Referee Preview : Chelsea – Arsenal

Chelsea v Arsenal 05 October 2014 – The Match Officials

by Andrew Crawshaw

Referee – Martin Atkinson
Assistants – M Mullarkey and S Child
Fourth Official – J Moss

Martin Atkinson is another useless FIFA Accredited twat of a referee, at least as far as his beloved Chelsea and hated Arsenal are concerned. We have less chance of fair refereeing in this match than a snowball in hell.

He became a referee at 16 and according to the official Premier League website “has risen through the ranks to become one of the most well respected officials in the Premier League”. Not in my books!

On Untold we like to present some facts to support our assertions and I’m aware that I have two or three bold ones so far.

Martin Atkinson v Arsenal and Chelsea

2011/2012 Season

His year end summary was

Ref Review: Martin Atkinson. Poor on goals, ok elsewhere (unless you are Everton)

Basic competency of 70.7% correct for weighted results. His goal decisions were wrong 13% of the time, penalties were roughly 50/50, on red card decisions he got 83% wrong and 44% of yellow card decisions were wrong. Not good numbers anywhere and diabolical in terms of goals, penalties, red and yellow cards.

In terms of bias, his showed double the bias against Everton and Arsenal compared with any other team, Chelsea was neutral and QPR and Liverpool were the main beneficiaries of his largess.

If you want to check further through the Untold Archives for the full story behind the 2011/12 review then this is the place to start – good for a rainy day or three – Ref Review 2012

2012/13 Season

Here are the bias figures for Arsenal from the 2012/13 season for all referees.

arsenal bias per ref

OK Atkinson isn’t the worst but has an overall bias figure 50% worse than Mike Dean so he is certainly pretty bad. Here is a link to Walter’s summary of his work for the season Ref Review 2012/13: Martin Atkinson. This is not a Fifa ref. – The key points from the review were :-

red cards – one correct out of 7 decisions he had to make
second yellow cards – none correct out of 11
yellow cards – 62 correct out of 122
penalties – 8 correct out of 21
goals 40 correct out of 47

Again rotten numbers and not worthy of him holding a FIFA badge

His Arsenal Games that season were :-

Match Referee Review: Martin Atkinson – Arsenal v Aston Villa (2 – 1) [23/02/2013] – to be fair this was a pretty good refereeing performance, 85% overall competence, neutral bias and no wrong Important Decisions (second yellow, red cards, penalties or goals).

Ref Review: Martin Atkinson – Chelsea Vs Arsenal (2 – 1) [20/01/2013] – 71% overall competence, bias against 69/31 and one wrong Important Decision when in Minute 18 Torres has both hands obstructing Kos as Chelsea score a goal, should have been a free kick to Arsenal.

Match Review: Martin Atkinson – Arsenal Vs Chelsea (1 – 2) [29/09/2012] – 61% overall competence, bias against 10/90 and 7 wrong Important decisions. In the first minute Diaby had his arms around Oscar, this continued into the penalty area and Chelsea should have had a spot kick (yes we call wrong decisions against Arsenal as well as our opponents); Minute 5 Ramires plants his studs on the foot of Coquelin, nothing given (should have been a yellow card and a free kick to Arsenal, seconds later Mata scores a goal directly from a free kick with no other intervention from Arsenal players, had the original decision been correct the goal wouldn’t have been scored; Minute 15 Ramires initiates contact with Szcz inside the penalty area gaining a penalty, the foul was by Ramires who should have been booked for a dive and as he should have been bookesd in Minute 5 he should have been sent off, the conversion from the spot kick shouldn’t have counted either so three wrong Important decisions from one disgraceful piece of cheating from the Chelsea player abetted by Mr Atkinson’s bias/incompetence; Min 62 Ramires again cheating without being penalised; Min 77 Ramires again with a clear push in Wilshere’s face – a straight red again ignored by Mr Atkinson; Min 94 Cahill all over Vermaelen in the penalty area preventing him being able to jump for the ball, a foul in the penalty area is a penalty Mr Atkinson no matter which team is involved.

A total of two incorrect decisions in favour of Arsenal and 21 in favour of Chelsea and a game where Mr Atkinson single handedly ensured that Chelsea won. Of all of the games I have watched in the past few years this was the worst refereed match I have seen and one I’m still spitting blood over.

