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Home referee as predicted, bad day at the office not as predicted

By Walter Broeckx

What do you get when the a football team plays a not that footballing team? You usually get a dire match of football. And that is what happened in the first half hour to say the least.

In a way it was as if Arsenal had prepared too much for the battle and not to play football. Arsenal didn’t get settled in the opening stages and it wasn’t really a nice match to look at. Too many lost balls and no real fluency.

In fact the few chances at first fell a bit to Stoke but it was not really foot in mouth stuff either. A few shots from distance but not much for the rest.

Giroud with a few half chances and Podolski with a shot that went wide. For Stoke Crouch had an effort that went in to the side net.  Giroud tried to release Wilshere but Begovic was first on the ball. And then a bit later Santi Cazorla with some space. He could have tried to play it to Podolski but attempted a shot himself that was saved by Begovic.

That was about it for the first half as far as I can remember.  And a yellow card for Pieters from Stoke.

The first danger of the second half was a cross to Crouch but Szczesny could get just in front of him and smother the danger helped by Arteta.  And again the next chance was for Stoke. A free kick after a foul from Rosicky that earned him a yellow card but Crouch missed the chance. That as a real let off.  Arsenal was too much playing the Stoke game and not enough our own passing game.

Stoke was creeping back with only Crouch upfield and so they made it extra difficult for Arsenal to pass their way through the Stoke defence.  The game plan from Stoke was simple.  Throw it to Crouch and hope for the best. And  it looked very effective forcing Szczesny to another save and from the resulting corner we got a little scrimmage in front of the Arsenal game that resulted in a shot that went wide.

Özil came in the place of Podolski after some 67 minutes.

Charly Adam then planted his foot on the leg of Giroud who was on the floor but the ref missed it completely.  That was a real dirty foul.  With some 15 minutes to go Oxlade-Chamberlain came on for Rosicky.

Then the ref gave a soft penalty to Stoke. Walters kicked the ball from half a meter against the hand of Koscielny. His hand was in the air as he was jumping up but I don’t know if you can call this a deliberate handball and that is what it has to be to be a penalty? I notice the assistant who was close didn’t move at all.  But Jones will not be prosecuted by the media for that decision by the media.

As a result Yaya Sanogo coame on for Wilshere with some 10 minutes to go.  Özil with a low shot that just went wide.  A foul on Giroud just outside the penalty area but the was too close to get passed it.

Than in the extra time Sanogo missed the chance to  save a point after a good pass from Oxlade-Chamberlain.

This was probably the worst performance of the season of Arsenal.  Well that I can remember anyway.

Let us also keep in mind that I said before that match that the ref was a home referee and the penalty was a fine example of this. But also for the rest of the match he was rather in favour of the home team letting many things go like the stamp from Adam on Giroud.

Let us hope that this is the waking up sign for the final 10 games of the season.   Bad days happen in the course of the season. The penalty would probably never been given in favour of Arsenal.  The performance wasn’t as should be expected.  The final result from Fulham – Chelsea was also not a good one.

So a bad weekend over all for Arsenal. But that is just the way it goes in a season.  We have to get ourselves together once again and play better next time.   Pick ourselves up from the ground and do better next time.

 

 

 

195 comments to Home referee as predicted, bad day at the office not as predicted

  • Mandy Dodd

    Another predicted ref performance…..spot on untold. A bad weekend, unless you are AAA, and a weekend that could get worse. Please please not another top four battle. A very soft pen, but one the ref looked itching to give against us. Sometimes wonder if we have become a bit too pragmatic at times, maybe there are times when we should revert a bit more to our expansive game, but not so easy without the likes of theo and Rambo. We seemed to lack firepower today.
    A great day for the wenger haters, worrying, this is the latest he has left it to sign.

  • bjtgooner

    Walter, I don’t quite agree with you – I have expressed my feelings on the previous thread.
    But, in response to your write up, I thought the ref was appalling, he allowed the Orcs to stop our attacks by unpunished foul after foul. Our guys played their guts out – I don’t think it was a bad Arsenal performance – but it was a totally incompetent ref at the office today.

  • Wolfgang

    We can blame the ref and everybody except ourselves.The gunners take too long to start an attack because of Wenger’s obsession with ball retention.
    When you see how other teams vary their passing by hitting a long thru ball ,why can’t the gunners do likewise.

  • Wolfgang

    We can blame the ref and everybody except ourselves.The gunners take too long to start an attack because of Wenger’s obsession with ball retention.
    When you see how other teams vary their passing by hitting a long thru ball ,why can’t the gunners do likewise.

  • KR

    What is it with you people its not about wenger haters its about arsenal lovers. We want a great team not a great bank balance. This was predictable and to keep blaming refs every time we lose is shamefull and hides like cowards from the truth. I believe Wenger is the best manager the club has had but you have to question him right now. We don’t look like title challengers but have millions to spend. Anyone with any football knowledge can see we lack quality and pace up from and top quality in midfield. You lot can keep slating anyone who questions wenger but I go to games and know the true feelings of fellow season ticket holders.

  • marchand

    apart from the joke of a penalty we have been awful. title challenge not over as it was never on anyway!! nothing will change at afc until a new manager comes in. again the team was not up for it from the first minute.

  • OMGArsenal

    Hopefully before any AAA baiter comes on and screams for total destruction, I want to anticipate them:

    1) Wenger OUTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT!!!!!! Its all his fault!!!!!!!

    2) Giroud OUTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT!!!!!! Its all his fault!!!!!!

    3) We will get relegatedddddddddddddddd!!! Its all OUR fault!!!!!!!

    4)Ramsey, Sanogo, Ozil, Cazorla, Koscielny, Podolski, flamini, Arteta are deadwood and should be SOLDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD!!!! Its all their fault!!!!

    5)We are doomed, our season is over, Kroenke is a fool!!!! Its all their fault!!!

    6)Spend MORE Money!!!!!!!

    7) We are f**ked, we are hopeless, our title hopes are DEADDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD!!!!!!

    8)I want my mommy!!!!!!

    There, that felt good….now back to reality. A bad day at the office but it ain’t over until the fat lady sings as a famous baseball player once said.

  • As I Lay Dying

    @wolfgang. FUNDAMENTALLY…..Stop picking on Le Boss.

    The ref played his part – as they always do. But the harsh reality is that we lacked cutting edge.

    Just waiting to fight on and beat the spuds – WHO we have next.

    In Wenger I TRUST….

    And I don’t blame the ref for this.

    THE POWERLESS RISE…..tonight.

  • marchand

    btw i am sick and tired of that “we have to bounce back bullshit”!! how about turning up in the first place?

  • Mandy Dodd

    Well, who knows KR, the wenger haters may even get their wish this summer. There might be a Moyes out there just for us!

  • Brickfields Gunners

    I just don’t understand why Charlie Adams and co were trying their darnest best to injure Arsenal players.For the most part they were playing well and there was not need for all that roughness.
    The ref should carded them earlier ,but sadly he was very sparingly with it.
    We were not playing well at all .Lets hope the players get over it .
    I’m having a few glasses of wine .Not happy ,but then that the EPL !

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    The earlier post about cowardly refereeing summed up today’s example far better than mu referee preview did. Had the referee done his job properly Stoke should have been down to nine men and the game totally different. Unfortunately Arsenal never get that kind of balanced refereeing.

    The penalty decision was as bad as you will ever see an absolute joke.

    As for our title challenge ten games to go and we can only afford to drop three or four points. COYG

  • Mick

    The penalty was terribly severe. I wouldn’t complain about it if we were just once given a similar one in our favour. And why are opposing players allowed to stamp on our players and kick them with impunity? I guess the only way to combat this bullshit is to score so many goals so as to make it impossible for the refshite to deny us. Unfortunately today we were poor and were punished accordingly by Jones. A victory for the connoisseur of good old British ‘it’s a mans game, they don’t like it upem’ style football.

  • As I Lay Dying

    @KR
    ha ha ha…funny. I know you are not serious with your posting.

    I am a season ticket holder…..let’s meet up next time pre-match so you can get a taste of my feelings. e-mail me, so we can swap mobile numbers. aild@hotmail.com

    Arsene Wenger Reigns Supreme.

  • marchand

    @mandy..I dont hate him at all. but its only black or white for u obviously.he would do a great job as a director for sure.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ OMG – Good rant ! Needed that ! And before the AAAA turn out in numbness ,oops, numbers , here is a tale of being guilty .

    Rusi and Sam, two friends, met in the park every day
    to feed the pigeons, watch the squirrels and discuss
    world problems.
    One day Rusi didn’t show up.
    Sam didn’t think much about it and figured maybe
    he had a cold or something.

    But after Rusi hadn’t shown up for a week or so,
    Sam really got worried. However, since the only time
    they ever got together was at the park, Sam didn’t
    know where Rusi lived, so he was unable to find
    out what had happened to him.

    A month had passed, and Sam figured he had
    seen the last of Rusi, but one day, Sam approached
    the park and — lo and behold! — there sat Rusi!
    Sam was very excited and happy to see him
    and told him so.

    Then he said, ‘For crying out loud Rusi,
    what in the world happened to you?’

    Rusi replied, ‘I have been in jail.’

    ‘Jail’ cried Sam.
    ‘What in the world for?’

    ‘Well’ Rusi said, ‘you know Cindy,
    that cute little blonde waitress at the coffee
    shop where I sometimes go?’

    ‘Yeah,’ said Sam, ‘I remember her.
    What about her?’

    ‘Well, one day she filed rape charges against me;
    and at 89 years old, I was so proud that when
    I got into court, I pleaded ‘guilty.’

    The judge gave me 30 days for lying to court.’

  • Gambon

    AKBs on a roll here. Blame every other person apart from our manager and players. We can’t do no wrong. Wenger back to fighting for his 4th place trophy as usual. Guess what? The doomers were right all along!

  • Brickfields Gunners

    There are always people who say that if you don’t vote, you can’t complain. Well, I didn’t vote and I’ll complain all I like.

    That would mean, if you’ve never been a man, you can’t fart loud and laugh for hours. If you have never been soldier, you can’t complain about the military.

    Here’s the truth: “If you have never been, you have no right to complain! Simple.

  • para

    The reason for this “man’s” game is because of lack of skill, resorting to cynical tackles and fouls. But today Arsenal were afraid of Stoke, had the quality to win this match, but we let stoke worry us too much, then it was too late after the penalty.

    I think Rosinski should have come off first and Ozil on, then straight after penalty Ox on, as we needed some play maker then, by the time Ox came on, we were chasing the game and it did not look like we were ever going to even equalise, much less win.

    Not a good performance at all, a more timid cautious performance which would have been ok if we posed a threat, but Stoke soaked it up, playing sometimes (aren’t they all doing that?) like Arsenal usually do, but adding a little of this so called “steel” to their play.

