Kick them them till they bleed: the refs new approach shows results

By Walter Broeckx

The kicking of Arsenal players that we have seen happening over the last weeks is starting to show some results. If we look at the injury league table we now have 11 players out.

Now one of them is Diaby so I will not count him as I will not count Oxlade-Chamberlain also. Because they have been out for a long time. Even though Oxlade-Chamberlain could start normal training again in one week.

But still that leaves us with 9 players who are out and who till recently were available. Worst situation is the left back position. We have two excellent left backs in Gibbs and Monreal. But alas the first one got injured against Newcastle.

And to make things worse Monreal was sick and still is not certain to have recovered enough to play a match. And to make it completely ridiculous the number 3 option at left back is Vermaelen and he also was sick and it is still very doubtful if he could make it.

Now if one of them (Vermaelen or Monreal) has recovered we should be fine at left back. Monreal my favourite option but Vermaelen has shown in the last years that when needed he can fill in over there as well. What could be another option is to move Sagna to left back and then we could put Jenkinson at right back.

Or of course we could keep Sagna at right back and play Flamini at left back. Now I know that Flamini played at left back in the year 2005-2006 more than a few times when the left back position was somehow bewitched and all and everyone playing left back got injured. Defensively this would be a good enough option as he can defend good enough. But of course we then would miss the width we have when you have a natural left footed player over there doing the overlaps.

Time will tell us if any of them makes it back from illness or not. Lets hope at least one of Vermaelen or Monreal does.

In midfield we have also a few doubtful players. Jack Wilshere is mentioned on and in the press conference as being doubtful. He was heavily involved in some kicking with Poorbert being a close bystander but not intervening.

Also Rosicky has had a knock in Newcastle. Not a surprise if you saw all the unpunished kicking from Tioté in that match.

Up front we will probably be without Giroud. No real surprise if you saw the foul on him by Williamson. Oh, he got the ball was the general opinion… but going in like that in a frontal tackle is always a foul, never mind playing the ball or not. As it could cause an injury…and with Giroud being out injured you understand why it is a foul. Or should have been given a foul but well it was Poorbert in charge so no surprises from him.

And also Theo has a little bit of a shoulder problem. And he will face a lat fitness test on the last day of the year.

So we now have a bit of a dilemma on our hands. If the 4/5 doubtful players are passed fit and can play we should be fine for the Cardiff match. But then again playing a player already carrying a knock can cause further injury. And we do have another important match to play next Saturday. A match no Arsenal supporter want to lose. Not even if it would be for the Tollington league cup.

Not playing them against Cardiff and keeping them on the bench or rest them for that match on Saturday might be an option but then we have to make sure we don’t forget to win our match against Cardiff. And as we are top of the league I think the Cardiff match is more important at first. So the question will be: do we risk some players or not and might get a backlash next Saturday?

A difficult choice to make for any manager. My priority would be the league. So play whoever is fit enough against Cardiff and then see who is left to play the totts next Saturday. Even with the risk of being seriously handicapped for that match.

I have said it a few times before this season that the refs should be stricter and stop other teams from kicking us off the park. The last weeks against Everton, Chelsea and Newcastle we have seen too many dangerous attacks on our players going unpunished. I have warned before that this will cause injury to some players and not it is becoming visible. And I have said before that one of these days we will see another lunatic attack on one of our players resulting in another terrible and possible career threatening injury.

So my plea is to the refs out there: do what you should do and stop the kicking we see on the field (not just in Arsenal matches by the way – Eto’o on Henderson is also a fine example or Adam on Paulinho…). But the fact that the FA will not look at it again brings shivers to my spine. They don’t care that players get injured. Bread and circuses the Romans wanted before the Empire was lost to the Goths.    It seems that the FA and the PL now wants blood and bones…maybe also before their empire comes crumbling down?

