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Norwich / Arsenal – all the things they might have said, but the agenda won’t let them

Follow us on Twitter @Untold Arsenal

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“Making the Arsenal”the book of Arsenal’s rebirth

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Tony Attwood reflects on the way the broadcast media reacted to our win at Carrow Road.

Played 12, won 10, drawn 1, lost 1 is not a bad headline but you would have struggled to find it over the weekend, after the Norwich game.  Indeed you would have struggled to find any mention of it anywhere.

We had just played a game in which we won, we had 57% of the possession, and 20 goal attempts.  But was that the news?  Was it hell!

We ended the weekend on the same number of points as the fourth team in the league.  True our goal difference is worse, but not that much worse.   People forget how quickly goal differences can change (although I should add that when checking the league table it is best to avoid the official version on www.premierleague.com   As of monday morning at 7.45 they still had us 3 points behind Chelsea!)

The reality is that of the four teams on 22 points Chelsea have the best goal difference (plus 8) and we have plus 3.  A 3-0 to us and a 0-2 against them, and we are not only three points above Chelsea, but with a better goal difference.

Of course that is fantasy land until it happens, but then following the media on a weekend when you can’t get to a game is exactly like living in fantasy land.

By midnight on saturday (I was just on my way home from a dance since you ask) BBC Radio 5 Live was running the headline “Arsene Wenger was forced to re-iterate his commitment to the club after…”

Forced?

Well you know what that was after – it was after L’Equipe ran its infamous piece and the BBC tangled this into Mr Wenger saying he would only leave if the team underperformed.   That was 11 hours after Mr Wenger, smile on face, had firstly helped Sky get its cardboard cut out set up and running, so he could be interviewed, and then listened patiently to the interviewer, and told him what he had really said in that interview.

Sky, to be fair, said something along the lines of “It looks like a statement which has been cut short and had its meaning changed”, and they also showed pics of Mr Wenger helping them build the set, which was nice.

But in summary what I think Mr Wenger said was that if he, Mr Wenger, failed to deliver to his own high standards, he would consider his position.  (Given that his standards are 14 years in the Champions League, putting us on a par only with Real Madrid and Manchester United, while keeping the club in profit, it is a very high bar.  That is a story – but not the story the BBC ran).

Elsewhere we got a little less of the “one man team” about Robin, but we did still get “what happens if he gets injured?” stuff.

The funny thing was that we never really had that about earlier Arsenal teams, although the scoring was dominated by Thierry Henry (hi Terry, nice to see you back at the club).  Everyone could marvel at Thierry, but they worry about Robin.  Odd that.

And yet he (Robin) i’s well on his way – 13 goals already, when the target for most years for the top scorer of the season is not many more.  Drogba in 2007 did it with 20, Anelka in 2009 with 19, Tevez and Berbatov last season with 20. This season, with Robin out front, the target must be something higher, like Ronaldo’s 31 in 2008, perhaps.

So we move on.  Will Arsenal end up in the top four, the Sky interviewer asked the guy in the studio who once played for Norwich.   No, he said Tottenham will.   And why?   Ah, well, you see, there was no time for that discussion and we had to cut to the adverts.

(Meanwhile back on the BBC Garth Crooks told us that no one has attempted more forward passes in the final third of the pitch this season than Joey Barton.  Well fancy that.)

Wondering what the Daily Mirror was making of it all I put Daily Mirror Football into Google, and got this story at the top.  It wasn’t from today’s news, but I can see why Google kept it at the top of their listing for the Mirror.  It is just so funny.  It is from August…

Wenger has got bids of £15million and £20m-plus respectively in for Rennes midfielder Yann M’Vila and Lille forward Eden Hazard. And the Arsenal boss is also going back for another crack at Everton defender Phil Jagielka, having already had two bids turned down.

Nothing to do with reality of course, but you have to laugh…

Especially when reading the Sun which today says,

THANKS to Arsene Wenger we now know the real reason why Robin van Persie is stalling on a new deal.

