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Injuries and referee reviews and where they come together

By Walter Broeckx

In an earlier article I pointed at the insane injury league table. I included the most important teams and to make things easier for you I will put the little table up so you can have a look at it without having to leave this page. Here it is again

Position

Team

Injury weeks

Average/week

1

Arsenal

203

7,5

2

Man United

147

5.4

5

Liverpool

136

5

7

Tottenham

128

4.7

14

Man City

109

4

18

Chelsea

76

2.8

The most important question we have to ask ourselves is : why are Arsenal so much more hit than any other team in the league? It cannot be that we don’t spend enough money on it. As it was only 1 or 2 seasons ago that our medical department got a complete upgrade and in fact lots of money was spend on it.  So one could say that the board has done all what is possible to give the medical team all the things they should have in order to help the players to stay fit. Maybe at the cost of us spending some money on transfers?

And this is where the referee reviews enter the playing field. As for many years we have studied the referees and their behaviour in the PL in Arsenal matches and in non-Arsenal related matches. And one of the findings we had was that there are lots of referees who had great matches in non-Arsenal related matches where they applied the rules strictly and as should be, getting lots of praise at times from our referee-reviewers. But when they enter a field with Arsenal players involved it all suddenly changes.

Bad tackles are allowed against Arsenal players. The opposite is not allowed and when Arsenal players commit bad tackles they see red cards. Yet other players from other teams not. It is common knowledge that to stop Arsenal you have to kick them. And preferably kick them hard. That will stop those technically gifted players from playing their best football. It is said by almost every pundit before a ball is kicked in an Arsenal match. They tell how Arsenal should be stopped: by getting in their face and other expressions that in fact come down to one thing: kick them till they bleed.

And if a team fails to kick us like they order them to do because they are decent players who want to play the game and kick the ball, not opponents they are blamed for not kicking us by those same pundits.

We also have found out that referees who make a mistake in favour of Arsenal are haunted by the media (Webb in FA cup match against Liverpool) and that referees who make a mistake against Arsenal are…not mentioned (example again Webb in our FA cup match against Liverpool).

So refs who,  football mad as they are follow football know that they cannot lose when they let other teams kick Arsenal as that is what the media want to see.  And the media will make no fuss unless limbs are hanging in strange angles so that even a not qualified person can say: oh, that leg/ankle will probably be broken a bit.  And even then they prefer to make a fuss about the fact that Wenger will complain about the injury and come up with all kinds of excuses to make sure that the person who assaulted is in fact a nice friendly boy and the victim is in fact the one who is to blame.

So is it a coincidence that Arsenal is a team that can be kicked time and time again and that this same team is so much in front of the rest in the injury league table? Of course not. This is related.

Let us take Walcott and his injury. You might say oh it was a ruptured cruciate ligament and it even wasn’t a foul, just his foot stuck in the grass at the wrong time.

But if we look back at the minutes before he finally got down we see that he was being kicked all over the place by the opposite team. And the ref….just letting it all go.  Despite being one of the most capable refs of them all.  The most nasty kick he got was when a defender kicked Theo on his Achilles when his foot was in the ground. Now I know that sometimes the injury does not occur on the place you get the kick. Because the impact of a kick can go further than the place you got kicked.

In this case the fact that Theo his foot was stuck in the grass when kicked on his heel might have taken the impact up to his knee who if you check the images made already a strange movement when his foot was hit.  So could there have been a first damage already being done there?  And just shortly before the injury was really done, again Theo was kicked and the ref again let it go.

Now this is just an example of one injury but this surely is not helpful of course.  And in fact you might wonder that our findings of referees letting Arsenal being kicked left, right, in front and from behind is made visible in the injury league table.

One could say that the injury league confirms our findings about the bias referees expose against Arsenal. In a next article we will be watching over a few seasons and try to find some patterns.

78 comments to Injuries and referee reviews and where they come together

  • para

    Good. It really makes my blood boil when i see the fouls committed on Arsenal that are ignored by the ref. I still remember a two footed tackle by Rooney on Sagna, who luckily saw him coming and jumped up, else i guarantee Sagna would not be playing football today. I went to sleep in horror at what could have been.
    Time that the spotlight is shone on this topic now, as our club is not really in the position at the moment to combat it in the media, this is why i love this site, doing their bit to highlight things in an un-disputable way.
    Come on Arsenal and Untold.

  • finsbury

    Brilliant article. Troll proof, even if they can’t admit it.

    Example A: Gardner flying kick on Cesc F Word (the infamous bruised bone). No foul! Huh? I guess the official missed the nineteenth century split between association football and rugger? I think that’d be a foul in rugby too!

    Example B: having mentioned the nineteenth century reminded me of Essien’s targeting of Diaby’s ankle. I’m sure his Daddy approved. The ref did too, wasn’t a yellow if my memory is correct, maybe not even a foul. Strange?

    Example C: the example above is not strange at all! Yes, he’s on his way back from injury horrors and we’ll see Wilshere back to his best the longer the season goes on if he’s lucky with the niggles. But only someone looking in the other direction could deny that opponents target his ankles and rotationally foul him like Cesc F-Word, and that the protection for England’s No.10 from the refs does not exist. I hear many make this observation during every Home game that St. Jack plays in. Even on his off days you can still spot the fouls from the mis-controls. Undeniable.

    Example D: Tottenham FA Cup game. Walcott, stamped upon, collapses, screams, gets up and tries to carries on, a few seconds later whilst attempting to track back he tweaks that knee. Can’t blame a player for showing the desire to play. If only Walcott was like Robben? No thanks. If only the officials applied the rules and managed to make the first call Walcott may well have avoided the worst of it.

    I had thought the masterplan to bring through the best of British alongside the Özils and Carzolas of this world would help the club. But if anything it only highlights the discrepancies in how we can see the officials managing games even more!

