Arsenal in need of urgent reform; without it there is disaster ahead

By Dr Billy “the dog” McGraw OBE.

Senior psychiatrist at the University College Hospital of the North Circular Road.

I left Arsenal Stadium yesterday deeply, deeply concerned, worried that unless urgent action is taken we will soon see bloodshed.

For it is quite clear to me that at yesterday’s game neither the players nor the supporters had proper psychological  support, and this I think, is extremely dangerous.

Now I must admit this is an issue that has been worrying me for some time, as the number of emails that pour into Untold telling us that we are idiots or words to that effect, rises day by day.

Occasionally such people turn up in my consulting room and I always ask, “why do you write to a publication and tell the editor he is an idiot?   Is it that you think no one has written to him in this way before?  Is it that you think he is so demented that he will publish your rude and possibly obscene missive in his own publication?  Or is it perhaps, that you have not thought?

And here we come to the crux of the matter: people don’t think, either before they go to a football match or before they turn on their TV or start following Twitter.

But really, it must be self-evident to everyone now that within every game we will see some refereeing decisions that are dubious, either because the referee is incompetent or because he was appointed by Professional Game Match Fixers (PGMF) who now seem to have taken control of Premier League football.

Arsenal stadium should be repainted in calm pastel colours

Thus we saw it last night.  The referee made a decision that could not possibly be right and trotted away upfield, leaving Arsenal players and the fans aghast at what they had seen.  The fans across the stadium booed and the players protested (although you won’t of course have heard or seen any of this on TV if you were watching through that medium because of the skillful editing and sound filtering).

And that is the problem – I doubt that any players went into the match thinking, “there will be some curious decisions tonight” having been trained in suitable techniques in how to handle them.  I doubt that many of the supporters entering the area would have been thinking, “what incompetence or deliberate fraud will Professional Game Match Fixers serve up today?”

As a result there were extremely high levels of bewilderment and tension, and this is never good either if one experiences it at work, as the players do, or in a leisure activity as supporters do.

Good psychological support is hard to find.

But that is only the start of the problem.   None of the people in the stadium will have had any chance of getting proper psychological support simply because there is a two year waiting list to get medical help for mental health conditions unless you kill someone or do something appalling to a child (and then under UK law you are deemed to be wholly responsible for your actions and so are put in a regular prison – it raises the number of people locked up, but gives the other prisoners something to do in beating the new arrivals up, and does reduce the waiting time for mental health services).

If the players at Arsenal could be counselled properly before and after each game so that they are prepared for the incompetence and general antics of PGMF employees they will be more relaxed, will be able to see if they have in front of them a Type III match fixer or a gross incompetent, and adjust their game accordingly.

Of course when faced with an incompetent (such as the referees we have seen recently who have managed to get a decision accuracy rating of under 50% – the level that would occur if the referee gave out decisions at random) it is difficult to adjust – but I do not believe that with all the analytical resources at their disposal Arsenal could not spot the refs in advance and then counsel the players accordingly.

The crowd should be counselled to expect referees whose competence is below that of randomness.

As for the crowd – this is more difficult, but if only people would go into football matches understanding that the number of Professional Game Match Fixers who are your actual fixers and the number who are incompetent to the level that is frankly beyond belief, then there would be a greater calmness.

But game after game after game after game both players and fans start of expecting decent refereeing.  Yet all you have to do is look at the analyses we produce week after week to see that this is not what we get.

So urgent work is needed and if we don’t get it there are going to be problems.  For a start the number of players will to come to Arsenal (already small because of the actions of the media and aaa in battering and criticising Arsenal day after day) will dry up.   It is all very well for the gentleman and his son who sit behind me in the East to scream abuse at Wenger and the players game after game, but what they never seem to realise is that every time they do this they make it a little less likely that a top player, any top player, will ever again sign for Arsenal.

Top players invariably have the choice of where they play their football, and they don’t like the abuse of players and management that has become part of the off-site support at Arsenal, and does sadly exist to some degree within the stadium, and so they go elsewhere.

And the same is true of the management.   Arsene Wenger will pack up and retire at some stage in the near future and then we shall be casting around for another manager.  If anyone really thinks that a manager who has a choice of clubs (remembering that around 30% of PL clubs change their manager each year so there’s a lot of jobs going) is going to come to a club where there is such a vitriolic atmosphere from the fans?

There is a need for saunas

No, what Arsenal must do is spend money and spend money now.  The club should recognise that they have only two choices.  One is to become involved in match fixing in the way that many others are (Professional Game Match Fixers is obviously there to oblige if there is such a change of mind), or to hire an army of psychologists to help fans come to terms with the current situation.

In this regard I would recommend that the stadium’s colours should be changed to calmer pastels and more neutral hues, that there should be enough saunas and relaxing bubble baths around the ground so that fans can use them without queuing, and that there should be one psychologist for every 30 fans in the stadium.

The referee’s changing room should have piped into in calming music, with subliminal messages slipped in between saying, “I will be fair to Arsenal, I can be fair to Arsenal, I do know the rules of the game, I am not bent, I am not incompetent,” over and over again.

Such investments will be costly, and will also reduce the capacity of the stadium greatly, but last night, looking at the fragile mental state of the people around me, I can only say that this action is urgently needed.  If the club refuses to take it, it will be liable for all the mental harm that comes to its supporters.

On this day when mental calmness was needed

  • 3 March 1993: Norwich 1 Arsenal 1.  This was the 12th consecutive match in which neither Arsenal nor their opponents scored more than one goal.  It was also the end of a run in which Arsenal only won two league games in 15.
  • 3 March 2009: WBA 1 Arsenal 3.  After five draws (four of them 0-0) Arsenal started a run of seven wins and one draw in the next eight.

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86 Replies to “Arsenal in need of urgent reform; without it there is disaster ahead”

  1. Sorry Billy i was going to put some points disagreeing with your blog till i realised it was a piss take.Thanks for the humour ,you’ve made my day.For a minute though like so many of the others on here i thought you were serious.

  2. On another day the three shots that came back off the woodwork would all have gone in and the foul on Özil would have been called and we would have won four one. No-one would have played any differently but the crowd would all have been singing “by far the greatest team in the World” and gone home quite happy. The width of a hand is the difference between happiness and despair.

  3. And yet again John he is partly serious but it’s such a joke you can only use dry sarcastic humour against it. which you of course did not understand.

  4. So we lost 2 games in a row, who would mind if after game 38 we are at the top? I say, lets take it on the chin, fight in the remaining 10 games and win it. 6 points is not a lot if we manage to turn it around. Leicester will lose too at some stage, but we must be ready to pounce when that happens.

  5. Doc,
    Agree entirely with your diagnosis that bona fide Arsenal supporters are now in urgent need of psychological help.
    In order to jump the NHS queue I suggest they should forego a few of the Ems games and use the cash to go private.
    After all, how do they imagine you met the cost of your OBE. 😉

  6. How the ref miss the rugby tackle on Ozil leading up to Swansea first goal is beyond me, twice this has happened, the next time Ozil is in the same situation I hope Ozil swings his arm.