For how can the goal-scoring hero commit his long-term future to Arsenal when even their legendary manager questions his own continuity?

Add to that the rising concern about Theo Walcott, who like Van Persie only has 18 months left on his deal, and instead of an upbeat Monday morning read you get a sense of impending doom.

Same points as Chelsea?  No.  Van Persie almost home and dry as the season’s top scorer?  No.  A truly wonderful run of victories? No.  All set to qualify for the Champs League?  No.

Here’s the Express.

And while Arsenal continue to find solutions on the pitch, the ticking time bomb off it remains an unwelcome distraction.

Each Robin van Persie goal increases the desperation for him to remain at Arsenal past his current contract, which expires in 2013.

The only solution to restore one’s sanity and sense of balance is, as it so often has been, the wonderful Robert Pires.  As I mentioned in the summer Robert has written a second autobiography, which (at least as far as I know) is still only available in French.  I mentioned it before because of its wonderful title…   “Les Canards ne Savent pas Tacler”    There is something of a debate as to how you translate that, but one interpretation relates to Le Canard enchaine the eternal French satirical weekly.

The other interpretation is that Robert’s autobiography’s title says something extremely rude about journalists.  And I rather like that.

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Write for Untold Arsenal

We really do welcome writers who have a positive view of the Wenger revolution, or who have something new to say about any of the topics that we regularly cover – all listed above.  Just email your idea to Tony.Attwood@aisa.org or send in the whole article as a Word file attached to an email.

53 comments to Norwich / Arsenal – all the things they might have said, but the agenda won’t let them

  • Mahdain

    seriously nothing suprises me anymore from these media people..its their agenda to get arsene out and they`ll go to any limits to achieve that but they are just wasting their time as arsene is going nowhere…funny thing is that chelsea have lost 3 of the last 4 pl games,2 at home but no mention of crisis…one wonders how many headlines would we see suppose it was arsenal…

  • Mahdain

    this is out of topic but look at this video…disgusting and only under blatter is this acceptable….stay strong manu http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxA1z2PYrGk&feature=youtube_gdata_player

  • Byron

    Looks like the press will be turning on AVB for now! What a despicable bunch these Jurnos are! We are doing well and winning and thats all taht matters. RVP is a great and if he scores everyone of our goals from now until the end of the season I wouldn’t be the least bit bothered as long as we win Schezny could score and I wouldn’t care

  • Shard

    @Mahdain

    I take the reference to Blatter to mean that Eboue was the victim of racism. It seems that this is not the case. Apparently the Besiktas fans started throwing things at him to protest against time wasting (and apparently Turkish fans have done it before to other players) Not that that is acceptable behaviour at all of course, but I wouldn’t jump to the conclusion about this being an instance of racism.

  • Mahdain

    @shard still that kind of behaviour is unacceptable ans shouldnt be happening

  • “Played 12, won 10, drawn 1, lost 1 is not a bad headline but you would have struggled to find it over the weekend, after the Norwich game. Indeed you would have struggled to find any mention of it anywhere.” – Actually Steven Howard mentioned this in his latest attack on Wenger… although – the article is interesting in itself as does not attempt to put itself forward as anything other than a bitter journalist’s fantasy.

  • Paul Collins

    Mahdain – have you looked at the papers this morning? Every single publication has some reference to a Chelsea “crisis” and the “AVB in line for the sack” stories are coming thick and fast.

  • WalterBroeckx

    And that one lost game was only because of the ref not seeing a handball….

  • WalterBroeckx

    Hiddink could take over at Chelsea after being sacked in Turkey 😉 And maybe this explains the hesitance of Hidding to go to Russian Anzi to become their manager???
    Maybe he is in talks with the Russian in Chelsea?

  • Paul Collins

    Walter – I find it hard to believe that Hiddink and RA have not been in discussion given their strong personal relationship. I would imagine that Hiddink is saying “be patient, be patient” but how much effect that is having is what we don’t know. The next month will decide a lot. Chelsea have Newcastle (A), City (h) and Spurs (A) in that time. By Christmas they could be right in the hunt or way off the pace, perhaps even as low as 7th.

