Only the blind cannot see… if we punish Jack for a mistake, shouldn’t we punish refs too?

By Walter Broeckx

Jack Wilshere has been a naughty boy. And the people from the FA want to punish naughty Jack. Jack has shown his finger towards the City crowd and well…that is something you cannot do. So the fact that they will probably ban Jack for one or two matches is down to him not being clever enough.

I have had similar moments in some matches when the crowd is getting on the back of a player and spouting the most awful things towards his head. And sometimes it can get too much for a player and they might react in a the wrong way.

When I see a player losing it and I am near to it I try to calm him down as a ref or referee assistant. I try to tell them to not react to the provocations from the people and ask him to be smarter than the lunatics behind the fence. So far it usually has helped.

Apparently nobody was close enough to Jack to calm him down at the time and thus his inappropriate reaction. If you make a mistake, you will pay the price. And I have no problem with that. Keeping a cool head is also a valuable asset for any sportsman and Jack clearly is not yet that far in his career to understand that completely.  At the age of 21 we all have made mistakes. And in that view Jack is not different than the average 21 year young person on earth. You learn by making mistakes as they say in my country. I think Jack is still learning.

And the lesson to be learned is to never react to the crowd with gestures. You don’t want to enrage football crowds and cause trouble in the stands.  So provoking the supporters from another team is not done. And should be dealt by the authorities. And they seem to have a go at Jack.

But there have been other events that looked similar to what Jack did.  Events where players tried to provoke real crowd trouble. In the same stadium Adebayor ran the whole length of the pitch to celebrate a goal he had scored at the other end of the field in order to cause all kinds of trouble with the away supporters.  Later Adebayor got a 3 match ban…but not for him provoking trouble but for kicking Van Persie in the face in that match.

But in essence I have no real trouble with the fact that Jack could get a suspension. IF and there is a big IF the same goes from now on for all and everyone.  But where do we draw the line? Is putting a shushing finger to the crowd after a goal also a provoking finger?  For some it might be. So will we now start to punish every player who does this? We might get a few bans then.  Not that I am asking for such bans to be honest. It just might be that the FA is opening a can of worms now.

But coming back to being punished for your mistakes as that is likely to happen to Jack (maybe already has at the time of publishing) we should also consider other things.

Let us consider referees making mistakes. Now surely a referee can cause crowd trouble by making mistakes. And it doesn’t even matter if these mistakes are honest or not. People might lose it because of a ref decision that is clearly wrong. And they can cause all kinds of troubles in the stands amongst supporters. Supporters can start throwing things on to the pitch to show their discontent to the ref.

So what will the FA do when refs make mistakes? After all the Jack finger didn’t cause riots, but could have. But what with ref mistakes that could cause riots? Will they also call the ref and ban him from matches? And what when he actually causes riots? Will they then punish the ref?

Let us assume Jack made a mistake. An honest mistake. Something he might have regretted a second after he made his gesture.  The FA will ban him for this. But what with the ref his mistake (maybe even dishonest?) will he get a ban for his mistake? We know the answer of course. They will do nothing. And yet his mistakes can cause maybe even more problems in the crowd.

So I would have no problem with banning players for mistakes as long as it goes both ways. In a match that was filled with referee mistakes (around 21 of them all against one team) we make a big problem about one player his mistake and ban him. And the ref who made 21 mistakes and some of them vital and important mistakes will see no problem and faces nothing.  The balance is not right there I think.

On the internet I found this picture. And it sums it up quite well. No problem with Jack being banned or cautioned but please dear FA do something about the persons who made more important mistakes than Jack did.  Letting players go unpunished for almost breaking a person his leg. Or cancelling out valid goals for not being offside.

Blind eyes

But we all know what will happen with the referee and his assistant of course: nothing. They can carry on screwing teams season after season with no punishment at all.

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52 Replies to “Only the blind cannot see… if we punish Jack for a mistake, shouldn’t we punish refs too?”