    A very frustrating game, meaning the lads just have to beat ManC and Chelsea if we want to win PL.
    The bar is set, now all we have to do is jump over cleanly.
    Come on Arsenal.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Never said you did Marchand. I don’t buy this director stuff, when the great man calls it a day, the new man will need to be able to get on with his job , without the shadow of a giant looming over him. Fergie hanging around Utd is not working, nor did Matt busby hanging around there for that matter.

  • dan

    @Mandy

    Caught the last 3 mins of added time, Sanogo missed a great chance, how did we play?

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Oh, Is That Gross Or What?

    Here’s a tip: Let’s say you have these boring neighbors that always want you to come over and see their video of the latest trip they took to see the grandkids. Let’s say they don’t want to send it to you by computer because they made special snacks of cola and mixed nuts.

    The next time your wife gives birth or someone else’s wife gives birth but the video never shows any faces, have your neighbors over. Serve jello and Kool-Aid. Then show them the video.

    If they are still there (in shock), show it to them backwards where the baby climbs back in. That’ll do it.

  • TT

    It is the English way to be self-critical, but I really can’t say that I can fault our players for that result. How Stoke still had 11 men on the field at the end is a mystery to me.

    People will be critical of Wilshere, but the man was fouled almost every time he touched the ball in the first half.

    I know the FA tend to play to Liverpool and Manchester fans, who make up the bulk of their audience, but this really dire game does nothing to promote the English league. This referee has certainly killed off a lot of the entertainment in the run in for what?

    The FA talk about wanting to improve England’s chances internationally, but as long as they keep promoting this kind of game in this country our chances decline. For me it is not surprising that our club and international performance has declined when Riley became the head of PMGOL.

    As long as young English players are watching this and wanting to be more like Charlie Adams than Jack Wilshere, England will continue to decline as a footballing nation.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Not our best to be honest Dan, in fact far from it. Not helped though.

  • Ichele

    Very bad performance. Not ready for another top 4 scrap. We have to wait until wenger is tired of us and leaves. Only then we can get a more ambitious coach.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Great….Liverpool now in the lead.

  • Mahdain

    There is only one person to blame for that loss and thats the bent Mike Jones. A Taylor-esque performance from a ref who had orders and boy did he fulfill them. He gave the orcs the license to kick, hack and stamp on our players without any punishment and top it all he gifted them that utter bullshit of a penalty. Job well done Jones, im sure Riley must be a very happy man tonight

  • Donald

    blaming the ref is far too convenient. We have had a bad day at the office 5 times of our last 7 so i think that indicates an issue, We also have the worst goal difference of the top 4 teams, where we will soon be 4th place once city play their game in hand. We don’t score goals consistently and we don’t have many guys in the team you can rely on to score. last week aside its a struggle because we don’t play at any tempo. When Walcott went down so too did our pace and ability to get in behind the opposition. Giroud fans might love him for his pretty hair, but he’s average infront of goal and has no ability to create opportunities for himself or space plus he’s often isolated as he’s not getting too many runs in the box to support him so we often play up to the 18yrd line and pass sideways. Tactically when we face a team who gives us a go and stays organised basically we can’t score. Our createive outputs have to play deep to retrieve the ball so they don’t get in good positions and we have no pace. So Giroud cuts a lonely figure.
    The January windows failings are showing, Sanogo’s effort in front of goal was a joke for a player who isn’t ready for this level of competition yet. I don’t see how we win the league now, whereas i believed we could do it for so long but last weeks game looks like an anomoly the amount of poor games we’ve played sinse christmas.

  • Mahdain

    Stop it with the “do not blame the ref we were shit” crap. We havent played well in many matches this season and we still managed to win thanks to less appalling refereeing. I refuse to say we have had a fair referee in any of our games this season and im sure if the ref reviews were still done i would be proven right and thats why i say “less appalling” refereeing

  • GooneressNo1

    We weren’t at our best but then I don’t expect Arsenal or any other team for that matter to be at their best every game but to watch how Stoke lay into our players with such impunity was quite something to behold.

    The powers that actively encourage the stoke approach are villains and cowards but then what’s new.

  • Highamsparkgunner

    @kr I am also a season ticket holder and what you are saying is a load of bullshit.where I sit there are some pricks like yourself who can’t wait to diss Arsenal but I will always stand up to them as I believe they are strategically placed to try and disrupt as much as possible.
    I cannot wait to go next Saturday to cheer on my team in the FA Cup what are you going to do?

  • Highamsparkgunner

    The referee was a disgrace today.he was either very very poor or had been paid handsomely.he is also a local referee who shouldn’t even be allowed to referee their games.
    Watching the game I was just waiting for a reoccurrence of the Ramsey assault the way the referee was not booking their players letting loads of rough stuff as well as missing the stamps.the penalty as well was awful I do not felt eve I have ever seen arsenal get a penalty as soft as this.
    #COYG

  • Mahesh

    Now that there can be some daylight between us and ‘real title contenders’, we should expect to be ‘allowed to’ win some games.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Unless someone somewhere wants us out of the top four Manesh

  • ARSENAL 13

    I couldn’t watch the game. But the live commentary feed from arsenal.com showed a bad picture. What has Wilshere done to deserve this.

    Last week on a program pundits were discussing about Brendan Rodgers’s plan to develop English talents. How he can develop technical players. Well we have a few and treated like 3rd grade citizens…

  • As I Lay Dying

    @KR WHERE ART THOU?

    I am waiting from a retort from thee?

  • GooneressNo1

    Arsenal 13 I wonder how the dry lipped one will achieve that?

  • Tom

    Highamsparkgunner

    Mike Jones is an awful referee by his performance standards and by his body language as well. He looks lost and uncoordinated and I will bet my left nut he has never kicked a football in his life ,therefore has no feel for the game and Wenger should be able to tear him a new one in his post game conference, except he won’t because Arsenal were poor and that would be seen as sour grapes from a manager who got his player selection wrong and and failed to create much offense.

  • Yassin

    I know one thing, i got eyes, and i watched the game, our poor so called show was because of the over physical game we have to play. There are rules that should be applied. And about that mans game, ok its a men game, and why we are not aloud to play it. Why the refs are always giving those physical stuff against us, and not against them? Why everytime Giroud and Arteta got onto a challenge in the air, and won it, the ref gave a foul, while on the other side, he didnt?
    Why do Wilshere has to not go into challenges afraid of being another Ramsey? Are they playing football or WWE?

    NO ONE CAN COMMENT ON ANY TEAM DISPLAY, WHEN THE REF HAS BENT THE GAME AS MUCH AS TODAY.

    when Chelsea, City or Tottemham play badly, they are rescued by the refs, am not asking the ref to rescue us, am asking to let us play our game. If Arsenal plays in another league, or if the rules are applied, we should have still been first, and Chelsea shouldnt have been as near as they are from title. But i see some people are just Blind.

  • GooneressNo1

    Yassin.. well said.

  • Mike Collins

    we got just what we deserved which was nothing.
    Poorly prepared game plan and even more poorly executed.

  • Kos

    Yassin, grow up. Our performance was toothless and deserved a point at best.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Bloody hell, can these results get any worse? What chance an aided push to get Utd or the spuds into the top four? That would do arsenal, and probably end the career of a manager the powers that be seem to despise…in one fell swoop.
    Our forthcoming fixture list is hard enough, they are going to need players staying injury free, Ramsey back, and the crowd onside, as I fear the stars….or something else…are about go go into serious alignment against this club and it’s manager. Today could just be the start

  • AL

    I wouldn’t begrudge AW if he chose not to extend his contract, who could win against this?

  • Mandy Dodd

    Who would Al, he seemed generally pretty pissed off in the after match interview. I sometimes wonder if it may occur to him that his presence is a lightening rod that attracts all the shite the club seem to have to deal with disproportionately? Just wish I could be as confident as others that wenger will still be here in August, he really is leaving it late. He could easily swan off somewhere where he would get far less grief, still a huge wage packet and not be at the mercy of a system that top to bottom seems stacked against him, the club and the way it conducts things. Win , lose or draw, I am going to cherish the next few games with wenger in the dugout, because you just never know. Yes the team were poor, but there was clearly something else going on out there today, and we have seen it so many times before.

  • Florian

    And so the football is evolving towards bus parking and K1 fights. Somebody do something about the media and Mike Riley. Ivan, Mr. Kroenke, hear our prayer.

  • Shubham

    We lost and that is the bottom line. The ref was bad beyond belief but that is a given with Arsenal. Considering what we are playing for, I am surprised the team didn’t show up. No pace on the wings and laboured passing. Fourth place still on. Lets get that at least. When you have Sanogo to bring on you know its a sorry state for such a big club. Anyway lets hope we do well in the FA cup.

  • Why can’t we point at Wenger’s mistakes without being accused of being anti-Arsenal?

    Yes, Adams should have been sent off. And yes, it was a very soft penalty.
    But when you’re playing a team of bullies away from home it’s naive and terrible management to leave the only bully in your own squad (Flamini) on the bench.
    And when your team needs speed and penetration it’s almost criminal to leave out Oxlade-Chamberlain until the last fifteen minutes.

    What is it with Wengers obsession of not using his substitutes until the 67. minute or later???
    He never has the courage to use any subs by halftime – unless someone’s injured. Why??? Is he to stubborn or proud to admit it when his starting lineup is wrong or doesn’t work?

    Judging by today’s performance we should count ourselves lucky to stay in top four. And regardless how much I admire Wenger I have to say it’s mainly his fault. Because finally he had the players to go for the title – but so many times this season he hasn’t put the right players on the field.

  • Florian

    PerF,

    Re Flamini: With this ref today, he would have been surely sent off in a heartbeat.

    Re Ox: This is hindsight judgment. Had he had a worse game, would you have advocated for him coming in? And btw, leave the strong words at home.

    And re judging by today’s performance: This kind of performance is the rare exception, not the rule, and there are reasons for it outside Arsenal’s control. And, I’m sure you would have put “the right players” on the field.

  • bob mac

    Just watched the Liverpool game.

    Hardly a ‘wrong’ call by the officials, certainly not a game changer.

    Funny in the stoke game the officials managed at least 3, the 2 fouls on Giroud were sending off offences, the penalty would NEVER have been given if it was for Arsenal, and the consistent fouling in none dangerous areas. I just wonder how many times Jack was fouled and players got away with it.

    Called rotational fouling, of course.

    As the Sky pundits remarked, stoke got in our faces, bullied us and were very physical. In other words they were intent on kicking the shit out of us.

    What’s new there then, hughes has always been like that,and so have stoke.

    Although not at our best, we’ve had 3pts taken away yet again by abysmal officiating.

  • Pat

    From Arsene Wenger’s comments, he is furious with the referee but refuses to say anything about it. We all know why – if he does he gets fined and more importantly it stokes up the media campaign against him and Arsenal.

    He seems, however, to also have a critical view of how our team played this match. No doubt one way or another he will get this across to the team. I have strong belief that we will come out differently in our next match. The season is not over!

  • bjtgooner

    Riley and his paid disciples are obviously on a mission. Riley made his bias against Arsenal very public when he ended the Invincible run. The motive at that stage may well have been his relationship with Don Fungus.

