REFEREE REVIEW: Arsenal – Tottenham

Referee : Michael Oliver



First let me say that this together with Everton – Liverpool and Sunderland-Newcastle is one of the difficult games to do.

Final score overall was 72% which isn’t completely bad but certainly not great at all. When we put weight on the decisions it drops to 65% and then we go under the 70% line and then it turns bad.

If we only look at the important decisions we see that he has a score of only 44%.

His bias score was very on sided. A few decisions in favour of Arsenal and the rest in favour of Tottenham.

If you look at our predictions you can see that once again our previewer did a great job and had it spot on. As usual I would say.

So where did he go wrong?

The not given penalty for Arsenal for the foul on Wilshere. I cannot imagine anyone denying that Rose clearly kicked Wilshere just above the ankle. So why a penalty was not given? Or why the pundits didn’t ask one is beyond me. See for yourself when you click on the link.


Another big miss by the ref could have cost Ozil the rest of the season and even his career. Studs on the shin and no red card given… amazingly. He did see the foul but didn’t dare to give the correct red card.

tackle on Ozil vs tottenham


About the goal: as we are not allowed to see the replays I will agree with the decision of the ref that the ball didn’t pass the line when Mertesacker headed it towards goal.

XXXXX Decisions min 18:Β  And the same for another penalty shout in the first half when Kaboul just jumped in the back of Welbeck. What I found strange is that after that the camera zoomed in to Kaboul as they usually do when they are going to show a replay of an incident. And he stayed in the picture for well…what seemed an eternity but I think someone forgot to push on the “play” button and the replay never came. My first reaction was a clear foul a defender jumping in the back of an attacker. But I couldn’t get it confirmed so I even had to give the ref good points for it.

So if I would have had control of the images I think his score could have been lower. Much lower. A referee review unfriendly director for this match.

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56 Replies to “REFEREE REVIEW: Arsenal – Tottenham”

  1. Usual red-eyed bias. No mention of the absurd booking of Chadli for cupping his hand to his ear after scoring. Lennon was booked for getting to the ball before the BFG and the BFG falling over his follow-through. It was an early tackle not a late one. Wilshere was caught by Rose in the area but only in a tangle of legs. That doesnt make it a foul if players collide. No mention of the frequent acts of simulation by the Combined Arsenal Freestyle Diving Squad. If the Arsenal midfield persist in hitting the ground and rolling around after every tackle, fair or otherwise, then it is inevitable that refs will get a percentage “wrong” in your blinkered biased eyes. Yesterday vs chelsea you should have had 4 players dismissed – Koscelny for the penalty, Welbeck for the two-footer, Chambers for a clear second yellow and Flamini for the aerial elbow on Costa. Mark Halsey on Talksport today called all 4 as reds as well as Cahills challenge plus he felt the Fabregas handball was a penalty. How many of those decisions did YOU think were wrong…….let me guess. Two? Cahill and Fabregas!

  2. By the way…..on the BFG header that Lloris saved, you were allowed to see the replays AND the GLT verdict……but I guess the tv director and the person operating GLT are anti-arsenal too as you grudgingly admit that you couldnt confirm the ref was wrong. Which sums up your problem…….you start from that premise, of an inbuilt bias by refs, pundits, tv directors and probably programme sellers and teabar staff too, and you fit every decision into that framework. Thats ok…..we are all fans. Its when you dress up your prejudices and opinions as fact that you make yourself look a twat.

  3. gary fox,
    maybe it is you that is biased? πŸ˜‰ As you seem to know already what will be the verdict?

    By the way do you think that if Atkinson had done his job when he had to do it (Cahill sending off) would the other incidents have happened? Players know when they can get away with things you know. That is why it is important for a ref to draw the line when the first foul over that line occurs. In this case the Cahill red card. That is why I feel a ref is responsible if later in a match a serious injury would happen to one of the players.

    But you can talk about that on the review of the Chelsea match. This is about the tottenham match.

  4. Gary,
    O yes I missed the Chadli booking as it was not really clear on the live images that our broadcaster gave.
    Lennon was booked for coming in dangerously.

    Did you see the video of the “tangle of legs”? That was a real hard kick. In that way you could say that Hazard fell over in a tangle of legs with Koscielny also? Now that is a thought πŸ™‚
    Or you could say: Koscielny even didn’t kick. He just had his leg standing there and Hazard ran in to it.

