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Arsenal v West Brom Bus Station. Foster allowed to get away with breaking the rules throughout most of the game.

By Tony Attwood

I suspect that if you asked most of the people in the Emirates Stadium for a review of Arsenal v WBA they would at the very least mention the issue of time wasting.  Certainly, judging by noise levels, it was the issue that was the focus of the crowd’s attention throughout the game.  It started in the second minute and went on to the last.

And yet there is not a single mention of the role of Foster, the key exponent of this dreadful and illegal tactic in this game, in the reports in the Guardian, Telegraph or Independent today.   The Daily Mirror does however mention Foster – and they make his man of the match.

Of course there is nothing wrong in terms of the rules of football with time wasting itself, as long as the time wasting is done when the ball is in play.  You can play the ball back and forth between the midfield and defence all day long if you want, and it is up to the opposition to do something about it.  But the rules of the game lay down the fact that time wasting which relates to the ball being out of play and not getting it back into play quickly enough, is an offence.

But it is also one that the referee yet again in this match refused to acknowledge.  So with each goal kick Foster could stroll around as much as he liked for as long as he like.  And the referee’s reaction every time, which I suspect was probably not shown on TV, was to turn his back.

Yes, the ref, every single time that Foster started behaving in contravention of the rules of the game, turned his back and deliberately looked the other way!   He knew the ball was not in open play because he must have been able to hear the loud booing from the crowd, but he turned his back on the ball and looked up the pitch to the goal WBA were “attacking” (although not literally).

I am of course not a referee, but I imagine that there is a reason for looking from the half way line to the opposite end of the pitch, while leaving your back turned to the ball, and that is to watch for jostling and pushing as the two sides get ready to receive the ball which is kicked up field.   But then on the other hand it only takes a fraction of a second to turn the head as the ball is kicked, and one has a linesman who can watch out for offences, and flag for them.


Apart from the fact that he absolutely didn’t want to penalise the keeper, and wanted to help WBA, I can’t think of an explanation.

In the end of course Foster was given a yellow, and that allowed him to waste even more time in protesting vigorously, but unlike Giroud, who was given a yellow for dissent, Foster was allowed to do what he liked when arguing with the ref.

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Now the point of the yellow card is interesting.   There were only about five minutes of normal time left when the incident happened so the referee’s report can show that the keeper was booked for time wasting.  But of course the chance of the keeper then getting booked a second time was negligible and the influence on the match was limited.

Had Foster been warned in the fifth minute (after the first couple of time wasting activities), he could then have been booked in the 10th, and then if he persisted, sent off in the 15th.  That would at least have been closer to the spirit of the rules of the game.   As it was the wretched man was allowed to play the whole game.

Arsenal had 75% of the possession and 11 shots on target.   West Bromwich Albion had (obviously) 25% of possession and one shot on target.  Goodness knows what it is like to support such a team, and indeed how convoluted life must be to create newspaper reports which don’t reflect the reality of what happened on the pitch.   The “Albion outfit more focused on frustration than attacking creation” was the closest anyone got in reporting what actually happened – that was in the Mirror.

Meanwhile some of those who know about such things are starting to suggest that the Chinese economy is overheating, and will start to implode sometime soon.   When that happens some of the more trivial elements of the economy, such as the purchasing of football clubs could be affected as the investors seek to withdraw.

Apart from West Brom, we also have Aston Villa as well as a minority holding in Manchester City. and Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Championship, in the hands Chinese investors.  If there is a recession, there could be a bit of selling going on.  Or it could come if any of the shareholders are forced to watch teams that play in this way.

From what I understand Foster did exactly the same thing when his team played Chelsea and again got away with it.  Indeed this was his first yellow card all season and even though his antics were reported they were defended in the Birmingham Mail and Daily Express earlier this month.  The BBC mentioned Foster’s antics in a report in the match against Everton noting that the ref “had a word with him” about it.   Otherwise, it is seen, and ignored.

Instead the media continue to pump out “reports” of football matches which have little to do with the match that many in the stadium witnessed.   One day that will become the story, and then maybe at last pressure could be put on the PGMO to wind themselves up and allow proper refereeing to take place.

And from the History Society

87 comments to Arsenal v West Brom Bus Station. Foster allowed to get away with breaking the rules throughout most of the game.

  • WalterBroeckx

    I also mentioned the turning his back in my live match report. It was so Obvious that the ref didn’t want to do anything about it but I think in the end the pressure of the crowd was too much to ignore it completely.
    Imagine having to watch such tactics each time…. blimey… that must be boring to support a Pulis team.

