The CORRUPTION FILES: 1 – The League

The organisation running the top league in English football has a long history of corruption – dating back at least to 1919 when Manchester United and Liverpool, who had been found guilty of match fixing in the final pre-war season were allowed to go unpunished and continue unhindered.

Arsenal benefitted from the final outcome of that particular scandal, by being given a place in the new expanded First Division in the re-organised league, but that was due to what was effectively a vote of thanks from other clubs who were so pleased to find a team that would stand up to the corruption of the north west teams.

That protest against the corruption in football was led by Henry Norris, the Arsenal chairman and owner, who brought Arsenal to Highbury, and who brought in Chapman as manager.

But the authorities never forgave his campaign, and they eventually got their own back when he was banned from football for life for… having the club pay for his chauffeur for the drive to an away match.  Clearly a balanced response.

On May 6, 1991, Arsenal won the League, but not before the League itself had docked Arsenal two points for the behaviour of its players on the pitch in the game earlier in the season at Old Trafford.   There’s no denying that something like 18 of the 22 players on the pitch squared up to each or protested to the ref – but players squaring up to each other was nothing new and had never been punished before.  No punches were thrown, no one was pushed to the ground.

No club has before or since been deducted two points for general player demenour – these days there is a set of rules about paying a fine if several players get booked – but then there was no rule.  The League made it up for the occasion.  Manchester United were docked one point but that was irrelevant because they were never challenging for the title.  Arsenal were.

This season, the League obviously were not the prime motivators in getting Eduardo banned for two games in the Champs Knockabout – that all happened because of the Scottish FA, who hold a dominant position in UEFA (especially in the case of Gordon Smith who was prominent in this case).   But the League, who could see the injustice of the situation, kept very quiet.

Now the application of the post-match charge of Article 10 (1c) of the disciplinary regulations (saying that a player can be suspended “for acting with the obvious intent to cause any match official to make an incorrect decision or supporting his error of judgment”) the world has changed.

Eduardo, it is said, did this by diving with intent (remembering that under the new rule the officials decide what is in the player’s mind).  Adebayor therefore did the same by intending to rake his studs all over Van Persie’s face and then claiming it was an accident.  (No one can know what is in the mind of Adebayor – any more than Eduardo, but since the Eduardo case that is not the question – it is assumed you can know).

Van Persie is in no doubt.  He says, on the Arsenal site…

“I am sad and disappointed by my former team-mate Emmanuel Adebayor’s mindless and malicious stamp on me during today’s match…. He set out to hurt me today.

“I knew he was aiming for a collision because he changed the angle of his body to allow contact to be made.  He moved backwards when his natural momentum would have taken him forward…

“I do feel lucky that I have not suffered a greater injury. The contact was only centimetres from my eye. I have not received an apology from him, there were no words exchanged afterwards…”

Now we know that Eduardo got a two game ban for diving.  That did not affect the outcome of the game, and did not hurt anyone.  So a deliberate attempt to disfigure a player for life presumably is a little more than a two game ban.

In November 2007 a rugby player Rhys Garfield from near Bridgend was jailed for 15 months for stamping on the head of an opponent during a match.  Garfield cause greater injury than Adebayor, but it shows that such issues can be taken seriously.

So here we have the two ends of the spectrum.  Two match ban for falling over, or 15 months in prison for stamping on a player’s head.

Given that the injury Van Persie suffered was not substantial it doesn’t seem relevant to talk of prison, but certainly a long ban from football would seem in order.  Anything less than half a season’s ban for deliberate contact between boot and head would seem ludicrous given the precedent set by two games for falling over.

Anything less than half that (ie ten game ban) would (again given the context of Eduardo’s two game ban) seem like corruption once again.

We wait and see, but if you do accept that the League is a corrupt body in the way it hands out uneven punishment then the question is why?  Why should club a) get away with it and club z) not?   The answer undoubtedly come down to money and who pays whom, how and when.  Just the same as in the match fixing days before the First World War.

At least Arsenal are at last standing up to bent authorities, and I really do welcome this.  The strong statement made on the web site in the Eduardo case was welcome, and the way the club has handled its comments about Adebayor is also welcome.  Long may that continue – we’ve been pushed around by the nutters who run football for nearly 100 years, and it is time this stopped.

PS – the link in the banner at the top is not working as I write this (monday AM) but will be soon — it leads to

Coming next in the Corruption Files: Fabio Capello

(c) Tony Attwood 2009

53 Replies to “The CORRUPTION FILES: 1 – The League”

  1. Tony, you forgot to mention how the invitation for Arsenal to join the new look first division really pissed off Tottenham and they’ve never really recovered from that. Before we arrived north of the river, they were happy about the fact that Arsenal were nobody playing down Plumstead Common.

    I think the way the club is operating regarding responses to incidents e.g. the Eduardo and Van Persie ones, is telling in itself. My take in Who said Arsenal doesn’t have an agenda is that the Arsenal decision to release RVP’s statement is a master class in how to be media savvy.

    Within an hour of Saturday’s defeat, that statement had served the purpose of grasping the media cycle and making sure that the story served our agenda of making Ade-bye-ego the villain. The team knows they have work to do to improve on Saturday and they can do it quietly, everyone is talking about bad boy Ade and not about the media driven agenda of the apparent arrival of Moneybags City in the big league, and we’re playing this game of football politics in a way that folks are not used to.

    Let’s have more of this Mr. Gazudus.

  2. Mr Ivan Gazids has a employed a team of media savvy people and lawyers who are now begining to show us that the Arsenal of the last few seasons is now dead and gone, this new corperate media savvy entity is going to be force to be reconed with, i for one am very happy with the new in your face version that takes no crap from either, UEFA, FA or other clubs and their players.

