2015-16 Season – First quarter review: from refs to the under 18s, how did they do?

2015-16 Season – First quarter review


by Andrew Crawshaw

Following on from Fishpie – After a very good start, we need to do even better here are a few more thoughts about our first quarter of the season

Referees – a bit of a rant I’m afraid but not only from my Arsenal viewpoint there are several wider issues as well.

So far the PGMO have deployed a total of 18 referees, but looking more closely at their workload shows that all is far from rosy.

Name Games Teams visited twice (or more) In Arsenal games
Weighted Score Bias against Arsenal
Martin Atkinson 10 Chelsea, West Brom 54 100
Mike Dean 9 Aston Villa, Man City, Norwich, Leicester 41 95
Anthony Taylor 8 West Ham, Liverpool, Newcastle 59 97
Jonathan Moss 8 Man United, West Ham 71 100
Mark Clattenberg 8 Man City (3 times)
Robert Madley 8 Stoke, Swansea, Sunderland
Craig Pawson 7 Liverpool, Newcastle 84 80
Michael Oliver 7 Liverpool 67 90
Mike Jones 7 Watford, Everton
Andre Marriner 5 76 67
Kevin Friend 5 Sunderland
Lee Mason 4 Arsenal 66 90
Neil Swarbrick 4 Sunderland, Swansea
Roger East 4
Paul Tierney 2
Stuart Attwell 2
Keith Stroud 1
Simon Hooper 1


Nine referees have been doing the bulk of the work so far.  Martin Atkinson has had a game every week, Mike Dean have only had one week off, Anthony Taylor, Jonathan Moss, Mark Clattenberg and Robert Madley are 8 out of 10  and Craig Pawson, Michael Oliver, and Mike Jone and Robert Madley have all refereed 7 times out of ten.

As usual there are some make-weights put in so that the PGMO can deny claims of having too few referees – Simon Hooper and Keith Stroud have each had one match and Paul Tierney and Stuart Attwell have had two.

Under-worked so far are Andre Marriner, Kevin Friend, Lee Mason Neil Swarbrick and Roger East who have all done either four or five games.

Many clubs have, by now, received repeat visits.  We have had Lee Mason 2 out of his four games in charge).  Pity poor City who have already seen Clattenberg three time.  Liverpool have had repeat visits from Taylor, Pawson and Oliver which must be something of a record at this stage of the season.

We keep on saying that no team should have any referee more than twice in a season, preferably once at home and once away.  For so many teams to have had repeat visits in the first quarter of the season is completely unacceptable.

We at Untold have long held that the minimum acceptable score from a referee is 70%, if we look at the weighted scores in the Arsenal game we can see that of the eight reviewed so far only three have reached that level, Moss with 71, Marriner with 76 and Pawson with a commendable 84%.

Oliver and Mason are next with scores of 67 and 66 whilst Taylor and Atkinson are in the 50ties and Dean is by a distance the worst with a pathetic score of 41%.

So the three busiest referees have scores of 54, 59 and 41% – if these are typical scores why the hell are they employed every week.

Regardless of the referee the bias against Arsenal in every single game is astonishing and way beyond anything that can be regarded as normal.  These numbers are so low that I fail to see that using Hooper, Stroud, Attwell, Tierney, East and Swarbrick would do anything to lower the standards still further (I still have reservations about Mason who has shown singular ineptitude in Arsenal games both this year and in the past).

If the Arsenal scores are abnormal then someone at the club needs to ask some serious questions of the PGMO and/or Premier League.


A better report for this quarter with somewhat fewer long term injuries than has often been the case in the past – at least up to the league cup game.  Permanent absentees so far this season have been Wellbeck and Rosicky and Wilshere has been missing since the Emirates Cup, Ospina and Arteta are now missing for a few weeks.  Flamini and Koscielny have both missed games recently but featured last Saturday.    But then we came across Sheffield W.  Two more players out for three weeks.


I have linked these two teams together as, for the most part they are one and the same.  The U21s are in the second division of their domestic league, the U19s play in the UEFA Youth League (the junior version of the Champions League).

