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RefWatch – Arsenal Vs Norwich City (05/05/2012 – 12:45)



Untold Arsenal on Twitter @UntoldArsenal


By DogFace

  • Referee: Anthony Taylor
  • Assistant 1: Simon Bennett
  • Assistant 2: Sian Massey
  • 4th Official: Lee Probert

Good morning stat-fans and welcome to RefWatch…

If you don’t mind I will start with a flashback to last week’s RefWatch:

The most interesting of the other fixtures, from a Ref Watch and Arsenal perspective, are for the two teams snapping at our heels:

  • Wigan Athletic v Newcastle United
  • Bolton Wanderers v Tottenham Hotspur

Interestingly, both of these two fixtures are refereed by Mike Dean (he is a busy boy)… now – those of you paying attention will be aware that there is a rather interesting correlation between Mike Dean and Harry Redknapp’s Tottenham as in both the flat (official) match statistics and the Untold referee statistics – Tottenham are heavily favoured by Mr. Dean.

Which begs the obvious question – just how did Mike Dean get these two fixtures [that directly affect Tottenham’s run in] that could well decide the 4th place spot?

And thus is came to pass that Tottenham now lie in fourth place – 1 point behind Arsenal. But wait – there’s more as this week there are some more rather interesting appointments from Mike and the mechanics at the PGMOL… interestingly though the appointments announcements were delayed nearly 24 hours and, with no explanation, were released at exactly the same time as the eyes of the British sports press were fixated on Roy Hodgson’s first press conference as England manager.

What a remarkable ‘under the radar’ coincidence eh – do they have something to hide I wonder!?

Even more of a coincidence are some of the aforementioned interesting appointments… well – when I say ‘some’ I actually mean just the most important ones and when I say ‘interesting’ I actually mean gob-smackingly retarded:

Match Referee 4th Official
Newcastle United v Manchester City Howard Webb Mark Halsey
Aston Villa v Tottenham Hotspur Lee Probert Mike Dean
Manchester United v Swansea City

Chris Foy Mark Clattenburg

Quiz time dear reader – let’s see if you’ve been concentrating and/or tuning into my twitter feed – take a look at the above and regardless of the form book between the teams, don your tin-foil thinking caps and make a guess which team might have an edge based purely on the ‘totally random’ appointment of the match officials by the PGMOL?

Put your answers in the comments section – fabulous prizes to be won!

Let’s check out the Asian Handicap (betting line) market:

Home Handicap Away
1.850 0 – 2 2.050

The Under/Over market:

Over Handicap Under
1.925 3 1/2 1.975

Let’s have a look at the Referee:

  • Full name: Anthony Taylor
  • Date of birth: 20-Oct-1978 (Age 34)
  • Place of birth: Wythenshawe
  • Resides: Manchester
  • EPL/ECH Referee Since: 2005/2006
  • EPL/ECH Games to date: 87

Anthony Taylor
Anthony Taylor – Distinctly average

It’s Anthony Taylor again… you remember him:

Season Score Match
2011/2012 73.170% Manchester City 4 – 1 Aston Villa
2011/2012 64.290% Norwich City 3 – 3 Blackburn Rovers
2011/2012 75.680% Wolverhampton Wanderers 0 – 5 Manchester United
Average Score: 71.047%

Let’s check out his stats!

Anthony Taylor has had 1 games for Arsenal consisting of 0 wins, 1 draw and 0 losses.

And that was the home match last season between Arsenal and Sunderland (2011-03-05) which ended goalless. So not much data – but we do have a Ref Review [old style] right here:

Arsenal 0 – 0 Sunderland

Lo and behold, he was fucking awful – a ‘nailed on’ total, utter and proper c%*t [technical term] to us that day.

In stark contrast we can see the Ref Review of the game Anthony Taylor had for Norwich City against Blackburn:

Norwich City 3 – 3 Blackburn Rovers

Where Anthony cooks up a last minute penalty for Norwich despite the fact that it was Ollsson who was fouled in the penalty area and was penalised for having the ball land on his hand as he was appealing for a foul.