    In a way we did the best thing we could do. Score as late as possible. With Pulis starting to think about getting all the praise from the media already in his head, with Pulis starting to think about going in a triumphantic way to the press conference and then only at the last minutes see that his whole game plane fell to pieces…. LOL that was rather funny

  • insideright

    In a football economy where the price of tickets and value for money is of paramount importance time wasting is cheating in every sense and of everyone. The rules are broken and the fans mocked.
    If the result is so much the most important thing and how you achieve it so easily justified then what is the point of going to watch your team play – especially away from home?
    Multi-ball in the EPL would solve some of the problem; booking keepers very early in the game (as I think happened in one game earlier this season) would also help to alleviate matters.
    But when you analyse the managers who send teams out to time-waste (Pulis, Hughes, Allardyce) and realise that it seems to be mostly the British ones, it further underlines the paucity of coaching excellence that we have produced in this country. Maybe the fans who cheer such tactics because they help to keep their clubs in the Premier League are partly to blame?

  • Harry

    Arsene Wenger, bad at tactics
    Could it be possible that Wenger has a clear philosophy, a unique ability to spot talent and a forward-looking attitude in terms of training but the worst in-game management and tactical knowledge of any Premier League manager? That’s not rhetorical – genuinely, is it possible to be so obscenely skilled in every area of football management except tactics that your other strengths just carry you through to fourth place? If Arsenal do win the league this year it will be because Wenger has assembled a side so talented, and has given these players enough freedom that they win it in spite of truly God-awful tactical approaches to individual games.

    Just look at the West Brom game. The mistakes are so mind-boggling I’m completely baffled as to how Wenger even came up with his game plan:

    1. Tony Pulis organizes his sides to play extremely compact and positionally disciplined and then to counterpress fiercely outside their own box. To beat him you need to play with width, to both bypass the mass of players in the middle with crosses and to stretch the play to create gaps between all those defenders/defensive midfielders/defensive wingers/defensive forwards/more defenders/lawn furniture/fleet of double decker buses/even more defenders.

    What does Wenger do? He plays two inside forwards, Alexis and Iwobi, and seems to have instructed his two fullbacks to cut inside constantly. Arsenal decided to solve the problem of a packed defence by shoving as many bodies into the middle as possible. How does that make any rational sense? Honestly, what on Earth was he thinking?

    2. Tony Pulis plays incredibly deep, preferring his sides to win the ball outside the box and then launch counter attacks with long balls or quick breakaways usually involving one guy bursting forward and passing to Rondon. Wenger therefore decides to play two defensive midfielders. To do what? Break up the incisive passing play in the middle of the park? Fletcher and Yacob interchanging like Iniesti and Xavi? Why did he do that? Why?

    3. The single most confusing thing of all. Part of Wenger’s brain seems to know that using fast wide players delivering crosses to an aerially adept centre-forward is a good bet to beat West Brom. So he plays Giroud. But the he plays no wide midfielders and instructs his full backs to cut in. So you play Giroud, bravely deciding to move your prolific striker out left, but then you provide him absolutely no service. Arsenal won the game from a beautiful ball over the top from Özil and a nutso header from Giroud where he seems to both cushion the ball and impart power onto it. It’s a brilliant goal, but not one that seems to have resulted from any plan from Wenger. Just two really talented players combining, and doing what should have been done all game.

    This mail is way too long already so to sum up – Wenger bizarre tactical decisions are not like Guardiola having his playmaker drop behind the defence or Conte re-purposing a hard-working winger as a full back. When the best managers do thing like that, it initially looks really weird but then you see how it works and think “that’s why he’s a manager making millions and I’m a mildly drunk marketer writing a novel into the letters page of a football website on my holiday.” Wenger’s decisions are just flat out strange, but somehow his ability to spot players and instil creative energy and intelligence into his players seem to compensate for this. Odd situation all round.
    Harry, Munich

  • T Philips

    I’m a West Brom fan and enjoyed watching us nearly take a point from you and we could have won at Chelsea like we should have a couple of seasons ago if it wasn’t for a fishy penalty decision. Who else goes to Chelsea and Arsenal and nearly takes points off both, not many teams.

    There is more than one way to play football. You can hardly talk about refereeing. All the big boys get a lot of favourable decisions against lesser teams. It’s not our fault the ref didn’t pull us up on it earlier on. Our strength is to defend, counter and use set pieces. If Yacob would have scored it might have been different too. I hope you win the title and do well in the Champions league but I fear you’ll finish fourth and reach the quarters like every year, how exciting that must be.

