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The Untold ref review : Arsenal – Sunderland and a world record

Arsenal on Twitter @UntoldArsenal

Untold Arsenal on Facebook here

By Walter Broeckx, the Untold ref on the crime scene

Hello you Gooners in the Emirates. I was there to see how ref Taylor did his job. Er… well no let me rephrase this how he did what he did. So let us see how this ref from Manchester did THE JOB. If you get the difference.

Min Type Text C/NC PTS weight on
2 OTHER Offside against Sunderland C 1 1 1
6 OTHER Foul on Nasri not given NC 0 0 1
7 OTHER Foul against Bendtner? NC 0 0 1
9 OTHER Foul on Bendtner not given NC 0 0 1
9 CARD As the defender ran in the back of Bendtner the foul should have been given and also a card and this should have been a yellow because the ball was out of reach but a foul without the ball in the neighborhood is still a foul and has to be given. This was my oh dear oh dear moment. NC 0 0 2
10 OTHER Foul on Denilson C 0 0 1
11 OTHER Offside against Arsenal C 1 1 1
12 OTHER Foul against Arshavin C 1 1 1
13 OTHER Foul on Nasri not given NC 0 0 1
14 OTHER Foul against Sagna C 1 1 1
15 OTHER Foul on Djourou not given NC 0 0 1
17 OTHER Foul from Denilson, advantage given C 1 1 1
19 OTHER Foul on Nasri not given NC 0 0 1
20 OTHER Two footed tackle on Diaby nothing given NC 0 0 1
21 OTHER Foul from Denilson not given NC 0 0 1
21 OTHER Then he comes back to his decision and gives a foul when he could have given advantage NC 0 0 1
22 OTHER Then he lets them take the free kick some 10 metres further up the field NC 0 0 1
23 OTHER Scissor tackle on Denilson foul given C 1 1 1
23 CARD Yellow card against Richardson for this C 1 2 2
25 OTHER Foul from Bendtner C 1 1 1
30 OTHER Foul on Nasri not given NC 0 0 1
31 OTHER Foul from Koscielny C 1 1 1
32 OTHER Foul on Clichy not given NC 0 0 1
33 OTHER Foul on Arshavin not given NC 0 0 1
34 OTHER Foul on Nasri not given NC 0 0 1
35 OTHER Offside against Sunderland C 1 1 1
36 OTHER Two consecutive fouls on Nasri advantage given, which advantage? NC 0 0 1
37 OTHER Foul on Denilson not given NC 0 0 1
37 OTHER Foul on Diaby GIVEN!!!! C 1 1 1
38 OTHER Foul on Wilshere not given NC 0 0 1
39 OTHER Wild lunge against Nasri – first foul given in favour of Nasir C 1 1 1
39 CARD No Card given? NC 0 0 2
43 OTHER Foul on Wilshere not given NC 0 0 1
45 OTHER The refs tells the Sunderland players not to build a wall around the keeper so they keep just one in front of Szczesny C 1 1 1
45 OTHER Foul on Wilshere not given NC 0 0 1
45 OTHER Foul from Arshavin blocking the keeper on a corner – wow what a ref C 1 1 1
46 OTHER Offside against Arsenal C 1 1 1
47 OTHER Offside against Arsenal C 1 1 1
48 OTHER Foul on Wilshere not given NC 0 0 0
52 OTHER Foul from Wilshere not given NC 0 0 1
53 OTHER Foul on Djourou not given NC 0 0 1
53 OTHER That was an elbow ref Taylor, where are your cards NC 0 0 2
56 OTHER Foul from Nasri given C 1 1 1
58 OTHER Foul from wilshere given, so I did wonder if the ref knew he could come back on a foul? He knows it but only for Sunderland I think. C 1 1 1
59 OTHER Offside from Sunderland C 1 1 1
59 OTHER Late tackle on Denilson C 1 1 1
59 CARD This deserves a yellow card C 1 2 2
60 OTHER Foul from Denilson. I begin to find it very strange that the ref actually does see it when we make a foul and then gives the foul C 1 1 1
61 OTHER Foul on Wilshere guess what not given NC 1 1 1
62 OTHER Foul from Koscielny C 1 1 1
64 OTHER Not correct taken the throw from Clichy, well well well…. Come on ref NC 0 0 1
65 CARD Wilshere gets a yellow card as he has enough of the ref. So do we Jack but we can make ourself heard, you not. Unless why not twitter? C 1 2 2
66 OTHER Foul from Arshavin not given NC 0 0 1
66 OTHER Arshavin is then being fouled as a direct result, always punish the first foul ref NC 0 0 1
67 OTHER Foul on Chamakh not given NC 0 0 1
68 OTHER Offside against Chamakh given NC 0 0 1
69 OTHER Substitution from Sunderland takes around 50 seconds without the ref doing anything NC 0 0 1
70 OTHER Foul on Nasri not given NC 0 0 1
72 OTHER Foul on Koscielny given C 1 1 1
73 OTHER Foul on Koscielny not given NC 0 0 1
74 OTHER Foul from Koscielny not given. Oh now the ref has lost it NC 0 0 1
76 OTHER Foul on Wilshere not given NC 0 0 1
80 OTHER Foul on Chamakh not given NC 0 0 1
80 PENALTY Arshavin alone on goal and just when he tries to shoot he gets a push in the back and misses his shot. A clear cut penalty ref! NC 0 0 3
80 CARD As the foul was from the last defender and with a goal scoring opportunity it should have been a red car NC 0 0 3
81 OTHER Foul on Wilshere not given – this is getting boring NC 0 0 1
82 OTHER Foul from Koscielny given C 1 1 1
82 CARD Correct this time from the ref a foul of the ball. Well a bit like Bendtner at the start of the game C 1 1 1
84 OTHER Nasri commits a foul C 1 1 1
84 CARD Nasri has enough of the ref as we all do but helas he cannot make his opinion clear. But how far can you stretch a player? C 1 2 2
87 GOAL Arshavin goes round the keeper and scored. The linesman is raising his flag. Wrong very wrong. Totally wrong. He was onside NC 0 0 3
88 OTHER Foul on Rosicky C 1 1 1
89 CARD Muntari kicks the ball away but gets not card? NC 0 0 2
90 OTHER Offside against Arsenal C 1 1 1
90 OTHER Foul against Sunderland C 1 1 1
90 OTHER Foul on Wilshere GIVEN C 1 1 1
90 CARD Correct card from the ref C 1 2 2
35 40 91
% 51,95% 43,96%
CARDS 5 9 55,56
PENALTY 0 1 0,00
GOAL 0 1 0,00
OTHER 7 11 63,64
TOTAL 12 22 54,55

When I saw Tony after the game his first question was what I thought of the ref. And I said I thought he was poor or corrupt. But that I had to check the game on my TV to be sure. Well after seeing it again I think he just is both: poor and corrupt.

Let us talk about world records. According to the ref Arsenal made 13 fouls and Sunderland only 10. This is funny because you can check the numbers if you really want but I have counted them for you. In the first half he missed some 15 fouls from Sunderland which he didn’t punish. And in the second half he went on and at the end of the game I counted some 28 (twenty eight) fouls not given for Arsenal. And as you have learned by know and you all know: it is by counting the not given fouls you can see how biased a ref is.

The Sunderland players could do what they want with Nasri, Arshavin and Wilshere. The ref just wouldn’t blow. And I am not saying he should have given all the fouls as you can play the advantage rule. But you must give the advantage sign and he just didn’t do this at the time.  But if he would have acted stronger we would have had a better chance of winning the game.  Oh, right that wasn’t supposed to happen. My mistake.

So let us move on to the main decisions. As I was sitting in the Clock End I couldn’t judge them at the moment. But right after the game the text messages came in from all over the world. Well from England and Belgium to be precise that we had been robbed a good goal and a penalty.  The images were clear and confirmed that the ref not only messed with the ‘small details’ but also was bad on some very big decisions.  It made the way home even longer.

So Arshavin was clearly pushed and was clearly onside. But the ref made the wrong calls. Well in fact they were consistent in making the wrong calls. In fact the score from the ref is higher than I expected to be. But I have to follow the rules and so both yellow cards from Nasri and Wilshere are right if you look at the instructions. But I can understand their frustration. They had been kicked, pushed and shoved all afternoon but when they even look at a Sunderland player he gives the fouls.

I think Wenger was right about not saying anything but saying he was disgusted. So am I. And so are a lot of football and Arsenal supporters around the world. People who start questioning if it is all worth paying you money to see such a poor ref deciding the games. More about that in another article.

Snooping around the Man U blogs

Untold Arsenal

Making the Arsenal

174 comments to The Untold ref review : Arsenal – Sunderland and a world record

  • Mahdain

    sad really it could have been only 1 point….oh well atleast man united got battered..serves em right….

  • Davi

    I’m really shocked by this. It’s like I watched a different game. I didn’t think the ref was perfect, but I didn’t get the impression he was biased at all. I noticed a few mistakes, but I don’t know where all these apparent missed fouls are coming from. I thought the ref did ok, apart from the offside against arshavin, which was down to the linesman. The push from bramble is not so clear cut. Probably should have been given because it’s impossible to really know how much force was applied, but it didn’t appear to me that he’d really pushed him. Looked like a despairing hand on his back. And arshavin didn’t really complain.
    I might be wrong of course – I was streaming the game, and it wasn’t very clear or consistent – but my impression of the game completely contradicts this report. I’ve never had such a massive disagreement with this site before.
    Anyway, it was a good game, we played well and really deserved to sneak the win. Their keeper had a good game, and sunderland made it tough. I saw it as an unlucky game, but wouldn’t put too much blame on the ref this week. I certainly wouldn’t consider that he is corrupt on the basis of this match.

  • Marcus

    The scoring is interesting Walter.

    You could also have the Walter benchmark question at the end.

    Would you employ this man?

    I cannot fathom paying £100 to watch this sham.. Truly and honestly, the only way forward is ASA. Arsenal Supporters Action. Tony or someone need to get official access to the Arsenal supporters database,and send out a questionaire. A few simple questions about the standard of refereeing, with the final questions:
    “Do you feel strongly enough about official corruption to consider
    boycotting a match?” “If not, can you envisage a time in the future where you might?”

    If enough people feel strongly, then I would propose a silent protest. If 50,000 Gooners didn’t turn up for a match, it would be very interesting. Although I am sure MOTD would insert some canned cheering……and attempt a media whitewash

  • Gooner14

    Slightly off topic, but i found out today that Phild Dowd is from/lives in Stoke. It’s a bit of a coincedence that up until this season he has been a good and fair referee when officiating Arsenal, yet since all the problems have come about with Stoke, he suddenly wants us to lose all the games he referees for us. Tottenham at the Emirates, Newcastle away, Sunderland away!

    That’s three games this season he has cost us points!

  • RedGooner

    Davi, Bramble grabbed Arshavins arm and held him for about 2 strides then when that didnt work he pushed him of balance.

    It was way worse than you think.

    Walter speechless is the only word. I cant see what it’s going to take to win anything I fear they way they are behaving its beyond us.

  • Gf60

    Aren’t incorrectly awarded goals/disallowed goals and ditto penalties awarded/not 0/3 points? Which would give the Mancunian born slimeball 0/3 and 0/3 in the calculations…and thus 12/26 = 46%.

  • jbh

    Referee (Arsenal) stolen points table (to date)
    2 pts (Dowd) Sunderland (away) goal in the 95th min of a 94 min game (AW fined for verbal abuse of ref)
    2 pts (Probert) Wigan (away) – non penalty for blatant hand ball in the 85th min
    2 pts (Dowd) Newcastle (away) – 2 ridiculous non penalties, and much, much more
    2 pts (Taylor) Sunderland (home) – 1 non-offside goal, 1 blatant penalty ignored.

    Of course these are just the very blatant late in the game matters. Walter’s excellent analysis summarises the many other “handicap” issues the team faces but which are harder to quantify in terms of points. But a handicap is a handicap – they will be doing remarkably well if they win the league overcoming this handicap.

  • ak47

    davi im amazed you thought the ref werent biased! the game i watched was disgusting in terms of 1 rule for them and 1 for us. and i watched a stream also.

    lovely deserved result today, kinda made up for yesterday but not quite. stil in the race tho chelski and manoil are in it also.

  • FinnGooner

    thanks Walter for once again making me realize I actually get somthing correct ;). I really looked forward this one.

    @Davi I watched the match on TV and that penalty was clear. Thing is first that Sunderland player was holding (not sure if that is right verb) Arshavin’s wrist and after letting it go he pushed him. Maybe if Arshavin had fell down when that guy was holding his wrist it might have been penalty (then again with that ref maybe not).

