Will Arsène Be Forced Into Transfer Activity On And Off The Pitch This Summer?

What seems to have been an interminably long – and let’s face facts, dull – interlude between matches draws to a close. The focus from inside is on Manchester City’s visit tomorrow, the media on the summer. Arsène humoured them, guiding the attention on Jack Wilshere’s fitness to a logical conclusion; if he doesn’t play for Arsenal before the end of this month, he should not be considered for Euro2012.

Of the youngster, Wenger was brutally honest,

We are now at the end of March, that means to go to a big competition without having played at all is impossible. The next three weeks will be decisive. You would think a player who wants to play in June, at the end of April they will have to be competitive. The next three weeks will decide [if he can go to the Euros].

I find myself torn at times with regard to Wilshere going to the European Championships, both in terms of Arsenal and England. From the national team’s perspective, Wilshere is undoubtedly one of the – if not the – talents in the squad. I want the best to play, and play well, especially with history of underperformance by those who wore Three Lions beforehand. From an Arsenal perspective there is advantage in him going, bringing along his match fitness in a more tangible manner than the summer spent in the gym ever will. In that sense, the option of going to the Olympics should not be ruled out even when weighing up the disruption to the pre-season training.

And yet part of me believes that Arsenal should be selfish, retain their player over the summer to allow him to recover at an altogether more leisurely pace. Let us not forget his injury is fundamentally as a result of over-playing. Arsenal are impotent though; if Wilshere is called up, the decision on his fitness rests with the England medical staff. Years ago when the FA called on Arsenal employees to fulfil those functions, leniency toward the club might have reasonably been expected in similar circumstances. Now no such leeway exists. Little wonder the European Clubs Association is ready to argue with Fifa over international calendars when a lopsided agreement is in place.

The player himself will come under pressure from both sides as well as weighing up his personal ambitions. It is an invidious position to be in especially since his only escape route is retirement from international football if he does not feel up to it. Football managers are not noted for being a forgiving breed.

Which segues nicely into Sol Campbell‘s views on Arsenal, Arsène in particular. The summer speculation so far has been purely on the playing staff with little attention paid to Pat Rice’s contract ending once the season is over. Rice was persuaded to stay for one more season by the manager, despite his preference to retire citing knee problems as the reason. Arsène will need a new assistant if Pat carries through his desire this time. And frankly I would not blame him; he is unfairly blamed for the problems which beset the start to the season.

But who should succeed him? Steve Bould would seem to be a universally popular choice although success at junior levels holds no guarantee of repetition with senior players; ask Liam Brady. The advantage is that he knows the club; who the manager will choose becomes clear probably only on the day of the official announcement although I am sure that Daily Star hacks will be tapping up Peter Whimsy for the inside track long beforehand.

Campbell’s assertion that Arsenal need to freshen up their backroom staff is based on a certain element of truth but is there any foundation? He avoids the comparison to Sir Alex Ferguson. All too is held that the Scot’s frequent changes of Assistant Manager is an underlying reason for continued success. That misses the fact that all of his assistant’s to date bar the current incumbent have had – and realised – managerial aspirations; none of Arsène’s have held the same desires, which is fundamental to that scenario.

Equally, Wenger is a loyal manager who wants the stability of his coaches around him. Even in his Ligue Un managerial career, he did not have a high turnover of staff. Campbell notes,

Arsène is a single-minded leader who does not like to have anyone around who could threaten his authority, either by challenging his decisions or by being the person that will eventually take his job

There is an inherent contradiction in Campbell’s thoughts; great managers are all single-minded and in their staff, they place great trust. They do not, on the whole, employ people to contradict them. There is a shared philosophy that is required, the unity of aims is necessary in their achievement. That does not preclude questioning the manager, as Campbell puts it, “challenging his decisions“. He makes it seem a failing to not have a constant conflict. I am unconvinced that is necessary. Ultimately, as many challenges can be made as there are hours in the day but if as is claimed, he is a “single-minded leader“, Wenger is not going to listen to them.

For some, desire for change in the backroom is a manifestation of the impotence of wanting change on the pitch. Too often the clamour for change follows transfer desires that are unfulfilled. Equally, the failure to win trophies is not necessarily a failure of the coaching staff; when players cross the white line, variables that are too numerous to contemplate at London Colney come into play.

