The Untold ref review goes to Wigan and sees Mr Rooney

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Thanks to our regular reader, Johhny Deigh, who has been so kind to take on the the Wigan- Manchester United game we got a ref review of Wigan – Manchester United. So I do wish to thank him for taking the trouble to go through the whole game.

By Johhny Deigh

Nr. Min Type Decision correct points weight
1 4 OTHER Foul on Smalling by Wigan C 1 1
2 6 OTHER Foul on Nani not given NC 0 0
3 6 OTHER Foul on Nani given this time C 1 1
4 7 OTHER Vidic climbs on Rodallega to win high ball – no foul given NC 0 0
5 8 OTHER Rooney elbows McCarthy in the head – foul given possibly by the linesman C 1 1
6 8 CARD should have sent off Rooney for deliberately elbowing opponent in head, off the ball NC 0 0
7 9 OTHER Foul on Scholes – advantage played C 1 1
8 10 OTHER Diame pulled back by Carrick – no foul given NC 0 0
9 11 OTHER Foul on Scholes by McCarthy C 1 1
10 13 OTHER Foul on Vidic by Rodallega C 1 1
11 16 OTHER Foul on Moses by O’shea C 1 1
12 17 GOAL Chicharito goal – nothing wrong here C 1 3
13 20 OTHER Wigan foul – advantage played C 1 1
14 22 OTHER Foul on Fletcher – not given NC 0 0
15 24 OTHER Foul on Gohouri by Chicharito C 1 1
16 25 OTHER Foul on Carrick – advantage wrongly played NC 0 0
17 25 OTHER Foul on McCarthy by Scholes – not given NC 0 0
18 25 OTHER McCarthy then immediately fouls Scholes C 1 1
19 32 OTHER Throw in wrongly given to Wigan – Nani poked it off Gohouri NC 0 0
20 34 OTHER Foul on Vidic by Rodallega C 1 1
21 36 OTHER Foul on McCarthy by Scholes who barges in late – gets a talking to – could’ve been yellow, but that’s the ref’s call. C 1 1
22 39 OTHER Foul on Evra by N’zogbia C 1 1
23 41 OTHER Rodallega came back from an offside position – assumed correct C 1 1
24 45 OTHER 2 added minutes C 1 1
25 47 OTHER foul on Nani by Gohouri – not given NC 0 0
26 51 OTHER foul on Watson by nani – given C 1 1
27 56 OTHER Rooney goes up for ball, leading with his fore-arm – foul given C 1 1
28 57 OTHER Foul on Chicharito by Caldwell – given C 1 1
29 57 OTHER Foul on Chicharito by Watson – given C 1 1
30 59 OTHER Foul on Vidic by Rodallega – given C 1 1
31 60 OTHER Chicharito fouls (backing into) Gohouri who is up in the air – foul not given and Manchester nearly score from it. NC 0 0
32 60 OTHER Foul on Rooney by Diame C 1 1
33 64 OTHER Foul by Vidic on Rodallega – given C 1 1
34 66 OTHER Offside – Rodallega just offside by inches – tough call but seems right C 1 1
35 67 OTHER Foul by Caldwell on Evra C 1 1
36 67 CARD Caldwell catches Evra studs to ankle – A yellow card at the very least – not given NC 0 0
37 69 OTHER Foul by Chicharito C 1 1
38 69 CARD Chicharito is booked for not allowing Wigan to take a quick free kick – correct decision C 1 2
39 71 OTHER Foul on N’Zogbia by Scholes on the edge of the box – not given NC 0 0
40 72 OTHER Foul on Diame by Evra – given C 1 1
41 73 OTHER Scholes fouled – advantage played C 1 1
42 74 OTHER Chicharito is offside – not given NC 0 0
43 74 GOAL Offside goal is wrongly allowed – Chicharito is offside when the goal kick is taken, directly receiving the ball from Van der Saar.  With his first touch he plays a nifty one-two with Rooney and scores.  He was a good 2 yards offside – a truly shocking non-call by the linesman.  Up to this point Wigan always looked like they had a shot at getting something from this match. NC 0 0
44 76 OTHER Foul on Diame by Evra – given C 1 1
45 82 OTHER Foul by Fletcher – given C 1 1
46 84 GOAL Goal – Rooney – Wigan make the horribly stupid mistake of playing the offside trap in their opponents half. C 1 3
47 87 GOAL Goal – Fabio – nothing wrong here C 1 3
48 89 OTHER Foul on Rooney by Caldwell – given C 1 1
49 90 OTHER 3 added minutes – might have played another minute but was not really necessary. C 1 1
50 90+2 OTHER Foul on Vidic by Rodallega – not given NC 0 0
TOTAL 35 42
% 68,63% 67,74%
CARD 1 3 33,33%
GOAL 3 4 75%
OTHER 1 2 50%
TOTAL 5 9 56%