Nice one Riley – what an amazing coincidence that you should randomly pick Anthony Taylor for this game along with all the other amazing coincidences in this week’s match official appointments.

For what it’s worth – here are Norwich City’s figures under Anthony Taylor:

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.

Anthony Taylor has had 4 games for Norwich City consisting of 0 wins, 3 draws and 1 loss.

Norwich City are currently in 22nd in Anthony Taylor’s personal Points Per Game League (for teams with a minimum of 4 matches played), for matches in the EPL/ECH, with an average of 0.75 PPG.

In Anthony Taylor’s personal Handicap Swing League (for teams with a minimum of 4 matches played), for matches in the EPL/ECH, Norwich City come 14th with an average negative swing of -0.06.

Norwich City are currently in 8th in Anthony Taylor’s personal Booking’s Per Match League (for teams with a minimum of 4 matches played), for matches in the EPL/ECH, with an overall average of 1.25 BPM.

In Anthony Taylor’s personal Fouls Per Booking League (for teams with a minimum of 4 matches played), for matches in the EPL/ECH, Norwich City come 7th with an overall average of 8.20 FPB.

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 Norwich City took all their bookings under Anthony Taylor.

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 Norwich City’s opposition took all their bookings under Anthony Taylor.

Let’s move on now to check out how Anthony Taylor 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.

There are loads of zero-point intersects here (denoting no matches for that team under Taylor that season) which is slightly confusing – but what we can see is that Liverpool and Tottenham are strong performers, as are Manchester City and Manchester United. Arsenal show a distinct under-performance (as to be expected from our one game that season) and Norwich show an average performance that has dropped off the boil a bit this season.

The Predictortron gives Arsenal a 0.000000 of a goal disadvantage… but we have to remember that Norwich are running on empty and have absolutely nothing to play for having secured Premier League survival already.

If I were Wenger – I’m consider brokering a few deals with Paul Lambert over possible player loans from our library of bright young things prior to this match – just in case Taylor gives Carte blanche to Norwich to hoof us all over the field and stop any attack with a cynical foul.

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79 comments to RefWatch – Arsenal Vs Norwich City (05/05/2012 – 12:45)

  • Anne

    “Newcastle United v Manchester City Howard Webb Mark Halsey

    Aston Villa v Tottenham Hotspur Lee Probert Mike Dean

    Manchester United v Swansea City Chris Foy Mark Clattenburg”

    Hm…. Do I want to risk my credibility by taking a guess on which teams might be favored by these ref appointments?

    No…I think I’ll leave that to someone else for now…(Or at least until I can get some more info on what these “fabulous prizes” are) 🙂

    However, one thing I will say is that I’ve been wondering lately if the refs might be attempting to even out their stats before the end of the season. You know, the same way that they even out their stats in matches by giving late bookings to the favored side. Just a thought.

    I’ve actually been calling City to win the league since early on this season, and I’m very suspicious of the way the issue of Pro-ManU ref bias has appeared out of nowhere in the press lately. Could this be some kind of attempt to pull a long con on us?

    Of course, the other half of my brain is thinking right now that I’m going to end up looking like a complete and utter fool for looking at the above ref appointments and still standing by my City pick.

    I guess we don’t have long to wait before we find out whether I’m stupid like a fox or just plain stupid 🙂

    But I

  • Anne

    Ignore those last two words (typo) 🙂

  • Gord

    Hello DogFace (and I still hate writing that).

    Was the presence of Sian Massey (female) as an official a hindrance in your producing a report? I can’t imagine incompetence here, she seemingly is near perfect.

    Which is all one can expect from an official.

  • Anne

    Oh, and just one more thing about my above comment… Can I get some kind of special prize for coming up with a conspiracy theory on top of a conspiracy theory? I’m quite proud of myself for that 🙂

  • rantetta

    We award you Best Conspiracy Theory Theorist

  • rantetta

    It is of course, entirely possible that they’d go for ‘evening out’, but,come on, they’re there to **** us right over, innit?

