36 points behind the leaders. More wishes to be wary of.

By Tony Attwood

On 29 April 1995 Arsenal and Tottenham drew 1-1 at Highbury.  An Ian Wright penalty gave him 18 for the season and left him top league scorer for the club.  I’m sure he was pleased.

But in the league Arsenal were 10th, 36 points behind a team that had not won the league for 80 years.  We had played 40 games, and as if that gap was not bad enough Blackburn, the league leaders, had two in hand.

Now this is not an article that should have been published on the Arsenal History Society website and somehow got here by mistake, because there is a real relevance in recalling that moment of just under 21 years ago.

That year we came in 12th, and the manager for much of the season was George Graham.  On the day he was sacked for corruption we were 10th, 25 points behind the leaders from 29 games, so the ratio was virtually identical – we didn’t slip back after Graham left under such a cloud, but rather kept matters pretty much the same.

Blackburn are now 16th in the Championship and owned by an Indian family whose leader, on taking over the club said that her aim was to win the league.  After all, she added, “how hard can it be?”

And that is the question I want to consider: winning the league under a new manager – how hard can it be?

Under Wenger we have had no such slide into the lower portions of the top division, as we had under Graham.   On a year by year average Graham did indeed give us more trophies, but he also took us to being the lowest scorers in the League (1992/3) and gave us a run of scoring four goals in 14 in that same season, not to mention nine without scoring in 1987.  It wasn’t always good to watch and in the end he was banned from football for corruption for a year.

But maybe that is what some people want.  A league trophy no matter what depths we have to sink to from time to time.

However there is reason to think that even with a George Graham character at the helm, with the corruption and the occasional drops to being some distance behind the upstart of the day (36 points behind Blackburn as against 10 behind Leicester with us both having played the same number of games) all might not be wonderful.

I have been wondering in recent posts (first here and then here) why the PGMO is set up as it is – with its hyper-secrecy, its deliberate policy of not following Fifa agreed rules (“fans like to keep the game flowing – we have far fewer stoppages in the Premier League than in Europe”), and its processes which are so utterly different from any other major league in the world.

If you study the history of organisations you will see they always exist as they do, for a reason.  It might be to protect the people in the upper echelons of the organisation, to maximise profit, to maintain the power structure…  Structures and rules never happen by chance.

So PGMO is not as it is – a hyper-secretive organisation that is utterly different from the refereeing bodies in the rest of the world – by chance.  There is certain to be a reason, and I’ve been trying to edge the discussion towards what that reason is.


I’ve struggled to think of many reasons why it should be as it as – and the most obvious is to ensure that Premier League football is not revealed to be caught up in an Italian type match fixing scandal Calciopoli.

At the end of that it was argued that Juventus’ conduct was not straight match fixing (as we saw with Liverpool and Man U in 1915) but rather payments to referees (often in terms of gifts such as the use of a villa for the summer etc) for the influencing of not necessarily their match results but the result of one of their rivals.

This approach (the Type III match fixing of our earlier analysis) is much much harder to spot than straight gambling on a match or series of matches (which is generally picked up with much fanfare by “irregular gambling patterns”), and it is this which the PGMO structure and secrecy seems designed explicitly to make possible.

If I am wrong, and PGMO’s structure is not there specifically to help referees get a few little extras from Type III match fixing, then given the hyper-secrecy, low number of refs etc etc is so unusual, why doesn’t PGMO change, and so remove all suspicion?

Now let’s move on.

This morning, Blacksheep posted an excellent article which made the point that just wanting a manager to change doesn’t really help.  You have to find a good manager who can win the League.   Liverpool! and Tottenham have been trying to do that for years – indeed it seems Tottenham have had 24 managers in 36 years as they have tried their luck.  Just because they seem to have got it right at the 24th attempt, doesn’t mean Arsenal will get it right at the first.

The Tiny Totts won the league 55 years ago, Liverpool! 16 years ago.  They have money, ambition and a feeling that they have the right to win the league.  But even with lots of managers, they haven’t.

But here’s a thought.   Supposing just for a moment that my meanderings on the subject of referees, PGMO and match fixing are right, then getting a new manager isn’t actually going to help.

Today in England the fashion is not particularly to put forwards any arguments to show why PGMO should not stay as an ultra-secretive refereeing organisation, which changes international football rules and imposes gagging orders on ex-refs.

But if this organisation is indeed making it possible for Type III match fixing to take place (and I say yet again, I have no evidence, I merely ask the question, “why is PGMO so different from the referee organisations in the rest of the world in all these regards?”) then Arsenal changing managers will not make a blind bit of difference.

The only thing that will make a difference is for Arsenal to start paying the bribes or for someone in the mainstream media to challenge the PGMO and its hyper-secrecy, low level staffing, and decision to runs its affairs in a way that is utterly different from the way refereeing is run in the rest of Europe.

The problem is, the scandal that would result would have a major impact on the Premier League.  The money from broadcasting would collapse – and that would destroy the current set up.  So everyone keeps quiet.

Is it a conspiracy theory to say all this?  Not at all, for a conspiracy theory always has explanations that contradict accepted understandings without evidence.  In the case of PGMO the reverse is true.  The accepted understanding is that it is a highly secretive organisation, run in a way that is completely different from referee bodies in other countries, which deliberately keeps the number of referees low (thus enhancing the chances of undue influence as one ref gets the same club multiple times in a season), which encourages referees not to follow Fifa guidelines on protocol, and which issues gagging orders against ex-members.  The accepted understanding is that there is no explanation for this.

If you can find an alternative explanation for PGMO being as it is, then it would be good to hear it and Untold will publish it.  But in the meanwhile, the reality is that a change of manager on its own is unlikely to take Arsenal back to the top of the league.  To do that under the current circumstances we need to join in Type III Match Fixing, and if I ever started to see evidence of that, then I would give up my season ticket.


