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Let’s look at it this way: Arsenal’s unbeaten run

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By Walter Broeckx

What sometimes goes a bit unnoticed is the fact that Arsenal is currently on a run of unbeaten games in the EPL.

It all started in style with a 3-1 victory over Chelsea on 27 December last year. Two days later the FA sent us to Wigan and the ref over there did all he could to prevent us from winning. A blatant dive outside the penalty area was punished with a penalty for Wigan. On the other side he refused to give us two penalties in the final minutes. We had to settle for a draw in that game. The ref cost us 2 points.

In our next away game we went to Birmingham and won 3-0. A comfortable win. And to finish 10 days with 4 games we got Manchester City at home. City didn’t trouble our goalkeeper but built an Italian inspired wall in front of their goal. Again the ref refused us a penalty and so we had to settle for 1 point.

Then we went to West Ham United and again we had a rather easy win with 3-0. And we did this again when Wigan came to the Emirates later that month and won with the same score line. Nothing the refs could do about that.

Despite the ref allowing Everton a blatant offside goal we came back and won our next home game.

Then came the Phil Dowd show who denied us the 3 points at Newcastle. In a previously unseen and unashamed way of handling things he managed to give Newcastle all and everything. An eye opener for all those who never believed that refs can have an influence on the outcomes of a game.  (Mind you, if you are still not convinced about this, then nothing ever will convince you). But still we managed to keep our unbeaten run going.

In the next game we won 2-0 against Wolves and this was a rather uneventful game as we were the better side and never really got into trouble. The same applied for our game against Stoke. But then in the second half we felt the upcoming Carling Cup final in our head. And after the injury sustained by Cesc and Theo other players were happy to hold on to the 1-0 victory.

In our next game against Sunderland our dear friends the refs were at the middle of the show again. A perfectly valid goal was denied for a non existent offside. And a blatant push in the back of Arshavin just as he was going to shoot was not punished with a penalty and a red card by the ref. Again we lose 2 points thanks to the refs.

Up to WBA and we made life difficult for ourselves. Giving two easy goals away and then we had to fight hard to come back. But the team showed character and came back to grab a point. It could have been more but this wasn’t our best game so we had to settle for the one point.

Then Blackburn Rovers came to town to steal a point away and they managed to do so. Again we missed the early chances and we paid the price and couldn’t break down a strong defensive performance from the visiting team at the Emirates. But at Blackpool we showed we hadn’t lost our touch and won rather comfortably at the end.

And speaking about “the end” well the game against Liverpool was done in 4 minutes at the end. From minute 97 to 101 the major events took place when it comes to goal scoring. The ref for some reason wanted Liverpool to equalise after the 98th minute and gave them all the Fergie time they needed so he could award them a very soft penalty. And that after denying Arsenal at least 2 clear penalties in the first half. I think it is fair to say that the ref cost us another 2 points in this game by backing away from the major decisions early in the game which should have gone our way.

And now we didn’t lose at Tottenham. I know we don’t like the result but this was a typical derby game with both teams going for victory and both ending up with only 1 point.

In fact alone  in the 16 games in this run we had 5 games (Wigan-Man City- Newcastle-Sunderland-Liverpool) in which we lost 2 points in each game “thanks” to the decisions of the refs. That is a total of 10 points!

10 points. Ten points. Just add this to our total if you please. It sure would put the league table upside down a bit. And I don’t even mention the games earlier in the season when the refs did a few things that didn’t really looked very according to the rules.  But as I didn’t planned to write an article about the refs I will come back to this later when I really write about the refs and the points they have cost us.

No I just wanted to praise our team for the continuing unbeaten run they are producing. The EPL is the most difficult league in the world. And when you can go on such a run with a team you are doing a great job. This run has started in the winter. You know that according to the pundits we don’t like the full season as we are soft foreigners.  The season includes many games with teams who are willing to stick the boot in, which we also don’t like according to the pundits.

Well if we manage to stay unbeaten for such a long period this is saying something. This is telling me that this team can fight to get results. And I don’t know if the reward will still come this season or not, but the fact that they can go on such a run without at parts some of their best players out for injury that our team is growing and becoming stronger. Imagine what could have been with some better refs by now…

So whatever the negative blogs will say, I say this team is getting better. And one can criticise some moments in some games but if the players could have turned the current draws in victories we would have been top. And we all know that the difference between winning and not winning is sometimes down to small details. So if we work on these details and if we can maintain this group of players, and maybe add a few and have Vermaelen back,  we could be ready not just for a great season but for many seasons.