    The most shocking thing i have seen in football for many a long year is the intent to injure former team mates by the former Arsenal player Adebayor, leaving aside the Eduardo injury which was caused by a player from antother team with no links to Arsenal, also in the same match he went out to do Cesc Fabregas and slapped Alex Song!!!
    Will the FA get busy and throw the book at this scum, i hope so, but let’s see what happens but if they do i would like to think that RVP reports the incident to the police and charges bought against Adebayor for intent to cause injury or GBH.
    May be i’m suffering from a bad case of over reaction to the events on Saturday but then again who was to blame for the action of the Arsenal fans after running the length of the pitch to taunt the fans causing a near riot, class less, clue less, stupid fool Adebayor.

  3. Jazbo.

    The Greater Manchester Police have already publicly invited Arsenal, The FA or Man City to make a formal complaint about Adebayor’s goal celebration which is being viewed as outright incitement. What he did could have easily caused a riot in any other pitch across the country. It was pre-meditated and reckless and there are grounds for it to be examined by the police.

    Adebayor deliberately put the lives of supporters and stewards at risk, and it actually feels a worse crime than the assault on Van Persie, though both are unacceptable.

  4. Everything about Adebayor’s atrocious behaviour seems to have been covered so, not much to add there.
    But I do recall Paul Davies receiving a 10 mach ban for punching a Southampton player in the face back in the eighties. Maybe the FA should consider that when deciding Adebayor’s punishment.

  5. Tony,great article.Now some of the media are trying to put Van Persie as the sinner.I think the Arsenal fans behaved well considering.Can you imagine what the W.Ham fans would have done if Lampard had ran the whole lengh of the field and taunted them.
    It was agood move by Arsenal to put it on the website.We have been pushed around enough,also it takes the pressure of Lord Wengerfrom making comments.
    What the F..k was Adebayor doing before the game kicked off.He was standing inside Arsenals half looking for aggro.

  6. just read arsenal insider blog..he clearly stated we’re broke n board doesn’t tell true financial conditions…we are earning from transfer windows from past few seasons..not investing them for making the club stronger..what conclusions does one makes out..we are broke and worst is yet to come…

  7. Banning the fool for a long time would be justified.
    The way he went in against Cesc and RVP was disgracefull and it should have been red two times.
    I really wonder if they would have examined E.A. on any strange and forbidden substances in his blood what they would have found ?
    He was looking like a mad men at times. I wonder what drugs he took ?
    It is good to see that the Arsenal is setting the tone in the way they do. We should do it all the time.
    If I would kick someone in the head like E.A. did I would be put in prison.
    Well every sane person and with brains in his head knows that kicking a person against his head is very dangerous. Well… enough said I guess….

  8. n tony, now iam also thinking on the notion that ur paid by boards to calm things out n paint a rosy picture…prove me wrong and give me an explanation why we haven’t bought significantly in past few seasons including this one except arshavin….

  9. Walter read your posts from yesterday and im sorry but i think your post reeked of the hyper-sensitivity that Wenger himself is guilty of and the embarrasment of last years AGM questions. Who exactly is being rude to Wenger? What sort of comments are disrespectful? Wenger will go down as one of the greatest managers of all time at AFC but that does mean he is above all criticism and challenge and in a job for life. If anything I think the over top worship of Wenger has gone to his head. He really believes his own PR. Even SAF has got more stick of the Old Toilet faithfull than AW ever has. Maybe it has kept him on his toes. Its interesting we dont have any songs about our current crop of players. The only song we sing is about the manager. Is that cos we dont have any big players and our manager is the all consuming focus of the club? I genuinely dont want Wenger to end his reign on a sour note but he needs to drop all the double-speak and put pressure on the club for funds and address the weakeness in the team. There is quote by Tony Adams in GunnerN5’s favourite book Arsenal – Making of a Superclub. Adams crticises the lack of experience in the team and the fact there is no one who can tell players what to do during a game or motivate them. Adams points out having experienced players was an important part of his own development. Passing on experience from old to young is almost a law of nature. Why is Wenger so arrogant to believe he can over turn the laws of nature.

  10. to be honest i am starting to think that Wenger has stayed too long. That’s why an ever-increasing number of fans are angry at him. Sure, we can step back and be grateful for all he once achieved but you seem to believe that we should be grateful for ever – and we would have been, had he not clung on and started to undo all his good work. The sad fact is that in a few short years we’ve gone from being the best side in England to struggling to be fourth best. And after this season it could be worse. I know no one has a divine right to win silverware blah blah but given a decade of CL cash, we should be far more competitive. Instead we routinely get spanked in the matches that matter. All the board want is the CL money, a comatose fan base and their big pay day. All Wenger wants is a quiet life where he can tinker to his heart’s content and not be bothered by “ungrateful” fans who merely want us to still compete with our former rivals. Fans see that the team has got steadily weaker; that our best players now routinely leave without top-class replacements; that we lack ambition; are lightweight; that we bottle it. For all our players’ fighting talk they lack the heart for the fight. But it ain’t their fault. Wenger has simply lost his mojo. He has been in the comfort zone for years, which is why he can smugly shrug off cataclysmic defeats like those to Chelski and Man U last term without doing anything about it. Every wasted summer means another wasted season. Every year that Wenger stays means a team who’ll struggle even harder to stay ahead of the mid-table teams we once looked down on as an irrelevance. Now silverware is an irrelevance for us. Now winning the big games is beyond us. The Emirates isn’t to blame. Wenger never liked to spend big in case it backfired. Now getting him to spend at all is like pulling teeth. It’s a classic case of a manager who’s no longer up to it.

  11. Form is temporary, class is permanent. So well done on your good run of form Manu. Speaking of runs…if you put half as much energy into your movement for the Gunners as you did for the goal celebration perhaps you’d still be playing for the Gunners.

