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Just how corrupt would you like refs to be? Birmingham v Arsenal revisisted

By Walter Broeckx

This week Howard Webb has taken away the last doubts. He will be the English ref that will go to the World cup in South Africa. This week he has done everything to deserve this but before I go to details I will tell you how FAs over the world hand the tickets to the refs to go to the World Cup.



How the teams qualify is easy to see. The one with the most points at the end can go to the world cup. But how do you give points to the ref ? That is a bit difficult. You might still be a bit naive and think that the FA gives this place to the ref that does it the best on the field and has the best performances. Every ref will tell you that a ref who give the least controversy would be the ref that has followed the rules the best. But we refs also know that this is not the way the FA works.

No the appointment of the ref is based on other criteria. Criteria that are talked upon in dark backrooms. It is based upon personal friendships, personal relations and other things that most of us do not realise. To get your plane ticket to South Africa you have to be in the good books of the big guns in the FA.

Who are those big and influential people in the FA ? Do you really think Wenger is one of them ? No, those big and influential people are managers who for some reason do seem to have a big influence and when they speak out the FA follows them some 99 of the 100 times. The first name that springs to my mind… yes Sir FA. All this is going on behind the scenes as you can imagine. No one is coming in the open with those kind of things. But I know how it works in my country and it is like I tell you.

So the battle between the refs has been going on for some while now. For a ref it is vital to know where your allies can be found. So when Webb at April 25 last year, is the ref of the game MIOU- Tottenham and Tottenham are 2-0 in front you have to do something to make the big person on the touchline a happy man. So when the Tottenham keepers comes out and punches the ball away from the MIOU striker you give a penalty for the big man at the touchline. And because of this injustice the Tottenham players lose their head and get so annoyed they lose the game at the end.  Oh yes, I hated to bring this up you can be sure of this. Just to show you that even I can see when things are wrong and when Tottenham is on the receiving end of an injustice.

This is one way of helping the persons who could have a say in who will go to South Africa. The direct help line was also evident last week. When Liverpool were 1-0 up he came to the rescue once again. When a foul was outside the area he gives it inside and gives a penalty. When later a MIOU player kicks a Liverpool player after the ball is long gone, you don’t give the obvious red card, no you just give two players a lecture and give nothing, not even a yellow card. When Neville jumps with his 2 feet some 1,80m high right into a Liverpool player you wave play on. It doesn’t matter that he caught the Liverpool player at the back of his head. So once again you have done a great job in helping the big man.

But you can also help him when you do other games. So when I saw Webb as a ref at Birmingham I immediately told my son that we would be in trouble. And it proved so. The helping was obvious. I can hear the instructions from Sir FA. Try to give them as many early yellow cards as possible as this could hold them back in the game and they could even get banned in a few weeks time. So Webb did just that. He gave Song a yellow card for his first foul and also Clichy got a booking for being on the field. Must say the worst offence you can make as an Arsenal player.

The help was also rather clear in another way. If a Birmingham player goes down, it is always a foul. Even if there is no one around, just give the foul and if possible a yellow card. On the other hand Arsenal players are never fouled. No, only when they can show a broken leg or so, than you can give a foul. But you have to be sure the leg really is broken.

So once again it was frustrating to see how the ref let go a lot of things from Birmingham and he only gave a foul when it was so clear and obvious even a blind man would see how biased he was doing his job. After the two yellow cards against Arsenal I saw some very rough tackles like from Carr on Rosicky who was first held by the shirt and then kicked to the ground because Rosicky tried to stay on his feet. Holding the shirt is a yellow, than kicking him with the ball a few meters out is also a yellow but Webb did nothing.

Or when we were 1-0 up and Arshavin was going on goal with only Hart to beat with a lob. Hart was in no man’s land. And just when Arshavin tried to shoot he was pulled over by Carr. You know the guy that should have had a yellow for the foul on Rosicky. In fact as the pundits told us last week denying a clear cut chance is a red card. Webb chose the easy way and just gave a yellow card. Birmingham kept with 11 players on the field and got the lucky break.



Another thing about the Birmingham equaliser. When the ball was played in the ball went to a Birmingham player who was in an offside position. The linesman did not lift his arm for offside and I can agree with him. BUT on the other side of the field we had a free kick and Bendtner was offside but some 4 meters before the ball would reach Bendtner a Birmingham defender headed it in to a corner. But this the time the assistant did lift his arm and gave the positional offside decision. My only question is: is this assistant also going to South Africa or has he just earned his place today ?

So I think that Sir FA will be happy man tonight. Webb has done everything right to prevent us from playing our football. And with his performances the last weekend and this week, and the previous years,  he knows he has his place in South Africa “really deserved” by making the right persons happy.

But remember, like Graham Poll made English referees really look stupid at the last world cup, it could well be that Webb does the trick again when he has to face a real game at the world cup. But then again, the way the refs are given games in the world cup is the same way but with other big and influential persons in high places who you have to keep happy.