    I’m proud to be a baggie and a supporter of a founder member club and proud we’ve earned our way back into the top flight without coming being elected in.

    Good luck for the rest of the year and I hope we do you at home like last season.

  • Gooner forever

    It always occurs to me that time wasting could benefit the team wasting time.

    Due to their time wasting WBA were allowed an additional 5 minutes to find a response.

  • John L

    I remember a similar situation against a bus-parking, time-wasting team (but cant recall the details of which team and keeper. (It could have been Blackburn under Allardyce).

    Arsenal finally scored very late in the game, – then because of all the time wasting, the officials added on 5 extra minutes and the opponents started to hurry up. We then got a goal-kick and Jens put on a pantomime , piss-taking performance of time=wasting, -several attempts to pick up the ball behind the goal, dropping it on his foot so that it bounced away from him, changing his mind about which side of the goal area to kick from, checking his boots, re-tying his gloves etc. etc.

    He got booked by the ref, but he had made his point eloquently and hilariously.

  • Bob

    Too many comments in that piece that highlight the authors complete lack of knowledge of the rules of the game. Ssdly, this is the situation with many fans, as yesterday showed.

  • Not sure who the writer supports!
    Albion didn’t play well at all unlike against Chelsea when there was a threat going forward. BUT…….
    Arsenal or any other top team have never used delaying tactics when they were under the cosh?
    The big issue is that referees consistently fail to apply most of the rules of the game.
    Free kicks taken from the wrong place, penalty area fouls not penalised unless the player falls over, allowing players to abuse them, allowing time wasting including goalkeepers taking 20 seconds to release the ball after catching.
    Mistakes will happen but please apply the rules and not referee as the players want it to be refereed.

  • Sammy The Snake

    WBA is not a football team, they are a defending team. That’s all they do!

  • Goonermikey

    @ John L

    I was recalling the same incident whilst reading the article. It was indeed a point well made but also indicative of the corrupt morals (at the very least) of referees. Time wasting by goalkeepers in teams like this which have clearly come for a draw infuriate me.

    @ Walter

    Perhaps ref reviews should reflect the refs failures to book gk’s for time wasting. After all, persistent offending is against the rules in the same way persistent fouling is.

  • Bob

    Yesterday, yes. Last three games at home we’ve scored ten goals.

  • Sparx

    It’s not just them who do it! Even Leicester when they come to emirates get away with it and let’s not forget Chelsea under Maureen. It’s just a tactic as we know is employed because they don’t have as good players as us and are allowed to get away with it. The new offside rules were put in place to speed up the game and give more goals but this goes completely against that concept and nothing is done about it. It’s anti-football and cheating but for some reason they are allowed to continue and he gets a token booking too late and there’s no chance of being sent off.

    The other way he cheated he threw out the ball he received during an attack, shouted to his defender to hit the deck, then we had to throw the ball back to him for a kick. We and the ref were gullible enough to fall for that too!

  • Sparx

    They shouldn’t add the time on either if the time wasting team go behind

  • Bob

    Whoops, meant the three prior to Utd game.

  • Soothsayer

    Firstly, let’s get it correct. There are no ‘rules’ in football they are laws. Secondly there is not a law concerning time wasting. You need to take your blinkers off if you honestly believe time wasting is a real problem. There are much worse things happening that you cannot see from your ivory towers.

  • MickHazel

    Gooner forever
    I agree with you. What should happen is that in the event of the guilty team falling behind the referee should wipe off any extra time he was going to add on for prior time wasting.
    Then the offending team would not reap the advantage of their time wasting in order to get back into the game.

    Regarding the ref refusing to properly punish the goalkeepers for time wasting, could it be that the refs deliberately allow it in order to regain their breath. Lets face it some of them are not nearly as fit as the players and may need a minute or twos rest in which case a lengthy goal kick would be an ideal opportunity for them to recharge.

  • WalterBroeckx

    If Foster apart from time wasting hadn’t produced a few stunning stops we would have trashed them. I don’t mind him stopping the shots but I mind the refs not doing anything about the time wasting. But that is the PL these days: the Time Wasting League.
    Running behind a dozen years as there is only one ball that can be used…. how ridiculous is that. The richest league but they can’t afford more than one ball???

