Paul Robinson, Martin Taylor, Ryan Shawcross and now Dan Smith. Arsenal/Bolton and another assault

By Tony Attwood

Paul Robinson, Martin Taylor, Ryan Shawcross and now Dan Smith – the list of criminals walking the streets of England after committing violent and pre-meditated assault seems to grow by the day.   In any just society they would all be in prison for their attacks on footballers, with their managers at least on remand pending deeper inquiries.

And yet it is not so.   The Dan Smith attack on Diaby in the Arsenal / Bolton game was atrocious beyond measure but the ref did nothing of significance, the lino did nothing and the manager made nothing of it.

Owen Coyle, currently running this most disreputable of clubs approached the cameras after the game with a look of dumb despair of a man who knows he has no case and yet desperately needs to make one up.

His side had just lost 18-5 in terms of shots, had scored a goal dependent wholly on a cock-up in the Arsenal defence, and who had tried to kick their way to a draw.  The club had even sold so few tickets for the game that for what I think must be the first time ever the audience sank to below 60,000 for a league match.

For a manager of a lower caste northern club Coyle has every desirable character except one.  I don’t mean brains, because not only is that of no merit when managing a team such as Bolton, but rather I speak of the ability to handle situations without breaking into fantasy.  In the presence of the indefensible, for example, he puts on what he must believe is a stern grimace and lets his eyes protrude somewhat.  But in attempting to look grim he looks instead rather like a character from a 1950s boys comic in which caricatures of leaders of the Conservative Party are drawn as cowboys and goatherds.

Such men as the Coyle, Allerdyce, Pullis et al are engaged in the task of encouraging the mutilation of limbs of some of the brightest talent, and yet they lack the Presence of, say, Jack the Ripper or the Creature from the Black Lagoon and the ability to put the head down and get out of town of Dr Crippin.

It is the lack of presence that distinguishes these violence junkies from the great managers such as Arsène Wenger and Jose Mourinho, both of whom have Presence in abundance.  Which is not to say I lake the negative approach Mourinho adopts, but rather that he is a great personality.  These characters like Coyle are like men utterly out of their depth in the world of popular entertainment – men who, when the spotlight falls upon them, scratch their chins or pick at their sleeves, shrug the shoulders quite a bit and mumble incoherent half sentences in their native tongue generally with the overall flavour of blaming someone else.

My point is that Wenger and Mourinho take responsibility and do it their way – utterly different ways as it turns out, but in each case their way.  People like Allerdyce, Coyle, Pullis and indeed I would add McCarthy who is building an Allerdyce style approach at Wolverhampton, are not entertainers, and really don’t care too much about the notion. They take no responsibility, just like the players they send out, and if the crowds don’t turn up because the football they offer is awful, that’s hardly their fault.  If men like Eduardo, Diaby and Ramsey are put out of the game for long periods then that’s not their fault.  They shrug their shoulders and scratch their chins.

Will any action be taken against Dan Smith for his attempt at serious injury? Will he be put up against the wall and told in no uncertain terms that he will never be allowed on a football pitch again?  I doubt it.  When we consider that the reward that Shawcross got for his inexcusable assault on Ramsey was a call up for the England squad, it seems unlikely.  When we consider the way Taylor was back in the Birmingham reserve team three games after he attempted to end Eduardo’s career, I doubt it again.  Quite possibly he has already been made Lord of the Manor in Boltonshire.

Shawcross, Taylor, Smith and Robinson should be out of the game, but then so should those managers who encourage them and their like.   The tragedy is, they are still there, and still encouraged by their paymasters on Sky and at the BBC and ITV, forever saying, “that’s the way to beat Arsenal, they don’t like the physical…”

We won the game 4 goals to 1, we had 18 attempts on target, and we buzzed.   Three of the back four are our reserves, while Nasri, Bendtner, Van Persie and Theo are also out.  That is seven of the first team missing, and we strolled through it 4-1 and our club is in profit and beholden to no petro billionaire or sheikh.

