Sunderland v Arsenal 25 October 2014 – The Match Officials

Sunderland v Arsenal 25 October 2014 – The Match Officials


by Andrew Crawshaw

Firstly here is the current Wrong Important Decisions table including the Hull game


Wrong Important Decisions Favouring Arsenal Favouring Opponents
2nd Yellow Cards 0 4
Red Cards 3 5
Penalties 1 5
Goals 0 2
Total 4 16
Possible Cost in Points 2 13


No signs of the decisions starting to even out yet!

The Match Officials for this week are

  • Referee Kevin Friend
  • Assistants – J Collin and C Hatzidakis
  • Fourth Official – L Mason


This is the second time this year for Kevin Friend, he was in charge for our 2-2 draw away at Everton and made something of a hash of it.  I thought it a bit early to start getting second visits from referees so thought I would see if it is only us so far


Referee Number of Games (out of a possible 9) Teams  the Referee has done twice this year
Andre Marriner 2 0
Anthony Taylor 9 QPR (away games at Spurs   and West Ham both lost)

Spurs (home to W Ham won 4-0) Second game this weekend home to Newcastle

Chris Foy 5 0
Craig Pawson 6 0
Jonathan Moss 7 Stoke (away to Hull 1-1) second game this week away to Southampton
Keith Stroud 1 0
Kevin Friend 6 Everton (Home to Arsenal 2-2, Away to United (2-1)

Arsenal (Away to Everton and away to Sunderland this week)

Lee Mason 6 Aston Villa (away to Liverpool, won 1-0 and this weekend away to QPR)
Mark Clattenberg 6 Southampton (Away at Liverpool lost 2-1 and home to QPR won 2-1)
Martin Atkinson 8 West Ham (away at Hull 2-2 draw, Home to City this weekend)
Michael Oliver 7 Liverpool (Away at City lost 3-1 and Home to W Brom won 2-1)

Stoke (Home to Leicester lost 1-0 and Home to Swansea won 2-1)

Mike Dean 7 United (Home to Swansea lost 2-1 and away to W Brom drew 2-2)

C Palace (home to Burnley drew 0-0 and away to Hull lost 2-0)

Mike Jones 5 C Palace (Away games at Newcastle 3-3 draw and this weekend at West Brom
Neil Swarbrick 4 Sunderland (Away at West Brom 2-2 draw and home to Stoke 3-1 win)
Paul Tierney 1 0
Phil Dowd 5 QPR (away at United lost 4-0 and home to Liverpool lost 2-3)
Robert Maley 1 0
Roger East 2 0

To date only one referee, Anthony Taylor, has featured every week, 18 referees have been used of whom 5 have done only one or two games, so the workload is being carried by only 13 referees.  No wonder that at week 9, 15 clubs have had repeat visits from referees.  As we have said before this is unacceptable.  There should be a minimum of 19 referees to ensure that each club has no referee more than twice, once home and once away.

Back to the Arsenal preview for this week.

Referee Kevin Friend

Up to this season Arsenal have had a good record with Kevin Friend, in fact I used to look forward to seeing his name on the appointments list.  However up to this season we had always had him at home.  This year he was the referee for our away game at Everton.  Here is Walter’s referee review of that game :-

Untold Ref Review: Everton/Arsenal. What is an advantage, and what’s wrong with assistant Garratt?


His overall score was 60% (weighted) 18 wrong decisions in all 16 favouring Everton, 2 Arsenal so bias against the two teams 11/89.  There were two wrong Important decisions

  1. Min 44 Naysmith was offside when he scored the opening goal for Everton, goal shouldn’t have stood
  2. Min 53 Wilshere should have been given a red card for studs up challenge on Barry

It should also be noted that the yellow card earned by Chambers should not have been given.  Mr Garratt was the Assistant who missed the offside (and has previous when is comes to bad offside decisions against Arsenal)

As I said in my post summarising the first 8 games “One thing is for certain the first Everton goal shouldn’t have counted.  What the effect on Arsenal of having to play with 10 men from minute 53 is a matter of conjecture.  On balance a draw was probably the right result.”

At least for this game we don’t have Mr Garrett as Assistant, we have J Collin  who was on duty for the City game this year.  Last year he was one of Mike Dean’s usual crew and was on hand for our home game with Stoke (3-1 win), the nil nil home game with Chelsea, the one all home draw with City, the one nil away win at Spurs, the 2-2 draw at home to Southampton with Lee Mason in charge and the 1-0 home win at home to Spurs with Michael Oliver in charge.

The second Assistant is  Mr C Hatzidakis, he has done 4 Premier Games so far this year, one each with Kevin Friend, Mike Dean, Michael Oliver and Craig Pawson.  This weekend will be his fifth game and his first with Arsenal.  (Note to away fans – be sure to give him a warm welcome)

In Summary

  1. Mr Friend is primarily a home referee.
  2. He owes us a goal wrongly given to Everton in the last match of ours he refereed.
  3. Sunderland can’t play as badly as they did last week
  4. We can’t play as badly as we did against Anderlecht
  5. Don’t expect Mr Friend to give us any controversial decisions, penalties or Sunderland players being sent off are most unlikely
  6. Sunderland are likely to get away with far more force in challenges than we are
  7. Expect rotational fouling, targetted at Alexis and Wellbeck (if he plays)



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20 Replies to “Sunderland v Arsenal 25 October 2014 – The Match Officials”

  1. Taylor and Atkinson the most used refs? How bad it has become.

    Clattenberg is clearly the best but he has only had six. Punishment for all those penalties against MU in recent months?

