Arsenal Not In Mint Condition But Too Sharp For Everton

Arsenal 2 – 1 Everton

0 – 1 Saha (24)
1 – 1 Arshavin (70)
2 – 1 Koscielny (76)

Controversial officiating took centre stage on a night when Arsenal displayed the mental resilience of champions. Arsène has been emphasising in recent weeks that the players are beginning to believe in themselves; last night gave tangible evidence of that.

Post-match David Moyes fuelled more media speculation, launching an attack on Cesc Fàbregas, claiming that the Arsenal captain had subjected the officials to a barrage of abuse in the tunnel at half-time. The Scot believed that Fabregas would have been dismissed had the incident taken place on the pitch.

His ignorance of the rules is as marked; the tunnel is no different from the pitch in the Laws of the Game and any dissent is similarly punished. Arsène needs to book a medical appointment since he claimed to have been with Fàbregas at the time and heard nothing. Creeping deafness as well as myopia; surely his days as a top manager are numbered.

It took two goals in five second half minutes for Arsenal to retrieve the situation and maintain the five point gap at the top of table. One of those was the very welcome scoring return of Andrey Arshavin. The mercurial Russian has been showing signs in recent weeks that his form has been gradually returning; last night’s goal will hopefully convince him that his rough spell is over.

For all of the complaints about the officials, Arsène will be concerned with the stuttering start his charges made to the game. Flashes of brilliance were served with greater measures of carelessness. Everton sought to impose themselves and without quite managing that, were better value for an early goal.

Yet it was Arsenal who came closest. Fifteen minutes had elapsed when Robin van Persie’s sublime backheel set Fàbregas free to shoot, the Spaniard pulling his shot wide of Tim Howard’s post. Walcott went closer seven minutes later, Howard blocking his effort.

This after good work by Alex Song on the edge of the area, dispossessing Heitinga. Song would later be withdrawn, Arsène unable to comment on the extent of his injury following the match. Like the wait for news on Samir Nasri, this is going to be a nervy wait.

The moment that sparked the Arsenal performance into life came shortly afterwards, a sense of injustice is always a good motivator for a team. Coleman lifted the ball over the Arsenal defence, Koscielny acrobatically tried to intercept but the ball merely landed close to where the Everton midfielder originally intended, Louis Saha showing cool finishing to score.

Except that the forward was occupying an offside position when the pass was made. Koscielny’s intervention was deliberate and thus a legitimate conclusion was that this now constituted ‘second phase’. Had the ball deflected off the defender, offside was the only logical outcome but Koscielny’s attempted interception was deliberate and this playing Saha onside.

There have been suggestions that Saha’s position forced the intervention, therefore rendering the Frenchman as interfering with play. There is merit in that argument, the only one that stands water. That, though, is a matter of interpretation and the true indicator of this will be whether or not Mason and/or his team officiate at a Premier League match this weekend.

Whatever the outcome is, it did not alter the fact that the goal stood and red mists descended momentarily over Arsenal eyes. Yet the indignation did not manifest itself in chances, Everton’s obdurate defending was stifling Arsenal’s creative talent.

The second half saw more purposeful endeavour from the hosts. van Persie and Clichy threatened without testing Howard, Arsène had to make changes to ensure that the good work in recent Premier League matches was not undone. Arshavin and Bendtner came on, Wilshere and the ineffective Rosický departed.

With twenty minutes remaining, Arshavin’s introduction paid off. Fàbregas lofted the ball over the massed ranks of the Evertonian defence, Rodwell’s attempted interception merely ensuring that the ball sat perfectly for Arshavin’s cushioned volley to find the back of the net. Relief all around The Emirates, relief that would within five minutes turn to joy.

Bendtner nimbly executed a bicycle kick into Howard’s arms before van Persie drew an outstanding save from a free kick, the American somehow clawing the Dutchman’s effort from under the bar, almost defying the Laws of Physics by pushing it over and to safety.

The respite was temporary, van Persie’s delivery was perfect, Everton’s marking suitably slack and Koscielny strolled through the penalty area to meet the cross, heading home from seven yards. The miss at Stamford Bridge seems a lifetime away.

It was a vital win ahead of the trip to Newcastle. Momentum is being built rather nicely in the Premier League, understated in its coverage but absolute in its execution. The run is reminscent of the 1997/98 season where Manchester United were the eye of the media storm and Arsenal simply went about their business, consistently winning, sometimes needing a spark to get the result and other occasions, destroying the opposition but rewarded by only a single goal victory.

Last night was more about character, something that Arsenal are often said to lack. Make no mistake, this team knows what it takes to win the title and they know they have it. Now they just have to continue believing.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on February 2, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 359 Comments.

  1. Nasir Jones-Nasri


  2. Nasir Jones-Nasri


  3. Admirably objective about the referee. Perhaps even too much so 🙂 Still think videos and other technological tools for referees should be introduced now. Tools for tools, as it were.

  4. I’m new to going to football games as I’ve only recently started to work and earn money to buy tickets. I’ve narrowed my choice of teams to Arsenal, Chelsea and Fulham. I’ve been reading up on these teams’ performance over the last few years and I see Fulham got to a European Final just a few months ago, which is quite impressive. And Chelsea has won lots of trophies. But when I look up Arsenal, I see nothing in the way of success for as far back as I looked. So, after due consideration, I’ll make Chelsea my first choice team, with Fulham as my second team.

  5. If only Massey had been available 🙂

    Was a comical decision, and whilst i didn’t see the match, from Arseblog’s live text it sounded like there were a few, inc not issuing yellows to Everton players etc.

    Great fight to come and turn the deficit around. how many times have we come from behind this season now?

    As for Cesc, i wouldn’t be surprised if he did say something at somepoint, he does seem to get wrapped up in th heat of the moment, however also sounds like sour grapes from Moyes too, esp as he knows his team were gifted a lead in the match.

  6. Dear Sir Cecil
    Pls declare your decision to a Chelsea blog instead. You won’t be missed here. It’s your loss. Go on and support Torres, Drogba, and that financially doped club.

  7. we need women now. we all know women in authority are strict and take no shit, we have all dealt with female traffic wardens or you try geting anything out of women on the phone when complaining about anything, get them in now.

  8. Congratulations to Nasir Jones-Nasri for being first.
    Watching Arsenal is becoming a danger to my health. No helped by suspect refereeing either. Happily the chase continues.
    As for Moyes and Fabregas it’s called the coming of a pre – madonna. Young stars often get big boots. Mohammed Ali probably the biggest mouth of them all. Reminds me of the 1974 world cup final. The referee, John Keith “Jack” Taylor, rated by many as the best ever handed Johann Cruff a yellow card at half time for ranting too much. Taylor said that after that card Cruff behaved himself. And yet Taylor saw reason in Cruff’s behavior. He put it down to Cruff being intense and passionate about his football. Cesc is only 23 but very talented. No doubt he’ll get carried away. Hopefully it wouldn’t become a character flaw – like Ronaldo saying that all his Madrid teammates hate him!

  9. YW – Nice write up.

    I understand about the imprtance of Kos in the offisde goal, but he was simply trying to clear a ball. The game should have been stopped when the initial ball was played to Saha. He was offside, and clean through on goal; how can that be construed as inactive?

    Either way, a great win. Goal aside I thought AA looked very good when he came on. Diaby looked rusty, but showed glimpses of why he could be such a valuable player for us. Bendtner was alo effective when he came on.

  10. And who care what Moyes has to say. Move along monkey boy!

  11. In many ways, a more encouraging win than if we had won 3-0. This is exactly the sort of game we used to lose and where we would have complained afterwards about the world being against us.

    No real complaints about the decision, but I just wish the offside rule was clearer and didn’t require a rule book three inches thick to understand. The officials’ job is hard enough as it is without all the little nuances.

    Great to see Arshavin on the scoresheet. More generally, his arrival seemed to turn the game. Lots of energy and industry from him – hopefully his slump is now over.

  12. Moyes comments were nothing to do with the match, which he lost… Hopefully the pocket rocket will soon be scoring goals for fun!

  13. as for the game well…everton were physical and we stood up after being robbed of a goal and won, great stuff. koscielny motm. fukin talk shite slagging him off the other day saying he is poor, fukin cant beleive they are supposed to be experts.

  14. Good result. Not so good in terms of performance or fluidity, but I’ll take it. Kudos to those who went to the match – the atmosphere after Arshavin’s goal was quite something.
    Our immediate worry must be the health of Song, though Diaby did admirably well when he came on, you have to wonder what his next performance will be like. I personally rate him, but he requires a run of games to get going and does really well when he keeps it simple. His physicality was missed, so lets hope he can do the job in Song’s absence.

  15. Moyes – who cares, we all know its tactics to deflect away from another loss by the Toffees – also ‘people in glass houses’ – i remember moyes running onto the pitch to confront the officials after a game – which he was fined for!
    My opinon on it – Cesc said something ABOUT the ref which Moyes overheard – he didnt say anything TO the referee. Fair enough too in my book.

    Ref/Linesman – they got the decision WRONG, simple as. Saha was offside when the ball was played. Hed actually pulled up in his run, then Kos deflected the ball parallel across the pitch – Kos’ actions came AFTER the initial run of play which resulted in offside player.

    Yellow cards – we had to dish out a few kicks to them after taking a few of our own. im happy with that.

    Tony Cascarino – totally wrong in his comments this morning – he equates Arsenal having the money to spend but not spending it as hypocrisy on Wengers part for criticizing Chelski in spending 70 mil after posting losses of 70 mil. Sorry Tony, you were right in saying you arent all that smart – the financial fair play rules is for clubs to only spend what they can afford after earnings – not having a billionaire who can spend 70 million after the club has run at a loss for the previous season. IDIOT.

    GREAT FUCKIN WIN LAST NIGHT – thats the story here

  16. Just got back from the game, again. Crowd were good last night. Especially the guys in the two rows in front of me who did not turn up and so provided me with an unobscured view of the game. Special thanks to the ginger bloke who always arrives ten minutes after the start and leaves five minutes before the end. Gives the rest of us a chance to stretch our arthritic and/or new hip and/or knee joints.

    What a bunch of bastards Everton turned out to be, especially Fellaini who can’t control a ball without using his hands, and Arteta…who is just a cheating little prick.

    Possibly some of the most biased refing I have seen in a long-time and the cries of ‘check his bank accounts’ from our stand were totally justified.

    All did well…but special mention for Andrei. ‘keep it going, son, you are pure class’.


  17. Goonerandy

    Kos’ intervention cannot be ignored. Until Saha receives the ball, he is technically not offside. Once the defender deliberately touched the ball – as opposed to accidentally – he was played onside.


  18. Dear Sir Cecil,
    I appreciate your candour and will quickly advise that choosing a Football Club to support is actually a serious matter and cannot be reduced to the mundane criterion which you seem to have applied. However, its pertinent to state here that recent history is not complete history and so does not do justice to any issue let alone any Football Club. What are you looking for in a club, what philosophies do you subscribe to and what are your colours?

  19. Star sport commentary in India : Everton are trying to play too much football rather they should try to get he ball in to the box
    Typical English commentators …not even a word mentioned when the bobble head Fellaini fouled Theo even when he was not having the ball…

  20. Yeah but Saha was the intended passee and was offside when the pass was made. Ludicrous rules need changed!

  21. YW – I understand that, but my point is that Saha is interfering with play when hte initially ball is played. His run causes our defender to attempt to clear the ball. It is not like it was a loose ball Saha ran onto; the ball was played directly to him when he was in an offisde position.

  22. @ Mumbai Gooner – The same idiot commentator kept going on about Arsenal’s weakness at set pieces EVEN AFTER Everton had conceded from the corner. Its typical, wish there could be some technology where you could mute the commentary while keeping the ambient stadium noise.

  23. The current offside rule is unworkable.

    That said the referee was appalling last night. At one point the Everton wall would not move back the requisite ten yards, and so RvP the free kick taker moved the ball back. The referee instead of dealing with the wall picked up the ball and moved it forward leaving the wall about eight yards from the ball.

    I notice that the rat Moyes is smearing Fabregas. The press and media are having field day crucifying Cesc and even Arsene. Moyes knew that would happen. What a dishonourable man.

  24. bollocks. offside all day long. when the ball was played saha was a mile off.

  25. I agree with Goonerandy. Saha is interfering with play. The issue about him not being offside until he receives the ball is a reference to when the infringement is given, not when it occurred.

  26. I also think the ref was terrible last night. From Wilshere’s yellow in the 4th minute, to the final whistle he made some really bad call’s. There was one instance when Theo was fouled 2 or 3 times but still managed to wriggle clear; as soon as he was away the ref pulled the game back. All very strange.

  27. Yes I saw the Theo incident too.

  28. I think it was frustrating for large parts and all the more glorious a win for that. “Champions can grind out victories!” I never invented this saying but it seems to have been lost from the pundit’s lexicon this season when it comes to AFC.

    As for Gingger Moyes’ comments. When have you ever heard a manager raise an incident in the tunnel to criticise someone? Worse yet, an alleged incident which did not involve him or his players!? That Cesc is being set up as a target (while simultaneously being encouraged to join Barca) cannot be denied. Whether it’s Moyes Scottish background or just his link with the British contingent and the red nosed general that encourage such responses or whether it’s the fact that we’re the only team to have handed them their arses this season, I am not sure. It just seemed to exceed churlishness and stinks, IMO.

    Next up Newcastle


  29. David Moyes ought to be charged with bringing the game into disrepute. It is no way for a manager to behave.

  30. Frank | February 2, 2011 at 9:39 am,

    Sorry for repeating your point. I posted before it appeared. I obviously agree.

