Let’s discuss VAR and compare Michael Oliver’s stats against Arsenal and Man City

As we witnesses yet another VAR debacle in the Scotland versus Spain match, I looked up the referee in that game and, lo and behold, he was involved in a match fixing allegation that found him innocent of all charges.

Then, twenty minutes after the Scots’ goal was ruled out for one infringement, that explanation was taken down and another reason given for having the goal disallowed… after the game had restarted of course!!!

But weren’t we told that, in the spud/pool game, the game has to continue, even though a clear and obvious mistake had been made?

So that’s cleared one thing up for me then – you can change the reason why a goal was disallowed twenty minutes later, but you can’t correct a mistake 30 seconds after the PGMOL have made a mistake.

That brought me back to Howard Webb’s explanation of why we didn’t see two yellow cards (or even two red cards) in the recent Arsenal City game, although Mr Webb did admit that was what should have happened.

It was because Michael Oliver didn’t want to spoil the game by making it 11 versus 10 in such an important game.

Now I’ve searched everywhere in the rulebook for referees to find such an important rule, but to date, I haven’t found it.

Then I thought, what if Odegaard or Rice had been injured enough to have been substituted, would there be a rule that Oliver could then use to ensure it remained unspoilt, such as city’s captain having to be substituted or Rice’s equivalent to be substituted… but guess what? There doesn’t seem to be a rule covering that either!!

However, as history tells us, Michael Oliver, in the space of thirty seconds, issued Martinelli with two yellow cards, resulting in a 11 versus 10 situation, with no thought about keeping THAT important game unspoilt, and I wondered just what Michael Oliver’s record was regarding our club and Man City with regards to such decisions.

I started to trawl the Internet and came across this remarkable piece of work from another Arsenal fan, (and backed up by Transfrmkt stats).

Michael Oliver has, while REFEREEING both The Arsenal and Manchester City in the PL:

1. Produced more red and yellow cards to The Arsenal players than any other PL club.

2. Has awarded more penalties against The Arsenal than any other PL club.

3. Has awarded fewer yellow cards to City than any of the top eight clubs.

4. Has not issued one single red card against City.

5. Has awarded City eleven penalties.

Now, I have watched all the PL clubs that have graced the PL since Michael Oliver started to referee there and, from the stats above, find it very hard to understand why The Arsenal seem to be the club that infringes the rules most, have given away the most penalties under him – while City have been the paragons of virtue, with not one single red card, fewer yellow cards than Liverpool, Manchester United, The Arsenal, Everton and Spurs, and have been so sinned against, that Michael has seen fit to award them eleven penalties (remember he’s issued the most AGAINST The Arsenal) in this great piece of detective work.

I will leave it to others to try and explain this and will leave you with one last thought – if Mike Dean and Michael Oliver can “invent” rules, in order to, either, help out a fellow referee or to keep 11 versus 11 no matter what happens on the field of play (and backed up by the leader of the PGMOL in the latter incident) why on earth do we have a rule book for referees and why bother with VAR anyway?!

No wonder they don’t want the paying public to hear how they come to their decisions!!

A very dissatisfied, mystified and corrupted…



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  1. I have long call for the legendary Italian referee, Pierluigi collina to assist PGMOL , It would have been a massive travesty of justice had Arsenal lost to the champion.

    PGMOL needs outside help and they needs it fast.

  2. Great info. I think Arsenal knew about Michael Oliver’s stats and didn’t report it because they won the game

    If the referee incompetency continues till the end of the season, I bet it will affect EPL credibility. Hopefully there will be no Calciopoli in England, but I’m waiting to see the development of Man City’s legal case

      1. I presume he means the 115 charges levelled against City by the Prem league and THAT ongoing investigation.

        1. Every arsenal fan knows what it means already when arsenal plays any manchester team.and so long as horwad webb is the head of PGMOL, of which we all know where his favourism lies, never expect errors that occured against arsenal will be rectified.the current officiating system in the epl is a scam wether they arebin support of arsenal, liverpool, manchester or whatever……the only solution is a change on the whole system….something isnt right at all in the PGMOL and if it isnt gonna be worked on then watch mancity win the league again, whether genuinely or not, PGMOL is already in the mansour’s pockets.

