Team work was the key

By Walter Broeckx

We know that some people only take a look at the last 30 minutes to decide if you are any good or total rubbish. At Untold we try to be a bit more balanced. We certainly will not say that Giroud is a complete waste of space when he misses a few chances against Monaco. Others do and that might be their opinion but it is an opinion based on the 30-minutes memory stick one could say. Some people can only remember the last 30 minutes and the rest is erased from their memory.

Every dropped point in the league or every defeat is for some good enough to discredit all and everyone. The manager as their favourite scapegoat, the player who on the day underperformed and anyone else who the media want to be that the scapegoat is on the day. Now saying that a player makes a mistake is of course very well allowed. Hell even saying that the manager made a mistake is fine……..if and there is a big IF it is first and for all said in a respectful way and also if it is supported by arguments. Saying “Wenger is a useless c*nt who doesn’t do tactics” is not falling in either category. Yet we see it each time things didn’t go as planned. There is no argument and certainly no evidence.

I think anyone who is still saying the ‘Wenger doesn’t do tactics’ now is really someone who is deliberately trying to lie or someone who just parrots what the media and some other negativists are feeding them. I know after last nights referee performance the influence a referee has become clearer than ever. His performance was not perfect. Not at all. But for the first time since…..match 50 I had the impression this ref wasn’t out there to screw us as usual at Old Trafford.

But let us talk about what our players did. Looking back at the film of this match in my head (so I might have romanticised a few things) is that from the start this team was having a plan. A plan that can be compared to the Manchester City game plan. All players worked from the first minute. They defended as a team and came forward as a team. Szczesny couldn’t do much about the goal. A free header looping over his arms from close range was more down to his central defenders not covering that area. But that is the only mistake they made in the whole match I think.  Apart from one shot from a different angle from Di Maria our Polish keeper was rarely tested.

That was down to hard work from the whole team. Bellerin after an early yellow had to be careful and he did this excellent till Young tried to get him send off with a few spectacular tumbles. Wenger was wise to take him off and Chambers did a great job after that. He isn’t as fast as Bellerin but he stuck in and did what he needed to do and kept Young quiet. Apart from that one opening Per and Kos showed the quality that gave them 17 clean sheets last season. Let me praise Per in special as after Monaco he was the one in the line of fire of the 30-minutes brigade.  Talking about the 30-minutes brigade…what about Monreal?

Wenger has played him as a central defender at the start of the season on a few occasions. Mostly born out necessity because of injuries. But since that he has grown and grown. I admit I thought Gibbs was the better left back at the start of this season. But now I feel that we have two excellent left backs. And the way he finished that goal…. no striker could have bettered that finish. So I am very pleased that Monreal has been able to shut up the 30-minutes brigade. He isn’t flashy, he isn’t the left back that makes you stand on your feet whenever he gets the ball. But he is very reliable and you can see that his confidence is growing and growing. Well done Nacho.

Let talk about our midfield beast. I know he isn’t the mythical defensive midfield beast some (and certainly the 30-minutes brigade) have asked for. Man City was his big test: passed with flying colours. Manchester United was his second big test. Passed with even more flying colours. Even losing his protective mask didn’t hold him back for battling out many a battle with the big lump called Fellaini. 12 direct duels they have fought between each other. Coquelin winning 10 of them! What a beast! Our Coquelin I mean.

The midfield combination of Cazorla and Özil is also growing. When Özil is present Cazorla goes a bit behind him and is more helping out Coquelin. And for a “midget” like Cazorla he sure is a hard battler. He fights and fights and when he gets the ball he turns, turns and turns some more and gets us out of difficult situations by just twisting past his opponents.

Özil was once again very impressive for me. It was his opening that created the first goal. He ran in from the left in space and that dragged the United defenders to the side he was running to. A pass to the Ox who went the other way and dribbled past a few defenders and Monreal did the rest. What I liked in the second half was that when United pressed a bit Özil was there to provide some breathing room for our defenders so they could regroup and get in the right position. Him holding the ball and keeping it in the team is oh so valuable in such moments. He always made himself available in the last 20 minutes so that there always was an option for other players to keep the ball. To do this takes some running but I think we know by now that Özil is not shy of running.

