The Untold ref review: Newcastle Dowd – Arsenal

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Victory Through Harmony

By Walter Broeckx, the sad ref

Every time before the game I have one hope. And certainly after the match this midweek with the completely worthless performance of Ref Mason I was hoping to be able to stop my ref review with one sentence: Good game, ref, well done.

Would I be able to do this after the Newcastle game? Let us start with the begin:

GOAL: Nothing wrong with this goal 1/1

GOAL: Again nothing wrong with this goal 1/1

OTHER: Just outside the penalty area Van Persie is brought down by two Newcastle players… and the ref gives a foul against Van Persie. This was a very strange decision.  0/1

GOAL: Again nothing wrong with this goal. 1/1

OTHER: Szczesny kicks the ball to RVP the defender heads the ball against the back of RVP his head and the ref judges this to be against the rules??????  Arsenal kept possession and Wilshere could have started a run. What is going on? 0/1

GOAL: Nothing wrong with this goal. 1/1

OTHER: The ref indicates 2 minutes extra time. At minute 47 the ball is in the penalty area and the ref let the game continue. Why? Nothing happened in those 2 minutes to let the game get further? This is the Phil Dowd Sunderland scenario: I will let them play till they can score in extra extra time. The time mentioned on the board is not sacred but if nothing happens in the extra time you have to stop the game otherwise it is useless to show the extra time. 0/1

OTHER/CARD/OTHER: Barton goes in and catches Arshavin from behind when Arshavin is doing a Zidane movement. The ref gives nothing. The way he came in he was going to take the man. This was a foul and a yellow card! The ref let play continue!!  And to make things worse: DOWD KNEW THAT IS WAS A TERRIBLE FOUL BECAUSE HIS NATURAL REACTION WAS TO BRING HIS WHISTLE TO HIS MOUTH!  Check it on the video on this link on second 34-35 at the bottom of your screen.  If I do this tomorrow (or better said today already) and an assessor is there he will chase me from the field and rightfully so!  0/1, 0/1 and 0/1

OTHER/CARD/OTHER:  As ref Dowd let Barton get away with the foul Diaby comes in and tries a tackle. Barton jumps up and plants his feet on Diaby who is on the floor.  And  you can see that Barton in his jump adjusting his feet to be sure to plant them on Diaby.  This adjusting is too much and all this because the ref didn’t give the blatant foul from Barton.  And if a ref sees a player adjusting his feet when coming down and plant them on an opponent this is a red card.  He then let play continue for almost 5 minutes and they had indicated 2. Why ? What for? 0/1, 01/ and 0/1

Second half:

OTHER/CARD/CARD/OTHER:   Barton comes flying in with a frontal tackle studs showing. The ref gives no foul.  This was a possible leg breaker. If possible later today I will add a picture on which you can see how lucky Diaby was to not have his leg broken. It was trapped under the leg and could have snapped. You can see it on the video on the link.

The fact that the ref gave nothing is no surprise any more if you have seen the game. The reaction from Diaby is understandable after all he has gone through from a human point of view. But he cannot do this. But how much contributed to his reaction because the ref didn’t blow the foul and gave Barton a card?   And remember: Barton shouldn’t have been on the pitch after what he had already done to Diaby in the extra extra time of the first half.

So for the reaction of Diaby the only punishment is a red card.  But how can you get tackled by a player who shouldn’t be on the pitch and is only still in there because of the refs poor performance?

And then he gives the foul against Arsenal.  So I give the following points: 0/1 for not giving the foul from Barton, 1/1 for the reaction from Diaby which was against the rules, 0/1 for not carding Barton again and 0/1 for still letting Barton on the field even after all he has done and still hasn’t given him a yellow card even!

Just on a side note: Walcott is having a shot and the ball rebounds from a defender. Cesc runs on to the ball and is pushed in the back by a defender. He wouldn’t have got by the ball as the keeper came first to it. But a push in the back Mr. Dowd? In the penalty area?  Oh yes our captain didn’t fall to the ground. But he was pushed in the back.

PENALTY/GOAL/CARD/CARD: Koscielny is close on the back of a defender and he didn’t make contact with the ball. I can agree with the penalty. It was what most defenders do, keep pressure on the striker and he felt the defender and went down.  I wonder if the ref  would have done the same on the other side of the pitch. I think you know the answer yourself.

And nothing wrong with the kick except that it is a player who scores who should have been off the pitch a long time ago. Szczesny keeps the ball in his hands after the penalty. Nolan comes in and gives a kind of lash with the arm which I have seen in martial arts.  As far as I know this is a game of football and as the ref clearly showed he sends people off when they push other players on the head. But not Nolan he can lash Szczesny on the head an only gets a yellow card.  So this should have been the second player from Newcastle who should have been send off.  This is getting ridiculous Mr. Dowd.  1/1, 1/1 1/1 and 0/1. The second time he doesn’t send a Newcastle player off.

GOAL: A Newcastle goal is cancelled.  This was wrong. Rosicky played him onside. The assistant made a mess of it but he will make up for it. 0/1

GOAL: Nothing wrong with the second goal from Newcastle.  1/1

CARD: against Ebou for kicking the ball away. 1/1

PENALTY/GOAL: They knew they would get another penalty. They just knew it. It was only a question of going down.  The Newcastle player just threw himself to the floor  and waited for the signal. The match commentator couldn’t get it. Even on MOTD they couldn’t understand it (but I don’t base my judgement on them).  I still don’t get it how Dowd could give a penalty for this. Well I do right now  because I think he is biased. Or he is useless.  Or both.  0/1 and 0/1

GOAL: Clever play from Barton who shouldn’t been on the field by now to go down. Clumsy from Rosicky. With the goals is nothing wrong.  1/1

GOAL: A goal from Van Persie is cancelled and I think this was the right decision. When I looked at the lines of the grass he was marginally further up field than the last defender. 1/1

CARD: Louis Enrique gets a card for a shirt pull on Wilshere. Correct decision. 1/1

End of the game. We know the score on the score board. Curious about the ref score? So am I. lets count.

CARDS: 3/8


GOAL:  8/10

OTHER: 0/9

Total score: 12/29 (41%) Total score without the goals: 19%

Where do you start after such a performance? The way he let Barton get away with murder from the second part of the first half was the worst part. At that moment he was doing nothing what a ref is paid for: seeing that the rules are applied and most of all: TAKE CARE OF THE HEALTH OF THE PLAYERS!  It was only down to luck that Arshavin and Diaby didn’t get a serious injury.  Dowd let the Newcastle players and certainly Barton do what he wanted to do.

Looking back at it the fact that Barton even didn’t get a yellow card is beyond words. I can only take notice from this fact and sit there with my mouth open.

The fact that Nolan could hit Szcesny at the back of his head without a red card is totally beyond me. I cannot understand it at all. How can you explain an identical phase (both pushes/lashes at the back of the head) and both different punished? One with red and the other with yellow? Do I smell something from the gutter or have I seen incompetence at is best or worst?

The not given red cards against Newcastle was for me the worst thing apart from the second penalty for Newcastle which just was a gift. Those red cards would have changed the game back and so he refused to give them.

Now after the terrible performance on Tuesday I can only ask what is going on? Have the refs suddenly lost it completely? Is it a coincidence that in the two games we had this week we had refs who clearly did their best to take our points away?  Or is there something more going on?

Is this bias against Arsenal from the part of the disciples of Mike Riley? Or are they just incompetent? Whatever the reason may be this cannot go on like this.

I will leave it for that for now but just tell you that at least 11 fouls have not been given in favour or Arsenal. I will have been more but I lost some data when I was copying it on my computer. He gave all the fouls he could give in favour of Newcastle. You have seen them mentioned in the section above.

Two poor refs after each other… makes you wonder.  Mike Riley do you have anything to say about the performances of your refs?

Untold Arsenal – the index on corruption

The History of Arsenal

Making the Arsenal – a little light relief

220 Replies to “The Untold ref review: Newcastle Dowd – Arsenal”

  1. Hi Walter

    “But not Nolan he can lash Szczesny on the head an only gets a yellow card.”

    I think you have this wrong. The yellow card was for Szczesny.

  2. I don’t agree the first penalty was legitimate. it was a rubbish penalty, maybe the type that gets given if the home team is down 4 nil and the ref is a homer. If every time a defender gets tight on his man the man goes down, there’ll be 15 penalties per game.

    I won’t have given it.

    I also disagree with your call on the Rosicky free kick that led to their goal. NEVER A FREE KICK. Rosicky had the ball on his side, and simply got his body in the way. He didn’t even obstruct Barton. He just adjusted his body so he could play the ball. IN THE PREMIER LEAGUE THAT’S NEVER A FOUL.

  3. Very fair review Walter as always – did you make a note of the fouls he didn’t call like the last game?

    This kind of reporting is important, you are doing a great job.

  4. Is it possible to write legal note to FA and request from them to make rule in which every referee would have to write report in which he will explain all his decisions. Or does it exist already.

    We should be able to ask it, as broadcaster take money from us to watch games on TV and also lucky ones who can go on stadium pay to watch games, so FA is getting money from us.

    And as we are consumers of their services I believe we (as in any normal business relation) should get clear explanation, and what they done to prevent this sort of mistakes repeat.

    I am not telling this as supporter of AFC, but as buyer of FA product called football game, and I yesterday get rotten one, so or I should get my money back or they should explain how it happened.

  5. Walter,

    “Clever play from Barton who shouldn’t been on the field by now to go down. Clumsy from Rosicky.”

    Surely that was no foul by Rosicky? Barton simply went down in a heap once he felt Tomas’ breath on his back, much like Williamson (I think) did to earn Newcastle’s 2nd penalty.

    Incredibly biased refereeing, in any case. Dowd fully entered into ‘sympathy mode’ as soon as the home side went 2 down within 3 minutes.

    Btw, what a contrast with the (relatively) decent performance by Michael Oliver in the Wolves-ManUtd game, who got most of the decisions right, and did not oblige Don Fergie’s thugs with helpful calls, unlike certain others of his ilk…

    […which probably means he’ll never officiate another ManU game again. ;)]

  6. I heard on Twitter that Newcastle’s odds of beating Arsenal were slashed Saturday morning. Apparently, the unconfirmed report is that Arsenal went from 1.71 to win to 1.90 suggesting that a lot of money moved late in Newcastle’s favour

  7. I 100% agree with Armin. Ref should write a full report after every game. Rubbish decisions by Phil Dowd. How can you not give a foul on the tackle to Diaby by Barton. It seems as if the ref was siding newcastle.

  8. Cape Gooner,

    Both Szczesny and Nolan got booked for that incident.

    Didn’t realize wrestling moves weren’t considered serious offences on the field, while pushing a player was. I suppose then Dowd won’t have a problem with getting choke-slammed onto the turf.

    What a farce, really.

  9. This was an awful game, that ref should never get another chance on a football field. I have seen better quality from sunday league refs.

  10. Within the rules you can give the first penalty. The chance that Dowd would have give it the other way round is between 0 and 1%. This is a typical: I will help you penalty from the ref. But he can give it as there is some pushing a leg stuck out without touching the ball.

  11. If for one reason all the goals would have been missed the ref would have had a score of 19%. Nineteen. Like in the song about Vietnam. 19…..

    More to follow in the following days on my views about Dowd and his tactics as I think I can see how he operates how to tilt a game. Phil, I am watching you!

  12. Could it be that Dowd was trying to punish Arsenal for Cesc’s alleged remarks made to the officials against Everton on Tuesday. The referees union closing rank so to speak and getting even. I can just imagine Dowd getting a text from Riley instructing him to do Arsenal down at every opportunity. And boy, did he succeed.

  13. Hi there, i find your blogs very very interesting, i was wondering do you have like-minded mates supporting other clubs that do the same analysis for their games? Would be fascinating to see. As a Gunner I would really like to take the “being targeted” out of the discussions with some hard facts. That would have to be Ref performance across the board being at a similarly low level for every club involved. Would be an interesting exercise, wouldn’t it?