  • marcus

    the media have nothing to say anymore.

    Their only agenda is come up with trite sensational articles to get people “engaged”online…..

    If you write

    ” Marvellous Arsene keeps Club on the up and up”

    Or

    “Sensational RVP shows Captaincy credentials after woeful start that would have put paid to a lesser man”

    You simply don’t get many readers, and that doesn’t sell adverts.

    The canards know that writing inflammatory nonsense creates flame wars.

    “Arsenal flatter to deceive with brief resurgance – but can Arsene Wenger really be viewed as a credible manager any longer?”

    is the kind of thing designed to outrage normal people ….

    But the world is full of very real outrages. Murderers getting their girlfriends pregnant whilst on day release , etc etc.

    The duty of any normal person is not to click on the pornography/erzatz journalism and keep calm and move on.

  • JohnW

    You forget Tony, that Arsene is on the verge of making a whole lot of all these pundits, so called know-it-alls look silly! Remember at the beginning of the season, Arsenal was not good enough to finish any thing above 7th, now, although we’re 7th, the prospect of The Arsenal finishing above 4th is much more likely to happen. People don’t want to be made to look foolish Tony!
    Who’s pointing out the fact that Chelsea and Liverpool, despite ‘laudable’ starts to the season are level with us, the joke of the EPL?
    But don’t worry Tony, just hang on for in February, I predict we will be up there contesting for the title and some clubs will be chasing us as has always been. And, the experience within the squad this season is bound to put us in good stead, hang on!

  • WalterBroeckx

    In Dutch we have an idiom and if I translate this it goes like this:
    The dogs bark at the caravan, the caravan moves on.

    Just replace caravan with Arsenal. Let them bark them miserable dogs. We move on. Higher and higher.

  • Paul Collins

    Marcus – absolutely right. But let’s face, our start was woeful and we could not have expected anything less from the media. Losing 8-2 to Utd and then playing like we did at Blackburn was always going to bring out the worst side of the media, and Chelsea are now getting the same treatment.

    The truth as always lies somewhere in the middle. I do think that AW missed a trick by waiting so long to buy this summer. I think he lost Nasri because of it (we were ALWAYS going to lose Cesc). We were forced into panic buying because of our inactivity in the summer. That is an area where I think AW has been less than stellar in recent years (although we do not know how much of that is due to AW and how much is due to Gazidis and his team).

    But I also think that AW recovered and made good buys, as good as he could have under the circumstances. And the team is going very well right now. Long may it continue. I think the older Arsenal fans are never surprised by the media treatment of Arsenal because we have seen it all our life. Arsenal have always been perhaps the most polarising club in England. You either LOVE Arsenal or HATE Arsenal, and that hatred doesnt end just because you become a journalist. The way the media treat Liverpool is a perfect example. Many of those writing today would have grown up when Liverpool were winning Championships as a matter of habit, and would have grown up thinking it was the natural way of things. Such beliefs are hard to put aside, even if all the evidence of the last 20 years suggests otherwise.

  • Sammy The Snake

    I can see Chelsea ourside of the top 4 before the end of the year, seriously!

  • JohnW

    Now, now Sammy! Shss! don’t say it loudly! Let the media concentrate on us, by New Year’s Day, I would like them to wake up with a different agenda afterall.

  • Dan

    I was listening to Talk Sport the other day as I was hoping an advert for a local tiling company would come on and give me their address (they did, every 2-3 minutes). While I was listening they were having the most bizarre debate. Has any other manager in the premier league ever been protected by the media as much as Arsene Wenger has been?
    Their reasoning being that Arsneal have been a top 4 team for the last 14 years and that now they’re out of the top 4 positions and nobdy is screaming for him to get sacked and why not?
    Another lovely anti-Wenger rant ensued (of course forgetting that all the achievements of Arsenal that Wenger is now not living up to were actually achieved by Wenger!).
    But I was rather impressed by their new creative way of having a go at Wenger. Though it is a little worrying as I think they genuinely thought Wenger was being protected, which is basically an admission of having not read the sports pages of a newspaper for 10 years.