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53 Replies to “Kick them them till they bleed: the refs new approach shows results”

  1. I was just looking through some newspaper clippings and there are definitely more journalists talking about refereeing errors, so we must hope that the persistence of Untold and others will eventually have an effect.

  2. Walter,
    Yes, here’s what the FuckAlls do re Adam’s attack on Paulinho:
    For our own and everyone’s well being: It should be due time for all to set any tribalist glee aside and make common cause with, yes, the Tiny Totts: because what is allowed against them is the same as what has been/will be allowed against us. ADAM is a thug, and hardly the only one. There’s no room for any refshite and any player that endangers another player’s health, their side’s (all sides’) prospects and what’s left of this league’s integrity. The FA has just again shown how bankrupt it is: and, yes, frightening that it’s select unholy trinity of a committee has decided not to send a message on this. Is it the same (or similar) committee that got back on its cloven hoofs and haunches to send Jack off for a middle finger (in defense of his children)? The likes of Adam and Ramirez/s ought to be shown multi-game suspensions by the FA. Their failure to do so is a scary permission slip from on high to promote the targeting of teams who present the threat of a good example to derail their preferred final result.

  3. It is not just the kicking of Arsenal players that is the problem, it is the immediate punishment of Arsenal players if they do it back. The fact that only Arsenal players were booked against Newcastle is an absolute joke and highly suspicious. It has taken on far more sinister proportions than just bad refereeing.

    Of course WHEN another Arsenal player gets their leg snapped in two, the media will just put it down to bad luck and support the thug who did it claiming he is not that type of player.

    Much as I detest Spurs I am in favour of them escalating the challenge on Paulinho and I would be in favour of clubs bypassing the FA and going straight to the law courts if the FA fail to act. A stint of a few months in jail for players like Charlie Adam for assault might just be a route to take the bias and cheating card away from the FA.

  4. Pretty convienient that the FA have the Anelka gesture like the Wilshere one before it to distract the attention of the masses from these dangerous challenges, allowing the panel to ignore its supposed duty to investigate.

  5. A finger an arm gesture name calling (Saurez) swearing and taking your top off is far worse than a career threatening
    challenge . Is there a team who has suffered more than Arsenal through diaobolical refereeing .

  6. i don’t get why the premier league and the fa seem intent on killing their golden goose by allowing the referrees to do as they like. the sport has moved on and left england behind holding onto the mentality of “getting stuck in”. if i wanted to watch a body slamming game of football i would watch the nfl. i care more for a game of skill but these idiots seem hell-bent on turning off their audience.

    there’s a reason some of us prefer f1 over nascar, as one is an elegant sport and the other is a crash fest. likewise, lovers of the beautiful game would rather watch arsenal than stoke (at least the old version of stoke) but if the premier league thinks they can sweep the pgmol shortcomings under the rug indefinitely, they shall wake up surprised one day to find viewers have turned their attention to the bundesliga or la liga.

    as for the aiders and abettors in the media, they are either weak men or have been instructed to keep their mouths shut. this little house of cards will come crashing down though once an injured player or his club decide to call their lawyers.

  7. Did anyone else see Oscar’s 2-footed tackle on Lucas late in injury time the other day? It was 100% red card, Howard Webb had a good view of it, and he did not even whistle for a foul – he played advantage (there was no obvious advantage either). It was only when Lucas and Oscar started scuffling afterwards that Webb stopped play and gave the foul, booking neither Oscar nor Lucas.

    Eto’o and Cahill both could have easily sent off for bad challenges on Henderson and Suarez respectively.

    So we see it now. Mike Dean allows Chelsea to kick Arsenal, and so they keep doing it, and Howard Webb allows Chelsea to kick Liverpool.

  8. That’s why the Premier League needs a much larger pool of refs to choose from because when refs like Dean and Webb put in such poor performances like they have allowing Chelsea to make horror tackles with impunity, then these refs need to be demoted to the sidelines for a while.

