A goal or not a goal? Burnley v Arsenal – the first reactions.

By Tony Attwood

Watching the game on Sky and listening to the studio conversation after the match there seemed to be a general consensus that a) the Ox did not touch the ball, it was Kos who kicked it forward, and b) although the ball his Kos’ hands it was not handball.

Of course if that sort of goal had gone against us we would have been a trifle miffed, but as it was our goal we’ll take it, especially at the end of a performance which was hardly one of our best affairs.

The Guardian, in its immediate post-match report is quite clear that for a multiplicity of reasons the goal should not have stood, and they have a commentary written to give the impression that they have been calling for video refereeing for years.

They haven’t – it has been Untold that has been demanding it, and there are indications that we are now going to get it.   Had there been such refereeing and had the goal been disallowed because we were over the 92 minutes then so be it – there would be many, many other incidents in which Arsenal would have gained the sort of benefit that the PGMO’s ancient and biased system denies us week after week.

But that’s how it goes – look back at our championship winning seasons – even the Unbeaten season, and you’ll find some horrible games tucked away among the glory games – the ones that we still remember.  No season is perfect from start to finish – not even that one.

Out of the whole game however there is one thing I particularly noted (and I was just watching the game not making notes ready for an article) and that was the impact that Elneny made when he came on.

I’ve been impressed with him each time I see him – he seems to play with such verve and vigour, such drive and enthusiasm, and yet he seems to have slipped down the pecking order.   To me he is an extremely powerful and valuable player, and I think had I been running the show I’d have brought him on earlier.   Which would then probably have resulted in our losing!

And of course for once the Tiny Totts did us a favour making sure that any talk of Manchester Airport emulating our unbeatenness is quickly knocked on the head.   Watching their game on Sky the Airport boys looked fairly ordinary to me.

Thus we now have nothing until the 15th and then in the space of 11 days we have four home matches!   That at least should help us power forwards in all three competitions that we’re engaged in.

Just one other thing – Sky put up the statistical analysis of the match which almost totally conformed to the analysis Untold put up before the match of how the two teams play.   1-0 to the Untold I think.

Just one more thing – coming up during the interlull we’ve got another one of those Untold analyses of things that no one else bothers to analyse, and which reveals something quite extraordinary.  Do stay with us.

Premier League Table

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
Manchester Airport 7 6 0 1 18 7 11 18
Tiny Totts 7 5 2 0 12 3 9 17
Arsenal 7 5 1 1 16 7 9 16
Liverpool!!! 7 5 1 1 18 10 8 16
Everton 7 4 2 1 11 5 6 14
Manchester United 7 4 1 2 13 8 5 13
Chelsea Abramovich 7 4 1 2 12 9 3 13
Crystal Palace 7 3 2 2 11 8 3 11
West Bromwich 7 2 3 2 8 7 1 9
Southampton 7 2 3 2 7 6 1 9
Watford 7 2 2 3 12 13 -1 8
Leicester 7 2 2 3 8 11 -3 8
Bournemouth 7 2 2 3 6 11 -5 8
Burnley 7 2 1 4 5 9 -4 7
Hull City 7 2 1 4 7 14 -7 7
Middlesbrough 7 1 3 3 7 10 -3 6
Swansea 7 1 1 5 6 12 -6 4
State Aid United 7 1 1 5 8 17 -9 4
Stoke Deplorables 7 0 3 4 5 16 -11 3
Sunderland 7 0 2 5 6 13 -7 2
Recent stories from Untold Arsenal

Wenger ponders whether Yaya Sanogo will ever really be good enough for Arsenal. 

Burnley v Arsenal, the team, two contrasting styles of play and the sequences

Burnley v Arsenal. Seven and a half things to look out for and a pic of Mr Wenger down the pub.

A reminder of how things have changed and why top four finishes are not to be decried

Burnley v Arsenal Sun 02 October 2016 – The Match Officials. Which Mr Pawson will turn up – Jekyll or Hyde?

UEFA Champions League – Arsenal v Basel key incidents, plus the under 19 Arsenal/Basel game

20 years of Wenger: Untold’s tribute to our manager, and 10 early Wenger anniversaries you might have forgotten.

