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RefWatch – Liverpool Vs Arsenal (03/03/2012 – 12:45)



Untold Arsenal on Twitter @UntoldArsenal


By DogFace

  • Referee: Mark Halsey
  • Assistant 1: Simon Bennett
  • Assistant 2: Ron Ganfield
  • 4th Official: Lee Mason

Good morning stat-fans and welcome to RefWatch… It’s just a quick one today as I noticed an anomaly in my booking index tables and, upon further inspection, I noticed that bookings for cup competitions were being included in the graph… this required a bit of a re-jig to the table views and a rebuild of my booking cache table structure – the issue is that the data is sourced from multiple locations and the first table (Vs Team) uses a different and much simplified dataset to the booking index – and this is what first alerted me to the issue.

So apologies if any previous RefWatch tables also contained booking information for cup games i.e. not EPL/ECH only (as they should be).

Anyhoo – while I was there I thought I would tweak things a bit and it’s just as well I give you a run down so you know what’s what. From now on the booking breakdown averages will be calculated thus:

Yellow card = 1 booking
Second yellow = 1.5 bookings
Straight Red = 2 bookings

This is an attempt to weight the booking and give a more representative picture… hopefully there are no bugs with it but if there are then let me know and I’ll address them ASAP.

Anyway – after I did all that it was 22:22 on Friday and I didn’t have time to write anything interesting or that might get me dubbed as a ‘tin foil hatter’ by all those witty young things that rock up on these pages to tell us, off the top of their tin-foil free heads, what’s what.

Asian Handicap (betting line) market:

Home Handicap Away
2.100 0 – 1/2 1.800

The Under/Over market:

Over Handicap Under
1.875 2 1/2 2.025

Some advice for you most credulous of cretins:- we do our research where as you read The Sun and listen to TalkSport. We are the experts – not you, please bear that in mind as you shake your heads in denial… not Liverpool fans – obviously, as from what I gather, they are well aware that certain referees can be hostile and are probably more open to this kind of analysis than those grubby little Orcs from down the lane who were on here last week.

Let’s have a look at the Referee:

  • Full name: Mark R. Halsey
  • Date of birth: 08-Jul-1961 (Age 51)
  • Place of birth: Welwyn Garden City
  • Resides: Lancashire
  • EPL/ECH Referee Since: 1999/2000
  • EPL/ECH Games to date: 283

Mark Halsey
Mark Halsey – Let’s get ready to rumble!

It’s Mark Halsey again… you remember him from our excellent open source referee reviews:

Season Score Match
2011/2012 58.540% Fulham 0 – 5 Manchester United
2011/2012 80.560% Chelsea 1 – 3 Aston Villa
2011/2012 65.000% Stoke City 0 – 0 Chelsea
2011/2012 73.170% Everton 0 – 1 Manchester United
Average Score: 69.318%

Wow just scraping by Marky boy – better have a stormer this game to bring those numbers up!

Mark didn’t get many games in the 2009/2010 season (and after) due to some serious health problems – but he still seems to get the odd game every now and then. You would have to expect that Mark’s time in the top flight is winding down and we would hope that he’ll try and do his best to give a consistent performance.

Let’s check out his stats!

FPB = Fouls Per Booking (vertical axis)
BPM = Bookings Per Match(line width)
AHS = Asian Handicap Swing i.e. the deviation from the expected result(vertical axis)
PPG = Points Per Game(line width)
Therefore a high thin line for FPB/BPM would indicate a lot of fouls and very little bookings – and a low thin line for AHS/PPG would indicate an underperformance against the betting line and very few points taken.

Mark Halsey has had 30 games for Liverpool consisting of 15 wins, 7 draws and 8 losses.

Liverpool are currently in 7th in Mark Halsey’s personal Points Per Game League (for teams with a minimum of 5 matches played), for matches in the EPL/ECH, with an average of 1.73 PPG.

In Mark Halsey’s personal Handicap Swing League (for teams with a minimum of 5 matches played), for matches in the EPL/ECH, Liverpool come 7th with an average positive swing of 0.13.

