Incompetent, mad, bad, idiotic: crazy ref makes a mockery of football. Arsenal v WBA

By Tony Attwood

Football via a time machine.

So, after Walter publishes my preview after the match I suppose in future I shall have to put up my post-match reports before the game starts.  Fortunately my great grand-father was a good mate of HG Wells and was bequeathed all his sketches upon the death of one of our great writers (sadly now only remembered for a handful of books), and thus I can indeed accomplish this feat.

But for now I write of yesterday.  Tomorrow I shall do a review of our second unbeaten season.

In the first minute the WBA goal keeper (the pantomime horse that is Myhill) started time wasting, taking over a minute to take a goal kick.  By the 5th minute the time was up to 90 seconds and the crowd was howling and booing.

Now normally when this happens and a ref is trotting away from the goal area to get ready for the upfield action, the ref turns around to see what the crowd is making so much noise about.  But this ref?  Not a chance.  Head down he ran away, leaving the keeper to start his run up, stop, wave, start it again etc etc.

Strangely no matter how many times he did this, and no matter how many times he placed the ball in odd places, moved it, stopped, started and everything else, the ball always curved to the left and ended up on the WBA left wing.  After a few times Arsenal got the hang of this, and we all knew where the ball was going.

Then after 7 minutes Ridgewell was injured and so how to go off.  Having wasted the usual 90 seconds in not taking the kick keeper Myhill, on hearing the whistle quickly ran up and kicked the ball right up field.  The substitution was made, and the ball then retrieved.

My point is that Myhill should have had a yellow for his time wasting from the start, and then had a second for kicking the ball away.   So he would have gone off, WBA played with 10 men and the 3rd keeper would have been in goal.

In that regard the false penalty we were awarded in the first half would not have mattered since we would have been playing 10.

Thus I argue, if you are going to suggest that the penalty was not a penalty, fair enough.  But you also have to look at other referee mistakes and consider the consequence of those, too.  Otherwise the debate is lopsided; one of those crazy “we’ll only include wrong decisions if they benefit Arsenal” type articles that now dominate the press reports.

As it was we got 59% of possession, which is a bit more like it, had 19 goal attempts, and reduced WBA to just one goal attempt on target.  Our forward line was having a day when they missed when it was easier to score, but still, the effort and forward passing, so missing in previous games, was there again.

WBA did not look like a top 10 team, let alone a top 5 team, and I suspect they will now sink without trace by the end of the season.  Not to relegation perhaps, but certainly not a top half side.    The ref ought to be put on a training course, and Arsenal will be doing all this forward passing stuff on auto pilot within a match or two.

And one more thing.   Jack Wilshere.  He was both a defensive midfielder and a classic number 10.  Not a perfect performance from him, but some of the forward passes were in the mould that Bergkamp is remembered for.  What an amazing player, and one still very much in the making.   If we could have Diaby back and play Jack as a number 10…. oh what a joy that would be to watch.

(Incidentally Jack squared up to one of the WBA players at one time.   The top of Jack’s head come up to the guy’s neck.  Most amusing).

Alex O-C disappointed at moments – I thought he would have been further on by now, but like Jack, he is young and has plenty of time.  But he is willing and if we look at his performances overall he is improving.

Next up, the report on the league cup game, followed by the preview.  But to ponder for a further second the issue of Myhill – why waste time from the first second of the game?   OK, if you are 1-0 up away with injury time left, yes maybe you do this.  But not from the very first goal kick of the game.  At the end, rushing to and fro to get the ball and take instant goal kicks, he three times kicked a moving ball as a goal kick.   Linesman and ref did and said nothing.   But then, that’s how they played  the whole game.



The books…

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64 Replies to “Incompetent, mad, bad, idiotic: crazy ref makes a mockery of football. Arsenal v WBA”

  1. I didn’t watch the match but was following the BBC live text…at one point I counted 10 mentions of Cazorla’s dive, four of them from BBC talking-heads. It was a dive, fair enough, and a pretty bad one at that. But a totally disproportionate response to an Arsenal penalty-winning dive compared to a similar dive by any other side. Most other ones get a mention or two, if that much.

    And, Wombledin, didn’t Mertesacker handle the ball because he was being fouled at the moment? Again, I didn’t watch the match, but I heard as much from commenters I respect.

  2. Tony good article although I thought the post game preview was by far more entertaining.
    I thought the timewasting from the start was just madness.It seems to becoming worse. Especially the amount of time wasted taking throw ins. You wonder what the managers are telling the players before kick off?


