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Norwich – Arsenal the last league game of the season

By Walter Broeckx

It seems only a moment ago when we lost our first home game of the season against Anthony Taylor back in August and here we are at the end of the season already.  To come back to this exceptional performance I would like to note that this was even a bridge too far for the PGMOL I think. Or it might be possible that Arsenal have strongly protested behind the scenes. The major result however was that as far as I could check we haven’t seen Taylor again in an Arsenal match for the rest of the season. I must say this is an exceptional thing.  Not that I regret it of course.

But here we are just before the last league match of the season. A match with no real importance for Arsenal. Of course there is always an importance. As there are 3 points at stake. And if we would get those 3 points I think we will have our best league finish in the last years with the highest points total in any case. So getting to those 79 points barrier would be better than to end with 76 or 77 points.

For one player there is really something big still to win. This is more of an individual trophy: The Golden Glove. Arsenal and Chelsea or should I say Szczesny and Cech are tied with 15 clean sheets so far. But as Cech has played fewer matches he has better stats than Szczesny. So Arsenal not conceding a goal would mean that Szczesny wins the golden glove in an undisputed way. I sure would want us to win that trophy to be honest. It will be a nice moment for our Polish goalkeeper and might shut up the ‘we need to buy a world class keeper’ brigade.

Now to do this Wenger might just put up his usual defenders in front of the keeper and this might be enough to keep the clean sheet. Norwich has only scored 28 goals so far this season and this is one of the reasons they will play one division lower next season. Mathematically they still have a chance to avoid relegation. If the would win with 18-0 or so against Arsenal and if WBA would lose their final match they could save themselves. I don’t think that even the most optimistic Norwich supporter will hope for such an outcome.

So with Norwich scoring not a lot of goals and with our usual defence we might be able to keep the clean sheet.

But the question is : will Wenger play his regular defence in this match?

How much I would want Szczesny to win the golden glove…..I think the most important thing is our match from next Saturday. You know the Fa cup final match. This is the match that is much more important.

To be honest if you would ask me now I would say: Oh, Wenger just play the U21. Or the U19. Or the U14. I don’t care what we do against Norwich. I just want all our players and certainly our most important players to be fit for the cup final next week.

We all must remember the last time we were in a cup final. I know, sorry to bring this painful memory up but we must. Because on Wednesday before the final we had to play Stoke. And we lost Fabregas early in that match with a hamstring injury and our captain couldn’t play in the final. A big loss. And we must also remember that Robin Van Persie was not completely fit when we started that final. And he injured himself when scoring for Arsenal in the first half. And had to go off. I think those two injuries cost us the cup that day.

So I do hope we have learned a lesson from this. Maybe it is better to say who I really don’t want to start in the match at Norwich.  Players that we could put on the bench of course in case we want to give them some playing time. But only if we are sure we don’t risk their limbs.

So for me we should leave these players out of the starting line up: Mertesacker – Koscielny – Arteta – Ramsey – Özil – Giroud – Cazorla and Podolski. I know this is 8 players from our usual starting line up. But I think these are the players we should be able to field at the start of the cup final.

So who to play then?

Szczesny (to win his golden glove and Fabianski will start the cup final I think)

Jenksinson – Sagna – Vermaelen – Monreal (Sagna central and give Gibbs a little run later in the match)

Flamini – Kallstrom – Diaby – Wilshere – Rosicky in a very rotational midfield with Flamini and Kallstrom hanging back a bit and the others doing the attack.

And up front I would play Sanogo as the striker.

Experimental? Yes it sure is. But I rather have an experiment like this than to lose one of our important players for the cup final.  I know it might be a bit asked too much for Wilshere and Diaby to play the full 90 minutes. But I think Jack will be very determined to prove that he is fully match fit with one eye to the Fa cup final but with another looking at the England squad.

Looking at this team… hell I even could suggest to put Bellering in at right back, move Jenkinson to the middle along Vermaelen and give Sagna also a rest.

Of course this might look now as I am completely not interested in us getting points in our final game. And for the moment this feeling is ruling my feelings.

But I do know one thing. Come the start of the game I will be my usual nervous me and only want us to win. And you know what? I think looking at this line up, this might be good enough to get us a win. And if we win it should be with a clean sheet. Otherwise a 0-0 wouldn’t be that bad either.  Just don’t let them score.

