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Arsenal – Stoke: crazy assistants, mad tackles and bad punches. Oh and we won.

By Walter Broeckx

So the Huns came to the Emirates and left with empty hands.  Fine.

There are teams that you want to see trashed at the Emirates. The spuds come to mind. And in fact Stoke is such a team.  Winning 6-1 against Southampton is great but you don’t get a devilish great extra feeling doing this. After all Southampton are a rather  nice club with no bad blood running between both clubs.

But with Stoke this is different. So if we could beat them with a big score you have two great feelings coming together. But in a way winning 1-0 against them with a hard fought victory with a goal at the end is in fact almost as good as a trashing. Because now they had hope for getting away with a point with their terrible tactics. And then suddenly we scored with a deflected free kick and they have to go home with no points. This brings the  great devilish feeling. Beating them with their own weapons.

I can imagine the usual suspects coming over here and telling us how bad we are and how doomed we are. I think those characters will have been as disappointed as Pukes or what’s his name?

Wenger made 5 changes compared to the Liverpool game. We must remember Stoke had one day more rest between their Tuesday fixture than we had. So a  smart move in my opinion. Vermaelen was out and so was Gibbs. And then he gave a rest to Cazorla, Podolski and Ramsey.

It was very much one way football. The BBC gave Stoke more possession in their stats but that must be down for counting the time the ball was out of play and they were time wasting as possession. But all the other statistics were pretty much in favour of Arsenal.

We struggled to break down their 10 man defensive line. It was a game where we had to take the few chances we would have. Stoke is the champion of the draws and of the 0-0 score line so we had make sure we took that we could get. We didn’t so it became a long and frustrating game.  With not many chances. They can defend, Stoke, that is for sure.

Wenger brought Podolski and Cazorla in the second half and it paid off.  When Walcott was fouled it was Podolski who placed himself behind the ball. And his shot went in taking a deflection from a Stoke defender. Yeeeeeaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh! We all shouted.  And then suddenly ……we saw an assistant with his flag raised.

First the facts:

  1. When Podolski took his free kick Walcott was standing in an offside position. He was the player the furthest away from all the players and from the assistant.
  2. The ball was shot in the middle some 10 meters away from where Walcott was standing.
  3. In the middle no Arsenal player was offside or even close to the ball (apart from Podolski who took the shot of course)

Now being an assistant myself these days most of the time I know a few things about the job of the assistant.  And I know the problems you can have at times. But if the assistant couldn’t see that Walcott wasn’t interfering at all in this situation he should have his vision checked. Maybe he has a problem with depth perception. If so then I am sorry but then he should stop being an assistant.

If his vision is ok and I hope the FA checks this every now and then, then this is the strangest flag raising I have seen for a long, long while.  This was a disgrace if you ask me. And I think Foy knew that all too well and so he overruled the assistant rightly so.

That was a total embarrassment for the assistant who on a few occasions seemed not really completely up to his task. And I feel sorry to say this but he himself drew the wrong sort of attention upon himself this afternoon.

Towards the end there were a few other incidents and the ref this time didn’t take enough control of. After we scored Stoke became even more aggressive and then Shawcross came in with this studs and slid in the body of Koscielny who had cleared the ball. He got a yellow card (Shawcross) but once again he came flying in like the complete lunatic he is. Breaking Ramsey is leg clearly isn’t enough for this embarrassment  of a football player.  Lucky for him Foy gave him a yellow card so he once again can escape what he deserved and that would be another ban for a red card.  But well we know that Shawcross is ‘not that type of player’ by now. Puke.

Tempers were raised because of the bad spell from the ref and when Arteta went in strong on Owen the ref gave no foul. It was a foul from Arteta and should have been a booking as far as I can see. And then Owen threw a punch at Arteta that missed him. Again the ref didn’t see that. On MOTD the “experts” showed it and laughed it away saying it was nothing as it was a bad punch and didn’t really hit Arteta.

Well another example on how little they actually know about the rules but still try to indoctrinate the general public with their nonsense. In fact when you throw a punch or try to throw a punch it is the same. The offence is throwing a punch towards an opponent. The offence is not if it hit the opponent or not. No the throwing itself is the offence and should be punished with a red card.

