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Beautiful football combined with grit and determination when needed

By Walter Broeckx

The Sunderland – Arsenal game was a rather important game. Well they all are important in this phase of the competition.  But with the spuds already having won the early kick off and Chelsea having a more easy game it was important to keep as close to those teams as possible. So only a win would be enough.

At first my compatriot MIgnolet was having another fantastic game. He usually has against us. So my message to him is : “Kaan het get mienjer mesjeen de naoste keijr”.  That’s even in his local dialect so he will now know that a bit less is better.

But let us start with the team. All different notices flying around before the game. Kos played, no he will not, he will play and at the end of the day…he didn’t play. Not fit enough. All kinds of changes and this meant that only one player was playing in his normal position: our new signing Nacho Monreal at left back. And well even for him in a new team and a new league one could say a completely new back 4.

Now you might say that Per was in the centre. Yes he was but he was playing on the left side of the centre and not his usual right side. Sagna as the second central defender on the right side and Jenkinson as the right back.  This was the first time these players played like that. So well not really to look forward to when going to Sunderland as that is usually a tough away game for Arsenal.

Up front Podolski was on the bench-beach (copyright Billy) so not really upfront. And Ramsey came in the team but in midfield. And Cazorla was more on the left flank.  The first thing I noticed was the ref. In my preview I hoped for an unbiased ref. I must confess that my stream wasn’t the best ever but I think the unbiased part of the ref will have been visible when my stream jammed for a few seconds on too many occasions because when it worked fine I couldn’t see him.

To put one thing straight: I have no complaints about the two yellow cards against Jenkinson. I think Carl is sometimes too much thinking as a fan and should sometimes think less as a fan. As a fan you might think: trip him when he goes past you. But on the field it is sometimes better to let him run if you know there is cover. The ref was right to take out the cards on both occasions. He was too late and caught the player and stopped a promising attack. So that was fine from the ref.

The kicking of Wilshere in particular was not. During this game I was back thinking that it might end up in another broken leg sooner or later. In the end Sunderland managed to kick Wilshere off the field.  Ref Taylor was complicit in this outcome.

But let us forget about the ref. Let us look at the goal. A fine run from Wilshere, a little run from Walcott and laying the ball off to Cazorla who scored with a low shot. 0-1 for Arsenal and before, after and in between we managed to miss a few chances. Or Mignolet making a few great saves. I think Ramsey will have been disappointed not to have scored today. He should have scored. That is the only bad thing I have to say about him. In fact will say more good things later on. If I don’t forget it.

So the disappointing thing was only being up 0-1 at half time. When Wilshere went off we weren’t as dominant as before.  And when Jenkinson was sent off we knew we would have a difficult finish of the game.  On moments like that the players have to rise to the occasion. And rising they did.

Szczesny with a few super saves showing Mignolet that he also is rather a good keeper.  Sagna who was heavily criticised the last weeks by the noisy part of the not existing you know ho. I bet they never know that a player coming back from a severe injury can struggle after playing a while.  And when a player has to come back from two the same severe injuries he can certainly have a dip of form. But what do we do when this happens to a player? We get behind him and cheer him on.  And today both Szczesny and Sagna showed them that they are not as bad as they make them look at times.

Nacho Monreal had a bit of a shaky start in this game. I hope the noisy part of the not existing you know who will not start getting at him from now on.  But gradually he became better and also joined more in the attack at times.  The Big German playing against his foot but being his calm himself and there when we needed him. And Jenkinson who I feel needs a bit more confidence in some situations to try and go past his man and not always turn back to his own goal.  Now he is a bit too predictable.  But I guess that will come with time and more experience and more confidence.

But two weeks in a row now no goals let in and that with a different and experimental defence is rather encouraging.

One bad thing was we missed too many chances. We should have made the game safe before the sending off and that is something we must do better. We should have made sure that there would be no sitting on the edge of our seat last 20 minutes. But on the other hand a hard fought 1-0 win against the Stoke tugs, now a hard fought win against the Sunderland. At the start of the season we couldn’t win those games and had two 0-0 draws.  We showed character and determination and that is part we sometimes missed.

60 comments to Beautiful football combined with grit and determination when needed

  • avatar WalterBroeckx

    See I knew I would forget saying something good about Ramsey.

    So here it is: I think he was an excellent right back when Jenkinson was sent off. And a right midfielder. And a right winger.

    Oh well maybe putting him on the wing for a few games at the start of the season wasn’t that bad of an idea for his development?

  • avatar Mandy Dodd

    Rambo is an excellent cmf and a rather good utility player and he is getting better. Think bac needs signing up. Sunderbus have some ok players who looked good when they found out they could attack it must be soul destroying for them to play for an old school negative kick and rush manager like oneill. Cloughie would not be impressed with what he has become.