Liverpool are currently in 9th in Mark Halsey’s personal Booking’s Per Match League (for teams with a minimum of 5 matches played), for matches in the EPL/ECH, with an overall average of 0.93 BPM.

In Mark Halsey’s personal Fouls Per Booking League (for teams with a minimum of 5 matches played), for matches in the EPL/ECH, Liverpool come 13th with an overall average of 11.39 FPB.

There is a rather strikingly high line for Liverpool’s FPB – this is also quite thin to indicate not many bookings per match. In comparison we can see that Liverpool’s opposition also get very few bookings per match but, they also give away fewer fouls. Of late we can see a crossover in the FPB/BPM lines for Liverpool and their opposition and this is also reflected in a slight drop in Liverpool’s performance against the handicap and their average points per game (the blue line).

The colour of the line represents the player type.
The position of the line against the vertical axis will indicate the average time of the booking and the thickness of the line indicates the average number of bookings of players in that position.
Therefore a high fat orange line would indicate that the referee often books the specified teams defence out of the challenge early, a low thin line or no line would indicate the opposite.  The number of minutes bottoms out at 100 to indicate no bookings.

Above is a seasonal breakdown on how, when and where Liverpool took all their bookings under Mark Halsey.

There seems to be a fairly constant Midfield booking trend running through what few bookings Liverpool have taken under Mark Halsey and although these are trending to be slightly later in the match we can see some Attack and Defence bookings coming into Liverpool’s figures that draw the overall trend to be more and earlier.

The colour of the line represents the player type.
The position of the line against the vertical axis will indicate the average time of the booking and the thickness of the line indicates the average number of bookings of players in that position.
Therefore a high fat orange line would indicate that the referee often books the specified teams defence out of the challenge early, a low thin line or no line would indicate the opposite.  The number of minutes bottoms out at 100 to indicate no bookings.

Above is a seasonal breakdown on how, when and where Liverpool’s opposition took all their bookings under Mark Halsey.

Again we can see that Mark is not very handy with the cards for Liverpool’s opposition and his data really doesn’t show much in way the of trends and/or correlation to Liverpool’s booking index. One thing to note is that recently Liverpool’s opposition tend to get booked fairly late in the game.

Let’s check out how Arsenal do under Mark Halsey:

FPB = Fouls Per Booking (vertical axis)
BPM = Bookings Per Match(line width)
AHS = Asian Handicap Swing i.e. the deviation from the expected result(vertical axis)
PPG = Points Per Game(line width)
Therefore a high thin line for FPB/BPM would indicate a lot of fouls and very little bookings – and a low thin line for AHS/PPG would indicate an underperformance against the betting line and very few points taken.

Mark Halsey has had 20 games for Arsenal consisting of 12 wins, 5 draws and 3 losses.

Arsenal are currently in 5th in Mark Halsey’s personal Points Per Game League (for teams with a minimum of 5 matches played), for matches in the EPL/ECH, with an average of 2.05 PPG.

In Mark Halsey’s personal Handicap Swing League (for teams with a minimum of 5 matches played), for matches in the EPL/ECH, Arsenal come 4th with an average positive swing of 0.36.

Arsenal are currently in 18th in Mark Halsey’s personal Booking’s Per Match League (for teams with a minimum of 5 matches played), for matches in the EPL/ECH, with an overall average of 1.20 BPM.

In Mark Halsey’s personal Fouls Per Booking League (for teams with a minimum of 5 matches played), for matches in the EPL/ECH, Arsenal come 18th with an overall average of 9.42 FPB.

