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The use of time-wasting in English pornography

By Tony Attwood (who I may assure you if you are in a dither about the headline has not gone utterly off his stevedore*)

It was once put to me by a publisher who was considering one of my early novels, that the difference between pornography and literature was that literature is about build up, anticipation and ultimately consequences, whereas pornography is about the event, with no previous or subsequence.

Thus it is interesting to watch a football team that is owned and financed by a bunch of pornographers who own such jolly things as Television X, the Sport newspapers, Ann Summers, Knickerbox, and the rest, and by a man who, when talking about possible retirement has  said, “I wouldn’t know what to do with myself,” (a problem for all pornographers presumably).

Hence I ask, “Do the tactics of pornography move over to the football team, or not?”

On the evidence of the game at the Ems on saturday, no, since we had time wasting and rule breaking in the extreme from almost the start.  The West Pornography keeper, who is roundly praised in most reports in the printed and TV media, spent much of the game breaking the rules.

Now I would have thought that worthy of a line or two, but seemingly not – and this of course is a good explanation as to why England does so badly in international football.  In the EPL and elsewhere in England we are going down our own route of law interpretation.

Sitting, as I do in the Ems, to the right of the goal that Arsenal normally attack in the second half (as indeed happened against the Pornographers yesterday) I have developed the rather silly habit of counting the number of seconds a goalkeeper holds a ball for.

The notorious West Ham and England keeper hit 10 seconds on a number of occasions – double the allowed level.  An equivalent would be taking a free kick awarded 60 yards from goal at a point 30 yards from goal.   He also played the old boring game of kicking the ball from the opposite side of the goal to that from which he was positioned every time he got a goal kick – thus taking yet more time up.

This is now how it is in English football, and it is a sadness that teams like West Porno can get away with it, with the referees in a union agreement not to punish them.  As Walter regularly says, a word early on telling the player to cut it out would solve so much of the problem, and actually give us our football back.  But not at the moment I fear.

The only amusing point in all this was that once Song scored (not 2 minutes from the end as the print and broadcast media say, but 7 minutes from the end – we had five minutes of extra time) the West Porno keeper scuttled around his goal like a five year old running hither and yon, trying to get the ball back up the pitch.

WHP’s final sub, during injury time, was made at double quick time – quite the opposite of the earlier changes, in which the old “other side” ploy was used.  With this the player to be substituted gets a signal from the bench, and dutifully trots across to the other side of the pitch – furtherest away from the tunnel, looking anywhere but at the changeover board.   Then when eventually his attention is drawn to the fact that he is to leave he looks in astonishment – amazement even – points to himself as if to say “What me? Surely no!” and then ambles (because of a sudden weariness and injury only just discovered) towards the far side, which he reaches several minutes later.

Of course all of this could be dealt with if only the EPL had a mind to – by instruction the ref’s to take action on time wasting.   But they don’t.  I suspect the TV companies have asked for them not to so they can show more replays.

Driving back to the Midlands after the game, (and ultimately a rather enjoyable Halloween party on Saturday night which didn’t end until 3am BST (which of course wasn’t, because it was 2am GMT, but didn’t feel like it) with lots of blues guitar playing, and associated singing of “You can’t play the blues in an air-conditioned room” etc etc) I heard a little of 606 on Radio 5 – a lunatic discussion show in which people phone in to say they were “gutted” or “over the moon”.   Apparently if you say neither when you phone the show and talk to a researcher, they don’t let you on.

Anyway, as so often happens, the Anti-Arsenal Arsenal got one of their number on, and he used his one minute of fame to say that Denilson and Diaby were rubbish, should not wear the shirt, and that Wenger was too stubborn and should ditch them.  “Denilson,” this AAA said, “is the only Brazilian player who can’t pass a ball.”

Of course the BBC know that this is the AAA because they get the AAA on quite a lot, and it is clear most of the callers about Arsenal have not been to the game.  (This one didn’t even know Diaby wasn’t playing).  But it ended with amusement because Robbie Savage (who co-hosts the show, from the showers at Derby County) disagreed totally on the fairly sold grounds that he had played against these players.

A novel twist.

So, we beat the pornographers at our game, not at their own game. Cesc didn’t look right, but I note that the Lord Wenger has said he nearly took Cesc off at half time because of problems with his hamstring again.  But even so, we won 19-5 on shots and 10-2 on shots on target.

Thinking forward we will have Jack back for the trip to foreign parts this week, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Cesc not travel given that his replacement is in position, and Nasri can play forward, middle, full back, whatever you like.