    Let’s not mention the fact that Olsson had hold of the back of Per’s shirt and was pulling him backwards at the time. Or let’s not mention Mulumbu clipping Jack’s heals from behind which should’ve been a yellow card but was nothing more than a foul.
    As Tony wrote in the article let’s just mention what you want too.

  3. No doubt Santi will be called a diving foreigner for the rest of his career and probably into retirement, just like Bobby P was. Of course, players like Young and Bale get a bit of grief for a week or so then it all blows over, what with them being British and all. Yeah, it was a dive, but to be honest, I couldn’t really care less about that right now. The team have been in a massive hole for the past few weeks and we needed something to lift us, a “free” goal has, lets be honest, something we didn’t get all last season, so, in the scheme of things, we’re probably due a few decisions in our favour. Does that make it right? No. Do I care? No.

    What is interesting is the lack of the negative commenters yesterday and this morning. I suppose after a win, with a very positive performance and the team seemingly pulling itself out of its slump, it’s very difficult to spread the negativity. Certain commenters who are planting the seeds of discontent are conspicuous in their absence, no doubt with an excuse of having better things to do, anything being better than watching Arsenal at the moment.

  4. A lot of media comment has been about West Brom being “disappointing”.

    This is intended to diminish Arsenal’s win. It also reflects the media’s own disappointment at being denied another opportunity to celebrate the continuing “crisis” at Arsenal.

  5. @ Wombledin… should watch the game again.

    Cazorlas dive was a joke….BUT if we look at the way Ried slashed at him, good he went down. We dont want another Ramseyesque injury.

  6. BUT lets not take away what players deserve. A very good performance, I would say. Still a bit more to look forward to, but on their way back.

  7. No doubt Santi will be the subject of a hysterical campaign, with calls for a lengthy ban (remember the Eduardo incident?)

    His conduct is plainly unacceptable because he is not Rooney, Gerrard, Young, Bale, or any other British player who “anticipates” a tackle and uses his “intelligence” for the benefit of his team.

  8. penalty or no penalty. don’t care…. we have had too many doggy once against us. 3 points on the board and that should give us the confidence back. as for diaby although he is brilliant players [when on the pitch] he far too often off it.

  9. Actually, I just saw another replay in super slow motion, and it’s obvious that Reid’s foot strikes Cazorla’s shin and wobbles from the impact. I take back my complaint about the “dive”…that was a hell of a kick with no chance of striking the ball, and if Cazorla hadn’t jumped, it could’ve ended badly.

  10. I wouldn’t blame the ref because at first glance it looked a nailed on penalty with Reid failing to tackle with his right foot and inexplicably flailing out his left. Why did he do that? Why?
    No doubt Santi will forever be labelled a habitual diver for this single incident, even if he never does the same again, just as was the case with Bobby and Eduardo. Yet if you are a habitual diver such as Young, Rooney, Ronaldo, Gerrard, Bale etc then there just doesn’t seem to be the same fuss. It’s as if it’s expected and we all shrug our shoulders.

  11. I watched the game on a stream, it was difficult to see if Santi dived or not due to the quality of the stream, however, the dive by the WBA german player late on in the second half was absolutely blatant and did any one mention that? It was also cut out of the extended highlights last night on sky. If Santi dived, ban him from all competitions for a month and donate that months wages to charity, but do this to every diver.

  12. oops, should have said, the lads played much much better! Gervinho still infuriates the hell out of me but at least he was sprinting to get loose balls etc. The whole team seemed to be hounding WBA players for the ball and getting it forward quick, great to see TR7 back on the pitch.

  13. Very nice article Tony. Nothing to add except my agreement with all your points.

  14. Thanks for an illuminating review, Tony.
    Arsene Wenger mentioned the keeper’s timewasting in his press conference, but, not having seen the match, I didn’t realise how bad it was until I read your article.
    Our possession figures and shots and West Brom’s are useful in getting a proper picture of the match too.
    I wonder if the goalie’s timewasting was one of the things that got the crowd fired up? We needed a fired up, partisan crowd.
    So, teams are still coming to Arsenal with the only aim being to waste time and defend. Glad they didn’t get off with it this time.
    However, it is definitely hard to play attractive football when faced with this kind of opposition.

  15. When I said West Brom didn’t get off with it, I mean from the point of view of the result. Obviously from the point of view of the ref they did. As usual.

  16. Could have been a dive, might not have been. Who cares? It was hardly a bad dive if it was one. The second penalty shouldn’t have happened as the Ox fouled the WBA player. It just wasn’t WBA’s day and anyway they looked poor. It’s a shame we didn’t put five past them, it was the least we deserved.

    As for Bale, I think Stevie E said he never gets called on diving. Well I was listening to a discussion on Radio Five and Bale was being called a serial diver, so not all parts of the English media are as biased as some claim.

