‘BECAUSE HE’S A MATE’ – MIKE DEAN CONFIRMS WORST FEARS AROUND PGMOL

by .

We’ve said for a long time that PGMOL isn’t fit for purpose and referees in our country, for a variety of reasons, are not up to the standard.

Some basics have had my alarm bells ringing for a long time.

  • They are predominantly from the North of England (37%) with 0% from London
  • They are all English – I flag this because football teams have a diverse range of nationalities – why? Because they are picking from the best.
  • Up until last week, they were all white
  • The only severe accountability for poor performance has been one firing. For perspective, 17 Premier League managers were sacked last year.

If you were to build out an approach to creating a system of accountable refereeing that put a priority on performance and fairness – they way we have it right now would not cut muster.

Certain teams seem to be on the end of worse decisions, consistently

Certain referees have very disturbing patterns against certain teams

There is no consideration of regional bias when mapping referees to games

Certain managers have the ability to move refs off their games

The only consistency is the inconsistent application of the rules

So when Mike Dean goes on a podcast 3 months after giving up football and brazenly talks about not giving a decision…

“because he is a mate”

“I think I didn’t want to send him up because I didn’t want any more grief than he already had”

… questions will be asked.

There is a segment of people in media who think fans are absolutely mad for creating theories around how refs officiate – now they can all stand down, because one of the most notorious refs of the past decade just gave up the goods and told the world what we already knew – decisions aren’t based on the facts of the game, they’re wrapped in emotion.

If you can fudge a decision because you empathise with a mate, you are not a serious official. You are not above bias, you are not above partisanship, you are not above revenge, you are not mature enough to look beyond your own personal feelings of disdain towards characters you simply don’t like. That is a problem when your decisions impact lives.

One of the most famous referees in PGMOL history just admitted he took one for the team to protect a mate from grief. This gives an incredible amount of weight to the ‘not fit for purpose’ crowd. I’ve seen headlines that say ‘this will feed conspiracies’ which is amusing, because it’s not feeding anything bar the truth we all knew about.

The framing of this headline is so disappointing – it’s like the writer thinks this is a gaff that shouldn’t have happened. I disagree, I’m glad he said it, because now we have something to fix. This sort of honesty around the problem is much needed – especially as so many of the football intelligentsia have been telling normal fans they are stupid for believing that the only thing going on with refs is a touch of ‘whoopsie.’

The moment merits an external investigation. It needs a reaction. There has to be a longterm plan for how this sort of behavior is fixed. This isn’t a one-off – it’s part of a rotten culture. It is a corruption of the game, it is a sledgehammer through the window of fairness, and it’s a look inside the mindset of a group that has almost no accountability. If a Judge made decisions like this in court, they’d be removed. If an auditor made decisions based on likeability, they’d be sued. People lose their livelihoods based on these decisions and we’ve just found out they are tainted.

This cannot go unaddressed. The first action should be to hire an independent consultancy. There needs to be a root cause analysis of what the problem is and why it is getting worse.

  • Understand the data
  • Interview the refs
  • Interview managers
  • Look at the training
  • Look at the processes around improvement
  • Look at how discipline is dished out
  • Spend time with refs in realtime
  • Come back with recommendations that haven’t been influenced

Mike Dean’s comment has rocked the belief that there is fairness in the game, the severity means the investigations findings should be made public so we can see how PGMOL plan to fix them.

Will anything like that happen? No. Because Howard Webb is one of the boys. His job is to protect referees at all costs – not the integrity of the game. Until we put someone in charge who knows how to be a change agent in a rotten organization, we’ll keep seeing the decline of standards, and we’ll occasionally get snippets like this that confirm our worst fears.

Right, get on the latest podcast.

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raptora

Kiwior in for Tomi.
Gabriel is still on the bench…

Dissenter

Arteta is sticking to the same tactics
In fairness, we’ve been playing league opposition in the lower half of the table.
The true test will be when we play United and spurs

Mikel Coneteta

Andy

Who’s hating on Eddie? I’m being very frank why I think our attack is lacking fluidity. Eddie isn’t a bad player at all, he’s just not close to what’s required to get the most out of this system, or the other players in it – the evidence for that is plentiful.

