Liverpool v Arsenal – how Arsenal can win, how the ref will reverse himself and long is cut short

Weird News
By Sir Hardly Anyone

If you want to measure the impact of Untold in recent years consider this.  Four years ago you would struggle to find analysis even of the most rudimentary kind about refereeing in any blogs or mainstream media sources.  Now such analyses are becoming commonplace.   Yes Commonplace.  I mean, we’ve even had the Sun doing its bit.  OK true their prediction was that the ref would have a whistle and run around a lot, but still, they did mention the ref.

And today we have the headline “These Referee stats could prove to be Liverpool’s downfall in vital Arsenal clash” from    In the piece they claim that the ref against Liverpool gives a much higher percentage of home wins than normal.  

Unfortunately they don’t tell us what “normal” is, which makes it a bit meaningless, but I sent some of the estate workers off with crayons and chalk to work it out and they came back, doffing their caps in the appropriate manner, and told me that yes, it is true.  Remarkable!

And yet I was uneasy.  For the game is not at the Ems, so how can they clean up with a ref who favours the home side?

Here’s the answer:

“Perhaps this is why the home team wins so often when Madley is in charge: his desire to keep the game under control means that the away team can’t start off by roughing up the opposition and putting them under undue pressure immediately.

“Yet this weekend, perhaps it will have the opposite effect. Per game this season, Madley has given more fouls against Liverpool than any other side (17), perhaps showing that Liverpool’s high-pressing game is at odds with Madley’s outlook. There is also a clear difference between the 17 fouls per game he has given against Liverpool and the much fewer 10 fouls per game average he has against Arsenal.”

Well I never.

But of course life is never that simple because Football Transfer Tavern wants to tell us that “3-4-3: IF KLOPP FIELDS THIS CHANGED LIVERPOOL XI, THEY’LL DOMINATE ARSENAL ON SATURDAY.

And yes I know that BLOCK CAPITALS make it hard to read but that is what they do.  Anyway, Here’s the explanation.  In the defeat to Leicester…

An interesting note from the aforementioned loss at Leicester is the switch to a 3-4-3 formation during the second-half that coincided with the Reds’ best period of the match. Our landlord thinks that Klopp may be pondering using this at home to Arsenal as he looks to turn things around and here’s how his team could line up…

So if the landlord says so… actually by this stage I lost track of whether we would win, they would win or the ref would win.

The London Evening Standard claim Arsenal are yet to start contract talks with Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Kieran Gibbs and that all three are on the way out.  Trouble is, I don’t know when player contract talks normally start – although I do know that they primarily involve the club and the agent, not the players.  So the statement that “Arsenal are yet to talk to” is often factually correct but misleading because discussions with the agent have continued for months.

Football London however has a different take with the story “The Juventus players Massimiliano Allegri must sign for Arsenal if he replaces Arsene Wenger”

Now that is interesting because of the treble issue: to be valid Mr Wenger must leave, Allegri must come in as manager and then he must sign three players.   But that is not all because there is a sting in the tail.  Or maybe a sting in the tale.  The last of the three he must sign is Miralem Pjanic, but then we are told that this is “be beyond the realms of possibility.”

So to get this straight, Wenger leaves, Allergi jonis, he must sign Pjanic, but he can’t.  That really is quite a story, and I nominate that for the Golden Globe of Nonsensicality of the Week.

“Suburban Gooners” has a piece called “Arsenal Content Zombies” which criticises some blogs for writing rubbish and praises others for writing interesting stuff.  He doesn’t mention us in either camp so maybe the new cloak of invisibility is doing its stuff.   But then actually, the Zombie article doesn’t carry any news, just criticises other people for not carrying news so maybe we shouldn’t take offence.

I did however like “Arsenal man returns to club as long is cut short” from the Daily Cannon    Actually rather than giving us a new meaning of “long cut short”,  “long” actually turns out to be a misprint for loan, which is a bit of a shame.   Good attempt though.  That story is headlined “Mavididi returns from Charlton loan after season-ending injury” – his hamstring has gone.

