Stoke + the ref v Arsenal: all you need to know and some stuff you don’t

By Bulldog Drummond

What you should know about this game part 1: The referee

“This man should not be allowed within 100 miles of an Arsenal game”

Yep, you’ve got it.  He is refereeing the Stoke v Arsenal game.

Here’s what we said about this referee last season

“From the first minutes it was clear that the ref was going to give us nothing. Every time an Arsenal player came close to an Anthony Villa player the whistle went.  On the other hand Villa could do what they want and only when things really were bad the ref would give the foul.

Stoke chairman, Peter Coates, was fined £5,000 by the FA for comments about referees.  And then, just to show balance, PGMO give us this referee for this game.

Of course I have no evidence that PGMO act in this way (taking the money and then giving Stoke a ludicrous ref for the game), but given the extreme fanatical secretive nature of PGMO, one can but look at every possibility.  Stopping people talking about refs is deluded, childish and petulant, so who can tell what wild and whacky schemes that same organisation will come up with next?  If they came out and opened up properly we’d know.  As it is we have to put all sides of the argument.  PGMO is bent.  PGMO is not bent.  Take your choice.

What you should know about this game part 2: Shawcross

Stoke have also been putting it about in terms of the evil manifestation known as Ryan Shawcross suggesting that he has been “unfairly singled out as a player who grapples with opponents in the penalty area.”


Ramsey might have a word to say about that.

What you should know about this game part 3 – others get injured too.

The marginally redeeming factor is that we are gradually coming up against teams who, although they will never have the injuries that Arsenal get as a result of the way referees handle games, are losing the occasional player.

Southampton are starting to lose one or two, although that just came in the game against Arsenal.  Stoke have Glenn Whelan as an “unlikely” as is Stephen Ireland, Jonathan Walters, and Robert Huth.  Steve Sidwell, Peter Odemwingie, Victor Moses and Dionatan Teixeira are out.

But of course we have it worse.

We have Nacho Monreal out again and Theo continues to be out, but he’d never be risked against Stoke anyway, and Laurent Koscielny is struggling.  Wojciech Szczesny is a maybe, and it seems that all that warming up has injured Tomas Rosicky.   Kieran Gibbs is a yes or no and so is Yaya Sanogo.  Szczesny is fit, but again you don’t want him wrestled to the ground all the time in his first match back.

Mathieu Debuchy is just on there but again you don’t want to risk him in a game in which he might be cut to shreds, but he could be back midweek along with Oooooooospina.

Mikel Arteta, Mesut Ozil, Abou Diaby and Jack Wilshere our out for sure.  Which gives us…


Chambers, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs,


Ramsey, Cazorla,

Oxlade-Chamberlain, Giroud, Welbeck

On the beach: Szczesny, Bellerin, Rosicky, Alexis, Podolski, Sanogo, Giroud, Hayden, Campbell.

Now this approach allows Alexis to have a breather, but it could be that he plays and gets a rest midweek.

Arsène Wenger has talked about Sánchez emerging by coming out of the shadow of Messi – that could be true, although it is also true that these days Barcelona are creating their own shadows, what with Messi threatening to leave because of his tax fraud case, Barcelona being banned from signing anyone until January 2016 and the total shame of child trafficking hanging over the club forever more.

But it is also true (and the AAA should remember this, but I am sure they never will) that Alexis was booed repeatedly at Barcelona for not putting in enough effort.  That was the reason why he was ready to move on, and a major part of why Barcelona let him go.  But they let go a player, of whom Mr Wenger says,  “He has quality that in the morning he comes in and he is fresh. I don’t know what he does overnight!

However, “He is in the red zone.  You can see that when he plays but he can dig deep. I will have to give him a week’s break at some stage. I have to give him a breather. I did it with many players before who were playing every game. I did it with Henry, with Van Persie and it always helped them to get through without being injured.

“He played his 27th game on Wednesday since the start of the season, if you consider international games and travelling on top of that. Unfortunately you never know how far you can push it. We are not scientific enough to predict that completely but he has good recovery potential. He recovers very quickly.”