              1. Yes, and I presume that was made abundantly clear. Though it is uinclear why you, as moderator, felt the need to comment on it.

                1. Perhaps because you used the word fallacy Jon?
                  That was the opinion of Vargas and he could come straight back at you, with your fallacy that referees don’t cheat.

              2. Jon, something doesn’t smell right for some time now, The legendary Arsne Wenger once said ” If I die, am going to ask God where the referees are before choosing between heaven and earth”

                The frustrations are real

                1. GS – fans of other clubs feel the same. You’ve surely heard the “same old arsenal, always cheating” chants when the crowd felt something went our way (often wrongly but far from always).

                2. GS Arsene was well known for witty turn of phrase but simply being witty does not make one right. Arsene was, like almost all managers, I HAVE EVER COME ACROSS, ALWAYS BIASED TOWARDS HIS TEAM.

                  FIND ME ONE WHO WASN’T and I will then show you an extremely rare manager. ITS THE NATURE OF THE BEAST.
                  Expecting completely unbiased managerial remarks is naive in the extreme. I factor bias in actually and that includes all fans, me included.

  3. Extremely interesting lot of stats KEN! I would love to have more flesh on the bones of those stats first, before saying too much more.

    On the bare face of things your stats look damning indeed. How many cards average PER GAME red-yellow, what average per red -yellow per game per ref, for example. Given that OLIVER GETS MORE THAN HIS FAIR SHARE OF TOP LEVEL GAMES, IT IS IMPORTANT TO KNOW THE LONG TERM AVERAGE CARDS PER GAME. And how that compares with other refs!
    As you have the stats you do, presumably you willl also have what I ask for? I am loathe to ever accuse refs of cheating, BUT if you have absolute proof, I will be keenly interested.

    1. A ref should be consistent unless they’d be accused of things like this. Oliver is one of the least consistent. Hence the accusations

  4. Check the referee – his name is Serdar Gozubuyuk a Dutch referee.
    Just Google it Jax.

    No Jon, the allegations were made against the above referee and had nothing to do with the charges against city.

    I suggest you also Google him, along with Michael Oliver’s Transfmkt stats via Google.

  5. Sorry Jon, I should have added that I just looked at Michael Oliver’s stats, following on from the city game… but you can check every referee’s stats yourself
    Mike Dean’s would be an interesting read – over to you!!

    1. Ken, Having just checked google stats for all Prem refs for last five seasons, Oliver has only ONCE exceeded any otherrref for reds, in season 2021-21(two years ago) when he gave seven. He is well down the average list of reds and yellows for all other seasons, however I can find nothing to say how many he gave us by comparison to other clubs.

      Dean however DOES HAVE A HIGHER AVERAGE REDS for several seasons prior to his retirement.
      Not sure it tells us anything we did not aleady know, esp in Olivers case . I ignored that Dutch ref as I was not interested in him at all.
      I would say that refs do TRY to manage games to kep them fron giving excess reds yellows( esp prior to this season)and this tactgic sometimes makes some fans think they act unfairly.

      I do not accept that theory. Though I notice almost ALL players routinely cheat and claim things , throw ins,corners, free kicks, diving for pens, which they KNOW they have not earned. IRONIC!!

  6. On 3, 4 and 5, how many yellow and red cards and penalties do city get overall compared to the other top 8 and the rest of the league? Could it not be that they commit relatively few bad fouls? And that they are more likely to obtain penalties due to their style of play causing more pressure on defenders and increasing the likelihood of them getting legitimate penalties?
    1 and 2 look more damning, but I’d want to see raw numbers before drawing any strong conclusions. We did have some calamitous defenders until fairly recently, who might not have been particularly dirty, but were prone to brain farts, and our proneness to counter attacks often did put us under undue pressure.
    Overall, these kinds of numbers do need context – you’d really need to know how many cards and penalties were *unfair* compared to city and the rest of the league. I’m not really sure the answer can be found in statistics, but you never know, I suppose.