  31. It will be interesting if any of the officals say anything. Wenger states that Cesc didn’t say anything to them, whilst Moyles states that he did. They need to clear this up. If he didn’t moyles should be charged, if he did…..meh, so what? 😉

  32. I think the conclusion that Koscielny playing the ball played Saha onside is wrong – unless Kos intended to play the ball to him or it was deliberate pass intercepted. The appropriate definition in the games officials rules are …….“gaining an advantage by being in that position” means playing a ball
    that rebounds to him off a goalpost or the crossbar having been in an
    offside position or playing a ball that rebounds to him off an opponent
    having been in an offside position…….in the absence of an offside flag Koscielny had to attempt to get something on the ball but did it rebound off him? No need to even consider it really as the offside rule had already been breeched the moment the pass was made.

  33. Delia---Block 112

    As a woman , far be it for me to question the validity of the Everton goal. An exactly similar occurrence happened in the Chelsea game, where the Assistant immediately and correctly raised an off-side flag !
    In any event ,the Ref’s performance not only riled the players ,it roused the crowd into giving their best support of the season. It turned out to be a great night at the Emirates. Kos was superb , AA23 gave us all hope that his very best form is just round the corner and B52 and Diaby put in a good shift. Once again we missed some good chances and I await with some concern the extent of the injuries from last night’s bruising encounter.
    As always COYRs

  34. The point is that Koscielny played the ball because Saha was there. Saha’s offside position influenced the action of the defender and therefore he was interfering with play. It was offside.

    However, the chasm in terms of class between the two sides was there for all to see last night.

  35. Watching football first last night it was great to hear the support! If I didn’t live in Northern Ireland i’d be there every week shouting my head off rather than just shouting from the living room! Keep up the volume!

  36. More than once the ref blew only when we had a clear advantage which is a complete reversal of the advantage rule. He ignored blatant fouls against us and was over overly officious with us.
    However… what changed the game for me was the way we started to press the opposition in the second half. By very quickly winning back possession we kept the pressure on and it’s pressure that ultimately leads to goals.
    Been watching Arsenal for 41 years now and that was the single worse exhibition of refereeing I’ve ever witnessed.

  37. @Zama 9:36
    Try PlayStation.

  38. Great win for the team yesterday. Am really delighted at such a comeback victory.

    Am not gonna bother myself about the interpretation of the offside rule, enough has been said on that.

    I’m very disappointed with David Moyes, what does he look to achieve by making such totally irrelevant comments about Cesc. Goes to show his kind of orientation.

    Well, i just hope for a quick recovery for Song and others that picked up little niggles.

    Next up Newcastle, I think I’m more comfortable with the away ties. Let’s hope we rise to the occasion. COYG

  39. I agree with Steww, and Caxter. The atmosphere inside the ground was electric.

  40. Does anyone ever believe Arsene Wenger? He sees and hears nothing all of the time! He’s the deaf dumb and blind kid. Fabregas, like Theo walcott and your number three look every inch the whinging half weights they are. MAN UP a bit Arsenal and play to the bloody whistle. It seems a common complaint amongst Gooner fans as well, having won the game 2-1 most of you are still banging on about Saha being offside. Even a comment from a guy who read a txt that said he was offside but wasn’t at the game! HAHA, WTF? Oh the injustice of it… We’ve not had a single penalty all year and by chance nobody has been diving around in the box looking for one. Just deal with it.
    Anyhow that aside you capitalised well on two mistakes and looked like you are decent runners up for the title this year.

  41. The official anyway has to make a report to the FA about the incidents in and around the game so we will know what happened. If cesc said something the ref will say so and the FA would probably investigate but if the story is burried it will just means Moyes is sour loser and a liar but because “he’s not that kind of guy” no one from the FA to the Press will do something about it.

    On Saha’s goal, i believe the passive offside rule is messing this up. While your explication YW is clear and impressively objective, the rule is badly interpreted by the ref. Indeed Kosc puts him back onside with his touch but clearly the ball was intended to Saha and therefore he was active in the action leading to Koscielny’s deflection.

    The team has showed great character and I am happy Arshavin could get that crucial equaliser as it will help him regain his confidence. Koscielny’s header was such a relief as it was tipically the type of game where nothing is clicking and that we would usualy lose because we were not patient enough whereas last night they were confident they would come back.

  42. I never liked Blue Peter.

  43. Except for the one where they made Tracey Island out of egg cartons, and cotton reels, and spent toilet rolls. That was pretty fucking cool. Had a stab at that myself. Mine was slightly better.

  44. Oh and by the way
    “A player in an offside position may be penalised before playing or touching the ball, if, in the opinion of the referee, no other team-mate in an onside position has the opportunity to play the ball.”

  45. Well… I say better. It was much, much bigger anyway.

  46. DeiseGooner @ 9:11am,

    I think Cascarino is being deliberately troublesome in trying to fan a fire here. If you listen to the full post match interview (now available on Arsenal TV Online) Arsene is very careful NOT to criticise Chelsea: despite the incessent attempts by journalists to get him to do so. No less than five journoes and seven questions trying to achieve this. His statements remained fair and reasoned. Yet the spin that Cascarino and others will try to put on it should just be seen as business as usual for Arsene and all things AFC.

    The pending successes of this season will hopefully dampen such fires and the attendant burning of straw men.

  47. Steww – yeah, you are right. We pressed very high up the pitch and looked all the better for it. I noticed in the 1st half that Everton did the same to us, trynig to stop us playing out from the back.

  48. That offside (non) decision is the worst bit of officiating I’ve seen in a long time. The ref obviously had doubts when it was replayed on the big screen,that’s the only reason he went to talk to the linesman. Even then the clowns got it wrong. I’ve done a quick look around the FA and FIFA websites and a web search and I can’t find any mention of the “phase of play” argument anywhere. Gaining an advantage by being in an offside position yes (which Saha obviously was), but nothing about phases.

    Apart from that, great fightback by the team, I thought the subs played well when they came on and it was great to see Arshavin get a goal. He seems to have upped his work ethic in recent matches and he’s hopefully worked himself back into a bit of form. Good to see the manager really going for it too, he took of a more defensively minded player for a more attacking one for every sub, one forced obviously. Apart from the defenders and keeper I would think that all the other six at the end would be classed as attacking players.

    The only cloud on the horizon is injury news, hopefully there’s nothing too badly wrong and Walcott and Song can make Saturday with Nasri and Vermaelen back in the next few weeks.

  49. I didn’t see the match but got home in time to catch Moyes comments.

    With no actual knowledge of the game or events, except the score, it was immediately clear that there is an media agenda with any narrow Arsenal win.

    On this occasion, it wasn’t a ‘dodgy’ goal, or a ‘dive’ but some comments in the tunnel. What a lot of bollocks, hypocritical bollocks at that. Hypocritical bollocks that Moyes was happy to encourage.

    In any game I can watch Rooney or Fletcher tell the referree to “F@ck off you c@nt” whenever a throw in goes against their precious selves.

    Disgraceful behaviour by a manager whose team is on the slide.

    Moyes goes on my list.

  50. I must admit though, it is difficult to win penalty kicks when your players spend so little time in the opposition penalty box with the ball at their feet.

  51. YW – The offside decision was horrible. When Coleman played the ball Saha was at least 2 yds offside. He even tried pulling up to keep onside. The fact that Kos swung at the ball and made contact does not change the fact.
    My other beef – you glossed over the fact that Mason made some of the softest yellow card decisions against Arsenal in the first half, i.e. Wilshere and Rosicky, without a similar approach to Everton. Fellaini should have been carded at least once in the 1st half. By the same token Cesc should have been yellowed for deliberately trodding on Arteta. Mason was horrible and biased. End of story.

  52. Magpie wasn’t as smug as Blue Peter. Black and white stripes are also a better kit than blue.

    I’ve always had time for Everton, they are a proper club with a decent history and better fans than Liverpool.

    Of late though, Moyes has shown signs of losing his ability to cope, he also signed that awful man from the mancs who kicks everything that moves.

    Seems like some of their fans are on the slide as well.

  53. There were some beautiful stats about last night:
    The 100% possession
    The 19-4 shots
    2-1 scoreline

    But there was also the inexplicably ugly:
    The 12-14 fouls
    The bookings
    The 0-1 scoreline at half time

    Arsenal is beautiful within and without. Let’s us forget the negativity from those who are blinded by jealousy, and bask in the radiant glory of Victoria C. Crescit

  54. If Moyes heard something disgusting then he should have reported what was said. The authorities could then confirm whether Fabergas made the comments or not and act accordingly. By making an unsubstantiated comment Moyes is acting in a cowardly manner.

  55. A foul and terrifying memory has been uncovered: RvP’s booking – seriously WTF????????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11111111

    So undeniably insane, even punctuation transmute into numbers.

  56. @block4
    Are they allowed to replay goals on the big screen? I seem to remember that almost caused a riot at the World Cup when a replay showed that a goal was clearly offside. Ref definitely shouldn’t be looking at it. Video technology being such a big no-no in the corrupt world of football and all that.

  57. moyes is really being mischievous. he should have said what was said. why should we take his word for it

  58. Shottagunna

    But it does change that fact. There has been a stunning lack of understanding about the impact of Koscielny’s intervention: it was deliberate, it changed the nature of Saha’s position. Before the pass was made, Saha was in an offside position. When he received the ball, he was onside thanks to Koscielny. The linesman did not get it wrong.


  59. Fair play it was offside, as David Moyes admitted after the game.
    However, I do think he’s very unlikely to just invent the idea that Fabregas blew a series of expletives at the ref in the tunnel. what is there to gain? The idea that he’s in conspiracy with Sir Whiskey Nose is a little far fetched as is the media conspiracy you complain of. Maybe Moyes just felt that a player with his obvious qualities and leadership shouldn’t be behaving like that to officials, It’s not the way we should play the game.

  60. Great win last night. Ground it out. Stuff of champions. Arshavin will be lit up now.

    Only problem we have is in defence… will Vermealen get in the team once fit?

  61. the rule is WRONG Yogi, its just a stupid situation to be allowed to occur – why play offside, its a difficult enough skill to get right between 4 players without the chance occurrence of the ball coming of a defender suddenly playing the player back onside with a 3-4 yard advantage over the defenders who pushed up in the first place!!

    simple rule – was player offside when the ball was so obviously being played to him = YES – therefore fuck this second phase bullshit.

    Anyway as it turned out it was academic as we scored 2

  62. David Moyes is a sore loser, Cesc is a winner. Same old Arsenal, always cheating. The press lap it up.

    Let’s not take anything away from the real story of last night. We went 1-0 down to a dubious goal, came back without playing our best, and the atmosphere inside the ground was back to its best. We can win the league this year, and are still in all three cup competitions. Thats the real story.

  63. Blue Peter – “Maybe Moyes just felt that a player with his obvious qualities and leadership shouldn’t be behaving like that to officials,”

    maybe he should turn that back on himself and have a look at his own behavior to officials eh?

  64. YW;

    Your attempt to be objective is impressive, but you’re wrong here. By your logic, every time a long ball is played up to striker who begins in an offside position, there is a chance he will be played onside by the defender who goes up for the ball. Your logic also dictates that had Arshavin been offside for Cesc’s pass, he would have been played onside by the defender’s head.

    Had there been a second, non-offside player as the potential recipient of that over the top ball, things get a little murkier. But is was only Saha. Kos attempted to intercept a pass. The only way the idiot linesman can justify himself is to claim that Kos controlled the ball, and that it was an attempted backpass. Which, of course, is preposterous.

  65. So…
    AA regenerated
    Diaby is back
    Still on for the quadruple
    …is how I’m looking at it.

  66. @Niles – I actually play fifa with the commentary volume at minimum. Thanks anyway 🙂

  67. The rule isn’t wrong Yogi’s interpretation of it is. The officials are bending the rules to suit the decision they made (why might they do that? Read the laws of the game and as importantly the definitions and it is clear that any interpretation that leads to a decision that Saha was onside is wrong. I repeat “gaining an advantage” is defined in the laws as “playing a ball that rebounds to him off a goalpost or the crossbar having been in an offside position or playing a ball that rebounds to him off an opponent having been in an offside position

  68. I feel the real issue here is that the nature of “interfering with play ” is need of further clarification, as perhaps does intent.

    When an attacker stands offside in front of a goalkeeper, thereby blocking keeper’s view of the ball, should the flag be raised? This of course happened to us at Villa, and many said Carew was interfering with play and so the goal should have been voided.

    Of course there is a factual difference between the Villa and Everton goal. However, the question is was Saha interfering with play by occupying the position he did? As someone earlier posted, the likelihood is Kos wouldn’t have attempt such a difficult move in attempting to make the clearence had Saha not been there. Indeed, it’s likely he would have let the ball roll on to Chez.

    However, this is not the case, and this is where I’d like to bring intent into the fray. My reasoning for such is this: If the ball was bobbling on the ground and Kos then attempted to make a simple clearence, but in an odd moment of poor technique misses the ball with his striking foot, only to see the ball hit his standing leg and roll conveniently to an offisde Saha, would Saha be offside?

    Again, factually my thought experiment is obviously different from what happened, however, the outcome is largely the same.

    Now in an effort not to be disingenuous, take the same scenario but instead Kos manages to slice the ball as opposed to it striking the standing leg.

    Or let’s change the situation to where Kos attmpts to make a stretching headed clearance but doesn’t connect properly.

    Do either of these scenarios anything change, and if so why?

    We know intent can drastically alter the landscape of such, and I do think this also needs to enter the equation.

    In any event, I believe the goal should not have stood. I believe Kos’ desperate lunge should not be enough to invalid the offisde when his actions where caused by the pass to said offside player. The offside rule is there to penalise the attack for not playing efficiently not penalise a defence who essentially must play until they hear a whistle. In Kos attempting to make a desperate clearence, he is essentially playing as a defender must. There is the assumption that the players will play based upon the expectations of the officials to make the correct call – to alter any part of this assumption changes the dynamic of the gam, and I feel to place the onus on the defender in the manner of which the advocates of the legitmacy of Saha’s goal are doing, is rather unjust, and dare I say, not in the spirit of the rule.

