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Arsenal 1 – Anthony Villa 3

By Walter Broeckx

 Sitting in front of my TV I couldn’t really remember seeing such a ref travesty for a long while. But then I remembered the PL has stopped some 3 month ago so it had been a while.

Whatever 11 players we would have put on the pitch today wouldn’t have mattered.

From the first minutes it was clear that the ref was going to give us nothing. Every time an Arsenal player came close to an Anthony Villa player the whistle went.  On the other hand Villa could do what they want and only when things really were bad the ref would give the foul.

You could see the frustration running high amongst Arsenal players. And they lost their focus and that was all that the ref needed.

Of course the balance wasn’t right with Arteta missing in midfield and that lead to the first Villa goal. Most refs would have given the advantage as Villa had a shot on an open goal but missed it. This ref came back to the foul and gave the penalty. Defendable according to the rules. But only  a ref on a mission would take this decision.

Another good example was the Gibbs injury. It clearly was a head injury and minutes before the ref gave a foul against Giroud for coming to close and the Villa player holding his head with not being touched on the head at all. But it took him a lot of time to realize Gibbs was down and bleeding from a head injury.

Let us move on to the second half. How happy he was to give a penalty for a tackle on the ball from Koscielny. Koscienly clearly played the ball but the ref couldn’t wait to give the penalty and a yellow card. Two wrong decisions.

And minutes later he couldn’t wait to send of Koscielny with a second yellow for….. well tell me for what. The first yellow as not justified as it was tackle that won the ball. And not to my surprise the ref then kept his card in his pocket when Vlaar who was already on a yellow made a similar foul on an Arsenal player with the difference being that Koscielny didn’t make contact but Vlaar clearly did take out Rosicky. But now the second yellow card was kept in the pocket.

That Anthony Villa later on made a third was of no importance at all. The ref done his job.

This is what we can call a ref who gave all kind of small fouls against one team from the first minute to disturb the players of Arsenal? He succeeded.

For once I agree with the “spend some fucking money” chant.  Now with SAF out we should have bought the PGMOL this summer. We clearly didn’t spend the money.

Now of course when Arsenal is involved we usually get nothing from Anthony Taylor.  Every little decisions usually goes against us. Even in the Emirates cup he was doing it. It seems that since he has become a FUFA ref he has been introduced to how to make it to the top. And that is by annoying Arsenal.

I wonder how many players we have left after the ref allowing the Villa players hacking and kicking at the ankles from behind in many duels that weren’t called as fouls. Cazorla being held (I remember him not wanting to give fouls to Cazorla earlier by the way) twice within 2 seconds just after the interval and the ref only 5 meters away didn’t see it.

I will not go on about Wilshere being stopped by Vlaar in the penalty area where the ref should have given a penalty to Arsenal when it was still 1-2. Because every person with knowledge knew that it would take the most blatant of handballs on the line to make sure that the ref would give a penalty for Arsenal.

The new season is upon and the ref-shite is once again hitting us in the face. I hope ref Taylor had a bad day but with the history he had with Arsenal I just think he is following the footsteps of Dean. He has the same look. And he is as biased against Arsenal as Dean.

And then to think that even with 10 men we had the best chances to equalise.  I hope we still have some healthy players left over from this absolutely shocking display of bad-refereeing.  If there are injuries we can put them down to a seriously lack of protection from the ref for our players.

We were well on top in this game until the wrong penalty and the second wrong yellow card against Koscielny. And that is the only reason we lost.

 

196 comments to Arsenal 1 – Anthony Villa 3

  • Sammy The Snake

    he inevitable happened. Let’s face reality. We lost to Arsenal, again. The ref was horrible, but we didn’t deserve anything out of this game.

    Who do we have to play for next game anyway?

  • colario

    The refereeing reminded me of game number ’50’. May be is aiming to be the new head of the PGMOL. An ambitious ref. What’s wrong with that in the EPL! ! !

  • limpar

    This league is disgusting
    Don’t worry , there will be much rejoicing at our misfortunes today so don’t expect any fair judgments from the premier league controlled media outlets.

    We must be stopped
    If you cannot see this after witnessing approximately the last 7 years watching Arsenal , you probably never will.

  • Yassin

    “On the other hand Villa could do what they want and only when things really were bad the ref would give the foul”
    NO Wrong.

    Only when he should have given us an advantage or when villa needed to reorganize.

  • Gachie Wainaina

    That’s exactly my feelings about the game. I can’t blame the Arsenal players; the game was won by the ref. I wouldn’t have been surprised had the ref decided to kick the ball into the net for Villa. What a shame! Wish there was a panel to scrutinize the refs’ decisions and punish ’em accordingly! I’m so disappointed, but with the ref & not the players!!!

  • dan

    Oh yes the twats on MOTD will be rejoicing, Setanta 1 did not interview Wenger.

  • GoonerDog

    That’s it Walter get in quick with the excuses!

  • Mick

    I think some troll censorship may be needed in due course.
    I didn’t think it possible to get a more biased ref than Dean but I was wrong. The die was cast from the opening minute. How did Villa finish with 11 on the pitch, it beats me. Disgraceful officiating.

  • Sal

    What going on when Arsenal Vs Fullham

  • para

    Don’t worry lads, you just needed reminding that you are not only playing against 11 men. Buckle down and get on with it.
    They were determined that Arsenal will not have another undefeated run, especially after that first goal. I fully expected the ref to find something wrong with it, but he couldn’t, because of it’s sheer brilliance. So if that’s what we have to do, then let’s get on and do it.

  • meaner

    The only possible reason is corruption. The ref is bribe.

  • Kendrick

    Now we have goal line tech, I wish to see Robots used as refs. Human refs are becoming more stupid. We have seen example of it today. (Arsenal vs Aston Villa) SHIT!!!!!!

  • john L

    let me first say that the ref was absolutely shocking. the second penalty was a game changer, and for me a terrible call. he did very little to penalize the rotational fouling from villa throughout the game, while holding a fairly strict rule over arsenal. very very poor…

    but what else can we say?

    i dont think that ramsey and wilshere can play as the base in a 4-2-3-1. maybe with more maturity they will be able to, but as i mentioned on here after the galatasary match, i think they are both ‘box-to-box’ midfielders. when they are the base of the midfield they leave the defense exposed. to get the best out of them i think we have to play 4-1-2-3 as we do when arteta is in the team. this allows them to cover the pitch pressing and moving for the ball, while arteta proves an easy outlet and pulls the strings as the deep lying playmaker.

    this is an area that i feel we need to strengthen. not necessarily the typical hard man DM, but someone who reads the game well and has astute passing. when arteta is out of the team, this seems to be a gap in the squad.

    wilshere needs to play more early passes, settle possession more often, and run with the ball less. his penetrating runs are part of his game, but he needs to be more decisive with his timing of them to be effective. i felt he had a poor game today, and needs to focus on his game as a passing playmaker. he gets fouled an awful lot so he needs to learn to move the ball on quicker. particularly if he is playing as the base in the midfield as losing out in those areas of the pitch provide the opposition with dangerous transitional phases.

    we need to work on our crossing in order to get the best out of giroud. not just the accuracy of them, particularly from the full backs, but also the movement and runs into the box. out attackers need to have better timing making late runs into the box, attacking the cross. to often our crosses aim at players who are static and jumping with a defender, having not held their run. Or giroud makes the near post run to drag the DC but the midfielders and wide attacker are not charging into the space behind.

    its a painful result, but i do think the result hinged on the poor ref rather than a terrible performance by arsenal. the second penalty call was atrocious, and the koscielny red was also harsh seeing as the first foul should never have been a yellow, and in light of not penalizing the numerous ‘small’ fouls from villa that disrupted the flow of the game. shocking, the ref should never be the difference between the teams and the result, but sadly it so often is….

  • Tjekem

    Why can’t we ever get referees that call the game properly when we play?
    Look, we did not play well, and you could argue that part of it was because the referee allowed the Villaians to bully us in midfield. Yes Walter I could feel the frustrations of our players on the pitch.

    Embarrassed that ‘fans’ would walk out on their team. The team needs us now more than ever. They need to know that we are behind them, will support them when they are down and not just when things are going good.

    Victoria Concordia Crescit

  • kenneth Widmerpool

    Sure hope that Gibbs, the Ox( who was having a great game)and Sagna are OK, Sagnas fall looked really bad in Slow motion.
    I hope the lads can rally against Fenerbahce, that’s not going to be easy…Cue many days of Arsenal/Wenger baiting…
    I thought the game was ours,(even though we were 2-1 down) until Kos was sent off,( I agree Mick how did Villa end up with 11 players still on the pitch?)
    I thought that we were unlucky with the third goal, as we tried to equalise from the corner and got caught short.
    I personally wish we could have signed Gustavo.
    Im sure Villa thought they were great today. They werent.
    COYG!

  • bob

    Walter,
    If this con job is indicative (and I fear it is,) then – injuries OR no injuries) spending for a deep quality bench is essential. It has been essential in past windows where we don’t spend, and – the warning has been issued – we will need to be able to outlast the 12 man ref-shite abetted opposition as it emerges. Taylor is a miscreant and making himself known to the string-pullers with this audition. Rilye’s PGMOL knows that we have the CL on Weds and our next EPL on Saturday. We’ve been wounded here, and it will not help our prospects in the x-fer window on a number of levels (to be discussed during the week).

    Is Kos now out for the next EPL match?

  • sperez

    This was expected. No surprises at all. Only some deluded fools thought otherwise.
    Anyone could see the squad was threadbare and average at best. Even if ‘lucky’ was on Arsenal side today this couldn’t stop you from facing the reality.
    Some people blame the pitch, the referee, the tea lady but can’t see the game. Average players, poor tactics, no winning mentality and an arrogant and deluded manager. Nothing new at Arsenal.
    The AKBs will tell you wonders about Giroud scoring against the world class teams in Asia but they won’t acknowledge how really average he is.
    They will big up the guy between the sticks yet Big Mouth Szczesny is not a top keeper but then again Arsenal had Almunia for years.
    They’ll sing the praises about Wenger but won’t admit he is finished.
    Honestly, Wenger is responsible for this mess but you lot have to share the blame.
    A team like Villa has a much better striker than Arsenal despite the big gap in finances. Don’t you love to tell the world about the tale of the moneybags Chelsea and City and poor Arsenal can’t compete…But when a team without financial power humiliates Arsenal you don’t dare to speak.
    What now? Panic buys again? A man on £7.5m a year can’t even find good players and just sit on his hands for months spouting excuses and lies.
    Don’t you get tired of blaming referees all the time? Don’t you know Arsenal players? Tip: they’re not exactly world beaters… Didn’t you see the game? Didn’t you see how easily Villa was able to rip through the midfield and defense?
    NO, let’s distort what has been happening over the years. The squad has been weakening year after year. Best players sold and poor replacements come in. Sure, this won’t bring success on the pitch but it’ll help pile up money in the bank.
    Silent Stan is just what I thought he was. Too silent and too slow to care about the club but money hungry. Wenger the accountant is complicit in all this. Asset-stripping policy is the Arsenal corporate machine way. Game on the pitch will deteriorate…But the ticket prices will go up and the AKBs will lap it up.

