Arsenal – Watford 1-2: a costly defeat in points and personel

By Walter Broeckx

Again a lot of changes, in fact the same number (10) of changes compared to our last starting line up. The only player to keep his place is also the same: Mustafi.

Welbeck was not on the bench and I think this might be a wise move from Wenger to not burn him up and bring him back slowly. After all he has been out for almost two seasons and no need to rush him now.

Iwobi made his 50th appearance for Arsenal and Walcott needs one more goal to get a century behind his name. Will he get it today?

Arsenal team: Cech, Gabriel, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Ramsey, Coquelin, Alexis, Ozil, Iwobi, Giroud


On the beach: Ospina, Gibbs, Bellerin, Maitland-Niles, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Lucas, Walcott

I don’t like to start with mentioning the ref but Marinner ignoring a foul on Coquelin and then giving a foul when he does the same… don’t start like that ref. And certainly that cheecky smile to Behrami… Watford with a rather open start to the match but just some free kicks that lead to nothing. The ref really trying to get under the skin of the Arsenal players with not allowing any physical contact with the Watford players. And from one such a soft free kick Watford take the lead as the ball took a slight deflection of Ramsey. 0-1 after 10 minutes. Goal from Kaboul. Job done ref and now he gives even a few fouls in favour of Arsenal. Arsenal then lose the ball in midfield and an Watford player goes on a run, Cech stops the ball but the rebound is put over the line. 0-2 to Watford after 12 minutes. Goal from Deeney. We sure know how to make life difficult for ourselves.


Ramsey then goes down pointing at his calf. He has to go off and The Ox prepares himself to come on. Ramsey sure had a bad start, a deflection, losing the ball… The Ox comes on after 20 minutes. Nothing dangerous from Arsenal so far in this match. Gabriel goes in the book from the ref for a mistimed tackle. Arsenal really not getting in to their rhythm. Still 0-2 behind after half an hour.


Cech has to turn over a header from Prödl for a corner. And Giroud has to block the shot from the corner. Cech then again with an important save. Nothing working for Arsenal. Passes not arriving at teammates. Choosing the wrong options. Finally a shot from Alexis but the first is blocked and the second goes well wide. Well at least an effort. Even Özil joins in the bad passing. We will need a completely different second half performance.  Arsenal 0-2 behind after 45 minutes.


Walcott came on in the second half in the place of Giroud who was invisible in the first half. Walcott with a shot but wide. Iwobi with a good run, to Özil to Walcott with a free shooting chance but the keeper saved the shot. Mustafi with a header but wide from the corner. Arsenal now really playing the way they should have been doing from the start. Iwobi and the Ox with a good combination but an amazing low stop from the keeper prevents an Arsenal goal. Then Özil with a shot but another good save from the keeper. Alexis goes down under a challenge from Prodl but no foul says the ref. Arsenal get a throw in, Alexis lobs a cross to Iwobi who puts the ball over the line. GOAL!!! 1-2 after 58 minutes.


Arsenal keep on pressing but Gabriel can’t direct his header towards goal. Coquelin with a tackle in the backline from Arsenal but on the ball, both non penalty decisions from the ref correct. After 67 minutes Lucas came on for Coquelin. Iwobi dropping back to midfield as a result. Two Arsenal players just can’t get to a shot from a promising position. Some confusion in the Watford penalty area but the ball doesn’t fall kindly for Arsenal and Watford can clear. The Ox then makes a strong tackle and is limping a bit. This is getting from bad to worse with all our subs made. Gabriel with a shot after a cross from Lucas but well over. Arsenal still 1-2 behind after 75 minutes.


Monreal with a volley after a corner but a meter wide. Gabriel with a throw in to Lucas whose shot crashes off the crossbar back in the field. Alexis then gets a yellow card because he protest the time wasting from Watford.  Well well… A tackle foot in front going in the air is not a red card this time. Okaka escapes with a yellow card. The ball just doesn’t fall good enough most of the time. Cleverly gets a yellow card for a foul on Monreal. But the free kick is headed away. Mustafi and Prodl clash but Prodl clearly played the ball so no foul but not another injury…. please.  Mustaif hobbles off. But comes back on. A low shot from Lucas but again the keeper stops.


Arsenal lose after a bad start to the match. A deflected free kick and losing the ball lead to an early double blow. Maybe Arsenal focused too much on the unbeaten record from Mustafi and jinxed it. Losing a few players with injuries added to the bad feeling.


A terrible night in the pouring rain… the weather summed up our evening.

98 Replies to “Arsenal – Watford 1-2: a costly defeat in points and personel”

  1. Terrible result considering the other results. This is not a new phenomenon and as fans we need to expect it.

    Few weeks ago klop could do no wrong and now there are some nutters who want him out. This is a quick game and the premier league is the hardest.

    My point in all of this? We lost due to the lack of intensity in the first half, how many time have been there now?

    Are we going to win anything? Yes by a miracle. Let’s see how we fare against the chavs, a win would ease so many things but again just look at the table, we’re being caught up.

