A few things as predicted, now to get going after the break

By Walter Broeckx

As I couldn’t see the match live as I was doing my own match as a referee I saw the match with no tension in my body.

It was very much what everyone could predict. But not all. They said that our full backs would run forward at any opportunity and we would get punished and be slaughtered by Chelsea. Well that didn’t happen at all. Well done Chambers and Gibbs.  The other side of the coin was that they didn’t contribute to our attack like they can. And that cost us attacking wise. Of course we might say now that Wenger should have send them forward more but well that is all very easy to say after the match.

What did we predict before the match? That the ref would not be on our side. And he wasn’t. The again reckless tackle on Alexis an example on being a red card tackle but as we expected before the match Atkinson did nothing. Oh yes he gave a yellow card. That is the same thing as doing nothing. Players now this and I had the impression that Alexis was not his usual himself after this tackle. Job well done from a Mourinho point of view.

Of course the Chelsea players new they could get away with such things. And by looking at the face of some Arsenal players they also realised it. But make no mistake if Alexis his foot was planted in the grass we would have Eduardo all over again. And dear refs I really don’t want to go over that again if possible. So stop it now! Mike Riley act now or do we really have to see blood on the pitch again?

People who say that Koscielny should have a red card should explain me why because there were covering defenders behind Koscielny, I think that if he had stayed on his feet he might have been closed down or even not even got a shot at goal as he played himself wide to the goal. It was also not dangerous or reckless just trying to get to the ball and missing the ball.

The ref also seem to miss a penalty for Arsenal but well this once again was what we predicted in our preview. Fabregas was holding his hands in an unnatural position wide from his body to make himself wide. But surely would Aktinson give that against Chelsea? We predicted that one for sure.  Just as the fact that he would let a lot of fouls on Arsenal players go. Certainly till Chelsea got the lead. I noticed Özil being fouled a few times without the ref doing anything at all. Another prediction we did came out.

But more on the ref in our review of course. Right after Chelsea went 1-0 up we had a golden chance to come back immediately. But alas Jack his close control was not up to the usual standard and the ball bounced off his feet and  in to the keepers arms. That was a moment we should have used better.

We knew that once Chelsea would be 1-0 up we would see the preferred Mourinho tactics: defend and then counter to score more goals. I think we did well till 12 minutes before the end. At that moment we threw more and more bodies forward so the chance of it going to happen became bigger and bigger the longer the game carried on.

Our crosses all ended up in a see of blue players and then you need a bit of luck. And on the moments that we did get an opening our players didn’t turn to goal and tried to shoot. I think a few times they didn’t realise they had a bit of space to turn to goal. Probably because for the rest Chelsea did their defending at their usual high standard.

It was defending against an attack that seemed a bit slow. Alexis probably feeling the Cahill kick till the end, Welbeck surrounded by 5 or 6 players all the time. And our full backs not running down the line as usual. So it didn’t kick off for us.  Chelsea wasn’t that impressive for the rest. Apart from defensive impressive that is.  But they won so they will not mind I think.

What the first 7 matches learned is that Arsenal is not yet in full flow. Too many draws. But in a way this is not that unexpected. If you would have followed the last seasons in football you should have learned that team that bring in 5 players will suffer at the beginning. Adding to that our world cup players and our run of injuries with a few heavy injuries to important and experienced players so it gets even more difficult to build up a team.

We have seen glimpses of brilliance but not consistent enough. But the draws should and can be turned in to wins and then we are right amongst the best. So now we just have to concentrate on taking the points after the break and then build further on the team. When we are on fire we can be unstoppable but we need to make sure that we are more on fire. Let us make sure that we can get to a higher speed after the break.

Teams that get the lead early on, sometimes just stop and run out of fuel. So we now just have to make sure that we grab a few more points and just try to keep the gap as small as possible and then when the others drop points we can capitalise on it. Being top now is maybe nice but as we learned last season when we were top of the league most of the time (with no new players almost in our squad) it means nothing if you are not top at the end.



131 Replies to “A few things as predicted, now to get going after the break”

  1. Regarding Kos, Hazard had a 1-1 with our keeper, albeit from a tight angle, if he was not tripped. Spot on with evrtything else but your defence of Kos not only negates the article, it rubbishes all your reviews and exposes your inherent bias in every preceding anslysis

  2. Arsenal were just not up to scratch. Much like the Dortmund game. Not able to hold on to the ball, and not moving it quickly enough. Still a long way to go IMO

  3. Koscielney is a complete liability in any top game and/or against a strong forward. Until Wenger signs a top centre half Arsenal will not challenge for the leageu. So many fans believe Kos is a top player, but he makes so many crucial mistakes. Just think back to Adams and Bould and now Arsenal have this joker. A defender should defend; a defender should not make many/any crucial mistakes. I watched DVDs recently of goals Arsenal concede and so many are down to Kos it’s frightening. Lovely footballer against average teams (except obviously Birmingham); awful defender against anyone above average.

  4. Spot on Walter. It did look as if Sanchez was deliberately targeted by the odious one – and that he had given instruction to that effect. I was surprised that Sanchez was able to continue.

    With Cahill being allowed to stay on the field and with Oscar getting away with repeated fouling the ref undermined his own authority – and it became clear we were up against 12, not 11.

    I am with you Walter re the Kos foul only being a yellow. The talented but morally destitute Hazard made sure he tripped over Kos’s leg – cheat – and in doing so played the ball away from the goals. A goal scoring chance was far from certain, further, I think it was Gibbs positioned further back than Kos.

    Basically what we expected to happen did happen – the PGMO(L) and the Specialist in Cheating are so predictable.

  5. Oh – looks like the AAAA tossers are creeping out from under the stones, it might be worthwhile checking the IP adresses.

  6. Bjt. This is not your imaginary AAA. Take a look at every other Arsenal blog and you will see almost total agreement that Kos was lucky to stay on. The sad thing is that this blog does a great job exposing the real wrongdoings against us, but when the person who oversees the ref reviews starts defending the indefendable and displays his own bias so when its so obvious to everyone besides untold it makes all his reviews questionable. That is why peope call you deluded conspiracy theorists. All the good work is undone by loyalty

  7. InitialsBB
    Likewise do I detect an inherent bias against Arsenal in your comments which rubbishes anything useful they might have to say?

  8. Mick. Cahill sjould have been sent off and the game should have been ours then. Happy?

  9. Or are you saying Arseblog and other creditable blogs have an inhetent bias agsinst arsenal?

  10. @BB

    The AAAA are not mine and they are not imaginary.

    I don’t give a toss re the opinions expressed on other sites – only plagiarists or the brain dead tend to repeat the opinions of others.

    As for “defending the indefensible” – whats ya smokin?

  11. Bjt.

    Were not talking about sky, the bbc, bt or even le grove, we are talking about real diehard arsenal fans, people who actually go to games. I am looking forward to what Andrew has to say.

    You can live in your fantasy world though

  12. InitialsBB
    Sadly a lot of Arsenal blogs most certainly do have a bias against Arsene Wenger and therefore Arsenal and are only too happy to voice it at any opportunity. But just because they say a particular thing doesn’t necessarily make it so.
    More people read the Sun than The Times, on your logic that makes it a better paper then.

  13. Yes, Cahill should have been sent off. But let’s be fair, so should have Welbeck. It was an indefensible two-footed lunge on Fabregas. But other than that, I agree, a poor game from Atkinson. He let Chelsea get away with their negative tactics.

  14. No mick, youre either deliberately twisting my words or youre thick.

    I am talking about real fans, but ones who can admit when one of our own is in the wrong.

    Regarding the blogs being against arsenal because they dont believe in Asene. Bullshit. A lot of these guys like myself supported under terry neill. Arsene is not Arsenal, he is a custodian, and our best ever.

  15. Cahills challenge was disgusting. Cesc handled in the box & Kos was very lucky I’ve backed AW for a long time but I am really beginning to think he is now struggling to outplay & beat his rivals. Perhaps he now has a mental block.To not have one shot on goal with the firepower we had is worrying.

    The players seem to struggle at times & I do think this could be an extension of his doubt.

    Just have to see how this season unfolds but we really should expect to be improving in the league.

  16. Walter, you are quite right about Sanchez not being himself. In his post match press interview Arsene Wenger, obviously suppressing his anger, invited a reporter to come and look at the state Sanchez is in.

    You are so right, if the referees don’t offer him protection we will have another Eduardo or Ramsey injury on our hands. It is an absolute disgrace. Arsene Wenger once again, in connection with another point, made reference to English referees. This is the second time he has done this recently. He knows there is something going on – and so do we.

    Also, once again we were denied a penalty, this time for a clear hand ball. And nobody can accuse our players of not pointing it out to the referee. I say this because our players have been accused in the past of not protesting about things – as if it was their job to tell the referee how he should be refereeing.

    Anyway, I definitely thought, with the quality of our play, we deserved something out of this match. But we didn’t get it, of course. Never mind, we’ll be back after the break. I will comfort myself by thinking about those wonderful goals against Galatasaray.

  17. Quincy, if the referee had done his job and given Cahill a red card, it would never have got to the stage where Welbeck got frustrated (I imagine) at the way the match was going mainly because of the referee and committed the foul on Cesc. It is the failure of referees to referee properly and protect the players that leads to this kind of thing.

  18. Freddie of couurse he is struggling against the oil clubs with their billions. Surely after all he has done for our club on a tight budget and now he has cash to compete he deserves these 3 years to build this team? Surely you see we are going in the right direction?

  19. @InitialsBB…I don’t have any problem with you disputing whether Koscielny should have been sent off. I have seen that called both ways. As for the inherent bias of this site, we make no bones that we support the manager and the team and we don’t slate them off as many do on Le Grove and other sites.

    When it comes to ‘bias’ about the refereeing decisions, however, I think you will see that Walter (and the other reviewers – the majority of whom were not Arsenal fans) have called things against Arsenal when they believed it was necessary. If there is a bias it is a bias in how they believe the game should be called. They (and many of us) believe the game in England is at best being called capriciously and at worst in a way that puts our players dangerously at risk and helping out other teams who play, how shall we say it delicately, cynically. Their reviews show that some clubs have benefited from referee mistakes/interpretations.