  • KC

    The ref was a joke, yes, but do not overlook the fact that it would’ve been a justified decision to send Szczesny off after his foul for the penalty.

    Bad refereeing cannot become a way to excuse the mediocrity of this team.

    Sorry but players lime Ramsey, Mertesacker, Podolski, and Sagna are not trophy-winning caliber. I ask you which of those players would walk into one of Real Barca, United, City, Bayern, or Chelsea…? None of them. In fact, we do not possess one player on this team that could likely walk into a starting role on any of those teams.

    We have declined to the point where we are satisfied to pursue 2nd tier players. The result is the first tier players — Higuain, Suarez, Gustavo, choose not to come to us!

    Dump the manager if you want but either way, several of these 2nd tier players must be replaced with top level talent.

  • john L

    walter,

    i agree that the first goal was a result of arteta’s absence. and our midfield exposing the defense. it does make me question the decision to loan coquelin?

    sagna’s fall at the end was nasty and i hope he is okay. but with monreal and TV out and koscielny most likely to miss a match, again, it does make me question the desicion to loan miquel?

  • KC

    As much as for his strange ineptitude in the transfer market, Wenger needs to go because of how mentally soft his teams are. There is no spirit in Wenger’s teams. They wine and moan a lot about being fouled but they just don’t have much heart or confidence!

  • Tjekem

    John L,
    I agree with your assessment of the Ramsey/Wilshere partnership. However, I don’t see Wenger changing to a 4-1-2-3 formation. He has always favoured a double pivote. What we need is a positionally aware and tactically astute midfielder who can tackle to pair with either of them. Arteta has filled the role admirably, but we need a mid who is a better tackler.
    Wenger is more likley to change formation to an asymmetrical 4-2-2-2 [which he did for some games last season] as this whold preserve is double pivote principle.

  • marcus

    @KC If it was a sending off, Walter would have said so. Was he heading towards goal?

    My big fear, if I was a corrupt person within football, would be the example of Berlusconi. A corrupt man within a society notorious for its corruption; eventually, in the fulness of time, his sins caught up with him. No-one is above the Law, not even Kings, Prime Ministers and Presidents.

    When the mother of all shit storms hits the Premiership, we shall see what befalls some of its protagonists.

  • Mahdain

    Nothing has changed in the PL….Message sent and delivered. What a disgusting display of refereeing he couldnt even made it less obvious… Bent isnt the word

  • Rob

    The ref was rubbish, poor decisions throughout.

    However…I was an AKB…but no longer.

    If I was villa, with no arsenal transfer in and the well publicised injuries already I’d go out and give them a rough ride. Arsenal should have been prepared by wenger for that but after 20 mins we were bleating and looking for the fouls. We should have known it was going to be tough and stayed calm. Ffs we used to be the Arsenal!!

    With Arteta out, not buying a dm now is going to cause us much grief. Koz out means we are left with no recognised cb next week other than mert and Sagna is bound to need a week at least to recover. Gibbs hopefully ok but that means in the champs qualifier and against Fulham we are going to struggle. Jerks is a gooner but not good enough yet.

    Wengers crap about show me the players we can that will improve the quality is all well and good but then I’d say what about all the players spuds, Liverpool, Napoli, Wolfsburg etc have bought!!! What about the players that we should have tied up weeks ago!!! He’s turned into a man in denial and unfortunately this first match and the injuries and suspension is now gonna cost is dear. A total disaster IMO.

  • john L

    @KC

    football is not an individual sport, it is a team sport. collective strength is always far more important.
    also sagna as been in the top of his position in the epl for years, and has been one of our most committed and consistent players since he signed for us. (where have you been?)
    ramsey is one of the best players in his generation and im sure with his age, experience, and natural fitness many top top clubs would be interested.
    mertesaker and poldoski both have earn loads of caps for the germany national team, who are surely a top top team?

    all these guys are great players, and in the top bracket in the world, i think the far more interesting debate, rather than simply lambasting them erroneously, is how to play them in order to get the best out of them, where the combinations that work are?

  • Shard

    bob

    “this con job is indicative (and I fear it is,) then – injuries OR no injuries) spending for a deep quality bench is essential. It has been essential in past windows where we don’t spend, and – the warning has been issued – we will need to be able to outlast the 12 man ref-shite abetted opposition as it emerges. ”

    Isn’t that you saying give them what they want? They will ensure we lose until Arsenal join the corrupt in their spending so as to finance all the offshore accounts that get their wealth through agents and third party ownership. Until we are no longer a threat to their financial model. Fuck that. I don’t care if we become a midtable team or even get relegated. They will not beat us into submission.

  • bob

    “Higuain, Suarez, Gustavo, choose not to come to us!”
    KC,
    If you’ve read the full coverage, Gustavo’s main interest is in playing time to make his Brazil team for the world cup. His family is comfortable with Germany and he’s choosing not to uproot them. He also knows the Bundesliga and it has quality. Wolfsburg, though poor last season, was a champion only a few seasons back. So put your mantra on pause for the moment and consider this before connecting the apparent dots.

    Yes, Suarez did not choose to file papers to leave Liverpool. That said, he’s gone a long distance with his interview, and has been up against massive opposition from manager, owner, Football Player’s Association boss, his captain, former teammates and ex-scousers, fanbase and media pundits to stay there. Do you think that 100M is the right way to go; or that money alone is enough in this case?

    As for Higuain, if he is as good as you rate him, then it’s possible that we got outfoxed, although I think we had him as Plan B whilst trying for Suarez and possible a longer shot at Rooney.

    This is not as simplistic as you wish to believe or do truly believe. There’s context and neither of us know the in’s and out’s of the no holds barred backroom brawl that is the transfer window. This is not a head-in-the-sand whitewashing of AW/AFC, but there are more factors afoot than your rush to judgment would allow. And there are still 16 days left to make a difference, and time to make moves. Injuries and/or suspensions from today will also force these moves. My position is to stay vigilant and supportive until we see the end of the window and where we are exactly.

  • bob

    Shard,
    I am not saying what you say I am. I have consistently advocated every transfer window for a quality bench in the predictable eventuality of injuries. Well we’ve got that again. And, I add to that analysis and advocacy by saying that the same spending on a quality bench will help us with the predictable 12th man refshite factor. You’ve turned my argument into a straw man. I am not arguing what you say I am, and never would. If you haven’t noticed our correspondences where I’ve consistently foot stomped for a deeper quality bench, especially in the 2011 winter of our being in it for four cups (before the summer of Cesc, then there’s little I can do to prevent your mistaken tarring me with the let’s go corrupt brush. I totally reject that position and your misreading of my position.

  • Adam

    Have not seen the game yet as working. Not impressed with the result.

  • sperez

    Villa ‘the young team’ has taught Wenger a lesson.
    I hope Wenger’s ego trip continues and he doesn’t sign any player. After all ‘this squad can challenge for the title even without signings’. So keep the faith folks.
    Wenger has been unable to fix the problems at Arsenal. No panic buys this time to paper over the cracks. Over-reliance on key players, no quality subs and no rotation will do the trick. But don’t worry ‘Diaby will belike a new signing’.
    Even the players want Wenger to sign reinforcements. They don’t believe in this ‘squad is strong enough to challenge for the title with or without new players’ bollocks. Cazorla and Arteta don’t want to be run into the ground. But under Wenger this will happen.
    I’d rather things go tits up if it means no contract for Wenger. It’s better to have one more poor season under the French egotistical manager than have the displeasure of seeing him in charge for more years making Arsenal a bigger laughing stock.

  • john L

    Tjekem,

    yes i think wenger wants to play with a double pivot, but i think we are better off with an unconventional DM.

    when arteta plays;

    i would argue that arteta plays a more poised central position within the arsenal system. he makes the least forward runs, drops into slots when others bomb forward, reads the game from deep, provides the easy option in possession, keeps the game moving from side to side, and rarely presses the ball over the half.

    the other two central midfielders make more frequent runs forward, press the ball almost the entire field, move in the channels frequently, recycle possession a bit less, and generally are involved at every level through the field. (sometimes one of these players will be slightly deeper than the other)

    the three attackers vary depending on who is playing in those positions.

    i would argue that is essentially a 4-1-2…

    without arteta;

    we seem to play with wilshere and ramsey flat across the midfield, with rosicky, cazorla or AOC as a AMC. in theory this sounds like a treat. however both wilshere and ramsey want to press the ball, move it forward and then continue through the play up the field, run at players and be involved at every level. as does obviosuly whoever is playin AMC.

    i would say 4-2-1….

    for this to work, wilshere and ramsey both need to be less cavalier and made to apply to a far stricter tactical role, the wide attacking players need to play far deeper as wide midfielders rather than wingers and the backline needs to push up so as not to leave a pocket in the middle between the lines. im not entirely sure our defense particularly mertesacker is suited to this.

  • Yassin

    @ Adam,

    Don`t, you ll become confused of how obvious the Bias is and how some people will try to convince us it is not.

    I cant believe some here call themselves gooners and still argue its not the ref!!! DID U WATCH THE GAME OR ARE YOU BLIND?

    It was so obvious, usually a fan is biased towards his team, but not those, they are always against theirs.

    Please somebody tell me why do they ref that way against us? What did we ever do to them? so obvious why can`t people see it? and they call us deluded.

  • Rufusstan

    Walter — I know about the Wilshere non-penalty, but what was your take on the second corner? Per trying to go for a flick-on, getting nudged and going down? They never replayed it, and in any event if he wasn’t going to give Wilshere a penalty, we were bot going to get one in the 3rd? minute.

  • Digvijay

    I was so apprehensive. And was waiting to see Wenger post match press conference. But skysports has put up a video of just after the match one. My heart melted when, the reporter asked “after the third goal, a lot of the fans,left and whistled, what can you say to them, how hard it is?” And then what Wenger said.

    http://www1.skysports.com/football/live/match/287286/video

  • bob

    Yassin,
    They are willfully blind. Not at all fair-minded toward their own supposed team. We need to start and end with the facts on the ground, and the hatred of AW supersedes what anyone fair-minded could see has happened on the pitch today. Is the refshite everything? No. But it is a definite ingredient, a major ingredient; and, imo, preparedness via a quality bench has become as must to (at least partially) deal with the predictable combination of refshite and injuries that has plagued us.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    With the injuries out there , it looked like a real battlefield with no protection whatsoever from the ref , who was man of the match with his strange decisions in favor of Villa .
    Hope those injured recover in time and we start to really fight back against this injustice .
    Supporters should back their team and not be too carried away.
    Tis’ just the beginning of another great ride on the Arsenal roller coaster .

  • john L

    hahah sperez, villa taught wenger a lesson?!?

    if the ref hadnt of called the second penalty, given koscielny a yellow, that led him to being incorrectly sent off shortly later with arsenal unjustly down a goal. do you think the result would have been 1-3? do you think those were the correct decisions? are you happy they werent the correct decisions?!? (god forbid)

    had rosicky equalized with his two opportunities in the second half or guzan not saved into the post, would villa have still ‘taught wenger a lesson’?

  • Digvijay

    You know, adding to the “ingredients” admist other things, Paul Lambert asked his team, to do “something” to take advantage of the fact, that the team lacked depth. The tussling, fouls, et al. And then if you think, how nicely Wenger came out of the tunnel and went to shake his hands.

