Arsenal v West Ham Sunday 22 April, The Match Officials: A very poor ref even on a good day

by Andrew Crawshaw

Before I go on to look at our match officials, I would like to put on record my personal appreciation for Arsène Wenger.  We have been incredibly lucky and priveliged to have had him at our club and I don’t think that we are ever likely to see his equal.

Now on to the Match Officials for the weekend.

No team has yet had a referee on six occasions but far too many have had five visits.  Stoke and Southampton lead the field with the number of different referees with 18.  Manchester United on 13 have had the fewest.  We have had 14 (three each having done a single game, five having done two games, and three each with three and fourr games).  We are one of the clubs who haven’t yet had a fifth visit from anyone.

On to Sunday and our officials are:-

  • Referee – Lee Mason  Age 46 from Lancashire
  • Assistant Referee 1 – Harry Lennard  from East Sussex
  • Assistant Referee 2 – Matthew Wilkes  from the West Midlands
  • Fourth Official – Graham Scott  Age 49 from Oxfordshire

This will be the fourth time this year that we have had the combination of Lee Mason and Harry Lennard and the second time we will have had Matthew Wilkes accompanying them.

Arsenal v Swansea 28 October (2 – 1)  I have no notes of anything seriously wrong with his handling of this match.

Burnley v Arsenal 26 November (0 – 1) There were two wrong Important Decisions in this match Gudmundsson should have had a straight red card for an elbow into Ramsey (excessive force) and Brady should have conceded a penalty for a foul on Bellerin.

Swansea v Arsenal 30 January (3 – 1) We were outplayed by both Swansea and Mr Mason and never really looked like getting anything from this match.

Last Season 2017-17 we only had Mr Mason on one occasion – our 3 – 1 home victory over Stoke.

He got an overall score of 73%, just about acceptable but his bias in that game was 100/0 yes every single wrong decision was in our visitors’ favour.  Surprisingly he only made one wrong Important Decision when he failed to give a red card to Adams for a stamp on Alexis.  He actually had very few decisions to make but that didn’t stop him making a fool of himself at times particularly calling back a dropped ball which he has no power to do. The decisions in red underlined text lead to video clips.

If you don’t understand what biased refereeing looks like then please look at our review and from it you can access the video clips of the more important decisions and confirm for yourselves what we said.

Ref Review Arsenal – Stoke: the match in which the ref shocked up by making up his own new rule

The previous season 2015-16 we had him on three occasions

16 August Crystal Palace v Arsenal (1 – 2) 66% overall score, bias against the two teams of 10/90 and two wrong Important Decisions, both not given penalties – Min 7 foul on Sanchez by Puncheon and Min 84 Delaney on Giroud

24 October Arsenal v Everton (2 – 1) 58% overall score, bias against the two teams of 78/28 and two wrong Important Decisions, Min 77 Deulofeu should have had a second yellow card for a second dive and Min 82 Mirallas should have had a straight red card for a foul on Bellerin.

2 February Arsenal v Southampton (0 – 0) 34% overall score (THIS MEANS THAT EFFECTIVELY TWO OUT OF EVERY THREE DECISIONS WERE WRONG AN ASTONISHINGLY TERRIBLE PERFORMANCE), bias against the two teams was 80/20 and there were six wrong Important Decisions (all favouring Southampton)

  • Min 56 Tadic should have conceded a penalty and been given a second yellow card for a foul onCampbell,
  • Min 66 Tadic should again have had another yellow card for deliberately kicking the ball away following a stoppage.
  • Min  68 and again in Min 70 Fonte should have given away a penalty for a foul on Giroud,
  • Min 71 Bertrand should have given away a penalty for a foul on Koscielny.

So three games all below our minimum acceptable score of 70% and one where he got two out of every three decisions wrong.  In any other area of life he would not continue to be employed in a senior capacity without complete re-training.

Going back one more season to 2014-15 and we had him twice

13 December Arsenal v Newcastle (4 – 1)  76% overall score, bias against the two teams of 100/0 and three wrong Important Decisions.