    Serious now. Koscielny was a penalty and so was the kick from Rose on Wilshere.

  5. Thanx for the review Walter. It si biased some one who sees the stamp on Wilshere as a clash of legs. That was a clear foul. Re: yesterday’s match Kos didnt deserve a red. Welbeck’s exactly the same as Lamela’s on Ozil. Both deserved red cards. It shld be noted that the referee put himself in adifficult situation by not awarding the first red for the foul by carhill. Was he applying the cover up rule. May b yes coz the result was athis point almost obvious. He had already played his part in a slightly hidden way. The first decision could have changed the game completely if rightly called.

  6. As I thought, you base your review on tv evidence not on actually being at the game. And yet you dont have a record and playback function as you seem to depend on what the tv director and analysts decide to show. There is a world of difference between 3 players all tussling for a loose ball in the area and the last defender taking out someone already going past them into a clear goalscoring position. Nasri and Wilsher are both serial divers which the ref needs to take into account which is probably a factor in why Rose didn’t concede a penalty and Koscelny wasnt dismissd. You live by the sword etc etc. Arsenal sometimes pay the price for divinng. And yes I am biased….but I know I am and dont pretend to pseudo-scientific but statistically meaningless analysis to cover it up. Where is the rigourous monitoring of your point-scoring for “influence on the game” ? What evidence base do you have that can predict the outcome from an event that doesnt take place? In the Arsenal v Spurs match, the BFG fouled Lennon about 45 seconds before Arsenal scored. If a free kick had been given then, would Arsenal have scored when they did? If Wilsher hsd won a penalgy but Lloris had saved it, which of those two decisions had a bigger impact on the game? The truth is…..we dont know so why pretend you do?

  7. An excellent review Walter and I fully support your findings.

    It seems just as we suffer deliberate rotational fouling on the pitch we have a corresponding series of rotational and vociferous idiots trying to undermine our support for the club on this site. Most of the idiots don’t let the facts get in the way of a good whinge.

    I watched the foul on Wilshere live and several times on a recording – a definite foul, only the most imbecilic idiot could pretend otherwise.

  8. Can’t believe that I wasted 5 minutes reading this? Can believe even less that somebody actually puts time into producing it? I mean what is the actual point of it?

    Refs get some decisions right and some wrong. In the Arsenal v Spurs game I felt that the ref wasn’t really helped by the fact that Arsenal players tend to be guilty of simulation and trying to fake injury and draw bookings for the other team. My thoughts on the Wilshere penalty was that it was a ‘perhaps’. Sometimes they are given and sometimes not. Kaboul on Welbeck ‘not a penalty at all’. As for the comments about whether the ball was over the line – do you not know that there is now goalline technology being used in the PL?…. It’s therefore not even a debatable point.

    You state that Lamela should’ve been booked after 7 minutes. Why? It was the first foul that he had committed and wasn’t particularly serious. The first bad foul of the game was Wilshere’s on Mason – I think this was also the first yellow card.

    The bookings for Lennon and Chadli for Spurs were both unwarranted. Lennon got to the ball ahead of the BFG and Chadli’s celebration involved him staying on the field of play and making ‘shhhh’ and ear cupping gestures. That was two undeserved bookings for Spurs.

    Looking at the way you have adjudicated the decisions made in the Arsenal v Spurs game I assume you feel that Arsenal should’ve ended up with 7 men on the pitch yesterday, along with the manager also sent to the stands?

  9. I’m pleased you have no fallen into the same trap that many comments in the “crossing the line” article did regarding the Lloris saves on the line. The referee made the correct call, here’s why:

    GoalRef, very similar principle to Hawkeve used in tennis, cricket etc. The difference between the use of this technology in football and tennis is that it actively monitors in real-time during the game. Both GoalRef and Hawkeye (tennis) monitor the ball’s location throughout the match but tennis requires a challenge in order for the tech to come into play in terms of changing (or not) a line-call. In the case of Mertesacker’s header and Lloris’ (superb) saves, GoalRef monitored the location of the ball the entire time and would have sent a message along with vibration to the ref’s watch if the ball had fully crossed the line at any point. This clearly did not happen so no goal was given. End of. Well no because the CG replays are what causes confusion, it so amusingly confused Mr Pearce at the World Cup. The GoalRef operators provide the host broadcasters with these replays on a slight delay to the incident which allows them to show viewers why a goal was given/denied by the tech. In the Mert/Lloris case they made the mistake of only showing the first incident and not the second one which looked closer to being a goal. Once they sort that out, fans will be less confused and begin to trust the technology that the sport has needed for a long time!

