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Ref Review: Martin Atkinson – Chelsea Vs Arsenal (2 – 1) [20/01/2013]

Match Review: Martin Atkinson – Chelsea Vs Arsenal (2 – 1) [20/01/2013]

If you are new to this site and this is your first visit then please: Read this to fully understand our reviews.

Today’s referee is Martin Atkinson

MATCH REVIEW DETAILS – Martin Atkinson (2013-01-20)
Period 1
Min Type From On C/NC Reviewer Comment Weight
0 FOUL ARS CHE NC Diaby held his arms around Oscar, then stopped the ball with his feet, but first offence was a foul but not given 3
0 PENALTY ARS NC Foul started outside the penalty area but Diaby still held him inside the penalty area so should have been a penalty. 5
0 THROW IN ARS C Theo Walcott concedes a throw in. 1
0 THROW IN ARS C Jack Wilshere concedes a throw in. 1
1 GOAL KICK CHE C Frank Lampard concedes a goal kick. 1
1 THROW IN ARS C Olivier Giroud concedes a throw in. 1
1 FOUL ARS C Per Mertesacker Commits a Regular foul. 1
2 FREE KICK CHE C 1
3 GOAL KICK CHE C Branislav Ivanovic concedes a goal kick. 1
3 THROW IN ARS C Thomas Vermaelen concedes a throw in. 1
5 GOAL KICK CHE C Branislav Ivanovic concedes a goal kick. 1
5 FOUL CHE ARS NC Ramires plants his studs on the foot of Coquelin, foul not given 3
5 YELLOW CHE NC Planting studs on someone is dangerous and can cause injuries, should have been booked 3
5 FREE KICK ARS NC Juan Mata scores a goal for Chelsea but only as a direct result of the ref not giving the free kick seconds earlier. No Arsenal player touched the ball and seconds later the ball was in the net. Should have been a free kick for Arsenal and the goal should not have happened 3
5 GOAL CHE NC Juan Mata scores a goal for Chelsea but only as a direct result of the ref not giving the free kick seconds earlier. No Arsenal player touched the ball and seconds later the ball was in the net. Should have been a free kick for Arsenal and the goal should not have happened 5
7 OFFSIDE CHE C Oscar dos Santos Emboada Junior is played offside by Per Mertesacker from a ball by Eden Hazard 1
8 CORNER CHE C Petr Cech concedes a corner kick. 1
9 THROW IN ARS C Kieran Gibbs concedes a throw in. 1
10 CORNER ARS C Wojciech Szczesny concedes a corner kick. 1
10 OFFSIDE CHE C Frank Lampard is played offside by Kieran Gibbs from a ball by Gary Cahill 1
11 THROW IN CHE C Oscar dos Santos Emboada Junior concedes a throw in. 1
12 GOAL KICK CHE C Fernando Torres concedes a goal kick. 1
14 GOAL KICK CHE C Oscar dos Santos Emboada Junior concedes a goal kick. 1
15 PENALTY ARS NC It shouldn’t have been a penalty but if the ref wanted to penalise something it has to be a free kick for Arsenal for a dive 5
15 FOUL ARS NC On the slow motion it is clear to see that Ramirez plays the ball backwards and goes to follow the path of the ball. Szczesny has spraid himself and then Ramirez changes his footing and puts his leg forward looking to make contact with the keeper and throws himself to the ground. One of the better attempts of a dive I have seen in a long while. But Ramires didn’t go down because of contact with the keeper but he brought himself down. No foul from the keeper 3
15 FOUL CHE NC On the slow motion it is clear to see that Ramirez plays the ball backwards and goes to follow the path of the ball. Szczesny has spraid himself and then Ramirez changes his footing and puts his leg forward looking to make contact with the keeper and throws himself to the ground. One of the better attempts of a dive I have seen in a long while. But Ramires didn’t go down because of contact with the keeper but he brought himself down. No foul from the keeper 3
15 FREE KICK ARS NC It shouldn’t have been a penalty but if the ref wanted to penalise something it has to be a free kick for Arsenal for a dive 3
15 YELLOW CHE NC If a yellow card should have been given it should have been a yellow card against Ramires 3
15 YELLOW ARS NC If a yellow card should have been given it should have been a yellow card against Ramires 3
15 GOAL CHE NC As it shouldn’t have been a penalty the goal shouldn’t count 5