  • WalterBroeckx

    somebody mentioned Szczesny could have been send off. The ref gave at an advantage and then he can only come back with a yellow card. Remember the goal scoring opportunity was not taken away by the foul from Szczesny at all. The other Villa player missed in front of an almost open goal. You could call that still a goal scoring opportunity.

  • SA Gunner

    This ref was an absolute jester, found myself laughing at the fact that Agbonlahor lasted 90 minutes on the pitch.

    Untold, how about doing a report into the influence the camera wants to have on the viewing audience. I saw another example of forcing the agenda, albeit in our faces now with the “Money cant buy class” banner, focusing on BUY.

    Later the 2005 FA Cup trophy displayed on the stands.

    Yes we need to buy but what is the purpose of this sort of camera work. Is there some sort of underhand agenda here, please have a look.

  • Limpar

    @ Yassin

    There seems to be 2 sides to the coin if you consider the major teams in the premier league ; A) one team who seem to get a positive spin and a lot of help via referees , fixtures & tv scheduling- B) another team who get the exact opposite . In between there are other powerfull clubs who also get poor treatment varying in severity which seems to depend on how close they are to troubling the position of team mentioned at the start. These clubs in between teams A&B are not self sufficient but funded via benefactors so are not in direct competition for the same parts of certain markets that team A are in competition with team B for, which would be excaserbated under FFP. Especially as team B have such enormous potential even without winning silverware for 8 consecutive seasons
    Obviously there are all the other clubs with there own story of how hard done by they are compared to the big boys, but the example given above relates directly to our situation

    That’s the way I have seen it for a long time, but I would love for Shard to elaborate further with his revelations on this topic made in an earlier reply to bob

  • Rupert Cook

    Excellent analysis John L. Sure the ref was poor but we were not up to standard today. It was poor officiating all over. Rosicky managed to avoid at least two yellow cards in the first half. He did play well though, many of our players looked lost too often.

    We’ll get some players in, we have to. We’re certainly not winning the league though unless we buy super quality.

    Got to get a positive result against Fenerbache.

  • SA Gunner

    Wenger’s thoughts on the second penalty…

    on the second penalty decision…

    The linesman said to me that he did not give the penalty and he was at the level of the tackle. So why does the referee – who did not give the penalty straight away – suddenly give the penalty? That’s what is amazing to me. I would understand if the linesman said it was a penalty but you have to live with that. Just because you get these decisions given against you it doesn’t mean you should go on to lose the game. We have to focus on ourselves now.

  • Linz

    Typical untold arsenal blaming the ref.Well Szez swhould have been red carded.what about that?WHY DON’T YOU OPEWN YOUR EYES AS TO WHAT IS HAPPENING AT THIS FOOTBALL CLUB? JESUS CHRIST.Why was Rosicky playing LW? Why did we have NO CH to bring on? Why do we not have a proper holding midfielder? Why was Poldolski playing LB? Why did we only have 4 shots at goal? NONE of that is the refs fault,but his decisions have given you all the fuel to keep on your “Wenger is God” crusade.Well lose to Fenerbache,Fulham and Spurs and he is GONE.Maybe then Arsenal can start being a proper football club again instead of some arrogant managers weird experiment. Empty seats at the Emirates for the first game of the season.The board will be very worried.Oh and Shard,why do Arsenal charge the highest prices in football then,if the club is SO moral? And don’t come out with that guff about how one Arsenal season ticket ,which there are a few hundred of ,happens to work out ten quid cheaper than Tottenhams.Get one of those cheaper STs then,go on,because you won’t be able to.You will only be offered one that is at least one and a half grand.Enjoy the Championship then,as you seem quite happy,hell i hope Kroenke takes every penny out of the club and sells all the players.As long as Wenger is there forever who cares?

  • Yassin

    @ BOb

    I agree completely with you, we lacked today at the start 2 players, Arteta replacement, and most importantly, a creative midfielder, Fabregas style, we lacked a bit in numbers too on other areas, but i thought we are gonna get them in the end.
    Its just when you are angry of what the ref did and you come and read on this site that kind of posts you become hell more angry!!!

    In addition, we were the better team in the beginning of the game, and then the ref tilted it so obviously, am not talking about red cards and penalties, am talking about fouls in midfield which they do stop the game and the ref won`t take actions about it, no matter who you have on the field we won`t win when these refs do their magic/cheat.

  • Digvijay

    @SA Gunner, its all orchestrated. The PL is a joke. The corruption or something. I won’t be surprise this is how the PL maintains its “most dramatic league”, “most open league where more than 2 clubs can win”, etc. Hell it could also be the reason why no club has ever won two consecutive titles. I mean, what is going on?

  • Digvijay

    Excuse my grammatic error and incomplete sentences. Writing on this phone, I forget mid way what the sentence was.

  • WalterBroeckx

    This was a perfect example on how to make a team lose focus. Any experienced ref knows how to do it. How many times did he stop the game when Arsenal was fouled, had an possible advantage and then suddenly came back to the foul when an Arsenal player was running free with the ball? A few times.

    And any duel from an Arsenal players was penalised. On the other hand the Villa players could kick on the ankle and achilles of the Arsenal players without the foul being called.

    The players know when they see double standards in operation and it is completely annoying.

    If you take away the wrong decisions and game changing decisions we have the second penalty, the Koscielny two yellow cards.

    This would have meant that we would be at 1-1 and with 11 v 11 on the pitch in the last half hour. I think a world of difference and I don’t think we would have been over committing like we did if it would have been 1-1 in the 86th minute.

    An example of one bad decision(penalty), leading to another (first yellow), leading to another (goal from penalty) leading to another (second yellow) leading to another (3rd goal).

    That is 5 game changing decisions going against Arsenal in one game.

  • Pat

    Just got back from the match. Even the fans were chanting loudly about the ref by the middle of the second half. And the refereeing team got well booed when they left the field. However, these will not be in the media coverage. Instead they will concentrate on the fans shouting ‘Spend some fucking money’ as they were round where I was sitting after the third Aston Villa goal.

    What amazes me is how some fans can ignore the dreadful refereeing and behave as if it has no influence on the match. In the first half as well as Gibbs having to go off with a head injury, we had two other players on the ground for some minutes. Surely it was obvious what was going on?

    Of course as soon as the opposing team, in this case Aston Villa, realize they are going to get off with everything, they carry on. As has been said on this site many times, this is when injuries occur.

    And once again time wasting was not punished. The Aston Villa goalkeeper wasted time on goal kicks throughout the match.

    Yes, we truly were stitched up by dreadful refereeing.

  • WalterBroeckx

    And not taking in charge the Villa players that didn’t get booked for fouls that Arsenal players were booked for…

  • Pat

    @Digvijay, thanks for the link to Arsene Wenger’s interview. He makes his opinion of the refereeing crystal clear. He also says the team on the pitch could have won today, and that they must not let their disappointment colour their preparation for the next game. Wise words.

    The players have certainly been reminded of what they are up against.

  • Shard

    bob

    I’m feeling too sick to really be even able to type, but I came back to apologise to you. I didn’t mean it like that. I was just angry at what had transpired and at Arsenal being browbeaten, and the fans being manipulated.

  • Florian

    I’m afraid losing the game is just a by-product. The real purpose of whoever told the ref hot to officiate was to kick the crap out of our players, thin the squad down e3ven more, and leave them vulnerable for the CL qualifying round.

    Nothing is lost though. The season is long, many things can change. We’ve been in a similar situation 2 years ago. All the team needs to do is regroup for the Fenerbahce match. I’m less afraid of bias with European officials. And they don’t have Didier Drogba:)

  • Andrei

    @Walter But what about Luna getting booked instead of Ox at the end of second half? Granted there was one (potentially two) critical mistakes that greatly influenced the result. However it was overall poor officiating with some calls going Arsenal way.

    Anyway, I think we should thank the referee for providing a perfect excuse not to focus on subpar perforance Was it referee who made Arsenal intensity drop after 20 minutes to get Villa back in the game? Was it referee who made Arsenal back four look confused and slow allowing Villa strikers run through the center of defence? As it happened when both penalties were awared and Villa hit the post?

  • John

    Rumours…Chamberlain out for 3 weeks

  • Pat

    Arsene Wenger’s post match press conference is now on arsenal.com. He also gives a list of the injuries to our players.

  • Yassin

    @ Limpar
    Agree, but still its so obvious, why don’t they just say kill the Arsenal fans and clubs they don`t deserve to live? ok they might tilt the game but that is so obvious

    @SA Gunner,

    Yes me too i saw the Buy shot and i thought who is the one putting it just to see its you cant by class, and then after a while 2005 was shown. too much bias, why not put Liverpool under the same pressure? tottenham?

  • sperez

    john L
    Szczesny wouldn’t agree with you.
    As I said, look how easily Villa could penetrate through the midfield and defense.
    But Wenger doesn’t need a lesson. He is a tactical clown and he’ll continue to be exposed by other teams as it has been the case for years.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Andrei,
    I think a wrong penalty and a wrong goal and 2 wrong yellow cards are enough mistakes to decide any game of football.

    The yellow card against Luna was wrong but this was down to the assistant who signalled it that way. So the ref either had to overrule him or follow up on his assistant. So don’t say the ref messed that up, the assistant did.

    Overall poor officiating you say but like I pointed out 4 possible game changing decisions going against Arsenal. You can always try to count the game changing decisions going against Villa. After all they should even out. Shouldn’t they?

    And we also hit the post. Rosicky should have scored 3 goals alone (that was terrible finishing on each occasion and disappointing to see from him)

  • Shard

    Andrei

    I enjoy your posts and you are a good conscience keeper of the site usually, but please don’t be ridiculous in your ‘propensity towards fairness’. Yes, Taylor gave some fouls against Villa, yes Arsenal make mistakes, but if you watched the game, it is ridiculous to suggest that the main theme isn’t that of Anthony Taylor’s influence on the game. Not just through the big decisions either.

    And his performance meant that it is impossible to make a proper judgment on Arsenal’s performance. Even our mistake on the first goal (which was ridiculous and should not have happened) stems for the break in rhythm and one-sidedness of the referee’s pattern of foul calling. That doesn’t excuse it, and we should be able to deal with it, but that isn’t the real story of the game and you know it.

  • marcus

    Wenger on who picked up injuries during the game:

    Oxlade-Chamberlain, Gibbs, Sagna. Gibbs has a deep cut. Sagna and Rosicky have problems. Wilshere – I don’t know how he will respond after the full 90 minutes. Ramsey has a problem after a kick at his ankle. On that front, we have done quite well.

    This is the injury list after a brutal rugby match….except in a rugby match both sides cop collateral damage. 8 players crocked.

    Tony, much as I believe in an open forum, I think you need to tell Sperez and his ilk to crawl back into the mildew.

    EPL is a crock of shite I am afraid. A truly rubbish product that will soon be eclipsed by something better, probably the Bundesligue.