  14. walter this is no the first time dowd has robbed…remember we havent won with that idiot as ref this season…i think he has been specially appointed by fergie and his pal riley to make sure we drop points when he refs us

  15. Hi Gooners I just wanted to say that I don’t think that Dowd was bias, I just think he wanted to prove to the Arsenal that he was in charge and he can give any decisions he wants to, a repercussion of the comments made midweek by several parties. The same happened at the sunderland match after FAT SAMS comments on Arsene trying to influence the refs.I don’t know what anybody else thinks.

  16. hi walter, good work. but dont agree with first pen. if that one is given then one per match against vidic as he allways wrestles players unpunished.

  17. This guy is a seriously poor referee who has trouble controlling his own emotions. He is not fit enough and seeks to gain retribution if something does not go his own way. As with Probert, Mason, Atwell to name but three, he is not up to the standard of the EPL. But what will happen? Nothing!! This still does not account totally for the fact that we did not send Newcastle packing and that Seqillaci or whatever he is called, must be one of the worst defenders we have ever had. Eboue also needs crucifying for the build up to their 3rd goal

  18. Hey walter

    I have a question what level of competence is acceptable for someone who is supposed to be professional.

    when I worked as an employee for various companies there is no way I would remain in my job if my performance was as bad as what I have witnessed in the past two games. some of the mistakes go beyond incompetence and if it is not corruption if this person worked for me they would get a p45 because the standard they are bringing too work is not even amateur. if there is no corruption whatsoever than the standard of refs needs to improve either by going overseas/ retraining /recruitment drive. This newcastle result is not fair corruption or no corruption and I am glad i have a rule that i never bet on arsenal because I would feel cheated either by the officials or by something more sinister.

    The bigger picture is the officals there is some mistakes that mean you shouldnt be doing that job any longer. I was really sad for Aw because his lips were zipped tightly he wanted to say but he knows he will be in trouble, this result could either define us or cause the downfall of our whole season,personally it would make me mad and I would give every ounce of my strength and ability to win against all odds we are a point closer to utd we have to play them at the ems and they have tough games we can win this

  19. Looks like Dowd has it in for us but the more I think about it, the more I believe events surrounding the Everton game may have something to do with all this.
    The worst thing – we may be psychologically damaged and may well have to face some very key games with only Kos and Squill in defence, which does not work and a shortage of CMs. 2008 all over again if we are not careful – maybe this team have been flying too close to the sun for the liking of the media / Fergie/ Riley axis.
    I know it is fashionable in some quarters to knock Denilson but if he had been available as a sub yesterday, that would not have happened.

  20. The freekick for the equalising goal was wrong. Rosicky was just going for the header, and barton dived to the ground. Rosicky did NOTHING wrong on this occasion. The ref had just decided at that point he would give a foul whenever a newcastle player went to ground.
    I still find it hard to believe these refs are bought, but they’re clearly biased. After the first half hour, when we were 4-0 up, the ref seemd to start feeling sorry for newcastle, and wanted to even things up by being very lenient on newcastle tackles/fouls. As a result he lost control of the game, and created an atmosphere much like in the stoke game where ramsey got his leg broken. It led the newcastle players, barton in particular, to believe (rightly) that they could leave their foot in and make dangerous lunges without any risk of cards or even freekicks. They were also led to believe they could just fall down and they would get a freekick. This created frustration in the side on the receiving end, and resulted in diaby losing his head.
    Against stoke we may well have won the game only BECAUSE ramsey suffered a broken leg. It woke the referee up to the fact that fouling is illegal in this game, and the stoke players to the fact that leaving your foot in like that IS dangerous. In this case, the weak refereeing led to the player who almost had his leg broken, reacting and getting himself sent off. Dowd created this atmosphere.
    Isn’t it funny by the way this refereeing seems to happen when we put together a good side. Remember 2008 – they won’t let us win.
    And on the same day scholes gets away with a yellow for trying to score with his hands, and giggs escapes all punishment for kicking and throwing someone to the ground off the ball (haven’t seen it, read on sky sports match report)

  21. Also, the first penalty was clear-cut imo. Had no problems with that, koscielny lost his head there. The second was a joke, though.

  22. Just another matter but I would have liked you guys to see the performance of Michael Oliver(ref) in the wolves-United match. I guess that’s a true PL ref!!!

  23. I hope we cheat from now on I hope we dive I hope we get people sent off because we need a way of evening things up diaby should cheat and get players sent off,football is not a fair game, i really do see why teams in europe dive at worst you face a yellow card

  24. Key Statistic for the match:
    Joey Barton
    Red Card – 0
    Yellow Card – 0
    Fouls Committed – 1 (not even the lunge through Diaby was a foul)
    Fouls Won – 5 (4 in dangerous positions to put the ball into the box) 4 after Newcastle went behind 4 nil.
    Arsenal 4 yellows, 1 red. Newcastle 1 yellow (for the headlock and WWW body slam on Sczeszny).

    You cannot blame any of the Arsenal players for what happened. When the Ref allows continual fouling, and dangerous play, and whistles you for any minor touch on the opposition there is little you can do. The players don’t know whether they are going to get a serious injury or concede a ridiculous free kick or penalty. We used to see rotational fouling to stop Arsenal, Dowd simply said you can kick and foul them with impunity. Newcastle needed no invitation.

    I feel very sorry for Wenger. He is trying to win with good football, but they won’t let him (and he’s suffered from corruption previously). Sadly they are winning. When Cesc joins up with the Spanish team this week they won’t need to talk of DNA, they need only take a look at his battered legs and remind him of the FIFA directives to refs that they must protect the players and particularly the star players (these directives strangely don’t apply to Arsenal). Remember the Birmingham game last spring just before the Barcelona quarterfinal. Gardner after the ball has gone swings his leg at Cesc and severely bruises the bone (he was touch and go to play the quarterfinal after that, and duly had the bone fully cracked after the kick from Puyol). No need for Gardner to do it (Birm safe in their mid table mediocrity) just spite, just try to kick Fabregas out of the league.

    I would not be surprised if Nasri thinks twice about his contract renewal with this ridiculous state of affairs. How long until he’s hobbled?

    Of course the Media is fully complicit in this assault (Sky, ESPN, Fox and the main UK Newspapers). The FA will do nothing – remember the atrocious officiating of Mason last week – what was the FA sanction? Demotion to the bench for a couple of weeks? No – he was out whistling the Aston Villa game yesterday.

    The only thing I can suggest for now is get behind the players and boycott all Media sponsors/advertisers of Sky, ESPN, Fox, etc.
    And get your companies, families, associates, to do it as well.

  25. Good report again although I do not feel the first penalty was valid and the free kick leading to the 4th Newcastle goal was certainly not a free kick.
    I thought the purpose of a referee was to ensure fair and sportsmanlike play. The fact that this has not happened begs a question – why? The referee is paid to do his job. If he does not carry it out properly he is cheating his employers (assuming they are straight – maybe a big assumption). To risk such blatant incompetence being identified and recorded by tv indicates massive stupidity or very great third party pressure – from another club or perhaps individuals involved in a betting scsndal.
    The fact that this ref has cost us 7 points (against Sunderland, Spuds and Newcastle) would lend weight to the argument that a person or persons unknown – but suspected – do not want Arsenal to win the EPL. He is worthy of further investigation.

  26. Maybe we need a David Dein like figure to raise our influence in the corridors of power. Wenger clearly is not liked, do not think Gazidis or the board really have any influence there.
    I know what happend when the Invincibles were cheated at OT but did we fall as foul of this sort of thing when Dein was around? I am not sure it was as extreme as now but then again, memory can be selective.

  27. the only refs i want to see is the ones you dont notice when a match is being played collina was the best there ever was

  28. @jbh

    I think you’re being unfair to Cesc and Nasri etc. I seriously doubt that they would run away. if anything it would make them more determined to win and prove a point.

    Regarding the rest, I agree with you.

  29. Journalists read this page. i know they do. Please do your job as the 4th state power! please highight this in your papers people( i know you wont but im still begging you) .Journalists live by their intergrity. I know you are not blind, i know you are all highly skilled in your work and that you all saw what happend here. I know you all know and think the only decent thing to do is to write about this unjustice. I must conclude with the fact that you think biased refereeing is ok. That its ok that inconsistencerefereeing will decide who wins the PL this year not he level of football. I must assume that you dont care if the best win aslong as the one that generates most money win.

    Its a sad state of the English press if they cannot even do decent sports journalism anymore. Whats happend to the english press grit and determinaton? do they not care anymore?
    Answeare me journous! Save your integrit, the little that is left of it.

  30. I havent ckecked yet, but as I remember, is this the same referee that gave WBA penalty at the Emirates, gave Sunderland’s equilazer on 95 minute, gave Totenham penalty from VDV freekick- when Cesc’c arm was out of the penalty box. With these 2 Newcastle penalties, it makes 4 penalties against arsenal in 4 games. I am maybe wrong, as I say, I havent checked yet, but if Dowd was refereing those matches as I remember, that guy is N1 arsenal enemy. Salut from Macedonia

  31. Just saw Wenger’s press conference.. What a man! How he managed to keep his cool is just beyond me. You could tell how much it means to him, and how much this hurt, but he kept it low key. Seriously have to admire him.

  32. So the ref was crap…with 11 players on the pitch we would have won this game comfortably. Bottom line is that Diaby got himself sent off & we had no suitable mid-field defensive cover on the bench. This was an obvious weakness in our squad & my guess is that Barton putting in a few crunching tackles on Abou in the second half played a big part of Pardews half time talk.
    It should have been obvious that this was likely to happen, especially given Abou’s understandable sensitivity after his leg break. Bartons reputation is well known by all…& it’s not based on giving out flowers & chocolates.

  33. but then why do they make so obvious? They’ve said we can’t win the league, seems they want to use all means necessary to make sure we don’t. Looking at the positives, no one is talking about the fantastic first half. I know Newcastle came back because we had 10 men and got dubious calls from the ref, so I am not worried nor feel that bad. Arsenal players should go with their heads up. Who knows they may do so well against Barcelona..

  34. Dowd is a joke….Barton is an animal, always has been.
    1st penalty was a dive, second penalty was ridiculous!
    Nolan should have gone…another career animal.
    refs should not be changing the results of games by their mistakes..come football league sort it out!
    Wonder what Fergie would have said if that had happen to Man U??

  35. I’m a referee myself and you must book Barton… First penalty is legitimate if it is called that close the rest of the season… Second penalty was a joke… Aerial challenge player has no chance to score minimal contact and that’s a penalty… I referee mens games in America and that just like the first one was a no call… Very disappointing job by arsenal but any fan of the game must be disappointed and let down by the official dowd

  36. @ Richard

    I think the Arsenal players know what has happened. They will learn from the mistakes that were made, but I think that it’ll also bring an extra spark in them. What worries me though is the injuries. It’s scary as hell. If we can somehow keep those injuries in check then I just have a feeling we will win this now. We came through the worst that they could throw at us with us being a point closer to the top. We can win this. It’s up to us now.

  37. after reading thru this analysis,as a gunner,i feel we need to seek redress to this crimes committed against arsenal.if there is anything to be done to these corrupt elements called refs,we better do it now,so the trend will stop.

  38. Dowd was subconsciously and perhaps even conciously biased. Perhaps what Moyes said in public about Fabregas had a bearing. A spate of wrong decisions! There was one occasion where Van Persie was sandwiched by 2 Newcastle players and the free kick was given to Newcastle! Both penalties looked soft to me and so did the free kick that led to the goal. Who in his right mind would let Barton go for that lunge is beyond me!