Another example is that if a player throws  a ball in anger towards another player, ref or spectator this player should get a red card. And then again it doesn’t matter if the ball that was thrown makes contact or not. Such actions don’t belong on a football field.

My final words go to Nacho Monreal who made his début after only one training with the team and having signed a contract some 36 hours before. I think he did his job in a sober way. He had a few misunderstandings in this game as can be expected when you are thrown in to the deep.  I remember him joining the attack a few times but being overseen a bit, maybe because of the absence of Podolski on the left flank.

On one occasion he made a good run when he combined with Wilshere and his cross was dangerous but Shawcross I think could get it out of the way just before the onrushing Giroud. Defensively he looked solid and I cannot really remember him getting out of position in this game. So a good solid start from the left back who I feel will grow when he gets used to his teammates a bit better.

1-0 against the thugs from Stoke (they sure lived up to their bad name), a clean sheet. A good début.  What more can you want.  Chelsea losing, Everton dropping points… I know what more that I want. Let’s hope it happens on Sunday.

Recent posts…

 

68 comments to Arsenal – Stoke: crazy assistants, mad tackles and bad punches. Oh and we won.

  • avatar Ross

    The BBC screw up possession stats often I’ve noticed. Today we had closer to 70% of possession, nowhere near the 47% they gave us. LOL.

  • avatar WalterBroeckx

    Another remark according to the BBC Arsenal had only 47% possession.
    According to Eurosport they had 65% possession….

    Can anyone explain this difference to me?

  • avatar Ed

    1-0 against Stoke at home, woopee do…
    We should be murdering Stoke not scuffing in deflections to save the day.

    Anybody see the Newcastle Chelsea match?
    Fast exciting attacking foot all from Newcastle and the difference was the new players brought in this windows and 3 clean goals .
    Newcastle deserved a win for an excellently played game.

    If one ly we had a manager that could be decisive instead of a stubborn fool afraid to admit mistakes.

  • avatar Dubzie

    Ed. Please do us all a favour and shut your noise. All this anti arsenal drivel from supposed arsenal fans is boring. Get behind your team or jog on.

  • avatar elkieni

    Finally back in Sydney from my holiday to a cyclone effected queensland. First thing I did after the usual post holiday cleanup, put on the arsenal v pool game and watched it. Then when it was finished I caught a bit of QPR v Norwich, poor old Harry, got a pen but couldn’t put it away. That taarabt guy (pen misser) wasted so many chances shooting from range when he could have taken it further in…. Oh well onto The Arsenal!!!
    The tv at end showed we had 71% and they had 29% so where does the BBC figures come from, sane place all the anti Arsenal shit comes from – their arses!!!
    I remember for a few years (this one excepted) that the toffees fans thought it was time for Moyes to go as they were not happy with him getting same results over and over again but within a budget. If we all think that he has done well which sons AAA must do, then how good us AW?
    Hes is fuking brilliant…
    Now for Spurs to drop points it like their hot..

  • avatar elkieno

    Ed: No your wrong, oh dear this is exactly what the doctor ordered imo. You need to’take a birds eye view of it’ and put it in context. Stoke are neither of those teams. Do you watch the prem much? Are you a fan, do you like Arsenal? I think you need to have a word with yourself…
    Chelsea are leaking goals left right and center and cant hold a lead lately (unless we give it to them). Newcastle could be in deep trouble (hence the spending spree in Jan) and needs points, so have to go for it. Both teams wanted to play Football and so they did, resulting in a great game and goals to boot.
    Only one team wanted to play in our game last night, Arsenal FC, as we always do, its our motto/mantra, you should know if your a fan. The other team were a bunch of time wasters throughout the whole game so sucked in, it bit them back.
    Also, we have had problems when conceding early goals to stupid errors, which we all say please sort it out. So first thing on the list for our game was to not concede a goal via an error or us being to slow to get started. I commented on here after the liverpool game saying why cant we address this, we need to stop the errors and early goals, as we know we can score if we play. Soemone responded to me (Mandy Dodd?) saying we should start by being more defensive or play smart and not do anything to put us in an error situation. Looks like we did just that last night, we were all nervous to concede an early one, but came through and one the game 1-0. Any vivtorty makes me happy but beating stoke is one of the best.
    * ‘Ryan Shawcross – we know what you are…’
    * ’1-0 to the football team’
    The crowd also made a good atmoshpheres at times too. When Ramsey came on I heard a big cheer for him, that made me so happy, when the ref blew full time that was even better.
    ahhh sundays after a win are really great arent they?