  1. Walter,

    I don’t know what you are going on about but raising the middle finger is worse than dishonest/incompetent officiating any day. All that the poor officiating has done is caused a team to lose points and their tens of thousands supporters to suffer the emotional pain. On the other hand, can you imagine the turmoil being suffered by those braying Man City fans for which the flip was directed? Many of the children watching at home are now damaged for life by Jack Wilshere’s action. I recall hearing the word “fuck” as a little boy; I know how that unbleeped incident ruined my childhood and turned me to the foul-mouthed name-caller that I am today. Those children, however, know that referees’ failings are just part of the game even if all their errors only favour one side. Our children and prudish adults can live with injustice as long as no one uses foul language or make obscene gestures in the course of carrying them out.

    I think that this is what we get from a society that prioritises manner of expression over their substantive contents.

  2. not long until there are no ref’s and its all done by computer.

    well hopefully. I’m fed up of every football TV and Radio show talking about a referee decision deciding a game over the weekend.

  3. Well said, Walter.

    You’ve put the case so well.

    However, there’s no fairness from the football authorities. I see the whole thing as typically anti Arsenal. I mean – look how much coverage there was about Wilshere smoking a fag outside a nightclub! Look how much trouble Rooney got into for his latest punch on an opponent. (A yellow card, and that was only to make sure he didn’t receive the correct punishment. And he’s done it, and got away with it before).

    The pictures in this article show what Arsenal’s opponents can do anytime they choose, whether it be dangerous play/injurious tackles, or biased reffing.

    Serves you right, Arsenal. How dare you do everything in a classy way – not cheating, and not spending £££’s millions to buy the favours of refs and other footy organisations.
    Who does Arsenal think they are – building a new stadium – on time and on budget – from their own money. We’re not having that! We’ll show you…

    And they continue to do so. ****ing relentless! ****ing bias.
    And it’s all backed up by the meedja.

    Game after game, year after year, Arsenal’s players are assaulted on the pitch and ridiculed in the press and on TV. It’s fair game (Not).

    Them lot will never stop me supporting Arsenal, but if Arsenal start acting like them lot, I may abandon my love for football.

    Thanks for this article, and please be sure to keep pointing out the utter shite showered upon this wonderful football club.

  4. Those are the very issues we come upon whenever we are proving to be champions so expect even more shit.
    We just have to stand up and be men, we also please need to shot form afar carzola ,ramsey ,rosicky and the rest we are the gunners lets shot all of dem down.

  5. Those who laugh at what bootoomee suggests do so at there own peril. I too as a young boy once heard that word and now as an adult that’s all I want to do?

  6. If Jack gets banned could the crowd on Monday when the teams come out all show their finger to the referee and the FA and maybe sing: “you can stick your f*cking ban up the a**”

    Or stick up the fingers when Dean does his usual trickery?

  7. I don’t genuinely condone it but perhaps one of our players should ‘do a Toure’ on Ramieres on Monday – I say Ramieres because he IS that sort of player, everytime I watch Chelsea he ‘does’ someone.

    I would be very interested to see what happens if one of ours puts in such a reckless tackle. Then when the inevitable FA charge comes up we should sue the pants off the FA for double standards.

    Then perhaps… just perhaps things migth begin to change.

  8. Here’s the fundamental flaw of your argument Walter. You’re comparing apples and oranges.
    Wilshere’s “mistake” of flipping the crowd was one of conduct while the ref’s “mistake” was one of incompetence – most would say.

    No one is suggesting Wilshere should be punished for making bad passes and loosing the ball which is probably more similar to refs blowing a call , if you assume the game is “clean” that is.

    If you are of the opinion the game is fixed, Atkinson’s performance only reinforces your believes and it’s a different conversation all together now.

    That said, I agree with you there should be consequences for referees who make score altering mistakes. Unfortunately football is run by shady characters who prosper in the absence of any transparency ,PGMOL included.

  9. The font,

    I’m glad(?) it’s not just me 🙂 . We need to protect our children and prudish adults from foul language and obscene gestures.

    This reminds me of a set of polls that I saw not too long ago. Over 70% of British parents lie to their children but more than 80% of the same sample would not use foul language before their children or allow them to use swear words. Sadly, the poll did not show the overlap of these 2 figures but mathematically, at least 50% lie to their children while simultaneously using only the ‘proper’ language to do so.

  10. Walter,

    Sadly, I won’t be at the Emirates on Monday but I’m always in favour of giving the middle finger to the Riley boys. Oh, I like it and they’ve earned it.