  20. Not sure how you can blame this on the ref. Yeah, he missed a possible handball and Cahill should have probably seen red. Chambers, Kos, and Wenger should have all seen red in the first half as well, and Welbeck in stoppage time.It was a poorly refereed game, but it certainly wasn’t biased in any way.

  21. Goinggooner

    I dont dispute the reviews. I can see with my own eyes that the only time we are not cheated is in june and july. My point is that when Walter comes out with something like that, when practically almost every other person in the world can see the opposite, it hurts the cause, and the brillisnt work that has been done by him and others.

    I understsnd it is out of pure love and loyalty, ive done it myself, But Walter should know better than to hsnd the outsiders a stick to beat his painstaking research and analysis with.

  22. Initials,
    I invite you to use the laws of the game to say why Kos had to be send off. not the opinion of other bloggers. most of whom never heard about laws of the game apart from the ones spouted by pundits

  23. For those asking : we lost this match because of one brilliant moment from Hazard. That was the only difference between the two teams. And a pretty useless ref

  24. By the way, I would never criticise anything about arsenal off a gooner site and will defend us, and Arsene to the last. Like family.

  25. AB,
    because I had to stop and like I said I will deal with this on the referee review.
    But it was a red card tackle. Just as Melo, Cahill.
    Probaly Welbeck isn’t used to it yet to face such tackles to his teammates unpunished (remember he comes from MU) and wanted to take rights in his own hands.
    Atkinson knew that if he would give red his other red card miss would come under scrutiny so he decided to “even things out”. Which he didn’t of course…

  26. I thought this site was all about supporting our beloved club. Not a platform for some vindictive fellows to pour vitriol and unintelligently criticize all the supposed failings the club has(real and imagined)just to make themselves feels better and ‘right’. There are enough of those sites out there. And honestly, they are as depressing as anything depressing can be. That game was a sham and anyone who cannot at least acknowledge that(of course this is not to deflect from the fact that we were at fault for the goals we conceded) cannot be a real supporter.Admin is there anything, something that can be done? I’d appreciate it if all of these myopic depression mongers would just be weeded out. This site is not worthy of being their playing field.

  27. Walter.

    because if he was not tripped he had only our keeper to beat. Therefore kos, in making the tackle, missing the ball and connecting with the player was denying a shot on goal from a goalscoring position- a clear goalscoring opportunity. Gibbs was miles away, further than Secz.

    Just admit it. Youll show youre a bigger, fairer person. Or are you just like Atkinson and the rest of the refs- one eyed when it comes to his own interests?

  28. In fact now I think of it, has there ever been a ref (or cop) in the history of the world that has admitted he was wrong yet?

  29. Initials BB

    So what? What you are saying does not negate the fact that that was not a FAIR game. Those are just the little details here and there,but the big picture points to something entirely different.(That was poor officiating. It hurt us much more than them. And it is not pretty, at least for those who care to actually see it objectively and not from the faulty preconceived notions that the club cannot be good enough. It has always to be the players’ faults, wenger’s fault etc etc, a tight game like that has very fine margins and the ref did not help at all. This team is getting there and they are going to be damn good in spite of anything anyone says,good or bad.

  30. And a shaggy dog story . . .

    As the referee called the captains over before the start of the game, he noticed a large red setter dog in full kit with one of the teams.

    “That somebody’s mascot?” he enquired with a smile.

    “No ref, he’s playing for us,” said the Red’s captain.

    Suspecting some kind of joke, the referee looked more closely and saw that the dog was indeed not only in full kit, but even had specially made shinguards. And there were certainly only ten other players

    “He’s on the team sheet” the captain went on helpfully, and the referee remembered he had noticed the unusual first name ‘Ared Setter’

    “It’s all right, ref, they don’t ask you whether you’re a dog when you register.”

    By now the referee is really concerned. He’s sure there’s something funny going on but he can’t think of any reason in the Laws or the Competition Rules that he could quote to stop the dog playing.

    “Right lads, off we go then.”

    For about ten minutes the ball doesn’t go near the dog playing in midfield. Then a clearance out of the opposition’s defence is going to drop near him. With a spectacular leap the dog heads the ball down and controls it with his back legs under his body. With an astonishing turn of speed and a fantastic body swerve the dog evades all the attempted tackles as he makes the 60 yards into the opposition’s penalty area. Then he lets fly a thunderous shot, right into the top corner of the net.

    Whistle goes but when the dog turns with his shirt half off in celebration, he sees the referee pointing to the ground near his feet.

    “Defence free kick”.

    “No way”, protested the dog. “That was a bloody good goal.”

    “Sorry mate,” said the referee with the hint of a satisfied smile. “You kicked it with one of your front paws. Had to be handball!”

  31. A few points after the game continue to worry me.
    Watching on Sky TV, just before the penalty, there appeared on the screen, a He
    record of Hazards’s earlier penalties, showing thay most of them were low and to the goalkeeper’s left.
    With modern age technology, I would have thought that Arsenal FC would have had a similar record and Czszesny should have been tipped off
    accordingly. Without this information , he dived to his
    Something must be done at Colney to sort out Gibbs and his total avoidance of using his right boot. The number of occasions today when he turned inwards with the ball, as part of our attack and then lost momentum and direction due to having to keep the ball firmly attached to his left boot.
    It is quite ridiculous that a professional footballer of his calibre cannot be taught to use both feet.

  32. Just seen Szcz again…..yes he failed to come out to Costa when he scored……you could just see he knew Atkinson would have red carded him if he had touched Costa.
    Nice to see Cesc surrounding the ref trying to get Kos sent off!
    How is this ref FIFA accredited……actually,,silly question, FIFA ore one of the most corrupt organisations on earth.

  33. InitialsBB hazard was diving all game, he is just a cheat. He even mentioned if he gets fouls given to him it shows he is trying. He plays the fouls if you watch him properly.

  34. @Mandy Cesc is an arsehole who left us for barceloser, he had no where else to go as he was booed at DNA home. He only says good things at times as he thought he could come back to arsenal. But he is the one who left and willing to pay he’s way out. There really is no love lost. Wenger made him, he’s hat chavski he now has chavski DNA.

  35. On BBC website now: I kid you not.
    “Shirt-pulls, shoves, clips of the heels – you might think Chelsea were not playing by the rules but, actually, they were”
    Seriously now, what chance is there for Wenger’s brand of football when such utter tosh is fed to the audience and the BBC joins in as Mourinho’s Propaganda Ministry?

    “MOTD2 analysis: How crafty Chelsea upset Arsenal’s rhythm
    MOTD2 pundit Phil Neville expands on his TV analysis of how Chelsea exploited an old Arsenal weakness as they kept up their impressive start to the season with victory at Stamford Bridge.
    There was not much between the two teams in Chelsea’s 2-0 win over Arsenal on Sunday, but what we saw is that Blues boss Jose Mourinho still knows how to win the big games.
    As well as the way Mourinho set Chelsea up and how hard his players worked, I am talking about the little niggly challenges his side kept making, mainly off the ball.
    They were just little things like shirt-pulls, shoves or clips of the heels which did not always result in fouls, let alone bookings, but still stopped or slowed down Arsenal’s attacking momentum.
    You might think Chelsea were not playing by the rules but, actually, they were – which is why a lot of things that were happening at Stamford Bridge were not being given as fouls.
    It is more like gamesmanship, and I would describe it as being cute and clever rather than cheating.”

  36. I don’t care that Cesc is at Chelsea. He left Arsenal thus demonstrating that he had no great loyalty to us. To expect us to have loyalty to him is just taking the Mickey. He is another team’s player and that’s that.

  37. Did we actually make any of their keepers save anything? Chavski were on a different planet and we didn’t seem to have any answers.

  38. Chelsea are a bit better than us right now. That is no reason to commit suicide. It is rather a call for players to work harder, and for fans to support better and cheer harder. The future is red.

  39. Disappointing to read a lot of the thoughts above.
    I have to agree completely with BB, Kos should have walked, as should Cahill and Welbeck. Chambers was lucky not to get a second red (can he live in this standard without getting booked?).
    Walter, I’m surprised! If that’s how you see it fair enough, but I had you down for a better ref than that and more importantly, a bigger man. Cesc’s handball would have been very harsh, he wasn’t trying to make himself bigger just diving into the tackle, could be given but would be upset if it went against one of our guys. The ultimate disappointment for me was seeing Arsene getting silly with Mourinho, you’ll never get credit for nonsense like that no matter how angry he might have been at the time.
    The game looked to me as if it were a very good team of under 16s playing against a decent men’s team. Chelsea seemed to be physically stronger at every challenge. Rambo might have helped but we still look a tad short for the long haul.
    Let’s move on.

  40. The referee was surprised to be asked by the local zoo to take charge of a match between a team of mammals and a team of insects. By half-time the mammals were leading comfortably 27-0.

    However, at half-time the insects made a substitution and brought on a centipede. By the end he had scored no fewer than 83 goals and the insects won a famous victory.

    As they left the field, the referee, overcome by curiosity, approached the insect captain. “That centipede of yours was brilliant. But why didn’t you play him from the start?”

    “We’d have liked to,” was the reply “but it takes him the first 45 minutes to get his boots on.”

  41. @Dec That is probably one of the sensible, well judged comments I’ve seen on this site!
    I have to also agree with BB, Arsenal were lucky not to finish with 8 men, Chelsea lucky not to finish with 10. The Fabregas pen shout was probably a pen, realistically those are harsh due to speed and relative distance between players and it’s less clear cut than the Gareth Barry one in the Merseyside derby but his arms are in an unnatural position and “you’ve seen them given” many times before.
    Both Cahill’s and Welbeck’s challenge were pretty disgraceful tbh but what frustrates me here is the article conveniently fails to mention both the Welbeck tackle and Chambers escape from a second yellow because it doesn’t fit with the Atkinson’s perceived bias against Arsenal. I hope the full review deals with all the incidents correctly without bias else credibility shall be lost.

    I think MOTD commentary said “Chelsea didn’t let Arsenal play their way…but then again why should they?” That’s rather the point, the physicality (verging on persistent fouling it must be said) is a tactic Wenger must be aware of by now as a means to beat Arsenal but consistently fails to address the lack of strength in the team on and off the ball. In fact his push on Mourinho was stronger than most of the Arsenal tackles! Unlike the Dortmund game which could easily have been 5 or 6 nil, that game would never have been a repeat of last year and Arsenal did match and limit Chelsea for long periods. A small step in the right direction on a positive note I guess.