  • avatar Ed

    @elkieno I am a life long Arsenal fan and I stand by what I say, if we had played Newcastle last night they would have torn us a new asshole with that attack.
    Nacho is a great addition and I am overjoyed to see him in the red and white but we can’t handle a defense on one man.
    Our defense was shit before Nacho came, the guy needs better players beside him than the ones he cuttently has.
    Can you honestly tell me that if we had M’Winga or Goycruff with Nacho last night that it would not have been a better stronger defense?

    Re Chelsea leaking goals have you noticed they are in 3rd place and have ‘leaked’ less goals than everyone above us except City?
    You your definition Utd, Chelsea, Spurs and Everton are leaking goals.

    I am a realist I won’t be appeased by 1 signing when it is obvious we needed more.
    Of course Newcastle needed help, they were struggling and sold their top scorer but incase you hadn’t noticed we are struggling as well!

    Wenger messed up and missed the chance to sign some sorely needed players… AGAINST!

  • avatar elkieno

    Ed: One more thing, Newcastles new players look good especially that Cissoko guy, but the new Yaya Toure? this is ridiculous the guy has to do it every week now and win them games all by himself like the real Yaya Toure has done many times with City. Chelsea probably didnt do homework on him, but NOW thanks to Chelsea, we all no what he can do if not marked and left alone to play.
    Almost everyone that comes into a new side will be all geed up and ready to rumble. Lets see how good he is in a couple of months, or even next year. No big club wanted him, why? maybe for big clubs it is a massive mistake OR maybe he is like adebayour in that he starts great but fades out, who knows?
    Its probaly statistacly better when the player starts out without making the headlines, maybe like our Nacho…
    (no idea about that last line btw :-))
    Every AAA talks about getting some player to make us better, but they didnt mention this guys name, so how good are they at picking talent? Maybe Football Manager has no data on him cos he is not in the media all the time..
    He will know though.
    Also whats happening to chelsea, what has Roman done to them?
    Rafa is getting worse according to them, he would need time but wont get it, so where next?
    I hear the AAA folks saying there are hundreds or managers out there who could do a job, lets see who he gets…

  • avatar elkieno

    Sorry Ed I see what you are saying, but cant agree with it. A life long Arsenal fan and you cant enjoy a win over those Orcs?
    How do you know so surely NUFC would tear us a new asshole? Chelsea fans are not happy with their manager and some now are saying Roman is ruining their club. This will grow within the fanbase as long as these results continue to happen, which I feel they will. Lets see how it pans out, interesting indeed.
    How can you expect us to go out and buy all those players then put into one team, no doubt causing major unbalance with the rest. Plus the wages for our current team AND these new players to boot, then you would come out and say why have we got all these dead woods taking up our money etc.
    Imo we have a good team and do not need to have it ruined for the sake of appeasing you or anyone else.
    Lets see how it pans out and where we end up, then we can argue about the transfers done in Jan. As is stands we are 4th and they NUFC are in 12th…
    Anyway my point was, enjoy your team/clubs victory, that is why we support a team to enjoy it…

  • avatar reo

    That thug Wilkinson consistently faulted Walcott and the same lineman gave nothing. Amazing!!

  • avatar elkieno

    (typo in username sorry)
    Finally back in Sydney from my holiday to a cyclone effected queensland. First thing I did after the usual post holiday cleanup, put on the arsenal v pool game and watched it. Then when it was finished I caught a bit of QPR v Norwich, poor old Harry, got a pen but couldn’t put it away. That taarabt guy (pen misser) wasted so many chances shooting from range when he could have taken it further in…. Oh well onto The Arsenal!!!
    The tv at end showed we had 71% and they had 29% so where does the BBC figures come from, sane place all the anti Arsenal shit comes from – their arses!!!
    I remember for a few years (this one excepted) that the toffees fans thought it was time for Moyes to go as they were not happy with him getting same results over and over again but within a budget. If we all think that he has done well which sons AAA must do, then how good us AW?
    Hes is fuking brilliant…
    Now for Spurs to drop points it like their hot..