    @Marcus I’m not sure your idea would be that good. I mean sure people might think about it but I’m afraid it would hurt Arsenal more than FA or referees. Most of media would make it sound like fans being against the club not the refs…

  • Mark

    Sorry Davi, I couldn’t disagree more. This analysis confirms the impression I had whilst watching the game. It seemed to me (and also to the referee apparently!)that what constituted a foul, depended on which team committed it rather than the offence itself.
    However I don’t buy the corruption line,nor do I subscribe to the conspiracy theories which often abound after games like this. It seems to me that there is a much simpler explanation; the referees are making subjective,rather than objective judgments.I think that they are not mentally disciplined enough to see past their personal biases and make decisions on what they actually see, rather than how they perceive certain teams behave.
    For example, Sunderland are known to be a workmanlike, physically robust(although not overly)team of artisans which would approach this game in a committed and determined fashion, whereas Arsenal are the “artistic” technical team, so when a player from Sunderland shoves or barges an opponent it is in line with the expectation of their approach and thus easier to overlook whereas when an Arsenal player does similar it is much easier to spot. In addition there is ,I believe,an overcompensation to the (false)accusation that big clubs invariably “get more decisions” than smaller cubs.
    This does not excuse the ref in any way – it still shows an alarming lack of competence and impartiality – but I would concur with Davi that calling a ref corrupt on the basis of this is a step too far

  • Davi

    Maybe I’m wrong about the game in general. I’ve never disagreed about a game before, and we have been massively screwed by refs recently. I just didnt see it that way this time. I really don’t remember him letting their players get away with fouling our players, which is the biggest crime these refs commit against our club, and is the clearest marker of bias considering they’re rarely slow to hand out the cards for our players.
    I’ll watch it again, but I really don’t think the penalty was so clear-cut. It probably should have been given, but I think defenders often get away with those.

  • Marcus

    You are probably right Finn.

    Some subtle form of protest needs to be embraced though. Maybe all fans should wear black.

    The trouble for Arsenal is that we are the whipping boy in English Football. So anything is turned against us.

    When Wenger said on TAlk Radio he was disgusted with the refereeing, the nterviewer said:

    ‘So why do you think the referee is disgusting?’

    Fortunately Wenger had a better command of English than the journalist

  • jbh

    41 poor decisions. 38 in “favour” of Sunderland, 3 in “favour” of Arsenal. Wow.

  • Steppa

    @Davi. Arshavin never complains. Does that invalidate whether the foul was committed?

  • Shard

    @Davi and all

    Sunderland players were constantly going through the back of our players. Clear fouls not called. But at least in the first half the referee was giving yellow cards for slightly more dangerous tackles, like the one on Denilson. But when we stepped up our performance, so did the referee. For me the clincher was the foul throw called against Clichy. I haven’t seen a much more perfect throw in. There could be NO doubt about that. None… ANd that was just when we had started to come to life and putting Sunderland under real pressure. That foul throw lost us a lot of momentum. And Yes, I too noticed that the ref wasn’t giving the advantage sign for what were blatant fouls. That was another signal to Sunderland that they will be allowed to get away with such things.

    Again, some people are questioning the team and the lack of verve in the first half. I agree that the team was poor, and Denilson in particular was pretty much useless on the day. But all of that is missing the point. We did more than enough to win the game. It doesn’t matter if we played only 20 mins of good football. What if we played 70 and Sunderland won it in the last 20? Would anyone say that they played just 20 mins and didn’t deserve to win? Yet we have some Arsenal ‘fans’ not seeing what is there in front of them. even if they aren’t willing to consider corruption, there is no doubt that the officials are the one responsible for us dropping points. ManU manager and fans crib and moan about something that happened, which a) wasn’t even that big a deal, and b) happened to them ONCE in something like 7 ‘blue’ moons.. Yet we are the ones supposed to be cribbing and moaning? Get behind this team, the odds are literally stacked against us. Now is the time to give undying, unquestioning support.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Just hope Gazides is earning his money – he should be banging on a few doors behind the scenes after all that is happening

  • FinnGun

    Video technology, foreign referees and start training another, much larger generation of English referees. Now.

  • Wrenny

    It was a stonewall penalty – Bramble fouled Arshavin not once but twice. First he pulled him back by the arm, and when that didn’t work and Arshavin managed to shrug him off Bramble, as he fell, gave him a strong two-handed push in the back that can be clearly seen to upset Arshavin’s balance as he swings his leg to shoot.

    Has anyone else noticed this tactic of pulling an attacker by the arm becoming common? It’s very effective at twisting a player’s upper body and putting him off balance, and if the defender is side by side with the attacker then it can be practically invisible to the referee from most angles.

  • bjtgooner

    Davi, Bramble pulled Arshavin and when this was not effective he deliberately pushed him in the back. Bramble was not close enough to Arshavin to get anywhere near the ball, it was a premeditated foul deserving of a penalty and red – last man. The offside against Arshavin was very poor or as indicated in the report corrupt. Over the course of a season it would be expected that favourable and unfavourable decisions would cancel out. However, it would appear that we have become the subject of a deliberate campaign to prevent us from winning and displacing somenoe else’s crown!

  • Norm

    Marcus, that was very funny (the ‘disgusting’ question). Moron. Is this the organisation that bigot kings Gray & Keys now work for? This site proves so much that my family have ranted about for ages. These celebrity refs chose manure over arsenal. Why? Orders. How come Arshavin is so sinned against – did O.M. Riley have big plans for the failed England World Cup bid?

  • Mandy Dodd

    The media, other home based managers, The EPL and FA, Man Utd and heaven knows who else want Utd Champions this year, that is beyond clear.
    Has any one seen pics of Fergie lately – he really does not look well.
    Are some forces conspiring to send him out on a high in a final year?

    If refs are just poor rather than corrupt – how does Riley live with himself overseeing this shower of buffoons?

  • Shard

    @Walter

    About the Wenger interview. I was delighted with the things he said. Not something he can be punished for, but blatantly clear ( at least to me) that he knows what is going on.. Apart from saying he’s disgusted (and refusing to back down when the reporter prompted by saying ‘disgusted is a strong word’) Wenger also said that these sort of things have too big an impact on the Premiership.. As far as I’m concerned that line shows that he believes its manipulation, not just mistakes. I don’t know why, but watching that interview, that’s the feeling I got..

    Don’t forget, Wenger has already been robbed of a league title through match fixing before. Perhaps more than once if the Premiership is fixed like we suspect. His determination to still fight, and fight by sticking to his principles at that gives me the strength and belief to fight all the way too. We deserve this title. Lets make sure that if its not to be won in the end, its not through our failings, as a team, and as supporters.

  • Flint McCullough

    If he wasn’t going to give the penalty for the push it should have been a free kick & a red for a very clear case of holding.

  • Laundryender

    This guy has been fast tracked, he is one of the bright new hopes, leading to much improved standards.

    Lets hope he just had a bad day at the office.

  • walter

    Like Shard said already the fouls that the ref missed were not the strong tackles or challenges (which he also missed sometimes) but the little pushes when players get the ball and get a little push in the back and lose their balance. He let those go time after time after time. I have also seen a lot of pulling the players by the arm when they went past their defender and then by the pull lost their speed so the defender could come back. He just never punished such a pull. Or no he did. When Wilshere did this he first let play continue and then when the Sunderland player misplaced his pass he called back to the foul. This is a strong indication that the ref know the rules but just had two sets of rules in this game.

  • walter

    And believe me the best way to tilt a game is by not calling small fouls from one team. And it is those things you have to take a look at when you see at an Arsenal game. The not giving fouls count for a lot.

  • Domhuaille MacMathghamhna

    Watched the game online so not the best view but have to say that the offside call was close but correct as Arshavin had his upper body ahead of the two defenders. The ¨penalty¨ was a 50/50 call and looked more like a clumsy accident than intentional. That said, it was disappointing to see Arsenal continue to miss so many chances. However their play was fluid and if they can score at the Nou Camp and play tight defensively, then they’ll have a half decent chance of winning or tying and that knocks out Barca. At least they’ll probably have a good continental referee.

  • Wrenny

    Laundryender, he had a perfect day at the office as far as his boss Riley is concerned. Now we know exactly why Taylor was fast tracked.

  • bollock-chops

    Clumsy accident? Like lawrenson described koscielny going for the ball at st james park? or more intentional? come on!

  • Shard

    @Domhuaille

    I strongly disagree. THat was perfectly onside.

    I wouldn’t bet on a ‘good’ continental referee either. It’ll probably be the one we got in the match against Braga.

  • Ingo Marchand

    i watched manu pool today and today dowd was on fire once again. his fault the game went nearly out of control. shame that english bulldogs like carragher and shawcross or de jong ( i am sure his granpa had an english dog 😉 ) can deliver fine players to hospital. no protection at all. guess u need to kill someone for a red card. england is violent and the football is just a reflection of that. sorry guys.and arsenal hated for the foreign players and beautiful game and to make it even worse our new english players PLAY football and even wilshire learnt his lesson very quick after being over the line vs zigic early the season.

  • jazbo

    Why are you all so surprised? you should know by now that if we don’t score from either a header or a long rane shot that there is a 60% chance that it will not be given.
    I blame our team for not stuffing Sunderland, by at least three goals.
    nuff said

  • critic

    guys…
    There’s something definitely wrong in the way english referee watches a game.

    1) During offside decisions they see the upper body part of defenders and man in focus. This is wrong. One can easily see arshavin’s upper body was ahead of last defender, but his legs or lower body were level with last defender at worst. I put it down to incompetency.

    2)Bramble deserves an oscar for that push on arshavin. He made it look as if he was just touching arshavin with his falling. There was no way ref cud have seen that. Lines man should have seen that for sure. Again incompetency.

    I don’t know about corruption but these referees are the most incompetent i have ever seen. How can anyone say it’s the best soccer league if they don’t have good referees.

  • Shard

    @ All

    I asked this yesterday also, and I’m genuinely interested in this. So if anyone has any knowledge of the UK Judicial system then please tell me.. In India we have a system of Public Interest Litigation or PIL.. This allows a concerned citizen to place a petition before the court about a matter which may not directly concern him/her, but is deemed to be in the larger public interest. If the court agrees with that contention, then legal proceedings are initiated to look into the facts of the case.. Does such a system exist in the UK?

  • Shard

    @ Tony, Walter and all

    I just realised I don’t know how the Calciopoli was uncovered. How did the government get to investigating the league? What caused them to do this?

  • Davi

    @ingo – I didnt watch the whole thing, but brown put in one over-the-top tackle on suarez as well. He might just have got the ball, but it was clearly excessive force. He and many others at Utd and other teams get away with that far too often. Havent seen the caragher foul, but don’t doubt it was as bad as you say.

    @ some others. I admit I could be wrong, I just think the arshavin penalty could have been missed by many refs. The offside was clearly wrong, but those mistakes can happen as well. Wouldn’t get carried away about the ref based on those incidents.
    I think what Walter says in the comments (“the little pushes when players get the ball and get a little push in the back and lose their balance”) are the things that might have been easily missed watching on a dodgy stream.

    “the best way to tilt a game is by not calling small fouls from one team” – completely agree, and this is what they’ve been doing to us consistently for over a month now.

  • Rhys Jaggar

    Walter

    Do us a favour and run a book on who will referee the FA Cup tie next Saturday.

    6000 of us have spent £40 plus transport (which will be more than usual as cheap trains couldn’t be booked as the tickets only became available on Friday) don’t want a referee to spoil it.

    Can’t see it being Martin Atkinson, can you??!!

  • Davi

    @Domhuaille – Wouldn’t be so sure we will have a decent ref just because it’s a European game. We got thoroughly screwed against braga because they like to dive around, and that particular ref blew every time one of their players went to ground. Barca like to employ those tactics as well, so the tie could very easily be decided by the quality of the ref.

  • Shard

    I’d also just like to say.. Manchester United show themselves to be a club with no class. The fact that they allow and even indulge their manager in his petulance and his bullying tactics reflect badly on a club which has a rich history. I know its not really for me to question their internal machinations, but why do Manchester United pay the fines for Ferguson refusing to talk to the BBC. Surely, if Ferguson feels so strongly about it, it should be him who pays? But that’s up to them. However, this latest media blackout just exposes him and his club as classless.

  • Andrew

    Quote – “Let us talk about world records. According to the ref Arsenal made 13 fouls and Sunderland only 10. This is funny because you can check the numbers if you really want but I have counted them for you. In the first half he missed some 15 fouls from Sunderland which he didn’t punish. And in the second half he went on and at the end of the game I counted some 28 (twenty eight) fouls not given for Arsenal. And as you have learned by know and you all know: it is by counting the not given fouls you can see how biased a ref is.”

    Sorry just to clarify the above there were 28 fouls not given for Arsenal and zero not given for Sunderland is that what this says?

    So the referee spotted every foul Arsenal committed did he?, every little nudge in the back by the defenders, every little arm on the shoulder when jumping, every little mistimed tackle and the like and gave them all?

    I understand you’re disapoointed that you didn’t win a game you seem to feel you had a right to simply because you turned up!, sorry that a team didn’t just roll over for you to help you end your awfully long wait for a trophy (try being a Bury fan and see how long a wait you have had for a major trophy!), but to allege corruption is appalling and does you as a group of supporters no credit!

    So presumably in every game where a ref gets a maginal decision wrong he’s corrupt is he? so when Messi was dubiously flagged offside against you a couple of weeks ago that ref was corrupt was he? – which would mean Arsenal paid him!!