    But why has the bias continued for so long and why are all the refs still showing match after match an anti Arsenal bias? Is it still the Don Fungus relationship? Is it the media with Riley trying to organize results to match a predicted pattern, or is there a new input from a prospective money launderer who might want to destabilize the club pending a takeover? Either way something in Riley’s corner stinks.

  • Pat

    @Mandy

    I don’t think the powers that be despise Arsene Wenger – far from it. I think they fear him – a man of integrity in a world of dishonesty and an advocate of beautiful football in a world of the kick em brigade.

  • STEVE VALLINS

    @ Mandy
    AW is a very honourable man , do you think Ozil would have signed for us without the reassurance of AW staying beyond his current contract
    I believe he is waiting to see how our season turns out

  • AL

    I say this with a heavy heart, and certainly my heart doesn’t want it, but I honestly think Wenger will be better off elsewhere, in a different league. They have shown him they WILL NOT let him win anything, and he will just continue to damage his reputation the longer he stays here. I know my team will be poorer but we have to be fair to the man.

  • As I Lay Dying

    WE DID NOT SHOW UP TODAY…..

    @AL I say this with a light heart, and certainly my heart wants it, but I honestly think AL will be better off elsewhere, at a different website.

    WE DID NOT SHOW UP TODAY……

    Not the ref, the dirty tackles, that is all the NORM – are we not use to that as a club?

  • Mandy Dodd

    Pat, you may well be right I guess, I also think there are things going on in this league that wenger and arsenal refuse to be part of.
    Steve, you may well be right, but if he had decided to go, I do not think he would be letting on to anyone in fear of destabilising the team, which could even be happening with him not signing so far? Who knows. He may well be waiting to see how the season goes, but that is risky, if it all goes down the pan, and there is as I fear there could be, a successful attempt to get Utd or the spuds into the top four, that could leave wenger very little room to manoeuvre, his position could become untenable. Of course I may be delving into conspiratorial stuff here and worrying unnessecerily, but I genuinely believe this league is bent, and that there is an agenda against certainly the manager and maybe the club. No that is not excusing the performance today. If those players want wenger to stay, and I believe they do, they must pull out all stops and fight for their manager. That could be the best hope.
    Big call Al, but know exactly where you are coming from

  • OMGArsenal

    The season is just beginning….AGAIN. Marchand,PerF, Mike Collins, @KR and Wolfgang…why is it that you only show up when we lose and all you offer is criticism and cynical negativism? Is it perhaps because you thrive on demeaning the Arsenal and Wenger, the Board and Kroenke? Are you even Gooners…..or perhaps just trolls whose allegiances lay elsewhere?

  • GooneressNo1

    In my opinion Arsene is a man with a genuine spine, many of us would have thrown our hands into the air and turned our backs on the EPL years ago but not Arsene. If you believe in a thing you have to see it through no matter what or who is against you.

    COYG

  • GooneressNo1

    Pat I too believe their actions are motivated by fear.

  • Rupert Cook

    The battle for fourth begins.

  • Mahdain

    Somebody close the sewer as the biggest rat just came out

  • Mandy Dodd

    Anyone else get the impression there was an attempt to take giroud out for a while today?

  • Mahdain

    I wouldnt blame Arsene one bit if he decided to not extend the contract though i would be extremely saddened by it. The corrupt powers of the league just wont let him win and there has been a long campaign to get him sacked for no reason whatsoever. If it was me i would have given up long ago and go somewhere where i wont be witch hunted and my talents will be appreciated

  • Mahdain

    Yeah Mandy i got that impression and was very worried we might see another Ramsey incident today and the way the bent Jones was letting things go , i think my fears had a good cause. What gets to me even more is how all these shit pundits applaud that disgusting type of play.Sorry for any Englishmen out there but i hope and pray that England continues to get mauled and humiliated on international stage untill they change their perception and kick out thuggery out of their national game.

  • GooneressNo1

    Mahdain I spent much of the game fearing the worse for our players. Mark Hughes/Stoke and the ref seemed as though they wanted to put both Jack and Giroud in the hospital.

    As for those snakes known as pundits… they maintain the status quo, white washing reality for the benefit of those they so enthusiastically serve.

  • nicky

    The GBH on Giroud by the gruesome Adam must surely be on a TV recording.
    Can we expect the FA to attend to the matter?

  • bjtgooner

    Pat, I agree with the point that because Wenger is a man of integrity in a corrupt league many people (those who make money from their illegal activities) are afraid. Fear in this case would stem from self guilt, the fear of being caught/exposed and not knowing just how much Wenger might know about the whole level of corruption within the EPL and elsewhere.

    However, those who are responsible for the corruption and the blatant bias which stems from it are flirting with criminal prosecution – sooner or later the truth will out.

  • bjtgooner

    If a troll’s patience is exhausted the sensible thing would be for him to take his propaganda elsewhere or, alternatively, lift up his tail & stick it where the sun does not shine.

  • Gord

    Can anyone draw?

    What about a cartoon/poster? Arsenal player laying on the ground with a complex leg fracture (bones protruding from skin). Standing next to the Arsenal player is some opposition player, the referee, Mike Riley and a “big person” with “The FA” on their shirt. The referee is thanking the opposition player for slowing down the Arsenal player, as he was having a hard time keeping up with play. Mike Riley is saying to the referee, “I suppose you think you deserve a bonus for this?”. And “The FA” is telling the opposition player to kick the Arsenal player a few more times before the medical team gets there.

    Print them on A4 paper, and post them all over the UK. Send copies to foreign news organizations, but none to any in the UK.

  • GooneressNo1

    Criminal prosecution and humiliation I suggest.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Another,worrying fact when you see this refereeing performance……Stoke are owned by a bookie BET 365…..

  • GooneressNo1

    Really Mandy now that doesn’t surprise me.

  • Mandy Dodd

    http://www.theguardian.com/football/2011/may/13/peter-coates-stoke-city-cup-final

    Yep, no conflict of interest there, all fit and proper persons and all that.,
    Strange….stand to be corrected, but though Stoke one of the dirtiest teams, untold reviews suggest they are one of the most favoured by refs…..hashtag follow the money

  • GooneressNo1

    Mandy it’s funny how I can watch a game note the sponsors but at the same time not fully understand what I’m looking it.

  • para

    We know exactly what to expect, and it is upsetting out game, causing us extra pressure. We have to up our game back to that level where any attempt to unfairly ursurp us is seen clearly by all. Skill will always show through. I wonder if Sanoga should have started, he can take some of this “man’s game” then Giroud on later when Stoke are tired.
    Concerning penalty, it looks like Stoke player wanted to kick ball on players arm, a man called Giggs, is very expert at this, he mastered it game after game when Utd were struggling.
    All in all, i could see the resignation in the players body language, and this must not happen, this means they are getting to us, so we should take the positive that they are afraid of us, else they would not use such tactics to stop us.
    We stand ALONE Arsenal, maybe we should adapt the pool song and change the words to “We’ll always walk alone”, “because the refs are out to get us”.
    Ha, i am disgusted, that i am.

  • para

    Ha, that should elict some sort of a response, probably:

    News item sweeping through the media:
    Breaking news, “the whole of the Arsenal supporters were sent off by the ref today, this has never happened in a football match, ever”, and must now surely set a precedent on how to deal with unruly supporters, supporters who dis-respect the ref.

  • ARSENAL 13

    People should get their narrative correct.
    “Arsenal don’t like physical game.”

    Of course we don’t like physical game when the opponents cross the line and refs are happy to watch from the sideline……

    Give us a fair game idiots….

  • Yassin

    The obvious would be to ask the FA and PGMOL tp apply th rule, and fairly between teams, but it seems some Arsenal fans only care about moaning about thr team.
    When Nani was rightly red carded during the Real Madrid match, all the fans of Manchester United said he was unfairly red carded and the ref lost them the game. This is normal bias to the team they support. I just get surprised we arr the only team that have fans who ask them to man up and play better when they are kicked off the field, and accept such penalties. Those penalties are not given at all, but yesterday anyone with a damn eye can see the ref giving it cause he was totally biased against us. And to then blame the players is bullsht. This is football, and there are rules, official rules, when they are applied to benifit one team and not applied whem the other will benifit from them, then what should our players have done. If they are pushed everytime they have the ball, and they push back, the ref will punish us not them, so what should they do?

    Some people are just no men enough to defend their own players, after such a show and coming here to see such replies, am starting to.hate football,and hate watching it…. When its obvious every game we are being on the bad side of refereeing, and still we dont want to see that, but start to blame our players.
    And what is that about top 4 and fight, we are 4pts behind for God sake. Now Fans, i guess its your time to man up.

  • Persian Gunner

    And as usual skysport only allows “Wenger shot your mouth” and “Wenger out” comments
    I couldn’t see the game, but deep in my heart I believe we are going to win the big matches

  • HOME AND AWAY

    Im doing an investigation into cults is it ok if I quote you all ?

  • ARSENAL 13

    Moral high ground ….isn’t it.

    Moral high ground refers to the status of being respected for remaining moral, and adhering to and upholding a universally recognized standard of justice or goodness according to Wikipedia.

    Recognized standard of justice or goodness. In Arsenals case, Being kicked, anti-Arsenal refereeing, anti-Arsenal reporting….

  • Rupert Cook

    A conversation between man and wife as heard at the Ems a few weeks ago.

    Wife : Is Act One over yet dear? (Looking up from mobile phone). I thought I heard a whistle.

    Husband : Yes.

    Wife : These seats aren’t as comfortable as the lovely plush ones at the Haymarket. And when will they finish building the roof? And I can’t hear the actors speak, maybe they should be miked up. Or is this one of those avant garde plays where actions speak louder than words? Is this play by that Beckett fellow?

    Husband : Yes, it’s called Waiting For A Trophy.

  • Rupert Cook

    Wenger quote from five years ago,”If we do not get there next year or the year after then you can say this was not the right way.”

    He’s had an extra three years grace since that quote. Time up for certain if he doesn’t win the league this year.

    Another Wenger quote, “At other clubs success is accidental, at Arsenal it is compulsory.”

    I wonder how he measures success.

  • Mahdain

    @Yassin i feel you brother i feel you. As i said in the previous thread this is slowly but surely making me lose interest in the game altogether. I spend time watching my team getting unfairly treated week in and week out by the corrupt powers of the league and get blamed for it. Why are the rules bent when Arsenal play? Why is it never an even playing field? What happens to the fair play spirit? and why is it that instead of highlighting the wrongdoings of the bent officials the media are occupied with sticking the knife? I really hope that criminal prosecution is coming for all these pricks and please god let it be soon.

  • Mahdain

    and please people do not feed the troll. Just skip through his posts and dont reply to him

  • Wengerson

    @ AAA Cook

    “Time up for certain if he doesn’t win the league this year.”

    Now tell us, if Arsenal don’t win the league this year, and Arsene stays, will you leave us alone?

    It is very strage that you still expect different results, when it is clear, according to you, that as long as he is there, Arsenal won’t win the league.

