Saturday Fall-Outs, Jack Gets Support & More

Arsène noted yesterday that there was a psychological and physical impact from Saturday that had yet to be recovered from. No fixtures this week means that it is the ideal time. Except that with international friendlies scheduled, the next five days simply prove that Fifa are not capable of running the world game satisfactorily. Had there been FA Cup replays, they were due this week. Instead, they were pushed back seven days to accommodate meaningless matches.

It leaves Arsène with precious little time to work with the squad prior to the visit of Wolves this weekend. Some of the players will have recovered from the disappointment of Saturday and put it behind them already.

Andrey Arshavin put matters into perspective from their point of view,

Everybody is sad. Maybe, just the Wolves’ win over Manchester United slightly sugared the pill.

There is no breakdown. We have no right to afford it. If we want to win, we shouldn’t cry, we have to analyze this failure and draw the right conclusions. This day is already over. Now we have to think about and prepare for the next game in the Championship.

It is almost a case of if you fall off a bike, get back on and ride it straight away. The players do not have time for naval gazing, they have internationals to get out of the way before returning to The Emirates for duty. By the time they take to the pitch against Wolves, Manchester United will have finished their game and the pressure switches to Arsenal.

Knowing that they have to win is normal. Knowing that it is to keep a four point gap or close it to two or less is additional pressure. Wolves will have been bouyed by their result and be resilient. Arsenal must remove all sense of a hangover from St James’ Park, be strong and move on.

That will be helped by the knowledge that the refereeing over the past two games has not been up to standard. Graham Poll has intervened in the Newcastle fiasco and offered up his version of events. Largely, they support everyone’s viewpoint that Phil Dowd and Trevor Massey were simply incompetent.

There is a danger that this is feeding a paranoia about officials. I think we have to accept that they are incompetent on the whole and it is not just Arsenal who fall foul of this. There were too many decisions that were proven wrong across the Premier League although as usual United benefitted, Paul Scholes escaped a second yellow for diving in the area as he tried to palm a point for his club…

It is something which the FA has to address but will shy away from simply because they are struggling to recruit officials as it is. No doubt that some will be punished by being relegated to lower divisions for a week but given that elite referees are professional, this is simply not enough.

There has to be a case where, mid-season, an official is relegated from elite refereeing, something to focus the minds of the others. Although knowing how incompetent the FA is, the contracts that the officials are on probably do not allow this to happen.

Poll also offered Jack Wilshere his defence for the charge that will surely follow his hastily deleted tweet about incompetent officials,

“So Mr Wilshere, you are charged with Bringing The Game Into Disrepute. How do you plead?”
“Not Guilty”
“Oh, would you care to elaborate for we have you bang to rights”
“Well, even Graham Poll said the referee was a useless t*sser and he’s an expert in those matters”
“Oh, you have a point. Case dismissed.”

Elsewhere there has been talk of Pepe coming for £7m in the close season, Real Madrid apparently not wanting to lose him for free the following season. Does that mean his contract is up for renegotiation? And a story links him to Arsenal? Hmmmm, are the two related…

It might be handy though with the full extent of Johan Djourou’s injury about to become clear. Reports from Switzerland are suggesting months which surely has nothing to do with scaremongering about the national teams chances of qualifying for Euro2012. I’ll wait a while longer for Arsenal to comment.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on February 7, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 386 Comments.

  1. Yogi, you are early today as you have been in the last few days, are you making up for when you were slacking??

    It is not paranoia, officials are obviously incompetent but more so during our games and something smells fishy!!!

    Anyone with Wilshire’s tweet?

  2. ooh sorry, just read the tweet in the previous posts, thanks passenal and colneyblog. I dont see anything wrong with what he said, it’s a fact and we were all thinking the same.

  3. @Firstlady
    RT @jack_wilshere: Inconsistent refereing needs to stop .. if Diaby goes..whats the difference between that and Nolan on our keeper!?? #joke

  4. And graham poll there was nothing acceptable or remotely fair about barton’s challenge on Diaby, ass hole!!

  5. I hope Djourou’s injury isn’t serious, I really think that if we lose him then it would have the same effect losing RVP last season.

  6. You guys should watch this.

  7. There aren’t many ships to watch in the London Colney area,YW

  8. Have read any of the fallout from the weekend, so I don’t know what the general feeling abuot the game is. But here is my two pence worth:

    After the game (which I drunkenly watch in a pub in Dusseldorf), I felt the most cheated man alive. The ref was awful, and had cost us the game 100%. The Penalty, the sending off, the last min offside RvP goal!

    The next day I thought about the game a bit more, and watched the replay. There is no doubt that the ref was truely woeful. I can now conceed that Diaby was rightly red carded, but I cannot fathom why Nolan was not for doing something very similar to Szchezny after the pen. The first pen was soft, but Kos was stuip to make that challenge and the give the ref a decision to make. The 2nd pen………I still can’t see what it was for after re-watching it numerous times.

    Their 4th goal was excellent, hands up I suppose. The RvP offisde? Hmmm, just. Just. I don’t think anybody played particulalrly badly either (apart from Rosicky who was awful when he came on). But, when all is said and done it is simply not acceptable to lose a 4 goal lead at this level. Despite all the things that went against us, it is just not acceptable. Sure things out of our control conspired against us, but the team needs to look at itself regarding the capitulation.

    We saw in full glory today both sides of the Asrenal. In the 1st half, an almost perfect football machine. Ruthless, and stylish. In the 2nd, we saw a team that simply could not kill off a game regardless of the head start it gives itself. We are a paradox.

    Amazing to think though, that we are actually closer to 1st spot now though.

  9. Djourou being injured could be the worst thing to come out of this weekend.

    Firstlady – Barton’s challenge was fine. It was hard, and Diaby got get because he was not in a good position for going into the challenge. I don’t like Barton (and I do like Diaby), but it was a fair challenge. I don’t blame Diaby for recting like that to be honest. It was silly, but given the amount of time he has been hurt I can understand his reaction.

  10. Nice to read a balanced view. It seems to be quite rare. Just read the Guardian match report. Absolute garbage and very anti-Wenger.

  11. Diaby was to blame for saturdays result, if he stays on, we win the match

  12. Yogi,

    Good morning. Read the post and I have to say that it is a fair, balanced and well written one as per usual… However 🙂 I want to take issue with the talk of paranoia and your contention that all that is going on at the moment (and ever since Wenger arrived in England to be honest) is merely a case of incompetence. I don’t believe that to be true and I’m going to explain why I don’t think what we’re witnessing is mere incompetence.

    Undoubtedly there’s incompetence amongst the officials but incompetence amongst officials doesn’t begin to explain what happened at St James’s Park or even at The Grove this past week, there are other factors in the mix. IMHO the main one is xenophobia. A lot of English folk have a real problem with this particular accusation because people tend to perceive it as saying that the English/ British are uniquely xenophobic or even more xenophobic than our fellow Europeans… that is not what people like myself are saying in truth.

    To explain where I’m coming from on this let’s reverse the situation in a kind of “thought experiment” … imagine that Sam Allardyce took his brand of football to Spain and not only won La Liga but wouldn’t budge on his beliefs, wouldn’t suck up to the Spanish media and wouldn’t buy Spanish players because they didn’t have what it took to fit into his system… further more imagine that Allardyce then took some kind of moral high ground by refusing to be profligate with his club’s finances and kept producing world beating players that he’d scouted as youth players… how do you imagine the average Spanish fan, ex-footballer cum pundit, other Spanish managers and the Spanish football media would feel? Now I know that my thought experiment is a bit on the fanciful side as Allardyce would never achieve any of those things but it nevertheless helps to clarify the Arsenal situation under Wenger.

    It is not in anyway fanciful to say that a lot of fans at other clubs view Wenger much as some Spanish fans would view Allardyce or Pulis. How many times have you seen or read comments on site like the Guardian football comment section talking about tough British footbal being undermined by Wenger’s call to “outlaw” tackling… even Joey Barton was on the same silly tip saying that … “if arsenal don’t like being tackled they should go and play basket or Netball”… it shows the absurd level to which this pantomime has sunk that Joey Barton is now the spokesperson for “proper football”.

    Arsenal are clearly viewed as “other” by a lot of the fans of other clubs, most of the football media and nearly all of the ex-pros turned pundits and it is not down to just having Foreign players, it is way more than that. What these people are object to is the very ethos that Wenger stands for… the very things that he believes in is what riles up all those who are in opposition to him. A second issue to remember here is that football and footballers are notoriously conservative… both with the big and small “C” and much of conservatism has an in built fear of difference and an aversion to progress… Wenger represents both progress and difference is so many ways that it is not all that difficult to see why this resistance to Arsenal is so strong within football.

    Now let me be clear here, I don’t for one second believe that anyone has sat down in room somewhere and PLANNED to get at Arsenal and our players nor do I even believe that money is necessarily at the heart of what is going on… but what I do believe very, very strongly is that there’s an atmosphere within football generated by the media and certain other managers that means that referees feel OK giving certain decisions against us that they wouldn’t dare do against a club ManU, Liverpool or Chelsea … and as Tim at 7am Kick Off pointed out… it is simply bizarre that Arsenal games have generated 27% of all red cards issued thus far in the EPL. More than a quarter of the total Red cards issued this season have been games involving Arsenal…. and this the first time that this anomalous disciplinary stat has reared it’s head… if you consider some of the players that Vieira got more Red Cards than you’d be amazed. Petit left us in part because he could no longer deal with what he considered biased refereeing… this not a new issue with Arsenal.

    Something is definitely going on and you don’t have to be paranoid to see it.

  13. It’s obvious we were done in by a bit of referee’s loyalty by Dowd. how dare we slag off refs. we are marked.

  14. And Poll’s view of the Diaby tackle really highlights that English referees really do not understand what the rules mean by ‘reckless’.

  15. There is nothing offensive in Wilshere’s tweet about inconsistent referees. It is an opinion, and we’re all entitled to opinions that are not defamatory or slanderous.

  16. Malaysiangunner

    Hi Yogi, balanced as usual

    But I am not. My first reaction after last Saturday’s game was to question the whole farce that is the EPL. Incompetence as an easy way out is not acceptable to me. If it was imcompetence alone , I strongly believe Newcastle should have gotten equal measure of it but bar one decision by the lino almost every decision was against us and it got so bad that even my sister in law who knows nothing about footbal commented on the biasness of the refereeing.
    I am heart brokenned that the game that I love in England has come down to this. The refereeing last Saturady stinks to high heavens.

    The referee commitee if there is one should review the replay and analyse Dowd decisions and question him on every one of it.

    No Fear We Are the Arsenal!

  17. As bad as the capitulation was from our side, it makes me sick that nothing is/can/will be done about this blatant referee biase. Even all my friends who are probably sick of me talking about anti-asrenal etc (probably think i’m talking shit anyway) have all come to the same conclusion and were just as baffled as me after the last 2 refereeing performances.

    Will anything be done? No. We just need to keep going about our business, not lose our heads and piss them all off by playing everyone off the pitch.

    I’ve got a feeling the Barca game wont be without it’s controversy…

    Let’s do to Wolves what the ‘invincible’ Manure couldn’t.

  18. If Rosicky continues to turn in such performances when called upon, I won’t bet on him being still with us next season.

    To put things in perspective, we got 4 pts from the last 2 games, are 4 pts behind 1st spot, have 13 games and 39 pts to play for. We can’t afford to be down. Such games as against Newcastle should only happen once a year. I pray that Song’s, Vermaelen’s, Djourou’s and Denilson’s injuries are not too serious and that they will be back to helping solve our defensive woes soon.

  19. gooner andy – you say the tackle on diaby was ‘fine’.. mmhm

  20. Can conspiracy theories about the world/referees against us be positive for our performance in the coming games? I think not. Wenger should focus on uplifiting the team into doing what we do best – winning Wengerball.

  21. Miyachi looks like he will fit in perfectly, he cant take corners either!! – Joke, he looks good!

  22. Fucking fix.

    How cruel fate can be. A man was killed instantly when his car was crushed by a falling tree uprooted by high winds battering Phil Dowd’s home town in Staffordshire on Friday. But it wasn’t Dowd.

  23. Drew10- He’s definitely not the finished article yet you can see the potential. He just needs to adjust some more to his new surroundings in Holland. What’s really nice to see is his confidence in taking on players and his tactical awareness, especially at tracking back. With the right guidance I can really see him do a good job for us.

  24. @FG 9:12
    If an Englishman does not understand the meaning of the word ‘reckless’, then we are in trouble.
    Good morning everyone.

  25. I’ve always felt a ‘conspiracy’ against our team from the media, pundits and match officials which would make our success all the much sweeter. Winning with a handicap can give us unparalleled joy.

  26. Joshua, althiough there’s nothing new in what you say, it has been said many times before on this very site, you sum up what many of us feel to be the reality of the situation.

    Very well put. Again.

  27. As poor as the ref was (and he definately was), he was only responsible for one of their goals. We were 4-0 up with 23mins left.

    I feel drained.

  28. I hope we get good news today about Djourou.

  29. wenger’s arsenal will win epl this season no matter what comes on their way

  30. goonerandy,

    Well take that one goal off the scoreline and we won the game. SIMPLE

  31. Ole – All good, but then will you give them the perfectly onside goal they had disallowed as well?

  32. I know it was offside (marginally) but what about that finish at the end by RvP?

    Cor Blimey.

  33. The RvP effort at the end was a killer for me. I went mental as I did not realise it had been disallowed (the TV had the sound of in the place I was). I could have collapsed when I realised.

  34. I reckon this whole conspiracy theory is just a conspiracy theory.

  35. Thinking about Miyaichi (anything but that Newcastle game) – it was a great performance for his first professional game. He obviously has huge potential, but he was up against a side that knew nothing about him. It’s going to be really interesting to see how he develops once he’s in tune with his teammates, and faces defenders who know what he’s about.

  36. Well your too-cute false-realist take of the game wasn’t accurate Goonerandy.

    No, it wasn’t that one decision that affected the game. It was several. Walter at Untold Arsenal showed that if you took out the goals, the referee only got 19 percent of the decisions correct.

    The free kick that led to the equaliser was not a red card. Barton and Nolan should have been sent off.

    Neither of the 2 penalties was a penalty and I still think the RVP goal in extra time should not have been ruled offside.

  37. @Joshua, classic statistics rubbish. 14 red cards may have been handed out in our games (I haven’t checked, but I’m taking your word), but we have only received 6 of them (You can check here: Funnily enough, West Brom have had six also, are they victim of this xenophobia too? What about Man City, only five red, but more yellows and appear below us on the disciplinary table. Bolton have four, that most English of teams. Nary a foreigner amongst them, big brave Kevin Davies leading from the front!Even if so many reds are given out in our games, the bare facts show that we have been a man up at least twice more than we have been a man down (8 times). Surely a pro-Arsenal bias?? And Diaby deserved to go on Saturday.

    Seriously though, even if there is an innate bias/xenophobia, what can we do about it except rise above it? Yes there were extremely bad decisions on Saturday, but there is no defence for that capitulation after half-time. As far as I can tell, Arshavin is basically saying, suck it up and don’t whinge and cry about it, it’s done. That’s about the best advice the team can be given at this point. I seem to remember previous Arsenal teams winning titles, cups and doubles even with the worst disciplinary record in the league, time to get to that state of affairs again if that’s what it takes.

  38. Goonerandy – I know we’re all different but I wonder at the willingness of some of our fans evidenced by your earlier comment to blame our own players when given clear opportunities to blame the appalling officials.
    Of course we let a huge lead slip but how can you ignore what happened to our players? What devastating effect it must have on morale to be blatantly and repeatedly cheated like that.

  39. Ole, the first penalty was most defintely legitimate. Van Persie’s offside was marginal, but I can see why it was given, but I don’t want to get into all the nuances of the offside rule again after the Everton game.

  40. Block4,

    I completely disagree. All Koscielny did was get tight to his man. Not a penalty.

    About the RVP offside, how do you know it actually was offside? Genuine question

  41. The fix came in in the unmistakable form Hitler Barton though didn’t it. At least three of Hitler’s “aggressive tackles” (Pardew, you mug) should have been carded. Two yellows and a red. He didn’t get so much as a fucking ticking off – and they were all under fatty’s fucking nose.

    The disparity between what constituted an Arsenal foul and what it took for him to even his blow his whistle on a Newcastle foul was obscene. He made a series of decisions with the clearcut intention of levelling the contest and heartening the home fans who he’d taken pity on in such an obvious way that he should be sacked for completely fucking up what his job is all about – impartiality. It’s like a copper planting evidence on an innocent to give the victims of a crime peace of mind. We just got sent down for doing fuck all wrong. We’re like The North London 60,000.

    And that’s best case. I’m still not convinced he’s not a crook.

