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August 2021

Untold Ref Review: Arsenal 3 – 0 AC Milan an ordinary CL night and about game scenarios…

Today’s referee is Damir Skomina – A ref that comes from Slovenia and who speaks English and Italian. So his language knowledge is fine but what is the knowledge of the rules.

MATCH REVIEW DETAILS – Damir Skomina (2012-03-06)
Period 1
Min Type Foul from On C/NC Comment Weight
2 OTHER ? Gervinho NC Push not given 1
3 OFFSIDE Arsenal C correct call 1
5 OTHER Van Bommel Rosicky C Tackle from behind 1
5 YELLOW Van Bommel C “No chance of playing the ball, stopping promising attack” 2
6 OTHER C refs sorts out some pushing before a corner 1
7 GOAL Arsenal C correct goal 3
9 OFFSIDE Milan C correct call 1
10 OTHER Ibrahimovic Koscielny C Trip 1
11 OTHER Song Ibra NC Song ran after a lose ball and crossed the Milan player who fell to the ground 1
13 OTHER Sagna Van Bommel C “Sagna comes in sliding and plays the ball, he pulls his legs under him but contact is made. Difference between Pl and CL” 1
13 YELLOW Sagna NC Sagna did all he could to avoid the contact by pulling his legs under him but Van Bommel made the most of it 2
15 OTHER Gibbs El Shaarawi C Tripped him from behind 1
15 YELLOW Gibbs C Stopped a promising attack 2
16 OFFSIDE Milan C correct 1
16 OTHER Sagna Mesbah C Leaning on him 1
17 OTHER RVP Abiati C Sliding in towards the keeper 1
18 OFFSIDE Milan C assumed correct 1
18 OTHER Rosicky Van Bommel C trip 1
18 OFFSIDE Milan C assumed correct 1
25 OTHER ? Walcott NC Caught him after he played the ball not given 1
25 OFFSIDE Milan C assumed correct 1
26 GOAL Arsenal C correct goal 3
27 OFFSIDE Milan C assumed correct 1
37 OTHER RVP Abate C obstruction 1
37 YELLOW Van Bommel NC “Van Bommel asking for a yellow card, should have been booked himself” 2
38 OTHER Mesbah Walcott C Push 1
40 OTHER Mesbah Walcott NC “Almost a repeat of the Sagna tackle, first the ball but then slid in to the player, not given this time.” 1
41 OTHER Song Emanuelson C Trip 1
42 PENALTY Mesbah The Ox C Brought him down with a double challenge. Why did the ref took what seemed ages to give the penalty? 3
43 YELLOW Mesbah NC Was a promising run (see Gibbs foul) but nothing given 2
43 GOAL Arsenal C correct goal 3
46 OTHER Song Van Bommel NC “Trip advantage given, was possession” 1
Period 2
Min Type Foul from On C/NC Comment Weight
46 OFFSIDE Milan C correct 1
46 OFFSIDE Arsenal C assumed correct 1
48 OTHER Rosicky Van Bommel C Blocked his run 1
49 OTHER Song Robinho C Trip 1
51 OTHER Mesbah Walcott C Push 1
52 OTHER Van Bommel Rosicky NC Push not given 1
57 OTHER Song Ibra NC Song nicks the ball away and Ibra kicks himself with his right foot against his left ankle because he missed the ball 1
57 YELLOW Song NC “wrong decision, wrong car’d” 2
57 YELLOW Robinho NC asking for a card should be punished with a yellow card ref 2
59 OTHER Van Bommel Rosicky C “tries to stop Rosicky, ref gives advantage. Van Bommel close to a 2nd, 3rd yellow card” 1
61 OTHER Robinho Gervinho NC push when he is defending near his own penalty area not given 1
65 OFFSIDE Arsenal C Very close but looked correct 1
66 OTHER Vermaelen Ibra NC No contact a nice dive 1
67 OTHER Rosciky Mexes C push 1
68 OTHER Mesbah Walcott NC Push not given 1
69 OTHER Mesbah Rosicky C Push 1
70 OFFSIDE Arsenal C ref plays advantage 1
70 OFFSIDE Milan C assumed correct 1
71 OTHER Mexes Vermaelen NC Blocked his run 1
71 YELLOW Mexes NC A deliberate block off the ball you could see him setting himself for the impact. Knew exactly what he was doing 2
74 OTHER Walcott Van Bommel C assumed correct but Theo Walcott pushing Van Bommel from the ball?? 1
75 OTHER Koscielny Robinho C trip 1
77 OTHER Rosicky Emanyelson C Trip 1
79 OTHER Abate Chamakh NC leaning and shoving not given 1
79 OTHER Rosicky Aquilaini C High foot and came in frontal 1
80 OTHER Abate NC He takes a throw in and lifts one foot of the ground??? Schollboy stuff ref 1
80 OTHER Van Bommel Walcott NC “Van Bommel kicks Walcott on his leg, nothing given” 1
81 OTHER Ibra Koscielny C Little pull on the defender 1
81 OTHER Chamakh Aquilaini C to eager and gave a little kick but compared to the Van Bommel action seconds earlier 1
83 OTHER Ibrahimovic Chamakh NC clear trip advantag give but 7 defenders back and only 2 strikers in front of the ball and the foul in the arsenal half? 1
83 YELLOW Ibrahimovic NC “Came late and took the man, should have been booked” 2
85 OTHER Vermaelen Ibra NC Didn’t see any contact but he went down sticking oot his leg towards the defender. The mark of a dive? 1
86 OTHER NC Ball hits Sagna and goes out for a corner but the ref gives the ball to Arsenal 1
85 YELLOW Nocerino C You may be right but arguing with the ref results only in yellow cards 2
85 YELLOW Ibrahimovic C You may be right but arguing with the ref results only in yellow cards 2
89 OTHER Ibra Song NC Push in the back not given 1
90 OTHER Abate NC Again Abate lift his foot with a throw 1
90 OTHER Park Abate C Trip 1
92 OTHER Song Robinho C Pull 1
92 OTHER ? Vermaelen C Push 1
92 YELLOW Abate C kicking the ball away 2
92 OFFSIDE Arsenal C correct call 1

I will try to follow the flow of the game a bit and I though he had a good start. The booking of Van Bommel was as clear as one can get. Coming from behind, no chance of playing the ball.