    There seems to be a *pattern (*Exclamation or question mark?).

    I’ve got memories of the Sunderland game. Yuk! I hope the players overcome this and all supporters – support.

  • rantetta

    @DF (Batman)

    Comprehensive, awesome!

  • Prasanna Veeraraghavan

    I really wish we go on having a roll and rock Norwich city and go into the final match of the season with a very good advantage.

    That settles it all.

  • Anne

    @rantetta:

    [wipes away tears] It’s all I’ve ever dreamed of… 🙂

  • Anne

    Oh, and based on the (excellent) work that DogFace and our ref reviewers have produced this season, I would say that the above ref appointments favor Spurs and ManU. Right?

    Clearly, Dean has a track record for Tottenham and Webb has a track record for ManU. But I must admit, I’m short on knowledge of the particular leanings of Foy, Probert, and Halsey. (I mean, aside from the fact that they suck, of course. 🙂 )

    What (or whose) influence am I missing here? Based on the last few ref reviews that I recall off the top of my head, Foy and Clattenburg seem slightly more even. Is that right? Or is it wrong (probably)?

  • Anne

    Sorry, I meant to say that Dean has a track record for Redknapp (and wherever he might happen to be) 🙂

  • For those of you that want the quick answer about Webb and Foy:

    Webb and Foy along with Taylor and the recently retired Walton have overseen just 1 Manchester United defeat between them in the last 47 Man Utd games that they have refereed. On that form Man Utd would have won the Premier League by Easter.

    Sadly for Riley, Walton retired at the end of March otherwise he could have taken control of the Man City game as they never won once in the last 11 games of their’s that he refereed.

  • Anne

    @Andy:

    That’s the quick answer? What question did it answer? 42? 🙂

  • Anne

    And by that, I was referring to your “Arsenal Resources” link 🙂 Come on, lay on the answers man…

  • Anne

    @Andy:

    But of course, you should always remember that I’m a lawyer, and perhaps overly inclined towards hyperbole <B

  • rantetta

    Anne.
    One of my comments above – which left you wiping eyes – meant I didn’t sleep as well as I might have, due to worrying that the said award might have translated at a “Linekar” moment (given that no-one can see how funny I thought my comment was – in my head).

    So relief, upon awakening, to see I haven’t Linekar’d you.

    All: Have you read the ref review linked above.

    Arsenal 0 – 0 Sunderland ? Makes my eyes water.

    Today’s about playing well and putting the chances away, as a couple of ’em are almost bound to be chalked off by refshite maximus.

    Send good vibes an’ stuff. C’mon Arsenal.

  • marcus

    You have to be careful though not to pre-judge the outcomes or the vested interests.

    Since Arsenal haven’t been out of the top 4 in 15 years, it is clearly credible to believe that the
    FPWB (Footballing Powers What Be) are happy with Arsenal being there.

    Don’t forget also that to stop Arsenal winning several Premiership the FPWB have had to SEVERELY handicap the team. (Er…19 penalties not given this season).

    So – wait and see what happens first.

    I personally believe that although Arsenal have been hammered, that may be more a pro MU manifestation than an anti-Arsenal manifestation.

    For instance, Aaron Ramsey opted for Arsenal over MU,
    which was perceived as a snub and deeply embarassing to MU,
    (especially given that they had made a premature declaration of having purchased him).
    Look what fate befell him ……

  • Anne

    @Marcus:

    Are you saying that ManU had Aaron’s leg broken because he didn’t sign for them? Or something like that?

  • Anne

    NOT saying I believe you, btw

  • Anne

    Just that I could see other plausible motivations for breaking the legs of Arsenal players… (please excuse me while I go vomit).

  • None

    @ Anne, Swansea? 😛

  • Anne

    I have no fucking opinion on Swansea. You people demand everything, don’t you? 😉

  • rantetta

    Who really, really knows whether Ramsey’s leg was broken on instruction. What we do know is that Slur Fungus called his ex-player after the scythe, and that said player was called up to the England squad – presumably before his mummy finished a well deserved cup of tea after taking her darling son home.