    Anyroad – we’ll rally from this just fine. I think it’ll make us stronger and more focused and more resolved to beat the cunts than ever before. And we’ve already started reeling them in. Talk of psychological damage is a load of bollocks. We’ve suffered the same against Tottenham and that was of our own making and we’ve come right back from that and then some. This was a total, utter, one-off farce. Not long now…

  42. Good post, YW, but I agree with Joshua’s essential point. I’ve posted before about the English football establishment investing psychologically and emotionally into a particular brand of football, hence any attack or perceived attack is an attack on Englishness itself, hence the passion and irrationality of the anti-Arsenal battalions.
    There is institutional bias in the footballing establishment. No-one is gathering in darkened rooms to cackle and stroke white cats while they plot how to bring about our demise, there are probably no nods and winks or even brown envelopes changing hands, but when you get most people in the same institution – football – thinking the same way, and those beliefs are laden with unconscious prejudice, injustice results. You can draw an analogy with the institutional racism that was identified in the police force.
    The personal tragedy for Wenger is that he himself is an anglophile, he has romantic notions about the the English sense of fairness and he loves the unique passion of the English for football.
    I think we have to accept that the bias exists – however the players and Wenger, if they are not to go insane, will have to try to put it out of their minds. Even with the bias, we have a good chance for glory, but if the players and coach dwell on it and allow it to sap their confidence and will, our chances diminish. But we know absolutely that it exists.

    @ Block 4
    The refereeing problems are the result of many factors including plain incompetence, but bias is one of those factors.

  43. *******
    @ goonerandy
    Ask yourself – if that game had been refereed fairly, would we have given up FOUR goals? Would Barton be on the pitch? Would Nolan? Would Newcastle have played the same way in the second half? Would we? I don’t think so.
    And incidentally, Cesc was shoved in the back in the penalty box in the first half – could have been another goal.

    Don’t be mesmerised by the fact that we let in four goals. It was four because that was the number Newcastle needed to draw level and the ref was blatantly trying to even up the game.

  44. @ Block4
    If the first penalty was legitimate, why did Cesc not get a penalty after being shoved in the back?

  45. I can think of a good few foreign Johnnies in the league who would’ve been booked for diving going down as easily as Leon Best did. Sack of fucking shit.

    But it was all part of a great gritty english comeback from the good old northern underdogs… an amusing aside in a carefully penned script.

  46. Completely agree with both of your last two posts, Limpar!

  47. Are we learning something:

    RVP pulls out of Dutch squad with ‘flu’

  48. @ Jac
    Excellent! Unless it really is flu, in which case…Damn!

  49. Goonerandy,
    That tackle on Diaby was anything but fair. It was reckless and deserved at least a yellow. You also forgot to mention his tackle on Arshavin in the first half. That said, Diaby had also made a rash challenge on Barton earlier just after the Arshavin one so Diaby wasn’t necessarily a saint himself.

    However I fully understand his reaction, given his history with injuries due to bad tackles. I also have no problem with him being sent off, but Barton should have gotten a yellow too. Add that to the yellow he should have gotten in the 1st half and we would have been playing 10 v 10. Heck, Nolan should have been yellow carded too in the fracas as he clearly pushed Diaby before the latter retaliated.

    That said, there is no doubt we panicked during after the send off causing our game to simply fall apart. We were spectacularly bad and that was worrying. Its not like its the first time we’ve played with a biased referee. We had Cesc, Wilshere, Arsha and Theo in the midfield and they all just went to pieces. Our possession game went out the window but surely we could have just ‘parked the bus’? You don’t need more than 10 men to do that? We gave them so many chances in the second half it was unbelievable.

    Yes the ref was heavily biased against us and gifted them 1 or 2 goals (in addition to not sending 1 or two of them off) but we failed to keep our heads and ultimately that is not good enough at this level.

  50. There is a duty of care between the football players and what I want to know is why the hell this duty is being eroded away.

    If my memory is correct, the genesis of the red card was to essentially protect players like Pele from getting kicked off the park, but it also had the effect of reminding players that this duty of care exists.

    As such, getting the ball does not in any way mitigate the deriliction of such duty of care, and as such there’s no way in hell Barton’s challenge can be said to be fair and not worthy of a booking.

    The media keep on spouting this BS about getting the ball first and people are falling for it hook, line, and stinker, as are the referees, and the FA seems all too happy to let it happen. From memory, Shawcross and Taylor both got to the ball first, but everyone (apart from a few stone aged pundits) criticised the two for the simple and entirely correct reason that the breached the duty of care.

    Perhaps I’m letting legal bias effect my outlook, but I’d certainly like to see what the courts would say about all this. As such, I’m going to pose a controversial but entirely strategic move:

    we need to sell Diaby.

    It may please some to hear me utter this, but we need to sell Diaby and to a team abroad solely to protect him. From the safety of another league, he can then sue the FA under tort laws for the systematic failure to enforce and encourage the duty of care. And it has to be Diaby because you can make a horrific highlight reel of thugs lauching at him, abandoning their duty of care, and going unpunished for it, while he gets his carreer put on hold yet again.

    And just for the record, 2 things:
    1) you can quite easily have a good strong robust challenge while maintaining the duty of care, you just have to have a bit of skill
    and 2), yeah even Arsenal players are capable of making horrible challenges, but we hardly even do.

    Fuck them all especially Phil Dowd and Joey Barton.

  51. All, the first Newcastle penalty was legitimate because Koscielny doesn’t just get tight to his man, that’s fine, he then sticks his leg between the forwards legs in order to try and kick the ball away. He makes contact and Best goes down, that’s a penalty. Whether he makes enough contact for Best to not be able to stay on his feet or not is debatable, but as he was going away from goal anyway there was no need to make the challenge and it’s even sillier in the penalty area. I’m not saying that the shove on Cesc wasn’t a penalty also, just that the first Newcastle one is perfectly legitimate. And before anyone gets on about diving, people in glass houses and all that.

    Ole, genuine answer, I only said I can see why it was given, not that it was definite. There is this notion that if any part of the player that he can legitimately play the ball with is offside then he is flagged. Is Van Persie leaning offside, i.e. is his head offside? If so, then I can see why the linesman gave it. Not saying I necessarily agree, but that’s where I think he would be coming from. I haven’t seen an angle dead in line with the decision, close, but not exactly in line, so it’s hard to tell as, as I said, it’s a marginal one.

  52. By the way Block 4, even when the media went on and on about Arsenal’s disciplinary record in the early Wenger era, we NEVER had the worst disciplinary record in the league

  53. goonerandy

    You have said some dumb things over the month but saying the ref only gave them one goal is probably in the top 5 of your stupid high score comment.
    By giving Barton and Nolan licence to be some f*cking ex-cons reckless morrons he totally changed the game. Diaby’s reaction is down to the fact he got his leg broken by a reckless tackles, his team mates got their leg broken by reckless tackles, his career has been an endless start stop because of reckless tackles. Yes Diaby deserves the red card but Barton should have also been given the marching orders but instead this bloody fat morron gives a freekick to Newcastle!
    And dare look at the video kitchen sink posted and honestly tell me there is nothing wrong with this tackle. there is no difference between this tackle, the one on Eduardo, the one one Ramsey or the one on Ben Arfa. They are all career threatening and 100% reckless and the footballer throwing themselves in tackles like this with no control whatsoever should be banned to be on the pitch for the rest of their careers.

    The two penalties decision if they were awarded to us instead, you would see the whole press screaming for murder saying Newcastle were robbed by those dirty foreigners who cheat their way threw matches instead of being honest lads like Barton who is an angel and an example of a good honest citizen.

    Then Diaby was rightly sent off for pushing Barton and Nolan but then how on earth can Nolan and Barton escaped the red or at least the yellow card when they assaulted Sczcezny after the first penalty. The rule is clear the team that has to do the kick off has the possesion of the ball. They had no right to assault him and put him in a headlock to get the ball back. In the rules the ball was OURS!

    The ref has the duty to make sure the game is in his control which was clearly not the case as he had given the Newcastle players free licence to ASSAULT our players and because he was too damn FAT to follow the action he was greatly influenced by the the crowd and the thugs in a bar code shirt! The second penalty was awarded by the crowd’s reaction. Dowd was too far away and with a crowd of player blocking his view because he is a useless, fat w*nker whose place is in a pub or a at macdonalds and not on the pitch of the fastest football league in the world!

    So yes our players could maybe have done better but when you look at the situation we were lucking not to have one or more of our players in hospital with a career threatening injury!

  54. God forbid someone sticks his leg between another players legs in order to try and kick the ball away in a game of football…. whatever next? In the penalty area no less! Madness.

    Best dived.

  55. Also, for me the team are guilt-free for what happened on Saturday. If I felt the team fucked up, we’d say so. We said it after losses against West Brom, Tottenham, and Wigan (last year). This wasn’t a problem of the team.

    On a lighter note, is Cech still a world-class keeper? How I laughed at the mix-ups between him and Ivanovic.

  56. Block 4,

    Couldn’t agree with you more.

    There’s a propensity on this blog to find excuses – media, injuries, xenophobia, crooked officials. I dont deny that Dowd was deplorable as is the general standards of refereeing. And I also have no doubt that in some part it was intended given what Moyes said about Cesc as some sort of retribution. But ffs – we never took control of the game or provided any sense of leadership or composure when it was needed most. We gave up a four goal lead and here we are trying to make someone else take responsibility for it.

    No team, not even a bad team, should cough up a four goal lead.

    Comment of the weekend goes to Kenny Dalglish after beating the chavs yesterday :

    “You win nothing in football unless you prepared to work hard……….That’s four clean sheets in a row now and 12 points”

    This is what Vieira said:

    “It does show that in football if you don’t work hard until the last minute, if you don’t have 100% commitment, anything can happen…”

    I suppose these guys know nothing either…!!

  57. Block 4, you really have a blind spot for the following:
    – Group think
    – Institutional bias
    – Xenophobia
    You have done a good job of convincing me.

  58. Block4,

    I know the goal might just have been offside. BBC MOTD used an offside line to show that RVP was offside. It was the worst piece of analysis I’ve seen since….well since Alan Shearer was last on. A NEWCASTLE DEFENDER WAS OFFSIDE OF THE LINE USED BY MOTD TO SHOW THAT RVP WAS OFFSIDE. And the ball was already slightly in the air having been kicked by Cesc.

    One of my Twitter corrispondents extended the line to just behind Colocini the Newcastle defender in question and RVP seemed level.

    Maybe it was just offside but after the events of Saturday afternoon, this one just joins the long list of dubious events in the course of that game.

  59. “No team, not even a bad team, should cough up a four goal lead.”

    Anyone who agrees with that idiotic throwaway phrase is as big a fool as it’s author.

    I can’t even be bother to argue

  60. Whether the first penalty was legitimate or not is entirely subjective and to some extent irrelevant now. It was such a stupid and needless penalty to give away. There was no need for Kos to even make a challenge – all he had to do was shield the player and stay goalside. Naive and stupid. Thats the reality instead of bitching here about him only getting tight and blaming the referee.

  61. I still believe though that we have a good chance of winning the league and even the champions league, but we need a lot of things to go our way. We need our luck with injuries to improve such that we’re able to have our core players fit for the rest of the season.
    However that may not even enough, given this ref bias. We need to be able to defend leads much better. We are clearly better able to win a game we’re chasing than to defend a lead even if in both cases the odds are stacked against us. This is hardly surprising because we have a awesome attack with lots of options but our defending under pressure has more often than not been poorer that it ought to be. Its a bit weird because most accept that it should be easier to defend than to attack. Hence why most of us insult coaches like Mourinho, Fergie, and Mancini who often use that ‘cowardly’approach in big games despite the qualities in their teams.

  62. Out of curiosity Gadget,

    Can you show me a court case or tribunal decision where its been held that the referee has a duty of care to the player…?

    Id be interested in that.

  63. You’ve never seen a player score with his back to goal in the penalty area?!!!
    Talk about naive and stupid.


    Suspicious betting patterns during the game… Hmmm. This will just get chalked up as Arsenal paranoia again surely. How much ‘paranoia’ will it take to have an in depth review/analysis of these trends thrown at Fifa/Uefa?

  65. Joe don’t be a fool. Referees are told that their first responsibility is the physical safety of the players. Maybe nobody uses the words duty of care, but the point is well the same.

    About the Kos penalty, all he did was get tight to his man. I don’t think it’s naive to get tight to your man.

  66. There are a million and one ways to score with your back to goal. The fact that you haven’t thought of any of them, Joe, speaks volumes. If only Premier League defending was all about shielding the ball and staying goalside. What a fucking Sunday League comment.

  67. I am not going to respond to all the comments aimed in my direction as there are too many.

    I agree with most; the ref was awful and got lots of stuff wrong. The 2nd pen, the fact he did not send off Nolan for getting Szcezny in a head lock, their offside goal. The ref was garbage. I can also see people’s points which I don’t agree with, but could have easily gone either way. Barton’s challenge on Diaby, the 2st pen, etc, etc.

    But whichever way you look at it, we went from 4-0 to 4-4 inside of 20mins. And despite all the various injustices, percieved or otherwise; it is just not good enough. That said, I am putting it down to a freak game. I just hope our players do the same.

    And gunnerluc, the ref did only directly cost us one goal. The 2nd pen was a baffling decision.

  68. I’ve seen penalties given for vary similar ‘challenges’ to the first one, and probably would have been calling for one if it was the other way round, but the 2nd was outrageous, and should have resulted in a booking for the striker, no question.

  69. The reaction of the player is so important in penalty situations. You could see that Koscielny was shocked at both decisions.

  70. It’s true, Kos was shocked at the first one too, but you do see them given a fair bit… A striker will always go to ground in that circumstance these days.

  71. I find it astonishing in this day and age that video technology and a video referee is still not used to reach a decision on certain issues such as a dubious penalties, goals, etc. The ref should not have this power to ruin a game. Every other major sport (rugby, tennis, cricket, etc.) seems ti have some sort of appeals process, so why can’t footabll do something. You win some and you loose some however, was the penalty we got against Huddersfield really justified?
    The horrible truth however is that it was a shambolic capitulation and with with Song and Denilson out we had no one to bring on who could steady the ship. Kos and Squallici is now also becoming a nightmare partnership at the back.

  72. The collective shock for the 2nd one was extremely telling.

  73. Focusing too much on the officiating and conspiracy theories is counterproductive imo and I hope wenger isn’t doing that with the players.
    I do believe that there is a strong bias against Arsenal in England. I’ve believed it since the 2008 season as Ole pointed out earlier. Its why I generally don’t listen to pundits and analysis of games from the mainstream media. I rely on blogs like this for news and analysis of arsenal instead. It’s also why I find it bemusing that people moan about the pundits and still listen to them everyday. Why bother? Just don’t read the sport section of the papers, don’t listen to talkshite or whatever its called, and don’t visit the offending websites. Its not that hard to do is it?

    Anyway, back to my main point, even though I truly believe that we are more likely to be harmed than helped by referees and the establishment, I still believe that our destiny is in our hands. I firmly believe that WE WOULD HAVE WON AGAINST NEWCASTLE IF WE KEPT OUR COMPOSURE. Phil Dowd in his wildest dreams couldn’t have imagined he could influence the game to such an extent that it ended with a draw. there is a reason why its never happened before until now.

    Playing against ten men is notoriously difficult with good reason especially when the 10 men are defending a lead. This is because such a team have little else to do but defend the lead. We had a four goal lead and lost it. It wasn’t even that they had just four shots at goal or something. They were almost creating chances at will in that second half because we were all over the place mentally.

  74. Geo you had to look at the incident FunGunner referred to wrt Cesc. But do you know that the situation with Koscielny and Best, something similar occurred in the first half and NOTHING, rightly was given. Nobody even batted an eyelid

  75. Joe,

    Are you trying to suggest a referee has no duty of care towards a player?

  76. Geo- that is pure bull not worth talking about. I can imagine Diaby and Barton got together and rehearsed that tackle few times in closed doors. and Wenger telling Chesney to let in 4 goals at half time . Bullshit really.

  77. To qualify the ‘destiny’ is in our hands’ statement. This was more in reference to games like the Newcatle game were we clearly had an overwhelming advantage in terms of goals scored and quality. Sure they had the ref as 12th man, but he may have given them 2 goals, not four.
    In more evenly matched games (e.g us vs liverpool in the champions league in 2008, or the chelsea v barca semifinal in 2009) single decisions by the ref can more easily change the outcome of the game, obviously.

  78. lol 1lc..! Fair enough. But you can imagine Dowd completely (and intentionally) changing the game. Especially looking at his track record reffing our games.