Then Sagna got booked for something that no English ref would give a foul for. Sagna slid over the ground, connected with the ball and then he pulled his legs back to try and avoid contact with Van Bommel. I agreed with the call of the foul in fact but it was clear to see that Sagna did all he could to avoid contact so the yellow card was very harsh. No problem with the yellow card from Gibbs as this was a correct one as it stopped a promising attack.

All went rather well even though he could have booked Van Bommel for asking a card for an Arsenal player.

The moment I really was puzzled was the penalty for Arsenal. This was a crystal clear penalty that nobody will dispute. Never the less it took the ref what seemed ages in real time to blow the penalty. I had the impression he didn’t want to give it at all.  I think this wasn’t in his game scenario plan at all. But not giving it would have him shown of as a complete idiot so had no other choice and I think the ref behind the goal advised him strongly to not act like a complete fool and give it.

What then followed in the second half was a complete mystery to me.  But I come back to this when you have read the competency summary and please do look at the differences between the first and second half.


COMPETENCY SUMMARY – Damir Skomina (2012-03-06)
Period 1 Called Total Correct %
GOAL 3 3 100.00
OFFSIDE 7 7 100.00
OTHER 11 16 68.75
PENALTY 1 1 100.00
YELLOW 2 5 40.00
TOTAL 24 32 75.00
WEIGHTED 34 45 75.56
Period 2 Called Total Correct %
OFFSIDE 6 6 100.00
OTHER 15 29 51.72
YELLOW 3 7 42.86
TOTAL 24 42 57.14
WEIGHTED 27 49 55.10
Totals Called Total Correct %
GOAL 3 3 100.00
OFFSIDE 13 13 100.00
OTHER 26 45 57.78
PENALTY 1 1 100.00
YELLOW 5 12 41.67
TOTAL 48 74 64.86
WEIGHTED 61 94 64.89

Okay if you are back with me you will see that from a still good enough 75% he went down to the basement of refereeing levels and only got a score or around 56% in the second half. What a difference a half makes one could say. I will come back to this later when I reach my final conclusions.

Players asking for cards for other players were not punished and this is so disappointing.  When a manager criticizes the ref in the tunnel after the game he can face a ban. When players do the same in the open in front of the camera (because waving with imaginary cards or asking for cards = criticizing the ref) the don’t get punished.

But he was consistent in a way. But not in a good way consistent as you can see if you look at the bias summary below.

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BIAS SUMMARY – Damir Skomina (2012-03-06)
Period 1 Arsenal % AC Milan % Total
Correct For 15 62.50 9 37.50 24
Correct For Weighted 24 70.59 10 29.41 34
Incorrect Against 7 87.50 1 12.50 8
Incorrect Against Weighted 10 90.91 1 9.09 11
Fouls Commited 7 33.33 14 66.67 21
Fouls Penalised 6 85.71 10 71.43 16
Period 2 Arsenal % AC Milan % Total
Correct For 10 41.67 14 58.33 24
Correct For Weighted 13 48.15 14 51.85 27
Incorrect Against 17 94.44 1 5.56 18
Incorrect Against Weighted 21 95.45 1 4.55 22
Fouls Commited 13 41.94 18 58.06 31
Fouls Penalised 13 100.00 7 38.89 20
Totals Arsenal % AC Milan % Total
Correct For 25 52.08 23 47.92 48
Correct For Weighted 37 60.66 24 39.34 61
Incorrect Against 24 92.31 2 7.69 26
Incorrect Against Weighted 31 93.94 2 6.06 33
Fouls Commited 20 38.46 32 61.54 52
Fouls Penalised 19 95.00 17 53.13 36


When Arsenal committed fouls he punished them. He even got a score of 100% in the second half. But the other way round he only punished half the fouls from Milan in this game.  And then once again you have to look at the difference between both halves.  In the first half he punished almost all the Arsenal fouls and he did punish them all in the second half. But in the first half he was more easy on Milan a bit but in the second half it was frighting to see that he didn’t give 40% of the fouls from Milan!

This of course leads to a lot of wrong calls. And they are divided over 90% of the wrong calls going against Arsenal. No wonder there was someone a bit furious after the game.

My last rant is about something that appeared in the newspaper. So I will be gladly to be proven wrong it this would be a lie. But if the ref really said this it is something to keep in mind because it is frightening.  So I quote from the media:

In our preparations, we considered a lot of different game scenarios and one was exactly as it happened in the first half — that Arsenal would go for it ‘all or nothing’ by putting maximum pressure on Milan’s players and trying to disrupt their game. It almost worked.”

Now why would a ref consider “game scenarios”?  As a ref you can consider “incident scenarios”. That could be: when a player asks for a yellow card I will give it to him. That is something you can do and you can also say before the game.

But what is a game scenario for a ref? Managers will make up game scenarios and I can imagine that they will have said to the players how to act if you score quickly and what to do then. But why on earth will a ref discuss a game scenario?

And another important question is : who is WE?  Does the “WE” include someone from UEFA? The Uefa representant who is with the refs before, during and after the game?

But if we just look at the numbers again and take the “game scenario” in mind could it be that during half time the refs have taken out their “instructions” (and I don’t mean the laws of the game instructions) and made up a new “game scenario”?

