A Dive Is A Fact But Save The Crocodile Tears

Last night’s results brought clarity to the chase for the Champions League places. Chelsea’s defeat whilst not occasioning their elimination mathematically, does in reality bring about the finality of their challenge this season, domestically at least. Petr Cech’s “Nayim” moment may yet prove even more costly for Chelsea. Yet their appearance in Munich occasions a thought that even though we have known for a long time that third was required, it will be a distinctly uncomfortable week waiting for that match if Arsenal fail to gain enough points through their own efforts.

Judging by some of the comments I read last night, you would think that Arsenal were doomed to failure already. It is simple two wins, third place. Anything less and we rely on others. Win on Saturday and the pressure reverts to Tottenham in their match at Villa Park; that is a tricky one with Villa needing in all likelihood a point to stay up. If they win, it goes to The Hawthorns where Albion will want to say goodbye to their manager in style. Both North London clubs have matches they should win; for differing reasons they might not.

Is this better than coasting through the final fixtures aimlessly? To me, it is; I would prefer obviously to be two places higher in the Premier League but at least the club is in a position to fight to achieve a placing when seven months ago we were routinely informed that the only fight would be against relegation. The sheer stupidity of those comments is matched only by the gut-wrenching now; utterly baffling.

To achieve their aim, Arsenal will require two disciplined performances. On a morning when it emerged that Jermaine Pennant faces court over various driving offences and has separately been charged with assaulting a woman in a nightclub, Arsène spoke of the ‘social contract‘ that players have as well as the need for justice in the game. Pennant’s personal life certainly breaks the first and the consequences of that may yet bear the brunt of the second, in a wider interpretation of his former manager’s context.

Tentative steps taken toward the latter aspect have been taken but I am not pretending to see what the future will hold in respect of video technology and its uses. Interestingly he opted to mention diving in his example since it something that he is au fait with from players under his command. And it is an issue that exposes the hypocrisy of football, talking loud and clear but is anybody listening?

Diving, for example. A guy wants to win and is tempted to use all of the tricks to help him. You cannot reproach him on the other side that they go as far as they can to help their team to win. That is why I believe it is important they know how far they can go, and if they go too far they are punished. Sometimes it is not [done] with a selfish attitude but with a desire to win and help their team to win.

Or as Shakespeare put it:

To win or not to win, that is the question:
Whether ’tis Nobler in the mind 
to fall to earth cheaply in an outrageous Dive,
Or to take Arms against a Sea of cheats

Football’s Pandora’s Box is open. The winning mentality begats a winning at any cost mentality; deceit is a formidable weapon especially in an area where neutered officiating rules. Too often the obvious dive is unpunished, most matches containing incidents where the Laws of the Game warrant application in this respect but the referee offers none. With that occurring, there is no surprise that the practice never shows any sign of abating.

Such antics expose other hypocrisy; supporters tolerate some of their own team displaying this trait (Pires) yet berate others (Eboue). Popularity counts for much not just in the stands but also the back pages. The xenophobic condemnation of the theatrics is muffled when one of John Bull’s finest perpetrates the act; Wayne Rooney rarely suffers the barbs reserved for his continental counterparts. Part of that is embedded in the psyche, a romantic notion that Englishmen never sought solace in the turf before the arrival of Johnny Foreigner. This is a convenient revisionism, Francis Lee and the 1970s never existed, eradicated through genetic engineering.

Education is the solution according to Wenger; “Shame them” cry the media but there is universal change across the game has to happen for it to be successful. In isolation any changes embody a commendable Corinthianism but will garner no reward otherwise. Let us not forget that this is a society where WADA sues the BOA over banning drug cheats, Policeman sue the Guardians. This is the architecture of our morality; a junk age personified.

’til Tomorrow.

Posted on May 3, 2012, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Soccer, Transfer Gossip and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 182 Comments.

  1. first

  2. Who are the media to talk about shame? They have none.

  3. Bags of hypocrisy though. Read James Lawton’s column in this morning’s Independent. A fascinating trawl into revisionism. http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/news-and-comment/james-lawton-redknapp-like-clough-just-didnt-fit-the-blazer-7707433.html

  4. Excellent post YW with a bit of the ‘Bard’ thrown in for free.

  5. The focus is always on the forwards diving to get a penalty. BUT, the worst offenders of simulation and acting are the defenders. Thru the game you will see defenders fouling and trying to pretend they did not do it, arguing vehemously with the officials. To me it is just as BAD, trying to lie their way out of trouble.

  6. Fucking hell YW.

    What a defensive, revisionist and ugly attempt at justifying their bullshit.

    After the travesty of watching the Sun laugh at and mock a man yesterday for a disability – essentially a national paper has taken to bullying & teasing Roy Hodgson before a ball has even been kicked – one might have hoped Mr Lawton might have use his column to attack football for the fact that the lone voice of dissent against this outrage was Gary Neville.

    Still it’s made me change my stance on International football, for this tournament at least.

    I have gone from not giving a monkeys to caring quite passionately. I’m not supporting England as much as I am Roy. I just want those overblown egotistical hacks to have to choke on their words.

  7. ”To fall to earth cheaply in outrageous dive”….i think Man Utd players need to read this.

  8. I still stand by my assertion that a win on Saturday WILL be enough for us to clinch 3rd. (Crosses fingers, toes, eyes)

  9. I still stand by my assertion that a win on Saturday will see us clinch 3rd place (crosses fingers, toes, eys, whathaveyou).

  10. A Stereophonic comment Dex.

  11. KC

    All players ‘simulate’ in order to win a free and/or run down time / retain possession.

    I think it us unfair to say defenders are worse on the basis that they contend decisions given against them by a ref. It is human nature to defend oneself, quite often defenders will make a challenge with no intent to foul or harm the opponent, a genuine attempt to win the ball which fails and a foul is committed. In these instances they argue as in their mind it wasn’t a foul, they did not mean it.

    A foul does not need intent though, quite often an area of confusion when looking at penalty awards. You will defend your own player who has given away a pen as it was unintentional, an accident but you will claim the penalty when attacking.