16 CORNER CHE C C?sar Azpilicueta concedes a corner kick. 1
18 FOUL ARS C Bacary Sagna Commits a Regular foul. 1
18 FREE KICK CHE C Oscar dos Santos Emboada Junior takes a direct free kick. 1
18 THROW IN ARS C Jack Wilshere concedes a throw in. 1
19 GOAL KICK CHE C Ashley Cole concedes a goal kick. 1
19 THROW IN CHE C Branislav Ivanovic concedes a throw in. 1
21 CORNER CHE C C?sar Azpilicueta concedes a corner kick. 1
22 GOAL KICK ARS C Wojciech Szczesny concedes a goal kick. 1
22 FOUL ARS C Francis Coquelin Commits a Regular foul. 1
23 FREE KICK CHE C 1
23 GOAL KICK CHE C Juan Mata concedes a goal kick. 1
29 FOUL ARS C Jack Wilshere Commits a Regular foul. 1
29 FREE KICK CHE C Oscar dos Santos Emboada Junior takes a direct free kick. 1
30 THROW IN ARS C Theo Walcott concedes a throw in. 1
31 THROW IN CHE C Branislav Ivanovic concedes a throw in. 1
31 THROW IN CHE C Frank Lampard concedes a throw in. 1
32 OFFSIDE CHE C Oscar dos Santos Emboada Junior is played offside by Thomas Vermaelen from a ball by Frank Lampard 1
33 OFFSIDE ARS C Theo Walcott is played offside by Gary Cahill from a ball by Jack Wilshere 1
35 GOAL KICK CHE C Ramires Santos do Nascimento concedes a goal kick. 1
36 FOUL CHE C Oscar dos Santos Emboada Junior Commits a Regular foul. 1
37 FREE KICK ARS C 1
37 CORNER CHE C Branislav Ivanovic concedes a corner kick. 1
39 FOUL CHE C Fernando Torres Commits a Regular foul. 1
39 FREE KICK ARS C Thomas Vermaelen takes a direct free kick. 1
40 OFFSIDE ARS C Theo Walcott is played offside by Gary Cahill from a ball by Jack Wilshere 1
41 CORNER ARS C Francis Coquelin concedes a corner kick. 1
43 THROW IN ARS C Bacary Sagna concedes a throw in. 1
43 FOUL ARS C Jack Wilshere Commits a Regular foul. 1
44 FREE KICK CHE C Juan Mata takes a direct free kick. 1
44 GOAL KICK CHE C Fernando Torres concedes a goal kick. 1
45 THROW IN ARS C Per Mertesacker concedes a throw in. 1
45 OFFSIDE ARS C Theo Walcott is played offside by Branislav Ivanovic from a ball by Francis Coquelin 1
Period 2
Min Type From On C/NC Reviewer Comment Weight
45 THROW IN ARS C Jack Wilshere concedes a throw in. 1
45 FOUL CHE C Ramires Santos do Nascimento Commits a Regular foul. 1
46 FREE KICK ARS C Jack Wilshere takes a direct free kick. 1
46 FOUL CHE C Ashley Cole Commits a Regular foul. 1
46 FREE KICK ARS C 1
47 THROW IN CHE C Gary Cahill concedes a throw in. 1
49 GOAL KICK ARS C Bacary Sagna concedes a goal kick. 1
50 THROW IN CHE C Oscar dos Santos Emboada Junior concedes a throw in. 1
50 OFFSIDE ARS C Olivier Giroud is played offside by Gary Cahill from a ball by Vassiriki Abou Diaby 1
52 THROW IN ARS C Bacary Sagna concedes a throw in. 1
53 THROW IN ARS C Vassiriki Abou Diaby concedes a throw in. 1
54 FOUL CHE C Eden Hazard Commits a Regular foul. 1
54 FREE KICK ARS C Francis Coquelin takes a direct free kick. 1
54 OFFSIDE ARS C Olivier Giroud is played offside by Gary Cahill from a ball by Vassiriki Abou Diaby 1
55 THROW IN ARS C Francis Coquelin concedes a throw in. 1
56 THROW IN ARS C Kieran Gibbs concedes a throw in. 1
57 GOAL ARS C Theo Walcott scores a goal for Arsenal. 1
60 GOAL KICK ARS C Theo Walcott concedes a goal kick. 1
61 THROW IN ARS C Kieran Gibbs concedes a throw in. 1
61 FOUL ARS NC Kieran Gibbs takes the ball of Hazard who then touches the foot of Gibbs from behind and falls over. No foul 3
61 FREE KICK CHE NC Was no foul so no free kick. 3
61 FOUL CHE ARS NC Walcott goes past Ramires who pulls him back by the arm and the tackles the ball. Ref signals that he played the ball but ignores the arm pulling completely. 3
61 2ND YELLOW CHE NC Stopping a promising attack and his umpteenth foul in the game. He should have walked before this for his first foul on Coquelin and the dive earlier in the game 4
61 FREE KICK ARS NC For the foul on Walcott 3
62 FOUL ARS C Bacary Sagna Commits a Regular foul. 1
63 FREE KICK CHE C Petr Cech takes a direct free kick. 1
63 FOUL CHE C Fernando Torres Commits a Regular foul. 1
63 FREE KICK ARS C Wojciech Szczesny takes a direct free kick. 1