  11. Tom,
    after watching and analysing the refs and Atkinson in particular it is a way of conduct for them/him 😉

  12. @TommieGun

    I can imagine the reaction if Arsenal did that. They’d probably have the players and Arsene burned at the stake.

  13. Hi, there is one thing we could do to embarass the bloody FA
    Everyone of us file complaints with the FA association and flood there mail server.Each one of us at a specified date send tens of emails to the fa and complain about their fraudulous attitude.
    We will show them that we can embarass them if they penalise the club with their bias attitude and the more we embarass them the more the press will need to cover the issue and the more we can show how the FA is cheating our club . So please, distill this message to all fans and lets all make tens of complaints to the FA. then we can follow by shooting a finger to the ref each time he makes a biased decision.
    The other day i read that someone said the mistakes the ref makes may usually be ‘honest’ mistakes. This is not true because these ‘honest mistakes’ are all in favour of other big teams facing AFC.
    Lets do something, to show the FA that they need to behave properly.

  14. If Jack is banned , he should just give the finger to the FA and withdraw from the England team to the WC .
    He could follow in Miley Cyrus shoes and start a twerking dance with a giant middle finger – only he should do the Saturday Night Live dance moves !
    And like Walter suggested ,somebody start getting to work on those giant middle finger cut outs for Monday night’s game !

  15. True Repentance?
    John: “Jim, why are you going round town telling everyone that I’m an idiot?”
    Jim: “Very sorry Jim. Didn’t realise it was a secret.”

    Invitation Declined
    John: “Where did all the fleas go, Jim?”
    Jim: “Search me, John.”
    John: “Prefer not to, thanks all the same. Jim.”

  16. The Middle Finger

    Once upon a time there was this little Italian boy in the fields with his father. Looking at his dad’s hands, the boy says, “Papa, you do many things with your hands, tell me about your fingers.”

    “Wella Tony,” Papa said, “You seea this first finger? You use a dis a one to point a to whata evea you wanna to. You see youa thumb? You usea disa for turna pages in a book, and your ringa finger, you will use whena you get a married, and your little finga, you use to picka you nose. And the middle finga, well, I’lla tella you about thata one when youa getta married.”

    Little Tony was satisfied with that and time past. It was now Tony’s wedding day. It was a beautiful wedding and just before he was leaving with his bride, Tony went to have a talk with Papa.

    Tony said, “Papa, many years ago you told me to use this finger to point at what I want, to turn pages with my thumb, to pick my nose with this little one, and to put my wedding ring on this one, but, Papa, what is it I do with this middle finger?”

    Papa drew close to Tony and said, “Tony, tonighta you will makea mad hotta love to youa woman many times, and youa may getta tired. When thatta happens, and youa woman turns to you an wanna makea da love againa, that’s when you takea your middle finga and you poka on her head and say, ‘Go back to sleep youa silly woman!'”

  17. Origin of the Middle Finger- a history lesson ,from….

    The French, who were overwhelmingly favored to win the battle, threatened to cut a certain body part off of all captured English soldiers so that they could never fight again.
    The English won in a major upset and waved the body part in question at the French in defiance. The puzzler was: What was this body part?
    The body part which the French proposed to cut off of the English after defeating them was, of course, the middle finger, without which it is impossible to draw the renowned English longbow.
    This famous weapon was made of the native English yew tree, and so the act of drawing the longbow was known as “plucking yew”.
    Thus, when the victorious English waved their middle fingers at the defeated French, they said, “See, we can still pluck yew! PLUCK YEW!”

  18. I note the PGMOL is funded by the FA, Premier League and Football League.

    These bodies are responsible for the acceptance of poor standards of refereeing within football and especially within the Premier League.

    The continual bias shown against Arsenal by Riley’s minions is also the responsibility of these three bodies, a responsibility they have ignored. I do hope that this shirking of responsibility and the associated abandonment of the principles of fair play is tested legally and soon.

    We also have the strange relationship between the media and the three bodies – which seems to result in censored reporting or at best reporting that is economical with the truth on Arsenal matters.

    The ignoring of the potential leg break tackle by Yaya on Giroud by Akinson, Riley, the PGMOL technical review committee (if it indeed exists) and by the three governing bodies of the PGMOL and also by the media shows just how rotten the whole lot are.

