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October 2016
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If I point out Arsenal are 4th in the league someone would write in and say “you can prove anything with statistics”

By Tony Attwood

“Lies, damn lies and statistics,” is, I guess, the ultimate anti-analytic statement.   The total way of saying, “I know what I think, and you can’t tell me no different.”  The end of detailed examination as a way of understanding the world.

So trying to analyse what happens over time to a football club, how it can go through a run of games without scoring, and what this is likely to mean for the future is bound to bring more of the same in terms of response.   Arguing against the “lies and damn lies” group gets “clutching at straws” as a response, and so it goes round and round.

And yet Untold deliberately has the name “Untold” because it covers issues and undertakes analyses that seemingly few if any other sources of information and comment on football are willing to take.  Even when they are fairly obvious.  We’re here because the media tell us that Arsenal have the worst injury record of any club.  We’re here because most of the rest of football commentary is about simplicity.

By way of example take this run of results

  • Arsenal 0 WHU 0
  • Tottenham 0 Arsenal 0
  • Arsenal 0 Sunderland 0
  • Arsenal 0 Fulham 0

That was four successive league games in 2008/9.   So what happened next?   Or in fact for the purposes of the lies and damn lies brigade what do you think was most likely to have happened next?  (The answer is at the end).

There were the usual comments about Arsenal were lucky to get nought on radio and TV and in the press, and oh how they loved it, not least because the games before that run were a 1-1 draw and another 0-0, away in the Cup at Cardiff.

Doom and gloom were in the air, this was definitively the year we would finish outside the top four.  We would never win anything again under Wenger.  Tottenham would of course finish above us etc etc.

The fact is that evolution has made our brains irrational (if you want to know exactly how and why in detail read New Scientist, 12 December 2015, page 31 onwards.)  We are irrational because being irrational helps us make quick decisions with limited information, and difficult decisions with large amounts of information that we can’t process all at once.

So for primitive man, the unexpected sound made him jump for cover, and then made his companions laugh at him when it turns out not to be something that is liable to eat him, but nothing at all (although actually it was an earth tremor 150 miles down and 200 miles east).

So for the primitive football supporter looking at the 1000 events that happen in 90 minutes of football, a suggestion that anything other than “more of the same” will occur gets sniggered at, and out come the simplistic sayings once again.

Today we need more information to live far more complex lives, so we use statistics to draw information from large amounts of data.  The “get rid of Wenger now” approach to a match that has not gone right, is, in essence a Stone Age approach from people who benefit from the statistical analyses that goes into each and every medicine they take for each illness they get but don’t realise that their cure is based on medicine which is based to a large degree on statistics.  Except they probably decide not to finish the course of tablets like it says on the packet because they feel better and anyway they just say that on the box to sell more pills.

And anyway, the Stone Age ended because mankind ran out of stones.  Everyone knows that.

The reality in football as anywhere else is there is no such thing as certainty, but there are indicators.  And the last time I looked Mr Wenger’s record at Arsenal was managed 1101 competitive games, won 633, drawn 255, lost 213.  That is a percentage win rate of 57.5% across a huge number of games.   Far better than any other permanent Arsenal manager.  Better than Herbert Chapman with 49.88%.   Better than George Graham who had 48.91%.

Oh but you can prove anything with stats – Wenger was lucky to inherit that back five.   Except that back five delivered unto Arsenal league finishes of 4th, 5th, 10th and 12th in the four seasons before Mr Wenger took over.   What he did was take what had become a rather ordinary despondent and failing back five, and made them Double winners.

Now there is a point in all this, and the point is “what happens next?” and “what is likely to happen next?”

Our win percentage in the league this season is 54.16%, below the norm – and we have failed to win any of our last four games.   So on the basis of what normally happens under Mr Wenger the most obvious prediction to make is not that we will have more of the same, but that we will recover.   That, based on the past 1101 games is the most likely outcome from this position.

But of course for those of a negative disposition, who maybe learned algebra, trig and geometry at school, and who like to believe in clear fixed answers, we won’t recover.   But I am sorry to say that the maths they taught in schools that is not maths at all.  Because maths, as they learned it, was all about certainty.  A triangle has 180 degrees in its three corners – FACT.

But actually maths isn’t about fact – it is about making sense out of chaos, and looking at the most likely outcomes, which is why we have statistics – those numbers that people who don’t understand them decry so vigorously.

Of course I would have been much happier this morning, watching the sea batter the Norfolk coast if we had won these recent games that we have drawn, and were still top of the league.  Because being top of the league is nice.  It gives a warming feeling when walking along the beach in 60mph winds.  But I know from the history of Mr Wenger that after a run like this comes the victories.

It is the teams who are on the long run of wins who need to worry.   Last time Tottenham had a couple of high scoring matches (beating Bournemouth 5-1 and Villa 3-1) they then won one of the next five.   Last time Man City won two in a row they won three of their next eight.   Last time Leicester won three in a row they then won one of the next five.

