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June 2021

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the Barcelona/PSG was the moment football finally changed.

By Tony Attwood

Of course having a bent foreign referee overseeing a match full of foreigners in a foreign place with a crowd made up of foreigners isn’t exactly big time news in England.  Rather the scenes of BT Sprout commentators being ordered by the producer to get up and leap about, (instead of wonder what on earth the referee, and what appeared to be his Barcelona chums, were doing), have made it into the press ever since.

But a petition demanding that Barcelona’s Champions League second leg match with PSG be replayed has gained over 100,000 signatures online which is interesting.  Not because Uefa would do anything about it – they dare not of course – but because it is actually there.   Until now there might be comments but here the issue is much more in the open – the complainants want the game replayed because, they claim, Deniz Aytekin was either incompetent, or had been bought.

The Guardian has been very open in its criticism.  The Telegraph is less willing to take the leap into the unknown world of suggesting a Uefa ref in a high profile match might be “mistaken” in some of his decision making and so use their usual tactic of trying to be the measured voice of reason, telling us what others are saying:

“Aytekin was heavily criticised for his performance in the Nou Camp after he gave two controversial penalties for Barcelona and turning down PSG’s appeals for a spot-kick when Javier Mascherano slid in on Angel Di Maria,” is their approach.

You can see the petition here, and there should be a button top right to translate it if your Spanish it not up to much.


Interestingly on Sunday Barcelona lost 2-1  to 17th placed Deportivo La Coruna.  Given the lopsided way in which Spanish football works with just two or three teams at the top and the rest trying to avoid relegation, this is rather like Arsenal having lost to Lincoln.

There are also tales around that the referee who took charge of Barcelona’s extraordinarily dubious 6-1 Champions League win may be removed from further Champs League matches.  However since these reports begin with the phrase, “Reports in Spain claim…” it is not a bad idea to get out the sodium chloride and pinch it when considering the tale.

Aytekin did all the things that we would expect a referee who has been bribed to do.  That doesn’t mean he was bribed but if he was not it is fair to ask, “why was he so error strewn?”  Of course this is what we ask all the time, but just because the question is getting tedious, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t ask it any more.

His comment was, “Whether that particular case was an injustice or not, we can leave it to the judgement of the referee,” before he continued…

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“We saw was an incredible football match, whatever the result would have been at the end. This shows that football is really a fantastic game. When you feel you have seen everything, something else comes along. It’s just amazing and incredible.

“We have to really be careful in the International Football Association Board if we want to touch the rules, because football is such an incredible game.

“In this case, I don’t know if it was a clear mistake or not. But in future, when there are clear mistakes, this will be corrected by the video assistant referee so we can make sure decisive matches are not decided by mistakes made in good faith by the referee.”

That does not sound promising.  But the mere fact that people are at long last talking about the issue is good.   One of the things that may help those of us who seek change in refereeing is the fact that bad refereeing has been going on for so long it is possible some of them have forgotten what proper refereeing looks like.

Spanish league table…

# Team Pl W D L F A GD Pts
1 Real Madrid 26 19 5 2 69 27 42 62
2 Barcelona 27 18 6 3 77 23 54 60
3 Sevilla 27 17 6 4 51 31 20 57
4 Atletico Madrid 27 15 7 5 49 22 27 52
5 Villarreal 27 13 9 5 39 19 20 48
6 Real Sociedad 27 15 3 9 42 38 4 48
7 Athletic Bilbao 27 13 5 9 34 30 4 44
8 Eibar 26 11 6 9 42 37 5 39
9 Espanyol 27 10 9 8 39 38 1 39
10 Alaves 27 9 10 8 28 33 -5 37
11 Celta Vigo 26 10 5 11 39 45 -6 35
12 Las Palmas 27 8 8 11 43 45 -2 32
13 Valencia 27 8 6 13 36 47 -11 30
14 Real Betis 27 7 7 13 29 44 -15 28
15 Deportivo 27 6 9 12 31 42 -11 27
16 Malaga 27 6 8 13 33 45 -12 26
17 Leganes 27 6 7 14 22 41 -19 25
18 Granada 27 4 7 16 24 55 -31 19
19 Sporting Gijon 27 4 6 17 28 56 -28 18
20 Osasuna 26 1 7 18 27 64 -37 10

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.

Both books are also available as paperbacks.  Please see here.

