed it.

  • Jambug

    Vintage Gooner

    Thanks for your kind comments.

    I’m really only trying to make the point that the job is not so difficult as to justify the enormous amount of wrong calls made, especially against us.

    In other words there must be another reason other than incompetence as to why they make so many bad calls such as we saw on Saturday.

    Bias ?

  • Mike T

    @ Jambug

    In truth there is a appoint here and the fact that you were confident in making the decision is key for as Walter suggests the asst ref was caught in two minds so clearly lacking confidence and dare I suggest that there would have been real possibility he would have been swayed by the crowd albeit in his sub conscious

  • greencardusa

    Sorry to be off topic. There is a lot about Giroud “breaking” his ankle. Nothing about how this happened. Can anyone shed a light on this? Somehow, the media don’t seem to think that is important at all. If it was a foul, was it called? Carded? …etc.

  • Hi Walter

    I find running the line (or being assistant referee!) more challenging than refereeing. I do enjoy the line.

    But then refereeing with 2 club linesmen is very difficult. (as I do most of the time)

    Refereeing with 2 good assistants is much easier.

    re: offside alway indicated with right arm, is fine if you are running right wing/left backs – if the referee chooses the opposite diagonal (as sometimes happens) then you have to use your other arm!

  • Mike T


    No foul he put his foot out to block a clearance and it forced his foot and in particular his ankle back.

  • Jambug


    -It wasn’t a foul. Freak accident as the ball struck his foot.

    -The reason there is no news is because at his press conference Wenger was VERY evasive for whatever reason.

    All this means is whatever anyone says it is pure speculation so perhaps it’s a good thing the media are being quiet as they very rarely speculate positively about us do they.

  • Jambug

    Paul Southcote

    Expanding on a point made by Mike T to me, without replays, how do you KNOW which are the good and the bad Linesmen?

    That was a point I made, that the Referees got to know I was a good linesmen. But as mike T points out they didn’t really have any concrete evidence for this, although they was perfectly correct of course 🙂

    Is it just an ‘instinct’ on your behalf?

  • Alex Dieuzeide

    @greencardusa. Not quite sure, but I noticed in the last seconds he was hit in his foot by a cross shot from some Everton player from the left. He blocked the ball and then got down on the pitch for a while staying there even after the ref whistle the end. (Sorry for my english, I’m a french Arsenal fan. By the way, this blog is the one I have looked for a long time! Positive and supportive fans at last!)

  • Jambug

    Answering my own question, you know, I think what it was, was that although the Ref would see my own back four/other players give me grief when I flagged against them he could tell there was no conviction in there protestations.

    In other words, he could tell the players knew I was right because players themselves usually know.

    So he built on that with the assumption that if his own mates are happy with the calls that go against themselves, he is most likely being pretty accurate AND honest.

    So they get a ‘feel’ that the least you are being is fair, as well as most likely pretty accurate.

    That’s my reasoning behind it anyway.

  • mk

    Hate to say but this link looks to almost explain this exact situation, though I still think if it was in Arsenal’s favour he wouldn’t have hesitated to raise his flag.

  • greencardusa

    Thanks Mike and Jambug.

  • Jambug


    We see in straight lines but are perfectly capable of imagining circles.

    Please please stop trying to justify a terrible call because the official was standing 5 degrees out of ‘perfect’ alignment.

  • WalterBroeckx

    thanks for the picture link.

    You can also clearly see that the assistant has the flag in his left hand and if you would see moving images you can see him moving the flag to his right hand because he just knew it was offside and then holding his right arm down with his left arm (I will not make the call = interpretation of the body language)

  • WalterBroeckx

    In Belgium we don’t work with club assistant referees. In Holland they do this and sadly there is a tendency to also do this in the future.

    Most refs would hate it as now in all first team football in Belgium in the KBVB you have refs who are not related to the clubs and two assistants who are not related to the clubs. And this will mean that most of the time you will get officials with no real bias in favour of one of the teams.