  • avatar Gord

    Reading the BBC commentary on all games, there was one twit (probably AAA) who sent in a twit that was all doom and gloom when Ramsey assumed right back.

    Looking at Arsenal.com for their summary, Wenger said he wished that the referee would call fouls if they are fouls. And that this had nothing to do with Wilshere getting kicked all over the park. What does the media come up with, Wenger looking for protection of Wilshere by referees. How do the people in media sleep at night? To come up with so many lies, constantly, and you have to keep track of them, can’t be easy.

  • avatar AL

    The two yellows for Jenkinson, while correct in any other game but taken in the context of what he let cattermole & larsson get away with, were harsh. Again, a case of rules being applied selectively. I’m getting more & more concerned the refs, and all of them, are seemingly finding it easy to punish us for nothing fouls. Or maybe let me rephrase that, are making it a must we get penalized for the slightest error, while the teams we are playing against are allowed to get away with murder. And this is against anyone & everyone, last week it was the same with stoke(was Kos injury a result of the roughhouse tactics used by stoke?), as was the case in the other games preceding that(even timid guys like Dzeko were dishing out the kicking on our own patch). We are getting rather tired of hearing by the letter of the law…. which law? One reserved for Arsenal only? If anyone deserved to finish with 10 men it was sunderland, not us. It’s like there’s an agenda against us, like stop these guys winning any more games till end of season or something. Not happy at all.

  • avatar GoingGoingGooner

    Ah yes, Cattermole…already playing on a yellow, he gives Cazorla an elbow to the head 10 yards from the ball and drags his spikes over the back of his legs. Even the ESPN fellows were saying that should have been a yellow, if not a red…yet nothing was given. too close to Christmas, I guess.

  • avatar menace

    The FA should review the Stoke and Sunderland games an explain why ruthless fouls are ignored or punished with a yellow card when Red cards are appropriate. Larssons stamp deserved a red but nothing was given. Come on FA lets see what bias keeps you away from this incident.

    The cheating in sport is not just betting but numbers of incidents. The FA in my view are corrupt and hide behind their authority, just like UEFA and FIFA.

  • avatar Domhuail

    Aside from the debatable calls the ref made or didn’t make as the case may be, I saw some very interesting tendencies from Arsenal both defensively and offensively today:

    1)Giroud is great at receiving the ball in the opponent’s half in the air and heading it on for an onrushing AFC player who often isn’t there. If we can ever get someone to run onto those lofted back-headers, we will augment our attack by 50%.

    2)Cazorla is very fast and shifty…so fast and shifty that he seems to have grease all over him when he runs at a defender. He also has a very great deal of skill and can shoot as well…he is our most well-rounded Footballer.

    3)Walcott is capable of splitting defenses like a knife through butter and has an excellent final shot…although today he was very unlucky as were Giroud and Ramsey.

    4)There is an increasing aggressiveness and attack-mindedness in AFC that was missing in previous seasons. I think Wilshere is the principle reason we can afford to attack, as he rarely loses the ball and has a eye for the perfect pass….if he ever develops a Cazorla-like shot…watch out!

    5)Sunderland played very hard and at pace today but AFC weathered the storm well and were very quick on the counter-attack…always a good sign.

    6)Our ¨makeshift¨ defense stood up very well and once we have Vermaelen and Koiscielny back, as well as Gibbs and Rosicky, we have the makings of a great run-in.

    7)Diaby and Jenkinson looked rusty and out of sync with the rest of the team but happily Sagna and Per were first class. Monreal was having a hard time for awhile and will need to step up his game a bit more if he wants to make the right back position his own.

    8)The addition of more homegrown British players has definitely changed the style, philosophy and pace of our game for the better….we now have finesse in the midfield and depth in attack, something we’ve lacked since Flamini,Hleb and Cesc left.

    To all those ¨goner¨ fickle fanboys who whine and moan about how shit AFC are, take a look at Manchester City….now that is definitely disgraceful Football at a billion plus quid! That is what big spending may get you….so be careful what you wish for!

  • avatar Arsenal1Again

    You make it sound like we have this “grit” on tap.

    Stoke, Wigan, Sunderland, Swansea all have grit too. Look where it gets them. As for Arsenal Grit against Sunderland. Sorry, the ONLY reason we won is because our keeper had an exceptional game. A rare display, a spooky, supernatural goalkeeping spectacle. I have seen such unworldly displays with other keepers over the years in different teams and it’s nice to see Arsenal be on the receiving end for a change, especially since the team failed to score a second goal with them handed on a plate so many times.

