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May 2021

Arsenal v Watford and a little bit about the one man war zone that is Costa.

By Bulldog Drummond

This is one of those footballing days when quite a few of the Untold writing team from across the world, well, across England and Belgium, get together for a match.  Which in turn means that once the match is over there isn’t going to be anyone around to write about it since we will then be travelling back to our various territories after the match.

Some make their way back to Belgium – a 24 hour round trip Walter said in his last post – and some back to the Midlands and a wild night of dancing.  Others are excused the post-match duties.

So this piece is just about all we can offer today.  Sorry to say that there won’t be a rapid response post-match write up nor even an evening reflection.  Hopefully at least one of the Untold team will be recovered by Sunday morning.

Thus I thought I might prelude my occasional pre-match notes with a mention of something else: the inhuman fortress known as Diego Costa.

Until just now this was thought to be impregnable.  Nothing he ever did on the pitch could be deemed to be wrong.  No one could ever send him off.  A law was passed saying no journalist could criticise him.  But now having been sent off for maiming sixteen members of the crowd, beheading the ref and setting fire to the stadium, he has had his two-match ban extended to three games by an independent regulatory commission after admitting a charge of being an alien renegade from the planet Zxdvb.  Or maybe that was not leaving the pitch in a proper manner when sent off.  One or the other.

After committing more heinous crimes than a South American General on heat when faced with a group of people who fancy a taste of democracy, the Chelsekian was shown two yellow cards by the referee, Michael Oliver, a man who had clearly failed to read the standing orders from the FA about how the player was to be treated.

Costa expressed and indeed revealed a certain reluctance to leave the pitch, and a reaction at the referee’s decision, which involved biting off the arm of one of the assistant refs, and then using it as a shovel to dig a hole into which the ref himself was placed until he showed his remorse.   Costa was offered a coffee and warned as to his future conduct.

Meanwhile back at Planet Arsenal Santi Caz was said to be not doing as well in his recovery mode as some had previously suggested.  Indeed it looks like it might be a while longer before we see him back.  “Santi is running again outside so it should be three to four weeks more training‚” Mr W said however, so it is not a total relapse.  He also reported Jack Wilshere had returned to full training this week and “the first signs are quite good”.  Tomas Rosicky is also back in full training.

Petr Cech is on the way back but this match may be a little premature for him.  Aaron Ramsey is out with a thigh injury, Mathieu Flamini has a hamstring injury and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is still recovering from his knee injury.   Tony Attwood twisted his knee slightly at a bop in Rugby on Thursday night, but should be ok for Radcliffe on Trent this evening, despite driving a very diddly widdly hired car.

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The nearest return dates for footballers that are published are Oxlade-Chamberlain 20 April, Cazorla, Rosicky , Wilshire 30 April.

But because Rosicky and Wilshire are back in full training they are not considered injured by the people who do the injury league table.  (Nor does it include dance injuries).  This approach (of not including players who are back in training but not ready to play, and excluding dance injuries) applies of course not just to Arsenal but to all clubs and explains why quite often the number of players injured according to the table is not the same as the number of players not been selected for the team because of recent injuries.

Here’s the table.

1 Newcastle United 11
2 Liverpool 9
3 Stoke City 9
4 Crystal Palace 7
5 Manchester City 7
6 Manchester United 7
7 Aston Villa 5
8 Bournemouth 5
9 Chelsea 5
10 Everton 5
11 Southampton 5
12 Sunderland 5
13 Tottenham Hotspur 5
14 Arsenal 4
15 Norwich City 4
16 West Ham United 4
17 Watford 3
18 West Bromwich Albion 3
19 Leicester City 2
20 Swansea City 2

This would leave us with a team of


Bellerin Mert Gabriel Monreal

Elneny Coquelin

Alexis Ozil Iwobi


On the beach we could then have Cech or Macey, Gibbs, Mert, Chambers, Giroud, Campbell, Theo, with Jeff Reine-Adélaïde as a backup if any miss the bus and can’t make it.

Moving on, if we take the number of cards given to teams to have some sort of relationship with the number of serious fouls committed (which is, I know, quite a leap in the dark) we have 34 yellows and four reds for Arsenal, as compared to 58 yellows and two reds for Watford.

Moving onto the crowd, the TV and newspapers have recently, and notoriously, picked out a single rather sad figure with a “Wenger out” banner and printed pictures of his banner endlessly.   Now although the game is not live on TV they will have cameras at New Arsenal Stadium and so could provide a little balance by picking out our banner…


We shall look with interest to see if they do.  And if they don’t you know we will – just for balance.

Looking at the stats and bits and pieces we see that Watford have lost their last three league matches, and might well be holding themselves in readiness for the FA Cup semi.   They might also note that although they held up our progress, we have scored at least two goals in five of the last six games.

So Watford are now in 14th four points behind Chelsea.

1 Leicester City 31 19 9 3 54 31 23 66
2 Tottenham Hotspur 31 17 10 4 56 24 32 61
3 Arsenal 30 16 7 7 48 30 18 55
4 Manchester City 30 15 6 9 52 32 20 51
5 State Aid United 30 13 11 6 47 35 12 50
6 Manchester United 30 14 8 8 38 27 11 50
7 Southampton 31 13 8 10 41 32 9 47
8 Stoke City 31 13 7 11 34 37 -3 46
9 Liverpool! 29 12 8 9 45 40 5 44
10 Chelsea 30 10 11 9 45 41 4 41
11 West Bromwich Albion 30 10 9 11 30 37 -7 39
12 Everton 29 9 11 9 51 41 10 38
13 Bournemouth 31 10 8 13 38 50 -12 38
14 Watford 30 10 7 13 30 32 -2 37

Part of this decline is that Watford have only won one of their last five away Premier League outings, losing the other four.   They will probably keep the same team as they have had in recent games.   Joel Ekstrand is said to be lacking match fitness and Tommie Hoban remains out.  The last reports of Prödl was that he was ill.

One thing that is interesting about the table is that Arsenal obviously have a far worse forward line than anyone else in the universe (I know this because people keep writing to Untold to say this).  Leicester however have the greatest attack the universe has ever known since the Big Bang.  And that difference is … six goals.   Thus a 6-0 win today could even up the balance a bit.  I’d quite like that.

All we need to do is maintain the standard we had at Goodison Park and press on a bit more.   On this topic Mr Wenger said, “What is important is that we play our eight games with complete commitment and passion, and see where we finish.” The Watford manager Quique Sanchez Flores said, “…it is our ambition to win every single game.”

So there we are.  And now because there won’t be more from Untold today, here’s some other stuff…


From the anniversary files (home page)

2 April 1989: Tony Adams scored to put Arsenal ahead, but then put into his own net in a 1-1 away draw with Man U.  It was a run of seven without defeat which took Arsenal so close to Liverpool in the league table the season was decided in its final seconds.

2 April 2005: Arsenal 4 Norwich 1. Gilberto Silva returned after his long layoff with the back injury which it was feared might end his career.   He went on to play over 80 more league games for the club.


Insult of the day (to the people whose comments we don’t publish).  The insult of the day is also published on the home page daily.

I must discontinue your company (Much ado about nothing)


And Elsewhere.… again in case you never read the home page, we have the “Elsewhere” anniversary commemoration.  Today it says,

It is the birthday of Sir Alec Guinness, born 1914, that most amazing actor from The Horse’s Mouth to George Smiley.  From Kind Hearts and Coronets to Star Wars.  We remember you always, most wonderful man.


Recent Posts


202 comments to Arsenal v Watford and a little bit about the one man war zone that is Costa.

  • Menace

    Now we have a new media grab on Ozil saying we mucked up our chance for the title. Wenger is upset about his negative comment & the aaa will chew on it for a few hours. The reality is that we haven’t had the best of luck playing on the sloped pitches. Offside goals being the latest PGMO weapon to avoid Arsenal success. That is not surprising but can demoralise the best sportspeople anywhere.

    As long as Arsenal keep the faith & keep playing the beautiful game, we will succeed. Luck is momentary. Class is permanent.

  • Josif

    Well, Ozil and Wenger are both right. Wenger is right when he says Ozil shouldn’t have given up on the title (at least not publicly) and Ozil is right when he says we did ourselves big time. Wenger said our finishing has been worse than last year given how we have improved in terms of chances created. He also said Welbeck has it all apart from finishing and compared him with certain Thierry Henry.

    Now, I will do what Untold has done before and take a little credit for:

    -saying Welbeck could become a world-class if he adds finishing and composure to his game as he had everything else (I actually said Henry should work with him individually) and

    -pointing out at our conversion rate from Day Two I think.

    Thank you, Mr Wenger, for reading Untold comments section (which can be an awful experience sometimes) and accepting wise words written there. 🙂

    Bulldog, if you want to compare our attack and Leicester attack, use chances created statistics and then that six goal gap becomes more disturbing.

  • Josif

    So, Leicester have scored a goal per 5.53 chances created while we need 7.58 chances for a goal.

    Translated: we create 17 chances, they create 17 chances = they win 3:2.

    If they had created as many chances as we have had, they would have scored 65 goals or 17 more than they have scored so far.

    If we had created as many chances as they have had, we would have scored 39 goals or seven goals fewer.

    Let’s spread those 17 goals across our games – one against Southampton (Alexis’ clearance), two out of three crossbars against Swansea (Alexis and Giroud), Giroud’s header against Spuds at home, Campbell’s sitter at West Brom, at least twelve more goals we should have scored against Bournemouth and Stoke at home – we would have been three points behind Leicester with a game in hand and a superior goal-difference.

  • Josif

    * 17 goals morr than we have scored so far

  • JamesO

    I’m sure that six goals could have been made up quite easily by the referees correctly calling penalties (comment counts for both Arsenal and Leceister).

  • Hi.
    I expect Arsenal to win today, but will it contribute to a genuine title challenge, or merely cement our top four status?
    I’m pleased to have passed your ‘fit and proper bloggers’ test, even though I am of the opinion that offering Arsene Wenger a new contract in 2014 was unambitious, and a wasted opportunity.
    I accept the majority here are very Pro-Arsene, which is part of the reason I looked in.
    For intelligent, passionate debate about our club and its structure.
    Thanks to Mandy and Gunner6 for supplying some of that, long may it continue.
    I have no ego, but it seems ‘Untold Arsenal’ is a little self-conscious and popularity driven with the ‘Like’ and ‘Dislike’ buttons.
    For all those who ‘dislike’ my opinion, and there are plenty of you lurking, challenge my perceptions with your own real, alternative opinions, because the only way to glue the Arsenal family back together is through educational honest debate.
    From the outside looking in, I genuinely believe Arsenal exist not to excel in their field anymore, but merely as an attractive cash-cow for Stan and Josh Kroenke to drain every last drop of Arsenal fans – (customers) – good-will. We are in the process of watching this transpire before our very eyes.
    But as we’re far too starched and middle-class to raise anything more than muted grumbles, the future fortunes of Arsenal Football Club are very much in the hands of people who couldn’t care less. And Arsene Wenger wields so much power at Arsenal he doesn’t offer any explanation or show any humility when Arsenal finish 3rd or 4th and a distance away from winning the PL.
    Of those we consider our closest rivals (which doesn’t suddenly include Leicester), only Liverpool and Tottenham haven’t recently won the title. Liverpool have twice finished second (closer than Arsenal in this period), and they’ve now recruited one of the games most talented managers. Tottenham have no right to be anywhere near that company when looking at their wage-bill, and that White Hart Lane only holds about 36,000 yet every year they get more value for money than Arsenal.
    Press the ‘Dislike’ button as liberally as you wish, but bigger picture, it will not cure what ails The Arsenal.
    But I’m not a light-bulb, support cannot be turned on and off. I’m sure we’re all unanimous in wanting only the very best for Arsenal and to see the club elevated back to where we all feel they belong.

  • anon

    This comment consisted of a copy of an article from elsewhere, which we don’t allow on Untold.

    But if you want to read it it is at

    The first para is
    The ten Select Group Premier League referees who have been so biased in favour of Leicester City this season have also been targeting the Foxes four primary pre-season title competitors – Arsenal, Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United.

    The conclusion is


  • Pat

    Hello Herb’s Army.

    Never seen you before. Did someone direct you here to have a go?

    Your message doesn’t really have a lot of content when analysed. It is long though.

    All the evidence shows that our manager is as keen, hard working and knowledgeable as ever. On I very much enjoyed the analysis of recent work by Welbeck, Campbell, Elneny and Iwobi. Three Wenger purchases and a promotion from the youth section. Well done Arsenal.

    You don’t mention referee performance, one of the main causes of our team not gaining the points we deserve, as proved repeatedly by the ref analysis on this site.

    Just like to echo everybody’s good wishes to the team for a winning performance today, especially with Walter, his wife and the Belgian supporters as our lucky charm

  • John

    Herbs post has a lot more content than your inane rambling on about referees.Evidence might show that our manager is hard working and keen and so he should be when hes raking 8m a year.I would rather he got the team playing to its potential and challenging for top honors though.

  • Gord

    John, Herb. Your team won at Aston Villa today. You can go to the tavern and booze up, or go to sleep.

    I’m hoping Arsenal 13 stops by. He is a good example of how to support a team.


  • Gord

    How to go Sanchez and Iwobi!


  • Gord

    Bournemouth, make a game of it against ManC!

  • ARSENAL 13

    Crap… I am late…..


    Oooo Alexis….