    Listening to some of the fans calling in on Talksport it sound as if the team is fighting relegation.

  7. The only upside to this compelling Premier League season is that it has ultimately exposed Arsene Wenger for what he truly is: a deeply mediocre manager who is stuck in the dark ages, and ran out of ideas over a decade ago. Some people would be willing to cut Wenger more slack were it not for his breathtaking arrogance and his disrespectful lack of accountability. On the rare occasions he is questioned by the media about insufficient performance, he bristles with withering contempt and demeans and belittles the journalist. Who could ever forget his disgraceful condescending response to the BBC’s Jacqui Oatley asking him perfectly valid questions?
    The other thing this season has done is to expose the several years of lies Wenger, Gazidis et al have concocted. You CAN compete with oil money or with clubs that make more money than you. There seems to be a clutch of Arsenal “followers” who have attached themselves to the Cult of Wenger so closely you’d think it was North Korea. If they knew anything about Arsenal outside Wenger though, they’d realise that managers like George Graham competed with far richer teams and succeeded. Diego Simeone in Spain has beaten Real Madrid for three consecutive years in the Bernabeu and is again competing for the league despite having his best players tapped up and sold year after year. According to Wenger’s latest excuse, Arsenal have failed to win league titles as his players were “being tapped up”. Of course, Diego Costa hadn’t already signed for Chelski in the year Atletico beat Barca and Madrid to the Liga title eh? And Ronaldo hadn’t already been tapped up by Madrid in his final season at Man United, where he again won the league with them. Right? The best managers find a way and scout better, motivate better, implement innovative tactics.

  8. What’s up Milan, not capable contributing your own thoughts….have to copy them from online gooner ?

  9. While the suggestions were extreme (for humor I’m guessing), it’s not a bad suggestion for the club to hire a psychologist.

    The amount of ups and downs, and the wide range of abuse, plus the pressure that players have to endure in short bursts and sometimes double doses weekly with no respite thanks to media and social media would take a great toll on anyone.

    Recently I have seen quite a few pieces on how professional sports people are so highly susceptible to mental illness due to the nature of their work and the constant scrutiny they have to endure (and that scrutiny is even worse at a club like arsenal over the last 5-10 years, people cannot stop bashing our club even our ex players. Take for example the fact that both Arsenal and Tottenham lost yesterday but today Arsenal is getting the most stick in the media.)

    Ian Wright even wrote a piece recently on how injuries affect the mental faculties of players.

    Recently I have been thinking that the Ox is a player in need of some counseling. Prior to the game against Barcelona where he put in an admirable performance before being cut in half by Mascherano, he looked so unsure of himself on the field. His dribbling ability was still there but whenever he needed to take make a pass or take a shot he just seemed to lock up as though he were experiencing some anxiety. I read before how when his dad was his coach and he pulled him out of a game when he was much younger and gave him a dressing down he burst into tears and always tried to perform harder and take more responsibility after that.

    For a player who wants to take responsibility on the pitch and who gets so much abuse from fans and pundits when things go wrong, it can’t be easy. Especially since he only gets short, sporadic periods to show his talent due to injuries – which take their own mental toll. Wenger knows his quality so he often says that he just needs time to build confidence, but in the fiery environment he finds himself, can it be easy to build confidence?

    A bit of counseling for players can go a long way. It’s much better than letting things just take their natural course because in that way it’s so much easier for things to go wrong.

  10. Billy, I get it….the sarcasm. Excellent way to divert readers away from the actual truth that we didn’t lose last night’s game because of one referee decision. Yes Ozil was fouled and play should have stopped, but two wrongs don’t make a right and Routledge should not have been given the space to get into the position he did.We lost because we played poorly after looking as though we might even get a deserved win to keep us in a title challenging position.
    It was also awful finishing ( Campbell excepted ), slack defending, and strange substitutions caused us to get beaten.
    We now look as though we’ll have to compete for third or fourth spots as usual but with the prospect of finishing behind Spurs.
    Sunday must surely be our very last chance to get back onto the title winning wagon
    It’s very difficult to remain upbeat about the team following the performances since Xmas, but we’re still in two prestigious cup competitions so there is still plenty to play for in the hope of winning something again.

  11. Milan,
    A cut and paste from another article that you contributed to.
    Last night was as frustrating as it gets, a combination of poor finishing aka bad luck when Giroud rattled the bar, and Alexis hitting the post and cross bar was just bad luck. The free kick would have gone in if not for a slight deflection. Rub of the green I read earlier somewhere. We definitely aren’t getting that, balls flying around their penalty area and either falling to the opposition or ending up in no mans land. The foul on Ozil was so blatant and about two yards from the ref, exactly as against Leicester, yet not given and the opposition benefit both times.
    What was disconcerting was the number of errant passes, it was as if green was our favourite colour to pass to. We always prided ourselves in our accurate and swift passing, adjectives that seem to be on the wain.
    Ramsey I am afraid last night was really poor in his decision making and is not a deep lying playmaker, end of. At times we had five players, Campbell Giroud Alexis Ozil and Ramsey up front with only the Coq trying to close down the wide open spaces Swansea found themselves in for most of the second half. There is no out ball in midfield or a player to run through the lines, Santi or Jack or Rosicky are now even more sorely missed. The number of times Giroud’s control let him down was also frustrating so they won the ball back with once again the Coq isolated.
    If last night was a must win then Saturday is almost a must win and definitely a must not lose. Time for the players and fans to ‘man’ up.

  12. Piss take or no, perhaps the players need a day trip to Torriano primary school and learn the first lesson I was taught all those years ago “” PLAY TO THE WHISTLE “”

  13. I twitted to Ramsey and Wacot last year on how they should practice the Volleyball tactics when in the 18 yard area of the opponent which is quick passing of the ball around and create an opening for any player to SHOOT without a first touch. That includes Coquelin, Bellerin and Monreal…how many times did Bellerin have the opportunity to shoot diagonally to the far post yesterday? We don’t have to rely on our strikers to do the scoring every time. I am not blaming Bellerin though afterall he follows the instructions of Wenger to join in passing the ball to the net. Three things would have likely happened if Bellerin had shot a grounder diagonally on two occasions 1. The goalkeeper would try to save (not catch) thereby spilling for a striker to tap in 2. Spilling for a defender to score an own goal and 3 spilling for a defender to clear for a corner kick. We can still pass the ball but instead of passing it to the net we should apply the volleyball tactics to pass around and create openings for shooting ground shots only…..ground shots cause more problems for goalkeepers than any other. Somebody has to pass this information to Wenger and his coaching staff.