    Also, you’re not really suppose to celebrate with the Arsenal fans anymore but at least the run and slide on your knees was an improvement on that bloody dancing you subjected us to…it’s unfortunate that the Arsenal fans didn’t just laugh at you (although I can understand the frustration they vented with bread rolls and a stewards chair)…pity Cesc didnt have any pizza handy.

    As for the game itself, well Adebayor shouldn’t have been on the pitch to score (cards for the Cesc tackle and Van Persie attack) would have ensured his early removal. Barry’s handball should have been a penalty and prevented the build-up to City’s last goal. So if you chalk off two city goals and add one for the Arsenal penalty (assuming we scored it) and the scoreline would have been a little different. Alas this didnt materialise but I wouldn’t be ready just yet to proclaim City as big four…nor would I be in any hurry to consider Arsenal as also-rans…we keep playing like that and we won’t lose many more games.

  12. While Adebayor has been shown up as a despicable human being, in the cold harsh glare of a high profile football match, what about some of our own despicable fans and bloggers. It is appropriate that Adebayor be highlighted, pilloried and punished but what about those fans who engage in racist chants at the Man City game. Those away from the game and of similar mindset who could not wait to leap on-line to “hang, draw and quarter” their own team. Just read the posters in response to Tony’s “mea culpa” on Saturday. I have said before that a great manager like Arsene Wenger, who is on the verge of rebuilding another great team surely deserves better fans.

  13. Damn_Gallas
    September 14th, 2009 at 12:09 pm; WOAH WOAH steady on there matey – you’r posts are usually filled with positives – why the sudden turn? Now I’ve seen a lot of Arsenal fans on here complaining about Wenger’s tactics and calling for his head, and I’m not going to lie, I’m one of the fans that would ordinarily be agreeing with them, as I did for much of last season, but to sack him because of the team’s performances so far this season would be ridiculous. If you rewind to the first day of the season the same people demanding Wenger’s dismissal now were probably the same people writing in hailing him as the new messiah. Like I say, my opinion on the man is quite often fickle but I only wanted to see him sacked when we were in 5th place and 10 points behind Villa, and it looked like a real possibility that we wouldn’t get into the Champions League, but to want him sacked after only four out of 38 games is just plain stupid.

    Also there’s a lot of gloom mungers saying how our title challenge is basically over after these two losses. Once again, these fans need reminding that its only four games into the season and we’re not the only top four team to lose or even lose twice. Liverpool lost two arguably easier games then we did (Tottenham Away and Villa at Home compared to Man United and City away), and although Chelsea are still unbeaten they haven’t faced anyone of note yet. Furthermore, although it would have been nice to get something from one of these ‘big’ games, in reality going away to the League Champions and away to the League’s biggest spenders was never going to be any easy task, and although we lost both game I believe we put in very good performances, we were just unlucky. I mean an own goal in both games, a penalty and yesterday we dominated on possession and were unlucky not to draw it from 4-1 down.

    In summary the season is 38 games long, and so far we’ve only played four of them, three of which have been away to top-quality teams. If we can just carry on winning against the teams lower down the table, which is something we failed to do last season, then beat the big teams when they come to the Emirates than there is absolutely no why we won’t be Champions come May.

  14. I imagine there will be plenty of emails posted about Manchester City, Arsenal and Adebayor and judging from Sky and the BBC’s reaction to the game, I believe that the focus is not being shone in the right place.

    Why on earth are so many Arsenal fans still showing faith in Arsene when he has clearly lost the plot and the ability to get an effective Arsenal side playing football properly. Already after today’s match he was complaining yet again about players being tired and the fact that we had players playing international football. Like City did not?

    The Arsenal were invincible in 04, were very fortunate to win the cup in 05 and have done nothing since.

    Look at today’s side: Almunia, Sagna, Clichy, Vermaelen, Gallas, Song, Denilson, Diaby, Cesc, Bendtner, van Persie

    Now look at an XI AW has sold:
    Lauren, Campbell, Toure, Cole
    Vieira, Pires, Hleb, Flamini
    Adebayor, Henry

    I make that 14 winners’ medals to the second XI in the past four years.

    One might be the past and the other the future, but I know which of these two would have surrendered to City today and which would have got stuck into them and come away with three points.

  15. Wenger’s Arsenal is dead. No passion, no invention, no spine and no penetration, just a lot of ineffectual, ponced-up tippy-tap football that gets nowhere, has no end product and results in yet another Arsenal capitulation.

    I am thoroughly sick of watching useless, flapping clowns like Diaby, Denilson and Bendtner chugging pointless around the pitch like donkeys and I am completely f***ing sick of watching Wenger flap his arms with shrugged shoulders like a frustrated little boy who can’t get his own way. All credit to Man City though, thought they played very well and deserved the win

    Wenger’s Arsenal is dead and the sooner we get shot of the whinging, whining, petulant excuse-monger the better. I’m sick of him and what his Arsenal has become.

  16. I’m beginning to think that the changes that Arsenal need to make relate to fans who are fickle to the highest order. If we could only go out and spend money on a new set of unfickle fans. The current fickle lot are a disgrace to the team.

    If you’re not capable and willing to support Arsenal if we get relegated to the Blue Square Premiership, then you’re not worthy of being a supporter. Your just a glory hunter.

    There’s a very big difference between challenging, critiqing and supporting the team with the aim of achieving better results, and the opposite which is doom and gloom and pretty much doing the job of the supporters of other teams. Our players deserve better fans.

    Fickle fans who expect Arsenal to go through another unbeaten season without losing any match are as dilusional as a man who believes his missus has an orgasm every time they have penetrative intercourse.

  17. I deeply believe that booing is not good.
    Certainly not for own players and also not for ex players. We just have to give them no attention, ignore them. Most ex-players play pretty good against us and that maybe has to do something with the reversed psychologie (hope I make mysel clear on this ?).
    Example: Player X left us because he was not good enough and criticised the club or teammates or the manager. So the fans boo him and he starts thinking: “hey I’m important” and “the fear me”. This could lead to the player to give more then 100 % and so he could have his best game of his live and cost us points.
    So I really think that when an ex-player comes to meat us we should give him a gentil round of aplaus. This wil couse confusion in his head and the feeling : “they still like me” and maybe this will give him less grit and determination in proving the fans wrong.
    Yust my thoughts….