  • goonersince72

    Herb’s Army
    Do you think the Glazers or FSG or Lerner care about football? Nice joke there. As a fan I want the team to win the league every season. As a SUPPORTER I tend to take the longer view. By referencing Chapman I assume you not a young supporter but your ‘win now’ ‘change for change sake’ view is that of a much younger person. Of course you’re entitled to your opinion, including on a site dedicated to SUPPORTING ‘the club, the players and the manager’ and I respect your thoughts as they are reasoned and considered. But anyone commenting on the ‘like’ and ‘dislike’ buttons is a bit thin skinned. It’s akin to the supporters (and the site in general) railing about the agenda of the pundits and media ‘experts’. Cheers anyway.

  • ARSENAL 13

    Guys …calm on defense guys. Calm on defense.

  • ARSENAL 13



    This guy is something. Future bright.

  • Cyberian

    Agree with Gord, nice to see Arsenal 13 here today.

  • Al_The_Gunner


  • goonersince72

    Meanwhile on the pitch it’s 2-0 in the first half. COYG

  • Gord

    How to go Iwobi!

    Fair challenge on Gabriel?


  • ARSENAL 13



  • ARSENAL 13

    Nice to see you all too.

    Gooners celebrate.

  • ARSENAL 13

    You can push Monreal on the back … its not a foul.. Never…

  • Menace

    At the game on PGMO watch. New law bounced ball start to Goalkeeper. Taylor same old CHEAT.

  • ARSENAL 13

    Hahahahahahahaha…. Ectoar bellarinee….

    Come on

  • ARSENAL 13

    Effing Cross bar…..

    Come on gunners.

    More of this please.

  • Gord

    How to go Bellerin!

    About time we started to have some of that luck. Pisses off the commentary of 3 different feeds, they were all hoping Arsenal would lose and Wenger get sacked. All those medja people need to get sacked.


  • ARSENAL 13



  • ARSENAL 13

    Nom nom nom should get red.

    He even points out why he fouled him!!!!??!

  • ARSENAL 13

    Now suarez does it…..

    Seriously. This is not good. Leading the game or not.

  • Gord

    Welcome to the Neville and Scholes School of English Football.

    Yes Nyom; your team is losing so you must try to put the most skilled Arsenal player in the hospital. I’m surprised Taylor had the balls to call it.


  • Somerset Goonsr

    Who on earth is the commentator on Sentanta Ireland?? Shocking comments about Arsenal deserving a kick or serious injury if they conti ue to ‘showboat’ absolute twaddle!!!

  • Rodelero

    The problem with all the appraisals of Wenger’s record, is that you’re examining a record that has been damaged enormously over the years by refereeing. If Arsenal were where they deserve to be in the league this year, there wouldn’t be many voices complaining about Wenger. Instead, we are witnessing what simply has a borderline incredible conspiracy to damage the most heavily established teams. Leicester’s season is quite literally unbelievable. Any reasonable individual should be unbelievably skeptical at the course of events that have seen Leicester become runaway favourites to lift the trophy.

    I mean really, can anyone name any shift in fortunes this great, not just in footballing history but in sporting history? A team goes from being one of the worst in the league to leading it with a significant gap in the course of 12 months? It’s several magnitudes more extraordinary than anything I can think of. If Liverpool or Tottenham went from being outside of the top four to six points clear seven games out in a year, it would be surprising but not incredible. Leicester’s turn around is incredible, and all I can feel as a skeptical person with a background in mathematics and science, is that something is awry.

    As for what is awry, one thing is becoming more and blatant with each passing match: Leicester are being favoured by referees and their opponents, particularly the old ‘big four’ are experiencing the precise opposite. It is no surprise that Arsenal have been denied yet another penalty in today’s match – as we were denied clear penalties against Leicester, Hull, Swansea and Everton – but it is quite hard to understand why no-one in the media is picking up on it.

    I can only conclude that many in the media are willfully ignorant. They want to believe the Leicester story just like so many football fans do. Because of this they are blind to Leicester’s luck, which goes unmentioned, and the more sinister possibilities aren’t even considered to be possibilities. I’ve watched some pretty outrageous injustices over the year, but this year has annihilated the small amount of faith I had in the media, the FA, and the Premier League. Arsenal are three nil up right now, knocking on the door for more, despite the referee hampering our chances a fair bit already. I’m happy that we’re winning, but my overwhelming feelings are still of disappointment and anger, and you know what, apathy is starting to grow too. I no longer believe that this is a sport worth the name. It’s a fiasco, wracked with corruption, dominated by dirty money and foul individuals both on and off the pitch.

    It’s quite possible, of course, that I am completely delusional, and that I so deeply love Arsenal that I will see evidence which doesn’t exist as an excuse for Arsenal’s failings… but I don’t think so. I think English football is a ticking time bomb, and one day, maybe soon and maybe not, it’s going to explode.

  • dan

    Is anyone else listening to the setanta sport commentary, Fucking absolute joke.

  • ARSENAL 13


  • dan

    I noticed the ref tried his hand to Fucking us, but, as the game progressed he knew there was no chance.

  • Cyberian

    Nice save to keep possibility of clean sheet Burt goal for Giroud would be nice

  • Gord

    Stupid commentary to follow today. I think I’ve now seen 743 pictures of Hodgson.

    Oh, Clattenburg evicted a HWam player, and the muppets disagree. I didn’t see anything, the description is just high tackle.


  • Gord

    Come on Giroud, Walcott and Campbell. More goals please!


  • ARSENAL 13

    Can we have one more goal please….

    Come on gunners

  • ARSENAL 13

    Theo Theo Theo Theo Theo Theo

  • ARSENAL 13

    Okay…. Can we one more


  • ARSENAL 13

    Somebody try a two footed lunging tackle on this stupid commentator…

    He says..’ Nyom clattered Ozil and rightly so’ what the efff is that!!!!!!!

  • Gord

    How to go Walcott (and Campbell).

    Still time for more goals though.

    Daily Mail showed picture of Sanchez probing hamstring/glutes. Injury?


  • goonersince72

    Great performance by all. Yes Taylor probably missed a penalty. Is that the narrative of the match? Come on everyone, just enjoy the performance and the 3 points. Comment on the positive for a change. EVERYONE had a good match, put in a shift. Kudos to the side and the manager – great team selection today.

  • Gord

    Clattenburg needed a police escort to get off the pitch. 🙂

    Come on cops, escort all these PGMO crooks to jail.

    And take that medja twit that thinks it is okay to trash Ozil as well.


  • Rodelero


    We should complain about bad refereeing when we win, when we draw, and when we lose, and when it advantages us. The main reason that they get away with being so unbelievably bad is that people only tend to complain when their team lose because of it. We did great, I’m delighted, but one mustn’t ignore the bigger picture because of one good game.

  • bjtgooner

    This was a superb fluid performance from the Arsenal, moving the ball exceptionally well and playing some of the best football of the season – too good for Taylor & Watford.

    Taylor was incompetent, as expected & Watford looked dempralised towards the end.

    Many of our players played really well, but Elneny was a real stalwart – an excellent buy!

  • Al

    Fabulous performance! Well done Arsenal.

    Taylor denied us a penalty, again. What chances Tottenham and/or Leicester get a penalty in their games, I’d day very likely.

    I watched on setanta too, unbelievable biased commentary. At one stage one of the clowns said something like ‘that is fairly obvious to other sides like West ham, Leicester etc and everyone who watches football, but not obvious to Wenger’. Really? Where do they find these muppets.

  • Gord

    The referee was fabricating Elneny’s yellow offence?

  • Al

    Moss at anfield…, I can tell you there will be controversy in this one. Not sure which way it’ll go though, but likely to favour spurs.

  • goonersince72

    I haven’t seen you here but I read and ‘liked’ your long comment above. Re Leicester, I couldn’t agree more – Vardy has had more penalty calls than almost all the TEAMS in the BPL. Should be obvious to all. If you come to this site, and read any of my posts you’d see I have the same opinion of the officials as you. I refer to them as the unPGMO. But during or after a 4-0 win, is the story that Taylor may have missed a penalty? That happens disproportionately to Arsenal, but today the side overcame it. They took their chances, worked hard all over the pitch. For me, that’s the story. As in most things, it’s a matter of perspective. Put a somewhat shoddy performance by Taylor in perspective. It did not affect the outcome. Believe me, when Arsenal get a ridiculous sending off or blatant fouls go unpunished I give it to refs with the best of them. I just want to enjoy this great performance and the full 3 points and the clean sheet. Thanks for your comment.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Much better today from Arsenal, some really good moves and goals. Too much ‘fannying around’ at times from Özil and Alexis when they should have been probing for more goals. Two really bad fouls on Özil that should have earned red card, the second got a yellow, both designed to take him out of the game. Cow with a great last ditch header to keep the clean sheet and Ospina with a top drawer save as well. More of the same needed in the next seven games.

    Now on to the Ladies tomorrow and the U18s on Monday!

  • goonersince72

    And let’s remember that our good luck charm, Mrs. Broeckx, did it again. So, thanks to the Broeckx and the rest of the Arsenal Belgium contingent for their great support, and hope the trip home is safe and uneventful.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    They had an awful journey getting to the ground and missed the first 25 minutes. Fortunately they did get to see three goals. Safe journey home and hope to see you soon!

  • Gord

    Sorry to hear that the Belgian journey to the Emirates wasn’t as well as it could be.

    OT: Concussions

    Sorry, new article on Ars Technica on this.

    A new study in the Neurology Journal of the American Medical Association is about developing a blood test to detect concussions. Apparently they can even detect fairly mild concussions. Beat the heck out of asking the athlete what day it is, or watching how their eyes track.

    These blood tests can apparently work up to 1 week after the injury.

  • Arvind

    Sucks that Arsenal Belgium had trouble making it in 🙁

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Liverpool one up min51

  • Menace

    Sorry Walter & co its an issue that requires the security checks & subsequent delays. Arsenal were just superb, playing despite the cheating PGMO bald canary. I will not spoil Goonersince72’s enjoyment & only say that Arsenal could have scored double figures.

    We seem to lack the hunger to humiliate teams & slow down when we think we’ve won. There are issues that need to be addressed because we are consistently having to face cheating officials. These need to be addressed by parties outside the club.

    I called Taylor a pillock, & some young gooners started singing ‘the referee is a pillock’ which I thought was wonderful. How El Neney was booked is a mystery because he challenged shoulder to shoulder & the hornet went down like he was smoked. There were incidents against Arsenal that were far worse in the first half that Taylor ignored. He was aided & abetted by his assistant on the dugout side of the pitch.

    There are worse incidents in the Pool v Spuds match that Ross seems to be
    selectively viewing.

    We have to wait & see how sad this game has become before deciding to take it to the Commons.

  • Gord

    I seen the end of the Spud game. I was hoping they would lose, but only getting a tie is okay I guess.

    At 77m or so, Alli was through on net and the goalkeeper got to the ball first. Alli goes down, tripping over the goalkeeper. Alli should have been booked there.

    Actually, I think that in instances such as above, where discipline is given after the game ends because the PGMO official “supposedly” missed it, I think those cards should carry through to the next game. Hence, Alli would be carrying a yellow into his next game. Get a single yellow, and that is a dismissal for a second caution.

  • Jammy J

    I couldn’t believe my ears when i heard the commentator excuse Nyom for his heft challenge on Ozil. That right there, is everything wrong with the English game and a huge factor as to why we do so awful internationally.

  • Polo

    Well done to the team! That’s the kind of result we should have got throughout this season had our finishing been clinical as that.

    Hope Iwobi will be the new Henry, this kid has talent.

    I was hoping Liverpool to beat Spurs so the gap be 3 points with us having a game in hand but a draw is good enough. Now need Southampton to do what they do best frustrate teams above them.

  • Usama Zaka

    Tony and everyone reading,

    I don’t know if anyone knows about this, but The Sunday Times will be releasing “breaking news” tommorrow on the ‘English Premier League Doping Scandal’ with up to 150 players involved in blood doping. Here is the link to their twitter feed.

    Most us all by now have known about the blog known as “Football is Fixed” They have been pointing out to doping in the EPL this season, since the start of the year.

    13th March 2016:
    11th March 2016:
    6th March 2016:
    31st January 2016:
    28th January 2016:

  • Usama Zaka

    I forgot about Arsene Wenger, probably the only person in the world to talk and raise the issue of doping in football at start of the season. Arsene Wenger kept pointing that why only urine tests are taken for a dope test, and he also stressed on blood tests to conducted during any dope test.

  • Rodelero

    I guess we’ll know in a few hours how big this doping story is when the cover is revealed. I suspect it’s going to be a fairly minor story as far as the PL is concerned, but realistically, if a certain team featured, could anyone be surprised?

  • Gord


    Blood doping is not really drugs related. It is often related, it is typically about obtaining an unfair advantage. To me it seems a little more subtle than taking drugs is usually meant to be.

    It can be the taking of erythropoietin (EPO), but it can also be the removal of blood, storage, and then injecting back in.

  • Gord

    I’m not sure what team you are referring to. But there was a period last season when ManC seemed to have a lot of players that were sluggish. Iron overload?

    But, it will be interesting to see the story.

  • Rodelero

    I’m referring to the team that has gone from being one of the worst in the league to the best in under a year.

  • Gord

    Okay, I understand that. I hadn’t investigated the news on that team in forever, so I was unaware of stories about them.

