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Howling at the moon, eating children, kicking little dogs. Newcastle/Arsenal; Tottenham/Suderland.

By Walter Broeckx

Sometimes, at the end of the season, there are so many things you want to say.  Yet it is sometimes too difficult to start writing at all. Even when we endure the most terrible losses I can usually, after swallowing the painful defeat, put myself behind my computer (actually it is sitting in front – but there is a strange idiom we use in my mother language about sitting behind) and start writing and it helps easing the pain.

But at the end of the season I want to talk about our defensive record, our attacking record, the new (last summer’s anyway) players, some painful memories, some glorious wins… And yet today I just don’t know where to start.  So right now I don’t know where I will be at the end of this article. Forgive me if it is all a bit incoherent rambling at the end.

First of all I was rather very angry at the sad little boys who run my sports channel.  During the last home game against Wigan the reporter said that they would show the teams who were in place 3 and 4 at the start of the day. That should have been Chelsea and Arsenal. But when the numerous Gooners in Belgium checked the TV guide it showed they were going to send The Totts against Sunderland and Chelsea – Everton.

So I had to go for an internet stream. And  the quality is always poorer than when I can look at my big screen TV.  So if I get anything wrong it is totally down to the stream quality.

I saw a lot of nerves by a lot of Arsenal players at first. We didn’t create much and they also were not really threatening to score a goal any time.  One could say that our defences (and theirs) were very much on top and this was turning in to a tight game. A very tight game.  But the same thing happened at Chelsea and at the Spuds their ground.

And with the defenders being on top it meant that all the strikers had a difficult game it was therefore utterly fitting that the Arsenal goal was scored by probably the best player on the pitch  – who also happened to be a defender:  Koscielny.

Funny how things can go. At first he couldn’t get a starting place in the team. Then he got a few, and messed up against City. He was heavily criticised but then started again because Vermaelen made a few errors and was dropped. And then Koscielny suddenly was in immaculate form for the rest of the season. The form we have seen the seasons before when he impressed at times while putting Europe’s most dangerous players in his back pocket.

And to remind you of another important fact: it was the same Koscielny who last season made our third goal against WBA to put us in 3rd place. It was an almost identical goal.  Smashing it in from the six yard line or there abouts. So for the second season running he made the most important goal of them all in the final game of the season.  Thanks Kos. And the Kos haters can f*ck off.   Not good enough …??

We then did what we have done ever so well over the last weeks: defend our lead. It wasn’t pretty but the only thing that mattered today was getting those three points.  I think we all were standing on our feet in stoppage time when Walcott started a run and did all and everything right…it seemed… but then to see the ball rebound of the post in to the arms of the keeper. Still some 2-3 minutes to go. Surely it wouldn’t happen now. Would it?

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Well no. Not with this new mentality that has crept in to the team. And a mentality that we kept even after losing Arteta after some 20 minutes. The Ox came in and my god I hardly noticed missing Arteta. The Ox, Ramsey they just did the job. Not the prettiest of jobs but Newcastle was just kept away from our goal for most of the time. I must say that all the talk about bringing in Coquelin, putting Vermaelen there was brushed away by the manager who put the Ox there when Arteta had to go. I hadn’t seen that one coming at all. Who did? And it worked.

What also worked was the last minutes of the game. My stream showed the two grounds where it could go both ways. The Totts were leading, we were leading but one Newcastle goal and all the hard work would be undone. And then when the final whistle went and we had done the job they showed the jubilation amongst the  Arsenal fans and the mourning  of the spuds.

And I must admit that I did have a soft heart somewhere in my body for half a split thousandth of a second… yes for that nano second I seem to feel some sympathy for the lot down the road.  I imagined in that time vacuum how it must be for all those years and yet again being on the wrong end of the table in North London.  Poor sods.

When I admitted my moment of weakness to Tony he told me that feeling sympathy for the neighbours can creep up on you unexpectedly, and you need to be careful, for the next thing you know you are kicking little dogs, eating children and howling to the moon.  My son was at my home with his two dogs (one little) but I didn’t kick it. We went for an ice cream in an attempt to stop me from eating the kids.

And as there are no clouds there was a half moon to be seen. I listened carefully.  No, no howling.  I was back in the normal world.  The moment really had gone.

And so I could enjoy the last moment with Tottenhams fans thinking Newcastle had equalised.

And I enjoyed the downfall of the spuds thanks to a great comical gif from Dogface. Now if that doesn’t bring a smile to your face… Then nothing will. Some of them fell over like a drunk in a bar.

We did it.

Again.

The most detailed study of Premier League Refs ever:The referees

The books…

The sites from the same team…

 

79 comments to Howling at the moon, eating children, kicking little dogs. Newcastle/Arsenal; Tottenham/Suderland.

