Arsenal lost two points for one percent of what Chelsea and the Tottenham did last night. So what will the FA do?

By Tony Attwood

On 20 October 1990 Arsenal beat Man U 1-0 at Old Trafford.   In the second half, Anders Limpar (who scored the goal) tangled with Irwin.  Winterburn then got embroiled with Irwin, and there was what the BBC used to call a bit of argy bargy but which now some call a melee – a bit of pushing and shoving between 21 of the 22 players which lasted well under half a minute.  Limpar and Winterburn were booked – no one was sent off.

Both sides punished their players afterwards, and Arsenal fined George Graham.  The FA then fined each club £50,000, and removed two points from Arsenal’s tally, and one from Man U’s for the season.  Given that Arsenal were chasing the championship, that mattered.

But those events look like child’s play compared to what happened between Chelsea and Tottenham last night, although I am not holding my breath to see if either club have points deducted.    These punishments are handed out to Arsenal, not to Chelsea, not to Tottenham.  Fair play between clubs is never part of the deal.

So awful was yesterday’s game that the Telegraph this morning calls is a “filthy climax” to the season and Matt Law writing in the paper, is one of many newspaper correspondents who notes that Diego Costa was gouged in the eye by Mousa Dembele.

Whereas in the Arsenal Man U game there were two bookings, here Tottenham alone had nine booked, and will get… a fine.    Dembele is expected by many to three-match retrospective ban for  his eye gouge.

Law calls what happened at the end of the game “a riot”.  Every paper notes that Fabregas was stamped on by Lamela in the game, then at the end had a go at Danny Rose, who reacted and knocked the Chelsea manager to the ground.

Chelsea’s assistant, Steve Holland, had to be held back.  Diego Costa went for Tottenham’s reserve keeper Michel Vorm and appeared to try and bite him.

Mauricio Pochettino twice got involved and then when asked if he and his players had gone too far, (this is the media talking to Tottenham remember – everything is always genteel in terms of the media reporting of that club) Pochettino said, “Maybe yes…. there is emotion, we are human. It is a pleasure to play in this intensity.”

Dele Alli has already been banned retrospectively for punching West Bromwich Albion’s  Claudio Yacob so there is previous (which was the reason given for Arsenal’s two point deduction – the club had had a bit of an affray with Norwich earlier in the season.)

But here it was different.  As the Telegraph commentary on the match says, “By the end, Spurs were taking out anyone in blue…”

Other papers reflect on the match in the same way.  In the Guardian there is the comment that “Dembélé made it all the way to stoppage time before he was booked might be the greatest miracle of all. In the dying moments of the first half, after Danny Rose slid in late on Willian in front of the Spurs dug-out, players and coaches from both sides came together in a mêlée that distracted the officials sufficiently for the Belgian to push his nails into one of Diego Costa’s eyes and down his face and emerge unnoticed and unpunished.”

They also noted Kyle Walker push Pedro to the floor and then kick him in the shin.  Érik Lamela’s two-footed foul on Cesc Fàbregas…   The list goes on and on and on and on.

The Daily Mail is quite clear in saying that, “Tottenham’s Eric Dier, Mousa Dembele and Kyle Walker should all have been dismissed in title-deciding draw with Chelsea.”  Indeed they run a whole series of headlines today about the game above Graham Poll’s review.

  • The Spurs players completely lost their discipline at Stamford Bridge
  • Kyle Walker was given too many chances by referee Mark Clattenburg
  • Moussa Dembele’s eye gouge on Diego Costa was a clear red card
  • Mauricio Pochettino only added to the tensions between the players
  • Eric Dier should have been dismissed for a second nasty challenge

“The Spurs players completely lost their discipline, and although a few Chelsea players did nothing to discourage it, they were largely blameless.

“Even so, after a tumultuous game with 12 yellow cards, the referee should review his performance to see if his approach contributed to the mayhem….Walker was a man on a mission and for Clattenburg to give him three or four chances was ill-advised.”

Of course what should really happen is that PGMO should review his performance, and then review their own performance, agree they are not fit for purpose and wind themselves up.  But of course not – that would be too good for the game.

The ex-ref Poll is also critical of Mauricio Pochettino coming onto the field of play, saying that this “fanned the flames as players raced into the melee.”  (Melee indeed is the word of the moment.)

Poll also returns to the issue of the FA getting involved.  “The worst clash saw Dembele poke Diego Costa in the eye, trying to gouge the striker, another case for the FA, although it happened right under the nose of the assistant referee Simon Beck.”

It is, of course, a chance for the FA to show what their standards are like.   They will know that they have deducted two points from Arsenal for an incident that was nothing remotely so bad as this affair, and we will know that this will show us quite clearly whether the bizarre antics of the PGMO, which works hand-in-hand with the Premier League, is now extended to influencing the FA in order to protect the extraordinary antics of their referees.

Everyone will know that a fine for Tottenham at a time when the clubs are getting a TV deal that delivers unimaginable amounts of cash, will be meaningless.   Only a deduction of points hurts, and if that does not occur – as it did in the case of a far smaller incident with Arsenal – that is the green light.

A green light not only for players to do as they wish, but for clubs to do as they wish as they become ever more desperate to try and win a trophy, and for the PGMO to continuing doing as they wish.

As we have seen, corruption is everywhere.  I am not holding my breath for change at this late stage.

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117 Replies to “Arsenal lost two points for one percent of what Chelsea and the Tottenham did last night. So what will the FA do?”

  1. The two games are certainly comparable, but for the timing. Any points deductions would most likely be held over to next season, so no benefit for us at this time.
    Chelsea probably will not be heavily penalised other than for retro action against one or two players, but Spurs completely lost it (including the very nice Mr Pochettino) and I expect severe punishment which befits a team with their cards total.

  2. Arsenal maybe behind on points in the table but light years ahead in every other way. Arsenal under Arsene will always be the pride of all true Gooners all over the world!

  3. This is what media calls “passion for the game”. Absolute disgrace. We all knew how dirty these players were. Lamela, Dier, Vertongen, Rose, Dembele, Mason…..They showed their true colours, all in a single game yesterday.

    Remember Giroud got a second yellow for just shouting in CL and Ozil for walking away last week. HAhahahahahahahaha.

  4. Reminds me of something else from Arsenal’s history I wanted to ask those with better memories/ knowledge than me about ; what the hell happened when the FA gave Wenger a 12-match touchline ban.

    It was overturned, I know that, but bloody hell, what was he meant to have done? Was in my first year of uni, rarely not drunk or hungover, when that happened so have no recollection of it.

    Also worth a thought is how heavily we were hit by the FA after Ruud’s lovely penalty miss. Did we have total of about ten games banned between Lauren, known and Parlour for that?

  5. As always we are getting a fair number of comments from Tottenham supporters who are basically disagreeing with the premise that if Arsenal got deducted two points for far less, maybe Tottenham should.

    They are mostly breaking out terms of commentary, so aren’t getting through, although I was intrigued by the one that compared the situation to one in which the client expects the prostitute to pay because she underperforms. I don’t quite get it, but it gave me a wry smile.

    The other problem is the insults are of such low quality when compared with the ones we deliver each day.

    Take today’s for example.

    “Thou art neither like thy sire nor dam; but like a foul misshapen stigmatic, mar’d by the destinies to be avoided, as venom toads, or lizards’ dreadful stings.” (Henry VI Part 3)

    Now that’s how you do insults.

  6. Ha, I’ve found out a little on my own about the official involved in getting Wenger that 12 game ban.

    Sounds like he was a very controversial chap who’d had some trouble previously- ‘In 1993 he lost his place; under previous circumstances that would have been the end of his Football League career. Until 1993, demoted referees were not given another chance to get back onto the List’

    It’s the end of the tale that is really glorious, however.

    Wild guess where this son of Middlesex, literally, ended up in retirement?

    ‘He now works as a Referee Coach for the Professional Game Match Officials Ltd.’

  7. Spurs’ game is deliberately on the edge, the ‘attractive football’ mantra is a smokescreen for a nasty edge. When they don’t get their own way it kicks off. 3 red cards last night would not have been unreasonable.

    On another note Tottenham have to play bang in form Southampton followed by Newcastle (who have also discovered a bit of form) fighting for their lives. If Arsenal can somehow beat City, then second place could be on.

  8. They probably do deserve punishment but even should they get it apart from a five minute window of juice taking what would it really achieve for us ?
    I am not that petty or desperate to finish above them that I want artificial assistance it wouldn’t prove anything in the long run .
    Despite the machinations of the referees the architects of our situation were ourselves and we need to take a long look at that. First though is that we have to accept that there is something wrong, until we do nothing will change and we will tread water in perpetuity.

  9. Shouldn’t the club make a noise if the FA don’t dish out the same punishment to Duds and Ches**t? there is a saying “injustice and fall allegation should never be tolerated or accepted”.

  10. Why on earth would PGMOL want to review Clattenburg’s performance?

    They didn’t bother reviewing Dean, even though he got a LOT more wrong as the retro action proved. On top of that a 100,000 plus petition to have Dean removed from future Arsenal matches was ignored by PGMOL, but a couple of whingers on Twitter got a Leicester based official removed from a Spurs game.

    Calciopoli in Italian, normal behaviour for PGMOL!

  11. Oh Mr Porter…

    Even in this breaking dawn of summer sunshine, while the Tinies implode and another year is added to the tally since they last won the league (55 and counting) you still wish to bring a could or two to dampen our joy. As the witch once said ‘rejoice, rejoice!’ for today we celebrate the comeuppance that the lillywhites so richly deserve.