  69. YW – Can’t agree with that mate. When the ball was origianlly played to him, the flag should have gone up.

    By your logic, a striker could just wait on the edge of the area and any ball that found its way to him that has hit one of our players on the way would be fair game. If Kos had tried to turn the ball in that direction (i.e. attempted a pass back) then you are 100% correct. But he didn’t it was an attempted block. It was pretty much a deflection. The main point of this is that the original ball was intended for Saha who was offisde.

  70. I would have though that the Mason and Slurgus’ Gollum were glad that no one thought to hand El Capitan a slice of cardboard pizza from one of the food stalls.

  71. In case there is still any ambiguity the offence of offside doesn’t require the player to receive the ball to be offside: A player in an offside position is only penalised if, at the moment the ball touches or is played by one of his team, he is, in the opinion of the referee,involved in active play by:
    • interfering with play or
    • interfering with an opponent or
    gaining an advantage by being in that position

  72. >thought even.

  73. Blue Peter – I respect you coming on here and not subjecting us to the usual away fan nonsense of calling our entire playing staff and support C*nts and worse. However, what goes on in a football tunnel, is similarly punishable to what goes on on the pitch, as our esteemed author pointed out. So maybe the ref thought that there was nothing to punish, or perhaps he decided the verbal abuse that he recieved was no different to what he gets on the pitch from the likes of Rooney and Gerrard et al, every week.

    Victory through harmony.

  74. Goonerandy

    Possibly when the ball was played but at that point, he was not interfering with play. Once the ball was there for him to control or be close to that point, he is interfering with play. Kos’s intervention happened several yards before that could be deemed to happen. And no to your second point, a deflection would have rendered Saha offside.

    The key point is that Kos made a deliberate attempt to play the ball; it is irrelevant that it did not go where he intended. The key is that he made a conscious decision to play the ball. Saha’s original position is irrelevant because he was behind Koscielny, who did not know the position of other players when he made contact with the ball.


  75. Anyone who thinks that goal should have stood simply doesn’t know the rules. The moment the ball is played, Saha is in an offside position and the only forward player likely to receive the ball, therefore he should be penalised. That a defender attempts to block the pass is irrelevant. Otherwise every cross to an offside player that gets a slight touch off a defender would be rendered onside.

  76. Amos

    You have totally missed the point. A number of people are following a journalist’s interpretation from Twitter last night (Honigstein, I think) who pointed to example 12 of Fifa’s Laws of the Game. That is not the situation which occurred last night, it is a total red herring.

    The ball did not rebound off Koscielny, he completely cocked up an attempted clearance. There was no rebound, no accidental touching of the ball, Koscielny launched himself at the ball and totally mishit his interception.

    This is the point that is being missed.


  77. Amos – And a striker clean through on goal, surely is all three of those.

  78. Flint McCullough

    If your interpretation is correct then it goes entirely against the spirit of the law, so they may as well abandon it all-together & allow the goal-hanging it was brought in to stop. Kos could not just leave the ball because he was influenced by the positioning of Saha, who was yards offside.

    Mason could probably pass that 1 onto the lino but as others have said that was amongst the poorest officiated matches in my memory. Mason is inept, at best, has no real feeling for the game & should not be anywhere near the Football League let alone the PL.

    Everton are a decent team who played the better football in the 1st half but created very little. We needed to step up our game, which we did, aided for once fully by the crowd. I suppose we have Mason to thank for that.

    I thought it was an unwritten rule that “what happens in the tunnel stays in the tunnel”. Moyes, who I respect a great deal, has let himself down here. If anything happened there it was up to the ref to deal with it. It would surprise me a great deal if he could “hand on heart” say that none of his players had ever called a cunt “a cunt” in a similar situation.

  79. Guys,

    This is what the offside offense says:
    A player in an offside position is only penalised if, at the moment the ball
    touches or is played by one of his team, he is, in the opinion of the referee,
    involved in active play by:
    • interfering with play or
    • interfering with an opponent or
    • gaining an advantage by being in that position

  80. Amos

    How was Saha gaining an advantage at the time the ball was played? There was no advantage to be gained until the ball reached him, by which time Koscielny had intervened, negating that interpretation.



    2 points.
    Firstly, it’s interesting the increasing vehemence with which personal attacks are being directed at Fabregas. Over time there appears to be a clear and direct correlation between these attacks and their progenitors coming from a select band of compliant, “grease up and bend-over for United” Fergie sycophants – Brown, McLeish, Allardyce, Moyes. It is to be noted that these managers and others also do tend to be lacking in the actually- ever- have -or- ever- will- have- achieved- anything- in- my- career stakes and are usually just putting this rubbish out there as part of what is becoming standard managerial legerdemain type misdirection. Are they all being taught this crap or what?

    Secondly, Sky Sports this morning ran a ridiculous piece of Chelsea FC PR dept. spin from the fawning excuse for a journalist McCarthy about how the ludicrous spending by Abramovich is a good thing as the money trickles down to other clubs. True, Newcastle are ultimately happy to have received that money fro Liverpool for a problematic drunk , which was in turn provided by Chelsea. Benfica will be grateful for 21m quid and may well have to pay some of this on to the player’s former club and feeders. All good, so far. What was obviously missing though was the rest of the analysis around creating inflated transfer fees. Like how this creates an asset bubble with players being able to command wages at the newly wealthy clubs which other less well off clubs, which is almost all clubs, then have to try to match. This in turn leads to higher turnstile prices which leads to greater pressure on managers to succeed in a shorter timescale than they would otherwise. Which leads to managerial changes and a culture of buying your way out of trouble.
    McCarthy’s asinine observations of course make no mention about the real beneficiaries of all this – Talentless Word-monkeys like him who can write article after article about the “rumours” they are hearing from “sources” that player A will be joining club B etc. And I guess that’s my real point. It’s all done with the view that somehow the media and the newspapers in particular are somehow at the centre of the world when in fact they actually know no more, and many cases considerably less than you or me.

  82. “Saha’s original position is irrelevant because he was behind Koscielny, who did not know the position of other players when he made contact with the ball.” Just not correct. Saha was offside and “gaining an advantage” in being so from the moment his team mate played the ball. His original position would only have been irrelevant had he been onside when his team mate played it and offside when Koscielny made contact.

  83. Yogi, that is NOT the key issue. The fact that he DELIBERATELY tried to intercept the pass does not play Saha onside. Had the attempted pass over the top been from 30 yards further back, this would be crystal clear. With Saha the only potential recipient, the flag would gone up and the whistle blown before the ball ever came down. This happens all the time.

    A failed interception does not bring about a new phase of play.


    “How was Saha gaining an advantage at the time the ball was played?”

    You don’t think standing a yard closer to the goal than the last defender is gaining an advantage?

  85. YW – I think the point people are making is thatwhen the ball was initially played to Saha he was affecting play, and also our defenders. He was through on goal. That is when the flag should have been raised for offisde. The “2nd phase” should not have even been started.

  86. Flint

    Aah, now there’s where this falls down. The Law was introduced to stop goal-hanging but the IFAB totally fucked it up when they allowed interpretation rather than the simple old way of doing it.

    Personally, I think Mason was as bad a refereeing performance as has ever been seen at The Emirates. He missed fouls, misinterpreted intentions and generally got most decisions wrong. The attention people are giving to the offside incident is detracting from the glaring errors.


  87. GA/CE

    Nope, not when the defender going for the ball cannot see him.


  88. “How was Saha gaining an advantage at the time the ball was played? There was no advantage to be gained until the ball reached him, by which time Koscielny had intervened, negating that interpretation.” It’s pretty clear how he was gaining an advantage. If it weren’t they’d be no purpose to the offside rule at all. But again the laws of the game specifically indicate that the point at which a player is deemed offside and thereby gaining an advantage is absolutely crystal clear: A player in an offside position is only penalised if, at the moment the ball touches or is played by one of his team

  89. The attempted clearance was a split second decision. The moment the ball was played Saha was offside and interfering with play should the ball reach him. Of course Koscielny tried to clear, he had no idea whether it was offside or not, but it should have been given regardless. The real key point is that Koscielny did not have the ball under control, and I dare anyone to look at that goal again and tell me he did. If he messed up a backpass or something then Saha would have been onside, but the way it happened means he was definitely off.

  90. Even Moyes has said that the goal was offside.

  91. Incidentally, Yogi, your explanation would mean that the offside rule is misinterpreted hundreds of times a season. Every time a long ball is played to a player in offside position and the flag goes up before it reaches the player, you would say that breaches the rules because the offside player has not gained advantage until he touches the ball. You would say that the ref needs to wait and see if the defender makes a partially failed attempt to intercept the ball first.

  92. YW – He had just seen him run past him. He knew he was behind him. Saha was affecting play when the ball was played to him. How could he not have been?

  93. YW – I am starting to believe that your persona has been hijacked online. By…………………..Lee Mason 😉

  94. Thierry Bergkamp-Wright

    Dearest Gooners, In respect of another hard fought, character-defining victory:

    Arshavin, dimunitive Russian fellow, whom most hath vilified all-season saveth the day.

    The picayune masses, time and time again, declared in wild hysteria, “Koscielny isn’t quite good enough.” OOPS! Another blow sounded on the detractors’ bawdy faces.

    How bitter-sweet, the taste of humble pie, mixed with poisoned dung must taste on false tongues!

    Exeunt all commoners! See whether their basest metal be not moved. They vanish tongue-tied in their guiltiness.

  95. I’ve always recently admired Everton’s fighting spirit, and some quality in there too. So they gave a good match, away, and well done. For us, another day, another determined display that is, in reality, bigger and better in the circumstances than a big scoreline (although …). I thought RvP was exceptional throughout, his quick thinking and ability to ‘see’ a game.

    It was a good Arsenal performance, very good. Dominating against a team that knows how to defend, pass a ball, and counter attack.

    The off-side for and against argument might have been solved another way; that is ‘benefit of the doubt’ – but whose? Since decisions either way might be ‘technically correct’, the default position goes to a principle. Surely, the defending team, not the attacking team gets the benefit of the doubt in such a curious case. This is the case, typically, with a penalty award such as a hand ball (eg was it ‘deliberate’ or not? If not sure, then not deliberate).

    Technically, Saha was interfering with play in an offside position and gaining advantage from this interference, in 99.9% of such circumstances, it is quickly ruled offside. To take it from the sublime to the ridiculous, let’s say Saha has been closer to the keeper (10 yards offside), Saha would have been more obviously influencing play from an offside position, and gaining advantage from this, and the decision would have gone the other way.

    The refs made a mistake on two counts. They did themselves a disservice.

  96. Either way, I am glad that the Saha goal was ruled irrelevant, otherwise it would have been an even bigger talking point.

  97. “Nope, not when the defender going for the ball cannot see him.”

    What does that even mean?? Eye contact matters in the offside rule? You act as though Kos had not just stepped up to play Saha offside, or that the reason he played the ball is because he knew Saha was behind him. Otherwise, he would have let it bounce and played it to the keeper.

  98. Nola

    >Yogi, that is NOT the key issue. The fact that he DELIBERATELY tried to intercept the pass does not play Saha onside.

    Yep, it is the issue and yes, he does play Saha onside. A DELIBERATE touch of the ball by a defender is NOT a REBOUND and therefore makes Saha onside.

    Oh and for those who say he was gaining an advantage, here’s the definition from FIFAs Laws of the Game:

    “gaining an advantage by being in that position” means playing a ball that rebounds to him off a goalpost or crossbar having been in an offside position or playing a ball that rebounds to him off an opponent having been in an offside position

    So he must have been interfering with an opponent, surely?

    Er, no. Same source:

    “Interfering with an opponent” means preventing an opponent from playing or being able to play the ball by clearly obstructing the opponent’s line of vision or movements or making a gesture or movement which, in the opinion of the referee, deceives or distracts an opponent

    Given Kos had his back to Saha, it renders this irrelevant.


  99. I agree with goonerandy (bring out the bunting!), Amos, Bob, notlager et al…

    Incidentally, are we assuming that Cesc *did* say something to the ref in the tunnel, rather than that Moyes is lying through his teeth? If so, why?

  100. Nola

    Yep, eye contact is the only thing that matters in that situation. See my previous comment.


  101. Yogi, I think this is quite possibly the first time ever that I’ve sen so many pople disagree with something you’ve written! Alas, I know how it feels! Stand strong!

    In saying that, I must disagree vehemently with this:
    “The key point is that Kos made a deliberate attempt to play the ball”

    Let’s say Saha and Kos were in a foot race to the ball with Saha starting from an offisde position, and the result of this foot race is that there arrive at the ball at almost the same time, but Kos slides in and with a swing of the leg attempt to play the ball back to Chez, but fails to get sufficient power on it. From what I understand of what you’re saying is that Kos’ actions null Saha’s offside, and then Saha is well within his right to pounce upon the ball and score.

    That seems very wrong to me, and very much against the point of the offside rule. However, bare in mind my legal background could be tainting my opinion where judges are free to interpret the law some what laterally as well as literally.

  102. Nola @ 11.56 (sorry, I’m working backwards on this)

    No, when a ball over the top is played without being intercepted by an opponent it is offside. If Kos had not touched the ball, it would have been offside. You cannot be offside if the last touch of the ball was a deliberate intervention by an opponent unless you fall foul of “interfering with an opponent”.


  103. Mattyboy – He probably had is ipod plugged in by the time he was in the tunnel. He was quite an appalling ref so he’s just thick skinned and probably used to abuse. His officiating was off the mark throughout the game, both sides deserved better as he pulled the game up for slight challenges and let major issues go unheeded. He was spectacularly wrong at judging the mood of the game which was full bloodied but not dirty. So a bad offside call / line call was always on the cards.

    PS Loving the academic analysis of the offside rule, on Everton sites we rarely talk about the game… best wishes.

  104. It is my thinking that the only way Saha would not have been offside would be if Koscielny had played a deliberate pass to someone when he was in full control of the ball. A bit like Denilson against Huddersfield. That wouldn’t have been an offside. On the other hand Koscielny tried to block/intercept a pass which should constitute offside, shouldn’t it? He was forced after all by the striker who was in an offside position at that time.

