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July 2021

Amending reality: how Sky gives us its vision, but not what actually happened

By Tony Attwood

Having written up my rant about time wasting, last night, I puzzled over how it was that Sky managed to hide all aspects of goal keeper impropriety in the Palace match yesterday.

In the commentaries that followed my little piece last night the point was well made: TV does sometimes mention time wasting but they chuckle over it – as if that is the sort of thing you expect in football, and have to accept it.  “Part of the modern game” is the sort of phrase that is used.

But it is not just that, because Sky, in showing the game yesterday, deliberately manipulated the images to reduce the showing and impact of the time wasting.

The way they do it is simple.  Each time there is an event on the pitch which comes to an end – for example an Arsenal player running forward, but then the cross goes astray or the ball bobbles out, or anything else that can be classified as an error or mistake happens, the camera focusses on the player who has made the error walking or running back up the field.

There is no reason for this, no benefit to the viewer, no insight into the player’s psyche – it is just a convention.  And it is a convention that hides what else is going on, and allows the people running the replay computer to get the right point, and show a replay of the last incident or indeed a previous incident.

This happens time and time again in the match – and it is so common that one almost screens it out.

Indeed I only noticed it in watching the recording of yesterday’s Sky broadcast because I was bemused by the lack of commentary in the press about time wasting by the Palace keeper in the Arsenal / Palace match.

After this coverage of players trotting back head down, and then the replay/s we then come back to the game which is already underway, and as viewers we are seduced into thinking that nothing in particular has happened during this time.  We don’t even think how long has passed since we last saw live action.

But something material has happened – the goalkeeper has been indulging in one or two offences against the rules of the game, and the referee has chosen deliberately not to punish the keeper.

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I noticed that a number of readers commented to the effect that time wasting is endemic, and I utterly agree.  But I am starting to think that in its efforts to suggest that the game being televised is non-stop dramatic action (but cutting out the time wasting by keepers) TV companies are presenting a completely false reality and perpetuating and extending the breaking of the rules.

This scenario however does not excuse the newspapers – what they are in effect doing is deliberately avoiding issues in their reports that TV doesn’t cover in order to stay in line with the “consensus” that is created by television and then adopted by the press.

I don’t want to bore you stupid by banging on about this over and  over again, but I do find it important that the media is deliberately manipulating their reportage of football in order to present a particular point of view which ultimately is there to enhance the image of football as non-stop all action.

I think it is important to remember that the game we see on cameras controlled by Sky (and I suspect every other live match broadcaster) is not the game that has occurred.  It is the game with very specific elements removed in order to convince the viewer that it was this all action affair.

As a result of this when, on TV, we hear the crowd jeering and counting the seconds, it makes no sense.  If the commentator then says “the crowd are unhappy about what they see as time wasting” the viewer is left with the impression that the crowd are being utterly biased and stupid, rather than responding to events.  There is no time wasting, because it has not been shown on TV – so what is all the fuss about?

When the newspapers back up this story, then it is even more convincing.  The “truth” devised by the media becomes more real than the truth that those of us at the game saw with our own eyes.

Maybe this is just me getting worked up about media affairs again – the manipulation of the way we see the world by the media is one of my favourite topics after all.  But I really do think this apparently trivial issue – cutting away to show a player walking back head down – does change one’s perception of the whole game.

And there is no reason to show a player walking or running back head down.  What the keeper is doing is actually far more interesting, and far more apposite to the game as a whole.

But it is because the media chooses to avoid  this element of the game, the referees are encouraged not to penalise keepers for wasting time.  If the cameras stayed on the keeper instead of showing the player walking back, the reality would become plain, and pressure would mount on the referees to act.

Thus my thesis is that this simple model of cutting away from the keeper onto the player who failed to score, cross, pass or whatever, is a fundamental reason why referees don’t act over this issue.  TV is influencing how the game is run.

Because I am sometimes tempted to believe that the little campaigns we have run here (most recently publicising the awful attitude of BT Sport to Arsenal) have helped edge developments along, I do think this is worth highlighting.  I don’t claim that in most cases Untold actually brings about a change.  But by picking up on bits and pieces like this, we can create a little momentum which leads towards a change.  That’s what I am trying to do.  I hope you feel it is worthwhile.

Thanks to everyone who wrote in and supported my view of the match.


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59 comments to Amending reality: how Sky gives us its vision, but not what actually happened

  • ClockEndRider

    Spot on Tony. Moreover, beyond breaking the rules time wasting like this robs the paying spectator. Why would any rational person pay 30-50 quid to watch 22 men stand about for large periods of time in a field? The TV watching paying spectator has his mind massaged by the constant cutaways and spurious comments from pundits which fill this void and is generally happy to do so. Those of us in the ground find this whole thing infuriating and it’s worth adding this type of cheating to the list if things this excellent site keeps a beady eye on.
    Keep up the great work, sir.

  • bjtgooner


    I quite agree re Sky, I noticed the live camera was switched to rarely show the repetitive goalkeeper time wasting.

