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It was almost one of those days till Poldi came along

By Walter Broeckx

After 46 minutes you started to get the feeling: it was one of those days. We didn’t play super football. But we were much better than West Ham for most of the game.  And we had enough chances in the first half to put us in front.  More than enough in fact.  Walcott with a big chance and Giroud could have had a hattrick but he wasn’t at the right spot when very inviting crosses from Gibbs and Özil came to him.

Arteta had a shot just going wide but it just didn’t work out for in front of goal. Santi saw a good attempt just fly over.  Every now and then West Ham came towards our goal with a smart free kick that put Nolan on his own in front of Szczesny but he couldn’t hook the ball in goal. And when they came it was with aiming a high ball towards Cole and hope for the lucky bounce. But not that much to do for Szczesny in fact.

At half time I said to myself that we should be careful and not make any mistakes at the back. Hardly had we kicked off for the second half and we made two mistakes. Maybe even three. Giving the ball away a bit too easily up front and then the attack from West Ham seemed to have finished when it flew to Arteta. I don’t know what he was trying to do to be honest. Controlling the ball and then play it or kick it away hard. Maybe he himself was unsure of what he should do for a split second and then in those circumstances you usually end up doing something stupid.

So the ball ended up in front of a West Ham player on his own at the edge of our penalty area. He took a shot, Arteta tried to block it in front of Szczesny who maybe was distracted by that and he spilled the shot that fell to Cole who didn’t make a mistake and put the ball in goal.

What followed was amazing to be honest. We tried to go to an higher gear and as we did we just couldn’t put the ball in their goal. And by opening ourselves like we did we gave a lot of room and Cole could and should have made it 2-0 for West Ham.  And we just kept on missing. Always we had a leg, a foot, a head, an arm, or a combination of West Ham body parts in the way.  The result was a very open and attractive game with a wrong score line.

When Ramsey suddenly went down it became: oh no, it really is one of those days? Being the better team, but it just goes all against us.  But on came Kind Poldi. For those who follow him in the social media we know how he has been longing to be back out there on the pitch. And finally his moment was there. He came on in the place of the injured Ramsey.

And it was as if all the frustration that he had to endure all those months on the side line being injured had to come out. From the first touch he took you could see he was on a mission. Trying shots whenever he could, running round doing attacking and defensive work. And with Poldi coming on, it seemed that our bad luck turned in to good luck. Prince Poldi was our lucky charm.

The equaliser was a soft shot from Theo that went past 3 defenders from West Ham who didn’t take action and left the keeper surprised and the ball bobbled in the net. 1-1 and you sensed that this was the turning point

Podolski driving the team on together with Santi Cazorla who was close to the Santi we all knew so well and loved so much. Not a perfect match from him but close to the level we know he can reach.  When the ball came out to Podolski in the left flank he crossed it hard and on a height that is difficult to defend. A West Ham defender touched it slightly and that was just enough for Theo to jump up and head it firmly against the back of the net.  Another brace for Theo away from home.

Those who thought that West Ham would try to get back in the match were wrong. It was Arsenal all over West Ham lead by Podolski who was very intent on showing what we have missed. And I do think we know it …we did miss a lot in fact.

Podolski shooting from every angle but he missed a big chance when he was one on one with the keeper but his first touch let him down a bit so the keeper was already to close to him to put it past him. With some 10 minutes to Walcott gave the ball to Giroud who had worked his socks off but was very unlucky today. Giroud controlled it and put it in front of Podolski who hammered it home.  His celebration showed his delight on being back.

Well Poldi I can tell you that in my living room I copied your celebration. And I am as delighted like you that you are finally back.

After being 1-3 up we controlled the game and at the end West Ham looked like threatening a little bit again. But I do think this was also down to our players having had  a shorter resting period than West Ham and maybe the game at Newcastle at the back of our heads.

An important win for Arsenal. One that could and should have been reached earlier in the match to make it more comfortable. But a win is a win and we showed character and didn’t hang our heads when we went behind. It spurred us on to try even harder. But it did took the German effectiveness  Poldi to turn things around. But hey, isn’t that what a bench is for?

The bad thing is the injury for Ramsey who we will miss for a few weeks I’m afraid. Together with Rosicky who was injured before the match. So that is a bit bad to happen in this period of the season when the games are coming at high speed. But let us hope for a quick recovery of both players.

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76 comments to It was almost one of those days till Poldi came along

  • marcus

    Off topic:

    The rank ‘refereeing problem’ in the EPl continues apace. Just seen Sterling offsided from 3 yards offside to stop a goal.

