Arsenal/Everton: bonkers officials and a prediction we got right

By Tony Attwood

Here’s a little stat that amused me yesterday evening.  As the media had told us a thousand times over this, was the 500th Premier League match as a manager of a famous large man with a dubious character.  He’d been involved in 2006 in allegations of corruption against him and his son.  He vowed to sue the BBC over a Panorama programme and then somehow never quite got round to it.  (Perhaps it slipped his mind).   Anyway all was forgiven and he became England manager and then oooops, after a staggeringly brilliant reign of one game he just had to go.  We could have told the FA, but they just don’t listen.

Of course nothing has been proven in court, and my intention is only to report that facts of the allegations made, the sackings, and the lack of legal action.  I can’t judge an issue left hanging out to dry.

But when one thinks of this Everton manager one perhaps thinks also of Arry Redknapp too.

For here’s the connection.  Only Harry Redknapp has lost more games than the Large One in the competition.   Arry has lost 238 games to Big Sam’s 196.  It couldn’t be a race to the bottom between more deserving people.

(And just to be clear this of course doesn’t include the last remarkable managerial stint by Arry at Birmingham.  For last September arry was sacked by Birmingham City after 13 games.  Birmingham had won two out of 10 of those games in all competitions – but none were in the Premier, so it don’t count).

Thus both managers have been associated with odd doings, as indeed have a number of referees, and although I make no allegation of corruption in yesterday’s game, there were a lot of very odd things going on.

To give one tiny example, in the part of the ground where I sit there were audible gasps all round when the board went up as the second half came to an end.  Two minutes of injury time for a half that included,

  • Cech’s original injury
  • Cech’s substitution
  • Walcott’s substitution
  • Ramsey’s substitution
  • Niasse’s substitution

Cech’s substitution alone took far more than two minutes as he sat on the grass, had treatment, and was ultimately replaced.  There was no way that figure of two minutes could have been right.

Of course it is only a trivial matter, but not even being able to keep track of the amount of additional time was typical of a referee who repeatedly gave out some extremely odd decisions which made Andrew’s pre-match assessment of the old codger (beware bias, rogue penalties and old age) to be utterly spot on.

And let’s be fair and balanced here.  The rogue decisions included the fact that Aubameyang’s goal was clearly offside.

It is a point that many people who attack Untold seem never to get: our criticisms of refereeing standards is two fold: one is that the PGMO’s assessment that in the pre-VAR period they are getting 98% of decisions correct in completely wrong, and the other is that their approach to openness and transparency not only makes the Masons look like a liberal democracy but is extremely unhelpful as we try to work out if there is any bias going on.  Untold’s question is, why are they so secret?  Answer comes there none.

Of course this was the Arsenal scoring nine in two consecutive home games, so the media had to find something to moan about (and to take attention away from the referee’s odd behaviour throughout) and the fact that Aubameyang touched the ball fewer times than anyone else who started the game featured in reports.   Can you imagine such a commentary for any other team that has just won 5-1?

The performance of the referee and his assistants was in fact so utterly bizarre that even Ozil was moved to launch into a long verbal assault against both the ref and an assistant.  Indeed it was fortunate that Arsenal were out of sight early on, otherwise the Everton players might have been encouraged to even greater excesses, seeing what they were getting away with.

But for me, on the positive side, watching through the downpour, Mkhitaryan was the star of the show – which suggests there must be something very odd going on at very old Trafford for a player of this quality not to be able to shine a light on proceedings.

However one has to feel sorry for Theo, moving from Arsenal to a team such as Everton. I suppose he thought it was worthwhile to get more games, but really, does he think that playing under an Allardycian regime will actually be a good career move?   He needs a defence behind him to be able to flourish and use his speed – but according to the stats, Everton made a grand total of three tackles in the whole of the first half.  You’re not going to get the ball that much Theo.

In the second half Everton lined up with what looked to me from the upper tier to be a solid line of five in defence, although I see that others who comment have called it a four man defence.  Maybe my eyes deceived me, but I really could count five of them in a solid line with four in front of those.  No wonder the goal scoring declined.

Still, we have to be thankful for small mercies from Everton; if they did bring any flares they must have got soaked in the rain.  But perhaps for the first time in quite a while they didn’t bring any at all.  Let’s hope that phase in their supporting has declined.