Of course you can prove anything with statistics.  So, next time you are feeling a trifle unwell, best not go to the doctors and then take the pills you are prescribed.  There will probably be a 95% chance that they will actually remove the infection, make you feel a lot better and (if you take the course) stop you getting it again.   But no, just say, “you can prove anything with statistics”, so better just to be ill.   The infection might then take a deep hold on your body, and could be with you for years to come, but that’s a small price to pay for the chance to repeat a meaningless mantra.

(After that run in 2008/9 we won seven of the next eight).

More anniversaries

  • 3 February 2001 Dennis Bergkamp scored the only goal at Coventry City to give Arsenal’s first away win since November.  It was a moment the footballing world changed.  Arsenal lost seven times that season but within a year Arsène Wenger was talking about an Unbeaten Season.
  • 3 February 2004: Middlesbrough 2 Arsenal 1 (league cup) – despite the brilliant league run Arsenal went out.  Keown was sent off on 45 minutes, Reyes scored an own goal after Edu had pulled it back to 1-1.

61 comments to If I point out Arsenal are 4th in the league someone would write in and say “you can prove anything with statistics”

  • ClockEndRider

    As refreshing as ever, Tony. An island of sanity in a sea of utter lunacy.
    Keep up the good work.

  • John

    You put- But I know from the history of Mr Wenger that after a run like this comes the victories.
    So you will also know from history that we will fall away again in the league like year after year but maintain the top 4 trophy.

  • tunnygriff

    Agree you can twist stats in a lot of ways

    The bottom line is we’re not playing very well. From a position of strength four games ago with players due back we’ve lost two points v Liverpool, played poorly at Stoke and got caught cold by Chelsea again. One of these performances is acceptable if you have hopes of winning the league. Four in a row is a problem.

    Spurs and Leicester are playing really well. We’ll have more idea if we have a chance of winning the league come the beginning of March. We have to win these games now whereas if we had done the business in 3 of those 4 games then we could have afforded a couple of draws. We have some really tough games coming up away from home. Do we have the stomach for it ?

    Arsene was happy with his squad and didn’t want to buy in the summer. Fair enough but he should be honest enough to take the criticism that comes his way should we not mount a real credible challenge. We had the chance to add real quality to Alexis and Ozil.

    If I’m optimistic then we beat Bournemouth. That will be a really tough game. We hope city and Leicester draw and we then beat Leicester and we’re back in the mix. However I’m not confident because of the way we’re playing

    Please no more Flamini. He’s a liability atm. Coquelin and Elneny in and Ramsey to the right please asap. Walcott needs to pull his socks up and Giroud needs to stop preening and get back to working hard.

  • proudkev

    We absolutely battered Southampton.

    We played well but failed to convert the 11 on target efforts we had, a mixture of great goalkeeping, bad luck and poor finishing. The usual suspects enjoy dropped points as it enables them to remain on their crusade. I sometimes feel they are wishing us not to win because it gives them the chance to have some fun.

    My mate phoned a minute ago and said Talksport had Piers Morgan co presenting. As usual along with Alan Brazil they were tearing into our club and the manager. Morgan said we should have offered Bayern Munich £100m for Lewandowski in summer and wages of £400,000 per week and he would have signed! When asked who else we could have bought, Brazil and Morgan ummed and aarghed and said we should have bought Vardy in the summer! Vardy, who nobody had really heard of in summer. They then reeled off Higuain. Then of course it was back to Suarez, completely ignorant of what really happened there, and the £1 offer. How on earth do they get away with recycling this rubbish that has no factual basis is beyond me. Probably because idiot fans buy everything they hear.

    I watched in horror the highlights on BBC MOTD and that disresepctful interview of Wenger. Truly shocking.

    As far as yesterday was concerned tactically it was spot on. Southampton didnt have a kick in the second half and Cech hardly a save to make. Man City went to Sunderland and were lucky to come away with any points, let alone three. Leicester were outstanding to be fair. But City v Leicester weekend and if we grab three points it could all be back where we were.

    But its the same old agenda muppets making a lot of noise whenever we fail to win a game. I loathe those ‘fans’ and teh abusers amongst them with a passion. As for Piers Morgan, a clueless football follower who was once sacked for trying to use a lie to attack our troops. Odious individual.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    I think that victory run after our current bad run like the bad run we are currently experiencing now, should better come fast and be faster with it to reinstate our confidence and hopes of winning the BPL title this season.

    If to back up Petr Cech’s belief of Arsenal attaining the collection of 87 points to win the title this season, and actualising that belief has become a MUST, the Boss MUST earnestly go back to the drawing board.

    The Boss has to urgently with no any delays draw up a 2 games winnig plan that will see Arsenal beat Bournemouth and Leicester in the next Arsenal’s 2 BPL games at away & home to keep their title charge sustainable. And also serve as a morale booster ahead of their 2 home Cup games against Hull City and Barcelona.