    Ole – the worst thing for me was that i didnt even see the first half! I was resigned to watching from half time on a Fox sports stream – with fucking Warren Barton as the pundit. Jesus. Talk about subbing salt in the wound…

    But I didn’t see that one Ole, so I’ll take your word for it! they were hardly going to show replays of it and analyse it in the studio with some soccer loving fool and Barton. I almost smashed my PC when his grin took up the whole screen at half time…

  79. *at full time…*

  80. 1 Million Members for Sacking of Referee Phil Dowd (Arsenal 4: 4 Newcastle)!/pages/1-Million-Members-for-Sacking-of-Referee-Phil-Dowd-Arsenal-4-4-Newcastle/122074121486?v=info

    Where is the accountability?
    our clubs are gagged; the players are gagged; but they can’t gag the fans. We can be the voice that our clubs need.
    we can all relate, agree and unite on this issue; Arsenal supporters and supporters of other clubs, alike.

  81. Henristic, take away the 2 goals and we won the game. Period.

  82. The only way to close the door upon the Newcastle game is the assassination of the coward Phil Dowd!

    The only problem is since Saturday irrevocably corrupted my somewhat logically loosened moral grounding, I’m not sure if suggested that in jest or seriousness.

    I think “do unto others…” has pragmatically lost out to “survival of the fittest” and if that’s the case you should be quite scared because I have the makings of an absolutely efficient and spectacularly swaggerific bad man. Only one more strand to go.

  83. I put it down to naivety more than anything. We don’t use dirty tricks to gain advantage. Diaby was really naive maybe too honest with his feeling. If he was a cheat he would roll on the floor for 30 minutes kills the game off then gets up tell the ref if he has seen that. Barton would have to think about any more of those tackles . Rosicky pass that led to the second goal was naive too. a ball drops in the box you should boot it to row Z and not make a pass. Wenger is not a dirty manager and does not resort to those sort of tactics.
    I’m not convinced at all with united and I believe they will get worst not better come the end of the season. 3 away wins all season is not a form of champions. This could be our year

  84. I can’t comment on the match. I’m at work and every time i’ve thought about it i’ve ended up effing and jeffing.

    I’ll say one thing though, the only thing worse than having to endure corrupt officials fucking up your team. Is talking to absolute c**t’s of fans who can’t see past the end of their noses and blame Arsenal and Arsene, squillachi, Diaby for this shit.

    Certain people need to give their heads a f’ing shake!

  85. Ole – The 1st was a pen. Soft, but it was still a pen. It was a stupid challenge by Kos. The 2nd wsa no way a pen. Even now, I still can’t see where the foul was. Newcastle also had a goal ruled out which was not even close be being offisde.

    That is not the worrying issue though; as Henristic aluded to, we threw away points because we lost composure. Not because of the inept ref.

  86. Ole@11.36

    I would take away the 2 goals if I could but my powers aren’t nearly strong enough 🙂
    I suppose you can blame me for the loss then? 🙂

  87. Well… its not a loss, but you what I mean 😉

  88. Thierry Bergkamp-Wright

    @Joshua at 8:55 am

    I concur with the points that you’ve very eloquently mooted.

  89. What the fuck… “Not because of the inept ref.” Andy you’ve come close a few times for me, but now your just spouting absolute shite mate. Start supporting That does not include always searching for the negatives and creating them when they aren’t there to be found.

  90. Thierry Bergkamp-Wright

    “Luuk de Jong, 20, has replaced Robin van Persie, who is suffering from flu, in the Netherlands squad –

    Thank GOODNESS for the flu excuse to spare RvP from returning back crocked. We’ve still got a fighting chance against Barca.

  91. 1lc,
    We can’t win can we? If he had rolled on the floor, we’d have your favourite pundits going on about how we dive so much corrupting the good old English game. I’m not sure the ref would have done much about it either. Remember the foul on Arsha in the 1st half? No foul. Remember Evans kungfu kick on Drogba last season? Drogba duely delivered the writhing performance he is famous for and what good did that do? Did Evans even get a yellow for that challenge?

  92. Gadget,

    Im not trying to suggest anything of the sort. Sports law is not my forte.
    But may I ask you (again), if, as you suggest, the referee does have a duty of care to the player, can you please show me any court ruling or tribunal decision to support this assertion?

  93. United losing only once and they are only 4 points clear with some tough games to play is more worrying for united than us. We seem to make up for our mistakes in other games, but our away form is key and that waht is going to win us the title.

  94. Otherwise I totally agree with your point about naivety and Rosicky

  95. I just wish Denilson had played. We need some more scapegoats in this team. Actually, I blame Wenger for not signing some more in Jan.

  96. Just read a headline from Best: ‘We were like brothers out there’

    What, you and Phil?

  97. Yeah can you imagine if Deni had been on the pitch Geo. He’d have been burned at the stake by now.

  98. Els – My point is; as bad as the ref was (and he was), he is not the sole reason why we dropped points. We let in 4 goals in 23mins. We are a team with asperations of winning the lge and the CL. That should not happen.

    Did the ref contribute?……yes. More importantly, did we contribute?…….yes. I prefer to concentrate on the team, because it is the team that I support. I bet you a pound to a pinch of shit, that is exactly what Arsene and the coaching staff are doing. They will be asking themselves where our players went wrong.

  99. this is to whoever used Vieira’s quote about playing to the whistle…

    “The fans have been a bit disappointed in the last few years but they have to keep believing in themselves because they’re still a good side.”

    He also said that in the same interview. But you obviously ignored that part.

  100. And rightly so Els 😉 Let’s face it, we would have lost with him on the pitch…

    Seriously though, it’s this kind of thing that can be used in our favour massivley. The galvanising of a team often comes from times like this during a season. Ramsey’s horrific injury brought us together, hopefully Dowd’s dorrific refereeing will do the same.

    A word must go out for Arsh too. I think he’s done brilliantly to turn his form around. Even though he’s still misplacing many passes, he set up 2 goals again, and for every misplaced pass, he’s making up for it in workrate. Working his way back into form- not what many would have expected from his ‘lazy’ self. Good man. Let’s hope it continues…

  101. Joe,

    It really shows that law, be it sports or otherwise, isn’t you forte, because if it were you’d quickly realise the irrelevance of your question, although, if you are asking with an alteria motive, you do so with little subtleness. Very politican like.

    To answer your question frankly: no, there is yet to be a case where this very question is explcitly put before a court or tribunal. However, if you knew more about the law, you’d know this fact has little bearing upon my argument as the courts are reaction only to motions brought to them as opposed to actively seeking to correct injustices. The closest we would have come to getting such a question put before the courts would have been Haaland vs Keane, and it would have merely been skimmed, but alas it never came to pass.

    In anycase, there are analogous situations and circumstances, and the legal system is very much about applying analogous case law to similar circumstance. For example, an employee has a duty of care to his fellow employees and another effected by the day to day activites of said employee, and if such duty of care is breached, the employer becomes vicarious liable for any damages incurred.

    I would type more to over-elaborate but well it seems the truth is more apt: I’m off to ensure these pupils at the school I work don’t hurt each other over the course of a lunch break. Afterall if they did so in my presence, both I and the school would be liable for a breach in the duty of care I and it owes to the children.

    Amazingly stunningly apt coincidence or fate?

    Referees eh?

  102. that was @ Els re Denilson..

  103. I’d disagree Andy. I doubt that Wenger will be playing the blame game. I think he’ll more than likely tell them to move on it was out of our hands. Perhaps a few words. But to put those decisions on our players would have a negative effect.

  104. @Joshua re your ‘other’ comments, I think you can go much further.
    One of the perceived ( and heavily marketed) strengths of the EPL, by comparison to its counterparts in other counties, is the non-domination of the big metropolitan clubs. Everywhere else, from Scotland to Spain, it’s all about the club or clubs in the capital city or similarly large cities. It’s not like that here – and maybe that’s part of our leagues appeal.
    But, you could argue, it doesn’t exist ‘naturally’. If the situation was left to develop naturally then the biggest club (largest capacity) club in the biggest city would, given time and reasonable management, become dominant in the same way they have in other countries.
    Since Arsenal moved to a new stadium (and arguably before) it became the biggest club in the biggest city. Without barriers put in its way, such a club just has to end up being dominant – even if other clubs in other cities start with some seriously successful history behind them.
    Man Utd have that history and have a ground capacity to give them too much strength to ignore but no one else can get anywhere near challenging them and ourselves from becoming the Real Madrid and Barcelona ( or Rangers and Celtic) of England.
    But if such a situation were to happen the EPL would, in theoy at least, lose much of its current, much vaunted and valuable, global appeal. The problem that the administrators have is that Arsenal, thanks to Wenger, are getting round the barriers off the pitch by virtue of the undermining of other clubs’ business models (via the UEFA FFP initiative) and by not being seen to exert their own financial muscle to the detriment of rivals. Off the pitch the moral highground has been well and truly won.
    Which leaves matters on the pitch as the only way they they can hobble us. The results of that are becoming increasingly obvious.

  105. @ Joe

    Gadget does not have to produce a legal case to show this principle. The referees’ primary duty to protect the players is in the Fifa rules for referees. Ask Walter at Untold Arsenal if you want chapter and verse. In the non-sporting world, this type of duty is called a duty of care and there is an entire branch of law called tort which is based on it.

    @ goonerandy
    You have succumbed to “tackle machismo”. The Barton-on-Diaby tackle has been defined by its defenders as robust, or tough but fair, ie the sort of tackle a real man would ride. Because you don’t want to look like not a real man, you accept their definition of it. It was a bad tackle. It was dangerous.

    @ goonerandy, henristic, the bigM
    Please don’t be mesmerised by the fact that it was four goals. If the referee was trying to level things up, consciously or unconsciously, he does everything he can to let them score four goals, because that is the number of goals they needed to draw level.

    There was a period when we lost composure – but we got it back. Yes, you have to move on and not be affected by bad decisions. We are fine with that. You all accept that the number of bad decisions was way above what you would expect, even in a “normal” Arsenal game, so I won’t labour that point. But what some of us are saying is that what was affecting the team was not purely the decisions themselves, but the awareness, or suspicion, that referee was trying to influence the result.

  106. Excellently put Gadget.

  107. Dont know if it’s true but i’m now hearing that Clichy, Sanga and Cesc have all pulled out of the internationals. I hope it is.

    Also does anyone know if we can recall Aaron? with injuries and suspensions in midfield he’s more likely to get a game now.

    Hopefully Theo and Jack will pull out from England too 🙂

  108. Geo your right. Let’s hope they can see the silver lining in this.

    “Come on it’s us against the world” type thing. “Oh and you Deni, come on that’s it, come on son. Do you fancy a game of footy. You can be on my side if you like.” Obviously joking here.

  109. Els – Sorry, I did not come across well there. I agree with you, Arsene will move them on as soon as possible. What I meant was I would imagine he will pick aprt the macth and see what we could have done better. I would have thought he does this every match. I don’t mean he will rip into the players blaming all and sundry. It is all to easy to point fingers at the ref as to why we dropped points. He was indeed awful. But if we have kept our composure we would have still won the game. Even with ten men we are a better side than Newcastle, but we lost our heads and conceed 4 goal in 20mins.

  110. Thierry Bergkamp-Wright

    As a fan, it is soul-destroying to watch inept officials, continually attempt to snatch victories from our team. In my opinion, the principal cause of the loss, can be attributed, more to a psychological barrier inhibiting our players, rather than tactical ineptitude of the coach.

    Over the last 7 days, our players have seen 4 team members (3 KEY players) get injured, another sent-off; played two consecutive matches, officiated by a bunch of herpetic scumbags, masquerading as referees – who let horrendous tackles go unpunished.

    Tell me that is not enough to sap the confidence from one’s A-game, during a bad patch? What more can one do, when all else seems to conspire against them?

  111. Fun – heh, “tackle machismo”, I like that phrase. I can’t stand Barton, he is a horrible human being. Any chance I have to stick the boot in I would, trust me. However, in this case I think his challenge was fair. He played the ball, his studs were not “up”. It was a hard challenge, but it was fair. It certainly was not a red card offence.

  112. All of the above said, the first half was a joy to behold. The fluid way in which we took apart Newcastle was a joy to watch. 4 at half time, but it could have been 6 or 7.

  113. Right, come off it everyone. We need to spend today looking at ourselves in a long, hard mirror. We need to stop the whingeing, lie down, take our pants off and take what’s coming to us.

    We were NAIVE to think that Newcastle’s reckless fouling would be punished by the man in charge of the match. We were NAIVE to think that even the slightest touch from one of our lot on them wouldn’t immediately result in a freekick or a penalty. Just as NAIVE, in fact, as Laurent ‘Lige2’ Koscielny who seems to think that it’s perfectly OK to just go around sticking your leg between the legs of other players! How Lige2 do you wanna be?!

  114. Don’t be rude to me please. I’m only calling it how I see it. And that is in varying hues of beige, porridge, bland and catsick.

  115. Joey Barton is a sort of cult hero.

  116. Blandgooner –

    – l
    + n

    I agree.

  117. I am astounded that people continue to claim barton’s tackle was “hard but fair”.

    These people simply do not know the rules of the game.

    The rules could not be clearer on this issue.

    Any tackle deemed to be reckless, i.e. a tackle that could endanger an opponent or the tackler himself, is deemed to be reckless, and is punishable by dismissal.

    Barton went clean through the ball, was not able to control his momentum, and could clearly have snapped Diaby’s leg (look at the bend on his leg as barton hits him).

    There is NO latitude for debate on this whatsoever.

    It was without any doubt a reckless challenge and punishable with a red card.

    All this guff about “intent”, “getting the ball”, “contact sport” etc etc is just chatter and nonsense, the rules have no provision for any of that rubbish.

    And to top it off, football is NOT a contact sport, it is a sport that tolerates contact in certain situations, there’s a huge difference.

  118. well said mike sa

  119. Sorry Mike I couldn’t give you any caps there. I was eating cake with my other hand. That’s not a double entendre.

  120. @ els
    ha ha

  121. Mike – By your logic any tackly which an opponant is left in pain should be a red card offence. Diaby was strching for the ball, and that is why he got hurt. It was unfortunate, but (I can’t believe I am defending Barton here) it is not his fault Diaby was positioned badly. Obvisouly any other opportunity to flog Barton should be encouraged.

  122. Great news about Cesc not playing for Spain. Now at least he wont have to suffer the usual geographical human biology lectures from Xavi, Iniesta, Puyol, Pique et al…

  123. goonerandy…his tackle was reckless and could have broken diaby’s leg, studs or no studs

  124. To summarize the whole issue. The English people is jealous of what Arsene Wenger is doing bcoz they can’t do it. Look at our team, we don’t have player that we spent huge amount of money for signing. secondly, our team is free flowing squad that are capable of creating chances and score goals at any given time while other big spending like chelsea, man city, man u, liverpool cannot capable of doing what we are doing now. And we are still challenge in all competition and this alone bring hatred, jealousy, bias, xenophobia, injustice and they do not want to hear any good things coming from us, and all their wish is to see us outside top 4 and for us to struggle to win. look for instance we win against Mancity, Chelsae they didn’t say anything but the moment those team beat us, you hear difference story how they muscle us and bullied us that we are not strong, no depth in our squad, it is a game of men vs boys, bla bla bla. All this alone show you that they are praying for our downfall but in God we will move a mountain.

  125. @ goonerandy
    It’s not a dangerous tackle because it hurts. It’s dangerous because it the force of it, as a frontal tackle, could have broken Diaby’s leg.

  126. If all these players are suffering from minor knocks or mild illnesses which will be fine by Saturday (wink, wink) then I am delighted. If not, I am a bit worried.

  127. FG – RvP flu, Cesc stomach upset, Gibbs minor injury. Not sure about any others. Plenty of nudging and winking going on though me-thinks!

  128. Not sure about Djourou though, that’s my main concern. Hopefully the Swiss news rumours are false. They’re saying months out.

  129. @ Geo
    Thanks. I keep refreshing in case they have news about JD.

  130. And Gibbs’ minor injury, assuming it’s real, could be another reason why he did not get subbed on in Saturday’s rather physical game.

  131. Goonerandy, barton was unable to control his momentum, which meant he was always going to clatter into Diaby.

    By the rules of the game, that was a reckless challenge, and by the rules of the game that warrants a dismissal.

    This is not about a slightly mistimed tackle where someone’s follow through connects with someone else by accident (Eboue v JTerry for e.g, or Diaby v that afro muppet who used to play for notlob).

    This is about hurtling into a challenge where the tackler is not in control of his momentum, which could result in an injury to his opponent (the injury doesn’t have to occur).

    Shawcross flew into Ramsey with excessive and unwarranted force.

    Similarly, exactly what was the purpose of barton’s high speed, full-bodied lunge?

    Any reasonable person would have been expected to forsee that hurling your body into an opponent could cause injury.