So now they can look forward to their new stadium, financed in part by the local authority.  It is interesting that when Untold dared to suggest that this new build was going to be another case of public money being used to support a football club we got a veritable mountain of abuse and total assertions from up north that this was not the case.

It took a while for the story we ran to become widely accepted (although really it hadn’t take that much digging on our part to unravel what was really going on) but ultimately even the Liverpool Echo newspaper gave up the trail of false stories conceding in January this year that two thirds of the money for the new stadium will come from the council.

Untold (a bit like Arsenal) doesn’t always get it right but (in our case) when counteracting inventions and propaganda about the finances of stadium building we don’t do too bad.

As for the game, apart from the utterly bonkers refereeing, that was a nice one.  The run against Everton continues.

Check our predictions

27 Replies to “Arsenal/Everton: bonkers officials and a prediction we got right”

  1. I don’t know who the commentator was, but even he was surprised to see 2min extra time. As for Miki, what a game. Looks like we have found a true gem here.

  2. Hope we Have started our run as we used to be before the end of the season. Im sorry for Chech he got injured but i think It was a blessing in disguise,he was burnt out. i don’t know what criteria le Prof uses,fitness,mental strength At the training ground to pick up a keeper but of late no coach will allow such calamitous stuff to Go unpunished. Look .At Guadiola Or Klopp they don’t take sorry For an answer. Let Chech rest For the Wembley games when he comes back he might be in a better shape.

  3. Forget about the press not being negative. Here is the 2nd sentence of the Guardian piece today about the game :

    For Arsenal this was an evening of instant ignition, a 5-1 win that scarcely reflected their superiority against a meek and muddled Everton.

    …..scarcely reflected…… What were AFC supposed to do ? winn by 12 – 0 ?!?!

    The rest of the story is rather positive. Guess they just could not convince themselves and had to put it the negative spin like any PGMOB ref needs to give his wrong call in any Arsenal game…

    Apart from that, screw them, we’ve got ourselves a squadron of speedy players with fantastic skill sets. Next week-end will be interesting….

  4. Chris Those lumpens Are in their own class when manure wins 1-0 they did It with class to win that one.just Look At the replays in a manure match compare them to other matches Then you will understand how rotten the whole system is. We Have a saying in our local laguage that a fish rots from the head.

  5. I see Oliver Holt is talking his usual crap in the Mail on Sunday.

    The headline alone is utterly misleading.

    This is the headline:


    So are City just ‘wealthy’, and are we all wracked with ‘envy’? I don’t think so.

    Lets look at the first part of that headline.

    Trivialising the sheer amount of money City have spent to “Yes, they’re wealthy” is a crass understatement in the extreme.

    For something more akin to reality why not start the headline with:

    Yes, they’ve spent a BILLION pounds on players…..

    Because that gives a far more realistic idea of City’s spending than does simply dumbing it down to ‘Yes, they’re wealthy’ which seems to be implying they’ve simply got a few bob squirreled away under the mattress.

    ‘Wealthy’ is hardly a true reflection of the sheer magnitude of City’s spending power is it?

    Then the second part of that headline:


    Is it?

    How does pointing out the FACT that trying to compete with City’s spending capabilities is almost impossible, equate to ‘envy’?

    But this is how it is in the media isn’t it.

    Don’t knock the big spending, what ever you do, and if anyone does, simply shoot them down.

    Look, I realise that given the dominance both Chelsea and United have had on the back of their mega finances, moaning is a bit hypocritical, but it doesn’t change the fact that city’s money is simply on another planet, even compared to those 2.

    But it gets worse.

    Not only does Holt try to play down the sheer enormity of City’s expenditure.

    Not only does he accuse anyone that mentions it as simply jealous.

    He also tries to defend the source of City’s wealth simply on the basis that it’s:

    “….no dirtier than the money that flows into other clubs from the coffers of wholly upstanding billionaires from America, Russia and China”

    So that’s alright then. Sod the immorality of it all, because others are just as immoral.

    At this point I was going to question Holts own moral standards, but on reflection thought it rather pointless given his profession.

    Moving on, as I’ve said many times, I have no trouble admiring the quality of City’s football.

    But dumbing down the spending of a BILLION quid to the notion that your just ‘wealthy’ is as I said, crass in the extreme.