    You didn’t need replays to know the ref was right with this one, but I appreciate fully that the replay would be good for piece of mind and understanding.

  10. I notice a few people commenting but not understanding. Sorry I think I have explained some things for a few years but when said people come on here and make opening statements like they did I don’t really feel the need to put my time in to them.

  11. One of the most instructive comments made post the Chelsea game comes from Gary Neville on the BBC website. He points out the number of off-the-ball shirt pulls, nudges and clips that Chelsea players resorted to in order to slow Arsenal down and upset their rhythm. He admits that Man Utd used to use the same tactics against Arsenal and comments that ‘it still works’.
    What he doesn’t say, of course, is that it works against any opponent but that you only need to use it against teams that you fear are superior to you in terms of pure footballing ability. Chelsea won’t play like that against QPR.
    Graeme Le Saux said on BBC radio this morning that the referee could have prevented much of what went on (including the confrontation between the managers) by being tougher on fouls early in the game.
    I would not call either Le Saux or Neville as biased in favour of Arsenal.

  12. It was confirmed on here that the Metresacker header crossed the line so that was ANOTHER mistake by the officials.

    I hope you factored in that

  13. What does all these statistics matter if, as gary nev said ‘it still works’.

    He was referring to arsenal. That after a good few years, getting beating time and again by the top teams awat, these age old tactics still work.

    What does all those tables and traphs matter when at 90+ mins* we still lose.

  14. reality check,

    Neville saying that “it still works” is that he confirms that you can bend the laws of the game with the help of the referee to undermine Arsenal.

    In fact Neville confirms our findings. We have been saying and showed for years that referees treat us different than other teams. As long as you kick, clip, pull, try to amputate feet or legs of Arsenal players it will be allowed by the refs. If Arsenal players being sick of it all take revenge they will be red carded in an instant.

    Maybe that has something to do with being beaten after 90+ mins?

    The fact that referees allow such tactics. After all Grand Master Mike Riley was the founding father of bending the rules to make Arsenal lose a match. If you didn’t know already he now is head of the referees in the PL.

  15. Walter,
    Keep up the good work.
    All in all, probably best to ignore the rotational idiocy being shown by some on here…,,,

  16. @jonfromwellington
    It didn’t. Come on now, please have a look at the technology and how it works. It has been rigorously tested, trialled, proven to FIFA (an “organisation” well known for its backwards attitude to technology). It works. The only way it was a goal would be that the ref deliberately ignored the signal on his watch. You can bet your life that the host broadcaster and media outlets would have been on it like a shot if the CG replay had shown a goal not given, THAT would be a story.

  17. Thanks.
    I agree with ClockEnd.

    There’s a reason why the Friends of Untold use no numbers in their attemts to discredit the numbers compiled by the referees reviewing here and elsewhere too. The data tells all who can read and count that Arsenal always get a disproportionate amount of bookings per tackle, and bookings per foul, and the reverse too receiving a high no of fouls before opposition get booken. That’s not normal

    Between 08 and 10 v MUFC they had 48 fouls against us ,AFC had 45. MU got 5 yellows, Arsenal got 17. So these numbers tell all that either AFC don’t like it up em, or that they do? Which is it? Make up your mind! πŸ˜‰

    There’s not a lot that can be said in response to this data. Hence the attempted and failing gibberish above. It is, what it is.

    Clear and present.

  18. This data completely exposes the disingenuity behind the articles by Phil Neville because AFC are not allowed to niggle back. Clearly. Undeniably. Recorded observations that cannot be refuted by anyone who has ever played a game of five a side, let alone…

    This is not a debate, beacause it’s not a case of gamesmanship, that would be fine, and fun. What Phil Neville is trying his hardest to disguise is the conduct of clearly biased officals, at best. Exactly the same problems which led to neutral umpires and replay in cricket having to be used over twenty years ago now. And in all the other sports too!

    Who do they think they are kidding?

