Arsenal and The Quest for the Holy Grail
In my opinion, Arsenal have not been awarded a penalty in 2016 (last time Dec 13, 2015) due to a comedy of errors by the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) men in the middle.
Instead of just listing the multiple missed penalty opportunities and getting the expected standard defense responses (don’t complain about missed calls, it all evens out, don’t be so serious, etc.), what better way to highlight this comedic absurdity than in the manner of one of the greatest comedies of all time, Monty Python and the Holy Grail!
*Spoiler Alert: Some references will be made to Monty Python and the Holy Grail so if you have not yet seen the film but plan on doing so, I advise against reading further.
[I don’t think a spoiler alert is needed here – EVERYONE has seen Monty Python and the Holy Grail – Tony]
Arsenal F.C. have gone on a journey in search of the Holy Grail, no not some silly golden chalice, but the ultimate football golden opportunity commonly known as a penalty kick!
The Holy Grail is protected by the PGMOL army and their king, err, general manager, Mike Riley, who decide which football clubs are allowed to be graced by its presence. PGMOL and Mike Riley star in dual conflicting roles as protector of the Holy Grail, as well as King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.
Protests are expected for their dual role requests, but they will claim a mysterious lady of the lake gave them Excalibur signifying their divine providence to make up the rules (sorry meant enforce the rules).
If told they are being irrational and that Excalibur is actually a plain metal sports whistle, they will just keep saying to shut up, so since there is no point in having a rational conversation with the irrational it was decided best to move on with the story.
The Holy Grail appeared twice for Arsenal in the league this season, with the last sighting occurring on the glorious day of December 13, 2015 at the land occupied by Aston Villa F.C. Since that fortuitous day, Arsenal have searched throughout the land yearning for another chance.
But make no mistake, the Holy Grail has not been hidden in some cave for almost 4 months, in fact it has made 36 appearances throughout the land.
(*Since then, 5 times for Leicester City, 4x for Tottenham and Everton each, 3X each for Manchester City, Chelsea, and Stoke, that’s right 22/36 or 61% of all the pks since split between 6 teams – up to but not including last weekend).
While pointing out these facts, the general manager interrupts stating as King Arthur, he is now going to knight the members of his Round Table. While trying to explain again that Excalibur is a whistle, not a sword, and that there is no round table, he proclaims he is going to select and honor his most inefficient, err, trustworthy loyal lieutenants, placing on their chests a badge in the shape of a shield.
…Now, Arsenal’s quest for the Holy Grail led them to lands far and wide:
- On 28th Dec 2015, at the battle against the Mouth of Bourne at the Emirates, Arsenal were denied by dark winds from the East, when Simon Francis the Grabby was able to grab a hold of Giroud the Gorgeous.
- Undaunted by the dark winds, Arsenal also traveled to a field occupied by Pools of Liver (or maybe it was Liverpool!?) on 13th Jan 2016, but were once again denied by Sir Not Keeping up With The Jones(es), when Campbell the Elusive was held by Moreno the Miserable.
- On 17th Jan 2016 at the Brittania in a battle against the Orcs of Stoke, the Holy Grail was again able to escape twice, when Sir Pawson of Selective Vision and Hearing did not see the Wolls of Cheating Cheid grab and throw down Giroud the Gorgeous or later trip the ankle of Theo who is Faster than Neo.
- At the Emirates Stadium on 2nd Feb 2016, against the Saints from the Deep South, Arsenal’s requests for the Holy Grail were denied not once but 4 times by a meddling Mason, when (1) Campbell the Elusive was held against his will by a Tudic Thud, (2 &3) when Giroud the Gorgeous twice could not escape the clutches of Fonte (min 67, min 69), or (4) when a Bertrand ran into Kos the Boss.
- On the day of love (14 Feb 2016), at the Emirates against the almighty Leicester City who are Powered by Kings (or was it kingmakers?), the Holy Grail played the cruelest of tricks when Sir Atkinson the Bent presented it to a Vardy Trickster, but denied Arsenal’s three rightful requests due to a Handy Kante (min 8) and when Giroud the Gorgeous was held once by a Huth (min 37) and then a Morgan (min 54).
- At the Castle of Old Trafford on 28 Feb 2016, the Holy Grail escaped once again Sir Pawson of Selective Vision and Hearing was blinded when a corner by Özil the Magician was thwarted by the Holy Hand Grenade of Rashford.
At this point, it looks like Arsenal players could be fouled in the box like the Monty Python’s Black Knight (arms & legs cut off), and probably still not get a penalty!
When the protector of the Holy Grail was asked to explain these denials of Arsenal’s rightful claim, not once, not twice, not thrice, but 12 times, he proudly proclaimed that “the accuracy rate last year was 94.2 percent.”
When asked how he knows such things and for the evidence? He responded in his King Arthur voice: “Well, you have to know these things when you’re a king, you know.”
When told that is not an acceptable response, a singing interruption come from the PGMOL officials as King Arthur and the Knights of the Tilting Table:
“We’re Knights of the Round Table, we dance whene’er we’re able. We do routines and chorus scenes with footwork impec-cable,”
(***Rolling my eyes, yes we know, we have all seen Dancing Dean)
[Singing louder] “We dine well here in Camelot, we eat ham and jam and Spam a lot.”
(***Trying to tell them they work at a Wembley, not Camelot)
[Now singing even louder] “We’re Knights of the Round Table; our decisions are horr-ible, many times we’ve given calls that are quite un-think-able, but our media will enable, we’re clearly mad in Camelot, and we’ll miss clear calls a lot.”
[Now screaming] “In matches, our calls are tough and unequal, quite un-rea-son-able. Between our quests we sequin vests and impersonate Clark Gable / It’s a busy life in Camelot.”