    And accusing anyone who dares to point out the enormity of trying to compete with such expenditure as simply ‘envious’ is completely missing the point.

    And one final point specific to Arsenal. He says this about us getting closer to City:

    “Maybe some of the rest, particularly Arsenal, Chelsea and United, should look at how they spend there cash and manage there resources and ask themselves some hard questions instead of moaning about the oil money”

    “….should look at how they spend there cash and manage there resources”

    Is he actually having a pop at how we manage our resources?

    Arsenal are widely acknowledged as one of the best financially run football Clubs in the World.

    Okay, as I said, given their dominance on the back of there mega rich owners, and there continued big spending, he has a point regarding Chelsea and United, but only a small one, because even given that, they are still eclipsed by City’s spending.

    But I concede, them moaning is, and please excuse the pun, a bit rich.

    But having a pop at how we spend our money? Come on.

    But for all Holts protestations, and this is the point, I don’t think it has anything to do with giving City credit, or loving Pep, or admiring there football, but everything to do with maintaining the gravy train that he and his cohorts throughout the media are riding.

    They all have there greedy little snouts in the football trough and they simply want that trough filled and refilled, time and time again.

    The thought that someone might actually find the spending of a BILLION pounds on football players actually quite sickening, is it seems an alien concept to someone like Holt.

    But then again he is only a journalist at the end of the day.

  6. Nitram,

    Holt’s piece goes into the logic : they have bought the PL trophy, and all other clubs are jealous.
    And having n enverending pit of oil-money means not that the club is well managed. It means the club can just drill for more money.
    It means the club can just throw money at a problem and et it fixed.
    Just look at the figures. How much did City$$$$ pay for Kyle Walker. How much did Arsenal pay for Aubameyang, Kolasinac, Mhkhi, Ozil ?
    His statement

    “….should look at how they spend there cash and manage there resources”

    Just is totally out of place. And Manchester havong the marketing revenue they took decades to build up, how can they be compared to City$$$ ? Same for Liverpool!!!! And say what you want, these clubs need at some point to balance their books, their owners cannot keep on spending for the joy of it and are not spending as part of a global political PR campaign.

    Ok, Chelsky have another wealthy individual financing them – yet he is just one Trump signature away of being in trouble with his money.

    To me this looks like an oped piece financed by some welathy individual in the arabic peninsula, not some journalistic reporting – or some journalist’s effort to be noticed by someone there and get a free trip to receive some medal or other perk. And giving the writer of that piece the title of journalist just does not make sense when you think about real journalists.

  7. Chris

    “And Manchester havong the marketing revenue they took decades to build up, how can they be compared to City$$$ ? Same for Liverpool!!!! And say what you want, these clubs need at some point to balance their books, their owners cannot keep on spending for the joy of it and are not spending as part of a global political PR campaign.”

    I’m glad you made that point, because despite my utter contempt of Mourinho, I have no problem with Uniteds spending because by and large they spend what they earn, and as you say, ultimately they are required to balance there books.

    City, as you say, just drill another Oil Well.

    As I keep saying, where is the achievement in that?

    Conversely, I have very little sympathy for Chelsea being as they were once where City are now on the back of there own Petroleum wealth.

    And what’s more they never played with the swashbuckling football we see at City, and they certainly seemed to enjoy rubbing peoples noses in it, but that’s by the by.

    Holt is a respected award winning journalist, but from everything I see and hear from him, he is nothing more than a simple snout-in-the-trough hack trying to protect his own, and his papers, vested interest in so much as all they want is for the Billions to keep rolling in.

    In fact, just another hypocritical, immoral, self serving journalist.

    Is there any other kind?

  8. Don’t you just love it how people will look for anything and transform it into a sign Mr Wenger is packing his bags…..

    If you go back a few years, and read what was being said by Arsenal, what is happening now at Arsenal was getting prepared. They have a plan. And they are pursuing it. And I do not believe that Mr Wenger is not being part of that.

    But then, they have their agenda, I do not believe that this will change.

    And it is probably easier to attack an owner who likes hunting rather then ones whose masters and countries are guilty of serious human rights violations, or whose management knowingly was into child trafficking….

  9. I think this notion from the media in general, that somehow Wenger is being pushed, cajoled, whatever you want to call it, into a different approach in the transfer window is nonsense.

