The Untold ref review : MU – Arsenal

By Walter Broeckx, also in cup games your untold ref

We had ref Foy today. And as I said before the game even with 3 wins in the league a ref with some serious low scores with always the same problems coming back. Let us see if they also came back this match?

Min Type Text C/NC PTS weight on
1 OFFSIDE Offside against MU C 1 1 1
5 OTHER Foul on Wilshre from Rooney C 1 1 1
6 OTHER Foul on Diaby advantage given C 1 1 1
7 OFFSIDE Ofsside from MU but as Almunia has the ball ref plays on C 1 1 1
10 OTHER Some 3 fouls (kicks and pushes) on Nasri in a defensive position not given. NC 0 0 1
12 OFFSIDE Ofside against Arshavin C 1 1 1
14 OTHER Foul on Gibbs from Brown who didn’t touch the bal NC 0 0 1
14 OTHER Nasri then commits a foul which is given NC 0 0 1
16 OTHER Tackle from behind on Nasri advantage given which is lost. Should come back to this NC 0 0 1
18 OTHER Foul from Diaby C 1 1 1
20 OTHER Foul from Sagna not given NC 0 0 1
20 OTHER Foul on Nasri not given NC 0 0 1
25 OFFSIDE Offisede against MU C 1 1 1
26 OTHER Foul from Gibbs not given NC 0 0 1
27 OTHER Foul on Van Persie not given NC 0 0 1
28 GOAL Apart from the fact that the player who gave the pass should have been banned from this game by the Fa but for the rest nothging wrong with this goal. C 1 3 3
32 OTHER Foul from Diaby C 1 1 1
34 OTHER Corner given go Utd which is wrong NC 0 0 1
35 OTHER Foul from Rooney not given NC 0 0 1
36 OFFSIDE Ofside against Diaby C 1 1 1
40 OTHER Foul on Wilshere C 1 1 1
41 OTHER Foul from Denilons not given NC 0 0 1
42 OTHER Foul on Gibbs advantage given C 1 1 1
43 OFFSIDE Offside against MU C 1 1 1
48 GOAL Apart from the fact that the player who scored should have been banned by the Fa for his elbow at Wigan nothing wrong with the goal C 1 3 3
51 OFFSIDE Ofsside against MU C 1 1 1
56 OTHER Foul from Sagna advantage given C 1 1 1
62 OTHER Foul on Van Persie C 1 1 1
63 OTHER Foul from Djourou not given NC 0 0 1
75 OFFSIDE Offside against MU C 1 1 1
78 OTHER Foul from Chamakh C 1 1 1
90 OTHER Offside Arsenal C 1 1 1
90 OTHER Hands from Wilsere advantage given C 1 1 1
90 OFFSIDE A MU player is in a clear offside position but not signalled. But when he comes chasing at the Arsenal player the assistant gives the offside. Great work! C 1 1 1
90 OTHER Crazy tackle from Scholes on Chamakh from behind C 1 1 1
90 CARD A very well deserved yellow card C 1 2 2
90 OTHER Handball from Wilshere not given NC 0 0 1
90 OTHER Two footed tackle on Nasri not give NC 0 0 1
90 OTHER Then Scholes comes flying in with two feet like a madman. C 1 1 1
90 CARD This tackle was close to a red card itsel but the ref doesn’t even gif a yellow? Poor ref Foy, you are destroying you game here NC 0 0 2
90 CARD As Scholes is frustrated (maybe because he couldn’t kick an Arsenal player off the field he gives a push against Chamakh on his chest. Another card if Graham Poll would have been an ref and still Scholes can stay on the field? NC 0 0 3
90 CARD In the incident Nasri also reacted and is also let off the hook NC 0 0 2
25 30 51
% 71,43% 58,82%
CARDS 1 4 25,00
PENALTY 0 0 0,00
GOAL 2 2 100,00
OTHER 2 5 40,00
TOTAL 5 11 45,45

So a very low score for the ref. But I must say it doesn’t tell the whole story this time. Until the 90th minute his score was and this is in order with the decisions he made in total.  Just see below.

CARDS 1 1 100,00
PENALTY 0 0 0,00
GOAL 2 2 100,00
OTHER 2 4 50,00
TOTAL 5 7 71,42

But then he went on to spoil his game completely.  The way he wrongly handled the Scholes situation is the problem I pointed at, at the beginning of my article. If he would have given Scholes his second yellow card his score would have been around 70% and very satisfying for me. But the way Scholes was flying around was somewhat bizarre.  He also pushed Chamakh on the chest so I really is unbelievable that he was allowed to stay on the field.  But this is somewhat typical for Foy. It is as if he is afraid to hand out cards at times.