In fact Alexis Sanchez has scored eight goals in his last eight Arsenal games in all competitions so we don’t want him out.  Therefore. this version sounds as if Sánchez will play today, giving us

Alexis, Giroud, Welbeck

What you should know about this game part 4: Lawrenson says we is all right. 

“Arsenal’s habit of scoring late goals is not down to luck, and it is something to be proud of – generally, the best teams do score late because they wear the opposition down physically and mentally. It also shows that Arsenal have players who can come off the bench and make a difference, as Olivier Giroud did in the second-half against Southampton.”

In fact we have scored  seven goals in the final five minutes of matches in 2014-15 – more than any other Premier League club.  The last five Premier League games have all been 0-0 at half-time.

What you should know about this game part 5: improvement

Since Manchester United it is three wins and three clean sheets.  And Stoke have been beaten three times at home so far – by the mighty Burnley, Leicester and Aston Villa.

Stoke were one of the founders of the league and this is the 100th time the clubs have played each other.  Arsenal have won 52, and Stoke 24.  16 matches were abandoned after Arsenal ran out of players who could still move.   (I made that up).

But we have only won one game at Stoke in the last eight, and none of the last four at the Stadium of Hate.   They also have Peter Crouch, a man so tall that he wears an oxygen mask, and also the man whose autobiography rivals that of A Cole as being the most bizarre and silly book in the history of the language.  Here is a man who needs to be put in his place.

The Christmas books

Some other sites from the Untold team (there is a full list on the home page)

174 Replies to “Stoke + the ref v Arsenal: all you need to know and some stuff you don’t”

  1. Just hope we get through without more injuries. Sadly the world game is run by blatter, the European game is run by a guy accused of taking a Picasso off the Russians during their World Cup bid so we can expect little more from the weak Riley and completely corrupted scudamore and whoever they answer to. Until those at the top are removed and their successors made accountable nothing will change, arsenal are being short changed because they have nothing to do with the corrupt systems in place. Good luck against bet365 Stoke and the pgmol boys.

  2. As we have plenty of forward potential fit and available, why not rest the mid-field, and play the following: Martinez; Gibbs, Chambers, Mertesacker, Bellerin; Flamini; Podolski, Giroud, Welbeck, Alexis, Campbell. Or Sanogo for any of the forwards, if fit.

    By-pass midfield completely, thereby avoiding injuries, and the embarrassment of being dispossessed in our own half. Instead, hoof it persistently towards the Stoke eighteen yard line, and let our forwards interplay there.

    I think Stoke would be so puzzled by this strategy, we could be ten-nil up before Anthony Taylor can work any advantage for them.

  3. Mandy Dodd

    It’s obvious from what you’ve been saying the last couple of days your hopes are not high for today and I have to confess I agree.

    I think.

    -Stoke will get in our faces 😆

    (This ‘getting in there faces’ lark is actually a HARD NORTHERN term that when translated into SOFT SOUTHERN, means kick the opponents off the park.)

    -Having been duly encouraged by Stokes media cohorts the referee will not only allow Stoke to get into the Southern Softies faces but, by totally ignoring it will actively encourage it.

    -Hardly anyone will see any of this happening of course, and even if they do, it will all be Arsenals own fault for having the audacity to pass the ball about, or if you’re like John Hartson, who apparently could see it during the Villa match last year, you’ll actually find it funny and clever as they shared the ‘getting in there faces’ around.

    -We will get players booked if we have the audacity to ‘get in Stokes faces’ so to speak.

    -We will have a player taken off with a leg injury, but obviously he somehow did it to himself. I mean, how can you brake someone’s leg when all you are doing is ‘getting in there face’

    -We will have a player sent off despite the fact we are so soft we never actually made any tackles.

    -We will lose, despite scoring more and letting in less than Stoke, alas the Referee, with the aid of his assistants, didn’t see it that way.

    -We will be laughed at for being a bunch of Southern softies because despite evidence to the contrary Stoke only committed 2 fouls and both of those where harsh.

    -Arsenal where there usual dirty selves. How many red cards is that now Mr Wenger?

    -Arsenal are a disgrace.

    -Wenger is a disgrace

    -Stoke are wonderful.

