by Andrew Crawshaw
For this game we have :-
- Referee – Martin Atkinson 45 years old from West Yorkshire and FIFA Accredited
- Assistant Referee 1 – Stephen Child from Kent and FIFA Accredited
- Assistant Referee 2 – Adam Nunn from Wiltshire
- Fourth Official – Stuart Attwell 33 Years old from Warwickshire
This will be the fourth time we have had Mr Atkinson this season. So far he has been on hand for :-
Sunderland v Arsenal 29 October (1 – 4)
|Ref Review : Sunderland – Arsenal: Was this not knowing the laws? Or just plain bias? The latter looks more probable|
61% overall score, bias against the two teams of 10/90 and 6 wrong Important Decisions.
- Min 12 Rodwell should have had a red card for an elbow on Coquelin,
- Min 33 Ndong was given a yellow card instead of a red for a foul on Coquelin,
- Min 41 Pienaar was given a yellow card for a foul on Coquelin but it should have been his second (his first should have come in Min 26 for a trip on Alexis),
- Min 62 Arsenal should have had a penalty (pull and trip by Kone on Sanchez) and Kone should also have received a second yellow card for this,
- Min 74 Januzaj should have had a red card for ecessively high foot which caught Coquelin on the head.
A pathetic example of refereeing, fortunately it didn’t cost us points.
Man City v Arsenal 18 December (2 – 1)
|Ref Review : Man City – Arsenal: what exactly did Madley and Atkinson say to each other at half time?|
66% Overall weighting, bias against the two teams on 8/92 and only 4 wrong important decisions this time. Well it was better than 6 in the Sunderland game!
- In Min 47 Sane was offside when he scored for City – this was an incorrect call by Mr Nunn.
- In Min 80 De Brune should have had a red card for a flying tackle from behind on Gabriel,
- In Min 90+4 Sterling should have had a red card for an arm to the back of Bellerin’s head and Toure should also have had a red card for a deliberate delay to restarting the game.
This is a game that should have been a draw not a City win.
In this game, Mr Nunn also had a shocker with three wrong offside calls.
- Min 32 Walcott was offside but not flagged,
- Min 47 Mane was offside when he scored City’s forst ‘goal’ and
- Min 60 Sagna was wrongly flagged offside. He is the only Assistant referee against whom I have ever recorded 3 ‘flags’ in a single game, I hope he is better this time.
I have no ‘flags’ against Stephen Child in either of his two games that have been reviewed this season
Chelsea v Arsenal 4 Feb (3 – 1)
We haven’t yet published the full referee review of this game but here are links to Walter’s two post game pieces.
This was the game when Alonso knocked out Bellerin with an elbow to the head as he headed the ball into the net. A clear foul and there can be no argument about excessive force being involved as the Arsenal player was unconcious before he hit the ground. Any normal balanced referee would have instantly awarded a red card and no goal. Atkinson however, isn’t a normal referee and gave the goal changing the course of the game.
2015-16 Last season we had the “pleasure” of his company in three games.
Arsenal v West Ham 9 August (0 – 2)
|ARSENAL vs. WEST HAM UNITED ref review|
54% Overall weighted performance, bias against the two teams of 100/0 and three wrong Important Decisions.
- In Min 22 Tomkins should have had a yellow card for a foul on Giroud and in…
- Min 37 he should have had a second for a foul on Monreal.
- The ‘goal’ West Ham scored in Min 43 was from a non existent ‘phantom’ foul by Ramsey. No foul, no free kick so no goal.
- In Min 62 Noble dived to win a free kick and this play acting was bought by Mr Atkinson who wrongly booked Monreal. Noble (already on a yellow) should have had a second booking for simulation and been sent off.
With a one man advantage for 50 minutes and a two man advantage for 30, in my opinion there is no way that Arsenal wouldn’t have scored the goals necessary to win the game.
Arsenal v Tottenham 8 November (1 – 1)
|Ref Review : Arsenal – Tottenham|
41% Overall weighting bias against the two teams of 82/18 and 8 wrong Important Decisions.
- In each of Min 18, Min 35 and Min54 Vertonghen should have given away a penalty for a foul on Giroud.
- In Min 35 both Vertonghen and Giroud should have been given red cards for violent conduct for a scuffle following the second not given penalty.
- Vertonghen should have had a first yellow card for a foul on Giroud in Min 18,
- A second for the Min 35 penalty
- and a third for the Min 54 penalty – he should therefore been sent off a total of three times in this game. To complete the game in Min 89 Dier should also have had a second yellow card for a foul on Giroud.
This was one of the worst exhibitions of refereeing that we saw last year and a clear case of the outcome being decided by the referee who robbed us blind on the day and denied us two points.
Arsenal v Leicester 14 February (2 – 1)
|Ref Review: Arsenal – Leicester|
52% overall weighted score, bias against the two teams of 94/6 and seven wrong Important Decisions.
- Arsenal should have had three penalties Min 9 for a Kante handball. Min 37 Huth for holding Giroud following a corner and Min 55 foul by Morgan on Giroud.
- The penalty awarded to Leicester in Min 43 when Vardy barged into Monreal shouldn’t have been awarded, it was Vardy who committed the foul. The consequent goal for Leicester also shouldn’t have stood.
- In Min 48 Simpson was awarded a yellow card for a reckless challenge on Alexis, it should have been his second – his first should have come in Min30 for pulling Özil away from the ball.