  • adam t

    Walcott and Ramsey have seriously become the real thing this season and can only get better. Ox is getting there

  • adam t

    Also you to admire the boss. Every year we have sold our best players, every year we are written off in the media and every year we are up there. To come back in those last ten games is amazing. With the extra monies now, hopefully we can get a little closer to the top

  • matt

    Congratulations on your inexorable decline from a team of Premier League champions and invincibles in 2005 and Champions League finalists, to a trophyless, Manchester feeder club, wildly celebrating finishing fourth, one point ahead of a team operating on 60% of your revenue, with a significantly smaller wage bill.

  • Steve Palmer

    Morning Walter, Nice post Mate,
    I went fishing yesterday, and forgot my radio, but i did manage to listen on my mobile, the sad thing was that my phone only broadcasts FM and the only football i could tune into was the Spud game. I had to sit through the spuds game to get the updates for our match, and as you say after the games were finished i must admit i had one of those moments as well, where i felt that the Spuds had deserved more, but not at our expense, as you said the moment passed very quickly and the smile of a happy Gooner was back. Top 4 again but will we buy to challenge for the number one spot, we have the money lets get buying.

  • Thank you Matt for your most gracious and helpful comment. May one enquire of you whose fault it is that a certain other team has such a low income? May we enquire into their move to Stratford, the lack of activity on the current building front, or the fact that our neighbours have not won the league for… oh bugger I can’t count that high.

  • Mick

    Fantastic result yesterday and 4th place is fitting reward for Wenger and the squad after a succession of gutsy performances. Yes guts, that quality we are supposed to be lacking in. A lot of the media are in mourning today and finding it difficult to give anything but obviously begrudged congratulation, I thought Shearer on MOTD was going to burst into tears last night. In my ignorance I thought there may be some respite from criticism, at least for a day or two but no, talkshite this morning with A Brazil is all about spend some f*****g money, no spine in the team, no strikers etc etc, same boring rubbish.

  • nicky

    @Matt,
    You may be right about Spurs but what are they without “Diver” Bale and his piledrivers?
    When he leaves, as he undoubtedly will, Spurs will revert to a mid-table team, without any real hope of challenging Arsenal for supremacy in North London.

  • TT

    It was some time back in the last millenium Tony…..can’t quite remember when but I think we where still watching black and white television brodcasts them 😛

  • bob

    “Top 4 again but will we buy to challenge for the number one spot, we have the money lets get buying.”
    Steve Palmer,
    Indeed, that is the question. But, imo, Mr. Attwood has been consistently loathe to get out in front of club management and actually advocate for purchases, so I wouldn’t look for anything proactive from Untold on this score. I’d be happily surprised if, with more money in the till, the lament of poverty became the dream of the real challenge for top honors that you have spoken for the majority of Gunners, now tasting real hope – beyond our well deserved 4th place – after so long.

  • John Lodge

    Arsenal fans this morning must feel as warm and comfortable as biting into that thick well-done piece of buttered toast! Mmmmmmmmmm!!!!! For the Spuddies it must feel as
    warm and uncomfortable as ejaculating prematurely!!!! Ooeerrrrr!!!!!! Which is exactly what they did when luckily beating us at their place. Spuds – Know Your Place!!!

  • Shard

    bob

    I still think we’ll buy, and buy well. Money will not be no object of course, but we have quite a bit of it, which will help. The club hasn’t put out messages of us being wealthy before, the manager hasn’t mentioned a strong financial position before, there’s virtually no other reason to bring forward a part of the sponsorship money if you aren’t looking to spend (our spend on improving infrastructure and improved contracts has mostly all been done) and the players we’ve bought in the last 2 years are players in their prime, and those who we aren’t really looking to recoup a transfer fee from (on account of their age)

    The signals have been there for a while, and although I think we’re accelerating the process by one year, I think that is the right thing to do, especially because we have a team with the potential to be very very good, if we add the requisite quality to it.

  • bjtgooner

    Shard, I agree this team has a lot of potential, it is a very good base to build on. Credit should be given to Wenger for the way he has rebuilt the team after all the departures of the last two summers.

    This summer it looks as if the core of the team will stay together and provide that base to build on. We should remember that Wenger always tries to develop a team rather than buy one, but I agree with Shard that Wenger will probably buy a small number of top players this summer, in addition, we may see some of the young Guns stepping up. Overall the situation looks very promising.

  • bob

    Shard, bjtgooner,
    It is a very hopeful moment and time and it’s good to be on the same page, anticipating a leap in quality from a real foundation with lots of options. (Surely the hives of Riley have also noticed; or will, once they sleep off the libations and illictness of their Rednose XX, emission accomplished.)

  • Vc

    Definitely Arsene will buy he mentioned to attract players we need champions league footie, a few mature. players contracts will be up and some promising youngsters it’s looking rosy! Oh yeah baby! Up the gunners!!!!

  • Vc

    3 points goals shared out no man persie and a season together a few additions and untold uncovering bent refs the only way is up! Can’t wait for ref review I was shouting at the tv surely cabaye should have had 3 yellow cards! Thought was taken over as Alan poopoo thought he might see red!

