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Individual errors, giving it away and not taking our chances

By Walter Broeckx

Individual errors and not taking our chances. That was the difference between the two teams today.

For the first goal Koscielny was asleep  and he didn’t realise Aguero was behind him. Just before that we got the first real chance of the game but missed it. A sentence I am going to repeat a few times today.

When Ramsey took the ball away from Toure he spread it to Özil who took Walcott as his target and his shot surprised the keeper completely.

Then we saw an individual error from the assistant who flagged off Monreal who was not even close to being offside, on a moment when the City defence was wide open, and he could choose between a shot or a team mate standing free.

City then took the lead again when Monreal was left alone with Zabaleta on the overlap.  I think this happened too much to my liking and this was something that should have been dealt with by the players on the pitch.  Losing Koscielny with an injury at that moment didn’t help our cause also of course.

2-1 at half time just after the assistant again stopped an Arsenal attack from Walcott this time.  City had taken their chances, we didn’t.

What followed was Arsenal playing Santaclaus at the Etihad. A pass from Özil to Flamini that somehow was missed and Fernandinho had a free run on goal.  They took their chances like I said.

What then followed was an amazing hattrick of missed chances by Giroud. 3 times in the space of 5 minutes he could and should have scored but each time it went wrong.  But at that moment we played City off the pitch for a while. And finally we got a reward when Theo scored a magnificent curler over the City keeper.  3-2 and game on.

But sloppy defending lead to a chance for City…and they scored from it. I told you they took their chances. Seconds later Arsenal scored but the assistant raised his flag for offside. Just, maybe.

Silva could score two easily, a chance and they took it. 4-2

Then we played all or nothing. Taking off Flamini was the moment that or we would score goals or concede some more. Well it all happened. And what also happened was that some players clearly faded away. You could see the fatigue creeping in the team.

Wilshere gave the ball away and City could break and score the 5-2. Another individual error.

Bendtner scored but the assistant raised his flag, from the replays it wasn’t clear if it really was offside (only bad angles were shown and I know there was a camera angle that would have brought clarity but they didn’t pick that camera. Why? Don’t know to be honest. Or censorship?  Could have been another individual error from the assistant.) (BT Sport to be fair to them said it was not offside and showed the angle – Tony)

Walcott sent through on the keeper but the big man was to close for Theo to convert the chance. Not taking your chances….

But seconds later Mertesacker scored a goal for Arsenal to make it 5-3. It could have finished there but we still had another individual error to suffer. This time Gnabry was involved with the mix up and again City could break and Szczesny brought the City striker down and Toure finished it off from the spot.

What have we learned today? City were better in finishing their chances than Arsenal. At the end City could have scored more when we tried to come back and gave more space away than we would have done if it would have been 1-1 or so. But before that they took advantage of almost each individual error we made.

We had more than enough chances and scored 5 goals and should have scored more goals.  This was away at City remember.  3 goals should have been avoided and were down to our own creating. Giving the ball away with no cover at the back cost us. Did we miss Arteta in this match?

We lost 3 points and that is all we did. I don’t like the score line at all but we have to take it on the chin. We had other uppercuts before with Aston Villa and Manchester United. And each time we came back and did our job.

We now have 9 days to rest and then to come back. Some players clearly could do with some rest. Players like Özil and Ramsey, Kos and Per. We should get back to defend a bit better and certainly avoid such simple mistakes as we did today. As it cost us the match.

The positives we have to remember and take in to our next game? Theo found his scoring boots again and looks fit again. Hell even Bendtner looked sharp and scored.  We had enough chances to score 6 goals ourselves and that is a little negative point. In such games you must take the chances when they come, and not give away the game as we did today.

Lets us just do like our neighbours did. They had no chance at all at City, lost 6-0 and since then didn’t lose again. Let us just do this also and show them that anything they can do, we can do better. As it always has been.

Oh and maybe next time some individual errors from the assistants might be not always going against us if possible.

COYG!

98 comments to Individual errors, giving it away and not taking our chances

  • The font

    Title decider Monday whoever wins will win the league city have too many gaps at the back and are
    Cavalier up front everything. Went for them today but teams looking for a draw will catch them on the break. The last 25 minutes we were dead. On our legs giroud needs a rest

  • Yassin

    Your last sentence, dream on…
    Spot on, they did take our chances, we didnt. They took their boost and rest, ee came with tiredness and low confidence.
    We missed Arteta, is it due to fitness cause of too many games? Damn yes.
    Wilshere shouls never start at left, and Wenger did put him on right after half time, walcot should always start at left, he get netter shooting positions. Our best players were missing today, Arteta, the kosienly, and Mertesacker and Giroud through not being fit, they were there but they shouldnt, thank you stupid schedule. When is Podolski coming back for god sake, we needed someone like him today.

    And please please, why cant they give us a fair damn game, we were weak today, they were strong, and all we needed is two goals ruled out for us, a non given penalty, and 3 to 4 chanced which were ruled for offside, one that was just before city scored the second. We are coming back wait for the Chelsea clash, we will destroy them. We will bounce back you idiot scums of stupid philosophers who are enjoying being freaky experts on the stupid TV…

  • The font

    I am a believer what goes around comes around but the ref today was way off the pace. First 15 minutes city fouled there way to the first goal you could see the frustration in our players faces
    We just kept conceding at the wrong time. I never felt we couldn’t come back but also felt we were liable to concede on. Another day th at could be 6-3 in arsenals favour

  • OMGArsenal

    We were beaten by a better team today, regardless of missed scoring opportunities, poor officiating, etc. But as Walter pointed out it is only 3 points. I am sure we’ll get a shitload of AAA moaners and anti-Wengerites on UA screaming for him to spent some fookin’ money while he is simultaneously being kicked out by the useless as shite Board who bought such deadwood as Ozil, Cazorla,Koscielny, Vermaelen etc.
    I believe we’ll beat Cheatski because we’ll have rested AND because Wenger and the players will find that steel we have seen since the last run of success. We’ll let the media,pundits and AAA gloat over our losses to Napoli and City in the past 5 days while we sit back and appreciate the revived and revitalized Arsenal over the next 5-6 games.