42 comments to Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the Barcelona/PSG was the moment football finally changed.

  • Leon

    The petition is a bit of mischief making by a Real Madrid fan, but wouldn’t it be great to see it happen. It’s not as if there isn’t a precedent.

  • Olayinka Adeleye David

    It will be one of the greatest redress and good deserved judgement in football history if uefa can allow the match to be replayed. But i doubt it, that may never happen. i have the belief that the authorities in charge of football at that level do not have the mature mind to let that happen.

  • Olayinka Adeleye David

    It will be most beautiful decision if uefa can allow a repeat of the match.

  • Tommo

    Deportivo have won La Liga and beaten arsenal in the past. Hardly a Lincoln?

    And in your previous article picking Jason Cundy up for calling Scottish football a joke? And then you come out with that statement?

    I’d love to hear Cundy’s opinion on your analysis that Deportivo are on par with Lincoln. Codswallop would be too kind for it.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Tommo, you are really lost on humour.

  • MickHazel

    Walter, it’s a well known fact, the lower your IQ the worse your sense of humour. I know we shouldn’t mock the afflicted but what the hell.

  • Nitram


    Did you not think the Lincoln comparison was a tad tongue in cheek ?

    That’s how I read it anyway.

  • ossasa

    Amazing game, great result, that Messi pen (brilliant), Suarez reaction to first goal (inspiring), Neymar (genius) and then the fans. Fabulous stuff and only something Barca could do. Their league is looking like ours with three teams for the big one and Arsenal looking like Villareal. Next article to be about UFOs, 9/11, etc etc. … Tommo was at that game when Coruna passed us of the pitch. Funny old game. MickHazel – re your startling fact on humour, where does this situate Brickfields?

  • Can we get another manager who won’t win the league in the next 13 years, and most certainly won’t get anywhere near wining the Champions League….ermmm

  • Tommo

    Shucks! I feel really silly now!

    And I thought the tit for tat petition war between Barca and Real fans being taken seriously in the article was the humorous bit?

    Shucks again!

  • Knobby

    For that we need Daniel Levy’s advice.

  • Knobby

    Mourinho’s rotational fouling tactics have failed.. 10 man Man U..

  • Norman14

    Meanwhile, teo English teams with foreign managers and a lot of foreign players and a thousands of English fans, are watching an English elite referee get everything horribly wrong at Chelsea.

    Petition anyone?

  • Knobby

    The referee, didn’t book Jones and explained to the Man U captain Smalling, he knows that rotational fouling is the order of the day.
    Less than 15 seconds later Man U do it again.

  • MickHazel

    All us regulars including Brickfields laugh heartily at his jokes which must mean we all have very high IQ’s!!

  • Knobby

    I thought that was an opticians waiting room..?

  • Leon

    Of these teams I’d prefer us to play City. Not because I think they are the easiest to beat, but because I don’t think we’ll get kicked as much by them.

  • Knobby

    I’d rather play the Spuds, if we were to lose to them pray not in a final..

  • Nitram

    It’s Man City in the semi.

  • Leon

    That suits me. Should be a decent even game

  • Nitram

    Sorry. Meant to post this here.

    This game tonight is the perfect example of the difference in the way we are refereed and commentated on. If we had behaved as Man United have tonight we would of been lucky to keep men on the park.

    Damian did 2 bookables in the first 10 minutes and didn’t even get a yellow.

    How Valencia stayed on the pitch is beyond me.

    And Young only got booked for an almost identical foul to that which saw Xhaka sent of by Moss (2nd time). All we got from the commentators was “He took one for the team”. Slightly different attitude to when Xhaka did it.

    Also following the sending off about 5 or 6 players surrounded the ref, putting there hands on him, in his face. No reaction from the referee. No disgust from the commentators.

    Costa up to his old tricks.

    Keown: “I thought we’d seen the last of that from Costa”

    Commentator: “In a way I’m glad we haven’t” WHAT ?

    The two managers squaring up.

    The Commentator said: “I don’t see a problem with that. There just winners”

    Ruud Gullit thoughts: “It’s fantastic”

    And that’s just some of it.

    Honestly, the difference is unbelievable.

  • Nitram

    Blimey, at least sheerer said there should of been at least 1 or 2 more red cards, though not for the incidents I saw, but rather stuff off the ball, which makes it even worse.

