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Arsenal v Everton 8 Dec 2013. It’s Webb; can be ok but sometimes rather suspect

Arsenal v Everton 08 Dec 2013 – The Officials

by Andrew Crawshaw

  • Referee – Howard Webb
  • Assistants – M Mullarkey and D Cann
  • Fourth Official – A Taylor

So another repeat referee our dearly beloved Howard Webb with his usual crew of Mullarkey and Cann.  In his 13 games this year, Mr Webb has had Mr Mullarkey with him 10 times and Mr Cann 11 times and both of them in 8 games.

In fact so far at least one of them have been with him every game, the only other assistants have been P Banks and S Massey (twice each) and S Ledger.  I wasn’t certain if this is a good or a bad thing, so I asked Walter and here is his comment

“I know that in Belgium the referee that we more or less hoped to be doing the world cup final in South Africa, Frank De Bleeckere, also was known for having almost always the same assistants. It is something that a local FA uses to form ‘the referee team’ and let them ‘practice’ in match conditions like that.

“The reason De Bleeckere wasn’t picked for the final was that as he had done matches of the Dutch league he could have been accused of not being 100% neutral. We still think that if Holland hadn’t made the final, De Bleeckere would have been the ref in the final.

“The better you know the ref and the better he knows his assistant the more chance you have that they bring some kind of uniformity to their games. And that itself is a good thing of course.

“Speaking from my own experience in the group I do my assistant-refereeing I can tell you a few things. As I am in the top group of my province we are with fewer refs in that division. And so you get them a bit more than the refs in the lower leagues. And my son and I have done lots of games with the same refs I can say it gives you a better bonding with the ref.

“It helps on understanding how he does his games and you can anticipate quicker on how he will react to some fouls and that way you can signal things faster and this usually gives a better impression to the fans in the stands. The fans ask, ‘Why did he blow there?’ and then realise, ‘Oh, the assistant also signalled the foul and he was close to it, so it should be correct.’ In that way it helps the refs and the assistants of course.”

Despite our historic differences with Mr Webb, last year he was one of the more ‘reasonable’ referees for us, still bad but not ‘monumentally’ so.

looking first at the Arsenal games – This year we had him at Craven Cottage for the match with Fulham on 24th August in Monsoon rainfall.

Fulham 1 – Arsenal 3: no midweek hangover was Walter’s take on the game.  To be honest we were much the better team on the day and in the conditions and were good value for the win.  I can’t recall anything dreadful or controversial by the officials on that day, both teams tried hard to play on the ground even though the ball was skidding on the water which at times was standing on the pitch.

Last year there were four games – Arsenal v Spurs and three away games, v Liverpool, v W Brom and Newcastle on the last day of the season.  All four were wins to Arsenal in spite of the bias shown.

Match Review: Howard Webb – Liverpool Vs Arsenal (0 – 2) [02/09/2012] Overall rating 67%, bias against 26/74 and one wrong key decision (second yellow card, red card, penalty or goal).  Main incidents were:-

  • Minute 5 – Mertesacker correctly given yellow card
  • Minute 25 – Arteta correctly receives a yellow card
  • Minute 30 – Podolski scores a goal (0-1)
  • Minute 45 – Free kick wrongly awarded against Vermaelen for dangerous foul but he wasn’t close to Sahin who ducked in to win a low header.
  • Minute 46 – Skirtle rightly gets a yellow card
  • Minute 50 – Penalty claim for Suarez wasn’t given but reviewer thought it should have been, wrong key decision
  • Minute 64 – Sterling wins ball but kicked back of Ox’s heel first, foul not given
  • Minute 67 – Cazorla scores a goal (0-2)
  • Minute 75 – Worst challenge of the match, Liverpool player makes dangerous challenge on Vermalen worth at least a yellow but not given
  • Minute 78 – Reina drops ball but not impeded by Arsenal player, ref wrongly awards free kick against Arsenal
  • Minute 90 – Shelvey rightly booked
  • Minute 92 – Liverpool player runs into Manone from a long way out, no foul given

A good first half with only two wrong decisions (both against Arsenal) but a very poor second half from Mr Webb with 17 incorrect decisions, 5 against Liverpool, 12 against Arsenal.  Liverpool probably should have had a penalty which as the score was one nil to Arsenal at the time might have had an impact on the final score.