    Interpret ‘refereeing problem’ as you should. lol

  • marcus

    Sterling was 3 yards onside I meant. (And thru for the easiest goal scoring chance imaginable. )

  • Persian gunner

    Marcus
    I’m watching their game, ref is killing Liverpool

  • Persian gunner

    It was one of those fantastic games which will be remembered Because it was a real test of nerves!
    We play one of the best attacking style football in the world
    So f**k you Mr Jose the idiot one!

  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    Spot om Walter, from his first touch you could see Der Prinz was going to change things! We were a tad lucky at times that the Irons didnt have their shooting boots on, but great to see Walcott scoring and Santi having some really great moments.
    Felt a bit sorry for Giroud,a purple patch for him at the moment hope he breaks it soon…
    Well done all the lads…COYG!
    Amen

  • WalterBroeckx

    Another good title might have been: when Sammy met Poldi… 😉

  • bjtgooner

    Overall we played some great football and were by far the better side, with any luck we would have killed the game off in the first half.

    Second half we rather too easily gave away the WH goal, but then attacked repeatedly until we got through the parked bus. The team deserve a lot of credit for turning a potential bad result into a well deserved victory and banking three more valuable points.

  • ARSENAL 13

    Whats with Manchester and freak offsides……

  • ARSENAL 13

    Somebody give skirtel kompanys shirt……he tries to undress every opponent he faces..

  • AL

    I think not having had the game wrapped up by halftime proved a good thing in the end, even though that wasn’t by design. I suspect the ref might have screwed us, so scoring a little late didn’t leave him much room to turn the match against us.

  • soglorious

    This will make it 3 games in a row that we should be given a clear cut hand ball penalty but these are not so. please Walter, help me differentiate between “ball to hand” and “hand ball”. or is there something that I don’t understand?

  • ARSENAL 13

    Hilarious commentory.’Liverpool deserve something from this game’…..why? We scored 5 goals at the etihad. Yet we ‘as per them’ was not good enough.

  • soglorious,

    The refs call hand balls anyway they want and the media either help them to justify it or call the victim/perpetrator unlucky/lucky respectively.

  • WalterBroeckx

    I notice City bought themselves in to second place tonight.
    Will the media speak up now? Hell they might even mention the Arsenal decisions now….

  • AL

    So we were denied a penalty, again?(sorry didn’t watch,was out hunting for some bargains). Seems our bad luck with penalties not given is being conversely mirrored by disallowed goals against city; 3 denied penalties for us v 3 disallowed goals against city. But then again it may all just be a coincidence.

  • AL

    That’s what I’m waiting for too Walter.

  • AL

    Listening to the ‘pundits’ on BT sport, and McManaman is talking about how Liverpool did themselves proud with their performance instead of getting beat by a high score, at which point Joke Humphrey pipes up with ‘which Arsenal did.. ‘. Seems the rule for anyone in the media to keep their job all they need do is diss Arsenal, tosser.

  • Mandy Dodd

    take it Humphreys made no mention of our neighbours up there?
    just looked at Daily Mail online – they gave ref Mason 7 out of 10, sounds a bit generous
    Does not look good for Rambo, if it is a bad thigh strain, could easily be 8 weeks plus, wonder if in hindsight he has been a bit overplayed – or maybe that is just a sporadic injury-any time any where any player?

  • marcus

    @Walter

    I look forward to your reviews, particularly MUC v Arsenal, and MUC v Liverpool

    The refereeing between MUC and Liverpool looked poor to me. That in itself seems worthy of comment.

    Closer analysis might show Liverpool getting shafted.

    The bottom line is that the refereeing in the EPL is shockingly mediocre. That is probably a false bottom line, but it is in itself a very poor statement on the EPL

  • Tom

    So it’s official! It’s not just marginal off-side calls that go Man City’s way at the Etihad but also a three yarder.???

    I guess the gravity of big oil distorts the shape of space and flow of time which is pretty consistent with Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity ,so poor linesmen aren’t really to blame for getting most of off-side calls wrong for visiting teams at the Etihad 🙂

    This should put an end to Man City fans coming on here telling us that one or two itty-bitty off-side calls don’t determine the outcome of the game, wankers.

  • AL

    No, Humphrey made no mention of spurs or utd getting walloped at City, his tiny brain could only recall us losing by a huge score there.

    Mason is one of the worst refs around, bent or not. Can’t decide who’s worse between him and Atkinson.

  • Double canister

    AL
    Don’t forget Taylor.

    by the way, I’ve noticed sky and Bt sport don’t bother any more to show many replays of arsenal movements when offside flags go up, has there been a message from upstairs to stop embarrassing the match officials?

  • colario

    Mancs v looserpool. Yet another referee controlled game!