  42. The commentators on Talk Sport were so biased it was unreal. Basically this was a game with 3 shots on target including a penalty and a deflected cross. Walter you are right, except you failed to mention that Chambers should not even have had a foul against him for either challenge rather than have a red card as Maureen and the commentators on Talk Sport seem to suggest. His yellow came from Hazard stepping across in front of him and falling over. Chelsea got a penalty, Arsenal should’ve got a penalty but didn’t. That’s the key to the game. Chelsea didn’t dominate the game as we’re led to believe as evidenced by the fact that they had 2 shots on target. The result came down to one moment where Hazard got the better of Koscielny and even though I was one of Kos’ biggest supporters last season he is making too many mistakes. This one has potentially cost us the match, assuming that Hazard would not have gone on to score.

  43. A referee was visiting friends in the US. They suggested a trip to a nearby native American – Red Indian – Reservation, especially to meet the very famous medicine man who had a side-line as a Sports Memory Man.

    The referee and his friends were introduced to a small weather-beaten old Indian in traditional dress squatting at the back of the wigwam. After exchanging introductions and pleasantries, the medicine man confirmed that he would answer questions on ‘soccer’ and refereeing. “No problem” he said. “What is first question?”

    “Can you tell us who the English referee was who blew his whistle in the World Cup as the ball was about to enter the net, and so prevented the winning goal?”

    “He called Clive Thomas. He not English referee, he Welsh referee. World Cup 1978 – Brazil v. Sweden. Final score 1-1.”

    The referee was astonished as well as embarrassed and muttered his thanks and an apology for getting Clive’s nationality wrong.

    “Second question?”

    “Who was the English referee officiating at national level in South America 1947-48 and called the ‘mighty atom’ by the Mexican press?”

    “He one of your friends – member of Reading RA – Lionel Gibbs. One more question?”

    The referee was so amazed he could hardly phrase his final clincher question.

    “Who invented red and yellow cards?”

    “Ken Aston, also English referee. Famous for trying to control ‘Battle of Santiago’, Chile v. Italy, World Cup 1962.”

    The stunned visitors thanked the medicine man profusely and made a handsome donation to the Reservation Benevolent Fund.

    Some 20 years later, the referee was again visiting his American friends and they agreed on another visit to the Reservation to see if the medicine man was still doing the business.

    They were assured he was and were taken to his wigwam. As the referee went in he raised his hand in Indian salute and said: “How.”

    “He got idea on way home from match. See traffic lights changing, green, yellow, red”.

    I would like attribute the source for the referee jokes in this thread and the previous: the Ken Aston Referee Society http://www.kenaston.org/the-referee/Referee-Jokes.htm.

    Chamber’s England callup has been redirected from U21 to Senior due to John Stones being injured today.

  44. Guys, it’s Chelsea with FULL strength team at Stamford Brigde with Jose. What do you expect? The most important thing was they had to fight for their victory against Gunners. If you ask any Chelsea players, they will tell you, yesterday was the best and the toughest game they had so far this season. The fact that Arsenal stood toe to toe and punch for punch with them was admirable despite the fact that the team is not playing its full potential in full flow. I can see the panic caused by Welbeck, Ozil, Wilshere and especially Sanchez to the Chelsea defense. These players were ready to rumble. Flamini and Cazorla played their part too. The usually imperious Ivanovic was given a tough day. Per and Kos had Costa in their pockets except when he scored as Arsenal chased the game. The best player in EPL, Hazard was the difference maker and the referee had a nightmare. The ancient old tactic of early Jose intimidation tactic was on display and Arsenal retaliated equally. As much as Kos, Chambers and Welbeck deserved a red card, Oscar, Cahill and Ivanovic deserved the same punishment too, in the first half. Fabregas was lucky, he handed the ball in Stamfort Bridge, otherwise a penalty anytime. Arsene got his tactics right as there is no other way to break the Chelsea bus, just need some time and need the injured players back. Certainly, got his decision to stand off to Jose right. See you c**ts in Ems.

  45. @ Rantetta
    That link pretty much summarizes cheat$ki’s approach to this game. In almost the same instant, ivanobitch deliberately fouls Ozil off the ball, while cahill tries to break Sanchez’s leg. That’s not a mistimed tackle. He goes above and behind the ball and keeps his leg stretched out so as to catch Sanchez. A pro footballer can’t possibly have such poor co-ordination. I’m not a bloody pro sportsman, but I’d easily avoid such an “accident”. This is clearly under instruction, and phil neville clarifies that managers do instruct players to take this approach in his bbc article, which basically glorifies cheat$ki’s approach to this game. Honestly, we’re talking about potential leg breaks here… The cunts in blue make me sick, and that goes double for their manager. And this is what it supposedly took cesc 10 min to subscribe and sign up to? I say screw him, he deserves the same treatment as $amir Na$ri and co. when he visits the emirates. If I was an honest cheat$ki supporter with even the tiniest shred of morality, I’d be feeling nothing but shame right now. Mourinho is a cancer in football. He might know how to win (ugly) but he destroys all the principles of good sportsmanship that most sports are built on. Football is certainly not about potentially breaking opponents legs as a “winning tactic”. Despicable, to say the least…

  46. @JonFromWellington
    I’ve never felt more proud to be a gooner than today.
    kudos to that.

    From all the comments today we all see the team as having stood up to Chelsea and the ref.
    As ARSENAL 13 says
    That was a message to players. Stand up for yourself. That was a message to the other teams that our patience is running thin.
    I heartily agree to that.

    Well done lads, and i now know that Chelsea will be beaten when they come to us this time.

  47. So what did Wenger say to Mourihno as he pushed him back?

    So you don’t want to play football eh? You play rough, we play tougher.

  48. @C4 I’d love to hear your description of the Welbeck “tackle”… Also I suggest you re-read Phil Neville’s article. He suggests that managers do indeed instruct players to commit niggly fouls like heel-clipping, shirt tugging etc in order to break up play. I’m pretty certain there was never an instruction to commit a reckless and potentially dangerous lunging challenge on any player at any time. It happens, players lose their heads and/or mis-time challenges.

    @Walter Are you seriously suggesting that a player who was educated in football at one of the greatest clubs on the planet is naive enough and frankly stupid enough to believe that the correct way to proceed, after seeing the tackle on Sanchez punished only with a yellow, was to commit a moronic two-footed studs up challenge on Fabregas and take matters into his own hands? Frankly both Welbeck and Cahill deserve criticism, one not more than the other. You’re defense of your own players is commendable but in this case it is a rather bizarre excuse. It is not wrong, no matter how pro-arsenal you are, to occasionally offer criticism to players/manager/club when it is warranted (obv. not excessively/radically/#wengerout) especially because of the ease to which you and plenty of others here will criticise Cahill.

  49. The mentality of Chelsea was evident in the first minute, when Jose takes the ball from the ball boy so that arsenal can’t take their throw in quickly. Petty club.

  50. The worst thing that could happen of this…… Well, this game will become a case study of how good Chelsea are (apparently they are not). If they really are that good, then they should’ve played fair yesterday. And how poor a start to the season we’ve had, which in my opinion is not bad at all. And how to beat ARSENAL. What are the odds that Van Hall will not deploy the same???…

    We’ll have to swallow all the shit for 2 weeks now.. . stupid internationals.

  51. the problem is that when top teams press against arsenal our players take eternity to release the ball. i think we are so accustomed to playing possession football atba languid pace that when pressed we seem to choke a bit. last night i think we set up to play on the counter but it took too long to move from edge of our penalty box to theirs. having a speedy player at the centre of the park could have helped. also the issue with pressing remain. around 75 min costa got the ball. he was alone in the arsenal half with three arsenal players close to him. yet nobody tried to get in his face. this i think was not addressed.

  52. The team didn’t play very well but they did ok. Ref really against Arsenal and no one seem to care.

    I don’t know why ref can do bad things and get away.

    Can teams sue them when because there are financial consequence…

  53. @Nelson Poor decisions were made against both teams.
    And no, can you imagine the legal mess and general farce that would be caused if teams sued for every referring error on the grounds of financial consequence? What should happen is referees should be given the opportunity to explain controversial decisions in a controlled way. They are protected generally from direct criticism unlike managers and bad games from referees are dealt with internally and limited transparency means fans never really know what is going on.

  54. I hate this Chelsea team more than any team in any sport ever. They are absolutely despicable. Every time one of our players was within reach they had a little “bite”, especially after a player released the ball. Cahills “tackle” was at least the 4th leg breaker one of our players has avoided this year. When is something going to be done? I for one was proud of Wenger for getting in mourinho’s face and trust me the players absolutely loved it, someone has to stick up for them and we all know the media and sadly quite a few fans won’t do it. As for Hazard, I loathe that little cheating prick. As soon as he saw Kos coming he knocked the ball to the left, went stiff with both legs (a sign of a pre meditated dive) and dragged his feet over Kos to draw penalty. After violence that particular kind of dive, to draw a stiff leg penalty, is my least favorite thing in football. But like Walter said we all knew most of that would happen. In the end one team showed up to play football and the other did not. I’m glad I support the one that came to play.

  55. The Edwardo, Ramsey leg breaking tackles as well as the way in which our team was affected mentally after both of those – is still so vivid in my mind.

    I can’t help but cringe every time we have been so close to another leg breaker…and its very disappointing to read that we are overreacting. God FORBID should we have another…what will be said/written then!!!

    We will sit and say we told you so (FACT) but we we are still going to have one or two players out for a year or two or maybe never the same again (Edwardo?)!!!

  56. As I had to go to bed last night I couldn’t answer why for me as a ref Koscielny didn’t have to be send off.

    This is from the instructions they give to referees at the start of the season. Well how they gave them in Belgium and as we are Fifa members I do think it is based on how Fifa wants the rules to be interpreted. The laws of the game are not set in stone and certainly the interpretation of the laws of the game changes almost every season.

