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June 2021

Southampton v Arsenal: 10 May. The Match Officials – from not very good to diabolically bad.

by Andrew Crawshaw

Firstly an apology – I am on holiday for a week from the 10th to the 17th inclusive and so won’t be able to prepare a referee preview for either the Stoke or Sunderland games.  I’ll be in Switzerland sightseeing by railway – should be glorious if the sun comes out.

Anyway on to Wednesday and our officials are :-

  • Referee – Jonathan Moss  Age 45 from West Yorkshire
  • Assistant Referee 1 – Eddie Smart  from West Midlands
  • Assistant Referee 2 – Simon Bennett  from Staffordshire and FIFA accredited
  • Fourth Official – Mike Jones  Age 48 from Cheshire

I have one ‘Flag’ against both of the Assistant Referees – Eddie Smart from Matchweek 1 when in Min 75 he failed to give Chambers offside and Simon Bennett from Matchweek 2 when in Min 22 he failed to give Walcott offside.  Whilst both of these errors were in Arsenal’s favour we would still rather the match officials were seen to be correct.

Only our third time this year with Mr Moss in charge – our previous games have been

Arsenal v Swansea (3 – 2) 15 October

Ref review: Arsenal – Swansea, lots of decisions to make

74% overall weighted score, bias against the two teams of 94/6 but only one wrong Important Decision (second yellow cards, red cards, penalties and goals) when in Min 42 Amat should have had a red card for a poke in Walcott’s eye when he was the last defender.  The wrong decision didn’t affect the final score for which we must be grateful.

Arsenal v Burnley (2 – 1) 22 January

REF REVIEW: Arsenal – Burnley: oh dear… oh dear… random decision making would have been more accurate

50% overall weighted score, bias against the two teams of 71/29 and no fewer than 10 wrong Important Decisions.  Taking them in chronological order.

  • Min 24 Defour should have had a red card for a foul on Xhaka,
  • Min 34 Lowton should have had a red card for a foul on Alexis,
  • Min 53 Barnes should have had a red card for an elbow to Mustafi,
  • Min 56 Arsenal should have had a penalty when Grey pushed Mustafi,
  • Min 73 Marney should have had a red card for a foul on Özil,
  • Min 83, Giroud should have had a red card for a high foot on tarkowski,
  • Min 89 Barton should have had a red card for a two handed push to Alexis head, Min 90+6 Mee should have had a red card for a high foot on Koscielny,
  • Min 90+6 the penalty awarded to Arsenal shouldn’t have been as Koscielny was offside,
  • Min 90+6 The subsequent goal shouldn’t have counted.

Mr Moss did get two Important Decisions correct – a penalty for Burnley and a red card for Xhaka (this was a far less serious foul than any of the six that should have been given to Burnley players.

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Rarely have we seen a worst exhibition of refereeing.  Mr Moss did everything possible to ensure that Burnley were kept in the game.  Had he been honest then the match would have been stopped before full time when Burnley had their fifth player sent off (Barton in Min 89).

Looking back over the last two seasons

2015/16 Season

Arsenal v Stoke 12 September (2 – 0)

Ref Review Arsenal – Stoke

71% overall weighted score, bias against the two teams 100/0 and two wrong Important Decisions both arising from an incident in Min 90+2 when Pieters should have conceded a penalty and been sent off for denying Giroud a goalscoring opportunity.

Norwich v Arsenal 29 November (1 – 1)

Ref Review : Norwich – Arsenal – these acts of thuggery must be stopped

Not so good this time 57% overall, bias against the two teams 8/92 and three wrong Important Decisions.  Min 40 Bennett should have had a red card for a deliberate push on an airborne Sanchez which caused him to land in a dangerous sunken camera pit, Min 57 O’Neill was given a yellow card but it should have been his second.  He should have been sent off again for a further foul on Giroud in Min 90+1.

Southampton v Arsenal 26 December (4 – 0)

Ref Review : Southampton – Arsenal

49% overall weighted score, bias against the two teams 22/78 and 5 wrong Important Decisions

  • Min 19 Southampton’s first goal should have been ruled out for offside, min 45 Southampton’s second goal should have been ruled out for a foul by Long on Kos,
  • Min 69 Southampton’s third goal shouldn’t have happened as it was scored directly from a wrongly awarded corner (should have been a goal kick).
  • Min 73 Wanyama should have a straight red card for a foul on Ramsey.  He should also have been sent off in min 75 for persistent fouling.

Arsenal v West Brom 21 April (2 – 0)

Ref Review Arsenal – WBA

65% overall, bias against the two teams 82/18 and one wrong Important Decision when in Min 84 Yacob should have had a second yellow card.

2014/15 Season

Arsenal v Crystal Palace 16 August (2 – 1)

The Untold Referee review: Arsenal – Crystal Palace

A good performance 81% overall weighted score, bias against the two teams 100/0.  Three wrong Important Decisions;

  • Min 8 Ramsey was pushed over in the penalty area nothing awarded,
  • Min 64 Mr Moss had a final word with Chamakh over persistent fouling (he should have had his first yellow card in the 8th minute and was at it all game) when he really should have issued a second yellow card and
  • Min 72 Arsenal should have had a second penalty with Hangerland pulling Giroud down by the neck.

Arsenal v Stoke 11 January (3 – 0)

REF REVIEW Arsenal – Stoke

72% overall score and bias figures 90/10 and two wrong Important Decisions.  Min 10 Arnautovic should have had a red card for pushing Debuchy into the advertising hoardings which caused a three month injury (and probably effectively ended his Arsenal career) and Min 42 Crouch should have had a second yellow card for a studs up challenge on Mertesacker.


