Blue Moan?: Untold Manchester City

On Saturday Manchester City lost at West Ham (cue a cheeky text from José Moanio to Fat Sam to express his thanks). In midweek City were comfortably beating CSKA 2-0 only to throw it away and gain only 1 point. The English PL champions have now slumped to third in the league and their European qualification for the knockout stage is in some doubt.

So what are the City fans saying? (At this stage I fully expect a rush of abusive comments from City trolls along the lines of “mind your business…”)

I used to quite like City. After all they were the good side of Manchester (or the least worst side…) Mancs don’t like Londoners and the feeling is generally mutual. But they did give us the Buzzcocks and The Fall so I’m not hating anyone too much J

They also play football like it should be played, with real attacking verve and power. And I’m a big fan of Aguero and Kompany. However, the arrival of the oil money makes the Pale Blues harder to like, even if their rise at the expense of United is amusing to watch.

But let’s face it, most of us want to see them fall flat on their face except when they play the Chavs, United or Middlesex.

Bitter & blue is a City blog and they posted a balanced view of the Moscow game. It was a ‘frustrating’ draw but the author recognized that there is still a way to go and wasn’t that critical of his (or her) team: “we’re still well in this” they wrote. “We could easily go into matchday 6 at Roma trailing by 2 points. It won’t be easy, but all we can ask for at this point is to still have a shot going into the final day.”

Which is true of course, City are more than capable of turning over anybody (except perhaps Real Madrid).

So I explored the comments section – which is where the AAA lurk on Untold. What sort of things were Blue fans saying there?

There was a really good thread after the post, sensible comments, very little if any infighting but general agreement that there is still some doubt about the manager. This comment, which was near the end perhaps sums up the mood of commentators to bitter & blue on this occasion:

Pellegrini is without doubt a good manager. But he has to show he is not afraid to make big decisions when things aren’t going right. I may be wrong, but I get the impression he is set in his ways – his insistence on always playing two strikers, his reluctance to push Toure up when the big man is clearly not carrying out the defensive duties of a central MF – come to mind. MP is a nice guy, but is he ruthless enough? Is he tactically nimble enough? Big questions that need to be answered.’

There was also plenty of criticism (early on, when the frustration levels were highest) of the referee. No suggestion that he was biased, just that he made plenty of bad decisions. It was mentioned that this had happened before. Blame the ref, a familiar theme for football fans.

There was some criticism of certain players, and a little general criticism of the team’s mentality as a whole. At 2-0 they eased off, contrast that with Bayern who battered Roma 6-0. This is something I’d level at Arsenal too. The need to be utterly ruthless.

As for the defeat to the Hammers the match report was fairly neutral, not overly critical, concentrating on facts and player ratings. No real evidence of AMCMC* there.

Unsurprisingly the critics were waiting in the comments section. ‘In my humble opinion, Pellers is a stubborn manager whose 4 – 4 -2 obsession has blinded him to the reality and that would lead to his downfall. Unless he embraces tactical flexibility of coaches like Murinho, City would not even make the top 4’, moaned one poster. Others were quick to say he was exaggerating.

There was plenty of discussion of the formation played (we do this too) but one voice said it was down to confidence: ‘I think everyone will agree that we’re playing poorly overall and without imagination. We’re fragile as a team and are overly dependent on individual performances from one or two stars to carry us. When those stars have a bad day or bad luck, we suffer.’

This was only one blog but it seems City fans grumble like we do (despite the success they have had recently), they criticize the manager, the players and the referees. It’s all very normal really but (on this blog anyway) they seem to remain civil with each other.   

After the recent games we have played I’ve seen comments that mildly criticism AW or individual players shot down in flames as evidence of AAA behavior. I’ve also seen people slate the manager, club or players in quite irrational (AAA) terms. It is possible for me to love Arsenal but be unhappy about things. Are we saying there is no space to say so on Untold?



The books

Untold Arsenal is here

62 Replies to “Blue Moan?: Untold Manchester City”

  1. Sometimes I admit it must seem like that but I think it’s down to a tendency for us ‘Pro Wenger’ fans or AKB’s for want of a better word, to over compensate for the relentless torrent of abuse thrown at us by the Anti Wenger fans or AAA’s, and there media allies.

    It’s like with the ones you love.

    It’s alright for me to say Mrs Jambug’s got a big bum (as long as she doesn’t hear) but God help anyone else who says so and I’ll back her to the hilt, the sexy little minx. 😉

    In other words when someone comes on here throwing insults around it’s kind of instinctive to throw insults back, even if occasionally they may, I say MAY have a point.

  2. Google News says it was last updated a few minutes ago, it might have been written before Blacksheep wrote this. But, ITV News is running a story with a headline about the demise of Toure. I just noticed it existed.

  3. Birthday cakes may have a negative affect on people; some put on weight, others others get very happy and excited only by the look of such cakes…then some again get demotivated and negative if not get a birthday cake!