Because in all I thought he had a good game in a game between two teams that looked to be trying to play the game in a fair way. Until Sholes came on.  Was he ordered to try and kick a few Arsenal players off the field?  If not then he just is a poor human being to feel the need to throw tackles in like that in a game that after Djourou got injured had lost its intensity somewhat. So why start those wild tackles?  I really wonder if he is on some kind of drugs or is he just a bit… well  a problem in his head or something like that?  [Walter, I think in English we might say, “he’s just a nutter” – Tony]

But anyway I think Foy mishandled this situation completely. And this is a shame as he had a good game. But I can only give my points on what he ref has done in this game.

OH AND PLEASE FOR NEW READERS I JUST WANT TO POINT OUT THAT IN NO WAY I THINK THE REF WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR OUR CUP EXIT! Okay I think I have made that clear so no need to say anything about sour grapes.

The only sour grapes are that Rooney was on the field and in a way was very much involved in both goals. So my sour grapes are aimed at the FA and their failure to do what they should have done after the Wigan game and that which Fifa told them they had every right to do.

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79 Replies to “The Untold ref review : MU – Arsenal”

  1. Hmmm.. if Rooney was banned, will he be banned for our game? He would have missed Chelsea and the team before that (I can’t remember).

  2. The foul on Gibbs by Brown, which wasn’t called, was one of 2 or 3 ManU tackles that went unpunished, and were deemed not worthy of a replay by the broadcasters. I think they were SKY. Martin Tyler’s with Sky right? I can accept those tackles not being called in the course of the game. What I find unacceptable, and I have been trying to point out for a while now, is the selective censorship that is done to hide ManU offences. Especially when they get away with it.

    As a result people do not even remember such incidents. Even I’m struggling to remember them all. I remember that one such potential foul was followed by a ManU break, down their left, which resulted in a clean slide tackle from Denilson near the halfway line. (the Denilson tackle being shown as the replay)

  3. @Walter

    If Graham Poll were the referee he might well have shown Scholes three yellow cards, and still require his assistant to remind him to show the red 🙂

  4. @malaysian gooner

    If I remember their schedule correctly, he would have missed the Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal games. Which might explain the reluctance of the FA to punish him even when it became an issue in the media perhaps?

    Of course, his availability for the Chelsea match could have been assured by ManU if they appealed the red. But that comes with a risk of an extra game being added to the ban for ‘frivoulous appeal’. Not that ManU are ever at risk with the FA.

  5. Rooney should have been banned for 3 games: Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal. So in a way the FA has played a part.

    And note to myself: please Walter even when late at night, do read your article before sending it to Tony.

  6. Tony, in Dutch they say “he has a lose screw in his head” or “a bad wire” (for the more young and modern people) but I don’t know if this makes any sense in English as I have never heard it saying by someone.

    But real bizarre behaviour in a very fair game until he came on.

  7. Walter, I think having a screw loose is a term in English as well. At least the way it is spoken here in India.

  8. SCHOLES I just dont know, it wasnt even a game for bad tackles, immediately I thought he should have gone.

    Scholes gets away with murder, the old ginger nut has cracked

  9. I remember Arsene saying he used to prepare his team to learn how to play with 10 men cos with PV4 you just never knew, I think we need to learn to play with 10 men again because it is starting to happen more and more this season,players getting sent off, Arsenal used to be exceptional and even upped their game with 10 men, I appreciate it is a different game but I feel some preparation needs to take place for this eventuality

  10. Thanks Walter for another good job, and good you pointed this is not escapism and searching for excuse. But again we get back to talk about corruption or incompetence.

    As you are referee your self, can you tell me do you ever get warned to pay attention on some player who is known for being dirty? How do you handle it? Do you try to neutralize him giving him card for every major misbehavior trying to prevent him from repeating such things?

    Year after year we watching Scholes play that way, and only my grandmom don’t know what he is able to do, but still refs don’t like to show him red? Why, what is difference between Scholes and Diaby …or Koscielny ?

    Again it is not excuse for result last night, but in long term it have effects same as someone mentioned, if Rooney was punished as he deserved he would not play last night, same as Scholes would not play next game and so on. It don’t have immediate impact but in may it can have.

  11. OK – lets be honest about this. We were crap in their box and their goalie played well. We lost be3cause we were not as good as Manure – simple. We did not lose because of the referee. However, what is worrying we were again honoured with a well belwo average refereeing performance. I have contributed to this site before to say that Foy Boy is a poor referee. he is incvonsistent and fails to get the big deciisons wrong. I think we have had nine players dismissed this season. Correct me somebody if I am wrong, but I cannot recall anyone being dismissed for anything as bad, serious or malevolent as what Scholes did yesterday. he should have been red carded. It would not have mattered as we were absolute rubbish, but games should be refereed properly. At the level I assess referees, I would have seriously marked down any official if ythey handled the last minute or so in the way FoyBoy did.

    As far as we are concerned, we have some serious problems. I cannot believe that Lansbury, or JET or Henderson would give performances like Dennilson and Rosciky for example.

