Emirates security problems (again), catering problems (again), keepers getting cards, and names for derbies.

By Tony Attwood

To get into the Emirates for each home match I have to go through two security checks.  Fair enough, these are troubling times.   But if I, a season ticket holder of advancing years have to go through two security checks, WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING AT THE AWAY END?????

Yet again we had a flare or a smoke bomb going off.  These are phenomenally dangerous products that can maim, take a person’s eye out and cause deep distress to anyone close by with lung problems, and yet game after game we see them.  It used to be a Merseyside thing but at the end of last season we saw the Watford fans get away with the same things.

Yes the stewards were in their quickly, and once again other visiting fans deliberately obstructed their attempt to get the culprits.   And the fact is rammed home once more that the Emirates is not a stadium that can stop away support getting flares in.  Stewards buzzed around the area quickly, but the quite simply, while I was checked twice security at the away end was breached.

However it doesn’t have to be like this.

First double the number of security staff in the away support area.   And then all Arsenal has to do is tell all visiting clubs that each time any of their fans bring in a flare then for their next visit their allocation of tickets will be halved.   After that three successive visits without flares and their allocation will go back up one step.  Another three and it can be taken back to the normal level.   Three years running of flares however, and that’s it, no more away support for that team.

All the decent supporters groups of other clubs support action against flares, so we should let them do the marshalling of their own criminals.  And criminals is the right word, for taking a flare or similar device into a football match is a criminal offence.

In fact the match wasn’t a very good one for Arsenal’s arrangement makers.  The catering, at least the catering near my seat in the east upper was at meltdown.  The queues were far far longer than ever before and service was taking longer than ever.  And yet here again it doesn’t have to be like this.   All they have to do is have treble staff – one to take the order and money, and two to serve up what is required.  As it is everything is done by one person, who can’t cope.

Anyway, after years of battle, I think that’s it for me.  No more half time coffee.

Back on the pitch, and again not mentioned by much of the media is the fact that Southampton got three yellow cards for dissent, and the issue that Untold has been making a fuss about for eight years (time wasting by a goal keeper) was addressed.  Not very well, but a bit.

As soon as Southampton scored the disgraceful Forster started to edge out the amount of time he took for each goal kick and each kick out once he had the ball.  Twenty seconds for a goal kick, 25, 30, 35…   As for holding the ball, we were up to ten seconds, 12, 15, even 20 on one occasion.  The crowd which used to be dead quiet and ignore such matters were booing him each time, and finally the ref woke up and gave him a yellow.

He should, of course have then given him a red since he continued with the same practice throughout, but a yellow is at least a start.  If all refs do this, keepers will start getting totting up levels, and one day, one ref who is able to follow the guidelines will actually send a keeper off.   Three wretched Southampton players were booked for protesting – again a step in the right direction.

The engagement of the crowd with the issue is good – there was a huge amount of booing of the time wasting, and broadcasters are very much annoyed so I am told by those in the know.  Sky BT and the rest use these long time wasting delays to show pictures of players trotting back to the half way line, followed by replays.  Now as they do that it becomes clear to the viewer that Sky is editing out bits of the event it doesn’t want (such as time wasting) as they attempt to sanitise the game to suit their media vision.   Things seem to be moving at last.

But on to other things…

On the way to the game I listened to a futile debate on Radio 5 about the forthcoming game in Manchester and for once the station’s commentators said something interesting – that in Spain and in South America they have names for special matches – invented names to hype up the event.  El Clásico is the most famous, but there are apparently many others.

Even Andorra has El Clàssic between FC Santa Coloma vs. UE Sant Julià.   Club Brugge vs. KAA Gent is the Battle of Flanders.  (If Walter were not on holiday he could translate).  De Topper in the Netherlands is Ajax vs. PSV.  My favourite is Luverdense vs. Sorriso:  The Soybean Classic.

So what about England?  Why do we have the boring Manchester Derby, North London Derby and the like.

Arsenal v Tottenham is of course closely related to “It’s happened again” so ought to be La Reptida. Manchester is closely associated with its ship canal, so City v Utd is El Navegable.   Scousers are known for their ceaseless repetition of the phrase “Kalm Down” so Everton v Liverpool should be El tiempo para calmarse.

Tottenham against State Aid Utd could be El aspirante – the game of the clubs always seeking to be there but never quite making it.   Norwich against Ipswich then would be El gente sencilla país.  Fulham against Chelsea becomes Carrera de botes.   Man City v Chelsea is El juego del dinero.

I leave you to do the translations.

And perhaps add a few more suggestions for derbies.

