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Arsenal 13, Birmingham 6, time wasting 25

By Tony Attwood

After about ten minutes of this game the question arose – can the ref do anything about a playing who feigns injury, and then, when the other team pause to see if he is ok, leaps up uninjured and tries to get the ball back.

We debated it, because that’s what we saw very early on in the game – not that you would know from most of the commentaries around.

Anyway, the considered view in block 99 row 10 was no, the ref could do nothing, because lying on the ground is not actually an offence in football.

Nor come to that is serial time-wasting anymore, although I am sure there is something somewhere in the rules about it.  But again that’s what we saw.  10 seconds holding the ball by the keeper, 30 seconds or more to retrieve the ball and take a goal kick, the keeper rushing the full length of the pitch to remonstrate and argue.  It is, it seems the modern game.

But, to be fair, at least Birmingham City don’t do 50 second throw ins with assisted towel, nor multiple physios on the pitch as we saw against East Grinstead Britain or whoever it was for the last home game.

Against the bluenoses we had 13 goal attempts to their six, eight on target against three.  Fabianski and Wilshere had good games I thought, and indeed just how good Wilshere is, is revealed in the programme for the game, which shows the phenomenally high number of passes of his that actually make it.  As the great Lord Wenger said, at least according to press reports, “Wilshere is a complete player. He played defensively well, offensively well, and overall he had a very influential game.”   How true that was both of this game, and all the recent games.

So he is out for three league games, but I guess not for Euro matches, and anyway fortunately El Cesc might pop up at some time soon.  How lovely to have choice in the squad.

But to return to Fabianski – I really thought he was extremely competent, if not outstanding on a couple of occasions.  Being at the game of course is always different from watching it with replays on TV, but from where I sit, to the right of the goal Arsenal were attacking in the first half, it looked to me like he made a number of good saves, and had a few excellent punches out too.  The clearances with his fist were determined, sure, and not something you would want to get your jaw in the way of.  Finally it seems he can go into a match certain there isn’t going to be a problem.

(Incidentally I am not sure what has happened to Mannone but Szczesny was the sub keeper, which maybe keeps him a little happier if the press reports are to be believed – which normally they are not).

Bendtner came on for a while, Theo ran up and down the line a lot, Denilson and Vela were there if required, and for once we have the chance to change the team around a bit for the midweek game before playing the arabs next week.   It wasn’t a great game, but the prognostications are not as awful as the usual disaster-movie watchers like to make out.

Moving on: here’s a funny thing – and maybe someone can help me out here.  In the middle of the Birmingham supporters (an area directly across the diagonal of the pitch from where I am) there was a bunch of people all wearing yellow (at least I think it was yellow – my colour memory is not very good).  Were they just people all wearing one colour, or were they people who had messages on or what?  If you know, do tell.

A final thought.   Birmingham City FC are certainly not aware that anything was wrong with the Taylor tackle on Eduardo – even now after all this time.  Here’s what their manager said after the game…

“We’ve had to put up with the ‘Eduardo stuff’ for the last couple of years every time we play Arsenal.  Even in the programme today, the interviewer says he’s going to interview Eduardo ‘about that tackle’. It’s scandalous. Martin Taylor is not a dirty player.”

So, let’s get this right.  Arsenal talking about Eduardo when Eduardo comes back to the Ems for the Champs League game, is “scandalous.”   Exactly what planet in the Insanity Nebula is Mr McLeish on?

19 comments to Arsenal 13, Birmingham 6, time wasting 25

  • Dark Prince

    Though a win was what we needed but i think we have to step up a bit and start winning and keep clean sheets as well.

  • Dark Prince

    I’m still pretty disappointed that we have only 1 clean sheet in the league so far. Plus we have conceded in our last 15 consecutive away games. Hope we can bring a stop to this.

  • walter

    Tony,
    I will give an answer on the time waisting matter or better said will try to give an answer as it is not the simplest question to answer in fact.

  • notlager

    Dark Prince,

    when’s the time you’re not disappointed? Lose moan, win moan. You nitpickers are getting on my nerves.

  • Arsene Apprentice

    Sadly in regards to time wasting if the players are not honest enough than the play is going to be much like the South Americans where if you are even looked at the wrong way you go down like a bunch of bricks… And what it amounts to is boring cheats..

  • Arsene Apprentice

    Tony,
    Not to put you on the spot or maybe an article is forth coming on the fury over “that” Tayloresque tackle by the young Brit.. “the considered view in block 99 row 10” was?

  • Rhys Jaggar

    I think we can all agree that Scott Carson took lessons from Kirkland’s Wigan display a few years ago and that LFab had studied Jens Lehmann’s response when Arsenal were leading 2-1.

