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October 2016
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Southampton – Arsenal 4-0 : Our bête noir strikes again

By Walter Broeckx

Arsenal made again no changes in the starting line up for this match. So Flamini and Ramsey stay in the centre of the midfield with the Welsh player celebrating his 25th birthday.

The starting line up : Cech, Monreal, Mertesacker Koscielny, Bellerin, Ramsey, Flamini, Campbell, Ozil, Walcott, Giroud

On the beach: Ospina, Chambers,Gabriel, Gibbs, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Reine-Adelaide, Iwobi

A first attempt from Arsenal but the header of Giroud was well over and wide. Arsenal with most of the ball and Southampton defending and speculating on the counter. After some 10 minutes Southampton with a little spell of possession but nothing dangerous. At the other end a ball from Ramsey to Moreal but his cross took a deflection that took it just over the crossbar. Southampton then with a dangerous looking cross but Per headed the ball away. Still 0-0 after 15 minutes.


Özil with a cross, headed away but only to Monreal but his right footed shot was straight at Stekelenburg. Davis from Southampton heads the ball in offside but the assitant keeps his flag down, the attack continues and Per clears but in the foot of Martina who curls it in the goal. A goal that shouldn’t have counted. 1-0 for Southampton after 19 minutes. Against the run of play but that doesn’t matter on the score board.


Arsenal a bit shocked and Southampton trying to capitalise of a few moments of weakness from Per and Kos. Luckily they can’t. Cech being alert on a long ball and first to it to prevent any danger. Ref Moss then being a bit difficult when wants a free kick to be taken on the exact cm². Still 1-0 behind after 30 minutes.


Long pushes Mertesacker in the back and Moss calls it a foul and cancels a goal and that was a correct decision. Arsenal, not for the first time at Southampton, not finding their feet yet. Walcott then with a run from the right but his left footed shot was too weak to really trouble Stekelenburg. A cross from Ramsey but Southampton can clear for a corner. Walcott header but touches the wrong side of the side net. Arsenal not rushing forward blindly as there is still time in this match. Stekelenburg can claw a cross from Monreal away in front of Giroud. Long at the other end with a counter but he lobs it over the Arsenal goal. Arsenal go in the dressing room being 1-0 behind.


Southampton with the better start in the second half with Arsenal again not being very sharp. Virgil scores but he was offside so the assistant ruled it out and Cech needing some medical attention after the collision. Wanyama uses his arm against the head of Giroud and Moss finds nothing wrong. Arsenal still playing too slow for the moment and not enough precision.

Southampton counter and when Long brings down Koscielny without the ball he can get an easy tap in from a pass from Mane. 2-0 in favour of Southampton after 55 minutes. Both goals with a lot of help from the blind referee staff.


Oxlade-Chambarlain preparing himself to come for Campbell after 63 minutes. Southampton then get a corner… er was it a corner ? No it wasn’t. And from the resulting corner Southampton scores their 3rd goal. A third goal that has a strong referee smell all over it. Fonte scored the 3-0 after 69 minutes.


Iwobi came in the place of Walcott who was very much invisible against the club that formed him, not for the first time when facing them. Iwobi with a cross but Giroud cannot proper connect and Southampton can clear a meter in front of their goal line.

Long hitting the post in the final minutes. But in the extra time he gets away and scores through the legs of Cech.


Arsenal had a complete off day. Not for the first time over there. As strong as we were against City, so weak was today’s performance.


For some strange reason Arsenal seems to freeze when they play at Southampton in the last seasons. I really cannot remember us playing our usual game in this stadium. We always play slow, our legs look tired… Southampton in their ground is a bête noir for us.


But of course playing bad is no excuse for the officials to assist Southampton to score goals. The 4th goal was the only one without an assist from the referees.


We had a total off day, (as did the refereeing trio)  time for the players to do better next Monday.

The good thing is we are still second in the league.

69 comments to Southampton – Arsenal 4-0 : Our bête noir strikes again

  • Mahdain

    This game had PGMOL “lets stop Arsenal momentum” smell all over it. How do you allow 3 illegal goals to stand? Moss was a man on a mission and sadly he fulfilled that mission as we ourselves didnt turn up

  • sleekwhale

    I want every Arsenal player to take a deep reflection at themselves…there is no excuse! Too poor from everyone…I could say save Monreal.

