Atkinson – Arsenal 1-0, Chelsea – Arsenal 2-1: coincidence, useless or just plain bias?

By Walter Broeckx

Untold Arsenal has predicted it before. We have seen it all before. We knew it would happen if the chance would arise and lo and behold… Atkinson did it again.

Arsenal started rather bright and got the first chance. Özil winning the ball high up field, gave it to Iwobi whose shot took a deflection on Luiz and went wide from the goal. Chelsea also attacked and won  few corners. Both teams trying to attack when they got the ball with Chelsea trying to speculate a bit more on a quick counter attack than Arsenal who tried to bring the ball up more slowly.

Cahill nodded a free kick in to the ground and well over. And then came the moment we know would come. A cross from the right and Costa beat Bellerin in the air and the ball came off the crossbar. The ball flew high in the air and Alonso came in with a leading elbow that smashed against the head of Bellerin and then headed home the ball. Of course Atkinson saw no wrong. It was a Chelsea elbow knocking an Arsenal player unconscious so that is never a foul for Atkinson.

The way Bellerin fell to the floor even a blind man could see that this was person who was completely off this world. A knock out. If we take the laws of the game we find that when a player comes in with an arm/elbow to the head of an opponent that is always a reckless foul. Why? Because it can cause a severe injury to the player at the wrong end of the elbow. When a player is unconscious you can only come to the conclusion that excessive force has been applied. And when a reckless foul is being done with excessive force the only punishment is : a red card.

The fact that it was a duel to score a goal is not significant at all. Trying to score a goal doesn’t allow you to kill people. No you still have to take care of the safety of an opponent and knocking an opponent knock out is not doing that. Instead of Arsenal being 1-0 down, Chelsea should have been down to 10 man. But Atkinson once again managed to make the task of Chelsea a lot easier when playing against Arsenal. As he did two seasons ago when he allowed Cahill to kick Alexis unpunished in what should have been a red card against the Chelsea player.  Untold Arsenal predicted it would happen and so it did.

All what followed after that was … the Atkinson factor. Arsenal attacked and Chelsea mostly countered. Gabriel who came on for Bellerin who clearly didn’t know where he was after the elbow against his face had a great chance but he placed his hard header to central and Courtois could palm it away. At the other end the assistant didn’t flag Costa offside when he came back from an offside position but luckily apart from a corner nothing worse happened. It is offside when you come from an offside position and attack the defender who controls the ball from behind you know mr. linesman. But he didn’t want to upset Mr. Atkinson I guess.  Arsenal a goal down at half time with the best chance falling for Özil but Courtois with a good save on his low shot.

With Atkinson having done his best you knew it would be a blue wall after the break. And if there is one thing Italians can do it is setting up a defensive wall. For large parts many Chelsea players in their own half (all of them) and waiting for the misplaced pass and then start a quick counter attack. One of those attacks Hazard was allowed too much time and space on the ball. Coquelin and Kos didn’t do enough to stop him. You can be sure that if this would have been the other way round a Chelsea player would make sure that our attacker was brought down, but for some reason our defenders and midfielders try too much to play according to the laws of the game. A smal trip would have been enough but they chose to not make a foul and thus Hazard could score. A valid goal, one we have to blame ourselves for.

Arsenal tried to attack but the blue wall was unbeatable. Welbeck came close but again Courtois with a great save to palm the header out of his goal. And then came the moment of Cech madness. His kicking isn’t that good but surely he should have done better with the ball he got from a throw in. He now kicked it very tame right in the feet of Fabregas who just had to kick it in the empty goal. What a terrible mistake. To be honest I am not the person to bad mouth an Arsenal player but I surely wouldn’t mind seeing Ospina in goal in the next matches and hell, I wouldn’t mind an Italian loanee keeper back in our squad from next summer on.  Not for the first time I think that Cech is not performing to the high standards we have known from him.

A bit later Giroud headed in a cross from Monreal in extra time.  But that was nothing more than a consolation goal.

Did Atkinson interfere with the result? Yes he sure did. The first goal that put Chelsea in the driving seat should have been disallowed. Maybe some 50 years ago this was allowed in football but not in the last 15 years. Oh, sorry forgot in PGMO land it is allowed as long as it an Arsenal player.

That goal gave Chelsea what they wanted and hoped for. Sitting back and counter for large parts of the match. But in the end they scored two valid goals against our one valid goal. One howler from Cech leaves a very sour taste in my mouth to be honest.

So maybe we would have lost the match but I really doubt this would have happened if Chelsea had to play with 10 men for 75 minutes. Because let us not forget that is what should have happened if Atkinson would have taken his bias away from his refereeing. I asked the question after the Sunderland match: is this coincidence (about Atkinson being biased and blind) or just plain bias. We all know the answer. I bet Mike will have sweet dreams tonight….

162 Replies to “Atkinson – Arsenal 1-0, Chelsea – Arsenal 2-1: coincidence, useless or just plain bias?”

  1. Bring in the video referee, it’s the only way to take out not all but most of the controversial decisions. Maybe untold can band together with other club supporters to start a petition or protest movement to get the video ref system in.

  2. I know you asses the ref in honesty but that first goal has nothing malicious in it for me.
    Good Luck Bellerin and recover quick ….we need you.Your compatriot didnt hurt you but Feo did let him run on you.Brainless creature that he should never merited to kill a ball rather than running on open field.

    I pointed in the other post it was another Ceck houler.He do not react quickly after the first lounge in the air.He jumps to save the first ball which Bellerin did well in my opinion to destabilise Costa and Check was not quick to stand up and the ball was not even one that far from him.Many goalie would have done better.Understood is not on his 20s hence his flexs are very questionable.No wonder they CHELSKY let him go.

    Very noticeable mistakes from him….will the Prof drop him ?? Stop kidding yourself …Le Prof will make first loyalty and F…ck everything else.

  3. There’s certainly every reason to argue that the first goal should have been waved off, but that’s never, ever called a red card. That same collision happens every match in some area of the pitch, and it’s rarely even a yellow.

    Both Alonso and Bellerin were a bit (but not overly) reckless there. It was definitely a foul. Probably not a yellow, and never, ever a red.

  4. Just because the collisions happen often and are not called doesn’t mean they are not worthy of red cards. Same for maliciousness. No, it’s refereeing with two different sets of rules, one for Arsenal, one for their opponents. Why is it called a competition if the result is known beforehand?

  5. There are a lot of influencing factors that affect the overall performance and result of any game for any team. Tactics, subs, formations, injuries, fitness, fatigue, efficiency, mentality, technical quality, team work, decision making of manager & players, referees, assistant referees, pitch condition, weather, playing equipment, etc…

    This season week in week out, there are numerous games where the match results and the overall momentum shift of the games are immensely influenced by the referees and their assistants, so much so that even if any team even tries to perform at their level-best of any of the factors listed above they will only manage to influence the result by very small margins.

    FA, PGMO and media… I expect them all to be as incompetent and biased as ever. This is a fight Arsenal can’t win alone, only if nearly all the clubs act together against these then we might have see them some betterment.

    As for Arsenal FC, the club, the players, the manager, the coaches and the fans (everyone) need to stick together and do not jump on their own backs. The only winners are FA, PGMO and media when a gooner bites back another gooner.

    In results like these the media bait and hunt us gooners like hyneas and feed of our negativity like vultures.


  6. Neutral fan here.

    Is this article meant to be a bit of a joke? I don’t hear anyone in the media/press saying it was a foul but I accept some very biassed and delusional Arsenal fans might try and make a case for it being a foul but to say it was a red card is surely a joke. You can’t actually think that? Please say you’re joking!!!

    I’m all for fans being biased and trying to support their club but within reason. You are genuinely deluded if you think that was red card and just extremely biased if you think it was a foul. I hope for your sake it is only the latter.

  7. Scuba
    It should be a red card every time, it would be in any other league in Europe and they all play to the same rule book as us. It is the interpretation in the referees and pundits that prevents such assaults being recognised as that. There is nothing fair about deliberately leading with an elbow when jumping for a header. It’s a foul and if the other player is injured its a red card offence!

  8. Walter
    Sorry but the match report you have just described is surely a different one that was played at 12.30 at Stamford Bridge.Although their first goal could be debatable duue to the elbow, the way he falls probably contributed more to bellerins groggyness.One question you have to ask on this and that is why theo didnt block alonso and protect his fullback.After that we still had 75 min to recover and take the game to chelsea but sadly once again that didnt happen and they deservedly won comfortably.I would like to say it happened differently but there has been a predictability over the last 10 seasons that we cannot break and until the manager is changed will continue to happen.

  9. I am not buying into the your opinion that the first goal was foul.. to me it was a legitimate goal becos alonso, was height above bellerin …. I think what we shld ask is that where are the other players that allowed alonso that free space.