The books

87 comments to Norwich – Arsenal the last league game of the season

  • blacksheep63

    Hector…give the bell a ring would you? good chap…
    lol Walter 🙂

  • Frank Gore

    Are we allowed to celebrate at the end? I remember we got slated for celebrating last season vs Newcastle?

  • nicky

    Walter,
    It would be interesting to learn if Norwich are a team of cloggers, because if so, coupled with the incompetent Taylor in charge, I wouldn’t let Wilshere OR Diaby within a mile of the ground.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Interesting we haven’t had Taylor since, was not aware of that.
    Maybe today is the day Sanogo gets,on the scoresheet?

  • Soglorious

    Any set of defenders used MUST not concede. I want Sczesny to win that award and not one of those bus conductors.

  • AL

    I’d go with that team too, Walter. It’d be nice for Szczesney to win the golden glove but it could also come at a cost.

  • I thought Lee Mason was in charge today

  • Jax

    Is goal of the season on tonights MOTD or do we have to wait for cup final day?

  • WalterBroeckx

    yes Mason is in charge. Another one that usually let us being kicked all over the field away from home.
    A reason more to not risk any of our important players today.

  • soglorious

    Fabianski starting today. Walter, if Sczesny is sub on, will he still win the award? I really want him to win

  • WalterBroeckx

    Soglorious,
    That way he will be tied with Cech at least.
    Don’t really like seeing Özil, Ramsey and Giroud in the starting line up to be honest

  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    COYG!!!!!!!Aha and Amen for the last game of the season in the league.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Walter and Mandy,
    Just checking my lists re Taylor. He has only been ref for the A Villa game but we have seen him as fourth official for our away loss at Chelsea (6-0); the home game v Everton (1-1) and the away loss to Stoke (1-0). All in all the further he stays away from us the better!

  • Gord

    COYG!

    Goals seem strange today. Goals in games where there there hasn’t been many lately, and no goals where you might expect goals.

  • Jax

    There I was expecting a 0-0 and it seemed on at half time, but we stepped up a little and scored two decent goals. Didn’t know Aaron had that voley in his locker, and Jenks took his very well. He looks like he wants that right back spot and may yet make me eat my words. Diaby looked up for it, no pulling out of tackles, Jack too.No injuries I hope.

  • Jax

    voley=volley.

  • para

    Well, this is it now, one more game, and we can lift that dreaded statement, “not won a cup in…. you know” from off our heads.
    I hope to be singing next sat, “This is the start of a new something”.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    A solid win with a blinder of a goal from Ramsey (great assist from Giroud) and a first for Jenkinson. Sagna again solid as a rock this time as CB. Ruddy with a fistful of saves to keep the score respectable and Fabianski again showing how good he is. Brief cameos from Jack, Diaby and Sanogo who was foiled by Ruddy.

    Mason his usual pathetic self.

  • bjtgooner

    A nice win for our last league game of the season – against Mason assisted by Norwich. A very very poor performance by Mason.

    However, two enjoyable goals, the first one by Ramsey was a real peach. A good win & I don’t think we had any injuries.

    We dominated the game until the substitutions, then I felt our midfield did not tackle back/cover as well & we looked a bit porous when Norwich counterattacked.

    But, overall a happy note to end on.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Off topic but Dowd must have had a reminder about his responsibilities regarding Liverpool, Newcastle well on top for 60 mins, then ‘Pool with two quick goals and Dowd ends the contest with two red cards for Newcastle players! I smell a rat there.

  • They are both soft reds and the 2nd is particularly terrible (the decision I mean). At the very worst, it should have been a yellow. At the absolute worst.

    I don’t smell any rat as the cards couldn’t have had any effect on the match(es) anyway but that Dowd is a bumbling incompetent idiot.

  • jambug

    Jeff Stelling

    “You are looking at 350 million pounds worth of footballer up there on the platform”

    Well done City. Consistently play the best football. Deserved the title.

    But whatever you say any Club will win the title with those resources.

    I’m sorry if anyone thinks it’s sour grapes but it is a fact and it does devalue the achievement.

    It is also a fact that given those resources Wenger would win the premiership by a mile.

