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June 2021

Errors, mistakes and details and yet…

By Walter Broeckx

When you go to United the last thing you want to do is to concede a quick opening goal. I think I can even imagine Wenger saying before kick off: don’t make a silly mistake. Well it took us only 2,5 minutes to make one.

After uttering a lot of swearwords against my compatriot in our mother language I will leave it out of the article.  Unless you want to know what I have to say to him. Okay, so here we go: “G*dverd*mme, Thomas, wa was da? Komoan hé, ge kunt beter dan da. Veule beter! Ik zen der bij in Schalke dus loat moar is zien wa da ge werkelijk kunt! Komoan Thomas, nie opgeve, hader warke en terug in form geroake’.

Okay you can try google translate on this but I’m afraid it will bring you nowhere. It is written in our local dialect and Thomas will understand it. And others from around Antwerp will.

Maybe we could do a little quiz about it. The one who can translate it the best and who comes to the Fulham game (or to the Schalke game) will get a free pint (or whatever you like to drink) from me. If you see me just give me the translation on the day or leave it in the comments.  The other members of the Arsenal Benelux supportersclub are excluded from this competition.

So the worst possible start of the game for Arsenal. And from then on you knew it was a mountain to climb. I think the game plan was to try to get a draw. I thought we had a rather defensive line up. Ramsey and Podolski were more midfielders than attackers. So only Giroud up front and he got nothing coming in to him.

Ref Dean wanting to steal the show with giving United the obligatory penalty after the ball hit Cazorla on the arm. Arm in front of his body and face. I wonder if Dean has read the new instructions?  Oh well, this is Old Trafford, this is SAF in the stand, this is what you can expect over there. Rooney missing was only justice being done.

A bad first half from Arsenal but we have turned things around before after a bad first half. But to turn things around at Old Trafford you need the rub of the green. We didn’t get it in the second half on a few occasions. People pointing at a few good saves from Mannone are right. He played good but that is part of the game. He is there to stop the ball and he did just fine.

When we needed a bit of luck it didn’t happen. Giroud hitting the post when it was 1-0 and when we had a lot of the ball was a moment that could have turned the game.

Cleverly should have gotten a second yellow card for his scissor tackle on Wilshere. Ref Dean let him off the hook. After all this is Old Trafford. This is SAF watching. And this is Dean. He liked to do another United games this season so can you blame him for not sending off a United player? Yes I do of course but well… we all know how those things go.

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Instead of having to reorganise United could continue to  play their favourite game: leaning back and then countering at speed. And score a second goal after a short taken corner. Mannone almost could divert it in to a corner and that would have been a world class save. It just went in behind the goal post. So 2-0 down. Still having to play 11-11.

Then came Dean into action once again. I have no complaints about the second yellow card from Wilshere. That was the only decision he could make. Of course the difference between Cleverly and Wilshere was obvious. The United player could stay on the pitch and United could play with 11 and the Arsenal player had to go. 2-0 down 11 vs 10. Game over.

Cazorla scored a late equaliser. And in the last 5 minutes or so we had 3 very good chances our selves. Cazorla playing in Walcott who shot over the crossbar. And De Gea making a stop on an attempt from Giroud.

The strange thing about this game was that we played bad, made a terrible early mistake that cost us the game, we hardly created things and if we would have been lucky and if the ref would have done his job in a proper way, things could have been different. And despite all this with a little bit of luck we could have nicked a point.

It all went United’s way because we gifted them an early goal and then didn’t change our tactics in the first half just defended and didn’t let United create that much that I can remember. The lack of speed was obvious and a few other things which I noticed this season and that I will taken one in another article.

Having had Dean twice in our first 10 games we can hope that we don’t see him around in the next 10 games (false hope I think) but at Old Trafford no clever ref will do what he has to do against the home team.  Was it game changing? Who knows? The only thing I know is that Dean didn’t take his responsibility when he had to it and send Cleverly off when we were only 1-0 down. And the description I gave at the end of last season was once again confirmed: Dean is a very clever man who knows what to do (or not to do) to support his own career.