  19. Perhaps Phil Neville’s lack of familiarity with the rules of the sport of Association Football help to explain why he was such a bad coach of Association Football? And how after his failure as a football coach last year he ended up with a gig as a football plundit at the bleeb? I don’t know. πŸ˜‰

  20. In case anyone is confused the statistics on cards and fouls are contradicting what Neville is attempting to say: that AFC “don’t like it up ’em”.

    So, as above I’d like some clarification from these Experts: Which is it? A dirty team or a team that can’t play dirty? Because it cant be both dear Phil!

    Perhaps people are observing a team that gets fouled and isn’t allowed to foul back? Maybe it’s a possibility? Like. I don’t know, the same as everyone saw during the recent FA Cup final, the phenomenon of one side being denied four penalties, during the FA’s annual showpiece event! Incredible, yes. But it happened. We all saw it! And alas no troll can re-write history.

    At the least I’d like to hear Phil Neville’s attempt ton explain the recorded penalty embargo that we observe being applied to AFC, something he ignores in his comments (the non-pen!).

  21. Whatever happened to the PGMOBs spokesman Howard Webb?
    Was he not going to explain the Referee Decisions to Joe Public on behalf of Don Riley?
    Is Phil Neville, the failed coach, doing that job for the PGMOB instead? Explaining the “story” to us poor illiterate plebs who don’t know the fairly easy to understand rules of the game? Probably, there’s no real difference between Webb and Neville, so it makes sense. I guess, eh? Boom Boom! Hilarious.

  22. Good work Walter.
    I can hardly bring myself to watch the games any more. I just get angry at the refs. It is clearly more like big time wrestling with a fixed result – Arsenal are the villains and the solid English sides are the heroes.

    Arsenal have to beat the 11 players on the other team plus the ref. Cahill should have been sent off. That would have changed the rest of the game in ways that we will never know. But lots of other stuff was allowed as Neville says – way because the ref system is manipulated.

    If Wilshire was playing for Liverpool he was get those penalty’s. If he was a Manu player he would get more protection but as a Gunner – other teams are free to kick him.

  23. That’s right, Finsbury – where on earth is ‘Manchester United’s’ Howard Webb’? No doubt it’ll be a load of old bollox, when he finally emerges with his script.

  24. Genorm

    I watched the game in the Gunners pub in N5.
    Based upon the comments I heard around me from an experienced crowd of football lovers it was clear to most from the moment that Chambers was shown a yellow for the stumble by Hazard that the official (it would an abuse of language to use the term referee) was tilting the game in one teams favour. So, to be clear, many many football fans watching that game knew without any doubt that it wasn’t a fair fight! No wonder Phil Neville was commissioned to write such weak and uncredible gibberish.

    Because what was witnessed by all was not gamesmanship. Chambers making cheeky shoves with two hands on Hazard early on in the game is gamesmanship, Hazard wasn’t enjoying it, so the “official” helped him find a little more space! Not getting sent off is a wrong decision, not gamesmanship. Not gettin any penalties ever is not gamesmanship, it is a statistical anomaly that stands out for a team thy has the most touches in the opposition areas. Perhaps it was Phil Neville’s intention in his article was to imply that is was the official who was engaging in gamesmanship, no the opposition. Or at the least to stop Arsenal from indulging in what he was allowing for Gazprom. Tilting the pitch, as they say. I’m not sure Phil thought that article through properly! Oh dear πŸ™‚

    It was exactly the kind of biased officiating everyone who follows cricket saw/witnessed/heard the complaints and accusations regarding that led to such problems and scandals that eventually led to replay and neutral umpires over twenty years ago in that sport, and all other sports too. Save for Association Football…

  25. Think the refs have to wisen up a bit with this leniency on persistent fouling…especially when bias is at play. The reason, the protection of players.
    Example…..Brazil kicking the shite out of Columbia in this summers World Cup..and the main target, Colombias playmaker….the home team repeatedly get away with it….one Colombian seems to snap, the result, Brazils best player leaves the field with a broken back, wondering if he will ever walk again.
    A strong, unbiased ref may have stopped that incident.
    Wonder if there was a bit of frustrated revenge in welbeck’s horrible tackle. Thankfully, welbeck’s victim wasn’t hurt…..but others have been and will be with this standard of refereeing.

  26. I know he is a youngster , is excited by the England call up etc, but after the way he is being treated by refs, really wish chambers…..and for that matter, Jack would give the FA a resounding fuck off.
    Not going,to happen unfortunately.