  • Andrei

    I believe City is the biggest threat to the Arsenal’s title asprirations. Player by player they probably have the best and deepest squad in EPL and are finally coming together. I expect them mount a serious title challenge in the second half of the season. I’m not concerned about about Chelsea and other pretenders. It is City Arsenal should be wary of. Fernandinho the player they signed from Shakhtar is turning out be one of the best signings this season perhaps even better than Ozil. Big loss for Shakhtar they are not the same team without him.

    As for some officiating mistakes I’d say there were number of marginal offsite calls or non-calls. Including two Arsenal’s goals. Gunners should not dwell on it. Re-group and move on. EPL title is not won or lost in one game.

  • Hmmm, I think you paint too rosy a picture of the game to be honest. It wasn’t a game that I thought we would win at any stage. City, when they needed to upped their game and scored at will it seemed. We equalised from a strange goal but City took the lead again quickly. We pulled it back to 3-2, but City quickly scored to make it 4-2. We even scored late to make it 5-3, but City immediately pushed forward and scored again.

    In midfield we were very poor today and this has to go down as another example where we have underperformed in a big game. It cant be good for our confidence. I saw somewhere that our last 9 against City, Utd and Chelsea have yielded 2 points from 27. This has to be corrected – we have to start winning against the big teams.

  • If I were the England manager I will play Ross Barkley ahead of Wilshere who is playing poorly at the moment.

  • Mahdain

    No mention of the offside prior to the corner before their first goal? how about zabaleta handling the ball in the box?

  • VUVUZELA

    Wenger had his substitutions wrong. bringing on Gnabry for Flamini was a big flaw. we never won any ball in the midfield. Gnabry should have replaced Wilshare or Rosicky to replace Flamini was

  • jayramfootball,

    You can make statistics give you any talking point you want. I’m for improving our performances against the teams you mentioned but I’ll go further and call for better performances against ALL teams. We are doing that already. And your favourites for all their prowess are failing in this respect.

    You cannot complain about a “rosy picture” while glossing over key facts yourself. You call Walcott’s first “a strange goal” but ignore the fact that a few of theirs were also from our errors similar to Toure’s. And how is that goal “strange”? So by your account, they scored fantastic goals while we scored “strange” ones?

    Very Goonerlike of you to ignore all the important bad calls of the game that happened to all go against us. A blatant penalty denied, 2 wrong offside calls at good position, a wrongly disallowed goal?

    I find it insulting from you to call this article, one of the least pro-Arsenal pieces by Walter as “painting too rosy picture”. I guess like you, you would have preferred he wrote we were crap and unless we beat Chelsea next, it’s bye bye 4th place.

    I don’t think we were at our best today but not because city were so far ahead of us but partly because of the stupid EPL schedule and the fact that they played half their first team on Tuesday. The ineptitude of the officials also played a big role in how things panned out.

    Perspectives is key. Walter provided it in the article, you failed to do the same in your comment criticising it.

  • Brighton

    AW need to put together a dynamic team with a mix of small nimble players and some physical players as well. We need a clinical world class striker and another versatile wide player who can score goals. Ozil need to build up stamina and word a little bit harder to be effective in the premiership. Sofar Ozil is only good for small teams. For $43m we need more from him, his body language suggest that he is not up for the fight. Lastly AW should prepare teams according to their strengths if we are to win some of these tricky matches. If you saw what Man U did to us you Will understand what I mean.

  • The font

    You have to look at it from this perspective at 3-1 and. 4-2 down did you think the game was over
    I think not , arsenal did not play well at all but I felt we were always in for a chance if you think we scored 3 goals away from home and did not play well a few dodgy decicians against us a couple of goals disallowed and there front line on fire if we had not had such a hard midweek match and had actually played up to our normal level. We would have got something from this match . And when you take into consideration it’s city away most would have had us down for a defeat take the positives from today Walcotts brace gives us another dimension although city scored with every attack they looked like they could concede from every counter the smaller teams will take there chances better than us too many draws await city no premiership title for them COYG

  • Pat

    @jayramfootball

    You say ‘We have to start winning against the big teams.’

    What are the big teams? Asked by some journalist today, Arsene Wenger pointed to Everton and Southampton as top teams. We don’t have to accept the media’s verdict on what are ‘top teams’ currently in the Premier League.

    They want to make it look as if every team we beat or draw with is NOT a top team, and every team that beats us IS a top team. So Liverpool is NOT a top team? Tottenham is NOT top team? Aston Villa IS a top team? This just gives a skewed picture of Arsenal’s overall performance this season.

    I’m hoping tiredness played a role in today’s defeat and nine days’ rest will do the team good. Also, it should be noted that in his press conference Arsene Wenger said the referee had a bad performance. As we predicted. Again.

  • Pat

    And where is this rosy picture you refer to?

    I certainly didn’t think the article painted a particularly positive picture of our performance.

  • Pat

    As a measure of City’s defensive performance, by the way, we scored three goals against them. Up to now City had only conceded two goals at home.

  • Tom

    Walter
    I don’t think I’ve said this ever before to anyone but I agree with every single word of your analysis .
    I don’t know how to feel about it:)
    Cheers

  • Max Stirner

    Look,Wenger has never won a European trophy and in the last seven days we’ve seen why. That late goal by Everton, criminal. The first half against Napoli we controlled the game, second half Rafa makes adjustments they dominate the game but no tactical response from Le Boss. Why? Because he does not do tactics and he certainly wont listen to Bould. This tactical stupidity first struck me in the SF CL match at Villareal several years ago. Today a tactical plan was needed for a team disadvantaged by the schedule, play it tight and hit on the break, not rocket science, we instead play the way Citeh wanted, too open. Once again our manager bared his shortcomings to the world, not a pretty sight.

  • WalterBroeckx

    I didn’t really went in too deep on referee issues.
    I’m digging up an old format of the ref reviews to analyse this game if I can find the time.
    But as Tony added to my article already that even BT sports told that the Bendtner goal was not offside….

    These looked like 3 refs+assistants on a mission to close the gap down between Arsenal and the refs of the Chelsea pack, sorry chasing pack.

  • TommieGun

    Agree with every word but really what about the handball? Whats ur take on this as a ref?