  • Yassin

    Aston Villa
    Chelsea
    Manchester United
    Stoke
    WBA

    Just some games where the PGMOL stole the EPL from us, we should have been lifting that trophy now.

    Shame on the PGMOL, FA, and EPL.
    and shame on the media, and everyone who saw this and still turned a blind eye.
    and shame on every Arsenal so called fan who keeps defending those injustice.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Yassin,
    You can add the away game at City and the 2-2 draw at Swansea to that list.

  • ARSENAL 13

    @jambug,

    Given the resources, it does devalue the achievement. Had Mr Wenger had those, he would not only win the league by miles but also build few more academies and strong support system for a continued supply of top class talents for the first team…..

  • Yassin

    @Andrew
    yep, and not to mention the help those other teams got. Its a shame, Cant understand what Arsenal FC are waiting for to solve this.
    and not to forget too the injuries we got from “kick em” style of play we face.

    Its a shame. to me we have won the league. Our players, manager, home and away fans this year have won us the league, which was stolen.

  • Yassin

    best eleven, no Arsenal Player

    Come on, cant they be more biased than that, at least Ramsey and Sczcney, or maybe Sagna, Kosienly.

  • Tom

    Jambug

    “I’m sorry if anyone thinks it’s sour grapes but it is a fact and it does devalue the achievement.

    It is also a fact that given those resources Wenger would win the premiership by a mile”

    You mean like the £150M in the bank and two billionaires on the board?
    🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Mick

    Trust Tom to come along and throw a hand grenade into the crowd. Or are you joking Tom?

  • Remember guys: if you put enough smiley emoticons after dickish comments, they sound less dickish.

    If only Tom were a billionaire, I’m pretty sure he’d buy his way into the Arsenal board and use his billions to buy trophies for his beloved football club 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • jambug

    £150 Million? You are a comedian.

    In any case since when has £150 Million equalled £350 Million?

    If you want billionaires to buy you trophies go and support to city or Chelsea

  • jambug

    Tom

    You speak sense at times then just come out with utter crap like this.

  • Jax

    Does anybody know if Wojciech won the Golden Gloves award? I know he didn’t play today (so missed another clean sheet), but can’t remember who he was competing with for this.

  • jambug

    Jax

    Don’t think he did.

    Cech won it. Same clean sheets but less games swung it for him I believe.

  • bjtgooner

    I know it’s good fun teasing Tom (who sometimes walks into a tease), but I thought everyone would be eulogizing on the highlight of today’s match – the super goal by Ramsey. Aaron has added yet another dimension to his game – and I suspect he will be even better next season. Any comments?

  • Jax & jambug,

    I still don’t understand why AW didn’t play Szczesny today. But it’s ultimately up to him and I’m pretty sure that he must have his reason(s). It would have been nice for Szczesny to win the Golden Glove though.

  • Yassin

    @BtjGooner,

    it was awesome, he is going to be brilliant if he stays fit. but we have to do something about those injuries and Bias of refs. this year was ours.
    Its a shame losing Sagna and Vermailin. come on who is better than Sagna and right back? and so is Fabianski.
    dont know, but we should concentrate on 4th place, two cups and championsleague, as its refs can screw us less there.

  • jambug

    bjtgooner,

    Cant wait to see it. Sounds like a stunner.

    Having seen how good he’s come back from his injury I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

    Oh what could of been.

    Bootoomee,

    Wenger must of had his reasons. I guess it’s because Szcesnys playing in the final.

  • Florian

    I’m so happy that the season is over. Not much to cheer about besides Arsenal. Moneybags came on top courtesy of KTSOA. Congratulations Mike Riley, you did it again.

  • Yassin

    @Bootoome,

    yeah and still then he wont be in the best 5 GKs in the League, unbelievable

  • bjtgooner,

    That’s what we were all doing basically before he threw in the ridiculous comment. So if anyone is ruining the thread, it’s Tom.

    Ramsey’s displays since he returned from injury shows why we missed out in the league. He just picked up from where he left with his all-action style and constant running. I rue those 3 months.

    First goals are always a thing of joy for players and when you score one for your boyhood club, it must even be more special. I am happy for Jenkinson

  • jambug

    Even if you accept that perhaps he wouldn’t of made the difference in the big defeats we had, he would of surely made the difference against the likes of Stoke and Swansea and quite possibly tipped the balance at home to City. What a difference that would of made.

