Arsenal Chelsea, Sunday 24 January 2016 – The Match Officials

by Andrew Crawshaw

Here is the Table of Shame updated following the Liverpool game.

Wrong Important Decisions Favouring Arsenal Favouring Opponents
2nd Yellow Cards



Red Cards












Possible Cost in Points



I count the not given penalty to Arsenal in Min 33 and the not given second yellow card for Clyne’s late and reckless hack at Campbell’s knee in Min 70 as having cost us two points.  A dreadfully biased piece of refereeing with Liverpool free to foul us out of the game throughout.  Also the first game when I have noted three flags against an Assistant referee, Mr Beswick had a shocker and I hope it is a long time before he comes round again.

On to Sunday and the Officials are :-

  • Referee – Mark Clattenberg
  • Assistants – J Collin and S Beck
  • Fourth Official – R Madley

This will be the second appearance of Mr Clattenberg at an Arsenal game this year and the fourth time for Chelsea (too many).  It is matchweek 23 and Mr Clattenberg has been on duty for 19 of them – that’s as many as Hooper, Scott, Stroud, Attwell, Tierney and Swarbrick combined (none of whom are yet trusted to be in charge of an Arsenal game).

West Brom v Arsenal (2 – 1) – Mr Clattenberg had the same assistant referees.  He was truly awful that day scoring 42% weighted and with bias against the two teams of 9/91.  There were 5 wrong Important Decisions (second yellow, red cards, penalties and goals).  In time order these were :-

Min 34 – A ‘phantom’ foul called against Arteta from which West Brom scored their first goal – there was no foul so no free kick and hence no goal.

Min 46 – Two wrong decisions.  Olsson wrestled Giroud to the ground in the penalty area.  Should have been a penalty to Arsenal and a yellow card to Olsson.  Olsson should have had a first yellow card in Min 30 for an earlier foul on Giroud and so he should have been sent off at this time.

Min 75 – Morrison should have had a second yellow card for a foul on Campbell.  He had been booked in Min 43 but was fouling persistently subsequently to that first booking.

Min 84 Arsenal were correctly awarded a penalty for a Brunt foul on Alexis, The penalty was missed but the referee should have required it to be retaken as both Brunt and Olsson were encroaching by a large distance.

Mr Clattenberg earned his match fee that day, pleasing his PGMO masters with a wonderful display of inventive refereeing that ensured that we lost a game that we should certainly have won.  Valid goals were 1 – 1, West Brom should have been reduced to 9 men and Arsenal should have had two penalties.  His score of 42% weighted was equal with that of Mr Dean.  On the basis of these two performances, neither are fit to hold a whistle.

Last Season 2014-15 We had Mr Clattenberg twice our 2-2 draw in September at home to Man City and in February when we beat Palace 2 – 1 at Selhurst Park.

Arsenal v Man City

71% Overall, bias against the two teams 73/27 and two wrong decisions.  In Min 45 Milner should have had a second yellow card (his first also not given should have been in Min 18) and in Min 76 City should have had a penalty when Wilshere controlled the ball with his arm.

Crystal Palace v Arsenal

80% overall, bias against both teams 18/82 and two wrong Important Decisions.  Min 2 Özil was wrongly flagged offside, he finished the ball into the net but it was uncertain if the keeper had stopped because of the flag, Min 3 Coquelin should have had a straight red for a dangerously high foot on Campbel.

Looking back to 2013-14 where there are no formal referee reviews but here are links to Walter’s post game pieces.

Swansea v Arsenal 28 Sept 2013 (1 – 2)  Goals from Gnabry and Ramsey and some good keeping from Szcz who could do nothing about the Swansea goal and no mention at all of Mr Clattenberg which argues that he did his job in an efficient and un-noticeable way.

Arsenal – Southampton 23 Nov 2013 (1 – 2)  Giroud nicking the ball off Boruc and scoring into an empty net after 22 min.  Southampton fouls on the border line between over-aggressive and within the law, Clattenberg letting it go most of the time.  Late on Arsenal rightly get a penalty when Fonte tries to swap shirts with Mertesacker as an Arsenal corner is taken.  Giroud sends Boruc the wrong way and Arsenal win 2 – 0.  No other mention of the referee so big call for Arsenal correct,  minor calls generally going to Southampton.

Arsenal v Man United 12 Feb 2014 (0 – 0)  Vidic lucky not to be carded at least once for elbows and many minor decisions going United’s way but overall a game which we controlled but had no luck.  A game where is was vital for us not to lose more than needed to win.

Back one more year to 2012-13 and looking at the referee reviews from  Another season where we had him twice.  There was also one review of a Chelsea game which I have included for completeness.

Match Review: Mark Clattenburg – Arsenal Vs Swansea City (0 – 2) [01/12/2012]

72% weighted overall, bias against the two teams 93/7 but no wrong Important Decisions

Match Review: Mark Clattenburg – Tottenham Hotspur Vs Arsenal (2 – 1) [03/03/2013]

85% overall, bias against the two teams 15/85 but again no wrong Important Decisions

Match Review: Mark Clattenburg – Chelsea Vs Manchester United (2 – 3) [28/10/2012]

85% overall, bias against the two teams 64/36 and two wrong Important Decisions – Min 67 Torres wrongly given a second yellow card for a dive, there was contact Min 74 Hernandez goal should have been ruled out for him coming back from an offside position.