  105. I think it comes down to this: If the pass had originated from an Arsenal player, Saha would not be offside. But the pass came from an Everton player and so it should have been offside?

  106. It was an obvious offside, the second touch is immaterial. The first pass was searching out Saha and should have been waved off immediately. The link gives you the truth. Cheers!

  107. GA (@11.54)

    Who gives a fuck what Moyes thinks? He comes out with innuendo but lacking the balls to tell the truth of what was said. Any respect I had for him went south.


  108. Yogi, let’s make this simple. Saha is offside BEFORE Kos touches it, the flag should already be up, bc there is no other Everton player in the area. Answer my point about the long balls that are routinely whistled offside before they even land…is this wrong in every case?

    Bonus question: Had Arshavin been in an offside position for Cesc’s pass, would the defender’s head have played him onside for the goal?

  109. YW, by common consent of wise ACLF posters, you are ruled off-side. Now, now don’t argue with the ref or else a yellow card (and after the italics debacle it could be, orange or deep purple). I award a free-kick to, um, NolaGunner and GoonerAndy and Clock End, and most of the others. Line up gentlemen. A series of free-kicks to be taken, one at a time, if you will. YW, tens yards ….

  110. Forget the Kos incident. The game should have been stopped when the ball was played to the guy running through clean on goal. The “2nd phase” should not have even come into play.

  111. Toby / Evil / Bob

    Control of the ball is irrelevant, it is nothing about the accuracy of the pass, it is all about the deliberate intention of playing the ball. Which is exactly what Koscielny had. I’ve posted you Fifa and the Ifab’s definitions of interfering with play, so drop that argument because it is irrelevant.

    Looking at the replay, all Kos would have known about Saha’s position is that he was to the side of him as the last time that Kos looked, Saha was peeling away to the centre. He did not know Saha was offside.


  112. ”It is my thinking that the only way Saha would not have been offside would be if Koscielny had played a deliberate pass to someone when he was in full control of the ball. A bit like Denilson against Huddersfield. That wouldn’t have been an offside. On the other hand Koscielny tried to block/intercept a pass which should constitute offside, shouldn’t it? He was forced after all by the striker who was in an offside position at that time.”


  113. Not a big fan of the offside rule and hope that maybe in 100 years it will be done away with. In the interim I wouldn’t mind a rule that says that if you are within a meter either side of the last man you aren’t offside. The game would be more open.

  114. I reckon Cesc did say something ABOUT the officials (probably to Le Boss) within earshot of Moyes. Moyes being the hypocritical cunt he is then moans about it after the game to the sky cameras to send them sniffing for a story other that an Everton loss,the fact that they have only won 5 league games all season, an Arsenal win that keeps them in touch with Man U.

  115. ”Control of the ball is irrelevant, it is nothing about the accuracy of the pass, it is all about the deliberate intention of playing the ball.’

    It is absolutely relevant. How you can justify that decision is beyond me. If this wasn’t your blog and I hadn’t been coming here for ages, I would say you’re trolling here.

  116. @Markus,

    Yes, they are allowed to show replays of goals. They don’t show what they call “contentious issues”, that is, something mwhich may be deemed to incite the crowd. For instance, when a penalty is given, they will show the kick being taken, but not the foul that it was given for. Last night they inadvertently showed the offside decision before cutting the replay meaning we got to see a replay of the decision, but not the strike into the net! The ref saw that and went to clarify with his linesman.

    On a general point, the offside law now appears to be open to so much interpretation from officials that no-one is sure what decision is going to be given in a situation. While I think everyone could agree that if a player is standing offside by the left touchline and the ball is played to a player who is onside near the right touchline then the offside player should be ignored. Where it gets ridiculous is like last night’s decision where the ball ends up exactly where it was intended to go, one official will give it and another won’t. The grey areas need to be taken out of this fairly simple decision and if it means going back to the old days where if anyone us standing in an offside position whether near the ball or not, then I’d be all for it just to stop all the incosistency.

  117. YW – It is not about respecting what Moyes has to say. If the goal was not offiside, he would have been the one arguming the toss. Even he had to admit it was offiside.


    ““gaining an advantage by being in that position” means playing a ball that rebounds to him off a goalpost or crossbar having been in an offside position or playing a ball that rebounds to him off an opponent having been in an offside position”

    It wasn’t exactley a pass back was it? He attempted to block the ball, and it span through off him. Added to this, he tried to block as he knew Saha was there. Surely that means Saha was affecting the play? If Saha had not been there the chances are Kos would have let the ball run through to our keeper.

  118. Kenyan

    It used to be more simple: the linesman was up with play and flagged if the forward was in an offside position when the ball was played. But teams were not as adept at breaking the offside trap – the 1989 model of Arsenal would have struggled with the new interpretations – and football was becoming sterile at the highest level, i.e. internationals and Champions League.

    Since the rule changes, I can think of three different interpretations that have been officially handed down, the problem being each time they try to simplify it, they make it more subjective.


  119. Flint McCullough

    “the deliberate intention of playing the ball”
    so any deliberate movement to the ball by a defender, which ends up with him touching it plays the forward onside?

    When have you ever seen a defender just get out of the way in this sort of situation?

    All I can say is there would be a doubling + of goals scored in the record books. That is until defenders caught on & defended from their goal line. What a pretty spectacle that would make.

  120. Bob

    Control isn’t relevant, it is the intention of playing the ball deliberately that is paramount. Under your interpretation, the only way that an opponent can play someone onside when they have the last touch of the ball is a perfectly weighted pass in the style of Steven Gerrard five years ago. It’s patently wrong, the key is deliberately playing the ball not accidentally getting in the way and causing a deflection or rebound. Those circumstances would have made Saha offside. If you do not think that Koscielny made a deliberate contact with the ball, try watching it again.


  121. @ Deisegooner
    “I reckon Cesc did say something ABOUT the officials (probably to Le Boss) within earshot of Moyes. ”
    If anything at all happened, that was most likely it.

  122. FunGunner | February 2, 2011 at 11:21 am |
    AA regenerated
    Diaby is back
    Still on for the quadruple
    …is how I’m looking at it.

    Yes I think so.

    I have to admit, that Moyes comments was just in my eyes heat of the moment sour grapes. I still quite respect the bloke. He doesn’t play silly buggers too often.

  123. That’s more than interesting… that’s scary.

  124. Flint

    Djourou could and should have shouted “leave it”; he had full sight of Saha and would have known that offside was coming. Pretty much a deliberate attempt to play the ball makes the situation complicated – rarely is it one player so far ahead of the defence without a runner coming through.


  125. ”Under your interpretation, the only way that an opponent can play someone onside when they have the last touch of the ball is a perfectly weighted pass in the style of Steven Gerrard five years ago. It’s patently wrong, the key is deliberately playing the ball not accidentally getting in the way and causing a deflection or rebound. Those circumstances would have made Saha offside. If you do not think that Koscielny made a deliberate contact with the ball, try watching it again.”

    A deflection or rebound is offside I agree. But also a deliberate attempt to clear it when the ball is not under control is offside. Otherwise ever cross to a forward in an offside position that gets a slight touch off a defender who is deliberately trying to head the ball away would be onside. Which it isn’t. Control is paramount.

  126. Ooops, I forgot you ARE the ref on here YW. A million humble apologies kind sir, guv.

  127. The bit by Untold that Frank linked is scary… not els’ comment. Although Moyes is pretty scary too if you ask me. Imagine pouring water in his whiskey… or under-cooking his haggis.

  128. As IO understand it, this article was written BEFORE the game last night.
    Interesting piece of work.

  129. Maybe a few of you overlooked this

    “A player in an offside position may be penalised before playing or touching the ball, if, in the opinion of the referee, no other team-mate in an onside position has the opportunity to play the ball.”

  130. For best results of course, haggis should be left completely uncooked… back at the butcher’s in the dusty corner from whence it came.

  131. I can’t agree with that YW. Saha was offside when the ball was played. The assistant more often than not will flag for offside instantly, irrespective of who the ball can deflect off. On this occasion it didn’t happen for whatever reason. There is no consistency in this rule, and it seems everyone has there own interpretation of it.

    Another F-UP from the FA

  132. Oh, and just to keep the argument going, Walter over at ‘Untold’ who is a referree, says that the goal was “..a very, very, big mistake” and promises a full analysis tomorrow.

    I look forward to the Walter v, Yogi showdown.

  133. @LA *shuddering. My god. I’d need new kecks. He one scary arsed bloke.

  134. “Control isn’t relevant, it is the intention of playing the ball deliberately that is paramount. ” Under the laws the degree of control is relevant though ambiguous to a degree but the argument is irrelevant because there was never a phase of play from the moment his team mate plays the ball when Saha wasn’t offside. He would have to have been onside at some phase to make your argument relevant. “Interfering with play” is irrelevant it is all about “gaining an advantage”. Had he not been “gaining an advantage” from an offside position when his team mate played the ball he wouldn’t have been in a position to “gain an advantage ” (or at least the same advantage) from Koscielny’s deflection. A deflection which was a consequence of the linesman’s failure to stop play for the offside offence committed the moment Coleman played the ball.

  135. What a result anyway. I found myself shaking my head for much of the game until Arshavin scored. The deep feeling of unjustice really got to me, especially seeing Man Utd and Chelsea gifted victory once again. I can’t imagine what the players would have been feeling. Cesc should be credited for standing up to the task and leading our team to victory. The media seem to ignore his abilities as a leader, and the huge mental strength this team possesses.

    Anyway catch the pull from behind on Darren Bent Vs Man Utd?? It was a clear CLEAR goalscoring opportunity, and a definite red card. Guess what… nothing was given !

  136. Bob

    Can you point to your source for:

    >a deliberate attempt to clear it when the ball is not under control is offside.

    As for the final sentences of your comment, you have described perfectly “deflected”. Koscielny did not deflect the ball. He did not cause the ball to rebound. He deliberately played the ball. Badly.

    Anyway’s, off to a meeting so continue this later this afternoon (and with the stubborness on show, probably into this evening)…


  137. I’m unsure whether to like or dislike the Hendrix-hair of whatshisname. He’s one of those knobbly-kneed tough-as-leather types. But the Afro! It does affect everyone’s concentration (hence this whole offside business, look at the replays; the refs are watching the hair, not the ball). They blew instinctively. And then had to drag their eyes away from the hairy spectacle and re-watch the match replay on the big screen. On the whole I’d prefer if he was actually in a band, with a guitar, stretching the strings.

  138. YW

    I understand your reasoning, it still doesn’t explain why the linesman didn’t flag before the Kosc interception.

  139. Sorry, they didn’t blow of course, but waved play on … you know.

  140. Thierry Bergkamp-Wright

    @clockend at 11:47 am

    I’m implicitly concur with both points raised.

    I’m of the view, there will be a time, in a not-so-distant future, where overly inflated transfer fees and exorbitant salary payments will implode; hastening the demise of our beautiful sport.

  141. YW

    You are entitled to your view but you seem to be at odds with the rest of the world.
    David Moyes said it was offside, co did Curbishley on Football first, so did Frank and Delia cited the perfect example of the Sunderland v Chelsea game that saw offside given in almost an identical circumstance.

  142. ”As for the final sentences of your comment, you have described perfectly “deflected”. Koscielny did not deflect the ball. He did not cause the ball to rebound. He deliberately played the ball. Badly.”

    So when a cross comes in and a defender attempts to deliberately head it away and only just manages to get a slight touch it’s ‘deflected’ and when a ball gets lobbed through and Koscielny only just manages to deliberately get his foot to it it isn’t?
    Koscielny only had a split second to get to that ball, I’m surprised he got to it at all. To call it a bad attempt at deliberately playing the ball is ludicrously harsh.

    Regardless of all this, my point is that offside should have been given the moment that ball was played. Saha was in an offside position at that time and the ball was heading for him. Everything else is irrelevant. The only reason we’re having this debate is because the official wasn’t competent enough to do this, as he should have.

  143. If Cesc didn’t utter something ‘unruly’ in the tunnel, in a louder than usual voice, well, he’s not the captain I thought he was.

  144. Flint McCullough

    I think YW has appointed himself Adrian Durham for the day.

    There is no way his argument can stand up in the spirit of the game.
    He is giving us his interpretation of the law as it stands and the overwhelming majority of us think he is wrong.

    What is clear is that interpretation should be taken out of it. It should go back to what it was so that it can be universally understood.

  145. ”Can you point to your source for:

    >a deliberate attempt to clear it when the ball is not under control is offside.”

    I have no source for this, it’s just the way I know the rule, the way I know most of the rules in football without having consulted an online or any other source. I understand completely if you choose to ignore this as I have nothing to back it up at the moment.


    This is the line now drawn under it!

  147. Thierry Bergkamp-Wright

    Moyes’ comment appears to be a smokescreen to disguise his team’s inept defending. Let’s not pay too much credence to the funny-sounding dweeb.

    Had Everton won, his critic of Fábregas would have never occured.

  148. Consols – Looking forward to YW vs Walter meself. Baited breath anyone?

    But YW makes an even better point, the offside contremps is simply distracting from a massively inept performance by Lee Mason as well as Moyes deliberately playing the anti-Fabregas card to play to the biases of the British audience. It stinks to high heavens.

  149. Gonna clear off quick after dropping this stink bomb!

    To Dirty Diana by Michael Jackson, of the Jackson 5 fame:

    He rocks those light golden braids,
    But he can do what he wants,
    Cos he’s our a right-sided king,
    From out the land of croissants,
    So we don’t care what you think;
    He can be seen from afar,
    Now he gives ev-ery-thing,
    And that’s what makes Bac a star!

