One goal in ten in the EPL is wrongly given. Comparing refs in the EPL and the CL

By Walter Broeckx

Now that the group stage of the Champions league is behind us I thought it would be nice to see how the refs have done in total and how they compare to the refs in the EPL in global.

So I took my table and tried to get an average percentage in the categories we have used so far this season.

Game ref cards penalty goals other total
Arsenal – Braga Hammer 60 33 100 75 72
Partizan – Arsenal Stark 50 60 100 50 67
Arsenal- Shakhtar Moen 100 100 83 100 91
Shakhtar- Arsenal Busacca 80 100 100 0 64
Braga – Arsenal Kassai 41 0 100 0 31
Arsenal – Partizan Tagliavento 100 50 100 100 91
Total 431 343 583 325 416
Total % 71,83 57,17 97,17 54,17 69,33

And in the Premier league we get these total numbers (based on more games)

Total 1130 1091 1830 539 1236
Total % 56,5 54,55 91,5 26,95 61,8

So the last numbers are the most important one and we can see that the refs in the CL got a total score of just under 70%.

One could say we had one bad referee who did the Brage game and who really was poor. One could say he played in the Dean-Webb division of refereeing.

Then we had three more or less flat referees and those where Stark and Busacca with some average performances. And to think that those are “top” refs in Europe but who had not that good games this time. Hammer did a bit better but he forget to give us a few penalties and otherwise would also have had a much higher score. And Hammer is a ref from a very small country (Luxembourg).

And then we had 2 excellent refs and the where Moen from Norway and Tagliavento from Italy.

They had the almost perfect game and to think that Moen lost points for giving us a goal that should have been cancelled for offside. And those were rather young refs so one could say that the future (based on this little inquiry) looks rather good when it comes to refs who are not afraid to follow the rulebook.

If we look at the cards section one could say that this is very much in line with the overall result. The good ones did what they had to do without looking at who and which colour they gave their cards. Compared to the card handling in the EPL there is a big difference. Around 7/10 cards are handed out (or not handed out) correct in the CL and in the EPL this is only around 56%. So the refs in the EPL seem to miss a lot of cards. Does this surprises anyone?

The penalties is another story as almost half of the penalty decisions were wrong. I think this is a far too high number. And to think that they have placed extra refs behind the goals to keep an eye on those decisions. It sure doesn’t look that it is a big help. In fact the score from penalty decisions in the EPL so far is around 55% so just marginally worse than in the CL. So one could ask if it is worthwhile to put extra refs out there as the level of decisions is not much better than when the refs don’t have the extra help out there.

A very good score on the goals as there was only 1 goal in total that should have been cancelled out. It was a goal from Song when he came back from an offside position.  So the number correct goals of 97% is very good. In the EPL we get a figure of around 91%. So one could say that the assistants and the refs have done a very good job in the CL. The number in the EPL means that 1 goal in 10 is wrongly given. I think this is too much. Work to do for the refs and the assistants.

The category “other” sees a score of only 54%. So the refs still miss a lot in the CL and they are with 5 or even 6 in fact. Almost half of the decisions are wrong. In this category you can find wrongly given free kicks or not given free kicks, messing around with the advantage rule and other fouls that refs made during their games. But mind you in the EPL this number goes down to 27% and that is half of what the refs in the CL are doing.

I don’t think this is down to the extra refs as they are more (or should) be dealing with the important decision in the penalty area but I cannot explain the difference immediately.

If I have to base it on my memory in this category you find a lot of decisions when the refs don’t  deal with things like time wasting, fouls on keepers, dangerous tackles.

In each and every category the refs in the CL have done better than the refs in the EPL. Now in a way this could be down to the fact that the refs in the CL are always Fifa refs who in their country are top refs. And as in the EPL not all refs are Fifa refs this could have brought the average down.

BUT unfortunately for the Fifa refs in the EPL it is just them (Dean and Webb for example) who have the poorest numbers behind their names. So in Europe a Fifa badge means something but in the EPL it means nothing. Is this some kind of signal that in other countries refs get their Fifa badges on their merits and that in England this is not always the case?

Normally you would expect the Fifa refs to shine also in their leagues but this is certainly not the case. So are Fifa badges in the EPL been given on other criteria compared to the rest of Europe?

Maybe Mike Riley, head of the refs in the EPL, could give the answer…..

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12 Replies to “One goal in ten in the EPL is wrongly given. Comparing refs in the EPL and the CL”

  1. The standard in Europe is higher. The problem with the EPL is that an elite group get all the top games. They are almost ‘untouchable’ and familiarity is breeding contempt. It would be far better to have a panel of top European refs who officiated the top games across Europe both for CL and domestic leagues. I am told that Italian clubs loathed Collina, though outside of Italy he was admired. So Arsenal v Chelsea, for example, would benefit having a French, Swede or German ref rather than someone like Dean, Atkinson or the worst of all Webb.I bet that whoever does this game will have done each side at least twice so far this season. I cannot see how that is right.

  2. Unbeliebvable stats so I guess a win on Saturday and Wenger is the tactical genius.

    We can moan all day about the Ref’s, divert the attention away from the manager as much as we can but we all know who the biggest culprit is – WENGER.

