Arsène On Good Technology: Fact, Dive Or Seven Types Of Ambiguity?

As the rest of the world focusses on the FA Cup semi-finals or Grand National, we remain resolutely turned towards Arsenal despite the absence of a match this weekend. We cannot even reminisce about league football returning to Highbury as Fleetwood Town were made to wait a little longer for their promotion to the Football League following last night’s 2-2 draw with Lincoln City. Still, if you want to look back on the past or learn more, pop over to Arsenal On This Day. Enough with the shameless self-promotion.

Whilst the match may be on Monday, Arsène’s press conference was no less illuminating. Unsurprisingly he is in favour of video technology but recognising that knees have been jerking faster than the annual St Vitus Dance Grand Ball, he is in favour of a more measured approach to the topic,

I would like to assess the situation as a whole at the end of the season. Last weekend was a very bad weekend, but we need to assess the global situation. I think the football authorities need to sit together and see how we can improve it. It is time for us to help the referees and not be so conservative and finally opt for video. Video will help the referees, not question their authority. It will give them more credit, more authority and [produce] fewer mistakes.

Whatever system is introduced will need careful monitoring. For example, knowing that an offside decision is 50:50 and subsequently stopping the game just because the video official will vindicate the decision or not is, to my mind, the quickest way to destroying the credibility of officials on the pitch. If a player is onside yet called offside, then attacking impetus and any advantage which might accrue, are lost. If play is allowed to continue and then called offside, surely this brings the linesman into more question. You might get the decision right yet surely the bigger question is why bother with officials at all? Why not have the whole match refereed by video.

It appears to me that the conservatism which this issue brings about in football is actually what is stopping the game losing its soul. A headlong rush into technology without proper planning is not going to improve matters. If video technology is to be used, surely the limit has to be penalty area incidents where doubts arise rather than extending it to the game in general itself? At worst, the video official might draw the referee’s attention to incorrect decisions such as the one not to send Balotelli off last weekend for his first assault on Alex Song.

The team news ahead of the visit of Wigan is pretty much as expected. No Diaby or Coquellin, Gibbs might make it, Gervinho more likely. And what of Jack Wilshere? With the hopes of a nation resting on his shoulders, the youngster seems highly unlikely to make the trip to Eastern Europe in anything more than a spectatorial capacity,

We are now in mid-April. The Euros start in the middle of June. Jack has not played the whole season and knowing what is required at the top level, in terms of intensity, it’s getting short now. Jack is mentally strong. But what is holding him back is that he can’t play football, so he can’t be happy. When you’re only dream is to play football, you are going to be down. He has not joined the first team yet. He is still in the gym and running. I will not take any risks with him.

It is not Arsenal taking risks with him that causes the most concern. Understandably the player has stated his aim to play at the European Championships and Olympics. Whilst Fifa continues to be out of touch and insists that players called up for London2012 must be released by clubs, the FA seems positively enlightened by ordering that any participants at Euro2012 cannot be selected for TeamGB.

TeamGB might prove the more beneficial option for Arsenal and the player. Taking place closer to the season’s start, the Olympics would put Wilshere onto a faster track for 2012-13 than a June competition. Whilst he would miss Arsenal’s pre-season, he would come back with a higher degree of match sharpness than he might ordinarily have. This though is some time off yet.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on April 14, 2012, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 50 Comments.

  1. Bout bleedin time Yogi. I am suffering with a monster hangover and need something to take me mind of it.

  2. The technology issue will not go away, not while we still see some shocking decisions. Then again, even with the benefit of hindsight and a multitude of camera angles, the FA STILL upheld the QPR player’s red and did nothing about Young’s theatrics. It was great to hear him being slated on SSN earlier today.

    I do think video refs would help, but they should only be limited to black and white decisions; offsides and goal line situations. However, once the video refs are introduced, it wont be long before the clamour is for them to decide more and more decisions, making the on pitch officials virtually redundant.