    Bacary Sagna -ah
    Bacary Sagna-ah
    Bacary Sagna-ah

  150. “Koscielny did not deflect the ball. He did not cause the ball to rebound. He deliberately played the ball. Badly.” It’s possible to construct just as spurious an argument in interpreting what constitutes playing the ball. Was it his intention to simply ‘block’ the ball and not ‘play’ the ball at all in which case it’s just as easy to claim that he caused the ball to rebound off him and didn’t play it at all. Did he play the ball badly or was it a good attempt to block the path of the ball that got an unlucky rebound? It’s a silly facetious argument of course but then claiming that Saha wasn’t offside by any reasonable interpretation of the laws is no less silly or facetious really.

  151. I think the argument is not whether Yogi is right or wrong it just proves that the offside rule is just too open for interpretation. Like a few people said there was the same incident in the Chelsea game and it was ruled off side so this just show that their is a need to redefine the rules so that just one interpretation is possible.

  152. i dont agree with YG about the offside.
    Kos have to try to stop the ball because Saha was behind him already(he couldnt be sure if saha was offside and he was offside at the start)so saha was interfering with the play when the pass was done : OFFSIDE. If saha was not here Kos would have left the ball to the gk to pick up

  153. So much over analysis over the off-side decision. So little praise for the way the team fought back. We’re on a very good run.

    Any news on Nasri and Song yet?

  154. Thierry Bergkamp-Wright

    @shottagunna at 1:02 pm

    Had the alleged perpertrator been Beckham, soon to be knighted, past his sell-by-date, give him more high-level soccer than he actually deserves, darling-boy of the Brits, the supposed tunnel incident would have been long buried.

  155. I agree with gunnerluc. Where offside is concearned, interpretaion appears to be nine, tenths of the law! That in itself is dangerous given Untold Arsenals pre game assessment of the officials involved.

  156. More ominous is Moyes deliberately setting-up Fabregas as being disrespectful to a ref. It is laughable on its face as we on television constantly see good old English blokes like Rooney, Fletcher, Terry et al mouthing off to the refs as “f*cking c*nts.”You don’t need to be great lip readers; it is blindingly obvious. But recently el capitan johnny foreigner has become more aggressive in representing his team on the field especially with the refs. Surely he needs to be brought down a peg or two. Who better than the Professional Game Match Officials Board (PGMOB) headed by that stout defender of English football vrtues, Mike Riley.
    Look out Fabregas; they are gonna get you.

  157. Just been re-reading some of the comments and debate. This site is awesome! Credit to YW for that.

  158. One thing that I feel has gone unutter is Lee Mason really had no choice but to let the goal stand. There’s no way he could have overturned the goal despite seeing the mistake on the big screen because there is no mechanism for such.

    Could you imagine the uproar if he did overturn the goal? Even if we had won 5-0 or drew 0-0, the media would be going mental and Mason would never referee again.

    The FA need to be bold and lead FIFA by the balls and introduce video tech. It really is the only way

  159. Correction: Fletcher is Scottish, not English, but you get my point.

  160. Moyes is a genius, he learned from his pal Fergie. The media should’ve been on his back for his failings instead I wake to a war waged on Fabregas because of some allegations made against him. They have decided he is guilty. If Fabregas comes out and said I have never said a thing. Who are we we supposed to believe? Only the referee knows and has the right to act if he believes Fabregas has misbehaved. Why this condemnation from the press?

    This offside rule is really pathetic. They should leave it just the way it was. If you are in a offside position when the ball is played then you are offside regardless what happens in between. Kolcieny tried to clear the ball because Saha was behind him if he wasn’t there then Kos would leave it for the goalie to collect so Saha benifited from the fact that he is standing in an offside position.He is intefering, It led Kolcieny to react.

  161. Totally agree with Mattyboy. The debate has been excellent and YW is holding his own as well encouraging the debate. I shall have a toast to YW from afar on Friday night!

  162. I can’t say I dislike the offisde rule in it’s current incarnation, afterall Walcott’s goal against Newcastle (despite the Bendy controversy) shows the benefits of such a rule. I just think last night and the resulting discussion highlights an area to clarify

  163. How good was Clichy yesterday? He’s playing with swagger again.

  164. Yes. I’ve just watched the match again and it was revealing in the post match interview that when asked about conceding two goals, Moyes launched into an attack on Cesc. No reason, just a deliberate attempt to besmirch another teams’player and deflect attention away from the defeat. It came right out of the blue in what was, until then, a reasonable interview. Disgaceful

    In contrast Arsene was absolute class.

  165. Great result yesterday. Sometimes in the past we had used a bad call by a referee or some other unfair negative event as an excuse to let down. This time we used it as motivation to pick ourselves up and gut out a tough win. Great maturity and character. Good stuff. Really happy that we stayed strong in the back after the offside goal and gave ourselves a chance to win. The score line shows that we lost our run of clean sheets but I think we can count it as another one no matter what the official score line says.

    Normally I try to defend the refs and I believe we are much harder on them then they deserve. However, yesterday was a shocker. Still do not believe any of the silly conspiracy theories but the need for video replays is so clear. No way that off side goal would stand with any scrutiny. Once the call is made it is difficult for the refs to change even if they know they made a mistake. Replays work so well in other sports. Just do not understand how the higher powers do not act.

  166. I feel you do yourself a disservice there, Oofus. I thought that was rather brilliant – but then again I do have a soft spot for that song.

    Speaking of the Land of the Croissant… here’s one for you; doesn’t star Arsene, but it does star one of his friends.

    ‘Les Vacances de M. Houllier’ (or Monsieur Houllier’s Holiday). Introducing Jacques Tati as Gérard Houllier – a gauche but lovable stranger whose madcap antics gently mock the locals of a stiff old backwater town ( – set-in-their-ways types with giant great chips on their shoulder about living in the midlands). From the simple but heart-warming whimsy of playing Stuart Downing as a Number 10, to the outlandishly slapstick ‘capture’ of Darren Bent for £18 million… the rigid midlanders are lampooned to wonderful comic effect throughout.

  167. I’ve long held that Scotland should be jettisoned off into the Norwegian Sea. Now we’ll just have to make sure to do it on the night of a Moyes family reunion… down the old Kilt and Knackers.

  168. OneOfUs | February 2, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
    Gr8 stuff..

  169. I thought the ref had a great gtame last night!

  170. Only joking – he was a c*nt!

  171. Amos (1.09pm)

    Nothing facetious in the argument that Koscielny deliberately played the ball, you are simply choosing to ignore that because it does not fit with your viewpoint, which as you put it is a silly and facetious course of action to take.


  172. LordGunner

    See my earlier comment for the official Fifa interpretation of ‘interfering with play’. Your note at 1.21pm is directly at odds with it.

    See my earlier comment for my view that Kos should have been told to let the ball go by JD.


  173. Remi

    No they are useful, Lee Mason is not.


  174. Aaaaah Jacques Tati. Well I never. Who’d have thought. Bless my soul.

  175. The best outcome of the controversy of the night was the admirable vocal support from the Emirates crowd, certainly appeared to lift the team. Great performance.
    One can only hope that the Blizzard of 2011 in the US sweeps away the cretins on FSC.
    Altogether now:
    Who’s your father, who’s your father, who’s your father Yogi’s Warrior…

  176. If you’re trying to engage Yogi in a spot of who’s your father, MD, I can assure you he’s just not that type of girl.

  177. Looks like Fabianski is out for the season. Szchzensy and Almunia it is then. If Szchzney performs well until the end of the season he could establish himself as the No1 for a very long time.

  178. Great debates going on about the offside… Nice one all. Not going to get back into it, as it’s all been said it seems.

    Arshavin was great when he came on, some of his passes were sublime, like when he half-volley-lofted it perfectly for RvP in the box, and a lovely finish which is just what he needs… Hopefully this’ll spark him back into life.

    Djourou and Kos were great again. Chez looking confident. RvP is getting better and better. Clichy was awesome! If only he’d blasted it at goal towards the end…

    All in all, a great comeback, and having to play against an everton supporting twat of a ref, makes it even more satisfying.

    And Moyes has done nothing but make him look like more of a tool than I already thought he was. Wenger deflects attention well, in a classy way, but Moyes just looked like a school child who’d lost against their local rivals, going to the headteacher to tell on him… Grow up mate.

    Up the Arse!!

  179. RvP will score a direct free-kick sometime very soon. I feel it in my waters. His set-piece delivery again wins us the points.

  180. My wallpaper for atleast few weeks:

    Wish it was the scrum immediately after this..

  181. Speaking of Szczesny, is it just me or the boy does not come off his line as much as he used to do earlier. Don’t know if its good or bad thing. So long as we don’t concede more than we score its going to be ok I guess. And was last night’s “dubious” goal first goal conceded in the premierleague this year?

  182. I’m feeling that too Limpar… That save was outrageous, RvP must be thinking he’s never going to score a free kick again, like the hattrick thang I suppose.. It’s coming!

  183. Yogi, there is nothing in the interpretations to the rule that says a rebound or deflection must be unintentional. For me, the ball clearly deflected off Koscielny’s foot, to Saha, who gained an advantage from having been in an offside position when the ball was played by his teammate. Just as AA properly would have been blown offside if he had been in an offside position when Cesc’s pass was made, notwithstanding that Rodwell headed it deliberately. Deliberation just doesn’t come into play here — unlike with handling.

    Koscielny can’t be faulted for trying to intervene to block the pass — he surely knew Saha was there, and it was the linesman’s job, not Koscielny’s, to assess whether Saha had mistimed his run. Saha did, and the linesman compleletely screwed up his only job. Simple as, and don’t understand why a couple of very smart people like you are unmecwssarily complicating it.

    But a great win, an on to Newcastle!!

  184. Yup, Zama t’was the first Prem goal conceded.

  185. great remix oofus..

    team showed their quality under adversity.. ref was remarkable


  186. Remember RvP’s goal against Boro being given offside after Boateng(?) hacked at it?

    That was far more in line with what might be given than last night’s version.

    Likewise the offside given in the chelsea game.

    That cvntflap, gale, scoffing at the ball being played out for Theo, or the other wanker commentator the other day who incredulously expressed the opinion that the ref “couldn’t allow that to happen” when the ball rebounded off the ref and fell to an Arsenal player in a dangerous position, despite the rules being VERY clear that play should have continued.

    That’s the issue here, it’s one set of rules for everyone else, and a completely different set when it’s Arsenal involved.

    I’ll bet a penny to a pund of pig-shit that the media et al would have gone ballistic if Arsenal had scored that goal.

    Why is moyes not being told to produce evidence for his slander?

    Wenger suggested that they find the tapes, it’s a there surely?

    Or, maybe like horton and brown, it’ll all show that moyes lies like his feet stink?

    I struggle to accept that moyes’ word is taken as gospel, but Wenger’s version is dismissed out of hand.

    We’ve seen this before, it’s pure xenophobia, just like when orange and his cuddly bunny were proven to have lied about Cesc “spitting”.

    No correction from the liars in the media, likewise here, they assume moyes is honest etc, and the Wenger (the foreigner), is an inveterate liar.

    The EPL is full of dishonest people, from refs to pundits to players and managers, it’s just that it’s always “those foreigners” who get slated, instead of the real guilty parties………………….

  187. “Nothing facetious in the argument that Koscielny deliberately played the ball” Let’s just test your interpretation a little further then YW. Imagine everyone is in the same position with Saha offside when Coleman plays the ball. Instead of attempting a pass Coleman shoots for goal. Szczesny goes for the ball intending to push it around the post or over the bar but instead parries it out straight to Saha who scores. No one could deny that in such a situation Szczesny is deliberately playing the ball and that, by your definition, it isn’t a rebound. If it helps you can envisage that Szczesny tries to kick it away and miscues it. So which decision is given – offside or not?

  188. Yogi,

    if your interpretation is accurate, defenders should NEVER play to the whistle if they think the attacker is offside, and no other attacker is present. They should just stop and scream at the ref – otherwise they are penalized.

    Consider, if a ball is played over Kos’ head and he knows Saha is offside – if he goes towards it and touches it, he can be immediately closed down by Saha. In fact you could have a situation where both players move forward but neither wants to touch the ball – one cause it makes him offside, the other cause it would make make the attacker onside.

    Surely Kos was forced to intervene BECAUSE of the position of Saha. If Saha was not there, then Kos does not do that. Hence Saha gains an advantage from his position because he makes the defender do something he would not do.

  189. Amos

    Goalkeepers do not count in terms of being an opponent touching the ball therefore Saha is offside.


  190. Goonerinla

    By their very definition, deflections are unintentional whilst rebounds are similarly so. AA would not have been offside either since Rodwell deliberately played the ball rather than it being a deflection or rebound.


  191. The referee should have blown for offside as soon as the ball left Coleman’s boot. It was a massive failure that he didn’t. Watch the commentry on there is more than enough time for the linesman to blow the whistle before Koscielney touched the ball. He has 2 fucking jobs to do, blow a whistle and wave a bloody flag and he couldn’t do it in time! Kos panicked and did all he could. 0-1.

    But we won when we were up against it, and in many ways I’m glad it happened that way. It will give the team more belief than a routine 3-0 would have. We still haven’t conceded a legitimate goal in the Premier League this year.

    Football has needed a long hard look at itself for too long now. It really is ridiculous that games can still be decided by ineptitude imune to reproach.

  192. Nando

    >if your interpretation is accurate, defenders should NEVER play to the whistle if they think the attacker is offside, and no other attacker is present. They should just stop and scream at the ref – otherwise they are penalized.

    I have no idea where you’ve drawn that conclusion from?

    If Koscielny knew Saha was offside when the ball was played, why would he try to play the ball? If you look at the replay, Kos knows that Saha is in the vicinty but has no real idea of his position because all of Saha’s movement is behind him. This is where Djourou or one of the others who has a clear view should be shouting for him to leave it. Saha escapes your interpretation because his position is not Kos’ eyeline. That is clearly spelt out in the Fifa interpretations I posted earlier.


  193. YW,

    If I may, what is your interpretation of “interfering with play”?