The Injury Index

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71 comments to Let’s look at it this way: Arsenal’s unbeaten run

  • taz

    great article! oooooh to be a goooneerrrrrr

  • Arsene Wonka

    Our current list of pros and 2nd years split into 3 squads

    “The ones to stay”
    Sczcesney
    Sagna Djourou Vermaelen Clichy
    Song Wilshere
    Walcott Fabregas Nasri
    RVP

    Subs: Mannone, Koscielny, Bartley, Miquel, Gibbs, Frimpong, Coquelin, Lansbury, Miyaichi, Ramsey, Botelho, Emmanuel-Thomas, Martinez

    “The ones to go”
    Almunia
    Eboue Hoyte Squillaci Traore
    Rosicky Diaby Denilson Arshavin
    Bendtner Chamakh

    subs: Lehmann Boateng Brislen-Hall Eastmond Randall Sunu Vela

    “The undecided/loanee/inbetweeners”
    Shea
    Hajrovic Angha Monteiro Cruise
    Ozyakup Henderson
    Deacon Aneke Freeman
    Murphy

    subs: Mcdermott, Meade, Yennaris, Edge, Galindo, Silva, Ebicillio, Watt, Afobe

  • Gooner

    Allways look on the bright side of life, ^^

  • Mahdain

    problem is we have drawn too many games in this run…as the everton game showed even if the refs are completely against us we would win if we put effort and play well but no our spoiled brats of players decided not to show up in crucial matches and as a result we bottled the tittle…AGAIN

  • gooner80

    @ walter

    I believe the quality is there Def,and there has been games they would have lost last year, I look at chelsea and Man U and the only difference is experience a bit more experience and some of those draws would have been wins and some of those defeats would have been draws,

    In 1954 no one had broken the 4 minute mile in athletics and many thought it wasnt possible, then roger Bannister broke it and once it was broken once then many other athletes broke it, and the analogy here is that once you know it is possible it is easier to do but it is about pushing barriers, they dont lack winning mentality but they lack a bit of Knowing and certainty of knowing, until you do something there is always going to be doubts, Even millionaires who have lost their fortune and gone completely broke and the made a million again said it is much easier to do it the second time because you know you can do it, and there is a difference between knowing and believing, man u /chelsea know they can do it and if I put my hand on my heart some of our players or collectively dont know but just believe

    I have to confess if we finish third I would be really annoyed I can take finishing second but not third, the manager deserves better than that. Quality and skill is there for all too see

  • this is the most positive blog i have read,congrats.

  • Haz

    Absolutely awesome article- the first that actually speaks sense
    on the current run

  • Mick

    Walter at the end of the season, irrespective of where we finish, I would like to know exactly how many points have been denied to us by ref decisions against us. In the interests of fairness it would be illuminating to also see how many points we have benefited from thanks to favourable decisions. According to the ‘they even themselves out over the season’ brigade the figures should more or less correspond. I wouldn’t mind betting they don’t though!!

  • AGooner

    Once again, I say thanks for the best Arsenal website in WWW. Please keep up the great work.

  • bjtgooner

    A thoughtful article again Walter. The unfortunate result of the succession of poor referee decisions is that we are not leading the EPL title chase as we probably should be. Additionally, it is ironic that the manager and team having suffered from poor decisions are slated by the anti-arsenal brigade for not getting results.

    It is unfortunare that the anti-arsenal brigade do not put their considerable energy into demanding a higher standard of refereeing – perhaps that is not their priority!

  • Shard

    10 points in just the last 16 games?! Even if we discount on or two matches as passable errors by the refs, that still leaves 6 points. We would be level with ManU in terms of points. Besides, I think the Newcastle match harmed our confidence, and supplied other teams confidence that we won’t be able to hold on to leads. It’s not an excuse I’m making, because clearly we aren’t able to cope with pressure at times. But some fair refereeing, would have meant that even with our failings (every team has weaknesses) we would be joint top of the table, and that’s discounting 2 matches from only our last 16, AND the favours ManU routinely get from refs.