  • nicky

    OK, the ref had a poor game with numerous mistakes. Not much can be done under present circs. Perhaps the PGMO people will see that some of the decisions were so blatantly wrong that the ref will be demoted to officiate in a much lower league.
    Unless or until the UK becomes a dictatorship with Big Brother in charge and the Government based at the Emirates, there is no way players can be forced to sign for Arsenal.
    Their club must be happy with OUR valuation and the player must accept OUR wages offer. Not an easy expectation.
    There must be a good reason why each potential player has not signed for us this summer.
    When all the conditions are right, we will have new blood…..and not until then.

  • Yassin

    @ Andrei,
    Yes it was the ref after 20min, its not a penalty and red card, they stopped our play with fouls on Wilshere and Ramsey to re group at the back and defend, and still not showing the red card.
    he gave them fouls for nothing when it was our attack for them to counter attack us in no time, when it should have been us who attacking them. when he saw we were playing so good and we could get a good score ( we were brilliant in the first 10min.) he blatantly tilted the match with these calls.

    @ Florian, yes i can see what you pointing to and its 90% true if not 100%

    @sperez, how easily they could penetrate? where did they penetrated in the first 20 min.? and how often did they do it later? i pray to god that all you there who talk this AAA rubbish would try hard enough in something that you care about, and then somebody take your hard work with his bias, and then people come to you and tell you “you are deluded”, and you are not good enough, and you are not worth to do it. then you can see how painful it is. maybe then you could see the truth in front of your own eyes.

  • john L

    sperez,

    you conveniently didnt answer my questions while having another pop at the manager. you said earlier that you hoped we do poorly so wenger doesnt get a new contract, so im assuming that while you do understand the refs role in the result, you are happy about it. care to defend yourself?
    and im not entirely sure what szczesny has to do with anything ive said today?

    so what tactically would you have done today? ive explored some of my thoughts (if you bother to actually read my posts) rather than simply insulting the manager.

  • Typical Wenger Team performance, all round buffoonery from the keeper supported by Coco the Clown Koscielny and presided over by the Court Jester on the touchline.

  • Strus

    Let’s face it: ref Taylor always try to tilt the game against Arsenal. Arsenal has won some games under his shite refering.
    But today this shite referring crossed the border os ridicoulosy!

    If only Rosicky could bury the great chances he had- Arsenal would win this game anyway. This prove the point, that Arsenal is not helpless against it. Today they just could not help themselves.

    Playing defence wihout Arteeta in midfield was a wrong strategy.
    There is simple no cover for Arteta in this squad. It costs us dearly today. Agbonhahor would never pass Arteta like he did with Wilhere. Arteta would take the yellow for the team. Playing Wilshere there is a liabity. I would prefer there AOC. He passed the tests of AC Milan and Newcastle. He likes to dribble, but not as much as Jack.

  • That’s primary school tactics by Wenger he can’t even get the basics right.

  • Yassin

    @ Strus
    100% Agree, that is the type of criticism a fan can issue, so for other commentators here, bob, John L, and so on………

    But those coming here and saying no the ref didn`t tilt the game are either blind or they are on a mission to blow our minds off…

  • Strus

    Taday game showed, that Hawk-Eye is nothing more than fig leaf. Video relpay is the real answer to such crocks as Taylor. AV would have not get the second penalty, and probably Arsenal would get a one to score a winner.

  • sperez

    So I guess it’s sensible to have a threadbare and injury prone squad in a league renowned for its physical intensity.
    It’s easier to blame the phisical aspect of the PL than make Wenger accountable for his own sh*t. AKBs logic.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Some other Taylor “mistakes”:
    Last season against Norwich: Norwich player dives, AT gives a free kick from where they score.
    Two seasons ago: RVP is about to put the ball in the net from 4 meters out with no keeper in sight. Defender jumps in his back and RVP ends up against the net and misses the easy goal. AT gives no penalty for Arsenal.

    3 seasons ago: Arsenal – Sunderland: Arshavin rounds Mignolet to score a perfect goal: is ruled out for offside. In the same game: Arshavin rounds Bramble who pushes Arshavin with both hands in hs back on the moment Arshavin is taking his shot and he misses what looks to be a certain goal. Again no penalty given by AT.

    Like I said: this is Dean in disguise. We just didn’t know it till today.

    And if you want to see the perfect tackle from Koscielny that AT gave the second penalty for have a look at the link I hope it works.

    http://t.co/A7R7UjFiel

    Then you see Koscielny playing the ball with his left foot, the ball bounces against the foot of Agbonlahor who then goes down. Koscielny claims a goal kick and that should have been the correct decision.

    I know it counts for nothing but even reporters said that AT will be embarrassed to see his wrong penalty decision tonight.

    I don’t think he will be embarrassed at all. Just as Dean never is embarrassed when he does his tricks against us.

  • Adam

    I’m sorry Walter but I disagree, look at Kos’s right knee, he contacts the player before playing the ball. Looks a foul to me.

    Will watch the game in full at some point, not that I want too, after all that’s been said.

  • Persian Gunneer

    The most painful part of this written and well played scenario is they didn’t just want to make us lose in front of our home crowd in the first game, but the important goal was to impose as many injured and suspended player as possible to us for the 2 next games

  • Doublegooner

    Walter. No one which ever side of the fence will disagree with you regarding the ref’s disgraceful performance.

    But there is no way you can ignore today’s performance.

    It was beyond woeful except for our first 10 minutes.

    I think you and a few others on here may have to begin resigning yourselves that Wenger’s tenure is starting to come to an end.

  • Persian Gunneer

    No matter what, I am fully supporting Arsenal, just like all you Untolders
    this is the place to share this sacred pain of mine
    up for the gunners

  • Chris

    The Emirates is a major venue at which Refs. can afford to show they are not a homer. He would have been different at (say) old Trafford.

  • dan

    Plenty to play for yet, let the haters rejoice today, end of season we’ll be the one laughing!!!

  • bob

    Walter,
    Highlighting (by bolding?, different font color, etc.) game changing decisions (calls/non-calls) after the fact would be a great (qualitative) addition to the ref reviews. I may have been missing this aspect if it’s been there; but with apologies if so, why not start with this review and use the highlighting or even an addendum that could be compiled as you go, or at the end.

  • Dale de ruig

    We are not capable of winning trophies with the players we have. Thats should be enough.

  • Doublegooner

    Wenger should offer his resignation now & it should be accepted by Kroenke.

  • Shard

    Arsene Wenger to the media

    “You got what you wanted, you should be happy,” Wenger said to reporters in his post-match press conference. “Before the start the season that was all you write in the papers so what do you expect?”

    Arsene Wenger on the referee

    “I didn’t like his performance, but more than his performance I didn’t like his spirit of how he refereed the game,” Wenger said of Taylor.

    “I didn’t like the fact the way the game was refereed and this is a deeper question that just one decision.

    “I don’t like to lie, I didn’t like what he did.

    I love Arsene Wenger. I hate the corrupt league that punishes him for doing a good job, and I hate the media that villify him for being a victim of that corruption. I also hate the stupid idiots that feel emboldened in their stupidity because of the media.

  • Persian Gunner

    Shard
    Can’t agree more my friend

  • bob

    Doublegooner,
    For truth in accountancy sake, how many of those “beyond woeful” minutes do you count where we had only 10 men after Taylor’s worse than the beyond woeful (indeed, mendacious) cardings of Kos? And how about Gibbs’ bloody departure, forcing a weakening reshuffling? This will be small potatoes in your world, but I’d prefer that we paint with a finer brush so that we all think better about what’s transpired than be steamrollered into your bandwagon. Less amperage and closer thinking would be constructive in the here and now. You clearly want a sacking after 4 match loses; but you won’t get it unless you can produce a massive bandwagon effect in the fanbase. You won’t get that either (fans are too passive for action, good or bad).

  • Andrei

    @Walter and Shard

    I get your points but at the day the real question is if overall Arsenal performance warranted all 3 points. To be honest I cannot say definitive yes. A draw perhaps a lucky win if some bounces or calls went our way. Well they didn’t and at least one important call went Villa way so they won. End of story.

    I guess it is in my personality and background to focus more on things that in your control and less on external out of control forces unless it is how to deal with the situation at hand. That is what I preach to people who work for me and this is what I expect Wenger to instill in his teams. That is why I’m hugely disappointed with today’s performance. I expect much more from this team – I went on the record some time ago stating that this is team is really good and close to become great. Unfortunately, today was simply not good enough for a team aspiring to be a title contender.

    More specifically Rosicky was MOTM for Arsenal. I was really impressed with him despite poor finishing which could be result of early season rust. Giroud and Ox had pretty good game. Ox was replaced by Cazorla in the second half which turned out not a good move as Spaniard was largely ineffective. Walcott was invisible and Szczesny, Sagna and Ramsey were erratic. Koscielny was solid but very unlucky. Now Wishere and Mertesacker had real shockers today. Overall back four looked slow and out of sync and Villa were able to exploit it on multiple occasions. Finally Arsenal lacked a true leader on the field capable of lifting the team.

  • Doublegooner

    Shard & Persian.

    Wenger has set himself up. No one else has.

    Today shows what a mess we are in. You two plus a few others will probably think I’m talking about a completely different club.

    If you get an erection at the knowledge we have a lovely stadium, a training centre and the largest cash reserves of any world wide sporing organisation then enjoy the moment.

  • Shard

    Not all contact is a foul Adam.

  • bob

    Shard,
    More than accepted! No worries. We’re mostly in synch, and I continue to greatly value our interchanges and disagreements. I’ve always learned from them, which matters most to me. 🙂

  • Florian

    Brilliant footage Wanter, take that PGMOB! I’m no professional ref, but from what I see there Agbonlahohohor threw himself to the ground, he should have been booked for diving.

  • Florian

    Sorry Walter for misspelling your name.

  • Shard

    Thanks bob 🙂

  • Will

    Could we have won the game with the players that were on the pitch today? That’s for me the real question. And I say yes. After that, if we do not spend the money, it’s because we do not find the players. I’m not the only one to work on that. We are a team who work on that. We are ready to buy the players if we find that the players are good enough for us. That’s all we can tell you.”Ok except, 1) We didn’t win the game with the players we had on the pitch today, so either they aren’t good enough, or you as a manager and coach aren’t good enough. And 2) Find players that are good enough… like Higuain? Or Cesar? Or Fellaini? Or Gustavo? “People always say ‘buy players, buy players, buy players’. When you tell them ‘tell me who?’ it becomes much more problematic.”I find it insane how then no one pulls him up on a list of players that we’ve been linked with, world-class players at that, especially with the shambles of a transfer that was Higuain.

  • bob

    “Today’s game showed, that Hawk-Eye is nothing more than fig leaf. Video relpay is the real answer to such crocks as Taylor. AV would have not get the second penalty, and probably Arsenal would get a one to score a winner.”

    Strus,
    Exactly. And their goal-line widget has clearly all along been a fig leaf for the needed real thing, except for them companies (and the essential related brown envelopes) that go to the contract-winners: they who were rewarded for a new state-of-the-art bandage that cannot (by design) prevent cancerous growths, like Taylor, from metastasizing and destroying this game for millions of fans worldwide.

    The PGMOL and its string pullers are banking on public (media-abetted) acceptance of whatever swill they serve up; and ultimately a more elaborate worldwide wrestling spectacle on the green. Utter cynici$m. Of course “the explainer” – whatever ‘is name is – will be all over his designated TV spots to give us some obscure Anglo-Saxon or Norman sub-rule that justifies the The Tailor (he who stitches us up) and his craft. Let Mist Tony Taylor forevermore be known hereabouts by his true name, Da Tailor, for his services as a made man.

