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October 2016
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After the vampire we now have the psycho serial scratcher

By Walter Broeckx

Lots of fuss has been made and rightfully so of the behaviour of Suarez who had an appetite for human flesh in his career.

Biting is unacceptable behaviour and it is something that usually is removed from the behaviour of little kids. You still have a few biters before the age of 6 but after that you usually don’t have many people around who will bite their way through life.

Clever people will know that biting can be dangerous. It can transfer diseases and inflict open wounds. So it is a behaviour deemed totally unacceptable in society and also on any football field.

But in the early ages of human beings apart from biting you also have some kids who will try to scratch when they feel up to it. And again this is a behaviour that is often seen together with the biting and that should be removed as quickly as possible from the behaviour of little children.

Because just as with biting, scratching can cause open wounds to the people receiving it. Both are unacceptable. And even more when the aim of the scratching is the face. Or even the eyes.

Scratching a person with your nails in his eyes can cause terrible injuries. The eye is a very delicate thing and the last thing you want to happen to an eye is that something scratches it and makes a wound. An infection in the eye as a result of scratching can cause blindness. And becoming blind in one eye is bad for any person but if this would lead to not being able to do your job it is just plain terrible.

Now if we want to look at the Costa incident with Kos we have to take a closer look at how he tried to hit Kos. Was it with a flat hand? Then it is always a straight red card of course but in most cases it can’t really inflict a big injury. But however if one raises his hand and tries to catch him with you fingers bent then you are trying to scratch someone.

And if you do this aimed at the eyes of a person I think this is something that is worthy of being prosecuted by the police as it is a deliberate attempt to injure a person.

So let us look at a close up from the moment that Costa is lashing out towards the face and eyes of Koscielny


You clearly see with me that Costa has his forefinger and middlefinger bent in order to scratch Koscielny. You cannot see his nails on the picture because he is trying to bury them in the eyes of Koscielny. Can we offer exhibit 1 to the FA for showing that what Costa did was not only unacceptable but also dangerous for the health of his opponent. Costa raised his hands deliberate as it was a completely unnatural move for him and then on top of that he tried to scratch and injure the eyes of Koscielny.

On top of that we also can prove that Costa didn’t do this as a one time mistake. No seconds later he again had his fingers bent when trying to scratch a player, this time Gabriel.

The result of Costa bending his finger nails once again can be seen here:


So what we clearly have here is a player, Costa who uses his finger nails deliberate to try to injure his opponents.

Not just a one mistake. No just as Suarez he seems to be having some kind of behaviour problem.

Suarez has been given punishments that went bigger and bigger in order to stop his unacceptable behaviour. He now is one year bite-free and part of the agreement with Barcelona was said at the time that he would follow a course to stop this (childish) behaviour.  I say childish but for a grown up man this more sounds like psycho behaviour.

So Costa seems to be obsessed with scratching other players. As unacceptable as biting other players. In fact the chance that Suarez would be able to bite a player to blindness seems very small but the chance that Costa would injure a player and make him blind is obvious very big as he tried to do this twice to Koscielny in the space of 20 seconds.

As much as there is no place for a biting vampire on the football field, there should be no place for eye scratching players.

But then again when you have a manager who has been practising the ‘art of eye poaching’ himself when he managed Real Madrid you don’t have to be surprised if his players end up doing the same on the football field.

So if the FA only gives Costa a 3 match ban they totally ignore the fact that it was not a flat hand smash but a much more dangerous bent fingers slash in order to scratch and injure the eyes of Koscielny. An injury that could have lead to serious repercussions for Koscielny and his future career.

You don’t cross some lines. Trying to scratch in the eye of an opponent is far worse than biting a person because of the fact that the result can be much worse for the player on the receiving end.

There is no place for this. Not in the streets and not on a football field. And this has been explicitly agreed by FIFA and FIBA when they set out the guideline that players are not allowed to wear rings because that it can cause very bad eye injuries!

So it will be very interesting to see how the FA will look at it and if they find eye scratching acceptable behaviour or not. If they don’t make it more than 3 matches they open the door for serious injuries and if Costa or another player finally injures a player and cost him his career I hope that this player will sue the other player and the FA and the PGMO and make them pay for his damages.


The petition “Prevent Mike Dean from refereeing another Arsenal game” now has almost 90,000 signatures.  Please sign up if you agree.


38 comments to After the vampire we now have the psycho serial scratcher

  • Rich

    Sad thing is, it’s Chelsea and Costa themselves who could turn something like that into an enormous deal.

    If a player did that to Costa, I’m pretty sure he’d understand the opportunity instantly, and be writhing on the floor, hands on the eye area, legs wriggling. Fabregas and co would be on the scene before you know it, around the ref, ‘eye gouge, eye gouge’, hand signals to go with it.