  39. Great job Walter, shame that EPL-referees aren’t even close to your level. What is your opinion of Szczesny’s card? Or did you mention it and I missed it?
    Any chances for you to move to England and being ref for FA (not for Arsenal-matches but others, like manu so they would have to play well to win and not count on ref)?
    Before match stared i was worried that Barton would make trouble for us like he did. but honestly I prefer 1 point (more than manu got) and Diaby missing 3 matches than Cesc, RvP, Diaby or anyone else missing rest of the season because broken leg or another serious injury.

  40. I’ve read through the posts, and first of all I want to say it was another good report by Walter.

    The only thing I disagree with, along with many others here, was the phantom foul called against Rosko which led to their 4th. Barton leaned into Rosko and went to ground. Rosko didn’t do anything.

    As to their first penalty, in looking at it in slow motion, you can see the player dives (like Berbatov the other week). However in real time, it’s not an easy call to make and the ref really can’t be blamed. What irks me about the call is that it goes along with a pattern of biased calls by the ref.

    @Ole Gunner, if that’s true that Arsenal’s odds drifted out that much (nearly a 30% swing) on Sunday morning, then this thing stinks to high heaven, and Dowd’s performance would confirm it. Someone should contact UEFA and Interpol, and get them involved in an investigation.

  41. johnny its aresenal we talk about here. Nobody would ever start an investigation over them. The again its the easiest team to math fix against. everyone are so used to refs being anti arsenal tha people would not even think about it if the ref leaned abit more towards the opnent that usual. its a done deal.

  42. on slightly off topic I think Arsenal players are getting better in twitter. Szczesny’s tweet yesterday after the match was “It is hard to make any comments on today’s game without using the magic word “referee”… Thought he was brilliant today…” at least there is nothing that can be used against him. 😉

  43. Hey Guyzz relax,

    Arsenal this season have come in front every time the have been beaten or brused. We have produced excellent results when ever there has been a question mark and i think this is the right time as Barcelona is coming ….. there will be determination from our side and thats whats is required right now …… this is the make or break part of the season so forget about what has happened think of the next to come.

    After all we have to win all the FOUR Silverware.

  44. I won’t bang on about the five or six shocking decisions, where I am in total agreement with much of what has been said, but would like to mention the Szczesny booking. For me this is a vivid example of the crass, uncontrollable knee-jerk reaction that Dowd got wrapped up in as a result of the crowd response and which seems to have provoked little comment. After the penalty it is The Arsenal’s ball for a restart – not Newcastle’s – and what exactly has Szczesny done to incur Dowd’s wrath? He has immediately gone to the back of the net, picked up the ball, walked two paces forward and is barely on the goal-line when the two of them set about him. It, presumably, is a time-wasting call – but that is ludicrous – there is no way his action can be called as time-wasting. There is just not a delay, it’s going to be our kick-off and Dowd makes an appalling call as a sop to the baying masses and, of course compounds it with the disgraceful, incompetent call on Nolan. The young goalkeeper has done remarkably well not to react to the assault or the referee’s provocation and has only been blamed by Dowd in order to excuse Nolan’s response. The same Nolan who pushed Diaby in the same fashion as Diaby pushed in the sending-off, with no caution. We’ve all seen time-wasting tactics employed against us, sometimes as early as ten minutes into a game. But, honestly folks, can that booking really be justified other than by a referee with a warped mind-set, for whatever reason?
    Dowd was just inept and simply not proficient enough to handle that second-half.

  45. Johnny – on the 2nd pen, the player may have dived, or gone down easily, but he was fouled. Koscielny was all over him. When aresnal players do that I say it’s a penalty, and this is just the same. Kos was trying to kick the ball, through the guy’s legs, and missing, only getting the player and he also kneed the attacker in trying to get the ball – there’s just no way that it wasn’t a penalty.

  46. @ FinnGooner, it appears Walter gave the ref a positive score for booking Chesney.

    I’d have to disagree with that call as well. It was our kickoff, Chesney grabbed the ball and was assaulted in less than 3 seconds after he picked up the ball.

  47. Hey Walter.

    Interesting about the unusual betting plans….

    Kind of sums it all up really.

    I knew after Diaby got sent off that ‘something was in the water’

    Mind you, he was culpable I think.

    Barton through back of Arshavin….total 100% foul.
    Impossible not to stop the game when a player ploughs through the back of another player.

    But then Diaby flew in on Barton after the ball had gone.

    So for me that was a probable red for Diaby there and then.
    Didn’t see Barton raking Diaby, but if he did red for him too.

    Barton crunching Diaby after…was not a foul also, but not as bad as some I’ve seen.

    But how Dowd didn’t call the Arshavin foul, which set the madness rolling, is beyond me…..

    sorry, unusual betting patterns …

  48. @Davi & Shard, regarding their first penalty, I said that in slow motion it appears to be a dive because Kos didn’t make enough contact for him to go down. However if I were reffing the match and seeing it in normal time, I’m pretty sure I would have awarded the penalty too.

  49. Great work Walter. Although like other posters have already mentioned, I think you might have been too kind to dirty Dowd.

    The first penalty – you see defenders putting strikers under that kind of pressure in and around the box all the time and nothing is given. I don’t recall Koscielny at any point pulling or pushing on Best, he was just sticking very, very close to him. Kos tries to poke the ball away from Best and makes no contact with the ball, but I also saw no contact whatsoever against Best. I thought it was a blatant dive.

    And for the free-kick that led to Tiote’s goal, my impression was that the Barton creature goes down like the sack of sh*t he is after Rosicky savagely brushed his bottom.

  50. may be the fa should start giving refs suspension for bad officiating as was the case in italy(juventus lost1-2 after they were denied a penalty) last weekend when the ref was given 2 match banned for not given penalty which he judged to be ball to hand.

  51. Walter do u know if there is any way u would be able to access the refs assessor’s report. Would be nice to see what he would make of that kind of poor performance.

  52. I thought RVPs finish for the goal that was disallowed was sensational. if Ole Gunnar is correct about the odds swinging that much Im not shocked.

    You know what all arsenal fans should just bend over and take it up the arse, because nothing is going to change, when another player ends their career they can just say the lad is not like that,when we go to old trafford lets just give them a two goal head start. lets just give them the fixture list aswell and make sure games are to their liking.

    if you want to make money bet on Man u over the past 5 years kevin pullein says if you placed money on every game they played in the prem you would have a profit I think he said 5%

  53. i love this site,
    i love your reviews walter. I do not agree on the first penalty,though.
    I hope Wenger reminds our players before and during evrygame that We Are Playing Against The World

  54. Ole Gunner
    February 6th, 2011 at 11:36 am
    I heard on Twitter that Newcastle’s odds of beating Arsenal were slashed Saturday morning. Apparently, the unconfirmed report is that Arsenal went from 1.71 to win to 1.90 suggesting that a lot of money moved late in Newcastle’s favour

    I got odds of 1.85 on Arsenal yesterday afternoon, but I wouldn’t read too much into this. It all depends when Arsenal fans and Newcastle fans decide to bet. Clearly, you either bet on your own side or you don’t bet if you’re a fan. So it may just be that more Newcastle fans either bet on Newcastle or laid Arsenal (which means either a Newcastle win or a draw) in the hour up to kick-off.

    The irony is that I could have closed out the bet at half time with almost 100% of the potential profit guaranteed, but was writing a big report so didn’t follow things.

    There were some rather strange things going on on the exchanges yesterday: Betfair has been subject to numerous malicious attacks by Eastern European cyberhackers recently. They call it ‘upgrading’, ‘maintenance’, but why do Russian symbols come up on screen if that’s what it is? Hmm………..

    Thanks for the update on Barton Walter: they didn’t show either of his challenges on Arshavin and Diaby on MOTD.

    There seems to be a naive question being asked about why Arsenal are being targeted by referees. It’s absolutely obvious why: if they are showing a likelihood of winning the League, there are other parties who would rather that didn’t happen. If those parties influence which referees get which games, you don’t need to be Einstein to see what will happen.

    Perhaps it is getting to the time when a bit of car chasing by pseudo-journalists is necessary to ask Mr Dowd et al some uncomfortable questions on camera? I’m sure Piers Morgan and Kelvin McKenzie can give suitable advice about how to organise it………

  55. Like Rogue Traders?

    ” Can you come here please Mr Dowd?”

    “Why are you running away Mr Dowd? We’ve just got a few simple questions for you….”

  56. @RHYS

    if you’re right about it just being newcastle fans which it could be I’m going to keep an eye on their games I would make a tidy profit

    why cant refs be drawn out of a hat by an independent adjudicator ??????

  57. As Johnny Deigh stated, Nolan should have got yellow for his push on Diaby, especially since Dowd gestured that it was the two pushes that Diaby made to get his red. Nolan pushed Diaby before Diaby pushed him back. That with the yellow Nolan got for the headlock/push on Szczesny and he would have made his early exit. Dowd was unable/unwilling to control the physicality of the challenges from early on. Enrique got burned by Theo several times, so he would clutch and grab every time Theo would start to move past him.

    Bottom line though, Arsenal lost composure and were dominated once Diaby got sent off. Newcastle got the benefit of Dowd’s incompetency, but they still had to put the ball in the net. They did. They got a point and nicked two off of us. The true test will be the next match. How do the players respond? We still gained a point on Man IOU.

  58. Sorry. I forgot. The Scottish Inquisition says
    we are not allowed to question the integrity of
    match officials.

  59. you lot are all missing the point. 4-0 up and we cant defend a lead!!!!!!!!!! embarrassing, shocking, disgraceful the lot. a team 2nd in the division cant hold onto a 4-0 lead. even with ten men you just put all ten players behind the ball and rely on the counter attack, teams have been doing it for years against us to stop us scoring. yet we cant stop a team with no decent striker scoring 4!!! wenger is a niave coach and more importantly an unlucky coach who is to stubborn to buy a center half becuse we all told him we needed one. he and he alone has just cost arsenal this year massively.

  60. Lineker and Shearer are being coached in how to keep a straight face if a side overturns a 6-0 deficit

  61. This is a copy of an email i have this morning sent to many governing bodys including fifa and the FA.
    Looking back through it i maybe could of added more but i think i got my point accross.

    I am an Arsenal fan, but first of all I am a massive football fan, especially of the english prem.
    The game yesterday date of 5th of feb 2011 Newcastle vs Arsenal, was an advert of what is so great about this league, unrivaled unflinching support and bags of excitment to name but two.
    What it also however highlights is the total lack in high standard of refereeing.
    The perfomance of Phil Dowd was utterly baffling to me,ok with the 2nd 3rd and 4th officials also a factor on the decisions some blame can also be layed elsewhere. BUT this man is the final word and the man ment to be in charge of the game,a game played fairly and in good sportmanship. It wasn’t and it was his fault.
    I will not go on to say Arsenal players are all angels. Newcastle players are not either all devils, both teams played with passion and a will to win.
    In my opinion and many others including game commentators pundits, the imbicile Dowd got too many BIG decisions very wrong and it played a major hand in handing Newcastle a point.
    Once he had given Diaby a red card, which was the right decision, He then has to ref the game with the same level of consistency, If Diabys was a red then Nolan on Sczczney after the penalty goal is also.
    Next up how was the second penalty ever in a million years a penalty?
    It was not no way ever.
    These were not his only errors,he also with the help of the linesman didnt give newcastle a goal which was onside clearly.
    It continues but im sure you get my point, if not watch the game back.