The books…

The sites…

64 comments to Errors, mistakes and details and yet…

  • Bob A

    I remember watching MU about12 years ago at Derby this is the only time I have seen united. After 10 mins it was obvious to everybody in the ground that Derby were frightened of united, talking to another fan who like me was partial to see united get beat. We both said just go at them as you have nothing to lose. At half time it was 2-0 to united . With the crowd baying and obviosly a good rolocking from the manager they came out second half and flew at united within 20mins they got 2 back so what happened they went into defensive mood only for united to get a penalty in injury time losing 3-2. The point of this story is if you come out of the blocks against united there is a good chance you will score but if you sit back hoping for a draw you are lightly to get beat. At present I believe Arsenal have lost confidence and a good win will make all the difference I just hope we do that tommorow night. I dont know about other supporters but if we had a real go and lost I would be much happier than the overall performence by some off our players on Saturday.

  • afc

    I still dont think the wilshere should have been sent off. it was a joke he won the ball.

  • slugboy

    Quite an optimistic appraisal of the game. Luck? Bad Ref decisions? Hmmm. We were not at the races and it could easily have been 5-0.

    We looked devoid of pace and the movement was nearly non-existent. It has been like this for a number of weeks now. When we had possession, we were closed down, when Man U had possession, they were at liberty to play it around. Strange behaviour from a side that was chasing the game.

    Not happy with how we are playing at the moment! Don’t mind (well I do, but relatively so) the team going fighting, but there has been very little fight recently. Somethings up within the club, looking at the body language.

  • 4th Pagaat

    : “G*dverd*mme, Thomas, wa was da? Komoan hé, ge kunt beter dan da. Veule beter! Ik zen der bij in Schalke dus loat moar is zien wa da ge werkelijk kunt! Komoan Thomas, nie opgeve, hader warke en terug in form geroake’.
    “G*ddamnit Thomas, what was that? Come on, you can do better than that. Much better” – Ok. That first part I’m sure of. Taking a stab in the dark on the next part: ” I’ll see you at Schalke so let’s see what you can actually do. Come on Thomas, don’t give up, work harder so you can get back in form”

    So how’s that for a Cape Town born South African whose only encounter with anything Belgian was probably just a waffle?

    Although I must admit my Afrikaans mother tongue helped alot.

    P.S. – Won’t be anywhere close to the game but I hope I am in the running for the “most creative translation” award 🙂

  • A. Stewart

    I’m with you slugboy…Really the ref? Luck? C’mon guys.
    Dean didn’t have a bad game, Cazorla’s arms were raised and penalties are often given for that, it truly wasn’t that controversial a call. Wilshere and Cleverly were both warned after making tackles when on a yellow, Ferguson did the smart thing and took Cleverly off, Wenger didn’t. Simple.

    Dean didn’t have a bad game at all. We weren’t unlucky at all. Machester United beat us so comfortably in second-gear, and the experience was summed up by Ferguson, who stated something to the effect that this was not what United-Arsenal clashes used to be like. We were solidly beaten, end of.

    Having a pop at the ref, when he had a decent game just looks like a transparent attempt to deflect from our uselessness.

    @ afc, Wilshere’s studs raked down Evra’s ankle, regardless of “going for the ball” it was a yellow card any day, and especially after he (and cleverly) were warned that they were on a last chance, there was nothing controversial about the sending off. It was entirely predictable too.

  • @stewart thsnks for stating where you fall,tell me when was the last time united got a red card????

  • dan


    We didn’t deserve anything from this game, and it wasn’t day light robbery either!

  • Wooby

    It was a rather disheartening loss.

    Santos has demonstrated that defensively, he can be exposed on a regular basis. Why has TV5 not started at LB with Kos partnering Per in the middle? Would that not be a stronger defensive line than having Santos in the lineup?

    At the other end, why did Theo not start or was at least brought on at half time? He had 3 full days to recover from the Reading game and at 23 years of age, should have managed it. His speed would have worried Evra and would have helped Giroud up front. Rambo would then have been available off the bench to spell Jack as an AM or offer another option should Wenger need it.

    The good news after 10 games is that four of the tougher away fixtures are now out of the way (2 x Manchester, Anfield, Stoke) and we only lost once. At the same time, we are leading the BPL in fewest goals against. These are promising signs.