Campbell has a point in that change can be a catalyst; I am not sure that a former player is going to necessarily be a solution. Indeed, there are few with sufficient coaching experience for the manager to trust entirely. Bergkamp’s coaching career is in its infancy whilst Patrick Vieira has no experience in this field; surely we ought to be appointing experienced heads? In any case, would they challenge the manager?

It is an area to be addressed this summer and another year with Pat Rice beside the manager should not be ruled out. If there is a genuine sense of succession planning, Steve Bould should start to take more responsibility for the first team squad. That of course presumes he is interested in the role. The summer will make matters clearer in this respect.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on April 7, 2012, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 91 Comments.

  1. For me, I would like to see both Berkamp and Bould as assistants.
    Berkamp will have a couple of years to get to grips with the role should AW retire then.
    Bould could add his defensive nous to the first team squad.
    Both know the club
    Both could make the transition when Arsene does ‘move upstairs’ as seamless as possible. But it comes down to whether either want to go down that road?

  2. I can only speculate on who i want signed on the playing side. Because most times i have seen them play and they have impressed.
    When it comes to Arsene’s number two, I am as clueless as MOST of you on who’s best for the job and personally think most of us assume we have an idea on what the no2 guy does. That’s why the fans think Pat Rice is no good but forget he too was part of that good period in AW’s first years at the club.

  3. Good morning all.
    Ideally we would have Bould move up to be second in command if he has the respect of the current team. And bring in Martin and/or Dennis to oversee the development of our next generation footballers. Can. You imagine being coached by this team of legends in your youth.
    I would also thank Pat for coming to our aid and putting his health and family secondary.
    As far as Jack is concerned, I don’t trust the current national team coach one bit. He has shown in the past that ARSENALS interests and those of the players he invites come second. Lets face it, the FA made a huge error in steping on the dons feet over the JT INCIDENT. its probably a sinking ship and I really don’t want Jack on it. He will probably be over used. So keep on telling the FA that he is still not 100% ready to come back. We need him immensely for the start of the new campaign. Same with Diaby. We should try to keep him away from the Euros. We must start the next campaign full force and with some new blood coming in ,we will have to be considered one of two or three teams favored for the title. And that’s my two cents worth.

  4. Nice one YW, and I agree, I miss the intensity of two matches a week.

    I’m sure Pat Rice wouldn’t want to be described as Arsene’s “wife” but as we know, players past and present refer to AW as a second father. And I’m sure he himself sees his role partly as a sort of benign (non tea-cup throwing) father figure within a stable family he’s created. So Pat Rice is Arsene’s wife! Hence AW’s reluctance to shake up the family! What for? The sake of the kids? Whether he should or shouldn’t is another matter. But I suspect that is at the heart of his thinking.
    As gooner says, who knows what the no2 does. Having said that,who wouldn’t want Dennis, Patrick or Steve Bould involved somehow?

  5. In regard to Wilshere, I think Arsenal must be entirely self-centredThe Club pays his wages and should keep him away from the Euros at all costs. Let him have the Summer to cement his recovery with no thought of real competitive play until August.
    On the subject of Pat Rice’s successor, it is difficult to speculate without knowing the relationship he has with Arsene Wenger. If the Manager brooks no dissent to his authority, it is going to be a problem in getting the right man, particularly if he is part of the implied plan of the Board to succeed Wenger.
    If I had to choose the eventual successor to Wenger, it would be Denis Bergkamp. He has obtained or is obtaining his coaching badges and would be, IMO, a highly respected and worthy addition to the list of those who have led our great Club.

  6. If Dennis were to be become the next head coach how will we deal with his aversion to flying? A very capable second in command?
    And if the head coach for the national time is the same in two years, bite your tongue, how will our selfishness now effect this chances of playing in the world cup for his country??
    Tough situation.

  7. @goonercam,
    Forgot all about the flying problem which, I’m afraid, rules him out.What a shame. Back to the drawing board. 🙄

  8. @ goonercam,
    On the other point, the Club still comes first. Don’t know whether you agree but IMO general support for the national team is waning as compared to Club support.