  10. Walter
    If you believe the first goal should’ve been called back for an elbow on Bellerin- that’s fine , I don’t have a problem with that.
    Blaming Atkinson , however for not catching it in the real time is just asking too much of any ref. Only different angle replays showed the elbow makes contact before the header and it’s a bang bang play.
    Only a video ref could make this call conclusively, but to ask for a red card for Alonso is just plain embarrassing.

    There’s off course another argument to be made if it was intentional or just used to elevate for the aerial challange.
    Either way , Arsenal didn’t lose this game because of one posibly missed call. Chelsea were better all over the pitch and perhaps if you didn’t spend all the time watching the referee performance , you might’ve notice it.

    Curiously, wasn’t there another more egregious elbow by Gabriel on Hazard that should’ve perhaps warranted a red card . I wonder how you missed that one.

  11. Walter – I totally agree with your assessment. You are a qualified referee & know that the tackle was reckless & a RED CARD…..but not in PGMO land. Arsenal players need kicking to stop them playing tiki taka football.

  12. That’s not a red card anywhere, Andrew. That contact happens almost every single game. It’s unfortunate that Bellerin got hurt, and it’s very unfortunate that this was allowed to be a good goal, but it’s never a red, and we never see that called.

    Chelsea got a lucky goal, then proceeded to play Arsenal off the pitch for the next 70 minutes. Frankly, Chelsea were sloppy enough with their final ball that the boys were lucky not to lose by 5. About the only way the away side had a prayer today would have been getting a referee assist more laughable than Xhaka’s first red of the season, which one on Alonso certainly would have been.

  13. Perhaps instead of asking how Atkinson missed the Alonso elbow, you should be asking why the shortest Arsenal player was forced to make two aerial challenges against much taller Costa and Alonso in the area where a central defender should’ve been.

  14. Tom – I also missed the Gabrial elbow. Must watch out for it in the replay.

    Spuds just got a diving pen. Their speciality.

  15. Tom,

    Iwobi, Ox, Ozil easily allowed Moses to run on the left wing. Monreal went in forward to close down Moses, who played Pedro in space on left wing, none of our midfielders tried to chase back fill the box to stop headers or fill the left wing to stop crosses. Pedro was in open space to cross, Koscienly rushed out of the box to stop Pedro from crossing, but failed. Mustafi (near post) and Bellerin (center point of the box) were the only two players in the box. Bellerin challenged Costa for the header but Costa was first to it and forced a save from Cech. Theo was ball watching near to Alonso, who meanwhile ran in from outside the box to head alongside Bellerin. That’s how. Theo could easily have stopped Alonso if he any effort. Our defenders (both full back and CBs) were made to do double duty shifts without any help from our midfield or wing.

    As Arsene says its not one error in a goal you concede. Its a chain of errors. The chain started with our players and ended with the referee.

  16. How about we ask why our players go missing? Why we concede goals for fun? Why we are defensively weak and lack discipline? Why our players seem to lack motivation? Why we only seem to play for 45 minutes in so many games? Or we can hide behind ref decisions game after game. Quite simply we are not good enough. If you really believe there is a ref campaign against Arsenal why bother even following football. Sure there are poor decisions but all clubs get them. It’s cowardice not to face reality.

  17. There was a moment in the second half when Gabriel had an elbow in the face of Hazard. Hazard came in challenging for the ball from behind Gabriel and that was a foul. However the ref gave nothing at first and only when Hazard was rolling around on the floor he blew a foul.
    So in that incident he gave a foul purely on the outcome of the foul. So why didn’t he do the same with the goal.

    Those who say that Bellerin also was reckless…. my god how is jumping up in the air with the arms held low being reckless??????

    And you must try to read and understand the laws of the game. Jumping in leading with an arm towards the opponents face is a foul. Certainly when you make contact. As aiming an arm at the head of a player is dangerous and can lead to severe injuries it is even always a card. A yellow card at least.

    Then you have to judge if the player used excessive force. And that can be done either by judging: this could have caused very serious injury. Let us say the Xhaka foul that got him a 4 ban match. OR you look at the result on the field. And then one an only conclude that if a player is knocked unconscious from a smack of an elbow this is a serious injury and a red card.

    There are two things on this foul: the foul itself (leading with the forearm/elbow towards the face of an opponent) and the card punishment (yellow/red).

  18. Top players excel in big games.
    Why don’t our big players show up in most of the big games.

    Do we have top, top players or we just have two or three very good players and a large collection of good (not great) players?

    I believe we have a brilliant manager but I doubt we have a brilliant squad.

    I think the main reason we have not won the league for so long is not that we have a bad manager, it is simply that we are relying on players rejected by other big clubs (like Welbeck) or players who are not top top strikers (Sanchez and Giroud).

    Sanchez is a very, very good footballer. He can play effectively even as a right back or as a midfielder. He is so gifted he can make it in any position as a player. But … He certainly is not the top, top clinical striker we need.
    Arsenal’s style of play makes a clinical striker able to score 30 goals per season. Even the very average Adebayor scored more than 30 goals at Arsenal.

    I really fear that we have got into the habit of always trying to buy a bargain. It’s good that we can get players like El Neni for as little as 5 million. It’s good business. But this strategy will make our shareholders very rich as we will achieve Top 4 but not have that little bit extra needed to win the league title.

    I am a fan of Arsene Wenger. I fear that the pressure from haters to have him replaced will soon be too much. I fear either Wenger himself will decide to walk or he won’t be given a new contract.

    It is sad to see the Arsenal balance sheet having 180m or more than 200m in cash yet we are always looking for the bargain player.

    I know this website is for people like me who support the club and the manager. Untold Arsenal is the friend to Arsenal Football Club.
    Friends should give good friends good and honest advice. Arsenal is the 6th or 7th richest or biggest club in the world. I think we have a manager who is in the Top 5 or Top 10 in the world. I however don’t think we have a squad of players that is in the Top 10 in the world. In fact, I doubt we have any player who is in the top 10 in the world. Why don’t we have the top, top players? Why does Wenger have to rely on lesser players to try to win the big cups and titles?
    Why buy average strikers like Welbeck and Perez? I think Arsenal deserves the top quality players. Remember we had quality players like Dennis Bergkamp, like Thierry, like Kanu, like Pires, like Viera, etc. before. We need such quality again.
    Welbeck is a good player but he isn’t the top, top quality that I think a club of Arsenal’s pedigree deserves.

    My biggest fear is that these players will fail to deliver and this could result in Arsene Wenger leaving or being fired (because of the hostility of a growing and vociferous minority of fans).

    What I find disappointing is that some genuine fans of Arsene Wenger and Arsenal on this website actually celebrate or encourage Arsenal to not buy players at every transfer window. Yet if we look at our squad, the best players we have have been bought. Alexis, Özil, Cech, The Cos, etc. were all bought.

    Arsenal must now use the big funds sitting in the bank to buy top quality players.

  19. Davey,
    On the continent in my country neutral pundits think it was a clear foul. As they are pundits they don’t know the laws of the game as I described here. As a ref I should know. And tried to explain. But be my guest if you know the laws of the game better based on the opinions of probably some ex-football players who never learned the laws of the game properly.

  20. Do think Bellerin has gone a bit soft footballwise since he got a new contract. Lost a bit of his hunger and that is just begging for an injury. Probably explains our injuries. Players are too passive under a reactive manager.

  21. Tony, I noticed that the above post is rather long.
    Please can you make it a separate article which could start a new discussion.

    The title could be: “Another possible reason why Arsenal is not winning the top prices. Discuss …”

  22. Wenger has to step down for me at the end of the season.

    You won’t ever catch me in the grounds home or away calling him a cunt, or holding up a banner with a message on it, because I respect what he has done for the club over the last 20 years. And I think we owe him more then that. I also don’t personally agree that he is a totally shit manager. I think he definitely still has some fantastic attributes which some other managers in the league will never have. I just think he has hit a glass ceiling now. He is just at a point in his career where he doesnt have what it takes to win the big games anymore. He’s lost that ruthless edge that you need to have to win the league. And theres no shame in that, winning the Premier League is fucking hard. Some managers could live their footballing careers over 10 times and never win the league, or achieve what Arsene has.

    But he’s not making the right decisions at the right times anymore. The way he sets us up, we’re just too easily beaten now. Some of the players in that squad just aren’t good enough to play for Arsenal, plain and simple. I think we need a fresh start with a top drawer manager who is going to come in with new ideas and just rip out the deadwood and start again. That is the only way we will win the league. We will never win the league again under Arsene Wenger bar nothing short of a footballing miracle.

    So the big wigs at Arsenal have to decide what they want, if they want consistency then Arsene is your man; if they want to genuienly achieve greatness on the pitch then a new man, new players, and new ideas are needed.

  23. We all know and agree that referees and the Premier League have been a major reason why Arsenal has failed to win some games.