46 Replies to “A goal or not a goal? Burnley v Arsenal – the first reactions.”

  1. I was following 3.5 commentaries today (gave up on Guardian and Daily Mail for being boneheaded midway). I spent a little while looking for news (about the goal, and possible injury?). This has to be about the worst coverage of an Arsenal game I can remember in the last 2 or 3 years. It was just horrible.

    We had away fans who couldn’t make the game because of cows. How did the away fans who made it to the game do? How many were there?

  2. so nearly 100% correct except we have the U23 game against the saints at home on the 14th, should be a good one

  3. Honestly, looks like offside by Kos to me. Theo’s header on to Ox is fine, but Kos is offside when Ox hits the ball. Its not handball or anything, and no – I would not be aggrieved if that happened to us – no way Kos can move his hands away so quick. Or any player.

    But it is offside, need to take another look though or will wait for Walter/Usama/some one more qualified. Why are we getting the rub of the green? Something stinks.

    And if we do win the league like this, I don’t want it. I’d rather come 4th again on the last day. There. I said it.

    Again, maybe I’m jumping the gun but if this is offside, then that’s 2 direct goals we’ve been lucky on – the first being Nacho’s stamp on Long (Southampton) before our goal not being called.

    I don’t like it one bit. At all. Yes, we’ve been cheated all these years – but NO, that does not mean we get lucky this year due to whatever political game is being played upstairs. What’s the point?

  4. I think the mentality of the team has changed from past years. Even though Burnley defended with all their might, Arsenal kept going forward trying to score especially towards the dying minutes. In seasons past the team would have just accepted a draw. That relentless attack ensured the goal in the end which was legitimate as Kos got it on his foot before it bounced off his hand. It’s three points and nice way to go into the international break. Although former Hammers manager kept mumbling about how the goal should have been disallowed. I don’t know what his problem is if it is totally legitimate.

  5. Gord – Try livescore.com. They have some very robotic text based commentary. But that has Javascript too, so maybe that’s not useful either.

  6. As usual, Tony, you are right. Not one of the best of our performances.
    On occasion, notwithstanding high percentage possession, we seem totally bereft of ideas on how to break down resolute defences. And this failing leads to much tippy tappy passing and wild shooting.
    We now have a boring international interruption before entertaining Swansea City on the 15th. 😉

  7. Quite amazing the media reaction to our winning goal. I do not recall as much outrage last season against Man U when Rashford saved a certain goal for us with a goal line handball clearance. Not a peep from the two faced ones on that occasion.
    Wenger said after the match that we may have got a bit lucky and that he hadn’t seen a replay and didn’t see the ball go in which of course has brought out the expected ‘I didn’t see it’ bullshit from the pea brained hacks.
    Who the f**k cares what the idiots think, we got our just desserts.

  8. It is not a foul to be in an offside position, it is a foul to interfere with play, in an offside position. If Koscielny was in an offside position between the ball and the goalkeeper or other Burnley player when kicked, he would be interfering with play. If he was in an offside position and close to being between and looked to be target of a possible pass, he would be interfering with play.

    If the shot would have gone in anyway, the deflection is not of consequence.

    This shot seems to be in a middle ground, as some people seem to say the ball would not have gone in.

    It would be nice if the medja would provide images to show what happened.

    And I sure as heck don’t want the PGMO to give us the title, so that Wenger can manage England. I hope Wenger doesn’t take on the England job, at least not in the current environment. Maybe after they get rid of all the corruption in the FA. And Riley gets burned at the stake as a witch.

  9. We can break down defences with a little more urgency and passion. We were playing a waiting game, and players become bored making silly mistakes.

    We left it too late 🙁 but luck was on our side, both for the chance and also for the ref’s decision(or lack of one 🙂 ). Another 3 points that we should be glad of, we did really not deserve them that much.

    I’m happy with which teams are in the top 4 only Arsenal at num 1. The other 3 can fight for the remaining 3 places. 🙂

  10. Another reason for video replay. I am unsure how a referee is supposed to unravel all of that. His eyes would have been on Theo et al. in the middle of the 6 yard box and then Koscielny misses his kick, followed a milli second later by Ox’s kick and 3 milli seconds later by the ball striking Kos in the arm and going in. Perhaps he thought Kos kicked it because he swung his foot at it, too. In which case it wouldln’t have been offside. The handball was just extra salt in Burnley’s wound even if, IMO, it shouldn’t have been called.

