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Jumping, stamping, screaming, pushing, kicking, abusing, protesting. Yep: its the Birmingham City management team

Last time Birmingham “Evil Empire” were at the Ems we watched their manager direct players to go down, lie down, roll around… anything and everything to break up play.

It is a testimony to the magnitude of the Wengerian revolution that we can now saunter past the “Team coach in the goal” clubs like Blackburn and Birmingham, and win the game with ease.  It is as if all the tactics of the last five years of Anti-Football, the 10 in defence, the time wasting, the rotational fouling, the complete annihilation of everything that was good in football, count for nothing.

It is not that we win – and it is certainly not that these totally negative teams are now trying to play.  It is that Wenger has deliberately sought out the players who can break this system.

And let us not forget that two years ago many blogs were proclaiming that most of this team was not up to it.  Van Persie was too fragile, Bendtner would never be more than second rate, Fabregas would be off to Barca at the end of the season, Song should never be allowed to put the club shirt on again…

But the fact that Birmingham City were so totally and utterly outplayed in every part of the game does not excuse the bizarre and eccentric antics of the manager and some other guy who used the “technical area” as if they were two over age bullies who had got into a children’s playground.  Indeed the one in a track suit spent much of his time out of the technical area with his feet touching the touch line waving, screaming, remonstrating.  No wonder the poor Birmingham players looked so utterly confused and lost.

Indeed the ranting did no good.  The score was

Arsenal 19 Birmingham Evil 3 (based on goal attempts)

or if you are a little more demanding

Arsenal 11 Birmingham Nasty 2 (based on shots on target)

Of course it would have been wonderful to beat the club record and score 4 goals yet again, but the disruption caused by the expected attack on Theo did set matters back a bit.  Did Birmingham actually go out with the instruction “get Walcott at all cost”?   Of course we can’t be sure but it rather looked that way.

So the injuries stack up – and that’s why we have the squad we have.  We opened without Bendtner, Eduardo, Nasri, Sagna, Clichy, Arshavin, Denilson, Aluminum… which is a fair old team in itself, and we should see some of those playing against the side named after the street map of London, on Tuesday.

Birmingham Nasty won 16-8 on fouls and 2-1 on yellows, but they really should have had another 8 yellows and a red when the whole team surrounded the ref in protest (the FA and league said they were stopping this years ago, but the rule only seems to apply to Arsenal), and again when the players utterly refused to stand on the goal line for the free kick after the back pass.

As for Birmingham City, the club, there was no Karen Brady to mock, as she now represents England’s attempt to get the world cup in England.   According to the press (and who knows, it might be true) her leaving present from Birmingham City FC was £780,000 in bonus money (“bonus money?????), plus health care (necessary when you have been associated with the Evil Empire for so many years), and oh yes, a free mobile phone package.

Her quote (again who knows if true or not since it was in the papers) on leaving the club was “I’ve loved living the football life but now I need a rest.”   So, that just about wraps it up for England’s World Cup bid.

But away from the muck and nonsense that is the FA, the EPL and Birmingham, for me, the performances this season are an utter joy to watch.  The goals are almost always terrific, the style is amazing.   It’s looking as bright for us as it is looking gloomy for Liverpool Beachball.

The programme was full of the fact that we have scored the all-time record number of goals for the opening matches of the EPL – and that says something in itself.  Last season we scored just about the same number of goals as the other top four teams… this year we are leaving them way behind.

And now, onto another little matter…

MAKING THE ARSENAL -the first novel about the Arsenal in 75 years – is published in just over a week.  It is the story of Arsenal 100 years ago, and the foundation of the modern Arsenal.  It costs £12.99 plus postage, and you can even get a copy signed by the author.  (That’s me, actually).   It’s got over 300 pages, and most of them have got words on.

(c) Tony Attwood 2009

30 comments to Jumping, stamping, screaming, pushing, kicking, abusing, protesting. Yep: its the Birmingham City management team

  • I think the only surprise is that we could be surprised that Birmingham’s strategy was to take out one of our own players.

