27 responses

  1. Usama Zaka

    While doing this review we saw large number of incidents, poor refereeing, even large amounts of reviewing alongside, but writing the word “Southampton” again and again was for me the most frustrating part of all. While typing at speed shorts words helps your momentum, but thanks to Lee Mason I have mastered the “Southampton” word. 🙂

  2. Oluwatoba

    O Ni agbára. This is beyond disgrace, this is an eye opener – the league will not be handed over to Arsenal in a platter. We shall see

  3. JamesO

    Great work Usama. I’m of the same opinion regarding the advantage rule. The refs seem to be using it not to punish Arsenal opponents. I went back to see the ratio of cards to fouls over a number of matches as I thought that Arsenal were getting a bum deal. My thoughts were not correct. Referees seemed to be even handed with their ratios. I know Tony/Walter have mentioned the giving of yellows toward the end of a match so to keep there numbers right. It would certainly be interesting to add the number of times the referee gives advantage added to the number of fouls before getting the foul to card ratio. I’m certain Arsenal’s scores would be lower.

  4. Jambug

    Following Flaminis incident the weekend the media are in uproar.

    Following this disgraceful excuse of a performance the media was silent.

    And some people think there’s nothing wrong with how we are treated. There is no bias? There is no agenda?

    Or worse, they think Walter and co are biased and make all this up.

    Even worse, a lot of the people that accuse Walter and co of being biased, paranoid, deluded or whatever other term they chose to use to undermine there brilliant work, frequent this site under the guise of Arsenal fans.

    I cant wait to hear what they have to say about this little lot.

  5. Jambug

    Actually I know what they’ll say.

    ‘It all evens out, as Falmini’s incident proved the weekend.’

    I guarantee one somebody will come out with that or something similar.

  6. Rich

    Quite sad to contrast it to the youth team game i watched this week.

    In that, Anderlecht committed a lot of fouls and the ref called them pretty much every time. Crowd and players went through motions of complaining as the free kicks racked up- probably about 8-0 after the first 15-20 minutes- but the ref was unmoved.

    It really sucked to think that I was watching the simple justice we are denied nearly every week. In that game you saw the trade off there should be- if you want the advantage of extra aggression, always closing a player down and more often than not giving a little kick or push, never letting a player go without trying to initiate contact, even if you can’t get there…then you will concede lots and lots of free kicks.

    That youth game worked exactly as it should have. Anderlecht gained from their aggressive approach, but could have easily lost out from the half dozen free kicks conceded around their box. Ref was good, or, in comparison to the Mason’s of the world, he was astonishingly brilliant, a ref from another planet, where competence and justice exist.

    It’s as simple a truth as any you’ll see, but it is poorly acknowledged here by the media, or, where we are concerned, aggressively denied; and, of course, the truth is rejected, deliberately, by the referees who manage our games.

    Sad stuff. That Saints game persuaded me I have to watch football differently, fully expecting the worst all the time. I’m going to try put that into action before the weekend’s game. Gotta be worth a try, because i sure don’t want to keep on feeling the way the Southampton game made me feel.

  7. Andrew Crawshaw

    In all the years we have been doing reviews we have never recorded scores as poor as this year. It is now beyond a joke. Another two points robbed by the PGMO.

  8. Jambug

    Andrew Crawshaw

    And despite this, outside of this site I have not heard a single voice in accord with Untolds findings, not one.

    Nobody gives a shit and that I’m afraid is the sad truth of the matter.

    Correction, it’s actually worse than that. It’s not that they don’t give a shit, they don’t even think there’s anything much wrong, and even if there is, it’s there team on the end of it.

    But as I said early, it’s heads against the wall, but we must keep bashing away non the less.

  9. para

    This is getting worse and the media boes not notice it?

    Is Claudio Ranieri as good as Leicester is showing him to be? Or is there someone else behind him? Or is it his hand signals?