That’s it; I give up where are the police to give “King Arthur and his knights” their proper ending!
Final thoughts: They star as King Arthur, but cannot take any questions because maybe deep down inside they fears having the fate of the bridge keeperbridge keeper?
See, the story could be a comedy if it wasn’t such a travesty.
For those that continually deny the influence of the officials and missed penalties, here is a response from the Monty Python and the Holy Grail’s French Soldier:.
Good day sir! I said good day!
The quest proceeds
- West Ham v Arsenal Sat 9 April – The Match Officials. Has the ref learned his script?
- Why is the organisation that runs refereeing in the Premier League so utterly secretive when other top refereeing organisations are not?
- There’s a bit in the latest Uefa fiasco that the media is missing, and it is a key issue.
- The Brickfields Gunners Blog – Fantasy Football Series Part 2.
11 Replies to “Arsenal and The Quest for the Holy Grail”
28 wrong penalty decisions this season (and counting). For it to ‘even out’ we would need to be given 4 or 5 penalties each game. I’m not expecting such largesse from Riley’s crew.
Tony, I have not seen this Monty Python script. I have heard of it.
I have not watched much Monty Python, and much of this article seems a bit odd to me. I do appreciate the effort.
InsideWorldFootball.com has 2 articles out today (I believe) on how well Infantino is replacing septic bladder (I’m clean, I’m clean). The feed trough is just as full as ever.
Thanks Gerry 🙂
As a big MP fan I’m gonna be singing that to keep up my morale during matches
Bring out your dead!
As a Python fan…..even went to see them recently at the O2, thoroughly enjoyed that one!
To get a taste of the brilliantly mad film that is ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’ just Google: ‘Monty Python And The Holy Grail- The Black Knight’ on utube.
Mad, utterly mad. Makes Jerrys brilliant pastiche look quite sane..
Well done Jerry
Made me smile quite a bit
Seriously – you gotta laugh at PIGMOB or you’d cry
I also forgot to include:
“Some will argue that some of the calls are 50/50, but assuming all of the calls are 50/50, Arsenal would have been expected to get at least half of the calls. Adding another 6 goals (1/2 of the 12 missed since Dec 13), and Arsenal would have us at their expected goals amount of 58!”
You have to find time to watch it, you have no idea the comedy you’re missing!
Our lack of penalties this season, juxtaposed with Leicester’s uncharacteristically huge number is a dead giveaway that pgmob pulled the strings. Again.
I hope Riley and his crew have bitten more than they can chew this time; I know to the majority of fans a Leicester win might look plausible but I’ll not expect any of the managers to actually believe it. Riley and his masters might be trying to make it look like the PL is the most exciting & competitive league in the world but they might have caused themselves a bit of a problem in the process. People from other leagues will be watching, and unlike people in the UK, they’re not caught up in this whole underdog euphoria thing, and they’ll see this for what it is – a sham coronation. I very much doubt, even with their win, Leicester will be able to attract powerhouse names to bolster their maiden CL campaign, and that’s when problems will kick in. They better pray they find themselves in a group with other minnows from Eastern Europe or the like. Otherwise I can’t see how the English media will find it easy to sell back to back 6-0 maulings at the hands of sides like Madrid, Barca, Bayern, etc., as a good day at the office to us and the rest of the world. It’s going to be interesting. I expect whoever is in second, third and fourth to go further than Leicester in the CL.
If Leicester has indeed being “promoted” to PL winners, then i suspect they (pgmob and them lot) will have something planned to keep them in CL, at least for a respectable time, but eh, why not go the whole hog and let them win it? Hmmm..
We will see how Europe equivalent of pgmob responds to Leicester’s presence in CL next season.
I’m looking for a different outcome, that Leicester gets some injuries (it’s about time) and then start to finally lose some games, but they seem to be unstoppable, at least by all the other teams.
I feel like a nerd getting serious on it, but my sense of humour fails me on this one (though I enjoyed the article)
Once again can only say I don’t know what the cause is but the effects are blatantly obvious: they really don’t want to give us pens and they’re quite happy to do so for other teams.
Does make me wonder about Warnock’s theory that big teams get the big calls because refs know the ramifications are bigger if they deny them something, whereas with smaller teams not so much.
He was talking about it being a natural thing, related to stress and pressure and the human instincts which push people towards the easier path or the one that is best for them.
I think he’s onto something, but the real story involves media reactions in a slightly different way, and that there is a big dark dirty thing, Pgmol, whose inner workings and reactions to events are key to the decisions refs make.
End result is that every one of our games is like Barca or Real at home against minnows, and we are the minnows. Only a bit worse than that.
If we do these refs the big favour of viewing them as merely ordinary not particularly strong people, you just have to ask what are the consequences for them, at this point, of giving a decision which damages the nation’s dream of Leicester winning it vs the consequences of giving a wrong decision in their favour. They’ll be vilified for the former while the latter will be brushed off and ignored.
Conversely, no harm will come their way for any sort of mistake against us, but any perceived mistake or leniency in our favour (Coq, Flamini) will be discussed for weeks. Oh, and you might be dropped for a month or two. Unless you are very strong and honest and willing to harm your career to do the right thing, it’s a no brainer.
And if you are strong, honest and generally an excellent ref, well…maybe we’ll never even get to see you at the top level.
I worried a few months back that this near universal goodwill towards the Leicester story would be reflected in the refereeing of their games, and it has gone that way. Now, with the end so close, it can only get more extreme. They probably shouldn’t test their luck by having a defender catch a ball in the box and roll it to a teammate, but pretty close.
There will be a lot of in box grappling, another handball or two most likely, and a lot of tactical fouls unpunished, plus another pen or two if needs must.
Nice one , Jerry , had a great laugh – thanks .