  12. Walter good work as usual but I think you missed that part of Old Trafford magic where ManU player kicked ball out and instead of goalkick there was corner.

    I don’t blame ref as team made mistakes but until Djourou’s injury I wasn’t too sad as now we can concentrate on EPL and rest while ManU has to play 3 competitions.
    Then again losing to those guys is annoying.

  13. Does anyone know what broadcaster it was that showed the match yesterday? Martin Tyler and Stewart Robson commentating.

  14. This is sad, the ref wasn’t to blame for the goals, even if Scholes was sent off it would only been 30’s left on the added time, our defending is woefull and its clear as the day. Wenger: we need to be strong! these muppets will cave in as usual.

  15. All this talk about Man u playing in 3 competitions and Arsenal can concetrate on league, this just shows man u have the metnal capacity to battle on all 3 fronts and Arsenal cant even beat a relegation candidate in the Carling cup final, you know man u will finish above Arsenal, I’ll wait for the exscuses next after the WBA match.

  16. Diaby, Denilson, Rosicky, Chamakh, Bentner, Eboue, Almuinia, Fabianski, Sqillacci, Vela…


    Mercenaraies with no passion or intensity.

    Make Jack captain now!

    Cesc you go off to Barca mate, you have carried this mediocre team for long enough and you deserve to play with some proper players.

  17. @tone you are right Cesc should go to Barca, no matter how much debt (we know they will be bailed out sooner or later) at least he will hold up silverware come the end of the season. Cesc you deserve better.

  18. Tone.. I think you have supported this team long enough and should be on your way too.

  19. sheesh.. Are you guys fans of Cesc or Arsenal? Berate the team if you must, but Cesc is part of the team, not above it..

  20. @shard – Tone is spot on.

    Shard thinks anyone who questions this team is wrong, we are supporters and we are frustrated, come this summer and Wenger will promise the world and deliver nothing.

  21. So Tone who are we going to play when our injury crisis hits us as it seems to be doing once again for the moment?
    And what does the quality of some players has to do with the ref his performance. Which was rather good except for the extra time

  22. We have been hit by injury even before the season started, Wenger had the winter transfer window, so the quetion Walter asks should be presented to Wenger.

  23. jayj

    It is one thing to question which frankly has to happen. So far this team has not proved itself capable of winning titles. Questioned, criticised, even abused at times.. My point was what does Cesc ‘deserving’ better have to do with anything. cesc is part of the team and is as much a cause of victory or defeat. If all you want to do is knock the team down and try and push the best player and captain out because of some vague idea of who deserves what, then I question your status as a fan.

  24. Rather I question who you support. Do your loyalties lie more towards Fabregas, than Arsenal football club?

  25. @shard
    Cesc has put his all into this team, 6 long years and nothing, why would a world class player want hang around a bunch half-wits? You question my status as fan, I question your ability to spot the faults which underline this team.

  26. @Shard my loyalties lay with arsenal, but where does Wenger’s loyalties lay? because right now everyone who cares about this club are questioning him.

  27. the FACT that you claim jayj.. what exactly is this team not up to? Winning the title? That remains to be seen so it is not yet a fact.

    But in any case, do you really think luck is not a factor in where the title ends up? Every year, every game, luck plays a big factor. Not just for Arsenal. In fact, not just in football.

    The league table, is also nothing more than a statistic. It cannot account for all the variables and vagaries of chance.. The deserving team, or the one that is the best doesn’t always win. I’m not saying we are the best. But I certainly think our league form has been better than anyone else’s and a lot of our failures have not been self inflicted, but rather a result of refereeing errors (if I’m being charitable)

  28. @shard
    5 seasons prior to this one have been failures – FACT.
    Now you talk about luck, luck does come into play, so are we unlucky to have the 2nd rate backline we have? Are we unlucky to Almunia? Are we unlucky come every feb/march? Are we unlucky to have player like Denilson, Diaby, Rosicky? So if it comes down to luck maybe we need a witch doctor.

  29. @jayj

    Why would a world class player hang around??? (I’m going to ignore the half witted remark about half wits)

    To make his team into a winner. Its the easy option to leave and be a winner. It’s the bigger challenge to make your team cross a hurdle, to drag it past that threshold. Just saying. there is more than one way to win, and prove yourself a winner. Demanding a transfer isn’t the only way. And if he wants to go, then let HIM say so and let him leave. But to ask for him to leave so you can berate the team you support, even further, is just wrong.

    Wenger definitely has questions to answer. There is something still lacking in our team, and that should not be the case. But I think it’s far far too early to make calls for Wenger to leave. I still see improvement and we’re heading the right way. We’re not progressing fast enough maybe, and that is an issue. But it isn’t the end of the road. Not quite yet.

    As I’ve said before. I dont think it’s just the lack of trophies bothering most people. I think it’s the media jibes which have forced people to often lose their objectivity and simply judge the team on the basis of trophies. Why are the past 6 years used as the basis of gauging which club has won how many trophies? Why not 10? Why not 20? It is only because we haven’t won since 2005 that that figure is used. No other reason. And we haven’t stood still all that time either.