  4. Blacksheep,

    I am going to agree with Jambug again (shocking, I know). It’s all about the tone. We’ve ALL criticised AW and the players at one point or the other but the tone matters.

    Just as I object to excessive and mean-spirited criticisms, I am also uncomfortable with over the top praises of our in-form players that portray their team mates as incompetent mugs or ‘average’ to use the preferred term. The team wins and loses together and my hope is that we fans recognise that. Personally, I want to cheer Cazorla much more than Alexis. The latter is on fire and needs no butt kissing but the former is a magician who is going through a rough patch and needs the confidence boost. I want to do all I can to help Santi get back on top because when he does, he will be great for us.

    Moderation is the keyword for me, both in victory and in defeat.

  5. I agree with jambug.

    I’m certainly no expert but i can see some of the tactical changes week to week. In the previous thread a disingenious one has attempted a distorted and dishonest tactical appraisal of the Gunners which attempts to deny that this occurs. Which is odd. So apparently Arsenal’s rigid tactics do not work.

    Yet above we can see City fans wanting their team to play a more familiar system. Indeed, with some familiar players! Hehe. So, what is going on here?

    It’s possible to point out that City actually won the title playing one up, at the season when others were niggle or injured. So, they won the title play a very familiar system for Arsenal fans. This current Gazprom upon Fulham squad,after half a billion pounds of recent rebuilding in recent years, they are playing a style not so different to the efficient 2-0 sequence of results that took Arsenal to the top last year, or was witnessed yesterday. I called this style or set up “L’Grande Autobus” – but according to all the plundits Arsenal can’t play like this – but, wait for it, playing that way is what took Arsenal to the the top of the table last year. So, how did they miss it? Were they too busy staring into their Arsenal’s? Of course sometimes you need the two up, but it seems like it should only be a option for a team these days. Diamonds? Don’t ask me! Haven’t a clue.

    Truth is that probably all players and managers make mistakes in every game. I feel lucky if I can spot any of them,with my Expert eye an’ all.

    E.g.: the AAAA gave some publicity to comments from Young Pep about his games against Arsenal. They got through one knockout round one year thanks to a dodgy red card for the arsenal skipper from the guy that now heads UEFA refs when only half a hour away from winning the tie, the other return leg the year before, a weakened Arsenal were Messied. But we all saw the obvious mistakes Pep made in both games in N.London, because they were obvious. if I could see them I expect that you all did too! And in fact he made the same blunder in both games in N5. And paid for it in both games. And it was kind of similar with Munchen last season – Pep got away with not starting the outstanding player for Germany, Muller,which was a massive error. Özil nets that penalty (or Carzola takes it, been smart enough to pinch the ball and not let the former youth players & friends face off against each other) and the tie ends with a different result. You can have all the video prep you want it but if you bottle it during the heat of the battle and pull off the brilliant Villa for a deeeeeefensive CM chances are you will be punished. And he was. Twice. The errors with Villa were the similar to that with Muller. But I don’t expect him to drop Muller from the start for the big games this year.

    You never hear such reason or balance from the AAA! Almost as if, they have some kind of an agenda…

  6. Wotcha Gooners, I come on here once a Bluemoon (pun intended) as I quite like you lunatics, and normally you are on a wind up, but good to see this article isn’t for a change 🙂

    Funnily enough we also have a wide range of opinions from our fans from the happy clappers, to the Pellegrini outers (yes, already!) – this is a universal I would suggest for all football clubs, and makes for an interesting debate at least.

    I’m on a new Man City fan’s forum called, which is a no-holds barred, full freedom of speech place for generally the more mature, left of centre match going fans, although there are some very notable exceptions – if you’re easily offended by all that freedom of speech entails, such as naughty pics and about as close to the bone humour as it gets (think Frankie Boyle, only much worse), then I suggest you stay away – otherwise it’s a great place to learn the Northern humour 🙂 You need to register to see the content, which is as well, as it’s not for the faint hearted.

    Hope I haven’t broken any code of conduct by shamelessly plugging our forum, I’m sure Tony will delete the offending bits – I think a football forum needs a bit of outside input occasionally to keep us all on our toes 🙂

    I’m on there as BigJimLittleJim, so please say hello and join in, but no trolling or the Moderator will weild his banhammer!

    All the best for the season, and let me know what you think of these Ozil to City rumours, personally can’t quite believe what I’m reading!

  7. Bootoomee

    As usual we are in accord.

    It is about tone AND perspective.

    So often a defeat/poor display is jumped upon with such vitriol and fervour that you’d think the World was coming to an end, yet conversely these same naysayers are just as quick to dismiss any victory as Lucky, un impressive, papering over the cracks, blah blah blah.

    That’s what does my head in.

    As far as I can see with these people it’s a no win situation for Wenger and the boys.

    Win and they’re lucky. Lose and they’re crap.

