Ref Review 2012/13: Who was Tottenham’s bogey ref?

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.


After having dealt with the different teams and after having examined all the Premier League refs (leading to the best ref of the season according to the views of our referee reviewers) we now will bring you something that will be an easy manual to see who is good or bad for each individual team.

We will of course bring you this in order so that from now on if you see that your team is playing and there is a certain ref assigned you can see in a blink of an eye if this ref has a bad or a good history with your team. At least in the season 2012/2013.  And if all goes well we will even try to add the bias from the season before in to each article. And that way you can see if there are any possible situations that return from one year to the next.

And we do this because it might well be that some referee performances are a one off. But if a ref has the same bias against a team it might show something more. For if a ref has a big bias in favour of a team it also is saying something about that ref.

A little word of explanation about the graphics below.  The ultimate referee performance would be that the bias score (which is based on the wrong decisions) of around zero. Alas you will find very few of those scores in the total series. So the zero line will be the middle line of each graphic.

If a ref has positive bias score for the team involved you will see a name (of the ref) and a green line and a number.   That is the bias number for that ref.

On the other hand if the ref had a negative bias you will once again see a name but then with a red line and a number. The negative bias score for that ref.

The longer the lines, the higher the number and the higher the bias that ref produces.  Short lines are better and would be nicer for us all, if only the world worked that way. I also included a little table in the graphic just with the names and with a red or green label. This is for any readers who want to have a quick look at the names as sometimes the numbers can get in the way.

So here we go with the next in our series, which is Tottenham Hotspurt

Tottenham bias per ref

The first thing you notice of course is the overwhelming presence of the colour green. Only two refs had a negative impact on this team. Which is a rather unusual factor when compared with other teams.

The two refs with a negative impact were Phil Dowd (but that was a rather small bias) and Ref Probert who had a bigger negative bias but even that is rather small compared to some numbers we have seen in this series and we will see later on.

And then we also had 1 ref with a zero bias and that is ref Michael Jones.

And then the positive story starts. From a small positive bias starting from Atkinson and then going further with Halsey, Webb, Mason, Clattenburg, Dean and Foy.

We then have 4 refs with a very positive bias. Friend, Oliver and Dowd were very positive for Tottenham last season. But top of the list is ref Swarbrick.

Now let us see how things were in the season before. And we have a look at the numbers from the season 2011/2012:

EPL vs PGMOL - Incorrect calls Breakdown by Referee - TottenhamHotspur (Weighted) 2011/2012

And again we only see a few refs with a negative bias.   Foy was then the worst ref and that was the only real negative ref for Tottenham last season. Oliver and Probert had a negative bias but a very small one.  The only name returning in the negative bias index is Probert – with whom Arsenal also has some issues.

Dowd had a negative bias last season and with this season having a big positive bias.

Refs that have been positive for Tottenham in that season were Jones, Marinner, Webb, Dean and Halsey. And the only name that had a small negative bias was Marinner last season.

But all the other refs has had a positive bias for two seasons running. A rather amazing pattern I must say.

To answer the question in the title: no ref was.

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