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October 2016
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Bournemouth v Arsenal Sunday 7 February – The Match Officials. Time to start worrying.

by Andrew Crawshaw

Following the review of Mr Clattenberg in the Chelsea game here is the updated Table of Shame

Wrong Important Decisions Favouring Arsenal Favouring Opponents
2nd Yellow Cards 1 30
Red Cards 1 10
Penalties 3 18
Goals 0 8
Total 5 66
Possible Cost in Points 0 15

Referee Review: Arsenal – Chelsea

This review was the first game of the season where the bias numbers were actually in our favour.  There were 10 wrong decisions in the game five against each team and putting weight on the numbers that bias was 35% against Arsenal and 65% against Chelsea.

Mr Clattenberg’s overall score was 76%.  There was one wrong Important Decision (second yellow, red cards, penalties and goals) when in Min 56 Koscielny fouled Fabregas in our penalty area, this should have been both a penalty and a yellow card but nothing was given.

Whilst cross with the antics of Chelsea, their players and supporters, for once we really have no beef with the referee.  Mertescaker made a terrible decision which killed the game as far as we were concerned, the rest was history.

This coming Sunday the Match Officials are :-

  • Referee – Kevin Friend
  • Assistants – D Bryan and P Kirkup
  • Fourth Official – N Swarbrick

Third time this year for Mr Friend, all away matches (funny that – he is a noted home referee) we won both games

31 October – Swansea v Arsenal

74% overall weighted score, bias against the two teams 40/60 and one wrong Important Decision when in Min 31 Mertesacker handled the ball in our area but no penalty was awarded.

13 December Aston Villa – Arsenal

72% overall weighted score, bias 30/70 again only one wrong Important Decision (more down to the linesman, Mr D Bryan, than referee) when in Min 45+1 Walcott was wrongly flagged offside as he scored a glorious curler into the top corner.

Two games, two wins and only two wrong decisions, not bad refereeing by the poor standards of the PGMO.

Last Season 2014-15 we had Mr Friend four times and he was anything but friendly to us

Everton v Arsenal

60% overall, bias against the two teams 11/89 and 2 wrong Important Decisions (second yellow or Red cards, Penalties or Goals).  In Minute 44 Naysmith was offside when he scored a ‘goal’ and in Min 53 Wilshere was given a yellow card, it should have been Red.  His scores would have been higher had he not been let down by his assistant Mr Garratt for both the Naysmith goal and for flagging for an imaginary foul in Min 70 when Arsenal were in a strong position.  The wrong decision for the Everton goal may well have cost us two points.

Sunderland – Arsenal

65% overall, bias 25/75 and 1 wrong Important Decision when in Minute 19 he should have awarded a penalty to Arsenal for a foul by Rodwell on Chambers.  Arsenal won the game by 2-0 so the wrong decision didn’t cost us points.

Sunderland – Arsenal

69% overall, bias 20/80 and two wrong Important Decisions (both relating to the same incident) when in Minute 46 Henry should have been dismissed and a penalty awarded for a “Last Man” offence.  Another game when poor officiating didn’t cost us points as we won 2-1.

Arsenal v Swansea (0-1), as I said no full Referee review, but here is Walter’s post-game piece.

Swansea players not getting booked for pretty poor challenges, Swansea parking the bus and Fabianski in good form for the visitors.  Overall they frustrated arsenal and hit us on a counter.  every 50-50 decision in their favour.  Not just a home referee then.

In 2013-14 he refereed us only once

15 April Arsenal v West Ham (3 – 1) again no full referee review

West Ham took the lead, Podolski equalised just before half time, Giroud ten minutes into the second half and Podolski again with 13 minutes on the clock.  No mention of Mr Friend, so I’ll assume that he had a decent game.

2012-13  Two games both at home

Arsenal Vs Liverpool (2 – 2) [30/01/2013]

94% overall, bias figures really irrelevant and no wrong Important Decisions.  Excellent refereeing.

Arsenal Vs Southampton (6 – 1) [15/09/2012]

89% overall, bias 50/50 and no wrong Important Decisions.  Another excellent example of refereeing.

I only have the one flag this year against the Assistant Referees, Mr Bryan for his mistake in denying Walcott a goal against Aston Villa (see above).


