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Would Arsenal have won, Chelsea have lost and Liverpool only drawn a year ago?

By Tony Attwood

We won the opening game – which is all you can ask – although we also did it with a very exciting match which is a nice bonus.

But watching the Chelsea defeat to Burnley I began to wonder as the game went on, whether the result would have been possible a year ago.   Could it just possibly be that the refereeing spectrum is swinging a little back into our favour?

My impression (and I am only giving that – my impression, not a set of analyses of the type that our referee team have given over the years) is that Fabregas would not have been sent off because the sarcastic applause would “not have been seen”, and thus the overall red might have been a yellow.

The only criticism one could make is that I thought the second Fabregas yellow should have been a red.

But if one looks back to the awful match between Chelsea and Tottenham in which both teams appeared to have no thought other than to kick the other, the refereeing now is nothing like this.  Indeed just consider how it went in 2016

So what happened?  Did the PGMO say, “hang on guys, we’ve gone a bit too far in being nice to Tottenham and Chelsea”?  Maybe so.

But there is, as I have been trying to suggest, something amiss with Chelsea, and in particular with their owner and his financial affairs.  But if there has also been some sort of change in the way in which refereeing is being undertaken, that could certainly harm them as well.

Added to this, there is, I suspect, an arrogance that arises in the champions of the Premier League these days  – a sort of belief that they can have and do whatever they want.  After all, by and large the Premier League itself does whatever it wants, and this doubles up with the Champions.  Arrogance has become the ruler of everything.

Certainly Chelsea showed this in the fiasco over Chelsea vs the Chelsea Medical Team.   It looked all the way through that Chelsea had no chance of winning when they went to the tribunal.  Rather it was a case of “We are Chelsea, she’s a woman, she’s bound to back down,” which of course didn’t happen.  It was Chelsea that caved in, and gave their ex-employee everything she required.

More than anything else it shows a club with its eye very much not on the ball.

What Chelsea clearly have wanted to do is establish a dominance akin to that of Manchester United under Ferguson, Liverpool under the Boot Room, and Arsenal under the Chapman – Shaw – Allison – Whittaker continuum.    But with the owner distracted and too much belief in their inviolability it means there is the need to rethink.

Of course, self-belief to the extent of swamping reality is the sort of thing Liverpool have engaged in, but they were up against a contuation of too much belief.

If we look at Liverpool across the last ten years however it is hard to see where this comes from

Season P W D L F A Pts Pos FAC Lge Cup
2007–08 38 21 13 4 67 28 76 4th R5 R5
2008–09 38 25 11 2 77 27 86 2nd R4 R4
2009–10 38 18 9 11 61 35 63 7th R3 R4
2010–11 38 17 7 14 59 44 58 6th R3 R3
2011–12 38 14 10 14 47 40 52 8th RU W
2012–13 38 16 13 9 71 43 61 7th R4 R4
2013–14 38 26 6 6 101 50 84 2nd R5 R3
2014–15 38 18 8 12 52 48 62 6th SF SF
2015–16 38 16 12 10 63 50 60 8th R4 RU
2016–17 38 22 10 6 78 42 76 4th R4 SF

This is not a set of results of a club that is seriously challenging for trophies.  I know that the FA Cup is not a trophy, but Liverpool haven’t even won the not-a-trophy.

What is interesting is that in the Liverpool game one of the Watford goals was off-side – and yet instead of this immediately being given to Liverpool with the Watford player being taken out and executed by a PGMO firing squad, the off side was simply not given.

Meanwhile we do have an update on “being seen at the airport”.   Allegedly Alexis’ Twitter account has shown he is in Paris, and therefore signing today for PSG.  Be interesting to see where that one goes.

Oh yes and there is a spot of transfer news.  Asensio.  “£72m attacker demands emergency talks with club after Arsenal make transfer move” according to the headlines.

Tottenham won away today as was to be expected.  Their quest is to equal Arsenal’s run of home straight wins at their home ground – Wembley.

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28 comments to Would Arsenal have won, Chelsea have lost and Liverpool only drawn a year ago?

  • para

    I’ve mentioned it twice already. There is indeed a change in attitudes to Arsenal in media etc.

    Either Arsenal has taken them to course in private meetings with proof or Arsenal has given up and joined them.