  • When it’s not your day, it’s just not your day. But that’s no excuse for others (the ref) to pile on.

    There is no need to start naming scapegoats. It wasn’t the best from the team but we should all know enough about the team now to vouch for the fact that they will bounce back.

    Keep calm and support your team.

  • Damilare

    Something was obviously wrong with our team today. What exactly, I can’t put my finger on it. We just didn’t play like Arsenal today. Before some naysayers come here to tell us how sh*t our boys are, they’re the same boys that dispatched man city.
    Truly an off day and 3 wrong decisions that led to 3 goals deficit on our goals tally. That’s the only thing I smart about tonight.
    We’re still 2 points off the top.

  • Madhain some day you will become a man . Then you will stop making lame excuses . It will come to pass . It is written !

  • Strus

    Save Monreal and a little Koscielny a nd Cech too, it was piss poor.
    Terrible finishing. So terrible, that Stekelenburg got such an easy clean sheet.
    So many misplaced passes , so many wrong directed headers from the defence.
    Pondering buildup most of the time.
    What has happened to the brilliant Arsenal team???

  • Tom

    Even if you conclude the first goal should have never stood because of a marginal off side in the build up, and Long’s first goal because of the trip on Koscielny as well. And if you decide the corner kick that led to Fonte’s goal should’ve been a goal kick, then you still have Long’s second goal which was legal but even more importantly Southampton’s second disallowed goal should’ve stood.

    Virgil Van Dijk was even with the last Arsenal defender and it was his teammate on the near side who was off side. This was a perfectly legal goal the linesman got incorrect.

    Moss had a terrible game because he is a poor referee, but he missed fouls and infractions on both sides of the ball.

    Koscielny clattered into Long’s back and elbowed him soon after in the first half, very much like Wanyama did Giroud in the second half.

    You can’t complain about referees selective vision and then do the same in your report.

    The bottom line is Arsenal were poor and created precious little.
    We played with no intensity and although we had more of the ball, we didn’t do much with it.

    Ozil was denied space and should’ve been taken off when the Saints scored their third goal to keep him relatively fresh for Bournemouth.

    Well done to Saints , we move on.

  • mickess

    Nothing takes away the fact that we looked like we had HUGE Xmas dinners and Southampton looked like they had salads. Where were we? It was embarrassing.

  • Al

    Seeing lots of new posters here tonight, didn’t realise we had that many ‘fans’.

  • bjtgooner

    We were indeed poor tonight, but it is hard to play when you are fouled just as you get the ball, or even before you get the ball – the push in the back seems to have been well rehearsed by Southampton for this match.

    After our excellent result against City I expected the PGMO to screw us – and they did. I noted in our pre match ref analysis some contributors were slightly optimistic about Moss. Basically the PGMO and their semi blind linesmen are a pack of scum unfit for purpose – they may vary in their degree of incompetence – but there is not a decent one amongst them.

    Tonight was a bad night – but we will have much better results to follow.

  • Va Cong

    here comes the dickheads

  • WalterBroeckx

    Well in the studio over here in my country they agreed with my view. First goal offside in the build up, second goal a foul on Kos, third goal no corner.
    Would we have opened up without the first two goals as we did? And would we have played like we did if it would have been 0-0 in the 92th minute to allow Long with the only valid goal?
    Really doubt it to be honest.

    But yes we weren’t great at all.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Some wise words: Beating City didn’t mean AFC had won the league. Losing to SFC doesn’t mean they have lost it. #perspective

    Signed Lee Dixon.

  • Pat

    Good for Lee Dixon!

  • shakabula gooner

    We were well beaten. Hope our next outing will be much better.

  • Pat

    Arsene Wenger was asked after the match if Southampton had responded to Ronald Koeman saying they were too nice. He said they were not too nice tonight, with a wry smile. He pointed out that they were lucky for all the first three goals. Mainly, he said it is how we respond to the rest of the matches over the Christmas period. Wise words. We are still second.

  • Va Cong

    that’s was beautiful Pat

  • Tom


    I agree with you that Southampton were very physical, and perhaps were allowed too much leeway in some of their challenges, but Arsenal should’ve been ready for it.

    Ronald Komean gave his players a public lambasting and challenged them to a reaction and they duly obliged.

    If you think for a second that this was an over the top physical approach but the Saints, you are wrong.

    There were games by far more physical in the PL today , Swansey v WBA just to name one.

