Arsenal News

Live Arsenal News

Arsenal latest news

Arsenal News & Transfers
As featured on NewsNow: Arsenal newsArsenal News 24/7

Arsenal News, Only Arsenal, Blogs, Transfer News


April 2021

Arsenal v Man City Ref Preview

Arsenal v Manchester City 13 September 2014 – The Match Officials

By Andrew Crawshaw


A quick reminder before I start that parking at Cockfosters station is unavailable until June 2015, if you normally use it then you need to use either Oakwood or Arnos Grove instead.  There are also disruptions to trains south of the river into London Bridge and the Overground service south of New Cross Gate.

Tony and Drew are reporting that their route to the ground from Finchley Central to Archway is also closed on the Northern Line.   Check before you travel!

Meanwhile Walter is on holiday so he has not published his official referee review of the Leicester City game however I would be surprised if he were not to report a missed penalty and a second yellow card, both of which favoured Leicester with a resulting two points dropped, so I have added these in brackets. A proper update when available.

Wrong Important Decisions after 3 games Favouring Arsenal Favouring Opponents
2nd Yellow Cards 1 (+1)
Red Cards 1 1
Penalties 2 (+1)
Goals 1
Total 1 5 (+2)
Possible Cost in Points 0 2 (+2)


To the Preview…


  • Referee – Mark Clattenberg
  • Assistants – S Beck & J Collin
  • Fourth Official – J Moss


Watch Arsenal Live Streams With

Mark Clattenberg was born in Durham and first took charge of a Football League match in 2000 at the age of 25.  He was promoted to the Select Group  in 2004 and to the FIFA list in 2006.  He is now on the FIFA Elite list and eligible to officiate matches at the highest level.

He was in charge of the London 2012 men’s football final between Brazil and Mexico.  A senior referee with a high profile.  To date he has officiated in 216 matches, issued 36 red and 704 yellow cards.  This year he has refereed Liverpool v Southampton (2-1), Crystal Palace v West Ham (1-3) and Aston Villa v Hull (2-1).

Mr Beck has been with Mr Clattenberg for all of his games so far this year and Mr Collin with him for the past two games (Mr Beswick was on hand for the Liverpool v Southampton game) so there should be no excuses for failure to communicate.

What is Mr Clattenberg’s history with Arsenal?

Walter’s review to the end of the 2011/12 season is instructive – both Arsenal and City tend to out perform their all-referee average.

So what is wrong with the PL Refs: Case study Clattenburg

2012/13 Season (11 games reviewed, home bias in 3, away bias in 6 and neutral in 2)

Match Review: Mark Clattenburg – Arsenal Vs Swansea City (0 – 2) [01/12/2012] – 72% overall rating, no wrong Important Decisions (second yellow, red cards, penalties or goals) but one sided bias figures 93% of wrong decisions against Arsenal.  Minor fouls not given in the main part, two just outside the Swansea penalty area and Arsenal mugged by two late goals

Match Review: Mark Clattenburg – Tottenham Hotspur Vs Arsenal (2 – 1) [03/03/2013]   – 85% overall, no wrong Important Decisions and bias of 85% wrong decisions against Arsenal.  A better overall performance but three missed bookings for Tottenham players didn’t help his bias numbers.

2013/14 Season – (Mr Beck was assistant for both the Swansea and Southampton games)

28 Sept 2013 Swansea v Arsenal (1-2) – two quality goals from Gnabry and Ramsey and good work by Szcznesy ensured that we won the points.  Walter didn’t mention the referee in his summary so we can assume he had a good game.

23 November 2013 Arsenal v Southampton (2-0) – Another game where Walter didn’t mention the referee in his report; we should have had a second half penalty shortly before Giroud scored the second to make the game safe.  A good defensive performance to keep a clean sheet.

12 February 2014 – Arsenal v Man United (0-0) – A pretty turgid game with few clear cut chances, both keepers coping well with the shots that came their way.

In conclusion, up to the start of the 2012/13 season, Mr Clattenberg was a fair referee for Arsenal, he seemed to have a blip in 2012/13 but was reasonably fair again last year.

How about Mr Clattenberg and City

2012/13 Season

Match Review: Mark Clattenburg – West Bromwich Albion Vs Manchester City (1 – 2) [20/10/2012]

88% overall, no wrong Important Decisions, very few mistakes but all called against West Brom.  Micah Richards should have been booked in minute 45 was the most serious missed decision.

2013/14 Season

14 Sept 2013 – Stoke v City (0-0)

01 Dec 2013 – City v Swansea (3-0)

13 April 2014 Liverpool v City (3-2)

So one win, a draw and a loss.  None of the games have independent referee reviews so I really can’t add a comment. I started to review the early City games last year but couldn’t find a full video of the Stoke game and there was no point in reviewing edited highlights.