    Many misguided media hacks and pundits are pointing out that Ridgewell’s tackle was made of the “good old fashoned british hard tackling quality”. It’s sad when this nonsense is used as a substitute for talent and quality.

    Even 3 cards Graham Poll said he would have given Ridgewell a red card because that tackle was “aggressive”. He rubbished the idea that a tackle is valid just because a player “gets the ball”. Getting the ball doesn’t give a licence for aggression that endangers the opposing player.

  • don't believe the hype

    Darius it was obvious that the intention was to ‘get Walcott’ because his speed frightens them. I so wish he could have scored that goal because it would have been instant karma. But we will get them on another day when we’ve not just had our players back from an international break whilst most of theirs have spent the last 2 weeks resting up. Then they will pay.

  • grand funk diaby

    Its all good.

  • Pete the First

    Ridgewell was up to the Birmingham ‘Tricks’ before he took Walcott out. He had two bad fouls that were waved away by the ref when they should have been yellow cards.

    I seems apparent that Birmingham were sent out to ‘get’ the danger man, ie Walcott. Which makes you wonder if the same was said about Eduardo two seasons back? This quite simply is not football, and the refs need to wise up, sharpish!

  • Marc

    The tackle on Walcott could easily have caused severe ligament damage. This then must make it a dangerous tackle and result in at least a booking. What the general reaction if the media to the tackle does prove is that they don’t OK bad tackles on foreign players but criticise anything that might cripple an England player (who seems to be an integral part of England’s World Cup plans) but just hate Arsenal. If that tackle had been on Rooney, Gerrard or Lampard the outcry would have been deafening. So at least we know now.

  • diceman

    they mistakenly thought that by taking out Walcott we will falter..we have too good of a team for them to do that.

    It’s a disgrace but it’s something we always face against..even that great man u always deploy this tactic against us as Reyes the poor lad almost died at old traffors 1 year.

    RVP is a great center forward in the making.

  • Adam Smith

    “RVP is a great center forward in the making.” so says diceman. That first goal yesterday was poetry in motion, and as for our Russian doll he is sublime,and a special word to Mannone, the raw recruit,who never in a million years thought he would be playing PL football this year.By no means the finished article but his bravery is unquestionable.

  • walter

    The tackle on Walcott was a disgrace. So yes he got the ball but he followed through in a dangerous way with both feeth and he hand lunged himself so he couldn’t stop his movement and so he always would have got the player. Lucky Walcott was of the ground or we would have had another Eduardo.
    So the bullshit of two seasons ago that Birmingham City is not a foul playing team and that the incident with Eduardo was just a case of bad luck are lies.
    They intented to take him out. End of the line. And they did. I really hope he can come back soon but if it really is knee ligament damage we could lose him for some months.
    If a tackle is dangerous it makes no difference if the player touches the ball first. If you go in with your foot 2 meters in the air and you first touch the ball and then the head of the opponent it is a foul. So it was bad referee decision. If he would have stoppeld play, booked the F*****ng b*****d, the Birmingham players would have known that their game was seen trough by the ref. He didn’t so it was bad refereeing as far as I’m concerned.

  • walter

    About the goal form Birmingham. This was a goal that never was to be allowed by me and on the continent.
    Over here we always give a foul when a goalkeeper is touched in his litte area when attempting to catch a ball it is always a foul. In this case the attacker jumped in to the keeper and touched his arms and therefore he lost control over the ball.
    Always a foul.
    So another peace of bad refereeing.
    But at the end we won well against butchingham city, I just hate them even more for the tackle on Walcott. And I can imagine that some players were thinking twice when they got the ball and looked up to see if som of these crazy players cam in with a dangerous tackle.

  • walter

    I’ve read an extract, I’ve read the interview and my order is placed. What more can you ask Tony. It will be my birthday present so you better send it somewhere the beginning of december. 😉 Really looking forward to it.