    By the rules of the game, that was a reckless challenge.

    And, by the rules of the game, that warrants a dismissal.

    This is not an “interpretation”, this is what the rules clearly state.

    Like I said, we can chunder on about all sorts of crap, but there is no leeway for debate in this.

    That was, without any question, in terms of the rules of the game, a red card.

  132. Koscielny had a pretty solid game, and the pen wasn’t a penalty. Best went down far too easily, and if it was Bendtner or Fabregas up the other end it would have been waved play on.

    The Newcastle game was biasness at its best, and it just proved how right we are to think there is an agenda to do all necessary to prevent Arsenal from succeeding. There is not a single player who we can point a finger at, the referee gave Newcastle fans a wonderful day out as he didn’t want them leaving the stadium after 60 or so mins.

    Barton is suddenly a hero for leading the comeback, converting 2 dodgy penalties, and almost putting Diaby on a hospital bed for a further 6 months. It was a shocking advert for English football, and you can fully understand why the likes of Petit, Overmars, Ronaldo, Robinho aetc etc etc have the left the Premiership. Then theres the Zidane’s and Messi’s of this world who would never consider playing in such a league. I fear for our players safety every game. At 4-0 you could sense such a challenge was coming, Diaby is very lucky to be missing the game through suspension and not through injury.

  133. No worries FG. Fingers crossed for Johan.

  134. MikeSA

    Agree 1000%, straight red no matter how much of the ball he got.

    He went straight through the player bending Diaby’s leg on the verge of snapping in the process of doing so.

    Reckless, RED CARD, end of story.

  135. By goonerandy’s thinking as long as you don’t show studs but get the ball first your in the clear.

    So by that thinking you could run the full length of the pitch and dive with two knees at somebody’s head (athleticism permitting) as they are about to head the ball. As long as your knee catches the ball first your laughing.

  136. It’s a worrying sign of how far out of control aggressive tackling in this country has gotten if Arsenal fans (of all football fans!) have become so desensitized to challenges as flagrantly reckless as that one as to see it as anything other than a straight red and a ban.

    Diaby shouldn’t have been stretching for the ball? Do me a favour.

  137. Fingers crossed for Johan. Would be crushed for the bloke. He’s having the season he’s deserved for I don’t know how long.

  138. The idiots at the top of the game do not want it to change. Dowd indeed showed himself to be a power hungry, incompetent oaf of a manitee but he simply should not have that much power over the course of a game of football. No referee should. Even the fucking forth official’s jaw was on the floor upon the ludicrous awarding of the second penalty.

    The problem is that even the proposed solution of a challenge system would not be immune to corruption.

    People on here trying to insinuate that the uproar following Dowd’s utterly disgusting performance is mereley a way of ‘papering over the cracks’ are total fools. It is nigh on impossible to win a game of football when the referee has a seperate agenda and you are down to 10 men away from home with a full half of football to play.

    As for the Diaby incident well, there are echos of the farcical offside goal vs Everton in the week. If the official’s blow their whistle in time to administer justice, it doesn’t happen. Koscielney touched the ball because the whistle didn’t go, Diaby floored Farton because the whistle didn’t go. The laws of the game are not being upheld to an approprate standard. They are not doing their job properly. Players react.

  139. Lots of talking points from the Newcastle game.

    The Diaby incident touches on the tackling issue we’ve been facing. Arsene seems to have won a truce…you no longer find moron managers and pundits simultaneously claiming Arsenal are soft and Arsenal give as good as they get.

    But Dowd really failed. I honestly believe that if Dowd had booked Barton or even given him a talking to for the first tackle on Diaby, there would have been no red card.

    The reason we have a referee is to stop players taking matters into their own hands

  140. Even the newcastle players warent expecting a penalty for the 2nd, that is how outrageous it was!!

  141. Does anyone know whether Djourou’s injury was his troublesome knee or the other one?

  142. haha! els

    It is quite worrying to hear anyone trying to excuse Barton’s challenge on Diaby. You sort of expect the media and general public to defend the ‘less skillful’ and ‘thuglike’ players nowadays, as sad as it sounds.

    The F-All (Football association!) have been doing a great job in letting these classless players and teams get away with murder over the last 5 or 6 years. I was listening to the 5 live before the game on saturday and I had to switch off after hearing the same shite… “Newcastle won’t beat Arsenal by playing football, they will try and kick them, thats their only chance”.

    Well done Newcastle. Fucking shite team

  143. Goonerandy

    You just don’t understand my points. First there was not just one goal that was gifted the two penalties would not have been awarded nine times out of ten. His decisions were horrendous because he was always too far from the action because he is a fat c*nt. But when a foul or pen is given against us for the slightest contact while our players with Diaby, Arshavin and Sczcezny as prime examples are PHYSICALLY ASSAULTED and in return the thugs receive a pat on the back by the ref, it shows of ref bias and saying he did not change the result of the game with his dubious calls is just plain stupid.

    Do you really think if the ref had controlled the game, and prevented the players from both side to go recklessly into challenge and had made the right calls we would have drawn the game? Come on you are just deluded if you think our players would have blew it with normal standard of refereeing.

  144. Afte Diaby went off we had neither Song nor Denilson to come in. We had no DMs. Wilshere stepped in but he got overrun.

  145. I don’t think anyone really thinks in a normal game with norma refereeing Arsenal would have drawn…..

    Gunnerblog put it very well. it takes extreme circumstances to blow a 4 point lead. An unusual sequence of events.

    Red Card—>No DM cover—>Bad refereeing—->Djourou Absence—–>Squillaci presence—–>Poor tactics/lack of composure—–>2 POINTS DROPPED

  146. Cheers Deano, always good to throw some comedy gold in on a day of frustration, disappointment and anger…!

  147. Block4,

    The very least you can do is ACTUALLY read the post that you’re commenting on. The point I’m making isn’t that we have all of the red cards in our games, that would be idiotic of me… the point which flies in the face of everything you post and believe is that games involving us have generated more than a quarter of all the red cards awarded in the EPL this season. That is a staggering percentage! Yet you claim that there’s nothing wrong, that it is all down to our lack of guts and failure of nerve and naive defending or whatever… so the question for you is… how come the games involving Arsenal have generated so many red cards if we are treated no better and no worse than any other team? What is it about Arsenal, in your considered view, that makes this statistical oddity appear in relation to the team you claim to support?

    The rest of your post is really not very clear to me… If West Brom have six cards what’s it’s relevance to the issue at stake here? Did they get any of them against us? Why have their games generated the same number of red cards as ours? Who are all these violent players that we have in our ranks that are causing us to earn more Red cards than Bolton?… And the fact that Bolton and Davis have even fewer red cards than us is mystery to me but presumably not you but fair enough.

    Wenger has already spoken about the other statistical oddity with regard to Arsenal… the fact that we commit fewer fouls per card than any other team… this particular oddity was most pronounced about 2 seasons ago but I’m willing to bet that it hasn’t changed much since then… again I’d like a rational explanation why you’d imagine it to be the case that we commit fewer fouls for each card we get in the EPL?

    If you have a valid explanation I’d gladly put my hand up and accept that I’m talking rubbish so I await your reply with interest.

  148. FG
    Four goals is no joke. Blowing a 4 goal lead is waaaay different to blowing a 1 or even two goal lead. You seem to deny our we were in any way culpable for the goals and the ref somehow took an active part in them scoring all 4? Thats clearly not what happened. If we had kept our composure they couldn’t have scored 4 goals, ref or no ref.

    Having a biased ref is no excuse for panicking like that. Its not the first time ref have been biased against us. Getting a red card is not enough reason to panic either as we’d had that problem quite a few times already this season.
    IMO it was our loss of composure that gave Newcastle the belief that they could get something from the game, not so much the ref. Its become very obvious this season that arsenal cannot be bullied like before. We’ve been kicked about a lot this season and still gone on to win the game. Which is another reason why the Newcastle game annoys me because it just brings to life again the ol’ idea that kicking us can get us flustered and out of our game.

  149. The Barton tackle came about after a hospital ball by Igor Squillaci.
    The first penalty was clumsy by kos best was going nowhere.We have been given penalties as soft as that this (see Chamakh) the 2nd pen Never

  150. Ole@1.34
    I don’t think the circumstances in the game was extreme enough to warrant losing our composure like that. Its funny that you include Squil’s presence in your sequence of events as if his presence actually actively harmed us? He’s our only ‘regular’ back up CB and Arsene obviously believes in him.

    Besides I don’t think he played poorly at all. The main problem was our midfield who just couldn’t keep the ball anymore and didn’t do enough to deny newcastle space in our third of the pitch

  151. Anyone with updates about the JD scan results?

  152. Still waiting Henristic…

  153. As for the person who wanted proof that the ref has a duty to protect a player here we go: this is from a pdf on the fifa website, here is the link,

    Click to access lawsofthegame_2010_11_e.pdf

    “Careless, reckless, using excessive force
    “Careless” means that the player has shown a lack of attention or
    consideration when making a challenge or that he acted without precaution.
    • No further disciplinary sanction is needed if a foul is judged to be careless
    “Reckless” means that the player has acted with complete disregard to the
    danger to, or consequences for, his opponent.
    • A player who plays in a reckless manner must be cautioned
    “Using excessive force” means that the player has far exceeded the necessary
    use of force and is in danger of injuring his opponent.
    • A player who uses excessive force must be sent off” page 111

    “A player is guilty of serious foul play if he uses excessive force or brutality
    against an opponent when challenging for the ball when it is in play.
    A tackle that endangers the safety of an opponent must be sanctioned as
    serious foul play.
    Any player who lunges at an opponent in challenging for the ball from the
    front, from the side or from behind using one or both legs, with excessive force
    and endangering the safety of an opponent is guilty of serious foul play.
    Advantage should not be applied in situations involving serious foul play unless
    there is a clear subsequent opportunity to score a goal. The referee must send
    off the player guilty of serious foul play when the ball is next out of play.
    A player who is guilty of serious foul play should be sent off and play is
    restarted with a direct free kick from the position where the offence occurred
    (see Law 13 – Position of free kick) or a penalty kick (if the offence occurred
    inside the offender’s penalty area).” Page 120

  154. Please be precautionary…! Please be enough to miss the game for Swizerland, but back for Saturday…! Wishful thinking?

  155. I’m sorry but the circumstances of that game did warrant what we saw happen. Any game that one plays requires that the rules be clear and applied evenly. When you have situation where the arbiter of the game decides for whatever reason not to apply the rules in a way that is not only even but appears to be biased against you then it is apt to mess with your mind. When you see the things that you have been slated for in the media (like flopping or diving) being rewarded by a referee and when actual dangerous play is ignored then you are apt to be even more confused. When the previous match had generated a whole string of controversy about what your captain is meant to have said to the referee then your room for protest to the ref is further cramped. When you’ve lost your most dominant defender and are down to ten men with your only defensive-ish midfielder off the pitch you’re bound to feel pressure… all of that amounts a lot of factors but without the first penalty which was softer than soft and the second… we’d still have won.

    To criticise the team for a failure of nerve is bunkum IMHO. The circumstances were extraordinary… it’s not as if we collapsed like Milan did against Liverpool in an ECL final of all things, we had every obstacle thrown in our way and Newcastle were given every encouragement… even if the crowd had been a 50/50 split we’d still have won. Frankly I don’t think that those who so eager to blame and crticise know what they are talking TBH.

  156. @ Henristic

    The ref DID take an active part in how we played and why we leaked the goals by the way he reffed the game – yes, we did lose composure at some stage, we were weakened by the injury to JD and unbalanced by the sending-off.

    But please note that I said it was not just the decisions themselves, it was the awareness of, or suspicion about, what was going on which led to the anxiety, the lack of confidence which infected our game. Do you tackle? Do you jump for a header close to your penalty box? Doubts like that are bad for decision-making. Add to that the increased confidence for Newcastle as they realise the ref is on their side.
    “Having a biased ref is no excuse for panicking like that. Its not the first time ref have been biased against us.”
    You’ve accepted that this is the worst instance of ref bias. The performance in the first half – that’s the sort of level of bias that we come up against normally. In the second half he took it to a whole new level. They didn’t lose composure in the first half after he gave two bizarre free kicks against RvP, or failed to caution Barton when he went through the back of Arshavin, did they?

    Under normal circumstances, it would be shocking to blow a 4-0 lead – but these were not normal circumstances, and we didn’t blow it. This is different to the few other games when we have lost or drawn from a winning position.

    If we’d been two or three up, perhaps the ref would only have awarded one of those penalties. That’s what I mean about not being mesmerised by the number of goals.

  157. joshua | February 7, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
    I’m sorry but the circumstances of that game did warrant what we saw happen. Any game that one plays requires that the rules be clear and applied evenly. When you have situation where the arbiter of the game decides for whatever reason not to apply the rules in a way that is not only even but appears to be biased against you then it is apt to mess with your mind.

    I take it you’re new to football becauseI don’t think you’ll find many games where the rules are applied evenly (especially when we’re playing)? Did you watch our last game against everton? Do you think the rules were applied fairly then? I hate to break it to you but refs have been biased against us for a while now.

  158. Of course, everything played a part and that we lost composure and were not able to somehow release the pressure that Newcastle were piling on us all played a part. But this does not absolve Dowd of his part in the scheme, simply because the way he ref’d the game had a big influence on us losing our composure. When everything suddenly seems to go against you and even a full frontal tackle with the possibility of major injury does not get the ref to blow a foul, but on the other hand just standing next to one player of the opposite team leads to free kicks and penalties (see: 2nd penalty as well as the free kick just before Tiote’s goal) … well in that context I just do not think I can see many people keeping their cool and not starting to feel some despair creeping in because of the sheer unfairness displayed.

  159. But this does not absolve Dowd of his part in the scheme, simply because the way he ref’d the game had a big influence on us losing our composure.

    Exactly, Evil.

  160. If Wenger had spent some of OUR money in January on a competent centre back we wouldn’t have had to see that joke of a defender Squillaci on the pitch fucking up! Wenger specialises in lumbering us with joke centre backs, I don’t even have to name them! Still we are £3-5 million better off so happy days!

  161. “IMO it was our loss of composure that gave Newcastle the belief that they could get something from the game, not so much the ref.”

    My goodness but you’re dense, Henristic. How can you fail to see that any loss of composure is *caused* by the increasing sense that the ref is in fact rooting for the other team? We fought through this horrible sense against Everton, and determined to start this match strong. Championship caliber stuff as they say.

    But then RvP is taken out by 2 players and the foul is called on him. Then Barton tries to take out Arshavin, and then stamps on Diaby. No fouls. Then he LEAVES HIS FEET to go into the tackle against Diaby. No foul. Diaby gets red for pushes on Barton and Nolan, but Nolan gets no card for the push on Diaby. Then Nolan throws Tech9 to the ground, and Tech gets a yellow as well! For what?! Newcastle has no right to the ball. And on the second penalty, no one, anywhere, can say what the foul is.

    And STILL we manage to score the winning goal, only to have it disallowed. But to you it’s all about a loss of composure.

  162. Henristic…

    The issue isn’t some perfect ideal of even handedness but a reasonable expectation that there’d be a modicum of consistency. There was none at St James’s Park from Mr. Dowd.

    Thanks for your concern but I’ve watched and played the game all my llife and I feel fairly confident in saying that Mr. Dowd’s performance was extraordinary in and of itself even without the other issues in that match. So I stand by what I said… the circumstances were such that losing 4 goal advantage wasn’t surprising… not to me. Milan with a more experienced squad and in a much friendlier stadium dropped 3 goals why are you so shocked that we dropped 4 in much, much worse circumstances given your world weary knowledge of the game 🙂 ?

  163. There seems to be a divergance of practice between referees here and elsewher, in that our referees take the view that, provided the tackler touches the ball, it is a fair tackle. The referees elsewhere look at the whole tackle, not just whether or not the ball is touched.

    However, even here, even if the ball is touched, if the tackle is clearly reckless or dangerous, then one sees referees penalising for it.

    Barton hurled himself head on towards Diaby. It was quite clear that even though he may get the ball, he would also hit Diaby very hard, as he did.

    There was no finesse or skill involved in what Barton was doing, he merely attacked, not only the ball, but the player, or to put it another way the space where he thought the player and ball would be. Diaby got to the ball well before Barton, by which timk, Barton’s momentum caused him the bash into Diaby, at speed. That he may have touched the ball, would have been irrelevent and also a matter of luck, more than anything else.

    Undoubtedly, had he broken Diaby’s leg, he would have been sent off, Shawcross fashion., whether he touched the ball or not.