  • proudkev


    Firstly, I take your points.

    However, I believe we played well yesterday. I watched the whole game not just the highlights and know what I saw.

    Now let’s look at the last three games everyone is moaning about:

    1. Liverpool at Anfield. A clean sheet and a point there is a decent result.
    2. Stoke away. Another point, another clean sheet at a difficult place to say the least. A decent point.
    3. Chelsea was disappointing but we played with ten men for 72 minutes. I think we started too slow, we have a habit of doing that but with ten men we took the game to Chelsea and looked the most likely to score. Previous years that could have been a 4 nil defeat.

    I am not making excuses but trying to add perspective. 2 tough away games and Chelsea at home a player light – and we have some fans in a frenzy. Mind you, some fans are in a frenzy even when we win because the agenda is more imprtant than results.

    I will agree that we arent playing a fluid game at the moment and once Coquelin is fit for 90 minutes that will help the team. I persoanally feel the biggest loss we suffered this season was the injury to Santi, he was in incredible form and made us tick. Ozil and Sanchez worked well yesterday but Theo looks like he is struggling for some reason and Giroud wasnt at his best. Even so, we bossed the game and created enough chances to have won by three or four. So I am deeply disappointed, in a bad mood and annoyed with the way some people are behaving because its embarrassing.

  • tunnygriff


    Piers Morgan is an embarrassment to our club. In fact he’s embarrassing full stop

    I am very worried about our form. We have left ourselves a lot to do after the last four results. Yesterday we played better than we have in a while but because of previous performances we really needed the win.

    In the next week we will know where our title chances are. We’ve given ourselves little breathing space now. You have to admit the way things are going it does look like another implosion is starting. We need a strong performance on Sunday

    Why is Flamini playing ? Hopefully Coquelin will play on the weekend.

  • WalterBroeckx

    I think the reason Flamini is playing is because it would be stupid to play Coquelin two matches in 3 days after having been out for so long. Just imagine what people would say if Coquelin would get injured if he had started?
    I think Wenger did the right thing by playing Flamini yesterday. We really cannot blame him for us not winning. But somehow Flamini is everyone’s favourite scapegoat.
    I think us not winning had more to do with our strikers not finishing the chances.

    I would also like to point out that Southampton went to Manchester United in their previous match and won 0-1. And then they had 10 days to prepare for this match as they are already out of the FA cup. Most of our players were somehow involved in a match 3 days before the match or played in that match.

  • tunnygriff


    Come on. Seriously. Wenger said Coquelin was ready 3 weeks ago. He played 70 mins on the weekend. Flamini has been horrendous the last month. Offers no protection for the back four, was culpable for Mert’s sending off and was getting in the way of our back four for the goal. He is a poor passer of the ball as well.

    Our midfield just isn’t functioning as it should. I sincerely hope Coquelin is back for Sunday. I would put Elneny in there with Ramsey on the right to bulk up our midfield. Would probably go with Theo upfront and try and get the fluidity we had in September/November back. We sure need it.

  • colario

    The problem for people like myself who believe that Arsene (I must adapt my keyboard so I can write the accents)is that when we get a result like last night it hurts and not just the result but as has happened here we know the antis are going to post and post their brain tongue limited thinking here and think they are clever.

    For me personally the result hurts even more than usual as this week of all weeks some one I know from Southampton is visiting the town where I live. Ouch !

    Last night every member of the team gave their all. We may think that a certain player didn’t deliver as we think he should have. that happens all the time. Its part of football its part of live. We don’t always give our best and usually we know it.

    A player who is fighting for the cause but usually does better needs our support and encouragement.

    Supporting a player/s who is/are having a difficult time is what supporters do.

    It was hard being a supporter during the so called ‘long sleep’.

    It taught me what it is like being a supporter of a smaller club that rarely wins a cup or is champions of the league they play in.

    These supporters stay and support their team no matter the result.

    But then that is what true supporters do.

  • bjtgooner

    We played well last night.

    The referee was appalling. Or was he?

    To all Arsenal and neutral fans (excluding the orcs of the aaaa) the ref was indeed awful – but to the individual who gave him pre match instruction the ref got it just right.

    I am not against northern refs just because they are from the “north”. If the refs were competent and unbiased it would not matter where they came from. They refs as a whole are unfortunately not competent and are not unbiased, but the problem is not just that they come from the “north” – that thought gives the real source of the problem a cop out. The real problem has to be that each ref is under instruction to screw Arsenal.

    If Riley was straight (and Riley of Invinciples 50 fame cannot be) he would long ago have stamped out the repeated screwing of Arsenal, match after match. The fact that he has not leads to only one conclusion.

    The fact that his group of 16 incompetent clones have been placed in a position where they can manipulate each match and practically control the distribution of cash (multi millions) within the EPL has to be a major point of concern.