    The bad part is we are 9 points off the pace having already played each of Chelsea, City and ManUre and picked up only 1 point. I feel we are really missing Diaby in the midfield – let’s hope he is back soon.

  • dan


    When was the last time we had the luxury to call upon Diaby?, Put Rosicky in the same bracket, Gibbs another frequent resident in our wonderful but over crowded sick room

  • Shard


    What I will say is that apart from the penalty, and the decision to not award Carrick(?) a yellow card when he stepped on Wilshere’s heel, Dean didn’t need to do anything major to stop us. We played so poorly that the Old Trafford effect didn’t need to be in full force.

    Wilshere received a warning too, although I did think it was a lesser foul than Cleverley’s. His later foul, though he sort of won the ball (which no one said this time) was still deserving of a second yellow. No complaints there.

    Vermaelen was the real disappointment to me. The way he was hugging RVP in the tunnel pre-match is also something I didn’t like. It’s not a major issue, but it does make a difference. I loved how Sagna didn’t reciprocate RVP’s manufactured hug. I’m also sure RVP went in hard on Sagna (which potentially could have been red actually) for that very reason. It was a cheap act by a person who was teammates with Bacary and knew he’d had 2 ankle surgeries in the past year. Which also reminds me of Young’s deliberate (but well disguised) stamp on Sagna’s ankle. I’m almost 100% sure Ferguson instructs his players to ‘intimidate’ opposition players by targeting their known injury issues.

    Huh..What do you know.. Dean did have some things he could have given differently. But I guess it’s debatable whether that was yellow or red, and he gave yellow.

  • Tee Song

    Walter, really? United didn’t create much? Mannone had to make a quite outstanding save from Rooney in the left channel, missed Rooney penalty (Walter, I doubt many people on this board have read the “new instructions” so why not enlighten us?), Valencia missed an open goal from 6 yards, and Mannone made another outstanding save from RvP central and just inside the penalty area. Plus a handful of half chances and dangerous situations. They created enough that three or four goals might have been a “fairer” scoreline than the two they did score. I enjoy that your such a staunch defender of the faith but this time I think there’s no objectivity whatsoever in your assessment of the game.

  • nicky

    I’ll look for you at the Fulham game as I will have the translation by then. My cousin Eli who lives in Brussels and loves their sprouts (he always eats them in the local dialect).
    Your kind offer of a pint “of whatever you drink” is much appreciated. I only drink Famous Grouse whisky so I’ll bring an empty bottle.

  • dan

    NOW is not just a time for our support but honesty as well.


    It amazes me that people still go round blaming the referee and blaming the players. Yes I said it the players, they looked clueless going forward and making schoolboy mistakes. And i know that some will say that at this level players should be ready. the reality is they are not so what do you do.They say practice makes perfect, but it is perfect practice that makes perfect that means do it properly on the training ground. I just wonder what really goes on there? Tactical discipline is achieved on the training ground. Our loss against Norwich Schalke and now MANU started on the training ground. Discipline technical awareness, passion, character etc. is instilled in players before the game. Well there is only one question. Who has to take responsibility for this?? Wake up and sweep at your own door first before you go sweeping before others’!!!

  • Shard

    Tee Song,

    I think Walter might have been referring to the first half when he said that. I thought so when I first read the article, because he talks about us sitting back and being careful not to concede more. That’s the impression I got from the first half only and not the second. There might have been ManU chances in the first half, but I can’t really remember them either.

    However, if he meant the second half too, then obviously, ManU had very many chances, while we basically had none till when it mattered.

  • Walter Man Utd did”nt break sweat they did”nt need to . RVP seemed visibly embarrased scoring must have felt sorry for us.

    11 times we played them lost 9 drawn 1 won 1 draw your own
    conclusions please, thank God we”ve got that game out of the way. This current squad can”t compete with the top three and will struggle with some of the other top six or seven.

    Quote of the day ” Lemonade football at beer prices ” here”s
    to next season then cos this one”s over already.