  14. What is particularly galling to me, is Wenger’s absolute lack of accountability and loath as I am to agree with Mourinho, he nailed it on that lack of accountability. This is the first time in living memory I recall the press beginning to get the knives out for Wenger and it took an unacceptable performance against Man United’s under 15s for this to happen. Wenger’s response after one of the worst performances of any Arsenal manager, was typically graceless, artless and gutless – referring to Man United “spending a lot of money”. Of course, everyone remembers young Marcus Rashford’s medical after his £76million transfer from Barcelona right? Of course, whenever Wenger scrapes a win at home to Burnley, Sunderland or Villa, he never mentions the fact that Sanchez probably cost more than half their teams. The fact that Ozil cost more than the entire Leicester first-choice 11 is never mentioned by Wenger’s apologists.
    One of the most insulting things however, is how the club tends to react after unacceptable results and scrutiny. It’s similar to how communist regimes used to “spread” information after a scandal. As sure as night followed day, the classic Wenger-Gazidis distraction technique was used the day after the Man United inquest, with various club leaks in the papers claiming Wenger “will spend £115m renovating squad”. They really must think Arsenal fans are the dumbest fans around. The obvious retort to this is: last summer, Wenger had £100m. Apparently, there weren’t any players in all Europe better than the ones he had already, so why would that change next summer then? He did not sign a single outfield player in the whole summer window, when there were no international tournaments on to “inflate prices”. In January, with Arsenal in a prime position to win the league, Wenger achieved the amazing feat of finding a player as mediocre as Mattieu Flamini (his name is El-Neny) – despite having millions, he did not even look for a quality striker, a quality holding midfielder or a centre-back that can combine running at pace with bravery and talent. The horse has bolted and Pep Guardiola will eat up the league next season, whilst Everton will now splash the cash. Chelsea have Conte and of course we all know how well Arsene Wenger performs against Jose Mourinho. Just how stupid do Wenger and Gazidis think Arsenal fans are?

  15. Mandy
    Wherever milan got his post from and off whoever doesnt matter.The content is spot on and so true .What a great post!!!

  16. Virg
    This gets even better.I nearly spat my coffee across the room and its brought me to tears..Counselling for football players..I bet everyone ex forces or emergency service worker would be laughing their tits off right now.Pure Genius.

  17. It’s funny how just the other day Tony published article 6000 and told of the “I think this so it is right” view that some people have and here Milan is exhibiting just that.

    Yes I’m sure that it’s all over for Arsenal now. Guardiola who just lost at home to Mainz with the best team in the league and arguably the second best team in Europe last night, is going to absolutely eat up the premier league next season.

  18. John, the informed ones would be laughing at you. You obviously don’t understand the various degrees and types of mental illness and the varying forms the causes can take. I’m a neuroscience student and I know many sufferers of various mental illnesses as well, so I do know.

    I forgive you however for your view. The public is not well educated on the issue and that’s a shame. The brain is an organ like any other in the body and is delicate and susceptible to a wide range of troubles.

  19. Virg
    I understand where your coming from with mental illness and we are getting better understanding of these things but although some suffer from the condition of stress there are lots of people who use it as an excuse .That is something you wont learn in your study books but will when you go into the real world.

  20. I like this article. We had an extremely unlucky night with a hideous ignoramus not blowing for the foul on Ozil. Swansea scored 2 from 2 shots on target. We hit the woodwork 3 times. It doesn’t take a genius to realise that we played much better than Swansea but lost, as occasionally happens in football.

    The best way to prepare psychologically for an Arsenal game is to expect that the referee will give 2 or 3 major, game-changing decisions against us each game. As someone said on a previous article, we need to play out of our skin to win. But if you look honestly at the stats, you cannot possibly say that the team played badly. They played very well and, as has been stated, could easily have won 4:1, had fate not conspired against.

    I actually feel very sorry for Wenger. He may have more money than he could ever use but so what, he has such a deep passion and love for this club that it cuts him to the core when such ridiculous situations happen over and over again. On here, we expect the haters and idiots to get all excited when the fates conspire against us and to start posting superficial comments like Piers Morgan – trying to overtake Untold with a feeling that they were right all along and Wenger must go. They are not at all interested in what actually goes on to create these shady situations where our club was top of the injury list year in/year out because referees were told to allow dangerous tackles against Arsenal but to punish Arsenal at every opportunity for minor tackles, to ignore fouls against us but to never let us get away with anything until the big games are won by the opposition. I bet a lot on here remember having a good shot at the title a few years back and being 4:0 up against Newcastle, only to have the game turned on its head, where the players said ‘it was crazy, we were suddenly not allowed to go anywhere near the ball or we would get a yellow card or a foul against’. Newcastle were basically allowed to walk the ball in to the net and the most unlikely situation occurred and they got 4 goals back. That was a big low point for us supporters and probably the time when a lot of us realised that Sir Alex had the league wrapped up and the referees in his pocket. Can any of the haters tell us why Manure had no penalties against at Old Trafford for so long? And then when Sir Alex left, they conceded 2 in one game? It has all been fixed for many years.

    It is rubbish. These last few years, the choice indeed seems to have been for clubs to embrace corruption and get referee aid or, to do what Wenger does, which is to stick to his principles and carry on, besieged, whilst half the fickle support fail to see what goes on and seem to have no desire to either. Football has become rotten to the core and we can only hope that there is a new dawn to shine sunlight into the dark place of the match-fixing PGMOL. In this world, big money encourages the dark side to flourish. Look at the way Corporate madness is threatening our very existence and owns the biggest ‘democracy’ in the world. It is not rocket science to see that where big money is – wickedness follows close behind. The wickedness which kills thousands of people every day for the sake of profit.

    For being honest and decent, Wenger is lambasted by many media outlets and even intelligent pundits, who really should know better. But there will always be a high proportion of dicks around football, it is such a shame that so few of even the intelligent ones want to do anything about it or even want to see the reality behind the scenes.

    I personally believe that Wenger has contemplated leaving this club because he knows that with him in charge, the PGMOL and the shady FA will not allow us to win the title with him as manager. He probably also thinks that to keep the club honourable is important and that if he left, someone corrupt might replace him. That might lead to success but at what price? The price that you have pinned your colours to the mast and decided that you can’t beat them, so you join them in their filthy web of lies, deceit and wickedness. I would rather stick it out with Wenger. After all he has won a lot of titles and a lot of FA cups. He obviously DOES know exactly what football is all about and how it should be played. He probably knows more about football than anyone on the planet. He also knows more about being an honourable, decent human being, which is becoming increasingly rare these days in football. What we need is for the board, management and CEO to help root out this foulness, so that the game of football can actually move out of the dark ages. Wenger shines above the rest and has totally transformed football in this country. Do the fickle supporters want the Premier League to go back to how it was, where Europeans laughed at us for having such a meat-head variety of football. Wenger needs our support and the players definitely need to be trained in the psychology that the author talks about, seemingly tongue-in-cheek but with a deadly serious broadside at the foulness that has crept into the FA and PGMOL officials. Aim your guns at the corrupt, not at the one who would rescue us from corruption. Gain the ability to look beneath the surface, at the real agenda going on. Do not be quick to hate. And get real, we are 3rd, have just won 2 FA cups and are going through a blip/ Things will change and I hope and pray that our board help to end this corruption. Then the doubters will see that a team with Ozil, Sanchez, Bellerin, Koscielny, Cech and many other great players is actually the most skilful and entertaining team in the country. COYG!