    Tomorrow we can go back to slagging off our own lot

  12. Great entertainment though . Better than the rubbish I’ve had to endure at the Emirates this season .

  13. So if I understand this post properly, you want the FA to deduct points from spurs so our beloved Arsenal can catch up? Hilarious! That surely ain’t gonna happen.
    We ain’t taking second mate, I know thats what you driving at, but we are not. We will continue to finish third and fourth as long as Mr Wenger is in charge. I’ve resigned myself to that fate, I think you should to. Being Champions is actually overhyped, finishing 2nd, 3rd or 4th is the real deal!

  14. I would love to see the banners and poster that the respective fans will be bringing along to their next game . Apparently is it very fashionable to express your mind and feelings at a football game .
    Was chuffed to see Chelski fans wishing their former manager well in winning the EPL . Real classy .
    Will the be posters about the EPL being fixed or the PIGMOB being crooked ?
    Don’t hold you breath .

  15. Think with Spurs, Clattenberg has been on a mission to help them get something like the favours Leicester have been receiving from refs.
    Not only him though, Spurs have been getting away with a lot…..what does Dier have to do to get a red card? Dembele should be banned for more than 3 games…..and yes, there is precedent for points deduction, but this is Spurs….the media quite like them, so not expecting much.
    But, Spurs have imploded for the world to see, other teams will have noted what happened last night for next season. They are clearly very easy to wind up, and wont always have a ref like that thing last night.

  16. Of course about half a dozen players should have been sent off last night, the majority of them in white. The officiating was poor but this is just the norm these days. This applies to all games, not just ours.

    Congratulations to Leicester. They deserved it. There have been some very mean-spirited comments from some on here suggesting corruption and that somehow Leicester’s triumph was fixed. Disappointing from Arsenal fans who are merely portraying their love of dining on sour grapes. Leicester’s football was often vibrant and passionate, more so than many of the so-called giant clubs. Well done Foxes, your achievement is the most amazing I’ve seen in my lifetime.

    Let’s hope we can match their success next season.

  17. Stephan

    Fair chance you were one of those who resigned yourself a few years back to never winning a trophy again under Wenger, so you never know; life does have pleasant surprises occasionally.


    Looks like the old suggestion that being extremely critical and suspicious of pgmol has to take something away from analysing what we-the club, players, manager- are responsible for and have control over. And, from a fans point of view, not showing appropriate concern (and criticism) for those same things.

    Not sure what the basis is for believing it’s like that. Can only speak for myself, but I find it fairly easy to do both and don’t find one impacts much on the other.

    I’m probably as hyper-critical as the next person when it comes to watching the team; I just try and get control of it and acknowledge the fact that hyper critical part of me is crazily emotional and needs plenty of help as a judge.

    As ever, it all boils down to whether you think pgmol are good, ok, bad, terrible, etc.

    I think they’re poor overall and terrible when it comes to us, so there’s no reason to keep quiet about that given how damaging I’m convinced it is for the club I’m so desperate to see succeed.

    No way I could watch last night’s action and not think of what it means for us- bad news, unless we commit fully to joining em, which would take at least a couple of years- if that’s what flies in the premier league.

    Worse, I couldn’t stop myself thinking of the contrast between how easy it is for us to get sent off in big games compared to how hard it was yesterday. And that’s the really bad news, because there isn’t a way to prepare for that if it’s the case. Fire with fire is fine only if the, erm, fire department can be trusted.

    So, again, how we each view it comes down to whether you believe they are anything like trustworthy and fair. I guess that makes both of our reactions inevitable, and we’ll just continue on in the same way.

    Trust me, though, I’m still constantly thinking about what we can control and how we might be able to improve.

    I wouldn’t worry about the manager having a defeatist attitude about PGMOL, mind, or letting worries about them take something away from thinking about how to get better.

    If he was as convinced as i am about the rottenness of Riley and co, it’s very hard to see how he could have stayed in the job all this time. Which does make me think, and doubt myself, but then I just watch our games again for a bit and the whole thing starts over.

  18. Two of the most disliked teams in the league by many Arsenal fans totally lose the plot, especially Tottenham, and the reaction is outrage how the beautiful game is ….under a threat ?

    I loved every minute of it.

    How many on here would praise both teams if they had served up an instant classic full of quality and memorable moments?… Probably none.

    Also, had Clattenburg issued the red cards people are clamoring for in the aftermath, the same people would say he had lost the plot.
    Let the FA sort it out with all the replays available to them.

    Chelsea are are a cynical bunch and Tottenham not far behind them.
    That’s part of the reason Chelsea won it last year and Tottenham came close this term.
    Leicester have in abundance as well as do most of title winning sides.
    Arsenal used to have it in spades with Veira, Ljunberg, Adams, Keown,Lehmann, Pires and others, but lost it along the way.
    It’s a vital ingredient of any team with title aspirations and I wish we were more cynical at times.

  19. The usual suspects steering away from the subject under discussion to slag Arsenal off, what is it with these people??? This has nothing to do with Arsenal, did any of you see any of our players in that match last night?

    Spot on re clattenburg, didn’t he also award the spuds a phantom penalty when ball hit sterling in the back/ribs earlier this year?

    The arrogance from the spuds players has been a long way coming. This is what happens when the laws are applied selectively. The players know it, and being the tots they are they will keep pushing boundaries, culminating in what we saw yesterday.

    Ali was always coming across as very arrogant, and no surprise really he did what he did which resulted in that ban. But he isn’t the first or only spud guilty of that, most of them make shrek look like a saint. Walker is always swearing and shouting at refs all the time. A couple of seasons ago they had a player called bentalab or something like that who aimed a stamp on Monreal’s head with Monreal prone on the ground. He “missed” by an inch, but was never punished nor did the media make anything of it. They ought to be punished, and punished severely.

  20. Congratulations to Leicester who got away with a lot, but totally deserve to be champions anyway.
    Always nice to see the little guy win.

  21. Tom
    I see you’re speaking out f your rear end again. You’re probably the only person here who could have said clattenburg had lost the plot had he issued those red cards. Speak for yourself. And I certainly don’t recall seeing any of our players you mention try to gouge anyone’s eyes out. Or try to break anyone’s legs. What the hell is wrong with you??

  22. @Tom, agree. We had a whole raft of fighters when we were winning the league. Football isn’t an art, it’s a sport and sport is a passionate pastime, yes it was dirty last night but you could see how desperate Spurs wanted it; oh and if football is an art our team would get a C- grade in class. We’re more Jackson Bollox than Pablo Picasso.

  23. Spurs have a tradition of trying to play football, going back to the days of John White, Cliff Jones et al.

    The modern version has added what the media like to call “steel”. ie when things go against them they resort to violence. Their manager revealed his true personality by joining in and encouraging the players.

    Yes, a bit of a surprise that the Spurs-loving media have made their comments, but don’t expect much in the way of FA action, either against them or Clattenburg.

    I am glad that Arsenal are different. Our club has class that Spurs are lacking.

  24. Nobody condones gouging eyes or breaking legs but this game was quite tame compared to what the Leeds side of the 70’s dished out. It does offend modern sensibilities I know but every now and then it’s great to see unbridled passion, it’s down to the ref to control the game, which Clattenburg clearly couldn’t do.

  25. The Iconic picture of Keown screaming at Van Nistelroy . That’s what this current teams missing and by the bucket load !

  26. Correct on Sterling/phantom penalty Al.
    Agree, you need a touch of cynicism to win titles….and I am sure some of our players do possess these attributes….but the problem is, with the pgmol, our players do not get with anything like what other teams do, they are not allowed to be cynical.
    The likes of Coq and even Bellerin are frequently booked early on, often for their first challenge putting them on a knife edge for the rest of the game. We all saw what Dean did at the bridge. We all saw the media outcry, and subsequent disappearance of Lee Mason for six weeks when it was perceived he was lenient on Coq at home to Palace.
    I remember some stats on here – our players get carded every 4-5 fouls, think the likes of Stoke and Liverpool at the time were permitted 11-12 fouls per card. This means either we are a 1/ dirty team…..which we clearly are not, see fair play league, OR 2/ we are not very good at fouling, OR 3/we are judged and refereed in different ways to other teams.
    I would say a bit of 2/, dont think wenger coaches that sort of thing the way the likes of Jose would, and a lot of 3/

  27. @Rich
    Life does give pleasant surprises, but with Wenger at the helm of affairs, I seriously doubt. We are so entangled in mediocrity that we have stooped so low as to wish spurs be deducted points so we take second. Wow
    Arsenal deserve better in my opinion. When we were winning the league we had players with passion ready to fight for one another, just like Leicester. Not this bunch who believe in taking selfies In January. One thing we have to realise is spurs have a better team than we do, whether we like to admit that or not. If they purchase well this summer, they’ll finish ahead of us again. You know why, cuz we never change. Its gonna be sad when ozil and sanchez leave, cuz I assure you, if we win nothing next season, which is very likely, they will. Then we start from scratch again with Ramsey. O well, lets hope for the best.

  28. Al
    “What the hell is wrong with me?”
    Apparently, the list is very long.

  29. the reality, Spurs will lose Kane, the refs and more importantly, opponents will wise up to flaws in the temperment Alli and Dier, the stadium payments will bite, and with the exception of the odd statistical blip, Spurs will remain where Wenger has put them for years, firmly in our shadow.