  18. last year:
    Everton a lucky 1-1 (played bad, should have lost)
    Portsmouth : a lucky 1-0 win in the closing minutes
    MU: a 0-0 against a team preparing for the CL final
    City: 3-0 defeat
    total 5 points and goal average made 2 conceded 4 = -2

    this year:
    Everton torned them to peaces 1-6 win
    Portsmout: torned them to peaces 4-1 win
    MU: 2-1 defeat and should have won, played them off the pitch for the most part of the game
    City: 4-2 defeat, could have won the game or a draw was really possible.
    total: 6 points goal average made 13 conceded 8 = +5

    So we have 1 point more and scored a lot of goals. We conceded more but this could be a one day miss.

    Lets see the next weeks how we do against our achillesheel oppononts for the last year: the lower placed teams.
    If we can beat those teams then we got it all in our hands.
    So lets just wait a few more weeks before we write the team or the manager of.

  19. What you sow so shall you reap Dont want to get into a big rant cos am just pushing myself further into this depression and believe me I am deep enough as it is We all knew that when some of our blinded rose tinters put up a ridiculous thread saying how wrong us realists were after just two fcuking games (against shit opposition too) that this response was going to be just around the corner

    The bottom line is that we have too many average/shit players (almunia, fcuking diaby, song and bedtner for starters) and as I suggested above we cannot expect to compete with the top sides when we depend on that level of mediocrity I simply cannot understand how that useless plank diaby can be (a) picked to start any fcuking game & (b) not be subbed in a game where he is absolute shit I dont care how green ramsey is cos if he isnt as good or better than diaby then he has no place being at our club – give the kid a run of games (and vela too) and hey maybe the results wont be a lot better but these players listed above have had their chance and failed to take it so maybe it is time to give the likes of ramsey and vela a run of games to see if they can do better

  20. realists are getting carried away by this defeat just like rosetinters were carried away by the victory at everton. simple is that.

    it isn’t any of the two extremes – we are not getting relegated – rvp had a good game, unlucky as always, but very good, song was not better because he was too exposed, and the thing is, you can complain as much as you want about eboue, diaby, denilson and song, but the man who fucked the whole game, who was incredibly SHIT, was a guy who even the realists thought was good enough for a league winning side – gael clichy. wright philips did wathever he wanted, it was a massacre. i don’t know why, and i’m surprised. i never thought clichy was brilliant at defending, but i never thought he could be such a gigantic pile of shit. i’m amazed.

    i was also positively impressed with rosicky. we forgot how good he is. he was better than hleb, i didn’t remember that. i think there is as much class and quality in rosicky as in fabregas and rvp. he is a brilliant excellent marvelous player. manure do not have a midfielder like him in their team. it’s hard to calculate the kind of difference that it can be to this team if rosicky manages to stay fit. he is twice as good as samir nasri, i’m sorry, but he is.

    but i’m worried. what the fuck happened to clichy?

  21. The important thing from now on is that Wenger learns from his mistakes by NOT picking Diaby and sticking Bendtner on the wing…..but we’ve seen it so many times before, Wenger panders to his poor little average players and to keep their morale up, will tell them they are world class and will play them in a couple of games time. In a season where you can afford to lose no more than three or four games, we are two down already. 5th place will be a good finish this season.

  22. Hi All

    first time on here.. wow there are some very nice articles on here…amazing info too. A lot of negativity on here but im still very much pro-wenger but to say i am not concerned or worried would be an understatement after wasting roughly £80 of my money on saturday watching that crap.

    we were awful 1st half but in the second at 1-1 we looked good and should have gone on to win it, i think everyone sensed a second, but then yet again we self destructed.

    what concerned the most was that no one seemed to have a static position – i kept on seeing vermaelen up around their penalty box and why wenger insists on playing bendtner and diaby out of position i dont know. if you’re going to play nik, at least make him the focal point of the attack and put RVP on the side, and rosicky looked so good he may as well ahve started. Dont get me started on Almunia, who last season’s form seems like a long time ago.

    anyway i’m getting off the point – the worrying concerned is that we haven’t beaten rival i.e. manure, chelski, scousers, villa, spuds etc. in 2009 and despite an encouraging defeat against united, we seem to be shooting ourselves in the foot.

    i personally don’t believe that this results shows we are going to struggle this season: it sure as hell feels like it but i have faith in wenger righting the wrongs, and the impressive start (post Manchester) hopefully can be resurrected.

    Yet again the main problem is defensively, and the only clean sheet we have kept this season was against a celtic side under a new manager without Nakamura and the likes of Fortune and Samaras up front.

    so why has wenger not spent the 40m? i think the question is did wenger have the money to spend? im not 100% sure, but i guess he would have had some of it. the thing is wenger (if he had wanted to sign a CB) would need to shift silvestre and senderos as we have 5, which he was unable to do. The next thing is to find someone at a reasonable price. Hangeland? Fulham said they would hold out for silly money and need to find a replacement – if we had offered senderos would he have gone? im not convinced. Similarly in centre mid, we have plenty of bodies, and if he brought a face in what does it say to the likes of denilson and song? Now i know plenty of you will go they ain’t good enough etc. but song is improving and denilson also has improved and have had a full season’s experience under their belt. Wenger buying in players goes against his recent philosophy and has the potential of causing unrest within the squad.

    i personally dont think it’s as bad as its been made out to be – we were just caught out at the back and exposed again and again trying to catch citah. Im personally more worried about the board than wenger, as if we have significant financial constraints i cant think of a better manager to be in charge. A few of my mates agree that something isnt right in the boardroom and maybe the concern of Highbury being unprofitable may be the reason, and the impetus to clear as much debt asap.

    but if many of you are right and wenger has gone stale and the disease has set in at the club, its something i think needs addressing in the summer.

