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Arsenal v Southampton Sat 10 September 2016 – The Match Officials

by Andrew Crawshaw

For our last game at Watford we had Kevin Friend as our Referee assisted by I Hussin and M McDonough.  Broadly Mr Friend performed as predicted, 78% overall weighted preformance, bias against the two teams of 25/75 and 2 wrong Important Decisions a not given second yellow card for Amrabat in Min 76 and a not given red card for Behrami in Min 83.  Mr Hussin missed one offside when he didn’t spot Walcott offside in Min 49.  However none of these wrong decisions had any impact on the outcome of the game which we had wrapped up in the first half.

For Matchweek 4 we are at home to Southampton with a traditional 15:00 kick-off.  Our Match officials are :-

  • Referee – Robert Madley – Age 30 from West Yorkshire
  • Assistant 1 – Marc Perry – from the West Midlands
  • Assistant 2 – Eddie Smart – also from the West Midlands
  • Fourth Official – Simon Hooper – from Wiltshire

None have FIFA accreditation but as we saw last week that needn’t have any impact on their ability.

Last Season 2015 – 16 we had Mr Madley twice, both at home

Arsenal (3) v Sunderland (1) on 5 Dec

Ref Review : Arsenal – Sunderland

He scored a season high for all referees of 90% in that match only getting 2 decisions wrong all game – one of which was a wrong Important Decision (second yellow, red cards, penalties and goals) when he failed to award a penalty in Min 39 for a foul by Kaboul on Giroud.

The second game was a complete contrast as he had a complete stinker.

Arsenal (1) v Swansea (2) 2 Mar 2016

Ref Review : Arsenal – Swansea, when is it going to start to even out?

Here he got a weighted score of 38% rightly earning a place in our Hall of Shame.  His bias was 93/7 and he made no fewer than 5 wrong Important Decisions.  Min 32 Swansea scored a goal as a direct result of a not given foul by Amat on Ozil for which Amat should have been booked.  Min 47 Amat should have had a second yellow card for an attack breaking foul on Giroud; Min 73 Ayew should have been sent off for a dive (given as a foul against Gabriel; Min 74 Williams was offside as he scored Swansea’s second goal and in Min 84 Ayew should have been sent off again for a second dive (this one given as a foul against Wellbeck.  Three points certainly decided by a referee who was piss poor on the day.

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In 2014-15 we only had Mr Madley once in our 4 – 1 win against West Brom on the last day of the season.  There isn’t a full review of this game.  That was the first Arsenal game Mr Madley had been given.

So far this season Mr Madley has refereed 2 games getting 4 Important Decisions Wrong last week (one in each category), he did get two non penalty decisions right though as he made a balls up of the Spurs v Liverpool game.  His previous game he did OK with no wrong Important Decisions and one correct Important Decision.


  1. We still have too little information on Mr Madley to accurately predict how he is going to perform.  He can be excellent or terrible and the chance of either seems to be about 50/50
  2. He is not as bad as many in judging penalties (but then that really is damming with extremely faint praise.  So far this season he has one wrong and three right.
  3. When it comes to disciplinary offences he is much poorer with 2 wrong in his two games this year and 3 in the two Arsenal games last season.
  4. Worryingly in his reviewed games last season and this he has managed to get three goals wrong.
  5. He would seem to be a referee who could be greatly helped by video refereeing, with that not being an option I regard this Saturday as a lottery.  He could be great or equally he could be terrible.


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8 comments to Arsenal v Southampton Sat 10 September 2016 – The Match Officials

  • Gord

    Can it be said that Madley is either good or poor, but not mediocre?

    Thanks for the update Andrew.

  • Pete

    My sense is that our first three referees have performed significantly better than we are used to (albeit still not fantastic, and still with residual bias against). So pretty happy so far. Let’s hope Mr Madley has a decent game tomorrow – so we are talking about the game and not the ref subsequently.

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    To be forewarned is to be forearmed, therefore, the Gunners MUST be on their guards tomorrow and be fully prepared to deal with any erratic referring Referee Robert Madley may choose to do.

    I believe Arsenal will create many goals scoring chances during the match and all that will be required for the Gunners whom the chances fell to is to bury their chances and not fluff their lines. In this wise, Olivier Giroud should take heed not to fluff his lines tomorrow when Le Prof will start him to leads the line for us as his hand has become forced to start him ahead of his now preferred to lead the line – Alexis Sanchez who should be physically exhausted and Jet lagged haven just returned yesterday – Thursday from South America.

    The Gunners should not fluff their lines at all but bury their chances. It’s only when they do that that Southampton will be dead and bury and referee Robert Madley will not have the chance to implement any Pgmo directive given to him to implement against Arsenal if at all he’s been give one.

    Full-Time Score.
    Arsenal 4-0 Southampton.

  • Yommex

    Was it simply a coincidence that the season Mike Dean was not allowed to referee our matches after the Chelsea debacle we attained our highest league position in 10 years.?

    Many atimes, the psychological effect of such matches cannot be overemphasized. I am of the opinion that had we won or not lost that match, our season would have taken an entirely different turn as it would have instilled an immense belief in the team.

  • para

    Clean sheets. That’s what we need. Win the game but do not give away any silly goals, make them work for any points.

    This is (should be) the Arsenal mantra, especially at home. 🙂

  • Rich

    I’m trying not to mention it too often (this makes three)…but have a read of Halsey’s book, Andrew and the ref reviewers

    Feels like such a shame not to when there is so much insight in it into the world we discuss so often here but are essentially locked out of.

    Plus… there could be a job in it for you.

    There was a change in policy ,about 4 seasons back; so ,instead of relying on scores from match assessors in the ground, they hired video assessors (7 of them, on 14 grand per year). These guys watch the dvd and score the ref, who their report is sent on to within two days.

    Halsey disapproved of this, presumably because a video assessor will pick up more, can watch incidents multiple times, etc.

    So any time the ref reviewers here are doing their thing, know they have a pgmol brother or two who has gone through the same process.

    The book is full of these details which we would never otherwise find out, and also provides invaluable context into how one ref sees things and operates.

    For instance, there is loads in there about game management and how Halsey saw it as his job to try provide a good game and not to ‘inflame’ a game, much of which relies on ‘not booking’ people even when he could/should, especially early on and if it’s a big game. I thought back to that Carroll challenge on Kos, but it would cover no end of the incidents we have seen and been infuriated by.

    There’s enough in there to fuel debate here for many a month.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Thanks for the review, cause for concern, let’s hope they can put the game out of sight whatever the ref does or doesn’t do
    Agree Pete, not the worst refereeing so far……but that will change should we become a direct threat to any of the chosen.
    And thanks for reminding me we are playing today, looking through the MSM, you would be forgiven for thinking there was only one game on today

  • finsbury

    A strange performance from Mr. R.Madley today.

    Looking forward to the review.

    He seemed very charitable towards the saints but then I guess they were taking the piss, as he’d encouraged them to do so, by the end of the match. Henc the yellows for scuffing the pelanty spot. You don’t even see that in a non-league match. Remarkable!
    How did he not give a yellow for rugby tackle on Cazorla? The mind boggles.