  • Jax

    I see that the conspiracy theorists on here have not mentioned the wrongly awarded (to us) free kick after Arteta fell down with no one anywhere near him, which directly led to the so called “hand ball” (It wasn’t). I wouldn’t say that the two wrongs made a right, but if we had been awarded a penalty it would have been grossly unfair to West Ham. If you want to see bad decisions watch tonight’s MOTD, where Liverpool were definitely fucked over.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Yes mason can be pretty poor think Atkinson is in reality a better ref but a ref with issues. Interesting to see the motd take now the universally loved plucky contenders that are Liverpool are the victims of refshite. Or their heads too far up city?

  • Jax

    @colario
    referees are supposed to control games, that’s what they’re paid to do. Some do it better than others though.

  • AL

    Jax
    Just watching the replay, Arteta lost his footing when he clattered into Diame, not sure if that’s who you refer to as ‘no one anywhere’. It may not have been a free kick, but wouldn’t really say that was a game changing decision would it. Regarding the handball, one could say the ref viewed it as ball to hand, and we’re not arguing whether the west ham player handled the ball or not, but how the ref read it. If anything obrien was lucky not to be sent off for two fouls on Vermalean and Giroud when he was on a yellow already. Even the commentators said obrien was substituted as he was walking a displinary tightrope.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Brendan Rogers joins the debate on refs note interesting quote half way down about greater Manchester refs. Maybe someone should tell him about untold. Fine in the post or swept under the carpet?

  • Tom

    Rodgers has just cost himself about 10 grand in fines and a possible ban when he ripped into the Mason’s crew.
    I think he’s just questioned the integrity of the English game .
    Is Mason from Manchester area? That’s what Rogers seems to be hinting at.
    I’m beginning to really like this guy!

  • marcus

    @Jax I’ll ignore the fact that you are mindlessly offensive, and just point out that you are clutching at straws.

    The weight of small medium and large calls that go against AFC is mind numbing. The kind of lightish call like the Arteta one, when we point it a similar type against us – especially when it leads directly to a goal – gets crowed against as nit-picking and irrelevant.

  • so when is ox due back? while i fear podolski and ox taking the traditional diaby role of “getting [them] back is like a new signing” still getting two offensive minded players is what this team needs.

    all season long i’ve been calling for somebody ANYBODY to step up and just kick the damn ball in the net. giroud’s got more of a inclination to facilitate, which isn’t the worst fate imaginable when you’ve got guys like ramsey and walcott running up to finish off the fruits his 99% pass-first labor, however now that ramsey’s stopped scoring like superman you’ve seen that this team needs that added spark of finishing scorers that podolski provided today.

    a guy i was watching the game with on irc was calling for poldi to shoot shoot shoot shoot shoot until good things happened, and i’ll be damned if that’s not what went down. arsenal’s got the defense/midfield/AMs to hang around… it’s just if they can get enough goals combined with handling the games they’re supposed to win at a rate that’s > than everyone else. that’s why they’re in first now, and that’s why i think them being top of the table for as long as they can helps their psyche, cuz if you punch arsenal they’re more likely to stop and go “owww hey ref dude just hit me” rather than load up and fire back immediately.

    this league is waiting for someone to come and take it away…. early on it looked like arsenal was that team being as much as what, seven or eight points clear at their early-season apex? well we’ve gotten some reality lately (with buyern lurking to hammer the point home re: the season’s most disappointing game @ napoli) and i’m glad arsenal didn’t drop all the points vs chelsea cuz being 4th coming into a game like today…. go down 1-0 to start the 2H after dominating the first half and you never know…. but going into a big match @ newcastle on sunday i think being out in front of the league, if only by a point, helps their confidence because methinks this team as a whole needs to be the little train that could, especially with manchester united getting to 5pts back of the lead b4 today’s victory. 8pts out i’m worried they could factor into the 3rd/4th CL spots if things don’t work out perfectly for the arsenal.

    suffice to say we’d never hear the end of it if we’re playing on thursdays next year, eh? and idk about you but the last thing i want is another summer chock full of the dreaded WOB/AAA, who have started to turn up again lately =/

  • oh and also, if i were arsene i’d take the FA cup very seriously this year. if they’re able to wrap up a top-4 finish along with a FA cup in the first season with ozil, that gives them that much mroe hope going forward and finally gets rid of that 8yr trophy drought that you can’t go an hour without reading about in the summer.

    idk if arsene’s prone to treat it more like the league cup than the CL (which i think most of us lost any expectations for once buyern was drawn) but if arsenal lives up to recent history and finishes 3rd this year along with an FA cup you’re good to go heading into next season…. whereas finishing 3rd/4th without any silverware = here we go again

  • AL

    Oh, didn’t know Jax was that way inclined, or I wouldn’t have wasted my time trying to counter his claims. But seeing as I’ve already done so, Liverpool were not fucked over any worse than we were, imo they’ve the one disallowed goal to moan about, while we had two. They may also have had a penalty appeal turned down, but we had one too, and city had their own couple of shouts when skitrl twice attempted to swap jerseys with Kompany at corner kicks. And a final word Jax, don’t rely on MotD for a proper match analysis, you run the risk of making an ass of yourself if you do.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Think mason is from Bolton Tom maybe listed as suppotinng them so gets manc games Andrew Taylor also from wythemshaw and think he surprisingly refs both manc teams. Agree on Rogers that was a very damning statement good on him

  • Tom

    Mandy
    Did I get you right ? Do PL refs actually disclose publicly what clubs they support?