    I’m not feeling too confident either Mandy.

  4. “Arsenal ran out of lpayers who could still move”. Your cynicism is legendary man. Very good post though. I think we’ll somehow get a good win inspite of our adversaries- ref and his assistants, PGMOL, and the Stoke crowd.

  5. So, How many Pens against us?
    Dodgy free kicks against us?
    Sendng off’s against us?

    Anyone notice Ryan “he loves his mum” been mouthing off playing the victim?

  6. Be surprised today good people, Arsenal needs to “kick some ass” now and why not start at stoke? COME ON ARSENAL.

    I know we have much against us, but surely now is the time to start firing?

    The xmas period is soon here and gruelling it will be, so rests are in order for players.

  7. Great article today, the abandoned games line has settled my nerves completely, as I now know all possible outcomes for later. COYG

  8. I think the Arsenal players should stay down just that tad extra everytime they are fouled to day,(which they are sure to be) just irritate the Joke fans.Perhaps roll around a bit.
    This game has be blown out of proportion by the media.Personally I reckon most of our team can handle Stoke,just a case of being up for it, most Norverners I knew werent that hard, just another urban myth.I hope Wengers got the lads fired up.

    Para, hope you are feeling a better?Still off the cigs?

  9. Let the PGMOL and their appointed match officials do their worse this afternoon at the Britainna. One thing is certain and has been certified. And that thing is the Gunners will resolutely do their best. And their best will prevail over any subversive action by Ref A Taylor, as the Gunners will break the potteries of the Potters to pieces save Ryan Shawcross and Charlie Adam who the Gunners have decided to take them as prisoners and come back with them to the Emirates Stadium for us we the Gooners to behold. Bulldog Drummond, your starts are great. But we are sure to see that of the boss to be different by 2 starts from yours. SFC 0-2 AFC. FT 90+. For AFC – Sanchez xx munites. Giroud xx munites.

  10. Not saying we cannot get a result Jambug, but if we do this ref will make sure we do it the hard way

  11. Off topic
    Just watching Newcastle lead chel,wonder if Atkinson will actually let Newcastle win. Doubt it very much, especially having seen him almost keel over ducking a Chelsea ball so he didn’t block it, unlike in our match where he was blocking our passes…. Comical

  12. Oh the wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round…except when you’re Chelski and you go to Newcastle!
    2-1 there’s only 1 Invinvibles!!!!
    Allez les Gunners.

  13. There’ll only ever be one invincible team! Well done Newcastle. Atkinson tried his best tho, and where did those 6 minutes injury come from???? Something terribly wrong in this league….

    Now let’s hope we can survive another shambles of officiating at Stoke.

  14. Well done Newcastle, against all odds! Six mins added time FFS!
    My thoughts are with the media and AAA at this difficult time, just hope their day gets even worse!
    Happy Invincibles Day to one and all!

  15. There is only one invincible team and Arsene Wenger managed them!

    I guess the Chelsea coronation ceremony by the media is premature after all.

    I am already having a great weekend and if we win this afternoon, it’s gonna be a wonderful weekend.

    Come on you smoking gunners, smoke the neanderthals and take the 3 points!

  16. Watch the ref help them defend that now. Expect a lot of “fouls” given against our forwards.

  17. Love the commentator I am listening to, just said Stoke are not sending long high balls in against us just as their right back hits a 70 punt into our box.

  18. Sanchez fouled in 4th minute and free kick goes the other way,a taste of things to come.

    Is Crouch able to jump without leveraging off someone???? I’ve seen him do this over the years at corners and crosses and he never gets cautioned for it.

  19. I love how the commentator laughed as he said “I dont know why the Stoke fan are booing Ramsey”

  20. And there have already been 3 utterly appealing decisions from the ref within the first 20 minutes. So fucking predictable once again.

  21. How is the ref allowed to take charge of our games? Why doesn’t someone at Arsenal lodge a formal complaint?

  22. alex really?

    foul on alexis called against him?
    quick free kick he pulled back?

    maybe those would have changed the game?

  23. Turned the game off. Not because we are losing but Anthony Tayor is taking the game out of the game and I don’t want my head to explode.

