The untold ref review: Leeds – Arsenal and the reftionary

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Victory Through Harmony

By Walter Broeckx, the OH MY GOD referee

When I saw that Mike Dean was the ref I felt something bad in my stomach. I do admit that I don’t like him.  He has a style of refereeing which I absolutely don’t like.

But I will try to forget this when I start my review as this is what you expect from me: An unbiased view on the ref.

GOAL: Nasri scores the first goal for Arsenal and no law can be found which could suggest that there was anything wrong with this. Nasri dancing his way like only he can. 1/1

OTHER/CARD: Arshavin is fouled just outside the Leeds penalty area. This was a foul and should have been a yellow card as Arshavin was running to goal but there was still a defender in the middle so not a red card. Dean closes his eyes.  Please do remember the combinations of these two names as I will come back to them later after my ref review. 0/1 and 0/1

OTHER: Song gives a little pull on a Leeds player and Dean has spotted this little infringement against the laws. What a sharp view from Dean. I must admit that he is not blind for such fouls. A good call from the ref. 1/1

GOAL: Sagna scores with an incredibly powerful shot. This is not against the laws of the game. And if you look at a replay you will see that it was his tackle in his own half that directly made the goal. Great work, Bacary! And a point for the ref.  1/1

OTHER/GOAL: Arshavin is helping out in defence after a Leeds free kick.  Yes, Arshavin. He is being pulled on the arm once,  then he is being held and  gets another pull with an arm over his shoulder. Arshavin goes down and our beloved Mr. Dean who minutes before this has seen that Song pulled a Leeds player once has seen nothing at all. Leeds win possession from this foul and seconds later the ball is in the Arsenal goal after a thunder strike from a Leeds player.

A goal that never should have happened. For the zillionth time I say to you that a foul on a defender in his own back area or close to it should always result in a free kick in favour of the defender.  This is something that they learn any person who wants to become a ref. ALWAYS STOP THE GAME WHEN A DEFENDER IS FOULED!! ALWAYS!! This is such a basic rule for any ref that I really cannot believe that a Fifa ref doesn’t know this.  And it could be that Dean was so far out of sight that he couldn’t see it but then it is up to his assistant  to signal the blatant fouls to the ref. He did nothing. He is as poor as Dean.  So this goal was the result of the incompetence of Dean and his assistant. It should have been an Arsenal free kick and then the goal never would have come from this situation. 0/1 and 0/1

Nothing more of interest for my ref review in the first half after this.

OTHER: When I have to give credit to a ref I will do it. Even when it is Dean. He was having a good game in the first half hour of the second half. For a moment I even forgot it was Dean. He deserves a point for this. 1/1

GOAL: He worked hard, he defended or tried to defend at times and when he had the ball on the right flank Bendtner floated in a magnificent cross which was headed in by Van Persie. All very legal. And doesn’t Robin look back completely now? One with the right foot, one with the left foot and now even a header. The new Robin has arrived.  1/1

OTHER: Cesc is playing a magnificent ball in the path of Gibbs who has a run on goal. The flag goes up. Bendtner was in an offside position on the right from the centre circle and Gibbs was running some 20 metres to the left of him. Gibbs had 3 defenders between him and the keeper so never was even close to be offside. A bad miss from the assistant who also didn’t see the fouls on Arshavin. Bad work. 0/1

OTHER/CARD: Leeds looks a bit frustrated after that third goal as they know they are out of it. They try to impress with a few kicks. Dean reacts and gives a foul. Snodgrass is telling the ref what he thinks of him and gets booked. Good work. You see it isn’t that difficult. 1/1 and 1/1

OTHER/CARD: Another clear foul and another booking for dissent against Leeds. Good work from the ref. 1/1 and 1/1

OTHER/CARD: Another useless and brutal kick on Cesc from a Leeds player in extra time. Frustration is high amongst the Leeds players. Foul given and a deserved yellow card. I think he is starting to like it.  1/1 and 1/1.

And then ref Dean brings the game to an end.  So how was his final score?