  21. That’s true John, but the reason I mentioned the Ox in particular is because I really do wonder about his state. A while back I read an article on HITC about the rituals that some footballers do before going onto the pitch and when Ox described his it seemed a bit like an OCD ritual to me.

    I don’t want to come out here and make such bold assumptions as the lad has OCD, but he is at an age when people are most susceptible to depression, anxiety disorders and the like and often gets so much stick from pundits or fans when injuries make consistent performances difficult for him that it cannot be easy. So maybe in some cases a bit of counseling won’t go amiss. I’m not saying that he necessarily has any of those disorders, but I’m just an overly concerned fan.

    Players know that they’re highly paid professionals and so they’re expected to be able to deal with whatever is thrown at them so they might never come out and speak about any issues. It’s up to the people around them to be vigilant, otherwise they’ll just become wasted investments.

  22. It seems the haters are out in force. People seem to have forgotten how much this manager has done for the club. Relax guys still got some way to go.

  23. @Frank, or 6th Bellerin shoots wide resulting in a goal kick, 7th Bellerin shoots over resulting in a goal kick, or 8th Bellerin passes and Giroud scores, or 9th Bellerin passes and Ramsey scores, or 10th Bellerin passes an Sanchez scores, or 11th Bellerin passes and Campbell scores, or 12/13/14/15/16… Bellerin passes … Shoots ball goes for corner … Scores from corner… I hope you see my point…

  24. You have no answers Mandy. The article is indeed from online gooner and I wanted to bring it to the attention of the sheep who blindly follow wenger. The man is serial loser when the going gets tough and don’t expect any durex this time around.

  25. the cognitive dissonance on display here is hillarious. it truly is. it’s borderline psychosis.

  26. Milan
    “…….against Man United’s under 15s for this to happen”.

    Funny how you jump out of the woodwork and trawl a blog that has a different view to your own, just to cynically ‘celebrate’ a defeat. You lot and that bloody agenda of yours. Seriously mate, grow up.

    If you actually stopped listening to the media and improved your football knowledge, you wouldnt say such a crock of shit. I laughed at the ‘Louis Lads’ comments in the media because I knew it was farcical. You obviously lapped it up, the gullable soul that you are.

    Just for the record, the average age of Man Utd’s starting 11 at Old Trafford was 24.8 years. Arsenals 26.5. There you go, a piece of evidence to counteract your bollocks. I wont even bother to list the amount of International Caps they shared or their transfer fees. But here is the breakdown by age, just to enlighten you:

    De Gea 25
    Carrick 34
    Blind 25
    Rojo 25
    Varela 22
    Schneirderlein 26
    Mata 27
    Herrera 26
    Depay 22
    Lingard 23
    Rashford 18

  27. Just to put a couple of points. Now I will never blame any players as you win and lose as a team.
    1. We keep going on about “being unlucky”….and I really don’t get this. I guess that this term is deeply rooted in the grass root football. As a coach for the U9’s & at matches, so many times when the kids miss the goal by 10, 20 30 yrs, or makes a wayward pass or any mistake the coaches shout out “unlucky!!!” how the F can this be unlucky? It’s a matter of your technique which the kids need to work on. I can understand if the ball get deflected into the goal ie manures 2nd goal. Even hitting the goal post is not termed as unlucky, I’d say it’s a good attempt but WILL NOT rely on that fact and blame it for the defeat.
    2. Refs are biased, ok there is a lot of data to support this and that something is not quit right. Whats more, the refs don’t support video tech to give them help in the penalty area a prime case of corruption. I have said this in the past, if the club is not taking the fight to the relevant people, what hope have we got? In the FA cup final against Hull, the referees performance was there for all to see, but all I ask you is that did we put our heads down and give up? NO, that final is the classic example of a proper fight back against the odds. Can we say that we are capable of that sort of performance? Its ok to blame everyone except ourselves for our defeats?
    3. Form of players, yes that’s a consideration. So when players come back from injury or have a bad form, the best way to get back in to the game is play the game real simple. Simple first time passes, nothing complicated or clever. How many times have we seen players run with the ball for no reason, or try to use strength when a quick pass would be more effective? Do not take unnecessary risk….This is particularly important when the entire team is suffering.
    4. We have Rambo and Coq in the HM position, but it seems that Rambo is more of an attacking front and defensive. He should leave that to Ozil and hold their space. Too many times the game is way too open,, so what happened to the positional discipline? It just takes 2 /3 passes by the opponents to be on top of our box, classic eg was the manu game. It seems that the players have lost their focus.

    We need to get back our discipline, focus and simplicity in passing. The worst thing is that the DUDS seem sharper than us for the moment. The real test is on Saturday.

  28. Amazing how so many feel throwing money around is the answer. The league this year is for the taking with Chelsea having such a poor start..Man Utd in transition..Man City players looking to next year it appears set up for the Arsenal. Our current squad technically is good enough to win it. Once we hit the top we faltered… an all too familiar story. We all have our theories engaging corrupt referees..too many injuries..not enough money being spent..just plain bad luck. Is this just avoiding the truth?
    The team with a succession of poor results has lost its shows in the laboured build up and the “safe” ball being played…the same patterns over and over again that every other team in the league knows how to play against. We are potential champions playing at home against a team that had lost numerous games and fighting relegation. Our best player Campbell (later substituted) put us one up and fans rightfully expected us to take control. Man Utd at home is the only game where we continued to rip into the opposition. Why back off and seemingly play safe…any team in this league can make you pay with a fluke goal or set piece. It is sad to see the team play without belief..manager step up !!

  29. John
    “I nearly spat my coffee across the room and its brought me to tears..Counselling for football players..I bet everyone ex forces or emergency service worker would be laughing their tits off right now.Pure Genius”.

    My god, you really are daft.

    Like most of your output, you show real ignorance to the subject you are commenting on. Are you and Milan twins? Is he another of your ‘multiple accounts’?

    The article was tongue in cheek mate.

    But just as a bit of education, phychologists have worked with Sports clubs for years. This is because of the important role ‘confidence’ plays in a players performance. Sports Psychology is big business, I find it amazing you didn’t know that, yet you are happy to make out you are an expert and make fun. ‘Fantasy Football’, Fantasy Accounting’ and now we can now add “Fantasy Psychologist”. Your CV is very impressive.

  30. The article is probably not meant to be sarcasm, just an attempt to disguise the realisation that the article is spot on concerning the title:

    “Arsenal in need of urgent reform; without it there is disaster ahead”

    That really says it all, and there is no need to read the article, for all the problems have been presented here over and over again and other places by the fans that have their “first eye” open.

    Pointless to say anymore, it has been said repeatedly for the last 3-4 seasons.

  31. Football is cruel… as Wenger said. And that is the truth. It can be cruel at times.

  32. Andy agree with the not keeping up what we were excellently doing in the opening minutes till we scored. If you are 2-0 in front then I could understand it but not with only a 1-0 lead. But suddenly the team stopped playing and then only started playing again after we conceded the equaliser.

  33. It’s so easy to blame luck when our best striker hits the woodwork from six yards out. We were playing against a team that made 5 changes and had no manager.