Is that hating on a player these days? Low fucking bar you have.

Muppetman

Richarlison is shite but he’s an awful person on top of it

Josip Skoblar

Gabriel still on the bench! What’s going on?

raptora

Eddie on the bench, Tross the boss gets a start.

Marko

Apparently Gabriel on the bench but Trossard starts. I’m going for a Havertz goal so people around here will kick start a Maddison conversation or an Almiron love in or whatever.

Gabriel though… there’s absolutely something going on there you don’t start 70+ games to then get dropped and linked with an exit.

Dunchirado

Raptora
Thanks agree with everythings you said

R.S.P.C.Arsenal

Mouth going down with Luton… deffo

Muppetman

Eddie surely has a knock or something?

Dissenter

Iraola will probably be the first manager to get sacked
‘Bournemouth fired the manager that saved their season last year and opened their wallet for this manager
There’s nothing special about him. La Liga ain’t the premier league

Mikel Coneteta

Maddison as Xhaka’s heir makes absolutely no sense at all past the creativity. He’s not physically robust, isn’t a presser, lacks presence, and doesn’t have the movement required of the role.

He’s an Odegaard alternative, and an inferior one at that. Would’ve had him over Vieira, but moot point outside that.

Mikel Coneteta

No way, Eddie benched after his Crystal Palace masterclass? Can’t be right, doesn’t Arteta know he won us a pen?

jwl

Either Arteta has plans to rotate many players this season like Pep does so only a few players get more than 30 league starts or something is going on with Magalhaes.

Mikel Coneteta

I’m with Marko though, why Maddison at Spurs has any blowback to Arsenal is beyond me. He wasn’t a miss in the summer, his signature was 3 years ago and we’re long past it.

The one player in the league I see and think ‘yeah he’d have had it’ is Isaak at Newcastle. All the raw ingredients to tear it up in our system. Pity.

Br0wnie

Balogun’s sale to Monaco really irks me. The kid performs well beyond expectations in France and is barely given a sniff in preseason. Jesus hasn’t been it. Between his lack of scoring, injuries and constant flopping, he’s been a disappointment. Eddie is performing admirably but we only have one true striker. I fear this shortsightedness is going come back to bite us in the ass

R.S.P.C.Arsenal

Commentators n both sky and Bt… are absolutely dog shite…
Not impartial whatsoever ever..
Dreadful

Dissenter

Dropping Eddie isn’t about Eddie over we. It’s about the player who’s been the most on form this season; Trossard
It’s been some sort of travesty that Trossard didn’t start the last two games.

jwl

Eddie was one of the few players who emerged with any credit from our match against palace so I don’t know why he gets punished today when there were a few players who underperformed but we paid a lot of £££ for so I guess they get a pass.

Rich

jwl There maybe something going on with Big Gabby?… But it’s incredibly simple to explain from a tactical perceptive. If Arteta wants Saliba at the centre of a 3, then if we invert the right back, then Saliba needs to be the left sided centre back in defensive transition. If we put Big Gabby to the left of that, he’ll be dropping back in at left back. It’s not an issue when we have the ball, but could be an issue going backwards. Kiwior + Tomi can do it, but it’s not suited to Big Gabby. If we invert the… Read more »

LoveSausage

Finally Tross gets a game. Hopefully we’ll see more of Gabi M and Havertz now that they can link with someone who isn’t a head down merchant.

raptora

Br0wnie,
I choose to trust Artedu on this one. They for sure have a file of Balogun with everything he is, they’ve also watched him during training and what not. The player was literally ours.

If he was all that would they have let him leave? I mean, they did that with Emi Martinez, but they were so green back then.

Now, we should trust them on this or it will be a gigantic fuck up on their part. I think they know what they’re doing re Balo.

andy1886

It is possible to play without an inverting FB you know….Especially if it makes the team worse, which it has to date, no question.

Habesha Gooner

I want us to show our identity and some attacking football this game. We haven’t been free flowing so far this season. And we need to start playing better.

andy1886

Coneteta, thing is ‘the bar’ moves so that when anyone else criticises a player you have the hots for it’s anti-arsenal, but if you do it, that’s perfectly reasonable. Own it.

