Brighton and Hove Albion v Arsenal Sunday 4 March – The Match Officials

by Andrew Crawshaw

Well, I’m afraid I didn’t get the award of a penalty call correct for the City game (I said we wouldn’t get one)- I’ve given the crystal ball an extra polish for this preview.

Arsenal are on 14 different referees this season and we are in Matchweek 29 so only nine games to go.  Brighton have had 17 (they haven’t had Mike Jones and weren’t involved in Simon Hooper’s only game).  Man United are still on the same 11 referees they were when I last commented, Liverpool have the next fewest with 13.

No club has yet had six visits but Bournemouth (Lee Probert) and West Ham (Martin Atkinson) have each been ‘whistled’ by a referee on five occasions.

On to Sunday and the officials are :-

  • Referee – Kevin Friend
  • Assistant Referee 1 – Simon Beck
  • Assistant Referee 2 – Matthew Wilkes
  • Fourth Official – Stuart Attwell

This will be out third match this season with Kevin Friend in charge – all involving South Coast clubs :-

  1. Arsenal v Brighton (2 – 0)  The reverse fixture on 01 October, and I have no notes of Mr Friend doing anything untoward.
  2. Bournemouth v Arsenal (2 – 1) on 14 January.  Again I have no notes of him doing anything untoward.

Last Season we only had Mr Friend on one occasion our early season visit to Watford when we won 3 – 1.  He scored an adequate 78%, bias figures were 25/75 and made two wrong Important Decisions – Min 76 he gave Amrabat a yellow card for a foul on Alexis but it should have been his second (the first should have come in Min 59 for persistent fouling, his fourth of the match or in Min 71 for his fifth), in Min 83 Behrami was only given a yellow card for a studs up challenge on Walcott which warranted a red.

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

  1. Swansea v Arsenal 31 October  (0 – 3)  74% overall. bias against the two teams of 40/60.  There was one wrong Important Decision when in Min 45+1 Walcott was wrongly flagged offside by the  linesman (D Bryan).  We were correctly awarded a penalty in Min 7.
  2. Aston Villa v Arsenal 13 December (0 – 2)  72% overall and bias of 30/70.  There was one wrong Important Decision when in Min 31 Mertesacker should have been penalised for handball and a penalty awarded to Villa,
  3. Bournemouth v Arsenal 7 February (0 – 2)  72% overall and bias of 18/82 with no wrong Important Decisions.


  1. Whilst Mr Friend isn’t the best referee in the world, when it comes to Arsenal matches he is, I believe as honest as we are likely to get.  I don’t see anything in his results that point to an overwhelming bias against Arsenal.
  2. We have tended to win more games with him in charge than we have lost – this may be because he is normally in charge when we play against teams that we would expect to win rather than top of the league contenders.  When we have lost it has normally been down to us playing badly.
  3. Our current league position means that we are little threat to the teams above us and in little danger from those behind, although Burnley’s win has closed their gap to us to six points.  There would seem to be little for  anyone to gain should matchfixing take place within the PL (and there is of course no evidence that conclusively proves that it does) so I hope for a game free from refereeing controversies.


7 Replies to “Brighton and Hove Albion v Arsenal Sunday 4 March – The Match Officials”

  1. Oh! Kevin Friend is a friend as a result of which we don’t expect anything like anti-Arsenal referring to happen against Arsenal in this our away PL match to Brighton at the AMEX tomorrow. But having said it, the Gunners should watch it not to beating Seagulls for granted tomottow. Rather, they should work very from the begining of the match to the end of it to make sure they collect all the maximum points from the match unfailingly.

    Le Boss has hinted during his chats with the media ahead of this match that he’ll make changes to his team that played in the last Man City game in the PL last Thursday night last at the Ems. Maybe that decision is taken to give some top Gunners rest ahead of their playing AC Milian at San Siro next week Thursday night. It’s on this Le Boss takes that am making my Arsenal 3-2-4-1 starts and 7 Gunners bench for this our Brighton match. And presumably Cech will not start the AC Milan match but the 8righton game. And since the Arsenal U23 team is playing this weekend, If I were Le 8oss I’ll take courage to start the 3 of prominent 4 young Gunners of our U23 team for this match to see. And I believe the trio won’t disappoint for Arsenal but appoint success in the match for us.

    Chambers Mert’ Holding
    Nelson Maitland
    Dragomir Xhaka ElNeny Iwobi

    On the bench are:
    Oispina Koscielny Mustafi Monreal Oezil Mikhitaryan Aubameyang all resting on the bench ahead of our AC Milan away match. But 3 out of the them can be brought on at anytime during the match should there services be needed. I have decided to omit Welbeck and Kolasinac from this match to rest ahead of including them in the match day squad for the AC Miolan match.