    I agree with concerns about the club and trophies are getting more of a requirement now. But only to validate the progress we have made. Not simply to stop the bile directed towards us. Want the trophy for ourselves. Not to just get the media to shut up. Want that, and we just might win it.

  30. Jay-Tone,
    So how many players for each position do you want Wenger to buy? And who do you know that would be happy to sit on the bench till the injury crisis comes knocking on our door? Meaning in fact mostly around March-April. Look at Diara. He had to be sitting on the bench waiting for the injuries and was so unhappy about it that he wanted out and went to Portsmouth and then to Real Madrid. You see the best players don’t want to be sitting on the bench. And can cause a lot of problems in the group. So if we shift all thos players who are we going to replace them with and will they be any better?

    It’s not as simple as saying: sell this and this player and buy player who ever…

  31. And then how are you going to fit them in the 25 players squad? Which makes things even more difficult right now then it was before

  32. @shard
    For along time I ignored the media, other fans and even comments made by rivals. The reason I look @ the 5 yrs is not the lack of a trophy, its the manner of the defeats that are pilling up, the cheap goals and lack of concentration, the desire. I remember teams feared playing against us not no more.

  33. @ Walter
    So what your saying is our team needs to look @ Denilson, Diaby and Rosicky to come off the bench? 25 man squad and these 3 wouldn’t get a mop job.

  34. Jayj,
    I think you would be a great manager for Arsenal. Just apply for the job I would say. You know the answers and you would bring us quadruples each and every season.
    Please fill in the form and make us all happy…

  35. No one is asking Wenger to step down what we asking is why do we as a club have more dead wood than our rivals. Think about this if ever and god forbid Wenger was to go do you think the next manager would want some the players in our team? Do you think Almunia and co would be his in team?

  36. The thing is, we demand 100% commitment from the players. And that is right. However, we must show commitment too. Not just throw in the towel because we’re going through a tough phase and have injuries to key personnel. It’s hard to have belief because this current Arsenal team haven’t won anything. And maybe they do have mental issues, or issues in quality. But will it help that if we already start questioning them? Have concerns, have doubts. But try and get behind the team till the end of the season. Our season isn’t over yet. We still have a chance at a trophy. And to start berating and discounting the team now, I feel, gives fans less of a moral right to criticise them at the end even if they finish empty handed. And also, less of a right to claim the victory as ours if it arrives. The whole point of being able to claim a club’s victory as our own is that we were there backing the team whenever it mattered.

    I’m not criticising you really jayj.. I just feel we as fans should not be doing this right now. Look at ManU fans. They are blind bigots when it comes to their team. They can dive, cheat, throw elbows, kick, and have referees favour them. But they’ll claim none of that exists and claim that they are persecuted because of one opposition player not being sent off. Our team can play out of its skins and end up losing as a result of a bad call, or just bad luck. In fact, we can even win, and still we berate the team as not good enough, or having so and so problems. I just feel the tone of most of the criticisms isn’t constructive, but rather founded on an urge to prove the pre conceived opinions.

  37. @ Walter
    Its easy to make fun of me but hard to accept the we are the current laughing stock.

  38. @jayj

    I agree with the way of defeats having a certain pattern and also some of the squad players not pulling their the deadwood. And yes, those are issues that are of concern. Legitimate questions that must be asked. And answered as well. But the off season. Also, some of the last 5 years have been a bit compromised. I don;t think of them as a failure. It was arebuilding phase. ManUtd, despite not constructing a stadium or managing their finances went 3 years without a trophy too. So 5 years isn’t that much really.

  39. @ Shard you may well be right about the Man u fans, but we as fans have not thrown the towel in however Wenger has.
    We’ve stood right by this team through thick and thin, you call our timing bad, but tell when is it a good time?

    Wenger failed to address our problems and season by season the problems are getting worse, the clumsy mistakes and lack of belief is getting to the fans and yet its wrong for us to question this.

  40. I don’t think our problems are getting worse jayj.. It’s just a matter of perpective. And to accuse Wenger of throwing in the towel is very very unfair. He wants to win more than anyone.

    The time to question is definitely not when we are still in the title race. Either let us drop out (if you are right then that won’t be long) or wait for the end of the season.

  41. @shard
    Man u may of had 3 baron seasons but they’ve always pushed until the end. Constructing a stadium has hindered our team and finances but every year arsenal post a hansome profit, and yes two years time we will be debt free but another two seaons to wait? What does that do to us the fan!

  42. All it does is rob us of bragging rights. I agree, we should win a trophy and soon. But if you expect the media barbs to stop as a result of that, that won’t happen. jayj.. Support this team till the end of our season. We’re challenging now, which shows that we are not getting worse as you claimed a bit ago.. We can win this. It’ll be tough, and we may lose out in the end, but right now, all of us.. Fans.. have to try and build a barrage around the team. Fight for them. And demand they fight for you. If they let you down then ask serious questions.

