44 responses

  1. Pete

    A classic example of northern refereeing style = weak and letting everything go. Stoke knew what they could get away with. Sadly, no one had passed Arsenal a copy of the revised rules. Or was it one rule for Stoke and one for Arsenal?

  2. Usama Zaka

    This match against Stoke can be considered to be one of near perfect examples of Football in Hell.

    1. Poorest of pitches.
    2. Extreme cold conditions.
    3. Pro wrestling, mixed martial arts and street fighting foul tactics.
    4. A crowd where each person curses and boos you to death.
    5. Two utterly corrupt, incompetent and stubborn refs. (Dean and Pawson)

    Yet our team somehow managed to attack, defend and play their way in a fair and sporting manner without complaining. I still cant believe how we came out without any injuries (thankfully everyone is looking fitter than ever now)

  3. Al

    When Walcott got fouled in the opening minutes of the match i observed the ref talking into his mouthpiece, while signalling for the offender, who was about 20 yards away, to come to him to…, give him a talking to. I thought that was odd, and that’s why I clearly remembered it. The only other time i think i saw anything close to that in football was when Marriner wrongly sent Gibbs off. Weird.

  4. bjtgooner

    Again a great and detailed match report. Well done Walter and Usama.

    Stoke looked as if they were under orders to disrupt by cheating at every opportunity. They are a total disgrace to football – their disgrace is exceeded only by that of the Clones of Riley and the media who protect them and indeed by some of the Stoke Orcs (sorry – fans).

    It looks as if the message has gone out from the PGMO – it is ok to do Arsenal down by any means – legal or otherwise. Riley must go!!

  5. Al

    I didn’t even have the energy to go through this review, when I looked at it is thought wow, did Walter or Usama spill their ketchup on this one. Disgusting.

    What it tells me is, to win this thing, it’s going to take blood, sweat and tears.

  6. Usama Zaka

    Looks like we have a PGMO agent roaming around here, disliking the truth. 🙂

  7. Al

    Many typos in my posts; meant when I looked at the review i thought ‘wow, did Walter or Usama spill their ketchup on this one..’

    Looks like Pawson might be here already reading this review, judging by the dislikes that are being clicked.

  8. Paul Southcott

    Thanks Walter & Usama for such a comprehensive report.

    Never seen such a low score

    Major question is what can be done about the officiating

  9. Al

    Who is the ref for our fixture vs Chelsea BTW?

  10. WalterBroeckx

    Al, it will be Clattenburg

  11. Andrew Crawshaw

    Clattenberg got 42% in bis previous game this year when he single ha deadly gave West Brom their 2-1 win. Don’t expect a wonderfully refereed game.

  12. Arvind

    Wow. Just wow. This is just terrible. Yeah Clattenburg, I used to have hope for – not anymore I guess. Sad.

    Offtopic: Gord brought this up on the Adebayor post that I commented on but I wanted to highlight it again.

    Indeed Gord. Thanks for bringing that up :). I am so so happy Theo and Arsenal have always found a solution. And I sincerely hope he retires with us… in 6 7 years or so. Scoring lots and lots of goals :). Not once has he ever ever behaved badly, even during all those contract negotiations that were blown up by the AAA.

    To anyone who has followed Theo and is reading? THIS is what professionalism is. That is how you deal with your contracts. You can still make a huge amount of money, do it the right way. Of course, sadly… outside Untold and a few others (relatively speaking in footballs universe) think this is vital. As long as we can boast about how much we spent in the bar in front of our ‘mates’ :rollseyes

  13. Andrew Crawshaw

    In my ref preview for this game I had the following as item 4 in my conclusions

    Stoke v Arsenal games always tend to be feisty given the history between us and usually demand firm refereeing. I am hoping that Mr Pawson shows he can be such a referee and that the presence of Mr Dean is not malevolent. I am quite sure that Mr Dean will be there to ‘guide’ Mr Pawson’s career progress which is bound to be bad news for us.

    I think the evidence of guidance was obvious from the first minute and plain for everyone to see. The fact that we got a point and no injuries is little short of miraculous..

  14. Al

    Thanks Walter. Let’s hope the bad blood between him and chelski will prevail over the desire to screw us.

  15. bjtgooner


    I fully agree with your comments @ 8.42 pm. They show just how low our hopes and expectations of fair refereeing have become – we recognise it – Stoke, Liverpool, WBA etc all equally recognise the PGMO bias – and are happy, indeed more than happy, to take advantage of it.

    Chelsea, unless I am mistaken, will be another group of diving, pushing, pulling, tripping, fouling, thugs hoping to take advantage of a very sympathetic PGMO.