Mr Moss isn’t very good and at times he is diabolically bad.

Mr Moss has a thing against Xhaka, having sent him off in both of the matches he has refereed this season, so it will probably be best if he is rested for this game (assuming he recovers from the knock or whatever caused him to be substituted off on Sunday).

Mr Moss at times seems incapable of keeping up with play and often has to make decisions from a position which is well below optimal.

His bias against Arsenal is terrible and he really seems incapable of judging what is a red card offence for fouls committed on Arsenal players.  He spots them incredibly easily when we have the temerity to tackle an opponent though.

An Arsenal player getting a red card for a nonsense decision is distinctly possible, an opposition player being sent off isn’t going to happen.

He does award penalties both for and against Arsenal.

He wouldn’t be my favourite referee in a ‘must win’ game as he is simply too inconsistent.


8 comments to Southampton v Arsenal: 10 May. The Match Officials – from not very good to diabolically bad.

  • markyb

    I expect a few AFC players being pushed into hoardings and camera pits impunity, what a prick Moss is.

  • Rich

    pgmol must either see bad performances and somehow think they are genuinely good, or they see bad performances for what they are and think them good.

    Clattenberg was bad for us in the away game at Goodison last year- gets same fixture again this year.

    Moss was awful in this same fixture last year, allowing them to kick and push us constantly (with Wanyama in particular a fouling machine who made at least one foul, on Ramsey, no different to the one Xhaka was sent off for against Burnley), turning his head away from a key incident with Kos and Long at the moment a foul was about to be made- so he gets the same fixture again this time. An offside goal or two for good measure.

    The reviews would make everything clear : If Moss got a good rating from the fixture last year, then the ratings are meaningless (bad performances are rated good); if the rating was below par, why on earth give him the fixture again this year? Riley can’t help himself. Loves it when we get turned over and knows exactly what role a ref has played in it. If it works well once, he’ll almost certainly try it again.

    The same thing has gone of for years with Dean and Atkinson for Chelsea and Spurs games in particular.

    Swarbrick for West Brom away next year I guess.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    Referee Jonathan Moss had refereed in Arsenal 3 PL matches so far this season and Arsenal have won all the 3 matches. But ironically, in this same fixture last season at ST Mary’s against the Saints in which ref’ Jonathan Moss had refereed in, the Gunners scandalously lost 4-0 to the Saints.

    Therefore, to prevent history repeating itself in this match against the Gunners tonight at Saint Mary’s, Le Prof MUST first and foremost eschewed any kind of favoritism Gunners selection starts for this match. But strictly adhere to a Gunners selection starts team that’s solely based on the individual Gunner’s current top form and his PL matches playing experience. On no any account SHOULD Le Prof select any Gunner who is not fully match fit as a result of the injury his carrying and not yet fully healed from it to start or play in this match.

    To collect all points at stake in this match, the Gunners MUST perform above whatever be the game level performance the Saints will perform in this match. In a nutshell, the Gunners MUST outperformed the Saints in all aspects of playing this match.

    My starts:
    Holding Mustafi Monreal
    Bellerin Ramsey Coquelin Chamberlain
    Walcott Ozil

    Paulista Holding Gibbs Elneny Sanchez Perez.

    I have decided to give the game fatigue looking Sanchez to start thus match from the bench because he has been overplayed by Le Prof and needs a game rest to start the bogey away match at Stoke. And of course, I’ve excluded the injury nursing Koscielny altogether from my 18 man match day squad for this match with the hopes he’ll be back for the Stoke match. Walcott replaces Sanchez in my starting lineup and Giroud leads the line in place of Welbeck who I have to be careful not to over exert him too much so that he doesn’t pick up any injury soon after working very hard in our Man U game win at the Ems last Sunday. But he should be back in contention for the Stoke match. Finally, I hope Le Prof will agree with my assertions. If not all but some.

  • finsbury

    Moss’ problem is that he’s proven unlike the hapless Apprentice Taylor that he can referee a top flight game of football and that he knows the rules: therefore his inability to call a deliberate push into camera pit etc. is strange and remarkable

    So we remark upon it.

    Thanks for the preview as always. The one for the Utd match was, as always, bang on!

    Do the untold reviewers have amazing crystal footballs haha?
    Or do they have a strong pool of data now covering several years?

  • markyb


    We are the inverse of Man Utd when it comes to Refs

  • Goonermikey

    And we’ve been given Dean for Stoke away so even if it was in our hands, Mike would be there to make sure Riley got his way!

  • para

    AW says he wants to “encourage initiative” in the players and that possession is the way to play.

    I hope that encouraged initiative added to the Arsenal possession really gels and we start to see good performances.

    I mean real performances, that is, working for one another, no panic, closing down as a unit, tackling only when necessary, being focused on winning for 95 minutes and controlling the game. Don’t get distracted, put the anger into your determination, that’s all we ask.

    This is how games are won.

    The crowd reacts to what they see on the field, the little cheers when someone defends a ball well, the ohhs when something goes wrong, this is football.

    Let us play. 🙂

  • Oldham Gooner

    Moss was huffing and puffing his pudgy little cheeks to get up and down the pitch but his dodgy refereeing didn’t stop us today 🙂

    Wishing for FA Cup glory and a Champions League spot! Sod the media and Phil Neville!!!