    The whole area of simulating or whatever you want to call it is a huge Pandora’s box as the writer has said. It is rife in the game, starts from the opening minute, players claiming throws etc when they know 100% in their own mind the ball has come off them. This is ‘cheating’ in the sense of trying to fool the ref and claim unfair advantage over the opponent however it is accepted, even expected.

  12. I always knew Dex was anonymous.

  13. The hacks are a despicable bunch of cowardly, smug, self serving, arrogant wankers. I could only manage a paragraph of that Lawton article, was he trying to compare Redknapp to Clough?

  14. Ha! That was weird, I say, that was weird! 🙂

  15. A lot of thgs r wrong abt football management worldwide. AW will keep sayin it bt nothing will b done to it bcos of selfish interest and or archaic mentality.

    We are goin to secure 3rd spot by weekend so no need to panic. I believe in d team and d manager to deliver.

  16. The Real Stew Black

    I stopped reading Lawton about ten years ago. From the comments here I presume nothings changed. You’re in fine flow of verbiage this morning Mr Warrior.

  17. The Real Stew Black

    lankylorde – I imagine he’ll play the A team. Too important to risk anything less.

  18. YW, A good post, the most important words being “through their own efforts”. No-one can deny us 3rd place except ourselves AND our most important allies……the home crowd on Saturday and the away fans on the 13th. No exasperating silences, booing or abuse as things go wrong (as they will at times). 0nly 100% support for whoever Arsene puts on the field.
    On your literary quotation, was it Shakespeare or Bacon who wrote it? 😆

  19. The Real Stew Black

    Shakespeare was overrated. I mean really, read some of his plays, they’re just a collection of well known sayings all put together.

  20. Not only do we get stereo Dex, we get him in full blown Foghorn Leghorn mode, I say, Foghorn Leghorn mode.

  21. Dammit Yogi. Shakespeare to boot.
    I gave up on Lawton years ago. Did someone say pompous, inflated prose? Talk about a hack whose head is way up in his ass. And I am not even English.

  22. Foghorn Leghorn, Fred Elliot, it’s all the same to me, I say it’s all the… 🙂

    Can’t wait for the game on Saturday! Real shame it’s a bloomin early KO though, I hate early kick offs, means getting up, well, early! And matches generally are quite slow to get warmed up. Hopefully the players (and fans, well said nicky, BTW) will be on it like a car bonnet from the whistle.

    5-0 Arsenal!

  23. The FA “……has treated Redknapp with an egregious lack of courtesy,” How?

    “But nor does it say that we are not entitled to question the wisdom of a decision that was handed down so imperiously it might have been written on a piece of stone. That it landed so heavily on the head of Harry Redknapp was gratuitously insulting, apart from also – it is believed here – being plain wrong.”

    You are the one’ plain wrong’, Lawton.

    Bloody awful journalist.

  24. Lol YW – I was just about to post about Foghorn Leghorn too!

  25. Yogi, on the pressure of our remaining fixtures, you asked “Is this better than coasting
    through the final fixtures
    aimlessly?” – hell no, i would have prefered if we had 3rd place wrapped up before saturday with holiday mode switched on, there’s only so much one’s heart can take man.

  26. Great read today, very neat. Possibly the most information I’ve ever encountered in under 10 paragraphs. My wikipedia is buzzing and I haven’t even got to Jonny’s comments yet.

    Sadly the only thing that will stop diving is revenue. Personally I switched off the United-Villa match after Young’s dive, so maybe it will eventually begin to tell.

    I reckon the attention that dive got was directly linked to Sky’s viewing figures, which must have taken a hit. Dive in the 90th minute to win the match for your team and it’s “Fair play”, but do it in the first minute and you have the kind of hipocrisy from pundits we saw on that occassion.

    “I can undertsand a dive but not so early in the match”.

    “It killed the game as a spectacle”.

  27. “While former Manchester United and England defender Gary Neville, wrote: ‘Disgusting headlines, good journo’s under pressure writing pieces for their mates and a certain paper needs putting out of circulation.’

    The Sun’s front page headline read: ‘BWING ON THE EUWOS!”
    ———————————————-
    The great Neviller does it again.

  28. Bloody hell, fair play to red Nev. Takes some balls to say that when you see (and work) with most of these people on a daily basis.

  29. “The great Neviller does it again” bet you never thought you be saying those words, Foghorn?

    It’s no wonder you wanted to remain anonymous!

    it’s a sad comment on the state of football that Gary Neville is the voice of human decency.

  30. Our latest mini-slump appears to coincide with the injury to Arteta.

    On the subject of cheating in football, there has been a focus on diving recently, but there are a number of other methods the “professional” football uses nowadays which referees just appear to turn a blind eye to. My pet hates are shirt pulling (especially John Terry) and backing into players in the box at set pieces (as used by nearly every Stoke player). I’m sure the rule book would indicate that all of these are offences, but referees seem reluctant to penalise for it.

    Good luck to Roy in his role as England’s manager, it is a shame that the poor handling by the FA has meant that he is getting so much stick. Don’t they employ a PR agency? If I were advising them I would have been right there in Feb saying “Don’t f*ck it up”. A number of England fans feel robbed because ‘Arry wasn’t appointed, that’s not Roy’s fault. If the FA hhad announced that there was process in place which involved a short list and that they would be carrying out a due diligence process there would have been less of an uproar, Instead it looks like they have appointed Roy Hodgson because he was cheaper. I don’t believe that, but it is an easy conclusion to come to. Overall Roy has more experience than ‘Arry and he has managed national sides. IMO he ticks more boxes than ‘Arry does, but he seems to have been written off before he has even started in some camps.

  31. Wavey

    Mini-slump? Again, that is a melodramatic load of bollocks man. The Wigan result was a freak one while draws against the chavs and Stoke were completely understandable.

  32. Jonny

    I always used to call him that to my manU mates, but not as a term of endearment, more a backhanded, snidey dig, usually followed by a sentence including words such as; “rat faced”, “manky” “twat”.

