Untold RefWatch – Everton v Arsenal; H. Webb. Oh dear!

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RefWatch – Everton v Arsenal – Sunday, 14/11/2010 (14:00)

By DogFace

  • Referee:          Howard Webb
  • Assistant 1:      Andy Madley
  • Assistant 2:      David Richardson
  • 4th Official:     Anthony Taylor

OK – so where do we start with Howard Webb… well (how about a bit of de-ja-vu) – If the PGMOB were a Masonic lodge with criminal tendencies…

Webb would be at the left hand of his worshipful master [Riley].

To clarify, Webb, like Dean, represents a lot of bad things about the game for me – he is cut from the same cloth as Dean and, in testament to the poor quality of his decision making process, I keep getting him confused with Graham Poll.  He IS the new Graham Poll – whilst researching for this article I actually spent around 15 minutes on Google trying to find the game where Howard Webb dished out three yellow cards to the same player… the transition between Poll and Webb was that seamless.  Shall we have a look at his profile?

Go on then:

  • Full name:                   Howard Melton Webb
  • Date of birth:               14 July 1971 (age 39)
  • Place of birth:              Rotherham (South Yorkshire)
  • Other occupation:       Police Sergeant

Oh my lordy; ‘Melton’!  Dean is a ‘Leslie’ and Webb is a ‘Melton’ – I’m starting to see a trend here… bullied at school perhaps?

“Shut it Melton Mowbray you pork pie munching t%@t!”

…was no doubt the cry in the playground… hang on pork, West Ham… pig – what did he do for a living again and why did I mention West Ham and not TottenHam?  Well, if you’ll bear with me; I’ll get to that in a minute or so.

Howard Webb (aged 13)

Howard Webb, as you are doubtlessly fully aware, is not without his share of controversy – we all watched the World cup final, so we all know just how incompetent a referee he can be when he really sets his mind to it.  In fact Webb is so prolific in the cock-up department that, like ‘his yang’ Dean, I have to boil it down to a set of relevant highlights.

As we know from the World Cup fiasco – Webb likes to dish out the cards… and did us all proud by setting a new record for the competition.  The most bookings that Howard Webb has ever made in any one game was in 2006, in the match between Fulham and Arsenal (in which Fulham won 2-1).  Webb also dished out 10 cards in the 2007 Carling Cup final between… oh – look at that, Chelsea and Arsenal (in which Chelsea won 2-1)… are we starting to see a pattern there?

During the Euro 2008 competition Webb made a wee blunder in awarding Poland an offside goal against the hosts [Austria] – despite Webb really hoping that they would get one back, they didn’t, so he had to invent a penalty… not entirely sure what the laws state on this but as I recall there was some minor tussling for position in the penalty area before a corner and, after a blue-sky match-fixing brainwave (I say ‘fixing’ because he was mending it… obviously), he theatrically wagged his finger at the bemused players (at this point I was frantically trying to log into betfair as I knew what was coming next).  Webby then looked over at the corner then turned with mock ‘not you again’ shock and blew up for a penalty.  Job done… and nobody would suspect a thing – well apart from the Polish Prime Minister, Donald Tusk, who publicly stated that he would like to murder him – I was just left cursing my slow internet connection.

Better get those fingers typing faster DogFace if you want to get that £50 down on the draw at 180/1!

In the 2008/2009 season Webb uncharacteristically but effectively ‘mugged’ Newcastle [against Fulham] into relegation by disallowing a goal by Mark Viduka.  Fulham saw European football while Sunderland (and Hull) stayed up, I mention this as it’s interesting to note when we crunch Webb’s numbers later.

On a plus point [of controversy], Howard Webb seems to support the use of video technology as in the Confederations Cup game between Brazil and Egypt Webb missed a handball in the area to deny a Brazilian goal and pointed to the corner spot.  He then prodded his ear-piece, went a bit quiet, scratched his chin, hoped nobody was paying much attention and then sent off Ahmed Al Muhamadi for a handball and awarded Brazil a last minute penalty giving them a 4-3 win.  Good Show PC Webb – that’s the kind of pro-active approach we need I reckon – more CCTV and less detective work!  FIFA (who usually are very open to the suggestion of using video technology) investigated him but for some reason [insert conspiracy theory here] gave him the world cup final anyway.

I would go on but most of the rest of his gaffes seem to revolve around him giving Manchester United penalties – which just depresses me slightly… and it’s late – so onto the numbers!

Walter taught me this pose in Belgium referee school – it means “I don’t care”!