    Also like you Boo I think standing by the guys having a bad run is infinitely more important than lauding the guy having a purple patch, and ultimately more helpful.

    If people read “Stuck in a Moment time: The Ballad of Paul Vaessen” I swear they would total change the way they feel they have the unquestionable right to abuse players as they do, be it in person or in print.

    Yes players have poor runs. Some players perhaps in the final analysis are not up to it, but the abuse dished out by many of the odious AAA types is shameful.

    I can see Santi’s having a tough time. As was Aaron for a period. I see no harm in mentioning it but as I say, what the AAA types sink to is shameful and when they come on here shouting the odds I have no qualms in telling them to go f**k themselves.

  8. It’s all a matter of perspective. If you believe Arsenal have been picked on and have been under siege from the media, PGMOL,UEFA, pundits, other managers and players, then no criticism will be tolerated because it’s seen as just another attack on the club.

    There are legitimate Arsenal fans , who don’t want Wenger gone but can clearly see that there are problems at the club that need addressing.

    Most injuries Arsenal players sustain are NOT due to getting kicked off the pitch( Gibbs , Koscielny, Ospina , just the last three), but try to convince some on here of this fact and you’ll be labelled ‘disingenuous ‘ or worse.

    There are other problems as well but catering and the sound system at the stadium seem the only two that aren’t off limits.

  9. You raise some valid points Tom. This is a site that unashmedly backs the manager and players, as do I, but yes, there are valid questions that can be asked on issues such as injuries, and even the wider running of the club. There is certainly scope for adult debate on many of these issues. Injuries…perhaps a grey area, the people on here who say it is down to opposing teams tactics and lack of ref protection certainly have a very good point. But the examples you chose, and I can add to them …..have injuries down to other issues, so there is certainly scope for debate that there may be a systemic, even in some cases….Gibbs, Ospina, a self inflicted cause to some injuries….who knows. I also think that possible new methods from the new man may be causing a few problems if bodies are being bulked or realigned in some subtle way, as with all changes, things may get worse before they get better.
    But debate is one thing, no matter where you fall in the Arsenal spectrum, the problem with much of the aaa is the level of abuse, I think that brings out the worst in many who oppose their views.
    Think some get too wrapped up in genuine or perceived problems at the club…..the fact is, we ain’t going to change anything, despite the claims of the militants. Guess what I am trying to there is more enjoyment to be had as a supporter by just backing the team, enjoying the highs, living with the lows, but sadly, some of our fanbase have lost that enjoyment, probably for good. Maybe supporters like me are burying heads in the sand, but think I am happier than a fan who spends their life worrying about Stans alleged tax avoidance schemes or the finer detail of the Welbeck transfer.
    Things could always be worse…..we could be spurs supporters on such a day!

  10. I think people are waking up and realising Toure was never as good as they hyped him up to be. Ramsey was miles better than him last season.

  11. I read this blog regularly, especially the ref reviews. I commented here once or twice, voicing normal concerns about the management and team mentality. There were no insults in my posts (I’m a big AW fan) but my valid points were met with utter derision from the sheep.
    Not as personally insulting as those on leGrove, but an absolute shut-out of any opinion which questions the status quo.
    The other side of the leGrove coin in my view.
    And that’s a real shame, because with a tiny bit of tolerance for other people’s views, this blog could be one of the very best for all AFC fans.

  12. Tom

    Personally I will reframe from ever being too critical of us until I see a level playing field from the PGMOL.

    I believe the way we are refereed costs us 10 to 15 points a season…minimum.

    I have run some stats on another thread that shows comprehensively how harshly we are treated with regard to the issuing of cards. The stats are for this season alone, but I have done this on several occasions before over the years, and the ratios regarding us are almost always as bad as this.

    I see no reason to doubt that the disproportionately harsh way in which we are treated regarding cards is not repeated with regard to how we are treated on penalty calls, offside calls etc. etc.

    Why would it differ?

    Have the refs just decided to book our players harshly but treat all other calls with balance? I doubt that very much.

    I see these stats relating to the issuing of cards as a direct reflection od how we are treated in all aspects of the game.

    I assume you have seen those damming statistics but you have as yet refused to acknowledge them. That wouldn’t be because they are a tad difficult to dismiss out of hand as mere AKB paranoia is it, as you are apt to do?

  13. Tom,

    We have a new world renowned fitness guru now after the much advertised ‘investigation’. Here is my question to you: Why do we still have injuries?

    Maybe, just maybe there are some things about this team and indeed football generally that are way beyond the comprehension of people like us. When I hear people who do not possess a tiny percentage of Arsene’s intelligence and experience on football and Arsenal questioning his training methods, I have difficulty letting it go, be it the media yappers or concerned Gooners.

    Of the 3 players you gave to make your point, didn’t Kos got injured while with France? Do we blame Arsenal/Arsene for that. About the other 2, all teams have off the ball injuries and they are often the worst but none of these negates the fact that most of our injuries come from our players getting kicked.