  2. Thanks Walter. Not for the first time this season, we were extremely poor in the first half…..I couldn’t even recognise our play.
    But, I have posted before,,the true punishment to Wenger for recent issues will not be in terms of touch line bans and fines, but will be on the pitch. We all saw what we saw. Today was revenge of the PGMOL part 1, part two coming this weekend. We shall see where it ends. Make no mistake, it is not just the WOB/media that want Wenger out. Fortunately other results were relatively kind.
    But, refs aside, if we want to win titles, we shouldn’t be losing at home to Watford two years running. We should not be letting players as limited as troy deeney score killer goals. We shouldn’t be starting so slowly in so many games.
    a few heads need banging together me thinks.

  3. What is that sound I hear approaching at break-neck speed…..why its the aaa and WOB’s screaming in joy at AFC losing and giving them the opportunity to shit all over us Gooners and Wenger with their usual,repetitive offal!

  4. If the man in black decides you aren’t allowed to play then you won’t. This was a dress rehearsal for Saturday.

  5. Thanks for the commentary Walter. The PGMO finger didn’t help the game as a spectacle, Watford were allowed to timewaste, got given the rub but – the lads far too slow again in the first half.

    It’s happened so often this season, it’s so concrete a fact of the season, I’m pretty certain Mr Wenger will address it.

    Maybe, as Walter said, Mustafi’s unbeaten run jinxed it. Maybe the unbound, undoubted, quality of the lads against quality teams leads, against lesser, to a mindset that takes an eventual win as a certainty, as something that will come along on its own, it will happen, and the intensity is not there to make certain it happens.

    Maybe ”A terrible night in the pouring rain… the weather summed up our evening.”

  6. Andrew, we can be sure of one thing, Arsene Wenger will be racking his brains and working out how to make sure Saturday is different. Let’s hope he manages it!

  7. This was a masterclass in letting one team do a lot and another team not being able to breath close to an opponent. Then you start to keep a bit of distance to not always get a foul against and then you make things easier for the opponent who knows they can play with more freedom.
    And then when things go against you a deflected shot goes in that on any other day might have gone wide. The second goal was really a bad mistake. We didn’t recover from that double blow in the first half. Putting Watford in the driving seat. And then the ref started to be normal. Till we scored a goal. He then reverted to not allow anything from Arsenal.

  8. Arsenal should never lose to Watford, but results are going to be awfully hard to come by with the midfield issues the club is currently having. With Xhaka, Cazorla, and Elneny out, the pieces Bould/Wenger have left just don’t fit together very well.

  9. We have had the fake media, fake news – do we now have fake referees?

    Either way another slow, sleepy start which cost us the match. I agree about the first goal – not sure that it should have been a free kick in the first place. Their second goal came from an idiotic throw in which lost us possession in a dangerous area – we need to be more awake than that.

    Second half we tried hard, played some nice attacking football, but against anti football thuggery and a bandit in black it was not enough.

    Was Ox injured in the second half – he seemed to get a knock after we had used all subs & seemed to slow down a bit?

  10. Pat, Wenger might have a plan for Costa, Hazard or whoever, but he will find it hard to beat them as well as Atkinson. We know what’s coming, we have seen it before
    If we take the lead, we will face a red card or penalty of need be.
    I predict we will face a four match PGMOL penalty, they can do this because there will be approval from the media and some of our fan base.
    As much as I admire the guy, this problem will not go away while Wenger is here. His successor when the time comes will likely get better treatment from the refs, media/WOB, but will almost certainly be a lesser manager.

  11. If Atkinson has been made ref for the Chelsea clash as someone said on the other thread then we have no hope of getting anything out of that fixture. Even a draw would be a miracle. I’m counting two defeats.

  12. Agree Walter, certainly looked that way, though we were poor in the first half.
    We see this refereeing time and time again.
    PGMOL revenge part 1, part 2 at Chelsea, if need be.
    Why is Ivan Gazidis ….Google the committees he sits on…..letting this go? Does he want to lose his manager or something? is he a political passive….if so, he may want to look around the world to see where trying to play fair, or turning a blind eye when in power gets you

  13. Did anyone see the Liverpool – Chelsea game tonight ? I switched over there sometimes because of laggy stream of the Arsenalmatch. There I saw a tackle by Milner which was identical with the Xhaka tackle against Burnley, but this time it was only a yellow card. How can this happen every week ?

  14. A Watford player did a Xhaka tackle on ozil, nothing given.
    Think we can now say, Xhaka is a bit unique. They even accuse white on white racism charges on him

  15. Lucas was so unlucky with his shot off the cross bar. His movement and shot really deserved a goal.

  16. @Al

    It is Atkinson on Saturday I’m afraid, unless there is a late change due to injury. I have drafted the preview and he is indeed as bad as we all know.

  17. Excuses Excuses Excuses . Actually we weren’t very good tonight ( first half ) and yes I was there to witness it .
    So hopefully we will improve Saturday

  18. Cannot think of anyone worse than Atkinson for Chelsea, like having Dean for spuds.
    Looks like key players injured as well.
    I cannot blame the ref completely, just seen it again on MOTD, why would a team at our level not put a proper wall in place for a dangerous free kick….or neglect a player causing constant problems on a flank….I am baffled by that sort of defending, at least we know the game of the refs….but why do we make it so easy for them?
    Just putting it out there, but would our board be more active if this ref shite threatened or costed a 40 million place in the champions league?