  33. I have no love for the FA, but what did they actually do wrong? They never announced Redknapp as the heir apparant. It was all the tabloid and other media hacks that did that. The fact is, the smug, self righteous wankers in the press assumed the FA would annoint THEIR chosen one and when that never materialised, they took umbrage and are attempting to make ol Twtchface McSpivv look like a victim of epic proportions.

    It is no surprise the hacks simply assumed the FA would do their bidding, as they have followed their lead for years, especially in terms of the dishing out, or escpating from disciplinary action.

  34. Dexter,

    Not melodramatic and I’m not ranting and raving about it but I think its reasonble to call 2 points from 9 a mini slump.

  35. YW – excellent read

    jonnyneale @ 9:52

    “After the travesty of watching the Sun laugh at and mock a man yesterday for a disability – essentially a national paper has taken to bullying & teasing Roy Hodgson before a ball has even been kicked”

    well said ! and not just in the Sun.

    Some individuals never grow up.

    I, too, will be pulling for Roy.

  36. I wonder if the Sun gits would’ve made a headline referencing ‘arry’s twitching if he had been appointed manager…

  37. They didn’t say Redknapp would be the next England manager, but maybe they should have made a move to curb some of the over zealous support for him. The press made out that Redknapp was the only name in the frame and seemed to be almost affronted by the fact that the FA came up with another candidate. It just appears to have created a situation where Roy Hodgson is being cast as a cheap failure who is expected to fail before he even starts. Surely there was a better way to manage the situation?

  38. Wavey

    Someone else posted something similar to you yesterday, hence the fierceness of my reposte man 🙂 . But a mini-slump? Nope, because that implies the team are out of form, which is not the case, well judging by their last performance anyways.

  39. So, it was the press then? Not the FA.

    As I said the hacks are pissed off because they like to feel they run tings in terms of football decisions. The fact they are always on the news channels being asked their opinions about new managers etc. And let’s not forget the incestuous smug fest that is the sunday supplement.

  40. Jonny “I have gone from not giving a monkeys to caring quite passionately. I’m not supporting England as much as I am Roy.”

    Andrew, I think, yesterday predicted that the media reaction would cause even more support for Roy because we all fucking hate them so much. I agree and I also believe that the very same media hacks will, in some twisted, possibly privately-held, smug, self-satisfied belief, take credit for it.

  41. Dexter

    We’re not out of form, but we haven’t adjusted well to the lose of a key player. Not saying Arteta is the team’s saviour particularly, but we do appear to struggle a bit going forward without him. Defensively we have been excellent, (except for that mad spell against Wigan), but we maybe have lost a bit of our balance at the other end of the pitch.

  42. Wavey

    I am in agreement with that, it was just the term slump I took exception to. As George is not here, I have deputised as the blog’s most overly sensitive Queen. 🙂

    WE most def miss Arteta as he brings so much to the team, we also miss Theo too, thank f**k we only have 2 games left!

  43. The press went completely over board on Redknapp, which should have raised flag with somebody in the FA fairly early on that the possiblity of appointing somebody else would go down badly. If there is a PR company in place they should have surely been all over it?

    Don’t think I could get the PR job as I would take it too far the other way. Would likely have sent out a press release headlined “All you journos can f*ck off cos you’re all wrong and a bunch of c*nts anyway”.

    And don’t get me started on Sunday f*cking Supplement, a bunch of w*nkers how seem to think they run football.

  44. Right letters in the wrong order

  45. I would definetly prefer to not be coasting as i feel that finishing strong at the end helps keep the momentum going and the belief. But hell what do i know.

    I think the FA didn’t do anything wrong because they never came out and said the Arry the Spud was going to be the next manager of England, it was teh creatins that call them selves journalist and reporters that anointed him because the Spuds were playing “so well” and so forth and so forth the reason they were playin “well” is because they were the only team without any injuries.

  46. Gary Neville is gaining my respect and support as a pundit. It takes real character to speak your mind, especially when it CONTRADICTS mainstream spin.

    Who would have ever thought he’d become a voice of reason and clarity? (and decency)

  47. and his on-screen squeal when Torres scored against Barcelona is very funny

  48. Theo will be back for the west brom game arsene said in an article about team news on arsenal.com

  49. if Theo is back for West Brom that would be great news. honestly i would love for Diaby to be able to play atleast 60 mins the last 2 games injury free. whats the chances?

  50. Really Andrew? Great news man!

    C

    That would be ideal, or even the full 90 vs WBA. scoring a brace and setting up another 2 for RvP!! 🙂

  51. @Dexter

    Yea that would be great hell from Diaby i’ll just take 1 or 2 of his powerful yet graceful runs through the middle that makes it look like he’s a man amongst boys

  52. Check it out on arsenal.com! Dont know why Walcott gets so much criticism when hes on form his unplayable! That’s not to mention his chemistry with Robin! but what would be even better is if gervinho found a bit form for these last two games!

  53. Roy gets my vote

  54. Diaby has a hamstring problem confirmed by his twitter! 2 weeks out minimum! Such a shame cos his a class player. Power pace and and quick feet! Any1 remember his run in the team when he had the fro it was 09 I think? He scored a class header against liverpool at home!?

  55. @Andrew

    Please lets not talk about people criticising Theo because I dont understand it either since he is the 2nd leading scorer on the team not to mention our overreliance on the right side with him and Sagna not to mention the countless assists and the way that him and RVP play like they are on teh same brain wave not to mention his ability to get behind any and all defences not to mention his tireless work rate on teh defensive end but please dont get me started. It would be great to see Gervinho just put in 1 from a confidence stand point

  56. I said it here that neville was the best pundit around, but it was like i was speaking blasphemy

  57. C

    True that let’s just get behind the boys100%..
    Anyone going to the match? I can’t as I’m from Ireland! But I do have a signed jersey from 09/10:)

  58. khlifha

    Sorry, but you are tripping. Gary Neville’s been getting props on here for months, sorry to disapoint.