    There is something very evil going on between the PGMO, FA and the media protectors!

  16. alex luck

    was pawson afraid of the 4th official

  17. Pat

    Weighted score of 32.1 per cent. 42 wrong decisions, 40 against Arsenal, 2 in favour.

    Now if the press were really worried about what’s going wrong in sport, these would be banner headlines.

    Come on, journalists, let’s have some investigative journalism about what’s going on in football in your own back yard, not eight year old stories about tennis.

    Thanks again to Usama and Walter for providing the evidence.

  18. Pat

    Great title, by the way. Worthy of an ironic laugh.

  19. topanlesmana

    Ha. I knew it. I’m not surprised at all by this Ref Review of Stoke-Arsenal match. Anybody with a conscience would be able to see that clearly. The problem is for some time winning has become more important than fair play that a club like Stoke will use every possible way to win every game, even by breaking opponents players’ legs the way they did it to Ramsey. What a shame, really. A shame on football and humanity.

  20. Va Cong

    They all know guys its part of the circle of money, they just don’t want to shit on their front doors it was like the banks and the bogus mortgages a few years back.

    I just watched the big short movie everyone in the corrupt bubble is keeping it intact for their own benefits. Like Wenger said is this all sustainable? Is he waiting for the truth to come out when the bubble bursts?

  21. Va Cong

    I didn’t watch the match, I’m glad I didn’t know I wouldn’t have a TV left! Beautifully written as ever Usama & Walter!

  22. Nath

    This is a joke, I’m sure all you fans were there watching the game? Clearly not…

    We gave as much as stoke, typical fans with their blinkers on. Stoke play pretty nice football nowadays, but on the day both teams were scrappy!

    • Tony Attwood

      Nath, I do love comments like this. We go through a huge number of incidents, charting each one in detail, referring back to the rules looking in detail throughout. And then in 40 words, and most importantly without a single scrap of evidence, you say we not watching the game. Day after day, week after week, we publish evidence, not just on referees but on many other issues like injuries, transfers, the advisability of sacking managers, corruption, child trafficking in football… and then taking one of these topics you tell us in 40 words without any evidence to support you 40 words that “this is a joke”.

      I think that says something, but not quite what you meant to say.

  23. para

    Interesting excerpt(translated from German) from an interview with Granit Xhaka:

    “The whole talk on the fields, this trash talk, that is a nursery. The problem is simply the “late” kicks, an elbow or even spitting. Those are things that has nothing to do with football. As i was playing with torn ligaments it was extreme. They knew this and sent 2 or 3 kicks extra on my foot. Then it is difficult to stay calm. It’s not that i am a robot.”

    I always knew that players do this, that is, target an injury, but have never heard any player actually say that it is done.

  24. Brickfields Gunners

    Nice work , guys . Its just as I saw the game – no fouls or cards awarded for all that persistent over the top ‘gamemanship ‘ . Glad we survived that ordeal unscathed.

    It will be among the very top in ‘ Riley’s believe it or not ‘ You Tube clips !

  25. nick stoke fan

    have to say I agree with nath. I’m sure there aren’t any matches where arsenal haven’t been robbed by the footballing establishment in one form or another. you are partial, and even though your analysis is more detailed, it’s still biased. honestly, where d’you find the time to do this stuff!

    • Tony Attwood

      Nick – a little evidence – or better still a lot of evidence – to support your point would be welcome.

      As for where do we find the time – there are a lot of people involved, and we are making significant progress behind the scenes, so we make time.

  26. Rich

    I believe PGMO are capable of almost anything, but if Dean was literally talking him through it, wouldn’t that be visible to the Arsenal bench?

    I’d have thought someone would pick up on it fairly quickly, then wouldn’t they be able to go stand by him for a bit?

    As it happens, I’ve no memories of the camera picking out Dean on the day, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Wenger has, understandably, reached a stage where he wouldn’t say a word to him.

    Still, though, my impression is that the 4th official is always visible to the bench, so if he was constantly talking into a mike, even if shielding his mouth while doing so, that would be noticeable to our staff. Wenger and Bould’s eyes will be on the action but someone else should’ve kept an eye on him.

    Whatever the cause, the abandonment of the concept of keeping count of fouls was pathetic, and clearly made things much harder for us.

    It might be among the simplest and least controversial things a ref has to do : with clear, deliberate fouls, even if unworthy of a booking themselves, you have a word after two or three, and book after four or five.

    It’s far less debatable than letting someone get away with a one-off challenge that really should have been a yellow, because it is so obvious that a large advantage has been gained by making lots of small fouls.

