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June 2021

Middlesbrough v Arsenal; 17 April 2017 – The Match Officials. If we end up with 11 on the pitch we’ll be lucky.

by Andrew Crawshaw

This week we have

  • Referee – Anthony Taylor  37 years old from Cheshire and FIFA Accredited
  • Assistant Referee 1 – Stuart Burt  from Northamptonshire and FIFA Accredited
  • Assistant Referee 2 – Adam Nunn  from Wiltshire
  • Fourth Official – Kevin Friend  45 years old from Leicestershire

Well, after the disappointment of last Monday when Michael Oliver reverted to his previous season’s form we now have the first appearance of the season for Anthony Taylor, brought in to ensure the continuing humiliation of our Club and Manager.

I have been waiting for him to be appointed and expected it to be against a team much nearer where we should be  on paper.  I guess another engineered loss now will put us completely out of the running for any kind of European football next season and that will be what he is tasked with delivering.

Before I look at the main man, I have a flags against both of the Assistant Referees appointed for this game.

Stuart Burt has two in separate games; from our 3 – 3 draw at Bournemouth when in Min 47 Monreal was wrongly flagged offside and one in our 4 – 1 away win at Sunderland when in Min 43 Özil was offside but not flagged.

Adam Nunn had a shocker of a game when we lost 2 – 1 away at City with no fewer than three wrong decisions including one on one of the City goals – Min 32 Walcott wasn’t flagged offside when he should have been, Min 47 Sane was offside when he scored a ‘goal’ and Min 60 Sagna was wrongly flagged offside.  I hope both of these officials are on better form on Monday.

As I say regarding Mr Taylor there is nothing to go on this year other than his performances over the first 16 weeks of the year where he awarded 26 wrong Important Decisions (Second Yellow Cards, Red Cards, Penalties and Goals) in his 14 games so ever so slightly better than average.  Those wrong decisions were 5 wrong second yellow cards, 8 wrong red cards, 10 wrong penalties and 3 wrongly given goals.  He also got 18 decisions correct – 0 second yellow cards, 3 red cards and 15 penalties.

The only time we have seen him this season was as Fourth Official  for the home game against Burnley where Jon Moss had the whistle and we all remember him being responsible for Arsène getting a four game ban after a tunnel altercation when he left his pitchside station to goad Arsène in a thoroughly despicable manner.

Last Season 2015-16 we had him 0n four occasions and he never once got to our minimum acceptable 70% weighted score:-

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Matchweek 8 Arsenal v Man United (3 – 0)

Ref Review : Arsenal – Man Utd, more of the same

59% overall weighted score, bias against the two teams of 97/3 and 5 wrong Important Decisions.

  • Min 4 Schweisnteiger held and threw Gabriel to the ground in the United penalty area following an Arsenal corner no penalty awarded,
  • Min 45+2 and 45+3 Schweinsteiger should have had a second yellow card, and
  • Min 73 and again in
  • Min 90 Fellaini should have had second yellow cards for persistent fouling.  These decisions didn’t alter the result of the game bur Mr Taylor certainly did all he could to keep United in the game.

Matchweek 20 Arsenal v Newcastle (1 – 0)

Ref Review : Arsenal – Newcastle

If he was bad in the United game this one was a real stinker.  48% overall weighted score, bias against the two teams of 91/9.  Surprisingly only one wrong Important decisions when in Min 53 Colback dived and won a free kick, it should have been a second yellow card.

Matchweek 32 – Arsenal v Watford (4 – 0)

Ref Review : Arsenal – Watford, a game of two halves…

This was the nearest he got to an acceptable performance.  66% overall weighted score bias against the two teams of 45/55 and one wrong Important Decision when in Min 17 he failed to give a penalty to Arsenal following a push on Wellbeck by Prodl.  Again the result was correct.

Matchweek 37 Man City v Arsenal (2 – 2)

Ref Review: Man City – Arsenal: A tale of Jekyll and Hyde

63% overall weighted score, bias against the two teams of 16/84 and 5 wrong Important decisions.

Min 50 Mangala fouled Wilshere in the city penalty area – no penalty and no fewer than 5 not issued yellow cards for Fernandinho (four of which should have been second cards)

  • Min 50 foul on Sanchez,
  • Min 68 foul on Wilshere, Min 86 Sanchez again,
  • Min 90+2 Giroud – this was his first yellow of the game and finally
  • Min 90+3 on Giroud again.  This time the non awarded penalty and Fernandinho remaining on the pitch did cost us 2 points.

Going further back to 2014-15 we only had him once

Week 15 Stoke v Arsenal 3 – 2

Untold ref Review: Stoke – Arsenal, the Anthony Taylor horror show. “Shockingly bad”.