  30. Mandy
    There are many different ways of being cynical to advance your teams cause.
    Would anyone object to Gabriel request a physio in a dramatic fashion after getting elbowed by Carroll?
    Shouldn’t any Arsenal players have tried at least to speak a single ward to referee Pawson ( never mind surrounding him or waving an imaginary card)?

    How would any of those posible actions have adverslely effected any Arsenal players when Carroll clearly deserved a sending off?

    When Koscielny got mugged by Costa at the Bridge, he should’ve stayed down and requested a physio. Simple as that.
    Trying to continue playing while holding one’s face in pain is not being honest, but naive.
    Who knows, maybe while he’s getting treatment the officials have a chance to talk to each other and discuss what had happened, although with Dean in charge it’s a small chance.

  31. Really quite obvious from the first minute that Pochetino’s strategy was to provoke a violent reaction from Chelsea players and with Clattenburg as a witless accomplice they achieved a lead and calmed down a little for a period. Clattenburg should have seen what was enfolding before his eyes after about five minutes and realised that “letting the game flow” at that point was not an option that was ever going to end up with a positive outcome. As soon as the momentum switched they were back to Plan A.
    The points deduction history we have was something I was discussing last night but what also often gets overlooked is the punishment that other teams have to soak up for transgressions that are a million miles away from what ocurred at Stamford Bridge. The self-same Clattenburg had no hesitation in sending off Mertesacker in our game against Chelsea, for a foul that would not have received a second-look yesterday, resulting in having to play with ten men for over an hour and suffering a subsequent suspension. Dean at Chelsea? We end up 9 vs 11 when even the committee’s ruling meant it should have been 11 vs 10: but the points have gone by then.
    I’m sure there will be some retrospective action for unseen behaviour but what about the obvious, blatant dereliction of duty by the officials, that is followed with a raft of self-serving excuses, and that costs the rest of the teams competing for position and European qualifcation?

  32. Dont dispute any of that Tom, I have questioned some of the issues you raise myself.
    They are all professionals, I am sure they have it in them, can only conclude they are instructed not to get involved in such antics, or they are somehow browbeaten, and believe any such tactics would be futile at best, or even make things worse.
    But have long questioned the clubs apparent acceptance, even passivity at the way this team are refereed, this doesnt strike me as Wengers true nature, but perhaps someone senior in the club has decided to take the path of least resistance…or even believes there is some benefit in doing so, perhaps even a recurring financial benefit.

  33. blacksheep :- I don’t take pleasure in other teams winning , congrats to them but my first question and all other Arsenal supporters should be why was it not us ? As for the other lot ” Que sera ,Aixi es la vida “

  34. The kind of football played at the Bridge yesternight looked like gangsterism football played by the gangsters.

    Referee Mike Clantenburg is the chief culprit in the game while Mauricio Pochettino is a fait accompli in the ugly show. Mr Clantenburg lost his control of the match as he tried to carry out his masters, the Pgmob orders not to allow Spurs to lose the match because of Arsenal surpassing Spurs in the table. And the moment he started not to punish any offending Spurs players on the field for which they should be punished, his fairness in the game became questionable and a contempt to Chelsea players who refused to accept any contemptuous officiating by referee Mike Clantenburg. Hence, the match degenerated to a fiasco.

    Let’s wait to see what disciplinary action the FA will take against Tottenham and their erring players including their manager who should have called his players to order, but he didn’t which he didn’t

    Notwithstanding what action the FA may take against Spurs, would the FA fine them? They should. Would they ban some of their players? Why shouldn’t the FA do so. Would they deduct 3 points from them? I can’t answer that question.

    Sir Alex Ferguson had predicted that Leicester will win the title with 3 or 2 games to spare. That his prediction has come to pass with some accuracy too. Sir Alex must be a great Premier League winners predictor.

    Arsenal beating Tottenham Hotspur to a 2nd spot finish in the table is still very much on the cards as Tottenham will play a draw game with Sadio Mane’s Southampton led attack on Sunday and lose 1-0 the following Sunday to Raphel Banitez’s mother of all relegation battles survival Newcastle team at St James Park. While Arsenal will beat Man City and of course wave Aston Villa byebye to the Championship with a 4-0 hammering at the Ems.

  35. Deduct two points from spuds so that Arsenal can catch up with them is the claim/accusation.

    That is not the reason given by the writer.

    The point of deducting points and not issuing a fine is because fines are easily payable, recovering the lost points is difficult and could mean the loss of an important place in the league.

    Fines no matter how big are now peanuts. There isn’t a Premier League club that could not afford them.

    The deduction of points is a stronger deterrent for bad conduct then a fine.

    As was pointed out there is a precedent for the deduction of points.

  36. Dear oh dear! so some think spuds have a better team than Arsenal. Some think that the game last night was more entertaining than what we see at the Ems. Some think that art is only on canvas. What we need is education education education.

    There are far too many uneducated following football. Goes with many who actually play the game. Football is supposed to be played by two teams according to the Laws of the Game. These being implemented by officials called referees. If these referees do not follow the Laws correctly then all that occurs on the field of play is chaos as seen last night. If that chaos is entertaining to some so be it.

    The team Arsenal have are probably the most technically well coached & gifted in Europe. That does not mean they can kick the shit out of a rugby team nor can they beat a team that has subliminal support from the officials. To be successful a team has to have consistent officiating of the Laws that they have been coached with. Leicester were in that zone with officiating clearly on their side with Laws specially catering for their needs. This includes the managed appointment of officials in any or all games that coud impact this success.

    Well done the PGMOL, FA & EPL who permitted Leicester victory. There are a multitude of smart arse pundits praising this victory because they cannot see beyond their limited intelligence. Great for them.

    Well done the Leicester team, fans & Ranieri. The fans came out of everywhere & paid money to be part of the celebration.

    Incidentally I did bet on Leicester winning @ 13/1 to cover my bets on Arsenal.

  37. For all those clamouring for Arsenal to show a “bit of steel” and more “Pashun” just like wot we did in Vieiras day, you might care to go back and look at the media attention we received as a result back then. Every Monday was a new “Wengers Arsenal have received a total of x red and y cards”, with no thought to how many of these were genuinely dirty or indeed deserved. If we behaved as Tottenham and Leicester have done this season, all that mindless media mush would be rehashed again, as it’s abundantly clear that there is one rule for us, and one for others. As a result, we can’t play with the same gung Ho physical attitude as this would just end up in PIGMOB carrying out their required task of disciplining Arsenal even where the opponents have matched or outdone our players in physicality.
    As a side note, I thought it was hilarious when Agent Fabregas started rolling around and running to the teacher when that talentless Argie stood on his hand. You’d have thought Fabregas had been pinioned to the floor by a Plantagenet pike. Loved it.

  38. @Tom

    Regardless of how you call it, comparing this Tottenham side with Arsenal team from 2003-04 is hilarious. I mean, Lauren wasn’t a brainless thug like Walker, Cole didn’t have a lack of intelligence as Rose has and Vieira had never got away with so many fouls as Dier has had this season. The most important thing is, Arsenal players involved in the RvN incident had won something. Today’s Tottenham can be called almost champions at best, to start with that. They have won three points out of possible 12 against Leicester and Arsenal even if they played 85 minutes out of 180 against Arsenal with an extra man on the pitch (ill Cazorla in the first half of the game at Emirates, Coquelin’s red card at WHL). From their whole team I’d take two players to Arsenal – Kane and the Belgian defender that is not Vertonghen.

    I watched the game last night for 30 minutes and I could predict what would happen. Rose should have been booked at the beginning and then Ivanovic as well. Fabregas was stumped on (a direct red card) but then did the same Gabriel-thing against West Ham (stretched his leg from the ground) and should have been sent off as well. I turned it off as I had already watched Freddy vs Jason.

    Clattenburg used to be a good ref but last night he was a clown from Howard “Let’s not spoil the spectacle with deserved red cards even if that means more dirty fouls than in the presidential campaign in USA” Webb’s school for referees-clowns.

  39. “Life is as simple as these three questions: What do I want? Why do I want it? And, how will I achieve it?”
    ― Shannon L. Alder

  40. Quite right Mr Rider: what those clamouring above for a return to Revie’s Leeds tactics or 90’s Arsenal are disclosing is their complete ignorance of the many interpretations of Football’s Laws that have subsequently been handed down by the IFAB for referees to implement. Mind you, there are a few referees that seem to be in the same boat.Some of the things thaat were acceptable then are not only fouls now, they are red card offences.

  41. Excellent article Tony! The match between Tottenham and Chelsea was a farce full of thuggery. A points deduction similar to what happened to Arsenal in 1990 would be appropriate, but we know there are the select few teams that will not get punished.

    Another example is Mamadou Sakho’s doping ban of only 30 days! He dopes the whole season, and his punishment ends on May 27th so he can still participate in the Euros if selected.

  42. Passion does not have to equal dirt play. I genuinely can’t believe some people are actually using this match to Praise Spurs. It’s an indictment of everything wrong with the English game and the mentality a large portion of its fans have.

    Jurgen Klopp put it wonderfully – “I understand aggressiveness only in one way, and that is being prepared to hurt yourself, not somebody else.”

  43. Jerry, I don’t think that the 30 days is the end of that story. I believe it is a temporary holding measure until the facts are fully considered. Six months, same as Kolo, is the more likely eventual outcome.

  44. HaHa – Spurs trying to play football?

    From that showing, they are the new Stoke!

  45. Anyway.. the real truth is both Leicester and Spurs showed more commitment, desire and competitiveness than we did all season. And partly as a result of this, Leicester won the league (congratulations to the Foxes on a superb season) and Spurs deserve to finish second and above us (congratulations Spurs on making real progress this year and competing for a trophy pretty much to the very end).

