Crystal Palace v Arsenal 21 February 2015 – The (right) Match Officials

Editorial note: Sincere apologies for yesterday’s posting of the referee preview with the wrong officials.  So many thinks coincided to make that go wrong and not be sorted that it would take the whole article to explain it.  But we’re now back and Bulldog’s preview of the game will, hopefully, follow anon…  Tony

Crystal Palace v Arsenal 21 February 2015 – The Match Officials


by Andrew Crawshaw

Firstly the table of Shame – I haven’t seen Walter’s reviews of the Spurs or Leicester games so it is unchanged since last time.  It still makes sorry reading, nearly eight times as many potential game changing decisions against us as for us, and occurring at a rate of two a game.

Wrong Important Decisions Favouring Arsenal Favouring Opponents
2nd Yellow Cards 0 14
Red Cards 3 13
Penalties 3 14
Goals 0 6
Total 6 47
Possible Cost in Points 2 23

On to Saturday and we have

  • Referee – Mark Clattenberg
  • Assistants – S Beck and I Hussin
  • Fourth Official – A Madley


So it’s Mark Clattenberg this weekend not Martin Atkinson who is doing the Chelsea game (the line below on my spreadsheet – Three points for Chelsea in that game banker).

Only the second time this year for Clattenberg, who is one of the referees who have had a relatively light load so far this year.  This will be his 15th game.  Mr Beck has done every game with him but the first time Mr Hussin will have partnered him.

Ref Review : Arsenal – Man City

71% overall weighting so just about adequate and bias against the two teams of 73/27 (poor but in fact this was the most evenly refereed game in the first half of the season – that’s how bad the overall refereeing has been!).  There were two wrong Important Decisions (second yellow, red cards, penalties and goals), one favouring each team so in the points row of the table of shame there is 1 point favouring Arsenal and 2 points favouring our opponents.  In Minute 45 Milner should have been sent off for a second yellow card and in Minute 76 a penalty should have been awarded against Wilshere for handball.


Two games both wins for Arsenal

Swansea v Arsenal 28 September (two one to the Arsenal)

Arsenal v Southampton 23 November (two nil win to the Arsenal)


Again two games

Match Review: Mark Clattenburg – Arsenal Vs Swansea City (0 – 2) [01/12/2012]

My recollection was that we got what we deserved from the game, Swansea were very good that day we weren’t.  72% overall performance, bias against both teams 93/7 but no wrong Important Decisions


Match Review: Mark Clattenburg – Tottenham Hotspur Vs Arsenal (2 – 1) [03/03/2013]

85% overall, bias against both teams 15/85 and again no wrong Important Decisions.  85% is a good score – I would be delighted with that on a regular basis and the bias score may be skewed by being bases of far fewer errors than we are used to.

In Summary

I don’t think we have anything in particular to fear from Mr Clattenberg.  He doesn’t normally get many important decisions wrong in our games.  Yes he makes errors but I’m far more inclined to accept that they are genuine mistakesrathre than a pre-planned agenda.

10 Replies to “Crystal Palace v Arsenal 21 February 2015 – The (right) Match Officials”

  1. I think Clattenburgh is one of the most partial refs in England, although i have often thought that he has an expression of terrible pressure on his face. Maybe its just because he has a face like a slapped arse.

    I made a comment on your ‘possible points cost’ column being simplistic and misleading. I think you should put an asterix beside it and add below

    *based on the assumption that nothing else would change had the first important decision been made correctly in our view

  2. Think he can be a very good ref, but worry a bit about him for this game. The reason, he has had a couple run ins,with his bosses,this,year, notably for perceived flaws in letting Leicester score five todefeat his bosses team. He may be under manners, on some sort of probation. Which , if he wants to move onwards and upwards will mean more of the same today I fear.
    I expect a bit of an assault from a physical,team, with the usual cards for our players if they retaliate, tackle or even jump in the air near a palace player.
    Another game, like most away games….and even now, some home games where ours will have to tread carefully, but we have the quality to beat this team

  3. Andrew,
    When can we expect a pre-match report forecasting a referee infested with honesty, competence and integrity?
    Does one actually exist?

  4. nicky,

    I’ll repeat my last year’s Christmas wish, which apparently didn’t come true: Mike Riley to disappear. I’m afraid nothing short of that will do (and even so we can’t possibly be sure).

    But apart from that, I can’t help noticing that a referee that has demonstrated competence and ability to handle much bigger games is sent to a game involving a team that’s still fighting for survival. And this a few days after he refereed a CL quarter-final. To me this looks like a game that is so unbalanced it’s not worth wasting a con ref on it. One could suspect the one whose name shall not be written twice in the same post is capable of such perversity.

  5. Nicky,
    When the numbers show that such a paragon of a referee exists, will be the time I, or my successor, will trumpet it fom the rooftops. At the moment I would expect the event to be widely heralded by a herd of flying four legged porcines with whirling curly tails. To date I have heard no credible reports of such creatures.

  6. I’m not normally phased by having Clattenberg reffing our games, but you never know what pressure he is under from the evil goblin Riley. Correctly admonished for having poor taste in music, I always feel he is resisting the force of the North West. If Riley could pin something else on him, he’d be in the Championship for sure. I’m hoping he can shut out the raucous Palace crowd and just do his job fairly.

  7. I just ran across a Burnley website, doing a referee preview. And they haven’t a clue about Atkinson and Chelsea. They just expect that between the two sides, there may be more yellows than average.

  8. Yes, I noticed that. I wonder what happened there? I know Moaninho will have his version, but I wonder what the real story is.

Comments are closed.