  • avatar Oguntuase Amos

    Don’t expect BBC to favour Arsenal. The Broadcasting outfit has lost much credibility. As for Stokes, they are misfits of the EPL. It is better they are registered to play Rugby and some of their players signed up for wrestling and boxing. As for Michael Owen, he had descended to the lowest level as a footballer otherwise he would not have signed for a club like Stoke. He had been bitten by Stokes virus. He and Mr Longman Crouch may end up in ignominy if they do not get out of that team packed with rascals and coached by a sadist.

  • avatar Florian

    Hm, out of curiosity, what’s Stoke’s possession % in the BBC version? How do other matches’ stats look? Do the possession numbers even add up to 100%? If they don’t it may be that they count each team’s actual playing time, and then make it a % out of the total match time. In this case, the percentages won’t add up. Just a theory. And it already seems far-fetched:)

  • avatar colario

    When a team parks the bus against us we usually lose or at best draw. This time we won. The team did all that we want of them. They defended well, they played good football, they fought for every ball and they never gave up trying. And yet Ed complains. May be in this example ‘ed’ is short for manure

  • avatar Asif

    @Ed – you seem to forget that the team that were beaten are also the team that spent top dollars (pounds…petrol money…roubels…whatever!!!) to bring in some big names! So you have your answer there…money does/will not always solve your problems.

  • avatar Gouresh

    its a pity that teams like stoke are in the PL. they are absolutely shit. we should have screwed them big time, but for some good saves. how shawcross did not get a red is surprising. they must have come out of their half maybe 4 or 5 times. i think that after a visit of a team like this our stadium should be santified with holy waters from all over the world.

  • avatar Steve

    Thought Arsenal played well against Stoke frustration football club(SFFC), SFFC had no intention of doing anything except punt it long to Crouch. SFFC’s usual tactics are knock it hoping for a lucky break or ‘earn’ a freekick, corner etc and again hope for a lucky break to score from so Arsenal scoring from a deflected free kick was in someways quite ironic. What Pulis thought of the game would if uttered by Wenger be slatted by the media as drivel for it bore no relation to what actually hapened.

    Can I just point out what another good game Giroud had spent most of the game being pushed from pillar to post by the SFFC defence but not once did his head drop and he kept working for the team. I can think of a few other strikers who would of given up on that game.

    Re the Newcastle v Chelsea game yes it was a great attacking game of football but Chelsea should of had a pen for the challenge on Ba(dangerous kick is that a yellow or red?)and their striker should of been sent off for grabbing cole by the neck. Both incidents would of changed the game greatly in Chelsea’s favour

  • avatar Florian

    Gouresh,

    I think you’ll find the answer here:
    http://blog.emiratesstadium.info/archives/23038

  • avatar Florian

    Actually, looking at the above article, there’s an interesting finding: the two most Stoke-friendly refs are exactly the ones that reffed Arsenal’s matches with Stoke this season. Whoever believes in coincidences.

  • avatar Stuart

    Ed,
    You should give it up, I doubt Arsenal will ever be the team you would like them to be in order that you can be happy to support.

    In case you didn’t notice, we played Stoke, a boring yet aggressive team of thugs. Just look what they’ve done to Michael Owen, he was never a violent person.

    Chelsea or Newcastle would be a completely different style of play so there is NO comparison to what we had to do yesterday.

    We won!

  • avatar nicky

    If only we could find an honest, courageous referee who would sort out the Stoke thuggery once and for all. Pulis has much to answer for, as no doubt he encourages the assaults his players carry out to make up for their lack of football ability.
    On another topic, I see a number of (less popular) sites today are already spreading wild gossip on potential Arsenal signings in the summer Window. With over 6 months still to go before transfers can be finalised, one would have thought there were other more up-to-date football matters to be publicised.