    Anyway, does anyone know the thread about the man citah trouble at the ground? being in the upper tier i had a good view but would appreciate some knowledge into what happened as we saw a steward being dragged out and plenty of fans being chucked out??

  23. I think you’ve got it wrong, Richard. No one has suddenly called for Wenger’s head after “just four games”. In my case, it’s more like four seasons. For others I imagine it has also been a steady process. Why am I so vehement? Because I’m fed up to the back teeth with Wenger’s lack of ambition, with his complacency and with his utter contempt for those who pay his vastly inflated wage. Look at the way he once again lied about forthcoming transfer activity during the summer, despite the fact that we finished so far behind Man U it was embarrassing and despite the fact we were taught footballing lessons by our former rivals. While everyone else has cranked up the pressure in recent years, we’ve gone backwards. Where are the big players we once had, where are the winners we need? Where are the players who will put it all on the line for AFC? Wenger should have been ousted the day he told us that winning wasn’t everything. It was an open invitation to fanny about playing pretty passes before waving the white flag when the going got tough. And God, has the going got tough! Wenger has assembled a spineless team who are routinely swept aside in games that matter. They are brittle, shrinking violets – second-rate, lightweight wannabes. Yet we’re supposed to accept all this, indulge Wenger and keep coughing up at the turnstiles in the hope that, magically, it’ll all turn out alright. It won’t. For as long as M Clouseau is here bumbling about, aimlessly trying to fit his square dodos into round holes, we’re gonna be also-rans. How much longer can we keep getting away with it before we’re overtaken by even more teams? What’s happened at AFC since we last won anything should be totally inexcusable yet the diehard Wengerites who moronically chant his name refuse to see sense. They’ve also fallen victim to apathy. Four games? The time for change is long, long overdue,.

  24. the way i see it is Wenger will never resign he is on easy street at Arsenal.He is under no pressure at all.He could have gone to Madrid but they want results they want trophies.He wouldnt get away with playing average players out there.He gets 4m for finishing 4th at Arsenal.Nice work if you can get it. In fact I get pissed off when we’re all told that he could have joined Real Madrid in the past. If he settled for 4th place there he would last all of 2 minutes. The biggest problem at the club right now is that the Wenger/Board relationship suits each other very cosily….the Board need a mouthpiece that never criticises them and deflects attraction away from the disasterous stadium move, whilst Wenger is quite happy in return for this to be one of the most highly paid managers in the game without having to deliver success.

  25. I’ve been rather busy today – minor detail of earning enough to pay for the cat food – and so I have not been able to keep my usual eye on discussion.

    There have been several posts here that have nothing to do with the post of today about corruption. These posts would certainly have a place in the piece HUMBLE WORDS OF APOLOGY but not under an article about League corruption.

    I don’t think this is me being precious about my article – rather the issue is one of courtesy to those readers who want to follow an argument or debate on a specific subject.

    All comments are welcome and in the past I have only removed those which are copied from elsewhere, but I would ask that from now on everyone posts in the area where the debate is happening, not just on the page they happen to find themselves on. If not I think I’ll just have to delete the commentaries that are in the wrong place.

    Do hope you understand. I am trying to balance freedom of speech with the need to follow a discussion on a particular topic.


  26. Tony – Agree with what you say but I would like to point out that Eduardo has been punished under a UEFA law while the FA follow FIFA laws. The real corruption will be when UEFA fail to punish other players for the same or similar offences.

    I was under the impression that as Adebayor was booked for the celebration no further action can be taken, however the intentional stamp on RVP was disgusting and could have caused serious permanent injury. The FA should make an example of him. As for Mark Hughes defence of Adebayor – ridiculous I don’t think I’ve ever heard something so stupid.

  27. Marc – I thought once a FIFA rule was adopted it went into all competitions licensed by FIFA – which includes Champs League and EPL.

    Is that not true?


  28. Tony, you Write some really interesting stuff, but this Corruption thing and the Everybody hates Arsenal fixation is a complete load of bollocks. there is no conspiracy

    However this problem with the fickle fans Having a go at Arsene because we have lost a couple of games is also a load of bollocks. Liverpool have lost two, Manure has lost one, Chelsea hasnt played anyone yet. There is always a team that have a big start to a season and tale off around christmas, That is what Man shitty are doing.

    Its a Marathon not a sprint Guys. I believe this is a bigger and stronger Squad from last year. And the near future is looks really good.

  29. Tony – I don’t think you should restrict the posters, unless they are really plagiaristic or libellous etc. The only true disinfectant for the germ that rages in the midst of the Arsenal fanbase is sunlight. Adebayor’s behavior last Saturday was shocking but just as atrocious, if not worse, are the reactions by some of the fans. The disrespect they have for the manager and the players is plain to see even on a pro-Arsenal blog like yours. 1st two weeks of the season they go overboard proclaiming that we are worldbeater; two setbacks later they can’t anything positive about our performance and are ready to sack manager and player. In many respects they are similar to Adebayor, the man they love to hate, who described them as far from being true fans; they are simply a blight on Arsenal. Pity we can’t sell them to another club.