  43. Two seasons ago everyone would of laughed the spuds would be in the CL quaters, 4 seasons ago we laughed at the idea of man city being rivals, whats to say 2 seasons time another club come along with a sugar daddy and pushes us out.

  44. jayj

    You worry too much. If anything, won’t it be Chelsea who will be pushed out? After all, they are the ones in 4th. You said yourself that in two years we will have finances to compete. I think we have it now. We’re already starting to show signs of it, and I have a feeling the summer will see a major signing. But again. all ofthat is conjecture. The fact remains, that despite however bad you may seem to think we are, we are 3 points of the top of the league with a game in hand, and that despite many key refereeing decisions going against us. We’re fighting to be champions of England. Lets all please fight for that common goal. It’s trophies you want. That trophy is up for grabs now, to steal a famous phrase.

  45. there is no right or wrong. if trophies are all that have to be looked at, then either we’ll win the league or we won’t. Everything isn’t rosy, I agree completely.There will be changes in the summer I feel. But we can still win the league. I feel that is more important than who is right about the state of the team. I’m sure you’ll agree with that.

  46. I had the misfortune of listening to the match on 909 five live were the commentary was as useual low standard, however this soon degenerated to the scandalous’when after Scoles second and then 3rd dangerous tackle ALAN GREEN & MARK LAWRANCESON BOTH LAUGHED and asked “why does he do that, the answer to that is because he plays for Manu. As lience payers the least we should expect are neutral comments from match commentator’s I have lodged a complaint with the BBC ,so soon we all and put an end to the Inferior service we receive.


    ditto Murphy. I did exactly the same.
    I fail to see the funny side of Aaron Ramsey’s broken leg…must be something a bit un-English in my character….

    Very disappointed to hear such a low level of commentary.

    I’ll be interested to hear their reply.

  48. Interesting review, a few moronic comments.
    We still have a very good chance of winning the title – Utd will be severely stretched. If we fail/choke/bottle it or whatever – then serious questions need to be asked of the manager, coaching staff, transfer policy, the sheer numbers and impact of injuries, defensive training, mental strength, attitudes of some players, tactics, relationships with refs and administrators, David Dein – you name it.
    But the time for such questions is ater the season ends, now the team need backing like never before – because if for once, things go our way, we CAN win this league.
    On another note, that soul of discretion, Alan Brazil let slip that one of our coaching staff is not a well man. I hope this is not true and if it is, I wish him a very speedy recovery. If it is true, I would question who is filling in -our team look a bit disorganised at times at the moment.

  49. does anyone know whether we can recall BARTLEY? he looks like he can handle himself.

    All I would say is when scholes comes to the EMS EVERYONE needs to put pressure on the ref whenever scholes makes a challenge, there is a lot of lessons that can be learned and surely the UTD game is NOW our cup final

  50. If anyone wants to know why England have underperformed so miserably at international level for the last 20 years, the answer is in the way Scholes is handled by refs and by Media.

    Listening to Greene and Lawrenson’s complicit tittering over this guy behaving like a compete jerk you need to remember that Scholes is a player often cited as the best premier league of the last 20 years by other pros.

    There is not a lot to add…..other than than when you consider that Scholes’s never made any great impact at international level, you have to question to some extent how the game is run in this country, and whether we are hopelessly out of sync with football in developed nations.

  51. Green and Lawrenson – relics from the seventies. Why does Scholes do that? Maybe because he knows SAF referees are scared to book him, or as saturday, send the ginger tosser off. Maybe he knew to get his ban over with during some no-mark games, rather than risk having a ban later in the season.