    Whatever, Arsenal need to go into this next game(Leicester, Sunday again?) as if we are playing Manc, ManU or Tottenham and not Leicester, else we will come away with egg on our faces.

    No doubt we will soon hear who the ref is going to be. No doubt our players need to be ref aware and not get anyone of us sent off.

  10. Jerry

    It’s already announced, the ref will be shAtkinson against Leicester on Sunday.

    @Walter & Usama, excellent work as usual! There has to be some way to stop the PGMOB!

  11. Mandy Dodd

    This referee is weak, inadequate, incompetent, completely unfit, and scared of his bosses. This is surely his last season, he is a complete embarrassment, and it is not only Arsenal fans who will be thinking that.
    He was clearly told to make life as difficult as possible for Arsenal.
    Sadly, we will be seeing this until the end of the season, or as long as Arsenal are a threat…..and we will see more of the same on Sunday.

  12. bjtgooner

    The PGMO deliberate tilting of the field seems to be a more and more blatant feature of our matches this season – and a total disgrace. It looks as if a very major pressure has been exerted on or by Riley to do everything possible to prevent Arsenal winning the league.

    This was a totally disgraceful performance by Mason – almost in the unacceptable Dean class.

    It was also a disgraceful performance by Southampton – who degenerated into thuggish rugby to prevent us winning.

    I agree with Mandy – Atkinson will be out to screw us on Sunday – the fans need to get on his case quickly and loudly!

  13. Crovax

    Andrew et al, I was about to say the same thing. We weren’t getting screwed this badly and this often since I’ve started reading UA reviews, and we got screwed pretty bad in the past. Were previous reviews not as nitpicky, or has the situation actually gotten worse (didn’t think that was possible)?

    Reading this post made me remember (with great sadness) Game 50, and how much we got screwed that day. Has the review of Game 50 ever been done, and if not, do you think it would be possible to do it?

    Cheers and love your work

  14. Gord

    Far enough along for OT?

    No place else really. Sorry.


    The president of Dynamo Zagreb has apparently resigned, but still wants to “consult”. Wonderful, change but no change. And he is thought to be as innocent as the septic one, at best.

    Adam Johnson has been sacked. And really, no football club should pick him up. Take whatever money you have, and buy a business. Work there the rest of your life. You probably will never be hired as an employee (hence the advice to buy a business).

    Was he the only one? Not likely.

  15. Gunz
  16. Menace

    Watching starsports in India – lots of bollocks being spoken by Steve Bates about Arsenal v Leicester. Bob Tanner local hack also on show but a little more reasonable.

    Amazing how little these shows see when it comes to officials cheating. They will jump on the bandwagon as soo as a major expose occurs.

  17. Menace

    Jambug – I know exactly what you mean when you say ‘I get angry’. It is such an evil set of occurances that seem to be collated against Arsenal. How Arsenal does not respond is beyond norms. There is a level that they have to stomach because of the volume of financial penalties they can be ‘punished’ with.

  18. apo Armani

    Thanks for the report lads.

    During this match (before the the Flam incident) which was not far into the game…I had the thought – we need to score quick. Those two quick in succession jabs proved to be what saved us. Had this game gone into half time at 0-0 we may have been well and truly stitched by Mason come 90 minutes.

    I said at the very beginning of the season that the PIGMOB will be the one distributing the points this season and have referred to it a few occasions since. There is no way – NO WAY – they (Pigmob/media) will give us a FAIR crack at the whip to win the title.

    Sad…but its coming to the point where I know watching games so blatantly FIXED will be too hard to watch.

  19. apo Armani

    ohhh and of course as Mandy and bjtgooner have said and…Atkinson will make sure we get kicked to hell, and godown to 10 maybe even 9 men.

  20. apo Armani

    My apologies re the ref/game. Got mixed up and posted re Bournmouth game/ref.

