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Referees and the lack of VAR have cost us 6 points so far this season

By Walter Broeckx

Another season, another PGMO hate party it seems. What we have been showing through detailed analyses all these years is just continuing to happen. And the worst part is that the media is just joining in with the referees and making nothing of it. They love it.

At Stoke we should have had four penalties. And we got a goal disallowed for Lacazette being 1 cm offside.

Yesterday Richeatlison dived to win a penalty and well lets have a look at the position of Deeney on the initial shot where he bumped in to Cech who tried to make a save, and so he was clearly very involved in the play after that. And let us consider the media silence on the possible offside of Deeney. Because we all remember how the media managed to show how many centimetres Lacazette was offside against Stoke.

As the media didn’t focus on it (why one could ask) I use this picture to show you the difference


The top picture was a clear offside for the media. The lower picture was not even questioned. 

As we have said before we are not just dealing with incompetent/cheating refs. We are also dealing with a media that seems to do all they can to not say it like it is.

The Watford penalty was a blatantly wrong decision from the ref. Bellerin just ran next to the diving striker. To give a penalty there should be a foul.  And I challenge everyone to show me a foul from Bellerin. There simply isn’t a foul. So why did the ref gave a penalty? Running next to a player is no foul. Unless you are an Arsenal player.

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I think Swarbrick should come out (or the PGMO should come out) and admit the decision was wrong. And the media should have the balls to call it all out.

And most of all….. why is the PL the only big league to not have VAR working in its games? Is it because they want to allow the cheating as long as possible?

Of course VAR won’t be a solution to all the errors on the pitch. But anyone (and certainly a ref) looking at that penalty decision should come to the conclusion it was not a foul and thus shouldn’t have been a penalty.

But the PGMO is oh so slow in bringing the VAR to football.   Maybe because with a VAR system working we would have six points more in the league. Just look at the league table again with that in mind.

And that VAR can make a difference can be maybe best seen in the Juventus league.  Also known as the Serie A.

After Calciopoli it looked for a while that a whole range of teams could win it again. But once Juventus came back they started winning it again. Six times in a row. And more than once they got out of jail when things didn’t look great with some inventive refereeing. Maybe too many referees grew up loving Juventus and couldn’t stop their habit of helping them a hand.

But now VAR is working in Italy and suddenly the league table looks rather strange. Juventus is not top, instead the perennial winners are five points behind the league leaders Napoli…. and well, VAR might just have something to do with that.

For Arsenal it is rather simple. If we have a bad day like all teams do we will be sure that the ref will screw us to make sure we pay for our bad day. This was a penalty call specially reserved to be given against Arsenal. As can be seen by the blatant not given penalties against Stoke where clear fouls were ignored.

We are not only up against our opponents but also we are up against the PGMO.   That is not a new concept for Untold readers and indeed I wrote in the comment section before the match that I feared we could see some dodgy decisions going against us.  Once again it seems I was proven right. Not because I can tell what will happen in the future but more because of the research that we have been doing all these years of studying refs.

I just feared it would happen and my god did Swarbrick take his chance as it presented itself. With a VAR system the call would have been reversed. And if the VAR system had allowed that penalty to stand then it would have been the moment that I call the end of my football days. But no decent referee would want to see his name attached to such a decision and certainly not a referee who knows that VAR is watching him.

And the media…. they rather focus on things other than truth. Arsenal face XI players each time on the field. And they face refs who still manage to get it wrong (also because of the lack of a VAR system to help them or to correct them) and then we face the media that is full of Wenger/Arsenal hating former football players. We don’t stand a chance against such a combination….

In a VAR world we should and would have  six points more. But the PGMO from Mr. Mike –  98% correct decisions – Riley keeps on getting the chance to do us over and over again just as he did in match 50.

Last season Untold Arsenal’s team of researchers analysed the first 160 games played in the Premier League, and presented their findings week by week with video evidence.   You can read all the results in 160 games analysed.

You might also find interesting: Football analysis: hear it, read it, see it enough, and it starts to become true.




