Arsenal v Watford Tuesday 31 January 2017 – The Match Officials

by Andrew Crawshaw

Firstly an apology for the inadequacy of my preview of Jon Moss.  In essence I got things right but failed to predict the scale of his ‘crimes’.  My predictions for his performance are in blue italic script, post match comments are in black

Mr Moss is really not a terribly good referee either in Arsenal games or elsewhere.  In his last 7 Arsenal games over the last three seasons he has made 17 wrong Important Decisions – two and a half per game.  In his eleven games this year in the PL he has made 22 wrong Important Decisions two a game.  These figures simply aren’t good enough. – He actually made 10 wrong Important Decisions in the game which goes way beyond “not a terribly good referee” and transports him to another level altogether.

In Arsenal games his bias figures are as bad as it gets two games with every wrong call against Arsenal and a ‘best’ bias of 78/22 against Arsenal.  His actual bias numbers were 71/29 which in fact are the best we have seen from him.

Despite these numbers we do generally manage to cope with him in charge and are far more likely to win than lose.  Well I got this one right!

Mr Moss is particularly bad in dismissing players for disciplinary offences, he seems almost scared in Arsenal matches to show cards for even terrible fouls on our players and in other matches this season 13 of his 22 wrong calls are for cards.  I’m going to claim this one as a correct prediction (albeit with caveats over the scale of his errors).  I said to my seat neighbours immediately following the Xhakat’tackle‘ that it was a bad one and can understand the red card.  However, using his somewhat jaundiced view of Xhaka’s two sendings off this season as the template he should have sent off a further 7 players in this game.  Giroud and Mee for head high feet, Barton for a two handed push to Alexis head, Defour for a kick at Xhaka, Lowton for a kick from behind on Alexis’ achilles, Barnes for an elbow to Mustafi’s head and Marney for a challenge on Özil.

He isn’t great on Penalties either with three in Arsenal games over the past two years and 6 wrong out of 13 in other matches this year (this is an accuracy rate of 54% which is lower than the league average of 65%). Again I’m going to claim this as correct. He failed to give the clear penalty when Mustafi was pushed by Grey in Min 56, He then wrongly awarded us a penalty in the last minute when Koscielny was offside in the build up to the one he did award.

I do hope that he doesn’t suffer a repeat of his goal blindness he had in the game against Southampton last year when three of their four goals shouldn’t have counted.  Worryingly we have him down for 3 wrong goals in his league games this year as well.  As the last minute penalty was wrongly awarded the consequent goal shouldn’t have counted so he added to his numbers under this prediction as well.

In total I make a total of 10 wrong Important Decisions – for which he should have his referee’s licence revoked permanently.  No team should ever have to put up with this level of incompetence (or bias depending on your point of view) again.  Sadly though this isn’t going to happen as on Thursday evening he was in charge of the League Cup semi-final between Hull and United where he seemed to revert back to his normal degree of incompetence with a wrong penalty to Hull and a two footed challenge from Rojo going unpunished.

I also said in my introduction that Mike Dean had demoted himself to the Championship after a string of errors in his recent games.  He continued to show he isn’t fit to hold a whistle as he awarded a penalty for a handball that occurred at least a metre outside the penalty area.  He has now been rewarded with a return to the Premiership for the game between Burnley and Leicester – god help them both.

Our game on Tuesday night is against our Training Ground neighbours Watford.

  • Referee – Andre Marriner  Age 45 from the West Midlands and FIFA Accredited
  • Assistant Referee 1 – Scott Ledger  from South Yorkshire
  • Assistant Referee 2 – Sian Massey-Ellis  from the West Midlands
  • Fourth Official – Kevin Friend 45 years old from Lancashire

This will be the third time this season we will have had Mr Marriner and the second time this month which is really too much and certainly too soon.  Probably we should regard it as a respite before they really make it tough for us at Chelsea.