The two main points of the match have probably already been pointed out in the press.  One, that Wayne Rooney should have been sent off for a blatant elbow to the head of an opponent in the 8th minute of the match.  And two, that Manchester’s 2nd goal which opened the floodgates was an irregular goal scored by Chicharito who was a good 2 yards offside when the ball was played by Van der Saar (see photo).

Oh petulant Rooney, what goes on in your head?  McCarthy saw Rooney coming, stopped and leaned into Rooney’s path to check his run.  Rooney took this as an act of war and threw a deliberate hard elbow into the head of the Wigan player.  I’m not sure if Clattenburg spotted this or if his assistant did because Clattenburg did whistle for the foul, but neglected to pull out any cards – red was the only colour that would have been right in this case.  We all know that Manchester and Rooney have a lot of pull with the FA but I can’t see how Rooney is escaping a 3-match ban for this.

Wigan started this game in a lively way but were a bit wasteful in front as well as having to have gone up against an in-form Van der Saar.  Manchester struck first with a nice goal by Chicharito, but until the 74th minute the game was still wide open, with neither side looking brilliant, but both sides having half chances to score.  That was until a routine goal kick from the Manchester keeper found their Mexican hit-man two yards offside.  Directly from the goal kick, an offside Chicharito played a neat one-two with Rooney and scored his teams 2nd of the day.  The 3rd and 4th were soon to follow.

Clattenburg was not great in the match, missing calls for both sides.  I count 7 missed calls for each side.  Gary Caldwell got away without a booking for a studs to ankle tackle on Patrice Evra.  However Manchester United clearly made out the best by not having to play almost the entire match a man down as Rooney should have walked in the 8th minute – a player who shouldn’t have been on the pitch ended up scoring one and assisting for another.

Editorial postscript: Because of the coverage over the league cup final this review is obviously appearing several days after the event – but I really wanted to include it as a comparison with the reviews we see of Arsenal games we cover each match.   Since the review was written we know that Rooney gets zero punishment; another little piece of evidence that there is something very seriously wrong in the EPL.    Tony.

Further proof of match fixing; our predictions about the ref are proven

Making the Arsenal

Arsenal 1 Stoke 0 – memories from 1971

63 Replies to “The Untold ref review goes to Wigan and sees Mr Rooney”

  1. According to some of my friends, Chicharito’s first goal is not an offside as it is from a goal kick. I am not sure about the real rules though.

  2. Unfortunately Law 11 states that you cannot be offside if you receive the ball directly from from a goal kick.

  3. Sorry, guys, but according to Laws of the Game “there’s no offside offence if the player receives the ball directly from a goal kick”. So there’s nothing wrong with the 74th minute goal from Chicharito, I’m afraid.

    Please, correct it, because failure to recognize such a basic rule compromises the whole review.

  4. So you’ve called for consistency, Campbell being let off and Rooney being punished all in the same piece! If you push someone in the face, or elbow them in the ear then you run the risk of getting sent off if the ref has a good enough view of it. That to me is the long and the short of it, Campbell was correctly sent off, Rooney should have been sent off but in mitigation to the ref, if he did see McCarthy move to block off Rooney and not had the best view of the elbow, then a coming together can be a totally fair interpretation without the benefit of hindsight or 10 strategically placed cameras and slowmo replays. But calling for “common sense” used in the case of Campbell is hardly advocating consistency, and in fact is quite the opposite. If you want refs to use their own judgement on the gravity of the offence then you’re leaving the door wide open for the same inconsistencies in the future because two referees could judge the severity of the same offence completely differently. In terms of retrospective punishment, I don’t think there could be too many complaints if that rule did change, but there is a problem with someone over-ruling the referees decision which the laws of the game say is final. So some football authorities may have a problem in implementing it. It would also be inconsistent of course to change it just because an opportunity has presented itself to punish Wayne Rooney. Although I appreciate many fans aren’t bothered about consistency in those circumstances. It’s usually just when an inconsistency benefits United that there are complaints.