    I made this account just to send this complaint so incensed by the poor decisions in games now over the last few seasons, its a joke it makes football in England a joke. the level of skill,speed, ability etc in the prem has sky rocketed making it the best football league to watch, we all know that, rightly so. The poor refereeing is a heavy burden the league cannot have any longer, its not funny any more.
    This one game is only that, one game but unfortunatly its every week nearly every game dodgy decisions ruin what should be the beautiful game.
    for the sake of the greatest game on earth do it.
    How can it be known as that when rugby, tennis,cricket and so on all have more tech than us???? eh!!??????
    Does not compute.
    Fifa have a duty to us first and foremost, the fans that pay for the game, us that travel up and down the country to see completely irrational and upsurd decisions ruin our whole weekend.
    It is ruining the game. DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

    Reading it back i could of added more, speciffically Sczczney getting booked, what a joke.
    I wanted to send this to portray that im not just in Arsenals corner but football as a whole. The whole anti arsenal brigade is quite frankly ridiculous and pointing the blame at Wenger or the team is mental. Yes our heads did drop and yes Diaby was a fool, but put yourself on that field yesterday with them decisions going against you, the questions in your mind would relate to how the hell do we also play with ten against the ref aswell?????
    In conclusion we did not stay strong enough in the 2nd half but the most important fact is the crap refereeing in all games nowadays needs to be sorted.

  62. Walter, Is there nothing the club/supporters can do?. Who assesses the referees performance after each game, this is getting to be too much for me,and I am slowly losing my respect for the officials in the epl. Yes, I think they are biased anbd corrupt, not incompetent, and I want to know who can we make a formal complaint to. We need to do it, stop the banter on the web sites and start a massive media campaign, write letters, tell me who to and I will start. Can we have an investigation started, because there has to be something done.Something must be able to be done. I am tired of talking and analysis of what is obvious, now I want these gentlemen and their corrupt organization punished..

  63. So it’s the referee. What then? If you guys think so seriously about the conspiracy theory or some corruption thingy, then take that up with the relevant authorities.

    Murphy’s Law is rearing it’s ugly head only a week after the transfer window. It’s Deja vu. Nasri down, Song down, Jdourou down. Who’s next? And it’s precisely why so many fans are baying about the need for defensive backup. And let’s not dwell into this financial debate when what fans want is a cover, not some 50 mil defender.
    I’m a superstitious guy when it comes to football. And Squid is jinx. No hard proof just like this article. Let’s not forget that this is the second time we did a Jekyll and Hyde. I am still baffled how we cannot defend a 4 goal lead with 25 mins to the final whistle. We just raise the bar again. We need a 5 goal cushion to ensure a win.

  64. I just looked again at Bartons lunge on Diaby and it is absolutely disgusting – a leg breaking tackle. How Pardew can say it was a fair challenge puts him in the same camp of scum who cover up this crap.

    MOTD are corrupted. They don’t show Barton’s assaults. They also didn’t show the Bolton (Robinson’s) tackle on Diaby earlier this year. It was also a 3pm kickoff and since MOTD didn’t show it, everybody labelled Wenger a moaner when he complained about it.

  65. I understand I’m very late to the discussion and maybe this has been discussed already (I’m just too lazy to scroll through the entire discussion) but the Rosicky’s foul on Barton was a nothing. Two players coming together for an aerial ball and Barton, one of English football’s hardest of the hard men, goes down as if shot. No f***ing way is that ever a foul unless it’s an English ref calling a foul on a foreign player against an English diver.

  66. What is a corruption “thingy” Chua?

    What is a conspiracy theory?

    If you want to make an intelligent comment, try harder

  67. Here, I made a .gif (1.4 Mb) of Barton’s assault on Diaby. Notice how Diaby almost gets his ankle/leg snapped.

    I meant to say above that since this was a 3pm kickoff (not televised in the UK) and that it was not shown on match of the day, then most people in the UK will have never seen it and will label Wenger as a moaner for complaining about having one of his players nearly get his leg broken yet again.

  68. Just speaking to my cousin who was at the game – he reckoned Pardew just sent them out in the second half with no real expectations of getting a result but just to rough up one or two of our players, take them out is possible – bad blood with him and Arsenal. They adopted this tactic, then saw what the ref was letting them away with and confidence grew. He was also extremely critical of Eboue – brainlessly kicking the ball away and getting booked right at the start of his innings, with all that going on.
    The bad thing is , we will get exactly the same from the likes of Brum and Wolves after this game and Dowds antics.
    That tackle on Diaby was horrendous, he will be called a whinger but Wenger really must take that further and appeal the SO.

  69. This was the point I made earlier, & was an obvious second half tactic for a team 4 nil down at half time. That Barton was to target Diaby in this way is in no doubt im my mind. He’s basically a psycopath with a baby faced grin, so when Diaby grabbed him round the throat he was far more likely to chin Diaby than keep his cool & look up helpless from the ground like Mary Poppins waiting for the ref to rescue him. Diaby was suckered & Joey won the mental battle.

  70. My concern is that, with the refs being in such generous mood, teams will start adopting rough-house tactics again. In particular, I can see the CC final being a game where unpunished tackles and soft refereeing play a decisive role(and let’s be honest, it’s not like Birmingham don’t have recent history of it against Arsenal).

    If that happens, then not only do I not see Fabregas staying next year, I would fear that the development hopes of the current team would be broken for good.

  71. Had Diaby spent 2 minutes on the ground clutching his leg & sobbing, rather than letting his anger run away with him, the likelihood is that Barton would have got at least a yellow for the challenge, & he wouldn’t have got a red. He knows Barton rep., he knows the ref is letting poor challenges go unpunnished, so make the most of your chances.

  72. Maybe somefans in UK can make a large banner or poster to be placed in front of FA HQ / office.
    Phil Dowd : Newcastle vs Arsenal, needed further investigation.
    Who is corrupt? Downfall of BPL, want to be like Serie A?
    Or something like that. So it can atract media.

  73. @Marcus
    What does this sound to
    you? “Is this bias against Arsenal from the part of the disciples of Mike Riley?”

    Do you seriously need to try in this pro-Wenger site?

  74. @Andrew Chua

    It is a bit like singing to the choir, but the very fact that there is a choir now should be a statement in itself. Whether you think they are corrupt or not, surely you do not accept this standard of refereeing? Where is the clamour for the FA or the Premier League to do anything about it? To make their systems more transparent and open?

  75. No “hard proof” Chua, “just like this article”? The only thing that’s hard here is your head. Then it’s your “superstitious guy” thing that’s the basis for your Squidology. Have you been paying any attention to the mountain of amounting evidence being accumulated here? Your snide “So it’s the referee” is just, well, snide as in ignorant. There is serious work being done here with real implications about a bent officialdumb and you bray about “take it up with the relevant authorities.” The relevant authorities have walls for ears and briggi99jam has got it right. Will you help publicize the mountain of evidence that undermines this technology-free/replay-less sport, or will you continue to emit depressing key-strokes that cloud the minds of fans waking up to the inconvenient truths that this website puts before you, match after match?

  76. The only argument that people have in calling anyone who talks about corruption as whiners, is that we see such decisions all the time against all teams. Get over it. Well, maybe the wrong decisions should stop now? Or is that whining too?

  77. If football matches in Belgium, Italy, germany can be fixed or influenced, then why not in England? If it has happened in cricket in England, then why not football where there is much more money? Of course that doesn’t constitute evidence. But the decisions which we see all the time, the lack of transparency in the FA and their unwillingness to even consider doing anything about it apart from run ‘respect’ campaigns, just leaves them open to doubt. After all they do inhabit what anyone who isn’t an angel would consider a fertile ground for just this sort of thing. If they really were custodians of the game, they would be interested in removing that doubt. But what incentive do they have when any mistakes/wrongdoings can be passed off as just one of those things or indeed as someone else’s (in this case Arsenal) failings?

  78. There’s a difference between wrong decisions and a pattern of game-changing wrong decisions that take place in the plain sight of standby referees and assistants, and when some of those so-called referees have such a pattern that we are now able – witness dogface’s recent brilliant forecast – of what they are likely to do and then they do it. It’s not “maybe the wrong decisions should stop now?” because they can’t. Mistakes are inevitable because they are human. But here it’s the demonstrable (growing accumulation on this website, for a leading example) of yes, willful patterns of game-changing wrong decisions that need to be noticed, surfaced, publicized and brought into the court of public opinion, which the pundits are well-paid to (try to) control. Using the charge of “whining” as a macho club against truth-seeking only serves the business as usual of bent-football.

  79. The only real question in my mind Andrew is what kind of corruption
    we are witnessing.

    It could for instance involve match rigging and paying of officials.

    Er, do you dispute that bribery of officials does not exist?

    Or it could be the sort of corporate corruption that involves greasing the backside of the appropriate people. Which is the sort of corruption that in a way can be considered low-level, where there is a hegemony, and everyone tows a certain line, and sucks up to certain people to get on in their careers, but when it spills over into referees fearing certain corporate interests, and the voice of reason being silenced, (e.g. Wenger complaining about Shawcross’s assault on RAmsey), then it becomes an insidious malaise that corrodes the organization wherein it exists.

    Personally, I think all the shades of corruption, and probably more, exist in the EPL.

  80. @bob
    I agree. The point I was making was that even if someone doesn’t believe that corruption exists in the game, then at least they can agree on that much, and put pressure on the FA to do something about it.

  81. i’ve accepted the fact that the modern EPL is ‘fixed’ right from the start…just remember how’s the official was so in favor of us during the ‘Invicibles’?

  82. I’ve thought for many years that there is some sort of anti-Arsenal conspiracy within English football. I used to post a lot on the Evening Standard message board.

    One day someone asked me “why do you think the FA or Premier League or whoever has it in for Arsenal?”

    I was stumped.

    I still feel that Arsenal are harshly treated but I can’t work out why.

    Anyone care to put up some reasons why?

  83. Andy, I think here’s a few:
    (1) there’s real xenophobia (and “the Frenchman” is their lightning rod;
    (2) there’s a real threat to machismo (in the Frenchman’s brand of beautiful football, hence the constant charge of “whinging”);
    (3) there’s, face it, Zillions of pounds/euros tied up in ManU’s success as a world brand (witness the endless tv praise for every itch that SAF manages to feel and then scratch.), and Arsenal threatens that “face of world football” that ManU tries to project (it’s almost the only team with some brand-name recognition in the US, for one example).
    (4) kissing SIR Rednose’s ring is a long-standing gravy train for career advancement, job retention, over and under the table rewards, and a guaranteed niche (however small) in the public eye;
    (5) there are probably (but I’m too new at this to know) demonstrations effects about what happens to those people who openly cross SAF’s/ManUre’s interests. Perhaps a list could be compiled as further evidence for how the fix may operate.
    Anyway, I hope, at the risk of being somewhat obvious, starts to address the important question you raise: Why? Indeed.

  84. Though i’m not a fan of blaming refs after losing points. But for once, i wish this ref review could have gone up on every newspaper. Phil Dowd should be face the public, atleast of north london, with this review.

  85. @dark prince

    I think that’s limiting the agenda. I wouldn’t have screamed corruption if it were just this match. Why should ANY referee not explain his decisions after the match? If he made a mistake then he should have to accept it.

  86. There needs to be some way to bring this to light and file a complaint. Because this is just happening over and over again and its getting increasingly annoying. Your ref review articles are very well written, and even pretty unbiased, which would make it the ideal evidence to raise this issue. Its honestly getting ridiculous how obviously biased a ref can be..

  87. Andy,
    To follow up on how Arsenal’s game threatens entrenched Machismo, try this one from right the horse’s mouth: As Joey Barton has just today brayed on Sky:
    “If the Arsenal players don’t like being tackled, they should go and play basketball or netball or one of the other games.” (wipes spittle off moustache)

  88. How can Arsenal fans not get behind our team when it’s quite clear that ‘they’ just don’t want us to win?? You can argue all you like about our team’s weaknesses, or whether there is any ‘they’, but our team is in with a good chance of winning the title. Now is the time to back this team and protect them from just this sort of rubbish. It’ll hurt if we fall short in the end, but that is no reason to not stand as one now. Surely.

  89. This weekend could have been worse. Gained on man utd, and chelsea are currently losing. The Arsenal Invincibles won’t be matched this season. There is still a 50% chance that Moyes is a liar and not Wenger.

