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Arsenal v Brighton and HA. 1 October – The Match Officials: could be a lot worse

by Andrew Crawshaw

Our last two games, WBA in the League and BATE in the Europa League show that we are still on the wrong end of more decisions than we get in our favour.  Last weekend Mr Madley had four penalty decisions to make and only managed to get one of them right and against BATE how an deliberate elbow to Reiss Nelson’s face was interpreted as a foul by Nelson is beyond belief.

On to this Sunday and our officials are :-

  • Referee – Kevin Friend  Age 46 from Leicestershire
  • Assistant Referee 1 – Stuart Burt  From Northamptonshire and FIFA Accredited
  • Assistant Referee 2 – Ian Hussin  From Mersyside
  • Fourth Official – Roger East Age 52 from Wiltshire

For once neither Referee or Fourth Official is FIFA Accredited, but having that accreditation is absolutely no guarantee of a referee getting things right – is it Mr Madley?  Over the past few years, more often than not Mr Friend has been decent enough never spectacular but normally above 70% and only once with a bias against Arsenal more than 80%.

Last season we only had him once in our away game at Watford which we won 3 – 1  He got a 78% rating and bias numbers were 25/75 with two wrong Important Decisions when he should have sent off Amraat in Min 76 and in Min 83 Behrami should have had a straight red card instead of a yellow for a studs up challenge on Walcott.

In 2015-16 we had him for three away games all of which we won :-

  • Swansea v Arsenal (0 – 3) – 74% overall, bias 40/60 and one wrong Important Decision when in Min 32 Mertesavker committed a handball in our area which should have resulted in a penalty
  • Aston Villa v Arsenal (0 – 20 – 72% overall, bias 30/70 one wrong Important Decision Min 45+1 Walcott wrongly flagged offside as he scored a goal which should have stood
  • Bournemouth v Arsenal 0 – 2 – 72% overall, bias 18/82. No wrong Important Decisions

In 2015/15 we also had him for three games, two wins and a loss :-

  • Sunderland v Arsenal (0 – 2) – 65% overall, bias 25/75 and 1 wrong Important Decision Min 19 Rodwell should have had a straight red card for a foul on Chambers
  • QPR v Arsenal (1 – 2) – 69% overall, bias 20/80 and two wrong Important decisions from an incident in Min46 when henry made a last man foul in the penalty area and neither red card or penalty were awarded.  A foul was given outside the box.
  • Arsenal v Swansea (0 – 1) no formal referee review.

Mr Friend rarely gets outstanding scores, but then again he rarely has a howler.  Of all of the referees on the roster he is one of those whose name I least fear when it appears for an Arsenal game.

Naturally it will be best if we have a quick start and are a couple of goals up within the first quarter of the game, that should completely take the officials out of the game in terms of determining the outcome.  As we are deploying our special support in the shape of a contingent of Belgians (but not Walter this time) I really hope we are in for a solid win.  I fancy Lacazette, Alexis and Rambo to score.

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26 comments to Arsenal v Brighton and HA. 1 October – The Match Officials: could be a lot worse

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    If referee Kevin Friend has been an occasional friendly referee to Arsenal, but comes this Sunday noon at the Emirates Stadium tomorrow, I believe referee Kevin Friend will become a complete friendly and home referee to Arsenal when he takes control of the centre to referee the PL match between Arsenal and Brighton HA.

    Therefore, there is no cause for any anxiety because referee Kevin Friend will referee this Arsenal vs Brighton & HA PL match strictly by the match rules and regulations irrespective of whose Ox is gored. And whenever any PL match is refereed strictly in accordance with the rules & regulations that governed the game by the centre whistling referee and his flagging 2 match assistants, Arsenal prevails in the match. Therefore. I enjoy referee Kevin Friend and his 2 match assistants to do their whistling and flagging in this match as they officiate in it in accordance with the rules and regulations governing PL match and not do otherwise. Arsenal are not afraid if any PL match referee and his 2 assistants interpret the rules and regulations governing the game correctly and not be partial to any side in the game in their interpretations. For, that’s what Arsenal have been demanding the Pgmo officials appointed for Arsenal PL games should be doing in all Arsenal PL games at all times and nothing more.