    Check this out:

    http://www.skysports.com/tv_show/story/0,20144,12382_5991425,00.html

    Why is Shawcross an ex Utd player?

    It hasn’t escaped my attention that any Arsenal player who goes against Rednose XV – XX, or even England FC, will be subject to various “assault’s” inc. blatantly bad decisions from refs on the pitch. Take Arshavin for instance. He dared to have good games at Old Toilet and had the further temerity to snivel for Russia’s WC 2018 bid. Cue: Kicked to **** in most matches & penalties not awarded to Arsenal (not just against Utd). Take Eduardo for instance. How dare he play well and score? for UKR against England – at Wumberly, too? Well, break his ****ing leg then, innit? No, that’s not enough – drive him out of the country. Take Diaby for instance. He just played well, and despite him scoring an own goal at OT, by which Utd won the game, there are a string of red-card tackles on Diaby which haven’t even been called as fouls.

    How can all of this be? Who synchronises all of this?

    It’s difficult to not pre-judge outcomes given the evidence within this ref preview. As you’ve correctly pointed out, Marcus, “19 pens not given”.

    That said, I reiterate; we gotta send positivity to our players. Well, that’s what I’m gonna do.

  • rantetta

    Anne:
    If you ain’t-got-no opinion on Swansea – how can I say “You can keep your opinions”, Pubis stylee.

    C’mon, play the game. (insert smiley – I’ve forgotten how to do it).

  • Anne

    Apparently, everyone is discounting my prediction that ManSh will win the league this year 🙂

  • rantetta

    You can keep your predictions!

  • Finsbury

    I remember that Sunderland game. Arshavin played like a giant.
    A shame the above official disagreed.
    I suppose that it all evens out in the end.

    I think I’d like to claim some credit for the super conspiracy!
    Last summer Bob told us his thoughts about the Slurgussian XX. I bellieved then that it would’ve been too blatent to push this transparent Utd. squad over the line two seasons in a row. And that theyd be happy with beating Liverpools record. Whatever happens tomorrow, at least we have had the title decider that wasn’t ( ching ching? )the game of the century. And the slurgussians are in the CL again.

  • marcus

    @Anne

    I’ve no idea. All I know is that where money is involved, people can be extremely unscrupulous.

    It is critical to the “BIG” clubs, that they retain their pulling power when it comes to top players.

    Already Real are talking about Song Vermaelen and RVP, as if Arsenal are second tier.

    The fate of the Premiership for 3 years hinged on Ronaldo going to MU rather than Arsenal, about which AW said there was “much to say” but at another time…..

    Anyhow, my general point was that MU are the cash cow, (or market leading brand) , and as long as they have their virtual monopoly, (or enhanced market share), the rest can squabble over the
    remaining percentages.

    As long as Arsenal don’t bother MU’s monopoly, the FPWB are content to let them chug along in 2nd /3rd / 4th….no reason to believe they will willfully push them lower.

    [Although, evidently, there is an argument that the quickest way to blow Arsenal out of MU’s waters is to depose AW, and the shortest route to that end would be shunting Arsenal out of the top 4……]

    However, there are other forces at play……

    John Terry inadvertently upset the apple cart, having knock on effects at Spurs and Chelsea.

    (For Spurs, it led to the England Manager problem, which led to Totts getting destabilized, (along with Fabrice Muamba nearly dying, which clearly deeply affected several of their players), which caused them to slump)

    Ironically, JT has probably been our best opposition player, although in an unsavoury way – just in case anyone thinks I am endorsing his behaviour.

    And then there is the Man City factor, which has probably taken the eyes of the FPWB away from Arsenal.

    (Man C are now the biggest threat to the Status Quo, not Arsenal).

  • rantetta

    Jus’ Banter, y’know. I’m “hangin’ out the back” of my poor assertions.

  • marcus

    Man City will probably win, you are right Anne. It will be hard to obviously rob them at this stage, so all they need to do is win 2 games.