    The referee did make a stupid decision to ignore the foul on Özil, but as a team we immediately lost our heads and let them have a goal.

    We have created chances in the past few games, and have scored so few goals, and yet we blame luck when we have three strikers and none of them have ever scored 20 league goals.

    Wenger was a very good manager, and put together one of the greatest teams of all time, but you can’t blame oil money and luck for 11 years without a league trophy. At some point the manager has to be held accountable.

    I do believe that certain referees have bias against arsenal, but all teams have referees that don’t like them. It’s foolish to think there’s an institutional bias against us and only us, of all the teams in the league. That is just a baseless conspiracy theory.

    We can go on about luck and what not, but we don’t have a team that’s capable of winning the league title this year. There’s actually no team in this league that looks like Champions, and we had a golden opportunity to win the league, and we just blew it.

    The season may not be over yet, but you can confidently wager that we will not win it. It’s become so predictable at this point. In all likelihood we will beat Spurs and go on a tear, but still miss out on the league, and that good run to end the season becomes another reason to give Wenger more time.

  34. Wenger has certainly been an amazing asset for the club, no one can deny that his first 8 years were quite brilliant but we played a different sort of football back then. We didn’t endlessly pass the ball sideways and we weren’t so ponderous. We also had a strong midfield. I have no idea why Wenger adopted this slow pass pass pass style when it clearly fails against well drilled teams. After watching the Bournemouth game I felt almost sleepy, the game was like a testimonial. Yes we won but our play was insipid at times. Fortunately Bournemouth were dire but even they ran through our midfield at times like it didn’t exist.

    We seem to be scared of actually getting inside the opponents’ six yard area. The number of times we run towards it and then stop and pass backwards is infuriating. Very few players have the confidence to take on their opposite number.

    The team desperately needed refreshing in the summer but we bought one good outfield player. That was it. How can an intelligent man like Wenger seriously think we can win the league or CL without a couple of other additions? Just about every fan I know wanted either a striker or DM yet not one appeared. Welbeck was known to be out for months and we all know Walcott is a very average striker and Giroud rarely gets 25 goals in league games. So what’s going on? Is this club just a money pot for Kronke?

    After losing to Manu Wenger bemoans how much money their midfield cost. Really? But we have over £150 million in the bank, the richest cash reserves in the league, so if we wanted to we could have an expensive midfield too. Norwich went to Manu and won and I doubt the whole Norwich team cost more than Manu reserves. These excuses are nonsense and patronizing and really not worthy of Wenger.

    If we fail to make the top four Wenger should do the decent thing and step down unless he intends to dip into that healthy bank balance and really buy some top quality. After all what is that money for? Someone on here said we need to hold some in reserve for unforeseen problems. Sure but we don’t need 157 million, we could easily spend 100 million of that and we’d be fine.

    And let’s stop all this rhetoric about the PGMOL not letting us win the league. It makes us look like idiots. No sane person believes this and not one person has come up with a good reason for a cabal of refs trying to derail our title bid. Nobody is stopping us winning the league except ourselves.

    All your statistics may tell you otherwise but unless you publish statistics of every other clubs’ every game they don’t hold any water. Also you are basing your ref watch on repeated tv viewings, a great advantage that no ref has access too. I suspect that even Walter’s ref performances wouldn’t be perfect if someone was monitoring his every decision on camera.

  35. 1) PGMO ruins our games, week in and out. FACT. Evidence: referee reviews. PGMO favours Leicester. FACT. Evidences: each time they make a leg-breaking tackle, they get away. Number of penalties given. Number of red cards for the opponents. PGMO favours Spuds. FACT. Evidence: blatant thuggish approach (among the worst in terms of fouls made but Guardian praised them for that as a proof they have become more man-ish).

    2) Our conversion rate is abysmal. FACT. Evidence: Ozil created 26 chances in February. Number of asssists? Two. Further evidence: Ozil created 10 chances against Soton, no goals from his team-mates. He even missed a couple chances himself.

    3) Our defensive focus is extremely poor in big games. FACT. Evidence: Mertesacker’s decision to tackle Costa, Mertesacker’s pass for Flamini that led to Barca’s second goal, the fact Barcelona hit us on the break, Mertesacker’s casual walk at Swansea’s first goal (play until you hear the whistle!), Cech’s reaction before their second goal.

    4) We failed to sign a single outfield player who would play a significant role. FACT. Evidence: Elneny has been used sporadically despite all our injuries and out of form players.

    We are dealing with internal and external sources of stress. Players have to make a talk similar to the one of our team in 1997-98 and encourage each other before the run-in. Forget about boot-advertisements, Facebook, Twitter and shit. Stick for each other on the pitch and on the training ground. Focus on your next match only.

    About social networks… When RvP left us for United, I think his twitter-activity had dropped. Perhaps Funguson had forced him to do so?

  36. Canary,

    “And let’s stop all this rhetoric about the PGMOL not letting us win the league. It makes us look like idiots. No sane person believes this and not one person has come up with a good reason for a cabal of refs trying to derail our title bid. Nobody is stopping us winning the league except ourselves.”

    damn right. but sadly victim culture is very popular right now. it’s very seductive because it takes away responsibility. people don’t have to accept hard truths when they’re victims. it’s such a very adolescent mindset. but kinda pitiful in grown adults.

  37. @Josif the PGMO doesn’t ruin our games week in week out. Evidence is just someone watching the game on tv. Read my above post and take in my argument. The PGMO doesn’t favour Leicester, if it did they wouldn’t have had a man sent off against us would they? And the ref would have blown as soon it hit 90 minutes to ensure we didn’t win. You seem to ignore the fact that both Spurs and Leicester have been playing better than us for months. FACT.

    Your other three points though are pretty accurate, sadly.

  38. Turns out Arsenal employs one of the best sports psychologists in the business :

    Some words of his that I like and an something I think is important for us fans to remember, “I have come to critique a performance-based myopia, and instead believe in the importance of actively shaping a high performing environment and a person-centered culture.”

  39. In any normal football club, Arsene Wenger’s position would be untenable if he failed to win the title this season, but as we all know he will be hanging around next season like a rotting piece of fish stinking the place out. And these are his players, his team, his tactics, a consequence of his decision not to spend on a single outfield player last summer. He is the man responsible for the club’s lack of on-field success. An honourable man would have walked after 2008, and if he was in any doubt, definitely after 2009. But he had to stick around to prove everyone wrong. And how is that going, exactly?

  40. Milan
    Like you said milan anyone with real dignity would hold his hand up and say i have taken this team as far as i can ,but will wenger?He has taken over 100m in wages since we last won the league.Its quite astronomical when you think about it!!

  41. MoW

    Fact – referees are averaging three wrong Important Decisions ( second yellow cards, red cards, penalties and goals) against Arsenal every game and have on occasions got seven wrong in a game.

    Maybe I’m paranoid but that doesn’t mean the bastards aren’t out to get us. I’m not insane but have great doubts about those who refuse to see the blindingly bloody obvious when it happens every game. There is simply no other explanation that fits the facts.

