Arsenal v Chelsea Wednesday 3 January 20018 – The Match Officials

by Andrew Crawshaw

Our fourth game in a row with our ‘favourite referees’ and this is the one I’ve been dreading most.  We have :-

  • Referee – Anthony Taylor  Age 38 from Cheshire and FIFA accredited
  • Assistant Referee 1 – Adam Nunn  from Wiltshire and FIFA accredited
  • Assistant Referee 2 – Lee Betts  from Norfolk and FIFA accredited
  • Fourth Official – Craig Pawson  Age 38 from South Yorkshire and FIFA accredited

So we have a fully FIFA accredited group of officials and that is certainly enough accreditation to ensure that they will all behave in a completely honest and upright way.  Isn’t it?

This is, mercifully, only the second time we will have had Mr Taylor in charge of us this year.

His opening match was our 3 – 0 home win against Bournemouth on 9th September.  Unfortunately I was unable to do a referee preview of the game and Walter was on holiday but from the comments on the Untold thread whilst the game was being played, we did what we should do every game and played in a way that took the referee completely out of the equation.

When we play at our best with slick one touch passes we are pretty much unbeatable.  Unfortunately when we play our stodgy slow sideways game it is all to easy for the officials.

This will be the fourth match that Mr Taylor has officiated for Chelsea this year.  Far too many and totally unhealthy for the PL.

  • Tottenham v Chelsea 20 September – (1 – 2)
  • Chelsea v Man United 5 November (1 – 0)
  • West Ham v Chelsea 9 December (1 – 0)

Their only ‘hiccup’ was the unexpected loss at West Ham, apart from that wins against Tottenham and United.

Looking back to last Season 2016-17… 

We had Mr Taylor only once in our away match at Middlesbrough on 17 April.  By that time in the season we were unable to do full minute by minute referee reviews.  Here are extracts from Walter’s post game piece.

Ox and Leadbitter rightly getting yellows in the first 15 mins Giroud being pulled down at a corner but no penalty given, Taylor giving free kick after free kick in favour of Middlesbrough and little in favour of Arsenal until 42 minutes when even he can’t ignore a foul on Xhaka.  Alexis on the ball and makes it 1 – 0. 

Gabriel next in the book for a high kick against Negredo – again correct.  Early in the second half Negredo makes it one all.  Özil then restores our lead following a chest pass from Ramsey in Min 71.  Taylor then showed that he does know the rules following a foul on Xhaka in our half by waving play on allowing a quick break from Arsenal and then returning to book the Middlesbrough player when the ball goes out of play.  In general though he continues giving Middlesbrough free kicks at every opportunity.

Minor interventions not sufficient to prevent an Arsenal victory and, unusually, signs that he does both know the rules and can apply them.

Going back to 2015-16 we had Mr Taylor on four occasions.  None of the games were lost but… :-

Arsenal v Man United 4 October (3 – 0) 

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

  • Min 4 Schweinsteiger should have had a first yellow card for a foul on Gabriel – this should also have been a penalty to Arsenal,
  • Min 45 +1 he should have had a second yellow card for persistent infringements 4 fouls in 15 minutes, same again in Min 45+2,
  • Min 73 Fellaini should have had a second yellow card for persistent fouling and
  • Min 90 he makes a fifth foul in 33 minutes and should have been off the pitch.

A win despite the referee.  Arsenal v Man United

Arsenal v Newcastle 2 January (1 – 0) 

48% overall, bias against the two teams of 91/9 and one wrong Important Decision when in…

Min 53 Colback should have had a second yellow card for a dive which was wrongly given as a foul against Ramsey.  An excellent first half with only two mistakes plus one from the linesman.  In the second half though Mr Taylor back to his usual crap self.  Every excuse to give Newcastle a free kick even a dive behind his back was awarded.  Another win despite the referee’s best efforts to subvert the course of the game..Arsenal v Newcastle

Arsenal v Watford 2 April (4 – 0) 