    The only logical thing is to go support a team which is not managed by Arsene.

  • Rupert Cook

    As long as our genius of a manager is content to try and weave through solid defences with endless sideway passing we’ll get nowhere. Pace and power is needed and why the hell are we playing with Giroud alone up front against Stoke when we’re trying to win the league? The fact that we have Giroud leading the line is obviously why we have no chance of winning the league but at least get someone up there with him that he could actually lay the ball off too seeing as he’s incapable of scoring.

  • As I Lay Dying

    @ EVERYONE and @Rupert

    No need for the sarcastic interludes…”genius of a manager” ETC. But just out of genuine interest, who have you lined up to take over from, I QUOTE, “genius of a manager”?

    also @RUPERT the Bear; you sound like an armchair fan, but you also sound like a season ticket holder who is so angry, ridiculous, misdirected but honest. I say honest because you really believe you are right and most of us all here are badly wrong.

    Bottom line is that all the opinions, banter and sometimes vitriol is all and always will be FROTH AND BUBBLES.

    REMEMBER , THAT THE SANDS OF TIME WAIT FOR NO MAN…

  • AL

    A few interesting links. The first one is not football related but important all the same; some sadists lurk amongst us, so the advice is not to engage them at all. I found the eurosport report in last link to be particularly scathing to stokes approach. Hardly surprising, given that most English papers I’ve read this morning mention at least two stamps on Giroud by Whelan and Adams(the Whelan one even resulted in ref awarding stoke a free kick!).

    http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/online-trolls-are-psychopaths-and-sadists-psychologists-claim-9134396.html

    http://balls.ie/football/gif-charlie-adam-stamp-on-olivier-giroud/

    http://au.eurosport.com/football/premier-league/2012-2013/match-facts-stoke-city-v-arsenal_sto4153732/story.shtml

    I’m just trying to decide which was the worst performance by a ref, the one in the Villa game or this one.

  • AL

    I posted a comment with some interesting links about trolling, but it went into moderation. So here is a snippet from the link;
    “If an unfortunate person falls into their trap, trolling intensifies for further, merciless amusement. This is why novice Internet users are routinely admonished, ‘Do not feed the trolls!’,” the study warned.

    Engage a troll at your own peril.

  • TommieGun

    Walter I totally share your views, and I believe that your post is very accurate.

    There is no sense in NOT pointing out to the fact that it was one of our worst performance of the season. I do understand that some people might feel that in order to protect from AAA taking over the conversation [we are all doomed, Wenger out, etc.] there is a need to always show unity etc., but when done in a childish manner (yes, sorry OMG I’m talking about you) I really think that it is counter productive.

    There is a need to remain pro-Arsenal and pro-Wenger in hard times, no doubt, but in my humble opinion, turning a blind eye to reality is not the right way.

    Yes the ref was appaling, yes if he would have left Stoke with 9 men like he should the result would have been different, yes it was a soft penalty, but come on: We are Arsenal. They are Stoke. We have faced much harder opposition AND shittier referees this year, and this performance stands out as not being good enough. Why are people so reluctant to admit that is beyond me.

    Now, is this a blip or is this the direction the season is facing? I truly believe it’s a blip, and hope – like Walter said – that it would serve as a wake up call.

    COYG

  • AL

    This conclusion from eurosport match report on yesterday’s match
    “Is Charlie Adam a footballer? A coward, yes. A violent presence on the pitch, yes. But after planting his studs in two different Arsenal players in the match, and with a history of violence to match Viggo Mortensen, it is hard to make a case for his continued presence on the football match. Arsenal were terrible, but given Stoke’s behaviour on the pitch throughout, it might the case of football’s first genuine moral victory.”

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Nora Roberts quotes.From…

    http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/625.Nora_Roberts

    “If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. If you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place.”

    “Magic exists. Who can doubt it, when there are rainbows and wildflowers, the music of the wind and the silence of the stars? Anyone who has loved has been touched by magic. It is such a simple and such an extraordinary part of the lives we live.”

    “Some things in life are out of your control. You can make it a party or a tragedy.’

    “When you find somebody you love, all the way through, and she loves you—even with your weaknesses, your flaws, everything starts to click into place. And if you can talk to her, and she listens, if she makes you laugh, and makes you think, makes you want, makes you see who you really are, and who you are is better, just better with her, you’d be crazy not to want to spend the rest of your life with her.”

    “Do you know how many ways love can hit you? So it makes you happy, or miserable? It makes you sick in the belly or hurt in the heart. It makes everything brighter and sharper, or it blurs all the edges. It makes you feel like a king or a fool. Every way love can hit you, it’s hit me when it comes to you”

  • Brickfields Gunners

    “I don’t kick a man when he’s down, unless I’m the one who put him down in the first place. I don’t put him down unless he deserves it. And I don’t break my word if I give it. So I’ll give you my word.”

    “know what you want, work to get it, then value it once you have it.”
    ― Nora Roberts, Morrigan’s Cross
    tags: goals, inspirational, proactivity
    142 likes
    like
    “We make destiny with every turn, every choice.”

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Sorry, again Nora Roberts –

    “know what you want, work to get it, then value it once you have it.”

    “We make destiny with every turn, every choice.”

    “Sometimes a wind comes up, blows you off course. You’re not ready for it, but if you’re lucky, you end up in a more interesting place than you’d planned. ”

    “Be yourself. Be true to that, to your heart. Patience. See what happens if you step back instead of bounding forward.”

    “Feeling too much is a hell of a lot better than feeling nothing.”

  • Mike T

    As many will know I have no loyalties whatsoever toward Arsenal. So perhaps can offer a little more of an objective assessment
    I didn’t watch your game live, I was at Fulham so am basing my comments on the extended highlights shown by Sky.
    First the Charlie Adam stamp. The only question that I guess could have been was in intentional. Looked to me if it was and really should have been a red card.
    The penalty was very harsh. Was his hand in an unnatural position? Possibly but as I say harsh.
    Having said all that from what I saw it was almost as if your players feared the game. Almost as if they knew they would lose. You just didn’t show enough to win the game.
    Its all very well pointing fingers at robust opposition players but that’s what you have to have in the EPL.
    Not having players with that extra bit of strength is, I believe, part of the reason why you have so get many red card your lighter faster players fly into tackles but in a defensive manner, not fully committed to the tackle. I know some will say they have to in an effort to protect themselves but (sorry Walter) I will again make reference to Rugby and anyone who has played it will tell you that if you don’t show the right mentality in making a tackle it is usually you that comes off worse
    Our first half performance at Fulham was poor but on the back of a CL game and a journey home was perhaps understandable. We stepped it up in the second half. From what I saw I was thinking you hadn’t arrived home till Thursday morning from an away CL game. I couldn’t see anything that suggested that you had a game plan or indeed if you had that you had worked during the week on it.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to see it do the other trees make fun of it?

  • Mick

    It would be just and right to see retrospective action taken by the FA against a couple of the Stoke players, Adams and Whelen, however that doesn’t help Arsenal in any way, in fact it could actually help our rivals if bans were implemented now. I want to see justice applied when it really matters ie when the offence occurs and thus benefits the team sinned against. The only way is replay technology in conjunction with a manager challenge system as used in cricket and tennis. Hell will freeze over first though, football is stuck in the dark ages.

  • Gianni Dioro

    I noticed from the beginning of the match that Mike Jones was calling every little foul by Arsenal but letting go numerous fouls by Stoke, sometimes eventing fouls by Arsenal where none existed such as when Giroud was stamped by Whelan or when Giroud fought to head a ball across the goalmouth.

    Charlie Adam should have been sent off twice. One, for intentionally studding Arteta in the leg, and two, for stamping on Giroud while he was prone. And don’t tell me it wasn’t intentional. Adam knew exactly where Giroud was, and he planted his studs right into Giroud’s leg.

  • AL

    Webb denies Liverpool a possible penalty against Arsenal(this after he’d already given pool a very soft penalty, and there’s an immediate outcry in the media questioning England’s “best” ref’s decision making, with some even going to the extent of researching and presenting stats of Webb’s performances in last 10years. Jones let’s stoke players off with at least 3 dangerous tackles on Arsenal players and gives a very very soft penalty against Arsenal, and we just getting passing references in the match reports in the media. What stance is the next ref to do an Arsenal game likely to take in view of this?

  • Pat

    Although I’m not holding my breath, I hope Charlie Adam does get a ban. He is a dirty and violent player, but he only brings out his worst against us because he knows the referee will let him get away with it. He will control himself more against other teams where he knows he won’t.

    This is certainly not the first match, by the way, where Giroud has been singled out for treatment. It really is a coward’s way to play.

  • Paul "The Gooner"

    I think the above comment sums it up.We all knew we would get done by another official after the Liverpool match.I do think the premier league is corrupt.AW was correct in not speaking out about the phycical approach by Stoke.What a typical team talk Hughes must have given to his players before the match.I am all for be committed,winning the ball, but it would have been”hit them early,let them know you mean business,get stuck in,take giroud out,wind up Wiltshire!.Do I want England to do well in the WC.That is a hard question to answer at present.We will come back from this.

  • bjtgooner

    Lets look on the bright side. We have all been concerned about how effective the team would be should Giroud suffer an injury. Yesterday he managed to survive with his legs intact, despite a succession of cynical tackles. (Was there a plan to “take him out” for the rest of the season?)

    The Adams post tackle deliberate stamp has been well commented on, but there was an earlier occasion when Giroud was fouled by two Orcs simultaneously with one stamping on his ankle, what did the prat Jones do? – he awarded a free kick to the Orcs. How the hell can anyone be expected to play their best football in such circumstances?

    The Orcs also got away with a number of 2 footed leg breaking challenges, which fortunately did not connect. Needless to say the intent was there, but was unpunished.

    Irrespective of how well or badly we played, the deck was stacked against us – this was clear from an early stage when the initial “exploratory” fouls by the Orcs went unpunished – Sparky (disciple of Don Fungus) and his thugs then knew how to proceed.

  • AL

    bjtgooner,
    I too find it unfair and a little ridiculous to criticise the team for playing poorly under such circumstances. How can we expect them to play well when they are being exposed to leg breaking tackles and the person who should be protecting them turns a blind eye. I never played football at any competitive level, but I remember one game where I was I was playing for my local social club when an opposing player slided in two footed trying to get the ball away. Fortunately I jumped over his legs and he missed, and the next few minutes I was just thinking this guy could have broken my legs if he’d made contact. Many things were going through my head, and I didn’t stay on the pitch long afterwards as I opted to come off. Professional football players can handle such incidents a lot lot better but it’d be silly to think someone could get kicked and stamped on the way Jack and Giroud were, without it affecting their performances. Especially if the culprits don’t get punished.

  • HOME AND AWAY

    Paul “The Gooner” ” I do think the premier league is corrupt.”

    Hi Paul-2 things about that – If you really thought the Premier League was corrupt why would you possibly spend even one more second watching it ?
    Plus if that were true would Webb not have given Liverpool the second and far more blatant penalty on the basis that the only people who would complain would be Untold ?

