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October 2016
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Arsenal – Southampton 0-0: another example that it doesn’t even out

By Walter Broeckx

Seven changes compared to the last match against Burnley in the FA cup.

Cech back in goal and Bellerin and Monreal as the full backs. Koscielny and Gabriel continued in the centre of defence. In midfield we had Flamini, Ramsey and Özil. Up front Arsenal started with Campbell, Giroud and Alexis.

Arsenal starting team:  Cech, Bellerin, Koscielny, Gabriel, Monreal, Flamini, Ramsey, Campbell, Ozil, Alexis, Giroud

On the beach : Ospina, Chambers, Mertesacker, Gibbs, Coquelin, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Walcott

First 15 minutes no stream but when I got images Alexis got kicked but no foul given but Özil was punished for… well… er.. being on the field.

People who have seen it can fill in what happened in the comment section.

A bit later a big chance for Arsenal. Cross from Bellerin, a header and then Özil with a foot but right against the outstrechted arm of the goal keeper and the ball went in to a corner. Mason being Mason and ignoring another foul on Alexis. The slightest touch on a Southampton player was called on the other hand. 0-0 after 30 minutes.

A shot from Southampton just went over but it was in the middle of the goal and Cech had it covered. Southampton surely needing a lot of time for every goal kick or throw in. Mason continuing to give each touch from an Arsenal player in favour of Southampton. Southampton with a big chance after a ball came back after a cleared corner but Mané missed in front of goal and his shot went wide. A cross to Giroud but his header struck the arm of the defender and went in to a corner. No penalty as it was a header from close range. Campbell with a cross to Özil but his attempt was blocked by a defender. 0-0 after 45 minutes.

The first real attack of the second half ended with a right footed shot from Giroud to the top corner but a super save from Forster denied the Arsenal striker. Alexis to Özil who cut the ball in front of goal but no Arsenal player on hand to put it over the line. Campbell won it back but his shot went over the crossbar. Gabriel with a bad pass but Mané his shot was straight at Cech. Romeu with his umpteenth foul on Alexis and still no yellow card. Well at least Mason gave the fouls. Giroud with a header after a corner but not enough power so Forster could save it. Mason being an utter stupid ref when a positional offside was called back just at the moment when Arsenal started an attack. And then even putting the ball a few meters back…. time wasting by the ref. 0-0 after 60 minutes and finally a yellow card for a foul on Alexis .

Campbell left the field after 61 minutes and Theo Walcott came on. Bellerin showing his speed to stop a Southampton break after an Arsenal corner. A cross from Theo and a header from Alexis but Forster could stop the effort. A ball bounces loose in the penalty area but twice Theo cannot beat Forster. And another header from Alexis is tipped away by the goalkeeper. A cross from Özil and Koscielny heads over from 3 meters out. Arsenal really had enough chances to be in front now. Giroud his shirt almost removed when trying to head a corner. The next corner has a shot of Alexis on goal but it is saved in front of the goal line. A Southampton player is treated 2 meters in front of their goalline… er…ref did you never heard of that unless a man cannot be moved the treatment has to take place outside the field. The defender just sitting upright so he surely can be moved those 2 meters???? A bleeding headwound is something that can and should be treated outside the field, the player is conscious. I wonder if this will be added in the end. Player jumps up after being treated… so why ref let him sit on the field for so long. It took around 4 minutes and add to that the time wasting…. Still 0-0 after 75 minutes.

Arsenal lost their rhythm after the long treatment a bit. Another header after a free kick from Özil is tipped over by the keeper. Giroud gets a leading arm against his head but no foul for Mason. Mason again finding every opportunity to stop Arsenal from restarting quickly. Forster again denying an Arsenal goal when Alexis is almost one on one. After 84 minutes Coquelin comes on for Flamini.

Coqueling gets booked for his first foul… oh well… more chance for Southampton to waste time.

Then my stream went down, my computer jammed… and when it came back I just was that the ref had put an end to the match. There had been 6 minutes of extra time and for the head wound almost 4 minutes alone were wasted…

A frustrating match as we should have scored but Forster just had one of those days where he just stopped anything that came his way.

A frustrating stream that stopped more than ran fluent, enough chances to win the match and then not so pleasant scores on the other fields. Football can be frustrating from time to time…

What is also sure is : THAT IT DOESN’T EVEN OUT! I thought we would at least get a few goals from referee errors like Southampton did in the first match against them but how come it didn’t happen? Surely all the pundits say it does even out? Myth busted. Just like against Chelsea.

90 comments to Arsenal – Southampton 0-0: another example that it doesn’t even out

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Walter – as I said a piss poor referee!

  • Mandy Dodd

    Thank you Walter. Anyone would think they want a top four consisting of Manc Giants and a couple underdogs?
    We were wasteful in front of goal, and we really need to improve on attacking set pieces, our corners, have again become constant giving opponents possession.
    But the referee agenda was clear….?And on the night, we didn’t finish well enough to overcome his agenda.
    After he allegedly let Coq off the hook against palace earlier in the season, the media went for him, and the portly and clearly unfit Mason did not do an EPL game for several weeks after that., for whatever reason.This game was his response
    I repeat again, this will not stop until Ivan Gazidis and his lawyers have a word , but I suspect they have been stopped from doing so, perhaps from above, knowing there are some tangible, but perhaps not ultimate rewards for the clubs silence.

  • Rathod

    Is it true from the reports there were boos from the crowd at ft? If true then it is excellent.

    Time to get shot of the manager and bring in simeone. Otherwise it’s top four again boys. But then we’re happy with that I suppose so its about right.

  • dan

    A craps as this ref is, Walcott’s game has been shocking of late.

  • omgarsenal

    Rathod…………..LeGrove needs you, we don’t!

  • Mandy Dodd

    Bring in simeone…..have you guys finally given up on getting Owen Coyle Gary Monk or Martinez in?

  • para

    As bad as the ref was, he did not not lose us 2 points.

    We were poor, and i mean that in the full sense of the word. In the first half alone we miss-passed at least 13 times, i stopped counting then. Focus was all over the place, concentration somewhere else. The hard workers Alexis, Cambell, Ozil, Kos, Gabriel.

    First the team selection. Nuff said.
    Then to take Joel off and put Theo on.
    After Theo came on, i did not even see him. That’s how effective he was.

    I challenge anyone to find something “positive” in this performance tonight, besides not losing, and that was not because of our own doing, really.

    Ramsey and Flamini, well there are not any words i can use to describe their performance.

    Arsenal has been found out, their style is now so open to everyone else, and it is only when we are 100% focused and shasp that we can overcome this, but these performances are far and few between.

    Well next up: Bournemouth.

  • bjtgooner

    We tried damn hard tonight & played some great football & for a lot of the match played Southampton off the park.

    But, a good Southampton team, playing a mixture of Chelski anti football, Stoke type rugby & aided and abetted by an incompetent biased referee were very hard to break down.

    We nearly scored on a number of occasions, but did not really have enough time (by this I mean fractions of a second) without being pushed, pulled, obstructed etc to score.