———————

Special Feature: Arsenal Worldwide

Two of our regular readers and contributors from outside of England are working on a project to bring together all the overseas supporters of Arsenal, to share their support and their experiences of following Arsenal from afar.   To find out more click here.

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63 comments to Just how corrupt would you like refs to be? Birmingham v Arsenal revisisted

  • Kenneth T

    I’ve never thought about it like that, but it all rings horribly true. But doesn’t that mean we’ve been playing in a sham league all this while? For two decades at least?

  • Paul

    I feel really frustrated by the premier league right now. I see now why some people just to follow la liga and the champs league even though we face crooked officials there, seeing it so frequently makes it worse. Officially about to write off the premiership. This is not a competition.

  • Rhys Jaggar

    Wenger left France due to endemic corruption in the 1990s.

    Are you saying that he may be forced out from England due to likewise??

    I hope he wasn’t nobbled before yesterday’s game.

  • I think there is a shake-up on the way, and when it happens, we are going to come out very much on top. I just keep reading that list of Golden Players who are about to break though http://blog.emiratesstadium.info/arsenals-amazing-30-the-golden-youth-system/ and realising just how amazng our current situation is.

  • walter

    To go up in the ranks in football as a ref you have to be a good ref. That is the first thing you have to do.
    But to go higher than comes the tricky bit. To go into professional football as a ref you have to know someone (or more) who is going to push you in the back. And as a ref you know who those persons are and you know you have to keep this in mind for the rest of your career as a ref. For some it are relatives but also people related to some clubs who can help you on the road.

    And to stay in the very top you have to keep the top persons involved in football as a friend. Mess up with those persons and you will go down again.

    So those people on the top have you in their grip and can tell you what to do and even how to do it.

    At the beginning of the season yoy have the best games from most of the refs as the lobbying is only beginning when the top persons really can see which team is going to be dangerous for you.

    This is just how it works behind the scenes and it is disgusting to see it happen in front of your eyes. Most of us can see or feel that there is something wrong with the ref but I can see how he goes at work in a game and you can be sure that I can see it when I see it. I scream at my tv but it won’t change things.
    The top people get it their way as they have the power over the refs.

  • hartwick89

    Tony…

    What is the shake up? The financials or corruption; both?

  • somali gunner

    hey tony or walter
    did you notice how webb fought when the we got our goal and were likely to win he started giving card when they did nt matter while we had 3 player on tight ropes there team were playing like it was a old firm game,finally there goal was offside because the pass was intended for chucho then mcfadden handled it and almunia i understand what he was trying to do get the ball over his goal but it went wrong.
    (when bendtner was nowhere near the ball but offside and a brum player headed it over his own goal for corner it was no corner but nikki b offside huh.am i right or not about that ?)

  • walter

    Every time the last seasons when we came close suddenly there was some strange decisions by many refs that went against us.
    Since the moment we came back in the title race we had the following decisions:
    – Offside agains Hull not seen and resulting in a penalty (was not even a foul but lets ignore this as it could be seen as a foul from the refs point of view)
    – Vermaelen gets red and a penalty against for making contact with the bal after both players touching each other but he did not make any movement that could have caused the West Ham player to fall. And he gets a ban.
    – yesterday : 2 early yellow cards for almost nothing if you see how the Birmingham players went to business without yellow cards. I think the instruction must be to get Song his 15th yellow card as soon as possible so he will be banned for the rest of the season. Watch the next games to see if they take this route.

    2 seasons ago it was the same thing but as I didn’t know this blog by then I did not write about it but the “mistakes” made by the ref since the Birmingham game then was so outrageous it still makes me mad.

  • Rhys Jaggar

    An article, perhaps, on Mike Dean, Walter? He of the awarding 16 pens in 24 games this season, including, by all accounts, an absolutely disgraceful one today designed to consign Burnley to relegation……

  • JohnW

    Just what I thought yesterday. And you know what? Should Chelski and ManUre draw next weekend and we get to win our game, the gap at the top will have been reduced to two points again. Who knows whether the ref won’t decide the Spurs or Man City game in favour of ManUre?
    Do you remember the game against Birmingham in 2008, after the game Wenger said some thing to the effect that ‘we are not stupid…..’. The insinuation was that an certain Howard Webb might have influenced the game for another team (ManUre). I remember how the English press defended Webb, that he’s a cop and therefore above such things blah. blah… But I believe the fact that we don’t have many English players in our squad coupled with Sir A. Ferguson’s influence on the FA and refs gives the PL an unfair competition.

  • venky

    I agree without a speck of doubt.Webb’s refreeing was simply cheating.Ferguson is a cheat, infact three of their titles of this decade should have been ours. Deep down in his heart he knows that he doesn’t deserve his knighthood itself. All this talk about him critising refrees about their fitness and all is just a smokescreen.