    Don’t recall Shawcross falling on Giroud’s leg, to be honest, but since I saw the injury which screwed Vidic’s knee (Basel) I’ve been aware of how dangerous it can be when someone falls into you when you’ve no reason to think they will. Most horrific injury I saw this year was when a Mexican player took a stupid dive after a shove in the back right onto a Honduran players leg in front of him, with catastrophic results.

    I’ve seen quite a few situations which make me think it’s a deliberate thing from players or even teams to do this, same as giving a push in the back when a player is close to an onrushing keeper or the shove when the ball is out of play. Sadly, I think some teams work on these things. No idea if Shawcross one comes into that category, but it wouldn’t surprise me.

  27. Mandy Dodd

    looking back over the last two games, we had a ref at Liverpool, rumoured to be a boyhood liverpool fan, and once even an Anfield ball boy. I did not see much with my untrained eye, but the review says his performance was one of some sort of bias or incompetence.
    Then, we get this lamentable idiot doing the Stoke game. No cards, despite what Stoke were doing.
    Our players deserve immense credit for staying at the top in the face of these morons officiating our games.
    There is clearly an agenda against our club, manager or the way they choose to approach the game. should we win this title this year in the face of this, with Riley as head of refs, surely this will count as Wengers finest achievement among many.
    Next weekend we face Chelsea. Our team are currently better than Chelsea at football, but Chelsea are better than our players at Northern rules. My hunch is that the ref will try to level the playing field in Chelsea’s favour.
    Seems Chelsea and Spurs have cottoned onto the way they want the game played in this country despite their geographical disposition.
    Wenger , to his immense credit, but possible cost rejects the ways of the English game….do we have players good enough to overcome this?

  28. Mandy Dodd

    Rich, Dean may or may not have been chattering to the weak and inadequate ref in the middle, but in reality, he wouldnt have to during the game.
    Dean would be higher up in the PGMOL food chain, he would just have to say a few words before the game.
    Dean should never be on the same pitch as Arsenal in any capacity, anyone who puts him there does so knowing his clear bias.

  29. Gord

    OT: BBC Mythbusting

    On The BBC Sport/Football page, we see “Mythybusting: Is Diego Costa a Dirty Player?”.


    The lead is:
    > In a new series, we analyse popular myths to assess whether they are based on fact – or fiction. Do they stand up to scrutiny, or are they nothing more than tired cliches?

    I have my own myth: “The BBC is Still a High Integrity News Organization”.

    In the second section of the article, we have:
    > Does the myth stack up?

    > This is a tricky one to prove or disprove.

    > Does being dirty mean being caught by the officials – and shown a card – or is it more about cynical, off-the-ball incidents which might be missed by referees?

    > Since the latter are not recorded by statisticians, we can only really judge Costa on those offences he is penalised for.

    I will suggest that it is _NOT_ a tricky one to prove or disapprove, but rather it is difficult to prove or disprove if the whorenalit does not want to do any work or spend significant time/money doing research.

    But, it is the third sentence above which completely busts our myth. It is certainly possible to judge Costa on _ALL_ controversial incidents caught on video. In fact, the BBC probably has access to video that never makes it into the TV broadcast, and hence has even more video evidence to look through.

    Reviewing video evidence is what Walter does for Untold, among many other things. The BBC could do the same (or better). They could ask the PGMO mouthpiece (Webb), or oyu could if he was still being the mouthpiece. I gather he went to Saudi Arabia to run their FA (and maybe do FA as well). Or, you could ask the critic Hacket, or the promoter Poll. Or you could ask top level referees.

    However the evidence is reviewed, you don’t want the reviewers (who are referees) collaborating. Each has to be working on their own, and after all the work is done, summarization can start.

    That would be the best way. There is a half-assed way which the BBC didn’t even attempt, which would most certainly fit their time/money/effort budget. Look at how many incidents get discussed in the fan blogs and forums. Look at the volume on twitter. There might be other avenues as well.

    Sure, you could consider asking the muppets about it, but that will provide a highly biased estimate of things. Mentioning opinions of the muppets in an article only makes sense, if it backs up the popular observations. But to have (for example) Alan Shearer say that Diego Costa is a saint, isn’t useful.

    How many injuries are attributable to actions by Costa?

    There are lots of things the BBC could have done. Instead, they chose to only examine what the biased/incompetent PGMO employees of the day have been told to flag in their games.

    They did come to what I think is the correct conclusion; that Costa is dirty. But they make it sound like it is only by a very narrow margin that he could be regarded as dirty.

