Gooners shouldn’t blame the referees for not winning trophiesPosted: August 13, 2012
Read a very interesting article in Untold Arsenal regarding the decisions some referees make and the impact those decisions have against a team. It was indeed a very nice read, and I am grateful to writers- Dogface and Walter Broeckx for providing such stats.
Having said that, let me make an analysis regarding these stats. Firstly let me start with home games. As stated in the article the main purpose of it is to highlight who has derived the most benefit and the least benefit from such decisions. At the Emirates, Arsenal have come out worse, among all the teams in the premier league. The same thing has occurred away. The best part is also that it does not even even out, as stated clearly in the article. So that theory of ’it even out for all the teams’ CANNOT be applied to Arsenal, infact it cannot be applied to any team other than Swansea.
Also, these are points made by the author, and his team of experts. They are NOT facts.
This is an important assumption because in reality I don’t agree with the decision given by the author on certain referee calls. I remember Koscielny committing a foul in the Norwich game at the Emirates, whilst replay showed it to be a clear penalty, UA said it was a fair tackle. Although that is just one incident, it would be rude to pass judgement so quickly.
So, for everyone’s sake I will assume each score for each team is true with no error.
Arsenal is the most unfortunate team in the world based on these stats. And via an in-depth study of these statistics, that will be the most logical inference. My point however is really simple.
Is is the clubs job to take into account referee decisions while preparing for matches, or is it the job of the management which includes the players to play and win ?
Lets say for example, Arsenal are facing Spurs at home. Its a Thursday afternoon, and kick-off is on Saturday. The players are motivated, and are ready for the match. Infact they can’t wait to pick up 3 points. On the day of the match Arsenal get 10 good chances to score, but they don’t manage to do so – Of those 10 chances 8 are wrong calls from referees which stopped play. If these were correct and play was allowed to move on then these ”could” have led to 8 goals. 2 are actual mistakes by respective players. At the end of the day Spurs get a penalty which was also a wrong call, they score and win. As a manager what is in Wenger’s hands, or in other words what can he control. Is it the finishing of his players, the performance of each segment of his team – attack, midfield, and defense, OR the referee decisions ?
Should Wenger write a letter to the FA explicitly stating that if the referees are not changed Arsenal will not play another match in the league. Should Arsenal or any other team be allowed the special privilege to hand-pick referees, linesman etc before games. Or should the team move on, and learn. Acknowledge that they should have finished the game off when they had the chance.
I discussed the above issue with a friend of mine, and he pointed out something which was indeed very true. For people to say that a result would have been different because of a singular event occurring – or not occurring, is unprovable. A throw-in not given can easily lead to a goal just as much as a penalty not given – never mind the fact that a penalty not given might be missed even if it was given. This is true because a decision given for Arsenal may or may not lead to a goal. Similarly, a decision given against Arsenal may or may not lead to a goal. For example – If its a corner given against Arsenal, they have a chance to concede, but at the same time Arsenal can also defend the corner and score in a counter-attack.
Manchester United who are the 4th most fortunate team in the league finished second. Stoke finished 14th and they are number one. This proves 2 things. Firstly, if a team has been given a call which favours them, they have to make it count. A penalty given and not scored is equivalent to a chance wasted, irrespective of the fact that the player dived to get it. That is why the first reaction to a situation like that is ‘justice has been served.’
Secondly, those teams given decisions against them have to retaliate like champions in order to achieve what they want. Manchester City won the title, and they sit 17th with a score of -0.595. They won 10 of their 19 away games, drawing 4, and losing 5.
Nobody remembers the Ryan Babels’s dive which led to the 3rd goal for Liverpool when they faced Arsenal in the champions league in 2007. Everyone remembers Arsenal being knocked out with an aggregate score 4-2.
Arsenal can actually do something this season. But there is no guarantee that referee calls shall not go against them. Furthermore its not as if these calls are pre-planned events. Its part and parcel of the game, and fans should try live by it (although I understand it being difficult for most of us, including me).
Sometimes after a match we rightly criticize referees.
But I ask you – Through-out a season (in the long-run) is it fair for us to be pointing fingers at one person as the sole reason for Arsenal not getting 3 points – or as matter of fact, for them not to win trophies ?
Is it ?