    Can this guy actually motivate the players? Does he show ambition in the transfer market – As if!

    Before the game Wenger challenged the team to show they are hungry for success and now after this performance the answer is there for all to see. Not too sure about the hunger but the message is we are not good enough.

    Utd were physically stronger and outmuscled us to the ball all the time. The performance of individual players has already been written by other posters so I’m going into that. We know Wenger is not adding to the squad this January so what is he going to do to save this season? Well, first play Nasri in central midfield and not stick in the wings where he is less effective. Gibbs, Wilshere, Djourou and Szcznesy must be 1st choice. Warn Arshavin to work harder or be dropped and don’t be afraid to leave Cesc on the bench. Denilson must not start another game and lastly teach the players how to cross the ball. Work it out on the training pitch until they can cross with their eyes close. And then just maybe we can salvaged our season.

  3. Walter: I like your points mostly and this site but i think we are overly optimistic here I mean the frailties in this team are obvious and man i get scared every time we go a goal down we will never come back. And the strangest thing is if we win on Saturday against Stoke and a Chelsea win on Sunday will see us top at Xmas, continuing the illusion that we are a top side. Several people had texted me to say how confident they were before the game. Quite what made them confident or optimistic that Wenger would be able to get this team organised to fight for a win at Old Trafford I don’t know. It hasn’t happened for so long now that none of this team really knows what it takes to win away at a big team, or even get a draw. And that is why, I fear, winning the Premier League or the Champions League is an illusion. When the big games come, our big players don’t live up to billing the manager gives them. Until they do, we won’t win a trophy.

  4. I don’t have statistics to hand but I am sure this calender year ( January to present ) we have lost more games than ever before under Wenger. Does that justify his comments about his strongest ever squad??. Towards the end of last season we were woeful and we had the easiest run in ever and we have lost 5 already this season.

  5. Red Jessie, you are making a very important point about doing the same teams over and over again. This is not good for a ref. In fact in an ideal world you should only have the same team once in a season and twice at the most.
    This is to just prevent human influence as much as possible. If in the first game a player has made live difficult for you as a ref it is possible in the second game that after his first foul you start thinking: no, not again and you change your approach to this player.
    It should not happen but this is just a human reaction. So the lesser games you have for a team the better you can be as unbiased as possible.

  6. Does anyone else thing we are lacking a winning mentality. We looked scared even on the tunnel. But I don’t think we need to completely overhaul the team. We need some changes for sure – namely on the left side of the field. Clichy, for me one, has had one too many brain farts. Arshavin needs someone to compete for his spot. We need a defensive coach as well. We lost Martin Keown as a defensive coach because he felt AW didn’t give him enough time to work with the players. It’s unbelievable that we actually let him go after he worked wonders with our makeshift defense in our superb CL run in 06. Maybe a change in personnel is required in the medical room as well, but I am not in a position to really know about it – just my gut tells me so.

  7. Lego

    We didnt lose Martin Keown because he felt he wasnt given enough time with the Players – a mate of mine who lives in Oxford met Martin and apparently he said Arsenal would not pay him a decent amount and at the time he had a lot of media work including travelling to Ireland etc which paid the bills.

    He said at the time he was effectively ‘on trial’ along with Steve Bould getting basically nothing and as they didnt offer him a wage as such, after a while he had to commit to other avenues of earning a crust!

    At the time with commuting from Oxford to London and having to fly over to Ireland for his media work (and media work elswhere) he felt he didnt have enough time t ohelp Arsenal so went with who was actually paying him at the time.

  8. Walter, thank you so much for this very very juicy data.
    One thing specially attracted attention, under “OTHER” for EPL there is extremely bad score of only 26% cca.
    When you looking at categories, listed, you may easy conclude that disallowed goals, penalties or so are much more important. But than you have to remember what stile of play Arsenal prefer, and what is “Wengerball” about. It is fluid game, with lot of passing, trying to “outnumber” opposition and to open space by fluidity of game. When you accept that as fact, you realize how lethal for us are small referee mistakes under category “others” which cut our play, slow us, and don’t give us chance to play our game.

  9. Armin

    I think you are right but it also just goes to show that when the passing game is being denied either by referees not being strong enough to stop persistent fouling (which is designed to break our game up), or the opposition stifle our flow of passing, we need to adapt on the day.

    The facts are we have now lost 10 of the last 11 ‘Big 4’ games and there has to be something in the players mental attitude being the reason, as we cannot keep blaming referees/bad pitches/fouls etc as its becoming repetitive.

    It will be a crying shame if we dont win the leaguer as Man Utd and Chelsea have been very poor and we should have been miles ahead of them by now given the points they have already dropped.

  10. Who have we got as referee on Saturday? I am waiting for Pulis to start his rants about small clubs get nothing at the Emirates and that Wenger exerts too much influence on referees. What are the odds for at least one red card on Saturday?

  11. @Lego- Please tell, what are your coaching credentials? How many badges are in your possession?

  12. The solutions to all our problems suddenly become clear. Sack the ignorant idiot Wenger and replace him with LEGO the master tactician and font of all football knowledge who will be our salvation. Hail LEGO.

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