Anniversaires – the full index is to be found here

  • 10 April 1897: Arsenal 1 Arsenal Reserves 2.  Such games were common for many years at the start of the season, and occasionally near the end of the season, and the reserves were not supposed to win!
  • 10 April 1919: The Committee of the London Combination ordered the game between Fulham and Arsenal to be replayed on this day.  However a set of appeals and counter appeals resulted in a final Fulham appeal being heard without Henry Norris being told about it.

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71 Replies to “36 points behind the leaders. More wishes to be wary of.”

  1. I’ll launch right in. I have no proof that pgmol are up to nog good.

    I have my opinions. They feel like so much more than that, something which is near enough truth, but technically I guess they are only opinions, which are, of course, easy to dismiss as the peculiarites of an individual mind, vulnerable to bias and plenty of other fun stuff which pushes towards error.

    it feels like more than opinion to me when I say, ‘we couldn’t make such and such a tackle’, or we have been cynically targeted by foul play which is dealt with wretchedly by refs, or we wouldn’t have got Leicester’s ten pens this year, or Liverpool’s 15 on their run, should we have been in the same situations; or another team would have half a dozen more pens than we got this year, for the same situations.

    It feels like more than opinion because i believe I’ve done an honest adequate job of observing trends and patterns or, simply, football, over many years, all of which is applied when judging individual situations.

    But, technically, it’s opinion, all just opinion.

    What isn’t opinion is that the number of pens we have received this year is very low for an attacking team at the top of the league. Also very low are the total figures since Riley took over. About 7 or 8 years now.

    In a similar vein – fact not opinion-the Carrol challenge yesterday got me thinking: how many straight reds have opposition players received against us domestically in recent years- the last three years or even before that?

    I asked on twitter, someone came up with Di Maria’s in the cup. So that’s one, what else? I’m still drawing a blank. Now, in the last 3 year’s I recall straight reds for us for Kos, Gab, Mert, Ox, Giroud, Flamini and Arteta. 6, and i might be missing one.

    How do you explain it. only a liar could claim we are a dirty team; only a liar could claim we are not subject to a tremendous amount of aggressive or dirty play, which seeks to at least push the laws to their extremities to gain an advantage. How, after a 100-plus games has that not resulted in at least a few straight reds?

    If it’s admitted we are not a dirty team, and that almost every week we play significantly dirtier teams than us, how can it possibly be that, refereeing being normal and neutral enough, there hasn’t been at least a half dozen occasions when those refs, in the course of judging hundreds and hundreds of different incidents, haven’t seen foul play worthy of a red.

    Even more so than the penalty situation, it stands out as something which, statistically, ought to be a near impossibility.

    All those games, all those incidents, all those (though not enough) refs.

    Anyway, i’ll have to eat my horrible medicine if it transpires I’ve forgotten a half-dozen, or even two or three, but, nope, i don’t remember them.

  2. Not really sure where is most appropriate for this but…

    Leicester have just got away with ANOTHER handball in the penalty area. That’s four (one against Sunderland, one/two against Southampton, one against Newcastle, one against Arsenal) in their last eight matches. That’s JUST the handballs, forget the red cards that they should have had and the penalty they shouldn’t have had.

    I don’t really understand how so few people are suspicious of what is becoming increasingly blatant favouritism.

  3. Tony
    Many thanks for running this website. It is a breath of fresh air compared to the never ending lies, evil and stupidity everywhere else.

  4. The pro- Leicester referee bias is strikingly obvious, week in, week out. The media blatantly either refuse even to comment on most of it, or make some plainly stupid remark, like Alan Smith today re the Huth handball, which he said was “accidental” and that a penalty would have been “harsh”.

    It is too well established a pattern to be purely coincidental. Regardless of what the media would have us believe about this season’s “fairy tale”, some of us can rely on the evidence of our own eyes.

  5. Rodelero
    Maybe because , to answer your question, Leicester had a hand ball shout of their own and probably should’ve had a penalty for challange on Okazaki, where the Southampton defender swings his leg into the Japanese striker while getting none of the ball.

    Now, I wonder why you didn’t mention these two incidents.
    Perhaps you just didn’t watch the game 🙂

  6. Okasaki took the ball on his chest, realised that he was not able to control it, so undertook a spectacular dive, – a bit like Mahrez in our match. He should have been given a yellow card for simulation.

  7. John L

    Totally agree because it is there for all to see but some people were blinker’s especially if their hate for Arsene Wenger totally blinds them to the truth.
    Was listening to the commentary of the Leicester match and the question was asked how Kaute(sorry if spelling is wrong) could keep running at the rate he had all season and what a engine he had as it was truly unbelievable that nearing the end of the match he had still plenty left in his tank and then some.
    Yes we all have been wondering the same thing and not just this guy but all his teammates are super fit as well.
    I’m glad it’s been talked about on other sites and a few journalist are actually starting to wonder the same thing.
    The call’s they have gotten going their way over the course of this season is mind boggling and totally unbelievable. We have seen it with are own eyes and yet we are ridiculous for even suggesting such things.
    This is all bubbling under the surface but it’s starting to come to the top slowly but surely and what the eyes see do not lie if you are 100% honest with yourself. Stand back and look at this season with total honesty and the more you see the more you understand that something is totally wrong and that the PMGO played a huge part in it.
    There is something wrong with these ref’s because of its small numbers and then the repeating of games to teams. Why would anyone one with nothing to hide want to give £50.000 if the refs leaving say nothing about their time as a EPL referee, it smacks of dishonesty whichever way you look at it.
    How can a referee celebrate a goal and nothing being done about it.
    That man should never have been able to referee a game again.
    The trust is gone once those things are done but NO he can carry on, stinks to high heaven.
    A secret 20% stake bought in Leicester City without being reported to the proper bodies
    If people what to look the other way to all that has gone on this season that is up to them but should they be on this Pro Arsenal Pro Wenger site when their view is totally different to those who run this great site.
    A lot of anti Wenger sites to spill their guts but this site must be so good that they need to return time and time again.
    Personally I would never ever go to a Anti Arsenal site at all as it would have absolutely nothing that I would want to read so a waste of time and engry and life is far to short to waste that time.