    In my view, in such a tight league, it is actually the refs who have made the crucial difference. Not any of the football played.

  • Shard

    And yet again ManU are not called for a penalty.. What’s the point? People still won’t call it for what it is.. People refuse to see it.

  • Robbie

    Bad refs or not, there are obvious flaws in the Arsenal side. I’ve been reading the anti-Arsenal blogs for years thinking that they are idiots but for every day it seems to make a bit more sense. The feeling I’ve had these trophyless years is that we are two or three good players short. I think a player like Scott Parker could have made all the difference for us. We lack leadership in this team.

  • walter

    Mick,
    Your wish is my command. 😉

    Don’t worry we will have such a count with the favourable decisions going our way and of course the non-favourable decisions against us.

    To be honest after the counting I did for these 16 games I felt a bit down to wether I could stand to see at the table again without feeling hard done by (the refs)

  • walter

    Robbie, the calling for the always the latest favourite boy of the media for the split second is such a stupid way of looking at things.
    Where was this 30 year old boy in the past winning things for his club? Apart from a short spell at Chelsea there hasn’t been much in regards to winning trophies that would suggest that he suddenly would take a team like Arsenal to a higher level.
    But he is the darling of the media for the moment and as we all know the media is the source of all wisdom on this planet.

  • jayj

    We cant keep blaming the refs – getting too boring now. Lets be honest take a look in the mirror we are not and haven’t been winners for along time.

  • walter

    Shard could you tell me around which minute Everton should have had a penalty? I have recorded the game so I could have a quick look to see what happened

  • Mr Venger

    Sounds like 2 penalty claims waved away??

  • walter

    Jayj, the other blogs keep blaming the players. Even when we win games.
    And when we don’t lose 16 gams in a row they still are saying we are useless. Now that is what I call boring.
    Or wrong because useless players don’t manage to stay unbeaten for 16 games.
    So we have enough spirit to fight to not lose games in the EPL. So blaming the spirit is a bit soft I think.
    So what other forces are there involved in football? The crowd? Some may say that we have to many fans in the Emirates who just sit and watch. But are they responsible for us not winning instead of drawing games? Possible but not really something that can be proven.

    So we cant speak about the refs (and I did not intented to speak about the refs until I noticed some things and patterns coming back in those 16 unbeaten games). Why cant we speak about the refs Jayj?
    It’s not forbidden that I know. But what I do know is that I can turn almost every game upside down without most of you noticing it. So when I notice things I cannot speak about it?

    You can find it boring, I think it is interesting.

  • Mr Venger

    Of course we can improve Jayj but can’t you see the massive difference these decisions make?? Yes we all aspire to be great enough to wipe every team and the multiple decisions that go against us off the face of the earth by scoring enough to overcome it but were already battling against teams who have been allowed to over invest by about 10 times more than us, but its preety difficult even for wenger

  • ak47

    yeah i think it defo boils down to the refs hence the elite group. ive got a manure mate who cant even look me in the eye when refs enter the convo, then he gives a cheeky grin.
    i know this team have improved and next season we’l be wrote off on the basis of acquisitions again and this circle will start again. i believe the maroons will break free for certain come next season. who knows the refs may even get more exposure fingers crossed.

  • Mr Venger

    Quick question for doubters: how many teams/managers have actually given man utd a run for their money in the title race in the last 15 yrs , if you exclude Roman Abramovic’s 800 million investment, and Arsene Wengers genius??
    Surely the answer to that question says something about how well we do to even be challenging season after season, particuarly cosidering the massive difference in available funds over the years

  • Alek

    Walter I think that Shard did mean 35 min. Evans and Beckford episode.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2011/apr/23/manchester-united-everton-live

  • walter

    Just seen the incident Ferdinand-Anichebe. A push with the arm, coming from behind, no contact with the ball… a clear penalty if it would have been an MU player in attack.
    But the usual crap happening all over again and again in favour of Utd by the refs and this is something we should keep our mouth shut?
    Keeping your mouth shut is just what they like us to do, so they can carry on like they have been doing for years

  • Shard

    @Robbie

    Every theory has a bit of truth in it. It’s true we make things difficult for ourselves a few times. I’ve always maintained that trophies or not we have to improve on some aspects of our game. There are weaknesses in the team which have to be eliminated. I don’t think anybody on this site is denying that.