  • mk


    whoah slow down there, not trying to justify anything just found a scientifc explanation for a reason it could happen, as i said i doubt very much the official wouldn’t have instantly raised his flag if it was in our favour instead, other teams seem to always benefit from any ‘doubt’ in a decision.

    I’d certainly expect an experienced official to have got this decision right and he should be demoted for that one.

  • WalterBroeckx

    By the way nice to see so many colleagues in here. Both referee and assistant referees (or former).

    Personal note: Just back from my last intensive practice as on Saturday morning we have the physical test. 14 sprints of 150m within 35 seconds and 5 sprints of 50m within 7 seconds. Today I managed 20 sprints of 150 m within 35 seconds so should be fine. Only problem is 12 hours before the tests I have to do reserves of the Belgian second division. So my biggest opponent will be muscle acidification (is that the right word?).

    anyway I’m now in top form so hope to keep it up till Saturday morning… fingers crossed

  • TommieGun

    Maybe someone can explain why is it important for everybody to argue regarding the extent of the linesman’s mistake.

    Maybe it’s an “honest” mistake, maybe he’s “cheating”, I don’t understand the relevance. The goal should not have stood, first, for Lukaku’s foul, second, for the offside.

    Who cares if the linesman stood in the wrong place, thus “explaining” his mistake (but confirming he is inept since he stood in the wrong place) or if he stood in the “right” place (which proves he is either blind or a cheat).

  • insideright

    If it was the same linesman as in the previous case of Everton being allowed an offside goal at the Emirates (and had it proved offside immediately afterwards on the big screens) I would remind you that the following game was away to Newcastle and we were pegged back from a four nil lead at half time courtesy of some of the strangest refereeing decisions we’ve ever seen.
    Conspracy theory anyone?

  • Jambug

    I do not necessarily think Referees/Linesmen have a propensity for bias against one Club or the other.

    I do, on the other hand believe they have a propensity for self preservation and that entails following the lead of who runs the game in England, and that is the media, and they are biased.

    They are chronically biased in favour of Liverpool, Manchester United and Spurs.

    They are chronically biased against Arsenal

    That linesmen made, or didn’t make that call, not because he didn’t see it. Not because he hates Arsenal. But because he knows it is what is expected of him.

    He knew making that call would not get him any flak at all and in all probability would count in his favour in the long term.

    If it had happened the other way round there would be outrage in the media and that particular linesman would be in the spotlight, and by definition, in trouble for making such a terrible decision.

  • Mahdain

    The appointments are out and guess who we got? Anthony effing Taylor. FU Riley

  • AL

    Mike T
    “Thanks Walter for confirming, as I was trying to say last night that the assistant wasn’t in the perfect, correct and most would surely now agree the best position to make the call.”

    I still do not agree the linesman was badly positioned, if being half a yard ahead will make them fail to make such a call then it’d mean they would fail to make the right calls 99% of the times, as they’re hardly ever in straight line with the second last defender.

    Going back to Walter’s analysis, the ref thought Naismith was offside, and thought about raising his flag. We will never know what went through his mind, but I don’t think bottling it would have been the easiest option there. And you estimate he was about 35 yards away from the player, which even makes it better for him to see. It’s like trying to determine the height of two poles while you are standing next to them; the one that is closer to you appears taller, but if you step back you can see things clearly.

    Anyway, I really wish such a bad decision would come back to haunt you. Know its all wishful thinking though, as your club is one of the teams that benefits the most from these dubious decisions every season. In my book Utd was the team that benefited the most, then your team closely followed by Liverpool. Only last season was this balance somehow turned upside down(for utd that is). So I don’t expect you to ever come out saying the officials got it wrong.

  • Jambug


    You said “Hate to say but this link looks to almost explain this exact situation….”

    I assumed that by highlighting it you put some credibility in it.

    My mistake, but I don’t see the relevance of the link when it is clearly trying to excuse, all be it under some pretence of scientific credibility, linesmen who make mistakes because they are 5 degrees out of alignment.