  59. Funny how Andrew & C mentions Theo slaters and one of them instantly appears.

  60. @Andrew

    I wish i was going but i live in the states so i’ll just wake up at 7:25 am get my bottle of rum cook breakfast put on my Arsenal Alex Song shirt and watch and yell and maybe wake the wife and have her watch with me(which will probably happen as I’ll be cooking)

  61. Well Arsenal is not quite immune to the season after all. EPL has produced a humdinger of finale. The 6 top teams face 2 must-win matches to achieve their minimum objective; Chelsea would be unwise to give up, it is possible Newcastle with 2 tricky games only garner one point, and even Totts could falter at Villa and have a nervy last game with Fulham. 4-5 bottom teams, although Blackburn is realistically out and not counting Wolves, must win 2 matches if possible. Half the 20 teams go into the last 190 minutes of football with a do-or-die mindset.

  62. ZPaul

    That’s very true man. Still some twists and turns remaining I think still. Hopefully NOT involving us though!

  63. As luck (or not) would have it I am in Newcastle on a stag weekend. Any Arsenal friendly bars I could watch the match in…?

  64. Sorry mate, I have only been to Newcastle for Arsenal games Markus and even then never ventured into any boozers as it was always a flyin visit.

  65. My brothers from sweden and he knows a hell of a lot about football! Shame his a pool fan though! Anyway I’m normally talking to him when matches are in and it sounds as thought he analysis and pundits are outstanding! They pointed out the during the derby game how it shouldn’t be possible that Rooney has no yellow cards picked up this season! When he should have been booked twice for dissent towards the referee. They really go into h psychology of he game aswell. Big step up from sky sports and BBC whose opinions are nohing but shite!

  66. I find it somewhat amusing in a perverse way that it was not RvP after all who became our main dependency trap, but Arteta (thank heavens Song is fit); and it’s been clear for a while that the midfield might be thin. It’s good we play early. Our task is simply expressed compared to the others, just win, no if or buts, and you stay safe, for a week.

  67. Billy's Boots

    Good post, YW, although a bit down-beat. People, eh?

    Retrospective punishment for diving has to be a good thing, but, sadly, in the era of big-money football, players will do anything they can to get an advantage. Probably ’twas ever thus, it just seems like there is more incentive now to do it (ie greater rewards) and with the improvements in television coverage (at least on the visual side, the punditry only seems to have gotten worse), there is a much greater chance that people will see what happened. Whereas before we may have suspected the players were cheating, now we know they are, and we see them doing it every week.

  68. Andrew, sorry man, I misread your post initially and thought you’d said your brother was from Swindon.

  69. pedantic george

    Dexter,I will give you queen?

  70. Andrew

    The facy Rooney has zero PL bookings is absolutely astounding to me. I heard Martin Tyler saying it on monday and let out a loud “what the fuck?” But I am sure he will receive 15 bookings in the last 2 games and it will all even itself up in the end

  71. Ha! There you are Georgina! 🙂

  72. Billy's Boots

    In general, I rather enjoy reading Lawton, but he has gone overboard on this one. What seems to have gotten his goat is the perception that the FA did not give due consideration to Redknapp as a candidate. This is where the FA may have made a rod for its own back. Rather than risk either candidate being seen as ‘second choice’, it appears they conducted whatever negotiations and discussions they needed to in a clandestine way. As a result, when they went for Hodgson, it appears that they didn’t even bother to speak to Redknapp. I’m delighted Roy got the job, but the FA may not have done him a favour with the way they conducted – or more to the point, were seen to have conducted – their selection. To say, however, that Redknapp was the better candidate, as Lawton did, is going way too far.

    As others have mentioned above, the whole situation does give a good reason to root for Roy.

  73. Billy's Boots

    Anyway, it’s Thursday. This is for Ashley Young and all the people with dodgy balance (or morals) out there…

  74. Courage Marcus. Sporting a bold and bright Arsenal shirt bearing RvP’s name, plus scarf, you walk straight into the working classest bar close to the big Newcastle ground – it should be packed for the Arsenal match as they play the next day – with a great big smile, arms wide you stand on the bar top, saying, loud as you can over the din, “Greetings wild Northern tribespeople, I, Marcus of North London offer this scarf as a token of my esteem for your heroic victory over Chelsea Daves and their bastard brethren; would anyone care to buy me a bottle of champagne”?

  75. Ah Zim, that is awesome mate. Don’t encourage me, I’m liable to be three sheets as it is. I guess “wild Northern tribespeople” sounds a little more PC than “Muck Savages” tho. That is what I affectionately refer to my northern uncle’s family as. They seem to like it.

  76. ZP you mean like Robert Carlise in 51st State.

  77. BB

    I think the hand wrinnging and angst is a combination of the hacks not gettin their man into the job and also, not having a clue that anyone else was in with a shout of it, never mid actually getting it and thus them being completely in the dark, out of the loop and not being the big I ams (or We Izzes) they like to think they are.

  78. arsenalandrew

    Arsesession | May 3, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    Yes, you’ve nailed Gary Neville’s appeal and precisely the reason he stands out from the crowd.

    It DOES take real character and courage for a commentator or journalist to go against the ‘prevailing wind’ and call something exactly as he sees it. There is real fear in media circles about getting something wrong and being exposed as being out of line with the direction of a story or situation – it’s far easier simply to go along with everyone else. (This is true, in the UK, at least, in other spheres including politics and why, once you have a reputation for one thing, it’s hard to be known for anything else).

    It’s the root cause of the ‘lazy journalism’ we all know, loath and suffer from and we are all, regardless of club loyalties, poorer for it.

    What is interesting are the processes behind what causes a ‘sea-change’ in the current received wisdom. Can’t claim to understand it but I do remember Bobby Robson in 1990 getting slaughtered by the press until we got to the quarter finals and the game featuring the tears and booking of Paul Gascoigne. There was a wave of national sympathy for the England team and the press felt able to change their tune and Robson’s reputation was saved as Gascoigne assumed the status of national saint (virtually).