Our forward line was a line of defence and attack. The fell back deep when United had the ball and then tried to win it back or pressured the United defenders as much as possible. Alexis was close to scoring but his defensive work rate was once again impressive also. The same can be said about the Ox. Working hard for the team and then surging forward and opening space and creating danger at the other half. A good assist by the way to Monreal.

My final words have to go to Dat Guy. Danny Welbeck. Not always lucky in the first half but he never let go and was always working hard for the team. He headed out a few free kicks as he was planted there to do that by Wenger in our defensive line up.  He ran the extra mile to keep up the pressure on the defenders and on the keeper. And he had the present of mind to keep his eye open for that moment when United made a mistake at the back. The little nudge on the ball to put it past De Gea and then that open goal mouth waiting for the ball to be put in. I think my heart skipped a few beats and it looked to happen in slow motion but he did it simple: just pass it in the middle of that big open goal.

Welbeck got his personal revenge on Van Gaal who thought he would only be a part time player for United. Meanwhile 350.000£ a week man Falcao was sitting on the United beach.  Falcao scored 4 goals for United so far. Danny Welbeck scored 8 goals for Arsenal. Just give Wenger time to work on Welbeck and his number will go up in the next seasons. I remember the disappointment from the 30 minutes brigade when we “only signed Welbeck”.  I was happy and I really do think there is more to come from him in the future.

I could go on about Ramsey now but he fitted in perfectly and was always near the ball and involved in attack and defending. Great to have him back and let us hope his hamstring is completely healed now. Giroud also just fitted in when he came on and battled and was involved in a few moves that could have lead to more goals.

Scoring a few more goals would have been sweeter of course. But De Gea (credit where it is due) was once again in fine form and denied us a few more goals. But this was the result of a whole team working very hard to get the result. And I do hope that this team is realising that they are on the brink of writing history for Arsenal. Ending 2 more times 90 minutes on the winning end in the FA cup and each and every player will have his name written on the walls of the Emirates stadium for what could be an historic FA cup win. Let’s do this together!

Arsenal and Wenger secure the all-time semi-finals records

62 Replies to “Team work was the key”

  1. Yes ooo!!! A fine team effort. Let’s get it on gunners. Win that back to back FA Cup then next year? The League of course and maybe, just maybe, the Champions League. Am I too optimistic do you think?

  2. i believe these season will lay the platform for arsenal to dominate english and european football in the long run…football is all about the peformance of the day, if you give the utmost best against your opponent you have every chance wining the match, you can have all the talent in the world at your disposal but if your team doesnt work hard as unit their’s every chance of losing the match…i’m please to see our belove arsenal have finally taken heed to work as unit,,,and that’s the difference between quantity and quality of any given team. rather we already got talent in a bundance.

  3. Walter

    “Let talk about our midfield beast. I know he isn’t the mythical defensive midfield beast some (and certainly the 30-minutes brigade) have asked for. Man City was his big test: passed with flying colours. Manchester United was his second big test. Passed with even more flying colours. Even losing his protective mask didn’t hold him back for battling out many a battle with the big lump called Fellaini. 12 direct duels they have fought between each other. Coquelin winning 10 of them! What a beast! Our Coquelin I mean.”

    You are right, Coquelin was immense.

    Earlier today I followed a link put up by Mary Dodd to the Mirror and found this:

    “Ask any Arsenal fan anywhere on the planet what they want most, and they will tell you the same thing.A decent holding midfielder.The common consensus is that Arsene Wenger’s side desperately need a player who can do some of the dirty defensive work in midfield, while Mesut Ozil, Santi Cazorla and all the other fancy dans do their thing further up the pitch.