I have flags against both of the Assistant Referees from the Spurs v City game in September (also under Mr Clattenberg), Mr Beck has 2 for failure to rule out two Spurs goals for Offside and Mr Collin has one for failure to rule out the City goal for offside.

In Conclusion

  1. The West Brom game this year (42% weighted competence score) seems to be an aberation as it differs so far from his usual level of refereeing.  He rarely slips below the 70% minimum competence level and, even in Arsenal games, has been at 80% or higher on a number of occasions.  At least I hope that is the case.
  2. His judgement does seem suspect in not giving yellow and red cards.  Concentrate on each challenge and not on the PGMO mantra of letting the game flow.  Correctly given cards early in a game set a marker that both sets of players will recognise and stick to.  If they don’t then they deserve a second card.
  3. Mr Clattenberg, I do hope that you have reviewed the West Brom game with our comments on your shameful performance and that you turn up on Sunday with your proper game plan.  You are capable of being a good referee and you shouldn’t be putting in performances more suited to Mr Dean.
  4. The usual caveats – watch out for Phantom Fouls where Chelsea can attack our goal or get relief from an Arsenal attack.  A push in the back is a foul no matter where it takes place and simulation to gain a free kick is also against the rules as is encroachment at a penalty.
  5. I’m sure that the bias will be around 90% against Arsenal and that Chelsea will be allowed much more leeway in making challenges and I expect 4 or 5 not given cards against Chelsea players.
  6. I also hope that both assistants prove up to the task and have brushed up on the offside rules.
  7. Overall a PGMO team that do not fill me with confidence.  As ever we will be playing against 14 men and will need a good performance from our 11.


Recent Posts

From the anniversary files (more on the home page)

  • 23 January 2006: Matt Poom joined from Sunderland as short term cover.  He made one appearance and later became Arsenal’s goalkeeper coach.
  • 23 January 2013: Arsenal 5 West Ham United 1.  Arsenal had 24 goal attempts. The match was due to be played on Boxing Day but postponed due to a tube strike.   Podolski, Giroud (2) Cazorla and Walcott got the goals.

22 Replies to “Arsenal Chelsea, Sunday 24 January 2016 – The Match Officials”

  1. Quote: “This will be the second appearance of Mr Clattenberg at an Arsenal game this year and the fourth time for Chelsea (too many). It is matchweek 23 and Mr Clattenberg has been on duty for 19 of them – that’s as many as Hooper, Scott, Stroud, Attwell, Tierney and Swarbrick combined (none of whom are yet trusted to be in charge of an Arsenal game).”

    Game 23 and not one of these 6 refs have reffed an Arsenal game? This is astounding. They would probably do so much better but i guess that’s not in the anti-Arsenal agenda.

    I’m getting the suspicion that we are going to have to keep our eyes very open this season. There will be many who will not want Arsenal to win PL and who have the ability to “put a spanner in the works”.

    I sense our lads are rearing to go and to beat Chel$, but this will be more the Chel$ we knew from last season rather than Chel$ from this season.

    Still, a must win game, in fact all our games now should be must win games, requiring the team focus and the team play rather than slight individuality.

    Why Sunday? Always Sunday, at least it seems so. 🙂

  2. Clattenberg. Might as well be Iceberg!! This fokker can sink anything including the Titanic. Another PGMO specialist in impaired sight & vivid imagination.

    Despite PGMO still being the chosen cheats for the corrupt FA, Arsenal should win this match by a good margin. I hope the Arsenal hierarchy do not allow the cheats to get away with points like they did at Stamford Bridge.

  3. Looking forward to a match in which we establish an early lead (similar to the Manure game) and compel Mr Clattenberg (or is it Clattenburg?) to a decent level of bias – as much as such thing can exist.

  4. A bright start and a couple of early goals I think will be the key. If we manage that then the officials have to be much more overt with their attempts to prevent us from winning. Few other than Dean are actually prepared to go that far.

  5. I’ve been anticipating this return game big-style. The game at theirs we had under control until the Shit Dean shit show…. Gabriel, Santi; diabolical stitch-up. I hope we come out of the blocks like the Manure match. Normally Clattenburg wouldn’t scare me too much, but I don’t trust any of the corrupt mob any more. C’mon you Gunners, we can get revenge.

  6. Question – does Clattenberg want to be the second referee to get a 100,000 signature petition against him? If he puts in a performance like his last for us or Dean’s for the Chelsea match, he runs that risk. The fans haven’t forgotten that dreadful referee performance the last time we met these opponents and will be on the watch. It would be an ignominious fate for someone who was once a fair referee.