Recent Posts

Anniversary of the Day

11 September 2003: 16 year old Cesc Fabregas joined Arsenal from FC Barcelona (for whom he had signed aged 10).    It is said that his first coach, Señor Blai, reportedly did not select Fàbregas for matches against Barcelona in an attempt to hide him from their scouts.  The same story is told word for word about Bellerin.

You can find 5000 Arsenal anniversaries arranged day by day on the Arsenal History Society site.




65 Replies to “Emirates security problems (again), catering problems (again), keepers getting cards, and names for derbies.”

  1. Tony you seriously need to look at joining Club Level with awash with bars and Restuarants . Entry is an hour before the Upper and Lower and best of all no one stands up during the game . All for about £1000 more you no it makes sense .

  2. I would hate see the phrase Derby replaced by some made up nonsense. It’s part of the English language which is copied world wide for all events of this nature and actually originates in Derby.
    But I do like the idea of penalising away teams by reducing allocations but for all offences.

  3. Only going by highlights, this report and last year’s games, but when did Southampton become such a niggly dirty team?

    Always liked them growing up, but not these days.

    Anyone know if they’re like that everywhere, with the time wasting and, by last year’s games, the constant fouls and cynical play?

    Or is it just one of those where they crank it up to the maximum for us, through pure pragmatism in the expectation they can get away with more?

    As always, I suspect the latter. Fonte’s reaction for the pen was that of a man who found it inconceivable that the laws would be applied to him in this particular game.

    Strong hint of how that situation arose came on Match of The Day later through Shearer’s blind insistence it wasn’t a pen in a million years.

    Tellingly, I thought, he didn’t opt for the usual ‘you’d get twenty a game’, or ‘it wasn’t enough of a pull’, or even, ‘Giroud was holding him, too’ . Saying any of that would entail admitting there was even a decision to be made, and draw focus on whether it was the right one or not.

    Nope. Blind insistence it was an inexplicable and ridiculous decision, even immediately after a replay (which he’d already have seen umpteen times) which showed exactly what the issue was : are defenders allowed to pull someone’s shirt like that in the box?

    Anyway, it’s not new information that Shearer’s a dick who blatantly dislikes us, nor, sadly, that Wright tends to go along with it.

    What’s new is that we’ve been doing reasonably well on big calls this year. Have to wait now and see if Maddeley is punished or supported for his call. That’ll offer a good indication of whether this year will really be different.

    As for the media, Motd gave a great example of the pressure they apply on referees, just as they’ve been doing with Coquelin since Palace last year.

    Think it’s an example of what Jambug talks about : that was the cycle in action : we get a big call our way : the media don’t like it and strongly criticise the ref : refs respond to that in the future and acquiesce in line with media view : opposition players and managers try capitalise : a player like Fonte believes he has free rein to pull Giroud as much as he likes.

    Only way to break it is if the refs resist that pressure and deal with us fairly. Shearer and co will make it is hard as possible for them. Webb has already had his say (no pen), now we wait for Gallagher’s column and then, most importantly, whether or not Maddeley is dropped .

  4. @Tony

    You are right about the goalkeepers’ time-wasting but I have to say Ooooospina is not quite innocent when it comes to that offence either. I recall his time-wasting against Spuds last season – at some point it took him 40 seconds for a goal-kick.

    In Italy, they have Derby d’Italia (Inter v Juventus), Derby della Madonnina (Inter v Milan), Derby della Capitale (Lazio v Roma) etc. They also have “The Wanda Derby” when Maxi Lopez and Mauro Icardi face each other named after Wanda Nara who was Maxi’s wife before becoming Icardi’s girlfriend.

    In Serbia, they have “Veciti derbi” (“The eternal derby”) between Partizan and Crvena Zvezda.

    Chelsea v City – The OPEC derby

    Man United v Chelsea – The Jose Mourinho derby

    Liverpool v Tottenham – The Nelson Mandela derby (neither club has won the league since 1990, the year Mandela was released from prison)

  5. Rich

    “Have to wait now and see if Madley is punished or supported for his call.”

    I think that’s a no brainer.

    Obviously MOTD have already cast there verdict.

    The Mail gave him 5 out of 10 even though to be fair the match reporter said he got the penalty call correct.

    I don’t watch SKY SPORTS SUNDY SUPPLIMENT or GOALS ON SUNDAY so I will be relying on feedback from others as to how they analyse our game but I will be amazed if they don’t give Madley a very hard time.

    I stand to be corrected.