    Some people on this site would like to undermine your achievements by suggesting the refs gave you more and gave Arsenal less with the decisions they made in a systemised attempt to scupper the Gunners.

    It is obvious to any person who can see what’s in front of them that both of these clubs consistantly play at an intensity that Arsenal fans can only dream of. And if you have good enough players, that’s what it really takes to seriously compete for the Premiership. Technical ability is not enough. And certainly not if too many players in a squad are actually not technically good enough.

  46. Life is as simple as these three questions: What do I want? Why do I want it? And, how will I achieve it?”
    ― Shannon L. Alder

    Point 1 :- I want to win
    Point 2 :- Because that was what I have always wanted whenever I stepped on a pitch.
    Point 3 :- I am stuck because I cannot influence the outcome of a game that I am watching. I can get frustrated at the antics of those that could.

  47. My observations, Spurs have a young inexperienced, talented side, who, took the Chelsea bait last night. I do understand after watching Hazard take the ball to the corner with 5 minutes still to play, why they lost their heads. Clattenburg tried to apply the usual leniency for big tv games, but should have applied a stricter approach to calm things down. I agree on some severe punishment to all involved.

    But the truth is, Spurs appear to have what it takes to fight for the top, compared to my Arsenal, who have shown very little of that fight this year.

    A last word on the managers, Pochettino, angry but gracious and honourable afterwards, Wenger the other day, blaming his own fans for his managerial dificiencies this season. Here, lies the real difference between both teams, I fear.

  48. I might not be able to see what’s in front of me but am I dreaming that in our five games against those two teams when we showed no commitment, no desire, no competitiveness and no intensity, the results were three wins, two draws and no losses? Someone wake me up so I can get down to SpecSavers.

  49. Fishpie
    Well said.
    I have watched every Leicester City game this season and interestingly , I don’t recall seeing a single example of a Leicester City player pointing to the name on the back of his shirt after scoring a goal, or cupping his ear after a cushioned header to set up a teammate’s goal, something that’s commonplace throughout the league, Arsenal included.

    A total commitment to the cause by this Leicester team and if Arsenal players showed more desire and guts instead of taking selfies and worry about their hair, this could’ve been their season.

  50. Come the weekend, Arsenal fans will be fighting amongst each other once again with the Wenger Out / In groups at each others throats. Must of been a lovely distraction last night but sadly when the dust settles from the game, fans of other teams can start laughing again at Arsenal.

  51. If Spurs and Leicester are these amazing force of nature, and Arsenal are as described by their critics, how is our record against these two teams this season explained?

  52. You have to accept the scum will never be as punished as us. If there deducted points it could mean 4th and no champions league. However galling it may be that is not going to happen

  53. @Tom

    You did when you wrote:

    “Chelsea are are a cynical bunch and Tottenham not far behind them.
    That’s part of the reason Chelsea won it last year and Tottenham came close this term.
    Leicester have in abundance as well as do most of title winning sides.
    Arsenal used to have it in spades with Veira, Ljunberg, Adams, Keown,Lehmann, Pires and others, but lost it along the way.
    It’s a vital ingredient of any team with title aspirations and I wish we were more cynical at times.”

    The recent Manchester City title winning side (pick either Mancini’s or Pellegrini’s) could hardly be called a street-wise cynical bunch. Both times they won the league thanks to their raw quality on the pitch, mostly thanks to their ability to score loads of goals (93 and 101 respectively). Now that ability – to hit six and seven past teams like Norwich City or Bournemouth – is something Arsenal don’t have because we don’t have a world-class striker since Robin van Persie had left. That’s why City have “half of a point” over us in case they beat us at Etihad and that’s why Tottenham have “half a point” over us even if they pick just three points from their remaining two matches and we win both of ours.

  54. Retrospective bans , yes, I expect a few. I think the best precedent to compare with when considering last night’s game is the Man U vrs Arsenal game the so called RvN incident. No points were deducted. No one got red carded but Arsenal players were punished severely. I expect the same. In the mean time congratulations to Leicester. They started the season as an attacking force with a leaky defence, but once that got sorted out they became a solid unit. Their work ethic was amazing.Their passion was inimitable. Yes they were lucky with injuries and suspensions until the run in but what a performance.

  55. A LACK of supplementary discipline sends a strong message to the league as to what is acceptable.

    Pochettino seemed to be trying to keep players apart…still, he is not allowed on the pitch

    By the league’s rules none of those yellows will magically turn into reds because the league does not allow retrospective decisions.

    A points deduction and a huge fine should be considered as it wasn’t just one Tottenham player that was misbehaving but a whole flock of them. Yes this would obviously help Arsenal but it is even odds whether we would be able to take advantage of it. In my mind, it is important to show the world just how dirty that team in white is.

  56. GGG, yes, by todays standards at least, they are a dirty team, and tend to get away with a lot as well. But that show might change a thing or two.
    Next season, the windup merchants that inhabit the league.. will have been watching that with glee. Think some of those players will go through what Costa went through when the shortness of his fuse became apparent to all. The likes of Walker, Rose, Dier, Dembele, Alli et al will bite….. every time.

  57. Watched the Fox Central shown in Malaysia , and there was no mention of the mayhem , madness or the violence perpetrated by Spurs and Chelski game . The showed all the goals , and nothing else .
    Then they went on to heap praise the Foxes for their unique win , as well as the goings on at Vardy’s house and at the various pubs .
    No managers’ interviews , players reactions or who was presented the man of the match award .
    I think that they are saving the footage for an upcoming episode of the EPL bumper blooper show, ‘Riley’s , do believe this shit ?’ . Referees the world over will be invited as contestants to watch clips and be asked questions on what they think happened next and what the berk in the middle’s decision was . Just to compare refereeing standards the world over .
    Ought to be a hoot !

  58. The number of goals scored is not because of a lack of strikers. It is because we are not coached to be ruthless. We need to play continously to score irrelevant of how many we score. All the showboating does not count apart from entertaining the youth. Ruthless football does not mean vicious or nasty football but no sympathy for those unable to cope with our skill.

  59. The Spuddies have been getting away with a lot of vicious thuggery all season, last night their performance was simply a continuance of that viciousness although at a heightened level.

    Their thuggery all season has been unacceptable, but the fact that it has continued for so long is part the fault of their two faced manager, their thug players and especially the incompetent PGMO for permitting it. All should be punished for bringing the game into disrepute – last night must surely be one of the most vicious and cynical performances on a football field for very many years.

    Clattenburg – once a fine and promising referee has degenerated into worse than useless.

  60. Just to add a few more bits to my hypothesis regarding our need for a world-class striker, Leicester and Tottenham.

    Arsenal had gone behind in all four games against the aforementioned clubs. In all four games we had been trailing at some point of the game. We lost none of those four.

    However, we have dropped our lead against West Brom, Norwich, West Ham, Liverpool, Swansea, Crystal Palace and, indeed, Tottenham away. Sixteen points! Compare it with 2012-13 team that was at least two levels below this team in terms of individual quality (Čech, Bellerin, improved Monreal, improved Koscielny, improved Coquelin, improved Ramsey, Özil, Alexis, Welbeck…would all walk into that team), that dropped just four points from winning positions throughout whole season.

    PGMO or no PGMO, lack of killing instinct in the final third didn’t help us either.

  61. Some elements will just change the subject to Arsenal. Even if this topic was on the weather, they’d somehow twist that to involve Arsenal and try and use it against Arsenal. How sad. This article is about the thuggery that went on between spuds and Chelsea yesterday. That Arsenal got mentioned is only because a precedence was set for these kinds of things, and that involved Arsenal. It might well have been Liverpool or any other team that got docked two points. This isn’t about how well this or that team played this or that season. Is it not possible just to have a discussion on something without using it as a stick to beat Arsenal with.

  62. I’m sorry i never watched the game, really, or maybe after Tony’s description of it maybe not.

    It sounds like a battlefield and i must ask, was there any football played at all?

    So i am off to u-tube to see if i can find a vid, i’ve just got to see this now, especially after reading the comments here. 🙂

  63. Josif
    I know what I wrote and still don’t think I have compared the Arsenal of 2004 to this Spurs team., except for the cynical part as an ingredient for success. Other ingredients being talent , dedication, team work and tactical awareness, all of which Tottenham are inferior to the Arsenal of 2004.
    But if you so desperately want to cling to this one aspect I have mentioned, be my guest.

    I’m not disagreeing about Man City’s goal scoring prowess and its importance in winning the title, but I’m gonna pretend you didn’t just say Man City aren’t, or couldn’t be if required, a street smart cynical bunch.

    Kompany is one of the most savvy defenders you will find anywhere who gets away with more grappling and holding in the pen area than anyone,so is Kolarov and Zabaleta, not to mention the Brazilians in the mid and especially Toure, who on his day can be as cynical as they come.

    Compare any of the aforementioned players to the likes of Walcott or Ox and we might as well be talking about choirboys.

  64. @Tom
    To be fair to Josif you are shifting about somewhat with your explanations and insights in to what constitutes the ingredients for success. Up until he called you out the sum of your requirements were: no red cards to be issued by refs, sign a team of cynics, ban selfies, hide their combs, and when The BlackScarf Mob abuse you and boo Welbeck being brought on, don’t celebrate a great assist for the substitute’s winning goal three minutes later.

  65. From what i can see the first fracus during the match was enough for bans, fines and punishment, but then at the end it started up again so obviously the punishment was not enough.

