Cup runs and refs: the facts and some thoughts

By Walter Broeckx

Let us have a look at our cup runs since Riley took over as h

Season Result Ref
2013/14 Won No Dean
2012/13 Lost to Blackburn Dean
2011/12 Lost at Sunderland Webb
2010/11 Lost at MU Foy
2009/10 Lost at Stoke Atkinson
2008/09 Lost semi v Chelsea Atkinson

League Cup

Season Result Ref
2013/14 Lost to Chelsea Dowd
2012/13 Lost at Bradford Dean
2011/12 Lost at Man C Probert
2010/11 Lost final v Birmingham Dean
2009/10 Lost at Man C Foy
2008/09 Lost at Burnley Marriner

So in other words :

The only win under Dean was against lower league was cup replay in 19/01/2011 at Leeds in FA cup. And he really did his best there to prevent it.

Against lower league teams played under Dean: 3 played in total.  We won 1 and lost 2.

Totals per ref

  • Dean: 3 cup exits
  • Foy:  2 cup exits always away as Foy is a home referee
  • Atkinson: 2 cup exits one away and one against his own club (Chelsea)
  • Webb: 1 cup exit away at his own club (MU)
  • Dowd: 1 cup exit against Chelsea
  • Probert: 1 cup exit at Man City and one attempt to murder us in the final last season
  • Marriner: 1 cup exit at Burnley with a very young team

Since Riley took over there have been 12 cup runs…

11 cup exits

  • 1 final lost under Dean
  • 1 semi final lost under Aktinson against Chelsea
  • 1 final won under Probert ‘I never give Arsenal a penalty’

From the 11 exits the venue was:

  • 2 at Wembley (final League cup under Dean and semi final FA cup)
  • 2  at the Emirates (Blackburn with Dean and Chelsea with Dowd)
  • 7  away

A few conclusions:

Dean is not just our bogey ref in league matches since Riley took over. He was also our bogey ref in cup competitions in that period.

Arsenal lost 3 times to lower league teams in cup competitions. One time under Marriner when we played a very young team at Burnley. And the other two times it was Dean at the whistle.

Dean usually is bad news for Arsenal. Both in league and cup competitions. Avoiding Dean brings you closer to winning a cup. But that is out of our hands of course.

Liverpool are one of the other favourites to win the cup together with Manchester United and Arsenal.  Dean doesn’t do Liverpool matches as he is considered to be a Liverpool supporter. A Liverpool exit on Saturday could be good news for Arsenal maybe? Liverpool going further might be bad news for Arsenal.

We as Arsenal supporters would love to see the other big teams crash out of the competition. Will this be any different for Liverpool supporters?  Once our favourite team goes out we turn our back to that competition and are not really that interested in who will win it. Would this be any different for Liverpool supporters?

Would you as an Arsenal supporter be impartial if you would be a ref in a match from Liverpool or Manchester United in the Fa cup now? Luckily this question never needs answering as from our numbers we couldn’t find a trace of any ref supporting Arsenal.

This season we had Dean against Manchester United and we lost thanks to an error the referee and his assistant from which United could score that all important first goal.

This season we had Dean at Manchester City and we won. He even gave us a penalty much to our surprise.

Is this the dawning of a new era or was it ‘a mistake’ from the ref?

Final conclusion:

It will be tough enough to beat Middlesbrough after they have shown their worth by winning at Manchester City so we could have done without Dean being the ref.

We will need to be at our best to beat the team that is standing first in the championship at the moment. It will be no walk over I think.

Untold Arsenal







13 Replies to “Cup runs and refs: the facts and some thoughts”

  1. Worrying trend. I’m afraid we will NOT be allowed to win back to back FA cups. Just looking at that link rantetta it just confirms my fears that our win last year was an “accident” which will not be allowed to happen again.

  2. Various times over the past few months (even before the Christmas games had been played out), I have heard several hacks and TV pundits already distributing prizes for the Premier league winners and the teams finishing in the other top four spots.

    For the top three, places I have heard the following two “prophecies” depending upon where Man City lay in the table of points scored.

    (a) “Chelsea will win the title” with the ” two Manchester teams” fighting it out for the 2nd and 3rd place; OR
    (b) Chelsea and Man City fighting for the title with Man Utd finishing 3rd.

