by Andrew Crawshaw
Our officials are :-
- Referee – Neil Swarbrick age 52 from Lancashire
- Assistant Referee 1 – Constantine Hatzidakis from Kent and FIFA accredited
- Assistant Referee 2 – Daniel Cook from Hampshire
- Fourth Official – Craig Pawson age 38 from South Yorkshire and FIFA accredited
The first thing to say is that with speedy players on both teams, I hope that Mr Swarbrick has the ability to keep up with play for the whole 90 minutes.
This is the second time this season that Mr Swarbrick will have refereed an Arsenal Game, he was previously in charge of our away game at Watford on 14 October. Here is my summary from the preview to that game :-
- Mr Swarbrick hasn’t always displayed an adequate knowledge of the rules of the game which is worrying for a referee at the highest level. I hope he has now learned them otherwise we could be in for a troubling afternoon.
- His bias figures against Arsenal are at the extreme end of the spectrum (83%, 87% and 100% against in the last three games we analysed. I hope for a good referee, but can cope with a bad one providing the mistakes are reasonably evenhanded. When every wrong decision by a referee in a game is against Arsenal I have a major issue with the officials – particularly when two result in wrongly awarded goals against Arsenal and the third is a non awarded penalty for Arsenal.
- It is extremely unlikely that Arsenal will be awarded a penalty – Mr Swarbrick doesn’t award many and it is quite likely that a Watford player who should be carded won’t be.
- As ever though the best approach for Arsenal will be to start quickly and get an early goal or two to remove the possibility of the Officials influencing the game.
You will probably recall that this was a game that we lost 2 – 1. In my opinion this loss was decided by Mr Swarbrick.
Firstly there were two penalty decisions the first where he failed to award a penalty against Holebas when he fouled Wellbeck (clip 12 in Usama’s clips – see link below), the second when he wrongly gave one against Bellerin when Richarlison dived (clip 12). Naturally they scored their penalty.
Their second goal should also have been disallowed as Deeney was offside in the buildup (clip 14). So we scored one good goal from open play and were denied a chance of a second when not awarded a penalty. Watford were wrongly awarded a penalty from which they scored and then were allowed an offside goal. Just about sums up our away season really.
Usama’s video clips can be found on this twitter web log. https://twitter.com/mrarsenal93/status/899035664997548034
- I therefore see no need to alter my predictions for Mr Swarbrick in this game. He is a typical PGMO employee therefore as ever we should expect the worst.
- Based on past experience, we won’t be awarded any 50/50 call – in fact I will be surprised if we get many 70/30 calls.
- The chance of an Arsenal penalty is verging on non-existant, whereas the chance of an Everton penalty is probably odds on.
- Everton players will be allowed to get away with challenges that would be penalised if committed by an Arsenal Player.
- As always we should watch out for the ‘phantom foul’ routine – a stoppage for no valid reason but calculated to relieve pressure on Everton or to allow them to increase pressure on Arsenal.
- How a 14th monk described Arsenal’s failure to buy Moisés Caicedo and Mykhailo Mudryk
- The January transfer window moved few players around: but did any club benefit?
- Are Newcastle United really in financial difficulty? And what about Arsenal?
- Did Arsenal want Mudryk and Caicedo, and was it just luck that they didn’t sign them?
- Is the Premier League getting more exciting or simply ever more predictable?