Arsenal v Southampton 03 December 2014 – The Match Officials

Arsenal v Southampton 03 December 2014 – The Match Officials

by Andrew Crawshaw

Here is the updated Wrong Important Decisions table following the United game (to be strictly honest it is updated from Walter’s post game report as I haven’t seen his full referee review so there may need to be further changes). One more wrong goal against Arsenal and a further two points robbed from us.  I’ll wait for the full review for the other incidents.  The table also needs updating to reflect the West Brom game on Saturday.

Wrong Important Decisions Favouring Arsenal Favouring Opponents
2nd Yellow Cards 0 6
Red Cards 3 6
Penalties 2 7
Goals 0 3
Total 5 22
Possible Cost in Points 2 17


Is it evening out yet?  Hell No!  If the referees had done their jobs properly we should be with Chelsea at the top of the table and undefeated.

Moving on to this weekend.

  • Referee – Andre Marriner
  • Assistants – P Kirkup and M Perry
  • Fourth Official – A Taylor

Andre Marriner was born in 1971 and his home County FA is Birmingham.  His first Premier League game was in November 2004 and he has been on the select list since the start of the 2005/6 season.  To date he has refereed 186 matches, issuing 41 red and 601 yellow cards

Mr Perry has been a regular Assistant with  Mr Marriner over the past couple of seasons, Mr Kirkup has been with him occasionally

2014-15 History – Mr Marriner has not been used very much this year – this will be only his fourth game in charge (he has appeared 6 times as fourth official though).  No Arsenal game this year but this will be his second Southampton game, he was in charge of their 8-0 demolition of Sunderland on 18 October, so they will probably not mind seeing him again so soon.

2013-14 – Mr Marriner was present for three Arsenal games, our home wins against Hull (2-0) on 04 December and Sunderland (4-1) on 22 February and our 6-0 thrashing away at Chelsea on 22 Mar in Arsene’s 1000th game.  He also did Southampton four times – home v West Ham (0-0) on 15 Sept; home v Fulham (2-0) on 26 Oct; home v Newcastle (4-0) on 29 Mar and away v Cardiff (0-3) on Boxing Day.

Arsenal – Hull 2-0, may I present to you : the machine  quoting from Walter’s post game review “About the ref… we should and could have had a penalty. At least one. When Ramsey was caught on the ankle when he went passed a Hull player. Was this the same ref who gave that non-penalty for Chelsea a few weeks ago against WBA? Yes, he was. And my trained eye noticed a few strong challenges he let go. Is this the same ref that send off 2 Sunderland players against Hull a few weeks ago for strong challenges? Yes, he was. He now even didn’t call it a foul.

Özil was kicked from left to right at times without the ref giving fouls, let alone yellow cards. Even my match reporter noticed it and found it too lenient refereeing from the ref. And on the other side he gave what looked soft free kicks in favour of Hull.  So we surely didn’t get any help from the man in black in this match.”

Arsenal – Sunderland, a view from the North Bank  This was a game attended by Walter in person, so no surprise about the score, what is surprising is that there is no mention of the referee at all in his article, so we can conclude that he had a good enough game.

Chelsea v Arsenal – Errors and mistakes for free by players and referees  again quoting from Walter “First the ref let a possible foul on Arteta go in midfield so that Chelsea once again could break. The ball came to Hazard who took a shot. Oxlade-Chamberlain handled. What followed was referee comedy capers. Well he had one decision right of all the decisions he had to make: the penalty. All the rest was wrong and utterly wrong.  So I don’t complain about the penalty at all.

It obviously took the 4th official to give the penalty. This was clearly visible by the way that Marriner was talking and looking in the direction of the 4th official. Now I really wonder based on what he gave it? Did he see it with his own eyes or use video evidence. Which I think is not allowed now.  And I think it will be something like that as the 4th official was standing in the same line as the ref on the field.

So it would be amazing that the 4th official being 60 meters away would have seen it better than the 1st official who was 15 meters away.