    First of all they say that an attacker can take away himself the “obvious goal scoring opportunity”. The most obvious chance for a player to score a goal is if he stands in the middle of the goal and can shoot at both angles. If he goes towards one of the side lines the angle becomes more difficult to score with a keeper being able to cover more ground by his position. That is important to keep in mind.

    In the instructions they give referees they have explained that if a players dribbles to the outside of the goal by pushing the ball in that direction it should be looked upon that the attacker is taking away the obvious goal scoring opportunity himself. Same if he dribbles away from the goal with only one defender to beat then it is not to be seen as the last defender as dribbling away from the goal is also taking away the obvious goal scoring opportunity.

    If Hazard would have dribbled in the direction of the centre of the goal then it could have been deemed a goal scoring opportunity but then he would have dribbled in this case in to the path of Gibbs and so then again it wouldn’t have been an obvious goal scoring opportunity.

    What also plays a part is the fact that Gibbs was 1-2 metres closer to the goal at the moment of the foul and he could have covered the goal also. All this made it a goal scoring opportunity but no more an obvious goal scoring opportunity.

    The foul was not done with excessive force which is one of the reasons to send a player off.

    And for those saying: but I have seen them given. Yes surely. But then the question is: where they given correctly when you saw them given? And there once was a moment in time when almost every penalty was accompanied with a red card. But the interpretation since then has changed a bit.

    And I can’t see ahead but I do think that when we come to the next European championship or world cup we will not see a red card any more like Szczesny got one against Galatasaray. The triple punishment will go when a foul is made in the penalty area. Because when a penalty is given the team still has the obvious goal scoring opportunity. But for fouls outside the penalty area they will probably keep the red card as a free kick outside the penalty area is not a obvious goal scoring chance.

    My bet is it will change to a penalty and a yellow card inside the penalty area and a red card and free kick outside the penalty area. Only for serious foul play the red card will still be used also in the penalty area. Or for the extremely cynical fouls when there is no chance of playing the ball. You can feel that they are already preparing us for this change. Well that is if you look at how earlier rule changes came to pass in the past.

  57. And for those asking: no I don’t defend Welbeck for his tackle at all. I don’t like to see such things from Arsenal players. Or from any player.

    If you would take the trouble to look up what I wrote about the Flamini sending off at Southampton. It was along these lines (not the exact words of course). And if you remember that sending off it was a two footed challenge on the ball by the way.

    We completely agreed with the sending off AND HOPED THAT THIS WOULD BE THE BENCHMARK FROM NOW ON FOR ALL TEAMS!

    Since then numerous Arsenal players have been the victim of the same fouls and no red cards have been given. But don’t worry about the Welbeck challenge it will be marked in the referee review

  58. As far Ozil doesn’t do enough, well he completed more pass in final third (and more than Cesc too), more key passes and more dribbles. The above stats are from 7amkickoff.

    People saying Ozil had a poor game look again. Yes he lost the ball a few times. But then he was barged off the ball a lots without the foul being called.

    Question. Why is Ozil being treated as a third grade citizen???… And why can’t Gooners stand by him and support him in his fight against injustice???…

  59. Walter 8.02 post–very interesting, and agree with the 8.06am post re DW..
    Arsenal 13, I think this is an interesting question-busy now but will come back later.
    COYG etc

  60. For me, we lost because we did not tweak the midfield a bit. I think The Ox should have played in place of Wilshire. Also, i see many games when we lose the first goal. I would be happy if for a change we score first. In fact I was praying for that to happen against Chelski, but, I guess, the Lord doesn’t listen to me any more, does he?

  61. A few thoughts and comments:

    @ Arsenal 13 – exactly what I thought. couldn’t believe people were saying Ozil had a weak game. He did his job which is to play attacking midfield, link up play, be all around the pitch, and yes, not doing a lot defensively.

    – The ref killed us. Simple. But as I always say (in contrast to many here) – there are very few games where the ref (in my opinion) completly changes the result. This actually be one of them with the penalty and red which should have been awarded vs Fabregas and the probable red for Cahill.

    – We were much better in midfield than our last encounter with the KGB, passing very quickly, pressing, and avoiding back passes. However, there is something (which is a lot down to injuries, but not just) which I see as a problem recently and that’s Jack’s movement and choice. For the immense talent and work-rate he has, I am seeing a pattern of very unvaried choices- get the ball, run through the middle and/or through opponents, trying to get a double-pass near the box and get in there, through the middle (again). It’s all very head-against-the-wall and very predicable. This is coupled by him not really helping the midfielder behind him (be it Arteta or Flamini). I am not sure that when Ramsey is fit, Jack should start.

    – Another thing I’m reading here and there which has only remote connection to the match (money and how the KGB are swimming in it) – I don’t care, and never cared, about being a financialy stable club, or to have financial morals. It seems absurd and in a way hypocritical. Ask yourself this: will you support AFC any less if it were to be discovered that the majority shareholder is a pedophile? A rapist? A thief? I am not talking about the embarassment of the 10-14 days of reading unsavoury headlines about the owner; but surely that persons crimes and misgivings should not have any influence on a club that I (personally) support for 22 years (and naturally some of you like Nicky, for 222 years :-p).

    My point is – there is no pride in being financialy moral; there is no shame in spending. It is what it is. To top it off, ever since it was discovered Stan is taking away money from the side – this argument is really irrelevant.

  62. @C4
    October 6, 2014 at 3:58 am

    “…Mourinho is a cancer in football. He might know how to win (ugly) but he destroys all the principles of good sportsmanship that most sports are built on. Football is certainly not about potentially breaking opponents legs as a “winning tactic”. Despicable, to say the least…”


  63. At least Martin Keown took the time to show a sequence of deliberate Chelsea fouls, noting that the majority were not given by Atkinson and pointing out that the few that were free kicks still suited them, as our attacks had been prevented.

  64. If Cahill had been sent off then the ref would have set a precedent. Which I’m pretty certain would lead to DW not making that tackle.
    Watched in slow-mo he wasn’t anywhere near the 2-faced Spaniards standing foot but he did launch into it so should have followed Cahill.

    The BBC http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/29497521 mentioned by percy above, is really embarassing. When a pundit says “You might think Chelsea were not playing by the rules but, actually, they were” you know he’s an idiot. Yes it’s part of the game to some degree but it’s not part of the rules….

    Oh, and to the guy talking about Bould and Adams. Sadly the game has changed so much since then that I don’t think they could get into the first team outside of a Fat Sam team.

  65. We lost? Bollocks. We were robbed by cheats. We were fouled off the ball all over the pitch. We were fouled serially and blatantly. Chambers was booked for a foul on Hazard but it was Hazard who fouled Chambers and dived. Atkinson like all his PGMOL group cheat the game of fair play. The Laws of the Game are lost on these greedy cheats.

    Mourinho was out of order getting the ball off the boy to create a situation and the officials ignored it. The whole situation brings the game into disrepute.

    MOTD pundits pointed out the repeated fouling and disrupting of Arsenals flow. The officials did nothing to correct this abuse of the Laws. Wenger has a team playing beautiful football that cheats spoil by ‘tactics’ outside the Laws.

    This will not be the last game we get cheated of by the FA’s chosen monopoly.

  66. What I do not understand is with all the evidence of bad decisions by PMGOL refs, why can’t Arsenal bring a charge of ‘bringing the game into disrepute aaginst the PMGOL?

  67. Ground hog day again in Wenger land. Enough is enough . You have had enough time and money to turn the ship around. But your continued one eyed infatuation with buying tricky midfielders , trying to turn them in to wingers and refusing to buy a decent defensive midfielder ( oh for the next Gilberto Silva). Should cost you your job. You are now a mere caricature of your once great self. Leave now before we all remember you for being a failure. And yes you are a serial loser now , the results prove it. Please step aside so we can remember the great teams you once produced.Your time is up.

  68. Clearly our performance yesterday was an improvement on last years’s drubbing. So well done to the manager and the players for their efforts to make it more of a game. But the truth is Chelsea toyed with us, their defence were imperious and they had two high quality attacking moments which led to their goals and we had one which Jack, unfortunately, fumbled. The ref wasn’t great but I can’t honestly get worked up that what he did or didn’t do really seriously impacted on the result. What matters now is how Arsene takes things forward. How does he get our attack to be more penetrative and create more chances? How does he get the best out of Ozil? What line up and formation should he be working towards and adopting to get the maximum performances out of his players. (Personally I think the Ox’s directness, pace, power and dribbling ability would be more useful to the team than anything Ozil offers ..but what do I know?) And yes, which players should Wenger be planning to bring to the club in January to enhance the quality and address our vulnerabilities? Things can still be done to make something of our Premiership challenge for this season. If he is not able to move things on in the coming weeks and months however, I think we are increasingly within our rights to question whether our Manager’s ideas or his approach will ever work to compete with the best teams. I have serious doubts now but we need to see how he does.

  69. Walter @ 8.02 am

    Thanks for that explanation re the Kos yellow, which should help one vociferous contributor to understand the rules of the game.

    There is little doubt the Specialist in Cheating set his team up to illegally disrupt our play and intimidate/injure our players. That the ref permitted this is appalling.

    But this is not new, it has happened on many occasions over the years – and several times this season. Thanks to the connivance of the PGMO(L) this type of behavior by opposition teams seems to have become not just permissible but normal – and is approved by the media.

    Something smells really bad in the administration of the game.

  70. @colario- I would think because there is no evidence. Like the referee reviews it is circumstantial and based on opinions. Kind of like The Kos penalty situation, 90% of even goonrrs think he was lucky to stay on but then there are the remainder who will argue but but but but….even if they know they’re wrong.

    what Arsenal could do is have Arsene publically call for an investigation into thePGMO and make it an issue where they know they are under the microscope. I canmot understand why this has not been done

  71. Dec. The point you seem to be failing to grasp is that the Cahill tackle happened FIRST. This means that Chelsea would have been down to ten men and therefore the so called ‘Kos’ tackle’ for the penalty would not have happened. Why are a couple of you unable to accept this? If Chelsea had gone sdown to ten men so early, the game would have changed. Mourinho would have changed tactics completely.

    These attempts to downplay the impact the Cahill sending off would have made is ignorant.You are clutching at straws claiming Kos and Chambers whould have been sent off because those incidents would not have happened. It is also odd that you seem to ignore Oscars persistent fouling, which should have resulted in at least two yellow cards, I lost count of how many niggly fouls he committed to break up play.