  9. Dennis would be nice, but Dennis can´t fly..and we all know this is not the last time wenger gets a match ban. So I think Dennis for the youth (dreaming) and someelse as the no.2.

  10. Wilshire should only go to the Europeans if he is 100% match fit and that decision should be
    left to the management of Arsenal and not England. If he is fit then I would have thought that playing during the summer after 12 months out of game would be beneficial.

    Arsenal do need need a reshuffle of their backroom staff. Personally I believe that there should be people on the staff who can challenge Arsene’s decision making which has not
    been as perfect as many suggest. The balance of our squad over the last 7 years has not
    been right not least in age and experience, but also with an overemphasis on playing pretty

    Teams playing in EPL need balance with both technical ability and solidity. The solidity in the defensive side of the game was missing for a long time.

    We need coaches who will subscribe to Arsene’s philosophy, but also to working with the team on their fundamental weaknesses. A new defensive coach is an absolute must once
    Pat Rice departs. The obvious candidate would be Steve Bould, but there are others who can be considered as well.

    I would like also to see Denis Bergkamp brought into the fold. He is an intelligent man and
    was of course a brilliant footballer. More importantly he is a family man who will bring stability in the lives of young players. Personally I do not believe that Denis will become a
    top manager, because of his ‘inbuilt fear’ of flying so that in long term he may be better suited to become a Director of Football at a club like Arsenal when Arsene leaves.

  11. Keeping Jack away from the Euros will only mean that he will be called up for Team GB at the Olympics. With FIFA making it mandatory for clubs to release players, Jack, Ramsey, Ox, Gibbs are all ‘at risk’ of being called up, and that will be a bigger disruption to our pre season than the Euros.

  12. @Shard,
    Wilshere could not be called up for any team if his club declares him unfit.

  13. Nicky, I would. Prefer Jack to stay home and be 100% ready at the start of the next campaign. Same with Diaby. But it looks like the FA has the last word. Lets not forget Jacks personal wishes also come into play here. Unfortunately,even though we foot the bill, we are not the last word on this subject.
    YW, do you know the nature of the problems Bergkamp is having at AJAX? seems like all is not well in Netherlands. And that he might seek a move elsewhere.

  14. nicky

    Sadly that is not correct in so far as the Euros is concerned. If the Football Association medical staff deem him fit, irrespective of what the club says he is in Fifa’s eyes fit. If Arsenal then refuse to release him, he serves a mandatory 3 match ban for Arsenal’s next fixtures.

    Not sure on the Olympics for whilst it is a Fifa authorised event, there seems to be a voluntary element of it.

  15. YW,
    Crumbs, I never thought of the FA quacks. What with FIFA, the refs and now the FA medicos, we are being done from a great height. At least the England cricket team have just beaten little old Sri Lanka! 😆

  16. Notoverthehill

    Yogi, again and again a very thoughtful article!

    As for Steve Bould, I would look at the Arsenal Youth performances over the past few seasons compared to the Southampton Youth teams. The Arsenal Youth compared to the performances of the Southampton Youth teams, are overpaid, overpriced and have over developed egos! Even the Crystal Palace Youth teams seem to be an example to be studied in much greater depth.

    As for Neil Banfield, Buggins turn?

    Arsene has his faithful sidekick who has a wealth of experience and knowledge, so decisions are made in concert and not with disagreements and/or disapproval. The Club motto says it all really. The Manager is paid to manage and the Assistant Manager is there because of the Rules. That is why the Assistant Managers salaries are in the “tithe” range compared to the Managers.

    My personal view is that the “new” Assistant Manager will require to be able to demonstrate to the “conservatory exotics” that they need some “all-weather” exposure! I am of course referring to the likes of “young” Walcott, not wanting to win more than the QPR players? Utter rubbish, Walcott should be fined a month’s salary and train with the cleaners, for a week.

  17. Unfortunately, when Pat Rice retires, the happless media and punditocracy will do nothing short of fuel the narrative that Pat Rice is being “pushed out” or made a scape goat for ArsenalHasn’tWonATrophyIn8Years.com. They won’t reflect objectively at the career of a man spent almost entirely at Arsenal as a player and as a respected coach. They will continue peddling the “see, they’re in crisis, they’ve had to kick out the No.2 – shame they couldn’t kick out Wenger”.