  • Sorry ” CHAMPAYNE ” prices

  • Shard

    wow..3 comments all at 6.01 PM.. Tee Song wins by a whisker. Unlucky dan gets bronze. While nicky and his famous grouse get silver, which will probably be sold to buy another famous grouse 🙂

  • createstrain

    The thing bothering me is that its not the first time I’ve found myself cursing the team for lack of fighting spirit. First to second balls, playing the simple pass, pulling there finger out there arse and making themselves available, making the same mistakes we’ve seen for years, taking that extra touch, not bein able to shoot properly, not utilizing corners, goin to ground in the tackle, relying on injury prone players, not stomping on van see you next Tuesday’s shirt when he had it or putting it straight down his shorts and doing a jig. Yes ppl will say there friends off the pitch and they clock in and clock out and they were all smiles and hugs in the tunnel. Well I would say bollocks to that and bollocks to you. Why? well van persie is a very clever lad who looks out for himself only and players like sagna get it and took one off that social cretin for the team, same wit Wilshere. Until we have a team full of players like that I fear this trend will continue. I’m not the biggest fan of pong but he gets it. I feel for players of obvious quality continually frustrated cos we keep making the same school boy errors. I love how cazorla closes down from the front, how long will it be before he looks over his shoulder one too many times to see no one putting in the same effort and think f it, I’ll ride this joke out till summer and f off? If you can’t tell patience is wearing thin and I hope it doesn’t with the likes of caz and arteta just yet. Injuries cannot continue to be our excuse.
    The signs were there even when we were winning some just put it down to a new team which still is valid. Trouble is we had him to get us out of trouble, this time around it seems a more dramatic change is needed. Do we need 442 with the pod and giroooo up top? Who knows but arsene? We doin worse than last year but Stil could get the title and sixth so I remain optimistic until we play ourselves out of everything. not convinced of tom as captain. Not because of his awfully performances recently but given his birth place. It’s hard to imagine he was not close to vanbition, which is not a good look. Wouldn’t be surprised if he was shipped in the summer the way things are goin. Do we need a performance tomorrow? Do we really want or need to be top of the group? That’s the thing now a days its hard knowing what to think. I do know one thing though.

    I want my arsenal back. The brave one with pride and principles

  • Dgeoel

    You are very right slugboy. The fighting spirit is gone. And couldn’t Santos wait till the end of the match for RVP’s Jersy?

  • ozed

    I see a lot of contradictory positions in the comments here. We choose to completely disregard that Cleverley should have gone long before Wilshere. Is that because we believe it would have had no effect on the game?

    We continually slate the team for playing poorly, and refuse to take the positive that the score was only 2-1. If you choose to imagine what could have happened if Man U scored all their chances, then you must consider also what could have happened if Giroud’s efforts against the wood work and that saved by De Gea had gone in, as well as what would have happened had Cleverly seen red as he ought to have.

    Whats the message? Things are not all as black as some of us are bent on believing, and very few teams (including the ‘title contenders’) will leave old Trafford this season with any points!!!

  • rusty

    It seemed to me that bringing Jack back into the team disrupted the shape of the midfield three. Whereas before we had Arteta and Diaby (or Ramsey at times) switching off between moving forward and protecting the defense, Arteta was left alone, six yards in front of the centerbacks, so he didn’t have the freedom to play a more aggressive pass or use space to his advantage. And whereas before Santi could drift right or left as needed, he was locked in alongside Jack and appeared uncomfortable both defensively and creatively.

    And for all the talk of reintegrating him slowly, substituting Ramsey instead after sixty minutes in a big game (and on a yellow) seems a clear mistake — I was shocked when the assistant held up the sub board.

  • ozed

    Oh and by the way Walter. Before we crucify Santos, it would be nice to check which left backs are not shown up by the combination of Valencia and Rafael.

  • A. Stewart

    @ Kampala, it’s not relevant to me about when last United got a red card, when analyizing the non-controversial justification (imo and that of most at least) to send Wilshere off in this instance, especially when Dean showed some degree of consistency in giving both Wilshere and Cleverly last warnings while on a yellow.

  • A. Stewart

    @ Shard, re: “I loved how Sagna didn’t reciprocate RVP’s manufactured hug. I’m also sure RVP went in hard on Sagna (which potentially could have been red actually) for that very reason.”