  • Kevin Friend is generally a fair officiator of football, he is occasionally a little inept and often airs on the side of caution, hence the penalty and last man decisions. I think these calls demonstrate his awareness of bias within his camp, and he aims to not rock the boat one way or another. Important business, match fixing.

    I agree, we can expect a generally friendly referee in the current climate.

    So I said bedding in youth was key to our season; OK enough said.

    Mustarfi will likely play twice in a week, which is about right, then he has the two EL fixtures off, no contest from Serbia, risk avoidance is a maximum.

    Hipefully we will see a full strength squad for Brighton, with Ozil and Alexis restored. Theo should keep his spot for the remainder of the week with Lacazette reinstated. Xaka and Ramsey ahead of the first choice back 3 and Sead and Hector out wide.

    I think he should pile a load of pressure on the kids, and make them generally responsible for group win and qualification to knockout stages uin the next two, giving us maximum rest.

    Hopefully Chambers can return to the back three wiith Hodling either side of Per. and Niles out wide left again. Willock, with Elneny, Nelson and Iwobi with Chuba up front, 2 senior players. I’m not interested in playing Jack in Serbia, he can play in the Watford and Norwich games.

    Some interesting news on other things I said, regarding who will spend for you, and who will spend anything on anything if you ask.

    also about the shift in dominance to EPL

  • Menace

    Looking forward to a Laca hat trick. Must be about time too.

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    Huddersfield defending which looks to be all sorts has giving 2 gift goals to Spurs as King Harry Kane and Davies took advantage of the porous that is the Huddersfield defending to leave them with a mountain to climb in the game. Just as I am typing comment, King Kane has made it 0-3 to Spurs. But should Spurs be preparing for Real Madrid poaching him from them in January window if they are still having a difficult La Liga season by then? But it all depends on if FC Barcelona will still be playing in La Liga if the Catalonia referendum on Sunday is successful but consequently resulted in seen Barca unlikely expelled from La Liga by the Spanish football authorities. But if the expulsion happens, will the Premier League absorbs Barca if they apply to be absorbed into it? And if they did, from which division of the 4 Championship & National wide divisions will Barca be admitted into to start playing to start getting promotions gradually until they get to the Premier League? Or will they be given automatic admission into the Premier League? Yes, I think it can be worked out by relegating 4 PL club but compensate that 4th club the season Barca are brought into the Premier League but revert to the 3 clubs relegation format the next season after Barca have been admitted. Halftime scores: Huddersfield 0-3 Tottenham Hotspur. Can Huddesfield comeback in the 2nd half to at least tie the contest? Doubtful. Well, we’ll see.

  • Jax

    ‘irrespective of whose Ox is gored’

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    74 minutes into the City v Arsenal Women,s game and City are 4-2 up. Referee allowed a City player to stay on the pitch following a head high kick that left one of our players needing stitches foe a serious cut under the eye so this result definitely referee influenced!

  • Gord

    From the twit feed:

    > Parris has caught Evans in the face with her studs and the Scotland international is bleeding from around her eye Man City 0-0 Arsenal (14)

    Final score 5-2. Blah!

  • Gord

    Hoping for the miracle for CPalace at Old Toilet.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Clearly a red card not given. Difficult to see how City would have had that result playing with 10 for 76 minutes as you say Blah. I guess money now counts as much in the Women’s game as the Men’s. F.cking countries buying football clubs.

  • Alexanderhenry

    Refereeing conspiracies aside, there are rumours that Kroenke will try to buy Usmanov’s 30% arsenal stake.

    This would give Stan absolute control at arsenal.

    However, Stan might be after 100% of arsenal because he wants to sell and maximise his profit- he’d make more if he was offering complete ownership of arsenal.

  • Gord

    BBC just glosses over the entire incident:

    > 16′ Delay over. They are ready to continue.