66% overall, bias against the two teams of 55/45 and one wrong Important Decision when a penalty should have been given in Min17 for a push on Wellbeck by Prodl.  The first half was the normal crap, this time it was Almen Abdi who had the licence to foul without any kind of sanction.  Despite that we went in at half time with a 2 – 0 advantage.  Almost from the restart we got a third goal and the refereeing suddenly changed.and from there on Mr Taylor became an honest broker.  Key point from this game – even referees as Myopic as Mr Taylor can be won’t mess around with Arsenal 3 – 0 up and passing the ball around cleanly.  Arsenal v Watford

Man City v Arsenal 8 May (2 – 2) 

63% overall, bias against the two teams of 16/84 and five wrong Important Decisions

  • Min 50 Mangala should have conceded a penalty for a foul on Giroud,
  • Min 50 Fernandinho should have had a first yellow card for a foul on Sanchez,
  • Min 68 He should have had a second for a foul on Wilshere,
  • Min 86 he should have had a third for a foul on Sanchez,
  • Min 90+2 he was finally given a yellow card for a foul on Giroud but this should have been his fourth.  He should have had a fifth in min 90+3 for yet another foul on Giroud.

Mr Taylor had an excellent first half, two mistakes only and one in favour of each team.  Unfortunately it was Mr Taylor’s evil doppleganger who emerged for the second half./

Min 49 a two footed challenge on Alexis, should have been at least a yellow card but at least he gave the free kick.  A good cross but both Giroud (held by his shirt) and Alexis (pulled back by the arm) were fouled in the box.  Nailed on penalty for either offence but not for Mr Taylor. 

His excuse was that as this was the second last game of the season this wasn’t the time to start calling those fouls!  In other words the referees had been actively ignoring those fouls all season!

Fernandinho then being the player with a licence to kill committing foul after foul with no redress  Another player a cowardly referee was unwilling to cross.  The failures from Mr Taylor in this match certainly cost Arsenal points.  Man City v Arsenal

Going back one more year to 2014-15 and we had Mr Taylor on no fewer than six occasions :-

  • Leicester v Arsenal 31 August (1 – 1)  61% overall score, bias against the two teams of 7/93 and three wrong Important Decisions, Min 50 Hammond pushes Santi in the box but no penalty awarded, Min 58 Moore fouls Sanogo breaking up a promising attack, this should have been a second yellow card, Min 84 Hammond deliberately steps on Ramsey’s leg as he is on the ground should have ben a straight red card.  Two points robbed by Mr Taylor on this occasion  Leicester v Arsenal
  • Stoke v Arsenal 6 December (3 – 2)  59% overall score, bias against the two teams of 0/100 and four wrong Important decisions.  In Min 14 Crouch should have had a yellow card for a foul on Chambers, Min 28 he should have had a second yellow card for an elbow on Mertesacker, Min 45 he finally gets a first yellow card for another elbow but this should have been his third.  Min 45 Shawcross pushes the Ox with both arms in th epenalty area, Crouch then heads the ball to Walters for a tap in which should have been disallowed due to the push.  Finally in Min 83 Adams was only given a yellow card for a wrestling sleeper hold on Alexis this should have been red.  Another game where Mr Taylor was able to decide the outcome of the match.  Stoke v Arsenal
  • Arsenal v Aston Villa 1 February (5 – 0)  overall score 85%, bias against the two teams of 100/0, none of them Important.  For once a penalty correctly awarded to Arsenal.  Another occasion where once Arsenal were well clear Mr Taylor played ‘honest broker”. Arsenal v Aston Villa
  • Arsenal v West Ham 14 March (3 – 0)  Chris Foy was referee for this match but had to leave the field after 59 minutes when Fourth Official Anthony Taylor took over.  The following figures are for the last 31 minutes of the game only.  overall score 73%, bias against the two teams of 83/17 three wrong decisions to one and none of them were serious.  Arsenal were three goals to nil up when Mr Taylor took over and again he played ‘honest broker’ Arsenal v West Ham last 31 minutes
  • Arsenal v Liverpool 1 April (4 – 1) – no minute by minute review for this game  The Belgian Supporters in the House so a fine win, Three nil to Arsenal at half time gave Mr Taylor little chance to influence things
  • Arsenal v Sunderland 20 May (0 – 0) – again no minute by minute review for this game.  Sunderland being allowed to pull shirts in and around their penalty area with impunity and Cattermole with the licence to kill.  Sunderland just doing enough to ensure they remain in the league fr another season and defending with the bus well and truly on the goal line.