  8. Linda
    April 10, 2016 at 4:55 pm
    Well put Linda. Keep the comments 🙂 coming. 🙂

  9. John L.

    To arrive at the conclusion you have, takes some doing, I’m impressed!
    Okazaki took a kick to his gut while he was chesting the ball mid air.

    If you don’t think that warranted a pen – fine, but a dive?

    You must’ve not seen many Japanese players in action.
    These guys don’t dive.

  10. Ok Although I read the site most days I don’t post much but I have been moved today to do so firstly tony your headline supporting club players and manager does the manager bit refer only to mr wenger ? Because your references to George graham seem less then complementary, George was a great manager for AFC and deserves the respect of all Arsenal supporters secondly lot of posters seem to be accusing Leicester of some how cheating because they have the audacity to be top of the prem watching today’s game I saw no bias in their favour from the ref what stood out for me was their desire to win and fitness levels so because of these factors some posters are moved to say they are on drugs the refs are giving them to many pens etc sorry but at this point these accusations are becoming to look very much like sour grapes from Arsenal supporters who can not accept that Leicester have done what we could not do for many years win the prem with very limited resources be happy for them they have shown it can be done hopefully next season it will be Arsene leading us to the title

  11. Tom Quinn, maybe there was no real bias shown by the ref today, but looking over more time, Leicester have been given ten penalties, Arsenal two this season. Leicester are a far dirtier team than us, but we have more red cards than them. No, not proof…..and yes, it is clear that the physical teams are getting some very lenient treatment, to the extent that most teams…..have jumped on that bandwagon. Wenger has not
    But, it is possible Leicester aren’t the ones doing the cheating, maybe just the beneficiaries.
    As for doping, I haven’t seen any proof they are. A doctor mentioned them, but Arsenal were also mentioned. Football is fixed certainly think they are doping, but we do not know their sources of evidence for saying so. Their injuries are virtually non existent, Kante…..perhaps the fittest player in the league was out for a week with a hamstring injury. Vardy missed two games after surgery. Compare, and contrast with us. Assuming Leicester are not doping, our medics should really be learning a lot from them. And some of our players should be watching their warm up techniques.
    As for this season, we still stand a reasonable chance of second place. But, we are going to be playing some physical teams, who will try to replicate what Carroll did….Wenger has said we have been weak in the air all year, now is the long overdue time to fix that flaw. For good.

  12. Linda
    Yea, Kante, isn’t he great?
    What a great buy at little over £5m. A player Arsenal watched for two seasons but failed to see the value, apparently.

    The best thing about him though, apart from his heat map being all over the pitch and running at full speed for 90 minutes plus, is that he makes almost all of his challenges ( more than most players in the PL) on his feet and very rarely goes to ground. Which is very important when predicting players longevity and future injuries.

    Coquelin for example , whom I like btw, goes into tackles on the floor a lot more often, thus the probability of his injury is way higher.

    As for Leicester City being on some sort of illegal drugs – doubt it. It’s called playing once a week.

    Liverpool did that two seasons ago when they almost won the league, besides if Leicester do take some illegal performance enhancing substances, then players like Okazaki, Mahrez, Ulloa and Inler never got the memo. Neither one is particularly quick, or ever players more than 60 minutes per game.

  13. @Tom Quinn

    Please read the football is fixed blog to see its not sour grapes, read with a open mind then please come back and let me know what you think about what is written there about this seasons premier league.

  14. Checking the site, it would seem that Martin Atkinson has issued 1 red card in 29 matches.

    The PGMOL site, has a very good blurb on pushing the envelope, for training of referees.

    There are now 19 names on the select group, recent additions for 2014/2015 and 2015/2016.

    Who are the managers and players who observe the referees? We are given two names, former referees, who will not rock the boat?

    No mention of Howard Webb? I wonder why?

  15. Mandy
    Good post.
    Arsenal are the least dirty team but the most naive.
    People who say they are proud of our team’s honesty and how they never surround the referee, never try to get anyone sent off( Carroll’s challange on Gabriel – not a single Arsenal player went up the Pawson to protest, even though Carroll was already on a “solid” yellow and Gabriel was rolling around in pain),well, I can only imagine how they must’ve suffered watching the invincibles and the likes of Keown and Adams, or Veira and Pires, or even Henry.
    Anyone of those players had more savvy in their pinky than this entire Arsenal squad put together.

    The football hasn’t become less cynical and calculated , Arsenal have ,and in the extreme.

    I’m sorry, but football isn’t art. It has parts and elements that can be considered highly artistic, but the fundamental aspects of any top team have always been sweat, grit and commitment to one another.

    If you are short on any of these, no amount of artistic value will suffice.

    Leicester are without a doubt the least talented team to challange in recent memory but they have found something that works.
    Gritty defense, an industrial midfield sprinkled with Mahrez’ touch of class , and a pacey striker in a form of his life.

    Add to that more decisions going their way and you got a perfect storm for a once in a lifetime success story.

    Take one or two of those ingredients away, add another commitment of CL football next season and Leicester might plummet down the table next season, as I think they will.

    But for now let’s give them some credit no matter how rudimentary and unartistic they play might be.

