How the match fixing will pan out this weekend and then stop, leaving me with a choice

by Andrew Crawshaw

Thanks to the requirements of Sky Sports, this coming Sunday I have to make a difficult choice.  Our Mens first team game against Crystal Palace has been moved from Saturday 15:00 to Sunday 16:00 at the Emirates.  Our Ladies first team FA Cup Semi-final against Sunderland is at Meadow Park Borehamwood on Sunday with a 14:00 kick-off.  There is absolutely no way I can see both games live, by public transport it would take at least an hour to get between the two grounds.

Therefore I have had to make a choice as to which game I go to watch.  I’m sorry Arsène but I will be watching the Ladies along with my wife (who wouldn’t entertain watching the men).  You will simply have to manage without my vocal support (mind that is probably great news for those whose seats are immediately around mine).

I will still be voicing my full support for Arsenal Football Club, who I hold primarily responsible for this clash of fixtures.  The Ladies play Sunderland who are probably the fourth best ladies team in the country at present, Arsenal, Chelsea and Man City being the top three and this game represents the Club’s only prospect of a trip to Wembley this year.

The game against Crystal Palace, will probably be the last example this year of a game being decided by the PGMO, I fully expect them to ensure that we lose another two or three points (The referees for the weekend have just been announced – Roger East with Mike Dean doing the whispering again so I expect another entry on the Hall of Shame.

Dean is a busy boy this weekend, in charge of the City game on Saturday then whispering on both Sunday and again on Monday for the Spurs match).  After then, when we definitely won’t be able to overhaul Leicester, and Spurs will be established with a sufficient points lead over us to make second place mathematically unlikely for Arsenal, I would expect the refereeing to revert to being averagely bad rather than extreme giving us a real chance of fighting City for third and fourth place.

The Ladies haven’t yet really hit their best form this year, I’m not sure that the Manager, Pedro Losa, quite knows which players will make the best Team out of the plethora of talent that he has available.  For nearly every position he has a choice of international player seeking to make the starting 11.  Those on our substitutes bench would be automatic first choice players for virtually every other team in the country.  Fourteen members of our squad have been called up for senior Internationals between April 8 and 12.  Hopefully they return fit, well and raring to go on Sunday.

There is also a completely different atmosphere at Ladies games, the players are quite happy to talk to fans and sign autographs, pose for selfies etc after the game, which is really refreshing.  England International Jodie Taylor who was introduced as an Arsenal player before the last game, was circulating among the crowd before the match.  With a crowd of a thousand or so it is possible; sixty thousand at the emirates it simply couldn’t happen, let alone the players handlers never allowing it in the first place.

A win on Sunday will set up a Wembley final with either Chelsea or Man City on May 14 with a 14:00 kick-off.  We will be there to encourage our team to make that happen.

For me, the more I look at the aspects of the Club not directly part of the men’s first team set up the more impressed I am.  We have a wonderful academy set up taking talented boys and girls from the age of 8 and instilling in them the skills they need to progress and hopefully become professional players in their adult lives.  Not all of them make it, but those willing to apply the lessons have every chance.  Wilshere and Iwobi have both been with the club since 8 or 9 and in the Ladies team, Leah Williamson started age 9 and Chloe Kelly is also a product of our academy.

Our Arsenal in the Community team do fantastic work with all kinds of sport, education, health and inclusion programmes, often acting as a springboard to employment.  The club also acts overseas, providing coaches, and pitches in many different parts of the world, most recently to two refugee camps for those displaced from Syria.

Even when out headline team doesn’t do as well as we would like, all of the other parts of the Club continue to function normally and there is always something to find out about and be proud of (even if we allow the opposition centre forward to score three goals).  We should all stop beating ourselves up and be proud of our great Club.

We are The Arsenal


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32 Replies to “How the match fixing will pan out this weekend and then stop, leaving me with a choice”

  1. The betting certainties are as usual easy to predict, that is if you haven’t got a butcher’s hook in you nose, and being pulled along by it by the ‘win nothingers’ who proliferate the media of football.