  • bob

    Shard,
    Were you a betting man, would you think that Don Fungus’ Ascension will loosen the strings and leave oxygen in the room for the hopeful? Or do you think his continuance as first-among-equals in the League Managers’ org-thingy (as you mentioned yesterday) will demonstrate his continuing hold? I mean are services to the Don ever stamped “services rendered”? (Of course, were you to say he’s still around would allow me the mixed joys of repurposing him as Lord of the Strings. 🙂 )

  • elkieno

    Matt: thanks bud say it anyway you want, but yes we have agreed, my club is better than yours!
    You should educate us on what it’s like to be constantly showed up by your neighbours. Some of us including me felt a bit sorry for you, I bet you would NEVER feel sorry for us even for a nano second.
    Anyway, I watch from long way away snd it felt like for me it was the last game of my season of watching us play at crazy hours of the night. One last push till 3:30am on Sunday night, after all I expect them to play and give their all, so why shouldn’t I?
    I did and couldn’t go to sleep till 4am I was so excited/relieved!
    Downward spiral my ass!

  • elkieno

    I thought tiote should have been on a yellow at least in first half! In saying that the ref seemed ok at his job. Maybe dean would have given a penalty to them in 2nd half it was close and been given before…
    This team is learning all the time and will have good experience in pressure cooker games like the last 10 or so since losing to spuds way back then. We need to buy a top goal scorer to give Giroud a challenge like fabianski and Kos shower… How good was Giroud when he came on btw? Defended really well…
    Anyway what to do for next 3 months?

  • Vc

    @shard yeah what is song doing? Well guess that explains why he was sold!

  • Shard

    bob

    I think Ferguson was just the most visible component of it, but that in the larger scheme of things, he is relatively small fry. His power to manipulate referees ultimately, was not down to him. He’ll continue as a figurehead, but I don’t think he’s going to be very useful to anyone now. He can go on drinking and will probably seek to manipulate the horse racing scene now, unless the two Irish former owners of ManU don’t want him there that is.

    The real battle was never with Ferguson, and I think that will continue. I have said a few times that I have a feeling they will take a back seat for a season now. Too much press for their liking. They’ll allow ‘technology’ to dazzle the masses, and say how good job they are doing (as an aside this will also strengthen Ferguson’s brand. It was all down to his brilliance they’ll say) and will help the league become more marketable and fend off the Bundesliga. But it won’t continue for long even if it happens. However, if Arsenal start spending again, I expect the animosity towards Arsenal among the referees to go down a notch.

  • Cristian

    “So I had to go for an internet stream. And the quality is always poorer than when I can look at my big screen TV. So if I get anything wrong it is totally down to the stream quality.”

    you could actually display the stream from your laptop on to your bigscreen TV, you just need the right cable :o)

  • FunGunner

    Lovely article, Walter.
    I was so nervous I couldn’t watch the first half, tuned into ArsenalPlayer at the start of the second half, collapsed with relief when Kos scored, started freaking out through the following 30 mins, rocking and moaning to myself, had to switch off for the last 5 mins or so, pulled myself together and came back just in time for the final whistle.

    If the Spuds had more grace when they thought they were on top, I would have more sympathy with them now. And as for AVB, he really ought to learn the difference between “downward” and “upward”.

    A few months ago, I thought we only needed a striker – a really exceptional player, one who can provide a goal when we absolutely positively need one. I was assuming/hoping Sagna would stay – in my mind he could be the emergency CB we might need (Djourou wants to leave, I believe). Not getting David Villa in Jan was a short-term blow, but in the long run it served us well, because the team learned to rely on itself rather than look for salvation from a special player. Bringing in DV, would have been like the intervention of a deus ex machina. But now that the squad have the confidence and the team bond, we could graft a special player onto that base and make ourselves stronger. (But please, please, AW, Sagna, football gods or whoever, make Sagna stay.) Or it may be that someone already in the side will blossom into such a player. But that is still all I feel we are lacking – a get-out-of-jail-free card.

    @ Shard
    However, if Arsenal start spending again, I expect the animosity towards Arsenal among the referees to go down a notch.
    Can you expound further?

  • WalterBroeckx

    Kos man of the match with 90% of the votes.
    It’s clear now… we are a one man team 😉

  • Norm

    Absolutely fantastic performance by our defence and midfield. Kos, Rambo – top stuff. Got home late. 94 minutes of sheer tension it was. Sang myself hoarse, great to see mutual celebration between manager and players. 4th spot is amazing after the first half of the season. Now we must buy well and start in august just like this. Until the carers move in to chateau frigginson, we will not know the inside story of how one man could influence the authorities. I believe the clearout of managers will open up the mix next season and we will be in there challenging for the title.

  • AL

    I cringed when Song did that, was embarrassed for the bloke. Looking at this GIF again I think that was really fun. Honestly, did he think Puyol would do that? Dude must really have a big head. Imagine if he thought his 2 20 minute performances for barca had earned the right to lift the trophy ahead of everyone, how he must have felt about Arsenal’s indebtedness to him for his dazzling performances last season. Again, AW is proven right.