  9. Gianni Dioro

    I know I repeat myself but its important to get it out in the open I am a Chelsea supporter and yes I was at the game on Sunday

    First off Eto probably should have been sent off and yes Eto on Suraez was probably a penalty and yes Oscar could easily have walked for his poor tackle on Lucas but Webb made a whole series of poor decisions alround
    First Agger committed a foul on Hazard in the first 10 minutes not only blocking Hazard but he nearly put him into the stand. In the second half Cole did very similar by way of blocking a player (first foul he committed) and received a yellow
    Lucas stepped in front of Hazard who was in total control of the ball in the box , a bit like Walcotts not given penalty in our game before Christmas, it was as much if not more of a penalty than the Eto one later in the game.
    Terry was booked for leading with his arm, very debateable, but Johnson who did the same and gave away a free kick was not booked, the only reason I can think of why he wasn’t was quite simply he was already on a yellow.
    Returning to the Oscar bad tackle the ref did see it, he played advantage, but just as Oscar was lucky to get away with it so to was Lucas as he clearly raised his hands.
    Cahills was a booking and no more
    As I said earlier Webb had a bad game and whilst I am not into all the conspiracy stuff on here I think he was very very poor on the day and he should be forced to explain to the paying public why he made the decisions he did.
    As an aside I forgot to set Sky plus so ended up watching the replay of the game on Liverpool TV and found it quite interesting in that in real time they didn’t think there was too much in the Eto assault and yes thought Hazard and Suraez should have been awarded penalties and that both Oscar and probably Lucas should have been sent off and that Terrys booking was not justified

  10. I would add Napoli to the list of teams that have kicked us recently Walter.
    Arsenal have got to take this further, I know I keep going on about this, but Ivan Gazidis is a very powerful man in the game, he has to fight to get us fairness.
    These refs are sending the team a deliberate message, just as Taylor did on the first game of the season…that message is -we can stop you in your tracks whenever we want.
    This all started in the days we rivaled and sometimes humiliated Fergie, he started using his considerable influence on the refs, media, other managers/players, and football establishment to work against us. Things then took on a momentum of their own, as he started receiving help from a Utd supporting head of refs, a head of the EPL who thought Utd success good for his business, and heaven only knows who else. Fergie has gone, but others clearly have the same agenda and carry it on for their own means.
    I still believe some refs just want to do an honest days work, but are not properly supported in doing so, others range from being weak to downright corrupt, and nobody is doing anything to stop them, on the contrary in fact.
    It will be 2014 soon, make this the year the club fights back, just as Brendan Rogers, Stoke and the Spuds are now doing

  11. Mandy,
    Imagine if all the aggrieved clubs did a principled approach Together. THAT would be something. The way too many fans who are so wired to isolate this or that disgruntled team as whingers would have to take notice. And it would doubtless be amazing to see how the legion of sold-out lenscrafters and pundits would spin such a collective action. (“Da Losers Club” and all that.) As for Ivan, well, yes: dare we risk the truth when it means risking the brand. A delicate balance. If we don’t go too far, we still have brand value. If we go too-too far, then they’ll find further ways to go at us and try to devalue us where it hurts far more. (I shudder at some ways.)

  12. Mike T…

    Eto’o on Suarez was never a penalty under the laws of the game, even if Webb was incorrect not to call a foul. Had he whistled for obstruction (like he should have), Liverpool would have been entitled to an indirect free kick from the spot of the foul, not a penalty.

    Only fouls in the 18-yard box which normally result in a direct free kick are awarded penalties. Obstruction is awarded an indirect free kick, and therefore is never a call which should be awarded a penalty kick. It doesn’t bother me when clowns like Carra and Shearer don’t know this, but when Poll mistakenly calls it a penalty shout, it’s a real problem.