In Summary

  1. Mr Clattenberg is normally a good referee who makes few wrong Important Decisions
  2. This doesn’t necessarily apply to Arsenal where penalties may well not be given
  3. Yellow cards are not always shown to Arsenal opponents
  4. Historically both Arsenal and City tend to do well under Mr Clattenberg; there was a blip in his performances in Arsenal games in 2012/13 but an improvement last year.
  5. Mr Clattenberg is used to working with both of his assistants for Saturday so there are no excuses for any lack of communication.

It is a game between two top teams so come on Mr Clattenberg, play it by the book be firm but fair and let everyone enjoy the football.


And Don’t Forget Man City in September: the historical preview

Recent posts


21 comments to Arsenal v Man City Ref Preview

  • Mandy Dodd

    Thanks Andrew. Seems one of the better, and fairer refs, but as we know already this season, even those can turn against us….and I’m talking to you Mr K Friend!
    I am hoping….probably against hope…..that Wengers new found role…for which he is actually receiving a bit of praise……as the guardian/ mentor/ developer / father figure of many of the cream of Englands (and Wales) youngsters……may, just may… mean we get a more level playing field from the refs and their masters. We are no longer perceived as just a team of fancy dan tikka takka foreigners who dont like it up em…at least in some quarters.
    Kick all our England players off the park, the national team will suffer, not that the EPL or most fans will care, but the media just might. And so might the FA. England have some very easy qualifiers, and some very tough friendlies coming up, they need their best squad available.

  • menace

    Nicely put Mandy but do you really think corruption can stop because of nationalism? These modern power chasers are all Hindu. They all worship Lakshmi the God of wealth!!!

  • AL

    Thanks for putting the Possible Cost in Points column, hope you guys can continue with this and all of us fans should pay close attention to that column all season. As we can see already that’s 4 points taken from us in 3 matches, and that could be the difference between 1st and 2nd, 3rd or 4th end of season.

  • Mick

    Mandy Dodd
    I fear your suggestion that our players may get more sympathy from the refs is a forlorn hope if the weekly unpunished kicking of Jack W is anything to go by.

  • para

    The sheep(the pundits and media) will follow soon enough, but it will take time. Of course it is probably better to keep them as they are, at least the enemy is then visible.

    It would be too strange to hear them praising AW and Arsenal i think, but all we want is to be treated fairly during the game.

    I am looking forward to Sat, and i predict Arsenal 3 Manc 1, so come on lads, don’t let me down.

    Let this be the start of our winning run.

  • sat mar 8 fac arsenal – everton penalty clattenburg. an other rule manchester und – liverpool next week

  • Chapman's Ghost

    @Al, if only it were that simple. We haven’t lost any points as you can’t predict how a match will pan out if you change reality. Just because we might have deserved a penalty in whatever minute it doesn’t mean the other team wouldn’t have equalized at some point.

  • AL

    I think the anti Arsenal bias in the media is getting and will get worse. I’m sure that’s because they can see we’re no longer a “selling club”, are attracting world class players from the best clubs in the world, they can’t use that x number of years with no trophy anymore, and we are ready to challenge again on all fronts. So in my view we should prepare for a deluge of negative coverage.

    Two years ago we only had to worry about a handful of refs like Dean, but since last season this has extended to all referees. And it’s no doubt a bi product of this campaign of negativity. I can’t remember when I read last a positive article on Arsenal in the media. Even a seemingly positive article will just focus on the positive in first two paragraphs, and end up talking about how light we’re in certain departments or where we will suffer, why such and such a player is lacking confidence, etc. Times like these require all Arsenal fans to stand together. And not for certain sections of our fans to provide those in the media with the fuelthey need to push their agendas through constant whining.

  • Pat

    Thanks Andrew – and I was wondering where Walter was. I hope he’s having a good holiday.

    To be honest, I feel a bit better about the match knowing Clattenburg is the ref, so I hope he doesn’t let me down.

    Yes, Mandy, it’s just as Arsene said recently to the media – he’s busy building the England team of the future. But whether we get any less wrong calls as a result is another matter.

  • AL

    Rupert used exactly that same argument last season! He argued had we got a penalty against Chelsea they’d have just gone on and scored at the other end. Some logic. So, should we assume the other team was not trying to score, but would follow our lead and score only after we scored? Even if there was some logic in that thinking, it’s all speculation what the other team might have possibly done. But we are not speculating here when we say player so and so was felled in the penalty area in the 76th minute or that minute. So we can rightfully deduct that because of that denied penalty, or that wrongly allowed offside goal against us, we were robbed of these points. Because it DID happen!

  • Chapman's Ghost

    @Al, but it doesn’t work like that. What if we were denied a penalty in the tenth minute say, do you think the result would be the same if we’d have got that penalty? Or do you think in the next 80 minutes the other team would not have possibly equalized? Not saying they’d definitely equalize but the game’s dynamic would change.

