Arsenal the simulators: what it all means

By Tony Attwood

Arsenal were accused of three simulation attempts during the Huddersfield match, and each time a player was given a yellow card.

Two of these events were shown in match of the day during the reprise of the game, and in discussion after the panel gave their view that they thought these were not to simualtions.  The two men involved – Ian Wright and Martin Keown were Arsenal men who are known on occasion to be critical of Arsenal – Keown particularly so.

The third was not shown at all during the match but was played in slow motioned at the end of the game and thought by the panel to be a simulation.   So the programme commentators thought just one out of three was an actual simulation.

However there was a curious point made in discussion on this site – one that suggested that I should not be criticising Huddersfield when Arsenal were doing such bad things as faking fouls.   

This is something that interests me because it is arising more and more – the notion that one should not be making a certain point.

In the early days of Untold the point was often made that we were lopsided and unbalanced in our commentaries and that because of this we could not be taken seriously.   My response has always been that we need to press our case strongly because we are alone in making the points we make; everyone else presents cases that are biased against Arsenal.

For example not only is the bias and secrecy of the PGMO not riased at all, but the issues of the way in which PGMO is run (so very different from the rest of Europe) is not debated it.  We therefore have to raise it since no one else does.  But how then can we raise the contrary point of view, when there is no such view.  It is either our discussion, or no discussion at all.

The fact is that when no one else is discussing a point the only thing we can do is make our point, give such evidence as we can, and allow others to comment.  There is no need to put the alternative point of view, because it is there all the time.

It is also suggested that somehow we should not put a point because we are not qualified enough – again a question that I virtually never see put before other blogs.  In this case the point was made that our credibility was reduced by a spelling mistake.  One can of course argue this, but is seems rather a curious notion.   My dyslexia, long apparent to readers of Untold, has no impact on my ability to analyse and draw conclusions.

But were Arsenal guilty of cheating by simulation?   No, I think not with the exception possibly of Guendouzi, a 19 year old clearly excited by his elevation from the French second division to the big time in just six months. Quite possibly he did simulate the foul, but I am not sure how much that affects anything, other than raising the question: how could the referee get the two previous simulations so wrong?  Is the ref being sent for re-training?  I suspect not, but of course we don’t know because PGMO is a hyper-secret organisation.

The fact is, the attempt to suggest that Arsenal are multiple cheats is very similar to the attempt by the media to suggest that Pulis was wrong to hype up his players as he did, while ignoring that they approved of his actions and criticised Arsenal for not being man enough to take the resultant assaults.

Further they chose match after match to ignore the referees’ ability to control the players and stop them committing such assaults upon Arsenal.

The reporting of the Huddersfield match in most cases ignored the way the Huddersfield team were set up and how they played, as well as ignoring how the referee controlled the game.    No one else mentioned it much, so if it were not for us, there would be hardly any coverage of an approach to the match which did little to promote the good name of football.

Calling out things that are wrong, while trying to provide some evidence and comparisons is all that we can do in the face of the onslaught that Arsenal receive.

34 Replies to “Arsenal the simulators: what it all means”

  1. The yellow card against Mustafi was not according to the laws of the game. The defender clearly made contact with the right foot of Mustafi so according to Dean it should have been a penalty. When contact is made it is not a yellow card. The same for Guendouzi by the way. The Huddersfield defender was body to body to him so again contact was made and no yellow card should be given