Apart from the two Arsenal games above, there were no other reviewed games featuring Chelsea.

2013/2014 Four Arsenal games
Sunderland v Arsenal 14 Sep 2013 (1 – 3) Another game where Mr Atkinson put in a decent shift, OK penalty against Kos, decent decision to blow for a foul before Altidore put the ball in the net. Sunderland 1 – Arsenal 3 : a longer one, some interesting things about referees and booing and hating players
Arsenal v Liverpool 2 Nov 2013 (2 – 0) – a game where Walter didn’t mention the referee once in his post match summary Arsenal – Liverpool 2-0, Who had predicted this league table in August?
Man City v Arsenal 14 Dec 2013 (6 – 3) – Mr Atkinson assisted by Mssrs Burt and Lennard made a complete ‘horlicks’ of this game to the extent that Walter did a full referee review of this game A referee review Martin City – Arsenal. An utterly unacceptable referee – 21 wrong decisions and all against Arsenal. Key wrong decisions in Min 37 monrealwas wrongly called offside when he had both a shooting or passing option, wrong decision killed a goalscoring chance, in the following minute Negredo scores for City; Min 45+2 Walcott called back for offside again wrongly and again killing a promising attack; Min 55 Toure with studs up challenge on Giroud, not even a foul should have been at least a yellow and probably a red card; Min 59 Zabaletta handles the ball in the penalty area, nothing given; Min 64 Nasri dives with Sagna near him wins free kick from which City score, no foul so no goal and Nasri should be booked; <Min 89 Bendtner goal wrongly ruled out for offside, he was level.

A game where the referee and his assistants decided the outcome of the game.

Everton v Arsenal 6 Apr 2014 (3 – 0) Everton and a bit of Chelsea – Arsenal 3-0
Arsenal didn’t create enough to win the game but Atkinson didn’t make it easy for us, he was good in booking Coleman for a reckless challenge on Sagna, then forgot that standard when he allowed bad challenges from Naysmith on Arteta andBaines on Cazorla; he should have dismissed Barkley for pushing Arteta to the ground with both hands, booking Arteta instrad. His assistant then chipped in in extra time when Sanogo scored but was wrongly called for offside.

Three Chelsea Games

Man United v Chelsea 26 Aug 2013 (0 – 0) Both teams cancelled themselves out, described by more than one commentator as a ‘bore draw’. One possible Atkinson moment when the Cleverley’s volley hit Lampard’s hand in the area but the referee wasn’t interested in giving the decision. With two minutes to go United had another shout for a penalty when Mikel turned into RVP’s volley but it would have been a harsh decision and one that Atkinson probably got right.

Southampton v Chelsea 01 Jan 2014 (0 – 3) No controversy over this game, Southampton had the better of the first half, but Chelsea had too much in the second. A number of mentions of Chambers having a great match which is promising for us.

Liverpool v Chelsea 27 Apr 2014 (0 – 2) Gerrard slipped just before half time, Ba latched on to the ball before nutmegging the advancing Mignolet and Willian got the second in second half added time. Chelase intent on defending, Liverpool attacking. Min 38 Chelsea had a shout for handball but ruled ball to hand, Chelsea not happy; Min 51 Sterling goes down under a challenge form Kalas on th eedge of the Chelsea box but play waved on. I can’t find any other references to potentially ‘iffy’ decisions.

Mr Mullarkey v Arsenal 2013/14

He was assistant to Mr Webb consistently through last year and turned up at the following Arsenal games :-

Fulham v Arsenal 24/08/13 (1-3) referee Mr Webb

Arsenal v Everton 8/12/13 (1-1) referee Mr Webb

Arsenal v United 12/02/14 (0-0) referee Mr Clattenberg

Arsenal v W Brom 4/5/14 (1-0) referee Mr Jones

Mr Child v Arsenal 2013/14

Swansea v Arsenal 28/09/13 (1-2) referee Mr Clattenberg

Arsenal v Cardiff 01/01/14 (2-0) referee Mr Moss

In Summary

1. Mr Atkinson can have a good game but rarely does when Arsenal are involved
2. Mr Atkinson is not very good at making Important Decisions (second yellow, red cards, penalties or goals) despite holding the highest level of FIFA accreditation.
3. Mr Atkinson is known for having pro-Chelsea leanings
4. Mr Atkinson cannot be trusted in Arsenal v Chelsea games and in an honest system should never be appointed to referee between these two teams.
5. Expect fouls committed by Chelsea and Arsenal to be treated differently
6. There is no reasonable expectation of Arsenal being awarded a penalty even if shot in Chelsea’s penalty area
7. If Mr Atkinson has an opportunity to assist Chelsea with a decision he will take it even when no foul has been committed.
8. If Arsenal are still unbeaten on Sunday Afternoon it will because Arsenal have had a magnificent game as they will certainly be playing Chelsea and Atkinson and his assistants.

