By Walter Broeckx
This article is part of the series of the Referee Review 2013. You can find links to earlier articles on the bottom of this article.
For the next ref in our series we have ref Jonathan Moss. Ref Moss came in to the PL I think two seasons ago. Not the youngest at the time but still young enough to be able to stay in the PL for another 10 years unless the PGMOL changes its policy. And as a result we could only review him in one game. Mind you he got good numbers in that one game.
In the season just behind us ref Moss did 23 games in the PL and we reviewed 12 of his games. That is 52.17% of his games we have been able to cover. So good enough this time to draw some conclusions on this ref. Something we couldn’t do the season before. So how did he do when we look at all the decisions?
Ref Moss had to make 1599 decisions in the 12 games we covered and he had 1444 of them marked as correct. That is a rather impressive score of 90,31% correct decisions! I can tell you now that not many refs have reached the 90% score in total so a very high score and an impressive one. I take a bow for these numbers.
Of course by now you know that judging them as correct is not the same as being correct completely. When we can’t judge a call or when we are not 100% sure he made a mistake we call the decision correct. But it might be that if we had seen other angles we might have seen an incorrect decision. So in general the numbers could be even flattering the refs but this goes for all the refs and not the refs we are looking at today.
But this remark shouldn’t take anything away from his numbers. For all the refs had the same treatment it will show you that some refs performed better than others. And I think we can say that Moss was one of the top performers in the PL. He is a rather low profile ref I think and most people will not know him that well. And that is usually a good sign for a ref. It shows that in general his decisions are being approved by the public and he didn’t became famous with serious mistakes. Now let us look at the important decisions. And just as with Webb some interesting numbers will become visible.
The only bad number in the important decisions table is the second yellow cards. He got them all wrong. I admit this sounds far harsher than it really was since it was only 1 wrong decision in total. You can argue about the yellow cards themselves but compared to most other refs this is a rather high score.
And if we look at the foul/free kick decisions we can again only say that these numbers are very much above average. And I have said it before that when a ref is strict from the first minutes in his game and Moss usually is such a ref the teams feel the ref is not there to be messed around and they will drop their physicality to an acceptable level. And as a result the ref usually also havs to dish out less yellow cards and certainly fewer second yellow cards and red cards. And we can see this in the fact that Moss didn’t have to give a red card in the games we reviewed and our reviewers could agree with this completely.
I have said it before a good and firm ref can stop the kicking from the first minute when he stops it from the start and makes it clear to the players he will be strict. And making good decisions is of course important. And that this ref can make good decisions is shown in the penalty decisions. A mind blowing 81% of correct penalty decisions… That is the same as his overall foul decisions.
So this shows that ref Moss is not a ref who suddenly backs out because there is a foul in the penalty area. He calls the fouls in or outside the penalty area in the same way.
And to put the icing on his cake we can also point at the fact that referee Jonathon Moss also had a perfect 100% score when we look at the goal decisions. This is really a great set of numbers. I think any ref will swap with his numbers and take the numbers from Moss in a heartbeat.
So after praising him we surely can find something bad? Maybe in the bias numbers where we can see if some teams suffered from the few mistakes he made or see teams who benefited from his mistakes.
If we look at the bias numbers we see that Liverpool is the team that got the most benefit from his errors. Followed by Southampton, Manchester City and QPR. A few other teams had a very small bias in their favour. Manchester United and Wigan are those teams.
And we also had a team with a zero bias. Stoke can say that when Moss was around it evened out for them.
When you have teams with a positive bias you also have teams with a negative bias. Everton, Swansea, WBA and Arsenal had a small negative bias against them. Fulham and Aston Villa had a bigger negative bias but the numbers are nowhere in the regions we have seen from other refs.
And because we have seen that his important decisions making was rather good we can imagine that the bias numbers are not really indicating that he messed up terribly and that it would have cost teams lots of points.
FINAL CONCLUSION: I know he is too old to get one but if not I would shout: GIVE THIS REF A FIFA BADGE! NOW! I think this makes things clear enough.