    //
    Arsenal need to work at our defence, because goals shipped will be our undoing, even if we win the game. (GD) It dont matter how many goals we score if we only beat a team by one goal.

    //
    It is clear to most that what ever Arsenal say about Alexis “not being sold”, he is surplus to requirements at Arsenal (due to his wanting away) if the “deal” gets done, else he will play some(smaller) part in Arsenal’s season.

    After all we cannot rely on a player who wants away and is not let go, however much one thinks he will play his heart out because he loves football.

    That saga has not ended yet for real.

  • MickHazel

    para
    ‘Arsenal need to work at our defence,’
    I know you are inclined to be one of the more negative commenters on Untold but surely you must have noticed that we had not a single one of our four most experienced central defenders available on Friday. I suggest you save the above comment until such time when we concede three sloppy goals whilst playing with our normal full strength defence.

  • Nitram

    Tony

    Lets hope so, but…..

    “Could it just possibly be that the refereeing spectrum is swinging a little back into our favour?”

    I seem to remember the referees starting last season in a similar vain. The media hated it and magnified 10 times every little thing that was adjudged to of ‘gone our way’. The men in black heeded there masters and soon enough returned to type.

    “…..is that Fabregas would not have been sent off because the sarcastic applause would “not have been seen”, and thus the overall red might have been a yellow.”

    Fair point, but I have to agree that his second Yellow should of been a straight Red. So in reality he still has ‘got away with it’ to a degree, because a straight Red would of been a 3 game ban as opposed to the 1 I believe he will get for his 2 Yellows

    “So what happened? Did the PGMO say, “hang on guys, we’ve gone a bit too far in being nice to Tottenham and Chelsea”? Maybe so.”

    Maybe for Chelsea but alas not regarding Spurs it seems, not if today is anything to go by anyway.

    As for Chelsea. I have to agree there is a strange aura swirling around this entire club. From the personal affairs of the owner, to the constant griping of the manager, through to the ill discipline of the players.

    Personally I think with the 2 Manchester Clubs having arguably the 2 highest profile managers in the World at there respective helms, allied to them spending more money than we have national debt, they are creaming themselves over that duel playing out throughout the entire season.

    They don’t care whether Chelsea are involved are not. Chelsea are last years model.

    I think the hope is that Spurs will be the joker in the pack, and everything will be done to ensure they are.

    I think Liverpool, or rather Klopp, is already a bit’ last years model’ too.

    As for us. Well similar to last year, I think the good start from Dean (well relatively anyway) is more down to the fact that we are not seen as a threat. Most pundits have us out of the top four, some the top 6 even. Put simply, we are not worth cheating out of anything……..yet.

    But you mark my words, if, 5 or 6 games down the line we are looking like the real deal and realist contenders for the title, the worms will turn in an instant.

  • Dom

    As for the Sanchez saga…let it go ! Either he stays and helps us in our quest for the Holy Grail or he goes and we just continue without him. Either way i’m not losing any sleep over it, i’ll just be glad when the ‘mercato’ closes and these stupid rumours about who’s leaving Arsenal and who’s rejected coming to Arsenal STOP.

  • nicky

    Although we know so little of the behind the scenes action (or lack of it) concerning Alexis and his future at the Ems, I hope the does go to PSG or someone foreign.
    And before the transfer window closes.
    While it has been easy so far for Arsene Wenger to hold Alexis to his contract for another year, it is neither good business or plain common sense.
    We should take advantage of the situation before it’s too late.
    In a nice way, get rid and invest in new blood. 😉

  • Nitram

    Dom

    I think your “let it go” remark is aimed at the wrong people.

    It is the media hacks who constantly regurgitate the same shite day after day. All untold do, usually via the wizened old sage Sir Hardly, is to highlight the banality of it all, in a humorous tongue in cheek way.

    Which to my mind is the best way to deal with it. It’s either that, or just ignore it, which is probably the best option for you. Personally I think it’s just more fun to take the piss.

  • Nitram

    nicky

    But invest in who?

    I believe that is exactly what Wenger would do, IF, there was a marque signing available, but there is not, at least not that we can ever afford.

    In which case keeping him could be the difference between a real bash at the title and falling short, and if we did win the title what would he do then?

    One things for sure, he’d have to change his reasons for leaving wouldn’t he, and wouldn’t that make him look a tad foolish.

