REF REVIEW Arsenal – Stoke

Ref for this match was John Moss

Arsenal Stoke

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the start of this match. It took Stoke 10 minutes to commit their first foul. And I think that maybe that was the reason that the ref completely ignored it. It was the foul from Arnautovic on Debuchy that lead to Debuchy needing surgery and being out for 3 months.

It was a vile attack and a coward attack in the back of Debuchy who couldn’t protect himself against it and as a result fell awkwardly.  If Arnautovic intended it or not is not a question one should ask. If a player causes serious injury because of reckless and aggressive behaviour he should get a red card. It is the final result that matters and in this case it is a serious injury.

For the rest he was not that bad apart that for some reason Crouch can do a lot more than any other player on the field. Another arm in the face of an Arsenal player that went unpunished leading to Monreal needing stitches to be able to continue. No card for Crouch of course. A bit later Crouch went in studs showing towards Mertesacker and again no card. What is it that he seems to get away with so much thuggery. Remember the first match at Stoke?

The ref had a score in the first half of  70% and if we put weight on the decisions it drops to 65%. If we only look at the important decisions his score drops to 42%.  So not really great numbers.

In the second half he became better. As if he had realised that he had failed to act against Arnautovic in the right way. But at first he made a terrible attempt to put the Stoke wall at the required distance. When it didn’t work, he gave it up and let the Stoke wall stay too close and spraying walking backwards from the wall. Luckily Alexis punished it with the 3rd goal. But that was poor stuff.

But for the rest he was more up to it and carding the Stoke players when they deserved a card this time. My biggest remark was that when Cameron pulled Alexis back he gave an advantage but once again the PGMO refs don’t now the difference between advantage and possession.

Let me try to explain once again. When a team keeps possession it is no advantage. When a foul needs a yellow card you should stop the match unless there is a clear promising attack possible or a clear goal scoring chance.  This wasn’t the case as after the foul Giroud was up against the whole Stoke defence on his own on the left flank. This was clearly just possession and even when trying hard I could see no advantage at all.

For the rest he gave a card against Crouch. Wow!! He should have been off by then but as usual it didn’t work out that way. Crouch seems to be a saint for most refs.

Second half score was 85% so a good score and when we put weight on it he still has a score of 81%. If we look at the important decisions only his score was 66%.

Seen over the whole 90 minutes he had a score of 77% and with weight on it he had 72%. Looking at the important decisions his final score was around 54%.

The bias score was 10 % mistakes in favour of Arsenal and 90% in favour of Stoke. Not really a home referee performance.

It wasn’t bad, at times good in the second half if only he would have acted against Arnautovic he would have had a good match I think.


25 Replies to “REF REVIEW Arsenal – Stoke”

  1. this guy used to be one of the better refs, not sure what is going on there. Heard an interview with Graham Poll on talksport an hour ago, talking mainly about M Oliver in last nights game and Costa’s stamps. But he also stated in no uncertain terms that in terms of orders from above, Mike Riley wants 22 players kept on the pitch at all reasonable costs.
    This might explain the lack of cards early on, early bookings increase the chances of red, which if Poll is correct might upset the boss. Seems some teams have got wise to this.
    Riley really must be removed, but sadly, he is probably only doing the bidding of other vested interests.
    Still, a comprehensive win against Stoke regardless of the ref, have a feeling the same will happen against Villa this weekend. This team are starting to take off.

  2. Not bad? Of course, by PGMO standards, not bad. There’s a strange reluctance not to punish thugish players in the Premier League. Arnautovic causes serious injury to Debuchy, nothing. Intention has nothing to do with it, I thought they got rid of the ‘intention’ criterion precisely because it was too difficult to accurately judge. Who cares if he meant it (even though he did)?

    And last night again, Costa stamps on Can and Skrtel. This must be the twentieth time this season Costa should have seen a straight red, and has escaped any sort of punishment. Remember when he tried to kick at a player with both feet for nudging him over?

    It disgusts me to see clear and blatant thuggery on a football field go completely unpunished by the PGMO and the FA. Everyone at home can clearly see from several replays when something like the Costa stamp or Arnautovic push happens, and the FA does eff all about it!

    Why do they allow assault on a football pitch? Why are they condoning the use of violence and force? Why are they telling the next generation of footballers that violence is acceptable? Nevermind footballers, why are they telling all viewers that might is right? Is this the Dark Ages?