    It is remarkable.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Walter,
    I have probably spent more time than most, other than yourself, looking at the Referee reviews that have been done over the past few years and it is certainly most noticeable that the average scores in Arsenal games are much lower than referees score elsewhere. I comment on this in the previews of the officials that I do before our league games.
    I have also got fed up about commenting on the serial and rotational fouling that most referees permit against our players in virtually every game we play. I am certain that the cumulative effect of these fouls must be a significant factor in our high injury rate. This is exacerbated by the rapidity of our games with two games per week being normal for long periods of the season restricting opportunities for rest and recovery between games.

  • Mick

    It doesn’t help when you get cretins like Tony Gale doing the co-commentary last weekend complaining that Sunderland were ‘allowing’ us to play and urging a more physical approach as being the way to combat our skillful game.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Goran Granic – Looses His Bite
    A Croatian football star says his team are losing matches because he can no longer commit fouls since finding God.
    Hajduk Split defender Goran Granic has come in for a storm of criticism for abandoning his trademark hard tackles on opponents.
    But Granic has now revealed his Catholicism is behind his softer style of play.
    He told daily newspaper Slobodna Dalmacija, ‘I’m so devoted to God now that I have started to avoid committing fouls during matches. God has created football for fun and relaxation. He would not like players to commit harsh fouls.’
    He added, ‘I could probably have saved some key goals during the season, including in the Champions League qualifying games, if I had committed fouls to stop players scoring.’

    Hajduk Split are reigning Croatian champions but this season they failed to qualify for the Champions League and are currently fifth in the Croatian league.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    The Medical School
    A medical professor had just finished a lecture on the subject of mental health and started to give an oral quiz to the first years.
    Speaking specifically about manic depression, the senior doctor asked, ‘How would you diagnose a patient who walks back and forth screaming at the top of his lungs one minute, then sits in a chair weeping uncontrollably the next?’

    A young man in the rear of the room raised his hand and answered, ‘A Premiership football coach?’

  • Brickfields Gunners

    The Offside Rule Explained for the Ladies –

    Picture this: you’re in a shoe shop, second in the queue for the till.

    Behind the shop assistant on the till is a pair of shoes which you have seen and which you must have. The female shopper in front of you has seen them also and is eyeing them with desire. Both of you have forgotten your purses.

    It would be totally rude to push in front of the first woman if you had no money to pay for the shoes. The shop assistant remains at the till waiting.

    Your friend is trying on another pair of shoes at the back of the shop and sees your dilemma.

    She prepares to throw her purse to you. If she does so, you can catch the purse, then walk round the other shopper and buy the shoes.

    At a pinch she could throw the purse ahead of the other shopper and, *whilst it is in flight* you could nip around the other shopper, catch the purse and buy the shoes. Always remembering that until the purse had *actually been thrown* it would be plain wrong to push in front of the other shopper.

  • Mike T

    Sorry Walter but in truth I was expecting a little more in terms of looking at factors at Arsenal on top of what you are suggesting. Its easy to blame heavy tackles but,if if what you say is right the debate needs to widen as to why Arsenal suffer more injuries than say Barcelona where the likes of Messi are subject to brutal tackles yet he misses no where the number of games that say Wilshire misses. Or come to that why Rugby players who in effect are assaulted in their sport don’t suffer the level of injuries that your players seem to.
    I will throw a few things in to the discussion.
    First it is stated by a specialist in the field that the major focus in Arsenal training is the ball. Its a key requirement in developing your style unfortunately this, he suggests, means that your training schedules starting with the youngsters through to the seniors do not have the same focus or time spent on muscle development as say Chelsea.
    Next it is believed that the make up of your squad is such that players are rushed back too early from injuries.
    Thirdly comes the age profile of your squad and the reliance on younger players . Here long term injuries to those that feature in too many games stands out. Players names like Oxlaide-Chamberlaine, Wilshire, Ramsey are prone to injury possibly because they were too young to have both the extreme physical and mental pressure at such an early age.

  • As I Lay Dying

    I reckon this is the BEST article I have read on this website. And directly I write in or IS IT CALLED post for the first time to congratulate.

    Walt: u have put into words in so few words what has been buzzing in my head for a long time…..as far back as the days of Paul Davis.

    Your thought process on Theo and his injury is just remarkable. Remarkable. I SALUTE YOU U and i am not one of your cronies.

    Now……….
    BRING ON MARCH 22ND AT THE RUSSIAN EMBASSY….

    when we crack Sourinho’s home RECORD (that’s if he lets his team play football instead playing for records, LIKE when he played his team for a draw at the Em’s (anything to maintain that unbeaten record against Arsene Wenger)).

    THE POWERLESS RISE

  • jambug

    Whatever the reason, our supposedly ‘paper thin’ squad is one point behind Chelsea and one in front of Man City, who are BOTH supposed to have vastly superior squads to Arsenals, despite Arsenal having had a LOT more injuries.

    The whys and the wherefores as to why is another matter. It might be fouls, age, training or a combination of a lot a things.

    It doesn’t change the fact that despite losing the servicers of our best early season player and our 2nd top scorer and top assister for large portions of the season, as well as all the others, we are still in there fighting.

    We keep getting told ‘but if Arsenal get injuries’ blah blah blah as if we haven’t already had them !!

    It seems no matter how many injuries we have people just don’t want to give us credit for having the squad to deal with it.

    Maybe that’s down to the fact they’ve been saying what a ‘paper thin’ squad we have for so long it would simply be too embarrassing to actually say that perhaps we do have a pretty good squad.

    But then that would mean admitting Wenger was right about the squad all along and they was wrong and that just wouldn’t do would it !!!

  • Mick

    @Mike T
    You really must come up with better than this.
    Point 1… What specialist? Are they better placed than Arsenals specialists, who are in full possession of all relevant information and data, to make an informed judgement?
    Point 2… It is believed by whom? This is a standard cop out phrase used by the desperate unable to provide concrete evidence. Can you provide some irrefutable evidence that Arsenal players are routinely rushed back from injury?
    Point 3… Wilshere’s injury problems started in pre season, hardly as a result of playing too many games. Ramsey’s as a result of a broken leg, nothing to do with age or playing too much.