  • avatar Sav from Australia

    I agree with all the posters who are saying ‘one rule for Arsenal, another for everyone else’. Its a bunch of BS.

    Did anyone see Wilshere and Sagna exchange a hug at the end of the match? Those are the picture of committed players. The team chemistry is coming along nicely.

  • Away from the referees unfair treatment of us, I’m getting alittle concerned with our finishing especially from Cazorla. He is always going for shots even when He is needed to place the ball hard. I’m looking at a few last chances he had to put the game beyond reach and instead of placing the ball, he wen for shot which went wide. I’m not saying he played poorly-on the contrary, he was our best player of the day. All I’m saying is that some chances are better taken by a good look at the keeper’s position then placing the ball hard to his wrong side. We need to take our chances at all cost-and that goes for all our forwards.

  • avatar ARSENAL 13

    NICE to see ARSENAL win when things are not going our way. Remember Van Nasegas, would disappear in such games. REF was such a @#$*#&!. WILL SOMEBODY GIVE US A FAIR GAME?

    As much, I complain about Theos role in defending, rather lack of. It was great to see him combine with Ramsey to defend the right flank.

  • avatar STEVE VALLINS

    AL
    Agree everything you said regarding referees approach to our games
    I think our game is coming together due to the understanding of the midfield forwards and Wilshere fitness and influence on the players around him who before his reintroduction had not played with him

  • avatar elkieno

    Loving these 1nil games recently, last year and many others we would have collapses and drew or even lost it, we seem to be getting a bit toughness about us. For everyone else a 1nil is boring but after going down to ten men and jack coming off, we STILL stuck it out and won. We missed q few too many chances to kill then game. It could have been 3-0 at HT if we were target more. I think at the end the forwards looked knackered and just to exhausted to shoot properly, just my observation.
    Next up Blackburn!!!!

  • avatar elkieno

    Ohh only Ramsey gripe was when he got robbed if ball and was it Graham or Fletcher that had the she shot but sliced it?
    I was and bet Aaron was thinking ohh no!!!

  • avatar MikeSA

    A hard fought game that we really should have won comfortably on another day, but the 3 points is to be savoured and the team deserve every bit of praise.

    Even after the red card, we still had more serious pots at goal than the opposition, I think the perception that Sunderland were “dominating” was a commentator driven misconception.

    However, I can’t let the Ramsey on the wing was a good decision go uncommented.

    Wenger often used the wide midfield position in the 4-4-2 as a “safe” position to blood youngsters (like Cesc), or to get a player back up to speed.

    It wasn’t a great move in the 4-4-2, but it was tolerable.

    It simply isn’t the same proposition in a 4-3-3.

    Sorry, putting Ramsey on the wing WAS a shockingly bad idea. He doesn’t have the pace or the guile, and it hammered his confidence, not only from his own perspective, but also because it gave the boo boys the opportunity to wet the bed and start slagging him off.

    Sorry, Wenger is good, but he isn’t some infallible deity. That was a mistake to start with, and he compounded it by persisting with it.

    Ramsey is a fine player, the danger was that he would become ineffectual despite his talent, just like Denilson, through poor man management.

    To reiterate: an exceptionally poor piece of management.

  • avatar colario

    The Ref did his best but his best wasn’t good enough to stop us. I rather think that a certain manure person will take action over that. I wonder if the ref will be given another chance at this level.

  • avatar gouresh

    I watched the highlights on sky. I knew the score beforehand, but watching the game I wondered that if we miss so many chances, other teams might score & we are fucked. the The best player was Sanga. He’s better CD than a wing back. He read the game well, headed, intercepted the passes. We should have finished them off in the 1st half.
    bearing a few missed tackles, the ref had a ok match, I thought. Some1 said about the tackle on santi by Larsson, but he was booked for it.
    I don’t know why players go flying in when they are on yellow card. Trying to block the cross would have been sufficient. every1 had a good game and the movement, passing was sublime….vintage stuff. Had goose bumps.
    it was great display by the team.

  • avatar Florian

    Larsson booked? Yes, when he brought down Santi, but he already had a very intentional stomp on Ramsey earlier, and the ref did nothing about that. The TV even gave the replays and – as much as I could understand Portuguese from the Internet stream I had (d’oh) – their opinion was that Larsson was lucky to stay on the pitch.