CARDS:  3/4

PENALTY:  nothing to report

GOAL:  3/4

OTHER:  5/8

Total score:  11/16  (69 %)

So what can I make of this for the ref? A reasonably good game but the goal was bad from the ref’s point of view. Or it was Dean who completely missed it or his assistant? Was Dean waiting for the assistant to signal it? I don’t know what has been said before the game but when I am the assistant and I see a series of pulling and shoving against a defender (Arshavin at that moment was a defender) like that,  I would signal it to the ref.

This is the second time (in this season) Mr. Dean hands our opponents a goal like that. The first time was against Chelsea where he let a blatant foul on Song unpunished which lead to their first goal at Stamford Bridge. I repeat again: Always stop play when a defender is fouled in his own penalty area: there never is any advantage to play for.

Which then leaves me to the question: what is wrong between Dean and Arshavin? Alone in this game we had to important decisions. The foul on Arshavin early on and the foul on Arshavin which lead to the Leeds goal. Has Arshavin done something wrong before coming to Arsenal that has Dean troubled? Because in a way it looks as if Dean doesn’t want to give him anything. Just remember United last season when Arshavin was brought down by Fletcher (I think) with a two footed tackle and then he even handled the ball away and Dean who was standing some 10 metres away did nothing. Okay, it was at Old Trafford and you don’t give penalties against United over there but it really looks as if Arshavin will get nothing from Dean even when it is clear to see for everyone. What is it that you dislike in Arshavin, Mr. Dean?

To finish this ref review and looking back at what I have seen so far I want to introduce a few new words that should become common language when it comes to reviewing refs. New words that from now on should be clear and need no further explanation any more. New words that should find a place in the English dictionary in the future but let us start with putting them in the reftionary to start with. The reftionary is the dictionary when it comes to refs and football.

WEBALTY: It speaks for itself. This is the must give penalty in favour of Manchester United. When things go wrong or when you need to secure the victory for United or when you just want to give them a one goal advantage early on in the game you just give them a penalty. There always will be a United player going down in the penalty area and you just give a penalty.

DEANGOAL: this is a goal that is the result of the ref not seeing fouls on defenders. It is named after a ref who seems to be specialised in such goals, certainly when it is going against Arsenal.

SAFTACK: This is the kind of dangerous challenges that goes unpunished when it is done by Manchester United players. Jumping in with your legs outstretched aimed at the opponents head or stomach are within the rules for United players. Other teams cannot do such assaults and will be red carded.  Much to the amusement of SAF.

Arsenal and Man U: a comparison in debt

The stadia series

Making the Arsenal

George Allison was our manager – and a successful one at that.  He was also the first person to do a radio commentary on a football match.  And a journalist.  And yet, as we have exclusively revealed, he re-wrote Arsenal’s history in  way that is, shall we say, not quite right.  Why did he do it?  There’s some background and a suggestion in this article from the new George Allison season on the Arsenal History site.

32 Replies to “The untold ref review: Leeds – Arsenal and the reftionary”

  1. Walter, brilliant, as always. I think Dean surprised me by giving one or two fouls in our favour, because they were fouls that he lets go too often – against Arsenal. I think you’ve been generous with his % score as there were so many times Arsenal players were kicked, which you haven’t included. I understand you err on the ‘cautious’ side with some of these tackles – in order to not appear/be biased. You are still to be commended for your work.

    Webalty/Deangoal/Saftak: Excellent, because they succinctly and perfectly describe what most epl refs do – especially to Arsenal.

    Tony, Phil, Dogface, Walter, and all the people who write the articles: thanks so much for your stellar work. Please keep it up. I can’t be the only reader who has found a ‘safe’ place to read about my beloved Arsenal – without spiralling into the deep depression and instability that’s caused by so many Arsenal haters.

    And I actually get to laugh about stuff. Wonderful.

  2. As I said in a post on a previous article:

    “Walter – Arshavin can’t buy a free kick after Russia got the world cup. Unfortunately most Arsenal ‘fans’ who trust the commentators over thier own eyes put this down to him being lazy and/or rubbish. No – he’s being constantly fouled off the ball – WAKE UP!”

    It looks like I’m not the only one who is observing this strange phenomenon.