    But can you say ManU have no weaknesses? Or even that they are stronger than us this season? Put them through the same sort of refereeing and we may have an answer. But the fact that they, despite all that, are still only 6 points (9 now) clear of us to me shows that they are not better than us. We should have won the league this year, just like in 2008. Our weaknesses notwithstanding, the referees were the decisive factor in where the title ended up.

  • walter

    Alek, thanks just seen it also.

    Another clear penalty for me.

    It just makes you wonder sometimes why we even try to bother at all to play football. There are clearly other rules for United and for the rest.

    And the way thy paint it in the Guardian is ridiculous. You only have to ask a few things:
    inside penalty area? yes
    a foul? : yes

    Just the fact that they have to use the terms they do in the match report is that they are avoiding these questions so they dont have to answer them.
    But then the Guardion reporter admits it is a penalty when he is saying: “as Evans did deliberately look to check him”

    Just these words confirm the fact that he blocked him and it was deliberate.

    But hey this is Old Trafford…

  • walter

    Another interesting thing is that in the Guardian they mention it in their minute to minute report. On sky and BBC the dont even mention them.
    Oh that will be a coincidence I think as they pay the to broadcast the games and have all the interest to keep the charade going on

  • gooner80

    I think there is too much interested parties involved in Man u for them not to be successful, you have to think the Prem has a global audience

  • Shard

    @Walter and all

    I actually only caught the second half of the game, so I only meant the io-Anichebe incident.. Was there another? That’s just brilliant. I mean FFS… And the commentator (one of them) kept going on about ManU’s mental strength, and how Sir Alex is happy that they have some competition now with Chelsea. When there’s a challenge then Utd are more focussed blah blah blah.. My blood was really boiling. Why even bother playing actually. It’s completely clear to see that Utd are favoured, to the point that no one else will ever be allowed to win. Complete nonsense. If this is what football is reduced to, I might have to stop watching.

  • Digger

    I don’t get your point Walter,

    38 draws is an unbeaten league season,yet probably not enough points to save you from relegation.

    And get real for christs sake,4-0 up at Newcastle had nothing to do with the ref,nor did being 2 up at home (AND AWAY) to the spuds,what about West Brom at home,Newcastle at home,feel free to remind of any other times we f8cked it up ourselves this season.

    to quote the great Jim Royle “unbeaten run,my arse!”

  • Mr Venger

    Newcastle had nothing to do with the ref?? you must be taking the p*ss!
    I think all teams should start every game away at newcastle 2 riduculous penalties behind and let the toon players do what they want without risk of a sending off or hardly even a free kick. Then we can have a fairer judgement

  • Robbie

    I like this blog because you guys always try to be objective and use statistics to prove your point. But the point you try to prove is always the same. I think you are scared of being labeled an “anti-Arsenal blog” if you ever criticised Wenger or the players. I could probably find statistics to “prove” that our goalkeepers have lost us more points than they have won us this season. Would that make me anti-Arsenal? We should all love and respect Wenger for what he has done for the club but you should not give him immunity to criticism. I know this blog is pro-Wenger and I like that but eventually we can’t put all the blame on the refs and the wealth of some clubs on why we ain’t winning. I think it’s more to it than that.

  • Mr Venger

    Speak of the devil, Chelsea just kicking off at home to Phil Dowd

  • Shard

    @Digger

    4-0 up had nothing to do with the ref.. 4-4 most definitely did. As Walter said, if that doesn’t convince you, nothing will.. Why does it have to be an either/or situation? Just because we have been poor at times doesn’t mean the referees haven’t robbed us of points.

  • Nipuna

    Slowly but surely (and sadly), some fans are becoming like Spurs.

    Celebrating an unbeaten run when we have been knocked out of all the 4 competitions ???

    What next? A DVD to celebrate the “unbeaten” run?

  • Frank

    We are unbeaten in 16 but have dropped to 3rd place.In the last 6 games if we had won 3 and lost 3 we won have picked up 9pts as it was we were unbeaten in those 6 games and picked up 8pts.