    Perhaps that’s true. But our stats say Arsenal already have the midfielder doing more defensive work than anyone else in the ENTIRE Premier League: Francis Coquelin.

    The Frenchman is still young and raw, sure. But since he made his Premier League debut on 28 December, no other player has made more interceptions or won more 50-50s.

    Then they ask the question:

    “Following the emergence of Francis Coquelin, do Arsenal need to sign a defensive midfielder?”

    To which we get:

    YES = 64% NO = 36%

    Some people are just never fucking happy !!!

  4. Walter, I hate to jinx it but just curious; has any team won the FA cup back to back before ?
    If no, that’s one record I wish Wenger breaks too.
    Football is always a team work and I am happy we have players who believe as such not egoistic and pompous players.

  5. I don’t know about you guys but at various times today, I keep replaying certain times in the match like the Monreal goal, the Angel d Maria ‘madness’ and most especially the Welbeck goal in slow motion with a funny smug on my face. How I wish I have a direct line to Scholes, he would have had a day to remember.

  6. There is no maybe about it. The Gunners are winning the FA Cup, the Barclays Premeir League and the EUFA Champions League comes the month of May, 2015. The boss and the Gunners have to have a belief of Arsenal will win the treble in this year 2015. And it will all come to pass. Period! The boss and the Gunners must be tactical as they host the West Hammersmiths to play against them to collect all the 3 points that are going to be at stake at Emirates stadium playing pitch on Saturday afternoon. I will be revealing my tactics later in the week as I consider it to be early in the week to do so. Would I have observed correctly to say, Monreal is the 19th Gunner to score for Arsenal so far this season? And, old habits die hard. Did I see Rhinosacker dodging Marouane Fellaini’s shot outside our 18 yard box in the 2nd half which Szczesny saved? Why was Rhino’ dodging that shot which he should have blocked as he was one on one to Fellaini? We will do with no such mediocre defending at Stade Louise at Monaco FC.

  7. I enjoyed the game because it pitted two evenly matched teams in a must win game. Sort of an end of season spectacular! United, to their credit played aggressively and not too physically,except for Feliani, who is a brute and very free with his elbows. He should have had at least 2 cards (yellow and red)and it is hard to believe that Coquelin had the better of him 75% of the time…..what a talent we have in this kid! He seemed like a midget besides Feliani but apparently the Belgian doesn’t like to be challenged.
    I felt that Feliani was, along with Rooney, the best player on United’s team aside from DeGea.
    The referee had the courage to make the tough calls and two bookings for simulation against United is a credit to his strength. We can only pray that he isn’t demoted to the southern Conference for his temerity in officiating it fairly. I loved when he refused penalties to United that were dives!
    Cazorla, Ozil and Sanchez were absolute dynamos last night and Wellbeck really deserved the goal for all his harassment and running at a poor United defense.
    Now IF we can preserve this style of play, anything is possible. Liverpool will be our next biggest challenge but playing like last night, I believe we can handle any team in the run in.

  8. A few more goals would have made it sweeter, but we meet them again in PL, don’t worry. I must say utd worked so much harder after being 10 men down than they did all season, they did not want a rampage.

    Have you read my mind?

  9. A very good write up Walter.

    The only point that I would add is that Wenger himself acknowledged the traveling fans and the superb way they supported the team. It was good to see Wenger make that acknowledgement – our traveling fans are indeed superb and deserve all the credits that come their way.

  10. We have yet to read Walter’s professional post mortem on Mr Oliver’s performance as referee.
    As a mere ill-informed spectator, all I can say is that apart from Welbeck nearly losing his shirt in the area and Fellaini’s usual GBH. the referee was human, brave, and honest….something not normally seen at OT.
    United’s players and fans must have had a rude awakening.

  11. Walter, lazy me. I should have known that already. It would be awesome for Wenger to do it again though.
    Waiting for the ref review of the match. Oliver must get nothing less than 70%. But be rest assured, he is not referring any ‘big’ match again for a looooooonnnnnng time to come. Except things are changing in the dark towers of PGMOL

  12. I am finding the media blackout following Arsenal’s win quite amusing. Of course the complete lack of condemnation regarding the diving and cheating is also most notable by the absence of comment. I shudder to think if Ozil had done what Di Maria did last night or cheated like Ashley Cheat and Janucheat.