    Bookmark this post and come back to it after reading the headlines on the day following the honourable retirement of Pat Rice.

  18. The victory against Marseille was a fitting riposte to Rice’s reliable and knowledgeable critics.

  19. Agent Bendtner,
    Arsenal expects you to do your duty.

  20. Does anybody else know the answer to my question regarding Dennis??

  21. Civil war between the camps of Bild & Cruyff at Ajax? Something like that.

  22. Surprise, surprise the usual suspects only too eager to grab the opportunity to stick the boot in. I think these comments about Pat Rice are highly disrespectful and paint him as some kind of spineless yes man. Ultimately it’s the manager’s job to manage and he is the one to get the sack when it doesn’t work, so ultimately he has to make the decisions. No one really understands the role of the number two or what Pat Rice does behind the scenes, but after all his years of service to the club he deserves some respect.

  23. Tnx finsbury. i guess Bergkamp isn’t involved.

  24. Pat Rice has been a legend at this club and there shouldnt be any critisism towards a man who has gave most of his life to us in one form or another. Trophies Pat rice has seen and in quantity..

    The bashing last year was uncalled for, he doesnt run the club. the final say is the managers, but we should take heart in the fact is was the minority of mindless idiots who dont have a fucking clue what they are talking about.

    Change should be expected at any time, and to be fair if he wants to call it a day he deserves the rest after what hes put in to the club..

    Personally i would like stevie bould..

    I see a comparison here with barca where cruyff built the club up, gave it a philosphy and they promoted a man from within the ranks who had the respect of the club, was a legend in his own right and had coached the kids through the ranks..the same kids who went on to become superstars in the first team..

    replace cruyff with wenger and gaurdiola with bould and we may just be onto something silmilar..Bouldie can then take full control when AW decides hes had enough..

    Bergkamps a great shout, maybe Henry..

    But i feel a defensive minded man who values hard work and who likes to teach attacking football is the best choice..It also helps if he isnt afraid of buses with wings..

    Bouldie as no 1 and bergkamp as no 2 in 5 years time would be a wet dream..

  25. YW – Very nice post as always YW. With regards to Pat Rice’s replacement, would it not be fair to assume that whoever it will be will most likely end up replacing AW in a couple of years too? And if so, then Pat Rice’s replacement should have first team managerial experience. IMO this would change things greatly as we are not simply looking for a new no.2 but a new manager in the long run. I reckon AW already knows who the replacement will be and that is why he asked Pat to stay the extra year, as he may have felt that the person in question needed a bit more time. That or he may have been contractually obligated and was unable to come to The Arsenal last year. In as much as I would love Dennis Bergkamp back as a coach, I think it is too soon. If the new No.2 eventually moves up to replace AW in a few years then that is when DB should be brought back, as he would have a number of years experience by then and would still be learning the manager’s role as No.2 at The Arsenal.

    Paul -N – Great video of the little one man, too cute! 🙂

    And to put a smile on everyone’s face:

  26. that videos awesome

  27. JonJon – Szezny is too funny man!! Genuinely looks like he is into it big time.

  28. Jeez – is it possible to suck Bale of Nazareth’s dick any more than this BBC summarizer and commentator are doing?

  29. chezzers very serious about it all
    le ox makes me laugh, hes loving it..

  30. I really do hope NB52 scores the winner against the spuds today, would cap off a nice little run for the Dane, whilst taking a lot of pressure off The Arsenal tomorrow.

  31. Darius – I am reading the same summarising, it really is sycophantic. The second the spuds et the ball, they are declared to be ‘ on top of the game, with things starting to open up for them’. They have had the same number of shots but have conceded 3 times as many corners yet have had more posession. Seems pretty even to me.

  32. not bothered who scores to be honest..
    as long as spurs drop points

    it would be sweet though if it was bendtner and it would put a few more quid on his price

  33. Is this the manager everybody really wants for England? It is pretty obvious how he approached this game. Start Sandro and tell him to break up Sunderland’s play no matter what the consequences. Tactical fouling at it’s worst. And as soon as he gets the yellow (should have happened in the first 10 minutes) just after the hour mark, he takes him off and sends on Lennon. I bet the idiot would use the same tactics against the likes of Spain and Germany and then bemoan the fact that his old-school, tough-tackling, honest mid-fielder was sent off for just trying to play the game the way it should be played, you know the English way!! Don’t get me wrong as an Irishman I think he would be hilarious as the England coach but in all fairness Hodgson is a much better tactician and manager when it caoms to that level. Hell, even Pearce would be better!

