Pub talk: Stoke imitate Arsenal, the summer window shuts, Petit lashes out.

By Sir Hardly Anyone

As a rule, the football journalist doesn’t do anything which might be considered by the general population to be related to the concept widely known as “thinking” during the hours of daylight.

Upon waking he or she will stroll to his or her favourite public house, order up a few short ones to get the day going, and then relapse into a state of coma, from which said member of the press elite will emerge occasionally in order to type some meaningless lines into a laptop, or talk to random passers by about the difficulty honest newspaper men and women have these days in staying awake long enough for the next story to arrive.

Now I must admit I did once catch sight of a football scribbler who did stumble on a piece of genuine news during the period between 2pm and 5pm which is widely known as the “afternoon recovery period”, and I must say he bore the startled expression of a down and out, who on bending down to pick up a stray fiver that had fluttered into the middle of what he took to be a deserted footpath, found that the area in question was not so much a London docklands walkway between two bars, but the fast lane of the northbound M1 just south of Northampton; something he realised only as a dozen trucks carrying stockpiled medicines to the beleaguered north ahead of Brexit, struck him in the small of the back.

But such moments, amusing though they are, are rare.  Generally speaking, the hard work of the morning done, most football journalists will typically order up a restorative pint or two and then relapse into a comatosed state once more reading for the afternoon shift to begin.

Of course one does not name names in this regard, for that would be breaking the journalists’ code of ethics (an oxymoron if ever there was one) and of course it may all have been just a dreadful mistake, but when I read the articles on Football.London yesterday (which is to say 3 March) my mind did meander over such matters.  For the lead headline that appeared on the website was “Transfer news live recap.”

Now given that the transfer window shut over a month ago, the words “news” and “live” seem rather (like your average football journalist) at odds with reality.  But then I thought, actually two words out of four being simultaneously irrelevant and inaccurate is quite reasonable for the 10 stories an hour computer generated website that is Football London, so I read on.

And it was certainly worth it, because below that headline the programmer who had caused the generation of the story (who wisely remained anonymous) had managed to create this wonder:

“The January transfer window is now shut”

which it was good to have confirmed over one month after the event.   Indeed one wonders how these news hounds actually do it, what with news blowing in from four corners of the globe (which when you think of it, is itself impossible) and the 24 hour pub beckoning.

Reading yesterday’s article on behalf of Untold (just in case we were slipping behind a little), I found that “Tottenham made no signings in the summer transfer window, and didn’t get any deals done in January either.”

Well!   These are clearly heady days for the news hounds at the Mirror which owns Football.London.  March 3 and they need to tell us about last summer’s transfers or lack of them.  I say again, “Well!”

Moving on, there are of course certain journalists who one respects, admires, and indeed reveres, although I must admit it is hard to recall the names of any at this time.   But the person who wrote the story headlined “Hopefully the Arsenal-style Stoke City who wimped out of shooting is gone for good” in Stoke on Trent Live does not exactly fall into this category.

Indeed one might say that if that writer should ever approach the hallowed grounds of Untold Arsenal one would be prepared to fight him, her or indeed it, off, even using a modicum of violence if necessary.

But moving on again different feelings were engendered with the headline, “Emmanuel Petit slams Arsenal star and nicknames him ‘King of blunders’,” which appeared in the Metro with variations inevitably appearing soon after on the Football.London site.

The subject of the piece was Mustafi, and the Metro article gives no source for the comment (was Manu being interviewed on TV, or did he say it to a passing stranger on the Metro one wonders) leaving us with the feeling that if the headline were to be read aloud (which is no recommended) it would sound like the wind blowing through the cracks in a broken computer keyboard.  Poor Manu, he was never the same after going to Chelsea.

Sometimes however one does despair for the poor journalist whose great works of literature are reduced by the headline writer to gibberish, such as the one being displayed under the phrase “Top four or Europa League? Arsenal star reveals Unai Emery’s priority.”

Did it actually mean that Arsenal were debating if they wanted to finish in the top four, or in positions five or six?   Probably not, but as the story rolled up the screens several football journalists leaned back and stopped drinking, and in the bars frequented by journalists only death or a computer balls up which can be blamed on the IT department rather than the scribblers, causes glasses and bottles to be put down.