    Not too interested in discussing the “motivation” as it’s just a wild guess, but in terms of intensity, van Persie’s tackle was no less intense than Wilshere’s tackle that got him the first yellow… I hate having to defend Dean, (but trying to make this about refeering is so silly imo, and I know you’re not trying to make this about refs given the overall tone of your post) but he didn’t have a bad game, and we stinking it up that allowed United to beat us so comprehensively in second gear is the reason we lost and nothing else.

  • dan

    Come on people, let’s be honest. We all saw the game, it was no show from our boys. Yes we have good players and yes we have injuries, yes we have players coming back, but that’s the problem. We always have injuries and it’s a wild coincidence given names in the sick bay. Some of the boys need a rest and our forever injured never return in a reliable state, our squad in thin because they lack experience. We shouldn’t need to call upon the youngsters, is there something wrong with the medical team?

  • Shard

    A. Stewart

    The part about RVP wasn’t to do with the ref. And I disagree about it being as ‘intense’ as Wilshere’s tackle. watch that tackle again. He was airborne when he hit Sagna. Not very high off the ground, but both feet were off the ground nonetheless, and it was at much greater speed.

    I tried looking for the same video I’d seen earlier but its been removed due to copyright reasons. Funny how that doesn’t happen with goals but only with bad tackles. Here’s the best GIF I could find of it.

  • Shard

    And Carrick on Wilshere

    Which are the two players who were caught late on their ankles by ManU players? The same 2 players that were out of the game long term with ankle injuries. You might think that’s coincidence, but I don’t.

    None of that relates to why we lost. That isn’t the be all and end all of the entire discussion. And the discussion on Mike Dean is valid enough. Not the least because his record against Arsenal, and ManU’s record with referees is a huge issue anyway.

  • Florian


    One point I don’t see mentioned anywhere is that even after this result we’re still only 2 points behind the 4th place. On another hand, a draw wouldn’t have lifted us above either of Everton and Spurs, as they’re still both sitting on 17 points. Thanks to Wigan and Fulham, the loss is actually much farther away from being such a catastrophy as some might want to see.

  • Tee Song

    @ Shard, Walter

    Rooney’s shot well saved by Mannone from left channel at 28′. Penalty miss at end of half. Valencia open goal miss from 6 yards beginning of second half. And I forgot another well saved RvP shot from the right channel at 21′. All good to great opportunities requiring two excellent saves, inability to take a penalty (80% usual conversion rate), and lifting the ball over the crossbar from 6 yards away. All created before Cleverly took out Wilshere at 59′ and before we had registered a single shot on goal. Cleverly might have been lucky to stay on the pitch, but I think it’s fair to say we were fairly lucky not to have been three goals down already by that time.

    As for the penalty, I’m curious Walter as to what the “new instructions” are that you reference? I’m not a referee, I’m sure that most of the readers and posters to this site aren’t either. Untold frequently admonishes posters to use evidence to bolster their opinions. I humbly ask that you do the same. My understanding of the rules is that if you raise your hands up away from your body like Cazorla did, it’s considered deliberate handball. If you believe that Dean didn’t interpret the rules as he should have and that Cazorla’s upraised hands represented an exception, please educate me and others on the “new instructions.” Then I can go back to hating Dean for once again gifting ManUre a penalty. As I’ve read on this site, what is your evidence?

  • Shard

    Tee Song

    I haven’t actually watched even the highlghts again. My point was that I don’t really remember many great opportunities for ManU in the first half (not the Rooney one anyway), and I thought we were concentrated on not conceding another goal (or at least intended to not let another goal in, don’t know if we concentrated) I don’t count the penalty because I think it was incorrectly awarded. No question though that we weren’t in the game at all, and yes, the final scoreline did flatter us.

    Anyway, I THINK walter might have referred to the first half with that statement, and I think it’s reasonable because I feel the same (despite the more upbeat nature of Walter’s post)

  • walter

    May I point out the fact that the tackle from Cleverly on Wilshere was when it was still only 1-0 for Utd. Min 58 or so.

    I’m not saying we would have won the game or so but why didn’t Cleverly got a second yellow card for this tackle that always warrants a yellow card. That is the question. I don’t care if we would have won the game or not. The fact that the ref let this go is what is wrong.

    We all know why he let it go and we just accept it.

