Arsenal v Stoke 12 September 2015 – The Match Officials

Arsenal v Stoke 12 September 2015 – The Match Officials


by Andrew Crawshaw

Before I start on the referee review for Saturday, here is a return for the Referee’s Table of Shame which I introduced last year.  Regular readers will be aware that we publish a full review of the referee’s performance after each game.  Here are links to all four so far this season :-

The most detailed Referee Reviews in the history of football: Crystal Palace – Arsenal
Ref Review: Arsenal – Liverpool
Ref Review : Newcastle – Arsenal

From these reviews I extract all of the wrong Important Decisions (Second yellow cards, Red Cards, Penalties and Goals) into a table with those favouring Arsenal in one column and against in a second.  For fun I also include a points cost figure indicating how I perceive the decisions may have hurt (or benefitted) Arsenal.

Table of Shame

Wrong Important Decisions Favouring Arsenal Favouring Opponents
2nd Yellow Cards 0 4
Red Cards 0 0
Penalties 0 4
Goals 0 2
Total 0 10
Possible Cost in Points 0 3


In the four games played we are averaging 2.5 wrong Important Decision per game, less than last year but significant nevertheless.  On top form these decisions don’t affect us too much but they make a big difference when we are not at the top of our game.  The points cost is made up of 1 from the West Ham game, where 2 West Ham players should have been sent off and their first goal was directly as a result of an incorrectly awarded free kick and 2 points from the Liverpool game where we had a perfectly good goal ruled out for offside and weren’t awarded a penalty.

On to Saturday and the visit from Stoke

  • Referee – Jonathan Moss
  • Assistant Referees – H Lennard and A Holmes
  • Fourth Official – J Linnington

Mr Moss is well known to us, his most recent games being last year’s Cup Final and at the Emirates Cup.

2014-14 We had him twice in the league last season, both times at the Emirates

In the overall table of referee results from last year taking the total number of decisions made (without ant allowance for importance) Mr Moss came second out of 14 so pretty good overall but do the unweighted numbers hide the truth?

Referee Correct total Wrong total
Lee Mason 86.44% 13.56%
Moss 83.17% 16.83%
Pawson 80.82% 19.18%
Clattenberg 78.85% 21.15%
Oliver 78.18% 21.82%
Dowd 73.44% 26.56%
Taylor 72.88% 27.12%
Friend 70.59% 29.41%
Marriner 70.42% 29.58%
Jones 70.00% 30.00%
East 67.92% 32.08%
Dean 67.37% 32.63%
Atkinson 66.47% 33.53%


The Untold Referee review: Arsenal – Crystal Palace

81% Overall performance (weighted), bias against both teams 100/0 so every bad decision in favour of Palace with Chamach seemingly allowed to do anything he wanted.  There were 3 wrong Important Decisions – Chamach should have been dismissed in Min 64 for persistent fouling and we should have had 2 penalties (Min8 Ramsey pushed and Min72 when Hangerland pulled Giroud down by the neck.

REF REVIEW Arsenal – Stoke

72% Overall performance (weighted), bias 90/10.  2 wrong Important Decisions – Min10 Arnautovic should have had a straight red card for the cowardly push on Debuchy which caused him to miss 3 months of the season (it wasn’t even called a foul) and in Min 42 Crouch should have had a second yellow card for a studs up challenge on Mertesacker (his first should have come in Min 35 for an elbow on Monreal).

So yes, his raw numbers do hide some important mistakes.

2013-14 the previous season we had Mr Moss three times – two home and one away, all wins.  There aren’t any formal referee reviews from that season but I have linked Walter’s post-game reports should you want to read further.

Cardiff 0 – Aaronsenal 3 – A comfortable victory and no mention of the referee!