  • Gord

    Four games rescheduled, all may still be moved again:
    http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/20140227/four-arsenal-matches-are-rearranged

    These are just minor moves (2 games by 1 day, 1 game by 2.5 hours, 1 game by 2 days). Arsenal v Swansea still not rescheduled.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Mike T,
    you said: …if if what you say is right the debate needs to widen as to why Arsenal suffer more injuries than say Barcelona where the likes of Messi are subject to brutal tackles yet he misses no where the number of games that say Wilshire misses….

    I don’t know if you have watched a lot of Spanish football and by watching I mean not just highlights but complete matches over the last 7 or 8 years?
    I did. I have seen Messi grow at Barcelona. And at first he didn’t was that much of a danger player when being really young. But from the moment he kicked on his career the other teams tried to stop him.
    I can remember how many times but at first the other teams tried to do what was done with Maradonna: break his legs. So Messi got kicked and kicked but then Barcelona complained about it and pointed at the fact that losing Messi in Spain would be not just a big loss for Barcelona but also for Spanish football in general.
    And the refs adjusted their style. So the first attack on Messi in a match (to let him know the defender was there you know, get in his face) was almost automatically a yellow card if not a straight red. And after a few weeks of teams consistent finding themselves a man down because of trying to kick Messi out of a match and being blown apart playing with a man down it stopped.

    The only matches it really is on again were the classico’s when they kick at each limb that moves at times.

    So the refs protected Messi and this has helped him a lot in his career. And has helped him to stay injury free for the biggest part of his career so far.

    In fact this is completely in line with what I say for years: refs protecting technical players will help them and will of course help their teams….and reduce the injuries.

    In fact Messi is a fine example of this.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Mike T,
    I’m not a rugby player but in rugby most fouls are committed by pulling a player down using the hands and arms. Not by lunging in from 5 meters out with both feet from the ground trying to cut a player his leg in two.
    I really cannot remember ever having seen a rugby player making a two footed lunge tackle towards an opponent. The leg breakers… I must admit I rarely see a rugby match on TV but I have never seen that happening.

    I think this is a bad example you have chosen.

  • WalterBroeckx

    I do agree that you have to be carefull with young players. But that is mostly for preventing back or ankle injuries.

    Let us look at the examples you give: Wilshere: had a broken foot/stress fracture that kept him out for a long time (one season). It was a result from being kicked repeatedly.

    Ramsey had what could have been a career ending injury when he was shawcrossed at Stoke a few years ago. If anything his injuries might still be a result of his leg not being completely set back in the original position. The most difficult thing to do when you have a broken leg like him (same goes for Eduardo and Diaby by the way). That has been told to me by the specialist who fixed my leg when it was broken and ended my own playing career oh so many years ago.

    Oxlade-Chamberlain did his cruciate in the first 45 minutes of the league. So not really because of being overplayed I would think?

  • WalterBroeckx

    About that the squad might force the players back to soon. You say ‘it is believed’ so we don’t really know. But let us assume it is true.
    How come?

    Well if you got money to burn (Chelsea and City) you can have 3 players for each position. Arsenal usually has 2 and then the third one is a player that can play on another position also. Or we have to bring in a youth player.
    This is probably for most teams the case unless like I say you don’t have to worry about money.

    So it might be that because of living within our means and having to compete against teams who don’t do this it could force Arsenal to do this.

    But this is only hypothetical as we don’t know if they force them to start earlier.
    In Arsenal circles it usually is the other way round. We even have jokes about it. Wenger tells player X is out for 3 weeks and we don’t count on him for the next 6 weeks.

  • jambug

    @Walter

    You are wasting your breath Walter.

    I have said for years that the ‘get in there face’ ‘let them know your there’ attitude this country seems to hold so close, is the primary reason we lack any real numbers of technical players. They are just not allowed to develop.

    2 things touched on in this thread point to the sad mentality of fans and our attitude towards ‘technical’ players:

    1)Somewhere earlier in this article someone has suggested that Ramsey is in for a rough reception at Stoke. And why is that?

    Did he leave them acrimoniously?

    Did he give the fans abuse?

    Did he play for a detested rival?

    Did he say something offensive about Stoke?

    Nope to all those. His sin was to have his f***ing leg broken by one of there players !

    You couldn’t make it up.

    2) Unless you are blind you cannot miss the fact that an attempt is made to kick Jack off the park every time he plays. He gets no protection what so ever. He gets no sympathy what so ever. what’s worse, God forbid he loses his rag and has the audacity to kick back or sin of sins make a gesture and he’s right in it.

    Now I’m not saying he’s the only gifted player to get kicked, in fact far from it, especially where we are concerned, but what I am saying is that if Jack, one of the brightest, most skilful players this Country has produced since Gazza, Hoddle and La Tiss, isn’t afforded an ounce of protection or sympathy, what chance have we got?

    In fact I would go so far as to say that this Countries, by and large, Neanderthal attitude towards football means that a vast number of ‘fans’ actually enjoy it when these gifted players do get kicked into the air.

  • Mike T

    @ Mick
    Point 1. A chap called Tom Goom
    Worth reading this article on the same topic as bein discussed here.
    http://www.arsenalreport.com/editorial/misfortune-myth-or-neglect-arsenals-injury-problems-investigated/
    Point 2. See above
    Point 3.Wilshire injuries go back far further that pre season. At age 22 and bearing in mind he had 14 months out in one spell he has played in excess of 150 games for Arsenal & England. Players that have serious injuries are far more prone to further injuries (Arsne Wenger 21/10/20100)

    @Walter
    I watch a lot of Spanish football have a particular soft spot for A Madrid. As for Messi and the comments you make about him and the refs changed approach is that a fact or your view as to what happened?
    Irrespective if you look back to say the likes of George Best he certainly wasn’t afforded any protection from refs and he most certainly didn’t suffer many injuries.
    Finally as for Rugby the vast bulk of tackles are made with tremendous force around a players legs . Most of these hits are from a player often using his shoulder as a point of contact. Rugby training focuses far more than strength than footballers and as such cope with the physical side of the game than footballers seem able to do.
    Is it a bad example?