Match Review: Howard Webb – Arsenal Vs Tottenham Hotspur (5 – 2) [17/11/2012] Overall rating 90%, bias against 100/0 but no wrong key decisions.  Main incidents were:-

  • Minute 9 – Adebayor scores a goal (0-1)
  • Minute 14 – Tottenham player kicks Arsenal defender, foul not given
  • Minute 17 – Adebayor rightly sent off for horror tackle, studs to the shin at near knee height
  • Minute 23 – Mertesacker scores a goal (1-1)
  • Minute 37 – Referee has a word with Sandro following a tackle from behind on Wilshere, should be a booking
  • Minute 41 – Podolski scores a goal (2-1)
  • Minute 44 – Lennon rightly booked
  • Minute 45 – Giroud scores a goal (3-1) after an excellent advantage allowed following a foul by Noughton on Cazorla. Good refereeing
  • Minute 59 – Cazorla scores a goal (4-1)
  • Minute 65 – Sandro rightly gets a yellow card for persistent infringement
  • Minute 70 – Bale scores a goal (4-2)
  • Minute 79 – Podolski rightly gets a yellow card
  • Minute 90 – Theo scores a goal (5-1)

No mistakes at all in the second half, 5 incorrect decisions relating to three incidents in the first half all against Arsenal, but an excellent advantage allowed for the third Arsenal goal.  I could quite happily live with refereeing of this standard in every game (if only we could get it).

Match Review: Howard Webb – West Bromwich Albion Vs Arsenal (1 – 2) [06/04/2013] Overall rating 70%, Bias against 16/84 and one wrong key decision.  Main incidents were:-

  • Minute 19 – Rosicky scores a goal (0-1)
  • Minute 22 – Rosicky penalised wrongly for playing the ball away from W Brom player
  • Minute 25 – Ramsey correctly gets yellow card
  • Minute 33 – Long beats Kos to the ball in the penalty area, there was contact and a penalty should have been given, Long was already going down which maybe made the ref decline to give it but it was a foul.  Wrong key decision.
  • Minute 35 – Rosicky is fouled as he makes a pass, he tries to recover the ball fouling a W Brom player and is booked.  The first foul should have been given and the yellow card was wrong.  5 wrong decisions from one incident.
  • Minute 44 – A W Brom player fouls Fabianski as he punches the ball away, fouls on the keeper should always be given.
  • Minute 49 – Rosicky scores a goal (0-2)
  • Minute 60 – Mertesackey falls on the ball with his back, W Brom appeal for penalty, no foul so no penalty.
  • Minute 64 – Koscielny rightly gets a yellow card
  • Minute 70 – Morrison scores a goal (1-2) following a correctly awarded penalty against Mertesacker who is sent off for a professional foul.  Three correct decisions from one incident
  • Minute 76 – Long is penalised and gets a yellow card for planting his foot on chest of Arsenal player on ground, gets benefit of doubt but could easily have been a red card.
  • Minute 77 – Jones rightly gets yellow card
  • Minute 78 – Long pushes Monreal as he tries to clear ball, throw in given to W Brom, shold have been foul to Arsenal
  • Minute 85 – Ridgewell correctly gets yellow card

Minute 92 – W Brom defender jumps into Giroud and steps on his foot at the same time, no foul given.

Not a very good game from the referee, at times he was barely in control, two incorrect decisions against W Brom in the first half which should have resulted in a penalty being awarded to them, nine against Arsenal, in the second half no incorrect decisions against W Brom and 6 against Arsenal (perhaps he was trying to compensate for the first half penalty)

Match Review: Howard Webb – Newcastle United Vs Arsenal (0 – 1) [19/05/2013] Overall rating 74%, bias against 20/80 but no wrong key decisions.  Main incidents were:-

  • Minute 4 – Tiote should be booked for a late challenge on Rosicky, foul given but no card
  • Minute 8 – Clear trip on Arsenal player, Assistant doesn’t react
  • Minute 17 – Sagna penalised for being fouled by Newcastle player (4 wrong decisions from this incident)
  • Minute 21 – Gutierez rightly given yellow card for pulling back Theo
  • Minute 36 – Rosicky commits foul, ref plays advantage but there really isn’t one
  • Minute 38 Podolski wrongly given offside – he was on by a metre
  • Minute 51 – Koscielny scores a goal (0-1)
  • Minute 56 – Sagna tag teamed by two players, one pulling his arm the other blocks his leg, neither foul given
  • Minute 64 – Podolski should be booked, was holding his hand against the face of a Newcastle player to hold him off.
  • Minute 81 – Penalty claim by Newcastle rightly declined, both going for the ball with high feet, Kos got there first – no foul both doing the same

A poor first half with 2 wrong decisions against Newcastle and 11 against Arsenal, much better in the second half with only three wrong decisions.