  19. Dear middle finger.
    Thank you for sticking up for me.

    He he he ….thar she blows !
    I was reading about the legend of the small Dutch boy who saved Holland from flooding by sticking his finger in a dyke.
    She must have been one hell of a squirter!

    My girlfriend thinks I’m gay all because she caught me wanking while I had a finger up my bum.
    In my defence I didn’t know his hand was there when I sat down.

    Goodnight guys !

  20. It is strange world where 40,000 people can call Arsene Wenger a pedophile without sanction but one young man raises his miiddle finder and gets a two match ban.

    Sadly this strange world is the one we inhabit

  21. So a 2 match ban it is.

    And despite Suarez only getting 1 match ban for this: Suarez, 26, raised the middle finger of his left hand as he walked off the pitch following a 1-0 defeat at Fulham.

    Now I noticed that Jack did it with his right hand…so maybe the ruling is do it with your left hand is 1 match, with the right hand is 2 matches.

  22. Ban upheld. Twice the length ban for same offence as Suarez. Precedent set, unless of course Rooney does it,

  23. Mandy Dodd,

    How dare you bring Rooney into this? The saviour of the English national team? The one that the FA sent a delegation to reduce his 3 match ban for a petulant kick? The one who has sworn at the officials more than any other player in the premier league era with little repercussions? You know, Wayne Rooney?

    Oh sorry, I thought you meant a different Rooney 🙂

  24. I know this is a little off topic, but i would love it if you guys would do an article about the impending charges etc that Barca and Real are gonna get from getting illegal help from their country and unpaid taxes. Does anyone know what fines they could face and how much they owe? Is it me or is this the beginning of the end for their stranglehold over other clubs, i mean surely they wont be able to afford to tap up all of the talent now since they will up to their neck in crap and debt.

  25. People might hold a banner up saying FA = Fuck Arsenal
    and PGMO : Professional Game Mafia Organisation

    just an idea of course…If anyone can come up with an idea for PL feel free to ad it

    PL= Premier Lurk or something?

  26. Sorry Bootoomee, I would if I could remove my almost blasphemous post!
    If jack is really pissed off with this, recommend he hits the FA where it hurts , withdraws his services from an international team doomed to fail

  27. Strange that he got a 2 match ban. The club actually brought up the Suarez incident, trying to reduce his ban to just 1 match, yet the FA still hit Jack with a 2 match ban. I find that insane. Have they justified the extra match? How does the club tolerate this? Why are so many parties in the EPL so desperate to derail Arsenal? Why can Rooney kick and elbow people as he pleases without retrospective bans? Why can Yaya commit leg-breakers without retrospective bans? Why did Song (while still at Arsenal) get a retrospective ban for far less dangerous stamp?
    EPL is rotten, I’m convinced. I think Arsenal is not playing ball with all the shady sh!t that goes on, and we’re repeatedly punished for it. Our upcoming sequence of refs is the beginning of a concerted effort to pull us back and give the money teams a chance.

  28. “Our upcoming sequence of refs is the beginning of a concerted effort to pull us back and give the money teams a chance.”
    Middle fingers, red cards, turned backs, songs to refshite – ALL of these will tarnish their silverware and not escape the telleeee
    and give the presenter/pundits their opportunity to moralize and be exposed as the mercenary check-cashers they are. C’mon gooners – 3 matches to represent the pushback. FFS, get up, stand up.

  29. Just a couple instances showing extreme bias against Jack and Arsenal in this offense.

    1) As mentioned, Suarez gets 1 match for finger against Fulham
    2. United’s Zaha: 1 match ban for finger against Leeds
    3. United’s Gary Neville gives finger to City’s Tevez: FA is still investigating since nothing was charged to him.

    FA being the joke of an organization they are.
    I’ll toss in one for PL.

    PL = Priorities Lost

  30. Or how about holding/unfurling a banner saying “Four offsides”, am pretty sure.some cameraman will zoom in on that and provoke the commentators into talking about it.