    Were Sky protecting the ref, was it co-incidental incompetence or was there a hint of collusion?

    Further, Sky this morning, to add further insult to fans, have invited that well known ambassador for fair play – Joey Barton – as a guest on “Goals on Sunday”.

    Can Sky lower their standards any further?

  • Must confess, I never thought about it, but you are (as usual) 100% correct.
    The media has a lot to answer for(not just in football)
    I believe as far as football is concerned, it is all about “entertainment”, must keep the little dear viewers happy. Sod the entertainment, I want to see what really is going on, not somebody else’s doctored version
    Well done, keep reporting it
    Being cynical. of course the F.A. don`t want to upset their cash flow, not perhaps the Referees likewise

  • vkgooner

    I always read your site and love your articles. Never commented before but just wanted to mention Man U time wasting a few seasons back and we went on and scored the winner and Jens Lehmann going down clutching his leg and wasting time by pretending his was injured. Got booked for that but it was the funniest thing ever, really embarassed them.

  • A simple way to deal with this would be to include a ball active or ball in play time statistic to every game.
    This would have two positive outcomes.
    1. It would highlight which referees have the lowest and highest ball in play time.
    2. It would highlight what teams also have the highest and lowest ball in play time.

    The ball in play can vary between 60 minutes to 80+ minutes in every 90, so something needs to be done to address the inconsistency.

    Time wasting is a bug bear of mine, i find it wholly inappropriate that the referee only seems to book players for this in the second half of the game and usually in the final 10 minutes when he suddenly has a total intolerance to time wasting because of the pressure of the crowd and tv and yet for the previous 80 minutes has totally ignored it.
    it would be interesting to see how many bookings are for time wasting and when the booking happened.
    The time added on to the game is never proportionate to the time wasted.

  • Ray Burns

    Some time ago when the USA first embraced ‘soccer’ (remember Pele & the New York Cosmos?) they suggested that the game should be an hour in length but with the clock stopped when the ball was out of play. FIFA dismissed this idea out of hand.
    What do you chaps think?

  • potter

    How often have we been treated to pictures of Ferguson masticating , of co- commentators discussing things that are not relevant to the game we are meant to be watching . Television only wants to highlight positives , incompetent refereeing and time wasting tactics do not fall into their remit of selling the game to the masses . How often have you had arguments about something with someone who watched on T.V . When you were in the ground and you realise that they haven’t got a clue about that which you are mentioning.

  • davi

    I’d never really thought about the way it’s presented on the tv in terms of the camera work but I think it’s true. I don’t particularly mind it as much as the commentary though. It’s the way they frame the issue as just one of those things that’s expected, as you mention. Really the focus should be on why the referee is not doing anything to stop it. If the ref shows a yellow to a time-wasting goalkeeper, he won’t do it again, but the media gives the ref an easy out by changing the focus on to the offending side.

    It’s like the “roughing up” issue. Really I don’t have a big problem with teams “being physical” against us, as long as the ref books players when they go too far – just following the rules of the game! It’s the same with pretty much any dark arts tactic (aside from really going out to hurt people) – all the ref has to do is book people when they break the rules or go too far!

  • john

    I agree with the suggestions made by others that, once added time is being played, the ref should finish the game immediately if the team responsible for the delay concede a goal.

    Palace should not have been offered the chance to profit from their own time-wasting (cheating) by having a further 3 minutes in which to seek an equaliser.

  • davi

    vkgooner – Lehmann was one of the funniest players ever and (somehow) an extremely underrated goalkeeper. A save he made against a Solskjaer shot was one of the best I’ve ever seen.

  • Gerry

    Tony – You could have added the perpetual views of Managers, often while play goes on. I’ve not seen the game on the Arsenal Player yet to know if they have a set of different camera shots, but I will watch out for it.

    What I did notice during the Man U v Swansea game that BT Sport covered. When they went to ‘their man in the stands’, who was Paul Scholes, they had a picture in the main picture covering the live events on field as he spoke, which I thought was a step forward? Unlikely to be used in the goal keeper time wasting though. Shame?

    Off topic – to whoever it was thought I was a BT employee slipping in under cover … sorry to disappoint. Taken it context, I was putting forward the fact that BT Sport do other sports as well the EPL, and do them rather well. And as you showed an interest in the Moto GP piece, you can get your own view of the young magician Marc Marques, live on Tuesday night. Not a plug for BT Sport, rather a plug for genuine sporting hero.

  • Lobsta

    Well, to be fair, very few people today would argue that media is a reflection rather than a re-presentation of reality (whatever that is). Its called the “media” for a reason, it provides a mediated experience.

    And in terms of presenting reality, your perspective will always differ with anothers, meaning your taking exception to the media emphasizing some features of the match and not others will always be a matter of subjective interpretation of what it actually is that we should actually be seeing

  • Gord

    If I go through the BBC commentary for the game, I see 11 events in the first half where play had been stopped and Palace would have been in control of restarting play (and hence could waste time). There was also 1 save mentioned, where no whistle would have blown, but time could still be wasted. I don’t remember ever seeing offsides/throw-ins being mentioned.

