32 responses

  1. JonFromWellington
    19/10/2014

    we can never rely on journalists to get the stats that show the referees are cheating Arsenal.

    It’s time the people that went to the games held up banners showing the world that we know what is going on and that we wont let them cheat any longer

  2. JonFromWellington
    19/10/2014

    no doubt about it – it’s what wenger would want us to do

  3. Yassin
    19/10/2014

    Tony, why do I have feel you know more than what you wrote? 🙂

  4. marcus
    19/10/2014

    Lots of markets are rigged, and lots of Companies are involved in cartels and price-rigging etc etc etc.

    We could talk about energy bills, stock markets, high frequency trading, and so on. Some of these markets are massive, some perhaps smaller than the EPL.

    This site documents corruption in football going back 100 years. Was it ever thus? People were calling the stock market the greatest rigged casino 100 years ago also.

    Journalists lazy? Bah, humbug. Deviate from a set narrative and you’re toast is more likely the answer to that.

    Re AFC. The club should really be doing a customer satisfaction survey every year for its season ticket holders. The questions are not hard to imagine. Do you think you are getting value for money? etc etc etc.

    Such a survey would surely result in a large percentage of AFC supporters voting the refereeing on a scale of 1-10 at a round 1.

    So, let’s say 70% of AFC supporters indicate intense dissatisfaction with the administration of the game. Now you have the impetus for change at least. The club would be on the hook to its supporters.

    Does the club have such a survey?

    If not why not?

  5. InitialsBB
    19/10/2014

    My guess is that the book did not include “outside issues” such as ref rigging and match fixing as there was no evidence available to include.

    The clue really is in the name- ‘The Numbers Game’. I am sure the book explains that it is based on sthtistics collected by OPTA and thats what OPTA do, provide statistics, not opinions. Unless you want them to provide statistics on opinions or what they thought the ref should have done.

    Going by your logic every piece of football
    writing should be written including the assumption “all matches may or may not have been rigged”. Hilarious.

  6. apo Armani
    19/10/2014

    Then we have Liverpoo at 0-0 with bottom side (QPR) until almost the 70th…and blow and behold an own goal!!! hang on someone didn’t read the script from QPR (Vargas) and goes and scores twice!!!!! Coutinho found the ‘resilience to equalize at the death…NO its not over yet!!! Guess what a SECOND own goal just to make sure all 3 points go to the POO!!

    You can’t make a movie out of these things!!! Its Scie-fi at its finest form!!!

    Rigged League!

  7. Micheal Ram
    19/10/2014

    Is it safe and legal to say all journalists are propaganda agents?

  8. insideright
    19/10/2014

    Opta stats hide many things such as the real definition of ‘possesion’ but a few years ago they revealed that Stoke City, famed for their use of the long throw, registered twice as many throw-ins as the next team in the rankings. From memory that other team was Blackburn and the numbers were over 600 versus over 300 throws in a season.
    In 2011 UEFA made Stoke widen their pitch to accord with their regulations which, I must admit, I thought were universally the same. As far as I know Stoke narrowed the pitch again after their ‘European adventure’ came to an end. However, since then and since the departure of Rory Delap (and the sacking of Tony Pulis) Stoke have significantly reduced their reliance on this very crude tactic to build attacks. Arsene Wenger, when he described Stoke as playing like a rugby team, was probably referring to this use of the sidelines to gain territory.
    Stoke represent that group of clubs (a safe half of the premiership) whose only aim is to stay in it and maybe get a bit of a cup run. Such teams will use any tactic they can to achieve their ends. Time wasting and rotational fouling are two of Untolds main bete noirs in this respect.
    In order to get change you need the EPL clubs to give (I think) a two thirds majority and that’s why I guess they don’t vote to approve a switch to multiball which would help to undermine so many clubs time wasting tactics. Data needs to be presented to persuade the doubters that things might need to be changed for everyones good – and to further clamp down on the curse that faces everyone, namely corruption.
    Might it just be the case that it was part of the deal that persuaded Wenger to sign on for another three years that the Club promised to bring its vast financial resources to bear on such matters? And might having an American owner who is used to statistical analysis to the nth degree be of particular use?
    I hope you are right Tony and in fact I’m confident that you are.