  • avatar Sharpshooter

    Just a few things. It’s a lost battle. Arsenal vs. opposing teams plus the refs. It went our way yesterday but this can’t last. We can’t go like this every weekend, with the opposing teams making leg-breaking tackles and with the ref allowing it. How long can Jack resist to such treatment? Our players are going down with injuries like flies. This whole thing should somehow stop, but how? No matter how great a manager AW is, you can’t win with half a team in the treatment room…
    @MikeSA Even after such a great game like this one, still negativity? Did you see the first half? Poor black cats were so outwitted tactically, that we could’ve scored at least 3 goals. Tactically ineptitude? Give me a break. The only inept thing I can see around here is your post. Or, to be more specific, the last part of your post.

  • avatar Nicky

    I would like to refer to the increasing lack of protection given to Wilshere by a series of so-called referees.
    It was quite obvious from the start, yesterday, that Wilshere, Ramsey and Walcott were targetted for thuggery, yet apart from an early yellow earned by Cattermole, one of the game’s biggest assassins, the referee failed to take proper control.
    What concerns me though, was Arsene’s complaint after the match that not enough fouls on Wilshere are followed by free kicks.
    I would have thought that the issue of CARDS would be a better form of protection, rather than a mere free kick AFTER the violence has taken place.
    As it is I am increasingly pessimistic over Wilshere’S future as a key player in our search for success.
    I can only foresee serious injury or a number of suspensions following retribution.
    I hope I’m wrong but Wilshere’s style of play (frightened of nothing and no-one) is frighteningly perilous without the fair protection of match officials….something I fear he will never get.

  • avatar Anatra

    MikeSA; I’m thinking the same about Ramsey, not a good idea to have him on the flank. BUT…..I honestly didn’t see him being on the flank to often in this game. The thing about our 4-3-3, in my opinion, was that it wasn’t static. It seemed like the 6 players in front of the back 4, changed positions all the time. They were all floating around the pitch. There was just one thing I didn’t like about this “floating” and that was when Giroud ended up on a flank.

  • avatar WalterBroeckx

    Don’t be too hard sharpshooter. They are having a hard time

  • avatar WalterBroeckx

    Maybe it was my stream but I thought that we rather played a 4 – 3.5 – 2.5 with Cazorla being the 0.5 on the left flank of the attack. Ramsey was purely employed as a midfielder. Until the Jenkinson sending off when he played as a rather good right back. And even joining in and supporting the attack as he found lots of space at times even when we were playing with 10 at the time. And when he came from behind as a defender his runs were excellent I thought.

  • avatar Fidel24

    sagna is far better in CD than d RB. he was so calm despite d repeated bombardment from d black cats. Verm or kos always panik wen under bombardmet .

  • avatar insideright

    I like the expression (used re Per) that he played ‘against his foot’ – i.e. played on the left despite being right footed. Jenkinsons second yellow came from tackling ‘against his foot’ – in his case with his left foot whilst playing on the right. Nine times out of ten this will get you a yellow because it’s almost impossible not to make contact with the player before striking the ball. In that same situation a right footed tack;e would have stood much more chance of succeding and of avoiding what could have been an expensive dismissal. He’s now missed his chance of a full 90 mins v Blackburn. Pity.

  • avatar AL

    Sharpshooter
    I absolutely agree, our players are getting kicked left right & center and its a mystery we don’t have more than half the team out injured right now(let’s hope the injury to Jack is short term). I mean almost every game we are seeing potential leg breakers in almost every game with the offenders only getting a slap on the wrist(Dzeko was giving Wilshere such a kicking that TV felt the need to intervene with the ref a mere spectator, Gerard almost took out Per and only got a yellow, Shawcross almost dissected Kos in two but only got a yellow, ditto Wilkinson on Theo, Larsson & Cattermole yesterday could’ve broken a limb each with their tackling and …. they just got yellows). If it continues like this the run in will be very difficult. Initially such bad tackles were reserved for the likes of stoke, but seems its a free for all now.

  • avatar bjtgooner

    Walter the title above was well chosen; we did play some great football (and should have scored more goals) and we did show grit and determination throughout the match and especially towards the end when it was 10 against 12.

    The whole team played well and showed a collective determination to secure the three points – to win after such a battle will hopefully increase our determination to take maximum points from the remaining matches.

  • avatar AL

    Forgot to add Ramires’ metatarsal-breaking stamp on Coquelin to the list of insufficiently dealt with horror tackles above.

  • avatar bob

    Walter, Going Going Gooner,
    As for media coverage of our beauty and determination, I find more biased distortion by the wordsmiths at the Guardian Football Department strikes-stealthy once again.