  13. Really was an excellent win , and as you say, team performance. Everyone played his part, some made the headlines, others like Chambers came into the action and quietly and effectively went about their business, in the case of chambers, against one of the biggest cheats going.
    Utds antics were as disgraceful as they were desperate, born of a sense of entitlement from the pgmol allowing them to get away with what we saw last night, and more throughout the fergie years.
    I just hope we get a similar refereeing performance up,there in the Scudamore Sky League, but somehow doubt it. Some are worried that Oliver may have got himself into trouble over that performance, like Clattenberg, did earlier in the year, but though it was not perfect, think Oliver’s performance amid recent critique of the refs , the widespread reaction has probably made him bomb proof, whatever Riley may think of it, we shall see.
    I remember an article on here a while back suggesting refs are not so much under orders in the FA cup. A real shame.
    But well done wenger and his team. We can use this as a springboard. Interested to note scheiderlin saying wenger has not made contact, on what we have seen of coq, he may not need to. We are now in a position where we should be, you have to be playing out of your skin to get in this team

  14. Just watched Schalke almost put madrid out of the cl. It gave me a lot of hope for our second leg next week.

  15. Coquelin is doing the business at the moment but we do need another player in the same mould .Injuries happen and frequently to us.

  16. Best of the Blogs, Tony! Brilliant!

    A friend who went to the match from London said the train specially put on to bring fans back only cost £10, the same as the coach. This is one of the reasons 9,000 fans got up to Manchester, even on a Monday night. Went there not just to see the match, but to sing their hearts out and contribute to a great victory.

  17. Jayram
    Shocking, isn’t it. Just Googled Arsenal and there’s not even a single report of the match out of the first 15 or 20 results! There’s only about two or three articles which talk of how Welbeck was right to celebrate or how he looks forward to Wembley, or how rooney was upset by the loss. But that’s it. A proper blackout.

  18. I don’t know what papers you guys read, but this morning’s Mail had four reports ( yes four ) on the game and the Guardian had two, and later the Guardian did a report on the referee and one on De Maria and this evening The Fiver did a piss take on LvG. So that’s nine just between two dailies.

  19. Great to see coq excelling, especially against the likes of M. Flail any

  20. Now, is it not interesting that we find plenty of words about United in that article, but none about Arsenal?

    Actually Rooney is bang on, in his own way. The PL refs ARE generally weak and don’t have the support of their employer, who bend to the will of the clubs, who by now are bigger than the League. But, finally, someone produced a spark that lit the gas – and, ironically, it was those who spilled the gas in the first place. I one can’t wait to see the whole PGMOB burning down in flames. More or less literally;)

  21. I did point out that when I Googled Arsenal late yesterday evening the search results were showing the articles I mentioned only. I DID not visit each particular website to see what they were saying, there’s a big difference there.

    Anyway, I don’t know if it’s me or what but I have noticed some of you always go on the other side; the yellow on Bellerin was soft and you respond with ‘no he hit Ashley Young so hard you could see Ashley was in a lot of pain…’, the ref could have given a penalty for the tug on Welbeck, ‘no the ref blah blah blah.. ‘, there’s not enough articles covering our win in the media, ‘no, I found 6 articles on there and there…’. Every time you have an answer to explain a complaint we will have. You might as well be the pgmob, utd or whoever the opposing team will be spokesman all rolled into one. Shocking.

  22. Al

    Ok. You probably didn’t have time to look at all the news outlets and rely on Google, but the game/referee performance and the fallout for Man U was the biggest story in all of the sports sections of the online dailies yesterday.

