Arsenal v Stoke Sat 10 December 2016 – The Match Officials

by Andrew Crawshaw

  • Referee – Lee Mason.  Age 44 from Lancashire
  • Assistant 1 – Simon Beck.  From Bedfordshire and FIFA Accredited
  • Assistant 2 – Mick McDonnough.  From Tyne and Wear
  • Fourth Official – P Tierney.  Age 35 from Lancashire

This will be the first time this year that Lee Mason has been in charge of a game featuring either Arsenal or Stoke so there is no specific data yet.  We can look at his performances in all games up to week 12 – here is the table of wrong Important Decisions (second Yellow cards, red cards, penalties and goals) :-

Season to Date
Referee Games 2nd Yellow Red Penalties Goal Total Avg
Roger East 5 2 3 8 2 15 3
Mike Dean 10 5 8 8 4 25 2.5
Robert Madley 9 4 10 7 1 22 2.44
Craig Pawson 7 2 8 7 0 17 2.43
Anthony Taylor 10 4 5 8 3 20 2
Graham Scott 2 0 2 2 0 4 2
Mark Clattenburg 8 7 3 5 1 16 2
Michael Oliver 10 5 6 7 2 20 2
Andre Marriner 9 7 5 4 1 17 1.89
Lee Mason 6 2 3 4 2 11 1.83
Martin Atkinson 10 5 9 3 1 18 1.8
Jon Moss 9 6 3 4 2 15 1.67
Kevin Friend 6 1 6 3 0 10 1.67
Paul Tierney 2 0 2 1 0 3 1.5
Stuart Attwell 3 1 1 2 0 4 1.33
Mike Jones 7 3 3 1 1 8 1.14
Neil Swarbrick 7 1 3 3 1 8 1.14

So he is firmly mid-table in terms of the number of wrong Important Decisions that he has made so far with an average of virtually two per game (11 in 6 games).

How is he doing in terms of those he has got correct?

Season to Date
Referee Matches Second Yellow Cards Red Cards Penalties Total
Mark Clattenburg 8 1 0 19+1* 21
Mike Dean 10 1 0 16 17
Andre Marriner 9 0 1 14 15
Robert Madley 9 0 0 12 12
Michael Oliver 10 0 0 11 11
Neil Swarbrick 7 0 0 11 11
Craig Pawson 7 0 0 10 10
Roger East 5 0 2 7 9
Jon Moss 9 0 2 5+1* 8
Lee Mason 6 1 0 5+1* 7
Martin Atkinson 10 0 0 7 7
Mike Jones 7 0 0 7 7
Anthony Taylor 10 0 0 6 6
Kevin Friend 6 0 0 5 5
Stuart Attwell 3 0 0 4+1* 5
Graham Scott 2 0 0 3+1* 4
Paul Tierney 2 0 0 4 4

The answer is again in mid table.  So far this season he has 7 correct calls and 11 wrong.  He is good when judging penalties with 6 out of 10 correct, less good on disciplinary offences (red and second yellow cards) with 1 correct out of 6.

I must point out that in his 6 games this year he has only had to deal with 18 Important Decisions in total, Mark Clattenburg in contrast has had to deal with 37 in his 8 games an average of 50% more per game.  There is little to suggest how Mr Mason will get on in a game where there might be a higher number of such decisions to be made.

Past History of Mr Mason in Arsenal Games

2015-16 – three matches two wins and one goalless draw where Mr Mason denied Arsenal the win they deserved by failing to award any of the four penalties we should have had.

Crystal Palace v Arsenal 16 August 2015 (1 – 2)

The most detailed Referee Reviews in the history of football: Crystal Palace – Arsenal

66% Overall weighted score, bias against the two teams of 10/90 and two wrong Important Decisions, both not awarded penalties to Arsenal, the first in Min7 for a foul by Puncheon on Sanchez, the second in Min84 for a foul be Delaney on Giroud

Arsenal v Everton 24 October 2015 (2 – 1)

Referee Review: Arsenal – Everton : the dead sparrow review

58% overall weighted score, bias against the two teams of 72/28 and two wrong Important Decisions.  Minute77 Delofeu for his second dive of the match and a not given penalty to Arsenal in Min82 for a foul on Bellerin by Mirallas

Arsenal v Southampton 2 Feb 2016 (0 – 0)

Ref Review: Arsenal – Southampton; Mason doing the PGMO job and doing worse than if he had given decisions at random

This was an appalling piece of refereeing, overall weighted score of 34%, bias against the two teams of 80/20 and 6 wrong Important Decisions.

  • Min 56 Tadic fouled Campbell in the penalty area, this should have been a penalty to Arsenal and a second yellow card for Tadic (neither were given),
  • Min66 Tadic should have had a third yellow card for kicking the ball away (deliberate time wasting),
  • Min 68 Arsenal should have had a penalty for a foul by Fonte on Giroud,
  • Min 70 Arsenal should have had a penalty for a foul by Fonte on Giroud and
  • Min71 Arsenal should have had a fourth penalty for a foul on Koscielny by Bertrand.  His overall weighted score of 34% indicates that effectively two thirds of all of his decisions were wrong in this game – that is bad on a biblical scale.

2014-15 – two games both wins for Arsenal

Arsenal v Newcastle 13 December 2014 (4 – 1)

Ref Review Arsenal – Newcastle

76% overall weighted score, bias against the two teams of 100/0 and three wrong Important Decisions.

