Southampton at home; Wilshere as manager

By Bulldog Drummond

So the boring stuff is over; I must admit I didn’t even get to see the scores let alone watch anything.   But now we are back to football.

And Mr Wenger has given us a bit to think about.  For instead of just saying that Jack W would play again for Arsenal at some stage he said that Jack would be captain and “Certainly, one day, he will be in my seat. He has a real football brain and understands football. It’s in his genes.

“I see him in the future at this club, of course.   He will spend his life in football, he is a football man. He has an eye on everybody – it’s in him. You have that or you haven’t got it, but he is a real football man.

“We have all been his age wanting to play football but we didn’t have Jack’s talent.  You imagine what he must feel like when he cannot play, with everything he can do. It is very frustrating. What is at stake for him is just playing. He is not yet completely at his physical level. If you look at the number of games he has played recently, you cannot be at the competitive level he wants to be.”

So Jack the captain; Jack the manager.  There’s a thought.

As for today the general feeling is that Mustafi’s knock wasn’t serious enough to stop him playing so he’ll come in.  And here’s a Mustafi fact he made 160 clearances and 133 interceptions with Valencia last season, more than any other player in La Liga.

I think Lucas Pérez will be on the beach and be ready to come on, on the hour, ready to turn Southampton upside down as they adjust to a totally different type of player.  Alexis will threaten to hit Mr Wenger if he is not allowed to play, so is allowed to play.  Iwobi or the Ox can come on for him if he is taken off, also on the hour.

That gives us a team of


Bellering Mustafi Koscileny Monreal

Xhaka Cazorla

Walcott Ozil Alexis


And so on the beach in goal we either have Ooooooospina or  Martínez as the keeper, depending on whether Oooooospina has recovered from his trip back from South America.  He returned to England Thursday night.

We have three defenders ready to take up the cause: Debuchy, Holding, Gibbs,

In the midfield awaiting their chance: Coquelin, Elneny,

Attacking midfield in reserve then looks like Oxlade-Chamberlain, and Iwobi,

Up front Pérez and Akpom stand by.

And that’s just the back up team.  But as you will have spotted that’s nine players and we can only have seven.  I think Debuchy and Akpom will fail to make it.

The jolly old injury list is pretty familiar: Welbeck, Jenkinson and Mert are the long term missing.  The shorter term crew is Ramsey who is about a week away and Gabriel maybe two or three weeks.

That makes five which puts us ninth in the injury league.  Southampton are 11th with four.  Stoke are top with seven.

And here is something rather interesting that isn’t generally highlighted.   Arsenal have scored six goals – each one scored by a different person.  Which gives the opposition a bit of a concern as to who they are watching as Arsenal attack.   Here’s the list of goalscorers in alphabetical order: Cazorla, Chambers, Ox-Chamberlain, Özil, Sánchez, Walcott.

What most people have however realised is that Arsenal have no less than three former Southampton players in their first-team squad. Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Calum Chambers.

Of course after an interlull it is always hard to work out exactly how players will come back to the real action.  Özil looks to be at his absolute peak at the moment.  He scored for Germany in their game against Finland, and for Arsenal against Watford, as well as doing that amazing pass to Alexis for his goal.   I suspect we might this season see him break the assists record that he got so close to last time around.   Also he could score, since he has not scored a league goal at the Ems since the 2-0 win against Bournemouth on 28 December.

Re Southampton we’ve had two knockabout wins in recent years: on 15 September 2012 we beat them 6-1 and before that on 7 May 2003 we had rather an important win against them by the same scoreline – 6-1.  It was the start of the 49.

Their keeper Forster seemingly can play despite not being able to go for a muckabout with England.  Bertrand seems to have recovered but the Pied piper hasn’t and the new boy record signing Sofiane Boufal is also recovering from a “little injury” as his manager puts it.

The other spot of news is that Southampton have gone 15 games without a clean sheet.

And a few more bits and pieces.

  • Despite everyone saying we have a terrible record against Southampton we are unbeaten in 21 league matches at home to them.   The last was a 1-0 defeat in November 1987.
  • But we have won just one of the last six meetings with Southampton in all competitions.
  • We have scored nil against them in the last three.

A defeat today would mean we would stay on four points of course, which was where we were in 1994/5 and 2011/12, and it would be the first set of consecutive home defeats since 2011.   On the other hand Arsenal are undefeated in 11 of their last 12 home matches against Southampton in all competitions.

As for Southampton they have not kept a clean sheet in their last 15 games.

One more oddbod…
  • Southampton are yet to secure their first win under Claude Puel this season having drawn two of their opening three matches.

And one more snippet:

  • Santi Cazorla has been directly involved in three of Arsenal’s six league goals so far this season, scoring once and assisting twice.   How we missed him last year.

That’s it.  Time to go.

Walter is away on holiday so no follow up report this week.  Sorry.

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118 Replies to “Southampton at home; Wilshere as manager”

  1. I suspect that having seen Gabriel in the training photos from yesterday that we may not have to wait as much as three weeks for his return. I think he must be beachable to take part in training.

  2. Love it when Wenger comes out with those remarks, think there is some mischief in him, the WOB and others completely implode at such words. Not doubting him btw, if he thinks the immensely talented Jack is potential manager material, who would I be to disagree with him.
    Two nil win today?

  3. Akpom played last night for the U23 team against Derby, scored two and got the assist for the third. He won’t be on the beach today. Thaw was the U23’s first points in four games. derby were the other promoted teal last season and are still without points. By all accounts it was a much better performance from our lads – well done!