  3. hi walter,
    thanks for your ref review as usual it is amusing and informative.
    i, too felt the ref bottled a few decisions and was especially struck by the commentators’ complicity in whitewashing the issue whenever it arose e.g the case when arshavin was wrestled off the ball leading to the goal, credit was given to the attacker for being strong and the implication that arshavin was weak must be shared by the officials and the commentators!
    Also i was impressed with the discipline/”respect” our players showed to the ref as i am sure he was itching to right the wrongs he endured in his previous game where i am sure his onanism was publicly proclaimed by various thugs (sorry, passionate united players) but had his hands tied by the powers that be, we all noticed that off sending rafael off he went kamikaze with a card for rooney as well. in for a penny…..he he
    i must admit i watched the game with an eye on the captaincy/ leadership issue that preceded the game- denilson had granted brazilian arsenal supporters an interview in which he(according to the translation) had said that there were no leaders in the current squad, i must say that i was heartened by the performance of various members of the team and i’d like the opportunity to posit an alternative model to the current barking, bullying, domineering and overtly aggressive mould i suspect most people envisage and some would like to see installed at the club.
    the simple fact is that while most people use fear as an agent for action it is barbaric and has no place in civilised society, i remember hearing that during henrik larssons first few games for celtic, he missed a penalty and in the dressing room after the macth he was headbutted by the captain to just to show him how much it meant to be playing for the team, we also apparently never tire of hearing how vieira had the life scared out of him by keane or how to get an MBE by taking a well aimed shot at a players head with a boot etc as ways to get the best out of your team, but i digress.
    with so many players having played together for as long as the spine of the team have, i will dare to suggest we are doing well vis a vis collective captaincy/leadership and the manager must be looking for the sort of mutual understanding and respect to underpin performances and galvanise the team, it was particularly evident yesterday that nasri, chamack koscielny and djourou were more vocal than i have seen them in a while and although i thought nasri looked like he was lapsing into that public blaming and shaming slackness on the pitch it was warming to see bendtner consult with him as the second half began and 20-20 hindsight and all that but i’d like to think it was to remind him that he was going to stuck right out on the wing and to spray a pass or two his way, it paid dividends in the allowing him space and time for that intelligent cross for the van persie header which i am sure we all loved.
    it is obvious when you watch spain/ barcelona playing that with xavi, iniesta and messi playing, it is often left to puyol to bray at the back while the more intelligent players just get on with the game in a deadly assassin mode and a lot has to be said for that sort of organic collective responsibility and lord knows wenger mhas tried to get this across to the punters but well…… we will see
    thank you again for the article and the opportunity to get this off my chest.

  4. I also have been wondering if this had anything to do lately with the world cup being given to Russia and Arshavin being their bid-presenter.
    But with Dean he has another argument running I think as the example I recall from the Man United game last season it was Dean who refused to give the most blatant penalty against United for a double foul: one blatant two footed tackle which took Arshavin down and the other a blatant handball when he just pushed the ball away.

  5. I thought Dean had an OK game. The goal maybe shouldn’t have happened if the foul was called, but to be honest that was a wonderful strike and I like to be gracious in victory ;).

  6. Hi Walter

    Excellent report again – thank you.

    Did you notice ‘injury time’ at the end of the first half was only one minute – with 3 goals that took at least 45 sec to restart, should have been at least 2, maybe 3

    I know (as a ref) that ‘injury time’ is at the sole discretion of the referee, but don’t think he added enough. (fyi most I added was 32 minutes – had to wait for ambulance twice in game)!

  7. Hi walter

    Just about spot on. Leeds goal was great but a foul should have been awarded as you say. Why does Dean never look like he is enjoying his work?

  8. bravo Walter.after every Arsenal game am always waiting for your Untold Review. i love it!!!! i didnt watch the game, but i think Dean wanted AFC to be booted out of this competition.
    lets wait for the Ipswich & Wigan games.

  9. Walter – I interpret that as Anti-Arsenal EPL bias as, at that point in the season, Tottenham were looking for a top 4 finish.

    Remember among Dean’s ‘projects’ there seems to be a cosy relationship with ‘Onest ‘Arry.