I am delighted that Sian Massey-Ellis will be on duty on one of the touchlines.  She is one of the few officials in whom I have complete trust – I just hope that doesn’t put a jinx on things.

Manchester United v Arsenal 19/11/16 (1 – 1)

Ref Review: MU – Arsenal

67.5% overall weighted score, bias against the two teams of 16/84 and almost certainly costing Arsenal two points.  There were three wrong Important decisions (second yellow cards, red cards, penalties and goals).  Darmian should have been sent off twice, in Minute 25 for a second yellow card and again in Min 30 for a straight red card and in time added on at the end of the game Rooney should have had two yellow cards for dissent.  The game ended one all but against a ten man United team I think Arsenal should have had a fairly comfortable win.

Arsenal v Crystal Palace 1 January 2017 (2 – 0)

Ref Review: Arsenal – Crystal Palace: more of the same please

82% overall and bias figures irrelevant with only 5 wrong decisions all game.  None of his wrong decisions were Important, only two not given yellow cards.  If only all refereeing was like this we could all enjoy our matches without worrying about interference from the Men in Black.

2015-16 Last Season we had him in two games

Newcastle v Arsenal 29 August (0 – 1)

Ref Review : Newcastle – Arsenal

76% overall weighted score, bias against the two teams of 33/67 and 2 wrong Important Decisions.  Min 12 Thauvin fouls Bellerin in the penalty area but no penalty to Arsenal or yellow card for Thauvin and Min 26 Thauvin correctly gets a yellow card for a foul against Coquelin but this should have been his second.  arsenal won the game but should have had a far easier time had the penalty been given and Newcastle reduced to 10 men for 60 minutes.

Arsenal v Man City 21 December (2 – 1)

Ref Review: Arsenal – Man City

58% overall weighted score, bias against the two teams 87/13 and two wrong Important Decisions, both not given second yellow cards against Fernandinho.  In Min 31 he fouled Campbell, Mr Marriner noted the foula nd played a correct advantage but failed to return and issue a card at the next break in play.  Min 59 He should have had a second yellow card for a foul on Bellerin and a third in Min 61 for another foul on Campbell.  As Arsenal won the game these incorrect decisions didn’t affect the outcome of the game but we would probably have had an easier time against 10 men for the last 30 minutes.

2014-15 Again we had him in two matches

Arsenal v Southampton 3 Dec 2014 (1 – 0)

REF REVIEW Arsenal – Southampton

59% overall weighted score, bias against the two teams of 77/23 and two wrong Important Drecisions Min 87 Southampton player punches the ball away in their penalty area – no penalty given and Mr Marriner didn’t look as though he was at all interested in awarding one but luckily Giroud scored from the rebound and Min 90+2 Alexis fouled in the penalty area with no penalty given.

Arsenal v Everton 1 Mar 2015 (2 – 0)

Ref Review : Arsenal – Everton: a first half to cherish.

69% overall weighted score, bias against the two teams of 75/25 and one wrong Important Decision when in Min 53 Jagielka used his arm to block a Giroud shot in the penalty area resulting in a corner kick instead of the expected and deserved penalty.


  1. Mr Marriner is a referee who if you only look at the match scores would seem to be quite a good referee for Arsenal, we tend to win with him in charge particularly at the Emirates.  Dig a little deeper however and you can start to see his spots emerge.
  2. His scores over the past couple of years have rarely reached the 70% minimum competence level, the game against Crystal Palace being a welcome change as he had an excellent score of 82% with no wrong Important Decisions.  A continuation of those numbers would be most welcome.
  3. Historically he has not been good at judging penalties in Arsenal games (but he is better at judging them in other games with 16 out of 24 correct this season).
  4. With Disciplinary offences he has correctly issued one red card this year but should have issued a further 13 so he is about on a par with the rest of the PGMO.
  5. Don’t expect an Arsenal penalty  – we will have to score from open play.
  6. He will probably not send off a Watford player who should be but may well take the opportunity of a cheeky red card for an Arsenal player – Coquelin and Ramsey be on your very best behaviour and don’t give him the slightest opportunity.
  7. Hopefully this will be another game where we will win despite his efforts but I’m not expecting it to be in any shape or form a ‘walk in the park’.