  19. Walter ‘s close analysis of how the referee played it is very revealing. A bit of bad luck can then make all the difference, like the deflection for the first goal. I’m glad we came out much better in the second half, but as Walter says, as soon as we scored the second goal, the ref reverted to penalising our players for everything.

    Arsene Wenger says the team was well prepared for Watford to make it physical. But when the referee let’s them get off with it, and penalises Arsenal for the slightest thing, it is baffling for the players to know what to do. The rain can’t have helped either, in trying to play proper football.

    I still think from his comments Arsene Wenger has got a few factors he is considering which could make a difference. He is uniquely analytical and creative. Don’t let’s wish him gone, Mandy, to appease a bunch of unfair ( and that’s putting it mildly) officials. What we lose would be a thousand times more than what we would gain.

  20. Just got back from the match and I am furious.
    That performance was a total and utter disgrace.

    And can everyone on here stop whining on and on about referees, it is pathetic and embarrassing. Yes the referee was poor tonight, they mostly are these days. Get over it.

    The referee though was not the reason we lost tonight.
    It looked like the players had forgotten what time kick off was and that they had also forgotten how to defend. Do these players actually do any tactical training????

    Sutton will be looking at tonight thinking you know what this lot really are not that good. 4 months left on Wengers contract. Interesting.

  21. The only mention of poor officiating I can find, is that the referee let a bad tackle go in the game against the spuds.

    Aaron appears to have torn some calf muscle, and it is not known how long he will be sidelined. The Ox got a kick on the knee, but is believed to be available for the weekend.

  22. Guns

    There are probably hundreds of Arsenal blogs. You came here, knowing how we feel. If you don’t like it, go elsewhere.

  23. Don’t wish him gone either, I can assure you Pat.
    Wenger has a cruyff /Michels philosophy , more emphasis on attack than defence……sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t , needs needs seriously good players, and a level playing field with refs……not so easy on the second count.
    We will only realise what we lose with Wenger when he has gone….as Finsbury and others have said, wenger knows the small print of the end game of the Kronke Fiszman deal haggle, we do not, I strongly suspect it is better we do not.
    But , when the great man goes, maybe I suspect karma might dictate us a more cynical approach, I suspect a lesser manager that Wenger will need that to survive. I also wonder if powerful execs might regret not backing the club a bit more against what we see with the PGMOL and their puppet masters, their political expediency could cost them the clubs greatest manager

  24. Starting too slow again which seems to be a common problem for the team tipped to win. Never underestimate any team.

  25. Sometimes you have to face up to the facts, Top guns has a point , whilst we all can agree that the refereeing was one sided that is however nothing new and we should be prepared for it..
    We started the match looking totally unprepared . We got caught cold with a poorly defended free kick and then were too slow to react when Cech spilled the ball these things happen on Hackney marshes but really should’nt on our own home pitch. Once we accept that things are not what they should be we can look to the future and bring about the changes needed. If that means that we have to change the manager so be it. , Wenger has had too long to keep fighting against the grain and has built a whole catalogue of enemies especially in the refereeing community . As Mandy Dodd said one can’t help concluding that nothing will change whilst he is the figurehead.
    The second half the attitude was much better but how many times can we expect to give lesser teams a star and then claw our way back ?

  26. Porter do not misquote me, I said nothing of the sort, please re-read, I said is suspect when the time comes, we we will get a lesser manager who will need resort to cynical tactics to even begin to come close to Wenger.
    I also wrote the board should back Wenger a bit more, either behind the scenes or in public. Make no mistake, I am pro Wenger through and through, anyone who comes after him has a hell of an act to follow

  27. Why do all our British players get injured.We all know Gibbs,Walcott,Chamberlain and Ramsey will have time out.Ramsey cannot and should not play as a defensive midfielder.He goes wandering.He wants to score goals, not defend. I would look to selling him, especially as we have younger guys coming through.Do not blame the ref, we were awful in the first 30, end off.

  28. The difference in the play of the last two named Arsenal teams were like two different clubs completely.
    This one tonight is finding it hard to perform and is costing us points. For all the quality on the pitch it was disappointing to see 3 points lost like that.
    Ok, the ref was not all that good but we could have won it still if we had turned up from the beginning.

  29. It truly was the proverbial , “Game of two halves ” – bummer ! We were awful and error prone in the first ; better after the break , but couldn’t break them down in the second . Luckily the other results did not go against us too badly.
    A better show is hoped this weekend , despite the attention we are bound to receive from the officials .
    Up the Gunners !

  30. I have said it in the past and will say it again. We have data on the refs and the club had it as well. Unless they take the battle to them, this will continue. Till then all we can do is whine.

  31. It’s happened again. Our closest rivals falter and we falter along with them instead of taking the opportunity to pick up points on them. Blame who you like (this is a blame blog after all), but we should never lose against teams like Watford, and with the players available I don’t fancy our chances against Chelsea. We are light in the one area of the field where they will be strongest.