  • AL

    See in your 5:01 post (which came while i was composing mine) you also had your take on who is the most favored teams by refs 🙂

    Our lists aren’t too different though..

  • AL

    Taylor, that is as good as a loss. Other appointments in that list raise eyebrows too; especially the appointment of Lee Mason for the City/Stoke game. Remember Rodgers being fined last season after Mason had officiated in a match between pool and city? This league stinks.

    How much does it cost to hire a plane to unfurl a banner by the way? Think I’ll go it alone 🙂

  • Yassin

    thanks for the link.

    I say that the ref saw Naismith and Debuchy inline from his position. but anyway it was wrong positioning and wrong calls, and again against us. This has to stop. No excuses to this refereeing nor to the assistant.

    At that game the assistant was Stephen Child, check the below link:

    Would it still matter who the ref is? If Moss and Friend did this to us? then I believe we are screwed anyway. This Riley has to be taken off urgently.

  • Mahdain

    @AL the fool i am i actually thought we wont be seeing him in our matches again seeing as he only “influenced” one match against us last season but lo and behold here he is. PGMOL are truly and utterly shameless. Totally expecting one of our players to be sent off for the stupidiest of reasons ever.

  • Jambug (@5:01pm),

    You nailed it again my friend!

    Since the linesman made the terrible call, what has happened in the media? Answer: Absolutely nothing.

    Had he called the offside and it turned out Naismith was onside, can you imagine the shit-storm that the lino would be facing now in the media?

    That is precisely why the media are responsible for biased officiating in this country, especially at the highest level.

    I genuinely think that the Mr Garratt might have been confused and in doubt whether Naismith was on or off. I know there is picture evidence that shows he should KNOW but I am willing to give the benefit of the doubt here. The problem here is that when faced with dicey decisions in moments of doubts, it is only human to take the path of least resistance. That path for Mr Garratt (and indeed most of our officials) is the one in which they are less likely to be given hell by the media. That path is the one in which Arsenal get screwed. It is not the first time and it won’t be the last.

    We are only going to get fair officiating when we have a fair media.

  • Jambug


    “We are only going to get fair officiating when we have a fair media.”

    Exactly, and that my friend, at this moment in time, seems to be a very long way off.

  • finsbury

    We have a metric we can use in comparison, with the help of just one example (from the many that are available):

    Last season (or was it the season before) during a Home game the Lino gave a completely correct penalty call for holding tugging against Giroud. Obviously it helped to have ten thousand people screaming pelanty over the lino’s help, but the defender did himself no favours by pulling the emirates logo on Giroud’s shirt by about a foot. Easily visible from the touchline and always a penalty.

    Yet, remember the uproar, the umbrage at this correct decision being given by an offical in a game of football into the mass media? The petty and predictable plundits outrage at this correct decision is there on the record, available for all to refer to. Strange behaviour worthy of remark.


    Correct decision given in favour of Arsenal = V.bad
    Incorrect decision given against Arsenal = V.good

    It is what it is.

  • finsbury

    <over the lino's head

  • By the sound of all the bleating going on, the Arse are the first side ever to be on the wrong side of an offside decision! With most of you obviously watching from your armchairs or local boozer, you wouldn’t of known that by the total overeaction of your away support to getting the equaliser that everyone knew that you’d got out of jail and also know from your inept performance that you are a million miles away from winning the league despite spending a fortune on average players

  • AL

    Agree absolutely about the storm that would have followed had he incorrectly flagged Naismith, Bootoomee. Remember last season when there was the most minimum of contact between Sagna and Jarvis, there was story after story about how he should have gone down blah blah blah. Or the time when Webb didn’t award Liverpool a penalty after suarez threw himself to the ground after contact with Chamberlain? Or when Atkinson blew for a foul when Altidore was fouled by Sagna and pulled the ball back for a free kick. Who can forget these incidents, they were replayed over and over, just because Arsenal was the benefactors in this case.