  • stan

    Hi Walter,

    Everything you write is possibly true, but there’s little if anything we can do about it. This however doesn’t change the facts that again Walcott was rubbish and Almunia cost us very hard earned points again.
    I do not understand the admiration that many gooners have for Walcott (even if he is Brittish), in my opinion he’s a spoiled kid, well overpaid for what he brings to the team.
    Just my opinion.
    Stan from Thailand.

  • timothy

    im sorry but we cant go on blaming refs. i have to admit rosicky shoved carr when the ball was out and he got away with it. phillips wasnt offside it was another person and you could say he was interfering with play but that would be harsh on them. also, we could blame almunia, seeming it was his fault he just palmed the ball into the air aimlessly. and yes bendtner was no way near the ball, but had he not been there, the defender would have let it go for a goal kick. i hate refs just as much as anyone else, but we have to blame ourselves as we lost out on 2 points and it was us who were so useless not to deal with a typical long ball. we need to sign a big, strong defender in the summer who can control the box and deal with high balls, the likes of mertesacker or subotic.

  • walter

    We all can remember one game when the 4th official gave the extra time and as MIOU was not winning Sir FA went to the 4th official who changed the board and in that extra extra time MIOU scored a goal.
    This was clear evidence that the refs are affraid of him. Why ? Just read the article once again I would say.

    All the signs are there you just have to know what to look for.

  • Rhys Jaggar

    From the BBC website:

    ‘1336: Jason Brown handles the ball outside the Blackburn area as David Nugent chases a through ball, but hopeless referee Mike Dean and his equally shambolic assistants do not see it between them. It’s starting to get frightening.’

    Nuff said.

  • hartwick89

    I think the obvious is conspiratorial….

    My only issue is we(Arsenal players) need to become more Sol like. What’s that mean?

    If I have a target on my back as sson as I get challenged unfairly just once I am in Webb’s face! I am in his face as disrespectfully as the challenge that came in! As well a swarm of Arsenal players should do the same! And, they should follow as a swarm in that players face! And, if it results in a brawl like Chelsea 07 Carling Cup so be it!

    These players need to show the corrupt English FA, etc… This is it! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mRtQwyAbZ8&feature=related

  • tim

    Transparency is all I ask for. How and why refs get chosen, why they make certain decisions, etc. — these need to be explained.

    The fact that Webb got no slack from anyone after last week’s debacle at OT, and then got yesterday’s game; how Arsenal get yellow cards for breathing on opposing players while MU almost always get penalty kicks awarded to them from when they are trailing — this all stinks worse than a brothel at high tide.

    I’m sick of this shit.

  • Ogoh chidozie

    Mr Tony,u hav said it all.bt we GUNNERS down here In nigeria knows dat the english refs are biasd,especialy when it concerns those clubs that dnt contribute generously cum illegaly to the F.A purse. I was wit my Mum yday when i saw WEBB,as d official of my match,i couldnt help cryin and i cal on GOD 2 help out by given us a win or at most a draw.what would v hapen if we v loosd d match its unimaginary.bt we shd try and keep our hous in other cos our adage says dat he who his house is on fire need nt go afta rat.meanin dat we ned a STRIKER&A KEEPER and pls betner ned 2 go bak 2 loan 2 any where cos i wnt mis hm at al.thanks mr tony

  • Rhys Jaggar

    Walter, go take a look at Nemanja IOU assaulting a Bolton player yesterday and comparing it to Thomas last week against Bolton.

    What is a sending off and what is a coming together of bodies??

    You’re the ref. You tell me.

  • Consolsbob

    Walter, aren’t referrees assessed?

    Surley someone somewhere picks up on the all too frequest and obvious examples of poor referring? Never mind cheats like Webb, just look at Dean’s peformance today.

  • walter

    The biggest problem about the refs is that those top refs are living in the “system”.
    It is almost like a mafia system. They all know how they got there and they are pushed in the back and have to pay back.
    No one can speak out because it will mean the end of his career.
    So it is like the omerta from the sicillian mafia. I’m not saying you will be killed if you would dare to speak out but you will lose your ref badge in an instant.

    So they will keep their mouth shut.

    Remember the Italy scandal where it was proven by recording telephone calls that a certain club was “buying” refs to get the titles ? They just gave them instructions about how the result should be.

    This is the kind of system I described in my article and this is the way it works in my country. And this is the kind of system that I see in the EPL but must say I can not prove it. You have to do it in the same way as they did in Italy by listening to phone calls from the people who are involved.

  • hartwick89

    At risk might be the yellow and red cards that follow. But I would stick a boot so far up Carr, Garner, & Boyle, Ridgwell’s ass and I would tell them that right before the game…. And who ever feels Wenger stirred the pot prior to please…. Face cowards head on and they will back down!