  • avatar dan

    Great win, however, why do teams park the bus at the emirates but not at old toilet? Is there something written by the powers that be or is there an agenda we are witnessing?

  • avatar The font

    Ed. can I remind you when we’re playing stoke these things should be on your mind Ramsey leg brake
    Pulis. Derogatory remarks about our wonderful club 3 points closer to not letting the spuds finish above us all these are enough motivation for me to celebrate this win unconditionally .are you the same ed who continually moans about everything arsenal if so you should look at changing your attitude. when arsenal actually win games. It is so much better when you can enjoy victory

  • avatar gouresh

    @dan: I was thinking about the same thing regarding the -ve football. The team that’s playing the attacking game should be awarded an extra point. How that should be monitored is something we can look at.

  • avatar paul

    a win against stoke is gud, but wenger has made arsenal an average team, all we see against big teams is a lose, arsenal’s pride is gone and wenger caused it by selling excellent players 2 bring in average players or not bringin in players at all. I as an arsenal fan have watched games in d old days, i have seen quality diminishd, we want our pride back against big nd small teams

  • avatar Finsbury

    http://sportwitness.ning.com/forum/topics/stoke-city-have-spent-120m-more-than-arsenal-since-tony-pulis-too

    Not including wages Stoke FC have outspent The Arsenal on players by £120,000,000 since 2006.
    Tony Poolis may not know much about Football but he certainly knows how to spend some money!
    When you compare this comedian to Steve Coppell at Reading, to Swansea FC, it is worth a chuckle or two.

  • avatar Georgaki-Pyrovolitis

    Ed’s comments read like those of a juvenile…

  • avatar AL

    The BBC are a disgrace, anyone watching that game would have had to be very generous to give Stoke possession stats anywhere near 40%. I think that was deliberate on their part to twist facts so much; those stats, coupled with a negative headline such as ‘Arsenal eke out a narrow win’, and you get people who call themselves fans like ed blasting the team. Anyone that watched this match knows stoke came with only one thing on mind, defend & hope to catch us on a set piece. So for a team set out to play this to end with higher possession stats would mean our team was, well, utterly rubbish. That’s the impression they trying to create I suppose.

    Dan, teams don’t park the bus at old toilet because their managers wouldn’t dare use any negative tactics or risk angering sir red nose. You won’t see any nasty tackle on any united players, or missed punches swung at united players. In fact, this behavior isn’t confined to old toilet alone, these teams also ‘behave’ when old bacon face and his team come calling at their own grounds. I know some of these managers, like tony pubis, are too eager to do old bacon face favours, whereas others, e.g. Jol, while not necessarily being subservient to fungusbum, don’t want to be portrayed negatively in the media. Either way we end up with a situation where these teams roll over when they play united, but are really fired up for battle when they play us.

  • avatar Stuart

    Gouresh
    I remember Wenger asking for teams to receive an extra point per goal scored. We did this in the Emirates Cup.

  • avatar gouresh

    @stuart: that’s fine, but what happens if stoke play -ve & score in the last min through a corner or free kick or a dried ball long throw while we played the entire game in their half. They get 4 points? Teams should be awarded for playing attacking football.

  • avatar Steve

    @Finsbury

    Stoke frustrating football club are backed by Bet365 and are not the poor little team that the media and them portray to the unsuspecting public.

  • avatar andy bishop

    I think the linesman had a problem with Walcott not his eyesight. Commentators who said they felt nothing malicious about Wilkinson elbowing Walcott just as he started his run
    need their eyesight tested. There were other incidents involving Walcott just in front of the linesman and nothing was given. Walcott went up in my estimation the way he handled the whole situation. Shawcross tackle on Koscielney was a straight red..he made no attmpt for the ball raising his studs to catch the player in the groin region. This was “retribution” in Shawcross’s mind for a previous confrontation that did not go his way. It would have been a miscarriage if Stoke got anything out of the game. Pullis offends me with his after game assessments. The most animated and voiciferous player berating the linesman was Shawcross not as Pullis stated too many Arsenal players. He stated that it was his players with blood on them suggesting Arsenal played dirty.

  • avatar Gooner S

    @Walter I saw those BBCstats… clearly watching a different game.