    I don’t think I can agree that you measure the ferocity of a tackle by its outcome. There are tackles I’m amazed someone gets up from (notably Andy Johnson after Bendtner assaulted him at Goodison in 2007/08 – don’t argue, the still pictures show his boot, studs up, half way up Johnson’s leg – nowhere near his ankle, no different from the Eduardo tackle, in fact….. And there are those I can’t credit caused an injury as they appeared to be innocuous. Finally, there are the horror tackles which maimed………

    What is important is that Wilshere’s challenge was studs up, caused by a loss of control and a lunge in, late, and that the certain outcome of the challenge would be to take away a planted leg of an opponent. Agreed, not at knee height, but high enough to cause serious injury if things had turned out differently.

    What I think this and many other sites should examine coolly should be what percentage of ‘horror tackles’ result from one of the two players losing control of the ball. Which is what causes two players to go in 50:50 at full tilt.

    What I don’t expect from anyone on this site is any more rubbish that Wilshere’s tackle was ‘hardly bad’. It was appalling. He’s just lucky that he DIDN’T break someone’s leg.

    You’ll note I make no comments about comparing that tackle with ones committed against Arsenal players.

    So please, don’t start coming back with that kind of crap.

    And please don’t suggest that I’m not supporting Arsenal by saying what I just said. What I said supports FOOTBALL.

    And I note that both Wenger and Wilshere fronted up about that tackle yesterday.

    So it’d be a jolly good idea if Arsenal fans did likewise…..

  • Adam

    Maybe those of you that attend the games should start a loud count every time the keeper has the ball or the ball is in the hands of a throw in or corner taker. Be proactive. Highlight the refs inability to count.

  • Finsbury

    Of course it was a ‘bad tackle’. But it was not in the same league as others seen this season.
    A PHD in bio-mechanics is not necessary in order to understand that there is less force in the impact then if he’d taken a longer run up and was flying through the air, wearing his Biggles goggles, and kicking instead of sliding. Which is what the manager refers to in the programme: the flying kicks through the air bit. JW slides in way too late, is off the ground for a fraction, but not at impact. With the help of a few caluclators and camera’s etc. there’s no need to be surprised as to why he didn’t ‘break a leg’.

    Let’s hope that red card is the average PL referee’s standard for the rest of the season?

  • Dark Prince

    notlager- i love gettin on ur nerves 🙂 the true character of a champion side is when you try to improve even when you have won.

  • Dark Prince

    btw Arsenal stand at 16th position in the fair play rankings. That must be the lowest in Wenger’s tenure.

  • slim

    Good point about time wasting, but can’t claim we’ve been completely innocent on the feigning injury front though. Lehmann a couple years back against Bolton (I think) comes to mind.

  • Donnyfan1

    The yellow may have been worn by McMillan Nurse charity supporters. They are the official charity of the FA this year and were out in force nationally on Saturday. They do a fantastic (and very difficult) job and we should support them and be grateful.

  • MintedKnight23

    Mr Wenger is indeed building an Organic team. No GM Products or should I say Greed Manufactured Products. It’s time for all Gunners to stand up and be counted. Your team needs you. We have the squad and now we need the Spirit of the fans. Positive energy from all will bring us the trophies. Come on the Gunners. This is our time.

  • Arsene Apprentice

    Rhys,

    Give us a break! I will say rash challenge… And, maybe mistimed other than that you are on a mystery tour..

  • critic

    wilshere’s was very bad tackle similar to taylor’s on eduardo….and u guys r doing a shawcross – that he’s not that kind of a lad…..plz don’t….it was horrific tackle with excessive force which was not necessary….

  • indian_gunner

    @ critic : mate, you saw the same game? please go watch it again. I have seen the same tackle again and i am no ref but its so visible that ,though harsh wilshere’s tackle does not have half the impact taylor’s had! He got a 3match suspension.That should be punishment enough. You guys really want to finish him off do you?
    @ RHYs : i double what dark prince said, mistimed yes, rash yes, stupid yes but calling it apalling? thats going way too far!
    Not because he is a kid, not because he was the best player on the pitch that day, not because he got a 3 match suspension but because it was a mistimed rash tackle. PERIOD

  • Bexxy

    I was more disappointed with Chamakh that Wilshere. There really was no need for his actions, especially from such a talented lad.

    I thought Nasri and Eboue let us down with bad challenges, but poor Jack will have to deal with the headlines. In my view, it was just one of those mistimed tackles that we will see time and time again. Yes, it could have resulted in another bad injury, but this has to be a accepted consequence from time to time.

    It does make me laugh though, how so many on here are ready to accept this challenge from one of our own, but can not accept that in the recent past many Arsenal fans have gone way over board over tackling

  • Arsene Apprentice

    OK Bexxy,
    It’s Ironic when you see three double fractures in 4 years to our best and brightest and you say overboard.. And, even more Ironic that Jack WIlshere who definately should have not gone in on a tackle but did… He is being singeled out by everyone as the apostate Arsenal son… Where are the level heads these days?