Thursday 21 April 2011

The big decisions do NOT even out

So many an 'expert' seems to think that it is absolutely inevitable that all the big decisions will always even themselves out over a season, I have always thought this theory to be absolutely nonsensical, it relies upon a stupid man's lack of statistical understanding and an assumption that he have a set of excellent unbiased referees who are not swayed by any exterior forces.

I thought it would be interesting to look back over the last couple of months or so to see just how many big crucial decisions have gone for us and how many have gone against us. In order to try to be as fair as possible I have tried to bite my lip and be as objective as possible, hard I know. I have categorised the big decisions as being RED CARDS (correct, soft, incorrect), DISALLOWED GOALS (correct, soft, incorrect), and PENALTIES (correct, soft, incorrect). I feel these are the big game changing decisions, if I have missed any in the following games then please feel free to let me know.

Newcastle (A) 4-4 Draw
FOR - nil
AGAINST - RED CARD diaby (soft), RED CARD barton (incorrect), PENALTY (incorrect), PENALTY (soft), DISALLOWED GOAL for offside RVP (soft)

Wolves (H) 2-0 - nil contentious

Stoke (H) 1-0 - nil contentious

Sunderland (H) 0-0
FOR - nil
AGAINST - DISALLOWED GOAL for offside Arshavin (incorrect), PENALTY and RED CARD for same incident Bramble on Arshavin (incorrect)

West Brom (A) 2-2
FOR - nil
AGAINST - RED CARD Jerome Thomas on Sagna (soft)

Blackburn (H) 0-0
For - RED CARD (correct)
Against - nil

Blackpool (A) 3-1
For - PENALTY foul by Koscielny (incorrect)
Against - PENALTY RVP shoved over 2nd half (incorrect)

Liverpool (H) 1-1
For - PENALTY (correct)
Against - PENALTY Lucas (soft), PENALTY Kuyt handball (incorrect), PENALTY Kiyriakos on RVP (soft)

Tottenham (A) 3-3
For - nil
Against - DISALLOWED RVP goal (incorrect), PENALTY (correct)

Obviously this is always going to be subjective to a degree, however I have tried to be as objective as possible and relied more upon the general opinion of people I respect and trust to be more objective than myself. Overall the results are absolutely startling.

Overall of a total of eighteen big decisions in the last couple of months, 3 decisions have been for us and 15 against us. Of the 15 decisions against us, 9 have been incorrect, 5 soft and 1 correct. Of the decisions given for us which only amount to 3, 2 have been correct and one incorrect. The 3 disallowed goals have consisted of two clear errors and one borderline soft decision where RVP was level. Here is the breakdown

For Arsenal - 2 Correct 0 Soft 1 Incorrect

Against Arsenal - 1 Correct 5 Soft 9 Incorrect

The penalties section makes astonishing reading, we have had only 2 decisions for us, Cesc's against Liverpool and the Koscielny foul at Blackpool, a startling 8 decisions have gone against us in this same period. The fact that cannot be argued with that is 100% objective is that we have been given 1 penalty in this period while our opponents have had 4, strange given the way that we dominate games in terms of both territory and chances.

Despite our failings in terms of squad depth and experience, combined with some clear tactical errors, it is abundantly clear that we have most definitely not had the rub of the green this year in terms of the big game altering decisions. In a similar time frame we have seen Manu escape defeat at West Ham thanks to a dodgy free kick and penalty, Rooney avoid a red card for a reckless elbow at Wigan and Blackpool denied a clear penalty against the Mancs at a key time in the game.

So next time you hear some expert say that luck evens itself out over a season, do not believe them, it most definitely does not. In fact one can argue that when there is very little between the top sides the league title is probably impacted upon more by these key refereeing decisions than anything else. There were defensive failings at Newcastle when Djourou went off but I firmly believe that with a competent official we would still have come away with three points, alas we will never know.


Anonymous said...

Desperate. Desperate. Desperate.

Anonymous said...

doesn't matter imo

we haven't been good enough this season and despite those decisions we've also won a few cheap penalties and had players sent off easily as well.

the best team always win the league. ALWAYS

Anonymous said...

doesn't matter imo

we haven't been good enough this season and despite those decisions we've also won a few cheap penalties and had players sent off easily as well.

the best team always win the league. ALWAYS

Anonymous said...

I think we all know there is bias shown by the football association towards man Utd, that is a given. These states make me think these directives are even passed down to the refs as well. The game at home to Stoke was a prime example where Stoke's only aim was to kick Arsenal out of the game and the officials did nothing to stop this.
It all helps Man Utd!!!

Sim said...