    Football debating is great, but too often gets bogged down with the ” it’s right or wrong simply because it’s my team” brigade.

  90. @Bob

    This has been going since before Wenger arrived.

    Look at the points deduction in 1991. I have witnessed plenty of mass brawls on the pitch since then with Chelsea, Tottenham and Wimbledon being involved in at least 2 each. Why no points deduction?

    It seems that every time Arsenal are involved in something, the media make a big thing about it and they are made an example of even if it has happened many times before.

    Paul Davis was given a nine match ban for punching another. Name me another player that has been given a similar ban. Or has no other player done this?

  91. Walter

    Please keep this up and please keep counting the number of fouls not given.

    A few years ago I tried to show that Arsenal were unfairly punished and shown in a poor light by the media but was shouted down with comments like “it all evens itself out over the season”.

    Your reviews are starting to show that this isn’t the case.

  92. Somehow we have gained points on United and Chelsea. weird weekend.

    Must say i was impressed by Chelsea’s £85m forward line…

  93. On the Don Fergie Factor: The generally excellent refereeing by Michael Oliver of Manure’s loss was marred by several end-game chances for SAF to become Invincible: first, serial fouls by Ryan Giggs went uncarded – incredible blatant fouls; and second, when the already overly-generous 5 minutes of “injury time” had eclipsed, the referee still allowed Manure one more throw-in which, fortunately failed. Every chance possible was given at the end to atone for having called a fair match. Kudos to Michael Oliver, but despite the attempt to give SAF his unfair “due” at the end, I don’t see this referee being forgiven his trespasses on SAF’s wished-for Invincibility. Perhaps he will be allowed to atone at Arsenal’s expense. Then again, I think he’s a good straight-shooter in a crooked epl.

  94. Hi Walter.

    Ithink barton should not be allowed to play coz he went to prison for assault your view?

  95. Walter another well presented piece of journalism from our inhouse fav referee.
    I used to always look forward to these pieces but sadly no more not down to your writing skills but more the fact of having to re live the horrors of the previous 24hrs.
    I first thought there was something wrong the year Eduardos leg was broken and the penalty was given against clychy for the draw in birmingham.
    We went through a 5 or 6 game period either side of that match where by Arsenal were CHEATED out of the league.

    After that flamini and Hleb moved on and it took us a few years for replacements to develop and become title challengers again and when they see we can win the league its the same old story make sure it cant/wont happen.

    Are Arsenal football club blind as in Hillwood, Gazardis and Wenger etc that they havent done something about this before now?

    Yesterday some people are seeking to switch the attention to the defence been crap on the day. I guess without 2 of our main back 4 and none of our defencive midfielders song and denilson around thats easier to do.

    Where from here though, how do we bring enough attention to the situation to place pressure on those making decisions that they are done so fairly ? Thats all we ask for is fairness not a leg up or head start an even playing field.

  96. The most corrupt performance in over 30 years of watching football.The second half is evidence alone that corruption is rife in the game and needs looking at big style.After watching that i was genuinely ashamed to be Britsh and felt sick knowing that the national game had been reduced to farce.No educated person can now take it seriously………….how very sad is that.

  97. I must say that after just coming home from my game this afternoon I am a bit overwhelmed with the comments.

    I want to appologise as I will not be able to answer all those questions. Please forgive me as this is just a hobby of mine and I do have to work for my daily living to feed my family.

    But I think you will see some questions answered in the next days in a few articles that are coming up.

    An article on how the points of the refs have gone down from the moment we became real title contenders.
    An article on analysing how ref Dowd is working to tilt games.
    And an article on why Diaby lost it based on the rule book and based on my sympathy that I felt for him in yesterdays game. I know he shouldn’t have reacted and this was stupid and he deserved a red card for this. But if you see what has been happening this season to him and before it is clear to see that every person has his breaking point somewhere. So an article from the ref about assaults on a player who finally lost it.

    I think in those articles you will see some answers on your questions.

  98. @walter the response just shows how outrageous the nigth was yestterday and the day against Everton. Unjustice makes people react.

  99. One thing about the incident Nolan-Szczesny. When a team wants to take the ball out of the goal to get the game restarted as quick as possible the defending team cannot hold on to the ball or kick it away.
    When the ref sees this happening he should run as fast as he can in to the incidents and claim the ball himself. By this the defending team will give the ball to the ref and the other team should not start wrestling for the ball. Dowd just stood there and didn’t move. He did nothing.
    He then gave a yellow card to Szczesny and this can be done if he considered the holding of the ball as some kind of time wasting. Dowd considered it like that. What a surprise……

    So once again it was in fact a foul from Dowd which made this incident happen.
    The lash from Nolan is a red card offence. No other way round it. BUT and I will highlight this in a further article: Dowd gave the yellow card to protect Nolan. Because by giving him a yellow card he made sure that the FA could not ban him after the game! He is a very experienced ref and he does know how to change games. But I think this time he went too far and a few times too many this season.

    If I hadn’t started this ref review this season I would have never noticed it how he operates in a game to change it completely. And one must admire him in a way.

  100. “And one must admire him in a way.” Please don’t think I admire him but he is so good at it that it really is a despicable artwork.

  101. And to the poster of that little video: thanks for highlighting and putting this online. On those images you can see how the bone in the leg of Diaby is bending under the challenge from that criminal.If Diaby would have been standing with his leg in the grass we would have had this years Diaby, Eduardo, Ramsey….

  102. What sums it up for me is that if arsenal lose / draw or even win I want it to be fair and square, no one should have to feel cheated even the opposition fans. I have noticed very little blame is placed on the players on this match and there are many on untold including myself who would criticise the players, this result was 100% oorchestrated by the ref either by corruption or incompetence.

    Due to the fact we have had Mr wenger many arsenal fans have become connoisseurs of the beautiful game, but what I witnessed at Newcastle was not the beautiful game it was very ugly IMO because it was 75% influenced by the referee, when fans are talking about the ref means something is wrong

    for me if there is any doubt you cant give a penalty
    offsides are hard to call
    fouls SHOULD be pretty straightforward

    and with 3 other officials helping you how do you explain your performance mr dowd??????

    for the people at sky who have major influence over fixtures and I sense trying to create drama we want to keep the game clean or it is the equivalent of some athletes taking steroids,the team that plays the best should win and it should never be decided by refs bias

  103. Fightback. FIGHT BACK! If the Club (Wenger, Fab, RVP) know, really know what is going on it is incumbent on them to bring light to it and keep the bright light of day focused on it because the side-by-side “get up in em’ media cronies won’t dare do it. BTW – I think Moyes check from Fergie for his “Fab should’ve been red carded” thing in the tunnel arrived today.

    So how do we fight back? In the Ems we need the “Our 11 will still beat your 15” banners flying like they were for Rambo last year after the Shawcross incident. Seriously break them out!

    As for the team, when obvious bias has been shown (this is not “poor” officiating, that happens – I’m talking about a pattern of one-sided officiating that has become very apparent) so when obvious bias creeps in it’s up to RVP and Fab and the leaders on the team to fight back. How do you do that – usually this point is marked by a bad event such as poor penalty decision, red card, yellow card, disallowed goal, improperly allowed goal – that breaks the camels back.

    This is now from personal experience inn the semi-pro leagues. Fab and RVP and the keeper just take the team in huddle and stop the game to allow people to focus on the fact that the bias is there. Huddle right there on the field and don’t allow play to commence for a while. In the case of the Barton incident I can tell you that I – personally – would’ve said in that huddle that Rosicky or Eboue stick him every time he played the ball. I also would’ve rallied our guys instead of allowing the “victim” psychology to take hold.

    Couple this conduct with the banners / support in the Ems when playing at home and I think you have a good shot at fighting back.

    I recognize the propensity for garnering yellow cards for this conduct – but it is a far better prospect than going quietly into that good (corrupt) night and it sets the stage for responses to the inevitable media inquiries post-match about playing by the rules set down by that official in that game accordingly. For the non UK media – hearing world class players like Fab, RVP, Nasri, – and especially Theo and Jack as it os there “home league” – point out (as obtusely as possible, but leaving no doubt about intent) the obvious corruption will be highly news worthy.

  104. Gooner80, the last thing I would want is to have refs who are biased in favour or Arsenal. I would hate it.

    Mistakes can be made, will be made. I know this better than everyone as a ref. But when there is a pattern in mistakes then I start to feel uncomfortable about things.

    Normally I’m always looking forward to do my own games. But today I was so down and was so trying to come to answers about the many questions that kept on turning in my head (why? whatfore? who? who else? and many more….) that I for the first time in so many years as being a ref was thinking: why do I bother to be fair in my games? Why do I try to ref my games with no bias against teams? Am I the only stupid ref in the world who does it like that? Am I the only one stupid enough to try to be fair in every game?

    So at a moment I even started questionning myself and was thinking of stopping as a ref. Because I don’t want to be associated or be mentionned in the same way as refs that I have seen this week.

    But then I decided that it is not me that should stop doing what I do at my level far away from the EPL. It is them in the EPL who should have the decency to call it a day and walk out of football and never come back in it again. Be it because they are incompetent (which cannot be as they have a long career in the game) or by personal bias (how can you live with yourself after that?) or by instructions (how can you live with yourself and how can you not fight such injustice?) or for whatever reason they do it.

    I know I am honest so I should continue. It is them that should stop as refs. Not me.

    Believe me I can stand us losing a game like against WBA how painful it was but that was a fair loss, with a fair ref. But this is so hurting for a ref like me that this cuts deep in my soul.

  105. Long Island gunner, I really like your idea. It would go around the world over and over again.
    And I think the first time the ref will be left speachless about it and wouldn’t know what to do. But it would be a clear sign to the Emirates that they feel they have been treated bad and so the Emirates would come alive and give it all.

  106. That is a good idea Long Island Gunner. Bold and refusing to go down without making a stand at the very least.

    Less serious an idea, but in the ‘longest yard’ Adam Sandler throws the ball right into the referee’s..well..balls..twice.. n tells him he’ll keep doing that till he calls the game fair n square 🙂 would certainly make me feel better to see that

  107. In US Baseball this year, we had a terrible and insane umpire’s call ruin a no-hit game in what would have been its last at bat. The difference: the umpire admitted he was wrong and was genuinely contrite. The umpire was allowed to and willingly did face the media for his error, and the camera’s made it obvious that it was a terrible error. It didn’t force a rematch or change the loss of the no-hitter, but at least there was a sense of fairness and closure; and the umpire’s mea culpa was refreshing compared to the ever-putrefying boil that IS the epl’s business as usual. That umpire will be vigilant going forward and has taken it on to redouble his work ethic. If only from our matches against Birmingham and the two this week, there is surely a need for a public outcry against rampant bent umpiring and for post-match ACCOUNTABILITY – a public report and an umpire’s press conference. Again, to quote the Bard, “So foul a sky clears not without a storm.”

  108. I’m beginning to wonder whether all these ref post mortems are really worthwhile. While they are interesting in a tortured sort of way, they nurture a kind of paranoia because there is no end product. Nothing can be done to put matters right and fans are being left totally frustrated.

  109. @walter

    thats what I mean walter I have no problem with arsenal losing fair and square

    I think all arsenal fans need to unite and put so much pressure on the refs at the ems

  110. @bob

    That’s what I don’t understand about the English game. It would be the simplest thing in the world to just let the referee face the media at the end of the game and explain his decisions. It’s called accountability, and the ref also gets to give his view of it. When did this rule start incidentally? Because I remember refs being interviewed after the game even during the invincibles era.