    It looka like the PGMO have redoubled their efforts to screw us on every occasion this season.

    But well done the players – to keep going the way they did without losing their collective cool.

  • Col

    DLDWWWLWWWDDLD – 23 out of 42 points.
    Even to finish in the top 4 will require a significant upturn in form.

  • para

    fe real?

  • Fran

    Walcott performances haven’t been great of late? Guys I loved theo for years, kept thinking any day now he’ll morph into the new Henry. Then around the time of his second last contract saga I realised something about him. Every time there’s talk of a new contract his game gets better and better, he’s chasing balls and running his heart out. Then once he gets the extra money he goes off the boil. You watch him now and tell me if he’s chasing balls, in fact tell me if you think he’s even running anywhere near as fast as he can? He’s a lazy boy lads. And I fear his only motive is a few more £££££s.

  • Rathod

    Mandy, I never mentioned any of those names… Not sure why you are associating them with us.

    If you honestly believe that wenger can lead us to the title then I’m sorry but you’re just kidding yourself. He lost it years ago. And it certainly won’t change now.

    As one of my colleagues nicely put it, even if arsenal were the only ones in pole position to win the league they would still find a way to cock it up.

    Hard to disagree 👎 with him quite frankly.

    Walcott should be sent to the reserves to learn to play football again. What shambles.

    On this showing we would be lucky to make top five.

  • WalterBroeckx

    When you have to mention the ref 14 times in a match report….there is something wrong.

  • Rathod

    Col, we’re playing relegation form.

  • WalterBroeckx

    I see the giving up already brigade is here.

  • EPL Referees hater

    How on earth will Mason end a match like that….or is it a kind of conspiracy against Arsenal ,lots of foul by Wanyama,Oriol Prouse no card ooo I’m tired. Arsene should also select player with hunger that is ready to fight for the team and player like Walcott , Ox and Giroud of late need to up they’re game bcos we can keep dropping points like this against team s we should be beating .People are saying Arsenal will bottle it and that they can’t win the league and the players need to talk to themselves and will it this year.Lets keep the faith we have not lost the league today and Arsene should learn how to beat this Sothampton team they are becoming our bogey team.

  • Rathod

    Walter, you mention the refs like we’re going to be able to influence that in some way…. Listen mate the crux of it is this team cannot cut it at the top and the life line for this team is top four. That’s all.

  • Rathod

    Walter, it’s not about giving up mate. Just look at the facts in front of you.

    I woud be delighted to be proven wrong and we win the title but I’m afraid it is going to be the same story again. Like it is every season

  • serge

    Forster is some keeper. I don’t know how many shots on target we had, but he stopped them all but one and Ward-Prowse cleared that off the line. He always does this to us, and should be England’s keeper on this form,

  • EPL Referees hater

    It will be a big shame if we fail to win the league and Leicester or Man city wins it.Arsene need to just talk to the boys and the next game against Bournemouth before will play the league leader.

  • Josif

    Mason was his usual self but I don’t give a damn anymore even if he had failed to give six penalties to us.

    As long as Stockholm’s Syndrome Football Club don’t make an official statement regarding the referees’ performances, I don’t want to spend a single second on the PGMOBs wrongdoings because Stockholm’s Syndrome Football Club (previously known as Arsenal Football Club) is OK with that.

    Stockholm’s Syndrome Football Club accept the role in this charade. Don’t let them force you to accept the role you’ve been given.

  • Damilare

    Cry babies are out from under the sewer.

    They are a waste of internet facility.

    The sun will shine again tomorrow. Our next win will surely condemn the sewer rats back to where they belong with their Lassa infested brain.


  • Zedsaunt

    Uncle Tom Cobley is free, so is Harry Redknappp. Perhaps Gary Neville. Klopp does wonders at Liverpool. That Pep Guardiola chap likes a challenge. If the anti-Wenger mob could get hold of a medium then maybe they could summon up Cloughie’s ghost.

    Mason MOTM. PGMO earn a draw. Factor in then Foster’s heroics in goal one inescapable fact leaps out – to win games the lads must convert at least one chance each game.

    How they can do that I do not have a clue, but what I saw tonight wasn’t a game of football with the referee as a facilitator allowing two teams to play and display skills, it was a bawdy reading of someone’s script, played for laughs.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Rathod, then why give up now? You clearly have given up. Thats fine you are entitled to do so but do this somehwere else as on here we don’t give up even after a bad period.
    Just as in November we had a bad period. But if we win against Leicester we are on their tale again.
    I believe we have enough talent in the team to turn this around.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Rathod ….maybe you didn’t but many critics have done.
    How do you know simeone would do better than Wenger……if coq gets a yellow on his first tackle, can you imagine how many players we would have left on the pitch with these refs and that managers style of play?
    Yes, we had our faults …in finishing primarily this evening, will take Alexis a couple of games to gel again with the rest, but if that is how we are going to be refereed, maybe you are right…..if Wenger wants to win the title, he has to either accept the northern rules, or quit, because I fear he is not going to beat what he is up against, week after week.
    But he has my undying respect for trying to do something different to the primitive English game, that lesser managers feel they have to embrace. English football is shit in terms of ability, as we will find again this summer, and Wenger could be the antidote, but they just won’t let him

  • Rathod

    Walter, I am not giving up. I am stating that with the current manager we do not have a chance.

    Someone mentioned city and leister but look at spuds… They’ve actually been playing well… Eerrghh there I said it. We can’t even grind our results at home.

  • EPL Referees hater

    Can’t Arsenal take the issue of this Referee up to the highest Authority, this their stupidity and biase officiating is affecting us …the ref will still get games to officiate next bcos nobody is saying any thing.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Josif, not for the first time, see where you are coming from.
    Reports in the media, if they are indeed reliable indicate Wenger had a go at Mason in the tunnel, Sotons manager had a go back at Wenger, and it kicked off a bit….apparently……I am sure Sotons three dodgy goals at home were mentioned to the Dutchman.
    But it is not down to Wenger to take on this, the execs….and even owner maybe need to look at things. But while they do not, maybe we are wasting our breath…, or whatever.
    But I do wonder how the upper echelons would react if the refereeing cost us a top four place……unlikely this year, but one day, not inconceivable
    I personally think they will ensure we don’t win then letave is alone to get into the top four…as usual…

  • Mandy Dodd

    Rathod, yes the Sours are flying, in contrast ,we have hit a dodgy patch with key players missing, but coming back. Yet we are still level on points.
    The spuds have had pretty much their first key injury of the season recently, do you really think this will carry on until the end of the season? Harry Kane has hardly been injured for a year and a half……could this spell end, and if so, with what consequences?
    The spuds will run out of steam as teams playing that brand of the game do, Leicester and city are far more of a worry

  • serge

    Re my earlier post. Forster can’t play for England because he’s Scottish. Doh!

