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October 2016
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We reveal the details of the next player to “do a Coquelin”. His name once again starts with “C”

By Walter Broeckx

Looking back at the Sunderland match there are a lot of good things I have noticed.

Last week one of our commenters came up with an interesting stat. He pointed out that when we went behind we usually lost the match. I think only once could we turn a deficit around in a win. Leicester being that one where we turned it around after coming behind early in the match. But in other matches we couldn’t do this.

So when we came from behind against Sunderland after bad mistakes by Gibbs and Koscielny the signs didn’t look good. Certainly not when you looked at the players on the field as we were without what we could call the big and experienced boys. No Özil, Per, Flamini… players that have been around and could lead us. Or without the injured players like Santi, Alexis and Coquelin.

But the youngsters didn’t panic. They just kept on playing their game. And they managed to turn it around. Bellerin was very impressive in the second half with two assists and certainly the second looked to have been taken out of the Özil book of assists. Bellerin who wasn’t even expected to start this match as he had a few days off and was spotted in Amsterdam at the start of the week. But going to Amsterdam got him going on a high.

Iwobi made his proper home debut. And he surely didn’t look out of place. The 19 year young man didn’t shy away from the ball. He kept asking for the ball and he had a great moment when he went past 3 Sunderland players and only was denied by a good block of the Sunderland keeper. That would have been a dream debut for him…scoring in his first match at the Emirates. But now he had to be satisfied with just the excellent home debut. Don’t worry Alex, the goal will come. His record at youth level isn’t that bad when it comes to scoring so I’m confident he will score.

Apart from the goal from Sunderland and one moment in the second half when Fletcher headed the ball against the crossbar our central defenders Gabriel and Kos did a good job. It is good to see that we can use different combinations at the back without losing our stability it seems.

Chambers also did play his part in the match. Offering himself the whole time to his team mates so they could give the ball to him. And for the first time he didn’t look nervous from the start. Something I have seen in the past from him and was for me one of the points he had to improve on. He looked a lot calmer and composed from the start. Good job.

A player that grew in to the match was Oxlade-Chamberlain. Playing more central and drifting all over the field. At times still overdoing it a bit. But that is part of his playing style one could say. Sometimes the simple pass is the best option but then The Ox decided to take one more on and losing the ball. Experience is the key I think. The Ox will always be more of a dribbler than a passer. It is the way he has been playing for his whole career. And he has the skills and the pace to go past people. We cannot take that out of his game as it might cost him and reduce his abilities.

Yes he will make the wrong decisions from time to time but all players do. But his pass with the outside of his boot to release Bellerin for our third goal was excellent. The Ox has somehow frustrated some fans as he has so much potential but hasn’t used it in the most effective way so far. Once his effectiveness raises he will be a great player who can dribble, pass and score. Certainly for a man with his potential he should be able to become a 15 goals a season player. And avoiding losing the ball in dangerous places. His big working point at the start of the season.

I thought Gibbs also had a good match. His pass to Koscielny that made Kos lose the ball for the Sunderland goal was a bad moment. But apart from that he did an excellent job for the rest of the match. He was involved in a lot of dangerous attacks and if our strikers would have been on fire he could have had at least the same numbers of assists as Bellerin. Some dangerous crosses high and low that weren’t finished. Monreal has seen that he has to remain his high form to keep his place. As it should be.

Finally a word about my man of the match. Joel Campbell. He found it a bit difficult at the start of the match to get in to the rhythm and it took him some time to really get going. Van Aanholt had him well in control in the opening 20 minutes. But once the team went behind Campbell came to life and started running things on his flank. And then started drifting around when he got the ball. The equaliser was of course a very important moment both for the team as for him.

After he had scored he became one the players who started running the show. His work rate was great once again. He was very much involved in the second goal with setting up Bellerin in the one-two that allowed Ramsey to score. Some good interplay with Iwobi on the right flank and a bit of bad luck when the Sunderland keeper made a great stop on an effort after a good pass from Theo.

Wenger said on that Campbell was this season’s Coquelin. A great compliment from the boss on the young Costa Rican. Danny the scout and Untold writer, did a great job. And another example on why it is important for younger players to keep calm and wait for the chance. It will come and then you have to be able to take it. Coquelin did it last season and now Campbell seems to be doing it and stepping up to the first team and become a real Arsenal player.

Who will be the next Coquelin-Campbell? We can pick from Chamberlain (another C) or Chambers (another C) or will Chuba Akpom make the step next season? It sure looks it has to be one with a C at the start of their name.