  1. Mr Friend is widely regarded as a ‘home referee’.
  2. Up to 2013-14 he could be relied to referee Arsenal games in an even handed manner and his scores in our reviews reflected this, 89 and 94% in 2012-13.  In 2014-15 his scores were 60, 65 and 69% – all below the minimum acceptable level.  This year, to date, we have seen something of a return to his earlier levels and I hope that continues on Sunday.
  3. With City playing Leicester meaning at least one of them will drop points the cynic in me says that the PGMO will seize this opportunity to ensure that we cannot make up ground on either of them and, indeed, will fall further behind Spurs.  I am kind of expecting another dreadful piece of refereeing with a player being sent off together with a dodgy penalty against us.
  4. Look out for all of the usual ploys, phantom fouls, rotational fouling and timewasting all meant to disrupt our pattern of play..
  5. On the other hand, given honest refereeing, we should be quite capable of putting in a good performance and getting the three points.


Insult of the day

He has everything that an honest man should not have; what an honest man should have, he has nothing.  (All’s well that ends well)

Anniversaries – including a referee anniversary today

  • 6 February 1971: Arsenal 1 Manchester C 0.  After just one victory in the last four Arsenal returned to form in League match 27 of the first Double season.  Better still, Leeds, after having lost to Tottenham 1-2 on 9 January now lost 0-1 to Liverpool. Arsenal were thus 3 points behind Leeds with one game in hand but with a fractionally worse goal average.
  • 6 February 2001: The case about insulting comments being made against Notts County’s Sean Farrell by referee Taylor was very oddly heard AFTER the Arsène Wenger appeal against his imagined assault on Taylor.  Arsène Wenger was cleared.  Click the link for the full story.

The Untold Books

The latest Untold book is Arsenal: The Long Sleep 1953-1970 with an introduction by Bob Wilson, available both as a paperback and as a Kindle book from Amazon.   Details of this and our other titles can be found at Arsenal Books on this site.



68 comments to Bournemouth v Arsenal Sunday 7 February – The Match Officials. Time to start worrying.

  • tunnygriff

    It really looks like you’re getting excuses in early. After failing to beat Southampton at home despite dominating we have to beat Bournemouth to have a chance to win the title

    Irrespective of the officials we have to be more clinical in front of goal, be more aggressive in winning the ball back after losing it and be extremely well organised at the back.

    Hopefully Coquelin will be back to to shield the defence and win the ball back higher up the field unlike the disasterous Flamini who retreats back amongst the back four everytime the opposition get the ball leaving a massive space between our defence and attacking players. Ramsey needs to buck up his ideas defensively as well

  • Mandy Dodd

    Really tunny……have you seen some of the ref performances we have experienced this season? How would you explain them
    Are you expecting things to even out?

  • para

    This is why i look at the performance of our team every game.

    Our performance is so important to us, and when we do perform, the ref never really gets a good chance to do his dirty deeds.

    By now, we should be going into all games regarding the opposition as 12 men we have to beat.

    Like the article, i do think that they(refs and their bosses), will try to hinder Arsenal from getting the PL crown.

    We just have to STOP seeing the ref as just an official, do not wait for any whistle, just play our game brilliantly, stop showing disdain to the refs, that is, do not give them any chance to pull us up in any way. This is hard and adds obstacles to our game, but our team is good enough to sail past that and if we perform focused and playing for each other we can win this game and others.

    COYG, this is the time to start running again.

  • Don’t blame the ref, lack of mental strength and belief and cohesion.

  • Rich

    Mandy, I don’t get it, but at least it’s not up there with Upp from a recent article

    ‘I remember flamini going down and raising his hands up while a westham player went through and scored in a 2-2 draw a few years back, expecting the ref’s whistle. if I were the one? In front of my 18yard box, I’d get rid of the ball before I thought of going down.’

    Hull he meant. In that case Flamini was pushed off balance and clearly fouled by a player who had no chance of reaching the ball legitimately. Diame went on and scored.

    If you can fail to understand Flamini couldn’t have kept his balance after an unexpected push like that and, more importantly, if you are annoyed with our player instead of the officials whose terrible decision cost us a goal and probably two points, well, the refs can do whatever they want against us and you’ll never hold them to account.

    Is that because of a poor ability to read the game, hostility towards the manager; the belief we’d have been better off meeting fire with fire, foul and physicality wise, in recent years?