    It evens out over time, i’m sure Sunderland fans would point to the truly awful decisions at Stoke recently where the home teams first two goals were clearly offside by more than Arshavin might have been onside yesterday. The offside was marginal but it happens, the linesman made a mistake at work (who among us can’t say they’ve done that!) but if Bendtner, or Arshavin, had made as few errors as he did yesterday Arsenal would have won comfortably!

    Good luck on Tuesday, I’m looking forward to another game of football!

  • Ugandan Goon

    @shard,
    Fergie has jumped on the untold arsenal bandwagon and wishes to expose er.. corrupt referees or unfair ones!

  • bob

    @Walter, GOONERS: Wasn’t ANTHONY TAYLOR the name of the 4th official at this January’s Birmingham Crime Scene (site of Bowyer’s uncarded horror stomps on Sagna, etc. etc. ). If so, that surely was his Apprenticeship on how to do THE JOB! He learned at the, er, feet of SAF’s Enabler Peter Walton. Please double-check, as I’d asked that day and I think you or Dogface gave the name as Anthony Taylor. If so, that is surely a coincidence? surely something karmic? Surely something that just happens? He’s on the fast track to the nether regions and, judging from the snarky little grins of the unholy trinity, all lined up after the match to show their customary contempt for their handiwork. He and the flag-boy should know that they’re now under our scrutiny as Riley’s latest Lives led astray. Up the Shire! Down with Kastle Fergus! On to Barca! Go Gunners!

  • Sammy The Snake

    The 2006 Italian football scandal (Italian: Calciopoli or Moggiopoli , sometimes referred to as Calciocaos[1]) involved Italy’s top professional football leagues, Serie A and Serie B. The scandal was uncovered in May 2006 by Italian police, implicating league champions Juventus, and other major teams including Milan, Fiorentina, Lazio, and Reggina when a number of telephone interceptions showed a thick network of relations between team managers and referee organisations. Juventus were the champions of Serie A at the time. The teams have been accused of rigging games by selecting favourable referees.

  • Shard

    @Andrew

    I mean no disrespect, and if anything Bury are one of the teams I have a soft spot for since they took Bhaichung Bhutia from India. But i would say try being an Arsenal fan. It’s not just one game or two or ten, which has made us think of corruption. I still wouldn’t go so far as to say that i KNOW there is corruption. But from what we see year after year, match after match, just makes me believe that that is the situation.

    Also, please do not say it evens out over time. Well maybe if you say 20 seasons or something. But it most definitely doesn’t even out over a season, or even 2. Moreover, its not just the decisions that go against us. It’s that blatantly wrong..not marginally wrong, but BLATANTLY wrong calls go in favour of ManU too often. (Even when we’re out of the title race by the way)
    Discount the calls Walter makes because he openly proclaims his loyalty, but believe the refereeS (plural) who do nothing of the sort and are not accountable to us at all? That doesn’t make sense.

  • Shard

    @Ugandan

    LOL.. Fergie the Whistleblower?? Ya, maybe he feels he ought to live by the knight’s code now.. ..That’ll be the day…

  • Shard

    @Sammy the snake

    What I meant was, what prompted the police to investigate in the first place? What made them set up those phone taps etc.?

  • bollock-chops

    @ Andrew.
    ‘So the referee spotted every foul Arsenal committed did he?, every little nudge in the back by the defenders, every little arm on the shoulder when jumping, every little mistimed tackle and the like and gave them all?’

    Yes thats exactly what we’re saying.
    Nothing to do with win, lose or draw. If yoiu see the everton game ( which we won ) write up yull see the same debate.

    Of course its hard to be completely impartial, but the contributers on this site are on the whole very intelligent and not just a bunch of perpetual paranoid conspiracy theorists. We have become paranoid conspiracy theorists based on pretty sound evidence!

  • bob

    TAYLOR QUERY: To recall, at Birmingham (January), the official on the sidelines did not formally inform Walton of that assault on Sagna; hence Ref Walton didn’t really see or know about that assault. I’m not certain, but I believe that official was Anthony Taylor. Surely this match was part of the fast-track reward system. And Taylor has paid back handsomely, again.

    @Andrew: The boy is bent Andrew, Taylor-made for Don Fergus. This website’s analysis is not a thing of the moment here. Have you paid any attention, or just dropping in from the blue? I could understand your snide comments, if so; but there have been months and months of detailed analysis as a foundation for what looks to you like Arsenal paranoia or sour grapes. Point out where Walter is actually wrong and you’d have a better hearing, methinks.

  • bollock-chops

    I understand that the british style of refereeing is to’let things flow’ and that arsenal being a team that dominates possession in most games leaves us open to receiving more fouls which the ref lets go, which inhibits our play and can create paranoia that they ‘have it in for us’. But when you see the nature of free kicks given against us compared to whats let go over the course of the games its hard to take

  • bollock-chops

    Any one know why Lee Mason ( a ref with previous ) was repaced with Taylor for this game?? Thats stinks too

  • Shard

    Because a Taylor would do a better job of stitching up the game than a Mason 🙂

  • Davi

    Having seen the arshavin incident again, there’s no doubt it should have been a pen. I couldn’t decide until I’d seen the reply twice though. I don’t particularly blame the officials for missing it, but it was definitely a pen.

  • bob

    @Bollock-chop, Shard: Look at my posting. I believe he passed his audition at Birmingham in January. That’s one part of it, methinks.

  • Shard

    That’s an interesting point bob.. I wouldn’t be so sure about absolving Walton though. But fast tracking a referee who makes such ‘mistakes’ in a game should be called into question anyway.

  • steven

    Here it goes, two sides to this post. I am absolutely SICK to death of refereeing decisions and Mark Halsey was absolutely terrible today. His officials were just as bad and something SERIOUSLY needs to be done about these abysmal referees. I am not a bitter lower club supporter but seriously some of those decisions were because we aren’t a bigger club and that can’t be denied. On a more positive note, a six goal thriller, some brilliant goals, drama drama drama and to me the game of the season. Now someone tell me Wolves don’t deserve to be in this league next season. Brilliant game

  • steven

    it annoys me when you post on this forum and dare to criticise wenger and immediately you get thumbs down but they never tell you why they disagree. people say get behind the team my bank balance and misery at our losses remind me of my passion for this club,however i will always say what is my opinion. wenger is to blame for our lack of progress on the park our best players have a history of being out more times than they play. our squad is not good enough,if wenger had made reinforcements each year we would probably only require one or two players but due to his stubborness and unbelievable faith in average players means we need 5/6 players. players out squillaci,denilson(does anybody other than aw rate him),diaby,rosicky,bendtner and arshavin. wengers response to yesterdays poor performance was the referee and whilst we suffered with 2 bad decisions the ref did not lose us the match its the players our manager as assembled. whilst l/pool have helped us but lets be brutally honest we are not good enough to take advantage of man u loss,we have no quality replacement for tv,cesc,walcott and vp. we desparately need a cb,def midf,an attacking midf and a quality striker. please dont tell me i need to get behind my team i have been a gooner for 60yrs and have seen plenty poor teams,but wengers inability to sort obvious weaknesses and our boards total satisfaction with a top 4 finish means with this management we will not progress any further.

  • prush

    Talk about throwing your toys out of the pram eh? Im talking about ole red nose refusing to talk to the media after the mauling @ anfield. Fair enough, United were beaten. I suppose that would make him slightly annoyed.
    However, what made me chuckle was that he refused to do an interview. That is not the end of it though. He didn’t allow his players to talk to the media either.
    Could you imagine the uproar if Arsene Wenger had done the same?

    I have no doubt that every form of media would go into overdrive. Wenger would be hung, drawn and quartered.
    It would be on the front few pages of every newspaper, pushing murder stories to page 8, for at least a week.

    Sky Sports would be going mental.
    Yet Alex Ferguson seems to get away with it. Why?

    People love to have a pop at Wenger about some of his interviews but at least he does them. And I’m sure he does them all the time too.

    Win, lose or draw, the Arsenal gaffer is there and always answers EVERY question put to him. You might not like his answer but he will always reply.
    Can you say the same about Fergie?

    Why Ferguson gets so much respect from the media is beyond me. Redknapp is the same but the less I say about him the better. I cannot bear that baggy-faced mug.
    It has to be fear. The media are worried about receiving the famous ‘Fergie hairdryer’ treatment so they treat him with kid-gloves.

    Maybe Wenger needs to tell an interviewer to ‘f off’ like Redknapp, maybe he needs to impose a media ban for his club like Ferguson.
    Maybe, just maybe, Wenger might get the respect he deserves and not be treated with contempt from the media despite giving them all the time in the day

  • Andrew

    @Andrew: The boy is bent Andrew, Taylor-made for Don Fergus. This website’s analysis is not a thing of the moment here. Have you paid any attention, or just dropping in from the blue? I could understand your snide comments, if so; but there have been months and months of detailed analysis as a foundation for what looks to you like Arsenal paranoia or sour grapes. Point out where Walter is actually wrong and you’d have a better hearing, methinks.

    No I’ve been coming here since the game at the SoL (mainly as a lurker as I have my own team to watch!) – you can go back and read my exchanges with Walter then!

    You see what you see as referee bias is alleged on pretty much every board in the country after every game when the officals didn’t give some “blatent” free kick or penalty or some such.
    It’s the same with all fans, you remember the decisions you didn’t get, the dubious ones that go in your favour in games are quickly forgotten – it’s human nature because the decisions your team get don’t raise the passions within us as football fans that the perceived injustices do!

    When I first went into exile in Lancashire (early 1990s) I could not believe the depth of the paranoia amongst Man United fans about the extent to which everything that happened in footall was part of some giant consipracy to stop them from winning things, from the way some of this has been going in recent weeks you are taking over the mantle! I like the idea of what Walter does here but if you’re going to criticise the referee for not being impartial you surely have to view the game in an impartial manner yourself and this is increasingly not the case.

    Your team play breathtaking football (football the way it should be played) but you don’t win things because you don’t kill games off, not because the referee is corrupt.

    First time round with Walter isaid the following – i think it holds true again today…

    As with any fan you watched this game through the blinkers of your passion for your team … The fact Arsenal did not win was down to failings with the players and the management not to the referee – as so often though all the media want to talk about is Wenger and his moaning about referees and the like (deflecting attention from the team and the team selection – how very Ferguson)…

  • Shard

    @steven

    What exactly makes a player average or good? It’s not statistics you read on a football manager game. Perhaps, without the belief shown in the players, none of them would be where they are. Buying new and supposedly better players isn’t any guarantee of their output, and their integration into the team. Maybe you do not agree with Wenger’s philosophy of doing things, but most people on here do. I think people here have explained too why they feel the way they do. But it’s impossible to keep explaining this in the face of the same cliches that have become an established truth. Even your assumptions of if Wenger had done this then this would have happened are just assumptions..Assumptions armed with hindsight and used to criticise a lack of trophies. While not acknowledging the circumstances and difficulties of it.

    I think Wenger has shown more foresight than some people do, even armed with hindsight. We’ve seen the financial difficulties of other clubs, yet we wish to follow their approach?

  • bollock-chops

    Steve, you are definitely a ‘glass half empty’ man.
    Average players? you must be joking!!
    Squad players like denilson are important to any team. Tell me a better 3rd or 4th chOice reserve midfielder in the premiership or europe, with his experience. Yes he was v poor on sat, but hes on a hiding to nothing with a lot of arsenal fans. I remember Gilberto used to get slagged off all the time in his day too.
    Squillaci has been poor but is a stopgap, and definitely capable of better than he has shown so far.
    You dont see the best of someone unless they play regularly, Remember flamini??
    As for diaby, did you see the first half against newcastle? Setbacks have hampered him but he has world class skill and strength.
    Arshavin is average?? Come back and say the same on wednesday morning

  • Shard

    @Andrew

    It’s fair enough if you don’t believe it. It is after all a bunch of Arsenal fans moaning and finding an excuse for their team not winning the title for eons and so forth. I can get why you’d be sceptical of our discussions here.. What I don’t get is why you aren’t as sceptical about the way referees and the FA run things.

    We did not just come across this site and become zombies to an agenda. I, at least, had reached that conclusion way before I’d heard of Untold, strangely enough when ManU were guided to a title that I wanted them to win over Chelsea. All this site did is it made me realise that there are others who have the same conclusions. Yes, sometimes I use it to vent my frustrations, but I never hide my team’s failings. Of course we lose/draw because we could have been better.That’ll always be true. But why is it wrong to say that the referee should have been a lot better? Ultimately, what this site aims for is better refereeing and accountability and transparency in the way everything is run in English football.

  • bob

    @Andrew, cheers for the thoughtful comments. to me, one fact is that we only played 20 minutes, which is our (very) bad, yes. but the fact is also that two critical bad calls did take this game from us. and, I contend, the ref-in-training was the selfsame who did not report the evident assault on sagna to the ref of that day in Birmingham, one of several as you may well know and remember. However, as for walter’s rose-colored glasses, i’d ask you to be very specific and point out where his calls are wrong. let’s contribute to factuality here; and let’s get beyond the distortions of rooting interests, yes. so please do contribute to a corrected analysis of this past match, without invoking all the baggage of the past. just this one match. please add one grain of empirical sand to enable a clearer, less-one sided view of this match so that we can all benefit. Waxing philosophical does not address the immediate moment, and you are thoughtful (not being snide here). So please do have a go at any of it.

