How Arsenal are already managing the rest of the season


Today on the Arsenal History Society site: When Arsenal lost a cup final to Swindon Town.

By Tony Attwood

The most obvious answer to that headline question comes with the decision of Ben White to stay loyal to his club, rather than sauntering around the world with the FA and running the possibility of being injured.

Indeed as Football Transfers points out Ben White’s contract ends with Arsenal on June 30, 2026.   He looks to me like a man who is very happy in his job and would want to stay beyond that date, which means managing his workload and hence managing his injury chances.

I also think players and their agents are also aware of the battle between the Premier League and the Football League that we noted yesterday

And we are also on the edge of a situation in which a newfound regulator might get involved.  That seems more and more likely given that we now have headlines such as “Government angry after Premier League rejects £900m EFL support plan” turning up in the papers.

The EFL has said it is “eagerly” anticipating the introduction of an independent regulator for English football to help it get more money.  That is a major change from its position two years ago when he was always speaking of a “football-led resolution” to the issue of how much of its money the Premier League is willing to give away to the Championship, whose clubs don’t have a very good record of managing their finances no matter how much they get.

Mind you I don’t think any English club (aside possibly from Manchester City who are still arguing their case word by word in terms of the FFP enquiry) is in the state of Barcelona whose vice president in charge of finance has just resigned.   That perhaps is not surprising given that despite swinging cuts to all that they do they are still 100% in excess of their annual spending limit.  (And just to be absolutely clear on this one, that is not a loss – their losses are far higher than that.)  

So we are in a time of a player stepping back from international “duty” before he is even selected, the lack of agreement between two leagues over the “support” one gives to another, and one of the most famous clubs in the world in a state of financial meltdown.

That’s enough to be going on with I guess.  Except there is also the headline Why have public complaints about referees risen?   That’s from the Athletic, and it comes despite the introduction of VAR in 2019.

What is interesting is that one explanation is so utterly blindingly obvious that you might expect it to be in the opening line of all such discussions (that the PGMO is a secret society without even a website, and with no public face on TV either for the limited company that runs it or for its employees) is never, ever mentioned by the media..

Yet as a result of the wall of silence, Arsenal have even written to PGMO about their concerns, and made that fact public, becoming just about the most outspoken club on this issue mentioning “yet more unacceptable refereeing and VAR errors”, in one statement and suggesting “PGMOL urgently needs to address the standard of officiating”.

And indeed club pressure can work.  Nottingham Forest complained about referee R Jones and at least for the next couple of months Mr Jones hasn’t touched one of their games.  That must be encouraging some clubs to take the wretched secret organisation on even more.

Indeed, after referee Rob Jones was involved in two controversies, Forest requested in December that he should not officiate their games. It’s only been a couple of months, but Jones hasn’t been involved in any of Forest’s games since then.  PGMOL will deny that it is being dictated to, but Forest might be able to claim this as a win.

But perhaps what is the most amazing situation is that even long-winded reports such as that in the Athletic refuse to note the research undertaken by the most respected of academics which show just how much referees are influenced by the crowd.  Nor indeed our own more modest analyses which show how some referees oversee whole series of results totally out of step with the league’s average.

Of course the problem is not just with the Athletic, but it is interesting that the Athletic, which specialises in detailed, well-researched and well-written online articles can comment on refereeing without mentioning either the serious research into their biases or their fanatical secrecy which is so much in contrast with referees in some other countries.

I just wonder why they do (or rather don’t do) that.

3 Replies to “How Arsenal are already managing the rest of the season”

  1. Ben White signed a new long term contract yesterday reputedly till summer 2028 with a further 12 months option. New deal for Tomyasu also in place, waiting to be announced.

  2. And Real Madrid or Man City in wait should we beat Bayern. Could of been easier.

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