  • AL

    Walter, I agree Kos has been nothing but brilliant. And I felt he was unfairly criticized for the City performance(actually he shouldn’t have been red carded, sure any other ref than mike dean would not have sent him off). The amazing thing is he’s so small, but this guy must have a lion’s heart judging by his performances and some of the strikers he’s managed to keep quiet!

  • AL

    Know this isn’t important but does anyone also think Podolski was wrongly flagged offside in the first half?

  • bjtgooner

    @bob, Shard

    I don’t think we will need a lot of additional players for next season, two or three quality players would make a big difference. What helped us in the final push this time was the fact that we were at that stage only in one competition; the players did not get over tired and for once we did not have too many injuries, hence, we could play somewhere near our first team each match. Of course the team spirit was great.

    If we want to compete – really challenge – in four competitions we need a slightly greater depth of quality in the squad. As we all stated earlier, we have a very good core to build on and it looks as if AW has the resources to do that this summer. The future does look good just now.

    I really enjoyed the finish last night and the knowledge that CL qualification should help AW bring in the players he wants – and also to bring the present team some reward and acknowledgement for the way they fought this season. I am not surprised the press have minimized that acknowledgement, the headlines were probably already prepared in anticipation for Spuds being in the CL and had to be changed rather late.

    The AAA seem a bit muted this morning – great!!

  • bob

    FunGunner,
    “But please, please, AW, Sagna, football gods or whoever, make Sagna stay.”
    In every language: Let the congregation say Amen.

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    I’m starting to worry that we might actually sign Rooney! I’m not sure how the wage structure would work, possibly some sort of signing bonus and a loyalty bonus at the end of each season.

  • Slysoulman

    Fun Gunner:
    I think what Shard (May 20, 2013 at 10:20 a.m)means is if Arsenal was perceived to have stopped bucking the trend and behaving more in tune with conventiona wisdom we’ll start getting some favors. I always felt the axe most people – refs, press, pundits, even some of our own – have to grind with Arsenal is that we have remained close to the top despite Arsene’s reluctance to spend silly money and his demonstrated disdain for ‘stars’.

  • FunGunner

    @ Slysoulman
    May 20, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    Ah, I see. Thanks.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Al, he sure was onside by a big margin. He shot on the keeper but you could see that he had heard the whistle and lost his composure at the moment when he went for the contact with the ball.
    The assistant on that side was also the one who gave the foul against Gibbs that wasn’t a foul making Gibbs so furious he got a yellow card for dissent

  • bjtgooner

    Walter, glad you cleared up those two points, do we know who the official was?

  • bob

    bjtgooner, Walter, Adam,
    I think Adam had the trio by name…
    I hope that more attention is paid to the combinations, as Adam has long-advocated and which seems to me am irresistible way to conceal/cloak responsibility for an intended desired outcomes. I know that the ref can override a lino’s call (or non-call?), but how common is that? Walter, what do you think about this going forward (some sort of correlation of the ref’s body of work with the trio at hand – even on a spot check basis)?

  • bob

    Walter,
    So the lino/asst winds up the player and the ref cards him. quite the ploy if someone wants a game-changer? Either way, the bad decision stands with an “extra bonus” by saddling an effective defenseman with a next, “irrational” card away from sending off.

  • WalterBroeckx

    I have to consult Dogface to see if we can add the assistants to the reviews in some way.
    I think names are no problem and maybe we can even appoint the decisions to the assistants as well in some way.

    But that is something for the future. first have to finish the old season and the reviews… Still a big job ahead

  • bob

    Woolwich,
    I remember earlier this very season that Arsene did heap beaucoup praise upon Rooney, but I don’t recall the context just now. Money aside, what’s your feeling about our signing Rooney?

  • bob

    Walter,
    Just asking: Does a ref have complete power to override an assistant’s call as well as non-call no matter what? Is there any customary practice or unofficial code by which a ref will never (or almost never ever) intervene? Or is it totally situational?

    Also, do you know of any (historical) situation in which, once a game has ended, that a winning goal was overturned by the further review by the FA, PGMOL, FIFA (or any other similarly situated bodies)?

  • Shard

    FunGunner.

    I think Slysoulman (wonder where that name comes from) summed it up well. My thinking is that there must be a reason that Arsenal are treated the way they are. The financial system we operate under is the only significant difference and point of criticism that I can see. It must have something to do with the money.

  • Shard

    bjtgooner

    Agree with all you say. I’d just like to add that the injury record improving is no coincidence. Arsenal spent some %&^*ing money to do that. That’s the great thing. We’ve done all the hard work and laid all the groundwork to take the club forward. We’ve paid a lot of the loan, we’ve seen through the period of those front loaded long term commercial deals, of players leaving, of injuries and assaults on us by opposition players, refs and media alike, we’ve upgraded the infrastructure, we’ve now re-built a potentially great core of a squad and extended their contracts, and now with the new sponsorship money on its way, we can spend what we had saved up, so as to make a real impact. In the words of Hannibal Smith, “I love it when a plan comes together.”