  32. Didn’t mean to misquote anyone but this was the bit I took it from :-As much as I admire the guy, this problem will not go away while Wenger is here. His successor when the time comes will likely get better treatment from the refs, media/WOB, but will almost certainly be a lesser manager.

    I too believe we will suffer when the change comes but I think it has to happen eventually and I am certain the antipathy to the club comes from his presence.

  33. Does nobody on here want to talk about team selection,tactics and motivation????
    No i wonder why not.All you want to do is blindly blame the referee again.It gets tedious and is the reason why untold will never be taken seriously by real fans.

  34. Wenger also said: “Did we think subconsciously we could turn up and it would be OK?” and then answered himself: “I don’t know,”
    Neither do I!

  35. Didn’t see the game but consensus seems to be partly blaming the ref as is usual.
    Those who saw the game was last nights ref worse than normal?
    Is it possible the PGMOL are taking their revenge and we are seeing the start of a backlash against Wengers touchline ban which was considered too lenient by a lot in the media and a couple of prominent retired refs.
    In other words are the PGMOL inflicting their own additional punishment on the club, on top of the normal amount of grief they serve up for us.

  36. Hey, like it Mac, you’ll get a torrent of abuse for that ! There are some on here that spend more time watching the man in black rather than the actual players …….
    Giroud, Ramsey and Coquelin shouldn’t have been starting, needed a faster team last night, wasn’t set up for Giroud’s style ….

  37. Mick Hazel
    You didnt see the game last night so really you cant comment on the referee and the decisions so really trying to find a conspiracy theory on wengers ban doesnt hold water.Unless you show evidence which is what this site is all about.
    The facts are tha we played poorly ,especially in the first half and unlike burnley and bournmouth left ourselves too much to do in the second.
    At least on 3 occasions this season when we have the chance to close on the league leaders we fail.Where is the strong mentality of the team that Arsene contantly bangs on about??We really have to ask ourselves the question are some of our players and manager really strong enough mentally to win major silverware or will this season be a repeat of last year and many before them.

  38. Sid
    Giroud was woefull last night and barely looked interested.Sometimes i wish he spent as much time trying to influence the game when he starts, as he does on trying to look good and selfies.It was crying out for wellbeck to start again but with him not in the squad begs the question on weather he was injured again.But certainly pace was missing from the team and there were other strange team selections.Surely any football blog website worth its salt debates these things as well as tactics and doesnt always just harp on about referees.Maybe it should be renamed “UNTOLD Arsenal” The place where only the referees can be criticised…

  39. I was at the game, terrible first twenty minutes.
    Bournemouth all over again.
    This team is so close to being a great one but there is something sadly missing in their make up that causes these mishaps,
    They just don’t seem to learn and neither does the manager unfortunately.
    Three fit right backs in the squad and he plays a centre half there, Seems to have an obsession with players playing out of position

  40. Agree Mac, last night was crying out for Welbz to start, Giroud was never the right option …. and if Welbz not available for whatever reason then Walcott’s pace would have fitted the bill ….

  41. I think Danny is being brought back with caution. He’s been out for so long and only has one start since returning, and while I think he would have been an improvement last night agree that two hard games in less than a week is a bit too much for him right now. Hope to see him start against Chelsea though.

  42. Dunno why Ox didn’t start in place of Ramsey, Ox did well v Saints and Ramsey looks totally out of form …..

  43. Mac
    Read my post properly, it’s not that difficult to understand.
    I didn’t comment at all on the referee, I asked the question of those that did see the game and what their opinion was. I then posed a question re Wengers ban. None of what I said requires any evidence as none of it was offered up as fact.

  44. Mick I was there we lost it in the first half for sure . Ref was same as usual but in know why did that excuse the dire first half performance or the subsequent loss . Arsenal were poor and paid the price

  45. Mick
    Do you really expect the consensus on here to be anything but blaming the referee??From where i was in the ground and when watching the highlights after i thought the referee was decent for most parts of the game and certainly wasnt the reason we lost.From his posts you must be able to decipher that he hasnt the slightest adea about the game. I can only assume the reason he is still on here and hasnt been banned is because he agrees with everything tony and walter write and provides pure comedy value with some of his ramblings.

  46. The fact that we are starting so slowly in game after game suggests to me that it is a deliberate tactic and a dangerous one in my opinion. We cannot keep on falling behind and expecting to stage a comeback. We have got out of jail several times this season (sometimes luckily) with late goals and it was inevitable that we would eventually fail, hence last nights loss.
    Other teams do the opposite to us, come out all guns blazing and then fade like Liverpool.
    A combination of the two would possibly seem to be the answer.

  47. I seem to remember a time when Arsenal attacked from the first second of the match. And on some occasions it went terribly wrong. People said we were foolish to attack like we did in such a blind way and that teams punished us for it.
    Now we seem to start slower and it still isn’t good.

    Sometimes things work out, sometimes they don’t. The bounce of the ball, the (un-)lucky deflection, the ref whistle it all plays a part in the outcome of a match.

    That the ref played a part is so in my opinion. I saw it in the first minutes what his tactic would be and wrote it down in that period. Arsenal could not breath near a Watford player or a foul was given. The other way round was not the case. A friendly smile to Behrami who made a clear foul that wasn’t given and then went down under a similar challenge from Coquelin, in the first minute said it all to me.