  • Davi

    @Andrew – The problem is not that the big decisions are going against us – I think those are often given incorrectly due to the speed of the game – it’s mainly the inconsistency of refs wrt fouls on/by our players. I very rarely see one of our players give away a freekick they don’t deserve (although I’m not denying it happens as well), but it seems very easy for other teams to get away with fouling our players throughout the match. Either our opponents are allowed to continually foul our players without receiving yellows, or the ref just won’t call fouls against our players, which is what we have been seeing more recently.
    These things won’t be picked up on motd or by most people who don’t watch every game because they don’t often immediately lead to goals, and when they do people just put them down to the kind of luck everyone suffers/benefits from throughout the season.
    What they do to arsenal is worse because it encourages our opponents to continue fouling our players. This impedes our rhythm and prevents us creating as many moves which lead to goalscoring opportunities, and worse, it puts more pressure on our players physically and leads, directly or indirectly, to more and more injuries.

  • walter

    Andrew, if you think I only count every contact against an arsenal player as a foul I can tell you this is not the case. If you would have looked at the facts you would have noticed that I also talk about fouls from Arsenal players not given. But little pushes and pulls from Arsenal players were mostly called by the ref. Even after the bal had gone lost seconds later he came back.
    Just look it up on ArsenalTVonline if you don’t believe me.
    I also accept not being without mistakes. But suppose I would miss 1 call on 10 (which would make me excellent in referee land) the general trend still would be the same. And the trend= poor refereeing in general.

  • Andrew

    @Shard – “But why is it wrong to say that the referee should have been a lot better?”

    Hell there’s nothing wrong with saying that, I absolutely agree – it’s a big step from that to…

    “Well after seeing it again I think he just is both: poor and corrupt.”

    It’s the last word I have a real problem with – sorry but unless Walter, or posters on this site, have real evidence of “corruption” (actual stand up in court evidence) then don’t tarry such words around as it devalues other good points you as a group might make.

  • Andrew

    Davi – “I’d ask you to be very specific and point out where his calls are wrong. let’s contribute to factuality here; and let’s get beyond the distortions of rooting interests, yes. so please do contribute to a corrected analysis of this past match, without invoking all the baggage of the past.”

    If I get a chnace before I go away for another week of work first thing tomorrow to watch the game again I will. If I’m doing this though can I ask you do the same but this time as a game of football, not a case of Arsenal vs. the ref.

  • bollock-chops

    Off top but just watching Jaws on ITV. metaphorically Schnieder is Gazidis/wenger, Jaws is shawcross/taylor, and the local council is the fa/premier league axis.
    How many victims will it take before they acknowledge the problem??!
    Ha ha

  • DC

    I think AW made a really good point. A team comes to the Emirates and defends well. After 87 minutes we finally get the break and Arshavin scores. Only he doesn’t because the linesman gets it wrong. We did what we had to do and the officials screw it up again.

    I don’t believe in calling it corruption, and using such a word or a word like bent demeans what you are trying to do. However, this season the standard of refereeing has reached an all time low and too many matches, not just Arsenal’s, are decided not by great football, but by a bad decision from the official.

    I have decided to write to somebody and become ‘Angry from Westbury’!

  • Ugandan Goon

    @andrew,
    The burden of proof rest with the prosecution, and rightly so but there are an awful lot of criminals walking free from our courts every day because of this particular principle.
    I can understand your scepticism, and i can imagine that without sufficient proof of our claims you might worry you have stumbled across a sect of disgruntled sourgrapers and it is such a common feature of football talk that believe me it would not be indulged here without reason.
    I am not going to bore you with the history as it is neatly sectioned on this site, i ask you to look through it criticise to your hearts content and then perhaps we can talk.
    I, like fergie, am merely advocating the improvement of all aspects of refereeing, there are certain idioms of the english ref that are hampering the development of exciting attacking football for some teams and not others, week in week out we are treated to controversy after controversy and it stems from genuinely appalling standards of refereeing, some have taken it upon themselves to quantify this injustice and and to point out to it’s apologists just what can be done about it.
    So even at Bury town i am sure that you could use a decent ref or two, unless of course you play your football rugby leaguewise

  • Red Jessie

    I say it every week – there is a crises in the quality of match officials in the EPL and Riley as the supremo is doing nothing. Taylor is supposed to be the rising star – good help us! Am I tempting fate? I have no idea who is refereeing the game against Barca on Tuesday, but I bet he will be significantly better than Taylor or any of the other premier leagues we have had to endure lately.

  • Shard

    @Andrew

    I agree it’s a fairly big step. But that’s just it. To you maybe it seems like a jump in logic. To us, it’s graduated steps that have forced us to acknowledge that as the only logical explanation. I really do not agree though about the admissable proof bit. Even investigating agencies don’t function in that way. No investigative process can. The proof is gathered in the course of an investigation, not at the beginning. We are not even at the investigative stage yet. we’re pointing out inconsistencies and have formed a theory. How do we set about proving it when the FA is not answerable or accountable to us. What recourse do we have if we feel our team has been cheated? The FA make up the rules and then sit in judgment themselves. They do not function in a transparent, nor in a consistent manner.

    Now to talk about the theory. It can be called cynical or paranoid or whatever. But in a situation where there is so much money, and so little accountability, with wrong decisions being brushed off as mistakes, or even as someone else’s fault (eg. Arsenal showed weakness) what prevents corruption from being present? It’s not like we don’t have precedents either. Belgium, Germany, Italy have all faced it. UK has had corruption in cricket as well. What makes English football so incorruptible? As far as I’m concerned, it’s the elephant in the room that no one seems willing to acknowledge. The reason I’d put down for that is money again. There are just simply too many vested interests in the game, all of which thrive on the status quo.

  • Shard

    The proof bit is also why I asked people about how the authorities in Italy unearthed the Calciopoli scandal. I would be very interested to know what got the police moving to investigate the parties involved. I believe that is sort of the key to getting ‘proof’ for our theory of corruption. How do you convince an independent authority to investigate and look for potential wrongdoings?

    It is also why I asked whether, as per UK law, it is possible for someone to approach the court and ask it to look into it, in the larger public interest, without being a directly affected party.

  • Andrew

    @Shard – “As far as I’m concerned, it’s the elephant in the room that no one seems willing to acknowledge. The reason I’d put down for that is money again. There are just simply too many vested interests in the game, all of which thrive on the status quo.”

    I guess the bit I’m struggling to see is how it benefits these people to not have Arsenal win things?, after all if you look at the time since Sky invented football (and the big money arrived) you’ve always been there or there abouts and have several titles and trophies so surely your current “big 4” name is part of that very status quo! I’d have thought fans of a team like Leeds (or Portsmouth) would have much more cause to think football was out to get them in recent years than a regular top 4 team. When looking at an alleged “crime” a key question is “who benefits?” and in the case of this I don’t see it but happy to have it explained to me.

    Still I’m enjoying the back and forth though!

  • Shakabula Gooner

    Wenger said this was a game that Arsenal was hoping it could grind out a 1 – 0 from.
    Even the best assembled team have such days due to physical and mental fatigue; not to talk of injuries.
    It continues to baffle me why some Arsenal fans will have their team at the 2nd position on the league table and still claim with vehemence that the coach dpesn’t get it and list 5 – 6 players he needs to get rid off.
    What also amuses me is that the list of players keep changing (for example, Song and Arshavin) hardly make the list these days). The list suggest that even our squad players must be at par with the football stars in other clubs…

  • Shard

    @Andrew

    I’m not saying the entire world and it’s mother is against Arsenal winning things. I don’t for one second think we are the only team to suffer bad calls, or necessarily even the most number of them.

    I think it’s easy to mix the various factors at work here. I’ll try and name a few and think up a coherent way to frame them. Bear in mind its 3.30 AM here 🙂

    Firstly, I think it’s the media. The football media in Britain employs and voices what seems to me an extraordinarily large number of ex-footballers. (Elsewhere in Europe they are mostly journalists, with football ‘pundits’ making the odd appearance). This opens up the public forum to any bias that those players would have carried over from their playing days. Plus the media feeds on the worst and the basest tendencies of the masses and hence the xenophobia is a convenient tool to pull out, with Arsenal being the most convenient target.
    Another reason the media will criticise Arsenal more is that Arsenal at the moment is going about things differently. (Stadium, debt levels etc.) It’s after all easier to criticise the one who stands alone rather than the entire crowd.

  • Shard

    Part of the media is SKY of course, which I will mention a little later.

    The other thing that I asked around about is why the authorities may dislike us. I didn’t believe it could only be xenophobia at play. Some long time and multi generational fans suggested it might be because we are a succesful southern club in what is traditionally viewed as a northern sport. Now, not being from the UK I do not gather all or even much of the import of the North-South divide, but I do know that it has existed historically and that it continues to exist. We did ruffle a few feather in the early 20th century which led to claims of Henry Norris (our then chairman) being corrupt. (Untold, or the history website has a series of article busting that myth). That sort of thinking could be another reason why the entrenched authorities do not want us to win. Most referees are also from the north. Also I am sure they are not immune to the media bias, and eventually would tend to believe the things they read such as Arsenal don’t like it up em etc..

  • Shakabula Gooner

    You there is something wrong with refereeing on EPL when, in one weekend of games, you are dissatisfied with their calls in 3 of 9games:
    Arsenal Vs. Sunderland
    Liverpool Vs. Man U
    Wolves Vs. Tottenham.
    It is becoming more evident that there is no quality check and the refs are tending to being criminally negligent with their output.
    This is the time for all lovers of Epl to cry out before the franchise loses its shine locally and internationally.

  • Ugandan Goon

    well said shard,
    keep at him!

  • Shard

    The third influence to consider is the Gambling syndicates. That term in itself brings up an image of a shady, underground operation. I don’t really buy into that of course. This part of the theory is the one I’m weakest on mainly because I do not have any knowledge of gambling and how it functions. What I do know is that bookies have fixed cricket matches all over the world, including in England. But I do not know their methods of operation or even how the odds are affected by things. So this I leave to you, or any others that might be better informed. But I maintain that I see no cause for football to be untouchable.

  • Shard

    The fourth and perhaps the biggest factor as I see it, because it is the biggest money directly involved with the sport, is that of sponsors and the TV money.

    The Premier League is a fantastic product. Since the advent of Sky, it has really pushed on and grabbed a worldwide audience, with TV deals constantly breaking new barriers. Sky of course pays so much because it recovers all of that and more from its subscribers and its sponsors. Also, Sky being the media, also exhibits the same biases I’d highlighted above. In fact, I’d say they work to an agenda.

    Now, as far as I know, Sky owned a share in Manchester United and attempted to buy it outright. Rules saying that broadcasters can’t own more than 10% of a club to avoid conflict of interest were framed to stop that from happening. What this exhibits at least, is that Sky felt that ManU’s market share and growth potential was a sound investment to make.

    Manchester United was and remains a commercial behemoth. At the time, it had very few, if any, serious competitors. Perhaps Sky felt that ManU are the star quality they need to promote their league in the far reaches of the world. One of the first images of English football I saw on TV here was of Beckham scoring from the half way line. ManU WAS indeed the first name I heard. Scholes was painted as a brilliant, almost heroic midfielder. (I’m not making this up. This is how I remember it)
    Of course to legitimise that star quality, ManU needed titles. Liverpool were far ahead in number even if they were in decline. With uncomparable financial power, a stable set up with an influential manager they were of course set up for it and indeed they did win a lot. Their supremacy was only briefly challenged by Blackburn’s spending, and by Arsenal who put up a more sustained challenge. But still it was entertaining to watch and TV values would only have gone up.

  • Byo

    Steven, Steven….
    Now that you identify Arshavin, Bendtner, Denilson, Squillaci,Rosicky and Diaby as players Wenger needs to get rid of.
    And you also suggest the team needs a “DMF, AMF, CB and a quality striker”. You could have gone one further and identify the players you want in! And maybe provide Wenger with the money to buy, and help him blend those new acquisitions into the team!
    I really don’t know how many times we have to educate commenters here, even “60-year gooners”. This is getting tiring.

  • Shard

    But then Arsenal pulled off an unbeaten season, and a certain Russian came along, nullifying any financial advantage that Manchester United had. Arsenal had competed on a far smaller budget for long and here they were planning to move into a new stadium which would help them push on financially as well. Clearly the ManU behemoth needed help. Especially when 3 years went by without a trophy. An investment has to be protected of course, and ManU still made for a safer investment.

  • Shard

    You still there Andrew, or have I painted too confused a picture so far?

  • Shard

    I alluded to the Sky agenda earlier. Let me give an example of what I mean. Sorry to get things jumbled up a bit, but it’s getting harder to stay alert 🙂

    Apart from the usual xenophobia and stuff, I have noticed that Sky indulges in selective censorship. I don’t mean just not showing Shawcross’ scythe on Ramsey, or the Taylor on Eduardo for that matter. They choose the angles and choose which replays to show according to which fits their agenda. Manchester United can do no wrong.