Wow… hmm – I’m not entirely sure what to make of Mark’s graph as some of it is very counter intuitive. For a start in 2007/2008 it appears that Mark was pretty happy with the cards for our opposition yet we see a slight drop in form. In the 2008/2009 and 2009/2010 seasons Mark Halsey gave our opposition precisely zero cards yet we showed a massive over performance – to be fair though the heavy win in 2009/2010 (against Blackburn I think as I remember taking my dad to the game) was our only game that season as Mark was taken seriously ill shortly after and had to take time off to recover – so we could call that an anomaly. Last season was our worst under Halsey for a very long time but I think that this is more to do with the style of refereeing that Mark adopts and even though he allows a very English game he seems fairly consistent with it. I think off the top of my tin-foil clad head that our opposition under Mark last season were Wolves and Stoke and, to be fair, the ‘English’ game is something that they seem to train for.

The colour of the line represents the player type.
The position of the line against the vertical axis will indicate the average time of the booking and the thickness of the line indicates the average number of bookings of players in that position.
Therefore a high fat orange line would indicate that the referee often books the specified teams defence out of the challenge early, a low thin line or no line would indicate the opposite.  The number of minutes bottoms out at 100 to indicate no bookings.

Above is a seasonal breakdown on how, when and where Arsenal took all their bookings under Mark Halsey.

Not much to say here really – very few bookings and what we do receive is trending to fairly late in the match.

The colour of the line represents the player type.
The position of the line against the vertical axis will indicate the average time of the booking and the thickness of the line indicates the average number of bookings of players in that position.
Therefore a high fat orange line would indicate that the referee often books the specified teams defence out of the challenge early, a low thin line or no line would indicate the opposite.  The number of minutes bottoms out at 100 to indicate no bookings.

Above is a seasonal breakdown on how, when and where Arsenal’s opposition took all their bookings under Mark Halsey.

Our opposition’s bookings seem to correlate quite nicely with our booking figures in terms of match time and volume and I’m finding it hard to read any trends here.

Let’s move on now to check out how Mark Halsey performs against selected teams in the EPL:

The ine thickness represents the average Points Per Game and the position of the line against the vertical axis represents the average swing againd the handicap.

This is by far the most bonkers “Referee Vs. EPL” graph that I think that I’ve generated – It’s insane! First of all IGNORE all the zero point intersects as these are seasons that Mark hasn’t had any games for the club in question. If we do that we can see that Manchester United are the consistent performers under Mark Halsey. Arsenal had, as we mentioned earlier, a stonking season in 2009/2010 but this was a single game and all the other clubs in the graph hit the zero intersect that season indicating that they had no games. Liverpool does OK in terms of points – but not quite as well as Arsenal in the great scheme of things… in fact they show a slight under performance. As for Manchester City – well – just look at it will you, a record of complete and utter disaster.

So – what to expect from this ref? Well – I think that this may be a fairly physical encounter and we should prepare ourselves to get ‘stuck in’ as it were and meet Liverpool firmly in the challenge – Liverpool (like us) are not a physical team so we should be fairly evenly matched and all in all I would say that we should have the opportunity to take all three points from this one – but we will have to work hard to get them.


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65 comments to RefWatch – Liverpool Vs Arsenal (03/03/2012 – 12:45)

  • Gord

    With respect to card weightings, I don’t know if 1/1.5/2 is necessarily good or bad. I think the best solution is to give each yellow its own weight. To be carded for dissent or sometimes even persistent infringement isn’t necessarily bad. But, I doubt there is enough information in the system to weight things that way.

    I often thought about something similar. Is a goal from open play worth the same as a goal from a penalty? What I think works, is a goal from open play is worth 1.000, while a goal from a penalty is worth 0.999. But, I don’t make the laws.

    You keep informing us on betting. Arsenal.com had a couple of GunnersGaming articles on Friday. The one article has 21/2 and 22/5 in it. My initial thought of 21/2 is that the person forgot a space, that they actually mean 2 1/2. But looking into things more, it seems they should be using a colon to indicate a ratio, 21:2 and 22:5. But, as I never bet on things, I don’t need to worry about getting confused.

    I looked briefly to see if anyone was producing odds on how many times Luis Suarez was going to dive in the game, and couldn’t run across anything. 🙂

  • @Gord – each yellow has it’s own weight but a red would carry more weight than a yellow would it not?