    Congratulations to Micky R: your beehive academy has turned out another killer B. Once The Dean replaces you, Micky R, The Tailor will surely be in the in-house conversation about who’s the heir apparent at your rent-a-ref service. Whatever happened to Howard Webb? Too good at refereeing to be trusted? (Asking forgiveness of the fans in advance. I never thought I’d be seeing Webb as the more honest broker of this lot.)

    (Perhaps the MP from Islington can open a parliamentary inquiry? And what do you think Amy? And just can’t wait for David Hytner to twist the handle.)

  • Mick

    A sure indicator of how bad the refereeing was, was that even the match commentators in the stream I was watching said that Taylor was having a bad day and Wenger could feel aggrieved. I cannot remember ever having heard any pundits sympathising with Wenger before.

  • Rich

    In the same way it was obvious that the referee influenced the result in Villas favour, so too was it obvious that without Arteta or an equivalent our midfield was lost when we didn’t have the ball.

    On both the first and second goals there were gaping holes down the middle of the pitch that meant every time we lost the ball our defence had two or three runners to deal with without any protection. This isn’t a new problem, its been there for years but the club has failed to deal with it.

    This is incompetency that has nothing to do with spending, some over blown conspiracy about referee bias or big players leaving, it’s just very poor coaching.

    This team has played no differently for the last four years and is going nowhere. Each game is a Groundhog Day. Sometimes good, sometimes bad but never giving you the impression that things are moving forward. The sad thing is that the players look like they know it.

    Its gone beyond a petty desire to have big name players join, I just want to see something different. Better or worse, I just need to see a club trying to do something different from a proven failed concept.

  • bob

    “with the shambles of a transfer that was Higuain.”
    Will,
    Do you know that Higuain wasn’t Plan B all along, in hopes of (reasonable) signing Suarez and (more remotely) possibly Rooney? We needed one of them, not 3. And Higuain is the least of these; and the riskiest (being non-EPL). So what do you know about this any more than I do here? What makes it a shambles, as opposed to another of your talking points. And, is Higuain a definite upgrade or offer an actual different dimension at striker than Giroud? I think Giroud is good, but that he’s been profligate last season. And that we do need another striker. And that the top ones are hard to capture. And that those would be wanting to see that we qualify in the CL. So, these are all complicating factors to weigh. But to ignore the complexity and wallow in your “‘es made a shambles ‘e ‘as” does no one a service. There’s still 15 days left and something good can still happen. Neither of us has the crystal ball to predict. You, however, are already convinced of the outcome. It may or may not be too late; but it is still too early to tell and really toxic to pretend otherwise.

  • Sean Spillane

    Talk about deluded.Your as bad as Le Whinger. One word Wenger…RESIGN.

  • Unbelievable belief

    What happened to my post?
    Some fucking pop up ad ruined it.
    Not a happy bunny.

  • GoonerVance

    Referee was a wanker. Still need to sign players. Not the end of the world. Embarrassing it came to the fans chanting like that. If players were signed, the mood around this loss would be one of us being screwed instead of anger towards Wenger. But like I said before. The fans just didn’t start feeling that way.

  • bob

    “The sad thing is that the players look like they know it.”
    Rich,
    Exactly how would that be? From their reactions to the refshite? Or from your reading of body language that tells you that deep down they are truly convinced that the manager is to blame and is now past his sell by date? Beyond our shared disappointment and pain today, what are your specifics that demonstrate or prove that this team have already given up?

  • GoonerVance

    Yeah lets have a committee for each foul called. That will solve the problem.

    If we have a good squad these things will even out over the season. if we don’t, we will continue to drop points. Only thing that matters.

  • Adam

    Shard, as I stated earlier, I haven’t seen the game (so shouldn’t of commented), but the caption Walter put up, looks as if there’s contact with a trailing leg & standing foot.

    Just seen Wenger on Sky and he looks dejected.

    And Shard, Do you remember an article I put up about “Scout 7”, and how most premiership clubs use this player database. Well it’s run by an ex-Villa chairman.

    Hopefully this result will blow over quickly, but at the moment it doesn’t look good, if a ref has the balls to shit all over you in your own backyard. And we cannot respond to it??????

  • SA Dave

    Hello, greetings from South Africa! Why is evrypoerson questioning team? This is wrong forgame 1.

  • bob

    GoonerVance,
    They don’t “even out” in the real world. That’s your philosophical belief. A tilted pitch tilts. And everything about Micky R. since the days of his derailing our unbeaten streak at Old Toilet to his elevation to Queen Bee at the Hives of Riley to the quality of his assigning us The Dean 5 times per season, to today’s howler of a mendacious performance might cause a fair-minded observer to wonder whether something was rotten in state of Denmark (besides Nick Bendtner) and rancid in the septic aisle. Forgive my wordplay, but I’m serious GV. It does not even out. In my view, buying in depth quality is the priority going forward; because the refshite and injuries will continue unabated.

  • Super Singh

    Shard!
    Agree with your last comment about ref’s at our own stadium! Bent referee’s would definately not screw up at Old Trafford and Anfield, otherwise they’ll be lynched?

    Why can’t our supporters give these morons abuse if they try and uneven the game? Let them know in no uncertain terms that they are bent or incompetent?

  • Super Singh

    Sorry last post was for Adam!

  • bob

    Super Singh,
    I’ve read that the refs were booed as they were leaving. Perhaps people who were their could report in on this?

  • Adam

    I suppose this is what Arsenal get from a referee born within a few miles of Old Trafford.

    I wonder when the last time was, that, United got a London born referee for one of their premiership games.

    Or Liverpool got a London born ref?
    Or Aston Villa got a London born ref?

  • Adam

    I presumed as much Super Singh.

  • Rich

    Bob, listen to the player interviews after the game or indeed any game lost in the last couple of years. They tow the party line about spirit and how we will learn our lessons but none of them ever do. The good ones just sit back and wait for the next club to pick them up and averages ones are happy to collect the paycheck.

    Back in 2008, the whole club was buzzing with excitement about the fruition of Prpject Youth and how we’re building the right way. No one is saying that now, just a hope that things might change but with no obvious strategy to point to.

    Arsenal is and should always be a club with identity but what is it now? We aren’t the most attractive to watch any more, defensive prowess went in the early 90’s and we can’t counter attack for toffee, so if all we are left with is a sound balance sheet it shouldn’t be a surprise to the Board that the fans want that reinvested in the team.

  • Super Singh

    Bob.
    I’ve watched Arsene’s interview and you could see he was holding back? All you want is a level playing field, unfortunately the FA and the bent ref’s society have got it in for Arsene? Only my opinion, wonder if everybody thinks the same?

  • Super Singh

    Good night folk’s. alcohol and bad mood don’t mix?

  • Rufusstan

    @Adam — having seen the game live, and the multiple replays after it happened, there might have perhaps been a touch, but what really stands out is the both of them going in, and Kos so very clearly getting his foot on the ball (and not a nudge, I mean a good clean contact), and then they collided and the guy went down.

    Its exactly the sort of hard, clean, perfectly timed challenge that he does so well, and has made Vermaelen 3rd choice.

    The best way to interpret it is watch Kos afterwards. His reaction goes from: the congratulation (at a distance) between Per and himself (the ‘if we were close enough we’d high 5’), to bemusement when he realises something is up, to smiling in disbelief when he realises it is a penalty.

    Defenders know what they are up to and the poor guy was sure he’d just made a clean challenge. If there was any thought of a foul, he’d have reacted totally differently (if only to play it down to avoid a card).

    It isn’t conclusive evidence, and in the ref’s defense (much as I really don’t want to), showing from his angle was the only one where you couldn’t make the tackle out clearly, but in that case why the hell did he give the penalty.

  • Will

    Nice answers by the apologists

  • bob

    Super Singh,
    No it’s not just your opinion. It’s been well discussed and debated here even as recently as 2-3 days ago. And Walter and team’s ref reviews have demonstrated the bias. So browse around as it’s a recurring topic.

  • Will

    Here we go with the bullshit bingo cardhttp://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archiv … -transfers”International duty” – tick, gets a mention in first sentence !”Everything went against us” – tick, second sentence”we are on the market” – tick”We are ready to buy the players if they are good enough for us” – tick”we analyse every single player in the world, We work 24 hours a day on that” – tickSo cut and paste from any start of season press conf since 2008. We’re ambitious, we’re ready to spend big but only if we find players that can improve us and everything keeps going against us

  • Unbelievable belief

    Adam, I was saying that watching the game, that Ref grew up under a Fred the red duvet, and took a manUre lunch box to school.
    Thanks Mike Reilly,’!
    Looks like the untold boys are getting under your cheating biased corrupt skin.

  • Unbelievable belief

    Will
    bullshit bingo?
    I declare a line!
    Get some facts into your spew.

  • bob

    unbelievable belief,
    For us “out of towners” what’s a “Fred the red duvet”? C’mon, share the knowledge. 🙂

  • Rupert Cook

    Watching MOTD RVP destroying the Swans. Wonder if we could buy him back?

    Now Bony has scored, the player I hoped we’d buy.

    Oh well, the Villa game is only one game. Long season ahead.

  • Will

    Can’t wait to seem Professor Crackpot squirming on MotD later. Sadly he has a bit of a get out clause in the ref, who was terrible but that doesn’t make up for the fact that we created almost nothing up front. At home, against a team who avoided relegation by the skin of their teeth last year   Abysmal. I just have to keep telling myself these defeats are all for the greater good. Bring on Fener away lol, go out of the CL and Wenger is all but finished.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Andrei, excellent well balanced post. I don’t know which game some people watched but Villa hassled and harried Arsenal. Many of our players were missing for long periods. Rosicky stood out. We made a few attempts but the team looked too sluggish. And why is Cazorla playing when he’s barely got through passport control? Because our bench is threadbare. I just find the ineptitude of the club, whoever it is to blame, stunning. No other club seems to have problem purchasing players. Well now we may have injuries everywhere so we’ll see how hard it is to buy players.

    And having seen Koscielny’s challenge in the penalty area it looks like the ref got it right. Yes he made some terrible decisions but overall we were messy.

  • Will

    Should also note that the atmosphere in block 5 was fucking poisonous all game. Everyone calling each other out, squaring up for fights, basically from the first whistle. Very sad to see, especially at the first game.If Wenger is to blame for nothing else at all (he is), then at the very least he is responsible for creating this division that has pitted Arsenal fans against each other. That enough should be enough for him to walk away IMO.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Same over here Mick. My match commentator said that the penalty decision and the sending off was completely wrong. And those decisions did put the game on its head

  • Will

    So from June 1st to 17th August he’s spent 78 days and nights scouring the world together with such footballing professors as Grimandi and Karbassiyoun and they can’t find a single CDM who will improve our squad (i.e. no better first choice than Arteta, or 2nd choice than Frimpong), not a single keeper better than Chesney or Fabianski, and not a striker anywhere fit to lace the boots of Le ChapmanHow do these other teams manage to do it ?By the way, Bony will outscore Giroud this season……and how much did he cost?