  4. Taking into consideration that Monreal, Mustafi & Alexis are not yet fully fit to start due to the injuries & fatigue they’ve picked up and has had, my guessed Le Prof’s starts & bench for our home match against the Saints are as follows:

    Bellerin Koscielny Holding Gibbs.
    Xhaka Cazorla.
    Walcott Ozil Oxchambo.

    Bench: Martinez Debuchy Mustafi Monreal Coquelin Elneny Akpom.
    But I have a problem as I don’t have a mid front cover on my bench.

  5. Excellent write up Bulldog! Loved seeing the comments from the boss!

    Also, to add a little bit about Claude Puel, he’s a former player of Arsene Wenger’s at Monaco and asked the boss for advice prior to taking the job in England.

    Puel also has history with Sir Alex Ferguson. Puel tried to get his players at Lille to leave the pitch in protest after United was awarded a free kick that Ryan Giggs took quickly and scored from. Have to respect a person that was able to talk back to SAF early in their managerial career.

  6. Taking into consideration that Monreal, Mustafi & Alexis are not yet fully fit to start due to the injuries & fatigue they’ve picked up and has had, my guessed Le Prof’s starts & bench for our home match against the Saints are as follows:

    Bellerin Koscielny Holding Gibbs.
    Xhaka Cazorla.
    Walcott Ozil Oxchambo.

    Bench: Martinez Debuchy Mustafi Monreal Coquelin Elneny Akpom.
    But I have a problem as I don’t have a mid front cover on my bench.
    @Andrew Crawshaw, I just come across your comment posting. Apparently, Akpom won’t play today. Who should I put in his place? Yes, is Lucas Perez. Look at me, I’ve forgotten about him. What has come on me?

  7. It’s quite revealing that MaureenO appears to be benefiting from Rileys ‘Fergie time’…

  8. The boss has gone with some rotation for the match up today due to the international break and probably thinking about PSG coming up. Starting lineup:



    Walcott-Ozil- Ox


    On the beach: Giroud, Xhaka, Sanchez, Ospina, Iwobi, Elneny, and Holding

  9. City were the complete team today and utd were still a bunch of (a few brilliant)individuals mainly.

    Why oh why does rooney get away with so much?
    He shold have been given a yellow and then for the second offence a red, instead he only got a yellow for the 2nd offence.

    That felani is a thug. Mou’s face, a tapestry of a frown.

    We need to thrash Sou as much as possible today and get into the groove of winning. Increase our speed a little today, pacing ourselves for the end dash.

    OK, that lee dixon is a sure manu fan now. What did Arsenal do to him? Refused him a job or what? Good i wont be listening during Arsenal game.

  10. I’ve just finished watching Man U vs Man City match some 10 minutes ago. Arsenal will close the gap on Man U if they beat Southampton later this afternoon. And I believe Arsenal will do that.

  11. Is there anyone in the ManU organization, who dates back to before Sir FWord?

    Well, here in NE BC Canada, TV had the ManvMan game, and since there are another 4 channels available for the next game, apparently all of them will show Spuds playing. Oh joy!



  12. @para,

    Just wondering how you got that opinion of Lee Dixon today as a United fan? He’s the only one that argued that the Bravo tackle on Rooney was not a foul or penalty for United, while Graeme Souness (sp?) and Arlo White were arguing it was on NBCSN in the US.

    I usually do not agree with Lee Dixon, but was pleasantly surprised that he took an opposite view today.

  13. In looking for commentary for this game, I happened across U18 results from London Colney. Arsenal 3 – 0 Southampton. Nketiak, Dragomir and Nelson with the goals. Congratulations Young Gunners!


  14. Le Prof starts and bench for the Saints match are now out but should I say I ‘ve scored 70% overall. He has preferred to start Mustafi to my preferred Koscielny & Holding @ CBs. And he has paired Coquelin & Cazorla to my own pairing of Xhaka & Cazorla at the Gunner’s base. And he has also preferred starting Perez to lead the line for us ahead of my Oliver Giroud to start?

  15. Another tidbit gathered from Google News headlines. Some (supposedly) pro-Arsenal websites, are bad mouthing Coquelin. I guess he is the first chosen one to be driven out by the aaa this season. What a bunch of sorry SOBs.


  16. In last night’s news, some Super-Agent (super probably spelled “s”, “t”, “u”, “p”, “i”, “d”) called Wenger arithmetical and siad his reliance on statistics was the source of “dithering”. Well yes, if you do statistics on data, you have to do arithmetic.

    That company Arsenal owns, apparently had previously bought a Cambodian company, which actually had the data. I wonder if one of the Untolders knows this company?

    SAA go find a job as a manager of a real team, and quit pretending to tell Wenger what to do.


  17. absolute shocking yellow on Cazorla. didn’t do anything…dissent maybe for a wrong whistle?

  18. Southamptom are packing the middle…space down the flanks. Bringing on Giroud would create mayhem with our crosses, methinks.

  19. It is apparently Koscielny’s birthday. That goal makes him the 5th Gunner to score on his birthday. Merson, Pires, Benayoun and Cazorla are the others.


  20. I would really like to know why Cazorla got that yellow. When in doubt a ref can always cite dissent but from what I saw Cazorla did very little. Redmond was up and in the ref’s face…got nothing. Plus the ref gave a phantom foul on Arsenal.

  21. @Gord

    It’s also Lucas Perez’ birthday. It would be a nice present for him to score as well.

    We didn’t exactly dominate the game in the first half. Van Dijk was all over our attackers and Tadić’s impact on the game in the first half was visible. As the game went on, Mesut has been better and better. Mustafi plays very high up the pitch and is usually our extra-man in the midfield.