  3. Just have a challenge system like in tennis. The manager or the captain of a club could have 3 or so opportunities to choose to challenge any decision they feel was wrong. It may not be perfect but it’s a step in the right direction I would say. Obviously there would still be some issues to be discussed over a format like this, and so there should be. Just as long as the people who can make such a decision take the time to properly look at how to implement technology into the game. At the moment it looks as if they don’t even want to hear about it, let alone discuss it.

  4. Good post Yogi:

    Some sort of video technology is needed ASAP. I think they should start with a challenge system similar to American football. All goals could be reviewed since there is a natural stop in play anyway. I know its not perfect but something has to be done because a huge number of people have lost faith in the integrity of the game. I honestly believe that the refs are not incompetent but they just have an impossible job. I suspect that the same things happened 15 -20 years ago, but now we know just how many calls are missed

    I watched part of the early part today’s game at Norwich vs man City and Tevez was booked for diving when he was fouled and it should have been a pen. There was another non-call with Pilkington against Aguero that should have at least been a foul. I can’t believe anyone would think that the refs are biased against the wealthy Man city. Neither of these bad calls turned out to be important because of the final score but it just points out how random the bad calls really are. If Man City had a bad call go in their favor and they had won a game because of it then everyone would be screaming that the refs are biased for the big money sides. People see exactly what they want to see. I said it the other day its like a Rorschach ink blot. Everyone will see what they want to see from the exact same thing.

  5. Bill

    I think some refs are easily intimidated and tend to go with the home team, especially when it comes to penalty calls.

  6. Wilshere won’t feature for us this season now, I don’t see it happening and if I am honest, I hope that is the case. Because if he plays a few minutes for us, after missing the vast majority of the season, the clamour will be for him to go to the Euros. Fuck that shit! Better to get him ready and firing for the start of the new campaign.

  7. An official on the sidelines with video and a communication link to the referee. Use can be limited to penalties, red cards and goals. Pre-emptive effect would actually speed things up. No dives, no shirt tugging in the penalty area, more goals, better games, less bones broken and confidence in the integrity of the game restored.

  8. Bill, who are you trying to convince? one more time, if there is bias, it does not mean that a team will get every single call, every single time and neither does it mean that every ref is in fact bias.


  9. If you want to see a good model for using viideo technology look no further than the national hockey league. Completely seemless use of video replay and doesn’t slow the game down at all.

  10. “Why not have the whole match refereed by video”.
    I can see the day coming when technology of some sort (perhaps yet to be developed) will control a football game, thus cutting out the hideous mistakes we have seen of late and which, in the climate of “big business” football, can have the most devastating results.
    An official on the field of play would still be needed to control “red mist” and “handbag” situations following fouls. Preferably a big guy.
    To those who ridicule such a change, think back to the days before substitutes, penalty shootouts,floodlit games, television, advertising and now the staggering advances in players’ pay. All innovations of their day.

  11. Half of those changes were hardly positives man!

  12. Limestonegunner

    Mean Lean has written back agreeing with the sentiments and has followed the discussion here. He’s happily posted the Robson out petition link on his post today! Good chap!

  13. Limestonegunner

    Over at Arsenal Vision of course.

  14. Dexter – I heard a little while ago that the Bebe transfer was a way for money to be illicitly paid to Carlos Queiroz after he prevented certain Portugal players undertaking a random drug test. No proof but the whole Bebe transfer made no sense and would ManU attempt to either protect a player who would fail a drug test or thank someone who did it for them? Rio Ferdinand could probably tell you!

  15. But Marc, you are suggesting some underhand murky dodginess there. That simply doesnt ever happen! That is very interesting man. Transfers have long been used to either launder ill gotten filthy lucre, or as pay offs for services rendered.

    I thought the fact that the chavs signed a few players from Russia who never featured, or played very leittle smelt a bit fishy. That midfielder they signed and immediately loaned to twitch McBung’s Pompey, was a prime example.

  16. Dexter – Your obviously right football is a paragon of virtue and the only thing Nani likes about Bolivia and Marching is the bands!

  17. Sad news about Piermario Morosini of Livorno, died after a cardiac arrest on the field today. Games across Italy canceled.