  • Mahdain

    I can just imagine Riley having a big smile while thinking “i have shown those nosy ref reviewers what im capable of”.. Tell you what Mr Riley we are well aware of what you a capable of you bent prick. We got a demo of that all those years ago in that match.

  • Mahdain

    and im sure just to rub it in our wounds, Mike Dean will be the referee vs Chelsea.. 99% sure

  • lopez

    bad game today…so what…players looked tired specially Ozil and Giroud , they need a break …we could have scored more goals but Giroud messed up a couple of times, great to see Walcott scoring again 2 goals for him show what he can do for the team, he is a first team player for sure…i hope Wenger plays him as a centre forward on the next game so Giroud can take a rest …and…i hope wenger buys another striker as we really need one !!

  • Gord

    @Andrew, Walter

    I am still wading through EPL records (starting from RSSSF). Every year is different, but in general there is more information with newer data sets. 1999/2000 and 1998/99 have the referee of record (occassionally there is no referee listed, and so I go looking specifically for that). I can generate how many times referees do games for teams from 1998/99 on, and also runs length type stuff. Hopefully I can make all datasets cover the same data, which means digging up stuff before 1998/99. If people knew of a page with many listed (all?) that is much faster than looking this stuff up manually.

    Belgian question, is “de” of “de Builde” capitalized?

  • WalterBroeckx

    Gord,

    it can be both. I gather it is a name “de Builde”.

    Normally in Belgium a name is always with capitals so if his first name is “Jan” (typical Flemish name) or “Jean” (the same but in French) ‘de Builde’.

    Then normally it is written: Jan/Jean De Builde (every separate word with a capital)

    However if the person in question is descending from the aristocracy (Earl, Baron, count, Lord,…) the ‘de’ is not capitalized.

    Then it is Jan/Jean de Builde.

    So it can be both ways depending on his family. But in 98% of the names the “De” has a capital.

  • AL

    I didn’t watch, but from what I hear(and reading from this article) the ref was dodgy(as if we didn’t know). Walter picks out two incidents where we were stopped by the officials; the Monreal and Walcott incidents. I don’t care if we played like a Sunday pub team or what, but its usually on these minor details that matches are won and lost, and we simply can’t ignore them as if they never happened.

    Football is a bit like boxing, its all about momentum. Imagine in boxing if one fighter lands a solid punch, its usually followed by another or two or quick combination while the opponent is dazed. This could even determine the outcome of the fight. The same is true in football too. We were stopped, when we had opened an opportunity to have a go at the City goal. In boxing terms, this is akin to a fighter having lined up an uppercut or hook when his opponent has missed from a wild swing, has let down his guard or such. If the ref, supposing he had the ability, stops/freezes the contest while the boxer who is on the offensive has his punch a few centimeters from the open chin of his opponent, halts the fight and asks the boxers to touch gloves before resuming, isn’t that an opportunity lost? The boxer who was at a disadvantage has been given the opportunity to sort his defense out, and for the other boxer the opportunity to land a clean punch is gone, and may never present itself again for the duration of the contest. What would have been if that punch had connected with the chin? Perhaps the other boxer’s legs would wobble, allowing his opponent to seize the chance to land another solid punch or two, or even finish it off.

    This is a bit of a crude example but the concept still applies. When we are stopped due to an error on the official’s part, we would have been denied an opportunity to land a potential knockout punch, which could have been decisive for victory. Wenger complained of the same last weekend against Everton, where we were stopped several times(although this time by Everton players, who were not penalised by the official so we could say its the official who allowed us to be stopped, therefore he stopped us). Wenger said something to the effect that we were being stopped on a few breaks, while our players had four or five players in front of them, but the ref would stop the game and when play resumed it would now be 10 v 10. Going back to my boxing analogy, the ref can help one boxer by letting one fighter clinch when he is coming under sustained pressure, then break them apart and resume the fight. If he does this 3 or four times it can decide the outcome of a fight, and I’ve seen a few fights lost this way. I have seen a lot of this type of tactic being used against us this season. Teams are being allowed to stop us illegally, with no punishment. Of course it sounds like today the ref went on and did more than just letting City stop us illegally by disallowing legitimate goals and denying us a penalty. I therefore then find it grossly unfair to be critical of a team/competitor who has been denied a fair chance to compete, whether they were stopped once(that could have been the deciding moment) or ten times, its the same. To me everything else becomes irrelevant after that, atkinson cost us today, end of story.

    p/s There are individuals who when looking at themselves in a mirror will always not like the shape of their nose, their ears, lips, eyes or some other feature about their body, but are always full of admiration when they look at someone else. Reminds me of some of the fans we have on here; always critical of Arsenal while viewing the opposition, regardless of whoever it is, as better than Arsenal…..

  • Stuart

    Gord, when you find a game where the ref isn’t listed, why don’t you post details on here? I’m pretty good at Google searching and wouldn’t mind having a crack at finding out.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    We lost today but we are the Arsenal. We shall learn and come back stronger. Chelsea better be ready because we’ll be coming at them full guns.

  • zuer

    Well Walter captures the games very well as always. I think we miss Arteta big time. The fixtures has taken its toll to our players. Fatigue and tiredness leads individual errors, add the pgmol mobs to the mixture… well…

    Despite it all we managed to put 4 pass City at the etihad, urm and yeah thats include Bendtner goal being wrongly called offside, where they only concede 2 before our visit.. What if,we were rightly given the penalty for the handball and the penalty given for city was called for what it is – a dive… We could have drawn the game despite not being at our best…

    Its a good thing that Theo found his scoring boots and Bendtner is on fire too. Am hoping the rest will do Giroud good and hoping Podolski do a Theo, scoring goals on his return to the pitch..

    …and thanks Untold for always helping out with the perspective.. its always lonely after an Arsenal defeat, you know with all the fickle plastic gooners and the sewer rats lurking around.. forget the pundits and media.. they will be happy with the results, yes they do..

  • bjtgooner

    Walter, a good article. Yes, we did miss chances and we did make mistakes, but, the officials were cr*p and we were screwed.

    I don’t like losing at any time, but I can accept it if we lose fair and square. Today we may or may not have lost had the officials had been fair and competent, but that was not the case.