  52. WOW! I make a point not to read “Le Gove” anymore because it’s full of DOOM and GLOOM. I’m hoping Tony’s site isn’t going to attract the same type of “fans” So I’m not going to point the finger at anyone in particular. We all know that we have fans from other teams on here posting. Slating and berating our glorious team.
    I’m 50 now. I’ve SUPPORTED ARSENAL through thick and thin. I remember how we used to grind out 1-0 wins week after week. Yes we won things. Yes teams hated playing against us but I also remember when Arsene joined the club. A nobody. We needed a “Big name”? No. We got exactly who we needed at the time. The best manager we have had for decades.
    At the start of this season the media had chelsea winning the title at a canter then they changed to man u going the whole season undefeated. We slipped under the radar for so long.
    I don’t want our club to follow either of those clubs “Plans” I don’t want to be £800 million in debt waiting to be bailed out by the Sultan of we’ve got oil. I don’t want to our club to be beholding to a russian oligath/mafia boss.
    If you look at the amount of money that they have spent, on what? A couple of titles and a few FA cups. Hundreds of millions of pounds in debt for what. Bragging rights.
    No thank you.
    On our team. Am I happy. No. Will I slate them. No. Will I slate the manager. No. They are all paid to go and do their job to the best of their ability everytime they take to the pitch and follow the manager’s plan. Whether they do it or not well we get to see that each game. We put them under a microscope when they don’t but we don’t scrutinise them when we blow teams away. We expect that from them everytime.
    I, like every other Arsenal fan want thropies but I also want to watch attractive free flowing, exciting football. So this year it’s March and we’ve been to wembley, beaten by Barcelona ( the best team in the world) and knocked out of the FA cup by ( the best team in Britain ) we’re still in the EPL title battle.
    SO COME ON. It’s not all doom and gloom. Whatever happens with our players at the end of the season is going to happen.How about getting behind the team and being positive. Let’s look towards the WBA game and seek some revenge and spank them at their home ground and keep the pressure on until we win the league.
    This is what supporting Arsenal is all about.It’s a rollercoaster ride but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
    Would you rather support one of the other teams? When’s the last time liverpool won a title? Or the Spuds?
    In Arsene we trust.
    COME ON YOU GOONERS! Be proud to support such a great team. I know I am.

  53. We must learn how to defend simple as. Our defending in the last few years is poor. No organisation, poor concentration, its just all over the place. I think by now we must of worked that out and still every year it doesnt improve, yes we go through decent patches where we might conceed one goal in five matches but over the course of a year its poor. Personally i would like Arsenal when we lose the ball to really press high up the pitch. Lets face it were not much good at sitting back and waiting for the right moment to win it back. Just look at Barce (to to drag on about them) but they have the ball more than any team i have ever seen and when thay lose it they press you staring from your penalty area forcing you just to give it back to them, unless your technique and passing ability is on par with them. There centre-backs play on the half way line most of the game. They win ball without having to make many tackles, thats a revoltuion. If rewind the manure match or even some other arsenal match the sense of urgency at times doenst seem to be there. Our counter-attacking football also at times seems to slow unless Walcott plays, we make one pass to many allowing teams to regroup.

    As always we blow out at March, i will keep the faith and support our players to the death but its looking ever so more just like another year without nothing. Last two weeks has been a big big blow mentally and if wenger is right about this team thay must show what they are made of starting from West Brom. 5-0 would be nice. However the only winners in our team that i see our RVP, Cesc, Nasri, Vermaelen, Wilshere and Szczesny.

  54. Gooner80, I have been thinking the same about Bartley. I think he is standing a bit further in his development compared to Miguel.

  55. I think at times the suicidal high line our defence ususlly plays does not help. Kos and Squill cannot handle this type of game as a pair, leading to a lot of silly mistakes.
    If we are going to have to rely on these two, Wenger needs to bring in someone like Keown to drill them properly

  56. I’m sure we can recall Bartley according to the FA rules. But I don’t know what the terms of the loan were with Rangers.

  57. Mandy Dodd
    Your totally right, someone like Keown must step in the drill the defence. Like he did when Campbll lost the plot and we went on a wooble defensively in 2006, He drilled that team four a couple of months, and as far as i no we still hold the record for most consecutive clean sheets in the champions league.

    As for Gary Peyton and Mark Poom they can go as our GK staff and bring in Seaman.

  58. This is ONE blog I’ve read consistently together with a few others on matters concerning Arsenal.This season,at the very begining,I made a conscious decision to stay awy from blogs till almost the very END.
    Am sure much has been said, about our curent situation, and mostly how we arrived here.Everyone,mostly our rivals remind us we’ve gone 6 years without silverware,and for a long time it looked so promising untill 3 weeks ago. Now its dejavu time, again. Its like we are jinxed.
    Arsene asked us to judgge him by the silver ware in may. It looks like he has only 10 games in which his managerial career is hinged on.Ofcourse, he is the most successfull manager,in our glorious history, and indeed has performed miracles to get us to where we are today.
    I live in africa,and technology allows me to watch plenty of football,affordably. Im also an Arsenal fan,who got converted by the Michael Thomas goals at anfield in 86-87. In africa, the only constant we have is CHANGE. Even animals out in the wild,perfect the ART of survival by constantly adapting,pragmatism and sometimes mutating. There has been lots of calls for 2-3 years for wenger to GO. It sometimes appears misguided but not totally without justification,especially, when in the moments the club needs GLORY.
    My humble opinion is that Wenger is still needed in the medium term,to complete his long term vision and ambition for the CLUB. However, for obvious reasons, it seems he needs HELP. My suggestion is he becomes DIRECTOR of FOOTBALL, With the unemployed Frank Rijkard comming in as Manager. Players out : Almunia,Denilson,Rosicky,Arshavin*. Players in: Brad Freidel,Scott Parker,Kevin Doyle,Lucas Barrios. Player swaps Bendtner><Mario Gomez.
    These players I think will add that extra dimension, that we have been Lacking to win silverware. They have been consistent,experienced,great attitudes,excellent work rates and leaders in their own right.
    As for Frank Rijkard, he is a proven winner, and most importantly will fit in seamlessly within Arsenals' philosophy and style of play. He is a tactical hard nosed coach.It is also worth noting that he is the manager that ended Barcelona's 6 year barren spell, and indeed set the foundations of their current status as the worlds best team,some even add EVER.