We’ve had enough of Alexis is going headlines, so now we have to have where he’s going.   The latest is “Antonio Conte could make Arsenal star Chelsea’s first summer signing – report”

It is an interesting use of the word “report”    The article says “The Daily Mirror are reporting that the Blues are among the clubs monitoring the situation of Sanchez at The Emirates as the 28-year-old continues to stall on signing a new contract”

What really attracted me however was the sub heading “Europe Is Doomed” – now that’s what I call a headline.  And of course a chance to run a picture of Fraser from Dad’s Army.    AnywayI think it is a financial story, and at present financial and investment stories seem to be written in order to give football rumours a good name.  So I moved on… and…

I don’t want to spoil all the fun but could there be anything “the fact that Chilean youngster Marcelo Allende was spotted training with the Arsenal first-team on Wednesday (1 March) with talk of a potential move to north London heating up.

“The Gunners’ squad were preparing for their game against Liverpool on Saturday (4 March) and Allende was spotted honing his skills alongside the likes of compatriot Alex Sanchez, Granit Xhaka and Alex Iwobi.”

Yes, I expect there is except he is only 16.

Now here is a funny one:  “Aaron Ramsey: Ray Parlour makes shock claim about future of Arsenal star”

“Parlour admits he’s [that’s Ramsey nor Parlour] struggled this campaign but in what will be a shock to some Arsenal fans, claims he was “different class” last season.”   That was in Just Arsenal…: who also have the headline “This is how Arsenal can turn their season around”.  I read on with interest and found the answer.

“The team needs to realize they must improve.”

The latest from the Arsenal History Society

We are currently 90% of the way through the most detailed review of Arsenal in the 1930s (the era that made Arsenal into one of the greatest teams) ever written.   The latest articles are

The Arsenal History Society publishes numerous series of articles exploring different aspects of Arsenal’s history.   You can find an index to all the series to date on the Society’s web site

Arsenal History Books on Kindle

The novel “Making the Arsenal” by Tony Attwood which describes the events of 1910, which created the modern Arsenal FC, is now available for the first time on Kindle.  Full details are here.

Also available on Kindle, “Woolwich Arsenal: the club that changed football” the only comprehensive history of the rise of Arsenal as a league club, and the attempts to destroy the club, from within and without.   For full details please see here.



21 Replies to “Liverpool v Arsenal – how Arsenal can win, how the ref will reverse himself and long is cut short”

  1. I’d be happy if we get all three points , but one would not be total disaster .
    We play well .
    No injuries .
    None of our players targeting their heads against the opposition’s elbows .
    No penalties against us .
    No red or yellow cards .
    Unbiased commentary .

    Is it too much to ask ?

  2. Liverpool fan in peace.

    Saturday is completely and wholly unpredictable. Liverpool have swung from incredible to amateur week by week this season and there is absolutely no knowing which Liverpool will turn up Saturday. Arsenal aren’t too dissimilar. I don’t think Arsenal are quite capable of sinking to the defensive depths that Liverpool are but still, you’re capable of the same swings in performance levels as we are. This game could end 4-1 or 1-4 and nobody would be that surprised.

    Home advantage is generally key in these games but that doesn’t make me feel any more confident. If you do beat us, at least return the favour by keeping United out of the top 4 at the end of the season!

    As for moaning about refs, it’s something I hate beyond belief. Every set of fans has fans that thinks their team get nothing, this ref hates them, that ref hates them. It’s childish and boring. All teams get decisions that go for and against them and sometimes due to the nature of randomness many decisions will go for against you in succession. Fans don’t notice the ones that go for them but scream bias and fix when they go against. As a big club, decisions probably slightly favour Arsenal if anything, the same as all of the so called bigger clubs including Liverpool. It’s human nature that refs are more likely to give decisions to famous players and under the pressure of 60,000 fans than they are an average player in front of 20,000 fans. No top club has the right to whinge about refereeing.

  3. Sam, I appreciate that you come “in peace” and accept that completely – and you are most welcome to comment here. But I would urge you, if you can find a few minutes, to flip back through the work on referees that has been done on this site. As far as I know we have the biggest range of analyses, much of it done by referees (and for two years on a companion site done by refs who have nothing to do with Arsenal) and all our evidence suggests there is a huge problem.

