There is something seriously wrong with the EPL refereeing. Part one of our investigation.

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By Walter Broeckx, the ref review-reviewer

Blaming the ref when your side doesn’t win is part of football.  It is what many supporters do.  Indeed it is so common that anyone who starts to make such an argument seriously is just laughed at by the media, the football authorities, and the anti-Arsenal groups.

Each of course has its own reason for saying everything is all right.  A football league in which there is a suspicion of the refs’ are not doing their job properly is one that falls into disrepute.  TV audiences go down, newspaper reports are not believed, and the league’s position in the world begins to slip.  The AAA won’t accept any reason for failure to win trophies other than the manager.

So everyone wants to say – no, the refs are ok, it is just some fans making a fuss because they lost.

And yet… there is a worry that something is not right here.  In this series of articles we begin to investigate if it could be possible that the sort of corruption that we have seen in other countries could be spreading to England.

We do this by looking at the analyses that are made before and after each game that Arsenal plays, and seeing if that shows any trends.

So we have played 19 games and we are halfway in the season.  So let us start with the bare facts and give the points the ref have got during the season so far.

Game ref cards penalty goals other total
Liverpool – Arsenal Atkinson 66 100 83
Arsenal – Blackpool Jones 50 100 100 83
Blackburn – Arsenal Foy 50 100 17 56
Arsenal – Bolton Atwell 50 75 100 50 68
Sunderland – Arsenal Dowd 57 66 100 30 50
CC Tottenham – Arsenal Lee Probert 71 100 80 0 75
Arsenal – WBA Oliver 87 100 100 50 88
Chelsea – Arsenal Dean 28 50 50 14 30
Arsenal – Birmingham Atkinson 50 100 100 60 68
Man City – Arsenal Clattenburg 100 100 100 50 93
Newcastle – Arsenal CC Mariner 60 100 100 0 62
Arsenal – West Ham Jones 66 50 100 16 50
Arsenal – Newcastle Dean 83 100 0 60
Wolverhampton – Arsenal Halsey 60 100 54 61
Everton – Arsenal Webb 33 100 66 33 46
Arsenal – Tottenham Dowd 50 33 85 50 59
Aston Villa – Arsenal Clattenburg 67 50 83 0 66
CC Arsenal Wigan Atkinson 42 67 100 60 58
Arsenal – Fulham Foy 0 66 55 40
Man Utd – Arsenal Webb 60 0 100 0 40
Arsenal – Stoke
Arsenal – Chelsea Clattenburg 71 50 100 72 75
Wigan – Arsenal Probert 66 0 75 10 29

Just look for your favourite ref,  if you have one,  to see how he has done.

And this gives us a total for all the games so far of

cards penalty goals other total
Total 1267 1141 2005 621 1340
% 57,59 51,86 91,14 28,23 60,91

Now we can argue for hours about the cards that should have been given but I just leave it with the remark that only around 6 out of 10 cards are given correct in the EPL. We had one ref who did the perfect job with handing out the cards and this was Clattenburg in our game at City. And the worst ref is Dean, closely followed by ref Webb.

But look at the penalties: also only half of the penalties are correct. This is far below the standard we should expect.  And you do have refs who miss all the calls when it comes to penalties. Webb at United, Probert at Wigan: they messed it up completely. They couldn’t get one decision right. In fact no ref managed to get all the penalty decisions right in all the games I took in my reviews.

So the question arises, shouldn’t we start using some kind of challenge on this? When a penalty is given there is almost always time for the 4th ref to have a look at the replays. And if like on Wigan it is clear to see that it is a blatant dive he should correct the ref on the field and they should give a foul against the diving player and a yellow card. And many of the fields in the EPL have big TV screens they should expose the divers immediately so that the crowd can see why the decision has been reverted.

I sure could image some players not wanting to dive and being exposed as the divers they are. I really think it would stop a lot of players from diving.

And we still have to deal with the fact that 1 goal out of 10 is not correct. We had 6 (six) goals given against us that were wrong and we had one goal given that should have been disallowed so far.  This is far too much to my liking. Also here I would like to ask for a review right away after a goal. And when there is something wrong they should show it on the big screen so again the crowd knows what was wrong with the goal. It will make the game more fair for the players as they know that disputable goals will be less in numbers. And for a player on the field it is very important to know that all is going according to the rules.