    Yes, the media definitely puts pressure on the refs that. It’s made worse though by the fact there’s also an element of collusion going on behind the scenes. Take for example the way the fourth officials engage (or rather ignore) Wenger during a match. That has nothing to do with the media, just absolute contempt of the man.

  • Jambug


    All those penalty calls not given in the FA Cup final.

    All classified as ‘correct’ by BT Sports post match analysis. No outrage at all in the post match media.

    Ironically the only call criticised by BT was the giving of the non corner that lead to our equaliser.

    That of course change the fate of the Universe !!

  • Mike T


    If you think he was in the correct position to make the call then that’s fine.

    The relevance of the distance is that if all he had to do was look across the line that would have been one thing but he also had to judge at the exact point the ball was passed what was the position of Naismith. With the distances and and angles involved the assistant needed to be in the best position to make an accurate call rather than just guess.

    As for bad calls all teams get them and we have had our fair share believe me. For instance I thought we had a good shout for a penalty on Saturday the ref didn’t agree but I accept that humans are liable to make mistakes either he made one in not giving the penalty or perhaps, which is more likely I let my bias toward Chelsea sway my thinking and I guess if you saw the incident you would agree with the referee.

  • bjtgooner

    By calculation (with approximate distances) the angle between Garrett and Naismith would be about 2.3 degrees away from perpendicular.

    Not absolutely perfect, but surely close enough for a sensible decision.

    I am inclined to agree the reason Garrett did not raise the flag was largely fear of the media – but perhaps additionally – compliance with guidelines.

    The solution – technology – to provide transparent fair play for all.

  • Dante

    Bygones r Bygones…..Bring On Besiktas…..cnt wait ….

  • finsbury


    Football fans would be deceiving themselves if they don’t question that particularly obvious “performance” from the official, during the showpiece for the FA.

    You can’t miss those fouls on Cazorla in particular unless you were:

    A)temporarily blinded
    B)randomly teleported into an alternative universe
    C)unfit to be a professional referee

  • Jambug

    Mike T

    As you say we all think we get a raw deal from Referees.

    But the point is, this Blog that you seem to like so much, has done extensive analysis of Refereeing performances over a fairly substantial length of time.

    It has been carried out by ex and current Referees from a cross section of Club loyalties and levels.

    There results show conclusively that there is a distinct and unquestionable bias against Arsenal.

    Of course you can site events that have gone against Chelsea, as can supporters of Liverpool and even god forbid Manchester United.

    But the findings are clear and published for all to see.

    Yet whenever we have yet another weekend with a diabolical decision against us you come out with the same old “It’s the same for everyone”

    Well it isn’t and the findings of this site back that up.

    If you do not consider there findings to have any credibility, then you must, by implication, believe the founders of this site to be fraudsters and liars.

    In which case I ask why are you here so often?

  • Mike T

    @ Jambug

    First why am I on here so often? Well conceited as it sounds I try to bring another view to the table. Surely its better to at least have someone putting another take on things even if that dissenting view is dismissed.

    The point I was trying to make is that most supporters think their team gets a raw deal.

    When the facts are not based on an opinion then it would be churlish to argue that it was anything other than a bad call.

    For instance it is beyond doubt that Naismith was in an offside position and he should have been flagged offside.

    However leading up to that incident many , mainly Arsenal supporters would argue that Lukaka committed a foul Everton supporters in the main would say it wasn’t and that he used he upper body strength. I personally am not sure but I would bet a £ to a piece of s**t that a chunk of those same Arsenal and indeed Everton supporters would argue the exact opposite if it had been Giroud winning the ball in exactly the same way.
    As for the results of reviews I agree they do tend to show a bias but those findings, in the main are based on an opinion or if you like an interpretation of an incident from a different angle , after the event without having knowledge as to comments made by the player or warnings made by the ref indeed a whole plethora of factors that all play their part in game management.
    Its the absolutes I worry about such as was the ball out of play who last touched it before it went out of play (did you see the Stoke throw in that never was?)