    I want you to know that I understand your concerns here and there are times when I look at us struggle in matches and think: “hey, why can’t we play in this or that manner”. It happens to most of us in the heat of the game but where I am different is in my quick return to reality: why I absolutely love Arsenal and football in general, my knowledge of both is miniscule compared to the man in charge of my team. I always yield to his vastly superior wisdom and have little patience with people who barrage him (or more accurately, us here at Untold) with repetition of what they think is wrong with the team.

    I prefer to stick to my area of expertise i.e. supporting the club at all times which, funny enough, is what this site is all about!

  14. thanks all, Tony and I travel to most home games together and I have to say he is steadfastly loyal to the team and manager (he will criticize the club, especially over flares, fanshare and the issue of OAP STs). I find some things hard to understand (like not signing a centre half to replace TV) but mostly I recognize that M. Wenger is a much better judge than me of who to pick and what formation to play. But we have good discussions and both of us are wholehearted in our love for Arsenal, as most fans are. I hope if you offer future comments GoonerDave, they are met with reasoned responses not derision. We can have opinions without abuseing the club, players, manager or each other

  15. Tyler

    “Even before they (Chelsea) where a ‘super’ Club they had a good record at Old Trafford”

    Or more accurately

    “Even before they (Chelsea) ‘spent over a BILLION quid’ they had a good record at Old Trafford”

    Still, wouldn’t do to say it like it is would it because it rather undermines everything Chelsea do doesn’t it.

    If it didn’t why not say it?

  16. “I read this blog regularly, especially the ref reviews. I commented here once or twice, voicing normal concerns about the management and team mentality. There were no insults in my posts (I’m a big AW fan) but my valid points were met with utter derision from the SHEEP (emphasis added).”


    It is difficult to believe that you posted here without insults. You just threw in an insult to many on this site in a comment whining about being picked on. This site, unlike Le Grove, is pretty clear about its purpose: it isn’t for ALL Arsenal fans, it is for those of us who want to support our beloved team at all times. Those who come to whine about how the players aren’t up to it and the manager is incompetent may be met with some resistance. Especially if such commenters call the regulars SHEEP.

  17. Don’t know if any of you are watching the ManUre game…If those two defenders had been Arsenal players against Arsenal and our guys had head locked the attackers in that fashion; we would be looking at two yellow cards and swift penalty against us!!


  18. Blacksheep,

    Apologies man. Sheep are great animals and all they bring us humans is good nutrition and warmth to mention a few. The usage here is meant to insult but I know you know that 😉

  19. Bootoomee I think you are being a little sensitive towards GoonerDave. After all yesterday you described Tom’s comments as ‘bullshit’ and yet you complain at GD’s choice of phrase. I don’t get insulted by his comment, so why should you?

  20. Mandy Dodd.

    Just read Boos response to your post so went to find it. Somehow I missed it.

    Very well said.

  21. Blacksheep,

    I thought your comment was tongue in cheek but apparently, it isn’t. okay, here is my response:

    This site allows all opinions as long as they are not racist, indecent, offensive etc but the regulars (AL, bjtgooner, Mick, Jambug, Yassin etc) as well as Tony Attwood and Walter Broecx are all staunch AKBs. This is a strongly and openly pro-Wenger website. Those that we call AAA and their apologists come and go but we have always been here and we’ll continue to be.

    I don’t know what GoonerDave posted previously but he cannot claim to have posted without insults when he just described the people who disagreed with him as SHEEP. I think my point here is simple enough to understand unless one wants to be deliberately oblivious. You may like being called an unthinking follower but I don’t! I seriously cannot believe that I have to explain this to you.

    Your point about me and Tom is irrelevant and unfair because while we seldom agree, I think that we both understand each other and where we stand. Frankly, I have no idea how you lumped it into your last comment as it makes no sense in context.

  22. Jambug

    ‘Arsenal haven’t got any calls this season and it seems all big calls go against us , no matter who we play’

    Guess what AKB brigade member that quote is from?
    If you are having problem answering this one, it was from yours truly.
    So as you can see, I’m not blind to certain aspects of the anti Arsenal bias.

    Your choice of not criticizing our club isn’t the point of Blackseep’s article as far as I can tell. He’s not advocating for you or anyone to criticize the club, but rather points out the fact that anyone who does it or voices a contrary opinion, runs the risk of getting abused no matter how politely his point of view is being made.

    There was an Everton fan who stumbled onto this site and had the audacity to politely disagree with some popular opinion expressed on here and he was promptly called a plunker and a wanker by a regular contributor.

    After that exchange he said this was a very ‘ hostile’ site and he was sorry he had come across it on his News Now Agragate. Needles to say he hasn’t been back.

    This should probably be a cause for concern for Tony, who probably wants as much traffic on here as possible.

  23. Best Chelsea side I’ve seen looks like there going to piss it this season, they could do with a dose of the bad luck we seem to always suffer from .