65 FOUL CHE C Ashley Cole Commits a Regular foul. 1
65 YELLOW CHE C Juan Mata recieves a YellowCard for the following reason: Dissent. 1
66 FREE KICK ARS C Santiago Cazorla takes a direct free kick. 1
66 CORNER CHE C Frank Lampard concedes a corner kick. 1
67 THROW IN CHE C Frank Lampard concedes a throw in. 1
67 THROW IN CHE C Ramires Santos do Nascimento concedes a throw in. 1
68 GOAL KICK CHE C Juan Mata concedes a goal kick. 1
69 GOAL KICK ARS C Bacary Sagna concedes a goal kick. 1
70 THROW IN CHE C Branislav Ivanovic concedes a throw in. 1
70 THROW IN CHE C C?sar Azpilicueta concedes a throw in. 1
70 CORNER ARS C Bacary Sagna concedes a corner kick. 1
71 OFFSIDE CHE C Juan Mata is played offside by Aaron Ramsey from a ball by Ramires Santos do Nascimento 1
72 FOUL ARS C Jack Wilshere Commits a Regular foul. 1
73 FREE KICK CHE C Petr Cech takes a direct free kick. 1
73 THROW IN CHE C Fernando Torres concedes a throw in. 1
73 THROW IN CHE C C?sar Azpilicueta concedes a throw in. 1
74 THROW IN ARS C Jack Wilshere concedes a throw in. 1
74 FOUL CHE C Ramires Santos do Nascimento Commits a Regular foul. 1
74 FREE KICK ARS C Kieran Gibbs takes a direct free kick. 1
75 THROW IN CHE C Gary Cahill concedes a throw in. 1
76 THROW IN ARS C Wojciech Szczesny concedes a throw in. 1
76 THROW IN ARS C Kieran Gibbs concedes a throw in. 1
76 OFFSIDE CHE C Juan Mata is played offside by Per Mertesacker from a ball by Fernando Torres 1
77 THROW IN CHE C C?sar Azpilicueta concedes a throw in. 1
77 FOUL CHE ARS NC Ramirez pushes his arm in the face of Wilshere to get away on a counter, ref is running behind and doesn’t give a foul. That was a clear push in the face ref. 3
77 2ND YELLOW CHE NC I can’t remember having seen one player making that many bookable offences in one game and still the ref didn’t give a yellow card. Amazing to be honest. 4
77 FREE KICK ARS NC For the foul from Ramires 3
79 THROW IN ARS C Santiago Cazorla concedes a throw in. 1
80 THROW IN CHE C Demba Ba concedes a throw in. 1
81 THROW IN ARS C Bacary Sagna concedes a throw in. 1
81 GOAL KICK ARS C Andrey Arshavin concedes a goal kick. 1
82 FOUL ARS CHE C Cazorla tripped Ramires but ball came to another Chelsea player 3
82 ADVANTAGE CHE C A great advantage leading to a Chelsea goal chance 3
83 THROW IN CHE C Gary Cahill concedes a throw in. 1
84 THROW IN ARS C Thomas Vermaelen concedes a throw in. 1
84 GOAL KICK CHE C Ryan Bertrand concedes a goal kick. 1
85 FOUL CHE C Ashley Cole Commits a Regular foul. 1
85 FREE KICK ARS C 1
86 FOUL CHE C Ashley Cole Commits a Regular foul. 1
86 YELLOW CHE C Ashley Cole recieves a YellowCard for the following reason: Foul. He escaped a yellow card seconds earlier for the foul on Cazorla when he planted his studs on the foot of Cazorla 1
87 FREE KICK ARS C Thomas Vermaelen takes a direct free kick. 1
87 GOAL KICK CHE C Marko Marin concedes a goal kick. 1
88 GOAL KICK CHE C Petr Cech concedes a goal kick. 1
88 FOUL ARS C Aaron Ramsey Commits a Regular foul. 1
89 FREE KICK CHE C Juan Mata takes a direct free kick. 1
90 THROW IN CHE C Marko Marin concedes a throw in. 1
91 GOAL KICK CHE C Marko Marin concedes a goal kick. 1
91 THROW IN ARS C Kieran Gibbs concedes a throw in. 1
91 GOAL KICK CHE C Demba Ba concedes a goal kick. 1
92 CORNER CHE C Branislav Ivanovic concedes a corner kick. 1
92 CORNER CHE C Ramires Santos do Nascimento concedes a corner kick. 1
93 CORNER CHE C Gary Cahill concedes a corner kick. 1
93 CORNER CHE C Ashley Cole concedes a corner kick. 1
94 FOUL CHE ARS NC Cahill had his arms on and around the shoulder of Vermaelen so he couldn’t jump for the cross and pushed him down. Foul not given 3
94 PENALTY CHE NC Foul in the penalty area so should have been a penalty for Arsenal 5
94 GOAL KICK ARS C Olivier Giroud concedes a goal kick. 1
95 THROW IN CHE C Petr Cech concedes a throw in. 1
95 FOUL ARS C Olivier Giroud Commits a Regular foul. As for the previous not given foul against chelsea, this was almost an exact copy of that not given foul. 1
95 FREE KICK CHE C C?sar Azpilicueta takes a direct free kick. 1