    Rant over 🙂

  16. Mandy Dodd I see you as one off the more intelligent posters on here I have not watched all of Leicester games but the ones I have watched have been much the same there brand of football seems to be a cross between Wimbledon and Arsenal of the graham era its seems that other prem teams can not work out how to combat it after watching them today I can see how they would get penaltys but I’m happy to watch any replays of pens given where you think it’s blatant cheating by the ref I also agree we could learn much from Leicester Ie training methods and scouting also wondering about there mental side as they seem to be so confident about what they do and just keep doing it until it succeeds and they have the most desire I have seen from a top prem team not one of there players could be accused of not giving his all for the team, twbr I have looked at the site but it is full off accusation innuendo but not any tangible proof that I can see it they know something concrete why don’t they just publish it I must admit I have a problem with the whole football and referees are corrupt thing lots of you have been saying it’s all going to come out but it hasn’t and I just can’t accept that 100% of referees are bias against Arsenal

  17. Liverpool did that with better players that Leicester City I seem to recall.
    I very much doubt that any team even playing once a week would have very little injuries in this PL, as we know it’s very physical and to be able to play like that each and every game then maybe they have been blessed by the Pope or sprinkled with Fairy Dust.
    Any excuse to hate A Wenger and lay all the blame at his door.
    Kante out for one week with hamstring injury must have took him to Lordes.
    Must tell Vardy to take a leaf out of Kante’s book and get him to take him to Lordes also to help heal that broken arm.

  18. Linda and Mandy
    It must get desperate for you for you to still defend your god like leader in a cult, but like most on here desperate to defend our manager you go too far.Not only do you try and rubbish little Leicester by claiming there is a referees conspiracy to help them,you think there is an enhancing drug influence as well.Quite sad really at what people will believe to help our once great manager!
    Do you really believe the English premier league is bent?If so tell me who could get most teams and referees on board and why they would want this outcome.Some of you would make Michael Moore look sane.

  19. Linda…….Tony & Walter have been waging a constant and unwavering battle against posters on UA who, ONLY when we drop points; use multiple accounts for one person, return and repeatedly click the dislikes or likes button to swing ‘opinion’ against true Gooners, launch DOS attacks (denial of service)against UA,seem to love cutting and pasting (probably due to a lack of English language skills) and seem to be orchestrated in their constant criticism of Wenger , the Board and even some players (Giroud being the most obvious). Their agenda (one the aaa espouse) is to bombard UA with ceaselessly mundane and ignorant rants about why Wenger has GOT TO GO, without ever providing some rational alternatives and to attack anyone on UA having the temerity to challenge them with the facts and rational contrary arguments.

    Despite this endless verbal dirrehea, UA stands above these gutter-snipes and cowards, providing an accurate and balanced review of the Arsenal, Wenger, the FA, FIFA and EUFA and the PIGMOB……regardless of what the aaa and the media eternally espouse.

    By the way you should consider writing for UA!!!

  20. Rich
    The Newcastle striker Mitrovic got a straight red earlier this season I think and for us Jack Wilshere got a straight red a couple of years ago.

  21. If I were a lawyer at Leicester City, I would file a law-suit against anyone who makes a doping accusations without providing evidences.

    Here is a fact: Arsenal medical service had dealed with Welbeck, a 16 million pound asset, so “well” that his minor injury turned into a ten month absence. Jack Wilshere has missed two and half seasons of football since 2010. Even Abou Diaby has criticized it after making a debut at Olympique Marseille.

    We also lose big players due to hamstring injuries that occurres after players don’t care ab0ut themselves. Ozil did it against Bayern in 2014, Alexis did it against Norwich. As a result, we had to go through the busiest schedule without them.

    Leicester players didn’t participate at Copa America and they didn’t do their preseason doing a commercial tour l. Arsenal did. Perhaps making a decent preseason in Europe and making a serious reform of our medical staff would help us too.

  22. These are wild accusations Josif, which have been made many times before, but as with those before you, no evidence is given in comparison with what other clubs have suffered or the sources of the quotes you mention in passing.

  23. Cheers, Mick. Keep forgetting that Mitrovic one. Always want to be as accurate as possible so you’ve helped me there.

    Think Wilshere was a double yellow against Utd.

    I didn’t include double yellows as I was making a different point, but they tell their own stories,too. For instance so many of those we get occur in the last few minutes, when they can’t help us much. Whereas plenty of ours happen a lot earlier.

    Drinkwater is the obvious exception i can think of. Remarkable in many ways to get that.

    Mitrovic is double remarkable, then, being so early and a straight red.

    Maybe the key to understanding it is that it was (a) Marriner, who I’ve never had down as one of the worst and even at times thought might, just maybe, be honest and ok; and (b) who it was against; most important of all, however, was when the game was played. Two or three games into a season. When a season is still shapeless, and there is so much time for things to develop.

    So at present we have 1 in the league in the last 3 or 4 seasons. That seems inexplicable, even before taking account of how we play and how teams play against us.

  24. can anyone please explain to me why the refs hate on arsenal? I dont doubt there’s something fishy going down there in the ref dungeons, but what i still dont understand is “WHY”? What have we done wrong? Who did we kill? whose marriage did we destroy? I get that back when we were “boring, boring Arsenal”, we were much hated. But we dont play like that anymore. On that contrary, we play the most beautiful style of football in the whole league. Yet the refs treat us so unfairly. Why? What has Arsene Wenger done to you, Mike Riley? Why are you such a spud, Mike Dean? And I thought you were fair to us, Michael Oliver? (Whoah so many Mikes in there too good to be a coicidence). Why, why , why??????
    And I think I understand part of why so many fans are going WOB. It’s because scapegoats are an easy way to keep yourself happy and in control when you see something going wrong. just think about it. If wenger is making the wrong decisions and making horrible mistakes that are costing us dearly, then the possiblilty that a new manager would change things and make things better gives us hope and optimism, while on the other hand, if he is doing what is best for the club, the fact that thuggish opponents and devilish referees will always be there to make life difficult for us gives us grim view of football and forces us to believe that there is no hope, that all is lost.
    Sorry I’m not usually this pessimistic, and I enjoy good football, but as a young fan who’s never seen my favorite club lift a premier league trophy, it’s really frustating and agonizing to be heartbroken so many times.