    Teams and managers are under tremendous pressure and they will scrap and claw for results to preserve their PL status.
    Arsenal should be ready for it.

    And if you think this is unique to the PL, then you are mistaken again.
    Real Betis v Sevilla a week ago, was far more physical than anything you might’ve seen in the PL this season, and the same can be said about the Bundesliga.

    If you only watch Arsenal games( nothing wrong with that) , you might be under the impression we get picked on. It’s simply not true.

    The silky passing and movement alone won’t win you anything anymore.

  • Yassin

    Wenger said afterwards:

    “I think Southampton made the game very physical and we lost many challenges and that explains why we lost the game. That is one aspect, so well done to them. The second aspect is that on the first three goals we were really unlucky with the decision of the referee, the second goal was a foul and the third goal was a goal kick. If you are a bit under level and on top of that you have the first three goals against you with decision-making, it is even more difficult. We hope in the next game we have decisions like that for us.”

    Oh Boss, what do you mean when you say: We hope in the next game we have decisions like that for us

  • Va Cong

    Just the wrong calls Tom and we did play sluggish after getting 3 body blow. Next!

  • bjtgooner


    Who was it you used to play for? – Stoke under Pullis? 🙂

  • Josif

    Dixon was in the same mood after our victory over City. He didn’t like the lap after the game. I guess it was a reaction of a man who knows how many games has to be played before you can afford yourself a lap of honour for the fans. That’s why I described our players tonight as too cocky.

    However, nothing is lost tonight bar one game and a goal-difference. Let’s win next two games at home against Bournemouth and Newcastle. City have to visit Leicester and Watford and only Arsenal have won at both places this season. If we open a decent gap before Liverpool, Stoke and Chelsea…

  • goonersince72

    I don’t understand all the dislikes if someone writes Arsenal were shit. They were. AW said as much in his post game presser if anyone bothered to listen. Southampton won most of the challenges and Arsenal were in slow motion most of the match. Looked like heavy legs to me. Long blew between the centre halves like they were standing still. And to start the PGMO bias again….stop. Moss is just plain incompetent. Arsenal were clattering Saints all over the pitch as they were doing to us. Moss had no control of the game. First goal, debateable offside (if anyone thinks it was clear cut I can send you a screen grab) bad linesman’s call. The second, Moss missed the foul on Kos because he was looking at the ball, ref error. The third, ruled a corner kick, was a bad call, by the linesman. The errors cost Arsenal, Southampton made them pay. The errors in our favor – several uncalled fouls on Arsenal, including bookable fouls, Kos for example, and a Saints goal incorrectly disallowed for offside were not capitalized. We didn’t deserve the points, they did. They worked harder. Deal with it, it’s not the end of the world or the season. The contributors here are starting to resemble the media; beat City and Arsenal are winning the title; have a bad game against Southampton and the season’s over. But here it’s because we were robbed by the PGMO. Arsenal have a match Monday. I urge all commenters to watch with eyes wide open. I don’t care if you hit the dislike button but don’t question my love for the club. It’s insulting.

  • Dec

    Loosing 4-0 to a run of the mill Southampton? The solution is obviously easy peasy. We just need to wait a couple of days until the window opens, then just snap up a half dozen world class strikers, a couple of top notch midfielders, three or four quality defenders and (after conceding 4) obviously a new keeper (maybe best get a spare as well).
    Then dump the manager and hire the dream team of Jose and Louis (maybe persuade Big Sam to come in as technical director).
    Or else we could just remember we’re nicely positioned just behind Leicester (wheels just about to fall off), playing brilliant for the most part of the season, a joy to watch almost always, ready to progress in OUR cup and looking forward to dumping Barca out of the European cup in the spring. We could also remember how brilliant Arsene Wenger actually is and then decide not to dwell on tonight’s blip and look forward to taking 3 points from Bournemouth.
    I’m inclined to go with the latter option, tell PGMOL to ‘bring it on’, put 100% trust in the same people who got us where we are and then sleep easy in my cot.
    Allez les Gunners!

  • Menace

    goonersince72 – debatable offside! that’s a new take on the Laws. Wrong decisions? No. Cheating officials? yes.

    If you honestly think the PGMO make mistakes, then it is time for them to resign. Consistent mistakes that cause injury & huge sums of money do not have place in sport.

    PGMO live on the fact that some accept their bull shit.