    I see plans within plans… a cartel of corrupting influences!

  10. The way the referees are trying to outdo each other not only in favouring Manchester United but also in ensuring that Arsenal don’t win is embarassing. All you need do is focus on their faces whenever a goal is allowed to be scored against Arsenal, and you will see their countenance brightens. I think it stems from the fact that the more of this kind of injustice you are able to do, the more likely you are going to be knighted. I cannot see what Howard Webb has done to warrant being awarded an MBE except his unalloyed support of Manchester United and that I think is the reason why the other referees are following suit.

  11. Regardless of weather Arsihvan it is not getting the free kicks he should be getting and whatever the motives are behind this, the fact remains he has not been playing well at all and I can’t remember when he did have a good game.

    If you makes you feel better to blame the ref or opposition for him being off form then go ahead… reality awaits you.

    Walter I love your website and all the articles your team produces and I too am a huge fan of Wenger. But after I watched the game last night and in other games recently it has become very clear that the back up players we have are not performing. The biggest culprits of this have been Arshivan, Vela, Denilson and Eboune in that order. I also can’t help feeling how awesome we would be if the team was not carrying such players.

    Please note I am part of the AAA brigade but I do believe if a player is not turning up for the team and helping them either defend and attack when needed, then they should be sold and replaced with players ready for the task. Narsi is a great example of a team player and individual excellence.

    PS Please don’t bring the stats out on Arshivan yes he has score goals and has assists this season but he attitude is disgraceful on the pitch and no flashes of brilliance which he has will make up for that.

  12. John – you say “how awesome we would be if the team was not carrying such players” referring to Vela, Denilson, Arshavin and Eboue. What has Eboue done wrong? He gives 100% every time he is on the pitch and is obviously a great “squad” guy that can fill a variety of roles. What other teams have a reserve right-back of that quality? And Vela is way down the pecking order. What player could you buy of better quality with the sales pitch of “you are going to be our No.4 striker”? And Denilson is our No.6 midfielder after Cesc, Wilshire, Song, Ramsey and Diaby. Again, what midfielder of better quality could you buy who would be content to be at the back of such a queue? And then there is Arshavin, who shows no flashes of brilliance. No flashes of brilliance such as the goal and assist to secure a draw, almost a win, at Wigan recently? No flashes of brilliance like that? And why is his attitude disgraceful? He tries hard and obviously wants to help the team. He isnt playing at his best, that is obvious. But why on earth would you say his attitude is disgraceful?

    A squad is never, NEVER, going to have 22 players of world-class ability unless you have a sugar-daddy to pay exorbitant wages. There is ALWAYS going to be a drop-off from the first team players to the “squad” players. That is the way it is, and the way it has always been (until Chelsea and City came along to make people mistakenly think that it might somehow be “normal” for a team to carry 2 top players at every position).

    This is the best squad I have ever seen in my 35 years of supporting Arsenal. It isnt yet the best first 11, that still goes to the 97-98 and Invincibles sides, but those teams had players like Wreh and Cygan as squad players. That really was a huge drop-off in quality after the first 11. That team had an awesome 11 plus Gilberto Silva (or Edu, whichever one you think was 1st choice that season), Wiltord, Parlour and Reyes in the 2nd half of the season. We were very lucky with injuries that year, but it wasnt a great squad.

    You shouldnt expect the squad guys to be world-beaters. If they were they would be in the first 11 (or somebody elses first 11). All you can ask is that they do their best and contribute, and all of the players (except perhaps Vela, who does admittedly seem to have lost his way a bit) have contributed to wins this season. Denilson may look poor in comparison to Wilshire, Song and Cesc, but he’d be starting in just about every other midfield in the country.

  13. Walter I couldnt have said it better when thinking back I couldnt see where Dean was for the foul on Arshain while defending but you couldnt miss that muppet of a linesman he was clear on camera for all to see.

    Love the new terminology.

  14. You would think, by now, someone in authority in English, European or World football would do something about the most blatant favouritism at Old Trafford. To a neutral viewer it must be quite embarrassing. What is needed at ref level is a brave, honest and fair official to make the right decisions throughout a game there. It would only happen once, of course, because after that the OT Godfather would ensure he would never appear there again. And so we are back to square one.