  • bob

    Shard,
    You’ve praised the medical upgrade. It may be, and I honestly would like some specifics on it. ‘Cause when I look at Diaby, Jack and Arteta – who were all different degrees of problematic health at the start of this season, and have reached different degrees of fitness/injury at the business end, I don’t see massive improvement. For specifics, what are you seeing overall?

  • Gf60

    Sympathy for the spuds being in our proctologist’s position again Walter? No worry…refer sad spuds to the dictionary where sympathy is to be found twixt shit and syphilis.

  • WalterBroeckx

    We all have are short moment of weakness GF60… we all have them… 😉 I have sinned, I have sinned!!!! 😉

    You know that short moment makes it all the funnier later on 🙂

  • WalterBroeckx

    Bob,
    about the injury record:

    Arteta played 34 league games this term. So rather good I would say.

    Rosicky played the euros and came back injured. business as usual one could say. but sat on the bench a lot if my memory is not letting me down

    Diaby: agree. This is a bit our Ledley King I would say. The former spuds captain could almost never complete 3 games in a row and then had a slight injury. Sometimes even the best medical care or medicines cannot help a human.

    Jack his injury is still a result from his stress fracture. They operated it and put some pins in his foot which are now hurting him. I can understand it as I once had the same problem with some needles and pins in my healed broken leg but hampering me when I walked, ran for a few years. They removed them and from then on I could run again and still am (if my knees allow me 😉 ) So I am rather sure that once these pins are removed he will be much better and will be able to play even better. Bones look hard but still are rather flexible as needles and pins are not flexible. Well in my days they weren’t.

    I also think the operation on Jack was not done by an Arsenal doctor. Maybe a spud surgeon?

  • WalterBroeckx

    Bob,
    in fact the only rule is that the ref can overrule all he want during the game. He and he alone is the first and last person on the field who can do what he want. In my language they say first and last responsible person. The final responsibility is on his shoulders .

    Now if I would flag 5 times for offside and the ref would not react to it I would have a strong argument with him at half time and ask him what he is doing and if he still needs me or not. If not I would stay in the dressing room. 😉

    A ref is like God in heaven: he is the boss and can do as he likes.

  • bob

    Walter,
    In all honesty, we also were out of most competitions going into the last 4-6 weeks, right? (I don’t remember exactly when we crashed out of the last, but nothing like the prior two seasons.) So that’s another contributing factor – the time for rest and recovery – that we had considerably more of this season than in recent times. I think a truer test of our medical prowess will come when we are in simultaneous end of season competitions like some of our closest rivals. In addition, now being able to purchase or develop higher quality reserves will go a long way to help the physios/medical staff increase the quality-man hours on the pitch.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Bob,
    next season will be a big test then 😉

  • ian

    Don’t think there’s any substance in the Rooney speculation. It might be another one of Wengers ploys to get Totts to sign him.

    He is very good at talking players up, but then one of his qualities is that he never criticises players from his own or any team.

    Certainly I think Rooney’s best days are behind him and for all SAF’s faults he usually gets the timing of moving players on right. One could argue about Ronaldo with that but I cant remember anyone else leaving them and making a huge impact anywhere.

  • JohnW

    I liked the way the media has stayed a bit off our back now that we made them eat humble pie! I would like to see useful rotation next season, this more than new signings will lead to our redemption

  • bob

    Walter,
    Alright, then. We agree to agree. (hooray!)

  • bob

    John W,
    I understand quality rotations which depend on upgrading through spending, or judging – without sentimentality – that we have real quality to develop into game-readiness at the top level. What do you mean by useful rotations in contrast to new quality signings? And would you really oppose new quality signings? why?

  • weedonald

    To those who continue to claim that we sold our ¨best¨ players every year, I remind them that we kept our best and replaced our losses rather well! If the above crowd are referring to Hleb,Flamoney, Adebuywhore, Nasri, Song,Clichy, Diarra, and Toure, then my question is: How much better are Koscielny, Per, Sagna, Gibbs, Jenks, Arteta, Cazorla, Ramsey, Wilshere, the OX, Walcott, Giroud and Podolski?
    I aknowledge that Cesc and RVP were a class unto themselves but we have replaced them with a true team effort and a collective brilliance that is superb.
    What will happen if Bale leaves the Totts? Now THAT would be a serious loss….but they would be able to bring in good replacements with the money earned from his sale…..just like we did!
    Anyway, Happy St.Totteringham’s Day to all Gooners worldwide and especially to all Spuds crying in their beer now.
    Matt…..do I detect a bit of bitterness and jealousy that resembles what every Spudscum fanboy is feeling today? Please enjoy the pain, it will come again just as it has since the Dark Ages!

  • AL

    Walter @ 1:24pm

    Exactly what I thought I saw too, thanks. Thought Webb didn’t make any obvious errors, but this linesman made some strange decisions, particularly these two. It seems we have had a few games where linesmen have made some big calls against us instead of the refs lately. Would be interesting to see some stats about these assistant refs.