  • Knobby

    They are FA cup games…. Jumpers for goalposts.
    Different rules…
    Ref can have an opinion (biased) and all that!

  • Nitram

    Just seen the Roco stamp. I hadn’t even seen that.

    The Jose after match interview was a joke. Why didn’t they ask him about that stamp rather than feeling sorry for him regarding the red card ?

    Cant imagine they would of let Wenger off that easy can you?

    The studio loving the antics on the line of both managers. They don’t want to see retrospective action. Why not?

    Slightly to there reactions when it involves Wenger.

    Sorry to go on but it really is a F***ing joke.

  • Nitram


    Have to agree.

    Out of 3 tough options they are who I would of picked.

  • Knobby

    Rather that was the final…but hey ho..

  • Jimbo

    Semis look interesting,Arsenal and Citeh will just try and out gung-ho each other,while the chavs and spuds will try and bore each other into submission..

  • Goonermikey

    Xhaka should play for Man U, he’d never pick up a card again

  • Gord

    I gather Jenkinson scored a nice goal today. Any pointers to descriptions?

    Congrats to Jenkinson, byt he way!

  • Gord

    I see in the “news” (well, Daily Mail) that Mr. Wenger was at the game. Somehow, I don’t think he will be writing in with a description of Carl’s goal. 🙂

    Jimbo, maybe Chelsea and the spuds will both fall asleep, and end 0-0. And nobody wakes up for extra time, so 0-0 still. And nobody wakes up for penalties, and after 1842 rounds of penalties, the game is called to a halt (0-0).

    The referee tosses a coin to decide the game, and it lands on its edge. And all the parties wait 3 days for the coin to fall one way or the other, and …. wins. by a coin toss.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Have a glass of wine a day – you’ll be soooo much happier –

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Apparently the way you have an organism defines you as a person.
    Types of Orgasms. —-

    1.THE OPTIMIST: ” Oh Yes, Oh Yes, Oh Yes… !!”

    2.THE PESSIMIST: ” Oh No, Oh No, Oh No…. !!!”

    3.THE CONFUSED: ” Oh Yes, Oh No, Oh Yes, Oh No…… !!!”

    4.THE TRAVELER: ” Ahh, I’m coming, I’m coming…… !!!”

    5.THE RELIGIOUS: ” Oh God, Oh God…… !!! ”

    6.THE GREEDY : ” Ahh, More, More, More….. !! ”

    7.THE MURDERER: ” Ahh, If you take it out…, I’ll kill you…!!!”

    8.THE SUBMARINER: ” Mmm…Ohhh…Deeper…Deeper… Go Deeper…. !!!”

    9.ROCK ‘n’ ROLL : ” Oh baby oh yeah, oh baby…… !!!”

    10.HEAVY METAL: ” Yaa Come on Honey.. Do me hard.. Yeahh Baby !!….. come on…… !!! ”

    11. ‘them’ : ” Enough is enough is enough ! “

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Meanwhile in Spain , they are still laughing at ‘the best league in the world’ claim . Who wouldn’t ?

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Winning the EPL – FINANCIAL DOPING 101

  • Well done to the boys for qualifying for the semis. How anyone can describe our draw against Man City as “tough” is beyond curious. So what do you expect when you get to the semi final of the FA Cup and you have an all-Premier League Potential Top Four quartet?

    All I want is a good day for our boys and possibly a berth in the finals. Anyone wishing anything less than a win for us in the final (if we get there) is an enemy. Period.

  • Menace

    Brickfields – ’11. ‘them’ : ” Enough is enough is enough ! “’ LOL truly sums them up brilliantly.

  • Norman14

    How Rojo avoided a straight red for that two footed flying attack is also beyond me.

    Just to illustrate what I know, Maureen said that “Pogba was the best player on the field”

    After I’d just said he was anonymous!

  • Jammy J

    @ ossasa – As you seem to so wholeheartedly detest everything this website stands for and make a point to complain about practically every single article written on here; how about you just… I donno… Fuck off? Seriously, why don’t you just stop reading and commenting on this blog if the content offends you so much. I know for a fact that the vast majority of the readers of this blog, would much prefer not having to read your ill thought out drivel.

  • MickHazel

    Jammy J
    Well said , and ossasa, take tommo and tom with you.

    That’s the third time Rojo has got away with two footed leg breakers this season.

  • ossasa

    Yeah well said Jam Boy. Prick!