    Lets see what the “FA and PGMO gods” do now.

  66. It’s unbelievable some so call fans want Arsenal to cheat or play dirty so as to win a match. Play fair whether win, draw or lose. A club’s image and respect is worth more than a trophy. I want to watch players showing their football skills not dirty tactics. If I want to see rough violent plays then I go watch rugby. Football is football, rugby is rugby, don’t mix the two together.

  67. @Mandy Dodd, I read your comments on this forum regularly and you are, it seems to me, both fair and realistic in your devotion to Arsenal. You see both points of view and argue politely and with passion. But your comment about Arsenal’s record this season against Spurs and Leicester, whilst true, is beside the point. And I believe you know this. Arsenal clearly have the ability to compete with Leicester and Spurs (frankly, I bloody well hope so given our greater financial resources) and indeed of Leicester’s three defeats so far this season, two of them were against us. BUT we played countless matches again and again pretty much since November without the required level of (as Tom above puts it) commitment to the cause. Arsenal fans may not be the greatest advert for their club and I include myself in that criticism but please will someone on this site not face the brutal truth; there are no excuses – poor fans, bad , corrupt officials, injuries, etc etc etc etc- it is as plain as plain can be; in the team’s performances, in front of the whole world, Arsene Wenger has failed to get the right combination of belief, drive, tactics, form , cohesion, organisation, line -up, substitutions for too many games. Too many meaning Utd away, Chelsea at home, Swansea at home, Southampton away, Norwich away, Southampton at a home, Palace at a home, 2 up, 3-2 down at West Ham. Beating Leicester, the champions, twice Mandy is good , it’s great in fact but but so what if you can’t coach your super stars to beat a depleted United or a depleted Swansea. I know I’m to blame (it’s official now cos Arsene has declared it so) and I’m happy to admit my contribution to another no-challange, no-progress, wimpy season. Will “judge me at the end of the season” Arsene Wenger be man enough however to do the same for his contribution. A bit of criticism and he lashes out, blaming every body else and everything else except himself. I acknowledge coming fourth or third again is an achievement of high consistency but it is also another failure of exceeding the minimum required, something this season we should have been more than capable of. Sorry about the rant. Respect Mandy, as I’ve said before on this site, you and other Untolders especially deserve so much more from the man you all defend so passionately.

  68. @bjtgooner
    Your two-faced manager comment on Pocettino is interesting: I recently saw some stats that recorded that in his playing career at Espanyol, the number of red cards he received placed him in the ALL-TIME top ten La Liga offenders. If you calculate it on the basis of average cards per game – 13/272 – he is número uno!

  69. What will the FA do?

    Well, PGMO seems happy enough with The Clatt. He is back working in the middle on Saturday, dealing with Bournemouth vs WBrom. And S Beck is running line Saturday for CPalace vs Stoke.

    We get Anthony Taylor on Sunday, with Jones whispering in the ear. Mike Dean has been charged with assisting ManU away to WHam on Tuesday.

    Saturday 7 May 2016
    K.O. _MATCHES _ _ _ _ REFEREE _ _ _ ASST. REF. 1 _ _ASST. REF. 2 _ _4TH OFFICIAL
    15:00 Aston Villa – Newcastle Robert Madley _ _P Kirkup _ _M Perry _ _L Mason
    15:00 Bournemouth – West Brom Mark Clattenburg J Brooks _ _A Halliday M Haywood
    15:00 Crystal Palace – Stoke _Kevin Friend _ _ S Beck _ _ _A Nunn _ _ D Handley
    17:30 Leicester – Everton _ _ Andre Marriner _ S Child _ _ S Ledger _ G Salisbury
    12:45 Norwich – Man Utd _ _ _ Craig Pawson _ _ M Mullarkey D Bryan _ _K Hill
    15:00 Sunderland – Chelsea _ _Mike Jones _ _ _ R West _ _ _M Scholes _G Scott
    15:00 West Ham – Swansea _ _ _Michael Oliver _ G Beswick _ M Wilkes _ J Moss
    Sunday 8 May 2016
    K.O. _MATCHES _ _ _ _ REFEREE _ _ _ ASST. REF. 1 _ _ASST. REF. 2 _ _4TH OFFICIAL
    16:00 Liverpool – Watford _ _ Lee Mason _ _ _ _D Cann _ _ _E Smart _ _R Madley
    16:00 Man City – Arsenal _ _ _Anthony Taylor _ L Betts _ _ S Burt _ _ M Jones
    13:30 Spurs – Southampton _ _ Jonathan Moss _ _A Holmes _ _H Lennard _M Oliver
    Tuesday 10 May 2016
    K.O. _MATCHES _ _ _ _ REFEREE _ _ _ ASST. REF. 1 _ _ASST. REF. 2 _ _4TH OFFICIAL
    19:45 West Ham – Man Utd _ _ _Mike Dean _ _ _ _S Long _ _ _S Bennett _R East
    Wednesday 11 May 2016
    K.O. _MATCHES _ _ _ _ REFEREE _ _ _ ASST. REF. 1 _ _ASST. REF. 2 _ _4TH OFFICIAL
    20:00 Liverpool – Chelsea _ _ Michael Oliver _ S Burt _ _ _G Beswick _P Tierney
    19:45 Norwich – Watford _ _ _ Roger East _ _ _ A Halliday _H Lennard _K Friend
    19:45 Sunderland – Everton _ _Anthony Taylor _ L Betts _ _ P Kirkup _ L Mason

  70. As has been mentioned above, yesterdays aggro was much less than I remember seeing as a kid (From Leeds especially but the general standard was different across all teams) but the game has moved on. Look how many cards Coquelin gets and he’s a saint by the standards of most DMs in the PL. These guys wanting a ‘destroyer’ would soon get fed-up with him being red-carded. Their initial “That’s what we need, a bit of steel” would soon be replaced with “He doesn’t play often enough to justify his salary”.

    porter, you mention “want artificial assistance” but the season has been full of artificial assistance and artificial hindrance but the refs in pretty much every game.
    Either the rules are the rules or the FA just make it up as they go along.

    I think pretty much everyone is happy to congratulate the Leicester fans as they’ve endured years of pain. As for their team, they’ve had more PGMO assistance than any team previously (Surprisingly even more than Old Red Nose teams got) but even without that they looked like good team, just not a PL winning team.
    I really hope they don’t implode next year. They deserve to be a decent middle table team but some of their fans will expect them to show better in the Cups as well as be a top 4 team, together with the extra CL games, which could cause them serious problems even if they manage to hold onto Kante, Mahrez and Vardy.

  71. Gord,
    So we get Anthony Taylor, a manchester ref when we are playing a team from manchester, for a critical match to decide who gets automatically promoted into the CL places??? This is a slap in the face guys. They’re doing blatantly now, without a care at all..

  72. After I posted the appointments, I looked at Zeta Board. There were a few comments there about the appointments, but no comments about how shitty The Clatt was, or about Taylor for our game. That Dean had some minor game (involving Brighton?) had 2 or 3 comments. So, the refereeing community seems to never see a problem with how they perform, or which teams they do.

  73. @Al,
    Good point, you would have thought the PGMOL would have learned after changing the Leicester supporting ref from the Spurs game a few weeks ago.

    But of course we get a Manchester ref against a Manchester team! Just continues the FA & PGMO motto : Different rules for different clubs.

  74. Fishpie, yes, we have had some very disappointing results, and a couple runs of results against teams we should be doing better against.
    I only speak for myself and not others on here, but just because I back Wenger does not mean I am blind to things that need improved. And yes, refereeing is one area that needs improvement. The most obvious issue the teeam can control is scoring goals against such teams that defend in numbers. There is also the issue that confidence levels can drop quickly when this demanding type of football Wenger wants isnt quite there. Part of this is losing all our specialist ball players to injury. But, yes one of two things clearly need addressing, and I would be amazed if work is not done this summer. One or two will come to the end of contracts, one or two others may benefit perhaps from different coaching, and a new environment….spaces will be freed up in the squad. And dont forget that these days, when first teamers do come in, they tend to be pretty good.
    the problem of goal scoring – while not every report is to be believed, we have been surely linked with sufficient strikers to suggest Wenger is aware of a problem, and has tried to solve it, but such players do not grow on trees. and just because wenger wants, doesnt always mean he gets, for a number of reasons, if one anti wenger blog is to be believed, the board have twice vetoed Benzema over wages.
    As for Wenger lashing out, no different to most other managers, they live in a pressured environment. for what its worth, I do not think he was referring to the fans en mass, but egos with agendas…think i know who that may be, and perhaps the type of fan singing songs wishing him dead. He can also lash at the media…..dont blame him one bit there.
    Back to Leicester….and more specifically Spurs, was not especially referring to your post, more a wider recent trend just dont get the Wenger critics extreme love-in with Spurs on so many sites. They have had their most amazing season since 1961, but still walk away with nothing, Arsenal have had an , at times frustrating, injury punctuated, inconsistent year, without a clinical striker, yet we could easily finish very close to or even catch them, in a season whereby we played them 3 times, including half a game with 10 men, and didnt lose once. seem to remember similar Wenger critics love-ins with Arry, some even jealous they were getting AVB. Yes, this season they have played with hunger, intensity, and whatever one chooses to call that performance last night, but lets see if they can keep that up with the demands of next season, especially as wily pros get wise to some very short fuses.
    But in the end, looks like Wenger will stay, stan certainly wont sack him. A source of encouragement for some, frustration for others, coronary illness for a few. I personally would like a new contract for him, but on the condition he earns it next season, and takes away any speculation that he is there because an absent owner loves him. But we shall see.
    But whatever happens, I will look to enjoy whatever time Wenger has left at this club. He is one of a dying breed, not only a long serving legacy manager, but a disciple of the great man, Cruyff. Wenger and his teams clearly do not yet always get it right, we all know what it takes to get that brand of the game right, but when they do, their game is a thing of beauty as opposed to the simpler, less brave, but more effective for most players, run, kick, rush, 20% possession, foul and counter….with admittedly , some very clinical strikers that more and more teams seem to be playing, at least against Arsenal.