  1. Mr Taylor is definitely not a referee who you would gamble your house on getting most decisions right, despite us winning more games than we lose when he is in charge.
  2. His bias figures against us are of Biblical proportions.
  3. If we can establish a three goal lead then he tends to change and become an ‘honest broker’.
  4. Only the most blatant of penalties will be given in our favour.
  5. Virtually every match an opposition player is given a ‘licence to kill’ and is then allowed unlimited fouls against our players without fear of being given one let alone two yellow cards.
  6. Arsenal players are never ever allowed any freedom at all and will always be sanctioned to the maximum allowed in the rulebook.
  7. Make no mistake our task to beat Chelsea will be made much harder by Mr Taylor and his team of FIFA accredited match officials.


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26 Replies to “Arsenal v Chelsea Wednesday 3 January 20018 – The Match Officials”

  1. So Arsene has been charged for telling the truth…….and no doubt Dean has received a firm handshake and a pat on the back (at the very least) from Riley.

  2. Now that Wenger has been charged by the F.A over Mike Dean . We can expect Taylor to exact retribution from the PGMOL . Thick as thieves comes to mind.

  3. There is much more to this than meets the eye. The FA have said that had VAR been in place, Dean would have made a different decision. So they have admitted that he didn’t see the incident at all.

    I’m sick to the teeth of the way these officials (both the FA and PGMOL) lie through their teeth to reach whatever conclusion it is that they want.

    They all appear to be corrupt, and by taking NO interest, the mainstream media, government and especially the EPL are condoning it. This all points in ONE direction – gambling! Direct association between betting and clubs should be illegalised immediately.

    Really, football in this country is completely buggered!

  4. It’s intriguing that in the anniversaries of today’s date we are reminded that in 1903, “Arsenal manager charged with running an illegal lottery”.

    By coincidence the current Arsenal Manager was charged today for being brave enough to call out the lottery that is the approach to refereeing in the Premier League……….

  5. Wenger has been charged following the incorrect penalty decision from dullard dean. What sanctions are proposed for dean regarding this blatantly wrong decision? We will, no doubt, continue to play against 14 in every game until such time as we encounter opposition that the pigmob hate more than they do us. My hopes for the season now are simply survival. I would offer the theory that poor refereeing is contributing to injuries and a decline in the game. I know all the media and the pigmob will offer is silence.

  6. Whatever could be the anti-Arsenal referring agenda which referee Anthony Taylor and his other match officials entourage for the match have natured to be effected against Arsenal in this match as they might have been ordered by Mr Riley, the head of the PGMOB to perpetrate against Arsenal in their PL home match against Chelsea tomorrow, I believe Arsenal will find a way in this occasion in this big game to beat Chelsea even if Mr Taylor and his linesmen do carryout any anti-Arsenal referring in the match will not matter. For, the Gunners and their substitutes who will play in this match are more than ready and determined to put the Blues to another sword at the Ems in the game and collect all the points at stake in the match irrespective of whether referee Anthony Taylor and his linesmen do anti-Arsenal whistling and flagging during the match will not matter. All that matters in this match is for the Gunners to collect the maximum points on offer as the stake in the match. And that’s exactly what the Gunners will do tomorrow.

  7. This all points in ONE direction – gambling! Direct association between betting and clubs should be illegalised immediately.

    Every match we see on television is covered by advertisements for mainstream betting companies but these are not the ones that we should be watching.It’s the far eastern betting rings that deal in corruption and they will prove to be far more difficult to catch.

  8. I once proposed hiring a plane to fly a banner with a message asking for fairness from the pgmob. It’s only around £500-£800.
    In the face of Wenger getting charged today then before the match against Chelsea could be an ideal time to do this. I pledged £50 last time to get the ball rolling, and the offer still stands. Obviously everyone can chip in what they can afford, a £1 or even 50 pence, as the required amount is not that much. It’s the least we can do, and inaction isn’t an option.

  9. Ok maybe tomorrow might not be ideal as it’ll be a night and visibility will be reduced.. but we ought to do something soon. The pgmob are determined to push us out of top 6 this year. And if we miss CL football again the best players will leave.