  • WalterBroeckx

    Let me shoulder charge you and then let me lash out with a two footed challenge on your legs Mike T and then tell me the difference 😉

    About Messi. I noticed it and I could even set my clock on it at the time. First tackle coming in on Messi and first yellow card coming out.

    My match reporters also told it like that at the time. To be honest most of our match reporters over here are people who love the beautiful game. So they applauded the strict applying of the rules and the protection Messi got.

    Now I live in a different country of course and we have a different mentality and approach to the game. I think if you would have refs from Belgium for one month most teams would be short on players. In Belgium the word is usually: if you doubt between a red or a yellow: give the red. Better to have give one red card to much than to miss out on one and leave an idiot on the field who is out to injure people.

    In the Belgium the rules for refs are so that if you miss out on 3 or 4 red cards on a season you are in big trouble and you might be send back to the lower leagues.
    I think Arsenal alone had more broken legs than in the whole Belgium league in the last 10 years in total. And when it happens they ban players for more than 3 weeks.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Mind you football in Belgium is bad 🙂 🙂

  • Mick

    @Jambug
    Apparently the Stoke fans beef with Ramsey is because he never accepted Shawcross’s apology and when we beat them at the Emirates he gave them the shoosh finger and it offended them. Look on the Stoke Oatcake forum for all sorts of quite unbelievable anti Arsenal/Wenger/Ramsey comments, it shows the worst side of brainless football tribalism.
    http://oatcakefanzine.proboards.com/thread/220275/ramsey-classless-prick

  • Mike T

    Sorry Walter your comments on Chelsea being able to have more players in our squad is incorrect. There are limits as to how many players you can have. The limit in the EPL is 25 and only 17 can be non home grown.
    There is a point that is worth mentioning in that by including Diaby in the squad list in September it immediately reduced the number of players you had to select from . He was never going to play between September and January so why waste a squad place on him?
    Similarly why restrict your options further by leaving Walcott in the 25 (I accept he is a home grown player) or even worse why bring a loan player in who carried an injury that at most will see him available for at most 6-8 games.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Maybe we had to include Walcott because he is 24 years old?
    Diaby a cruciate injury sustained in March should usually be back after 6 months so would have been around September. Not including him and him being fit would have also been stupid.

    About Kallstrom: we just wanted to make sure we stay top 😉 and he was for free and letting us keep our money in the bag for next summer.

  • Mick

    @ Mike T
    I have read that before and will read it again but from what I remember the findings were that there were probably several factors involved.
    One thing that cannot be disputed is the amount of fouls that Wilshere has to put up with, a good deal of which are deliberately aimed at his ankles. A lot of these are from behind so he has no chance of taking evasive action. Of course a lot of these are not even blown by the ref. I can only assume that opposing teams are instructed to target Wilshere such is the frequency with which it occurs and because it appears the other team’s players ‘take it in turns’ to foul him.

  • WalterBroeckx

    A question we could try to answer in the next days could be: a ‘kicking team’ do they get lesser injuries than a ‘non-kicking team’.
    Let us see what the numbers tell… 😉

  • Mike T

    @Walter

    I actually feel for Diaby. However when he damaged his ACL the estimated injury time was published as being between 8 & 9 months taking us into January when had he been fit you could include him in the squad. For me it gets stranger in that in January AW said at a press conference that he doubted that he would play this season.
    @ Mick
    I read the Stoke comments on their forum and cant believe some of their supporters are so sick however I found this comment from an Arsenal supporter

    Julius ‏@jcend 17m

    Actually going to kick a pregnant Stoke fan on Saturday, last thing we need is three and a half new babies from that shithole

  • Mick

    @Mike T
    We have our fair share of morons as well, like all clubs, there’s no disputing that. It would appear though that Stoke have more than their fair share, listen to the cheering, jeering and chants of ‘he’s only got one leg’ when Ramsey was being carried off on a stretcher.

  • Mike T

    Mick

    Agree 100% your comment about morons being at all clubs.

  • Florian

    I’m waiting for the day Wolverine plays for Arsenal, and some opponent tries to break his leg only to find out it’s made of adamantium, and hence it’s the attacker’s leg that gets broken. Until then, we con only say our players are humans playing against sometimes inhuman challenges. Because lunging from 5 meters away with both feet is nothing short of inhuman.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Interesting Walter. Agree with your comments on refs and messi, I also wonder if messi had other help, but should not open this site up to libel! I agree with you on things like refs and rotational fouling the pgmol allow, that will have a cumulative effect on our players. Diaby, Ramsey, Eduardo, possible Theo’s injuries are a direct result of negligence of refs and tactics of other teams, must add to that sagnas recent injuries too…and TRs broken nose.
    But I still have this niggling feeling there is something else. I have seen a report suggesting an increase of injuries since lewin the first left. I have also been concerned with training and playing pitches, though others on this site have debunked that one. But what concerns me is the non contact injuries, the recovery times, and the amount of players that break down again so quickly after coming back from injury, just recently, theo, TV, Ramsey, in the past, Jack, TR, TV again, RVP, Gibbs, bac, Diaby, Cesc I prefer to glory in rather criticize the club, but I cannot help wondering if there are issues with our fitness management, recovery management, possibly squad size and rotation. This has gone on for a long time. The balance between us and Chelsea surely cannot be explained by refs alone. Maybe it is the way we play, maybe wenger accepts injuries as part and parcel of the game ge chooses to play, allowing others to develop, who knows. There is a well known Dutch physio , possibly with an agenda, who says our injury management is poor, especially on rushing players back. There are whispers in other places, some of them unreliable. I know very little, but cannot help but think the club can do better on this issue, I really hope they are looking into all aspects of our quote appalling injury record, for the sake of the players as much as anything else. Injuries have undoubtedly cost us.