  75. Here we go again with ‘our record against Leicester and spurs’. Okay we bested them both, but hey, Leicester are the Champions! No one cares about who won the home or away match, who has the best away or home record in the league, who is top on points amongst the biggest teams in the league, or who has the best record across the full year. No one cares!
    What people care about is winning, being champions.Thats what matters not ludicrous trophys we seem to create by ourself’s. It’s only in England I here 4th place trophy, why? Cuz Wenger formed it. Check Wikipedia its clearly there. In other leagues no one cares, 1st position is what matters and nothing else, and we’ve not been there for 12 full years. Think about it

  76. And a word for all those on the refs case yesterday. It was a London derby, can’t remember a london derby with so much significance in recent years. He was fair to both sides, not just brandishing cards for every petulent tackle made initially. When he saw the tackles were getting really feisty he started issues cards. He gave a record number of cards yesterday in EPL history-12 yellow cards. 9 for spurs and 3 for chelsea. The only error in my opinion he made was not giving Dier his second yellow of the match for his foul on Fabregas and playing advantage instead. That was wrong. The other off the ball incidents will be handled by the FA obviously. We are all human and we should understand the pressure he was on in such and encouter. He did the best he could to control the match which he unfortunately couldn’t due to the intensity and passion been put into that match. Let’s cut him some slack

  77. Lets not also kid ourselves by saying ‘this article is not about arsenal’. Oh yes it is. Let’s be honest to ourselves for once please. If we were 7 points ahead of Spurs, do you think an article like this will be posted?
    Answer honestly

  78. Taylor?

    Lets get on Twitter and get it changed like the filthy Spuds seem to be able to do

  79. Andy 4.24.
    Read the whole sentence , it’s pretty clear that I do not want artificial assistance and that I am in fact embarrassed that people are suggesting a points deduction to let us go above them. To save you going back :- I am not that petty or desperate to finish above them that I want artificial assistance it wouldn’t prove anything in the long run .
    I still maintain that the fact that we will end up behind them is down to us and the lacklustre fare we have offered up this season

  80. @Stephan
    I’ve thought about your argument by vehemence and concluded it doesn’t hold much water. You shouldn’t presume to tell me what I care about and what not. In fact, if those rightfully ecstatic Leicester fans had subscribed to your notion any time over the past 132 years there wouldn’t be a club today to win the EPL. And that’s without mentioning that lot from up the road who have gone 55 years without a 1st position. Think about it yourself.

  81. Mandy you mentioned Cruyff a legend in my eyes and the man that took every school playground by storm as everyone was learning that turn. However something that needs to be remembered is the philosophy he took into management.

    Winning without playing attacking football is boring, but playing attacking football without winning is pointless. Johann Cruyff.

  82. hear hear Percy. Stephan you need to get back to your school books to understand history. The FA cup is older than the Premier League. It may not be worth a fraction of the League but it is the oldest & one of the most prestigeous trophies in football. Your ‘dissing’ of it shows your lack of knowledge.

    Norman – twitter changes some things but with the likes of Piss take Morgan on there is it really worth it.

  83. Hi Mandy Dodd, fantastically balanced and gentle response. Thank you. I wish I had that lightness of touch.
    I think I’m right in saying you’ve written before about acknowledging there are things that need fixing and you’ve hoped/expected stuff would to be resolved that winter/summer etc. Well me too but perhaps this is where we part company…in that too much doesn’t get resolved or a least resolved enough to make any difference (at least in terms of the Premiership and Champion’s League) and too much stays as it was as though the problems we had weren’t problems at all. What hole in our defence? What lack of leadership? What lack of intensity in our play? The evidence before us all clearly shows that we are more likely to see more of the same next year and a continuation of a side (with or without changes) not equipped technically, physically, mentally, attitudinally, tactically to challenge. I agree Mr Wenger is asking his team to play a more difficult game than many of the teams we oppose but the evidence suggests it doesn’t work, and as a result his players lose heart. He may think he has years to get it right but his players don’t have that luxury. Careers are over very quickly. It could be said that too many players have wasted their time at Arsenal under Mr Wenger trying to fulfil his impossible vision. Many Arsenal players (the best ones) with the greatest ability have gone on to or come from other big clubs who play good football (City, United, Barca,Real) and where they experienced trophy success. Mr Wenger didn’t deliver for them in building good enough teams around them and yet he thinks he should stay. I don’t get it.

  84. So some on here think that that display of thuggery last night was ok.
    I do not want any child who may have seen this match to think that that display is the way to play the beautiful game at all. Let’s not mince words here, what happened at Stamford Bridge was totally wrong and no excuses should ever be made to try and cover it up.
    Spurs totally lost it and Chelsea played their part but no where near as bad as Spurs. If the FA do not hand out the appropriate punishment what message will that send out to the younger generation of football players.
    It will make a mockery of the EPL and I don’t know why people have even brought Arsenal and A Wenger into this unless it’s just to get a reaction on this site which if so then how childish and stupid.
    I don’t want my 10 year old grandson who plays for his school to think what happened is acceptable and it’s OK to go flying into tackles that may break someone’s leg or to put your finger into someone’s eyes is all part of the game. Children copy there hero’s and that is my worse fear for these children coming up.
    Hopefully they will have been told that this is not the way to play football.
    Yes you can tackle hard as long as it’s fair and not meant to deliberate attempt to harm your opponent and use your strength to your advantage fairly. That last night is everything that is wrong with the game and Clattenburg could not handle the situation at all. He lost control of the game early and made no attempt to put it right. If this is one of the best refs then it tells us all we need to know quite clearly, the lunatics have already took over the asylum and done so blatantly.

  85. @ percy
    I understand your personality totally. You enjoy the notion of beating the eventual Champions. Well I’m different, I enjoy being the Champion and don’t care the club’s that beat me en route to the trophy. As for @Menace, I don’t recal mentioning the FA cup in any of my comments. Think you need glasses mate

  86. @Stephan:

    “And a word for all those on the refs case yesterday. It was a London derby, can’t remember a london derby with so much significance in recent years. He was fair to both sides, not just brandishing cards for every petulent tackle made initially. When he saw the tackles were getting really feisty he started issues cards. He gave a record number of cards yesterday in EPL history-12 yellow cards. 9 for spurs and 3 for chelsea. The only error in my opinion he made was not giving Dier his second yellow of the match for his foul on Fabregas and playing advantage instead. That was wrong. The other off the ball incidents will be handled by the FA obviously. We are all human and we should understand the pressure he was on in such and encouter. He did the best he could to control the match which he unfortunately couldn’t due to the intensity and passion been put into that match. Let’s cut him some slack”

    You can’t be serious. Mark Clattenburg was clearly doing everything he could to avoid brandishing a red card. That included failing to red card players for violent conduct, giving yellows instead of reds, not giving first yellows, and not giving second yellows. He also, generally speaking, allowed Spurs to get away with a huge, huge number of fouls including, arguably, one that lead to their opening goal.

    Lenient refereeing is BAD refereeing. Lenient refereeing is not excused by “it’s a derby” or “it’s an important match” and it ALWAYS leads to the same thing – unfair results and cheating. The Tottenham players became increasingly bold as the match went on as it became increasingly clear the referee would turn a blind eye to everything they did. Yellow cards, ESPECIALLY at the end of a season, just aren’t relevant punishment. The red cards they deserved would have almost certainly have seen them lose the match, which was the punishment they deserved.

    I’m not insane, I understand that referees have a difficult job to do, but when you look at a performance as bad as that and think that it’s in any way acceptable, you are sorely, sorely lost.

    Mark Clattenburg was guilty of the same stupidity that Howard Webb became infamous for in his later years: not making decisions. He was so fearful of making a bad decision that he failed to make any good ones. If Tottenham had won the match it would have been an absolute travesty of justice.

  87. @Rodelero
    You really do hate Spurs with a passion though. I was a fan of football before I started supporting this beloved club Arsenal. There’s nothing worse than a Ref who gives a yellow card for every tackle. It’s totally terrible to watch. He tried to make the game flow instead of being the centre of attention. Imagine if he had given 2 red cards in the first half. Would have totally killed the match in my opinion. Remember when he let Rose of for a bad tackle, when Rose was subsequently fouled by ivanovic or so, he reminded Rose of his own foul and told him to shut it. A lenient ref is a good ref for me, one who only makes decisions when tackels have becone damn right reckless or got repeated fouls. A ref that gave a team 9 yellow cards is not good enough for you because he didnt give them a red. The only red he should have given was Dier and i clearly stated that. Chelsea had equalised by then if I’m correct. From your post the hatred is so obvious that you had to say they would have lost the match if the ref had been giving them reds. I dont hate them mate, there’s no need. I care about my club and want my club to do better. Who knew Spurs a couple of years back. But we’ve been stagnant and now they are catching up and we all gon crazy on their matches. Focus on Us!