  • walter

    Consolbob, yes referees are assesed.
    By who ? Take a guess ?
    Yes, by people from the FA and the referee committee (so it is called in my country) and who is sitting in that committee ? Need another guess ? yes by people who have been put there by the clubs. All kind of things like : “If you let that go, I will let this go” and alliances formed behing closed doors and other stuff.

    I don’t know how the situation is in England but in my country you have be a member of a team or else you can not be a referee. Now the rules say that you can not do a game from that team. But why on earth does a ref have to be a member of a team. The refs in my country also have regional organisations and they have said it many times to the FA that it would be better for the refs to only become members of the regional ref clubs and not of the football clubs.

    I try to give you an example. As I am a ref I am a member of club A. And club A gives me every year a few things like vouchers to buy ref clothes and so. They don’t pay me but they do help you in one way.
    So let’s say that club A, my club who I don’t get, is mixed in a promotion or relegation battle with clubs B. And then I get club B and the person from club A phones me and tells me : well it would be great if club B loses that game and if we go down we will not have enough money and we have to cut the budget and maybe we will not be able to give you your yearly voucher anymore but if we would stay or go up we would have extra money and who knows we even might give you a second voucher next year.

    And then as a ref you come to game from club B,who don’t know about this, and then you have 2 options : help club A, your club and an extra voucher, or just do your game without thinking about club A.

    Now you will say: how many refs would do this for an extra voucher. I know there are.
    But then you have to take a look at the difference of intrests between the local village team and the big EPL clubs. In my example we are talking about 50 £ but in the EPL we are talking about millions of pounds and you can imagine that the could offer you a bit more than an extra voucher.
    They could offer you a ticket to the World Cup as a ref and for the ref this means big, big money. You would be surprised to hear how much money a ref gets at the world cup.

    Hope I made my point a bit clear. It really is a disgusting system when I think of it.

    Got to stop now before I might consider writin my letter of resignation to the Fa. Well maybe one of these days they will kick me out for bringing the game in discredit. LOL. 🙂

  • walter

    Rhys, I did an article on Dean early in the season afther the game MIOU-Arsenal. I think it is still in the archives, will be late August I think.
    Must say I was rather pleased with the article at the time and the readers also.

  • Consolsbob

    If what you describe is what is going on here then football is finished really. Not much better than WWF.

    Bloody awful, sad and disgusting.

  • GoonerGaz

    We are all aware of the state of refereing in the league and of the need for certain teams to win trophys.Does anyone with a brain think that if we had autobots as refs and the decisions made were correct and not influenced MIOU would be where they are now.The hard bit is not feeling dejected when we do not get fair officials.The Diaby goal would definately have stood if any team had done that to us.Other than Arshavin and Almunia we did alright though,in fact Diaby,Rosicky,Song and Nasri were top drawer.Enjoy the football,try not to get discouraged when we get ripped off but most off all be proud to support a club that stands for everything that is good in the game.Amen

  • hartwick89

    Why doesn’t Arsenal start their own referee school? Start them young…. We know it will be honest, fair,
    and upright.

    Wenger can get mostly French yute’s.

    He can call it The Webb scool of refereeing for the Hislgne AF (stands for the backwards English FA).

    The slogan can be “This school is dedicated to the unique playing styles of Shawcross, Taylor, Smith, and now Garner… (These are all good boys who have no intent for any maliciousness).”

    The opening cermonies could be held at Old Trafford with SAF as the “ceromony at arms”.

    And, Webb, Dean(in charge of Birmingham game where Eduardo was mauled), Gallagher (in charge of Sunderland match w/ Diaby injury), Walton (in charge of Ramsay injury) can all be laughed at and celebrated for their good works as refs.

  • hartwick89

    Here is a news bulletin….

    How is Almunia to blame for the goal?

    He made a reflex save which was actually brilliant from an offside…

    Originally from a mis-timed clearance…

    From a missed header…

    From an un-challenged free kick…..

    From a stupid foul committed by Arshavin w/ 92:10…

    Why don’t you get in goal and you make the difference?

  • walter

    Consolbob, I have started refereeing at a later age and never had the ambition that young referees have. So climbing up was not my main priority. It was just to keep myself fit and to keep in touch with football as much as I can. And also maybe a personal agenda in keeping the game fair and to fight hard against wild tackles that had ended my own (little) footbal career.
    After my first year they offered me to go for a promotion to the first team level (at low local village level) but as I am a father with 4 children, a job, was building a house in those days I was not that interested and told them I was happy with the games I was doing. Also taken in account my age I was not really desperate.
    But I went to the weekly training our local referee association gives and there I met refs from starters to refs and assistants in the highest league in my country.
    As I am a good listener and, a thing I have noticed before and in other things in live, people seem to trust me for some reason and say things to me they maybe better should not say. But as I do not want to brake their trust I keep my mouth shut for them. But I have been able to see how the system works, and I am smart enough to see some bloodlines that keep on running in the referee world.