  • finsbury

    The most predictable technique of the pgMOBs tragic* and incredibly subtle game management technique on display for 40,000 people to heckle and ridicule (out of those in attendance) was the late yellow.

    Perchance do you think the FA or even the obscured IFAB will sanction the use of some of the broadcasters billions to be spent on supplying the fourth official with one of those strange stopwatch things? I understand that such newfangled technology can be expensive but, well, football is only about thirty or more years behind it’s poorer sister sports in such matters…

    *That is unless you are one happy to celbrate the national team’s performances of late against the giants of Iceland, Costa Rica & Ecuador when the kind of diving cloggers indulged by the pgMOB were exposed in front of the watching world. repetitively

  • WalterBroeckx


    May I correct you as there is at least one law against time wastin. I copy from the Laws of the game 2016-2017: (page 82-83)

    2. Indirect free kick An indirect free kick is awarded if a player: • plays in a dangerous manner • impedes the progress of an opponent without any contact being made •  prevents the goalkeeper from releasing the ball from the hands or kicks or attempts to kick the ball when the goalkeeper is in the process of releasing it •  commits any other offence, not mentioned in the Laws, for which play is stopped to caution or send off a player
    An indirect free kick is awarded if a goalkeeper, inside their penalty area, commits any of the following offences:
    •  controls the ball with the hands for more than six seconds before releasing it

    That law came to stop the keepers from time wasting. I noticed yesterday that Foster even managed to hold the ball in his hands for almost 20 seconds….

    For the rest you can always enlighten us on those much worse things happening in football of course.

    On this blog we have focussed on FIFA, the referees and their secret organisation called PGMO, finances, the FA, the exploitation of the workers in Qatar,…. but if there is more let us know

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    I think packing the bus is synonymous with time wasting. Any team that parks the bus also employs time wasting tactics to help them get the result they’ve planned to get which is usually a draw game. But if they are lucky, they can even snatch all points through the counter attacks ploy.

    WBA failed to achieve any of the 2 results of a draw game or a snatched win game by one or two telling counter attacks because Arsenal were well disciplined and highly organised in their game yesterday at the Ems against that the park the bus and time wasting WBA team.

    Arsenal played at high intensity level, constantly putting WBA under pressure relentlessly as they were good in their passing accuracy and kept 80% of the ball possession to put the game under their control. And they were incursing unrelentinessly into the WBA stone wall defense-line to attempt scoring but not finding the target until Olivier Giroud finally did. What a match!

    The bottom line in that game is Arsenal played very well in it despite scoring only one goal in the match. If it were before, the match would have ended in a draw or we’ll lose the match.

    I think what is left for Arsenal to do now is to keep playing at the level of high intensity and keep pressurizing their opponent teams relentlessly until they break them down. And of course keep improving on the level of their high intensive playing.

    Le Prof was ingenious yesterday to have started Giroud to lead the line and played Sanchez wide to the right in the absent of Walcott. But preferred to start with Iwobi at LW instead of Perez as I would have preferred he does. I did not reckon with Giroud as a starter yesterday as I thought he’s yet to have that match starting fitness and I thought Ramsey was still not completely match fit due to his hamstring recovery issue.

  • Marc


    You won the match, why moan?

    It started in the second minute, what started? The time wasting or the Arsenal fans on Foster’s back about it?

    We all know you won’t win the league because as usual you will implode around March. But at least you can bitch and moan about us wasting time. We turned up to take the sting out of the game and hopefully nick a point. It didn’t work and so we move on.

    You lot make me laugh, you’re never happy!

    Merry Christmas

  • Al

    Remember that Lehman incident too, was very funny?

    TV is guilty as well; they didn’t focus on foster when he was taking ages to take his goal kicks. At one time, think near half time, the cameras zoomed in on two gentlemen (not sure who they were as I wasn’t listening) one dressed as Santa and another in a suit, walking up the stairs all the way from the bottom to the exit at top, then focussed back on foster who was still ‘preparing’ to take his goal kick! I felt sorry for the fans who had parted with their hard-earned money, not to mention their time too, to go and watch this dross.

    Think these refs must be under instructions to give any time wasting goalies a token card when it’s pointless near the end. Making foster man of the match is a kick in the teeth.

  • Uwot?

    The solution to all this time wasting is rather exactly what they doin rugby union.which is once the ball is out of stop the clock & restart when back in play.that way you get a full 90 mins despite the “cheating practises of the team delaying restarts”.therefore their tactics are nullified,no?

  • Bob

    Or how fans and internet posters want it refereed?