  2. I am fed up with arsenal ‘fans’ distorting history and presenting the pre-wenger Arsenal as a big club

    i have had endless arguments and debates for decades..

    For me, to call yourself BIG you need to have at least one european big one and also a period of success/dominance that leaves no doubts as to your supremacy.

    As such… (sorry if i upset)…i can not consider Arsenal big per se.

    In my eyes Big is what Ajax did in the 70s for example…or Liverpool with consecutive european triumphs plus domestic dominance.

    Does Arsenal have a distefano/puscas era ? even a busby era?

    What is Arsenal’s era that other clubs can look at and take notice? Even feel slightly alarmed? Do we really think that the BIG europeans club gave a shit about graham and tony? Let me tell you now…they didnt. Who would give a shit about a club with 10 scattered titles across 110 ten years of history? Playing dreadful stoke style football? With players who were semi pros and collected form pubs and clinics? Honestly

    Now then…. is it Wenger’s fault, that Fizman Hillwood and the rest decided to cash in on that unprecedented success?

    To avoid misunderstanding im not asking for a sugardaddy (even though we have to admit arsenal owners sucked wenger’s blood for profits) im just trying to counter the questions from fellow fans who go on about how Arsenal being in london and having its own facilities and infastructure…should be like Real Madrid/ Bayern/Barcelona/ Juventus in terms of ambition.

    Where they ever? Can the more experienced fans who have been in the tooth since 50 or 60s iluminate us?

    Were we ever the giant football club where we came out each season targeting league or champions league or else failure?

    Because from what i have researched…this mentality only arrived at Arsenal with the Alsatian. But maybe im wrong..being a foreign plastic so please lets have it:

    Where is Arsenal’s era of national or worldwide dominance? What was the excuse back then? Why is it Wenger’s fault that Arsenal is not a Bayern Munich?

    Imo its only the Wenger era…and that speaks volumes

  3. If Wenger rests too many players I can see us struggling today.
    Morale is already extremely low and Bournemouth away is an unpredictable fixture. They can surprise teams there.

    I hope Josh is paying attention.

  4. Hunter13-agree on your points, it only the wenger era & also the chapman era where we were good, but we never dominated like liverpool or real madrid or manu. Arsenal has all the resources that wenger has provided. Just a matter of time. I dread the day when wenger leaves & the new manager takes over which results in us winning the epl, which will give all the aaa’s their moment in the sun that they were right all along.

  5. Hunter13
    04/03/2018 at 4:51 pm

    Just because you haven’t found answers to your questions on the internet doesn’t mean they are not there.

    From what you say it seems to me that you believe what you find for yourself with out question but question every thing you are told. In today’s lingo ‘Trumpism’ sums up your understanding of what you are told. So there is no point in answering your questions.

    If you have more to write of the same as above, bring it on I promise not to laugh although it is very funny.

  6. Colario is an infidel!

    You may not challenge a goal keeper, Friend, offensive foul.

    Mustarfi, is playing unbelievably badly, because he cant plain bafly if he kakes WC squad and looks to be leaving.

    Monreal at CB, he played him wide and simply he got taken, same with Santi I said he ha s to come out of Midfield, probably England and look.

    Xhaka over Mo, not after these displays.

    Cech should have claimed, I pick Ospina over him, but to display evidence. Well!

    We don’t need a CB, LB, RB. Chambers was in EL, not Brighton.

    Iwobi doesn’t start, Nelson Makeda the grade,


    Ramsey out again? The club is being intentionally underfunded.

    I didn’t watch, I knew! Day went poorly at start and then I spent all day rectifying it.

    I divulged my tactics respecting the type 1,2,3 life fixing!

    Aubameyang goal Ian the best part of the game.

    Glad I’m not back in S’coast right now, the shame.


    We only went giant after Arsene, but key men Made that possible, out history relies on anomoly events.

    I see YouTube posting plenty of libel. We can’t go doen and are massively unlikely to make top Fournier losing again when City did their job against Chelsea.

    I feel good about this result, it’s too goood to be true. Starting with a breach of rules and failure to implement clear infringement.

    Contact comes first! Then the ball is played. Cech has his complex!

    You stand someone on him, you can play for Aetna pieces!

    Now why would I say that’s so casually?

  7. DK wtf are you typing? can you not correct typos? half of what you say is in gibberish!! You think you could manage a team in gibberish?

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