  • Will

    I saw stewards moving into areas around block 7, as I walked out I caught some middle aged lady talking to stewards about being threatened and what was the club going to do about it. This area is frequented by season ticket holders and red action who as far as I am aware are still pro wenger are a couple of blocks away.When it comes to gooners having a pop at each other, even worse when its a female, you kind of have to take a perspective on these things. It feels like our club are being ripped apart at all levels.

  • ryan

    Its hilarious to see wenger asking us to suggest top names who could improve this team.

    Dear wenger, there are loads, many of whom have already been transferred even to our direct rivals this summer.

    As for this whole wait til the end of the transfer window talk, its already problematically late in the day. We have dropped 3 points and could be out of the cl before it even begins quite possibly. If we have dropped 7 league points and missed the cl by the time we make good signings then ‘frankly my dear, I dont give a damn’.

    Good signings at the end of the summer mean fuck all if their role will be to try and fix damage caused by prior negligence at the start of the season. The damage is already being done.

    We didnt need to sign falcao and messi on day 1 of the transfer window, we inly had to stop being quite so fucking tight fisted and close out some deals. This isnt 7 years ago when our squad was elite by eu standards and additional luxuries. We ARENT what we were.

  • Adam

    Rufusstan, I have since seen the replays and have to politely agree to disagree.

  • GoonerInTheUS

    This post is delusional. The ref was the story today? You mean the ref that has worked 5 Arsenal EPL games before today in which Arsenal won three and drew two?

    The takeaway from today is the manager (and owner and board) mismanaged the summer so that there were no replacements when Gibbs got hurt, and so that a squad of players who weren’t good enough last season are still not god enough.

    To make this about the refs is Soviet-era Pravda-like. How can you sleep at night and be such a propagandist?

    And, to be clear, I was a HUGE AW supporter until January 2012.

  • paul

    This *word censored* gets more delusional by the minute…

    “on why money hasn’t been spent…
    I can return your question. Could we have won the game with the players that were on the pitch today? That’s for me the real question. And I say yes. After that, if we do not spend the money, it’s because we do not find the players. I’m not the only one to work on that. We are a team who work on that. We are ready to buy the players if we find that the players are good enough for us. That’s all we can tell you.”

    Could we have won the game with the players that were on the pitch today? well no…considering they went through us like a hot knife through butter…

    Why is this anus not in a straight jacket!!!

    SCREAM AIM FIRE
     

  • paul

    It’s not even the players anymore. I’ve said it before but I reckon Wenger could find a way to balls up this league with the Bayern Munich/Barcelona starting XI.

    Personnel are no longer the problem, it’s the manager who is utterly clueless.

  • Will

    Utter shambles today, disgraceful. Even with the poor refereeing and the penalties, we looked unable to put 2 and 2 together and find a way back into the game, Wenger sitting there utterly clueless, why the hell did you wait untill the 93rd fucking minute to bring on Podolski you utter clod!!!Only player trying to make stuff happen was Rosicky, nice to see the fans get on the back of our team today, better fix it fast Arsene…Gonna be a long season guys…Revgoon89 Posts: 1041Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2011 1:56 pmLocation: Bristol

  • Stroller

    @Rupert Cook
    Having been at the game and also watched MOTD’s coverage tonight I remain amazed at the 2nd penalty decision. If as you say the decision is right then we can expect dozens more penalties to be awarded this season, where there is minimal contact between players in such situations. But of course, there won’t be, and there’s no doubt none will go our way.

    From where I was sitting in the North Bank there was initially applause for the tackle, which turned to amazement at Taylor’s award of the penalty. The linesman who had a good side view of the incident didn’t raise his flag either.

  • Johnny Deigh

    @Rufusstan (August 17, 2013 at 6:38 pm)

    That incident was just before the 2:00 minute mark. Per Mertesacker was climbed on and bundled over in the area as he tried to head the ball. It was a 100% penalty to me.

  • Johnny Deigh

    @ bob (August 17, 2013 at 10:10 pm)

    On the broadcast of the match here on Fox Sports Brasil you could clearly hear the ref and his linesmen being loudly booed as they walked off the pitch and into the tunnel.

  • Doublegooner

    Walter:

    Here’s a proper Belgium fan.

    You’re probably embarrassed by him.

    http://www.arsenalfantv.com/we-are-the-worst-prepared-club/

  • Rupert Cook

    @Stroller,looked like a penalty to me but it would be hard to make the right call in real time so maybe the ref shouldn’t have given it. That notwithstanding there were times when Villa cut through us and it was obvious we missed Arteta but why we’re relying on one man when we should have a proper DM is utterly bewildering. I can’t imagine what we are doing but Wenger comes out with so much spin it leaves you stunned. Talking about other teams having a quiet transfer window, the only team that has is Manu and they don’t need to strengthen like we do. Spuds have bought well and plentiful. City and Chelsea have bought too so I don’t know where Wenger’s been the last few months.

    The injuries that were bound to happen have hit us early and we appear to be in disarray.

    I expect we’ll go out of the CL unless we can get some quality in in time.

    At the moment I’d say we’ve little chance of finishing higher than 6th but I own that that conclusion maybe down to my disappointment after this average performance.

  • Stroller

    @Johnny Deigh

    The incident you refer to happened right under my nose from my 1st row seat in the upper tier of the North Bank. If soft penalties are to be awarded on the basis of Villa’s second then this was at least as good a call.

    Certainly the ref got the loudest boos as he left the pitch, and deservedly so. Apart from the big decisions he got a lot of smaller one’s (not all covered on MOTD) wrong as well.

  • Doublegooner

    The 1st Wenger Out Banner appeared few rows back in upper north.

    Most of you here were either out shopping or having a BBQ.

  • Rupert Cook

    @DGooner, great interview. That guy has got it right. What the hell are we playing at? We’ve sneaked fourth two years running and we appear to be stagnating. Someone needs to sort this out because we need players now.

  • Doublegooner

    Rupert Cook:

    Wenger MUST Go Now.

    These players look clueless.

    Asked a merchant banker fan who has always backed Wenger & Kroenke what was the point of have £150m + of cash reserves with a squad like we have.

    He said ‘I’m clueless to what is going on & why’.

    One ex famous player whi I cannot name as he’d lose his income now employed by the club says Wenger has lost it & should go.

    I suspect they’ll be many ex players actually saying it soon.

    The man has overstayed his tenure & poor management over successive years have allowed the manager to control the board.

  • Stroller

    @Rupert Cook
    The 1st Villa penalty came about because our defence parted waves when Agbonlahor ran through. I feel that Mertesaker is too static to function without adequate midfield cover in front of him, so in that respect Arteta was missed.

    I feel that Wenger’s comments these days are always chosen to defend others at the club – players, management and maybe himself. In that respect I don’t give too much credence to them. I’d rather hear nothing at all in fact.

    It’s looking like he’s taken a huge risk if he’s delayed transfer activity this summer. I say ‘if’ because the actual realisation of transfers isn’t done by him personally. I’m sure Gazidis and others are the deal closers, and we don’t really know exactly how it all works behind the scene. In any event they need to get there act together quickly now.

    From the last two years, what’s not happened this summer and what I saw today the best we can hope for is a similar season. I really can’t see it getting any better. If the teams just below us do improve (and that’s not certain) then you might be right with your estimate. I would concede that’s a better bet than challenging for the league.

  • Tasks

    Sneaked 4th place for the last 2 years running?

    Really?

    Stunned by the spin from some people on here.

  • Rupert Cook

    I think we all know there’s something rotten at our club. There’s well over 100 million in the bank, actually nearer 160 million but it’s understandable that we shouldn’t spend every penny. Still there’s no excuse for this shambolic summer.

    There’ll be a lot of angry fans if Spuds new signings help them finish above us and we recall Wenger’s “wise” words about it being difficult to find players better than he has. That was nonsense of the highest order.

  • rantetta

    Walter

    I’ve just got home having seen the game much earlier. I’ve read this article but not the comments. I had a very early start today as I was helping friends. I came home and went back to bed for a couple of hours. I got myself to the Ems in plenty of time. This was my first time ever seeing Arsenal live on the first game of the season.

    I had a brilliant seat in block 3, lower tier. I had various specs with me but also, binoculars.

    What followed was unbelievable, if only it wasn’t absolutely typical. This game reminded me of, for example, Newcastle v Arsenal on the opening day 2 seasons ago. This was where Barton was running amok. Gervihno was sent off. Songg got banned too. Add some injury woes and then play CL quallies and at Old Toilet. What do you get, 8-whatever.

    I can’t tell you how much and how deeply it hurt me to see what that ‘ref’ was doing. I couldn’t stop shouting “BLATENT” and that was before the first goal was scored. It was the usual stuff: Villa foul Arsenal – free kick to Villa. Believe me, Villa came with NOTHING but dives and kicks, but why has Taylor got a F@@A badge? Is any ref going to get one of those if he can’t prove to his master that he’ll **** up Arsenal?

    At one stage (I can’t remember exactly when), a man to my left started with the SSFM, while it was quiet. A huge portion of fans around him started shouting him down. In the end stewards came to the area but they seemed to let him stay. After the 3rd Villa goal more fans started with the SSFM, but it was by no means a majority of fans, just the non-seeing, largely drunken ones in one corner.

    How many times did Villa players endanger Arsenal’s when challenging for high balls? Was it only me that saw all of that? There were a couple of them given as fouls against Arsenal. Outrageous!

    Ah, but with a couple of penalties, Villa now have confidence. Is anybody of any supposed footballing note saying anything about this CORRUPTION? Anybody?

    You make a good point, Walter. It didn’t matter which 11 players were on the field today. (They were going to get DONE, and Arsenal’s players really got a KICKING).

    I really felt for the players as I watched their confidence ebb away.

    One Ars friend left a message for me, having watched MOTD, “Same old, same old”. I called him back and told him to watch the ****ing WHOLE match, and then you’ll see that it is indeed, Same old, same old, but you’ll see why.
    A mate lamented me spending money to see the match. He’s a guy who’s mantra is “if the team’s good enough they can overcome ref decisions”. Another load of old bollocks. He went on with his platitudes and I shouted at him, which he hasn’t seen before. I let him know it’s not about money I spent, it’s about continual corruption.

    I’ve no doubt – seeing over 100 comments posted in reply to this article as I’ve started to write, that there’s loads of the usual negative bollocks. (My post is negative and my post is an offload for myself, and , IMO states facts concerning the match I watched featuring the team I support, rather than SSFM, WOB’s & AAA’s, whose agenda is something completely different).

    Arsenal have a really difficult time ahead. The dye has been cast, and remember, Uefa hate us too (check the history).

    Arsenal will not SSFM for corruption. No, no, no. Besides, Riley and his ilk wouldn’t allow refs to be neutral towards Arsenal. The hatred is thoroughly ingrained.

    Come on Arsenal, keep doing your best. I’ll still be supporting you.

    Walter – please do a ref review on this match, soon.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Stroller, it’s a miserable start. I don’t understand what the mindset it at our club. I don’t know who’s to blame for our paralysis but I have little faith in our season being any better than the last two.

  • No club worth it’s salt would reveal it’s intentions by announcing a £70m transfer chest unless they were blowing smoke up your butt cheeks.