And in the category “others” this is poor refereeing. Not dealing with dangerous tackles, time wasting, not giving blatant fouls, you know the rubbish that we see week in week out where refs do not what the rule book is telling them to do. The score in this category is so low it is shocking. Because missing an offside is possible. Failing to see a dive from a player can happen.  Not giving a card, well this is more or less part of the technical area of the ref and is in fact less acceptable.

But missing dangerous tackles is something that is bad for the ref AND the players. It means that you are not able to give the players the protection you must give them. As a ref you are there to see that all the players at the end of the game are still healthy and not with broken legs in hospital. We don’t need to blame the refs for every injury as accidents can and will always happen on a football field. But when you start allowing dangerous tackles it is just a matter of time before you can call over the ambulance to bring a player to the hospital.

So in fact this low figure means that the refs don’t recognise these fouls enough and this is bad for football in the EPL. As has been said many times when the English teams have to play in another country with rules that are more strict than in the EPL they start with a handicap and don’t realise that the things they are allowed to each game is suddenly forbidden when playing another country.

The overall score is just 60 and this is rather poor. 90 % is an excellent game. Anything above 80 is a good game. Everything above 70 is a reasonable game. And when you enter the 60% zone things are getting poor.

So after 19 games and the Carling cup games having an overall result of just 61% is very bad. These are professional refs most of the time and they cannot get a score of at least 70% in their games.  In fact the only ref that had more than one game with us and managed to get a score of +70 is Clattenburg. A ref with good potential but who, when I look at the last half our against Chelsea, can change his game during a game and this is a bad thing for a ref.

And the most known refs in the EPL apart from Clattenburg like Webb and Dean are big failures in their games so far. Webb managed an average score of 43% and this is supposed to be the best ref in the world remember. And Dean is just slightly less worse with a score of 45%. And these two are mostly the refs in  our big games.

So overall a bad report on the refs so far this season.Not fit to wear the Ref shirt one could say.

But there is more to come on the refs and what comes up next are both interesting things and scary things.  Frightening things. Sad things.

This is not a good story, and it is only just the start of it.  More in the next article.

Untold untold’s, untold tolds, told untolds, and of course told told’s. We have it all

And what’s been done in the dim and distant

Making the Arsenal

41 Replies to “There is something seriously wrong with the EPL refereeing. Part one of our investigation.”

  1. I really hate that Probert idiot… He was the reason Wenger was sent off humiliatingly last year at United… Made a fool of himself and the FA when they apologized to Wenger… And you gave him this game with Arsenal in it… What a scandal…! What do you expect? A shocker of performance from the most idiotic referee of all time… Mother F**ker!!!

  2. And I swear I will land him a right hook in front of everybody if GOD is gracious enough to give me that opportunity…

  3. I think we have to draw a line where we say that the refs are bad in the whole epl and the refs are bad only in Arsenal related matches.

    We have to think realistically on whether the epl refs are really that bad as compared to the refs of other leagues?? I dont think there will be any difference. The ref just like us are humans who can make mistakes. We forget that we have the luxury of watchin replays many times from different angles before comin to a conclusion but the refs dont have that luxury. They have to make a decision in a split second. And some of these decisions can be based on instinct which may not always be right.

    Yes, the refs make mistakes, but are they deliberate?? Has the ref got bribed to make decision against certain team?? No one can prove it. Infact it cant be proved for a player either as it was in the case of Wenger’s team in Monaco.

    I think as Arsenal fans, we take such events too personally. We get paranoid that all the refs are against us. But if we look at the whole epl, the refs make mistakes not only in Arsenal games but other games as well. But we hardly tend to see other matches and hence make conclusions which may not be completly correct.

    I think rather than removing all our anger on the refs, we should try help to empower them. There are many new technologies that can be used to help refs make a better decision. They should be given better support from not only the 4th official but also extra officials on the pitch. Also it maybe possible that a ref can be bribed and hence the selection process for refs for each game should be discreet and should be made as late as possible.

  4. i must admit i criticised the ref index at first as i felt untold was usually so much better (the best arsenal blog in fact).