Index to the recent stories  

38 Replies to “Referee Preview : Chelsea – Arsenal”

  1. Nice preview Andrew, thanks.

    You mention links in the text, but there don’t seem to be any links in the document. I am also unsure of the 3rd last game, Mr Child versus Arsenal.

  2. We don’t have a prayer with this ref tomorrow. The odd one knows this and he will tell his players to make the most of a compliant ref like Atkinson. So I expect some serial diving from their players, crunching tackles against our players, some serial time wasting from the chavs should they take the lead….

    Meanwhile, for those who may not have had the chance to see this link where Kenny Dalglish says the criticism against Wenger stems from jealous(and that Wenger will still be slated win or lose tomorrow), here it is again. Muhammad posted this on another thread but sure a few missed it so reposting again for their benefit;

  3. Thanks Andrew. How did myself and a few others on here just know we were going to get this ref for this game?
    Atkinson against Chelsea at the bridge worrys me more than just about any other ref team combination.
    Wonder if he will set out to do us from the start…….or just act against us if Chelsea are threatened at any stage of the game?
    Have a feeling the likes of Szcz, Kos, Flam and Jack are going to have to tread very very carefully in this game.
    Some interesting comments on the timing of announcing refs for games below

  4. Thanks for the depressing review Andrew. I think I will go out whilst the match is on and save myself a hell of a lot of pain and teeth gnashing.

  5. Mourinho will play his kickers like Ramirez. Atkinson will ignore fouls on Arsenal midfielders when Chelsea can get a promising counter attack going. Of course the most obvious fouls he will give them.
    A penalty for Arsenal is as likely as the landing of a spaceship from Mars in the centre circle at half time.
    A penalty for Chelsea will be almost a certainty.

    Since I heard the news that it is Atkinson who is the ref the fact that I got a match to do as a referee (I am not very lucky this season with my appointments) at the same time suddenly isn’t that bad any more….

  6. It really annoys me when the so called “more experienced refs” always get the “big” games.
    Now it was said that this is to prevent an inexperienced ref managing a “big” game.
    Way i see it, all games now are big games, each club is fighting to survive, how can they be so disrespectful to those clubs?
    And worse, the so called “experienced” refs are usually the worst ones according to their record.

    What a confused world we live in where simplicity seems to be a dirty word.

  7. Seems to me all the excuses are in already.

    I’m more optimistic then most on here. Chelsea are in a more difficult position for this one in my opinion. No doubt they would’ve watched the film of the last 6:0 at at the Bridge and Mourinho will drive the point home that this one won’t be as easy.

    Arsenal can’t possibly make this many mistakes this time around and I expect them to be ready for the fight. The ref will do what he usually does against us but if we can’t worry about that.

    Keeping a compact shape of our formations will be key. If we get stretched up and down the pitch , we will play right into their hands.

  8. Do not expect doom and gloom, our players may just surprise us and more importantly Chelsea.
    I am still hoping for a good performance from Arsenal today, i hope they are sharp, focussed and determined to win today until the ref blows the whistle(i see creeping in players stopping when they think it’s a foul or other infringement, but they need to continue until the whistle stops them).
    I predict a 1-2 score.
    That’s my 2 cents.

  9. Chelsea best side in the league at the moment ref aside, this game will tell us a lot about Arsenal’s standing and title prospects .

  10. I am hoping that Arsenal does well, but I won’t predict a score.

    I did visit 5 predicted lineups for Arsenal, and they were all the same. Which I think is the first time I’ve seen that. I wonder what Bulldog comes up with?


  11. From what I’ve seen so far this season we should be able to beat Chelsea (they really parked the bus against City), but we’re up against Chelsea and Atkinson. We’re not looking for excuses or anything, but in 27 competitive games since 2006 with Atkinson in charge, Chelsea have lost only once. We’d be very naive to ignore that.