  • Gonnerjoe

    Why do Arsenal fans not go after the refs giving them a hard time whistles and cat calls the fact is the home fans should call for everything.
    Put presure on refs and keep putting presure on them until refs start protecting our players.

  • Mandy Dodd

    We do Goonerjoe, but Sky, Scudamore, the FA, The EPL, The PGMOL, certain club owners and managers, and God knows who else seem to have louder voices than the Gooner masses

  • Gonnerjoe

    Just go after refs on the pitch for the whole game never let up if they make a bad call make them suffer. If that doesn’t work let’s all club in and hire a sniper and set him lose on PGMOL(joke) until they learn the change their ways and stop been a currupt bunch of northerners.

  • I think as website and channel dedicated to these tackles would change peoples minds, perception of what is a good or bad tackle. Only then visually will you see people understanding and not just listen to nonsense on TV

  • Following the relisting of the PGMOL’s rules of how to ref a game

  • mk

    It could be possible to show, comparing the Ref reviews foul tables with the injury league tables of previous seasons.

    It won’t be particularly accurate as fouls will vary in type from shirt pulling to bad tackles etc, but it may give weight to your argument?

  • Pat

    Well, I for one have no doubt about the link between the failure of referees to protect our players and our problem with injuries.

    Don’t people remember how the referee bias records for Arsenal were all red? I repeat all red. The only team for which that was true. That means every referee was biased against Arsenal. That means letting opposing teams get away with repeated fouling. That means giving us no penalties.

    I too heard that idiot of a co-commentator at the last match advising the opposing team that the only way to beat Arsenal was to get physical. He said it again and again. That man was actually paid to be the co-commentator. And that was his message. Not play better football, no, basically, kick them.

    No, it is no wonder our players get injured. In the circumstances I am just happy some of them are still whole.

    I will never forget one of the Dortmund players who used to play with Rosicky saying if he hadn’t had so many injuries he would have been one of the best players in football. That is why my heart swells when I see him play and when I see him score wonderful goals.

    The role of the kick em brigade and the media that supports them is disgraceful.

  • bob

    Now here’s an outrageous “injury” to behold – Vertongenscum + Enabling Ref = Stolen Europa league victory (and something to watch out for in our fixtures):
    https://vine.co/v/MKJMtW2i0nT
    And watch the teammate who collaborates in the sham as he calls in the ref to red card the then leading opponents down to 10 men! and the Scums to a comeback victory.

  • bjtgooner

    Pat, I fully agree with your comments. I have also noted that certain teams kick Arsenal much more vigorously than they kick the other 18 teams.

    When playing the Arsenal some teams try a few exploratory fouls early in the match & if they get away with those they then continue to foul throughout the game and/or go into rotational fouling mode. Basically this is a form of cheating permitted by the refs.

    Some of the major injuries our players have suffered have occurred in matches where it has become clear to the opposition early on that the refs will be “lenient” with them.

    The fitting reward for Riley & certain refs would be an extended holiday in Wormwood Scrubs!

  • bjtgooner

    @bob

    I saw that incident & also noted the same ref let Soldato away with a back elbow (WWE anyone?) earlier in the same match.

    In the red card incident, Vertongen provoked the opposition with two shoves. the Ukraine player should not have retaliated, but did with a mild head butt – Vertongen dropped as if head shot by a 357 magnum. What a cheat.

  • bob,

    That is just terribly shameful! Why would he do that to a fellow professional and human being? He should be ashamed of himself and if I had anything to do with him, I’d be very ashamed too.

    That is probably the worst case of unsportmanly behaviour that I have ever seen. EVER!

    Thanks for the link.

  • bob

    bootoomee,
    Yes, it’s completely choreographed! What a fix! If this is allowed to stand by that shameless footballing association, it is Exhibit A in official connivance and mendacity. We’re good wordsmiths, but it’s “nearly” impossible to come up with the right word for it. (fix?)

  • bob

    bjtgooner,
    Yes, mildest is right! Hard to even describe it as a head butt. And the connivance of the other Scumbag to call attention to V’s being headbutted. What a set-up. This calls for total vigilance when we meet them next!

  • bob

    bjtgooner,
    Did you catch the name of this so-called ref?

  • bob

    Vertonghen should be given a 5-gamer for it, at least.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    @bob

    Well I remember UEFA trying to ban Eduardo against Celtic. It was overturned but this one seems so hilariously obvious. The pause before he fell tells it all.

  • Micheal Ram

    It is always the case where less technically gifted players felt humiliated and got even with more technically gifted players with brute strength and foxy mind. I really miss Patrick Vieira. Combined both skills and physic into something near perfect. Hope Diaby comes back from injury soon and do to all these c**ts what he did to ??? Errr…. whats his name? The dumb**s who got his arse kicked at St James Park? The phony with a s**t French accent?

  • rantetta

    Blimey, I come to this party late, but I m so encouraged to see the way this article has been put together. Then there’s the comments – at this point nearly 50, and most of them very good.

    However, as someone said above, I’ve also had these assaults running around in my head, constantly, especially since Diaby was Smithed at Sunderland, and despite the Riley show at Toiletface a couple years previous. I’ve often harked on about Paul Davis’ big ban for what he did for Cockerall. Ultimately I thought his ban, though justified for the crime, might have been more about Paul being a black player than him being an Arsenal player, but I remain undecided, and I’m still begging for someone to link me to a video of the incident, and there was one. Anybody?

    There’s always going to be somebody’s who’ll say there’s no connection between Arsenals injury list season upon season, but for me all such people just don’t watch matches or just wanna be in denial and seek to blame Wenger and his staff – and of course, the players.

