Newcastle v Arsenal 29 August 2015 – The Match Officials
by Andrew Crawshaw
Towards the end of last season Tony and a few others here at Untold were saying that they had detected a change in the way our games were being officiated, with fewer rotten decisions being given against Arsenal. At the time I countered that I couldn’t see evidence of that in the numbers in the Referee reviews.
What I thought was happening was that we were playing well enough for the bad decisions not to show in the final score. Poor refereeing has a far bigger impact on the outcome of a game when the team isn’t playing at ‘full throttle” and with maximum confidence and that is where we are at the moment.
After the first three games this year we have had one win (which would have been far more comfortable had either or both of the non-awarded penalties been given). One draw which should have been a win had Aaron Ramsey’s perfectly good goal been allowed to stand or Giroud awarded his penalty. One loss was against West Ham who should have had Tomkins sent off in the 37th minute and Noble in the 62nd minute and their first goal came from a ‘Phantom’ foul awarded in a dangerous position.
I am quite sure that those decisions cost us at least a draw and probably the win as I would always fancy us to score goals against 9 men.
On to Saturday and we have the early kick-off, not traditionally our most favoured kick-off time.
- Referee – Andre Marriner
- Assistants – D Cann and M Perry
- Fourth Official – A Taylor
Andre Marriner is 44 years old and one of the most experienced of the PGMO referees having officiated in the top flight since 2004. To date he has been in charge of 204 matches issuing 42 red and 672 yellow cards. He is also FIFA Accredited (although how given his competence ratings it is hard to see).
Last season Mr Marriner was just outside the relegation zone in terms of (in)competence
A Score of 70% is the barest minimum we should expect from any referee, it means that 3 in every 10 decisions was wrong – not good in anyone’s books! NB the figures above are the raw numbers for all decisions with no account made for their importance
To put some detail on the figures above, last season we had him in charge for two League games, both at home
REF REVIEW Arsenal – Southampton
A truly awful weighted performance of 59%, bias against the two teams 77/23 and two not given penalties to Arsenal In minute 87 a Southampton player punched the ball away (luckily Aaron was on hand to score from the rebound) and in Min 90+2 Alexis was fouled in the penalty area with nothing given). A one-nil win for Arsenal so the poor decision making didn’t affect the final score.
Ref Review : Arsenal – Everton: a first half to cherish.
Slightly better with 69% overall similar bias of 75/25 In the first half he missed one foul from Coquelin and that was it – perfect for everything else. Someone must have reminded him of his duties at half time or else he ralaxed too much as he was piss-poor at the start of the second half. A familiar feature of a not given penalty in Minute53 when Jagielka handled the ball. A two-nil win for Arsenal so again the poor decision making didn’t affect the final score.
Looking back to 2013/14 we had Mr Marriner on three occasions. There are no formal referee reviews but here are links to Walter’s post-game posts:-
Arsenal – Hull 2-0, may I present to you : the machine
A totally dominant Arsenal performance but too many missed chances so only a two goal win. It could easily have been five or six. We should have had a penalty when Ramsey was caught on the ankle and Özil in particular had the shit kicked out of him without anything being called a foul.
Soft free kicks given to Hull but nothing for Arsenal – typical refereeing of an Arsenal game in fact.
Arsenal – Sunderland, a view from the North Bank
A thumping 4 – 1 home victory. No mention of the referee so I assume that he had a good game (I was there and can’t recall anything terrible). Mind you we were so dominant that there was little that Sunderland could do, we were great, Sunderland weren’t and the game was over by half time.
Errors and mistakes for free by players and referees Chelsea v Arsenal (6 – 0)
If we were great against Sunderland we were truly awful in this game Arsène’s 1000th. Two terrible mistakes early on when firstly the OX and then Santi lost the ball and we were 2 goals down. Marriner then got in on the act letting a foul go on Arteta so that Chelsea could break and the OX deliberately handled the ball. After that a complete Keystone Cops comedy by the officials. A penalty was duly and properly given. Then for some reason Gibbs gets shown a red card. Gibbs was nowhere near the incident and as the ball wasn’t going to be a goal it shouldn’t have been a red card anyway. However this was the PGMO and Gibbs was sent off (the decision was rescinded on appeal later in the week as was the transferred red card for the OX but on the day we had to play the rest of the game with 10 men. That Chelsea scored again and again was no real surprise.
2012-13 Going back one further year saw another two games under Mr Marriner
Match Review: Andre Marriner – Arsenal Vs West Ham United (5 – 1) [23/01/2013]
67% Weighted performance, bias against the two teams 69/31 and one wrong Important Decision (second yellow cards, red cards, penalties or goals) when in Minute 41 Vaz Te should have been booked for dissent to add to his first (non given) yellow card when he kicked Mertesacker on the achilles after the ball had gone out of play. One all at half time but a stunning start to the second half by Arsenal saw four goals in the first 10 minutes of the second half blew West Ham away. The play was stopped for a long time in Minute 71 when Potts and Sagna collided and after a very long time Potts was carried off.
Neither team showed any interest in the game after that.
Match Review: Andre Marriner – Fulham Vs Arsenal (0 – 1) [20/04/2013]
75% Overall weighted score, bias against the two teams 15/85 and no wrong Important Decisions.
A game marked by dreadful weather (rain in almost biblical quantities) and two red cards. Sidwell being given marching orders in Minute 11 for a truly dreadful tackle that left Mr Marriner no choice. Arsenal scored the only goal courtesy of Mertesacker in Minute 42.
The ref got his wires crossed in Minute 51 when he booked Arteta after a blatant dive by Emanuelson. Giroud was also sent off in Minute 89 when he clearly slipped and caught a Fulham player. The decision was right but in this instance there was no intent as there had been with Sidwell in the first half.
1. We must hope that he has ‘mugged up’ on the players of both teams, we don’t want any repeats of mistaken identity.
2. The fourth official on that day against Chelsea was Anthony Taylor as it will be on Saturday. He is the official who I fear most of all and seems to have an almost pathological hatred of Arsenal (particularly when we play Chelsea but also against other opponents). If he can get involved to hurt us he will.
3. Andre Marriner is most unlikely to give us a penalty he has erred four times in the last seven games – no change there from the normal PGMO stance.
4. Look out for him ‘buying’ a dive from Arsenal’s opponents and card an Arsenal player.
5. Again, standard fare (and a bit boring), look out for ‘phantom ‘ fouls either to give Newcastle an opportunity to punt the ball into our box or to allow them time to regroup if we are on the attack.
6. Lastly and again same as always, Newcastle players are likely to be allowed far more leeway in challenges as Arsenal and Özil and Alexis in particular are likely to receive some old fashioned “tasty” challenges quite out of keeping with how the rules say the game should be played these days.
COYG – a quick start needed.
From the anniversary files…
- 28 August 2011: Arsenal lost 2-8 to Man U. See also: Ref Review Taking Stock. Arsenal’s goals came from Walcott and Van Persie, and the first Man U goal from Welbeck. It took Arsenal until October to recover when a run of seven wins and a draw in eight games restored the team’s self-belief.
- 28 August 2015: Manuel Almunia forced to retire from football due to a heart condition. He had just signed for Cagliari Calcio but was unable to play for them. He played 405 games for all his clubs in all competitions.
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