    In honest England there isn’t any corruption.

    None whatsoever.

    Believe that, and you believe everything you are told in the media without question.

  2. Admire what you do, Andrew

    You’re an excellent supporter of Arsenal football club.

    Enjoy the game.

  3. Andrew,
    As an experienced Ladies XI watcher, perhaps you could venture an opinion as to the standard attained by (say) Arsenal Ladies.
    On the odd occasion I see them on TV, I find it difficult to work out how they would fare against men.
    Would you say that their level is equivalent to (say) a public school 1st XI?
    I await your comment with interest.

  4. Come on you Gooner Girls (and if Wenger or anyone from the Premiership team try to give any advice then tell them to stick it!).

  5. As a postscript thought, the girls team players never seem to have month or a season or a year out through injury. Does that mean that they are tougher than the men ?

  6. Dean being involved in all these games and only a few days ago one of the aaa who sees no wrong in referee land said that there were enough referees in the PL.

  7. You’re a true supporter, Andrew. I think once first and second positions have been settled they’ll try to tilt things slightly in favour of City, to ensure we get fourth and go through the qualifiers again. I expect city to get a penalty or two between now and end of season, while we get….nothing.

  8. 4th place will not guarantee champions league, as Liverpool still have a chance to sneek through Europa League winner spot.

  9. Andrew I have raised this before. I dont have a problem with the concept of bent refs or match fixing. Professional sport is riddled with it for obvious reasons. However if they are all bent and corrupt then there is a clear argument for an enquiry. What you dont explain and nor does anyone else is why there should be an anti Arsenal bias ? I am open minded about it but to keep banging on about how awful the refs are with regard to Arsenal without explaining what the motive might be is just hot air.

  10. Just in case any further assistance is required, Dean also just happens to have the West Ham game on Wednesday.

    Time for some “unusual” betting trends!

  11. I’m most amused that that someone chooses to come on to the comments and ‘dislike’ completely non-contentious comments. It’s almost as if one or more people just want to oppose anything that isn’t anti-Wenger without any just cause. Strange that.

    Nice article Andrew. I thought exactly same about the Ref Whisperer when I saw the PIGMOB appointments.

  12. Although I suppose it could be one of the many Spuds who haven’t got a life yet…….

  13. Bard,
    If you walk in a room and find a body with bullet holes covered in blood and above that body a man with a smoking gun in his hands you don’t ask first: well tell me son, why did you do that?

    We have a body covered in blood (Arsenal players blood) and we have the man(s) with the smoking guns (whistles) and for some reason after doing them 4-5 seasons they all have had the smoking gun in their hands.

    There could be multiple reasons. Mike Riley might be one. Other people high up in the PL who have proclaimed in the past how important it was that MU won the PL. Natural bias from a ref who supports a team and whose heart has been broken at young age by a certain club.

    It could be all of this and many more and all of this together also with some people.

    As long as the referee world is secretive and they have too few referees they are putting themselves in a position where they look suspicious.

    I think we have given more than a dozen reasons to the why of this in the past on Untold. And for everyone the reason they do something might be different.

  14. @geeaybee,

    Re injuries to lady players, they do happen, we lost Jordan Nobbs for most of last season to an injury, if I remember rightly on England international duties.

    Yes long term injuries are less frequent, this is probably due to a combination of

    1. Fewer matches – rarely more than one a week and often with ten days or so between games
    2. There is a much bigger gap in ability between teams at the top of the table and those in mid-table than in the PL so not every game is full pressure
    3. Historically play has been less physical although that seems to be changing now
    4. In past seasons refereeing has been better with most of the excesses of the men’s game not being tolerated. Again this year I am starting to see signs of this changing.
    5. The biggest factor I would suggest is that the Ladies game has only just become fully professional at WSL level. This is bringing with it the ‘win at any cost’ mentality prevalent in the men’s game. Up to a couple of years ago the Ladies took it very seriously but would only take things so far on the pitch.