  23. I don’t know if I am alone with this thought but for the last 3 or 4 games, we appear to have had more than a fair crack of the whip from referees. That is not to say mistakes haven’t been made but the outright bias against Arsenal has been missing.
    Before each of these games the respective referees have invariably been pinpointed as being anti Arsenal, but in my view none of them quite displayed this attitude on the field.

  24. Kind of agree Nicky, there have been a few surprises sprinkled amongst the usual suspects, like Atkinson at spurs. But still think the pgmol have plans for us, we shall see. Overall refs seem better in the FA Cup for some reason, less orders and politics from the FA?

  25. Nicky
    I don’t think the bias has been missing outright, but because we have been winning any injustices don’t get highlighted as much. Just look at our previous game versus QPR where Ozil was blatantly pulled back by Henry as he was about to pull the trigger but the ref and his assistant saw nothing wrong with that. In the other match before that Ozil, again, had a genuine goal disallowed for an incorrect offside against Crystal Palace. Had we lost either of these matches I’m sure we’d have heard more of it. In our last match if we look at that Fellaini was allowed to foul 8 times before getting a yellow, while ours were carded on their very first offence one can see there is some kind of bias ther, even though the ref correctly penalised utd later in the match and somehow (rightly so) that placated many of our fans. I think the team have been working extra harder to overcome these little ‘setbacks’, but the bias is still there.

  26. Bias is still there definitely only change is fouls the other team makes are also getting calls a bit more

  27. AL,

    I appreciate and respect your consistency on this issue. You made a great point also about our bizarre willingness to overlook poor decisions as long they don’t cost us points.

    What I have always done though, is look at the issue from a neutral point of view. I don’t expect refs to get it all right for either team but as long as there is an evenness and lack of bias or malice then I can let it go, even if we lose points.

    On the other hand, not acknowledging the kind of goodwork that Oliver did on Monday because he wasn’t perfect will cost us the goodwill of neutrals and give our fake allies the ammunition to rubbish our genuine complaints.

  28. Yes, absolutely agree with that, Bootoomee. I did admit Oliver had a good game. It was a good performance, but not perfect. But looked at in the context of where it was, and the significance of the game, I concede it appeared like a brilliant performance and fully understand anyone seeing it that way. To me it was an above average performance, but I’d give him more for bravery; it was bravery that has not been seen at OT in decades (I wouldn’t include Clatternburg awarding 3 penos there last season as he appeared as he was bent on punishing united that day). Unfortunately oliver’s performance, which was good, is now making others see as if the refs are off our case. Which I don’t think is the case. Time will tell if we’ve indeed turned the corner as regards poor refereeing. But yes, having said that Oliver’s performance on Monday should be applauded.

  29. Al

    United got away with a blatant penalty at Newcastle, which could of cost them points, and against us.

    We should of had a Penalty at OT and at QPR I think it was.

    City got away with 2 against Leicester which could of cost them points.

    Spurs got away with 2 good penalty shouts against Swansea which could of cost them points.

    So as much as Oliver had a good game, I agree it is perhaps way too early to put the Bunting out.

  30. Bootoomee

    “On the other hand, not acknowledging the kind of goodwork that Oliver did on Monday because he wasn’t perfect will cost us the goodwill of neutrals and give our fake allies the ammunition to rubbish our genuine complaints.”

    This is exactly what I’ve been saying for a long time on this forum and I think the demage might’ve been done already.

    Also expecting a perfect game from any referee in any PL game is setting one’s goals too high.
    Watching the game in person at OT it becomes even more obvious how difficult the referee’s job was. Expecting the perfect performance from the man in the middle , when some of the top players in the world on display failed to control simple passes, turned the ball over under no pressure, picked a wrong option or pass, which in turn resulted in switching the play thirty or more yards in the other direction in which case the referee did extremely well to keep up, is very rich.
    Not to mention most of those players trying to bend the rules or clearly con the ref as well.