    Oh well, all if buts and maybes.

  • Jax

    Yeah, shame. He deserved it.

  • jambug

    Yep, very happy for Carl. Looking forward to seeing it as he apparently goes a bit mad. Good for him.

    So so sad if we lose Sagna but I hold out great hopes for carl.

    Don’t know if I said it on here but before the season started I told the guys at work to look out for him. I predicted he would break into the England squad, not this year obviously because he was never going to get enough games, but one day.

    I think I’ve seen enough to have belief that given time he may still reach that level. I hope so anyway.

  • Notoverthehill

    Despite what the AST and The Swiss Ramble assert, there has been NO INCREASE in the Cash held at the Bank(s).

    1st June 2011 = Cash in the Bank £160,229,000
    1st June 2012 = Cash in the Bank £153,625,000

    1st June 2013 = Cash in the Bank £153,457,000
    LESS Debt Service reserve funds of £33.8 millions
    LESS Advance Season Ticket Packages of £70 millions
    LESS Other Tax and Social Security Costs of £15.7 millions

    Where is the £100 millions Transfer Budget?

    That is a back of an envelope calculations. Whatever Tony states, The Swiss Ramble is a chancer! His (TSR,) conclusions for The Arsenal and Everton, never, ever stand any scrutiny

  • Jax

    Girouds pass for Aaron’s volley was brilliant too. Is goal of the season tonight or next week?

  • jambug

    Notoverthehill

    Thanks for that.

    As much as I believe what you have posted as I have seen similar from other posters but could you guide me to the ‘official’ source of these figures.

  • jayramfootball

    City’s league title win represents no value what so ever – except to City fans in denial about their methods to win the league. They bought it, plain and simple. City have been called to task rightly by UEFA, who have exposed their sham ‘sponsorship’ deals as the financial cheating it really is. The FA and Premier League should be doing the same.

    As for us – well next week will tell us if the season has been a good one or another disappointment.

    As for Corporal Jenkinson… well done mate!

  • menace

    Tom sorry mate £150mill in the bank is bollocks. All our player business is worked from loans. The two fat cats cannot fund the company with directors loans. It will make the company weak. The oilers are funded that way. The directors loan has to be repaid!!

    Amazing listening to the Beeb Football Focus and Marc Webber’s comments ‘Arsenal fans are always singing about Wembley as though they haven’t been there for a while’. I hope he trips and hurts his lip.

    I have no doubt that Wenger believed his squad was capable of winning the league. The issues that scuppered that are already known. It is time for Arsenals CEO to question the FA about its appointment of officials. It would be nice if it is done in the public domain so that the FA are under pressure to respond with some element of truth. It could be another Hillsborough cover up or a John Henry lie.

  • Jax

    I thought Swiss Ramble was the go to guy for football financial info. Who are you supposed to believe.

  • leany

    I was surprised but pleased seeing Bian the goal. Indeed! He could leave, so every opportunity given to him would have my warmest welcome.

    But of course I think the reason was more the football one. With the most important match of our season coming up, players need practice time. You never know which one week could bring to you when so much pressure has been already put on your shoulders. We must win that final match, mustn’t we? Everybody thinks so (although not so many will appreciate the win if we achieve it). Pressure everywhere.

    I will rewatch this game, surely. It was nice in many aspects and well, my Internet did not allow me to watch it properly.

  • dan

    Classless Gerrard & co, rat face dived again. Another season not far away, the media hatred for the Arsenal will continue through the summer , classless-pool’s annual reminder for Hillsborough vitims has already been penciled in, blind folds along with ear plugs are ready for any mention of Heysel. On the plus side Alan Hansen will not be joining us but motd still has many tossers to fill the shoes.

    The M.Riley mafia still there!

  • Mandy Dodd

    Nice way to end the league season, good victory and very respectable points haul that shows some progress this season.
    As ever, the only teams consistently more successful that us have has vastly more resources over recent years, the title winners are non compliant with FFP. Liverpool will be used by the critics against wenger, but let’s see if this is a bit of a one off, let’s see how they cope in the CL, is this season just a perfect storm of things that went in their favour? Let’s see how Everton do now teams through respect are less likely to loan players to them.
    Then the spuds….agent Sherwood has left them the gift of Europa as a parting gift.
    If we can improve the injury situation, have a word with the pgmol, and strengthen a bit, we should improve further next season.
    Thought scudamanc looked very sheepish at city today, as well he might.
    Anyone know what happend to TV today? Injured? Being saved for cup final? Just not picked?