  5. Terry – What gets people wound up is that Rooney is a serial offender – and never seems to get punished. He loses his head and flies in with feet and elbows. He swears at the ref in virtually every game and they smile and indulge him as though he is a cheeky toddler.
    It appears that he is treated differently to any other player in the league, which in its way is a form of corruption.

  6. I must say that the Press do go easy on Rooney for some reason.

    When he was outed in the NOTW for screwing whores when his wife was pregnant, I thought it about time that Man Utd had a song, akin to their disgusting one about Torres, written to even up the score (you know the one, it starts ‘He’s half a boy he’s half a girl, Torres, Torres!).

    The result was James Lawton in the Independent implying that hatred knew no bounds.

    I rebutted him fairly firmly…….

    For completeness sake, this was sent to Gabby Logan of the BBC who said she’d like to give Rooney a right good ear-wigging, so no selling it anywhere else. I suggested she and ‘her girlie friends’ sang it on a night out. I’m absolutely sure in this context that one of her ‘girlie friends’ is Karren Brady of West Ham……….

    So here goes:


    Percipient readers may discern that it was to be sung by his wife ‘Head Girl, Colleen’.

    Even more percipient readers may discern that he got a fat new contract, around £20m a few weeks later.

    I was, of course, talking about the divorce courts. And the aim was to try and get him to respect his wife, given his responsibilities with a new baby and all that……..

    But as usual in my experience, things get turned on their head.

    I wrote one as a Scot singing to the English after losing the World Cup bid, which wasn’t particularly complimentary about FIFA delegates’ practices concerning women of the night. I’m 100% confident that Alex McLeish saw it as a way to wind up Wenger. I truly trust that all the matches in the Carling Cup weren’t fixed to ensure that result. I’m not saying they were, I’m just saying it’s eerie how it all panned out…..

    Now I did say that my song about Rooney was supposed to be ‘one jolly good round of abuse’ and not lead to ‘yet another round of hatred’……..

    Hopefully Arsenal supporters are sufficiently cerebral to understand why.

    Whatever, if it gives Gooners a laugh in a hard week, then it’s done it’s job………

  7. On the Rooney affair – if you look at FIFA’s disciplinary code http: //

    Article 77c: FIFAs disciplinary commitee can “rectify obvious errors in the referee’s disciplinary decisions”. So even if Clattenburg thinks he has done right FIFA could overrule his and punish Rooney. But they won’t.

  8. But the fact remains that he isn’t the only player to have got away with this. I’m not saying that it’s correct, but it is the situation with the rules as they stand. Last season Gerrard performed an almost carbon copy assault on Brown, Atwell gave a free kick as was awarded against Rooney and the FA could do nothing about it as Atwell as with Clattenburg said he felt he had made the right decision. As many have been saying – bring in technology, it is the only way to stop the wrong decisions being made and to also put a deterrant in place to stop the players over stepping the mark. Cheers

  9. terry – see my comment just before yours. it’s not “the way the rules are” that’s an excuse that is hidden behind. Check FIFA’s own discplinary code!!!!

  10. The Evening Standard’s account of Divemaster Rooney’s latest flagrante is very much a call for electronic review as is done in rugby and in any number of sports save Bentball. Have a look if you haven’t as yet:
    There’s got to be a reason for serially protecting Bentball’s serial poster boy (– look at the EPL’s face on advert-after-advert). SAF tells the media that only Arsenal can derail Manure’s race to glory and low and behold Clattenburg snaps to and protects the Divemaster, yet again, again. The FA would only overrule a 3 game suspension at this critical moment if many of the aggrieved in the Shire, more aggrieved than our Terry here can muster and launch an online petition for all fair-minded’s to sign to suspend the Divemaster at this time, now when it matters. Failure to do so is a further message to the Lives of Riley that NON-CALLS will protect the Evil One’s Trophy Quest. There is a growing list of flagrantes that will bring many a signer from near and far to demand both an end to the Witless Protection Program that surrounds Teflon Wayne and suspension Now for the Divemaster. Derail Fergie’s trophy. Dare to win. Go Gunners!

  11. … surely the Divemaster should be poster boy for a new poster that could adorn the Suspend Him Now campaign – have Shrek’s snarling face appear under the banner: English Steal! (The Divemaster tarnishes true english steel.)

  12. @dats, Mikio, Yes you are right. I made a mistake. Chicharito was not offside because he received the ball directly from a goal kick.

  13. Between Rooney and Chelseas answer to JohnWayne “Ashley Gun Slinging Cole” The world has gone mad……

    But Im gonna take a leap of faith and say its even more corrupt and stupid by predicting “ManUtds Own Howard Webb” will get to Ref the game at the Emirates between us and ManUtd just incase they need a real star to help them out.