    And now that the work is done and published, they are asking twits to write into twitters and send the twits at the BBC twits about this topic.

  30. Gord

    Oh, my verdict? The BBC is no longer a high integrity news organization. The myth is busted.

  31. nick stoke fan

    well, no evidence from me beyond the wisdom of crowds. no one outside of this forum considers the match on sunday anything other than an even contest between 2 good teams. there are lies, damn lies, and then there are statistics. your analysis falls in the stats category.

    • Tony Attwood

      Nick the problem is that you make assertions to justify your assertions. “No one outside of this forum…” so how do you know that? You may have realised that the writers on this site include refs and retired refs, who, it doesn’t take much imagination to realise, are somewhat in touch with what is going on in the world of refereeing.

      Oh, and you might have done us the courtesy to read the article about the validity of statistics (which actually quoted and examined the origins of that quaint saying.)

      Do you really think we would get over 6 million page views in a year if we were totally out on our own? Do you think the BBC would have interviewed two of our researchers for a programme if we were just making numbers up? Do you think that PGMO would respond to one of our analyses by briefing the Daily Telegraph the next day and getting them to publish a rebuttal? It goes on and on, but no, someone you have looked into the mind of every football fan who doesn’t read Untold and found that none of them think there is a problem.

      Good telepathy that – you might actually want to use it to make your fortune, rather than arguing with us.

  32. Dazza64


    The Shakespeare quote today is most apt when applied to our visiting Stoke fans!!

  33. Rantetta

    Here’s saint linekar tilting the perception of Mr Wenger (I think following a match in which we were, as always, robbed at Stoke). Note: comments have been removed:


  34. nick stoke fan

    my assertion is: you are no more objective than i am. you are the subject of a paranoid delusion, and your “evidence” is used to support your assertion that hidden forces are out to get you.

    “I believe the target of anything in life should be to do it so well that it becomes an art.” A Wenger

    it’s ironic that your “evidence” based approach to rationalise your team’s failings.

    • Tony Attwood

      Yes Nick I know that is your assertion – that is what you have been saying throughout.

  35. omgarsenal

    I like Clattenberg but must admit that after his sanctioning by the PIGMOB for driving to some concert after a game he did, it seems he got the message loud and clear from Riley: tow the line or forget your career. As a retired professional referee, I heard that line (in varied forms)throughout my career in one manner or another. It is always there and along with the necessity to kiss ass to advance your career in officiating, represent the two biggest banes in becoming a fair referee.
    I watched Chelsea recently and they play decent Football when attacking but are poor in defense. Their midfield is not as strong as ours and while Fabregas seems to be getting back to his best, the remainder seem 2nd rate, especially John Terry. They are very slow in defense and there is little collaboration between their back four and their midfielders.
    IF our back 4 and midfield play well, we can take them, I am convinced….provided the PIGMOB don’t actively intervene like they did at Stamford Bridge with Dean.

  36. Gord

    Followup on the Mythbusting

    The BBC has done another thing to lessen their integrity, but more on that in a bit.

    In the rambling page that constitutes today’s idiot commenting on the medja news, there is a note of the first radio commentary of a “Live” goal, that being by Charlie Buchan, who at the time was Captain of Arsenal. Arsenal 1 – 1 Sheffield United; January 22, 1927.

    Anyway, back to the lack of integrity. The article says this is the first in a new series. And they get off completely on the wrong foot. There is no need to introduce the article by which team Diego Costa is likely to be playing against. Doing so automatically biases any selection which may take place in sampling.

    So, at 12:05 BBC Muppet Time, the BBC in their running commentary by muppets about what medja write, bring up this article looking for feedback. This feedback should be biased by the mention of Arsenal in the article. Arsenal has nothing to do with Diego Costa being dirty, it should not have been mentioned.

    In almost 8 hours of “coverage” after mentioning this world shattering article, nobody wrote in. Or at least, they didn’t mention any twits about this. Which surprised me.

  37. John

    One thing you have to realise on this forum is that whenever we lose or play badly its either because of
    1.The referee
    2.Opposing players constantly attacking ours.
    3.Opposing managers
    5.The press
    6.The oil rich clubs
    It is never the fault of any of our players and MOST DEFINITELY not the managers fault.

  38. Mick

    Showing your true colours again. Pathetic.

  39. John

    Sorry but its true.

  40. WalterBroeckx

    omgarsenal, no matter what we say about how the referee world works in reality… they will not take notice.
    A bit like FIFA watchers saying something is wrong at FIFA but nobody took notice.

    Oh well….

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