  164. Joshua:


    Excellent post again. We all agree that the ref was terrible. However, I think you are right to try to diffuse the paranoia. The worst thing we can do is to blame outside forces for all of our problems and ignore what we did wrong. Trying to blame the ref in this case or the shape of the pitch etc etc. does nothing to fix the part of the problem that we actually can control. There is absolutely nothing we could do about the referee but there is everything that we could have done about the way we played in the 2nd half which was shocking especially on defense. We were totally disorganized and we were totally dominated, especially in the air. Newcastle created chance after chance. We all downplay the importance of a defensive mid but this game showed just how important it is. Not sure how much the loss of Djourou really played into our melt down but we have certainly been unconvincing in the back in the games when we did not have his height and strength such as the draw at Wigan.

    Despite all that happened we actually ended the weekend closer to the top then we started so we need focus on that and somehow, someway we need to figure out why we have these type of games. The referees are certainly a talking point but it does not change the fact that we still would have won quite easily if we had taken care of the things we could control.

  165. It’s gone now.

    The Ref was shocking, other factors didn’t help, but at the end of the day it is a point gained, which we would of taken before the weeks fixtures.

    I for one hope that it provides motivation to the squad to go on and win the bloody PL, and then we can all stick our fingers up at the bent FA, the Media and all of Fergie’s old boy’s club.

    20th anniversary of 91 – bring it on.

    More important now is Djorou, fingers crossed that the injury is not as bad as being reported, and it is yet again another case of the media getting things wrong.

  166. ”Diaby was poorly positioned for the tackle”

    Tell me you are kidding goonerandy!!

  167. As much as it annoys me, Matt’s spot on. It’s over now. Let’s move on and nail Wolves. This team has more resillience than we’ve had in years, and this kind of upset hopefully will bring us together to win the long awaited Premiership Trophy… Up the Arse!

  168. FG

    Well my point is why are they seemingly suprised by something that is already clearly obvious? Something that they went through just last week when the Cesc/Moyes/Wenger/ref incident happened. You can’t tell me that the players don’t already suspect (hell, KNOW) that refs are biased against us?

    Its certainly not like we stopped stopped tackling or jumping for headers? The 2nd ‘penalty’ was in fact because two of our players challenged (fairly) for high ball and by then we had been playing poorly for a while.

    The main problem is that we weren’t calm and composed enough to keep possession and that had little to do with the ref. The main culprits in this are Cesc, Wilshere, Rosicky etc. The simply lost their cool and forgot their ability to string more than a couple of passes together.
    The everton game for instance saw the ref giving a lot of decisions their way yet we still managed to have 100% possession at one time! Remember we were only 1 goal up at the time. Now a week later, we had another dubious ref and all of a sudden we go to pieces when all we had to do was defend a 4 goal lead with 10 men?

    Also, you seem to argue that the ref set out to give Newcastle a draw. Why stop there? Why could he not have gone for a Newcastle win? There was certainly a chance to do that (their disallowed goal for instance).

  169. Delia---Block 112

    I just want to forget the shambles of last Saturday ( everyone’s performances , players and officials ). We must move on with a very tricky fixture looming on Saturday. Once again we will face an anti- footballing side and with players falling like ninepins I am anxiously awaiting news on those who are likely to be available after the interlull. Please let the Cesc and Robin” illnesses” be of a political nature and can only hope that JD’s knee makes a very speedy recovery. I suggest we all start praying ! Can’t hep being worried.
    As always COYRs

  170. jjgsol – “Undoubtedly, had he broken Diaby’s leg, he would have been sent off, Shawcross fashion., whether he touched the ball or not”

    This is very true.

  171. Soooooooo did anybody watch the Myachi highlights? Does look good doesn’t he.

  172. Delia---Block 112

    Still can’t help being worried!

  173. Five pulled out now. Ramsey as well. Good.
    I would actually like Wilshere and Walcott to play just so they can show the rest of the team what an Arsenal player is.

  174. Sorry did not mean to have Joshua’s name on top of my post. I was going to compliment him on his well written post at 8:55AM. I think nearly all of us agree with the main points of his post. I think it is an unfortunate part of human nature that has always been with us and always will. Its important to be aware and understand, but its another thing we have no control over. Some may disagree but I do not think that is the reason for the shocking display of officiating we have recently. Clearly its time for video replays.

  175. MikeSA, you make me want to weep tears of joy!

    Not only do you echo my sentiments about the duty of care being taken out of the game, but you also state football is not a contact sport. I declared the very same thing and swore a silent oath revenge upon these very bastards when they all disagreed!

    Yeah, I’m quite bitter

  176. Incidentally, does anybody actually know what the 2nd pen was for? Handball?, a push?. What was it?

  177. They said it was for Rosicky having hands up in the challenge, so a push basically. His hands vaguely brushed his back, but no more than that.

  178. Joshua,
    So I shouldn’t be shocked about arsenal dropping a four goal lead because AC Milan disgraced themselves in Istanbul?

    Here’s another example, in 1989 Nigeria came back from 4-nil in to beat Russia in the under 21 world cup in Saudi Arabia. What does this have to do with the arsenal game? Nada

  179. nolagunner @ 2.34

    Lol. I think you’ll find that its you who is dense for making a statement like that….

  180. Geo – Really?, jesus that is amazing.

  181. @ Henristic

    Yes, I am arguing that the ref set out to even up the score, consciously or unconsciously. Perhaps he didn’t allow the supposedly offside goal because he thought he had done enough, or because of the midweek furore about offside goals, or about Sian Massey.

    I didn’t say that the players stopped tackling – I said that worrying about the ref’s overt bias put doubts in their minds.

    So why did they not panic in the first half when the ref gave bizarre decisions?

    We can and do cope with bias on a weekly basis. This went way beyond what we are used to. You did accept earlier in your posts that this was extraordinarily bad refereeing. Stewart Robson, “impartial” to the point of being anti-Arsenal, castigator of “moaning” Arsenal players, commentated on that match. At the end of it, he said that there were two reasons why Arsenal were pulled back. The first one was the referee. (I have never ever heard him blame the referee for a result before.) The second one was the negative passing – which I am putting down to anxiety caused by knowledge or suspicion of the referee’s extraordinary bias.

  182. – “even up the score”
    + “even up the game”

  183. Yeah what he said.

    Go On FG!

  184. We’ll have to be like that football team of Hungarian (or Polish?) POWs in WW2 who played and thrashed a team of SS, even though they knew it would cost them their lives.

  185. “she”.
    I am of the female persuasion, els! 🙂

  186. Dowd’s blatant partiality had a clear effect on the Arsenal players toward the end of the game. With ten full minutes left to play we were already looking to run the ball into corners and effectively hide rather than play a pass… let alone counter-attack. That is utterly bizarre behaviour for this Arsenal team as we all know. Totally abnormal… anathema. But it makes more sense when you know our players are fully aware that one stray pass and all the opposing side has to do to score is hang it up over the Arsenal penalty area and wait for their crooked ref to blow his whistle. Doesn’t it? It’s a fucking joke.

  187. Really goonerandy. Same as the ‘freakick’ which led to the other goal. Apparently Rosicky pushed whoever challenged him for the header.

  188. Madness.

  189. @ Geo
    The funny thing about the “freakick” was that Barton/Nolan got the timing of his dive wrong. He sat down before Rosicky even made to jump!

  190. And let’s face it FG & GA, Rosicky’s hardly the man mountain is he? Surely the ‘ard man Nolan/Barton (whichever c*nt it was) would have been able to smash that little pussy into the ground, no problem..? Rather than falling over like an ‘Arsenal cry baby’ when all Rosicky did was stand his ground…

  191. Still no news 0n Johan… I’ve had my fingers crossed for a long time now!

  192. @Joshua, The relevance of six reds for West Brom is that it’s not just us that has a lot of reds. I think your use of a particular statistic in your original post is just being used to cloud the issue of Saturday’s red card and promote this conspiracy theory/xenophobia/anti-Arsenal bias claptrap.

    “We panicked a little bit in the second half, we have dropped two points, but psychologically the damage is bigger.” – Arsene Wenger ( For all those who can’t bring themseleves to see any problem with our display on Saturday, there’s a direct quote from the manager. We panicked. He does also say that we were unlucky with the refereeing and no-one is denying that. Does he not know what he’s talking about Joshua? You make me laugh sometimes.

  193. Those poor Newcastle boys being thumped about by big bully-boy Tomas Rosicky.

    Dowd is a corrupt fuck. This is the guy who robbed Villa of the Carling Cup last year by not sending Vidic off for what was the most blatant professional foul in the penalty area that you’re likely to see. It was almost like Arsenal knew he was reffing so set out to kill the game early.


    Funnily enough, Dennis, Henry was my favourite strike partner for you too…

  195. Yup. Forgot about that, Mark. He is Manc through and through. He even looks a soft touch.


  196. @ Block4
    The point which you are still missing is, WHY did we panic? Because of the referee’s obvious and extraordinary bias.

    The players do have to put it behind them. We as fans can raise a stink and try to get this investigated.

  197. investigate bias in general, I mean.

  198. FG
    “So why did they not panic in the first half when the ref gave bizarre decisions?”

    err, because we were not under any serious pressure in the first half?

    Look, I’m not denying that the ref didn’t influence the game. Of course he did. He should have sent off Barton and arguably Nolan. He practically gifted them a goal by awarding that second penalty which no one in their right mind considers a fair decision.

    My argument is we played a part in our capitulation as I do not consider the circumstances extreme enough to justify loosing our composure like that and consequently conceding 4 goals in less than 30 mins. I’d say the Birmingham game where Eduardo’s leg was broken was an even more extreme and unpredictable situation and we didn’t play as badly then as we did against Newcastle.
    Our reaction to pressure is the only aspect of the game we can ever control. We can’t control what the ref does or thinks. In this case our reaction let us down. If we continue to react like that we’ll have a hard time being successful. Partly because it will encourage other teams to follow a similar tactic, hoping to rile us up and knowing they refs will mostly likely allow it.

  199. Block4

    let’s be honest Wenger’s post match comment is made not to unleash a huge tsunami of abuse towards him or his team. Wenger has said it there is no point complaining about the refs decision as it won’t change the outcome of the result.

  200. @ Henristic
    So why did they not panic in the first half when the ref gave bizarre decisions?”

    err, because we were not under any serious pressure in the first half?

    And why were we under serious pressure in the second half?

    Er…because the referee’s even more outrageous decisions put us under pressure

    It became clear that he was going to help Newcastle every way he could. Chief of those outrageous decisions was the failure to send off two Newcastle players.
    We in any case might have given up a goal or two – we were weakened by an injury and a sending off of key players. But we started playing negatively. The referee’s bias underlay our anxiety.

  201. FunGunner | February 7, 2011 at 3:40 pm |

    “The players do have to put it behind them. We as fans can raise a stink and try to get this investigated.”

    This is a very good point, FG. I can see that making enough noise might get the authorities interested enough. Then again, I wonder if there really is any realistic hope of that really happening. Think about how much noise have been made about bad tackles in the past, what good has it done us?

  202. we can all skirt around the issue but everyone knows at the end of the day, it was all denilsons fault..

  203. FunGunner | February 7, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
    I am of the female persuasion, els!

    Oh sorry FG.

    Yeah what she said!

  204. @ hel if they do we cannot win the title. Nobody can win if the ref activly goes against them. Everton was the exemption that confirms the rule. The establishment were furious and decided to highlight dirty cesc. Instead of utter shit ref. Ref bias are those 3-5 % that atm divide us from united IMO. If we had 5% more ref decisions going our way we would lead now. That’s how small the margins are.

  205. Henristic…
    You killing your own argument. I’m sorry but the Nigeria game has everything to do with the issue at hand. You were saying that the circumstances of the game didn’t warrant dropping 4 goals but you accept that
    a) it isn’t unprecedented to drop 4 goals
    b) that referee was possibly biased because of the events surrounding the previous match
    c) there are matches that have been played by other teams that have dropped more goals in circumstances nowhere near as unfavourable as we had at St James’s Park.

    So why are you shocked? The Nigeria game is one I’m very aware of and that Nigerian team lost to Portugal’s golden generation of Figo and Rui Costa in the final of that particular tournament… for the second time. The relevance of the matches I mentioned is that Arsenal do not exist in a vacuum… to judge whether what happened is the fault of players or the referee or whoever what any intelligent person does is look at PRECEDENT. There are other football clubs and there have been other football matches and the evidence of the precedent show that you are not quite correct in your judgement I’m afraid to say…

  206. Henristic: “Think about how much noise have been made about bad tackles in the past, what good has it done us?”

    Actually I think we have seen some benefit this season from being on the end of a few really bad tackles in the past. We get a little more protection now from some refs for sure. It wasn’t because of fan power though. It just became embarassingly obvious that Arsenal were targets in the league and the FA knew they had to cool that down a bit after Ramsey. They knew if it kept going the next victim might even be English!!!

  207. bloody Denilson eh!

  208. FG,

    “Er…because the referee’s even more outrageous decisions put us under pressure”

    Not really true. Sending Diaby off was not outrageous. Not sending off Barton as well was debatable (in the context of PL refereeing). We started playing badly soon after that.
    The other horrible decisions followed but we were already playing poorly by then…, especially after the first penalty was given (which was also not an outrageous decision, although a very ‘soft’ one.

    If we had kept our heads, and played our possession football/pressing ( in our third of the pitch), the game would have finished at 4-1 or 4-2. Heck we might even have been able to catch them on the break and get a couple of extra goals ourselves.

    I hope the boys will learn from this and remember never to lose composure again should anything like that happen again. The way this season is going there’s a good chance that we’ll get players sent off/injured during a game again this season. They MUST keep their heads if/when it does happen

  209. @FunGunner, we panicked because of the referee’s bias?? Be serious. If I think I’ve been wronged when I’m playing then it would make me doubly determined, not fall to pieces like a bunch of schoolboys. It brings up the issue of leadership again. Where was the leader to say to the rest, “Fuck the ref, fuck Newcastle, fuck all of them. We are going to win this match!” Once again, no-one is denying the officials had a shocker, but giving away a four goal lead is unprofessional and inexcusable, even with ten men and a poor ref.

  210. Good afternoon AKB ladies, saturday’s rank capitulation proved I was right all along. The day our title hopes ended. Squid boy, eboue the clown and there mere presence of Coco on the bench stuck the final nail in the coffin. If we had bought a top class centre back, then every ball would have been headed into the Tyne. As it is, Squid boy’s speciality is heading into our own net, as we saw at Wigan. Too many average players not fit to wear the arsenal shirt. And Wenger once again “did not see it”. Well, we all saw it, and we cannot understand why Wenger persists with Diaby, a feeble minded frenchman who belies his size by offering a token push to Barton. A true grit englishman would have got up, dusted himself and offered Barton a handshake. This is a joke club. We are not a ballerina school, this is a contact sport and Diaby has to go home via the eurostar. Denilson was awful. Yes, he didn’t play, but he was still awful. We need an injection of english blood. Our beloved arsenal has become contaminated by frenchmen.

  211. Markus,
    Well its not very clear to me yet that we’re getting calls. We might have gotten a few at the beginning of the season but since we’ve looked like title challengers, the true nature of these officials are being revealed (Ole’s theories are rubbing off on me I think).

    However, I’m all for getting a concerted effort together along these lines. Would emails to someone in particular help raise the issue? I’d gladly be a part of that sort of campaign if someone could point the way…

  212. It’s hard to play your natural game in the knowledge that playing it will result in freekicks and penalties being awarded against you for making almost any contact at all with an opposing player. All the while having chunks kicked out of you without so much as a dropball going your way. I’m sure you would’ve kept your composure just fine, Henristic.

    It was like our tackles were refereed in La Liga, and there’s were refereed in the Ryman League during the mid-70s. Or at the Somme. FIX.

  213. Diaby has taken a lot of shit. He is always a target for players liike Barton. He just snapped, like Sagna a few weeks ago. My only regret was that he didn’t do a proper number on Barton instead of that faggy push.

  214. @ Henristic

    Sending Diaby off was not outrageous. Not sending off Barton as well was debatable (in the context of PL refereeing).

    I did not say sending off Diaby was an outrageous decision. I specifically said, may have been yesterday, that the ref had no option under the rules. (Didn’t stop him not sending off Barton or Nolan though, did it?) I have admitted that we were unbalanced and that there was a period when we lost our composure. But we did get it back together. However, in addition to the big decisons there were a series of non-fouls called on us and fouls allowed for them which further contributed to the sense that the referee was hellbent on helping out Newcastle. That would mess with anyone’s head.

    Dowd was not just a homer, he seemed to be actively trying to tilt the game in Newcastle’s favour. While admitting that this level of bias/incompetence-favouring-one-team-exclusively is unprecedented in your experience, you are arguing that they should be used to it. I am arguing that they ARE used to normal bias, but not bias of this order.