    I just don’t think it’s as simple as ‘cash in’ or ‘get rid’.

    It’s more complicated than that.

    All I know is, Wenger will try to do whatever he thinks is best for Arsenal, and that’s all we can ask.

  • John L

    Tottenham today were not impressive. Until Newcastle went down to 10 men, they never looked like scoring, even against a depleted side which lost 2 defenders to injury in the early stages (one thanks to a foul by the current greatest footballer on earth.)

    As for Man Utd. it is hard to judge, since it seemed to me that West Ham came expecting to lose and did not offer much of a contest. Even so, the final score did not seem a true reflection of the game. However, it will reinforce the media claims that they are expected / certain to be champions this season and that only Man City and Spurs can even offer a challenge to them.

  • nicky

    @ Nitram,
    When a guy declines to extend his contract AND wants to play in the CL (impossible this season with Arsenal)I think his time is up at the Ems.
    It’s far too risky to hope that we win the EPL and Alexis has a change of heart.
    I’m sure Arsene Wenger has a shopping list in mind as he has had during every Window.
    But I do agree with you that Wenger will do what is best for Arsenal FC, as he has always done since his arrival. 😉

  • Nicky I am not sure about the notion that keeping Alexis is not good business or common sense.
    Yes Arsenal could get maybe £50m for him, but would we find another player of his quality for this coming season who would be on the ball and on the mark from day one? Maybe, but maybe not, and if the club has not found the player who we can buy who is likely to get straight off the mark, then losing him would be a real setback for this year.
    It would also generate a major fan reaction if Arsenal sold him and didn’t replace with a player who was instantly that good.
    Remember although Alexis scored 24 league goals for us this past season, he only scored 16 in his first season and 13 in his second. That is not uncommon – so his value is highly enhanced by his now being in Season 4.
    I dont believe Arsenal is hard up for cash, and I do believe we will splash out again when the right player is there. But it might be a player who needs a year to adjust (or indeed maybe such a player is already there and just needs another year to come through).
    So keeping him this year costs £50m lost transfer fee, but saves maybe £10m in salaries, and possibly helps us to win the League. If we do, then out ability to recruit again at the highest level is enhanced.
    I think it is not too much of a risk, and is a move well worth taking. I am looking forward to a forward line of Alexis, Lacazette and Giroud!

  • para

    MickHazel
    Of course i realise that.
    And i am not always negative, that is just your perspective.

    I am positive when i have something to be positive about(like us winning).
    I am also negative when i have something to be negative about(like us letting in so many goals).

    That way i am experiencing my own subjective reality instead of the objective realities of others, whether positive or negative.

    This keeps me balanced and away from extremism.

  • Davsta

    Are you sure that Watford goal was offside? It seemed to me that the ball was not played forward but square or possibly even backward. It then appeared to get a faint flick off the pool defender before being tucked away. It could be that media sympathy toward poor old Kloppy has everyone convinced that it wasn’t a good goal?

  • GoingGoingGooner

    I don’t fully understand those that think letting a contract run down is ‘losing’ a player.

    The assumption seems to be that by selling a player with one year left at their salary plus an incoming transfer fee that we will make money. This assumes that we will spend less replacing them and that the incoming player will be more productive on the pitch than the outgoing player. Both of these assumptions are just that…assumptions. How can we be certain that a newer player has a lower total cost and that he will be better than the one we are selling(taking into account motivation, skill and bedding in time)

    And buying and selling is not always easy, especially late in the window. Teams that pay a lot to get players to play for them often find it not so easy to sell them and on the flip side, not everyone feels obliged to sell just because some tabloid, team or agent wants them to. Key players are not easy to replace.

    I just think that all this talk about Sanchez or his dog leaving us is (until it happens) just that…talk.

    Imagine a world where there were no transfers…cheaper players, no agents…nah, couldn’t happen.

  • Sammy The Snake

    There is always January for selling Alexis. We can have him for half a season, and then get some decent money for him.

  • nicky

    Tony,
    I bow to your superior knowledge. However I was not proposing attempting to sign another Alexis. We already have Lacasette, Welbeck and Giroud, although I’m sure your idea of playing them together wasn’t serious.
    Next year Alexis reaches 30 and the way he gets “stuck in” I feel injuries a la Wilshere may start to catch up with him.
    I quite like Sammy the Snake’s idea to have a rethink over the situation during the January Window. 😉

  • Josif

    Why would any club buy Alexis in January if they can sign him for free in June-July (provided that he doesn’t extend the contract and I still hope we’ll be top of the league so that he will want to stay for at least two more years)?