  24. The help Alex is they are allowed to kick the everliving fuck out of us. Do you think that doesn’t affect the players?

  25. You’re absolutely right Will. Free kick against Sanchez when the ball hit his ribs. Think he’s got at least 10 decisions wrong by now

  26. and that doesnt please me at all
    even “mighty”, “unstoppable”, “invincible” chlenoilcy loose today

  27. Turned it off also for the same reason as you Will (as well as the commentators). Im completely fed up with the PGMOL ruining football.

  28. He only gave a yellow against stoke there after Sanchez gave him the ‘do you know what you’re doing’ look….

  29. AL
    cmon! !?!?!
    what the а !?!??!
    all goals is arsenals fault

    and if you just loose it, dont blame me

  30. Shocking the ref is not helping but we seem to have forgotten how to pass cross take free kicks or defend. It seems we are way way to dependant on kos the manager must address this.

  31. Alex, can you please shut up till this match is over if you are not what you said you aren’t?

  32. This is bad. Its not over yet though.Stoke will be feeling very cocky…always a chance to get back in this.JUST FIGHT ARSENAL!

  33. Poor ref and clueless defense. Yet another day on the farm. Just wish the boss would wake-up and start looking at our defensive play rather than just the attacking formation. Would help if Cazorla could hit the target once in a while too!

  34. Damilare
    without “please” … just don’t tell my what to do
    and its doesnt matter what i am not…

  35. Mandy Dodd
    December 6, 2014 at 3:52 pm
    Shocking the ref is not helping but we seem to have forgotten how to pass cross take free kicks or defend. It seems we are way way to dependant on kos the manager must address this.

    We have been rubbish at set pieces all season. It’s got to the point that I want us to stop putting it in the box.

  36. @Al – Stoke getting away with murder – aren’t they just; and we’re constantly being told that this is the best league in the world.

  37. Dedfensive play?

    F*ck this.

    How can someone defend the crosses of Stoke players, specially when they climb on our playefs back? Tell u the answer: dont let them cross, how? When tge ref give them the simplest foul and give us nothing? No penalty on sanchez? Hand on sanchez? Stoppped the goal we could have sxored?

  38. If you’re criticising Wenger or the defence can you reveal what football team you managed first and how you did Tony’s challenge of managing that Australian team.

    We’d be winning if it wasn’t for the referee. Just don’t expect the media to tell you that as they hate arsenal too

  39. Think the only way we can win this is if we had some 6 footers on the pitch, our boys look like toy soldiers compared to Stoke!

  40. I can’t see this match – I’m sorry. Too humiliating and shameful no matter who the ref is. Are we such weaklings or worse? I’m not seeing this

  41. TBH not surprised Bellerin got subbed the lad ain’t ready for this league yet

  42. You don’t need to manage a team to see our defense has not been capable for a few years now. I seriously doubt we’d be winning if it wasn’t for the ref. There was nothing wrong with Stokes first goal and everything we’ve mustered so far has been off target or weak. No reason to suspect Sanchez getting a free-kick would have been any different. When you’re 3-0 down you can’t in all honestly say we would be winning if it wasn’t for the ref!

  43. Yep agreed, Bellerin needs to be loaned out to get some more experience. This was a big ask of the lad.

  44. while everyone is blaming our defence our attack isnt as good as it has been in the past few years and goals seem too hard to find for us nowadays

  45. We’ve made some decent chances just lack the finish. The ref is bad but if we don’t take our chances we can’t expect to win these games.

  46. 4-0 and that had nothing to do with the ref but all to do with 6 or 7 players stuck in mud! This is getting embarassing!

  47. Now thats better. Why do they do this to us? Bloody blood pressure is too much to take.

  48. Why doesn’t Taylor at the start of the game randomly choose an Arsenal player and send him off?

  49. I want someone high up at the club to complain to the premier league about this cheating ref. He is not even attempting to hide the fact.