  • th14thesecond

    Haha, every bad result these anti-Arsenal/ negative arsenal folk pop up out of the woodwork. I watched the whole game, the ref was a disgrace today no two-ways about it. I’m calling it completely how I saw it. It is then hard to blame our boys for not getting ‘stuck-in’ or ‘showing hunger’ when every time they breathe on an opponent they get a yellow card!

    Honestly, we have to look at these things objectively and not just cry about the final score. The crucial factors in this game were the ref (unfortunately) and the keeper (fair enough, well played to him). To completely, and continuously disregard Wenger’s pedigree for a title challenge is disgusting. The team has to dig deep now and put a couple of wins together. Once this team finds its momentum again they’ll be a very very dangerous force.

  • serge

    I see that Arsene accused Mason in the tunnel. Watch out for a ban.

  • Col

    My last post was actually wrong – it is even worse – 20/39 points, goals for 18 against 14, Arsenal have not scored in any of the last 3 games. Man City have started picking up, Spurs are on a roll, Leicester don’t look like they are weakening, even Man United are picking up the results. Arsenal need a very, very significant upturn in form even to make the top 4 – that means beating Bournemouth, Leicester and Man U away just to stay in the hunt. At the moment I can see them getting 2 or 3 points out of that sequence. Not giving up or anything, I am not saying it can’t happen, but not on current form.

  • Zedsaunt

    Since I read Danish I’ve just checked the Danish media – they report on Arsenal being denied by Foster’s ‘flawless performance.” How can Foster’s ‘flawless performance’ be the fault of Arsene Wenger?

    Wenger has to battle a version of rugby the English call football and a possee of referees juiced up on their own importance as pawns yet – even battling Mason tonight, Arsenal still created enough for the Southampton goalkeeper to be lauded for his performance.

    The team are there or thereabouts, the title still to be won.

  • Josif

    @Mandy Dodd

    Judging by the dislikes on my comment, I can see ostriches can read too. I wouldn’t be surprised if “dislike” button was hit by the people from SS FC. 🙂

    SS FC don’t mind playing their part of the charade while Arsene and players work hard to make something on the pitch only to get their work undone by the charlatans employed by PGMOB.

    I feel like an idiot for suggesting Stockholm’s Syndrome FC should have considered a law suit against PGMOB after The Deangate in the first half of the season. It’s more likely Mike Riley would get a red fuckin’ carpet from SS FC if he decides to visit Emirates.

  • Mason was a prick granted .

    But that didn’t stop us having the chances we created but couldn’t convert .

    Not the end of the world but a little worrying I think !

  • Sushant

    We are just 5 points of top, and we have to play Leicester city at Home this month. Show some faith in team guys. Every time we have some bad result , we are doomed cry comes out. But we keep coming back, remember when everyone write us off before Man-u Game, we also beat Man City without Alexis. We just have some bad patch.

    We will get stronger and if we are near top with April, we have very good chance to win league.

    Just Hope next week their is draw between Man-city and Leicester and we win our game against Bournemouth.
    Just need a win and we will roll again..

    Have faith in team everyone…

    Proud when we win ,
    Loyal when we lose.

  • Josif


    Our players need 8.08 created chances to score a goal. City need 6.87, Leicester 5.27 and Spuds 6.84.

  • Col

    This is a very strange site – you get dislikes for stating facts. Perhaps if I say some total rubbish, the opposite of my above post I will get a load of likes: “on current form Arsenal have a good chance of winning the league!”.

    My point is that Arsenal’s bad form isn’t just a blip but has been going on for more than half the season so far.

  • Rich

    Ever seen a keeper get pulled for taking a free kick from the wrong place, by a few feet, in the box before? Not me.

    Refs often don’t care if you’re a few feet out anywhere in your own half. And it makes perfect sense. A few feet here and there tends not to matter. You can’t be said to gain an advantage. The game gets to flow, which refs are meant to want. They should be even more inclined to let it go after a calculating deliberate foul. Today, Mason must have called us about five times for it.

    So you have a team allowed to literally make as many fouls to break up play as they want; then you penalise the (fouled) team desperate to get on with it a second time by not allowing them to resume play as quickly as possible. It only makes some sense if you categorically fail to remember the whole raison d’être of referees: striving to ensure cheating/fouling doesn’t pay on the pitch.

    Regardless of how poor you believe we were tonight, to not be appalled by Mason is to accept football is a sport where justice doesn’t exist, and be ok with that.

    As well as dealing with each specific incident as it comes, is it not an equally important job for the referee to keep track of all the incidents so far? It is in rugby, and it is in football,too, or at least we have the rules for repeated foul play from individual players which is in line with that. So how can you not be disgusted with Mason for blatantly refusing to use those rules to do something about the obvious fact Southampton constantly used fouls to stop us and succeeded in gaining an advantage?

    If he couldn’t see that was happening, he isn’t fit for non league football. If, as is certain, he saw it, you’re left wondering why. Why not use the rules there for him to do the job he is paid for, and presumably got into because of a love for the game? His job is so simple : spot fouls and ensure they don’t pay.

    I’ve believed I know why, if not the details, for a long time. Now I seriously need to make a proper effort to cultivate detachment from it.

    It’s near insanity to feel as I do about PGMOL and yet walk into every game as though defenceless, in effect, to their insults to fair play, the sport and the team.

    See if I can still get some enjoyment if I can do so.

    If they’re not outright crooked, it’s an even stranger story and amounts to the same thing.

  • Josif


    The problem is, people tend to accept the facts only if they fit into their already made conclusions. As Hegel would have said: “The worse for the facts!”

  • Mandy Dodd

    Josif, while I wouldn’t expect Arsenal to make an official statement, I would expect Ivan Gazidis, a man who sits on every committee going……and if anyone does not believe me, Google him…….to be saying something behind the scenes.
    But ot is clear he says nothing, it is left to Wenger to get the bans and fines when he reacts. I have wondered what else Wenger has taken …..which could be aimed at those above, but we shall never know.
    the apparent passivity of our exec makes me believe there is more to this than meets they eye…..guess with all things, just follow the money.
    But the aaa have one thing right, the fans are being cheated, but not as they suggest, by the manager.
    not trying to sanctify a flawed and human man, but doubt if Dein would put up with all this , yes I know the likes of vieira got a hard time in his era, but don’t remember anything like this. Some say this started with Riley’s appointment, maybe Deins removal had some effect as well? A seriously powerful figure, who shamelessly used it in favour of Arsenal FC, possibly to a fault.

  • Mandy Dodd

    If you choose to believe this guy, and I certainly cannot vouch, but some of his conclusions are very similar to those on this site, scroll down to Leicester City …….he reckons they have been shown more red bias in favour than any teams in the last twenty years……I guess that would include the attempt to give Liverpool the title a couple years ago

    Leicester winning… Would make the league looke credible, not only the monied that win….ditto Spurs, and anyone betting on them would get stratospheric profits.
    My money would still be on city though

  • Mandy Dodd

    Shown more ref bias, not red bias, I curse the autocorrect of Apple

  • Josif


    From my experience, people who do business (and EVERYTHING is business) don’t cut the branch they sit on as long as their financial interest is OK. I know people who literally had fired bullets at each other during war(s) in Yugoslavia but buried the hatchet once they managed to find a common financial interest.

