By Walter Broeckx
The ref in the game Sunderland – Arsenal is Anthony Taylor. Taylor was born in Manchester (ouch) and lives in Cheshire. I’ve heard about the cheese but never really tasted it. And as I am a cheese lover if anyone can tell me how it looks and how the flavour is I might go out and see if I can find it over here. But never mind the cheese, we are here for the ref. [Dense and crumbly - Ed].
He is one of the younger refs with only 34 years and he has been a ref in the PL since 03/02/2010. So he has just celebrated his 3 years in the PL. This means that …well we don’t really have that much data on him.
And if you don’t have much data it is more difficult to predict the behaviour of the ref. So this preview has to be taken with a pinch of salt [or cheese - Ed] as too many things are still unclear about this ref. But of course we will give you the data we have and some nice round things that are called graphics.
Let us start with Arsenal and from now on I will add the overall win percentage of each team in this preview. This is based on all the games played until the end of January 2013. That is if the Premier League site is accurate and can be trusted. If not, shoot at the site of the PL. Not at me.
But here we go with the win/draw/lost numbers of Arsenal.
And in a graphic this looks something like this
And the next step is to compare this with the numbers from the ref. But alas Taylor has only done 5 Arsenal games so far and this are his numbers in those 5 games.
And in a graphic this looks like this
You will have noticed I used two different types of graphics. This is not to show how smart (or dumb) I am but I did this in the hope that you would tell me which type is the most clear of those two so you can say what to use in the future if possible.
But on to the numbers. As I said only 5 games. The good thing is until now we never lost a game with him in charge. But I remember last year him not having his best day in the game Arsenal – Norwich in which we had a 3-3 draw and Norwich kicked us off the park and resulting in the second leg break of Sagna. We also had him when we won in Reading with 2-5 in the league earlier in December. Let’s hope for a Reading game then.
Let us move on to the Sunderland stats in the PL. Based on 443 games as in their history they have gone up and down a bit.
Put these numbers in a graphic and they look like this
So now let us move on to the stats of the ref when Sunderland is on the field. And so far ref Taylor has done 9 games of Sunderland so this can give us a better view of the way he has treated them.
And if you put these for Sunderland astonishing numbers compared to their overall win % you see this
So just as with Arsenal they (Sunderland) have never lost a game with Taylor in charge. And that for a team who loses almost half of their games in general. This is a bogey-reverse ref for them. In the process he has given them 2 penalties. And their last game under Taylor is only 3 weeks ago. Because on 19/01/2013 they won with 2-3 at Wigan. Giving them a penalty for a handball in that game when Sunderland was 1-0 behind. Don’t know if the penalty was correct but he never gave a penalty against Sunderland so far. Only in their favour. He gave no penalties in favour of Arsenal but also none against us so far.
It is a bit astonishing that they give Taylor two games within a month with Sunderland. I think this is not really how things should be. But well who am I and well we know the ways of God are mysterious but the ways of the PGMOL are even beyond mysterious?
So the little data is encouraging but also a bit frightening. One could say a draw is on the cards if you look at the stats of both teams so far.
And to end this review let us link to the numbers we had of Taylor of last season. You can find them here.
Not a good total score in competence but this was only based on 5 games so again not really much data. But again we see some strange things. Because in general this ref had a negative home bias. So he was more friendly for the away teams. Last season he did Sunderland – Liverpool and he was rather biased in favour of Liverpool and he also did Arsenal – Norwich as said and with a rather big bias for Norwich, so in both cases for the away teams.
In fact both Arsenal and Sunderland where the number 1 and 2 victims of his bias. And despite this bias Sunderland and Arsenal didn’t lose.
So what is my final conclusion? Well….er…that there is no final conclusion on this ref. We don’t have enough data to start with. But the data we have is rather surprising and confusing at times. I do know that I am glad he isn’t our ref when we do Norwich. He has done some strange things in their favour last season.
So the only thing we can do is hope and pray that he will be unbiased for both teams. After all that is the only thing we want from any ref.
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