  215. As always I find myself wondering why, why-o-why Arsenal fans find themselves trauling for reasons to be negative about their supposed team.

    We have some shite fans. Find another team and fuck off. Hinder them with your support. Do us all a favour and pick Man Ure.

  216. Josh,
    Top points for remembering that team. gutted we lost that final I tell you…

    Anyway, its you who fail to see my point (or perhaps I didn’t explain it enough because I thought it was fairly obvious). In the other cases were high score leads were lost, the team who lost always considered it an embarrassment. It was usually because of a spectacular capitulation on their part, and of course the perseverance of the other team.

    But you and FG seem to be saying is that we had NO choice but to collapse the way we did. That is what I think is bunkum.

  217. Where was the leader to say to the rest, “Fuck the ref, fuck Newcastle, fuck all of them. We are going to win this match!”

    We did that against Everton. We did it again against Newcastle, but RvP’s goal was disallowed.

    Henristic @ 3:09. I consider myself fully answered, and am dazzled by your verbal acumen, good sir.

  218. Goonerandy, re: your first posts, they are way too shortsighted.

    If Barton is rightly shown atleast a yellow for his tackle on Arshavin, he most probably thinks different about going in on Diaby but because he knew he could get away with it he clatters Diaby and almost breaks his legs. If we have any decent officiating Barton is off at that point. Nolan pushed Diaby and then threw Szczesny to the ground that two should be two yellows (ie. Diaby).

    You are way too focused on the goals we allowed (2 in my view, with one coming from a non foul) and not the whole. The match is played for 90 minutes and not just when the ball flies in the back of the net.

    One more thing, we did put ourselves under pressure but there is no law that you will allow 4 goals because you are on the back foot and that what I believe many people like goonerandy and joe believe.

    This was great from the facebook page to sack dowd!

  219. that’s it. I’m off I think the rationale to knobber scale has just tipped in favour of the doomers. Byeeeee.

  220. @ Henristic
    I just attribute the periods when we lost our composure or panicked to the ref’s behaviour, not to any inbuilt mental weakness. I compare it to the time they saw Eduardo’s leg broken – that was the first time that they had seen that happen and some were traumatised and it did affect their game for a bit. When it happened to Ramsey, they coped a lot better. But it would be incredibly harsh to say that they were weak the first time, don’t you think?

    @ Block4
    That could have been their first reaction – but if you think the ref is going to shaft you for no reason, you try not to give him excuses to do so. You think, well, we’ll try and hold what we have. Better to play safe and keep our lead – that is a natural reaction. The irony is that playing safe was harder to do because Diaby was missing. (right decision under the rules but horribly inconsistent)

  221. Muppet, you’re too much!

  222. FG,

    No where have I said or even implied “that this level of bias/incompetence-favouring-one-team-exclusively is unprecedented in [my] experience”. Second time you’re saying that. Guess it’s my fault I didn’t call you up on it the first time.

    I’ve instead maintained that at the time we started playing poorly, none of the decisions had been outrageous. They had just been your run of the mill gooner-hating decisions we generally get in this league. No worse than what we’ve seen in many other games, particularly the most recent game we played against Everton. The most biased decision imo (second penalty) occurred towards the end of the half.

  223. Szcezsney knows.

    Neither were penalties. The freekick that led to their 4th wasn’t a freekick. If he’d have seen Barton’s foul on Diaby he’d have knocked him on his Nazi arse.

    If you blame your team for drawing a game with weighted dice like that… then you really can just fuck off. It’s fucking pathetic.

  224. @ Henristic
    I was mixing you up with another poster when I talked about tit being unprecedented.
    But you said: Yes the ref was heavily biased against us and gifted them 1 or 2 goals (in addition to not sending 1 or two of them off)
    Does that happen every game?

    Another way of putting it is that if Djourou is injured and Diaby is sent off and the match is being run more or less fairly, or at least normally, we don’t get flustered. But because it was not, we think, we are down to 10 men…and up against the ref as well in a way that is beyond normal – if you think about it, when a team gets down to 10 men, refs mostly start to favour them slightly. This ref did not, to put it mildly.

  225. Agree with els obviously… Imagine scraping the barrel like this to dig out blame to smear on your own team after they get shafted like that? Fucking heartless cuntbags. No pride at all.

  226. – “about tit”
    + “about it”

  227. @ Henristic

    Are you saying you DON’T think the ref was particularly biased in this game?

  228. Aha the words I was looking for. Thanks LA

    “Fucking heartless cuntbags. No pride at all.”

  229. FG,

    But we didn’t play nearly as badly after Eduardo’s leg was snapped (compared to the Newcastle game at least). We certainly wouldn’t have lost our lead in that game if we were 4 nil up.

    To be honest, there is something to be said about the mental strength of some of our key players when under pressure. This team has collapsed spectacularly under pressure in too many games for one to be completely assured that they have what it takes. I believe thats partly why everyone (including Arsene) now wants us to win a trophy, even the CC to be able to give the boys some extra belief in themselves.

    I know media/doomers have used the term ‘mental strength’ to bash this team in the past but the criticism is not without some justification. Its like we tend to have too many games were we react like we did against Newcastle, compared to games where we react like we did against Everton. As I mentioned earlier in another post, I find it interesting that we tend to show more resilience in games we are chasing, whereas in most of the games were we react poorly, we tend to be trying to defend a lead.
    I could be wrong about this of course. I’ll crosscheck the stats one of these days to confirm.

  230. HA HA HA @ Muppet!!!

  231. FunGunner | February 7, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
    @ Henristic
    Are you saying you DON’T think the ref was particularly biased in this game?

    I’m surprised you’d still ask that. Just because the ref is biased (yes he clearly was, how many times must I say it?), doesn’t mean we had no control whatsoever on the fate of the game.
    More importantly we must learn from it and try to react better next time, because chances are that there will be a next time if, Ole’s theories are to be believed

  232. @ Henristic
    I was comparing the first time we faced a leg break to the second time we faced the same situation, not comparing our reaction to a leg-break to our reaction to a heavily biassed referee.

    I cannot agree about the mental strength aspect. I think we are one of the toughest squads in the league. I say that because we have faced and overcome hurdles that other teams have not had. Which other top team is continually ridiculed and written off? Which other team has so much institutional bias to overcome? And yet we have steadily improved each year to the point that now, though still young, we have the maturity to win consistently.

  233. Henristic…

    I’m not saying that we had “No other option” than to collapse… options don’t really come into it IMHO… my view is just that what you call a ‘collapse’ is neither unprecedented nor was it a “collapse” in sense that the Russians or Milan “collapsed” We had a set of extraordinary circumstances that produced an extraordinary result… I don’t consider that a collapse. But that’s me.

  234. Did anyone read the article on espn today? Sagna saya he asked Dowd for an explanation on the award of the 2nd penalty and Dowd used foul language when responding to him.

    Can a referee do that?

  235. I’m not sure how to take muppet (insert a joke about putting a hand up his arse here) is he tongue in cheek or are these rants his actual thoughts?

  236. @Henristic

    You objected (fairly) to me saying that you had thought it an unprecendented level of bias. So, given your argument that we should have coped better because we face bias in every match, I am asking whether you considered this to be a normal level of bias. Do you?

  237. @ colneyblog
    Let’s wait for the furore surrounding the “referee’s extraordinary foul-mouthed rant”, shall we? Yeah, right!

    @ els
    Muppet is most definitely talking tongue in cheek there.

  238. Yes Colney I read that. Was it you that supplied the link? If so thanks.

    I wonder if it’s the last we hear of it though. I’m sure it’ll be swept under the carpet.

  239. Why are people so simplistic. The reason the team was rattled was becuase every other minute a call was going against them.

    Be logical. If you get one goal against you and the ref is not acting a fool then you will have some time to recover, but if the when you are trying to recover you get some bogus crap going against you AGAIN its almost impossible.

    Watch Szczesny’s interview, the young man was in disbelief. Such was the confusion.

  240. Thanks FG

    Thank god for that. It’s a pity that you can’t actually tell, as some on here have that mentality.

  241. Enough’s been said about the second half in the comments.
    I think it’s about time to simply look forward to the next game.
    ‘Cause last time we lost first time lead, against Spuds, we came back stronger.
    It’ll be same again.
    And many of us feel that if Squillaci starts, we’ll lose, no matter what…
    Well, here are few results.
    Arsenal 2-1 b’ham.
    Shiteh 0-3 Arsenal.
    Wolves 0-2 Arsenal.
    Everton 1-2 Arsenal.

    All considerably hard games, where we performed so well that others accepted we can’t be bullied any more.
    Surprisingly, Squillaci started in these games with Djourou.
    What i’m saying is it’s not Squillaci’s presence that will hurt us, but it’s Djourou’s absence.

  242. Those 2 penalties were never penalties, however the first is the kind that is so borderline and usually the home team gets decisions like that. Arsenal have benefited from marginal penalty decisions this season.
    But the second is just baffling, after the ball goes out of play, he looks over to his linesman then blows the whistle for a penalty. It was so obvious the Newcastle players were expecting the whistle though, watch their reaction as the ball goes out they start protesting right away.

  243. Earlier I made the point that we were unable to take off the pressure, but this, obviously, is related to the ref. We clearly tried to start counter attacking moves and put pressure on opposition players, but whenever we did, the ref worked his magic in influencing the game. When we did start counter attacks, I can remember several times that we were mugged off the ball and did not get a free kick — instead it was play on. On the other hand, when we went early for the ball — and most importantly, when we went cleanly for the ball, — we still saw decisions go against us and the ref giving free kicks in dangerous positions. One of those free kicks which was to be honest nothing more than a blatant dive by Barton who should not have been on the field anymore lead to the fourth goal. We were unable to lift the pressure, but we got no opportunity whatsoever to get a couple of free kicks in midfield to allow us to reorganise. It was either play on or free kick for Newcastle. Not only did Dowd mug us in the penalty and red card decisions, but also for the minor fouls.

  244. Chezzer is a legend already – four goals conceded and he didnt put a foot wrong (except perhaps failing to fake a broken neck after Nolan’s assault). According to the Sunday Times or Observer his twitter comment said the referee was brilliant – Poles obviously adapt well to English humour.

    Rosicky below even Denilson in the pecking order now surely – although Barton’s dive off Rosicky’s a*se for the final free kick was laughable (or would have been but for what followed)

    Look on the bright side, Diaby would have been out for at least five matches with injury had he stayed on the pitch – so we get him back for two extra matches.

  245. Enough’s been said about the second half in the comments.
    I think it’s about time to simply look forward to the next game.
    ‘Cause last time we lost first time lead, against Spuds, we came back stronger.
    It’ll be same again.
    And many of us feel that if Squillaci starts, we’ll lose, no matter what…
    Well, here are few results.
    Arsenal 2-1 b’ham.
    Shiteh 0-3 Arsenal.
    Wolves 0-2 Arsenal.
    Everton 1-2 Arsenal.

    All considerably hard games, where we performed so well that others accepted we can’t be bullied any more.
    Surprisingly, Squillaci started in these games with Djourou.
    What i’m saying is it’s not Squillaci’s presence that will hurt us, but it’s Djourou’s absence.
    (Sorry if i’m posting this again, not able to see the comment)

  246. LOL Muppet, who Coco BTW?

  247. “In the other cases were high score leads were lost, the team who lost always considered it an embarrassment.”

    I was embarrassed when we lost against Tottenham. I thought the team totally bottled it. I was embarrassed when they came back to draw against us a few years ago. I was embarrassed against Wigan. I get embarrassed when we play like shit, and show fragility of character. But this year has not been like that at all. We’ve played poorly sometimes, but the only mental collapse was against the Totts…a talented team who wanted it very badly.

    But no one’s mental strength is infinite. We’ve showed more mental strength than anyone over the last month, finding ways to win when we’re playing like shit (Huddersfield/Leeds/Ipswich) or getting screwed by refs (Everton). Making our mental strength the key variable here does not fit the data.

  248. I`m coming to the conclusion that Saturday was very much a point gained.

    Anything other than a four goal half time time lead would have ended in certain defeat. The officials would have made sure of that.

  249. Allardyce writes to WBA:




    FAT SAM,


  250. well said Nolagunner!

    I dont understand how the same team that won at Everton and showed so much mental fortitude is all of a sudden weak mentally. Its like people talk without giving any thought to the whole picture.

    If this team was weak mentally we wouldnt be were we are today.

    I agree with you evil, and even in that I am not saying the players couldnt have done a little better but that is in every match with every team. Its like people expect perfection when we play, unreasonable.

    Its hard to tell someone to pick their head up if the powers that be keep sitting their fat backsides on it.

    I dont fault the players at all.

    You know something is wrong when you have Spurs and United supporters saying “what the heck”. It may not be all but if you read many comments from supportes of other teams, many have realized that we were done a grave injustice on Saturday.

  251. @mj gunner – Almunia.

  252. FG
    With the benefit of hindsight, I’d say for sure it was more than the ‘normal’ bias, when you add up all the calls against us after the game. During the game however, we had started showing jitters before the worst decisions were given. Like I said, the sending off wans’t abnormal. It expectedly gave newcastle belief and suddenly they were no longer shy to attack (in addition to the crazy tackles of course). We reacted poorly and the rest, as they say, is history.

    We would have won if the ref did his job properly. But he was not the only deciding factor. Now, since we can’t really change refs attitude what advice would you give the team going forward, in the obviously likely event that you are asked by Wenger? 😉

  253. LOL @ Muppet!


    Did anyone watch the sunderland v stoke match? on every single corner the stoke players were trying to push the goalie into the goal and the ref did nothing. How on earth can a goalie play if players are allowed to do that? credit to him, the young man was frustrated by did well.

  254. “There is a danger that this is feeding a paranoia about officials. I think we have to accept that they are incompetent on the whole and it is not just Arsenal who fall foul of this. There were too many decisions that were proven wrong across the Premier League although as usual United benefitted, Paul Scholes escaped a second yellow for diving in the area as he tried to palm a point for his club…”

    That is the main issue YW, for some reason it never benefits Arsenal in the end. Most say it evens itself out, but no it doesn’t and never will, because no one is keeping the score of referees gaffes/per club.

    It is very dangerous to just say “Oh well, they all make mistakes” it’s complacent and it just gives them the easy way out to direct the trophies where they want them to go.

    It’s bullshit to be honest.

  255. If fat sam ever got the liverpool job do you reckon they’d change the pre match song from ‘You’ll never walk alone’ to ‘I am the Walrus’?

  256. @Henristic

    I’d say for sure it was more than the ‘normal’ bias, when you add up all the calls against us after the game

    Thank you. Unusual circumstances, in other words.

    Now, since we can’t really change refs attitude what advice would you give the team going forward, in the obviously likely event that you are asked by Wenger?

    Your sarcasm is uncalled for. Unlike some others, I have never, as far as I’m aware, said anything which implies that I expect to be asked about any aspect of management by the coach of the decade.
    I don’t know what Wenger will do, but I trust him completely to re-focus his team for the next match and prepare them for the next time this happens.

  257. Henristic, trying to look at the worse decision is criminal for it was a culmination of many bad officiating decisions. However the decision that got things started was allowing Barton to kick our players. The man didnt even get one blinkin card. COME ON!!!

    Also, being rattled does not mean conceding a goal. Things got bad when he gifted them thr first penalty and he kept putting on the pressure.

    Also, every blow wow team gets rattled. Remember when we played Barcelona (the best team in the world) we had them on the back foot at the end of the first leg. Yep, they were rattled.

  258. G4E, agreed, when most of the “mistakes” cause your team to suffer its hard to swollow.

  259. Keep up the good fight FunGun!

  260. @ deano
    If fat sam ever got the liverpool job do you reckon they’d change the pre match song from ‘You’ll never walk alone’ to ‘I am the Walrus’?

    ha ha ha!

  261. Why is the Paul Scholes handball being swept under the rug?

  262. you really wonder Colneyblog ??? 🙂

  263. Good observation colneyblog. But you must know the answer – it is because the mancs have the media in their pocket. Add the chavs to that too.

  264. Tokala
    I really did, however naive 🙂

  265. well said Yw
    i have to agree with your point on the paranoia issue…
    after a few days of simmering after wanting to rip every refs head off, taking real perspective on the issue and i dont believe there is a mass conspiracy against us..
    weve had some piss poor decisions go against us but its the same for most teams…even utd were denied a pen yesterday…
    the refs are just shit and have their favs and baddies and it subconciously affects their decisions..mautd look to be everyones favs at the minute but both us and chelsea have taken titles off them, we can do it again…
    we ourselves have had 14 penaltys awarded to us this season, and alot of those were soft and helped us..its peaks and troughs
    if we go overbaord and moan too much we just make ourselves more prone to bad decisions…
    we are getting the stereotype as moaners and its not good for our rep…
    blaming other ppl all the time gets you nowhere in any walk of life…
    weve just got to keep our heads down and keep perspective…which i think wenger epitmised (??) in his post match interview…pure class..