  • James LeBlanc

    As has been said, the team time wasting should not benefit from added time from it if they go behind late on.
    The 4th official should hold up board with 5 mins on & then re-raise it with 3 on it so crowd can see 2 minutes for time wasting were removed.
    If during the 3 mins for example yesterday W. Brom had equalised then 4th official should step forward with sign to re-add 2 minutes.
    If W. Brom score again it should be ruled out & play restarted with goal kick.

  • Pat

    Sky extended highlights did not show the time wasting either. It’s a conspiracy!!

  • nicky

    Until the powers that be instruct referees to abide strictly by the laws and spirit of the game and ensure this is done, things cannot change.
    Blatant shirt pulling, time wasting, wrestling in the penalty area prior to corners, touchy feely jokes with the referee.
    And while we’re at it, the irritating tactic of ALL teams to perpetuate possession at a corner flag, near the end of a game they are winning.
    There is no “spirit of the game” any longer because too much is at stake, mores the pity. 😉

  • Kevad

    ‘What a bunch of dummies’ I would love to see Arsenal win the premiership not least for Arsene Wenger one of the best managers in the game – however the bunch of idiot supporters who make comments as above really need to get a grip – when you have one player in your team who is probably worth more than the combined WBA team put together you must realise that you will never compete on a level basis unless you limit how much any team is allowed to pay for and pay to any player – then you can make stupid judgements based on performance……. GROW UP!

  • Goodness me, the world conspires against the Gunners it’s a fact.
    I watched the game live. The fans were shouting for a booking for Foster from about 3 minutes so everybody thinks every time he takes a restart he’s taking ages whether he was or not.
    Some of the comments reveal a complete ignorance of the laws of the game. Wasting time with the ball in play is not an offence.
    The idea of added time is that 90 minutes is played it is not to penalise the ‘offending’ team. Cards are there for that purpose.
    The game is played by two teams and defending is part of it. The other team have to overcome that.
    If we are talking about cheating, Arsenal committed more fouls and had more players booked, naughty boys.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Bobby B,
    I suggest you read the laws of the game. I have posted it in the comments section. Time wasting when the ball is in play IS an offence. Remember the 6 second rule? It is written in the laws of the game. And still exists. Not that one would know as hardly anyone or any ref applies it… but it is still there for all to see. If you want.

    Just imagine if the ref wouldn’t clamp down on the fouling part. I bet Pulis would love that part…

  • Point taken, I think you get the gist of my comments, keepers holding the ball is the only exception.
    My main point though is that referees have to start applying the laws and not referee as the players want it to be.
    For example at the start of the previous season clubs were asked what should be done about grappling in the area at corners, most said apparently that they weren’t worried about it.
    Why do the clubs need to be consulted, the laws state holding is an offence, yet only one referee has regularly penalised it this year.

  • Luscious lisa

    Is a goalie pondering his options or time wasting? It’s a subjective call. Did van Persie deliberately kick the ball away or did he not hear the whistle? It’s a subjective call.
    It could be that the ref ignored foster time wasting because he favoured West Brom. That’s another subjective call. My subjective call is that refs hesitate to penalise goalkeepers time wasting because it’s a way of avoiding confrontation. If a ref books a goalie early for time wasting, then he knows he’s on a knife edge for the rest of the game. Sending off a goalkeeper is a huge decision, and perhaps understandably refs are reluctant to put themselves iin a position where they will be obliged to make that call.
    Human nature or conspiracy? It’s a subjective call.

  • finsbury

    No Troll it is not a subjective call. that’s why there is a rule written to guide the officials.

    This is all simple and straightforward stuff. Too simple for some?

  • finsbury

    The loudest most swear filled expletives thrown the officals way was when he finally produced his transparent yellow card.

    People are not fooled. You can dress up a turd with bells and whistles, but it will still be a turd.

    The simple straightforward truth as in observable facts are that the home crowd have been far more irate at officials this season (& last) then they have been at their own club (that would be weird) but bizarrely, or weirdly, the media whizz kids report or invent stories on the latter whilst ignoring the former. There it is kids, the house that Riley & Scudamore built, a structure that has taken the England national team from beating the likes of Holland and Argentina to humiliation against giants like Iceland, Costa Rica, Ecuador etc..

    When will the football media attempt to defend and stand up for English football, and call out Scudamore and Riley? Given the decades that they spent ignoring Andrew Jennings, not anytime soon!