  13. “First off Eto probably should have been sent off and yes Eto on Suraez was probably a penalty and yes Oscar could easily have walked for his poor tackle on Lucas but Webb made a whole series of poor decisions alround.”
    Mike T,
    You say “alround”, but clearly context would mean a lot. I’m now really curious as to what time (how early, late) in the match did these possible sendings-off and penalty take place – the Eto’s and the Oscar. When would which call have put Chelsea into a 10-man position. What was the score when the penalties were not called? Please be straight-forward. I didn’t see the match, but, as you seem to be doing, let the facts (which include context) lead us wherever they do. Though you dismiss the idea of patterned refshite (labeling it conspiracy as most have learned to do), Chelsea may well fall victim to City on some given cross-roads (such as the league final) and you’ll have your own eyes wide opened. (Do I have your attention yet…?)

  14. Steve

    Fair point but I guess its if you think it was an obstruction or a fouls. However I prefer your take but irrespective Webb was poor all-round- and lets not forget he is one of the top rated in the world

    Anyways last comment from me this year

    So happy new year to you all. And les not forget football isn’t lie or death

  15. They are trying their best to make sure that we won’t stand higher than Oiler clubs
    So no one can ever doubt their most idiotic and meaningless way of team managing!

  16. It’s so frustrating to see how they are making things easier for them and harder for us
    Sometimes it’s so subtle that we don’t even recognize it!
    In sky sport, for example, there was this article about Mr Wenger talking about team performance after West ham game, and there were a lot of abusive comments, when I tried to answer them, sky refused to accept my comment
    It’s very paranoid concept, but one may come to this conclusion that somebody in sky is trying to show off problems with Arsenal fan base or the lack of trust or respect toward the manager, by just showing the bad comments and preventing any positive and encouraging ones

  17. Even now sky is asking this classic question: do we need a new striker?!
    Ok, between Arsenal and chel$i who is in more crisis upfront!?

  18. Persian,
    It’s difficult to fathom how Wenger and Arsenal are getting the levels of criticism being dished out compared to the easy ride Moyes is getting at turning UTD into a mid-table team.

  19. Eto’o’s studs raking Henderson’s knee was just 1 minute into the match. Oscar’s 2-footed tackle on Lucas was 3 minutes into inury time. So yes, they might have been down to 10 min for 89+ minutes if Webb had seen the challenge properly and acted properly. Oscar’s sending off wouldn’t have mattered except for 3 match suspension which he won’t get.

    I was wrong about Webb not booking Oscar or Lucas. He did book Oscar. However this was undoubtedly a straight red, and Webb didn’t even blow the whistle (playing advantage when Liverpool merely maintained possession). No wonder Lucas was angry. Webb should have sent off Oscar and booked Lucas.

    Cahill’s lunge on Suarez was a race to the ball. Cahill came lunging in from the side, won the ball with his studs but his trailing leg took out Suarez’s ankle which he had his weight on. Suarez played injured for the rest of the match. Webb booked Cahill, but it should have been red.

    Hazard’s penalty shout was soft and he flung himself spread eagle to the ground trying to get it. It might have been given, but Hazard could have just as easily been booked for diving.

    Eto’o foul on Suarez was much different. It was not a simple non-contact obstruction. It was an off the ball body check/trip to a player running for the ball in the penalty area.

    I read that Howard Webb has not shown a red card nor awarded a penalty kick all season.

  20. Yes, that’s where I read that Webb hasn’t sent anyone off or given a penalty in the 16 matches he has officiated this season.

  21. One of the most ridiculously certain red cards if there ever was one. But he did seem to like to give reds and penalties at old trafford under Ferguson.

  22. Happy new year to Walter, Tony and the Untold crew.
    And to all you posters too.

  23. If a person is to pursue who injures players, some kind of crowd sourcing has to evolve. The EPL and most sites providing statistics do nothing about this.

    You need some “flag” followed by data. If you have a reference to an independent source, add that. So something like:

    injury: fred flintstone breaks barney rubble’s leg at 37 minutes, seen at http:/domain/rest_of_url

  24. Happy new year to everyone.

    I cannot believe it Walter
    “The last weeks against Everton, Chelsea and Newcastle we have seen too many dangerous attacks on our players going unpunished.”