    In any event, 2:20 was added, and if I divide 2:20 by 12, I get 11 and 2/3 seconds for each of the 12 events.

    Doing this for the second half, I have 9 Palace stoppages and 3 saves, for again 12 events. There is also 1 delay of about 1:30 explicitly mentioned (Scott Dann injury) and 3 substitutions by Palace. For the same delay per incident, that is 3:50 in delays, plus whatever the substituting used. If each substitution is 30 seconds, that is about 5 minutes of time, and 5:03 was added on.

    The above assumes no time being added for tardy restarts due to Arsenal.

    I wasn’t watching the game, just following a text commentary. I have no idea how the time wasting went. But, on the evidence available in the commentary, it would seem that all the time wasted was allowed for. That the referee did nothing to stop it, is another matter.

    For those of you who watched it, where is the difference? How many throw-ins to each team?

  • ah Reap

    Definitely feel it’s worthwhile, Tony. Last night’s article in particular was a very welcome sight for me. I’m not an optimist in general and am probably worse on that front where football’s concerned, so I can’t imagine being able to exert any pressure on this issue, but it sure is good to hear somebody talking about it.

    The tv angle is a new and fascinating one, and to me it’s absolutely true that the media are more than capable of shaping outcomes. That is all it would have taken to turn it into a big story yesterday- direct focus from the cameras on the keeper, and criticism from the commentators. We got the opposite of criticism- they unanimously agreed it was ok and justified- and I’ve seen no mention of what was a big part of the game in the print press. Worrying.

    Honestly,though, I think there was an Arsenal factor in this. Yes, it prompts mockery and yes I have to watch myself to make sure I don’t go overboard, but I truly believe we are not popular among referees and that a lot of antipathy towards us exists in the media, and as for the general public- whoa, we’re not doing great there either.

    Perhaps the biggest factor of all however, and the narrative in which any Arsenal narratives sit, is the accepted wisdom that, presumably on account of money and coverage, football is now unquestionably a business and ,what’s more, is more important than it used to be. Embrace that as fact and it appears you can somehow accept without criticism that a legitimate tactic for football is to keep the ball off the pitch as much as possible.

    This is something I only read of recently and which was mentioned in yesterday’s coverage : one of Pulis’ big ideas was that, as you cannot concede when the ball is not in play, a team should look to keep the ball out of play for as long as possible. That is where football is at the moment. Such arguments are not challenged by anyone within the game and are ,if anything, gaining more ground. Certainly 20 years ago a keeper wasting masses of time from a few minutes into the first game would never have happened and would have been severely crtiticed if it had; ten years ago even it would have been extremely unlikely. But here we are.

    The national teams failure at the world cup offered another perfect opportunity to examine and hope to change our approach to the game (it’s connected : if, from the ground up and all the way through, the idea is that there’s a real obligation to try and play constructive football and that in the balancing of objectives of winning and actually playing the game- with the ball in play!- you approach absurdity by focusing on the one to the absolute detriment of the other…the end result will be considerably better football players), yesterday’s match and more importantly the media coverage of it showed we are not set to change any time soon. Football is a business, an important business, and it does not contain within it some central imperative that the idea is to actually keep the ball in play, let alone to use it well.

    It’s pretty depressing, and we need to prepare ourselves for new lows in time-wasting this year.

  • iwasthere

    As I was at the game, i could see that to an extent the Palace goalkeeper was a hostage to the appalling slowness of the rest of his team mates to go up the pitch to challenge for his goal-kick or free-kick. The 10 Palace players in front of him were as much to blame as the goalkeeper.
    Other sports have developed ways of keeping the game moving and dealing with time control. Rugby with its stop the clock when action is halted for injury or substitutions, the time allowed to take penalty kicks / conversions etc, not retreating 10 yards (so if the team awarded the free kick takes it quickly, no opposing player within 10 yards can interfere with play); basketball with its time limit on getting the ball back into play, and even a 30 second rule for taking a shot at the basket.
    In short football can learn and use the technology already available if it wanted to enhance the ‘all action’ image and remove cynical time wasting which cheats the paying public of perhaps 20% of the game.
    I am not holding my breath

  • colario

    The is no mention of Place’s time wasting in the BBC’s report of the game. Presumably the writer of the report was at the game but didn’t notice it or wasn’t at the game therefore dosn’t know about it.

  • oldgroover

    Your 11.37am
    That would only work if all of the time added was for time wasting.
    Most of it is for injuries, goal celebrations & substitutions.

  • Gerry

    Whilst I was writing, several have commented on the referee’s action or lack of? The think is, I have yet to see a referee issue a second yellow, although keeper’s quite often stretch the time out after they are booked?