Dan Smith is a disgrace, as is his manager, but that it seems is now the price of playing in the EPL.

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105 Replies to “Paul Robinson, Martin Taylor, Ryan Shawcross and now Dan Smith. Arsenal/Bolton and another assault”

  1. During the Bolton game I’d say the ref had a big saying when it comes to the dirty playing from certain players. He failed to dictate the rule book and hit down on fouls, he was incosistent. It didn’t take long before the Bolton players understood this, and given their nature for many years they just do as they have always done. Personally I like Coyle, he wants to play beautiful football and he has always admired Arsenal’s approach to the game. It can’t be easy to change a club around. In previous years Bolton would have had 11 men behind the ball and hope to score on a set piece, Allardyce tactics. You could clearly see that Bolton played a higher line up the pitch. I am in no way defending Bolton, but I must say the Arsenal players weren’t afraid to stand up for themselves and get on with the game. We tore them apart and the score line could have been much more than it was.

  2. Tony, have you got that right? Dan Smith was the Sunderland player who ‘did’ Diaby a couple of seasons ago. The bloke yesterday was Robinson, I think. I must admit all football thugs look more or less the same, and are hardly worth differentiating, but there you go.

  3. Arsenal play fast football and for any opponent it comes to a stage where frustration stands in the way and the only way to respond is by kicking arsenal players at random.Already if you look at the games we have already played.The red cards given to our opponents cements my argument.Joe Cole from Liverpool,Blackpool and now Bolton.The tackle on Diaby went unpunished, Eboue denied an obvious penalty.Then Everton are denied extra time, can yu imagine how much time of added time was going to be given if it was manure united.Primiership referees are A TOTAL DISGRACE TO THIS BEAUTIFUL SPORT.

  4. It was definitely robinson who lunged in on diaby yesterday. He even looks like a horrible, stupid, jealous thug. Even knowing he went over the ball with his studs showing, he went on to mouth off at diaby afterward. Not even an apoloogy.
    You wouldn’t crash into someone with your shitty little fiesta, just because they have a better car than you, so why do it in football?!

  5. @MMW
    Tony must have a hangover! Admittedly Smith was the worst of the leg breakers but it was three (?four?) years ago. Guaranteed that Abou remembered Smith’s tackle all too well which is why he wanted to deck Robinson. Just as well he was held back.

  6. You should add Henry of Wolverhampton to that list as well, did you see a few weeks ago he went through Barton around 7 times and yesterday was the player that broke Zamoras Leg!!

  7. Yes sorry – I screwed up. I won’t go back and change my article because that would be dishonest and put me on a level with the Times who re-write cockups as if they were acting out “1984”.

    I write many of my articles as a set of notes, trying to get my thoughts in order. This time I did just that, but I wrote the notes first on Sunday morning, then went off for a lovely time with the grandchildren, and then came back Sunday lunchtime and wrote the article – but misinterpreted my own notes.

    Here’s the real bit

    Sunderland attack on Diaby = Smith
    Birmingham attack on Eduardo = Taylor
    Stoke attack on Ramsey = Shawcross
    bolton attack on Diaby = Robsinon

    And it was Billy the Dog who was drinking in the 02 Blue room on Club Level. I think he thought that there would not be free drink and free food aplenty – and actually the literature 02 put out is not 100% clear on those points, at least not clear to someone who has downed 9 pints on the basis that he won’t be getting any more during the game.

    Apologies to everyone for my cock up. Not the first and won’t be the last, but you know I mean well.

    But here’s a thought. Yesterday when I got home from the game the BBC were saying on teletext that Chelsea had extended their lead at the top (actually they hadn’t – their goal difference had been cut by one goal). Sunday morning they were saying that “The victory moves the Gunners into second place” – which is odd since we were already clearly there.

    And the big difference is that whoever wrote that for the BBC is paid to do it. I only do this because I hate Bolton.

  8. Haha dan smith plays for blyth Spartans I can imagine him Reading this like WTF???!!!lol!!! U really make yourself look like an ass sometimes……priceless!!!!