What then followed was bizarre as suddenly Gibbs was shown a red card. Gibbs who had nothing to do with the whole incident.  Now to put things straight a red card for a handball should be given when a defender knocks it out of goal when it would go over the line. But the shot from Hazard was going wide anyway so it wasn’t a save on the goal line. It wasn’t preventing a goal. But it was deliberate handball but should have been a yellow card.

But as a result Arsenal had to continue with a man down. And that was not correct at all. I also would like to add that if you are not sure who committed the offence you just cannot pick out a player and give him a red card. That is making a complete mess of it.

Hazard scored from the rightfully given penalty and Arsenal were looking at a gigantic mountain to climb with wrongfully being a man down.  Oscar scoring another goal just for half time was not a real surprise. The referees further making a mess of things when Vermaelen who had come on for Podolski after the red card, clearly kicked the ball out against Torres but the refs gave a corner.”

So Marriner had a nightmare in this game, as did Arsenal.  It was a game our players gave away, one of the worst team performances in recent years and one we would have lost even without the assistance Mr Marriner gave Chelsea.

2012-13 – Going back a further year when there were full match reviews of Arsenal games

Match Review: Andre Marriner – Arsenal Vs West Ham United (5 – 1) [23/01/2013]

Overall performance 67% bias against both teams 69/31 and one wrong Important Decision (second yellow cards, red cards, penalty decisions or goals).  In Minute 24 Vaz Te kicked Mertesacker on the Achilles, should have been a yellow card, in Minute 41 he was booked for dissent so should have been sent off for two yellow cards.

Match Review: Andre Marriner – Fulham Vs Arsenal (0 – 1) [20/04/2013]

Overall performance 75%, bias against 15/85 but no wrong Important Decisions.  Sidwell was rightly sent off in Minute 11 for a horrible challenge and Giroud was sent off in minute 89 when he brought down a Fulham player.  It was a dreadfully wet evening and a miracle that any football was possible.

2011-12 Here is the summary table for all of Mr Marriner’s reviewed games

Arsenal at the bottom of the table in terms of bias against (now there’s a surprise!)

In Summary

  1. Mr Marriner is a typical PGMO referee, and cannot be trusted to give an honest performance in an Arsenal game, he has demonstrated significant bias against Arsenal over a number of seasons.
  2. Expect phantom fouls called against Arsenal in dangerous areas of the pitch or when Southampton need time to reorganise
  3. Southampton will be given far more leeway in challenges than Arsenal
  4. We should hope that Mr Marriner has learned to identify our players following the “wrong playergate” incident against Chelsea last year
  5. The only positive thing is that Mr Marriner tends to be a ‘Home’ referee, but his bias against Arsenal is normally far stronger.
  6. The Crowd need to be Arsenal’s twelfth man to balance the bias that he his likely to give to Southampton.


The Christmas books

Some other sites from the Untold team (there is a full list on the home page)

29 Replies to “Arsenal v Southampton 03 December 2014 – The Match Officials”

  1. Andrew, that is incredible:

    (a) If the referees had done their jobs properly we should be with Chelsea at the top of the table and undefeated.

    (b) the difference in “possible cost in points” is 15.

    Can you please explain how you ended up with the conclusion ?

    It will simplify things if your analysis is based, inter alia, on the assumption that any wrong ref decision is a sine qua non, i.e., that the wrong goal in favor of Manure is not balanced out by the wrong offside decision against Rooney, or the fact that we should have scored about 7-9 goals in that match (hence: robbed of points).

    Thank you. TG

  2. Tommie,

    I have taken Walter’s referee reviews as a starting point and have looked at the wrong Important Decisions (Sending off s – i.e. second yellow or straight red cards, Penalty decisions either given wrongly or not given, and goal decisions) and taken a ‘punt’ on what the result of the game might have been had the decisions been correct. That part of the table is my estimate of the cost to the club in points of the wrong decisions. I am planning to do a review of all of the decisions at the halfway point of the season.