Recent Posts

Two from the anniversary file

  • 11 January 1930: Of course no one knew at the time it but the FA Cup third round game, Arsenal 2 Chelsea 0 was the start of the journey to the first major trophy.  Appropriately for history, Lambert and Bastin got the goals.
  • 11 January 1936: Bristol Rovers 1 Arsenal 5 on the way to another cup triumph.  Ten of the Arsenal team were full internationals – it was the first time this had happened in a senior match in England.

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33 comments to We reveal the details of the next player to “do a Coquelin”. His name once again starts with “C”

  • Usama Zaka

    Good point made Walter. Also thanks to your “C” talk, I noticed we have so many players with a “C” starting name. The most recent one, joining this season, Cech.

    P.S I just finishing up on the ref review for Newcastle. The first half by Taylor was good. But the second half is so red that it looks like someone splattered the report with ketchup 😀

  • Barry L

    Good summary Walter.
    I’ve been a Campbell for some time. He didn’t get many chances to impress until this season, he’d been out on loan many times and the clever journos always had him being sold to Galatasary or similar (They’re still doing it!!)

    Joel Campbell is a lesson in perseverance (the player) and faith (the manager). AW said he saw something special in the young guy at the beginning of this season, and when his chance came he took it.
    He’s started to score goals, and also make great assists (Dinamo Zagreb, Olympiakos etc), he’s becoming accepted by the senior players as a key member of the squad, and the fans are really warming to him.

    Why do we like him? Because he has an all-round game and he tackles back. On one occasion, Hector had bombed forward into the Sunderland area, and I looked across to see Joel in the RB position covering for him. He got stronger in the 2nd half – won tackles, made chances, and played that weighted pass for Bellerin to set up Ramsey’s goal.

    It’s why he got a great ovation when he was eventually subbed. he’s one of the reasons AW didn’t invest in outfield players in the summer.

  • Tai

    Great article Walter.

    Having followed football and Wenger closely, I’ve learned that all a young footballer needed was patience and giving him enough chances. Sometimes they start terribly, misuse the chance and fans, ever quick to stick the blade in, write them off. Sanogo comes to mind. If Sanogo had stayed fit all the time Giroud was injured first half of last season…he would have made significant impact.

    Whenever Wenger continues keeping fate with any player I watch that player closely…the Denilson and Frimpong days may have happened when we had lean resources to have signed better players…but these days, Wenger won’t continue giving any player chances if he didn’t really see something special. For the money, I’ll continue to bet that Sanogo will eventually come good. He should just avoid getting injured when next he has a run on an Arsenal shirt.

  • proudkev

    Nice comment Walter.

    Tai, agree.

    This is where Wenger comes into his own. He gives players time to develop and improves them.

    He plays them in unnatural positions on occassion for a reason. He has a great eye for talent and patience – rare commoditys in todays game of buying success. A lot of our fans, especially the FFM’s, don’t like that but personally I prefer to see players given a chance to come through.

    This is why no other manager, imo, would have kept us in the top 4 when we had no money and had to buy and sell sensibly, often losing our best players (ironically developed by Arsene).

    Campbell, Bellerin, Coquelin – at how many clubs would these boys be not only turning in these performances but be playing regularly?

  • It’s Burnley at home in the 4th round.

    Very good draw!

  • serge

    I doubt if Sanogo or Akpom will make it at Arsenal. That’s not to say they are not up to Premier or Championship standard, I just don’t think either are good enough for Arsenal.
    I thought the same of Afobe and he’s back to prove me wrong, but we usually get it right when we let younger players go.
    Campbell looks likely to have forced his way into a regular starting eleven possibly ahead of Chamberlain. How often is he tuned over? Never! How regularly does he cover Hector? Always!
    So yes, I think he is this season’s “C”

  • Pete

    OT: Pawson for Stoke. I guess that could be worse…? Have we seen Michael Oliver yet this season? Keen to see if he can build on his performance at Old Toilet last season.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    It’s delightful to see the Gunners turned a new leaf in their 2nd half season campaign as they avoided defeat after falling behind to Sunderland in the last FA Cup match at the Ems last Saturday.

    Infact, I was skeptical when we fell behind by a goal to Sunderland and asked myself, is it going to be a bad FA Cup 3rd day for us or what? Then I remember it has been said that the Boss has never lost a 3rd round FA Cup match before. But I quickly told myself that there is the 1st time to lose in football.