  266. A great day for football, Allardyce will not be applying for the West Brom job.

  267. Muppet
    I wonder what team will be in the running as media darlings next season. My money is on City.

  268. Which reminds me…how many other teams’ players are unfairly demonised like Eduardo or Cesc or Gallas were? And yet we come through it all, moving ever upwards. That’s menatl strength.

  269. Colneyblog,

    Well – it will certainly not be us ! Adrian Durham was doing his usual Wenger bashing earlier. Despicable tosser.

  270. “I’m not sure how to take muppet (insert a joke about putting a hand up his arse here) is he tongue in cheek or are these rants his actual thoughts?”

    I’m glad I’m not the only one starting to wonder now…

  271. The man Wenger wants to take over when he retires!

  272. “If you blame your team for drawing a game with weighted dice like that… then you really can just fuck off. It’s fucking pathetic.”

    Says it all really

  273. dupsffokcuf | February 7, 2011 at 6:35 pm |

    He reminds me of Nasri

  274. Passenal – Both great players.

    Few knobends on here today. Supporters? Fuck em.

  275. There has been corruption in football leagues before and it can be now even in the pure PL.

    I am not saying there is but I wouldnt be in shock to find out.

    A little while back a ref came out and said that they would fix basketball games.

    It is quite possible that these refs get together and have a little chat. Is that difficult or far fetched? not in this world.

    Anyway, the fact is, everyone is not treated the same way. A kick and a shove saw Giggs get a little talking to. Scholes blatantly uses his hands and a little yellow.

  276. NUFC vs ARSENAL

    Move along.

  277. JonJon, what do you mean by blaming all the other people all of the time? the guy was the reason why this happened. Thats just facts.

    Do you remember the nancy kerrigan, Tanya harding fiasco? is or was there a problem with saying Tanya harding was the reason she couldnt skate in the olympics?

    The players have to play but just moving on suggests that this is something that is good and right for the game. Put blame where it lies. If within so be it, likewise if its without.

  278. bolton had a stinker of a decision
    cahill was almost kicked in the stannds by peinaar in the spurs box but the ref booked cahill for diving…
    i think what has happend with gooners is something bourne with frustration of going so long without a trophy
    weve obviously been going thru a transitional perriod whilst wenger moulded his new team but the constant blaming of officials for every points we drop doesnt do us any favours in the long run..
    arsenal fans have the worst rep in the league for either never being satisfied or blaming anybody else we can…
    the media love it they pick up on it and continue to wind us up…
    wengers classed as a whinger, the fans are classed as moaners…it does us no favors at all, especially when we get dickhead refs…

  279. Comment from a Notts County supporter.


    Some wise words for ARSENAL:
    If you want to win trophy:
    a) Bring some rational referees from abroad–where ever ( which is impossible)
    b) Fire Arsene and replace him with any English guy. Gasgoine, Hansen,…..
    c) Wipeout your talented defenders and put English lads– Don’t worry about the talent. What matter most is being English. The trophy is yours.

  280. paul i have no clue of who nancy or tanya are…
    yeah i agree i wanted to rip dowds head off im just saying we need to keep perspective..
    it a self fullfilling phrophecy
    if we continue to think everyone is against us, they will be..we are distancing ourselves from the real issue there is a title to win
    if we start blaming the refs now it will do us no favours

  281. Been having a chat on twitter about bringing Lansbury as cover in midfield.

  282. JonJon, one decison is different from one after another.

    Obviously in a match will not be officiated perfectly.

    What does it bother you about rep. So that means that you will overlook what happened on Saturday because of a rep?

    So the way how Eduardo has been treated, Wenger and Cesc is the fault of the Arsenal supporters. The things that get said and all the negative crap is our fault? I see.

    As far as being unsatisfied, you have just recently started to be greatful from what I remember.

  283. Well tanya harding had someone try to break the poor young lady’s leg so she couldnt skate.

    JonJon, I read the papers and articles and I hardly read anything positive about Arsenal even from many Arsenal blogs. So whats the problem?

    Its no self fulfilling prophecy, it is what it is and I believe Joshua put it together really well earlier.

    I dont even live in the UK and just by surfing the net I can sense the negative vibes about Arsenal.

  284. The Harding/Kerrigan comparison is a strong one. Someone, possibly Alex Ferguson’s mad wife, has clearly clonked Phil Dowd round the head with a club, just prior to the game on Saturday. Hence the ruddy, glazed countenance… and the myriad of incidents he dreamt up and brushed over in equal measure. He was clearly concussed. He needs a doctor, not a lawyer!

  285. i think youve misundertsund me paul..
    thats my point mate..
    arsenal have many negative vibes..and its due to the fact we moan, bitch and whinge about everything from the refs to the players to the weather…and have done for the passed 5 years..
    its snowballed…the media and other fans, managers and players just take the piss…the refs too sometimes

  286. dups
    thats a good shout i would love lans to be given a go but isnt rambo due back soon???

  287. JonJon, I disagree. Its the fact that many of the English are stuck in ancient times.

    Arsene has never been liked since he came on the scene, why is that? why di Arsenal get so many red cards in his first years? was it because he was moaning.

    Covert racism is what the problem is.

  288. @ JonJon

    We don’t bitch and moan any more than anyone else.
    Others just SAY we bitch and moan all the time and fans buy into the agenda. If Wenger said, “It’s a lovely morning”, the media would report it as:

    In an apparent swipe at yesterday, whinging Wenger said, “Good morning.” “It’s a lovely morning,” complained the Frenchman who many feel wants to outlaw tackling and whose side has not one a trophy for five years.

  289. “Been having a chat on twitter about bringing Lansbury as cover in midfield.

    I think Henri would be a good choice – he is a hard worker and English, which wouldn’t be a bad thing under current circumstances sad as it is to say!

  290. JonJon, trust me, when we lost to WBA, Braga, Newcastle (first match), Spurs and against Eduardo I didnt even talk about the refs but after midweek and saturday, I am sick to my stomach. Believe me not only Arsenal supportes believe something is terribly wrong.

    Anyway, I am through. We to show United how to beat the Wolves on Saturday.

    What a blessing that RVP and Cesc are not going to the silly friendlies!

  291. FunGunner | February 7, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
    “I’d say for sure it was more than the ‘normal’ bias, when you add up all the calls against us after the game

    Thank you. Unusual circumstances, in other words.”

    No, not at all. Again you fail to see my point. It wasn’t particularly ‘unusual circumstances’ at the point the boys started to play poorly (i.e. in the second half after Newcastle adopted a more aggressive approach, and Diaby’s red card). The reason they lost their cool couldn’t be ‘abnormal ref bias’ because the really bad decisions hadn’t happened yet. I honestly don’t see how I can make that point any clearer.

    “Your sarcasm is uncalled for. Unlike some others, I have never, as far as I’m aware, said anything which implies that I expect to be asked about any aspect of management by the coach of the decade.
    I don’t know what Wenger will do, but I trust him completely to re-focus his team for the next match and prepare them for the next time this happens”

    Lol. Its amazing how you miss the gist of my statements. That wasn’t a dig at you AT ALL. I was kinda making fun of the fact that I was asking you to give the team advice, since it is clearly a pointless exercise. Would have put ‘obviously’ in italics if I knew how. Sorry if it sounded like the sarcasm was aimed at you. Goes to show how difficult to get sarcasm in writing..

    I’d still like your answer to the question. If you were Wenger (I know, its pointless but just humour me), how would you advice the players to react if similar situations occur in future?

  292. no paul
    thats a myth
    arsene was liked..he was a revelation, the reason we got so many cards is because if we used to play teams off the park as well as kick them off it if it turned into a war,
    we had a team full off nutters the cards were part and parcel of that…utd used to play good ball but keano and scholesy were sent off many times as well..they were no angels either
    the hatered of wenger has only really happend over the last few years…since we havent won anything and they are rubbing his nose in it…hes gone from good guy to bad guy since the invincibles…
    thats just being silly…

  293. dups nice vid..

    yes passenal his effortless left and right foot dribble frequency is reminiscent of nasri..

  294. FunGunner | February 7, 2011 at 7:30 pm |

    Ha, ha FG! I never suspected you of being a scum-sucking hack, but you do too good an impression to just be an amateur!


    hahahaha – very good FG

  296. the same happened to fergie..
    he was the best..then arsene came along and the media were talking about fergie retiring cos they hadnt won anything for ages and it was time for a change and they were ridiculing him for taking 12 keepers to replace schmiecal…
    then the transtion ended he started winning things agin and they all switched to wenger…..
    he needs to shut them up we need that cc and we could do with the PL as well..
    then the momentum will shift again..
    you’ll see

  297. Johan Djourou’s Twitter account:

    “Hello. Thanks for the support. I was hit on my knee on saturday as you saw it. I’m feeling better. For more infos check Cheers”

  298. With rumors circulating about Pat Rice’s impending retirement, maybe Dragan would be brought in as Arsene’s #2 to groom him for when Wenger does retire. Interesting times ahead indeed. I say we send Pat Rice off a high note, time to get behind the team, it’s us against the world, the quad is still on, the first English club to do it would have a nice ring to it!

  299. “Believe me not only Arsenal supportes believe something is terribly wrong.”

    A Liverpool supporting friend of mine says that there is no way a team like NUFC comes back from 4 goals down without a lot of help.

  300. It is a mark of corruption of the mind when the victim is blamed for the evil behavior of the victimized. Over the last generation society has made such corruption unacceptable in some, albeit few egregious cases. Thus, for example, one runs risk of criminal sanctions for suggesting that the Jews were responsible for the genocidal actions of the German Nazis. 20-30 years it was quite acceptable in some cases to blame European Jews for causing this mass savagery. Similarly, it is simply unacceptable in western society to blame a woman for being raped simply because she wore a sucy looking dress. There are many other examples.
    Football is by no means analogous to the above but we have a classic blame the victim game being played out here. To my mind it is simply unacceptable for an Arsenal supporter to blame his own team when they are put off their game and penalized by phantom penalties. The fact that such thinking is widespread among our supporters and on this blog tells us how far fans are corrupted by the media and the football establishment in their attitudes to what constitutes fair and consistent officiating of a football game.

  301. Corruption:
    sucy = saucy

  302. That tweet from JD was hours ago surely Arsenal have some news or are they delaying it.
    The Pat Rice rumours are just nonsense, Wenger said he is 100% sure Pat would be there next season.

  303. I didn’t put my thoughts very well in the following quote:
    “To my mind it is simply unacceptable for an Arsenal supporter to blame his own team when they are put off their game and penalized by phantom penalties.”
    The team was put off its game by inconsistent, biased refereeing where players were not protected from reckless dangerous tackles, one team was penalized for violations while another team was free to go amok and critical game altering penalty decisions were unjustifiably awarded to one team.

  304. thinking jd is ok and it was just a precaution he was subbed due to his previous..
    AFC are delaying it until the switzerland game is over…or the squad is announced 😉 or somehting like that

  305. JJ – that’s what I was thinking (hoping).

  306. JonJon, so what happened with Arsene?

    People are not hated off the bat obviously but as the man shows how good he is he is hated when he should be looked upon and emulate. Not to mention how dare him not play our English crappy players.

    I dont remember us “kicking people off the park” at all, however this is mans game afterall.

    Dont you see the bias, when Arsenal did it they were dirty when everyone else does it, its good English grit.

    Everything Arsenal is negative to you, the problem stems from us. wow!

  307. JonJon, they will not shut up, they will find an excuse and say this and that. I have no doubts at all. If we will it PL they will say its because the PL was weak.

    I dont care what people say, I just want Arsenal to deal with them on the pitch.

  308. I agree with Shotta!

    Passenal, I have noticed that many Pool supporters have questioned saturday. Good for them.

  309. if you dont remember that paul then youve been watching the wrong team..
    when arsenal went invincible we were ‘amazing’ ‘outstanding’ gods amongst men wenger was a legend the football was the best in everyones eyes…when we won the double double and came back 12 points from behind utd we were everyones second best team cos we were the best…now we are laughed at cos we dont win anything and we spend all day on the blogs blaming everyone else and its got worse in the passed few years..everyone wants to see us fail…
    and as far as im aware english grit was a term invented on the many arsenal blogs out there (more than anyother teams) so we could bitch and maon and invent other terms about corrutpion conspiracys AKBS doomers trolls wengers a cunt and whatever else we can throw in…
    its why yogis posts is one of the best cos it reveals nothing but a balanced view of things…
    perspective is needed

  310. Alan Pardew started the Wenger hate fest. When he highlighted that there were no english players in the champions league side. My husband has certainly hated his guts ever since. Thats when the whole arsenal- english thing started. In our house we only wish bad things on pardews fcuk face.

  311. I love this blog. Proper supporters, brains and hearts.

    And Szczesny’s comment about Dowd. Brilliant, indeed.

  312. Good to see Cesc and RVP have withdrawn from the Internationals in midweek – at least thats two players we wont have crocked!

  313. weve had players like adams, keown ,campbell mad jens, paddy, petit, lauren, bergkamp, wrighty just to name a few in wengers earlier years
    they were all fucking crazy
    if you dont expect red cards from those lot and you think they got cautioned as part of some conspiracy then your as nuts as they were..
    keown was the type of cb a manager would keep in a cage all week feeding him glass and bricks and giving him pairs of the oppos strikers shorts to sniff and then let him loose on match days…paddy didnt fight with keane cos he was a sweet innocent french boy who was misunderstood and wrighty??? lol he was the type of player who would wait in the tunnel for the oppo and kick the shit out of em…steve bruces face will vouch for that….
    we were tough paul..very tough
    and thats why i will stick up for diaby cos its about time someone put barton on his arse…..

  314. The dislike for Wenger truly blossomed on February 14, 2005 when Arsenal was the first side to field a side with no English players as both Sol and Cole were out that day.

  315. Block4…

    I honestly cannot see any relevance that the citing of West Brom brings to this argument. May be there’s an obscure point that you’re trying to make that I’m missing but I honestly cannot see the relevance of West Brom. Like I explained to you before the point of the original post wasn’t solely about our number of cards but about the total cards that referees see fit to issue when we play… so much so that our games account for a full 27% of all the red cards issued so far this season. That is the point… the question for you is … WHY? Why if you say that we are treated just like everyone else should our matches generate so many red cards? What is it about the team you support that makes our matches a veritable confetti of red cards? That is what interests me. You say that the issue xenophobia and anti-Arsenal bias is claptrap, fair enough.. so why not tell me why YOU think that there’s all these red cards in our games? West Brom is irrelevant. Totally.
    Why did we panic Block 4? Because the team was mentally weak? So why didn’t they panic when the referee awarded an offside goal against them at The Grove against Everton? Why do we have the best away record in the league if our mental strength is so feeble? What made the team that played so well in the first half and have been down to 10 men before away from home with a much more slender lead and not panic, panic this time?… we’ve been down against Liverpool and we didn’t panic then did we? So what in your opinion made us panic against Newcastle? Besides you’re exceptionally naïve to assume that Wenger would say everything he thinks to the press… he’d not be a top manager if he didn’t how and when to say certain things.
    When was the last time United or Chelsea have had such an egregious refereeing performance against them in EPL? If you can’t tell me when or where a referee has performed as abysmally against Chelsea, United or even Liverpool why do you think that it happens to us with a bewildering regularity…

    Like I said you can either offer some coherent facts to explain the inexplicable or you’d just have to concede that it isn’t clap trap at all.

  316. Albie – Arsenal were not the first side with no English players, Chelsea were.

  317. Well said JJ

  318. @FunnGunner

    That was really funny, good one 🙂
    In an apparent swipe at yesterday, whinging Wenger said, “Good morning.” “It’s a lovely morning,” complained the Frenchman who many feel wants to outlaw tackling and whose side has not one a trophy for five years.”

  319. Diaby should have done to barton what Paul Davis did to Glenn Cockerill.

  320. i remember that dups..

  321. JonJon @ multiple different posts:

    “arsenal have many negative vibes..and its due to the fact we moan, bitch and whinge about everything from the refs to the players to the weather…and have done for the passed 5 years..
    its snowballed…the media and other fans, managers and players just take the piss…the refs too sometimes”

    Awesome stuff. I certainly has snowballed. If/when we stop complaining and start winning a few trophies everyone will forget about biased referees, negative fans, poor pitches, doomers, AKBs, trolls and thugs etc etc etc etc etc etc etc. It will take a little time but the media will come around too.

  322. So does Glenn Cockerill. 🙂

  323. onmordochspayroll

    fuck off Bill.

  324. It’s interesting and unprecedented for so many of our players to miss their international games. I wonder why that is?