    Is it only the ref? No as I said you have good and bad days. A lot of our players had a very poor first half. The can do better. But that is how it goes.

  48. Disappointing loss but was a bit unlucky, the first goal from a deflection and the second ricochet straight to Deeney for a tap in. Then Lucas shot hit the post towards the end. The luck ran out today.

    Didn’t notice why the foul was given before the first Watford goal? Was it a foul or was it a phantom foul like the Liverpool one?

    Anyway, credit to Watford they took it to Arsenal at the start of the game and it paid off, they must have studied the Burnley match.

    Hopefully, the team can bounce back and go on a winning streak. Let’s keep the hope and belief going otherwise might as well stop watching the remaining matches. 9 points behind it will be difficult to catch especially the form Chelsea is in but it is achievable with a bit of luck. Let start this weekend.

  49. I get the people who say or imply ‘shut up, the ref was fine. Pathetic!’, more than those who say ‘yeah, he was poor/ one-sided but that’s no excuse. Pathetic!’

    I didn’t see it last night, other than a crappy stream for 30 secs when Musafi had a soft free kick awarded against him. From what I can gather from hearing many opinions, including those i trust, is that we were very poor first half, and the ref absolutely made life harder than it should be by penalising us for slight contact while letting them get away with a lot.

    If you didn’t ‘see’ that, fine, you might be right, might be wrong, but your attitude of ‘shut up, stop whining’ makes sense.

    If, however, you thought he was crap, and that Watford were the beneficiaries of the crappiness, I don’t know how that can be dismissed with an angry wave of the hand. It’s bloody massive.

    A total mind scrambler for players as they’re made wary of laying a finger on the opposition while at the same time have to deal with the opposition being allowed to be very physical.

    Didn’t see it last night but I’ve seen that stuff many times before.

    In terms of what was surely our own responsibility, I think we pay a heavy price sometimes for not being able to feel our way into a game while offering good protection at he back. That’s probably the main weapon or even the mantra of a defensive coach. Keep it tight, nothing stupid, move on from there.

    I’m sure it’s not the perfect solution and has its own practical drawbacks to go with the aesthetic ones, but for good teams with good players who have been playing that way for some time it makes a start like yesterday, or Bournemouth,etc, unlikely.

  50. Walter – who do you blame for the fact that we were mentally unprepared as Mr Wenger has suggested?

    Polo – we were never in a title race. That is an embarrassing comment.
    3rd place where we are now would still be good though. Hopefully we can maintain that position but there are some tough games to come

  51. I think injury table is not correct.

    The team is below par phisically.Seems the docs they had it enough and dampned them out…lol

  52. Walter
    When we had a team and manager capable of winning the title we usually always started quickly and sharply and kept that momentum up for the full 90.Yes there were blips but they were few and far between because the leaders of the team,the adams,vieras,henry’s and bergkamp’s usually set it and wouldnt allow anything else.I look around this team and dont see such leaders.
    On another note those who think we are still in the title race are leading with their hearts and not their heads.For me we were out of it after the games against Everton and City who were both for the taking but we didnt want it enough.Also as well we have some tough away games at Spurs,Chelsea and Liverpool and cant see this team getting much there.Sadly the top 4 fight is all that we can look forward to this season and maybe the F.A cup.It seems to be the level we are at these days and without a change in Club direction and manager looks like the best we can hope for

  53. Paul the gooner – prize prat end off.

    The match I saw had Behrami foul worse than Xhaka & not even a yellow. Which end were you looking at? The referee was an absolute biased corrupt cheat. The first half had a lot of poor decisions by Mariner but shameless cheating was obvious. The arseholes who are used as pundits pontificate with very little or no real intelligence. Monreal was pushed with one hand but apparently Arsenal players needs to be pushed with 2 hands for a penalty shout & being grabbed by an opponent is OK. Monreal gets booked instead of a penalty. Alexis gets short shrift after being fouled in the box as does Theo. Mariner didn’t book blatant professional fouls against Arsenal & then some prat thinks ‘end off’ is sufficient to keep passion silent!!

  54. Spot on Menace!
    Gord, that is a very interesting piece of film where the teams deliberately miss three penalties to stymie a cheating referee. If only we could get teams in the Premier League to do the same! Instead, our opponents always go all out to take advantage of the clear plus they will get from the refs.

  55. I’m just watching the game on ArsenalPlayer to see if my original thought were correct. At the time the first few fouls Watford won didn’t look like fouls and sure enough they weren’t. However the Free kick that Gabriel gave them to score their first was a foul. I’m halfway through the 1st half and it does look like we were suddenly scared to make any tackles for fear of giving away free kicks, and I think that was in Coquelins head when he didn’t tackle Capoue when he set up their 2nd.
    Unfortunately that’s not the reason we didn’t win, as that (IMO) was more down to the lethargic pace we played the first 25 minutes at, and that Ramsey and Giroud were terrible.
    However it would have made us look a lot less crap which could (could not would) have started us finding our rhythm a bit earlier in the game.
    Refs do have lots of ways to affect a game without resorting to what the fuck-wit pundits would call major ‘game-changing’ decisions and this one certainly did his best to even out the playing field for Watford but he didn’t earn them the win alone because we helped him.