    A special mention for Barton. What a complete and utter **** – on and off the field. Did you see what he done to that Asian guy on the street? How about Bowyer – the court trial? They’re both off the field stuff but that’s what Tony Gale demands teams do to Arsenal on the pitch. He’s not alone. Indeed, it’s necessary to encourage assaults on Arsenals players to have and keep those jobs. How about Andy “get in” Townsend? Watching the scum and manu playing I noted his different, sympathetic reasoning for frankly, shit footy playing.

    Bob: thanks for that link. Thing is, they showed a different angle of the head butt on the TV I watched, so it looked like it could’ve been a red card.

    Make no mistake about scum on Walcott. That stamp on his Achilles was sooo deliberate, and of course, unpunished. Then Rose really ****ed up Theo. No replay, and as is typical when only a few Ars players are attacking, the cameras show a view from way back down the field despite the fact there are cameras close up to catch those images. They’ll always show close ups of Arsfouls, unless they’re ghost fouls. I still haven’t seen the foul by Mertesacker on Suarez!

    Every ****ing game! On and on and on. KTSOOA!

    Walter, I’m so glad you’ve written this article, and I look forward to the next installment.

    Thanks, comment writers, too.

  • bjtgooner

    @bob

    Sorry, didn’t take note of the ref’s name.

  • jambug

    @bob

    Watched the game on ITV.

    Yep, shameful piece of play acting. BOTH commentators agreed it WAS an elbow and deserving of a red card. Immediately after the incident they showed 3 or 4 replays, all except one where unclear, but one angle seemed to show that there was minimal, if any contact, and more importantly that Vertonghen actually ran into him. It showed it was clearly ‘play acting’.

    I can only assume that the producers where not that convinced either as they never showed it again, at least not during the game, which they surely would of done had it backed there commentators view that it was definitely a red.

    Also earlier in the game Soldado, clearly and deliberate swung, and connected with, an elbow. Obviously the ref, who was clearly a ‘homer’ from the start, missed it. Again both the commentator and co commentator, Andy Townsend, originally saw nothing in it. That was until the replay clearly showed an elbow thrown. Having seen that, it was obvious there was no other conclusion than a red card was clearly warranted, but as you would expect when commentating on there beloved Spurs, they just fudged over it with comments such ‘he should be more careful’ ‘he’s obviously frustrated’.

    Could you imagine the furore if it was Flamini?

    Same with Vertonghans amateur dramatics. Honestly if a gooner did that he’d be slaughtered.

    Didn’t watch the post match comments so they may well of redeemed themselves and called out the ref for the diabolical game he had. The worst 2 of many mistakes being the missed sending off of Saldado, and getting well and truly conned by Vertonghan.

    Some how I doubt it. I’m sure those who are so committed to the fact the media are even handed with these things will jump all other me and tell me how they slaughtered ‘Cheating’ Spurs as they surely would of us, had the incidents involved us.

    I await my demise.

  • jambug,

    I rarely ever disagree with you but not on this.

    Look pal, I know Homer. He is a fat, stupid, loud, incompetent worker and oafish father. But how dare you sully his name by calling that ref a ‘Homer’!

    I know Homer, I have seen Homer in the Simpsons uncountable times; that referee is no Homer. Homer would be insulted to learn that you are comparing him with that yesterday’s boob of a ref at the WHL.

  • jambug

    Bootoomee,

    My sincere apologies for sullying the name of the much loved, if a little fat, stupid, loud, incompetent and oafish ‘Homer’ Simpson. That was not my intention.

    I was obviously suffering from post match ‘Spurs love-in’ syndrome.

    I’ve calmed down a bit now following some ‘Heavy’ breathing (or is that ‘deep’ breathing) and agree wholeheartedly with your evolution that he was in fact a ‘boob’.

    In deed I would like to expand on that and just add that he was actually a ‘boob’ of the first water.

  • jambug

    Jeez. I meant ‘evaluation’ not ‘evolution’

    More ‘heavy breathing’ required it seems !!

  • finsbury

    Looking forward to an Eduardo style witch hunt which happened when poor old Eduardo fell over after a scramble in the box following the clear and obvious and undeniable simulation (cheating) by the Tottenham players (as in more then one player).

    *tumbleweed*

    I suppose the Tottenham players were upholding traditional English virtues, just like Mourinhio. Dawson especially. I should just move along. Nothing to see here. 😉

  • finsbury

    Rantetta,

    That was a good rant, thanks!

  • finsbury

    The Middlesex team have been rewarded for their upstanding efforts with a trip to Benfica just before the NLD. 🙂

  • jambug

    Finsbury

    *tumbleweed* indeed !

    This is why I constantly go on about the media.

    Look at how they kept on and on and on because of what the media saw as Arsenal getting away with a penalty shout from Liverpool. (This despite the fact we had an equally contentious penalty appeal turned down in the same game that didn’t even make the highlights).

    Blatant elbow by Soldada. Blatant play acting by Vertonghan.

    I will not listen/watch any media today but I know it will not be mentioned, and if it is they will back Spurs to the hilt or the very best is they will concede some culpability on Spurs part but move on quick style as if it is just a mere inconvenience to even have to mention it.

    Please someone tell me I’m wrong when I come back to this thread tomorrow.

  • finsbury

    jambug

    Those who deny that propaganda exists (in the world, forget about in football!) are as stupid as the PR Experts, sorry I mean Trolls, who are out there trolling away on behalf of Red & White Holdings. We know this because when these Experts who pontificate upon all matters all the time,are asked if they have any connection to R&W, well, they are uncharacteristically quiet. Which is a blessed relief!

    I saw ‘The Lion of Uzbekistan’ trying to leave my local earlier, The Plimsoll Arms, after his morning pint (see Usmanov’s “P.R. genius”) with the ‘locals’. Unfortunately between the security detail (always required when downing shots of sambuka at 11.00 a.m. with some local plebs), and the Lion’s supine girth there was a bit of a melee as they tried to exit onto the street. Fat was spilled, notes were exchanged in stained suitcases, the police were called and people were bundled away into waiting Mercedes with with tinted windows and sprayed gold alloys. What fun was had!