    Koscielny’s goal was fantastic.

    Alexis for Ox and Xhaka for Cazorla would be my choice in the second half, possibly Giroud for Perez at some point of the game as well. Santi is on a yellow card for dissent and he has had one more disagreement with the referee’s decision (when he was denied a foul).


  22. Lovely goal from Kos. A great way to remember his birthday. They look far better when they inject pace. One of those games where the passing is a bit awry coming out from the back. Once that gets sorted and they move it around faster we’ll be seeing something.

  23. Finally it evens out…… Koscielny high boot goal they say…eff them… remember lukaku high boot goal against us?????

  24. Maybe Cazorla cursed him in Spanish, and the ref knew enough Spanish to recognize it?

    Sure, let’s get a Perez on the score sheet.


  25. I’d be amazed if Giroud doesn’t get 20 minutes, if only to give Sotton something different to deal with.

  26. Somebody educate these commentators……says “Ox was peripheral last season…”..

    Was he injured??? remember…

  27. my commentator has a real hate on for Walcott’s challenges…IMO, I like that Theo is playing with an edge as long as it doesnt descend into petulance.

    Iwobi on for Theo

  28. Finally. Big three points.

    Arsenal have already had more penalties in just four games than we had during the whole 2015-16 league campaign. Un-bloody-believable.

  29. Winning ugly is what wins you Championships isn’t it ?

    Well at least whenever United, Chelsea et el do it is.

    Somehow I don’t think there see it that way for us.


  30. Sorry Gord I’m lying on the beach in Spain following the match on livescore and that is nailbiting to do. Up the gunners! 3 points in the bag!

  31. Yeay yeay yeah… penalty late on…cool as a cucumber Santi there. He must have been dreaming about all the penaltiess they didn’t get last season.

    Southampton were tight, throw in time wasting. A hard-fought win. PSG & Hull next week. Nothing easy yet.

  32. Great game for the 3 points, otherwise…

    Too many individual mistakes and lack of concentration at vital moments, but with the two new signings starting, perhaps understandable.

  33. I won’t say undeserved 3 points, but we played better the last 50 minutes or so. Thanks to some ultra defensive play from Southampton we had to dig way deep and get stuck like a jackhammer in the ground. Mustafi looked nervous and hesitant on the ball (will settle nicely with time)… Perez got tired quickly (also will settle with time). Huge credit to Ozil, Santi, Kos for giving every last breath they had… even though they looked dead tired.

    As for the referee, the penalty was a crystal clear penalty.. shirt pulling to the point of tearing… sliding tackle from behind, two foul offences in one, so well done ref. But his overall performance looked below average.

    Theo was ok (not great but not bad)… but Ox desperately needs to improve, (was not good today)..

    Spirit lifting win. In the words of a funny Japanese video game karaoke song I would say “Lets get to the TOP!!”

  34. Any one watching, was it a pen ?

    Everyone I’ve heard on TV are doing there best to dismiss it.

    From ‘soft’ and ‘controversial’ to ‘never a penalty’

    What you reckon lads ?

  35. @Jambug

    You are absolutely right.

    Seven points out of possible twelve. Not the worst record possible.

    Also, the refs don’t go with torches at us this season or still haven’t gone. Three penalties for, none against us so far. With the referees’ criteria last season, Nacho would have gone out for the tackle on Long in the second half and Fonte could have killed Giroud without a penalty for Arsenal.

    Giroud was effective as a super-sub which is a role I was hoping he would get this season. Mustafi, in my book, was excellent and sometimes played as our additional man in the midfield. He knows how to play football, that’s for sure. Lucas had a rather underwhelming debut on his birthday but he should get better in the forthcoming matches. Čech conceded unlucky own goal but made up for that with that double save to deny the visitors with ten minutes to go.

    All-in-all, we can play better and hopefully we will. If we beat Hull away, we will have the right momentum for the game against Chelsea at home. Our CL game against PSG is actually the easiest one ever as they are one of the favourites to win the competition.

  36. @Jambug

    The penalty call was absolutely clear. Fonte was clinging on Giroud and later on he tripped him while lying on the ground. Two offences, just like Usama said.

    Even the bloke on the NBC didn’t question it. A clear-cut penalty for us.

  37. Although the result was not the 4-0 victory for us as I predicted, that’s Premier League football the toughest League in the world. I thank God as Arsenal finally took all the 3 points via Santi Cazorla late penalty which has closed the gap on Man U to 2 points. That’s was my aim before we play Southampton.

    It 2 victories for us now on the trout, a winning run in the offing? We’ll know more about that at PSG on Tuesday’s night

  38. Defo penalty for our opposition, but, never for us, these pundits can go love each other behind a shed.

  39. Josif

    Phil Thomson on SKY – Controversial

    La Tis on SKY – Never a Penalty (Understandable I suppose)

    Jeff Stelling – Controversial

    2 guys on BBC

    1 – Controversial

    2 – Never a penalty

    If, and I say if because I haven’t seen it, it’s as clear cut as Usama and Josif say then these guys are just being biased. End of.

    3 penalties. The media haters will not like this. The refs will be told in no uncertain terms that giving, even clear cut penalties to Arsenal, is just not on.

  40. Three big points. And as Josif pointed out above, 2 pk’s already this season. Something’s afoot. Maybe the Midlands officials read UA, lol.

  41. On my way home from the game.. Of no was totally biased but thank God for sma ll mercies… The pen was due as were the sudden burst of cards to balance the bias.. I thought cards were for Christmas Easter & arsenal.