    How did yaya toure’s leg break attempt on Giroud miss your list. Thank goodness for shin pads. Please add MCity to the list of games where opposition were allowed to kick us.

  25. @Gord: That’s true but again that would be in the blogs and less in the mainstream media, so would people take heed? That’d be something that a lot of us could do together though. To take your Flinstone example..and say we break every game into 10 different segments and 10 people watch each of these segments just for referee crap and add it to a sheet somewhere.

    Note this is not to duplicate anything Walter does but just to add minutes to the crap that we see. Also since Arsenal Player has all the games we do not depend on any external media and pirated links (which I do not endorse).

    If that is something that you would like to work on together, could you shoot me an email off list? I watch games for tactical purposes all the time anyway, so tracking some of these should not be too difficult. Let me know. I think that’s a great idea : )

  26. “Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them – Work, Family, Health, Friends and Spirit and you’re keeping all of these in the Air.

    You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four Balls – Family, Health, Friends and Spirit – are made of glass. If you drop one of these; they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for it.

    – Bryan Dyson

  27. Football is far more serious than life and death.

    With that in mind I suggest the best and most direct course of action to combat the blatantly biased refereeing against the Arsenal, is to give em hell at the game like other teams do.

    I recall shouting so loud after the 10th blatant bookable offence that I was the loudest mouth in the stadium and sure enough the ref finally produced a yellow. Problem solved.

  28. There is an old French saying which, in English, reads “The more things change, the more they stay the same”.
    During an Arsenal match in the late 1930’s,our team went in at half-time having displayed a weak and timid performance. As the team were about to leave the dressingroom for the second half, Wilf Copping our England wing -half, stood up and in a loud, menacing voice,said “Everyone will now get stuck in”.
    Unfortunately, with the present-day referee, a flurry of yellow and red cards would result should we adopt too much of that tactic.

  29. @ Gianni

    They say footballs about opinions and whilst I disagree with your take on several incidents at our game v Liverpool I was taken a back that my view on all the contentious incidents was shared by Poll in his article in the Daily Fail

  30. It’s a sad indictment of how low the refereeing standards have sunk if we could accurately predict before the game how Newcastle were going to kick us and go unpunished. We singled out Tiote as the player who was going to cause the most damage, and we were proven right. That kicking we got is why we are missing several regulars today, and to think the ref saw nothing wrong with the way Newcastle players were tackling and instead carded 3 of our players(inc 2 of the victims; Giroud and Rosicky who are now out injured) is a travesty of the highest order.

  31. Looks like it’s payback time for the oilers, Swansea equalising from a seemingly offside position. Karma.

  32. Ah well, woulda been nice if Swansea had denied them points via an offside goal Bootoomee, just so they know how it feels, but it wasn’t to be.

  33. So sad, man shitty deflected goals ref help and yet they just managed to win against a depleted Swansea side favourites my ass

  34. While it is relieving to hear commentators linger a bit longer on bad decisions than they used to I still hear them say, “Now that is what I like about this ref, he doesn’t give cards and keeps the game going.” That to me is a shocking bit of commentary, how can you applaud the ref for not giving cards! Sure you can say the teams are playing clean and no harsh tackles but you cannot sit back and be content when harsh tackles go unpunished.

  35. Walter

    Interesting that Chelsea got Atkinson today – their most favourable ref, on top of big tilts in their favour from Webb & Dean

    The show runners are deterimined to keep Chelsea in the hunt

    Without all the assistance they’d be down with Man U by my rough count.

    So much for the managerial genius of Jose

  36. @jitty
    Chavski and Sh*tty are probably the two clubs competing in the ‘Title Auction’ that seems to take place, trying to constantly ‘out bung’ each other while the refs take action to keep anyone else out of the race so that nothing can go wrong from their perspective (the right team wins and they get their bonus cash end of season).

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