  11. Kos would have been off-side if Ox played the ball. Replays showed that Ox did not, in fact, make contact with the ball, and Kos was the first to touch the ball after Theo’s header. Therefore not off-side!

    If the ball had hit his hand in the same manner in a defensive situation, it would surely not have been considered a penalty (other than by a ref like Mr. Dean).

    I would not to win through mistaken decisions either, but today was not such a case. Ignore the media – if it was not Arsenal, they would not be complaining. (even Carragher said the goal was OK)

  12. You are right Tony El Nenny brought us attacking control in the game.

    Gord and all, possibly tomorrow or day after, the review will be ready with clips and images. I am gathering images of every different angel possible.

    On the other nobody in the medjia is even talking about the two potential handball penalties by the Burnley players hmmmm… on one of those, every Arsenal fan in the away section stood up indicating a handball behind goal.

    Gord, there were roughly 50-100 empty seats right behind the goal in our section, so yeah ssome fans were affected by the trains and the cow.

  13. Thanks Usama.

    Oh, it was 8 cows that were killed apparently. Maybe some more had to be put down for being injured too badly. Newspapers seldom report on severe cow accidents.

    For one thing, they never said what kind of cows.


  14. Livescore.com is driven by javascript (and cookies). At least they don’t have some arrogant assumption that I have ancient technology. They do have another site (livescores.com (plural)) which while still not completely HTML, does provide some information. Like 20,982 for attendance.

    You do need to turn on some javascript, including some cross-scripting between livescore and livescores to see statistics.

    Shots on target, Arsenal win 1-3
    Shots off target, Arsenal win 4-11
    Possession, Arsenal win 33-67
    Corners, Arsenal win 2-6

    There were only 5 fouls in the whole game? With Arsenal being the dirtier team with 3?

    Okay, back out to livescore.com, and see what allowing javascript does.

    Click on the final game score, and pop up a new window (why not another tab?).

    The commentary they presented is available. Much more detailed than Guardian, Daily Mail or Goal.com today. Every 5 minutes they announce possession statistics. Not much difference in terms of statistics, just how they are presented.

  15. A few things on this victory against Burnley.

    Firstly, it was an ugly victory, one of those Nicky Bendtner was nicking (no pun intended) used to nick for us in the dying minutes. The hosts gave their best to nullify our attacking threat and I don’t blame them for that. It is a legitimate way to play football even if it’s not my cup of tea.

    Secondly, it was an ugly victory on the turf (again, no pun intended) where Liverpool!!! have already lost despite having 81% of possession and 7.489 shots to only two of Burnley (Burnley won 2:0). So, in the big picture, those were three huge points.

    Thirdly, it was an ugly victory on the turf where Liverpool!!! have already lost and it was battled with Özil having an absolute stinker of the game.

    Fourthly, Arsenal have conceded seven goals so far but just three of those in six games since Laurent Koscielny has returned to the first eleven.

    Fifthly, Mustafi had a hell of a game as he gave us both defensive stability and attacking impetus when we needed but I don’t want to see him touching the referee ever again.

  16. Apparently Sean Dyche has a time keeping beef.

    The 4th official had indicated there was to be 2 minutes added on for stoppages. The goal came at 92 minutes and 5 seconds.

    If the 4th official indicates N (integer) minutes of time will be added on, it means that there will be more than N-1 minutes added on, and probably less than N+1 minutes added on. If N is large, it is possible that even more than N+1 minutes will be added on.

    But N was never intended to be an exact estimate of time to be added on.

    Sorry, never intended the cow pun above.

    I ran across a web page on 10 native cow types in Britain. By a Hollie Crawshaw. Relative of Andrew’s?

    I tried to find out what kind of cows are around Sunderland, and lots of black and white breeds popped up. Holstein is one. They mentioned and Randall Lineback (new to me).

    I tried to find out how many cows are in the “Peace” (where I live, about the size of Germany). Numbers can vary by 50% year to year (more?), but it looks like the number of cows is about the same as the number of people (200-300 thousand). Probably 5 breeds of importance here, all big. Angus (red and black), Charlois, Limosine and Simental I think. I am thinking of getting a few cows, but I am thinking the mini-cow from Ireland called a Dexter.