  42. Have we lost the title?

    Tuesday night Leicester drew. Last night Man City were thrashed, Spurs were beaten and we lost.

    So lets at least add some perspective for heavens sake.

    Arsenal are playing okay but you can see the lack of confidence. Our approach play is laboured and too slow and that all leads me to the conclusion that this is down to confidence. Of course, the Manager has to take some of the blame for that along with the rest of his staff BUT ultimately it is the players that are on the pitch. The Manager doesnt miss chances, misplace passes or fail to track runners. Of course the manager has a role to play but blaming him for everything from injuries to players missing chances is naive and shows a lack of understanding.

    Sanchez at least shows desire during a lull in confidence and that’s what you have to do. However, Sanchez has been snatching at chances but he looked better last night. He smashed one off the post and a free kick off the bar, when things go your way they go in. As soon as one flies in, probably a miskick, he’ll be a different player. The problem is, thsi kind of thing can spread. Jumping on the players backs, sighing at every missed pass and generally creating tension, makes it a lot worse. Fans make a big difference, so booing and abusing the players means those fans should accept soke of the blame.I’ve played good level, managed amateur level and know how important confidence is. It can make average players great and great players rubbish. Falcao?

    Against Man Utd we switched off but teh winning goal was a massive deflection. That’s a fact. Yesterday, they had two shots on goal scored with both and neither were goals. These decisons happen but we were unlucky – that’s what happens through lean spells.

    Saturday is a massive game now. Luckily the Spuds lost yesterday and playing them Saturday may be a good thing. If we win that, I think the lift it will give will help us start playing at a higher level with our better players improving confidence wise. Losing will make it really difficult,make no mistake.

    Fans need to get behind the players now, its never been more important. Those embedded in agenda mode need to stop being selfish and support the club they claim to support, instead of helping the opposition. Helping the opposition may make you feel that it improves your chances of wenger leaving but its about time you put the agenda behind you.

    Spurs and Leicester have some tough games and they are going to start feeling the pressure. If we can get a lift this is far from over because we are capable of going on a run.

  43. Just a recommendation but suggest regulars on here don’t bother responding to those who reduce themselves to copying and pasting without naming their source….not only do they seem incapable of organising their own thoughts which I suppose in itself is rather sad , but they also demonstrate poor etiquette, and in the case of most of them on here , have very little to say of any validity anyway…..unless you are the sort of person taken in by The Sun or Adrian Durham.

  44. Milan, the problem with your “analysis” is that Arsene Wenger is the best manager Arsenal has ever had in terms of trophies and in terms of win percentage, and in terms of handling the club in the aftermath of rebuilding a stadium. (To clarify that last point we had two managers after the 1913 building of Highbury, one failed to get us out of the second division, and the other almost took us back, after we’d been voted up.

    So what you want is for Arsenal to have the very best manager we have ever had. Quite a tough call.

  45. Oh and can I thank everyone who took the article seriously.

    I think the saunas were a bit of a give away, as were the pastel colours.

    And then, come to think of it so was

    Senior psychiatrist at the University College Hospital of the North Circular Road.

  46. Tony in the last 12 years Wenger is one of the worst managers we have ever had but he is without doubt the wealthiest as a result of earning over 100m in that time.

  47. “Maybe I’m paranoid but that doesn’t mean the bastards aren’t out to get us.”

    pure gold.

  48. I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it until it sinks in with some people.

    I watch ‘Casualty’ on TV and I’ve seen documentaries on surgical procedures……………..IT DOESN’T MAKE ME A BLOODY DOCTOR!!!!!

    Or is that too subtle for the aaa’s

  49. proudkev, Mandy – I agree wholeheartedly with your comments.

    The football media and fans get hysterical very easily. One week Graeme Sounness says that was the best performance he’s seen all season, then the next he says they are a joke. If grown men and pundits, who should know better are reduced to being hysterical like that, then what hope the idiots who lap it all up. It is sad that humans are more sheeplike than sheep, in that the majority of fans seem not to be able to watch games objectively or take comments with a pinch of salt. And another thing, it is far more likely that the noisy negative fans, not Wenger, will damage our title hopes this season. Some, we realise are fans of other clubs, spreading dissent, so even more level-headedness is required by sensible fans like most on here (except after an unlucky defeat – where the spawn of satan and their wives seem to troll for a bit and then go quiet again when we win, as has been said so many times by so many and is so true). If you can’t comment when we play a blinder, like the first game Sounness said we were so fantastic in, then why only comment when things go badly. As is being said all over this thread, confidence is key and the disgraceful fans like Piers Morgan can only damage the club he claims to love.

  50. Mandy.

    Spot on.

    I do not understand these idiots who post under different names. Okay, its an easy way to pretend people agree with you and it does give you the ability to hit the dislike button a number of times. How stupid do you have to be?

    The funny thing is that their comments are just nicked from somewhere else, usually recycled nonsense. They dont have the intelligence to provide factually based content of their own.

    Stupid people flourish under anonymity. Boy are there some really stupid people out there. Ever been on twitter or Facebook? Status: ‘I can’t decide whether to have a ham sandwich of saw my right leg off at the knee without any anaesthetic”

    It’s frightening.

  51. @proudkev “Sanchez at least shows desire during a lull in confidence and that’s what you have to do. ”

    And what has he done? Running like an headless chicken? I saw NOTHING from him, nothing showing a desire except shooting like a brainless guy!
    BUT I saw Özil shouting, encouraging, fighting… But i have never seen a fan seeing this.

  52. Ok, Mandy, Proud Kev – Yes we have not lost the title but we certainly don’t look like a team that’s goijg to be lifting it. If you think otherwise then you’re off your rocker. The way we are playing is ok you say ? Really? We cannot play football mate. Wenger said our finishing was unlucky – don’t think so it was bad finishing. from that position, you have to score, and when you don’t the chances are it will prove costly. Taking off Campbell was met with vociderous boos from the corwd – reminded me when the he did a similar sub of Oxlade in a game. We’ve had situations like this in the past, and whether we’ve got a goal or goals back or not, at the very least the final stages of the game have been something of an onslaught. How many times did we hear ‘Why couldn’t they play the whole game like they did in the last 10-15 minutes?’. We didn’t see anything like that. That there was no response, nothing other than a resigned, go-through-the-motions reaction to being behind to team scrapping its way out of the relegation zone.

    I agree that we didn’t play that badly ast night but if you’re telling me this team is going to spurs, everton and city and get 9 points from that game then you’re just fooling yourself. There is a real sense that Arsène is turning into a lame-duck manager, stumbling through the remainder of the season, hoping that the current implosion won’t lead to a Europa League place come the season’s end. Coupled with Tottenham winning the title, it’s the nightmare scenario.

  53. “And let’s stop all this rhetoric about the PGMOL not letting us win the league”

    Please do not abuse the English language alongside the club you claim to support. Data collected over years is the inverse opposite of rhetoric. And trolling someone else’s blog can’t change what people see on the pitch time after time. Or predict as upon these pages.