  56. Leon, is it a dive when a player running falls over (with some light contact) BUT he doesn’t appeal for a penalty?

  57. Andy
    I suppose it depends how he falls. But in this instance he had defenders around him and contact was hardly anything at all. It looked to me like he thought he’d actually won the penalty (so no need to appeal) and I thought so too. Don’t know what the commentators thought of it as they were speaking Russian, but MOTD thought it was a dive, not that that’s significant.

  58. It looks to me like he was more concerned by his arm which crunched against the 2nd defenders foot. Maybe without that he’d have appealed but without an appeal it can’t be a yellow card offence.
    I’m sure every person that’s ever played football, has fallen over many times without contact from another player, so are refs now supposed to assume every time a PL player falls they’re diving… or is it only every Arsenal Player… 😀

  59. OK 1st half watched and we were as poor as it felt in the ground.
    Really poor for the 1st 20 minutes but improved to only ‘poor’ after that.
    It did (and does) appear odd that Watford (Behrami especially) didn’t have any cards in the first half but we’d had 2. Gabbys ‘yellow’ foul was poor but it didn’t really warrant a yellow. Not being close enough to hear, I don’t know if Monreal appealed for the penalty bu if he didn’t then that would be 2 yellows that weren’t really deserved.
    The luck was definately not with us in that half as shown by the number of times a deflected ball fell to a watford player. whilst the refs reluctance to give us a few fouls (Ozil 19 mins especially) was only enough to affect our confidence but not the score-line directly.
    Now for the 2nd half.

  60. In the 1st half I did notice the regular problem when Iwobi plays on the right. He spends so much time away from the Right side that it really limits our attack on that side. Bellerin is quick enough to mask the problem to some degree but Gabby is a pure defender and just doesn’t have the extra pace to cover for Iwobis absence.

  61. Andy
    I’ve never really considered whether a player had to appeal a dive to get a card. I would’ve thought that a dive ought to be spotted for what it is without an appeal. By the same logic if he is genuinely fouled and doesn’t appeal then he won’t get the pen.
    That’s one for me to think about now.?

  62. So the second half we played much better than it felt at the time. I guess I was still too depressed from the 1st half. Very surprised Behrami, Jaanmat and Gomez (wasting time so early in a match!) ended the game without any cards, and Cleverly deserved his much earlier and could have had a second even… maybe.
    They still had the luck with them as shown by the times a deflected shot bobbled to Gomes (to waste time) rather than going out for a corner.
    I don’t know if Iwobi picked up an injury but after starting the 2nd half as a real threat on the left, he didn’t stand out half as much when he moved to the middle.
    I think we maybe deserved a second but it certainly would have been a bit of a robbery if we’d got all three.
    Having said that, a decent ref (can we import some from overseas?) and it could have been a win, because I do think we’d have started a bit better if a few non-fouls hadn’t been called against us and a few 50/50s had actually been awarded roughly 50/50, but they didn’t, so it’s just a guess…

  63. ” By the same logic if he is genuinely fouled and doesn’t appeal then he won’t get the pen.”
    That’s not the same.
    If someone says they’ve been fouled by appealing then they’re conning the ref if the haven’t actually been fouled.
    Not appealing for a clear foul isn’t conning the ref.

  64. @ Mac – “reason why untold will never be taken seriously by real fans.” You mean, apart from the fact that this is one of the (if not, thee) most read/visited Arsenal fan blog in existence?

    “All you want to do is blindly blame the referee again” Blindly blame? You mean, apart from the fact that every single referee review that is published on here, is done by 2 or 3 actual ex-referees and has video evidence to back-up each decision, as well as a copy of the laws of the game to further back them up?

    I’m sorry, but you really are an absolute fucking idiot. Your comment is nothing but baseless insults and I really have no idea why you felt the need to come on to this blog, literally just to attempt to offend the admins and members. You really don’t have a clue about what you’re talking about.

  65. I really like watching the Arsenal player games when Adrian Clarke is involved.
    He clearly wants to be impartial (as we all do to some degree) so he starts the commentary saying things like ‘Arsenal thought they should get a free kick for that but I think the ref was right to say it wasn’t a foul’ but although they rarely replay these incidents, when they do he then changes his comment to ‘oh no that was actually a clear foul by *** (name the opposition player)’.
    As the game progresses he starts asking why the ref would give a non-foul against us, and asking why an opposition player still hasn’t seen a yellow card. Ending up with comments that he clearly feels the ref has been a benefit to the opposition and a hindrance to us…
    I pretty much always feel the same in the end 😀

  66. Regarding the sending off of Xhaka in the match against Swansea, did any body see the foul by Rodwell last evening? Without doubt the worst foul of it’s kind I have seen.

  67. Jammy j
    Right now that you have called me an absolute fin idiot on untold can i ask you a few questions.
    1.Can you give me proof that as you say is that “fact that this is one of the (if not, thee) most rea d/visited Arsenal fan blog in existence?” Really is it ??
    2.Do you think we are progressing under arsene Wenger??
    3.And if we dont win the league or champions league or the F.A cup this year do you or anyone else on here think we shoud renew Wengers contract ??