  • Gunz

    And there’s more
    “The Success Of Leicester City Is A Conspiracy”

  • Gord

    Metro has a snippet. Apparently Elneny today made the most passes in one game of any team this season. 121. Second place? Santi Cazorla at 120. No mention of what the all time record of passes in a game is?

  • Mandy Dodd

    Sorry to hear about the difficulties of the Belgium bunch, but hope everyone on here, the believers and sceptics alike can enjoy that performance…..coming after the Everton game, suggests an upturn.
    Iwobi continues to develop at a rate, good to see Theo on the scoresheet, Bellerin is becoming a phenomenon, and Elneny was excellent.
    The less said about this red, and his predictable performance,,the better, but the team were too good for him.
    The media will continue to bash, the AAA forums will continue to ignore the merits of our players, many choosing to spend their time telling the world how wonderful the spurs players are instead. While we are still in the hunt, we won’t get penalties, and refs will do their best to tilt.
    The FIF article is worrying if correct, the refs he mentions all the time generally coincide with those mentioned most frequently on here, though I do find it hard to believe that Dean and Atkinson are part of a conspiracy to prevent Chelsea winning. But sadly, his comments are all too believable….and this blood doping sounds interesting. Again, wouldn’t surprise in the least, but we shall see.
    But well done Wenger and the team.

  • Pat

    Fantastic to hear that about Elneny. Another great Wenger find.

    Fine result today. Sorry our Belgian friends missed the first goal, but very glad they saw another three!

  • Al

    Elneny IS the real deal. Very efficient. Heard one of the clowns commentating for setanta say this guy looks like he’s been playing for Arsenal all these years; Elneny was that immense, and that was about the only observation the clown got right all afternoon.

    I don’t mind if Wenger sticks with the team that started today as his first 11, it’s the same side that mustered a record 20 shots at the Camp Nou too, before dismantling Everton on their own patch. Iwobi man of the match in two successive matches…, wow, how many 19 year olds have been able to do that.

  • Gord

    Sports Mole is running a blurb now.

    Arsenal, Chelsea, Leicester, Birmingham City according to them. One British doctor claims to have doped 150 sports stars, of which some are football players.

    Is Arsenal in the report? I guess nobody knows until the report comes out. After all, how many years now has Higuain been coming here?

  • Rodelero

    Those four club names are on the Sunday Times front page, you can see them if you look closely enough. No idea what it says after but presumably the doctor claims to have helped dope players who were playing for those clubs. Fingers crossed I guess, but looks like it’s going to be a rocky ride. The main problem being that this is a story being broken by whistle blowing (and it sounds like there has been a coverup), so we’re getting a very incomplete picture. Prepare for a lot of bullshit coming from fans of teams that aren’t named, even though it’s fairly likely some players from every team are similarly guilty.

    Either way, hopefully this is the start of a cleanup. Time to stop the arrogance of football fans who think that this isn’t a problem in this sport. Any player caught should be crucified (not literally), and frankly the clubs they play with must be punished too. If that means our players and/or team is punished then so be it.

  • Josif

    Bellerin. Wow. His second left-footed goal for Arsenal.

    Iwobi. Wow. His second start and second goal for Arsenal.

    Alexis hadn’t scored at home in the league since Manchester United. He needed this goal a lot.

    Ospina made a spectacular save to deny Deeney. Sadly, nobody will praise him for that.

    Coquelin wants to win the league on his own. Fantastic player.

    Elneny is intelligent lad. That’s why Wenger has such a great opinion on him.

    We need a favour from Koeman tomorrow and next week we have the most difficult match remaining on schedule. I dare to put a visit to West Ham above the one to Manchester City.


    I think that you are pushing it over the edge. It’s one thing to point a finger at visible things like number of penalty decisions given for Leicester City when it should have been the other way round, red cards not given (e.g. Drinkwater against Arsenal, Fuchs against West Brom)…and completely another thing to make a doping claim without a single evidence.

    1.FC Kaiserslautern were relegated from 1.Bundesliga in 1995-96 (they won the cup though), earned promotion back to top tier in 1996-97 and won the league in 1997-98. So, it can happen.

    Making doping claims without a single evidence is not just far-fetched but also disrespectful towards Claudio Ranieri, one of rare football gentlemen out there.

    Unlike us, they didn’t play in Europe, they have been lucky with lack of injuries of their key players and with the referees’ decisions, they have had a superb conversion rate comparing to ours and that’s pretty much it.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Does horse placenta count as a PED?

  • nicky

    Mare placenta, surely?
    Trust me, I’m a vet.

  • Rodelero

    @Josif: I didn’t claim anyone was doping, nor would I. I simply stated that, given we knew some Premier League players (and thus teams) were going to be implicated, I wouldn’t be surprised if Leicester was implicated. Given that the accusation has been made, repeatedly, by FootballIsFixed, and given that Leicester are exhibiting an extraordinary case of performance improvement over a short period of time, it doesn’t seem like a massively unreasonable statement.

    If you find out that one of ten random athletes is implicated in doping, you’d bet on it being the one who suddenly got a lot better, wouldn’t you? That’s all I was saying.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Fair point Nicky!

  • Menace

    Josif – the media & football pundits are all dopes without using PEDs. 😉

  • Menace

    Arsenal played some beautiful football today & started to showboat after the third goal. They really didn’t try to score more. They just took chances passing the ball until there was an opening to attempt a move on goal.

    I thought it was unprofessional not to hammer Watford when their heads dropped. There were too many incidents of conversation of Watford players & Taylor. I’m of the opinion that there were some unsavoury plots that didn’t work.

    One incident that was washed over was the Deenie foul on Ozil shortly after a Taylor chat. The foul was given but no card shown. Could have been red as it appeared to occur off the ball. These things seem to happen & no one sees them.

  • goonersince72

    Thanks for letting me enjoy the win, lol. On the tv broadcast, with the benefit of replay, it looked as though the yellow on Elneny was correct. It wasn’t terribly harsh but he grabbed the player’s shoulder and forced him down. I think everyone’s problem with the call is that Arsenal never get them. I still think the most egregious non-call was Monreal being dragged down as he entered the box at the start of first added time. Not even a foul! If it had been Vardy he’d be going to the spot. But, as I said earlier, it fortunately didn’t affect the outcome. I agree that the foul only call on Ozil by Deeney was dodgy. Once again: terrific performance, 3 points, clean sheet, clinical finishing and four goals. Could they have scored more? Surely. But what supporter wouldn’t take four every game? It seems the lack of scoring against the lesser teams has been the bugaboo since the beginning of the year. Usually critics say Arsenal can’t beat the big teams. Not so this season. No team has a better record against the top sides. This season it’s been the failure to score and win against the so-called lesser teams that has cost points. Thanks for reading.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    WOO HOO ,HOO .Well done guys!

  • para

    Good win lads. Did not get to see the game but will watch it later.

  • Sally Pally

    Good morning to all!

    I was great to see everyone playing so well yesterday. I must say, I really liked the look of Elneny from the first time I saw him play for us. Second time, he had stepped up even further and appeared to have adjusted admirably to the team style of play. Then in the second Barcelona game, probing runs and more powerful shots, including a nice goal. And yesterday, a truly wonderful and record-breaking display. What a find!
    When Theo came on, I bet my son 5:1 that he would score because he was a bit negative towards him. I would give him £5 if he didn’t and he would give me a quid if he did. No money changed hands even though he scored. That’s the joy of being able to be a generous parent. I am happy for Theo and still reckon he has a lot to offer our club.

    Now on to unhappier things…We watched the previous Leicester game (my son and I) and came to the conclusion that the team appeared to be 100% positive and almost 100% successful in everything that they did, in a way that seemed virtually impossible. Out of the blue, my son said ‘they must be on drugs’. Now he has been very neutral and has previously ridiculed me when I said the referees are corrupt, which incidentally, he now says cannot be denied. I replied ‘they show all the symptoms’. Well who knows and I should probably wait and see? It has been a fairytale for them and indeed, the referees seem to love them as much as they hate us. The odd things is how much they have been biased against City as well this year, very markedly so. The refereeing has been discussed by many on here, including me over the last few seasons and I needn’t add any more to this. Most of us here know what is going on and many believe that the cat will be let out of the bag soon. The sooner one comes forward, the better, before the PGMOL organisation is raided. Better to come clean now, surely, now that so many are looking at them. That person (or preferably a whole group of dissatisfied employees) would get some immunity from prosecution for coming clean. Some, if not most of them must hate how they are pressured to fix games and have probably had a go at those who are forcing them to do it (Some of you on here understand all that better than me and why it started and who are the perpetrators and have written some great posts examining all of that). I still worry that there is some degree of threat if they don’t show bias, which makes me hesitant to really criticise them too harshly. We know they are sworn to secrecy at the expense of losing their retirement windfall if they talk about the running of the PGMOL. The PGMOL have a lot to hide, and the hunters must now smell blood, it is getting too obvious. You can fool some of the people some of the time, etc… I wonder what I would do if I was threatened in some way. I am pretty sure that I would retire and state that I wasn’t happy about the way the organisation was run and probably leave it at that, depending on the level of threat.

    Back to the doping issue – I personally believe that some form of doping has been going on this season with some of the Leicester players and, as above, I thought it likely before reading this breaking story, yet it sickens me to admit that. Maybe the help from the referees has given them a mental and physical fortitude that makes them play out of their skins week in, week out. Maybe they have just gone from being a very average team to being the best team in the country. If up to 7 of them have been ‘doped’, as someone suggested in articles coming out right now, then today’s game will prove interesting in how they react to having been ‘found out’. It would be very sad and I can’t believe that anyone would be that stupid but we have seen it in virtually every other sport, so why not the one with the most money involved. Perhaps the fact that the testing is very poor and not comprehensive makes it inevitable until that is changed, as Wenger calls for. It is interesting that the lady Nicole Sapstead (head of UK anti-doping agency) wants to talk to Arsene Wenger. Although there are claims that one Arsenal player (it sounds to me likely to be a player who has left a while ago) was involved, it is likely that several Leicester players ARE involved currently, reading between the lines. I feel slightly dirty saying this and I might be completely wrong, in which case I would have slandered people and should feel bad.

    But that is what I believe from watching behaviour, performances and attitudes of Leicester’s players, so I will stick to my guns and hope to be proved wrong. We know that Wenger is very tough on this and has requested that more is done to combat doping because he has ‘seen some very suspicious things’. A few tossers in the media will want to use the single previous Arsenal player who may have been involved to somehow give Arsenal some bad press but that is bound to backfire as the truth of the current situation (hopefully) unfolds. If Leicester payers are involved now, how will they react today? It will be fascinating for all the absolutely wrong reasons – probable bent referees and probable doping… What a sick can of worms is opening up but it needs to be opened up and sorted out asap. I see that the FA has been quick to criticise the head of the anti-doping people for making her comments, which will lead many of us on here to suspect that they may know about it. They don’t have the best record when it comes to honesty or transparency, just like their sister organisation.

    If Leicester win the title and people can convince me that they have done it without any outside help, I will be happy for them, as most neutrals want to be. But I simply do not believe it and I suppose that is very sad. I wonder whether, as a gunner, I am trying to find reasons why Arsenal are 3rd with this incredible squad and Leicester are top with this bunch of players playing out of their skins and running around like headless chickens. But I do play devil’s advocate with myself, so I try to work out if I am biased and whether it is affecting me. I think I am good at being neutral when it comes to evaluating situations. I think that most people on here feel the same. Common decency is alive here and if anything, I reckon that most of us would give the benefit of the doubt the other way, against our interests, if it wasn’t so blatantly obvious that something is deeply wrong.

    Reports of Walkers Crisps containing banned substances (in the recently introduced new flavours), Gary Linker using his celebrity status to disguise being a mule for them, the closeness of the FA headquarters to the Walkers Stadium etc are probably wide of the mark, though!

    As far as Arsenal are concerned, let’s hope that they play like that for the rest of the season and that the referees actually start to do their jobs.

  • Sally Pally

    Sorry to go on, but reading articles on the BBC, they are being edited as we speak. Mention of Wenger has been removed from some already. This is obviously a ‘hot’ topic for editors until they work out what their politically correct slant is supposed to be!

  • Mandy Dodd

    Sally Pally, I don’t believe anyone can see Leicester and not believe they are being surrounded by the most favourable of circumstances.
    They are organised, have some excellent players, and a very canny manager, but, they get every decision going, and their injuries, or lack of them is almost unbelievable. Yes, they have played less games than us, city, Utd etc…..but still.
    Doping is a strong claim, one football is fixed has been making against LCFC all season. If he has evidence, just wish he would use it.
    But, doping aside, it looks to me like the English football establishment need , for a measure of credibility, to have one of the non oilers win the league just once in a while. They tried the same with Liverpool a couple seasons ago, but Gerrards studs and Rogers naive tactics put pay to that one. The refs you can be certain will be involved.yes, arsenal are a non oiler, but let’s face it, are not going to get any favours from the English football establishment, apart from not being actively prevented a top four place in return for boardroom silence.
    Your point about some refs not being happy at what they are being asked to do may well be a valid one. I thought the same as Atkinson changed his approach at halftime when we recently played Leicester……but on second thoughts, not sure Atkinson is a man with much shame, maybe someone told him he was being too obvious in a game being watched live by the world. And he did let drinkwater off with a potential leg breaker.
    As for our players, they have been excellent in the last couple of games, long may it continue, Wenger will have a real selection headache when players return from injury.
    We still stand a chance, but unlike those who sit above us, our team will get no help from outside, quite the opposite. lucky our manager is a guy who likes a challenge

  • WalterBroeckx

    Back home from where ever I have been in England… Hell we even drove through Essex for a loooooooong while….