  6. I was a senior steward until this season with 10yrs experience. EVERYONE is searched at least once, normally twice & occasionally 3 times. The initial searches are done by agency stewards (if they can be bothered) on the approach to the podium & on the podium level itself & only by Arsenals own once they reach the turnstiles.
    It is IMPOSSIBLE to stop flares coming into the ground, why?
    1) Adults put them in places stewards don’t go – you can guess where that is.
    2) They are disguised as pens or other day to day objects.
    3) they are taken in by children – This has happened & stewards are not allowed to physically search kids for obvious reasons

    You’d be surprised at the attitude of people to the safety regime. Despite the current dangers in our society, people really do have a go at being searched more than once. I’ve even refused entry to people that have refused to be searched!

  7. Rich
    I don’t think there’s any doubt that Fonte pulled Giroud (however lightly) and may even have tripped him. The 5 Live commentator (unknown) said it “wasn’t sustained”. Is there a time limit on fouls? Poll hasn’t put his opinion up in the Mail yet, but he’ll probably take the No penalty” option.
    Also not up for discussion so far (other than on Arseblog) is that Monreal didn’t touch Redland. It was a blatant penalty dive.And what else isn’t being debated by anyone is whether play should have been stopped for Kos’ head injury. That was poor refereeing, and if it happened to us we’d be screaming.
    I’ve had another look at Kos’ goal and it’s even more exceptional when you consider he struck the ball cleanly with his right foot. Not bad for a leftie!

  8. Rich

    How the hell does Webb come to that conclusion ?

    When making his judgement, like the rest of us, he must see the absolutely blatant pull on Girouds shirt.

    Isn’t this a perfect example of exactly what the tightening of the rule regarding ‘shirt pulling’ was supposed to catch ?

    How did he quantify that shirt pulling to not deserving of a penalty ?

    And some people still say there isn’t an anti Arsenal agenda in the media.

    By the way thanks, you capture perfectly my point about the media with your ‘cycle in action’ explanation.

  9. Leon

    Some good points but I think you are being a bit harsh with this point:

    “And what else isn’t being debated by anyone is whether play should have been stopped for Kos’ head injury. That was poor refereeing, and if it happened to us we’d be screaming.”

    As I and others have said on the other thread, holding your head is not always an indication of a head injury. (not going into it all again but I explain my reasoning in depth on that other thread).

    As non of us know what the referee thought he saw happen to Kos it can not be stated definitively that he should of stopped the game.

    Would we as Arsenal fans been aggrieved had Soton gone down the other end and scored ? Of course, but that doesn’t change the fact he MAY of made the correct call.

    In any case, I’m sure any protests we would of made would of fallen on death ears and been dismissed out of hand so I’m certainly not losing any sleep over it.

    A couple of 50/50 calls going our way. Who’d of believed it.

    Still, I have no doubt the media will spend the next week or so ensuring the Referees are in no doubt that where Arsenal are concerned there’s some retribution to be had.

  10. A most intriguing post Tony, bringing home to we habitual absentees that attending at the Ems is not all beer and skittles.
    In regard to yesterday’s game, even the limited TV highlights drew attention to the delaying tactics of Forster, the So’ton goalie.
    We need more drastic action by match officials against this practice, as well as against the wrestling and shirt-pulling that goes on in the penalty area while awaiting corners and free kicks. 😉

  11. Not a penalty dive by Redmond (Redland?), but a dive all the same.
    Jambug, I see your comment on the other thread. But he looked pretty injured to me, almost unconscious in fact, whereas Long didn’t appear hurt at all.
    I don’t know what criteria referees use to decide, perhaps he didn’t even see Kos, but it all worked out in our favour, so no complaints from me.

  12. well, three penalties in four games (whats going on!), it doesn’t seem the refs are listening to the media, btw are things evening out yet?

  13. Leon

    Yep, all depends on what the ref did or didn’t see, think or didn’t think, and we can never know that.

    As I say, a 50/50 going our way. I’ll take that.

    But we will pay for this game, the media will guarantee we do, you mark my words.

  14. I watched the Kos incident from my quite close position (row 13) and I was worried for him. I thought the ref did ok then (although not for much of the game) and for me it was a penalty in real time (and on the TV replay). Most of all though I think we have to applaud Santi for showing such a calm persona in taking it.

    As for the stewarding I think they have gone backwards again. Last year – after Paris – security was heightened but it gradually settled back to the perfunctory. Yes bags are checked but properly? I doubt it. The flare was an example of that and it was (for all the risks Tony rightly highlights) JUST a flare. It could have been a knife, a gun or a bomb.