    We can call names to our own players and all nod in agreement but when a ref makes a crucial mistake and not sending a player off is a crucial mistake we should call it.

    it doesn’t matter if we play bad or not, the ref didn’t do what he was supposed to do so we have every right to question him.

  • Matt Clarke

    It doesn’t seem too hard to translate…it sounds a lot like English, so here goes,

    “Oh dear!, Thomas, what was that? Come on, I know that you can do better than that, old boy. Much better! I look forward, in the game against Schalke, to seeing more of how you really can play! Come on Thomas, don’t give up, work harder and you will get back in form.


    An Arsenal fan group, Where Has Our Arsenal Gone? are planning a demonstration before the Gunners’ clash with Swansea City on December 1, against a perceived lack of action from the club’s board.

    Supporters will demand that minority shareholder Alisher Usmanov be given a seat on the board and a change Arsenal’s ticketing policy which sees them offer the most expensive season ticket in the country at £1,955.
    Other issues to be raised include player wages and contracts, while they are also set to demand to know who decides which players are brought into the club.

    “We’ve been sold the future for five years now, that tomorrow we’ll arrive at the promised land,” group spokesperson Marc Harold told The London Evening Standard.
    “We aren’t labelling it as a protest march, although we are demanding changes at boardroom level. The board has lost focus, is complacent and insular, feeling all is rosy at Arsenal when it most certainly isn’t.

    “We have done this before [in May 2011] and the turnout was a few hundred. I’d safely say that number will be quite a bit bigger this time.”

    A tense club AGM was held last month that saw manager Arsene Wenger and chief executive Ivan Gazidis grilled on the club’s matchday pricing and lack of success on the pitch.

  • walter

    Tee Song,
    so United had some 4 chances in the first hour. Not that much I think.

    A few other numbers:
    United had a total of 11 shots in this game. Arsenal 7. Statistics from the BBC.

    United only having 11 shots is a bit astonishing don’t you think. They had 15 shots at Chelsea in the PL away. In fact them having 11 shots was the lowest number of shots in the PL at Old Trafford.

    I’m not saying we played great or so please point in the article where I suggest anything like that. I don not claim such a thing.

    I only claim that by making a mistake we make life difficult for ourselves and made it easy for United.
    After that every moment in the game went to United including the ref letting Cleverly off the hook.

    Games have turned before you know. But to have it turned you need some luck or a ref who does what he has to do.

  • walter

    do you come to the Fulham or Schalke game? You can have a drink from me 😉

  • Matt Clarke

    Thank you Walter, but sadly no 🙁

    And – I do agree with your sentiment to TheV. He WILL be great.

  • dan


    How many shot did we have on target on the hour mark?

  • Al

    @Shard thanks for those links. I didn’t watch the game as I was away, but those two tackles are criminal! So van per$i is learning the trade well hey, dishing out the roughhouse tactics Neville-brothers-style, absolutely shocking. I don’t care how we played but those two tackles should have had people walking. Dean got it wrong, period.

    From our past games with utd I know we always finish the stronger of the two, and who knows, with 11 v 11 what might have been.

  • Al

    I meant both tackles on Sagna, by the way. How this isn’t the focus of the debate I will never know.

  • dan

    Tomorrow I feel we may get a result, pretty sure Wenger would of smashed a few heads together.

  • Paul "the Gooner"

    A good article.We need our wide players back,along with Gibbs and Diaby.When you think how well we did with them it is clear to see.From Saturday SANTOS should never put a Arsenal shirt on again,well he does have a red one now.I am talking about his performances on the field that are clearly not acceptable.A total CLOWN!.
    We should buy a left back a.s.a.p.You know with Gibbs he will give you at most 15to 20 games a season.Diaby another one who has to go.

  • WalterBroeckx

    I remember last season we played Man C in the CC. They had 1 shot in total in 90 mins against a mixed youth-reserve team. City with rather a few big names in the team. They won 0-1 from a counter (Tevez or was it Aguero?) late in the second half. That was their only shot in total of that game. I think Tony called it the shot that costed 1 billon shot or something like that. Or the most expensive shot in football history.

    You see that is sometimes the way it goes. City was rubbish that night and deserved nothing. yet they won.