    SS FC are happy with the Champions League revenue and everything that goes with it.

    Personally, I have a feeling that The Board keep Arsene on our dugout under quite a few conditions.

    “1.You will get us to Champions League on the regular basis.
    2.You will do it with the limited funds but you may not mention in any circumstances that we don’t want you to spend money.
    3.In case that our Champions League place is jeopardized, you may spend some money in January but keep in mind that means less money in the summer.
    4.You won’t make any public confrontations with none of those gentlemen: Mr Riley, Mr Dyke or any referee both English or European one. However, if you do so, the club will not offer you a support of any kind.
    5.We will give you a public support whenever you come under fire as long as you stick to this deal.”

    Arsene accepts it because he knows what his departure would mean.

    Speaking of David Dein, I have my own theory on him which is the one I will keep for myself. When you consider the rest of my comment, you can only guess how serious that one is when I refused to write it down.

  • Mandy Dodd

    But , one lesson of the last game or three, we seriously need to get our shooting boots on…… and improve set pieces.
    Even our GD suffering a bit.
    Not sure if we were just unlucky , affected by a ref making clear his bias, just had a bad few games, or there is some structural issue?
    We should have had a better points haul in recent games

  • Zedsaunt

    Mason was taking the piss so much in this game I realised he was forcing me to watch what he was doing, and try and find some expression for it, some comprehension, and in doing this I realised I being dragged away from the game at his bidding. I was no longer watching the game. To myself I was trying to describe him, make sense of him. While I was doing this the game continued. His actions had pulled me away from it, blurred it. When this happens to me in front of a screen, what happens to a player?

    Playing football with the likes of Mason officiating is like walking in a swamp. What goes first? Intuition? Trust? Decisiveness? Focus? Concentration? Sixth sense? Awareness? The cohesiveness that is required for eleven individuals to function as a team, and the team then to take off and enhance the capability of each individual, cannot come into existence when the players do not trust their own senses.

    Wenger’s way of getting a team to play football requires the language he uses to describe it. How do you block that? You get a dipstick comedian as a referee who knows you can blow anybody off course by coming over to your table and farting over your beer.

  • Mandy Dodd

    You are a cynical man Josif!
    I think a lot of Wenger, and not dismissing your theories out of hand does not mean I can think lesser of the man himself.
    You are suggesting Wenger remains against things he may disagree with for the love of the club? He is widely reported to have offered his resignation when Dein was sacked…..only for Dein to persuade him to stay on for the sake of the club.
    He also said in public he would not abandon the club after the disasterous result in Manchester.
    Not sure I would go as far as you are implying, but am convinced Wenger has been, and maybe still up against things we do not know about, and probably never will.

  • Mandy Dodd

    And as you say, maybe has to keep a bit quiet on things, in press conferences at least.
    Some of the things the team experiences must tear him apart.
    Go for it on your opinions on Dein!

  • Josif

    @Mandy, I think exactly what you have written. I think Arsene is still there because he loves the club and wants to see the boys become men in front of his eyes and do things in the right way.

    Imagine what would have happened with Aaron Ramsey if someone less patient had replaced Wenger in 2011.

  • topanlesmana

    Where the hell was Elneny? Was he sick or something? Any body? I was surprise to see Flamini in the starting line up. Is he our number one DM now? Then switching him for Coq so late in the game,what’s the point of doing that? Don’t get me wrong,i love Arsenal and how i wish i’ll be wrong but i’m afraid that we’re not gonna win the EPL again under Wenger. Everything’s changed but Wenger stays the same, a brilliant manager but an outdated coach.

  • omgarsenal

    All you hidden moaners suddenly showing up on UA and complaining loudly about Wenger etc. apparently didn’t watch the same game I did:

    1)Forster had a brilliant game and stopped Arsenal from scoring at least 5 sure goals they’d normally get, including at least 3 for Ozil.

    2)IF Arsenal had such a poor game how did they dominate Southampton so completely in the second half?

    3)Mason had a stinker of enormous proportions but that didn’t lose us the points, however it made it harder to get a win.

    4)Having a sure goal cleared off the line indicates it wasn’t our day….this happens but at least AFC can dominate a game.

    5)We have some hard games ahead but we still in it and IF we can win the next few, we’ll be back where we belong in short order. IF you don’t believe that then you never believed AFC were worthy anyway!

  • Dec

    I’ve just watched the game on Sky and then read Walter’s report (thanks Walter) and the comments. May I say that the three most striking things to conclude are this ( in ascending order of importance);
    1. Some people who commented neither know not appreciate anything about football and Arsenal.
    2. The referee was atrocious (as usual).
    3. Arsenal are an absolute joy to watch. Win, loose or draw, they take our banner literally and produce art. If you can’t appreciate the privilege it is to watch Alexis, Ozil, Joel and Co. play in Arsenal colours, you really should consider a different sport! Watching these guys week in week out is something other fans can only dream of. Contrary to popular belief in less cultured quarters, it’s not ALL about trophies. Some of it is about appreciating rare skill. Arsene Wenger makes this possible, we all owe him a great deal.

  • topanlesmana

    What’s the point of having 200 shots on goal when you don’t score? It’s better to have ONE shot on goal and score ONE goal than having 200 shots on goal and score none! What’s the point of dominating a game when you can’t win it? Do you think we will win the EPL by dominating games? If we can’t win a home game against a team like Southampton, do you honestly think we’re gonna win away games against Manchester duo? I doubt it. Again, don’t get me wrong, i love Arsenal, perhaps a lot more than you do, but i don’t think we’ll make it this season. By God, i honestly wish that i’ll be wrong, that we will win the PL this time,but…..can we?

    I have a lot of respect for AW. He’s a great manager. He’s done a lot of things for the club. It’s amazing how he could get us to CL 16 years in a row,even when the club had very little resources to back us up. And… the invincibles is a miracle, something that i don’t think will ever happen again, not in 1000 years. But… it enough? Perhaps not. I don’t know.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Shoving players , grabbing their jerseys , kicking them with impunity , elbowing them , while not calling it a foul nor carding them , appears to be all part of the new accepted rules according to the PIOGMOB .

    We could and should have won , but it never was a level playing field . Some of our players admittedly were below par , but we did fight hard and fair , but they did their worst aided by the man in black .

  • ARSENAL 13


    I saw a penalty in the game. Ozil was tripped as he tried to shoot. 83rd minute. I think its a clear penalty.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    I suspect the ref review will show two or three Southampton players should have been sent off for persistent fouling and that we should have had two penalties. It will be surprises if Mason gets a score higher than the low 40s in terms of weighted performance and a bias against Arsenal of 95% plus. That is from listening to the game!