    They are typically less than 1000 pounds. Huge compared to a sheep or goat. But most Canadian cows are getting around a ton: 1250 for an Angus cow, 2300 for an Angus bull.

  17. oh dear! oh dear! oh dear! we get the rub of the green for once & there are moaners & groaners. I was just glad that the ball went in & Kos didn’t get injured. It was a goal – the ref gave it.

  18. Gord – British Fresian is very common here & a record of every birth is kept by the cattle society, with a pattern of its colouring recorded as well as its parents (the colour pattern of the parents are obviously on record).

  19. Kos kicks ball on to his hand ball goes in to goal from Theo’s header not Coq.
    Ask sky they put enough effort in to it to actually prove it was offside.
    The other thing the ball traveled less of a distance from the time Kos kick the ball till it hit he’s hand than both Burnley players who handled the ball in the own box in the second half.

  20. Are you horning in on my puns Mike? I suppose better late than heifer.

    It looks like most Untolders steer clear of cow puns. Udder lunacy I tell you. How come the none of the cows herd the train?

    Will anyone groan in Angus? (Red or black?)

    I am going to guess that Walter will say they had Filet d’Anvers at the Arsenal Belgium meeting.

    Sean Dyche is mooing about too much time added on. Burnley didn’t do any time wasting?


    One report now says 11 cows killed, and that there were 15 cows unaccounted for in a neighbouring field. Someone was letting cows out?

  21. Thats good to know, thanks Gord. The handball… I am not worried about. There is no way I’d give a penalty for that had it happened, so this is fine. The offside was the only thing that worried me. I must say though, it is still really hard for me to see who touched it first, from the Arsenal player video.

    To be fair, Sean Dyche’s interview was fair and he spoke well, if you ask me (BBC clip). He did mention the time, yes – but any manager would feel aggrieved by a last minute goal.

  22. I’ve seen several pictures of the incident, and I can’t see who kicked the ball. Really, what a person needs is 2 or 3 successive frames from video to figure out whose foot touched the ball, and what part of Koscielny it touched.

  23. IS it an offside goal? Well if Ox had the hit the ball then yes. BUT replays from one angle clearly shows Koscielny kicking the ball himself.

    BUT have to say, this was the most comical end to the game I’ve ever seen. After all the time wasting and all, with only 2 mins added time (wonder how they arrived at it, should’ve been atleast 3) and then us scoring the way we did at extra extra time….hilarious.

  24. I was left wondering how the game would have been had Giroud been grought in in the last 30 minutes.
    I definitely thought that the Burnley players were getting tired towards the end, yet had no ‘competition’ in the box as soon as high balls were coming in.
    And this is where Giroud is so good at.
    Except for the one at the end that brought on the goal, I can’t remember many of our balls going into the box reaching an Arsenal head.

    As it stands, other teams will have to come and get some points here, and many will lose at least 2 points. So we’ve done a good job there I think.

  25. One observation is that many of our crosses were not the most dangerous _ falling short with a low trajectory that favoured the solid mass of defenders. May not have been suitable for Giroud’s heading ability.

    Also, Cech’s long clearances have been a bit poor lately, with quite a few going out of play.

    Still, a great result in the end. Why does the cliche about winning when not playing well being the mark of potential champions not apply to us?

  26. If after all the frame by frame analysis we can’t work out precisely what happened the ref team can’t really be expected to in real time. Even with video this would seem to be in the “no reason not to let the goal stand” category. A goal can’t be disallowed on a hunch?

  27. In the glory days, just before WW2, our great Club was known as Lucky Arsenal.
    A bit of that rubbed orf yesterday! 😉

  28. I’m pretty sure that the added time is usually introduced as “a minimum of x minutes”.

    Ox never touched the ball and Kos was not offside, so why all the media (especially Channel PGMOL) are calling the goal controversial is typical negative reporting.

    Not querying Maureen when he said that Manure “played brilliantly” is another example of bias in the media – they were rubbish, and lucky to hang on for a point!

  29. I was pretty sure it was offside- until the replay which showed Ox didn’t touch it.

    As for handball or not, almost the entire commentary and journalistic universe seems to have forgotten the key word is ‘deliberate’. I actually think it’s possible that Kos reacted fast enough to help it in, but the convention is always to assume that if the ball is blasted from close range then it was not deliberate. You can’t get closer range than that.