    I am sure the review of the Ref performance in the Bournmouth game will not be as bad as Mason. But what I am sure about is the same serial fouling/pushing/shoving without cards to feature.

  21. Barry L

    It’s clear that pushing a player in the back – especially when the player is jumping to head or control the ball – is no longer a foul. Yet we have suffered at least 2 serious injuries (Debuchy and Sanchez) from pushes in the back.

    For the game this Sunday we should bring back Coquelin in place of Flam, and I’d consider playing Walcott instead of Giroud – to use his speed and movement to beat Morgan and Huth, we need to start fast as per the Man U game!!

    Gabriel should keep his place and I’d bring Campbell back, because of his tackle-back capability.

    Will be interesting see if Atkinson awards Leicester a penalty (Mahrez seems to fall over quite easily) ‘cos we will surely not get one

  22. Rich

    Barry L

    To underline your point, I’ve a feeling the horrible Zouma injury may have been partly the result of a little nudge from Fellaini as Zouma was jumping.

    Don’t think a ref could call a foul for it, but technically it probably was. Just suggested to me the danger of making contact when someone is in the air or not expecting it.

    Zouma obviously didn’t think anything was wrong with it as he seemed pals with Fellaini at the games end, but I think it would explain him being fractionally out as he went to kick the ball, leading to what happened next.

    Don’t watch after the landing.


  23. finsbury

    Thanks above for the review and the commentators account of the youth game and the undeniable unavoidable contrast in the officials application of the laws of the sport. Not one person on this earth can watch a game of ass. Football and then an average Arsenal league match and ignore the difference.

    pgMOB Rules Football. If it crows like a crow, then it is what it is. We can rest easy in the knowledge that Riley’s Carefully bred flock* are no Dickie Birds.

    *explains why there are so few of them and even why we see so few of the likes of Mr.Friend compared to the loudest screechers

  24. Sam Sayyed

    I trained as an accountant and later on as an Internal Auditor early on in my career and worked in several Chartered Accountancy and Auditing firms. Post Enron and WorldCom accounting scandals, the major accounting firms underwent a period of soul searching and improved governance standards especially on auditor independence. The one key message which stood out for me in the aftermath was:

    Independence of mind and independence in appearance

    I thought the latter part of the message was very important. It was no longer sufficient to claim that you acted correctly and in an unbiased manner. It was also important to appear independent in your behaviour and arrange your affairs in a way to eliminate any appearance of conflict of interest long before it arises!

    As has been highlighted several times by others on this website, the PGMOL have no such qualms about at least trying to appear independent. We have complained how the one criteria for being a PGMOB referee is to be White, bald headed and from up North. I looked at some data provided on http://www.premierleague.com/en-gb/referees.html and analysed some figures (for current season plus past 3 completed seasons as that is the only information available on the website).

    The triumvirate of Yorkshire, North East and North West dominate the appointment of EPL referees accounting for, on average, 13 out of 19 EPL referees in the past four seasons (including the current season), i.e. 68% of referees though the region accounts for only 22% of the England population. In contrast, South East, South West and London, which account for 42% of the England population had only 15% of the EPL refereeing positions.
    The figure used to be 73% for the triumvariate, but has declined slightly to 68% with the appointment of 2 referees from the South-East from 2014/15 season (they had none in the previous two seasons).

    Moreover, although the diversity mix of the referees have improved slightly (although far from being acceptable in my opinion), the number of games refereed by the triumvirate referees have increased from 74% in 2012-14 to 77% in 2014-16.

    Given the deep-seated north-south divide seen in this country, I am worried about the objectivity of refereeing appointments and how it impacts refereeing of the big teams in the South who could compete for titles and honours against the big teams in the North. The repeatedly abysmal performance in Arsenal games by the likes of Martin Atkinson, Mike Dean and Lee Mason (incidentally all from Yorkshire and North West) would show that my fears are not unfounded. Given that these appointments are made by Mike Riley (who could forget his awful refereeing in the Arsenal invincibles 50th game vs Man Utd) as the head of PGMOL, who himself is a Yorkshireman like is two predecessors, makes me even more queasy!