  • Ray from Norfolk, Virginia

    Last season: WHFC scores first, we score three.
    This season: WHFC scores first, we score three.
    Hoping for a good old one-nil to the Arsenal against Newcastle.
    But Podolski’s strike was powerful and full of energy; E = mC(squared) applies here.
    Hazard goal was due to a defensive player confusing the goalkeeper; it was not pretty.
    Manure came back from being two down because Hull players took an early vacation after 15 minutes.
    Shitty versus Mugmashers should have been a tie.
    In retrospect, Wenger’s poised critique of Mike Dean was on spot: had he said more, “avenger” Dowd would have come up with imaginary penalties in favor of West Ham and given them a 3-3 draw.

  • nicky

    How I wish that young Kieran Gibbs would learn to use his right foot. So often in nearly every game he will go forward with the ball, cut inside but having to keep it on to his left foot. If only he could continue in attack using either foot, he would become twice the player.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Plenty of stuff out there who they support how truthful is anyone’s guess
    http://sabotagetimes.com/reportage/who-does-howard-webb-really-support/
    Not sure about mason but think I remember a Bolton connection
    You will note Howard Webb according to the above article supposedly supports Rotherham also know mike Riley claims to support Leeds two good Yorkshire clubs so their united thing is intriguing they obviously do not know their history

  • AL

    Let’s hope Rodgers’ attack on Mason, coupled with the criticism dean got from various papers for his poor performance in our last match 72hrs ago will bring more scrutiny and pile some pressure on the refs.

  • Littleske

    Well at least jack Wilshire is back as Ramsey goes-always a positive to negative

  • Va Cong

    Glad we won. Guess man shitty the new old Trafford illturd corrupts refs minds…

  • Ray from Norfolk, Virginia

    Mandy Dodd,
    Yeah sure, I could be a referee in an Arsenal game: I support Torquay, and I am unbiased.

  • Merlion96

    It confirmed the fact that Cazorla is our “No. 4”; spraying the passes, creating chances, hustling and helping Back-4 with tackling in middle of the park.

    Plus a tired and fatigued Ramsey is playing too deep and off-coloured due to playing too many games and still carrying niggling injuries. A tired mind is just a split-second too slow and can’t create that half-a-yard of shooting chance like early in the season.

    I will stick with Poldolski-Carzorla-Flamini-Walcott for the next 2 league games and bringing Wilshere back for FA Cup on 4-Jan-14.

    Remember 2007/08 when Flamini was riding “shot-gun” as a sweeper protecting Cesc, as well as sweeping those “acres of space” between MIDFIELD and Back-4?

    Let’s do better than 2007/08 – 5 points ahead by end-Feb-2014 and then continue the trend for the past 2 seasons – finishing strongly in the 2nd half with an unbeaten run of 16 to 18 games in 2014.

    We have a TEAM and players; but can Le Prof inject the flexibility and unpredictability in tactics with 20+ chances created in every game now, especially against Bototm-13 teams?

  • OMGArsenal

    Soglorious………..the letter of the Law states that a ¨handball¨ can be given against a player who clearly uses his or her arm(from the shoulder joint down to the fingertips), to control or prevent a ball from proceeding in an unobstructed manner or to divert the ball to their own or a teammates benefit, except when he is taking a throwin.
    The spirit of the Law is to prevent intentional interference with the ball by a player whose hands or arms are not in a normal playing position (ie: when they are stretched out, or over their head)and whose contact with the ball is not accidental. From what I saw the WHU player’s arm was in a normal playing position and the ball struck his arm, his arm did not move to the ball. IMHO, the referee got this one right.

  • Merlion96

    Agreed.
    In fact the WHU palyer was turning away from the ball with his arms tucked by his side.
    Now if he sprayed his arms out, then Dowd will have a tough time to decide whether “ball-to-arm” or vice-versa.

    But if it happens at OT under similar circumstance … 60:40 chance a penalty will be awarded against Arsenal.

    We won a penalty by Mertesacker when hsi jersye was pulled in the box.
    O’Brien got lucky with his shirt-pulling in the box today.