    I stand corrected! Excellent work

  5. If you ask me, there are some refs who have a vendetta against arsenal. Lee Probert, against manchester united within the last two seasons, sent wenger to the stands for nothing and completely tried to humiliate him, and he did all of this with a sickening smile of disgust on his face. Probert clearly dislikes arsenal and wenger.

    Then against wigan, he gives a shocking penalty, which he gave instantly as if he couldn’t wait to give it. and then he deniesa arsenal a blatant late penalty.

    This has been going on for some time with refs and arsenal, particularly going back 3 or 4 seasons, the season when eduardo broke his leg, we had a stream of massively poor decisions going against the arsenal which halted our very serious title challenge.

    I genuinly believe there is an anti-arsenal agenda. I think its source lies with the media and this has a knock on effect onto the refs.

  6. I appreciate your match analysis quite a lot, Walter, but when you do aggregates like this, the sums aren’t any good. By converting game scores into percentages out of 100 before averaging, you lose the validity of the data.

    For example, take your Penalty sub-scores from the Man City game (which I believe was 1/1; sub another game if it wasn’t) and the EPL game with the Tinies (1/3). Between the two games, only 2/4 decisions were correct (50%), but by your method, 100 and 33 are averaged, producing 67. In this particular case, you’re giving the officials too much credit, but in general, it just means your Totals are off.

  7. rusty……well said. I’m afraid that statistics in experienced hands can be made to prove anything.

  8. hi walter ,
    love the chart and the new title, crikey! power is really going to your head.
    I used to visit a site that had an adaptation of your ref review that also awarded points to the teams respectively. so for instance after yesterday’s high jinks pari paribus we would be 2 points better off in the league. the snazzy chart you had up there got me thinking, if most of the refs available to ref against us are poor and their collective effect in cards/resulting suspensions, injuries and all that is measurable then perhaps we should have another table just showing who was officiating when what happened, our captain might have been available even as substitute had it not been for a dodgy card down the line by the same ref. i have noticed that alex song gets picked on by certain refs and you get the feeling that they almost enjoy frustrating him.
    because between the refwatch and your review there is the chance to expose the hypocrisy and the corruption that lies at the heart of the league and we need to have a slightly larger data pool.also under the current system of the ref review, it can be argued that a ref has not made any wrong judgement calls simply because in most cases he has simply ignored fouls and let play go on which is also statistically significant in how we get nobbled in games. i remember wilshere curled up in pain just outside their 18 yard box and the ref conveniently waving play on with wigan attacking with a long ball.
    i appreciate that this is a labour of love for yourself and may be to really see conclusive proof we might have to look at performances when arsenal are not involved and that might just be too much to ask.
    keep up the good work.

  9. nice work geeza, the fact that video evidence hasnt been introduced yet should tell every one just how corrupt football is. and arsenal through their philosophy will always be number 1 target.(soz dark prince)
    a ref with experience you would think would be able to see incidents better than any1, given he has help also. so when a blatant mistake is made(and we’ve all seen them, not only in afc matches), you would have to be on heavy medication to believe they didnt know what they were doing. when they do bring vid tech to the prem, ill eat my hat, coat, gloves, jeans, socks, watch, my brothers hat, my sisters scarf, and my girlfriends cat 🙂

  10. Walter

    You may be a professional referee but I worked for 20 years in a field where peer review of submitted papers formed part of the professional life.

    I’m afraid if I were reviewing your paper I’d say the following:

    1. With so few games refereed by any particular guy, your stats are simply not statistically significant. There is no evidence presented that this is not the natural variability of the system as opposed to anything sinister.
    2. If you want to make a case you need to carry out similar analyses on all games in the EPL and then compare decisions against Arsenal vs decisions against other teams. I think Tony Pulis for one would say he had a diabolical run of decisions earlier in the season. I’m sure Sir Alex Ferguson was none too pleased with a decision late on at St Andrews on Tuesday night. The standard for anti-Arsenal bias is that consistently, over a season, in the games where refereeing decisions make the biggest impact (in other words, the closest ones), Arsenal do worse in a statistically significant manner than other clubs.
    3. Have you had yourself analysed for your own performances to see if you are any better, particularly against sophisticated players who know how to con the referee? It’s easy saying that refs should get 70% right: would you?