  • If video technology comes in, and some of the initiative is taken away from the refs,maybe we will have fewer nights like that in football. I have no problem with us getting our due when we play very badly, and we did last night. But for the game official to literally exhibit that level of incompetence (or bias) is hard to take, and saddening. But like some people said, including Wenger himself, this is just one game. We need to put this behind us and move on. A positive response in the next match should be our concern.

  • para

    The silky passing and movement alone WILL win us something again, only thing is, we need to play that way first.

    Yet you are right about xmas, “oh i’ll just have one, it won’t affect me that much”.

    Some people pretend to smile when things go wrong, but real people cry 🙁 first, then and only then learn to smile again 🙂 , see, there’s one and 🙂 another.

  • Sammy The Snake

    It’s an odd season, and we can have an odd performance & result once in every game.

    Anyway, the players had partied too hard… 😉

  • Vinnie Losada

    Terrible refereeing, not just against Arsenal, but for both sides. When multiple goals are wrongly awarded (against Arsenal) and a bleeding head, amongst other dubious challenges (against both teams), doesn’t alert the ref to his own bad performance, the league can hardly be called fair.
    Certainly an off day for the Gunners. I just can’t believe Shearer’s comments on MOTD were somewhat reasonable! It was almost as if we’re genuine title contenders…

  • Mahdain

    I would argue even the 4th goal should have not stood seeing how Long should have been sent off for his antics on the second “goal”. We were poor yes but that does not give the referee an excuse to do us in. Amazing how some of you turn blind eye to all refereeing “mistakes” just so you can have a go at Arsene and the team. Brilliant supporters you lot are

  • dieter

    Tom wrote at December 26, 2015 at 10:17 pm:

    “You can’t complain about referees selective vision and then do the same in your report.”

    You absolutely nailed it, mate – no matter how many “TRUE” fans here (15 and counting) dislike. Walter, please take note. The more bias, the less trustworthiness.

    goonersince72 wrote at December 27, 2015 at 1:48 am:

    “I don’t understand all the dislikes if someone writes Arsenal were shit. They were.”

    Not that hard to be straight, isn’t it? Quite simple, in fact.

    Now please give me my fair share of dislikes as well. I believe I totally deserve them and I can’t wait for a reward for being an AAA dickhead.

    Mahdain; You’re hilarious. Long should have been sent off? Blind eye? Why oh why don’t they ask You to write the match reports? Maybe they will, eventually. (Sorry, I forgot to click a Like in Your honour.)

  • Horsham Gooner

    Please, no complaints about refereeing decisions. Arsenal got what they deserved against Southampton. Koeman’s tactics were spot on and the fear now must be that other teams wlll replicate them.
    Football has to have some romance about it to lift it out of the ordinary. That first goal was the stuff dreams are made of.
    Ian Wright commented on the secong goal that he has done what Long did to Koscielny.
    And it wasn’t the non-corner that got Southampton their third goal, it was incompetence in defending that corner kick.
    There was no refereeing conspiracy this time: and Arsene acknowledging that Southampton were the better team reinforces that view
    Nevertheless, I firmly believe that Arsenal can learn from this and will be Champions this season.

  • Al

    Spot on. You’ll never see some of these ‘supporters’ argue anything for the team, ever. One controversial goal is enough to cause a storm, but three? I mean 3 incorrect goals and someone still has a go at the manager!? I read somewhere that saints bossed us, with 35% possession?? The early gift allowed them to play park the bus and hit us on the counter.

    I’m not buying this nonsense about moss being unsighted bla bla bla, him and his fellow biased mates were too eager to screw us; the non-corner awarded for the third goal being the obvious giveaway. Koscielny shepherded the ball out for a goal kick when he had ample time to kick it away for a throw in if he thought it was necessary. You don’t see a player shepherding a ball out when he knows he got the last touch. That should have been obvious to the officials but in their eagerness to help saints they awarded a corner. We could excuse missed offsides or fouls, but that was NOT a mistake, that’s a clear sign someone had other agendas for that match.

    Btw I did say, in the preview before the match, moss worried me as weak official, link here, so I’m not just trying to sound wiser after the event. I know he did appear to be an ok ref for us two or three seasons ago, but that was only because he had done a handful of matches for us. He’s just as bad as the rest, and I came to this conclusion way back.