    But it is also right and fair to look at weaknesses and mistakes that we as a club have or commit.

  24. I am afraid that this site is becoming embarrassing to Arsenal football club.
    Yes sometimes decisions do go against us but you would have to be a little bit crazy to suggest that Arsenal were not completely played off the pitch today. The better side won, end of.

  25. For those not agreeing I would like to ask me they point out where in the laws of the game it says you are allowed to jump in with an arm/elbow towards the head of an opponent and severely injured.

    Here is the law that says it is a red card:

    12.12 Serious foul play – inclusion of ‘challenge’ A tackle or challenge that endangers the safety of an opponent (…) must be sanctioned as serious foul play.
    Explanation Same change as in 12.2 – ‘challenge’ includes offences with the arms, elbows etc.

    A challenge that endangers the safety of an opponent. Well a concussion can have very serious consequences for a person. When a player is knocked unconscious it is at least a mild concussion if not a serious one. If that isn’t endangering the safety of an opponent… then I don’t know what is? Maybe a Xhaka tackle?

  26. A couple of reports in the press support the view that Alonso was a bit fortunate not to have a foul given against for the elbow on Bellerin, but nobody is suggesting it was card worthy. I didn’t think so at the time and will have another opportunity to see the action again later on MOTD.
    What I do find shameful is the assertion that we need superior teams to go down to ten men in order not to get beaten by them. Chelsea were better in all areas of the field today and won on merit.
    Suck it up!

  27. I am fairly sure Alonso did not intend to smash Bellerin in the head and render him unconscious. Just as many high boots that cause damage, leading elbows also cause damage. Just as these high boots get penalised with red cards so should leading elbows when they will inevitably make contact with an opponents head. This is because it is dangerous play, and the rules are there to protect players and encourage skill rather than violence. Indeed, players have to raise their boots and elbows from time to time to get the ball, but you can’t do this if your actions will result in dangerous contact with another player. Players will sometimes get a slap from a fore-arm or scratches from trailing fingers. That is what happened to Hazard from Gabriel later on in the game, despite Hazard pretending he had been punched. As such, if the rules had been strictly adhered to then the goal would not have stood and a red card shown. Had the ref been pragmatic he may have issued a yellow or a verbal warning. If he was corrupt or inept he would have let the goal stand.

  28. Hi Walter. Looking at the first Chelsea goal I’m not sure how you can even think it was a foul especially when it is watched at full speed with no freeze frames or slo-mo replay. If it was Giroud doing that you would, rightly, applaud his physicality and desire to score.
    Your reply to Davey shows your unwillingness to accept different opinions and was oddly similar to Wengers ‘never spent a day in football’ retort he likes to use from time to time. Also, just because someone disagrees with you doesn’t mean they have got their opinions from the media.

  29. Without being too critical, Walter, I’d like to suggest that maybe you and the staff ought to look a little more closely at your interpretation of the laws that you criticize pundits for not knowing. I’m not going to take the time to go back through every one of the ref reviews, but I’d wager that if the amount of red cards you feel should have been seen by Arsenal’s opponents alone this season isn’t greater than the total number of reds actually shown in the entire league this year, that it’s very close.

    You guys are obviously trying to look at the refereeing, which isn’t very good on the whole. As someone who played (never professionally) for 25 years, though, the way you’re expecting referees to hand out cards for Arsenal’s opponents is nuts.

    Add up the total number of red cards you’ve asked for Arsenal to benefit from through the first 24 matches of the season, and if you can find even one example of a team in England, Spain, Germany, Italy, France, or the Netherlands ever benefiting from even 75% of that total for a full 38 game season, I’ll never post a comment critical of your work again.

  30. Min Son doing his usual backward diving to earn the spuds another dodgy pen.At least the plastics on the Online Gooner will be happy as it seems to have been taken over by tott fans these days.

  31. Lol…I have never in my life read a more biased report. You honestly think Alonso should have been shown a red card?.. are you serious or is this banter?…I see we’ve moved up a notch from just blaming referees for our inability to win games, we’ve moved on to asking for ridiculous red card!.. I ask again,are you for real?

  32. Tom – so that was the Gabriel elbow!! Hazard head butting Gabriels arm & then faking injury. What a load of tripe.

    ego – you must be stupid or inept.

  33. Of course, nothing wrong with elbowing an opponent in the face and knocking him out.
    Just a quick remark, if a rugby player were to make the same challenge, he would probably not only receive a red card but probably also a few weeks or even months of suspension (and I am sure nobody would complain about it…)

  34. Polo -reference to Laws of the game is wasted on the morons that argue with Walter. Red card offence is proven but PGMOL officiating was predicted. Yet morons appear out of the woodwork questioning the Laws.

  35. Menace
    According to the morons it can only be a foul if it is deliberate, yet when you read the laws the question of whetger a foul is deliberate or not isn’t even mentioned. Its not only the morons but most of the pundits as well.
    I don’t get why they find it so difficult to comprehend.

  36. So putting aside the contentious first goal who was the better side today , on the merit of play who deserved to win ?
    Then if it was Chelsea so all well and good . In other words are we clutching at straws here boys ?

  37. There have been many occasions when there have been contentious decisions between Chelsea and Arsenal and I have been outraged. You only have to look at last season when Costa got an Arsenal player sent off.
    Not today. Chelsea were the better team and deserved their win.

    Sometimes you have to admit this.
    The problem I have is that the same problems at Arsenal are getting repeated season after season. I think it is probably time for a fresh approach if the club has any ambition left to win the top trophies. The evidence is now very clear.

  38. Vince, I’,m not sure I believe you about the same situation in rugby. To get a red card and a long suspension in rugby you would be talking about gouging, deliberate stamping, a spike tackle and stuff on that scale. Completely different to what happened today.

  39. Please anyone disagreeing show me where in the laws of the game the word “intention” is used ? It is no longer there!
    Because the IFAB removed it from the laws of the game. So those who talk about “Alonso didn’t intend” only confirm they are not in the know about the laws of the game or use interpretations that are no longer in use since many years.

  40. Meanwhile reports come out that Bellerin has indeed a concussion. But no, of course no excessive force was used by Alonso…. So when excessive force is used? When the head is off?
    A concussion is a serious head injury and can lead to permanent brain damage. And again intention is not relevant anymore. The outcome is relevant: a serious head injury.

  41. Walter, I fully agree with you re the Chelski first goal – it looked like GBH in real time & was clearly GBH when viewed in slow motion – only a visually challenged idiot could think otherwise. As for Atkinson – wasted space!!

    This is yet another example which illustrates the need for video technology – the same technology that has been refused by the FA/PGMO incompetents. I wonder why?

  42. @Marcus71 : Anytime a rugby player would do anything that endanger in any way the physical integrity of an opponent player, he will be red carded.

  43. By the way, quite interesting to see Conte saying that “in Italy, it would have been a foul”, basically admitting that the laws of the game are somehow different in England…

  44. Scuba posts

    ”As someone who played (never professionally) for 25 years, though, the way you’re expecting referees to hand out cards for Arsenal’s opponents is nuts.”

    So 25 years of referees in amateur football = the same standard of referees officiating in games shown to 50-70 countries, involving World Cup winners and losers, unquantifiable millions placed on betting, millions upon millions placed on sponsorship and merchandising, cash flow revenues higher than the GDP of some countries?

    Or should the equation be this –

    a game between EPL champions = best quality of refereeing to be found?

  45. Zed

    If we’re holding commentors to the standard of having to have played or refereed top level club football to have a valid opinion, doesn’t that disqualify all of the analysis here? None of the Untold team have been anywhere near a match between clubs at the level of Arsenal and Chelsea, and should therefore be discredited…right?

  46. So Walter

    By your standard, should Gary Cahill have been shown red a few weeks ago against Hull? That was obviously ‘excessive force’ by your definition, and therefore an obvious red.

  47. Tony, Walter

    We all agree to disagree, I understand where all who feel we were robbed are coming from but I just don’t agree. It’s life and we all have different views. What’s not right is someone calling another person ‘stupid’ and ‘inept’..i choose not to answer the gentlemen but don’t you think that should not be allowed on blog and considering I was never rude to that particular gentleman.

  48. Scuba, no because nobody (with a sane mind) would want to clash head to head. And that this happened when both players tried to play the ball without committing a foul. If Alonso would have clashed heads with Bellerin then there would have been no foul. But it wasn’t head to head, it was elbow to head. And that is not allowed. You are allowed to try to head the ball but you are not allowed to elbow an opponent. I don’t see how one can compare this?

    And yes a clash head to head can result in a red card. Ask Giroud. Who was sent off by… wait a minute… was it Atkinson last season against I think Crystal Palace… that was a deliberate (but rather soft) head but. The most stupid thing one can do in my opinion but it is a red card offence because… it can cause serious injury.