I have talked a lot about the use of bookings in Howard Webb’s refereeing arsenal (geddit?); so it is worth studying his card table (For the EPL Teams with 5 games or less under Webb filtered out):

Team Matches Bookings Sent Off Average
1 Sunderland 9 22 0 2.44
2 Chelsea 20 48 0 2.4
3 Arsenal 19 42 2 2.21
4 Middlesbrough 17 37 0 2.18
5 Blackburn Rovers 22 45 3 2.05
6 Manchester United 24 49 2 2.04
7 Birmingham City 11 22 0 2
8 Everton 20 35 0 1.75
9 Fulham 16 26 1 1.63
10 Newcastle United 22 34 1 1.55
11 Bolton Wanderers 18 27 0 1.5
12 West Ham United 14 21 2 1.5
13 Stoke City 9 13 0 1.44
14 Liverpool 23 32 1 1.39
15 Wigan Athletic 13 18 1 1.38
16 Manchester City 15 20 1 1.33
17 Reading 6 8 0 1.33
18 Portsmouth 13 17 0 1.31
19 Tottenham Hotspur 23 30 1 1.3
20 Aston Villa 17 21 0 1.24
21 Charlton Athletic 9 10 2 1.11
22 West Bromwich Albion 8 7 0 0.88

As you can see Arsenal and Chelsea rate fairly high with an average of 2.4 and 2.21 cards per game respectively (our most booked player by Webb was Fabregas with 5 cards).  Sunderland take the number one slot at 2.44, but amazingly Stoke are 13th at 1.44!

But this is not the whole story – other than the inclusion of Sunderland you can see a north/south bias developing with Webb, on average, penalising the big London clubs more than the big North/West clubs.  It’s worth noting that these stats are readily available and used in the gambling fraternity when picking a winner.

Take your filthy, soft, shandy drinking hands off him son!

Now if we contrast and compare with Howard Webb’s personalised league table (new RefWatch feature – these stats you can get nowhere else; all competitions – teams with 10 games or less under Webb filtered out) – we can see this trend continue:

Team Matches Average PPG Wins Draws Losses
1 Manchester United 31 2.064516129 20 4 7
2 Liverpool 27 1.777777778 14 6 7
3 Sunderland 11 1.727272727 5 4 2
4 Stoke City 16 1.6875 7 6 3
5 West Ham United 21 1.666666667 11 2 8
6 Chelsea 24 1.666666667 11 7 6
7 Manchester City 20 1.55 9 4 7
8 Cardiff City 11 1.545454545 4 5 2
9 Tottenham Hotspur 25 1.52 10 8 7
10 Everton 22 1.454545455 8 8 6
11 Bolton Wanderers 23 1.391304348 8 8 7
12 Aston Villa 19 1.368421053 6 8 5
13 Arsenal 24 1.333333333 8 8 8
14 Wolverhampton Wanderers 11 1.272727273 4 2 5
15 Reading 12 1.25 5 0 7
16 Portsmouth 21 1.238095238 7 5 9
17 Fulham 18 1.222222222 6 4 8
18 Birmingham City 18 1.222222222 4 10 4
19 Middlesbrough 20 1.2 6 6 8
20 Wigan Athletic 21 1.19047619 7 4 10
21 Newcastle United 24 1.083333333 6 8 10
22 West Bromwich Albion 13 1 3 4 6
23 Burnley 11 1 2 5 4
24 Blackburn Rovers 25 0.96 6 6 13

But there is something odd here as this is the breakdown of average points received by teams under Howard Webb – so you would expect it to look something similar to the league table.  As we can see Sunderland and Stoke are in the top four!  And even worse, Arsenal languishes at number 13… whereas West Ham, as a London Club – seem to do very well indeed at number five – but that’s just the ‘lucky hammers’ for you I suppose!?

This raises further questions on the card situation and I will do some further research into exactly when, on average, in a match the cards for the higher ranked teams [in Webb’s personal league table] were dished out.  Also, Sunderland, despite being top of the card list have never had a sending off and only had the same player booked twice in 22 bookings.

A casual observer could easily assume from this that, with the ‘readily available’ booking figures being ‘out there’ as a yard-stick for bias, it might be easy to disguise a bias or indiscretion by ‘creating evidence’ if you were so inclined…

…do they teach that in basic training I wonder?

He can’t be all bad though as on Tuesday night he totally mugged Tottenham by denying a clear penalty on David Bentley and awarding him a yellow card for a dive (ho ho)… against Sunderland was it?  And they booed off their own players, talk about missing point – they’re worse than us in the ‘self harming’ stakes!

So where does that leave us with Everton Vs Arsenal… well – let’s have a look at our Home and Away form under Webb, on a more seasonal basis:

Arsenal at home with Webb at the whistle:

Season Competition Home win Draw Away win
2004/2005 English Premier 0 1 0
2005/2006 English Premier 0 1 0
2006/2007 English Premier 2 0 0
2007/2008 English League Cup 1 0 0
2007/2008 English Premier 0 1 0
2008/2009 English Premier 2 1 0
2009/2010 English Premier 1 0 0

Arsenal away with Webb at the whistle:

Season Competition Home win Draw Away win
2004/2005 English Premier 0 0 1
2005/2006 English League Cup 1 0 0
2005/2006 English Premier 1 0 0
2005/2006 FA Community Shield 1 0 0
2006/2007 English League Cup 1 0 0
2006/2007 English Premier 1 1 0
2007/2008 English League Cup 1 0 0
2007/2008 English Premier 2 1 0
2008/2009 English Premier 0 1 0
2009/2010 English Premier 0 1 1

As you can see; our home form under Webb remains relatively unchanged over the seasons – but our away form has improved a little of late – does this mean we are overdue a mugging?  And what position will we find ourselves in the Howard Webb card and league table come Monday?