  30. 1 To all those who were outraged by Ade yesterday, we made this monster and he has come back and kicked our asses, GET OVER IT! If you want to vent your anger I suggest you vent it at the board and the manager. They got good money for what was our best striker and they failed to replace him.
    2 The world cup qualification campaign is all but over, the board should approach Guus Hiddink and offer him the job as Arsenal manager on a temporary basis until after the world cup and with the option of a permanent post next season. Meaning Wenger should be removed from his post with immediate effect.
    This of course won’t happen, it is for this reason that I will cease buying any official club merchandise, and will not attend any games whilst Wenger is still manager, I simply refuse to support “financially” a board or a club that keeps this man in a job. Also I fear my actions due to my loathing of Wenger were I to attend a game would result in me either being arrested or beaten to death by rosetinters.
    3 This post will also be my last on the forum whilst Wenger remains as
    manager, as I simply have nothing more to say on the subject of Arsenal as long as Wenger is there and run the risk of spiralling into a Wenger induced depression, as long as he continues as manager. I will continue to enter predictions in Sammy’s clge competition. And hopefully were I to win a new manager would be at the helm thus enabling me to take advantage of the generous prize on offer.
    4.Rosetinters, I really do envy your ability to watch game after game, and not see the glaring deficiencies that exist at every level.
    Realists, I feel sorry for you all, as you know something isn’t right but are perhaps afraid if radical change.
    Anti-Wenger Brigade, I have a word of hope for us, as I really think Wenger will quit before the end of the season, however the cost may be great with champions league qualification beyond his successor.

  31. Tony – I’m not really sure how it works but the the law under which Eduardo has been punished is a UEFA law and only applies to UEFA competitions, unfortunately we will not be seeing Gerrard or Rooney punished for their serial diving in the PL.

    Ivor – I just call it how I see it. This site is incredibly pro Wenger if you want to slag him off you need to do it elsewhere. As for your earlier post regarding our financial position, sheer stupidity! Try reading some of Tony’s earlier pieces looking at and comparing the financial positions of ManU, Liverpool etc with Arsenal.

  32. Ivor – Your post at 3.27pm shows the level of your argument. You want Wenger out because he is not good enough, you think he will quit before the end of the season but his replacement will not be able to finish in the top 4. Does this not mean that Wenger is a talented manager, after all if he can get this squad into the CL but his successor cannot aren’t we better off with Wenger?

  33. Marc – The poster Ivor is simply mental and caught up in the total idiocy and illogic in his posts has chosen to sign-off. It is typical “fickle-fan” syndrome. When things go well they are over the top but if there is the slightest wobble the club is destined for the championship and Wenger must be sacked immediately. Frankly Ivor and their ilk are simply Spud fans dressed up in red. I am the first to admit that the team, including Wenger, made some mistakes on Saturday but it could easily have been a different game if we got the breaks that we deserved; red card to Ade for stamping Cesc and then Van Persie later or that blatant handball by Barry in the box etc. But a class team doesnt become Campionship fodder overnight. Any true Arsenal fan will tell you that if there is only one manger who can turn this around, without sacrificing our principles, and that is Arsene Wenger. As recent as last year after we lost 3-0 to City, Wenger turned it around and we went on a 20 plus game unbeaten run, pushing Aston Villa into the dust by the way. I expect no less this year, just as I expect we will have one or more setbacks. Afteralll this is life not the fantasy many harbour of easily replicating our year of invincibility.

  34. I dislike Alan Hansen but he had a good summary of us. If Manure, Chavs or Lpool are playing well they win or at least dont lose a game. In fact good teams still win even if playing badly e.g. the Chavs and Manure. If AFC are playing well you still dont know what the outcome of the game will be. Anyway we didnt play very well yesterday or the reality is that we have a few very good players – VanP, Gallas, Sagna but we have a lot of average or inconsistent players like Almunia, Denilson, Song, Clichy, Diaby, Eboue and even poor Bendtner. Why is he on the wing and the 4-3-3 is exposing our weak midfield terribly. Even Cesc is just not producing the form he has with Spain. No team is perfect but to have a team that largely consists of players who still have not proven themselves is just poor management by the board and AW. People were bigging it up that Song and co were all one year older and would be world beaters this year when the reality is that they dont have the quality and I cant see them progressing in a team like this that is essentially an experiment rather than a fighting unit. These players cannot get better unless they have quality leaders to follow and learn how to win. Lastly there is Wenger. No one doubts what he has brought to us but he just cant seem to get the team to perform in crucial games be it player selection, tactics and motivation. This “restructuring” has gone on for too long. He needs to take a leaf out of Fergie’s book – reinvigorate the coaching team every few years and be open to new ideas. For a man who professes to be rational and intellectual he is acting like a stubborn old mule! We are now so predictable.

  35. Some people are saying that van persie should not have come out with his statement condeming Adebayors violent on pitch actions against his former team mates. However i strongly disagree with people who say that because if he had not done so the way would have been left open for it to continue when they next met on the pitch. At least this way Van Persie has made his feelings known publicly and has moved this violent issue away from the pitch.

    Not too happy with blaise attitude about losing any game though, especially games where we play close to our best!! I still think we need to be more solid in defence and to work at defending as a team. Now if we do that we will do very well this season, because I can feel an optimism amongst us the fans, but amongst the players too and that is very important.

    We just need to be more careful not to lose too many games, which will start to damage our confidence and then there could be problems. I want to be realistic and to talk about our performances and our chances of success realistically. I dont believe in being carried away by a few good performances at the begining of a very long season.

    However we are the best footballers in the whole country thats why it pains me to see us lose any game. If we sort out our defensive play, not just our defenders, then we really can produce results where it matters, not just quality football!!

  36. ivor – it seems you vehemently have a dislike for arsenal so umm why are you on here?

    No one wants to be filled with your negative crap.

    call me a rose tinter but I think we got a great squad, maybe keeper and DMF strengthening but not that much work needs to be done. Arshavin, Cesc, gael, Rosicky, Gallas.. to name a few. We have some class players, its all about weither we can bounce back from these 2 unlucky defeats!

  37. Another interesting read, Tony.

    No prison for Ade, I feel. No doubt the FA/Pl will decide, erroneously that RVP’s tackle was worth a red card & Ade was just trying to get out of the way.

    The article is particularly informative, in as much as I didn’t realise the football authorities now have the technology to know what a player was thinking. What times we live in.

