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Manchester City v Arsenal Sunday 8 May – The Match Officials

by Andrew Crawshaw

Following the review of Roger East in the Palace game

Here is the updated Table of Shame

Wrong Important Decisions Favouring Arsenal Favouring Opponents
2nd Yellow Cards 1 44
Red Cards 2 16
Penalties 3 30
Goals 1 11
Total 7 101
Possible Cost in Points 0 29

Only one wrong Important Decision and no cost in points so we need to be thankful for small mercies.  Mr East got his customary slightly below adequate weighted score of 67%, exactly the same as in his other Arsenal game this season so no real surprises.

No change to the Wall of Shame

Ref Game Weighted Score Bias against (h/a) Link to Ref Review
Craig Pawson Stoke v Arsenal 34 5/95 Stoke v Arsenal
Lee Mason Arsenal v Southampton 34 80/20 Arsenal v Southampton
Robert Madley Arsenal v Swansea 38 93/7 Arsenal – Swansea
Mike Dean Chelsea v Arsenal 41 5/95 Chelsea – Arsenal
Martin Atkinson Arsenal v Spurs 41 82/18 Arsenal – Tottenham
Craig Pawson West Ham v Arsenal 42 23/77 West Ham v Arsenal
Mark Clattenburg West Brom v Arsenal 42 9/91 West Brom v Arsenal
Mark Clattenburg Everton Arsenal 43 6/94 Everton v Arsenal
Anthony Taylor Arsenal v Newcastle 48 9/91 Arsenal – Newcastle
Jonathan Moss Southampton v Arsenal 49 22/78 Southampton v Arsenal
  • Referee – Anthony Taylor
  • Assistants – L Betts and S Burt
  • Fourth Official – M Jones

Fourth time this season for Mr Taylor his previous three games were all home wins :-

Ref Review : Arsenal – Man Utd, more of the same

59% Overall weighted score bias against he two teams 97/3 and five wrong Important Decisions (second yellow or red cards, penalties or goals).  We should have had a penalty in the 4th minute when Schweinsteiger held and threw Gabriel to the ground, and there were four missed second yellow cards, Schweinsteiger in Min 45+1 and again in Min 45+2, Min 73 and again in Min 90 Fellaini.  A Manchester referee in charge of a Manchester Club, absolutely no chance of any possible conflict of interest!

Ref Review : Arsenal – Newcastle

Mr Taylor’s one Arsenal entry on our Hall of Shame.  48% overall, bias against the two teams of 9/91 but surprisingly only one wrong Important Decision when in Min 53 Colback dived, Taylor bought it and incorrectly awarded a free kick to Newcastle, Colback should have been booked for the dive and received a second yellow card.

Ref Review : Arsenal – Watford, a game of two halves…

66% Overall, bias against the two teams of 45/55 – yes that’s right a game where we could have no complaints about bias – he was plain bad for both teams.  Again only one wrong Important Decision when Prodl pushed Wellbeck in Min 17 he failed to award a penalty to Arsenal.

Assistant Referees

I have no flags this season against either Mr Betts or Mr Burt, both have clean sheets in their previous Arsenal games, for both of them this will be their fifth appearance.

Last Season 2014-15 we had the ‘pleasure’ of Mr Taylor five times, of which only the first three were reviewed.  To be fair to him he got far better scores than this year, we had three good wins, 3 – 0 at home to West Ham, 5 – 0 at home to Aston Villa and 4 – 1 at home to Liverpool and two draws 1 – 1 away at Leicester and 0 – 0 at home to Sunderland.

Ref review Leicester – Arsenal

61% Overall weighted score, bias against both teams, 7/93, Three wrong Important Decisions (all against Arsenal), Min 50 Hammond pushed Cazorla in the Leicester penalty area, should have been a penalty, Min 58 Moore should have had a second yellow card for a ‘professional’ foul on Sanogo and in Min 84 Hammond should have had a straight red card for deliberately stepping on Ramsey’s leg as he lay on the ground.  Two points denied by the Referee.

Ref Review(s) : Arsenal – West Ham, two for the price of one

Mr Taylor took over as referee in Min 59 following an injury to.  In his time on the pitch his scores were 73% overall weighted score, bias 83/17 and no wrong Important Decisions

Ref Review : Arsenal – Aston Villa. Arsenal commit two fouls in 45 minutes.