    1. DAVI I am constantly suspicious of somefabne who use stats slavishly to make out a case fro whateve rthet want t believe It is almost impossible to get a comprehensivelist of stats and inFULL CONTEXT, ajust as su say, thatv proves anything I have sen obnothing that prove sanything and take a lot odf notice of t conext you outline so sensibly. I have never thought and sti dont, that refs are cheats.

      However almost all, EXCEPT REFS, INVOLVED IN OUR GAME ARE EITHER BIASED, OR CHEATS, OR BOTH. Refs are easy meat for constantly own team biased fans to falsely accuse. Sigh!

      And a non cheating player is extremely rare in my experience!

      1. Needles to say, I fully agree Jon.
        The trouble is, cheating by refs does happen, or can (as shown in Italy years ago) – identifying it is virtually impossible from our position, though. Given than it’s unrealistic for us to identify it from here, I tend to follow “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity” – which is apparently called Hanlon’s razor. (stupidity being aimed at the mistake, not the referees – I’m sure I’d make endless stupid mistakes in their position)

          1. So your not in complete agreement with Jon then Davi, because this is the very first time that Jon has actually said that referees DO cheat – it just needs Dan to also say the same thing and we will have a full house…. then we can all agree that refs who cheat are corrupting the game can’t we?

            1. “then we can all agree that refs who cheat are corrupting the game can’t we?”
              Bit of a jump there – when it happens, yes, but you have to prove it’s happened, and these kinds of stats and individual bad decisions don’t come close to that.

              1. Davi, please just Google refs who have cheated – I don’t have to prove anything, as it’s out thee for all to see…. if one wants to of course.

                1. I googled those words and the first thing that comes up is something that includes Walcott admitting he dived to win a penalty – bit OT but funny nonetheless.
                  Next is a ranting article from Chris Sutton, then one about a ref from the Scottish league who cheated, then it moves onto other sports and topics.
                  I tried to narrow it down to English football specifically and the best we have is mark halsey saying he was told by the fa to say he hasn’t seen certain incidents. It talks about Aguero being banned for 3 games for an elbow which was apparently incorrect..
                  I’m not sure what you were expecting me to find.

                  1. You didn’t drill down very far then did you?
                    There’s an article about Barca paying off over 30 referees, along with referees in Scotland being found out to have influenced the old firm derbies for example.
                    That’s what I expected you to find, just by being a little bit more genuine in your efforts to find out what has gone on.

                    I note with great interest, however, that you have not condemned referees who do not follow the rules of the game (Dean and Oliver for example) and, in fact, decide what to do outside of the rule book.

                    Is that not cheating and, therefore, corrupting the game as it is meant to be played and officiated?

                    1. “Is that not cheating and, therefore, corrupting the game as it is meant to be played and officiated?”
                      In my opinion, yes, but “corrupting the game” (as you put in an intentionally emotive way) is different from a referee being corrupt, which is what you were trying to say with your facts in the article
                      I was genuine – you made it sound like this would be an easy find, and it wasn’t. But it’s irrelevant… So because corrupt refs exist, oliver, specifically, is corrupt?

        1. YES ref cheating HAS happened but it is SO rare, that whn it does, once in a blue moon , pardon the City pun, unintended, it is massive news.

          Meanwhile routine cheating goes on in all games, by almost EVERY PLAYER and is SO COMMON, that no one even remarks much on it. TALK ABOUT HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT.


            1. Deflection Ken? OR as i prefer to call it, CONTEXT!
              YOU may well be talking only of refs, as you so ofte do and always accuse someof cheating.

              I , by contrast, do not accept your theory that refs cheat-though of course,in football history, there are always the very rare exceptions , SO rare as to be unimportant IMO.

              I far prefer putting the whole debate in true context, which is why I spelledout loudly and clearly , the SUPREME IRONY of almost all fans being biased, no matter what their team and Gooners are no exception.