  88. @Stephan
    You are a clever chap aren’t you? A couple of posts on a football blog and you presume to know what I care about and you have a total understanding of my personality. You need to take a deep breath, pause and consider just how naive and shallow your remarks are.
    I guess “Well I’m different, I enjoy being the Champion and don’t care the club’s that beat me en route to the trophy.” prety much gives away that sense of entitlement that abides in your personality – I, the champion! beat ME! If you want to debate sensibly it would be a good idea to stop misrepresenting, adopting your transparent straw man responses and address the issues actually posted.
    And just so you know, your views on refereeing are absurd; you’re doing the same thing talking gibberish in that reply to Rodelero. Don’t you realise just how asinine this is: “a good ref for me, one who only makes decisions when tackels have becone damn right reckless or got repeated fouls.” You must have a remarkable lack of self-awareness and knowledge of The Laws of Football to make such a crass remark. Try telling that crap to Abu, Aaron, Jack, or Eduardo.

  89. @Stephan:

    I’m not sure what it is that leads so many football fans to believe it is better to have a game that “breathes” than a fair result. How about this crazy idea: referees red card players when they commit violent conduct; players stop commiting violent conduct; we get a fair result.

  90. @Stephan:

    Just to add one thing, I don’t dislike Tottenham any more than I dislike Chelsea, but I absolutely revile people who cheat, and people who use thuggery rather than good football to win matches. I have many a time been disgusted by the behaviour of Chelsea’s players, but yesterday it was the Tottenham players who brought the game into disrepute.

    I like watching good, fair, close, competitive sport, and that isn’t what we get in the Premier League.

  91. @Fishpie,
    Interesting post but I disagree with most of it. You state:
    “Arsene Wenger has failed to get the right belief, drive, tactics, form , cohesion, organisation, line -up, substitutions for too many games.”

    But in most games, Arsenal has dominated possession and shots showing that the tactics were spot on. Tactics- putting in a game plan for the players to succeed. He can’t put the ball in the back of the net for them.

    In regards to cohesion, organization, etc..- only 2 teams have a better defensive record than Arsenal.

    Then the games you mention in regards to too many:
    Utd away- Ref misses a penalty and red card for deliberate handball before half time by Marcus Rashford, who later provides the pass for the winning goal.

    Chelsea at home- Per made a mistake and got his red card for going in on Costa. Per got benched after that game for a while, and still with their 1 man advantage, Chelsea only managed to score 1 goal!

    Swansea at home- their 1st goal was due to Amat fouling Ozil by first pushing him, then grabbing him by the neck, and throwing him down and then passing the ball forward.
    Amat should have also got a 2nd yellow card in the 2nd half. So once again the opposition is given carte blanche to foul Arsenal.
    The 2nd goal was due to a free kick earned by an Ayew dive (who should have also been sent off for 2 dives)

    Southampton away- the 1st goal was due to the contribution of an offside player, another missed ref call.
    The 2nd goal was due to Shane Long fouling (tripping) Koscielny in the build up
    The 3rd goal was due to the ref incorrectly awarding a corner kick instead of goal kick. So 3/4 goals they scored should not have counted.
    Koscielny and Wanyama should both have also been sent off.

    Norwich away-
    Bennett should have got a red card for pushing Alexis into an actual pit. Not surprisingly, Alexis was not the same after and further aggravated an injury causing him to be out for a few months.
    Gary O-Neil should have got multiple yellow cards for persistent fouling.
    I hope Norwich and their unsafe stadium gets relegated this year.

    Southampton at a home- No card and penalty for a Tadic foul on Campbell in the box.
    Multiple players allowed to persistently foul.

    Palace at a home- of course the PGMO obligatory missed penalty when Koscielny was fouled.

    at West Ham- Hat trick scorer Andy Carroll should have got a red card in the 3rd minute of the game.
    Lanzini should have also been red carded for stamping on Bellerin

    So in the games you mentioned that Wenger failed the team, the results were actually influenced by the failure of another person not associated with the club: the PGMO referee.

    You must have seen the games if you mentioned them, so why don’t you actually direct the blame where it should be (the officials), instead of zeroing in with blinkers on only on the manager?

  92. @Stephan:
    You posed this earlier: “It’s only in England I here 4th place trophy, why?

    Van Gaal in The Telegraph 03/2015: ” Finishing in the top four in the Premier League is far more important to Manchester United than winning the FA Cup, Louis Van Gaal has said.
    The United manager also said he agreed with the claim made by Arsène Wenger that a top-four place in the league was comparable to winning a trophy”

    How come these stupid guys haven’t got the message?

  93. Porter, never said he has reached the Cryff standard with this team, but I believe he is aiming for this gold standard, needs tweaking though. But Wenger is not irresponsible, despite going for the 10th Dan of playing, if he has to , he can use other tactics to ensure top four….and cups.
    Fishpie, you will always get a respectful reply from me , as I have you down as perhaps a Wenger doubter, but not a hater…..just like two of my family!
    You make some valid points, some of our finest have not hung around to achieve cruyffdom…..the same could even happen to current players. But, as finances, and crucially, scouting technology improves, Wenger maybe moving closer to what he is trying to do. Wenger has done some very special and unique things…..I believe he wants win but not in the way Chelsea or Leicester play. Some may view that as a fault.
    He may or may not succeed. He may even recruit players to change things a bit over the summer. He is in the last year, he deserves this last year whatever has or has not happened in the past. Should he fail, he may have Stan, the board, , and some of the fans, but perhaps not enough to overcome what could be a toxic atmosphere, I would suggest he would leave in that event. Should he succeed, I have no doubt he will sign on, and perhaps develop his successor.
    I know , as you have mentioned, I have said this before, but my money is on him doing well next year.
    But whatever happens, unless there is something completely unforeseen, he will see out the last year of his contract, and he deserves our support in doing so.
    And, if as I suspect, Martinez gets sacked, he will be one of only two pure Cruyff inspired managers in the top division…..

  94. I believe when Arsenal and Man Utd were deducted points they had already received official warnings . Arsenal for the season before against Norwich . Hence expect no points deduction but the 2 clubs may be on an official warning .

  95. @percy
    I can see you starting to get a little frisky and delusional. Possibly signs of Dementia.
    oh well you have your views I have mine. You want to keep on blaming the refs for everything that happens on a football pitch.Bravo
    But this is the fact…the refs dont hand people titles, you might get calls go your way when they shouldn’t, but they are not to blame for your inability to score or hold on to a lead.
    I can categorically say there’s no team in the world who has not had a bad refereeing decision.None!
    Even Uefelona had one against atletico when they were denied a penalty. We didn’t here much fuss about it..
    This whole campaign against the refs this season is so absurd and embarrassing to say the least. The refs have always had issues. Right from fergie days.It did not start today. We were still competing then,showing more passion than this bunch we have now. But to suggest they want Leicester or spurs to win the league and not arsenal is the most ludicrous assessment I’ve heard. I’ll always say this…lets look at OURSELVES.
    And has for the stupid quote you made about LVG. What was the aim of LvG when he came? If you dont know, let me Educate you. It was to Qualify for the Champions league since Man utd missed out the previous year. So of course that was his priority. You cant excuse WENGER for taking 4th season after season. No way you can’t. Ask yourself this, if Wenger was in Madrid,Barca,Juventus,Bayern Munich,Man city, Chelsea…would he have survived a decade without a single trophy or an entire arsenal career without a single European title. I think you know the answer.
    Take your drugs mate

  96. When the invisibles won the league in 2004…who took 4th?
    Can you remember without checking the net?
    4th will NEVER EVER be a trophy. Just one of the many things Mr Wenger as used to deceive us.
    Taking 4th and going to a competition we’ve been to the final Once and Semi’s twice.
    Please lets not even go there.

  97. Reports, if true suggest Cesc was a bit of an instigator on last nights events, winding Spurs players up, and helping them completely lose it.
    He always did like getting one over the Spuds.
    Expect many lesser players than Cesc to copy these tactics on Spurs in the future.

  98. @Stephan,

    We know Untold is great, but I am not aware of any Untolders that can see the “invisibles” yet. We might wish some of the posts were invisible though like yours.

    In 7 out of your 10 posts in this article, you have defended/supported the Spurs above Arsenal. Perhaps you should reconsider where your club loyalties lie. Arsenal colors are red and white in case you were confused.

    You can find more about the history of Arsenal at the Arsenal history site and if you want to learn about The Invincibles you can also find that on the history section of the Arsenal website under the Wenger years.

    Now, best of luck with the invisible.

  99. @Stephan
    Not only can you read my mind and personality you now feel qualified to pontificate on my medical status. Is there no end to your delusional qualifications? Maybe you should look into narcissistic tendencies and try some self diagnostics.You see you just can’t help but go off on one, can you? It’s straw man time again, isn’t it? Just because you are floundering and totally out of your depth you posit that I have blamed the refs for Leicester and Spurs being above us in the table, Spurs may not be in a couple of weeks, but that has not been mentioned once by me in any of the above.
    And now it’s Van Gaal who makes stupid comments and doesn’t want to win the EPL, but in his case that’s perfectly acceptable because you know that was his priority even though a short time ago you were affirming “In other leagues no one cares, 1st position is what matters and nothing else”. So fourth place does matter if you are Manchester United and once again you are making yourself look ridiculous.
    I don’t suppose Wenger would have been at any of those clubs for a decade but then I wouldn’t want The Arsenal to have been run like a Chelsea – a billion owed to Fordstam – and certainly not a Juventus either. Of course, no trophies is just an out and out lie.