    > 15′ Delay in match Lisa Evans (Arsenal Women) because of an injury.

    > 14′ Foul by Nikita Parris (Manchester City Women).

    > 14’Lisa Evans (Arsenal Women) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    This should be a link to a video of the incident.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Referee didn’t even call it a foul

  • There is also the counter rumour going around that with 100% ownership of Arsenal Kroenke could then load all his debts into the one club.

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    In the context of referring an Arsenal PL match like the one coming up tomorrow between Arsenal and Brighton at the Ems, all what referee Kevin Friend and his 2 assistants are needed to do in that match is to protect the Law which governs the game by whistling and flagging correctly and not wrongly to advantage one team to consequently disadvantaged the other team in the game. By not doing this, the match referee and his 2 assistants will be seen to be whistling in the game and flagging in it in accordance with the Law of the game not minding which team loses the match or wins it. Thus,not minding whose Ox is gored in the game as far as they have done their job correctly according to what the Law of the game says. And of course, when the match referee whistles and his 2 assistants flag correctly in any Arsenal match, Arsenal will win the match more often than not. I hope am in the clear now.

  • Gord

    Okay, can we get a draw out of Chelsea and Man$?

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    Will Aguero absent for Man City constitutes a significant blow that will stop them win their PL game against Chelsea this evening at the Stamford Bridge? Chelsea is such a power force themselves that can beat Man City in this top six team clash. Nonetheless, I am placing my bet if at all I have any on the match to end all square..,.,2-2. This will give advantage to Arsenal in the table. But why are the Citizens dressed in all red kits as if they are Liverpool? I’ve never seen them before in such away kits.

  • Jax

    Sorry Samuel, I’m even more confused. Never mind.

  • Menace

    Andrew Crawshaw
    30/09/2017 at 4:40 pm

    The FA will have to look at the incident as the referee didn’t book Parris. It was a straight red that should have been given & yes our women have been robbed by poor officiating.

  • Menace

    It comes back to haunt the game. The high foot is a red card if it makes contact or it causes an opponent to avoid injury. The bicycle kick is also a red card if it is in a crowded area. Nothing wrong with it in a clear area where there is no danger of contact. What is wrong with some of these idiots on TV claiming that the game will lose out on some of the talented players. We are heading for losing out on a talented player soon – kicked in the head & killed.

  • Pat

    I’ve a feeling Samuel’s ‘whose ox is gored’ is an idiom, a saying meaning which side has the advantage. But it has been given a capital o which makes it look as if it refers to our former player the Ox. When I typed ox in just now it automatically gave it a capital o and I had to go back and correct it. It is interesting that our former player has gained such fame that he automatically appears like that – at least when we are the ones typing it in.

  • Gord


    The referee for that game was Amy Fearn (nee Rayner). The only data I found on her, was 2008/9. She officiated 9 games, giving out 27 yellow and no reds. The yellows per game she gave out were: 2, 2, 1, 4, 8, 3, 1, 3, 3.

    I don’t know if I believe that games on average should see 3 yellows be issued, so she is perhaps a little too eager to hand out yellows. But to have a game with 8 yellows and no reds? I think she has a problem issuing reds. And that showed in this game.

    But it would be interesting to look at newer data, instead of data almost 10 years old.

  • I didn’t catch this info on women’s game, can you call an undeveloped adult female a women? 😉

    GREAT display earlier, and after City drop Chelsea into our lap, those lovely Jordans cancel out another smash from Philips, he won’t be willing in those winners. Alexia assist for Iwobi and Monreal is last in the queue to put in the first. Lacazette unlucky with that strike, yet we were lucky to survive the other post rattles.

    Close down the Duke on the edge of the box, the DM end zone.

    Positive criticism: seems to be working, maybe Oxford leaving with Gibbons shook the tree nicely. We are a different team, playing like we intend to win.

    The interplay is coming, everyone looks happier.

    Bringing me to this article

    Skype sports De Gea interview: CONFIDENCE makes it easy.

    So it is a concerted effort by the media to effect our performances. Just checking.