  27. Mandy

    In case any of the AAAA Experts (they type that said Melo was the dogs Bollocks in midfield – they were half right) were in any doubt as explained on The Breakdown by Adrian Clarke the yellow for Chambers was the key early decision in the game. Because this denied him the opportunity of continuing his “gamesmanship” on Hazard which had kept him quiet up to that point. Clarkie’s comments are available to all on the Arsenal player for free.

    It would therefore be apparent to anyone who has two football brain cells to rub together that the comment by Phil Neville on gamesmanship is actually a classic example of doublespeak. We couldn’t make this up!

  28. I’m just thinking aloud here – is it that Arsenal fans are more intelligent that the lot? It seems most likely. We need a level playing field not the whistle blower obviously tilting the field to the advantage of everyone but Arsenal. I remember the game in which VP was sent off against Barca for kicking the ball after the whistle, did anyone notice that its very rare now for such fouls to be given? Arsenal had already paid the price – and looks like that’s how the game is still run

  29. I’m just thinking aloud here – is it that Arsenal fans are more intelligent than the lot? It seems most likely. We need a level playing field not the whistle blower obviously tilting the field to the advantage of everyone but Arsenal. I remember the game in which VP was sent off against Barca for kicking the ball after the whistle, did anyone notice that its very rare now for such fouls to be given? Arsenal had already paid the price – and looks like that’s how the game is still run.

  30. Will take a look at ACs comments, but agree, Chambers was certainly neutralised effectively early on and not for the first time this season.
    Good to see Keown speaking out on MOTD. Also heard atkinson seriously criticised by ex refs on Talkshite today .
    Wonder if Atkinson went a bit far yesterday. Wonder if Riley and Keren Barratt will keep him away from big games, especially involving Vhelsea for a while. He was not even subtle.
    If he is that incompetent, he needs to be taken out of the line of fire. If as I suspect, and he is bent, people will notice, and the value will fall on Chelsea bets when he is involved. Who in the know would ever bet against Chelsea now with this ref….doesn’t make for a great market?
    Or maybe perhaps, like the UK media, PC Atkinson is taken in by Jose’s charm?–Graham-Poll.html

    Or maybe Jose has been buying Atkinson holidays? Wouldn’t be the first time he had made such gifts to refs.

    Whatever the reason, yesterday’s ref was an embarrassment to the game, to the extent that even the media reported on it

  31. You lot are amazing! This absurd conspiracy theory that EVERY ref takes part in. The nonsense spoken on here about watching the game in The Gooner pub in Highbury and everyone agreeing that Chambers was unfairly booked…..thats like saying I watched the game surrounded by chelsea fans and none of them thought Cahill should have been sent off! We are all fans. We are all biased. Its just that some of us outgrew teenage conspiracy theories years ago to explain why our team dont win every game and trophy under the sun. Its the manager….its the team…….its the opponents …….what it isnt is an international conspiracy of match officials organised by the FA.

  32. I’ve must been looking at headlines at Google News, but the feeling I get is that Chelsea was the team that was hard done by, by the referee. And reading Graham Poll’s article, yes he plays referees.

    But there is little point in counting up mistakes, with or without importance. If the first important mistake is 2 minutes into the game, it is unlikely that mistakes with 2 minutes left to play have much meaning. The almost ignored call on the attempt to break Sanchez’s leg was “the mistake” of the game. It almost gave carte blanche to Chelsea players to do whatever they wanted to. Some chelsea players took advantage, some didn’t. It may be that maureen talks to the players that don’t take advantage after the game, to impress on them to do so, or they may find themselves riding pine all season.

    Yes, Fabregas’s hands were up in the air (from a photograph). I can easily imagine that he didn’t raise his hands to tht position to play the ball, but having his hands up there, there was always a reasonable chance that he might play the ball with them. Which should be punished.

    I would imagine the reason Wenger and maureen are not going to be charged by the FA, is that if they were, the FA might have to investigate the officiating of the game. And they don’t want to do that.

    Musing about Mike Riley 😈 , did he have a relative that was in that first media mob that tried to lynch Wenger when he first started at Arsenal? That might be a reason why Riley is doing his twisted deeds.

  33. finsbury @ 8.10 pm

    You are quite right about Chambers, the KGB were always going to target him – not because he is a bad payer, but because he is inexperienced and they were trying to get him booked (which they did) and then get him sent off.