    Seeing the word ‘Stoke’ just makes my blood boil. What on earth an actual footballer like Bojan is doing in that team, only God knows.

    Here are the Costa Stamps, for those who are interested.

    You can actually see in the second video that he tries to stamp on Skrtel twice, but misses his second one. I wish the hacks would stop singing his praise, and point out this unacceptable thuggery. Although, when have they ever pointed out Mourinho’s or Stoke’s thuggery.

    I’m fuming! Rant over. 😀

  3. The PGMO are an uncontrolled evil in football & will ruin the game. The games sporting ambition has been reduced to farce and its Laws abused by those entrusted with enforcing them. The FA have betrayed the game. What is left for supporters to do?

  4. So now it seems that Sky are doing ref reviews as well. Will be interesting to see how bias it looks next to a UA ref review when the time comes!

  5. Paulista, may you be fleet of foot, strong in the tackle, have nerves of steel, the constitution of an ox, the hide of a rhino and the strength of superman. If you have all these,and more. you may, just may be able to deal with what the cloggers, the cheats, pgmol/media/aaa will try and throw at you! But seriously, get a very good feeling about this signing, a gut feeling tho as I know very little about our newest player.
    Welcome Gabriel and good luck in Spain, JC.
    Paulista is very lucky in so many ways, not least, the FA have banned initiation ceremonies, so he will not have to sing in front of the whole squad like his new colleagues had to.

  6. Gabriel Paulista has already won me over with this comment from

    “I am arriving at a big club and the fans can expect to find a Gabriel with a great will to help everyone. Not just thinking of me as an individual, because to me that is not important. I care more about helping the team and my team-mates. I want to help everyone, so the fans can expect a Gabriel that on the field has a lot of will to be able to help the team win important things.”

    Looks like a great head on his shoulder and another signing that Wenger has found that emphasizes team over individual! Happy to hear players not focusing on themselves.

  7. Jeff Winter says Phil Dowd on made a single mistake when Middlesborough beat ManCity.

    Graham Poll has a go at Michael Oliver.

    I don’t know what to make of Poll’s comments on Costa, but Poll does come out and say that Oliver handled Jordan Henderson wrong.

    It would seem that Oliver is to be asked by the FA if he would like to ammend his report, before looking at whether retrospective action shall be taken against Costa.

    How can the referee amend his report? If he changes his report, he should be censured.

  8. Great to see Paulista sign. Smart move. Interesting that Campbell got a long term deal, Wenger clearly rates the lad.

    Olivier Giroud.
    This bloke must be one of the most maligned player on our books. There is a small, vociferous section of fans who insult him on a regualr basis. Strange way to support your club but then again these guys arent ‘supporters’ in the true sense. They are fair weather fans. Recently I have seen Welbeck being questioned. So I looked at some stats. Interesting:

    Players the AAA demanded Arsenal signed as our main striker:

    Benteke 16 games – 3 goals (1 in 5.3)
    Balotelli 19 games – 2 goals (1 in 9.5)
    Soldado 27 games – 4 goals (1 in 6.8)

    Total AAA = 62 GAMES – 9 GOALS

    Players Wenger signed as our main strikers:

    Giroud 15 games – 7 goals (1 in 2.1)
    Welbeck 29 games – 12 goals (1 in 2.4)
    Sanchez 32 games – 18 goals (1 in 1.8)

    Total AW: 76 GAMES – 37 GOALS

    This is a simple illustration but it is fairly enlightening because it means the Armchair experts don’t have a clue.

  9. If you are so concerned about the standards of refereeing in the Premier League take some actual positive action and become a referee. Or join your local football association. Get into the game, have a voice. Don’t just sit for hours watching replays to disagree with a decision. What is the purpose of the rant otherwise? Do you think the FA will see what you write here? I must also say that every one of these I read shows a massive bias and shift towards Arsenal. The ref is wrong, we are right most of the time and the remaining times, we agree with you anyway is how every article reads.

  10. Funny Dave-Davidson.
    I am a qualified ref and assistant referee for some 15 years now.
    I have done matches from youth level up to matches involving teams from the highest professional division in my country.

    So I did take action and became a referee. So maybe I do know what I am talking about for a tiny little bit.