  • WalterBroeckx

    From the pre match article: “Southampton are on a bit of a roll having won three successive league games without conceding, and indeed their defensive game meant that their opponents got three shots on target in those four league games”

    Arsenal had 11 shots on target in this match. And I think Forster saved them all and some in spectacular style. So those other teams including Manchester United got in total 3 shots on target to our 11 in one match.
    The only thing wrong with this match was bad finishing from our part. I still can’t believe some of the missed/saved chances… These things happen.

    It would be far worse if we would have had only 1 shot on goal then we would be in real trouble. Now it is a matter of time for the strikers to find their finishing touch again.

  • Josif

    @Walter -sorry, mate, but I have to disagree with your last line.

    We ended five games last season without scoring. We have played 24 games so far and we have already had seven matches without scoring including four at home (with a footnote that we did score against Liverpool but the refs…).

    We are behind Leicester, City and Spuds because they have Vardy, Aguero and Kane respectively. They don’t have Ozil.

  • Strus

    300 minutes without goal in the league and there went faith on winning it this year. Now -5pts based on stattistical expectations for this campaign.
    Last time Arsenal has misfired so log was 2009- if I can remember.
    With such a team is a real shame.
    Great creative pay but finishing and final pass was not good enough. Not single player was guilt for this alone , but most of the team were!!

  • para

    Wow, 48 dislikes for the plain truth?

  • WalterBroeckx

    as long as you create chances the goals will come in the end. But if you don’t create….well then it is even harder to score of course.

    Ramsey back on the right flank, Coquelin back in the team with Elneny if possible next to him. Till Santi is back. Nah, that is my solution.

  • para

    Josis said:
    “The problem is, people tend to accept the facts only if they fit into their already made conclusions”.

    So true, and the reality is, this goes both ways. The “forced positives” should really think about this.

    Life is wave oscillating up down up down and when this wave gets stuck in one extreme UP or DOWN then it stops oscillating and we have a flatline.

    So be happy about the good times Arsenal give us, BUT that really does not mean one ignore the bad times.

    People who spout this constantly, really need to ask themselves if they are not just doing the opposite of those they condemn for being negative.

    And there we have it, two extremes, the “goodies” bathing in positivity and the “baddies” bathing in negativity.

    Correct is to embrace both as they come, deal with it and move on, which will keep you balanced and stop you becoming an “extremist”.

  • Tom

    Let me start by saying that it all does not even out in the end when it comes to referees decisions, and if anyone expected to get a goal or two gift wrapped courtesy of Mason, then they trully live in a LaLa land.

    However, officials have given us a lifeline of sorts recently, we just didn’t make it count.

    Giroud was six inches off side in the build up to our third goal against Liverpool. You can clearly see it if you freeze the play at the moment of the pass.
    If Arsenal don’t concede the equalizer in the dying seconds of that game , it’s two extra points to our tally.

    In the 21 th minute of the Southampton game Giroud’s flick on header finds Ozil marginally off sides again, but he fails to take advantage of linesman’s mistake.

    I wholeheartedly agree with your sentiment that Arsenal don’t get as many calls going their way as they get against them, but if you’re honest with yourself, you have to acknowledges the two examples I have just given you.

    These two could’ve been the difrence of four points in the standings, if only Arsenal players had capitalized on them.

    Now, I know you watch the games via Internet and the feed cuts out every now and again, and I’m not sure what you use for your ref reviews but if you are able to freeze the play like I am, it’s clear as day those two examples were to Arsenal’s benefit.

  • Al

    I feel like a mug, following such a blatantly rigged contest. Feels like taking part in elections in a third world dictatorship. The only difference is I don’t think the dictatorship will be claiming to be the epitome of honesty. I’m done with this nonsense.

  • tunnygriff

    Hugely concerned the way things are going at the moment. We played better last night and created more than enough to win. We continue to miss chances

    If it was a one off it would be ok. However after losing 2 points v Liverpool in the last miute then playing average games v Stoke and chelsea last night was a game we really needed to win

    Flamini again ? Coquelin on bench ? Hope that’s the last we’ll see of that.

    Bournemouth on the weekend. Will be tough down there. We have to win full stop

    We hope City draw with Leicester , we beat Bournemouth then Leicester then we’re back in the race. Horrendous fixtures coming up. We’ll have a clearer idea of our league chances looking at the table at the beginning of March.

  • Rathod

    It’s impossible not to be worried that things are slipping away form us too easily, and it’s impossible not to worry that something deep in our psyche is playing a part in our recent form. The warm embrace of the bosom of 4th is where we feel safest and best. When leading the pack, when the pressure and expectation is ratcheted up, we can’t cope.

    Last night, having taken just 2 points from 9, that pressure was on. You might point to all those chances created as evidence of a team that did quite well, and I can understand that to an extend. But I’ll point to all those misses as evidence of one that was only able to do half the job. I’d rather make one chance and score than see a half-dozen fantastic opportunities wasted.

    Players who should be more than capable of applying the finish from the positions they were in were unable to do so when it really mattered. And if you’re a team with genuine title ambitions, you can’t let points slip away from you like that. I don’t think you can bumble your way to winning the league. If you talk to me about how many times previous champions won games late with injury time goals, or scrapping out a win when playing badly, all it makes me think is that those teams had the character required to do that. We don’t.

  • Rathod

    The above from arse blog hits the nail on the head imo

  • John

    It would be a surprise if we havent been here before and before that and before that.We havent won the league in 13 years.We have used every excuse in the book from injuries to referees to hide one thing.There is one common denominator in all this, one person who has been here all this time.He is beyond any sort of criticism from most on here ,placed higher than god and can do no wrong.He is on 8 million a year for failing year after year and some still think hes the best manager in the world ..

  • Ando

    I didn’t see the game, so what follows is just from a general viewpoint.
    It is sometimes said that a manager has ” lost the dressing room” ( like Mourinho did). With Arsenal, this is obviously not so but I get the sense that everybody in the squad wants to please Wenger, having been encouraged and championed and trusted by him like no other manager (playing players through rough spells, keeping Diaby on when it was plain he would never kick another ball in anger etc) -absolutely admirable qualities in a man-manager..but the players look to me as though they love him, not respect him for his winning mentality. They look confused to me when I do see them play and their sense of delight when it actually clicks and the ball goes in the net is one of wonder and excitement, rather than the pleasure of success or enjoyment of a winning strategy.
    They win games here and there, sure, but the individual and collective belief is not there. They win and their confidence goes up but then they lose or fail to penetrate and they seem to get stuck. No core self belief. To me, it is palpable. Do you really think they are all gunning for the next match in the CL so they can win the thing? No and neither do I.

    Dominance in possession looks great but this does not win games against teams that are hungry, desperate to prove themselves and aggressively contesting every ball. I don’t know what the answer is – but even if Mr Wenger finds it, it will also take a massive implosion on behalf of 3 or 4 other teams for us to win anything other than the FA cup this year. I will always love the Arsenal and can take failure in the same vein as I have since 1963.