    I had heard tales that Stoke were a more adventureous side this season…perhaps at home they might be but on that display no they aren’t. It was flipping cold…don’t know why I was surprised about that. The game was dull but Bergovic made 3 or 4 top class saves. I was particularly impressed with Walcott yesterday; he played well for the team, he turned well, held the ball up well at times and he worked really hard.He deserved a goal. A good 3 points…not a good game but you have to take these games as they come along. I was dissapointed not to see Ramsey playing. I thought he had a good game against Liverpool in mid-week.

  • avatar Stuart

    Gouresh,
    You would probably find teams such as Stoke would be more attacking to try getting more points than the standard 3 on offer or even possibly lose but still come away with points. The whole philosophy would more than likely be different.

  • avatar Gooner S

    @Ed

    As a longtime watcher of football I’m sure that you will understand that at times you get games like yesterday. Stoke showed no adventure at all..10 men behind the ball at all times until they went a goal down. It also then got a little bit nasty…which to be honest warmed the crowd up a bit.

    Like you I would have liked us to have bought in some more players (a top class centre forward and a defensive mid-field player..we got a defender) but it didn’t happen,I’m sure that there are good reasons for that and I don’t want us to buy just anybody for the sake of it. My take on it is to just enjoy the games and support the team.

  • avatar dan

    Well at least we are very much aware of Pukes teachings, the Owen hay maker was symbolic to the Stoke faithful.

  • avatar WalterBroeckx

    I think Ramsey not playing has something to do with him playing a couple of games in quick succession and with Arteta back fit we could give him a rest.
    I think with both fit we can have them switch places any time we need some fresh legs.
    I said it last season when Arteta came in that he would be the one who would teach Ramsey and who will learn him to be a top top player

  • avatar gouresh

    Oh another thing, the final comments from the lady presenter on sky sports after the game was ‘arsenal won by a controversial goal’. Sorry what’s controversial about the goal? These bimbos should play football before they open their mouths.

  • avatar Stuart

    Yes Gouresh,
    I also noticed people had quoted this on other outlets too.

  • avatar Mandy Dodd

    Pulis gets looked after, a friend in a high place. Each year, he turns up at OT, praises Fergie to the hilt, instructs his team not to tackle, let alone foul. If you were to bet your house on a game, always put it on Stoke losing, without a fight at OT. Seems to me like refs have been called off Stoke. Anyone else see Glen Whelan on Garcia during the City game recently, and what Howard Webb let go? Mark my words, they are getting protection from somewhere.

  • avatar @blacksheep63

    agree with all of this Walter, spot on except… comparing Pubis and his hoards to the Huns. The Huns may have been a warlike race but then so were the Romans. The Huns also produced wonderful art and jewelery – i can’t recall any Shawcross masterpieces in the National Gallery :)

  • avatar Mandy Dodd

    You do Shawcross injustice, maybe the National Gallery could exhibit a selection of pickled severed limbs in a homage to Damian Hurst?

  • avatar Tasos

    @gouresh

    I’m sure the nice lady on sly sports was only following company policy.

    We should all know their agenda by now.

  • avatar menace

    @Ed the Newcastle/ Chelsea game was a farce after the officials did not react to the aggressive violence of a high kick to Demba Ba’s face. The hungry team won but football didn’t.

    The Arsenal game was a contrast of styles and an example of how to avoid sight of lawlessness. Arsenal were excellent, even allowing for some defensive mistakes. Stoke were blatant with their fouling and the officiating was abysmal.
    How Wilkinson was allowed to kick Theo so many times and block him from runs beggars belief.

    The PGMOL are PG Monkeys On Line, except the monkeys are more entertaining.

  • avatar Andrew Crawshaw

    If we wand a second goalkeeper for next season we should seriously look at either of the Stoke players. Both Begovitch and Sorenson are miles better than any of our backup keepers. Begovitch will probably go to Manure though so they probably wouldn’t sell us Sorenson but he would be my choice. We should also sign Shawcross and loan him out to mid-Atlantic united so he cannot injure any more of our players.