    First off, their nauseating, bended-knee articles proliferate on Lord Football to be – Fergusson being “haunted” by Manure’s mishaps last season at Everton, which undermined HIS championship, and Fergusson renewing his “unlikely friendship” with Mourinho); their coverage of Arsenal continues to be both complimentary (which yes, is improved over last season’s open bloodletting) and in the next breath lying. For example, in today’s (s)mugging of our win by Louise Taylor. (Perhaps refshite Taylor’s media clone?,) Taylor “balances” Cattermole’s yellow-card performance with Jenkinson’s red-card performance.

    Yes, it is two-sided coverage, but it is imbalanced coverage: That is, Jenkinson is sent off because of a “reckless challenge”; but she writes not a word on WHY Jenkinson was even on the pitch. That said, Cattermole’s butchery (my word) is described this way: first, it’s all a bit jocular as the returning from injury Cattermole “proved his reliable self” with a less than red-card worthy “late, wild challenge on Aaron Ramsey.” As for O’Neill’s serial attack strategy on Jack Wilshere, these result in “Jack Wilshere hobbled off.” (Rather than Jack Wilshere was KICKED OFF) As for the only one of those attacks that Miss(ed) Taylor describes, it’s about a carnival sequence in which (1) Arsene “waves his arms in despair,” as (2) the reshite “turns a blind eye” to (3) “a series of fairly robust challenges.” Not a reckless challenge, mind you. Not vicious, mind you. Not refshite at work, mind you. But all that’s softened down to “fairly robust” and “wild” challenges.

    This gap-minding of mine may seem like much ado about nothing, but it shows how the serpent lurks in the subtle: how Guardian’s words get polished to let one side’s (O’Neill’s) serial thuggery off the hook; whilst turning genuine fact-based grievance (Arsene’s) into his typical clown-show.

    For the cherry on my Sunday reading, Taylor ends with a bit of concern for the perpetrator’s future, paired with silence on Wilshere’s well-being going forward: “Forget the suspensions, if Cattermole does not learn to intercept rather than keep on diving in so brainlessly he will be in danger of wrecking his knees permanently.” Touching, isn’t it? Ms. Taylor, I fear for your misspent English lit classes.

  • avatar bob

    bjtgooner,
    In all honesty, it keeps coming up as you put it (in parentheses) “(and should have scored more goals).” To remove the parentheses, I find Giroud’s lack of clinicality to be the very place where we did not/would not purchase in this January window. Is this chronic or correctable? Do we need a 7:1 ratio of attempts-to-goals in order to win 1-nil? Yes, I really am enjoying the chances we’re able to produce. But the cup remains half full: as lack of clinicality in finishing has been an issue throughout this season. And where it shows up is turning what we all recognize as a 5-0 match into a 1-0 match. It was great drama, but we’ll still need better for 4th place (if not better :) ). Can clinicality be taught? developed? We shall see. But we could have purchased it, imo, perhaps in France as Newcastle may have been able to do. Again, we shall see. Fingers crossed, it’s all we can do now.

  • avatar bob

    AL, Walter,
    Why isn’t more being made of this in an open way. Perhaps with 4th place at stake AFC will not dare speak the truth in public, lest we lose out. And yes, that would be a calamity. If the time comes in the next 12 games when we have a hold on a CL finish, perhaps then someone will speak out before all the craven media that a policy of reckless endangerment is being fostered or abetted or ignored by the refshite-factory, aka Hives of Riley.

  • avatar Sharpshooter

    What really bothers me is the fact that this Anti-Arsenal ref bias keeps going for years. Especially in regard to fouls. Only luck and the thick bones of some Arsenal players stopped us from having 3 or 4 players with broken legs in our last 2 seasons. I can’t forget one of the fouls that Seb Larsson made yesterday when he simply stamped one of our players (probably Arteta, bad streaming).
    I’m sick of watching Arsenal games where I’m so worried about one of the players not having his leg broken that I can barely follow the match.
    This s**t has to stop.

  • avatar bob

    AL, sharpshooter, Walter,
    Is there a policy to injure AFC to prevent a 4th place finish? That is the question that should be raised to the rafters. It is downright scary and yes, criminal to behold this week after week and season after season. Yes, it happens elsewhere and surely other teams have their just grievances. But does it happen with this much regularly and this much uncarded violence? This needs to be trumpeted to the heights. Perhaps the Ref Reviewing can make a special point of the number of these challenges that go uncarded and which of the referees are “turning a blind eye,” so to speak. Oh, and on whose behalf at the time of the “see no evil” non-calls by the COMPLICITY (in Walter’s apt description of Taylor) of some of them. The INTENT TO INJURE WATCH should be switched on to full effect.