              I wrote an article not long ago on cheating, where I DEBUNKED THE SPURIOUS BUT COMMON FAN CLAIM THAT REFS CHEAT.
              AND, USING FULL CONTEXT, I SAID THAT ALMOST ALL OTHERS CONNECTED WITH FOOTBALL, DO CHEAT, THOUGH REFS DO NOT. Being baised IS cheating and almost ALL fans are biased. Or would you try to even deny THAT TRUTH!?

              1. Well then Jon, write an article proving that players cheat, with the actual proof.
                I promise I won’t bring referees into the debate, in order to deflect from what you consider to be a serious topic.
                Now don’t forget to use actual evidence, such as the case with Sheffield Wednesday players…. there must be thousands more, as you are SO adament about it.
                I look forward to reading it.

                1. The incredible thought that you dont accept that most players routinely cheat is so insulting to my intelligence that I MUST IGNORE YOUR LUDICROUS REQUEST.

                  What about the constant appealing for fouls, when the perpetrator knows it is the other way around? Likewise for corners, throw ins, free kicks, diving or not diving. Almost ALL players are incredibly biased toward their own team, as are fans.

                  If you seriously think I need to write another article on cheating to “prove” that players cheat, we must be inhabiting different planets.
                  I remain firmly on Planet Earth. What is YOUR PLANET!!

                  1. But you HAVEN’T written an article citing the PROOF that you demand for recognising referees who cheat have you?

                    You go on about actual instances, but never give them yourself regarding players.

                    Appealing for throw ins etc are spur of the moment actions, ignoring the rule book and inventing ones own idea about an incident is not.

                    So I await your article of proof laden incidents with interest

                    1. PERHAPS YOU HAVE FORGOTTEN HOW TO READ! Seems so, as you totally ignored what I told you in my post. Seems you ARE on Planet Zob after all.
                      And though refs who you claim “cheat” is your obsession, I am simply bored reading the same old stuff time after time.

                      No further debate on this KEN, AS WHAT WOULD BE THE POINT!

                      YOU REFUSE TO ACCEPT WHAT I SAY AND I wont repeat it any more. NUFF SAID!!

                    2. Never mind Jon, I’ll do it for you in the next couple of days – The heading will be along the lines of :
                      Players Who Interpret The Rules to suit their needs but don’t cheat – hold on to your hat!!

  7. According to the link, he’s given us 4 reds in 46 EPL games, which is joint 2nd with Leicester and behind Everton?
    It’s high on the list, but still, there’s a few clubs on 3 reds in fewer matches. And Leicester got their 4 reds in 35 games, 11 fewer than us.
    The yellows are more concerning to me because we are top of that list, though, again, he’s refereed a lot of arsenal games compared to most teams, so I don’t think we received the most yellows per game.

    1. Clicking on the “detailed” tab, in those 46 arsenal games, oliver has given more yellows to opponents than arsenal players (102 vs 82) and the same number of red cards (4).

        1. Well I haven’t seen any numbers for Oliver in those specific fixtures. I agree kovacic should have been sent off against us and oliver’s reasoning is completely wrong, but that doesn’t demonstrate a pattern of behaviour favouring them over us?

          1. So you don’t think that two yellow cards in 30 seconds for Martinelli , thus reducing 11 to 10 versus not booking city player in order to keep 11 versus 11 does not show a pattern of behaviour favouring city over Arsenal?

                1. You really are burying your head in the sand in order to defend your corner.
                  Let’s try another angle, when Oliver sent Martinelli off for two yellow cards in 30 seconds against Wolves, was he using the rule book?
                  I say Yes , you say?
                  Likewise, when he didn’t send off the city player for two bookable tackles, was he using the rule book?
                  I say No, you say?

                  Furthermore, was the two yellow cards issued against Martinelli classed as serious injury incidents, that could have resulted in long term injuries?
                  I say, using the rule book, No, you say?
                  Then I ask you the same question regarding Odegaard and Rice.
                  I say, using the rule book No, you say?

                  If either the Rice or Odegaard incidents had resulted in serious injuries (unlike Martinelli’s two offences of course) would you still be saying that it wasn’t showing an inbalance of punishment and was he using the rule book?.
                  I say Yes it does show an unbalance and No he wasn’t using the rule book, you say?