    But I’ve seen 3 goals, we got 3 points… but coming late left a sour taste in my mouth

  • Somerset Gooner

    If you search on Google Images for a certain player he nearly always has long sleeves under his football shirt, maybe concealing something or just always cold??? Just an observation.

  • Rich

    The doping stuff. Anyone got any thoughts on how it might work in practice in football?

    I don’t mean what effects various drugs could have rather how it would come about that a player or even a team start doping.

    I’ve believed for some time now that there must be some going on in football, though I can’t guess about how much, but I still have real difficulties imagining how it comes about.

    Think of the risk if a new manager came to a club and said ‘hey, we’re going to start taking this’. You’d need everyone to be in on it- players, staff- and that barely seems plausible unless the darkest of cultures already existed at that club.

    A number of players at the same club seems more plausible, but again there’s a similar risk, if club led, as you bring each player into the fold.

    So you’d need to be very confident a player would go with it, and very confident you would escape detection.

    More believable is the world that seems to be suggested by the times investigation which, from what i can gather, suggests it is a word-of-mouth arrangement, something which isn’t led by clubs or managers. That would raise the possibility of sports people either being reckless, as well as cheats, or having received a lot of re-assurances they can get away with it.

    Something to think about is the case of the banned player who played against us in Europe this year: why have I heard nothing about who supplied him? A simple thing to do would be to ban him permanently unless he tells the authorities how he came to dope, and only to relent when satisfied he has told the truth.

    If he refused to, or suggested it would be dangerous to do so, well, you go from there. However, as far as I can tell, that is not what happens. If that’s correct, you have to think the appetite to get on top of any doping problem doesn’t exist in football.

    And if that’s the truth of it, the chances of the doping problem being very serious in football must increase accordingly. Still, there is so much I can’t guess at about the mechanics behind it. Maybe time will tell, but I can only guess football would fight damn hard to cover anything particularly damaging.

    That the story came from Murdoch’s Times is very surprising and intriguing to me.

  • Rich

    Also, Has the press here shown any interest in the Essendon doping scandal in Aussie rules? An entire team and staff, taking a drug which sounds like it has near miraculous benefits for sports people. It would seem natural for me for our sports journalists and doping agencies to take a huge interest in that and then to offer reassurances that our drug testing is robust enough to pick up anything similar here. Not sure there’s been a peep.

    I’d never heard of the stuff from that scandal, and it sounds like it would be perfect for footballers

    ‘The program primarily comprised subcutaneous injections of supplements aimed at improving soft tissue recovery times, to enable players to endure and benefit from a heavier training workload. The players signed consent forms for the program, and were assured that all substances were ASADA-approved. The program included injections of AOD-9604, colostrum, tribulus and an unspecified variety of thymosin supplement which was described on forms only as “thymosin” – which the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) would later conclude was the banned, performance enhancing thymosin beta-4 variety. The program also included supplements in pill form, and intravenous vitamin drips.[3] The program was intended to be leading edge, and many features of the program which were legal at the time, including tribulus and intravenous vitamin C, were outlawed by 2014’

    Good rundown of events on the wiki page. You’d think if a team ever attempted it in football it would unfold in much the same manner.

  • Zedsaunt

    Superb performance yesterday. Completely relaxed. Iwobi & Welbeck with Ozil & Sanchez & with Elneny everywhere & Bellerin in free form – beautiful to watch. A delight.

    As for the doping, two propositions

    1) FIFA is corrupt throughout the world except for England? Discuss.

    2) Billions go onto football matches, none of it has impact on the EPL? Discuss.

  • Good Morning subscribers and fellow happy Gooner’s.
    Funny old game, isn’t it?
    I felt uneasy when we were originally drawn at home against Watford in the FA Cup Quarters, but yesterday felt extremely confident about winning.
    Arsenal do that to you. Watford have been poor since the turn of the year, but Arsenal’s approach to both domestic cups is very lassez-faire. That is, if their path is made relatively easy by others i.e. favourable draws and clubs like Chelsea get knocked-out, we might give it a go. Though clearly, having spoilt us for the last two seasons, the novelty had worn off and collectively they weren’t that bothered about writing their names in the annals of footballing folklore. We gift-wrapped their semi-final place for them.
    Yesterday was totally different but a little too predictable. When practically everything is lost, Arsenal are guaranteed to turn on the style, and all the things that didn’t work while we were in the hunt for trophies, suddenly start working again.
    Of course we’re still in the title race, but I’d be amazed if we won the PL from our current position.
    I’ve long suspected football to be fixed, but we have been beneficiaries ourselves, lest we remember our own history. Prior to the outbreak of the First World War, we had very recently survived bankruptcy, moved across the river, and finished 5th in Division 2 before football was temporary put on hold for five years. At the resumption in 1919, it was decided that the two divisions were to be expanded, and despite having no legitimate case, Henry Norris used all his political privilege and power, and out of obscurity, Arsenal took their place in the First Division.
    For those arguing that we don’t get any favours from the Establishment, we are part of the Establishment. As well as Norris being a Conservative MP for Fulham, Arsenal have nearly always had aristocrats and Old Etonians on board, so if there is any foul-play at the very top, you can bet that Arsenal are very much in the loop, and very possibly a major player in decisions made by these people.
    Happy Sunday, everyone.

  • Andy Mack

    Personally I don’t believe there is any serious ‘doping’ involved in any of the PL teams, not even Leicester. Does it happen? yes occasionally but if anyone gets caught then the consequences would be quite serious. Sponsors will have clauses about cancelling contracts and probably requiring all funds to be returned and potential new sponsors will run a mile. The FA is piss poor and would hand out very little punishment if left to themselves but again, they also answer to sponsors money, so their revised punishment would be tough. I suspect the end result would be a team dropping at least 1 division and forfeiting substantial TV pay-outs, and could eventually lead to a team going bust.
    Leicester are running on a legal drug called confidence. When you’re confident about your teammates then you just know (100%) what they’ll do next and you can hit the ball where they’ll be in advance. You know that your defenders will win their tackles and your wingers will go past their defenders and give excellent crosses. etc etc.
    This confidence started at the first game of the season and has been protected ever since by the PGMO (with a decent standard of play by their plyers as well).
    But we (more than any other team following a game at Birmingham some years back) know that confidence can be shattered by one single game. It may not happen to them and they may (probably will) win the PL, but our pressure is to beat our near neighbours and if we do that then we could possibly benefit from a Leicester loss of confidence.

  • finsbury

    Off topic:

    Following the managers comments in response to questions from the hacks on doping earlier in the season we now find that the only football club that we know of (in the whole sport) that had been testing it’s own players for things like EPO (Lauren’s test after arriving from Italy etc. – this has been the case for over a decade I the sport), well,we now find that AFC are named by the hacks in their ‘story’. Alongside Gazprom and….Leicester!

    Blimey. Who could’ve imagined that AFC would be hit by such a smear when all who know know that it has been the only or perhaps one of a tiny number of clubs who have actually had a tangible anti doping policy this past decade. As Leicester and the blood spinning Tottenham sit slightly above AFC in the table and as many have been commenting on their,um,their fitness. I can tell you that this story came as a shock to me 😉

  • Menace

    Just had a thought. Leicester sacked Pearson who was probably not amenable to new ‘practices’.

  • Josif


    No, Leicester sacked Pearson after his son – among others – had been involved in a racist sex-scandal.

  • bjtgooner

    Are refs dope tested? After all a user would be very vulnerable to blackmail.

  • Pat

    Surely Nigel Pearson got the sack because an owner with money wanted to see a return from his investment once his team was in the Premier League and thought a more experienced manager at that level, a big football name, would be more likely to do the job.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Good morning Herb and a happy Sunday to you.
    Yes, Arsenal have traditionally been part of the establishment,even as recent as Dein,who reportedly used his influence to Arsenals benefit….some say to the annoyance of others. But things have changed now, I dont think Stan would have a lot of involvement.
    That said, Ivan is a powerful guy in the sport, which baffles me even more as to the decisions we are so regularly on the end of. Rotational fouls, lack of penalties, goals wrongly disallowed, seemingly on a regular basis. Of course we all know refs make mistakes,but it seems some benefit more than others.who is to say the preferential treatment Fergie was indulged is not given to others.
    But you do raise an interesting point, if there is something going on, one would have to say Arsenal do sit at or very near the top table, and we remain conspicuously silent on issues….and perhaps injustices that others do not, and I for one have often wondered why.

  • dan

    Arsenal have invested in a American analytical company collating data, most of this useless data, but, this data also provides evidence on match fixing and irregular application of the law.

  • finsbury

    Come on Southanpton. Three dodgy goals for the visiting Saints would be lurvly jubbly.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Andy Mack, agree on the confidence factor…..which will be improved by the fact they are able to name an unchanged team pretty much, every week, as they are today.
    If they are not doping,and let’s face it, that article is pretty vague and from an untrustworthy source, there must be things to be learned on injury prevention and recovery, unless they are just lucky on that front.
    Spurs are another one… do you play high intensity football, no signs yet of dropping off, with ….and stand to be corrected….so few injuries to key players at least?

  • finsbury

    Vardy allowed to use his hand as he runs down the touch line? A normal or understandable miss by the official or yet another erroneous call in LCFCs favour? The fairy tale continues.

  • goonersince72

    On the TV broadcast of yesterday’s game the crowd seemed a lot noisier and into it from the off. The Ems doesn’t seem to be a loud ground. Partly the design I think, the tiers are not as steep as other grounds (including Highbury). I’d like to hear from the Untolders who were at the match to see if the noise yesterday was genuinely louder than usual or just another way the media mislead. Thanks. BTW, where is our intrepid Mr. Attwood? Love to read your views on the match, the selection and the tone of the crowd Tony.

  • finsbury

    Mane handball shout against Simpson. Hand tucked in against his ribs harsh if given I suppose. Would AFC survive such a shout? Looking back this season: no would be the answer.

  • Menace

    Somethings are just so borderline but an arm used to deflect the ball is a handball. Pulls, pushes & brute force are all allowed in PGMO Laws…. unless employed by Arsenal.

  • finsbury

    Safe to make the observation that on this occasion in this match that no errors favoured the Saints.

  • Rodelero

    As so often happens, Leicester go ahead with their first real chance. Southampton playing well – still plenty of time to go. They’d had the better chances up to that point really.

  • Rodelero

    As for the handball, definitely not a penalty, unlike the one from Kante against us and the one from Morgan against Newcastle (which should have been a straight red).

  • Rodelero

    Vardy goes in with excessive force and makes contact, clear yellow card, no foul given. Do the commentators really not know the rules? It still makes me laugh that more complaint was made about Flamini’s tackle a month or so back that made absolutely no contact than, for example, Drinkwater vs Ramsey, Fuchs vs Sessegnon, and so on. The West Ham red card yesterday was a classic case of a tackle which was potentially dangerous because of how hard the contact is. It’s hugely, hugely relevant.

  • Rodelero

    Half time replays imply that Morgan pushes Klasie in the back on the way to his header – pundits both seemed to think it was a foul. I still think the handball isn’t a penalty but it’s not entirely the point. The point is that the debatable decisions seem to always go their way. Anything in the grey area goes their way and quite a few black and white decisions go their way too. They’re simply riding a wave of debatable decisions this year. The only question at this stage is, will enough people notice?

  • John

    Its almost laughable some of the excuses that are used on here to deflect our deficiencies.Like walter and Tony like to harp on at us so called AAAs using facts and evidence to back up your “leicester are only winning the league because they take drugs.”
    What i see from leicester is that they are better organised than us and their players are hungry for success.They work hard for each other and have a striker that is playing at the top of his game.

  • Al

    If ever there was any doubts the pgmo handed old bacon face all those league titles on a platter, then this season proves it. Vardy has won 10 penalties, more than any club, by himself. This is what we have been saying all along, this league is rigged. Anyone that can’t see that needs their head examined.

  • Menace

    Yippeee – John is defecting to Leicester!

  • John L.

    I would not put any Leicester player in our team, ahead of any of our current players. They play like a super-fit pub team.

  • Rodelero

    Southampton are being irritatingly wasteful considering they are comfortably on top – and really have been outside the first twenty minutes of the match. Huge chance there for Leicester, that should have been game over. Southampton survive.

  • Menace

    Oriental doping technique has been fooling WADA for several years now. It is now taking the urine out of the FA. Saints have no chance against this ‘slant’ in the pitch.

  • Rodelero

    Another handball in the penalty area. Arm outstretched, unusual position, penalty. How is that not given?

  • Menace

    Handball against Leicester cannot be given as their hands are attached to their bodies… PGMO Law.

  • Gooneress No1

    There is no doubt in in my mind that Leicester have received Man U type advantages from refs, aided by a compliant media who keep their focus steadily away from the actual facts.

    I had come to the conclusion that the Leicester players were on something a while back.

    As for the allegations concerning Arsenal – those feel belatedly tacked on… the hidden hand that pulls the WOB strings ensured Arsenal got a

    If you’re going to speak truth to power you might as well be bold – mixing falsehood in with truth is just weak, counter productive and too similar to mainstream media.