  25. and I so wish I travel back in time to when Arsenal was the greatest club in the whole world, when Herbert Chapman was our godfather.

  26. @Tony

    Actually, I didn’t make any comparison. Look at my post again.

    No comparison but straight facts. First report on Welbeck’s knee injury in April 2015 were talking about a few days of absence. It prolonged to ten months. Wild discrepancy.

    Same goes for Wilshere and Diaby who had gone through a three week injury before missing months of football.

    Also, Ozil’s hamstring injury against Bayern was a case when the player himself admitted on his official Facebook page that he had felt pain in 2nd minute of the game but kept playing until the break. The consequence was a month without football in the busiest part of the season.

    Facts, not wild accusations like those of Leicester players being on doping.

  27. Why do they hate Arsenal…..only a guess, but I think the footballing establishment distrust Wenger….and perhaps fear what he may do one day…..ie spill the beans. If there are corrupt systems….or shall I call them cosy cliques, leer hasp bent referees and managers, or maybe ferries little bunch of home grown managers…bet your bottom dollar Wenger has nothing whatsoever to do with them.
    Wenger tries to move away from the primitive English brand of football, he tries to play technical football in a non technical environment. He is more Cruyff in a league where those who play like Mourinho and Pulis thrive. It is no coincidence the fortunes of Spurs and Leicester have massively improved since taking up a more English game.
    I don’t know if arsenal are hated, but our manager is an outsider in this league, and outsiders get persecuted.especially outsiders who know a lot.

  28. Above….perhaps bent referees and managers , ,or maybe Fergies little bunch of home grown managers….

  29. Josif you said

    Here is a fact: Arsenal medical service had dealed with Welbeck, a 16 million pound asset, so “well” that his minor injury turned into a ten month absence.

    The notion that there was an error by Arsenal medical team does need clarification. You have made the allegation and should back it up. Likewise it would be good to see the exact comment by Diaby and the source of the quote. You will, I am sure, have seen Diaby’s record since his transfer.

  30. John, WOBs should steer clear of accusing others of cult like behaviour…..have you seen the Le Grove forum lately? Or Arsenal FansTV? A bunch of sheep speaking as one, but at the same time trying to shout the loudest, losers with a desperate need to be seen to be supporting who they perceive to be winners. People with the intestinal fortitude of a jellyfish going on about mental strength. An unhealthy obsession with a film involving a groundhog. An inate desire to misquote Einstein. Some of the WOB say it is us on here going against the crowd, the ability to think freely can have that affect.
    As for Leicester doping, I said there is no evidence they are.
    As for the league being bent, and the who could get most teams and refs and why would they do it, going into the recent past, but try Sir Fergie, for starters.

  31. I will defend this manager till my last breath end of.
    Why ask what you already know John.
    Why come on a Pro Arsenal site mainly when they either lose or draw.
    Now getting enough attention at home, or are you one of those people who say they support Arsenal but are you Leicester ot Spurs in disguise .
    Now when I look out of my eye’s I can see quite clearly and can comprehend what I see and what I have seen is bias refereeing at its worse in some games this season.
    The choke hold on Ozil not in one game but two games and no foul given and what do you know but the other team’s score.
    I don’t think all the referee’s are at it but enough to do the job
    Leicester have had the rub of the green without question.
    Deluded NO I SUPPORT my CLUB and I don’t throw my dummy out of the pram when we lose or draw.
    Thats all you will get from me John as I only like to speak to people with the motto of this site and you are not one of time so I will not bother and waste one more post on you because you really are not worth the the precious time. Nite nite.

  32. Josif

    Perhaps before launching into a lawsuit it might be sensible for you to support AW in his view that a more rigorous regime for drugs/performance enhancers shold be introduced – for all clubs and players.

  33. Sorry about spelling but I’m in bed ill with a bad chest infection pumped full of drugs. Wish I could get the Leicester City doctor to come and work his magic. Goodnight people.

  34. Mandy

    Saw a fascinating little programme on tv about how the brain processes outsiders.

    They did experiments on brain activity in regions related to empathy. Findings were that there is generally much more brain activity when looking at or hearing about a person in pain who belongs to the the same group as you- be that religious, national, racial, etc.

    Programme was explaining how people and even nations can do inhumane things to other people or groups. Behaviour normally only found in those classed as sociopathic or psychopathic. The worse you behave towards someone the stronger is the push to view them as something abhorrent or barely human. The process is self-reinforcing. The worse you’ve done to someone, the stronger the push to label them as having deserved it, fuelling more of the same.

    As I do, I immediately associated it to football!

    So it can be very problematic, even dangerous, being an outsider in any setting. Serious stuff. But it’s also pretty serious stuff to sell your soul to stay safe and seek other benefits from being part of an in group.

    I have to rely on that when thinking about a ton of injustices, when people appear to get away with things scot free. The possibility that just maybe they have dark nights of the soul when it hits them with appropriate force and power that they haven’t done right.

    It’s not at all likely, but I get a kick out of thinking of Ferguson, Mourinho, Neville seeing themselves for even a short while as I do. Heavy stuff. Don’t think money or trophies, public opinion or that other kind of title would help much.

    It’s a comforting thought, on occasion.