  34. Irish – at one point, the summarizer described Kyle Walker as Cryuff-esque. What chance do others have with that sort of sycophancy.

  35. If Rice was to retire I wouldn’t mind O’Leary taking his job. And he did say he wouldn’t mind being Wenger’s number two!

  36. Kenyangunner – O’Leary may have jumped at the chance a few years ago but he is very happy at Sunderland and I cannot see him leaving there.

    Darius – It really is punditry at its worst mate.

  37. Come on Sunderland, easy does it – bring the point home…nice and easy.

  38. Meerkats Ghost

    David has been too critical of Le Boss in the past
    IWe were pickpocketed twice yesterday.Dirty theiving Barca bastards.

  39. Tottenham – 1 win in 7. Now that’s what I call Champions league form.

  40. Nice job of Foy to add another 2 minutes on for Bale’s simulation.

  41. Irish, Sunderland over us? I think not!

  42. Kenyangunner – Sunderland is his pet project and I do not see him leaving it willingly. Especially now that he has a manager of O’Neill’s ability.

    A draw was a good result for us, now we must go and beat Citeh tomorrow and give ourselves some breathing room. Later peeps 🙂

  43. The spud’s have not won an away game in the league in 2012. Can you imagine the headlines if Arsenal had a similar record?

  44. I get bemused by the school of thought that suggest if there’s contact in the penalty area and a player goes down, then its a penalty. Just because there’s contact doesn’t mean its a foul. Besides, players tackle each other and enjoy a lot of contact in other areas of the pitch and no fuss is made.

    Contact with a person doesn’t mean there’s a foul. Conversely, just because someone get’s the ball doesn’t mean it isn’t a foul. The issue is whether a player has been endangered or unlawfully aggrieved.

    I’m talking about Drogba’s tumbles in the penalty area btw.

  45. Nice post yogi.

    I think jack w should skip the summer tournaments. I don’t believe for a second that he I’ll pace himself and tell his coaches he needs to sit out if he is having pain. He will be the only one who knows.

    I agree 100% with sol Campbell. I have said for a couple years now that we need to freshen up the coaching staff. I know every one will hate me for saying this but I think arsene has become addicted to his control over the club. He is a brilliant man but history tells us that even the best managers or leaders need to be able to delegate authority and be able to get different ideas. If you believe so deeply in what you are doing you will tend to blame outside factors when things dont go as well as you think they should rather then looking to see if may be part of the problem is your own doing. You need someone who is willing to challenge ypur ideas and look inside for solutions. We should have had a defensive coach 2or 3 years ago but arsene was not willing to delegate and of his control. Blaming pat rice is ridiculous but the idea of getting fresh blood in the coaching staff is spot on

  46. Al-Habsi is doing an Arsenal on Chelsea. Man of the 1st half.

  47. So Liverpool are losing at home again!

  48. theonlyredsteve

    I really want Arsenal to finish third, if only because Hansen has predicted fourth place for us

  49. If Chelsea play like this against Barcelona, they’re going to be mercilessly raped.

  50. This is fucking sick. Mike Jones will have to explain how the hell he awarded that goal. There was daylight between the Wigan line and Ivanavic and Wigan has just been robbed.

    Fucking corrupt match officials. 4 fucking players standing offside and they give the goal.

  51. Anyone interested in signing a petition to keep Dalglish in the Liverpool job?

  52. @Darius
    If Chelsea play like this against Arsenal, they’re going to be mercilessly raped.

  53. Sometimes I really wonder what these referees are looking at. That decision against Wigan was so bad that incompetence seems to simple an explanation. Then, immediately after Wigan scored they put in a cross that took a wicked deflection off of a Chelsea player and the ref gives a goal kick to Cheslea. Again, so batantly obvious that incompetence just does not seem to explain it.