  • John

    Can you back up your drivel with facts..We are 11 pts behind little leicester with 6 games to go and theres no getting away from the FACTS that they have only lost 3 games this season.That is outstanding for a club with their resources.Credit where credit is due.Theres one thing menace, it blows one of your arguments out of the water about not being able to compete with oil money.You can still fall back on “all the referees are corrupt excuse” for our failings.

  • Jammy J

    @ John – Actually, only one person suggested that Leicesters league position was perhaps down to the use of illegal drugs. They never even said it was entirely down to that, but rather, it may be factor. Yet again, the only argument you put forward is entirely embellished and exaggerated. The fact that you cannot put forward a point/argument without doing this, is extremely telling.

    “They work hard for each other and have a striker that is playing at the top of his game.” Vardy hasn’t scored in the past 8 games he has played, in open play. You’re complete lack of understanding when it comes to football, is something you should consider before making literally every single comment of yours, consist solely of you making out that everything on this website is incorrect and everything you type is correct.

  • Jammy J

    I found it funny that during the game, the commentator mentioned that Sir F word actually said recently that this Leicester side reminded him a lot of his old teams. Whatever could he have possibly meant by that.. I really do wonder..

  • John

    Where as you jammy think that everything on this website is correct and the rest of the world of football is wrong.If you think Vardy has not played a significant part of Leicesters title challenge it is you that has a lack of understanding of our game.

  • Zedsaunt

    If Leicester are the future of football, God help football. Rugby by any other name. An elevated pub team.

    The EPL is a long hard slog over 38 games, each game played for ninety minutes, the man in the black with the whistle decding the game.

    How does the man in black get there? F*ck knows. Nobody else does.

    It’s a state of attrition where every foul not given not only physically hurts, but it also, foul by foul, each not given, game after game, drains the body of the drive that somehow justice will somehow prevail. As for the mind, the belief that the creative player will be protected because the rules will be applied by the man in black, this is the first belief to go. Eventually, game after game, the laws of the game not applied, the only authority deciding the game is the authority enforced by the will of the referee. Foul by foul, game after game, the will to win gives up.

    Leicester 8 penalties, Arsenal 1.

  • Jammy J

    What a surprise, you’re pulling arguments out of your arse again! Please point me in the direction where i said anything of the sort. You on the other hand, have commented on practically every single article to disagree with the points that they are putting forward.

    Once again, where did i say that Vardy hasn’t played a significant part of their challenge? It’s just another exaggeration from you, in a attempt to disprove the point that someone is making. You said that he is playing at the top of his game; a player that hasn’t scored in the past 8 games, is not a striker that is currently at the top of his game.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Think that Leicester game just added to the suspicions some of us have had over their treatment by referees.
    Just heard koemans post match comments, perhaps he now knows how Wenger felt the last time we met Soton….and they had their reported disagreement.
    Leicester, Some will say it’s a conspiracy, others a fairy tale, I would add…dull as dishwater. Jose has a lot to answer for, his sort of tactis clearly work in his league,but not great to watch ….at all. Don’t think Cruyff and his wonderful football has left much of a mark on last years champions , or it looks like this years.
    And no, I am not comparing Arsenals football at times this year to that of Cruyff teams, but at least Wenger, along with a couple other managers in this league at least strives for total football, despite the obstacles this league puts in his way
    Looks like Leicester will be crowned champions, wonder if we will actually be given a penalty or two now?

  • Menace

    Oh John – drivel indeed. Fact – two incidents of handball. One where hand was possibly close to the body & the other was ‘making the body big’. Both should have resulted in penalties. One with a red card. Pushes galore & not a single baby in sight apart from a goal following a push.

    Oil money may not be implicated but where do the Oriental funds come from? We have a whole load of steel coming in cheap & a quick tax hike on British steel when dumping tax mentioned. There are many little nuances that are involved with life.

  • Rodelero


    “You can still fall back on “all the referees are corrupt excuse” for our failings.”

    Well that’s a blatant strawman, as no-one has stated that all referees are corrupt.

    However, it is in no way unreasonable to state that Leicester have benefitted enormously from incorrect refereeing decisions, nor that Arsenal (plus a few other teams) have been damaged enormously by incorrect refereeing decisions. It’s not an excuse so much as a statement based by evidence – evidence which mounts every time either Leicester or Arsenal play a match.

    It was evident when Arsenal played Leicester most recently, in one of Leicester’s three losses this year. The referee gave them a penalty that never should have been, mainly because there was a clear foul in the build up, but also because Vardy manufactured the contact. We didn’t get a penalty when Kante used his arm to block a dangerous cross. Drinkwater didn’t get sent off (nor retrospectively banned) for a high and dangerous tackle that flew into Ramsey’s shin. You seem so far gone that I doubt you even care that Leicester’s thuggery is endangering our player’s health. We won that game in the last few seconds despite the refereeing performance. Had we not, Leicester would look even more amazing than they already do.

    It has been evident in many of the games that we have played since that match and it has been evident in many of the games they have placed since that match. I’m not going to go through them all now – but today was undeniably another example. They got the benefit of the doubt in two major debatable decisions, Simpson’s handball (which would have lead to a penalty and, presumably, a red card), and Morgan’s goal where he was pushing Klasie in teh back. More importantly though they got away with yet another handball, this time from Huth, who blocked a cross with an outstretched arm that he was clearly using to make himself bigger. Entirely illegal, but eerily similar to the Kante handball against us.

    Leicester aren’t playing badly, but they’re points total has been inflated enormously by refereeing, and there is nothing positive about that. I know a lot of football fans are absolutely delighted by the Leicester story, in large part beause the media are hyping them up beyond all reason, covering up their luck and exaggerating the quality of their performances (the Match of the Day coverage of their recent loss to us was an incredible example of this). I’m not delighted by it. In general I couldn’t be happier to see an underdog story come true, but this story reeks. The idea that Leicester are the performing team in the league is laughable enough, but the idea they are so much better performing than every other team that they have a seven points gap to second and an eleven points gap to third (having played an extra match which you decided to ignore to suit your talking point) is total nonsense.

  • Polo

    Leicester seems to be immune from penalties for handball, how many times their players block goal bounds shots with arms but no penalties? Simpson’s one is definitely intentional as he moved his arm to block, that should have been a penalty and red card. Then Huff, how many time the guy put his arm out which blocks the ball but no penalty? It’s so blatantly clear the refs giving Leicester favorable treatments.

    I’m not saying it’s the only reason why they lead the league but it sure would have made the gap closer if there were no favorable treatments.

  • Rodelero


    I’d argue that it accounts for all of their gap and quite a lot more actually. Though the gap feels quite big at seven points, you can lose seven points very quickly in football. The Hypothetical Premier League site details what the league would look like if not for major incorrect decisions. It has Leicester at 58, Tottenham at 57, and Arsenal at 56 (with one game less played than Leicester and Tottenham) as of last week. Given this weeks results, I’d expect that to move to either:

    Leicester 61, Arsenal 59, Tottenham 58, or Arsenal 59, Leicester 59, Tottenham 58. Leicester on 59 would be more correct, but, the HPL is incredibly conservative, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it gives Leicester the win despite them having three major gamechanging decisions their way. The HPL gives the officials the benefit of the doubt, and doesn’t take into account certain types of game changing decision (like red cards) even though it does usually talk about them. For difficult decisions, it tends to decide based on what pundits say, which is ridiculous considering how often the pundits show they are (1) biased and (2) uninformed on the rules.

    Even this incredibly conservative count implies that Leicester’s ‘gap’ should be effectively non-existent. Two points at best, with us having a game in hand.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Leicester didn’t even attempt to play football today..
    Reminds me of Chelsea at this stage last year……and they got help as well.
    I am just amazed so many are caught up in they hype to realise what’s going on here. Basically, a bunch of refs, at the behest of someone, have been doing their utmost to tilt things in the direction of this team. I struggle to recall Leicester being on the end of a bad decision.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Look forward to a thoroughly objective analysis of the Leicester game on MOTD this evening, the performance of the two teams ….and the officials.
    A detailed analysis of the points of contention.
    I would expect nothing else in the land of fair journalism…..and from the BBC.

  • Josif


    I just have to respond to your comparison of Liverpool and Leicester City because it’s simply not realistic.

    Whilst it may have stood in terms of penalties given for those two teams, Liverpool actually had a world-class vampire in their attack and a top-class striker to support him with enough quality behind them to win 84 points. Handling Suarez and Sturridge was difficult thing to do due to their quality so most of the defenders had to bring them down in the penalty box. Vardy, on the other hand, is a little cheat and Mahrez likes to dive as well. Morgan and Huth can do whatever they want in the box.

    Also, Leicester City haven’t had a single wrong big decision costing them points this season. Liverpool lost to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the first half of the season because Webb didn’t send Eto’o off in the first minute of the game for his dangerous tackle on Henderson. It should have been a straight red card and probably a victory for Liverpool. Liverpool did score a goal from that free-kick but Eto’o equalized and Chelsea eventually scored another goal to seal the victory. Against City away, Sterling scored a perfectly good goal that was chalked off for one of the worst offside calls I’ve ever seen. City won 2:1, Sterling’s goal was chalked off at 0:0.

  • Al

    I had never heard about this site prior to today (maybe someone who knows more about this site can provide more detail), but appears to be a betting site, and seems to be saying certain refs are being sent over and over to do Leicester games and all end in Leicester wins.

    It mentions Oliver as one such ref, and predicts a Leicester win today, and this was written before today’s match. The article also points out that the same refs are bad news for Leicester’s title-chasing rivals. So as much as people like John would like to accuse us of being jealous of Leicester’s charge, a betting company which should be neutral seems to have also picked up the pattern between certain refs and Leicester wins, showing there’s definite bias. Article can be found here

    It’s not just Untold regulars that can see there’s something wrong with Leicester’s run this year. Seems these guys are using this info to help predict matches in the league, earning their members a tidy profit in the process. A few people on this site have said on several occasions they wished they’d placed money on certain things happening in a match just by reading the ref preview here. Looks like someone is actually making money from this.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Josif, fair points. Was referring to the penalties they got, every time Suarez dived they seemed to get something. They, like Leicester also seemed to have the media and pundits onside…..ok, nothing new there with Liverpool, but it just seemed exacerbated.
    I remember a cup game when we played them, they got one pen, and were denied another alleged penalty by …I think, Webb, resulting in a massive media outcry, as we went through.
    My point, just seemed to me at the time, perhaps wrongly so, that everything was set up for Liverpool. An important and tragic anniversary, a wave of emotion, media goodwill, Stevie G finally winning a title.
    But as I say, take your points, not least of which that Liverpool were a far better team than Leicester.
    What is happening to Leicester seems all the more blatant. we have had nothing at all from the refs since we beat City in Dec and became favourites. Yes, I know some of our woes have been self inflicted….but…
    Don’t think they are even being subtle about it with Leicester, just amazed there is not more scrutiny, from foreign media if not our own. Still, everyone loves a fairy tale, especially one that can be used to beat Arsene Wenger with

  • Mandy Dodd

    Interesting Al, have not seen that. But those refs are also on the Football is fixed list of refs he claims are…helping…Leicester

  • Rodelero

    To be honest Al, anyone who isn’t completely close minded is starting to realise something is going on by now. Unfortunately, most football fans are entirely that close minded. They don’t pay enough attention to notice that something is wrong and when they see the suggestion that something is wrong, they will turn their nose up, and laugh it off as a tinhat conspiracy theory or something of that ilk.

    Yet the evidence mounts and the more attention you pay the more likely you are to realise something is up. The gamblers will have picked up on it long ago (and that’s just the ones who keep things legal; if one is to believe footballisfixed, the impetus for Leicester’s run may well derive from illegal betting). My honest impression of most football fans is that they effectively have no memory. Most football fans simply aren’t spending enough time thinking about it to realise that Leicester KEEP getting decisions, such as todays, going their way. They may well accept that Leicester got lucky today, but none of them remember that they were also lucky against in their recent matches against Newcastle and West Brom, as well as in the match against us, which they only just lost thanks to the referee’s considerable efforts to get them a result. In a couple of weeks time when Leicester once again get bailed out by some poor refereeing, they’ll have forgotten about today.

    The media certainly aren’t going to draw people’s attention to these discrepancies. It’s fascinating that, even though every sports journalist is writing articles about Leicester around the clock, not a single one has actually put together an article that looks at just how lucky they’ve been. It’s hard to believe they’re all so naive or all so blind that they’ve not noticed – it’s much more likely that they fear its career suicide to rain on Leicester’s parade. Certainly any journalist to write about Leicester’s luck would be evicerated by the hordes of football fans who have bought into the fairy tale, hook, line and sinker. The sad truth is that football is more about entertainment than it is about sport. Even if there was some grave conspiracy going on, a lot of football fans simply wouldn’t want to know. They’d prefer to watch, not think too much, and be entertained.

    I apologise in advance for (partially) quoting such an awful line from such an awful film, but in response to Leicester city lifting the trophy come May:

    So this is how the Premier League dies – with thunderous applause.

  • John

    Firstly i will respond to my friend Menace who does think that all the english referees are corrupt.You cannot make a comment without blaming the referees for every game that we lose.Maybe you arent seing things clear enough sat behind your tv in Goa.
    And now to mandy.The leiceter story is like David and goliath where they have taken on all the big names and made a mockery of the so called big 4.They are showing that the impossible can be possible and i applaud them for that.They have shown exactly what can be achieved with hard work and determination and desire and to try and discredit them for what they might do is wrong .We havent been able to get close to the title in over a decade and it seriously riles the AKBs on here.