  35. Get well soon Linda!

    Tony in his article suggests one possible reason why we are picked on by the referees – maybe we don’t pay the bungs. That’s what bribery money was called in the days of George Graham. (By the way, he wasn’t the only manager who accepted a bung. He was just the only one who was got for it. That in itself is interesting.)

    Nobody has any proof that that is the reason for the biased refereeing of Arsenal. But it is one possible explanation. And it fits in with all the other peculiarities of the PGMO.

    And if this is the case, I agree with Tony – I don’t want Arsenal to join in the corruption and pay the bribes.

  36. Interesting Rich, saw something pretty similar in an exhibition on the stages whereby a normal citizen can be turned into something that can go along with a holocaust.
    Would like to think some,do have dark nights of the soul, I am sure some do, but others too far gone.
    As for Fergie,from what I have read of him, pretty decent chap away from the game, but he viewed football as merely a well paid game where you do anything you can to win, and nobody dies, so what you do doesn’t matter.
    Unfortunately, his advocating of the arsenal don’t like it up em stuff may not have led to deaths, just snapped limbs ….not necessecerily by his team, but by lesser teams who saw what he and mike Riley successfully concocted during that game.

  37. @Tony

    First to establish the fact Welbeck didn’t play between 26th April 2015 (Chelsea 0-0) and 26th February 2016 (Leicester 2-1).

    4th May 2015: http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/20150504/wenger-on-the-win-wilshere-and-top-four

    Wenger’s words: “It’s a question of days, it’s an inflamed knee.”

    7th May 2015: http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/20150507/team-news-ramsey-welbeck-and-debuchy

    Wenger’s words: “He will play again this season. He had all the scans and medical checks, and there was nothing major, just an inflammation. For the weekend he will certainly be short but for the game after he should be alright.”

    14th May 2015: http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/20150514/team-news-ox-welbeck-ramsey-arteta

    Wenger’s words: “He’s short a fraction but is not far away. I would love to have him available but we (may) have to do it without him.”

    19th May 2015: http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/20150519/team-news-debuchy-ox-and-welbeck

    Just a bit of Wenger’s words: “…he is not in full training, so I honestly don’t know.”

    22nd May 2015: http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/20150522/team-news-welbeck-debuchy-and-the-ox

    Wenger: “There is a good chance that he will be available for England. It’s difficult to know. He had a little knee problem and will go out today for the first time. We have to wait for the response to that to know if he responds in a positive way. He could be fit very quickly.” Also: “…and he has nothing at all on any scan, just bone bruising on his knee. That’s just the pain that will decide if he is fit or not.”

    27th May 2015: http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/20150527/team-news-welbeck-debuchy-ox

    Wenger: “…we called the FA yesterday to explain that his bone bruising at the knee was not healed and that he absolutely had to rest.”

    Fast forward to 24th July: http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/20150724/teams-news-welbeck-flamini-and-alexis

    Wenger: “He is supposed to start to go outside and run again this weekend and if that is positive in the next three weeks he will be available. He will be short for the start of the season in two weeks, but three weeks should be all right.”

    6th August: http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/20150806/team-news-welbeck-rosicky-and-alexis

    “We have Welbeck on a progressive recovery and Rosicky on a progressive recovery.”

    3rd September (just after the transfer window had closed but I’m sure that was a coincidence): http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/20150903/danny-welbeck-undergoes-knee-surgery


    An official statement from the club: “Danny Welbeck has undergone surgery on his left knee after being unable to sufficiently step up his rehabilitation work. The striker has been working throughout the summer to recover from the injury sustained at the end of April. It had been hoped he would avoid surgery but after increasing his training workload, the injury to his cartilage did not respond as well as hoped and the decision was taken last week for him to undergo surgery by a leading specialist in the field. Danny is now expected to be out for a period of months and everyone at Arsenal wishes him well.”

    10th September: http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/20150910/team-news-per-welbeck-and-wilshere

    Wenger: “Yes, we got very bad news because in my mind he was almost ready to play again. He was very close but he could not tolerate the final step up in his rehab. We always wanted to try conservative rehab first under the guidance of specialists and he did get very close. We had to consult and in the end they decided to go in and see what’s wrong. He will be out certainly until Christmas.”

    15th October: http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/20151014/team-news-koscielny-arteta-and-flamini

    “Danny Welbeck at the earliest will be back [at the] beginning of January.”

    28th January: http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/20160128/team-news-coquelin-welbeck-and-cazorla

    “Danny Welbeck is not completely ready but he is not far. He needs a game or two because he’s been out since last April. The Stoke [under-21] game is too soon because he only had one session with the team, and that is too short.”

    What these quotes and links confirm regarding Welbeck’s case is:

    -Wenger didn’t have the correct diagnose established by the medical team as seen from the quote that dates almost two weeks after Welbeck’s injury – FACT 1,

    -Wenger didn’t have the correct diagnose established by the medical team as seen from the quote from 7th May (after all scans they didn’t make a good conclusion on how serious Welbeck’s injury is),

    -until the end of the season Welbeck’s knee injury was presented as a minor one, a bruised bone in the knee etc…,

    -as the season was approaching, we were still being convinced by Wenger that Welbeck would return in August,

    -the official statement published on the web-site – but not before the transfer window had been closed – on 3rd September that is pretty much a confession that those in charge made a wrong judgment regarding Welbeck’s rehabilitation and recovery date so we had gone through 25 league matches before he returned,

    -Wenger’s confession at 10th September that the (conservative) approach picked by the responsible people at the club didn’t work.

    I think that’s enough evidence to prove my hypothesis.

    About Diaby: http://metro.co.uk/2016/03/16/abou-diaby-says-leaving-arsenal-helped-him-get-over-injuries-5756766/

    “The medical methods are different at Arsenal and Marseille. What is essential is that the method works.”