30 Replies to “Pub talk: Stoke imitate Arsenal, the summer window shuts, Petit lashes out.”

  1. Most of the fu****g so called journalists should be writing for the exchange and mart

  2. Far too complimentary for the hacks of Bon Journoland. (white sticks and guide dogs obligatory) Considering they,for large portions of any given day are as the newt and all that it’s remarkable they find the way out from various hostelries and still manage to string some words together. Back in the day one would notice their antics betwixt the Old Cheshire Cheese and the King Lud, several each day would see the error of their way and would like lemmings head for the Embankment clutching tripewriters to throw these and themselves into the Thames. Unfortunately sometimes survived mostly because the tide
    was out.20 minutes later the whole process was repeated.

  3. Talking about transfer window, I think Ryan Sessegnon would be a good future replacement for Monreal. Hope Arsenal tries to sign him when Fulham goes back down after this season.

  4. Les Martin @8:22am

    Absolutely Brilliant! Well said. I’d write more but I’m laughing too hard.

  5. I think that anyone claiming to be, or wanting to be a reporter/ journo should have his or her credentials and qualifications checked and scrutinised.
    Only then should they he accredited with a pass to be admited in stadiums, tv studios, talk shows and newspaper offices.

    We should be informed at the offset , why he is so certifiable as an expert.

    You know –
    – Level of education. I don’t think that many of them have doctrates.
    – Amount of football playing, coaching, managerial experience.
    – Annual game rules examination. Non BIGMOB os course !
    – Annual IQ test result.
    – Medical examination. Liver failure can cause confusion.
    – Finincial and / or buisness acumen in understanding money matters.
    – Please add on…

  6. In the FA rule book. This is the Kane penalty.

    In a situation a player in an offside position is moving towards the ball with the intention of playing the ball and is fouled before playing or attempting to play the ball the foul is penalised as it has occurred before the offside offence.

  7. It appears Sanchez will face no further action over his stamp on Kos as it was seen by the officials who presumably were happy to let it go with no foul even called.
    How on earth do Spurs continually get away with it.

  8. I know Mick it’s an absolute joke.

    Kane shouldn’t even of been playing because of the head butt he got away with for the same reason in their last match.

    If these refs keep seeing these offences without punishing them I think it explains how Spurs went 2 years without a red card. I think they’re heading for another 2 year spell at this rate !

    Offside penalty award.

    Sanchez kick on kos.

    Rose on Leno.

    Encroachment on our penalty.

    And Pochatino claims Spurs were hard done by, and worse some of our own fans come on here busting a gut to prove how fair and above board it all was.

  9. No need to fret Nitram, it all evens out in the end!!!
    And of course we will soon have VAR, that will sort it all out, the cheating buggers won’t get away with it then!!!!
    Wishfull thinking of course because it will be the same muppets applying their biased verdicts in the VAR studio as they do on the pitch so I do not expect anything to change. We will continue to get screwed and the favourites will continue to benefit.
    On the encroachment I recall Giroud getting a yellow card for being a yard or two over the line a couple of years ago, plus we were made to take the penalty again.

  10. Because they’re England’s golden boys & don’t forget Harry Kane has an mbe now….doesn’t stop him being a dirty, cheating sod though!!
    Makes me sick…

  11. The view from the other side….

    Kane offside – it seems that there is some confusion as to the interpretation of the law with a few current or former refs saying that the push was the first offence because Kane hadn’t, at that point, played or challenged for the ball. The majority said that the offside occurred first but the fact that even refs disagree having seen slo-mos shows that the rule needs to be made clearer. For what it’s worth, I think Kane should have been called offside and even the penalty decision was a tad soft.

    Aubameyang penalty – also soft but falls into the category of “seen ’em given”. Clearly, Vertonghen was encroaching and the penalty should therefore have been retaken. However….there was a clear foul on Rose on the edge of Arsenal’s box that directly led to the break which earned Arsenal the penalty. So instead of a penalty to Arsenal, there should instead have been a free kick to Spurs in a dangerous position. Which means that, at the most basic level, Spurs scored the penalty that they shouldn’t have been given while Arsenal failed to score the penalty that they shouldn’t have been given.

    Rose on Leno – yellow card was the right call. Rose had every right to go for the ball. He tried to toe the ball past Leno but missed it by a fraction and, in doing so, his studs came up. It wasn’t reckless. He didn’t come flying in at speed and out of control. It wasn’t deliberate. Yellow card. No more.

    Sanchez “kick” or “stamp” on Koscielny – surprisingly, it was neither. It was actually a push with his foot. That might sound strange but, if you watch it properly, that’s exactly what it was. He didn’t draw his leg back and then strike down on Koscielny’s leg. His foot was in contact with Koscielny’s leg the whole time. What appears to have started it was that Koscielny (perfectly legitimately) moved his leg to get up but, in doing so, impeded Sanchez as he tried to get up. Sanchez’ push back was needlessly aggressive b ut not in any way dangerous. There’s no doubt that his reaction was petulant though and, had the officials seen it, could easily have led to a red card.