  • avatar bob

    p.s. What I mean by “on whose behalf” is this:
    with a CL-finish at stake, which team is the beneficiary of a potential Arsenal injury. It is remarkable that even as Jack Wilshere is being proclaimed as England’s saviour, the Golem-like Taylor sees fit to NOT see what everyone else can see, and, yes, be complicit in Jack Wilshere’s injury – especially just days after his putting in such a yeoman stint for God and Country. FFS, this man, Taylor, ought to be made a poster boy for the best impersonation of a bent referee award (that ESPN will dare not give at its self-pleasuring ESPY Awards annual ceremony).

  • avatar none

    I think what concerns me is the complete lack of reporting the tackles on Arsenal players.

    Watching the match yesterday I thought that Cattermole and Larsson both should have been sent off for their challenges. Nor, was their any mention at all of Cattermole’s punch/slap on Santi.

    The BBC did have a snide little comment about the number of red cards under Arsene, but they seem to have removed that. While failing to mention anything about the dangerous tackles from Sunderland.

  • avatar Mandy Dodd

    Think someone def wants us out of the top four. Is there a reward for spuds and pool siding with utd on finance issues? I know we did as well but support on such an issue from this club was a given. Think many for a number of reasons want us to fail aligned with a north south bias from the refs.ivan needs to use his lofty position in the game to raise this.surely these refs are going against the current eufa stance designed to protect players. Seems they are more than willing to sacrifice jack for their aims. Many think finishing out of the top four and wenger will go, won’t even bother listing the multitudes of groups who would desire this outcome

  • avatar AL

    bob,Mandy
    Think there definitely is an agenda to stop us getting fourth spot, as that would trigger the ‘sacking’ of Wenger. This view can be supported not only by the sheer amount of uncarded fouls, but also by the refusal to award us any penalties(Walcott was shoved in the back when about to pull the trigger, I cant remember in which game, Podolski was upended when ready to shoot… just two of the most obvious ones that spring to mind) but contrast this with the readiness to point to the spot against us for less than 50/50 challenges in our favor.

    Walter,bob mentions something I was also thinking about; how about coming up with a page that lists the injuries we pick along the way, where the injury occured and under whose watch(the ref) and what happened to the offender. we need to have some kind of name and shame register, this is too much. The concern is at this rate of kicking our players are receiving, with at least 13 games to go(inc the FA), we may see more leg breaks or long term injuries.

  • avatar AL

    I appreciate you guys have a lot of work to do each week Walter, and dont want to add to that:)

  • avatar AL

    Had a typo in my email address, hence my comments went into ‘moderation’. Sorry about that, here they are again;

    bob,Mandy
    Think there definitely is an agenda to stop us getting fourth spot, as that would trigger the ‘sacking’ of Wenger. This view can be supported not only by the sheer amount of uncarded fouls, but also by the refusal to award us any penalties(Walcott was shoved in the back when about to pull the trigger, I cant remember in which game, Podolski was upended when ready to shoot… just two of the most obvious ones that spring to mind) but contrast this with the readiness to point to the spot against us for challenges which are normally waved away at other grounds. Of course the refs will hide behind the often now abused statement ‘according to the letter of the law…’

    Walter,bob mentions something I was also thinking about; how about coming up with a page that lists the injuries we pick along the way, where the injury occured and under whose watch(the ref) and what happened to the offender. we need to have some kind of name and shame register, this is too much. The concern is at this rate of kicking our players are receiving, with at least 13 games to go(inc the FA), we may see more leg breaks or long term injuries.

  • avatar AL

    I also wanted to say I appreciate the great work you guys are doing to keep the public informed, Walter, and dont wish to create any unnecessary extra load of work for you. But I think something like this could help put in perspective the injustices we are getting regards fouls against our players which will or could lead to long term injuries.

  • avatar ARSENAL 13

    @Sharpshooter,

    It was Ramsey, and it was his leg that once too a Shawcross.

    Our players are being Shawcrossed at this stage, when we fight for CL spot. What if we were on for the title?

    @bob,

    Guardian and co can to do it cause, we fans are a divided lot. Gooners at the Ems take pride in booing off players than sing in support.

    This is terrorism. The are trying to induce fear into the minds of our players. This has to stop. He deserve a fair game.

  • avatar bob

    AL,
    I am no x-Cesc lover for his having left for home,
    but, at the time, I thought that anyone who was receiving
    the regular attacks that he was absorbing on the EPL pitch
    would be in their right mind to pack up and take their
    world class talent to another league. To prolong a great
    career. To have two good legs after the glory days are over.
    I’m not kidding. This league is “physical” is really become
    a code-word for this league is “criminal”, when it comes
    to the BUSINESS end of the season, if you catch my meanings.

  • avatar AL

    I agree 100% bob.