Arsenal -Crystal Palace 2-0 – A Palace bus parked in the first half, Arsenal better in the second with the Ox scoring two minutes into the half and getting a second later in the half – again no mention of the referee

Hull, advertising boards, Poldi brace, Özil back, and some nice football – A game started in a gale with the advertising boards flying everywhere at one point.  Hull pressing all over the pitch and not always legally, A studs up challenge to Arteta’s head being punished by a free kick without the appropriate red card.  A penalty not given when Özil was brought down from behind. Aaron opened the scoring and got a second on the stroke of half time.  Podolski added a third in the second half.  In the second half Hull trying to kick the sh.t out of us with no real intervention by the ref.

2012-13 – Three games all away from home and again all won.

Match Review: Jonathan Moss – Wigan Athletic Vs Arsenal (0 – 1) [22/12/2012]

75% overall (weighted) bias against both teams 41/59 and no wrong Important Decisions

Match Review: Jonathan Moss – Swansea City Vs Arsenal (0 – 2) [16/03/2013]

92% overall weighted – an excellent example of refereeing with too few decisions for bias figures to be meaningful

Match Review: Jonathan Moss – Queens Park Rangers Vs Arsenal (0 – 1) [04/05/2013]

73% overall, bias against both teams 17/83 and again no wrong Important Decisions.

Before I get to the overall conclusions, Mr Lennard, was the linesman who didn’t flag Coutinho offside when Benteke scored for Liverpool against Bournemouth; I hope he has now had time to polish up on the rules, we don’t want any more incidents like that.

In Conclusion

  1. We have tended to win our games in recent years when Mr Moss is our referee – that probably points to us losing on Saturday.
  2. Mr Moss isn’t a saint for us and whilst among the best of the bunch is still capable of making some pretty awful decisions, particularly in respect of physical assaults on our players. Pushing a player with sufficient force that he leaves the playing area and collides with the advertising boards is reckless and involves un-necessary force and should result in a red card as should a studs up challenge resulting in contact with a player’s face.
  3. He also misses his fair share of penalties, three in the last two seasons.
  4. Overall Mr Moss is a referee who I don’t believe has yet bought in to the complete anti-Arsenal bias and is probably about as good as they come for us.

On the basis of this is you want to place a bet

Home 3/10; Draw 9/2; Away win 9/1 


The Untold Books

24 Replies to “Arsenal v Stoke 12 September 2015 – The Match Officials”

  1. FiF has it in for Mr Moss – although they regard him as biased in our favour (I believe we have won every single match under him, ever – an inverse Dean if you like). They regard him as particularly dubious when the match is on BT Sport (which this isn’t).

    I would be quite interested to see the bias numbers as well as the accuracy numbers in the above table? I would rather have an incompetent straight ref than a competent biased one! At least with the former there is a possibility that it “all evens out in the end”.

  2. Would love to see Shawcross being carded early and sent off , allowing the floodgates to open and for our players to start scoring . But having said that , I wouldn’t mind it at all if ‘og’ continues to be our top scorer.
    I wonder who Hughes will be putting in charge of ‘getting to grips’ with Alexis and throttling his game (amongst other things!) , since Adams will be out , I believe ?

  3. Brickfields

    I have a feeling that Shawcross is out in any case after back surgery – or am I mistaken?

  4. @ apo – if not him , then some other ! All of them look alike to me , these thugs !

  5. Stoke have 2 suspensions and a number of injuries (incl Shawcross). Oh dear. What a pity. Never mind.

  6. The Stoke news is Odemwingie & Shawcross are out injured, Adam & Afellay are banned & Arnautovic, Biram Diouf, & Johnson are doubts. That means we might be less liable to nastiness.
    However, it is Hughes so expect some kicking & holding to be used as reducers (term from Martin Keown). Keown believes that Arsenal players should mob perpetrators of nastiness to show solidarity with targeted players & to encourage Officials to react. I agree with him though Wenger has coached his players to avoid any controversy as it results in heavy club fines from the FA.

  7. @Pete,

    Bias numbers for Mr Moss are pretty much in line with PGMO normal expectations, 100, 90, 58 & 73% against Arsenal in the matches I quoted above. I am aware of the FiF claims of a lack of honesty but I haven’t seen any signs of anything overtly for or against Arsenal in his games refereeing Arsenal.