    And it really is disgusting at times and I really am happy that I’m not part of that system, but would have been if I would have said yes at one moment in time.

  • Pat

    Good call Walter. The EPL is just plain shocking now.

  • even here in nigeria we see all these things, and i am resigned to the fact that if i do not beat a team 11-0 i can not win a game especiaally if i am in contention for the title. everytime i see webb and dean b4 a game, i am already resigned to the fact that the best i can get out of d game is a draw. i am now only praying and fasting as i have come to realise that in most games Arsenal plays against 15 men.

  • jbh

    Yes AW is not stupid and he’s seen it before in France (corruption/bias) so it may be one reason he hasn’t committed yet to an extension of his contract after next season. He walked away from it before and may do so again sorry to say.
    His difficulty will be to keep the players fully focused and motivated because once you know things are fixed its very difficult to not throw in the towel. Add in the lack of protection of players and things will get even worse.
    Of course the EPL would be much worse for it, then the stupid pundits can wax lyrical about the wonderful football of the McLeish’s, Alardyce’s and Browns of this world.

  • Sean

    So you think Arsenal (and the rest of the Bore Four) get fewer decisions their way than Burnley, Hull City, Stoke City and Wolves.
    Get over yerself!!!!!!!

    Like it or lump it but Mick McCarthy et al smell a weakness in this Arsenal side that I don’t think they suspect in Chelsea or Man. Utd.

    I couldn’t tell you how Man. Utd. or Chelsea got on at Hull, Stoke or Wolves this season but I know all Arsenal’s results at those grounds.
    Everything appears to be ‘an issue’ and this will determine how much (possible), or how little (probable), Arsenal win this season.

  • Greg

    Its been interseting reading all these blogs, I believe the point Walters article makes is undoubtably true as this is common in modern life. As for Arsenal to win things they have always had to be more than just the best team to pick up trophies.
    I`m suprised none of you have mentioned ‘pizza gate’ when we were looking to make it 50 games unbeaten, I don`t think I`ve seen a game more obviously ‘fixed’ by a referee. Ferdinand fouling Ljundberg for a text book sending off, and of course Rooneys dive for the penalty being the most gauling of Mike Rileys decisions. Then of course the media talk about someone throwing pizza, because this is far more serious than the obvious match fixing going on.
    Basically Arsenal were far too good and needed bringing down a peg or two, job done there.
    I have never got over that and unfortuantely neither have our beloved gooners

  • walter

    I think we won at Hull, Stoke and Wolves, Sean.
    And at Birmingham we, Chelsea and MU all drawn the game. In fact we came closest to winning the game. Just one unlucky bounce and a clearance that hit a forwards head and went in was the only way Birmingham made a goal.

    So in fact we do rather good against the kicking teams. The only thing is that we even we get results against those teams we don’t close our eyes to the madness and the way the refs are trying to prevent our playing style.
    And the fact that we just don’t like kicking teams or refs that tend to see only with one eye.

  • walter

    And I certainly don’t like a ref who invents a foul after let play continue for several seconds and when he sees that our playing has a shooting chance on goal suddenly blows a whistle and gives a foul. If Webb really found it a foul he should have blown his whistle immediatly and not wait for seconds and saw the goal coming and then blow.
    That’s the thing we don’t like.

  • Zack

    How corrupt do you think the FA is then?

    Here’s what Fletcher had the cheek to admit back in Feb.

    Fletcher: Own Goals No Fluke (http://www.htvsports.com/run/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=540:united-second-top-scorer-isown-goals&catid=35:main-news)

    Adding Bolton’s own goal, that’s ELEVEN this season. United’s 2nd highest source of goals behind Rooney. United really do have a helping hand don’t they…?

  • jeff

    I would love to believe otherwise, but I fear the beginning of the end of any silverware hopes this season- again! We know that United and Chelsea drew at Birmingham as well, but to keep the pressure up we needed a win. With such a superior goal difference, we are effectively five and four points behind United and Chelsea and although neither have been brilliant all season, we cannot seriously expect both to lose this number of points in the next six games. What is also a worry is how this body blow affects us on Wednesday- any opposition goal and our fragile confidence could evaporate. Given that Wenger quite rightly indicated that the next match was the most important and not to prioritise, why in the name of God did he tinker with his line up yet again, in a must- win match? One would have thought that the lessons of Aliadiere for Henry scuppering our treble hopes in 2004 and the imbecilic dropping of Song and Arshavin in the FA Cup semi-final to Chelsea would have told him not to meddle. But no, he starts with Walcott and Rosicky, who have no form at present and we lose the midfield initiative. This was utter, stupid madness- was he saving Arshavin and Nasri for Wednesday, which contradicted his earlier suggestion? We then had the ridiculous attempt by Almunia to suggest he is a goalkeeper, even of Championship standard. This clown has been a blight on our squad for around 5 years- no number of penalty saves will make up for his constant indecision, his hopeless positioning, his lack of penalty box command, his failure at free kicks and corners and the perennial howlers in big games. I hope he is told to go forth and multiply very soon. I have been consistent in my criticism of Wenger ever since Vieira left and as we come to the business end of the season, I fear the worst. We consistently fail to win the games that matter with him man at the helm-please go.

