How would the table if we’d had accurate VAR all season. And Bournemouth v Arsenal 14 Jan The Match Officials

The ref preview for 14 January 2018 Bournemouth v Arsenal

by Andrew Crawshaw

I was asked for a table showing the effects VAR would have made on wrong decisions.

I have now had time to go through Usama’s twitter thread where he has highlighted  what he considers are potentially wrong Important Decisions  I can see nothing obviously wrong with his assertions but please look at them yourselves and make up your own minds.

Assuming that the VAR agreed with Usama and I (probably unlikely in all cases I know) Arsenal would have been 15 points better off than we are.  Here is a summary table :-

Favouring Arsenal Against Arsenal
Second Yellow  1 6
Red 2 3
Penalty 1 21
Goal 1 4
Points 0 15

I must point out that this table isn’t based on comprehensive minute by minute analysis of this year’s games but you can check out the video clips yourselves by following the link above and I’m sure you will let us have your thoughts in the comments.

In order to arrive at the points adjustments these are the games where I thought the referee errors sufficient to influence the outcome of the game rather than merely adjust the scoreline.

  • Stoke and Watford wins instead of losses
  • Southampton, West Ham, West Brom and Chelsea (H) wins instead of draws
  • Man United a draw instead of a loss (Andre Marriner really earning his salary in that game)

On to this weekend.

  • Our officials for this match are :-
  • Referee – Kevin Friend  46 from Leicestershire
  • Assistant Referee 1 – Harry Lennard  from East Sussex
  • Assistant Referee 2 – Matthew Wilkes  from the West Midlands
  • Fourth Official – Lee Probert 45 from Wiltshire

Second time this year under Mr Friend – he was in charge of our 2 – 0 home win against Brighton on 1 October.  Usama picked up nothing untoward and Walter didn’t even mention Mr Friend in his report so I think we can say he merely did his job without interfering with the game – if only it were always thus!

Last season 2016/17 we had Mr Friend on one occasion – our 1-3 away win at Watford.  He got a 78% overall rating, bias was 25/75 and he made two wrong Important Decisions.

  • Min 76 Amrabat was rightly given a yellow card for a foul on Alexis but this should have been his second as he should have got one in
  • Min59 for persistent fouling or
  • Min71 for a further foul;
  • Min 83 Behrami was given a yellow instead of a straight red card for a studs-up challenge on Wallcott.
Ref Review: Watford – Arsenal

In 2015-16 we had Mr Friend three times – all away wins

  1. Swansea v Arsenal (0 – 3) 31 October  74% overall, bias against the two teams 40/60 and one wrong Important decision when in Min31 a Mertesacker handball should have resulted in a Swansea penalty. Swansea v Arsenal
  2. Aston Villa v Arsenal (0 – 2) 13 December  72% overall, bias against the two teams of 30/70 and one wrong Important Decision when in Min45+1 Walcott was wrongly flagged offside as he scored what should have been a beautiful curling goal  Aston Villa v Arsenal
  3. Bournemouth v Arsenal (0 – 2) 7 February  72% overall, bias against the two teams of 18/82 and no wrong Important Decisions  Bournemouth v Arsenal

Going back one more year to 2014-15 and we had Mr Friend on four occasions :-

  1. Everton v Arsenal (2 – 2)23 August  60% overall, bias against the two teams of 11/89 and two wrong Important Decisions  Min 44 Naysmith was offside when he ‘scored’ for Everton, Min 53 Wilshere was wrongly given a yellow when he should have had a straight red card.  Everton v Arsenal
  2. Sunderland v Arsenal (0 – 2) 25 October 65% overall, bias against the two teams of 25/75 and one wrong Important Decision when in Min19 Rodwell should have had a straight red card foe a foul on Chambers  Sunderland v Arsenal
  3. QPR v Arsenal (1 – 2) 4 Mar  69% overall, bias against the two teams of20/80 and two wrong Important Decisions arising from the same incident in Min46 when Henry committed a last man offence in the QPR penalty area which should have resulted in both a penalty and a red card for the QPR player, neither were awarded  QPR v Arsenal
  4. Arsenal v Swansea (0 – 1) 11 May  Unfortunately we don’t have a full minute by minute review of this game.