    Just a little bit of gamesmanship from the Specialist in Cheating.

  34. Welcome to The Twilight Zone. Keown talks about Chelsea players niggling at Arsenal players and yet more fuel is added to the paranoid delusions. Keown is Arsenal through and through.But yes….Chelsea are a niggly crafty side. But Arsenal arent immune to a bit of skullduggery too……such as simulation or waving imaginary red cards. Its part of the game. Unpleasant but part of it. Grow up and accept it.

  35. Conspiracy theories…yes……..are any of ours up with the one about a lasagna or the supposed Arsenal supporting chef costing a place in the Champions league?

  36. @Gary Fox This is not a theory. PGMOL are a monopoly supplier of officials to the FA. They are made up a bunch of referees under Riley that are not fit for purpose. They are not sporting nor randomly selected for matches. They are appointed and are biased.

    Now this is my opinion. You are not sufficiently conversant with the Laws of the Game. The way media report Football is biased. You base your opinion on how you interpret media reporting. I base my opinion on what I see at football matches. In fact I am able to predict behaviour of these ‘officials’ in a similar manner to Walter & Tony. Perhaps our seniority in years helps.

    Chelsea did not play a fair game of football. Then again it was expected.

    Chelsea did not win a trophy last year – they couldn’t buy one!!!

  37. More data for Menace.

    There are no referees who are not caucasian in PGMOL. I believe there have been some in the past. But there is no visible attempt to have the race mixture of PGMOL referees approximate society.

    I do not believe there is or has been, a PGMOL referee who wasn’t born in England/Wales. Overwhelmingly, PGMOL referees are living very close to where they where born. England has lots of people move there from the EU, and from elsewhere around the world. And none of these people are acceptable as referees? And why this predeliction for hiring referee who as adults have never lived far from where they were born? There are some that have moved around a bit, but by and large PGMOL referees live near where they were born.

  38. We have now reached La La Land with the deluded Gooners on this site. Why are all the refs born in England and Wales? Because each country in FIFA recruits its refs from within its boundaries! There are no English refs in Norway; no French refs in Italy etc etc etc. What evidence do you have that refs live near where they were born and what difference does that make? By the way Menace…..I am 64
    years old, a qualified ref up to County Youth level, and a part-time scout for a Football League side so watch around 120 professional and youth games live per season. I also know that the FA have taken huge strides in getting officials from BME communities but the path to the top is a long one….too long to be honest. The FA also tried to get disabled officials but had a major setback when a certain player verbally abused and caricatured a linesman with thalidomide. Remember that?

  39. Mandy
    This site is based on a conspiracy that the FA and the Premier League conspire with every ref in the PGMOL to ensure that Arsenal fail to win the League. There is not one game reviewed on here where the conclusion is that Arsenal got the better of the refs decisions. Every game is rigged. Every official is a crook, risking prison for matchfixing. The lasagna incident was unlucky for Spurs and yes, we have some nutters who think it was a conspiracy. But they dont devote a weekly website to it and analyse every ingredient of the lasagna to statistically prove that there was an 87% chance that the chefs mother once went out with Ian Ures brother. By the way…if you want a conspiracy that is being investigated just remember you heard it here first and it concerns Arsenal, a Hungarian keeper and a betting syndicate.

  40. gary fox

    Are you surprised when the sun rises in the morning? What makes you think it will rise when you go to sleep?

    If someone who is qualified to be a referee, moves from some EU country to England, why should this person not be considered to be a referee? This person I presume could become a an English citizen at some point. If so, why should this person not be considered to be a referee?

    You say there are no outside nationality referees inside countries (no proof, just hand waving). My statement was much more restrictive than your response. But EU laws should allow for the free movement of people, there is nothing legally restricting PGMOL from hiring referees who were not originally English. And society in general (perhaps not you) gets anxious when the racial profile of any subgroup is substantially different than what is present in society.

    As far as where PGMOL referees live, and where they were born, my data source was Wikipedia. Over the last 3 or so years, I have been looking into various issues. Who knows what information is useful, and what isn’t? So, I accumulated more than most people would expect.

    I too was a referee for a while. But, being an applied scientist (engineer), I am very good at doing research. And I have way more knowledge of statistics than most of my peers.

    My knowledge of thalidomide is not extensive. I can correct that. I know nothing of the incident you brought up. Was the player who abused the disabled official red carded?