    And yes – there is enough information in the system to weight on dissent/persistent infingement/etc… I may consider this for a different route of analysis – thanks for the suggestion!

  • Gord

    Sorry about that dogface, they keep trying to teach English to engineers, and it doesn’t always work. 🙂

    If a person didn’t know anything about HIV or hepatitis, one might be inclined to say that a red for spitting on someone is worth less than a red for head-butting (both being violent conduct). But I think as a first pass calling all reds worth the same is reasonable.

    I don’t think calling all yellows the same is as reasonable. If a person was to get a yellow for dissent, it might be worth 0.6. Later in the game, the person could get another yellow for dissent, and hence the sum of the two yellows would be 1.2.

    Is that better? I think the referee reviewers might have some idea on how to weight the various yellows (possibly reds).

  • Hmmm… interesting suggestion – although not all yellows are the same – a second yellow (i.e. a sending off) is weighted higher – but not as high as a straight red. It’s still crude – but not as crude as it was – and we are working with averages here so semi-crude should be ok.

    FYI – In the previous model all bookings – regardless – recieved one ‘booking point’ as it were.

    The reason for the booking is, as I said, an interesting suggestion and I will have a bit of a think as to how this could be modeled…

  • Gord

    @DogFace

    More complexity. Two yellows, regardless of severity, still result in playing a man short. But, to get a second yellow when being 3 goals up is not as bad as getting a second yellow when being one goal down. Or, getting a second yellow when you “know” the referee is going to give you a penalty as soon as he can, if you are either one goal down or level. And then there is when the second yellow (or red) is issued. Getting a red (or second yellow) in the 5th minute of the game is a lot different from getting either in the 90th minute.

    It’s really late UK time, I’ll save any further pondering for later.

    I wish the Arsenal the best, and you a good night’s sleep.

  • @Gord – the booking index is done on match time – the only thing I can think of is something similar but a scatter graph with red/yellow dots of various sizes relating to the cause.

  • Arun

    Unbelievable save !!!!

  • Mandy Dodd

    Is Halsey a cheat, or is he so far, just having a complete shocker, with one team doing rather well out of it?

  • Mandy Dodd

    Sorry I even questioned it, Halsey is either a cheat or a homer, they are kicking us, and diving but he is giving us nothing.

  • Highams park gunner

    This referee is bent. How can he miss so many blatant fouls and yet another dodgy penalty.i am sick of this. Watching Espn stream and they are as shit as the referee

  • bjtgooner

    Our result last week was not in the FA or PGMOL script – looks like Halsey has got his orders…….

  • Sammy The Snake

    Gunners waiting for last 15 minutes, then the show starts!

  • Mandy Dodd

    I did not allow shouldering someones head was allowed, even if the culprit is a home grown player?

  • Mandy Dodd

    Halsey is a disgrace, look forward to the ref review on this one, the PGMOL do not want us in the top 4 so if we get there, it will be the hard way.

  • marcus

    What’s been happening this time Mandy?

  • There’s been a fair bit of ‘home advantage’ – I too am looking forward to the Ref Review

  • marcus

    Was Arteta taken out or accidentally mugged?

  • bjtgooner

    Brilliant result!!!! But, I am really starting to detest Liverpool and, as for Halsey – scum!

  • 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Told you we could win it!

  • Mandy Dodd

    There were times when we were not at the races today, but it turned out to be a day for heros, one in particular.
    Suarez was a disgrace. But in the end, for the second week running, we beat a top 4 rival and the PGMOL.
    This team care, this team believe. And they are not reading the script.
    As for Liverpool, a good team and some good players but natives of that City once stated that money cant buy you love. They maybe correct on that assumption, but money can buy you dross as their club have recently found out.
    A Utd win will now go down very nicely, not often I say that. Just hope Arteta and Diaby ok.

  • Sammy The Snake

    Didn’t I tell you. I said 1-2 a couple of days back, and I just said Gunners will get job done in last minutes. Well done guys.

  • Sammy The Snake

    Suarez is dirty, simply disgustingly stinking dirty.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Not forgetting, good luck West Brom!