  2. I have been a reader of untold for so very long. Since 2009 in fact, and I have so many observations from this piece that goes against popular arguments on this site, for example, Walter now argues that mustafi’s event should have been a foul since contact was made, however the same Walter argued vehemently that hazard dived to win a penalty against Bellerin even though contact was clearly made. But let me look at the article first..
    1. You say the argument that you shouldn’t be criticising Huddersfield when arsenal are diving all over the place is curious. Well I find it curious that you would find that curious, considering that you like to do things like remind Liverpool & spurs fans of their trophy drought when they sang our 9yrs without a trophy song. In fact it was Jesus who made the comment that we should remove the log in our eyes before attempting to remove the speck in another persons eyes, I’d have thought that was self evident.
    2. You also mentioned that it’s curious that people say you shouldn’t judge matters you’re not qualified to judge. I actually agree with you. But what I find funny is that it was you who wrote several articles in the past castigating “pundits” and the “AAA” for being not qualified to judge football matters. I believe you used to make the analogy that if a person has a brain tumor that requires neurosurgery, he doesn’t go to a carpenter… Something like that. Have you changed your views or do your views naturally change depending on the agenda you’re putting forward?
    3. Finally you say “not only is the bias and secrecy of the pgmo not mentioned”. A few weeks ago a commenter called you out on your ref bias and your changing views over the years. Your reply was that you don’t make a point of referee bias. That your point has always and only been about the secrecy of the pgmo and the way its run which follows an arrangement that makes corruption likely. Now my question is, based on your statement here, which is it? Is pgmo bias part of the alternative viewpoint you want to get discussed or not?
    As for the simulation events, I didn’t watch the match, when I do I can comment on them

  3. Daud, where in my comment do I say a penalty should be given? Read my comment again. I said it should not have been a yellow card. I joked about Dean as he has given penalties against Arsenal for similar contacts (Vermaelen against Burnley) and for even less contact or no contact at all (Holding vs Son).
    In my comment I only talked about the yellow cards.

  4. Also, remember the penalty given against Bulletin at West Bromwich last season. Gibbs, the supposed victim, was as incredulous as the Arsenal players. I think that was Dean.

    Dean gave Rooney a penalty at OT for deliberately tripping over Almunia.

    Walter’s comment is valid.

  5. Please keep up the good work on this site , Tony , Walter et al. It’s the only sane Arsenal site as far as I’m concerned.

    Bash ’em , when them require bashing ! Over the years , I’ve had my fill of bashing those who had to be bashed on this site , and now have taken a back seat, but the laughter at them remains undiminished !

    I for one am more worried about the raising levels of global stupidity and ignorance than global warming .

  6. What about Chelsea ‘s Alonso’s goal against us ? His elbow got Bellerin’s head long before his own head made contact with the ball .

  7. ‘ The forest were shrinking , but the tress kept voting for the axe , because its handle was made of wood and they thought it was one of them.’

  8. Dean saw and ignored the Man Utd player break Jack Wilshere’s ankle, with a deliberate foul. I think that he now plays for Middleborough, so he must be highly rated by his current manager.

  9. McNair knew what he was doing too. Jack got criticised for holding onto the ball too long, stupid boy.

  10. As Arsenal fan I always try to be as objective as possible. I was in the stands last Saturday and to me the three bookings for simulation were well deserved. I do not want to see these attempts to cheat from my team. I wish referees were always consistent in punishing this behaviour. I know they are not, but that does not mean that those stupid divings suddenly are acceptable. Come on Arsenal…. you can win without cheating.

  11. For me, it’s a mistake to divide articles about the whole diving issue and the racism one. Arsenal have been the biggest victims of racist approach to football in England and, as you might have remembered, we have had issues with racist cretins outside England as well (v PSV Eindhoven away).

    I, for one, never defend what I consider to be stupid things or mistakes done by Arsenal players, managers or other people related to Arsenal (remember my long discussion with Tony regarding Welbeck’s first big injury and Cazorla’s horror-story implies that I was, unfortunately, more correct than I thought regarding our medical staff).

    That’s why I don’t want to defend anyone’s diving, time-wasting (we did that big time when we were leading and Ospina was our goalkeeper) or dirty behaviour (whisper it but Dennis, the embodiment of Total Football, wasn’t the cleanest player around with his elbows and occasional stamp on an opponent).


    When a 19-year-old gets his hair pulled without a yellow card by the referee and then no retrospective action is taken against the offender because the referee gave a foul regarding that incident, we have to accept that there is a huge cynism around “the most competitive league in the world”, the one that still see black players being thrown banana skins at and in which fifth-placed team is already eight points better than the sixth-placed one. More importantly, we have to accept that the aforementioned 19-year-old has also acknowledged in what kind of a football country he has been lured in. He hasn’t been with us for six months yet and he already knows he can be racially abused from the stands and physically attacked on the pitch without a proper punishment for the perpetrators.