  31. C4
    Absolutely agree, we are getting reeled in. Expect some blatant officiating in our next 3 matches, to derail our momentum. My concern is players like Ozil might start thinking they’re fighting a lost cause, affecting their overall performance and positivity. We can see the players are getting affected by this already; this incident with Jack as well as the little ‘spat’ between Per and Ozil. It can’t be a good thing for players to approach a match with a mentallity of why bother turning up if it’s not going to matter even if I put in 120%. And we can’t blame the players for feeling that way, given what we’re seeing.

    Atkinson should be exposed, he is slowly becoming as bad, if not worse than mike dean for us. He screwed us against Chelsea last year, and now this. Unfortunately I can’t be there on Monday but we need to start taking some kind of action. We can’t leave this to guys who are at the stadium only, or say Wenger should warn his players against certain refs(sorry but this line is starting to irritate; if every man and his dog knows we get shafted by refs how naive can we be to think the players, who get stamped on day in day out without any action being taken but are instantly punished the second they put a foot wrong, aren’t aware of it?). Of course they are fully aware, more than you and I, but the biggest problem is this political correctness thing and the unwillingness to be seen as sore losers, whingers, etc.

  32. Just to add, we can’t ask our players not to make certain tackles when certain refs are around, without reducing them to virtual bystanders. It doesn’t matter, they’ll still get punished, the refs punish us for the most minimum of contact that if committed by other teams won’t even be deemed worthy of a second look.

    With regards to taking action how about writing to the sports minister asking him to investigate. If we keep writing they might do something about it, Shawshank Redemption style. Or start a petition and collect a million signatures or something.

  33. AL,

    There should really be tens of banners of this kind, each one reminding of an incident. Maybe this could be a solution to stirring the pot.

    47 wrong goals.
    72% incorrect red cards.

    Walter can add more:)

    I’d gladly sign a petition too. And I’m sure many others would.

  34. I think bob is right, we need to get the crowd to expose these guys to the point where its impossible to ignore it. The media will try and pretend it’s not happening at first, but the whole world will be watching and they’ll be forced to do something about it. I’m outraged, to be honest – this 2 match ban is really a bloody joke. To top it off, fans of rival clubs are actually gloating at this injustice, too stuck in their short-sighted, tribalist hatred for Arsenal to see that we’re fighting for the good of football as a whole.
    I’m of the opinion the time for political correctness is over. If banners saying spend some f*cking money can make into the stands, then we should be able to deal with these refs and the FA in a similar manner. This is far more important than spending some f*cking money.
    I urge anyone going to the games to carry a red card, and we need to make up a chant for the refs too. This chant should continue all game long, we can’t allow it to be some fleeting occurrence that the media gloss over as usual. If the British media choose to ignore it, the rest of the European press will pick up on it. Let’s get Operation Red Card going. Refs should know that every time they do one of our games, they’ll be under heavy scrutiny the world over. If you visit any blogs other than Untold, spread the word.

  35. Just remember when things don’t go as planned for the team, we are up against bent refs, bent authorities, other teams playing the game, a biased media who may well be in on it all and an AAA too thick to see what is really going on. Als point about players like Ozil losing heart is valid, he will certainly never have experienced anything like that at Real.
    We must back the team at all costs, and I just hope the club are doing all they can to fight this. Jacks two match ban is proof of what we are up against, the next time an England player …such as you know who does that, it will be swept under the carpet.
    On Monday, expect rotational fouling, Ramirez leg breakers, wrong offside calls and plenty of set pieces and even the odd penalty for Chelsea to gain the points.
    The club must stand up to this at all costs

  36. Not only the blind cannot see…if you close your eyes, you surely won’t see too. We are not blind and won’t close our eyes. Let Operation Redcard start on monday.

  37. “If jack is really pissed off with this, recommend he hits the FA where it hurts , withdraws his services from an international team doomed to fail.”
    So true, and yet, they’ve drawn a line for Jack. If he does what we’d want him to do, they’ll destroy him as an Englander/Lion and maybe get him Shawcrossed in an upcoming game. Really a crossroads, imo. To accept their muzzle or to live free. Really tuff going there.

