Liverpool v Arsenal 4 March 2017 (Matchweek 27) – The Match Officials

by Andrew Crawshaw

It seems a long time since I did the last referee preview but we are back to talking about first team football this weekend.

On a general note, I read that following the announcement of Mr Clattenburg’s defection to Saudi Arabia (and a tax-free £500k per year) that Chris Kavanagh, David Coote and Andrew Madley (elder brother of Robert) had been appointed to the Select Group with immediate effect.  All three are in the 18 professional referees who have been looking after Championship games.  It was also said that that Lee Probert had recovered from his back problems and passed his fitness test so would now be resuming refereeing duties.  Of these four only Lee Probert has been seen in the Premier League since the announcement was made.  I have found no corroboration of these appointments on the official web sites.

Here is a table listing the times this year that these officials have acted as Fourth Official in the Premier League.

Fourth Official Matchweek Game
Chris Kavannagh 4 Bournemouth v West Brom
16 Middlesbrough v Liverpool
20 West Brom v Hull
22 West Brom v Sunderland
David Coote 9 Hull v Stoke
12 Watford v Leicester
17 Sunderland v Watford
21 Hull v Bournemouth
Andrew Madley 1 Crystal Palace v West Brom
Lee Probert 26 Chelsea v Swansea
27 Man United v Bournemouth

Our Officials for the Liverpool game are :-

  • Referee – Robert Madley  Age 30 from West Yorkshire and FIFA Accredited
  • Assistant Referee 1 – Peter Kirkup  from Northamptonshire
  • Assistant Referee 2 – Marc Perry  from the West Midlands
  • Fourth Official – Andre Marriner  Age 45 from West Midlands and FIFA Accredited

I have no ‘flags’ against Peter Kirkup this season but have a double flag against Marc Perry from our home win against Swansea in October when he wrongly flagged Walcott offside in Min 73 and then wrongly flagged Alexis offside in Min 82.  Neither of these wrong decisions affected the outcome of the game.  Both Assistants were flag free last season.

This will be our second time this season under Mr Madley and Liverpool’s third.

Our previous game was matchweek 4 when we beat Southampton 2 – 1 at the Emirates.  Here is the link to the minute by minute referee review for that game

Ref Review: Arsenal – Southampton; a perfect example of how the new instructions to refs affects the flow of the game.

His overall weighted performance was 70%, bias against the two teams 88/12 and he made 3 wrong Important Decisions –

  • Min 45 he failed to dismiss Arter with a straight red card for a studs up challenge on Monreal, and in…
  • Min 90+1 Arsenal should have been awarded a penalty and Fonte a second yellow card for a kick on Koscielny.
  • A penalty was correctly awarded moments later for a separate foul by Fonte on Giroud.  The real talking point was if the referee should have stopped play for a possible head injury to Koscielny following the kick in the head from Fonte.  Walter deals with that very clearly at the end of his summary at the bottom of the review.  As he said “The spirit of the new laws were followed by the ref and it was that spirit (to make attacking teams benefit more) that gave Arsenal the 3 points.”

Liverpool’s two previous games under Mr Madley have both been away games, I have added in the links to the video clips to add veracity to our calims regarding the wrong decisions he made.

Matchweek 3 when they drew 1 – 1 at Spurs.  Mr Madley made four wrong Important Decisions in this game.

Matchweek 14 when they lost 4 – 3 at Bournemouth.  Mr Madley made one wrong  Important Decision when in Min 37 he failed to award Ake a penalty for a foul by Firmino – here are the video clipsfrom our weekly referee review Bournemouth vs Liverpool Ake Penalty

Bournemouth vs Liverpool Ake Penalty002 , Bournemouth vs Liverpool Ake Penalty003.

In our weekly analysis of the referees (up to matchweek 16) Mr Madley has made 32 wrong Important decisions in 13 games an average of 2.46 slightly worse that the all referee figure of 2.01.  Of those wrong decisions 4 are second yellow cards, 15 relate to straight red cards, 12 are penalties and there is a single wrongly awarded goal (from the Spurs v Liverpool game mentioned above).

Pardon me for being pedantic but I would expect the referees with FIFA Accreditation to be better than the all-referee average.  Worryingly he does not seem to be able to recognise a red-card offence when one happens on his watch he has missed 15 in his 13 games and hasn’t got a single red card call correct.

In previous years Mr Madley’s record in Arsenal games is

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 an absolute 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.

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.


  1. Mr Madley seems to have gained his FIFA Accreditation remarkably quickly
  2. We have now had Mr Madley in only four league games, still too few to come to any firm conclusions.  In his two games last season he was excellent in one game and had an absolute stinker in the second.  In total we have won three of the games and lost one.
  3. His one game this year was OK but nothing to write home about.  Worryingly he failed to issue a red card for a studs up challenge and then failed to award a penalty although he did somewhat recover from that decision when he did award a penalty a few seconds later.
  4. His bias numbers seem to be in line with PGMO standards so we should expect most of the wrong decisions to be in Liverpool’s favour.
  5. He is particularly bad at recognising red card offences (this sadly is exactly in line with all of his colleagues and I can only include that they all have been given instructions from higher management to ignore the laws of the game when it comes to red cards).
  6. He has also learned how to use the ‘phantom foul routine’ to Arsenal’s disadvantage.
  7. In his two Liverpool games this year he has made 5 wrong Important Decisions, 4 favouring Liverpool, I just hope this trend doesn’t continue on Saturday.


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11 Replies to “Liverpool v Arsenal 4 March 2017 (Matchweek 27) – The Match Officials”

  1. Am I clutching at straws by hoping that Mr.Madley may simply be inclined to make innocent mistakes, rather than be as fully committed to the Riley anti-Arsenal doctrine, of which Atkinson, Dean, Taylor and Co are such committed exponents?

  2. Do you have Crackerjacks in the UK? Maybe they are finding them (as prizes) in Crackerjack boxes?

  3. Please, just once, can we have a game plan for the inevitable high pressing and not just look like we’ve been caught totally unawares. Giroud up top so we have an escape route in my opinion

  4. Biggest two games of the season so far are coming up.

    Liverpool is a must win if there is going to be any chance of beating Bayern(oh, it can be done), i hope our players know this.

    It’s all depending on the performance and the team selected by AW.

    That’s all.

  5. Great job , Andrew , and great clips . Thank you . So while I’m hoping for the best , still dreading the worst . Maybe they’ll just let the game flow as both teams are no longer challenging the leaders , and may not be able to upset their plans.
    Unless of course , the team chosen to be given a helping hand is below the both of us ?
    Damn !

  6. The sad truth is that there is very little, if any, truth in the game today. The simulation is rife (Bayern being masters) as are the selective visioned officials of PGMOL.

    The IFAB meeting will not correct the corrupt organisations controlling the game. They will alter the Laws to improve the game & give the corrupt an excuse to enhance their egos. When the ‘God’ with a whistle chooses what to see, what is to stop the ‘God’ with the video selecting what they want to see? The Video officials must have a representative from each team to show all but only accept unanimous decisions. It will show a different aspect of the game to the fan.

  7. Brickfields Gunners
    If Arsenal were not afraid to, they could say this too, after all, we are still in FA, CL and PL. 🙂

  8. @ para -03/03/2017 at 8:09 am – True , and St. Totteringham’s Day is almost like a trophy ! Whatever we win will be downgraded stat !

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