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July 2021

As Arsenal change was it really the AAA who did it, or UA?

By Walter Broeckx

With getting rid of the former moaner we had to endure at Arsenal Player we have made a major improvement.

I must say that the new person they hired is much more to my liking. Adrian Clarke is the co-commentator now on Arsenal matches and he also does the analysis after the match. And what a difference between the ever moaning from the past. As a supporter you feel the enthusiasm he has for the Arsenal and if I want to log in at Arsenal I want to hear things from an Arsenal perspective.

A bit strange maybe that the former player Clarke who only had 7 matches for Arsenal after his youth career at the club is still a Gooner and Robson who had around 150 matches was so negative towards all the club did. I wonder, do we still hear from him and is he still criticising Arsenal and Arsène in the same way he did before? Or maybe he is one of those who tells people that Wenger changed because of he told him to change.

But back to Adrian Clarke. Because other than doing some work for Arsenal Player he also writes for other media. And I found this interesting article from his hand. “Time to start helping referees perform better” was the title of this article and you can read it yourself by clicking on the link.

Now I know that Adrian Clarke is not the spokesperson of Arsenal FC or Arsène Wenger. But in a way he is someone who as a former football player himself knows a bit about football and he also is seeing that things need to change.

I don’t know if Adrian Clarke has ever visited Untold Arsenal but I must say that if not I could say that great minds think alike.  I think I first wrote advocating for the use of video to help referees and I still believe in it. I have written about the refs in Holland who have asked the KNVB to make it possible. I have applauded the official question form the Belgium KBVB to Fifa to allow the use of video assistance for refs during games.   (It is a question that still hasn’t been answered officially as far as I know).

So I am someone who has been asking for a long time for decision making to be improved and to make sure that refs get all the help they can without delaying the game itself too much.

Now in his article Adrian Clarke is asking the same. In his words he said: Personally, I think it’s time for an upheaval. With millions of pounds riding on each Premier League place and point, with so many jobs and careers affected by straightforward errors and with technology in place to iron out the creases and make life fairer for all concerned, let’s use it, for goodness’ sake.

And I can only agree with that as I have been writing along the same lines for years now.  He also has said that the goal line technology has worked superbly up to now. Since the instalment of the system the ref gets a message on his special watch if a ball has gone over the line or not and play can continue if not and nobody protests or the goal can be given and again nobody protests. That first step was not what we wanted but in a way it was important in showing that the use of technology doesn’t have a real affect on the match or the match time itself.

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Clarke suggests how we should go further on this path: “I suggest each team’s captain be given one appeal each per half, where they can question any major decision made by a referee. It could be a red card, a penalty, a dive, a pivotal foul, an offside call; it doesn’t matter. If an injustice has been felt, take it from me, the players will know within a flash. The skipper would then have 20 seconds to lodge his team’s protest.”

Then the video ref will decide if the decision was correct or not and then the match can continue.  If a review was asked but the ref was right in the first place the team that challenged the review loses its right to ask for another review for that half. So teams will have to be 100% certain to ask a review because otherwise it might affect them later on. If the review made clear that the ref made a mistake the team keeps its right to challenge another decision.

Mr. Clarke also points at the fact that for smaller teams who say that they suffer from big team bias this might be a way of correcting those mistakes from refs. It could be a weapon in fighting any possible bias on the field.

Yes games could take a bit longer as a result. Maybe one or two minutes longer. For me this would be of no importance. When I come to the Emirates I usually have a journey of something in between 16 hours to 20 hours depending on the means of transport we use. So this extra minute or two in the stadium will not be troubling me. In fact the longer I can sit in the stadium the better for me.

So slowly our idea that was branded foolish and stupid a few seasons ago is spreading more and more. I have shown how referees in Holland are in support of the idea, and how Belgium football authorities support it. And now journalists start supporting the idea in the UK.

So what can stop the PL, the FA and the PGMOL to make sure that refs make better and more correct decisions? To use the favourite sentence one of our readers uses when we talk about referees: What could be the reason that the PL, FA and PGMOL don’t want this change for the better of football?

13 comments to As Arsenal change was it really the AAA who did it, or UA?

  • Florian

    The Swedish Football Federation had a proposal to use the available TV feed for replays. It’s a cheap and quite convenient solution. Not perfect, but readily available. The facilitating factor was that all the matches in Allsvenskan (Swedish Top Division) are broadcasted on TV. With the explosion of the Internet and the availability of the live TV streams, it’s all the simpler.

