Ref Review Tottenham – Arsenal

In case you have not come across this series before, we have reviewed hundreds of matches over the past few years – both matches involving Arsenal and those not.  At the end of the seasons we’ve also compared the way referees have handled different teams.

Ref for this match was Martin Atkinson

Tottenham Arsenal

A few interesting talking points in this match and to start with a big one : the Arsenal goal.

I can’t remember having to deal with such a close offside decision ever in our reviewing history. But when the line was shown on tv you could see that Özil was offside with half a foot. Now I must say that the line was based on the feet of the Tottenham defender so there could have been another body part of that defender that played Özil onside. But based on the evidence Özil was offside and so the assistant should have raised his flag.

So I will say it was not a correct goal. However if I had been the assistant I also wouldn’t have given it as offside. Because in case of doubt you have to give the advantage to the attacker. And if ever there was a case of doubt this was it. But based on video review the goal could and should have been cancelled.

The next important decision was to not card Mason for a scissor tackle on Özil. Ref Atkinson not being able to detect serious fouls….now where did we hear that story again in the last days? Clamping your legs around an opponent is always dangerous for injuries so no excuses for missing the yellow card.

Arsenal had two penalty appeals for handball. I turned them down on both occasions. The first one was when the ball bounced between an Arsenal player and a Tottenham defender. Both players standing very close to each other at a throw and it was more the ball rolling down from shoulder height and then bouncing from chest to chest and some arm contact. The other one was when Mason tried to clear a ball and kicked it against his own arm. No problem with the non-decision of the ref on both occasions.

Bentaleb with a kick in the stomach of Ramsey and again the ref kept the yellow card in his pocket. But of course when Arsenal players even don’t commit fouls but other players go down in a spectacular way the cards come out for Monreal and Welbeck.  So next time you play with Atkinson make sure that the tumble is spectacular if you want other players to be booked.

Let us move on to the second half. And again Atkinson showing himself as incapable of spotting dangerous and this time reckless challenges.  Rose planted his studs on the Achilles of Giroud without the ref even calling a foul. That was an ankle breaker. Rose should have been sent off for that. You don’t plant your studs on a player like that.

Next thing missed was Dembele making a deliberate foul on Ramsey who wanted to start chasing another Tottenham player. Dembele was watching the run of Ramsey and made sure he obstructed him. Monreal tried to get out of the way in the first half and got a yellow, Dembele got nothing not even a foul and he was making a deliberate off the ball foul. Oh the ref saw it and even signalled advantage for Tottenham…. strange.

Lamele handling the ball and Atkinson not seeing it, then stopping play as the arm also touched Monreal in the face for a possible head wound and then restarting the match with a dropped ball. How many fouls do you have to see before you give a foul Mr. Atkinson?

Then Mason stopped a quickly taken free kick by sticking out his leg and hit the ball. He got a yellow card for that but it should have been his second after his scissor tackle on Özil in the first half. We are in minute 78 with a score of 1-1 at that moment. So either Mason would not have done it and Arsenal could have gone on to have a possible goal chance or he would have been sent off. Could have made a difference.

Next missed call was when Giroud was pulled back but nothing was given, Giroud then went in late and got a yellow card. If the ref had given the first foul the second one and the card would not have been given. Rose finally getting a yellow card in the dying seconds when he should have been off the field already.

The first half score with a total score of 60% and when we put weight on the decisions the score goes to 61%. Only looking at the important decisions the score goes down to 50%.

In the second half the overall score was 62,50% and when we put weight on the decisions the score was 60%. Looking at the important decisions the score was 58%.

The total score over 90 minutes was 61,54% and when we put weight on the decisions the score was 60,76%. On the important decisions the final score was 55%.

So not really a great score. In fact another low score. Another unacceptable score.

21 wrong decisions in 90 minutes was the final count. Too much to be acceptable. 12 normal wrong decisions and 9 important decisions where we had to put weight on the decisions.

The bias score was typical for Atkinson in an Arsenal match with a bias of 90% against Arsenal.  But he made one important error in favour of Arsenal, or better said his assistant. But far too lenient with some dangerous and one reckless challenge. But that is the norm these days at the PGMO it seems.