  • Mandy Dodd

    Just read this, apparently Scudamore booed by city fans, good on them.

    Is this the end of his tenure?
    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/premier-league-boss-richard-scudamore-3528748

  • dan

    M.Rileys new season check list

    Pathetic excuse for an official……………….. Check
    CFC Brown bags here………………………….. Check
    Reminder to MCFC where are the brown bags?……… Check
    MCFC Brown Bags now here……………………… Check
    Complain to CFC as MCFC Brown bags are heavier….. Check
    CFC top up brown bag now here…………………. Check
    D. Gallagher agrees to the Bullshit Sky talk……. Check
    Dowd/Dean/Taylor picked for AFC decider games…… Check
    MUFC posters ready…………………………… Check
    A.Fergusons Approval…………………………. Check
    H.Webb picked for MUFC games………………….. Check
    Must fuck over Wenger any given chance…………. Check
    All darkies looklike confused Ref (Andre Marrine).. Check
    LFC dives must result in penalties…………….. Check
    Must get MUFC in CL………………………….. Check

  • nicky

    All this talk about what might have been (had Walcott, Ramsey, Wilshire not been absent due to prolonged injury) is all very well.
    What I want is for someone to tell me what must be done in order to avoid a repeat situation next season.

  • nicky,

    I don’t think that anyone here is qualified to answer that question. But we all hope that it gets answered.

  • Tom

    Jambug, Bjtgooner and especially my pal Bootoomee

    Stop your bitching and moaning about other clubs outspending Arsenal to trophies. Whatever Arsenal’s cash reserves are , Wenger hasn’t come close to spending them and until he does we will be having the same debate all over again. If you are proud of Wenger’s financial prudence then just say so but don’t expect to be winning the league title any time soon with players like Kallstrom , Bendtner or Sanogo being counted on to do the job.

    I happen to think that Wenger doesn’t have to match City pound for pound to beat them because he is capable of getting more out of his players then any other manager. The examples are plentiful and no names are required.

    EVERY ARSENAL PLAYER who’s ever left to play for other clubs has failed to duplicate his form from Arsenal days, thus proving Wenger to be overachieving with every group of players since probably the invincibles

    The difference between you and I is this – I scream my fucking head off when cheering Arsenal on in person but after the game I can honestly admit when a certain player isn’t good enough to play at this level without looking for any b.s silver lining like in Kallstrom’s case for example – ” he’s got a great attitude “. Give me a break! I too would have a great attitude if Arsen signed me on loan. Shit , I’d even do the laundry and cut the grass and you guys would probably say ” sure this Tom guy is slow as shit but cut him some slack cos he hasn’t played professionally for 14 years and he is trying his best”
    This is Arsenal ! One of the top five elite clubs in the World. Act the part!!

    Sincerely ; dickish Tom 🙂

  • menace

    @nicky get PGMOL investigated and locked in a distant prison. We might just get a decent set of Match Officials. That is sufficient for us to win.

  • menace

    @Walter – You must know several young qualified referees around Europe and perhaps the world. Lets just set up a limited company with 40 FIFA qualified referees and offer our services to the EPL & FA.

  • Linz

    Not over the3 hill,what about the 90 mill Arsenal have just earned this season in PL prize money and TV money?Where is that in your calculation?

  • AL

    Good finish to the season, and let’s keep the momentum going into next weekend.

    Off topic
    Just seen a performance from Dowd that’ll surely rival one or the most biased reffing performances in recent memory (which incidentally was by him in our 4-4 draw at Newcastle), he awarded two phantom free kicks to Liverpool and sent off two Newcastle players for nothing, I mean nothing. Worrying.

  • Tom wrote:

    “I happen to think that Wenger doesn’t have to match City pound for pound to beat them because he is capable of getting more out of his players then any other manager. The examples are plentiful and no names are required.”