    Leaving aside the notion that it all evens out in the end (our massive array of evidence shows it does not) there is a major, major problem with PGMO, the referee organisation, which is set up in a way that is utterly different from ref organisations in the rest of Europe. Its approach is very close to that used during the Italian referee corruption scandal, and their highly secretive nature, and decision to keep the number of refs much, much lower than in other leagues does not give confidence. Nor do their claims which they regularly made (until we pointed out how crazy they are) that 98% of ref decisions are correct, give us reason to believe everything is fine.

    Even if one believes there is a balance and no club is done down (which none of our evidence supports – and it is the biggest body of evidence that has been gathered and made public on the subject) there is no explanation forthcoming as to why PGMO has deliberately chosen to be so utterly secret, put out unbelievable stats, have so few refs, and use a system which the rest of Europe has abandoned.

  4. Sam,
    I am in the final stages of preparing the referee preview for Saturday’s game. I expect we will publish it tomorrow. Please read it and comment after the match if you think I got any of it right. I have already included video clips from the two Liverpool away games he has already done this season as well as links to our reviews of his games over the last three years in Arsenal matches.

    As you say both of our teams have been inconsistent lately and given a level playing field the result could go either way. Here’s to a good game with the result decided by the players rather than the men in black.

  5. It’s quiet possible for Arsenal at Anfield this Saturday to beat to shit Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool team who will be struggling to recover from their defeat away to Leicester last Monday night.

    I’ve read Le Prof’s presser this morning on the Sky Sports website application. And from his update on the state of the Gunners, it looks he’ll not start Welbeck for Liverpool due to his knee problem but he could be started from the bench for the match. And from all indications Ozil is available for this match as Le Prof has not said anything about him not being available for this match despite the rumour in media that said, he was from the Arsenal’s London Colney training ground sent home yesterday for sickness issue. Ramsey and Koscielny are back to full training according to Le Prof.

    Haven been updated with the Le Prof’s Gunners update in his press conference today, I can therefore say I am reasonably in a position to make my own starts and bench early for our Liverpool game as follows:

    My starts:
    Bellerin Mustafi Koscielny Monreal
    Xhaka Coquelin
    Walcott Ozil Perez

    My bench:
    Ospina Paulista Holding Gibbs Welbeck Iwobi Giroud.

    My Final Scores:
    Liverpool 0-4 Arsenal @Full-time +.

  6. I just learned that the last Liverpool manager to do the league double over Arsenal was Gerald Houllier in 1999-2000 .
    A 2-1 win would be most welcome .
    And keeping ManUre out of the top four would be a pleasure !

  7. OT: Corruption news

    Transparency International, in concert with Forza Football, has a press release

    This press release is related to a survey of 25,000 fans in 50 countries (500 fans per country average).

    Averaged over all countries surveyed, 53% have no confidence in FIFA. About 25% think the infant one has restored trust.

    Some numbers from the report.

    Percentage of fans who DO NOT have confidence in FIFA.
    Chile 71%
    Germany 70%
    Netherlands 70%
    Ireland 69%
    Spain 67%
    Argentina 65%
    Austria 65%
    UK 65%
    Sweden 61%
    Switzerland 61%
    France 59%
    Saudi Arabia 57%
    Costa Rica 56%
    Portugal 56%
    Columbia 54%
    Denmark 54%
    Belgium 53%
    USA 51%
    Australia 50%
    Mexico 49%
    South Africa 45%
    Canada 42%
    Russia 41%
    Italy 33%
    Thailand 29%
    Japan 26%

    Match fixing: 66%
    Referee bribery: 56%
    Third party ownership: 30%
    Human rights abuses: 29%
    No corruption concerns: 3%

  8. Going by what Ozil has told Blid as regards to the dressing room bust up he had with Jose Mourinho his former manager at Real Madrid in his book that is being serialized in which he said the then RM manager had called into question his duel work rate which Mourinho saw as non existence in him and also called him a crybaby for his refusal to acknowledged Mourinho’s dressing room cautioning him to wake up from limiting himself to just making 2 good passes but should engage in winning duels and not in his comfort playing be losing the ball in a duel to the opponent players.