  • Marc, I think your question “You won the match, why moan?” really gives a fair indication of the two different approaches to football. A sort of “win at any cost no matter how it is done” approach, and an approach that still retains visions of the game as it should be played. Different style,s different approaches, different visions.

  • Bob if you want to make that point fair enough, but doing so without a single example really doesn’t cut much ice.

  • T Phillips, your phrase “You can hardly talk about refereeing” is interesting. I wonder if you actually know who we are and what we do?

  • Leon

    I remember Simon Mignolet doing this very thing when at Sunderland, and it nearly worked until we scored very late on ( as we did yesterday) and RvP got right in his face and said “time waste now”.
    Same as yesterday it was counter productive. It’s very much percentage football in as much as it might work and you get a point (or better), or you get well & truly goosed and get nothing.
    Such a dull, primitive tactic.

  • Gord

    Will this posting be allowed?

    I do remember times when the 6 second rule was enforced. As someone who occasionally played goal, there were times when 6 seconds wasn’t enough, but you did the best you could.

    What might make it more interesting, would be to allow an attacking player to retrieve the ball after 6 seconds if no defending player had done so, and proceed up to the nearest bounding line and perform a proper throw-in. If the ball had been retrieved by the defending team promptly, the ball becomes “in play” 6 seconds after being set down (the first time). No need to move. If the defending team holds the ball without setting it down within 6 seconds, control reverts to the attacking team who get a throw-in at the half way line.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    I referee a number of sports including basketball and volleyball. There is a back court violation in basketball if the ball is not brought over the centre line within 8 seconds. Typically the referee waves his hand at waist level to show that he is counting the seconds (always in an exaggerated manner and SLOWER than 8 seconds). It is easy to do and shows the players that you are counting. In volleyball a player is given 8 seconds to serve. On my refereeing course, I was told to START counting after about 10 seconds…BUT there is no clock in volleyball so very little is gained by wasting time.

    And, I, too, remember the Mad Jens Lehmann comedy hour. I think he threw the ball at the hoardings so that the ball bounced away as he was coming back from fetching it. Of course, I saw him punch his own defender when playing for Dortmund.

    As for Giroud’s yellow, and maybe Walter can comment, there is dissent and then there is dissent. Giroud was yelling “Fuck you” at the referee-a very Rooneyesque moment. He should have been booked for that. The camera never showed what Foster was saying when talking to the referee.

  • Menace

    Luscious lisa – van Persie was playing in a game with many footballs & kicking the one in play was not an issue of time apart from, for the official who was corrupt.

    Walter – why isn’t it a penalty when the Goal keeper is deliberately making a ‘professional foul’ of time wasting in the area?

    From a fans perspective the officials & the time waster are robbing my entertainment & perhaps I need to sue them in a court of law for not delivering goods of sufficient quality?

  • John L

    @ Harry 9.48

    Your tactical insight shows that you must succeed Arsene Wenger as manager of Arsenal

  • Bob

    And the law states it’s ‘if in the opinion of the referee’. Subjective.

  • Al

    Now that would really make things very exciting. But maybe a penalty could be too harsh, how about blowing for a foul against offending goalie and award a freekick in the box wherever the goalie was positioned when the offence occurred? Just like they treat the keeper handling a back pass.

  • finsbury

    Yes. Indeed. You’ve kindly explained to the reader exactly why the pgMOB official was turning his back to the Foster on every occasion that he was time wasting in the first half.

    It looks like this cunning and clever tactic (softly softly slowly slowly I’m looking the other way whilst an entire stadium is whistling and booing at me…) works on some, but fortunately not join most.

    Thanks for highlighting that technique that Walter underlines in his article for a second time and with further clarification as to whybexactly the hapless crow was making himself act like a blind fool, much obliged Bob.

  • Kevad

    The facts are the facts – Arsenal are a great team with a Brilliant manager and the worse bunch of ill-informed one sided supporters in the world – the only thing they understand is getting the cheque book out and trying to buy success rather than work for it…….

    That said I still want them to win the league not for the moron supporters above but for a supreme manager.

  • Al

    Football could learn from basketball. Granted there many time outs but rules certainly make for an offensive match up. Especially the rule regarding backcourt violation (a team is not allowed to take ball back to their own half once crossed the halfway mark), shot clock restriction (after gaining possession a team has 24 seconds to attempt a shot or lose possession), and the 8 second rule you mention.

    As a result of the above you can’t even afford to take your away from the match, even for a couple of seconds, or you could miss out on some juicy action, unless it’s on a timeout. Just like rugby too, the clock stops in basketball when the ball is not in motion/play.