    I just want to emphasise his disingenuous ways for all to see here. Somehow our friend and ‘ex-footballer’, Tom wants us to believe that Arsene Wenger and the Arsenal board just do not want success. They are sitting on that amount of cash (that he has pulled out of his ass) and would not take advantage of their 2 billionaire shareholders. He wants us to believe that with that phantom amount that he pulled out of his rear end spent, voila: Arsenal are Champions. We must defer to his ‘wisdom’ here: he used to play football!

    In Tom’s world, it is always Arsenal’s fault. He would then “bitch and moan” when called out on a site that is dedicated to supporting the club and its manager in all they do.

    Talk about being a moaning bitch!

  • bjtgooner

    @Tom

    I don’t think I have mentioned Arsenal’s finances, or those of the other clubs, certainly not in recent threads – however I am happy to stand with jambug and Bootoomee on most issues.

    The question of Arsenal’s finances is often debated by persons who do not know the true situation – so don’t take offense at this, what I am trying to point out is that there are far too many stories about the finances, all different, so they cannot all be correct. Notoverthehill has posted figures above – maybe if these were expanded it would clear up the debate on this point.

    In the meantime,unless you have figures to show that Wenger didn’t spend all the budget I don’t see how you can justify your comments. Further, spending the budget will only happen when a player deemed suitable is available.

    I have no problem with Kallstom – as a low cost squad player – we have discussed him before – just remember your initial description of his play was inaccurate.

    For now lets just enjoy the result today & chill.

  • Gord

    @nicky

    If you are expecting a short, simple answer; there isn’t one.

    If a single team is capable of consistently winning the top division of football in England, and the league is nominally filled with teams that can occassionally win, mid place teams and lower teams; the most likely finishing place for this single top team is 2nd. Finishing 1st or 3rd are very close, and 4th isn’t that far off. 5th and above are less than 10%. In large part, what determines 1st from 4th is luck.

    That assumes the league is fair. This year we had two teams that bought themselves “top” standing, one team that had earned itself top standing and one team has been top in the past and would like to become top again, all fighting for position. Last year, this team that used to be top wasn’t doing well and we still had a team which may have had unreasonable influence which was a top team in operation.

    In a fair league, 4 top teams fighting for top positions can be analysed. There are runs length analyses that can be used. But in general, each team has an equal opportunity of finishing 1st in every year, and there should be no influence of prioer years on future years.

    Deviations from anticipated runs lengths, can be used to point to the likelihood of outside forces having influence.

  • Pat

    @AL

    You are quite right about Dowd’s performance. Terrible!

  • Mick

    @Tom
    ‘Whatever Arsenal’s cash reserves are , Wenger hasn’t come close to spending them’
    If you do not know what Arsenal’s cash reserves are how can you possibly know how close or not Wenger has got to spending them? A rather silly statement don’t you agree?

  • Tom

    Bootoomee

    “Talk about being a moaning bitch”

    That is as good a description of you as I could ever find . Thanks!

    It’s the media’s fault and the referee’s fault and the opposing managers’ fault and the other clubs’ players fault and the scheduling and early kick offs fault and the fans’ fault and other club’s’ billionaires fault.
    Did I miss any?

    The culture I come from we look at ourselves first . Have we done the best we could ? It’s got nothing to do with not supporting the club you dipshit!
    You would know this of you ever played or owned a business . Making excuses creates a loosing mentality . It is something that has served me well in my life in football and business .I fuck up or make a mistake , I own up to it and apologize as I have on here before. Something that’s foreign to you obviously so keep pushing your b.s. propaganda . It won’t faze me a bit.

  • menace

    @AL surprising how last time Dowd was biased for the Toon & this time he’s biased against them. It is the most clear case of PGMOL blindness this season. Pardew was handicapped & couldn’t say anything costly. The truth is an expensive commodity when it comes to PGMOL officials.

  • Tom,

    Yada yada yada and some more.

    Everybody at Untold doesn’t know jack. You know better. I wonder why you have made it your mission to enlighten the deluded folks who congregate here. For someone claiming your level of intelligence, it should be obvious to you now that we are beyond redemption in our faith in our manager. Stop trying as it isn’t working and won’t ever work.

    We (at Untold Arsenal) won’t compliment our manager in one sentence and denigrate him the next. Neither would we allow anyone to do that on this site without responding. Hence why myself and a few others here won’t let your two-faced comments go without a reply.