I've been saying this for a while! We wouldn't see an extra 3 minutes in a game Man Utd were winning, you haven't seen Vidic sent off for last man challenges in the same way we saw Squillaci and Koscielny sent off earlier in the season. When there are game changing decisions (as there have been in many games in the Premiership this season) we consistently see them go against Arsenal:
Newc; red card deserved but why no reds for Barton and Nolan, at least one unbelievable penalty decision.
Wigan; pen against us when outside the box and a clear hand ball ignored at the end of the game which was the mirror image of the one that Spurs got at the Emirates which turned the game (not unfairly).
These are but a few but there are far more which most Arsenal fans can reel off.
We have not been brilliant but neither have Man Utd and Chelsea but they have not been playing against the officiating all season. It sounds like excuses but i have many Non-Arsenal fan friends who cannot believe our 'luck' with decisions this season. I think it is amazing that we are still in with a chance in spite of our poor 'luck'.

king gooner said...

iv'e been saying this for donkeys years-MANURE have the refs in their pockets & who is their cheif-yes,none other than the infamous MANURE lover mike's got to the stage where if is see one of the following officiate our games we,ve had it i.e howard webb,fat phil dowd,clattenburg,mike dean,etc years to come the "corruption"will be leaked & the truth will out with regards to arsenal & MANURE..

Anonymous said...

Spurs should have had last night. Blackpool should have had two the week before and our goal for Van Persie was off-side. People can argue about different phases of play but the fact is that he was goalhanging and scored from it. That's exactly what offside rule was invented to stop.

People need to stop believing in Wenger's BS about bad decisions. He even called last night's pen as unfortunate. What on earth was he talking about?

Let it go.

Kofi said...

should arsenal players be super human. Stop the clock at every match and over turn a 14 to 10 player advantage. Even Mourinho with all the expensive players struggles to beat Barca becos of ref advantage. Arsenal is the only team which has achieved that in open play. If a ref can award 2 mins of extra extra time just for liverpool to score and end the match after the penalty who can rewind the clock for a fair match. No wonder the FA is trying to force the respect when the refs dont seem to earn it. Manu always gets away with big decisions. i think it is time for wenger to be like mourinho be agressive insulting and offensive

1979gooner said...

anonymous who claims 'desperate' repetitiviely...

how about you make a specific point on the analysis?

or is your argument that weak

1979gooner said...

ps Manu also haven't been good enough.

Still the rub of the green gives them those few extra key points that makes a difference come May.

Southerngooner said...

@Desperate Anonymous - must be one of the new-age fans who boo Wenger and gunners at home games.

Good analysis but pointless because neither the FA nor the referee union will bother. Unless something major is done, where many clubs come together to show statistical evidence backed up by video replays that such dismal refereeing exists, nothing will change, sadly.

lolay said...

typical arsenal wenger and his fans thinking they own p league,very arrogant ars,how ther u think u can cathup with man utd with 6point in hand, you must be man utd will loose all ther remaining games. mr wenger be real,i doubt if you will ever win anything in p league again,why?bcos football has moved forward from where u left it,i doubt if u will ever beat spurs wenger dat time has passed adjust or may be you leave bcos u cannot hark it no more.

clockendrider said...

Please try to write in English. It may help your point if it is at all intelligible.

Anonymous said...


learn to write in proper english please

your jibberings are completely unintelligible as previous reader has quite rightly pointed out

perhaps study for a GCSE in English before you darken our door again


Anonymous said...

Lola is a girls name, a bird who knows nothing about football and can't spell.

These stats are the tip of the iceberg. How about Scholes not getting sent off against us even though we were losing 2-0 and wouldn't have come back he should have been banned. Two double footed lunges and his hand around one of our players throats.

The fact is teams sit of the Mancscum and let them play but we get it time and time again. In your face football that was actually lauded by Ferguson to all his allies when we had the invincibles.

Simba said...

Eboue and Almunia have cost u more games than referees this year lol

Karl said...

If Arsenal good enough to beat Blackburn West Brum & Liverpool the league wud be theres. Dont blame refs for ur own mistakes.

Anonymous said...

The simple fact is Arsenal need to be more ruthless in front of goal. They create more chances per game than any other team, generally, but never convert more than 25% due to inept finishing. Newcastle, created one chance at the Emirates and won one nil. This takes me back to 2001 when we lost to Middlesbrough 3-0 at Highbury, despite creating loads of chances, with the opposition creating only one on the break. The other two goals for Middlesbrough were very skillful own goals by Edu and Silvinio. I agree their does appear to be a bias against us by officials but we need to raise our game and develop a plan B when we are stuggling to break down opposition

Anonymous said...

Don't get me wrong.

Almunia and Eboue have been poor and have cost us at times.

Still it is clear that some rather inconsistent poor quality refereeing has also played its part, that's all I'm saying.

To deny this is to deny these rather clear facts.


lola said...

same old arsenal,thinking they know it all,english,english, english,anyway CLOKENDRIDER IS A CHICKEN NAME,KEEP DREAMING AS U ALWAYS DO,U WILL NEVER WIN FUCKUL.

Anonymous said...


thanks for the amusement, uninentional as it may be!

i would rather never ever win anything than be a deranged simpleton who has to resort to childish insults and the CAPSLOCK!!


Shubham Goel said...

We just need to look to beat Bolton which would be really welcome.
Check my Arsenal Blog's latest article:

Anonymous said...

Soooo, basically what you're saying is that when a decision goes against Arsenal it is incorrect? said...

Really worthwhile data, much thanks for the post.