                  Then ask yourself if that still doesn’t show a balance of behaviour not favouring The Arsenal?
                  I say it does, you say?

                  1. You could pick out two incidents involving any two clubs and say the ref is favouring one over the other – we’re back to the cherry picking problem again.

                    1. So give me an example as blatant as the ones I have described… in actual fact, give me ANY examples where a referee has used the rule book for one instance and ignored it for another to ensure one game remains competitive and the other doesn’t?

                    2. I don’t think it’s hard to imagine a ref being more liberal with the cards in a routine EPL game and then being a bit less so in a big game – the attitude of not wanting to “spoil the spectacle” is not new), but of course I don’t have such easily obtainable examples at my fingertips. However, I’m not the one making the claim of bias/corruption.

                    3. So what’s a routine game for you then Davi and is that when you think a referee can ignore the rulebook and make his own decisions?

                      I wonder what the fans of the clubs that you are about to describe as routine games, think about a fan from The Arsenal feeling entitled enough to think that one game is more important than another and feels this gives the referee licence to do what he wants?

                    4. I didn’t say I think it’s right – in the thread below I said I think it’s wrong – but everyone knows the difference between a routine match and a big one.
                      Don’t get all moralistic on me, you’re the one accusing people of corruption with very little evidence. I expect most wolves fans would agree that arsenal-wolves is not a big game in the grand scheme of things, but to be honest, I don’t really care if anyone was offended or thought I was entitled for having that view.

                    5. Again, your assumption that the Wolves game was not a big one compared to the city game, is mind blowing!!
                      We all have an opinion, so don’t get all moralistic with me either.

                      What you, for some reason that I cannot fathom, will not agree with, is the fact that referees who do not play to the rulebook are corrupting the game!!
                      It doesn’t matter whether it’s a few instances or hundreds of examples, once a referee is given licence to make his own personal decisions (as Dean and Oliver have done) and it is given credence or an explanation as to why they did it by their leader, Howard Webb, then the floodgates have been opened.

                      That’s why Oliver’s stats that I quoted in the article become a topic of conversation, simply because his actions are not within the laws of the game.
                      You’ve said you think it’s wrong, but in actual fact it is wrong.

                    6. “You’ve said you think it’s wrong, but in actual fact it is wrong.”
                      If you would just leave it at that, we’d have no issue. Bringing the facts and figures into it implies you believe these refs are personally corrupt, as opposed to having a different (imo outdated) view on whether a referee has ” licence to make his own personal decisions “. This is an old debate, but it’s not one about individual, personal corruption.

  8. Everyone : Instead of trying to find out more about this or that, why not just compare the FACTS as produced?

    Oliver did not send off a city player who committed, at a minimum, two yellow card fouls – in FACT the first foul against Odegaard was reviewed by VAR as a possible straight red.
    The second was not even reviewed and deemed as a “normal” foul.
    Oliver has never sent off a city player and that FACT deserves to be noted, following those two decisions involving Odegaard and Rice.

    He has issued more red and yellow cards against The Arsenal than any other PL club. That FACT should, at the very least, be acknowledged along with the FACT that he has booked less city players than any of the other top eight clubs.

    The FACT that he issued two yellow cards against Martinelli in thirty seconds, destroying the myth put forward by the PGMOL that he wanted to keep it at 11 versus 11…unless it meant The Arsenal had the 10 men of course.

    He has awarded more penalties against The Arsenal than any other PL club – does that seem palatable to you, when analysing how our player’s actually play the game versus every other PL club – meanwhile awarding city 11 penalties.

    The FACT is that Dean and Oliver have their own rule books, as there is no official ruling that says a referee should cover for another referee who’s having a difficult game (Dean) or that a referee decides to ignore a foul in order to keep any “important” game as 11 versus 11….but having ignored that view in a previous match.
    At the very MINIMUM, shouldn’t there be some kind of punishment and an explanation for the fans!

    As I said in the article, why have a rulebook, if PL referees can, either, ignore the rules or just make some up to suit the occasion… anyone care to address THOSE points, rather than trying to ignore them?!