  • Josif


    Koeman said today something about the referees’ decisions going Leicester way. Of course, he had to stay within the frame and avoid accusations of referees’ bias.

    Webb is the godfather of the awful refereeing in England. I recall of his performance against us. My impressions from the game were:

    -he made a wrong decision not to award a penalty to Liverpool for Chamberlain’s foul on Suarez,

    -he made a wrong decision not to send off Sterling for touching him during dissent in the first half,

    -he made a wrong decision not to send off Gerrard for the second bookable offence in the second half after he fouled Chamberlain,

    -he made a wrong decision not to award a penalty to Arsenal for Škrtel’s foul a la Flamini on Messi this season,

    -he made a wrong decision not to award a penalty to Liverpool for Fabianski’s punch of a Liverpool player (think it was Sturridge) in the injury time as Fabianski missed the ball and hit Sturridge.

    Webb is the guy who failed to sanction De Jong’s assault on Xabi Alonso in the World Cup Final which means he is OK with assaults on the pitch at every level – from the lowest to the highest. That’s how you get all those Mosses, Deans and Atkinsons of this world.

  • Jammy J

    @ John – What the fuck does someones location have anything to do with their perception of the game? You comment on every Arsenal game almost immediately after it’s finished, so you sure as hell aren’t at any of the games, watching them in person. Why is it that there is always a whiff of xenophobia to people that make comments such as yours?

    I want to see a simple yes or no answer here, as you always seem to avoid commenting on this directly; do you think that Leicester are more often than not, on the receiving end of some very favourable refereeing calls? And do you think that this has any bearing on their league position?

  • Pat

    Hard work and determination and desire. Are you implying, John, that our players don’t have that? Absolute crap. They also have a far higher level of skill.

    What Leicester have that our players don’t have is the favours of the referees.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Josif, Webb certainly has a lot to answer for. As you say, those who come after him follow in his image.
    As for Leicester, get the impression they are some sort of lab…..see what someone somewhere can get away with in the most lucrative league of all.
    FIF suggests the ubiquitous Peter Lim has a twenty percent stake in them….and an illegal stake whatever that may mean?
    John, you may want change at Arsenal, as is your right, but surely a David club clearly being given so much help ……compared with the club you support is not really Queensbury rules? Do you really think Arsenal, or for that matter, anyone else is getting the same rub of the green with the refs as Leicester?
    If , as it appears Arsenal cannot win the league, us die hard gooner said should at least be pleased Spurs cannot, but that said, there is something worrying about tLeicester this season. Plenty of clubs work hard, including Arsenal, Spurs, Leicester, and even Newcastle, but not since the Fergie days have I seen a team get the rub of the green that Leicester get.
    Maybe one day, IF we get as few injuries, IF we are allowed to rotationally foul without punishment, IF we can handle twice in the area in one game without punishment, IF our players can foul runners off the ball without punishment, IF our manager should coach our players in the despicable and dark arts of cheating, then maybe one day, the current day EPL title will be ours …….again.

  • Early morning, and a few things to address.
    Hello Pat.
    I’ve been aware of ‘Untold Arsenal’s’ existence for quite a while. I applaud their stance and their sterling work exposing referee’s and match officials to the wider public, but when do we reach the tipping point for someone to grow a pair and actually have a root and branch clean-up? Howard Webb was an embarrassment as one of the game’s ‘top’ officials. He should never have been allowed anywhere near a football pitch after his shambolic officiating of the Holland-Spain WC Final in 2010. I always thought he heavily favoured both Liverpool and United in the PL.
    “All the evidence shows that our manager is as keen, hard-working and knowledgeable as ever.”
    It really doesn’t though, Pat does it. To suggest you have such evidence makes me think you enlisted the help of Mulder and Scully. Who and what are you measuring him against? Compare him for example against SAF, and he looks extremely ordinary.
    Onto your other point about Welbeck, Campbell, Elneny and Iwobi, all I can say is some fans are easily pacified. Welbeck is an England international for whom Arsenal paid a substantial amount of money. This is the first we’ve seen of him in almost a year, and he wants to go to the Euro’s with England, so I’d be more surprised if he wasn’t putting a shift in. Campbell’s inclusion was forced upon Wenger because of injuries and a genuine lack of quality depth. He reminds me of when we bought Arteta – he doesn’t make us any worse, but he doesn’t take us up to the level required either. Elneny looks a good buy, although it took long enough after signing him to actually get him playing. He wasn’t unknown though, he played for Basle in CL – against United – but at £5m, he looks a bargain. Begs the question, why wasn’t he bought last summer? Iwobi’s first-team opportunities are exactly for the same reasons as Campbell’s – injuries. He has been an instant sensation and offers plenty of exciting promise. Only time will tell whether he fulfills his potential, and if he does, whether or not the club’s ambitions matches his own.
    But considering we’re exactly where we were ten years ago, methinks you are offering sycophantic praise instead of asking any serious questions about the club’s structure and direction.
    To blame all our failings on referee’s is a bit disingenuous, and fails to see the whole picture. I’d say going into every new season at least two players short of what’s required plays a big part in why we continually fall short, and the lessons are never learned. That is not intelligent preparation.
    Goonersince72 – Do I think the Glazers, FSG, or Lerner care about football? Do I care?
    Football cashed its soul in years ago, but here’s the thing.
    You can trace Villa’s decline back to the summer of O’Neill’s departure, and Randy Lerner is a bit like Kroenke but doesn’t have anywhere near the same wealth. And unlike Kroenke, who never sells, Lerner has been trying to flog Villa for at least two years now.
    The Glazers and FSG actually get what their clubs are about because of legacies left by giants of the game such as Busby,Best, Charlton and Ferguson at United, Shankly, Paisley and Dalglish at Liverpool. Liverpool had their own Kroenke-type owners in Gillet and Hicks, who were hounded out by real, passionate fans who care about the identity of their club.
    Do you see any direct transfers between United and Liverpool with the new American owners?
    Arsenal on the other hand readily sold United the title when allowing them to take RvP, whereas Liverpool flatly refused to allow us to speak to Suarez. Think that answers your question.
    And just so you know, I commented on the ‘Like’ ‘Dislike’ buttons because they’re purely ego driven, and I refuse to play such infantile games. It encapsulates the ‘me me me’ generation perfectly and is shallow by its context. If people dislike my comments, I want them to tell me why and offer an alternative perspective. Pressing a ‘Dislike’ button is lazy and a cop out from having to think too deeply for yourself.
    Finally, hello Mandy, thanks for your warm welcome.
    Whatever you’re doing on this wonderful Monday, fellow Gooners, have a good one.

  • John

    Jammy j
    Another of the pc brigade i see.There are many comments on here slagging off the ENGLISH game and ENGLISH referees .I dont see you having a go back at them.And as the answer to your question i only see the leicester games that are shown live on sky and the highlights on Motd but with what ive see they might get some favorable decisions like all teams and no it has no bearing on their position.They are top of the league because they have lost 3 games all season and for some on here desperately try to discredit little leicester, because it shows our own failings as a club is wrong.

  • Rich

    Herb’s army.

    13 Szczesny
    04 Mertesacker (Oxlade-Chamberlain – 77′ )
    06 Koscielny
    20 Djourou
    49 Miquel
    14 Walcott
    16 Ramsey
    17 Song
    23 Arshavin (Henry – 63′ )
    30 Benayoun (Rosicky – 63′ )
    10 Van Persie
    01 Almunia
    18 Squillaci
    07 Rosicky
    15 Oxlade-Chamberlain
    56 Yennaris
    09 Park Chu-Young
    12 Henry

    That was a team from four years ago. Do you really not think the squad is a lot stronger since then?

    An increase in strength that just so happens to have coincided with us being able to bring in some pricier players and put a stop to top players leaving. I caught the highlights of that game- Swansea away, 3-2 loss- a few months back and was startled to see the difference in squad quality between then and now.

    Not hard to predict response : (1) evidently, we still needed more ; (2) ok, the squad’s better, so how come we’re not doing better? (i.e ‘someone’ is failing to make use of a better squad.

    All I can say is (1) that I was disappointed we didn’t bring in another midfielder in the summer, but the arguments for and against are way more complex than most seem to think, and there is, obviously, lots that is unknown to us. Also, it yet again took utterly horrendous injury luck to leave us as exposed as we were at times in midfield.

    Those who say we are foolish not to prepare for and expect a terrible time with injuries every year, and therefore have a squad to cope perfectly with it, never seem to specify how far they would take that policy : should we prepare for 2,3,4,5, 6 top players being out at any time? The same task is to try imagine the ramifications if the injury woes don’t arrive. That’s the managers reality, so it seems obvious to me that if you wish to judge him in the harshest possible way at any opportunity you should first do everything possible to put yourself in his shoes.

    It’s not immediately obvious that you’re the type to do that. How ready are you for instance to see Ozil, Wilshere, Cazorla, Ramsey, Coquelin, the Ox or others depart the club? That includes thinking through the fact you’d have no right to be unhappy if any of the players you name (as ones you ditch) went on to excel elsewhere.

    I still want another midfielder even though I am very happy with Elneny , love Coquelin, think Ramsey, Wilshere, Sanchez and Ozil are fantastic players, and am not prepared to give up on the Ox, nor, quite, Theo, but at least I have admitted that if I get my wish (another top midfielder) only a worse injury run than before can prevent things coming to a head fairly quickly, resulting in at least one player i like wanting to leave.

    2) I’m disappointed with some things this year, but it feels clear to me we are better placed to win things than we were a few years ago. It feels to me like another 1 or 2 pieces could leave us with an amazing team/squad. Looking back on that lineup from 4 years ago that was not really the case then. We’ve built well from there, in a way commensurate with our better finances.

  • Jambug

    Herb’s Army

    “It really doesn’t though, Pat does it. To suggest you have such evidence makes me think you enlisted the help of Mulder and Scully. Who and what are you measuring him against? Compare him for example against SAF, and he looks extremely ordinary.”

    Well if Pat doesn’t I will, and I don’t need Mulder or scully, just some facts, courtesy of

    Fergie took over at United in ’86.

    Against a reasonably financially balanced top 7 or 8 sides (Liverpool Arsenal, spurs, united, Everton and so on) it took him 4 years to win his first trophy, an FA Cup, 2 more to win his 2nd, a League Cup, and another, a total of 7 years, to win his first title.

    It took Wenger one year to win his first, in fact first 2, with a League and Cup double in 97/98.

    One to Wenger there then.

    So lets look at the period from when Wenger joined Arsenal up to the move to the Emirates when austerity kicked in. His first full season was, as mentioned, 97/98. We moved to the Emirates in 2006.

    During that 9 season period:

    Fergie won 7 trophies: 4 PL 1 FAC 1 LC 1CL

    Wenger won 6 trophies: 3 PL 3 FAC

    So close, but Fergie just edges it due to the CL victory.

    Even so, you have to add context and take into account that by now the United financial juggernaut was just getting in to gear allowing Fergie a net spend of £123 Million (or £13 Million per season) over the period.

    Meanwhile, restricted by a 38,000 Highbury capacity Wenger had a net spend of just £45 Million (or £5 Million per season) over the same period.

    So with an available net spend almost 3 times that of Wenger this phase could be called a tie, but as I say, in the interested of neutrality I’ll just edge it to Fergie, just.

    Now we move to the post emirates phase, 2006 to 2013, when Fergie left United.

    Over that period Fergie won 8 trophies: 5 PL 2 LC 1 CL

    Over the same period Wenger famously won Nothing.

    But here’s the reality that puts that in to perspective.

    Over that period Wenger operated on an almost zero net spend whilst resources where tied up in the building of the Emirates Stadium.

    At the same time Fergie spent another £170 Million, net. Edging towards £25 Million per season.

    It’s also around now that Chelsea famously started firing £50 notes at us. A lot of £50 notes. In fact, almost a MILLION of them per season !!

    And to add insult to injury, half way through this period City started doing the same, only even more of them.

    So it was the perfect storm as far as we where concerned. Not only where we hamstrung with the cost of the new stadium we where financially disadvantaged buy the economic crash.

    We where incredibly vulnerable to be ‘asset’ striped and that’s what happened.

    The obstacles Wenger faced during this period where enormous and anyone who points at this period as a failure are either blind or so entrenched in the stance against Wenger that they simply refuse to see the cold hard facts of the situation.

    So to compare Wenger to Fergie over this period is harsh in the extreme, and is in reality, totally irrelevant, given the circumstances under which both where operating.

    So in conclusion, just saying “…Compare him (Wenger) for example against SAF, and he looks extremely ordinary.” without context is disingenuous in the extreme.

    Wenger is anything BUT ‘ordinary’, and to suggest as much infers utter ignorance of what he has achieved for our great Club.

  • Rich

    Top stuff Jambug

    I’d never be able to organise my thoughts as concisely as that so I’m glad someone can.

    I’ve gone over it all so many times that it’s quite common for me now to underplay what you mention when discussing things. Yet it should never ever be underplayed.

  • Mick

    Terrific post Jambug but don’t expect it to cut any ice with the likes of Herb or the incredibly stupid troll John.

  • Jammy J

    @ John – People on here “slagg off” the English game and referees, because there is clearly a problem with both; not just because they are English. You on there other, pointed out that Menace watches his games in Goa, as if this was some how a negative thing; simply because he is from Goa. There is a huge difference here, but unfortunately i believe that you are genuinely too stupid to see the difference.

