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Crystal Palace v Arsenal 28 Dec 2017 – The Match Officials: you can take their word for it

by Andrew Crawshaw

We have our first three timer this season for this game.

  • Referee – Michael Oliver  Age 32 from Northumberland and FIFA accredited
  • Assistant Referee 1 – Simon Bennett  from Staffordshire and FIFA accredited
  • Assistant Referee 2 – Daniel Cook from Hampshire
  • Fourth Official – Graham Scott  Age 49 from Oxfordshire

Michael Oliver needs no introduction from me.  Our two previous games under his whistle this season were the goalless draw with Chelsea on 17 September and our three one defeat at Manchester City on bonfire night.

For the Chelsea no major interventions from Mr Oliver.  In the last 10 minutes he rightly gave Luiz a red card for a studs up challenge on Kolasinac, a real potential leg breaker. Not enough time for the man advantage to be terribly significant against a team well versed in Italian defending.

Mr Oliver should have awarded Arsenal a free kick just outside the penalty area in the dying minutes for a foul by Christienson kicked Alexis on the shin but sub-rule 8B applied (unless an Arsenal player is involved) and play was inevitably waved on.  Final score 0 – 0.

At Manchester City on November 5th the officials were in full support of City.  Nothing too much happened in the first half other than De Brune scoring a valid goal in Min 19 but something must have been said at half time.

Early in the second half Alexis one on one with the last City defender and Mr Oliver invents a ‘phantom foul’ to prevent any possibility of an upset against the team designated to win the League this year.  From the non-existent foul Sterling is sent away and Monreal is next to him.  Sterling does what Sterling does and falls over thin air and Monreal is penalised for a penalty from which City score their first goal.

It is quite possible that Sterling was also 2cm offside but this was not examined in detail.  Two nil to City thanks to a PGMO gift.  Arsenal playing better after this and Lacazette makes it 2 – 1 in Min 65.  Time for another PGMO gift and this is duly given following a move where two City players are offside by at least a metre.  This second gift killed our players who must have thought why the hell do we even bother.

Here is the link to my referee preview for that game – I don’t feel like going through everything again.

Manchester City v Arsenal Sunday 5 November – Media react to the Match Officials

This kind of opposition from Mr Oliver to Arsenal is absolutely normal and must be totally honest as he is accredited by that most August of bodies FIFA.

Expect more of the same on Thursday evening!

Here at Arsenal we never call the referees cheats because despite all of the times we have analysed their performances there is no hard evidence that that is actually the case.  You are, of course, quite entitled to make up your own minds between the options:

a) 98% of decisions made by referees are accurate as per PGMO press releases, and the data and video evidence on the first 160 games of last season is wrong.  Quite how it is wrong is of course up to you to decide.

b) Although the figure of accurate decisions is lower than 98% the number of errors is not significant because “they all even out in the end”.  and the data and video evidence on the first 160 games of last season is wrong.  Quite how it is wrong is of course up to you to decide.

c) The figure of accuracy is below 98% and it doesn’t all even up in the end.  Quite why it might not even up in the end is of course a matter for debate.

You can, of course, decide for yourself.  Or you can take PGMO’s word for it.  They don’t present evidence but you can take their word.

9 comments to Crystal Palace v Arsenal 28 Dec 2017 – The Match Officials: you can take their word for it

  • Goonereris

    Michael Oliver always looks to me like a Ref with an agenda. He is wily and knows just how and when to make the right calls to make him appear fair; then, just when you least expect it, he makes a call to hurt you such that you will be hard pressed to make a case for bias. I hate the smug look he wears on his face just as the fans a bellowing for justice.

    It is a No-win situation for us though. We are condemned to get the 3 points inspite of Oliver.

  • Josif

    Anyway, I reckon Man City might get a push to win the league without a defeat. They play excellent football though and represent the least evil of all non-Arsenal clubs (if you ignore the whole slave labour thing).

    As for Palace, they’ve been doing quite well since Hodgson took over. British managers are usually crap but most of them are perfect 40-pointers.

  • WalterBroeckx

    If Oliver keeps his track record you can expect one offside goal against us or a goal from an unpunished foul against one of our defenders. Oh and also expect the award of a OAAP (Only Against Arsenal Penalty).
    No chance of Arsenal getting a penalty.
    So we will have to be pretty good with our finishing to overcome the 2 goal bonus Mr. Oliver is giving our opponents most of the time.

  • Markyb

    Zaha will get good value tonight I think

  • Steve Vallins

    I agree with you Walter , Zaha is as good as Sterling for falling down so like you I expect a penalty against us plus a sending off

  • Jon' Doe

    The Burnley – Tottenham game some days ago NAILS Michael Oliver as a suspect referee. He was below poor in his judgement and interpretation of the rules of the game.
    Missed the studs up Kane and Alli tackle on a Burnley player and the ‘final nail in the coffin’ phantom penalty for Dele Alli in the 7th minute of the game.

    As the referee for today’s game, I expect suspect calls against the Arsenal.
    God help us with the game tonight.

    COYG!

  • Genorm

    Agree with everyone’s fears about Oliver. Yes, I loathe his smug face too. He rewarded diver Alli against Burnley, a couple of matches ago, with a cheaters penalty. Zaha will be the same threat for a OAAP. Why should we always dread our games due to pgmol officials with an agenda?

  • markyb

    Yes Penalty for serial Penalty ‘Winner’ Alli, straight after a straight red card challenge given yellow. Should have been banned from the Man City match for the awful challenge on KDBruyne. The little tosser will end a career soon.

  • jet

    With Oliver at the helm, should we approach this game differently, not in the gung Ho manner, one such as this smug faced cheat would want.