Ref for this match was Kevin Friend
The match started with a few decisions going against Arsenal early on. Coquelin was called back for offside when he was clearly onside. Arsenal should have got a corner but instead QPR got a free kick. Zamora then put an arm in the face of Gibbs and again the ref let it go. And to round up a disastrous opening 10 minutes for the ref he gave a goal kick when Gibbs had clearly kicked the ball against a defender and it should have been a corner. So that is two corners not given to Arsenal in the first 10 minutes.
The ref continued in this way opting to penalise Özil when he and Yun went for a high ball and bumped in to each other. Austin falling over a blade of grass but getting a free kick, Zamora pushing Gibbs and being rewarded with a corner. Disastrous 10 minutes I said? Just say half an hour.
He then gave a foul against Henry and suddenly booked him. Now I don’t like Henry at all but this booking was very harsh. It was a foul and then just two players tangling up a bit when falling over. Not a booking for me. And the same can be said about the yellow card from Bellerin. You could see that it was a bit of compensation for the booking of Henry two minutes earlier.
When two QPR defenders clashed heads one stayed on the ground with a head injury. The ref stopped the play and that was inconvenient for Arsenal who was still attacking but well within the laws of the game and the instructions. In case of a head injury you should stop the match immediately.
First half score overall was 61% and if we put weight on the decisions we get a score of 55%. Only looking at the important decisions we get a score of only 25%. So not that good at all. Will it improve in the second half?
Well not based on the first decision he had to make. An Arsenal attack on the right flank ends with a cross to the middle of the QPR goal. Özil is running towards the goal and only has to push the ball over the line. But Henry who is behind him drags him back by the arm and shirt and Özil loses his balance and completely misses his free shot at goal. A clear penalty and as Özil was going to have a free shot at goal from only 3 or 4 meters out it was a clear goal scoring opportunity. So the only solution would have been a penalty and a red card. The ref gave nothing.
Getting that decision right might have made it a lot easier for Arsenal but now they had to keep on working hard to get the goals.
But to be fair to the ref after that he upped his game. As did Arsenal in a way and suddenly he got the calls correct and Arsenal was suddenly playing fluent football. Leading to two goals that both were correct looking at the laws of the game.
The first noticeable mistake the ref made in the second half was when Giroud used too much arm against Krancjar and the ref ignored it. But at that time we were already 72 minutes underway in the match.
And all his decisions after that could be counted as correct. Yun getting a yellow card for bringing Rosicky down in a very cynical way and possibly stopping a counter for Arsenal was spot on.
So despite him not giving the most important penalty/red card the ref got an overall score of 85% in the second half. His mistake cost him when we put weight on the decisions and then it drops to a still respectable (PGMO ref standard) of 77%. If we look at the important decisions only he managed a score of 66.67% in the second half.
Looking at the whole 90 minutes the score was just under 74%. Putting weight on the decisions his score drops to just under 69%.
Looking at the important decisions over the whole match he gets a score of 50%.
So again another big miss from the ref when it comes to judging a foul against an Arsenal player in the penalty area.
But after a very bad and one sided first half he gradually became better in the second half and then he could even be said he was excellent (apart from that big miss in the opening minute of the second half).
The bias numbers were 80% of the wrong decisions going against Arsenal and 20% going against QPR. Certainly in the first half he did make a lot of mistakes and all against Arsenal.
About the big miss once again it could have been prevented if the use of video technology would have been allowed. But realising it was Probert as the 4th ref in this match and as he even waved away 4 clear penalties in the cup final he probably would have missed that as well.
Not brilliant at all because of the penalty/red card incident but we have seen worse this season.
6 Replies to “Ref Review : QPR – Arsenal”
Kevin Friend used to be one of the better refs. Shame to see this kind of potential going to waste. Shame PGMOB.
Compare also Friend stopping the match for the head injury (= correct decision) to Jones at Newcastle who didn’t stop the match when Coquelin got his nose smashed again from an arm and was lying on the floor bleeding. Jones let the match continue as Newcastle was attacking our goal at the time. Shame on you Mr. Jones.
Of maybe in the PGMO version of the laws of the game it is written : you must stop the match immediately in case of a possible head injury except when the injured player is an Arsenal player.
Interesting to see Keith Hackett’s criticism of lack of leadership at PGMOL and his comments about the abandonment of the former system of referee assessors. Also, he stated that some of the senior refs are past it and should retire (accompanied by a picture of Dowd) and that most of the younger refs are not of a good standard.(seemed to exonerate Oliver).
Whilst the debate has not yet reached the level and focus promoted by UA over the years, it may be encouraging that it is taking place at all. Hitherto, no criticism whatsoever of PGMOL would be heard in the media.
This inconsistency from Kevin Friend is puzzling. To be so poor in the first half and so much better in the second is strange. If anything you would expect more mistakes in the second half due to flagging concentration.
Does it indicate a conflict of thinking early on due to the overriding need not to favour Arsenal? Certainly this number of mistakes is unacceptable.
And the non-penalty is a blatant error, though the commentators at the time at first mocked Ozil for the miss – they had to change their tune after the replay.
The penalty foul on Özil is a clear example on how video assistance could bring better decisions
Good point, Walter.