Let us have a look at his competence numbers in this game

COMPETENCY SUMMARY – Martin Atkinson (2013-01-20)
Period 1 Called Total Correct %
CORNER 6 6 100.00
FOUL 7 11 63.64
FREE KICK 7 9 77.78
GOAL 0 2 0.00
GOAL KICK 10 10 100.00
OFFSIDE 6 6 100.00
PENALTY 0 2 0.00
THROW IN 13 13 100.00
YELLOW 0 3 0.00
TOTAL 49 62 79.03
WEIGHTED 49 96 51.04
Period 2 Called Total Correct %
2ND YELLOW 0 2 0.00
ADVANTAGE 1 1 100.00
CORNER 6 6 100.00
FOUL 13 17 76.47
FREE KICK 12 15 80.00
GOAL 1 1 100.00
GOAL KICK 11 11 100.00
OFFSIDE 4 4 100.00
PENALTY 0 1 0.00
THROW IN 27 27 100.00
YELLOW 2 2 100.00
TOTAL 77 87 88.51
WEIGHTED 81 115 70.43
Totals Called Total Correct %
2ND YELLOW 0 2 0.00
ADVANTAGE 1 1 100.00
CORNER 12 12 100.00
FOUL 20 28 71.43
FREE KICK 19 24 79.17
GOAL 1 3 33.33
GOAL KICK 21 21 100.00
OFFSIDE 10 10 100.00
PENALTY 0 3 0.00
THROW IN 40 40 100.00
YELLOW 2 5 40.00
TOTAL 126 149 84.56
WEIGHTED 130 211 61.61