  42. One of the BBC 5 Live commentators said during the game that although there was shirt tug on Giroud it wasn’t a “sustained one” so he thought it was a soft penalty.
    When is a shirt pull not a shirt pull?
    Also apparently the Southampton players thought that the game should have been stopped before this because Kos had suffered a head injury
    After the game Chris Sutton said it “was not in a million years” a penalty. What a prick!

  43. An interesting game, we did not start well & it took us quite some time to start to control the game.

    When we scored that settled us & we then started to gel. Hopefully having had a very disrupted start to the season, with players late back after the Euros etc & then off again after 3 matches, we can now have some team bonding time.

    The main threat to our goal as the game progressed was the breakaway – nothing new here – but it does require some work to put this problem right.

    As for the ref – overall a poor performance – why on earth was Cazorla booked?

  44. Leon
    And you didn’t think the game should’ve been stopped with Kos laying down in front of Southampton’s goal?

    Even if you ignore the head injury rule, which clearly Kos was holding his head and there could never be a suspicion of faking , or time wasting with Arsenal needing the second goal and three points.
    But the fact you have a player on the ground right in front of the keeper should be grounds for stopping the game.

    As for penalties, I don’t think this is a coincidence Arsenal are getting them this season. Even PGMO and Riley couldn’t ignore independent media calling Arsenal the alternative league title winners last season.
    Having Arsenal get the short end of the ref decision stick this season might’ve been enough to bring the curtain down.

  45. I hope we will still get the referee reports as complacency will only let the cheats back in. COYG!

  46. Tom
    I didn’t see the incident as I was only listening on radio and reporting on what the commentators said.
    It would appear that the game should have been stopped for a head injury and also the fact that he was an obstruction.
    The Mail have given Madley 5 out of ten.
    So perhaps we had some overdue luck. ?

  47. the commentators were going on and on over Monreal stepping on Long’s ankle in the corner, when the penalty was awarded. Monreal did step on his ankle but Long jumped down as opposed to falling down and then he clutched his face!

    The first 20 minutes was Southamptom’s…the rest was ours with them having some chances on the break. The Ox had difficulties and Oezil wasn’t as sharp as he usually is. Walcott played with an edge – which I like but I think he was taken off because he was becoming petulant. Cazorla got a phantom yellow card for dissent? maybe but Southamptom, particularly Fonte got away with barracking the ref…nothing. Forster got a deserved yellow for time wasting…in the first half.

    All in all not our best performance but a deserved 3 points.

  48. So the champs beaten at Anfield by 4-1.
    People saying Leicester were desrved champions can see what does it takes when refs are not helping.

  49. Rest assured if it had been the other way round the ref would of been hailed a hero for ‘letting the game flow’.

  50. On penalty……

    Definitely was….

    Funny thing though. Shane long stayed down claiming his foot injury as a head injury. Yet ARSENAL continued. Got a set piece. From which Koscielny got a head injury. Yet ARSENAL continued. From which we got the penalty…. ruthless!!!!

    We got lucky….if the game wasn’t allowed to flow. We wouldn’t have won the penalty. Hope Koscielny is alright….

  51. @Jambug

    Those allegations by the media “experts” have proven what we have known about them for years – they know crap. On the other hand, Tom’s comment on Kos’ head-injury is a good observation.

    And here we come with a funny conclusion: the whole neanderthal culture (Phil Neville, Gary Neville, Paul Scholes, Robbie Savage…and other usual suspects as pundits) that doesn’t approve clear-cut penalty calls unless there is a broken ankle as a consequence of the tackle or that sees a thug-fest between Chelsea and Tottenham as a beautiful game couldn’t see Koscielny’s head injury as a reason for stopping the game because his head wasn’t ten feet away from his body.

  52. GGG and Arsenal 13
    Have you ever seen a player miss a sitter and then grab his head with both hands?
    Surely he isn’t faking a head injury to absolve himself of any embarrassment is he.

    Perhaps you should try hitting one of the bony parts of your ankle with something hard and see how you react. I’m sure going gently to ground will not be part of it ,but rather a hop or two.
    Besides, isn’t a foul still a foul regardless how players react to it.
    If the player’s reaction was indicative of what really took place, Rooney should’ve had four penalties awarded to him today.

  53. From the interview at, Wenger is concerned about the head injury Koscielny sustained. I have only found a single report in the medja, and that was just in passing. This is just looking at snippets in Google News, not reading articles completely. But for an incident that the referee should be censured over, it is disheartening that there is so little reporting on it.

    So, both the U18 and the mens team beat Southampton. Tomorrow the ladies play ManC. Good luck Ladies!

  54. @Tom yes a foul is a foul…My point was that he embellished. Furthermore…are you saying that he missed a sitter in the corner and that is why he was embarrassed and grabbed his head when he got trod upon by Nacho?

  55. @Tom as for Koscielny being in a heap with a head injury before the foul that gave the penalty. Yup! Whistle should have been blown…but then why was he in a heap…got kicked in the face by a Southampton player.

  56. I was at the game in the North Bank. I did not see the Kos incident but Long should have seen red long before his little foot got hurt. He is a creative cheat always using brute force to gain advantage. He should have been carded for holding Iwobi back & every time he challenged for the ball he pushed his opponent. Forsters reaction to being carded for time wasting was very physical & the PGMO officials allowed the petulance to go unpunished. MOTD has not shown the incident nor have they shown the incident where Long should have had his card.

    The penalty is so clear for shirt pulling followed by a trip that even the pundits use selective vision to hide from truth.