  • stuartlondon

    A really enjoyable game yesterday. We weren’t intimidated by City’s brutal tactics, nor were we distracted by some poor refereeing decisions. We always looked like we were going to win, and the crowd was good humoured, positive, and vocal in support of our boys and in protest at City thuggery. It seems clear that we need Walter to come and referee for the EPL. How about it? Stu

  • FunGunner

    Always good to read your responses as a working referee, Walter. There are many misconceptions about the rules of football which have gained currency amongst pundits and fans. Are you saying that what matters is whether the tackle was potentially dangerous and whether the player who was challenging was in control of the tackle, NOT whether he got the ball?

  • prick

    RVP. Hell of a goal. Superb control, grace and finish. We’ve got a winner ladies and gentleman 🙂

  • Valentin

    Enough said about the referee who asked for Arsene Wenger to be sent to the stand at Old Crapford in the middle of the baying crowd for kicking a bottle of water but did not censure Ferguson when he tell the refere to F*** off.
    Has anybody read the financial article by the News Of The World on the real financial situation at Liverpool Bankrupt.
    http://www.newsoftheworld.co.uk/sport/football/554495/DOOMSDAY-SCENARIO-FOR-LIVERPOOL.html
    It looks like if RBS had not been so scared of the potential backlash by the Kopites, they would have been forced to accept Manchester Arab offer of £70 millions for Torres.
    It looks like that may just be delayed respite.
    At the beginning of next season clubs will need to apply for a license to be allowed in European competition. Assuming that Liverpool qualifies for Europe next year (in view of their current league position that may not be the case), they will not be able to prove their credit worthiness without a massive injection of cash.
    The wheels have really come off.

  • steww

    Looking forward to the book. As for the match, a couple of points. Great how Theo skinned the thug after the assault, obviously a shame he couldn’t continue. We often talk of the young players needing to gain experience, it’s why I’m so glad to see TR7 back and playing well, they can learn from him. neither he nor Arshavin are huge muscle bound hunks hut both showed how anticipating an opponents attempt to foul you, leaning into them and knowing when to suddenly spring away can be used to devastating effect. Little Jack and Rambo (what a midfield pairing waiting in the wings) will learn so much from these kind of players.

  • notlager

    I hate Birmingham City, from management, players to their socalled support.

    Their f*ckung fans singing M**** T****’s name while Theo was lying injured on the pitch.

    Go back to the Stone Age Brummies, you disgraceful club, the Colaship would be too decent for you Neanderthals.

  • Thanks everyone for the comments – and for the link to the News of the World piece on Liverpool. That was almost as if they have gone back through the last two years of UNTOLD ARSENAL and pieces together all the articles on Liverpool, and made an article of their own.

    Surely not?!!!

    I do think, after watching the game against Birmingham City yesterday the notion of Birmingham Evil is correct. But let’s not forget that two or three years ago they might well have got away with a draw at the Ems.

    I would add one more thing – the VP goal was a sensation – but watching the final goal from behind and just to the right of that goal Arshavin was magnificent. The obvious thing was to pass, but he has the style and confidence to get the goal.

    We are now 4th, with a game in hand, and our two defeats are not looking that disastrous after all.

    I can remember all the negativity about Arsenal in the last few years – the thoughts that we were bust, that we desparately needed to buy… all that. But can you imagine what it must be like to be a Beachball supporter now?

    And as for us, we still haven’t seen much of Vela. How about a start on Tuesday against the London street atlas*

    Tonight my partner demanded that I get on with writing the follow-up to MAKING THE ARSENAL because she really wants to know what happens afterwards. So it looks like I must have to start writing again.

    Tony
    * For overseas readers, whose readership and perspective I really do value, I should explain. The classic street atlas of London is known as the A to Z. Not a very funny joke, I know, but it is sunday. More tomorrow.