  • Pat

    This is more like it. This is Untold. To get a bit of balance we need to include influence of the early goal, non-red card issued to Cleverly, nasty fouls on our players, bias from the ref, actual numbers of shots, and all the actual information in this article and this debate. And where we are at the moment in the league at the beginning of November with a long way to go in the season.

    For our three great new players this was their first experience of an away game at Old Trafford. I’m sure they must have learned a lot.

    Anyway, who are all these negative types who have suddenly appeared in our discussions? I mean Rupert et al. For the life of me I can’t understand the point of supporting a team and moaning all the time.

  • dan


    Very true, so we both agree Arsenal lacked bite!

  • WalterBroeckx

    Yep we did. And still … 😉

  • John

    Whilst Arsenal were well below par and did not play well enough to win, that should not prevent comments on MU’s series of targetted assaults on Wilshere and Sagna. Dean did not cost us the game, but there is no doubt that he would have done if our performance had been more threatening… eg if Giroud had not hit the post and then had his shot blocked by De Gea, there is little chance that we would have been allowed a second goal.

  • Al

    Spot on…

  • bjtgooner


    Nice article with a bit of perspective amidst all the hysteria.



  • iniez

    I can’t help but think van persie is trying to endear himself to the united fans. That tackle on sagna was horrible, certainly card worthy. I would love to put him and frimpong on the same pitch, I’m sure he can’t wait to break his chocolate leg open like a kinder surprise. Frankly I’m surprised jack didn’t do it. Maybe this is just the thing to rekindle some of the old arsenal fire. We’ve become far too nice..time for another keown. Also interesting to note that robin suggested he and santos switch shirts, yet santos is the one that got drawn and quartered. And its funny how santos was in no rush to trade his shirt but van persie made sure to give his in front of everyone

  • Sammy The Snake

    I still trust taht we’ll finish 4th, just because Tots, Everton and Newcastle are even worse than us.

  • rupert cook

    @Pat, if the team had improved in seven years nobody would be moaning all the time. And what is wrong with being frustrated with a team that shows very little fight or self-belief? I don’t mind us being beaten by Manu but I’d like the team to put in some effort, maybe being paid astronomical wages makes these players indifferent.

    The same problems repeat themselves every season, it’s not like any of this is new but each year we’ve had one or two players that made us slightly better than the other teams chasing fourth, last year it was RVP alone, but who will it be this year? Cazorla, Giroud, Gervinho, Wilshire…….my money would be on Diaby if he could stay uninjured for more than a week.

  • Al

    Arsenal don’t play with the get in their faces mentality, so I don’t agree with those saying they lack the stomach for a fight. History has shown where we have tried to match our opponents aggression-wise the refs punish us for less than half the things the other team gets away with, the Wilshere incident v cleverly, young,or vp, being a case in point. In fact I’d best my last penny had vp made that tackle in Arsenal colors he’d have walked. We all know the number of red cards Viera totted up. His tackled weren’t particularly as nasty as keane’s, or even gerard’s, but he still got punished more than anyone.
    I can’t help but notice how vp has become a media darling, even being used in sky adverts, ever since swapping Manchester for London. It’s sickening to read some comments here going on about how we don’t have the hunger for a fight, bla bla bla, one just wonders ‘do these people watch the same games as us?’
    Before the game I put a bet, not a monetary one though, with my mate where I said utd would get a penalty. Never mind the circumstances surrounding the penalty incident, but if its become so obvious why can’t everyone see this?? If layman like me can predict something like well before the game don’t you think the players themselves even fear the worst? I’d say so. Imagine approaching a game with such a mentality. In general refs find it easier to give a red card or penalty against Arsenal than any team like say Stoke. And you don’t expect the players to be aware or affected by that? Please.

    I know someone on here asked this earlier, not sure they got an answer, but when was the last time a utd player got sent off against Arsenal? That’d be interesting.

  • rupert cook

    I’m not going to stand up for refs. There has been talk for years about bias to Manu. That’s fine but you have to prove there is bias before suggesting every game we play the ref plays for the other side. I wouldn’t be surprised if refs do bend over to please Ferguson but then maybe they’d do the same if Wenger was as vociferous as old red nose when decisions go against him. Wenger certainly spends a lot of time berating officials during the game, maybe he should be as vocal afterwards. He has been in the past.

