Money, players, progress and referees. How Arsenal are developing.


By Tony Attwood

Looking at the way Arsenal are playing at the moment I am starting to get the view that no one within the club has properly briefed the manager and his team on the unique approach to refereeing in the Premier League.

I wonder if this is because Mr Wenger and Mr Gazidis who were, I think, both fully aware of the difficulties of the current situation in the Premier League, left around the same time.  You may recall Mr Wenger taking on the Disciplinary Committee and winning in his fight with referees and their outrageous statements and allegations (one thinks particularly of the October 2000 incident where Mr Wenger was banned for 12 matches – but then successfully took on the PGMO and their acolytes in the press, but I fear the memory and indeed awareness of such battles has gone.  I don’t think Mr Emery and his current management team really know what they are dealing with.

Although I suspect that as a result Mr Emery may have started to wonder why, if our refs are the best in the world, none were at the world cup.  Now he knows.  The PL approach to refereeing is unique within Europe.  Personally I think he probably realised there was something odd going on quite earl8y on, and Mr Gazidis may well have warned him, but I doubt that he really knew exactly how odd and how widespread it all is.

Anyway, let’s see how well Mr Emery is doing compared with the most recent Wenger teams after 22 games.

Year Pos P W D L F A GD Pts
2019 5 22 12 5 5 46 32 14 41
2018 6 22 11 6 5 40 28 12 39
2017 2 22 14 5 3 50 23 27 47
2016 1 22 13 5 4 37 21 16 44
2015 5 22 11 6 5 39 25 14 39
2014 1 22 16 3 3 43 19 24 51

What we can see is that we are at the top number of defeats (equal with 2018 and 2015), scording the second highest number of goals and with the worst defence.  The number of points is the fourth worst.

What is particularly interesting however is the comparison with this season against 2016 when at this stage we were top of the league.

Year Pos P W D L F A GD Pts
2019 5 22 12 5 5 46 32 14 41
2016 1 22 13 5 4 37 21 16 44

This snapshot comparison shows that the difference between the two sides is marginal – one gamethat in 2016 was a win but in 2019 was a defeat.  The difference in goal difference is just two goals.

And yet in 2016 we were top while in 2019 we are fifth.

What this suggests is that it is not so much that Arsenal have gone backwards but rather that other clubs have moved forwards while Arsenal has stood still – and certainly this is the period when other clubs have been escalating their spending in a way that was difficult to see in advance, given the way football had been running previously.

This again suggests that Arsenal are now at a disadvantage under the current owner who is not at the club in order to put money in, but rather to take money out.

Meanwhile in other news we have an extraordinary development at Cardiff where the manager, a Mr Warnock, is quoted by the Guardian as saying in relation to the EU, “I can’t wait to leave. To hell with the rest of the world.”

He is of course a British citizen living in the UK and thus fully entitled like other residents to express his views as he sees fit within the law.  But I wonder what the likes of Sol Bamba, Victor Camarasa, Loic Damour, Bruno Ecuele Manga, Aron Gunnarsson, Callum Paterson and Kenneth Zohore all think of this.

They are all classified as “non-home-grown” players and their future within a UK which is not part of the European Union is still very much in doubt, with the FA pressing for much tighter regulation of foreign players in England, returning perhaps to the position that existed before the Bosman ruling.

Such players as these would be in a position that would come under close scrutiny, for there would be nothing to stop the authorities in England from restricting the use of non-UK nationals in the Premier League.   Indeed the whole invention of “home grown” only came about as a way of avoiding classifying European players by their nationality – which cannot be done under EU law.

So certainly Mr Warnock’s desire of a Premier League for the English (and perhaps Welsh, given that Cardiff is not actually in England) might come to fruition.

Elsewhere in his statement about the EU Mr Warnock said, “I can’t wait to get out.”   I wonder if some of his non-HG players are starting to think the same thing about Cardiff City FC.

We shall see.

13 Replies to “Money, players, progress and referees. How Arsenal are developing.”

  1. Maybe i am the sharpest tool in the tool box but what has your opening paragraph on refereeing has to do with the later segments?

    Are you implying a referee bias against us again? I know its on brand with Untold Arsenal “The whole world is against us” mentality but for this season at least, I do not feel that’s the case at all.

    In fact, we got away with a lot of ridiculous incidents this year.

  2. Untold Arsenal “The whole world is against us” mentality
    I fear you have somewhat misunderstood one of the key issues that Untold Arsenal deals with.

  3. The presence of errors in our favour has little to do with the presence of bias. Bias can be the result of conscious decisions, or it can be something else.

  4. Whether no one at Arsenal has briefed Unai Emery or not on the Pgmo’s anti-Arsenal match refereeing agenda in the PL before the current season in the PL begun, I am sure at the end week 22 matches played in the PL where his Gunners team has lost at away to West Ham in a match the Pgmol appointed referee Jonathan Moss, the centre referee in the match was alleged to have carried out some anti-Arsenal match refereeing antics in the PL against Arsenal in the match which in his so doing could be the factor responsible for Arsenal losing the match to West Ham. Unai Emery, the Gunners head coach should by at this stage in this season’s campaign in the PL have seen and learnt how the referees at the Pgmol are intentionally refereeing negatively against Arsenal in the PL. And therefore put in place the necessary measure from Arsenal next home match against Chelsea on Saturday in the PL that will negate the Pgmo anti-Arsenal match refereeing agenda in the PL against Arsenal henceforth. So that Arsenal quest to get a top four place this season will not be derailed by the Pgmo.