So one good performance overall and two good halves, major wrong decisions favoured Arsenal, minor ones very much against.

Going back to 2011/12 Howard Webb is firmly mid table in the anti-arsenal stakes

aTeams_vs_PGMOL_ICD_UW_Arsenal

Looking now at his performances with Everton

This year he did the Everton v Chelsea game (1-0) with four Chelsea players booked in the second half, Naismith scored the only goal in time added on at the end of the first half.  I have no detailed review on Mr Webb’s performance.

Last year there was only one reviewed games v Chelsea (1-2):-

Match Review: Howard Webb – Everton Vs Chelsea (1 – 2) [30/12/2012] 83% overall, bias against 61/39 and one wrong key decision.  Main incidents :-

  • Minute 1 – Pienaar scores a goal (1-0)
  • Minute 6 – Cahill blocked the ball with his leg and that caused the Everton player trip, was no foul.  Everton almost scored with their wrongly awarded free kick.
  • Minute 12 – Everton should have had penalty for Ivanovic holding Jelavic. Jelavic puniched for holding afterwards but first foul was on him.  Wrong key decision
  • Minute 41 – Lampard scores a goal (1-1)
  • Minute 47 – Cahill rightly gets a yellow card
  • Minute 57 – Jelavic wrongly given offside, he was level
  • Minute 60 – Free kick wrongly given to Everton, Ramires nicked the ball off Baines
  • Minute 63 – Pienaar rightly gets yellow card
  • Minute 69 – Luis rightly gets yellow card
  • Minute 71 – Lampard scores goal (1-2)
  • Minute 85 – Cole rightly gets yellow card for time wasting

Seven wrong decisions in the first half, five against Everton including a key decision when they should have had a penalty in Minute 12, potentially this changed the course of the game as Everton were well on top at the time.  A good second half with only three wrong decisions.

Going back a year Howard Webb was neutral for Everton overall, incorrect calls in their favour almost exactly matching those against them.

REF REVIEW 2012: Everton – some refs like them some don’t

So in summary, Webb is far from the worst referee for either club, he shows that he can be a very good referee, but not necessarily in both halves of a match.  His judgement of penalties is suspect and he sometimes allows too many niggly fouls to go unpunished thereby losing a degree of control.

First v Fifth in the league, both teams in good form and a referee with no obvious axe to grind against either – should be a good game.

Arsenal books for Christmas at discount prices

    Pd
W
D
L
F
A
GD
Pts
 
1
Arsenal
14
11
1
2
29
10
19
34
 
2
Chelsea
14
9
3
2
28
14
14
30
 
3
Man City
14
9
1
4
40
14
26
28
 
4
Liverpool
14
8
3
3
30
17
13
27
 
5
Everton
14
7
6
1
22
13
9
27

COYG

82 comments to Arsenal v Everton 8 Dec 2013. It’s Webb; can be ok but sometimes rather suspect

  • avatar Ray from Norfolk, Virginia

    Sorry for being off topic, but Manure just lost to Newcastle at Old Trapfart. You know:
    Rooney being suspended: 1,000 quid.
    Cabaye scoring on a Sissoko pass: 10,000 quid.
    Van Persie’s goal just disallowed: 100,000 quid.
    Manure fans, players, and coaching staff dejected collective looks: priceless.

    I am know starting to believe in the curse of the modern Judas. Sorry I have to go, but I need to play the AW / RVP song from Gunnerblog.

  • avatar Stuart

    Ok, so hands up (and be honest now) all those who wanted Moyes in to replace Wenger!

  • avatar jambug

    If Old fungus face was in charge Utd would of won today. Not because of his ‘genius’ but because there was 2 or 3 massive 50/50′s that all went against Utd. That would NOT of happened last year. Plus only 3 minutes added time. That would not of happened last year with Utd trailing. But to be fair they could of had 30 minutes and they would’nt of scored.

    Utd will be very lucky to get 4th.

  • avatar AL

    Is this the same Taylor that made sure we wouldn’t be 15 points ahead of utd today? In fact, had he and Mason done a decent job we’d ve been 17 points ahead of utd today with a game in hand.

    Don’t mind Webb for this fixture, actually I think Webb has not been that great for us only against utd. Against everyone else he seems ok.