    That unbeaten in 7 6/7 that was a win draw win accumulator missed right there.

    We should go unbeaten to City, with an exception of the last two ELECTRIC games if he goes full youth, which I would like to see.

    Up into 5th and a point off 3rd, just 6 off the Manchester 2. Everton, if they hadn’t just lost they were sitting pretty having played almost the whole top 6. I’m sure Korean isn’t getting any sympathy from the gaffer, actually he probably is as classy as I and still feels for him.

    The drop? SWANSEA, PALACEL Huddersfield.. Swansea have players who will look to move as with Alice and Huddersfield are just gonna get swamped like Brighton, but Brighton are more likely to invest in Jan.

    Everyone is back off the treatment table after internationals, well Danny, you can never be sure. Let’s hope he has responded well, I don’t question him, just his fitness and consistency in finishing snap chances, prove me wrong. But I hoped for Abu :/

    Arsenal is spot on we have bounced back, we are mentally and physically much stronger with personnel back.

    Now we rest up and then put the hammer down.

    Spurs go into a deadly 12 game run with us as game 8 🙂

    With Dortmund on Tuesday and us the previous Saturday, with their double header in ECL coming against Real, who will be looking at Kate intently, rightly so, he would hurt the Spanish premier. Anyways the thing is Dortmund will be going up against the minnows and Real will look to take 6 points against spurs, a real test of these wannabes. Which means Spurs may well prioritise the away trip to Germany mentally, physically or literally.

    Chelsea meanwhile have a relatively simple 12 game run following the break but it’s where they slip up against mistakes teams who won’t quite sit in, but are after a solitary point.

    Similarly United have the kind of run that looks simple enough, but combine complacency with a tendency towards arrogance and the odd dodgy Benfica match or a struggling Everton and you can see why Jose is cursing the international break.

    City have been steamroller teams no doubt, but the next 12 are a bit different, with us at game 7 I think we are going to witness the frailties within the team, rather that Peps system.
    And now Liverpool are where they belong, below us, let’s hope they can exploit the fact they play nobody’s in ECL and United have not to be overlooked after their clash on the return to PLYMOUTH footy. Similarly, let’s hope Real and Spurs cause sparks for us neutrals (I say that loosely tongue in cheek). I do not ever support the remaining PLYMOUTH team in any European competition, unless they are a Swansea, Fulham or Everton.

    But with Spurs up next for Liverpool, let’s hope Philips is a smart boy and knows what games you turn up in with gold.

    3rd in 3? VERY ACHIEVABLE.


    IWIT, Ozil, back with a bang. Coquet in fighting fit and Chambers available for remaining ELECTRIC games. God speed for Danny and Santiago, neither deserves.

  • Gord

    > I didn’t catch this info on women’s game, can you call an undeveloped adult female a women?

    You can’t call any individual female, a plural term.

    You can’t call any individual male, a plural term.

    To complain that some of the participants of women’s football are undeveloped is dumb. I suspect all of them have started the hormone cascade of puberty.

    But, if you complain of undeveloped participants in women’s football, you must extend the “courtesy” to men’s football.

    Women tend to develop earlier than men. In addition, women tend to be more responsible at a younger age.

  • Jason

    So where is the critique from untold-arsenal about the big 6 (of which Arsenal is a part) demanding more TV revenue. Untold is always slamming Real Madrid and Farcelona for the appalling model in spain. Yet here we are as a club demanding more or less the same thing in the EPL. Scratching and clawing for more cash to line Silent Stan’s pockets with. We’re no better than any other team despite the outward intention of being such a moral club…just a cash cow for the rich. Fans and football are nothing but assets and management strategies

  • Jason I don’t think you’ve quite got how we operate. To do a critique on a topic we need evidence and answers to the question “why” – as well as saying something that no one else is saying, hence “Untold”. This suggestion of more money to the top clubs did indeed look shameful, but as soon as I started to do the research it seemed to be all over and was defeated.
    But maybe you can help me on something: why did some of the clubs that would not benefit from the change vote for it? That I would love to know.