    I liked how Wenger doubled down on his claims that there’s something afoot on his press conference today. He even listed the games where we have been blatantly robbed (Stoke, Watford, City & West Brom). But he needs our help guys. He can’t do it all by himself!

  10. That’d be awesome, MickHazel, thank you. Hopefully more can come on board, even if nothing solid comes out of it it might just put focus on the pgmob, particularly with the international media.

    So as it stands we have £60 in pledges.. anybody else?

  11. @Al,

    I like the idea, would you be willing to into set up a GoFundMe page? It would help get the word out.

    Just getting £1 from just 10% of the people that signed the Dean petition would be more than enough to fly a banner at every home game the rest of the season based on your mentioned rate of £500-£800.

  12. Thanks Jerry for the brilliant suggestion, was actually wondering how best to collect the funds.

    Unfortunately due to pressing work, family and other commitments I might struggle to run the campaign myself, is anyone (from the regular UA contributors that is, or one of the site moderators) willing to create this? I’ll put my 50 quid as soon as the link is posted here.

  13. I’m going to appeal directly to people like Tony, Walter, Andrew, Usama, etc., would someone be willing to create a gofundme account to help with above? If you don’t think/feel this is a good idea would be happy to know. Thanks.

  14. @ Al -02/01/2018 at 5:21 pm -As I have indicated before , I will pledge £10 towards it. Or more if required .

    What about a banner to get the attention of the crowd at the EMS ?
    How about –


  15. Al,

    I can contribute too. There are tons of gofundme-like sites that can do the job via credit card or Paypal.

  16. Having put up one banner, funded through the extremely kind support of Untold readers, I can say that part of the process was a consideration of what was on the banner. Getting a banner unofficially into the Ems is going to be hard. You are talking about cards the size of the Wenger out cards that we saw a while ago.
    Or a plane.
    But… while the media will always focus on Wenger out banners they will never ever focus on anything that attacks PGMO because it is in the contract between the TV companies and the League that criticism of referees and their organisation must not be permitted or supported by the clubs.

  17. The fact that a manager can be charged for speaking his observations about the ref and game, in a very non threatening way is a part of the “totally controlled society” we live in.
    What a farce. Is this how they make their money the football associations? I wonder.
    This needs to stop, and until we refuse to accept it, it will continue on and on…
    They are taking the piss out of all of us, not just in football, and laughing all the way to the bank.

    Ozil was kept back for Chelsea? Lets hope he is fired up and ready to demolish Chelsea tonight, as should all the other players too. Lets have both Laca and Alexis playing. Is Ramsey back yet?

    A must win game, nothing else matters anymore but wins, wins, wins.

    “criticism of referees”
    No wonder they are so terrible, they have elevated themselves into the realms of “gods” and punish criticism from “the lesser beings” wholesale.

    They cannot learn from their mistakes, but wait, in their minds they are infallible.

    What a load of horse excrement. Enough is enough, dammit.

  18. An alternative would be a video /graphics where the incidents are highlighted and mocked . Albeit in a humourous way , but the message is hard hitting . Very much like Usama’s Instagram posting of Dean’s foul deeds .

    Make if funny enough and it gets passed around faster , and hopefully get people thinking . They must be quite a number of the PIGMOB’s faux pas on the internet, so no real shortage of material.

    Or maybe witty memes allegedly by celebrities , cartoon characters, etc. I would love to hear Triumph the Insult Comic Dog ,passing his verdict on the ref’s decisions with his traditional..,” For me to poop on !”, comment !

  19. Brickfields, Swapneel, Florian
    Thanks guys, much appreciated. It doesn’t look like it’ll take long to reach our target. Any surplus funds can always be donated to one of the many charities the club supports…

    Yes getting a banner into stadium would be tricky, and most likely TV won’t focus on it (unless it was a Wenger out banner of course). This would be on a plane only for these very reasons. Think that’ll be a lot more difficult to ignore/miss.

    Am I also correct in assuming international media Will be in the stadium, albeit under license from the PL? If that is the case then I suspect one or two may report on it. If there is no chance then maybe think of something else.

  20. Brickfields Gunners

    Thanks for that………I think.