    So many incidents concerning them are just forgotten, even by me(believe it or not), simply because their replays aren;t shown, or are shown from carefully chosen angles. Ronaldo scored an offside goal against Derby in a 1-0 win. Yet the replay was from behind the goal. Not the sideline.. That is the clearest example I remember. But often, what I thought were handballs in the penalty area by ManU was not deemed worthy of a replay. So many times in fact, that when they did show a replay of any such incident, I could predict that in this case it wouldn’t have touched his hand, or he wouldn’t have dived or any number of such things..

    Such a thing is not easy to notice, but once you notice, it is hard not to.

    I do not know what business interests Murdoch or Sky may have tied up directly, or indirectly with ManU. But I submit to you, that they deem it in their best interests that Manchester United win most of the trophies, most of the time. It is not just Arsenal who have been cheated out of the title (2007-08). In fact, I put that one down to refereeing mistakes. Chelsea were cheated out of it too, and I’m sorry I do not remember the year. But I watched the end to the season with the wanting the title to go to ManU rather than to Chelsea. ManU did win it, but the way they were helped by the referees is when I started to question the fairness. Since then, what I have seen has only confirmed that thought.

  • jitty

    @ Shard

    All the interests are at play

    Broadcaster for whom the big clubs form the bulk of the brand value

    Scudders and the PL

    Corrupt individuals

    The legit business of football is dwarfed by the liquidity of gambling in a single weekend.

    The real business of football is

    Gambling, then Media then actually selling stuff.

  • jitty

    Re Sky

    I saw figures which showed a correlation between referee selection and whether the game was on Sky or Sentanta

    How on earth could that be?

  • Shard

    It is not just Arsenal who have been cheated out of the title (2007-08). In fact, I put that one down to refereeing mistakes.

    It should read ‘ I put that down to refereeing mistakes, AT THE TIME’

  • Shard

    Anyway, i don’t think I can do more to convince Andrew or anyone else, of at least the logic behind me accepting corruption as the prime mover in this regard. I know I didn’t finish the story, but we all know how that turns out 🙂

    Onto Barca next.. Hope its as good a football match as the last one, and we come out on top again.

  • Shard

    @jitty

    That’s hardly suprising. But, perhaps you could find a link to that somewhere.

  • Andrew

    Still here! The whole historic thing is a red herring to me (look at the sanctions on Sunderland in the 50s for evidence of a lack of protectionism even then for “bigger” northern clubs!).

    The gambling thing likewise – the players earn too much (& have too much to lose as a result) to be involved in fixing a game and it is a lot harder in football than cricket for example).

    The reason Man utd had the spending power andthe like was that they were, for several years, the only club whose shares were publicly available on the stockmarket and they had access to the capital markets while other clubs relied on a small number of shareholder to fund the club. They were not the only club that Sky invested in – pretty sure when Sunderland were a listed company that they had a similar holding. The irony of course is that being listed is what allowed Glazer to by them! As glazer is sole owner there is now no Sky investment to worry about!

    SAF also had a fantastic crop of kids (cost next to nothing) coming through which meant they could use the money to shore up other parts of the squad rather than build from scratch. as the money got bigger their relative strength only increased so it is not a level playing field and to me that more than anything is the reason (and is why chelski and City as the other very rich clubs are now in the upper echelon of the league).

    I wish the league were more equal – once out of the cups apart from survival in the league what do most of the teams/ fans have to look for – but as you support one of the few that each season has a genuine chance of winning something there’s a lot of people who’ll see this as you not really appreciating what you have!

    You get teams who spend several years as “nearly men” (Newcastle had it under Keegan and others throwing away the title and losing cup finals), Ipswich got to several play off finals and lost them all – it happens! It didn’t mean the game was trying to suppress them – it just meant that on the day when it mattered they didn’t have the necessary quality or effort or the key moment of luck that decided things

  • walter

    Andrew, I have learned that your voice is not over heard if you speek in a low and whispering voice. So I tend to provoke sometimes in my own views on things.

    I think you have not a problem with my “poor” calling. I can understand you when you have a problem with “corrupt”.
    I know all too well that refs can be corrupt. Being one of them I hear things you know. And I know how to operate how to fix a game. Any ref with a few years experience knows how to do it. And a ref that is fixing a game is a corrupt ref.

    So when I recognise things (that I had noticed being live in the Emirates) and then review the game on TV and when I recognise in his way of doing the game a sort of system or way of handling things which can be used to tilt a game in a certain direction then I can call it what it is: corrupt.

    The problem is that this ref showed to me that he knows the rules (even better than Dean and Webb on some things) but he only used his knowledge for one team.

    Let us take the foul on Bendtner in the first minutes: ball out of reach but the defender brings him down. The ref gives no foul. But in the second half Koscielny blocks a player without the ball and he gives the foul and even gives the card. So he shows to me he knows the rules but he only applies them in one almost similar incident.

    Let us take Jack Wilshere who was trying to start a counter for Arsenal in the first half. He was pulled back and lost his speeld and balance. The ref gave no foul or advantage sign and Jack ran on but missed his pass because he was brought somewhat out of balance. And in the second half Jack Wilshere did the same with a Sunderland player, the ref gave the advantage sign but when the Sunderland player missed his pass he blow the foul and came back to the first foul.

    The second decision was the way the ref should act so he once again showed he knew the rules. But he also showed once again that he only applied them for one team.

    Blocking the keeper at a corner. The same he gave a correct foul against Arshavin when he blocked the keeper but did nothing when a Sunderland player blocked Szczesny. So once again he knew the rules but applied them only for one team.

    So when I see that a ref knows the rules but only calls them for one team then I think that I have every right to call him corrupt.

    If he would screw up for both teams I would say that he is not competent. But he showed he knew the rules so I can only come to the conclusion that he had something in his mind.

  • Ugandan Goon

    @jitty,
    please find those figures as i for one have seen enough of dowdy to make my mind up what he is there for, to throw matches in the name of “good” entertainment.
    anybody remember loosing to spurs this season?
    the debacle at newcastle?
    if there is a competition from a certain media conglomerate for certain ref’s then that may add weight to our argument, it may go some way to explaining just why fergie refused to play ball with MUTV and sky after they were entertained out of it by dowd at anfield today.

  • Shard

    @andrew

    Much as I’m enjoying this conversation, and I would love to give a rebuttal to your last post, but for now I’m off to bed. It’s been a long day..and night.. Hope to catch you on here tomorrow.

  • Andrew

    Shard

    I note all you say but as a supporter of a team outside the top 4 I would say that you get similar treatment (as do Chelsea and Liverpool – how many times are Terry and Carragher allowed to foul/ block the ball with their hands, etc.).

    Try listening to a sky Premier league program (podcast, etc.) and see how much time other clubs get spoken about – apart from when they “cause an upset at one of the big clubs”. There is a lot wrong with football but you’ve not convinced me that part of it is a deep seated desire to deprive arsenal of a trophy or two!

  • Wrenny

    Hi Andrew, I can absolutely understand where you are coming from. I can imagine that to someone who is not a regular reader of Untold that a ref review such as this might just seem like sour grapes and fans with a persecution complex. But Walter has been doing these ref reviews for every single match this season, not just when he feels we’ve been hard done by and wants to vent, and not all of Arsenal’s disappointing results have been met with negative reviews for the refs. As an example, the referee who took charge of our 3-2 loss at home to West Brom (I forget who it was) got something like an 88% score from Walter, one of the highest he’s given out. And most of the regular readers here agreed with that assessment. Vice-versa there have been matches we have won, and sometimes won comfortably, but still felt very disappointed in the referee’s performance.

    I don’t know if you’ve noticed but Untold have also run ref previews, where a referee’s record is examined for patterns or possible bias before he’s due to officiate an Arsenal game, and predictions are made about what to expect. Some of these predictions have proved to be amazingly accurate, particularly the one of Lee Mason who took charge of our home game against Everton. Arsenal had had a very poor record under Mason (averaging just 1 point per game) while Everton’s record with him in charge was excellent (2 points per game). The readers at Untold knew what to expect from him, and lo and behold he allowed a bizzare offside Everton goal to stand, even after much deliberation with his assistant (who had also been singled out in the Untold preview as being incompetent). This didn’t come as a shock to Untold or its regular readers.

    After that game, the furore with David Moyes in the tunnel and accusations thrown at Mason by Cesc, there was talk on this site of a possible backlash against Arsenal. Of referees ‘punishing’ us further for the stinging criticism that came Mason’s way. Our very next game was at Newcastle… and we all know what happened there. Diaby didn’t help our cause, but two soft penalties and several assaults from Barton going unpunished was our reward from Phil Dowd.

    So this goes further than being sore losers and looking for someone to blame. Untold has done great work to analyse and scrutinise referees the entire season and come up with some very revealing results.

    I do agree with you with regards to speaking of “corruption”. I think it would be best to keep away from using terms like ‘bent’ or ‘corrupt’, the evidence should be presented and the readers left to draw conclusions for themselves. It only takes away from the great work done by this site to make accusations that could not be legally proven.

  • Donnyfan1

    I ask anyone who has not tried to play a team AND the ref- doing what Taylor did- letting one side play and foul with impunity (within his perverted reason) but punish the unfortunate team, strictly law book– to try it. It is hell and virtually impossible to cope. No other team, and that includes Barca, could manage what Arsenal achieve. It isn’t just the 30 extra fouls shipped by Arsenal, some of which lead to dangerous possession or, as we saw against Sunderland chances spirited away- what I found most difficult was the pain and the unfairness of that pain as a result of some really bad challenges which the other team never got. Walcott (does he go round kicking people) was shafted by a bad challenge against Stoke. A ref who was fair and had played the game might give a red for throwing oneself on him like that. But the point is- if that ref handled the game even-handedly- those bad challenges are not made. Arsenal players know they are being shafted -but they are brilliant and still try to win. Barca and Man U players and staff would riot if they had to cope with the bias against Arsenal. Face up to it- ‘THEY’ are trying to stop the best run, model professional, club from winning. Get the tapes out. Do your homework!!

  • Marcus

    There is a place I know, (cough, cough – looks around suspiciously for lawyers), where one person who always gets planning permission for any project is a guy with lots of money.

    We heard recently that Man U make 3X what Arsenal make in external revenues

    Look this is not rocket science…..people who want a nice retirement home, holidays in Maldives, etc etc, (and they are in all walks of life – not just referees, doctors etc etc) simply go to the highest bidder.

    If Team A does not indulge in backhaners and bribes, Team B does a bit, and Team C does big time, then Team C will be calling the shots, if there is no Law and Accountability at work.

    So we can’t say for certain how it all works, but we see the outward manifestations:

    1) A clique of Managers, many ex-ManU who tend to club amorally together (It was good to hear Mick McCarthy actually say he admired Arsenal)

    2)An increasingly erratic and unaccountability set of referees

    3)Bizarre omissions in media reporting, and strangely elliptical explanations for bad behaviour
    (e.g. MOTD showing a frozen frame image of SHawcross 3 foot off the ground about to impact Ramsey, and stating that it was an innocuous challenge because his studs weren’t showing)

    4) Patterns of behaviour….(its what we humans tend to pick up on)like:
    whenever Arsenal enter the home stretch with a chance of the title, the refereeing degenerates into abject farce…see 2007, and more recently dowd and Taylor etc

    and so on and so on

    Please feel free to add to this list

  • Valentin

    Walter you also missed the moment in the first half when Anton Ferdinand who had already been booked deliberately kicked the ball away to avoid Arsenal taking a quick throw.
    Anton Ferdinand was a very lucky boy.

  • Marcus

    Something else to remember is that it is not always easy to escape a corrupt system.

    Often there is a corporate culture, and we tend to try and fit in….maybe even ‘overlooking’ certain things which we try and rationalize as unimportant, although maybe deep down we don’t accept those things.

    Corruption can be very pervasive, but it takes someone to approach the wrong ref with a bribe, for something to happen.

    Sometimes corruption is beyond endemic, where ever man and his dog has been bought….you would be hard pressed to find an honest Senator, and the number of UK politicians who inspire any trust in me is, er…. limited…

    hmmm, I mean seriously limited

  • GoingGoingGooner

    People forget sometimes the details behind our last championship team. That year we were virtually injury free save for Sol taking time off because of his father’s (death/illness?). Complaining that we have no adequate coverage for RvP, Theo or Cesc miss the point that we never did very well minus Henry, Veiera and Pires at the same time. We have always been behind the eight ball money wise compared to the Mancs (and now ManU, ManCity and Chelsea)and thus depend on a quality 11 to do well. What is good now is that our youth programme is providing the backup.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    My father was in a government department and refused to go along with some questionable practices. He was fired and appealled. He was eventually exhonerated by a third party panel that reinstated him and then with their blessing promptly quit and was paid to re-train in another field. The point is that it took an outside body to investigate to catch the crooks at work. The FA/Premiership are incapable of reforming themselves. And, since the FA is a creature of government it will take, literally an act of parliament to reform it.