  • Frank

    @Nipuna

    I hear a open top parade is planned if we stay unbeaten till the end of the season

  • Mr Venger

    Man utd have lost more points from winning positions than us, have a bad away record, have a very poor midfield, most games earlier in the season they were extremely poor but got away with unusual decision after decision which assisted their points tally. These favourible decisions still continue to crop up time after time If you can’t see that then please open your eyes! Re our so called lack of mental strength: We have the best away record in the league, inspite of the unusual decisions and treatment we suffer. doesnt that show some kind of mental strength??
    Dont be brainwashed by the agenda and weak lazy one eyed pro british bulldog journalism

  • wen_detta

    man u 1-0 everton…epl at its best…being corrupted

  • Mr Venger

    Silly statement re spurs. And when was the last time they even had an unbeaten run that long?? Their longest ever was 10 games about 6 yrs ago so not really turning into spurs fans yet

  • Mr Venger

    That statement from Nipuna highlights the kind of mindset that I find so frustrating. No reasoning, no deeper analysis , just negative sweeping statements relating to how many trophies we have been knocked out of. And even thats incorrect. We are still in the premier league race’ Its easier for some people to give up and lose hope (even when we are still in with a shout of actually winning!) , than actually look for the positives and ask questions other than ‘Why don’t we buy Gary Cahill’ and the like..

  • Shard

    Who’s the referee for our match tomorrow?

  • Wrenny

    Some very amusing trolls here today. Unfortunately not one of them is yet to tackle Walter’s article and provide a reasonable and intelligent counter argument. They just like to rant and rave it seems, and facts that go against their world view get them especially annoyed.

  • Wrenny

    In fact the angry comments against the article can be summed up by “Shut up about the refs!”. The idea that there might be dark forces at work trying to deny Arsenal seems terrifying to these folk, and they don’t want to even think about or discuss this very real possibility.

  • gooner80

    Why dont we just let the pundits Run the club???

  • Shard

    @wrenny

    Actually I don’t get that. Why I liked this site and started commenting on it was because finally someone was willing to entertain, and discuss the notion I had formed that something isn’t quite right.

    I can understand why some other blogs might not want to focus on it too much, but the idea just seems to either be ridiculed, attacked, or ignored everywhere. ManU fans have no problem saying that Atkinson is a cheat because he supposedly cheated them out of two victories against Chelsea. Arsenal fans still blame our team and our manager for the Newcastle match. In the aftermath of that game, I went online expecting every blogger and poster to say that the ref was a b*****d and a cheat.. But no. It’s complete taboo to speak about the referee. Why? I don’t get it. It’s almost like we have to be ashamed for their faults and their cheating. It amazes me frankly.

  • Mr Venger

    @ Gooner80

    Unfortunately they seem to be running a lot of our fanbase

  • Mr Venger

    Shard

    Notlob away:

    Referee: Mike Jones

    Assistant referees: Dave Bryan & Patrick Keane

    Fourth official: Chris Foy

  • Digger

    @shard and Mr Venger.

    Name me another premiership club that has lost a FOUR goal lead? and why you’re at it didn’t Newcastle have a perfectly good goal chalked off for offside, which you have conviniently forgotten to mention,or is that a refereeing decision that, OMG IT WENT OUR WAY!
    grow a pair of balls and accept that yet again we haven’t been good enough to get over the line in a remarkably poor premiership season.

  • Mr Venger

    Thats exactly the point Digger, no other club has ever lost a 4 goal lead. Only arsenals defence could do something that bad. The same defense that has been one of the best in the league all season if you bother to look at the stats. Grow some brains!

  • Shard

    @Digger

    Does it balance out? The linesman chalked off a good goal for Newcastle. What the referee did is much worse than awarding those 2 penalties or soft free kicks against us. We were simply not allowed to keep the ball. We could be kicked to bits and it wasn’t a foul. But if we as much as touch a Newcastle player, and sometimes not even that, then it’s a foul and sometimes even a yellow card. But fine.. We were weak, and useless, and we were punished for it by losing 2 points. What about the 10 points above that Walter has pointed out in the last 16 games alone? Those alone, despite all our weaknesses, despite all that’s gone against us before, and despite all the help ManU have gotten, and continue to get.. Those 10 points (8 if you want to discount Newcastle) would STILL have us top.

    The point is, that our failings have been punished. We have lost points as a result of that. But we have not been rewarded for points we have legitimately earned, because the referees give bad decisions against us constantly. And when we add what ManU get from referees then it’s even more odds against us.

    Of course, all of the above would be wasted on you.

