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.
- 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.
- His bias figures against us are of Biblical proportions.
- If we can establish a three goal lead then he tends to change and become an ‘honest broker’.
- Only the most blatant of penalties will be given in our favour.
- 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.
- Arsenal players are never ever allowed any freedom at all and will always be sanctioned to the maximum allowed in the rulebook.
- Make no mistake our task to beat Chelsea will be made much harder by Mr Taylor and his team of FIFA accredited match officials.
- Looking back at 2017: you will never be able to take that year away from us!
- 10 Years of Untold: trying to change football by being different
- The Predictions for 2018 from Brickfields Gunners
- Arsenal in March 1919: the London Victory Cup and its consequences
- What every football club (and most certainly Arsenal) is aiming for.
- The apparent decline of Tottenham and the question of care for players elsewhere
- Positive injury news for Arsenal ahead Monday’s game with Sheffield United
- Arsenal’s finances stay secure but we can expect more price rises for fans
- How a 14th monk described Arsenal’s failure to buy Moisés Caicedo and Mykhailo Mudryk