Inquiring minds need to know!


More eccentric than H.Webb, more topsy-turvey than H Webb’s decision making, more relativistic than H. Webb.  It is of course “Making the Arsenal” – the eternally eternal Christmas present for every lover of Arsenal, untold or otherwise.  (None of that makes sense – ed).  (Nor does the book – ed.)   MAKING THE ARSENAL.

Untold Arsenal – rarely making sense, occasionally in the right order

16 Replies to “Untold RefWatch – Everton v Arsenal; H. Webb. Oh dear!”

  1. I really don’t know why people hate Webb. I mean, except he is skinhead, and support Manure, and obviously dislike Arsenal, let players kill each other on field, his arrogance and few thousand others, I see no good reason why should we hate him…

  2. he is the only ref that has officiated in cl final and wc final on the same year.
    everybody hates arsenal except for us, and everybody loves united except for us.

  3. @Critic – there are a few referee’s who certainly don’t love Manchester United… but lean more towards Chelsea. There’s also one who Liverpool does quite well out of, and one who Man City seem to have a lot of luck with – and another who really likes Tottenham… some are North West – and some are more London… and there are some who appear to have a mixture of different bias – be this conscious or not.

    But as far as I’m aware there are no referee’s who love Arsenal – but all of the above hate us and each other by default. This love/hate thing is getting silly now but I’m hoping you are starting to see the reasons why some arsenal fans feel they are hard done by [by the officials] – i.e. they do actually have a point. I don’t believe in ‘luck’ be it good or bad – there is always a reason.

    The data and my calculations are accurate to the best of my knowledge, but if you did spot a mistake then I appologise – be sure to let me know and I’ll make sure that I get it right next time – I’m always trying to improve my data.

  4. Webb is a poor excuse of a referee but at least its not mike reily, That peno he gave Utd that ended our unbeaten run was one of the worst I have ever seen I still seath over it.Sol should have taken his head off his shoulders.

  5. While we are talking about refs I see Man U received their normal gift from the officials today, it really is quite amazing how they always seem to come up smelling of roses. Ashley Young was awarded the mandatory yellow card for over exuberant goal celebrations with the crowd. Vidic does the same and gets…… absolutely nothing. He was already on a yellow so that would have made a red and a one match ban but he got away with it just like Neville a couple of weeks ago. The 4th officials excuse was that Vidic was pushed into the crowd by his team mates. I’ve heard it all now.

  6. @michael Then the escuse for rory delap’s delayed throws is that the ball boy always ask for his autograph on his towel

  7. @mick Then the escuse for rory delap’s delayed throws is that the ball boy always ask for his autograph on his towel

  8. I don’t know why the FA can’t do anything about Webb? I mean “blunders” after “blunders” and he still gets to officiate the big matches.

    He loves Stoke. He was the 4th official last night. DogFace was right.

    The thing about Webb is he is claimed to be the best referee in England right now. Really? He gets a freaking World Cup final, yet he does blunders in the Confenderation Cups and WC Qualifying matches.

    The FA needs to get their thumb out of their asses and do something about this. When he dishes out card, question him why. If he doesn’t give a valid reason, fine him! Ask him the reason for every card by using video technology.

    In the end he’ll say to himself.. shall I do better to save my job? Or keep fluking matches to get money?

  9. Another great call (for us) from Webby there!! Good example of not playing the advantage when Everton were clean through.

    I love it when they prove me wrong!

    Still – 2-0 up and 40 minutes to go – C’MON YOUS REDS [yellows]!

  10. Yes!!! 2-1! Webby decided he wasn’t going to be Everton’s 12th man. Felt strange not to have every decision go against us.

  11. @dogface
    i completely agree with ur point, refs just don’t favour arsenal,and nobody can deny most of them are love child of Mr ferguson.

    i just think howard webb is a decent ref, he looks calm, may be too calm sometimes and that’s the problem. He needs to be proactive, see if players are going out of hand, instead of waiting things to calm themselves down.

    P.S – At least there was someone on the field at WC final from england. 😀

  12. @critic – There are some excellent referees in England… unfortunately we live in a time when incompetence is rewarded.

    There is a lot of talk about the lack of referee’s in the uk – and referees disillusioned and leaving the profession in their droves.

    When I see the likes of Howard Webb appointed to officiate the world cup final I can completely understand why… From an English perspective; I have always found Webb’s performances on the big stage quite embarassing.

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