    Medics would be on the scene by this point, arriving as quickly as they did for Oscar in the PSG game, when, I’ll admit, the whole thing had me thinking ‘whoa, could be a real bad injury that one’. If you are the game’s great pragmatist and man for the details, you would surely rehearse that,too. Players fly over to their downed colleague, wave frantically for medical help. it worked a treat against PSG.

    Then the media swing into play. As we’ve seen so well, they have an alarming inability to focus on the original reality of any incident, and instead their reality is apparently the one of the reactions to that incident and, more importantly, what the ref does- not whether what the ref does is right or wrong. In this way, Costa is clever and someone whose behaviour we should emulate, but if the ref had dealt with it differently, i.e. correctly, presumably they would not say this.

    So, with a wriggling and writhing player, incensed colleagues, concerned looking medics pouring water in the eye, a red card…you’d have yourself a big deal and a different story. Jose apparently likes rugby now and would quite likely be making reference to how they deal with deliberate contact to the eye like that.

  • for to long this has been going on and nothing has been done by the fa the time has come to ack now dean should not refry another game his decision cause disruption in the game and where the points are lost the fa should award one point to each team or have the match replayed at a later date the costa case with koscielny a red card and the gabriel incident would never had happened that card should be cancelled

  • Gerry

    Excellent article and response.
    Arsenal remain the class act but suffer through the ineptness and sheer cowardice from referees right up to the highest authorities.
    JM tells us it’s what the world wants to see. That may apply at Stamford Bridge of course.

  • Menace

    I didn’t watch the Manchester City match v West ham but I have it on good information that the PGMO was at it in that game. It would be interesting to hear from City supporters. The City players were aghast wondering what the pseudo fouls were for.

  • proudkev

    Anyone heard anything about the behaviour of Mike Dean before the game?

    According to our away fans, Mike Dean did not respond kindly during his warm up routine to our fans questioning his impartiality. I understand Mike Dean was heard having heated arguments with the Arsenal fans.

    If this is true, as it appears to be, I am amazed. This clearly needs to be investigated. You cannot have a match official arguing with any group of fans prior to kick off. Not only is it unprofessional, it leaves a valid question regarding his state of mind and his impartiality.

    Can we get this clarified by the away fans, there was a couple on a pod the other night adamant this happened.

  • proudkev

    PS: What do the pundits who were defending Costa on the grounds ‘its a mans game’ have to say now that Costa has indeed been charged for violent behaviour. As far as the word ‘Man’ is concerned, attributing that to the antics of that animal is completely misplaced.

    In particular Danny Murphy, who embarrassed himself on MOTD and again on the Talksport morning show with his views. How anyone can watch all of those Costa incidents and say they were worthy of a just a single yellow is beyond me. These dinosaurs really do not know the rules of the game, nor do they have any conscience where cheating is concerned. I also question whether their opinions are in any way affected because it is Arsenal?

    PPS: I noticed all the pundits and the AAA saying the 2 fouls Santi commited and the 2 bookings he received were deserved. However, nobody picked up or commented on the fact that Ivanovic was allowed to commit 4 fouls before Dean took his card from his pocket. That is without harping on about the 8 fouls Costa commited for his yellow. Just worth pointing out that there seems to be a strange sense of balance as usual. (Cesc is now no longer supported by me, I was appalled at his behaviour Saturday. He has let himself down and Mr. Wenger who did so much for him).

  • Wolfgang

    So Dean is rewarded for his error prone officiating.That’s why I say the old farts in the FA is a network of og.No wonder England cant win the wc.
    As for Costa he shd get at least a five match ban. A 3 match aint good enough. No use fining all these guys.
    It’s just like trying to fine a millionaire. Believe me a jail sentence will scare the shit out of these guys.
    The only way is to deduct points form the clubs and I dare say there will be a significant improvement.

  • Samrat Jha

    and it seems intensional too. Notice the difference between the active and passive set of fingers. The first two are digging in.

  • bjtgooner

    Walter an excellent article.

    We should not be surprised that Costa in addition to his thuggery, diving and playactig is also an eye scratcher – after all his repugnant manager showed everyone how to do this.

    With all these attributes to his game no wonder the Chelski players and fans love his antics – all hoping his cheating will pave the way for an undeserved win.

    No doubt the FA will cover up and limit the damage as much as possible, while trying to attribute blame to Arsenal, to distract from Dean, Costa, Zouma, The Odious One and Chelski in general.

    But this time Dean has really blown it – maybe his prematch argument with the fans altered his already suspect perspective – but his obvious incompetence/cheating should have him dismissed or jailed if it was established he was contracted to assist Chelski – either way, the FA will damage themselves (further) as they try to cover this up.