54 comments to Referees and the lack of VAR have cost us 6 points so far this season

  • Jax

    ‘A dubious penalty — Richarlison falling cheaply under minimal contact from Hector Bellerin’- Mail
    ‘which was boosted by a spot-kick awarded following a sudden loss of verticality by Richarlison.’-Guardian Poll in The Mirror
    The Guardian also devoted a complete article to discussing the ‘penalty’
    No mention anywhere (not even by Wenger) of the Deeney offside.

  • Jax

    Just incase my earlier comment doesn’t escape moderation.
    The ‘penalty’ was dissed in the The Mail, Guardian & Mirror at least.
    No mention by anyone (including Wenger) of the Deeney offside.

  • Saadman

    He also denied us a penalty after welbeck was brought down inside the box.

  • Jax, sorry for the delay in publishing your earlier comment. Because of the huge level of comments that we receive daily, there are a number of automatic systems in place to weed out the bulk of them without my having to read hundreds of adverts a day for other sites and endless attempts to sell products. One of these does affect links; sorry but can’t find a way around it.

    To be fair to Walter, he is writing from Belgium without the opportunity to study the English press, and although the papers you quote do question the decision, they are “balanced” by the Telegraph (for example) which only mentions the penalty in the 11th paragraph of its commentary saying

    Inevitably, there was controversy. For the penalty, Richarlison went down under a challenge from Hector Bellerin and Wenger claimed simply: “The decision is wrong”. Silva then defended Richarlison, insisting he did not see a dive and adding that it was “50-50”. Either way, Arsenal should have been two goals clear by that point.”

  • Saadman

    Tony, maybe you and the other guys should write something about Wenger and his long-termism versus the prevalent short termism in football today. I am still an ardent supporter of Wenger, but recently I’ve been losing faith in him. I would like to see some very strong arguments in support of Wenger, and how we should evaluate his management of the current squad in light of some of our rivals doing better than us. A little historical perspective would be better. And also how should we view the current ownership, and whether having such a passive personality as a senior board member a good thing?

  • Simeon Low

    Leaving the penalty to one side (a Watford fan mate of mine called the decision embarrassing whilst still lauding their victory), the second goal was less about offside and more about Deeney colliding with Cech meaning that he couldn’t hold the shot or get up quickly for the rebound.
    We all know that bad decisions will happen until VAR or some decent training for referees about not getting bullied or intimidated by big teams or home fans. However, my frustration is that we don’t see our main rivals having these awful decisions given against them. Man Utd somehow avoided a stonewall pen against them yesterday at Anfield. I can’t stand either team but I want the game played fairly.
    Also this retrospective action against Richarlson(sp?), should it happen give no benefit to the team wronged. If he’s banned for 2 games he will miss games against Chelsea (a big rival of ours) and Stoke (some cheating rugby outfit). That means on of their top scorers and most dangerous players (outside his diving he’s pretty good) now can’t harm our direct rival’s challenge in the league. It’s actually like we’ve been doubly punished once losing all 3 points (Watford had created virtually nothing until the penalty and then kicked on as we felt hard done by) but you watch Watford be toothless at Chelsea and gift them an easy 3pts.
    I love AW, in spite of his faults, but even I’m left wondering if a change is needed, not because he can’t achieve greatness with us, but to stop this ridiculous bias that has followed us ever since we had the audacity to go unbeaten in the most competitive league in the world. It was as if he’d embarrassed everyone and needed to be stopped from creating a dynasty reminiscent of Utd, Juventus or Bayern. The enormous injects of money didn’t help but it’s incredibly suspect that the level of acceptable violence against AFC players went up markedly from 2004/05. 6pts lost so far, we’d be title contenders with them. It’s that simple.

  • Al

    When we pointed out that the linesman who flagged Lacazette off had been motivated by a desire to deny Arsenal a goal rather than by something he had actually seen we were blasted for having a go at the officials when they had got it right. We said had that been at the other end that goal would have stood. Wonder what the same people are saying now… Silence. They’re conveniently quiet.

    Some people choose to fail to see these obvious things. Make some noise when your team gets cheated, FFS.

  • Alexanderhenry

    I disagree on the penalty. It was 50/50 for me.
    Bellerin is not a good defender.

    What is more worrying is how we caved in to Watford’s more physical approach in the second half.

    After the promise showed in the Chelsea game and a subsequent good run, I fear for arsenal this season.
    We have no chance of winning the PL and I do not think we will finish top four.