  14. Just wondering why some people keep saying Uniteds squad is poor and if we win the league it will be one of the poorest teams to do so, i think our team is solid with the exception of the centre midfield, although this is pretty much the centre mid that won 3 titles on the trot and only finished a point off chelski last season and reached 2 champions league finals on the trot (winning one)… Dont get me wrong i really hope we do bring in atleast 2 new centre mids in the summber, but our team is far from poor, were just lacking creativity in the centre mid…

  15. Phil Gregory has recently advised us that parliament are looking into the governance of Football.

    Interesting quote from the chief exec of the PFA Gordon Taylor;

    When asked by the select committee about Buyout leverage for football clubs and the debt that has incurred he replied;

    “Without being so specifically involved I am aware of Man Utd’s need to keep being successful because that is a big amount of debt”

    A very large can of worms.

  16. Correct to mention Gerrard was treated in a similar way to Rooney. I also remember Alan Shearer being let off over stamping on Neil Lennons head – the word was he was going to refuse to go to the World Cup if disciplined.
    Is there an England thing going on here with the FA – they have a lot of seats to fill in a very expensive stadium?
    The when you look back to Rios drop kick at Sagnas stomach, unpunished despite being right in front of the ref, Rooneys diving, numerous incidents when the likes of Scholes, Neville and Fletcher were inexplicably spared red cards. Surely no other team gets the rub of the green from officials that Utd do.
    Clattenberg has created a rod for the refs back – this is hardly going to discourage other players from indulging in snide elbows. Clattenberg has now lost all credibility as have the FA and Riley. Blogs, supporters and the media will now sense genuine milage in the pro Utd conspiracy theories. The pro Utd bias was suspected by many but used to be largely unspoken in large sections of the media – but not now.
    All this could have been avioded if Clattenberg had had the sense of fairness, duty, had the bottle and the humility to review this incident and admit he would have sent off Rooney had he seen the elbow. And remember, this ref sidled up to Rooney, smiled and put his arm around him after this incident!!!
    Clattenberg, like Webb and Riley may as well retire – they will never be seen as impartial refs / administrators where Utd are concerned, and that will bring its own pressures.
    I am sure the likes of Arsenal City and Chelsea legal depts will be looking over this for the next time they have a player disciplined for something the refs did not see but the cameras and everyone else did.

  17. It doesnt matter lads – i mean its not like your team can ever sustain a title challenge till the end of the season anyway. Heard the news that rvp is out for 3 weeks – well thats you champs lge dream over boys. No one to score the all important goals. Gamve Over.

  18. @terry

    IMO this is the poorest UTD team I have seen for a long time, yes solid at the back and cant deny that they know how to get a result whether helped or not, but there is no flair.

    I dont rate UTD one bit even if they win the league, they just play effective football. if I was offered a season ticket to any other ground I certainly wouldnt be going to old trafford.

    I hope chelsea take points off you I really do but UTD will probably win 1-0

  19. I have not seen the Rooney incident but I have been saying for months now that refereeing (and lining) in the EPL is out of control. Old Mother Riley offers no leadership. Is it any coincidence that the best refereeing performances this year in our games have come from foreign officials appointed to Champion League fixtures. There are only 16 refs of the EPL. They are a law unto themselves and are virtually untouchable. In addition the FA’s disciplinary committee are weak and also poorly led. The Scottish bloke that watches Manure chewing gum and pointing at his watch must be laughing all the way to another title. Remember also how Dowd (another brilliant EPL performer) failed to send Vidic off in last season’s Carling Cup final – a game Manure won. My fear is that before the season is finished we will have Webb, Dowd, Mason, Foy, Clattenburg, Dean and Atwell at least one more time.

  20. after listening all this, I beleive that Man U is the goldman sachs of football industry. am the I only one to think so, or does anyone else feel the same too.

  21. Surprise, surprise. Dowd is back (after missing a couple of EPL games- although he did do FA cup). Liverpool vs MU next weekend.

  22. @jbh

    Lol, Fergie gets one of his rentboy refs again? What a surprise.

    Still, look on the bright side. We may be able to use this info to make a few bob down the bookies. If we can predict to a comfortable degree how the new EPL ‘Calciopoli’ is running, what refs are bent and what sides will throw matches for Man U we could make a killing.