  8. @Menace
    September 11, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    “…Keown believes that Arsenal players should mob perpetrators of nastiness to show solidarity with targeted players & to encourage Officials to react. I agree with him…”

    I feel that the fans (especially since its a home game) should/must be VERY vocal and pressure the ref. I would agree with Wenger his stance.

    Mobbing the perpetrators can quickly get out of hand and we could end up with a player off!

  9. @apo Armani – I cannot forget the picture of Keown behind the Manc. cheat looking like the angel of death. A black cape & two long canines would really make it iconic.

    The Wenger approach is always the better option as it ensures our players remain on the pitch.

    I will be at the game tomorrow & I look forward to a good win despite all the hype of Stokes new team.


  10. @Menace

    I know you will be there tomorrow…and without a voice to speak of at the end!!

    As for Keown he typifies the sad trend of most modern footballers and ex who care only about the cheque…he is what he is!


  11. Want to thank Andrew and the Untold team for their continuous effort in keeping our eyes open with the PGMOB.

    I still stick with my comments a couple months back; PGMOB will distribute the points this season!

    I hope I proven wrong in May!

  12. You are a very naughty bunch of guys. The injuries, as you jolly well know, are listed in Bulldog Drummond’s preview, which comes out on saturday morning.

    If you do it again I shall issue a strong reprimand.

  13. Menace. I will be there also. My first of the season as I’ve got the “big C” and been taking it easy. Feel strong enough but my feet are killing me.

    Tony. I probably won’t catch Bulldog’s report as I have to leave early as Chiltern Railways are testing signalling for their new Oxford Parkway Station and we will have to take a detour via Oxford. And yes I could have gone by Virgin or London Midland (usually full of Stoke fans)but I bought my tickets a month ago.

  14. Totally OFF topic (apologies):

    ‘English football needs Man Utd striker to succeed’ – Ian Wright!!!!



    Why does English football need ‘Man Utd striker to succeed’??

    How much did he get paid to say this…and actually write an article on this??

    No wonder Arsenal have not had time for him after he left!!

  15. FIF claim he is pretty close to an agent they seem to have a real dislike for. they do cite what they believe to be a bias in our favour, but claim he is more biased,to another EPL team.
    FIF is an interesting site, you have to take it on face value, but a lot of it unfortunately rings true. I often refer to its claims myself, but I just cannot see this ref is biased towards us, maybe just less biased against us than some, as the article says.

  16. Menace,,there are times I would love to see them do as Keown suggests, but our great ex defender lives in the past on this front, if we even approached such antics,we would,end every game with about seven players on the pitch., a media backlash, and probably serious dropped points. Really see where Keown is coming from though, revenge and justice are very appealing to many of us humans

  17. Brummie Gooner I to travel on Chiltern this weekend major line works are planned . You could poss upgrade ticket to all routes which means you can go back on Virgin
    I strongly advise you to check again before setting of , good luck I hope
    we blow them away in honour of your visit

  18. Thank you everyone for the good wishes, Visiting The Emirates is always a pleasure, obviously more so when we win. By using my bus pass I now get to see London and its diversity. I get a tingle travelling along Euston Road from Marylebone (tomorrow Paddington). However. the excitement levels rise when we reach The Angel. I cross the road and catch the bus that takes me through Islington and onto Holloway Road. This is far more enjoyable than popping underground and eventually coming up again almost at the ground.

  19. @Mandy Dodd
    September 11, 2015 at 8:52 pm

    My point exactly…we would end up a skeleton side trying to play out each game…no doubt!

    And then a field day by all the idiots calling us every name under the sun!

  20. @Mandy Dodd@Apo Armani, i think what keown is trying to say here is solidarity,as a team, not leaving your team mates in limbo,look at Adams he struggled Sanchez really if he was doing that to Nasri would yaya toure have let that to pass or if he was doing it to Ashley young could wayne rooney have looked on??Team spirit brothers fight for each other,we lose together and win together.

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