    If you really think Oliver’s performance was just “above avarege ” , then you probably find yourself in the real elite of a group of Arsenal fans. I’d say five or six people at most. That’s why I always knew you were special 🙂

    Also, your example for the anti- Atsenal bias from Kevin Friend for a foul on Ozil by Carl Henry , not given in the QPR game , is an example of referee missing the call but not bias. I suggest you look at the play in question again. Friend had his eyesight firmly fixed on Arsenal winger playing the ball to Ozil under a challange.

    Whether you think he should’ve been able to see both plays is a question of his abilities as a referee, but not bias.

  31. Tom

    “On the other hand, not acknowledging the kind of goodwork that Oliver did on Monday because he wasn’t perfect will cost us the goodwill of neutrals and give our fake allies the ammunition to rubbish our genuine complaints.”

    To which you say:

    “This is exactly what I’ve been saying for a long time on this forum and I think the demage might’ve been done already”

    With all due respect that’s rubbish. To say “That’s exactly what I’ve been saying” is crap because it’s nothing like what you’ve been saying.

    Never once have I seen you suggest your dismissal of the Untold assessments is just down to a few over zealous posters not acknowledging a Referees ‘good work’.

    For as long as I’ve been posting on untold you have dismissed the findings of the untold assessors out of hand, and we have had many a ‘debate’ on this subject so don’t come that old nonsense.

  32. Tom
    If your intention is to make me attack oliver you’re going to be disappointed because I’m not going to. I never attacked his performance in this match and I’m not going to start now. I still stand by what I said at the beginning that he was ok, and he’d done well. Go check my comments. I said his performance wasn’t perfect, and while there’s no such thing as perfect, I arrived at that conclusion because he failed to card fellaini until he’d committed 8 fouls. I’m sure if there’s a report review of that match you’ll find that’ll bring his score down. So if it makes me part of five or six people in this world to have seen that I’m really pleased to belong to that elite group coz it was so plain obvious fellaini should have been carded earlier in the match.

  33. And you chose the non penalty for Ozil at QPR only when I identified two incidents in our last three matches where officials made decisions that could have cost us. I said officials, not ref, and that includes linos. I believe the disallowed goal the assistant ref was at fault, for the non penalty on Ozil both ref and his assistant were to blame. Don’t you think it’s interesting that we’re the only side to have controversial decisions go against us, of all the sides in the top six, as jambug pointed out earlier? We know mistakes do happen, but they consistently go against us, while they consistently go for our rivals. If there’s a discernible pattern then it stops being coincidence in the world I live in.

  34. Hold on Tom. We should expect a perfect referee performance in each match. After all Mike Riley said refs make +95% correct decisions and offside even 99% correct.
    There has only been 20 real mistakes in the whole PL up to New Year according to the Bible from apostle Saint Mike Riley. 😉

    So 20 real mistakes in more than 200 matches that means that in 180 matches one should expect a perfect referee performances without mistakes.

    LOL I think in all Arsenal matches alone I have seen more than 20 important wrong decisions …

  35. Al

    Similar to what I said elsewhere.

    No, Oliver didn’t make too many mistakes, but the ones he did where arguably quite important and in Manchester uniteds favour.

    1) Not awarding us a pretty clear penalty

    2) Not cautioning, perhaps even sending off Fellaini (Elbow and consistent fouling) earlier.

    The fact he rightly didn’t fall for and even cautioned Uniteds players for there diving is cause for praise but it is his job after all.

  36. Jambug

    “I will never criticize Arsene Wenger no matter what” ,

    “Untold Arsenal founders and it’s contributors are not in any way biased towards Arsenal….”

    are just two statements of yours that pretty much exclude you from any serious debate regarding some of the Arsenal issues, and the referees assessment fall under the latter.
    I’m just gonna leave it at that.

    For the record though , it is exactly what I said in the past after each game Arsenal were the beneficiary of the only game changing call, be it a penalty for us, or a disallowed goal for the opposing team.

    “Count your blessings and pick your spot” to quote myself.
    Complaining about referees indiscriminately makes you look silly and after awhile people just ignore you. Which is what I’m gonna do from now on.