    I wonder if anyone knows what was in Kevin Davies’ head when he engineered a penalty at Pompey. We do know however that it never enters an Englishman’s head to dive, especially a real man like Davies. I suppose they don’t bother to program the technology for that, because it never happens.

    Happily this is pro Arsenal & AW supporting blog which is a comforting refuge, occasionally upset by Doomers, who neither have the manners to stay on or even start on topic.

    Fortunately as we don’t lose that many matches they don’t have much opportunity to spread their uneducated, short sighted bile.

    It really is such a shame that the likes of Ivor & Damn_Gallas have no real feeling for the game of football. It is always so simplistic for them. Throw some money in the air & down comes a quadruple winning football team.

    Just enjoy the game, for what it is, & see where we are at the end of the season.

  38. shotta_gunna,

    you might be interested in this little gem.

    kameron (Arsenal fan)
    Posted Today @ 16:25 View all kameron’s posts

    some of the posters here are simply mental and caught up in the total idiocy and illogic in his posts has chosen to sign-off. It is typical ¿fickle-fan¿ syndrome. When things go well they are over the top but if there is the slightest wobble the club is destined for the championship and Wenger must be sacked immediately. Frankly Ivor and their ilk are simply Spud fans dressed up in red. I am the first to admit that the team, including Wenger, made some mistakes on Saturday but it could easily have been a different game if we got the breaks that we deserved; red card to Ade for stamping Cesc and then Van Persie later or that blatant handball by Barry in the box etc. But a class team doesnt become Campionship fodder overnight. Any true Arsenal fan will tell you that if there is only one manger who can turn this around, without sacrificing our principles, and that is Arsene Wenger. As recent as last year after we lost 3-0 to City, Wenger turned it around and we went on a 20 plus game unbeaten run, pushing Aston Villa into the dust by the way. I expect no less this year, just as I expect we will have one or more setbacks. Afteralll this is life not the fantasy many harbour of easily replicating our year of invincibility.

    NB: your reference to Ivor is also repeated.How much more blatant can you get.

  39. I have taken note of what has been said above, and particularly note that readers who have become good friends to this site are being forced to justify themselves, or are turning away from the site. This is not what I want – I set up UNTOLD to be a pro-Wenger site, and endless anti-Wenger posts are just pointless here. There are at least 100 other sites that sympathise with the anti-Wenger view, and these views can be posted there.

    Furthermore, what has become clear today is that there is a group of people who are posting anti-Wengerian articles everywhere, without any reference to the debate going on, on individual sites virtually at random. I really don’t see why this site (which actually has provided a place where such debate can continue under the “Apology” article), should suffer from their random attacks which don’t even get posted in the right place.

    Tomorrow’s article follows the corruption theme, and focuses on the England manager. If the debate is taken over again by anti-Wenger correspondents, then I will remove the posts on other topics. As always I am open to Arsenal supporters who support Wenger who want to post in their own articles. I don’t publish them all but quite a few get published here – just email them to me.

    I do hope regular readers understand what I am doing and why I am doing it. I believe a pro-Wenger site which also explores issues in football which get ignored elsewhere is of value, and I would like to keep it going in the manner in which it has always proclaimed itself.


  40. I wholeheartedly agree Tony – there is an orchestrated attack by pro-Usmanov posters to spread doom & gloom and smear the manager in the eyes of fans to further his agenda. I don’t believe that it’s just a coincidence that this defeat has been swiftly followed by a pro-Usmanov puff piece on talk radio.

  41. “The UEFA Appeals Body today accepted the appeal lodged by Arsenal FC against the two-match suspension handed to striker Eduardo.

    ‘Not established’
    Following examination of all the evidence, notably the declarations of both the referee and the referees’ assessor, as well as the various video footage, it was not established to the panel’s satisfaction that the referee had been deceived in taking his decision on the penalty.

    Decision annulled
    Therefore, the decision of the UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body of 1 September, in which the player was suspended for two UEFA club competition matches, is annulled.”

    Sorry this is cut & paste from Newsnow re

    Good news eh!
    What will those c**ts at ITV make of that?

  42. UEFA have come to their senses. Finally.

    I think they realised what consequences it would have if they had upheld the ban. W*nkers. Media driven idiots.

  43. Well they wont get me out of here Tony.
    It really is a shame sometimes because when there is a good article you sometimes react to those “we wanna win trophees-fans” and you forget almost the article.
    I do accept that one criticises Wenger or the board as no one is perfect and we are all human but in the way these posters go about…
    Last year we lost games in which we were really sh*t (Fulham – Stoke – ….) this year we lose but we always have been the better team. But in a way we knew this would be coming as soon as we lost one game. They waited for this to get started.
    Just people with no hope, no life I guess….
    As long as there is life, there is hope they say over here. So we are still alive and stil hoping.
    I will survive another year if needed, even 10 more because the Arsenal is more then a club. It’s a way of life

  44. In reply to the gloomers:

    My belief is also long long overdue…if you let me choose any particular 10 year period in club’s history, it is Wenger’s ten years.

    Are we that bad?

    Anti-Wenger really believe in themselves to be intelligent fans who look down in their fellow supporters…while I like Wenger’s tactics and doings less lately, I still believe we re a unique club which don’t and will never follow anything or anyone.

    We played ugly to win in a time of beautiful-craving era led by Ajax…we played beautifully in a time of only-winning matters…

    Have we become a club in which we need to win to justify everything? And with all the talks about failure, A LOT of people forgot that in this so called bad time we reached a CL final, reached a mickey mouse cup with kids, and came mighty close to win the league before injuries led by Eduardo ruined everything?

    No, this is not an excuse to love Wenger, it’s just that I see potential there, a potential to win it our own way that drives me to believe….what if we spend 100 mil on 5 players and not win? And win? Are we like Chelski and the new richy rich? Do u want to us to be?