    Forgive me if you’ve stated it earlier, but I think understanding such may be of much assistance to me.

  194. If that is the case strikers may as well just lurk around the edge of the area way behind the defensive line whilst long balls are hoofed forward towards the defenders heads then. If they are pressured by the opposition there will be a good number of the balls that make it through to the goalhanger. He would not be offside though as the defender had tried to clear the ball.

  195. Genuine question to the guys who agree Saha was not offside:

    Starting from the premise that you are right, can you provide another example of the rule being interpreted that way? Any other case of a failed interception playing the attacker onside?

    Again, this is not a rethoric question, and of course if we can’t remember it doesn’t mean it never happened. Just that we can recall countless similar situations where the flag was up, but what happened yesterday seems unprecedent.

  196. Gadget

    From my post at 12.02pm

    Oh and for those who say he was gaining an advantage, here’s the definition from FIFAs Laws of the Game:

    “gaining an advantage by being in that position” means playing a ball that rebounds to him off a goalpost or crossbar having been in an offside position or playing a ball that rebounds to him off an opponent having been in an offside position

    “Interfering with an opponent” means preventing an opponent from playing or being able to play the ball by clearly obstructing the opponent’s line of vision or movements or making a gesture or movement which, in the opinion of the referee, deceives or distracts an opponent


  197. goonerandy

    In your example, offside would be given because (a) defenders will play a high line and not touch the ball or (b) if pressured, offside will be given because of interfering with an opponent per the definition I’ve just posted.


  198. YW – Nobody in the right mind is going to shout to their defensive parnter to leave a ball that is going towards the opposition striker. At the speed of the game neither Djourou of Kos may have reslised that Saha was offside.

    It is simple, Saha benifited from being in an offiside position and when the intial ball was played (directly towards him) the flag should have gone up. If the ball was played to another player, and Kos’s attempeted clearence then ended up with Saha that is different. It is the fact that the ball was intended for a clearly offisde player.

  199. Banged to rights. Kos tried to play the ball becuase he was distracted by Saha who was lurking …in an offside position. Moreover he knew he could not depend upon the officials to a judge Saha offside. Because he knew they were cunts. 100% Offside.

  200. YW – But does that bit not relate to the “offside” player making an obstruction?

  201. Anyway, nice debating with you. We will have to agree to disagree I am afraid. I am off home.


  202. Cheers YW!

    Preparing to flee the dungeon for all too few hours people, but maybe I’ll display my rational insanity later

    or perhaps that’s irrational sanity

  203. Yogi,

    So unless the attacker is in Kos’s eyeline he is incapable of knowing where he is? if that is the rule, then it is silly – Kos might have turned his head earlier, or Djourou might have yelled at him and told him.

    Still, to my original point – you are arguing that IF Kos knew (or more accurately thought) Saha was offside, he should not have made a play on the ball and hoped the ref gave it. That is my problem with your interpretation – in every other aspect of the game players are encouraged to play to the whistle, and assume there is no whistle.

    In this case, you are saying that Kos’ actions will change based on whether he thinks the Ref will give the offsides or not. Should Djourou have yelled “OFFSIDE” and caused Kos to stop going for the ball? I’ve never seen that in a game….

  204. I’m a little stunned by YW’s stubbornness here, so I’ll ask for (I think now) the fourth time by me, and at least a dozen times all told:

    When a long cross or long ball is played to a single attacker, and that attacker is in an offside position, the flag goes up and the play is whistled before the ball even comes down. I submit that according to your position, this is wrong every single time they do it, BECAUSE (as you say at 11:46) “There was no advantage to be gained until the ball reached him,” and thus he was not yet offside. According to you, there is still a chance that the defender will make a “deliberate attempt” on the ball and thus play the attacker onside, so every referee in the world is making a huge mistake every week by raising the flag prematurely.

  205. ———————————————————————————-

    again i will draw a line under it
    the goal was given
    we still won 2-1


  206. “Goalkeepers do not count in terms of being an opponent touching the ball therefore Saha is offside.” I don’t follow this at all. Where in the rules is there any differentiation between a goalkeeper deliberately playing the ball (in this specific situation) and any other outfield player. Assume that Szczesny goes for the ball in exactly the same manner and with the same degree of control that Koscielny is able to exercise and gets his foot to the ball in exactly the same way with the same result. What aspect of the offside law determines that the keeper is treated differently from Koscielny?

  207. Thought I’d throw my take in now…

    “or movements or making a gesture or movement which, in the opinion of the referee, deceives or distracts an opponent”

    YW – Saha simply being in that position, distracted Kos (as he was obviously aware of his presence in said dangerous position), meaning that he was interfering with play.

    If Kos didn’t show the awareness to know Saha was there (as you said earlier) then he’s not even half the defender we’ve all been saying he is.

  208. Nando

    I think you’ve strayed away from the point – I don’t know why Koscielny played the ball other than he did not think Saha was offside. You cannot play to the whistle with offside. It is generally given ‘after the event’, i.e. a forward receiving a pass. You can set an offside trap and hope it isn’t sprung but that is it.

    Had Koscielny not touched the ball, I think that offside would have been given. I don’t know why the defender went for the ball, I doubt that he does. It was not certain Saha would have got to the ball first there are simply too many imponderables.


  209. Sorry, goonerandy and Frank basically said the same… not refreshing on a debate day like this can make one look somewhat slow, or ignorant. Apologies!

  210. MotM?

    Man U’s star signing in the transfer window – Lee Mason – forming an excellent partnership with their other star defender Big Howard Webb

  211. What we have is a strange case, it should have been offside no question.

    But it turned into: offside if you leave it for an extra second because I’m too slow to wave my effing flag.

    Saha was in an offside postion when the pass was made. FACT

    the pass was intended for Saha as he was the only Everton player near the defenders. FACT

    Awareness of other players positions is the single largest component in the game of football being played as a game. NOT A FACT BUT I RECKON ITS RIGHT!

    Therefore Kos and Djourous awareness of Saha’s position combined with the failure for the whistle to be blown quickly enough for an illegal act within the rules of the game resulted in panic, a strange reverse implemantation of the rules and consequently, a bogus goal.

    Put it this way, if there is a clear foul and the fouled player carries on playing, advantage is supposed to be alowed and then punishment is retrospectivley administered after that phase of play has come to its conclusion. So why wasn’t Saha retrospectivley penalised for offside? It is an illegal act within the laws of the game and that act changed the course of the game.

    The route of this problem is that officiating is far too unreliable and the sport of football is not taking advantage of technology that would allow the game to be more just and a fairer contest. Disgracefull when the money factor is considered. It’s so important because football is about split seconds that change games entirley. If those moments are inadequetley officiated (which, staggeringly they are almost EVERY game) then we are not watching a fair contest.

  212. Thierry Bergkamp-Wright

    According to BBC’s website:

    Fabregas to avoid FA punishment: The Football Association will take no action against Arsenal captain Cesc …

  213. Meanwhile …. on the island of the clinical stupid, adrian Durham leads the withchunt against our captan Cesc. Is Cesc fit to be Arsenal captain?

    What an ass.

  214. Actually thinking about it more it’s a strange one…because lets say hypothetically Coleman, in an act of superhuman craft, did not intend the pass for Saha at all and INTENDED to makeKos touch the ball but put enough weight on the ball knowing that Kos wouldn’t control it and that it would drift through to Saha and the goal would stand if he scored?

    Ridiculous but interesting. It would however be unsporting if that were the case (which it isn’t) and you would have to say in the spirit of fair play that Offside should be given if the pass is intended for a player in an offside position as their position is interfering with play.

  215. YW,

    “Yep, it is the issue and yes, he does play Saha onside. A DELIBERATE touch of the ball by a defender is NOT a REBOUND and therefore makes Saha onside.”

    What are you on about!? If Saha is in an offside position, in the penalty area say, and one of his team-mates takes a shot which Chesney INTENTIONALLY throws his body in the way of to make the save… this would be a DELIBERATE “touch of the ball by a defender” and if it rebounded to Saha he would be flagged offside all day every day every year in every game ever. I don’t want to sound argumentative but you are way off on this and you are very much alone in your opinion (well, aside from the 3 stooges who officiated the game).

    We have seen similar situations to this all season long and it is always offside.

    By the way, sorry if this point has already been laboriously argued, I kind of skipped to the bottom when I read that particular comment by YW, because I had to responde.

  216. Wasn’t the Phil Brown inspired Cesc witch-hunt right at this time last season? It is seriously getting disgracefully obvious and ridiculous, as soon as it’s apparent Arsenal will be challenging for the title, bam, media-driven attempt at unsettling the team and influencing the officials against us.

    Not like the officials needed any pushing, judging by this most recent example of their incompetence.

  217. Amos

    Read the Laws of the Game. You will find it in there.


  218. “It is generally given ‘after the event’, i.e. a forward receiving a pass.” Again this is factually incorrect. The Law states unequivocally that a player in an offside position is penalised at the moment the ball touches or is played by one of his team It doesn’t have to reach him he just has to be gaining an advantage from being in the position to receive the ballat the moment the ball is played.

  219. nola

    As I’ve explained several times, offside will be given in those circumstances because there has not been a deliberate touch on the ball by the defence. In the circumstances that you note, more often than not, the flag is raised after the ball has passed the defenders.


  220. Taeryn

    I refer you to the answer I’ve just given to Amos. The Laws of the Game specifically cover your point and show that offside would be given because the goalkeeper making a save cannot play someone onside.



  221. Thanks The FA for not punishing Cesc for totally unsubstantiated accusations made by a sore loser.

  222. This is a sick world. Arsenal win and battles a biased ref and then get blamed in the papers for being cheaters? Cheaters or bad sports or whatever you want to call it. How is that possible? The second largest team in the country and they cant write one positive thing about the win and about the hopless ref. Everybody that is neutral saw what happend, everybody. It was more ridiculouse than the Liverpool beachball. Yet what fills the papers is “fabregas rant in the tunnel”?? wtf???
    This really pissed me off…

  223. Taeryn

    TBH Moyes’ words were a stupid and pathetic attempt by an opposition manager to turn attention away from his own team’s performance. The referee has not reported any incident which means that Moyes and those questioning him have to now back up their assertion of the incident with a full report on what was said.

    I wonder if any journo will have the guts to ask Moyes about it at his next press conference? No will be the answer…


  224. “Amos, Read the Laws of the Game. You will find it in there.” I’ve read them YW. I can’t see anything there that supports your view. I have already posted a few times directly from the current edition of the Laws of the Game relating to the offside rule and it’s definitions. Perhaps you would care to post the relevant passage that I’m unable to find here so that others needn’t toil through the rule book.

  225. Amos

    If you’ve got them, try reading pages 102 onwards, go through the examples and you’ll find exactly how different a goalkeeper is treated. It’s absolutely clear – even with pretty diagrams a goalkeepers intervention DOES NOT play anyone onside.

    Right I’m off home so laters.


  226. not that untold arsenal are gods or anything but they do a Ref index and they did show pics on how to do the offside rule 🙂
    Then again, i think the ref and Moyes must be way annoyed, after all the energy they used on beating arsenal, they even supported the same team. ANd they did not manage. Thats how good arsenal is

  227. Great win last night, the boys refused to lose.

    As far as the offside, I dare say that Yogi’s way of looking at it is a lose lose for the defender. Kos did the right thing in trying to get the ball because the whistle hadnt blown when it shoudlve.

    Here is the problem I see with what Yogi is saying. If the ball is played and the whistle in not blown the offside man is through on goal, If the defender tries to block it and it lands to the offside attacker, he is through on goal. So what the defender must do just stop playing, even though he has heard nothing to say the player is offside, thus putting a goal or not at the mercy of incompetent officials. That would be quite foolish I think.

    What I see is you have no constant at all which will cause confusion. You need something that says, “The play is dead as this point”, it cannot work otherswise.

  228. Yogi,
    It seems to me that your argument hinges on a very strange interpretation of the word “deliberate”. You say that Kosceilny “deliberately” played the ball. Now to my mind the meaning of what you are saying is that Kosceilny had CONTROL of the ball and made a DECISION to play it the way he did… but you also say that “control” has nothing to do with the idea of “deliberately“ playing the ball in this case. My question really is this… what made Kosceilny’s attempt to play the ball more deliberate than say Rodwell’s attempt to head the ball?

    Surely the idea of deliberateness in this instance has to be intimately linked to idea of control otherwise you’d have to say every attempt to play the ball must be considered deliberate by your definition and that more or less renders the off side rule inoperable.
    BTW It is a mark of the success of your site that you can have a debate conducted with such a high level of intelligence on all sides…

  229. Joshua

    Please don’t try and argue that Koscielny made an involuntary attempt to get the ball. It has nothing to do with him having control of the ball, he simply deliberately played the ball. Rodwell deliberately headed the ball. You only have to see their actions to know the deliberate nature of their actions. Unless of course, they have St Vitus Dance and I have done them a terrible injustice.


  230. clearly ‘someone needs to get down there and explain the offside rule to…’ …well everyone.

    none of this would have happened if a real man like andy gray were still about!

  231. “If you’ve got them, try reading pages 102 onwards, go through the examples and you’ll find exactly how different a goalkeeper is treated.” Yeah – I’ve read all those too YW. There is nothing there that supports your view at all in making any differentiation between what constitutes a rebound and what constitutes playing the ball by either a keeper or an opponent. If it’s a rebound from a keeper then its a rebound from an opponent if the same degree of control can be exercised in either case. In either case the player is offside.

  232. YW,

    Please read the laws of the game again. I do not know where you are getting this goalkeeper bit, the example diagram that includes the goalkeeper is simply indicating a situation of the ball coming off a defender to an attacker who is in an offside position.

    I do not want to labour this point because honestly it’s academic since we won, but you have a bizarre interpretation of the law.

    There is nothing in the laws which state anything about deliberateness (as far as I know, I apologize if I am wrong on this). “Rebound” is never specifically defined as an unintentional touch of the ball.