  100. Kiss my ass !

    A married couple was in a terrible accident where the man’s face was severely burned. The doctor told the husband that they couldn’t graft any skin from his body because he was too skinny. So the wife offered to donate some of her own skin.

    However, the only skin on her body that the doctor felt was suitable would have to come from her buttocks.

    The husband and wife agreed that they would tell no one about where the skin came from, and they requested that the doctor also honor their secret. After all, this was a delicate matter.

    After the surgery was completed, everyone was astounded at the man’s new face. He looked more handsome than he ever had before! All his friends and relatives just went on and on about his youthful beauty!

    One day, he was alone with his wife, and he was overcome with emotion at her sacrifice. He said, “Dear, I just want to thank you for everything you did for me. How can I possibly repay you?”

    “My darling,” she replied, “I get all the thanks I need every time I see your mother kiss you on the cheeks.”

  101. A teacher told her young class to ask their parents for a family story with a moral at the end of it, and to return the next day to tell their stories.

    In the classroom the next day, Joe told his story first, “My dad is a farmer and we have chickens. One day we were taking lots of eggs to market in a basket on the front seat of the truck when we hit a big bump in the road; the basket fell off the seat and all the eggs broke. The moral of the story is not to put all your eggs in one basket.”

    “Very good,” said the teacher.

    Next, Mary said, “We are farmers too. We had twenty eggs waiting to hatch, but when they did we only got ten chicks. The moral of this story is not to count your chickens before they’re hatched.”

    “Excellent!” said the teacher again, very pleased with the response so far.

    Next it was Barney’s turn to tell his story: “My dad told me this story about my Aunt Karen … Aunt Karen was a flight engineer in the war and her plane got hit. She had to bail out over enemy territory and all she had was a bottle of whisky, a machine gun and a machete.”

    “Go on,” said the teacher, intrigued.

    “Aunt Karen drank the whisky on the way down to prepare herself; then she landed right in the middle of a hundred enemy soldiers.

    She killed seventy of them with the machine gun until she ran out of bullets. Then she killed twenty more with the machete till the blade broke. And then she killed the last ten with her bare hands.”

    “Good heavens,” said the horrified teacher. “What did your father say was the moral of that frightening story?”

    “Stay away from Aunt Karen when she’s drunk.”

  102. If you are in doubt about the above story , here is my take –

    The first story is about Leeds United , who gambled big and lost it all .

    The second is about Liverpool . Before their fans come here to protest , let us reflect upon Benteke . Well at least he got them 3 points with that dive and scored from the penalty .

    The last is of course Arsenal’s ‘them’ fans ! Like Aunt Karen , they too are full of shit !

    Quite a number of Aunt Karens on here today !

  103. @ Jerry
    So all you could pick up was ‘invisibles’ instead of ‘invincibles’?
    You are a real toddler.
    To someone more mature @Percy
    This issue is getting over flogged really. LVG just came into a club who finished 7th or so. Out of the champions league, think out of Europe also. His first aim was rebuild the Squad and get them back to Europe. Winning the league was secondary when he came in. Thats why you can see this season Man utd fans are all on his case wanting more not just qualifying for Europe.
    Thats different from a manager who has not won the league in over a Decade. It is inexcusable. AW no doubt is our most successful manager and I respect him deeply. But that wont make me be blind to the situation on ground. No club, I repeat no club in the world will accept this.
    We have a Owner who publicly came out to say If he wanted to win trophys he wouldn’t have bought into Arsenal. What does that tell you?
    The head doesn’t care about titles so there’s no pressure on AW to deliver .He practically does as he pleases.If we had an Owner who was a fan, coming to the stadium to watch matches and all, i can tell you Wenger would have improved or not been on the bench at all. I have come to terms with the situation and accepted our fate.
    I’ll always support my team no matter what, but wont do that and blame everyone else for our failings but ourselves. No,that won’t happen.

  104. The Spurs/ Chelsea game has received more praise than condemnation on Talksport. I listened deliberately yesterday to see if Spurs would receive any criticism for their thugish approach and can report that I did not hear much, the opposite in fact. The presenters I heard seemed to like the return to ‘real football’ as played in the good old days, after all it is a contact sport.
    Coquelin was lambasted all week for getting away with a second yellow card, whereas Dier, Walker, Rose etc were congratulated on getting stuck in and providing such exhilerating entertainment and Clattenburg praised for letting the game flow and keeping twenty two players on the pitch.

  105. Stephan,
    No club has stayed in the top 4 while building a stadium. I repeat: NO club has done this before.
    All those who build a new stadium in the last 20 years or so have been relegated or gone bankrupt. Not Arsenal.
    No we stayed in the top 4. That was against all odds. How dare he to keep us in the top 4 all those years….

    The issue is we should have gone down, we should have gone bankrupt. But no nothing of that. Wenger kept us in the top 4 each and every year. I still find this utterly amazing.

  106. @Jerry, sorry for late response. Blinkers? You and I then are as blinkered at each other. Me on blaming it all on Mr Wenger. You on blaming it all on the refs. Seriously Jerry, you virtually list every goal we conceded in those matches as being bad referring. When and If I get the time, I’ll try and look at those goals to see if I can see the infringements you see. But, for what it’s worth, your list looks like it comes from a man who shouts “offside” every time his team is attacked and “penalty” every time our players go down.
    “Referee he touched me!!”,
    “Referee, he stood near to me!!”,
    “Referee, how did you not see that? He tried to stop me scoring a goal!!”
    Just saying.

  107. Stephan
    So, changing the subject, that’s fine but you’ve still got it wrong. Van Gaal said that on the eve of last year’s FA Cup quarter final aginst The Arsenal, not when he arrived at Old Traford; when he had a chancce of a trophy.

    When it comes to what Kroenke said your agument is again twisted. His detractors, as is often the case with AW, like to indulge in out of context games – the Fallacy of Accent. Anyone who has the wit to check what he said in that interview would not draw the conclusion that the naysayers and headline writers want to dupe you into believing. It was an affirmation of the self-sustaining model, he was drawing a comparison with Middle Eastern money in the game and saying that he was not going to throw masses of money we do not have at getting to the top spot. His point was that he was an individual owner who was in for the long haul and watched all sides of the business. Part of his actual words were:
    “Over there [in the Premier League] it was sort of like ‘well, we’ve got guys from the Middle East, the oil price is over $100, they can spend anything they want’.

    “But the problem I saw with all of that; those people can lose interest. It doesn’t mean that they will, but I sort of threw that out there: ‘What happens when the Middle Eastern family, this thing’s costing a lot of money and they decide to go home?’ I said what really happens in those situations is THE FANS GET HURT because the players get picked up and paid if they’re good, the front office gets other jobs.”

    Maybe that’s why he doesn’t give many interviews. There’s just too many Monday Morning Quarterbacks who want to distort the narrative for their own ends.

  108. OT: Corruption News

    I guess Platini is appealing his 6 year ban, no news I’ve seen out of those proceedings.

    Webb from CONCACAF may be banned for Life. Just another corrupt CONCACAF official, who has been found guilty in USA. So, not a surprise.

    I’ve seen two reports today about Portugal. Portuguese police raided a number of clubs, apparently Europol was involved. MaltaToday has a nice writeup on this.

    It seems the Russian Mafia has taken over a number of clubs in distress, and are using them for various reasons. Money laundering is among them.

    No mention of 😈 Mike Riley in that report.

  109. @Fishpie,
    I look forward to your response after you try and find those video incidents in future untold articles. Description of those events can be found at the various ref reviews which you can search for above.

    I’ll summarize for you: in 7 of your 10 posts you’re supporting and defending the Spurs. When you mention the invincible, you refer to them as the invisible. Your posts support the Spurs more than Arsenal even though they finished below us for the last 20 years. Dropping the Mic.

  110. In regards to the blinkers, I usually say if I think the team is playing sluggish or struggling. But at the same time, I can’t ignore something that’s wrong

  111. The Monday night debate,has nothing to do with trying to snatch second place. It’s about doing what’s morally correct, if it was good enough to deduct two points from Arsenal in 1990. Then I do not see how there can be any argument from the FA. What occurred at Old Trafford was a picnic in comparison to the scenes we witnessed at Stanford bridge on Monday night. As Dermot Gallagher stated, it was the worst game in terms of aggravation we have seen in twenty five years in this country. If UEFA put pressure on the FA,back in 1990,to deduct points because the game was shown in so many countries, they should be doing the same now. The FA can not be trusted to act,because the only thing consistent about them, is there inconsistency.

  112. @WalterBroeckx

    Most of the clubs who went down whilst building a new stadium (or soon after) were mid-tier to small clubs. who Arsenal had a VAST advantage over, in terms of money, personnel, resources and location. You seem to be insinuating that Arsenal (the top club in London, remember?) were on a par with other clubs who moved grounds, like Sunderland, Bolton, Leicester City, Southampton, Derby and Middlesbrough. You also said “No club has stayed in the top 4 while building a stadium. I repeat: NO club has done this before”. All the clubs who got relegated were never top 4 clubs to begin with.

  113. @Matthew

    None of those clubs could keep their place in the PL. In a time when you only had MU as the biggest club, Arsenal lurking around them (since Wenger arrival). So if it wasn’t a problem to build a new stadium one would have expected those teams to stay in the PL and remain around the place they occupied before building. But no, they couldn’t.
    So it is clear that the impact of building a stadium on any club is big. Not for Arsenal.
    And Arsenal had to face the sudden competition of the oilers from Chelsea/City while building/paying the big debt.

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