  15. @nicky,

    It is very difficult to tell how the standards compare. Kind of like comparing a fine steak with nice pasta. Both excellent in their own right and equally satisfying when you are hungry.

    Seriously to try and answer your question, I think our U21 side would win fairly comfortably, they would be faster across the pitch and individually stronger and probably equal in terms of skills.

    Our U18 team would get a really good game, the ladies superior technical ability would enable them to hold their own and there wouldn’t be too much of a physical mismatch. Both teams would have some advantages and disadvantages. The U18s would certainly learn a thing or two in terms of calmness and pitch positioning.

  16. @bard

    Hypothetically speaking, if there is a high level conspiracy affecting refereeing in this country it is likely to have only two explanations – power or money (or sone combination thereof).

    The PGMO are so secretive that it would require a supreme piece of hacking, whistle blowing or investigation to unravel what exactly is going on. At the moment there are no signs of this happening. All we can do is to keep pointing out smoking guns when we see them in the hope that eventually someone will investigate more fully.

    The League aren’t going to do it because it would destroy the power of their brand and cause the TV companies to move their custom elsewhere.

    The TV companies aren’t going to investigate because that would destroy the value of their investment. No-one is going to pay a premium price for a ‘crock of shit’.

    The mainstream media have too much invested in making up fairy tales about which player is going to which club for how much, or in following stars to document who they are sleeping with, or social misdemeanours etc.

    The betting companies aren’t going to investigate because they are raking in the cash from football, to the extent that they are able to buy stakes in clubs either through share ownership or by becoming official BETTING PARTNERS.

    In this hypothetical case some clubs are involved in trying to influence results against direct rivals rather than necessarily themselves

    Unless there are significant public order offences on a large scale, the Government aren’t going to investigate.

    The FA aren’t going to investigate because they are a ‘wunch of bankers’

    It can be minimised by having more referees so that each club only has a referee twice per year. All conversations between officials should be broadcast, as happens in Rugby, video replays should be mandatory for all goal decisions and red card offenceswith the video footage being shown on screen in the stadium, teams should also have the right to question decisions say up to three in a game, finally the laws should be properly followed in the same manner

    Until some of these start to happen hypothetically speaking football could easily be bent.

  17. I wonder… apparently, PIGMOB officials must agree a “no-tell” clause in their contract which, if they break it, causes them to forfeit a £50k payoff on retirement. Is that right and is that £50k a one-off or per year?

    If it is a one-off, would crowd funding be a suitable way of raising such a sum ( or even larger as an inducement) to compensate any retired official who decided to come clean?

    I’ve had a look at and they seem to detect a pattern that puts the Hammers at the bottom of the list of favourable/unfavourable major decisions and the Gunners at 14th. Man U and LCFC come out top – surprise, surprise.

    So, it seems that fans of other clubs (except ManU and LCFC, for obvious reasons!) may be interested in subscribing to a fund to tempt a disgruntled former employees of Riley’s Reprobates to “blow the whistle” (pun intended).

  18. Sorry – wrong thread.
    I am an old codger and these fangled Tablet things will be the death of me

  19. Geeabye…..the FA and FIFa prohibit women or girls from playing in men’s leagues, at the amateur and professional level once they reach puberty (12 +?) but their reasoning is fallacious. The studies they relied on were done 25 years ago by a few doctors and university eggheads. The German Fa did a similar study more recently and concluded that a suitably trained and healthy female player could potentially compete in a men’s league without needing any special protection or regulations, other than those already recognized for women (right to cover their chests without fearing a hand ball,when defending on a free kick, right to wear hair pieces, etc.. I played with adult women in a mixed league and one of them was the best player i have played with. She had skill, speed, intelligence, was ultra-mobile and cute as well!!!