    If it is down to the reffing, then we shall just have to wait until Riley moves on. But, for now, the ball must be put in the net, even if we get 3 or 4 unfairly disallowed goals per game. Stats like the shots on target from this and other games tell their own story.

  • I watched the game with my son who in the course of the game made this statement – Arsenal is the only team that a referee gives a foul against for being fouled. To me this sums up the performance of the referee which was disgraceful and pathetic. However, we all know very well from past experiences that referees are not going to do us any favours but continue to “screw us up” so it’s up to the boys to up their performances. As for Theo, a lot has already been said about his performance so there is no point adding my opinion. All the same I believe we can still win the league so lets keep on believing and supporting the boys.

  • this site is too arsene-centric. we r too used to arsenal playing one half of football as if the game lasts 45 minutes! maybe the problem lies in motivation and the manager doesn’t cut it anymore

  • Well Bist, thank you for your detailed analysis.

  • quickerthanper

    Oh dear !!!
    Very frustrated yesterday night, very difficult to see the positives after these type of game after NOT getting the result we wanted and possibly needed.
    I have to admit to not reading all the posts but the debate last night seemed as antagonistic as the match. There is much written to respond to in detail but here are my “big points”.

    First of all: I love Arsenal because I love technically perfect, fast and free flowing football. This is a brand Arsene created and erm, sometimes in recent past was not always delivered to highest standards but I still like to seem them try more than I want to watch any other style of football.

    On this account I found Southamptom’s approach to the game last night repulsive (they are not the only team coming to my mind though). I think they made it perfectly clear that on top of their good organisation and spirit they would be willing to use any trick and tactics to stop our team from playing right from the start: delaying actions, e.g. squaring up to stop free kicks, kicking ball away when our throw in, accidentally (?) tripping our players a million of times and so on. I think some people underestimating the likely damage to our footballing game but – heho I am annoyed as you guys about it – Southampton showed again that these things can stop another team to quite some extent from finding a rhythm.

    If the other team acts within the “rules of the game”, I am afraid we have to live with it (I assume that is the “no spine section” in the media who believes these high paid arsenal softies should toughen up a bit if they want to win something… or otherwise just keep crying. I just mention that because I fear that this section is disproportionately larger in the UK than elsewhere).

    Yesterday night the referee consistently applied the rules in favour of Southampton´s approach and to our detriment and I can only go with Wenger´s conclusion that he was exactly knowing what he was doing and why. That does not mean he did not make any wrong calls, that ended up in our favour but I very much doubt that this was intentional, Tom. When we wanted to hurry up, he slowed us down and allowed them time wasting, when we wanted stricter interpretation of physical contact outside of rules (holding a player and ripping his shirt)he ignored us but he had felt the need earlier on to punish Özil “for being on the pitch” (like the wording – spot on!). Massive contributing factor to the frustrating outcome in my eyes and not just making an excuse!!!

    Concentrating on our own performance for a moment, I would support the argument that we still need to do some things much better to give us the best chance for a win under the circumstances described above. Yes, there were some really good chances created; yes, there was also some really bad luck (usually having 10 chances of such quality, one would go in) and yes, there was exceptional goal keeping in our way.

    However: Our midfield again looked laboured and at risk of overcomplicating. It can take them a lot of time to check all options to play the ball forward and against an organised team sometimes none is available and our players look suprised and more often than before go into a state of muddle passing us into turmoil or misplacing passes. During the worst periods it looked easy to stop us from playing fast forward, which in turn – despite the trickery of Sanchey and the genius of Özil – has a knock on effect how we create our chances and how likely we might be to score during a game!!! Just got another idea: is this effect called the absence of Santi Cazorla???

    Last point: although not a happy bunny – how can we be??? – no need to put all our money on the “we will implode again” card, which as a certain G.Lineker was keen to stress Arsene does not like to be asked about. And I completely understand why. Accepting the need for such a question is accepting that there is sufficient knowledge eatablished that our season will not end differently than the many ones before and that we will not win anything again (generously ignoring 2 FA Cup wins).

    Come on you Gunners,
    regardless what you think of Walcott’s form or Spuds recent run of results,
    regardless whether you have seen enough again (for the moment??) to request Wenger’s dismissal or whether (as I would recommend) out of respect for his merits, ethical principles and his success (yes, success – it is not solely about winning or is it???)would stick to him for as long as he is committed to this job
    and with greatest respect for your acute disappointment, frustration or anger about recent run of results:
    I at least won’t.


  • @Swales1968

    6 minutes of injury time

    3 minutes 25 seconds for the head injury
    5 substitutions (30 seconds each) = 2 minutes 30 seconds

    Leaving 5 seconds added on for the time wasting at free kicks and goal kicks and also for any other injuries.

    Pulling back free kicks, not giving advantages and what seemed every challenge being a foul especially in the first half.

    I am not saying he is to blame for the result last night but I am getting fed up with the inconsistency in officiating games. The constant time wasting is now getting beyond a joke in games, we pay good money for 90 minutes of football but in truth how many minutes of football do we actually get to see?

  • John

    It doesnt have to be a detailed analysist.Bist does have a point, a point which every football fan can see apart from a handfull of staunch Arsene Fans on here.

  • Rich


    You’re unlikely to get a dislike for me for being critical about the team or manager, nor for questioning our chances,etc. So long as it doesn’t go too far.

    However, you’ve got to be aware, whether you disagree or think we’re nuts or whatever, that many of the users of the site believe something is terribly wrong on the refereeing front. So if anyone comes along and says there isn’t, or there is but it doesn’t matter, disagreement is inevitable and dislikes are pretty likely.

    Elsewhere on the internet we who distrust or detest the referees would be disliked into the turf; whereas Untold Arsenal is a rare, maybe unique, place where that isn’t the case.

    It’s not like I didn’t see negatives in our performance last night, more that a performance as shit as Mason’s has to take precedence, then leaves me feeling all but burned out and with no appetite left for analysing the team. Moreover, analysing the team when a ref has performed like that is actually quite difficult, like trying to make sense of a game played in freak winds.

    You’re left saying, well, what would it be like if played with a normal ref. What if two or three of their central midfielders were booked by around sixty minutes? What if the full backs weren’t allowed to constantly kick through our widemen. What if we got that free kick out wide when Alexis was so blatantly pushed over? (As ever, any opportunity to give the opposition free kicks around the box; every effort not to give any for us from dangerous positions)

    What if Mason didn’t go to bizarre lengths to stop us building up momentum, such as pulling us back for placing the ball in the wrong spot about five times, or, even worse, pulling it back for offsides in our favour when we were away and ready to go forward?

    He was blatant, he was awful, and the game where he wasn’t, i.e the normal game where it is fair and normal to analyse the players, doesn’t exist; we didn’t get to see that game.

    You wouldn’t get a dislike from me and you might get a like if you emphasised how bad the ref was and then went on to make a case of us still being poor in those circumstances; but that is not how it normally goes with those who want to lay into the team after a night like last night.