    So, when Campbell equalised, I was relieved. And when Ramsey added a 2nd to make it 2-1 for us, I was much relieved. And 3rd goal by Olivier Giroud gave me the confident we’ve won the game before it ended.

    When I saw the Boss starting line-up for the match, I was a little bit disappointed as I did not see Ospina and Debuchy given the starts by the Boss. Moreso as Bellerin is said to be on a holiday( given a rest) on this website. And at the Gunners midfield base were, Oxlade & Chambers as deep lying midfielder & holding midfielder respectively instead of the now the usual Ramsey & Flamini. And the mid-front 3 were Walcott, Iwobi and Campbell who all started the game. While Giroud led the line.

    Save the regular 5 1st team starters of Cech, Bellerin, Koscielny, Walcott and Giroud. The Boss had started 6 fringe Gunners of Gabriel, Gibbs, Oxchabo, Campbell, Chambers and Iwobi for the match. And the outcome of the match turned out to great for us as those 6 fringe Gunners gave a very good account of themselves in the match.

    I think one will now become confident that Arsenal can henceforth in this 2nd half of the season come from behind to win a match they’ve fallen behind in, as they can now use the Sunderland FA Cup match win as a catalyst to win any game they have fallen behind in.

    Anfield will be tough on Wednesday night for us as Jurgen Klopp might still attempt to play his heavy metal(high pressing game) against the Boss’ Symphony No1(classical game) despite the fact that Klopp doesn’t have the player personnel on ground to execute such a game format. And that will be his undoing as the Reds will certainly be trounce by the Gunners. I am almost sure the Boss will bring in Rhinosacker for DeAberu(Gabriel), Monreal for Gibbs, Ramsey for Oxlade, Flamini for Chambers and Ozil for Iwobi to play that symphony No1 against the heavy mental of Jurgen klopp.

    The Cops will certainly make a lot of electric noise in support of the Reds. But I perceive it will be to no avail as the Gunners will collect all the 3 points that will be at stake in the match to remain on top of the table.

  • Andy Mack

    Unfortunately this won’t stop the idiots coming out with the line ‘If they haven’t made their mark by now then they’ll never be good enough’ which is one of the phrases they use to show they really have zero understanding of how a player can develop. They seem to think any 17 year old can perform in front of 60,000 people, but I guess that’s what happens when they only play FFM….

    The modern problem with top class football on a youngsters playing future is that every game has millions of people watching it and millions of pounds riding on the result, so it’s exceptionally difficult for managers to risk putting in young players unless they are 100% confident they’ll play consistently well. But consistency is the one thing almost all young players struggle with.
    We couldn’t take that risk with Afobe and he’d reached an age where he really needed regular game-time. Another loan wouldn’t necessarily get him game time either (look at Toral last season who started well and then got dropped for no clear ‘game playing’ reason). The team that would take him have their own talent to develop, so they would only take him if they thought he could hit some form, rather than wait for him to start scoring at the detriment of their own youngsters.. We could end up with a similar situation with Akpom… but that won’t mean he’s not good enough, it’ll mean we’re not in a position to hold onto him waiting until he’s good enough.

    News just in, Hayden is now to be known as Chayden, Akpom as Cakpom, Wellington as Cwellington and Toral as Ctoral!!!

  • Pat

    I wonder what will happen about Serge Gnabry. He had a few good games for us then he got injured. Now it looks as if he is not getting playing time at his loan club. He is still young too, so I think he is another one to watch.

  • Pat

    Samuel, Ospina had a slight injury. And when asked, Arsene Wenger has said a couple of times that Debuchy may be moving in the transfer window. It seems he is unhappy at not getting enough games.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Great to see JC doing so well.
    ” get out while you can Joel” ……wonder what those drunken fuckwits from the Stoke railway platform think of Joel’s progress?
    Some serious selection headaches for the boss when everyone is fit.
    Have to say, I was impressed with wengers respectful reply in the press conference to a rather bizarre question related to David Bowies sad passing… A highly talented, original iconic figure, but…a strange question to put to a football manager ….what is he supposed to say about that?. Don’t recall Fergie put on the spot in such a way when Amy Winehouse left this mortal coil!

  • Andy Mack

    Pat, I think you meant Serge Cgnabry….

  • Andy Mack

    I’ve just realised that my post 9.18pm should have said “The modern problem with top class PL football” as this is less of an issue in all other leagues where there’s so much less quality in the lower half (or more) of the top leagues. It’s not a problem for Bayern, PSG or RM to be leading a game against a lower club by 3 goals so they can bring on a youth player for the last 20 mins. It’s much less likely any team can get such a secure lead in the PL.