  18. True Dupsff. Very sad.

    On a lighter note, Garth the ex-spud Crooks thinks the chavs will win tomorrow.

  19. Paulie Walnuts

    I`m with Dexter regarding JW. If he doesn`t need to be anywhere near first team action in our last few games then he really shouldn`t be. If Pearce even sees him on the bench he`ll be salivating.

    Oh & Twitch McBung – love it !!

  20. Gunner From Nigeria

    I am so glad that we have played Man City.

  21. Gunner From Nigeria | April 14, 2012 at 6:20 pm
    I am so glad that we have played Man City.

    We would beat them if they tried that pass and move shit against us.
    It was Norwich FFS,And at 2.1 they were rocking.Mercenary cunts.Fuck them

  22. i think the video technology doesnt have to be used too much even if it is introduced..
    the problem with the modern rules is that its made it a playground for cheaters who go the extra yard than just the dark arts of the game..
    if these cheaters know that they are being watched with a chance the decision will be reveiwed there and then, we’ll find that it acts as a deterent more than anything else..

    it will clean up the game before a videos even been used..

  23. Well after a fun morning spent filing taxes, it is off to the pub I go 🙂 The Girlfriend is out west in San Francisco and it is a beautiful day here in NYC, let the shenanigans begin!!

  24. Perfect, Bolton,Blackburn,wolves.
    Been waiting for this a couple of years. Shame on them for the brand of football they played through the short stay at EPL.
    HERE IS HOPING the drop next year will included stoke, manure and another to be named a bit later. Good riddance.
    It is torture without the ARSENAL playing during the weekend. Hope they carry on their great form from.the shitty and wolves games and put more distance between us and any team on fourth.
    UP THE GUNS!!!!!!

  25. dexter
    i know what your saying regarding the murky waters of transfer dealings..

    all these clubs ought to be ashamed of themselves..the arsenal would never get involved in such things would they??

  26. Paul@ 4:18

    I understand your point but lets be honest. Every time a bad call goes for a team like City then everyone says the only possible explanation could be bias. Thats why I keep saying that nearly all of this stuff is random. I don’t think that ref was biased and yet he made at least 2 bad calls early in that game. I happens in every game. Each one of those calls could have potentially cost Man City the title if that game had been close.

  27. JJ

    What on earth could you be referring to? I have absolutely no idea!!

  28. haha dex
    selective memory syndrome eh?

    see this is what i was saying the other night..
    shit has happened in england..but weve been guilty of it just as much as anyone

    things like fixing matches or knowingly giving teams handouts of points throughout the season at other teams expense has yet to be proved..
    but how do the people who claim there is some sort of organised wrong doing, know for sure that we havent been involved in that as well..??

    i feel its a bit naive to think that the whole of the footballing universe is a horrible corrupt place..
    ….apart from the red part of north london..

  29. fukin knew pool were going to win today, the media banging on about their poor league form..the reason they have been shit in the league is because they were waiting for this semi….dalgliesh is old skool alright just going for the silverware fuck the money…93 will always be one of my best years as a gooner those two wembley finals were unbeleivable, maybe we should bring back an old skool cup hunting manager a!!

  30. i cant do with ‘kenny’ to be honest..
    he irratates me more than ferguson or anyone at the minute..

    what a wanker he is..
    his interviews are crap it looks like hes pissed and he mumbles and hes got the mannerisms of a man whos about to explode and kick someone in the bollox..

    the cups will probably keep him is job..for now..

    they’ll want to challenge UTD, not just for CL, so he wont get away with spending over 100mil a year just to win the cups and finish mid table…

  31. JJ @9pm

    It is widely published that Don Revie was not averse to using the ‘old brown envelope’. To be honest, I’d be surprised if bribes weren’t taking place in English football over the years. We know managers were taking bungs, that surely not too far from players doing the same?