  59. Alas I fear Wenger will not let Keown or anyone else near his defence. A real shame – a lot of ex players would be happy to help out
    On Bartley – Wenger does not often recall loanees early – again, a bit of a shame.
    I worry he may stick Song ad CD and rely on Diabyson if push comes to shove

  60. Paul in his post said almost all I wanted to say, just there is one thing I have to ad to it. Each of us sometime should ask himself why do we want Arsenal to win crown and to be successful. Is it for glory of Arsenal football club or it is because our own vanity. Is it because of well being of Arsenal or it is because it will give us point in arguing with supporters of other clubs?
    Once you are able to put Arsenal in front of your vanity you will see how great this team is.

  61. In our last ten premier league games we’ve only gave a way 7 (SEVEN) goals and four of them were to newcastle.
    If you look at the stats we’ve conceided less goals than man u.I don’t here anyone out there slating their defense or saying their not good enough.
    I personally thought our back five was starting to perform as a unit. Would I rather have Thomas back? Of course but he’s injured. I think Miguel looks good for the future as for Bartley? No offense but I’m Scottish. Playing in the SPL is poles apart from the EPL a very very poor man’s third best at least but I’m glad he’s getting games week in week out but again would I throw either of them into the melting pot now? No. Although we do need someone to step in for Johan.
    On the coaching staff. Again if we were winning every week no one would even be giving them a mention.
    Just think. If everytime a result didn’t go our way we changed the team. Just how would that work for stability, confidence etc etc?
    In Arsene we trust. Afterall he’s the Boss? ( thank goodness )

  62. Interesting points Greg – Wenger did say he had to win something by the end of this year or he will have failed.
    I still think we may win the league.
    If not, I worry that he may be tempted to step down as a matter of honour and principle – I do not doubt that is the type of guy he is.
    I really hope not – another barren year hit by familiar failings would suggest the possible need for new approaches and personnel in some areas but not a new manager. And not a complete overhaul of playing staff.
    The next 10 games are hugely important on every level. If we win, it will be Wengers greatest achievement and mark success after rebuilding. If we do not….well lets wait until after the season

  63. @Armin

    that is absolutely spot on.. I really do think most of the uproar isn’t really about the trophies that Arsenal should get.. It’s basically about the media’s and our rivals’ jibes getting to be too much for our fans to take.

  64. @Mandy Dodd

    totally agree with your points about the defence needing help for constant improvement, but I think we have been brainwashed by the media into taking OPINIONS as FACTS, looking at the facts our defence has been much better than last year, IMO it is the finishing that needs improving, we create enough chances. The reason strikers earn more than defenders ( generally) is because it is harder to put the ball in the back of the net, finishing has cost us even against birmingham we had quite a few chances.

    it is possible for us to finish with the best defensive record and we have a lot more clean sheets, with JD I always felt comfortable he is reassuring

    with cesc, theo , and RVP plus the likes of AA and Nasri i can see why it aint possible to win all of our remaining games, we have only one focus, no distractions, no excuses of tiredness a whole week to prepare for every game, sufficient recovery time to be at peak performance and if we achieve that kind of run the league is ours and although the media may portray OPINIONS as FACTS that will be A FACT

    I would love bartley back he has a little bit of an edge about him

  65. @Armin

    I want Arsenal to win because whether it is bias or not I believe we have the better team than UTD and a trophy like the Prem is recognition that you have been the best and most consistent over 38 grueling games, No trophies has made me very humble when it comes to having debates with other fans and a lot of the time I bite my tongue and just don’t rise to the bait, I want us to win because we are ambassadors of the english game and a beacon of light in a very dark world of ancient hatchet football and long ball.

    I want us to win because I want kids to see how it is done, to admire how beautiful the game can be played and most of all I want to win because I think it would lead to us dominating football in england

  66. This has been the worst week since the semi final against Man U when they kicked lumps out of us and knocked us out of the cup.

    Even worse a few days later Chelsea knocked us out of the Champions League at Highbury, with a goal from Wayne Bridge. Possibly the worst result I have ever witnessed.

    In fact that week was much worse than this week.

    The year? 2004. A season that turned out to be perhaps our most glorious ever.

    Fellow gooners – this season ain’t over yet!

  67. @ Ian.
    Well said.
    some fans need to take a leap of faith and believe in this team. afterall.

  68. Gooner80 is correct regarding OPINIONS v FACTS.

    One of the biggest urban myths is that George Graham’s defences were as tight as a duck’s arse whereas under Wenger the defence has been as watertight as a collander.