Let us see if it evens out in this game and have a look at the bias numbers

BIAS SUMMARY – Martin Atkinson (2013-01-20)
Period 1 Chelsea % Arsenal % Total
Correct For 25 51.02 24 48.98 49
Correct For Weighted 25 51.02 24 48.98 49
Incorrect Against 2 15.38 11 84.62 13
Incorrect Against Weighted 8 17.02 39 82.98 47
Fouls Commited 4 36.36 7 63.64 11
Fouls Penalised 2 50.00 5 71.43 7
Period 2 Chelsea % Arsenal % Total
Correct For 31 40.26 46 59.74 77
Correct For Weighted 35 43.21 46 56.79 81
Incorrect Against 0 0.00 10 100.00 10
Incorrect Against Weighted 0 0.00 34 100.00 34
Fouls Commited 11 64.71 6 35.29 17
Fouls Penalised 8 72.73 5 83.33 13
Totals Chelsea % Arsenal % Total
Correct For 56 44.44 70 55.56 126
Correct For Weighted 60 46.15 70 53.85 130
Incorrect Against 2 8.70 21 91.30 23
Incorrect Against Weighted 8 9.88 73 90.12 81
Fouls Commited 15 53.57 13 46.43 28
Fouls Penalised 10 66.67 10 76.92 20

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100 years ago to the day the press reveal Woolwich Arsenal are going to Islington

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Liam’s departure could mean that Dennis returns

By Tony Attwood

Ah: Liam Brady.

I sometimes wonder if some of the younger or more recently converted Arsenal fans at the Emirates know who that skinny kid in the grainy black and white film that is shown before each home game, actually is.

He is Liam Brady, one of the most amazing players ever seen at Arsenal.

Sadly, because Liam played for us during the Second Era of Great Darkness (or put another way, the second long post-war period when we could hardly win anything) he decided to leave part way through his career, and spent many a year in Italy.

But eventually he came back, as you can read in the article on the Arsenal History site highlighted above.

Liam joined us as a 15-year-old youth team player in 1971 before making his senior début two years later.   He scored his first goal in Bob Wilson’s last game (at QPR) and was part of the 1979 FA Cup-winning team before deciding to move on.

After retiring as a player he managed Celtic and Brighton, before returning to  Arsenal in 1996 where he has helped develop Ashley Cole, Cesc Fabregas and Kieran Gibbs and Jack Wilshere among many others.

Under Brady we have won three FA Youth Cups as well as Academy Premier League titles in 2009 and 2010.

But he has now announced that he will stand down by May 2014 when he will be 58.  By that time he will have spent 25 years at Arsenal as both player and coach.

The word from within the club is that Arsenal want Liam to stay, but recognise his desire to change his role.  He might become a consultant and he is certainly involved in the search for his successor.

Which is where Dennis Bergkamp’s name pops up.  Dennis is 44, and if it is possible, has a bigger reputation at Arsenal than Liam.  Liam played 235 games for Arsenal and then left for Italy.  Dennis played 315 times for Arsenal, and stayed until his retirement.  His presence at the club would give Arsenal and unparalleled access to the cream of Dutch and Belgium young players, and would do no harm at all to our reputation in France.

Dennis has managed the Ajax under-19 team, and the only thing that might hinder his move to Arsenal is that he is now assistant to manager Frank de Boer.