    The better idea would be, as was said in previous discussions … Take the time out of the referees control altogether. Let the stadium clock show the time left to play, and teams who run over by more than 3 minutes, injury time excluded, get fined. Repeat offenders to start with a goal deficit.
    That would shake them!

  • insideright

    Tony you are so right. What appears on the screen has become the new ‘reality’ rather than that which actually happens on the pitch.
    But it’s also the case that time wasting at yesterdays levels have now become so much part of many coaches armoury that they can’t operate without it. In the same way that ‘putting someone on the keeper at set pieces and seeing how he deals with it’ was part of Allardyces way of playing at Bolton (and beyond). Maybe due to TV coverage that seems to have died out somewhat but been replaced by shirt pulling and blocking off of runners.
    On the evidence of just one edition of M.O.T.D last night it might be that referee inconsistency is the new campaign this season – Gareth Barry inexplicably escaping a second yellow card being the highted case.
    And maybe there is our clue. Refs, by and large don’t like sending people off and are indeed charged with keeping the game as even in terms of numbers as they can. Booking a goalkeeper in the first ten minutes for time wasting will, almost inevitably, lead to a lot more red cards later in the game when they commit another misdemenour and that would be seen to be far too influential on the final result.
    Sending a keeper off actually means two players leave the pitch – the other one being the outfielder who needs to be replaced by the sub keeper. Ourselves in the Champions League final being the classic example. Too game changing and dramatic for anyone to cope with!
    One last point – the big campaign at the moment is on ticket prices. Why not try to improve on value for money by increasing the amount of actual football played by cutting out ‘illegal’ time wasting right from the start! It’s in the laws – apply it please.

  • will

    Sky are and have been anti arsenal for years as much of media but sky have been the worse with spin down beat interviews and anti arsenal pundits opposite to their support of m u

  • oldgroover

    Another quite well respected Arsenal blogger said this morning that we should not have expected anything different from Palace, because if they’d attempted to play football against the most technically gifted side in the league they would have been reduced to dust.
    As for Sky, I only watched their transmission on a Portuguese stream and was unable to understand a word. Best all round I suppose.

  • Tom

    Time wasting isn’t a big problem as perceived by the English FA because if it had been, they would’ve introduced a couple of simple measures to combat it.

    1. Have more than one match ball during the game, unless of course this is a special ball blessed by the Pope and the Queen ,in which case I fully understand the reason for it’s scarcity . In the event it’s just a regular Nike Ordem 2 EPL ball , which can be have by a mere mortal at $149.00 a piece and $129.00 if bought bulk, there should be no reason to have just one.
    If the PL can’t afford more than one I should be more than happy to supply them.
    2. Have more than just eight ball boys and girls at each stadium to help retrieve the damn thing when it goes out of bounds with clear instructions how to retrieve it ,seeing how some of those ball boys were known in the past for thinking that laying down and covering it with their body until kneed in the gut by Eden Hazard was part of the process of retrieving it.

    The English PL wants to promote its product as an all action, non stop 90 minutes plus affair , when in fact it’s more like a sixty minutes affair.
    It’s no wonder then that when the CL matches come around against German and Spanish clubs who somehow can afford to have more than one match ball in their domestic leagues , Arsenal and Chelsea find themselves overmatched by the Borusia Dortmund and Atletico the Madrid, who’s players aren’t used to standing around for 20 seconds at a time every time some fat kid has to retrieve the only match ball in the grounds.

    Perhaps this answers Walter’s question he posed last season “what do they feed them over there in Germany” in regards to Dortmund players out working and outrunning Arsenal players over a ninety minutes .

    Atletico did likewise against Chelsea.

  • oldgroover

    Give this a read, it explains some of what you ask.

  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    Im with Ray Burns, but that the game should still be an hour and a half.Big clock for all to see/on the scoreboard etc, when the balls out of play then the clock stops.Then a big hooter at the end when the games finally over.It wont stop teams breaking up the play and it just mean more time wasting on the pitch and players taking the ball to the corner,but perhaps its better than everyone taking ages for throw ins and corners/goal kicks.No doubt it would be most improper to have a clock and hooter perhaps a clock and a fake refs whistle?
    COYG!Aha and Amen!

  • para

    It really annoys me too when the camera is somewhere else than where the action is going on on field, especially when it focusses on the manager or other people FOR SO LONG. Argh. 3 seconds MAX is Ok, any longer is downright creepy.

    Anyway the quality of the commentary leaves much to be desired. They should be made to have no other topic than the game and relevant info pertaining to the game taking place. They probably think their constant obscure ramblings are good.

    I hope they do read this site.

  • GoonerEris

    Very worthwhile commentary on the antics of TV intended to manipulate the viewership and whatever else on their agenda. Beyond the focus on the player heading back upfield, the camera would sometimes, focus on the Arsenal manager, as if to ridicule him further for appearing to be a whining man and for what? After all, the viewing public cannot really see the actual act of time wasting. This is commendable reporting of the reality. Keep it up.