    The pundits were biased & should all be chastised by Wenger in his next press conference. An offer of SpecSaver vouchers would probably be appropriate. Have not done much good to PGMO though.

  57. Menace,

    SpecSaver vouchers?? No no no… They need free weekly check-ups, so that at least they can see the bit where ‘there was a man in black shirt pulling and tripping down a guy red shirt’ 😀

  58. Not a vintage performance, but the boys certainly showed mental strength today, a delicious 3 points.

  59. Is it a penalty?

    I am not referring specifically to the penalty which Cazorla converted (thank you Santi!).

    If one looks to the laws of the game, it says that if a foul of a certain kind happens in the penalty box, the referee is to stop play and award a penalty kick.

    If one looks at the specifics of that foul in the laws of the game, it doesn’t say “little bit”. Either the foul happens or it doesn’t. At times, the laws have dabbled with the concept of “intent”. Intent in the actual action, is almost impossible to determine.

    Intent in learning how to do the action, can easily be determined to be malicious. To learn a tackle which can cripple a player is malicious. Full stop. End of story. No usage of that tackle in a game should be considered non-malicious.

    Another excuse I seen today, is that apparently Giroud didn’t notice that he was being fouled, and hence it shouldn’t have been a foul. Nowhere in the laws of the game does it say the player being fouled needs to notice they are being fouled. It is a foul, regardless of whether they notice or not.

    Possibly an excuse in this game, is when the foul occurs. Apparently (according to such expert scholars as the Neville idiots) you can foul any person in any way in the first 2 (3? 4?) minutes of either half, without ever being called. And a similar rule for near the end of the first half or the end of the game. Go look in the laws of the game. There is nothing there about allowing fouls because it is too close to the beginning or end of a half. A foul is a foul.

    As described, there is no need for a referee to _JUSTIFY_ anything. All they need to do is observe if contact happened.

    This mechanism also allows some silly things. If Koscielny (who has short hair) has to play against a player with long hair, at some point he may decide to push that player’s hair. Technically, that is a foul.

    But, the various muppets, whorenalists and 😈 Mike Riley want to have a _MANS_ _GAME_. What this results in is two fold:
    _1. It is contrary to the laws of the game as designed by the IFAB and codified by FIFA.
    _2. The officials have to constantly evaluate everything that happens on the field, as to whether it is “far enough” to be considered a foul.

    An argument for strict following of the rules, is that it slows the game down. I think this isn’t an issue, regardless of what gender or skill level is playing. As the referee, tell both teams that rules will be strictly enforced. And then do exactly that. Yes, the first 2 or 3 fouls may slow the game down significantly. At that point, all the players will realize that the referee is being strict and they will adjust. Or they will commit their second yellow card and be gone. I doubt the game runs significantly longer than normal, after allowing for that first 2 or 3 fouls to happen.

  60. Did some event happen?

    If you are watching some scene unfold in front of you, and later on a person asks you if XYZ happened, you may not be able to say.

    I gather most people have the “Mind’s Eye”, and can create an image in their mind describing something. But, if you were just mindlessly observing some arbitrary scene, you may not be able to recreate the scene in your mind.

    Some people have a “photographic memory”. They can recreate observed scenes exactly. Can they recreate a scene just passively observed? I don’t know. But, my Mom has (had?) a photographic memory. She tells of writing an exam, and in answering a question she would copy word for word from her mind’s image of a page of the textbook to the exam paper. She could also exactly scale drawings, see an image in a 8×11 coloring book, and redraw in exact scale on the chalkboard.

    Some people are at the opposite end. I have aphantasia (sp?), in essence I do not have a mind’s eye. You can tell me to imagine a tree, or a cloud or anything. There is no image in my mind. It is all just abstract concepts to me. If I am just casually observing some event, I can’t tell you later on what happened. If I actively follow an event, I make a list in my mind, and I can run back the list. But there are no pictures.

    Whether a person can play back images or lists in their mind, to do so while the game is continuing to proceed leads to error. They skip steps in the playback, or they miss what is happening now.

    It is better to have simple rules and trivial logic than to have complex rules and logic. Less room for error.

  61. WOO HOO , HOO ! Have yet to see the game , but watched the highlights – a very welcome 3 points .
    3 penalties in 4 games ? Are the refs gradually getting their eyesight back to normal ?
    Up the Gunners !

  62. @ Tom,

    Let me put my point across ‘clearly’.

    1. Shane long was a foul. Ref dint blow. ARSENAL continued play. Very unlike ARSENAL. We are used to seeing us put the ball out of play when an opponent is on the ground. But we dint yesterday.
    2. Koscielny was injured. Its a head injury. It should’ve been spotted. Ref should’ve blown. He dint. At least Southampton players close to him should’ve alerted. They dint. ARSENAL continued despite our own player down injured. Very un-ARSENAL.

    If any of the above incidents stopped the game…..we wouldn’t have got a penalty. Which was a clear clear penalty anyday.

    Giroud could get 4 to 5 such genuine penalties every game. Yet last season….got none.

  63. Just watched highlights on MOTD, which is always difficult at the best of times, but for what it’s worth here’s my take on the important decisions.

    1-Monreal incident near the corner flag.

    Though it certainly did not look deliberate Monreal definitely stood on his heel. That’s a foul with a slim chance of a yellow card, and as that would of been a second yellow he could of seen red. Got away with one there.

    NB There has been some debate about whether the Soton player was feigning a head injury. I don’t think so and I say this from experience. Many years ago I suffered a very bad knee injury. When it happened it was agony. The point is I was laying on the ground screaming in agony holding my head, not my knee. Everyone thought at first I had been kicked in the head. I think it is a natural human reaction to severe pain to hold the head so no, I don’t think he was feigning. I mention all this because it is relevant later.