  • Dan – that was Paul McCarthy on TalkShite. It has been noted.

  • Mick

    @dan
    I heard that as well and it made my blood boil. The journalist (can’t recall his name) who said it said the exact same thing a couple of weeks ago and the other two idiots, one of whom is John Cross, supposedly an Arsenal fan, agreed with him, Arsene does indeed get an easy ride from the press. Unbelievable.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Is there any team in the PL apart from Man$c$t$ who has a better run in their last 12 games in all competitions? Maybe there is but I doubt it to be honest. Then how on earth can you question the manager????
    and if there is another team on a similar run in their last 12 games I don’t think the media will question this manager.

  • critic

    Can anyone translate the whole 4 page article in le equipe? There must be something interesting there.

  • critic

    @Dan
    He is being protected by board and majority of sensible and loyal gooner fans (all of them having logical thinking and a very good memory).And rightly so.

    May be he was moaning about arsenal board not taking press seriously. May be clowns want people to take them seriously. ch.. ch..what next? Do they want to run arsenal? create a hell so that they can publish loads of article about them. Less thinking more selling.

  • Paul Collins

    The fact is that AW has earned his protection. Had AW spent more than the club earns in the past 6 years and still not won anything he would have been up for the sack. Had the board given AW 200m to spend and a 180m wage bill (as Mancini has) and he still not won anything, he would have been up for the sack. Abramovich sacks his managers because gives them hundreds of millions of his OWN money and expects trophies in return. Mancini will quite rightly be judged by trophies this season because of the money City have spent. If City DON’T win the Championship they will be the laughing stock of football, and Mancini will in all likelihood, and rightly, get the sack.

    AW must sit back and laugh sometimes, thinking “how many more trophies would I have won if I had that kind of money?”.

    He hasnt had that kind of financing, especially in the last seven years, so he MUST be judged by a different set of expectations. He has earned whatever “protection” he has in his job many times over.

  • pires

    Bit upset to hear Walcott not wanting to talk contracts because wants to concentrate on playing and he’ll leave it to his agent. I hate agents, but understand the horrible job they do. Money is ruining football and will do so because of these horrible people and greed of players. In truth, Walcott should be snapping the chairmans hand off with a good offer. He is coming good but we have put up with some very loose performances and he still isnt there yet! Cmon Theo, show the way, give us some commitment like TV did, we deserve it!!

  • pires

    i don’t think mertesacker needs any of us fans to tell him that he made a mistake.he knew instantly,and i loved his reaction by beating his fist on the ground.he cares and no player wants to make silly mistakes like that. to be fair arssenal defended very well in general and ltd norwwich to very little clear cut chances.i like our attacking game at present and although the likes of gervinho should have scored a couple,but the signs are there that he will be a top quality player because he makes fantastic and very intelligent runs,that’s a football player for me.koscielny just looks like he can play anywhere along the back four and i think his ball distribution is fantastic.infact, i think, we have two of the best passes of the ball in kos and vermaelen.i honestly think we are jut 2/3 top quality players short from having a top quality side again and there aint many(if any)managers outhere who can lose their best players season after season and still compete for a top four place.wenger is still a top class manager who just needs a bit more loyalty from the players that he made top,top class players.

  • Paul Collins

    Pires – if you knew that a few months of consistent play would potentially double your value would you be in any hurry to sign a new contract? I know I wouldnt. If Theo keeps playing the way he did on Saturday (and has most of this season) then he will put himself into the top bracket of earners, especially as an English player.

    Same with RvP. If I was a player there is no way I would just sign a contract extension with 12 months still to go on my existing contract unless I was being offered absolute top dollar. We cannot offer top money, so I can see it going down to the wire and being a personal decision in the end. RvP is on his last big contract so it is going to be “do I stay at Arsenal or do I earn an extra 10m (possibly even more)?” How would you answer that question?