    Both sports use video refs too. Yes the refs make a mistake here and there, and there is still room for manipulation, but manipulation of time can’t be one of them in these two sports. Surely football can implement these basic changes without undermining the ref’s authority, as those running football want to argue? It leaves me thinking they don’t want to implement these changes to allow refs room for manipulation, not authority..

  • Luscious lisa

    Time and alcohol have dimmed my memory of the infamous van persie sending off. But surely, once the referee has blown his whistle in play, the ball is no longer in play till he signals a restart.

  • Leon

    Stoke have taken an unexpected lead against Liverpool following some brilliant possession football. In fact they should be two nil up .

  • Luscious lisa

    So while booking van persie a second time was harsh and bizarre, I suppose it could have been technically justified for either attempting to delay the restart or to punish an act of petulance.

  • Leon

    Apologies for previously using the “brilliant” word in any other context than Arsenal, but Liverpool are now 3-1 up

  • Bob

    The ref is in contact with the lino. It’s the length of time, not how the keeper wastes it. He doesn’t need to watch it.

  • Bob

    Let’s hope you don’t need to get a train home. Average time a ball is in play is around 56 mins.

  • Denis20100

    If only it were like hockey, or basketball: a clock which runs only during active play and stops with the whistle. The clock restarts once the ball is put back into play. The referee only has to manage the play and a timekeeper tracks the time. I would estimate that 30 minute halves of stop time would be close enough to the actual playing time in the current game. And the game ends with the buzzer not at the referee’s whim.

  • Bob

    You based your piece on the laws of the game yet quoted none. If you had done so you would have exposed your own mistakes.

  • ARSENAL 13

    For all the westbrom fans here….. Remember there is at least one team in the league much more pathetic than you are….And when they visit you, remember it’s just good tactics, perfectly inline with the laws of the game. Don’t do a Jose ‘westham plays 19th century football’ Morinho.

  • ARSENAL 13


    Give us a break. Tactics is not all that simple. If it were, you and I would’ve been managing a football team.

    I find it funny when people say ‘arsene doesn’t do tactics’. Yeah….Arsene, the one who managed ARSENAL for 20 years and counting, the one whose managerial career spans over 3 decades, the one who managed the invincibles, the one whoz managed his team’s to 19 titles…

  • Bob

    Those of you who wanted Wenger out don’t think so.

  • Bob

    The six second rule infringement isn’t a direct kick offence.

  • Bob

    Pathetic, lol.

  • Leon

    Are you addressing anyone in particular, or are your comments just random?

  • Gord

    Bradley canned, not even 1/3 of a season.

  • Bob

    If it’s indented then it’s a reply to the above comment.

  • WalterBroeckx

    as I think you are new to this blog: you are on the most pro-Wenger blog in the Arsenal blogosphere. A blog that wants to keep football clean and want football to step forward when it comes to applying the laws of the game and give referees help they need. A lot.

  • Jerry

    For those that are saying there is no laws in regards to time wasting, here is the exact wording from page 86 of the IFAB 2016-17 Laws of the Game rule book:

    Delaying the restart of play
    Referees must caution players who delay the restart of play by:
    • appearing to take a throw-in but suddenly leaving it to a team-mate to take
    • delaying leaving the field of play when being substituted
    • excessively delaying a restart
    • kicking or carrying the ball away, or provoking a confrontation by
    deliberately touching the ball after the referee has stopped play
    • taking a free kick from the wrong position to force a retake

    They actually made it more general and easier to give a card, because the 2015-16 hand book said:
    “excessively delaying the taking of a throw-in or free kick”

    Not just restart as in this year’s version.

  • Bob

    So it is up to the referee to decide what is ‘excessive ‘ and not the crowd or this blog piece.

  • Bob

    I’m all for that but felt the need to defend the ref from an unfair and incorrect attack.

  • Richard

    Yet again a great piece and of course teams get away with it all the time. It was obvious from the stands and commentary and should have been dealt with by the officials it would be interesting to see how much time was wasted in the match compared to added on time.

  • Vanya Dickens

    Tony, very bad news. I have been informed by a very reliable source that Alexis is signing for Shangai in Jan 17 window. It’s a done deal.


  • Menace

    5p – you are wasted on here. If you think, then perhaps some other site will endure you because you take too long with goal kicks!

  • Vanya – we shall hold you to that.