  • Okay as always monsieur Wenger and his butch of wanabe’s prevail. I could hear the pundit’s mourning and predicting the unpredictable if Wengers loses this one what will he say to all the travelling fans plus the directors he is going to be ashamed!!Now that is in the past the Ruperts of this world will wait for yet another season as always there are sewer rats but time comes and they have to go back to the sewers.
    So sewer rats thanx for being around and see you next season.

  • Adam

    Mike Dean took charge of 28 of the 380 Premier league games this season.

    Mike Dean worked with Jake Collin 19 times this season in the Premiership, Both are from Liverpool.

    Mike Dean worked with John Brooks 18 times this season, Brooks is based in Leicestershire

    Dean, Collin & Brooks worked together 14 times in the Premiership this season. 50% of all Deans games were with the same two officials running the line.

    Howard Webb worked with Mike Mullarkey (Devon) 19 times this season.

    Howard Webb worked with Darren Cann (Norfolk)19 times this season.

    They all worked together a total of 12 times. Webb took 30 premier league games this season.

    Sian Massey also works with Howard Webb alot.

    John Brooks is 22 years old and seems to be being fast tracked through the system, it wouldn’t surprise me to see him added to the National list of referee’s soon and in a few short years we could see him taking Championship and then Premiership games, the same for the other assistants who work alot with the so called top refs alot.

    I cannot find any other partnerships as pronounced as the two already stated.

    My guess is that these assistants are being fast tracked.

  • The font

    I would first like to thank the boss for another outstanding season and giving us true fans the equivalent of a trophy no I am not talking about 4th I am talking about finishing above the tiny tots on the last day of the season denying them champions league and totally endorsing our superior status
    Being born and bred in north london and having many tiny tots as mates it gives me great pleasure
    To agree with with the tots when they have. Pummelled me all year that this is the best tiny tots team ever and we have the worst arsenal team under wenger ENOUGH SAID

  • Adam

    Atkinson (West Yorkshire) works with Stuart Burt (Northamptonshire) alot. Last season Burt worked alot with Mike Dean.

    Peter Kirkup (Northamptonshire) also worked with Atkinson alot this season.

  • A. Stewart

    @ Bjtgooner re: “What helped us in the final push this time was the fact that we were at that stage only in one competition;” Very good point.

    @ wedonald re: “To those who continue to claim that we sold our ¨best¨ players every year, I remind them that we kept our best and replaced our losses rather well! If the above crowd are referring to Hleb,Flamoney, Adebuywhore, Nasri, Song,Clichy, Diarra, and Toure, then my question is: How much better are Koscielny, Per, Sagna, Gibbs, Jenks, Arteta, Cazorla, Ramsey, Wilshere, the OX, Walcott, Giroud and Podolski?”

    Good point too, we’ve had a pattern of selling our best players, which is a pattern that is not conducive to winning titles. However, while man for man replacements have arguably been a reduction in quality in some obvious cases, still a) We’ve gotten in good (though not great) players and b) regardless of losing quality that is needed for us to compete at the top (if strengthened alongside it) our players that we’ve kept and brought in, have generally still been better than the rest, and given our resources (wealth/wages etc.), we’ve performed pretty much where we should have…

    I.E. battling for 4th. Pretty much what most expected (myself included even when things were bad) and pretty much where we’ve been for years now.

    Based on comments here, the celebration is merited relative to the season’s start (and of course to pippin Spurs in particular to 4th). But two things about that, 1)It’s a season, not a quarter of a season or a half of a season but a full season, in the seasons prior to the last two we typically had late season collapses (as our top quality players who carried us early got burnt out), now in the last two seasons with less individual top quality, we have more early season problems, and late season rallies when there is less to play for as we exited competition prior. 2) Regardless of rivalry with Spurs and the joy at beating them, we should be aiming for bigger things and not be reduced (imo) to overly celebrating something that was not too long ago seen as a given and met with a superior air of derisory dismissal.

    At the end of the day, does it really make a difference? An early season collapse versus a late season collapse? We need to be consistent throughout, and we need quality in sufficient numbers to ensure that we can remain more consistent throughout the entire season, and to allow the team to compete on multiple fronts at a high level.

    Great turnaround to the season, just like the season before, big picture however, is the net result is the same.

    Liking the noises we’re hearing about finances and purchasing power and intent for next season, hopefully it pans out. DO we have to buy crazy like City and Chelsea? No, but we can buy some serious top end quality in 3 or 4 positions to make a serious and lasting difference, along with a more efficient use of resources and getting rid of some non-contributors, and loads of kids, loanees that have little chance of making it. Thankfully the ball seems to have got rolling on that.

    There can be no excuses for not doing the best with our resources for next season.

    I guess this is my end of season post or something.

  • AL

    Cheers Adam, those figures are quite interesting. If the said assistants are being fast tracked, then its telling that they’re being made to shadow those particular refs only. So I guess very soon there will be a few deans around. Clearly, the standard of refereeing in the premiership is going to be terrible for the forseable future.