    Tottenham Hotspur who are known to defend a one goal lead that they’ve taken in a match to the end to claim victory whenever they’ve taken such one goal lead in the match have appeared to have met their match for their equal when they this evening lost 0-1 to Ole Gunnar Solstjaer’s turned around Man Utd team in a PL week 22 match encounter at Wembley Stadium. Which I think should put to rest the insunuations being tailored in some quarters saying that Mouricio Pochettino, the Spurs manager could be appointed the Man Utd manager next season. Hmmm. But Man Utd who have now won 5 on the trot in the PL since Solstjaer too over the managerial hot seat at Old Trafford as interim manager to succeed the sacked permanent manager Jose Mourinoh, have now caught up with our own dear Arsenal on 41 points both in the table to leave us just ahead of them on goals difference of +2. Arsenal were leading Man Utd by 8 clear points in the table in a couple of few weeks back. How come that Emery’s Arsenal have regress all of a sudden in the PL in just a few weeks? Arsenal will host Chelsea at the Ems on Saturday in the PL and will also play against Man Utd at the same Ems in the FA Cup 4th round match later. So, let Emery prepare the Gunners very well for these 2 big games to win them by making the correct Gunners team selection to play in the 2 matches and win them unfailingly. But not talk blah blah blah in his post match press conferences if the matches are lost as the reason for Arsenal failing to win them should he failed to guide Arsenal to get past these 2 big clubs in the 2 matches.

  5. @Tony, in one of your comments in the last article, you lamented that you’ve not been able to avoid accusations of claiming ref bias against Arsenal even though that has never been your intention. I’m afraid you’re doing it again. Because if the brief on refereeing you expect Emery to get was about the way pgmo is run, the secrecy and number of refs, I doubt you would expect that to affect the way Emery’s team is performing. So I suspect that once again you are speaking through both sides of your mouth. Accusing the refs of bias but denying it when you’re accused of doing that

  6. Daud you a simply wrong. My comment was intended to make the point that refereeing in the PL is organised in a different way from that in the rest of Europe and thus can result in different effects. These effects can be bias by the referees in favour or against any club through Type III match fixing, or simply additional errors because of the referees get more games, because there are fewer refs, or the fact that the secrecy means that no one can be quite sure what is going on, and indeed the variation in the way in which players are treated, or the fact that whereas in some countries the possibility that there is something amiss with refereeing is considered, it is not here and thus oddities in refereeing are rarely discussed.
    I am going to stop this discussion now because it is qiute clear that no matter what I write or how I write it, you not only interpret it in a different way from that which I intended but feel the need to write about it.
    This may well be because I am a rubbish writer, or because I am deliberately trying to be misleading, or because you are completely inept at understanding what I am saying or because you are deliberately trying to disrupt untold or any one of many other possible reasons, but whatever the reason we are just going over the same ground over and over again. So enough. You have made your point and I have published your criticism – which I think is fair, and indeed I know is fairer than would happen in some blogs.
    You are not being banned, but this thread is now at an end.

  7. Tony, you may not appreciate the way Daud has been hounding you for a while, but he does have a point. Just check out the comments of the only other people who have commented on the article so far, keeming and SAA, what do they infer from the article? REF BIAS AGAINST ARSENAL!!!

  8. Dear all

    I can confirm that I believe there is bias against Arsenal from PL referees … I think it’s all to clear that certain players and teams get treated differently outside our Arsenal bubble too … you can choose to think I’m deluded, but after 41 years of being an Arsenal season ticket holder and football obsessed, I find I watch very little football apart from the Arsenal first and women’s teams, because I just can’t stand the poor way the game handled by the officials, whatever the reason for it … I don’t keep my Sky Sports subscription for football, but for cricket, darts and the NFL … and do you know what? After I watch those sports, I find myself discussing the players and the play, not the officials … how very odd, don’t you think ???

    On a slight aside, my NFL team , the LA Rams is also owned by Mr Kronke – pure coincidence, he bought Arsenal and the Rams after I had started following both – and it’s interesting that he has employed a young promising coach and caused ripples in the game by the size of Todd Gurley’s contract, (a running back, and that position’s average pay is traditionally a lot less that the Quarter Backs, etc), causing problems for other teams who are being asked to up their running back’s contracts accordingly. The result in LA is that the Rams go to the New Orleans Saints next weekend trying to make their fourth Super Bowl appearance. Now, the NFL caps wages in a way we are unlikely to ever see here, but the team is definitely on the way up and looking good for the future. And best of all, the NFL use a team of referees, VAR when the officials want it, allow coaches to challenge a set number of decisions AND review every touchdown to make sure it was fairly scored … it’s almost like they WANT to get decisions right … how VERY un-English … bet Mr Warnock never watches …

  9. Minesy

    Agree totally. Watching a game is not the same as studying the game. Some watch. some study, & others just comment.

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