  • avatar AL

    jambug
    Mariner had an ok game,gave utd a few free kicks in dangerous places. But that lineswoman again,Sian Massey, was awesome. Correctly flagging the Dutch skunk offside. But I agree had old red nose been on the touchline it could easily have been an offside goal, an incorrect penalty and plus 5min added time, against Newcastle.

  • avatar Va Cong

    Well rednose refs are out of contract so happy days

  • avatar jambug

    AL

    Yep, apart from giving a few too many free kicks to Utd in and around the box I thought Mariner had a good game.

    And as you say Sian had another very good game.

  • avatar AL

    Yes, that’s what I meant jambug, left out the word ‘but’ before ‘gave utd a few free kicks…’ and that kinda changed the tone of what I was saying.

    Hoping one of City or Chelsea, if not both, draw. Not looking good so far. How much influence does the fourth official have on the game? This guy Taylor makes me a little uncomfortable having him around.

  • avatar robl

    @ Ray, thanks for the song, I’ve haven’t laughed so much in ages!

  • avatar Stuart

    This from BBC newsfeed. Sound familiar?

    “Maverick: Fans who are slagging off Moyes are not real fans they are just glory hunters who just started following United in recent years.”

  • avatar jambug

    Chamakh. Another goal. I must admit I am pleased for him.

    Another player that lost confidence at the Em’s

    Girvinho another.

    To me, thanks to the anti Arsenal media band wagon that too many Arsenal fans (so Called) jumped on, the aforementioned are just 2 pontentialy very good players that had there confidence shattered by the boo boys.

    I used to be so proud of our fans but not any more.

    The fact I needed to seek out the haven that is untold to find like minded, possitive thinking Arsenal fans, is testiment to the general air of negativity that has for too long pervaded Arsenal.

    This site has at least restored my faith. Alas the likes of Chamakh, Girvenio etc. where beyond the positivity that this site evokes.

  • avatar robl

    @ Jambug, agree in principle except regarding Chamakh as his decline appears to be more self inflicted.

  • avatar Gord

    @Andrew

    I agree with Walter, but perhaps a bit more so. In a different setting, I suggested that each FA find a top set of officials, and that the set of officials sent to a different FA for a season. It is hard to do, because most of these officials have other jobs. But not only does it get them working in teams, it gets them experience in different styles of play and environmental conditions. You would want the culture of the host and visiting nations for each set of officials to be different (the England group couldn’t go to Scotland or Ireland, the Spanish group couldn’t go to Portugal, …).

    Thank you Newcastle. Come on Cardiff, West Ham, Southampton, Stoke and Sunderland.

  • avatar jambug

    robl

    I understand what you mean. BUT, was part of his personal stuff partly due to loss of confidence, self worth etc. ?

    If it was I concede that is a lapse of proffessionalism but still, people deal with these things in different ways.

    Whatever, I still believe the way our home fans have treated some of our players over recent years has been nothing short of shameful.

  • avatar AL

    5 min injury time at Stoke, WTF!!

  • avatar Florian

    There were 5 min and a half, but the chavs still lost! Woo hoo!

  • avatar WalterBroeckx

    Fucking scores for the moment. MC draw.. and Chelsea losing to Stoke. Come on you Stoke.

    feeling dirty now… but WTF ;)

  • avatar jambug

    Pressure? What pressure ??

    Are you watching Wright, Owen, Merson, Smith ??

  • avatar AL

    Good results all round, lessens the pressure on us against an in form team. Unlucky Southampton as it sounds like city were hanging in at the end. Hope Sunderland can do us a favour.

  • avatar Tasos

    Big opportunity tomorrow.

    The bookies are now making Arsenal their new favourites for the title. Long time since that has happened.

  • avatar Mandy Dodd

    Hopefully with fergie out of the way and utd beyond help Webb can just get on with his job and show why he is a highly rated ref. hopefully the boys can give us a very good weekend tomorrow after some of today’s results

  • We win tomorrow and its’s 7 between us and the new 2nd – Liverpool. Come you amazing Gunners! Make it happen.

    You see guys, if we had gone to Stoke and won, the pundits will tell us it’s no big deal. Why can’t the so called favourites losing to teams like Stoke?

    Gunners please keep on with your CONSISTENCY tomorrow. It is what will win us this league.

    We haven’t played yet and I’m already satisfied just from today’s results. Am I okay? What is wrong with me?

    Come on A-R-S-E-N-A-L ! ! ! ! !