  • Gord

    OT – How far away is the referee from?

    I think I ran the league so far properly. Just looking at a small part of the data produced.

    There are 17 referees in 😈 Mike Riley’s Select Group. There are 62 referees in the National Group, and 😈 Mike Riley has used 31 of them in the EPL up to the end of the 20th games. They were largely used as 4th officials.

    Distances mentioned are distances from the stadium the game is played in, to the headquarters of the FA the referee is from.

    We had 4 losses in the EPL, 3 of those losses away and 1 at home. The referee in our home loss was from 260km away. The referee in our 3 road losses, was from a FA that was: 284, 379 and 260 km from Emirates Stadium (not from the stadium where we lost).

    On our home loss, there were 5 PGMO referees based further away from Emirates than the referee who did the game.

    On our 3 away losses, there were 5, 0 and 11 PGMO referees based further away from Emirates stadium than the referee who did those games.

  • Gord

    OT – Part 2

    We had one away draw, and two home draws.

    The referee came from a FA 260km away from Emirates in our away draw. The referees came from FAs 393 and 260km away from Emirates Stadium in our 2 home draws.

    In our away draw, there were 7 PGMO referees who are based further away. In our home draws, there were 0 and 5 PGMO referees based further away from Emirates Stadium who could have done the game.

  • omgarsenal

    The development of youth and reserve players depends on many factors but the following seem to be key:

    1)EPL playing time, either out on loan or at the Arsenal,
    2)Their ability to integrate into the Arsenal system (Wengerball),
    3)Their willingness to show patience, perseverance and humility,
    4)Their innate abilities, recognized by Wenger,that they are willing to improve,
    5)Their chemistry and work-rate with the first team,youth or reserves,
    6)and most importantly, their love of Football and the club.

    When we compare many of those who have failed to make it with those who have, we can see that the successful players had these 6 qualities in spades.

  • Gord

    OT – Part 3

    Seeing as we are in first place, we must have a lot of wins. So, this is about our wins.

    We had 6 away wins. The referees used in those 6 games came from 295, 167, 225, 251, 134 and 134km from Emirates Stadium. The PGMO had 5, 10, 2, 5, 17 and 7 other referees who were based further away they could have used.

    We had 7 home wins. The referees used in those 7 games came from FAs 260, 251, 295, 260, 167, 112 and 251km away from Emirates Stadium. The PGMO could have used 5, 8, 2, 5, 12, 14 and 8 other referees who are based in further away (from Emirates Stadium) FAs.

  • Jerry

    Excellent work collecting that referee data.

    I was wondering if you had the data on how far away the referee lived from the teams that we had losses and draws with?

    If you combine that with the data you already posted, I think you might have a pretty interesting article on the ref selections.

  • Gord

    OT – Part 4

    Looking at the data for Arsenal, it seems most of our referees (win, lose or draw) are based about 200km away form Emirates Stadium. Which is probably reasonable for a country the size of England with the transportation infrastructure it has.

    Arsenal has had draws and wins with referees officiating that are closer (112 and 134km). Is either too close?

    Quoting Klopp in an article about Wednesday’s game:
    > “Arsenal, together with City, are the two best teams in the Premier League.”

    Okay, I took a brief look at ManCity’s data.

    ManCity has played 15 games, where the referee was based closer than Arsenal’s best 112km from Etihad Stadium. They have had 3 losses, 2 draws and 6 (2 away and 4 home) wins in games where the referee was based about half that distance (in the 50’s of km) and 3 wins (2 away and 1 home) where the referee was only based about 33km from Etihad Stadium.

    This is what happens when all your eggs are in one basket (or all your referees in one pocket).

    😈 Mike Riley, what a job!

    I still need to add some code to make generating some graphics feasible. New code usually means a few bugs, and I doubt it is done tonight (for me locally in western Canada).

  • Gord


    I have that same set of data, for ALL the teams in the EPL. I need to figure out how to make an article (or two) that makes sense of it.

    I think Andrew would prefer a map for graphics, but I still can’t bend my head around how to do that meaningfully for this data. But I think I can generate other kinds of graphics than maps.

    This is all one big perl program, and as the season I can keep adding data and run it again. I shouldn’t have to write any new code, except to make things better to understand.