    The facts are that Graham’s teams averaged 57 goals for and 34 against per season (averaged out to 38 games per season).

    Wenger’s teams have averaged 68 goals for and 32 goals against per season.

    Since 2003-04 when it has been Wenger’s defence the figures are 74 goals for and 34 against per season.

    Not sure what Graham’s defenders could teach Wenger’s as they were no better.

    From Walter’s reports it is obvious that Arsenal have to play to different rules than the rest of the Premier teams.

    With regard to Paul Scholes, I’m sure there are people out there that will say that it was deep into injury time and wouldn’t have mattered if he had been sent off. The thing is he could have taken Nasri out of the game and robbed us of one our best players for 4 games. Man Utd should be without Scholes for at least 1 game (possibly more as he would have 10 yellows). THAT is what Arsenal have to contend with in EVERY game they play in.

  69. Andy, trouble is we are now left with Squil and Kos – do not have them to hand but I can well imagine their stats are not great when played together. Any help they can get will be welcomed!
    Great call in post about opinions and facts

  70. I understand now…the veil has been lifted .

    For many people supporting a football club is a kind of alter-ego…or even a vanity trip. It boosts their self-esteem, like having a Porsche…..

    I guess I am just one of those people who isn’t so attached to bright shiny things.

    I think if you are a migratory Arsenal supporter, and you don’t like the regime, migrate somewhere else like Wadi Mancity

  71. On soccer saturday Paul Merson made a very VERY good point, if wenger was sacked or resigned there would be more demand for him then any other manager, then someone questioned him” what even more than mourhinho” yes was the reply, BECAUSE MAUREEN needs loads of money Mr WENGER builds squads on next to nothing budgets, EVERY CLUB in THE WORLD would be trying to gain his signature, so DONT any one forget that, WENGER POURS his heart and soul into arsenal for him to be questioned. IM SORRY everyone needs to get the foresight and see the bigger picture we have a world class manager who turned arsenal into the 5th or 6th I forget biggest CLUB IN THE WORLD on pennies, so we all need to convert to the fact that LE BOSS is giving everything and should be appreciated, on the other hand some of his players have let him down during this 6 years, without arsene and all these players loyal to him we would be IN BIG TROUBLE, DAVID DEIN MEETING AW was the best thing that ever happened to arsenal

  72. He was bad as usual, but in this case, not particularly biased. The only issue was that AGAIN a Utd player escapes a clear red card. It’s unbelievable.

    Apart from the rooney incident, gary neville has escaped at least 2 reds this year; giggs should have been banned for three games after the wolves game for kicking doyle off the ball and throwing another to the ground, according to the match report on the sky sports website (although I’ve been unable to verify this because I can’t find the video anywhere!); and scholes should also have been red carded and banned for three games for trying to score with his hands against wolves – but nobody brings these things up!
    Giggs by the way played the pass for Utd’s first goal against man city, immediately after the wolves game.

    I’m glad it’s been highlighted on this site that rooney should have been banned for at least 3 games for his violent behaviour because the media seemed to forget about that after the chelsea game.

    I’m not bitter about losing the game yesterday, I’m really not. Neither team played badly, but fergie got his tactics completely right, and wenger didn’t. They deserved to win based on that, but it has to be said, they should be without scholes for their next game, and tonnes of their important players should have been banned for a number of games this year.

  73. @Andy Kelly – yes, exactly. With regard to this season alone, we have again been battered for our defensive frailties, yet we have the 3rd best defence, having conceded 3 less than Utd, who are rightly praised for their defence. Something isn’t quite right there.
    Our defence was so exposed yesterday because Utd set out to hit us on the break. They employed the same tactics as birmingham and most of the lower league sides tend to. It just so happens they have some quality attackers so when they do get a break, they are able to take advantage of that space better. To be honest I thought wenger should have reacted better to the game, but instead persisted with the same tactics which fell right into Utd’s hands.

  74. Disappointed? Yes. Gutted? Yes. Blame our defence? No. Blame Wenger? No. Why cannot people see that the simple aim of this game is to score goals? We were doing that up until our recent usual collapse. It’s as if our strikers cannot hit the side of a barn door. Our midfielders seem to think that after they’ve made a pass they can stand and watch instead of following in to assist the strikers. Yes we have defensive frailties and Yes Wenger does make horrible errors (in my opinion) on tactics, team selection and substitutions, but I still stand by my contention that our real problem is up front and in midfield. We have too many passengers at the moment; we all know who they are so I’m not going to slag them off. We’ve been playing a game every 3 days or so for ever or so it seems. Are they tired? Is it the injury list? I don’t know but I hope Wenger realises that we have to have a better strike rate soon or we will win F*** all again.

  75. Mickess, about the games every 3 days: yes we have and this since our game against Chelsea on December 27. That is 2,5 months now going on like that.

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