  325. see
    that toughness is coming back this season…
    ches -6’59 confident as they come
    sagna/song- both ox’s
    tv jd kos- not all there, bodies on the line every game
    jack- well 😉
    diaby-conquerer of barton and nolan at the same time..go on fuck with him i dare ya
    cesc nasri- spikey
    rvp- learned his football in the street cages of rotterdam where anything goes..
    we cannot be bullied we are tough as well as skillfill the team is coming together the title is coming home we just need the injuries to stay off like the invincible season….

  326. joshua | February 7, 2011 at 9:01 pm |
    Why? I’ll tell you why. Because Arsenal is a bunch of dandy, Frenchified foreigners who can’t take a few manly tackles, I tell yah. English referees are the best, incorruptible homogeneous group of Anglo-Saxon men without a trace of bias and the whiny foreigners have the balls to complain. Who does Sagna think he is, asking the ref to explain his decisions? Got a effen right no-nonsense talking to by the ref, I tell yah. Only whiny foreigners cry for hard but fair tackles, no matter if they had their bones broken twice before. No blood, no foul I tell yah. Just like that headlock. Yellow card, gimme a break. Whiny foreigners, I tell yah, they are destroying the English game.

  327. bill
    its the old cliche
    fans are fickle
    same applies to the media
    they will jump on anyones bandwagon
    and as soon as we win summat everyone will jump on ours

  328. dupsffokcuf

    Yes, Chelsea were the first to field starting 11 with no English players but Arsenal were the first to name a complete side (all 16) including the reserves with no English players

  329. to be honest dups i was suprised i didnt think davis was like that but i hated cockerill and his jaw…think davis had the same theory, bruno styleeee

  330. The big difference though is that they will never drop down from SAF’s bandwagon. If Wenger would boycott the media like SAF once did, well, the following sh*tstorm would have epic proportions. SAF does it, he is a man with brass balls. And obviously no media has written more than a couple of lines about the things happening at Preston North End. Again, imagine what would happen if Wenger would recall our players for something like that. I do not think that this will change even when we win things again because the Wenger-hate started even before the Invincibles. He was ridiculed after he made the comments in 2002 or 2003 that his team could go unbeaten and the media had to eat a large slice of humble pie in 2004/2005. And once again: imagine what would have happened if SAF had said that.
    While the reporting overall about Arsenal might marginally improve, I can already predict some of the media reactions should we win the league this year. For example almost universally all the pundits in the English media world will say that we are not title challengers. They will instead say things like “Arsenal have a decent squad, but look at the money Chelsea spent in the winter. Unless Arsene spends some of that transfer kitty on high class players his side simply can not be counted as favourites for the title.”
    And the negativity towards Wenger just won’t stop, full stop.

  331. JonJon, got it, its all Arsene’s fault and the supporters.

    Also, unless we win every year we can all look forward to this kind of treatment but it is not the establishment, its us. How does that work exactly.

    “What came first, the chicken or the egg?”

  332. I agree with evil.

  333. Evil – SAF still does not speak to the BBC. I believe united are fined after every game because of it.

  334. paul
    in the medias/opponents/other fans eyes…yeah it is all our own fault..
    basically we need to win somethiing to shut them all up..ram it down their throats…its all part of the banter that makes our league so special
    we dont have to win everything every year but after 5 years it makes their case stronger and stronger…2-3 years we can get away with..but we are now basically living off the invincibles reputation and we are being drilled for it…
    the refs will come round also, they will subconciuosly not want to ‘punish’ a team that everyone loves…at the minute we are hated so we need to change the tide…everyone glory supports…we need to get those glory supporters back, be everyones second fav team again…..
    i find it dissapointing to be honest that alot of our overseas fans feel such hatred towards our league..and have no respect towards its history…
    weve won it before..whats the problem?? really???
    conspiracy theorys do exist and they are fun to talk about but wenger has won this corrupt league three times…going unbeaten in one of them and pulling 12 points back from utd in one season…cant be that corrupt unless we were part of it\????
    and like i said do you explain all our penaltys this season and the fact we are second???? its not that bad…
    i was really mad saturday…i was starting to believe what some of you keep banging on about…
    but it needs to stop….in some ways it comes across as very anti english..

  335. ok JonJon! if we have to win to stop whats going on, then it cannot be our faults.

    First and foremost your proposition isnt rational because more teams will lose than win, so what we should have, by your own reasoning, is every team with a foreign manager who hasnt won anything at all should be treated this way.

    I just think what you are saying isnt sensible. You make the victim the perpetrator and that can never ever be correct.

    Yes we can win and shut people up but once we start losing we are back to sqaure one, in that you have not dealt with the root of the evil, you haveonly suppressed it for a minute. People need to be bold to lick out against the obvious racist ways.

    Have y0u ever considered that Wenger winning is the problem?

    As far as corruption, what one must look for are organizations that are not. Most times when big money is being dealt with there is some tricky things going on. Thats life.

  336. Its like a man beating his wife and then he says “look what you made me do”. So the wife shouldnt call the police she should find out what she is doing wrong (even though she is a good wife that stand behind her man) to “make” her husband box her over and line up for crying out loud.

    I know thats more serious than football but that is the basis of your arguement. Its all Arsenals fault.

  337. it is rational though paul
    thats football….

  338. dups is that true??
    does fergie get fined for not doing interveiws???

  339. No more news on re Djourou. He doesn’t sound too down about his knee, so maybe it’s not that serious? * desperately clinging to hope *

  340. Shotta…

    Absolutely correct. It’s them foreigners and their sneaky ways… 🙂

    Good night.

  341. Can we please change the subject!!? Yes the end result sucked but this endless bitching really pisses me off!! Unless no one has noticed, when a small few of us get this fixated on one thing it kinda ruins the blog for everyone else. Conspiracy theory is just that, a theory, you cannot prove it nor disprove it. You either believe it or you don’t.

    We gained a point on the league leaders, (who by the way were denied a stone-wall penalty)
    JD will simply sit out the international break and will be back in time for our next game
    Cesc and RVP have pulled out of Intl. doodie (keeping themselves for Barca)
    Its possible Nasri will be back in time for the Barca game
    Szezsney is a total nutter and by this time next year will be one of the top3 GK’s in the EPL
    Chelsea signed a $60 million player and lost to the team that sold them that player, whilst his replacement at ‘Pool did not even play!!!
    Jaimee Rednapp is a stupid cunt and should be shot
    Joey Barton should play for England as it will mean he is playing for another team that will never win anything
    RVP is scoring like his life depends on it(which it does)
    Newcastle is a shit hole
    Warren Barton is retarded, not in that funny haha way either, I mean the guy is totally fucking wack!!
    Diaby should be sent down to the reserves until he learns how to throw a punch, he can watch Man Shitty training videos for helpful hints
    Did I mention Jaimee Rednapp is a cunt?
    So is Joey Barton 🙂

    Rant over………………for now 🙂

  342. just read the article
    well well well
    il be blown ..and they call wenger stubborn??

  343. FunGunner | February 7, 2011 at 7:30 pm |
    @ JonJon

    We don’t bitch and moan any more than anyone else.
    Others just SAY we bitch and moan all the time and fans buy into the agenda. If Wenger said, “It’s a lovely morning”, the media would report it as:

    In an apparent swipe at yesterday, whinging Wenger said, “Good morning.” “It’s a lovely morning,” complained the Frenchman who many feel wants to outlaw tackling and whose side has not one a trophy for five years

    Brilliant. Just brilliant

  344. ole gunner
    funs joke was a tickler wasnt it
    but if we dont bitch and moan more than anyone else than can u please tell me why there are more arsenal websites on the net than any other clubs??

  345. Maybe because of our fan base, since we are a London club while the other two “big” clubs in England (biggest fanbase, in that sense) L’Pool and ManU are from working class cities.

  346. Why should we care if arsenal don’t field any english players? Players should be selected only on ability irrespective of color, age, passport, sexual orientation or disability.

  347. I guarantee you noone fucks with Diaby from now on! excuse my french.

  348. Bradys right foot

    Well said Irishgray and Jamie Claptrapp what an effing cnut. The Wolves game is going to be tough I expect them to stick it to us just like the ref, but we have to rise above it. The fact is we can’t trust anyone but ourselves we have to take the power away from the officials by simply being too good on the pitch. Maybe Wenger can use the last two results to create a siege mentality in the team us against the World. A draw in the Manc v Manc game would be pretty sweet if we can beat Wolves.

  349. Nice little ditty.

    “Abramovich to Ancelotti – whacked in the morning, you’re getting whacked in the morning.”

  350. Jon Jon, name any of the top four, five sides who’ve had to deal with three broken legs in the last six years. Fuck, name any team in any league around the world that has had to deal with three broken legs in six years. We don’t moan, you piece of shit, we comment on reality. A reality that all too often involves our players getting lumps kicked out of them because a narrative has been built around us having a soft center.

  351. lol evil
    colney…i really think that sending off could be the making of diaby
    as we all know diaby has all the attributes to be better than vieira…where his game lacks is in his head…if he can leanr from this it could add that extra % to his game…
    and no i dont think anyone will fuck with diaby now, although they may try wind him…

  352. The thugs don’t attack Liverpoool, Manure or Chelsea because they would never get into the NT. If they don’t get into the NT they don’t get the big moves and they don’t get the fat pay cheques.

  353. fuck of gains you twat..
    you alsways do this come on ranting and raving at ppl you just ruined a perfectly good debate you tosser..
    who are you to call me a piece of shit
    silly cunt back to bed with ya…..

  354. I honestly think the team is going to destroy Wolves, take out all their frustration from the Newcastle game and rip them a new one, and that Shitty will beat Manure 3-1. The Chavs play Fulham and I would not be surpried if they drew, will definitely have goals so I would say a 1-1 or 2-2 game. Spuds away to Sunderland, hopefully some dropped points there aswell, will be rooting for Fathead to pull off a nice win here 🙂

    Arsenal – Wolves (H), Stoke (H), Sunderland (H), West Brom (A)
    Man Utd – City (H), Wigan (A), Chelsea (A), Liverpool (A)
    Man City – Utd (A), Fulham (H), Wigan (H), Chelsea (A)
    Chelsea – Fulhm (A), Man Utd (H), B’pool (A), Man City (H)

  355. irish
    it will be down to at least two come next weekend
    we catching em
    i said late feb early march and i stick with that

  356. JonJon – I agree but only if we get 12 points. We need to win these next 4 and hopefully Utd will lose at least 1 and draw another 1. That would put us on top, fingers crossed we can take care of Barca at the same time and bring home the Cup against Birmingham. Dam but life is starting to look really good when you are a Gooner, it’s no wonder the media hates us!! Fair enough as of yet we have not won anything with this team but good God, did you see that first half? Brilliant, sheer magic!! We did not win but we do play the best football around and we get to watch it week in and week out. Could you imagine having to watch Stoke or Birmingham or even Blackburn? Christ, poor envious bastards!! And we play in the best stadium in the country!! Ooooooh to be a Goonah!!

  357. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    “Awesome stuff. I certainly has snowballed. If/when we stop complaining and start winning a few trophies everyone will forget about biased referees, negative fans, poor pitches, doomers, AKBs, trolls and thugs etc etc etc etc etc etc etc. It will take a little time but the media will come around”

    What a daft cunt you are Bill. Keep ignoring facts and denying the anti Arsenal bias. No amount of trophies will change the fact that Wenger and his squad are hated by the English anti footballing establishment. You’re a grass is always greener on the other side Wenger hating Mourinho sympathizing anti football extraordinaire and frankly you’re out of place on an Arsenal supporters blog. Fuck off already.

  358. NJN – You don’t like Bill, do you?

  359. Nasir Jones-Nasri

    Nope, not one bit, irishgray. He’s a self serving know it all prick in my book.

  360. NJN – Just wanted to make sure 🙂 Not mad about him either to be honest, I think he’s a Spud anyways.

  361. Still Djourou blackout…?

  362. Just reading through all of the above. The general thoughts seem to be that we lost our heads because decisions starting going against us. If that is the case it is a real shame, because if it is true it probably means that this team will struggle to win anything.

    Personally I think if the team had kept its head, despite all of the stuff going against it, it would have comfortably come away with 3 points. But if the team did lose its composure, there is only one group that can put that streight. You can’t legislate for outiside interference, but you can legislate for our own performance regardless of all the crazy stuff going on around it.

    Henristic is right; the ref did have an influence, but equally to balme are our players for losing their composure. Reading Theo’s recent comments “We could not look the boss in the face”, I would say that he agree’s with that. The ref contributed, but to lose 4 goals the blame also lies with the players. There is no getting away from that.

    Incidentally, I still think we will win the lge.

  363. Nasir – I am sure Bill will be devestated to find you don’t think much of him. I reckon he will get over it though.

  364. Just seen again AW’s post-match interview on BBC, got to love the guy….:)
    Journo: Arsene, you looked really angry after the game ?
    “Listen…take a Manager job, lead 4-nil and let the opposition come back to 4-4 and tell me how you feel.”

  365. I knew all these early morning posts were too good to be true!

  366. JD’s twitter:
    Hello. Thanks for the support. I was hit on my knee on saturday as you saw it. I’m feeling better. For more infos check Cheers

    you can guess what that means …

  367. Enough talk of the Newcastle game, move forward.

    I agree with NJN and Irishgray. Bill is a miserable spud.


  368. I’m sorry Gooner andy but I find comments like yours utterly baffling. What more should the players have done in your view to keep their heads? They had 2 of the softest penalties imaginable awarded against them, they’d had their goalkeeperr wrestled to the ground and his head held in an arm lock and saw the Goalkeeper booked!… For their final free kick Rosicky Jumps to try and win the ball and has a foul given against him…

    I seriously do not understand fans like you. All manner of unfair and unjustified obstacles are placed in the way of the team you support and your response is to ask the players to jump even higher… considering how high they already have to jump, when would you consider the sort of crazily skewed officiating we are subject to worthy of comment and not blame the players? How many limbs of our player should the opposition break before you consider enough to be enough?

    This stuff is in my opinion quite, quite insane TBH. We have people (fans) who on the one hand criticise the players for not being tough enough, when you point out that the ridiculously high red card count in our matches means that we are facing a disproportionate level of violence they shrug and say that player ought to be tougher… so our matches shouldn’t have 27% of all red cards it should have 40%??? So we have a right to demand that our players not only deal with a waaay above average level of violence from the opposition but we also expect them to overcome biased refereeing and then on top of that we also reserve the right to come onto a web site and criticise them for losing their heads! I’m just curious as to what these guys who demand these things of our players do in their lives… they must all be Bomb disposal experts or something!!

    Walcott is a nice lad and I love the kid but his need to be liked can be awfully annoying at times. His apology for a dive that no one complained about is just an example of his apparent need to be seen in a certain light… he appears to suck up incredibly to the media. Some may say that he is media savvy, others might not be so kind. Bottom line is that I won’t take Walcott’s comments to the English media at an England camp with anything other than a big pinch of salt.

  369. Joshua – Fair enough I suppose. And I do understand why people would lay the balam solely with the referee. It is the easy and obvious thing to do, and there is some merit in doing so.

    If prefer to look at the team for both bad and good (I have commented on both, but only the negative comments were picked up on, whilst my positive comments were ignored). And I maintain that despite the ref’s influence on the game, we still contrived to lose a four goal lead in 20mins. One of which I fully believe was 100% down to the ref (the 2nd pen). We can only look at ourselves for that.

    The players and manager have said it themselves; we panicked and lost composure. That is all I have alluded to. It is understandable to a point, but we have had plently go against us in the past and still remained in control of the game. Unforunately that did not happen at the weekend.

  370. GA…

    My point isn’t that the players were perfect or that they did nothing wrong… in an ideal world Diaby doesn’t push anyone. My point is that I cannot demand of Diaby or any of our players what I know in all conscience that I’m incapable of doing myself. I’m not violent man but in Diaby’s shoes I’d have throttled Barton. I remember his firts injury against Sunderland, I remeber how unnecessary and utterly cruel that challenge on him was… I recall the mealy mouth nonsense Peter Reid came out with and I recall the hypocrisy and cant in the press. I cannot ask of Diaby what I know that I won’t expect of myself or anyone I know.

  371. I actually question how much a persons ability to deal with hardship changes as they grow. I’m not sure if it changes at all; some will always fight while others will flee. You unjustly pick on a kid, the child will become a broken cowering thing, or a psychotic maniac

    Applying such basic and amateur psychology to Saturday, the only thing the players could have done was either feel utterly redundant before Phil Dowd’s unfairness or fight, knock him out, cause a riot, and then get Arsenal kicked out the premier league.

    Can’t blame the team in my opinion

  372. Thanks Yogi… Much appreciated 🙂

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