  • afraid to shoot gooners

    @walter,
    You might want to rejig the analysis slightly and break it up further to show the score of the referee for each of the two teams playing. the score can also be set as favorable (out of turn), correct, unfavorable (incorrect) to gauge the degree of bias towards a team.

  • Sammy The Snake

    Andrew – you suggest players make too much money to be involved in gambling. I say;

    – nobody minds more money, greed…
    – refs don’t make nearly enough, so they have the motive and the ability to…
    – if it is proven that a Chinese gambling gang orchestrated to turn off the lights, and hence call off the game, in a lower league just because the result wasn’t going their way… Then a little negotiation with a few refs shouldn’t be that big a deal!

  • imagooner

    Great review once again Walter !

    Your view on the refree being poor and corrupt is absoultely correct. But it also brings the question about the integrity of the organization which handles these kind of impotent refrees. I am completely sure that only because its run by one of the most impotent and corrupt refrees ever was, those under him are useless except few. And since organizations which control the game are even more corrupt there is no use in speaking about the refrees incompetency and impotentness.

    And i am completely sure that these bunch of corrupt and impotent refrees officiate any league in the world, it would be the worst one to watch.

  • Andrew

    Folks

    Thanks for all of the responses, interesting stuff but case not proven I’m afraid.

    I’ve reviewed the first half again (I only have the Football First highlights to go on and I’m sure that will be cited as furtehr bias!!) and that version of the game doesn’t have the match time on but even then there are several examples of Arsenal players infringing the laws in the same way Walter details and nothing being done about it, I have ignored when the referee made the “advantage” sign

    As examples Denilson pushes Gyan and when that doesn’t work raises his foot to chest height from behind Gyan and misses the ball; Koscielny fouls Mensah in the Sunderland area and kicks the ball away; after Gyan is flagged offisde on the Sunderland left wing – this is the offside at 35 above I guess – Arsenal take the free kick from the middle of the pitch; Arshavin barges Bramble to the ground chasing a ball into the box). I accept that these are all minor but then they are not listed when all of the similar Sunderland transgressions are.

    One related point – re the comment re Ferdinand above – he was not booked in the game (well at least according to the Sunderland and Arsenal websites anyway!) whereas Koscielny was so with the above kicking away of the ball should he have been off? It does show how the mind plays tricks though on what happened in a game.

    All teams have issues with referees (there’s one current ref who has sent off a Sunderland player in each of the last 4 games he’s handled their games). To prove this is a bias why not watch a game not involving Arsenal and give it the same scrutiny – if there is the kind of agenda you allege then teh referees you have such issues with will be seen to be calling things down the middle and the case will be strengthened, alternatively they might be revealed to be just not up to the job!). Perhaps the FA Cup quarter final between Bolton and Birmingham this weekend would be a good one to subject to this.

    One last point – Walter – if you genuinely know of corrupt referees and have done nothing about reporting them then are you really in a position to criticise others? Surely if the game is to root out such individuals it is incumbent on anyone with knowledge to speak up and report it at any level in any country.

  • Shard

    Hi again Andrew.. If you’re looking for proof then I’m afraid you will not find it here. As I pointed out, it is impossible to even look for proof without first forming an investigative theory.. You can argue that the theory is wrong. But you yourself mention that referees may just be inept. That in itself, regardless of whether you ascribe corruption as a motive or not, should be enough to demand transparency and accountability from the FA, Premier League and PGMOL. In the absence of such a demand, why would they have any interest in opening themselves up to question? In my view, we all just want better, more consistent officiating. Mistakes will always be made, but they should be owned up to. It’s not that hard to do. As regards thoughts on corruption. It’s clear you don’t believe it. Maybe you aren’t as cynical as me. But that shouldn’t detract from what is a legitimate demand on our part.

  • Shard

    For the rest Andrew, your previous post didn’t answer the questions I’d raised.

    “Still here! The whole historic thing is a red herring to me (look at the sanctions on Sunderland in the 50s for evidence of a lack of protectionism even then for “bigger” northern clubs!)”
    ——————————————————-
    You ascribe too much importance to the historical thing. I just said that this might be one of the factors that works against Arsenal. I never meant it to be the prime mover. But you can see us being referred to as ‘soft’ and such stuff, and that such thinking at least exists.

    “The gambling thing likewise – the players earn too much (& have too much to lose as a result) to be involved in fixing a game and it is a lot harder in football than cricket for example). ”
    —————————————————————

    Here I strongly disagree. It is far easier to fix a football match than a cricket match. Cricket uses technology to good effect, and moreover, the nature of the game is such that each incident is pretty much separate. Football is a continuously flowing game, where one thing leads to another. Also, it has 1 referee in charge who can subtly swing the game in any direction he wants. In cricket, if the ball is edged, it is so. In football it is debatable whether the contact is worthy of a foul or not and is solely the discretion of the referee. Stuff like that. So I say it is much easier to swing a game of football than cricket. Also, I never meant that players fix games in football. That would be harder to do. And yes, they are far too well payed for them to take that risk.

  • Shard

    “The reason Man utd had the spending power andthe like was that they were, for several years, the only club whose shares were publicly available on the stockmarket and they had access to the capital markets while other clubs relied on a small number of shareholder to fund the club. They were not the only club that Sky invested in – pretty sure when Sunderland were a listed company that they had a similar holding. The irony of course is that being listed is what allowed Glazer to by them! As glazer is sole owner there is now no Sky investment to worry about!

    SAF also had a fantastic crop of kids (cost next to nothing) coming through which meant they could use the money to shore up other parts of the squad rather than build from scratch. as the money got bigger their relative strength only increased so it is not a level playing field and to me that more than anything is the reason (and is why chelski and City as the other very rich clubs are now in the upper echelon of the league). ”

    ————————————————————-

    Here you go on to say why Man U had a more successful team and commercial empire. I agree completely. None of my earlier post was meant to belittle that. They did a fantastic job of moving ahead of the competitors in the market and through their hard work and foresight, they built a financial giant. Their youngsters and their team as a whole was also fantastic, and at the time the best of the bunch. I never denied that. What I meant is, that their size, and their success and growth potential meant that Sky saw them as the ‘face’ of their product. They were the most famous team in the world, at a time when there was not as much awareness of English football throughout the world. Ronaldo (the Phenom) and Manchester United were all most people knew about football.

    You say Sky didn’t invest only in ManU, but I believe they are the only club that Sky tried to buy outright before rules were framed making it illegal. “The sale to the Glazers means that Sky no longer has any investment in ManU.” PERHAPS, that is true. I would love to know if Sky, or Murdoch, have any business tied up with any sponsors of ManU, and lacking that I would suggest that maybe Murdoch is just a ManU fan. I know this is where you ‘ll say that my argument weakens, and yes the truth is I don’t know. What I do know is the selective reporting that Sky indulges in as regards ManU. Perhaps, its simply a result of the old thinking pervading as ManU being the most saleable club in the world, and hence their success tying up with Sky’s spread through the world.

    As I implied in my earlier posts. I believe it was after Arsenal announced the stadium move, and that Chelsea had taken away the financial advantage that ManU had, that the refereeing became more pronouncedly biased in favour of ManU. I don’t remember when it was done, but refereeing became a full time professional pursuit also somewhere around this time. This was supposed to improve the standard of refereeing, but as far as I can see the standard has only dropped, and drastically so, and no not just against Arsenal. To say that Sky or broadcasters cannot influence anything at the FA is naive in my opinion. They most definitely CAN. The only question is do they.. I would say yes, and I’m sure you will disagree Andrew. But as I said earlier, you are disagreeing through a lack of proof (legal stand up in court proof), which is simply out of reach for us, at least for the moment. All I am giving you is the logic behind my thinking. I remain open to any holes in the logic and would love them to be pointed out.

    Finally, let me conclude again. I do not believe that it is solely to deny Arsenal that these things happen. You mentioned the ‘big’ clubs getting away a lot more with questionable calls. I haven’t seen any data but I would be willing to agree with that contention. However, as I said, it is easier to mix up various factors. Bias is present in all human activities and it cannot be excluded. Just bias, in fact, I can live with. (I would say Liverpool and ManU are probably the ones with the most ‘fans’ in the media and perhaps in the administration, due to their traditional success.) Certain wrong and questionable decisions, sometimes even decisive, will happen. All ‘big’ teams in all of sport get dodgy calls.In some ways, they ‘earn’ that right. Being aware of that, I still feel that in this case, it goes beyond that. Questionable and sometimes decisive calls is one thing. Blatantly wrong and decisive calls, a number of times, is quite another. Again, it is not solely to deny Arsenal that this happens (though Arsenal do face other biases more than most). I maintain that this is being manipulated to favour one team, namely, Manchester United.

  • Andrew

    @Shard – sorry but I can’t see that the referee can so easily determine the outcome.

    On Saturday if Bendtner had been able to finish, or arshavin when he shot straight at the keeper, or Chamakh had put his header a foot lower are you seriously arguing that he would have disallowed them or would have given Sunderland a penalty to make sure it was not a home win.

    If the officials were biased like that why was Bendtner not flagged off from nasri towards the end of the first half (where the keeper pushed it over) as it was as marginal as the arshavin one in the second half!

    I work building risk models for banks (so am way less popular than referees at the moment) but one of the big issues we have to watch out for is only selecting data or output that confirms with what we expect to see. So much of what I have read here looks like that kind of selective view (those items/ incidents that support the theory of a bias are noted the rest ignored) and as two if the posters above have claimed Ferdinand had been booked people’s perception is not always accurate!

    I think the standard of refereeing is poor but that’s not the same as saying that referees are corrupt or that there is a vendetta against Arsenal. As I have said ask fans of any team and they can give you referee horror stories (many Sunderland fans will tell you we got nothing when Keane was our manager given his past with officials).

    Try putting non arsenal games to the same scrutiny and find a pattern solely in games involving your team and you are making a case, merely reviewing one team from a known biased viewpoint is never going to convince anyone not already drinking that Kool aid.

    Anyway work beckons!

  • Shard

    The referee can most certainly deny ANY team a win. You need look no further than the Newcastle match. Yes, Arsenal lost their head, and their composure. But they were forced into that submission, not by the other team, but the performance of the referee. If you think that match was not an example of a ref deciding the outcome I will quite simple have to disagree. Emphatically.

    Once again, I have to stress. It is not a conspiracy to deny Arsenal. Arsenal lost the title in 2007-08 because of refereeing ‘errors’ and at the time, that’s all i put it down as. It was in one of the following seasons that I wanted ManU to win their remaining matches so that they could pip Chelsea to the title (since we were out of it), that I first realised the amount of blatant decisions helping ManU. Again. I watched a ManU game, wanting THEM to win, and still felt cheated by what I’d seen, despite the result going the way I’d desired. Since then I have paid attention and I’m afraid this the only logical conclusion I can draw. The arguments against just seem to be that I do not have proof (which is true) and that such a thing cannot happen (which is untrue).

    I’ve summed it up like this on this site before, but

    Dodgy decisions + Selective reporting + Lack of accountability and transparency + Huge amounts of money =?????

    If this was reported as happening in some African, or even Indian sports federations, leave alone governments, I don’t think most people would press too hard for ‘proof’, to be convinced of the possibility of corruption not just existing, but being rampant.

  • Bexxy

    Accept our Beautiful Game for what it is, warts and all. accept the errors that go for us and accept those that go against. Ref errors see us go to boy camp with an advantage and another may see us either knocked out or progress.

  • Bexxy

    MxAccept our Beautiful Game for what it is, warts and all. accept the errors that go for us and accept those that go against. Ref errors see us go to boy camp with an advantage and another may see us either knocked out or progress.

  • walter

    Andrew, as a ref myself I know I can tilt any game if I wished. And I dont have to give silly penalties or even hand out disputable red cards.
    If you don’t believe me you should become a ref and after a few years you will see what I see and know what I mean.

  • Shard

    Does anyone know where I could find footage of the tackles by Carragher and Rafael yesterday? I missed pretty much the entire first half.

  • Laundryender

    I thought Dowd handled the game very well yesterday, but I have only seen the highlights on MOD.

    The one disappointment for me was the blatant inconsistency between the pushing and shoving that went on, when he stood back, watched it and handed out minimum punishment for the offence.

    Compare the way he handled Diaby at NUFC, (6 foot black man with a French accent) whom he sent off for exactly the same offence.

    In the words of Jack Wilshire, “all we want is consistency”

    Every single real football fan in the world would say the same thing. It cannot be that difficult to do, to treat everyone the same, or is it!!

  • walter

    And Andrew I think you take it maybe too much as a way of criticising the other team. In this ref reviews I do I only criticise the refs.
    And like someone said even when we win I have had refs with even lower scores. And the second best performance of a ref in the PL this season was when we lost 2-3 against WBA.
    Of course when a team commits dangerous tackles I will name that team as it is but in this ref reviews I only review if the ref has done it according to the rules and the instructions.