    Hard to know, but clearly there are people who enjoy the site despite totally disagreeing with the view that we are dealt with suspiciously badly with referees in a manner that makes things much harder for us and, inevitably, leads to worse results than we would get with adequate refereeing.

    As ever, we just have to cross everything until the first goal and hope score it nice and early. Otherwise it’s horrible tension, and the sure knowledge if we go behind the ref is sure to get a little worse.

  • tunnygriff


    I’m not one who believes the referees are out to get us. Sure we get bad decisions against us but so do other teams. We had two decisions go in our favour on Tuesday but we failed to capitalise on those mistakes which we should have done

    If you want to say as a general rule that our refs are far more lenient than their counterparts on the continentin terms of letting more physicality go then I would say that is correct

    It wasn’t the ref that let Allen score in the last minute v Liverpool. It wasn’t the ref that backtracked into his own defence give Willian acres of space to move into before playing the ball to Costa which resulted in Mert being sent off. It wasn’t the ref that had 12 shots on target v Southampton failing to score one goal.

    We need to suck it up and perform better. Hopefully with Alexis shaking off his rust, Coquelin returning and Welbz close to fitness putting pressure on Giroud and Walcott to up their game then our results should improve.

  • Mandy Dodd

    The problem is, Wenger goes against the brand of football the powers that be want preserved in this country. On the whole, and yes, there are exceptions, English football does not breed technical players, it has no wish to, the FA seem to resent change, and Wenger , in his attempt to change, pays the price.
    Proud Kev in his excellent research identifies a north South thing. The likes of Chelsea, and now Spurs have also identified this, and gone for the northern game.
    The fact is, and it is depressing,Arsenal will not be allowed to win the league this season. The closer they come, the more they will be kicked, by opponents,……and refs. There is no coincidence in the refereeing we are getting.
    But , the team will be allowed into the lucrative top four, and that will be sufficient to keep the club……if not the manager, quiet.
    I am convinced City will win the league, Utd will make the top four, as will we, along with a plucky underdog….my guess, Spurs. .failure for arsenal to make the top four, and our board and powerful CEO might actually wake up and act , and they don’t want that.
    Our manager and players deserve better, but it is all about money now.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Tunny, yes, you make valid points, but how is it , that game after game, rotational fouling is inflicted on our players, unpunished, yet one of ours, whether Coq, Bellerin, Kos gets yellow first tackle.
    How can the events at Chelsea be explained?
    There is a way of preserving the English game, we don’t abide by it under Wenger, and pay for it…..sometimes in shattered limbs and wrecked careers.
    Maybe Wenger is missing a trick, and should play in a different way,
    But refereeing is compromised in this country. I know he is no longer in post, but anyone who has seen a Fergie team and analyses objectively knows there is something very wrong.
    Yes, our team are sometimes the authors of our own misfortune, but they are not helped, it must be dispiriting in the least playing an opponent, and a ref who allows the opponent gamesmanship with impunity…week after week

  • tunnygriff


    If we can play like we did Sept/October before the injuries and take a fraction of the chances we create then we can win the league. Ozil must tear his hair out sometimes. Teams won’t live with us.

    It’s up to us to regain that form. It’s going to be a really interesting last quarter of the season. A win today and we’re back in the mix as points will be dropped at the Ethiad. I also notice Navas is out with a hamstring. Injuries and matches are piling up for City. It could helpus with Alexis, Coquelin back, Welbeck back for fa cup tie and Jack outside running and getting his fitness up

    I’d like to see Santi back asap for the run in.

  • tunnygriff


    I agree with the rotational fouling. It’s part of the game here and ignored by referees. When we foul it’s often to obvious. Wenger is an artisans and loves football being played in a certain way. However we can be incredibly niave and honest

    We had Viera and Petit, Adams, keown, Dixon etc. Great footballers but were physically imposing and could mixit if required. We lack those sort of characters. Coquelin is the nearest we have to that but we could do with one or two more. We are too nice and in certain matches we could do with extra players who know the dark arts. Players who will look after our more skillful players

  • Tasos



    “Ozil must tear his hair out sometimes”.

    Not with the team I hasten to add. Ozil is not stupid. He knows what’s happening on the field of play. Johnny foreigner is not welcome here.