And I still can’t get over this midfield that is about to hit us (injuries permitting)

Jack / Cesc / Ramsey / Nasri / Denilson / Diaby / Rosicky / Lansbury.

Couldn’t we just put out a complete team of midfielders?

Last point: did you see Lord Wenger’s comment about having too many good goalkeepers?   Do you happen to know where that came from?  More on that story anon.  I’m now off to a lunch in the lovely Rutland village of Lyddington.  Rutland.  Smallest county in England, and home to a race of car drivers who habitually indicate left and then turn right.

* Stevedore = docker = rocker (slang for head) (Cockney rhyming slang as wot might not be spoke in the east end, stone me guv you’re a gent and no mistake).  (Don’t worry its just a West Pornography thing).

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10 comments to The use of time-wasting in English pornography

  • Richard B

    Tony, you are so right to point out that using the sort of tactics employed by West Ham (The Flashers?)are counterproductive to us developing national sides that can compete at international tournaments.
    It was again very noticable that when Arsenal were leading the game and wanted to wind the clock down they did it by passing the ball to each other to the crowds great delight – and that they did the same at Newcastle in midweek to the crowds great annoyance. But at least they played football to achieve their (time wasting) aims. But of course passing the ball is what we do best which implies that what West Ham (and many other visitors to the Ems) think they do best is to amble about to no productive end. What a sad indictment on the level of coaching – even in ‘the best league in the world’. And how far have the West Ham of old fallen?

  • Chappers

    Not only did the West Pornographers (brilliant Tony) benefit from constant time-wasting throughout the match up until the goal, but they also had 5 min of added time to find an equaliser. They are basically encouraged to bend the laws of the game.

  • Paul C.

    Richard – so right you are. I remember a game a while back where people criticized Arsenal for not taking the ball to the corner flag and standing on it in the final minutes!!!! I mean, what a useless tactic that is if you have the ability to pass the ball!!! Why on earth would you ever want to isolate yourself in the corner of the pitch with nowhere to go if your aim was to waste time? The only way you’d do such a thing is if you had no confidence in your ability to pass the ball from one teammate to another.

    The problem is that we as a country are so used to seeing neanderthal tactics that we think they are “correct”.

    At times like that it almost makes you want an American-type system whereby the clock only runs when the ball is in play, for 60 minutes for example instead of 90. It would be funny to watch the majority of teams operate under such a situation!!!

  • Mark the spark

    I’ll just kindly remind you of Brum away last season then…

  • I think there is a particular distinction between wasting time from about the 10th minute of the game, and wasting time with just two minutes to go.

    I don’t like any time wasting but I do think that if there is to be any, then it needs to be kept at the very end of the game to play out the last few minutes.

    The issue here is that the keeper was lauded in the press and on TV for his performance when I think he should have been heavily criticised.

  • Rhys Jaggar

    At least you must wait until the second half to start clock counting.

    I am afraid I get to the jugular fairly quickly with:

    ‘Get on with it’
    ‘ SIX SECONDS…..’

    ETC ETC.

    That at the end where the oppo goalie usually resides from minute one………

    I must say that in the 4.5 years of going to the Ems on each flagrant occasion of keeper timewasting Arsenal score the winner with less than 10 minutes to go.

    So there is clearly a ref in the clouds somewhere……..

    Which is probably why there isn’t one at the FA……..

  • nicky

    While on the subject of goalies breaking the rules,I would welcome refs looking into their increasing habit of handling outside the penalty area when punting downfield. It’s only fractionable but it’s still a foul……..as Stoke goalie Gordon Banks discovered to his cost against Arsenal in the FA Cup, many years ago.

  • Terence McGovern

    Green was adequately punished.
    He went home a loser and rightly so.

    It is the sheer stupidity of these teams that astounds me.
    The play us trying to injure us, waste half the match’s time, routational foul, every trick in the book and way more often than not we still beat them.
    Yet they still try the same old failed strategies in subsequent matches.

    West Brom came and decided to play football instead and in fairness despite our late partial recovery, they played us off the park. Our own park for that matter. You would think that there is a lesson there somewhere for an observant football manager.

  • Cape Gooner

    Tony, why do you think you left Song out of your list of midfielders? Old age, excitement, you think he is a CB, you think he is a CF????

  • I was trying to compare the midfielders who tend to be there to go forwards – and started out by deliberately leaving out our three “sit in front of the defence” midfielders. But clearly, as the guy has started heading towards being out top scorer, I can’t do that any more.