    Let’s be clear about this: if referees are given instructions for a particular match, someone is giving them, unless they are just secret Arsenal haters, Utd supporters or whatever. I think we know that in Italy that went on. I think we know that adding inappropriate amounts of injury time happened a few times nearly 20 years ago in England which caused the injury board to be used now. I have to say I get it right 80% of the games at the Emirates and am 1 minute off in the rest. So that seems pretty honest to me….

    I think what you are going to have to do is to analyse a few other clubs who complain about referees to see if this is a specific anti-Arsenal problem. Mancini was complaining about anti-City bias today. Harry Redknapp said his ref, who he regarded as normally good, had a complete shocker last week.

    I didn’t blame the manager for last night: I can see why he rotated. Cesc was suspended, RVP looked jaded towards the end against Chelsea. If he needs Song for Birmingham and City perhaps he needed a rest (I’d have played him but I can see what Wenger was thinking), ditto Walcott and Nasri. He played Arshavin and Chamakh who have played as often as anyone this season and Rosicky has been in almost every squad. He was hardly putting out a bunch of kids. The only criticism which could possibly be raised would be that whatever was said at half-time didn’t raise the spirits as the second half was a bit flat.

    I’d like you to address Martinez’ comments about Arsenal roughing up N’Zogbia (not after head-butting Wilshere, but through the game). I’m not judging it, I’m saying that the opposition manager had a dig about Arsenal’s tackling, so you need to address that as part of a reasoned analysis too.

    What I think I’m saying to you is that if you want to make these sorts of allegations, you’re going to need your level of evidence to be scientific.

    And I suspect that if there is cheating going on, they’ll be sophisticated enough to organise it in a way which is pretty difficult to detect scientifically.

    I’m very open to referees being bent. I was a kid who went to Paris to watch Leeds-Bayen Munich. It was obvious to a 10 year old the ref was bent. It came out years later. The same thing apparently happened against Inter Milan. So they arguably lost two european trophies to bent referees.

    I’m also very open to referees being scrutinised publicly but fairly.

    I’m less open to an openly partisan supporter reckoning they will be seen as a suitably impartial judge in what are pretty robust accusations of waves of cheating targeting Arsenal FC.

    Nothing personal.

    It’s just that ‘declarations of interest’ are usually the first things required of folks engaged in any official investigation.

    And you don’t need to be Einstein to see that you are somewhat partisan in your views of EPL football!

    I’m not saying you’re wrong, I’m just pointing out the issues which will arise if you wish this to be taken further.

  11. Rusty, so the totals I give are too high? 😉

    I understand what you mean. I will try to think of something to make this more clearer as you are right.

  12. About video evidende. a few thoughts:
    1. I think that video evidence would be the answer to help the refs. When a penalty is awarded or a goal scored you normally have about half a minute or a whole minute before it really is taken. A player can be injured, there can be some protest from the other team, a player has to receive a card, or has to be send off, you can have all kinds of things before the penalty is taken. In this time the 4th ref should check the images before the kick is taken. If he sees something wrong like a blatant dive he should inform the ref on the field by the mics they have. Then the stadium screens should show the images and show why a decision will be changed. And this will take about one minute. And in case of doubt you just stick to the decision that was made on the field. And at the end of the half you count one minute extra for the incident.

    2. This will make the influence from the refs smaller on the field. And if after examination shows that the 4th ref did it wrong he should be punished. Each game should be reviewed by a panel of video refs who do nothing els then check the refs for every important decision. And if they make to much mistakes they should be punished. In Belgium when a ref has done a serious mistake or foul they can punish him with not giving him games a few weeks and this will cost him his money. You must have a stick behind the door to beat them with.

    3. This would make it more difficult to fix things. Now a ref can give a penalty for a dive and nothing can be done. If he gives the penalty because some gambling syndicate had some high interest in this and he gets a few quid for doing this he can do what he wants. Now the 4th ref should also be in the complot and even then after that the reviewer of the FA, EPL or whoever els involved also should be in the complot. With video evidence you can limit the chances of such fixes. I think it was in Holland that a ref got mentioned in having his brother gambling on his games about the ref taking some decisions in those games. So you see it doesn’t even have to be some Chinese gambling syndicate.