    Finally one of the stewards that used to police Block D is not there this season. I miss saying hello to him each week but more importantly yesterday we had a blatant smoker in Row 12, several times during the game he lit up, with kids all round him. That would never have happened last year or the years before. It’s not allowed and the vast majority respect that; this w****r clearly thinks he is above the law and the stewards should weed that stuff out. No-one wants to sit (or stand) and breath his smoke.

  15. blacksheep

    I think the problem is, if somebody is really determined to bring in a flare they will get it in, because anything short of a strip search will not always find the cleverly secreted object.

    The answer is, as Tony points out, how the offending Club is dealt with afterwards, and his example of scaled bans seems to me to be a very feasible solution. The fact is, self governance by the respective clubs, is in reality, the only realistic way of dealing with it.

    As for allowing the smokers to flagrantly disregard the rules, this is simply unacceptable.

    As is the dismal level to which the catering seems to have fallen.

    Given how much it costs to attend a football match in this day and age, these failings are an embarrassment.

  16. Leon/ jambug

    It amuses me to think play carried on after the head injury as a result of refs conditioning themselves to ignore our head injuries. Atkinson in particular loves that one. I remember him turning his head away a couple of times in the semi against Reading just as we were being clattered around the head, the better to pretend he was unaware of anything.

    Same sort of thing as when a ref ignored a foul on us in a dangerous position last year and we instantly scored from it (Sanchez late in season I think. West Brom home?). I could imagine the ref thinking ‘damn (‘if I could turn back tiiiime…) ‘ on that occasion

    Surely not the case here though as there was no benefit to our opponents in play continuing.

  17. Rich

    You may have a point.

    Maybe it was just conditioning and his train of thought was:

    Arsenal have a man down, not only that, it’s there best defender. If Southampton can break on them they’ll be in big trouble.

    Once he’s allowed play to continue in hope of events panning out in that way it became tricky for him to suddenly stop play as soon as the ball was played back in the box.

    Very conspiracy theory, and personally I don’t subscribe to it, but it’s not beyond the realms of possibility.

  18. Jambug

    Think I’ve mentioned a couple of times today [can’t keep track of my posts] that the method for Webb and the rest is to say as little as possible on these incidents. Shearer took it to the ridiculous conclusion of doing so as a replay was being shown.

    If they give any detail, about why they think it wasn’t a pen, it provides enormous scope for counter argument, and puts them in a box for what they’ll say in the future regarding similar incidents (not that they care that much about hypocrisy and contradiction- but if you can painlessly avoid it, you may as well)

    The three notables so far in saying it was wrong – Shearer, Webb, Halsey- have followed this exactly. NO pen. NO detail.

    Webb did substantiate his thoughts, actually : he said he’d reffed Fonte many times and, to paraphrase, thinks he’s a good bloke. Cheers, Howard- keep putting that technical expertise to good use now

  19. It’s not the first time Madley has given a penalty for holding this season, and good on him for keeping the “new” laws going. The same can’t be said of the new “respect” law however. As I predicted pre-season, the “getting in the referee’s face” rule won’t apply to certain players, and Rooney’s display yesterday confirmed that. Meanwhile, Santi got booked for pulling a face?

    Some people never change and Shearer is one of those who tries to offset his boring voice with a love in of the anti Arsenal brigade. Funny how he backed Dean when he gave a penalty for holding on, but yesterday, it wasn’t one “in a million years”.


  20. Jambug

    Talking conspiracy theories…my idea that you can get similar results to corruption and conspiracy without there being actual provable corruption/conspiracy got a big boost after reading Halsey’s book this week.

    I’ve always thought that ,on the balance of probabilities, brown envelopes and direct orders were improbable and unnecessary . The wealth of detail in Halsey’s book supports this pretty well.

    The assessors reports are absolutely key to the progress of a referee. They don’t get to the select group without satisfying the assessors and their bosses, and they don’t get to stay there and develop their careers unless they conform to what the assessors want.

    An added detail was that in midweek the refs get together and watch whatever incidents have been highlighted by management- for praise as well as criticism, but it is the criticism which referees weigh more highly and fear being subjected to among their peers. Again, another method of control and guiding the refs future actions. Refs all want to avoid featuring on the video reel of that weeks mistakes.

    Halsey touches a number of times upon how the media interlock with this- if they pick up on something, it’s an issue; they don’t, it isn’t likely to be. In turn that obviously filters directly back into how games are reffed.

    Also in there is the different consequence of sending off a big player vs a smaller one, especially if they play for England, and even more so if they are captain. There’s pressure from above not to send big players off, partly for purposes of entertainment and the product. I’d say there are exceptions and the media are again key to this.