  9. jonfromwellington
    19/10/2014

    Good point Marcus – maybe noone at the club has thought about it?

    It would be very useful if they did a survey of the fans attitude towards the referees and then they’d know that we are NOT happy

  10. blacksheep63
    19/10/2014

    Marcus (and Jon) I think you might be missing the point of Tony’s articles.

    Yes Arsenal could poll its ST holders (I’m one). Are you happy with the comfort of your seat? (I tend to stand), do you think it offers value for money? Well what is value? I pay £1,000 a year and I love it. Who should we have bought in the summer? Where should the manager play Ozil? You see it quite quickly becomes a pointless exercise.

    If I don’t like watching Arsenal I won’t renew my ST and someone on this comments section will most probably say “thanks very much, I’ll buy that”. IF there was no waiting list, IF the ground was empty week in week out THEN such a questionnaire might make sense.

    Arsenal are not Tesco and Sainsbury’s – I’m not going to go and start watching Sp*rs now am I?

    But journalists could start asking the Qs Tony’s suggests because they can then represent OUR views, gripes and concerns to the people that might hold the answers. The media COULD hold the PGMOL, FA, FIFA, UEFA and PL to account…but at the moment they are choosing not to. Tony is asking why and I think its a very important question

  11. bjtgooner
    19/10/2014

    Garry Monk from Swansea has jut been airing his views on his match with Stoke, but has gone further stating that he had previously sent complaints to Riley about the number of unfortunate decisions that have gone against Swansea this season.

    So – the door has been opened – Gazidis get in there – (as Mandy first suggested), use those persuasive oratory skills to get us some fair play.

  12. jayramfootball
    19/10/2014

    Tony, thank you for this really excellent piece.

    It resonates with the current attempt by the BBC to persecute Arsenal and Arsene Wenger. I am of course referring to the post Hull match interview in which the interviewer tries to attack on the ‘defensive cover’ point after a game where the defensive cover had absolutely no bearing at all on the game. Its a current issue to beat Arsenal with so to hell with the actual game I suppose, why miss an opportunity to push the anti-Arsenal agenda. Once again a complete abuse of power by the BBC, who are after all funded by us the tax payers.

    Don’t get me wrong, I am extremely frustrated with Wenger right now, but after the game the really key issue was Hull’s first goal. Not a single question was asked about that in the BBC interview. In my view this is not lazy journalism it is corrupt journalism. IN every walk of life the media are no longer there to keep the public informed, they are there to push their own agendas. We don’t have journalism anymore – or it is very rare.

    In terms of the statistics in the game – I am glad that Arsenal finally seem to be compiling their own views which will hopefully lead to a case for the FA and the PGMOL to answer to. My hope is that the club publish this information. If I was in charge at Arsenal right now I would start revealing the insight at every opportunity – every press conference, every interview, piece by piece. No accusations, just facts. Turn the media airtime on live TV and press conferences against the media’s own agenda. Just bulldoze the points through after every question received.

    It really is time for Arsenal to stand up to what is going on – because something very serious is happening to the game. Too many big decisions are going against us for it to be coincidence.

  13. Mick
    19/10/2014

    Liverpool’s first goal (an OG by Dunne) came from a free kick awarded to Stirling (the nation’s own media darling)
    from a pull on his arm by Traore. Before the pull Stirling had a chunk of Traores shirt so the free kick should actually have been in QPR’s favour. It was plain to see on the tele. This was totally ignored by G Neville. Why? He saw the pull by Traore so he must have seen the shirt pull by Stirling immediately before but not a mention.
    I watched three games this weekend, ours, Spurs/Man City and QPR Liverpool. All three had major decision cockups, two of which were very probably result changers. That is Hull’s first goal and Liverpool’s first, as I have just mentioned. The Spurs game had at least three bad/highly debateable decisions which all resulted in penalties and could have affected the result. It’s ridiculous when you think that all could have been cleared up by referring to the video evidence. How much longer are we going to put up with so many games being decided by the refs as opposed to the players.