  • Al

    Horsham, Dec,dieter,judge,struss….., where were you when we beat City last week?? Or the week before that? Or the one before that?
    Hope to see you providing your very insightful contributions here after the next match, win or lose. And the one after that too. Anyway, I shall not hold my breath. We all know your wish is to see Wenger sacked, but that IS not going to happen. Accept that, and you might start enjoying life more. Miserable lot.

  • serge

    What is it with the “where were yous? So juvenile.
    It doesn’t matter where they were, they’re here now and offering an opinion which appears to prick your comfortable little Untold bubble, and they’ll probably disappear until we lose badly again.
    It doesn’t matter, it’s only a blog and I’m sure Tony welcomes the hits anyway.

  • I’m generally at the game Al unlike most of the cry baby’s on here who wouldn’t know where Wenger Stadium is
    Presently I wouldn’t want to see Arsene go but I’ll keep an open mind on the subject .

  • Dec

    You might want to read my contribution again Al, please?
    It’s called sarcasm duh!
    Don’t ever include me in any list of people wishing for the departure of Arsene Wenger or rejoicing at an Arsenal defeat,
    I’ll accept it’s early in the morning for you and maybe the mince pies contained a little too much brandy, or even that my attempt to lift the gloom was hamfisted (I’m not Walter or Tony or Shakespear) but even still….
    Not nice to be accused of ‘treason’ first thing in the morning.
    I’d appreciate a hug please!

  • Al

    Apologies. I didn’t read the rest of your comment, I just read the first two lines and thought you were slating the team. If I could edit my post I’d remove your name from that list. And replace it with serge perhaps 🙂

  • ob1977

    @Dec in Al’s defence I only read the first line of your comment then tutted to myself sighed then moved on, only after getting to the end of the comments section and reading yours and Al’s back n forth I revisited your previous comment, I feel I too owe you an apology…

  • Horsham Gooner

    Sorry Al.
    Although I have been coming to Arsenal since 1960; have followed Arsene’s career since I first heard of him at Monaco; was overjoyed when he became Arsenal’s manager in 1996; have seen Arsenal’s football philosophy change to the positive play we have enjoyed since Rioch; was angered by Riley in game 50; Dean at Birmingham in 2008; Dowd at Nescastle in 2010; Dean at Chelsea in 2015; found evidence-based arguments from Tony, Walter and Proudkev that there is, at least, the potential for PGMO corruption; I should have realised, as you suggest, that every poor decision made against Arsenal is another corrupt act.
    Is there any chance you may consider that Moss and his linesmen were poor at officiating on the night because they’re human beings?

  • Dec

    Thanks Al, guessed as much. Just goofing this morning, no offence:)
    Good to be distanced from certain company though.
    A hat trick a piece from Theo and OG12 against Bournemouth should see us all feeling better.
    Happy 2016 to us all!

  • Dec

    No worries ob, I’m gonna ask Santa Clause to bring me a more neurotypical sense of humour and some thicker skin next year 🙂
    All good!

  • Horsham Gooner

    Small point Al.
    Tony often berates the media for their mind-reading. You did the same in your post criticising me and others.
    I can only speak for myself: I want Arsene to stay until the end of his contract, possibly longer. However, when the day comes when he chooses to leave I shall give thanks we were so privileged to have this visionary as Arsenal’s manager.
    Right; end of. I shall be taking my son and grandchildren to see tomorriw’s game against Bournemouth.
    I shall teach the kids to appreciate good play from both sides.
    Try it. You might enjoy the experience

  • Porter

    Actuallydge I don’t know where wenger stadium is .Last time I looked it is named unfortunately after a company based in a country that I don’t have much time for.

  • Judge,

    Thanks so much not wanting Arsene gone but rather magnanimously keeping an open mind on the subject. Very kind of you as we all know that when it is time for the decision to be made, you opinion on the matter will be most vital.

    I have always found the delusion of grandeur of most football fans (especially Arsenal’s) amusing.

  • John

    You posted “Or else we could just remember we’re nicely positioned just behind Leicester (wheels just about to fall off)”Wheres the logic in that when Leicester just got beat 1-0 at anfield and we got hammered 4-0 at st marys.

  • John

    That’s a classic about Long being sent off. Some on here haven’t got a clue about the game of football.

  • bjtgooner


    “Some on here haven’t got a clue about the game of football.”

    It might be more appropriate for you to direct that remark to the PGMO!