    As for even suggesting that by implication I believe the site founders are fraudsters and liars is a cheap shot for just because someone doesn’t see things the same way its not because you think they are lying or whatever its because you don’t agree with their take on things

  • Mike T


    Forget all this are you watching the demolition of Man Utd by MK Dons?

  • Mandy Dodd

    Hilarious, Utds implosion continues, helped along by Afobe!
    Could you imagine if this was Moyes!

  • JB

    All Portuguese refs and assistants for Bsiktas match. Hmmmm…. Not the top available? What’s in store?

  • Mandy Dodd,

    “Could you imagine if this was Moyes!”

    The double standard is staggering. Let’s all remember that the ‘clueless’ Moyes got 6 points last season from the fixtures that the ‘genius’ LvG has only been able to get a point from. I also can remember Moyes losing this scandalously to a lower league team.

    The worship of TROPHIES in this country is sickening and it blinds ALL from being objective in how they see things. Moyes was most undone by the fact that he hadn’t accumulated some silverware before taking over from Ferguson. I am so happy for the guy now because the performance of Man United under the much exalted LvG makes him look like a fucking over-achiever and shows how terrible a team Alex Ferguson left.

    MK Dons fucking torn them to shreds and I fucking enjoyed it 🙂

  • Mike T

    @ Mandy

    I thought he looks a half decent player. His movement and strength was far too good for the defenders he was up against.

    Ok it wasn’t a first choice team but if that is the strength or depth of their squad oh dearie me!

  • Yassin


    I agree with you, and its not cause of hate to United ( although I do hate them), its cause of them blaming all thing on Moyes, and not seeing in what crap was Ferguson puting them. Moyes was a decent man, not the best coach, but a good man with good morals, now lets wait and see what will happen with this Van Gaal. How I love Wenger more, and respect him even more after looking at united nowadays.

  • Rufusstan

    @Boo. Its all about the management of expectations.

    I’ve been saying since early last season that Moyes was the sacrificial lamb. I saw the writing was on the wall for at least a season before 2012-13, that the United squad was going downhill, and all Old Red Nose did was to buy in the Dutchman to try for a last title before retiring.

    If I did, I’m sure the insiders saw it as well. So Moyes comes in and they say all the right things, hype him up, and when it all falls apart, he takes the blame. At the same time the fans get a reality check, which means they cut the next guy a lot more slack.

    Of course for it to work, they actually have to rebuild the squad, and the second guy has to be good…..

  • Mandy Dodd

    Yes, enjoyed that as well, bet Moyes is sitting somewhere with a smile on his face. From what I have read, he was seriously let down by certain players, including an ex of ours, as well as perhaps ex Utd players.As posted, a decent man. What price now a return of Fergie/Riley?
    Always rated Afobe from the little I saw of him Mike T. Think he was another victim of the injury curse ……and pretty difficult for these guys to break through, but delighted for him this evening. Wonder if recent events , if they come to the worst case scenario mean we see Chuba Akpom this season, perhaps in the league cup or as a sub…another with a lot of promise.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Quite a good evening, also glad Celtic went out. Nothing against the club, completely neutral on Scots football BUT am slightly dubious of the influence they seem to have at UEFA….as we found out with Eduardo, something I believe we pay for to this day. Also, no way they deserved to progress after the L Warsaw thrashing, unregistered players or not

  • Ray from Norfolk, Virginia

    #Funny. Somebody has “edited” the wikipedia page for MK Dons.
    I am sure the internet / wikipedia police will change it back.