- In Min 71 Drinkwater should have had a straight red card for a challenge above calf high on Ramsey.
For once his antics didn’t cost us any points but so nearly did (it was only the last minute heroics of Danny that earned us the points). Overall though three refereeing performances all of a dire level of competence with a total of 15 wrong Important Decisions, 14 of them against Arsenal. Bias figures of 100, 82 and 94% against Arsenal – hardly representative of a referee licensed to take charge of the most important matches in Football
Was he any better in 2014-15?
Chelsea v Arsenal 5 October 2014 (2 – 0)
|Untold’s Unacceptable Referee Review: Chelsea – Arsenal|
45% overall weighting, bias against the two teams of 14/86 and six wrong Important Decisions.
- In Min 20 Cahill should have had a straight red card for a foul on Alexis and in a separate off the ball incident Ivanovic should have had a red card for an elbow on Özil.
- Oscar should have had a yellow card in Min 6,
- a second in Min 40,
- a third in Min 45+2
- and a fourth in Min 74 thus he should have been sent off on three separate occasions.
- Fabregas should have given away a handball penalty in Min 62,
- Alexis should have had a straight red card for a punch on Ivanovic in Min 43 and for an assault on Fabregas in Min 90.
The key turning points were in Min 20 with the score at nil-nil. Two Chelsea players should have been sent off for separate incidents. Against a nine man Chelsea team for 70 minutes there is no way that Arsenal would not have won this game.
Arsenal v QPR 26 December (2 – 1)
|Untold Ref Review: Arsenal – QPR|
70% overall weighted score, bias against the two teams of 87/13 and six wrong Important Decisions.
- Min 23 Onuoha wrapped himself around Giroud like a coat but no penalty was awarded.
- Min 52 Ferdinand grabbed Giroud by the neck – as he had already been booked the only question should have been the number of games he would miss – Mr Atkinson saw nothing wrong.
- Min 75 Arsenal should have had a second penalty for a foul by Fer on Mertesacker,
- Min 77 QPR were wrongly awarded a penalty when Debuchy cleared the ball and Hoilett went down. The subsequent goal by QPR was also incorrect.
- Min 90 Gibbs brought down Zamora and a QPR penalty should have been awarded.
A game where for once Mr Atkinson achieved the Minimum acceptable 70% weighted score. That and the fact that his errors didn’t cost us points are the only mitigating factors in yet another dismal piece of refereeing.
Spurs v Arsenal 7 Feb 2015 (2 – 1)
|Ref Review Tottenham – Arsenal|
61% overall weighted score, bias against the two teams of 10/90 and three wrong Important Decisions.
- In Min 10 the Arsenal goal should have been ruled out for offside,
- In Min 59 Rose should have been given a straight red card for a stamp on Giroud’s achilles and
- Min 72 Mason should have had a second yellow card for stopping a quick free kick (his first should have come in the 12th minute for a scissor challenge on Özil.
Another sub standard performance but one I thought probably didn’t cost us points. Our goal shouldn’t have stood and I thought it unlikely that man advantage for a half hour would have given us enough of an advantage to score more than one goal. On reflection with a two man advantage for 18 minutes it is possible that we would have been able to score a second goal.
To answer the question No I don’t consider Mr Atkinson to have been any better in 2014-15 than he was last year. He certainly cost us 3 points against Chelsea and possibly 1 against Spurs and made our win against QPR far harder than it should have been. 15 wrong Important Decisions in 3 games is ridiculous.
I don’t normally go back to 2013-14 because we haven’t got formal referee reviews but here are links to Walter’s post match reviews The one of the City game is a minute by minute review the others are just our ususal post match musings.
Sunderland v Arsenal 14 Sept (1 – 3)
- Sunderland 1 – Arsenal 3 : a longer one, some interesting things about referees and booing and hating players
Arsenal v Liverpool 2 November (2 – 0)
Man City v Arsenal 14 December (6 – 3)
62.9% overall weighted score, bias against the two teams of 0/100 and a minimum of 3 wrong Important decisions plus 2 wrong offside calls when Arsenal had very promising goal scoring opportunities.
Everton v Arsenal 6 April 2014 (3 – 0)
- Mr Atkinson is either not an honest referee when it comes to Arsenal games or he is incompetent, and if I were a betting man, (which I’m not) I would be putting a punt on a West Ham win. He appears to go out of his way to make it difficult for us to win. I wouldn’t employ him in a refereeing capacity for any match anywhere.
- He rarely gets the minimum acceptable 70% competence score and is frequently much lower
- His bias numbers against Arsenal are atrocious and he makes far more wrong Important Decisions than any referee should – he regularly gets 6 or more wrong in a game.
- He will allow West Ham to foul us with impunity, If Carroll is fit and playing then our defenders will have a torrid time.
- I will be happy if the game ends and we have no injured players, I fear for Sanchez, Koscielny (if he’s fit to play) and our other vital players as we need them to be available for the remainder of the season and Atkinson will do nothing to protect them from targeted thuggery.
Arsenal History Latest
Ongoing: The series on Arsenal in the 1930s is complete and the first eight articles in the series have now been completely revised and updated including for November new pictures from the first Racing Club v Arsenal match.
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The novel “Making the Arsenal” by Tony Attwood which describes the events of 1910, which created the modern Arsenal FC, is now available for the first time on Kindle. Full details are here.
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Both books are also available as paperbacks. Please see here.
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