  • bob

    A. Stewart,
    Beautifully reasoned. So let it be done.

  • AL

    I think stability, as the players got to know each better, also played a key role in the final push(at the start we had a midfield and forwards who had never played with each other). While adding a few players will be important, it could also affect stability. For instance, we already have a captain who isn’t playing as much as he would prefer and will need to be accomodated somehow. As such I don’t expect a lot of inbound movement during the summer, maybe one or two players at the most.

  • AL

    Just to add I also wish to see more new faces like most people are saying here, but suspect it won’t be so.

  • bob

    Adam,
    I realize that we’ll have to wait and see post-Fungus, but, if the old stays true to form (or perhaps, as Shard expects, goes into a period of hibernation), what you’ve found is the Dean Academy in embryo: surely (ok, perhaps) you’ve identified the gestation of worker bees in post-graduate training for (post-Fungal) services to be rendered by the Hives of Riley to the Stringpullers (identities to be surmised).

  • Ong Bing

    I can’t find the place who have data:

    – last season points
    – last season goals
    – last season conceded
    – our top scores from 1-5

    Wenger said our points 3 more than last season. Few weeks ago, I also read (in here I think) that we score goals not far from last season.

    So, this season is not bad, and good foundation for next season.

    Imagine if we have good start this season…

  • FunGunner

    @ AL
    May 20, 2013 at 7:53 pm
    Yeah, I think that’s right.

  • A. Stewart

    @ Al re: “I think stability, as the players got to know each better, also played a key role in the final push(at the start we had a midfield and forwards who had never played with each other). While adding a few players will be important, it could also affect stability. For instance, we already have a captain who isn’t playing as much as he would prefer and will need to be accommodated somehow.”

    Fair enough, and I agree stability is rather important, for the more cynical amongst us stability (in our case) may be more synonymous with stagnation however.

    I agree to an extent that stability as the season wore on benefitted the team, but I think as some have alluded to above that not being stretched in multiple competitions probably had the greatest effect for our rally, which is a good and bad thing. Good in that it allowed us to focus on closing the season strong, bad in that we didn’t have enough quality in numbers in the first place to compete on multiple fronts at the start-mid season.

    Regarding adding a few players could affect stability. What other choice is there really? We all know what we’ll get if we choose the safe conservative route, that is battling for 3rd and 4th and having a difficult time balancing that with the cups. So it’s either settle for that or take a risk. Regardless of one’s moral take on money in football, United, Chelsea and City will strengthen. Liverpool have just come through a season of transition and finished the season in very impressive fashion, and are poised to strengthen too. Spurs have been worryingly just one point behind us for the second season running with considerably less resources. We can opt for stability (i.e. the safe route) and probably stay where we are, or we can take a risk and invest.

    And it’s not as though we cannot afford to invest wisely, as there is no longer any ambiguity as to whether we have the resources to do so or not (before even factoring in using resources more wisely by cutting the cord to those draining wages), the club says so clearly.

    Ironically regarding stability, there are changes coming to the three teams above us, so there will be transition there. However, their transition will surely be mitigated in some measure with significant investment, particularly with Chelsea and City.

    Also regarding stability, there’s an argument that finally we will have a season where we don’t lose top stars and again that quite like the situation with competing on multiple fronts can point to good and bad things. Good in that yes surely it’s a good thing not to lose our top quality, bad in that as many have predicted after selling our top quality season after season, we have simply come to the point where we’ve run out. Of course that’s not to say we don’t have very good players, and POTENTIAL top quality, but we have (imo) no upper echelon players that have proven it more that intermittently.

    As I read somewhere, it’s now the perfect storm. With transition at Chelsea/City/United, and unprecedented spending power at our disposal…

    Do we decide to play it safe and stand still, or do we go for it?

    To me that’s what it comes down to, a question of ambition and intent.

  • Adam

    @A.Stewart,

    Question of ambition and intent?

    It’s been there all along, that’s why Arsenal decided to build the new stadium. I have never understood people’s questioning of Arsenal’s ambition. They are probably one of the most ambitious clubs in football. Maybe a little more patience is required but I believe we have a good chance at the league title, maybe not next season (I hope we win it) but the season after and on.

    We have been picked at by the oilers and others, but that seems to be over, so onwards we go.

    We have, undoubtedly one of the very best managers of all time not just the present, so we should be looking forward with anticipation of whats ahead. (I’m already getting the bug for next season).