  68. @ Mac
    1 – Yes, it is. Unfortunately, I’m not an admin, so I can’t show you the viewing figures, but if an admin is reading this, then could you please show Mac the figures and prove to him that what he said about no real fans taking this blog seriously, is absolute rubbish.

    2 – Considering the fact that since the very first season when we were able to actually spend some decent money (the season we purchased Ozil) we won two consecutive FA cups and have gone up 1 league position each season, then yes, that certainly looks like progress to me (by the very definition of the word).

    3 – I definitely think he should renew his contract, yes. What people like you seem to forget, is the fact that the top teams we are competing against, have been spending hundreds and hundreds of millions for over a decade. Us, on the other hand, have only had financial capabilities for the past few seasons.

    There is also the countless referee reports that show a definite bias against Arsenal; games after game, season after season. If you had actually bothered to take the time to read just one, then you wouldn’t have come out with such ignorant tripe as “”blindly blame the referee”, as it is anything, but, “blind”.

    These two things show such an extreme handicap that Wenger has to deal with, yet we are still up there competing with the best of them.

  69. Jammy J
    1.I will wait for the evidence about this site compared to the others.
    2.You say we have progressed but just lets take the first 10 years with the last 10 years..
    First 10 years – 3 pl trophys, 4 Fa cups,and 1 CL final
    Last 10 years – 0 pl trophys, 2 Fa cups and 0 Cl final
    Hardly progress..
    3.I dont agree with extreme bias by referees against Arsenal.If you look on all the clubs blogs they will claim bias against their team.That is normal.If you think that Arsene wenger can win us major honors again that is fine but you will find that not many do these days and the same sequence of events season after season seem to keep happening.There is one common demominator in all this over the last 10 years and that is the manager.

  70. @ Mac – Considering you are counting the years before we started spending money, then really you should be comparing our results to the lesser-sides. During those years, we had a net-spend over almost exactly £0, which is similar to what the bottom table clubs were spending. It also meant that we had to constantly sell our best players and to our direct rivals, no less, who were spending hundreds of millions of pounds. For Wenger to have been able to keep us competing and to have never dropped out of the top 4 is an absolutely amazing achievement and only people who are too blinded by their own disdain towards him, are the only ones who can’t see that.

    Don’t agree that there is a bias all you like, but the difference between this website and other fan made blogs, is the fact that this one does ref reviews of every match, done by ex-professional referees, with a break-down of every right and wrong decision, backed-up with video evidence, along with the official guidelines to specify why the decision was right or wrong. You clearly haven’t read even one, so I suggest before you ignorantly completely dismiss the masses of work that goes into the ref reviews, you actually go through one.

    Even the Sun newspaper did a very simply end of season analysis, which stated that without refereeing eras, Arsenal would have won the PL. I wonder why it is that 3 or 4 of us managed to predict we would get Atkinson as a ref for the Chelsea game, before it was even announced? Strange that, aye?

  71. Mac, actually the vast majority of fans want AW to stay and believe he can and will win us more major honours on top of the two recent FA Cups.
    Unfortunately a lot of the younger fans don’t appreciate the vast majority of supporters aren’t ‘social media’ savvy enough to get involved in forums/twatter etc etc. so their opinion isn’t reflected on the internet.
    The pathetic demonstrations last season showed everyone that.

  72. It must have been ”embarrassing’ as an Arsenal fan in the 1997-98 season to believe the team could win the title. But… Shite happens I guess.
    ‘At the top, Man Utd were 12 points above Arsenal at the start of March, having played three matches more, but the Gunners won 1-0 at Old Trafford, which proved to be the turning point in the title race. Eight successive victories followed as Arsenal wrestled the Premier League crown off United and began an epic rivalry at the top over the next few years.’

  73. It must have been ’embarrassing’ for ManC fans in 2013-14 season to believe they could win the title. But… Shite happens I guess.

    ‘Five points clear at the top of the table with three matches to go, Liverpool’s title drought appeared set to end’.

  74. It must have been embarrasing for Arsenal fans in 2016 to believe they could win the title only to bottle it like in many of the previous 12 seasons. Your point being polo???But dont worry this team has mental strength…

  75. Untold used to be filled with content but NOW there is NO time I come on here and I see anything about tactics,about how we can play better in our next match,what really happened when we lost and what can be done so it doesn’t happen again. All I see is REFEREES!..a real blog talks about all these thing when a match is lost but not untold. We were pathetic against watford, stop whyning about it,we were beaten well by a well drilled team. This blog is a direct opposite of le-grove where they always moan about the coach from morning till night but they at least ponder other things that matter.and did someone just hint untold is the most widely read arsenal blog, what are you smoking?..somebody said majority of fans don’t want Arsene wenger to leave,thats not true,majority wants him to leave but on his term out of respect for what he has done.

  76. Andy Mack.
    Where is your proof in this comment- “actually the vast majority of fans want AW to stay and believe he can and will win us more major honours on top of the two recent FA Cups.”
    I think you will find if you open your eyes ,check out all the messageboards,listen to the fans in the stadium ,in the pubs round London ,listen to the phone ins ,arsenal fans tv etc the majority have seen enough and want change.Websites like this are few and far between now.Wenger getting a new contract will not sit right with a lot of fans and as the top man said at the beginning of the season “Judge me in may..”I hope he is a man of his word and will judge himself then.