Mikel Coneteta

Spurs are nothing to write home about, but early signs suggest they’ll be a better team without Kane now the responsibility needs sharing.

Have never understood the idea they’ll be worse off for his sale. One man teams historically don’t do well, and their trophy haul in the Kane years speak volumes.

They’re now a bunch of 6 and 7/10’s who will be more honest about things and push harder imo. Pedro Porro and Romero remain some of my fave defenders to watch, they’re bomb scares.

raptora

andy,
Agreed.
Partey nearly cost us a pen last game and with 10 men vs 11 with over 20 mins to go it, it’s hard to imagine it would have ended well.

It’s not like we created a bunch of chances either. We were quite solid in defence though.

Marko

Richarlison continues to confound people as to why he cost so much. Garbage absolutely garbage. Between him and Anthony we’ve absolutely lucked out with Martinelli

Br0wnie

Rap
The only explanations I can see is that Arteta plans to bring in a big name striker in the next window or he over rates Jesus. I’ll lean to the latter

Mikel Coneteta

Andy

What are you waffling about? Be a big boy and ‘own it’ instead of cryptic nonsense.

Thorough

About time Trossard starts a game. Now let’s mull them.

Bob N16

Helluva bench today!

3 at the back, diamond in midfield. Interesting to see Trossard’s interaction with Martinelli. I suspect we’ll see Martinelli coming inside much more, with Trossard going wide at times.

Assume Zinchenko not considered fit enough for 60 mins or so.

R.S.P.C.Arsenal

Eddie will be chomping at the Bt to get on…
Will score if he does.
Gotta keep it fresh,

MidwestGun

What up y’all.? Need a good win.. set us up for next week. To me the lineup says more about the fitness of Zinchenko then anything else. And Trossard needs minutes to stay sharp.

Pierre

Good to see Trossard starting , not too convinced by kiwior but I suppose Arteta knows what he’s doing ….doesn’t he?

Fulham at home is as easy as it gets at the moment so one would expect a pretty comfortable victory , would b good to see Havertz get off the mark to silence a few of his doubters , though I fear we have a player who will never be accepted by a proportion of the fans.

R.S.P.C.Arsenal

Well explained Rich,

Bob N16

People seem to ignoring the fact that many of our best performances last season were when Zinchenko played as the inverted FB. I’d agree that Partey is better played as a CM, but Timber being injured as well as Zin being not quite fit to start, means that Partey steps up.

I don’t think Arteta has completely discarded the Gabriel/Saliba partnership but wonder whether there is still an uncertainty about whether Gabriel could still be sold. Ridiculous that the Saudi window closes a couple of weeks after UEFA window.

GoonerDave

Porro is dog turd defensively. Hercule Poirot would be better and he’s been dead for years.

andy1886

Coneteta, let’s cut to the chase with a simple question, why did you list various stats highlighting Eddie’s impact on the game and NOT list the single most important factor – he earned the winning penalty? Is that balanced? Is that fair to the player? Or is that an agenda?

Muppetman

You cannot say Spurs are a better team without kane. Total bollocks, so if Kane played today instead of Richarlison he wouldn’t have scored and they wouldn’t have won!?

Habesha Gooner

I had hoped to see Zinchenko and Gabriel from the start today. Arteta is still sticking with inverting Partey from right back. It hasnt worked so far. But I hope it does today.

Samesong

Pierre

Like with all teams there’s always that one player that will cause doubt. On the flip side let’s not get overly gassed if he does score today.

Habesha Gooner

Spurs rent playing better because kane left. They would have been much more dangerous with him and maddison behind him. The difference is the coach. I hate to say it but this ange guy knows what he is doing.

allezkev

Should see Zinchenko and Jesus get some minutes in the 2nd half in preparation for Man Utd, Gabriel will probably be back for that one?

Habesha Gooner

arent*

raptora

Hab, it has worked to an extend. 6 points in 2 games points to that. If it was a fail we wouldn’t have won. If it’s been a success it’s an entirely different thing. I personally don’t like it. Mostly because we’ll wear and break Partey and we’ll be done for.