59% Overall weighting, bias against the two teams of 0/100 and five wrong Important Decisions.  In

  • Min 14 Crouch should have had a yellow card, he should have had a second in Min 28 for a forearm to Mertesacker,
  • Min 56 he should have had a third yellow card for another elbow which actually earned him a first booking, Min 60 Chambers was wrongly given a yellow card and in
  • Min 77 he was wrongly given a second yellow card.  Finally Min 83 Adams executed a perfect wrestling sleeper hold on Alexis for which he only got a yellow card instead of a red.  A disgraceful performance and one where Mr Taylor ensured that all of the points went to Stoke.

In 2013-14 we didn’t do any referee reviews.  However, we only had Mr Taylor once on opening day where he engineered a 3 – 1 loss at home to Aston Villa in one of the worst examples of refereeing we had seen in a long time.

Here are Walter’s post game pieces:-

Arsenal 1 – Anthony Villa 3

Apart from the ref what else went wrong? Balance I tell you, balance

A perfect example of a game played under two different sets of rules

Going back another year  to 2012-13

Match Review: Anthony Taylor – Arsenal Vs Queens Park Rangers (1 – 0) [27/10/2012]

71% Overall Weighted Score, bias against the two teams of 81/19 and one wrong Important Decision when in Min 57 Granero should have had a second yellow card for foul and dissent

17 Dec Reading v Arsenal (2 – 5)

Match Review: Anthony Taylor – Reading Vs Arsenal (2 – 5) [17/12/2012]

70% overall weighted score, bias against the two teams 16/84 but no wrong Important Decisions.

Match Review: Anthony Taylor – Sunderland v Arsenal (0 – 1) [09/02/2013]

58% overall weighted score, bias against the two teams 11/89 and 2wrong Important Decisions, Min 24 Cattermole should have had a red card and Min 62 Larsson should have had a second yellow card.


  1. Anthony Taylor is a referee with a long history of giving dodgy decisions against Arsenal in the matches he referees.  Quite simply he is not a person who should be allowed within 100 miles of an Arsenal game.
  2. He has only achieved our minimum acceptable score of 70% in one one reviewed game from the 2012/13 season to date and in that match he got 71%.
  3. If we finish the game with 11 players on the pitch I will be surprised even if we don’t commit a foul all game.
  4. He will allow Middlesbrough players to foul us all night and do nothing about it.
  5. He will allow Middlesbrough to waste time all night and do nothing about it.
  6. He will award a foul every time one of our players gets close to one of theirs.
  7. He will make at least two wrong Important Decisions, both against Arsenal
  8. Of all of his wrong decisions, at least 4 out of every 5 will be against Arsenal


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10 comments to Middlesbrough v Arsenal; 17 April 2017 – The Match Officials. If we end up with 11 on the pitch we’ll be lucky.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    Whatever be the match officiating Mr Anthony Taylor and his 2 assistants will decide to officiate in the PL game at the Riverside between Middlesborough and Arsenal on Monday night, Arsenal MUST win the match as they don’t have any more margin for error in their remaining 8 PL games left to play. As a MUST, they have to win all their remaining 8 games to stay alive in competing for a top 4th place finish this season as both their top 4th place finish rival clubs of Man City and Liverpool have not relented in their efforts in collecting points week in week out while Arsenal have been novicingly dropping points in the process.

  • Polo

    Ref helping ManU at the moment. I’m suprise there’s only one yellow in the match so far. If Arsenal was playing we probably have at least 3 players on yellow.

  • Pat

    Oh dear, oh dear! Not Taylor again!

  • Norman14

    I think it’s time somebody told Sky and Sprout that you can’t give a MOM to somebody who has been carded.

  • timo

    Herrera has a fouling license. we need one for Coquelin, Xhaka, and all our defenders.

  • Dr Duh

    You can only be humiliated if you allow yourself to be. Or as Marcus Aurelius put it “If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.”

  • Mandy Dodd

    Jeez….haven’t they done enough to us this year?

  • Mad Matt

    Hi Tony and all other Untold writers…

    Just an article suggestion…because you’re all very good with your research:

    Just how much would it hurt Arsenal if we don’t finish in the top 4 and thus not qualify for Champions League?

  • para

    So it looks to be the last “nail in the coffin” tonight eh?

    I think they want AW gone. For some reason it does not seem to be Arsenal as a whole.

    AW must know something that “keeps him alive” but still they are not prepared to leave him alone anyway.

  • Menace

    The reason why they want Wenger out is because he cannot be bought. The corrupt will be able to run riot once Wenger is gone.

    The Sun have a history with their ownership of being rotten. Arsenal should ban the lot of them Associated Newspapers, Sky & all from the Ems. They are not good for sport & never have been.