  25. Josif

    And, guess what?

    No official reaction from the club, as expected.

    Being silent about another robbery is like feeding the PGMO-shaped crocodile hoping that it will eat Stan Kroenke’s wig at the very end.

    Kudos for Untold reviewers but it looks to me nobody else related with Arsenal wants these articles to be the starting point, not the final one.

  26. Jambug


    I know from reading your posts you are very frustrated at the way Arsenal FC as a Club, seem to just take this shit on the chin without a murmur.

    You may of gathered that I have similar misgivings.

    But even though I feel like I do, I’m not sure what they can do?

    Are they already making there feelings known in private?

    We don’t know. Perhaps we will never know. If they are it certainly isn’t getting better, and who knows, that may be why it is in fact getting worse?

    Would overtly bringing this situation to light just make it worse?

    Do you really think Arsenal would be afforded the time and space to put there case forward? Don’t forget, just saying ‘we are being screwed’ would have them laughing in our faces.

    Arsenal FC would need a stage, or other public forum, to expose the vast amounts of statistical evidence available. Evidence that has been acquired over years, showing just how insidious, long term and widespread this problem is.

    But there’s the rub. Surely Arsenal would need the media to provide the forum, and that just will not happen.

    The media would just mock everything they said, despite the validity and quantity of evidence available.

    So as much as I think they are remiss in there apparent apathy to all this, it is not as simple as just raging in public. It’s a tricky one, so I do have some sympathy with them.

    As you probably know I am convinced that it is the Media who are the ‘enablers’ in all this. It is there complicity that allows, no, encourages the kind if lop sided refereeing we see on an almost weekly basis, and it is with them that the fight back should start.

    Just stop being so bloody nice to them.

    Our players will give Cross an exclusive one day, only for him to be questioning there character the very next.

    Adrian Clarke from Arsenal Player will be on TalkSport in the Morning. Durham will be insulting the manager, the players and us, the fans, in the afternoon.

    Wenger will do a lovely piece to camera for BTSport that is aired before the game. After the game they will treat him with zero respect and slag him off to the rafters.

    It would at be a start if the Club showed how they can see the complicity of the media in all this, and at least let them know they are not just going to stand impotently by and let it continue unchallenged.

    But all that being said, how to deal with this without being mocked is not straight forward.

    NB To test the water Josif try telling your football mates how we get screwed every week and see how much sympathy you get. Better still, try showing all the stats you have to back yourself, and I guarantee there eyes will of glazed over by the end of the first paragraph.

    The truth is josif, as I have said many times, nobody gives a shit, except us.

  27. Rich

    Sam Sayyed

    Excellent post. I’ve tried to make a similar point a few times : if PGMOL were well run by good people, the drive would come from within to create an organisation which did the utmost to ensure best practices at every turn.

    It’s hard to imagine myself building something on a similar scale with similar responsibilities, but if I did it would be built with human weakness and fallibility in mind. Bias is a big one. Science is unanimous on the power of bias and the fact it is insurmountable in individuals; all that can be done is to be aware of it and decrease some of it’s power through that awareness.

    If your intentions were good, how could you go wrong with designing your organisation in the way which would ensure the highest standards of practice and behaviour by making it as difficult as possible to behave badly?

    Pgmol actually seems designed the complete opposite way. If they were up to no good, it would look precisely as it does. Small, incredibly secretive, subject to no outside monitoring, ridiculously unrepresentative of the geographical regions it covers, etc.

    My knowledge of politics is average and so’s my memory, but I’m sure i once read an excellent argument that the US constitution was a great example of powerful people building a system, which was essentially for people like themselves to run, but which instead of saying ‘hey, trust us’, said ‘trust us; here’s a system which should make it harder for the powerful to get away with misdeeds’.

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