Because if we look at the numbers we can only see that there is a very big gap between the first and the second half.  Could it be that it went horribly wrong when he had to make the penalty decision that took him ages but he had no choice. Could it be that they somehow thought that they (he/we) needed to change their approach and reach for a new and different “game scenario”?

In my opinion the only “game scenario” a ref has to keep in mind is to make sure that the laws of the game are followed. That is the only game scenario they should think of. And not the possibly outcome of the score line and what to do if this or that happens.  Game scenarios and refs….wtf?

81 comments to Untold Ref Review: Arsenal 3 – 0 AC Milan an ordinary CL night and about game scenarios…

  • ClockEndRider

    Excellent work gents. Unbiased transparent scoring methodologies are the only way to flush out what’s going on with referees. Of course the exemplar of impartiality and transparency that is UEFA, or the PGMO for that matter, must hate it. All power to you.

  • Strus

    Slighty over 60% of the Milan fouls were missedi n th 2nd half, not 40%. Great review, great work. Congrats!

  • Carlosthegooner

    very good but one point, Ibra was booked for the Chamakh foul, it was just not picked up at the time, it was not for dissent. (i think ) Walcott was down and the keeper kicked the ball off. the ref then strolled up to the big man and showed the yellow card. the screen at the game didn’t pick up on it and maybe the tele didn’t either. so the ref got that right.

    other than that he was a twat. 🙂

  • WalterBroeckx

    Strus, this is typing something and having the other thing in your mind…. 60/40… messed it up…
    But even missing 40% is really really bad….

  • John Brandon

    One other bad miss by the ref and more so the linesmen was the Milan keeper bringing the ball outside his box for a clearance – not even borderline, clearly outside his box.

  • sharpshooter

    The funny thing is that I briefly read yesterday the statement you quoted and I honestly thought it was something that Massimiliano Allegri said at the press conference. After reading your piece, I googled for the quote in disbelief, and, incredibly, the ref was the one who said it.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Thanks Carlosthegooner for pointing that out.

    On the screen they showed his name after the dissent yellow card for Nocerino.
    This is the problem we face as we you cannot control the camera angles ourselves.

    So with the replays I thought it was for the same dissent as Nocerino.
    It lifts his score a little bit but it doesn’t change the total picture

  • WalterBroeckx

    Oh John Brandon, and I was just going to write down that the assistant referees have been amazing in this game as all their offside decisions looked correct and there was a lot of offsides!

  • WalterBroeckx

    Sharpshooter, I must say I almost fell from my chair when reading it.
    If it was the ref who said this, he should be banned in my opinion. Because if he said it, he gives the impression he was “planning” what to do depending on what would happen.
    You should only plan to keep the game within the laws of the game. That is the only “plan” or “scenario” you have to keep in mind. Never mind who scores and what the score line is.

  • Stevie E

    I don’t understand this, how much longer will these horrendous ref performances go totally ignored by the media etc. Surely they see the game the same way we do? If 70,000 people in the stadium see a foul, 1,000,000 people at home see a foul, why can’t the twats who write about the game? I honestly don’t understand.
    Speaking of the press, this is a refreshingly honest piece in the Telegraph, there’s even an addmission of being proved wrong. Nice to see –

  • Stevie E


  • The only problem with Arsene/Arsenal he does not buy REFS,imagine if it was at the Berna-beau or Camp Nou,Estadio Riazor do you think they could have lost! past is past now monsieur Wenger have to be fined and sent to the stands one question is who is the head of those dick heads? if you know the answer then Le Prof will get between 3 to 5 matches and we will be in the champions league come next season.Keep the spirit Gunners

  • Micko

    @ John Brandon
    “One other bad miss by the ref and more so the linesmen was the Milan keeper bringing the ball outside his box for a clearance – not even borderline, clearly outside his box.” – Yeah I saw that as well, I was almost directly in line with it.

  • Tee Song

    It seems like Italy badly want their fourth Champions League back from the Bundesliga! Bayer Leverkusen inexplicably draw UEFA darlings Barca while Milan receive special referees dispensation to progress.

  • Anne


    Great review. Squared up with what I saw live at the match as well. I actually have bruised knuckles right now from hitting the seat in front of me during that second half… (sorry to whoever was sitting there, btw 🙂 ).

  • What worries me is the sky italia story that the ref was seen running away from Wenger down the tunnel screaming “don’t touch me,i don’t like being touched”, what will he write in his report?I fear a lengthy touchline ban,possibly 4 matches,given Arsene’s recent bans.Don’t forget Pat Rice is retiring in the summer and so his replacement could be in charge of the team for vital CL qualifiers.

  • Anne


    Do you have a link to this sky italia story? I’ve essentially been on an airplane ever since the match, so I’m not up on the media coverage 🙂

  • FinnGooner

    Well written review. Scary though.
    This was also on Sun’s article that had that ref comment that Walter mentioned

    Skomina said: “We had to be careful not to make any mistakes with the result that someone might say his team was knocked out because of us.”

    if you add
    Skomina added: “It was a very important game.

    “In our preparations, we considered a lot of different game scenarios and one was exactly as it happened in the first half — that Arsenal would go for it ‘all or nothing’ by putting maximum pressure on Milan’s players and trying to disrupt their game. It almost worked.”

    It really looks more like REFS AND UEFA planned to get Arsenal out of CL.

    I don’t like thinking like that but more I read more I see pattern…

  • Anne

    Speaking of what “refs” might or might not be planning…

    This link that Mahesh provided on Tony’s Podolski article, directly from the PL website, is quite interesting in that regard (thanks Mahesh). I was wondering if anyone from Untold might have any comments on these numbers?