    The assessments not only determine where a ref will end up in the merit table, and therefore their chances of progressing- bigger games, finals, Fifa list- it also makes up part of their pay.

    They get a performance related bonus of up to 15 grand at the year’s end (there’s also a discretionary bonus from Riley himself based on how he feels you’ve done- only a grand, apparently, but no doubt important to let you know where you stand)

    Finally, they have to contend with the report of the match delegate from the premier league. Halsey clears up that ultimately they are the bosses of Pgmol. The Premier League pays 80% of pgmol costs, has members (including Scudamore originally and until recently) on its board * and, presumably, are the force, mentioned but never specified by Halsey, who have the power to force a change of general manager on pgmol.

    Plenty more details where that came from : the book really is informative and fleshes out how far it is, realistically and practically, from being a man on a field with a set of rules and his own free mind.

    As a ref, you could rebel and play it like that for a bit, if that means going against what is demanded of you, should you want, but the consequences would be immediate. You wouldn’t get prem games and you’d lose your select group status if you did not comply.

    * Riley is now a board member, unfortunately.

  21. Rich thanks for your comments – and indeed I do appreciate the way that flares are smuggled in – we’ve done a series of articles on that topic before.

    But my point remains the same: just because you can’t search people does not mean we have to put up with with great danger in our ground. An announcement to EVERY club – if your fans bring in a flare then next time you play your crowd allocation goes down by half on safety grounds – which as I understand the regs is allowable. That would stop the flares either because fans would learn, or because if they don’t learn they get banned. Yes some innocent supporters would not be allowed to see their club, but absolute vigilance is the price we pay in these mad times.

  22. Rich

    Great post and we are very much in accord with our take on all this regarding how the media, in effect and in reality, determine the way our referees officiate.

    Just a couple of points.

    “I’ve always thought that, on the balance of probabilities, brown envelopes and direct orders were improbable and unnecessary.”

    I’ve said this many times.

    For a referee to influence a game is not difficult. Lets say there are a dozen or so 50/50 calls during a match. A referee can give every one of those in the favour of one particular team and it could be argued he hasn’t made a bad call, and has in effect been perfectly ‘fair’, when in actuality he’s been anything but. 50/50’s by there sheer nature should even out for both sides, if they don’t you have to conclude something other than natural justice is taking place.

    “Refs all want to avoid featuring on the video reel of that weeks mistakes.”

    Exactly. Avoiding media criticism is there prime objective, not applying the rules of the game.

  23. Cheers Tony

    I’m trying not to be sloppy with describing anything from book and not to use quotes, as it seems very likely to me the site is often read by parties who don’t want these issues discussed, and within realms of possibility they’d make trouble for you if they can.

    As for flares, I remember well the horrible incident as a kid when a man died at a Wales game (93/4), after being hit by a firework/rocket, I think, so it’s an important issue.

    Also remember my disappointment at the old arms park when they were so strict about flags, cartons of pop, even sweets.

    I guess the issue is that honest people are stopped by those measures but trouble makers aren’t. Taking action afterwards is only way to try control it.

  24. Cheers Jambug

    I return to the Coquelin game at Palace for my text book example of how it works.

    Big fuss. Mason banned for four weeks (with an obvious impact on his future and his future performances). Coq gets away with less since. Two yellows at Spurs (first of which was very harsh)

    Any time we’re on tv now, pundits highlight that Coq as one to watch for bookings. Any infringement and they are talk cards immediately. Refs of course are aware of this.

    Then the direct contrast with Rooney. You’ll get a mild ‘he’s lucky there’, occasionally, especially if he’s committed bookable offences, not been punished, and keeps fouling, but there’s always a lack of conviction or emotion in those pronouncements, whereas with Coquelin real emotions are aroused and there’s something like anger at the supposed injustice, and annoyance with the ref for supposedly getting it wrong.

    End result: Rooney fouls more yesterday than Coquelin ever has, but it doesn’t matter. Nobody is annoyed, no heat in any discussion, and in effect it doesn’t go on his permanent record.

    The next time he does it (for the 10-20th time in his career) it’s as though it’s the first time, and he’s just a bit lucky, instead of a serial offender who has enjoyed ridiculous leniency right throughout his career and who should be watched like a hawk.

    The groundwork is being laid for Xhaka to join Coquelin. They just need him to oblige now and commit any foul once on a booking.

  25. It wasn’t the shirt pull that was being ignored . It was Fonte raising his leg and tripping Giroud that it was given for.