  • avatar AL

    I agree with you Consistency, sorry Bootoomee :)

  • avatar Ray from Norfolk, Virginia

    Here is the States, we call it “the wave” across baseball, American football, and other stadia.
    today, it was beautifully performed by Pantilimon when Osvaldo scored on him, and by Cech when Asaidi beat the Chavs.
    Priceless.
    All of the results today are priceless.
    I am looking at the calendar; yet, it is not my birthday… Whose birthday is it today?

  • avatar AL

    Bootoomee
    You know, I was chatting with a work colleague who is an Everton fan about tomorrow’s match, and he commented how the pundits are refusing to consider Arsenal genuine title contenders. He said they keep saying we haven’t played anyone big,yet we have beaten all the supposedly ‘smaller’ clubs, who in turn have beaten all the so called big clubs that the pundits think will win the league. He said it doesn’t make sense, and of course I agreed with him.

  • avatar para

    Another good weekend so far. Anyway as long as i see ManU struggling, it’s a good week for me. Watched the match and had to turn off the commentators, they were whining at every decision against Manu, argh.
    So bring on Everton, for whom will have to be sharp and concentrated for the full 90+ minutes. They now have a really good manager with the good team they already had, but we are at home and should be on top form anyway.
    Come on gunners, 7 points ahead beckons us.

  • avatar Mandy Dodd

    There are certainly a lot out there who wanted moyes and for that matter Fellaini at arsenal. Still think he is actually a decent manager quite good at developing players but he is at the wrong club at the wrong time and used to the wrong style of football for them. But fergie has left him a massive rebuilding job he is going to have to become a checkbook manager which I am not sure he is. Rumours all over the place vp has joined Rooney in asking for a transfer this season. With friends like that….of course such rumours may not be true but something seems not quite right there. Rebuilding a team is not easy even for a master like wenger. Amusing to see the utd glory hunters and plastics emerging.

  • avatar para

    @ Ray from Norfolk, Virginia.
    Last season i talked to the ancestors and told them, look, i want Manu to go next season without CL football and if possible, let them come in bottom half of table.
    I did not have to ask for any favours for Arsenal, as i knew we have been growing with every season we played.
    So if it is anyone’s birthday, that’s a consolation.
    Forward on gunners, we’re on our way.

  • AL,

    First of all, I don’t mind being called “Consistency” at all :-) . I think it’s a good thing. And of course, I get your joke and compliment. I know I have consistently believed that this team’s consistency will trump all the nonsense about beating big teams. It feels very good to be right so far, I must tell you.

    About your Evertonian friend, that is the difference between us football fans and the agenda driven pundits: most of us fans say it as it is. It defies all logic to say that a team that lost 3-2 to Cardiff stands a better chance of winning the league than a team that beat the same team 3-0. Especially when there are many more of teams like Cardiff and very few of the so called big teams. It’s common arithmetic but many of the pundits are innumerate morons.

    Any kind of win tomorrow and we are 7 points clear.

    Come on GUNNERS!!!!!!!!

  • avatar Tasos

    Wouldn’t surprise Me if Moyes gets the sack.

    The Glazier’s need their pocket money and failure to qualify for the Champions League, a real posability, will have a financial impact.

    What odds Fergy then returns?

    It’s a funny old game.

  • avatar blacksheep63

    someone made a good point about Manchester Utd; that they have been a poor team for a few seasons and it was Sir Alex that made the difference (on the pitch, off it and with the refs of course). Without him they look what they are: an ordinary side with some top stars.
    Southampton proved they are no fluke this year by holding City but I still expect that the blue side of Manchester will be in the top 3 come May. Which leaves Liverpool (who won well but with some fortune against a very poor WHU side) and the Chavs who again show they have defensive weaknesses that can be exploited.
    All round we are the best TEAM in the league and IF we can continue to control games against MOST sides we have real chance of winning something. The league is 38 games though, let’s not carried away just yet and enjoy the season match by match

  • avatar Ray from Norfolk, Virginia

    @para:
    If Aston Villa beats Rene Meutensten’s manured Fulham by four goals or more tomorrow, manure will drop from 9th to 10th.
    I would use a term I have never used before if that comes true: Pricelessssssssssssssssssssss.

  • Oh, I forgot to add that now there is absolutely no pressure on our boys to win tomorrow. I like that. I know they know what’s at stake (in the long run) and would give it their best but can you imagine the added pressure on Chelsea and Man City players?