  23. letofthehookFAboy scores at Chelsea.
    I sometimes wonder if it feels good as a supporter to enjoy such things? Or can you become so blind after some time you don’t see and realise it anymore?

  24. Less match fixing in Chelsea – ManU game:
    ManU losing & Vidic sent off.
    That’s just good news for us. We can potentially cut the gap to 1. Go Gunners, please!

  25. BTW, after w days of sulking, I can say that losing the Carling Cup may not be that bad; the winners of Carling Cup usually don’t win anything else! So if we want to win better things, we simply had to lose this one (let me be happy, let me live with this logic, I’m going off the cliff!).

  26. ManU have now collected 20 pts from 14 away games with only 4 wins.

    Arsenal have 25 pts from 13 away games, having won 7 games.

  27. Interesting game tonight. The match swung in that 5 minute period where Luiz definately, 100%, should have been sent off for his cynical foul on Rooney RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE REF!!!! How he got away with that I have no idea. Then down the other end and Chelsea score and win the game. Dodgy penalty as well, I would be dissapointed if that was given against us. Fergie is going to be steaming tonight.

    But great for us. And even better that Vidic will also be missing (with Rio) the next game against Liverpool. That could potentially be massive. Smalling has looked decent with Vidic alongside him but lets see how he looks with Evans next to him.

    A draw or another loss on Sunday and the League is wide, wide open. Actually it is wide open now. But we have to win on Saturday. That game is a far, far, far, far, far, far bigger game than the League Cup Final. All our remaining League games are bigger than that game. I actually wouldnt even mind us going out of another one of these exhausting Cup competitions if it meant we had a better chance in the League.

  28. Just watched Chelski v Manure. Don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Another absolutely pitiful refereeing performance. This is the guy who will probably referee this year’s cup final. Over the last few weeks we have seen some dreadful performances but tonight caps the lot. I even strated to feel sorry for Rooney! Just what does Old Mother Riley do? Week after week after week we have so called elite referees making shocking mistakes and not even getting easy, basic decisions correct.

  29. Indeed, some staggeringly incompetent refereeing, but just as Juve were not the only team to benefit from Calciopoli, there’ll be more than one team to benefit from bent refs in the Premier League.

    ‘The Fix’ by Declan Hill

    A book well worth reading about corruption in sport.

  30. Red Jessie – totally agree. I think we have to move away from this “the refs are biased against us” or “the refs are biased towards Utd” viewpoint and just admit that the refs are incompetent in general, period. How the ref missed that crude block by Luiz is beyond me. Yes, he played the advantage but as soon as that was over he should have come back and booked Luiz, which would have been his 2nd yellow. You could see how afarid Luiz was of that by the way he immediately went to Rooney in a “oh sorry, I didnt mean that, are you okay?” sort of way. Like you, I almost, for a split second, felt sorry for Rooney. Then I remembered what a prat he was and came to my senses.

    And the less said about the penalty the better. Zhirkov didnt have possesion, the ball was bouncing around, and he just ran into the defender. Play on. No penalty.

    But I am not complaining at all.

  31. @ Paul C we are happy with our conspiracy theories that SAF controls the whole EPL and always gets his way. So please don’t bring up any evidence to the contrary! But seriously…could this be the tide turning against United? Even their legendary good fortune seemed to have deserted them tonight…what next? lose to Liverpool at the weekend? I noticed that for the past few weeks whenever we lose they always manage to cheer us up…Bodes well for our title chances wouldn’t you say?

  32. @Paul c

    Mate dont you think they screwed with UTD just to show look they dont get decisions there way and there is no bias. May be that is not the case but man U at home there is definite BIAS.

    I agree with your points about the league games being so much more important than the Carling cup, the ultimate prize is the league, cups are more to do with luck than always being the best team.

    My spider sense is telling me that because we got so screwed at newcastle and everton and even at UTD and with a growing pressure on the refs I think someone went out of their way to balance things up a little, there could have been bigger pressure on the ref for chelsea to win,I have heard through gossip that Roman has links with the russian mafia and they are capable of arranging many things to happen

  33. Gooner80 – I would agree that at OT there is bias. I think it has more to do with the fact that Refs are just scared when they go there, similar to the way that refs used to be scared at Anfield when Liverpool ruled.

    GoonerTerry – the tide will only have turned if we beat Sunderland on Saturday. That will really turn up the pressure on Utd ahead of their trip to Anfield. I can see Utd losing that one if we close to within a point on Saturday. Utd have been cruising from the front for so long but now they seem to look pedestrian. I didnt think Chelsea were all that great tonight but Utd’s midfield looked just what it was, old and slow. We have absolutely got to put them under pressure now.