    We were denied at least one good goal, we were denied a penalty for a hand ball and at the end of the match when the exhausted players were trying to gallantly chase the game we gave away cheap goals, nice pair of flippers Milner. And, as others have noted, there were some strange offside calls.

    Walter, while I agree with your article, it is not the whole story – this time.

  • zuer

    Al, you didn’t watch the game?? wow that boxing analogy correctly sums up the game.. Are you a psychic or what 😀

  • Pat

    Surely Giroud’s goal was not off side either?

    That makes two goals denied. The commentator on Match of the Day seemed to think both goals could have been wrongly disallowed. He said Arsenal was unlucky on some decisions.

    The pundits didn’t mention this afterwards and Thierry Henry was not allowed to say much in the discussion. What he did say was ok; he said after a match like this you just go and have a shower and prepare for the next match.

    He managed to get into the discussion on Everton and showered praise on Martinez for changing the way that Everton plays, keeping the ball on the ground and so on.

  • @Bootoomee

    Dress it up all you like and blame everyone and everything else all you like. Today’s performance was poor and Wenger said so himself. Perhaps he is AAA?

    The team did not work together and were simply not good enough to beat City. I am delighted that we have been more consistent against the lesser teams, but we need to do more if we are to win a trophy. The current position does not warrant a trophy. They get handed out in May.

    The stat I quoted is just plain fact. 2 out of 27 points from our main rivals in the last 9 games. In my opinion we will need to find a way of beating teams like Utd, City and Chelsea if we are to win the league.

    I am aware this is a site that is not objective and has every right to be so, but as far as I am aware there is no rule that says comments can not be objective.

  • bjtgooner

    @Pat

    Thanks for that comment, I am still too angry to watch MOTD.

  • @Pat
    Wenger also said that the team did not play together today and was clearly annoyed with them. He is right to be annoyed. Regardless of the ref, that was not good enough today and our performances against the top teams (my criteria is teams that can win the title) is not good enough consistently.

  • Mandy Dodd

    I don’t know if Riley is smiling or not, but I do know who he supports and I wonder how he will feel using games and officials like this handing the title to his teams city rivals? Riley may like Utd, and Atkinson Chelsea, this game does no favours to either really. Walter, know you cannot reveal too much, but of those that have contacted this site, would it be fair to ask if any of them indicated there was any anti Arsenal bias in their experience….or was the bias in favour of looking after others? Or both?

  • Mick

    Regarding the Milner penalty. If a player deliberately dangles his leg so as to make contact with the keeper, as Milner did, then he has brought himself down, nothing to do with the goalie fouling him. When is a ref going to have the balls to call it as it is and book the player who initiated the contact with the intention of getting a penalty. Milner was going nowhere and cheated to get a penalty, end of.

  • AL

    Not a psychic, zuer(actually I wish I was) 🙂 Just from having seen how refs screw us every week, and piecing Walter’s article together with some of the posts from reliable commenters on here, one can get a true picture of what went on.

  • mr arsenal

    don’t look back !!! just how can we answer that result ???
    what do we need
    1- most of our players they need rest
    2- most of our players we don’t have pace
    3- we need passing training like this one
    to improve our vision and our passing skills
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUBgdyleCkA
    some times you see some players they need to pass the ball and they can’t coz they don’t train hard as we were

    4- we need a couch who train our players how to run fast
    5- we need hard working and good finishing striker FALCAO
    6- we need tall and strong good passer in our midfield

  • AL

    Mandy
    I think Riley might have thrown the towel in with regards to his team winning the title this year, but of those left he would rather see other teams that aren’t Arsenal win it. He might think oh well, why not help Martin’s team win this one since mine is out. I do think he’s still fighting some battle/war with us that he started in that 50th game at OT. Whether he’s in it alone (doesn’t look like if one looks at the PL scheduling) or with other people we will probably never know.

  • Espen

    Arsenal scored 3 goals at Etihad. The other visiting PL teams has scored 2 goals combined at Etihad this season. So the Arsenal lost this one, but it is not the end of the world. Giroud is taking a lot of heat but the worst performers on the pitch was the refere/linesmen and Wilshere. Jack had a really bad game both on the wings and then in the middel. But Jack will get better again, the refs probably not. Wilshere and Giroud missed big chances that would have a big impact on the game. And Giroud scored a goal that was ruled offside. It was a much more narrow game than the 6-3 scoreline. But Lady luck (and the refs) wasn’t on our side this game. The one thing that wasn’t good enough today was the defending. We didn’t defend as a team. I think the midfield didn’t offer enough protection to the back four. Personally I think that Mertesacker had a good game. But that’s just me probably.

  • zuer

    well Al.. that analogy of yours just sum it up nicely.. very nice.. 😀

    jayram
    i agree that the team did not play together today and our performances against city is not good enough but… if only the ref was fairer/competent enough… we could at least get a draw even with little rest between game.. that’s not at our best, mind you..

    pat
    well, we might end up winning.. if only…

  • Espen

    Just a reminder. We’re still top of the league.

  • WalterBroeckx

    2 o’clock in the morning over here. I did the review because otherwise I probably wouldn’t have slept. And it was a little bit onesided from the ref to say the least…

  • Va Cong

    Missed the match watching it tomorrow but sooooooo angry we lost to the 13th man again…

  • Yassin

    @ jayram
    Yes we were not good enough, but why do we have to suffer from refshite all the time, remember seasons ago whem we were the best attacking team and used to manage more than 25 shots on goal per game, there were games we lost cause of a one shot by the opponent, we blamed our defence, but that time, did you say its ok? Or did you blame the defemce as will, and the whole team and the spirit, cause now we are on the other side, we domt perform, but we try to get the required 3pts, and refs help to others are not helping us.

    @Andreu,
    Please tell me is it only 3pt? Or is ut every single match we play those refs interfere and start their bias, we are losing more than 3pts.

    Every now and then somebody shows up and say dont blame the ref, its us. No matter how bad we are, we deserve an unbiased football game, we cant just accept this, its total bias, its every match, not some matches in the epl, its all matches.