  24. Thanks Blacksheep, I share your perspective.

    First – unfair and shitty comments, by so-called AFC fans, against the team, are something that I really don’t get. If you cannot bring yourself to support the club, 100%, then you do not understand the meaning of being a football fan (at least in my very humble opinion).

    So for me it’s only worth talking about comments which are mild, written in a polite tone, that do not aim to attack our club, players, or manager – but rather comments that sometimes focus on incidents that might be attributable to things which were under our (I mean – the club, players or manager) control or responsibility.

    In my line of work, it is useful to employ a wide range of persuasion technics. One of, if not the most common, is taking a deliberate one-sided, radical stance: my client is 100% right, the other party is 100% wrong. Every fact is spinned to portray reality in a certain way; inconvenient facts are disregarded, if possible, or at least mitigated; supportive evidence is highlighted; the principal argument is repeated, like a mantra.

    These tactics are not only employed in court; they are also employed during commercial negotiations; academic and political debates; and other areas where persuading the other party (or a third party) is the goal.

    It is crucial to understand that in order to convince someone, it is not necessary, and sometimes, detrimental, to “look at the whole picture”, or to take in all relevant facts.

    So, again it’s a matter of perspective. There is no real right or wrong. If when writing about the Arsenal, people feel like they need to protect a player in a difficult patch; to fight against unfair media reports; to highlight the utter incompetence (or worse) of referees; or just feel like they are writing about their loved ones – then it’s only fair to expect very low level of tolerance for criticism.

    If you want to have a discussion that includes ALL the relevant factors, and you have no agenda, then the above perspective might seem a bit one-sided.

  25. With the amount of unfair criticism levelled against Wenger in the media and by the pundits, the way refs cheat his sides, etc, I refuse to see anything Wenger does as wrong. Yes he will get things wrong occasionally, like every other human being, but the way he’s targeted, undermined, cheated on etc, makes me intolerant to any criticism of the man even where it may be justified. If the playing field were level I am sure I’d have no issues accepting some of the criticisms; but how do you criticise someone who has several disadvantages/hurdles in place even before a ball is kicked? Let the playing field be levelled first, then I’ll be happy to start seeing/assessing Wenger’s mistakes.

    To reiterate, I know Wenger’s not perfect(noone is), but let’s level the playing field first before we can start evaluating him against other managers who enjoy all the things he is NOT afforded and have everything nicely laid out for them, and examine his failings. That’s my view, and as long as nothing changes then my stance will not change.

  26. Tom

    I think it has been explained by myself and others as to why I and others are perhaps a little over zealous in our defence of all things Arsenal at times.

    I have no doubt whatsoever of the abuse I would get if I went to Le Grove with my views, said politely or otherwise.

    That is why I do not go there.

    It would be like an atheist visiting a church on Christmas day, it would matter not a jot how politely you said the Bible and everything it was tosh you would end up in a row. That is the way of things when people have Polar opposite views and then enter the ‘Lions Den’

    As for you saying:

    ‘Arsenal haven’t got any calls this season and it seems all big calls go against us , no matter who we play’

    Fair play, but as I say why would this bias against us regarding cards not extend to everything, penaltis, offside calls etc.?

    And as I said, this bias is consistent, season in season out.

    How is that even possible without a concerted intentful bias agenda against us?

    And wouldn’t you agree that if that bias is there, as these statistics seem to suggest, that it would cost us upwards of 10 points a season?

  27. hahahahahahahaha 1-1 wouldn’t believe it but against ManUre the ref sees everything 🙂

  28. AL @ 6:36PM

    Similar to what I was inferring in my 5.31PM reply to Tom.

    Until there is a level playing field I too steadfastly refuse to make many, if any, harsh judgements on Wenger.

  29. jambug
    Exactly! Hadn’t read most of the posts as I went straight to comment, but just read your 5:31 and absolutely agree with you on this.

  30. jambug,

    Point well made.

    I have never seen Tom as an AAA. I know he is clearly not. I think he suffers from being fair by looking at things from the other point of view that people like us just don’t buy. I wrote an article last year about why we get shafted so much by the refs and it’s simply because of the media. The refs are more gutless or incompetent than corrupt in my opinion. Like most human beings, they just take the easy way out which in this case is whatever they think the media want lest they give them hell.

  31. When Chelsea go to Old Trafford the referee suddenly calls every cheating foul and also books the cheating chelsea players. Amazing that.

    Still Phill Nevele thinks it’s crafty play by Chelsea so he must be distraught the ref sent ivaanovich off.

  32. @Tasos
    October 26, 2014 at 7:06 pm

    Your first sentence is almost the same as what I am trying to say @6:54, and you are spot on (so much double standards and hypocrisy!!

  33. Bootoomee

    “………we get shafted so much by the refs and it’s simply because of the media.”

    “The refs are more gutless or incompetent than corrupt in my opinion.”