  • quickerthanper

    John and Bist,
    have we seen the same game or is it more a general view on this team?
    Of course everybody can see they are not playing equally well all the time/both halfs – which team does???
    I think it is sensible approach for the first half to be careful and not invite too many counterattacks by them but hope that we can use some of the chances we might be creating anyway due to quality of players and play (which they nearly did twice via Özil) and then have a much easier game ahead of us. This as a reply to the comment of two different halfs.

    As we now know, this sadly did not work out and with all the frustrating factors around and the shortcomings of our own during some periods, the one thing that was standing out to me was how hard the team overall pushed until the very end for a goal.

    I would go as far to say that during the last 10- 15 minutes their high motivation came in their way of keeping a calm mind and they rushed it a little bit more than was helpful – no big criticism from me for that but how on earth can you slam their motivation as a team and in consequence Arsene Wenger???

    You do not have to reply with a detailed analysis but a little bit more than just labelling me one of the handful of staunch Arsene fans (which I am actually proud to be…) would help the debate 🙂

  • Sam Sayyed

    “The sound of the final whistle was met with resounding boos at the Emirates” says the Telegraph!

    I was at the Emirates last night. The sound of the boos wasn’t for the Arsenal team. They created countless chances and utterly dominated Southampton, especially in the 2nd half. Even Koeman acknowledged that nobody has created so many chances against his team in his 1.5 years there as a manager as Arsenal did last night. It was down to some outstanding GK by young Forster and really rotten luck that we didn’t score the goal.

    The booing was for the awful awful refereeing by Lee Mason. Foul after foul after foul after foul by Southampton players going unpunished. To be fair this wasn’t the thuggish violent kind of tackles that Stoke Rugby FC puts in. But there was a lot of shirt pulling, and niggling pushes to put the opposition player out of stride whenever Arsenal had the ball. Initially Lee Mason didn’t even blow his whistle for a few of those when he was met by jeers from the crowd. That prompted him to start atleast giving those fouls. But how many fouls should a player keep committing before given a yellow? If it was a Southampton player against Arsenal under Lee Mason’s refereeing last night, the answer was: unlimited. He only gave one yellow card to a Southampton player near the end of the first half for persistent fouling, but decided to keep the cards in his pocket even when the persistent rotational fouling continued. In contrast, Coquelin got a yellow card for pretty much his first tackle of the game when he came on late as a substitute!

    In the 2nd half when Arsenal were utterly dominated Southampton, his refereeing became even more perplexing. He stopped the play and allowed a Southampton player to be defended for full 5 minutes on the field just 2 meters away from the goal line. Only GK’s have to be treated on the field! Why he didn’t ask the player to move out to the field to get treatment is beyond me – especially when the player was well enough to jump up and come back into play as soon his treatment was finished.

    The Southampton GK was taking ages to kick the ball and their players took ages for a throw in. You would expect a word from the referee for time-wasting – but non was forthcoming. On the contrary he joined in the time-wasting himself! On several occasions he asked Arsenal free-kicks to be retaken after moving the ball a few yards back. It would’ve been understandable if this was anywhere near the Southampton goal, but many of these incidents were deep in Arsenal’s own half and a couple of yards did not present any threat to the Southampton goal! In fact, on one occassion he made Petr Cech retake a freekick from inside the Arsenal’s own penalty area!

    Lastly, there were only 6 minutes added despite the innumerable stoppages because of fouls by Southampton despite the treatment of the Southampton defender alone taking 5 minutes of stopped play. Moreoever, he blew the final whistle just as Giroud controlled the ball in Southampton’s penalty area. Imagine that – when was the last time you saw a referee who couldn’t wait one more second to allow the striker, who had already controlled the ball in the opposition’s penalty area, to take a shot before blowing the final whistle?

    I am not saying Arsenal’s draw was down to the referee – you can blame it on poor finishing, bad luck or Foster’s superb save. But one thing is sure – the referee was bent and it was him the crowd was booing!

  • Wow, they don’t like to call them sewer rats so what should we call them ??They are all over with statics which exist nowhere its in their deluded minds, but hey why not this is a free world where lunatics mingle with the citizens of the world and life just goes on.

  • Rich

    I see QuickerthanPer highlighted another of the absolutely blatant cheating tactics Mason couldn’t have missed, had the powers to deal with, but decided to ignore- standing in front of every free kick.

    Another good example of something that can’t be explained unless the ref approved of and endorsed something he is supposed to disapprove of and punish.

    Did bring me some light relief in remembering an amateur game i watched years ago. A player blasted it at someone who wouldn’t retreat who then said ‘I’m going to punch you in the face’, and then walked over in no hurry and did just that while the other guy didn’t defend himself.

    Not as good a story as I thought before I remembered the order of events (who punched who) but it did bring me pleasure when I thought it was the guy cheating who got the deserved punch in the face.

    It also raises a point though : after the second or third time Saints did it we should have been blasting the ball at them. one small way to try make it harder for the cheats and the refs to screw us and the sort of thing we should surely be discussing and implementing as we look to combat the bullshit.

  • Rathod

    Walter,If we could not play, could not create chances I would say yes you are right. But (we had) practically 70 per cent possession today, and 22 shots on goal. Finishing is a bit cyclic, up and down, at the moment I must say it’s very down.

    Perhaps it’s time for the players to be put under pressure, to get them to show the fight and spirit champions need. I understand he is protecting them and rarely criticises in public but at times, they need the kick. Sometimes they have to be told they are failing and as much as they get the plaudits, need to have the brickbats as well.

    It’s all very well arguing that finishing is “a bit cyclic” but this is now the third consecutive Premier League match without a goal. With Alexis back, the firepower was supposed to be improving but far from it, we seem no closer to ending the goal drought than we were before kick-off last night.

    That responsibility primarily falls on the main strikers but also on the midfield. Ramsey and Campbell aren’t above criticism in this respect but last night was evidence that we miss the likes of Cazorla and Wilshere whose scurrying runs drive the team forward with more purpose. We’re a bit too predictable at the moment.

    The title race isn’t over yet and with the upcoming games, Arsenal are in with a chance of clawing their way back into it. The only question is whether they can rediscover their goal touch before it’s too late.

  • quickerthanper

    I do not know why but when reading some of the comments about the ref last night I was thinking of one of our CL matches from relatively recent history against a team called Barcelona, where a certain Robin van Persie received a second yellow card for deliberabetely not hearing the ref’s whistle at a point where we still would have kicked them out of the competition.
    I assume that the label “deliberate” cannot be further evidenced in any way or shape (how can you evidence deliberate not hearing??)so the ref had to make a reasonable judgement on the matter balancing the aspect that this made for the purpose of time wasting (breaching the gamesmanship rule)or unintentional given the ground filled with 90.000 spectators.
    It could show three or more things to me:
    A) refs do make poor decisions at all times and in all circumstances
    B) Van Persie has been punished for an isolated incident. If a team like Southampton comes with a clear strategy to disrupt the low of play and producing numerous incidents, things tend to get normalised and seems to be more likely to go unpunished. Good for disrupters bad for us!
    C) All the people who are turning against Mason do for a good enough reason!!! Although he might not have been able to deal with all incidents, as the above example can show with a little bit stricter application of such rules he easily could have dealt with the major incidents and put a stop to any new attempts which he showed no interest in at all.