    The elbow now caused a serious head injury….

  49. Maybe try to get rid of the ‘intent’ way of thinking. Look at the result. Look at the possible danger. That is how referees have to judge incidents these days.
    Xhaka was sent off for the possible danger.
    Alonso should have been sent off for the result of his foul.

  50. it was a poor day for the safety of footballers again, i’m sadly of the opinion that brute force and savage behaviour coupled with simulation will usually win the EPL .

    another sad day for football, on another sinister note considering the amount of money involved maybe a small far fling country like maybe Russia ( sarcasm:) has a fair bit of money involved oh hang on they fucking do

  51. How can anyone say that Bellerin was reckless??? And yes some of you did…

    In fact I have never seen a player who jumped up as clean as he did, raising the arms up in the air without any chance of hitting or hurting an opponent…. Reckless? Bellerin???

    Please also take note that the elbow made contact first and then Alonso headed the ball. First the man, then the ball is a foul.

  52. Scuba, no.

    We can make arguments but it has to be proportionate. How the refs officiate at the top level cannot be at the level of amateurs.

    Likewise, how the laws of football are applied. Alonso had no control over his body, it was therefore reckless and dangerous. Reckless and dangerous it is a red card.

    It has to be expected that a referee at this level exercises the rules of football to the highest level.

    Conte’s comment ”“in Italy, it would have been a foul” says it all. Why should any Arsenal player, seeing that, seeing how Atkinson acted, give a fuck? Especially when they know damn well – better than anyone else on this board – they can play elsewhere, earn good money, and not face physical injury because referees refuse, season after season, to protect players by officating fairly and consistently in accordance with the rules?

  53. Zed

    I’ve never, once argued that it was not a foul. It was. It should have been called. Being a foul with bad results does not, ever, make it a red card. The injury was unfortunate, but that doesn’t make it red.

    If you had asked Conte about whether it should have been a red card, he’d have probably either laughed at the question or checked with a translator to make sure he heard right. Not a red, never a red, despite the unfortunate result.

  54. I notice some comments relate to me not being English (enough probably). No need to attempt to write a comment anymore.

  55. Scuba, I am not English as some posters reminded me today so will not question you if you are not a native English speaker but if you are you should be able to understand this:
    12.12 Serious foul play – inclusion of ‘challenge’ A tackle or challenge that endangers the safety of an opponent (…) must be sanctioned as serious foul play.
    Explanation Same change as in 12.2 – ‘challenge’ includes offences with the arms, elbows etc.

    By the way we get some 4 courses each season where they show elbows and learn us to judge them based on the laws of the game. Next week a new course on Monday. We will see some more elbows I’m sure…

  56. I don’t know how anybody who saw Alonso’s elbow to the head of Bellerin can call it anything but a red card. There was obvious clear force. Having a player seriously injured on the pitch affects his team mates. We’ve seen that before. Having to use up a substitute so early in the match reduces the manager’s options of bringing on fresh legs. Losing a player as brilliant as Bellerin makes a difference to what happens on the pitch. Who knows, Cech might have been affected by it considering he suffered a very serious head injury. We are talking about human beings after all. And all our players will have noted that the referee was not offering them any protection.

    The other incident I want to comment on is much less serious but still indicative. It is the incident that led to the Mustafi yellow card. Hazard went down as if shot. Gary Neville – not an Arsenal fan – said at once that Hazard saw Mustafi approaching and bought it. We have seen Hazard do this before. Mustafi being on a yellow card, and all our players knowing how ready Atkinson would be to send someone off, must have inhibited him in his defensive duties.

    Don’t tell me the behaviour of the refs doesn’t influence the results of the matches.

  57. Ego, nope they’re not real, just hiding behind the ref and whoever else they can blame but the manager

  58. Scuba

    ”Being a foul with bad results does not, ever, make it a red card. The injury was unfortunate, but that doesn’t make it red.”

    It was red because Alonso went into his leap without control and assaults Bellerin with his elbow.

  59. If Hazard had taken a funny step after Coquelin’s foul (buildup) on the goal and broken his leg, would that have become a straight red card offense, then? After all, the fould put Hazard would have then been dangerous enough to actually cause serious injury…

    Alonso and Bellerin both went for a 50/50 ball. Between Alonso being taller and Bellerin still looking a little late because it was his second aerial challenge, Bellerin took one in the head. It’s a foul, and that’s all. The fact that Bellerin got injured does not take a routine foul and turn it into a red. There’s a reason you probably haven’t seen a single non-Arsenal fan (many of whom would like to see CHelsea lose for their own club) have even suggested as much.

  60. Aki

    ” just hiding behind the ref and whoever else they can blame but the manager”

    Could you see that game tday, and not see after the illegal challenge on Bellerin, that the game changed?

  61. There are no what ifs. You watch a game, the ref makes a bad decision, the game changes. That’s not a ”what if” – it’s a description.

    You can then analyse the game, frame by frame, and detail in each incident, what exactly happened.No what ifs whatsoever.

    Analysing a game frame by frame, detailing what happened in each minute, is evidence based analysis.

  62. Could those who say an elbow resulting in a serious head injury it is not a red card tell me then when an elbow resulting in a serious head injury is a red card? Or is it never a red card? I will inform our instructors next week they are all wrong as I have been told on Untold Arsenal that it’s nothing.

  63. And please it isn’t the first time Atkinson allowed this on Arsenal players in matches between Chelsea and Arsenal. How many times has this man kick you in the n*ts before you feel it? Probably too busy putting the blame with the manager I think.
    Losing Bellerin was immense by the way as we completely lost our attacking force on the right flank.

  64. It was not so long ago that Mustafi was elbowed twice in the face and both times in the one match – with little or no action taken by the ref – seems that this is the new permissible way to foul and injure Arsenal players.

    As with Bellerin, the GBH on Mustafi was part of an attempt to gain an unfair advantage in a possible goal scoring opportunity.

    The failure of the pathetic PGMO to take action against the opposing thugs is placing our players in harm’s way – and the PGMO, with their media co-conspirators, are equally guilty of any hurt caused to our players.

  65. Walter is using “what if’s” in his match report by suggesting that if Chelsea had been down to ten men the result might have been different. As clear a case of “what if’ you’re likely to see.
    Personally I didn’t see it as a bad enough foul to get a red card, and Chelsea beat us on merit, and probably would have with ten men.

  66. Walter, you are wrong.
    I know for certain, no argument, it wasn’t even a foul let alone a red card.
    How do I know?
    Because Alan Shearer just said so on MOTD.

  67. i’m stopping watching PL until Riley and co are in jail
    french league seems rather nice, so i’ll probably pick it up
    otherwise it’s just Arsenal in CL and local league from now on for me

  68. What if? I think that Untold hasn’t questioned a single red card from an Arsenal player this season. We only asked that the same standard would be applied to our opponents. And that is clearly not the case. Xhaka has to pay the price for his stupid tackles but other players not. And as long as that keeps being the case I will protest against it.
    Has anyone explained to me why Xhaka deserved a red card and Alonso not? And once again use the laws of the game.
    In fact I have given the answer already but maybe some were to busy by blaming my nationality or blaming Wenger for the bad refereeing decisions.

    In fact we even said that Alexis had to be send off against Bournemouth for a tackle that could have injured a player badly? But then you didn’t speak out about it. But still people say it is us who is biased? Strange….

    And Alexis didn’t injure the player, he could have injured him seriously. Alonso did injure Bellerin by smacking his elbow against his face.

  69. LOL Mick, now we have the expert who has talked I will change my opinion of course…. NOT! If Shearer says it is not a foul then I feel even more supported in my view. As Shearer knows nothing of the laws of the game. Never has.

    I bet Shearer asked for a red card against Bellerin for head butting the arm of that poor Alonso…

  70. I believe Shearer was one who regularly flailed his arms about with intent. No wonder he doesn’t think it’s a foul.

    By the way, Aki, we were not run ragged. I wonder what match you were watching? Are you even an Arsenal fan?

  71. fucking hell what is wrong with people such a blatant foul. Had this argument all day i’m still fuming! cheating diving fucks double standards of referring

  72. Alan Shearer, the best England has produced,a wank and Shit player who only scored from penalties in his latter years, the man who’s name is mediocre in eyes Of The world footballing public.

    No foul, and no wonder the national team is full of Shearer types!

    The best at being shit.

  73. The Bellerin situation would not have occurred if Cech had moved faster off his line. Being tall should have been put to good use instead he just watched. And if he had jumped and got something on it, that goal would not have happened. And in case it was Cech at the receiving end there is a higher probability of the ref giving a foul. Cech has let in some goals this season which ideally top keepers would have dealt with. And our players seem to have very poor attitude since the double loss in December. We have seen what pace can do, why did we not use perez and welbeck from the start??

