By Walter Broeckx
As being a fan you can be biased about some things. So when people say to me that I cannot be neutral in doing my ref reviews this is something that I cannot deny completely. How hard I try to be neutral when doing it, it can still influence me.
The same goes for a manager. When a manager is complaining about a ref people always can say: ‘He is just moaning because he lost’. When Wenger does it the whole media and pundits get on his back. When other managers do it they just report it and hardly make any fuss about it. Intelligent people know why.
But when a person who is not directly related to both clubs and who knows a bit about football is saying something about the game and the ref it is a different story.
Mourinho: I don’t like him. He is the master of putting anything aside just to win things. All his principles go overboard to achieve a win. His football is based on counter attack and I hated it when Inter won the CL last season with their style of football.
But as a person who is interested in football I cannot but admit that he knows a bit about football. How much I dislike his face, his antics, his way of doing things. I think nobody can say that Mourinho is a stupid person when it comes to analysing things that happen in football.
So when Mourinho made his statements about Barcelona being favoured by Uefa to make sure they would go to the CL finals one could say that he was just a sore loser or a moaner.
Was sending Pepe off the field in the first game the right decision? Well to tell you the truth: I don’t know and I don’t care. The reason I don’t know is because I don’t watch the Corruption League any more. I have had my doubts before (Emirates – Hleb – no penalty and Anfield – Babel – penalty – Porto- indirect free kick goal ) concerning games from Arsenal where I had the feeling that some forces didn’t want us to go further. But I am biased, as you know.
But since the ref allowed Barcelona the throat grabbing of our players without handing out red cards and then sending Van Persie off with a second yellow card I felt that the Champions League is a fine league in the group stages but when it comes to the knock out stages it turns in to a Corruption League. Where the biggest names should progress further.
I have seen Chelsea being denied a few penalties in their CL history. Against Barcelona, this year against United. So maybe Chelsea also is not that big and important a name for Uefa? There are in fact no bigger names for a final between Barcelona and Manchester United for the money people at Uefa.
So when Mourinho names events from Barcelona and Real Madrid it could be down to him being a bad loser. But when he mentions a game from Arsenal (before he loses the game) I think it is important to take note.
Like I said Mourinho is someone who knows something about football. He maybe knows something about the inner circles and how things work at Uefa headquarters. I bet he knows a bit more than you or I know.
So when he specifically points at our game at Barcelona and is saying that the sending off is suspicious it is worth taking note. Because Mourinho has seen that game and when he is seeing those things it is because he knows such things exist. He has seen it and came to the same conclusion as we did at the time: Barcelona should have gone further in the Corruption League because they are a “bigger” name than Arsenal – not because of anything else.
And if things suddenly looked as if they might turn out differently the ref comes to the rescue by sending a player off.
Now if there are any Barcelona fans reading this you shouldn’t think that I am saying that Barcelona is directly involved in bribing refs or any other malicious attempt to influence refs. No, I do think it is more something to do with Uefa itself. It could be a combination of clubs and Uefa, but for the moment I only think it is Uefa itself who can influence such things.
As I have written in a previous article, CL refs are not known to the clubs until just one or two days before the game. And the refs are always followed by someone from Uefa when they are in the town the game takes place. They are not really left alone with people from the club without someone from Uefa there to assist the refs.
So in fact the only people who can have some kind of influence on the refs are….people from Uefa themselves. And then I come back to the point that Uefa wouldn’t like a final between Arsenal and Schalke as much as a final between Barcelona and Manchester United. The sponsors would prefer the last one. TV companies would like the last one.
So having and needing too many decisions going your way to get to the final looks a bit suspicious to me. And yes I still blame Barcusacca for our defeat at Camp Nou. Three players not sent off from Barcelona for throat grabbing their opponents under the eyes of the refs and without Uefa charging the players after the game. Then sending RVP off when Arsenal was virtually qualified and when Arsenal was getting close to an upset. If even Mourinho saw it and put it in the category as too good to be true is telling me that Uefa is nearing a line.
They are nearing the line between keeping up their own credibility and losing that credibility totally. We fans see it (don’t you Chelsea fans?) but Uefa can brush us aside. But when people from the inside talk about such things it becomes a different story. And Mourinho might have had some ulterior motive in much of what he said. But when he mentioned the Barcelona-Arsenal game he knew that maybe this was the best covered operation. With all the other examples he gave, he was close to being correct but he was directly involved in the games or with the team. The Barcelona-Arsenal games he was not involved in and maybe this is why it is more important that he mentioned it than the others.
The way the media went about the how great Barcelona was and the no shots on goal was a clear cover up of how to detract the attention of the scandal of throat grabbing Barcelona players and the ref who did nothing about it and the sending off later of Van Persie. And now this is not just me saying this. It is Mourinho saying this.
And also another person recently admitted (I think unintentionally) that refs can influence the outcome of games. It was the master of it all who after losing to Chelsea came out and said some interesting things. He said: “the penalty kick was so soft. We didn’t deserve that; that’s three years in a row referees’ decisions have changed the game”
And then SAF was asked if Chelsea was back in the title race. SAF replied: “If they get decisions like tonight then it can change everything”
Now just read this again. SAF is telling us that there has been bias against his team by the refs on a constant basis in the past 3 seasons. And he also tells us that THOSE THINGS CAN CHANGE EVERYTHING;
Oh, isn’t this just what I have been telling you for a while my dear readers? So for all those still doubting my point that refs cannot influence games and results: maybe you could believe SAF or Mourinho.
Untold Arsenal on Facebook here
History of Arsenal including the series on the failures of Herbert Chapman
Making the Arsenal – the book of Arsenal death and rebirth