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9 Replies to “Arsenal v Watford Tuesday 31 January 2017 – The Match Officials”

  1. Very good analyses ,but if you permit,there is NOT A SINGLE COMPETENT REFEREE in England as far as Arsenal are concerned,the worst of which are DEAN MOSS TAYLOR and ATKINSON in my opinion

  2. Dean, Moss, Taylor and Atkinson are all certainly the worst of the worst (although you’re forgetting Clattenburg, who recently joined this group, after which he was given numerous cup finals). If I remember correctly, we haven’t seen much of them this season? No doubt that they are being saved for when Arsenals title bid really heats up and I absolutely expect to see one of them for the Chelsea match. My money is on Taylor or Atkinson.

  3. I always get the feeling with Marriner that he saves his worse decisions against us for the big games, and in the less important games or against the weaker teams he seems to be only ‘Poor’ rather than the ‘Very Poor’ or ‘Atrocious’ that he manages in the big games…

  4. It’ll be unethical and unacceptable if the Pgmol appointed Anthony Taylor to referee our PL away game against Chelsea on Saturday. Not this same Anthony Taylor who had at our last weekend PL home game against Burnley caused a big problem for Le Prof at the Ems, a big problem that has led to him been handed a four game touchline ban.

    Nonetheless, whatever match officials the Pgmol have appointed to referee in our tomorrow and Saturday PL home game against Watford and our PL away game against Chelsea on Saturday, and have instructed them to carry out anti-Arsenal referring in these two PL games, Arsenal will prevail totally on any Pgmol match officials appointed to referee in these our two games and unequivocally win the two games as well.

    For their ruthless performance at ST Mary’s last Saturday during which the Gunners taught the Saints a big soccer lesson for their lives by walloping them 0-5, one might be tempted to ask Le Prof to start the same ruthless makeshift team he started for that our FA Cup match against Southampton. But on a second thought, I’ve decided against such a asking because this is a PL game and not an FA Cup match. The two are not the same. A PL game is tougher to play and win than an FA Cup match I would suppose. And I believe most the Gunners who played in that Saints Cup FA match will be a little tired to play a PL game after just three days interval.

    Therefore, Arsenal should not take their PL game against Watford tomorrow at the Ems as a walkover game because Watford who lost away to Millwall in the FA Cup yesternight could want to use this game against the Gunners to redeem their PL image lost at Millwall to start thinking of wrecking a havoc at the Ems against Arsenal.

    Besides, we all known that the lower club teams get motivated to play a World Cup Final match whenever they come to the Ems to play as if the Ems so motivated them. Middlesbrough, Swansea and recently Burnley are teams who readily comes to mind as they gave us problems when they last came to play against us at the Ems.

    My starts:
    Paulista Mustafi Mertasacker Monreal
    Coquelin Ramsey
    Iwobi Ozil Perez
    Ospina Bellerin Koscielny Gibbs Chamberlain Welbeck Giroud.

    I’ve decided to leave Walcott out of this match to maximize the use of his pace at the Bridge. So too are Bellerin, Koscielny, Gibbs, Chamberlain and Welbeck on my bench who I’ll all start for Chelsea. But Giroud and Koscielny could be allowed a game appearance in this Watford game in the 2nd half of the game to get rid of any game rustiness they may be having ahead of their starting the big Chelsea game on Saturday.

  5. Atkinson…Chelsea’s favourite ref……what an amazing surprise for the weekend.
    Dean at WHL, Taylor no doubt at some vital juncture as well.

  6. I think Taylor will be held back for one of the Manchester matches. That would make it easier for him to travel as he can ask for a place on the Manchester team bus…

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