  • Dec

    Don’t try to apply logic to those two pieces of information.
    They just happened. In my opinion (and I suspect I may not be alone) the liklihood is that Leicester will not sustain their current position until the end of the season. This is merely an opinion of what might happen in the future based on what has happened in similar situations in the past. It’s not guaranteed, nobody knows for certain. That’s one of the exciting things about sport ( and life really). Equally, in my opinion (and I suspect I may not be alone), Arsenal may well go on the win the league this season. This is merely an opinion of what might happen in the future based on what has happened in similar situations in the past. It’s not guaranteed, nobody knows for certain. That’s one of the exciting things about sport ( and life really), ever get a sense of déjà vous?
    Why don’t we just put yesterday down to the ‘magic of Christmas’ and look forward to Bournemouth and beyond? Whatever happens happens, just sit back and enjoy the ride.
    Hey, be grateful, we could be Villa supporters (btw hope Remi get’s them out of trouble).

  • goonersince72

    Your comment is exactly why I wrote what I did. If you want a screen grab of the offside I’ll email it to you (maybe for privacy Tony could facilitate this). I’m probably not tech savvy enough to post it but I’ll try. Re the officiating, I accept it? I’ve railed against the PGMO THIEVES as much as anyone if you’ve read my posts. I usually refer to them as the unPGMO as in unprofessional. However, this wasn’t Dean turning his back on Chelsea’s shenanigans or Riley’s 50th. If you didn’t see the overall incompetence of Moss and see it all as a plot I’m sorry. Perhaps when you watch the Bournemouth match you’ll take off the claret-tinted glasses. Arsenal still have the best squad top to bottom in the League yesterday’s result notwithstanding. Why can’t you accept they had a bad day and and gave a poor effort? AW said it, Per said it. You don’t criticise them for saying it. It wouldn’t affect them as it doesn’t affect me.

  • goonersince72

    If anyone can walk me through getting a screen grab from my PC into a post I’d appreciate the help. I’ll show the offside in question if it matters anymore. The good thing is there’s a match tomorrow!

  • bjtgooner


    I don’t think anyone is claiming that we played well yesterday, however, we know that in the EPL we have to play well enough to beat both the opposition team and the incompetent fools in black. We were unable to do that yesterday.

    Part of the reason was that we were fouled almost continually throughout the match – without any response from the ref. That was almost more damaging than the more noticable three wrongly given goals – basically Southampton set out to cheat and were allowed to do so by Moss.

    The weight of evidence over a number of seasons has shown a considerable anti Arsenal bias, last night Moss did nothing to change that.

    You chose to mention part of Wenger’s post match interview – but missed the part where he voiced concerns about some of the decisions – it is not often that Wenger does criticise the ref – butlast nights performance by Moss was so bad he obviously felt it was necessary to do so.

  • Well,Well,Well the sewer rats as expect, after xmas with all their tummies full they are out,damn soon rather than later they will be back in their sewer tunnels.
    I love dem sewer rats, they smell any fresh crab cake on the outside and they are in plenty but hey let them put their tiny teeth out for now as they might not have them out again soon.

  • goonersince72

    Firstly, always enjoy your posts, mate. I didn’t mention AW’s comments on the decisions because we all agree they were bad. My point was Arsenal were terrible. No one said Arsenal played well, but overreacted if one said they played badly. Yes the officiating was horrid but if Arsenal had played at all the score is maybe 4-3 not 4-0. I’m just saying look at the team’s performance not just the ref’s. And if anyone criticises the performance they’re part of the aaa or worse. Certainly not a real fan. That’s just childish (I’m not including you in this). Kos and Rambo could have been booked but weren’t. Southampton also had a goal disallowed on a bad offside call. I just don’t think it was a complete PGMO jobbing like we’ve seen too many times. Just incompetent officiating. I’m responding to you out of respect for your opinion and that your comments were reasoned thought out, not just knee jerk reaction. Thanks for taking the time.
    Also, I don’t need to post a screen grab of the Southampton offside, you can see it in Howard Webb’s comments on the match. The link has been posted on UA already.

  • goonersince72

    Forgot to credit Kenneth Widmerpool for the link. Sorry Kenneth

  • Rich

    Big concern is that in 10 games we’ve gone behind this year, we’ve drawn one, won one and lost eight.

    Record is probably quite similar for when we go in front- i.e we almost always win when we do.