    I don’t think you understand the point at all. If we got a penalty the game’s pattern would be altered. Just because we got a penalty how can you speculate that the other team won’t equalize?

    Yes the penalty would be a fact but it would also be a fact that what followed afterwards would not be the same as it was when we didn’t get the penalty because the game would then be different.

    Maybe I’m not making it clear but it’s not hard to understand really.

  • AL

    We get the penalty, score. The other team attacks and attacks but fail to score. A possibility? Yes. End result, an Arsenal win. By your thinking, a team being awarded a penalty in the 10th minute is not really getting any advantage coz the other side can then try and hit back. But have we not seen teams win by a one goal margin after scoring from a penalty awarded in the first half? You say it’s also a fact the game wouldn’t be the same, true. But who is to say what direction it would swing in? Might have resulted in more goals for us as the other team poured forward in search of an equaliser.

    Ok forget the denied penalty, how about taking away the offside goal that was allowed to stand against us that should not have stood. Would that still mean the game would have swung in favour of the other team. Surely the other team benefited from something they should not have? Anyway, I think the whole point of saying we should not count that as points we were robbed as the other team might have also scored as bizarre to say the least. By that same token it means teams should stop complaining at tournaments such as the world cup when refs make mistakes that lead to another team scoring because we don’t know how the other side would have reacted, and how things would have panned out. It’s crazy to have this argument in the first place. I find it weird that we seem prepared to dismiss action we witnessed but rather back somethingup we will have no idea if it would have happened at allor not. Why don’t we just base our opinions on what transpired. That would mean things would be much simpler.

    No offence but I find your argument to be uncannily similar to one I had with Rupert here before.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Menace, unfortunately corruption is here to stay, no matter what your religion. Just the nature of the beast, and in a game run by Blatter, it will only be magnified.
    Mick, hard to disagree with what you say, Jack must be one of the most fouled players going. I wrote what I wrote in hope rather than expectation sadly.
    And Al, as ever you may have a valid point, the stronger the team is , maybe the more bias against it, as we saw in 2008, 2011, Mike Riley cheating to end the run of the greats, and last winter when we were top.
    Such is our burden

  • menace

    We have to win this match big time to stop these bent bastards giving us lunchtime kick offs. As soon as they sense a weakness they try to repeat the circumstances. They maintain the officials with this bent supplier and they juggle with the TV to maintain a timetable.

    I’m looking forward to Arsenal running riot.

  • Chapman's Ghost

    @Al, the point is that you cannot allow for all the variables to simply say we would have won if we’d got a penalty.

    And two further points: how do you know we’d convert the penalty? By your argument there’d be no point in having penalty shoot outs. And secondly, what about all the other teams who were not given legitimate penalties? We’d then have to adjust their points accordingly. Or do you think we’re the only team that never given obvious penalties?

  • Chapman's Ghost

    I’m not sure why lunchtime kick offs make any difference. Wenger himself said that that was no excuse for our performances. He said a couple of hours makes no difference to the players and I tend to agree with him.

  • AL

    I’ve got no idea what you’re on about now when you talk of penalty shoot outs…..etc.

    Look, it’s simple isn’t it. Which team has more chance of scoring a goal, between one team that gets a penalty, and another searching for an equaliser in open play. The odds of getting a goal are much much higher in the first scenario than the latter.

    Anyway, why are you choosing to ignore the offside goal that should have been disallowed? Everton scored an offside goal against us which should not have stood, depriving us of two points in the process. Is that not a mistake which directly affected the final scoreline? Saying it might not have mattered is akin to saying if an umpire makes the wrong line call, depriving one tennis player a point that may have sealed a game, would not have mattered anyway as it’s likely the other player would have broken straight back. What kind of thinking is that? It’s ridiculous to say the least. How many times have we had statements like that goal or penalty was the turning point in the match? Coz if a goal is not a game changer then I don’t know what is. And equally a denied goal has a similar effect.

    I’ve no further appetite to continue debating such an obviously flawed argument as I feel it’s starting to make me look dense when I’m not.

  • AL

    And one final thing, I think if you were here last season you’d have heard us say rileys apology was not enough; what if West Brom got relegated by a margin of two points after they were robbed of a win against Chelsea. Or if their manager got the sack, which eventually did happen. A mistake by a ref is a mistake, doesn’t not matter who it’s against, it should be called as such.

  • Chapman's Ghost

    @Al, it’s a simple question, how do you know we’d convert the penalty if it was given? Or do you just assume we’ll score it?

    And secondly if we get denied penalties then surely the same must happen to other teams. Or do you think we’re the only team that gets denied penalties?

    If you agree we are not then you’d have to adjust points for those teams too.

    No offence, but do you not understand that?

  • Chapman's Ghost

    I wasn’t arguing about the offside goal and I take your point on that but can you not see the flaw in the other argument you make?

  • Chapman's Ghost

    I guess I won that argument then. Bit of a no brainer, as they say.