  15. Paul

    Of course no squad has 22 world class players but I believe we can do better. I didnt say there would be signing players in all cases. I dont rate Eboune full stop he is not a right back and his play acting is unacceptable what we need is a young RB as Sagna understudy prehaps Matthews from Cardiff.

    I would not replace Denilson I would just sell him he will never been good enough for Arsenal. I’d rather have seen Landsbury play there (I’m assuming he wouldnt have been loaned out if Denilson wasnt there).

    With regards to the LW position Wenger should have signed Piennar who although not as techically gifted as Arshivan has good ability going forward but would also makes us a much tougher unit as he can put a foot in and track back.

    Lastly I wouldnt replace Vela again just sell him and give Jet some minutes on the left then again if Walcott, Narsi and Piennar were Arsenal 3 best wide attacking options I would rotate these as both Nasri and Piennar can play both sides.

    Lastly I dont expect reserve players to be world beater but I do expect a committed performanace when they are given a chance can you honestly say Denilson, Eboune, Vela and Arshivan have played there heart out when they get a game. The most annoying thing about these players is there lack of effort?????

  16. @john
    can you name a player in the pl playing at rightback in reserves better than eboue, i might just remind you that this kid cut his teeth in the champions league final against barca.
    as for pienaar on the left wing, i suppose along with arshavin we should have also got rid of nasri?

  17. @ john
    i am sure that we are all tired by the lack of effort that people who post lazy and unsubstanciated opinions display, but we have to put up with it in the hope that they will improve and sharpen to the level of regular posters on this site or perhaps we should moderate them out altogether and hope to find new posters from god knows where!
    dude please try harder there are so many people boring us with the same shite week in week out lets here some thing else for a change.

  18. Ugandon/Casual Observer

    I have named a right back in my post please read it. I also stated in my original post that we should acquire more players like Narsi who is a excellent player not only going forward but also helps the team defend something Arshivan does not do this end of. I never said we should get rid of them????

    My sorry if I’m boring you casual observer but this is my opinion on the subject if you dont agree with it then thats kool just dont read it or even better come back with a comment that corrects me like Arshivan it not really a l**y s**t or Denilson is a great samba passer but please dont be dismissive or like ugandan goon dont read the comment and then get talk about stuff I didnt say????

  19. You know what I just realized its not only the blogs on this site that make it worth while every day its the rational thinking and belief the people who post replies on this site bring to the table.

    Thank you Tony and the gang for always ensuring that healthy dialogue continues on here without any unlawful censorship.

    @ ugandan goon awesome post and the

    @Paul C thanks for showing john some logic

    @Casual observer I didnt even think of the worldcup bid and arshavins involvement thanks for pointing it out I been wondering why and yet its right infront of me.

    @Walter Thanks for the hard work

    @ ugandan goon the line of the day is from u I almost fell off my bed reading this

    “i am sure that we are all tired by the lack of effort that people who post lazy and unsubstanciated opinions display, but we have to put up with it in the hope that they will improve and sharpen to the level of regular posters on this site”

  20. Thanks for the review Walter, it’s always eagerly anticipated, and appreciated. Even though I missed the game, I followed it on mobile via telegraph website, and the a$$hole writing the min by min commentary was openly anti-Arsenal. Pity he shares a last name with 1 of our players…
    I see the officials are still doing everything they can to try and help manure try and copy our unbeaten season eh? Meanwhile, years later, the officials are still punishing us for having the audacity to have an unbeaten season without their consent, or that of their shameless leader, Red Nose.

  21. @john
    as it happens i was lazy in not reading your whole post and i stand corrected, in my defence i was being efficient. there isnt anything you say in your post that exactly breaks new ground.
    it is often the case that buying/ selling of players is dependent on their performances in the last few games and what it largely ignored is that clubs all over the place would buy these players in a trice if they were offered. the whole buy/ sell conversation is boring because it is so hypothetical, “your” opinions are truly insignificant in the aquisition or transfer of any players to our club it is laughable, sometimes i read comments like yours and wonder you dont envy the newcastles or liverpools of this world where everything seems to be orchestrated to pander to a baying, irrational and largely ignorant mob, in essence all we are saying is we would like to sanitize this tiny corner of the blogosphere from people who do the work of agents and other cancerous agencies within football unpaid in the name of an opinion.