    “The PGMOL boss provided a wealth of evidence to illustrate his point about the standard of officiating, including independent analysis suggesting referees have called 92.3% of major decisions correctly in the Barclays Premier League this season.

    Even more impressive was ProZone data proving 99.3% of offside decisions have been called correctly this term.

    Riley continued: “It’s a good example of how, over a period of time, you can train match officials. The quality of the assistant referee judgements is, I think, second to none throughout the world.”

    Like Mahesh, I would also like to know whether any of these PGMOL “fan meetings” are being planned in the Arsenal general vicinity any time in the near future? 🙂

  • walter

    Another attempt to paint it better than it is…
    In Dutch we have an idiom that when I translate it, goes like this “own praise stinks” meaning that when you feel the need to praise yourself and tell how good you are and what a great job you do that there is something smelling behind it…

    I actually gave my response to these numbers and showed that they are utterly rubbish.

    If the PGMO comes to the Arsenal supporters please notify me. I don’t know if I can afford it but I would come to London to come and confront them with my numbers 🙂

  • walter

    And this said by Ryley: “Fundamentally, everything comes down to communication. Referees, players and managers work hard during the season to communicate with each other – understand each other’s points of view.”

    LOL LOL LOL and that from an organisation that is obscure and refuses to answer any questions… LOL

    I really wonder when it took place? Was it after the ref helped Everton to win against MC? Would be interesting to know…

  • Shard


    funny you mention that. But I bet if ever that happened, they would handpick certain members of the AST or perhaps even some obscure ‘Arsenal fans’ group who will back up all they say. In fact, any word from this Everton fans group? Are they for real? What did they feel about what was said? Either way, I’ll believe the PGMOL or UEFA when we see better results and better behaviour.. They have zero credibility.. And that’s with all football fans.

  • Anne,i saw it in the comments section on another site,but i can’t remember which one!If i come across it again i’ll link it.I do rememember reading it somewhere not long after the match finished as well so i assume there must be something to it.

  • Shocking – and so brazen… he and UEFA really are a “fucking disgrace”.

  • Also – with regards to the travelling PR machine from the PGMOL. I gurantee that anyone connected with this site would not get an invite to one of those meetings… the whole things sounds bullshit anyway – a twee presentation/disinformation campaign on how great they are followed by ‘stooge’ question time. This is then edited and ‘put out there’ as a rousing sucess regardless of the reality of the situation.

    PMGOL is Stalinesque in the way it does business – the lid needs to be lifted as trust has broken down.

  • Jerry

    @Walter, I think the numbers Riley mentions are based only on the actual calls the ref makes? i.e. from the Milan game, ref called 19 fouls for Milan which were right, so that’s 19/19 = 100%. He called 17 on Milan, which were right, so 17/17 = 100%. He doesn’t account for the missed calls is what I think.

    Can we add a new Table also called “The Riley Summary” which summarizes strictly only the calls the ref made:

    Arsenal Milan
    Ref’s Calls –
    Ref’s calls Incorrect
    Ref’s fouls –
    Ref’s fouls Incorrect
    Actual Calls Correct

    Actual calls Correct = (ref’s calls + ref fouls)/ (ref’s calls incorrect + ref’s fouls incorrect)

    That table is only based on the decisions he made and see if that equals what Riley meant

  • Wooby

    The whole tie has been a farce really. I am still incredulous over the fact that Milan was allowed to lay new grass on the flanks at the San Siro before the first leg. The whole world knows of our speed (Gervinho, Walcott and Ox) and what better way to nullify it with a rough pitch?

    And now the ref and his quote. I guess playing actual football is now known as “disruption” because the game is all about diving and conning referees into giving cards (hey, here is looking at you Suarez). No wonder we are so hated.

    Hey, does anyone know if Michel Platini is trying to secure the votes of the Italian representatives in the next FIFA Presidential election?

  • bjtgooner

    Another excellent review and another very poor or more likely biased ref.

    Regarding PGMOL meeting the Everton fans group – this is a bad sign – we have to play Everton soon. Also, I noted Sky last Saturday perpetuating the PGMOL figures “showing” referee competency – very annoying – too many viewers will believe them.

    Returning to Mr Skomina, it looks as if he has said rather too much and his comments made about “game scenarios” might be useful in Wenger’s defence, should UEFA take action against him. At the very least Skomina should be asked for an explanation.

  • rantetta

    Sing along now:

    ♫ 92.3%, your havin’ a laugh ♫
    ♫ 92.3%, your havin’ a laugh ♫ tra la la

    Here’s the piece about dem lot’s piece – from our own Dear Walter.

    Keep up! 🙂

    Best Football Fairy tale ever, told by the refs for the refs

  • rantetta

    OMG. I tried to nick Walter’s “smileywinky” – transfer to Word document, and then paste it above. When that failed, I googled ‘how to put smiley’s in blogs….. and just got lost/confused in the resultant mayhem (of my poor compy standards.

    In the end I just done the ‘colon/close-bracket’ thing – thinking it’d just have to look cheap. Then, lo + behold, my reply appears with a rather lovely yellow smiley face.

    Now I remember several months ago seeing somebody in the comments having tried this thievery of Walter’s “winkersmiler”, and I read through that and didn’t understand it at that time. I’ll be ****ed if I’m gonna trawl thru the vast archive for the famed “smiling winker”.

    What say you, Walter?

    I suspect it was Anne trying to nick it – or at least someone replying to one of her excellent pieces. Otherwise maybe it was Dogface. Boy, he’s been doin’ some amazing stuff. I read somewhere that Dogface had “kicked off” on Twitter – re: the appt. of Dean or Webb. I went to his twitter, and now I have to have a look every day. Fascinating stuff.

    How ya doin, Bob? I don’t comment often but I look out for the wise words from you and many others.

