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May 2021

FA Cup Quarter Final 2015-16 Arsenal v Watford – The Match Officials. He’s ok-ish.

by Andrew Crawshaw

As this is a cup weekend, I’m not going to update the Table of Shame or Hall of Shame till League games resume on 19 March.

The Match Officials are :-

  • Referee – Andre Marriner
  • Assistants – Simon Long, Matthew Wilkes
  • Fourth Official – Stuart Attwell

In order to prepare this preview I am going to assume that exactly the same instructions have been given as would be the case in a Premier League game.

Andre Marriner has refereed two Arsenal games this season, both of which we won by a single goal margin.

Ref Review : Newcastle – Arsenal 76% overall weighted score, bias against both teams 33/67 and two wrong Important Decisions (second yellow, red cards, penalties and goals).  In Min 12 Thauvin fouled Bellerin in the penalty area, this should have resulted in a penalty and a yellow card neither of which were given.  In Min 26 Thauvin rightly was given a yellow card but this should have been his second and he should have been sent off.

Ref Review: Arsenal – Man City 58% overall, bias against both teams 87/13 and two wrong Important Decisions, both involving Fernandinho who should have had a first booking in Min 31 for a foul on Campbell (the foul was noted and advantage played but at the next halt in play the card was stuck in Marriner’s pocket).  He should have had a second yellow card for a foul on Bellerin in Min 59 and a further card for a foul on Campbell in Min 61.  Any two from three – take your pick.

Last season 2015-15 he also was in charge for two games, again we won them both, the first by one nil, the second by two nil

REF REVIEW Arsenal – Southampton 59% overall weighted score, bias against both teams 77/23 , two wrong Important Decisions.  In Min 87 a Southampton player punched the ball away from Giroud, luckily for Arsenal Ramsey scored from the rebound so we will never know if the penalty should have been given (Marriner gave no indication that he was ready to award one), certainly the player was not carded for his actions.  Min 90+2 Alexis was fouled in the penalty area without sanction.

Ref Review : Arsenal – Everton: a first half to cherish 69% overall weighted score, bias against the two teams 75/25 , and one wrong Important Decision when in Min 53 Jagielka used his arm to block a Giroud shot.  No penalty again.

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His first half was spot on – no mistakes at all, 9 fouls, one offside and a goal to Arsenal.  The PGMO tea at half time must have been spiked though as only one of the first six decisions in the second half was correct.

Going back to 2013-14 and we had Mr Marriner three times, twice at home which we won (2 – 0 v Hull and 4 – 1 v Sunderland) and the disastrous 6 – 0 away game at Chelsea where Mr Marriner (prompted by Anthony bloody Taylor) sent off Gibbs for a handball by The Ox which shouldn’t have been a red card anyway as the ball wasn’t goalbound).  There are no  referee reviews for this season.

One more year in my records 2012-13 and we had Mr Marriner only once, again at home and another win this time 5 – 1 against West Ham

Arsenal v West Ham United (5 – 1) 67% overall, bias against the two teams 69/31 and one wrong Important Decision when in Min 41 Vaz Te should have been dismissed for a second yellow card.  He was correctly booked here for dissent against being given offside (he was level) but he should have had an earlier booking for a kick on Mertesacker.

I have no ‘flags’ against Mr Long, this year but have one against Mr Wilkes for his part in the Lee Mason debacle against Southampton when he failed to flag Van Dijk offside in Min 3.  Nothing serious.

We have not had Mr Attwell as a referee this year in any of his four games in the Premier League.  We have had him once as fourth official to Mr Clattenburg when Clattenburg ensured that West Brom were able to win 2 – 1.  I hope he doesn’t think that was a proper reflection of how to referee a football match as our reviewers gave it a score of 42%.


  1. We don’t tend to see Mr Marriner too frequently, twice a year on average in league matches and most of those have been at the Emirates.
  2. Mr Marriner’s scores are rarely that good, 76, 58, 59, 69 and 67%.  Only one in fact above the minimum acceptable level of 70%.
  3. He can be influenced by other officials in his decision making, hence his cock-up over sending off Gibbs at Chelsea in 2013-14.  Also in the West Ham game in 2012-13 when in Min 67 Giroud was penalised for getting the ball away from a West Ham player behind Marriner’s back.
  4. We have won all of our home games in the last four years with him in charge – I hope that doesn’t mean he will try harder on Sunday to break that run.
  5. Mr Marriner always displays a ‘healthy’ bias of wrong decisions against Arsenal (presumably to show his PGMO masters that he is ‘onside’ with their programme).  The numbers are however not as virulent as many of his colleagues so I suspect there is a decent referee in there trying to get out.
  6. Where Mr Marriner falls down are
    1. His blindness to see penalties in favour of Arsenal and
    2. His inability to issue yellow and red cards for serious fouls on Arsenal players
  7. He is normally OK(ish) in applying advantages and less likely than most to use the ‘phantom foul’ routine but I fully expect the worst from him on Sunday.


Anniversary of the day – the full index is here; today’s selection is here

12 March 1900: Arsenal recorded their biggest ever league win.  Arsenal 12 Loughborough 0.  Only 600 turned up to this Monday afternoon game, and such was the state of Loughborough, Arsenal paid their visitors train fare to and from the game so that the match could be played.

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6 comments to FA Cup Quarter Final 2015-16 Arsenal v Watford – The Match Officials. He’s ok-ish.

  • Wessex Boy

    Atwell of course was the referee who awarded the ghost goal for Reading at Vicarage Road.

    So when Marriner c0cks up in Arsenal’s favour, expect to hear “Are you Atwell in disguise” from the 8000 Hornets fans,

  • para

    Maybe they have decided to let Arsenal win FA and keep us away from the PL trophy to keep us happy?

    Whatever, come on lads, do us proud.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    @Wessex Boy

    I hope that the officials don’t make any cock-ups in favour of either team. However, I’m sure that any wrong Important Decisions (second yellow cards, straight red cards, penalties, given or not, and incorrect goals) will be in Watford’s favour.

    Marriner usually manages two a game, somewhat better than the three a game average from all referees. In the normal run of the mill decisions, he is typically in the 70% plus range against Arsenal. Again better than the all referee average of 80-90% against Arsenal.

    I am certain that whatever the result Watford will have the ‘rub of the green’

    Mr Marriner rarely tilts the pitch to a degree that means that Arsenal are unable to win at home.though and I am hoping for Arsenal to still be in the draw on Monday evening.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin


    Andrew Crawshaw, you have warned the Gunners through your review of Ref’ Andre Marriner unreliable officiating. And therefore the Gunners MUST be prepared not to take things for granted and thus rely on Mr Andre Marriner impartial officiating. If Mr Marriner and his assistants got excited and decided to get corky with the whistle and the flags, the Gunners MUST be prepared to deal with that and play through it and win the game by scoring some undisputed goals that will knockout Watford.

    I’ve just seen the matches Schedules and kickoff time. And I’ve noticed that Barcelona are playing today at home against Getafe while we play tomorrow against Watford at the Ems. The Ucl game on Wednesday night between Barca and Arsenal won’t be played on a level playing ground as Barca will have 3 days rest before going into playing the match while Arsenal will have only 2 days rest.

    What is that! The Boss has said that, the clubs take the TV money from Sky Sports & BT Sports. While they decide the schedules of the games But is it at the Detriment of Arsenal games & good results?

  • fabrechenko

    we should be ok, depends though on the inclusion of crossbar and sidebars as defenders for watford tommorow.

  • ob1977

    Is it a sorry state of affairs when I see an earlier ratio of say 69/31 in favour of an opponent and I think that’s not bad… ?