  74. Of course it was a feckin foul, the goal should never had stood. if giroud had scored in a similar way today, it would have been disallowed, and giroud would have seen red.
    But,,we seriously lost our way defensively.
    We are out of the title race, normally,,we are at that point left alone to find a place in the top four, I sense this season may be different …….the media smell blood over Wenger…and it will get worse……
    Wenger will recover the team, but I just wonder if maybe he is thinking he is up against insurmountable odds for the club he clearly loves…..he is no quitter , he has proven that, but how do you fight ref shite, players being hurt, media, mentally unstable fans, bitter ex players turned pundits,….when you know that under Eddie Howe, Max Allegri, or just about anyone else, the players will be properly protected?

  75. As for those put there who say one of our mfs should have stopped hazard, look what happens when Xhaka does just that…..maybe we should have signed Wanyama , he seems to get away with that sort of thing

  76. Alan Shearer – not fit to shear shit let alone to pontificate about football. Uneducated and incapable of managing in the game like Phil Neville (another example of stupid).

  77. How many times have we seen to sky and BBC pundits scroll back and forward in slow motion through a tackle in the box to try and establish if there was even the slightest ‘contact’ and then claim that the attacker ‘is entitled to go down’ (cheat in other words)?
    How come it doesn’t work in reverse? The Chelsea player made contact with Hector’s head before the ball. How can it not be a foul?
    Had the roles been reversed and Hector hit the Chelsea player then cleared the ball, they’d be screaming penalty!
    Foul all day every day!

  78. It’s so silly to question Walters referee credentials, the question need to ask is did Walter interpret the law correctly in his analysis? It doesn’t matter if he’s a school teacher, amateur ref, or professional ref, was he right to say it’s a red? I personally trust Walters analysis then those so called ‘football experts’ in the media, why? Because the man actually study the law of the game. It like saying I know the road law better than the license tester who is testing me.

    @Walter, ignore those idiots who send you abuse or question your nationality, keep up the good work. Many of us on here appreciate the work and effort you put in. Thank you.

  79. There must have been a clause that Cech does not play against Chel$ that Arsenal forgot.
    2 goals were gifted Chel$ by Cech.

    Still ref aside, we should have won the game but we obviously did not prepare, played some wrong players and did not think we could win.

    I noticed some cheating from Arsenal players too, but in this game it did not help. Stop the silly dives that look like dives, if you can’t do it better then don’t do it.

    It is starting to look like Arsenal is stuck at a certain level and cannot progress beyond that.

  80. Menace
    When is the last time Arsenal played tika taka football?
    It seems a long time ago now, we very rarely play like Arsenal today, we now play no different to all the other teams in PL.
    This season is going to be a determining season for Arsenal, mind you we said that last season, and the one before that and the one before that too…

  81. A very balanced article , Walter . Thank you . And some fine comments from the regulars. The usual crap from the non believers , quoting the(biased)English press , ex England players( also failed managers of some disrepute in their own right!) and their local pub mates.
    Although the AKBs do argue their points well , the usual idiots that are ‘them’ carry on distorting the facts…and rules and laws . Too bad , their loss !

    And here is a fine piece that I have posted before .Enjoy and learn , …or not !

    Truer Words Were Never Spoken
    – Words from Colin Powell

    The less you associate with some people, the more your life will improve.
    Any time you tolerate mediocrity in others, it increases your mediocrity.
    An important attribute in successful people is their impatience with negative thinking and negative acting people.

    As you grow, your associates will change.
    Some of your friends will not want you to go on.
    They will want you to stay where they are.
    Friends that don’t help you climb will want you to crawl.
    Your friends will stretch your vision or choke your dream.
    Those that don’t increase you will eventually decrease you.

    Consider this:
    Never receive counsel from unproductive people.
    Never discuss your problems with someone incapable of contributing to the solution, because those who never succeed themselves are always first to tell you how.
    Not everyone has a right to speak into your life.
    You are certain to get the worst of the bargain when you exchange ideas with the wrong person.

    Don’t follow anyone who’s not going anywhere.
    With some people you spend an evening: with others you invest it.
    Be careful where you stop to inquire for directions along the road of life.
    Wise is the person who fortifies his life with the right friendships.

    If you run with wolves, you will learn how to howl. But, if you associate with eagles, you will learn how to soar to great heights.
    “A mirror reflects a man’s face, but what he is really like is shown by the kind of friends he chooses.”
    The simple but true fact of life is that you become like those with whom you closely associate – for the good and the bad.

    Note: Be not mistaken.
    This is applicable to family as well as friends.
    Yes…do love, appreciate and be thankful for your family, for they will always be your family no matter what.
    Just know that they are human first and though they are family to you, they may be a friend to someone else and will fit somewhere in the criteria above.

    “In Prosperity Our Friends Know Us.
    In Adversity We Know Our Friends.”

    “Never make someone a priority when you are only an option for them.”

    “If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.”…

  82. A word about Shearer. He may be a shite pundit but he was a top striker who still holds the PL goal scoring record (260 goals). Rooney may yet pass him and Ronaldo certainly would have, but one or two people here have obviously never seen him play or they would know that he had much more than a penalty to his armoury: he also had an unstoppable free kick.?

  83. And that stupid comment on why Theo did not do something to impede Alonso’s progress unto the ball – what was he supposed to do ?

    – Dive in front of him without touching him , in order to slow him down or force him to change his trajectory ?
    – Shoulder charge him off the ball ? Surely not kick in the nads ?
    – Directly and legally impede him but by taking care as not to foul him ?
    – Visually distract /and confuse him by doing some stupid trick or maneuver ? What about a French mime trick ?
    – Breathe down his neck in a lewd or disturbing way ? Maybe whispering sweet nothings ?
    – Or perform a Jedi mind trick on him ? Always remember , it only works on the simple minds ?

    I’d like to perform on here but not sure if ‘them’ types can see me waving my hands through the medium of internet ? The farce is quite strong in there !

  84. I bet the next time we lose another match, it would all be about the refs and the opposition. Nothing about our gross inability to win matches. When hazard walked through our team like a tornado, was it the ref?…that time when Gabriel elbowed hazard in the face, that wasn’t a red card?..the alonso incident may have been a foul but a red card?…accept defeat, talk about how to make our team better and cheer the he’ll out of the team in the next match but this is comedy, especially asking for a red card against alonso and not even putting the Gabriel elbowing hazard incident in the match report..

  85. And I’m very sure that all of England’s finest strikers /managers who never played or managed or were even remotely successful than in jolly old Blighty , will difinitly not be on the questions on any famous Quiz shows and on Trivial Pursuit !

    Or on Jeopardy !
    Contestant : English internationals for $100 , please ?
    Alex Trebek: Who was Micheal Owen ?
    Contestant : Who was the worst English International player ever to play in Spain ?
    Alex Trebeck: CORRECT !
    Crowd all gasp !!

  86. I bet that the next time Arsenal lose , ‘them’ types will come on here in all humility , compassion and solidarity to commiserate with the AKBs who are hurting inside. Especially from being gypped by another abysmal showing by that shadowy entity know as the PIGMOB !

    I also that it is time for more aggressive and in your face commentating as this present lot are blabbering and making real fools of themselves . Roll on WWE style presentations!
    Why allow only your president to lie through his teeth ? Export to all spheres of life.
    Make others as enjoy it too, just as you have made America grate !

  87. Walter, although I rarely agree with your match reports (but can see that they’re integral to the structure of this blog and essential in that respect) I can’t understand why some folk query your nationality when criticising them. Are you any the worse a referee for being Belgian? Has Brexit diluted your input & opinion? Are they typical Johnny Foreigner BS?
    I think some serious gardening is in order here on UA.

