By Walter Broeckx
2017 is behind us. A moment to look back. And with the last minutes of the last match being the perfect PGMO/Dean horror show we all have been too familiar with over the last 10 years or so these images stay in my mind a lot of course.
2017 was the year where surely the last willingly blind people must come to see the awful truth that Untold Arsenal has been saying for all those years: referees in the PL are not worth the money they get paid.
Is this incompetence? Bias? Both? Calciopoli type matchfixing? We don’t know but that there is something wrong with the refereeing standards in the PL is something that only the willingly blind are still denying. The best league in the world (according to their advertising/propaganda) will have no refs at the next world cup.
Only some world cups ago we had Webb and Clattenburg being handed world cup and CL finals. Now after them leaving the PL and after some of them made statements that should have caused a real stir in the media (but hardly had any coverage after the words were said), we stare down in a big black hole caused by the PGMO: no PL referees are good enough to be represented at the highest levels.
And what does the media say? They remain silent. Too much of their own money at stake? They should shout: scandal! and ask pertinent questions on how this has been made possible by Riley and his cohorts. But they stick to the script: everything is rosy and shiny in the PL and PGMO world.
Now you might say that after having not qualified for the CL for the first time in as long as many fans can remember and not being in the best position for the moment that all is doom and gloom.
I do admit that after yesterday’s match I was really pissed off. We know what to expect from Dean but to pull out a rabbit out of the hat like he did… it takes some doing.
I can also reveal that my original article about the VAR was a little bit over the top. In fact too far over the top to be published. Tony rightfully opted to not risk any court case and the published article was a bit more balanced (or at least less dangerous for Tony’s bank account). Don’t want to put you in trouble Tony. That would be the last thing I want to do.
But for me 2017 will be somehow one of the best years in my life. As the older readers will remember my wife was (well still is) having serious health problems for many years. Things looked bleak for a long long time. But thanks to a new experimental treatment she has started in 2017 it looks like things have changed for the good.
After having been forced in a wheelchair for every step she had to take outdoors she now has taken two walks outside our house without crutches. The first one on Christmas eve when she walked to her mother when we went to collect her to celebrate Christmas with the rest of our family. I must admit I had tears behind my eyes when I saw her walking that short (for us mobile persons) walk and back to the car.
Just thinking of those walks allows me to see Dean as just the foolish ref that he is; and he will not spoil my life with his antics.
Another big event that has made me celebrate 2017 was the FA Cup Final. Thanks to Andrew I had the fortune to be in Wembley to see the cup final live. This has been a dream of mine ever since I saw the first cup final on a black and white TV at our neighbours somewhere in the sixties. In Belgium the FA cup final has been on TV for as long as I can remember. Ever since that day I dreamed of being in Wembley to feel the feeling.
Andrew made this possible. I do admit that if anyone would have offered me a ticket for the FA cup final no matter which teams played in it I would have taken it. This is the football lover in me that would have taken it.
However having Arsenal in the final made the joy even bigger. That is the Arsenal supporter in me that made the feeling even better. After my dream starting as a 6-8 year old kid some 50 years later I lived the dream.
So I was there for what is and will remain an historic FA Cup Final. I was there in Wembley when Arsenal beat the PL champions Chelsea. They weren’t given a chance before kick off by those in the know. But Arsenal did it and in style!
It was historic because of Arsenal being the first team to reach the mark of 13 FA Cup wins. I was there to witness it from the stands.
It was historic because of Wenger becoming the most successful FA cup manager of all times. A record that probably will never be broken in my lifetime. I hope he will even add to it in the next year(s).
So Mr. Dean do what you want. Yes I will get angry on the moment. But you know the memory of this FA Cup Final will always overshadow even your worse cheating against Arsenal. I just have to close my eyes and think of that lovely day in May and you are nothing but an annoying footnote in the history of my Club.
You can try – and only you know how hard you have tried over the past years. But you will never be able to overthrow the pleasure I had in witnessing one of the most historic moments in not just Arsenal’s history but also in English football. History written by a club and a manager you seem to hate.
Long live Arsenal! Long live Arsène Wenger the biggest manager in FA Cup history. Long live 2017 for having me blessed with some highs that completely overshadow whatever you throw at our feet. You can’t take that away from Arsenal, Wenger or from my own personal memories.
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- Brentford v Arsenal: the history and the build up, with some extraordinary odds
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