  12. What comes to pass tomorrow remains to be seen. It may be that we repeat last years away performances to the big boys, sacrifice ourselves at the altar of attacking football, self destruct and don’t hear a peep out of Atkinson.
    But any funny business, may be worth writing a letter to Mr Keren Barratt, in charge of referee selection at the PGMOL.
    We have circumstantial evidence, but no proof anything strange is going on in our league. Perhaps conspiracies …maybe, the league has been blighted by a Utd supporting ref now in a high place helping his team, and being the victim of a bullying ex manager. But if anyone amongst our refs has been corrupted by something more mafia, they will now be owned, unwilling, .perhaps unable to get out or their situation. However, if such things have happened , there is hope in an unlikely source. If the holier than thou English have football corruption, I can guarantee there will be people in UEFA and FIFA chomping at the bit to expose it, if our game is corrupt, it is only a matter of time. Add to that, people are getting caught, and most likely naming names.
    But let’s see what happens tomorrow. But til then, can only marvel at the coincidences that so often have given us Webb when we faced Utd, Dean against Arry….and now, perhaps the worst of the lot, Atkinson against Chelsea. We just knew it had to happen.
    Good luck boys, you are going to need it tomorrow.

  13. Very amusing Rantetta.
    That really was a cringeworthy piece of refereeing……on all sorts of levels…

  14. An away game against the League leaders, with a totally biased referee and some of our players missing due to injury.
    Historically, this is a contest ripe for an Arsenal win. Since time immemorial, ANY Arsenal team would relish these sort of odds against them, when victory rather than the anticipated defeat, is achieved.

  15. The beauty of Wengers teams has always been the way they rise above the smelly stuff that the FA put in the way. The recent years have been the PGMOL stench of corruption and bias that reeks out of cheats. Arsenal are resilient and will manage the situation under the experience of Wengers charges.

  16. @Mandy

    UEFA and FIFA as possible exposers of English referee corruption – an interesting thought. But since it’s Arsenal involved – maybe not!

  17. I can’t see any way of coming out of Sunday with our unbeaten record in tact. We’re really up against a referee who will do almost anything to get the result he needs. We will need to be extremely lucky. I hope Wenger and the coaching staff are fully briefing the players what to expect and not to give Atkinson ANY opportunity to send one of them off or give a penalty against them.

  18. Yes, see what you are saying Pat!
    But seriously, they both have it in for the way English football is run…..if our game is corrupt, the day of reckoning will come. Maybe it comes down to the definition of corruption……are some taking money, is it unpaid bias or brand protection? I know what I think but it may take a while for all to come out in the wash. But I firmly believe some of our refs have nervous existences, stressed, don’t sleep so well…..and does it show!
    Agree Jayram, I really hope our players are properly prepared for this one, they did not appear to be in this last fixture. Flamini is a worry for me…..he could easily see red……as could others. If flam is kicked, he will react, and perhaps play into Chelsea’s and atkinsons hands.
    But we have a forward line who can do damage

  19. Off topic, but some extremely incredibly utterly impeccable truthful and reliable press sources saying Khedira is coming in jan subject to agreeing personal terms. Guess this actually means we are signing Bender, Fabian Delph, Tiote, Emmanuel Petit, Lord Lucan…..or nobody!

  20. @Mandy Dodd
    October 5, 2014 at 12:51 am

    “…..or nobody!”

    I am rolling around hahahaha

  21. @Mandy

    Here is one; Messi is looking for a tax (flexible country) with football of the highest level, and he has discussed the issue with prominent oiler/players and managers who told him “here [PL} we get away with everything”, with which he is considering to the PL! 🙂 🙂

    His father is completing his refs exams!! 🙂 🙂

  22. @jayramfootball
    October 5, 2014 at 12:12 am

    Have tried all day to take such thoughts out of my mind and waiting to see fair play and a top game where we come out of there with our legs “intact” and a fought for 3 points!

    Should – what you reminded me poke its ugly head – I Wont be shocked, and have adopted this – of your earlier post: Mandy Dodd
    October 5, 2014 at 12:23 am

    “But seriously, they both have it in for the way English football is run…..if our game is corrupt, the day of reckoning will come. Maybe it comes down to the definition of corruption……are some taking money, is it unpaid bias or brand protection? I know what I think but it may take a while for all to come out in the wash. But I firmly believe some of our refs have nervous existences, stressed, don’t sleep so well…..and does it show!”