85% overall weighted score, bias against both teams 100/0.  A very good exhibition of refereeing – if only he was always like this.

In Summary

  1. Despite regularly getting poor scores in our weighted analyses Mr Taylor is a referee under whom we tend to do quite well.  That’s for sure put the mockers on our chances for Sunday.
  2. This year in his two games other than Manchester United, he has made only two wrong Important Decisions which is entirely creditable seeing that the overall average is three per game.
  3. In the United game he made five and we still won three nil.  At least there was no chance of him being accused of an anti Manchester bias in the shops near his Manchester home.
  4. It is surprising that Spurs got a change of referee from a Leicestershire based referee in their recent game and Arsenal can be given a Manchester based referee for two games against Manchester clubs – a case of double standards if ever I saw them.
  5. Mr Taylor’s bias figures against Arsenal are generally terrible, in the six games reviewed above only this year’s Watford game was within the 60/40 range I would regard as acceptable, The rest have been 83% or higher (we can ignore the 100% bias figures for last year’s game against Villa as there were very few wrong calls and he really did well in that game).
  6. We can expect the usual not given Arsenal penalty, our players being penalised for breathing in the direction of City opponents and City being allowed far more lattitude in the force they can use in challenges.
  7. We also need to keep an eagle eye open for the old ‘phantom foul’ trick and for inappropriate use of the advantage rule.


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13 comments to Manchester City v Arsenal Sunday 8 May – The Match Officials

  • Pete

    Hmm. As we believe Taylor is a closet MU fan surely he would want MC to lose? Ditto PIGMOB? this could be very interesting!

  • para

    Let’s not even imagine City will be tired, they will want to qualify for CL without playoffs, that said, why should their manager care? He is not there next season. Players also do not know who will be there next season. Also interesting.

    Hope ManC have bitten themselves in the foot by announcing Pep too early. Ha!!! 🙂

    Still we cannot rely on anything other than ourselves to beat them.

    Lets wish that this(your comment) is true eh? 🙂

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    Arsenal have had a poor outings on the roads in their big away games so far this season. They have collected only 2 points in the 4 big away games they’ve played and have dropped10 points in the process.

    It will be hard for a die hard Arsenal supporter like myself to put my hand on my chest and declare with confidence that Arsenal will beat Man City at the Etihad on Sunday evening.

    But haven said this. My hope is, the Boss will make a starts that will claim Arsenal only big game away win this season.

    The Boss had talked about Leicester City high intensity productive counter attacking football which had delivered the BPL title to them as an eye opener as against the beautiful to watch possession based attacking football of Arsenal that has failed to win the title for 3 seasons in a row.

    Arsenal have failed to win the title this season because Arsenal main striker has failed to be consistent in his delivering the goods for Arsenal. The pattern of his inconsistency is not new to the Boss. But he didn’t take any action over it. As if to compound the issue, Sanchez form got dipped after he returned from his injuries. While Welbeck goals scoring form has remained on the very average level for Arsenal when he came back from his injury too. Arsenal midfielders scored about 40 goals last season. How many goals have they scored this season? Less than 20? Our defense line I think have scored only 5 goals this season as against over 10 goals they scored last season. This imbalances in goals scoring in-between the lines of the Gunners has cost Arsenal winning the title this season.

  • Matthew


    I haven’t found Arsenal’s football beautiful to watch. I found it very dull and unproductive this season. When we were at our absolute title-winning peak, we dominated possession but we moved the ball forward very sharply, accurately and quickly and didn’t waste passes and over-elaborate. The Vardy goal against West Ham when they went from back to front in a few seconds is the sort of goal that we used to score, especially in the run-in of 1998 and 2002.

  • Pat

    I’m always a bit nervous about Antony Taylor because I think it was the season before last he totally turned us over in the first match of the season. That was one of Arsene Wenger’s ‘special circumstances’ matches.