  26. Incidently in Block 10 the queues for half time refreshments were about 15 deep as the game kicked off for the second half. A person near me was not feeling well and went out again 5 minutes into the second half and the bar was closed . Maybe 600 employees for the club to worry over is not enough although I thought it was the responsibility of Delaware if they still have the contract.

  27. Rich
    It was worse than that, it was one of those marine emergency flares. Absolutely lethal. And I don’t think the culprit was given very much punishment even though he deliberately fired it into the opposite fans section.

  28. Rich

    Re Xhaka

    Yep, that’s already started. Didn’t Wenger get asked at his Friday conference if he felt Xhaka had to watch his discipline ?


    Can you imagine the odious one being asked a similar question about Rooney, or indeed any player at United.

  29. Leon

    Jeez. Must have been horrific. Think my best mate’s dad was at the game (Romania?) , may well have been watching it on telly with my mate but can’t remember too well, or if they were mentioning it in the coverage.

    Awful stuff tho, esp if culprit wasn’t caught. I’d bet they got tougher on flares after that, and there’s no reason to relax that stance.

  30. Jambug

    It’s crazy what Rooney has got away with over the years. End is in sight, at least. Advantage arguably cancelled out now though by how he affects team.

    Xhaka’s basically in Viera/ Petit territory, after three or four reds, before his career’s really started for us.

    I’m relieved we have such good cover now, like the old days with Parlour and Edu offering great alternatives. Vital for us to sustain challenge if we have aggressive mids.

    I feel we should be proactive now when they’re on yellows, but I probably can’t help underestimating how much a sub can disrupt a team which is functioning well

  31. Rich

    Subbing a guy on a Yellow is always tricky. If the Yellows early, especially so.

    Have to trust the player and the boss to manage it, and get it right.

    Difficult call though.

  32. Rich
    Re Rooney getting away with things I noticed in the Manchester derby game yesterday this seasons supposed clampdown on dissent by refs is apparently being ignored by Clattenburg. Or maybe it doesn’t apply to M United. The new zero tolerance of players showing the slightest hint of dissent clearly doesn’t apply to Rooney who was clearly questioning decisions on several occasions.

  33. Mick

    Obvious prob with this clampdown is that we have to completely trust refs ability to differentiate between abuse or an acceptable level of complaint. From the pictures, it’s impossible for us to know whether little Santi launched some foul mouthed abuse or if Rooney, despite the angry contorted face and whatnot, managed to remain completely respectful throughout, on all 10-15 occasions.

    His game is pretty much a 90 minute protest at any single decision that doesn’t favour his team. Same as always.

    Confusion on my part is whether any sort of protest should now be a booking. If so, it’s already become an utter joke as many players are still at it plenty, with Rooney leading the way, of course.

    Got to worry that it’s just a very easy way to stick a booking on us and equally easy to ignore the same or worse from others. Dean, Atkinson and Taylor could kill us with it by making crap decisions and picking out anyone who can’t completely control their reaction. Bad for the spirit as well as creating problems for booked players

    Fonte’s complaining was beyond the pale. You can’t get more aggressive, disrespectful and in your face without actually hitting someone.

    Scottish rugby players were able to accept a controversial last second call ending their world cup semi final dream without showing any aggressive response; I don’t think football players are wired differently genetically, so it’s all about how game is run . Nurture.

  34. Drat, the Ladies lost to ManC. Sounds like a good game.

    I’m not seeing much news on Koscielny. One report (rumour?) that Koscielny may miss Tuesday’s game.

  35. Porter

    Whilst we’re on the subject of thugs, I’m currently watching Diago Costa up to his usual tricks of knee high tackles and feigning injury.

    I cant wait to here Mike T defend him.

    Should be good for a laugh.

  36. As they walk off the commentator refers to Costas antics and he cant resist a little giggle. It isn’t funny !

    And that’s exactly how Rich described how it works.

    Yes it’s mentioned. It can hardly not be, but they don’t behave with high emotion or outrage as they do whenever our players commit such offences. It’s identical to how they treat Rooneys many indiscretions. In fact I’ve just watched the half time analysis and they’ve not even mentioned Costas dangerous challenge, that rightly received a yellow, or his theatrics that got a Swansea player booked a little latter.

  37. Swansea have turned it around.

    1 nil down, 2 – 1 up.

    Second goal was definitely a foul though, but simply for the obnoxious way that Costa has gone about this match it’s no more than they deserve.

    Karma I think they call it.

    He’s still diving all over the place.

    What a piece of s**t that man is and all Alan Smith can say on seeing his latest dive is “All good fun”

    Dangerous challenges. Getting players booked. Diving.