    1. Ken, FACTS, but without true context, can be and usually are misleading . With full context and only then, facts can give the whole truth . But not without context, where stats are involved.

      1. But Jon, the facts are that Oliver ignored a foul that, according to the rule book, should have been a yellow (Rice) and the reason put forward by Webb, was that he wanted this “important game” to remain 11 vs 11…something not in the rule book, along with Dean’s decision to help a fellow referee who missed a definite sending off and, again, not in the rule book.!!!
        That is corrupting the system is it not?

        Also, you have NEVER answered my simple question – name me one institution that has never been found to have been corrupted. We know for a FACT that this has happened with referees, so WHY you try to defend them as untouchable, incorruptible, honest individuals I cannot fathom.

        Explain to me the two yellow cards in 30 seconds for Martinelli, while the non issue of the second yellow card, benefitting city once again and by Oliver in both cases can be explained.

        1. Ken I dont – and see my post above – say that refs NEVER EVER cheat. Just that it is so incredibly rare that it makes massive news on the extremely rare occasions it is caught.

          However , as i said before, I do accept that refs “manage “games and I DO NOT LIKE OR APPROVE OF IT AT ALL. It us an attempt to keep games as eleven versus eleven and generally that makes for a better game all round.

          Refs are not perfect. In fact the general standard is abysmal, as I HAVE VERY OFTEN SAID.

          But inefficiency is NOT corruption and once again you and I WILL HAVE TO AGREE TO DISAGREE ON THIS . I think, after all these years, you know me better than to think I am gong to change my mind on a matter of personal conviction.

          I know you won’t either, so I end this particular debate here and now!

          1. Such a shame Jon, but at least you have admitted that there are corruptible referees – I do believe that’s a first.
            Let’s hold that admission for future debates.

            1. YES LETS HOLD THAT FOR FUTURE DEBATE . And I will expect you to quote me fully , accurately and NOT cherry pick certain phrases deliberately picked by you, while leaving out the FULL CONTEXT I have used.

          2. “makes massive news on rare occasions”; all the injustices documented against Arsenal and in favour of City by the same guy, can’t be described as “rare”

    2. Not trying to investigate anything new, just trying to add context to the facts you presented (also found that one of them was wrong – he’s given more red cards to Everton than us).
      I agree with you on the specific incidents mentioned (kovacic and martinelli), but for it to be bias vs arsenal, you’d have to be sure he hasn’t made big mistakes against other teams, surely? Spurs and mourinho were making similar complaints a couple of years ago, it seems.
      Oliver has refereed more arsenal games than most other teams, the third most I think. If you break it down by yellows per game etc, the picture changes quite a bit. Our opponents received more bookings than our players in our games, for example.
      And he’s been refereeing for a few years now – the past couple of seasons our defence has been very good, but prior to that we had plenty of players who were prone to the odd mistake, including giving away penalties, and we were often very open to counter attacks, which increases the chances of giving away a penalty – it’s plausible at least.

      1. Davi, as I asked Jon, do you think that he used the same thinking when he yellow carded Martinelli twice in 30 seconds as he did in the recent game against the two clubs?

        If not why not?
        If he did please explain?

        1. So your point is that he was inconsistent in these separate incidents in two separate games? Obviously that’s true, but so what? It doesn’t mean corruption or bias. These are games of different magnitudes that took place months apart.

          1. Sorry, games of different magnitudes that took place months apart?

            So your now arguing that Wolves versus Arsenal at the end of the season is not of the same magnitude as City versus Arsenal at the start of the season?

            Tell that to the fans of clubs who have suffered from referees who believe they can interlarte their own sense of justice!!

            Why not just apply the rules, as written down, for EVERY game, no matter when they took place?

            Isn’t that what a professional referee is paid to do and NOT bring in his own set of rules that favour one club over another?

            1. I completely agree that’s what should be done – if it were up to me, it would be unacceptable for a ref to bend the rules in that way. Unfortunately, this way of thinking (not “ruining the spectacle”) has been around for a long time among refs and others.