  88. Was it a foul , wasn’t it a foul? I wouldn’t have been surprised if it had but that incident wasn’t the reason the result went the way it did.
    Despite the claims to the contrary injuries again played a major part in how you set up but again that wasn’t the reason why the result went the way it did
    You have some fabulous players I would love Kos and Sanchez at SB and in truth Giroud should be a guaranteed starter but for some reason game after game he isn’t. Expecting Sanchez to pull a rabbit out of the hat so often is simply not fair on him and watching his body language yesterday he clearly wasn’t happy
    At some point the question has to be asked why a Arsenal squad of such supposed depth and quality isn’t able to go that extra step and I know that some will argue as per usual that it’s all about bad descion making but foe every mistake the ref makes the players are making far more .
    What was sad was seeing Cech play so poorly he unfortunately is being picked now on past reputation he has lost a far amount of his agility , is slow getting to the ball fearful of coming for balls in the box . It was really quite sad to watch and he is being asked to play the ball out and for all his known strengths this was never one of them.
    From where we sat we could see a fight take place in the Shed Lower Ihavent read anything about it but it looked quite violent . I very much doubt it was between rival supporters .
    As for Shearer you can’t dis what he has achieved in football nor is he always wrong or was he wrong again when he called out the supporter pictured in the away end with the ready made sign calling for AW head? I am pretty sure that the saying be careful what you wish for applies here

  89. The media of course defend Alonso challenge saying he used his arm for balance & was looking only at the ball. Regarding the ‘balance’ point, if that was the case then the arm should only move vertically but to inflict the injury on Bellerin there has to be horizontal arm movement & thus unequivocally is a foul. Whether or not he only ‘looked’ at the ball & there was no intention to foul or hurt is irrelevant, by deed alone it’s a foul.
    The media use Graeme Souness defending the ‘challenge’ as sufficient judgement. It’s like asking the poacher about gamekeeping. Remember ‘fair’ Graeme’s ‘leg breaker’ challenges for Rangers versus both Steaua Bucharest & Hibs, the second of which nearly caused a riot!
    I’m still baffled that Cahill’s over aggressive terribly timed headed challenge on Mason went unpunished & raised no media comment in that regard.
    A challenge of similar bad timing on the ground would you would expect to result in punishment.
    Xhaka’s tackling discipline is woeful but it seems absurd 2 tackles that did not result in any injury received 7 matches banned whilst a serious health threatening broken skull injury received ZERO match ban.
    Players recklessly inflicting serious injury on a player should be banned from playing until the injured player is assessed as being fit to resume playing thus Shawcross & Martin Taylor would have had very long bans for the reckless serious injuries inflicted on Ramsey & Eduardo.

  90. to Mike T ….. Alan Shearer is a boring dullard of a pundit. To me he will always be a person of no moral credibility since the day he kicked Neil Lennon in the head & due to blackmailing the FA received no ban to enable playing in 1998 FA Cup Final. He threatened to miss 1998 World Cup if he was banned.
    It’s absurd to say ‘be careful what you wish for’. That’s a lame excuse to continuously put up with ‘Groundhog Day’repetitive mediocrity for fear of what change may bring.
    Any change brings risk but risk that should be seen as a challenge towards a more inspirational & aspirational future.

  91. Amazing.

    Only a prized idiot could come onto a public forum and attempt to claim that what is a foul and sending off in Rugby Football is not a foul in association football.


    The PGMOB football rules (ok?) code which reached has left these genius’ dribbling gibberish above, little bit like Danny Rose attempting to dribble against Iceland LOL!

  92. The media campaign against Arsene Wenger is simply unbearable.They may write whatever they think but the great man is beyond there reach. I admit the team has been not playing well recently but we are still 3rd /4th as on today despite we have been struck hard by the refs as usual. Xhaka shown red cards twice on minor challenges while other teams were not even punished for similar challenges. Had Xhaka been there against Watford we might have not faced the defeat.
    We missed him yesterday too. We could have drawn yesterday.Who knows?

    As everyone here and at Untold pointed out that this lack of form hits every team and we are no exceptions. Look at City and Liverpool .Are they doing better than us?Spurs may keep getting dodgy penalties but we are on there heels.
    I am sure we will pick up and finish strong.
    Hope we can spring a surprise in the CL as well.

  93. You can run but not hide. Wenger and his pets are an embarassament .Every game that we loose it is the ref.

    The good solicitors in here not fans that is the known card left to argue.

    A decade has gone with nothing but the ref to blame.

    I do not think even you believe for yourself but is your job as lawyers to fight your case in court.

    Mamma mia ….

  94. Alex

    If you dont agree with our stance of biased ref why u keep on visiting here.Go where you can find people who agree to your view point.
    We are happy with our club and our manager who has brought this club at the elite level where many other clubs can only dream of.

  95. Yesterday’s performance, like many others, did not deserve any points. No Arsenal player has been at their best in the past 2/few games. This team has shown that it can perform on its day, but it seems to dip in quality at certain times. Wenger, with all the respect we have for this great man, is ultimately responsible.

  96. Looks like “Alex” did not see the Burnley football match. Or the comments and articles in lots of places thereafter.!

    Let alone the football yesterday.

  97. If you’re going to whip out your jingo bells and attempt to furiously shake them at the football manager then it does your trolling no favours by attempting to ignore what happens on the football pitch.

    We saw the match.

  98. This game made me as crotchety as last season’s trip to Old Trafford. We’re losing at half-time, we should probably be level in fairness because Gabriel should have scored that great chance he had late in the half. But look, it’s 1-0 (because of that foul), and there are still 45 minutes to go. 45 minutes in which we can salvage our title challenge or, at the very least, ensure the gap isn’t increased between us and the leaders.

    What do we get? Nothing. In fact, it’s even worse than the first half. It’s dismal, it’s pathetic, it’s hard to watch, and it’s an Arsenal side without any fight. You know, maybe it’s just me, but if I’d seen a teammate bludgeoned off the pitch the way Hector was, I’d be fueled by a sense of injustice and a desire to get some revenge. I didn’t see any of that from a single Arsenal player yesterday. The second half was as insipid and characterless as anything I can ever remember.

    We were careless and sloppy with the ball, gifting Chelsea possession countless times which meant we couldn’t build any momentum, and we never really looked like a team that wanted to get anything from the game. Our big players, Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil were anonymous; Theo Walcott should get a fucking medal for managing to be even more anonymous than those two; our defending was atrocious; and our midfield problems came home to roost.

  99. I like that Cesc felt he couldn’t celebrate but in reality he would have been doing little else but hammering home the fact that his decision to leave years ago was the right one. And that really, really hurts.

    People will say: what of the manager? It’s a good question. I can’t ever go down the road that some are happy to travel, to abuse him or call him stupid names, but as I said last season when we let our title chances slip at Old Trafford, it’s at a point where change is necessary. Unless he does something remarkable, like win the Champions League, we’re at a point where extending his contract would not be best thing for this football club.

    And that’s taking into account the fact that this football club does not seem ready or set up for change.

  100. James

    The Shearer / Lennon incident Ok was that the one where he was cleared after the commission was shown footage of Lennon grabbing Sheares legs and Lennon himself giving eveidence on Shearer behalf , which was backed up by that footage but unseen by the ref , that Lennon had grabbed hold of Shearer leg and the action was then judged as Shearer trying to free himself before he fell over. As for threats that is just some take on what happened no eveidence has ever been produced to prove that conspiracy theory
    The reason I say be careful what you wish for is that it seems likely that Arsenal have not , ala the boot room, set in train any real type of succession planning. Look at who sits on your bench on match days. Most clubs have a coaching team you have Bould, a kit man and his assistant.Off the field Wenger is involved in every part of the business. Hey we knew it was coming when Chelsea supporters were crying out for AW to stay but there is absolutely no guarantee that any modern first team coach and a new back up team will deliver anything more.
    Replacing a footballer manager with a first team coach and that’s what Arsenal will do for the job is now far too big for one person, and supporting team is far from easy and as Liverpool and indeed Man Utd have seen it rarely goes to plan

  101. Was it foul or not ? Or was it no more than just a natural and graceful sweeping movement of the arm as one jumps and tries to steady oneself in readiness to head the ball ?
    Or was it to push away at any impediment that would prevent an advantage ?
    Is it only called a foul if it done with a clenched fist or a full haymaker or roundhouse punch ?

  102. As an aside and using the same arguement so many on here claim in game after game should Chelsea have been given a penalty for Bellerin pushing Costa?

  103. Walter , is there a referee’s signal which shows the natural ‘coming together ‘ of head and elbow ?

    You know, like they do when there’s an innocent clash of bodies as shown by them by a scissoring movement of the arms ?

    If not , they truly really ought too . So as not to confuse people like me – who aren’t referees !

  104. Rosicky@arsenal

    I use to read all the ref performance in here.In all honesty that guy he writes this thing truely believes in what is writing.I mean is not biased.

    Point is after defeat like yesterday to write immediately about that specific Bellerin incident made it a lame excuse .

    It is wrong to solemnly blame the ref.
    Ironically i do agree that is a foul but not blame the ref. For the goal and defeat.

    May Bellerin recover well ….he is not hard by the ref but none other that :

    Feo the symbol.of the decade failure he did not even made an attempt to defend because he do not have football brain .

    Check ….his agility is beyond repair ….look how quick stands up after the initial fall……look the distance of the ball in goal from where he was standing and the Ref has to do with ???
    Are you mad ??
    If you dont like my comment dont reply ..simple

  105. Aki posts

    ”but if I’d seen a teammate bludgeoned off the pitch the way Hector was, I’d be fueled by a sense of injustice and a desire to get some revenge….”

    only insofar that you could get the revenge but if, over a season or two, or three, or four, you had seen the decisions go against you the times you had tried to get revenge, you might think – do I win this battle? do I go and fight somewhere another day?

    Do you then think – with the way these fuckers ref, do I risk injury?

    Why should I earn my wage here, and not get protected, when I could go anywhere abroad, and referees would protect me?