  22. John your a muppet ….. Whats better again your NOT Arsen Wenger and we dont have to worry about what you would do on your play station.

    quote- John
    Lastly I dont expect reserve players to be world beater but I do expect a committed performanace when they are given a chance can you honestly say Denilson, Eboune, Vela and Arshivan have played there heart out when they get a game. The most annoying thing about these players is there lack of effort?????

    when the hell could you accuse those players of a lack of effort ?
    Dont answer I am not really interested.

  23. Some people are never happy. We’ve won 3-1 and it’s still flog Arshavin, Vela, Denilson, the waterboy and mascot off to a League 2 club cuz they ain’t Arsenal quality.

    You’re seriously off your nut if you’d rather have Pienaar than Arshavin, John.

  24. John: Real football ain’t as simple as fantasy football manager..You talk about a certain Matthews. How’d you know he is good?Lets say he is,alright..will he be an understudy to Sagna for the next 5-6yrs?And for F**ks sake his name is spelt EBOUE and not Eboune!

  25. Denilson always tries I am pretty sure it was Smichaels save at the end of the first game against leeds from a denilson shot that kept them in it …did he give away a penalty yes BUT unlike John who never makes a mistake its not acceptable.

    Eboue no good as a back up defender for Sagna ? when is the last time Eboue cost us a game John ? you cant remember thats for sure and as for him diving he hasnt done anything blatant thats been wrong in a long long time.

    Arshavin plays his heart out but he still has 4 league goals and about 15 assists if he hits 4 more by the end of the season he will be doing as well as pires used to. But no John wants to sell him he dont try ? wtf ?

    Vela Arsen wants to loan so he can get time and improve as hes not getting a fair chance or enough playing time at the moment ….BUT no Johns got a playstation he can make him better instantly or sell him.

    Dont come here and spout crap without any stats to back up your arguments the supporters here are far to advanced compaired to the AAA sites your sort usualy hangs out on.

  26. John,
    I will not answer about the who we should sell argument as I don’t think this has anything to do with my article.

    However you said : “If you makes you feel better to blame the ref or opposition for him being off form then go ahead… reality awaits you.”

    In this series that have started from the first game this season I blame refs for the mistakes the refs make. I have done this from the start and will continue to do so till the last game of the season. And then we will evaluate this and see how we can do it in the next season.

    If the foul that was done on Arshavin was done on another player it would have been the same: a foul on an Arsenal player and a blatant mistake from the ref and the assistant.

    I did mention the fact that it was a foul on Arshavin as it was a foul on him. And I also did mention his name twice just to show that despite him having an unlucky evening he was trying to work hard. Otherwise he wouldn’t have been in his own penalty area winning a bal from a Leeds player and then being fouled.

    I’m not blaming the Leeds player who committed the foul as making fouls is part of the game. I only blame the ref for not calling blatant fouls.

  27. Thing is Jonh – I’ve heard “your opinion” many times before… and repeating it like a mantra does not make it true; just like saying “end of” does not qualify a conjecture…

    …end of.

  28. John – I think others have responded to your ideas as well as I could. I also wonder just how many times you have watched Adam Matthews play a full match for Cardiff, and yet here you are saying you think a 19 year old who has never before played top-level football should replace Emmanuel Eboue in our squad. Hmmm. And Piennaar for Arshavin? Man, Arshavin hasnt played well this season but even at his worst he provides more match-winning ability in his baby toe than Piennaar has in his entire body. And Lansbury for Denilson? Are you serious? And you say you want to improve our squad? Lansbury is just getting used to playing at a Championship level right now, let alone a PL standard.