                1. No, we don’t. Cheating insinuates that the referee is intentionally favouring one team to help that team to win – the evidence for that is far from clear.
                  What we have is a disagreement over whether the idea that applying leniency in big games to protect the spectacle of the occasion is acceptable. There’s a difference.

                  1. What he did, was protect a city player who should have been sent off and missed the next three games… but hey!! If you think that’s helping the integrity of referees, the game and football in general and doesn’t corrupt the laws of the game, then so be it.

                  2. WELLSAID! Ken will never accept THAT key differnce, that managing games is NOT cheating.
                    I too do not like refs managing games but , like you, I do NOT acept that is “CHEATING” as KEN WILL NEVER ACCEPT.

                    TBH, THE WHOLE Ken obsession with refs and so called “cheating” is now boring, samey and I have heard it so many times before and will not alter rmy view and nor will he, that further debate with him on this subject is pointless.

                    He is like a dog with a bone but I PREFER TO MOVE ON.

    3. Ken I willsay that on occssions the generl rule that most refs DO attempt to “manage” the game , means there will beinconsistencies.
      I too, do not like mananging the game and in fact disapprove of it, But unlike you , I do not think that means refs cheat.

      Simply that refs ought to strictly apply such things as time – leaving aside the sensible view that timekeeping ought not to lie with refs at all, but with an extra official, whose sole job is to time stoppages and stop the clock when they happen.

      TIME MEANS TIME AND THAT SHOULD BE TOTALLY IRRESPECTIVEOF WHAT IS TAKING PLACE WHEN TIME IS UP. To THAT extent, I AGREE with you that “managing” games leads to inconsistencies.

    4. KEN ,in your long running debatew with DAVI, with whom I am intotal agreement, you really are like a dog who will not release a bone You need to accept that manaygof us simply do NOT accept your own biased theory theya refa rountinely cjeat. It make sno sense What DOES mahe sense theough is thdt almost allfans you andi ainclude are biased in favour of our own team abd son eof us, not I but you for sure, canot possibly acept that their rant against cheating refs is incorrect and comes from own team bias. You wi,not win with DAVI nor with me antis and keeping on andon abaou tit just makes tyou okk nmor eammd more like thre dog withthr proberbails bone that you WILL SIMPLY not LET GO iT IS EATING YOU UP jUST DROP IT. Accept instead that refs DO manage – not cheat , but MANAGE games – and that big games are often treated diffeently from run of the mill games That is just how it is and will stay, whatever your constant incorrect claims.

      REALITY, means letting that “bone” go, once and for all Ken!

      Cos however much you write, you will only persuade the already persuaded, which are many. BUT those fans who stand up for truth will NEVER accept your claim.

      1. Jon, I love how you always need a crutch to support your argument… this time it’s Davi!!

        Other times it’s been the “vast majority” or “most logical thinking fans agree with me”!!

        Now I don’t need crutches, I rely on others who think like me and I guess, judging from the posts on this subject, there are others who question the refereeing rule book and how it is or isn’t applied.

        Dog with a bone? I suggest you let go of your bone with Ozil for starters – talk about pot calling kettle.

        Of course, I don’t duck out of answering questions put to me unlike yourself.

        1. As you wish Ken, cos I am bored reading the same old, same old, same old etc. End of debate!

          Seems I hit a nerve with the apt dog/bone analogy though!

  9. @Ken1945, I have long been following a particular Arsenal blog which have taken long time to study the behaviors of referee towards each and every team both home and away.
    And after many years of studying their findings and basing it on what I myself sees doing live games, I can vouch for their findings anywhere.
    In the case of Arsenal they have Mike Dean as the worst Ref Arsenal can get either Home or Away with lots of dubious decisions making, we gets high percent for yellows, Reds and penalty awarded against US while waving off when we get one at the other ends, same fouls other teams not book for in same game we get book for it.
    Next to Dean comes Oliver majorly away from home we get cards almost every first foul when opponents gets talking to twice before getting carded.
    Clatenburg(sorry if I miss the name) and Web are our lucky charm Web mostly home and Clatenburg both home and away.
    So am not surprised by your findings and the excuses been given by Oliver for not sending the city players off will never apply to an Arsenal player Joginho got booked for his first foul while it took Silva like 3 fouls to get booked and such reckless been reviewed means the Ref should have at least check it again. Minutes later another identical reckless foul right in front of the Ref and he would prefer the team are even rather than protect the players had it been Xhaka we all knows what will happen immediately.