    As for Leicester; i have watched (and not just on MOTD) them play 3 full matches (2 of them being their last 2 matches). In all 3 of these matches, huge decisions have gone there way. In their last match, Southampton should have been awarded 2 penalties (with a red card for the first one). In the match before that, their goal was about a yard offside. So in the past 2 matches alone, they have gained 5 more points than they should have. And i reiterate; they have gained 5 extra points, from their last 2 games alone.

  • Hi Rich.
    Four years on, I agree we look stronger, but I’ll ask you just one question.
    Bearing in mind that they operate on a much smaller budget than Arsenal, during the last four years, whose recruitment has been better, Arsenal’s or Tottenham’s?
    Jambug – Technically, it took Ferguson three and a half years to win his first trophy, which he followed up a year later by beating Barcelona in the CWC.
    He had to rid the club of a lot of dross brought in by Atkinson, plus address the ‘drinking culture’ which was quite prevalent during that time. His was a bigger under-taking than Wenger’s, because Wenger had a lot of ingredients already in place. Do you think Arsenal’s ‘double’ in 1997-98 would have been possible without George Graham’s famed back-line or Dennis Bergkamp? I will credit Wenger for the Vieira-Petit midfield pivot, and Marc Overmars, but where were they a year later? Being usurped by an inexpensive United side that we twice had the opportunity to stop.
    The trophy haul between 1998 and 2006:
    Ferguson 8, Wenger 7. Ferguson – 4 PL Titles, 2 FA Cups, 1 CL, 1 LC. Wenger – 3 PL Titles, 4 FA Cups. During this period Ferguson won three PL Titles in succession, the first being part of an unprecedented ‘treble’.
    So onto the post Emirates era.
    Why have you mentioned Chelsea? Abramovich arrived at Chelsea a whole two years before Arsenal moved stadium, so Arsenal were well aware of their financial threat, and chose to carry on regardless.
    Between 2006 and 2011, Wenger spent £180 million (I swear I said as much a few days ago!), so pleading poverty doesn’t cut it. Wenger changed his whole tactical approach and his recruitment policy to align suitably, resulting in some very poor buys. It became all about building around Fabregas, which can only be looked upon as a massive failure.
    Ferguson made plenty of errors in the transfer-market, but not as consistently as Wenger.
    When asked about the challenge presented by the new-monied clubs, Chelsea and Manchester City, Wenger’s response was that of course Arsenal could compete, they would just have to use their resources ‘more intelligently’.
    All Wenger’s early success was based around 4-4-1-1/4-4-2 depending on how Bergkamp was deployed – either in the hole, or as a second striker. Leicester have proved hoe effective a 4-4-2 can be against so-called modern tactics, so why did he abandon it when all it has achieved is to alienate himself from a large core of supporters who once worshipped him?
    In summary, I think Arsenal’s failings since moving stadium are as much about the tactical shift as finances. Arsenal are a wealthy institution, new stadium or not, but they’re not going to tell us their true net-worth. At least by saying they have no money they have an excuse for falling standards, and a fan-base fawning all over a god-like deity of a manager, they’ll believe anything.
    ‘Please give us another 8-2 humiliating, Arsene, we love you…’

  • Jambug

    Herb’s Army

    “In summary, I think Arsenal’s failings since moving stadium are as much about the tactical shift as finances.”

    Of course they are.

    The Half BILLION quid on the other hand ?

    And as for this:

    “Arsenal are a wealthy institution, new stadium or not, but they’re not going to tell us their true net-worth. At least by saying they have no money they have an excuse for falling standards, and a fan-base fawning all over a god-like deity of a manager, they’ll believe anything.
    ‘Please give us another 8-2 humiliating, Arsene, we love you…'”

    Desperate and not a little sad.

  • Al

    Brilliant post. But as Mick, and also Rodelero, points out, don’t expect it to make any sense to any of these guys. You could spend your entire life trying to explain it to them, and they still would not get it. But get a half-wit like Caragher to say it half of what you say here and they’ll lap it all up! 🙂

  • That last line, Jambug, is a reflection of how many Arsenal fans view Wenger the untouchable.
    A manager who can take as many batterings as he likes without accountability.
    For £8m a year and only two FA Cups in the last ten, he must be laughing his socks off. I know I would if I commanded a King’s ransom for continually falling short safe in the knowledge that I was unsackable.

  • Jerry

    @Herb’s army,

    You typed Arsenal spent £180m between 06-11, but it’s important to put that in context with other clubs. How did you come up with those figures? Based on, I was only able to come up to £175m by adding up the 05-06 season to the 2011/12 season?

    But let’s actually put that amount into context, Arsenal spent £53m in the 2011/12 season which was their largest outlay in any year.

    In that same time frame 05/06 season to 2011/12 season:

    United spent: £236m
    Chelsea spent: £394m
    City spent: £541m

    Not exactly even spending

  • Jerry

    It wasn’t forced on us, Arsenal chose the route of self-sustainability, naively believing that FFP would come to their rescue.
    Those other clubs you mention all have owners who are prepared to put their hands in their pockets in search of success, unlike our greedy billionaire owner, ‘silent Stan’ who instead would rather take ‘dividends’ out of the club.
    Ten years on, we should be reaping the benefits of moving into a state of the art stadium, after all, isn’t that what we were promised at the time? Didn’t Ivan Gazidis say a couple of years ago that Arsenal are, or would be very soon comparable with Bayern Munich? Perhaps he meant the two club’s wage-bills, because on the field we’re miles apart.
    The Arsenal philosophy today is a world away from the philosophy built by Norris and Chapman, it’s almost as though we’re discussing two entirely different club’s.

  • John

    You state that there is “Clearly a problem with the english game and english referees”Its funny that because there is only a handfull of posters on here that think there is a problem.The English premier league is the most attractive league in the world to watch and the most entertaining so i dont see where your clear problem with it comes from.As for referees i dont believe they are any worse than any other leagues .They are human and make mistakes and without technology will always do so.a lot of decisions are a matter of opinion also and what i think is just a coming together of bodies ,you might think is a foul.Hand ball is another one.Menace and others on here often post about refereeing decisions and clearly have no grasp of the game and clearly think there is a huge bias against Arsenal.Many fans from other clubs see the same for their teams as is only natural.
    Answer me this- there have been referees and players banned from many contries for corruption, and also teams have been fined and relegated for match fixing.How many are from the English premier league, where this clear major problem is???

  • Jambug

    “It wasn’t forced on us, Arsenal chose the route of self-sustainability, naively believing that FFP would come to their rescue.”

    That is a completely different subject all together.

    The fact is, rightly or wrongly we did choose the self sustainability route.

    But this debate is NOT about the rights and wrongs of the route we have taken is it?

    This debate is about how well Wenger has been doing isn’t it?

    And that’s where we differ.

    I think given the financial restrictions that our sustainable model has imposed on Wenger (see above figures for evidence of that) he has done remarkably well.

    You think he hasn’t.

    That’s up to you, but don’t change the argument half way through.

  • Rich

    Herb’ Army

    Hmm. I’m not mad on analysing Spurs’ recent improvement but if I have to I’ll say ,yes, they must’ve done well on the transfer front in recent years.

    Feeling too lazy to go into it in depth but I expect in terms of spending alone (we’ll stick with your precedent) their spend must have been similar to ours in the last four years.

    They’ve surely had a few more expensive flops than us- Soldado, Capoue, Paulinho- but they’ve also had a few good or very good signings- Alderweireld, Eriksen, Alli, Dier, Dembele, Vertongen- and a few who have done quite well or at least since Pochettino took over- Lamela, Ben Davies, Wimmer.

    Overall, it’s a story of having done well, and better pound for pound than most top clubs in that time period, and having seen one of their own from within come good spectacularly and another 3-4 of their own make a good contribution to the team/squad.

    I don’t think that squad is better than ours, and i don’t think their hit/miss ratio for signings is better than ours nor that their recruitment has been better overall.

    Meanwhile, their wage bill is probably a good deal less than ours, though it is hard to get accurate figures and many false ones are spewed, but, undoubtedly, their improvement as a team will lead to demands for better deals from all their key players.

    It is simple good fortune for them that the process- stadium move, valuable players who will demand wage increases- is occurring at a convenient time, with the tv deal surely helping immensely on that front.

    Still, it is unknown whether that tv deal will insulate them totally and allow them to keep hold of their key men despite the attentions of wealthier clubs. Just like it is unknown whether or not they will do as well next year or the year after.

    At the very least we should surely wait and see if they can finish above us for the first time in 20 years before hailing them as an example of how we are supposedly falling short.

  • Jambug


    Do you read the referee reviews?

    Do you think the reviewers are all biased?

    Did you know that when non Arsenal affiliated ex and current (at the time) referees did the reviews the bias against us was even worse?

    3 simple questions that require 3 simple answers.

  • Mick

    I have asked the same questions of John before but he never answers.
    I have also pointed out to him the two news papers that have recently produced alternative league tables taking into account wrong ref decisions both of which show Arsenal at the top of the table. Not to mention the Debatable Decisions web site which also showed Arsenal to have been regularly screwed by refs.
    That is three independent sources with no affiliation to our club which all substantiate and support the findings of Walters ref reviews.
    Needless to say John remained silent and chose not to comment.
    Will he reply this time?
    Don’t hold your breath.

  • Zedsaunt

    John posts

    ”Menace and others on here often post about refereeing decisions and clearly have no grasp of the game and clearly think there is a huge bias against Arsenal.Many fans from other clubs see the same for their teams as is only natural.”

    Fifteen years ago you could, and did, discuss FIFA with football fans in different towns and cities, in different countries, and nobody would ever mention corruption, let alone foresee FBI raids with TV footage of computers and boxes of documents being carried out of FIFA’s headquarters by FBI agents.

    Thirty years ago refereeing decisions evened themselves out over a season. The game was not challenged. There was the occasional match fixing. There were the ‘divers’ – players known to gain penalties by going over in the penalty area. Referees were seen as honest. You did not challenge how a game played out. It was won and lost on the pitch.

    Today it’s all changed. Talk to fans of other teams and three points emerge –

    nothing gets evened out. Wrong decisions cannot ever be rectified, whole seasons can be decided on wrong decisions which cannot ever be changed,

    players play to the referee. Teams know how the referee will blow the whistle and play to that, the manager tells his team how to serenade the man in black,

    all sports are corrupt.

    After this weekend – the doping allegations, the content of the Panama Papers, actually watching Leicester beat Southampton – there is nobody to be trusted in the FA’s administration of football.

    Leicester City are a fairytale, but the dark side of a fairytale always tells you more. We live in a culture where a fairytale is all light, it has nothing dark to it. Leicester City is a wonderful tale. It is not a tale of betting syndicates, off-shore tax havens, online betting and changing odds.

    I’m just waiting for someone to explain this season’s tally so far – Leicester City 8 penalties, Arsenal 1. How did that happen?

  • John

    I read some of them when i have time but not all of them.
    Some of them clearly are biassed due to the team they follow and because they review the game doesn’t mean they are right.You could have 2 professional referees give 2 completely different decisions on handball as we see every week on sky after games.Your reviewer might think a foul should of been awarded for a challenge where as a referee might think the said player dived.
    And to your last question no i didnt know that.Were these referee’s arsenal supporters???If so i go back to the point of being biassed by supporting a particular team.

  • Mick

    Can you answer my questions please.

  • Mick

    Oh, and John, your so called answer to Jambug is really quite pathetic.

  • Jambug

    I’m not changing the argument at all, but when someone puts up figures of what other clubs spent compared to Arsenal for the same period, it’s akin to asking people to sympathise with something the club imposed upon themselves.
    But £180 million over a six year period is more than enough to challenge for the PL Title and CL.
    And if spent intelligently, you don’t expose an 18 year-old kid against one of the best players in the world, in a CL semi-final. Nor would you play two left-footed Centre-halves in a CL QF against Messi. You shouldn’t have to bring players back from semi-retirement – Sol Campbell – or back from full retirement – Jens Lehmann. You don’t lumber yourself with players your so-called rivals are dumping – Mikael Silvestre. You’d have a better first-choice goalkeeper than Manuel Almunia, and you certainly wouldn’t waste good money on the likes of Squilacci, Arshavin, Park Chu Young or the wages of Marouane Chamakh.
    He’s the only manager who didn’t play van Bronkhorst at left-back (he lined up for Barcelona against us in 2006 CL Final at left-back, and even captained Holland in 2010 WC from left-back).
    Who else would use Nicklas Bendtner as a winger?
    It isn’t just about money, it’s about making big tactical decisions too, and in that area, Wenger’s decisions and in-game management at pivotal moments has not been good enough. Like for example as recently as 2012/13. Arsenal’s wage-bill was £50 million higher than Tottenham’s, and we finished one point above them.
    Our rivals would be terrified if Arsenal actually made a proper educated football decision and sacked Wenger, but they sleep easy knowing we haven’t got balls like Liverpool, who sacked Rodgers and got a real manager in.
    We have the only manager to lose all three major European Finals, and that sums up Arsenal’s ambitions perfectly. A club with no long-term vision held to ransom by a manager winging it and dining out on the good-will of our distant memories.

  • Jammy J

    Actually, i think you will find the vast majority of posters on here, think there is a problem with the English game. It’s far from the most attractive league in the world (hence why people like Cruyff, flat-out refused to manage in England, due to the poor style of play here). There’s a reason why England and English teams do so awful internationally.