    To take an example of wrong decisions affecting a game let’s take the Chelsea game. Minute 20 with the score at 0-0. On one side of the pitch Ivanovic elbows Ozil off the ball and should have been sent off, on the other side of the pitch Cahill scythes down Alexis and should also have been sent off. If the referee and his assistants had got both of those decisions correct Arsenal would have had a two man advantage for the remainder of the game and I think it extremely unlikely that Arsenal would have lost the game. It might have happened, but in the table above I have assumed that Arsenal should have won the game. We might not have done but I think it is probable.

    As a second example in our 2-2 Draw away at Everton, I have noted that the second Everton goal should not have counted as it was offside, so two points added for that, on the other hand in Minute 53 Wilshere should have been sent off so I have included one point in Arsenal’s favour for that wrong decision.

    You and I and the rest of the footballing world can debate these decisions till the cows come home. I include the table purely as an indication of the effect the bad decisions on Arsenal are having. At the end of the day it is the points actually on the board that matters and there are far too few of them.

  3. @Andrew Crawshaw
    December 2, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    I totally agree with your scope on this subject.

    I find it difficult to believe that there fans amongst us who feel that out of the ‘swings and roundabouts’ – we actually have an even result…its plain as night follows day that we are at the wrong end of decision and they have cost us – if not 15 – most certainly well over half of that in points. With 30 points we would have been sitting in second and breathing on the back of KGB!!!

  4. Thanks Andrew.

    I think that penalty decisions are reasonably easy to factor in, or convert to goals. The issuing of a penalty is not a guarantee of scoring, but I would suggest the probability is significantly higher than 50% to score on a penalty (in the EPL). Hence, a single incorrect penalty decision is not too likely to influence results, but more than one incorrect penalty decision is likely to influence the final score.

    Andrew writes:
    > You and I and the rest of the footballing world can debate these decisions till the cows come home.

    I really don’t have a good idea how much “Country Music” people in the UK listen to. Grande Prairie (where I live) currently has the Canadian Country Music Station of the Year, and Dawson Creek (where my farm is) thinks it is the “Peace River Country’s” best country music station.

    But, a new country song came across my radar this summer. Corb Lund has a song called “Cows Around”. Maybe listening to it, will help the debate? 🙂

  5. Thank you for the explanation. I trust Walter’s analyis’ regarding the decisons being correct or incorrect, so no debate there. The debate is purely regarding the consequences of those decisions, and you have duly given an explanation (which I find extremly hard to accept but that is of course another issue).

    Thanks again, TG.

  6. @ Gord,

    No discussion regarding country music can be complete without the no. 1 king of all times, Hank Williams. And there is nothing more fitting for the PGMOL than “Your Cheatin’ Heart”…

  7. @TommieGun

    I like many kinds of music, and country music has some good (and some bad) songs. I am not crazy about the Top-40 version of programming, be it country music or anything else. For one thing, Top-40 Country Music would hardly ever play Hank Williams. That song (Your Cheatin Heart) is certainly appropriate for PGMOL.

    But, in terms of teasing Andrew, I really don’t know how much country music he might hear in the UK. I have no doubt there are cows, sheep, horses, goats, pigs and other animals, mostly on farms in the UK. If nothing else, I remember outbreaks of foot and mouth, mad cow and scrapie in the news.

    How big is a big ranch? Parker Ranch on the big island of Hawaii was my guess at largest, at about 150,000 acres had been what I heard for years. It seems the King Ranch in Texas dwarfs that at 825,000 acre.

    The biggest farm I have been on, was about 31 sections (around 20,000 acres). The farm we used to have was just tiny at 6210 acres. One of my neighbours used to have buffalo, now has horses. There are people raising elk on farms near me. I have driven past farms raising pack animals from South America such as the llama.

  8. Andre Mariner, could be worse I suppose. Simply put I do not expect any favours from the officials. Gave up on that one years ago.