  • O’Brien and whelan decisions by refs are the two contrasting ones, O’Brien on a yellow pulls people down twice – not tackle , pull- and doesn’t get a second. Whelan on a yellow tackles and pulls first time after his first yellow and gets his second for the day. Awesome consistency. Go PGMOL !!

  • ARSENAL 13

    whats obvious in Liverpool offside case is, the linesman was inline with the sterling. And he could clearly see Sterling running from an onside position…….

  • ARSENAL 13

    Therz no benefit of doubt or anything here…..

  • Brickfields Gunners

    From THE EPL IS NOT FIXED section , here’s fans (and the AAAAs) say the darnest things !

    Ref Taunts, from…
    http://www.section303.com/oldsite/loudmouth_ref.htm

    Thank you, we are all refreshed and challenged by your unique point of view !

    I don”t know what your problem is, but I bet it”s hard to pronounce!

    We’ll try being nicer if you”ll try being smarter !

    Hey, Ref, your proctologist called…they just found your head!

    Hey, Ref, your village called, they”re missing their idiot!

    Hey ,Ref, Satan called; he said “Wow! Even I”m impressed!”

    Hey, Ref, your doctor called…what’s an Anal Hematoma?

    I”m sure you’re asked this all the time, but what IS your problem?

    Some drink from the fountain of knowledge; apparently you only gargled !

    When your IQ reaches 50, you should sell !

    If you give him a penny for his thoughts, you’ll get change back !

    You’re so dumb that blondes tell jokes about you !

    You”re so dumb, you went to the dentist to have your cranial cavity filled !

    You are so stupid, mind readers charge you half price !

    You ‘re so stupid that even Malaysians are telling jokes about you ! WOOPPPSS !

    You”re not a complete idiot…some parts are missing !

    You”re really into yourself…your head is up your ass !

    If ignorance were bliss, you”d be orgasmic !

    People around you are at risk of second hand idiocy !

    You would make an excellent illustration in a proctology text book !

    Have they stopped printing the rule book in braile?

    Next time you go to the eye doctor, I bet your prescription will be a dog !

    When your dog barks twice, it’ s a penalty !

    If you had one more eye, you”d be a cyclops !

    Give me an “I.”Give me another “I.”Now, give them to the Ref !

    People like YOU are the reason that people like ME need medication !

    Is it time for your medication or mine?

    You’re not as dumb as you look, ’cause that would be impossible !

    Try not to let your mind wander. It’s much too small to be outside by itself !

    Leave the gift-giving to Santa !

    If you had half a brain, your butt would be lopsided !

    I’ ve upped my standards…now UP YOURS!

    It’ s not the heat, it’s the stupidity !

    We’ re not picking on you…it’s our job!

    When God said, “Come forth for brains,” you came fifth !

  • Brickfields Gunners

    And more ….

    If your parents divorced, would they still be brother and sister?

    You need to go to confession after that call !

    We know you”re blind, we’ve seen your wife !

    Thou has eyes to see, and thou see not !

    Hey, Ref, I’ll take three pencils !

    If you were any dumber, you’d have to be watered twice a week !

  • Rupert Cook

    @Jax, well said. The fact is that there are poor decisions all over the league. Certainly the Pool goal should have stood but even if it had it doesn’t mean they’d have won or gained a point. Again all these conspiracy theorists can never explain why the whole world has it in for Arsenal even though I’ve asked them numerous times. Truth is they need their fantasies to excuse our failings each year.

    As for Jax being offensive as someone claimed, I can’t see anything offensive in his post unless people find a swear word so; if so go and follow women’s hockey.

    Looks like we’re back on form after our usual nervous performances against the very best teams. Great to see Pod back doing what Giroud seems to be finding increasingly difficult, that is putting the ball in the net, and Walcott equally as effective, even with his head. Thought this one would be a tough test as London derbies are often tight games and the Hammers needed a win desperately so all credit for us to come back from a goal down and showing some strong self-belief. Hope we can continue in the same vein against the Magpies.

  • Jax

    @ Rupert
    Not only am I “mindlessly offensive” I’m also “that way inclined”. While I’ll admit to the first, I’m not sure that my inclinations have anything to do with bleeding heart posters on this blog and I expect to be joining you in the sewer soon.

  • ARSENAL 13

    @rupert,

    You seem to be living in an ideal world. A world where there is no unemployment/war/crime/terrorist/drug trafficking/corruption/illiteracy…… Enjoy your perfect world and your perfect error prone referees.

    The conspiracy theorists here have put forward numerous amounts of data to support their claim. But the ‘so-called’ realists ignore it. The conspiracy theory remains so as long as there are no evidence supporting the claim. When there are evidence it becomes a possibility…..

    Why dont you provide some good data to support your claim. We’ll have a good look at it and may be we’ll change our opinion.