  • jeff

    I really dint understand your post walter, you seem to blame everyone but wenger. What a joke – feels like baaaa coming from your corner. I am in no doubt the Wenger Glee Club members will make excuse after excuse and blame everyone else they can other than their hero. The more Wenger complains about tackles the more he encourages them. His childish behaviour at his press conference last Thursday when he refused to forget about Martin Taylor’s tackle and he made a point about not forgiving the player merely fueled Birmingham’s determination to get stuck in. Wenger throws his toys out of the pram over a tackle by Craig Gardner on Cesc, well it wasn’t even a foul, it was a perfectly good tackle. Nasri and Arshavin were on the bench why not take Cesc off. Wenger once again messed up with his team selection, then after the game his embarrassing behaviour piled more pressure onto the club. When will he learn, and I’m not even going to go over old ground again regarding how poor Almunia is. No once again we win nothing and there is only one person to blame. It’s time the Glee Club stopped making excuses for him, stop attacking posters who have sussed him out, stop blaming everyone else, stop making excuses, it was in our hands and this egomaniac blew it, and not for the first time. Remember Glee Club what the L stands for in Glee – Loser and that’s what Wenger has become and it isn’t going to change.

  • Sam

    Watching last night’s game & the ref decisions, I thought EPL is becoming more & more like WWE!

  • walter

    Zack, that really is amazing and something I did not know about.

    I must say that the owngoal from Bolton yesterday was…. well… never seen anything like that before. It was the most shocking own goal I have seen in my live. There was no real pressure, he could have kicked it a dozen directions and he finishes with a shot that a striker could not have don better. It would be interesting to see at that player from Bolton. Has he any links with MIOU ?

    Oh and the elbow from Vidic against Elmander was shocking and the ref… well he didn’t see it… surprise…

    And what to think of the missed kick from James against Chelsea this week ? Was he in need of some money ? Hard words maybe but the way these clubs behave on the financial front it just shows they have no high moral values in doing their bussines. I have heard enough story’s on footballers that hat done those things for some cash.

  • Bradys right foot

    One thing I would say I’am 100% certain when Webb or Steve Bennett referee our games that we will get absolutely nothing and have never been proved wrong. In these games we are up against a 12th man and it really gives me no satisfaction in saying that. Riley simply gives everything to Man utd regardless of who they play he is an incredibly week referee who lost his visage of professional respect and authority when he allowed himself to be bullied by the ever lovable Ashley Cole. Graham Polls recent admission of how he referred differently at Old Trafford was simply confirmation of the bias and double standards applied every week in the EPL. I find it statistically very interesting that given we probably have the ball in the opposition penalty area more than any other team we simply don’t get penalties, how many have we had so far in the league 2 or 3.

  • hartwick89

    @Jeff

    And that’s what your white tape is for…..

  • tim

    What makes me even more sick is how Alex McLeish and Birmingham have become the darlings of the media.

    Take this for example:

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/football/premier_league/article7079456.ece

    Despicable corrupt scum.

    The biggest danger we face is that AW will pack up and leave before our Golden Generation sees its fruition.

    There are so many people waiting for him to fail, and even when the team performs well, almost every compliment is a backhanded one. Fucking disgrace.

  • tim

    McLeish: “Craig is a strong, tough player. I see guys like Lee Cattermole [of Sunderland] making similar tackles, that’s the British game.”

    The racist is making it a “We” versus “them” issue. Despicable. And Sir Fuck-off, Webb, and his minions in the FA are all loving it.

    Craig Gardner is a dirty scum who is either incompetent in his tackling or very corrupt.

  • Francis

    Well said Tony!!! i’ve been watching the premiership since its inception and i have concluded with a few friends that it is designed for Man Utd to be winner most of the time. Since the departure of David Dein i knew it would be double hard for arsenal to win anything.

    Teams, managers have openly and sometimes surreptiuosly ganged up against the likes of arsenal. The refs have also played their part in this ‘system’. Refs Mariner, Dean, Wiley (whne he was in the game), to a lesser extent Bennet have all given arsenal a raw deal.

    Thanks for corroborating what i have witnessed and suspected all these years.

  • desigooner

    I was at the game and had to sit amongst Brummies, as I do not have enough points. What was most shocking was the chants of the home fans including the one’ there is only one Martin Taylor’ And he does not even play for them anymore!

  • lp

    nice post walter.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Good post Walter ,the going is getting tougher but all is not lost.We stumbled ,but did not fall.This weekend games especially ManUre and Chelski
    will stir the pot again but we have to keep fighting for the points and hope one or the other drop them.
    Keep the faith lads ,and get behind the team.Come on you Gunners !

