Lies, damn lies, and a total lack of concentration and research

By Dr Billy “the dog” McGraw, senior psychologist at the University College Hospital of the North Circular Road.

There are some jolly headlines around on a day which is a public holiday in England, and thus a day without too much news.

The Telegraph has “Tottenham would have been reduced to nine men with VAR” which is probably all the reason that the PGMO need to keep up their refusal to allow VAR to go forward, even if it means no more English referees in any international competitions from now on.   As the Telegraph is also wont to keep on reminding us “British football will be without a referee at World Cup in Russia for first time in 80 years”

One might almost think they have been reading Untold as they continue…

“The quality of elite refereeing in England has been fiercely criticised this season, with Arsene Wenger adamant that there has been no improvement since they became professional. “We cannot say a word against it because they’re untouchable – that is the truth,” said Wenger.

“Keith Hackett, the former referees’ chief, told The Telegraph that the absence of a British World Cup referee was “symptomatic of an ageing group of referees and a drop in the overall level”.

“He said: ‘We have lost people like Howard Webb and Mark Clattenburg. They are difficult to replace. I also think the existing select group of referees are not challenged enough, even when they are struggling to maintain form. It is not that there is a shortage of referees but a road block and I would like to see more people who are doing well at the Select Group 2 level being given a chance’.”

Meanwhile the German and English leagues will both probably be settled this weekend leaving seven PL games for the media to flutter around about celebrating Tottenham’s fourth or maybe third spot as a trophy.  The difference between the top two in England 18 points, while it is a mere 17 in Germany.   But shock horror it is only nine in competitive Spain.

But in Italy it is not so distanced and the Guardian has an explanation asking, “Did the title race turn on a clerical error?” which looks like it might be fun.  But really it is a trifle dull as  “Matteo Politano looked set to join Napoli from Sassuolo this January, with terms reportedly agreed on a transfer worth €28m. The player was keen on a move, yet, as the final seconds ticked away on deadline day, the paperwork never came through.

“Two months later, Politano scored a goal that stopped Napoli from going back to the top of the Serie A table. The Partenopei had travelled to Sassuolo on Saturday knowing that a win would vault them into first place – heaping pressure on to Juventus before their evening kick-off against a Milan side who were yet to suffer a domestic defeat in 2018.”

Back in the fantasy land of the bloggettas, RealSport101 does the “five things we learned” which always means no one has got much idea what to say not least because we didn’t learn any of them.  And indeed most of it was just the same ol’ same ol’ as with “A goal will give Lacazette a confidence boost, but doubts remain about his long-term future at the Emirates.”

Does anyone really think we learned that on Sunday?

But they did also come up with “Lies, damn lies and attendance figures” saying, “The official attendance for this game was 59, 371. A cursory look at the stands, however, would tell you that the real number was significantly smaller.

“The Arsenal hierarchy can explain away this preponderance of empty seats.Easter Sunday, an unglamorous opponent, and a competition in which there’s nothing to fight for will have all played their part in the sparse attendance figures.

“Chief amongst the reasons, however, is a continuing loss of faith in the club’s recent form, and a lack of belief in the current regime. There’s only so long that Messrs. Gazidis and Kroenke can bury their heads in the sand.”

Which is pretty much full on gibberish.  First, the number was not announced as the attendance – which considering their headline is a bit of downer on the whole article.  It is tickets sold.  Now “Angry of Islington” did a piece a while back saying Arsenal pretend it is the attendance, but I have never seen that at all anywhere.  It is what they say – “tickets sold”.  And they don’t announce it – at least not at the match.  And I know because I get to my seat before the start and leave after the players have waved at the crowd.

As for “The Arsenal hierarchy can explain away…” well, I suppose that is true if one can also say, “The writer of this article can jump in a lake and see how long he can hold his breath before drowning.”  He can, but it doesn’t mean he will, or has ever done.

The issue of crowds at Arsenal is one that should be compared historically.  Even if the days of a 60,000 plus capacity at Highbury and no selling of tickets in advance, we only occasionally got 60,000 for a game.  Why would a population that has become more gentrified in the area, suddenly get more interested, especially in a season which has resulted in a lower league position than for any since 1995?

It is, as we psychologists like to say, bonkers.

Have you heard the story about the lowest league crowd? It’s not quite as a it seems.





10 Replies to “Lies, damn lies, and a total lack of concentration and research”

  1. Dr Billy

    “Tottenham would have been reduced to nine men with VAR”

    Which is probably all the reason that the PGMO need to keep up their refusal to allow VAR to go forward”

    But on the other hand SKY Sports seemed convinced that VAR would of ruled out our first penalty.

    So despite these little inconveniences Pigmob may still be inclined to conclude that it will indeed have it’s uses.

    Oh what to do?

    The chance to ensure that every effort is made to screw Arsenal even more, versus the possibility of having to finally send off a Spurs player.

  2. Learning things. It would be nice if people would learn about using the word “history”.

    As soon as anything happens, it is history. It doesn’t matter if anyone is there to see it, hear it, feel it or touch it. It is history. It doesn’t matter if there is any technological thing there to record it or not. It is history.

    What some people are looking for, is that the incident be declared non-trivial and worthy of being noticed.

    An example from World Football:
    > Beating Manchester United to clinch the Premier League title next Saturday would be ‘historic’ says Manchester City’s Belgian playmaker Kevin de Bruyne….