  10. Unfortunately Ken many will play the ostrich and deny it until the end of time. Mike dean confession was a damning proof of refs not following the rule book. If i’m a policeman and i see my friend committing a crime, i am not suppose to ‘help’ said friend by not reporting it.

    The fact that mike riley the crooked ref who officiated one of most blatant fixed match aka Arsenal vs man utd which ended our invincible run was the head of PGMOL for years was another. Thats like putting a serial child rapist as judge in the children court, every criminal would be acquitted.

    1. Absolutely 100% correct Ackshay.
      Fans trying to defend Oliver or wanting more evidence are, as you say, burying their heads in the sand

  11. Here in Ethiopia,EPL has many fans, attendees than our national league.Majority support Arsenal.
    What is itching, uncomfortable,is the referring.We get to know football rules by being spectators for decades & errors made are beyond “tolerable” degree.

  12. I wish I can totally disagree with you, but having known and seeing the injustice against The Arsenal I can’t agree any less. I’ve watched David Luiz red-carded for being behind the player with the ball, I’ve seen Xhaka sent off for a shoulder barge against Bernando silver, I’ve seen Man City get off risky tackles and both commentator and Refree says it’s fine. Even martinelli gets sent off for offence that could be overlooked.
    Point remains that mancity and even Manchester United gets favoured alot by the officiating members in games, last season arsenal got robbed more than once
    Brentford’s draw, Newcastle’s penalty appeal, Southampton’s penalty appeal to mention a few and none of these times did mancity get a wrong ref call (I’m open to correction on the idea)

    As long as this body keeps calling the shots with these corrupt members it has, it’s gonna be an agenda against others to win

    1. I thought I was the only one that felt this way. I don’t agree that we lost the cup purely due to injuries. Had all the refs decisions on these calls gone our way as expected, we would have lifted the cup. We lost I think 7 points to poor reffing, which would have been sufficient to lift the EPL.

  13. If it wasnt for crooked refs and VAR, Arsenal would have won the league last year.nit may come to pass that the lenient FA regarding on going charges is also Man City fans.//It is difficult when arguing with anti-Arsenal fans. //it just Shows how pathetic they are anyway to go on an Arsenal website rather than their own team website. Unless of course, their team is so boring and lame, just like their comments on this Arsenal website today. The anti-Arsenal mob, pretending to be Arsenal fans, will no doubt comment on my opinion, and they will swear they are Arsenal fans, but anyone with an ounce of brain can read through their anti- Arsenal opinions and know they are just pretending to be Arsenal Fans. They are known by their anti Arsenal comments. Rather than get into a discussion with them just write the words “anti Arsenal fan- unnoticeable comment”

            1. Mostly for his hounding of Amy Lawerene while she was at The Guardian, but also for his hubris, manipulation of stats and for barring me from his crap blog.
              He does however have a thing for Dylan, so not a complete cnut. IMO.

              1. 😂😂Now why would he ban a gentle soul like yourself Jax?

                He certainly did have a go at her, but she used her position to make some bold accusations, if I remember correctly.

                1. She wrote an article in support of Wenger who was complaining that his forwards didn’t score enough goals, and she pointed out that only two of them had scored more than ten, so had no reason to compare with other PL teams. Attwood went balistic and accused her of deliberately missinforming her readership by not mentioning other teams in this respect, and this has continued sporadically ever since. I’ve got the article URL somewhere for anyone who wants to read it.

                  1. Time to forgive and heal Jax, otherwise you’ll end up bitter and twisted – like those who have Ozil in their heads 😱😱

                    1. Nah! I’ll detest him till I go to the Big Clock End In The Sky.
                      Amy, on the other hand, I will always love.

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