    It was probably the perfect goal for video technology. Happened too fast for any human eye to be sure what happened. I’m glad they didn’t have the technology in this case,however, as they may well have wrongly disallowed it.

    As for the commentators, including Alan Smith very prominently, and journalists acting as though all that matters is if the ball does touch the hand… predictable and pathetic.

    Someone above mentioned Rashford’s handball last year. The contrast is astonishing : that was completely ignored while all reports of yesterday’s game are dominated by the ‘controversy’, as they always are if something goes our way – non-pen at leicester, pen vs Saints, sending off at Hull- even if correctly.

  30. Rich
    While I’m firmly in the ” Ill take it – thank you very much ” camp, the suggestion that this wasn’t a controversial goal is a bit silly.

    Scored after the extra time has expired, from a possibly offside position, bundled over the line with and arm.

    Any one of those factors would make heads explode on here had it gone against us, let alone all three 🙂

    I can’t believe you wrote your post with a straight face 🙂

  31. Good call on Elneny . I thought Xhaka was playing well, but his replacement clearly brought some extra zip.

    It makes a difference, in breaking through the wall, if the passes early on in the build-up arrive quicker and with a bit more intent. He brought that. Looks stronger than when he arrived too. Tremendous addition to squad.

  32. Tom

    Of course it was controversial. It was a controversy they could and should have largely cleared up with the benefit of replays and reference to the laws of the game,though. That was my first point.

    My second is that the media play the decisive role in what is or isn’t a controversy. All the strong penalty claims we had ignored in recent years- do they ever lead with them when discussing the game? Not at all. Ditto if players are very lucky against us to stay on the pitch. Why did Smith et al focus entirely on if the ball touched the hand instead of even mentioning if it was deliberate and therefore a foul?

    As for the timing of the goal, I’m half sure there were about ten seconds left when we got the corner. Think I was thinking ‘hurry up or he’ll blow the whistle’. We were fortunate the corner didn’t arrive even five seconds later but it seemed right to me to allow us to take it. I’ll need Walter and co with their stopwatches and the rule book to clear that up for me,though.

    A bit of natural justice on that one, perhaps. Two minutes is low when a team were looking to slow things down as burnley were throughout.

  33. Rich
    I don’t have a problem with a single aspect of that goal being allowed to stand, although Ox seems to think he got something on the ball, which may have put Kos in the offside position then.

    The fact that this was the last action of the game makes it in itself more controversial that it would’ve been , had it happened with , let’s say , a 20 minutes on the clock.

  34. I thought a draw was the most appropriate outcome but luckily we got the win. Seeing the Arsenal players reaction after the goal and match it was priceless.

  35. I would suggest Andy Hogg who assessed the game for you are the ref website has it about right: So – this all stands and falls on did Ox-Chamberlin play the ball, and it looks as though, marginally, that Oxlade-Chamberlin kicked Koscielny’s foot and not the ball, therefore the decision to award the goal is correct. Surely – this is one for the videos referee – how can the on-the-field match officials make that level of decision, at that speed. with any degree of accuracy. Therefore, full marks to the officials.

  36. Gord – you are not going to eat Arsenal supporter train killed beef.
    However, as a man with a good taste for life here’s a set of instructions for you that I like.

    Here’s a lowdown on cooking method for steaks around 1 inch (3cm) in depth. Hot sizzling griddle.
    Rare – one and a half minutes on each side.
    Medium rare – two minutes on each side.
    Medium – two and half minutes on each side. Three minutes each side if you prefer just over medium.
    Well done – I just can’t bring myself to write about it.

    I prefer rare or medium rare. 3 points tastes good.

  37. Thanks Menace. I think you and I like similar beef. My Mom, she likes the medium to well done stuff.

    But, I need to get a place to cook outdoors going. At the moment all of our cooking has to be done indoors, and smoke detectors don’t get along with grilling beef on smoking hot grills.

  38. I honestly think the Ox hit the ball because it is very difficult for Kos to have hit the ball at that trajectory and manage to hit his own arm. The posture one takes to hit the ball can not allow a trajectory that hits your left arm.

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