Anniversary of the day:

  • 26 February 1983: Pat Jennings became first player to play 1000 first class games in a 0-0 away draw with West Bromwich Albion.

Untold Arsenal



17 Replies to “Ref Review Tottenham – Arsenal”

  1. What a load of ######ks
    You goons are never happy. You lost because you just weren’t good enough, even with a non goal allowed.
    If you want to see bias, take a look at the fixture list year after year. Favours all the way.
    Not to mention half your team should be in scuba gear.

  2. @ Bazza. You obviously are pleased to see Arsenal lose. But to expect everybody to join you is crazy. Well, it takes crazy people to hate this club the way your type does.

    When referees have raised incompetence and bias to an art form, it takes your sort to validate it. Use your power of choice your way, but please dont tell other people how to use theirs.

  3. A fair report Walter. Once again Atkinson showed he is totally incompetent and the fact that he let the Spuds away with so many thug type fouls tilted the game.

    The Spuds started the match at a fantastic pace (almost as if fueled by something other than proteins, carbs etc) & I thought they would eventually run out of steam, that they didn’t could well have been due to the many wrong decisions in their favor esp in the second half. With so many permitted fouls we couldn’t get the time to create the second goal & put the Spuds away.

    Basically, to be consistent we need to be able to beat 12 men in every match.

    Someone suggested on an earlier thread that one part solution to the PGMO problem would be to pay the refs more, possibly much more. I can understand this argument – but – until the refs do their job competently they do not even deserve whatever they are paid now!

  4. Dreadful performance by Atkinson. At the time it was the unpunished scissor attack by Mason on Ozil that shocked me most. So dangerous.

  5. Bazza……….three questions:

    1)What is a spud doing on this website….are you lonely down in North London?

    2)What are you going to do now that you have to talk to your wife on Thursdays?

    3)Finally, the League Cup……?

  6. Walter,
    Sometimes, you are guilty of the bias that you accuse referees of, game after game. Viewing the game from an ‘Arsenal perspective’ isn’t really objective after all.
    Take the Monreal card, for example. Substitute Monreal, Cazorla and Walker for Shawcross, Adams and Sanchez- ‘throws himself to the ground’ can very easily turn into ‘hacked to the ground’. It certainly wasn’t a card but was it a foul?- probably.
    Remember the Ospina rush on Kane when he had no chance of getting the ball (I forget the exact minute the incident occurred)? That would have been a contentious decision- one that you may have viewed differently had the roles been reversed?
    Danny Rose certainly exaggerated the impact of Welbeck’s foul, but wasn’t Welbeck trying to stop a Spurs counter? Didn’t that deserve a yellow regardless of the way Rose fell? What of Welbeck’s push on Rose minutes into the second half? A second yellow?
    Mason got a yellow for preventing a quick free kick and certainly deserved a yellow for that kick on Ozil earlier but consider this- would he have acted similarly with a yellow, considering that there wasn’t much of a chance in it anyway? Was that an offence worthy of a second yellow? Penalising the ref’s score on the first non-yellow (that should have been a yellow) was correct, but applying the same logic retrospectively after the actual yellow is absurd.

    I am no referee expert but you can probably guess which way a hypothetical ‘Untold Spurs’ would have swung in all those cases. And that is the problem with decisions that refs have to make- they are an objectivist’s nightmare! There have been several games that refs have cost us because of their incompetence- this certainly wasn’t one of them.

    I certainly think that these referee reviews are an important counter to the nonsense spouted by PGMOL but with the heavy Arsenal bias, this is just going to end up on the other end of the spectrum. The extremes are fun to read but surely, only a balanced view can provoke action?

  7. Couple of things that I missed out (and can say with more certainty)
    1.) Rose certainly should have been sent off for the stamp on Giroud.
    2.) Dembele’s ‘foul’ on Ramsey (minute 65) was nothing like Monreal on Walker. If anything should have been given, it was Welbeck ON Dembele shortly after.

  8. The chicken perched on the ball died of bird flu ages ago. Somebody please give Atkinson some chicken pizza. Despite the victory, spuds always have to look up at the Arse.