    I don’t think they are overtly corrupt or bribed they just take the path of least resistance. I have said on more than one occasion that ‘Media Darling’ ‘Arry where by some miracle of misfortune become our boss we would see an instant turn round in our refereeing fortunes.

  34. Bootoomee

    Player fitness and conditioning is a very complicated issue and if in fact there were problems and or mistakes being made at Arsenal in this department, it might be impossible to correct them in just a couple of months.

    There’s also a question of what capacity our new fitness guru has been brought in. My understanding is that he hasn’t replaced anyone , so can we be sure he’s actually in charge?

    Koscielny didn’t get injured while playing for France. He has tendinitis and apparently in both ankles. This type of injury happens because of not enough recovery time between matches and training sessions when player’s fatigue levels are above average.

    I always get a kick out of people , who say ‘ this was a freak injury’ whenever a player gets injured for no apparent reason like Giroud for example. What they don’t understand is that there is I finite number of sprints, kicks, jumps players can execute in a season. Playing in 70 games or so in one season for club and country is just too many games , even for a player with Giroud’s impeccable physique.

    Human body is an evolutionary marvel , but contrary to popular belief no sporting discipline played at a professional level is good for it.

    Every manager in the PL knows there are too many games but as far I can tell , the only one who ever spoke out against the fixture congestion , was Claudio Ranieri. ‘This league is for horses , not people’ , I believe was his quote.

    Throwing a baseball , hitting a tennis ball or kicking a football are all activities human body wasn’t designed for. It can cope but only with enough rest between those activities.

    And lastly, I don’t remember hearing anyone ever questioning Wenger’s intelligence. Playing players who are on form but maybe in need of rest , has nothing to do with intelligence but rather with pressure to win, judgment and perhaps not having a suitable replacement.
    Same goes for keeping players in games who sustained injuries , in hope they can’ run it off’. More times than not , this only makes it worse and the recovery time longer.

    Sorry for the long reply . I hope there’s not too much ‘ bullshit’ in it for your taste 🙂

  35. Indeed Tasos, every little push or slight contact by Chelsea was blown as a foul today, the ref even managed to find the cards in his pocket. Funny that.

  36. Tom

    Vancouver Canucks of the NHL (ice hockey) were “playing” around with hyperbaric oxygen treatments many years ago (this still could be, I seldom follow ice hockey any more). The idea was to decrease injury time. I looked on Google, and right off the bat there is a NIH study about Achilles tendonitis in rats, and hyperbaric oxygen therapy.


    Hyperbaric oxygen therapy creates a positive histological and biomechanical effect on tendon healing after Achilles tendon repair.

    This study is fairly recent (2012).

  37. Tom

    As for you saying:

    ‘Arsenal haven’t got any calls this season and it seems all big calls go against us , no matter who we play

    Fair play, but as I say why would this bias against us regarding cards not extend to everything, penaltis, offside calls etc.?

    And as I said, this bias is consistent, season in season out.

    How is that even possible without a concerted intentful bias agenda against us?

    And wouldn’t you agree that if that bias is there, as these statistics seem to suggest, that it would cost us upwards of 10 points a season?

    I posed this question to you earlier. You seem to of missed it.

    Any thoughts? Am I being paranoid?

  38. Tom,

    That is a pretty straight forward post with no bullshit even if I don’t necessarily agree with you. Kudos 🙂

    It comes across from your post like you have knowledge of this stuff (although I have no idea whether you are right or wrong) but I will rather put my faith in one of the best nurturing managers of the modern game than you (Tom) on this. Sorry.

    You point about Wenger risking players’ health to win is very very very unfair. Actually, he has been accused of babying our players in the past. We don’t know what was being communicated about Gibbs’ injury between the player and the medical team but when he had to leave the pitch, he was taken off. Wenger can be called a lot of things but I don’t think even his staunchest critics can accuse him of risking players’ health to win.

  39. I’ve just been to have a look at a Spurs blog to see what they have to say after days defeat.

    The consensus seems to be that, basically the teams shite thanks to all the dross bought by Levy.

    Would that be the same Levy the media where having a wank fest over last year?

  40. Tom, can only agree, players can only play so many games, and yes, I would add, maybe we do not have sufficient cover to rotate in some areas…for the moment at least.
    But even if there is something slightly, subtly, inadvertently wrong with our medics, training regime, playing surfaces, recovery techniques, hair products or whatever, and I am going to contradict some of my previous posts here, think protection …or lack of it comes into it as well, even taking into account what you say and we know about human physiology. Take John Terry just as an example, has his fair share of injuries in the past, is getting on a bit, but …and I stand to be corrected, never misses a game? Either He is a prime physical specimen, he is on some sort of PED, or perhaps Chelsea have the best medics fitness gurus or training regimes going, or he receives more protection than some of our defenders, either from his own midfielders or the refs. I must admit, I don’t know the answer to this one, but my point, for whatever reason, as we all know, our players do seem pick up more injuries, and it hurts our performances. Think there are some complex issues with our injuries, which are….whatever the causes , at an unacceptable level, and have been for some time, and I hope and believe, the club are doing things behind the scenes to do something about. I just don’t buy, these theories put out there by some that an all powerful wenger is some sort of Luddite that puts up with this because he is over loyal to his methods..and or underperforming backroom staff. But our injury record frustrates the hell out of me, that’s for sure.

