By Walter Broeckx
So here we are where the doom and gloomers never expected us to be: top of the league in January. They will point at the fact we played one game more now and (having done my sums) I wouldn’t disagree on this. But we are in it and by the look of it we will fight like mad to stay there.
We scored 59 goals in 22 games so far. In yesterdays game once again four different goal scorers. All our players apart from Almunia, Sagna and Clichy look capable of scoring goals at any time. The 100 goals mark is still realistic if we keep this tempo up like we have been doing for 22 games now.
59 goals scored and our main striker Robin Van Persie, is out since the beginning of November and our second main striker Bendtner from the end of October – although he should be back soon now.
For the rest we have almost every week a total team out with injuries or players unavailable for all kinds of reasons. And despite all this we keep on scoring as if it is nothing.
Another strange thing is that from those 59 goals not a single one came from a penalty. We all know by now that we don’t get any penalty decisions our way from any ref in the EPL since the Eduardo incident in the CL.
The silent ruling is there to see for everyone who wants to see it. 3 clear penalty’s in our last two games against Bolton and we don’t get the decisions. One clear penalty when we make a foul and the ref puts the ball on the spot.
I’m not complaining on the Denilson penalty as it was a clear penalty but please also give us penalty’s when we are entitled to have one. I’m not asking to give us soft penalties but the ones that are clear, the least we could ask is to get those decisions.
Another thing I would like to ask the refs is if they please could do what FIFA has asked refs to do: “protect the technical players”.
The last two games I have been pulling out my already thin hair on my head and getting very frustrated with the amount of violence that some players can do without the ref doing anything about it. The fact that Knight in the first game could grab Vela’s shirt in an aggressive way without getting a yellow card is something I can not understand.
The way Cesc was pushed in to the ground with a knee on the back of his neck and the hair pulling without a red card is unbelievable. Wake up you refs, these are the things that we are suppose to ban from football. Now all the ref did was lecture the one that was treated in a violent way and the offender got a smile, a laugh and shared a joke with his team mates.
The last season when a team came out to kick us, we almost certainly lost points. But those days seem to be gone. Yes we still suffer the injuries that come with the kicking we get, but during the game we can respond to it. We never start a game with the intention to kick the others.
No, we always start the game with the intention to play football in the proper way that is by kicking the ball and not the ankles or the legs of the opponents.
But if the other team comes out to kick us we now have some players who respond to it. Players like Rosicky and Nasri have let opponents know in recent games that they will hit back if needed. Gallas has done it before in his career and with Vermaelen next to him we have got another player who is not afraid to put in his foot.
The way we scored our equaliser is symptomatic of that. After over two hours of kicking our legs Gallas stepped in and committed a foul and I think the ref was still a bit confused after half time and didn’t realised that it was in fact Arsenal that made the strong challenge this time!
But if you let players from one team commit foul after foul without punishment you get the tendency of letting more pass. So Bolton only got what they were trying to do to us. If you want to play “kick-im” don’t complain when it goes against you. Maybe next time learn from it and start playing football like it is mend to be by playing “kick-it”.
So here we are top of the league in the middle of January. Like Wenger said this week: could you imagine where we would have been without all these injuries ?
The one thing we now must hope for is that we can keep fit the players that we have left standing. We must hope that the injured players come back as quick as possible.
And if there is one thing that I also hope for and I am really sorry for you personally Alex, is that Cameroon lose today against Tunisia and are out of the ANC. This would make his day miserable maybe, but it would make my day complete.
Once again sorry Alex but I think you can understand that I am first off all an Arsenal fan and I really don’t care about other teams.
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