    “Answer me this- there have been referees and players banned from many contries for corruption, and also teams have been fined and relegated for match fixing.How many are from the English premier league, where this clear major problem is???”

    The absence of evidence, is not the evidence of absence (although in this case, there is plenty of circumstantial evidence). It all depends on the type of match fixing. You should look into the type of match-fixing that took place in Italy. This is the same type of match fixing, which is theorized to be taking place in England. This type of match-fixing is extremely hard to expose (in such a way that it would hold up in court). The only way it was exposed in Italy, was down to hacking the phones of certain individuals.

    The PL is the most profitable league in the world, with obscene amounts of money going through it; for what possible reason do you think that something generating such vast sums of money is exempt from corruption, when it is so rife in these other leagues? Seriously, i’m genuinely curious as to why you think that the PL is so squeaky clean, compared to the other leagues? Is it because those other leagues are run by those sneaky, bloody foreigners with absolutely no interrogatory; unlike us, upstanding, trustworthy English gentlemen?

  • Jammy J

    Sorry, that comment above was directed at John.

  • Jerry


    Like Jambug and others have said, you are shifting the argument from saying after spending 180m, Wenger spent so much to blaming the club for following the rules set out by FFP.

    That argument does not hold weight considering FFP was only agreed upon in 2009 and set to go into effect only in 2011-12 season. Also United would not have been in breach of FFP due to their way above market commercial deals (1 of which led to the termination of a Chevy executive).

    It’s more of being realistic in life. In your home or business, you don’t spend more than your means or else you end up in debt, homeless, and bankrupt.

    While also in life, you have the 1% people that get everything bought for them by their parents and become spoiled (i.e. United, Chelsea, City), expecting their life to be easy. Others in this group may just spend away and lose everything.

    Then, you have the majority in middle class, working hard and spending the excess they can, in a somewhat comfortable manner, and staying above water. Just like most households and business, trying to maintain a profit while also trying to create a superior product. And that’s where Arsenal and a lot of other clubs fit into. You should hope as a supporter that your club will be in this group, rather than spending above their means and ultimately ending in administration.

    None of the other teams moved into and financed a new stadium during this time.

  • John

    Firstly mick can you tell me what parts of my last post are pathetic and why.
    and to respond to your post on newspapers.I dont read newspapers because i do not believe a word that is printed in them .Do you??Or are you selective in what you think is true that they write.They probably have had articles about Arsene wenger and how his time is up at Arsenal and that his tactics are outdated but you wouldnt believe any of that would you.

  • Jerry

    And just saying Arsenal spent 180m so they should be challenging for the PL and CL without comparing them to what other teams did is pointless as I just showed how the 3 teams that did win it during the time frame you chose spent significantly than Arsenal.

    Also if you compare the net spend, you’ll see a much larger difference as well.

    I liked your example of having balls like Liverpool, who has not won the league since 1990 and sacking Brendan Rogers who had their best finish in 5-6 years and who finished behind Arsenal in 5 of the last 6 years.

  • John

    Another good post.

  • John

    Jammy j
    As walter and tony always harp on ,can you provide facts and evidence to back up your storys???Because you hope there is corruption in our game and that it involves everyone apart from Arsenal,doesnt mean it is true!!

  • Jerry

    And really attacking Wenger for using van Bronckhorst in midfield from 2001-2004, like he was used since his youth career at Feyenoord and Rangers prior to joining Arsenal where he injured his knee. That’s some nice revisionist history there. He only learned to play left back at Barcelona in the 03-04 season.

    And also, if you look back those years were pretty good for Arsenal, winning the double in 2001-02, the Invincibles in 03-04, FA Cup in 02-03 also, FA Charity Shield in 02 and 04 as well. If those were years of tactical errors, I will gladly take some more tactical error years like that. If you and John are younger fans, your ignorance to this history would be somewhat understandable.

  • Jerry

    Despite Liverpool not winning the PL since 1990, they have 18 Titles compared to our 13.
    Guess what else they’ve done during Wenger’s time with us? Yes, that’s right, they won a fifth European Cup in 2005, something Wenger and Arsenal are totally incapable of.
    Liverpool aren’t an oiled-up super-power, but they’re over the hill and far away from us in terms of success.
    What’s the difference there then?

    Thanks John.

  • Al

    Jambug, Jammy J, Zedsaunt, Mick, and others, thanks for trying but you’re wasting your time with people who pick and choose evidence that suits their agenda, while discarding the rest.

    I posted a link to a betting site here yesterday, that reported that there is a set of refs who Leicester has 100% wins under these officials. Conversely, when the same officials do games for the other sides in the top four (and they mention Arsenal in particular) the opposite is true. That site has nothing to do with Untold Arsenal, and Walter hasn’t written any articles for them as far as I’m aware; its a proper gambling site which should not really have any business discussing refs. Yet more evidence that shows the irregularities with officiating in this league. I wonder what John has to say about this.

  • Al

    So herb, you wanted Wenger to influence Liverpool’s 18 titles that were won before he got here????? What is the point of such an argument?? Liverpool are over the hill and far away in success from us?? Are you taking into account the titles they won in the 80s as that success? Some arguments really are pathetic, shaking my head.

  • Jerry

    So based on your logic during Wenger’s time with Arsenal:

    Liverpool’s 1 European Cup, 2 FA Cups, 3 League Cups, 2 FA charity shields

    is better than

    Arsenal’s 3 league titles, 6 FA Cups (tied for most), 6 FA Community/Charity Shields.

    So 1 European Cup and 3 League Cups is the greater than 3 League Titles, 4 FA Cups, and 4 Charity Shields since that’s the only difference?

    Great logic, but at least thanks for showing the true red color you support.

  • No ai but if Wenger is the manager people like you make him out to be, he would have significantly closed the gap. Wasn’t that part of the reason he was brought in to the job? Shouldn’t his own professional pride want that?
    But it speaks volumes about Liverpool’s ambitious mentality that they can attract one of the world’s top managers, something Arsenal haven’t done for decades, even allowing Ferguson to slip from their grasp in 1986.
    No club snatches defeat from the jaws of victory quite as consistently as Arsenal.

  • Al

    Exactly Jerry. I couldn’t understand the basis of that post from herb. It’s bizarre, to say the least.

  • Al

    In hindsight, maybe I should have stayed out of this conversation… 🙂

  • No Jerry, Liverpool raced ahead of Arsenal when they appointed Tottenham’s Terry Neill in 1976, instead of an exciting manager like Ipswich’s Bobby Robson and we’ve been playing catch-up ever since.
    No-one counts Charity/Community Shields.
    You could just compare the two club’s European records since Wenger arrived.
    We’ve qualified for the CL every year with nothing to show.
    Liverpool won their third UEFA Cup in 2001 (a year after we lost in the final), and CL in 2005.
    They must have seriously out-spent Arsenal during that period.

  • To shine a light on just how much Arsenal have under-achieved since Liverpool and United’s dominant periods, and how little has been done to redress the balance.
    We were ahead of both of them in the summer of 1976. That’s what 40 years of complacent neglect gets you.

  • Mick

    You are incapable of giving a straight answer to a straight question, you skirt round the issue and come out with a load of incoherent waffle.

  • Jammy J

    John – So basically you have no response to what i said? I waste enough of my time on you, without going through and providing a source for each and every single thing i say. If you expect me to do so, then i assume you will be holding yourself to the same high-standards.

    Okay, i will put it in simpler terms, so you may have a easier time understanding it; why are you so sure that the PL isn’t corrupt, when so many other top tier leagues across the globe, have been proven to have corrupt refereeing? Is it simply because those pesky foreigners have no integrity, unlike us full-blooded Englishmen?

  • Jambug

    Herb’s Army

    “Between 2006 and 2011, Wenger spent £180 million (I swear I said as much a few days ago!), so pleading poverty doesn’t cut it.”

    The fact you keep mentioning this £180 Million (twice today and you infer once before) suggests to me that deep down you do understand the significance of money. But sadly, at the same time you seem to have absolutely no comprehension of context, or indeed the relevance of Net spend verses Gross.

    These are the figures from

    (They differ from yours, and I obviously hope and believe they are correct. You don’t say where you get your figures)

    Over the six year period from season 06/07 to season 11/12 they give the following:


    Outgoings: £138 Million
    Incomings: £187 Million

    Net PROFIT: £48 Million. That’s PROFIT.


    Net spend: £51 Million. That’s a £100 Million difference.


    Net spend: £153 Million.


    Net spend: £411 Million.

    So when you put spending into context, rather than just grasping a figure out of the air, your “pleading poverty” jibe sounds a bit wide of the mark to say the least.

    As I said earlier, whether you agree with our business path or not, given it’s financial implications, Wenger has worked miracles.

  • Mick

    A very simple question for you that only requires yes or no for an answer.
    Based on your observations from watching Arsenal games do you think that they get more wrong ref decisions than most other teams?

  • Jammy J

    Exactly Mick. That’s why trying to have a debate with these types of people, is absolutely insufferable. They hold such strong opinions/view=points, yet when you say something that challenges them, they can never give a valid rebuttal.

    It makes you wonder how they can possibly hold such strong beliefs, when they can’t even back-up and defend their reasons for having them. I think it must just be an ego thing and they hate to be proven wrong. How can you ever expect to learn anything with such an attitude? Think that’s why a lot of them come across as being a bit thick.

  • Mick

    Jammy J
    If we can make it simple for John and nail him down to simple ‘yes/no’ answers we may get somewhere rather than trying to decipher his interminable waffle.

  • Polo

    Spurs transfers are better than Arsenals, really? I must have missed out a derby match this season where Spurs beat us? Can somebody tell me the date? I’m sure there was two draws and a win for Arsenal this season.

    Wenger formation is wrong, really? Last I heard more teams whether club or country are using the 4-2-3-1 formation. How many teams uses 4-4-2 these days? Also, I’m sure we beat Leicester twice using the 4-2-3-1 formation this season.

    Surely, being a financially responsible club is a good thing? But then I guess it’s not John’s or Herb’s money that is invested in Arsenal so why would they care if the club get into financial trouble as long it win things.

  • Polo

    The 18 league titles that Liverpool won, how many were in the Wenger era? Granted they won 1 European Cup in 2005 which Wenger hasn’t achieve yet.

    Also, AW was one of the first to use statistics modeling in English football for his transfers and match preparations, these days a lot clubs are doing the same.

    You might not like AW or what he bring to Arsenal but please stop belittle his intelligence and achievements. I’m sure the man knows more about football than you WOBs.

  • Jerry


    Hindsight is 20/20. It’s impossible to compare different eras and what Liverpool did in the late 70’s to 1990 winning 10/15 season is a dominance we will probably never see again. Just look at the table from the last year Liverpool won (1990), since then 9 teams are no longer in the first division and Aston Villa is about to join them out of league (possibly Norwich also).

    If no one counts the Charity/Community Shields, someone should notify all the clubs that have won it since every club has it on their websites and history pages!

    And maybe you can do the research for the Net transfer history:
    05: Arsenal £1.6m, Liverpool £25.3m
    01: Arsenal £3.3m, Liverpool £6.2

    Next lies that you would like to get dismissed by doing simple google searches?
    So now the only trophy that counts is a European Cup since that fits your argument since Arsenal and Wenger have won every other trophy (League, FA Cups, Community/Charity) except for the League Cup more times than Liverpool. They call that confirmation bias.

    And if that’s case, we even mention Liverpool’s 18 league titles “you could just compare the two club’s European record”?

  • John

    Mick and Jammy
    Honestly i do believe deep down that we dont get as many decisions from the referees as we should do and we are harshly treated by some of them.I do not however believe that is the reason why we are solely sitting 11 pts behind leicester.
    Now for your honesty.Can you honestly say that we cannot do better than what we have done in the last few seasons and do you honestly think Arsene Wenger is the manager to take us to the next level to compete for the major honors??

  • Jammy J

    Hey, you didn’t answer my question; why are you so sure that the PL isn’t corrupt, when so many other top tier leagues across the globe, have been proven to have corrupt refereeing? Is it simply because those pesky foreigners have no integrity, unlike us full-blooded Englishmen?

    I Believe the past 2 seasons, we have done as good, as we possibly could. Once the funds became available, we have been building this team with quality and progress has been made each year (progress which is not just measured by trophies). This year however, has been a disappointment, for me at least (if we don’t win the PL). I fully believe Wenger is the man to take us to the next level.

    Unfortunately, there is just no-way of knowing for certain, how the league table would look if all refereeing decisions were 100% correct. Without a doubt, there have been games in which we have played poorly and deserved to loose, regardless of the ref, but the same could be said for literally every single team in the world. The problem lies though; with how often big, big calls go against Arsenal and go in favour of others teams like Leicester. These refereeing failings happen far too often and are regularly the deciders in whether a team wins or looses a match. It doesn’t just end at Arsenal being 11 points behind, because you also have to factor in how many additional points Leicester have been granted due to big calls in their favour. I whole-heartedly believe that, if all refereeing decisions had been correct, Arsenal would be top of the table.

  • John

    Until there is proof that there is corruption i will believe that there isnt.You can say that about absolutely anything.
    I really am now looking forward to next season to see this next level but realistically we will see more of the same of this year and last and the year before that.Three of the other top teams that have also failed this year have done whats needed and brought in better coaches to get to the very top.Im sure most of their fans are happy to see that we are sticking with the same old.
    I hope im wrong but ive seen it all too often to think any different now .