  • avatar bob

    Perhaps fans should consider taking RED CARDS (placards) to the Ems for each home game and hold them up en masse to protest this blatancy. Golems like Taylor must be held accountable, and must be seen to be held accountable – not invisible – by the fans carding him and his hilk at the pitch itself. Then we’ll see whether the lens crafters at SKY or ESPN and their mealy-mouth pieces for hire would show that display or not. Why not consider advocating that, Mr. Attwood?

  • avatar bob

    And ditto for the traveling fans – SHOW THE RED CARD NOW!, mates.

  • avatar rusty

    How many man-of-the-match performances does Wilshere have to put in for England before the refs start giving him a little protection from dangerous tackles?

  • avatar Mandy Dodd

    agree on showing cards, lets expose these refs for what they are. As for an agenda, it will soon become abundantly clear,if it has not already…. at WHL no less. Can already make an educated guess on the ref will be, can also make an assumption Bale will dive and we will be punished. We will have to be at our absolute best to get anything out of that game. Ivan Gazidis, voted onto powerful domestic and european committees is the key to getting this stopped. As are the authorities who are making noises about taking on things like doping and fixing, agenda driven bias has to rank up with fixing for profit aven if the mafia are not behind it. Maybe the powers that be want a bit more turnover in CL places, but still think those who want wenger out hold considerable power at the moment, we can only speculate as to why with some of them, with others, it is clear

  • avatar Mandy Dodd

    Its back!
    http://footballisfixed.blogspot.co.uk/
    You may or may not agree with stuff on this blog, its format, or lack of sources or explanation of assumptions, but it makes very very interesting reading, a lot of the conclusions are very similar to some on here

  • avatar none

    For the WHL game, I wonder if the bookies would start taking bets now on the chance of Mike ‘I dance when Spurs score’ Dean being the Ref for that match?

  • avatar bob

    What a set up! With Mancini conceding the trophy to Lord Football yesterday, it’s the high-point of the rest of the season for “the rest” of us….

    none,
    Yes, agreed, I join with my bet is that “it” will be The Dean. (not that others aren’t salivating to dance-with-the-spurs this time). The Dean wants to hold The Precious and it is his with a gift of 4th place to the exclusion of Arsenal.

    Mandy,
    Yes, Bale the Diva performer is honing his crafts for a gala performance. He’s on the way to becoming the New Rooney – diver and the face in waiting of EPL-Brand football.

    And where is Ivan! He must awaken and act before it costs AFC 35M to the account. (To put it in that language for obvious reasons).

  • avatar Sharpshooter

    Tbh, I don’t think it’s a conspiracy against us. I mean not an organized conspiracy. It’s more something like “I hate that Frenchman who thinks he’s better than all of us”. Also, it’s that idiotic belief that football “is for men”, this meaning you can break someone’s leg on the pitch. On the other hand, it might be the simple fact that most of the refs are not Arsenal fans…
    I don’t have enough elements to say it’s something organized. Especially because I can’t find a reason for it. But, at the same time, it keeps happening to us since 2004, maybe 2003.

  • avatar bob

    sharpshooter,
    A reason for the refshite? for wondering whom Martin O’Neill might be serving with the serial kick-a-thon? TBH with you, it that there’s reason enough been aired in these parts for over two years running; and the ref review forthcoming might just tip the balance that moves you from the not-enough-evidence-for-me column into the well-maybe-there-is-something-more-afoot column. One cannot account for The Dean’s record against us as law of the averages. One cannot account for that crime at Old Trafford as you acknowledge as mere happenstance. You cannot account for the all-out, all-media Wenger-Out campaign of two summers ago as boys being boys to sell papers. Well, maybe you can, but if, TBH, you want to see some evidence, why not browse through the ref review round-ups here from the last two seasons, and perhaps some of the Untold Media articles we produced here two summers ago. Try that for starters if you want to do a bit more than opine.

  • avatar MikeSA

    Heavens alive Sharpshooter, did you even read my post?

    Either you missed the issue so badly I’d have to question your comprehension, or you really just waded in without any due thought.

    Truly a less than intelligent response, and that’s being very polite.