  • gartailor

    A good win and a possible banana skin game sorted (although I had a horrible feeling Mert would gift them a late silly equaliser for the whole of the last 10 minutes… Confused ).

    RVP is class. But I watch every game now with a sick feeling in my stomach – when will it happen? When will his season be ended by an injury yet again. I can’t help it.

    Vermaelen is class too but he needs a better partner than Mert.

    Ramsey and Arteta are improving every game. They are starting to get smart and economical with the ball. A good ways to go yet but they could form a good partnership in there.

    Song was awful again. He is now totally back to his shambling, bumbling worst. He loses possession by dwelling on the ball too long, he passes right into feet when someone is running and needs the ball a yard ahead of them, his “tackling” basically consists of just bundling into the oppo player and conceding free kicks, he is slow, very unintelligent and has no vision at all. We need to sign a proper top class DM in January more than any other position. Song started out shit, raised his game massively to become average and has now reverted to total dog shit.

    The annoying thing is with RVP and the Verminator both fully fit, and Theo playing reasonably well and Arteta and Ramsey and Kos improving with every game we actually have the basis for a half decent side again.

    Yes we need another top class striker and at least another top CH and left back (that isn’t injured all the time) but the nucleus is almost there in our first 11. A few vital additions could actually see a cup win and maybe a top 4 finish this season. Do I think Wenger will sign these much needed players in January? No – if his previous “performance” in the market is anything to go by.

    Our real problems this season will develop when/if the Verminator and/or RVP get injured. Our second string players are nowhere near good enough to replace these two in particular.

    So next Feb/March /April we may once again possibly be in the CC final, the CL or FA cup quarters and with a half decent shot at (maybe, but highly unlikely) the title or at least a top 2 or 3 finish and it will all fall apart again because Lord Vader won’t admit his team is not strong enough (to overcome injuries and fatigue to key players) and go out and strengthen in January.

    How many more years do we have to suffer through Groundhog Season?

  • dan

    So how much has Kenny paid officials? Liverpool’s fortunes have turned so quickly, Chelsea’s on the other hand are not so good. Got a sneaky feeling something got to give, no new ground and plans either a squad that needs £200 million with no player of real after sale value, non existent youth policy, failing to make money its not looking good for Chelsea may be the Russian will walk?

    Torres/Carroll two expensive purchases by clubs with REAL AMBITION!!!!

  • Mahdain

    guess who will ref our match vs fulham? *drum rolls* yep its mike dean…sigh

  • Dogface, re that 00 on the back of your shirt, have you seen this week’s New Scientist? Has a whole special feature on the number zero. You might know all that, but for a non-mathematician like me it is fascinating stuff. to think that zero was outlawed initially in Italy – I wonder how they would have read the football results.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Starting to think a lot of the anti Arsenal sentiment out there – maybe they are just fighting the good fight for the red and white – Red and White Holdings that is.

    Interesting to see AVB getting a bit of stick though

  • Paul the Gooner

    On Sunday morning i listened to the Sunday Supplement on Sky.Oliver Holt of the Mirror said that all the press had given AW a easy ride.Then on Sunday evening on talk Shite the press pass programme at 6pm with Des Kelly were having a go at AW.Paul McCarthy the former Sports Editor of the News of the World and now a PR Consultant for Tevez, again in a more forceful way said of ALL the Premier League Managers said that the press had always given AW a very easy ride.Can you belive it.This low life having the balls to have a pop at AW.!Then, 10 mins later good old Arry came on and they were all very nice to him.Total Tossers!

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    I’ve often wondered if some of the negativity that goes AW’s way is because of his miracle working. Even the densest England fan can probably grasp that the way we play is a template for English success at Euro 2012 (or rather that trying to mimic ManU will get as far as Spain/Holland/Germany and no further). Therefote I imagine the thinking runs thus: AW buys undiscovered gems and polishes them up into world class players, why can’t he polish up some English players?
    That English players aren’t properly trained from an early age and that we are giving it our best shot anyway isn’t going to sell newspapers and so gets ignored.