  • avatar Ray from Norfolk, Virginia

    I wonder how confident John Terry is feeling.
    Yesterday, Mourinho said that he restored John Terry’s confidence after Rafa Benitez had taken it away.
    Priceless comment by the master of even-more-negative-football-than-Rafa-Benitez-can ever-produce who is only famous because Porto beat Monaco using extremely negative tactics.

  • blacksheep63,

    Come on man! No one is getting carried away here. If we cannot be joyful in the misfortune of our rivals and our own good form, we might as well stop being football fans. I find it condescending from you to remind us that there are 38 games to be played. I don’t think that anyone around here needs that reminder. Yes, some of us are more exuberant with our support but that does not mean that we don’t know what’s at stake.

  • avatar AL

    Absolutely Bootoomee, we could lose or draw against all top four teams, and still win the title if we beat the rest of the league. Utd managed this a few seasons ago. So far we’ve played 3 games against top 4 opposition, and took 6pts out of a possible 9, so all good so far. Of course, our pea-brain pundits cannot see this. The commentary for the utd match was awful to say the least, and in the end I watched with the volume turned down.

  • avatar Gord

    The results in recent games, also lend credence to the suggestion that we should have won at Old Trafford. That we lost, was just bad luck (with possibly some help). But, you can’t dwell on the past, just work with it.

    If I pick the average point rate of the 2nd place sides as an estimate for winning the league, the league winner would have 76 points. If ManU would have lost to Arsenal at Old Trafford, ManU would now be in the position of having to average 2.3 points per game from now until the end of the season. How many points per year were ManU getting from the referees?

    One reason why I dislike ManU, is that their fans thought they should always be given the trophy at the beginning of the season, and that the rest of the league can fight it out for places below first.

  • avatar blacksheep63

    I’m sorry Bootoomee I didn’t think I was being condescending nor was I unhappy that rivals lost; I enjoy that as much as the next fan. I reflected how I feel which is what comment is all about isn’t it? I said “All round we are the best TEAM in the league and IF we can continue to control games against MOST sides we have real chance of winning something” I’m not sure how that can be construed as negative?
    I do enjoy it, and every week I believe we can win, I just don’t trust myself to dream yet. Each to their own eh?

  • avatar AL

    Tasos
    I wouldn’t be surprised either. I think we discussed this being a possibility a few months back, in a joking sort of way. We were saying wasn’t it possible Ferguson had instructed the refs, well the one person that matters at pgmol, to stop doing utd any favours now that he was gone. That would leave Moyes and utd ‘struggling’. And then fergie would come out of retirement, ‘steer’ utd to another title, and raise his stock even higher. Unlikely as it may seem,I’m still not ruling it out.

  • avatar jambug

    As fans we are allowed to get a bit carried away when a day goes for you like it has today. But, as Arsenal fans we are well aware that the ‘earth’ is always just around the corner waiting for a fall.

    The only thing that really matters is that the players feet are firmly on the ground and that they just go out and do there job to the level they have been all season.

    If they do I cant see us not winning. Tho it wont be easy.

    Cant wait. COYG.

  • avatar Strus

    My hopes were fulfilled!
    On Wendesday they won, but today both Pertodolar teams slipped!
    What a great moment for Arsenal to win tomorrow and put even more pressure on both of them.
    Both MC and Chelsea supporters were sure to be 1st after the New Year. Take that, twats!

  • avatar ARSENAL 13

    woh….hahhahhahhah. What a weekend. Come on GUNNERS lets make it a perfect one…

  • avatar Gord

    @AL

    I suppose it is possible that SAF could return. Let’s say that the big difference is the lack of “guidance” being given to the officials by PGMOL.

    Do you not think that the officials might not also be spectators of the game? Perhaps they have noticed the quality of the league has changed this year. If SAF returns, are they still going to be as inclined as in the past to accept suggestions from PGMOL?

    COYG!

  • blacksheep63,

    It’s all good man :-)

    To 3 points tomorrow and a 7 points gap! Please raise your voice by 50% at the Emirates if you can. The 50%? That’s for us unlucky Untold sods who can’t be there to cheer the team.

  • Sunderland just took the lead against Tottenham. How can this weekend ever get better?

  • avatar GoingGoingGooner

    I watched the last 15 minutes of the ManU v Newcastle match and ManU didn’t even have a sniff at goal. The midfield passing was ponderous and the forwards made almost no runs of any description. Newcastle merited their win.