    Basically it’s just another way to knock him.

    All that’s happened is that we as a club are evolving.

    Given the financial restraints that building the Emirates put upon the Club, the years that Wenger operated on a zero net spend were a necessity, and anyone with an ounce of common sense would realise that.

    The premise that Wenger actually wanted a zero net spend was always bunkum.

    You only have to look at why the Stadium was built in the first place to realise that. The main reason was so that Arsenal could complete on a more level financial playing field with the likes of Man Utd. In other words so we had more money to spend on transfers.

    But at the outset a lack of money for a period was always going to happen. The fact it was longer than everyone had hoped was down to 2 main things, the economic crash, and the arrival of the Oil money at Chelsea, then at City.

    But the fact is Wenger was always going to start spending money once he was able.

    Yes, perhaps people wanted him to spend more, and sooner, but as Chris and I have already alluded to, there’s a big difference between spending money given you ad infinitum by a Billionaire owner, and spending money you have to earn, with books you have to balance.

    This type of spending we are now seeing was always going to happen at some time. That’s what we went through all the pain of austerity for in the first place.

    Yes Wenger is prudent, but given it’s OUR money he’s playing with and not some oil barons, surely that’s a good thing and something to be admired as opposed to derided at every turn?

  10. Is it negativism to report that pea touched the ball less than anyone else? I suppose it depends on what glasses you’re looking through.
    Put aside that it was an evidence based fact. To me it was a noteworthy and interesting statistic that might (time will tell) give an insight into what pea brings to the team. Which at the moment looks promising.

  11. I’m guessing that some of the greatest goalscorers in history didn’t touch the ball as much as most. Jimmy greaves comes to mind, Gerdi mueller maybe.
    Personally I’d prefer a striker who was effective in terms of ratio of touches to goals, than to one who will drop deep, demand the ball, then lose it in his own half. Sanchez comes to mind (who I think lost possession more than any Man Utd player).

  12. There is another thing that I found interesting.
    I was watching how the players ‘behaved’.
    And I remember seeing Mhkhi talking to the others, giving instructions, signs, and all in all the team were communicating.
    This was one thing they were not doing before.

    And this is a damn good thing I believe.

  13. This post never showed up either, until today! No link shown, but my phone does do a whole host of things without my say so!

    What was it the EU said about phone hacking, whichever was already true but now set in president clearly.

    Austerity Ian just that, if the end product is greater disposable income. What do you call a lack of spending which precedes the incubation of greater debt, whilst destabilising any form of fiscal improvements in terms of public spending, GDP or exacerbating the already overstretched public sector? Whilst government contractors are found to be cooking the books and mirdering people?

    I like it when mum CF builds play in midfield then returns to spearhead an attack. I like it when’s he stretches the line, overloads both flanks and supports his wide midfielders and full backs.

    PEA’s movement, whilst recovering from illness, the right way. Was no less than inexpected, in glad the goal of a season offside, Spurs. Ok let’s get Cech his clean sheet 200 here and teach them what controlling a Galen looks like.

    They are average apart from Tony akd kane, those two are World Class: Toby, cross the divide. You walk into wages and you play week in week out, no need to uproot.

    Let them talk, they all just lost a bid, plus in order to get the bid, they have to jettison those who create a conflicts of interest.

    So Liverpool are 1-0 up, them winning of a draw is fine with me. 20mins am doing Pooch has two subs left after making the worn game selection in midfield, should have used Sissoko and Wanyama and clattered them for the firstborn half, toe to toe, Liverpool will hurt you.

  14. Moss tries to sell the game to Spuds, for men it eas debateable, looks like Karius did his job let alone the offside, no replay.

    Looks like no contact, and Karius stays central and saves.

    Cech need some to stop guessing, hasn’t saved a single penalty since his arrival?????

  15. So then Mo Salah, doesn’t wizard feet (Lee Dixon) he skip s into a one on one and lifts the ball ovwr Lloris.

    Burt Moss gets a second bite of the Cherry as VVD goes to clear and catches his man. Kane goes safer and places it, for 100 am doing 2-2

    Indeed Insha Allah. Perfect result.

    Deeney to sink Chelsea please.

    Kane was offside for the firstborn penalty, but I think gets to the ball and no way Moss can be sure og which occurs first, contact or clearance.