  50. Thought Prince Harry was a Gooner, what’s he doing in goal? LOL! Frickin’ ref!

  51. Garth Crooks
    BBC Final Score
    ‘Torrid time’ for Chambers

    Stoke 3-2 Arsenal
    Posted at 16:38
    “He’s had a torrid time, Calum Chambers. It’s 3-2 and they have a chance to get back in the game, then he has let the team down and got sent off. On this showing, he is struggling with life in a top team in the Premier League. If you’re a manager you start to ask yourself, ‘can he cope with this kind of pressure?'”

    Can anyone say sensationalist knee jerking?

  52. diabolical first half , better in the second, Taylor kills game at the crucial moment.

  53. We were robbed in the second half by the ref. The first half we can really only blame ourselves although the ref didn’t help either!

  54. We seem to only play like a team with intent when our backs are truly against the wall with 20 minutes left on the clock. Shame we can’t reproduce that over 90 minutes!

  55. if it is refs fault … and we know it
    lets do something
    i dont know…letter… complain …something…to …ARSENAL…TABLOIDS… PGMHOLE
    lets do something… we have facts, stats, pics…names
    lets do something

  56. Even Matt la Tiss said it was never a 2nd yellow.

    Looks like Arsenal may get a draw….hay lets send an Arsenal player off.

    For what?

    Who gives a f***, cant have Arsenal coming back from this.

  57. No matter how bad we played or how many mistakes we make. If any fan blame any player, manager, or anyone wearing Arsenal om the pitch, he is betraying this team.
    no matter how long you have been an Arsenal fan, no matter, if this complete bias by this ref is acceptable? If this new application of rules is acceptable by your standard? You are a damn traitor!

    I cant accept this ref! And I cant accept what he has done just to make us lose? When it is 3-2
    he send chamber off? For what? What was he done that deserved dirst and second yellow? That foul out? They dont usually do it, and then he did it for what? His hand was behind his damn head?
    No one can ask why we didnt play good! When we cant control a midfield if the ref gives imaginary fouls for Stoke while letting then get away with damn murder.

    If this game goes away like that, and no one change anything,, this means Arsenal fans are such cowards, and so is the team management and board.

  58. So embarrassing that the PL allows such games to take place, is this their idea of a world class ref? I am surprised that many others don’t see the inability and the blatant false decisions of the ref.

    Well i suppose the natural reaction of a side(stoke) that feels outclassed is to attack with pure brawn, but that the ref is allowed to tolerate them to do so unpunished is beyond me.

    So my disgust of it all rises again.

    But Arsenal shall win the battle in the end, hey chelsea lost so their record is gone now.

    Did i not wildly predict that manu, “those darlings of uk and the world” will probably win PL this year?

  59. The key board managers exposed in our match report article.

    It is on line from now.

  60. Very entertaining game. The players gave everything. The manager made the right substitutions at the right time but that’s about it for the positives.

    Criminal defending has cost us the game again. All three goals came as a result of mistakes by Arsenal players. Misjudged header by Chambers, unchallenged cross from Walters by Gibbs, ball watching and leaving Walters unmarked for the third, were all Arsenal mistakes the referee had nothing to do with.

    Speaking of referee, another poor game by Taylor. Imaginary fouls on Alexis, bringing back the quickly taken free kick by Arsenal. The sending off of Chambers was soft, although he should’ve known better than to make that challenge on a yellow.
    Adams should’ve been off for his neck cravat challange on Alexis.

    On the flip side , he did give us the penalty which was rather surprising. Also the disallowed Bojan goal was rather close. Walters looked offside but Diouf who was adjudged to shield the view of Arsenal keeper looked level.

    Over all Arsenal were undone again by terrible defending.

  61. They seem to have it in very much for Chambers too. I wonder who he upset and why? Is it my imagination or is he targeted with “media assassination”(constant negative media propaganda) and yellow and red cards a lot?

  62. I want to commend the team today; how they manage to keep their rage and frustration in check beats me.

    I could smell either a sending off or yet another dubious penalty decision in the air at 3 2 but they went for the former.

    All that effort used to nobble the Arsenal can not be allowed to go to waste.

    It’s as sad and predictable as Garth Crooks comments.