  • Mandy Dodd

    Hard to say on Arteta / Henderson Marcus, need a closer look, I really hope he did not intend that

  • Gord

    According to the BBC, Arteta has a severe concussion. I wish him the best.

    Hat trick for Ryo? 🙂

  • goonergerry

    Forget Suarez- its RVP who won this game. Brilliant goals. Personally I would pay extra to watch this player. Arsenal should keep him at any cost.

  • Mandy Dodd

    They certainly should do what it takes to keep our MVP.
    Hope he gets recognised in the footballer of the year awards, not important in themselves, especially when you see some of the recent winners, but he really has been outstanding this season.

    A big mention to our saviour Szczesus today as well, he kept us in the game at a point when it could have gone horribly wrong, all the while knowing Suarez was diving and Halsey was giving. Top keeper.

  • Sammy The Snake

    Just another perfect weekend:

    West brom 1 – 0 Chelski till 82′ minute. Nice!

  • Asif

    WOW!!! I was waiting for that one decisive pass from Song and boy did he make that inch perfect assistance…Chessny boy what a game. One of the better defensive displays. I can’t wait to see Diaby get back and get his full form back…no matter what people say he is good. As for RvP…sheer genius!!! Suarez and the refree boo boo boo boo boo dirty rotten scoundrels.

  • marcus

    Funny how a lot of commentators go on this season about how we would we be 15th in the table without RVP and RVP’s goals…

    Firstly, to state the bleeding obvious, without RVP we would be a 10 man team…so it might be more accurate to state something like:

    “If Arsenal had Darren Bent and not RVP, they would be 10th not 4th in the league”

    But isn’t this whole theme really bizarre?

    Nobody says:

    “Without Messi, Barcelona wouldn’t be the world’s best team”

    Or

    “Without Ronado and Ronaldo’s goals M.U. would not have won 3 leagues and a European Cup”

    And what about the corrollary:

    Can we rightfully say:

    “With RVP fit for the last 7 seasons, and him scoring 40 goals a season, we would have won 4 leagues and two European Cups” ?

    The pundits don’t like it, but here’s a fact:

    We, stinking lousy Arsenal, happen to have one of the world’s elite all-time strikers….not Man.U. not Man.C …..get over it

    sometimes we will play badly, but still win….that’s what happens when you have a world class player….Man U did it all the time with Ronaldo, but we never heard the discourse on Man U being nothing without Ronaldo, so why the big deal about RVP…

    …just saying….

  • Sammy The Snake

    Chelsea lose, we’re 3 clear in 4th spot!!! What a great turn around for the Gunners from the start of the season. Great job Mr. Wenger, great job RVP, thank you to all players!
    Great weekend.

  • Sammy The Snake

    Marcus: RVP has now scored 50% more goals than the second best scorer Rooney in EPL: 25 vs. 17.

  • Gord

    Congratulations guys!

    Why did Diaby get subbed off? Tactical? Not game fit enough yet? Hurt again?

  • Sammy The Snake

    Diaby: hurt again. He’s not my favorite player but he had a few nice touches.

  • Mahdain

    halsey was a disgrace…how could he award a penalty when was it was a disgusting dive from suarez? and how many refs do teams need to commit before he blows the whistle? have to say im happy with how our players have learned to cope with these shit ref..its like they are saying “sorry PGMO but we are not letting you win against us this time” and i like it..great win
    fingers crossed for arteta though hope he is okay

  • Mahdain

    and props to westbrom for beating chavs..and they say we have crisis? 4th place,4 points from spuds and 3 clear of chelsea..now a united win(actually trashing) will complete a wonderful weekend

  • Adam

    Anyone out there dare to dream we can turn Milan over to continue building momentum.