  34. Now, I’m smiling again. But clearly there’s something wrong with referring. Rooney on one hand shouldn’t have been on the pitch, as matter of fact he scored today. It would have been more controversy had United went on to win the match, because one player who could have served a 3 game ban scored and his team won. On the hand, David Luiz as a hell of player he is, he should have been sent off too. Now, for the interesting part, Manchester United fans, will taste what it feels like to be wrongly treated by the referees, this time not in their favor. For Arsenal, this should be the moment when they simply put the Mickey Mouse cup disappointment behind them, and really work hard to reduce the gap. I have a feeling that atleast we will win the Premiership and the FA cup. Now as somebody up said, whenever we have a bad performance ManU just manage to make us Gooners happy. For the balancing of the games, maybe Atkinson wanted to balance with what happened on Saturday with Wigan, ehnce not make the right decisions at the right time. ManU will face Liverpool without possibly Ferdinanda and certainly without Vidic. We how Liverpool raise their game when they play ManU. Hopefully by the end of the week, we will know whether or not we are closer than ever to win the Premiership, with a game in hand. Let’s enjoy this. Ohh by the way, I really wish David Luiz had played in maybe Belgium and Wenger had bought him in last summer for 3 millions. He’s a very good defender, Vermaelen type.

  35. Watching Rooney charging around like an angry bull again tonight, kicking and barging every time he lost the ball and remembering his antics at the weekend I reckon he could take a gun on the pitch and the FA would turn a blind eye. Clattenburg certainly wouldn’t notice and Dowd would probably give him some ammunition.

  36. the manure chelski match was pretty good in the second half at least. decent end to end stuff which was only blotted by rooney rolling on the floor every five minutes. for someone whe shouldnt have even been on the pitch in the first place he has some nerve to comlplain to the refs at the end.

    no doubt the conspiracy theorists will put chelseas win down to the fact that if they had lost, the league would truly be a two horse race, and now arsenal has 2 teams to worry about.

    my personal opinion of the going ons in the last few days is that we lost the cc final because of one split-second error, manu shouldnt have won at the weekend, but did because the ref wouldnt admit he had made a mistake, and that chelsea also had a lucky win. so, 3 teams got lucky, and 3 teams didnt. i really wish the ref had shown rooney the red because he assaulted the other geezer, but he didnt, i also wish we hadnt made that split second error at the death of the final, but we did.

    i personally dont think that there is a conspiracy against us or for any other team. i dont think that the refs are bent, corrupt or blind, i just think that the game is too quick nowadays for 3 blokes to get everything right. As rhys pointed out a couple of articles back, we were extremely lucky not to have been 1-0 down and 10 men in the first few mins of the final.

    i also know that its all grist for the mill when so many decisions are called wrong. it gives the papers something to write about and the more the prem gets talked about, the more interest it generates, the more bums on seats, sky subscriptions etc. what do we really expect when the whole game is more about business and money and less about sport.

    i love walters pieces about the ref because they highlight the errors that we in our hearts know have made a difference. but, and again this is just my opinion, a ref review/report shouldnt be an opinion piece as well. the facts normally speak for themselves and i believe that Walter opens himself up for criticism sometimes. dont get me wrong, i am no expert on refereeing, and i couldnt do the job that walter does. I think he gives us an important behind the scenes view of matches that isnt available anywhere else in our league.

    all that said however, the huge outpouring of anti arsenal arsenal supporters really makes me sick. we are having a great season. our team is fairly young and committed to the cause, and we have talent in spades coming through. Ryo is having an outstanding time at Feyenoord, Vela is on fire, Ramsay has recovered and is soon to be recalled, Vermaelen is due back this week, we have by far the easiest run in of the 3 big clubs, we get to play against Barca (un doubdtedly the best team in the world at the moment bar us) next week (something birmingham could only wet dream about), we are the most financially stable team in the league with the newest and best stadium, we arent called tottenham…. I mean the list is endless, where do I stop?

    C’mon lads (team and supporters) We are the Arsenal, lets get our heads up and head into the next 90 with Pride. dont worry about the refs, the fa, the sadly mis-informed pundits, the lack of silverware, just be thankful, We are the Arsenal.

  37. The idea that there is some overarching conspiracy in favour of united was always simplistic.

    Walter has clear data of tilting against Arsenal

    But you could also have found clear bias for Liverpool in their title run season, and plenty of other sorts of tilts.