  • andy bishop

    I tend to agree. Millions become experts on referee decisions thanks to live TV, replays, analysis etc. The last person to know what really happened is the most important and that is the referee. I suspect the job of a modern day referee is too big for many and we have to scratch our heads as to why the most lucrative of sports has yet to embrace technology help for the officials. Liverpool were on the end of incorrect calls that seem to happen in every game as were we against Chelsea. Mason unlike Dean was consistent in that he had a blind eye to shirt pulling in the box with Skirtel as guilty as Kompany. Dean however showed a completely different interpretation of a foul depending upon the colour of the shirt. His was bias no doubt in my mind. I guess there are a similar band of Liverpool supporters now feasting on their own conspiracy theories.

  • bjtgooner

    I note our dysfunctional xenophobe has crawled out from the underworld once more, this time highlighting his name in caps – are there two of them? – hopefully not – to have two of them would be a more than excessive sufficiency.

  • Asif

    A great game…we needed to win this one…and yes I too got the feeling when Ramsey pulled out injured…i just felt darkness descending from all corners…but we are back to winning ways…let’s keep up the momentum.

    @bjtgooner – These underworld sewer rats have come out a little too early…and one is sucking up to the other…a little love blossoming here somewhere…

  • bob

    “Again all these conspiracy theorists can never explain why the whole world has it in for Arsenal even though I’ve asked them numerous times. Truth is they need their fantasies to excuse our failings each year.”
    Rupert,
    Refshite and overuse problems that (as with Giroud) can be rectified with another purchased striker exist simultaneously. It is not either/or. To deny the refshite in order to assert that there are personnel problems is being willfully blind; and to argue a lawyers brief. You are as one-sided in your presentation as are those who you claim are one-sided in their embrace of reshite “conspiracies”. Anyone (which is many) who assert (or act as if) there is only one problem (refshite or overuse/personnel) and not the other are mad (in both senses). Why not climb off your little self-righteous ledge and consider that the real world is not your legalistic paradise and try to hold two complementary thoughts in your same little (if articulate) cranium. Glad you found jax to be a new playmate in your oxfordshire pram, but you compulsive need to play the counterweight to your opposite number’s blindness still leaves you in this circumstance: the blind bleeding the blind. We have a championship prospect this very season. The way there is what matters. All who can see this can debate it. AW knows it’s possible. He has also, in his necessarily subtler way (to avoid suspension yet again), has been denouncing it (as post-Chelski, as with Dean, Atkinson and Taylor, etc). Rodgers just went (rightly) ballistic on the reshite-abbetted MansourCity-ites. Your attributing that to the dustbin of your willful incredulity is a willful wind-up game. It may have got you through childhood and oxford (assuming), but you could make a real contribution via a well-reasoned analysis if (all snobbery aside) you might embrace the reality that more than one thing happens at the same time. We can win da thing if we can simultaneously dilute the evident chronic Riley-ite refshite (at key moments/matches especially) with another quality striker (world class or not) and whatever else in the January window. As for those who await another “Do we really need another striker in January” broadside from Mr. Atwood, I’d say your as willfully blind and recklessly conservative in defending the overuse of Giroud (who is very good at what he does, but has a blunt edge when consistent clinicality at the goal mouth his called for). I’ll gain no friends (not my goal) with this posting; but the challenge, methinks, is to find common ground in contesting both forms of denialism: those (like you) who deny the refshite conspiracy (yes, conspiracy); and those who would cling to a defense that Giroud alone will suffice. Well, he may suffice in those minds, but those minds do not have the will or belief that one or multiple cups are in our grasp THIS very season, AND that we should pull out the stops (affordable stops), smash Maureen and Riley (and supporting bought-off cast of characters from The Dean, Webmeister, et. al.), that is, overcome the petro-boyz, and have us all a hard-won celebration. One for the ages. This can be done, this season, if we see with two eyes and slay two dragons.

  • Stuart

    Bob,
    Well said.
    The problem with Rupert Cook is that people reply to him when all he does is assume others are not aware of the fact we need to strengthen in certain positions based on their opinion on the refs as though apparently you are not allowed to believe the ref cost us the game and we need to strengthen. I believe it is important to look at all sides of an argument however his input is always only to criticise you based on his own assumption of you. Rupert Cook will only ever post for the sake of disagreeing – I imagine he has a roll of tissue paper next to his keyboard. If people don’t respond to him, he soon stops making these comments towards you – much as I will ignore his response to this comment and he will then go away.