    The more convincing argument however is that this exact situation was given as offside in the Chelsea game. And I have never in my years of watching football ever seen this situation given as NOT offside.

  233. Very little mention of the switch to 442 yesterday? been quite a long time now hasn’t it?

    I wonder what criteria must be in place before wenger makes the change to 442? For me we were being harassed a bit in midfield but generally did not seem to have enough numbers to work through to the forwards… not quite sure but everton were laid out well enough to hold us back.

    I wonder then if we will see a similar shift in tactics against barca?

  234. So its not just women that dont understand the offside rule then.

  235. Yogi…

    Surely there’s a graduation from DELIBERATE to INVOLUNTARY…. A lot of actions are neither involuntary nor would they be called deliberate either. Otherwise what you are saying is that any time a player makes a calculated attempt to stop a pass reaching a player who he is unsure is in an off-side position and mis-kicks… then the officials should let play continue even if the intended recipient of the pass was indeed off side… but that isn’t the case really as we all know… in fact play is frequent stopped while the ball is in mid-flight because the only intended recipient of the pass is in an off-side position. It seems to me that the entire world of football has gotten the off-side rule wrong all this while 🙂

  236. YW,

    I don’t think it’s that important now and just points to the complexity of a ridiculous Blatterism (the phased off-side rule). Yet, both managers and the assistant referee (that is the one who gave offside against the Mancs last night when a Villa defender headed it back. His decision being based on the fact that the Manc had strayed off side at the time the ‘pass was directed at him’) agree that it should have been offside and my logic would support that view.

    I’m just as confused at the officials here. Aren’t phases and the back pass two distinct issues and wouldn’t a second phase have needed Saha to have come back onside at some point prior to scoring? If it was merely a back pass issue then the timing of the initial pass and the intent to pass back by Kos would have mattered – or would it?

    Honestly, I’m not female but it just seems to show how poor a rule this is. AS you already noted, it was not the only problem for and with the officials last night and WE WON ANYWAY!

  237. @ word
    4-4-2 – could be just to do with most effective use of the personnel he had on the pitch?

  238. Even Dermot Gallagher disagrees with you YW.

  239. Apparently only Yogi does duke.

    Where’s Ms Massey when you need her?

  240. Oops, it might have been the Chelski game. I watched highlights of all the matches today and might be a little confused!

  241. Fungunner,

    I think you’re right that we went 4-4-2 because of the situation and resulting substitions, which meant we sought a more attacking line up that made best use of the players (particularly B52 and RvP) we had on the pitch.

  242. Yogi, if WS had gotten to the ball before Saha and picked it up, do you think it would have been proper to rule Koscielny’s play on the ball an intentional/deliberate backpass? I don’t see how that would be the right call — his play on the ball was much more like the countless headers/deflections/rebounds that properly are not ruled deliberate backpasses despite being intentional plays on the ball.

    If intention/deliberation matters at all here (and I’m not sure it would, since nothing in Rule 11 or its official interpretations says it does), I think it would also matter whether Koscielny intentionally played the ball backwards towards his goalkeeper, which he did not.

    Allowing that goal to stand is totally inconsistent with both the letter and the spirit of the rule, and it takes an awfully strained interpretation to say otherwise.

  243. In other news – Arsenal are expected to make an offer for Paris Saint-Germain defender Mamadou Sakho in the summer, according to French daily L’Equipe.

  244. ill be elated with that if we do dupsffokcuf i really would

  245. It is from L’Equipe so must not be be taken seriously.

  246. FG – I guess the key area was the middle 2 players and there was no direct like for like for song. normally denilson is about but I would not expect such a big change because we only had Jack and diaby – they are both pretty versatile. NB also plays on the right of a 3 often enough so I wonder what forced his hand. This is not something we see much yet the abtract conditions are not really that far out of place considering our ill balanced B team also always plays 433.

    Could be something they have been working on as a plan B in training? or maybe just an instictive reaction to everton formation and the personel as you suggest.

    I guess what triggered my interest was that this seemed like the first real footballing challenge we have faced for a while. So often we play against ourselves, even against man u and chelsea, yet this time our lack of control in midfield was apparent. Everton were almost playing us at our own game; more bodies were pulled back and we started getting our leg over… I just wonder if we will see more of this in tough games.

  247. Fungunner when we were looking for the goal one could have also interpreted it as a 4-2-4 formation to make most of the attackers..

  248. *I should say we go for 4231 more than 433

  249. Hopefully Chelsea’s improving form will mean they can take some points in the 2 games vs. United. 2 well taken goals from Rooney not a good omen. 14 wins in a row for us from now to the end of the season is not out of reach if we continue to show the “cajones” we did yesterday. It may take a perfect finish to win. Hope we go full blast for the CC and FA cup. CC final between the Barca games will be big ask from a mental standpoint but I hope we play our strongest side.

    Great to see Diaby. Not holding my breath regarding his fitness going forward but still feel our best central midfield is Song Diaby Cesc when Diaby is fit. A little more muscle and pace in midfield. He offers a different look compared with Jack.

  250. Just read this:

    “Chelsea wherever you may be,
    don’t leave your wife with John Terry,
    it could be worse, he could be scouse,
    he’d shag your wife then rob your house! “

  251. Gary Neville has retired from professional football with immediate effect. I bet he doing Andy Gray’s old job soon.

  252. according to l`equipe,fabianski`s season is over,he is going to undergo an op and miss the rest of the season.

  253. This discussion has conclusively proven that the present offside rule is too complex.

  254. When Bendtner came on it didn’t look overly 442, rather allowed RVP to drop into the hole and Fabregas to drop back alongside Diaby with the front four all pushing on when in possession. I was encouraged by Diaby too. With Jack’s booking Diaby seemed to rein in his attacking instincts and looked to me like he protected the back four well. Probably going out on a bit of a limb but if that form can be maintained I’m less concerned about Song’s injury…

  255. haha can any body clarify what Wenger means by this, I’m uncertain..

    “Song cannot walk,” said Arsène Wenger during his post-match press conference. “I don’t know what he has got.

    “He was kicked, I think it was by Koscielny, he knocks out everybody in our team! So we have to see how he responds to that in the next days, but he cannot walk at the moment.”

  256. “Talking of fouls, Fabregas’ was a little better as he got more of the Achilles!”
    “hahaha” – Such was Stewart Robson’s reply to his fellow commentator.

    It just goes to show you the mentality of these fucking idiots, do they want to see people getting hurt? It reminds me the time Jaime Redknapp was shown the video of I think Nigel De Jong’s tackle which broke a players leg. His reply (not kidding here) was that:”Yea, it’s unfortunate he broke his leg but for me it’s still a good tackle, I don’t see anything wrong with it to be honest”
    Ruud Gullit was sitting beside him and shot him the most disgusted look I have ever seen and then tried to explain to him why it was a bad challenge. He was better off speaking to the wall!! Personally speaking I would love to hear Gullit and Souness as not only were they two of the best footballers of their time but they command so much respect from everyone. I can wish can’t I?

  257. You know what I find interesting? The fact that the media are trying to stir shit up in regards to Fabregas’ alleged outburst… but when Fletcher decided to yell in the officials’ face and proceeded to give him a forearm shiver in our game against the Mancs, nothing was done on the pitch to punish him. There wasn’t even a mention of it in the media…laughable bias!

  258. nice post yogi
    on the saha goal it was doubt, it can only stand if kozz is playing an intentional back looked from where i was that koz was trying to clear seeing as though he was flying through the air like jackie chan and deflections cant be classed as a backpass..we see it all the time in games…not only that but everton had possession, when the ball left the evertons players foot saha was stood two football pitches offside whether kozz ‘touched’ it or not the flag should have gone up…
    on the was a tough game that we ‘ground out’
    came from behind and got the points late on, much like manu have done all season…stuff of champions and momentum continues..
    my only concern is song..
    how is he..??

  259. It looked to me that Song was actually injured when he collided with Scezsney not Koscielny…It looked like a mean dead leg. Probably a bad deep thigh bruise…by my non-expert opinion I could see him missing Saturday but being back in the squad for the next match.

  260. Amos

    You have not read them at all. Diagrams 10 & 11 have specifically dealt with your point.


  261. I wonder how bad Theo did his ankle…Fellaini pretty much trampled him from behind, and shocking as it may seem, the refs totally missed it!

  262. Duke @ 5.32
    Does Maria know where you live?

  263. I am curious to see how we line up if Walcott and Song are both out Saturday. I would think Wenger would go with Diaby for Song, and Bendtner for Walcott. I don’t know who else I could really see on the right hand side except for Bendtner at the moment…perhaps Rosicky…we shall see.

  264. Dups @ 6.40

    That’s worrying – the mancs defence just got strengthened….


  265. Duke @ 5.32

    98% of pundits don’t either…and neither does anyone who’s commented on here about goalkeepers… 😉


  266. !!!!
    Jonathan Woodgate on the bench?!?!
    I honestly thought he’d died.

    Best of luck, Woody!

  267. I thought the offside is always shown to us being based on where the opposition player is when the ball is kicked? What happens after that is irrelevant. It is only relevant if Saha was onside when the ball was kicked and Kos touched the ball.

  268. Vice

    I think Diaby and Denilson are the gap fillers although I would be elated if Bendtner came in for Theo. It would be a real sign of attacking intent.


  269. Not had time to read all earlier comments so apologies if I`m about to repeat.

    Moyes & Everton have history with Cesc stemming from sendings off at Goodison in previous seasons.

    If memory serves me right Cesc was dismissed there 3 or 4 seasons ago & the season after he was involved in an incident which resulted in Arteta receiving a red card.

    Both dismissals led to a lot of verbals on both sides so I see Moyes` comments last night as a consequence of personal dislike.

    Having said that I quite like the `new` Cesc Fabregas. He`s clearly not concerned about the moral high ground any more & it`s a case of if you can`t beat `em join `em.

  270. You see Diaby playing wide right? I guess he used to be deployed on the left a few years back…let’s just hope Theo and Nasri get well soon because they are both needed in a big way for the upcoming fixtures.

  271. Espn3 is nice, have 4 matches on. The commentating is still crap though!

  272. YW – the ref on untold thinks it was offside to.

  273. Would prefer Rosicky on the right then the left.

    Arshavin was onside for his goal I thought?
    These ruby goggles must need a polish.

    Walter’s review is up at Untold as well.

  274. Rosicky must have started on the ‘left’ as Arshavin played the full game on the weekend. Even without Nasri they can rotate. What a team!

  275. not denilson…please no..
    diaby and jack
    with nikki on the right..

  276. Here it is, he conclusively says that it was offside.

  277. Because it is offside.

  278. Dups, Paul, Finsbury

    Seen it and disagree entirely over the unnecessarily strident view on the offside that he has opined. The diagrams are from the Laws of the Game and totally inappropriate for the argument unless you believe Koscielny merely deflected Coleman’s pass. Which is a totally – hold on, we’ve been going round in circles on this one for twelve hours on this one….


  279. Is there anyone out there apart from Yogi’s Warrior who thinks that was onside? Anyone?

  280. Yes Yogi, give thanks we won.

    Arsene thinks it was offside also, know we all know that he cannot be wrong.

    Arsene does know, doesnt he?

  281. now we know…

    On another good note Birmingham is givinh City a hard time.

  282. Crap! as I posted that comment they score!!!

  283. Listen if Warren Barton, Alan Hansen, Chris Waddle and Stewart Robson all say it’s offside then it must be offside. I mean if 4 experienced professionals of such calibre all agree then who am I to question them?

    In all seriousness, although I think it is offside and everyone agrees that it should be offside, the stupid way the rules are written leaves room for idiots such as Lee Mason and his linesman to rule it onside. Technically as it stands YW is right, but only because the rule has been shown to have a glaring error. The fact is Kos knew Saha had made a run, did not know if he was offside or not, did not hear a whistle and tried to make an interception which unfortunately fell to Saha and he scored. The real problem I have is that the linesman himself was not sure and that is why the ref went over to him to confer, he let it stand(bastard) but as far as I know if there is any doubt then the benefit of the doubt is given to the defense. Saha’s positioning was the advantage he gained by being in an offside position in the first place. I know this is not exactly as the rule calls it but it should be. Inshore YW is right but it is the rule that is wrong.

  284. wasnt saha the only player forward to where the ball was aimed??there were no other everton players going to get near that ball even if saha left it, the ball was played to him, he was stood in an offside position from the start the flag should have gone up as soon as coleman passed it..
    the lino simply cannot allow the next phase to continue if there is only one recipient intended and even if he does, he must then raise the flag if saha touches it or goes for it because it wasnt a the next phase never exists, its still phase one…
    saha can stand there all day long if he wants and will not be offside until he touches it or ‘goes for it’ ,providing there are other attckers in the phase that can get there, but if the ball is intended for him and hit to coleman did, hes offside from the start as it then becomes obvious he is going for it seeing as though hes the only one stood there..the lino obviously thought kozz was passing it back..or saha can move at the speed of light and made his run when the ball was played…but he was wrong..
    thats my veiw anyway…
    and if thats the rule then we should just let rvp stand in the pen box all day long and just smash it off the oppos backside with every pass we have to make it reach him..but that would be silly and thats why its offside…

  285. What JonJon said.

  286. heh JonJon,

    the new long ball technique for teams:

    Have a forward stand 10 yards offside and when playing the long ball, purposefully hit it short and hope for a flubbed header that falls to your forward.

  287. Thank Fuck for that!

    Today has been pathetic.

  288. Will the real YW now please tell us it has all been a ruse?

    Otherwise: fuckin pathetic

  289. very soft penalty against City

  290. Number 10

    Thanks for your contribution, most telling and enlightening. Please stop by and let us know more of your witticisms.


  291. Seems Number10 has had a pathetic day.

  292. Paul – it was our very own PV4 who gave away the penalty

  293. apologies in advance, somebody may have already mentioned this but nasri has signed a new deal apparently..
    good news

  294. Suarez scored for mickys. Only been on a few minutes.

  295. id like to see it again dups
    hint of OG??