  • Min 8 Tiote should have had a straight red card for a studs up chest high challenge on Alexis which made full contact,
  • Min 15 Wellbeck goal was ruled out for a non-existent foul and
  • Min 87 Dummet should have had a second yellow card for bringing down Wellbeck in the  penalty area.  For once the penalty was given.

4 May Hull v Arsenal (1- 3)  We have no referee review for this game


It will be very interesting on Sunday to see if Mr Mason behaves in his usual manner or if the announcement by Arsène that he is standing gown at the end of the season will have any effect.  It will depend if the perceived bias is against Arsenal or Arsène Wenger.  The following comments are on the assumption that it will be ‘business as normal.

  1. Mr Mason is a very poor referee even on a good day.  On a bad day he can be poor on a biblical scale.  He has one of the lowest ever scores in our minute by minute analyses achieving 34% in February 2016.  You or I would find ourselves retrained or our of a job if we got two thirds of our decisions wrong.
  2. His historic bias against us is epic and he is typically one eyed.  Arsenal players being punished for any possible infractions whilst our opponents are allowed free rein.
  3. Whilst he has been known to give us a penalty he has denied us far more and I wouldn’t put money on one being given on Sunday.
  4. Second yellow cards are also rare as are red cards so West Ham are likely to get away with a fair amount in terms of challenges.
  5. He is also  a proponent of the old ‘phantom foul’ routine so that is another thing to look out for.
  6. Where he does accept that a foul has been committed on an Arsenal Player he will almost certainly not apply a proper advantage and will try to stop play to enable West Ham to regroup
  7. As ever, if we get a quick start with a couple of early goals, Mr Mason will be unable to significantly influence  the game to deny us three points.  If we don’t then the pitch will certainly start to tilt.


And from the Arsenal History Society

April 1922: Arsenal and Man U fight against relegation. Only one survives.


8 Replies to “Arsenal v West Ham Sunday 22 April, The Match Officials: A very poor ref even on a good day”

  1. With the announcement to stand down from managing Arsenal FC at the end of this season by Mr Arsene Wenger, I think the FA/PGMO anti-Arsenal Premier League Title win campaign which is principally an anti-Wenger PL Title win orchestration should begin to disappear into the thin air.

    Because of the FA-PGMO sworn to go to the length of match referring rigging corruption practices against Arsenal FC if that will stop an Arsene Wenger manage Arsenal team to further win the PL Title after the Arsenal invincibles last won it in 2003/2004 PL season”s campaign, a record set by Wenger’s manage Arsenal team that made the FA and the referee organization in the PL regretted allowing it to happen but should have had it rigged to stop the invincibiles has subsequently led to Arsenal not to win the PL Title for a 14 season run. Otherwise, Arsenal would have won the PL Title at least 5 times over in the last 14 seasons it had been rigged to stop Arsenal from winning it had the FA-PGMO anti-Wenger PL Title win campaign not been put in place.

    The FA-PGMO anti Wenger Arsenal manage team PL Title win in 14 seasons campaign has led to the FA enforcing the no any anti-PGMO referring comment by PL club managers, players and the media rule been put in place by the FA particularly to strengthen the PGMO appointed match officiating officials to stop an Arsene Wenger manage team from winning the PL Title again after the invincibles team should have been the fight the anti Wenger Arsenal fans and the media ought to have fought against the FA-PGMO to stop them in their clandestine policy to stop Arsenal if the media and the Arsenal AAA fans are interested to see justice prevails over injustice.

  2. A timely reminder of the kind of rubbish Arsene Wenger has had to put up with from the referees during his time at Arsenal. Only a man of tremendous principle, integrity, guts and commitment would have put up with it. And every time he raised a criticism he was punished.

  3. Soon, we shall get to know: Have the refs been mean-spirited toward Wenger? Or, toward Arsenal?

  4. Great observation Marko and so thoughtful…..what did YOU smoke for breakfast you lazy runt?

  5. Let’s c how the Pigmob react to Wengers departure.
    Will they continue with there biased decisions during the last so many years or will they salvage there reputation in the remaimg 4/5 matches of the epl.

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