  • Rich_Fryer

    Wojciech Szczesny was easily our MotM today when the team were second best for most of the game. Not just the awesome saves, but picking up Koz after the own goal. RVP was world class with those finishes, but Liverpool were the better team. Suarez goes down far too easy, but his movement is exceptional – luckily he’s not really a finisher. Not sure if the team were holding something back for Tuesday, or just feeling the strain of the last couple of weeks, but our movement and passing, goals aside weren’t great, and we were second to most balls. However, feels great that we won a game we should have lost, and not because of the ref, who was doing us no favours, but because of exceptional finishing and desire.

  • Gord

    From http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/wenger-it-was-vital-for-us-to-win-this-game

    > on Mikel Arteta’s injury…

    > As I sit here now, he is in hospital at the moment and we have no news.

    > on Abou Diaby…

    > The bad news of the day is that Diaby is injured and did his hamstring. Benayoun has a small hamstring problem, Gibbs has a problem. We look decimated after the game. I don’t know who will be available on Tuesday night. Maybe I will play with six strikers as we have to score goals!

  • Mandy Dodd

    Great news from West Brom! Chelsea, unless the current, or a bought in mamager can galvanise some very experienced players… could implode. How Spurs come back from last weeks humiliating capitulation is anyones guess. I would imagine the Redknapp will he wont he factor could yet come into play. We now have a good gap over Liverpool, and hopefully, Newcastle will not really be a threat. Still, taking nothing for granted
    An interesting dilemma for the Milan game, rest key players and go all out for third, or really go for Milan. Unlikely I know but A couple early goals for us and who knows?
    Looks like more injuries from this game, including unfortunately Gibbs, Benny and Diaby, not to even mention arteta. Shame, we have on the whole looked good with two FBs.
    A very satisfying week, done out by two notorious divers and weak/ bent refs but still we did not cave in. Maybe evidence of this mental strength thing that the media, an ex manager and aaa so love to deride in this team?
    I hope the press slaughter Suarez in the way they did Pires and Eduardo, and unfortunately, in the way they did not their darling Bale.
    A lot more to do, injuries are a real oncern, as are the refs but for today, thinks look good!

  • Just wondering how Halsey could see a penalty in the position he was !! Arteta was elbowed or mugged but i did not see any replays,anybody seen it? If it was any Arsenal player he was going for a 5 match ban but for a liver-fool player its a mistake?? Why always us?? hopefully Arteta and Diaby will be fine Tuesday!!

  • RedGooner

    Great result arguably one of our best over the past few seasons with the importance of finishing in the top 4.

    I would much rather be an Arsenal fan than have a league cup and be where Liverpool are in the table.

    Even better the fact we won in KlanField …..Suarez is a disgrace with his diving and cheating and racism issues.

  • dan

    Suarez, good movement but I’m starting to doubt his finishing ability. 1st half he caused our defense problems but asap the CB pushed up Suarez simply fizzled out.

    Half time J.Redknapp could not stop kissing the liverpool turdlet (Suarez) ass, spouting “oh simply World Class” and bollocks.

    RvP showed them how its done, from such a tight angle and a volley, Suarez could never do that!!!

    Good result but not the best performance.

  • DC

    Fabulous result! Not a great performance but clinical finishing! Liverpool were the dominant side but I’m very happy to have beaten a side that i’ve lost a great deal of respect for! Chelsea’s loss makes it all the sweeter and a ManU win tomorrow would just top it off! 3rd place; watch out, the Gunners are shootin’ for ya! RVP MotM with Szesha second!
    Halsey was an utter disgrace and his inaction could’ve have resulted in some very serious injury to one of our boys from those scousers’ late challenges!
    Arteta’s was a cervical spine injury and concussion. No neck brace was used! Hopefully he’ll be alright for Tuesday if he recovers from the concussion! Certainly possible but may be best to just give him till the weekend against the Geordies!
    Diaby tweaked his hamstring again so better to sub as further precaution! He looked good when he came on! No other major injury concerns that I could fathom from the match but maybe some aches and bruises to Gibbs & the Verminator!
    Well fought-out result lads! Looking forward to a basketball-style attacking match against AC on Tuesday!
    Two goals in the first 45mins at a buzzing Emirates and it’ll be “squeaky-bum time” for the arrogant Italians!