  20. Andrew
    I agree with your points made to @bard at 1:59 pm completely. For me it’s the secrecy of the unPGMO abetted by the FA and the league and the small number of refs. Secrecy – what are they hiding? Excellent point re the transparency in Rugby. The reason for the relatively small number of refs is obvious – control. Easier to control the few than the many. Dean’s upcoming slate and the teams involved illustrate this perfectly. I watch a lot of football – from the EPL to major European leagues. The refereeing in GB is appalling. AFC are not the only club to suffer negative referee bias but as an Arsenal supporter writing on an Arsenal supporters site, forgive us if myself and others go on about it. And I don’t go to other club’s sites and tell them to stop being paranoid. Just saying.

  21. @goonersince72

    That is a wonderfully succinct reduction of the matter: control. There is no other explanation. Control isn’t itself good, or bad, but depends on the motivations of whoever is in control.

    And, I’d like to agree again about the sate of officiating. I also watch a lot of football from a lot of places. Bad refs make bad decisions,likewise good referees are capable of bad decisions. However, usually you can see what a bad referee is generally thinking over the course of 90. They may not be great at their job, but it’s clear both teams have to put up with the nonsense. In the Prem, more weeks than not watching Arsenal, the officials actions make little to no sense from one decision to the next. So much looks made up on the fly. That’s not right, and when combined with the control aspect in paragraph one, it’s quite easy to come to the anecdotal conclusion there is rampant corruption.

    Lots and lots and lots of money circling around the Premier League, why would it be the one pure bastion of honesty?

    Nowhere else are we immune. It’s silly the lengths people go to sticking their fingers in their ears going la la la la I can’t hear you it all evens out.

  22. I noticed that Attwell and Tierney have been promoted to the “Elite” group.

    Can we assume that this time, they will listen to Riley’s instructions and not go off making sensible refereeing decisions?

  23. Walter,
    Though I agree with a lot of what Bard had to say in his 10:55am post, the analogy in your 12:03am post was superb!

    The only way 4th place does not guarantee Champions League is if Liverpool win the Europa League, City win the CL and finishes outside the top 4. That, my friend, is the definition of a long shot …

  24. City into the semis, new territory for them. Hrishi, that’ll be some long shot indeed, but why would Liverpool winning the Europa not push us out of the CL if city finish aboves us in the league, regardless of if they win the CL or not? I suspect City will be drawn against Madrid tho, while the winners from the other two games (likely to be Bayern v Barcelona) meet. City will be the weakest team in the semis should the above happen.

    Not sure if it’s just me but I think I notice too often teams that include Madrid, Chelsea, & Utd, getting to the latter stages of the CL without really having been tested, i.e., not having faced any strong teams (I think the opposite is true for Arsenal & City). I think the sides like Madrid usually start facing tough sides either in the semis or the final itself. It could be just all coincidence…and nothing to do with the fact they have lots of cash and spend lots on acquiring new players every summer(keeping the football authorities happy in the process).

  25. Bard, while Walter makes a case for the smoking gun, I can only say its not as simple as greed. It may be revenge for something in the past. It may be a disguised racism. It certainly is not human error. It is clear cheating with a total disregard for anything that this countrys laws or hierarchy can do.

    Choke holds on TV in a football game & the FA & their puppets do nothing. It is more than bias. It is corruption in your face. In everyones face,

  26. Possible reasons for (alleged, but clear) Anti-Arsenal bias from (allegedly, but clearly corrupt) PGMOL:

    -Wenger advocates more video technology.
    -He also advocates post-match blood testing instead of current system of urine testing. Blood testing is more accurate and take seconds while urine.. well, you get the rest of that one.
    -Club has a policy of promoting youth as opposed to big-name signings which may be harmful for the Premier League/Champions League brand if they do well. They fear that those who pay to watch Aguero or Messi are less likely to pay to watch Iwobi, Elneny and others. This third one isn’t really about the PGMOL but who knows what the fuck is going on with the PGMOL and how close they are with the FA. I’d like to think they’re pretty close.