    The FBWB do intermittently allow MU not to win everything. Chelsea won the Prem for 2 seasons, and it was attributed to MU “rebuilding”

    lol….

    sorry, when Giggs and Scholes are the lynchpins of the team for 20 years, it makes me laugh to hear they were rebuilding in 2004-2005

  • Anne

    @Marcus:

    You’re smart. And I enjoy your opinions.

  • Anne

    @rantetta:

    You’re smart as well. It’s just that you’ve been around enough that I take you for granted. Is that ok? 🙂

  • Anne

    Sorry kids… As match time approaches, I just have this ringing sound in the back of my mind (Arsenal, Ahr-senal, ARSENNAL, Arssenall…) Rapidly losing my common sense.

  • Anne

    COME ON ARSENAL!!!

  • marcus

    Lol- sounds like Tinnitus Anne….

    enjoy the match…

  • Anne

    @marcus:

    I’ll be considering my diagnostic options. After the match 🙂

  • Anne

    @Marcus:

    You know I didn’t mean anything other than the highest respect for you, right?

  • rantetta

    Thanks, Anne. It’s a privilege to be taken by you, including for granted.

    ♫♫ He scores when he wants
    He scores when he wa-ants
    Robin van Persie
    He scores when he wants ♫♫

    I’ve done ****all since I got up – but think of Arsenal. Time for a shower and pre-match fruit or summat. (The chocolate’s finished).

    I’d contemplated going to N5 to try and find this Auld Triangle place so I could meet Tony and Walter for the first time. Bah.

    Come on Arsenal.

  • marcus

    If I was up at the Auld Triangle Anne I’d buy you a drink!

  • Anne

    @marcus:

    One of these days 🙂

  • Anne

    STAY YOSSI!!!!!!!!!

  • Mandy Dodd

    That goal was an example of a complete failure to defend as a team, inexcusable at this level. The mfs just let them through. If it stays like this, the AAA will be in their element.

  • Mandy Dodd

    This is the last home game of an Arsenal legend, Pat Rice needs to give the half time team talk and give some the rollicking of their lives, let this be his final act for this team at the Emirates. Then, bring in someone who will really rattle a few cages – on this performance so far, some of them need it!

  • Anne

    Dammit, DogFace, I can’t figure out a way to say “sigh” twice in a row without being flagged for a duplicate comment…

  • Mandy Dodd

    Think that so far, this game shows how good a job Arteta does for us

  • Anne

    I miss Arteta

  • Mahdain

    DOES ANYONE KNOW WTF DO WE NEED TO GET A PENALTY IN THIS LEAGUE? What a joke :@

  • Vkasldal

    What idiotic Sh*(ty refereeing is that

  • iniez

    absolutely ridiculous

  • Mandy Dodd

    How did we lose that game? The ref let them away with murder, yes they could have had a pen, but so could we.
    But the fact is, you cannot defend like that, and we have been doing that for too long now. It took us too long to wake up today Our destiny is out of our hands, we must win in the Carnival atmosphere that will be West Brom to get into the top 4.
    IF we miss out on Europe from the position we were in, we will have thrown it away, the team will deserve all the flak that will come their way from all quarters.
    Pat Rice retires, the lesson today, Wenger MUST use this opportunity bring in a proper defence coach, a bit less tactical naivity may help too. The amount of goals we leak is not acceptable at this level

  • Mandy Dodd

    sorry, meant draw that game, but it feels like a loss!

  • Chowdhury

    Does anyone keep count of how many “fluke” goals we conceded this season? the 2nd one today was yet another one.
    Our keeper had an ‘off’ night.

  • El Gringo

    Their keeper was ruddy brilliant…and lucky. Made more saves with his feet than his hands. The save on Gibbs at the end was lovely.

    First bad game I’ve seen from Chesney. He’ll be unhappy. Ramsey looked tired. Gervinho was great, nice to see him finding some form.

    They should have had a penalty; we should have had two. Obstructing free kicks and throw-ins is apparently legal now–anyone see the Norwich player knocking the ball out of an Arsenal player’s hand who was taking a throw-in?

    What effort and spirit at the end! With just a shred of luck (or some defense) we’d have had it.