  • Mr Venger

    And offside is judged by the linesman, not Dowd

  • Digger

    Then explain why one of the best defences sits 3rd in the league and not top, oh sorry refereeing decisions,right.

    This is why it is no good blaming referees,every fan of every club could tell you of refereeing decisions that have cost their clubs but,have selective memories when they get a dubious decision go their way.

    ps.
    if you think that:
    Almunia
    Squillaci
    Clichy
    Denilson
    Diaby
    Rosicky
    Bendtner
    Vela
    Eboue

    are all good enough to be part of a winning EPL side the you are seriously deluded.

  • Digger

    @Venger

    it’s assistant REFEREE not linesman!

  • Shard

    @Digger

    Well at least the last sentence of my above post was proved true..

  • Digger

    @Shard.

    My god man you have a serious conspiracy theory complex, are you saying that the reason we haven’t won anything for the past 6 seasons is down to poor refereeing decisions?

  • Shard

    @Digger

    Oh. here we go..The last 6 years are not all the same!! The only common factor is a lack of trophy, and that we had a new stadium to pay for. For the rest there have been so many changes, that it is completely wrong to club the entire 6 years together.

    We have not been good enough to win the title most of the years. We were in 2007-08, and yes, referees conned us out of it then. Which at the time I put down to refereeing errors and no more. Chelsea were robbed in 2009, and that’s when I felt that something is wrong. Since then I’ve been paying attention, and everything seems to suggest that there is a conspiracy at work.

    Actually, I’ve got it now. You see, I have acknowledged that we have weaknesses, and we have been rightfully punished for them. Not once have you acknowledged that refereeing decisions have worked out in a way that has cost us many points that we have earned, except indicating that ALL fans feel the same way (why are you an exception then?).

    For all the talk that I, or the other people on this site are making excuses for our weaknesses, it is actually you who are making excuses for the referees and the plain bias, or corruption that they show. You do not address where Walter is wrong exactly, you throw accusations of me having some complex, you make general sweeping statements about 6 years when that is no one’s argument and somehow we should try and prove something to you? I’m done trying that mate.. Good luck with your ‘simple’ (as opposed to complex) views since evidently that is all you can understand.

  • bjtgooner

    @Digger

    The very obvious point that you choose not to see when trolling this site is that Arsenal would now be in poll position had we not been the victims of a series of wrong ref decisions.

    This does not mean the team is perfect, it does not mean that the team could not have on occasion done better. However, the point of Walter’s blog is the lost points beyond our control over the last 16 games.

  • walter

    Digger, you can check all my ref reviews of each game won or lost and please point me where I was wrong.

    Oh, and I did make mistakes. And I have corrected them in my reports that will be showed after the final whistle of the season. It will be about the things going our way (a short list) and about the things going against us. (for the moment a rather long list)

  • Digger

    @btgooner

    I tell you what mate you watch every game for every club then work out whether or not they got a poor decision that cost them points and come back with an updated league table.

    Every team gets good decisions and bad decisions.

    This is why we have a reputation as a bunch of whingers.

    Taking all the refereeing decisions apart and going on the points we have legitamately thrown away ourselves does anyone honestly think we have done enough to win it?

  • walter

    So digger what do you do with the games we have won this season where ha I have give low points to the refs because even in those games they made terrible decisions?

    And most of all: are you a ref yourself? Do you know the power of a ref?

    And did you see my review which got the second highest score? The lost home game against WBA?

    And please tell me why we should not talk about refs? Are they some kind of gods?

  • Digger

    Walter, I have no doubt you have done a fine job compiling your refs reports but, can you honsetly say you were completely unbiased?I doubt it, as whether you like it or not you have a vested interest in one of the parties involved,don’t get me wrong as a site I like this one, unlike Le Grove which seems to me to be a “Wenger bashing only” site,but,we really don’t do ourselves any favours with all this “the ref this and the ref that”

  • Digger

    No Walter I am not a ref but I fail to see the relevance of that point, your article conveys the feeling that the only reason we are not romping away with the league is down to poor refereeing decisions when it is patently obvious that is not the case, and as I pointed out to btgooner unless you’re prepared to review every game of all 20 clubs and reassess the league table then to coin an English phrase your article is just “pissing in the wind”

  • bjtgooner

    @Digger

    It is bjtgooner not btgooner.