    Yea Smith, all good fun !!! WTF

    By the way, Chelsea have been the better side and unfortunately I think they could well still win it.

  38. And by better side, I mean by far the better side, and Costa is probably there best player.

    That’s the sad thing. The guy just doesn’t need to behave like he does.

  39. “As non of us know what the referee thought he saw happen to Kos it can not be stated definitively that he should of stopped the game.
    Would we as Arsenal fans been aggrieved had Soton gone down the other end and scored? Of course , but that doesn’t change the fact he MAY of made the correct call”

    No it doesn’t .
    The fact we know from replays Kos got kicked in his face, went down and stayed down for a long period of time, and received extensive physio treatment after the play was finally stopped, proves beyond any doubt the referee got that wrong.

    Applying your logic you can excuse almost every referee mistake on grounds of not knowing what the referee saw, or didn’t see.

  40. 2-2

    Costa again.

    Can’t say I didn’t tell ya.

    By the way, it was another over head kick that possibly could of been ruled out for a ‘dangerous’ or ‘high’ boot. Closer to the goal but very similar in nature to Koscielnys.

    Smith has actually suggested it should possibly of been disallowed for dangerous play. To be fair his boot did actually just connect with the defenders head on the follow through but still? You disallow one you have to disallow them all and who really wants that?

  41. Tom

    How do you know the ref saw the kick in the head?

    I have watched the replay many times and cant say for sure he got kicked in the head. True the resulting treatment suggests he did, but to say categorically the ref knew is just your opinion like mine is that he didn’t.

    I don’t know why you even engage with me Tom, you absolutely never agree with a thing I say and I certainly very rarely agree with you. It’s pointless don’t you think because we just end up going round in circles.

  42. Tom

    Also you say:

    “….we know from replays Kos got kicked in his face”

    Indeed, replays the ref didn’t have. This statement alone suggests you wasn’t sure what happened until you saw the replays so perhaps maybe, just maybe, the referee wasn’t sure either.

    Or has that possibility not occurred to you?

  43. Berserk 2nd half in Chelsea game.

    I’ve used up my football word allowance for weekend but Costa was spectacularly Costa, only a few notches less than he dials it up to for us.


    Just noticed the double Rich prob earlier in thread.

    I’m sure a couple at least know which ones are me (the one always having a go-fairly!- at refs/media)

  44. Jambug
    You are wrong about me disagreeing with you more than not.
    Actually, I find myself in agreement with you on most issues, from spending being a base for continued succes, through the media bias against Arsenal, to the referee bias against Arsenal over the last seasons.

    Where I disagree with you, is when you take any of these views to the extreme levels, which you often do.

    Sometimes you use twisted logic to fit the facts on the ground, even when they don’t match.

    But back to the incident discussed here.
    That’s why referees are clearly instructed to stop play when there’s even a suspicion of head injury, period.

    Any clearly thinking person couldn’t possibly come up with any other reason for Kos staying down holding his head for such a long time, other than head injury.
    He’s not a faker, there was no incentive for Arsenal to waste time , and finally , had the ref not blown for the penalty, Kos would’ve been right in the middle of any goal mouth action. All the reasons for stoping the play.

    Just to be clear, I have no sympathy for Southamton for the late pen, or Long not getting the foul. They have gotten away with more borderline dirty play against Arsenal to last a decade, but to question whether we benefitted from a few major calls in this and other games this season , is disingenuous.

  45. I Am glad Tony that you have raised the issue of the disgraceful catering set up at the Emirates.

    It is quite ridiculous how long the queues are and mostly unnecessary. A bit of planning and organisation could solve a lot of the problems.

  46. Tony, I raised the catering issue at the recent A.I.S.A AGM and they said the last time they had a meeting with the actual catering company was 4 years ago but are willing to look at it again.
    They basically said the catering company made it quite clear their agenda was different from that of the fan and preferred people using the services either side of half time. This means they can employ less staff and as we all know pay them peanuts.
    The pressure must be put on the club to revise contracts to provide high quality fast option rather than the cheap crap cowboy catering we have at the moment.

  47. the chance of getting injured by a flare is far less than a chance of dying of heart attack during a football match
    catering at Emirates sounds like a disturbing issue though

  48. Oleg, while I am a great supporter of statistics as a basis for decision making, I don’t think they can be used in that way. We can reduce a serious risk – and reduce the chance of an action that is against the law in one straightforward way. Therefore we should.