  • walter

    Jeff, can you explain me why the tackle on Cesc was a “great” one (MOTD) or not a foul ?

    I try to explain you why it was a foul. Gardner plays the ball with his right foot and until that moment there is no foul. BUT after the ball is gone (Gardner knows the ball is gone as it is him who kicked it away) he kicks Cesc with his other foot under the knee.
    Now to most people who watch football and think they know the rules they see Garnder kicking the ball and say : he played the ball so no foul. But if you after you have played the ball kick another player with the leg that has not played the ball it is a foul. If it would have been the right leg from Gardner you could have said : it was because of the natural movement when kicking the ball that caused him to touch Cesc. But it was with his other leg/foot that he kicked against Cesc and this leg/foot had nothing to do with kicking the ball and he should have taken care that he not would have touched him. He stuck out his left leg to make contact and so it is a foul and Webb should have punished him.

    But it is not that simple. Let me give you an example. The ball is coming to your head. I jump up and kick the ball away just before you try to head it and unfortunatly after I have kicked the ball I hit you in the face with my other foot flying 1,80 high. According to the simplicity of some people, maybe like you, one could say : played the ball, no foul.

    Left alone the fact that this is dangerous play just to show you that the simple fact ‘he played the ball, no foul’ is not correct.

    Let me give you another example you see a lot. You have the ball and I jump with 2 feet in to you and you jump up to save you legs from being broken. And because you jump up I manage to play the ball. Most refs in the EPL don’t give a foul for that. Also maybe according to the wrong thought: he played the ball, no foul. But in this example it is always a foul even if you don’t touch the player (because he jumped up to save himself) and even if you played the ball.

    When I hear the rubbish sometimes about what is allowed and what not, I really think sometimes that they should only let people in the ground that have followed the course for becoming a ref and have done an exam with succes.

    Sorry for the length of my reply, but I really could be going on about this for ages.

  • walter

    Jeff, can I ask you in which place we stand in the table ? Third from bottom ?
    Can I ask you where the pundits predicted us to be at the start of the season ?
    Can I ask you where you think we would have been at the start of the season as we clearly seem to have an incompetent manager ?

    About the press conference I haven’t seen this one yet but all the press conferences I have seen is that reporters ask questions and the managers answers. And as Wenger is a well educated man he mostly answers the questions. You could argue and maybe I would say to those reporters more frequently : “get lost you imbeciles with your stupid questions” but Wenger is to much a gentleman to say this and so he gives his opinion.

    If we are where we are now, and no one you included – apart from some losers like me, would have thought that we would be in this position than this is the work of that man that you think has lost it.

    By the way : have you read that both Arshavin and Nasri had little problems with injury’s ? So please inform yourself before you ask questions that have being answered on saturday if you would have paid attention.

  • Rinseout

    Have any of you guys seen this?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/europe/8589872.stm

    Article on how clubs are run in Germany. Preaching to the converted a little bit 🙂

  • walter

    If these rules would be applied all over the world in football this would be great. I’m talking about the link Rinseout gave.

  • goonergerry

    What seems to be shocking in English football- the so called national game is the lack of any consistent understanding by referees over what is a foul, what is a serious foul, what is a dangerous foul and what is a penalty. In England players like Song on Saturday are being booked for a minor mistimed tackle- this is clearly a disproportionate punishment -how is that a bookable foul?
    I am convinced that this lack of understanding does not exist to the same extent in other areas of the football world.
    With the help of the pro United English media (almost all of them) Sir FA has been able to exploit these uncertainties and exercise undue influence in referee decision making over many years. We have reached the point where referees are too terrified to give decisions which upset Sir FA- even though United are not involved in the game.
    What Benitez says about this mans level of influence in the English game is completely true and then some more-
    The FA could make a start by banning managers from making comments about football teams other than their own- or banning the media from publishing stories which provide a team with an unfair advantage.

  • Finsbury

    Regarding the referee’s:

    I think AFC should do a ‘Shakoor Rana’.

    e.g.

    AFC player takes a shot, the ball hits the corner flag.
    AFC sanctioned ref signals for a goal.

    Opposing Captain, a la Mike Gatting (England cricket captain, late ’80s): “But, but, but it hit the corner flag.”

    Shakoor Rana:” Do I look like I give a ****? Apparently your lot don’t cheat, right?
    Well,
    that was a Goal.”

    Mike Gatting: “But, but, but…it’s not FAIR!”

    Shakoor Rana: ” Er, do I look like I give a ****?
    Get the **** off my pitch.”

    Referee produces a red card…

    The Shakoor Rana incident between the touring England cricket team in Pakistan, in the late 80’s was not the most elegant episode in the history of sport, but it was funny.