    Salah offside for the hos and Liverpools second. VVD pull some out of the clearance and the momentum of noting players brings about contact, both have a right to go for the ball. No penalty for me.

    Moss, you’re r crooked as the leaning tower of Pisa, and look like you like you eat too much pizza and you need ta, -Go-Oh-Oh-Oh-Oh!

  16. So onto the coming fixtures. Newport forced a replay against Spurs, so the team on a Wednesday will give us an indication ignore the team we face in our next clash, whilst Pooch has to balance that squad with the midweek tie with Juventus, which he cannot be out of before the returns leg at Wembley.

    United will face both Liverpool and Chelsea’s shortly and everyone else is away for CL. Meanwhile Arsenal will surely earmark a win in the North London derby as a must win.

    With a double header against minnows in Europe, hoping to decide the game emphatically with something close to full strength before the travel away. Which we could hopefully field Lacazette Nelson, Niles, Chambers, Holding, Sead or even go with Niles left, Mavrapanos partnering Holding and Niles left. With freedom to play Xhaka, Elneny, or even delve deep into the reserves, if we can out ourselves four or five ahead in the first leg. Leaving us free to rest everyone’s for our first final appearance of the season.

    0-100 real quick. Time to catch up.

    6 points to third, with United likely to play it safe and look for draws over wins. This will reel in Liverpool, Chelsea and I think it Alexis had a game he will not fail to shine in. I think The Manchester derby Ian already circled in his calendar.

    A win against the Spurs, two easy games to a) get out game together in leg 1 and to rest everyone leg 2 before back to back wins against City.

    If you are in need of a pick me up, have a look at City’s fixtures until May 13. There are so many banana skins it’s unreal. Leicester away, that’s another’s Liverpool match, Wigan, repeat of a final some years back. Derby, Us, Chelsea 4 day sale later! Wi H a cup final squeezed between games against MO’s old workmen, Basel are never fun to play, no matter who you are.

    Off wr are stuttering, watch Chelsea over the next 3 months, then see Liverpool get stuck in the mud. Jose will employ his most effective negative tactics, with his fringe players all to aware the wood chopper is coming to chop off heads and 6 on the bench for the slickers, well you want to spend, lets see how it goes. Meanwhile I expect the Spurs to keep rumbling on, with the media desperately trying to convince Kane he needs to set his sights on Shearer record.

    This is how we will catch up.
    Time to go Supernova



    Vintage Arsenal, GD, lets score 20 over our next 5 fixtures.

    Keep count!

    It’s not that o like being right, it’s that I hate being wrong!

  17. ElnenyV Swansea, 100% pass accuracy 89 passes 63 in the opposition half, goal saving tackles 3.

    We may have found our concerted DM who can play. Xhaka dropped for Spurs, especially in consideration of the height differential.

    Sub Monreal for Sead.

    Wilshere starts for Ramsey or visa versa.

    Lacazette for Iwobi or Aubameyang.

    4-2-3-1 – 4-4-1-1

  18. Maybe, just maybe the 👿 officials do have a sort of heart and wanted to spare the Everton players and fans more heartache ❓ 🙄

  19. KampalaGun
    [quote]a fish rots from the head[/quote]

    Not just fishes my man. 😉

    [quote]Don’t you just love it how people will look for anything and transform it into a sign Mr Wenger is packing his bags…..[/quote]

    It’s just opinions… I for one do find he has a sadness i his eyes that you cannot miss in his last few interviews. But this is just an opinion, i may be wrong.

    [quote]I remember seeing Mhkhi talking to the others, giving instructions, signs, and all in all the team were communicating.
    This was one thing they were not doing before.[/quote]

    I saw this too. 🙂

  20. DK & SAA are the pseudo Wengers. Choosing the team & deciding who will play where & when.

    There are a few like that thinking they are Jesus.

    The one thing I can say with sufficient evidence is that God put their balls in a sack to prevent them getting lost.

  21. Would it be possible for you to do a post on the time the ball is actually spent in play in the PL. At the beginning of the season there was a stat that the ball was only in play for around 62 minutes, in the Watford v Stoke game the other night apparently it was only in play for 42 minutes. Talk sport made a joke about it but surely this is now becoming an issue within the PL?

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