    You choose not to see the point Digger. Walter, a qualified referee has identified refereeing errors in our last 16 games – equating to lost points out of our control. That is not a whinge, it is a fact – further, his observations are supported by those of other fans – having watched the games live and/or on tv.

    These fans have a genuine concern that the team’s efforts are being undermined by such poor decisions.

    Thoughtless comments also undermine the team, manager and club.

  • walter

    Digger I check myself you know. And I have a rather big readership who is very critical at times on me. Even fans from other teams pass by on occasion.
    And to be precise there is a difference of 8% in the scorelines on average when we lose or win. 55,40 to 63,29 to be exact. Now if the average score when we win would be around 80% and when we lose 55% I would fully agree with you that I am biased.
    But 63% on average when we win means that I am very much unhappy about most refs even when we win.

  • walter

    Digger, the relevance about myself asking if you are a ref is the fact that most refs who have a bit of experience know the possible dark side of things.

    I can tell you that I can change the outcome of any game even between the first and the last in a league without anyone notice it (apart from other refs)

    There are different methods of working. And I know them and I can see them when they are being practiced.
    But you dont have to believe me on my word. I would suggest that if you are still fit enough to go and become a ref yourself. And then do it a few years. And when you have enough experience you can try to “create” a result without people noticing it.
    Talk about it with other refs and they all will come up with the same thing: if you know how to do it is easy.

    Even 3 weeks ago I was sitting in the board room with my 2 collegues after the game and the person who was responsible to have dinner with the refs after the game. It was a former and old ref (70 years old) and he said this: “I can dictate the outcome of any game without anyone noticing it”.

    I already knew that but these are some conversations that can be heard by refs and former refs when no one is around. I am part of such conversations on a regular basis. You will never hear such things, but believe me this is all too well known to all refs with some years experience.

    And for the record: I’m not saying that all refs use their knowledge. But they could if they wanted.

  • walter

    In fact that this conversation between refs can be heard a few times in a season is something that should ring an alarmbell

  • Stuart

    @ Robbbie

    Have to say I’m with you on this Robbie. In order to improve you have to first identify (acknowledge) your weaknesses. What Wenger has done at Arsenal is absolutely amazing especially given the resources available and the future has great potential but an extra £10mil spend in a couple of positions would have helped us achieve so much more now if not at least groom the younger players into a better fighting spirit / having a winning mentality.

  • A Casual Observer

    Why does anyone bother trying to reason with a troll – haters gotta hate and your attention is what they crave.

  • GoonerVance

    Refereeing is completely subjective, so to call an analysis of something that is subjective in nature as “fact” is ridiculous. Whether or not someone’s critique should be held in a high regard depends completely on whether or not their bias skews their perception of events. As an Arsenal fan I read these ref reviews and I can say they are soaked in bias towards Arsenal, and they come off as paranoid ramblings of a deluded obsessive compulsive. Keep relieving your anxiety about Arsenal’s performances by making your refereeing charts and crunching your numbers. It looks desperate when you try to quantify a sport which is the least quantifiable of all the sports in the world. We say we love the Arsenal because of the beautiful football they play, but here you are trying to rationalize their football in numbers and cold facts. Just remember there are lies, damn lies, and statistics…

  • Rhys Jaggar

    For those involved in the discussion about who’s responsible for Arsenal dropping points, I’d point you to two BBC interviews at the World Snooker yesterday, both with losing 2nd rounders, Ali Carter and Barry Hawkins.

    The latter, a quieter, less media friendly player came the admirable admission that, having returned from the dead of 12-9 to 12-12 through three magnificent breaks, he hit a lousy break off shot which ‘deserved to be punished’. It was, his opponent getting a long way toward a 147 to win the match.

    The former, a touted future world champion, bemoaned the run of the balls without recognising that he had more than enough chances to win the match he eventually lost 13-11. A mature reflection of his defeat was: ‘sure, occasionally, I didn’t get the run of the balls, but with the oppotunities I had, I can have no complaints. I didn’t close games out when I had the opportunity.’

    I wish Mr Hawkins of Dartford all the luck in the world. Because he’s making the most of his talent and behaving like a true professional.

    Mr Carter just needs to tweak his emotional responses to the media slightly and he has the talent to become world champion.

    One wonders whether the talented players at Arsenal will do likewise??