    It’s a community, is Untold. I feel safe in my love for The Arsenal. I feel loved – from reading your articles. Tony/Phil/All. Thanks.

  • WalterBroeckx

    use the ; ) without space rantetta 😉

    Thanks for the kind words about the Untold community.

  • rantetta

    Oh thank you. Thank you. You’ve made my day. 😉 😉 ;).

    Sorry to go on, but Walter, I remember reading about one of your early trips to the Emirates. You wrote about the car journey – with birds flying into the windscreen, or something. Believe me, I was with you every step of the way. I loved it. And then there are the post-match articles – the one’s that come after a disappointing result. So measured. So positive. I remember you first commenting, and then joining this site. I really appreciate your work and contributions.

    Your “banter” with Tony is so amusing… I could go on, but I think you get the message. Thank you

  • Davi

    It was amazing how long it took for the ref to start booking their players. At one point it was 3 bookings to 1 in our favour, and our players only had to make 1, or at most 2, normal fouls.

    I have an unrelated question for the refs: if someone, say, raises their hand and stops a ball going into the box on the line of the penalty area, should the ref award a penalty or a freekick? I can’t understand why it should be a penalty if the ball is not completely inside the box? Many thanks

  • Anne

    Off topic, but another bad day in Manchester, wasn’t it? 😉

    Thank you, Rantetta.

    bjtgooner, wise words as always 🙂

  • WalterBroeckx

    Davi, the line of the penalty area is part of the penalty area. So a foul made on the line is a penalty. If a played commits a handball it doesn’t matter where his feet are but if his hand touching the ball is inside or on the line it is a penalty

  • Laundryender

    You are right Walter, self praise is no praise is a phrase I am failiar with.

    I think we all know why the pgmol feel the need to release statistics, it is because the power of the web exposes them as fraudsters, no more no less.

    Riley obviously feels the need for counter argument, he can release as many statistics as he wants, unless he can back them up with data and analysis, it is no more than the noise. until he is prepared to publish verifiable data, we have a badly executed PR excercise. No football fan i know is falling for it. NONE!

  • Laundryender

    Oh yes, fucking gloriously bad. Am i alone in smelling a seminal moment.

  • bjtgooner


    Good to see you back on the UA threads. Glad you enjoyed the match – you need to protect those knuckles better next time!
    Also, maybe Shard is not our only good luck charm!

  • Anne


    Let’s not count our chickens until after the second leg(s) 🙂 (Must say, ManU has quite an uphill battle, though…)

  • Anne


    Thanks 🙂 Although I do worry if maybe it had been just Shard who had been there, we would have advanced… What if I’m a negative counter-balance? 🙂

  • Anne


    By the way, completely agree with you about Dogface’s twitter. Everyone should read it.!/dogfacerefwatch

  • Mandy dodd

    This ref was a bent little fckwit nobody who will go back to obscurity having done eufas dirty work , who read the script from eufa and acted accordingly, in his case probably for a pittance and a chance to ref an obscure cup quarter final somewhere. dithering over the penalty said it all. Let’s face it, this guy may have similar aims but he ain’t no Howard Webb, just a poor out of depth once seen wannabe.
    Why is it, that every game we play, we get these eufa pgmol drones? Are our board trying to do something, as dein, for his faults and strengths would undoubtably be doing?

  • Mandy dodd

    Anyone else notice the nature of the slightly big teams we get when in the knockout stages? And then the refs we get? No disrespect, but could we for once get Apoel rather than barca or a Milan club?

  • Jerry

    Little off topic, but did anyone else see this article:

    In regards to Gareth Bale, it says, “One of the few criticisms aimed at him is that he goes to ground too easily – an accusation that surfaced most recently when he appeared to drag his trailing leg in order to win a penalty against Arsenal two weeks ago.”

    WTF? I didn’t see the media really say much about except on Untold! Everyone comes after Arsenal players when we dived like a witchhunt, but Bale didn’t get even half of the crap our players do! Where the hell were the fluff pieces to support our players then!

  • Mandy dodd

    Bale=Suarez=ronaldo= Owen= Gerard=tom Daley= Chris snode = Greg Louganis = jaques cousteau

    Hope the refs and media start responding to the clear acts of Gareth bale

  • Damien Luu

    “Bale=Suarez=ronaldo= Owen= Gerard=tom Daley= Chris snode = Greg Louganis = jaques cousteau”
    Hahaha, I love this Mandy, really love it 😀

  • bob

    From the hives of Riley: “Very rarely do we get the opportunity as either referees or as my organisation, the PGMOL, to sit down and have time to talk about refereeing, about football, about the issues that are important to fans. We did two-and-a-half hours of that and it was really good.”
    Well yes, and “very rarely” is precisely his design; which is what makes this precious rarity so suspect – quite like Stalin’s airbrushing old Trotsky out of the official photos so that he could erase the offending finger that had the balls to indict his perfidy. Agree with Dogface that what Riley does – in this faux town meeting – is Stalinesque. Actually worse. Indeed, on this note, if Dogface ever chooses to re-display the Mike Dean photo that he recently showed us, you will see the very visage of another master manipulator of the WWII era. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely, as it has been said. And this last poor excuse of a desk clerk auditioning for a higher rung has in his self-important enthusiasm actually given their game away, just as they are hell-bent to take away ours.

  • bob

    That Sky has echoed the reputed perfection (sorry, near perfection) of the PGMOL’s self-evaluation is precisely the echo chamber effect that Riley and Cohorts intended and planned in the first place. The we are the 92.3 percenters make a pronouncement from on high, as if it is fact, when their own Prozac, sorry Prozone did not say any such thing, and the sheer repetition is meant to make it fact. These ceatures are so used to having their sway along with their say that they cannot grasp that everyone (except for their “proper Evertonians”) can see through their mask. Keep it going Mikey R., you’re a textbook exercise in how to reveal the game within the game. Indeed, your on the field clerk has learned the art of self-exposure from you, it would seem. Thanks for the lessons.