    Some managers, like Mourinho, are bending the rules. The reason two yellows was introduced was to help encourage fair play, as much as it annoys me sometimes having watch 11 v 10 games, those are the rules. Persistent fouling is not a tactic that should be praised, as Alan Smith did claiming it was ‘clever’. Clever? It is not clever, it is obtaining an advantage by unfair means – cheating.

    Very good performance by Arsenal. On the negative side I was disappointed with Ozil yesterday, he is a class player who I love watching but in some games he seems to get bullied. I also was disapponted to see Santi taken off, the little maestro was superb.

  72. Whatever works guys. If looking at every incident and game through rose tinted glasses makes you feel better then go for it. For some it’s easier to acknowledge reality and accept what it brings, heartache and all.
    If Arsenal win, it’s a good thing. Be happy and get on with life.
    If Arsenal loose, it’s a sad thing. Get over it and move on with life.
    Most of us here believe that Arsene will do what’s best and we’ll accept what that brings. Whether we believe it or not, his decision will be final so regardless of what we think of Ozil or Kos or anybody else, as long as AW likes them they’ll play.
    Anyway, for those of you who feel we were robbed yesterday and were anywhere near as good as Chelsea, there are some pink Unicorns, dancing on some fluffy clouds and sliding down rainbows into a sea of chocolate gumdrops. For the rest of us there’s Monday morning and work.

  73. This one definitely feels sore…but then you cannot do much when the only thing on referee’s mind was to not issue a red card. When people say that Kos, Chambers or maybe Kos deserved to be sent off, they keep on forgetting that it was Cahill who first went with that challenge…had that been given a red card, then the complexion of the entire match could have changed. Maybe even if the handball decision had gone in our favour…the outcome of the match would have been different.

    Wait until Costa is ruled out for a couple of months!

  74. @proudkev

    But we all agree Cahill should have walked and the game would have been different, that we all agree. But he was not and the game continued. By your logic nothing that proceeded the Cahill tackle should be debated?

  75. InitialsBB. Of course anything that happened after the Cahill incident can be debated.

    What I am saying is simple. The Cahill decision was a game changer. Had Cahill walked, as he should have, then the other ‘hypothetical’ nonsense about Kos and Chambers being sent off is redundant because those events would not have happened.

    From a hypothetical point we could all say that Cahill, Oscar and Kos should have been sent off. But they werent. All we can look at is the FIRST incident because that effect everything that happens after.

    The real point for me is why did a referee and his fourth official not decide the Cahill sending off worthy of a red card? That tackle is a perfect example of the over the top assault that has been outlawed. That is the dangerous tackle that breaks legs and which everybody wants eradicated from football. As an Arsenal fan, I am more sensitive to those tackles because of what I have seen happen to Diaby, Eduardo and Ramsey. I would say that is the reason why Wenger was so incensed, especially seeing Mourinho complaining about the booking!

    I cannot say that had Cahill been sent off that the result would have been different. I don’t know that. What I do know however, is that none of the events that followed, and which are being used to ‘discredit’ the Cahill game changer debate, would have happened.

  76. One wonders what would have happened if Cahill had been sent off, as he obviously should have been.

    May I suggest that Mourinho would have put on a defender, and taken off an attacker.

    It may have actually been Hazard, who does not readily accept defensive responsibilities.

    Would this game changing decision have made a big big difference to the outcome.

    I think so.

    Would it be possible for Riley to point out to his underlings that the way to stop a counter attack is to systematically foul the ball carrier at the point of break.

    Seems like more teams are doing this against Arsenal, who are much more capable of fast counter attacks than last season.

    I, for one, would be interested on Walter’s take on this tactic.

  77. It would have been very harsh if Kos had been red carded.

    Did he really mean to foul Hazard? I do not think so. He went for the ball. Should be a yellow. Only a red if you mean to bring the man down

  78. Proudkev, if your mum had met some othrr guy at the dance we wouldnt be having this discussion, but we are

  79. I have read the comments above and now that some of the annoyance has died down and mine as well, I’m posting. I thought that we had them on the ropes for large parts of the game. We had several opportunities for our players to run into the Chelsea area but they chose to pass sideways or backwards several times instead. If we had carried on, like Hazard, we would have had a high chance of a penalty (if the ref had given it, which he might well have done imo). We were beaten by a whisker and both sides could have had 2 players sent off. Welbeck’s challenge was poor but not malicious, Cahill’s was inexcusable but both would do well not to try that sort of thing again.

    There was tackling at least as bad in the City – Chelsea game and that is where we perhaps suffer to a degree. I agree with most and probably Wenger as well, that a couple more large players would do us no harm.

    But lets face it, we are a fraction away from having a title winning side. If refereeing continues to improve then we can look forward to being challengers at least by next year, if not this. History has shown that teams that leap ahead early on usually falter at some point. If Chelsea had lost as many influential players to injury as us then we would have steamrollered them. That is the one uncertainty that the club needs to sort out as top priority and they are trying to. It is looking very bright for our near future even though it really hurts just now. The best things take time. Even our bench was better than theirs yesterday. I think teams will be more scared of facing us than Chelsea now, City certainly said we played better than Chelsea against them.

    It’s one of those times when you’d like to fast-forward the season 2 or 3 months. It all happens too slowly for some of us when we are a bit down. Once we get there, it will be worth the wait though. When Wenger beats Mourinho, it will be interesting to see Mourinho start to realise that with similar cash, Wenger is the better manager. He always has been, pound for pound, just as he is better at Kung Fu.

  80. I hope Wenger plays ozil in his chosen position…coz Ozil is gonna fail otherwise.

    cazola and wilshere were angry for being subbed off – coz they could not believe wenger left ozil on the pitch..
    wenger out.

  81. @ Arsenal 13

    If you really want to know (prove) what a wonderful player Ozil is for Arsenal, then make out a check list which will establish his worth and watch him specifically for a number of games.

    My subjective view is that you would find his contribution to be priceless.

    I am sure all his doubters, which certainly does not include me, would be more than interested in your findings.

  82. getting shoved off the ball like somones is shelling peas is priceless…
    get real.

  83. There is little doubt that Cahill was very lucky not to be sent off. Yes that would have changed the game but how is the unknown.

    Oscar should have been booked earlier in the game just as Chambers should have been booked a second time before half time.

    There is no doubt that it was a penalty as there is no doubt that Hazard would have got a shot away. The laws as written say it should have been a sending off forget about covering defender or centre of goal. Hazard would have been through on goal

    Ozil is struggling for you he plays well in flashes but there is no consistency from him at all. Your midfield is as skilful as any but it lacks height and that will come back to haunt you against teams like Stoke who rely so heavily on set plays.

    At the game we were delighted when AW took of Wilshire he was by far you best player.

    Last season was a freak result so I would take a 2-0 home win every day against a top 4 challenger

    Are you a better team than 12 months ago? For me the jury really is out on that one& sorry Sally Pally Arsenal bench yesterday really wasn’t that strong.

    The game plan from Arsenal was clearly to hold back Gibbs and Chambers the trouble was that that meant you had no width .Time after time your players came inside where Chelsea’s strength is and whereas against lower league teams you can play through the defensive screen that didn’t happen at all yesterday.

    I guess that if Walcott comes back firing on all four cylinders (something that isn’t a given) he will give you some width but without it you are far easier to play against.

  84. Football is changing, but we’re falling further and further behind. Traditional roles have changed. It’s not enough for goalies to stop shots and catch balls – they have to be aware on the sweep and have good distribution. It’s not enough for the modern CB to be tall, make tackles and win headers – he has to be physical, athletic even, and good with the ball at feet. I do not condone the notion that the no10 exists simply to play passes and drift into space. While crucial requirements, he MUST form the first line of defence, hopefully winning us ball to launch quick counters. In a one-striker system, it shouldn’t be sacrilegious to expect him to score some goals as well! The team is just unbalanced. I grew up seeing team football as a culmination of partnerships – 2 CBs, RB and RW, LB and LW, 2 CMs (or DM and CM) and 2 CFs (or, in our case, AM/no.10 and CF). Of course, you have crossovers like DMs covering at CB, RB or LB when players wander, or CMs making late runs from deep to support the striker. We should really look at creating and nurturing these partnerships. eg. Ox works very well with Chambers, Monreal/Cazorla, Gibbs/Sanchez, Kos/Mert (last season). You give Ozil that AM spot and get him to know Welbeck inside out. Get a DM that will bring the best out of Ramsey. I guarantee we’ll see improvements! Yesterday, I felt sorry for young Chambers because I thought he had a very good game but was ridiculously exposed against one of the best wide players in the league with Ozil in front of him. Our LBs get a lot of stick but, until Sanchez came, they also got zero cover in front of them and had to support attacks AND protect space behind them – an arduous task. I don’t know much about football, but in life you have to prepare and play the probabilities to give yourself every chance of success. We continually neglect to do these, so are our results any wonder?

  85. @ Dave
    I predicted that tackle on Sanchez before the game, while having a chat with my mates. I told them “I bet Sanchez receives another kick on the same leg that was attacked against Galatasaray….”
    Now if you’ve been paying any attention to how other teams approach our games, you may have noticed that they target players who have been injured, like how teams constantly kick Jack’s ankles when he goes past them. They don’t even bother to make a real attempt at a tackle, they simply kick the player. But they also know they won’t get booked, and half the time it won’t even be called as a foul. Hoever, if you’re wearing an Arsenal shirt, then it’s a bookable offense. Re-watch the match and see the difference in treatment that Chambers and oscar received from the ref.
    And yes, I did read phil neville’s piece – that doesn’t change the fact that refs should be booking the players who do these things. If they can book our players for such offences, they should book the opposition too. oscar and ivanobitch being 2 prime examples, of niggly players that got away with far too many bookable fouls.
    Welbeck’s challenge should have been red too, no doubt about that. Hazard should have seen 2 yellows for his relentless diving.
    Also, I agree with proudkev – with cheat$ki down to 10 men, they would have been on the back foot all game long, and they would have been unable to break up all our attacks by committing “clever”, bookable fouls. Their “tactics” would have seen them lose and end the game with fewer than 10 players in the Spanish or German league. In fact, any league where the refs actually apply the rules fairly to both teams.