  111. On the corruption / bias issue -traditionally Utd seem to have been the main beneficiaries but do not forget, there is a new kid in town with far more clout than most, assuming money = clout.
    There is something going on – maybe punishing Arsenal for something, or maybe trying to help another team.
    I have noticed in the ref reviews that quite a few of them, including I think Dowd show a positive recent trend in Citys favour. This is disturbing, nobody at that club has the influence of Fergie but if they are getting favours, this could imply even worse corruption than Fergies malign influence – ie dosh not to put too fine a point on it.
    If FIFA can be persuaded to give the WC to Quatar, it is not beyond the realms of possibility that there are refs here who will take a back hander.
    Having said that, I am really coming round to thinking Dowds performance was to avenge the making a fool of Lee Mason rather than anything more financially driven.

  112. @Nicky,
    If you read the several surrounding emails to yours, one end product of these “tortured” e-mailings is to suggest public, visible displays of people’s awareness and objection to what is going on, and to push for calls or petitions for post-match referee accountability. Are you really suggesting supporter’s silence rather than your frustration as a remedy? Or is there no remedy? Or is trying something that is public and has this or any other specific demand already worthless, in your discomforted position, before it’s even been tried. Get off the couch, perhaps?

  113. @mandy dodd

    That is a possibility. It still doesn’t make it any better. Viewing that image of Barton’s assault on Diaby just churned my stomach. We were incredibly lucky to not witness yet another leg break. If that is the game the English pride themselves on, then honestly they have nothing but false pride. Barton is a coward rather than someone macho. And the referee was not just allowing it to happen, he was almost making it happen. Whatever his motivation, that is simply not right, and a gross abuse of power.

    As for the whole corruption issue, it doesn’t have to be money based alone. At least not for the referees directly. I still believe most referees will call a game as fair as they can. The corruption probably exists at a higher level, who exert pressure on referees to call things a certain way.

    It’s not paranoia. It’s something I’ve had to come to face as the only logical conclusion. At most I can be called a cynic, and that’s a charge I won’t deny. I would love to be wrong, but what I can see just doesn’t add up.

  114. Been Arsenal season ticket holder for 25 years and thinking of tunring my back on this corrupt game called football.i definately think there is a directive from higher up stating Arsenal cannot win the league this year.this season bad refereeing has cost a lot of points and put a large dent in our championship hopes.The worse thing about it is , the way the media constantly sweep the incompetent /bent decisions under the carpet while trying to start a witch hunt against Arsenal players for suggesting as much.The decision by the referee in midweek re the offside goal was laughable ,fabregas only echoed what 57000 people thought,yet the baddy in all this was Fabregas.Yesterday I saw assaults all over the pitch which the referee blatantly ignored , saw szeczney get a yellow card for being bundled in his own area by barton and nolan,the worse tacle I thought was barton from behind on arshavin which i believe wasn’t even shown on MOTD.then you listen to Talkshite and you have ‘arsenal ‘ fans ringing up and saying ‘we need a goalie ‘ ‘ we need a defender ‘ etc etc totally ignoring the real facts why this game was stolen away from us.What we really need is an official who is fair and isn’t corrupt and working on the payroll of both manchester clubs.i find this whole incident sickening and it is putting me off football big time

  115. @Shard
    Alas, there’s no standard rule for post-game umpire press conferences in US Baseball. But at times, when there’s serious controversy, either reporters or the Umpire’s Association or some entity makes it possible for fans to at least hear the umpire’s account or justifications. It’s ad hoc, not standard, but there is no wall of silence that necessarily prevents people from learning the umpire’s account. I didn’t know that in the Invincibles era there were referee interviews as you remark; did that change at some point? Maybe that’s the demand to make: to bring back these interviews or to formalize them as standard post-match procedure. It would take a broad petition for the FA to bow to this, but if enough fans from enough (not necessarily 100%) made the demand, then perhaps the FA would institue something like this, if only (and I do mean only) to chill out the anger and lessen the public relations disaster of hordes of dissatisfied fans demanding referee accountability. That’s my 2 cents. Cheers, Andy.

  116. Look at the positive side. This might galvanize arsenal and must galvanize arsenal.

    It’s high time for a hero and WE DON’T NEED TO BUY ONE.

  117. @bob

    I don’t think it was standardised in England also, though it might have been. But I distinctly remember when the referee had incorrectly awarded a penalty against us (Ashley Cole the culprit) but changed his mind within 5 seconds and gave a goalkick or a corner. At the end of the game I saw an interview with him in which he said that player reaction told him he’d made a mistake and he changed his decision. There was a lot of debate on the ethics of that but ultimately the decision was correct and nobody threw a strop.

    Wish I could remember who the referee was.

  118. Hey tony, add one more thing to ur ridiculous title, will u???

    Welcome to bribesville, home of the premier league which in turn is the home of arsenal.

  119. Aww critic, let it go man.. I was just gonna say you had things right today with focussing on the positives and that this should galvanise us. Look at Sagna’s comment on twitter.. But then you go back to the you of yesterday.. give it up man. Seriously. You don’t believe there is corruption, some people do. That’s all.

  120. Overseas bloggers won’t have seen that very nice Graeme Souness on Sky earlier today. Specifically his comment relating to Diaby was ‘you just can’t raise your hands like that and expect to get away with it’. Funnily enough Nolan did it twice (once far more aggressively than Diaby) and got away with only a yellow.
    More suspiciuosly Sky left the Arsenal game until last on their review and, having spent ages showing clips of Souness’s acting career on the old drama Boys from the Blackstuff, declared that they didn’t have time to do a full analysis of the game that they described as ‘one of the greatest in Premiership history’.
    If I couldn’t smell a rat before that happened I can smell a whole nest of them now.
    I’m afraid that I still think that whoever decided to parade the refs incompetence on the big screen at Emirates last Tuesday has a lot to answer for – even though it might have spurred the players on to an eventual win. The refs union took it upon themselves to reek their revenge and the media seems to be at least partly covering up for them.
    Arsenal may well also be paying the price on the field for their influence off it (financial fair play etc.) but it is becoming too obvious to be ignored.

  121. Is there any legal minds out there?????

    surely there is grounds to even sue a ref, shef UTD did it to westham there should be some accountability for serious mistakes, if a team gets relegated or misses out on champions league spot we are talking millions of pounds.

    its probably me just ranting,

    there is a saying that goals change games but refs change games,if it wasnt for arsenal I think i would be watching the bundersliga

  122. @gooner80
    The Bundesliga is really fun to watch. You should try and watch more of it if you can.

    Aahh, if we’re talking about litigation, then surely even more than the referee, the Dan Smiths, Taylors, Shawcrosses, and Bartons of this world would be the first to be sent up on trial? Its far more obvious than a referee pulling strings. Yet, do you even think that would happen?

  123. @Shard
    As another wish-list tactic to toss into the mix of possible ways forward: Perhaps trying to coax a death-bed confession by an aging someone in the know, to clear their conscience before meeting their (odds)maker, would go a long way toward shedding light? I think that would be a way for such a one to be remembered, with gratitude, by the fans, and thereby make a noble contribution to our beautiful game. Why not consider it, anyone out there, as part of your legacy and our inheritance. It seems far better than going gentle into that good night, methinks. Just a wish (wink).

  124. French website reporting that Interpol looking into yesterdays game for corruption with rumours of Dowd having large money transfers going in his account.i hope this is going to be reported heavily

  125. @bob

    Haha. You really pictured that dream didn’t you?? That might just be the only way we get evidence too…

    However, personally, I’d still rather see the referee kicked in the nuts. But that’s just me 🙂

  126. @Shard
    Speaking of the unspeakable Barton, there does seem to be a profile (as the Wikipedia entry for him indicates) of his violent run-ins with people of a certain hue. It’s the unspoken bit in his yesterday’s muck-about and rather striking to think about it in the context of all that Wikipedia has assembled on the good lad. I’m so glad he’s reformed (or is it refined) his ways. This lad is no credit to his species.

  127. That stuff about suspicious bank transfers – saying Dowd and incredibly, Rosicky involved! Quite a few blogs reporting it now – please please someone tell me this is a hoax! Supposed to originate from some French site.

    Must be a hoax!

  128. @bob
    Olivier Dabo was the teammate at Man city he assaulted. Who else? I must say that sorta thing escapes me, and its dangerous to assume that. But then again it is Baby kangaroo Barton we’re talking about here.

  129. Mandy dodd

    Calm down dude. Just wait and see what comes of it. It’s very likely a hoax. I would be very suprised if it were that easy to find evidence of corruption. Unless bob’s vision just now has come true, it seems unlikely.

  130. Of course, even if it is a hoax, as long as it is widely reported it could, COULD, have the desired effect. People could get discussing the ‘irregularities’ in the match and could start demanding a fairer, more transparent, more accountable system.

  131. Cannot see it on any sites I would regard as credible – bdo not know anything about this French site.
    If there is anything in it, sure it will come out in the wash and quickly.

  132. Doesn’t say anything about Dowd as far as I could tell. Just Rosicky.

    Please nobody start ranting off about him until we hear more and find out what is going on. I’d still say it’s more like to be a mistake if not a hoax.

    It’s interesting to try and read the comments on the article though. It would seem the French are more open to accepting the idea of corruption existing in their game than the Brits.

  133. Looking back to 2007 and the outrageous decisions that went against us once we were a threat to Man Utd (remember Adebayor`s disallowed goal V Boro) that were inexplicable.

    I am sadly buying into the fixed EPL theory.

    What do we do about it

    Blitz the FA and EPL with letters
    Blitz the RA and Mike Riley
    Keep posting the videos on you tube
    Blitz sensible journalists with the facts when once again we were robbed. Not by some questionable decisions that go against us, but by blatant favouritism and disregard for the rules.

    I too like Walter am a Ref, I reffed senior men’s football in the UK, was what used to be called a grade1. And believe me, some of Dowd’s decisions defied explanation. I want to believe he got carried away with the crowd and the emotion. If he did it was unprofessional. If it was not that he is either incapable of applying the laws, or he is corrupt. No other explanation can exist.

    I am sure history will prove us right, but if we can have an impact, the sooner the better

    I am sure it will not be too difficult to find more e mails, let the buggers know this time they are not getting away with it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  134. Ok. I think that it was a hoax. (Apart from anything else, why would Interpol get involved?) Probably meant to match the ridiculousness of the standard of refereeing we saw. That would be my guess here.

  135. Wasn’t Dowd the referee for the Sunderland game…. Dowd sends off Song and Rosicky blasts a penalty (he should never have been taking) over the bar?

  136. @ugandan goon

    I’m telling you it’s a fake. probably meant as a joke to illustrate just how ridiculous that game was. The implication is the same as on untold without quite naming the referee. Instead it is Arsenal’s fault. Rosicky gave away the penalty and the free kick. So entirely his fault.. I’m quite sure that that’s what is going on here.

    Of course, i could just be talking to my alter ego right now.. did you catch critic’s wild theory on us being the same person? 🙂

  137. @Shard
    For massive, well-documented context on Barton, please have a look at And have a look at his contretemps with named men of African-descent listed there such as: Abdoulaye_Diagne-Faye (Bolton); Ousmane Dabo (Man City); Dickson Etuhu (Sunderland); Gabriel Agbonlahor (Aston Villa); and the Anthony Walker case (via Barton’s brother, not Joey). The entry is amazing. Many run-in’s and exonerations, jailings and reprieves; acts of violence and repentance. How does this man still get to play in the epl? Against this background, his tackle on our Abou Diaby seems part of a pattern. It’s better that he become an ambassador for how not to treat one’s fellow players in the epl – that would be a redemptive service.

  138. @bob
    I feel positively icky just reading that stuff.. It actually doesn’t prove he’s racist and even that writeup makes a lot of assumptions. I am not defending that cowardly scum, but lets just forget him and not obsess about whatever his motives may be for what was an assault on our player.

  139. @ugandan goon

    I know, but to be fair I don’t think he’s a troll really. Just a little… detached… from the views on this site, if not from reality.

    What’s your take on this whole rosicky corruption, french article business?