    Now from a tactical view, when we are chasing the game, you can see how we are weak defending the counter, right? Will no, here is what happens, when they go attacking, the other team, they leave spaces behind, and when they lose the ball, all they need is a tackle to regroup, while when we attack and they counter:
    1) we dont make fouls for not conceeding a yellow, cause you know its ok for our fans if there is a biased referee against us.
    2) they attack with more players without the fear of leaving spaces behind, for all they need is a tackle to stop any attack. Thus more players from them on less players on the counter, this tactics were used brilliantly by Everton and WBA, go watch those games again.

  • Yassin

    Walter,
    You mean today game? Man you are a genius, really man thank you for doing it, when is it gonna be published?

  • Micheal Ram

    Hahaha… I was laughing so hard after the man city game… cause I was so pleased… cause I think I got the whole picture… man city spent over 1billion pounds (not including hiring and firing managers) to challenge for the title since the arabs came in but arsenal just spent 42.5million pounds when they decided to challenge for the title too this year. 6-3? A fresh, more expensive, more well paid, huge man city squad against a tired, discriminated young team. 6-3 is only what they can conjure? Even if it could have ended with 5-5 without the lousy, bias and corrupt officials? Can you imagine if wenger decides to buy a few more hotshot players next season? And the following season? God please save the EPL… the gunner tsunami is approaching…

  • Gord

    @Walter and Stuart

    I will guess that most Belgian footballer’s are not descended from royalty, and so should be capitalized.

    Stuart, if I ask other people to search for what I could search for myself, it doesn’t apply fair use to data as far as I know. And so, I am still better off doing what I have been doing, even thought it seems to take about 3 days to process 1 year of EPL data.

    But all I have seen so far, is data about who the referee is. If someone from Untold runs across a single page which has referee and linesman going back to 1992, that might be useful. I would need to see it first, to guess about freedom issues.

  • chibyke-nija

    this loss is no biggie…just 3 lost against the best attack in europe(argurably). tbh i was more pained with the bvb loss at home than this. and the timidity we showed against manu wasnt there yesterday. we need to hit chelski hard. i like the look of bendtner and walcott.he (bendtner’s aerial prowess seems to edge that of giroud atm) this is just a blip. if we kip mopping up 3 from the rest…..we cld well win the league.the arsenal of last years wld have capitulated hopelessly yesterday.coyg

  • Mahdain

    Thanks Walter for taking time and do the review even with all the things that have you occupied at the moment… Appreciate it

  • jayramfootball,

    Those who seek equity must come with clean hands!

    You cannot accuse a writer of “painting a rosy picture” in their article while you gloss over important and relevant facts in the story. All commenters here including Walter, the writer, have said we did not play to our best. Many of us think it is due to fatigue. You may disagree but it shows gross lack of perspective on your part to just knock the team by merely repeating what the writer has confessed to and that other commenters have alluded to as if you are stating some new and profound facts.

    Get over yourself dude. The team did not play to their best ability, we all know that, but your refusal to even acknowledge the fact that they got shafted by the officials says more about you than the team and writer that you are insulting.

  • bob

    “I do think he’s still fighting some battle/war with us that he started in that 50th game at OT. Whether he’s in it alone (doesn’t look like if one looks at the PL scheduling) or with other people we will probably never know.”
    AL,
    Riley was appointed, most plausibly, based on delivering the OT50 fiasco. Atkinson is the new The Dean; that is, disciple of The Dean, until the next time the old The Dean emerges from his crypt and goes for the jugular – perhaps at Chelsea. Refshite + scheduling + mistakes = DLLL, at this time.

    Looking forward (that is, ahead of what UA/Tony will countenance, unfortunately) there is January: we do need another striker and something else – both affordably – to have quality rotation on the bench. Two more quality pieces will still put us over.

    Btw, exactly how did Kos gash his knee that bad? (Again, losing the Kos/BFA tandem – its chemistry – is a blow, n’ese-ce pas?

  • finsbury

    Perhaps the official was distracted by thoughts of dinner and missed this during the game?

    http://www.101greatgoals.com/blog/man-citys-yay-toure-got-away-with-a-terrible-foul-on-arsenal-forward-olivier-giroud-vine-video/

  • Nelson Wong

    Honestly, given stats showing how good City are, I would prefer a more dfensive set up and tactic. Look for a draw and carefully find a chance for a win.

    They were always more clinical and our players are tired.

    Of course losing a goal first up set everything.

  • bob

    AL, Mandy,
    Here’s how I see it:
    Looking ahead to Chelsea, if Jack is suspended for giving the finger to Mancunia and Kos is out for his gashed knee and Giroud needs rest (appears “leggy” as the euphemism tells us he’s actually tired), Arteta needing recoveruy, and Bendtner is re-emerging but not nearly Giroud, and Ozil appears perhaps tired (never had an EPL schedule before), I’m deeply concerned about the next match vs Chelski plus Riley’s refshite: Especially what a DLLLL might do to our teams’ psyche at the halfway point. (They play the game, not the fans.)

    Rest assured that Manure will not stand pat to get back in it, if only (if not mainly) to repair The Brand; and that Maureen is (as you read) screaming for more money from his zillionaire to re-boot to a championship. Imo, to break through to a championship, it is reckless to stand pat in January. Quality pieces (another striker plus another versatile backliner) are needed to prevail in more than one competition. If only one competition matters, then choose to stand pat.

  • dan

    Walter, I agree 100% with you, however, you missed the penalty incident.

  • bob

    “Can you imagine if wenger decides to buy a few more hotshot players next season? And the following season?”
    Michael Ram,
    Ahemm (clearing throat): and January? (or is that a thought crime?)

  • Tom

    I just finished watching the game for the second time , as I always do, and upon second viewing two things stand out more than anything.

    The amount of turnovers by Arsenal players is one ,and this could be attributed to fatigue .And the second thing is the amount of referre decision that went against us.
    Arsenal could’ve played a perfect game and still probably would’ve lost with all those calls gone against us.

    Which brings me to the real reason for my posting the second time on this thread.
    When a referee and his linesmen influence an outcome of a football game to such a degree, whether be it by bias or sheer incompetence, there’s a real case to be made for an inquest into PGMOL inner workings and match official qualifications.

    This process should always start with the aggrieved party making a complaint ,whether an official one with the league or unofficial one through the media ,and Wenger has done that.