  • Samrat Jha

    sorry * intentional *

  • Truly excellent title …… Best this Year. !

  • Shouldn’t we now start focussing on the Big game tomorrow or casting
    an eye over the excellent financial report by Swiss Ramble ?

  • finsbury

    The difference between Suarez and Costa is that one was not protected and the other is a protected player, and of course the easy understanding that can be derived from watching the Football as on Saturday that Suarez and many other forwards out there are simply much better players then the Mendezian Mule.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    BBC reporting at 17:08 that Gabriel’s three match ban has been rescinded, he has until Thursday to respond to the other FA charge which could also carry a three match ban but it means that he is now available to play tomorrow night if selected.

  • Usama Zaka

    Walter and fellow readers,

    I have just finished reviewing the first half of the Chelsea game. I analyzed this first half 3 three times. And it has taken me 3 days to review just the first half !!!!

    As Walter mentioned yesterday that this match was well and truly “The Game 51”. Well now I am sure it is.

    Here is the just the result of First Half.
    Total Number of Correct Decisions = 16
    Total Number of In-Correct Decisions = 26
    First Half Correct Decision Percentage = 38.1%

    Now after the decisions are Weighted.
    Total Number of Correct Decisions (Weighted) = 17
    Total Number of In-Correct Decisions (Weighted) = 48
    First Half Correct Decision Percentage (WEIGHTED) = 26.1%

    As for the full match review, it will be ready for publishing around the end of this week or little further.

  • Josif

    Another excellent piece by Walter. No surprise really. 🙂

    I have to add something I’ve been writing about already.

    What is Arsenal FC law department’s point of view of the whole PGMO-agenda?

    First of all, let’s clarify a few things.

    In the overpaid flying circus called Premier League, there is also the merit money that is given to the clubs depending on the final standings. A difference between a single place in 2014-15 was a little bit over 1.2 million pounds. Manchester City were four points above us. Mike Dean took three points away from us against Manchester United. Find two more points we were robbed for and it’s 1.2 million pounds of damage caused by PGMO. (Of course, it would take a lot more to prove – an analysis of Manchester City matches, an analysis of Arsenal matches and a proof that we should have ended above them had the referees done their job properly.)

    Now, correct if I’m wrong but Mike Dean is an employee of PGMO and not FA. Basically, that means Arsenal have suffered a financial damage by the acts of PGMO’s employees and that lawyers who work for Arsenal FC should make a deep and thorough analysis whether a law-suit against PGMO for the damage is possible.

    If not, hat’s where Arsenal Holding plc – as a parent company – might decide to step up and issue a serious warning to PGMO that negligence or intentional mistakes of their employees will have consequences for PGMO. It’s not too difficult to find the evidences of how the refs have been doing Arsenal since The Game 50. I don’t know if that hypothetical law-suit can be filed and even if it can be filed, nobody can guarantee it would be successful, but I believe that Mike Riley would sweat over the possible consequences. 😉

  • Clockendrider

    I believe the rescinding of the ridiculous banning of Gabriel is due in no part to blogs such as this shouting so loudly and promoting the signing of the petition. Well done all.
    None of this gives us our points back. And most importantly none of it addresses the issue of Deans incompetence and/or corruption.
    Keep up the petition.

  • Aziz

    The evidence from those photos show vicious intent on the part of Costa and a case for
    assault if it happened anywhere else.
    PROUDKEV- Thanks for the feedback in an earlier post.
    You commented on Dean confronting our fans. No doubt, such action was deliberate to get into the face of fans and is provocative. Here in South Africa,he would have been chased for the biased way he officiated and would have been beaten up, simply because fans don’t like being cheated by those we suppose to trust.

  • Chrissie

    Excellent article, have signed the petition and agree that there should be another petition into the secretive and abysmal behaviour of the PGMO. I will certainly sign that as well. I think Costa could do with psychiatric treatment, he ran around as if demented the whole game.

  • Great news , common sense prevails at last !

  • Josif

    @Clockendrider: “None of this gives us our points back. And most importantly none of it addresses the issue of Deans incompetence and/or corruption.”

    In ex-Yugoslavia they say: “A donkey was eaten by a wolf.” It’s a phrase used for scandals that had taken all the attention in the media for a few days – usually with a huge damage caused to the one that lost “donkey” – before being completely forgotten and with no consequences for the “wolf”.

    Remember, we had been there before – Charlie Adam should have been sent off for a stamp on Giroud in 2013-14 at 0:0. The game ended 1:0 for Stoke. We ended three points behind third-placed Chelsea. If we just take Moss’, Dean’s, Taylor’s and Atkinson’s performances against us into account, there was a lot of merit money taken away from Arsenal FC by the employees of PGMO.