    Anthony Taylor is 4th official and I’m pretty sure he was also 4th at the infamous chelsea game. Little doubt he gave the order to send the wrong player off that day.

    Have absolutely no doubt Anthony Taylor is bad news for Arsenal and I notice it’s him with the whistle in our game at Stoke this Saturday.

  9. @ Kampala – I always tell young attorneys: never ask a question in cross examination, that you don’t know the answer to. A more strict approach is only ask questions that can only be answered by a “yes”, by it’s too strict and does not allow for any flexibility.

    My point is, that you already know the answer to your question, so please don’t waste my time as I’m not on the stand being interrogated.

    My second point, is that if you have a point, you are very welcome to make it.

  10. Thanks Andrew.
    With not a single result going our way so far this eve, we will need a win, Marriner or no Marriner.

  11. Depressing as usual – but I suppose it’s better to be prepared. Good to be reminded that Marriner was the idiot who sent off Gibbs by mistake. Maybe for that reason alone he’ll be more careful in his refereeing. Well, we can only hope.

  12. Marriner supports Everton, so may increase his agenda against Arsenal….unless maybe he hates Liverpool, who incidentally our loyal friend Mike Dean supports

  13. Just to get a point clear, if it wasn’t (regarding ref reviews’ accuracy) –

    I know that some (very lucky) posters here see some of the matches live at the stadium. However, I have also noticed that there are quite a lot of other posters who watch matches via an internet stream.

    In both instances, looking at incidents which involve refs’ decisions can be a bit tricky. Especially when those calls (or non calls) are the consequence of a quick move, or are not replayed by the director (for whatover reasons).

    I watch more than 90% of all Arsenal matches on a 60″ screen, full HD, with a TIVO recorder. Unfortunately I don’t have the patience to re-check every decision, make a list and analyze it. I am also not a referee so I might make an occassional mistake due to lack of knowledge, but I take the time to rewind and replay all of the controversial moments.

    My point is, that I can clearly say that whenever I read a ref review, it feels like reading an accurate synopsis of a movie that I have recently seen. I know exactly which incident within the ref review is under discussion and it usually bring out unpleasant memories of us being screwed over.

  14. Some of these replies are absolutely hilarious.Pure comedy genious.The refs are to blame for our defeats.The opposition are to blame for our injuries…Quailty.Nothing to do with wenger signing weak midgets who technically are very good but couldn’t outmuscle a 12 year old boy off the ball.There was 2 reasons why petit and viera were so formidable in midfield.They could play football but also “could bully the midfield with power and pace.You know fans can be anti wenger and still love the club.They stillwant arsenal to be the best.You cant keep doing the same thing wrong year after year and expect different results.

  15. @Nick Lee

    “Nothing to do with wenger signing weak midgets who technically are very good but couldn’t outmuscle a 12 year old boy off the ball”

    Amusing point. Only it’s not really all that amusing when you ask the question why is it that our ‘weak midgets who couldn’t outmuscle a 12 year old boy’ are currently top of the yellow card table?

    32 Yellow cards and counting…

  16. No, no Kenneth. Completely wrong

    That was all down to Wenger for no longer buying players like Vieira … oh.. wait a minute…

  17. Now Tasos, lets not make it more difficult shall we. Bringing on facts… that is a bit too much I’m afraid… 😉

  18. Walter

    Apologies, I really shouldn’t allow minor details to invade such stubborn uninformed criticism.

    However I must update that fact. Stoke have actually ousted Arsenal and now occupy top spot with 33 Yellows after last nights game. Stoke have played one game more though, plus they have also committed 43 more fouls than our weak midgets.

  19. Tasos

    Its a planned well organized project to bring the label into the top four come hell or high water!!!!

    We poor midgets have to play well and above anybody else’s game and beat PGMOL…we have a long rocky road layer out in-front of us whilst others (labels) have red carpet all the way to May!!!

    Simple stuff!

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