  • finsbury

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p2vOsPstWU8

    How can you play when an official has two sets of rules, one for each team? This was obvious from early on in the game.

    Of course the players are aware. It was one factor in Fabregas’ decision to return to Barca earlier then scheduled following his ‘bruised bone’, playing at LW half the time before Xavi scoots of to the MLS. If that is too vague a conclusion then his attitude and conduct towards the referees in his final season could be seen by all watching and needs no further explanation.

  • bjtgooner

    @finsbury

    Thanks for that link, the incident shown is the one I was trying to describe earlier, the link is better than any description!

  • Tom

    Al

    ‘Professional football players can handle those incidents a lot better but it would be silly to think someone could get kicked and stamped on the way Jack and Giroud were, without it effecting their performances. Especially if the culprits don’t get punished,’

    Right you are.
    This is precisely why I have criticized Wenger before for not knowing how to pick his fights when dealing with the PGMOL .

    He’s been known to complain about Arsenal players’ mistreatment and lack of protection from referees when Arsenal failed to get results against clubs who simply outplayed us and are not known for dirty play but when faced with the over the top dirty Stoke and Jones’ failure to protect our players , he says’ honestly , I don’t want to talk about the referee too much’.

    Whaaat ?!

    Bill Cowher was a NFL coach who after what he rightly considered a poor referee performance against his Pittsburg Steelers in the first half of a championship game , stuck a photograph picture of a blown call into refs chest pocket while on the way to the tunnel. Needless to say , he .got his point across .

    Arsenal have been fighting a loosing battle against PGMOL mainly because Wenger has been bringing a knife to a gun fight .
    When dealing with an overwhelming evidence of anti Arsenal bias , a club of Arsenal stature and wealth should have a whole fucking department of think -tanks dedicated to dealing with FA and PGMOL .

    As I stated on another thread Jones is an awful referee who’s never looked the part and and doesn’t seem capable of chewing gum and walking at the same time and an Arsenal player getting stamped on twice in the same game ( what are the statistical chances of that happening)especially against Stoke , should’ve been a talking point after the game.Except it really couldn’t ,could it? We were poor from the off and played with fear even before the fist tackle was made.

    You don’t go to Stoke and start the game with a series of back passes inviting the pressure and showing them that you are already intimidated.

    The lack of speed and width was plain to see throughout the first three quarters of the game , so why did it take until 66th and 75th minute to make changes ?
    Wenger himself had said ‘we didn’t create enough going forward ‘ , so why not shake things up and inject some speed at the start of the second half?

    This is not a case of ‘ Monday morning quarterbacking’ or ‘ hindsight is always 20/20.’ I’m not criticizing Wenger for getting his starting eleven wrong but simply waiting too long to make changes.

    Ox created more in fifteen minutes than all other players in full ninety.

    I still believe Wenger is the man for the Job but he should shoulder a big part of criticism for this performance.

  • There’s always a result in the season that comes with a heavy match report. Not because I don’t have an opinion, but because the situation totally flatlines me. Yesterday, I didn’t expect to lose. I didn’t expect to see a squad fighting for the title turn up and give nothing. I didn’t expect Stoke to be the team who would kill our season.

    Yesterday was a surprise, but when you add up all the failings of the manager over the past year, it really shouldn’t have been such a big one.

    Arsenal are set up to fail. Arsene, sets Arsenal up to fail. He does the same thing every season. It’s embarrassingly predictable. Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result isn’t the definition of insanity, it’s the definition of negligence… but here’s the thing, negligence for me is a failure to act upon something when you know the outcome could be bad. My issue here is that calling Arsene negligent assumes he knows his actions will lead to failure… I honestly don’t believe he knows that. I think he thinks what he’s doing will eventually lead to glory and that’s the tragedy here.

    I don’t want to labour on the game too hard, because it’s simply too depressing. The point about yesterday is that Arsene lined up with a rotated team and the performance that was dropped was a disgrace. So many issue all over the park from players who didn’t look like they were interested.

    Key issues:

    Strikers:

    Ok, we’ve been here before, right? Loads of times. Arsenal have the worst strike force in the top 6. Simple as that. We’ve known for two seasons that Giroud is not a world class striker, nor will he ever be. The failure over two transfer windows to land a striker is beyond embarrassing. It’s an utter failure of the club and the manager.

    Anyway, back to Giroud. You need strikers. You need more than one. Because what has happened here is that Giroud is pretty bang average on good day. Now we’ve hit the business end of the season he’s unexpectedly been caught shagging anyone who knows where his hotel room is. He’s not only fatigued, he’s now shot mentally. Anyone who has been caught out doing something they shouldn’t will know the outrageous stress it puts on your life. So now we have an average player performing below par. He was totally anonymous yesterday.

    … but here’s the joke. We’re chasing a title, Giroud is having another stinker… so we bring on Sanogo. I don’t mean to be derrogotary to the lad, I like his attitude and I like his passion, but right now, he’s not good enough. He’s not experienced and he doesn’t possess the quality to be playing second fiddle for a top 4 team. His blast over the bar at the death said it all.

    Who is that situation down to? Wenger.

    Motivation

    Chelsea went into half time having played out a 45minute shocker against Fulham. His players went in at halftime expecting the hair dryer. Mourinho walked into the dressing room and said nothing. The players went out for the second half and destroyed Fulham.

    What did Arsene do before the game?

    What did Arsene do at half time?

    Where was the reaction? Where was the fight? Who wanted to cement their reputation as the legend that pulled us out of the hole we found ourselves in? Nobody. They all flatlined. Nobody wanted to stand up and be counted. There was no Tony Adams moment. There was not Patrick Vieira moment. There was no spirit. No passion to fight for the win

    … why? Answer me that? How can you send a team out with 10 or so games to play with not motivation? It’s embarrassing. The players should be ashamed, but so should the manager who sat idly by on the side lines and allowed that to happen.

    Squad

    We don’t have the squad to deal with the Premier League. It’s as simple as that. Arteta, I love him, but he doesn’t have the legs anymore. Jack Wilshere, looked jaded and heavy legged again. Maybe he was ill? Maybe he’d had a rough night? Whatever it was, he shouldn’t have started. But the key issue with the squad is we don’t have the ingredients you need to change games.

    The worst decision outside of not signing a striker in the summer was the absolute atrocity that was January.

    Theo Walcott was out back up striker. Think what you like about his ability but he possesses explosive pace and he delivers goals and assists. He picked up his injury on the 5th of January. Arsenal do not have pace anywhere else in the squad, bar maybe Chambo. Why did Arsene not go all out to purchase a striker to cover off what we lost?

    Next issue. Aaron Ramsey is both explosive and powerful. He dominates midfield. He’s one of the best in the league. We lost him to serious injury in December… then we lost him at the end of January to a second serious injury. Why did we not look to replace his attributes? Why was there no plan in place to bring in someone else? What, on any level of logical professionalism, was Arsene thinking with Kallstrom? The Premier League is pace and power… the optimum physical peak for a pro footballer is 29… Wenger goes out and signs an unfit broken journeyman who stinks of average to support our season.

    Chelsea signed Matic, why weren’t we in for him? Liverpool went in hard for Konoplyanka? Why weren’t we sniffing around him? Why didn’t we push hard for a striker early in the window? What sort of professional outfit waits to see who is around at the end of a window in the hope of picking up a bargain… when they have £140m available to spend?

    It’s quite unbelievable we didn’t move for anyone. But this is the issue, we’re a club built to fail. Our scouting network is beyond repair under the current regime. When was the last time we snared a left field signing? Why aren’t we buying in power and pace… the two key ingredients you need to succeed in the Premiership. What’s crazier for me, is that the teams of yesteryear that used to win things were built on exceptional power and pace! Overmars, Ljungberg, Pires, Paddy, Petit, Adams, Keown, Ashley Cole, Lauren, Thierry… we just don’t have players with those attributes anymore.

    Which is why we can’t sustain an assault on the Premier League.

    Yesterday was a shock to me, but when you look at the team, the management and the way the club is set up, it’s pretty clear why we don’t win things anymore.

    Moving Forward:

    This is where things get interesting. Being realistic, we have to look at top 4 being the challenge now, not the title. Now, if you put on your logical glasses, some decisions have to be made about how we approach the next gaggle of games.

    The Champions League is gone. Give up. Forget about it. We don’t have a side built to win that. Even if we somehow create a miracle and qualify, all we’re doing is granting ourselves a stay of execution. So the manager needs to make a decision. Give it up, focus on what’s important.

    For me, that’s firstly the FA Cup. The club need a trophy, that trophy is realistic. If we beat Everton, that puts us into a semi final. Two games and we shake the dreaded ‘no trophy for a decade’ noose. The fans will forgive a lot if we win that. Then it’s Bayern. Put out a reserve team for that game because the game after that is Spurs. We need a fresh squad. Win there, that puts us 9 points clear assuming they win today. Lose there, and that reduces the gap to 3 points. Then we’re in trouble.

    The Stoke loss couldn’t have come at a worse time… international week… then 5 really hard games back to back. Arsene Wenger sides are notoriously fragile mentally, so he really needs to do all he can to get the club back on track.

    Conclusion:

    Football is a game of marginal gains. Management of a football club isn’t rocket science or wizardry. It’s just a case of taking care of the details. If you don’t analyse opponents you lose 1%. If you over train players, you lose 1%. If you don’t have a great scouting network, you lose 1%. If you don’t rotate, you lose 1%. Add up all the 1%’s… it becomes pretty obvious why we don’t win things. Yesterday was an amalgamation of a seasons worth of missed details. It shouldn’t surprise you, but it’ll always disappoint you, because we deserve better from out manager and we deserve better from our club.

    Wenger:

    I’m not going to talk about my opinion on his future when I’m so disappointed, but what I’ll say is this… he hasn’t signed his deal. He could have signed that a month ago when he was smashing all that went before him. It’s telling that he’s not put pen to paper. There are clearly doubts creeping into his mind. It’s going to be a very interesting few weeks, especially if this season goes to pot in typically spectacular fashion.

    More thoughts on Wenger and the future tomorrow…

  • Tom

    There’s been some talk in the media, at least Stateside, about Alan Pardew getting a lengthy ban and a fine for his touch line bust up and what looked like a harmless ( relatively speaking) head but on the Hull player. Don’t get me wrong, I have no sympathy for Pardew but when you consider the possible ramifications of a halfhearted head butt as oppose to what looked like an intentional double stamp on player’s leg , you have to ask yourself ,does anyone at Arsenal not know how to frame the conversation?