    Milton Keynes Dons F.C.From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Jump to: navigation, search This article is about the club from Milton Keynes, founded in 2004. For information on its origins, see Relocation of Wimbledon F.C. to Milton Keynes.
    Manchester Killers Dons
    Full name Milton Keynes Dons Football Club
    Nickname(s) The Dons
    Short name MK Dons
    Founded 2004
    Ground Stadium mk
    Ground Capacity 30,500
    Chairman Pete Winkelman
    Manager Karl Robinson
    League League One
    2013–14 League One, 10th
    Website Club home page

    Home colours Away colours Third colours

    Current season

    Manchester Killers Dons Football Club (/ˌmɪltən ˈkiːnz ˈdɒnz/; usually abbreviated to MK Dons) is an English football club based since 2007 at Stadium mk, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire. The result of Wimbledon F.C.’s relocation to Milton Keynes from south London in 2003, it considers itself to have been founded in 2004, when it registered its present name. The team is playing in Football League One, the third tier in the English football league system, during the 2013–14 season.

    The name Milton Keynes Dons was registered on 21 June 2004, nine months after Wimbledon F.C.’s relocation in September 2003. Being in law the same business, MK Dons contested the 2004–05 season in League One, taking Wimbledon F.C.’s place in the English league structure, and initially claimed the history of Wimbledon F.C., dating back to 1889, as its own. The club abandoned its claim to any history before 2004 in October 2006 as part of an agreement with the Football Supporters’ Federation, which had previously boycotted the team and its supporters groups; under this deal MK Dons transferred Wimbledon F.C.’s trophies and physical patrimony to Merton Council in south London in 2007.

    Starting in League One following Wimbledon F.C.’s relegation at the end of the 2003–04 season, MK Dons were relegated to the fourth-tier League Two at the end of the 2005–06 season. Under the management of Paul Ince, the club won the 2007–08 League Two title, thereby gaining promotion back to League One, and the Football League Trophy during the same year. The team has remained in League

  • menace

    Fellow Untolders, I am so sorry that you have Post Mortem into an incident that does not warrant a second glance.

    Was it a PGMOL official?

    Yes? – he’s a cheat. End of.

    No? it could be a mistake.

    I have seen sufficient matches at the Ems to know that the whole lot of them (PGMOL) are cheats. They occasionally make mistakes but rarely are those in Arsenals favour.

  • AL

    Was just looking at the headlines, for a reason I can’t remember now, and saw the Telegraph with an article saying this will be a year for transition for Liverpool so it’ll be a two horse race between Chelsea and city. Ok, never mind this is only after two games, so, based on that one flukey run in 10 years, Liverpool are now the only team able to challenge for honours? Arsenal were not even mentioned.

  • bjtgooner

    Nice to see Afobe playing well, albeit against poor opposition!

    Mandy agree about Afobe and Aneke, it would be good to see one or both break through to the first team.

    Agree with you about Celtic, like you I have nothing against Scottish football, but they and the media screamed the place down and then some over Eduardo, over reacting in a big way, just like UFEA.

    Just now there seems to be something wrong at Celtic – maybe they need the constant rivalry with Rangers to keep them sharp.

  • Toye

    Forget about positioning and all what not. Untold should check their archives to see how many mistakes Garratt has made against Arsenal. At least 4. Its one too many

  • jambug

    Mike T

    Sorry if you think I was a bit harsh but I stand by MOST of what I said, because:

    It is with the following comment, that to me, you showed you either misunderstand how the Referee reviews work or you think they are assessed with bias. You said:

    “As for the results of reviews I agree they do tend to show a bias but those findings, in the main are based on an opinion”

    Yes they are based on an opinions. But it is the opinions of a cross section of Referees, with varying loyalties, and from varying levels, so any bias or favour there may be would even out as these people have no axe to grind or agenda to follow.

    So, as you point out with incidents of conjecture such as the Lukaka one there would be a difference of opinion, but that would balance out both ‘for’ and ‘against’ in each case. Therefore with incidents such as that, over time, any bias from the Referees, towards or against any particular team, would be accurately exposed.

    The reviews clearly show that both decisions of ‘Fact’ such as, over the line, offside, as well as decisions of opinion, tend to go against Arsenal.