  3. Having disposed of Stoke City in the Premier League yesterday at the Ems, of a next very important match to Arsenal is the meeting of Arsenal against CSKA Moscow in the Europa League Cup quarterfinal first leg match on Thursday night at the Emirates Stadium. A match which the Gunners MUST convincingly beat the Red Amy football team to take a comfortable lead into the return leg match at CSKA Moscow where Arsenal are expected to prevail over the Moscow vite side with another win over them to qualify for the semifinal of the competition.

    I think the PGMO are not only a conservative group not willing to adapt to modernity in match referring such as the application of the VARs to assist referees judge correct in their match officiating. But are too deeply corrupted in match fixing as they manipulate the appointments of their referees who officiate in matches in the Premier League. Thus, enabling them to elect which team they want to win the Premier League on annual basis but consequently have turned the PL competitiveness to a monkery as they look to block the would have been legitimate winners of the PL Title like Arsenal by their appearing to have sworn never to allow an Arsene Wenger managed Arsenal team to win the PL Title again as long the group of the conservative officials currently at the PGMO remain in control there.

    I think the management of the FA should take a bold step by instituting a credible committee of probe headed by a trusted justice of the high court in England to probe the PGMOL and submit their findings to them for necessary action to get rid of the fraud that has been existing in the PGMOL since Mike Riley became it’s head.

  4. Spurs would (or rather, should) most certainly not have been reduced to 9 men had VAR been in use for the game against Chelsea. The purpose of VAR is to correct obvious mistakes.

    Neither Vertonghen’s nor Lamela’s fouls were red card offences, IMO (and in the opinion of Dermot Gallagher). Both were deserving of a yellow card. That is all. At the very least, there is enough doubt as to the colour of the card that should have been brandished that there is no way that the referee could be deemed to have made an obvious mistake in not sending off either player.

    The one player who might well have been sent off was actually Fabregas for kicking out at Lamela after that tackle.

  5. There was a championship match on TV today. The stadium was full of empty seats, right next to the pitch as well. I remember going to a Halifax Town match in the 1960s where there were so few people we could change ends at half time. These things are only mentioned as a stick to beat teams like Arsenal which the mass media has long decided is a whipping boy – for whatever reason.

  6. This particular moronic comment on two days ago in the aptly article titled ,” The curious lack of knowledge of the laws of football of the Stoke manager and a Guardian journalist ‘ , and the subsequent swift , sweet and succinct riposte from Tony first had me laughing , then got me thinking ,” What were they thinking ?” and ” Do these posters have a certifiable normal brain ?”

    And believe you me that I do ask the same question daily while reading this site ‘s inane comments. Here is that particular exchange –

    M Smith – 02/04/2018 at 8:44 am

    So basically anyone winning a ball from an arsenal player, with follow up contact is a foul! Get that into all the referres and they would win the premership evey year! Perhaps they should also include when defenders are Shepparding the ball out of play! Definitely impediment!

    And Tony’s immediate reply that had me in stitches .

    Tony Attwood – 02/04/2018 at 8:47 am

    Two points M Smith. One is you win the prize for the craziest and indeed stupidist thing that has been said today in comments on this site. The other is that the email address from which you wrote is fake. If you can’t even be bothered to give us your real email address, do you think we should take you seriously?
    Oh, there is a third point. We do have your IP address.

    My question to Tony would be , ” What are you going to do to him ? And can I join in the fun ? ” This sounds like it is going to be so much hilarity !

    What would you personally like Tony to do with Mr. Smith’s info ?

  7. What would you personally like Tony to do with Mr. Smith’s info ?

    a) Out him as a Spud fan
    b) Refer it to those alleged Russian hackers
    c) Send it those financial scammers
    d) Inform his parents
    e) Other ..

  8. Love you guys; lol at these numpties!

    I mean seriously, VAR will have to on ve introduced! The refs changed fairly wholesale and I thionyl VAR can be effectzice in retrospective action and referees booking players up until 24hrs later!

    Indeed PEA14 proves the state of our society’s, yes he gave away a near certain hat trick to assist with the club going forward in EL which ultimately will benefit him! He also said to he strike partner/understudy, we are in this together, smart, smart boy! He told the team something, Iwobi and Granit, that USB leadership, by example, the Stevie G type!



  9. JimB,

    The argument that “The purpose of VAR is to correct obvious mistakes” is nothing short of absurd. It doesn’t take a studio full of equipment to correct something that can be corrected with a pair of eyes.

    To break it down, in case you still don’t get it:
    By this criteria, there are two types of mistakes: obvious and non-obvious/subtle.
    The obvious mistakes are the mistakes that are easily noticeable, from a reasonable distance. In the context of a football match, it means that the stadium would roar with disgust.
    The non-obvious mistakes are the mistakes that are (obviously) not easy to spot. That means that a number of factors need to contribute towards someone spotting that kind of mistake. In a football match, it means that the referee must have good placement, have unobstructed view, look in the right direction, and give the event a correct interpretation, according to the laws of the game. And that’s something I can list over the top of my head. One of these factors missing, and the ref is in no position to take the appropriate decision, and is in obvious need of help.
    Now, in your humble opinion, based on this quick reasoning, which of the situations calls for the intervention of the VAR?

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