  37. jambug,
    Exactly. One might even add the lunge by rojo on Santi which could’ve been a straight red too… and that would be 3 important mistakes, which all went one way. But we’re not focusing on that, like we have all said on here, it is his calling of utd’s cheating which we’re choosing to focus on and praising him for.

  38. Tom

    “Complaining about referees indiscriminately makes you look silly”

    This is what I said about Oliver.

    “Given our treatment at OT over the years, I was, as where many others, extremely worried as to what to expect from the Referee. I think that was a perfectly reasonable worry, and has absolutely no basis in ‘bias’ what so ever.

    As it transpired, I believe the referee gave a very good performance,”

    You my friend are just making stuff up.

  39. Tom

    This was what I said on Monday night.

    “I haven’t been reading tonight and just posted my thoughts.

    Since been back to read, and I distrust the Referees as much as anyone but I honestly fail to see how he can be criticised tonight.

    Personally I think going over the top about a performance like that undermines our real grips when we do get stitched up, which is often, but not I felt tonight.”

    Which is a similar statement to yours, and bootoomee has also said something similar.

    I think you should stop putting words in peoples mouths.

  40. Walter
    I find myself on unfamiliar grounds sticking up for referees now , while I was playing this was never the case.

    One of the biggest attractions of the PL is it’s rough and tumble style and pace which pretty much makes it the most difficult league to referee in.

    That’s why ,while I never doubted your refereeing credentials, I find some of your referee reviews pedantic at times.( no disrespect)

    As much as I can honestly say I was probably never good enough to play in the PL for any team , the same probably applies to you.
    I have seen enough of the Belgium football at it’s highest level to know that working in those games is nowhere near as difficult as in the PL.

    That’s why when I see a referee perform like Oliver did at OT, I can only say ; kudos!

    Riley’s statements are a joke and should be treated as self promotion and propaganda, however there are some problematic aspects of a continental referee such as yourself doing referee reviews for PL style of play.

    This of course is not to say that the referees in the PL are great , they probably aren’t , although can anyone point to many huge mistakes they make while on international duties? I can’t . And I watch more football than most.

    People talk about bringing some of the best referees in Europe to work the matches in the EPL as a solution . Good luck with that ! Most games would finish with sixteen players on the pitch before the final whistle was blown.

    What the EPL need is what you and Untold have been advocating for , and that’s video referee.

    But to finish my involvement, let me say this . Watching the game live from a very good viewing position and re watching it later at home , Oliver had the performance of the season thus far in a high profile game.

  41. Tom


    “I will never criticize Arsene Wenger no matter what” ,

    You quote me directly. Where did I say that?

    “Untold Arsenal founders and it’s contributors are not in any way biased towards Arsenal….”

    You quote me directly. Where did I say that?

    Complaining about referees indiscriminately makes you look silly

    Where did I say that?

  42. Jambug
    What I’ve seen from Tom, when you put him on the spot he disappears and then comes back a while later when you’ll have moved on to other threads. That’ll create the impression he responded to your question, to anyone looking at the thread later on, but it will not give you the opportunity to respond right back as you’ll have moved on. So don’t be surprised to come back here tomorrow or the day after and see a response from him. But highly unlikely you’ll hear anything from him today.

  43. Al

    Tom quoted me as saying this:

    “Untold Arsenal founders and it’s contributors are not in any way biased towards Arsenal….”

    When in fact earlier today in a debate with Rich I actually said this:


    March 10, 2015 at 1:03 pm

    Rich Said:

    “I’d say the context the site exists in – all that other terrible rubbish out there with all those horrible people talking utter c**p about the club, players and the manager- excuses a lot of it.”

    To which I responded with:

    “Exactly. This site was set up in part to counter the seemingly endless negativity spewed out by the media, day after day after day.

    The opening banner is very clear in it’s description of the sites aims in SUPPORTING THE CLUB, THE PLAYERS AND THE MANAGER, so it’s hardly surprising that a vast majority of it’s subscribers are by nature very ‘pro’ Arsenal.