    Never mind the circumstances surrounding the penalty. What, you mean the blatant handball? That was a penalty. But that time Rooney fell over an outstretched foot at OT a few years ago, that clearly wasn’t a penalty.

    Let’s see if we can get a penalty against them in the return fixture. Of course you have to get men in the box in the first place to achieve that.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ Al , I too told my neighbour ( a ManUre fan ),before the game that they will be given 3 extra officials to help them ,as well as 3 penalties and we would have 3 players sent off ! Thank god I always get my predictions wrong !

  • John


    The only MU sending-off against us that I can recall was Cantona at Highbury, for going OTT on Adams…..must have been in early 1990’s

  • rupert cook

    Let’s just accept that we’ll never win at OT again. Can’t we just give them the three points and conserve our players’ energy? One less game a season, one less chance for a red card and an injury.

    But can we blame the refs for our shambolic performances against Norwich and Schalke?

    Arsenal have something to prove tonight. I hope the players feel that.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Wenger has been extremely vocal on referee performance and bias…and it just leads to a ban for him, in contrast to other managers who happen to be more cosy in the LMA. I do not have the stats, but I would imagine Wenger has been in more trouble with the esteemed authorities than any other EPL ref
    We did not lose that game because of the ref, but the inbuilt bias that is Dean was there for all to see. VP should have walked…but they never do at their ground, and can charge around trying to injure opponents safe in that knowledge. Even the physical teams like Stoke will hardly put in a tackle at OT. The Santi pen, unfortunately they get given, quite wrongly in my opinion. Look forward to our next appointment with Dean when we face the Spuds.
    But that aside, we were shocking. On another note, it seems we are not even trying to keep Theo…without knowing all that is going on of course. Surely this is not sending out a good message…in terms of goals and assists, last season, most were from VP, Song and Theo. Maybe we could not do much about VP, but seems Song and Theo have/ will depart without a fight….is that really how we should be running things? I am a Walcott fan, ok he may be sick / injured in recent games, but I am starting to find the whole thing frustrating as I believe we could keep him if there was a will

  • rupert cook

    Agree Mandy over the Walcott issue. If he goes then that’s the three main players from last season gone in the space of six months. Seems like lunacy to me. It’s going back to the days of Brady and Stapleton. I had the impression we were meant to be competing with the top clubs, not selling our best players to them.

    The tiny hope I have is that we get 20 million for him and then invest that plus the 35 million we have and spend the 55 million total on REAL super quality players. Judging on our recent exploits in the market though that seems unlikely.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Think Liverpool are only offering around 8 million Rupert, if he does go, Wenger will have to buy in Jan whether he likes it or not as we will not have sufficient cover out right, Ox and Gnabry are not ready for that kind of pressure. Just have a feeling shared by many that Walcott is being edged out, but that he is the sort of player who could come back to haunt. Whilst Liverpool do not appear rivals for a top 4 place, we should not be doing anything to strengthen their cause….unless of course we bring in a very substantial signing, highly unlikely in Jan.

  • rupert cook

    8 million is far too cheap. We need a bidding war. Pool are way off the top four pace but Rogers is well aware he has to buy in January, he has said so. Walcott may not be their only signing. Apparently statistics show that without Saurez assists and goals Pool would be bottom of the league. They really are a one man team.

  • Pat

    Al, hundred per cent right.
    Iniez, very interesting point about the shirt swap.

  • Micko

    @ Al
    I don’t know the last time Manu had a player sent off against us but I have had a quick look and gathered some Manu stats (knocked them up quickly myself so hope they are accurate)for this season (so far) and last……
    This season Manu have had

    0 Red Cards
    18 Yellow
    and got 4 penalties (out of 10 games)

    Whereas the opposition have
    4 Red Cards
    16 Yellow Cards and
    0 Pens

    Last season Manu got
    1 Red Card (straight, against Man City)
    52 Yellow Cards
    and 12 penalties

    Whereas the opposition got
    5 Red Cards
    60 Yellow Cards
    and got 2 penalties

    Now the first thing that looks unusual is that even though Manu got 52 yellow cards they did not get one person sent off for 2 bookable offences.
    Also if they continue to get penalties at the current rate they are on course to beat last season’s total and get 15 this season.