  • AL, Pat & menace,

    Maybe, just maybe Dowd is not a corrupt official but just an incompetent one? We could also call him gutless ref as he panders a lot to the home crowd.

    I have no idea what Shola Ameobi said to him so I’ll give him benefit of the doubt there but that Dummett red is beyond ridiculous. It is a yellow at the absolute worst. Dowd is a clown.

  • Tom

    Bootoomee
    ” Hence why myself and a few others here won’t let your two-faced comments go without a reply”

    If stating that Wenger gets the most out of his players possible ( more than any other manager could) but some of his players just aren’t good enough , is “two faced” ,than discussing anything with you is pointless really.
    I’m out.

  • Ray from Norfolk, Virginia

    Dowd is not incompetent, he is just for hire, or on a mission from the devil, Mike the vampire Riley.

  • Gord

    Congratulations to the Arsenal Ladies. They play Everton in the Ladies FA Cup game now.

  • AL

    Its possible Dowd may be incompetent, but the way he tilts a game is beyond believable. We all saw it against us when he awarded two of the most ridiculous penalties I’ve ever seen (esp the one Rosicky conceded after the toon player leaned into him with the ball high above and heading out of play). Yesterday he was at his best(or worst depending on which way you look at it). The second free kick was a joke, sterling leaned into Tiote, fouling Tiote but Dowd saw it fit to call it a freekick for pool and card Tiote. And Liverpool scored.
    At the restart, while Newcastle are waiting to kick off he has some words with Amoebi, brandishes a yellow and it appears Amoebi goes to protest against that and he immediately flashes a second yellow! From what I read (bbc site) the two cards were within a space of 10 seconds! Even if Amoebi is the fastest talker in town, it’s hard to see how he could have said stuff worthy of two cards in 10 seconds! The whole thing,carding a player, should take about 30 seconds,but two in 10?! Even Pardew wanted to laugh at the whole thing.

    The straight red on the second player, well, only someone with an agenda would send someone off for that! I watched MotD last night(also when I happened to see these incidents as I’d watched the city match) and not once did they mention the sending offs, usually a sign the ref got them wrong. It’s clear Dowd had some preconceived ideas about what he wanted to do before the game, and looked for the slightest excuse to do these. I’m pretty sure he must have been thinking I’ll ensure pool don’t lose or draw, then it’ll be up to whatever happens in the other match.

    I think Dowd can be a good ref when he wants, but is also very capable of reverting to Riley mode when required. Well, he is not the only one capable of that from the bunch, but the way he goes about it is the most worrying; it’s so blatant that the decisions are not even debatable. He’s one guy who’ll get the result he wants regardless. And that makes him dangerous.

  • AL,

    Maybe he had an agenda, maybe he didn’t we’ll never know for sure. But we can agree that he was clownish and incompetent. That is bad enough in my book. I am not comfortable adding the other stuff.

    I totally agree with you that MoTD blacked out the card incidents in their discussion because they have no way to justify them. Especially that 2nd one.

  • WalterBroeckx

    About Dowd and based on my stats I have always stated that the Newcastle-Arsenal farce was not that much about favouring Newcastle. That day it was Newcastle but it might have been Fulham, WBA, … whoever happened to be our opponents on that day.
    Dowd can be amazingly good but when he is on a mission he will move heaven and earth to finish it. Newcastle capitalized a few seasons ago, suffered this time. Maybe Newcastle fans will look different at their 4-4 now. But with the short-sightedness of most football supporters I doubt they will…
    The same ingredients like in the Newcastle match : inventing fouls, sending players off (letting others on the field)…
    And yet the same Dowd was having the highest scores in our referee reviews on many occasions….

  • Rupert Cook

    You can say a lot in ten seconds. Probably about a dozen swear words.

    I don’t think the cards were discussed in depth because nobody cares that much. It’s the last game of the season and it makes little difference to anyone, except Newcastle’s team at the beginning of next season. The second red though looked silly and I think MoTD pundits said so.

  • Rupert Cook

    Just listened to their comments again and they didn’t mention the incidents at all.