  • bob

    @Shard, Walter, GOONERS, Andrew:
    There is a language between not having a case and having a provable case in a court of law. That, as Andrew well knows, is the language of probability. Use the word, mates, no fears. All the empirical evidence to date shows that the probability – the likelihood – that there is corruption and bent refereeing. As Andrew also knows, to have courtroom proof as the one standard that matters – and who really cares, in the end, if YOU are not convinced – means to have the power and money and plaintiff to mount a case. That said, mounting evidence enough for an official inquiry, or winning the battle in the courtroom of public opinion are none too shabby achievements. As Shard puts it so well: “Dodgy decisions + Selective reporting + Lack of accountability and transparency + Huge amounts of money =????? If this was reported as happening in some African, or even Indian sports federations, leave alone governments, I don’t think most people would press too hard for ‘proof’, to be convinced of the possibility of corruption not just existing, but being rampant.” This Andrew is called probability, and you know it, mate, as you hedge risks. No shame in demonstrating high probability as Walter has to date. Demanding Courtroom Certainty, Andrew, is bogus and unattainable, unless there is, as many of us hope will occur, is a shift in public opinion – not just Arsenal opinion – that demands for ALL teams (yours and ours) fairness, transparency and accountability. Why not get on board with this, Andrew? Bexxy (of the many sighs)? I say, Down with the Lives of Reilly! Down with Kastle Fergus! Hail Walter! Up the Shire! On to Barca! Go Gunners!

  • bob

    p.s., Andrew: and what, might I ask, is so certain about Courtroom Certainty? Any courtrooms you know of on a regular basis? What kind of standards are you demanding after all? Impossible abstract standards, that’s what. You’ve got the attention here, now climb on board with the demand here for accountability, transparency, referee reviews, making the post-match reports public, bringing in instant replay, increasing the number of referees, online petitions and all the rest. Are you willing to do that, Andrew, for the sake of your own side? Or is your stance that of the eternal skeptic who demands Absolute Certainty and then snickers while the rest of the Shire scrambles to come up with something to satisfy it? Probability Rules in the real world, even if it is not as sexy a slogan as the bogus demand for Courtroom Certainty – which is really a soft, refined, lawyerly way of saying: SHUT UP. C’mon, Andrew, make the demand for transparency on behalf of your side, and Arsenal and others with evidence to bring. Bring your evidence. Expand the scope and tell your fellow fans to do the same. Is something PROBABLY rotten in the state of Denmark or not?

  • mikeyb

    We are a bunch of bottlers on the pitch we don’t have an easy run even if we were playing orient every week until May we would drop points.

    Every time we play a big team and win we then think we are the dogs bollocks and go on to drop points. So no matter if we win or loose against a big team like Barca or manure (yeh right) we will drop points next match. Fucking bottlers!!!!

    Scum carling cup 1.4 win – Lose to WBA next game

    Case of the players thinking they are super fucking stars and not putting the effort in

    Everton away 2.1 great game and we turned them over big time – Then we think we are fucking super stars – loose to the scum at home – thanks

    The big one!!! CHAVS – Big game what a night, great noise everywhere the team did well the crowd did well we beat the chavs!!!! Any other team would use that and go on to win more games, give the fans more to sing about!!!!!!! – no we drop points to Wigan away

    Everton at home – This was a massive game, full of noise and one of the best atmospheres I have seen at the grove. We win 2.1 and was a great noise and again the chance for the team to go to the next match and show guts and passion!!!! We allow Newcastle to score 4 in 20 mins – We drop more points

    And here is the big one people – Barca at home, the best game EVER played at the grove. Grown men in tears , pure jubilation with the fans and the team. This is the kind of game that makes champions and the kind of game that makes the average player world class. —– We then play 3rd division Orient and get a draw

    We then play Stoke get a hard earnt win to try and get us back on track after the great win to barca and all the injury’s – We win 1.0 followed by a loss to Brum in the carling cup

    After all the negativity and humiliation of loss we are offered a life line – The Chavs beat Manure. Back in the day the team would have been going crazy for this , and next game would of seen them step up and come out like fucking warriors…………. But no!

    We now play Sunderland AT HOME!!! and drop yet more points proving we are a bunch of fucking bottlers that no matter who we beat or loose too we don’t have it in us to win the league or any reputable trophy when any under pressure.

    But we show mental strength, we have great youth players coming through, we are great financially and we don’t have to sign players like Torres or Luiez in order to win the league.

  • Shard

    LOL @ bob

    Shakespeare 🙂

    But I’m sort of realising that people just aren’t willing to accept the possibility of corruption existing, in English football. I think Andrew wouldn’t mind hearing about something being rotten in DENMARK. After all, it has happened in Belgium, Germany and Italy..But it’s almost inconceivable in England. I’m not saying that because I think Andrew is a xenophobe or anything of the sort at all. It’s normal to not see the complete picture, or want to see the best of it, with something that is so close.

    Why I brought up Africa or India was that, even lacking clear proof of wrongdoings, African govts are often criticised by people in the West, as I’m sure India is as well. That may be because corruption is quite prevalent in such countries, and the people don’t deny it. But I am sure corruption exists in the UK, as well as any country in the World. It’s human nature. Where MOST of the developed countries are ahead in the fight against corruption is that they have evolved structures and processes that make it harder to get away with and easier to detect. But that is exactly what I see lacking with the FA. I do not see how they are accountable to anyone. And with such huge money involved, there are enough vested interests that will not allow the boat to be rocked.

  • bob

    @Shard: I so agree. I think that a well-focused demand for electronic replay that is reviewed during the match on any major, game-turning, disputed call/demand (perhaps two challenges per half per manager per match could be allowed) AND to ensure that the images that are reviewed are also made public (as on TV currently) AND that the images that the referees and public sees are not CENSORED/CONTROLLED by anyone in the production suite (outside broadcast trucks, network HQ, etc.) Purists may scream, but given Denmark’s current state of rot, I can only cite another favorite Shake-Spear: So foul a sky clears not without a storm. (King John) And I’m perfectly serious!

  • Shard

    @ bob

    The storm will have to be the paying public screaming for justice. I don’t see it happening in the near future, but eventually something’s got to give. Either people will demand better, or they’ll buy into the ‘entertainment’ on offer.

  • bob

    yes, so the question for EPL as a whole is: what do we want, Worldwide Wrestling Federation on the Pitch, or the Beautiful Game. In a way, that’s the long-term choice, methinks.

  • Shard

    @bob

    Even the World Wrestling Federation have changed their name to World Wrestling Entertainment.. They are fairer than the EPL is in many ways 🙂

  • bob

    @shard: So, here it is: a short-term reform: Let’s vote to change the name to the Entertainment Publicity League. (At least the E bit). Cheers!

  • Shard

    Also bob, I agree with your questioning the credibility of courtroom credibility..Court trials are a system in itself and as such open to manipulation too. But that is a whole different debate..

    But as you say, it is the court of public opinion which is important.. After all, there may not be legal proof that John Terry is a c**t, but ask around and the vast majority will say he is 🙂

  • Shard

    bob

    You cannot take the English out of the EPL. Are you a dirty cheating foreigner in disguise?

  • bob

    @shard: well…, dirty and cheating, yes! No we must keep the English in the EPL or risk eternal damnation. I’ve got it, how about Sir Alex Ferguson’s Everything is Perfect League? Surely will Kommand Respekt and make the point at the same time?

  • Shard

    naah.. that won’t work either.. Look at the poor knight. Nothing’s perfect in his world while the likes of BBC are allowed to question things, and even his own Minister of (Dis)Information seems to have rebelled by airing the Lord’s comments, exhibiting him in a poor light and showing him to be not Gentlemanly enough because he rides roughshod over his erring serfs.

  • Shard

    Evangelically Puritan League??

  • Shard

    Evangically*

  • Shard

    I’m confused.. this has given me a headache. I dunno which word is the correct one 🙂 But you get the idea

  • bob

    hmmm, but Shard, if even Don Fergus is losing his iron grip on the Spinmeisters, then perhaps there is a real, dare I say chance for reform. Yes, I’ll say it: Everyone’s Premier League, home of the beautiful game. Walter replaces Reilly as Chief of Referees…. To quote another (English!) Bard: “People say I’m a Dreamer, but you know I’m not the only one…”

  • Shard

    Fergus is fighting a strategic, not a tactical battle. His minions are regrouping planning their next campaign..

    But I see you’re ending on a positive note. Utopian note. Well, let’s dream on then. After all, “It’s a place that has to be believed to be seen” (I see you’re English Bard and raise you an Irish one)

  • Andrew

    Shard
    March 7th, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    Also bob, I agree with your questioning the credibility of courtroom credibility..Court trials are a system in itself and as such open to manipulation too. But that is a whole different debate..

    But as you say, it is the court of public opinion which is important.. After all, there may not be legal proof that John Terry is a c**t, but ask around and the vast majority will say he is 🙂

    Shard (and others) – the courtroom bit was simply that what is written on websites and message boards are not without the possibility of legal (libel) sanctions therefore I was merely suggesitng that words like “corrupt” should be more sparingly used where there was evidence otherwise people may find themselves having to prove it.

    For the record I agree re John Terry and in court he’d have to prove he wasn’t, good luck with that John!

  • Andrew

    bob
    There is a language between not having a case and having a provable case in a court of law. That, as Andrew well knows, is the language of probability. Use the word, mates, no fears. All the empirical evidence to date shows that the probability – the likelihood – that there is corruption and bent refereeing.

    Trust me I know more than any sane man wants to know about probability!, I outlined above how you would start gathering real evidence to make the case to a wider audience.

    If overall standards of refereeing are poor then doing Walter’s style of analysis on other games (not featuring Arsenal) will evidence a bais for one team or another in each game and the standard can be examined. Alternatively if the referees have an agenda then they will call the other games correctly and therefore the stuff Walter produces will stand as “proof” of the alleged bais – it’s a win win!!

    But just watching one team’s games and making the sorts of assertions being bandied about on here does not help to address the problem.

    Just my twopenneth.

  • Vinay

    First and foremost as an Arsenal fan what did you expect from the FA? havent we suffered all these years and have still fought out of adversity. I have been a gooner for the last 15 years i have ceased to be surprised by any FA/referee decisions.
    Ok before all the so called fans of other clubs say i am biased, please watch the game and then react. If anyone says that wasnt a penalty they must get their eyes testes. Titus Bramble has come out in the press and said because of Andre’s honesty the penalty wasnt given, does that say somethig or what? ok if you say these things happen, then what about the offside decision? When a team is trying to win the championship, this cannot be mere coincidence always. I am cribbing, each team has its fair share os hits and misses but when it comes to Arsenal it has become all to familiar. Please note i still feel we should have won the game if only our strikers were to be in the box atleast in the 90th minute of the game

  • Shard

    @Andrew

    Ultimately, it just boils down to a demand for better officiating and more transparency in say the way referees are chosen, and appointed to games, and how they are reviewed. To expect us to do all of that is unrealistic. Walter does it for Arsenal matches to try and quantify whether our feelings regarding the refereeing is justified or not. He like any one else is not perfect and also obviously has biases. But he does what he can…

    I would say, if you can’t accept that there is any corruption or whatever, or even countenance the possibility of it, then that’s your call. But surely you can agree with calls for better refereeing etc. In that case I would suggest you ask the FA and PGMOL to open the statistics they gather on these issues in the course of their job, rather than make the posters on this site as the ones who have responsibility. Let us see how they function, because from what we see, whether you call them mistakes, ineptitude, or corruption, it most certainly isn’t very conducive to inspiring any confidence. To act like true custodians of the game they must be accountable. But they won’t be until there is a wider demand for it. I think that is something every football fan should be willing to be a part of.

  • Shard

    I said this in an earlier post

    But I am sure corruption exists in the UK, as well as any country in the World. It’s human nature. Where MOST of the developed countries are ahead in the fight against corruption is that they have evolved structures and processes that make it harder to get away with and easier to detect. But that is exactly what I see lacking with the FA. I do not see how they are accountable to anyone. And with such huge money involved, there are enough vested interests that will not allow the boat to be rocked.

    that for me ANdrew, is the main thing to consider. The environment the FA functions in, and the systems it has in place to ensure fairness.

  • Andrew

    Sahrd – But I’m sort of realising that people just aren’t willing to accept the possibility of corruption existing, in English football.

    I would have to be as closed minded as the average Newcastle fan not to think there could be corruption in the English game (for example look at the people who said they would sue Panorama over the bungs programme and yet never have!). A Bury game i was at a couple of seasons back had “irregular betting patterns” and players were suspended as a consequence.

    Where I struggle is with the oft repeated assertion on here that the corruption exists primarily to do Arsenal down and it is that which is the cause of the team not winning rather than players, tactics, team selection, opposition playing well, etc.

    Look again at Saturday’s game, the referee/ linesman is getting the blame for your “dropping two points” (from the manager down) when as I outlined before if your forwards had shown finishing of the standard a championship winning team would expect you’d have won comfortably (honestly watch the chances again and tell me hand on heart that if the same opportunities had fallen to Berbatov and Hernandez against Sunderland it would have finished 0-0).

    I want refereeing standards to be better but highlighting any perceived mistake by one opt two people but not subjecting others on the pitch to the same (do one of these for a player – let’s pick Wilshire for this example … 25 minutes pass straight to Sunderland player 0 0 1 – and see how the referee’s look then). Trust me do K Richardson when he plays centre mid and you’d get the first ever negative score!