  11. Michael Oliver is being slated for his performance last night. I note that this was just 48 hours or so after refereeing Arsenal on Sunday. Perhaps his dip was due to fatigue?

    Why on earth was he selected to do such a high pressure game so quickly?

    This is really quite an extraordinary decision! Only 3 refs did games on Sunday – what about all the others who did Saturday – or were rested?

  12. Walter-When did I say that you didn’t know what you were talking about? I have a difference of opinion regarding the futility or not of writing articles like this. Great if you are involved at that level, it should be applauded. I didn’t say that you didn’t know what you were talking about, I just disagreed with your decisions. I feel that there is a bias in your articles (naturally as an Arsenal fan) which changes (understandably) your view of match events.
    Va-cong – I fail to see how what I said was contradictory

  13. Also, how is a comment about two incidents of stamping by a Chelsea player on a Liverpool player indicative of a pro-Arsenal bias?

  14. @Dave-davidson,

    Other professional referees (that do not support Arsenal) have also volunteered which allowed for a an almost complete review of the 2012/13 season I believe it was. Which showed the clear bias against Arsenal as well. Their work can be found on this website and the referee decisions website.

  15. John- the article starts with a spreadsheet detailing decisions against (in the main) for Arsenal, decisions which the author feels should have been different on the whole. I fail to see how the author mentioning Diego Costa demonstrates that the author is not biased. That is a minor feature of the article, nothing more. It isn’t what the bulk of the article is about. I haven’t referenced the Chelsea match so I don’t understand the relevance of your comment.

    @Jerry, thanks, I’ll check them out.

  16. Walter, yet another excellent report.

    Unfortunately Moss was totally incompetent, luckily Arsenal were so superior to the Orcs that even with the incompetent Moss on the field it was a fine win, but, at a totally unnecessary cost – the assault on Debuchy.

    The Orcs should be made to pay Debuchy’s wages until his return.

    English football deserves better than Riley and his incompetents – they must go!

  17. Dave-davidson

    I think you need to look at that spreadsheet again. There is a column which has C or NC, which stands for the correct, or incorrect. Most of that column is showing that Walter was in agreement with what the referee called.

    There is usually no point in entertaining debate on what the referee did in a game that was perceived as being correct by the accessor. It does happen on occassion. Hence, the bulk of the prose accompanying the spreadsheet is devoted to discussion the points the accessor felt the referee was incorrect in. Sometimes a referee did not blow the whistle when perhaps they should have, which is a different kind of mistake that can be mentioned in the spreadsheet. The accessor is not trying to find mistakes in one direction, they are trying to find mistakes (period). If referees didn’t make mistakes, there would be little or no reason to review every game.

  18. Dave-Davidson – I’m not a referee nor do I intend becoming one. A food critic doesn’t have to be a cook.

    The simplicity of it all for me is that I have read the Laws of the Game & the associated instructions to referees and armed with that information I watch the team of my choice. I see bias, cheating, racism & a whole lot of poor execution of an officiating job that can be done reasonably well by an honest organisation. In my view the FA are inept & responsible for the whole ungodly mess. These organisations should be transparent, democratic & responsible for their actions to the paying public. The PGMO appointed/selected by the FA are an abysmal bunch who are past their ‘sell by’ date.

    I watch football to enjoy a game that is incredibly beautiful when played with skill & intricacy. It loses that beauty when officials allow brute force (outside of the Laws)to excel skill. It does not matter which team is playing. I support Arsenal & I accept better teams will win against us but I will not accept a badly officiated game (win or lose). As for doing something about the poor officiating, it is a joke trying to get honest sense from most of the parties involved in what was the sport.

    You only have to look at the BBC’s response to complaints about an idiotic set of statements made by Phil Neville. The term ‘tongue in cheek’ is used as an excuse for his ‘two footed’ jibe. It begs the question whose tongue in whose cheek & why at my expense!!

  19. Dave-Davidson

    “the article starts with a spreadsheet detailing decisions against (in the main) for Arsenal”


    “I think you need to look at that spreadsheet again. There is a column which has C or NC, which stands for the correct, or incorrect. Most of that column is showing that Walter was in agreement with what the referee called”.

    That’s what happens Gord. People come on here without anything to back themselves so just make things up to suit.

    The thing is when you point it out they just disappear.

    OH well, he’s probably down the pub with Tom.

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