  • JohnW

    That game is now in history, if we go ahead and win the PL, everyone will come back to it and say it was may be the start of something beautiful. At least the match gave us training for the Barcelona game. Now lets win the remaining games, we will be champions. We have ever had a 12 game winning run, we can start it on Sunday.

  • ob1977

    From my view of the match yesterday the ref clearly punished us from getting within touching distance of the Southampton players, the Sanchez fouled Ozil penalised incident perfectly showing this, but then also on. The right flank when a defender clearly ran through the back of Sanchez, as obvious a foul you could ever see, nobody on the planet could honestly look at that incident and say anything other than foul to Arsenal, Sanchez sat on the floor with a disheartened laugh, knowing what he was in for…

    We created plenty of chances, had some good shots, and their keeper had a blinder, my feeling though is that Flamini, Ramsey just doesn’t work, I quite like Flamini, but with Ramsey disappearing upfield it doesn’t work as Flamini is not good enough to do it all, I remember one incident (and wish I could’ve snapshot it) Flamini comes short and exchanges passes with a CB, as Southampton were pushing up on our CB’s and closing down our DM this meant that the whole of the centre circle and a lot more was left free, Ramsey should’ve been there but had gone forward, this is why I think that when Flamini and Ramsey play together Ozil should be dropping deeper into the no.8 position to receive the ball when we have possession to start attacks, Ramsey cannot do that job… There was a match a good few weeks ago where this seemed to be happening and I thought was the tactic, but I haven’t seen it again lately…

    As Coquelin will hopefully be ready to start at the weekend I don’t see this as a problem anymore as he is more incisive on the ball than Flamini.

  • Pat

    Sam Sayyed is right, the boos were for the referee. But I knew at the time some of the press would say it was for the team.

    One thing has changed in the last few years of going to matches; the crowd is a lot more vocal against bad refereeing and notice it a lot more. They used to just not notice it and blame the players and the manager. The man next to me yesterday was fully aware of what was going on from early on and made his feelings felt. There was a time when that would not have happened.

    As he said, what are the laws of the game there for if the referee is just going to make up his own?

  • Rich

    My final bit on Mason and his refusal to deal with tactical fouls and repeat offenders last night.

    Just go back to the controversial Palace match at the start of the year. Add up the fouls of Coquelin and compare them to the fouls Southampton’s central midfielders committed last night. If you only include the ones Mason gave, Romeu undoubtedly made more and more clearcut fouls than Coquelin did.

    Then think about the fact Mason only got one premier league match in two months in the wake of the Palace game. A hell of a punishment in a league which maintains a chronic shortage of officials. Compare this in turn to Mike Dean, who after being found, by an independent organisation, the FA, to have dealt awfully with crucial major decisions, ruining a match in the process, missed not a single week.

    Anyway, he’s back properly now and undoubtedly this can only be after detailed talks with Riley about what is expected of him. He can only be doing well enough in Riley’s book now. Supposedly, the punishment was for dealing extremely badly with repeat offenders in a football match. Last night he did the exact opposite of what you would expect from a person who has been heavily censured for showing improper leniency to repeat offenders.

    By not producing a single yellow card, he avoided the controversy of letting an already booked player commit more fouls, but, really, that is not the case in any way. It’s only not controversial in as far as the commentary team and media said jack shit about it. In essence it’s the same thing exactly- letting a player make too many fouls without producing the right punishment- only it’s worse because the first card never came.

    If Coquelin not being sent off was wrong, as the entire media suggested, and as Riley’s decision to punish Mason for two months proves ( according to Riley’s apparent beliefs and definite actions) Romeu also should have been sent off.

    Will Mason again be demoted for at least as bad a mistake, only worse because it is a second offence after a serious warning? Somehow I think not. Who knows, he might even be trusted to do Utd, City or Chelsea game soon, something he has yet to do so far this year. Likewise maybe we’ll get Michael Oliver again soon, but I’m thinking that’s unlikely while the title race is still live. Can’t imagine Riley was pleased with his spotting Coquelin won the ball twice in dangerous positions in the Liverpool game this year, nor with the Di maria sending off last.

    A little reminder of how the mail, in line with the rest of the media, regarded the failure to send off Coquelin that day

    I like the certainty involved. Coquelin’s foul before half-time, the first since being booked was, to them, a sure second cautionable able offence. What if they analysed the fouls against us yesterday ,with the same keen sure eyes and the same idea about what is worthy of a card (With Zaha, a hand on the back and a theatrical dive), and why the hell don’t they? If they did, they’d be asking for bookings for decisions Mason didn’t even give free kicks for.

    ‘Coquelin had already been shown a yellow card when he committed a second cautionable offence by pushing Wilfried Zaha on the stroke of half-time.
    Mason decided not to issue the card; although did book James McArthur in the next phase of play.
    Coquelin then fouled McArthur on the hour mark and again Mason kept his cards in his pocket despite the Frenchman appearing to expect a red card.’

  • omgarsenal

    topanlesmana…………My point is that we ARE dominating teams but aren’t closing out the games because, like I have seen AFC do since 2005, we are profligate in front of net or downright unlucky!
    Ozil and Sanchez had 3 golden opportunities to finish off a rather park the buss Southampton side who were clearly inferior on the night! A goal-line clearance, a few fantastic Forster saves and poor finishing were all to blame BUT we can and have beaten better teams by playing exactly like we did on Sunday. We can beat Barca and we can beat the Spuds, City and anyone else IF we keep getting 22 shots ON NET but start getting them away from the keeper and into the net!

  • Uwot?

    At the end of the day it was our fault.we missed half a dozen gilt edged chances that perhaps on another day we’d put away.despite masons best attempts to disrupt,stop us.forster was inspired & unfortunately this sometimes back to Mason.riley certainly knows who to appoint to stop us in our tracks doesn’t he.and this isn’t going to change anytime soon ,as long as he still calls the shots.the problem I have is this.old red nose would have a fit & scream blue murder Ito the media if refs did this to manure.old red nose did it surprise therefore that over the years they( manure)benefitted greatly.some may argue this would be counter productive.but it couldn’t get any worse.but no our board do nothing.not the ” gentlemanly” thing to do old chap.stiff upper lip.take it on the chin & all that crap.prob is the pgmol know this & use it to their(Riley’s)advantage.let’s face it the media & opp fans have us down “Same old Arsenal cheating again”.so l say let rip .call it out.create a fuss.ask for explanations.keep doing it until they’re forced to be more careful as to how we’re refereed…

  • upp

    I doubt the boos were for the ref, I think if you wanna boo the ref it’s clearer when he’s just made a decision, but @the end of a match especially when the players are walking off, I’d bet it’s for their performance. So if the fans intend to boo the ref next time? They should change the timing