    Further, it is sad to see clubs like Southampton following the Stoke/Chelski cheating philosophy when playing against Arsenal – safe in the knowledge that they will get away with it – but the manager and players of that team lower themselves to the gutter.

  • proudkev


    Yes Piers is an embarassment. Along with a section of so called fans too.

    “Why is Flamini playing?”

    Because he is our DM cover. Walter has answered the question, I doubt Flamini would start ahead of Coquelin unless it was a fitness issue. Coq has just returned and he’s going to be important, so best he is eased back. Dont forget, we have an intensive run of games including Barcelona twice, so he is clearly easing Coquelin back which is sensible. I half expected Elneny to play ahead of Flamini. However, Flamini played well another clean sheet so what’s the problem?

    To be honest, I dont know why Flamini has replaced Giroud as the scapegoat for a section of fans. It seems there is always one player being singled out and its his turn. It has becomes fashionable to jump on Flaminis back, a shame some fans behave like that tbh. He has been good cover while Coquelin was out and remember we had clean sheets at Liverpool and Stoke with him in the DM role.

    We lost our double pivot of Coquelin and Cazorla due to bad luck. That pairing was sensational in my opinion. Fans quickly forget that because they are too busy looking for someone to blame. After all bad luck and injuries are not allowable excuses, instead there is only blame.

    As far as the league is concerned, expect lots of strange results this is a very unpredicatble league. City dont look great and we tend to do well back end of the season and the main advantage will be the fact that a lot of our players will be fresh for the intensive program of games.

    We thrashed Leicester at their place, despite everybody ignoring this fact and we have enough to get at City. Leicester have an advantage without any European fixtures, so its going to come down to squads and we do have our players returning now but in need of games.

  • proudkev


    Well said. If I could hit the Like button 100 times, I would.

  • thierryhenry22

    I just read that 18 fouls were committed between 3 southampton players yesterday and none of those players were shown yellow cards. I think we played amazing yesterday to not fall into the trap. we weren’t allowed to play aggressively like southampton were, and I wonder if this translated into our shooting being less aggressive too.

    Great article by the way, thank you for the perspective.

  • Josif

    Ozil has to create six chances for our attackers to get a single goal (16 out 97). In home matches against Stoke, Bournemouth and Soton he averaged 9 (!!!!!!!!!) created chances and got just two assists to his name. That’s 14.5 chances created for one goal. Overall it’s a bit better as we have scored a goal after ever 8.08 chances. For comparison, Leicester need almost three chances less per goal scored.

    That means if we create 15 chances and Leicester create 11, they will beat us 2:1.

    Theo has scored three goals in 18 games or one in six. It took him 40 attempts to score three goals. Arsene has been putting a lot of faith in Welbeck’s return but Danny scored four league goals from 58 attempts last season.

    Yes, there is something these stats prove and we all know what it is.

  • Mick

    Contrast the media outcry last year when Arsenal took a 14 min flight for the Norwich away fixture with the media silence for Tottenhams 14 minute flight to Norwich yesterday.

  • Col

    “Our win percentage in the league this season is 54.16%, below the norm – and we have failed to win any of our last four games. So on the basis of what normally happens under Mr Wenger the most obvious prediction to make is not that we will have more of the same, but that we will recover. That, based on the past 1101 games is the most likely outcome from this position.”

    Illogical article. Because the win rate this season is below the long term average, it seems to argue that this means it is somehow more likely that Arsenal will win their upcoming games. Probability doesn’t work like that. The long term average for tossing a coin is 50% heads, 50% tails. If I get a run of 10 tails, the probability of getting another is still 50%. Equally, every time Arsenal lose or draw doesn’t make a win more likely in the next game. Taken to a logical absurdity, this would mean that if Arsenal lost every game in the first half of the season, they would win almost every game in the second half of the season because of the long term average – which is obviously nonsense.

    Unlike coin tossing, footballers are creatures of confidence, so arguably every loss or defeat actually makes a victory in the next game actually less likely. It is for this precise reason that Wenger’s achievements stand tall – he has shown consistent ability to beat the factors that drag other managers down. Obviously I hope he does so this time, but we musn’t delude ourselves there is some sort of magical law that says Wenger’s Arsenal have to win 57.5% of all matches.

    The other argument employed is that Wenger’s Arsenal always recover from a dip. Whilst that has proved true in the past, there is no necessary reason why it should be true in the future. If it is necesarily the case, then it is equally necessarily the case that Arsenal will have an injury crisis that Wenger regards as unlucky, and Arsenal are proved to have inadequate cover which always causes the dip in the first place. This sort of view tends to get shouted down on this site. My point is it works both ways – if AKBs use the past to make spurious predictions about the future, then they can’t get angry when AAAs do the same thing.

  • Josif


    We played 3:3 at Anfield. No clean sheet was achieved.

    Flamini is no Coquelin. Take a look at our two best performances at home – Stoke (should have ended 10:0) and United. Then pick a random game during Flamini’s stand-in for Coquelin. Defensive-wise or even attacking-wise, neither Flamini or Arteta are good enough.