Samesong

Bournemouth are quite shit tbh. Relegation fodder.

Habesha Gooner

Rap
yeah, we got the results but we werent playing like a title winning attacking team. Chances have been few and far in between. I am speaking from that stand point. We havent been at free flowing best. Lets see though. it hasnt failed but it hasnt been a roaring success so far.

Mikel Coneteta

Andy The discussion was about overall impact on Saka, Martinelli, Odegaard, and Havertz performances – with reference to last seasons malaise when Eddie replaced Jesus. A single action doesn’t negate an overall contribution, especially when talking about it being a repetitive issue, not sure how that escapes you. You’re content with Eddie because he won a penalty, bully for you. I think he was the major factor causing our lack of fluidity and tepid performance from the supporting cast in attack (as I described) whilst he should’ve put the game to bed much earlier anyway. But he won a penalty… Read more »

jwl

I understand that Rich but Arteta is still making choices and Magalhaes has gone from player with most minutes last season to being on bench for first three matches of this season. I guess we’ll see when zinny is back if gabby gets reintegrated into starting eleven or remains on bench.

Mikel Coneteta

Habesha

Pure conjecture. They had good coaches when Kane was there and won nothing, why? Because they funnelled everything through the tongue biting mong, intentionally or otherwise.

Him leaving demands 5% more from everyone as a minimum, and football is a team sport. Good teams are better than average teams with a star player.

Habesha Gooner

I am okay with the experimental line up. We were playing one way last season and that was by inverting Zinny. We looked like we run out of ideas when he was out. But the experiment has to work and get the best out of our players. We need to see a lot more attacking threat today. The Chemistry between Partey and Saka, Martinelli and Kiwior (Tomi the other day) has to be better. Saka and White on one side with Zinchenko and Martinelli the other was doing wonders for us. I hope we really put in a performance with… Read more »

Bilbo

There are far too many early conclusions being drawn here – Havertz, Partey at RB, Martinelli and Havertz chemistry, Spuds without Kane. The season is long, let’s let things settle a bit, get some data and then look to draw conclusions from it rather than mine something from the little we have that supports entrenched views?

Habesha Gooner

MC I agree that Football is a team sport. But having a star man isn’t a bad thing. Spurs have had one good coach during Kane’s spurs time. The rest were Dinosaur managers that liked to play negative football. And the only time spurs were looking like they were going to win something was under Pochettino. And Iane wasn’t a hindrance for his team. You mean to tell me that if Kane played instead of Richarlison today, they wouldn’t play better than this? They would take more of their chances. The idea that when you have an elite player you… Read more »

Rich

jwl If Zinchenko comes back in, and Big Gabby doesn’t get reinstated… Then we can conclusively deduct that there’s a problem. But what we’re currently doing with Partey tucking in from the right, alongside wanting Saliba dictating play at the centre of a 3…. Points to it being a genuine tactical decision. This is one of the reasons I wanted Caicedo, he’d have been elite playing that Partey role, and would also have given us different options to use him if circumstances dictated. I still suspect that if we could get the right fee for Partey to facilitate Zubimendi, that… Read more »

Nigel Tufnel

The Gabriel thing worries me. Not the least

Un

What does Havertz bring that Maddison doesn’t? Presence Height Ariel threat Can play with back to goal Better movement off the ball Runs behind Timing Defensively superior Maddison is a great little player but we’ve got players like him We needed someone who brings things that we don’t have Havertz is a unique player in our squad Give him time I can understand why some don’t like him but I would urge those people to give him time Arteta specifically made a beeline for him as soon as the window opened He wants HIM. Not someone like him. That was… Read more »

Un

Big Gabby

I feel an “I told you so” coming on. Could be an erection though.

Tom

Conteta, what you’re saying would make sense if they took the Kane money and rebuild their mid with it. But they didn’t.
Maddison and Sarr were already there before Kane final decision was made and these two, and Bissouma, have been the difference for Tottenham this early in the season.

The idea Kane was holding them back and not the pitiful mid and clownish lloris is just silly.