    “On Monday, expect rotational fouling, Ramirez leg breakers, wrong offside calls and plenty of set pieces and even the odd penalty for Chelsea to gain the points. The club must stand up to this at all costs.”
    Perhaps there is a legal warning that could be issued, given Ramires pit-bull devotions in the past. Documented devotions. This man is hell-BENT to be of service and has made a reputation by now of his availability as a wind-up predator. Can’t the club issue an injunction – formally? or threaten to? behind the scenes? or in public? Anything but after the fact? I know it’s preventive and pre-emptive, but a ref-abetted moment of mayhem from him and it’s curtains for our next Eduardo, Diaby, Aaron… Is it not illegal to willfully and wantonly destroy and devalue commercial property? Aren’t our players’ contracts commercial property? Will the club explore this? Is there even one other club who would join in such an action?

    “Shawshank Redemption style”
    or, the Shawcross Revengeance”

    ORC to defeat the orcs. Up the shire! Go Gooners! To the RED CARDS it is (if you want it).

  38. As a thought experiment: If we think of the EPL as an assembly line that turns out a desired lucrative product (ex: a 2-3 Brand competition for a trophy), then the so-called refs are factory supervisor/overseers who must engineer that product and maintain its value. Luddite actions by floor workers like Jack’s must be put down to ensure/$mooth the overall operation: on one level, his suspension brutally asserts their (league-backed and arbitrary – make it up as we go – rules) authority; which appears (as PR) to favor/protect the fans; while it tries to demoralise and (further) wound a non-2/3 Luddite contender whose final success would throw a massive spanner into the gears of the machine.

  39. Agree Bob, they may well set out to destroy Jack if he turned his back on England. Maybe he should have done what Alan Shearer successfully did after stamping on Neil Lennons head – and threaten a withdrawal from England if further action was taken, but not sure young Jack carries the same clout as a talisman goal scorer…which is what he was before he became a useless…and biased pundit

  40. I have a suspicion that the teams right behind us are willing to create an “accident” that sidelines one of our key players in the hope that we’ll be weakened and hence drop points. At the moment, I think it’s Giroud who is viewed as a key player we can’t afford to lose, so I expect him to be given the Yaya treatment a few more times in the upcoming fixtures. These are desperate times for the rich boys, and when you look at how they got their money, I wouldn’t put it past them to pay an opposition hatchet man to try and succeed where Yaya failed. Ramsey and Ozil have been subjected to a few “robust” challenges lately (Hull game comes to mind), and we all know how everyone seems to accidentally kick Jack on the ankles repeatedly when tackling him. I suspect the thought of us being top of the Premier league while top of the injury table scares them, knowing that our pacy players are now returning. So I fully expect the refs to go blind while teams try and get our injury numbers back up. We NEED the red cards at the matches people, let’s put these corrupt c*nts in the spotlight before we end up with another double digit injury list.

  41. Speaking of Rooney a few posts above.

    What ban did he get when he screamed F*** OFF right into a camera a couple of seasons back?

    That was far worse then giving the crowd the middle finger.

  42. All this is true. A two match ban is not fair or proportionate. The Riley led PGMOL continues to do all it can to derail Arsenal. As Arsene Wenger said after the Man City match, ‘The ref had a bad game.’ He said it.

    But I don’t think the team will be down-hearted after that match. I have a feeling they will be even more steely and determined to play our football and show everybody. I just get that feeling about this team, because in addition to great skill, it has grit and solidarity.

    Arsene Wenger’s view after the Man City match was that we could have won the game. We had many chances and we scored three goals against a team that had been very tight defensively at home. He sees the priority as re-establishing the excellent defensive record we had before that match.

    I feel hopeful.

  43. How about this, to the tune of Queen’s .”We will rock you “.

    Riley , you’re a big disgrace ,
    You got mud on your face ,
    Kicking our team all over the place !

    Singing ,
    We will ,we will fuck you !
    We will , we will fuck you !

    Riley ,you’ve blood on your hands ,
    You’re a big disgrace!
    We’re really pissed , and
    we ‘re waving our banners all over the place ,

    We will , we will fuck you !
    We will we will fuck you !

  44. Stop trying to position Wilshere’s antics alongside refereeing mistakes.

    Wilshere was an idiot and deserves his ban. It is high time the lad woke up and started acting a bit more maturely. He is going down the path of the typical spoiled English footballer and I hope that someone at the club will take him to one side and help him sort himself out.

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