    2-Koscielnys goal.

    The question is, was it dangerous play for high kicking ? Well technically yes. But if that is the case then so is just about every overhead kick every performed, because simply by definition the boot is going to be ‘high’. But ask yourself, in reality how many are penalised ? Very very few. Ask yourself, do we really want these spectacular type of goals chalked off ? Not really. It seems to me that whilst in the execution of an overhead kick the ‘dangerous play’ rule is infringed, there is an unwritten rule to overlook it. Whether that is because we all love to see them, even referees, or not, I don’t know. Either way, given how 99 times out of a 100 they are allowed to stand it would of been very harsh to of chalked this particular goal off, even though it was technically a foul. Did we get away with one there too ? Some may argue we did but for reasons explained I don’t think so.

    3-Koscielnys head injury ?

    Should or shouldn’t the game of been stopped. Possibly. But only if it was a head injury. The question is, did the referee KNOW it was a head injury ? As I and others have pointed out, holding the head is NOT always an indication of a head injury. It can just indicate severe pain somewhere else on the body, which, in itself is not reason enough to stop the game. There’s also the point of where in the box he was lying. Again, in itself, where he is prone is no reason to stop the play. It only becomes relevant if his position affects a goal. It didn’t. Did it influence the player to foul Giroud ? No. So given we cannot see inside the referees head, and hence what he thinks the injury to Koscielny is, I think we have to give him the benefit of the doubt as to why he allowed play to continue. Would I have complained had Soton broke away and scored whilst he lay prone on the floor ? Quite possibly, but in the end the same analysis would of applied. It’s a toughie. If it goes your way you take it. If it goes against you you feel a little hard done by. Did we get away with one there? Despite what I say, on balance……..probably.

    4-The penalty

    Not even a debate. Shirt pulled and tripped.

    Back to MOTD.

    There analysis, on the face of it could of been harsher on us.

    For example:

    -They didn’t mention the Monreal incident.

    -They didn’t question the possibility of Koscielnys overhead kick being dangerous play.

    -They didn’t question whether play should of been stopped for the possible Koscielny head injury.

    -They didn’t question if he was interfering with play where he was laid prone.

    And I think all of them where at least debatable and they didn’t mention them.

    But oddly, or perhaps not so oddly, regarding the penalty, Wright said ‘harsh’ and Sheerer ‘never’ despite admitting to the shirt being pulled.

    Even before the tightening of the rules that shirt pull was a foul, as was the trip that followed.

    It beggars belief that an ex pro and ‘supposed’ expert, in the loosest possible terms, can be watching a replay of such a blatant foul and say ‘never’ a foul.

    So, did we get away with one yesterday……..probably.

    But lets be honest, it’s about time.

  64. On the overhead/high foot, I think it’s right to treat it differently when a player chooses to put his foot where someone’s head is, as opposed to someone choosing to put their head where a foot is. This was the latter.

    Contact with the head could only be made if the opposition players decided to move forward and try block Kos’s effort with their head.

    It was a clear foul on Long so we had a bit of luck there (I’m a firm believer Karma doesn’t exist, but every now and then you get something delicious which would be pure Karma if it existed)

    Shearer was execrable as usual on Motd. Wright a predictable disappointment. Telling that Shearer opted to use no facts or logic in insisting it wasn’t a pen. His instincts to opt for his scoffing dismissal instead of analysis -‘there was a pull, but not enough’, etc- were correct.

    If he’d gone for real analysis his scoffing dismissal would have been diluted tremendously. He is only free to do that because ,unlike in most jobs, he doesn’t have a boss to pull him up on it and say do it properly

  65. Rich

    “…..unlike in most jobs, he doesn’t have a boss to pull him up on it and say do it properly”

    Indeed he doesn’t. All he has is the similarly incompetent, agenda driven Lineker agreeing with everything he says.

  66. Two weeks ago against Sunderland, Fonte found himself at the ground and lifted his right leg up in the air to prevent Defoe from going for the ball. I don’t recall anyone disagreeing with the penalty at the time.

    Yesterday, Fonte found himself at the ground and lifted his right leg up in the air to prevent Giroud from going for the ball. Yet this same media “experts” are now talking about a soft penalty or never a penalty.

    Quite funny really…

  67. Vince

    Good shout. Can almost summon up a memory of them discussing it in studio. May well have been Shearer himself who agreed pen without any fuss (or emotion).

    Was so evident in Euro’s that Giroud is monstrous in the air in the box if defenders are not allowed to hold him. Overall, I think he had about ten presentable heading opportune in about 5 games. Without grabbing him, defenders were almost powerless to the right delivery.

    So, were those defenders stupid not to grab/foul him, or did they just know it was dangerous in a properly refereed tournament?

    The media and ex-refs – Halsey, Webb (probably be joined by Poll and Gallagher shortly)- are trying their damnedest to protect the right to foul Giroud in the box.

    If, by some minor miracle, they fail, then the big man will have his best year yet. (and we need to work hard on crosses in training)

  68. What are we all to make of the outright and intentional lie by the state broadcaster that it wasn’t a pelanty when it clearly was?

    This broadcaster can’t have any credibility left. Not in other areas as a result of their own actions and the same appears to be the case in the sport.

    Most strange and remarkable behaviour. So we remark upon it.

    What is it that sets the Gunners apart for such vitriol from these misfiring blunderbusses?