    The anti-Arsenal bias in the media will probably only change when we win the league or the European Cup; only at that point will the majority of journalists have the courage to change their tune and adopt a more positive slant …

    Until then, only a very few will dare to differ.

    Not saying I agree with everything Gary Neville says but I recognise and applaud his honesty, clarity and integrity.

    Who knew?!

  79. If this subtle ploy fails to gain you champagne, laughter and conversation amongst your new-found Arsenal friends in a sweaty Newcastle pub and I grant there is the tiniest, weeniest half-chance it might backfire; you may return to the same pub, after quick repair work at the outpatients clinic down the road, sporting your newly acquired Newcastle shirt and your recently rehearsed Goerdie accent. You might offer up a bit of light local banter along the lines of “If we had Wenger as our manager we might have been in top 4 for the last 15 seasons; would anyone like to buy me a bottle of champagne while I enjoy a bit of Norwich-bashing”. Neat little stitches in place, the locals will hardly suspect you are the same person, and will highly appreciate such vast knowledge and experience.

  80. AA

    You can almost second guess what a pundit , commentator will say about a team/player/manager beofre they have said it. They are that contrived and cliched.

    Rooney just HAS to be deified in every game, regardless of whether he actually does anything (Monday for instance, where the only things of note he did was mouth off to the match officials and, surprise surprise, didnt get a talking to, never mind a booking). It happens every game, its like just as when you board a plane and the flight crew have to go through the safety procedures, before anything can be debated or discussed, we have to listen to 5 minutes of lazy cliche ridden bollocks.

  81. arsenalandrew

    Yes, Markus, whatever you do, don’t order a shandy as this will immediately give you away, in their eyes, as a soft shandy drinking southerner** and your cover will be blown as will be your chances of escape. Offering to buy a round of prawn sandwiches may not help your case much, either.

    ** Southerner = anyone south of Leeds …

  82. It’s Arsene’s 900th game Saturday! Wow! Yet another reason for a BIG performance then.

    Congrats Boss man.

  83. arsenalandrew

    Yes, Dexter, quite.

    The current feeling is he is clearly England’s best player and likely saviour and he can do no wrong, nothing. Sleeping with prostitutes, grannies, a-swearing and a-cheatin’ ‘n’ divin’ – none of it a problem.

    They tie themselves in knots with John Terry, mind. Here is the dodgiest footballing boiler in the country (and quite possibly in the whole history of English football) who could yet swing public opinion around in his favour by having a match winning performance for the national side (unlikely as it presently seems). Their nervous ambivalence is palpable.

    Just imagine, for a second, the field day the press would have with any Arsenal player accused of racism, accepting money for stadium tours and sleeping with the partners of his team mates?

    We’d never hear the last of it …

  84. True dat. The fact that the Arsenal and 7 years without a trpohy is as much as a mantra as the Rooney is the bestest player ever, Arry’s a genius, the spuds are the best attacking side ever guv and arent all those dirty forgeigners horrible little cheats.

  85. Its amazing though that i could honestly careless about Rooney and all the off pitch stuff that he does(even though i found it funny he slept with his team mates wife and now they seem to get along as i would be locked up because i would have killed him) and yet England expects him to be a gentlemen on the pitch. Nope cunt off the field cunt on the field sme with Terry

  86. Spuds are a counter attack team! Bolton played into their hands actually.. It was quite embarrassing actually.. As soon a Bolton scored I was hopin they would be weary
    of the counter attack! Intact that games changes nothing about how there playing! Aston villa are inherently defensive since the appointment of mccleish that will be a bigger test. They might squeak it maybe! Richard dunne is back and thats a massive boost for villa!

  87. Andrew

    I didnmt watch the game, but i can guess the euphoria around Fabrice returning and the whole emotion of the day may have impacted on them and resulkted in the team going too gung ho perhaps?

    Here’s hoping you are right and mcLeish’s ultra defensive anti-football prevails, for once!

  88. @Dexter

    Its funny because if Arry is such a genius then why didn’t the spuds play CL football this past season and won’t play next season and if the spuds are the best attacking side ever then how come they dont. O thats right because Saha is a joke, Adewhore is overrated, Bale is pacey and a diver that i doubt will ever be more than that and Defoe(the 1 spud that i think is decent) sits on the bench and rots. O the genius that is Arry the spud

  89. Its a shame Redknapp didnt get the England job because he would have lost the unconditional support he would have had within a few games, just as Keegan did. Keegan was pressured into taking the ;position, whereas Arry whored himself around as soon as Capello resigned, so i have more synmpathy for KK.

    yeah, seeing the barra boy spiv wheeler dealer welk munchin carpet bagger getting hounded out and lookin even more hound dawg would have been funny as fuck! However, i predict that same fate will befall him next season when he gets the tin tack from the shit hole down the road.

  90. I blame 60s style comic books featuring football heroes called Roy (we got a few hand-me-downs of those in my youth). Rooney stands in a long line of a certain type of English footballer whom a long line of English pundits have drooled over, all gushy-doe eyes. He is a very good player. So was Gerrard. And before that? Gazza? No, in between there was … um … thingy. He was good too. Could pass a ball 40 metres straight onto someone’s head. And what-his-name.

  91. arsenalandrew

    I may well be wrong but I think this is the beginning of the end for Redknapp. He could still turn it around yet, mind, especially if he steals 3rd or 4th but I do think he has been a ‘lucky’ manager at Tottenham with respect to somehow having Modric and Van der Vaart on his hands, two world class players by any measure. But at one point he was trying to sell Bale, for heaven’s sake and without Modric after this summer I really don’t see where the Spuds will go next.

    So much to do with football is momentum and ‘arry going to England could have been a great opportunity for Spuds to get in a really decent manager to take them to the next level, retain Modric and build. Instead, they have someone not considered good enough for England about to preside over a fragmenting squad.

    At some point fairly soon I think the Tot fanbase will start to lose faith – quite possibly before September’s out – or sooner when they see how well we start the season …

  92. Did I mention that over at Arsenal On This Day the 1971 League title is celebrated? No? Well, go and have a read.

  93. arsenalandrew | May 3, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    Better stated than my earlier brief remark.