Here is their league table – Played 5, won 5 – excellent

Team Played W D L Goal Diff Points
West Brom 7 5 2 0 6 17
Derby County 8 5 1 2 9 16
Arsenal 5 5 0 0 9 15
Swanswa 7 4 1 2 7 13
Aston Villa 6 3 1 2 -3 10
Fulham 7 3 0 4 -4 9
Blackburn 6 2 1 3 -1 7
Wolves 7 2 1 4 -2 7
Stoke 7 2 1 4 -4 7
Newcastle 7 1 3 3 -3 6
West Ham 7 1 1 5 -5 4
Brighton 6 1 0 5 -9 3


And in the UEFA Youth League

Played W D L Goal Diff Points
Arsenal 3 3 0 0 5 9
Dynamo Zagerb 3 1 1 1 -1 4
Olympiakos 3 1 1 1 0 4
Bayern Munich 3 0 0 3 -4 0


Again perfect so far three wins out of three and the only team in the group with a positive goal difference.

So in all games 8 starts 8 wins so definitely an A* rating so far this season.


Last season was dreadful at this level with our youngsters finishing in bottom place.  The first half of the season the teams are split into two leagues North and South, for the second half the two leagues are merged before being split top to bottom.

Played W D L Goal Diff Points
Chelsea 11 8 2 1 14 26
Leicester 11 7 3 1 15 24
Reading 11 7 1 3 12 22
West Ham 11 5 3 3 2 18
Aston Villa 11 5 2 4 7 17
Arsenal 11 4 4 3 0 16
Spurs 11 4 2 5 1 14
Fulham 11 4 2 5 1 14
Soton 11 3 2 6 -7 11
Norwich 11 3 2 6 -9 13
Brighton 11 2 2 7 -13 8
Swansea 11 0 3 8 -23 3

So far this year things are looking somewhat better – too many draws instead of wins but we are mid table Report Grade C could do better.

Lastly but by no means least – Arsenal Ladies

Their League season is over and they finished in an agonising third place behind Manchester City and the winners Chelsea.  They thus miss out on European Competition again next year, a big blow to their pride.

They still have one more game to play on Sunday – the final of the Continental Tyres Cup (the ladies equivalent of the Capital One Cup).  Arsenal have been in every final for the duration of this competition, only losing one game in the knockout stages when Man City beat them in last Year’s final.

This year the game is at the New York Stadium in Rotherham, South Yorkshire.  Kick off is at 15:00 on Sunday and I have a ticket and will bring you a match report after the game.  The game is also being televised on BT Sport.



  • 30 October 1920: Debut of Dr James Paterson:  Arsenal 2 Derby 0.  This was the 12th league match of the season, but only Arsenal’s 3rd win.  Dr Paterson achieved the rank of major in the war and was awarded the Military Cross.  He joined Arsenal from Rangers (with whom he had won the league) sharing house with his brother in law, who was Arsenal’s club doctor.
  • 30 October 1937: Arsenal 1 Middlesbrough 2 – a result that meant Arsenal had won only two of the last ten league games, despite winning the first three scoring 12 conceding two.  As a result of the run, this game marked the final appearance of Ray Bowden and Bobby Davidson.  Also it was the final game for Herbie Roberts who broke his leg in this game.  Despite two more games after this without a win, Arsenal recovered and went on to win the league.

You can find all the Arsenal Anniversaries on Arsenal On This Day.

Arsenal in the summer – 48 tales from the Pre-Season files now including all the Wenger years.  Here are the latest…

3 Replies to “2015-16 Season – First quarter review: from refs to the under 18s, how did they do?”

  1. Thanks Andrew.

    I’ve been away from Internet for a month, current hookup is experimental.

    Wishing the ladies good luck on Sunday, and the Men on Saturday.

  2. Thanks Walter. Lots of things to fix before this new hookup is stable or comfortable. Moving while you are still working is a pain. 🙂

    The scoreline against ManU was nice to see, as was the continuing problems for the little moaner. Pitty the injuries are still being allowed by the refs.


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