    Big transfers in January rarely take place, especially between big clubs. Rare examples I can think of happened in January 2011 (Suarez from Ajax to Liverpool, Torres from Liverpool to Chelsea). It’s a logical thing – you need some time for a player to gel with his team-mates and if you sign him in January, you will expect him to succeed straight away. The tricky part is, there is no winter break in England so you don’t have those two months you have during summer to fit the player into the squad.

    Also, big clubs usually play European competitions. Now, Alexis won’t play Group Stage of CL so, in theory, if we sell him to a CL club in January, he could be available to play in The Knockout Stage of CL even if he plays for us in Europa League.

    If we have three attacking positions, then we have Mesut, Alexis and Lacazette as our strongest trident but we also have other options: Mesut, Alexis and Giroud, Mesut, Lacazette and Giroud, Alexis, Lacazette and Giroud…and let’s not forget we have Welbeck and Iwobi (maybe our best player in the preseason) as well.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    First of all, has Alexis said he want to leave Arsenal because they did not qualify for the CL or because of higher wage demand dispute? I think the latter is the case rather than the former. Arsenal are reportedly said in the media to be preparing to offer Alexis a new £300k/w wage to tempt him to extend his stay with them and also offer Ozil a new weekly wage of £225k to tempt him also to see if he too will extend his stay with them. But we’ve heard Arsenal have done so. But maybe they’ll do so we don’t know. But let’s wait to see if they’ll do so. For, keeping these duo and have them to extend their staying with us beyond this season will enhance our challenging to win titles this season.

    Man Utd are currenlty on top of the table with 3 points and superior +4 goals difference as against Arsenal in 5th place with +1 goal difference. Had Arsenal not conceded that horrendous 3 goals to Leicester last Friday night, they would have topped the table on alphabetical order after the conclusion of the week one PL games today.

    At Stoke City on Saturday, Le Prof and the Gunners should not in their thinking whatsoever contemplate conceding any goals to the Potters there, but recovered the lost ground in GD of -3 they’ve lost to Man U this week by beating the Potters resoundingly well by as many goals they can score over there to remain among the front runners and not fall behind early in this season’s PL title chase campaign. To start falling behind early in the campaign could prove to be disastrous for any falling behind team later on during the campaign.

  • Nitram

    Josif

    I know Theo had a poor 2nd half to last season, but as I remember he was sensational in the first half of the season, and he doesn’t get a mention, even as an after thought, a la Welbeck and Iwobi.

    I think he still has a lot to offer, and I’m sure he will have a role to play, injuries accepted, this season.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    First of all, has Alexis said he wants to leave Arsenal because they did not qualify for the CL or because of higher wage demand dispute? I think the latter is the case rather than the former. Arsenal are reportedly said in the media to be preparing to offer Alexis a new £300k/w wage to tempt him to extend his stay with them and also offer Ozil a new weekly wage of £225k to tempt him also to see if he too will extend his stay with them. But we’ve not heard Arsenal have done so. But maybe they’ll do so we don’t know. But let’s wait to see if they’ll do so. For, keeping these duo and have them to extend their staying with us beyond this season will enhance our challenging to win titles this season.

    Man Utd are currenlty on top of the table with 3 points and superior +4 goals difference as against Arsenal in 5th place with +1 goal difference. Had Arsenal not conceded that horrendous 3 goals to Leicester last Friday night, they would have topped the table on alphabetical order after the conclusion of the week one PL games today.

    At Stoke City on Saturday, Le Prof and the Gunners should not in their thinking whatsoever, contemplate conceding any goals to the Potters there, but recovered the lost ground in GD of -3 they’ve lost to Man U this week by beating the Potters resoundingly well by as many goals they can score over there to remain among the front runners and not fall behind early in this season’s PL title chase campaign. To start falling behind early in the campaign could prove to be disastrous for any falling behind team later on during the campaign.

    Sorry for my posting twice.