  • diceman1984

    I have always been saying that we’re doing great as a club especially comparing to the so called ‘title challenging’ team liverpool. They’re by far the most overrated team in Europe – they rarely if ever play wonderful football, relying SOLELY on their ONLY 2 stars, paying stupid wages to tons of average players, buying players for stupid fees (Glen Johnson transfer was unbelievable stupid, when does a team win something with a ‘great’ right back? and he’s not even that good apart from his eccentric offensive movement, we have Eboue to do that too)……and always winning big matches controversially or by pure luck, they rarely beat us fair and square in the past decade.

    And they were the only big 4 team to not finish in the big 4 since there were a big four.

    And WHAT KIND OF A BIG TEAM BROUGHT IN GERRARD AND TORRES to hold a 1-0 lead against a 3rd division team? I laughed so hard it hurt when I saw that.

    But it’s always the Arsenal who will fall out of the 4th spot according to many fans and “journalists”.

    They can suck it ’cause this season we are in for the title(s)……
    never doubt Wenger or else you’ll get a Benitez or worse, a Mark Hughes as a manager.

  • don't believe the hype

    diceman, the ‘Wenger out’ brigade fail to realise that when they start their nonsense. There is no other manager who could achieve what Wenger has achieved the last few years on Arsenal’s budget.

  • Finsbury

    If Arsenal do win the title this year (after 07/08, I shall never again sing that song, until the fair lady comes home) I think many pundits & their devotees may just go into irreversible meltdown. Some hacks have still never forgiven us for winning the league without a conventional CF, a converted RB, a converted CB etc.etc.etc. How they laughed when AW said his squad could go unbeaten in 03. They’ve tried their best to stick the knives in whilst the squad and club have readjusted to cope with the post-oligarch/national bankruptcy age.

    They better up the security at the Grove, I can see Alan Green, Hansen and pals tearing up paving stones and throwing molotovs when we do win something. They’ll be going mad and bad, in no particular order.

  • eduardo

    the one thing yesterday’s games proved is that the media pundits spout rubbish and do not actually know the rules, take the two big talking points from yesterday – beach ball goal and theo assaulted,

    Beach ball goal happens and none of the hacks or pundits know the rules so say it is just one of these things and it was right for goal to stand, but ex refs come out today and tell them all that under the rules it should have be cancelled and a drop ball – so now on to the Theo assault, all the hacks and pundits say Ridgwell done nothing wrong cos he got the ball first, some did mention that he then took Theo totally out of it, today ex refs come out and say Ridgwell should have got a red as he endangered Theo and used excessive force, which by the way is now in the rule book, to endanger an opponent is a red card offense even if you take the ball.

    Also on the Theo assault I seen some brum fans say its just more moneing from gooners and saying that we have short memories and have forgotten Adams, Bould and Keown etc and their tackling, but like alot of the pundits and hacks these brum fans have missed that the rules were changed a couple of years ago to stop these dangerous fouls, once goalies could be barged over the goal line and a goal would be allowed, so by the pundits, hacks an brum fans view we should still allow it happen as it once was under the rules.

  • walter

    A little bit late on the reply but went to a Status Quo concert this evening and still full of adrenaline on not able to sleep.
    Yes Fungunner as a ref you have to look at the potential danger of a tackle as well.
    As someone correctly said the rules have changed over the years and the meaning of the changes was to prevent good players to get bad injury’s. To get the butchers (as we call them over here) out of the field and to keep the players safe and sound.
    To tell you wich tackle is allowed or not is maybe a bit long because I should give examples of what is meant in the laws.
    When I got the time I am willing to give you some details and explain the rule book how a ref should apply it (and this is the difficult thing… I know… the “human” touch…. ).
    I will see if I can write it down and when Tony has a black out or a writers block (please not if possible) he can publish it here if he feels it could bring something to his site.
    Maybe that we would know the rules and the interpretation of the rules better than the pundits. 😉 Because they seem to get stuck in the century they played football and it did change a bit you know.