    The Premier league with all its wealth and yet less and less top quality foreigners want to ply their trade here.

    Alex Teixeira has just chosen China over the Premier League. How embarrassing is that.

  • just FYI, both links in 2014/2015 are the same (Sunderland)

  • Rich

    Tunnygriff, I’ve thought for a long time we’d be better off with at least a bit more sheer power and, well, dirt in the team, and still think it.

    But I think it’s not a simple matter, and one of the big things against that is the likelihood such a player would be constantly pinged by referees and suffer badly on the disciplinary front, even if they were no dirtier than dozens of players in the league who were not judged in the same way.

    Read an interesting old quote from Petit this week to back that up a bit. This is from the column he used to write in the mirror. He’d been sent off four times in the last 17 months and wrote:

    ‘I’ve just had enough. And I won’t change my mind. I’m totally fed up with what’s happening. If I’m going to be shown the yellow card every time i open my mouth or make a mistake on the pitch- while others are getting away with worse- I’m wasting my time here’

    As an example of a powerful midfielder, there’s no better choice than Wanyama (very unlikely to ever join Arsenal in my opinion), I reckon he could hold his own with the monsters of rugby.

    I bet his most effective game this year was against us at their place. My take is that in our side he would have undoubtedly been booked early on playing like that, and if he carried on would have been off. Also he would’ve conceded a lot of fouls in his own half.

    Interestingly, he was promptly sent off in his next game, and I expect that’s happened regularly over the years, when players get away with a lot playing against us and don’t make the required re-adjustment for the next game.

  • Menace

    The Mason petition is (not really what we require) by David Goliath. It seems like a piss take.

    We need a petition to number 10 asking for a transparent, democratic FA & officials that are selected by open fair methods & report direct & are accountable to the FA.

    The PGMO shit is totally corrupt & do not have any accountability. They are Gods of themselves.

  • Rich

    Mandy Dodd

    I don’t see Wenger changing the approach much between now and when he finishes. Could be surprised by whoever we go for in central midfield this summer, but I’m not expecting it. I think we’ll probably be looking at a technical passer instead

    I have no idea if beefing things up or adding aggression and physicality, i.e Northerning up the team, would work, and suspect that at the very best it would be extremely close in terms of what we lose and gain.

    I’d say it’s an absolute guarantee that whoever the next Arsenal manager is whenever that is will look for more aggression, Northern it up, ensure more cynicism, add extra power or whatever you want to call it. There’s simply no one I’ve seen in the game who wouldn’t do that.

    Pellegrini strikes me as one of the cleanest top level managers of recent times but even he goes in for a lot of rotational fouling against us. Eddie Howe seems a good decent bloke but I believe (didn’t see it) even Bournemouth were having a good kick in the recent game.

    My take is that about 3-5 years AW (after Wenger) something like normality might just return to how we’re reffed- if we do a good job of Northerning it up on the pitch and get in line with the rest of a morally bankrupt game off it,too.

    There’ll be a huge amount of hypocrisy during that process, and probably a huge amount of disciplinary problems, with commentators, rival fans, etc relishing the opportunity to claim we were always full of shit in claiming to be any better than anyone else (we didn’t as it goes, but arseholes with guilty consciences or no conscience won’t give a monkeys about that)

    A hell of a shame and a sad testament to what football has become, but I can’t see things unfolding any other way.

    It’s not over though. We still have a chance, this year and in the immediate future, of seeing the club and indeed manager be rewarded for playing football the right way. I’ve always maintained it’s a matter of us needing to be extra good to overcome the obstacles that shouldn’t be there, and of course needing some good fortune.

    Really hope the result is good this weekend because I do not believe it is at all likely we’ll close a largish (7-10) gap this year

  • upp

    Seems like you’re obsessed with someone, I hope you’re not a voyeur. But thanks for reminding me that it was a match against hull.
    And no, I can’t understand why flamini wouldn’t have expected a charge from diame after all diame was the one attacking with the ball before he got in the way, so he expected diame to just give up like that? Even in amateur football that doesn’t happen. Wether the ref should have blown the whistle or not, if I played I’d anticipate the charge and guard that ball, dig my heels in, legs astride, if I can’t keep my balance when the charge comes, I’m kicking that ball out of play while I’m falling, then I can afford myself the luxury of listening for the refs whistle.
    But that’s just my opinion, you and flamini obviously know better

  • thierryhenry22

    Let’s hope for a fair game. GOYG

  • Rich


    Your comments are memorable is all.