  32. bruce grobbellaar is a player if you want one from that point of veiw..

    but what about the officials?

    i just think its a tad much that the teams doing reletively well and we have this kind of debate still going on..

    for me, i think we have a chance of the league next year and if and when we do win it, i dont want it tarnished by a few people who believe its all a fix..

    if we win a fixed league what is there to celebrate?? why we bothering to watch and get passionate about something thats basically the trueman show..??

    im not buying into it..

    it happens in patches and they get caught..

    if you want me to beleive that something dodgy has been going on for the last few years that has stopped us from being in the trophies then i want to see someone get caught first..

    until then..i’ll remain passionate about this club and the league it plays in..

  33. and if you want my honest opinion on it all..the biggest vilest most corrupt cunts around are blatter and his mates..
    they are the ones who run football..
    everyone wants technology and its the english league thats really voicing its ask them the question why its not happened yet..

    they live in a culture where its ‘i’ll scratch your back and you’ll pay me’ and maybe the reason we didnt get the WC ahead of those other countries is becuase we dont tow in line with the culture of fifa and we basically refused to put millions in peoples pockets to have a summer tournament played in fucking qatar..

    people took the mick out of ‘that yorkshire lad’ when he got pissed and told them all they’d stolen football and ruined it..
    he was right..
    but he was critized…

    fifa make the rules..theyve sped the game up for a reason and they dont want vid tech becuase they think it will slow the game down..or thats what they say anyway..
    but i think the fact that we as a league want vid tech rather gives a clue to where we stand on the whole conspiracy thing…

  34. Good god,
    An Italian player passed away today after collapsing on the pitch. All games thereafter canceled. That’s two since the muamba insident.

  35. Guardiola admitted. “He has been spectacular as a player and a person. Javier Mascherano is the best signing this club has made in four years.”

    Ouch, Cesc!

  36. There is a real and disproportionate fear surrounding the issue of introducing technology.

    Simply put, we – as in people – will control the technology, not the other way around.

    WE set the limits on its use and breadth of application and WE (people) will, through trial and error, refine its application as appropriate to deliver us the game as it has to be played and governed in the 21st Century.

    The breadth of its application will be limited to simply removing the howlers from the game. So quite possibly, throw-ins might occasionally go the wrong way but Maradona’s Hand of God will remain firmly in his pocket.

    The Fourth Official will constantly monitor and advise the referee throughout.

    In case he/she should miss something, each team’s captain shall be entitled to 3 appeals which would ONLY be allowable once the ball has gone dead. Should the appeal be successful, they will retain that appeal for further use; 3 unsuccessful appeals and they will lose all right to appeal BUT the 4th Official will still be monitoring and advising.

    The worst of the howlers will vanish, the cheating and gamesmanship will be sharply reduced and the credibility and integrity of the game will once again be restored.

    Until technology is introduced, the SUSPICION that bias, corruption, cheating, conspiracy and other forms of irregularity is tolerated in the game will remain.

    There is far more that stands to be lost from the game by pursuing a blinkered and Luddite approach to technology rather than introducing over several seasons.

    And the actual process of video review will become one of the most exciting and fascinating features of the game just as it is in tennis and cricket, for example.

    Above all else, its introduction will favour those teams currently getting the worst of the decisions – teams that want to win with football played at the highest level rather than with gamesmanship and other so-called dark arts. ‘Underdogs’, and ‘smaller’ clubs with lesser known players not so familiar to the referees will also benefit as a degree of objectivity and consistency is finally introduced and achieved.

    This all has to happen, and one day it will.

  37. JonJon puts it very well for me in his two late posts last night. It can rest there.

    For the future, Andrew is probably close to the truth.

    Good bowlers? Yes, Wasim was up with the best Ateeb.

  38. Andrew

    Let’s not kid ourselves here. The suspicion of bias, etc, is not going to be solved by video technology; when a decision goes against [insert your team here], the conspiracy widens (most likely) or transfers onto the 4th official (least likely).

    Simply put, we – as in people – will control the technology, not the other way around.

    WE set the limits on its use and breadth of application and WE (people) will, through trial and error, refine its application as appropriate to deliver us the game as it has to be played and governed in the 21st Century.

    The breadth of its application will be limited to simply removing the howlers from the game. So quite possibly, throw-ins might occasionally go the wrong way but Maradona’s Hand of God will remain firmly in his pocket.