  1. Of all of the referees employed by the PGMO Mr Friend is the one who causes me the fewest jitters when I see his name against an Arsenal match.  He’s not necessarily the best referee just seems not to be conspicuously pursuing the PGMO agenda as thoroughly as most do.
  2. His bias figures are (comparatively reasonable) rarely exceeding 4 to 1 (80%) against Arsenal.
  3. He doesn’t make too many mistakes when it comes to Important Decisions averaging one a game.  Those he does make tend to be for disciplinary offences rather than goals or penalties.
  4. I’m hopeful that this will be one of those rare games when we will be able to talk about the football afterwards rather than the match officials – but then this post will probably have put a jinx on things and he may well have a shocker.


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16 Replies to “How would the table if we’d had accurate VAR all season. And Bournemouth v Arsenal 14 Jan The Match Officials”

  1. Thanks for this Andrew. I didn’t realise Usama was still doing referee analysis as I am not on Twitter. It would be interesting to hear more of his conclusions from time to time.

  2. More importantly, how on earth has arsenal fc managed to get into a situation where the team’s two best players could walk for nothing or a fraction of their value?

    Why is it that wellbeck and ramsay amongst others still haven’t been tied down to new deals?

    What are arsenal’s plans for Walcott? Surely as one of our highest paid players we should play him or sell him.

  3. According to Usama, all things being taken into account, Arsenal should have been 15 points better in the table had the VAR been used in all the 22 Premier League matches they’ve played so far this season. That’s could be correct but let 10 points of the 15 be taken as the very correct to leave out any margin of error and if so Arsenal would have been 49 points 2nd in the table to Man City who are amazingly points 62 points.

    But come to think of it, is it only Arsenal FC that has suffered points loss but their remaining 5 other top five clubs? If at all their other top five club rivals have suffered points loss during the 14 seasons under review in which Arsenal have not won the Premier League Title but 3 of their Title rival clubs of Man Utd, Chelsea and Man City have on multiple occasions. But in any case, Arsenal who have suffered irreparable points loss through the PGMO conspiracy that’s denying them having access to the PL Title win for 13 consecutive seasons are at the receiving end of the PGMO match fixing work more than Man U, Man C and Chelsea put together. But nonetheless, let’s equally remember that big money spent and sustained form during a PL season campaign also play a significant role in which PL club gets the Title win and not only PGMO forced racketeering points loss.

    Would Arsenal sell Sanchez to Man C, Man U or even Chelsea this January window? Well, I don’t know but Arsenal could decide to sell him to any PL club side who offered them very good real hard currency in Pound Sterling in cash plus a quality player as part of the bargain to get Arsenal consent to sign Sanchez. But Oezil should remain and renew his staying at Arsenal. For, it won’t be wise for Arsenal to lose 2 world class players at the same time in a single window. But I should believe Arsenal can replace Sanchez with another like Sanchez player for the Gunners during this winter transfer window should they lose him.

  4. Alexander Henry I think the answers to these questions are simple: no club can force a player out nor force a player to stay. In the past with a number of teams having the same amount of money available matters were balanced, but now with sovereign wealth funds behind several clubs, and the willingness of a number of clubs and agents to look (often unsuccessfully) for tax loopholes in certain countries, players will seek to move. To make your comments make any sense you would need to consider the situation in other clubs. And also remember that if Arsenal were to broadcast their plans for Theo that could easily reduce the income Arsenal could get if they wanted to sell him. And then I suspect some people would criticise Arsenal for getting less than the market value.
    The clubs are player poker here, not snap.