  23. @Mandy Dodd
    October 5, 2014 at 12:23 am

    As for your second paragraph; I too worry that is oilers come hard in, some of our less violent but for sure more targeted (by PL/refs in general) will have to tread super careful – hence giving oilers what they want (either us with 10/9 players or theme cruising through mid-field and flanks…simples!

  24. Apo…maybe there is going to be a very good prison team in Barcelona in the very near future!

  25. I say we play “not to lose” and set up to hurt them on the counter. They won’t be expecting it, and I’m sure we can do some devastating damage if we can get The Ox, Danny, and Sanchez running at Terry and co.

  26. Since I posted that something like 5 or 6 previews had predicted the same Arsenal starting line up, I’ve seen another 4 with the same lineup. So, all the arm chair experts are in the same boat.

    Arsenal has shown over the last couple of seasons, that they can close up shop and play defence. While many teams probably practice “Park the Bus”, I don’t think Arsenal do. Arsenal I don’t think are thinking “counter-attack”, I think they are thinking “attack”. Some of the circumstances may be those of a counter-attack, but I suspect that they are all approached as an attack.

    I would guess that Arsenal has been looking at some new ways of releasing our speed, and will set up to do that at Chelsea. And I am expecting Chelsea to Park the Bus, as they are now “expert” in counter-attacking from the Bus formation.

    And, that’s as far as I go.

    But, Bob Wilson is saying that the current team, is either the best team Arsenal have had, or very close to it (and going to surpass what was best).


  27. Arsenal will rise again. Chelsea will not be able to win a attacking game. they go out as defenders and then counter attack. if we score first , the will abandon negative football and try to run at us. City beat them that way.

  28. That is a nice article with what Bob Wilson says.

    But as usual the headline is misleading. Bob does not say this is the best team Arsene has ever had, but one of the best or close to the best. A team with a very bright future.

    It’s good to see the Arsenal legends who consistently support the team and Arsene Wenger.

  29. I just watched the twelve minute replay of the highlights from our match against Galatasaray.

    Our goals are really worth another look! Fantastic!

    But I can’t see much difference between our goalie’s actions that gave away a penalty and got a red card, and the Galatasaray goalie’s against Cazorla which didn’t. Just another example of unfair refereeing – especially after the failure to red card Melo for the foul on Sanchez.

  30. Yeah pat Carzola should have fallen over rolled backfliped and held his chest oh shit he would have got a red card instead

  31. We sure have a lot on our plate this afternoon. Not just biased Atkinson and his useless assistants, but the serial divers: Willian, Oscar, Hazard. Atkinson will be waving play on when any of our guys have been felled. I am hoping the thug Ramires is still injured and out. However there is plenty of hope that Sanchez and the trickery of Ozil can outwit that overated lump, Cahill. Danny, for sure, can out pace Terry. COYG!!

  32. Thank you Andrew for another fantastic preview. I’d like to write that I hope that this one would prove to be inaccurate but past experience tells me that it would be unwise to dismiss the Untold Referee Previews.

    “Atkinson will be waving play on when any of our guys have been felled”
    Very true. All to predictable and obvious. Who do the PGMOB think they are kidding?

    You don’t have to be a footballing genius to conclude that it will be a little harder to beat Gazprom-upon-Fulham upon a tilted pitch then, say, Hull. Is four or five non-pens not given for one team in a cup final an unenviable record? It probably is! And that statistic tells us everything that we need to know.

    Come on the Arsenal.

  33. Personally I’m still annoyed at the Dean combo of a not given red and penalty all within a few seconds in the Home game last year. You can’t even attempt to defend such refereeing without appearing to be a bit of a plonker.

    When AFC out parked Gazprom with L’Grande Autobus and denied a victory a by a dodgy offical.

    Yet I note that tactical performance by the Arsenal has been completely airbrushed out of the Narrative. Which also tells us everything we need to know (about the hacks!).

  34. I expect Matic to get away with some bad fouls. Atkinson might book him in the 2nd half if the game is already decided.

  35. They got a penalty after Ivanovic, who wasn’t 10 yards away from the free kick, took the ball off of Alexis. Should never have happened.

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