  • ak47

    another perfect weekend, to pull that off the back of an uninternational, players flying to africa etc…coupled with injury doubts is nothing short of amazing. robin the magician waving that wand around again. its an old trick he’s mastered, that left foot volley.
    SONGINHO!!!!! just got back from africa, looked jet-lagged. boom. how you like me now?

    then chelski

    have to admit i had big doubts this season but i was wrong, so very wrong.
    whatever the outcome of this season getting to this point with hindsight shows how amazing this team is.

    coyg

  • Gord

    From http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/17244462

    > 1826: Some Mikel Arteta news coming in from Arsenal, the club have confirmed that the midfielder went to a local hospital after being stretchered off at Liverpool as a precaution but he has travelled back with the squad in good spirits. Great news.

  • Blacksheep63

    So two weeks running we concede a dodgy penalty and the referee doesn’t send off or even book the supposed culprit (WS in both cases). Both were goal scoring opportunities and the pundits say stuff like “oh, he can’t have been sure about it”. At Sunderland we had a decent shout for a penalty but the ref was unsighted so he waived it away. Is this bad refereeing or bent refereeing?
    Secondly it seems pretty clear to me that both Bale and Suarez dived so is it time for the FA to act to do something about cheats like this? A retrospective ban would stamp it out

  • Sammy The Snake

    If u’re looking for a bit of fun and a good laugh at the money pit they call Chelsea, have a look at this:

    http://www.chelseadaft.org/2012/03/west-brom-0-1-chelsea-awful-chelsea.html

  • Sammy The Snake

    Here’s just 1 disgruntled Chelsea fan:

    We’re a laughing stock now. Even more so than QPR and that hurts! Please go AVB, and take your Portuguese friends with you!

  • bjtgooner

    It looked today as if Dalglish set up his team to rough us up – and there were some cynical challenges from Liverpool. In doing so Dalglish has shown that he has little faith in the football ability of his team – some of them were real thugs today.

    Suarez’s behaviour is not what we expect to see when we watch a supposedly top club.

  • DC

    @Macus,
    Spot on about the pundits and RVP! What a bunch of naive muppets and I just can’t wait till we have the last laugh! I’m starting to giggle already! 🙂

    @bjtgooner,
    Absolutely, Liverpool are a now well and truly a workmen-like side! The beautiful game has well and truly left them far behind! It was clear from us away fans that their fans have well and truly lowered their expectations for entertainment!

  • DC

    I’m also beginning to giggle at Juan Mata’s choice of the “Fulham Bus-Stop” over us cos he thought he’ll win trophies! Hee Hee Hee! 🙂

  • critic

    I don’t know what’s wrong with gooners. But here are few facts :

    Arsenal scored 5 goals against a good enough spuds side IN 25 MIN.

    Arsenal scored 3 goals against a miser aston villa side IN 7 MIN.

    Importand thing to note is both were 2 up hence goals were scored agains a 10 men behind the ball sort of system.

    Italian league is slow in comparison to arsenal.

    A drubbing of milan won’t surprise me.

    But it will not be possible without some luck, fitness and ems crowd.

  • critic

    Note : A drubbing of milan won’t surprise me but it will surely make me jump up n down like maniac and do crazy things at 315 am local time.

  • Gord

    Earlier, I posted a snippet from Arsenal.com where Arsene (probably jokingly) suggested he might play a 4-0-6 against Milan on Tuesday (6 strikers). That would certainly be an unusual formation.

    How many times this year, has Arsenal had 4 strikers on the field at the end of the game? I think it has happened often, but it is not something I can readily verify.

    For Milan, we (may) have a strong back four. Song is presumably fit. Unless Coquelin is fit, I suspect we only have a single midfield player. The BBC calls Walcott and the Ox as midfield, but, they are outside. The BBC lists our remaining midfield as: Aneke, Henderson, Meade, Ozyakup and Yennaris .

    I don’t even know if Coquelin or any of the other young players can function as a linking midfielder.