  • GoonerEris

    To be honest, I didn’t think much of it myself but recalled I was wondering all through the game why the camera wasn’t allowing me see what was causing so much angst amongst the fans in the stadium. I am guessing the converse would probably happen if this was on the grounds of any of their favourite teams.

  • Ben

    i do think a stop clock would work – but it still doesnt address the issue of momentum being lost in a game

    i honestly think that if this site, and other arsenal (and football) bloggers banged on about the fact that 5-10% of the game is stoppages, and ‘extra time’ (where large chunks of time are often wasted as well) are insufficient, then change might occur.

    If a fan pays £60 for a ticket, and 10% of this amount is time wasted, surely that is worse than ticket price rises of 3% etc…

    Also, Sky and BT customers are losing game time they pay hundreds for – surely rather than pressure the referees – it would be best to pressure the fans and TV companies to highlight this fact

    You could (when reviewing referees) highlight the amount of time wasted – work out the percentage of the game lost – and then even estimate the average ‘cost’ to the average fan – and even the total cost to the 60,000 fans in the stadium.

    E.G – not scientific or very accurate, but lets say that 9 minutes in total were wasted in the game – that is 10%.

    Lets assume that the ticket cost was £50 – therefore every fan lost a fiver.

    £5 x 60,000 = £300,000 lost AND THAT IS JUST PEOPLE IN THE STADIUM !!!

    As i stated on my other comment on the last article you wrote – we dont enjoy football, or pay all of our money (and all of our time) to watch men hold a ball, walk slowly towards it, feint cramp etc…

  • AL

    Well said. Many times the camera would zoom in on Wenger and a comment or two about how frustrated he was looking thrown in. Instead of on speroni wasting time. Sky even reported on their website that Puncheon was sent off with 10 minutes remaining(he was sent off in the 89th min), no doubt a deliberate attempt to make it appear as if we struggled to break down 10 men for a much longer period. While on that subject of TV channels twisting reality may I also add that they also avoid replays that don’t suit their agenda.

  • oldgroover


    You’d be very surprised at how much of a match is wasted through stoppages. BBC or ITV once did an experiment ( back in the 1970’s I think ) where they edited out all of the stoppages in a game (every single time the ball went dead ) and the remaining product was about forty minutes long. It was so surreal to watch though, just didn’t seem right somehow. But I think a clock system à la rugby would be ideal.

  • finsbury

    Old Father time and the giant clock at Lords have been helping cricket officals with their timekeeping for well over a centuary.

    We’d have hoped that FUFA or the PGMOB would’ve found a use for the fourth official by now, part from looking at video replays when the mood takes them, when they feel like it (Chelsea Away, WC final ’06 and other such strange and ultimately crediblity destroying incidents).

    Hopefully they’ll find a use for the fourth offical one day. Holding up that board is hard work.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    Time waisting has undoubtedly becomes part and parcel of the modern football culture.The football fans are more guilty in this wise than the TV and the Press. Why? They the fans have accepted the trend as a part of the game that can happen and may not necessarily be punished by the referee. Had there been serious complaints from the fans contineously world wide, like the serious complaints Fifa received that compelled them to introduce the goal-line scoring technology as a result of the referee not allowing Frank Lampard’s goal to stand at the 2010 World Cup. Fifa would have since indroduced time waisting penalty rule into the game.

  • jambug




    Goal Kick: 01.47 to 2.18 = 32 Secs

    Neville “Spironi will take many seconds over these goal kicks to get his team up the pitch”

    Goal Kick: 03.51 to 04.20 = 29 Secs

    Goal Kick: 15.16 to 15.46 = 30 Secs

    Goal Kick: 19.13 to 19.51 = 38 Secs

    NB: It was at this point we first start to hear the crown getting agitated and we see Wenger remonstrate at the 4th official for the 1st time.

    No mention by SKY at this stage.

    Free Kick: 23.02 to 23.34 = 32 Secs (Taken by Spironi)

    Throw In: 23.49 to 24.22

    NB:Included slight knock to Ramsey’s head so not including in over all time but relevant as it was at this stage that the SKY Commentary team made there 1st reference to the time being taken by the Crystal Palace players.

    Tyler: “Ford taking his time to the annoyance of the Arsenal fans”

    Goal Kick: 26.19 to 27.01 = 42 Secs

    Tyler: “The fans are giving Speroni a tough time here for taking so long over the goal kick”

    NB: This comment was made over stifled giggle.

    Goal Kick: 29.11 to 29.41 = 30 Secs

    Tyler: “The home fans here are trying to pressurise Referee John Moss to have a word with Speroni about the time he’s taking over these goal kicks”

    Neville: “It’s just natural and understanding, if you are a Crystal Palace goalkeeper it’s backs to the wall, he’s just giving his team time”

    NB: At this point we see Referee Moss giving the keeper the ‘hurry up’ sign. His first acknowledgement of what was going on.