  • lordgunner

    off topic
    http://store.liverpoolfc.tv/products/souvenirs/giftsandmisc/beach-set/pid-28099
    i was going to order a beach ball to my friendly boss (Liverpool fan)but they run out of stock :(.and then i read comments of the product and it was hilarious that MU and everton supporters can post joke about it on the official website lol 😀

    About Theo challenge i thought a red would be too much but yellow it s should have been:too strong but he got the ball first .
    But that’s sort of challenge is not a surprise for me .when the media continue with idolising the talentless J.Terry (include the Neville sisters and Carragher)as old fashion defender with british grit(thug more like it)other players with even less talent will be thinking it s OK to do it but they finish by injured other players if the England captain do it week week out why not them

  • IndianGooner

    Walter, I would be waiting for such an article. The views on tackles from a referee.

    As for the match, I cannot comment much as I was on a 15hr flight journey!! Only saw the highlights and read few reviews and am happy that We earned the 3points without playing like we are used too..

  • walter

    Tony said: “Tonight my partner demanded that I get on with writing the follow-up to MAKING THE ARSENAL because she really wants to know what happens afterwards. So it looks like I must have to start writing again.”

    Always listen to your wife, Tony. Well that’s what my wife always tells me anyway. 😉 So you better get started.

    And again I learned something today. I really didn’t know that you called the street atlas like that.

  • diceman

    I just read Wenger’s comments to the Birmingham thugs’ chants for the assault man martin taylor during the game, is this true? I watched it live and couldn’t hear a thing but it has to be true cause Wenger blasted them calling them stupid – and I guess it’s true cause they re stupid and that’s what I expected of them.

    Human being sinking that low is a big disgrace. Karma isn’t so far away these days and they should not forget that…

  • walter

    I also read it, diceman. Just makes you sick. How low can people get.
    Well the last time a chinese person took over a club in my country it ended in big problems. The guy was just a person from a betting sindicate and they just came for some match fixing but got caught.
    It really could turn out to be the empire of evel.

  • Fem Dee

    Poor Vito Manone. Not only was he obstructed going up for the catch, Larsson held him back from blocking Bowyer’s follow up shot. The goal should have been disallowed.
    I am sure more would have been said about this if the game had ended up a draw and, thanks to Manone, he denied Birmingham the chance of that possibility. Wenger should do more to accelerate Manone’s development as our long-term stopper. If it means fewer games for Alumnia, so be it.
    Overall, I liked the way we won against a team that pressed us hard at a time (post World Cup break) when we were lacking full sharpness. It is a testimony to our improved overall playing skills against the Birmingham types. I also liked Walcott’s aggressiveness, sharpness and directness. I prat we get to have more of him this season – though, it must now be obvious to him that he needs to listen more to Wenger’s advise on when he plays and for what cause. What I take from his been so badly fouled was that he eventually got up and returned to the fray…He is a brave young guy going places.

  • LRV

    The Birmingham Butchery Club needs to prove that it belongs in the football arena. Enough of this nonsense of clobbering people in the guise of playing football and maiming true football players.

    The so called pundits know next to nothing. How can the media keep paying mediocre ex-foot-whatever to so mediocrely dish out mediocrity to us discerning football fans in the guise of punditry? They are so stuck in the past, they make Neanderthal seem positively alive. They all need to go for refresher courses. Actually, we should set-up a qualification base for punditry, without which no-one should be allowed to pundit. They must also be tested regularly to attest their background knowledge of the rules (& interpretations) of the game.

  • walter

    Well I must say that even in my country the bullsh*t proclaimed by reporters concerning referee decisions is so immens that at times I really do not know if I should be laughing myself untill I can breath no more or should I start crying over so much dumb talk.
    When, the refs of our region meet like on our weekly training, we have suggested that if you would want to do anything in football like being a player, manager, reporter or pundit that you should be obligated to follow a referee course.
    And I will be the last to say that refs are saints, that they know best and the rest knows nothing but it makes my hair fall out to listen to what the experts say sometimes.