    Also on topic: Anyone remembers the movie “Kill the Referee”, with our beloved Howard Webb in the main role? You can find comments on, but the main idea was that the referees are under constant and enormous pressure, and they can only rely on their experience and teamwork to sort out the match situations. Now, to me this sounded like a cover-up, as at no moment there was any mention about providing the refs with outside help. It only goes to show how archaic and retrograde the FIFA/UEFA thinking is. It’s an interesting and sometimes funny movie though, well worth watching, even if the only ones that look funny all the time are the aforementioned organizations.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Clarke talks a lot of sense. Unfortunately the game is run by one of the most corrupt men on the planet, he and his legions will ensure we don’t move the game sufficiently forward so as to iron out little aberrations, which are so profitable for the parasites and criminals who have latched onto the game.
    The game has never been perfect, but anyone notice how much worse it has become since Blatter arrived on the scene. Looks like he will stand again, probably just to spend a few more years covering his dirty tracks.
    As for the refs, anything that helps them, brilliant, but in tandem, they should be made a lot more accountable

  • andy bishop

    The best way to deal with Robson was and probably is to have a chuckle and ignore him. I find Clarke pretty much sanitized and that is a good thing for what he does. Let the team do the talking. The use of technology to assist officials is accepted in many other major sports and is part of the spectator experience. While the powers that be and referees seem reluctant to push for its introduction, conspiracy rules.


    Hi Walter as the EPL does not have enough refs what do you think of pooling all the major league refs and distribute them to games throughout europe surely there is enough money splashing around to make this effective Webb for instance will do Champions League .
    This would takeaway bias/favouritism with too many refs doing the same teams over a season

  • Gord

    I don’t think the frame rate of broadcast TV is high enough to be useful for reviewing games.


    As far as is Robson still bad mouthing Arsenal? The answer is Yes. I ran across a headline about him bad mouthing Ozil within the last week or so. I think it was at TalkNonsense.

  • Gord

    Doing a search for news about Stewart Robson in the last month, only two things are showing up: his swipe at Ozil and also his suggesting Berbatov. The last 2 hits on the first page are not in English, the last one looks like Vietnamese to me. The Google tranlations are there, the second is rough. They are both about Ozil.


    Robson: Ozil pemalas‎ – 3 days ago – Mantan pemain Arsenal Stewart Robson memberikan kritikan keras terhadap Mesut Ozil. Robson memberikan penilaian brutal terhadap kinerja …

    (Malay – Former Arsenal player Stewart Robson gives criticism of Mesut Ozil. Robson gives a brutal assessment of the performance)


    “Người nhà” chê bai thái độ thi đấu của Oezil
    Bóng Đá +‎ – 3 days ago
    Khi Stewart Robson còn làm việc cho ArsenalTV, fan Arsenal đã cùng nhau vận động để ông nghỉ việc khi liên tục có những công kích nhằm vào HLV Arsene …
    ‘Người nhà’ chê bai thái độ thi đấu của Oezil. Chân Dung Bên Lề XãLuậ tin tức việt nam 24h cập nhật

    (Vietnamese – “The House” competition disparaging attitude of Oezil
    Football + – 3 days ago
    When Stewart Robson also worked for ArsenalTV, Arsenal fans have been campaigning together for the holidays when he constantly attacks aimed at Arsène …
    ‘The House’ disparaging attitude of Oezil play. Portrait Edge 24 Vietnam news update)

  • AL

    Only someone who stands to benefit from referees’ mistakes would be opposed to technology. I just seen Swansea denied a penalty against the spuds. Ok, that incident may not be down to lack of technology(its Atkinson BTW), but I can bet we will have at least one more talking point before the weekend is over(possibly in the utd v chavs game).

  • AL

    BTW Hoddle said it was a penalty, 100%. And his co-pundits agreed….

  • Hoddle is probably the most honest pundit on British TV.

  • Yassin

    I just want to know, and would like Untold to put on an article, of why is all this hate to the most classy, respectful team in England, Why do they hate us, am talking media, refs, other teams fans… Why? Why is it so obvious that all teams are being helped to put pressure on us, while we are being hard done by refs? Why would an Arsenal fan dream is to have a fair ref, to get an obvious penalty he deserve, and to have all players out uninjured after the game?

  • Mandy Dodd

    The penalty gods certainly seem to favour the Spuds this season…..but nothing will ever surprise me with Atkinson

  • Shakabula Gooner

    Chelsea is whopping ManU real good. It is3- 0 right now. Nonetheless, at 2-0, Welbeck was denied a fair penalty call. Something that a video replay would have helped. Maybe when all clubs realize that video replays help all concerned,there will be a unified call for it by the clubs’ owners.

    On a minor issue:
    Walter, please how did you arrive at the header for this piece? Based on the header, I was expecting the piece to focus on an entirely different issue.

  • menace

    As far as TV pundits go Hoddle & Souness seem unbiased and football driven. Most of the others either have a lack of intelligence or some bias because God made them stupid and ugly. Alan Sugar also has a modicum of honesty in that he says Wenger is the best coach in UK football,

    I am not really satisfied with our CEO not getting some quality overseas reporters together to highlight the corrupt practices in GB media and sport.

    With regard to corrupt practice, why are players allowed in loan within the same league. It effectively gives wealthy clubs monopoly on players and extra players in the league. These players can injure the competition while on loan without any liability of the owner club.

    Referee blindness is a new ailment in the medical journals. It is seeing and not registering truth. Wenger was accused of the ailment for several seasons by the media, who incidentally suffer from prejudice againt ‘The Frenchman’. Their reporting being the primary basis of racist behaviour.

    Blatter is a human dildo and has been up several orifaces to gain wealth. He is just one of a kind involved in football. Others like them were/are involved in the Olympics.