    Also, it’s clear sanchez will not put himself on the line for us this season, which means the club have essentially thrown away £60 million. Ozil has become a liability – no wonder he wants to stay, no one wants him. The jury’s still out on lacazette and I’m still not sure what xhaka’s role is supposed to be.
    He’s an accurate passer but he is certainly not a holding midfielder. He can’t tackle and is horribly slow sometimes.

    The way the team and the club as a whole is being managed really isn’t good enough.
    Arsenal fans who pay the highest prices in football need to think very carefully about this.

  • Wolfgang

    Until the time arrives when such incompetent refs are punished and punished severely,there will be more of these guys in black making wrong decisions.
    When I say punished severely I meant to have him suspended for enough games to hit him in the wallet by at least50%.
    These guys are getting away with murder week in and week out.

  • Jared

    Swarbrick was totally biased all game long. BREATH on a Watford player and they go down with a quick whistle. Ozil and Giroud (and everyone else) get mugged and nothing, play on. My wife (who was an Arsenal fan before I was) doesn’t even watch anymore. She can’t stomach it.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Alexanderherny, please tell me which foul Bellerin made? Did he stuck out a leg to trip the Watford player? Did he bundle him over?
    So why is it a 50/50? Because to have a penalty you must have a foul. I really cannot see what the foul was.
    And what did you make of the 50/50 on Welbeck? So why no penalty then at the other end? Even if you consider both to be 50/50 you must then ask: where is the consistency from the ref? Or you give them both or you don’t give them.
    And in the Welbeck case the defender was really using arms and legs to be all over Welbeck while Bellerin just ran near the Watford player. Running near a player is not a foul by the way

  • Jax

    Yeah! I hadn’t considered that Deeney was also obstructing Cech. Double bubble. That confirms it should definitely not been given.

  • Jax

    It rarely happens & when it does there are no big announcements. Just relegation to a lower league for a match or so….then back to the PL to carry on as per norm.
    VAR is coming (in the FA cup for starters), but won’t solve everything as it’s limited in scope although it would have (in yesterdays match) shown both goals to be invalid.

  • Having read most comments on this site and a few other less negative blogs I have come to the conclusion that I am going to vote against EPL with my money. No more subscriptions for live football matches on tv. The broadcasters of those live football matches on tv really have to weigh in now and insist that PGMOL clean up on biased referees like the one AFC had against Watford yesterday.

    The EPL and the broadcasters will no longer have a sniff of my wallet going forward until they do force the referees association to introduce VAR pronto or their finances will continue to hemorrhage until it is no longer attractive for spectators, financiers and the viewers of live football.

    How could Iwobi or Ozil have missed such golden opportunities to bury Watford when presented with them? What is Arsene doing in getting the Silent One to loosen the purse strings to buy better quality players from the January transfer window and after? AFC also has to address these issues or the club will suffer a fans revolt if things continue in the way they are.

  • Polo

    I wonder if Lacazette’s comment about the refereeing in the PL came back to bite Arsenal? Retribution for crticising the PL referees.

  • Alex

    Funny to accuse Özil for his missed chance (stopped by the GK and not missed by the player, btw) and to not attack the guys who were unable to do anything more than one scrappy goal during the so call “very good” first half?

  • Jammy

    And what a truly amazing surprise, barely any mention of the ridiculous penalty call in the media. The only article relating to it on the Sky Sports app was titled “WATCH: Did Richarlison dive?” as if there was even any room for debate! If you hadn’t of watched the game, you wouldn’t even know that we were blatantly robbed, yet when it’s Arsenal on the receiving end of a favourable call (although, they’re never as obvious as the ones against us) or when one goes against Man U or Liverpool, you never hear the end of it and we’re constantly reminded how that call had an effect on the end result.

    How are so many Gooners completely oblivious to this fact? Do they know deep down that it’s true, but just carry on anyway, because they so, so want to be right about Wenger being a awful manager? Or has the media really manipulated them so sufficiently, that they truly can’t see it?

  • alexanderhenry


    As I said it was 50/50. There was contact and the player went down. What worries me more than the refereeing decisions is the way we played. We were bullied in the second half. Troy Deeney is right. If you watch the interview, Keown agrees with him.