    Free Kick: 29.59 to 30.28 = 29 Secs (Taken by Speroni)

    Tyler: “I think the odds of Speroni picking up a yellow card at some stage today are pretty high”

    Free Kick: 31.00 to 31.26 = 26 Secs


    Drop Kick: 38.03 to 38.20 = 15 Secs

    Neville: “It’s now when it’s in Spironis hand that ???? becomes even more frustrated”

    Throw In: 38.30 to 38.48 = 18 Secs

    Tyler: “There going to take even longer now over these throw ins, corners, free kicks and goal kicks”

    Throw in: 38.50 to 39.14 = 24 Secs

    Tyler: “It was a feature of course of the Tony Pulis philosophy when he was at Stoke and Crystal Palace, but why not. The opposition cant score if the balls out of play. It just depends whether the Referee lets you get away with it”

    Neville “They’re forced to do this really. If they came here and went toe to toe with Arsenal they’d get beat, so it’s just natural for them”

    Neville: “Arsene Wenger you see there getting frustrated as the fans are around us which is all in the plan for Crystal Palace”

    Free Kick: 39.41 to ????

    NB: Not included time for this in final figure as not sure when ball came back in to play.

    Neville: “These moments arrive to stop the game which is perfect”

    Drop Kick: 41.46 to 42.05 = 20 secs.

    Total time taken = 5 Minutes 39 seconds.

    Time added on = 2 minutes

    This is what happened just in the first half.

    The time wasting is bad, but Tyler and Nevilles complete acceptance of it without a single word of criticism is disgraceful.

  • AL

    Fantastic work jambug 🙂

  • bjtgooner

    Wow jambug – well done!

    I notice that someone was silly enough to quote an earlier but suspect contributor (who even earlier wrote that he didn’t see the match) – with words to the effect: –

    ” we should not have expected anything different from Palace, because if they’d attempted to play football against the most technically gifted side in the league they would have been reduced to dust.”

    Well this is not logical – I can understand Palace wanting to frustrate Arsenal given our potential to win big, but we should not have to expect gamesmanship outside the rules of the game – fouling, time wasting etc by Palace, nor should we have to expect the ref to permit such activity.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    I’ll call this , ” Ticking off the nit pickers !” Enjoy !

  • bjtgooner



  • TC

    30 minutes each way ball in play – with clock visible to all. Goalies can mess around all they like will not make a blind bit of difference. Give the job to the most useless official in the world – the 4th official and stop the messing around with a subs board.

    Its all this sort of stuff that although I love football I also hate it because the game stays so stationary and does not reinvent itself with new and better ideas. Football at the highest level is about entertainment. Rolling subs, ball in play, auto yellow cards for lunges after loss of control, video technology, larger goals or 10 man teams, complete update on offside, clear and understandable FFP, salary caps, complete overhaul of how the game is run (remove FIFA) etc etc

    If I might persist with one change that shows incompetency – the rule about either side of the goal being used for the goal kick – that was brought in to speed up play – what did it achieve? The exact opposite was evident from day 1 some 25 years ago and nothing has been done!!!!!

  • Gord

    Jambug, you taped the game and manually timed the wasting?

    Was I correct that there 11 situations where play was stopped and Palace was to resume play, and 1 save by the goaltender?

    If so, that might mean that the time added on for stoppages was coming from some formula (12 seconds per stoppage, or whatever), and not some estimate of actual time the ball was not in play.

  • jambug



    I Was going to do the 2nd half but the feisty Mrs Jambug, rather un fairly I thought, wanted her TV back. 🙂

    There where other stoppages which I didn’t include. Free kicks for us. Corners for us. A couple of small injuries. A couple of there incidents that I didn’t include because I would of been guessing.

    The ones I did where to the second.

    Whatever the formula is it should of meant more than 2 minutes added time because any normal 1st half, without the blatant time wasting, warrants 1 or 2 minutes added time.

  • Gord


    I suspect that way back when, FIFA came up with that 6 second rule as a result of some study of games, and so meant to limit goalkeepers holding on to the ball to the same length of time as stoppages such as throw-ins.

    If one assumes that, and assumes that both teams are fouling equally, the 11 fouls and 1 save by Palace, becomes 24 time wasting events of 6 seconds each, which is about the 2:20 extra time in the first half. The 4th official isn’t there keeping track of time, they are just counting events.

    If the referee feels that more time needs to be added on, they just start blowing their whistle more towards the end of the half, to add more 6 second delays to the time added on. Which could mean stoppages are more frequent towards the end of a half.

  • Gord

    I just did a search at Google News for “time wasting” in the last 24 hours. All (5) of the real hits (football related) were of the Arsenal game. Three of those hits just mention it in passing, one only quotes Wenger mentioning it. Only one article actually makes an issue that the game had a LOT of time wasting.

  • Jr gunzz

    The strange thing about this was the ref’s actions. Every goal kick he turned round and trotted off like he was expecting it. And didn’t book their goalie

  • Ben

    WOW – well done Jambug!

