By Walter Broeckx
For those who don’t like me to say : ‘we told you so’, please stop now because in this article we will say: we told you so. So after this warning you can read further but don’t complain about it.
When the game started we knew that a draw would keep us top of the league. If that affected the players I don’t know but it seemed that we started slow compared to other games. I also have the impression that the WBA pitch is a bit smaller and shorter than the pitch we are used in the Emirates and our fluent passing game was not really to be seen at the start.
Those who want to suggest that WBA are a crap team can ask the opinion of the MU supporter. They will probably say that WBA are crap but that didn’t stop them from winning at OT just a week ago. Arsenal had to play 90 minutes of CL football in midweek and that could have affected the legs a bit but for some strange reason it affected us more in the first half than in the second half.
Losing Ramsey was not what we wanted of course. Our on fire and in form player of the season start was clearly having some problems early in the game. Because my stream in the first half was rather blurry and stopped a few times I couldn’t see what really happened to him but it was clear that he was having some physical problems. But I cannot say that this was down to some kicking from the WBA players.
So we weren’t as good as we can be. WBA were harassing us (no problem with that tactic) but I did noticed other things that are forbidden in my law of the games book. But the ref seemed to have only one team on the field that could commit fouls. But more on him later. You know the bit were we will say: told you so.
The goal from WBA was a rather disappointing goal to concede. We lost our organisation after a corner and allowed Yacob too much space to head at the first post. Psychological a great moment for WBA to score and a bad one for Arsenal to concede. It would be a big test from now on.
Anelka had the chance to make it 2-0 just after the interval but he somehow stepped on the ball. That was a lucky moment. But after that we pressed them back and fought back on character. And that is all I ask from the players. Sometimes things don’t work out on the field ( a little bit of we told you so played a bit of a part I think) but if the players go for it and do their best then that is all I want and can ask.
Wilshere was like an outlaw on the field and I mean this as a person who was not allowed to go in to any challenge or being called back for a foul but on the other hand could be pushed, pulled, kicked without that the ref would give a foul to Arsenal. But this same Wilshere scored a vital goal for us. His shot took a slight deflection on Olsson and ended up in the back of the net.
After that Arsenal went in search for the winning goal but the few chances we had weren’t converted. Maybe we missed a fit Ramsey to make it happen? It was Arsenal pressing and WBA looking to score on the counter. So it remained tight till the final whistle.
I can live with a point at WBA to be honest. And given the circumstances I even feel happy about it. WBA are a difficult side at the Hawthorns and even away from home can cause some upsets. Remember last week. I feel a bit disappointed because our winning run came to an end but it had to happen at some point in time. And on the day that the spuds lost 0-3 at home to West Ham suddenly our result isn’t that bad at all. It just is another example on how open the PL has become and how difficult it is to win a game this season.
Now we come to the told you so part. I remember that from time to time people come on here and use all kinds of words to describe the work we did with the referees. We are named paranoid, whiners, idiots. But on days like this I sit here with a double feeling. The feeling that all we did over the last seasons is not something that fans of other teams can brush aside as biased or irrelevant.
In his referee preview and I thank Adam for his great work on this so far this season we predicted what kind of ref Mason is and probably would be. And if we have to give our referee preview a score from 0-100 on accuracy I think we scored around 150. All the work we have done in those years has given us a big database and we can predict how refs will do their game. As we did today. Or better said like Adam did today.
I think that when we expose those refs for what they are and when they keep on doing their thing as we predicted at the end all you doubters can do is accept that what we did at Untold Arsenal was spot on.
The only thing that is missing is that the media keep on ignoring our work and our numbers. And I feel they will brush it under the table until someone really pulls off the lid of the sewer and comes out with the truth. So I feel great about the fact that our referee reviews work has lead to us being able to predict such things at a regular basis. But I also feel sad that others will only accept the findings of our work when it kicks them in their private parts.
And I feel sad that having such refs like we had today will one day lead to another Eduardo, another Ramsey, another Diaby, another Gibbs, another Sagna (twice). And on the day that happens I will have to write once again: we told you so. But I will not be happy at all that we will be proven right once again. But I know it will happen. With refs like Mason and some others (Probert next game maybe?) it will happen. Maybe they will listen then?
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