    The best and strongest players in the world can all be pushed off balance; all rely to a degree on knowing when the opposition can and can’t reach a ball fairly; from there it follows they all rely at times on a referee doing their job reasonably well.

    In the incident in question, yep, I do think I know better and can do a decent job of figuring out how the incident went in real time instead of fantasizing about what youd’d do if you had foreknowledge of what was about to happen.

    Your little voyeur thing is handy though. Identifies you as someone who could well be troll who supports another club or as someone who truly hates our current manager and approves of the worst of the shit he has had to put up with. Second is worse for me.

  • finsbury

    The troll is constantly on the blog to try and deflect the comments away from the incontrovertible data.

    Such as the number of officials. For example. No defence can be construed for this deliberate and compromised structure of the PGMOB that has been designed for failure, so you have the troll(s).

    However end data proves to be of continuous interest and continues to correspond to the table (in order to help our troll we should explain that is not an opinion 😉 )

    e.g.: Leicester being the most favoured team by the Riley’s Crows this season (pelanties etc.). A penny for Nigel Pearson’s thoughts on the data following his comments early last season. Apprentice Taylor in charge today.

    We saw the final against Hull. The context of that game. We saw the timing of the hacks upon Ramsey, the F Word and Eddy, and others, in context to a tilt at the league. We saw what happened in the Norwich game and others so often that you stil can’t help but comment on the data even after a victory as it dominates the league. There’s nothing that can be hidden.

    So you have troll(s) on this blog that never ever bring up any numbers. Trying to deflect from the data. The rational inference then dear readers, it is fairly easy to make!

  • tunnygriff

    The lad Xhaka (sp) is a bruiser but can also play as well. There are players like that about. Certain games two physical players in midfield especially away from home

    Whatever happens, in the summer Flamini, Arteta and Rosicky will leave. That is the chance to bring in another physical player to help or rotate with Coquelin.

    We have enough technical attacking players. We need more of a balance imo

  • para

    So that’s it, If Leicester win the PL then i’m going to start believing in their god. She/He/It seems very partial to Leicester. Or is their god the PGMO?

    Seriously, WTF is going on?

  • para

    Sorry, off topic, but still about football.

    Watching Manc v Lei and BT has now started showing(again?) the replays of incidents (in a little round cutout on the main screen), and analysing it. Apparently Manc should have had the pen as contact on knee was over the line.

    I just wonder if this analysis with replays will also happen in Arsenal games?

  • finsbury

    It’s the same old same old old turd. Not sure the polish is working.

    Melo? Mmmmmm….M”Villa?
    Scotty the saviour of D**M Parker?

    Afc are D**Med! D**Med I tells ya!
    Unless that Frenchy Frenchman bucks up his ideas and applies some rosbief to his tippy tappy evil ways.

  • finsbury

    As we saw in N5 in December Hart is far far from the best keeper in the land.

    But he has a good agent!

  • Josif

    So, Kevin Friend has hardly been unfriendly to us this season. One wrong important decision – a penalty not given for Swansea at 0:0 – made by him in two away matches is hardly the reason to be afraid of him. Even the last season’s performance against Everton was in the same bracket – if Naismith’s goal was down to assistant who failed to raise the flag, it leaves us with Wilshere’s red card as the only important decision that got wrong. He did more as a usual PGMO-employee against Sunderland and QPR.

  • finsbury

    Mahrez coached and bought up in the French football coaching fraternity (he’s a French footballer).

    Yup. It’s an easy guess.

  • finsbury

    Friend is undeniably friendlier then most crows but as highlighted in the review and sidestepped by Josif above and as explained in the preview he’s simply a traditional ‘Homer’ selected for this Away fixture, you all know the type (the Away goals rule since C1960…) the type that you never see in N5 🙂

  • Tasos


    Maybe Ozil we leave in the summer. I wouldn’t blame him.

    Ozil is world class and at 27 years old he’s at the prime of his career. His talent is worthy of gracing any stadium in world football.

    I bet Real Madrid would take him back tomorrow, that’s why they inserted that clause in his contract.