  • avatar Mandy Dodd

    Would be amazed if fergie did return think many in football breathed a huge sigh of of relief when he retired. I am sure his antics and ref shite were causing embarrassment to some powerful people Plus think he is too old to do the required building job but guess you never know

  • avatar Ray from Norfolk, Virginia

    Why not?
    Moyes fired at new year with manure in 13th place.
    Fergie comes in and presides over a relegation.
    Glazers hand in transfer request.

  • avatar Ray from Norfolk, Virginia

    I will be serious for once today, as I am having too much fun otherwise: had any of the events today (big teams misfiring) happened to us, the pundit$ would have spent the whole weekend talking trash about us and about the Boss.

  • avatar AL

    Gord
    Interesting views. While utd haven’t had that many outrageous decisions going for them this term, they still do get a few,certainly a lot more than anyone else bar spurs I think(the rooney let-off at Cardiff being one of the more recent ones). But we are also seeing refs starting to refuse to just give everything to them. For instance in today’s game they only got 3 min injury time when it’d have been a mandatory minimum 5 under fergie if losing. I suspect the tilting would return/get worse though with the red-nosed one around a second time, even with utd in the position they find themselves in.

    Under fergie how many rants would we hav
    have seen with the number of losses they’ve had so far. It seemed to be the rule that any ref overseeing a utd loss wouldn’t get to ref another utd game anytime soon, don’t think this has been the case so far. The pressure definitely isn’t there any more.

  • avatar AL

    GoingGoingGooner
    I decided to turn down the volume when Michael Owen kept saying the smash and grab from Newcastle, when that’s not what I was seeing. It’s bad enough we don’t have strong men as refs, but to then have weak pundits to match feels like a curse.

  • avatar Stuart

    Well Chelsea got beat and Man City drew against so called mediocre teams so it stands to reason, as another mediocre team, that we will only get the same results when we play them this month.

  • avatar Sammy The Snake

    Week 15, and only Arsenal deserve to be on top as they have been the only consistent team. Others have not shown quality. Leaky defences. Failed forwards for Chelsea… How many goals have Torres, Ba or Eto’o scored so far?
    COYG.

  • avatar Gord

    Marseille just dumped their manager (according to BBC), so how likely is Marseille to be organized for their game against Dortmund? We need at lest 1 point from Napoli, preferably 3.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/25282768

  • avatar Mandy Dodd

    Not good news on Marseilles but there is hope Dortmund lost again today to leverkusen

  • avatar Ray from Norfolk, Virginia

    Dortmund will win; Jose Anigo has taken over from Elie Baup, and he is clueless. We will do enough to finish first of the group, and Dortmund will pip Napoli to the other spot after they beat Marseilles.

  • avatar Andrew Crawshaw

    It’s my wedding anniversary today so have only just caught up with today’s results. All I can say is YEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSS!

    Now we have to win tomorrow. COYG

  • avatar Gord

    Congratulations Andrew!

  • avatar Ray from Norfolk, Virginia

    Congratulations John!
    Today is John “other-f**cker” Terry’s birthday.

  • avatar Ray from Norfolk, Virginia

    Belated congratulations Ryan!
    We missed Ryan “brother’s-f**cker” Giggs’ birthday about 8 days ago. Soooooo sorry, Ryan!

  • avatar Ray from Norfolk, Virginia

    Napoli (at home) 3
    Udinese (away) 3
    Four yellow cards to Napoli players versus only two to Udinese players. Reina was on the bench.

  • avatar bob

    For some holiday cheer, have a glimpse of the pouting child under the headline, Manchester United haven’t got a clue:
    http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/

  • avatar AL

    Is it true Halsey has been dropped by BT Sport after Scudamore applied pressure for Halsey to be removed after he called for Riley to be sacked. Would be sad if it is indeed true.

  • avatar Ray from Norfolk, Virginia

    bob,
    Thank you for the link!
    “light at the end of the tunnel” for manure?
    or David Moyes undergoing a colonoscopy?

  • avatar Andrew Crawshaw

    Good to see Sian Massey in typically good form in the United game a great decision from her to rule out RVP’s goal for him being in an offside position. In my opinion she is one of the best assistant referees in the premier league. Just a pity she hasn’t done one of our games yet. I have always had confidence in her decision making.

  • avatar WalterBroeckx

    Congratulations Andrew ! :)

  • avatar WalterBroeckx

    Al, you mentioned a name that is interesting when it comes to ref-shite. We usually only talk about Riley but that other name….