  7. A few notes:

    1) it’s ClattenbUrg, not ClattenbErg,

    2) his performance when Chelsea and United faced each other was followed with a dirty campaign from Chelsea – of all clubs – to disqualify Mr Clattenburg as a racist so I don’t see him making favours for them,

    3) he is one of two referees that will represent England at EURO 2016 which is the only reason why I’m sceptical about him. I still rate him as the best English referee which says more about his rivals’ quality though.

  8. Para

    I don’t think it’s got so much to with the 6 who’ve not reffed an Arsenal game as to who is considered by PGMO to be experienced enough for a game of this stature.
    You wouldn’t want Attwell anyway would you?

  9. OT: I normally wouldn’t believe anything in the Sun but they are running a story that Arsene is close to a contract extension. I know he is defying Old Father Time – but what fantastic news that would be!

  10. Josif – his status as one of our international referees makes me even more worried. If I understand it correctly, the referees are nominated by the national refereeing associations, so he has to be in with the boys. He already got a negative sign when he was punished for driving home on his own after a match which seemed a petty matter to me.

  11. Josif,

    The spelling mistake is entirely my fault, for which I apologise wholeheartedly to Mr Clattenburg.

    The rest of the analysis I stand by.

  12. Poor old Clatters had been under the screws. Attacked by clubs and his own superiors I missed the West Brum game but his score can’t have been a surprise to anyone following the PGMOB shenanigans.

    If he’s been told he’s off to the euros already we might see a more,um, professional or competent performance.
    What we won’t see a opponents allowed to push in here back at will all game long. That’s been a PGMOB tactic that the great football minds have reserved for Arsenal Away games, they are so clever and ingenious and unpredictable what can I say?
    Last home game the hapless PGMOB representative was heckled with loud and sustained boos by the arsenal home crowd (not covered on Sly sports or the jingo bell ringing Bleeb) so they couldn’t get away with that in he the home games. So in the last two 0-0 home games in the league against the specialist we saw unbelievably obvious pelanties denied etc. and I guess we can expect similar and oh so incredibly subtle “game management”* tactics employed by Riley’s Crows.

    As said above and as with the Utd home game a couple of early goals could do the job

    *Deano doesn’t care about his rep, he retired from FUFA and clearly has had other priorities not including self respect or the integrity of the or any sport hence the shameless and undeniable fixing in the previous Chelsea Arsenal fixture.

    It is pleasing that it was AFC and one Alex Oxlade Chamberlain who drove home the first stake into the specialist in signing players from special agents long term ambitions in W.London – generously assuming that he wasn’t just there to clean out players like KDB, Mata, Lukaku etc. and then replace them with a stable of braying mules…after all no one can deny that he was a specialist 🙂 )

  13. Serge,
    With the scores that those trusted by the PGMO frequently being below 60%and bias against Arsenal of 80% plus and frequently 95% or more, I fail to see how any of those sis could be much worse. At the very least it would be a refreshing change from the usual suspects. Always providing that Dean is banned from the ground.

  14. Jeff Stelling on Soccer Saturday just now when mentioning the referee for Sunderland vs Bournemouth: ‘what difference does it make?’ when seeing that referees’ home locations are mentioned…

    Face, meet palm!

  15. I am still working on my data about where referees come from for games. Soon. 🙂

    Hopefully I have all the applicable FAs known now.

    Nice to see Rosicky get a run yesterday. I hope the young guys liked playing with him.

    Wolves played today, Martinez was not in the squad.

  16. Serge:
    I was merely suggesting that they have not yet “trusted” the 6 refs to follow their agenda.
    Experienced enough for a big game? I think “experienced” = enough to do as they are told.

  17. para

    I’d say you’re right about not trusting them but only because they’re not really all that good. I’m not sure about doing as they’re told though. Even Keith Hackett doesn’t go down that road.

  18. have wondered if the refs do us in the first half of the season, put us out of contention, then leave us alone….in relative terms, however maybe they cannot afford to do that this season, especially if City were to slip up this evening.
    But, if you are tempted to do Arsenal, Mr Clattenberg, please remember it was Chelsea, not Arsenal who falsely accused you of racism…..and didn’t really apologise either.
    Just visited a couple of forbidden Arsenal sites and found a deli Alli Harry Kane wankfest in full flow. Strange that,…… for those sites, anyone would be forgiven for thinking they are populated by Spurs, and not Arsenal fans.

  19. Interestingly, none of the 6 mentioned officiated any matches this week (Outside of Scott as a 4th official).

    This week also brough some other refs as 4th official that I haven’t heard too much about before:
    J Linington (Isle of Wight- island in the English Channel- population: 140,000)
    G Eltringham (Tyne & Wear- Northeast England)
    T Harrington (Cleveland- Northeast England)

    What’s this show? Mike Riley can find and promote a qualified ref in an island with a population of 140,000, but somehow still can’t find one from London with a population of 8.5 million.

  20. Jerry

    So far this season, Mike Riley has used about half of the National Group list of referees. I think mostly for 4th official, but I haven’t memorised this. The three names you’ve mentioned, have appeared multiple times this season.

  21. @Gord,
    You were correct that they have been used as the 4th official before, two times each actually.

    Riley seems to have opened up for more of the National Pool as 4th official this year.

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