    As we know, it’s a crazy old season, and football has changed in recent years it seems, so that in general the team who scores first is in a much stronger position than used to be the case- all the same I think that has to improve quite a lot before we can claim a title, this year or whenever.

    Straying close to cliche territory, but it feels like that has always been a hallmark of champion teams- late winning goals and ,even more so, the ability to have a good chance of turning things around if you go behind.

    A big painful difference between us and the teams who tend to win most titles/be the dominant team in their countries is that on an off day they will very often be helped out by a cheap penalty, sending off, of by less obvious but equally helpful refereeing- we have the complete reverse of that :

    We go behind, the opposition then step up what was probably their original plan of getting about us and constantly leaving a foot in, etc, ensuring it is hard to get momentum and that the opposition players get a lift or see the lift of their goal maintained; our players are likely to be a bit demoralised by this, especially our key man Mesut. There will be no cheap and easy way back into a game.

    This then combines nastily with the fact our set up is not very well suited to chasing a game. We push, against a team who will be delighted to get even more players back than before, and step up their harrying and, if the ref allows, niggling and fouling. Meanwhile our vulnerability to breakaways, which nearly every team are pretty good at these days, increases sharply.
    We struggle with them on the whole, and Per is particularly vulnerable in that situation.

    Not doom and gloom, thanks to the fact that, if the pattern of games is similar for the rest of the season, we may well have enough to stay right at the top of the league. But it does feel like that is about the last step as a team- finding a way to handle games so that going behind does not almost certainly spell defeat.

    No way of knowing if the players are given much instruction, generally or for specific games, about what to do in the event of going behind, but judging by their actions it seems the plan is something like ‘try to equalise quickly; don’t go kamikaze; commit more forward as more time passes’. That sounds like pretty much what every team tries to do in that situation, but there are bound to be significant differences, purely because of the personnel teams have and the teams overall aims and philosophy.

    My main point is that whatever we’re doing at the moment has a lousy success rate, so the argument seems strong for trying an alternative, perhaps radically different approach. The obvious one seems to be-defend,defend,defend. After conceding, especially early, largely forget about attacking for a while; put the main focus on not conceding another, then, if successful, think about cautiously committing more to attack as the game progresses.

    Those of us who love the positive nature of our play and philosophy might think that sounds anathema to how we try to play, or that it is the typical call to ‘play like Mourinho’ in the wake of a bad result, but I don’t think it is. It’s for a specific situation- when we’re losing- and the record is so troubling as to provide clear justification for it. In other words, if you don’t like the sound of it, or even don’t think it’s likely to work, it’s barely possible to be less successful than the current approach, or more painful a watch.

    Only thing is, Wenger will be more acutely aware of all this than anyone else. It won’t have taken him ten games to become fully aware of our bad record when conceding first. So the next questions are: are we actually trying to keep things tight for a good while after conceding (yikes)? Or is the team, for complex reasons, one with something of an all-or-nothing character, i.e. there’s a kind of acceptance that we’re likely to struggle to overcome a deficit but we can hopefully avoid that just enough to still be successful?

    That’d move us squarely into personnel territory. That is, whatever team we’re sending out to try win games isn’t, because of the composition of the team, well suited ,physically or temperamentally , to switching over for a period, in the event of going behind, into lockdown/battle mode. Instead then, we just go for it, knowing how good we are from a leading position, hoping we can take the lead enough to get where we want to be at the season’s end.

    The two big sources of optimism are that we’re doing well in those games we don’t concede first, and we’ve made those huge strides in improving the other record we had to change- beating top sides. This is the next big obstacle that needs to be overcome.

  • bjtgooner


    I think we agree on most things, but here is where I would differ: –

    “I’m just saying look at the team’s performance not just the ref’s.”

    I think most contributors on UA can determine for themselves just how well or badly the team played and would agree that last night we were not at our best.

    But, the ref was appalling and his wrong desisions appeared massively biased – they certainly changed the game. Would we have got a better result with correct decisions – possibly, but we don’t really know – the point I am trying to make is that we were not given that opportunity.

    When we play badly as a team or if one or two individuals do not perform I do not like to comment too much on it – why – we don’t know the full story behind the scene and further there are too many aaaa type trolls out there just looking for something of that nature to latch onto – I feel that AW is more than capable of sorting out any team underperformances without my asssistance! I know some others feel a bit like that, which explains the shared sensitivity to criticism (often unjust) of the team.