    People who follow sport are under no illusion as to why the worlds richest sport is twenty to thirty years behind all other sports regarding aid for the officials. Wishful thinking can be classified as rhetoric and if your wish as a follower of AFC is to trust the House of Riley then only someone who is demented would demand upon someone else’s blog that others do the same. In the wake of three lost points that is actually a funny consideration. Thanks 🙂

  54. Milan – your stupidity transcends no bounds. Something must have hurt your brain when the midwife spanked your bottom.

  55. Can’t believe some people still think that Pep would choose Arsenal over Man city. He already made the decision long before his Bayern M departure announcement, remember ‘the worst kept secret in football’. Some of his good friends from Barca are in top level management at Man City and he work well with them plus he is given an open cheque book, so obviously Pep was destined to go to Man City.

    It’s silly how some people and the media still saying Arsenal missed an opportunity to sign Pep when there was no opportunity in the first place.

    It’s funny that in previous seasons ManU fans laugh at Arsenal about the 4th place but now they are desperate to get that 4th place. It will be same as Arsenal when AW goes.

  56. Sally & Kev, it’s interesting to note that while pundits don’t think much of us, statisticians who have been analyzing the league so far this season see us as favorites (and this is mostly because of the expected goals numbers our tactics provide).

    Here’s a statistical analysis of our struggles and why we should overcome them:

    And here is a Q&A with a few stats analysts who hold arsenal as favorites and are not gunners fans – ironically most of our fans think otherwise :

  57. Come on people, in each game Arsenal suffer at least one game-changing decision. Sometimes it’s two, three or even more, but there’s at least one such incident. On the contrary, when was the last time Arsenal profited from an unjust free kick, or offside,or penalty, etc? I bet noone can even remember that, coz it rarely ever happens. Yet if we look at the decisions that other sides profit from against us it’s virtually every match. It’s like every team turns up knowing they’ll get at least one favour from the ref, and it’ll happen. Last night Ozil was fouled and ref waved play on, at the weekend a utd player cleared a goal-bound header on the line with his hand, against Leicester we all know what Vardy did…, and this is just looking qt the last 3 matches but it’s in every match. How can that even be considered to be coincidence??

    And you hear people say ‘yes but…’ The conversation should stop right there; there should be no buts once we agree the ref has made a decision that the other side profited from. You hear people say yes but we should have put away the chances we created. Maybe so but had the ref not also given the other team a goal on a platter then we would not be worrying about the chances we didn’t convert! As it stands, to be assured of victory, Arsenal have to virtually score from at least half the chances created (scoring once only isn’t enough), and their players MUST not make any slight mistake, or there will be trouble. Other teams don’t need to worry that much about creating chances coz the ref will present them with one or two that should not be allowed to stand (or three in the case of Southampton). They need not worry about riding on an Arsenal player’s back, like Ozil, or mistiming their tackles or making two footed lunges, the ref will just turn a blind eye.

    Anyone choosing to ignore this consistency of ‘errors’ against Arsenal is either blinded by their own agenda, or just not capable of interpreting anything by themselves, in which case they should be making an appointment with Dr Billy pretty soon. Imagine if this was some sport like athletics, if one athelete was allowed to false start they’ll have a massive advantage over the rest of the field. We may think they are gaining just a fraction of a second but such margins can be huge and decisive in sport. Let’s remove any advantages/disadvantages (which for some strange reason only seem to go one way where Arsenal games are concerned – disadvantages) before we can start looking for someone to blame. As for me I refuse to blame Wenger as long as these injustices continue to be there. Give the man a fair crack first, level the playing field, then we can have this conversation if the problems are still there.

    Yes, change is needed, and fast. But we all know where that change needs to be made; officiating. I’ve not been watching most city games but I wouldn’t be surprised too if they’re not happy with the level of refereeing this season.

  58. Moving the goalposts:
    another team shoots against the goalpost and Arsenal escape: We were lucky.
    Arsenal hit the goalpost once and the crossbar twice: Arsenal are useless.

  59. @Dr. Billy,

    Excellent article but can you please remember to close and lock the doors at the hospital. It seems some of the patients have escaped to post comments on Untold!

  60. Al, the critics highlight all mistakes by the players and manager, but cannot bring themselves to mention mistakes by the referee, in their agenda driven world, they blind themselves to these issues.
    It is not politically correct to mention refs in the media, or WOBworld.
    We seem to be suffering more from these mistakes than usual this year…as up until recently at least, we have been considered a strong threat to the title.
    My guess, we will get a pretty bent/biased ref this weekend, then be left alone for a while.

  61. Milan posts at 11.20

    ”The man is serial loser when the going gets tough and don’t expect any durex this time around.”

    With your quote – ”’The man is serial loser when the going gets tough and don’t expect any durex this time around” – firstly, no manager who ever managed a team who were unbeaten through a season can ever be called a ”serial loser.” Don’t you see that?

    Secondly, what has durex got to do with anything?

  62. Walter that just points to a media agenda. And they play a big role in masking officials’ crimes against us.

    We’ve been getting cheated from early in the season. Remember the 0-0 against Liverpool at the Emirates. Ramsey scores from an onside position in a closely matched game, it’s called offside and we’re wrongly cheated out of 2 points while Liverpool gain one (and they gained another three from scoring from an offside position in another of their games close to this time).

    But the headlines after that game was how Cech saved us from a mauling. They made it seem as though Cech was not a part of our team but a Superhero who took pity on us and came to save the helpless Arsenal.

    What he is though, is a member of our team, and the headlines should have said: Arsenal FC keep out Liverpool despite the opposition’s best efforts and are wrongly denied a goal at the other end.

    I’m horrible at writing headlines, but you get the point.

  63. Tony in the last 12 years Wenger is one of the worst managers we have ever had but he is without doubt the wealthiest as a result of earning over 100m in that time.

    John, what a load of complete rubbish

  64. Exactly Mandy. Refs are only human and therefore are prone to make mistakes. Yet Wenger or Arsenal players aren’t even afforded a millimetre…

    As for this weekend I’m just counting it as 3 lost points; that’s how bad things have become.

  65. We’ve already won once at the lane this season. I’m keeping my hope despite dodgy refs.

  66. @ob1977 ….Bellerin made several passes last night and I didn’t see any Giroud or Ramsey or Sanchez scoring. Not that they cannot score if well positioned but more often than not the defenders seem to get to the ball first before our lagging strikers. I am saying we should be dynamic in our approach to scoring goals and I did mention shooting diagonal ground shots not over the bar shots like you assumed.

  67. If we have £70 million to spend on new players, lets get two really good ones.

    Ross Barkly and either Isco or Griezman will do for a start.

  68. Is “Arsenal Stadium” also a piss take. I can’t quite grasp your sense of humour. We left Arsenal Stadium nearly 10 years ago.

  69. There is a saying that if a brothel is tanking, you replace the hookers, not the frigging curtains. End of story.

  70. I have got 3 dislikes for my post at 2:29 so far, but no response yet as to how many goals Arsenal have been unjustly awarded this season. Just one, only. I’m not going to ask for two or three… On the other hand I could tell you about 10 or more goals that were allowed against us that should not have stood. The games against Southampton away and Liverpool at the Ems alone account for nearly half of the 10 goals I could think of without even using Google. And yet some people still fail to see these discrepancies. I can understand a spud or utd fan failing to ‘see’ that, but not anyone who claims to be an Arsenal fan.