    The Fourth Official will constantly monitor and advise the referee throughout.

    No “WE” don’t. “THEY” do and the media are leading this merry crusade but will not be happy until it is introduced on their terms. The focus at the moment is on offside goals being given so how do you monitor that? Easy, when the goal is allowed, a quick couple of seconds review by 4th Official. Not a problem. There is one though and that is with the officials on the pitch; where is their motivation to flag for offside if the 4th official reviews every goal? None exists because someone else makes the decision. But if you say that this is their domain still, what happens if they give offside and it is a wrong decision? How do you rectify that?

    The problem with technology is that no-one has a coherent strategy for its implementation and what the limits are. Too much vague and wishy-washy “it’ll be good for the game” exists with “Luddites” blocking it. Until those specifics become apparent, there is no debate.

    Right I’m off to write this morning’s post. Laters.

  39. Well, working your own logic, Yogi, IF trials concluded that offside decisions SHOULD lie with the 4th official and the Assistant Referees were freed up to genuinely assist the Referee, how much better would the on-field governance become?


    And if the 4th Official DOES, somehow, make a howler, EVERYONE sees it! He’ll be run so far and so fast out of Football Town his feet won’t touch the floor.

    Aside from the players, the teams and the fans, the biggest beneficiaries of a video revolution would be the match officials themselves.

    For us, it may, just, remain the Beautiful Game.

    For them it’s simply an impossible job.

  40. I’m very much with Andrew on the technology issue.
    Yogi, you say

    “The problem with technology is that no-one has a
    coherent strategy for its implementation and
    what the limits are. Too much vague and wishy-
    washy “it’ll be good for the game” exists with
    “Luddites” blocking it. Until those specifics
    become apparent, there is no debate.”

    If there is no debate, how would anyone come up with a ‘coherent strategy’? Fifa/uefa/fa who’s job it is to come up with such a strategy continue to use your kind of argument as an excuse to delay introducing the technology when they should instead be, at the very least, investigating the possibilities, publicly.

  41. Jon Jon,
    “and if you want my honest opinion on it all..the biggest vilest most corrupt cunts around are blatter and his mates..
    they are the ones who run football..”

    You accept that the people at the top are corrupt and yet refuse to believe that people below them can be bias enough to effect the outcome of a game?
    That seems ridiculous to me.
    We can win the league ,but we have to be about 15 points better than United to win by the odd point or two.

    When something at the top is not right ,in all walk of life the people below are digging in,as a rule.

  42. Henristic

    Fifa / Uefa et al, don’t want technology so stop hiding behind their unwillingness to bring forward one. Those who want change need to say, “This is it, these are the parameters” because until that happens and there is consensus on that, where’s the debate? It’s just wafting through the issue; pissing around the fringes.

    I will say this: NO-ONE is investigating the possibilities because all that is happening is that the argument goes along the lines of, “Referees are making mistakes therefore they are corrupt so we need technology to stop this”. That’s where this is going, here at least.

  43. I haven’t read many comments but I don’t know why bias has to be a consideration.
    There’ be been many thoughts expressed here on video. And as discussed before retrospective actions with a bit of goal line stuff would be great for the reasons given by AA above.
    Put it this way- the speed of the game has increased by 20% in the past five years (whatever that means) at the top level (source was ‘the news’- prozone?) So if you were to be teleported into the middle of a game being watched by millions and you found yourself wearing the refs shirt would you want to guess which player the ball touched last (impossible to see, they were both facing the goal line covering the ball) or would it be nice to simply get a right call? No harm done, no distortion of the ‘game’. What would make you geel better as the ref? At the end of the day I agree with AFC who’ve been offering to trial stuff out in pre-season. Give it a go. See what happens.
    When I first mentioned video tech/assistance here not many were keen. ( please remember, apparently you’re not allowed to disagree on YW’s forum on aclf!) It was nice to hear such articulate explanations as to why and how it could work this past week, the arseblog arsecast was very good.

  44. You What?

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