    He certainly is a lively ‘local’ character. I see him all the time.

  • finsbury

    Appendix a:

    Supine girth = A posture of contented digestion following a healthy mornings eating and drinking. Usually four helpers are required to lift one in this meditative state.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Walter , re: your comments @Feb.27th.5:52 pm –

    “Kallstrom: we just wanted to make sure we stay top 😉 and he was for free and letting us keep our money in the bag for next summer.”

    I believe that AW is practising a form of reverse ‘Murphy’s Law ‘,wherein buying an already crocked player gives some respite(protection) to the healthy ones .
    This brings in alignment all the cosmic forces as is just , due and demanded in the ‘ greater scheme of things ‘in an enlightened universe !
    Confused ? Good ! Read the following quotation and joke
    which should clear all your doubts ….or not !

    10 down vote

    A statistic professor plans to travel to a conference by plane. When he passes the security check, they discover a bomb in his carry-on-baggage. Of course, he is hauled off immediately for interrogation.

    “I don’t understand it!” the interrogating officer exclaims. “You’re an accomplished professional, a caring family man, a pillar of your parish – and now you want to destroy that all by blowing up an airplane!”

    “Sorry”, the professor interrupts him. “I had never intended to blow up the plane.”

    “So, for what reason else did you try to bring a bomb on board?!”

    “Let me explain. Statistics shows that the probability of a bomb being on an airplane is 1/1000. That’s quite high if you think about it – so high that I wouldn’t have any peace of mind on a flight.”

    “And what does this have to do with you bringing a bomb on board of a plane?”

    “You see, since the probability of one bomb being on my plane is 1/1000, the chance that there are two bombs is 1/1000000. If I already bring one, the chance of another bomb being around is actually 1/1000000, and I am much safer…”

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Sorry , there was a disturbance in the force ! Here’s the quotation –

    “The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four people is suffering from a mental illness. Look at your 3 best friends. If they’re ok, then it’s you.”
    Rita Mae Brown.

    Why is everyone looking at me strangely ?

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ finsbury – are we being watched and monitored ? That’s spooky ,man !

    Anyway…

    Which is more important, length or girth?
    Turns out it’s consent.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    For years, men and women have argued over which is more painful: being kicked in the bollocks, or giving birth.

    So how can we reach an answer? Well, put it this way: about a year after a couple’s first child, a woman will say, “Let’s have another baby.”

    But I challenge you to find a man who, one year on, will turn to his mate and say, “Tell you what, Dave… Kick me in the bollocks again.”

  • Brickfields Gunners

    If you can talk to crowds and keep your virtue
    Or walk with kings nor lose the common touch
    If neither foe nor loving friend can hurt you
    If all men count with you but none too much
    If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With 60 seconds worth of distance run
    Then yours is the earth and everything that’s in it
    And which is more, you are a man my son

    If, however, all you can do is bitch and moan, you are probably an AAAA !

  • Brickfields Gunners

    I was sitting there watching the football last night, when suddenly my girlfriend walked in wearing nothing but a skimpy pair of knickers.

    As she sat down on my lap I said, “Are you having a laugh?”

    “No, why?” she replied, “Is it because the football is more important than me?”

    I said, “No, it’s because this is a fucking pub.”

  • Brickfields Gunners,

    You are bad!

    Anyway let me join in in the painful but always funny “kick to the bollocks” jokes.

    This fella went bird hunting and happened to shoot one near a farm. The bird fell down dead within the farm boundaries. As the hunter went to pick his prey, the farmer came out and stopped him. The following conversation followed:

    Farmer: What do you think you are doing?

    Hunter: I am picking the bird that I shot

    Farmer: Well, that bird is in my farm so it’s mine

    Hunter: What? That’s not fair

    Farmer: Okay, you know what, let’s settle it this way. I’ll give you a kick to the bollocks and you’ll do the same to me. Whoever can endure the pain the most, gets to keep the bird.

    The hunter agreed and the farmer took a few steps back, accelerated towards the hunter and gave him a hard kick with his booted right leg. The hunter curled up in pain but struggled to get up with a strained effort to hide his pain.

    Hunter: okay…now….my…turn

    Farmer: Oh never mind. You win, you can take the bird.

  • Mandy Dodd

    quite unbelievable, what is it with the spuds and media

  • finsbury

    Brickfields @ 3.29 Are we? oh blimey.
    I’m going to give up staring at this screen and go back to re-reading this old dusty copy of William Gibson’s Neuromancer…

  • Gord

    WRT fans going after referees.

    Northern Ireland has an upcoming friendly that they are concerned about. It seems some fans in Cyprus went after the referee. They bombed his car.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/26394440

  • Gord

    What is it about that jerk managing Chelsea?

    Here is a BBC link, and the commentary for the link:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/

    > Mourinho wants Fulham to stay up

    > Jose Mourinho says he would accept defeat at Fulham if it helped them stay in the Premier League, so long as Chelsea win the title.

    What is this? A loan negotiation in the media? We’ll let you win March 1st, and we’ll loan you players, if you park the bus against Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool?

  • Gord

    Some whorenalist (presumably from Stoke) called Danny Higginbottom has had more than one article about the Stoke-Arsenal/Ramsey-Shawcross problem.

    He seems to suggest that the entire problem from the Stoke side, is that Aaron Ramsey will not accept idiot Shawcross’s apology.

    If I go up to any high tech industry company, and shoot some random employee in the head (not on centre, so they have a reasonable chance of survival). And later on I find they did survive, does it make any sense for the shooter to apologize? Does the person who was shot have an obligation to accept an apology?

    There are entirely too many people in the UK who do dangerous things as a matter of course. That is how they were trained to do things. Has no coach at any time told them, that if you tackle a person in that manner, there is a 10% likelihood that they will never play football again?