Nigel Tufnel

Always thought Maddison was a great player. Thought of him as only AM but they have him dropping quite deep to start things off. I hate spurs but they did get a bargain. They desperately needed a main man, so he’s free to do whatever he likes. It’s a perfect role for him.

MidwestGun

I’d like to think Teta has decided to save Zinchenko for the big end of the season and the CL… whilst he finds a different way to play while keeping the same attacking system 3-2-2-3. Not many teams can switch players around like that and have several styles of play except perhaps City. So… if it clicks could be huge, on the other hand changing so many things is always risky. As for Big Gabby he will still have a role to play… Saliba won’t play every game. He had a pretty serious back thing last season. And at times… Read more »

Nigel Tufnel

Un,
Havertz also presses and wins the ball.
But if it’s not in goal highlight videos, they don’t see it. Then they go online and say “he’s not doing anything! “.

Bilbo

Rich, you’re right about Caicedo in Partey’s inverted RB role. Re: Zubimendi, hasn’t he regularly restated his desire to stay at Sociedad for the rest of his career?

Pierre

Coneteta seems quite an angry person، maybe he should try to chill out a little..

Samesong

4-0 Arsenal

Nigel Tufnel

On Gab… it seems it’s all down to the opponents. He wants this setup against lesser teams it seems. At least he’s consistent. We need to keep Gab engaged though. After playing every game this can feel like a slap from the manager.

Mikel Coneteta

Habesha No, I’m not making speculative hypothetical scenarios pitting Richarlison against Kane because what is the point? I’m saying a player that’s so far ahead of his peers has exited the room and it’ll mean a complete blank canvas for many of the remaining players without that looming figurehead every week. They’ll benefit from that imo and be a much better team because of it, their performances will likely be more consistent and so will their threat. Previously it was whether or not Kane was at the races, it can’t/won’t be that anymore. Tom I’m not saying Kane held them… Read more »

jwl

And it’s Arsenal,
Arsenal FC,
We’re by far the greatest team,
The world has ever seen …

goona

COYG!! need to get an early goal!!

Mikel Coneteta

Pierre

You can read and understand tone as well as you gauge strikers, well done.

allezkev

Yeah, 4-0 would be nice.

Karsa

Arteta doesn’t rotate. People complain.

He rotates. People still complain.

MidwestGun

Here we go!!

MidwestGun

Terrible error.. damn.

Samesong

That worked out well

Habesha Gooner

Why do we start so crap?? FFS

Useroz

FFS

that makes the game more even,interesting

hahaha

Chrispy

Wow

Dissenter

Another season, another crappy start

GoonerB

What an abysmal start.

Oh well, nothing changes. Score lots, still the whole game left.

goona

WTF!

Spanishdave

We are poor starters Arteta needs to sort it out.
Terrible

goona

Sloppy!

TheBayingMob

Dreadful start

R.S.P.C.Arsenal

Dearie fucking me….

Dissenter

Fulham exploiting the Partey inverted midfielde crap
They won’t be the last

Patrick

As I said, look at Ange’s history, not Tottenham’s.

allezkev

Bournemouth revisited?

Useroz

Cmon Martinelli….

Use the left foot and you’d be 1 v 1

R.S.P.C.Arsenal

We look dreadful…chasing already now… fucking wrong

psuedo warrior

This club ain’t winning the title in a million years under Arteta lads. There’s just too much chaos, too much emotion in his game plan.

City are so composed and ice cold

goona

Manure score LOL

TheBayingMob

What the fuck is going on with teams burying the one chance they get!? I’m fucking bored of it. The cunt even miss hit that and it went in. I’ll be surprised if Fulham get another shot on target in the 1st half.

Spanishdave

ManU two nil down in 4 mins
New manager coming up

LoveSausage

The whole Partey at RB thing has been a mistake waiting to happen. Now it’s happened.

R.S.P.C.Arsenal

Get partly gone

Un

Oh shit we are losing

Aaron

We have got to have some kind of record for the quickest goals conceded at home.

Let’s go!

R.S.P.C.Arsenal

Would rather play waltersthere than tp

Un

Pseudo

Shhhhh 🤫