    You are dealing with a poorly regulated industry, and as such, there is plenty of opportunity for all sorts of grey and illegal activity, by multiple actors.

    As with Italy, multiple teams are cheating and multiple players also scam games, not just refs.

  38. @Clock Ender – that is a great book and I would recommend that everyone should read it.

  39. Even though we lost i was happy with all the players yesterday, and for once in an away game we attacked right from the start, and played some great football in the first half. If we play like in the 1st half against pool we should come away with 3 points, this is not a dig at pool or their fans but i think the only players who can cause us problems would be meireles and gerrard,,i havent seen suarez play, so i dont know what he brings. So hopefully we set things right again by beating our bitter rivals!! COme on UTD!!!

  40. And the Ref was a Disgrace. No penalty and Luis should have been shown a red card. Vidic sending off was correct. He should have been sent off the incicident before with Drogba. Victory at Anfield and it is still most likely that the trophy will end up where it belongs at Old Trafford. Arsenal will drop point here and there and lose at White Hart Lane and lets not forget, they (Arsenal)will get trashed at Camp Nou next Tuesday. Mark my word – Trashed.

  41. With you ron van plastic out for 3 weeks who’s going to score for you? The self-proclaimed world classt striker Bartender? Haha. Please I’m already getting scared. Your team is finished boys.

  42. Indeed, my friends, the season continues and no matter how disappointed we all are – we have to put the recent final defeat behind us and focus on the games ahead. The recent loss of Walcott & Cesc as well as the even more recent loss of Van Persie has put us into a very precarious position in terms of personnel in the next 3 weeks or so. Our first choice players will have to consist of Bendtner, Arshavin, Rosicky and Chamakh – players who have not performed well at all in the last couple of games (Arshavin aside). I’ve been raving about the difference between last year and this – talking about the players who we will have this season compared to last – but up to the lead up to the game – suddenly we’re dropping like flies.

    We need to decide which competitions we want to win and then focus on them. The Carling Cup has been an obvious distraction. It’s meant we’ve used more of the first team that we should have – it’s had counter effects on our league form and also the team we choose for the FA Cup – 2 replays already… and the fatigue and injury is evident for all to see. I’m confused to why we have so many players on loan and also confused to see why we want to go for all trophies with a relatively small squad.

    Where we are right now, personally, we need to focus on one competition – unfortunately for us, we have 4 games in the next 10 days ranging all the three competitions… so we’ll see how Arsene prioritises in the next week or so. Focused on the Premiership is the obvious thing, considering Man United’s recent loss to Chelsea. We’re 4 points behind them with a game in hand and it’s essential that we win our games in hand and really give it a go.

    Check out the run in for both clubs:


    Currently on 60 points, with ten games to play.

    1. Liverpool (a)
    2. Bolton (h)
    3. West Ham (a)
    4. Fulham (h)
    5. Newcastle (a)
    6. Everton (h)
    7. Arsenal (a)
    8. Chelsea (h)
    9. Blackburn (a)
    10. Blackpool (h)


    Currently on 56 points, with eleven games to play.

    1. Sunderland (h)
    2. West Brom (a)
    3. Blackburn (h)
    4. Blackpool (a)
    5. Liverpool (h)
    6. Sp*rs (a)
    7. Bolton (a)
    8. United (h)
    9. Stoke (a)
    10. Aston Villa (h)
    11. Fulham (a)

    Our run in looks relatively easier than United’s but with the number of games we’ve played, the fact that we are the Arsenal and the injuries we have got too – who knows which is the easiest run in? Outside of the Premiership, the next game is Leyton Orient away and it would be nice to win the game – at the same time, United away is the next one if we do win it – one of the hardest games of the season, a game where our first team failed to turn up to…

    We’ve got injuries to Song and Koscielny for the game, so it looks like we might just give Miguel another run out… My predicted line up for the game is:


    Eboue – Squillaci – Miguel – Gibbs

    Denilson – Diaby

    Bendtner – Rosicky – Arshavin


    With a bench of Szcznesy, Sagna, Djourou, Clichy, Wilshere, Nasri and a youth product, perhaps?

    All that is left to say, is that we all need to keep the faith, not over-react, back our team and get a win against Leyton Orient!!

  43. United are still favourites to win the League,the loss does not change anything.The reason is simple,Arsenal always fail to get maximum points against less fancied teams and during the last few years have been very erratic in their performances.If Arsenal are to win the league they just can’t afford giving any breathing space to the Red Devils.Even though,i hate it but United will win the League but wud be pleasently surprised if Arsenal prove me wrong.