    What lessens the gravitas of such a complaint made by the manager or other people associated with a club like fans or blogs, is constant referee bashing when results don’t go their way.
    Case in point – Webb’s performance in Everton game and Kassai’s in the CL clash with Napoli.

    Howard Webb is by most accounts a respected UEFA referee and in no way did he influence the outcome of the Everton match, and complaining publicly about his performance while also stating it was a fair result doesn’t do Arsenal any favors. Much the same as blaming Kassai’s performance for losing to Napoli.

    If I’m the head of PGMOL and I have an agenda against Arsenal FC ,I’m loving it.
    I can always say in the event of another Villa – like game or City- like game when refereeing was borderline scandalous – look , obviously these people are unreasonable and should be ignored because in their minds the whole world is against them.

  • jambug

    I have felt much worse about far less humiliating looking scorelines.

    If ever you can take possitives from a bad result this was it.

    Firstly, before I start I will say the better team won.

    Despite there obvious defensive and away day frailties they are, on there day, an irresistable force going forward. I feel there squad is easily the biggest, and best, in the PL. And so it should be. Another 100 Million spent this Summer on top of 100’s of millions already spent. But thats another story.

    Still, Yesterday.

    Another ref hell bent on giving us nothing and a lino so weak a few screaming City fans turned him into a quivering wreck incapable if making a good call is certainly something you could do without when up against a team like City.

    But the point is a few individual errors, compounded by fatigue, transpired to distort a scoreline that on another day would of been much closer.

    Until that 5th goal I still thought we was going to pull something out of the bag. We looked very dangerous going forward for the entire game except perhaps the last 5 minutes.

    The point is we wont play teams with the fire power of City every week (not in the PL anyway). We also dont usually give chances away on the regular basis we did today. We where unforetunate to have a run up of such physically demanding matches in such a short time. We where unforetunate that our opponants had been in a position to rest nearly there whole team on the run up to the game.

    Add to that the rather less than even handed officiating and you have the perfect storm.

    Despite all that I still think anyone watching that match with a fair and open mind could see we was a top quality side. A game that even the usually ultra critical BT Sport thought we was unlucky to lose by such a margin.

    As walter says, all you can do is dust yourself down and move on because we are not the first, Utd Spurs, and wont be the last to have there arses kicked at the Etihad if you don’t turn up with your ‘A’ game.

  • Well Tom
    I suppose that this is progress from you.
    At least you can see that there have been outrageous ref agendas against Arsenal in some matches, but you don’t believe it happens a lot.
    Oh well.
    Arsenal may have ended up with results they deserved in the Everton and Napoli games, and I don’t dispute that but don’t tell us that the reffing of those games was equal in the way the treated bot sets of players.

    City won yesterday, they scored more goals than Arsenal, most of City’s goals were not down to ref interference (but as to how City won he ball so often in midfield is another matter), Arsenal might have and probably would have score nearly as many goals against City.

  • Gooner S

    Well onwards and upwards.

    City have the strongest squad in the league, full of quality. Then, probably, comes Chelsea. We’re not far behind.

    We needed to take our chances and didn’t. Giroud must be knackered both physically and more importantly mentally.

    Chelsea next ! Oh Hum.

  • Gianni Dioro

    The thing is that if Arsenal aren’t good enough, then why do they bother to manipulate matches against Arsenal which seems to go on on a regular basis?

  • Tom

    Double canister
    I never tell anyone how they should feel about anything and you are most certainly entitled to form an opinion that’s diametrically opposed to mine on any subject football related or otherwise .

    As a pragmatist however , I consider complaining about EVERY referee who does Arsenal games counterproductive to achieving UA’s goal of exposing biased refereeing – it cheapens the argument.

    What is the agenda of UEFA referees against Arsenal exactly and why they would want to punish us is unclear to me ,and as for me coming around on Arsenal having been on a wrong end of refereeing decisions- I’d like to think I’ve always been there. Whether it be Mike Riley’s disgraceful performance at OT that ended Arsenal’s undefeated run or Massimo Busacca’s sending RVP to the showers for “time wasting” against Barca which I thought was the worst sending off in CL history

  • Gianni Dioro

    The double standards in the match were obvious. A soft pen given to City which should not have been given as Milner played the ball out and left his foot in, looking for the spot kick.

    Contrast that to Zabaleta’s handball not given. His arm was out from his body, he leaned into it. While the ball first grazed his thigh, his arm was always positioned to block the ball. His arm and thigh had a pinching effect – in other words if his thigh did not block the ball (it didn’t), then his arm would (it did). Zabaleta knew Theo was past him and he was going to stop that through ball one way or another.

    And Zabaleta did not miscontrol the ball. The ball grazed off his thigh and was stopped by his arm. And since his arm was always in a position to block the all – arm to ball, it should have been a penalty and a possible red card.

  • AL

    bob
    You’re quite right about riley getting his promotion after the 50th game debacle.

    finsbury
    Thanks for the links. I can’t believe the officials missed all these things. The level of refereeing is not acceptable in the premiership. They are ruining football and they should be made accountable. Right now Steve Clarke has lost his job, will that have happened if the win his team was robbed against Chelsea a few weeks ago had stood? Will riley be giving him a call to apologise? What about this job. Someone has to answer for this.

  • AL

    ….robbed of against Chelsea….

  • @Bootoomee

    I am not writing an article, I am commenting on it. Therefore my perspective on additional points that should be mentioned in the article are all I am trying to convey. I don’t need to cover all the ground in the article. For what it is worth I do agree that the ref favoured City, but I do not believe it influenced the outcome.

    My point is that we tend to under perform in big games and we did so again yesterday – ref decisions or no ref decisions. Wenger admitted this himself.

    In my opinion we need to find more courage in these games and more belief that we can actually win them.

    It is your choice and right to believe that referees are the reason we are not winning these games. I do not share your view. I think there are some more fundamental problems with the teams’ attitude and belief going into these games.