  41. Levy……not just the media, some of our fans as well joined in the wankfest!
    They are in a mess. We really should have demolished them recently. They have a manager who wishes to take on the philosophy of bielsa, but completely the wrong players with which to do it. Many of these players were bought in by AVB, or Redknapp who had very different game plans. Think they will have to replace most of the team, or the manager…..and at the same time, raise stadium funds.
    But Levy should be subject to scrutiny from their fans , and amusement from us!

  42. Jambug

    Yes it has cost us points, this season and others as well.
    I haven’t spent any time trying to put a number value on it like you have but I do agree with the general consensus of this site ,that it is much easier to give a call against us and be wrong , then for us and be wrong.

    A corner kick that’s awarded mistakenly for Arsenal , usually generates more criticism by media then a soft or imaginary penalty against us would.

    So we are in agreement there.
    Where we disagree most , I think , is how we view each Arsenal game. While most on here hang on every referee decision( sometimes justifiably so) , I pay most of my attention to tactics, player movement and play execution. If those are satisfying and we still lose because of the poor ref, then I don’t have a problem saying so and giving that as the reason for the loss.

  43. Blacksheep, your article was about ManCity.

    My only comment would be, it was cold in Moscow. From experience, I know I can keep warm for half-an-hour in a car coat, from hotel to metro, or whatever!

    Out in the wilds, no way. Frostbite, is never far away.

    Which neatly leads to injuries.

    The Premier League and UEFA Champions League clubs, have to comply with strict mandatory and optional medical check-ups, annually. The list of checks, are exhaustive.

    It is subject to properly qualified medical opinion and not Mr Wenger!

  44. Tom

    Fair enough.

    Personally as much as I don’t think every player always plays well or every decision made by Wenger is right I am willing to accept that players have bad days and managers make wrong calls.

    I would never suggest that for one second though that I know better than Wenger and trust that he does everything with the best interests of Arsenal football club at heart, which is my biggest contention with AAA types that I have no time for.

    You, as has been said before should not be labelled as such but I still disagree with you often and think you are overly harsh at times, but at least it is just your opinion.

  45. Tom, Everyone, Injuries do not manufacture themselves. Some muscular injuries occur when they are cold & have not been warmed up. Do not think injuries are reacted to the instant they occur. Most players will not even feel some serious injury until they begin to cool. It is only then that the pain kicks in.

    I see our players getting kicked every match. Santi, Jack, Ox, Alexis all get kicked several times in each game. They get kicked on the back of their heels as they run and many times the get kicked after the ball has gone. The keepers also get kneed or barged into. The elbow one (Palace)keeper got this weekend was scandalous. It is something the police should attend to. It is obvious the PGMOL officials are not fit for purpose. There are too many mistakes or ‘unseen’ incidents that are vital to the Game.

    It does not matter if Arsenal get top of the range UV/Infra red machines or oxygen tents, players need to be protected on the field of play.

    I am sure you have seen our players attacked & their legs broken on the field of play. The comments after that are usually to excuse the offender. The official gets away scott free as if it were not his responsibility. The official must be suspended for 3 months. It will soon get them acting more responsibly.

    Walter would you think it fair as a Referee to be suspended if a player during a game that gets out of hand breaks a leg?

  46. Menace has a point.
    When Cahill went through the legs of Alexis, it was ONLY a yellow.
    The PGMOL has declared that it is open season to hunt the Gunners.
    On a different subject, we used to get links every year about official end of season table versus end of season table adjusted for incorrect important decisions for all 380 games of the season; I have yet to see that for 2013-2014, or for season to date. Anybody has seen it and can link to it?

  47. Ray,

    You are right. It’s been many years of open season for Arsene Wenger and his players. I think Welbeck got the taste of it when he got booked for that ‘dive’. Since Manu never experienced open season before, the ref really pissed him off.

  48. @Menace

    I am autistic, and have to keep reminding myself about the spectrum part. But in general, people expect cause and effect, and that doesn’t always happen. I used to work with a person who had few pain receptors in his body. He once got caught in an avalanche, and needed surgery. The local hospital was out of morphine, and felt they couldn’t do the surgery. He eventually convinced them that he did not need painkillers, and so they did the surgery. I’ve had 2 MCL sprains, which are supposed to be excrutiatingly painful. I notice them, I don’t feel pain.

    Even for people who have “typical” responses to damage, it is common for many people to not notice anything is “wrong” until well after the incident that caused the pain.