  • ob1977

    Rich I think there are a few reasons, teams are better now, they ultimately set up on the counter against us, taking the lead enables them to do so more effectively, but you have to look at each game individually as well as the opponent, among those matches, you have Southampton, the nature of their goals summed up the match, West Brom was the epitome of if something can go wrong it will, Bayern is Bayern, Chelsea is Chelsea (with the help of the ref), and sometimes like Olympiakos, I don’t think we were mentally right…

  • Al

    But in the clip you mention Webb calls all 3 goals as incorrect…(of you talking about the first goal Webb said Davies was a few inches offside but we’re not going to crucify the linesman for that, but the point is he was off. And I’d say not by inches too, the moment the ball was kicked he was off). And it wasn’t just Davies in an offside position, another Southampton player that was closer to the ref, think it was Long, was also offside, and he is the one that may have been partially blocking the lineman’s view.

    Look at it again, when Webb freezes the picture and puts a line of the official’s line of sight, koscielny who was the last defender is the other side of that line while the Southampton player is on the other side of the line. And if I may add, that aerial shot isnt the best one as it is also not taken in a straight line, I’ll try and see if there’s a better shot. When I saw it in real time it wasn’t such a tight decision as being made out in this clip. Hopefully there’s a better clip out there.

  • goonersince72

    The point I was making is that the offside was very close. And you make a very good point about the linesman’s view being obstructed and, as you suggested, I took another look. Very close on the freeze frame, a hard call live. What about the Southampton goal incorrectly disallowed for offside. I just felt the officiating was appalling all the way around. But I can’t believe the negativity because I said they played badly when they did. Especially on this site. If they had played better, then the score is maybe 4-3 or a draw. In any case I appreciate your taking the time to look into this. We can disagree, but remember, I’ve never said in any of the posts that it was onside, just that it was a debatable call. If I’m wrong I’m wrong. Cheers.

  • goonersince72

    bjtgooner @ 7:39 PM
    Point well taken. I’m not quick to jump on the lads as you probably know from reading my posts. And I would be the last person to question Arsene Wenger as I’m a charter member of the AKB brigade. My initial post was in response to others writing that the loss was all on the refs. That’s all I was trying to say. thanks again for taking the time to actually read what I said, I appreciate your comments. Happy Christmas and New Year to you and yours.

    P.S. Have I set an UA record? 17 dislikes! LOL

  • bjtgooner


    Cheers. Lets hope for better tomorrow!

  • Florian

    Al, goonersince72,

    Bit late to the party, but re Southampton’s disallowed goal, I would argue there was another player than van Dijk that started in an offside position and then moved towards the ball, so by the new interpretation of the rules the ref had enough basis to call offside.

  • goonersince72

    I didn’t notice that but great call! Again, I’m only trying to point out the utter incompetence of the officials.

  • Florian


    No problem. It’s indeed strange that the ref failed to call offside at their first goal, but called offside later. I agree with you that explanation must be, the assistant was obstructed for the first incident.

  • para

    If we do not find a solution to the problem of “physicality” from the opposition, then we are not progressing in that area.

    In one of the last games we played so well against that physicality, especially in the second half. We had 3 players always helping each other out, and the fouled players got up immediately after being fouled, not waiting for the whistle in any way and suddenly the fouls became just a little irrevelant.

  • Florian


    I’m afraid the answer is “how much can I get away with before the ref calls a foul”. Moss has been overly lenient, and I can already see him slaughtered in the ref review. I don’t think we’re bad against physical sides, it’s more like today was a combination of factors:

    1. Southampton were very aggressive with their pressing and tackling.
    2. The ref let them off the hook on many occasions.
    3. The next match comes in less than 48 hours. Our players really needed to conserve energy to keep up with the insane schedule. I suspect the plan was to have a few minutes of forcing towards the end of the game, had the score been kept at a reasonable level. Instead, at 0-3, what we got was a half-hearted attempt, which lacked coherence, and resulted in another goal shipped.
    4. The next match is against Bournemouth at the Ems. Theoretically this one is significantly easier to win than away at Southampton. Better conserve the energy for the home match and increase the odds of winning at least 1 out of 2, instead of risking losing points in both matches. I know I’m speculating, but that’s what I’d do if I were a professional player.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Is Howard Webb now a moaning Arsenal fan blaming the referee?