    It’s a shame but you’re 100% correct, English football still worships physicality over skill. It brings in the big bucks and that’s what really matters. Meanwhile the rest of the world has long since moved on.

    Elsewhere; Leicester City are 3-0 up and now the new favourites to win the league.

  • WalterBroeckx

    I would sure give some money to someone who could prove to me that it evens out in the end. 🙂
    Pretty sure I can keep my money in my pockets though.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Leicester is doing what Arsenal would do with favourable decisions going our way. I think I saw it on a website somehwere earlier this season that they are the referees favourite pets so far. Arsenal lost at least 5 points because of referees according to that newspaper.
    No, it wasn’t on Untold

  • Josif

    So, THAT’S the winning formula: have a racist English player in your team and the English refs will help you.

  • WalterBroeckx

    So a team like Man City who has been spending all that mony even last summer is losing 0-3 to Leicester at home… Probably it will be the fault of Wenger. Pellegrini should have spend the f*cking money….errrr…. oh he did…

  • Rich


    Brilliantly as Leicester are playing at the moment, I think there’s an even more concerning factor in play if we’re to battle with them.

    The goodwill for them is unprecedented and I happen to share Jambug’s view that a lot of what we hate from referees is a result of them being so tuned into how the media perceive things and shape perceptions.

    In short, the closer Leicester get to doing it, the stronger will be the desire of the public to see them complete the most astonishing story in premier league history, which’ll have a huge impact on refs. Can you imagine being responsible for denying that dream? Could blow your career doing that.

    Feels set for Atkinson or even Dean for the Leicester game, and that there’s big potential to see things which’ll make Mason on Tues look like Collina at his best.

  • Menace

    Taylor – doing his thing for PGMO & China. Poor Aguero kicked like a ball & only after the 3rd kick was there a yellow card. Perhaps this is good for football but certainly good for the gambling syndicates.

  • Tasos


    Man Utd spent the f…ing money also.

    £250M on tosh. The only top quality they signed was Di Maria and he couldn’t wait to get out. Home before his postcards, as they say.

  • Tasos

    A bloodied head injury being treated off the field of play in the Man City game.

    One rule for Arsenal, one rule everyone else.

  • finsbury

    Thailand not China? The Friends of Shinawatra (I know nothing of this topic or region but I guess that someone out there could tell us all and write a guest post for untold if they so desired 🙂 )

  • finsbury

    After Riley raised his Lord and master to his last and all important title at a cost of all remaining credibility with a squad that had no midfield and two retired CBs safe to say that anything is possible in this league 😉

    As others have highlighted above the media hype will now dwarf that which surrounded Liverpool two seasons ago.

  • Hope Leicester win the League.5th place for us, new manager surely.

  • Rich

    Quite amused that since being very unlucky with a call in that semi against City, Everton have been awarded 3 pens in 100 minutes of football.

    They were on 0 for year before that.

    Not seen any of the calls bar the 2nd one in midweek (pretty soft), and while it could be a big ole coincidence it falls nicely in line with the idea that behind the scenes instructions might not be given to invent something out of nothing but things are certainly said to lead refs in a particular direction.

    ‘We fucked them with the Terry offside, they went out of the cup because of the wrong call the other night, no pens this year… erm…make sure you don’t miss anything for them for a while,lads’

  • Al

    Anyone who can’t see the pigmob machinations is an idiot, no other way of looking at it. And that goes for anyone that swallows the drivel spouted in the media line hook and sinker. Just like Rich pointed out, what a coincidence that Everton gets screwed against Chelsea and City and then get 3 penalties in their next 2 games? Or, as Tasos pointed out, we see a player being treated off the pitch for a head wound, yet we saw one treated on the pitch at Emirates for FOUR minutes.

    I see it amongst my friends too, those I wouldn’t call the sharpest knives in the drawer (everyone has got at least one friend like that surely 🙂 ) are the most likely to take everything they read in the media as gospel… Well, at least that’s what I see in the few WOBs I know personally.

  • Pete

    Re Man City – Leicester, see it is being refereed by Man U “local” Anthony Taylor. Why are the referees assigned so provocatively?

  • Pete

    Tipster – I don’t know who you support but it certainly isn’t Arsenal.