  12. Is anyone else reminded of the years under Wenger when our players reacted to assaults protect themselves and their team-mates and were frequently carded, until they appeared to give up, realising what would happen.
    Then players like Kilbane (in his obviously media-led reply to Kitson) “lost respect” for the entitled, sulky Arsenal youngsters they busy were kicking the s*** out of – for not sticking up for themselves!
    How long before Emery’s men come to the same conclusion – it’s better to accept the lumps and injuries than fight back?

  13. Fair enough Walter, my bad. It would also have been clearer though if you stated it shouldn’t have been a penalty.

  14. OT
    Reading this, I see that you mention that you have dyslexia
    A few months ago I chided you for a mispelling in an article in which you ribbed another journalist for a mistake
    I unreservedly apologise for taking the mick

  15. Colario, that is kind of where QWERTY came from. Good typists were hitting keys fast enough to jam the “hammers” hitting the paper on original typewriters. So they changed the layout of the keys, to minimize this. Not really needed any more, but people don’t often change for the sake of changing. Have you ever tried a non-QWERTY keyboard (I haven’t)?

    A common error I seem to be making is form and from.

  16. Ha ha Marcel, is that another LEON Alias. As if you could tell so clearly. Where are you with your comments when we are being cheated by other teams with no response by the dodgy PIGMOB?

  17. Daud. If a defender kicks the foot of an attacker in the penalty area, is it not a penalty?

    If a defender slides in with the intention of getting the ball and mistimes it, and gets the attacker, is that not a penalty?

    No intention, but still a penalty.

  18. Jisol not always . We have to remember that euphamistically it is still a contact sport . If a slight touch becomes a yellow or a penalty then the same conclusion should be reached on the rest of the pitch and it becomes non contact.
    An incident bringing forward the old joke ” sorry I got there as quick as I could ” is obvioiusly worthy of censure but not always the extreme . I always believed that penalties should be given when an obvious chance at goal is denied. Unfortunately this has gone by the waysideand now the merest touch seems to be good enough unless you are a young ref from Wigan trying to make a name for himself with his Northern masters.

  19. Frankly, to have three Arsenal players booked in one match for that is a joke. It will just reinforce them giving us no decisions on fouls/penalties in future stitch ups.

  20. Markby. I agree with you.

    I think it was a response to the outrage at the penalty last week.

    It was a pretty crude message form PGMOL for us to keep our mouths shut about them. Crude, because they would have known that the relevant tackles will have been examined with a fine tooth comb and seen not to have been simulations.

  21. The problem is, if you don’t go down, you don’t get a penalty, most notably Lacca vs Everton earlier on in the season.
    Then already this year we have seen 3 ‘soft’ pens against us, where minimal contact is made, players go down, and pens given, so the problem is, it’s there job, there should go down, but just do it better !
    the booking of Mustafi was beyond a joke, Hazard last year anyone ?

  22. I am a non supporter of any Premier league team but I can see what is happening. The corruption of the game by the PGMO is very plain to see. i watch football from Germany and Spain and am amazed at how unfair the refs are in the premier league compared to both of them.
    I have given up watching the PL as it is so bad that you spend 10 minutes at the beginning of each game trying to work out which “interpretation” of the rules are going to be used for each side in the game. You can then normally work out who is going to win. I would like to know how the PGMO operates because fairness is one thing they know nothing about.
    The 3 dives on Saturday – I have seen far far worse not being penalised. I am also fed up of the media crap about things like this – how about doing something about the time wasting by poor sides – that is cheating fans of money.
    Mustafis incident was definitely a penalty but hey the game in the PL is played to PGMO rules..

  23. @ Gord
    10/12/2018 at 1:17 pm
    My commet was a joak! as in

    an American talkng to me.
    American where do you live in the UK?
    me I live in Scotland near to St Andrew and its famous golf course.

    American Oh your English is very good
    Me Thank you I practised before I comed.

    The above converstaion happened.

  24. The yellow cards were given by the cheating corrupt referee for fouls committed by opponents on Arsenal players who went to ground as a result. The referee was deliberate in his choice to ensure that these players on 4 yellows from previous games would miss the following match enmasse.

    The idiot who claims to have seen the incidents from the stands and supports the referee is obviously unaware of the Laws of the Game and the Laws under the PGMOL for Arsenal.