    England 1 Iceland 2 – that is the standard of English football

    The EPL – that is a circus sold to the international market as entertainment. That includes referees as cartoons. Before you had Trump, you had English referees.

  106. @ Mike T – 05/02/2017 at 10:23 am – Always a pleasure to have Chealsea fan on here , giving us his opinion . We did miss you quite a bit last season . Why was that ? Probably weren’t too well , I gather ? Glad to see you all sprightly and buoyuant now .

    Re: your comments , ” The reason I say be careful what you wish for is that it seems likely that Arsenal have not , ala the boot room, set in train any real type of succession planning. Look at who sits on your bench on match days. Most clubs have a coaching team you have Bould, a kit man and his assistant.” , did bring a smile to my face .

    What type of sane , well thought out and kosher succession order was planned by your club . We could always learn something new . Or not !
    Here’s an old article below . Do please do update it with your usual insights and opinions , regarding the last few years .
    Cheers !

  107. Aki posts

    ”Unless he does something remarkable, like win the Champions League, we’re at a point where extending his contract would not be best thing for this football club.”’

    That wouldn’t change a jot. A European Premier League, played with European referees, might change reality and allow football to be an entertainment as football, but as it stands, in the circus of the EPL, sold to advertisers for vast amounts of money, Arsenal has a role, and Mr Wenger as the Frenchman is that role, but replace him by anyone, Arsenal would still be Arsenal, and whoever came in to replace him,would have that role, the Arsenal figurehead.

  108. Moron Rednapp said Coquelin should have dived in for the second goal, unless you get the ball super accurate that was so a red card waiting with who was reffing you could see the nervousness on previous games at Stanford bridge. I felt sorry for the team no matter how amazing you are losing shape with Bellerin assault. then every time we tried to counter they foul with no yellow. we try to breath on a Chelsea player they roll over 10 times. It was so clear as day same shit different day. An wenger getting fucked for pushing back at an incompetent ref 4 match ban f he wants to win the league he needs 2 1st team squads and a flyng pig.

  109. Aki
    Your comment at 10.23 was lifted in it’s entirety from this morning’s Arseblog.
    Not the first time you’ve done this and really you should give credit to the author if you’re going to cut’n’paste.

  110. Can someone please explain why Wenger should be allowed to sign a new contract extension because it doesn’t look as though he is going to be able to offer the club anything more going forward.

    He has been fantastic for the club over 20 years, that is beyond doubt.
    Football does not stand still however and there is now clear evidence of stagnation at the club which needs to be addressed.

    This is not being anti Arsenal, taking a WOB stance, this is looking clearly at the facts and evidence in front of me.

  111. Why don’t the referee’s protect our players? Isn’t a “head” injury SUPPOSED to warrant an immediate halt in play and a call for the medical staff to enter the field. Atkinson did neither until Cech and Mustafi TOLD him to do it. What did he think – that Hector was tired and needed a little sleep? FFS – here was I thinking that the referee was responsible for maintaining a duty of care for the players on the field. Must have got that wrong then!

    This is nothing new for Arsenal players. Who remembers the following:

    MD against Stoke – when he was charged into the advertising boards and shattering his shoulder. The ref (Moss)? waved play on and it was only when one of our players SHOUTED at the ref, that he went to check, orming about, before finally calling on the medical staff;
    Arteta – had his tooth knocked out by a free flying elbow against Hull? Nothing given and play not stopped until Artie told the ref he was looking for his tooth FFS;
    Rosicky – Had his nose BROKEN – no free kick, no stop in play until the ref (Mason?) was surrounded by our players demanding attention from medical team;
    Alexis – shoved down a concrete hole at Norwich – nothing given. Could have been a very bad injury that one;
    Alexis again when Charlie Adam trod on him and in another incident, got him in a neck hold that should have been a red card. Nothing.

    Why is there such angst amongst fans and managers alike, of some clubs – what is the reason for cheating?

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll repeat it here – we need to drive the involvement of Betting companies out of football in this country. Anybody who is involved in the game (clubs, managers, players, officials, etc), should NOT be allowed to be sponsored by a Betting organisation.

    Simply punishing players for placing bets on/against their own team is only the tip of the iceberg. Surely, a club manager actually promoting a betting company on major media adverts is much more serious.

  112. Norman 14

    It wasn’t immediately obvious that it was a head injury, and Bellerin wasn’t clutching his face at first. Even the commentator thought it was a back injury (as I did), and If Atkinson missed the elbow to the head (as it appears) then he would have probably thought it was just fall and no reason to stop the match.

  113. Leon

    The fact that he went to ground and didn’t move (as opposed to the Hazards of the world who do a 100 metre role with quadruple twist), should have alerted Atkinson. How do you think that Cech and Mustafi knew, but Atkinson didn’t? After all, he is ultimately responsible for the safety of the players. Maybe somebody with the video can time the referee’s reaction from the initial “challenge”.

  114. Mike Riley have been appointed at the head of the PGMOB in 2009. Since then, 9 clubs played every season of PL : Arsenal, Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Stoke, Sunderland and Tottenham.

    Let’s see some referring statistics between those 9 clubs in the Riley era…

    Penalties given
    1 City 58
    2 Chelsea 56
    3 Liverpool 48
    4 United 44
    5 Sunderland, Tottenham 38
    7 Arsenal, Everton 36
    9 Stoke 33

    Arsenal is probably the team that spend the most time in the opponent box, yet only Stoke were given less penalties. On the other hand, Chelsea and City are awarded approximately 60% more penalties than the Gunners.

    Goals scored/Penalties given ratio
    1 Sunderland 8.50
    2 Stoke 9.48
    3 Chelsea 10.11
    4 City 10.26
    5 Liverpool 10.54
    6 Everton 11.78
    7 United 12.43
    8 Tottenham 12.68
    9 Arsenal 15.47

    The better a team is offensively, the higher should be its penalty count. For example, it is logical to see City with more penalties than Sunderland or Stoke. However using this goal/penalties ratio, every team should have similar result regardless of the team level.
    What a surprise, the numbers shows that referees are a lot more reluctant to give penalties to Arsenal, compared to others teams…

    Penalties conceded
    1 Chelsea, City, United 24
    4 Everton 30
    5 Liverpool, Tottenham 35
    7 Sunderland 39
    8 Arsenal, Stoke 42

    Arsenal has the highest number of penalties conceded (tied with Stoke), 75% more than Chelsea and the 2 Manchester… Another quick remark, Arsenal actually conceded 6 more penalties than they were awarded : the only team of the Top 6 (or even Top 7 if you add Everton) with a negative balance. Compared to City with a +34 balance, that is 40 penalties deficit. 40 PENALTIES!

    Goals conceded/penalties conceded
    1 City 11.88
    2 Chelsea 11.63
    3 United 11.54
    4 Everton 11.50
    5 Sunderland 11.00
    6 Liverpool 9.71
    7 Tottenham 9.40
    8 Stoke 9.10
    9 Arsenal 7.40

    Funny, the same referee that are so reluctant to give penalties to Arsenal, they are giving penalties against Arsenal more easily than any other team. If you compare those ratios with those about penalties given above, you can see every team has pretty similar ratios. All except Arsenal who actually has a more 2-to-1 difference…

    Red card received
    1 Tottenham 16
    2 United 19
    3 Everton, Liverpool 21
    5 City 22
    6 Stoke 24
    7 Chelsea 25
    8 Arsenal 28
    9 Sunderland 39

    I don’t think anyone in their right mind would classify Arsenal as a dirty team (they more likely would talk about the Gunners lack of aggressivity…), yet except Sunderland, no team receive more red cards. Yes even Stoke has fewer red cards. Quite funny too to see Tottenham and United at the top of this table. You know, the 2 teams that gets away nearly every week with nasty challenges. Actually it’s been close to 2 years since a Spurs got a red card…

    Yellow cards/Red cards ratio
    1 Tottenham 29.00
    2 United 24.42
    3 City 22.64
    4 Stoke 21.83
    5 Everton, Liverpool 21.24
    7 Chelsea 19.20
    8 Arsenal 15.57
    9 Sundeland 13.87

    This ratio too should be similar for every team. Obviously that is not the case at all. How many times have we seen referees give a second yellow card to an Arsenal player at the first occasion, while allowing opponents 5 or more fouls. When I see that table, I can’t help but think about the sending off of Coquelin last year in the NLD, when Lamela and Dier stayed on the field despite more clearer second yellow offenses…

    If, seeing all these statistics, some people want to deny the corruption that is happening right now in the Premier League, and the fact that for years, Arsenal has been robbed by referees, well there’s none so blind as those who will not see

  115. Top Guns

    ”Can someone please explain why Wenger should be allowed to sign a new contract extension because it doesn’t look as though he is going to be able to offer the club anything more going forward”

    Arsenal 3 – Chelsea 0.