    4. The only way we will be forcing the use of video evidence in to the games will be by keep using our hamer and keep on hitting the nail over and over again. The football authorities dislike anything that gets the power they have in the dark rooms out in the open.

  13. I will correct myslef:

    I think that video evidence would be the answer to help the GOOD AND UNBIASED refs.

  14. Yesterday arsenal lost and the referee was to be blame for not give us the penalty ,when the same incident happened to us against spurs and a penalty was given. Seems to me that there is someone trying to stop arsenal win the league and it must be investigate, by those individuos who love fair play.

  15. thanx walter, i truly believe vid tech will solve alot, if not all of the unfairness in footie. should be the mission of every football supporter, they’l throw up reasons as to why they cant such as money, but id consider giving them 2squid towards the cost. suppose it would be a donation.:-)

  16. @ Rhys

    I’m sorry Rhys but u a bit off topic the article was not biased it said most of the refs are shit.

    It didn’t say they shit when they ref arsenal … I repeat they are shit.

    see the difference but you right we need more data will you be willing to get some for us pls.

    Walter is using the data from when he started doing ref reviews as time goes it will give us a better view but for the moment for a collective of 19 games which is enough data I feel to judge all refs not one I think walter is right they are shit.

    Look at the ref review about the champions league and the piece that was dedicated to why song was at fault for impeding the goal keeper such a simple thing but he had to dedicate a whole article because of the so called pundits and commentators who mislead fans into thinking that what song was doing is legal 2 years ago I would have said the ref is a nut but thanks to walter I now know better.

    The reason I mention that is because one can see the standard difference between UEFA and EPL REFS.

    Any ref can have a bad day and they are human but if they are constantly reviewed they will ref better.

    Cricket is seen as an old mans game yet the tech in it is so much better and umpire’s get reviewed and dropped by the icc if they are sub par so why not the same for football.

    talking about treating people the same the fans are always claiming this player and that player should go but with refs ahhh its fine his shit but anyways it’s fine cause it all evens out.

  17. its funny how fabregas hand in the box is a penalty while a wigan players hand in the box is not. as orwell says “all pigs are equal but some pigs are more equal than others”.

  18. The one unarguable and totally damning number is the astonishingly small number of top level referees in England.

    Having said that, I think that referees without video evidence are faced with an impossible task. It’s totally idiotic that in the age of television millions know what happened but the referee is the only one who doesn’t. And don’t tell me that it would slow things up. The pre-emptive effect alone would actually speed up the game.

  19. There is not a single good ref in our league … and the total lack of transparency in how they are chosen, trained, assessed and disciplined just lends itself to the smell of corruption. They not only have to be clean, they have to be SHOWN to be clean !!!

    And no this is not an Arsenal problem … did you see the two penalties, (one either way), not given at Anfield last night ? The second one the Wolves defender had practically pulled the Liverpool player’s shirt OVER his head !!! And did ANY of the officials see it ??? I think you know the answer …

    The fact is corruption does not limit itself to brown envelopes stuffed with used notes … it is ANY bias within the game, from refs and linesmen and their governing bodies, from the FA’s, from UEFA, from FIFA and even the media, for WHATEVER reason. Remember the public sacrifice of Eduardo after the Celtic game last year … the fact that UEFA got involved obviously had nothing to do with the Scottish members of that particular organisation … (and made all the funnier by one of the Celtic players getting sent off for diving the week after …)

    If you really believe that “our game”, (that is surely an oxymoron), is clean then I admire your trust … and be sure to say hi to the tooth fairy for me next time she visits you …

  20. Bad referring or not mate there was plenty of time to hold on and win the match…you cant hae it one way only – you are sounding more n more like our deluded manager who has now said he doesnt want to sign any players in the jan window…God help us

  21. Having got home about an hours or so ago I am still seething over last nights game. I do not mean this lightly as I truly mean seething. I now read 8 changes were made to the team that killed off the league Champions just a couple of days before. Obviously Fabregas was out but what the hell was going on with last nights selections? When we saw Eboue and Denilson were starting we were pretty much gob smacked and then the rest of the selection came to light. Really bad planning and very poor selections. As for the game, well we were far from the better team, the ref has an absolute howler for two definite looking penalties and I am not convinced that theirs was even in the box but none of that matters as had we had a better selection we would have more than likely have been well ahead of Wigan anyway. For me this is 2 points dropped and Wenger is fully to blame.