  63. The authors of our own misfortune in the first half, we looked completely unprepared for the opponent and the ref. Spirited attempt at a comeback later in the game, but this ref was never going to let a comeback happen. We have to look at some very poor defending, poor crossing and set pieces. Without Kos and to a lesser extent, Arteta, this team are never far from defensive implosion. That needs fixing either in Jan or in training, or both. Some of the players have to take some of the blame, but in cannot exempt the manager from blame either, this team did not look prepared in the first half. Wenger is accused by critics of not preparing for the opposition, there are times when it is hard to argue that, although having first choice players will help. Still, worth backing the manager to put things right as he surely will. And after all it wasn’t him that left players unmarked, constantly gave the ball away in the first half or missed a sitter if a header.
    As for the ref, getting tired even thinking about what they do to this team. There is nothing that can or will be done until the club do something about it. I am not pretending to know what they can do, but from the outside, they seem to passively accept the situation. David dein is different things to different people, but if he was around, I could not see him letting this go on, he had his faults but I am not sure removing him from post was the smartest thing this club ever did on a number of levels. Still that is in the past I guess.
    The media and aaa will have their say, but at least the Chelsea Arsenal boys won’t have too much to crow about.
    Here’s to getting our key players back, fit and better times ahead. This team have a good spirit but need to be in a situation whereby they stop these implosions, especially against,inferior opposition.

  64. I had a fairly poor stream, but it looked like Stoke’s “4th” was level – and I would need to see the penalty again to be sure of contact. However the two yellows for CC are beyond harsh. Plenty of robust stuff from Stoke treated leniently – although not as dirty as previous.

  65. Alex

    It’s very difficult just to say it’s ‘the refs fault’

    Take today for example.

    No matter what we say we conceded after 19 seconds.

    Even though it sounded like we wasn’t getting anything from Taylor, we still conceded 3 goals.

    So accepting Taylor was doing his usual, being 3 down at HT is not good.

    BUT…………the truth is if the Ref was more even handed (fair) we could of finished a bad first half only 2 behind, perhaps 1.

    Going by Matts reports it was an “even first half”. (Although he then strangely said stoke deserved there 3 nil lead.)

    Then the lads turn up. We start to get well on top, hit the post, great saves.

    Then 3-1 3-2 we really look like we could turn this right around, then BANG……Off goes Calum.

    As Matt said, that seems to of taken the wind right out of Arsenals sails.

    My point is, when push comes to shove these big calls, and little calls, that seem to go against us constantly do make a difference.

    Not saying we deserved a win today but we battled, and played well enough to get a hard earned point today but yet again a poor referee ensured that wasn’t to be.

  66. @Para,

    When a bog section of Arsenal fans cant see that? Why should they stop? I am hating this, really? I just want this whole CHEATING to stop. How can a team keep confidence and momentum, if every now and then the PGMOL stop them, and no one bats an eye, not even our own fans. What the hell would Manchester United fans have done here? How can our fans accept this, and then blame the manager and the player?

  67. Till the day we lose on a level playing field, then I’ll attack the team. Everyone does make the odd mistake here and there, but if you’re denied a chance to rectify that error what chance have you got. When I saw 3-2, like Gooneress No 1, I was thinking hmmm, surely stoke will get some help here coz they are struggling to keep up with us, and bang! I’m not going to bother listing the injustices meted out by Taylor, no point, all I can say is well done boys, that spirit in the second half was amazing.

  68. Yassin it’s not all fans that think that way. Unfortunately with the PGMOL it’s a whole lot more than just now and then.

    Today was a prime example of the crooks mentality they know that whatever they do it’s still possible for Arsenal to not only come back but win so… they send off Chambers.

    Anyone can concede in the first second; anyone can play badly for a period of the game but how many can come back from what Arsenal face time and time and time and time again?

  69. I did not see the match so I can only go by what I heard from matt, who is in no way biased towards us, and what I read on here by those that where watching it.

    Without seeing the entire game it is very difficult to judge.

    It is almost, if not totally impossible to believe media reports.

    I am hoping to get some decent feedback from here.