  86. From Phil Neville: ”
    I am talking about the little niggly challenges his side kept making, mainly off the ball.They were just little things like shirt-pulls, shoves or clips of the heels which did not always result in fouls, let alone bookings, but still stopped or slowed down Arsenal’s attacking momentum.
    Frustration leads to loss of focus

    You might think Chelsea were not playing by the rules but, actually, they were – which is why a lot of things that were happening at Stamford Bridge were not being given as fouls. It is more like gamesmanship, and I would describe it as being cute and clever rather than cheating.

    It has always been a weakness of Arsene Wenger’s teams. They do not like physical contact and they do not seem to be able to handle it.

    Alexis Sanchez often seemed to be the man who would get a nudge and I think Chelsea targeted him a little bit, because they obviously saw him as a threat. They got men around him and, if one was jockeying for the ball, then another was tackling him or pushing him off the ball. But Chelsea did it with the entire Gunners team, not just an individual. It was definitely a Mourinho tactic to disrupt their rhythm and upset them”

    Here is the problem. To quote Phil Neville “like shirt-pulls, shoves or clips of the heels which did not always result in fouls, let alone bookings” AND “You might think Chelsea were not playing by the rules but, actually, they were – which is why a lot of things that were happening at Stamford Bridge were not being given as fouls”.

    What?! He mentions shirt pulling, shoves and clips of the heels (clips) and then claims these are all allowed under the rules! What rules? He is contradicting himself and this is exactly the problem we have got. Complete joke. He then says Arsenal do not like it! So Arsenal dont like being fouled,? What is he talking about. This is proof that Arsenal get treated differently. The rules are clearly not being applied, these are all fouls and therefore free kicks plus bookings. I give up, I really do. One law for Arsenal and another for other teams as Neville has inadvertently admitted.Joke.

  87. “I am talking about the little niggly challenges his side kept making, mainly off the ball.They were just little things like shirt-pulls, shoves or clips of the heels which did not always result in fouls, let alone bookings, but still stopped or slowed down Arsenal’s attacking momentum. You might think Chelsea were not playing by the rules but, actually, they were – which is why a lot of things that were happening at Stamford Bridge were not being given as fouls. It is more like gamesmanship, and I would describe it as being cute and clever rather than cheating.”

    There you have it. From the horses mouth and he even admits that is what Man Utd used to do, like we all know.

    I give up. He is so thick and typically exemplifies the type of media punditry we have. The problem is, the referees watch MOTD and the read the papers and websites and they will believe this rubbish. I never really believed Arsenal were being discriminated against but now I know they are.

  88. Mike T,
    Ah next time a match assessor comes to my match and I don’t do it according to the instructions I will just tell him to forget about those instructions 🙂 That might be the way to go…down the referee merit tables… 🙂

  89. In my view the referee was correct with both the penalty decision and the decision not to send Kosceilny off. I do agree he was ‘lucky’ not to be sent off but thought the referee was right.

    Both Cahill and later Welbeck should have been given straight red cards for dangerous two footed tackles. On another day Fabregas might have given a penalty away for hand-ball.

    Arsenal tacticically changed by going narrow in midfield and not bombing the full backs on. And to some degree it worked. Going forward though we created very little. Overall I thought Chelsea deserved the win. No complaints in that regard. They are a good team. I thought they would win the league before the start of the season and I havent really changed my mind on that.

    So that’s that. Onto the next game. No reason to lose one’s head or despair over the result.Onwards and upwards

  90. @ proudkev
    Exactly. I read that article in total disbelief. I actually had to read it twice.
    I hope cheat$ki come up against a team like Barca or Bayern in this year’s chap’s league, and let’s see them try their “clever” tactics without atkinson. I can almost guarantee they’ll end that game with 10 men or less. From that article, I conclude either neville is a) thick, or b) trying to expose cheat$ki for the dirty team they are, or maybe even c) trying to justify the dirtiness of a team that just cheated their way through game, i.e. propaganda / brainwashing those who don’t observe, analyze and form their own opinions.
    The rules are pretty clear, and cheat$ki spent a lot of time playing outside those rules without punishment.

  91. Anyone on here that thinks we are not a million miles behind Chelsea is just darn biased. They totally controlled the game, as I mentioned yesterday we did not even muster a shot on target – that for me in a whole 90mins is a disgrace. Yes, they scored from a penalty but we couldn’t live with Hazard, who do we have that can be the live wire for us? Alexis, Ozil – bah.


    After the interlull we have a reasonably easy fixture list, but if anybody can cock it up it’s us. I appreciate you saying we have 5 new players adjusting to our team but then so have many other teams…Utd, Chelsea.


    So far this season, we have seen a feeble exit from the League Cup; and following the defeat at Chelsea, the league is now beyond us (don’t tell me, as Radio 5 said that “there wasn’t much in it”); moreover, we are so far behind the major teams in Champions League, I fail to see the point of being in the competition – oh yes, it’s the money.

    The money… the money in the bank (£170m I believe), the £3m paid to Stan Kroenke for “strategic advisory services” (LOL), the money from the 3% rise in ticket prices and so on. One day, one of Kroenke or Usmanov will get tired with his money being tied up and not doing very much. Whether one will sell to the other or someone else remains to be seen; in the short term, nothing will happen as the major shareholders can seemingly afford to leave their money in the club. However, as Kroenke can’t award himself a dividend without Usmanov’s agreement, his only way of getting a return on his “investment” is by charging for advice or paying his son a serious director’s salary. Expect more strategic advice to be offered over the coming years.

    In the euphoria of winning the Cup in May, I mused to myself that in reality this was the worst result for Arsenal’s future potential as a top club. The Cup win secured Wenger’s signature and adherence to the strategy of striving to maintain elite mediocrity. The strategy is to go for 3rd or 4th, and hopefully a cup run. Nothing more. In other words, the same as we have had for several years now. Roll on 2018.


  92. Their cuteness will be their demise.

    They are revealing quite a lot. That Neville crap is not new. But to reveal the same, that too openly, is new. New age punditry will open can of worms, a lots of them.

    Good for us. Watch the things unfold. Enjoy the show. Oh yes…. That corruption thing, no never not a chance. England is free from it.

  93. Andrew

    You are down but even at my most negative I can’t see how you came to those conclusions. Against the team that the so-called ‘experts’ think is by far the best in the country, we played the better football for large parts on their turf and Mourinho was genuinely worried even after their penalty. It was so close that how you feel we were well beaten escapes me. Cahill was off in anyone else’s refereeing books and Sanchez was ‘neutralised’ just as in the last game and just as Debuchy was by Milner.

    We are building a team, Chelsea have bought several over the last 10 years or so. I would personally far rather be where we are now with honour and integrity and knowing how close we are to Chelsea and City. January will see us have the team that Wenger believes will challenge and win and it has been a long road to get there. Other teams try every tactic and systematic fouling of our most influential players and deliberately going for their injured parts, as alluded to by others here smacks of desperation to me. Mourinho had it up him and without Atkinson’s help yesterday, Chelse could well have been on the end of a thrashing. I am not surprised, with the hideous leg breaks and criminal tackles that our players seem to have allowed on them, that a couple fo the players and Wenger got frustrated. If this game was played by 22 players with honour, we would beat them and we will at the Emnirates. When we do, what will you think of that? Will you remember what you said today?

  94. My worry with neville’s article is that it basically encourages teams to play dirty against Arsenal. Having glorified cheat$ki’s approach, other teams will use it as a template, and our injury list will grow as a result. Teams see this and realize they will be allowed to get away with, while enjoying protection from the officials we fight back physically. To give concrete exmples, we’ve had 3 very similar potential leg-breakers in our last 3 games, all targeted at arguably our 2 best available players – Ozil and Sanchez. Lamela on Ozil in spuds game, shin height, studs up, potentil leg breaker. Melo on Sanchez, same thing. Cahill on Sanchez, same thing. That’s 3 games in a row. No red cards. My guess is it will continue until we lose another influential player to injury. Where can I place a bet on another red-worthy tackle to Ozil, Sanchez or Jack in our next game? Might as well rake in a bit of cash.

  95. Andrew. The strategy is not to go for 3rd or 4th, although that was clearly the target when we were growing the club. It was unrealistic to expect us to sell players and balance the books while competing with Chelsea and Man City. That is straight jacket mentality.

    The strategy was to build a club that could go for 1st place every season. Whether you accept it or not is your prerogative but we have been playing catch up to Chelsea for a huge number of years. The huge investment they have had with stolen money, the £1 billion quid Abramovich wrote off via Fordstam for example pre FFP, is all well documented. Raising eyebrows and making claims we could compete, while disrespecting 3rd and 4th place finishes, is how some Arsenal fans are wired I guess. We are getting there, we have the renewed sponsorship money now and have seen some big signings. I am not trying to excuse some of the mistakes that have been made but this bizarre illusion that the stadium and renewed sponsorships are irrelevant drives me crazy. Arsenal took tough decisions and our fans have suffered, not because of Arsene Wenger, we have suffered because of the Chelsea and Man City owners ‘investment’, an investment with money not earned from football activities and a level playing field. That is a fact not an excuse.

    The £3 million taken by Kroenke is small change, if he had wanted to bleed the club dry he would have been taking dividends, whish he has not. In fcat, it is Usmanove that wants to take dividends, so he is hardly the white knight some pretend he is.

    The fact you are now disappointed that we won the FA Cup because you thought losing would get rid of Wenger is something I have heard a few say. It is a nonsense of course because he would be going nowehere. I have also heard so called fans wanting us to finish outside of the champions league places too. Personally, I can never cheer for an Arsenal defeat. I view Chelsea and Man City as a perfect illustration of all that is wrong with football and the reason for spiralling wage bills that have a knock on effect to the fans. If we did not have FFP and had more obscenely wealthy owners, the bidding war for the best players would have ended up with £1 million per week wages. And £250 ticket prices. We have to be very careful we do not misunderstand this ‘money’ issue. I accept the right to criticise some of Arsene Wengers decisions but I do not accept this delusional and hypocritical notion that he should be expected to out perform odious clubs like Chelsea and Man City. It takes years to catch that level of investment and we are on the way to doing that.