    Arsene may not be joking (much). Come Tuesday, we may be playing a 4-1-5 (yes, 5 strikers). Can Song and our fullbacks feed such an unusual formation?

    From an earlier comment, Ryo did not get a hat trick today. Apparently he had one good chance on net and did well in general.

  • RedGooner

    Quick question.
    Does everyone want us to beat Milan knowing that Chelsea will probably loose and be able to rest up while we would still have to play in europe on Tue/Wed nights ?

    Surely it would make more sense to field young players for experience and fringe players for match fitness and consolidate a top 4 place.

    Next season with some rebuilding we could have a go at everything again ?

  • Gord

    @critic

    By your local time reference, I surmise you don’t live in western Canada, and hence I don’t need to beware of strange “critic”s after Arsenal play in my neighbourhood. 🙂

  • Gord

    @RedGooner

    Do you read most of the articles at Arsenal.com? There were a couple of recent articles about what “drives” an athlete.

    Players will drive themselves at a high level up until there is no chance to accomplish the goal. At that point, lots of things can happen. They could just “relax”, and they’ll sort of coast at the same level of performance they are capable of. That’s about the best you can expect. It’s possible that they collapse, and in that event losing most of the remaining games is a likely result. Usually, you get something in the middle. Where exactly, is hard to tell.

    Getting a top-4 is important, if it is possible. Giving up on a competition (by fielding a “weak” team) can backfire.

    I guess 100 years ago, football played teams where most of the players were in the front line. Recent history has teams dominated by 4 or 5 defenders, a lot of midfield and few strikers. And that is all that teams practice for, train for, study about. If a lack of midfield forces Arsenal to play a 4-1-5, would you as a defence want to face RVP in the center, Walcott and the OX on the wings, and then probably Gervinho and Chamakh also in the middle? Walcott, the OX and Gervinho will probably win most footraces against defenders. Chamakh is supposed to be good in the air, and if all he does is chase down crosses that are not to the wings or are short, he could have a wonderful day. And RVP, he just scores.

    Yes, the logical thing thing is to do what you suggest. Athletes are not logical.

  • Tram

    Here’s my beef: We now accept that the referee mafia are allowed to review violent conduct after the match if the referee missed it, but nothing else. So we all curse cheats like Bale and Suarez, but that’s it. Suarez is fair game for the press, because he’s not British, but Bale is pretty much left alone by them.
    But remember Eduardo, and remember the storm at his supposed simulation against a British side in the Champions League, and remember the hate generated against him. And he was charged with simulation, and banned for two matches until Arsenal secured his acquittal on appeal, on the not so unreasonable grounds that he was actually fouled.
    Hypocrisy
    And the Sky commentators must have said a dozen times “justice was done”. No it was not. Justice would have been a yellow card for simulation. Saving the penalty was not justice done, (but nicking three points might be)

  • DeeDee

    If anyone had missed it, here’s Henderson’s crash with Arteta. It looks deliberate to me: http://twitpic.com/8ruv9c/full

  • goonergerry

    Dog Face- You are not a fan of mine. However you did a good job here. Unlike you I give credit where it is due.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Yes DeeDee, does look rather deliberate, doesn’t it. Maybe JH did not mean the outcome, just disrupting a run but deliberate.
    Strange, not shown on MOTD and not really reported in the press. We should be making more an issue of this.
    I was very disappointed with Liverpool. They played very well at times, but when up against it in the second half, turned into a bunch of diving £20+ cloggers who knew they had the ref onside. To see Carra and Reina hoofing upfield at every chance was hardly inspiring. They do no credit at all to illustrious sides who went before them… and who their manager played for. They ended up more like a Pulis team than a Shanks/ Paisley team and for their dismantling of the spirit of the beautiful game, got exactly what they deserved even tho they can claim unlucky with the woodwork.
    Liverpool fans, you have a right to expect better with what your club should stand for. Henderson, Downing , Carroll, Spearing and others should not wear that famous shirt. Dont even get me started on Suarez

  • @goonergerry – Thanks for the backhanded compliment!

    🙂