  140. Arsenal football club and the lawyers need to start building a case investigating deeper paying PI’s whatever it takes to find out what is going on with the referees.
    On another note I looked at the headlines on sky about our defeat and the sun then looked at the original headlines for manutds and chelseas and on Sky it was our sorry lot dropped points etc etc etc. The sun wasnt much better and the other 2 clubs were more or less as if nothing happened ….” we drew they lost” and Arsenal was the sorry bunch of loosers.

    So based on that why do we allow those shower of idiots in to our stadium to report on matches sit in on AW interviews when all they do is print shit about our club our team our players our manager ?
    Why not just let in the unbiased journalists and let the scabby ones fuck off somewhere else for their stories ????
    I wouldnt let them use my bathroom never mind give them access to our club.

  141. Shard, I couldn’t find anything on he side of France2 to which they point in the article.
    So probably just a hoax

  142. @RedGooner

    One, because that might cause us even more problems. Two, because I don’t think thats just the Arsenal way of doing things. It can be annoying and difficult, but I am proud that we don’t act like Srallex and start boycotting journalists for stories we don’t like.

  143. LOL, true – just putting it out there. Yeah – probably just internet noise – let’s wait and see.

  144. @ walter

    My view on it was that it’s just taking a dig at the referee and the English media by adding an element of ridiculousness. That even if they have to agree it’s corruption, the English media will still react by saying it’s corruption from an Arsenal player only and not an honest English referee.

  145. Hey Shard, I am also in support of the way our club behaves.
    But would you spend whole life been unfairly rediculed/cheated on by someone and still entertain them ?
    I think there comes a time in every situation where enough becomes enough sure they might make waves for a few weeks but then it becomes them loosing out.
    Fergusson done it with the BBC leeds have done it with the guardian, They aint rediculed for it either. Then again we are the foreign club everyone loves to hate.

  146. Ferguson just isn’t subject to the same rules as anyone in English football. Frankly, RedGooner, I don’t think that the words of such crap journalists really matter. they are a self feeding frenzy and they have an exaggerated sense of their own importance. If people are affected by it is only because those are their own beliefs which it gives them satisfaction to read in print. No one else buys it, and all it does is expose the underlying xenophobia, and the caveman attitude in English football, to the rest of the world.

  147. guys have you heard abt the rumours all over twitter? Apparently interpol have launched an investigation on yesterday’s match and rosicky is a suspect

  148. @Red Gooner, Walter, Shard, Gooners all:
    How about a fans’ petition that registers strong support for the club to actually hire a PI to investigate the possibility of bent men in black jobbing our games? A kind of sense of the fan base that is sent on to the club. It could be done online via one (this) or some combination of kindred enough websites whose audience signs the petition. Then, after say 50,000 names are collected – or whatever the critical mass – it gets printed off and hand delivered to club offices, perhaps with a little celebration of truth fanfare. Perhaps the example will spread to other clubs fan base, who knows?
    Any thoughts, other ideas?

  149. if rosicky rumors turn out to be true, then it will the most devastating thing for a gooner.
    But it’s just a ridiculous and shamefull tactics of scums to deviate world’s attention from phil dowd and to hide the truth of utter pathetic refs in so called best league.

    1st thing that’s necessary for a good system is grt administration. But sadly in epl administration is the pain that arry inflicted on portsmouth.

    @ug/shard, i am not detatched from this blog’s view but i am certainly against shouting a lie/idea again and again so that readers start believing it.
    Every single one of u jumped on ref, missing the point that djorou and diaby were the two pivotal moments in the game.

    Djorou moment cud be the pivotal turning point in our seasom. Time for a hero to stand up or else it will be

    injuries 3 arsenal 0.

  150. Foreigners sunk to a new low today by bringing corruption into our wonderful, and hitherto totally clean, game. As if it wasn’t enough that we had to endure their diving, cheating and spitting-I’d rather be punched- and above all their quick passing, fleet footed technical football which led to poor English victims having their reputations sullied for happening to be in the vicinity of the jessy like foreigners’ legs snapping.
    Dirty Foreigner, playing for Cheating Foreign Softies FC, threw a game which though brilliant and hilarious for us since it gave an opportunity to call them the softies that they are, was exposed by the French of all people. This now proves that foreigners have no soul and would resort to even this just for money. He could just have sold stadium tours and asked his mum to nip clothes from the local store if he was so in need. Besides, it’s not like he spent all his money on a prostitute so that she may earn her bread.Watch over your wives and girlfriends tonight and every night, until these foreign bastards leave our glorious nation and its football for good. No one is safe. They have managed to destroy our manly game and the pure, simple, clean life that is associated with football in our land.

  151. @ critic
    The above represents what newspapers in England basically regurgitate in one form of another. Lies. Shouted and repeated again and again until they become conventional wisdom. If you are against people’s opinion being coloured you should look no further than that. Their readership after all is much greater.

    Anyway, the point of my above comment was basically addressed to RedGooner to show that this is the sort of tripe that the media puts out and as such is of no value.

  152. Wenger said of Fabregas, ‘He’s an intelligent guy, he knows what to do?’

    Get out of English football while he’s still in one piece?

    Take the team off the pitch if he thinks it is about to become a (one-sided) bloodbath?

    Kick somebody so hard (a la Diego?) that nobody comes near him again?

    Suggestions on a postcard.

  153. @critic
    I’m not going to enter the whole corruption debate with you again. It’s my belief that you just aren’t ready to accept it yet and that’s fair enough.
    Please note that I’m not saying I know for a FACT that it exists. I only say that the way the football administration functions in England, the amounts of money involved, and the sort of decisions we see every week lead me to believe it does exist. However, let’s not talk about that anymore. At least you will not disagree about wanting a better standard of officiating and some accountability. Just see that that’s what most people are on here about. For the rest, I do believe you care about Arsenal and as such I would be willing to enter into any discussion with you on the footballing side.

  154. @bob

    That is the sort of idea you should probably run by the active supporter groups..It might be possible for it to take off, though I doubt that the club would accept such a petition.

  155. @critic
    I didn’t miss the significance of Djourou’s withdrawal. I mentioned yesterday that our team’s focus probably shifted to staying healthy for the upcoming games rather than winning this game once Djourou went off injured and Diaby was sent off with a 3 game ban. I didn’t say that was right. But 4-0 up and the way the tackles were flying in it’s understandable. Without mentioning the referee (hard to do in this match), I certainly think we could improve on our performance.

  156. @Shard
    Sorry to be Johnny come lately on this, but, just for clarification sake: Rule-wise: Can someone (Diaby) be yellow carded twice for the same incident? If not, then there’s no red card. Just Dowd’s Law that splits one incident into two. Or that insists on there being one incident because he can.

  157. I think the time has come for people who care about integrity, fairness and justice in our game to start a campaign for an official investigation into the refereeing and assessment of Arsenal games. I believe ‘vendetta’ is not too strong a word for what is going on and as betting is involved- so should the DPP be. It is corruption and perversion of the course of justice from where I stand.

  158. @Shard
    I’m curious on why you think the club would not accept (to consider) a 50K+ names petition seeking an investigation? If you feel this way, then what is the point of amassing the evidence that is underway? Would it not be presented to the club? Would the club not accept (to consider) it for something that would be actionable? Or, if not the club, then who would be the potential entity that would take some kind of action? Is this just spinning wheels? I don’t think so. So when readers are increasingly convince by UA’s analysis propose something specific be done (whether a petition or otherwise), is your position that the club (and if not them, surely not the FA) wouldn’t be open to it? Please clarify because your reply has me confused. Surely this is not analysis for the sake of analysis alone?

  159. Simple, somebody start a Facebook Group:

    “Justice in Football”


    “Fair reffing in the EPL”

    let’s go

  160. I think that anything that brings more attention to the fact that referees are for some reason being seriously biased in games is a good thing be it a petition or whatever.
    It will turn up the heat on those reffing our matches and rightly so.

  161. What exactly are the interpol accusing rosicky of? I’ve read two articles and translated them into english but I just see a name and no if it’s dowd that received money how would rosicky have anything to do with it. Honestly I find it hard to understand why his name even came up unless he’s helping the interpol in some way. I can’t say I’m not excited about this lol, I’m tired of being so obviously screwed over by the refs and how manure get away with everything..just saying this boils my blood

  162. Rosiscky doesnt play enough to influence games it seems to be about serious money on betting on the match.

    Probably all a load of rubish 🙂

  163. My take on this is that FA and its match officials do have an attitude problem with Arsenal who are perceived as a foreign club which is not being run in typical English traditions. Some would call it racism and having personally experienced institutionalised racism in this country, I am not surprised by the behaviour of FA, match officials and indeed the media. You can collect evidence ad nauseum but it will not make any difference; unless UEFA or FIFA take the bold step of initiating some kind of investigations. The evidence is there for all to see in all the video recordings of EPL games. If it was to be analysed by an independent body, it will prove what you are saying. FA, Premier league, UEFA, FIFA are all a bunch of self serving imbecile fat cats. Unfortunately it is killing the game as Jack rightly mentioned.This behaviour on the part of FA officials and media are also responsible for a complete lack of improvement in the quality of our English team. EPL is the greatest league because it has been enriched by influx of talented foreigners. This kind of racist behaviour on the part of referees, some English players and biased media will slowly but surely discourage these players from coming to EPL. Even if Cesc had wanted to stay with Arsenal next season, he would have realised by now that if he has to keep his sanity and body intact, he should be packing his bags in May. I am not not sure whether Arsenal will even be ‘allowed’ to win the Carling Cup this time!

  164. I just read that wilshere wasn’t going to be punished for his tweet about dowd, but that the fa might look into the game a bit..doubtful but I hope so. Thing is even if they decide there’s nothing wrong with it..wouldn’t there have to be something wrong for them to drop punishing jack just like that, and we all know they would’ve given him a ban or two just for kicks

  165. I am almost certain there was corruption on that game… from one of our own we will have to wait and see, however my general feeling is no… because in no way was it a pen… no way Rosicky did anything that would grant a pen. The ref made the decision not the actions of rosicky. Secondly the free kick again baron went down.. Rosicky didn’t attempt to trip/grab or anything. Just tustled like you would for a header.

    I’m so suprised there hasn’t been a bigger outrage from us or the media. It’s just not acceptable. And we have just taken it. The worst part is we are being mocked by a clear bias game. I’m bot one to blame everyone else but twice this week… twice. I’m usually neutral but I’m pissed off with this. Seriously let’s highlight this. I want more articles out lining the complete amount of ruling from the ref.

  166. ostritches…heads in the sand. People should be surprised were the game proven to be without corruption. There is no transparency with referee assignments or their evaluation. The Premier League is creating their own problems.

  167. @Marcus

    The only real question in my mind Andrew is what kind of corruption
    we are witnessing.

    It could for instance involve match rigging and paying of officials.

    Er, do you dispute that bribery of officials does not exist?

    Marcus, the nature of my job in China, Indonesia, KL, Vietnam and Philippines el al crosses path with corruption all the time. Try starting an outlet in China and you will be dealt with applications in excess of 10 licenses. Which means, coffee money and bribes in kinds to get things done. And we are talking about the whole system, from goverment officials to middlemen and whatever Mickey.

    Back to EPL. Not sure you guys know how much money is betted in EPL matches by the syndicates in SE Asia, let alone China. Huge… runs into millions and millions. And to the Newcastle-Arsenal game… during HT, and with Arsenal leading by 4 goals, the bookies were still taking bets on a Newcastle draw and win. What does that tell you?

    Which brings me to my point or snide as someone puts it… what can you do about it? Corruption is still rampant even with stiff sentences, or even death sentence as with China for excessive corruption. Petitions or whatever will not have a significant effect as vested interest runs deep. It will take major revamps and structural reforms by the Sports body and government to address this.