  • bjtgooner

    The anti AW media reporting seemed to reach a new crescendo over the summer when much of the reporting (or fabricating) became extremely personal. Exactly why remains unclear. What is clear is that the campaign was totally unwarrented but deliberately orchestrated.

    Now that the team has settled down and is on a good run the media and the AAA have had to mute their comments, but are probably waiting for an opportunity to spew rubbish once again.

    @gartailor

    I can’t agree with you about Song. On Saturday a number of players looked tired after the internationals/travel. Song was probably tired but he kept going and provided the assist for the winning goal. He is still a young player – but is alresdy a vital part of the team.

  • Pat

    There is a full translation of Arsene Wenger’s interview with L’Equipe on Arseblog News. It is very well worth reading.

  • Domhuaille MacMathghamhna

    Shard….I watch a great deal of Turkish Football or what passes for Football and I always watch Galatasary and Besiktas as this is a derby like Galatasary and Fenerbache. Over the 10 years I’ve been able to watch European Football, I have never seen a single player treated like Eboue was during that game. It wasn’t as you claim, just routine harassement devoid of racism, it was hit the black guy with whatever you can (in this case waterbottles and lighters) while he pleaded for the referee to do something. The referee watched in bemused consternation as Eboue was bombarded by half-full waterbottles and batteries, briquets and other paraphenalia! Hopefully Tony will publish my latest article about Racism in European Football and you will reconsider the false information you were given.

  • Anne

    @gartailor:

    Song has been fantastic this season. Exemplary.

  • Anne

    @Paul Collins:

    “we could not have expected anything less from the media.”

    I agree with you 100% there, but are you sure that that’s what you were trying to say? 🙂

  • Anne

    @Shard, Dom, Mahdain:

    I believe that what Shard was trying to say was that, while not condoning any of the behavior demonstrated against Eboue in this particular case, we should not jump to the conclusion that it was racially motivated. How many of us are familar enough with Turkish football to make that judgment just based on a video?

    The fact is that Besiktas as a club has already come forward to deny that there was any racial motivation for this conduct (and they presented an explanation that was similar to what Shard raised, above).

    Now, not saying that that’s conclusive evidence that there was NO racial motivation for this conduct (which was, I would like to re-stress, completely unacceptable regardless of how it was motivated). However, we should still make sure that we have all the facts before we rush to judgment.

    On that note, Dom, I would be interested to hear you elaborate on the basis for your contrary view. Is this type of thing indeed unprecedented in Turkish football? Do you disagree with the position of Besiktas as a club on this?

  • Anne

    Oh, sorry, meant to include the following link to Besiktas official position (which, I want to once again clarify, I am NOT necessarily endorsing 🙂 ):

    http://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2011/11/21/178437.html

  • Anne

    @bjtgooner:

    I don’t think I could have said any of that better than you already said it, so I’ll just second you 🙂

  • bob

    Was Eboue ever on record as to whether he felt his treatment was racist?

  • Anne

    @bob:

    That reuters article that I linked to above seems to imply that Eboue is on twitter, and that he also made certain statements relating to racism. But at the same time, I personally am completely unable to find any Eboue twitter account that posts on a regular basis. Can any person who is more twitter-savvy than I am help me to clarify this situation? Please? Thanks.

  • bob

    Dom, Anne, All,
    We’ve recently had Bladder’s lamentable statement that there’s no racism in football because shaking hands after a match can dispel anything that was said or done on the pitch. If we can get more into the details, and into what Eboue has actually stated on the record, we could gain an important insight into the extent of racism in football today and understand the specific nature of what our former player has endured (while agreeing that it was inhumane). To that end I greatly look forward to your article on racism in football and to anything anyone can turn up that Eboue has stated about this. To me a key question is whether any white man has ever endured what Eboue was subjected to? Or, put another way, did Eboue’s skin color (aka perceived race) make him more eligible for such mass mistreatment (no matter how “slow” his game) than someone with a different skin color. Is this bias a common part of Turkish culture (as it is in too many other cultures?)? And, if so, Eboue would deserve more than a half-hearted, formal apology. And, in any case, as one of our own, we should have his back and express support, whether the crowd behavior is deemed racist or not. (Btw, if memory serves, haven’t EPL clubs formally denounced, if not banned, those sections of their fans who engaged in racist behavior? Either way, would that be more difficult to demand of the Turkish league? Have Bladder or Platini or others with oversight responsibilities weighed in at all on this incident?