    Quality result, quality football, quality players playing together.

    It’s up to Mr Wenger what he wants to do.

  116. Many thanks for this clear evidence, Vince. Of course, you are right, some people will behave as if these facts, this proof, doesn’t exist.

  117. Brickfields

    I rearely post on here this days . When I do it’s normally in relation to an issue regarding matters Chelsea and often to correct the information that so many lap it up as being gospel. Having said that it is noticeable that there has been a shift , not massive admittedly but none the less a shift to those that question the unhealthy red tinted view an all matters.
    As for succession planning you clearly miss the point. Arsenal are one of the few big Eureopean clubs that appoint a manager the majority employ a first team coach and whilst that manager has input into things such as player recruitment the days of one individual being involved in player recruitmentalone are far gone.
    Chelsea despite regularly changing first team coaching team have a structure in place whereby you have a constant, at the moment that s Steve Holland then below that the whole stricture falls within another management chain.In effect the football board , recruitment team, contract negotiating team remains when you change that first team coach
    We saw at Man Utd what happens when a long term appointee is replaced. Indeed that model structure was the boot room of Liverpool who promoted or appointed within.
    Play had halted .

  118. @ Mike T – 05/02/2017 at 12:31 pm – Am sure that the Arsenal board has a plan in place . I for one do not dig deep , nor go chasing up blind alley looking up wrong leads .

    I did however point out in this site the problems faced by Man Utd , when they tried to replace Sir Matt Busby . And this was long before SAF did retire . History does repeat itself .

    While AW will one day retire , and this of course makes a lot of us apprehensive ( after all he has been the manager for almost half the time I have been an Arsenal fan !), I’d like to think that such a hugh entity as the Arsenal FC is , we have thing in place for the transition .

    O hope so !

  119. Brickfields

    When AW he transformed Arsenal indeed English football but he was able to do that Dein in situ and indeed the role of manager in English football at least was far different to what we see now.
    The skill set AW possesses is there for all to see but when I say be careful what you wish for I am trying to empathise it’s not a given anything will change for what some would say the better if a new coach / manager ( delete as appropriate) is brought in.

  120. I think and thought originally that it was definitely a foul. The discussion on ‘The Sunday Supplement’ with the pompous journalists inferred that it would have been a foul in Europe but not a foul here!! It was certainly reckless and Bellerin was injured. And, I thought we all played within the same ‘laws”.

    It amazes me that the majority of penalties given seem to be for minor fouls. This was serious and not given. It had a an effect on the game because we lost Bellerin but I think that we played nervously and played into Chelsea’s hands.

    I’m going to have to watch games with the sound off. The general negativity against Arsenal is beginning to destroy any pleasure and the nonsense from the likes of Shearer et al is nauseating. When did this bias start and why?

    Back to the foul – if it had been an Arsenal ‘goal’ in those circumstances, the pundits would’ve called it reckless and dangerous and we’d have been down to ten men.

    We lost yesterday and I think we deserved that result because Ozil didn’t play and Cech had another shocker. I think he’s a liability. And where was Perez? (Not even on the bench and no news on any injury).

  121. Norman
    It wasn’t eventually at all. The goal had been given and the kick off hadn’t taken placeIts a different matter as to when the Dr was called on but play had not re- commenced following the incident.

  122. Mike T
    Of course play had halted when the goal was awarded, but there seems to be a difference of opinion as to when the head injury was recognised. For my part I immediately thought there was a back injury as Bellarin showed no signs of his face being struck (and Atkinson couldn’t have seen it or he would have called a foul and disallowed the goal) so this is probably why no doctor was called until it became apparent that he was quite badly hurt.
    I don’t see this as referee negligence.

  123. Leon

    Where we sit we too thought it was to do with how he landed. We thought he was winded and there is a suggestion from comments made on today’s Sunday Supplement AW , after the game, thought that the medical team in effect re acted a little too quickly . In truth they are in a no win situation
    People on here tend to throw too many insults to the English refs but as was pointed out we have the most on the UEFA list.

  124. Mike T – the only constant at Chelsea is the funding & Abramovic. Everything else has changed including his wife. OOOOOOPS & the hooligans that go with the badge.

  125. Vince
    05/02/2017 at 12:24 pm

    Excellent comment. Should post your findings to Parliament for them to view as they debate the FA.

  126. Great stuff, hope you don’t mind, I have quoted your work, with due credit of course on Positively Arsenal.
    Your data is pretty damning.
    I have long wondered why the club are so passive to it, or if they would act even if it cost us a place in the top four, I can think of some clubs that would be up in arms at this treatment, sadly, it seems our top brass….and I am not referring to our manager here….. don’t really want to know

  127. How on earth, can an elbow in the head, result in a back injury?

    In the press conference, Arsene said that even at the end of the game, Hector didn’t know what the score was. Sounds pretty much like concussion to me.

  128. Rockette: Özil didn’t play? He made the most passes and created the most chances! But you were surely mixing him with Sanchez, 0,shoot, 0 chance

  129. Alex – if the statistics prove me wrong then I’m wrong but to the naked eye and having only seen the game once it didn’t look to me as though Özil did very much. The team as a whole were disappointing. A friend of mine would agree with you regarding Sanchez but additionally felt that he ran about like a headless chicken and his lack of positional discipline had a negative effect on the balance of the team. It’s all opinion and the games gone. I have to say that I’m enjoying watching football less and less.

  130. It appeared at first (to me) to be a back injury because he landed flat on his back without putting a hand out to save himself, and made no attempt to hold his head which would have been the first indication of a head injury.

  131. Leon has obviously NEVER been knocked out, otherwise he would be better informed about how the victim reacts.

    For the dumbo’s, if you are knocked out, you don’t react, because medically, you are unconscious.

    Think about that before responding.

  132. For the real Arsenal fans – is the fact that there has been no statement on Hector’s well-being a bit of a worry?

  133. Norman 14
    No need for the unpleasantness.
    FYI I have never been knocked out, but it would appear from your comment that you have. I wonder how that happened.
    I was giving my first impressions of the event (and others including TV people made the same instant judgement) and why it could have been that Atkinson didn’t react sooner to the head injury than he did
    Easy to be super wise and smartarsed after the event isn’t it?

  134. Therein lies the problem then.

    People who have responsibility for the safety of others are unable to decipher between someone who is unconscious and someone who has a back injury.

    Yet they continually decide that a player is in an unsafe situation, if he rolls around grasping different parts of his body, and who then 70% of the time, jumps up and carries on.

    If our referees are not trained to spot someone with a potential brain injury, then it’s fucking time Riley got that sorted.

    BTW – apparently it was a cricket ball in the nose, though my recollection is that I was playing cricket – next I was on the way to hospital.

  135. Vince

    Absolutely brilliant

    Those are facts, irrefutable facts.

    Nothing subjective. Nothing to do with opinion.

    Hence, since you posted them yesterday there has not been one, not a single poster refuting or attempting to discredit them, or the conclusions to be drawn.

    And that’s what you will find Vince.

    Produce the stats. Present the evidence and what do you hear?

    The silence is deafening.

    But hey, guess what, the next time you hear a debate on bad refereeing you will hear how it ‘aal evens out in the end’.

    And guess what, the next time you hear a debate on who gets the rub of the green with referees and who doesn’t you can bet your bottom Dollar, Arsenal will be top of everyone’s list for the team that ‘gets the most decisions’ from referees.

  136. I note Trevor Sinclair’s ‘analyis’ of the incident was that “Bellerin just didn’t want it (the ball) enough”.
    Thanks for that deep insight Trev.
    No mention of Bellerin wanting it so much that he got smashed in the face with an elbow and knocked unconscious?
    No mention the Alonso measures 1.88m in height compared to Bellerin’s 1.77m?
    No mention that Alonso had a clear run up from the edge of the penalty area compared to Bellerin having to jump for the second time having just challenged Costa for the first header?
    Nope, it’s probably that Bellerin just didn’t want it enough. He is forrin after all. Probably doesn’t know how to ‘dig in’ either.

  137. Jaroda2

    Preaching to the converted with me mate but remember…

    “There is none so blind as those who WILL not see”

  138. Vince, could it be possible you put your posts together in one article that we can publish? Of do you give me permission to do this myself? As I think this deserves more readership as things might get lost in the comment section.

  139. Vince – that’s just excellent. A lot of work. Thanks. And re the goal/foul. First contact was elbow to face. Why is there even a discussion? His arm is up, Bellerin’s are not. They both jump. One leads with his arm, first contact arm to face. Not head to head which is not a foul. Even Conte said it’s a foul – in Italy, with no Riley. It’s not the only reason Arsenal lost, they didn’t really show up and looked like shite. However , it might have ended differently if it were 0-0 and Chelsea down to 10. Might have ended slightly differently.

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