    On and off the pitch arsenal are a mess at the moment.

  • Jammy

    Consistency is all we are asking for. Yes, some referees will judge the game differently, but for these two instances, it was the same ref, in the same match. If that Richarlison “foul” was a penalty, then the Welbeck one absolutely was as well.

    I just can’t believe that we have to argue with even our own fans over this kind of stuff. The whole thing is just so fucking grotesque.

  • Polo

    @ Jammy, some fans are so dead set on wanting AW to go, they will argue anything positive about Arsenal. Don’t waste anymore of your time arguing with them.

    Can’t wait for VAR to be in the PL, it is not perfect but it will be much better than what is offered now.

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    Mr Broeckx, I understand all that you’ve said on PGMO officiating referees and the linesmen always screwing Arsenal up with their inconsistent officiating when Arsenal are involved.

    One clear penalty that should have been awarded Arsenal at Stoke was when Bellerin was violently pushed down in the box but the ref didn’t give Arsenal a penalty.

    Okay, assuming Lacazette was marginally adjudged offside in our away Stoke game, why wasn’t Deeney equally adjudged offside in our away Watford game too? Is it because we are Arsenals hated by the PGMO officiating officials? Not only did Richardlison dived to get an illegal penalty awarded for Watford, but when a clear legal penalty was won by Welbeck for Arsenal in the same Watford match, referee Swarbrick ignored it. Why? Is it because we are Arsenal so despised by the PGMO officiating officials or what actual the problem with the inconsistent referring calling when it comes to Arsenal begs for answer.

  • Jax

    ‘barely any mention of the ridiculous penalty call in the media’
    I don’t know how ‘barely’ this was mentioned elsewhere, but it was certainly brought up in the Mirror, Guardian & Mail and also MOTD. They all queried it and at least three thought there was dive. That’s pretty conclusive for me.
    Re Richarlison vis a vis Webeck. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Neither was a penalty was it?

  • Jax

    Neither were a penalty. Have to be careful or the grammar cop will be on my case

  • Jammy

    Polo – I know that that’s definitely the best advice, but there is always some small part of me that hopes I’ll be able to change their mind. There is just so much evidence that backs up what we are saying, I can’t help but try to use it to show them why they’re wrong. But we all know that evidence or statistics mean very little when you’re as stubborn and certain that you’re right, as some of these WOBs are. Especially when they have the media reinforcing their views every step of the way.

    Scrolling through Goonernews and literally every single article is about how awful Arsenal are and not one mention of the fact that Watford were literally gifted both of their goals. Why are more Arsenal “fans” not outraged over this?

  • goonersince72


    “We were bullied in the second half”. What match were you watching? Watford did bring it to AFC and had quite a bit of possession but bullied? Please. I guess when they were bullying they forgot to play football because I didn’t see a lot of goals from them nor did they create any real chances. While I admit the AFC side were mediocre at best the match was decided by the ref. Re the two incidents; they are either both penalties or not penalties. Sort of a 50-50 in Welbeck’s case and just a dive from Richarlson, no contact. Personally I’d have let both go. I’d be consistent unlike the PGMO lackey. As a supporter that’s all I’m asking for, but apparently it’s a big ask.

  • Jammy

    Jax – Yet somehow they all manage to come to the conclusion that Arsenal lost because we played poorly and it had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that the only two goals Watford scored, were illegal. Weird that, huh?

    Just having the incident mentioned is completely different to the way the situation would be handled if it were the other way around. It was a penalty, so of course they have to mention it, but they do their best job at trivialising it. There is a stark difference between my Sky Sports news feed when something like his happens against Arsenal and when it (very rarely) goes for us.

  • Zuruvi

    The game yesterday proved two things to me.
    We as fans of Arsenal football club have two “enemies”:

    1). Bad refereeing. There is an obvious amount of evidence that referees are always very quick to punish us. Arsenal gets punished more often than any of the other big clubs. The media favourites (Manure and the Poo) are also the referee favorites. Both Liverpool and Man Utd are generally favoured by referees. Arsenal are generally punished.