  • bob

    p.s. Having checked the Reuters article via Anne’s link, it does report that because of the event: that Bladder had to reiterate his “zero tolerance” for racism policy, that Eboue texted “Say No2Racism,” and that “Neither Eboue nor his club commented on the incident at the game but offensive chants by fans could be heard around the ground and media reports have suggested the abuse was racist,” this last bit from the Reuters reporter. Hopefully more details will emerge.

  • bob

    p.s. Btw, is there currently even one ref or assistant or official in the EPL who is non-white? Historically?

  • @bob,
    Not being the most colour-aware person, the only definitely ‘Black’ ref I can think of is Uriah Rennie.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Oh where are the days that all the refs were “black”. 😉

    I still remember the days that in my country it was very acceptable to shout “dirty black” to the refs. But nowadays we have to be more careful with shouting “dirty black” at the ref because there are some really “black” refs in Belgium. Well one is in the first division.
    Oh how complicated life has become… 🙂

    Oh and they also have shouted “dirty black” at me and I do take a shower each day. And canary-bird was one that I liked also.

    In a way it is a bit funny how for let us say some 100 years the refs have been called dirty and named black (for their cloths) without anyone thinking anything bad about it.

  • Shard

    @Domhuaille

    “It wasn’t as you claim, just routine harassement devoid of racism, it was hit the black guy with whatever you can”

    I never claimed it was “just routine harassment”. That would imply that I in some way find that sort of behaviour acceptable or only a little in poor taste. So please don’t put words in my mouth.

    What I suppose I didn’t make clear was that my main point was that just because Eboue was targeted in such a way, it doesn’t necessarily mean it was to do with the colour of his skin. It COULD be, but it could also not be. So may I enquire why you are so confident in stating “it was hit the black guy with whatever you can”?

    As for things being thrown, I did say APPARENTLY turkish fans have done this before- the player mentioned was Hasan Sas but I have no idea if it’s true. But of course, I have seen things thrown on to the football field very many times and while I do not make a note of such incidents, I did see things thrown at Luis Figo on his return to Barcelona in Madrid colours, including cell phones and lighters (and famously a pig head)

  • Shard

    My initial thought on watching the video was “What did Eboue do to piss them off?” The fact that he was out on the sideline and waiting to get the ref’s approval to get back on the field suggested that it is possible he was injured (or pretending to be so) which fit with the people saying it was to do with time wasting.

    My second thought was, “was it to do with him being black?” and though I haven’t discounted it even now, I noticed there was at least one more black Galatasaray player on the field in that video – Kazim Richards. Why was he not targeted and only Eboue was? Why at that specific point in the match did people en masse start throwing things at him? I really don’t know..

    Anyway. I guess I’m just making a point about it because when I see Eboue being abused in this way, I see Eboue, not a black man. Not unless I am certain that is what is supposed to have been the defining motive for the despicable action, will I accuse people of racism, idiots though they most definitely are.

  • LRV

    gartailor, you are probably living in an alien world and probably watching aliens play footie on Mars rather than watching Arsenal; otherwise you would not have made such a derisory remark about one of our most stable players. Song, that is.

  • Anne

    @LRV:

    Seconded!

  • WalterBroeckx

    Lrv,
    it still is in some part of the Arsenal blogsphere the habit of having a go at Song. For one bad game some 5 years ago (I think) they have decided he was not good enough and will never be good enough.
    Since then everybody has seen that he actually is rather good (read this as a understatment) but they cannot admit this.
    But if Song would leave us one day some of those will be the first to call the head of the manager and want him to be sacked because of losing such a great player.