    Then again, it wasn’t Flamini who missed all those chances yesterday and that’s where Walter has a point.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Flamini was not the problem last night. we didnt concede for starters, and he was up against a weak/biased/under orders ref who was letting them foul with inpunity, but could not wait to card ours.
    That said, I am not convinced Flamini and Ramsey work well, no lack of effort, just not naturally suited partnership.
    As for Morgan, heard him this morning, wish i hadnt.
    Morgan does not deal in reality for a club run in the way Arsenal are, a bit like Mr Trump, he chooses his words and crusades to appeal to the rabid ISIS branch of his supporters. These are people very easy to get to, for a variety of reasons, not least of which, many are a bit thick.
    Morgan adds gravitas by implying insider information from impeccable sources. Guess he is hacking again.

  • Robert

    Good grief! Doesn’t take much for the knives to come out, does it? Fickle fair-weather prats.

    Yes, we didn’t get the result we expected.

    Yes, we didn’t convert chances.

    But the referee was disgustingly biased.

    And Forster played a blinder.

    And Southampton players fouled us at their leisure.

    Shit happens.

    And to all the Piers Morgan look-alikes: Stop your whining; it’s childish. Get behind the players – your team! – they need your support.

  • para

    I cannot see how people can say that we played well last night.

    We played terrible, losing the ball more than usual, misplaced passes more than usual, but with a few sublime moments sprinkled in here and there.

    To those who cannot see and accept that, well push your dislike buttons, it will not change those facts.

    If saying that we played well when we did not is positivity, then some have really got this positivity thing wrong.

  • Mandy Dodd

    An interesting analysis on surely the most inept ref in this league….and Walter gets a mention!
    The article picks up on the point the english refs are very lenient on physical pressing teams….maybe something Wenger needs to counter, or work on because it does not seem to be going away anytime soon.
    Rumours Wenger will be charged for his alleged tunnel rant at the officials….maybe time for the club to back him,unless Josif was correct in his post last night

  • Rathod

    ame old season, starts with promising results and performances – fans hope – embarrassing results – wenger out – results pick up again – injuries – more false dawns – qualify for knock out stages CL – we can we league – season stutters – limp over the line in 3rd or 4th – if we buy 2-3 players we can win league next season, every season

  • Somil

    Get a room Rathod and Para

  • Somil

    However it is quite intriguing to see decision to replace Flamini with Coquelin in the dying minutes. It told me Arsene Wenger was more concerned with not losing – with Coquelin meaning more disciplined cover against the break than the Flamster – than going for broke. He wasn’t willing to risk a point and go for the three by, for example, putting Oxlade-Chamberlain on for Flamini instead. Who knows, maybe the point will prove vital. It felt a bit conservative though – but then, that is what Arsenal are these days in many ways. If the club really wanted to go for it, they would have told the manager his time was up this summer and gone for Guardiola (or another proven manager). However, they have no wish to risk a solid and reliable business model that gives them financial growth and profits. That, to me, is unexciting. My best memories are of winning trophies, not balance books.

  • Zedsaunt

    Football is rugby by another name in the land of the EPL. The physicality of it is captivating. It guarantees testosterone driven drama and easy to edit highlights. It compresses action into compact decisive moments of actions taken and executed. Chaos is driven deep beneath the waves.

    I saw all the game yesterday. Out of all the performances I’ve seen this season – perhaps I’ve missed a couple – this was the most uncomfortable. It was not the fact that Forster was flawless, it was Mason’s refereeing.

    It was as if he was intent on delivering a running dirty joke on the game and its principles.

    How Wenger can be charged with bringing the game into disrepute, should it be the case, after the clown’s performance as the referee says it all.

  • Zedsaunt

    Professional Game Match Officials Board. Sounds like a notice on the door at the back of a snooker hall.

  • proudkev


    Did you watch the game?

    Josif, apologies my mind suffered from emotional fall out – I actually called my wife the name of one of the ladies that work for me this morning, which didnt exactly go down well. Losing hurts me deep but the constant moaners in the aaa who embarrass me and other ‘proper supporters’ make my bloody blood boil.

  • proudkev


    “My best memories are of winning trophies, not balance books”.

    You don’t need a great memory to remember the two FA Cups we have back in the trophy room.

    Perhaps we should ask Leeds United fans for their opinion on this very subject and the guaranteed success irresposnible spending brings.

    Just saying.

  • proudkev

    Somil or should I call you Rathod or should I call you Para?.


    What is the point posting under different names and even responding to your own posts? Seriously, please explain the point of this trolling?

    “However, they have no wish to risk a solid and reliable business model that gives them financial growth and profits. That, to me, is unexciting. My best memories are of winning trophies, not balance books”.