  22. I am bothered by the consequences of the decisions, eg Arsenal lost three points because of the penalty (a clear one and there is a reference- the Cesc’s case in the spur’s game)that was not given. Spurs on the other hand won the match because it was given. Imagine the EPL been decided on the basis of such situation because the way the competition is going, the winner may be decided on the last day.

  23. it’s sad that football is in the hands of powerful old men.

    of course i have no real problem with the older generation, but the fact is most of them are close-minded, and of course i’m talking about football, but i’m also talking about many topics, such as drugs, sex, racism. obviously not everyone who is old is close-minded, but i just have to look to my extended family to realize most are. it seems to me the having of video technology is invaluable, in a day where fans call for the managers head after a draw at wigan, huge money is being spent. it’s just indispensable.

    unfortunately until the day when football is governed by someone with fresh ideas, i don’t think we will see video technology.

  24. Video evidence will kill the excitement, as fans will have to wait 30 seconds for 4th official to approve goal and then celebrate. Football needs to remain spontaneous!

  25. Arsenal dubai, only one goal in 10 would be ruled out. And it could give even more excitement in fact. First you get all excited about the goal and celebrate like mad.
    And then the confirmation comes that the goal was a good one and you can celebrate again.
    2 celebrations for each goal…. imagine that…

  26. Not only did Probert miss the blatant hand ball towards the end and was fooled by the dive that started outside the box but he also missed the incident where Theo was pulled back by an arm on the shoulder in the penalty area not long after he came on. Theo is too honest for his own good as the contact was significantly greater than anything Nzogbia experienced (if at all).

  27. When analysing refereeing, you should not try to quantify referees decisions into discrete right or wrong data but must take a much more qualitative approach. Taking this obviously takes more time but it’s really difficult to analyse data on referees decisions when the data is numbers because it tells us nothing about events, each of which are very different.

  28. I dont think the FA or Football association have the slightest concern that referees may be less than fair. Has there been more than one decision given against Manchester United in the past 5 years? The EPL exists to maintain the status quo in England just as EUFA exists to preserve the status quo in Europe. It is so obvious that video technology should be adopted- the reasons for non-adoption are perverse.

  29. Surely the easiest way to get a quick benefit from video evidence is to use it more regularly after the match. We have to accept that they are a million miles away from ever revising final scores, or ordering replays, but issues such as persistent niggly little fouls, rotational fouling, rotational time wasting, off-the-ball assaults and (which they have already in principle, but rarely use, ) fouls that the referee missed, could all be reviewed by a panel empowered to order suspensions. That would make certain fat managers even less employable. They could even change that absurd rule that if a foul but no card is awarded, the punishment cannot be increased. There is no proper reason for it other than this obsession with presuming that referees decisions are unchangeable because they are always right.

  30. I think it’s slightly impracticable to have a video referee review every goal or penalty award. What about when there should be a penalty but isn’t awarded? Can the 4th official review that as well? I think it should be that a team is allowed 1 or 2 appeals for every match. In this regard I think the best lead is given by hockey rather than cricket since the games are more similar. Managers should have video monitors and have the right to appeal within 1 minute or the next time the ball is out of play.
    Of course, that will bring into question the role of the TV studios as to what replays and from what angles they choose to show. Sky almost never shows any foul/offside goal/penalty appeal which should have been given against ManU.

  31. I am not following the EPL only, though I think referees in this league are far worse than they used to be. I am not talking about Arsenal only but the whole league. I am blaming them in some ways to change the Premierleague, it is still the best league in Europe and probably in the world, though bad decisions are simply the fact that now a smple elbow contact can lead to a small stoppish time is annoying me. Football is a physical sports, even more in England than anywhere else.

    But the fact is that the entire referee’s goverment is changing, the French Ligue 1 is also becoming a big joke when it comes to bad decisions and watching the barcelona games sometimes, it is also a joke in Spain when it comes to big teams playing.

