Finally back to football, and some of the injured are back too.

The ultimate Christmas present for the Arsenal fan who has (almost) everything


By Walter Broeckx

So here we go again. The injurnationals are over and it is back to normal Arsenal football days.

During our time away, Wayne Rooney has had a red card, and misses the next three England games, and Wayne Rooney Senior has been arrested on suspicion of match fixing – which was also to do with a red card in a Scottish game.

But focussing on Wayne junior, I think the main reason he got his red in the international was the way Rooney gets too much protection from the refs in the EPL. Only a few months ago Rooney could throw an elbow against the face of a Wigan player and the ref gave him no red card.  What can happen to players after that is that they get some kind of ‘I am untouchable” aura. They think they can get away with murder on the pitch and the refs will not do anything against them.

Certainly the refs in the EPL will not give him a red card that easily. And so it can happen that when playing for England with a foreign ref you suddenly forget that you are not having a EPL ref and you do a stupid thing. Like kicking at another player just because you think you are entitled to do so and know you can get away with it at home.

But then as there is not a EPL ref in charge of the game, you find yourself in the shower early after having seen a red card. It has been said before but it really would help the chances for England to win something if the refs in the EPL would start to do the games like they are done in the rest of Europe and the world.

I have seen other examples of other players who found it a bit difficult to adapt to live with other refs. I have seen how players from Belgium like Kompany and Felaini struggled a bit with the ref. They made a few fouls which the ref, helped by his assistant, called correctly. And you could see in the close up the real surprise of those players. Now I know that players are very good actors and would make it in Hollywood for their play acting, but it struck me on a few occasions that both these players had a look on their face saying: “come on do you really blow for such a little push?”

Well yes good refs in Europe do call the fouls on defenders. Something that I miss a lot in the EPL. Where referees try to play advantage when a foul is made on a defender even in their own penalty box. Playing advantage is all good and well but as they told us : Never give advantage for a foul on a defender and NEVER when he is close to his own goal. Because what advantage can a defender have from stumbling around, just trying to  stay on his feet in his own penalty box while being attacked by another player? There is no advantage. Yet this is something I see a lot in English games.

And then we can be happy if the ref signals an advantage (which itself is wrong), because on many occasions the referees simply do nothing and ignore the foul. So when you are used to such treatment you can find yourself in trouble and look surprised when in international games the refs suddenly do what they should do and punish such fouls.

But enough of the refs. Back to what football is all about: Arsenal. It has been 14 long days without Arsenal. Now we can prepare ourselves for 6 games in the space of 16 days. 3 EPL games, 2 CL games and a Carling cup game. So a lot to look forward too. As supporters we can start doing what we are supposed to do. Supporting our players on the field. Stick together against the rest of the world.

A few players are still missing and some will be away for a long time. But for the moment the news is rather good on the injury front. Only the 4 players that had surgery are long term injuries (Wilshere, Sagna, Vermaelen and Diaby) and the rest should be fit. Wow, amazing.

Even better Vermaelen and Diaby should be back within the next 2 or 3 weeks ready to play games again. Another amazing prospect. And we will need them back in the next period because playing 6 games in 16 days will ask a lot of the players. But if we can rotate enough we should be fine.

And maybe for once with most Gunners doing a good job when playing for their country and most of them qualifying for the European Championship they can bring in their good vibes in to the team and get us going like we are used to in the past.

Time for the Gunners to get back on the pitch. Time for the Gooners to take up their place in the stands. Time for us unfortunate foreign Gooners to take our place in front of our TV, PC or whatever device you use to see the Arsenal play. And who knows maybe Wenger will have a few surprises ready for us in the next games when he puts his players on the field? Really looking forward to the games.

Is my shirt ready? Is my scarf ready? TV ready? Recording device ready? Just bring it on. Just let us start our fight to come back. Come on you Gunners.

With over 2000 followers: Untold Arsenal on Twitter @UntoldArsenal

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12 Replies to “Finally back to football, and some of the injured are back too.”

  1. Sometimes I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. I just looked at the headlines on Goonernews and saw

    Midfielder adds to Gunners injury problems

    Tomas Rosicky is an injury doubt for Arsenal’s weekend clash against Sunderland …

    Rosicky could be forced to miss the Black Cats’ visit to the Emirates Stadium on Sunday as he battles to overcome the groin injury that forced him to pull out of the Czech Republic’s game in midweek just 20 minutes before kick-off.

    Boss Arsene Wenger will be boosted by the returns of Koscielny and Djourou to his defensive plans with Alex Somg having been forced to play as an emergency centre back at times this season.

    But the Gunners manager will still be without a number of first-team stars for the visit of Sunderland with Thomas Vermaelen, Abou Diaby, Jack Wilshere and Bacary Sagna all sidelined by long-term injuries.


    Notice the headline – no doubt about it, we have another injury. Notice the language, “battle” “forced” (in fact forced turns up a lot).

    And the reality. Half an hour later Mr Wenger says Rosicky is fit, Diaby will play against Bolton, Vermaelen is just 2 weeks away.