But last month Dennis spoke of his desire eventually to work at Arsenal although he also said that he certainly wasn’t planning to leave Ajax in a mess by suddenly quitting.  Which is why the announcement of Liam’s over a year before it will happen, is so fascinating.  It gives everyone plenty of time.

Indeed when directly asked in an interview if he would consider a coaching job at Arsenal, Dennis said: “I would, yes.

“We have started something good now at Ajax and I know a little bit in my role now, what I like and what I don’t like so if I could fulfil a similar role abroad, especially at Arsenal that would be one of the things that I would like to achieve in the future. But not in the near future because we have just started here.”

What will encourage Dennis is the way in which Arsenal treat the role of their head of the youth academy.  It is not, as is the case in many clubs, tucked away in a training backwater.  It is a central position within the club, as the club looks to bring youngsters through.

And of course this is where it becomes a win-win situation.  Arsenal’s academy has an unparalleled reputation for finding and developing talent, which is why parents queue up to get their sons into Arsenal at the age of 9.  Add to that the iconic name of Dennis Bergkamp and the situation will give Arsenal the ultimate pick of the best young players in the world.

Of course the number of players who come up through that system and go on to play for Arsenal is small – but it is still bigger than most other clubs achieve.  The situation may have changed recently but I recall looking at the output of the Chelsea youth system, and finding that the last player who had come up through that system and then gone on to play for Chelsea was John Terry.

Perhaps one reason why Liam is leaving next year is that there is wholesale change happening in youth football with the implementation of the Elite Player Performance Plan: the Premier League’s response to changes in the world of youth football, a response that has been accepted by the Football League clubs as well.  The aim is to allow greater movement movement of younger players and the establishment of a hierarchy of academies in England.

The aim of the new approach is to increase the number and quality of home-grown players while creating more time for players to play and be coached.
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It is also recognised that coaching provision in England is poor compared with much of Europe and South America, and is in desperate need of a system of effective measurement and quality assurance.
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The plan allows clubs to have more coaching time with their young players (I have made the point before that it is odd that great young musicians and dancers are allowed far more time being coached in their specialist art than footballers).
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From Arsenal’s point of view the new system is a real bonus since it allows the recruitment of young players from much further away than was permissible before.  Previously Arsenal could only recruit English players under 18 who lived within 90 minutes travel of the training facility.  This rule encouraged the recruitment of young players from overseas who could then come with a member of the family and be based in London.
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The new rules mean that Arsenal staff can go to any other training ground to watch a player and buy the player for a fixed fee starting from £3,000.
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Interestingly the new plan proposes the modernisation of talent identification and recruitment in areas such as psychological profiling – something that has not been considered before.

Category 1 academies (which includes Arsenal) will have high contact time with young players, require a minimum of 18 full-time staff and an operational budget of £2.5m.Although as I have noted the Football League did agree with the scheme they did so under duress.  Had they said no they would have lost the funding they currently get from the Premier League.

Speaking of Liam’s departure plans Ivan Gazidis said, “Liam has a deep understanding of what it takes to discover and develop a talented youngster into someone who can perform at the highest level.  He has made a massive con­tribution to Arsenal Football Club. It will be difficult to find a worthy successor but we will be looking for someone who can build on what Liam and his team have created.”

100 years ago to the day the press reveal Woolwich Arsenal are going to Islington

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Loving a football club is like falling in love

By Walter Broeckx

I have on a few occasions suggested that choosing a football club is the same thing as choosing a wife. You fall in love with it/her and even sometimes the reasons are not really understandable. Some people may not think she is beautiful but for the man who chooses his wife he sees what nobody else sees.

I chose Arsenal when I saw them loose my first game at Highbury. But still I picked the ugly duck and not the then beautiful swan.  Why? I don”t know, it just happened to me. I even picked the wrong colours as Wolves (the visitors that day) played in the same colours as my local club did.  So colour wise I should have been more attracted by them. But still I picked the Arsenal.

