Bournemouth v Arsenal 3 January 2017 – The Match Officials. Beware a return to the old ways.

by Andrew Crawshaw

We start the second half of the season with a trip to sunny Bournemouth on the South Coast.  Our officials for the game are :-

  • Referee – Michael Oliver  31 years old from Northumberland and FIFA Accredited
  • Assistant Referee 1 – Stuart Burt  From Northamptonshire and FIFA Accredited
  • Assistant Referee 2 – Simon Bennett  From Staffordshire and FIFA Accredited
  • Fourth Official – Graham Scott – 48 years old from Oxfordshire

This will be the third time we will have seen Mr Oliver so far this season, which is one too many.  However for once I don’t mind that too much as his decision making has been pretty good in his first two games against Liverpool and Chelsea.

Mr Bennett has a ‘flag’ from the 0 – 0 draw away to Leicester when in Min 22 he failed to flag Walcott for being offside.  A mistake in our favour, but still a wrong call.

In our matchweek 13 referee review we found that Mr Oliver was making on average 2 wrong and one correct Important Decisions per game so he is better than that mark in his two Arsenal games.

Arsenal v Liverpool 20 August (3 – 4)

Ref Review: Arsenal – Liverpool

82% overall, bias against the two teams of 60/40 and two wrong Important decisions (second yellow cards, red cards, penalties and goals).  Min 45+1 Liverpool’s first goal was scored from a ‘phantom foul (there was no foul and so the goal shouldn’t have stood.  Min 75 Chambers was offside when he scored Arsenal’s third goal.  Two mistakes on goals one from each team  Liverpool scored 3 valid goals, Arsenal 2 so on balance no change to the points awarded to either team.  The bias scores were just on my 60/40 rule of thumb so acceptable on that score as well.

Arsenal v Chelsea 24 September (3 – 0)

Ref Review Arsenal – Chelsea : Another good performance from the ref!

81.4% overall weighted score, bias against the two teams of 10/90 and no wrong Important Decisions.  Another 80% plus performance, can’t really ask for more than that, bias was more the PGMO normal but none of the wrong decisions were Important which is excellent in an Arsenal game.

What has he been like in the past two seasons?

2015-16 – Two games and two draws

Arsenal v Liverpool 24 August (0 – 0)

Ref Review: Arsenal – Liverpool

67% overall weighted score, bias against the two teams of 90/10 and three wrong Important Decisions which certainly cost us two points.  Min 8 Aaron Ramsey scored a perfectly good goal only for it to be ruled out for an erroneous offside decision. Min 72 Lucas should have conceded a penalty for a foul on Giroud and in Min 85 Mignolet was correctly given a yellow card for timewasting but that should have been his second as he should have had a first in Min 58 when he deliberately kicked the ball away.

Spurs v Arsenal 5 March (2 – 2)

Ref Review: Tottenham – Arsenal : not the consistency we are asking for

56% overall weighted score, bias against the two teams of 14/86 and two wrong Important Decisions.  Min 65 Lamella fouls Sanchez for a yellow card (given) and then pushes him for a second (not given), Min 79 Dier  (already on a yellow card) made a deliberate attack breaking foul – the foul was given but not the second yellow card.  Another two points denied by the referee.  25 minutes against 10 men and 10 against 9 would almost certainly have seen an Arsenal win.

Going back to 2014-15 and we had Mr Oliver on three occasions – three draws against Spurs, Liverpool and Chelsea.  We have full reviews for the Spurs and Liverpool games only.

Arsenal v Spurs 27 Sept (1 – 1)

REFEREE REVIEW: Arsenal – Tottenham

66% overall weighted score, bias against the two teams of 85/15 and two wrong Important Decisions.  Min 30 Rose should have conceded a penalty for a foul on Wilshere and Min 72 Mason should have had a second yellow card for a foul on Özil (his first should have come in Min 15 for a foul on Wilshere).  Another game where we were denied two points by Mr Oliver.

Liverpool v Arsenal 21 December (2 – 2)

Ref Review Liverpool – Arsenal. Someone put something in the ref’s tea at half time

67% overall weighted score, bias against the two teams 0/100 and two wrong Important Decisions.  Min 61 Sterling should have been dismissed for a second yellow card (deliberate handball) his first should have come in Min 46 for a dive when Debuchy was wrongly booked instead.  Min 90+1 Borini was dismissed for a second yellow card, the challenge deserved a straight red card carrying a three match suspension.  Again a draw where the result should probably have been an Arsenal win with a man advantage for 30 minutes.