  17. The press seemed to have missed how well we played against WBA ,some of the passing was back to the early days under AW.Can not wait to hear the idiot and his Daily Arsenal,with out that and his Lost his Head he would not have a program,whoops he does not have a program.

  18. After watching it again, I wonder if the interpretation of the rules could be there was intent to make contact, without the fouled player avoiding contact there could have been injury, so it was a foul. But, as Rupert quite rightly says, who cares?

  19. Tony,
    At least your Great Grandad’s chum put the frighteners on the US……………..not an easy thing to do!!

  20. A dive is a dive only if it’s a dive. Reid’s foot made contact with Cazorla’s shin and obviously wobbled after making contact. I bet Cazorla has a bruised shin today.

    And I certainly dislike diving, and if you look at my first comment, I condemned Cazorla when I thought he had dived. However, I had a good look on a HD, slow-mo YouTube clip. Watch one with special attention to Reid’s foot, not Cazorla’s shin. You might change your mind.

  21. My two pence worth on the Cazorla penalty. Its a drop dive, he conned the ref so should have been booked and a free kick to West Brom. Maybe he should receive an added caution from the FA, maybe that might be a way forward dish out yellow cards for incidents after the game that the officials have got wrong. When a player accumulates the necessary amount he wins a holiday for a match or two.
    I thought even the Ox’s impersonation of superman was a tad excessive, but funny. He gets cleaned out and on the way down looks at the linesman to claim the pen.

  22. Who cares if he dived? If football was a fair sport and fouls were penalised when they were supposed to be instead of relying on this out of date refereeing system then we can have a problem. The fact that we got a penalty for what is claimed to be a dive whilst on many other occasions (including this game) we get nothing at all for what are clear cut penalties or fouls is par for the course. Until they bring in video replays this will always happen and the majority of the time we will be the loser out of it. Lets celebrate what little opportunity we have where we are the beneficiaries of incorrect decisions by the ref.

  23. @Rupert

    Shock horror we won and you still moan and complain.

    As you say “who cares”

    You obviously don’t.


  24. So Vanper$ie wins it for the manure once again.When Per$ie was leaving i told people who said that he was always bedridden to be aware. Lets wait and see when he will get crooked and see if manure can carry on the way they are without him,but when? Thank GOOD we are getting penalties after i don’t know for how long? As always the press will crucify d wizard of OZ Kazola but i know he will stand that crap and do as he does. He is a strong man you cant believe it until you are in his sights . So lets keep the spirit high because we are going to have tough matches exactly the same like we started the league. Man$ity,Chel$ea.Liverfall,Stoke,Sunderland,Aston villa and Spunks . If we go through that hell then we will be in heaven these guys want to make sure that we are destroyed. Check out if there is any team which is f….. up as we are.

  25. @Stuart

    Agreed. I am all for fair play, but since we suffer so much from unfair and incorrect decisions it is time we had some payback.

    I am inclined to also agree with El Gringo; I could not see if there was contact or not, but AW stated that Cazorla had said that there was some contact – the no contact/dive message came from Clark/SKY Sports. However, the kick/attempted tackle from Reid was quite a wild one and it would not have taken much contact to be painful. We should give Cazorla the benefit of the doubt, all too soon he will be hounded the way Eduardo was, lets not do anything to encourage that.

  26. It looked like a penalty, then it looked like a dive…but I’ve never seen a dive where the arms aren’t lifted before the diver falls. Even Klinsman when he was at the spuds couldn’t do it. But Santi did? I’m off to that HD slo mo You Tube clip mentioned by El Gringo. Thanks for the ref.

  27. I believe reid was rather going for santi’s legs than at the ball. look how he swipes his legs. no intention of reaching for the ball. just swinging his legs hoping to touch the ball somehow.

  28. ‘Santi has a bruised shin this morning’ ?
    Only if he fell over laughing at the Ref’s decision ant hurt it himself!
    Let’s be honest about it, HD, 3D, slo mo, supertyduperty slo mo or not, a dive is a dive is a dive.
    A penalty was the thing most on Santi’s mind as he launched himself.
    Is it wrong? Yes. Is it unfair? Yes. Should we get criticism for a while? Yes.
    Do I care? Not in the current circumstances.
    Should we all be up front about it and not kid ourselves? Absolutely.
    Viva Santi! Allez Le Boss!