  • Lancer

    Can’t find the replay anywhere, but Vlaar’s foul, while on a yellow, right after Koscielny’s Red was pretty much the same version of what Koscielny did to get his 2nd yellow, except for the fact that he actually made contact with Rosicky. They never showed a proper replay of Kos’ second yellow up close, but the one I have seen seems to indicate very little or no contact. Certainly not enough to cause the Villa player to fall down. You can clearly see him land on his legs, take a half step and then fall down not from any contact on him.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHpQNJNuHV0

    bottom line: 2 atrocious yellow cards to Kos, one for a PK and subsequent goal. And Vlaar with 2 blatent yellow cardable offenses, but only booked for the first one on Wilshere.
    If no PK, and red for Kos, and a red for Vlaar (the correct decisions) Arsenal would have 1-1 at least, and probably 1 or 2 more goals playing 11 on 10 for 20+ minutes.

    We need signings regardless, but to not acknowledge the ref taking 3 points from Arsenal and giving them to Villa is simply foolish.

  • Stroller

    @Rupert Cook
    For me it all started with the breakup of the Board that saw us through the Millenium and the best Wenger years. We are left with an ageing rump of a Board, not a football man amongst them and an absentee owner. People criticise Wenger for having too much power, and I agree up to a point. But this is because there is a vacuum at the top and around him.

    My own view is that just changing the manager would probably not improve matters, and possibly could make it a lot worse. If you look at that the clubs above us they all have visibly stronger and more dynamic personalities in place at the top. The mixed messages and bungled transfer policies point to a serious lack of attention at the top of the club.

  • Stuart

    Stroller,
    I’m with you on that changing the manager would not make a blind bit of difference.

  • bob

    rantetta,
    As Johnny Deigh reported, do you agree that fans were booing the refshite at the end of the match? A lot of fans? At loud volume? Did the refs appear to take notice?

  • bob

    Fans need to red card Riley’s refs. Bring a sea of red cards to the matches and challenge the refshite’s calls from day one. Let that get on the TV screens and monitor the fancy editing out of the shots to show the complicity of the media. Let’s be ready for Da Tailor and great him with red cards the next time he enters the Ems. It is not the only factor, but even the Wanger-detractors here, save for the likes of Rupert Cook who didn’t attend the game but talks as if he were an eyewitness, have been acknowledging piss poor refereeing. If we are that bad, how does a brilliant initial 10 minutes suddenly get completely turned around by 180 degrees? With the evidence of your eyes (instead of the predisposition to drive out AW after 4 defeats), how do you explain that? How do you dismiss the one-sided obligatto of bad calls and non-calls by Da Tailor? Stitched up and you want it that way. Bastards.

  • bob

    dialsquare,
    Where is the specific evidence that the club announced a 70 million war chest? Believe me, I’m massively impatient for quality purchases. But, to be factual in our debates and to know what we are actually talking about, give us a link or specific quotation from Gazidis or Wenger or Hill-Wood or Sir Chips that mentions the 70 million. Can you document what comes out of your southern climes?

  • rantetta

    bob

    Yes, the fans booed the ref at half time and full time. I walked from where I was to boo. The last couple of Ars players were coming off the field iin front of me (many metres away), and the refs were a little way behind. Remaining fans were applauding the Ars players as they came off, and I joined them despite my dissapointment. Before the players got into the tunnel the fans started to boo the refs (at full time). I was able to run past many seats to get as near as possible to boo them but to be honest, being 20 rows back, I was never going to get near enough for them to hear me.

    Also, bob, I’ve now read earlier posts by yourself and Shard. Thank you.

    Honestly, I can’t tell you how livid I am about Taylors stitch up. It.Was.Relentless. I can’t put myself to bed.

    I get to so few matches, especially in the Prem era, that I’ve never seen Arsenal lose when I’m at a match. The last match I saw was Reading 5 Arsenal 7. I know I’ll see more games this season. It’s just a case of when people I know can’t go for one reason or another.

    Dogface’s twitter has someone saying that Riley was at the match. Anyone got a photo? Reminds me of Frogy being at Em’s when Moyes assassin’s kicked the shit out of Arsenal, last season.

    This match was a shambles. Arsenal played very well for some time, but they keep getting bashed and kicked. You can’t always overcome that, particularly when the ref is tilting in the way he was. I could feel the fans around me crumple into their seats. One child kept singing about the ref – so loud, the intensity of his shrill voice accentuated by relative quietness of other fans in that section, who in my opinion, had given up the ghost.

    A guy in front of me, who was with a child who may have had Downs syndrome, chatted with me about refs after the game. I went into full flow, “I’ve studied them” – “Atkinson done both Ars games last season and he’s clearly biased for Chelsea”, blah blah.

    Yes, it’s the 1st game of the season, and it sends a clear message that any hope I had that things might change on the refshite front is simply shite – on my part. Someone made a comment (was it here or on Positively) that they know the EPL is corrupt and that Gustavo chose (or will choose) a German team to maintain his challenge for a starter place in Brazil 2014, and that eventually the EPL will be seen for its corruption and the viewings/money will go to Germany, too.
    That’s pretty much what I believe. For starters, ref decisions are reviewed, and that alone (and its implications) mean that the sort of violence meted out to Arsenal players – will always be punished.

    It ain’t gonna happen here. The PGMO’s bunch of ugly men (inside and out) must be left to Karma.

    Come on Arsenal.

  • Jhgooner

    Regardless of proof of 70 million or not its getting tiring.
    We are making an endless profit, we cleared 17 names off the books this summer and added 1, lets be honest, untried, unproven KID. chamakh has more to offer. If we need proof look at any website you want, one thing for centre we havent won ANYTHING in 8 years.. FACT. we claim to be one of the worlds great clubs??? Would utd, bayern , real, ac get beaten 3 1 at home to a team lucky to avoid relegation last year?? No chance. We have a squad far too weak, in strength, depth and quality.. lets cut the crap gustavo picked wolfsburg over us, higuain picked benitez and napoli. Biggest clubs in the world? Its laughable. Managers players and board members will come and go but us supporters love arsenal so much we wanna see it even challenge for something.. more lies from within the club again. Including wenger. Au revoir..

  • Jhgooner

    We cannot tart this up lads lets be honest its dreadful. We have a goalkeeper not upto it. Today our regular right footed right full played mosr the game at left back. For the final 20 mins an average central midfielder played centre half. Walcott done nothing. Wilshere is not fit. The ox is out. Arteta is out along wirh vermaelan. Now kos, our best defender is out suspended and because our manager has not strenghtened our squad next week our back four will be patched up.. miguel? Unproven, jenkinson not proven, sagna out of position.. we have 1 striker! ONE! We let proven internationals leave, and we havent replaced them. And we NEVER DO. clichy cole toure campbell gilberto edu pires henry ljunberg vieira fabregas hleb nasri henry arshavin gervinho denilson chamakh. like them or not personally they are fabulous footballers who have not been replaced… simple. This is bad management simple as that. Its ludicrous that with money in the bank after just one game, we are down to bear bones. Players out injured and suspended, players playing outta position. Players in positions not good enough. Im sorry it sounds harsh but I feel so strongly about this. The board and arsene, need to crap or get off the pot and cut outta the sneaky.way of handling the life-blood of our historic club.. us.. the fans

  • Gunz

    @jhgooner
    The funniest, most unbelievable thing is, there are fans(calling themselves supporters, ha!lol!) that continuously run their own team/club down. They don’t offer anything positive. How sad is that?

  • Travis

    If my memory serves me correctly,this game was the first time I saw a team which had two substitutions due to injuries, two penalties and a red card called against them in a single game.

    I won’t blame our manager or our player. I choose to stand by them, fighting against corruption. They need us in this war.

  • bob

    “arshavin gervinho denilson chamakh…like them or not personally they are fabulous footballers”
    Jhgooner,
    Yes, there’s genuinely serious problems to be fixed; but half of this laundry list of the names that you deem “fabulous footballers” is chicanery on your part. This lot has sucked at AFC, and we’re better off without them. And linking them with the first half is knavish.

    To me, it’s AFC’s failure to successfully multitask that’s got me crazy – that is, our not having yet replaced them as they departed with an affordable quality bench to ensure against injuries of the very sort that we have and have had, and have not learned this lesson for a 3 seasons in succession. As for Higuain, I think he was plan B and our (reasonable) focus on Suarez and (more remote) focus on Rooney allowed him to get away. That said, I don’t think Higuain was an upgrade over Giroud; but I do agree that we’ve needed the quality striker and quality service to that striker which are inconsistent.

    And losing Arteta (as has proven the case in the last two seasons running) plays serious havoc with the midfield chemistry as all can see. I went ballistic with the loss of Alex Song and it pains me to realize that we could have blocked his departure and coughed up a bit more and retained what good he did provide to the midfield. How could Arteta be able to perform the type of midfield work that he’s good at without injury and rotation. He couldn’t and shouldn’t have been expected to. There’s been no viable backup to his quality and nous, as all could see today.

    Yes, all this, and – at the same time – the very real and intentional havoc played by Riley’s refshite (which your lot ignorantly dismiss as immaterial); and we are, this very week, in extremis.

    I pray the next 14 days or so will provide something of value to our prospects, as the vultures joyfully circle. We have the money and must now mind the gaps.

  • WalterBroeckx

    I see now for the sake of it people are calling Gervinho and Chamakh fabulous footballers that we didn’t replace. Maybe two weeks ago the same people were crying out loud to get rid of them, give them away for free, just make sure they never player for Arsenal again…. chop the dead wood… you know.

    It would be funny if the times were different….

  • Shard

    I think it was Brickfields who a few weeks ago suggested mailing Arsene Wenger through Arsenal to lend him support. I’d like to do that now, but I can’t find a relevant email address. All I see is the boxoffice. Can someone tell me where I can send such mail?

  • ClockEndRider

    Still, look on the bright side. Referee Taylor and the folks at the PGMOL will all be taking nice holidays in Malaysia this year courtesy of those nice people out there who have made a fortune betting on the Villa game.

  • Mahdain

    If its true Riley was at ems then that explains a lot. Taylor wanted to show him he can be trusted just like Dean and Probert when called upon. Mission accomplished. This league makes me sick with its stinking corruption and i just dont know how longer can i withstand it..

  • kenneth Widmerpool

    Shard, I want to do the same today.
    Also thanks to you, bob, and Rantetta for considered and intelligent posts in a world of hysterical media coverage and opinion, which I think will only truly satisfied when Arsene has gone.