  • Mandy Dodd

    Agree with you on one thing Tom, we should certainly be taking steps to deal with the pgmol. I am not sure what we can do, but I am equally sure no other major club would be putting up with this. Some wanted flam to start, I can assure you he would have lapped Adam, and got an eight match ban doing us no good at all. I had hoped Ivan Gazidis in his various roles of power could have an influence in getting us a fairer deal, but clearly not the case. Yesterday’s refereeing was embarrassing, but I doubt if there will be further action from the FA. Two stamps, quite amazing they were not punished. There could easily have been another Ramsey, they were trying to maim OG for the season….maybe trying to assist others as well as themselves? Yes heads dropped, but they clearly knew what they are up against, I am not saying this played on their minds, but we have World Cup players, who were out there unprotected. If ever we see this ref at the Ems, hope the fans give him hell. I do wonder how much more of this wenger can take, he is a strong man, he knows him walking is exactly what they want, but I also wonder if he may believe his presence is part of the problem, and possibly putting his team in harms way. Would we get this if say Steve bould was manager? I just don’t know the answer to that.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Meant to say flam would have lamped Adam …..above…

  • dan

    I’ve been discussing this issue with a friend, we both came to the conclusion Wenger knows what Stoke is all about. Mark Hughes is another Pulis without the stupid cap. It’s not going to be a game, it’s rugby.

    One thing I do blame our management is under-estimating the shit teams like Stoke. English mentality of roughing up the opponent is in their blood, the ref’s are part of the same pool. Anyone with a passion for the game can see this why England are so crap in competitions, and bless them for it.

  • Mandy Dodd

    EXPLAINS IT ALL! Seems our friend Mike Jones is a Liverpool fan if this is to be believed
    http://sabotagetimes.com/reportage/who-does-howard-webb-really-support/

    Why on earth is he refusing Liverpools rivals coming to the end of the season?
    Also googled this ref, staggering the number of times he has been demoted / suspended

  • AL

    It’s all very well to say AW could have done this or that earlier, Tom. And while I concede you acknowledge the ref was shite, I probably would end my analysis there. To be fair to AW he has hardly pointed the finger at any ref this season, and we also need to acknowledge the swiftness with which the FA has hauled him before their disciplinary committee when he has complained about officials previously. Contrast that with redknap who threatened not to speak with the media again if he got banned/fined for labelling a goal against his team at OT a farce/mistake by the ref. The FA duly complied and didn’t take action on him. My point is while the refs let any fouls against our players go unpunished, they’re quick to punish our players for the slightest mistake. The same happens with Wenger and the FA, he gets punished where other managers get away with murder.

    I do not think there’s an easy solution to this, I feel sorry for Wenger as he’s fighting against cheats. And for him to get one over the cheats he has to start cheating as well, but we all know that’s not in his DNA. I’m not sure what you guys really expect us to do when you say we should be more prepared against the likes of Stoke. Just how can we prepare for this? When the ref is going to let such thuggery as displayed by Adam go on unpunished. Flamini made a two footed tackle a few weeks ago which he got all of the ball and made no contact with the other player, but still got banned four matches. I heard people here saying it was silly of him to go in like that. Contrast his tackle with Adam’s tackles that weren’t even deemed to be worthy of yellows, and tell me how we can prepare for that.

  • bob

    “Of course the players are aware. It was one factor in Fabregas’ decision to return to Barca earlier then scheduled .”
    finsbury,
    Exactly, and some of us were saying exactly this at the time. I wonder whether Ozil has concluded likewise.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Monkey The Brains of the .From…
    http://www.thespoof.com/jokes/13998/monkey-the-brains-of-the-outfit

    I had a friend who had taught his pet monkey to steal people’s money while he played the organ.

    I think it was him playing with the organ that distracted the audience so much that the monkey gradually made him rich.

    Of course, he would always get arrested for indecent exposure but he would pay a fine and move on to another city.

    He’s about six-foot tall, weighs 200 pounds, red hair and a mole on his you-know-what. Also, the monkey wears a little red hat.

    They owe me over $500. Send info to: I.B. Moleturd in care of this Spoof Joke.

    I.B. Moleturd

  • bob

    “I had hoped Ivan Gazidis in his various roles of power could have an influence in getting us a fairer deal, but clearly not the case.”
    Mandy Dodd,
    Really glad you’ve now come to a conclusion on this. Gazidis’ moving on high has not helped to protect his own teams’ working assets – contracted players playing – on the pitch.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Al, take your point, not easy for wenger to win, but I think the club have a duty of care to our players. I just hope behind the scenes, we are protesting in the strongest manner. And asking why a Liverpool fan is reffing us in a vital close season game. If we as a club are just taking this lying down, I would suggest that is negligence of the health and safety of our players. You are correct, wenger is not a cheat, but there are times when I wish he had a bit more of the devil about him. He is such a purist, there are times when I wonder if he can fully comprehend what he is up against. But whatever the score with wenger, I hope our execs and legal people are looking at this. Make no mistake, attempts were made to maim one of our players, the ref did nothing. But there again, a Liverpool supporter may have a vested interest in taking out giroud. Just because we performed badly does not mean we should be taking this , especially from a team and player with history

  • AL

    Finsbury/bob
    Have no doubt this is playing on Ozil’s mind too. While some may have accused his work rate dropping a bit, I think what I see more is a look of despondency from him. No doubt stemming from that he’s coming to terms with what an unlevel playing field we have imo.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Bob, if Gazidis really is letting all this go, the fans may be well within their rights with their ” Ivan Gazidis what the fcuk do you do” ditty.
    Could not see dein putting up with this.

  • bob

    “Flamini made a two footed tackle a few weeks ago which he got all of the ball and made no contact with the other player, but still got banned four matches. I heard people here saying it was silly of him to go in like that. Contrast his tackle with Adam’s tackles that weren’t even deemed to be worthy of yellows, and tell me how we can prepare for that.”
    AL,
    Only full video replay with “x” number of game-time challenges by each coach. Screw the precious flow and it’s tradition that can’t be interrupted. It’s either in-game video replay or it’s “say hello to my little friend” – because our ability to perform has been targeted. And Adams, yet again (the new Joey Barton), should be served with criminal arrest. It doesn’t matter that he won’t be available against our enemies. No one should suffer him. And the cynical prick (worse than cunt) offers Giroud his hand after they sandwiched him. He gives orcs a bad name. And he should be charged by law and that too will give some pause to do another Adam. Let him become the poster boy for criminal assault on the pitch. Like the guy who broke Rosicky’s nose. Where the fuck are you Mr. Gazidis? Bring a lawsuit – they won’t let us win; so set a precedent that will eventually let us win. Whatever other flaws we also need to correct (as in needing to show more than 2 shots on goal for a match).

  • AL

    Mandy,
    I’d like to think they’ll be making some noises in the background, but how effective that can be I’ve no idea. I think the most effective noise would be if we had some sympathiser in the media, there might be more traction from that angle.

  • Mandy Dodd

    And now soldado has scored…..this really is one mother of a weekend!

  • Mandy Dodd

    That would be good Al, but unfortunately not likely, even reporters who may be sympathetic are forced to keep to the anti arsenal line practiced by all major news outlets in this country.

  • Tom

    Al
    There’s no easy solution to the double standard the FA and PGMOL apply in dealing with Arsenal and other clubs in PL and I have stated many times before ,Wenger is unfairly scrutinized most times by the media as well .

    That’s why he needs to be smarter and more calculated.
    Case in point – Bayern game, in which Wenger got his tactics spot on and Arsenal were the better side for majority of the first half and if it wasn’t for Ozil penalty saved by Neuer and Szczesny’s red card , I think we would’ve won that game.
    I understand Wenger’s frustration with the outcome completely but most predictably he went on to criticize the ref again saying ‘the ref killed the game’

    It’s a stupid rule that needs changing but none the less it’s been in the rule book for years now and Szczesny should’ve known better.
    Referee only applied the law how it’s written but Wenger by criticizing him has weakened his case against any and all bent domestic referees who when criticized by Wenger can always say ‘What do you expect , it’s Wenger and he always blames the referees’

  • bob

    AL,
    How about fans bringing red cards to show in a tsunami of disgust? Too much to advocate? Which would take longer do you reckon – that or getting an ethical crusader in the media on side?

  • bob

    Tom,
    He’s damned if he does or doesn’t. Might as well criticize at a certain point – when it’s all clearly been taken out of our hands by the violent thugs that pretend to be keepers of any standard other than ensuring their ongoing ability to plunder.

  • STEVE VALLINS

    AL
    I said in a previous post Jack Wilshere gets a 2 match ban for a 1 finger salute after Manchester Oilers game when in the same game YAYA TOURE tackled OLIVER GIROUD just below the knee no action by the FA . Fast forward on few games Norwich vs Oilers YAYA TOURE is seen to kick VAN WOLFWINKLE in the back again no action as it deemed a 3 man panel couid not agree that it was malicous we have to play against every footballing organisation .
    I have support for 55 years and cannot recall an Arsenal player inflicting damage to an opponent to what Arsenal players have had done to them in recent years

  • Tom

    Bob , Mandy
    If Arsenal FC don’t make any more of Giroud’s “treatment” by Stoke than we deserve to get screwed .

  • Tom

    Meant to say “anything more”

  • bob

    Tom,
    Agreed, shit must hit the fan on this. Also, not to pile on, but Giroud can be so targeted because we don’t have a viable excellent complement or like-for-like to replace him. This is too vulnerable a way to go. And some of us have screamed about the need to have in depth quality on the bench for expectable injuries (even of the targeted inflicted variety that Adams is party to), or the unexpected injuries. I don’t intend to re-open that argument; but when hard-hearted evildoers see your vulnerability, they go for it to destroy you. This is the nature of this EPL (every predator legalized).

  • marcus

    The Stoke Affront is just business as usual. I remember a few years (pre-ramsey-break) they assaulted several players, including Adebayor when he was in touch.

    The FA did diddly squat.

    Nothing has changed.

    I’ve been threatening for a long time to hang up my supporter’s scarf. One day I will cease issuing empty threats, and find something better to do.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Agree Tom, but I just get this disturbing gut feeling the club are resigned to just putting up with it. Guess we may never know, will be interesting to see if the FA do take further action, perhaps precipitated from behind the scenes.
    Maybe the club are worried that if they make a fuss, we will be sent Atkinson against Chelsea..dean against city and mason against the spuds…..come to think of it, that will probably happen anyway, so the club may as well make a fuss. Not as if they can do much worse against us….or can they?
    Bob is right, set a precedent and start a process whereby we can one day get a level playing field

  • bob

    marcus,
    If/when you go to the Ems, how about we fans bring our red card to show as a group, before you hang up the scarf individually?

  • bjtgooner

    One of the pre-match tasks for the refs is to check the teams and identify potential hot heads, or those who commit fouls persistently etc. I think I can recall Gallagher explaining this relatively recently.

    Adam has quite a lot of recent red card “form”, therefore it should be expected that Jones would have been aware of this from the onset and watched him closely. That Jones did not do this begs a question.

  • AL

    Interesting points people. Our biggest enemy is the media. The FA are known to take action or react to the media’s take on anything. Just look at the errors made by Webb and Jones in their two games involving Arsenal, and how they were reported. You’d think Webb did something as outrageous as a head butt on a Liverpool, while of both refs’ performances Jones’ should be the one getting more analysed. I was thinking, if I had the footage, of making a video to post on YouTube, of all the nasty tackles that the ref didn’t punish against us yesterday. I don’t think it’d go viral but it’s an alternative way of putting the message out there. Maybe someone with the footage can do this.