  • upp

    Hmmmmm, so since the expected liecester collapse is refusing to show up, it’s now “liecester, pgmo darlings”. The title given to any team that seems to be doing well at the moment (except arsenal of course, the only team who’ve earned their place at the top). From man utd to citeh to. Liverpool, Tottenham, West Ham, crystal palace, Southampton etc,all have been pgmo darlings, except for arsenal. I wonder who gets the advantage eventually

  • @Pete, I’ve supported Arsenal for over fourty years. To succeed we need hunger and desire, don’t see it with the current set up. Arsene has to much control and no accountability. Like old dictators in Eastern Europe, surrounded by yes men. For me yep, finish 5th wish Arsenal all the best and move on. New manager who has something to prove.

  • Btw, what’s the point in finishing 4th, qualify for the champs league but we’ll never win it.

  • Tasos


    “As an example of a powerful midfielder, there’s no better choice than Wanyama (very unlikely to ever join Arsenal in my opinion), I reckon he could hold his own with the monsters of rugby”.

    “I bet his most effective game this year was against us at their place. My take is that in our side he would have undoubtedly been booked early on playing like that, and if he carried on would have been off. Also he would’ve conceded a lot of fouls in his own half”.

    “Interestingly, he was promptly sent off in his next game, and I expect that’s happened regularly over the years, when players get away with a lot playing against us and don’t make the required re-adjustment for the next game”.

    Brilliant post. Absolutely spot on mate.

    Wanyama has just been sent-off for the 3rd time this season and the second consecutive time directly after playing Arsenal.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    On Leicester’s 3rd, Robert Huth CLEARLY had his hands not only on the defender’s shoulders but clamped around his neck from which he jumped.

  • Steve Vallins

    You’re right Wanyama been sent off you couldn’t script it

  • Menace

    Tipster – you’re a hypocrite. ‘To succeed we need hunger & desire’. To support we also need hunger & desire but most of all understanding of those given control. You think you know better than Wenger yet you want Arsenal to fail. 40 years of bollocks if your desire is negative.

  • Menace

    Tipster – have you ever heard of financial gain? $th place is a huge amount of money. Enough to make a thousand trophies. Trophies are for glory hunters, 4th place pyas the bills. After the bills are paid trophies are good to chase, not that Arsenal have ever not chased trophies!

    THe dim just do not understand. In Goa you guys are called tubelights (because you take several flashes before you glow with understanding).

  • Mandy Dodd

    No true Arsenal supporter would ever want them to fail.
    And even if we did finish fifth, the manager they despise so much would not be sacked, so what’s the gain in finishing fifth?
    as pointed out, the money the ECL brings in has been vital, let’s see if others can finish in the top four every year with new stadia.
    All the media/aaa go on about is what Wenger spends on the first team squad. But there are huge sums being spent on upgrades to the youth setup, academy and training , fitness and medical facilities. Things have slipped on the youth front, but as Eduardo posted on PA today, they aim to go head to head with Chelsea on this front from now, producing waves of players,, some of whom will make the first team, others will bring,in money from loans or, transfers.
    These upgrades will benefit the club in years, decades to come. It is all part of a big plan, that rarely gets more than a few lines in the press.
    As for Wanyama, I would be very surprised to see him at Arsenal, he is just a stopper who plays on lenient refs, we rarely get those. Wenger signs ball players , not just stoppers.

  • Al

    As pointed out already by Tasos and others, your 11:50am post was right on the money. One could say almost psychic infact. But I doubt very much you’ve any psychic powers or ability :), just that you can see what goes on every week before our very own eyes (that others refuse to see) and are able to interpret it for what it is, hence your accurate prediction.

  • Rich


    Ha, no psychic abilities here. I’d be sweetening the pain on the bad days with a trip to the bookies if that were the case.

    Might be worth a punt next year though if our game against Southampton follows a similar pattern. If Koeman’s a smart bloke though he might have picked up on it now and spend the week telling Wanyama to clean up his act, after telling him to dirty it up for us of course.

    Next week… I’m seeing… probably Atkinson or even…no, no, it can’t be.. Dean… and we can’t breathe on Vardy in the box or in last man positions.

  • Al

    Yes, most likely going to be Atkinson next week. Heard city could have had two penalties today…, and if they can do that to city I am afraid it’ll be twice as bad for us. I saw Paul Merson on Sky this morning drooling at the prospect of what ‘a Leicester title win will do for this league’. I’ll be happy for them if they win it, no doubt about that, but not if its handed to them on a platter.