    2). We are often our own worst enemy. We completely dominate games (such as Watford) for 60 minutes but don’t score or score just the odd goal. Our failure to score then makes referee decisions even more important and decisive. We are a goal-shy team (if you consider the amount of chances we create versus the number of goals we score). We don’t have enough goalscorers in the team. Look at that Ozil chance for example. Look at the number of good chances or half-chances that Welbeck, Iwobi and others miss in many games.
    Maybe too many of our players are just good players and not very good pllayers. Our players are not good enough to make us challenge the very good teams. I think our midfield lacks goals. Whenever Ozil breaks through I don’t really expect him to score (whereas when Robert Pires broke through on goal I always expected to see the net bulge.

  • Polo

    @ Jammy, Why are more Arsenal “fans” not outraged over this?

    Most don’t care as it’s only a football match, they have other important things to worry about. I truely respect and appreciate what you’re trying to do and I hope your effort will change some people’s mind but don’t hold your breath though. Anyway, I’m hoping AW ‘scandalous’ comment on the penalty don’t come back and bite his team in future matches.

  • Zuruvi

    We could and should have scored at least two goals, and maybe even three or four goals in the first 60 or 70 minutes of the Watford game.

    Our team tends to keep the opposing team in the game when we have opportunities to kill them off.
    We need to address this problem.
    We lack a killer instinct.

  • josh

    they had more ball possession and shots off target, the only place we beat them is the shots on target. alexanderhenry is right, the second half was all about them. I don’t understand why anyone would say they did not deserve what they got from the game, they had more possession for Christ’s sake, they weren’t afraid to attack, they didn’t just sit back and defend, they played well and they won.

  • I suppose Josh, you don’t understand because you equate possession with winning. And that, I suspect, is because you have not studied the statistics – or else you don’t believe in statistics.

  • josh

    ‘I’ve heard Wenger’s already
    blaming that [the penalty] as the
    reason they lost,’ Deeney said on
    BT Sport .
    ‘Well, I’m not one to tell Mr.
    Wenger about himself, but the
    reason they lost wasn’t due to one
    ‘Having a bit of cojones, I think the
    word is. Whenever I play against
    Arsenal – and this is just a personal
    thing – I go up and think “let me
    whack the first one, then we will
    see who wants it,’

    Troy deeny on the watford win

  • The_Ledge

    We have to accept that we are nowhere near challenging for the title. If we were, then things would have panned out differently – yes?

    If we were going for a win, the prepared substitution of Jack for Iwobi should have remained, except it would have been Jack for Kos/ Mo could have stepped into Kos’s role, and we would have had a more forceful midfield. We cannot go on blaming PGMOL for our own misgivings. Yes, the officials were poor, and no, it wasn’t a penalty. The problem is that Citeh have scored a total of THIRTEEN goals against Watford and Stoke in two games this season – Arsenal have scored ONE. We have relegation form away – one point from 12 in the league.

    Face it, we are poor!

  • Gord

    There is mention in the news, that the SWatford player could be seeing a two game ban for diving.

    This is NOT sufficient!

    Swarbrick should be banned from officiating for two game days as well.

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    As all are being said on how the referee screwed up Arsenal at Watford yesterday to denied them getting at least a point in the match talkless of to collect all the three, Arsenal should also be accounted blames by us for screwing up themselves too in the match. Bellerin who missed scoring in the box from a crossed ball in the first half, Iwobi and Ozil who missed sitters in the second half to kill off Watford resistant in the match are the guilty party responsible for the Arsenal losing the match.

    Arsenal had the match under their control in the first half and were arguably in control of it up to the time Ozil missed a sitter. But from then on, Arsenal attack seemed to have fallen apart like a pack of cards as they resorted to desperate defending in the game onwards to avert conceding a goal from the incessant barrage of attacks from Watford which culminated to Arsenal not able to keep the ball on the ground to play but were skying it to anywhere will do.

    Le Prof has said Arsenal panicked after conceding that unjustified penalty. But I say Arsenal didn’t panic as such but lost their Mojo or libido to uphold performance control in the game as they allowed themselves to be overwhelmed by the Watford barrage of voracious attacks. Had Jack Wilshere succeeded to come on, maybe with his experience and intelligent, he would have taken control of the Arsenal game and calm it down. Thus, preventing Watford getting their second and the match winning offside goal.