  296. JJ – There was a deflection so could be OG

  297. i reckon nikkis was more of a goal but will have to see it again to be sure
    citeh drop points… 😉

  298. Your work is done, Secret Agent PV4. Well played.

  299. Well done to the reserves on their draw at chelski today. Most of the reserve squad out on loan and they still get a draw.

  300. Some great posts today. @11.47 – post of the day

  301. Saw that dups! I dont like city but it did seem rather harsh.

  302. So Yogi, come on off the fence, do you think it was offside, yes or no?

  303. Only 9 points now separate the bottom 10 clubs in the league.

  304. It many ways dups, this season is a thriller. Not least because we are in with a great chance. Just pray for a non repeat of the spectacular collapses that befell us in 2007-2008 and last year.

  305. Muppet – whatever happens this is one of the most competitive championships in years. There are a lot more teams trying to play football this season.

  306. steww

    Well, on the one hand…


  307. United might have a bit of trouble in the next few weeks:
    Sat 05/02/11 Wolverhampton -A
    Sat 12/02/11 Manchester City -H
    Sat 26/02/11 Wigan Athletic -A
    Tue 01/03/11 Chelsea -A
    Sun 06/03/11 Liverpool -A

    4 away games and Citeh at home.

  308. After 12 hours of reflection, I’ve got to say YW is right; technically Kos by swinging and making contact with that ball played Saha onside but as most of us have observed, in the spirit and practise of the game it was offside. YW is a hard case bastard and rightly stood his ground. Fair play to him.
    As Irish observed at 8:49 pm, for so many seemingly intelligent people to disagree with YW vehemently (but civilly) tels us how stupid the present FIFA incarnation of the offside rule.
    Not even Andy Grey understands it and so rightly was shot because Sian Massey knew better. 🙂

  309. Shotta but the ball was played before he swung his foot at that point the whistle shouldve been blown, since the ball was being played to an offside player. Unless the linesmen are going to wait to see if any contact is made everytime before they flag for offside (and they dont) I cannot see how it is not plainly offside.

  310. bill (not with blue letters)

    Koscielny just said that Arsenal are the main challengers to Man U. seems a little early for me. all it takes is a loss and Chelski to win and they are right back in the hunt. But that seems too negative . How about Chelkski beat Manu and we keep winning. Maybe Chelsea can beat them twice! That will be the day..

  311. Just been reading the untold Arsenal ref watch piece BEFORE the game last night. Top top stuff that also is quite scary really! We did well to get anything from a ref who is blatantly partial.

  312. My final thoughts –
    If a defender sticks a part of his body in the way of a shot or pass and he makes any kind of contact which alters the flight, we call that a deflection, don’t we?
    Kos intended to intercept or block the ball over the top. He did not intend to make a pass, wayward or otherwise. It’s not like he intercepted or collected the ball and then tried to pass it to the keeper, or Djourou, but been careless. That’s what I would call a deliberate back pass, albeit a bad one.

    But in any case it comes down to the para posted by steww. The linesman could and should have raised his flag when the ball went towards the only Everton player who could have collected it, and who was offside at the time the ball was played. I suspect that the linesman realised he’d fluffed a really obvious offside so he pretended to the ref that he had seen a back pass.

  313. I know I really shouldnt take anything in written by hacks at the daily mail, but they are trying to suggest cesc is frustrated due to his non transfer to barcelonDNAland.

    Seriously these freakin hacks need to get a real job.

  314. Who am I ?

    I scored 24 goals helping my side win promotion back to the Premier League aged just 22.

    In my first season in the top flight I had an impressive 15 goals by the end of January. Inc a goal against the reigning champions and in a home win over Liverplol. My form earned me an England call-up and my début in an international friendly.

    Am I £35m striker?

    No I am Michael Ricketts, February 2002.

  315. I bet Ricketts is gutted! Nice work word!

  316. @ Dexter
    I saw that absolute bollocks as well. And that inference was made from his description of Ipswich as a rugby team, and his not having more than two shirts to give away to Huddersfield players.
    You couldn’t make it up…. Oh.
    clockendrider was right on the money.

  317. FG

    There’s a powerpoint presentation on Fifa’s site that states they would rather lino’s flag late and get it right, than early and get it wrong. In not flagging immediately, all the lino was doing was obeying a Fifa directive…


  318. Song, Theo, Samir, Lukasz, Tommy 😐

    Is it that time of the season again?

  319. had the day off today Yogi???

  320. So phil mitchell has not reported Cesc in his match report, well surely if he had been so badly verbly abused…moyes you fukin c*nt, like bob said he goes on the list.

  321. Attention ACLF'ers:

    Results for Troll of the month have just come in.

    Bill in a land slide. Kublai Khan took the runner up for those interested.

  322. YW,

    That’s the problem with the new offside rule. It’s absurd really. That’s the word.

  323. Tennessee Arsenal

    It is a testament to the beauty of football that the question of offside or not has gotten all of us so riled up here. In American sports we take it for granted that refereeing decisions dictate the outcome of games, as opposed the the play of the athletes. In baseball, American football, and especially in basketball, players and coaches spend as much time manipulating the rules as they do playing the game. Football is relatively free from this. That diving is such a controversial part of football is an indication that it is not completely free.

    That we are all so hung up on this question of offside points to all of our love of the fact that players, not referees, should decide the game. I agree with YW, I did when I watched the game, and I do after all the commentary: by the letter of the law, the refs got it right. But the spirit of the law, that no team should gain an advantage by being offside, the decision in glaringly wrong.

    In the sports with which I’m familiar, judgment, as opposed to following the letter of the law, has no better license than in football. So while we might disagree about the decision, let’s be thankful we follow a sport that tends to favor the former over the latter.

    Great, great win last night.

  324. We did get a goal given FOR us in the same circumstances 2 seasons ago. It was against Hull on the night of spitgate. Gallas scored. He was offside, ball came off a Hull player. The goal was given. We qualified. Brown lied.

  325. Complete double standards. Cesc asks the ref were you being paid…quite a straightforward question. Rooney tells the ref to f@ck off and they fill column inches about cesc. F@ck the lot of them. We will be champions.

  326. goontownp**ntown

    I’m here to add some fuel to the media vs arsenal fight. I just watched the recent round of prem lge highlights on 101 g goals. all of them had commentary except the arsenal one, it had some lame uninspired rock song as a back track, along with some audible “ooo’s and ahh’s from the crowd” that commentary crew probably could not defend that bogus call. I feel like, hey, that Saha was offside when Coleman passed it. so thats my stance. There are other ways to interpret the situation though.

  327. goontownballoon

    I got some things to say about our formation as well. Actually about our lack of formation. Over the past few games i have seen all of our “wingers” and RVP receiving the ball in a defensive midfield position. I really believe that our whole team is has great touch and now Djourou and Kos are making driving runs through the center of the defense, all with precise triangles and 1-2 passing. Maybe it’s that god-like and mysterious noun know as Total Football.

  328. GTB,

    Or known as ‘Wengerball’!?

  329. That is the point though, Tennessee Arsenal. Football is certainly not a game where the ‘spirit’ of the law holds sway. The decisions of referees are often highly personalised and quite idiosyncratic.

    The current offside law is equivocal. The scenario on Saturday was open to interpretation and opinion with both sides having merit, though not equally. The rules need to be improved. The fact that they have not been reflects badly on the self-elected ‘authorities’ of the game.

  330. Dear oh dear oh dear. The ‘Johnny Foreigner’ hacks are out in force this morning. Actually they are probably tucked up in bed with their teddies still, just their shaven heads poking out. Clutching their willies for security no doubt. Tittering about the shitty little articles they wrote last night.

  331. Frank is absolutely right. How on Earth has Moyes unsubstantiated allegation managed to get so much momentum in the press? Wenger never heard anything, the ref never heard anything controversial enough to report, Fabregas merely insinuates he may have said something, but yet the media are getting all out of shape.

    Comapre and contrast with the ugly face of Man U.

    Will Moyes to complain when Rooney doesn’t get booked for swearing at the referee?

    English football: is it in a cutural revolution or are we still yet to see it?

  332. How the press get excited about this, yet fail to mention any number of Manure players (Rooney springs to mind) screaming all sorts of abuse at a ref during the game is beyond me.

  333. The ugly face of football? Surely wayne Rooney wins that competition hands down…what a role model he is.

  334. “Amos.You have not read them at all. Diagrams 10 & 11 have specifically dealt with your point.” I have and they don’t. If you can believe that they do then you haven’t read my points at all. Time to just accept that you are really just arguing for the sake of it and have no interest in whether the decision was right or wrong at all. Don’t let your shoes get wet while you’re pissing against the wind. 🙂

  335. The strange part is that I’m quite sure the Guardian writer Dominic Fifield’s a gooner…although that never stopped Amy Lawrence from peddling lies.

  336. The reason the media get excited about this is all down to him being a ‘Johnny foreigner’ (and an Arsenal player. If it was from a Man U, English ‘grit’ player it would not be read by the unwashed masses, oop norf.

  337. “How much did you get paid ” That is what Fabregas has said, apparently. What does that mean ? how much is your salary ? or is it are you doing the job you are getting paid to do? Maybe he was just enquiring about the refereeing job that he might do in the future. Kidding aside. if that comment really offended Moyes then he needs to look at himself. Moyes knew he has no ground to stand on even the ref would not be able to report it. Its a question with no answer that you can interpret anyway you like. The ref probably thought about it and realised, I can’t go far with that comment. In a court of law the judge would probably say to the ref and his friend Moyes to go and get a life and don’t waste people’s time. What they need to do is look a Rooney vulgar language on the pitch.

  338. What annoys me the most is the ‘sources in the tunnel’ part. Was that source Everton players, Moyes himself or his 2nd in command or is it made up. It’s always the same even with pizzagate it was sauces (see what I did there).

  339. I’ve got to say Arseblogger has done a good job this morning outing Moyes and the British media in this obvious xenophobic attempt to demonize Cesc. Good on you ablogger. As Arsenal supporters we really need to close ranks on this one. The goal is fairly obvious. Demonize Cesc, in the eyes of officials especially, and hope this will affect our talismanic captain thus derail The Arsenal.

  340. dups – I saw that. Very impressive. 🙂

  341. Any of you guys saw the nutter Kublai Khan, whom we roasted, being feted and given time and space to spout his extremist garbage at Arsenal Truth (sic). Birds of a feather.

  342. That was offside in my opinion, one of the clearest I have seen recently.

    Involuntary or voluntary contact is irrelevant as defenders are supposed to play to the whistle. What is relevant is that Kosc tried to intercept the ball, not pass it back to the goalkeeper.

    Yogi how would you interpret this situation. Say a player is hanging around the goalkeeper ahead of the defence. Anotherplayer shoots at goal and the goalkeeper palms it away, and presents the attacker near him with a tap in. Surely that would be offside, but in your interpretation it would not as the goalkeeper made a voluntary attempt to save the ball.

  343. Shotta – Just read that myself. Excellent and bang on the money.

  344. matt lawson, this dominic cvnt, all the other little arsewipes having a go at trying to insist Cesc is not worthy.

    These showers of shit are stealing oxygen from intelligent people, they need to be encouraged to cease (breathing).

    Honestly, I don’t think this is even a debate anymore, I think Gooners world-wide should just send repeat mails to any chops of this ilk saying “go and fuck yourself”, there is no point in debating with a moron.

    If enough of us send mails each and every day, we can crash their servers and put them out of commission, it’s certainly no less than they deserve.

  345. Shotta: Arsenal Truth (sic). I think it’s run by a spud fan.

  346. Similarly, why do the club tolerate these scum?

    They should not have any accreditation to attend games, and should they actually pay to attend, they should be forced to wear badges and not allowed seats, they can sit on the stairs.

    It pisses me off that these scum are treated royally, fed, entertained, and then behave like they do.

    All fans, even visitors should be allowed to push in front of them at queues, they should be treated like the dogshit that they are.

  347. Haahahahhahahahahahahahaha….HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAA…uurgh…dearie me. We should be allowed to push in front of them in the queue…hahahahahahhahahahahahaha…..they should be made to sit on the steps…….HHHHHHHhhhhaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrgh…..HAHAHAHAHAHA…….brilliant.

  348. So G. Neville has retired. Can I say,

    “Fuck off you dirty manc cunt)”.

  349. MikeSA | February 3, 2011 at 9:57 am |
    I never post to these newspaper sites. Their goal is fairly obvious; deliberately stir up a lot of unfounded anti-Arsenal shit in the hope that it will attract more eyeballs . If we get involved in a slanging match with the various morons who support the Spuds, ManYtd and Liverpool it will make them even happier and richer as they share the loot with Googled ads. They can f*ck off as far as I am concerned.

  350. When you look at all the minor and rather petty things that’s being reported about Cesc it’s almost as though the media are trying to push Cesc out the country

  351. It has been long rumoured that Arsenal have been tracking the Brazilian wonderkid Zezinho and it seems they have made two previous offers to his club Juventude. But now Zezinho himself believes that his time in Brazil has finished and he is on his way to join Arsenal..The Brazil U17 star who helped his country win the World U17 Championships has been linked with many top European clubs and it was rumoured a few months ago that Liverpool had secured a deal for the young star but it seems Juventude rejected the bid.

  352. Koscielny tried to clear the ball BECAUSE Saha was there. Therefore Saha WAS INTERFERING WITH PLAY.

    If Saha had not been there, Koscielny would have happily let the ball run back to the keeper, so he affected the outcome and gained an advantage. Offside.

    If your argument is that Koscielny thought there maybe other, onside players, to receive the ball, then the may be a case. But this is a 3rd order argument. If lino’s need to think about that, then they really do need to simplify this rule.

  353. Steve

    Please read the comments earlier as this will explain why Saha was not interfering with play.


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