  9. Hrishi,
    A player passing between two players with neither of them making movement towards that player (Monreal even tried to get himself out of the way and was with his back to Walker) and then going down with no contact is throwing himself to the ground. The only thing you could say is that it might have been an obstruction but in that case you have to move yourself in to the line of the player and both Monreal and Cazorla didn’t do that.
    Isn’t the Ospina incident in the list? then I must check the spreadsheet again. According to the strict interpretations of the laws it is a foul but for some strange reason it is never given. If a defender would jump in to an attacker it will be given. But not a keeper. Nowhere in the world. Only if keepers come in with their studs showing in a dangerous way a ref might call it. And even then. In the courses I have given they told us to take the stance that keepers will go for the ball and not for the man in such cases.

    Welbeck was NOT stopping a counter from Spurs. The foul was 10 meters in the Arsenal half with the whole Arsenal defence being in place. Bellerin was where the ball went too after Rose played it to Eriksen (I think) so it was not a counter. A second yellow card for a push? Are you suggesting that refs should give a yellow card for each push then?

    Mason second yellow or not. Well you see that is just the whole point of how referees influence the game by their seemingly not important decisions. First thing is deliberately stopping a quick free kick by sticking out a leg is a mandatory yellow card. So if Mason would have gotten his deserved first yellow card he would have been stupid to act like he did. But now he knew he was save and so he benefited more than once from the way the bad referee gave him a free pass for scissoring down Özil.
    1. benefit: he could keep on kicking after his first foul on Özil
    2. benefit: he could stop the quick free kick without the fear of being send off
    3. benefit: Arsenal was stopped from taking a quick free kick and might have gone on to a scoring chance
    4. benefit: Spuds not going down to 10 men with 12 minutes to play and with the score at 1-1

    So if he had been on a yellow he probably wouldn’t have done the stopping but then Arsenal might have got a scoring chance from the quick free kick.

  10. Walter,
    Can you please explain how the offside law which states ‘level’ can be interpreted as ‘offside’ when a players foot or arm or head is past any part of the body of a defender. Is not the intention of this phrasing to give advantage to the attacking team ? This interpretation, (not just by you), continually confuses me.

  11. AllanC,

    As I said in the text I gave it as an offside because I didn’t want to be accused of being biased? 😉 Oops they did already 😉

    Strictly any body part that you can score with is to be counted. So the only body part that doesn’t really matter is the arms. Because you are not allowed to score with that part of the body.

    So Özil being half a foot offside was offside.

    However the instructions are clear that in case of doubt you should give the advantage to the attacker. So the assistant will not have been given bad points for his decision not to flag. Because humanly spoken the worst case that he could have doubted and thus you don’t have to flag the offside.

    So I could have easily said it was a valid goal (because of the laws and the instructions) but I chose to be very strict for bias reasons.

  12. The arm/hand only scores if you are Maradona or Messi. How FIFA/EUFA/FA do not ban players who cheat is only reflected in bank accounts. Officials who cheat seem to prosper as these associations promote them.

  13. Walter,
    Thank you for your reply regarding body parts and offside. I accept what you are saying. However, my view is that as it is so very difficult for the linesman (sorry referee’s assistant) to judge when it is only a part of the body being in an ‘offside’ position, surely he has to give the advantage to the attacker every time. I get annoyed when during TV coverage, pundits with the help of white lines drawn across a still picture say, that an offside decision is warranted because the attacker’s toe is offside. Surely this is against the spirit of the law. Is not the position of the torso a better yardstick. This is easier to judge from the linesman’s viewpoint and also more in line with the spirit of the law.
    Is the ‘body part’ view how referee’s are advised to interpret the law ?

  14. The review says it all. Atkinson should not be a referee at this level, he even let his favoured Chelsea down recently.
    God knows, arsenal,make enough of our own mistakes lately, especially at the end of games but not helped by referees like this.
    Some referees embarrass the premier league, and that takes some doing.
    This ref had a clear agenda, and it was not in our favour. A bit of type 3 I think with the most corrupted ref going.

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