    What Shawcross did to Ramsey was _MEANT_ to end Ramseys career. It does not matter if Shawcross meant to end Ramsey’s career or not. How Shawcross was trained and coached was what led to that particular incident. And if Shawcross was too stupid to realize that what he was being trained to do had an exceptionally high probability of ending the career of his _TARGETS_, then at that incident he really should have been banned for life.

    The pundits be dammed, the only contact between players is the fair shoulder charge when the ball is within playing distance.

    Tackles happen. The only thing (by the laws of football) that is allowed to contact the leg of an opponent, is the BALL.

    If any player goes into a tackle with the intent of even touching the opposing player, they are committing an offense.

    To go into a tackle with the idea of putting some fear into the opposing player, should at a minimum be a yellow card.

    Discipline involving injuries is wrong. If a player goes into a situation in a manner which has a high likelihood of damaging the opponent, at a MINIMUM their suspension should be until the tackled/receiving player returns to play. So it isn’t that they hurt someone and got a yellow card, they hurt someone and spent N weeks on the side line waiting for this person to get back to health, which may never happen, and then they serve whatever discipline was meted out.

    Danny Higginbottom and Stoke fans are wrong. Aaron Ramsey does not have to accept an apology from a reckless player like Shawcross. It would be better for football if Shawcross would quit football and do something else.

    In regular life, you are not allowed to walk up to someone you might be competing against for a job, and destroy their knee with a sledgehammer. Shawcross is not a “nice boy”. What he did had intent to injure, and did injure. Shawcross should be selling bricks, not playing football.

    Accidents do happen in football. How Shawcross injured Ramsey was _NOT_ an accident! It was reckless disregard at a minimum.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ Gord – Coming from Moanin’ho , the master of doublespeak ,AKA the little horse ,from whose freely interchangeable either ends emanates shite of high order ( or should that be odour ?) , we should never be surprised.

    Looking up the term ‘ gobbledygook ‘ ,look what I found on Gobbledygook: A Dictionary That’s 2/3 Accurate, 1/3 Nonsense – And 100% Up …
    By William Wilson.

    AB ABSURDO – An argument or statement that is false because it is patently absurd.

    BRANGLE -A blend of brawl and ‘wrangle’,which is a synonym for squabble, and erupts when people get together to discuss sports , politics and religion.

    DRUMBLE-DRONE-
    A drone bee or a stupid or useless person .

    JOUKERY – Swindling or trickery; a trick played on a stronger opponent that causes the ‘trickster’ to win or draw instead of facing a certain loss.

    PHTHIRIUS – A genus containing the crab louse ,which you get from toilet seats and not only ingratiate themselves with one’s genitals ,but also get into your hair !

    PLISKI – A practical joke.

    SLEECHY – Oozy or slimy .

    TARRE – To urge into action ; incite .

    Check out also the fake words –

    WIESSHASTATION – The process of eliminating two or more factors from a mathematical equation in order to simplify it.

    TRANSILE – Of or related to animals with prehensile lips, including horses !

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Extreme Gobbledygook!
    From –
    http://www.thespoof.com/jokes/12693/extreme-gobbledygook

    The Committee for the Reduction of Redundancy and the Anti-proliferation of Repetition has decided not to meet until they have their first meeting and thus will not be meeting until the first time. Their Pre-meeting Statement wanted to make this clear before they had their first meeting, so that it would not be confusing. So their first meeting will actually be their first meeting and they will not have a meeting before the first meeting. This should avoid having people show up for their first meeting before it is held, since to do so would be confusing to those who did so and this is what they want to avoid by reducing the confusion and lessening the repetition.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    The injuries were interconnected ! From the same source above…

    Elephant A**holes
    Barnum & Bailey was transferring the circus from one town to another. The elephants were connected trunk to tail. They came along a railroad crossing and as the elephants were halfway across the tracks, a train came along and killed two of them.

    Shortly thereafter, B&M Railroad received an invoice from Barnum and Bailey for $10,000. B&M immediately called Barnum & Bailey and requested an explanation for the charge, writing, “What is the cost of a new elephant?”

    Barnum & Bailey responded, “$1,000 each.”

    B&M responded, “But, we only killed two of them!”

    Barnum & Bailey said, “Yes, but you pulled the assholes out of eight others.”

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Shit happens ! From…
    http://www.thespoof.com/jokes/14786/my-doctors-crazy

    My Doctor’s Crazy
    My doctors is crazy. He needs to go on TV instead of joking with his patients and scaring them half to death. He could be on the Ed Sullivan Show. I know Ed Sullivan is dead but I’m about to send this doctor to visit him.

    He told me he had found a lump!

    My heart skipped a little and then he says: “When’s the last time you changed your adult diaper?”

    I left it in his lobby as he was still in there laughing.

    Now he’s got the lump.

    -Ms. Nancy Moleturd

  • jambug

    Yesterday I asked to be enlightened as to the media outcry over Vertonghans ‘play acting’ and Saldados ‘elbow’

    I was really hoping someone, especially one of the media ‘apologists’ who so regularly berate me, bootoomee, and other fellow media haters (for want of a better word, although I don’t think there is one) would be all over me. Telling me how wrong I am. How paranoid I am. And I’m sure they would, had there been any evidence what so ever of Spurs, and there cheating players, getting the stick they deserved, and what WE WOULD SURELY HAVE GOT.

    But surprise surprise….the silence is deafening !!!!

    And now apparently you cant pick up a ‘rag’ without some Stoke apologist blaming all the bad blood between us and Stoke on Arsenal.

    Apparently Shawcross has been harshly treated.

    HE BROKE A PLAYERS LEG WITH A RECKLESS CHALLANGE FOR F**KS SAKE !!!

    What is he expecting, a bunch of flowers.

    I think we can tell which side our friends in the media have took in this.

    Again, come on you lot that keep accusing me of paranoia. Shut me up and show me the balance in the media on this one !!

    I await to be shot down !!