  5. Tony

    Sanchez wanted to leave. He made that clear, so we should have sold him and replaced him in the summer. Instead, for some bizarre reason wenger decided to allow him to run down his final year in the hope that he’d stay. The result of this is not only a loss of £30 to £60 million , but the fact that we’ve been carrying a player who clearly has not been applying himself 100%- and why should he.
    If he goes to Man city or – god forbid- Man utd, for a cut price fee or for nothing, it will be a humiliation for Arsenal.

    We are facing a similar situation with Ozil even though I think in his case there’s a chance he might stay. Also, there is another group of players including Ramsay who are about to enter their final year. We should have renegotiated their contracts by now surely.

    Regarding Theo, it’s not a question of ‘broadcasting’ anything, rather a question of who wants him and for how much. Arsenal fc may consider him to be a valuable asset, but I don’t think other clubs do. We should get what we can for him and move on. To be fair I think he’s been unlucky with injuries but enough is enough. I think it would be good for him to have a fresh start somewhere else.

    Basically, It’s all a bit of a mess. Add to that the age of players such as Cech, Kos, Giroud and Monreal and this squad needs a massive overhaul. This will require a significant investment from the club.

    Also, for me the Oxlade Chamberlain transfer sums up the problems with Arsenal football club at the moment. This is for two reasons:

    1) The Ox chose to go to Liverpool for less money. Note, he went to Liverpool- not Man city or PSG. So, he didn’t go for the money or guaranteed trophies. Why?

    2) The £40 million we received was not reinvested- we made an £18 million profit in transfers last summer.

    All of the above are simply not acceptable for Arsenal fans who pay the highest ticket prices in football.

  6. Well basically I just don’t agree with any of your analysis, but then I’ve put forward my point of view many times, and you’ve put forwards yours so we can leave it at that.

    I think it is best summed up by your final comment about the highest ticket prices in football. No, we don’t pay those, and we must have had this debate a dozen times over the years. Still, I have my £10 centre block upstairs ticket for the Chelsea league cup semi-final, and I’m quite happy with that.

  7. Despite the injuries suffered to Koscielny, Monreal, Kolasinac, Giroud and probably Oezil too, am of the strong believe that is making me believing in Arsenal and trusting them to beat AFC Bournemouth to the collection of all the 3 points that’ll be put at stake for collecton in this Premier League match encounter between the Cherries and the Gunners tomorrow at Dean Court Stadium Bournemouth. For, the Arsenal FC who has the required Gunners team capacity on ground to get a 3 point PL match result against AFC Bournemouth in the match will get this result even without the seemingly on for sale Sanchez and the likely not fully fit to play Oezil in the Gunners 18 man for the match made by Le Boss. We and the Gunners who will play in this match should take into cognizant that it was this Premier League fixture last season which end in 3-3 all square that made Sanchez to turn against some of his Gunners colleagues for indulging in celebrating the Gunners equalising goal scored by Olivier Giroud with minutes left on the clock. But instead of the Gunners to focus on getting all the points in the match when the Cherries restart the match, save Sanchez, the Gunners appeared to be contended with the 1 point they’ve gotten. A situation of lack of showing match winning mentality that angered Sanchez should not be repeated by the Gunners against Bournemouth tomorrow.

    My 3-4-2-1 and 7 Gunners substitutes for the match.

    Bellerin Wilshere Xhaka Maitland

    What a starts that’ll put the Cherries to the guns!

    Ospina Debuchy Mertesacker Mavropanos Elneny Nelson Welbeck.

    I intentionally left out Walcott from my bench because of his being subject for transfer bidding by Sam Allardyce’s Everton who is appearing to be more interested to sign him than Southampton FC is. And Le Boss should please not sell Debuchy. He looked to have come back and on his way to fully come back to the top of his game for Arsenal when he played against Nottinhham Forest in the FA Cup. His tackle in the box which led to penalty award to Nottinhham Forest by the match referee will not have stood had it been the VAR was used in the match which will have overruled the Notts For pen goal for double feet kicking the spot kick and instead give Arsenal a goal kick.

