by Andrew Crawshaw
Our Officials are :-
Referee – Martin Atkinson Age 46 from West Yorkshire
Assistant Referee 1 – Lee Betts from Norfolk and FIFA accredited
Assistant Referee 2 – Constantine Hatzidakis from Kent and FIFA accredited
Fourth Official – Chris Kavanagh Age 42 from Manchester
A long standing bette noir of Arsenal for this game. Mr Atkinson didn’t consider this a foul let alone a red card offence.03. Bellerin Alonso Goal Foul Red . Alonso led with his elbow and Bellerin was knocked out before he hit the ground, his initial reaction is to walk away from the prone Arsenal player. I really don’t need to say much more. Needless to say with one of our best players out of the game we didn’t win the match. After that his refereeing was pretty good but by then he had done his job and tilted the pitch comprehensively. Overall he got a score of 85%, bias 24/76 and the two wrong Important Decisions relating to the Alonso incident (the goal shouldn’t have counted and Chelsea should have been down to 10 men)
This season he was in charge for our 3 – 3 draw with Liverpool. Liverpool were somewhat lucky with all three of their goals in terms of deflections but not even I can blame Mr Atkinson for those.
Last Season – Apart from the Chelsea game that I have already mentioned we had him for three other games :-
Sunderland v Arsenal (1 – 4) 29 October 61% overall, bias 10/90 and six wrong Important Decisions, three Sunderland players should have had straight red cards Min 12 Rodwell for an elbow on Coquelin, Min33 Ndong for a foul on Coquelin (he was wrongly given a yellow card) and Min74 Jamuzaj for an excessively high foot which caught Coquelin in the head, Pienaar ‘s yellow card in Min 41 should have been his second (his first should have been in Min26 for a trip on Alexis) and Kone should have got two yellow cards as well for fouls on Sanchez in the penalty area for which a Penalty should have been awarded.
Man City v Arsenal (2 – 1) 18 Dec 66% overall, bias against the two teams of 8/92 and four wrong Important Decisions – Min47 Sane was offside when he scored and the goal shouldn’t have counted, Min 80 De Brune should have had a straight red card for a reckless flying challenge from behind on Gabriel, Min 90+4 Sterling should have has a second yellow card for an arm to the back of Brllerin’s head and Toure should have had a second yellow for deliberately delaying the restart.
Arsenal v West Ham (3 – 0) 5 April 72% overall, bias against the two teams of 100/0 and three wrong Important DecisionsMin 18 Masaku should have given away a penalty for a foul on Walcott and in Min 90+2 Byram should have had a second yellow card and given away a penalty for a foul on Monreal neither were given. Even in a comfortable win every single wrong decision throughout the game was against Arsenal.
In 2015/16 we had the pleasure of his officiating on three occasions :-
Arsenal v West Ham (0 – 2) opening day of the season. 54% overall, bias against the two teams of 100/0 and three wrong Important Decisions Min 37 Tomkins should have has a second yellow card for a foul on Monreal, Min 43 there was no foul from Ramsey Mr Atkinson awarded West Ham a ‘phantom foul’ from which they scored (no foul = no free kick = no goal), Min 62 Noble dived to win a foul against Giroud, Noble should have had a second yellow card.
Arsenal v Spurs (1 – 1) 8 Nov 41% overall, bias against the two teams of 82/18 and no fewer than eight wrong Important Decisions. Arsenal should have had three penalties all following Vertonghen fouls on Giroud in Min 18, Min 35 and Min 54. All of those fouls should have resulted in Yellow Cards for Vertonghen. In Min 54 Dier should have had a second yellow card for yet another foul on Giroud. In Min 35 seconds after the three separate fouls by Vertonghen both Vertonghen and Giroud should have been sent off for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Arsenal v Leicester (2 – 1) 14 Feb. Was Mr Atkinson a Valentine for this match – No. 52% overall bias against the two teams of 94/6 and another seven wrong Important Decisions against Arsenal. Four not given penalties Min 9 against Kante for handball, Min 37 against Huth for holding and pulling Giroud, Min 45 Vardy barged into Monreal and instead of correctly penalising him for a foul Atkinson awarded a penalty, Min 55 Morgan on Giroud. As the Vardy penalty shouldn’t have been awarded the goal from the spot also shouldn’t have counted. In Min 48 Simpson got a yellow card for a reckless challenge on Sanchez but he should have had a first in Min 30 for pulling Özil away from the ball. Min 71 Drinkwater should have had a straight red card for a challenge above calf height on Ramsey.
- Mr Atkinson has been regarded by some as one of our best referees and has appeared on the most important stages of world football. Unfortunately he seems completely incapable of refereeing Arsenal in an honest and balanced manner.
- Time and time again he shows no indication of recognising a bad challenge or even simple fouls or handballs that should result in an Arsenal penalty.
- To award every single wrong decision against one team in a match takes some conscious effort, to do it twice in eight matches requires considerably more.
- Mr Atkinson’s past performances indicate that he is a referee of whom Arsenal should be very wary and we can expect him to do just about anything to assist our opponents on Sunday.
- How much have Arsenal’s rivals spent on transfers in recent years?
- Why is it becoming so difficult to find a sponsor for new football stadium?
- Corruption flares up again in Italy, as Premier League figures don’t look too clever
- How much does a club have to spend on transfers to get a trophy?
- Does the team that is top after 14 games usually go on to win the league?