  • bob

    Interestingly, even(Manchester) Guardian hitman supreme, Richard Williams, had to admit in yesterday’s paper that the OX embodies Arsene’s faith in the spirit of the Arse. He can do this shamelessly, as if he hadn’t mis-spent so much of his keyboard profligacy – and just within the fortnight – bashing Arsene like a pinata and ramping up the old “lost the plot” mantra. Now it’s Arsene’s got one here in the OX. These creatures have no shame and really believe that no one else has memory enough to hold them accountable for their lies.

  • bob

    p.s. Ranteta,
    You are my muse and namesake.

  • Davi

    Many thanks for the response, Walter.

  • mark

    Thanks for this. More clear evidence that there is something very wrong in Football! The slip of the tongue of the ref ought to bring forth investigations from the press and from FIFA too!

    One problems is when teams win with the help of the ref they are happy with the win. So they are unwilling to say the ref was bad because they won. But in the long term this just helps perpetuate incompetent officiating which hurts all teams or it allows corrupt officiating to go on which again hurts some teams but ultimately affects the whole sport.

    In football mad Thailand, I have heard several Thai say that they don’t want to watch EPL because they feel it is being manipulated. The future of football might just be the MLS because the US sports hate cheating refs!

  • C4

    What has Arsenal done wrong to incur the wrath of the officials in football? This crap is not restricted to the PGMOL, it’s happening with UEFA as well. My question is why?
    I’ve watched us get screwed consistently in the knockout stages 2 years in a row. This year, it has reached a stage where pitches can be doctored to nullify some of our strengths, and blatant penalties ignored in the first leg, but not a peep from the guys in charge. And of course, our manager won’t pretend all is well, so when he voices the FACTS, he gets a ban. What the hell is going on here? How did football become so blatantly corrupt, and nobody seems to have a problem with it?
    It’s reaching a point where maybe we should sell the Emirates stadium to the spuds and move to the Bundesliga or something. Some place where they don’t have Webbs or Dowds.

  • jayjay

    They (5 referees) need to think of different “game scenarios” before the match to prepare themselves for the style of match.
    For example: Arsenal needs goals that’s why they will be attacking, agressive, commiting fouls and Milan will try to spend as much time as possible etc.

  • jayjay

    He also said they were talking during half time break that they must be prepared for extra time and penalties and stay concentrated till the end.

  • Johnny Deigh

    Two matches – two East European refs. This whole thing stinks of calciopoli.

  • bob

    Any link(s) to press accounts of the Thai’s talking about epl chicanery?

  • bob

    Not speaking, for the moment, of Arsene’s ban to come:
    When Arsenal lose a big one, photos of Arsene head in hand, arms stretched, anguished looks abound. When ManUre loses a big one – like last night in the Europa thrilla – Don Fergus gets images that are wholesome and aspiring and, well have a look, sainted:

  • rantetta

    @ Bob
    Thanks for your kind words.

    I’ve been catching up on comments sections and I see that you posted a smiley instructional to Nicky on Feb 29th. Despite this, you graciously posted instructions for me – despite my initial post imploring readers to “keep up!”. My bad, as they say, but still, thanks. 🙂

    You’re a bloomin’ nuisance sometimes! Apart from seeing an ITV production which was a “modernised” Othello, I know/care little about Shakespear, having had schooling which didn’t make it interesting for me. (Excuses).

    Now, after reading “Lenny Henry, Shakespeare, Mourinho, Van Persie, Crisis and invented Spuds goals”, I’m so desperate to see that play at the National. I made my 1st visit to last to see how much tickets would be. They start at £50 upwards.

    As I can’t afford that (though I’ve been to Em’s 4 time this season), I’ll have to walk – 90 mins, to the National, and stand outside looking longingly for folk who may have a spare ticket – and beg them for it at £20. It may take many walks on many days.

    And that’s all thanks to your write up. I’ve gotta see it!

    So that’s why ‘you’re a bloomin’ nuisance’, sometimes. 😉 Great article, along with so many.

  • Gunz

    Found an interview(Feb2006) on 4 Refs (Mark Clattenburg, Martin Atkinson, Mark Halsey, Dermot Gallagher) giving a little insight into a refs life. Interesting read, lots of laughs.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Just seen the first numbers of the ref review of the first leg…. make sure you are close to the toilet when you read it in case you want/need to puke…

    If Dogface can do a few miracles with the numbers we even could make a summary of the two games together and see what we have been up against….

    keeping my fingers crossed and hoping Dogface can produce this miracle 😉

  • bob

    Lest we forget last season’s unceremonious and mendacious contrived exit from the CL what with phantom refereeing in Barca’s favor: If
    As Barca still are UEFA’s Chosen (and nothing shows otherwise), then AFC would have to be removed as per their little half-time summit meeting as the proverbial stone in Barca/UEFA’s shoe.
    To thicken the pudding, try this as a cook(ed)book:
    The interesting website called Catalan Conspiracy focuses on Barca’s ways, demonstrating, for instance, this: “We are convinced FC Barcelona instructed their players and staff to circumvent FIFA tapping up rules by using the media to unsettle Cesc Fabregas at Arsenal, as part of a nationalistic attempt at constructing a fully homegrown Catalan first team. Proof in pattern:” – this followed by a timeline that demonstrates the benchmark moments of the tapping up. (Now, of course, x-Cesc tells the Guardian in yesterday’s interview, how much AFC and Arsene matter to him. There’s no reason to disbelieve this, but I also see no reason that x-Cesc carries a certain burden of guilt for having been part and party to El Tap-Up Grande. It’s really sordid stuff and a story still Untold.