    There is no organisation that stands up against the corruption in officiating by the FA’s chosen mob of racist select cheats. These same people who carefully vet their own and subject them (with monetary offerings) to rules to keep secret their corrupt actions.

    There is no doubt that the official (Tierney) was biased, prepared and arrogant to the point of ignoring the glare of the cameras with utter contempt.

    Toreira was fouled several times with bookable stamps & tackles that the official (and no doubt the idiot in the stands) didn’t see. Lichsteiner was carded for protecting his teammate from further injury, while the official stood back with a probable card that should more correctly been red.

    The benefit of being in the stands is the peripheral view of the game and the off the ball incidents that are not usually shown by the cameras. Not seeing the contact on Xhaka is truly an invitation to SpecSavers.

  25. So you only can tell clearly about games if your opinion is unconditionally positive about Arsenal. Anything else leads to be called an idiot.

  26. It’s not about the rights and wrongs of going down with minimal contact, or whether it is a penalty or a dive, but about the polar opposite ways identical events are interpreted, depending it seems on which team and which player is involved.

    I agree that I would like our players to try and stand on their feet if at all possible, but this is an approach that depends on fair insightful refereeing, neither of which are particularly common attributes among our men in black.

    If this approach earned us our due rewards fine, but it clearly it does not.

    It is patently obvious to anyone with half and eye that the laws of the game are not applied evenly across the board, and as such why some people think our players and fans alike should just put up and shut up is beyond me.

  27. Draud “arguments on this site, for example, Walter now argues that mustafi’s event should have been a foul” No, he didn’t.

    It really does speak volumes whenever people have to completely misrepresent someones point in order to argue against it.

  28. Personally, I don’t think that it was a penalty, nor do I think that any of those players should have been booked (there’s a huge difference between diving to the ground from no contact and exaggerating minimal contract). All I have ever wanted (as I’m sure is the case for the majority of users on here) is for us to be treated evenly. If that’s a yellow card for us, then why is it not a yellow card whenever this happens in literally every single other PL match? If that’s not a penalty for Mustafi then why have we seen them given against us on NUMEROUS occasions? All we have ever asked for on here is consistency.

  29. Marcel – you call the Arsenal players that were booked cheats & you expect an Arsenal supporter to accept your view? I’m sorry but look at the TV replays & then make your comment again.

  30. Menace do you honestly believe that I based my view solely on what I saw in the stands? I made my first comment as short as possible but I did review the simulations several times. I stand with my opinion. Based on 50 years of watching football on all possible levels. Now I do not expect people to agree with me. What I do expect however is that I can give my view and eventually enter into discussion as adults without being called an idiot immediately. That kind of response only confirms what I thought before: you have to praise Arsenal unconditionally and without any exception, without any chance to be a bit critical. Well, so be it. Only then this blog is not for me anymore. Searching on to find a discussion forum for all opinions. Well, thinking that such a forum exists can make me sound naive, I admit that. But that still does not make me an idiot. Enjoy yourselves, you have every right to. I am not calling you guys any names, I just bid farewell, fellow Gooners.

  31. Marcel, in your last post you said
    “So you only can tell clearly about games if your opinion is unconditionally positive about Arsenal. Anything else leads to be called an idiot.”
    No that is not true and has never been true on this website. If you read the rules concerning commenting here you will find that is most certainly not in the rules. If you read any of my articles about why I set up Untold all those years ago you will find out that this is not true.

  32. Marcel – if you cannot see why your comment was idiotic then you might as well hide under a bush. You call our players cheats when the major cheat was hiding behind a FIFA badge that attempted to jump of his shirt. Xhaka was tripped and went down because of it – not a cheat nor a simulation. Mustafi was pushed and went down – not a cheat nor a simulation. Guendouzi was shouldered & used his foot to ensure visible contact on his way down – not a cheat nor a simulation. In each case there was no reason for a yellow card. There was a reason in 2 of the 3 cases to award a foul to Arsenal, but Tierney cheated and followed his agenda to ensure Arsenal were without regular defence in the following match.

    Enjoy you foray into the ether of acceptance where truth is a fog.

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