By Walter Broeckx
As I couldn’t see the match live as I was appointed to do a match as a referee myself at the same kick off time as the Arsenal match I had to see the match already knowing the final score. So the tension then is missing a bit compared to seeing it live at the moment it is happening in London.
The match itself was not the best match we have seen from Arsenal. But to have a good game you need two teams who are willing to play some football. It was obvious after one minute that there was only one team willing to play the game. Some could say that this is Palace’s right to choose to play like that. But as I have said a gazillion times in the past: I hate it and dislike it.
With Arsenal being rusty and still missing a few players it was down to score an early goal or otherwise face a frustrating 90 minutes. As we couldn’t score the early goal it was down to a frustrating 90 minutes. Now in fact the best way to win against such a team if you can’t score that early goal and force them to open up is to win it in extra time.
I love the sight of the cheating team looking at the clock and thinking: yeah we nearly stole the point and then see them on the floor as they conceded in extra time. That is what I call being punished instantly. All their efforts in kicking, time wasting, some more kicking, and some more time wasting all being ruined in the final minutes.
Justice for the team that tried to play the game as it should be played. And this turned a frustrating game in to a great result. At the moment I write this I don’t know the Sunday results but certainly for Saturday it seems that we were the only home team that managed to win their match. A bit strange I would say. Certainly the result from Swansea at Manchester United was a bit of a shock.
Manchester United have a genius now as a manager we have been led to believe by the media. And look at how Manchester United won all their pre-season matches under Van Gaal. The new messiah had arrived at Old Trafford. And Swansea got a bad pre-season and were finished at home by a Spanish team (the name escapes me for the moment) with 0-3.
As I was hungry for football and had nothing else to do I watched the biggest part of that match. I know United had a few players missing but if you can put £30m players like Fellaini on the bench next to Nani you are still having a few options I would think. I think it will have been a sobering experience for the Manchester United fans.
And compared to the way Palace kicked around, Swansea played as they did last seasons and didn’t go with the kick them till they bleed tactics. But in the end it was a rather poor match from both sides. In fact I would see them both as mid table teams based on this match. But of course they could be still rusty for the moment. But given their pre-season matches I thought Manchester United was already flying high.
I must admit that I also thought that we were a bit rusty at times. But when you look at the starting line up we see that we had 3 new players in the starting line up. Chambers who is really impressing me more and more each match. Alexis who will be amazing as soon as we find some space. Debuchy who ran the right flank for 90 minutes and was also amazing and almost scored the winner. And then with Sanogo we had another player that wasn’t a real starter last season. That is 4 players that were new to last season. And that is also for me a big part of some things not going according to plan yet.
As Wenger said last season that is the maximum to bring in as new players and to bring in more gives you a lot of problems. So bringing in more players might give us some more problems to find a new balance in the team. The return of the German weltmeisters will not really bring problems as they are already used to the team. But they could find it difficult to find their feet again after having missed pre-season completely.
So it was all sweet and sweat at the end for Arsenal. We did what we haven’t done since the opening day of the season in 2008. That was the last time we won a opening match at home. We then beat WBA with a 1-0. So it has been 6 seasons since that day! I don’t know why the media didn’t make a fuss about that statistic. It shows that it isn’t easy to win the opening match of the season. No matter who the opposition is, it never was an easy win most of the time.
But I did miss one thing during the coverage of yesterdays match. Ever since we moved to the Emirates we have seen the camera each and every match go around the part of the stadium where the trophies are visualised with the year. And each and every year we had to hear the same thing repeated with each and every year hearing how much years it has been since Arsenal won anything. They did this every match. Over and over again. To rub it in. Oh, how they loved doing this round of the stadium. They hoped it would go on for ever and ever.
But yesterday I didn’t see the camera doing the round during the match. As for all those years it was written in the script of the camera man to do the round of the trophy gallery but now it was somehow forgotten. Or was the script to not show the fact that there are two fresh dates to be seen over there? Well for once I would have loved to have seen the camera take that tour of that part of the stadium. But perhaps the cameras were too busy showing the time wasting antics of Speroni the CP goal keeper and there was no time left to show it this time?
- How the press treats other clubs: Manchester United
- The Untold Referee review: Arsenal – Crystal Palace
- Amending reality: how Sky gives us its vision, but not what actually happened
- Arsenal / Palace; time wasting reaches new highs, or was it just me?
- Arsenal v The Palace. The Queen gives her view
- Is Arsene desperate? Is this deal going to happen? Err…
- The Big 7 clubs, how much they spent and what good is it doing?
- What the media won’t tell you about football 5: Fifa lends money to Switzerland
- What the media won’t tell you about football, part 4 – referee variations
- The final transfer rumours: 3 new names to make 66 players tipped for Arsenal
- What the media won’t tell you about football, part 3 – referee home bias