  • Mike Thomas

    For the first game of the season some very interesting comments.
    I admit I didn’t watch the whole game but the extended highlights on Sky.
    Whilst the ref didn’t have a good game I don’t think it was anywhere near as bad as some suggest and the problem is more Arsenals fault than a poor referring performance
    I live next door to a Villa supporter and he thought your keeper should have gone for the first penalty and whilst the second penalty was debateable the replays and different camera angle suggest that there was indeed contact before he touched the ball.
    It easy to look for a scape goat but your squad is wafer thin and the reliance on one or two players is beyond belief.
    Arteta is an injury waiting to happen, as is Wilshire, but for me the decision to let 17 players go is a strange one just as the fact that at this point in time Arsenal have registered 44, yes 44 players whereas Chelsea for instance have only registered 26 players. So in one breath AW thinks he has 44 players able to play in the first team yet he puts on the bench and then plays a player who has in effect travelled around the world in the last week, played football and clearly suffering for it and now will struggle to recover in time for mid week .
    Someone suggested its the senior management that is to blame but as an outsider I see it this way;
    Not only has AW and your owners forgotten how to spend big but big now has moved so far on from when you last splashed the cash they cant get there head round selling clubs and the players demands and these demands have grown because in an attempt to calm down supporters your CEO has told anyone you have this huge stash!
    Your squad despite having 44 registered players is wafer thin and your trips to both Turkey and Fulham will define your season.

  • Shard

    Thanks kenneth. Unfortunately, I fear you might be right. I have this nasty feeling that yesterday was meant as a message to the club to not extend Wenger’s contract. It’s so frustrating that a referee can pull a performance like that, and still the focus is on Wenger and the lack of spending. I mean are people stupid or what? Is it that hard to divorce the complaints about the squad, from what was the real highlight of the ‘game’ yesterday?

  • Stuart

    Jhgooner,
    All the teams you mention would have lost that game if the refereeing was the same.

  • Stuart

    Shard,
    I’ll check my sent items and come back to you, just gotta dig the laptop out.

  • kenneth Widmerpool

    Shard, I think that people are desperate to win, and cant cope with anything else.
    I really lament the lack of sportsmanship in the game at the moment, and in my opinion,football has been badly affected by the sugar daddy clubs.
    Did you write to the club? I have,and I support Arsene more than ever,(who in many ways has been our greatest supporter) and like Untold Arsenal more than ever,and all the really great people that post intelligent considered opinion here.
    So a big thanks to Tony and Walter for setting up the forum.

  • bob

    “If it’s true Riley was at ems then that explains a lot.” – Mahdain

    “I have this nasty feeling that yesterday was meant as a message to the club to not extend Wenger’s contract.” – Shard

    “…how does a brilliant initial 10 minutes suddenly get completely turned around by 180 degrees? With the evidence of your eyes (instead of the predisposition to drive out AW after 4 defeats), how do you explain that? How do you dismiss the one-sided obligatto of bad calls and non-calls by Da Tailor? Stitched up and you want it that way. Bastards.”

  • bob

    Shard, kenneth, Walter, Stuart,
    Ta! Write-ins for Arsene – at whatever level of support for his continuance – would be great and timely.

  • Stuart

    Shard,
    In the past, I have mailed in to : feedback@arsenal.com and received the following response on one occasion:-

    “Dear Stuart

    Many thanks for your email. As you may be aware we get thousand of letter re: Mr. Wenger, the Club , board and players and generally we do not pass theses on. However on this occasion I have passed your well wished to Mr. Wenger’s Office.

    Kind regard and thank you for your continued support, which is much appreciated.”

  • bob

    (This just in, leaked from Twenty-First Century Fox:)

    Riley: The Movie: Hidden in Plain Sight. (Sledgehammer sound fx)

    Voiceover: “From his performance at Old Toilet that stopped the historic unbeaten run of a rogue French operation….to his appearance on high as his newbie protege stopped the historic run of the French rogue who would derail English Professional Football….This is a story that must be told.”

    Riley: The Movie: Hidden in Plain Sight.(2 Sledgehammer sound fx)

    Voiceover: “For the last decade, on TV screens in your own home.”

    Riley: The Movie: Hidden in Plain Sight (3 Sledgehammer sound fx)

    Voiceover: “An idea whose time has come”

  • Stuart

    It’s reassuring that someone (God help them) sits and reads every correspondence. I have generally found dealing with Arsenal quite straight forward and during research for various reasons have had the need to contact other clubs whom out of the rest of the Premier league, only Man Utd have been as good (they even obtained a hard copy of something and posted it to me at their expense). Man City responded with incorrect and out of date information (misleading) and when I pointed this out the reply I received was along the lines of well that’s all you’re getting, like it or lump it. Chelsea, they just said the information is out there in the public domain but could provide answers to any specific questions. The rest just totally ignore you.

  • kenneth Widmerpool

    bob, thanks for ushering in a laugh this morning!

  • Shard

    Stuart

    Thank you. I saw that address too after searching for it, but it said it was for complaints and negative feedback.

    But I suppose if you got a response last time, that is the place to send it.

    Thank you once again.

  • Shard

    Stuart

    Sorry. But are you sure it is @arsenal.com and not arsenal.co.uk?

  • paul

    I also like this bloke’s comments too:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5uQFp8ES … youtu.be&a

    Absolutely spot on about being the worst prepared club every year.

  • paul

    Just read arseblog this morning , hits the nail on the head. I suggest everyone read it

  • paul

    The stuff about the ref I don’t get at all

    First penalty was absolutely stonewall and he allowed a brief advantage before bringing it back for the original decision to be made correctly

    Second one was a clumsy tackle. You could argue there was a connection with the ball but at least half the time that decision would have been given.

    Our defending was wide open. There is no midfield screen for the defenders which is always the case when Arteta doesn’t play

    Its all so predictable its untrue. Blaming the ref is a sideshow. As I’ve said many times before you regularly see other teams with 10 men hold together better than that……we just fell apart

  • bob

    “The stuff about the ref I don’t get at all”
    paul,
    Speaks for itself.

  • Doublegooner

    Shard:

    What support will you offer Wenger ?

    Perhaps you could suggest he goes to another club and the few of you can follow him.

    BTW: If you want to write to Gazidis offering support the address is in fact igazidis@arsenal.co.uk

    I wrote to him 10 days ago on behalf of 20 season tickets holders & his PA replied to within 2 hours & he the following day.

    Trust me he’ll be having far more concerns from the 000’s of fans who are now disgusted at the way this club is managed than a Mini Cooper car load writing to back the manager.

  • Mick

    @Stuart
    I also got that response after emailing my support to Mr Wenger using the address you suggested. and then a few days later I received a thank you email from Arsene’s personal secretary.

  • iniez

    I lay more blame on the referee performance than ours if I can be honest. Even if we had signed suarez, gustavo, and whoever, it wouldn’t have changed anything. All I saw was a villa team kick the shit out of us and a ref let them go ahead and do as they please. What really killed us was their ability to foul on our counter attacks without any risk of repercussion. I remember countless counters where we were catching them on the break only for someone who isn’t even on the ball to be fouled, and instead of playing advantage the ref would bring the ball back (Rosicky furously rolling the ball back stands out, and oh did I feel his pain). All they had to do was foul us and our attack was nullified. Villa did play well and pressed, but they were more physical than the rules of the game would normally allow and were able to get away with so much. No wonder we came out of that came so badly damaged. They effectively had license to kill and took full advantage of it. I haven’t seen a game this bad since newcastle. I’m absolutely reeling. I only we wish we did get some transfer business done earlier so it wasn’t there to linger over the crowd and guise this ridiculous referee performance

  • C4

    So we got nailed by a ridiculously bent ref who allowed so much kicking of our players, that we made 3 subs due to injury. Had a player sent off for 2 yellows, neither of which was correct. And all this just a few days before playing a CL qualifier against a team under investigation for match-fixing.
    I’m going to make a point of watching the manure vs villa game, and see if they still play like they did today, with all the cynical fouls, kicks on the ankles from behind, pushing, pulling, off the ball fouls and obstruction, even in the penalty box. Let’s see if they can play like hey did today at any other team’s home ground and finish that game with 11 on the field.
    Our performance wasn’t bad. The worst was probably the finishing, which could have been better. The key was in the fact that every time we launched an attack, it was halted by (usually) a bookable foul on our player, which was ignored. On the rare occasion that a foul was called for us, it was usually to prevent us playing advantage and mounting an attack / counter. Our first goal showed how deadly we were with the pace of Ox down the left. This is where we were threatening from, so this is the side that was “taken out”, with Ox and Gibbs both being subbed due to injury. Essentially, everything to stop us moving near their goal was done by the 12 villa players.
    I agree with one of the earlier comments – I’ve also never seen one team receive 2 penalties against, a red card against, and lose 5 players to injuries (blood and all) in one game.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Tried to send this e-mail to above address but was unable.
    will retry later . Just me .

    My undivided support for Arsenal and Arsene Wenger

    Dear Sirs/Madam ,

    Am writing in to you to affirm my undivided support and loyalty to this great club , the board and the manager ,who have been the subject
    of an unrelenting intensity of malicious rumours and hate mongering ,very much to my distaste . I am of the belief that the club is in good hands and is being run as well as it is possible in the present trying circumstances .
    I am a 56 year old Malaysian medical doctor who has been a loyal fan since 1971 , and this club has given me many moments of joy throughout this wonderful journey , and for this , I thank you all . Arsenal’s history has always been , and will always be inexorably entwined with the my life’s journey .And let me tell you that its been a great roller coaster ride , and am looking forward to more twist and turns again.
    I fully support the principles that you preach and practice as it resonates very well with those that are close to my own heart . Again please keep up the good work. Arsene Wenger is the best manager that I’ve seen in all my years following football and I hope that he
    completes his dream of making Arsenal great again . I wish all you gentlemen and good ladies good health , happiness and great joy in the coming months and years .
    Up the Gunners !

  • Ben L

    Just wondering if anyone keeps the weekly emails that are sent to subscribers, summarising and signed off by Wenger?
    When it was first introduced they were coming from Wenger’s email at the club now it is hidden from view.

  • Johnny Deigh

    Here is a link to a short video clip of the 2nd minute foul on Per Mertesacker in the penalty area:
    https://hotfile.com/dl/240387805/b493f66/BFG_pen.avi.html

  • limpar

    Definite penalty the more you look at it. Per wins the header but is jumped into ‘clumsily’ ( which seems to be a term which guarantees a penalty to many people covering other incidents in this game ) from behind and left on the deck in full view of Our friend Taylor

  • Johnny Deigh

    @limpar – Per wasn’t just jumped into clumsily, he was jumped on top of with both hands. It looked like a game of leap-frog gone terribly wrong with the Villa player crashing down on top of per wtih his legs around him like Per was pony.

  • Johnny Deigh

    Here is the video of Anthony Taylor and his linesmen being booed off the pitch after the match:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCBiinYoj74

  • GoingGoingGooner

    Apparently Taylor has been dropped for this upcoming weekend’s fixtures.

  • Florian

    Weak consolation, I’m sure he got a friendly pat on the back from Mike Dean. Jesus, when is this going to stop?

  • Stroller

    Even Graham Poll, no great friend of Arsenal, was critical of Taylor in his newspaper article today. He wouldn’t have booked Szczesny for the first penalty as he was going for the ball. He wouldn’t have awarded the second penalty, and certainly not booked Kos as he was also going for the ball. Kos’s second booking was rash but there was little or no contact. And of course Vlaar should have been off after a second yellow for fouling Rosicky. Overall he felt all three od our yellow cards were ‘soft’ Pretty damning coming from an ex-international referee, even though he wasn’t perfect himself.

  • iniez

    In case no one’s seen this already. A video of the atrocities of this match

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x13c1c9_arsenal-vs-aston-villa-bad-referee-decisions_sport

    The person who made this deserves a medal