  • Tim Charlesworth

    Walter, this is a really good spot. I always try to see these things ‘from the other side’, but I can’t think on an innocent explanation for the way that Costa’s fingers are curled. It seems to be a clear attempt to damage the boss’ eyes, or at least make the boss think that he is at risk of such damage. Either way, surely the FA will wish to take serious action (not 3 games). Eye gouging is a serious matter in all sports (even rugby!). His intent and willingness to use his fingernails in this match is surely already proven. Might be worth bringing this to the attention of Arsenal legal team.

  • apo Armani

    @Andrew Crawshaw
    September 22, 2015 at 5:20 pm

    To me this just proves that Dean is absolutely at fault…he completely destroyed the flow of the game, had the final say as to the outcome of the game, and was the sole reason which fueled the negative atmosphere on and off the field.

    This man has no place near a football field period!

  • apo Armani

    AFC should take legal action against his (Dean’s) employers!!!

  • Tim Charlesworth

    I have seen a number of interesting comments about legal action. It is not really possible for the club to do this, however strong its case. It really needs to try to maintain a good relationship with the FA and PMGO for all sorts of reasons. Red and White Holdings, however, is a different matter. Red and White/Usmanaov could legitimately claim financial damage from the mis-refereeing of the Chelsea game. At the very least, this would force PMGO to defend themselves in public and explain what action they are taking to ensure that their officiating is not systematically biased (I don’t subscribe to the conspiracy theories, but I would really like to hear the explanation) Usmanov is always looking for ways to ingratiate himself with the fans, and this might be a nice way to do it. The club could (in all honesty) say that it had nothing to do with the legal action taken. Does anyone have any way of contacting red and white so suggest such a thing?

  • Aziz

    Gabriel has his red card rescinded, meaning the FA found him innocent. This means the red card was wrong and put Arsenal at a disadvantage. The FA won’t have the balls to do the only sensible act of justice now in calling for a replay.

  • apo Armani

    @Tim Charlesworth
    September 22, 2015 at 6:20 pm

    “…Red and White Holdings, however, is a different matter…”

    Now wouldn’t that be a treat!!!

  • Menace

    There was nothing done to Jose! Why is he allowed to coach players to do what Costa did? He is culpable for the dirty play as well. There is time to pass on evidence to Arsenal via email. The FA & PGMO destroy all evidence as quickly as it arrives.

  • Pete

    Could Kos/Gab sue Costa for assault/attempted GBH?

  • nicky

    What appears to have been overlooked of late, is the increasingly bizarre behaviour of the Chelsea manager, Mourinho.
    His quite paranoid upset over the correct action taken by the team doctor, Eva.
    And now proclaiming Costa as his MOTM.
    I feel that unless his prima donna attitude is curbed, either by his Russian boss OR through medical attention, his days as a manager are numbered.

  • Varses

    This just keeps getting better and better. Check out the gif in the link
    Gabriel did not even touch the .

  • Pete

    Or report costa’s assaults to the police?

  • john

    Remember Mourinho trying to gouge the eyes of the Barcelona coach.

    This particular form of assault must be part of the training regime at Chelsea, as well as the other techniques of stamping, kicking, diving, and other forms of cheating,

    Zouma gave the game away with his commens.

  • dieter


    Absolutely, I’ve been thinking the same. Lawsuits against Costa for inflicting gbh and Zouma for attempted murder as this is clearly beyond FA’s reach. And no probations, ffs.


    A replay? Definitely yes, if not 3 points to us automatically.


    You don’t say! Can’t imagine Jose and Abra got off scot-free.

  • Costa is banned for the next three matches. But in this case the red card should be applied in the next matches with Aresnal. The failure of the red to send Costa off penalized Aresnel. Therefore the punishment should in some way benefit Arsenal with the three game ban being applied when Chelsea play Aresnal again.

  • goonersince72

    Great job. The Suarez analogy is particularly pertinent because his ‘serial’ biting was factored into his ban. But, of course, in Costa’s case his enablers, the unPGMO and FA, did not factor his previous offences – including others in the same match – into their punishment. No surprise there. At least Gabriel’s suspension is rescinded. Let’s hope the charge for improper conduct also goes away. It will be interesting to see if they try to make it up to Jose by suspending Gabriel. Well, stay tuned kids.

  • Mandy Dodd

    The AAA/media tell us Costa is a real man, the type we desperatly need. My four year old neice recently went through a scratching phase

  • Dazza64

    Re the Costa “gouging”…An Argentinian Rugby player (at the RWC) has just been handed a 9 week ban for contact “with the eye or eye area”, makes the 3 match ban look very tame indeed.