  71. We get dodgy ref decisions, yes. So do the other teams. Last night, however, we failed to simply play to the effing whistle. It’s elementary, dear Watson.

    And then we simply shat ourselves. The mentality is wrong top to bottom. Simply put, it is OK to fail and place the blame on referee/pitch/handbrake/being jaded (delete as appropriate).

    If I was to list all the aspects where we are simply not helping ourselves, I would have to write a thousand word article. Hell, we should be top if one handsomely paid Frenchman grasped the concept of value of rotation, role of a captain, need for a mean streak in the team and maximisation of use of funds at his disposal. If Leicester win the league (heaven forbid it’s Sp*ds), he will have nowhere to hide. Plain and simple.

  72. Suga 3
    Ive not read any of your posts before ..But i like the cut of your jib.
    For all those that aren’t from the uk and there are quite a few who post on here it means i like your style..Good post !!

  73. it is hilarious. When you think about it.

    iit’s not as if the Groaner above hasn’t been called out for talking to himself before on many occasions on many blogs.

    Absolutely hilarious. I feel much better now. Thanks to Old Turdy 🙂

  74. Think Tony’s early original diagnosis on the AAAA was unfortunately bang on. Plenty of evidence. On these pages.

  75. John,

    Far too kind 😉

    The thing is that all these issues were pretty visible for a few years now. Only now they are as apparent as this, thanks to the usual Manc mafia/Russian roubles/Petrodollar (excuses, excuses) teams ‘conspiring’ to be a bit gash and us slugging it out with teams built and maintained for a fraction of our expenditure.

    I have been going on about the glaring needs of this team for a few years. Mantra: WC striker, midfield enforcer, all strong characters. Yes, we have added Cech, thus addressing one massive shortcoming. And I am a big fan of Szczesny, but it is good that he is playing somewhere else now, as he should not grow in this rotten ‘culture’ we have.

  76. Tony,

    Seriously, there is no use moaning about poor refs, if we don’t help ourselves. If the team was built with balance to compete and character required to stand up to this, we would not be having this conversation.

    Are you really saying with a straight face that no one else is getting poor refereeing decisions? Or that we do get the occasional rub of the green here and there?

  77. Finsbury, a lot of WOB wasting precious time on here, even allowing for multi IDs and copy pastes from other sites.
    Time that won’t come again, not as if they are going to convert anyone on here

  78. Evidence, please. That’s what we want to see. Evidence that we get the occasional rub of the green, and evidence that everyone else is also getting massively disadvantaged by ‘poor refereeing’ like us.

    When Arsenal were ‘unlucky’ to be on the receiving end of numerous so called refree mistakes or poor refereeing we heard the usual crap that the game is quick and refs need help to explain these ‘mistakes’ against Arsenal. Granted everyone makes mistakes, but curiously we have not had not even one such mistake go our way. One mistake that allowed us to bag three points when a draw might have been fair. As for the other sides I can, from the top of my head think of at least each big club getting a decision favouring them in recent weeks alone. City eliminated Everton from the CC via a goal that had gone out of play, Chelsea scored a winner against Everton in injury time from an offside goal, Utd had a player clear the ball on the line using his hand only last weekend, Tottenham were awarded a penalty for a ball that struck an opppsing player in the ribs, Everton got 3 very soft penalties in under 90 minutes, as for Liverpool I don’t even know where to start…. I’m not even talking the whole season, these are incidents from the last 4 weeks or so,all under 2 months. Every club from the traditional top 6 benefitted from at least one dubious call. All bar one team. And that is Arsenal, who incidentally seem to get one such decision go against them every game. Instead, in each of our last four games alone refs have made an important ‘mistake’ that cost us.

    Suga, I’m expecting you to provide your evidence to counter these things I raise here, things that are from memory only, I didn’t even have to use Google or YouTube to find. I’m positive had I used Google I’d have come up with more than one mistake per club favouring these sides. Feel free to use Google though, in your attempt to show that we get just as penalised as our immediate rivals, and we shall see what you come up with.

  79. Lets take one simple example to cover the corrupt officiating debate. In the recent Chelsea v Arsenal match, Mike Dean saw what Costa was doing & ignored it. It happened twice so there was no excuse not to see it. The FA then went on to change the decisions made during that game. The Red card given to Baptista was rescinded. The Costa fouls were given Red cards.

    Now before we go on to fairness, lets look at the FA in this. Baptista’s Red card is rescinded therefor there should be no subsequent punishment. Yet the failing to leave the field was retained!! How can you clear an individual of an offence & still punish him for a subsequent offence that in theory he cannot be guilty of as one is a consequence of the other.

    The next thing is the consequence of having played a game with incorrect officiating & double handicap, why was it not ordered to be replayed? The FA & PGMO didn’t punish the main culprit Mike Dean. There was a 100,000+ signature petition asking for Dean never to officiate an Arsenal game again. Despite this the media conspired to make a mockery of the whole episode & the FA & PGMO reappointed Dean to officiate in 2 consecutive matches.

    The truth is that in this one match & its subsequent treatment, the FA & PGMO have proved themselves to be corrupt.

  80. How about a ‘wellness ‘ therapy pre and post match for the PIGMOB officials to go with some counseling .We could offer a relaxing massage with a happy ending by some SYT ( or someone older ) , to ease away all that tension and tautness .

    As most officials are in their declining years , they often lose some zest and focus . These massages will make them feel well spent. So well spent that, soon they will be like pliable putty in their hands , to be kneaded and manipulated and eased to do the right thing .

    Our own Manchurian candidates .

  81. And since everyone is in such good cheer , and this being a truly funny article followed by outlandish observations , intended or not , here’s more of the same ..

    Naughty ADULT one liners!!

    * If you don’t believe in oral sex, keep your mouth shut.

    * Opinion is like an ass hole, everyone has one.

    * A mistress lies between a mister and a mattress.

    * Chess players mate

    * Sex is the price women have to pay for marriage.

    * Marriage is the price men have to pay for sex.

    * Impotence: Nature’s way of saying “No hard feelings”.

    * If you think sex is a pain in the ass, you’re doing it wrong.

    * The difference between a husband and a lover is the difference between day
    and night.

    * Prostitution is a hole sale business.

    * A tight dress is like a barbed fence. It protects the premises without
    restricting the view.

    * What matters is not the length of the wand, but the magic in the stick.

    * Sex is like snow, you never know how many inches you are going to get or how
    long it is going to last.

    * Good sex can correct poor posture, or at least make it stand up straight.

    * I’m not attracted by a girl’s mind …. But by what she doesn’t mind.

    * Guns don’t kill people… Husbands, who come home early, do.

    * Getting married is like getting into a bath tub. After you get used to it,
    it ain’t so hot.

    ( Some of these sound like very good advice !)

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