    It is as if someone at Eat Sleep Football is saying “right, where’s the negative bits on Arsenal then? Come on come on come on…”

    yup, football is back

  2. I think we have enough quality to beat Sunderland, but will we do it? Thats another story….

    I think its a massive time for Jenkinson, he needs to provide the stability the Sagna provided. Plus Vermaelen comin back is a big relief….

  3. Good man Walter you summed up what I have been saying for years in a couple of lines.

    But focussing on Wayne junior, I think the main reason he got his red in the international was the way Rooney gets too much protection from the refs in the EPL. Only a few months ago Rooney could throw an elbow against the face of a Wigan player and the ref gave him no red card. What can happen to players after that is that they get some kind of ‘I am untouchable” aura. They think they can get away with murder on the pitch and the refs will not do anything against them.

    The main reason England will never win anything again, the Ref’s are diabloical and can be as biased and corrupt with their decision making as they like BUT when england players go on international duty that crap isnt allowed.

    When AW moans about the decisions we just dont like it up us enough. They are to blind to see that its effecting the whole standard of football throughout the country …but hey the media dont help it creates great headlines while all along they just help the england team look stupider and stupider.

    Why would we need more refs, better refs or any kind of technology to help at all …Its great looking stupid infront of everyone the best league world and most miss managed.

  4. Diaby is already back but not fit for sunday’s clash but should be available for the carling cup against bolten. Vahmerline is back training and runing but will be fit for competitive football within 2 to 3 weeks but have recovered from the injury.

  5. Any chance that Wayne Jr’s actions were calculated to draw attention from Wayne Sr’s arrest for match-fixing? I have no idea, but it’s a question worth raising.

    Surely that arrest proves at least that English people (if not the EPL) are not above sordidly cheating. It also raises my suspicions; if someone that close to major players is fixing matches, we should at least consider the possibility of cooperation. I am making no allegations, because I have no evidence. I just wonder a bit.

  6. Yes. Football is (almost) back. Where we take on Howard Webb and Sunderland. Cattermole has already been at it saying he gets unfair treatment from referees. The same referee who allows players to kung fu kick their opponents (Rio on Sagna, De Jong in the World Cup) and who advised Sunderland on how to improve their disciplinary record. Football is back, but you can be sure that it won’t be the end of the conversation on referees. Especially one.

    On Rooney’s red card, I had the same thought as Walter, but also what El Gringo mentions. It certainly is something worth thinking about.

  7. When the bookmakers allow bets on when a no-ball will be bowled in an over by a named bowler, or when a red card will be given to a named player; the bookies deserve to be ripped off and reduced to poverty.

    It would seem to me that someone knew the player well and his character. Unfortuantely, it would appear that the player was sent off in the first game for the betting coup to fail!

    I do not think Wayne Rooney is protected by referees, but allowed a dozen dilerbate fouls every game he plays in the EPL. Ban Wayne Rooney for a season?

  8. Am I alone in feeling justice was done in the red-carding of Rooney for a deliberate kick at the calf of an opponent who had just dispossessed him? A three match ban seems fair, as well.
    And am I alone in beginning to be totally disinterested in the games in which our national team is involved? The impression I get, these days, is that support for Club sides in the various Leagues is now of such paramount importance that the “international break” is regarded as a mandatory nuisance rather than a promise of excitement.
    Whether this is due to the overall lack of success by the national side since 1966 or the closer allegiance by fans to their “local” Club, it is difficult to say. Attendances at Wembley in the 70-80,000’s can be misleading bearing in mind the total population of the country.
    Am I supported in this theory or am I up the proverbial gum tree without a paddle?

  9. I have missed my Arsenal fix

    will be in the pub early, meeting some friends from Sunderland and downing a few before going to the game.

    Bring it on!!!

  10. If our forwards do their job and press Sunderland aggressively frothe first minute then our defenders will mysteriously have a good game, despite their inexperience. If not, pass me the sedatives…

  11. I concur with Tony here- a slight glimmer of light at the end of a long injury tunnel beckons- and what do we hear- from our own fans- nothing. I for one think that Diaby – a fit Diaby will make a difference to us- as will Vermaelen.
    Incidentally in support of the general perspective of this site- did anyone see the rugby world cup semi final-Wales lost by a refereeing decision to one in favour of the French. The referee made an instant decision to send a player off-consigning Wales to defeat against an inferior side- sending offs being almost unheard of in the contact sport of Rugby- without any reference to assistants- how many times do we see impulsive decisions by referees in football- almost invariably based on emotion and nearly always an over-reaction- the sending off of Gervinho against Newcastle is a classic example. Shocking that referees are deciding major tournament outcomes in such a way. Perhaps amongst the other measures that needs to be introduced in football, there is a need for major refereeing decisions to be more measured- like some requirement that a decision to send a player off is reviewed by the referee again and aided by assistants before being final. Would not undermine the authority of referees or guarantee against injustice- but would act as an additional safeguard.

  12. @goonergerry

    I thought the decision in the rugby world cup was exactly to the rules. The Welsh played superbly well after it, and got the benefit of 2 unfair penalty decisions, one before the sending off (converted) and one after (just missed). I also think that the ref did not make that decision in haste. It was dangerous, and unfortunate as it was that it happened in the semi final that way, I still think it was the right decision and one that sends a message that dangerous tackling would not be allowed.

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