  • WalterBroeckx

    sorry but the Palace match did cost us another 2 points.
    A blatant penalty foul on Koscielny not given and that would have given us 2 goals against 1.
    So I count this as 2 points lost because of the PGMO

  • Mandy Dodd

    Good point Pete.
    As for those rare and elusive things known as penalties, don’t worry, will get one against Villa, just hope our players remember how to take then. Might need to play Arteta for that game

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Lets hope that the disappointment of being knocked out in the CL semi finals , along with the uncertainties of the upcoming changes of players, management staff and playing styles combine to render them easy prey for an assault by us.

    Hope we put up a good showing while the other results work in our favour .

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Walter, you are quite correct, East did cost us two points which are included in the table. My error in the writing the summary which I should have written as:-

    “Only one wrong Important Decision but an important one. In Min24 Delaney clearly fouled Kos in the penalty ares. Needless to say nothing was given so the game ended one all instead of (probably) two one to Arsenal. Two points to the referees.”

  • Josif

    If I were the manager, I would keep Wilshere on the bench. Taylor seems to have a personal agenda against Jack as his performances in our matches against Sunderland (2012-13) and Aston Villa (2013-14) prove as Jack was kicked all over the place without any protection from the ref.

    Speaking about City and the refs, we won last season at Etihad with Dean in charge (!!!) and we got a penalty (!!!!!!!!!!). If we give our best performance as we did against United at home, Taylor will be reduced to a role of the powerless bystander with a whistle.

  • nicky

    I wonder what the effect these critical reports on referees will have on the individuals concerned. Just before an Arsenal game. Match officials are only human and it just seems to me that many would regard criticism as highly personal rather than constructive.
    That is not to say that this form of reporting should cease. Merely that the treatment of Arsenal on the field of play by incompetent or corrupt officials might well be effected by this form of criticism.

  • Pete

    MU have just beaten Norwich so are one behind MC. As AFC’s last game is at home to Villa MU’s best chance of sneaking into that super-valuable CL spot is for MC to stumble… As if the local rivalry wasn’t significant enough.

    Funnily enough, the appointed referee lives around the corner from Old Trafford. Strange, that.

    I have a suspicion that we may see a positive tilt at long last.

  • Gord

    I don’t believe for a moment, that unexpected performances are solely random factors. Mike Riley 😈 just seems to set on doing what he can to “put the right result” on the books. FA with their tilting via disciplinary decisions.

    AV has been in the EPL since the beginning. Their average finish 52.4 points, and the standard deviation on that is about 9.4 points. The last time they finished above their own average, was 2008/09. Just eyeballing their record, you would say they were more or less constant from 1992/93 out to about 2003/04, and since then they might have been slowly drifting down.

    If we say that they should finish about 52 points, they are currently not quite 4 standard deviations below that. If they have been drifting down since 2004, then it may be closer to 3 standard deviations off expectations. In any event, observing data points 3 standard deviations off expected is not too unusual. It is nowhere near things like 6 SD off.

    The position of the relegation cut, is something like a mini-league all unto itself, averaging performances among different teams, and hence should have less variance than a single team. The cut has averaged 34.3 points, with a standard deviation of about 5.2. The quoted warning level of 40, is about 1 SD above the average.

    The last position has had an average of 27.5, with a SD of 6.4. Which lends some credence to my suggestion that the position of the cut should have less variance. And this expected point level for last, is slightly less than 3 SD below the long term finish of Aston Villa.

    If we look at Leicester this year, their finish is almost exactly the same number of SD above Aston Villa’s average finish (slightly less than 3 SD). Leicester has only been in the EPL 8 years, and eyeballing their record while in the EPL, it could easily be consistent with an average of 52 (Aston Villa’s expected finish).

    It is more likely that Leicester’s expected finish to be near the cut, at 34.3. Which is more than 4.5 SD (Aston Villa’s SD) above the expectation. And Leicester can still finish higher than 78, which is making this outlier less and less likely to be due to random factors. And then one sees the penalty data, and you can see the work of Riley.

    In any event, I think the EPL is a league of 13-14 teams that have an expectation of about 52 points for a season, with 6-7 teams that should (on average) finish above that. I don’t believe this top 6-7 has a single expectation, I think their could easily be 3 different expectations in that group.

    It’s been a statistically interesting year, especially since PGMO have made Leicester’s performance so unlikely.