  • bob

    “we have to scratch our heads as to why the most lucrative of sports has yet to embrace technology help for the officials.”
    andy bishop,
    We surely don’t have to scratch our heads to know why. There is demonstrable chronic bias toward a certain preferred outcome in certain powerful quarters (including PGMOL) of this would-be competition (aka the EPL). Only Rupert and knee-jerk conspiracy bashers (like is playmate jay) need to pretend it’s random and match-specific, whilst refusing the non-stop accumulating evidence that a pattern is a pattern. They are flat-earthers who do not see the direction of the curve just over the horizon line. As you suggest, there is a reason that our betters (or bettors) prefer to limit (after so much criticism) technology to (letting contracts for) their goal-line cameras. Like the mapmakers of old, they’d have us believe there are monsters lurking over the water’s edge. The monsters, however, are those who refuse the obvious truths that (their dreaded) technology-abetted replay will reveal. Embrace the technological fix of their broken game, will they? That’s the true battle line. And if it gets crossed, and they decide (like in many leagues) to allow a truly fair and open competition, many can still make money. Witness American football. Many teams have a genuine shot at a championship, from season to season, and that league is massively profitable. But that’s not good enough for this lot. They want the appearance of competition and the certainty that only a few will reap the most benefits from their enforced circus (business end of the season) ending. They are betting that (as in World Federation Wrestling) most fans will be return customers whatever they serve up. Well, they may be right. But, as you suggest, only pressure for a full video replay system will level that playing field.

  • bob

    p.s. A level playing field could be lucrative and produce a win/win situation. But that’s a genuine threat to a win situation. Imagine that, mate: win/win is a threat to win. Methinks that’s what we’re looking at.

  • bob

    Cheers, Stuart 🙂

  • andy bishop

    Respect to Bob..no one can criticise your passion. Clearly the bigger picture with all this is the introduction of technology to assist the officials in making fair and unbiased decisions.
    Cheats are prospering in the name of professionalism. Most referees I suspect have hardly kicked a ball in anger and get conned each week. Arsenal try to play football and very rarely do I see one of our players deliberately going over the top with a potential leg break tackle. Surely that is the way we want all our football to be played. Until we get replay technology nothing will change.

  • Mandy Dodd

    well put Bob, and yesI agree with you on Giroud – good player who has helped put us where we are, but is now in a position where he needs help, from within or from a new striker. seems Wenger does not trust all of his squad to rotate at the moment for whatever reason

  • Nelson Wong

    In previous year, Arsenal would have lost it or just getting a draw.

    No more.

    The team is very average “big teams” (although they aren’t rubbish), they basically chew up every smaller opponent regardless they play well or badly. That is a good foundation and reflect the effectiveness of the team.

    Bad news to lose Roisky and Ramsey but we have players effective as wingers (not midfielders floating into the wing position). They take up two spots so that left only two mid fielder spots to be covered by Ozil, Cazorla and Wilshere. That’s good enough. Flamini and Arteta cover the remaining but in case the really bad thing happen, Arteta can step up. No worry there.

    Cazorla is back to his peak. Walcott and Poldi look as if they were never off injured. They were the lethal combination last year. When these three are on fire, it is not such a major issue even if Giroud misses a few goals.

    With an improved Giroud in the middle, we can expect a lot from them. They also have Ozil and a improved Ramsey behind them.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Rupert said:
    ““Again all these conspiracy theorists can never explain why the whole world has it in for Arsenal even though I’ve asked them numerous times. Truth is they need their fantasies to excuse our failings each year”

    I can imagine that is what the fans of the teams involved in calciopoli have been saying for years before it all came out thanks to the undercover work of the police in Italy. Remember it took two attempts to bring it above water. One in Turin failed. It had to be taken on by another magistrate in another part of Italy before they found the truth. Maybe because Juventus was involved heavily it didn’t work in the Turin court?
    Just imagine Rupert you get an officer who would give his life for his Manchester club getting something suspicious on his desk…. will he sacrifice his beloved club? Conspiracy theorist theory? Yep, but funny that the Turin magistrates didn’t make the maximum of it in the first place…didn’t they. But I think you will come up with the excuse that those are Italians. English are different… blah blah

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Five Funny Reasons to Become a Soccer Referee…

    You love football, but can’t quite understand the rules.

    You have the strange desire to run aimlessly around in the wind, rain, hail and snow.

    You love the sound of verbal abuse.

    You find it hard to make decisions, and whenever you do, you’re always wrong.

    You enjoy changing your clothes in cattle sheds.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Fuck, you have seen me through Brickfields… LOL 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • bob

    “When these three are on fire, it is not such a major issue even if Giroud misses a few goals. With an improved Giroud in the middle, we can expect a lot from them. They also have Ozil and a improved Ramsey behind them.”
    Nelson Wong,
    For championship level achievement, Giroud’s issues (leggy, tired, overused, not clinical enough though good) are still issues. What you excuse as “not such a major issue” is issue enough when you are competing against the best. As you know, small margins (like a spate of near-misses) will kill us in the end. If, by this, you are saying we don’t need another quality striker (are you?) in January, I think you’re countenancing a reckless or penny-pinching policy, when championship wins in multiple competitions are on tap.

