by Andrew Crawshaw
Following Walter’s referee review of the Burnley Game, I have included a Second Yellow Card and a Penalty for the not given deliberate handball at Min 20. No other wrong Important Decisions. There is still no signs of these decisions evening out, now nearly 5 to 1 against Arsenal and nearly two a game!
The Match Officials for Sunday
Referee – Phil Dowd
Assistants – D Cann and S Ledger
Fourth Official – R East
Phil Dowd This will be his eighth game of the year, most of them featuring top teams, as you would probably expect given his position as one of the most experienced and senior referees. He has been in charge of Liverpool, Chelsea and United (twice each) and this is the first time for us this season. He was born in 1963 so is now relatively elderly for a first class referee. His home FA is Staffordshire so should be neutral for this game. He started refereeing at 21 and has been on the Premier League list since 2001, He has officiated in 294 matches issuing 65 red and 1026 yellow cards.
All athletes slow down with age (and referees are no different) and will find it harder to make top quality decisions consistently throughout a 90 minute game. Two seasons ago in the four reviewed games featuring Swansea and Arsenal his second half performances were better than first half so there was no evidence to support a diminution in decision making as the games progressed, a full 18 months on it will be interesting to see if the same thing applies. There were no independent referee reviews last year to compare.
History with Arsenal
This Season – no previous games
2013/14 – Only one game West Ham v Arsenal on 26 December 2013 (Arsenal won 3-1), Assistants were D Cann and L Betts. Walter’s post game post didn’t mention Dowd once, so he certainly wasn’t the talking point which is certainly positive.
2012/13 – Three games
Match Review: Phil Dowd – West Ham United Vs Arsenal (1 – 3) [06/10/2012] 76% overall, bias against 0/100 and three wrong Important Decisions (second yellow, red cards, penalties and goals)- In Minute 26 Diame should have had a second yellow for a late foul on Arteta, in Minute 59 Vaz Te should have had a straight red for a foul on Manone and in Minute 71 Arsenal should have had a penalty when Ramsey was fouled.
Match Review: Phil Dowd – Arsenal Vs Fulham (3 – 3) [10/11/2012] 71% overall, bias against 78/22 and two wrong Important Decisions – Minute 28 The Berbatov goal should have been disallowed for an earlier foul on Sagna and in Minute 59 Sidwell should have had a second yellow card for a foul on Ramsey, Ramsey was wrongly booked for the same foul)
Match Review: Phil Dowd – Arsenal Vs Manchester United (1 – 1) [28/04/2013] 75% Overall, bias against 44/56 and two wrong Important Decisions, both favouring Arsenal. In the second Minute Walcott’s goal shouldn’t have stood as he was offside and in Minute 60 Sagna should have had a second yellow card for a bad tackle.
Not good refereeing in any of these games, far too many wrong Important Decisions. Interestingly since the United game where the wrong decisions helped Arsenal, Mr Dowd has only had one Arsenal game (Sunday will be his second).
History with Swansea
This Season – None
2013/14 – Four games, all at Swansea.
17 Aug 2013 – Swansea v United (1-4)
27 Oct 2013 – Swansea v West Ham (0-0)
01 Jan 2014 – Swansea v Man City (2-3)
13 April 2014 – Swansea v Chelsea (0-1)
I would think that Swansea would have been glad to see the back of Mr Dowd last season, four home games and only one point to show in the goal-less draw with West Ham. Four games from one referee in a season is a joke no matter who the referee is.
Only one game
Match Review: Phil Dowd – Everton Vs Swansea City (0 – 0) [12/01/2013] 81% overall, bias against 0/100 but no wrong Important Decisions
D Cann has only been paired with Mr Dowd once before this year (the one all draw between United and Chelsea on 26 October), they were also paired three times last year
S Ledger is a regular assistant with Mr Dowd this will be their 5th pairing this year, and 9 last year. I noted in my preparations for the Burnley Referee preview that in the Swansea v Burnley match Mr Ledger appeared to miss a handball right in front of him (83rd minute). This poor decision making will be something to look out from him.
1. Mr Dowd is one of the oldest referees officiating in the Premier League, on age grounds alone he would not be allowed to take charge of a top flight fixture in any other top European league.
2. I hope Mr Dowd will have the stamina to keep up with two teams who both like to play the ball quickly, if he can’t he should seriously consider if he should continue refereeing at this level.
3. There is no evidence to suggest that Mr Dowd will favour either team in this game, he doesn’t seem to particularly like either Swansea or Arsenal.
4. Since Mr Dowd gave Arsenal the benefit of two Wrong Important Decisions in April 2013, we have only seen him once, lets hope he doesn’t put in a really damming performance to get back in with the PGMOL heirarchy.
5. The decision making of the Assistants also needs to be watched.
6. This should be a good open game of football between two of the best passing teams in the League. I hope the officials allow the football to be the winner.
- How a 14th monk described Arsenal’s failure to buy Moisés Caicedo and Mykhailo Mudryk
- The January transfer window moved few players around: but did any club benefit?
- Are Newcastle United really in financial difficulty? And what about Arsenal?
- Did Arsenal want Mudryk and Caicedo, and was it just luck that they didn’t sign them?
- Is the Premier League getting more exciting or simply ever more predictable?