    The more I watch that the more unbelievable it becomes.

    The fouls are bad.

    The ref is terrible.

    BUT the most disgraceful part of it all is not even the way the commentators excuse and justify, every aspect of Uniteds play, and Rileys incompiance to boot, but the way that somehow they eventually manage to blame Arsenal themselves, for their ‘Perceived’ sense of injustice, and the fact that apparently we ‘should of expected this’.

    So there we have it, one of the worst, most biased pieces of refereeing I have ever had the misfortune to witness, and utterly excused and condoned by SKY.

    And just to compound there complicity 2 or 3 years ago Neville was given free reign by SKY, in an article with Souness, to again recall this match in the light that this is the game that proved Arsenal where a bunch of wimps, when in reality it should be used as an example to every aspiring referee that this is absolutely how NOT to referee a football match.

    Surely by doing so SKY sports where wholeheartedly condoning excessive physical force that was likely to endanger an opponent? The foul on Cole in particular was a deliberate leg breaker. Surely SKY, by allowing Neville to dumb this whole disgraceful episode down to a bit of ‘Getting in there faces’ are complicit in endorsing this kind of foul, dangerous, play?

    And as history has shown, the tone set on this day paved the way for career ending assaults on Diaby and Eduardo to name but 2, with numerous other events that could easily have ended in a similar way.

    Quite unbelievably this is the performance that elevated Riley to the head of PIGMOB.

    This is the match that proved beyond all doubt that trying to break our players legs was a totally acceptable way of beating us.

    This was the day that blatantly cheating Arsenal out of a match became totally acceptable.

    This is the day I lost my love of football, not Arsenal, football.

    Once the fund is set up I shall be more than happy to contribute.

    But what I would say, following on from what Tony said, thought has to be put in to how to get the biggest impact. The cameras simply will not show a plane flying a banner overhead. Cards will not be allowed in the stadium and protests/banners outside will be ignored, or worse simply mocked by the media. Maybe dropping thousands of leaflets confetti style over the ground during the match would be unignorably as they rained down on the pitch?

    Either way it’s going to take a bit of imaginative thinking to make a big impact, but I’m willing to back anything, because on a broader level this blatant refereeing incompetence (98%) has to be highlighted, along with of course the blatant cheating bias that we seem to face on a weekly basis.

  21. Para,
    Just my thoughts on how the FA and the PigMob are carrying on – calling out any one on criticism of their refereeing standards. They seem to have elevated the referees unto a level beyond reproach from any source, no matter how well meaning. That is completely wrong and therefore unacceptable. The Donald gets criticized everyday and he hasn’t hauled anyone (not yet) before the U.S. Courts for sanctioning on account of such criticisms.

    No mortal is ever above reproach and the F.A should desist from putting these ‘dark ages’ officials said Arsene, at that level. If the F.A continues to get away with these unjustified inquisitions the referees will continue to act with more impunity and those benefiting from it will continue to reap from the innocent audiences of football who genuinely want to be entertained, and not watch horror shows decked in borrowed robes as football matches. Untold has a role to play no matter how small to speak out and for proper refereeing of EPL matches.

  22. So I contacted one of the companies that specialise in flying these banners, and while their basic prices start from £595+VAT, because it’s London with tight security requirements the cost jumps to £5000+VAT! I think that makes it a little difficult. I’m sure the amount could be raised but paying 10 times the normal price just because its london sounds like getting shafted, in pretty much the same way pigmob has been screwing us all these years. So looks like we might need to think of sonething else guys 🙁

  23. This is their response below;

    Dear Al

    Where the basic entry price is listed near the top of the home page, here is the detail from the information page which I hope is of help.

    Please note our office hours of work are 9am to 6pm. Monday to Friday and we are normally flying hard at weekends.

    Our entry prices start from £595+VAT and are calculated on both location and distance of travel. Some areas near large airports and in the centres of major cities may be unavailable.

    London is now available but with tight security and air-traffic restrictions. Because of CAA regulations, this demands we use a dedicated twin-engine aircraft, with significant associated crew logistics, approvals from Special Branch and Heathrow and with this, a fixed inclusive cost of £5000+VAT for any flight over the city.

    Understandable though, seeing as it is London.

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