    You tell us to see the past 4 years….why don’t you look at 10 years then? Why don’t u look at how we lost in CL final that we all suffered together? Whose fault is that? We’ve become what we are by making profits on players, winning trophies more than any other team but man u on the way? We re a failing club only if you want us to be…

    Go ahead ask for Wenger’s head if you gave a gut…but I believe no one will. Hiddink?? Wow, no thanks.

    And Tony is right, why do we have to justify ourseleves,

    I saw many of our own fans calling our players names, what did they ever do to you? They might not be what you want but we didn’t buy them with a high price tag…and they’re still very young…

    Wenger has many flaws recently, tactically i’d like him to be more opened with his selection…and he could save himself alot of headaches with a couple more players..

    But I don’t WAIT for MY team to lose and then come out…fine but don’t celebrate when be got it right and we win then.

    This week’s focus should be on how we lost and that scum…I don’t see alot of you depressers single him out like you did with wenger and players…and why the Hell is that???

    That bitch did to us much much worse…he showed us all a finger and criminally tried to hurt our best players…but no, Wenger is a bigger cunt to you.

    Sometimes, I wish you would look at yourselves of how you treated your own team, manager, and own fans…we all love to win, but we don’t wait for failure just to come out and have a few cracks at the man…

    If we don’t win I know ill see you again but when we do win something whenever it may come, where will u be then?

    We have rights to support and believe…

  45. Adam Smith – I am flattered by the plagiarizers, but I suspect it is a setup by the anti-Wenger brigade (call me paranoid if you wish). To whom do I lodge an appeal? UEFA? FIFA? Duh!

    Tony – I concur with you in general about the rash of anti-Wenger postings, i.e. that they are not totally spontaneous. Between Saturday and Monday, there have been a rash of new posters with various random names, reflecting diverse national origins, but consistently maintaining three (3) talking points:
    Wenger has lost it – by his unwillingness to spend.
    The current squad isn’t good enough – we need to spend big on older players.
    The Board is the problem because they won’t splash the cash.

    The fact that three weeks ago most of these posters were completely unknown and most Arsenal fans were over the moon about Wenger and the performances of the current team makes you wonder. Either our fans are totally schizophrenic or there are manipulators and imposters having a field day stoking the fire on the myriad, stupid ant-Arsenal, anti-Wenger blogs around.

  46. waiting to see the press coverage about UEFA overturning Eduardo’s ban…i wonder if it might have been better for Arsenal if UEFA didn’t overturn it. Truth be told, Arsenal don’t really need Eduardo to defeat Standard Liege. And there’s nothing like feeling victimized by a corrupt governing body to rally the fan base and the troops.

    and finally, arsene wenger is my hero. how can you not admire a man who is willing to die by his own sword? i believe in his vision. it’s what makes supporting arsenal so much better than supporting any other team in the world. he creates beautiful football, and he wins. he does it all with uncompromising dignity, intelligence, and class.

    i can understand the anti-Wenger complaints, and I feel that many of are valid. but my question is, would you be OK becoming a Chelsea or Man City?

    winning with money is nothing special. money allows average managers to paper-over their teams’ cracks (hi Redknapp and Hughes). but winning the Wenger way is.

  47. Great post Diceman. I find it suspicious that many posters seem to enjoy our low moments as it fits their agenda.

  48. Tony – It’s a shame that the doomer’s have driven you to a point where you feel the need to possibly remove comments. The frustrating thing that they do not comprehend is that they actually destroy the debate. I think Wenger was wrong to take both Song and Denilson off on Saturday, it left us without a defensive minded player in midfield and I strongly believe this was a tactical error but to endlessly slag Wenger off for a difficult decision in difficult circumstances serves no purpose. He did it and we will never know what the outcome would have been if a different course of action had been followed. The facts remain that Arsene Wenger is not only the best manager Arsenal have ever had but a visionary and probably the manager who has raised the bar in English football more than any other.

  49. well well, the ban got overturned! apart from being great news, it wasnt really a surprise. i think they are trying to put the lid back on before they get immersed in cases and appeals and tribunals and lawyers fees etc.

    what would have been more tricky for them (uefa) is if we hadnt appealed. the door would have been open.

    the fa are happy, the outrages at west ham were quietly swept under the carpet whilst we were under the spotlight. now they have the ‘ade’ controversy to fill their pages and airtime, so westham will inevitably get forgotten.

    whats the betting eddy still gets booed at games by ignorant fans. he should sue them for defamation or somesuch.

    as far as all you worriers out there, just hold your position. get a grip, let the anger at saturdays defeat subside and look up to wednesday. another 90 minutes of watching the team we support.

    i note that the current batch of doomers are at least articulate. Untold Arsenal: where you get a better quality of doomers.

  50. Thanks for that. The Fergie Mafia will always get preferential treatment. And the Fergie arse lickers in the media- (Trev Francis and Paddy Barclay are the only exceptions that spring to mind) will always give British managers (and particularly Scottish) their bias.
    They hate the fact that Arsenal play the best football. They will talk about lack of spine, bad defence, diving, in fact anything to hit Wenger with. And of course- the heroes of these muppets are the likes of Fletcher and now De Jong!!! Who the hell wants to see the beautiful game ruined by them- just as it used to be by Vinny Jones types. Ask Hoddle, Platini, Zidane or Tony Currie whether Refs are hard enough on career wreckers and and leg breakers and not keen enough in their support for class and the beautiful game. City United laugh at Arsenal being kicked of the park and then moan like hell when a lower team does it to them. Morons!! The game is more precious than their pathetic myopism and why so few pundits don’t support the Arsenals and Barcas is frightening and can only be explained by wanting to suck up to Fergie and the general xenophobia. Thank God for the few pundits big enough to be fair. Do Keys, Gray and Collymore read these submissions I wonder?

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