    Rathod (in ‘the art of management’ article):
    “However, they have no wish to risk a solid and reliable business model that gives them financial growth and profits. That, to me, is unexciting. My best memories are of winning trophies, not balance books”

    You are also Para.

    So you have three pseudonyms on here, you should be so proud that takes real intellect mate.

  • para

    February 3, 2016 at 1:22 pm
    Para. Did you watch the game?

    Still, i will answer it;

    I commented on what i saw during the game, and because the performance of our team is important to me, this is what i comment on.

    For instance, all of those misplaced passes, and non-closing down and all the other schoolboy mistakes made in that game does not make a good performance to me.

  • Menace

    Rathod – my instruction still stands. Go f yourself. You might even get a trophy.

    February 3, 2016 at 10:59 am
    ‘The fact that his group of 16 incompetent clones have been placed in a position where they can manipulate each match and practically control the distribution of cash (multi millions) within the EPL has to be a major point of concern.’

    Absolutely true. This group appointed by the FA are controlling financial sluice gates. They do so much damage to the equity of the game.

    The choice that Wenger makes may not always be right but ffs he created the team & he coaches the team. There are those who think they know better. Write to Wenger at Arsenal FC & make your point. I’m sure you will get a reply – perhaps not what you expect but at least your concerns will be heard.

    I wrote to Wenger & believe me to this day I still feel I could get Arsenal 30 more goals (maybe more) a season if they improve one aspect of their coaching. It is a technique that makes the difference in accuracy. I wanted to show 2 junior coaches the techniques so that they could prove concept & take it further. I got a response that Arsenal had sufficient coaches. I had to accept his response.

    Wenger is after all the man who brought Arsenal from beautiful club that played football to a beautiful club that plays beautiful football. This has been hampered by the PGMOL & their cheating. For those of you that didn’t see the corrupt performance of Mason yet saw a poor performance of Arsenal, I am happy for you. You see what matters to your intelligence. For those of you who really understand the Laws of the Game, I am sorry for you because watching the PGMO officiating an Arsenal game is like gutting stale fish – the stink is part of the eventual enjoyment.

    The next time your road is blocked by an incident remember your thought process, it is what Arsenal players have to go through every time they get the ball when PGMO officiate. For no fault of their own they have to reascess their route.

  • Pat

    Has it occurred to you Para that some of those misplaced passes might have been because an opponent was treading on our player’s feet or holding him by the shoulder or otherwise fouling him with the referee’s consent?

  • esxste

    produkev said “To be honest, I dont know why Flamini has replaced Giroud as the scapegoat for a section of fans. It seems there is always one player being singled out and its his turn”

    Simple minds can’t cope with the complexity of considering the performance of more than one player at a time. Everything must a single players fault.

  • tunnygriff

    It wasn’t Flamini’s fault yesterday per se, he just isn’t very good. He was certainly to blame for the Chelsea defeat and was rank bad in the Liverpool game

    He’s not a scapegoat. He’s just not very good and our defence is getting exposed time after time with him in the team

  • John

    There you go again blaming the referee…Your like a broken record.

  • upp

    OF, many posters here always defer to Walters status as a ref to justify their ref bias opinion, so I thought I should check and confirm that Walter indeed referees at the level he claims. So I googled Walter broeckxx and frankly the only info on him is as regards his work on untold. Even when the Belgium Jupiter league is added as a keyword in the search, it’s the same. However when I Google other refs I know, I get profiles and links to matches they’ve refereed. Frankly, I presently doubt Walter is indeed a referee

  • Zedsaunt

    When a referee stops play and allows a player to sit by the goalposts for almost five minutes without moving him off the pitch, records five substitutions, notes an endless number of incidents of time wasting, and then only gives six minutes of added time, something has fucked up pretty bad, and and it is not Mr Wenger, nor Mr Menace, nor Untold Arsenal.

    Why does it never occur to you that when you get a clown as a referee failing to enforce the rules he is charged to uphold then the game is determined by the referee, not the players?

    A player is trained to play within the boundaries of the rules of football. When those boundaries are not upheld by the referee, then what happens to the player’s ability to play their game?

  • Mandy Dodd

    “A player is trained to play within the boundaries of the rules of football”

    Just wish that were the case a bit more when it comes to our opponents, sadly i think many are trained in rotational fouling, time wasting, stopping players runs off the ball, back shoves, shattering limbs, advertising hoarding spatial awareness…..
    But the thing is, with the standard of refereeing we get, they dont even have to be trained that well in these dark arts, these refs seem to do their level best to encourage them.
    And before anyone says, I am not blaming the ref for us not winning yesterday, but over a season, this lack of a level playing field does not help, but of course they are well aware of that

  • bjtgooner

    Allegedly the head of the aaaa dorks – Piers Morgan – has offered to run around the Emirates naked if Giroud scores against Barcelona.

    Not a pretty prospect – but for many reasons I hope Giroud scores a hat trick!

  • Menace

    Zedsaunt – thank you.