  • avatar WalterBroeckx

    An important question: will the PL/PGMOL allow Arsenal to be 7 points in front after Saturday’s results?

  • avatar WalterBroeckx

    I know people discard our referee reviews efforts.

    But today another fine example on how accurate our numbers are.
    Match Sunderland – Tottenham. Ref : Lee Mason.
    Scenery: a Sunderland corner and a Tottenham player sticks out his arm and handles he ball. Ref unsighted and with a clear view refuses to give the penalty in favour of Sunderland.

    Referee reviews conclusions about Mason: Ref with penalty fever(was the headline) confirmed by this blatant miss from the ref.

    Ref bias conclusions Tottenham: Mason his mistakes favoured Tottenham in the past.

    Ref bias conclusions Sunderland: Mason his mistakes in the past showed a bias against Sunderland for 2 seasons running.

    So is it a surprise for me that Mason gifted Tottenham 2 points and took 1 point away from Sunderland? Not at all.

    It is just following the patterns we discovered from some refs

  • avatar bob

    AL,
    That would be Michael Owen returning the favors to ManUre after Don Fergus (Saviour in Waiting) had given him a last chance a couple of seasons’ back. I have to think that the Don’s return would be the crowning achievement of his career and the thought has got to be on his reptilian mind. Perhaps David will take sick at some point (provided Manure hasn’t totally sunk into relegation territory)? Manure still has to maintain the value of The Brand; and a craven finish could – in this world of instant gratification – seriously tarnish their post-Fungusson allure internationally. What a good time for their following to come over to the side of light and enjoy the beautiful game and become a gooner! (Even more fickle Marketers are taking heed, rest assured, and Gazidis’s shop is open for business.) Now for that January purchase to put our foot on the throat of the petro-boyz and Riley’s coven.

  • avatar Brickfields Gunners

    So far a very good weekend for Arsenal. Hope it gets better tonight . A 2-0 win for me .
    Up the Gunners !

  • avatar Brickfields Gunners

    @ Andrew – Happy anniversary !

    @ Ray – Dec 7 th.11:50pm. -When you’re bad ,you’re good !

  • avatar STEVE VALLINS

    Why did SAF think Moyes would be good enough won nothing at Everton sends teams out not to lose never to win wrong mentality
    SAF left him with an old side too many over 30
    COYG 7 points ciear by 6pm GMT

  • avatar AL

    Walter 1:42
    I don’t think that’ll be allowed to happen, at least not that easily.

  • avatar gouresh

    I dreamt that we won 2-0 Arteta scored.

  • avatar alex

    Players to watch ;
    Mirallas:
    This is a player who smashed the legs of Ryo(Wigan loan).Just returned from injury and was about to take form when this moron smash his legs and remained sidelined for a long spell and not picked his form since.
    Suarez was lucky to stay in the pitch in another incident.

    Lukaku:
    The Spuds keeper almost lost his head.
    Was it a honest challenge to the ball or a Mourinho instructions on how to weaken opponents ?

    Scezny wish you good luck.

    I am kind worried of injury in this game but not of defeat.
    Our defence is solid and goals are coming from all over the pitch.

    2 – 0
    COYG

  • avatar Double canister

    Good to see you back posting Walter.

    Never mind Webb, his tolerance for ultra-violence will never go away, especially when it’s against us.

    It’s the 4th official that we should be worried about.
    Mr. Anthony Taylor skulking back into the Ems after his fiasco in the Villa game.
    His refereeing yesterday was ‘strange’. and how can a ref from Cheshire *aka south manchester* ref a city game?

  • avatar Mandy Dodd

    If there is any agenda against us it may well show itself today we have a ref who may do a good job but also one who in the past has shown he is more than capable of doing the bidding of the powers that be. If he shows bias against us ask suspect he might hope the home fans expose it to the world on a day of more uk match fixing revelations in the press.

  • avatar WalterBroeckx

    We are nearing the world cup so Fifa referees will have to be on their toes to not overdo it…

  • avatar Tasos

    Mandy Dodd

    Agree. With yet more match fixing scandals hitting the UK maybe in a perverse way this will help Arsenal’s cause.

    We can only hope.

  • avatar Double canister

    Nothing surprising about the game.
    Webb’s tolerance for violence against us showed it’s hand very early on.

    Any Arsenal self-defence was punished.

    This man toughed he reffed the WCF fairly.

  • avatar Double canister

    *thought, even.

    Hell no, on second thoughts’, “toughed” is correct!