  2. Slightly off-topic, but just caught up on the last few months of entries from:

    So depressing – even if just a quarter of it is true.

    There sister blog:

    is even worse. One quote:

    “There are only 17 currently active PGMOL Select Group (sic) referees officiating at EPL games.
    And, of these, 4 refs have only had one game apiece this season.
    So 13 referees have covered 94% of EPL games whereas in the German Bundesliga, 23 referees are used in an 18 team league.

    13 referees is too small a group and is far more prone to corruption.

    Additionally, one individual selects every single appointment.
    Just imagine what would happen if a bookmaker or an insider trader were to gain control of this one man in the most liquid betting market on the planet.

    Oh, hang on…”

  3. With Mr.Friend the last two previews have been bang on the money, to use betting parlance (I should have been a comedian. Maybe not!). So, thank you for the preview yet again. I am sure it will prove to be a useful guide for football fans before they settle down to try and watch a game of football.

    It’s not encouraging for football fans up and down the land to see A.Taylor getting so many games. I suppose that he has the right haircut/look required to join the club.

    Did AW refer directly to that particular “performance” from Grand Master Riley in the presser? Uh-oh 🙂

  4. Pete, 13 refs in a 20 team league as opposed to, say, 23 in a 18 team league?

    That must be just another random statistical anomaly.
    Alongside all the others! 🙂

    Not a structure designed for failure. Nope!

  5. They also talk about refs in other countries (Italy and Germany to name two – both of whom have had issues in recent years) appointing refs on the day of a game or the day prior. PL appoints them 5/6 days prior. Even UEFA appoints only 2 days prior (and their refs have to fly all over Europe).

    The issue of course is that it gives more time for those who are ethically challenged to get their dirty work done.

    The only way refereeing will be cleaned up is with video reviews.

    Player corruption will be harder to fix – but hopefully a few “examples” being made will help?

  6. These ‘beneficiary’ teams MUST look at how they can erect a PGMOL statue outside their stadiums – the LEAST they can do!

  7. I know this much – if we don’t win at the ‘stadium of lights’ ( 🙂 ) through ref intervention (of course), we stand a big chance of being bunny hoped by Swansea…

  8. “Walcott not ready to be kicked”

    There’s not much left to read between the lines there! The presser after the game against Gazprom I’m Fulham was also very interesting.
    Will any of the 24/7 football hacks comment on these comments about the football?

  9. @finsbury
    October 24, 2014 at 2:57 pm
    “Walcott not ready to be kicked”

    Thats exactly what came into my mind when I read AW’s comments…its becoming OBVIOUS!!

  10. I believe its time for the new Arsenal kit to include a set of American football-style PROTECTIVE gear – since thats the only protection we may expect!

  11. Apo, sorry I was just making another hilarious joke with the kicking comment, I believe that the manager was only stating the obvious about building up a player’s conditioning. But the press conference after the Gazprom Fulham franchise game is worth watching again. Definitely.

    But now that you mention it i do admit that there are Kevlar body armour kits that I have been looking at…a red can of paint, a white can of paint, and we’ll be good to go! 🙂

  12. Kevlar is a super product fins bury my friend…resilient to the point of fire proof and dog bite proof (many dog trainers use them for this)!!!

    Puma would go with this!

  13. But come to think of it we need a product where the kickers foot bounces off the shin of our player and kicks the kickers HEAD IN!!! now that would really work…and Riley would have a problem with that!

  14. Thanks again Andrew….very wary of this ref, and his fourth official.
    Hopefully, the team can start putting in performances whereby they beat the ref as well as the opponents, this game would be a good place to start a run of such performances in the league.
    Often read that blog myself Pete. Know nothing about the author, he may be a total fantasist…BUT…so much of what he says rings true….and ties in with stuff we read on untold, so I tend to give FIF the benefit of the doubt. As you say….if a fraction of what he says is true….

  15. @Mandy Dodd
    October 24, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    “…Hopefully, the team can start putting in performances whereby they beat the ref as well as the opponents…”

    This exactly what will keep everyone (AAA/MEDIA) very quiet!

  16. Thanks for the very interesting links Pete. I’ve been reading the articles, and they say some very disturbing things about Arsenal:

    Arsenal are regularly screwed by the refs, but, the Arsenal-Man City match was fixed in our favour:

    Walcott’s agent is John Colquhoun, a match fixer. The blog also suggests something is not right about our season ticket prices:

  17. Pete
    October 24, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    Almost right pete – Oh hang on. sum one win, mani luz, one hung low, much mo lut, ……. and they all lived la fing tu de bank.

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