  • dan

    Arsenal just cant defend, simples!!!
    The game was won why on earth did the team keep thundering up the pitch, leaving gaping holes in the middle???
    The defense was sleeping, which seems to be the norm at the present, how on earth do we keep throwing away points?

    With the points in the bag the pressure was on Spurs/NUFC, now we’ve given them the incentive to play tomorrow.

  • dan

    Our boys just don’t like the pressure.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Chowdhury, yes we do concede a lot, but we dont half leave ourselves open to them. Seeing games like this makes me wonder if the coaches take defending seriously. Think it was a golfer who said “The harder I practise, the luckier I get” -I think we need one of THE back 4 back to help out, however the rumours I am hearing are that Mr Banfield will take over from Pat.
    No good playing at times great attacking football if we constantly find ourselves going behind and facing an uphill battle. The fact is, we have let in 47 goals, that really is not good enough and handicaps our aims.
    We have good defenders, but at times, the MF and FBs just seem to let teams through at them. If you listen to Keown, Adams et al, they will tell you how hard they worked on defensive drilling until it all became secnd nature. Effective defending does not look sesond nature to this team.
    The ref had a shocker, we were unlucky with fluke goals, unlucky with our finishing, their GK had the game of his life at our ground…again…I am not coming over all AAA, but if we do not make Europe, it will be in a large part down to poor defending. That 3 points was there for the taking, like quite a few others recently

  • Basil

    A few years in the wilderness is what this club needs to concentrate the minds of the owner and board what is really important;well coached players playing for the shirt,not busts of managers who are still there and foreign tours.Wenger has not evolved,everyone has worked Arsenal out and his time is up.

  • dan

    Supporting Arsenal should come with a health warning.

  • iniez

    Honestly I could argue that two of the goals they scored were a bit lucky. Yes our defence fell asleep at most times and really should have done a better job considering norwich were very determined to get more goals, they switched off too easily after we scored our third..If I was to lay any blame on the ref there should have been atleast 3 red cards given to the norwich team for a cumulation of bad challenges and unsportsmanlike conduct, and he was all too excited to blow the whistle to end the game, honestly it was in his bloody mouth 5 seconds before 4 minutes were up. Our defence was a shambles at times, but the ref really didn’t help. Ruddy was a beast today, can’t say I’ve seen him play much before but if this is a regular day out for him then wow

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    I will wait for the ref review but from my seat looked like two clear cut penalties not given for us Vermaelen being strangled and the push on RVP plus the handball in the build up to one of our goals as a third possibility. Hoolahan could have been booked for his assault on Le Coq immediately after being beaten by his first touch. A far more blatant foul than the one Ramsey was booked for. Another ‘Professional’ performance on behalf of the PGMOL surely now due for promotion. What’s the betting on us being fifth going in to the last game?’

  • Mahdain

    John Cross reporting that Sagna had his fibula broken on the same leg as earlier this season and he’ll miss Euros..well done PGMOL you got what you wanted

  • Tasos

    Disappointing the way we allowed Norwich back into the game.

    You can debate players, tactics, formations and such but we have now gone a whole season at home without being awarded one single penalty.

  • Basil

    Two breaks of the same leg within 8 months is career over i’m afraid.Oh and Wenger refused to speak to MOTD.And Norwich should have had 2 pens as well,instead of this constant whinging about the refs,why don’t you look at how we can improve as a team,because the current one is not fit for the Europa league let alone the CL.

  • Mahdain

    Wenger just confirmed it..Sagna has indeed suffered a 2nd leg break in THIS season alone

  • dan

    @Basil

    WHERE THE FUCK HAVE YOU COME FROM? Where have you been all this time, you only poke your rotten head out when the team needs us the most, and no one knows the outcome yet.

    If your such a great tactician then why didn’t you post your CV last week for the England job, I heard the FA where looking for a Muppet.

  • Gord

    Look Martha, they’re back!

    A stumble, and the boo-birds are back wanting to kill everything and everyone, leaving behind a scorched Earth.