    Anyway, once again, good post UA, keep it up

  32. @ Superfly Gunner

    Nah mate, there’s a whole field (statistics) which considers the question of what “enough” data is – 19 pieces would certainly not cut it in anything approaching “scientific”. 30 would be more like the absolute bare minimum. You can’t go with gut feeling on something like this. You need to look at statistical distributions, norms, central limits etc.

    All of Rhys’ points are completely fair and accurate.

    I also agree with Ben89 in his comments

  33. Thanks for another amazing article Walter. One thing i would like to say first is that the state of English football would never ever improve unless or until the quality of refrees improve. And this infact could have a huge impact in the international and other football competitions that teams from England participate. Though it is hard to streamline the refrees quality across the footballing world, as a viewer from a different country watching different leagues could easily say that the quality of refrees is better in Spain than in England atleast.

    And such a corrupted organisation like FI(FA) doesn’t want to improve the quality of the game rather than their bank accounts.

    Apart from this there is another world of TV/media which wants to depreceate its value day by day. The way in which they commentators troll about Arsenal is completely unacceptable. I really don’t know if they do these things on purpose or is it just their ignorance.

    And i dont think this article is Arsenal biased but against the incompetent and impotent refreeing that can be seen with just plain common sense. And as to Fabregas tweeting about the penalty claim imo any normal human being can understand his frustration and he being the captain will have more response. And i don’t think any kind of modern technologies will embrace Football until Bla[dd]er 😛 is totalled.

  34. Phoenix, so we will see at the end of the season if what I have seen till now will be the same at the end of the season when I will have the data of +40 games.

  35. I think we’re being too unfair towards d refs. They’re human, even they can make mistakes and there will be times when they’ll have an off day when most of their decisions are wrong. Doesn’t everyone hav an off day? If cesc has an off day and starts making wrong passes, does it mean he’s bribed or not playing fairly? I dont think so…in the same way,refs do make mistakes, covering arsenal’s poor performance with this excuse looks really naive. We kno that the ref made bad decisions that day, but do you really need a ref to make proper decisions to score a goal? I dont think so…Arsenal should had finished off that game. And as always, the defence could not handle a set-piece. I think rather than arguing on what the ref sinke had done, we should look within to what we could have done to keep our lead bcoz after all this talk about the refs, there’s really nothing that can be done to make it better. The ref did not hav anything to lose by making those decisions, but Arsenal lost. So rather than expecting the refs to improve, we have to improve ourselves. And the way our team played, we should had played better.

  36. Yes, refs will always make mistakes, but some clubs, certainly appear to get a rub of the green with refs that others do not experience.
    Maybe their managers , players and fans are better at getting at certain refs, maybe it is a media thing or maybe there are other forces at work.
    I would love to hear what say Fergie would say about some of the decisions we seem to be often on the end of

  37. Dark Prince,

    When you repeatably say “don’t blame the referees, they are humans after all” crap, it really insults our intelligence. Referees are humans, that’s exactly the point. They have feelings, emotions, jealousy, envy, preference, prejudice, bias, etc… etc… just like us, supporters. When you say a referee has to make a split second decisions based on his instincts, what do you expect? A drunk man talks cock, but speaks truly what he feels. The unconscious mind. Same as instincts. And a proper, professional referee would never let his preference or emotions get better off him. And if he thinks he made a mistake, would not hesitate to overturn it regardless of ego and pride. Everybody knew what Probert did last year to Wenger, but yet judge him “fit” enough to referee that match. Dumb FA.

  38. Anyone who can’t see the blatant bias of some of these ref’s, especially twats like Poorbert, is either stupid or a Spud. Which (from what I’ve seen on most blogs) often equates to the same thing.
    But DP has a point. We could and should have still won the game. We need to factor biased and / or useless refs into our game plan as well, we now know we can’t rely on them to give correct decisions, however obvious they might be. We should simply score in such a manner that leaves absolutely no room for debate, otherwise the decision will probably go against us. And when defending, I suppose we have to only intercept balls, because even if we don’t make contact with the attacker in a tackle (as was the case with N’Zogbia), chances are we’re still gonna hear the whistle.

  39. Amazing — just seen what Gary Neville has got away with at West Brom – makes you wonder!

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