  96. @C4
    Look I agree with a lot of what you are saying. I’m no chelsea fan and not a particular fan of the tactics used. It is worth bearing in mind that not all of them were fouls and on a number of occasions Arsenal players were way too weak in possession. It’s all well and good playing around a team that stands off and surrenders 60-70% possession (it’s then a different game of how do we break them down) but games were teams press (sometimes hard and often over-stepping the mark in this case) is a different game. One which for all Wenger’s experience is no closer to mastering.
    I watched the Merseyside derby in full a few weeks ago and was surprised to see a number of bad fouls (many worse then chelsea’s) committed more often by Everton but also some by Liverpool with the sole intention to break up play. Liverpool struggled to play their game and many tackles could have warranted yellows. Sound familiar? Almost seems like referees have been instructed to try and let games flow in big derbies and not be card happy which can ruin the game completely.
    That said, Arsenal were on the receiving end of a number of niggly fouls that should have warranted free kicks or cautioned. The referee could have done himself some favours and given stern words after the first or second one and threatened yellows for repeated offences. I’m not a fan of card-happy-early refs because it takes the edge out of games which is part of the fun of watching derbies as a neutral. Arsenal do need to wise up, read Mertesacker’s brutally honest assessment of the performance, to teams that press Arsenal high up the field and in midfield (Dortmund being the perfect example, they did it without the fouls).

  97. C4. The Neville article is very revealing because it puts out there the tactics being used by clubs. Neville admits to using these tactics at Man Utd. This isn’t knew, we fans have often complained about the number of fouls other teams seem to be allowed to get away making on Arsenal players. Neville has admitted that this is a well used tactic and appears to be permitted or simply not seen by the match officials.

    The most revealing part for me is Nevilles comments about these fouls: ‘off the ball’, ‘shirt pulling’, clipping ankles’ and then going on to describe these as ‘within the laws’ and ‘gamesmanship not cheating’.

    We should also note that Alan Smith during the commentary cited these fouls as ‘clever’ and so too did Nevilles other ugly sister, Gary. It is therefore not Arsenal fans that are saying it, this is a well known tactic that is being called clever instead of what it really is. Cheating to gain an advantage.

    Arsenal should write to the Premier League and their referees and ask for ‘Clarification’ regarding the rules of the game. They can provide Nevilles comments as support, along with video evidence and maybe call neville in for him to explain. Because this is clearly a common tactic and not within the rules of the game. Thereofre, it needs to be looked into as it ‘brings the game into disprepute.

  98. Oh and when I talk about “taking the edge out of games” I am not referring to committing very bad tackles like Cahill’s or Welbeck’s or even the niggly fouls. I am talking about full blooded, committed fair tackles that are often seen in those games.

  99. @Proudkev –  Wenger put the defeat down to ‘financial resources’ in his post-match interview, which seems a strange thing to say when Chelsea are now abiding by FFP rules and his own club had an circa £65 million available and unused at the end of the summer transfer window. He was also of the view that Arsenal had more shots on target, suggesting he might be getting delusional.


    Obviously the motivation of the club’s controlling shareholder is a factor here. If he is happy with what Arsène Wenger is achieving, then nothing is going to change quickly. And able to extract money from the club in the form of payment for advisory services, Stan Kroenke is obviously content. He certainly has no interest in football beyond the possible financial benefits it can bring him. Trophies are not a huge issue for him. A huge contrast with Roman Abramovich, but at least, going forward, now that a leveler playing field is in theory developing, at least Arsenal should make the most of their available resources to compete. It’s not happening though.


    Games like those at the Bridge tell us why. Not quite good enough. When opposition fans are chanting, ‘Arsène Wenger, we want you to stay’, people can draw their own conclusions. No-one sees an Arsenal team under his stewardship as credible challengers anymore. Good to watch sometimes, but not a serious threat.

  100. @proudkev I think the issue with the Kroenke payment is less the amount taken, small change as you say but more that at a similar time the season ticket prices rose 3%, estimated to bring back in ~3 million. You already pay some of the highest (if not the highest) season ticket prices in Europe and that is what annoys fans. And rightly so, money is a big issue for a lot of people right now.

  101. @Mike T

    I am glad you agree that Cahill should have been sent off. Had he been sent off there would have been a number of consequences (which you skipped over): –

    1. The Chelski team would have been numerically disadvantaged
    2. The remaining Chelski players would have been a lot more cautious in their tackling
    3. The referee would have retained his authority – he threw it away early in the match and struggled to regain it.

    Mike, you seem a reasonable guy – but I have little time for anyone who is an apologist for your obnoxious owner, your Specialist in Cheating and some of your thug players and serial divers.

    I note you were pleased Wilshere came off yesterday – my recollection is that he received yet another kick on the suspect ankle from one of your nice players shortly before – but never a foul!

  102. Yes Cahill should have been sent off. But surely a team worth its salt would respond to such a foul by trying even harder, by showing such tactics would not put it off, would not be effective as intimidation. It was a physical game in a physically competitive league where the refs interpret the rules within the football culture norms of English football. Arsene chooses to buck the norms while other teams embrace them. When Wenger started out with us he had a number of players who could cope with those norms and he won things. Now he selects players that struggle with it and we don’t win things. I DON’T PAY FOR MY SEASON TICKET TO WATCH ARSENAL TRY AND CHANGE ENGLISH FOOTBALL CULTURE, I PAY TO WATCH ARSENAL DO ALL IT CAN TO COMPETE WITH WHAT’S OUT THERE. AND IF THAT MEANS HAVING PHYSICAL PRESENCE AND A HARDER DIMENSION IN THE SQUAD TO COMPLIMENT THE STYLE AND TECHNICAL, THEN SO BE IT. Now what really matters surely is what is Wenger is going to do about it. If Arsene were ever to come to the conclusion that Ozil is just too physically weak (and scared of being hurt) and replace him with a stronger mid to balance the squad, I wouldn’t argue. Yes refs need to protect players from injury but Wenger needs to manage in the real world.

  103. @ Fishpie
    What we saw against cheat$ki was not a case of their players prevailing due to being larger and stronger. Skill can overcome physicality if the rules are being applied equally to both teams. This was a case of breaking up any attack we had with unpunished / uncarded fouls. Hence they were able to do it all game, until they were ahead and then only did atkinson dish out a few late token cards (oscar only booked in 86th minute???). Hell, they even scored from just such a situation. There was an uncalled foul on Sanchez just before hazard broke into the box for his penalty. That sort of one-sided officiating allows one team to not only kill the opposition’s attack unfairly, but also gives them possession and the platform to break forward and mount their own attack. So the advantage is twofold.
    So tell me then – what should a player do, big or small, if they are fouled every time they are running towards the opposition goal, and the fouls and /or bookings are not given by the ref? How do you build an attack? How will being physically imposing help if you are felled on each attack? Explain to me what you mean by “trying even harder” and how that would negate the chopping down of every attack with a foul?

  104. Dave, yes I have said for a long time it is too expensive. Not just Arsenal but football in general.

    Also, the ticket pricing at Arsenal appears high as an average because the club includes Club Level in those figures. Not saying it isnt expensive, it is but we arent the only club where it is expensive to watch football.

    The cost does not represent the value imo. It is far too expensive.

    Why is that? Is it Arsena’ls fault? No. Players wages for example are obscene. No way should players be getting paid £100K plus per week, that is over £5 million per year. £250K per week is £13m per year, if anybody can say they deserve that they should be locked up in a mental institution. Who do we blame for these wages? Well not Arsenal, they are trying to operate the football club as a business. It is all those financially doped clubs that are responsible. From Barca and Real Madrid to owners like Abramovich and Monsour. Remember, when Abramovich came here to wash his money he acted like a voyeur, tapped up Ashley Cole and Obi Mikel and offered whatever wages players wanted. Whatever he paid was less than the interest he earns on his money, so it means nothing and has no real value. This artificially raises wages and creates a fake market. The Russian came here and spent over a billion quid that Chelsea did not have and transferred those losses into Fordstam Ltd. All illegal activities under FFP but that is what he did. Yet very little gets said about that except Arsenal should be winning trophies over Chelsea and Kroenke has for the first time taken £3m out of the club.Chelsea get away with murder, an awful club owned by a Russian Oligarch with money that belongs to the impoverished Russian people, another fact conveniently overlooked.

    Kroenke is a businessman. As far as I see it, he has been good for Arsenal and is not the dividend seeker the other ex mafia man Usmanov is. I do not get the hostility towards Kroenke, seriously a few million is nothing whatsoever.

    The argument about ticket prices is therefore a separate one.Personally, I wish someone would make a stand against spiralling players wages. Arsenal have tried but just get the piss taken out of them for doing so, yet they are right. Players are greedy, disloyal parasitical badge kissers who get everything and give little back to us fans unless it suits them. Vexing anger at Kroenke for ticket prices is ridiculous. If we want more competitive football, we need to address player wages and stop syphoning all the TV money and our hard earned into the players pockets.And getting on the backs of clubs that are trying to function sensibly, like Arsenal.

  105. How bloggers , pundits ,experts and commentators and of course the AAAA get their information !

    It was autumn, and the Indians on the remote reservation asked their new Chief if the winter was going to be cold or mild.

    Since he was an Indian Chief in a modern society, he had never been taught the old secrets, and when he looked at the sky, he couldn’t tell what the weather was going to be.

    Nevertheless, to be on the safe side, he replied to his tribe that the winter was indeed going to be cold and that the members of the village should collect wood to be prepared.
    But also being a practical leader, after several days he got an idea. He went to the phone booth, called the National Weather Service and asked, “Is the coming winter going to be cold?”

    “It looks like this winter is going to be quite cold indeed,” the Meteorologist at the weather service responded.

    So the Chief went back to his people and told them to collect even more wood in order to be prepared.

    One week later he called the National Weather Service again. “Is it going to be be a very cold winter.”

    The Chief again went back to his people and ordered them to collect every scrap of wood they could find.

    Two weeks later he called the National Weather Service again. “Are you absolutely sure that the winter is going to be very cold?”

    “Absolutely,” the man replied. “It looks like it’s going to be one of the coldest winters ever.”

    “How can you be so sure?” the Chief asked.