    NB: Lots of things in life are judged on opinion. Olympic Skaters, divers, gymnasts, all win or lose on the back of somebodies ‘opinion’ and I would suggest that 99 times out of 100, none of us have any issues with the result, because as a rule, a cross section of ‘opinions’ will get it right. And that is what untold employs, a cross section of ‘opinion’. It is when you are using ONE OPINION, such as a Referee, that the problems start. Especially when that ONE person is operating under many external influences.

    The Referee reviews are a fundamental part of Untold Arsenal AND YOU DISMISS THEM AS FLAWED AND IRRELIVENT.

    I concede it may be a bit strong to question why you are here but I still contest the fact that you think the Refereeing reviews are biased is an insult to the founders of this site.

    Tony and Walter have gone to extraordinary lengths to ensure the honesty and integrity of the reviews, and yet you STILL question there validity.

    So if you are not calling them fraudsters or liars what are you calling them?

    Either way, despite the above you obviously are a valued poster on this site. I may not agree with everything you say, obviously, but considered opinion from a different perspective is always welcome if not agreed with.

    PS I do hope you don’t think you are being bullied.

  • Rantetta


    That’s just such an excellent article.

    Jambug, and others, well said.

  • Mike T

    @ Jambug

    Can you point me in the direction of any post where I say that the reviewers conduct their work with bias? I agreed with you that the results showed a bias.

    My concern is around the methodology and in particular not being able to fact in talk through decisions and gain an understanding of other factors.

    Walter can you confirm or otherwise that verbal post mortem is part of a referees assessors role.

    It will probably not the best of examples but in Walters review he talks about Mertesacker, I think it was, getting a card , wrongly for a little foul, which it probably was.

    But what went on prior to that?

    Had he been warned previously about his on field conduct or did he use foul language after having the foul had been awarded.Possibly not but if he had it would have been factored in at his next transgression.
    As for bullying me that had never crossed my mind. There is only one person that I feel ever tries to bully me and she’s telling me I have got to make a coffee in a minute!

    I said to Bootoome the other day there is never any need to be concerned if we are disagreeing on matters football and you are arguing your case and I am arguing mine. Its the name calling and abuse handed out that I feel lets people down.

  • Mike T

    Apologies second paragraph ( some would say all) total nonsense

    Should have read

    My concern is around the methodology and in particular the reviewers not being able to talk through decisions with the referees in an attempt to gain an understanding of other factors that need to be taken into account.

  • jambug

    Mike T

    You said:

    “As for the results of reviews I agree they do tend to show a bias but those findings, in the main are based on an opinion”


    “……in the main based on opinion”

    So what?

    If the assessors opinions are neutral and unbiased that is of no relevance at all, unless of course you consider there opinions not to be neutral and unbiased.

    Unless I’ve misunderstood, and you do consider the findings of the Untold assessors to be unbiased, you can see as easily as I can that Referees are disproportionately biased against Arsenal.

    But you don’t think that do you? I know this because you constantly infer that every team gets an equal amount of wrong calls, hence this recent comment of yours:

    “As for bad calls all teams get them and we have had our fair share believe me.”

    -Untolds reviews clearly show an anti Arsenal bias.

    -You don’t believe there is an anti arsenal bias.

    -By definition that means you don’t believe Untolds Referee reviews.

    If it’s not because you think they are biased why is it?

  • jambug

    Mike T

    I only asked about the bullying because dear old ‘Wat Tyler’ AKA Oldgroover seems to think myself, Bootoomee and a couple of others are bullies.

    To be honest I think he’s a bit sensitive.

  • jambug,

    You are far too kind with your description of oldgroover as “a bit sensitive”. I think he is a back biting weasel playing the faux ‘fair & balance’ advocate at Untold for his Le Grove buddies who wander here from time to time and are given the usual mental smack around based on the illogicality of their comments.

    He actually believes that being called names or taken piss at by the Le grove mob is a bad thing. Can you believe the poor guy!