  • bob

    A. Stewart,
    I find it near to remarkable that the very idea that we played significantly fewer games in the last 6 weeks and that it had a positive impact somehow vanishes in the rush to spend no money (or else be considered a witch, gloom and doomer, AAA, whatever). AW put out a message yesterday that can be “read” either way as to whether AFC will spend (“proactive”) or not (“maintain the spirit”). And so, the same stuff spins around as people try to position themselves around what Arsene says. I think some original thinking about our needs would be nice at this point as we marshal our grey matter so that AFC might decide to part with some of its green matter and upgrade ruthlessly toward the quality – in the starting 11 and on the bench – that it takes to challenge for top honors. In the current “perfect storm” – a positive one – it is no time to suffer from a failure of nerve, or a reaffirmation in the fanbase of the comforts of feeling the victim or underachieving. It is now possible to win, given the will to win and the advocacy in the fanbase to do it. This is not about saving pennies in a child’s piggy bank. That conservatism is reckless and demoralizing. I appeal to the wisdom of Mandy Dodd on this, who is my compass on such matters. Cheers, A. Stewart, for your clarity in and on this moment.

  • bob

    Adam,
    As I read it, the thrust of A. Stewart’s summation is here we are now, and do we have the ambition to move forward to a top-tier challenge. In any case, it is where I think we need to be. This continual argument about the merits or not of past policies is, imo, now a burden. It befogs the need to think about how to get to the next level; which, imo, should be the focus of our energies and dreams.

  • Adam

    Have I misunderstood? If so sorry.

  • BILL FROM MANHATTAN

    I FIND IT STRANGE THAT THE BRITISH MEDIA CASTIGATES WENGER AND OUR PLAYERS FOR CELEBRATING ON THE PITCH IN FRONT OF THE AWAY SUPPORTERS FOR OUR FOURTH PLACE FINISH. THERE IS A DOUBLE STANDARD WHEN IT COMES TO THE ARSENAL. I REMEMBER IN 2005 WHEN EVERTON DID THE VERY SAME THING WHEN THEY FINISHED AHEAD OF LIVERPOOL TO QUALIFY FOR THE U.C.L. THE MEDIA SAID IT WAS SUCH A GREAT ACHIEVEMENT.

  • bjtgooner

    @Adam

    Fully agree with your 9.58 pm comments.

    @A. Stewart

    I don’t usually appreciate your comments, mainly because you seem to self-debate in diverse directions before coming to an obscure conclusion, but one with AAA tendencies.

    Further, in your 7.27 pm comment I do not like the way you cherry picked my earlier comment and quoted part of it without the supporting qualification.

    Lighten up for a while and just enjoy the moment and our CL qualification – with all the rewards and benefits involved.

  • THE BRITISH MEDIA IS SO FULL OF SHITE. THEY CASTIGATE OUR GAFFER AND TEAM FOR CELEBRATING ON THE PITCH AFTER FINISHING FOURTH. I REMEMBER WHEN MOYES AND EVERTON DID THE VERY SAME IN 2005 AND THEY SAID IT WAS A GREAT ACHIEVEMENT. YOU SHOULD BE HAPPY TO QUALIFY FOR THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE. YOU THINK SPURS AND HARRY OR AVB WOULD BE SO SOMBER IF THEY WOULD HAVE DONE TO US WHAT WE GAVE THEM THE PAST TWO SEASONS. THEY WOULD HAVE JUMPED AROUND LIKE WWII HAD ENDED. BRITSH COACHES AND PLAYERS CAN CELEBRATE, NOT JOHNNY FOREIGNER.

  • bob

    Adam,
    I could be wrong in a split the difference sort of way, but I’d like us all to keep our eyes on the moment as it opens up ahead. I may have read this desire a little into A. Stewart’s analysis/credo, but there’s definitely a forward looking momentum and thrust to his last posting just above and I think it’s constructive and positive and a good direction for us to consider, debate and advocate in the forward looking nearest future.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Think the British media are gutted, we have put a serious dent in the hopes of teams many of them champion, wenger continues an amazing run in the top four despite all kinds of adversity, our goal keeper is accused of being arrogant, but calls it right for the second year running, kos, a player we bough not long out of league two in France scores potential forty million pound goals two years running…..quite a shrewd buy! But they really despise the fact, we are in a great position to move forward. Why shouldn’t we celebrate after all this club have been through. This season will prove a very important step in the development of this club, success is so much sweeter when so many wanted us to fail. But in the midst of our achieving forth place, I must not neglect to praise Gareth bale , an amazing player, great season, but don’t worry, I have not taken leave of my senses, nor have I been taken in by the media, the fact is, bale has what his fans would see as a dirty secret, his boyhood club were Arsenal.. And you never lose your first love….unless you are maybe RVP…as for bale who knows..he might even visit this very site!

  • maden

    When will ppl ever realise that the Epl is financially doped, unlike Bundesliga for example. Arsenal simply don’t have someone else’s money to *splash* about or even pay half of what the mercenaries at chel$ki and Etihad get. Or operate like manure, who get support from everyone, the FA, the media, the whole f***ing establishment.
    So we celebrate 4th position and champions league qualification in this context. Job well done: all within our means.

  • ARSENAL 13

    Just had a look at ESPN website, and people were going nuts about Mr Wengers “this is one of the best teams I had” comment.

    Short time as an ARSENAL supporter, have to agree, this is the best I have seen. We need a couple of players, but the spine of the team is strong….