    As indiacted I have outlined how I think you could start to get evidence – taking it a little further perhaps get someone like Walter for each team and they can publish a report from the home and away team’s perspective on a central website fter each match. Do this at every game and the results would be very intersting in terms of referee analysis at the end of the season – if we had the numbers they could do the games neutrally which would be even better!. I agree we can’t wait for the FA to sort it out but unless it is a lot wider then just Arsenal it carries no real credibility.

    Just my (final) twopenneth

  • bob

    @Andrew: Speaking of courts. I don’t know what the libel laws allow or not online, but if Walter or anyone with insider-referee knowledge could point to specific “textbook” instances where a ref may well be throwing a game, then case-by-case probability is valuable. There are important qualitative analyses in, for example, social science, that use quantitative tools to help establish probability; it is not necessary to adhere to a purely quantitative standard (not that there is one, as you also know) to mount a sound case. Evidence always has an interpretive element, and is not purely quantitative, as your mathematical models (if you were honest, as I do think you are) doubtless have proven re this economy. A methodology that mixes quantitative and qualitative elements, as I believe Walter’s does, can shed massive light on the goings on. And even do so for your team, again, as you know. The largest point is to uproot both the massive incompetence and even the appearance of a bent outcome from this sport, and level the playing field. I’m for that. I think you are as well. And I think there’s more to gain finding ways to work together on this, than in drawing stupid (if well-reasoned) lines between us.

  • Shard

    @Andrew

    Once more, I cannot seem to get you to see.. I DO NOT say it it only AGAINST ARSENAL.. I have said this repeatedly.. So if that is the major flaw you see in my logic, then I’m happy.

    This site is a place for Arsenal fans (primarily) and as such we are obviously more concerned about our team. But that isn’t just what we talk about. (or moan about if you prefer)

  • Andrew

    Sorry I know I said final but… PGMOL – don’t get me started.

    The “body” that said Staurt Attwell was right to give Liverpool the goal at Anfield this season (when he stated our centre half hasd taken a free kick whne he hadn’t!) and that he had applied the laws correctly!

    Then Attwell didn’t ref another Premier League match for over three months – he was dropped form the “elite” list but why if he got that decision so right!

    Anyway rant over…

  • Shard

    Exactly, Andrew.. It is they who have prime responsibility, not Walter and us on here.. What harm can it do to have transparency.. I think we’ve reached the end of our discussion here. Once again, I do not think it’s done only to deny Arsenal, and I NEVER hide my team’s failings. But you seem to grossly understate a referee’s potential influence on the game, and indeed a season. That is something I don’t agree with.

  • Andrew

    Shard

    Once more, I cannot seem to get you to see.. I DO NOT say it it only AGAINST ARSENAL.. I have said this repeatedly.. So if that is the major flaw you see in my logic, then I’m happy.

    This site is a place for Arsenal fans (primarily) and as such we are obviously more concerned about our team. But that isn’t just what we talk about. (or moan about if you prefer)

    Apologies, I do get it – honest! – and appreciate why there is the focus there is.

  • Shard

    Ok Andrew, It was interesting having this talk. maybe we can have more discussions on other topics in the future. And I think Walter and Tony would be chuffed to bits if you could find referees who support other teams to contribute to this site. Anyway, have a good one.

  • bob

    @Andrew: I also think that establishing the probability of corruption or bias in even one match by eliminating the other possible explanations is a massive contribution. If there are indeed, insider referee tricks that are demonstrably being played out on the pitch, then, surely, this is not merely “stuff,” an empty exercise as you suggest. I believe that getting us to focus on the NON-CALLS is where the payoff lies. Finding repeated patterns of non-calls by one or more referees, is taking us farther. This goes well beyond whinging, paranoia, conspiracy-peddling, fatalism, just-get-on-with-it-ism, and so forth. We don’t as yet have the death-bed confession, but Reilly’s predecessor has already let the cat of the bag as his conscience stirs a wee bit. Where there’s smoke there’s fire. Why not look to Riley’s Lives: Messrs. Dowd, Dean, Walton, Taylor as to their impact on your matches with say, er, ManUre, and give us a report on your findings. Perhaps there will be a tangled Webb there that, yes, is meant to deceive. Anyway, can we work together on this for the, dare I say, common good?

  • Andrew

    bob

    Not saying it’s an empty exercise – i am saying that it’s easy to dismiss/ propose an alternative rationale when the analysis is all from one perspective / about one team.

  • bob

    @Andrew: Untold Arsenal is developing a case study – a time-honored form of learning. You/your side should do likewise. Then let’s compare notes. How about that?

  • Sammy The Snake

    Is this true?!

    Robin van Persie included in Arsenal’s Champions League squad to face Barcelona

    Good news!

  • walter

    Andrew, My dream would be to have at least 20 refs who would do the same thing what I do for Arsenal. So if every game is watched by two refs (with their bias) but then we should come to a somewhat very balanced view if you take the average score of each ref.

    Well I can dream, can I. 😉

  • walter

    And Andrew I would like to thank you because thanks to your contribution you have made me think about some things and I will even try to go further in developing a few things that are in my mind.
    I think it is good that fans from other teams, like you, come over to sites and have a decent discussion on some topics. And once again my ref reviews are not aimed against other clubs, just about the refs.

  • Laundryender

    I have considered for a long time wither a university would be able to take this on as a piece of research.

    Go back as many years as they choose

    Watch all the games, break down the performances and see if any bias exists. Surely funding would be available and it would have real credibility. Shall we start a fund!! It would make a great press release.

    The establishment may disregard it initially, but behind closed doors there would be serious repercussions.

    My position on this the fixing argument is this. I do not believe the premier league is fixed. I do believe, and have become convinced absolutely that, a Northern bias exists, and that a pro English bias exists. This leads to a natural loading that any team with a continental manager, or continental / non-English players struggles to overcome.

    Jose Mourinho managed it only because he had the England captain, Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole, Joe Cole. Wenger managed it when he had Adams, Keown et al. The Invincibles were simply that, and no amount of loading could suppress them.

  • steven

    We are a bunch of bottlers on the pitch we don’t have an easy run even if we were playing orient every week until May we would drop points.

    Every time we play a big team and win we then think we are the dogs bollocks and go on to drop points. So no matter if we win or loose against a big team like Barca or manure (yeh right) we will drop points next match. Fucking bottlers!!!!

    Scum carling cup 1.4 win – Lose to WBA next game

    Case of the players thinking they are super fucking stars and not putting the effort in

    Everton away 2.1 great game and we turned them over big time – Then we think we are fucking super stars – loose to the scum at home – thanks

    The big one!!! CHAVS – Big game what a night, great noise everywhere the team did well the crowd did well we beat the chavs!!!! Any other team would use that and go on to win more games, give the fans more to sing about!!!!!!! – no we drop points to Wigan away

    Everton at home – This was a massive game, full of noise and one of the best atmospheres I have seen at the grove. We win 2.1 and was a great noise and again the chance for the team to go to the next match and show guts and passion!!!! We allow Newcastle to score 4 in 20 mins – We drop more points

    And here is the big one people – Barca at home, the best game EVER played at the grove. Grown men in tears , pure jubilation with the fans and the team. This is the kind of game that makes champions and the kind of game that makes the average player world class. —– We then play 3rd division Orient and get a draw

    We then play Stoke get a hard earnt win to try and get us back on track after the great win to barca and all the injury’s – We win 1.0 followed by a loss to Brum in the carling cup

    After all the negativity and humiliation of loss we are offered a life line – The Chavs beat Manure. Back in the day the team would have been going crazy for this , and next game would of seen them step up and come out like fucking warriors…………. But no!

    We now play Sunderland AT HOME!!! and drop yet more points proving we are a bunch of fucking bottlers that no matter who we beat or loose too we don’t have it in us to win the league or any reputable trophy when any under pressure.

    But we show mental strength, we have great youth players coming through, we are great financially and we don’t have to sign players like Torres or Luiez in order to win the league.

  • FinnGooner

    I talked about the match with this “idiotic guy” (whenever he can say something negative about Arsenal he says it but never anything good) at work. His reason for why Arshavin didn’t get penalty was because “he didn’t fall down” So it is penalty only if player falls down but other wise it’s completely OK to pull and push? Unfortunately he is a customer do I can’t tell him what I think about him…

  • steven

    Did anyone watching yesterday’s game not admire Dirk Kuyt’s sheer workrate and will to compete? If we had one of this type of player, a Parlour type if you will who sacrifices himself for the good of the team by keeping the tempo up, by doing things which get the crowd behind the team, then I think we would be a different proposition.

    Unfortunately, I believe that we as a team are out of balance. Every successful team has their fair share of water carriers (unless you are Barcelona and clearly have the best attacking players, in thir positions, in the world). And even then, their workrate is incredible.

    The argument about wehther it’s Wengers fault for picking these players, or the players themselves, goes round in circles so much that in the end no-one takes responsibility. It is the responsibility of the players to put 100% in every game, or near enough. But, for my money, Wenger is to blame for lopsiding our squad with one type of player, with one type of attitude, at the expense of something that in a team construct, is equally important.

  • Shard

    @Tony/ Walter

    Can we ban the troll above please? His comments are garbage, and stolen garbage at that. It’s not the first time either that it has done this.

  • steven

    @Shard shut up you muppet where is it stolen from>

  • steven

    Everyone has been saying Manu have a hard set of games left but I am not so sure.

    Obviously if we win every game the title is ours but I can see us dropping points at 3 vital games. Manure on the other hand I think will not drop so many.

    Who do you think can do us a favour??

    Westbrom A

    Blackburn H

    Blackpool A

    Liverpool H

    Spuds A – could drop some

    Bolton A

    Manure H – Could drop

    Stoke A – could drop

    Villa H

    Fulhum A

    We on 57 points , manure 60 and we have game in hand

    United have

    Bolton H
    West ham A
    Fulham H
    Newcastle A
    Everton H
    Arsenal A
    Chlsea H
    Blackburn A
    Blackpool H

  • Ugandan Goon

    calm down steven,
    Where are going with all this?

  • Laundryender

    Steven is it not past your bed time???

  • steven

    My point is Wenger needs to be scaked if he doesnt win any trophies at the end of the season – before i get asked who i want in le frogs place – i have the answer Louis Van Gaal
    To leave Bayern at the end of the season. Worth a shot at the Arsenal job, if blind pugh doesn’t open his eyes to our deficiencies and again finishes potless?
    I think so.

  • Shard

    Wow.. a thief and a liar.. With insightful and no doubt ‘original’ thoughts..

  • Ugandan Goon

    @steven,
    Its not personal or anything is it?

  • Shard

    A troll, if challenged, may scuttle back into the darkness from whence it came.

  • walter

    I was going to write something but decided not to….
    Nice you agree with the ref review… LOL

  • steven

    And wally Walter finds solace in blaming referees oh dearey me what are we going to have next? Wenger is gunnersaraus?

  • Shard

    @ Walter

    Can you please clarify a few things for me?

    Firstly, what exactly is the rule regarding a proper throw in? I know what a proper and an improper throw looks like, but i’m not sure what the rules state. (if that makes sense)

    Also, the little semi circle just outside the penalty box. Why is it there?

  • Shard

    Troll returns with new content, in its efforts at comedy, in order to be accepted by society. But it cannot help the hate that has fostered in its heart for years at the way it has been neglected and scorned by the world. A troll cannot deny its calling.

  • Wrenny

    Keep the laughs coming SpuddySteven!

  • Jerom J.

    @Shard, I think the semi circle shows where other players shouldn’t be when a penalty is taken. No one except the keeper and penalty taker should be in the penalty box or semi circle during a penalty, maybe except the ref, but no other players at the least… and with regards throw ins, all i know is that both feet needs to be on the ground and the ball be thrown by both hands over the head from the back of the head, i was astounded to why clichy’s throw in was in anyway wrong really..

  • walter

    Thanks Jerom J for answering the questions about the semi circle.
    About the throw in the laws say:
    At the moment of delivering the ball, the thrower:
    • faces the field of play
    • has part of each foot either on the touch line or on the ground
    – outside the touch line
    • holds the ball with both hands
    • delivers the ball from behind and over his head
    • delivers the ball from the point where it left the fi eld of play
    All opponents must stand no less than 2 m (2 yds) from the point at which the throw-in is taken.
    The ball is in play when it enters the fi eld of play.
    After delivering the ball, the thrower must not touch the ball again until it has touched another player.

    The only further instruction is in fact that you cannot let the ball drop. But he threw it with force to Arshavin. I really could not see what was wrong with it.

  • Shard

    @Jerom J and Walter

    Thank you for that. I knew the semi circle during the penalty bit, but wondered if that was the only purpose it serves. Seems strange that they would make it just for that specific purpose. Has it ALWAYS been there?

    All correct on the throw in from Clichy, as I suspected. That call left me no doubt as to the referees mindset. Even if I wasn’t clear on the wording of all the rules, it seemed completely correct based on what we see in every match.

  • terry

    Its going to be a very hard night for Cesc tonight, he will have to use every muscle in his body not to celebrate with the Barcelona boys.