  • Mike T


    The reviews outcomes without doubt show a bias in terms of decision being made not to Arsenal advantage.
    I don’t know who or how many referees carried out those reviews even if I did I would not for one second suggest that they applied anything other than a neutral stance. I know on another site Walter talks about the two main contributors.
    Walter has written elsewhere that the reviews are conducted with the assistance of replays, slow motion etc. Those recordings show the incident from different angles are able to zoom in and out. They do not reflect what the referee could or couldn’t see nor what was said prior to incidents.

    So back to the point why on the face of it do things seem to go against Arsenal. The first thing that would have to be done to even get passed first base on that one would revolve around validating findings but t

  • Mike T

    :: but to do that would involve a completely independent approach and by that I mean someone totally removed from your reviews, up to date with current policy within English football and to have access to the voice recordings and be able to talk through the findings with the officials in question.

    I am afraid its called banging your head against the wall because no one will take your quest seriously because they will keep coming back to the fact that this work is undertaken under the banner of an Arsenal supporters blog.

  • jambug


    I, like yourself, have never visited Le Grove, or any of the other sites of shame I hear referred to on here.

    If I did, and I chose to elicit my pro Wenger views I would expect a lot of ridicule. From what I gather I should expect some personal abuse as well, although having not experienced the place I am only going by what I glean from comments here abouts.

    Either way, should I enter the Tigers cage, as a man of the World I would fully expect a hot reception.

    Should I deem to tug the Tigers tail I would fully expect him to turn round and bite. But beware, I would be ready and willing to bite back.

    But to do such a thing and expect the Tiger to Lay quietly in the corner, washing himself, purring contentedly, would be foolhardy in the extreme, I would of thought.

    Alas it seems certain folk feel they can come here, and not only tug the Tigers tail, but trample all over it as well, and not get mauled.

    Sadly for them the Tigers in this particular cage have many teeth and are not averse to baring them at the unwary.

    Pathetically, some then choose to cry like babies.

    I don’t know about teeth, but I do know some of them should grow some balls.

  • jambug

    Mike T

    I agree about an independent body doing the reviews.

    I think, but I stand to be corrected, that it was muted on here that perhaps a University, such as Loughborough, could take up the batten and apply the same kind of rigorous analysis that untold do in an independent, scientific study.

    I mean, if the PL/PGMOL had nothing to hide surely it would be a good thing for them to dispel any doubts of bias there might be

    I would love that to be done. I would love it to be done openly and with un censored access to all aspects of the assessments. I should think on line access of at least a cross section of reviews done would be possible.

    But the PL and PGMOL would never allow it.

    As for Untold, for a period they employed assessors from a broad cross section of loyalties and there findings completely replicated the initial findings of solely Arsenal reviewers, but as you infer the sheer fact it is an Arsenal Blog will, in many peoples ayes, undermine the work, no matter how credible.

  • Mick

    jambug/Mike T
    It is also worth noting the Debatable Decisions website, with no Arsenal connections, arrived at similar conclusions to Untold reviews using a different method ie based on MOTD footage.

  • jambug


    I always understood that that particular website found united to be hard done by.

    I may be wrong but that’s what I’d heard.

    Either way, just using selected highlights, that may of course be biased themselves, will always be vulnerable to distortion.

  • Mike T


    One thing I find really odd is that AW is certainly no fool and surely with his attention to detail if he was likewise concerned I find it difficult to believe that the club don’t or haven’t commissioned such a review.
    Even though I am sceptical ( what gave that away) I would welcome a real independent audit or if one has already conducted then lets see the outcomes.
    Two key things have to be transparency and independence and in part of that could be achieved by refs having to stand in front of the cameras after a game and at least answer why they made a decision.

    Off subject did I hear right that the suggestion is that Girouds injury will lead him being absent for around 5 months?

  • jambug

    Mike T

    I believe Arsenal themselves petitioning for a review regarding refereeing bias would leave them open to a lot of ridicule.

    We here on Untold get enough ridicule, with accusations of paranoia etc. so what Arsenal as a Club would get doesn’t bear thinking about. You yourself, although with as much tact and diplomacy as you can muster 🙂 think we are deluded.

    As for Giroud, you will know all about that by now I would think.