    The weatherman replied, “The Indians are collecting firewood like crazy.”

  106. Don’t you sometimes wonder ?

    One day a tiny Apache Indian child walked into Big Chief Sitting Bull’s tent.
    “Sitting Bull,” he asked, “why does every man in our tribe have such long complicated names?”
    “Well,” said Sitting Bull, “it’s simple: whenever a baby is born, his father wanders outside, absorbs the wonder of nature and then names his child after the first thing he sees.
    Why do you ask, Two Dogs Fucking?”

  107. I wonder when the right things will be supported. I see games like the game of chess and I can tell you that if Cahil was red carded, so many other fouls would have been avoided. I saw arsenal players try dodge a leg and misplace a pass or lose possession. It was an ok game but Mou and his players even at 1 up could attack a ‘weak’ arsenal team – how ironic then that they call them weak and by they I mean the pundits. The officiating was shite but was expected. #Gord thanks for all the jokes to liven the mood as some comments made seemed to dampen them and cause a strain on my logic.

  108. @C4 (posts betw. 12 &1 pm

    Very good posts, sir.

    There was something slightly different on MOTD2. (I haven’t seen the whole prog). The bit where the fouling was pointed out by Keown interested me as this showing fouls in an Arsenal match doesn’t usually include fouls on Ars players.

    Naturally, there’ll be plundits vociferously defending the rights of any and all players to KTSOOA (Kick the shit out of Arsenal).

    It’s a pity none of them point out that Arsenal’s perennial injury crises are entirely about the bi-weekly KTSOOA!

    Note the block by Ivanbitch on Ozil, then look carefully at how Cahill “split steps” (to use a tennis term) prior to his attempt to break Sanchez’s foot. Then see how Cahill is facing the pitch after contact. From this angle you can see the real intent (i.e. No accident or mistiming). That, my friends, is a “tackle” from a COWARD!

  109. Thanks to “john
    October 6, 2014 at 9:08 am”.

    Because I mightn’t have seen the Martin Keown input if you didn’t post.

  110. Wow … one loss and all the negatives come out.

    I was, and still am, disappointed we lost. But let’s maintain some objectivity here. For all the naysayers who say we created nothing, how much did the Chelsea team create? They did not create much going forward either. To me, Chelsea had two moments and scored on both so credit to them. We had one clear moment in the first half and Jack missed. If (and I know it is a big if) Jack had scored there, who knows how the game would have turned out and whether or not we would have conceded Costa’s goal?

    A few other observations:

    1) At the same time Cahilll lunged into Sanchez, did anyone notice the body check Ivanovic threw on Ozil? By that point in the game, it was the third or fourth time Ivanovic went over the line and he surely deserved a caution or a warning that we were playing footy and not rugby?

    2) Chelsea’s two goals came down to two mistakes:

    a) Alexis should not have rushed a free kick deep in our half. He tried to take it quickly when the rest of the team was trying to get back into position. Chelsea’s players were back. This mistake led to a loss of the ball which then allowed Hazard to run at Cazorla, Mertesacker and Kos, ultimately winning the penalty. In a game where the opposition is a Mourinho team, this type of mistake is deadly as it is imperative not to give up the first goal (because then Mourinho has drilled his team into closing down teams and playing the counter very well – this is a credit to the man and his “style”).

    b) The 2 CBs screwed up on Costa’s goal. Kos, in particular, since he’s the one with pace in the partnership, really needed to be aware of where Costa is at all times.

    3) Before we pile onto AW, let’s be objective here. Mourinho played pretty much his “automatic 11” in the match. We were missing players due to injuries which meant AW was most certainly not starting his “automatic 11” (although I am also unsure that he has settle on who comprises his “automatic 11”). Of the injured players, I would think Debuchy and Theo are two who would have made a difference in the game. Chambers has been great, but against players like Hazard / Schurrle, a little more experience might have added just a little bit more to the team. And Theo’s experience / pace might have just kept Hazard a little further back in the pitch to help out defensively.

    Overall, while I await with interest the ref review into this match and just how much an influence Atkinson might have played in the outcome, I must say that once the disappointment of the loss died down, I felt better about the team. Chelsea did their thing, challenge teams physically and try get the lead as early as possible (and certainly within the first 60 minutes), then sit back and counter. We showed a different side to our squad, that even though we are smaller in stature, we will get back up off the mat and keep at it. We just need to identify our starting 11 and develop a cohesiveness in the team. Then we will roll. It’s still early October; season does not end until May.

  111. So many craving the defensive midfielder like Gilberto …..the same lot that are picking on Ozil……as they did on Gilberto. When you Ozil bashers understand the system that he plays in, only then will you appreciate him. Jack & Santi were subbed because of injury prevention. They both hold the ball long enough to get hurt.

    He is not injury prone because he is intelligent unlike Jack. Jack allows the opponent space & time to kick his ankles. When Jack starts to play one touch football his injuries will disappear. The officials will also help if they fu*k off on some training course in Northern Iraq.

  112. Thank you, Walter, for making a reasonable explanation why Kos wasn’t sent off.

    I’ve been reading number of articles and opinions about the game and most of them (almost all of them) say that Koscielny should have been sent off. It’s not logical to me, just like it wasn’t logical to me when some people called for Sagna’s red card last season against Sunderland (famous Altidore’s “goal” that Atkinson disallowed). From the position of both players I didn’t see why Hazard would have had an obvious goal-scoring opportunity had he passed Koscielny who made the laziest of tackles to stop him.

    Cahill should have been sent off at 0:0.

    Fabregas’ handball – a clear penalty at 1:0.

    Welbeck should have been sent off at 2:0.

    Chambers – he made a foul that looked to me like a second bookable offence indeed but his first yellow card was wrongly given IMHO.

    Wenger – should have been sent to locker room by the referee to wash his hands after touching Mourinho.

  113. Guys, I just feel that it was clever of Arsene Wenger to shove Jose to completely distract the players from going after each other. I saw Flamini, Cazorla and Welbeck charging at Ivanovic like bulls until they saw what happened at touchline. I think if any other player was at the receiving end of Cahill, Sanchez will flying in with his right hook. He looked pissed off The whole game. Well, this incident remains me of early 90’s when Arsenal started to become a force to be reckon with at the time where Man Utd was conquering. We all know how it turned out to be for the next decade the . Now, there is no way Jose and Chelsea will look at Arsenal as whimper anymore. They will be flushing their toilets a lot in Ems this season. Go gunners!

  114. @C4, Apologies for late response to you. In my view, and it is only my view, Wenger needs to acquire players who can dish out the same kind of thing as we receive. If refs are not going to call-out the challenges you describe as fouls, our team needs to try and gain advantage by being more or equally physical. Maybe then Fabregas would lose the ball under more physical pressure from a stronger Arsenal player and the ball might fall to Ozil who’ll catch their defense slightly out of kilter and exploit the fleeting gap in their defense. It’s just as you describe Hazard’s first goal. My impression is that chances and gaps often appear because a strong player or a physical player in the first place, causes a bit of havoc. It upsets systems. And in that split second the quick minded creative player can pounce. We have lots of players ready to pounce and no-one to cause the havoc. Breaking up play is a springboard. Back in the day Veira, the Romford Pele and even Bergkamp were up for a bit of pushing, scrapping and kicking if that’s what was needed. It’s our fault we are not equipped to do this, not the refs. Why should he wrap Arsenal players up in a protective layer of cotton wool just because we have more players who are are needy when he doesn’t normally do it in any other match. It’s unrealistic. So yes a team equipped to play in the Premiership with English refs needs the right balance. Technical and physical. Our technical players are not so good that they can do without the support of the more havoc-creating, snarling, pushy, nasty-piece-of-work, fighter in the midfield. It seems to me you can either get technical oriented players who are just bigger and more capable of standing up for themselves or if you’ve got a weedy Ozil (cos that is what he is physically) and a little Cazola, players who we may love but who aren’t really cut out to do the heavy lifting, you need someone else to compensate for what they lack. Refs will not come to our rescue. Our fate is our hands and no-one else’s. The more positive among us will say that on the basis of our performance vs Chelsea we aren’t that far away from being able to match them. If that’s true, they know how to break up play and take advantage. We don’t. So I’m just advocating this part of our game needs to be developed because I guess it might make us less predictable and give our creative players the advantage of surprise.

  115. Noticed this vine doing the rounds

    Violent conduct, red card. Not spotted. Interesting to see if it was in the refs report or punished retrospectively.
    PS. Pathetic punch, much like Flintoff trying to box.
    PPS. No, Cahill not being sent off is not an excuse for this. He wasn’t, this also happened, violent conduct, deal with it. That isn’t to say he wasn’t angry but you cannot lash out like that to any player at any time. It was a clean tackle (for once).

    A few people have said Arsenal were the team trying to play fair in this game. I beg to differ, neither team or manager was in any way an advocate of fair play.

  116. The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts .
    Marcus Aurelius .

    a) Avoid thinking about unnecessary things specially related to others. Mind your own business. Possess a focused mind.

    b) Stop comparing yourself to others. It’s an insult to yourself. You are a unique soul and you are independent on your living, your decisions and your destiny.

    c) Don’t think of monetary gains too much. Excessive love for money and assets is the root of most of stresses.

    d) Develop the habit of forgiving and letting things go off. If you are keeping the grudge in your brains for longer durations, you are killing yourself. Stress is a slow poison which deepens its roots your brain and destroy your physical and mental health.

    e) Read quality quotes or articles on positivity and try to absorb the message. This will kill the germs of negativity.

    f) Practice the habit of gratitude. Stop complaining, criticizing and blaming. When a negative thought comes in, convert it to positive by looking at the positive side of the issue.

    g) Instead of thinking about your ‘wants’ too much, think about your needs. This will reduce the magnitude of your focus because usually needs are limited but wants are too many. Adapt simple life style as it reduces unnecessary socio-economical issues

  117. Chelsea will not win the league. Manchester City will finish above them. England will not succeed either. Bad Refereeing makes players think incorrectly. Teams with less finance will play Chelsea in similar fashion and Hazard will learn the meaning of his name. Costa will get a couple of knees in his hamstrings and will lose his mojo.

    Fabregas will begin to lose his qualities as he learns to cheat. More importantly, others will kick him with impunity.

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