  70. @Tom, so we were 3 nil down at HT (although 3rd goal should have been a foul on crouch, who should have been on a red already, because he crouch kept on climbing on our players all game. Every single header he climbs on the vack of our defenders).
    anyway so by your standard, we were 3-0 down, so we should have left the game and go home? Because if you believe we have the right after 3mistakes to try and xome back? Then I believe you should blame that man in black!


    Yes they do, every simple foul is a yellow. It just shows how desperate this ref was to make us lose, that yellow, and that throw, he was so desperate to stop us it was obvious. But then again why should he be scared? Who will care, its always Wenger fault.

    No one can judge if we deserve to win or not when our players is stopped like that. Everybody knows ( and keep saying like they know tactics) its the midfield which wins yiu the game. We lost that because we couldnt handle the ball, everytime they push our players off it, and when we touch them its a foul, and a yellow. And come on, we outplayed Manunited, southamptons, and city, and now ee cant play against stoke? Where is the logic. I will not tell a handicapped man on chairs that he doesnt deserve to win when he loses by millimetes to a man who still can run. Thats is unfair, event if that man made a mistake, he still should have a fair competetion!

  71. A sensational Arsenal comeback and probably a breathtaking win was written all over this match until Taylor diabolically decided otherwise with his funny little-little cheating decisions…Gibbs on the sideline, robbing Alexis of several decisions, the highlight being that Chambers red card.

    I know the sewer rats would soon be here to talk about how we went 3 goals down to the orcs. AW started the season with 2 and a half defender, lacks tactical nous…etc. Im more concerned about our come-back effort that PGMOB took away.

    If that’s what you do to get a red, I wonder what Crouch, Walter (not ours on UA) & co did differently.

    It could have ended in a Stoke win but Taylor made sure Arsenal couldnt come back. Until football is refered fairly, all genuine effort to play the game will end in frustration.


  72. @Gooneress, then lets do something, am just frustrated to the bones. Just go to other blogs and look whats been said. This should fire any fans or any football watxhers who wants justice to do something.O cant believe how obvious the CHEATING was. And no one can tell me it was not cheating.

  73. i feel that by complaining about the refree we are not progressing in any way so instead of blaming the refree for not allowing us to make it and great comeback win we should rather focus on how we gave up 3 goals to STOKE!

  74. Taylor was a disgrace to professional football but we can only blame ourselves for conceding 3 in the first half.

  75. @Jambug, man you have to see it, it was obvious cheating, that two yellows for chambers, that yellow on Gibbs, and that one on chamberlain.
    that throw, man imagine in the dying minutes, they are in their box and Alexis playing a fast throw (which i seen nothing wrong with), and then Taylor whistles, and gives the throw to stoke for a foul in making the throw. We see that in every match (happened minutes after sanchez one, but with stoke) and no one give them! How can that be anything but deliberate cheating. How can an Arsenal fan see this (no matter how bad we played) and not get furious and raged abiut that?

  76. The two contentious decisions in Arsenal’s favour (disallowed Stoke goal and penalty) were both given by the Assistants. Taylor can not be held accountable for their behaviour so it would be unfair of Riley to give him a b*llocking – particularly as he tried hard to make up for his assistants in every other way he could.

  77. @UnseenBlade – You are totally right, the ref was a muppet but we do make things hard for ourselves. It’s amazing how the team only seems to show up when our backs are against wall in the last quarter. Shame we can’t play the same way in the first 70 minutes. No excusing today, despite the shambolic ref we can only blam our first half display.

  78. 5th Gen Gooner,

    So football for you is a 45 min game? Poor first half and a great 2nd half is a common theme in football. We did not get the chance to play comeback simply because of the ref.

  79. @Damilare – No the game is about 90 minutes and we seem to only show up for the last 20!

  80. It’s going to be rough with our depth in defense. Not saying it’s Arsene’s fault – this isn’t hockey or the NFL where the coach has a great deal more influence on the game’s outcome, we’re simply unlucky with injuries and individual performances.

    Huge credit for fighting back the way we did. Being 3 down at half can be absolutely soul destroying then losing a man on top of that to a very iffy performance by the ref.

    If we keep fighting we will easily place top 4 when our D is healthy again.

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