  • avatar Mahdain

    @Mandy everyone who has seen the trends in the past couple of year will guess without a doubt that it will be Mike “i love dancing when Arsenal concede” Dean for Spuds. It has to be…

  • avatar C4

    Lol @ Bale the Diva.
    AFC and / or AW has got some powerful enemies. I’m beginning to suspect this game is quite rotten, because even regular players are aware that when playing against Arsenal, they have some extra leeway in terms of what they can get away with. They also know they stand a strong chance of getting a free kick / penalty if they collapse at the slightest touch. I regularly see opposition players commit blatant fouls and then go and scream at the ref when he finally calls a foul on them – secure in the knowledge that they won’t be booked for dissent. We simply cannot get away with that sort of thing. Our players know this, and many no longer bother staying down when fouled, even in the penalty box. Especially Theo. He knows he has a better chance of scoring if he gets up quickly and just scores a regular goal (he did this against Alain Pardeiu’s team and I forget the other one where he was pushed from behind as he was about to shoot). Penalties are now the stuff of dreams.
    I watch enough non-Arsenal games to see that:
    1) The refs are certainly capable of calling the type of fouls that they deem to be non-fouls in our games. The “physicality” teams are allowed against us is not allowed in almost all non-Arsenal matches I watch.
    2) The teams that kick us like Sunderland did are also fully aware which teams are protected and which teams are not, because they certainly don’t employ such “physicality” against the “loved” teams, i.e. the likes of manure or the tiny totts. They would have finished such a match with 9 men or less.
    I still believe this bias played major role in us losing players. In their shoes, I’d also be considering how safe it is to play at AFC, and what the bloody point is, because even if I play well enough to win, some dancing ref might undo all my teams hard work with a blow of his whistle (or lack of it).
    Whoever we’re up against wields considerable power, because the only people willing to speak up against this nonsense are us AFC fans, so its not surprising that there seems to be quite an effort underway to divide the fan base. These bias issues are mainly raised in blogs, never in the “papers”. And occasionally a sensible fan from another team will admit we get “special” treatment, but most won’t because their teams benefit from it. This is why it’s important to remain united as fans, so we can have a louder voice. Even AW seems scared of being punished some more if he speaks about it. Journalists have tried to coax it out of him, specifically asking if he thinks a player (Jack) was targeted, and he keeps saying no. He obviously has a good memory, and remembers well what happens if he speaks out against the bias. I like the red card idea, the fans should carry those to the games and let the officials know we’re onto them. I wonder if the “journalists” would publish it though, like they did with the solitary “Wenger Out” banner that caused a skirmish?

  • avatar Sharpshooter

    @ MikeSA Glad you’re polite, I’m not. So let’s try to comprehend your profound post that I didn’t read. You begin nicely, as I said, I agree with the first two paragraphs. But after those paragraphs, using the “classic” cliche “AW is a good manager, BUT…”, you begin the less nice stuff, ending with the super conclusion “an exceptional poor piece of management”.
    Btw, Moyes or Laudrup are “good”, AW is “excellent” if “world class” seems too much for you.
    I also couldn’t help noticing the nice parallel between Ramsey and Denilson and the assertion that Mr. Denilson became “ineffectual” (I’d say a lazy and uninterested young player) because of AW’s poor man management. I won’t
    even try to refute this, it’s simply too unfair a statement.
    In the end, I understood that, in spite of Wenger’s “exceptional poor piece of management”, the team won. Very nice thing to say after yesterday’s game.
    Please excuse the fact that in my post I used the expression “tactically inept” instead of exceptional poor piece of management.
    P.S. It’s sad you haven’t noticed the little slaughter Sunderland gave us, but you noticed something about Ramsey position on the pitch…

  • avatar malaysian gunner

    Beat MU in the next game and I will believe it.Otherwise be prepared for red faced to win the treble and the epl the next five years.

  • avatar malaysian gunner

    I believe Red Faced aint satisfied with winning the epl /treble. He will want to repeat winning the cl assuming he wins it this season.And for this I blame Wenger.He dismantled the 2004 team when it could have gone on to challenge if not downgrade the red faced.
    I think fans of Arsenal and other teams are getting fed up with the unending dominance of MU.I don’t know but there could be a conspiracy to perpetuate his winning run.Why do other teams raise their games against MC/Chelsea/Pool/Arsenal but wilt or give in to red faced?
    All empires come and go but if this icreasing domination of MU is not stopped,I believe many fans will give up watching the game. It is too one sided and no more exciting and I blame the FA and their henchmen fo helping the red faced.
    You don’t believe me?See how mo differ when they they next umpire the red faced game.

  • avatar marchand

    Ramsey got a lot of stick ( also from me ) and rightly so. But i give him big credit for sunderland and i start to realise what wenger sees in him (thats why he is the manager i guess). He gets himself into scoring positions as a midfielder. But he should really start to take those chances!! wp aaron and stop losing balls as the last man in midfield!! ;-)

  • avatar Asif

    Ramsey will score…people do not see that Ramsey is a leader and a lot many things off the pitch have not been too kind to the lad…but he is a leader! The sunderbus game was just a curtain raiser on the times to come…it is just a matter of time when he starts scoring!