  • Menace, so we just play to make money, not glory. Strange.

  • Menace

    Tipster – If you put your underpants on after your trousers they’d call you Superman.

    Wenger always puts financial stability before sporting glory. Remember what happened to Leeds. Lose control of the money & glory will not feed you. Wenger has been a breath of fresh air in his holistic approach to the game. His control of finance before chasing glory is something to behold. The Sheiks have had money spurting out of the ground & only seek glory. Unfortunately our club has had to earn every penny that is spent. If you feel strongly about glory then please sell all your assets & forward the money to Arsenal. In fact all of you who feel it’s time for Wenger to go, get your money together & buy the club. Your opinion & attitude will soon change when it is your money on the line.

  • Been reading the above comments with great interest just wish to clarify make sure I’m understanding.menace,al,rich, are you now saying that the referees will ensure that Leicester will win the prem title and that they are and will remain the media darlings for the rest of this season ? So we can expect no more suspect decisions for the oil money or for man united or Spurs they will all be subject to the same biase as you say Arsenal are ?

  • Florian

    Tom Quinn,

    It’s a possibility. The dark horse coming out of nowhere and stealing the title, that has a lot of implications.

    On the refs front: I fully expect the same level of bias or worse for (well, against) us, and a normal bias for the oil money. The away fixtures are a bit worrying, but it’s not for the first time. I’d be more concerned with Spuds than with Manure, the former have some sort of team put together, while the latter are just 11 players on a pitch.

    On the standings front: It’s the dark horse that steals one of the 4 places, and makes the competition even more cut-throat. Luckily for us we have more than enough quality to stay there, but this time we are up against 4, and the finish is going to be tight. But then again, we’ve been there before.

  • Florian

    I watched the Manc-Leicester match recorded, and mostly on high speed. Leicester didn’t score from well constructed open play. Two set pieces and one counter attack. They seem to be a team that does a few things well when presented with the opportunity. Normally I wouldn’t worry very much for our encounter, especially since it’s at the Ems, but indeed, with the refs you never know.

  • Menace

    tom quinn – I am not saying anything about referees choice of victor, except that they are incompetent. They are blatently biased against Arsenal for years. How can abuse of the Laws of the game not be questioned by the so called sports media or the pundits? Is it because they do not know the Laws? or is it just me being paranoid?

    Man City had the rough end of decisions v Leicester but that is indicative of competence.

    I do not care who wins other matches but when Arsenal are robbed of a fair honest match because of bent officials I am angry. There are some more blatent than others, Dean being the worst at the moment. The Chelsea game should have been voided by the FA & a replay ordered. It was so bad that Football lost credibility.

  • Florian sorry mate I’m a bit confused from the comments above it seems that some of you are saying Leicester will got the referee backing to ensure they win the title that being the case how can man city Spurs or man unto also get that backing they can’t all win the title

  • @Menace, no I’m not saying spend what we can’t afford, we reward players with super wages, our wage bill is the 4th largest in the league I think, a lot of our players are overpaid. Theo?, Gibbs, Arteta to name only 3. Let’s get a grip on the underperformers, also we have a war chest of money., £200 million some say, we should have bought Saureze for 50million when we had the chance, instead we have second rate strikers under no pressure. Ozil and sanchez are class, the players are out there if Arsene has the mental strength and belief to push us on . But he’s lost his drive and is to far behind the new breed of managers to change.

  • Menace

    I off to see the Carnival in Goa & will be back to watch the game. Come on you Arsenal boys & play to win. Show some aggression so that all the aaa get some joy.

  • Hi Menace, enjoy your day.

  • finsbury

    New breed of managers? Straight from the Groaners stable of gibberish.
    Whereyou’ll find such crusty manure once dropped in praise by these same disingenious haters of AFC for such Great Football managers as Rodgers, Moyers..etc. Coyle!

    Completely & utterly uncredible trolls. In their own words.

  • finsbury

    New breed my arsenal.

    No wonder none of the AAA ever suggested Pellegrini all these long years. Or Biesla (Poccha’s godfather). Why did you never see the troll trolling with these names these long years? Simple. Because it is completely and entirely disingenious.

  • Finsbury, so the is no one better than Wenger….emm