  • Gord

    OT – Part Funf

    Well, if I am going to work with distance, it is nice to know how big England is. 🙂

    The far north of England (way beyond Newcastle) is Berwick-upon-Tweed (55.771N 2.007W). The far south of England (out in Cornwall?) is Penzance (look out for pirates?) at 50.119N 5.537W. As the crow flies (or in this instance, the haversine), it is 671.4km from one to the other.

    Pirates. I think that nickname for the Pittsburgh base-a-ball team comes from someone stealing home base from the field (on Forbes Avenue?). Or something like that.

    I moved a little west of Grande Prairie, to Dawson Creek, BC (where the Alaska Highway begins). The distance to Edmonton is 611km. Almost like travelling from Berwick-upon-Tweed to Penzance. 🙂

    Have a good night people, and talk to you tomorrow.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ Gord – Nice work on the distances . But they may be other factors influencing their performance .
    Are they happy with the top management ? The political situation ?
    What about the number of pit stops allowed ? Any bladder , IBS or other medical problems ?
    How many Starbucks , or KFCs or Mc Donald or pizza places , or fish and chips or chicken tikka masalla joints to stop for or to pass on by ?
    Any vegetarians among that lot ? Do they all eat at the same place or bring home cooked food ?
    The choice of music en route and back . Any live concerts on the way ?

  • Dazza64

    @Mandy Dodd 10:00PM
    I thought it was odd too, in turns out ot be a compliment from a journo! The Sky journalist explains why he asked the question here

  • Wow what a nice atmosphere ,the weather is so calm. As i said before we will have it rough and tough but in the long run we will make it,guys make sure to wake me up when we reach our next stage in May,zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  • Rich


    Might have been me who mentioned the record when we go behind. I see it as the last big step for the team so it is good news to start the year like that.

    I was never using it to have a dig at the team, mind, and think there are two big reasons to help explain why we’ve been finding it difficult :

    (1) I sense (no stats to back it up) that it’s generally harder for teams in the premier league to come back from a losing position now ;

    (2) an Atkinson can make it much harder than it should be to get back into a game. Basically, we’ll never get,say, a cheap penalty to help us out, and all over the pitch there’ll be decisions which break up our flow, while the opposition are likely to get plenty of cheap free kicks, can tactical foul to their hearts content, and maybe be permitted a blatant trip or two, to help them,etc.

    Might’ve helped us a little that Sunderland weren’t primed to play it as they would in the league from a leading position- they didn’t immediately set up the full barricades- but ultimately it was pure quality that turned it around on Sat. On each of the goals, Atkinson had no chance to do a thing!

    I should’ve trusted for longer that the Campbell who played brilliantly against Uruguay and Italy was the real Campbell, as I must admit for a while I stopped thinking it was or at least didn’t think he would reach those levels with us.

    Campbell, Bellerin, Coquelin- for about a million quid. Remarkable.

  • proudkev

    Gord and Co.

    Distance to me is not as relevant as the ‘Counties’ the referees hail from.

    I am not suggesting just because a referee comes from the Manchester area he will be biased to Man Utd. However, he will be more likely to be and will definietly be subjected to local influences – which may or may not be subliminal.

    If Man Utd needed to win their last match against say Crystal palace to win the title, should a referee from Manchester be appointed to the geame? What if he gives a penalty to CP in the last minute? Could that affect his kids in their Manchester school? Harrasment from the local media? Can we be certain he can make impartial decisions free fom extra pressures? This is why I and indeed Keth Hackett think this is creating avoidable problems and could influence results.

    The fact remains, Southern referees are not considered by the FA to be good enough to referee in the Premier League, so this situation will not change. They are not near the top of the Merit tables (based on points awarded by the assessors employed by the FA). So only referees from Northern Counties are likely to be selected to join Rileys PGMO. To be fair to Riley, he can only recruit from the list provided by the FA (Neale Barry).

    This is the Select Group for the Premier League:


    1. Cheshire – Anthony Taylor (Approx 380 Miles round trip)
    2. Cheshire – Mike Jones
    3. Lancashire – Lee Mason
    4. Lancashire – Neil Swarbrick
    5. Merseyside – Mike Dean
    6. Staffordshire – Phil Dowd

    1. Yorkshire – Martin Atkinson (Approx 420 Miles round trip)
    2. Yorkshire – Robert Madley
    3. Yorkshire – Jonathan Moss
    4. Yorkshire – Craig Pawson

    1. Midlands – Andre Marriner (Approx 260 Miles round trip)
    2. Midlands – Kevin Friend
    3. Oxfordshire – Graham Scott

    1. Northumberland – Michael Oliver (Approx 630 Miles round trip)
    2. County Durham – Mark Clattenburg (Approx 540 Miles round trip)


    1. Wiltshire – Roger East (approx 225 Miles round trip)
    2. Wiltshire – Lee Probart


    Mr Bloody Nobody (Approx 30 miles round trip)


    Mr Bloody Nobodys Brother (Approx 60 miles round trip)

    Does this really all add up?