  168. @Bob
    No “hard proof” Chua, “just like this article”? The only thing that’s hard here is your head. Then it’s your “superstitious guy” thing that’s the basis for your Squidology. Have you been paying any attention to the mountain of amounting evidence being accumulated here? Your snide “So it’s the referee” is just, well, snide as in ignorant. There is serious work being done here with real implications about a bent officialdumb and you bray about “take it up with the relevant authorities.” The relevant authorities have walls for ears and briggi99jam has got it right. Will you help publicize the mountain of evidence that undermines this technology-free/replay-less sport, or will you continue to emit depressing key-strokes that cloud the minds of fans waking up to the inconvenient truths that this website puts before you, match after match?

    I’ve given bribes during the course of my job. Have you? And proof it if you want to take me to court. Seriously are these ‘mountain of evidence’ in any way admissible in court? You can only show that the referees are on the take if you have concrete proof, ie the act itself. Otherwise it will be subject to interpretation and probably a smack on the wrist for incompetence.

    Do you know what the term ‘superstitious’ means? Unless you have another take, it simply means irrational and most times, cannot be scientifically proven. In Squid we have a decent player. Being a jinx doesn’t make him otherwise.

  169. @ Shard
    The game you were asking about when the ref reversed a penalty was v Fulham at the Cottage. The ref…Mark Halsey… one of the good guys. He was the one who whistled himself up (wrongly) when he gave us an unfair advantage against Huddersfield recently. By the laws he was wrong, morally he was right.

  170. @ Walter
    I would like to know is there any way to investigate into the refreeing situtaion or to file a case against so that there could be some kind of investigation. I feel that the main reason for england poor in the international level except the glam and money is due to the biased and incompetent refreeing we see match after match. When the faith or millions of fans across the world can be shattered by one stupid guy assisted by two impotent idiots who are paid to do that then there must surely be something in the law to look into the matter. I really feel that unjustice is happening to us and i also think no one wants to think or speak about it.

    And one more thing is impotent refrees like mason,dowd and dean not only try to degrade the quality of football but also play a major role in the players careers. I feel that they should relieved of their duties when they can’t perfom any better than a primary schools physical education tutor that too consistently for the entire season. By encouraging thugs like barton, nolan and many others in the epl they not only create a paradigm that really degrades english football both nationally and internationally but the sad fact that they are paid to do such a thing.

    Walter kindly enlighten me if there can is any kind of law by which i as a football fan who pay to watch could question the intergrity of refrees. If its there i would surely love to take it up where it is needed. Thanks.

  171. Imagooner you hit the nail on the head.
    When we go to a worldcup we cant defend we had argubably the best team of midfielders and maybe strikers known as the golden generation who failed everytime.
    We cant defend because the shit they are let away with in the premier league wont wash at an international tournament or any other league in the world for that matter.
    The attitude is, Its oh my god you cant do two footed tackles in mid air from behind, rugby tackle players at corners impede goal keepers pull shirts and cheat in the box, tell refs to fuck off what will we do now shock horror.
    The media and English football in general cant see what wenger is trying to do and his opinions would benefit england as a whole.
    Its the same when he wouldnt take crap english youngsters and picked foreign talent he waited until he found some that would actualy make it had the ability BUT no he was viewed as anti english its the same now the same blind bastards cant see the wood for the trees.

  172. @RedGooner

    I agree with most of your points and i strongly feel the reason for poor performance in world cups and any other international events by the english team. But another fact i can’t grasp is that why is the people in england so ignorant about the fact that what refrees and english FA does has nothing to benefit the English football but rather it just degrades it. I really don’t want take these arguments further since i came to conclusion long back after 2 years of analysing the english football.
    ” The egoistic and elite of the english football doesn’t want any intelligence or integrity putforth by Wenger for the development of football as a whole in the country. This ignorant mass would only lead to the downfall rather than uprising. ”

    And to add to that there is the pathetic english media who wants to make money by providing false and corrupt news to the poeple. Even this fact i really can’t understand how educated people still allow it to happen. And then comes the so called pundits who are penisoners on troll with no work to develop the biased thuggery and bloodshed in the english football rather than to help develop the beautiful game. Finally i would like to sum up all what english football has to offer by quoting the great and legendary cult pundit Andy Gray when he said the current Barcelona team which has won everything there is to win will suffer badly against the typical english stoke city. I feel its a shame to the entire english football that people like him are allowed near the football game.

  173. Has the time come to accept that we will not receive the protection required from match officials and that it is time to deal with it ourselves? No need to change formation, tactics or personel. It’s time to toughen up and show some grit.

  174. Imagooner I think the issue is we are a different generation its ran by dinosaurs.
    Look at the age of the 2 the other day sacked by sky sports for the comments on the lady linesman.
    Look at the age of RonAtkinson fired for racist remarks look at the ages of all those running football at the moment.
    What went on back then wasnt acceptable in todays society.
    They have stayed static and are opposed to moving forward with the times.
    Theres also an issue of I think education back then and now.

    Arsen Wenger was the first to my knowledge to insist his players also had an education and classes are tutored at the colony after training. I remeber my father telling me he left school at 14 with everyone else and that was the norm back then.
    There are better oppertunities for education today than back then.
    Footballers snapped up young back then doing commentary for the BBC are probably like lineker only got a degree for 0 from a college for his contribution to sport a piece of paper for doing nothing to do with studies.

    My assesment is based mainly on the majority of TV pundits influencing/running football the refs im not sure they should be my age so its probably corruption but even referee courses are better now than 15 years ago.

    This has probably opened a serious can of worms lol

  175. RedGooner, i completely agree with what you have said. But the fact that i can’t take is some stupid and impotent refrees make a fool of millions of fans watching football all over the world. Only when this changes there could be a real development in football in the future. But all i would like to see is our team emerging out of all this odds to win the title and Wenger politely addressing the press to stupid questions about how injuries and lacklustre performance from other teams helped us win the league 🙂

  176. Imagooner we are the change its starting now you can see it on other Arsenal sites also I think a lot read this site and are picking up on the comments and stories ran here.
    We will start the petitions as someone said earlier for investigations into fair play etc. People like Tony, Walter, MadDog and many of the other writers here will inspire others to speak up until it the silence becomes so loud it cant be missed.
    We are to intelligent to not see this is wrong and hopefuly Arsenal football club will wake up to it also and investigate it.

    The fact referees have no accountability says it all if managers do after a game so should officials change will come evntually

  177. Imagooner, nothing can be done about it I’m affraid.
    Why would the FA or the EPL want to open a can of worms which they want to keep closed because it will only harm them?
    I think only by blogs like this and who knows maybe if some of the media start asking questions that something could happen.

  178. Imagooner im off to bed its 2.30am im from london origanly but live stateside now. My green bay packers won the superbowl.I support them for the same reasons I support Arsenal the organisation is ran on great principles.Lets hope Arsenal do just as good.
    It was fun chatting about the horrors of our referees with you goodnight or morning which ever the case maybe.

  179. @Walter
    I am really sad that nothing can be done about these kind of events which really shatters the dreams and faith of millions across the world. Its actually like paying the corrupt politicians to harm to you more and more and i agree both EPL and FA and so impotent to act on this matter. And until there is some neutrality in the press and media there can’t be any change brought in, i fear 🙁


    Goodnight and even i support the Green Bay Packers !. I am from India so its morning here 🙂

  180. @bob

    As far as I know, if the referee deems it to be two separate offences both worthy of a yellow card each then he should show 2 yellows, not a straight red. Walter may be able to tell us better.

    Also, sorry if my post about your petition idea felt like I was against it. I actually thought it was a good idea and should be pursued. I meant you should get in touch with the supporter groups because they may know how best to mobilise people. As a last thought I realised that Arsenal may not accept a petition asking them to employ PI’s to investigate referees. Imagine the press storm when they write about this. “dirty Arsenal now seek to intimidate refs” and all that sort of crap. Arsenal would probably deem it not worth the reaction because it will not improve the refereeing, only make it more against us.
    I’m sure that Gazidis and Co are having a word with the FA right now. Back door diplomacy so to speak. Whether it works or not, i don’t know. But they could point to the EPL losing its credibility and thus market due to this blatant exhibition of, at least, bias. Arsenal is a big brand too globally and if it gets out of hand then the EPL stands to lose too.

  181. @Gf60
    Thank you. I did have the feeling that it was Halsey, and I would agree about him being one of the good refs around. But regarding that match, I somehow thought the match was at Highbury. Fulham may have been the opponents, but are you sure it was at the cottage and not highbury?

    Anyway, do you know when the Premier League decided there would be no interviews with the referee?

  182. A lot of people in other countries cannot understand what Dowd was all about in that game. Believe me. The tackles from Barton on Arshavin and Diaby would have had him sent off in many countries.

    If you have two separate offences each worth a yellow card you cannot give a straight red. You must show the yellow card twice and then the red.

  183. @shard
    The away win 3-0 by The Invincibles (Match 45…another 4 before we were cheated of 50 not out!)

  184. PS Halsey was not a popular bunny at the cottage though…esp as it was 0-0 at the time. As the replays showed it was, once it was changed of course, a perfectly correct decision.

  185. PPS Re ref interviews banned….I suspect, but most certainly can’t prove that it was shortly after the Asian betting syndicates decided that Cricket was by then, a bit of a tricky area. :o)

    Ask Septic Bladder.

  186. Has making the referees full time professionals acheived anything? I was having a discussion with a friend of mine about this and we both seemed to think that if anything the standard of refereeing had plummeted since then.

  187. @Walter

    I would like to know is there any organization which monitors the performance of refrees on match basis. If there is such an organization does it really function across the footballing world. Kindly enlighten me on this 🙂

  188. Imagooner,
    this is down to each country. They have to monitor their refs. A game in a country is (or should be) monitored by the Fa of that country.
    The CL is monitored by the Uefa
    The world cup is monitored by fifa

    But the monitoring is done in dark rooms far away from the public.

  189. @Walter

    Ah! thats the reason every refree roams free from any charge since every FA is highly corrupt as far as i have seen (including my country too 🙁 )

  190. Look what Poll says in the Mail, he nails Dowd on Nolan and the penalty, but about the tackles – ‘perfectly acceptable’.
    Yet the Laws say:

    A tackle that endangers the safety of an opponent must be sanctioned as serious foul play.
    Any player who lunges at an opponent in challenging for the ball from the front, from the side or from behind using one or both legs, with excessive force and endangering the safety of an opponent is guilty of serious foul play.

    It really is incredible that you can look at the impact on Diaby’s leg, the reducer on Arshavin followed by the stamp on Diaby………which don’t even draw a foul, and come up with such self-serving drivel.
    Referees have a job to do that doesn’t allow them to agree with the one-eyed fan who inanely trots out, ‘it’s a contact sport, a man’s game and he got the ball’ or ‘it was good enough for Graham Souness so why not now’ – well, ask Siggi Jonsson.

  191. @Chua
    I have no doubt your heart is in the right place. However, mounting evidence means the compilation of patterns of data that cannot be written off as coincidence. Laws and policies and public perception, either way, are created and influenced based on such compilation. The work is now in progress. It is not “courtroom ready” yet. This effort needs people’s spirited support, but NOT your hardened negativity. It is not a matter of your real-world experience with bribes. That does not make you an expert authority on what fans can do when they bring together their evidence, people like Walter analyze it, and it gets into public minds and spaces and sometimes pressures for successful reforms, etc. You don’t and can’t know in advance. What I suggest is that you put your real-world negativity on hold and bring your real-world experience to help shed light on how bribery works, yes, international as well, which would help us all to think more clearly about the present moment. Welcome aboard to that.

    They single out our in form players
    They mock the team for their age,
    They tell us we can’t beat big teams until we can
    Anything positive to say in the past three seasons? EVEN BY OUR OWN HYPNOTISED FANS???
    Yet we are still in all four cups and about to slap these bitches up in style and for years to come.

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