    And it did result in the imposition of neutral umpires in International Cricket, something the PCB, and other cricket boards outside of England & Australia had been calling for, for some unfathomable reason. (In spite of the fact that some of the most respected Umpires in cricket were English at the time, some of the least respected Umpires were also English).

    Of course, I’m not claiming one cricket board was corrupt and another wasn’t, or one team cheated, and another didn’t. But it was, historically, where neutral Umpires and eventually video replays were introduced to international cricket. The PCB, and their supporters on the WI and Indian boards achieved their primary goal, which was for neutral umpires.

    Later match-fixing scandals involving many teams led the demand for even more transparency and technology.

  • Paul C.

    Finsbury – it is almost getting ridiculous watching some of the refereeing that is going on. On Saturday on at least 3 occassions Birmingham players literally rugby tackled our players, full-on body checks, and got away without a booking. It was quite unbelievable to watch. I honestly wondered what was going on and what they had to do to get a booking. It just seems to be getting worse and worse, as if referees want to prove something now, what they want to prove I have no idea.

    As always, all we are looking for is some consistency.

  • SharkeySure

    Paul C – I watched it with eame eye sas you I reckon. BOwyer (?) flew into Walcott down in the corner with a horribly late assault, which had yellow card written all over it.

    At certain points in the 2nd half I was jumping out of my seat screaming at the TV in disgust at no card being produced, having seen what Song and Clichy were booked for.

    In a word. Shocking

  • Finsbury

    PAul C:

    I remember, the arguments put forward after a tour of England by Pakistan, which proceeded the reciprocal tour by England. The Pakistani Captain/playboy Imran Khan used the example of international football referees. He argued that the sport could not maintain it’s credibility without neutral umpires. Cue Rana’s piss-taking master-class.

    It was true, things had to, and did change.

    Do AFC find themselves, as a club, in an equivalent position to a touring International cricket team of the late 80’s, facing a few obviously biased and prejudiced referees/umpires when ‘on tour’ in the PL?

    The British football tag, ‘ the clash of football cultures’ misinformation, the quotes from McLeish etc. the constant attacks on AW, the ‘fans’ like MP who accuse the club of being ‘afro-french’ (lets ignore the impact of Essien, Makelele, Drogba, Anelka etc. have made at His club)… it seems to me that the xenephobia against AFC itself, has been manufactured.

  • john fenton

    whilst I agree with most of the comments regarding howard webb it does not alter the fact that we were poor in the first half.Walcott seems to have gone backward they were better than us in midfield and it was only when the subs came on that we looked like a side our defence still does not play as a unit no matter who is picked and almunia has seen better days

  • Sam

    Misses from Nasri and Arshavin, and Almunia’s poor keeping for their goal were far more important than anything the ref did or didn’t do. Even if the ref is on the take the team were ultimately responsible for their own downfall. Unfortunately its that simple.

  • jazbo

    The best and only way for Arsenal to make a point to the FA and PL is for the club to apply to join the French League, now that would realy put the fear of god into all those so called gentleman at the FA & PL.

  • Rhys Jaggar

    Rumour of the day:

    Sir Alex Ferguson has hired Mike Dean to referee at Old Trafford on Saturday.

    Following some bizarre decisions against the home side at Turf Moor at the weekend, Sir Alex felt that ‘these things balance out in time’ and commented that ‘we always like to see referees unafraid to make a decision in the penalty box, especially if the incident was outside it.’

    When asked to comment on Mail’s pundit Jamie Redknapp’s assertion that ‘referees should be like players – if they make mistakes they should be dropped’, he said with irony: ‘well he should know, shouldn’t he??’

    Sir Alex was also of the opinion that any referee lambasted on a BBC stream must be worthy of his support, particularly when he sent off two Chelsea players the last time he refereed them.

    Mike Dean is yet to book his summer holiday, but as Sir Alex will be in South Africa, he can go anywhere he wants no matter what decisions he takes. It’s just that he won’t be refereeing next season in the EPL if he makes the wrong ones on Saturday.

    Lord Triesman has promised an enquiry into the hiring of referees, informing Phil Gartside that the EPL won’t be doing it in the future. ‘We all know that the EPL can’t be trusted in this matter’.

    Sir Alex has laid Utd £5000 to win on Saturday and has informed his players in no uncertain terms that if he loses his bet, they won’t be Man Utd players for much longer. The bets were placed by Alan Shearer, Gary Lineker and Adrian Chiles, as football managers would go to jail if they were caught gambling on matches they were taking part in. All three are expected to attend the return Utd-Bayern fixture in a corporate hospitality suite so that the winnings can be passed on without comment.

    The Jockey Club has been approached by Lord Triesman to take charge of disciplinary hearings and appointment of Stewards from next season, as they are experienced in spotting the manifestations of race fixing.

  • Zastil

    More corruption in Football just like the government Wigan were shit and the ref just gave them everything fucking stupid game. I will no long support such crap corruption we deserve better. Also someone kill Gordon Brown