  29. Wasn’t it Owen who said several years ago that given the opportunity in the box to go down he would.
    Isn’t that admitting before the dive even happens that he’s going to dive?
    As commented above. No doubt it’s alright to do that if you’re English. Funny though it’s always noted that it’s the Foreigners that always dive.
    I think these days there’s so much pressure on the players to win at any cost. Most players given the chance will try and win a penalty.
    Not concerned about winning with two penalties. How many over the years haven’t we been awarded?

  30. @Stuart & bjtgooner, the problem football fans face is this, “Its our turn to get the decisions”. Now im a fan/follower of football first then Arsenal. If Arsenal ceased to exist I would still watch football, Im addicted to the poxy sport.
    You both know that the top of the sport needs instant video replays, maybe an official in each half as well. What football needs to rid itself of is this perception by fans of individual clubs that don’t care if the opposition is being hard done by. What goes around comes around attitude. The sport deserves better than that.
    We all know the powers that be have been deflecting for along time now, safe in the knowledge that most clubs/fans don’t feel the ineptitude of the current system on a regular basis or as frequently as Arsenal has. We need officiating and players to not “bring the game in to disrepute” through ineptitude or gamesmanship.
    Whether it be the Cazorla incident or any other player involved from any club is not the point, the point is the mentality within the game and nothing being done about it.

  31. It doesn’t like playing here, it keeps freezing. The frame rate is not high enough, which was written about last season for replay uses. I don’t see impact on Corzola’s foot or leg. But what seems to be briefly there is the image of Reid’s left foot being rotated counter clockwise by about 90 degrees from facing forward.

    The end of the URL is watch?v=VwO1djinl0A

    One would hope the video that Wenger can watch is at a higher frame rate, and hence may be conclusive. I doubt we ever get to see it though.

  32. Well Adam, what is it they say again? Something like ‘it all evens out in the end’ I wonder how many penalties we are due and if we will get them all this season.

  33. Well Stuart, Its a ridiculous notion in the first place “it all evens out”, if that was the case all teams would have the same points the same goals scored and conceded, same free kicks, you get the point. While your predicting the future could you please pick six numbers between 1 & 49 and let me know.
    Football deserves all decisions to be correct we have the technology we need the mentality. Not fans being happy benefiting from wrong decisions.

  34. Some of he AAA are trying to use different names and mail addresses to get on the site… 🙂

  35. Just the usual abuse you know. All players we bought are shit apart from one, the manager is useless, well you know the usual stuff…

  36. @Adam

    As I posted above, I am all for fair play and I don’t want our players to cheat. I expect Arsenal to be above that. When the players from other teams cheat I want them to be punished.

    However, it will never be a fair system under the present ref set up, so, without judging the Cazorla penalty, if we get some fortune after several years of being ripped off by bad decisions then I will gladly accept the fortune.

    As you rightly point out we need the introduction of technology; to achieve that we need a change of attitude from those who are strangely protective of the present system.


    The AAA were hoping we would lose & then they planned a further propaganda campaign. It is interesting the double talking agitator Doublegooner has been quiet on this site and we have had only one rather pathetic post from the rupert so far. It is good to know that some of the other AAA scum are being prevented from posting. Incidentally, I have noted a lot of the AAA are now more openly declaring themselves pro the fat Russian – looks like there is some sort of tie up – as long suspected.

  37. @Bjtgooner, did you notice that some of the Chelsea fans were having a “we want our Chelsea back” campaign? Must be a Russian thing too….and which Chelsea do they want back…..

  38. @robl

    Yes I noticed the Chelsea campaign; that one is I think more “off the cuff” than the Arsenal equivalent – which is more established. Unfortunately some shadowy figures seem to be involved in the Arsenal (or more correctly the anti-Arsenal campaign).

  39. @robl
    Probably Ted drakes’s chelsea – you have to be pretty old to remember it but the last time they won anything fairly

  40. What the dive versus penalty argument conveniently overlooks is the referee’s and linesman’s proximity to the event and his ultimate responsibility to make the call. He saw a split-second event from a much closer viewpoint than any of us could have and he called it, rightly or wrongly. By awarding a penalty he clearly felt that Cazorla was fouled and not trying to simulate, so according to the Laws, his decision is correct and final even if it isn’t according to AAA’s and ITK Fantasy Football ¨experts¨ who probably never set a foot on a pitch in the role of official. Was it harsh on WBA…definitely BUT we outplayed, outscored and out classed them all game….enough said.

  41. We all agree that Cazorla went down, very very easily.

    BUT we miss a few things here.
    – Cazorla was anticipating a challenge.
    – Reids slash, a rash one at that.

    we were lucky to get the penalty….but for Cazorla staying on his feet would have been costly had Reid been an inch closer..