    Steve Vallins
    Good point, I don’t recall an Arsenal player putting another player out of the game with a nasty tackle. But if you just ask anyone on the street which team has amassed the highest number of red cards against them you’re bound to find they will answer Arsenal.

  • bob

    AL,
    Agreed on the need for visuals; in this day, they (rightly or wrongly) do go further in making an impact on a wider public than do our more analytical postings, however well crafted. Someone with the ability to cut and paste the horrors and refshite, please do your noble duty.

  • bob

    “That Jones did not do this begs a question.”
    bjtgooner,
    Yes, too true to be good. (That would be two backhanders methinks!)

  • bob

    AL,
    Let’s think about it a drop more specifically: (1) Medja editors set policy and finally police the stories by keyboard hirelings. But who manages/polices the editors? That is The Question. Where there’s smoke there’s fire, imo.

  • STEVE VALLINS

    AL
    The media are more concerned about gestures than bad tackles against Arsenal players Anelka gets 5 match ban media led Arsenal player gets broken whatever 3 match ban .
    How many of those 100 sending offs were for something really bad ? Cant recall properly but did Petit get dismissed for touching a ref but Sterling gets away with it rules/laws are just not consistent

  • dan

    I recall Moyes publicly questioning the appointment of Riley for an FA cup game. This worked wonders, Riley was literally licking the utd boots awarding 10 penalties in 11 games. Wenger could do the same (questioning), The boring one was taken a new direction of kissing the utd and pgmol behinds therefore covering all grounds.

  • TT

    I think those commenting on how Arsenal were bad are missing the point. This site PERFECTLY predicted this match, with this referee, based on past performance.

    I just can’t believe that there is something criminal going on, but somebody needs to investigate this, because when you can start to reliably predict outcomes, via statistics, it is no longer a conspiracy theory.

    The AAA, and other team’s fans can come on here and say what they like, but the problem is systematic and it is damaging football in this country. Someone in authority needs to do something about it.

  • bob

    On the Medja’s mendacity. Today’s so-called Independent, albeit biased scumbag of a writer (Kevin Garside) slates “Arsenal’s failure to stand up to the kind of rough and ready challenge presented by Stoke.” As for Giroud, Garside writes: “[he] was no more effective, falling over mostly at the hint of contact.” People like this are hired lenscrafters who would shape public opinion to build a widespread expectation of AFC as an undeserving gaggle of whiners whose collapse is now deservedly on.

  • bob

    TT,
    I agree that it’s not coincidence and that it is chronic and systemic. Imo, what we then have is a fix. You say it’s not criminal and may be right: But that would open a new category of behavior called “a non-criminal fix”. It might well be worth our considering what sort of specific behaviors that might consist of.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Have a feeling unless the club can do something, this will not stop until either wenger leaves, or we lose a place in the top four…..and let’s face it, if we lose out on the top four this year, pretty sure wenger will leave.
    There are some areas in which it sometimes appear the club do not help themselves, surely they can be doing more.
    That aside, I still predict things will pick up, we may do better than some would imagine in the games coming up. We have not suddenly become a bad team, though we really miss a couple of our finest. I predict we will finish third in the league but have a very pleasant afternoon at wembley in May to look forward to, depriving city of the domestic treble in the process…..but seems a long way off after this weekend!
    Come on boys, fight for the shirt, the fans, the manager and to right a few wrongs.

  • Mandy Dodd

    And by helping themselves, wenger can start reading ref previews on this very site. Wenger , it is said does not do detailed preparation for opponents, well some refs are his opponents , maybe he could start looking at them more closely!

  • dan

    It’s no accident City are getting the decisions since the take over. Money buys decisions and awards trophies.

    It’s the same at grass roots, teams with money will get the decisions, the benefit of doubt. Over years being a minor league coach (under 10’s), you’ll witness the blatant fouls going unpunished any retribution results in decision for the money boys. I’ve witnessed a ref at junior level more biased than any professional outfit, causing the coach to lose his cool questioning the ref. The ref then allowed a parent from the (money team) opposing side to egg the coach to a fight. The coach was banned for 3 games for standing his ground and not getting into a fight, needless to say the ref was promoted to head ref. This was match between the two league leaders.

  • TT

    Dan, I think that this is the side of the whole thing that the FA are totally missing. Their behavior and the behavior of premier league referees in England are setting a trend for youth level play.

    Referees at every level now believe that it is OK to call a game, within the rules, and favour one side or the other based on their bias. Young players are growing up, thinking it is OK to stamp on a player, if they can get away with it.

    There is a real bias in this country against namby pamby passing football. It is very deeply held and IMO totally misguided. Like it or not, this skillful non-physical approach is the way of the future for football. Until the FA and their officials get over their problem, football in England will continue its decline on the world stage.

    We cannot produce players who can play open, skillful, football, in accordance with the real FIFA rules, if they are constantly challenged by partisan referees with an agenda, and authorities that allow referees to call a game with an alarming breadth of tolerance.

  • Tom

    Bob
    I missed your earlier post about Giroud being targeted by opposition because he’s our only real threat up front .

    Well , you and I do seem to agree another striker should’ve been brought in the summer although I’m pretty sure if Suarez played in Arsenal shirt against Stoke , he would’ve been kicked off the pitch as well.
    Coincidently, do you remember all those who said the £40M and 1 offer Arsenal made for him was smart and would’ve triggered the release clause had there been one. Well , it appears there was a release clause after all and Liverpool just refused to sell . How smart does that move look now:)
    Of course we ‘ll never know if they would consider selling Suarez for more but the £40m and 1 pretty much ended any negotiations.

  • Florian

    Corruption at all levels? What has this world come to?

  • dan

    @TT

    Not only does the FA promote this, parents will shout from the sidelines encouraging little Johny to hack down any skillful opponent, “take him down, he wont do that again”. Just view the FA Respect campaign videos, what a complete farce. Even the scouts have been instructed by clubs to pick tall, physical and aggressive players.

  • dan

    What chance would the likes of Messi get here? Then we always hear, “we’ve never really produced a world class player.” It’s any ones guess how many skillful promising juniors have been discouraged by this setup.

  • bob

    ” it appears there was a release clause after all and Liverpool just refused to sell.”
    Tom,
    I missed this bit of toxicity. Do you have a link to source it? So, just so I’m clear: are you saying that Scousers violated their own contract and were not held to account by any so-called Authority? And that, in the end, if the player backs down and either “accepts” or accepts it, then everything is permitted, right?

  • bob

    dan,
    That’s an amazing documenting of the toxic culture out of which the orcs arise. The septic isle has produced/maintained its own inbred form of football which (decisively) infects all levels. From an outside pov, it looks like the powers that be have willfully made their stand and are banking on their “more physical” brand of football and don’t mind sacrificing the national results or image in international competition; not so long as they can line their coffers and damn the rest. Is this an accurate reading of the implications, would you say?

  • AL

    Dan/TT
    Sad but true, the impact this is having on the kids. I’ve noticed my 6yr old going down clutching part of his leg and writhing around, whenever he thinks he’s been fouled when playing football with his peers. I’ve told him to cut it out but seems he just loves doing that, they have no idea how much they’re influencing the youngsters by making this thuggery appear acceptable.

  • dan

    @bob & Al

    It’s the same with young coaches, “the lack of british coaches/managers”, forever spewed by the same media. The local FA’s mantra is child safety and development (ability/skill), yet anything productive or different is dealt as a non issue.

  • bob

    AL,
    If you don’t mind, what’s been the lad’s specific reaction to your asking him to stop it? imo, this is really important stuff.

  • dan

    Intelligence is not immune to the poisonous garbage air perpetrated by the media. Decent folk fall foul of this belief, if the media/setup can influence an adult then what chance does a child have?

    With the WC fever just around the corner, we can all hear the call to get behind and support your nation, is the biggest joke of all!

  • AL

    Bob
    He says ok, but he goes on and does it again next time. I think he sees his idols doing it on screen every week and must be wondering what I’m on about. When I ask him what he wants to be when he grows up he always says footballer and/or F1 driver, clearly TV has a huge influence on him at this stage.

  • bob

    AL, dan,
    Many Thanks, AL. I saw this in university and thought it very much on point to some of our discussion. You can watch/enlarge the worthwhile video trailer in the box there to the right: http://www.mediaed.org/cgi-bin/commerce.cgi?preadd=action&key=211

  • Gord

    If I post this as is, it will probably get admitted straight away. I think perhaps it should be moderated, so I think I will a couple of URLs. Don’t feel you need to approve this moderator. So, a couple of URLs pointing to the wonderful sportsmanship of Charlie Adams.

    > I could not agree with the handball given against Laurent Koscielny and Charlie Adam should have been dismissed for his stamp on Oliver Giroud.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2571501/GRAHAM-POLL-Charlie-Adams-cowardly-stamp-Olivier-Giroud-result-heavy-ban.html

    > In Adam’s defence, he was not looking at Giroud as he trod on the Arsenal striker.

    > Adam might also argue that his alleged offence was similar to one involving Yaya Toure at Norwich a fortnight ago when the Manchester City midfielder escaped a charge.
    http://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/Stoke-City-D-day-looms-Charlie-Adam-Arsenal/story-20738101-detail/story.html

    —-

    I haven’t tried this, but it might work. It is written in perl. To run this with lots of potential headlines, or without a significant sleep, could constitute attacking a website with a denial of service.

    ===== Snip ringFA.pl ===============
    #!/usr/bin/perl -w
    use strict;

    =pod

    usage: ringFA.pl file_of_headlines

    for example, that file could contain “Mike Riley Charged With Disrepute”.

    The program will try to download a page from the FA

    http://www.theFA.com/news/governance/$year/$month/headline

    This will show up in the logs of the webserver the FA is using. If there are multiple headlines in the file, the program sleeps for 10 seconds between headlines.

    =cut

    use LWP::UserAgent;
    my $ua = LW::UserAgent->new;
    $ua->agent(“DisgruntledFan/0.1 “);

    my $months = {
    0 => ‘jan’,
    1 => ‘feb’,
    2 => ‘mar’,
    3 => ‘apr’,
    4 => ‘may’,
    5 => ‘jun’,
    6 => ‘jul’,
    7 => ‘aug’,
    8 => ‘sep’,
    9 => ‘oct’,
    10 => ‘nov’,
    11 => ‘dec’,
    };
    my @tlist = gmtime();
    my $month = $months->{$tlist[4]};
    my $year = $tlist[5] + 1900;

    while( my $line = ) {
    chomp( $line );
    $line =~ s/^\s+//;
    $line =~ s/\s+$//;
    $line =~ s/^\s/-/;

    my $url = “http://www.thefa.com/news/governance/$year/$month/” . $line;
    my $req = HTTP::Request->new(POST => $url);
    $req->content_type(‘application/x-fair-play’);
    $req->content();

    my $res = $ua->request( $req );
    if( $res->is_success ) {
    print “string ($line) accepted\n”;
    }
    sleep( 10 );
    }

  • Mick

    @Bob
    Links to the Suarez buy out clause situation. Looks like a case of brinkmanship by Liverpool which saw off Arsenal.

    http://www.newsnow.co.uk/A/699114770?-11203:5805

    Here’s another.

    http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2014/mar/02/liverpool-john-henry-luis-suarez-clause?