    I hope you enjoy scouting.

  41. No…..Ian Wright wasnt red carded for his abuse of the linesman. I am surprised that an Arsenal fan of many years should forget such a thing. If you want the details just google his name plus abuse and disabled….there is extensive coverage of the event at Highbury. Maybe you were there that night? But it goes to prove a point. As fans we block out the crimes of our team and magnify the crimes of our opponents. Its why we get so tribal. But it isnt part of a conspiracy when we lose.
    If someone from Europe moves to Uk and they are a qualified ref they will be assessed and graded accordingly by their local County FA based on
    experience, competence in English and performance. It is the County FAs who have the power to promote or block foreign refs. So are they part of the conspiracy too? in a sport where there is a massive shortage of officials…..caused largely because of the abuse that refs get at all levels… think the FAs would refuse to approve foreign-born officials? This website is part of the problem, legitimising abuse of refs because they are obviously all bent and anti-Arsenal. Dressing-up your scapegoating as science and your abuse as fact doesnt
    make you any better than the bloke on the sunday league touchline calling the young ref a cheating c**t for turning down a penalty appeal in his 11 year old sons friendly

  42. That kick on Wilshere in the penalty area was sickening how Jack’s ankle turned like that. Poor refereeing by Oliver not to have seen that, especially the kick by Naughton and how Jack went down.

  43. Gary,

    For your information we did our reviews one season with refs from different countries and who supported different teams. In fact only 3 Arsenal supporting referees and some 10 non Arsenal supporting referees. Under whom a Tottenham supporting referee.

    To my big surprise the numbers from that season gave a bigger negative bias against Arsenal than in the seasons we did it with only Arsenal supporting referees.

  44. And Gary,
    for your criticism that we do the review based on TV images. Yes but that is our strong point. Look at the kick on the ankle against Wilshere.
    If video replays were used then the 4th ref or video ref could have informed the ref on the field that a penalty should have been given.
    We now just note it down and can only conclude that for whatever reason the ref didn’t want to give it/didn’t see it. But the only conclusion we can draw is that it was a wrong decision.

  45. And finally Gary Fox,

    I think that is what Juventus fans were saying for years some 10 years ago in Italy when suddenly …. bang!

    Yes fans of other teams were called deluded, conspiracy theorists… and then suddenly…well there was a real conspiracy. Only discovered because one judge took his job seriously and it even then took years of tapping phones to see what was happening and who was involved.
    Involvement of several club directors, referees, top dogs in the media who decide what to show on TV and what not to show on TV.

    And when you see the same pattern in the PL now….

    And let me tell you another thing. Now that I am on it.

    I know that our reviews have been followed with big interest by PL referees. I know they read the reviews and they were very interested in the final league table of who was the best referee.
    I also know that there are honest referees in the PL. But I also know about some pressure that is on them. Please your pay masters to be rewarded with the golden Fifa badge you know.
    And that pay master is Mike Riley.

    On what basis do referees like Taylor and Probert (for goodness sake….) have gotten their fifa badge do you think? Probert who has finished in the bottom 2 of the merit table of referees for years in a row and should have been demoted if they would have followed their own rules. But no, he got a fifa badge…

    A merit table that is being kept secret you know. But a little bird whispered it in my ears…

    but please do keep your head in the sand but don’t forget to breath..

  46. Yes……and Prince Philip murdered Lady Di and the moon landings were faked and the CIA (with Mossad) blew up the twin towers. The Juventus affair showed how refs can be influenced and individual games rigged. That is still less than the all-pervading anti-Arsenal conspiracy you suggest that stretches across the whole Premiership and FA. All this from a club that owes its presence in professional football to a dodgy franchise deal and then bribery of other clubs! But thats history and you have shown a blindness already to facts you dont like (no comment about Ian Wright I see). I suggest you get out more and mix with other supporters of other teams and you’d see we all think refs have it in for us. Every team. Every fan. Its a convenient excuse for our failings. Try it and get your head out of somewhere far less pleasant than sand!

  47. @Gary Fox I am glad you and I are the same vintage.

    As a referee, what is your opinion of the officiating of the Chelsea v Arsenal game?

    Please don’t go to media reports of supposition but rely on TV images that have sufficient reality to form an opinion.

