Untold Referee Review : Arsenal – Burnley

Referee : Craig Pawson

Arsenal Burnley

A new ref, a new opponent so for our referee previewer it was new territory as it was for me as a reviewer.  So what can we say about the ref his performance. Let us go over the match in a chronological order.

Only 2 small fouls in the first 15 minutes. So we must give credit for Burnley for not trying to kick us off the park from the start. Then a few offside decisions had to be made and the first assistant referee messed up a big one when Gibbs was not even close to being offside when he could have escaped on the left. Not his first mistake against Arsenal in his career. Take note  Andrew.

The first real foul was well spotted when Boyd tackled Cazorla from behind who was on a promising run. It took a while before the card was out but he correctly gave it. No complaints from me here.

But alas… I do have to complain about his next decision. Or lack of decision. An Arsenal corner had Boyd clearly losing his mind. And he stuck out his hand well above his head and touched the ball that flew over him. Mertesacker was completely not himself for minutes after the ref ignoring this deliberate handball. That was a stonewall penalty and a booking. And that would have been his second booking. Ref losing many points with this.

And again the assistant was blind and didn’t came to the rescue of his referee. This assistant must go in the book, he has messed up too many times to my liking and always against Arsenal. If Arsenal had been given the penalty and score from it they would have had an easy match probably or at least a much easier match. And probably would have scored more goals against 10 players from Burnley.

For the rest he had a fairly good game in the first half. Only missing a foul on Monreal from Sordell in the last minute. A foul on a defender should always be called referee! Basic rule!

In the second half he had to make only a few decisions. And with the 3 correct goals for Arsenal his score went up a lot.  Apart from afoul on Alexis that he missed just before we scored not much wrong. Only in extra time when Arsenal was 3-0 up he missed a pull on Mertesacker so that the latter missed a clearance and Burnley could have scored. Again a foul on a defender that was missed by the ref and again the same assistant didn’t do his job by at least signalling the foul to the ref.

A score in the first half of 72% overall. If we look at the weighted decisions it went down to 58%. The missed penalty and second yellow card responsible for this. Oh and did I told he should have booked Flamini also? He should have booked him in the first half. If we look at the important decision a very bad score.  For the same missed things of course. Only 20% correct important decisions. Not that good!

In the second half his score went up as he has not many fouls in this match. An overall score of almost 85% an weighted it even went up to 89%. Only looking at important decision his score was even 100%. Well done!

If we look at the full 90 minutes he had an overall score of 77%. If we put weight on the decisions he got 72%. And if we look at only the important decisions his score was 50%.

The bias score was in favour of Burnley. Mostly down to the not given penalty and second yellow/red card for Boyd.

Now as this is his first review I will not call the ref biased. I can accept an honest mistake. A video ref could have shown the foul and the penalty but we are not that far yet. We still hope that it will come one day of course. So I will give the ref the benefit of doubt about the not given penalty. If in the future he proves he has the balls to give a penalty to Arsenal I will call this decision an honest mistake. If he refuses to give the most blatant penalties then I can only think that he knows the laws of the PGMOL. Take note:  the laws of the game and the laws of the PGMOL are two separate things.

If there are points to keep in mind for the future it will be about his penalty decision and looking at fouls on defenders that he missed each time in extra time of each half. Maybe down to being fatigued?

In short we have seen worse referees if we forget the non action against time wasting where he did as the other referees in the PL: nothing.



14 Replies to “Untold Referee Review : Arsenal – Burnley”

  1. Menace,
    I just tried but then it doesn’t work. I will try to think about it in other reviews in the future.

  2. Walter, another fine write up.

    I would not be surprised if Pawson and his linesman give more difficulties in the future – but lets hope I am wrong.

  3. I was baffled by the Boyd handball. This player jumped with his arm raised above his head and was therefore at least one or two feet above every other player and in line with the flight of the ball. How was this missed, not by just the referee but the linesman too?

    I completely understand normal everyday mistakes and tight offside decisions during the game but I cannot understand how that was missed. If we assume that the referee did not see it because he was watching ‘other’ players in the penalty area for contact etc, then what is the linesman doing? He is in direct line of sight of the cross and will have definitely seen Boyd handle the ball. I cannot believe we have match officials deliberately choosing to ignore incidents, so what is the explanation?

    Its all making me very cynical.

  4. @proudkev
    I agree it is completely inexplicable that neither ref nor linesman saw it. Maybe Walter can tell us different but shouldn’t the officials have been watching the flight of the ball. Isn’t to watch the ball in play in relation to the players their primary function, the whole point of having them. What conceivable situation is there during a game where they are not watching the ball? If they were watching the ball they must have seen the hand come up, it was clear as could be. Wasn’t Howard Webb in his new job supposed to come out and clear up and explain all these strange happenings with the watching public. I am fed up with being treated like a mushroom. (Kept in the dark and fed bullshit)

  5. @Mick Welcome to the world of FunGuys (fungi). Problem with the PGMOL (Gaelic = pogmahon) is we don’t get anything let alone bullshit. There are several penalty decisions that need to be clarified let alone the cheating that Riley engaged in at Old Trafford.