  14. marcus
    19/10/2014

    No,AFC are not Tescos or Sainsbury’s Blacksheep,but I am not sure you realize how ironic this statement is. AFC have just been pronounced the best run club in the EPL. Some say AW could be a CEO at a major multinational.

    AFC are not Tescos or Sainsburys, but they still have an annual AGM. I don’t get your point, if you have one.

    Bottom line – supporters can vote with their wallets and feet, sure. But proactive organizations like to get ahead of the game. If Arsenal really cared about the muppets, I mean supporters, who pour their salaries into the season ticket, they would invite their opinions, some constructive feedback (not the kind of idiotic wailing you envisage). But they don’t particularly care. The owners are making good profits, and the season ticket holders are the bag holders.

    Resolving the issue of the chronic morass of duplicity infecting the game is surely the agenda of most AFC supporters now. The infection is also spreading wider and wider.

    Garry Monk has put his balls on the line. We haven’t really seen AFC do that.

  15. Mandy Dodd
    19/10/2014

    Interesting, never gave that database acquisition much thought …being lazy! but why can’t it be used for the purposes Tony mentions in here?
    Hope Ivan does that Bjt. As well as our CEO, Ivan is a member of the Professional Game Board….PGB which apparently works closely with the PGMOL, he is on the FA Council, the premier league board for elite performance and the Chairman of the FAs international Committee. He also works on UEFA committees. In other words, he has clout, time to use it.
    There are times when I wish Wenger would be a bit more streetwise, use the black arts a bit more, some of his ex players certainly used to. But now, he seems to steadfastly avoid all such things, and be seen to do so. Maybe living up to principles, just setting a good example, but I wonder if he has been collating things. A man in his position will have been approached many times by those selling their various…..services. I wonder if when he departs, he is going to write a book and blow the lid off the whole EPL PGMOL corruption fiasco.
    He could not do such a thing until safely away from Arsenal, if he did it while still here, the club, players and fans would suffer.
    Is this why he is feared and despised by so many? After all, he has form in helping to expose corruption.

  16. Notoverthehill
    19/10/2014

    Tony, you have had a better response this time! So far!!!

    A article about lazy journalism, was seen as an opportunity to castigate Mr Wenger, in particular.

  17. Notoverthehill
    19/10/2014

    My mistake, An article….

    Back of the class – a D.

  18. Mandy Dodd
    19/10/2014

    Ah yes, the BBC. He is no longer there as Chief Sports Editor but when he was, I remember arch Spuds fan, Mihir Bose never missed an opportunity to knock the club and especially Wenger. I remember an especially acrimonious interview when Peter Hill Wood put him straight on a few things.
    He now does a lot of work for rather anti Arsenal Evening Standard.

  19. para
    19/10/2014

    Arsenal has a plan, and Walter has insight. So much insight.

    Great days for Arsenal ahead, but first we’ve got to fight through the enemy and restore football to it’s future self. This is a campaign not a match.

    Love this article to bits.

  20. Pat
    19/10/2014

    ‘In a democracy we rely on journalists to challenge’.

    But they don’t do they? And it’s not just in football. Journalists so often just play the game of whoever is most powerful.

    Very interesting article Tony. I hope Arsenal make use of their independently compiled statistics.

  21. Pat
    19/10/2014

    ‘Gary Monk has put his balls on the line’.

    Arsene Wenger used to put his balls on the line frequently on the question of refereeing. It cost him quite a lot of money and appeared to do us no good because the media then targeted him as a whinger. They probably won’t do that to Gary Monk – him being English and that.

    But Arsene Wenger has not stopped mentioning referees. He mentions their wrong decisions against Arsenal at the end of practically every match, because that’s how often there are wrong decisions against Arsenal.

    I really don’t see how anybody can accuse Arsene Wenger of not doing his level best, within the means available to him, to draw attention to what is going on.

  22. marcus
    19/10/2014

    Maybe Pat…

    The whole English game seems like a Lewis Carroll version of a curate’s egg, so it is hard to know what can be done.