  42. Were there many black scarves outside or inside the pitch ?
    I was initially apprehensive ( yeah right !) when I thought I saw many in the crowd waving them until I realised that it had also white in them and WBA play in those colours !Phew !
    Only after that was I able to sleep well !
    And I suppose many others must also have had a good night’s sleep as well, as we have got ‘ our Arsenal ‘ back !
    WOO HOO !

  43. Was it only me , or were there other like minded Arsenal fans who were happy to see Everton win and stay above us ? And we were pilloried for drawing at Goodison ? The look on AVB’s face near the end of the game was priceless !
    Oh , and I slept well on Sunday night too !

  44. @Brickfields

    I am not happy with Everton above us, however, that is far outweighed by the Spuds losing and dropping points!

  45. For the moment I can stand Everton being above us. 😉

    The way the spuds lost the game in not even 100 seconds was magnificent. I even felt sorry for AVB for a moment…

  46. Lately we can only beat if we are being helped by the referees. The way the team is playing is disgraceful.

  47. How is it that we have so meekly accepted the sale of Robin to Man U? If anybody needed proof of the lack of ambition of the wretched regime it must surely be Ivan’s cash-in on a ‘declining asset’. I said at the time (when it seemed he was going to City) that it was as good as giving them the title on a plate. Instead Ivan gifted it to Man U. Robin (with a little help from Clichy and Nasri) made the difference in the game today. AND WHAT A GULF IN CLASS TO WHAT WE SAW YESTERDAY! (Jack excepted)

  48. I am curiously heartened by the number of people saying they don’t care about the dive/non-dive of Cazorla. We are starting to support the Arsenal and starting to be grateful for the victories earned or not instead of just assuming we are going to win. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t want Arsenal to be in 7th position. And, my idea of a good game is to be up 5-nil at the half and then to gradually pull away. But, my take on the rancour and confusion that surround the club is that we are still experiencing a hang-over from the invincibles when things seemed so easy. Now, more supporters are coming down to earth and supporting the club and cheering our lesser accomplishments, too.

  49. Derek,
    I think RVP gifted himself to MU. He was in the driving seat. Not Arsenal. He wanted out and apart from not playing him we could only accept the money. Player power. Good or bad, it is how things are for the moment.

  50. i cant believe there are people taking the side of that prick and attack their club for him being a total twat. He is the one who wanted to go, not Ivan not PHW and certainly not Wenger. He acted like an utter prick and disrespected not only the management of the club and his team mates but also stabbed the man who made him who he is today in the back. I know there are reports saying he changed his mind toward the end but im sure its nothing but PR.
    Attacking the club just because of that twat is highly idiotic

  51. Unlike many i blatantly refuse to self harm myself and go into depression mode no matter how many he scores because honestly he is not worth it and he can take his goals along with that statement of his up where the sun doesn’t shine.

  52. @ Derek, wretched regime? People who want to make sure Arsenal are around for the long term, and are waiting to see what happens with such a potential ( yes, I don’t know if it will happen either) game changer as FFP? I thought wretched was more Rangers and PR’s Leeds, Portsmouth, Blackburn etc, but hay, never let facts get in the way of a good soundbite.

  53. @Mahdain & robl

    Well said. I think the derek is rewriting history, he has conveniently forgotten that the traitor would not sign his contract – and then used that “forgetfulness” as the basis for an attack on the club, what a plonker.

  54. @Madain
    I agree, except…

    A quick look at the papers suggests that the sun DOES shine…

  55. The WBA game was a half leap forward with much better movements than what we have seen lately, but, the passing pace is still much too slow and there are too many simple and unforced errors. The team gives an impression of being unfocused so despite the win, we have to do much better than this.

  56. Only skimmed the comments but how does a post about AFC vs WBA decend into discussion about RVP/ board ambition blah blah blah. Seems there are some people that just constantly want to have a pop. For the record – a bad dive but I don’t care because Arsenal won. We all know how to stop diving its just the authorities who are too chicken shit to do anything about it.

    I love the way Untold tries to be positive and get behind the club – yes things are bad but the constant negativity in the ground and online is doing more harm to Arsenal than the preceived shortcomings of the board/manager/players

    Keep it up.

  57. @Woody, you’re bizarre.

    @bjtgooner, you probably think this AAA phantom menace is lurking under your bed, you probably check every night.
    Conspiracy theorists can’t wait for someone to create an imaginary threat so they can use it to feed their paranoia.

    @Adam, I agree about your stance on diving. I was a bit flippant in regarding Cazorla’s suspected dive. I have to say I thought there was minimal contact but it’s really hard to tell.

  58. If Cazorla did dive then it saved him from a broken leg for the intended tackle had that intent, that is why the penalty was given.

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