    And, when it comes to Wilshere, just one quote that I picked randomly from the season 2011-12. http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/wilshere-not-ruled-out-for-the-season

    “The Club can confirm Jack Wilshere has a small stress fracture to his right foot, however it is not accurate to state he has been ruled out for the remainder of the season.”

    Jack Wilshere WAS ruled out for the remainder of the season.

    Oh, in case you haven’t seen the date of the statement, it’s 1st February. After the end of the January transfer window.

  38. @bjtgooner

    Have you noticed the part: “If I were…” in my post?

    Of course I support Wenger’s idea of a clean doping-free football. The thing is, that idea won’t come to life with a support from the people who have been making doping claims regarding quicker recoveries of the Leicester City players without a single evidence apart from the claims stated on a certain blog.

    Why is it easier for some posters to go down the hard-to-prove doping-route instead of acknowledging the facts Leicester City have played less games than Arsenal, they have less international players than Arsenal, they played their preseason matches in England only unlike Arsenal, they didn’t have players at Copa America unlike Arsenal etc.

    I do agree that majority of the referees’ calls has gone their way though. Penalties, offside goals, handballs, violent tackles going unpunished…

    However, doping accusations are a different level.

  39. Samuel:
    I get the feeling that there is much more going on regarding why the media and them lot do not like Arsenal. Not really knowing why, only leaves us to speculate.

    Tony :
    “conspiracy theories always has explanations that contradict accepted understandings without evidence. ”

    This is not true, they do have masses of evidence, BUT, this evidence is usually rejected by the “media” controllers and lambasted across the airwaves to make it appear to be stupid. And/but the fact that the evidence is usually (years) after the fact allows them to get away with their agendas to easily. They need to be brought to justice retrospectively, just like repatriations for/which slavery descendants is calling for.

  40. I find it dodgy that after every BT Sport game they cut to the Wenger out banners. I also find it dodgy that when Wenger asked for blood testing instead of urine testing after our recent Champions League game against Zagreb (who had a player banned for using steroids against us in that same game), UEFA sent a team out to test every single one of our players at our next game. It is known that blood testing is quicker and way more accurate than urine testing. I also find it dodgy that our penalties for and red cards against, at crucial moments (ie. not when we’re winning or losing by 3 goals) has been extremely low for the last 8 years. I find it dodgy that most games I watch, the referees allow our opponents to ‘leave a foot in’ as many times as they like, but if we get physical it’s a straight yellow or a red.

  41. Ultimately, this is a film we’ve watched before. Familiar failings, defensive weaknesses exposed, a brittle mentality that has been the hallmark of Arsene Wenger’s teams over the last decade. We, or he, can’t seem to do things any differently. Elsewhere the realisation that if the manager can’t change you have to change the manager would precipitate a reshuffle.

    But this is Arsenal where that kind of thing just isn’t going to happen. What vague hope there was of a miracle has well and truly gone now, and what we have left to play for this season is to finish as high as we can … hopefully above Sp*rs.

    And that really says something about where we are and how we’ve got here. Sorry if it’s all a bit gloomy, but I’m only human.

  42. Norman “not only human” might excuse your depression, but being human also means one can take part in serious analysis with facts and examples that are balanced and across time, and also can take you out of your depression. Worth a try.

  43. Josif, the point is I don’t see this being any different from other clubs. Arsenal are normally around mid-table for the number of injuries keeping players out, according to the physioroom stats that we use here, so it would appear no one has better facilities or medical provision.

    And if you have had no diagnosis that prove wrong, then you are lucky. Certainly when I pulled the ligaments at the base of my spine I was told I would recover in about six weeks. After a month I still couldn’t walk a single step, and it took six months to fully recover.

    I haven’t had that many injuries in my life, not being a professional sportsman, but I’ve had a few, and none of the recoveries have gone to plan. That’s my point – if you want to compare recoveries going to plan you need to compare with the other 19 league clubs.

  44. Tony

    I did have a wrong diagnose set – once by neuropsychiatrist who had given me the pills for anxiety to solve spasms in my muscles that would turn up out of nowhere. A few months later, after I had lost 20 pounds and looked like a zombie, it turned out my spasms were a result of a neck-spine problem. The only reason why I didn’t become the pill addict was the lucky fact I was 200 miles away from my doctor when I ran out of the pills.

    The thing is, read carefully my posts above regarding the Welbeck’s case and you will notice that I focused on that one: wrong diagnose, wrong treatment and wrong prediction had a consequence that Arsenal FC couldn’t count on Danny for nine-and-half months (14th February was the return date). I didn’t say that other clubs don’t make mistakes but I don’t know if there is an example of a player who get signed for 16 million pounds and get such a discrepancy in the return date prediction and the actual return date.

    To put it this way: can you find a similar example anywhere in the league?

    I actually had in mind to make the big comparative analysis but as you know, that might take a while, especially as I’m in the middle of another big work which you are aware of if you’ve checked your mail.

  45. Tony,So many games over so many seasons where an Arsene Wenger team concedes 2, 3, 4 goals. The weakness has been here for a long time and yet this manager cannot or will not address it. His history on keepers and centre backs is so flaky. Our keeper was not at fault yesterday but our no 1 was fit and yet stayed on the bench again this highlights Wengers inability to understand the importance of this position. At the back we just do not mark players Carroll was in so much space for all three goals, surely someone says who is picking him up, why allow him to drop onto Bellerin? Teams find scoring against us all to easy. The positives were Iwobi and Elneny or really looks a player. Wenger should walk he won’t, sadly I want mass anti Wenger / Kronke chanting at the Emirates it’s the only way to force change

  46. @Linda,
    Your 10.27 saying that you would defend Arsene Wenger to your last breath, is a dangerous attitude for someone with a chest infection.
    (Trust me, I’m a doctor).