    There were loads of other incidents with both sides getting away with a lot – e.g. as Poch mentioned, the early Xhaka bad foul on Kane which didn’t even earn a free kick. By the way, the only reason Poch highlighted that incident was because journos were repeatedly asking him about whether he thought Spurs had got lucky with the decisions. He wouldn’t otherwise have mentioned it.

    Overall, I’d say that there wasn’t much to choose between the teams or the decisions for or against. Of course, you will argue that you were hard done by – just as Spurs fans might argue that they were hard done by during the game at the Emirates last season. You will doubtless dispute that latter claim too – just as I now dispute that you were so hard done by on Saturday. And there’s the rub. No matter how objective we might claim to be, we all err on our team’s side.

  12. TomP




    This is you defending the ref in a debate with Walter:

    @Walter, this is quite unfair. Even I didn’t spot this incident, neither did you who had the benefit of replays, there was a swarm of players at that point in time, berating the ref for not seeing that, especially coming from you, a fellow ref is unfortunate.


    Sanchez avoids ban:

    The incident-filled close to Saturday’s North London derby also saw an injury-time coming together between Davinson Sanchez and Laurent Koscielny raise more than a few eyebrows.

    The clash saw the central-defenders tangle as Arsenal defended a Spurs set-piece to the back post, with Sanchez having appeared to push his studs into Koscielny’s knee as he attempted to get back to his feet.
    As such, large sections of Arsenal’s fans have inevitably since called for Sanchez to be hit with a retrospective ban.

    However, as confirmed this evening, no such action will be taken against the Colombian, with the clash having been spotted by officials at the time:


    First off you try to defend the referee for not seeing it, but it turned out he did (yeah right), now go and look at that link and then explain to me how the referee can be defended, in any way shape or form, for not even calling this a foul, let alone a Yellow, let alone a Red card ?




    It was a reckless and dangerous challange. Nowhere in the rules does it say you can make a reckless and dangerous challange as long as you are going for the ball.

    You say “but one I’d hardly blame Rose 100% for.”

    Now you’re defending Rose. So who do you blame for Rose going in recklessly and dangerously? Micky mouse !

    Anyone who denies that is a red card is utterly ignorant of the laws of the game.



    EXPLAIN TO ME HOW THE REFEREE MISSES THAT. He’s clearly looking across the line and Kane is a Yard of side.



    Look where the referee is standing. Look how far Vertonghen is inside the box.


    And this from i News:

    “Arsenal can feel more than hard done by after a number of refereeing decisions went against them in Saturday’s north London derby. Not only was Harry Kane in an offside position before being fouled in the build-up to Tottenham’s crucial penalty, Danny Rose not penalised for a studs-up challenge on Bernd Leno while Lucas Torreira was controversially sent off for similar, but it has also since emerged that Pierre Emerick Aubameyang’s last minute penalty should also have been retaken.”

    Makes a change but even they missed the one Sanchez got away with.


    To attempt to defend the officials in this encounter is beyond belief.

    This was one of the poorest performances by a team of officials I have seen for a long time.

    Even if our penalty was soft, which I agree it was, but as they say, I’ve seen ’em given’, that hardly ballances the multiude of game changing errors made against us, yet this is what you have to say about the referee in a debate with Andrew:

    “@Andrew, many aspects of refereeing is subjective. Both of us have varying opinions on the interpretation of incidents, however the ref being judged as competent by the regulatory body has the final say.”

    And thats it. That’s all you have to say about Taylor after a performance like that !

    ‘being judged as competent by the regulatory body’

    That body is the culpable, incompetent, secretive PGMOL, you do know that don’t you?

    Nothing I can say about you will damn you as much as you damn yourself with that one staement.

    Anyone who puts ‘competent’ and the ‘PGMOL’ in the same sentance have serious reality issues.

  13. @ Sue

    You’ve hit the nail on the head there. I remember when Alan (the elbow) Shearer was still playing he went two seasons without a yellow card despite committing the highest number of fouls in the premiership for both of those two seasons.

    The media never queried it then either.

  14. Speaking of referees (well, maybe), it seems that no EPL referees will be working the remaining rounds of the Champions League. It was decided, that in order to do so, you need (regular) experience with VAR. And the EPL doesn’t have that.

    In terms of Europa League, yes those silly lads that belong to 😈 Mike Riley will be allowed to officiate there.