    Hearing those predictions, I’ve always had a quite chuckle seeing nobody gave Arsenal chance to finish amonst the top 3 even as early as mid December given that most of our first team was out injured. The pundits always predicted Arsenal to battle it out with Liverpool, Spuds, Southampton (deservedly) and even West Ham, with the more generous amongst them predicting Arsenal to finish fourth “because thats what Arsenal always do”.

    Personally, I always fancied Arsenal to finish in top 3 and with some luck even pip Man City to finish 2nd once our injured players returned. Admittedly our form has not been as good as I would’ve hoped however things are tighter than what the hacks/pundits would have us believe. If Arsenal had won at shite-hard lane, we would’ve been on 3rd place already!

    But what is most encouraging for me is how the fixtures list looks like until the end of the season when you consider the pending encounters each contenders for the 3rd and 4th places have with the other contenders (assuming Chelsea and City occupy top two):

    1) Arsenal: play Chelsea & Liverpool at home and Man Utd away (2 home and 1 away)
    2) Tottenham: play Man City at home and Man Utd and Southampton away. (1 home and 2 away)
    3) Southampton: play Liverpool and Tottenham at home and Chelsea and Man City away
    4) Man Utd: play Tottenham, Man City and Arsenal at home and Liverpool and Chelsea away (3 home and 2 away)
    5) Liverpool: play Man City and Man Utd at home and Southampton, Chelsea and Arsenal away (2 home and 3 away)

    Nobody can ofcourse predict the actual results with any great certainty. But my personal opinion is Arsenal have the easist of run-ins, solely going on the number of games to be played with other top 4 contenders and assuming a home game is more favourable than an away game. I therefore think that Liverpool has no chance in getting in the top four. Moreover, I fancy Man Utd would drop out of the top four with Arsenal taking their place (hopefully at No 3) along with Southampton (deservedly) or the Tiny Totts at 4th place.

  3. @Sam,
    I fail to disagree with your cheery reasoning about how we are likely to proceed against our nearest rivals in the EPL run-in.
    Unfortunately, I have followed Arsenal for so long that it’s the lowly clubs that have always caused us the most grief.
    Historically, Arsenal are famed for clutching defeats from the jaws of victory…..usually at home, against a bottom club and where we are guaranteed a win.
    I still hope your forecast is right though. 😉

  4. It would seem that within the designated “elite” group of PGMO referees there is a mini group that specialize in successfully screwing us, as indicated by the data above.

    The same mini group have also been successful in screwing us in the league – but the cup results really make their antics transparent.

  5. On the topic of artifical pitches. Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada is nominally the size of the Emirates, and is to be used for the Women’s World Cup. It used to have natural grass, it has had artifical turf for a while.

    Apparently, not enough of the white paint for gridiron football play comes off the turf, so for the World Cup the turf is being ripped out and replaced with new turf. The cost is $800,000 (CDN). There is no prep work for this as far as I know, rip out old, install new.

    So, when that USA outfit says $320,000 (USA) for a field, what is it you are buying?

    Compared to the plans to do 153 3G pitches in England, does this one-time cost make sense for the estimated 1 million pounds Stirling per pitch?

  6. The current batch of PGMO opponent midfielders do a simple job. They ‘weaken’ opposition by awarding yellow cards early in the match. They then go on to ‘balance’ the cards by late cards to their own side. The effect is the favoured team has the advantage of a team afraid of being reduced by second yellows. The favoured team can also then go on to kick seven bells out of their opponent without any more than a conversation.

    How the EPL is run.

  7. Menance……………..How many times do we see this tactic used against the Arsenal….I have to agree.

  8. Menace
    True. That is the type of cheating we see daily, that some of our fellow fans struggle to see. It’s no longer a case of being denied a blatant penalty, genuine goal ruled offside or a red card that these cheats use as that is so obvious (although they have been forced to use that too lately as we have been too good for the opposition).

  9. It looks like Ivanvic is going to get away with headbutting and choking an opponent, because the referee saw it. If that is the case, the referee should be sanctioned, and not be eligible for games for 3 consecutive EPL game days starting with the next one. Because allowing that kind of conduct is not what referees are supposed to be doing.

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