    I am no conspiracy theorist, but the quality of officiating in the English game needs inprovement in the worst way. The ability to look at a quick replay of that goal in an upstairs booth would have rectified that call in no more than two minutes. That is about half the time that it took for the Bolton players to surround the inept ref and complain. Ridiculous…

  54. Video tech is most definitely needed. And better referees.

  55. I also agree with Evil…if Chelsea play like this against us on our pitch, they are going to get played off of the pitch to a chorus of Ole’s from the Emirates faithful.

    First things first though…end City’s title hopes tomorrow and solidify our top three standing.

  56. What pleased me most about a very pathetic situation is that each and every single outfield Wigan player surrounded the ref and raised a unified protest. That right there is team spirit, and there effort forced the stupid ref to consult an even more stupid linesman.

    How is it possible that the police don’t get called in to investigate whether than linesman has a Russian girlfirend acting as an agent of the Russian mafioso funded by an oligarch somewhere to make sure that Chelsea get the 3 points. That was worse of a decision than a no ball in cricket and they convicted 3 players and jailed them. The sheer amount of money riding on books opened for Chelsea not making Champions league cannot be under-estimated.

    Jonny – please explain to me how that is not worthy of an investigation against corruption in the game at such a critical stage of the season. So much is at stake on both sides of the table and Wigan could have staved off relegation if it wasn’t for that dodgy decision.

    I refuse to accept that referees are beyond reproach simply because they have a bad day and make bad decisions. In other jobs, that level of incompetence costs lives.

    And we haven’t even mentioned that when Torres vollied that ball against the post, Mata was already offside, so technically, when the ball presented itself in front of him, he was fucking offside.

    ** throws arms in disgust **

  57. How the ref missed that is confusing. It wasn’t even a close call. Credit to Wigan in how they protested the wrong decision.

    Replay is needed, big time!

  58. For me the only explanation as to why there is no replay yet in the BPL is because they have no interest in objectivity and truth. Having no replay allows them to have wiggle room and subtly influence the outcomes of matches and match ups. Instant replay takes away that plausibe deniabiliy that the FA is clinging to.

    There are so many obvious fixes to glaring shortcomings in regards to officiaing. The only logical explanation for allowing them to continue to exist is because the people at the top have no interest in fair play and correct calls.

    Retroactive punishments for unspotsmanlike conduct, (i.e. diving, cheapshots, etc.) are another thing that would help eradicate some of these issues.

  59. Viceologist.

    What I find interesting is the way excuses are made for the officials and the games governing body. In many countries, that level of inaction, selective amnesia, blatent disregard of the obvious and an ability to influence matters artificially by protecting dodgy match officials is called corruption, plain and simple.

    Why people beat about the bush and suggest its something else I don’t know.

    But then again, look at FIFA, they don’t even hide it.

    PS: Kenny Dalglish looks and sounds a beaten man. A good samaritan should file a case in the high court against Liverpool FC and the Fenway Sports Group for wilfully torturing a broken man by keeping him in the job.

    For the record, Liverpool have only won 1 game in the last 9. I’m really going to be surprised if they finish in the top half of the table.

  60. Unfuckingbelievable.

    Both Torres and Mata were offside on the second Chelsea goal.

    Quote of the month:

    Question from press: Roberto (Martinez), so do you think we need to bring technology into the game very quickly
    Martinez: No, we need to bring competent match officials into the game before technology

  61. I didn’t even get a chance to see the second offside goal. I had to leave for work. So Wigan were done by two offside goals? Unbelievable…

  62. Wilshere needs to stay at home. If he is rushed back from injury this would hurt him in the long run. Fernando Torres is a prime example so is Wayne Rooney. Sol Campbell has some good points. Most assisants want to run the whole show.

  63. I also can’t understand why we can’t have technological aids in the officiating of football matches. In fact, I find the reluctance by FIFA to consider these options a wee bit suspicious. I don’t buy often mentioned excuses: e.g. need to have similar rules at all levels of the game.

  64. RVP’s red card against Barca proved to me that something is up.

  65. Meerkats Ghost

    I am told it will even itself out.We will see.
    Which is nice because it leave us with a shit load of penalties and offside goals being ruled “in” before the end of the season.

  66. It doesn’t ‘even itself out.’

    That does not mean it’s corrupt or the product of a conspiracy.It’s mainly incompetence with a bit of bias due to fear of crossing some people and not being one with the pack. Actually, a fair bit of the latter.