  • bob

    sorry, meant to write (above): “but I also see not reason to doubt that x-Cesc carries…”

  • Anne


    It really is a story still Untold… Untold by the Catalan conspiracy site as well, unfortunately. Not saying there’s nothing there, but Marca really isn’t a trustworthy source.

  • bob

    C4, Tony, Walter, Dogface,
    Oh, and let us not forget this, for both most recent and near future reference: Bussacca who did us in the last CL exit retired to be HEAD OF REFEREE DEVELOPMENT AT FIFA: Behold:

    Was the above incite-ful enough?

  • bob

    But do they not show that El Gran Tap Up was going on at the time that Cesc was acting so innocent?

  • rantetta

    Bob: You’re such a tease.

    Aw all-right then – Seeing you twist my arm.

    Yes, it certainly is incite-full, and I want first to moan about my shock – when opening the 4-4-2 article posted/linked by Gunz. When I clicked, a photo appeared at the head of the article. The first ref I recognised was ….. (pause for effect) ……. Dermot Gallagher!

    Dermot Gallagher Dermot Gallagher Dermot Gallagher Dermot Gallagher

    I couldn’t read the article as I have extremely uncomfortable feelings when I hear this man’s name. Dermot Gallagher was the ref at Sunderland in 2006. Diaby is my favourite player. In that match, on a sunny afternoon, Diaby was runnin’ tings! Diaby was magnificent. Dermot must’ve been really, really pissed off.

    Dermot Gallagher made me see why – for maybe my first time – Arsenal go North – and “fail”. clue: because the refs allow those/any teams to Kick The Shit Out of Arsenal.

    It was the time I started watching live matches in pubs (many of which I was kicked out of cos I don’t drink – and I don’t want cola or those brand name crapdrink, either. I’ve always got a bottle of homemade ginger with me, which I drink outside. Much healthier/tasty-er. I digress, perhaps, ha ha. I’d previously slobbered over MOTD – avoiding any news of scores with oft, deft renditions of: “la la la, I can’t hear this”, with fingers jammed in my ear-holes.

    This couldn’t go on. I trawled my neighbourhood to see every Arsenal match. Dermot Gallagher, on this sunny afternoon, when Arsenal were playing sumptuously, allowed the Sunderland player’s to Kick The Shit Out of Arsenal (KTSOOA – “kit-sue-ah”):(

    I was really worried seeing KTSOOA developing, with every other Sunderland tackle made with negative intent. Then, it happened. Abou lay screaming on the pitch. For me, Dan Smith’s tackle was like watching a kung fu movie, you know – put all your weight into the straight leg(s) and BREAK that fucker!

    At this time the ref was close to the action. The pictures on the screen showed – from one angle – that Smith’s leg(s) was ‘in flight’ from one side of the ref, to the other. That’s why I know he saw it. It could be bad memory but it’s possible that the ref only gave Smith a yellow card when he realised Diaby really was hurt.

    Mr Wenger complained, and Sky started to learn how to spin the KTSOOA!

    I’ve been in pubs watching when Eduardo, Ramsey, and Cesc (who was softened up by a Birmingham player, and then finished off by Puyol) were all assaulted. How fucking dare they! You mustn’t say anything, though, innit?

    So, dear Dermot, what happened to him? Dermot still has some refshite gig. I can’t remember if it’s a newspaper column, though come to think of it, I think I’ve seen him giving his “opinion”, on Sky. So there you have it – I can’t bear Mr G’s righteous crap. Mr G surely pleases “Micky R” (thanks Bob, classic), and G’s continued gigs see him possibly shuffling with other ****refs – to take over from said Micky R, when the time comes. (92.3% you know) (****s).

    And I hate hearing of people deriding Diaby. Have you had a look at those minutes he was on the field at Liverpool? Until the last approx 5 mins – he totally made things smoother, easier. Diaby’s got it all. He’s a player who makes the whole team look good, and like every footballer he sometimes makes mistakes. I believe that if Diaby plays in half of our remaining games, we’ll reach our goals just a little easier, due to his versatility, ability and positivity. 🙂

    Bob, I appreciate not only the links above, I treasure the way your points are written, and their content:

    “To thicken the pudding, try this as a cook(ed)book”

    “Waiting to pounce, lurking with intent, defecating on cue, salivating over our wound, ladies and gentleman, behold that the re-appearance of this cretinous, massively self-important blowhard on the Cat Walk to Fergus XX officially signals Round Two of the “Arsene Out” Campaign, 2011-2012” (re: Dicky W) (see what I done there?)
    I don’t see that type of quality/perception in the Guardian, sorry, ‘Manchester’ Guardian – when it comes to football, and I therefore no longer read the rest of the paper – or any papers. **** that!

    Oh sorry, there are too many for me to dig out – but I must say, yours is high quality writing – stuff that makes me still be up at 430 am!

    Serves you right for goading me – you’ve had some incite into a “should’ve gone to bed long ago” Gooner.

    Nighty night, and thanks 😉

  • rantetta

    * Punctuation fail: 2011-12″ – Full stop.
    * Dicky W = Richard Williams.
    * Missing commas, anything else? Who gives a ****!

    Now that I’m back, I just want to express my dismay at the appt of Mike Dean for Monday’s match against Newcastle at the Em’s.

    Those bastards were so sure we wouldn’t win at Klanfield, and as a punishment they’ve given us the Webbmeister – he who turned down 1 or 2 pens at Sunderland – and let them KTSOOA, as he undoubtedly will do on Monday, as he undoubtedly does every ****ing time he refs an Arsenal game. ****!