    “The anti-Arsenal bias in the media will probably only change when we win the league or the European Cup”

    I hope that’s all it takes.

    Our manager is another example of character, and someone not inhibited to speak his mind.

    He’s intellectually in another universe compared to media / pundits and his shrewd rejoinders probably have not endeared himself with most ” and may never “.

  94. Of course if we account for Norwich as the earlier game, and we must, it piles pressure on our adversaries playing the next day to stay “in contact”, and that’s when mistakes happen. I can see Villa holding Totts, a draw is a good bet for them to maintain their still precarious hold amongst “season’s survivors” and whatever happens they will feel they must not lose. I hope we have that 3 point advantage and slight GD going to WBA. It is possible we may have third wrapped this weekend. Wouldn’t that be a nice way to enjoy the final match.

  95. Billy's Boots

    @ Dexter at 2.16pm

    Yes, you are probably right. You can almost hear them complaining to the FA, “And why wasn’t I informed this was going to happen?”

  96. pedantic george

    Bollocks to this England crap.

  97. Limestonegunner

    Why are people still talking about the way Roy Hodgson speaks as an “impediment” or a “disability”? I posted a very interesting article about accents from the Guardian yesterday that quite reasonably suggests that it is an acceptable, if less common, way of pronouncing the language and isn’t an impediment or disability. It shouldn’t be made into mockery because it’s silly not because it makes light of some actual problem. In other words, it isn’t a problem, except to those who make it out to be one for their own reasons–either to pillory the man or to pity him. Neither is really appropriate.

  98. Limestonegunner

    The idea that Redknapp is some sort of challenging maverick is pretty laughable. Crooked scamp? But it is true that the FA wants more of an organization man than an wheeler-dealer off the cuff man-motivator without tactical sophistication. It just so happens that Hodgson is a better fit and more qualified. I’m not sure that we should be congratulating the FA, because who knows if it was brave or self-interested, but I certainly am happy for Hodgson and for England, though I don’t have a rooting interest. I usually pick the Dutch or the Czechs in the Euros (wife is half Czech) and in the World Cup root for African, Asian and South American underdogs and whoever plays what I consider good football.

  99. Billy's Boots

    Two games to go, the tension is excruciating! To fail to get third from here would be a bitter blow. COYG!

  100. Billy's Boots

    Not that I’m advocating the use of guns…

  101. Yes but Billy what do you think about the England crap?

  102. Roy Hodgsen is a technical and tactical genius of the game! His too good for England! Guided Switzerland to 3rd in the world rankings!!

  103. Billy, honestly am relaxed cause we are playing at home, and its norwich!

  104. Dexter, i hope you get locked up in a room with john terry and suarez without food and water you fcukturd.

  105. WOAH where did that come from

  106. pedantic george

    Ha ha ha ,What a twat

  107. pedantic george

    Talk about showing your true colours.
    Dexter ,as ever ,had it from the off.

  108. Just popped in to say the Ladies are playing the Women’s FA Cup semifinal v Chelsea tonight. Started 7:30.

  109. YW great post.
    I have read Lawtons article, don’t think its thats far off the mark. I don’t care who manages England I am more concerned that we get six points from the next two games, but given the choice between Harry and Roy, Roy would be my man, I think he will build a structure that may well serve England well in the long term. As usual the FA made a bollocks of the whole process and I do think Redknapp was treated shabbily to say the least.

  110. arsenalandrew

    In what way was Redknapp treated shabbily?

  111. Pedantic, why don’t you let the man speak for himself instead of busting ma ballz, geez!

  112. Whats up, my people?

    This England manager thingy is nonsense. The FA don’t or should not appoint based on public or media popularity contests. Redknapp is not even remotely committed, he leaves clubs in dire straits and could not care less. This is the man (a man who obviously lacks integrity)that the majority of the English (Media?) are pining after? Come on!

    Looking forward to watching the Arsenal come Saturday! I love this team.

  113. pedantic george

    Because if the boot was on the other foot ,”the man” in question would speak up for me.
    He is a proper bloke,a friend and a gentleman.

  114. I figure Khalifka was just joking?

  115. @buckagh

    i dont understand how he was treated badly when the media was the one that annointed him teh savior of England. Personally i could give to fucks about Arry and the FA. I know a couple things that matter to me at this point about our beloved game: Arsenal play Norwich at the Emirates and its the last home game, 2 wins = 6 points = 3rd place and how many people at the beginning and middle of the year would have thought that we would be in this position and we are and finally for all those that love finishing above da dirty sister Spuds we will finish above them with just 2 wins against bottom feeding teams.

  116. pedantic george

    AA,if you have read any of his other posts,you will know not to expect any rhyme or reason.

  117. pedantic george

    Really Paul N ? Really?

  118. George, what I really mean is that I have read most of the comments today and cannot see any reason why a comment like that should be directed towards my boy Dex. I am wondering if I missed something?

  119. You know all things concerning arsenal have gotten quiet when all the talk is of the new england boss and am about to go history on your ass’ – here’s a little trivia, did you know one of the most important men in establishing the premier league was david dein , he was part of a secret cabal along with a special group of clubs called the ‘big 5’ who convinced the football league to sign a contract with itv in 1990?, and later with skyB in 1992 – just a little history for those who don’t know.

  120. arsenalandrew

    Not just lacking rhyme or reason, George, but odd.

    In what way did the FA make a bollocks of the whole process?

    How was ‘Arry treated shabbily?

    Why’s Dexter been called a fcukturd?

    Am I only getting half the posts? The half I’m seeing don’t seem to be making a much sense tonight …

  121. Paul -N, there was a low jab from dexter towards me, i just had to read between the lines, besides am only responding now cause i just went through the posts.

  122. Two ‘wingers’ or one.
    That is one question for Saturday. Best left to others, not me.
    Bennythegoon or the young whipper snapper Alex Oxlade Chamberlain?