    Yes, at times posters may seem to err towards plain old bias, especially to those with completely opposed views, but given the torrent of negativity we are up against that is hardly a surprising reaction.

    Look, if I was to ever venture to La Grove with my very pro Wenger/Arsenal rhetoric would I expect to be embraced with love and cordiality? No. I know the exact reception I would get.

    So why do those with there very obvious dislike of Arsenal, and Wenger in particular, come to this site and expect to be embraced like a long lost friend?

    I don’t get it. If you don’t like our ‘bias’ or the ‘abuse’ you get, go debate where you’ll get the love and respect you seem to feel you deserve.”

    Which is actually the total opposite to what he, not only accused me of, but quoted me as saying.

    As I say, a pathetic liar making stuff up.

  44. Jayram and AL,
    Come on guys!.. Why can’t we just enjoy the victory for once? Not everybody is out to get us!

    I google ‘Arsenal’ all the time (win or lose) and I get roughly the same number of search results and yesterday was no exception. And those results are?- highly inadequate all the time! Apart from the first three results, which are the most recent and relevant ones, the others are Arsenal’s wiki, fb, twitter, bbc, guardian pages and those ridiculous transfers and rumours pages. If I am lucky, probably another article- that’s about it. I then append my search with Daily Mail/ guardian/ telegraph with more success.

    And all of those aforementioned media houses had the standard match reports, articles rating players and everything else for this game. This match certainly had enough coverage and, as a pleasant surprise, positive coverage from Arsenals’s perspective. The articles that I’ve read so far have praised Arsenal’s speed and pressing and roundly criticised ManU’s ‘long ball to Fellaini’ philosophy. But the biggest positive was the way they unequivocally supported the referee for his performance. No backhanded complement to Arsenal expecting a different result had the ref been ‘better’, no suggestions that Bellerin got away too easily or that there was prior contact (LOL!) before those comical dives.

    Let me warn you- it’s just that the articles I have read so far. I am pretty sure that Adrian Durham or Gary Neville may just prove me wrong.

  45. Jambug
    That’s Tom for you, makes stuff up to back his argument up. I knew that didn’t sound like something you would say. And I also knew you were one of the first people to praise Oliver on Monday night, so was almost certain those quotes from Tom were not correct when I read them. Like I said, I doubt very much he’ll be back here today now he’s been caught in a lie. He’ll go away for a few days, resurfacing when he thinks this is forgotten. Thanks for exposing him, that’ll shut him up for a while.

  46. Looks like Jose’s pre match comments on PSGs physicality and a bit of player play acting is paying dividends this evening. He learns well from Fergie

  47. Mandy
    It didn’t help him though.
    Chelsea were awful , and despite of a red card to Ibrahimovic that never should’ve been, they deservedly lost .

    Costa should’ve seen a straight red for his late , nowhere near the ball , challenge on Tiago Silva.

    I wonder how Mourinho will try to spin this.

  48. Gary neville is a disgrace, calling the play acting from Chelsea ‘shrewd’. Just like his brother, advocating violence and cheating on TV. Do these guys even know what the term role model means? Shocking. At least caragher was strong enough to condemn the Chelsea players’ behaviour. And thank goodness they were eliminated.

  49. True Tom, they were poor, surprisingly poor, have no idea what Jose’s thoughts on this one are. How did one man down PSG win, scoring the way they did against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge?
    Costa should have been sent off, but he could also have had a penalty, must have been a nightmare game to referee, constant fouls and play acting.
    Guess the promise of that bonus must have worked for PSG.

  50. Tom,
    the laws of the game and the interpretation of the laws of the game are and should be the same ALL OVER THE WORLD. And beyond.

    That is the jurisdiction of IFAB and FIFA. And nowhere is there a mention: this law is valid everywhere except in England.

    That is one of the problems with allowing the use of video referee. It’s everywhere allowed or nowhere.

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