    This is a big reason why concusion decisions should be removed from the player. A player could have serious brain damage, and yet not know it at the time. It is hard to play football without a brain (players like Shawcross notwithstanding). For possible brain injuries, the only arbitrator should be an medical person trained in what to look for. For all other injuries, the trainer and player should be allowed to “negotiate” whether they continue, but it is entirely possible that the injury is career ending regardless of what the player or trainer think.

  49. Good piece Blacksheep. I have a lot of respect for our manager but of course everyone should be entitled to criticize if they can give a balanced argument. I have been mystified by our apparent indifference to getting in either a cb or a dm. Though it seems it wasn’t indifference as Wenger recently said he’d like a strong dm. So either he couldn’t find one or the one he wanted was not available or too expensive. Or maybe there’s another reason. None of us know what goes on behind the scenes.

    Yet when some of us did suggest we needed a dm there was a barrage of mocking and abusive retorts. Then a few weeks later Wenger says he could do with a strong presence in midfield and suddenly everyone can see the other point of view.

    We certainly aren’t in debt as one poster claimed. We have huge financial resources compared to what we had three years ago so I found it disingenuous of Wenger to comment on Chelsea’s financial power after they beat us. We had the most expensive player on the pitch, Ozil! I also lost some respect for Wenger when he shoved Mourinho. To me that shows someone who is a bad loser and also someone who has no answer to the problem in front of him. I’ve yet to see Wenger get the better of Mourinho on the field and I understand his frustration but a physical response, no matter how mild, is a sign of weakness in my view.

    However there’s only one or two managers I could envisage doing a better job. I look at all the other managers, Pochettino, Moyes, AVB etc., that some have wanted to replace AW and thank god they never got their wish.

    What makes any blog interesting is the myriad views and the debates that ensue. Being abusive, from whichever side of the fence you stand, does not reflect well on the abuser and in my view weakens any opinion.

  50. “Remember, happiness doesn’t depend upon who you are or what you have; it depends solely upon what you think. So start each day by thinking of all the things you have to be thankful for. Your future will depend very largely on the thoughts you think today. So think thoughts of hope and confidence and love and success.”
    ― Dale Carnegie

  51. So Mourinho says “I like to be in front, even few points because for our/the referee mistakes”. Guess thats kosha with PGMOL/ref association – right?

  52. @Chapman’s Ghost

    > I have a lot of respect for our manager but of course everyone should be entitled to criticize if they can give a balanced argument. I have been mystified by our apparent indifference to getting in either a cb or a dm. Though it seems it wasn’t indifference as Wenger recently said he’d like a strong dm. So either he couldn’t find one or the one he wanted was not available or too expensive. Or maybe there’s another reason. None of us know what goes on behind the scenes

    I don’t think people need to provide both sides of an argument in commenting, I think people commenting need to recognize that opposing opinions are capable of being as valid as a well thought out opinion of whatever topic you are writing about.

    We are only a few months since the transfer window closed. From what I read, Wenger was never opposed to bring in a CB, and in large part Chambers has filled that desire (and Monreal filling in at CB as well).

    DB seems to be a sticking point with the masses.

    We have a game in X days. Do we approach the game as we want to win the game, or do we approach the game as we don’t want to lose it?

    The first point of view, which I think Wenger has, does not require a DB. Or perhaps more accurately, any DB must be able to support the attack. The second point of view definitely requires a DM.

    Chambers seems to have fit in wonderfully in the back (center and side), regardless of what Wenger’s original plans were for him. I doubt Wenger has any concerns about CB at this time, which require buying another player come the next window. And Bellerin seems to have put to rest some concerns about lack of fulbacks.

    Arsenal has shown that they can shut down games. And Wenger’s style doesn’t seem to need a DM. If a DM that can support the attack becomes available in future windows, I suspect Wenger will consider them. Whether he can capture one, should one be available, depends on other things. As Tony has pointed out many times.

    Really, what would knock the Premier League, Mike Riley 😈 and PGMOL for a loop; is to have the PGMOL assholes continue to play their stupid game as to what kinds of calls are allowed to what teams, and have another Arsenal player suffer a severe leg break. And then some Arsenal player go up to the referee and break his leg in a similar manner.

    It would be the end of the Arsenal player in question’s career. Just on general principles. It is likely the referee in question would never officiate again, largely because they could not recover from the injury. The referee in question would have been one of Mike Riley’s 😈 favorites, and the loss of that referee for the rest of the season would be a “burden” to the agenda of Mike Riley 😈 . But it might get The FA (and the Premier League) off its FAT ASS, and actually fix the problems with officiating. Which combined with the recent financial fair play regulations, might actually make for a much more level playing system.

  53. @Initials BB, In what way are we in debt? I know we have to pay off the stadium debt which is around the 20 million a year mark but we have way over 100 million in the bank after that yearly payment. You may be right but could you elucidate please.

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