  47. Josif – From what I see, Danny had a knee issue that the medics gave time to heal naturally. This not happening, they then intercepted & treated it with surgery. I can understand the care that these medics give because they do not want to use surgery unless mandatory. Hindsight is always a magnificent truth. Care is a long process if truly sympathetic. Quick cures such as cortizone injections can be used but do not come under the ‘care’ of the patient. They are selfish rather than considerate.

    I would not query a process that gives nature priority when it comes to healing joints or muscles. There is so much money involved in football that consideration for the patient might just be ignored. Massage & physio theraphy are slower that pain killers, but are more often permanent cures rather than injurious.

  48. I have been absent (from commenting a-few weeks) but have been reading all the articles and in particular the pre/after match reports as well as the ref reviews!

    My stance has not and will not change since first kick of the ball back in May 2015 – The League is rigged and WILL be decided by PGMOB.

  49. May long live the betting companies (all of whom are fast becoming major sponsors of many sides in the PL – that alone is a conflict of interest).

  50. Josif at 12:06 am

    “Wenger’s confession”, really? Meaning that Wenger has been deliberately lying about a player? I’ll assume you didn’t mean to use that word.

    Things go wrong. It’s in the interests of the club to keep their players fit.

    Diaby, one of the greatest players to never reach their potential at Arsenal. A player I adored and still adore, has not played since he left Arsenal until a couple of weeks ago. Hardly an endorsement of Marseille’s methods and rather premature to say the least. Let’s see if Abou goes on a sustained, injury free run of play till the end of the season and well into the next, at least, before you can pass judgement.

  51. @josif

    You wrote all that and didn’t even notice that Diaby has played ONE GAME EVER for Marseille. Shocking.

  52. Thanks for the get well Pat and bjt gooner.
    Nicky even with this chest infection and I also have MS, I still would defend him till my last breath .??

  53. Menace i have just read your last post.There isnt even a tad of nastyness in it,no profanities or any mention of cheating referees.I hope you are ok and not suffering from the goa heat.Get well soon pal and have a kobra on me…

  54. Get well soon , Linda . Hope these jokes cheer you up .


    The first man married a woman from @@@@@ . He told her that she was to do the dishes and house cleaning. It took a couple of days, but on the third day, he came home to see a clean house and dishes washed and put away.

    The second man married a woman from #####. He gave his wife orders that she was to do all the cleaning, dishes and the cooking. The first day he didn’t see any results, but the next day he saw it was better. By the third day, he saw his house was clean, the dishes were done and there was a huge dinner on the table.

    The third man married a ***** girl. He ordered her to keep the house clean, dishes washed, lawn mowed, laundry washed, and hot meals on the table for every meal.
    He said the first day he didn’t see anything, the second day he didn’t see anything but by the third day, some of the swelling had gone down and he could see a little out of his left eye, and his arm was healed enough that he could fix himself a sandwich and load the dishwasher.
    He still has some difficulty when he pees……!

  55. A missionary who had spent years showing a tribe of natives how to farm and build things to be self-sufficient gets word that he is to return home.

    He realizes that the one thing he never taught the natives was how to speak English, so he takes the chief and starts walking in the forest. He points to a tree and says to the chief, “This is a tree.” The chief looks at the tree and grunts, “Tree.”

    The missionary is pleased with the response.

    They walk a little farther and the padre points to a rock and says, “This is a rock.” Hearing this, the chief looks and grunts, “Rock.” The padre is really getting enthusiastic about the results when he hears a rustling in the bushes.

    As he peeks over the top, he sees a couple in the midst of sex. The padre is really flustered and quickly responds, “Riding a bike.”

    The chief looks at the couple briefly, pulls out his blow gun and kills them.

    The padre goes ballistic and yells at the chief that he has spent years teaching the tribe how to be civilized and kind to each other, so how could he just kill these people in cold blood that way?

    The chief grunts “My bike.”

  56. Lost in translation –

    A Man To Cardiologist Angrily: “How Dare You Tell My Wife That She Has A Cute Vagina .”

    Doctor Replied: “You fool , I told Her That She Has Acute Angina ! “

  57. CHEERS !

    If there’s a bar where everybody knows your name, you’re probably an alcoholic!


    I always read my wife’s horoscope to see what kind of day I an going to have !

  59. Norman your comments show a different approach to evidence from that which we like here, and so I can’t take this any further – although there are many sites that will accept your view of how to analyse.

    I will just give a couple of examples, and then I think we should leave it at that.

    So many games over so many seasons where an Arsene Wenger team concedes 2, 3, 4 goals.

    This is only a relevant statement if it is compared to other clubs and its relationship to winning the league. I’m not going to run that analysis here because I don’t it is relevant, but let me just refer you back to Graham’s era as manager when on one occasion ended up mid table but with the lowest number of goals conceded in the league.

    The weakness has been here for a long time

    You can claimed it to be a weakness but not given evidence and then go on to draw conclusions. This does not work – at least not here. It works in some newspapers and on many sites however.

    and yet this manager cannot or will not address it.

    Only if a) there is a problem and b) it can be addressed and c) other managers can be shown to be better at it.

    His history on keepers and centre backs is so flaky.

    Again you would need to compare Wenger with other managers and also with historical achievements. Jens Lehmann, for example was the only player ever in the history of the entire league to play every league match in a season and never be on the losing side.

  60. Tony
    It seems strange that you only vet posts and look for evidence with posters who have a different opinion on Arsenal than yourselves.The majority on here get away constantly without having to show evidence and you use that when it suits.

  61. @John, it’s his website so he can do whatever he likes, if you don’t like it, you’re welcome to leave.

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