  • Mick

    The truth of the matter is that apart from a section of the Arsenal support typified by most of the commenters here on Untold, the vast majority of fans who support other clubs and who do not suffer at the hands of the refs on an almost weekly basis, do not give a toss about biased officiating, especially as to its effect on Arsenal. They just do not accept or care if we are shafted every week, they regard us as a load of whingers. I am afraid that any attempt to interest them in doing anything about improving the state of refereeing is doomed to failure. They will have the occasional moan when their club gets a bad call but that is where it ends for them. I am always being told by my mates to stop moaning and that all teams ‘get the occasional dodgy call from the refs’.

  • AL

    “As a pragmatist however , I consider complaining about EVERY referee who does Arsenal games counterproductive to achieving UA’s goal of exposing biased refereeing – it cheapens the argument.”

    Tom
    But it happens in every game, so mentioning it is unavoidable. Not UA’s fault.

    “What is the agenda of UEFA referees against Arsenal exactly and why they would want to punish us is unclear to me ”

    There’s so much money flowing in football right now, and everyone wants their piece of the cake. The way Arsenal does things means that this reckless splashing and spending of money can come under scrutiny, hence almost everyone on the gravy train ‘dislikes’ Arsenal. To put it simply, if there was an organisation that had the most lax security systems, and the employees are helping themselves to the organization’s resources, would an employee doing things the right way be popular in such an organisation? I don’t think so. Everyone would want that employee sacked, so they continue looting the resources freely.

    All the agents, other managers & the players themselves, hate the Arsenal way of doing things(refusing to pay inflated prices, ridiculous wages, or not selling out to some rich oil barons with no clue on how football works, etc.,) as it means less money for each and every one of them. That’s why Arsenal seems to be hated everywhere.

  • bob

    Mick,
    That’s, alas, a fine description about how football tribalism is the undoing of fair play. Massive hypocrisy when anyone (yes anyone) cares only about fair play for one’s own side and turns a blind eye of indifference or open hostility toward others who also cite how refshite ruined their team’s prospects. It is ruining football and only a compilation of how the refshite impacts many teams will do anything to sway the calloused hearts and minds of tribal fandumb to taking an interest in the ruination of other teams by the Riley-ites. That said, there is an inquiry in the Sports Ministry that has begun to look into the potential impact of match-fixing, after the recent arrest of 8 footballers (mostly at lower levels) in the UK. (You would think UA might give that a mention.)

  • Tom,

    I can summarise your take on officiating thus:

    If you see it or agree that it is a wrong decision against us then it is okay to complain about it.

    If you don’t see it or don’t agree with it, then it is mere ref bashing.

    I don’t always agree with opinions on officiating here but I respect the opinions and intentions of the complainants, especially Walter, who at least, is an actual referee.

    I chuckled at your reply to Double canister that you “never tell anyone how they should feel about anything” because you do this all the time. Issues are only legitimate and worthy of discussion if you think so, otherwise they are not worthy of being discussed, even if you confess in the same comment to have no experience of the matter in question.

  • AL

    jayramfootball
    You say we tend to under perform in big games, ref or no ref decisions. I say we get bad refereeing decisions all the time(backed up by refr reviews). But against smaller sides sometimes we can overcome these because, well, they’re smaller sides and usually we are too strong for them. But against a big side, the task is bad as it is without any bad refereeing. Getting a bad decision against a big side is difficult to recover from, and as far I know in most, if not all of those 9 games you mention we had biased calls against us.

    You add that you believe the ref favoured City, but don’t think it influenced the outcome. I disagree; add the disallowed goals and denied penalty, and take away their penalty(dive) and see what you are left with. Even if you just allow either one of our goals, or gave the penalty only, you will see the outcome will be different, so I’m afraid I don’t think its correct to say the ref didn’t influence the outcome.

  • jayramfootball,

    Let’s not have a redundant debate please. You called out Walter for painting a “rosy picture” with his article which, in my opinion, is pretty balanced by Walter’s optimistic standards. In the course of criticising the article, you threw perspective out of the window – the exact crime that you have accused Walter of. That is my point to you. I wouldn’t have replied to your comment if you had just talked about how bad the team was, how great city were and how the team deserve what they got. That is an opinion that you have absolute right to express. What you can’t do is accuse the writer (unfairly) of bias in one direction while you take your own bias in the opposite direction.

  • finsbury

    Al @ 3.19
    The funny thing is that those links were from a tabloid site, probably ripped from some twitter accounts but still, an example of better analysis of a game from a tabloid website that copy and pasted the links when compared to the pundits working of tv companies that have spent billions on their rights. Er.

  • finsbury

    Tom
    December 15, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    Howard Webb by all accounts had a shocker in the WC final. Quite a few people watched that game and that is not my opinion but the consensus. It was embarrassing to watch that game. It was an embaressing game for anyone associated with the referee, including his own association. The attempts to ’tilt’, to try and give Holland a chance in that game were even more stupid then Holland’s tactics in that game. Webb can be a good referee when he wants to be, We’ve seen him have games where he deserves all the credit. As a paid professional he should have the capacity for some consistency in his performances. In fact if the refs want our respect in this modern age of gamesmanship (see Milner’s dive, according to MOTD that is not a dive when compared with Eduardo Celtic….? Eh?) and doping, why don’t they ask for the same aids that say, hockey and rugby officials have been using now, for years? How hard can it be to implement tried and trusted tech that has been vetted through prolonged use in other sports?
    There is no rational or reasonable excuse that can be given to explain why this has not happened already.

  • Mick

    @Bob
    I have long thought it strange that the majority of fans of all clubs angrily accept and complain about the bias shown toward Man U yet utterly refuse to recognize the possibility of an opposite bias toward Arsenal.

  • Gianni Dioro

    The questions I have are that while Man Utd. got extremely favourable treatment by the refs under Fergie during Riley’s reign at the PGMOL, and Arsenal have suffered considerably, why is that other teams like Chelsea and Man City have received relatively neutral treatment?

    And now that Fergie is gone, will we one or two of these teams getting more favourable treatment?

    Will United still get preferential treatment, if not as much as in the past, at least enough to get them into the top 3 or 4, possibly at Arsenal’s expense?

    Will the recent match-fixing arrests in English football and Halsey’s book have any effect on the performance of Premier League refs?