  • Andy Mack

    omgarsenal, There are 2 other factors in developing youth which are rather out of the control of the club:
    1) Physical – Unfortunately until your body is fully developed as a teen there’s the possibility that you’ll stop growing taller and start growing ‘Rugby prop-forward’ wide. It’s regrettable but it does become a stumbling block for many.
    2) Being professional – understanding that you can’t go out nightclubbing, or even just ‘hanging’ with your mates when it could effect your football. Paul Ince was going to become a ‘right thug’ but he met his girlfriend who is quite a strong character, and she made him concentrate on footy and kept him from his bad influences. Having watched my brother played against him at school/youth level I can assure you he wasn’t special and at least 3 of his team mates were better than him. I last saw the very best one as a sales assistant in an Oxford street mens clothes shop 20 years ago….. but he was a big fan of a joint…

  • Gord


    And Co? Just me writing Perl here.

    Up to the conclusion of Gameday 20 of the EPL, PGMO has used half (31 of 62) of the National Group referees in the EPL. Usually for 4th official. The distribution of National Group referees is much larger than 😈 Mike Riley’s lot.

    I suspect the bias numbers in refereed games would improve, if more of these National Group referees were used in the middle, instead of being 4th official. Supposedly the Select Group have better skills. Better skills with increased bias, or poorer skills with less bias? The second situation is probably more likely to “even out in the end”.

    What would be nice, is if a person could find the twitter support numbers for each club in each county. Is that data archived anywhere?

  • Rich


    Your posts do a cracking job of getting me thinking about refereeing recruitment,etc.

    Afraid all I can come up with are educated (ish) guesses about why it would be that there’s a gigantic imbalance regionally.

    If I take my own area (Wales) it was a very rare sight to see a young referee and, obviously, they need to start young to get anywhere. It takes a rare combination of being young, interested in football, the fairly unusual character required to do well at refereeing (especially in terms of putting up with stick), and, crucially, preferring to referee than to play on a Saturday/Sunday. There were only two young refs I can remember- one was a referee’s son, one was the son of my religious ed teacher at school (which seems somehow relevant/ fitting- a moral chap!)

    All of which makes you start wondering how any young person gets into refereeing. The last bit especially- there are vast numbers of people who love football, but who would sacrifice playing as youngster, no matter what their ability was, in order to referee!

    But, as we see, some areas do bring them through, so if the North can, why not the South?

    I have no answer to that, only uneducated guesses which stray too close to stereotypes. In, say, West Yorkshire, is there a bit more respect for young referees, and more support for them?

    I also wonder if with the advent of professionalism a certain type of referee has now gone from the game. I’d need help from the, erm, more mature fans on this one, but was the Elleray type/path at all common? I.e teachers/ sports masters,etc. That would have brought in roughly the same type of people from all over the country. I don’t remember any details of what Elleray was like, other than the fact he was completely willing to send off Utd players who deserved to go. In other words, I revere him until someone can tell me more.

    But i’d say the answer doesn’t matter, only that there’s a problem, and one which could undoubtedly be solved with effort and money. If the premier league set their mind to it, with the resources available, could they really not successfully target getting more young people from the south into refereeing, and bring them through within 5-10 years? While we’re at it, could they not increase the overall numbers?

    If the problem is that it’s the FA, who apparently aren’t rolling in money, who are in charge of all stages of developing referees until they get to the pgmol door, how can the sense and the will to alter that not exist?

    Simply and sadly the clubs must, overall, be content with how things are, ditto the all powerful tv companies and their bosom buddy Scudamore.

  • Menace

    Gord the distance of referee to point of kick off (Stadium) is what is required. A table showing distance & match will be sufficient to tell the tale.

  • Menace

    Match officials can be recruited from anywhere in the EU!! The crap about unavailability is bollocks to hide the corrupt. Imagine a few Dutch, Turk, Greek & Italian officials (perhaps Walter’s son!). It would suddenly change the scenario of Riley control. It needs the FA to get real & come out of its cess pit.

  • ay

    what about chris willock?