  15. JimB….. look at both of the goals you scored at the Emirates in December… Son clearly cheated by diving & was awarded a penalty (surprise surprise) & Eric ‘sit back down’ Dier was clearly offside as the free kick was taken which he scored from… Yes we won the game 😊 but I just wanted to bring that to your attention… #hard done by

  16. Anyone who tries to defend Roses studs into the chest because it was an attempt to play the ball (as if that makes any difference) or Sanchez kick at Kos as a ‘push’ really are either from La La Land or working for the PGMOL.

    Either way they seem to of lost complete touch with reality.

  17. Gord

    Unfortunately the EPL doesn’t have any experience with Referees full stop.

    Just a bunch of clowns running around in black costumes.

  18. @ Sue

    Funnily enough, I didn’t watch the highlights of that game. 😉 But I could just as easily cite the game at the Emirates last season when both Arsenal goals should have been disallowed. It happens.

    @ Martin

    You layering hyperbole on hyperbole about Rose’s challenge on Leno doesn’t make you any more right or me any more wrong. It’s just noise. Rose was fully entitled to go for the ball. It wasn’t reckless or deliberate. He wasn’t steaming in at high speed or out of control. He merely tried to toe the ball past Leno and missed by a fraction. Yellow card, sure. But the game is dead if we start sending players off for legitimately trying to challenge for the ball in such circumstances.

    By the way, interesting that you fail to mention that, immediately after that challenge, Torreira deliberately jumped on Rose’s leg – a far worse offence than Sanchez’s act of petulance with Koscielny. Go watch it again.

  19. Nice rebuttal , Nitram . And we are always accused of wearing tinted glasses !

    With Real Madrid going out of contention in all trophies , I suppose that a new manager is being lined up.
    Wonder who ?
    Someone new who has won squat so far , but is touted as being young, upcoming, ambitious , promising and shrewd ?
    Or that other guy who has won the entire lot at his various clubs , but always leaves a bitter taste and discord when leaving after 3 years ?

  20. Brickfields Gunners
    Or maybe Real Madrid should consider a certain honourable French gentleman who is currently without a club and who has also won a fair amount of trophies in his illustrious career.

  21. Torriera 3 match ban confirmed following Arsenal’s unsuccesfull appeal against the red card he got against Spuds.
    Rose (even though he didn’t get the ball whereas at least Torriera did!!) escapes scot free because the ref saw it and considered it absolutely no problem.
    Like wise Sanchez no action from FA.
    Does FA stand for f*****g awfull or f*****g arseholes?

  22. @Jim

    Tell me exactly how you put your studs in someone’s chest without it being deliberate or reckless?

    Are you suggesting he did it as an act of affection or at such an incredibly slow speed so that he was really only rubbing the sole of his foot on Leno’s chest as some form of sexual suggestiveness? As for trying to claim it wasn’t deliberate I’m not sure how you go for a ball unintentionally unless your claiming he was shoved from behild and somebody got hold of his foot and point it, studs first, against Rose’s will.

    Get a grip mate.

  23. JimB @ 10:49pm

    Joke comment of the season. “Torreira deliberately jumped on Rose’s leg…”

    So, let me understand, in addition to being a football expert, you’re actually inside the mind of the opposing team’s players? Nice trick, that. Hang a board out “JimB Football Expert/Clairvoyant”

  24. @ Mikey

    Rose was fully entitled to go for it. Had his foot been a mere one inch longer, he could have flicked the ball past Leno for a goal. I would have been furious if he had wimped out of it. Just as any fan should be. Football is a contact sport. It is impossible for it to remain so without there occasionally being collisions.

    Of course no one likes to see the kind of high speed, jumping, out of control tackles that can break bones and tear ligaments. Such recklessness and lack of consideration for other players should be severely punished. But that’s categorically not what happened here. Rose travelled from only a yard or two away and made a genuine attempt to toe the ball past Leno. He missed by a fraction and his studs were only showing as a consequence of trying to flick the ball over Leno a nanosecond earlier.

    If we start sending players off for such legitimate challenges, then the game is no longer a proper contact sport – and I don’t know of anyone who truly loves the game who wants it to go that way.

    @ goonersince72

    Watch the incident again. Torreira’s two footed jump landed nowhere near the ball. He didn’t even appear to be looking at the ball. I’d like to think that, as a highly paid professional footballer, his hand / eye coordination is pretty good. So there’s no excuse for him missing the ball by quite so much. I can only surmise that his jump was therefore deliberate. As I said, watch it again.

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