  • avatar Pat

    Great debate. Also very informative for me as I have only seen various sets of highlights. Interesting to see several people saying that Wilkinson got off with many fouls on Walcott. Good for Walcott that he kept going and in the end drew the foul which led to the goal and our deserved victory.

    Interesting point about Giroud too, about how he kept going and kept trying.

  • avatar Ray from Norfolk, Virginia

    For those of you who like triple spoonisms:
    “The Intimate Pulis told his troops to put their bus in the push”

  • avatar Ray from Norfolk, Virginia

    Key to the spoonisms:
    Intimate / Pulis
    Troops / Put
    Bus / Push

  • avatar AL

    Cranshaw, you had me in stitches there mate, sign shawcross and then loan him out so he doesn’t injure our players. Its a good idea though, at least with regards to saving our players any more broken limbs.

  • avatar Rufusstan

    Pat, what really depressed me about the fouls on Walcott was summed up by the third one. Wilkinson caught Walcott with the right hand, so he knew he was there, and then hit him with the left. For me it took away any thought of it being accidental.

    Walcott goes down and stays down. The game is not stopped for nearly a minute (i am trying to remember how it was finally stopped). The key thing is that on my channel the commentator (I think it was David O’Leary) sums up the situation with something like ‘I don’t know why he is staying down; it is clear he isn’t going to get anything’.

    The only positive I suppose is the ref finally gave a foul for the 4th one (2nd on the ball foul) and we scored from the free kick.

  • avatar AL

    Mandy
    You’re right about Webb letting whelan off for the nasty tackle on Garcia. He also didn’t punish shotton for an almost similar tackle on tevez early on. Both were potential leg breakers.

    Menace
    I thought I was the only one who couldn’t watch anymore after demba ba was butchered. Even MoTD called it trying to re-arrange ba’s face. How Webb could let that go unpunished I still have no idea.

  • avatar Gord

    West Brom’s Popov gets ejected for spitting at Kyle Walker two minutes into the second half, and then (super diver) Bale scores in the 67 minutes, for the 1-0 win to the spuds.

    Still looking for a tie in the pool/city game.

  • If Arteta was not in the team we where not going to win this,i just need to ask Arteta the secret behind his presence.
    The spunks win but we have seen the Rooney,s of this world spit but no red cards.@Walter about spiting can the ref give a red card to some all it apply’s to all?

  • avatar Mandy Dodd

    Apparently Defoe walking on crutches. They have no strikers until Ade returns, we and maybe Liverpool certainly have far greater firepower than Spuds and Everton…and maybe Chelsea if they persist with Torres

  • avatar Gord

    Well, at least we got a tie out of the other game (2-2).

  • avatar AL

    That caragher was the man of the match when we played pool, and Sturridge was MoTM today(dont agree with both choices by the way), shows the differences in the way pool contested these two games. Against us they were not that brave or adventurous as they were today.

  • avatar Mick

    I watched both matches today on Sky and the one thing that stood out for me was the total lack of any negative comments from the commentators and experts of any of the four teams involved (apart from those relevant to the match commentary). Contrast that with the stream of critical comment (completely disconnected to the game) we get when we are playing even from the likes of Alan Smith.

  • avatar jbh

    Walter, re the possession numbers. BBC use time of possession which includes time they hold the ball and waste time, goal kicks, etc. OPTA use number of passes for possession. Go to http://www.twitter.com/orbinho who publishes tweets after every game with the correct possession numbers (OPTA). This game was 66% Ars, 34% Stoke. In any event it is useful to compare the 2 as the difference amounts to what I would call the “time wasting number”. Didn’t see the game but this seems to break records in terms of time-wasting.
    Don’t referees have some guidelines on time wasting?

  • avatar Mandy Dodd

    An interesting article on Pulis / Stoke / Foy

    http://www.7amkickoff.com/

    Wonder if some of these refs are deliberately keeping this league as the last bastion of physical play before those dreadful interfering European types take over, turn it into a game for Nancy boys and wreck all they hold good in the UK? Or is someone just telling them to go easy on Stoke?
    Why arent EUFA hitting these refs..I assume the PL comes under EUFA?

  • avatar Pat

    Interesting link Mandy.