    So if we take your timing of 5 Minutes 39 seconds -lets just round it up to 6 minutes (accounting for the other stoppages etc…)

    6 minutes out of 45 minutes = roughly 14% (my maths isn’t that great)

    Therefore the paying fans, and watching public re losing a massive proportion of game-time (i can only assume this percentage went up, or stayed static in the 2nd half)

    Can you imagine the media uproar if clubs (particularly top 6 clubs) increased their prices by 14%???

    So what is the real difference between increasing prices (whilst guaranteeing 14 % more real football), and paying the prices we pay at the moment, but with 14 % of our time being wasted ???

    I am absolutely astounded that there are not more reports on how much time is wasted in a game … and how the media (the supposed bastion of the everyday man) have not picked up on this, and instead appear to condone it, or laugh it off

  • jambug


    What really pisses me off is this attitude that if you are perceived as an inferior side to Arsenal you can just foul us with impunity, with the pathetic defence of ‘what do you expect them to do, they are not just going to sit back and let them play’, as if that makes it alright then.

    Or you can simply waste copious amounts of time with similarly inane excuses such as we heard from Neville on several occasions.

    As you say, not only is it cheating, but it’s actually ripping off the paying customer, both at the ground and watching on the TV.

    To be honest I understand an underdog going into the last 15, even 20 minutes or so starting to push the time wasting. That comes into the realms of ‘human nature’. But even then it’s up to the ref to, hurry them up, take action, add time.

    But to start in the 2nd minute is quite honestly pathetic.

    And as for those that excuse, or worse, condone it, they are a disgrace.

  • ah Reap

    Jambug, I salute you ,sir.

    That’s the sort of thing I couldn’t bring myself to do and yet I can easily spend an at-least-equal amount of time complaining about the issues involved.

    It was utterly obvious that way more than two minutes should’ve been added in the first half, and yet anyone who wasn’t watching will be none the wiser about that ridiculously poor bit of officiating. It’s a nasty old double whammy : first the crapness ,during the match, of dubious tactics not been punished as they should be and putting us at a disadvantage in the process; then the mystifying * lack of coverage from journalists afterwards.

    *Or rather it would be mystifying if you retained faith in journalists ability and willingness to do the basics, including journalism’s golden rule : be aware of biases and battle manfully against them.

  • On time wasting it isn`t just a question of time wasting but more important losing momentum
    When an attacking team has momentum, the opposition are put under stress and make mistakes. Keeper holding on to the ball; taking some time for throw ins , etc. relieves that stress and allows them to regroup
    This is particularly important for a team like Arsenal who play “quick-ball”
    Will it change?, I`ll give you 10 guesses

  • jambug

    Terry White

    Yep, very good point.

  • Ray from Norfolk, Virginia

    @ Ray (the other Ray):
    I think 40 minutes of actual play, NFL (the “other football” here in the US OF A) style would be grest:
    -Time is kept by stop-clock controlled by clock officials, NOT by the referee;
    -Clock moves on only during actual play;
    -In addition, when ball is with GK, clock stops to only restart when another player touches it
    -Clock officials team to also include CONCURRENT video review film officials
    -CONCURRENT review team to tell referee what decisions to take
    -Referee to manage the game and manage input from all sources, which is plenty
    Alternatively, do it the NFL way, with full team of officials PLUS video review.
    In the US of A, the media dissect in detail errors made by officials, but hey, commentators are unbiased.
    Pundits, like in the UK, are biased, but you get to pick and choose which one you want to listen to.
    The best NFL pundits are the unbiased ones, and they go for a premium, because they have higher audience shares.
    How costly? It would cost less than 10% of Sepp Blatter’s net worth to fund it across Europe for a full decade.

  • finsbury

    “And as for those that excuse, or worse, condone it, they are a disgrace.”

    The performances over recent years from Swansea, Southampton etc. would suggest there are alternative options (such as playing football) that those who defend such cheating are unwilling to consider.

  • jambug


    Indeed. These teams prove just being a ‘small’ (No disrespect) club doesn’t necessarily mean Parking the bus, resorting to thuggery, or excessive time wasting.

    NB: Is it me or do the teams that resort to this kind of skulduggery tend to be ‘British’ managed, whereas the teams that tend to try and play football as much as they possibly can, whoever they are playing, are coached by foreign managers?

    There are probably exceptions but I wouldn’t mind betting that is the general rule.

    Someone may prove me wrong (It wouldn’t be the first time 😉 )

  • Ben

    Jambug, et al;

    Yes, the fact that arsenal are better players, and have a more fluid and attractive style, for some reason, gives some rather thuggish teams the right to essentially assault us (and man u, chelsea, spurs, even everton, also do this more often than not as well against us, even though it is not their usual style)

    This is the equivalent of not being good at your job, so going an smashing up your colleagues work, so that they look as bad as you – it is a childish, yet effective response, as it does work against us (however i think if you push, stamp and kick anyone who is trying to do a job, regardless of the profession, they would do it less well!)