  • Bob

    The ref deemed it not excessive (as per the laws of the game) until one incident when he booked him.

    Do you know what instructions/guidance the referees have been given on how to interpret this? Why should your/others interpretation of excessive trump the referee’s?

  • Leon

    It’s doubtful that the ref booked the keeper for just one incident of time wasting, but an accumulation of all up to that point at 82 minutes (well late IMO), and who knows what instructions they receive on how to monitor a game.
    This is an opinion & statistics blog and most of what you read here is just that.
    It would be helpful if you name checked your commenters in your replies.

  • finsbury

    Total Time Taken by Ben Foster – 9.33 Minutes (560 Seconds)
    Total Time Taken by Petr Cech – 2.7 Minutes (162 Seconds)
    Total Time Taken – 12.03 Minutes (722 Seconds)

    Plus 30×6 seconds from six subs in the second half.

    Pulis was correct to be upset at the time added on 🙂 which was only 4 minutes for the second half (240 seconds).

    This simple calculation and comparison highlights the comic value of the above thread

  • Hello, all the time i used to check blog posts here in the early hours in the morning, because i love to learn more and more.

  • omgarsenal

    There is also Law 7: Allowance for time lost
    Allowance is made in either period for all time lost through:
    • substitutions
    • assessment of injury to players
    • removal of injured players from the field of play for treatment
    • wasting time
    • any other cause

    The allowance for time lost is at the discretion of the referee.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Pinocchio, Snow White and Superman are out for a stroll in town one day.

    As they walk, they come across a sign: “Beauty contest for the most
    beautiful woman in the world.”

    “I am entering,” says Snow White.

    After half an hour she comes out and they ask her, “Well, how’d ya do?”

    “First Place,” said Snow White.

    They continue walking and they see a sign: ”Contest for the strongest man in the world”.

    I’m entering, says Superman.

    After half an hour he returns and they ask him, ”How did you make out? ”

    ”First place”. Answer Superman. Did you ever doubt?”.

    They continue walking and they see a sign: ”Contest for the Greatest Liar in the world?”

    Pinocchio says, ”This mine!”

    After half an hour later, he returns with tears in his eyes.

    ”What happened?” They ask.

    Pinocchio asks, ”Who the hell is ..Bob ??”

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Of course , the above punchline can also be changed to reflect the following –
    a) The Donald or your own President or Prime Minister .
    b) Mike Riley or your own FA , Referee Association head .
    c) A pundit , an ex-player , commentator, a journo or some other boorish garden variety smart alecky know it all .

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Then again , some love to be lied to !

    A really horny Snow White saw Pinocchio walking through the woods so she ran up behind him, knocked him flat on his back, and then sat on his face crying,
    “Lie to me, Pinocchio ! Lie to me!”….jpg

  • Bob

    Excessively delaying the start of play is a cautiousnable offence. He could not have been cautioned for persistent infringement.

    I don’t like to see that style of play from Foster but the referee made no mistake and dealt with it as per the laws of the game.

  • Bob

    Do you know that the referee stops the watch for goal kicks or are you guessing?

  • Bob

    Liar? In what way?

  • Bob


    Ah, I see, you don’t like the truth getting in the way of fantasy.

    You must feel great about yourself every day.

  • Bob

    I often find that those who don’t understand how things work are more likely to get all upset about them.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    And speaking on being truthful , witty , fanciful , etc …..

    In a train from London to Manchester, an American was berating the Englishman sitting across from him in the compartment.
    “The trouble with you English is that you are too stuffy. You set yourselves apart too much. You think your stiff upper lip makes you above the rest of us. Look at me… I’m me! I have a little Italian in me, a bit of Greek blood, a little Irish and some Spanish blood. What do you say to that?”

    The Englishman lowered his newspaper, looks over his glasses and replied,
    “How very sporting of your mother!”

  • Brickfields Gunners

    On being fruitful –
    ‘When people throw you stones , it’s because you are a good tree full of fruits.
    They see a lot of harvest in you. Don’t go down to their level by throwing them back the stones , but throw them your FRUITS so the seeds of yourself may inspire them to change their ways .’

    So to all of ‘them’ fruitcakes out there who constantly stone us faithful AKBs here on UA, here , catch these fruits – the national fruit of Malaysia , the king of fruits , the durian . Do take care that they are hard , thorny and capable of splitting open your skull!

    Don’t you just love Eastern Mysticism and the many ways you can misinterpret it ?

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Am looking forward to hours of mirth from this guy . May the force be with him!