  • Double canister

    It is Highly likely Liverpool could have got a point or even more against City if the flag stayed down.

  • Rupert Cook

    @Arsenal13, I don’t think my post mentioned no unemployment, corruption, war etc. so I’m not sure how you conclude all that from my post. I still have no reasonable answer from anyone on here why Arsenal would be hated by every ref in the world. You seem to think that data provided by those on here is somehow proof but it’s unverified by an independent body. All these statistics that Walter and co. provide could be made up for all you or I know.

    @Bob, I know you love to dip into the dictionary and somehow relish languishing in a mud of verbosity as if it somehow bolsters your argument but among all your verbiage you still haven’t explained why the refs have it in for Arsenal. You’re steeped in your intelligence so I imagine you’re bright enough to accept that the reason we’ve won nothing for years is down to having an insufficient squad. I’m also amazed considering how questioning you are that you just readily accept Walter’s ref’s findings as fact. What proof is there that all these ref’s statistics are true?

    Poor officiating is rife in the league, it seems to be visited upon most, if not all, teams. So yes it’s a problem but not peculiar to Arsenal.

    @Walter, yes Italy is rife with corruption as you well know. England may not be perfect but we’ve never had such endemic corruption in every strand of our society. Again you haven’t told me why the world has got it in for Arsenal. This you consistently ignore because you can’t answer it. Go on answer it.

  • Stuart

    Before Walter answers anything Rupert Cook, please make it clear to him why he should. He has collected data not carried out an investigation!

    This is further evidence to my earlier comment about how ridiculous you are. Walter – ignore him and he will eventually go away.

  • bob

    Rupert,
    Now don’t go all anti-intellectual on me, ‘kay?
    Listen up: You slate me for being narcissistic and self-involved; well, fair enough, but probably no more than the average bloke is. (I mean we’re all self-selecting to post here, no?) But truth is, I really do love word-play; and as I think you’re a bit yourself, well, self-inflating in your tone and judgments, I’ve been inspired to reply in kind. I can stop this with you; and, tbh, I haven’t looked at a dictionary in 20 years, awright mate? There’s nothing special about word-play – it’s just a passion. (Also, have you missed my agreement with you on Giroud? Being obsessed as you are with undermining my support for Walter’s long-standing, accumlated evidence/case against The Refshite.)

    But, more important, as for the Why’s of the anti-Arsene/ Arsenal animus, I do think there are answers, my answers to me and to you: I’ve posted hereabouts (on several occasions) links to two interviews that he did a few years back. These defined a position and an ideology, which went totally at odds with the zillionaire model of winning the league; including far greater equalization among all the teams of the spoils of commercial media rights, etc. It was a broadside against the ways of the petro-boyz and murdochs; and right in their own newspapers. He waltzed into the lion’s den and gave their two reporters- one at the Times of London and I can’t recall the other one now, in this moment. One of us should try to find these links.

    And if you care a fig about my honest answer, then that’s where AW publicly and artfully denounced their model. He tripped their wires. And if I can find them links in a few days time (or soon, when I can make the time), I’ll post them and you can judge for yourself. My views, like anyone’s have reasons; and I won’t give you the luxury of assuming they’re groundless.

  • bob

    p.s. and yes, the squad has not been sufficient AND they have had it in for us. You won’t accept that BOTH are true; so you endlessly harp on the former alone whilst slobbering all over the case for refshite. (Which is now possibly all made up, you insinuate?)

  • bob

    We have had this WHY there really IS an anti-AFC/AW animus at great length at several times over the last 2-3 years (and probably well before). Surely there are links to find (and you’re invited to look, not just to make demands) instead of the long-long rehash that you will be calling for Rupert. There were 1-3 people taking your dismissive position over this time; and it generated hundreds of postings. For my part, I’ll pop a few links your way (if I can properly navigate the UA archives) and be done with it in answer. Why don’t you give it a try as well.

  • bob

    Ruppie,
    One of them was called Dark Prince as I recall, so look for him and you’ll find endless argument and counter-argument on WHY the have it in for us. (You’re not Dark Prince, now, are you?)

  • ARSENAL 13

    Rupert,

    Data presented are collected by Walter and co from different sources which are not indebted to Untold. Hence we can conclude that the source is/are independent. And we have a sister website which has referees (not all of them are ARSENAL fans) looking into games (as many as possible). There is a pool of info available. And you choose to ignore it.

    The data not being presented by an independent source is a lame argument. I wonder why you look at the where the data is coming from, when the data provided by them is as unbiased as it can be…..