  • Min8 Tiote should have had a straight red card for a studs up challenge to Alexis’ chest,
  • Min 15 Wellbeck scored a goal only for it to be ruled out for a non-existent foul and
  • Min87 Dummett should have had a second yellow card for bringing down Wellbeck in the penalty area – on this occasion Mr Mason did award the penalty though.

Hull v Arsenal 4 May 2015 (1 – 3) – for this game there is no detailed referee review

2013-14 – we had Mr Mason on four occasions winning against both Cardiff and Norwich away from home and drawing against Southampton and West Brom also away from the Emirates – this was a year when we didn’t conduct any detailed referee reviews


So far this season Mr Mason hasn’t set the refereeing world alight, nor has he been terrible.  He has only had to make an average of 3 Important decisions per game and had got 2 of them wrong.  He hasn’t been too bad with penalties (6 out of 10 correct) but is terrible with sendings off (1 correct out of 6).  He has also managed to get two goals wrong which is worrying.

In his past history with Arsenal he has shown himself to be pretty poor and his bias numbers against Arsenal are pretty terrible.  His performances have been getting steadily worse ending with his last game in February where his weighted score was 34%.  If you make a random decision each time there is a foul you would get a score of 50% so to get as low as 34% really takes some doing.

I would hope that his scores this season indicate that he has got better but I wouldn’t hold out too much hope.

I would also be very surprised if he awards Arsenal a penalty on Saturday, he normally turns a blind eye in our games.

Our games with Stoke frequently are feisty encounters and he will need to be willing to impose order on the game early on.  We will know in the first few minutes if he is up to the task or not.  If the first fouls by both teams are correctly called then we should end up with a game of football, if not then we could be in for another game of rugby.

Worryingly he is pretty poor when it comes to sending off offences having got 5 out of 6 wrong this year and another 5 in the four games referred to above.


Just a little footnote from Tony:

One of Untold’s regular feeders of news spotted this, last night: a link from Red London, one of the click bait sites that gets you to click on what you think is the button to get rid of an advert overlay, only to find it takes you into the advert (and thus earns them money).

So far most sites have let Untold have the detailed referee analysis to ourselves so I was interested in a newcomer appearing.   The link to the article reads “football association announced solid referee for arsenal match”.  If you click on the click (with extreme caution to avoid the advert trap) you get the headline “Football Association announces erratic referee for Arsenal match”.  Ah well.

Tales from Untold 

Wenger ponders whether Yaya Sanogo will ever really be good enough for Arsenal. 

At long last; legal action against Fifa over maltreatment of workers in Qatar begins

We can we learn after the first 14 games? A comparison with past years.

The psychology index: how the way players feel influences how they play

Arsenal to lose Özil and Alexis this summer as journalists ordered back on the job

Referee Appointments and Results Matchweek #12 complete with video evidence

The Rise and Rise of Eddie NKetiah

36 consecutive passes leading up to the second goal and the feelgood factor rises

CL Basel – Arsenal1-4 : A Lucas hattrick and top of the group!



5 Replies to “Arsenal v Stoke Sat 10 December 2016 – The Match Officials”

  1. Whatever be the anti-Arsenal referring antics and erratic referring behaviour which Ref’ Lee Mason and his 2 assistants might have planned to bring into the PL match officiating at the Ems this Saturday against Arsenal won’t work. And if at all it worked, it’ll only work against Stoke City.

    If Stoke City think they are a bogey side, let them hold it there. For, I have bad news for them this Saturday. Arsenal will be more bogey against them than they will imagine Arsenal can be and thus bogey the bogey with heavy bogey.

    Any blasphemy committing by any of the match officials and the Stoke City entourage against Arsenal in this match will not be tolerated to stand nor to have any effect whatsoever in the outcomes of this match by Arsenal. For, Arsenal are inviolable, unassailable and are totally sacrosanct against any kind of defilement Stoke City and the match officials may have planned to defile the Gunners with, in this game on Saturday.

  2. Think we need a repeat of last weekend to neutralise any refereeing issues…..not easy to do though.
    Expecting a penalty or two denied for Arsenal, an early booking for Coq/Xhaka or both, rotational fouling and timewasting allowed.
    Oft said, but an early Arsenal goal will be most welcome in this one
    In games elsewhere, Poch vs Mourinho….a veritable Divers Derby, but perhaps the one stadium in the country where Spurs will not continue their strange run of highly dubious penalties, which is giving Leicester of last year a run for their money. Jose will most likely spontaneously combust if Alli gets away with cheating yet again

  3. OT: Football data

    Github has many sets of football data at github. I looked briefly at English data, it doesn’t look extensive enough for what I am doing. But, maybe it works for you?

    Actually, I would probably need to “clone” the database using “git”, and see what is there. There are versions of “git” for Windows, MacOS and other operating systems.

    No, it seems you can download zip archives of the data. Everything seems to revolve around a sportdb program, and I am not sure where that is. It might be somewhere in this github project, or it might be elsewhere. It looks like most of the tools of this project are written in a language called ruby.

    It looks like some (most? all?) data can be put into sqlite, and there seems to be tools to export to CSV text files.

  4. OT: Football data

    Sure, post the comment and then find the program. Sportdb is another project at github.

    There are hooks to (older) Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation data.

    This is mostly (all?) ruby stuff, and does support other sports as well (is there anything beyond football?).

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