    I think we should get a big bastard of a player, send him on in the 90th min with the intention of ending someones season – or career – and get him to target whichever player has hurt ours the most – eventually survival instinct would kick in, and we would be treated fairly…

    Stepping back into reality though, there is little we can do as a team unless the referee decides to offer us the same protection offered to other teams

    I do think we need bigger players, to counteract this unfortunate predicament we find ourselves in though – or fair refs – which one is easier to acquire though!

    And yes, i agree that ‘british’ managers tend to have the most loutish teams – and then we all wonder why we disappoint ourselves every 2 years, in the stupidity that is international football


    on a side note, how about the idea of replacing international football, with league ‘internationals’ – where the ‘england manager’ could pick the best 25 man team from players in England, and so forth … number 1, we might be in with a shout of winning, number 2, it would actually be a better tournament as the players are more used to each other etc… and number 3, the real dearth of ‘english’ talent who would qualify might actually make the gov and other organisations take notice, and invest in grass roots football!!

  • Vintage Gooner

    On Tony’s media stance and given his political proclivities I can only quote Peter Mandelson “Some of the journalists were simply cynical hacks with a settled, utterly negative view of ……. dictated by their news desks.It was narrative they knew by heart, and could write up almost automatically before heading off for a drink at the Press Bar. The facts and what anyone said didn’t really matter to them.”

    Although written from a political situation in the 1980’s just insert Arsenal and I don’t think many Arsenal fans would disagree with a word of this today.

  • menace

    The referee signals to the 4th official how much time is being added. There is no incident count. The ref has a time piece that he uses and calls it from there.

    Added on time is a farce that referees use to add to their entertainment.

  • when ramsey scored in injury time, ref was keen to note the exact amount of seconds it took to complete his celebrations and teams getting back in to starting positions and added it to the injury time at the end. If he is sooo keeeeennn to do that why not do the same during the match.

    We know he can do it, why do it only when we are UP by 1 goal.

  • Micheal Ram

    The fact that Ramsey scored in the last minute served a deserving punishment for CP and their GK. A fully loaded spit on their face!

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Ice Cream for you

    For those who understand, no explanation is needed. For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible.

    One day I had lunch with some friends. Jim , a short, balding golfer type about 80 years old, came along with them—all in all, a pleasant bunch.

    When the menus were presented, we ordered salads, sandwiches, and soups, except for Jim who said, “Ice Cream, please. Two scoops, chocolate. ”

    I wasn’t sure my ears heard right, and the others were aghast. “Along with heated apple pie,” Jim added, completely unabashed.

    We tried to act quite nonchalant, as if people did this all the time.. But when our orders were brought out, I didn’t enjoy mine. I couldn’t take my eyes off Jim as his pie a-la-mode went down.
    The other guys couldn’t believe it. They ate their lunches silently and grinned.

    The next time I went out to eat, I called and invited Jim . I lunched on white meat tuna. He ordered a parfait. I smiled. He asked if he amused me.

    I answered, “Yes, you do, but also you confuse me. How come you order rich desserts, while I feel I must be sensible?”

    He laughed and said “I’m tasting all that is Possible. I try to eat the food I need, and do the things I should. But life’s so short, my friend, I hate missing out on something good.
    This year I realized how old I was. (He grinned) I haven’t been this old before. So, before I die, I’ve got to try those things that for years I had ignored.

    “I haven’t smelled all the flowers yet. There are too many trout streams
    I haven’t fished. There’s more fudge sundaes to wolf down and kites to be flown overhead.
    “There are too many golf courses I haven’t played. I’ve not laughed at all the jokes. I’ve missed a lot of sporting events and potato chips and cokes.
    “I want to wade again in water and feel ocean spray on my face. I want to sit in a country church once more and thank God for His grace. “I want peanut butter every day spread on my morning toast.
    I want un-timed long distance calls to the folks I love the most.
    I haven’t cried at all the movies yet, or walked in the morning rain.
    I need to feel wind on my face. I want to be in love again.
    “So, if I choose to have dessert, instead of having dinner,then should I die before night fall, I’d say I died a winner, becauseI missed out on nothing. I filled my heart’s desire. I had that final chocolate mousse before my life expired.”

    With that, I called the waitress over.. “I’ve changed my mind, ” I said.
    “I want what he is having, only add some more whipped cream!”

    This is my gift to you – We need an annual Friends Day!

    Live well, love much & laugh often – Be happy. SHARE THIS WITH YOUR FRIENDS .

    Be mindful that happiness isn’t based on possessions, power, or prestige, but on relationships with people we like and respect.
    Remember that while money talks, CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM SINGS!

  • Blaisehayest

    Somewhat of topic and a little late to the conversation but… The biggest argument against the video is ref that it will “ruin the flow of the game”. Funny how people don’t seem to mind (or even notice) when its time wasting that ruins the flow of the game. Hidden agenda anyone?

  • Mandy Dodd

    Have a feeling some refs see time wasting as a blessing, gives a breather to those not fit enough to keep up with the game.