  • Mike T

    @STEVE VALLINS

    How about Steve Bould tackle on David Hirst?

  • Mick

    If it transpires as now seems likely this buy out clause did exist I think Arsenal and Wenger are owed an apology from Liverpool who stood silently by whilst our club was being unjustly castigated by the media as the villain of the piece in the whole sorry saga. I won’t hold my breath though.

  • AL

    Mike T
    You’d to go back over two decades to find a tackle where an opposing player was injured by an Arsenal player, but I bet with most sides you don’t even have to look beyond this season.

  • AL

    Mick
    You’re right, but the fact we’re reading it from an outlet like sportsvibe and not some mainstream site like the BBC tells you that’ll not happen.

  • Mick

    @AL
    I have posted a further two links which appear to be in moderation for some reason, one from the Guardian, the other from the Mirror. Looks like we were stitched up to me, I can’t believe we let Liverpool get away with it but it seems we did. Another case of us being a very soft touch I am afraid, the club need to grow some balls.

  • Mike T

    Al

    The reason I mention that tackle was that Steve said this
    “I have support for 55 years and cannot recall an Arsenal player inflicting damage to an opponent to what Arsenal players have had done to them in recent years”

    The reason I mentioned the tackle on Hirst as in a poll a year or two ago it was voted the worse tackle ever

    A couple of minutes on the net would point to some pretty poor challenges from Arsenal players over the years even ,shock horror this season, but little point in doing this.

  • AL

    Mick,
    Just seen the reports on the guardian site, thanks. Yes, Liverpool played hardball, but I guess we only did what we could do. After that it was down to the player to put in a transfer request, which he didn’t do. Perhaps the only way we could’ve forced the move would have been to offer more money, which might not have been the best thing to do.

  • AL

    Mike T
    I guess Steve’s point is they’re so rare, you could forgive him for letting one bad tackle that happened 22 years ago slip through. I wonder which poll this was, did the participants see the Ramsey tackle (where his leg was broken in two places), or the Keane tackle which ended Alf’s career. There may have been bad tackles by our players, but we’re talking about ones that put another player out for months. I’m trying to recall any from recent memory but failing.

  • AL

    In fact just did a quick Google search for worst tackle ever, and that Bould tackle didn’t even appear in any of the results. As I suspected, the ones from the likes of Keane, Taylor, Ben Thatcher, etc keep coming up over and over. Anyway, sure you’re not keen on starting another running debate so if we could give this one a rest Mike T 🙂

  • AL

    Mick
    Sorry, I think I missed your point. Yes, looks like we let Liverpool get away with it. Guess I’m just tired, off to bed now 🙂

  • dan

    Well the anti arsenal bias is nothing new

    http://espnfc.com/print?id=274573&type=story

  • Mike T

    Al

    Cant remember who conducted the poll only the result.
    Anyways worth reading this
    http://www.not606.com/showthread.php/161412-Steve-Bould-s-influence

  • Mandy Dodd

    Makes unpleasant reading
    http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/arsenal-cant-cope-stokes-physical-3199153

    Kicked us a little bit, not how the game is supposed to be played, and it looked a bit more than that to me.
    I hope our players do well and come back from the World Cup intact, but my dear wish is that England completely bomb, and continue to do so until our FA start enforcing the proper rules of the game, not the rules certain clubs seem to be able to enforce on the FA.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Dan @ 10.30 wonder what Paddy thinks about bias these days….now he works for one of the clubs clearly on the favourable end of such things

  • bjtgooner

    @Al & Mick

    Re: Liverpool & Suarez

    My recollection is that at the time Liverpool either denied that there was a buy out clause or that claimed the clause was out of date. If so they were lying scum, I never thought too much of Rogers, looks like Henry is now going orgasmic about deceiving Arsenal and as you stated, knowingly allowed Arsenal to be ridiculed by the press/media – all the stories at that time seemed to “leak” from Liverpool, it was even claimed that Suarez’s agent was in error about the wording of the buy out clause.

    An apology from Liverpool would be due – but like you guys I don’t think they have it in them.

  • Mandy Dodd

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2571501/GRAHAM-POLL-Charlie-Adams-cowardly-stamp-Olivier-Giroud-result-heavy-ban.html

    An ex refs view of this weekends proceedings. Hope this means an umpteenth suspension for this Liverpool supporting ref and bans for Adam, and whelan as well. But will not hold my breath.
    As for Liverpool Suarez, annoying, but cannot help but admire them a bit, they set out their stall and kept their player, by whatever means. The media will always turn this and anything else they can against us

  • bob

    “but cannot help but admire them a bit, they set out their stall and kept their player, by whatever means.”
    Mandy,
    In the light of recent history, how truly painful this is (and I don’t mean missing out on Suarez). Can we ever play hardball like this? Did we get bullied off by Henry saying “don’t know what they’re smoking over there”?

  • bob

    Mick, bjtgooner,
    Thanks for the links, mates. We can’t play relentlessly decent high roaders in this cesspool league. Even when we’re right we’re made wrong. Isn’t there illegality or ethics violation in their misrepresentation? Isn’t a contract on file with the FAlls who, in some (laughable) sense are supposed to uphold the business code? No transparency even among their stakeholders being the rule? No fine for this that the FAlls can collect and give to a charity of their choice (i.e., their own pockets)?

  • Mandy Dodd

    Must admit Bob, that was a gentle dig at some of our policies of recent years. Think things are changing though. Have a feeling Suarez is actually waiting for Real, so went along with things, on a promise. Or maybe he just knows that if he elected to play for us, he would get the shit kicked out of him with no protection from refs, the media would crucify him, his family and dog, he would receive red cards galore and none of the penalties Liverpool seem to get on a weekly basis. The sad fact is, of we really wanted Suarez, we should have got him for 23 million before Liverpool did, heard we looked at him, but we had vp back then…hindsight and all that…

  • bob

    My prediction is that with Graham Poll weighing in like this, the FAlls will give Adams a 2 game suspension, or the ref report will say that he saw it but didn’t (if mistakenly, poor cow) regard it as er, premeditated or some such rot. If it’s the former, it’s just a CYA move to keep up appearances; plus the real damage to AFC has been done anyway. And by looking good by punishing the psycho, it’s win/win for those whose wind-up tool this hunk of damaged inhumanity really is. And perhaps another wee dropdown for the miscreant ref after the official postmatch ref review and its accompanying libations. Really pathetic creatures, those who collect paychecks this way. Long since given up any self-respect to pay the bills.

  • bob

    Mandy,
    Yes, gentle, but glad you picked up my dig nonetheless. It’s a real challenge to anything decent this toxic vale of cynicism; what with its respect and anti-racism campaigns and the like, as only so much window-dressing to keep the coffers filled. The business model depends on being shameless and predatory. Even to the point of sacrificing long-term national football (including the proper preparation of children to play it well and by rules, as AL and dan have shown) to the mammon of their relentless short-term self-enrichment. It’s one of those times where something better becomes a necessary tonic. And I think that AW’s delay in signing da ting might well be an existential delay. I fear and feel his aged rapidly in the last two years and, in truth, deserves better from life.

  • bob

    Mandy,
    you see I get my fill of Henry twice – Red Sox vs Yankees, and Scousers vs Gooners. He’s the bane.

  • Gord

    bob, Mandy et al.

    Earlier, I posted a perl script to bitch to the FA, by sending log entries for non-existant pages. I wasn’t sure about posting Perl to UA, and I knew that including more than 1 URL would cause a moderation hold, and so I put in 2 Charlie Adams links, one being the Graham Poll one that Mandy also linked to.

    I also posted a news article from the Stoke Sentinal about the same incident.

    I was expecting moderation to take a long time, and I thought the moderators might have a problem with my perl script, so I mentioned in my note that moderation could feel free to take their time in allowing things. A few minutes after posting, it was approved.

    Mandy (re)posted the DailyMail Graham Poll article, the Stoke Sentinal article I posted might be of interest. For me, what is of more interest is what the FA does. I can see them completely ignoring the stamp, as it is just another incident from that team managed by a frog. Regardless of whether seen it or not.

    It would have been nice to see a note that someone reading UA was good at cartooning, and come up with a cartoon I tried to describe.

    What is not to be, is not to be.

  • finsbury

    It is not only readers of Untold who notice the strange and partial officials that we see in Arsenal games. Officials who have been observed (and recorded!) to be changing the laws of the game to suit their mood or requirement:

    https://twitter.com/gunnerpunner/status/439902467124240384/photo/1

    This strange and outstanding record of the officials in Arsenal games can be seen in the statistics compiled by Untold. No critic of this work can come onto this site and dispute these findings with any clear reason, because it is not possible to do so.

    It’s a funny old game.

  • finsbury

    The call for the handball on Saturday was what I refer to as a “Shakoor Rana”. Others may be more familiar with the term: “taking the piss”

    The Cricket Umpire Shakoor Rana once infamously called the England Cricket Captain out for LBW when his foot was stood about a yard ouside off stump. Now, sometimes the balls in these incidents/calls may go on to hit the wicket, but it’s not out. Confusing for someone who does not know the letter of the laws but the laws of the game are clear, the call should have been ‘Not Out’, Rana’s call was deliberately ridiclous because the ball was very wide of the wicket, with no chance of hitting the wicket. In these days before video replays, they were always close calls on judging whther the ball was ‘in line’ or not. But in the Rana incident there was no doubt about it, the official gave what was clearly a biased decisiion because he wanted to provoke the England Cricket team, their Captain and their managment. To humiliate and anger them in return for what he believed was similar treatment. He succeeded. This childish melodrama was the result of ongoing disputes involving many teams about the bias of certain officials in certain games/tours. Unfortunately not everyone could command the respect of a Dickie Bird or an Umpire Shepheard and so when Rana took his Revenge shortly afterwards the game of Cricket was forced to introduce neutral officials to try and protect the integrity of their sport.
    Cricket was behind Football at that time in ’92 but with the advent of video replay assistance and other changes I think it’s fair to say that Cricket Umpires today are some of the most highly repected officials out there.

  • bob

    What’s it like to be protected by PGMOL? Some more open ROT from Stoke’s midfield braggart Steven Nzonzi: “We know that Arsenal play good football but when you start kicking them a little bit, it gets harder for them,” said Nzonzi, fresh from helping Stoke put a hole in the Gunners’ title challenge.

    “They don’t like it, we know that. We don’t care. We’ll keep on doing it, being strong and trying to be as good as we can be on the ball.”