  • @Bootoomee

    The write IS wholly biased in his opinions, though I am not saying that is wrong. This site is biased towards Arsenal in the extreme and has positioned itself that way intentionally. I have no problem with that, though I prefer to take a more balanced view. There are some real positives so far this season – i.e. Aaron Ramsey proving all the doubters wrong (including me). There are also negatives. I prefer to state both, though did not see the need to restate what was already in the article.

    You and I will never agree because you are unable to accept any criticism of the team or this site without jumping on peoples backs. Your right to do so, but don’t for one second believe I will fall in to line with that way of thinking.

    Peace.

  • Gianni Dioro

    Zabaleta’s handball.
    http://i.imgur.com/3ymq9g0.jpg

  • AL

    Gianni,
    Not attempting to provide answers to your questions, but my take on that is Wenger is the man who Ferguson was most afraid of, and not without good reason. We don’t know what went on behind the scenes culminating in that famous robbery in the 50th game, but I believe whatever it was it bound Ferguson and Riley together, for life. I think the fact Arsenal had gone 49 games unbeaten , and were threatening to repeat that made these people to take action to ensure that never happened again. Chelsea , City, etc, will always be seen as insignificant in this battle as they never threatened Ferguson’s record.

    You raise an interesting point regarding Halsey. Instead of people applauding him for his stance on refusing silence money and speaking out, he’s being harassed by the PL and being made an object of ridicule by the media. It shows the rot is much deeper than we can see from where we are.

  • bob

    Hi Mick,
    I agree on MU, who, abetted by the Riley-its, have ripped off everyone’s side, hence the wide consensus. Alas, the media is the way that most people have seen us; so without their personal experience of seeing/following AFC – except through continual, uncontested repetitions of the anti-AFC match-day pundits, MOTD, and their own chosen newspapers – they will have their opinion/view of AFC already biased/pre-formed/biased against the AW, johnny foreigner, AFC, as a kind of national whipping boy/joke/whipping boy. Since all the lens crafters do it, people are conditioned to believe it’s normal and must be so (and oh what fun). Really sucks.

  • Tom

    Bootoomee
    Making you chuckle is actually a goal of mine and it beats your hurling insults at other posters so mission accomplished .:)

  • bob

    AL,
    So true about Halsey. Rather than investigate, they ridicule, as with AW. People like to then pile on, encouraged by and channeled by the bloviating class of pundits and their string-pullers and paymasters.

  • Stuart

    Good write up; fair and balanced. We lost to the better team, but for spells we played really well and can take something from the game (despite the goals against tally).

  • Tom,

    Thanks for the belly laughs and apologies for the ‘insults’ 🙂

  • rupert cook

    @Jayram, best comments as usual.

    We lost because City have a fabulous attacking team. In fact the way they play reminds me a little of the way we used to play before Wenger got obsessed with trying to imitate Barca’s style.

    When we stuff our team with players of similar calibre we’ll be winning things again. It’s quite simple, no matter how many crazy conspiracy theories some of you dream up. Only last week when we lost to Napoli some tried to claim UEFA officials have some agenda and wanted Dortmund top of the group. There’s always excuses. I actually don’t know why any of you bother with football if you think the officials all hate Arsenal, (and why they would has never been explained). But I guess it eases the disappointment and deflects from the real reasons why we never win a thing.

    So Chelsea is the next big test. Mourinho has Wenger firmly in his pocket so expect a draw at best. Winning this is essential though, not a title decider, but very important as we have some real tough games left. I regard these games as real tests: Everton away, Pool away, Chelsea home and away, Southampton away, Manu home, Man City home.

    In my view we’ve only had two real tests so far, Manu and City away, and we know what happened.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Maybe events might suggest Liverpool is a test Rupert, not forgetting Dortmund.

  • WalterBroeckx

    EVERY match is a test. Unless I haven’t been noticed and the points you win against Hull are not counted in the end? Last time I checked they were counted.
    And at the end of the season we will see which team finishes at the top after 38 tests.
    “Real” tests are inventions from the media.

  • TommieGun

    Rupert, I don’t think that was a very honest post. I mean, it started honestly but really, how can you say Liverpool and Dortmund were “not real tests”? Do you think that ManU is a better team than Liverpool or Dortmund?

  • TommieGun,

    But they complain when you call them dishonest 🙂

  • WalterBroeckx

    Rupert,
    About refs. We have explained why but you just won’t accept it.

    I will try to explain it as simply as possible:

    Riley hates Arsenal (for the unbeaten season)
    Riley manages the refs and is their superior
    Do what your superior likes and want you to do or else…

    And then we have specific cases like Atkinson who is a Chelsea secret (not that secret) lover who wants to close the gap between his favourite team and the leaders. I don’t think Riley will mind the ‘mistakes’ from his trio. So no punishment to be expected for their big mistakes

  • WalterBroeckx

    Dean for our match against Chelsea anyone?

  • Mandy Dodd

    Never ceases to amaze me how people get so defensive in defence of integrity of this league when evidence appearing here and worldwide is completely to the contrary. There may be arsenal….or other fans who may not agree with everything on this site but anyone who thinks the EPL is a level playing field is blind, deluded, some sort of beneficiary or is not going too far with what they know either for some greater good, or because they know exposing it may make things worse for themselves or their club. Look at mike Newell…nobody likes a whistle blower.We now know beyond doubt Utd under fergie got favours, the stats, anecdotal, what we see with our eyes and admissions from refs. That is not to say the refs were getting payment but for some reason, they were afraid or unable to treat Utd in the same way as others. Why is it such a leap to assume others are not getting favours, or indeed that some are getting shat on? I am convinced this will not end at Arsenal until wenger departs

  • Refs have made mistakes and will keep making mistakes, the fact the mistakes were so pronounced in this match – scorewise – is as mentioned in the article, we didn’t take our chances and city did.

    And btw i dont know how Fernandinho did not get atleast a yellow in this match. The man made 5 fouls just in the first half.

  • Mahdain

    @Walter unless he has done a chelsea match recently,im pretty sure its going to be him.. he fits the bill perfectly for Riley

  • Mandy Dodd

    R.iris, guess it gave the motd pundits a chance to say arsenal were bullied by city!

  • TommieGun

    @ Boot, it’s easy: never speak about a person, speak about their actions. I don’t know if Rupert is honest or not. THAT post was dishonest.