  • AL

    They didn’t mention anything at all, including the goals as even the free kicks were very soft ones. Instead they decided to focus on games Liverpool had played well, erm, two months ago. Says it all.
    You might say the game meant little to anyone, true, as things turned out it meant very little. But what if west ham had mounted a fightback and won their match?(not impossible, Palace mounted one a couple of weeks ago from 3 nil down and almost nicked it at the death). Call me paranoid or what but I don’t think we should just dismiss this as another bad day at the office for the officials. There seems to have been a lot of intent in those decisions. Pardew confirmed he spoke with the player and he didn’t swear, in fact he said Amoebi doesn’t swear because he’s a deeply religious individual, but just asked the ref something and he sent him off. Anyway, I just been on other boards and pleased to note fans from other clubs deemed that performance from the ref criminal (including Chelsea fans who benefited when JT asked the same ref to red card Chico Flores only 3 weeks ago, and he duly obliged).

  • AL

    Bootoomee
    Yes, he was definitely clownish and incompetent. And like you say, we will never know if he’d an agenda or not, unfortunately. But like Walter said, his figures can be very good when he wants to, and that then makes it a little uncomfortable to see him lowering his standards to yesterday’s performance.

    But I’m aware you are(in fact you’ve been coming across as that way lately, leaving me to wonder if you’ve been threatened with libel by someone lol)not comfortable looking for reasons into the hows or whys, and I respect that and we shall leave it at that. Let’s hope the team delivers on Saturday.

  • AL,

    Fear not my friend, I have not been threatened in anyway for anything 🙂 I am as suspicious as you or anyone about officiating in the PL and especially against Arsenal. I think that the refs, out of their own bias and the self serving need to not be in the firing line of the media who are clearly anti-Arsenal in every way, would happily go against Arsenal because there is always little blowback from the media unlike what they’d experience for making contrary decisions.

    I wrote an article on this issue once, clearly stating where I stand. Apart from the bias that the refs themselves can have for or against different teams, the media’s manner of going after officials for their errors in favour of some teams (most notably Arsenal) and ignoring or justifying others in favour of other teams is a major driver of these bad calls that we see. I think that most of the referees are just gutless and scared shitless by media storms from them going the media anointed teams. Imagine the shitstorm in the media today if Dowd had sent off 2 Liverpool players in the same trivial manner. I believe that the problem is more with the media and less the officials but I have never ruled out corruption. Ever.

    I believe that we can shine light on these 2 issues (gutlessness/incompetence and bias) without lumping in charges of corruption which are difficult to prove and criminal thereby making people uncomfortable to get on board.

  • AL

    Spot on Bootoomee. Agree about toning down as we’ve often been accused of being paranoid/deluded etc when we’ve dared suggest there might be something against Arsenal. It doesn’t matter to these people that all we want is a level playing field(like in this case we’re bemoaning poor decisions against Newcastle).

    Thanks for the reminders, I knew most of this but just that the injustices sometimes make my blood boil to the point of losing all diplomacy, and my head 🙂

  • bjtgooner

    @Al & Bootoomee

    I agree about being cautious and circumspect….until some happy day when sufficient and substantial evidence emerges to “clarify” some of the patterns of bias in ref decisions, not forgetting the corresponding media anti Arsenal viewpoint.

    The post match ref analysis by Walter et al has raised many questions about ref bias – interestingly it has been largely ignored by the media.

    AL – sometimes those who accuse others of paranoia or delusion do so because they have no defense to put forward – so they resort to destructive comment as an escape. So don’t worry too much when posters (esp AAAs) take that line.

  • AL

    You’re right bjtgooner, no defense leads them to resort to these diversionary tactics to distract us from the real topic. Just like the pundits on MotD chose to show clips from pool’s games in march instead of commenting on the day’s match, as they couldn’t justify what they knew we’d all seen.

  • menace

    MOTD are chicken livered cowards. They do not have the balls to be be honest. Dowd was corrupt in his interpretation of the Laws of the Game and was unsporting in his behaviour. Referees must be able
    to converse with players and his behaviour can easily be interpreted as prejudiced on the verge of racist. Football must address this issue and MOTD is shying away from its duty to question actions that are unbecoming of fair play and officiating.

    What is the purpose of a programme on football if it only presents the views of its presenters and not an unbiased sporting view. There is no doubt the presenters lack courage to be inquisitive.

  • jambug

    When I see officiating of such an appalling level it makes me mad.

    When I see and hear all platforms of the media completely and utterly ignore it, it makes me worried.