  69. Looking forward to Amy Lawrence’s next tome about the Arsenal:

    “The 50th game and how the 24/7 football media covered the blatantly obvious and undeniable cheating (from the official).”

  70. Finsbury

    After reading her Invincibles book, it’s clear she either doesn’t believe that whatsoever (that there’s anything remotely wrong with our ref and media treatment down the years), or is far too canny an operator to damage her career with such talk. Former seems much more likely going by her own words.

    She’s just a clever John Cross to me.

  71. Rich

    John Cross is an odious character. He criticises Arsenal and Wenger at every opportunity.

    Only yesterday he ran a pathetic article criticising Wenger for loaning out Wilshere.

    He ran with the critically toned headline:


    Only to answer his own question 3 paragraphs in by repeating verbatim Wengers reasoning behind the loan:

    “I always try to combine the interests of the club and the interests of the player. That’s what I tried to do here”

    Wenger goes on in great detail to explain what was behind both his and Jacks reasoning behind the move. We’ve all read it.

    So within the very same article he answers his own criticism.

    No praise for Wenger for having the players interests at heart.

    You just know one of the first to criticise Wenger, had he kept Jack then left him on the bench for long periods, would of been Cross.

    That is what he is like. No matter what, he will find a way to criticise.

    John Cross is a nasty piece of work who purports to be an Arsenal fan but is nothing of the sort.

  72. Jambug
    ‘….. a nasty piece of work who purports to be an Arsenal fan but is nothing of the sort.’
    We could compile a long list of those could we not!!!

  73. Was it a foul on Long? No it never is. Long is a dirty player he always fouls deliberately. The foot contact was incidental & not deliberate. It was not anything major as Long got up & played on without treatment. He stayed down to time waste (proper cheat). His foul was a card offence & was allowed to go with a conversation. The PGMO reps are not fit for purpose. Forsters reaction to being booked for time wasting should have been red carded. MOTD did not show it. They never do when it is something that really impacts the game. Arsenal won despite the biased official, who did some things right.

  74. Mick

    Indeed we could. In fact, it would be so long I’m sure I would lose the will to live before I got to the end of it.

  75. The Odious Cross was on Talksport this morning to air his view that poor Gary Cahill was definitely fouled in the build up to Swanseas goal and that we should never have had a penalty. Funy I don’t remember much consternation in the press or about the choke hold on Ozil that led to Swanseas goal last year at the Emirates yet we have Maureen and Conte being backed up and highlighted for their Cry Babying over decisions now. Strange that.

  76. markyb

    Think it’s a popular move in the arsehole handbook to accuse your enemies of negative qualities they don’t possess but you actually do. Crybabies, in this case.

    Chelsea are awful crybabies on the pitch. Or rather they are just awful cheats in every way imaginable, including moaning/crying to refs whenever they can to apply extra pressure.

    Off it they are even worse. From Mourinho’s unprecedented appearance on Goals on Sunday (an hour-long cry), to false accusations against refs, now Cahill’s 3 minute cry. If it doesn’t go their way, they cry. Always

  77. Rich

    “Chelsea are awful crybabies on the pitch. Or rather they are just awful cheats in every way imaginable, including moaning/crying to refs whenever they can to apply extra pressure.”

    Hasn’t it always been the way. It happened when Mourinho was at Chelsea a couple of years back.

    I have recalled this tail a couple of times before but it bears repeating in the context of what you are saying.

    Basically for a few months of this particular season things were not going Chelseas way with regard to penalty decisions. And this is what we got from the Mourinho loving Martin Samuel, dated 5th march 2015:

    “There is no conspiracy against Chelsea but Jose Mourinho does have a point…
    Jose Mourinho has claimed there is a ‘campaign’ against Chelsea.

    Chelsea get penalties on average every 1.8 games in the Champions League but only every 13 matches in the Premier League.”

    It does go on in more fawning detail but alas I can only find the headlines, but I think you get the idea.

    My point is, it took just a couple of months of penalty decisions going against Chelsea/Mourinho for the whinging to start, but worse, for the likes of Samuels to jump on the band wagon and get behind them.

    Measure that against how they palpably fail to mention the preceding dozen or so years over which Chelsea have easily attained the best penalty stats of anyone in the PL and that includes united.

    For in depth analysis regarding penalty stats:

    October 29th, 2014 | Category: Arsenal stories | 30 comments – (Comments are closed)

    Football betrayed: why journalists and broadcasters laugh at us.

    By Tony Attwood

    The following is a paragraph lifted from a post by Rich in that article, yep that will be you my friend, back at the time.

    “Put it this way, every season bar one since he (Mike Riley) took over we’ve finished with a negative for pens conceded against pens awarded (the other one was even). With the numbers being (09/10) 4:7; 7:9; 3:4; 6:6 and 3:6. 23 for, 32 against. That is some statistical anomaly given that in the long run you should expect to see attacking teams- specifically those who spend time in the opposition box- gaining more pens than they concede by a good margin. And though that period has not been our finest, nevertheless in the majority of matches we attack quite a bit more than the opposition. In the same period liverpool were 34:26; City 35:14; Utd 36:15; Chelsea 43:14. All bar Liverpool have gained more points than us in that period and no doubt scored more and conceded less, but still, those figures respresent a serious anomaly given how much time we spend in the opposition box. Over one season, weird things can happen with stats; for a second, maybe; but it is now seven seasons since we gained more pens than we conceded.”

    Just to highlight 2 stats:

    Arsenal 23 penalties for. 32 penalties against.

    Chelsea 43 penalties for. 14 penalties against.