    But what is for sure is that AFC have a horrible casualty list, as long as your arm and as broken as Eduardo’s leg.

    Corruption seems time-honoured and deeply entrenched, and it has just mutated the last few years into something competely virulent.

    It may be something so vast and with a grip like Japanese knotweed, against which someone ike AW is pretty poweless – so I take your point

  23. Mandy Dodd
    19/10/2014

    Corruption is entrenched Marcus but in some parts of the world , it is recognised for what it is, and there are attempts to fight it. But I don’t like the way it works in the UK, it is often establishment level corruption, which means it is protected by a veneer of respectability and it is very very hard to get at. If the EPL and it’s puppet body the PGMOL are corrupt, it will go into much higher echelons of UK society, and will include the police, media , our convenient channel island and Irish Sea banking bolt holes, and politicians….sounds far fetched? ..all will become clear when the full extent of the Hillsborough cover up,and Jimmy Savilles activities are finally revealed in their entirety. Some of these things go right to the very top. The uk is good at protecting those at the very top, quite a clever apparatus in place.

  24. SA Gunner
    20/10/2014

    Tony.

    We may disagree on Wenger and his approach to the club, but this is a clear reason why I keep on coming back to this site.

    Excellent piece sir, many thanks.

  25. Brickfields Gunners
    20/10/2014

    I await the day when the truth comes out and the fixers get their just dues. There is something rotten going on in the EPL and this season the attacks against the club and AW seems to have intensified . Why ?
    I do hope the club have gathered the required ammo to shoot down these clowns .
    ” When You’ve Got Them By The Balls… Their Hearts And Minds Will Follow.”

  26. apo Armani
    20/10/2014

    I am sure we have all listened and watched the after match interview by BBC with Garry Monk. The question asked (not in exact words) of isn’t he worried that after his comments he may get into trouble…he answered very clear with “what did I say wrong…”

    Now what I thought of, after listening to him is the difference in how a well spoken – with carefully selected English person puts his argument across!

    Good on him!!! And I personally look forward to the day where we here something equivalent from our higher-achy of the continuous bad and game changing decisions against Arsenal.

  27. apo Armani
    20/10/2014

    Please excuse my spelling etc..above 🙂

    “…with carefully selected (words from a native speaking) English person…” is what I meant.

    and

    “…where we (hear) something…”

    My above post is by no means looking to criticize our AW…but just saying how it is easier it is to bring a point across when speaking in your native language.

  28. apo Armani
    20/10/2014

    Everything that Garry Monk said about the ref performances, could easily apply to what we have been experiencing…word for word!

  29. Menace
    21/10/2014

    I had at look at OPTA some years ago and didn’t like the fact they had a Man United bias and avoided a very important set of statistics. The issuing of cards to black, foreign & England players. There is also the ‘conversation / a word with’ that needs to be included in stats. When Adams was playing for Arsenal he got away with many fouls that should have been bookings because he was England captain. The aspects I refer to may be unsavoury but are a relevant part of bias/cheating/incorrect officiating.

    The red cards issued to Arsenal players were always represented as Wenger getting a red card by the very racist media. Even today they refer to Wenger as the Frenchman & Jose as the Portuguese. There is no need to point out the race of the individual when his name is so well known. This reference by race goes on even when referring to players. In my opinion this is origins of racism in sport – differentiating players by their origins.

    Gary Monk is absolutely right in his criticism of the PGMOL official. Mark Hughes obviously prefers some of the illegal play that has become part of the game in England.

  30. nicky
    22/10/2014

    HELP!!!!
    I can only reach Untold by logging on to Page 3.
    Why isn’t the current stuff on the first page of Gooner News.
    I’ve not been singled out for treatment, surely.

  31. nicky
    25/10/2014

    Still cannot log on to Untold via the pages of Gooner News. Slowly going mad with frustration.
    Why only me? No-one cares.
    Seriously considering transferring loyalty down the road……it’s that bad. 😉

  32. Kenneth Widmerpool
    25/10/2014

    Nicky what happens when you go straight through to UA ( ie whats coming up on the screen)?

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