By Walter Broeckx
We are now just about ready to start publishing the ref reviews for the 2011/12 season – a season in which we reviewed 40% of all the games in the premier league. So just a brief moment before we start to ponder a few key questions, such as…
Was West Bromwich Albion the darling of the refs last season?
With Roy Hodgson apparently being the darling of the FA it could well be possible that the FA somehow wanted WBA to do particularly well in the league so that they might face less anger from England fans when they moved to appoint Roy Hodgson. In fact from the results he did a rather good job, both at WBA and with the England team. I’m talking about results in particular; about the performance of the England team as I wasn’t that impressed to be honest. But was there anything to see in the refs attitude that could point at some favouritism towards WBA and more of all towards Hodgson?
Was Wolverhampton Wanderers well liked when it came to penalties or red cards last season?
Wolverhampton went down at the end of the season. So I can imagine their supporters not being happy about a few things. Maybe the refereeing was one of those things? Or was it a mistake to fire their manager halfway the season? Was there anything to see that could point at the refs wanting to help them? Or was it the opposite that we can see that the refs didn’t like them to stay in the PL?
How was Wigan treated when it comes to yellow cards last season?
Wigan saved themselves in the last part of the season with a few surprise wins. Did they get much help from the refs in those games? Or was it despite the refs that they won those games? As some of those last part of the season games were played against top teams we reviewed them on this site and should be able to see if there was anything wrong with the referees in those Wigan games. Of course it could just be that Wigan just managed to save themselves with a strong 5 man defence, a crowded midfield and a striker on fire.
Did Blackburn Rovers have the benefit of the doubt when it came to refs?
Blackburn was the second team that went down with Wolverhampton. They had a few highs at times but also a few lows. Both against Arsenal if I remember correctly in fact. I remember in that “up” game a few lucky calls from the refs. But was this the pattern all season long? They stuck with their manager for the whole season much to the displeasure of a part of the fans. Changing the manager didn’t help Wolverhampton from going down so it wouldn’t have made a big difference I think. Ref performances can make a big difference so we will be looking to see if there is something wrong.
Had the refs anything to do with Bolton Wanderers going down?
I think this question could start a few Bolton supporters going mad. A game we didn’t review this season (sorry about that) was their last game at Stoke. It was rather shocking what the referee in that game did at times. The first goal came from the days that a keeper could be attacked any time and charged at random. The way Crouch went down to win a penalty at the end (and got it) and to send another team down is something that makes me sick. But alas this game will not be in our review numbers. But still we had other games involving Bolton and then it will be interesting to find out if the same pattern occurred in those other games.
Lots of questions that we could ask ourselves. And that maybe you have asked yourself. Can we bring you answer to these questions? Well maybe partially we can. At the start of the season we have started a search to find answers to those questions not just for Arsenal games but for as many games as possible for all teams in the EPL.
We have a small team of referees who review as many games as possible each match day. And as a result we have reviewed 40% of all games in the PL last season.
And our reviewers do this by looking at the games from the first till the last second and review each incident that involves the ref. And we have judged each incident and gave points to the refs.
We now have a database of over 7000 decisions in the PL that we can link to the referees and the teams involved.
Yes our blog is an Arsenal supporters blog but with more than 75% of the games not involving Arsenal we could give you some answers and maybe in a not that biased way. You may like the answers or you may totally disagree with it. But that is the way it is. That is football. And that is the way referees are judged. Not just by the fans but this time by other referees.
So why don’t you take a look in the next days and keep your eyes open to see which team has suffered relegation from the hands of the refs or has survived thanks to the refs. And which team just did it all by themselves?
To find out how well refs did in 2011/12 we analysed their every move. Now we start the reports.
Other stories from Untold…
- Arsenal appoint new reserve boss
- A Van Persie-Giroud Partnership?
- Are Rangers about to follow the Royal Arsenal approach to football
- Giroud is in – but who could it push out?
- Stewart Houston – managed Arsenal twice
- Giroud will score 14 next season
- Football has changed into a killer instinct game
- EuroWatch: England crash out, the French depart and only our German gooners remain. Plus Marco Reus transfer chat
- Why bother with next season when you can read all about it now?