  44. There has been a lot of rumours about the financial state of the club over the last year or 2. First we hear club is flush with money to spend. Now we hear that we 2.5 million down. Now if Wenger would not spend when we allegedly had money, what chance is there now? We might as well get used to same old same old, and bloody hell, it is becoming frustrating to watch them push so close time after time after time and yet fall at the final hurdle because we lack that one or two players who could add the experience we needed. And now with the figures that have just been released, looks like we going to have the same story come next season.

  45. Terry@

    Victory against the Scousers at Anfield will prove far from easy, especially now that your colossus Vidic will be missing.

    Liverpool, under the guidance of King Kenny, will move heaven and earth before they allow you to leave Anfield with anything at all.

    With a record 19th title at stake, the game will be Liverpool’s Cup final, make no mistake. You have been softened up by both Wigan and Chelsea recently. Your energy levels will be tested, you looked fatigued by the end last night, defeat is staring you in the face at Anfield imo.

    Good luck, you will need it on Sunday.

  46. The good news is that we only have two league games this month, due to the international break at the end of it.

    If we can squeeze by Sunderland and WBA and get the majority of our key players back in time for April, we’re in with a good shout at the title.

    Although I still think we’ll drop points against Man Utd, Tottenham and Stoke, which could prove too many.

    PS. We’re 11 wins away from the title. Sounds good, on paper anyway.

  47. @Tsasos – whether we win or lose at banfield – you still aint wimming the title – youdont have the depth in quality and your players are not up for fight as bmham so rightly showed

  48. @Terry

    I respect your opinion.

    Its up to Arsenal to prove you wrong.

    BTW We will see the relative strength in depth of Man Utd’s squad this weekend.

    Lets see what quality back up Sir Alex brings in for your lot against Liverpool.

  49. Terry – Rooney was up for a fight all right against Wigan. Its a disgrace that a player who clearly lacks self control like him does not receive the same punishment as everyone else in the EPL.

    The league is effectively bent- Ferguson does not need to buy off match officials- because he gets the same effect by intimidating them openly. The moment that any 50/50 goes against United-he goes off. Despite the huge point advantage you have enjoyed from tame refs- you are still only one point ahead if we win our game in hand- it must be galling to be so superior and only be a point ahead.

  50. So based on a keystone cops moment against the Brums that proves Arsenal are not up to it? what about beating Barcelona.

    Terry that comment is comical and farcical.

    Arsenal were without RVP, Cesc and Walcott for many games, we have also lost Nasri, Diaby, NB and Diaby for quite a few matches.

    We lost our number 1 goalie for the rest of the season and have been without our best defender for the whole season.

    In spite of all of this Terry, Arsenal find themselves in the thick of all the important things going on.

    And you say lack of depth and quality.

    Again, quite comical.

  51. Paul N – Absolutely right. Couldnt we also say that losing to the bottom team in League as Utd did recently proves they dont have the quality and strength to win the Championship?

    The Championship is decided over 38 games and whoever has the most points at the end will be deserving Champions. Within that are loads of one-offs that do not “prove” a single thing. Cups are even more worthless for proving things. Everton beat Chelsea and then lose to Reading in the FA Cup. What does that say about Reading, Everton & Chelsea? The answer is it says absolutely nothing except that Everton played better on the day against Chelsea, and Reading played better on the night than Everton. That’s it. B’ham deserved their win, we gifted it to them on the day. Good for them. It proves zero about our chances in the League.

  52. Too right Paul C. it aint over till the fat lady sings sometime in may.

    i wonder if terry would still be supporting manure if they hadnt won a trophy for 5, 10, 15 years. He strikes me as a bit of a plastic troll. like them little toys with the mad hair. maybe we could change his avatar to suit.

  53. Correct Graham. You cannot be offside from a goal kick, as any referee should know.

    I am a twice-qualified referee (two different associations) and an Arsenal supporter since early childhood (around 1970). Your article loses credibility when making such obvious mistakes. And it makes us all look like a bunch of biased whingers (pro- Arsenal or anti-Man Utd).

    Referees ARE generally quite poor at the moment, even in this match, with Rooney’s deliberate elbow and its subsequent “no action” from the FA (or maybe the Sweet FA). They are often petrified of upsetting SAF, who seems to wield the mystical hidden powers of an underworld figure.

    But we must get our facts right and examine both sides of every incident with a critical eye before commenting…

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