  123. pedantic george

    AA ,the thing is that although Dexter is a fuckturd,I just don’t like anyone else calling him it.
    I know why it came about
    Good memory of posts and history you see.ACLF posts 2010/2912 is my specialist subject Magnus

  124. pedantic george

    Bennyhe goon for me Fins.He does score from time to time.

  125. Khalifha, this?

    “Dexter | May 3, 2012 at 1:02 pm
    Funny how Andrew & C mentions Theo slaters and one of them instantly appears.”

  126. YW, I don’t see what the problems with replays and diving are. In the other Game they used replays for really basic stuff such as run outs for a decade or so before experimenting with Hawkeye and other fancy dan stuff. It worked.
    Eventually you might have a situation in the future where when someone does a Pederson they are not only laughed at, they are laughed at again and again. Wrap around screens such as that at the new Olympic stadium could you used to replay the worst dives in the epl every week on a constant 24hr loop. Wait, i don’t think those screens made it past the budget cuts. Ah well. If there is any kerfuffle the call goes with the on field Umpire/refs call. No biggy.

  127. Paul N, wow! sherlock holmes , thats the one – now you see why i got all worked up, that comment was a low blow man.

  128. Seems like the consensus is that Cisse’s goal should be goal of the year with Crouches running a close 2nd.

    Cisse was shocked that it went it. There was no intent to bend the ball like that, but it did go in sweetly.

  129. And if we don’t want a game interrupted for diving replays, there’s no reason to not use them (for the Pederson’s out there) retrospectively.

  130. Also, I imagine that someone somewhere is sitting on a nice bit of kit whilst sobbing to themselves “Why? Why doesn’t anyone want to use my brilliant invention?”.
    Video replays will be good for the economy. It’s true!
    If we can have more value for money CCTV camera’s per squar meter (or yard if you insist) in London Town then anywhere else on the planet, oi reckon that it’s possible to experiment with replays and the beautiful game.

  131. arsenalandrew

    Fins – that’s exactly what they did in cricket – introduce technology one piece at a time; evolution rather than revolution …

  132. George.

    It’s a tricksy one for me. AOC at home can be fun. Time to find my fence post. No wait, I’d forgotton my own bias and prejudice! Pace. I’m a self declared expert. You can’t beat pure pace. Gervais and Junior for me.

  133. AA

    Exactly!

  134. If only I could have written that.

  135. Khalifha, not trying to tell you how to feel but to be honest I didnt think it was that serious. A little bit or ribbing is to be expected.

    Anyway, lets have alook at this splendid goal.

  136. Call me oldskool but am not a big fan of video technology in football, goal line technology should be implemented but thats it, the truth is cricket is a somewhat boring sport with the technology and american football is just stop/start, why make football as boring as that, i already have enough of that in life.

  137. < – ????

  138. Paul N, different strokes for different folks – but there’s more to it than meets the eye, its an on going feud not just an overreaction to one comment amigo.

  139. Best team I have ever seen.

  140. I honestly don’t think we need technology in football, in tennis the hawkeye is used to check only if the ball has crossed off the line, football is more complicated than that – fifa are talking of goalline tech now, next offside calls, then tackles that warrant red cards, where does it stop? Why can’t the fa decide to employ linesmen and referees full time, making them work harder in order to improve their decision making on the field of play, afterall the game has gotten faster, players are now faster, why must the refs be incompetent?

  141. @SkySporksNews: Lukas Podolski on signing for Arsenal: “Tottenham wanted to sign me in January but I had no idea who they were.”

  142. arsenalandrew

    khalifha | May 3, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    ” … the truth is cricket is a somewhat boring sport with the technology …”

    As you say, different strokes for different folks but one thing the introduction of technology has shown in cricket is how incredibly often the umpires are shown to have got the decisions right when challenged by a player or side that think a mistake has been made.

    If you find that boring that’s up to you although I personally find that aspect of the modern game fascinating.

    The problem we have with football is a structural one which is unlikely to be resolved by changing the employment status and productivity of the match day officials. It is physically impossible for a linesman to look ‘down the line’ AND look at the ball the moment it is being played and determine with any degree of certainty whether a player is offside or not; when the play is fast and the players close, at best, the call is based on guesswork.

    So offside decisions as well as goal-line calls WOULD be handled better by technology and I think you will find that is closer to the truth than the idea that cricket with technology is a bit boring.

    And whilst the referees, like everyone else, CAN be incompetent, it’s not their incompetence that is the real issue here. The issue is the development of a game that has become lightning fast, played by super fit athletes competing in both sporting and less than sporting ways for ever growing – some would say, obscene, riches.

    Only technology, ultimately, will redress this imbalance which is becoming ever-more apparent and without it, the integrity of the sport will go the way of the game as we once knew it, the game most of us grew up with.

    Concepts such as honour, honesty, sportsmanship, decency and integrity are already being replaced by weasel phrases along the lines of “everything evens out in the end”, “you dive because everyone’s doing it”, “take one for the team” and so on.

    If we leave it too long before introducing technology, a generation will have grown up that won’t even know HOW to play the game properly, fairly, with honour and integrity.

    And Khalifha, you say you’ve had enough of stop-starting in life (are you a bus driver or something?) but quite honestly I’ve ‘had it to here’ with the wave of cheating by certain players and the continued failure of the authorities to deliver justice, both on and off the pitch.

    Time for a change, methinks.

  143. arsenalandrew

    Paul – does anyone?

  144. Most other sports has seen vid review work positively but somehow it will mess football up?

  145. Billy's Boots

    Well said, AA. If people stop believing in the integrity of the competition, many will stay away. I think it is the loss – or potential loss – of income that will eventually force the authorities to act, although I expect it will be at a snail’s pace. Everyone has their limit, and people can only stand to see so many incidents where the guilty party does not get punished, eg Young’s diving, Balotelli going over the ball against Song, or, dare I say it, Henry’s handball for France against Ireland, before they start to lose faith. What is the point in paying hard-earned money to watch a competition that is spoiled by rampant cheating that is rarely punished?