    As for Dean – when, in my head, I see him camping it up, as he dismisses the notion that a foul has been committed on an Arsenal player, or points to the penalty spot when an Arsenal player breathes in the same direction of an opponent, or jumping in the air with both hands raised to signal the end of a match he has won, or shooing the ball into the Arsenal net, I can only imagine his overwhelming feeling is one of GLEE.

    That’s all.

  • rantetta

    Oh no. (I should’ve stopped, shouldn’t I?)

    The appt. of Howard Webb, it should read. It was Webb who Fk’d us in the cup match at Sunderland. We’ve had the Webb/Dean/Dowd triumvirate ****s rather often, don’t you think. I just don’t get the brazen-ness of it all. Dean fk’s us at Totty so he gets to fk us at the Em’s too. Of course I shouldn’t be surprised, having watched him at Birmingham, when we were 5 points clear at the top of the table, 2008. So when it was clear that Birmingham would play Arsenal in the diddling cup final – who did they appoint? Mike Dean, diddly-dib- de-dee. ****s!

    It’s 5:15 now. *sigh* (I’ll probably get moderated for drivel, bah).

  • Anne


    That Leo Messi interview that you linked me to is fabricated. Messi never gives interviews. Never.

    Rather than breaking down, assessing, and disproving the contents of that ridiculous fake interview, a better question might be why it is that Messi never gives interviews in the first place?

    Not saying I have the answer myself, but it’s still a highly pertinent question, isn’t it?

    And also not saying that there’s any chance whatsoever that the answer would make Barca look good 🙂

  • Anne

    Sigh… Sometimes “divide and conquer” really sucks 🙂

  • bob

    Anne, Huh? I thought I was linking you to the CC Timeline of the Tap-A-Cesc. I don’t understand what you mean by the rest? (really)
    (Do you mean the Messi quote from the article of 14 April 2010 in that Timeline?) If yes, I wasn’t vouching for that specific piece, but reacting to the entirety of the timeline where there’s so many entries that the impact is to show x-Cesc as a witting participant in the Tap dance. If the whole thing (Timelie) is wrong, I’m not invested in its being right – that would be worth exposing.

  • bob

    p.s. Re-reading, it is most interesting that not-so-Messi-am-I never gives any interview. And, that no one seems to call him out on this, ever. Is it a case of eyes wide shut? Of see no evil speak no evil? Isn’t silence golden? 🙂

  • bob

    what’s in a name! more than you’re welcome.

  • Anne


    Most of the quotes from that timeline have been conclusively proven as fabricated. The Daily Star was formally sued, Carles Puyol explicitly denied making the comments attributed to him, etc etc…

    Not saying that Barca are saints are anything, but do you think I made an idiot of myself writing that first article for nothing? I thought we had covered this territory 🙂

    I mean, there’s plenty of blame to be apportioned, but can we not separate the facts from the fiction first? That’s SO challenging in this case, which is really why I wanted to take it on to begin with… Initially.

  • bob

    Good then, their quotes are fakes. It just seem that there’s been constructive reason to go over this unsettled and unsettling saga: If much of CC’s entire Timeline is then composed of fake press references – then it’s a fraud, or they were duped. And if so, then we don’t know now whether or not to credit CC’s current, ongoing exposes of Barca as being well founded or not? How this interested me is that I followed Dogface’s link to some interesting current material on their blog about Barca’s funny bizness; and having perused their site and found this x-Cesc Time(lie), it seemed to lay out a potent case of Tapping Grande – which I do continue to believe has happened, and that Cesc passive-aggressively went with it, even if this website’s specific Time(lie) is bullshit. For me, this Plus Cesc’s having given The (Manchester) Guardian an exclusive interview yesterday, about how much he cares about AFC and Arsene (though he won’t go into RvP’s current situation, where they happen to have the same agent, Dein the Lesser) just stirred it all up for me again. And I hardly think you’re an idiot to have done anything, let alone the initial spade work on the media misrepresentations on this. But the untold tale of the x-Cescing remains untold; and I got re-kindled and curious once again as this new (to me) CC Timeline hit my radar, for the reasons I just mentioned. I appreciate that you did re-check the Time(lie) and it becomes another piece, then, in an even more complicated puzzle, it would seem. And I couldn’t agree more that Barca are no angels, even as their enemies (Marca? Madrid?) would seem to be as well.

  • Menace

    I am a season ticket holder but I have been in Goa for a few months and I have watched the football live here. The bias of Dowd, Webb and UEFA is made worse by the commentators here. Gale the good for nothing dickhead is so anti Arsenal that the games seem to bury him in his own crap.

    The Mi;an game was such an aweful display of fucked up officiating that Platini should resign with his head between his legs. The reasons for all the anti Arsenal officiating is because Arsenal does not have any corrupt access. If you cant buy the product just tun it down until it gets corrupt and bends into the form that is required.

    UEFA is corrupt to such an extent that women are not represented with an obvious lack of care. The anti Wenger brigade cannot cope with his moral standards and his wonderful role model set of footballers that play the most beautiful game.

    Barcelona play good footnall but have a lot of dives and cheats within their game. They are successful with corruption and have been fortunate to have some gifted players in a team that blends well.

  • peter

    to be candid UEFA management are corrupt including they refrees this group does not want any EPL Team to reach final of any eufa qualifying. instead prefere a team that dives and cheats like AC MILLAN to excell. let this people live arsenal manager alone he has a freedom of speech as others does.the patini and group are looking to sanction ARSENAL to enable their corrupt tendency grow i support a call for the sacking of eufa president and other crooks dat want to kill eurupean football.

  • Jacobs

    UEFA should investigate. There might be match fixing as undertone. So AC Milan should be disqualified while Arsenal qualify on that ground. lol

  • Shriram Tank

    Ah! I take a little cutoff from the blogging atmosphere and come back to find
    that you have become amazing?! Wow, times have changed!
    Keep up the fantastic work!