    Fortunately the AAA comments (at the Ems) after the match take my mind off the officiating and focus it on the stupidity of humans. ‘He should have spent some money’. It is quite amazing that commentators on MOTD2 Extra claim that there is £200 million available for new players. It’s like money at Arsenal ‘grows on trees’.

    Officiating has become a tool for the gaming industry and those corrupt greedy individuals in power. It is not easy to find where the money flows but Untold has found a statistical view that shows imbalance. Whether this is sufficient to make a case for legal purposes is debatable. It is however, a very good case for a controversial TV programme on Channel 4. They would love the advertising revenue.

  6. I can see why the referee missed it, as he should have been on the opposite side of the box and his view would have been obscured by a number of players, especially Mertesacker who was contesting the ball. However, the linesman had a perfectly clear view and has absolutely no excuse for his failure to flag up a blatant violation of the Laws of the Game.

  7. Mick,
    Yes the officials should have been watching the ball. Certainly the assistant should watch the ball as he is supposed to see if the ball didn’t cross the goal line. And as there is no offside possible with a corner that is kicked in front of the goal directly he should only have eye for the ball.
    The ref could have eye for the players and therefore missed the handball but even then he should have been judging the flight of the ball to see if there would have been no push at the place where the ball could end up.
    Anyway with Boyd being the player the closest to the assistant it was amazing that he didn’t see it and didn’t call the handball…. unless you have previous “mistakes” of course. And I think he has and had….

  8. Three different linesmen, three different games but all in the same position at the Clock End. Missed foul on Flamini v Hull; missed pen v Burnley and missed offside (and encroachment) v Anderlecht.
    Is there a light shining in their eyes?

  9. Dave Bryan was the linesman in question, and he does have a history of previous blunders. He was the linesman who in 2012 gifted Chelsea two offside goals in their undeserved win over Wigan. It was so scandalous that Mr. Bryan was suspended for the rest of the season.

    Also, in the preview of the match officials on this site it was mentioned that Dave Bryan also ran the lines in Arsenal’s 3-0 loss to Everton last season. I don’t know if it was Dave Bryan, but one linesman in that match wrongly ruled out a perfectly good goal by Sanogo in that match.

    There seems to be something seriously wrong with this linesman, whether it is his eyesight, a failure to keep his concentration, not wanting to get involved in making calls, or perhaps something more sinister. Who knows? But this guy doesn’t seem fit for the job.

    He should have seen Gibbs was onside. He should have seen Boyd’s handball. And he should have seen the foul on Per from which they nearly scored. That last foul on Per was worringly similar to the one Diamé got away with on Flamini from which he did score and Arsenal dropped points. Hopefully this is not a trend.

  10. We ‘spoke’ previously about the Counties from where the referees reside and the in balance between North and South of the UK. Now whether this is relevant or not is a matter of debate but interesting to see that the same in balance appears with regards to assistant referees (or what I prefer to call linesman). There is a definite North/South divide.

    Of the 32 assistants listed in the ‘select group’ 20 (63%) are from the North/Midlands. 6 are from the east (17%), 4 are from the West (12%) and 2 are from others (7%. Make your own minds up.

    Name County Region
    Derek Eaton Gloucestershire Midlands
    John Brooks Leicestershire Midlands
    Dave Bryan Lincolnshire Midlands
    Stuart Burt Northamptonshire Midlands
    Peter Kirkup Northamptonshire Midlands
    Andy Garratt West Midlands Midlands
    Sian Massey West Midlands Midlands
    Marc Perry West Midlands Midlands
    Matthew Wilkes West Midlands Midlands
    Gary Beswick County Durham North
    Richard West East Yorkshire North
    Peter Bankes Merseyside North
    Jake Collin Merseyside North
    Andy Halliday North Yorkshire North
    Darren England South Yorkshire North
    Scott Ledger South Yorkshire North
    Simon Bennett Staffordshire North
    Mick McDonough Tyne & Wear North
    Adrian Holmes West Yorkshire North

    Lee Betts Norfolk east
    Darren Cann Norfolk east
    Harry Lennard East Sussex east
    Stephen Child Kent east
    Cons Hatzidakis Kent east
    Simon Long Suffolk east
    Simon Beck Bedfordshire other
    Mark Scholes Buckinghamshire other
    Ron Ganfield Somerset West
    John Flynn Wiltshire West
    Adam Nunn Wiltshire west
    Mike Mullarkey Devon west

  11. As I am sure Walter will confirm, maybe the linesman was advised NOT to signal any offences in the penalty area and if the ref missed the handball, the linesman was not authorized to signal it. I have had many officials tell me not to signal a penalty in the area because they may contradict my call and it makes us look like fools BUT this event made them look more foolish! The assistant recëives his or her ¨orders¨from the referee and CANNOT do other than to respect them, otherwise they can get into serious hot water. This is one of the major failings in the LAWS but is there to preserve the ¨apparent¨ but not always real communications between assistants and referees.

  12. I was at the game and thought the ref did OK, missed the handball ad a number of other calls.

    But at least Burnley did not start to kick like most other teams.

    Whether this was to Burnley’s credit, or the ref; who knows.

  13. Yes OMG maybe it is interesting to write an article about the instructions that can be given. Will start working on it.

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