  27. Imagine football with no penalties or red cards.

    I wanted to test out my impression of how rare it is for us to get key refereeing decisions in big games so I’ve made a start by looking at our record in head-to-heads against Utd. League games only.

    In truth, there’s less to look at than I expected but it is nonetheless interesting.

    First thing to note is that there are not that many penalties and very few red cards, but when they do occur they tend to be for Utd.

    Note: methodology imperfect as the site I am using to look at the games does not show missed penalties (i.e where no goal is scored). So there could easily be a couple over the years that are not included. I expect there to be at least one or two, with Utd most likely to be the beneficiaries.

    Anyway, long and short of it appears to be that we have had one league penalty against Utd in the last 20 seasons . They’ve had six in that period.

    As for reds, it is four for us, two for them.

    The one pen I was able to pick up in our favour was from memory. A miss in the 8-2 in 2011 (also got one of theirs from memory- a certain Van Nistelrooy effort)

    Their reds were Sylvester in 2004-5 and Butt in 98-99. For us it was Wilshere (12-13) Jenkinson (11-12), Viera (03-04), and Campbell (02-03)

    As I said, I’m surprised they haven’t had a lot more pens and sendings off in their favour in these games, while our figures (key decisions benefiting us) are little short of amazing.

    Using the past as a guide, we really should be entering games against them with the knowledge a pen for us or a sending off for one of their players is near impossible.

    Players of both sides ought to have an inkling of this and over the years maybe they have.

  28. @ Rich

    As an avid Man U hater I have paid particular attention to those games. And this is why I think I love the ref reviews on UA so much. They look at everything, not just the crucial key decisions.

    During the Fergie days it was obvious to anyone who cared to notice that Man U players knew they could get away with a lot more than us and actually set up their game play to take account of this. They would fall to the ground easily knowing they would win a free-kick whilst kicking us and pulling shirts knowing they would rarely be penalised. As games progressed you could see our players less and less reluctant to tackle for fear of a decision going against us and in a vast amount of games Man U dominated us for this very reason.

    The pundits would then come out with their usual “Arsenal bottled it; Man U wanted it more” bullshit and most people went away happy.

    The media are particularly annoying in their adoration of Man U (why else would the BBC move their sports dept to Salford?!!!) and this still prevails to this day.

    Man U, for example, can be totally outplayed for a whole game and score a 95th minute deflected winner; that’s down to their “never-say-die attitude” and totally deserved. Their perseverance should be admired by us all!!!!. If other teams, particularly Arsenal, dominate a game in every way and score a goal any time after the 80th minute it’s a “lucky win and the opposition deserved something from the game”. Sickening.

    Similarly, the media see individuals and individual actions very differently a Man U shot of target can be a “fine effort” whilst a similar effort by other teams is “a wasted opportunity”. The examples are endless.

    Some years ago the Post Office made a serious of adverts which culminated in someone saying “I saw this and thought of you”. They had planned to do one with a Man U scarf but cancelled at the last moment since whilst Man U may have the most (mainly armchair) fans, market research showed that they were also by far the most universally hated by fans of other clubs. Sadly, the BBC, Sky, the newspapers and media in general have still to realise this.

  29. The rule has changed regarding C.L.Qualification.The Premier League are allowed a maximum of 5 teams.The only way 4th place does not qualify you for C.L. football is
    1.Both Liverpool and City WIN their Cup Finals and City finish outside of the top 4.If Liverpool win the Europa they get C.L. football.4th place is assured of C..L.

  30. Al,
    Apologies for the delay. Paul’s post has all the details on why Liverpool winning the Europa league alone wouldn’t push the 4th placed team out of the CL.

  31. So, Friend has been replaced by Swarbrick for the Leicester game next Monday. Apparently, he went to a couple of games at King Power and is deemed therefore to have a conflict of interest.

    Strangely though, he is a Bristol City supporter.

    How I wish it was as easy to get rid of Dean from our games! The same man who “dances a jig” when Totteringham score against us!

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