  77. Ego, I do appreciate your problem, I think there must be a fault with your browser. I suggest uninstalling the browser you are using and trying one that actually shows you what is on the website in question. Also you make an interesting assertion at the end and I would be quite delighted to receive evidence.

  78. Tony.i don’t have the evidence you asked for but I think it’s like most things in life,what you see is what you see. When I said content I did not mean content,i meant real interesting content not moans, complaints or theories. Now am not saying you aren’t doing a swell job, all I’m saying is it used to be better than this, I don’t comment but I do come once in a while to read some nice comments,jokes by brickshaw (hope I got the name right) all I see is asked for evidence and I said I don’t have,now would you kindly provide evidence that
    1) untold is the most widely read arsenal blog
    2) majority of arsenal fans don’t want wenger to leave

  79. Ego, I am not sure that I have said either of the points you request evidence on; if I have then I apologise, I must have been rather over excited at the time. I do know our viewing figures, (5 million page views a year at the moment) but I don’t have them for other blogs. And I have no way of measuring Arsenal fan preferences, nor even defining what an Arsenal fan is, since I have been repeatedly told that I am not an Arsenal fan but I do know a lot of Arsenal fans don’t want Mr Wenger to leave at the end of this season or before.

    But Ego how can you have been a regular reader, and not come across our numerous articles on evidence. I can understand that you say that for you what you see is what you see, but the whole of Untold is based on a fundamentally different premise. For you, a man 50 yards away is indeed one inch tall, if that, because that is what you see. For you the sun goes around the earth, because that is what you see. For you there is no such thing as gravity because you can’t see it.

    That is fine – many people do indeed follow that line of thinking, and reject the notion of a theoretical underpinning to everyday experience, and indeed there are thousands of blogs that meet this viewpoint, but we have always made it clear that we work on evidence.

    I am concerned that we have not made this clear for you as a regular reader, and I will be upping the level of mentioning it just for the sake of clarity. I felt sure there was a note about it in the Comments page, but I will check.

  80. @ Mac, why is it embarrassing to believe your team could win the title? Isn’t that the purpose of following, watching, and supporting a sport team? If you don’t have belief then why waste your time following it? You might as well watch paint dry, as least you are guaranteed each time the paint will dry.

    Now, whether Arsenal win the league or not it doesn’t have any major impact on my life, I follow Arsenal because I enjoy watching them play, so I don’t feel any embarrassment at all.

  81. Mac, as I said, the vast majority of the UK fans aren’t internet users and aren’t youngsters either. The forums tend to be full of kids and new fans that didn’t follow the club before 1996.
    Most of us that have followed the club for longer, remember the feeling of being mid-table and knowing our season is over in mid-November, especially standing in the cold at places like Stoke and Ipswich… That’s a shit feeling that kids pretend they know but they really don’t. I don’t want that feeling again as we search through half a dozen managers until we can get one that gets a TinPot Cup or and FA Cup and says he has to rebuild the team to get back into the CL places.
    It isn’t looking good this season, particularly as the Chavs don’t look like dropping many points, but a 9 point gap has been closed in many previous seasons (occasionally by us).

  82. Tony, fair enough but I think you used the “what you see is what you see” statement outside the context of the argument. I see you’ve gone all philosophical on my statement ‘what you see is what you see’. True, reality can be warped and what you see might not be what is and what is might not be what you see as emotions, mood and qualia at that moment can distort judgment and decision making hence we see what is not. But Tony, MOST times in football, what you see is what you see, when you concede a cheap goal, a goal is a goal, theres no need to delve into philosophy, its reality and it has happened. Where I live, a lot of fans love and respect Wenger for what he has done and they want him to leave but on his own terms, they’ll never join any protest to try to push him out as he doesn’t deserve it but they want him gone, that again is what I see, it’s reality. I think you are doing a good job on this blog I only feel there should be more discourse on other factors aside referees and bitterness against them. Have a good one sir

  83. ego
    I do not understand your assertion that there is a shortage of alternative subject matter to refereeing issues. You only have to look through the archives to see the wide range of topics Untold has written about.

  84. Mick
    Yes there were a large range of topics written by this site about excuses to “exonerate our manager from any blame” as to why we have a lack of silverware especially over the last 12 years.They started with
    1.We had no money to spend due to the building of the stadium (and in the words of managment was to compete with the very best of europe).
    2.Injuries season after season were the sole reason why we were falling short.
    3.You cant compete with the oil money of chelsea and man city(Leicester dis proved that last season).
    4.Changing your manager on a regulay basis has a destabilising effect and doesn’t work(Look at chelsea probably this year,ranieri 2016,jose mourinho 2015,Manuel Pellegrini 2014,Roberto Mancini in his second season 2013 and ICarlo Ancelotti 2012).All these managers dis prove that.
    5.The only argument left or excuses are that all the referees are against Arsenal and have an agenda against us.
    Now can you understand why this website can’t be taken seriously

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