  146. Paul, ha ha, at least we know podolski was born to be a gooner.

    Arsenalandrew,
    ” …. And Khalifha, you say you’ve
    had enough of stop-starting in
    life (are you a bus driver or
    something?) but quite
    honestly I’ve ‘had it to here’
    with the wave of cheating by
    certain players and the
    continued failure of the
    authorities to deliver justice,
    both on and off the pitch”. First of all i meant i have had enough boredom in my life without having football added to it , and no i am not a bus driver.
    Secondly, you said the authorities have failed to deliver justice – this is not a problem technology would solve, there should be retrospective bans given to players diving and trying to con the referee if evidence finds that person guilty.
    Also, you said ” …. It is physically
    impossible for a linesman to
    look ‘down the line’ AND look
    at the ball the moment it is
    being played and determine
    with any degree of certainty
    whether a player is offside or
    not; when the play is fast and
    the players close, at best, the
    call is based on guesswork” – this a valid point but i refuse to believe officials have been “guessing” for the past 100years in football matches when interpreting offsides, so i stand corrected.
    Finally, you did not answer the question ” where does it stop ” i.e technology.

  147. Football starts and stops quite often but it is stops that we are used to. Instead of having the whole team crowd the ref, simply make the video ref have a blasted look. How many times does the ref confer with the linesman? What would be the difference in asking the vid guy?

  148. Khalifha, I don’t think it is an actual quote but it is funny! lol!

  149. Billy's Boots

    I think the point is, you experiment with technology, see what works and what doesn’t, and you try to strike the right balance between maximising the number of correct decisions and minimising disruptions to the game. The technology is, in all likelihood, available; it needs the leadership of the guardians of the game to allow it to be used.

  150. Again with the silly name calling.

    Thats about your level. Don’t you like the fact I made a little joke about you slating Theo then? You need to lighten up, or you might get your nan’s knickers in an even bigger twist.

  151. Billyboots, technology will not give bans to players for diving or cheating, it will only show prove that the person in question cheated – the body/ies in charge of giving out punishment should ban these players on the magnitude of the offence and surely it would deter them from cheating

  152. Ah, good ol Dexter is here, all hail the Queen, Your majesty kindly go do one.

  153. Billy's Boots

    Khalifha, yes, that’s right. The governing bodies need to allow technology to be used (they currently don’t), and then they need to punish offenders, eg divers, etc whose misdemeanours are exposed.

  154. Paul N, football is much more complicated than any other sport, so just because it worked in rugbe or cricket does not guarantee it will work in football. For example, how often will a referee use vid evidence in a match? Players challenge calls at every foul, what will be the maximum number of calls allowed?, Can a vid review be used to send a player off? – lets just stick to the basics until i leave earth, the future generation can enjoy technology all they want

  155. Gaed you are sooooo sensitive.

  156. pedantic george

    Lol,And you are not?

  157. Ahh Her majesty has arrived, now lets all bow and scrape.

  158. George

    You can be soooo hurtful sometomes you know. You bitch.

  159. Not surprised you would stick up for the doomer George, seeing as how you love to slate Theo as well.

  160. Sensitive my ass, you just couldn’t resist having a go at me earlier this afternoon – that was a cheap shot you son of a pulis.

  161. Hahaha! Priceless. No, of course you aren’t over sensitive and no way areyou completely over reacting at all.

  162. Anyway, back to Arsenal;

    “Arsenal is an unbelievable club. The player I am today is because of Arsenal. When I actually signed the deal (to join Arsenal) it was a dream come true.

    “If you ask the likes of Robert Pires how he feels, what he feels like he will say ‘I feel like a Gunner’ – and whatever happens with me I will always be a Gunner.”
    ——————
    I was loving those quotes right up to the last bit.

  163. Dexter, something tells me that you are the love child of sam allardyce and tony pulis, you just have this cuntishness about you, aarrgh! your highness.

  164. You forgot to put a name on the quote dexter.

  165. Dexter, he has to maintain the uncertainty to strengthen his bargaining position. If the club are too sure that he is staying, are they going to push the boat out to keep him? I know there are no guarantees in life, but I will be shocked if he does not sign on as long as he likes what he hears at the end of the season, both in terms of his own financial package and the clubs plans for strengthening the team.

  166. pedantic george

    “Dexter | May 3, 2012 at 11:33 pm
    Not surprised you would stick up for the doomer George, seeing as how you love to slate Theo as well.”

    Are you pissed?
    Did you read all of the posts?

  167. khalifa, those are the words of RVP at the FWA awards dinner earlier tonight.

  168. Amazingly if we win against norwich we would have ganered 69points – this might not mean much until you consider the fact we finished last season with 68points, having played 1 game more!.
    Makes you wonder what nasri and fabregas offered our club apart from the greedy, ungrateful, money hungry selves.

  169. Yeah, thanks Passenal. I know he has to be considered in what he says and all that, but using Pires as an example? The Pires who left us! 🙂

    George

    Stop back tracking and trying to rewrite history, we all know you’ve got form for slating our players.

  170. pedantic george

    Only the useless cunts like Theo Dexter

  171. Passenel thanks a lot, that was a great read – if rvp ever left arsenal i will curse the day i became a fan, no player is bigger than the club but i would be devasted – am all he wants is to see where we are heading, podolski’s signing is a good start.

  172. Damn brain freeze, devasted > devastated.

  173. PG; Haha! You were reeled in there for a bit though weren’t you? Admit it! 🙂

  174. pedantic george

    Yes OK.

  175. 🙂

    Nighty night pal.

  176. RvP will stay.

  177. Limestonegunner

    Hopefully, but we need 3rd place. Whatever he decides, I hope he decides very quickly after the end of the season so that the club can do whatever it has to do in either case. We don’t want to be hamstrung by a long drawn out saga that paralyzes our planning for the upcoming season.

    In my gut though, I too would be surprised. I believe he wants nothing better than to be the captain that brings the first trophy to the Emirates. What a legend he would become!

  178. Limestonegunner

    I liked his jacket at the PFA dinner even better–that was an extraordinarily fine and stylish piece of clothing. Class always…

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