Arsenal v Chelsea 26 April (0 – 0) – here is a link to Walter’s post game report.

Arsenal – Chelsea, wake us up at the final whistle

Chelsea coming for and getting a draw with a typical Maureen example of anti-football.  No  indications of any howlers from Mr Oliver in this one.


  1. In the two years before this season we drew all five games with Mr Oliver in charge and his name on the sheet was an indication that we would get a substandard referee who would deny us wins through wrong Important Decisions.  His weighted scores were 67, 56, 66 and 67% in the four games we fully reviewed, none reaching the 70% minimum acceptable level.  A return to these levels would not be good news.
  2. In his two Arsenal games this season his refereeing has been much better with weighted scores of  82 and 81% which are perfectly acceptable, in the second game he also made no wrong Important Decisions.  On this kind of form we should welcome his appointment.
  3. The one concern I have is that his overall numbers this season are lower than his Arsenal ones and it seems that he has been over-performing in our games and a reversion to his more normal levels looks likely.
  4. We should expect him to make
    1. Two wrong Important Decisions, probably both against Arsenal.
    2. Opposition players deserving of being sent off won’t be
    3. He has been average this year on penalties with 12 correct out of 19 (63%) – Roger East is worst with 46.7% and Paul Tierney is best with 83.3 but both have refereed far fewer games.
    4. He is 0 out of 13 correct on sending off offences – but these are fairly typical numbers, no-one has a decent record in this area of decisions.
    5. He is still capable of pulling the old ‘phantom foul’ routine to give opposition teams a chance to play the ball into our penalty area from dangerous locations
    6. Bournemouth will benefit from wrong decisions probably by an 80/20 or higher ratio.


Untold Arsenal: 

5 Replies to “Bournemouth v Arsenal 3 January 2017 – The Match Officials. Beware a return to the old ways.”

  1. This our away PL match to AFC Bournemouth will be played at night – 19:45 PM GMT tonight when the weather is likely to be very cold and maybe wintry too despite Bournemouth being a sunny seaside town.

    While most PL clubs have played their new year festive matches schedule mostly during the daytime to avoid sever cold, Arsenal have been added another disadvantage to play their today’s PL game in the winter cold weather in addition to haven just played their last match just last Saturday. Thereby having an interval of only 2 days rest in between 2 PL games. While a club like Chelsea playing Spurs away tomorrow will have the advantage of one day rest over other clubs haven played their last PL match early last Saturday.

    The bottom line in this case is are Chelsea being unduly helped to win this League this season by the League management board, the FA, the Sky Sports & BT Sports PL matches scheduling TV broadcasters or what?

    Nevertheless, we have to beat Bournemouth in the cold tonight irrespective if the title race this season has already been fixed to crown the winners. The Gunners have 3 opponents in their tonight match to overcome before they can collect all the 3 points that will be at stake in the match. Their 1st opponent is the Bournemouth team, that’s not a problem, the Gunners can and will overcome the challenge with ease.

    Their 2nd opponent in the game are the Pgmol match fixing agents – the match officials, who may have been instructed to fix the result of this match just like Mike Dean fixed the result of last evening PL match between West Ham and Man Utd to the favour of Man U to help them get into a top 4 place finish in the table at the end of this season. The Gunners should therefore score 3 undisputed goals early or later in the game and defend very well not to concede any to the Cherries to deny the Pgmol match officials successfully carrying out their nefarious act against Arsenal.

    The last opponent the 3rd the Gunners will have to contend with is the likely freezing cold weather at the Vitality Stadium. In this case, I advice the Gunners to wear inner round neck singlet tops & shorts. Then put on their thicker sweater made away kits and also wear cold resistant stockings to minimize the cold having any serious effect on them during the game.

  2. So we can expect that he refs the game to make us draw or even lose even though this year he reffed two of our games well. Seems like a 50/50 chance to me, anyway we will see.

    We need to keep on winning now as there will be slip ups. Just make sure that we do not slip up now. Make it 3 games tonight lads.

  3. Does any one remember, “Man utd are important for brand premier league”….

    Bow wonder they get offside goals and easy outings from the officials..

  4. Is Sanchez’s game having a rub on effect on some Pl players and influencing their game positively for their clubs this season? Marcus Rashford of Man Utd has appeared to have switched his style playing to that of our own Alexis Sanchez’s style of play as he Rashford played to the near edge to the right of West Ham’s box area and crossed the ball to Juan Mata to slot home for Utd. Thrice Rashford did that in the game with one of his efforts coming off successful when he was brought on into the game at half-time.

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