  49. I must honestly say i dont think it was a penalty at all, but i’m not complaining. Both of them were at fault.

    We were unlucky to “gift” them their goal but some of the luck was on their side. Later though they could have scored and made it even harder for us.

    We’re still not 100% yet but getting there slowly.
    All in all, a win and 3 points.

  50. Tom

    All I did was make a proposition as to why the reef may of let play continue.

    I never said he was right or wrong.

    I never said he did or didn’t see the incident clearly.

    All I did was surmise what MIGHT of gone through his mind and therefore what might of been his thought process, that’s all.

    Then you accuse me of applying warped logic.

    It was just a supposition that’s all.

    In fact, as it transpired Madely obviously did make a mistake as it was a head injury. But as I surmised, he MAY not of seen it. You don’t know and neither do I.

    As far as I was concerned all I did was a fair and balance appraisal of all the contentious issues and put forwards some thoughts as to how and why the referee made the decisions he did, and whether we had a bit of fortune or not.

    At no time did I say this is what DID happen and this what Madely DID see or think. Just some ideas as to what may of happened and why.

    The only conclusion I made was that ‘On balance we may of got away with one today’.

    Personally I thought it was a most innocent, balanced, and non controversial post as you could get yet you still find fault.

    Oh well

  51. Tony – I agree with you regarding the security. The checks are insufficient & the placement of checks is abysmal. There are so many gaps where any nasty can slip through. The fact that visitors are able to bring in incendiary devices in this high tension period is not comforting. Arsenal FC need to dump their current security consultants & get some proper ruthless organisation similar to El Al’s. Nothing should be left to chance in a matter of life & death. Delay the match but ensure no risk.

    The catering is pathetic. The balti chicken pies are absolute rubbish now compared to the originals. The service leaves a lot to be desired as does the queuing ‘system’. Prices could be reduced but that is something that the club should set.

  52. As for the football… It was a penalty because there was a pull on Giroud’s shirt. There was also a trip/ kick following the pull. The initial incident that brought Kos to the floor was also a penalty. That was not seen nor captured though it was a kick to the head.

    The victory was deserved because of the attacking play as opposed to time wasting defence littered with un-carded fouls.

  53. Menace and Tony
    even with the most anal (literally) security checks you see at former Soviet republics people will still bring the flares and other stuff
    this issue is better addressed by proper collaboration with fans instead of oppression

  54. Afternoon Jambug

    Not going to defend Costa for I justdont get him. He is an absolute monster but he plays far close to the edge.
    We have literally just got back from Swansea and am going to look at the recording we went out for a very nice meal in Swansea and sat next to a table of Swans supporters whose views were quite interesting although their view as to the number of chances that Swansea created wasn’t what I saw.
    Marriner seemed to have a poor game indeed forget how they were awarded or indeed if Costa made too much of them but allowing 5 fouls without a yellows rom the same player is pushing the persistent thing, and till I watch a replay I have only my opinion gained at the game, but even though we were about 75 yards away it seemed that there was a foul on Cahill
    Costas second was right below where we were sat and in truth could easily have been disallowed.
    We should have got all 3 points but hey after 4 games 10 points hopefully points to us not having to be talked about in relegation terms.
    On the security thing full searches on everyone going into Swansea, a well managed stadium, good atmosphere and all in all a good place to go and watch football

  55. Mike T

    I hope you enjoyed your day out in Sunny South Wales.

    Like you I just don’t get Costa. He is such a good player and doesn’t need to act like the odious shit he does. Look, I understand some players need to play close to the edge to get the best out of themselves but he goes too far.

    As for the game yesterday.

    Chelsea where by far the better side and Swanseas 2nd goal was definitely a foul.

    If it was Arsenal I would of felt a bit hard done by, but given Costa’s usual antics you don’t expect any sympathy do you………do you ?

  56. Jambug

    Yep a really good day and night out.

    Mrs T detests Costa and the funny bit was we were two one down and she kept on and on about he had to be taken off and there was me saying he won’t because he is likely to score and what then happens.

    You get what you get in football not what you deserve. Yes I thought we should have won but hey.

    As for sympathy I would be both surprised and disappointed if you offered it.

  57. Mike T

    If you read my comments from yesterday, as the game went on I predicted an equaliser, at least, and I also pretty much predicted Costa, as your best player, to score it.

    The usual suspects at the top I see.

    Going to be one hell of a season and I can see us crossing swords many times.

  58. Jambug

    It’s interesting you talk about the usual suspects because everyone was talking last season about how the playing field had levelled out

    It will be very interesting to see how the season pans out but one thing I am not looking forward to is Friday night football

    Crossing swords? Surely not well maybe !

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