    Funny how Samuel manages to over look years of positive statistics for Chelsea in favour of just highlighting a couple of Months that go against them.

    No Mourinho love in there of course.

    If anyone cares to look there are a few articles that focus on the pitiful amount of penalties we have been getting since Rileys inception at the PGMO, as well as showing a significant bias in Chelseas favour.

    Chelsea and Mourinho, forever whinging without reason. Forever supported by the fawning media no matter what.

  78. Sorry to bang on, but I forgot to say, just imaging the ridicule Wenger would of got had he had the temerity to mention the ’12 year campaign’ against Arsenal !

    I’m sure Samuel would of been behind Wenger all the way.

  79. Rich

    Off topic, when I was trawling through the archives I couldn’t help but notice some posts from our old friend Proudkev.

    He was such a good poster, it’s such a shame we don’t get to hear from him any more.

  80. Rich

    ‘Think it’s a popular move in the arsehole handbook to accuse your enemies of negative qualities they don’t possess but you actually do. Crybabies, in this case’.

    I’m not sure where you are coming from here as it was my intention to criticise Chelsea and Man U moaning and getting a sympathetic nod from the press etc.

  81. markyb

    Maybe I worded it badly. It was my intention to point out Chelsea are the hypocrites and the arseholes!

    They were the ones who ridiculed us in the past as cry babies when, clearly to me, it’s they who are guilty of that.

    Hope it’s cleared up now

  82. Jambug

    Meant to answer you when you asked about Proudkev before. Big shame he stopped posting.

    He got some stats wrong in an article he wrote and got a fair bit of stick for it. Predictable stuff trying to suggest it undermined the arguments we make here.

    As myself and others said it could have happened to any of us (did happen to me once, in fact)

    Hopefully one day Proudkev will be back . Don’t like the idea of how he must’ve felt to cause him to stop posting.

  83. Jambug

    That was a sickening episode with Samuels and Chelsea. Sort of thing that tells me I’m not wrong about how dirty things are if ever I waver on that. Impossible that Samuels isn’t aware of how selective he’s being and how manipulatively he has used data. If that’s the case, quite simple : dirty business. Just the why of it is unanswered.

    Speaking of which, couple more blinding bits from Halsey’s book.

    Philip Don, original head of Pgmol, was basically sacked (in summer 2004, I think)- called into the offices and told to leave by the end of the week- by the Premier League.

    That revelation seems a pretty big deal to me when we primarily blame pgmol for refereeing ills. How widely known is it that the premier league are effectively the bosses of pgmol and can remove the existing head of pgmol, and presumably replace him with the candidate of their choice?

    I certainly had vague suspicions the Premier League had huge power but i’d never even thought about who ultimately controls who gets to rule pgmol.

    Halsey also casually drops, without a hint of criticism, the suggestion that Don may have gone because managers in the North West- Ferguson, Moyes, Allardyce are the three named- had ‘conspired’ to remove him.

    Extraordinary stuff. Did no journalists whatsoever read Halsey’s book (if I’m willing to put myself through it as an amateur, why the fuck aren’t the professionals?)? Or is that not a big deal, nor the sort of thing you should look into immediately.

    Unfortunately Halsey makes no comment on if it was true or not, he just says ‘it was portrayed (to Don, or within ref or general football circles) that certain powerful and influential managers [got Don removed]

    If true, I’d say there can hardly be a bigger football story in the last ten years : what were they unhappy about? How the fuck could they go about getting their wish?

    Anyway, it actually fits neatly to this conspiracist : Don is removed (after invincibles have made mr Ferguson unhappy), new man comes in; Riley puts in perhaps the worst performance in premier league history ; Riley becomes boss in his turn; Arsenal do hideously badly on penalties and other key markers under his regime

  84. Rich

    The whole thing stinks worse than a bucket of pig swill in a heat wave, yet it seems nobody in the media can smell a thing.

    And people, including Arsenal fans, still come on here accusing us of being paranoid.

    Even if you dismiss the referee reviews, the statistics on penalties and cards alone are damming evidence of how badly we are treated by referees.

    For a predominantly possession based, attacking team, our ratio of penalties ‘for and against’ simply defies the laws of probability.

    Similar for cards. We are constantly told we are a ‘soft’ touch. A team without fight, yet strangely enough our fouls to cards ratio, has over the years been the worst in the PL.

    I obviously put both of these statistics down to how we are refereed, but this is the point, the way we are refereed is unequivocally down to how we are attacked and ridiculed in the media.

    Any player of ours that exhibits any aggressive characteristics is immediately highlighted to the referees by the media as ‘One to watch’. One poor challenge and the World and his dog are never allowed to forget it. But as you said yesterday Rich, measure this against how any indiscretions by Rooney are treated as if it’s the first foul he’s ever done.

    Any penalty we get and the media immediately jump on the offending ref letting him, and all the other referees, know, in no uncertain terms that giving Arsenal penalties is simply not on, and if you do….well get ready for the shit to hit the fan.

    If any of our guys should go down too easily in the box and ‘cheat’ is screamed at us, and they are forever on labelled a diver. Yet, using Rooney again, he ‘wins’ penalties.

    From what you say Rich, this book of Halseys is shocking. At the very least it should of instigated further, open, and in depth debate, if not just to quash it.

    But no, nothing.

    I find it amazing that the referees ‘pay off’ for there silence at the end of there careers is allowed to happen without a murmur. Surely that reeks of something to hide in itself ?

    And as with a lot of things such as this it is the silence that is deafening and damming.

    Truly worrying how this is all just being allowed to pass under the bridge.

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