  48. My thoughts on the Chelsea v Arsenal game…… Referee decisions are rarely 100% wrong. Think Maradona hand of god or Lampards “goal” v Germany in 2010. In an ordinary game the ref might get a couple of totally wrong decisions…..a throw in the wrong way, a ball that hits a chest and not an arm. Anything after that, judged in real time instantly, is a question of degree. No two refs will see it the same way and no two fans from opposing sides will either. So these are just opinions, expressed if you like as my view of % wrong (I.e. 90% wrong would mean I expect 9/10 refs to call it differently).
    Sanchez collision on Courtoise….no card and I would say 5% wrong. But it did trigger Cahills revenge tackle.
    Cahills tackle…..yellow card. 80% wrong. It was worse when showed in slomo but in real time, and at early stage of game, some refs would have stopped at a yellow. I wouldnt. It was a red.
    Chambers trip on Hazard. Yellow. Clumsy rather than malicious. 50% wrong.
    Koscelny trip on Hazard. Yellow. 90% wrong. Clear GSO. Red card.
    Chambers trip on Schurle. Careless and ref gave him benefit of doubt. If not booked already he would have had yellow. 50% .
    Welbeck on Fabregas. Yellw card. 60% wrong…should have been red but actually worse in real time than after slomo as Fabregas exagerated the contact.
    Fabregas handball – no action. 75% wrong. His hand was high and he made himself big in the block. So it was a penalty.
    These were the big decisions. 3 went in Areenals favour and two went in Chelseas. Dont say though that Chelseas were more significant. Arsenal could have had 3 players suspended for the next game and maybe beyond. With a threadbare squad that is very significant.

  49. Gary, not just some nutter fans, your CEO as well. But in fairness, maybe Levy was right to be suspicious…not of some supposed Arsenal supporting chef, or Arsenal itself…but of criminality leeching onto the game. Poisoning a team to ensure an outcome would not be a first, seem to remember the NZ rugby team suffering a similar fate in the World Cup in SA. I am sure Levy makes it his business to know what goes on in the wider game. He doesnt say much in public, but always found it strange the way he was so quick to be rid of your most successful manager in recent years, yes his head was clearly turned by the England job, …and perhaps other things, but nonetheless, strange.
    I dont wish to speak for others, but dont think people on here believe everything is set up in every game to stop Arsenal winning the league, but more the concept that balances are tipped in the favour of others. And yes, we dont seem to get the rub of the green others seem to get with some of the refs I could mention. Lets look at 1 team for now. Through the words of ex referees, we all know that things were weighed very heavily in favour on 1 team in recent years…or perhaps their manager. So it does go on. The media…how they laughed affectionately about Fergie time, some Arsenal fans, how they laughed when Spurs were disallowed a goal that was clearly 2m over the line at OT, but doesnt make it right.
    If, as is widely acknowledged that Fergie did get his favours for whatever reason, it stands to reason others as a consequence were hard done by to maintain this. What has been happening at Utd is not teenage conspiracy, it was cheating, and refs were clearly involved.
    Strange how it has stopped, at least for now…with Fergie gone
    If it happened with Utd, it could be happening with others. You cannot favour one team, without acting to the detriment of some other.
    When you look at records like Atkinsons refereeing Chelsea against a number of different teams of differing levels, you see that performance at the weekend, you hear what Fergie had to say about him reffing Chelsea, does make some wonder. At the very best, this guy should not be in charge of such combustiable fixtures, firstly , for the safety of players.

  50. @Gary Fox – thank you. Chambers on Hazard was a foul by Hazard on Chambers. He leaned into Chambers and then went down. The booking should have been on Hazard. Check out the TV replay. While Cahill was attempting to break Sanchez’s leg, Ivanovich was trying to damage Ozil. Check out the TV replays.

    My view is that Atkinson is not fit for purpose and should never referee at this level. It is obvious you look at incidents with a different bias. I want football to win every match. I don’t care who is playing. Football didn’t win on Sunday. When football wins the game becomes truly beautiful.

    A referee at this level has 2 assistants and a third near the dugout. They are all connected by radio. There is no excuse for error. The radio is not broadcast to hide the truth from the public. You didn’t mention the ‘little niggles’ that are all fouls according to the Laws that you are supposed to have understood. They were allowed carte blanche and destroyed football by bringing it into disrepute. The FA would be liable to a multi million pound fine for allowing such disgrace in my book.

    No conspiracy just passionate feeling for the game and its Laws.

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