  67. @BIll
    It’s always nice to hear it directly from the hourse’s mouth! In what capacity are you employed by Arsenal FC again? Considering how much you know about what happens inside the club.

    Spot on. Doesn’t need a conspiracy, but I don’t think that even the biggest referee apologists can’t deny that there is a lot of incompetence mixed in with a good amount of bias refereeing games week in, week out.

  68. If Darius hadn’t been posting I would have sworn he was the fellow swimming between the Oxford and Cambridge boats! Or was it Pedantic George?

  69. The question had been asked in so many different ways today and in the past.

    “. Why o why can’t FA AND UEFA AND. FIFA AND the rest of the ruling authorities instigate video replay and/or competent referees to make the game more fair and evenly played.”

    Latest victims, WIGAN. This could very well cause them to drop to the championship.

    what sells better in their minds? Not an evenly and fairly.judged game, that’s for sure. This way more people talk about it for much longer period of time. The product you are peddling becomes more popular and sells more. Equals MONEY.
    we are told always, to know the reasons behind certain occurances and which parties were responsible to follow the money trail. Well, there it is. And it stinks to high heavens.

  70. And that my friends, is only part of the bigger conspiracy picture. 🙂

  71. @Kenyan – It was probably George. I think he got a bit lost hiking a ride from Blackburn to North London for tomorrows game.

    Are you watching tomorrow’s match at Okumu’s? Would love to visit the joint next time I’m in your neck of the woods.

  72. IRISH, what an awesome video. Leave it to you finding this stuff. Lol.
    BACARY looks positively turned on. Lol.

  73. That’s why nothing will change because the minute anybody questions the status quo they are accused of peddling conspiracy theories. That is how apologists always try to discredit anybody who suggests that there may be more to a situation than meets the eye. It might just rock their narrow little worlds to realise that there are not very nice people in the world who will do whatever it takes to get ahead.

  74. So true. Glad many of us have seen the message in between the lines and the rest are at least getting a little ‘ suspicious ‘. Good for you Henristic. You are on you way.
    And BILL, don’t worry mate, I’m headed to the medicine cabinet presently to take my expensive. Medications that were prescribed for my condition. I’ll turn into a zombie conformist very soon, my doctor says.
    How are you Passenal? Hope the crew really play from the heart tomorrow and lay it on the line.. Put the northern mercenaries in their proper place.

  75. Evil @ 8:49

    Just my opinion. I suspect the truth is somewhere between our views. Why would sol say something like that if there was not at least some truth to it.

    No hum more conspiracy talk. Every time there is a bad call or 2 the team or teams who are being targeted changes. Now they hate wigan for some reason.

  76. Tomorrow is cup final night so lets get ready for the final!

  77. This one is for jonny!

  78. Ah BILL. YOU missed the point completely. Read the posts again.

  79. nothings changed,
    we still need to win tomorrow regardless..
    chelsea are starting to get going and its a hard machine to stop but they have been playing shit and getting the calls, their fixtures are too difficult to maintian this type of luck, they’ll crack..

    spurs drop more points of their easy run in..

    newcastle are squeezing in, but their goal difference is much inferior to ours…in fact, ours is the best..

    squeeky bum time guys, pissing points down the pan… im telling ya we win our home games we take third at a canter..

    i feel we need man utd to win tomorrow as well..8 points clear??
    if city go into our game thinking theyve lost the league already we could fucking hammer em..

  80. Sometime’s the quailty wil stand up and show its self!

    For Jonny

  81. Yeas guys on overdrive!

  82. This one is for bade from The beast little arsenal blog on earth!

  83. Yogi Your a good bloke!!

  84. Yes tomorrow is a cup final!

    Yogi i fucking love you!

  85. Yoggi bear for you cos you are an arsenal stalwart

  86. Yoggi takes no fucking shit! and he’s right! who told me ‘ Charlie george! Yes THE ARSENAL MAN!!!

  87. Smudge what fucking drugs are you on mate!?

  88. The drug Irish is called Arsenal. I just can’t seem to shake it.

  89. Hahaha SMUDGE. nice tunes . Thanks for sharing.

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