    It does sometimes look as if some of the refs think exactly as you say.

    It does not help when the same view of physical play is represented frequently by pundits and commentators on pretty well every TV channel.

  • avatar Gord

    It’s a little ridiculous to start relegating teams with 3.5 months of season left, but there is just something about Arry.

    We can now say that it is impossible for QPR to finish above ManU. Even if QPR were to win every remaining game, and ManU were to lose every remaining game, the most points QPR could get is 56. A win for ManC (against Southampton) or a loss for QPR (against Swansea) next weekend, will see it become impossible for QPR to get past ManC.

    They aren’t alone. Neither Aston Villa or Wigan can catch ManU at this point either.

  • avatar Mandy Dodd

    Very true pat think it will take a shawcross limb amputated on a media darling or a utd player before anything done about stoke and as we all know they do not use those tactics on utd wonder why?

  • avatar Gord

    @Mandy Dodd

    I guess Shawcross is also on the England team now (at least once). I think that if he was to break someone’s leg in a friendly, that might get media attention as well. The other thing that comes to mind (and heaven forbid it ever happened), is if managed to break the legs of 3 or more Arsenal players. I don’t think the media would clue in if it happened twice, but 3 or more would catch their attention.

    But, he isn’t that kind of player.

    He certainly wouldn’t try to castrate an opposing player with his studs (my opinion of what the BBC wrote this weekend about his encounter with Koscielny).

  • jbh makes a good point, if you have the ESPN app on your phone it shows all the stats during and after the game and they too had 66% possession in favour of Arsenal. I was there and Stoke had very little of the ball and the majority of their attacks were 50 yard hoofs to Crouch, we were all shouting Hoof everytime Shawcross had possession and he did indeed hoof! The time wasting also includes the ‘wiping the ball’ routine for throw ins which Stoke a masters of. This really needs to be looked at.

    I saw the Shawcross tackle (attack) on Koscielny on Sky and it was typical of the player, the guy really does stink the place out. In addition Wilkinson should have been booked before the Walcott challenge and sent off.

    Overall a good 3 points.

  • avatar finsbury

    Steve @ 12:08 pm

    We’ve all seen teams play in the style that Stoke like to pretend that they play: e.g. Bradford.
    Stoke FC stink out the league off the pitch as well as on the pitch. A grotesque masquerade of a football club.

  • avatar finsbury

    The good thing about Shawcross’ England debut was how poor it was! Worth watching again. I bet the Welsh fans were celebrating! (They like good Rugby too, so why would they want him?).

    Even better that his debut was alongside Arsenal’s Carl Jenkinson, who didn’t have much to do or put a foot wrong in the few minutes he was on the field. Unlike some.
    The football gods, sometimes they can be cruel, and sometimes they can be kind.

  • avatar UGooner

    I had to double check that BBC stat because it was unbelivable… Only to find they gave the possession stat to Stoke 53-47… This is the funniest thing ever. I can only think it is a mistake. I remember thinking when the game ended that this is in the top 3 of games I have seen Arsenal have the ball the most. Think about how much we played the ball across the field around the outside of the box and almost playing the entire game in their half till the goal. At the end the stream I watched even had 69% – 31% in Arsenal’s favour. ESPN had 65%- 35%… So really BBC need to fix whatever issue caused that.

    Also, that linesman missed quite a few fouls on Walcott. It’s really tough for a pace player like Theo getting kicked while trying to run at pace, and the linesman and ref offered him very little protection. He was skinning Wilkinson from the start and that orc’s response was to kick him. the ref only needed to see those fouls and rightly give him a yellow card, that way he wouldn’t have continued to do that, or risked being sent off.

    I know we are Arsenal fans and bound to feel hard done by often but really, sometimes it is much more than a bias. When we consistently finish at the top or near the top of the table on points lost due to referee mistakes, when referees like Mike Dean have consistently poor performances in our games… And still, we can d nothing… Say nothing or risk bans for the manager… That’s such a shit rule. The ref’s job is to get calls right, if he doesn’t he hasn’t done his job so we should be able to call him on that. If the FA have a problem with it, then let them go cry to UEFA and FIFA for goal line technology and replays and all that.