  • Mandy Dodd

    If Arsenal sell Alexis, I feel they would reduce chances of a top four place this season, and the manager would lose a lot of credibility after so many statements we are keeping him. That would not go down well in many quarters. I hope the club keep him, but with the caveat they are going,to have to work very hard and act very quickly to replace Sanchez, and perhaps Ox, Caz, and Ozil next summer, that is going to be some task, it will cost ,the club need to be up for it,

  • Menace

    John L – that greatest player should have had a red card for his flying scissor tackle. How some things are seen and some aren’t is part of the mystery of PGMOL. Problem is that would upset the record breaking run of years without a red card.

  • Nicky, I don’t mean to claim superior knowledge. In fact most of the time I feel it is rather the opposite – especially when events (as so often) prove me wrong!

  • nicky

    @Mandy D,
    You may be right but the trouble today is that professional football is big business with economists and accountants wielding great power and influence.
    They would not, I’m sure, favour the risk of holding Alexis to his current contract and then seeing him walking away on a “free”.
    I wish we could return to the days when the sporting aspect was of prime importance, rather than the never-ending search for revenue. (Think of the multiple issue of players’ kits as an example). 😉

  • Sam Sayyed

    I mentioned in one of my comments here last week that maybe the Referees start cleaning up their act with the impending VAR implementation next year as too much of a sudden shift may put a spotlight on them.

    I also think that Arsenal will win the title within 2-3 seasons of VAR being implemented.

    Having said that, Kane wasn’t given a deserved red card yesterday. He managed to escape with a yellow.

  • Andy Mack

    Every season the officials start the season trying to change certain aspects of the way the game is played in the PL. I don’t know if it’s driven by the PGMO or by the PL or even by the FA, but every season starts with a different style of refereeing.

    That’s not to say that they’re trying to do everything right (because they’re too set in their ways of doing most of it wrong) but every season starts with a new ‘initiative’.

    Last season a few CBs were shocked to find that in the first 3 or 4 games, they weren’t allowed to use MMA/Rugby union style tactics when defending corners (IIRC Dean was one of the main drivers of this), but this correct refereeing was soon forgotten for the old style refereeing of ‘I’ll call a foul if my team need the help’…

    There’s a vague chance that some of this seasons initiatives may be here to stay in view of the impending video ref review system of seasons ahead, but my money is on them forgetting it and going back to the ref doing whatever he’s been told to do by Mike ‘The RingMaster’ Riley, as per previous seasons.

  • Nitram

    Sam Sayyed

    I really hope you are right, alas I have serious doubts. And this is for why.

    “Having said that, Kane wasn’t given a deserved red card yesterday. He managed to escape with a yellow.”

    And can I ask.

    Did the commentators or annalists doing the game suggest it should of been a Red card?

    Did any of the radio station pundits suggest it should of been a red card?

    Have any of the morning papers said it should of been a Red card?

    Because going by all I’ve read on untold there seems little doubt that that is what it should of been.

    And that’s my worry. Even when the evidence is there in front of their noses, in slow motion, and from a dozen different angles, if the media do not want to see it as a red card, they wont. And as such, whenever x y or z are sitting in their little ‘review bunker’, watching the same replays the pundits are watching, don’t you think they’ll still be feeling the same pressure’s to tow the media line they’ve always towed?

    Don’t you think they’d know damn well that the pundits will be defending Kane to the hilt?

    In which case, don’t you think they know that sending Kane sent off on review would cause uproar?

    Put it this way. They’d only do it once.

    And don’t you think that similarly when it comes to reviewing a transgression by one of our players, they’d know exactly what’s being said in the TV studios?

    Don’t you think they know they’d be slaughtered if they failed to apply the laws of the game to the harshest extent when it came to us ?

    I know some will think I’m being paranoid, but I’ve watched over 10years of us being screwed left right and centre by referees, and personally I think VAR has the potential to make it even worse, if that’s possible.

    Just as a ‘for example’:

    Take last Friday. Both hand balls probably would of been reviewed and I’d bet my bottom dollar which one would of been punished and which one wouldn’t.

    MOTD didn’t even show the Leicester City hand ball. Cant over turn a decision if it’s not even worth a second look can you?

    Honestly, I’m dreading VAR coming in.

  • Menace

    Nitram – yes there were TV comments the Kane was lucky to get away with a yellow.

  • Nitram

    Menace

    Thanks for that.

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