  8. Tony

    I know season ticket holders get discounts for cup games but let’s not nitpick:

    Also you say you ‘don’t agree’ with my analysis. What don’t you agree with? Do you honestly think it’s a good idea for any club to allow players to run down their contracts?
    As well as the financial madness of it, it’s a given that any player intending to leave- in this case Sanchez- is not going to risk life and limb for the team.

    The points I’m making aren’t really an ‘analysis’. They are facts. Ramsay and Wellbeck are about to go into their final year and haven’t signed. Cech, Monreal, Giroud, Kos and Merts are getting long in the tooth and the Ox did indeed turn down Arsenal in favour of Liverpool- for less money.

    The question of Theo is my opinion but you’ve got to admit that he hasn’t featured as much as he should. Why keep him?

  9. Alex I am not going to go over and over things I have written many times before. But just to take one tiny example of the way in which (in my view) you get everything wrong, your opening statement is typical of the way you present arguments. You said

    I know season ticket holders get discounts for cup games but let’s not nitpick:

    Well, actually, season ticket holders do NOT get discounts for cup games. The fact that you think they do makes me wonder just how much you know about Arsenal at all and certainly suggests you don’t come to games. Fair enough if you can’t because of personal circumstances, but don’t start commenting on things you really don’t know about without bothering to do the research.

    I will spell this one out for you and then this is going to stop.
    The League Cup matches are available to everyone, at the same price. The highest price anywhere in the stadium excluding club level and boxes (which of course only represent a tiny minority of tickets) is £20. Either six or seven (I can’t remember) FA Cup and Champions or Europa League games are also included in the price of season tickets – something which is generally forgotten by people who do price comparisons and start saying we’ve got the most expensive seats. There is no discount for League Cup games, and other cups are included in the cost of the season ticket.

    And since I am writing, I will do one more
    “The question of Theo is my opinion but you’ve got to admit that he hasn’t featured as much as he should. Why keep him?” I have answered that, as have many others….
    One reason is that players’ form comes and goes. Another is that we need back up players to cover for injuries. Another is we might be desperately trying to sell him but he doesn’t want to go… Another is that in reality no one actually wants him. There are many more. But that is enough.
    I am not going over any more old ground again.
    Most people here will have read all this before or will know it anyway, so that’s the end

  10. hiya, we dont get discounts, 7 cup tickets are included.
    Whereas at spuds and Chelsea they buy those tickets extra, so it isnt like for like.
    If you add in the cup games that those two sets of fans pay, their ticket will come in considerably higher.
    Does this make sense ?
    Or am I nitpicking ? ?

  11. Who offered £60 mil this summer ?
    Did you see the offer ?
    Was it you ?
    I think we turned an offer down, but would you rather have money in the bank, or players on the pitch ?
    I dont think we can criticise alex’s effort at all this year, he’s worked hard enough for me, but sometimes as any sportsman knows it does always correlate to results

  12. There may well have been wrong decisions but Andrew you have no idea whether we would have won those games or not. Also you have to factor in all the games in the league, not just Arsenal ones. So for all you know, based on your criteria, Burnley might have an extra 20 points. Which ever way you spin it the team would not be top of the league. And I still recall your, excuse my bluntness, bizarre claim that two seasons ago we would have had 107 points based on your, frankly, arcane statistics.

    As for penalty claims virtually every top six club gets denied a penalty every week. I’ve seen this numerous times on MOTD analysis. Not surprising when you think how many times the top sides encroach into an opponent’s goal area.

  13. Rupert, if you are going to argue this, then you really need to look at the 160 games file, which analysed games between all the clubs, or the Referees Decisions website which had reports from referees who did not support Arsenal. Without either, although your argument is possible, it becomes highly unlikely

  14. @Tony Attwood, my first sentence still stands. I’ve just looked at the referee decisions site and as the last post was four years ago I’m not sure what relevance it has.

    Anyway laudable as it is to monitor every decision in a game it’s still not possible to declare who would actually win a game.

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