    John – you still haven’t found the goal & it’s only 1 inch from your brain! (distance from buttock to anus). Your parents didn’t do sufficient to educate your dim arse. The Arsenal is a Wenger built team & exists in its current state because of his efforts.

  • John

    Menace i bow to your superior intelligence and knowledge.The man who thinks that we would be the best team in the prem and rule europe with this team and manager if it wasnt for those cheating referees.

  • hrishi

    That was nice to read Tony.. A welcome break from the pandemonium all around 🙂

    A small reminder for those who criticised our performance- we struggled for goals in the first few games of the season as well. But as Tony pointed out then (and Walter yesterday), as long as we keep creating chances , we shouldn’t be too bothered. We turned it around after the first few games, doubling our goal tally at Leicester with a 5-2 win. And we created a lot yesterday- the goals will come sooner rather than later.

    And to those who blame the “biased PIGMOB cheats”, we had a golden opportunity to capitalise on their bias- Ozil was offside when he hit the keeper from point blank range. Biased or not, some of our refs certainly are inept. With so many rows over time added on, why is there no effort at a transparent process for arriving at the right figure?

  • Col

    I make a perfectly rational point about the irrationality of the above post (I can’t be bothered to repeat it, but it fundamentally misunderstands the laws of probability) and it gets pulled. I thought this was a forum that encouraged debate – I didn’t insult anybody, I wasn’t rude – and yet my point gets pulled. Obviously, debate is not encouraged round here.

  • WalterBroeckx

    first of all if you spell names wrong you will not get many hits. 😉

    May I ask which other Belgian refs did you google?

    You doubt that I am a ref… ok that is your problem. I know I am a referee (currently assistant referee since a few years) for some 15 years.

    Maybe we should try to meet before the Leicester match and if I can show you my official “scheidsrechterkaart” for the current season 2015-2016 you would believe me. You don’t even have to buy me something to drink as a compensation for being wrong. 🙂

    Maybe referees and assistant referees who make few or only minor mistakes get no mention on the internet? 🙂

    What I do admit that in the last 3 years I had to go down the leagues because of a chronical knee injury that troubles me a lot.

    However if you care to follow the link you will see that I am listed in this match from last Sunday as 1st assitant referee. It’s in Dutch but below the video of the match you will see somewhere the word assistent which is Dutch for assistant.
    And if you want to see me running you can watch the clip and at minute 4.53 you can see me running throught the picture if you don’t watch the celebrating players. As I was the first assistant I was not really ‘in the picture’ a lot as the camere was behind me.

    Now you may still doubt me you can then follow this link and again I am the first assistant in this match between a second division team and a team from the Jupiler league OH Leuven. I can be seen a first time after 48 seconds (I’m the man in the yellow shirt running the line 🙂 ) again after 1.22 min, 2.35 and my skull is visible seconds later, 3.20 again.

    Just say sorry for doubting me is enough. 😉

  • Mandy Dodd

    I am genuinely embarrassed for you, Upp.
    Better luck with your next post, come back soon!

  • bjtgooner

    Looks like someone has not grasped the upps and downs of the European Computer Driving Licence! 🙂

  • Crovax

    I agree with you, Col. I was taken aback by the simplicity of Tony’s usage of statistical principles, the exact opposite of what he normally preaches. Weird. While Wenger will probably win around 57 games in the next 100, there is zero guarantee that those games will come up soon, at the end of the season, or the season after.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Being paid by Arsenal, not being a real ref oh the simple and wild accusations people who don’t like us, throw at us.
    And certainly people who never came to this site before. Or maybe under another name?
    But I will no longer waste my time at them. Mind you it was nice to see the images again 🙂

  • upp

    Error Walter, the first match u linked me to was obviously an amateur match, the second one which u claim is a link to a professional match unfortunately doesn’t exist on YouTube. You still got a long way to go proving you’re actually a professional refree, before you begin to act as an authority on ref matters
    But we all know you won’t publish this post

  • WalterBroeckx

    Last few words for upp: I am a referee currently working as an assistant referee. If you would have read my comment you should have been able to understand that I said that I now am working in the lower leagues because of a chronical injury.
    And for someone new I find it interesting that you say that I have claimed to be a Jupiler league referee. LOL, I never said such a thing.
    I have said I have done matches involving teams from the 8th tier in Belgian football till the highest tier, the Jupiler League level. One of the videos to which I linked proves this. So the football authorities trusted me well enough to be involved in such matches.

    Oh and for your information: an assistant-referee is also a referee. As are the 5th and 6th referees.