  • Al

    Erm… who was that arguing with Walter that it was a 50-50 decision?

    Well, Keith Hackett, former referees chief, has lambasted richarlison for diving and called for him to be banned retrospectively (although that will not help us now)

  • Menace

    Gord you’re being lenient on soreprick. He should be banned with the rest of the PGMOL & the FA. The whole lot are more corrupt than ketchup on a wound. Jailbird Deeney should also face a disrepute charge for his violent comment.

  • Al

    And may I just add, for those saying we should have done our job, Hackett also comes to the conclusion the penalty had a decisive outcome to the match. How anyone calling themselves an arsenal fan can reach any other conclusion is beyond me.

  • Al

    …decisive impact to match outcome..

  • Gord

    Maybe Walter or Andrew knows, but how many games (out of 38) did we play last year that had bias against Arsenal of 3:1 or higher? 36?

    If every time a game was that biased, the referee was banned for 2 gameweeks; that would call for something like 70 gameweeks of referee banning in a season. Just for bias against Arsenal. The PGMO is short staffed as it is, this would really put a problem on things.

  • Jammy

    Polo – Sorry, I just want to point out that I wasn’t saying “fans” to literally everyone that isn’t getting frustrated over this, I was solely referring to the WOB with that comment. The ones that let their outrage (probably a bit too strong of a word) lay purely with Wenger and the players, and not the bandit in black that blatantly robbed us.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Alexanderhenry, there was also contact with Welbeck at the other end. Even more contact than with Bellerin.
    But the sentence you use is because of misuse (lack of knowledge from pundits) who use the “there was contact” to define a penalty or not. That is wrong. It should be : was there a foul or not. Because in football legal contact is allowed. If a defender runs next to an attacker and makes contact without sticking out a leg there is no foul. If he pushes him with his hands or arms there is a foul. But just running body to body (and making contact) is not a foul.

  • omgarsenal

    Jax….your grammar is improving…see what a little effort can achieve!

  • Markyb

    Get lost you troll, clearly not an Arsenal fan.

  • Thank you Walter for your clarification on ‘contact’ and ‘foul’. It only further reinforces the lack of knowledge in the rules of football by many of the ex-football Star pundits. At least they could learn and improve if they want to, but are they? I mean it is easier earning some quids spewing garbage while short changing your audience for your lack of depth in what you are pontificating about.

    Only if the WOB would keep an open mind on Arsene and AFC the endless sniping and war in the fan base would be less fratricidal, because the chicanery and perverse agenda of the Press and the pundits would become clearer to see.

  • MickHazel

    Clattenburg has said the penalty was correctly given as there was contact. I am utterly confused now. Is he saying that any contact is therefore a penalty, in which case there would be multiple penalties per match. What do you make of Clattenburgs comment?

  • MickHazel

    Latest news.
    The diving panel have decided there is no case to answer. What a F”””””g joke.

  • Deeney offside is nothing to him sat on Cech preventing him from making the save, as has been pointed out, aside from his position when the strike comes in.

    Welbeck is first fouled outside of the area, but the foul continues into the box and Bellerin needs to be wiser, he didn’t need to even go for a challenge, just stand his ground and ask the player to go around him. It was a dive, but we should know better by now.

    I was at work watching it, I didn’t even bat an eyelid, we caused ourselves problems with our shape, or lack there of, and by not maintaining the score 2 rule we have employed for most of the preceding 7 games.

    That Man in Black, is in up to his ears.

    If the PL can’t be fixed, invest in your nuclear bunker, it’s going to be freezing skin off soon.

    I believe in the people, more fool me, but I don”t trust them.

  • The italians are pretty quick with the VAR, I watched Inter AC. fun game.

    Ashley prepares to sell pre-accounting period. 🙂 patience!

  • well spotted josh, is that admission f aggravated assault on a pitch?!

  • Watford earned their win, but it may well not be deserved – Josh

    I don’t pay those cronies to watch anything, I wouldn’t advise anyone to subscribe to anything, TV license for the BBC a ministerially regulated broadcaster so you can pay more subscriptions and get propaganda!

    They will change or we will all die prematurely, football is life!