    And yes, players like Eboue, Denilson, Arshavin and Vela do give 100% every time they are out there. Of course they do. They may not always play at top form but they would be shipped out quicker than you can say “get them out of here” if they didnt give 100%. Their teammates would not tolerate it if they did not. Do you honestly think Arsene Wenger, Cesc, Vermaelen, Nasri, Song and others would put up with a teammate not giving 100%? Dont be silly. On Wednesday Arshavin may not have been at his best but he was everywhere on the pitch, constantly trying to create things. Denilson covered every blade of grass on the pitch. Eboue ALWAYS gives 1005, in fact sometimes you can see he is in fact trying TOO hard. Vela needs games, you dont think that every time he steps on the pitch he wants to do well and score? Do you honestly think these guys arent trying?

    You were probably one of those people that also wanted Alex Song to be sold a couple of years ago, saying he wasnt fit to wear the shirt.

  29. Paul C “And yes, players like Eboue, Denilson, Arshavin and Vela do give 100% every time they are out there” are you for real???? How on earth is a player like Denilson giving 100% when he loses the ball in the centre of midfield and jogs back in a pathetic attempt to try and win the ball back. No fan has a problem with him losing the ball that’s football but his lack of desire/hussle is shocking and that’s why alot of fans dislike the player at least Landsbury has heart and desire. You mentioned Lansbury is only at championship level and Denilson is a PL level I disagree Denilson has never been at PL level and that’s why he looks so out of place.

    You also speak about Arshivan match winning ability but yet say nothing about him leaving Clichy exposed with the opposition wingers and full backs again and again resulting in goals being scored aganist ….ever wonder why Clichy performances appear to have dropped him.

    I could go on but your not backing up your arguments. I will end by saying Song that didnt look great when he first started yet the player has improved season after season has that happened with the players I’ve mentioned the fact is it has not!!!

  30. John – Really? So in the ONE full game that you have ever seen Lansbury play for Arsenal you were able to come to the conclusion that he brings more to the table than Denilson, and that your opinion is more valid than Arsene Wenger, who watches these guys in training every single day? And because a player doesnt lose his head, sprint everywhere on the field, and get himself out of the position for which he is required on the pitch, that this represents a lack of hustle and desire on that players part? And Denilson isnt at a PL level? Are you crazy? I dont need to back up my arguments because yours are so poor. Of course Denilson is at a PL level. He has been at that level for three seasons now. Is he world-class? No. That is why he isnt in the first 11. But to say Denilson isnt PL level is just showing extreme ignorance and ridiculous bias against a 22 year old kid who has already made 90 appearances for Arsenal and would have made many more but for recent injuries. He doesnt look out of place at all in our midfield. Has he made mistakes? Yes, which is why isnt in the first team.

    And yes, Arshavin sometimes leaves Clichy exposed, but his primary job is and ALWAYS will be to attack rather than defend, and if you cannot realise that then again I do not need to back up my arguments. You know what you are getting with Arshavin, a guy who is not going to do much defensive work but who can win matches in an instant. He isnt in the first 11 right now because he isnt on top form and so isnt winning enough matches, but when he is on top form you accept his defensive liabilities gladly because he can get you goals at the other end of the pitch. Robert Pires was a shocking defender as well, and yet we loved the guy because he was a match-winner.

    I am not the one not backing up my arguments. You are the one proposing Adam Matthews for the squad based on…….what? You are the one proposing Pienaar replace Arshavin based on…..what? Why? You are the one saying Lansbury should replace Denilson in the squad even though Lansbury is obviously an unproven youngster who isnt even yet good enough to get loaned to a PL side and Denilson is obviously a PL calibre player.

    You are the one who is trying to suggest that you know more about building a squad and evaluating players than Arsene Wenger, not me. I do not think I need to back up my arguments because Arsene Wenger backs them up every week with his selections. You are the one who is suggesting that his evaluation of players is not right, and that the other members of the squad would tolerate even one, let alone three or four, players not giving every ounce of effort every single game. Have you ever played a team sport? Teammates do not tolerate lack of effort. Teammates can tolerate bad play, bad decisions, bad anything but NOT lack of effort. Players get booted out for lack of effort.

    Sorry John, but in the contest between your football knowledge and Arsene Wengers football knowledge, I know who I am going to back every day of the week. Nothing you can possibly say will convince me that your knowledge surpasses that of Wengers.

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