In fact the Arsenal colours where the colours of our biggest rival club in those days. So I should have felt an aversion for that team playing in red and white. And yet I did felt it was Arsenal that I should support. So it is very much like falling in love with a woman.

Some are attracted by blond woman and then suddenly find themselves in love with a black haired woman. Some like tall woman and suddenly fall for a short woman. Why? Well they don’t know, it just happens.

So it also happened to me. In 1979 I fell in love with Arsenal. And the same year I fell in love with the girl who is still my wife. My wife knows that I have a long lasting relationship with Arsenal and has accepted it.  I really wouldn’t think she would accept any other form of relationship and couldn’t really blame her.

But she knows I love Arsenal an her and that those are the two big loves of my life. And my children of course but that is another form of love.

Now the thing is that after all those years I still love my wife (and Arsenal) and that I am still very happy that we met and got married (same goes for Arsenal).

Some people will nod in agreement when I say that being married to a woman is not always a fairytale. Over the years we had arguments, disagreements on different things (Arsenal amongst them in fact). There were times that it looked as if our love was slowly disappearing. There were moments when her bad things overshadowed her good things. And there were moments when my bad things overshadowed whatever good things I have in me but that not really are that visible for myself. There were moments that  I doubted that our love would last. And if there are people out there who haven’t had those feelings in their married life I think they might have forgotten something or they are lucky. Very lucky. Very very very very lucky.

Now when faced with such a moment there are two things you can do.  You can stick with her because you still love her.  You can stick with her because you know that behind that temporary bad temper you see there is that great side of here. There is that side of her that cares for you and still wants to make you happy. Even if it isn’t obvious at that moment. There were times when things were said that cut me like a knife. And I have said terrible things that must have broken her heart.

So what is the connection with football you may ask yourself? Well there is the fact that I fell in love with a football club. And that by doing this I started a life long relationship with this club. After the first loss I was lucky to see Arsenal pick up a trophy as they won the FA cup in the 5 minute final later that year.

And then Arsenal was like a marriage. Good seasons and bad seasons. Big disappointments and great joy. It was like in a marriage: in good times and in bad times. I’ve stayed with the club in the bad times and have witnessed the good times. I am ready to accept bad times. Because, well, I know that one day Arsenal will give me more good times. When? Well that is not important in fact. I know we will have good days(seasons) again. That is part of it.

Do I want them now? Yes of course I would want them now. But as we are talking about marriage I could say that a win is like having great sex with your partner.  Would I want to have it with here every day? Of course. I would like Arsenal to win each game they play but well that isn’t possible.  I know this and I can accept it.

In good and in bad I have stayed with my wife. In good and in bad I will stay with my Arsenal. And scoring (you can take that in more than one meaning) is not that important. What is important for me is to look beside me and see my wife. Even when he have an argument I can sometimes think in my head that I love her. The same can happen when we lose a game. Even during the most painful defeat I can say to myself: no matter what, I just love this club.

But what if my wife made me unhappy for 24 hours a day? For 7 days a week. Each day of each month. If she would make me unhappy each day of my life…..then I would leave her. I don’t want to be unhappy each day of my life. I want to be happy with her. I want to share a laugh. I want to see a smile and I want to smile. But if she really would make me unhappy all the time it would be better for me and for her to end our marriage.

So if the football club you love makes you unhappy all of the time then I wonder what the point is of keeping that relationship going. People can divorce form their wives and this takes a few legal steps to achieve. But divorcing from your football club is the simplest thing in the world. You just shut them out and that’s it. You just don’t put on  the TV when they are on. You just stop going to the stadium. You just stop it. As you could stop with your wife.

Why do you want to feel unhappy every day of your live when your football club is around? I don’t think it is worth it. Nobody deserves to be unhappy every day of their live. Live is too short to let it be ruined be it by your wife or by your football club that you love(d).

My lesson is that you just should try to enjoy it. Don’t be too unhappy about each and everything in life. Don’t worry, be happy. Even after the darkest night the sun will come up in the morning.

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