  • rantetta

    Now you can see why tony the tilt taylor was appointed for this match. For all of Arsenal’s “defensive failures”, Norwich have learnt how to niggle and foul their way through this type of game. Witness how Norwich needed two or three times the amount of fouls to get a booking. It didn’t matter that Holt targeted Song’s ankle and blocked his attempt to retrieve the ball for the free kick – there would be no card for Holt.

    It appears Gervinho may have been offside when he passed the ball to RvP but the linesman didn’t put the flag up, so how come taylor didn’t award the penalty when RvP was barged into the goal?

    There were so many incidents which’ll no doubt show up in the ref review but that can’t change the result of this match. Frankly, I felt Arsenal would have an extra difficult challenge with this match, and that was before reading DF’s Ref Preview. Just look at all of the appointments this weekend – and read this preview article again.

    And bear in mind the crap that’s been going on, refshite wise, all season, but particularly at the start, the middle (Jan) and the end of this season (starting at QPR) – against Arsenal. Tilter Taylor’s up for his FIFA badge recommendation after this.

    Of course, it’s out of our hands now (3rd place) and it’s possible we won’t even get 4th, and yet for me, this is still a fine Arsenal team. Wherever Arsenal finish I will still be supporting this fabulous team with its exceptional players and manager.

  • Arvind

    Sad. Very very sad. I just feel gutted for the first time this season. Its not yet over..no..and maybe we still might nick it…but I’m just very sad. All the effort to no avail.

    And really as someone said(sorry I dont remember who) .. why go bombing through the middle? The equalizer was on. I was calling it way before it happened : (… which is nothing to be proud of either : (.

    Yossi off…meant no one to play keep ball…Chamberlain bombing forward (cant blame him), Song playing almost off RVP and Rosicky very similar. Who was defending? : ( .. just just gutted… the AAA will be celebrating for sure…

    Again…I thought I was over the emotional roller coaster rides a year or so back..I’m just gone today : (

  • Arvind

    And how many 50-50’s did the ref not give? I lost count. And how is that not a penalty. Its disgraceful, whichever angle you look at it. Just awful.

  • Chowdhury

    On a lucky day it could easily be 10-3 for Arsenal.
    The 2nd half was scintillating. A true gem of a football match. This is worth spending your money for. Or calling off sick at work. 🙂
    I probably will take a lot of criticism, but hell with it. I want Arsenal to always play like this. All out attack. The 2nd half was mesmerizing. Almost as good as the 1st half from the AC Milan game. Only this time it was a draw instead of a win. But that’s the Arsenal I love. Offence IS the best defence. Love it. As for moaners, go buy some plastic cups from the super market and stare at them all day long. Will suit you.
    C’mon GUNNERS.

  • none

    “just in case Taylor gives Carte blanche to Norwich to hoof us all over the field and stop any attack with a cynical foul.”
    A true word is often said in jest.

  • Gord

    Here’s hoping. Bolton up by 1, Ryo on the subs bench. Aston Villa up by 1. Newcastle/ManC scoreless.

  • Gord

    Yaya Toure scores for ManC, Danny Rose dismissed for Tottenham. Ryo still on the bench, 5 minutes into second half.

  • Gord

    Yaya Toure scores a second with 1 minute of regular time left. Aston Villa give up a penalty to 10 man Tottenham. Ryo still on the bench, 20 minutes in to second half.

  • Gord

    Adebayor scores the penalty, so 1-1 there. West Brom score an own goal, so Bolton up 2-0 with Ryo still on the bench. ManC won 2-0.

  • Gord

    West Brom score a goal. 8 minutes there, and Bolton have used all their subs now, so no action for Ryo today. Villa and Tottenham still tied.

  • Gord

    Somebody looking for a tight finish to a league? 🙂 We are 1 point up with a goal difference 1 better than Tottenham with 1 game to play. Two points up on Newcastle with a big difference in goals. Six points up on Chelsea with 3 better goal difference, who play their game in hand against Liverpool Tuesday. I have to cheer for Liverpool? That isn’t fair.