    Yes, at Anfield this Saturday against Liverpool in a big PL game in which the Gunners will battle it out with the Reds for 3 points collection. I want to encourage Ozil to be fully present in the game and not be found missing in any aspect of it at any stage in the match. He should give his usual audacious assists in passing and taking corner kicks which if effectively utilized by any attacking Gunners attacking the ball can produce a goal or two for us. And he should also try by all means to score from a free kick situation when Arsenal get some outside the Liverpool’s box. And he should try to track back to defend which could involved him getting into a duel. The duels which he has to win to some if not all that he’s involved to deny the opposition gaining advantage on the ball that could become potentially dangerous for us if he allows his opponent to win the ball from him and go away with it into Arsenal area of the field.

  9. Samuel… You serious my friend???

    When has Ozil gone missing in games?? STATS say he doesn’t…

    If you are saying he doesn’t run around like Alexis, then that’s because he doesn’t have to. If you don’t lose the ball much…….

  10. Samuel,

    Much as I would love your optimistic predictions that we will win every game by a big score to be proved correct, I can’t avoid the feeling that they are not helpful to our cause. I know that I am superstitious on this, but I always hope that we will win and NEVER predict that we will.

  11. Shoot, you should try to get glasses as Özil, for example, made 6 tackles against Bayern, more than Xhaka and Coquelin. But this is something the media won’t tell.

  12. Gord

    Be interesting to see the stats for the same criteria for the FA

    Probably be even higher.

  13. Alex..

    The problem with some people is that they believe the media ahead of their own eyes.

    That’s if they actually watch games, of course 😉

  14. Played a part in the early days

    pleased to see my reviews are still in the public domain, unlike PGMO who vanished from the web like a squeaking rat almost as soon as we started.

    Well done Walter and the others for your unbelievable determination in the continued pursuit of a simple truth and the honest application of the laws of the game by those empowered with that privilege.

    This i believe is a ball you started rolling!!

    Publish and be dammed, you have, (we were) never once called dishonest.

  15. Those who were referees under BIGMOB or took payments not to disclose anything about their roles in it,should be never be let anywhere near video technology . This would mean that those from a certain part of England would surely be totally excluded. What’s that cheering ?

    As should be ex-players of certain clubs , reporters and possibly the present crop of commentators . It should mean the death knell of many publications and to the dole lines for others . What , more cheering ?

    Stick to the facts only , and not to opinions of the above . Nor alluding to any similiar past incidents . No more , ” Not enough in it for me to …” ,or ” He was looking for it …” comments .

    Just sticking to ‘Yes’;’No’; In’; ‘Out’; ‘Foul’ ; Not foul’ ; ‘Offside ‘ ; ‘Onside ‘ ; ‘Goal; or ‘No goal’ .

    That only total(untainted) outsiders should be considered .No links to the sponsors , betting companies , BIGMOB , FA , UEFA , FIFA .

    How difficult would that be ? I imagine that there are are millions person that would easily qualify .

  16. Mike Riley 😈 is PISSED, that his referees were not involved in the game that seriously injured Torres.

    Almost all EPL Muppets lining up to say that Torres was at fault.

  17. Sam – childish & boring? Maybe to you, but just watch the first 20 minutes of the League Cup Final & say the referees were ‘aright!

  18. Why we will win or lose at anfield.. win , if we shoot and not passing into goal.What happned toXhaka,sanchez who could score a goal kike that leicester 2nd goal!! Why Chech and not ooooospina!! Let us see the combination of welbeck and sanchez the midfield of miles and xhaka. May be i might be wrong but if we dont surprise liverpool with some changes the best we can do is a draw.

  19. Sam

    02/03/2017 at 9:05 am

    Liverpool fan in peace.

    Ignore the referee reviews if you want to. You cant ignore this though. These are, as the article headline says, ‘Facts and Figures’ that show there is something seriously wrong with the way Arsenal are refereed. There is nothing remotely ‘subjective’ here. They are ‘Facts and figures’.

    Are these ‘facts and figures’ childish and boring?

    I suppose they might well be if you are not on the wrong end of them, as we unfortunately are, in which case they are anything but ‘Childish and boring’.

    Once you’ve read them I look forward to hearing you explain how ‘it all evens itself out in the end’.

    I say I look forward to it but I doubt very much I will hear a word from you.

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