    But will waste no more time on you. Damn, think I said that before… 🙂

  • WalterBroeckx

    oops.. still a few words. I started as a ref when I was 39 years. So largely too old (very much tooooooooo old in fact) to reach the top. In Belgium you have to be in the 5th tier of football before you turn 21-22 years or you can forget about getting to the national tiers of football. Refs are also not allowed to carry on in the jupiler league when older than 45 years.
    So being 54 years old and having a bad knee I know my place and I feel happy about it.
    Have done great matches as I said from top to bottom in Belgium involving all kind of teams from top to bottom.
    Just enjoying it as long as my knee is allowing me to enjoy it.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Upp, I have never said that I was a professional referee. Never. If there is one man lying of the two of us, I know who.
    In fact there are only a handful of professional referees in Belgium. In fact they all have another job. The ones that I know in person. Wim Smet, Lawrence Vissers just to name a few. Wim Smet a former UEFA referee by the way. He works for a notary.

    But I think I have wasted enough time on you.

    It is your right to believe what you believe. But you are wrong.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Damn, last thing: in Belgium we only have 1 100% professional league (Jupiler league) with 16 professional teams. In the second division you have a mix of professional and semi-professional teams. From next season the second division will only have professional teams. It will be 8 in total. So we will only have 24 professional clubs in Belgium.

    and the link works fine for me. Both of them.

    But hey as you time in hands you could always google: RAFC.TV
    RAFC is Royal Antwerp Football Club, the oldest club in Belgium, currently leading the second division title race. Once on their official youtube channel you can use the search bottom and type in OHL. And if you can count to 13 that is the match in question.

    Just seen it again…. I think I am slowly getting bald… well at the back of my head anyway…

  • Menace

    Walter – I have been coming to this site for over 3 years & never questioned your credentials because of the simple posts that you have made. There is no glory hunting nor flowery wording to your language. You come across as a decent married man with a nice family & good social life. These idiots that questionyour integrity have no reason to apart from being nuisances like hazard lights on a parked car.

  • Rich


    You insult me with this talk of slowly going bald, at 54 years of age.

    What I wouldn’t have given to make it to 35 without having to accept defeat and reach for the clippers! On the bright side, all I have to do is scowl a bit now and the charity people with clipboards don’t bother with me.

    Think of us hair-senistive unfortunates next time please.

    Don’t need to go checking any videos to know you’re an honest fellow.

  • upp

    @walter, it would be nice and fair if you published all my posts and not select the ones you feel you can respond to. You have at least 4-5responses to my posts yet you are brave enough to publish only 2 of the posts. You can’t be the judge and defendant/prosecutor @the same time. Let fellow untold readers judge who seems to be saying the truth.
    And if you did publish the posts other commenters would have seen that my subsequent posts acknowlege that you couldnt be a referee, and probably aren’t an assistant referee at the top level. The point being you can’t claim to be enough an authority on referee matters for posters to use your point of view as reference in such matters.
    No disrespect to your person, but I think it’s only fair for your audience to know your background, so they can make informed decisions on how much weight they give your point of view. But knowing the ethos of “fear of contrary view” of the site, I doubt you will be man enough to do this. Hiding under the usual excuses. Unfortunately,
    1. There’s no abuse in the post, or indeed all the previous ones you’ve been hiding from the other commenters
    2. It’s not a topic you can claim to have thrashed exhaustively in phantom previous threads.
    3. It’s not one you can claim has significantly agitated the normally “cosy” atmosphere on your blog, since they haven’t even got to see it. it doesn’t even blaspheme against “the Lord, he who must not be criticised” Wenger.
    So you’ll find it hard to come up with an excuse to not publish. But I get that it’s your blog, no need for an excuse/reason. You don’t like it, bin it.
    Ps: that mantra that is bandied around that “the season we allowed non arsenal refs to do the reviews, we found more anti arsenal bias” it’s bollocks, it’s just your word, which frankly, still has the jury out on. Just my opinion

  • Damilare

    Unfortunately for upp, it’s cowardice to launch such sustained attacks (as done on Walter) with pseudonyms. upp can simply do better by taking any of UA ref reviews, do his/her/its own minute by minute review of events, calls, decisions and non decisions vis a vis the rules of the game and then let’s see what you come up with.

    Walter, please ignore our little unwanted pest for now (until we see his/her/its report) and concentrate on your next article.

  • upp

    Naaaa@ damilare, where the ref reviews fall flat on its face is how events on the pitch are interpreted. If Mr Walter sees a normal tussle between an attacker and a defender and interprets it as thuggery then he has every reason to quote the laws of the game to back his judgement, however that doesn’t mean I have to accept his judgement of what actually happened, but even more importantly, the referee doesn’t have to accept his judgement. This is why it’s important to take his status into consideration, i believe a top official, who considers himself an authority in a particular field would be more careful in making judgement calls as they have a reputation to protect. My honest opinion. And if he doesn’t have anything to hide, no reason to not publish my posts

  • Damilare

    upp, are we ever going to see your own ref review?

  • upp

    @damilare, I honestly don’t think so. WitWith all due respect…
    1. I doubt the site’s authors would publish it.
    2. I’d hate to have a comment section where 99% of supporting comments are blocked leaving only the guys who think I’m nuts to run the comments, it’ll be a slaughter