  9. I too like Owen Coyle, he has shown with Burnley that he would prefer to play better football and in the half season Wiltshire was at the club, they passed the ball around quite well. There is clearly a disciplinary problem though and Bolton really should of ended the match with 9 players on the pitch instead on 10, so I hope Coyle doesn’t protest too much.

  10. Arseblog also has a good write-up of yesterday’s game as well as an incredible still photograph of the Paul Robinson tackle on Diaby.

    If ANYONE, after seeing that photograph, can say that should not have been a red card well then……. I dont know……I would be mad!!!!

  11. henry at wolves is worse than showcross. the way he went into barton, the way he then justified this style of players not afraid ‘to put their foot in’, to mix it up to’ go in well after em’, this is atotal disgrace.. henry is worse than showcress. his attitude is terrible. have you seen the way he went into zamora, ‘yet he is no that type of player?’ absolute disgrace

  12. Lee: Could you please get off your high horse? The man already admitted and apologised for his error. What else do you want? How many of your coteries admit, much less appologise for, their blatant errors?

  13. LRV – its ok, I really don’t mind. I got it wrong, and I put myself in print, so I have to answer for that.

    Tell you what amuses me though, and that is the people we get here who have clearly not appreciated the essence of the site, or the comments that have already been made, and they come charging right in like a bore in a pub who barges into someone else’s conversation.

    So I get a load of laughs out of that on this site, and on that basis I have to be able to take it when I get it wrong.

    But the general point remains: Diaby, Eduardo, Ramsey have all been crippled by dreadfully reckless tackles which have been defended by the managers of the opposition. Yesterday we were within about half an inch of another one.

  14. The sad part is this all effects the national team also, defenders are allowed pull shirts constant foul in the box they are allowed hack down people day in day out. The standard of defending has gone back so much its incredible once upon a time the art of tackling was a big part of our game.

    when we go to world cup now we cant tackle like that we dont have the technicle ability to defend without following because its not forced upon us at club level or inforced.

    football in general is suffering at both club and international level its a disgrace half the managers arent fully qualified with their coaching badges and someone who gave a goal that went wide in the championship is now refereeing premier league games but we sent bigger wombles to the world cup 8 years back to give 3 yellows before sending someone off.

    The powers to be have a lot to answer for.

  15. Tony,not sure we should bracket Coyle with Fat Sam,and Pulis.I know he was a bit silly yesterday,and about Galas,but those two are despicable on all levels.

  16. I was at the game yesterday and I came home wound up at the disgusting tactics used by the Bolton players. There was the vicious assault by Robinson, who like a coward tried to pretend that he was actually hurt to avoid a booking, which somehow he managed !. Davies carried out his usual habitual assaults on anyone showing a modicum of skill which climaxed with the assault on Koscielny with a premeditated headbutt, he was always looking at the player before he thrust his head in hard to the side of Kos’s head, Davies also feigned injury to avoid a booking, which somehow he managed !. I think it was Cahill during one of the Bolton attacks banged heads with one of our defenders but as Bolton still had possession he remained on his feet on the edge of the box until Almunia got the ball and launched it to Rosicky for a break and he then decided he would drop to the floor clutching his head to stop the game. This is plain and simple cheating ! it worked though. Robinson and Davies acted their way out of a booking and Cahill acted to stop an Arsenal attack, which all worked. Why are all the officials so blind to such obvious tactics ?? it is truly maddening. Listening to Coyle on Sky’s Goals on Sunday this morning he bleated on about the tackle by Song on Lee prior to Cahill’s red card. He felt it was possibly a penalty ! it was a yard outside the bloody box man ! He was shown the Robinson tackle and he glossed over it ! he didn’t condemn it or say anything that would suggest he thought it was bad tackle. I liked (past tense) Coyle but now I have lost respect for him over these tactics and his faliure to condemn an obvious assault by one of his players. Forgive me for not being PC but I hate Bolton and will do so until such time they begin to play with some degree of honesty and become less thuggish.

  17. I must say that I don’t really hate Bolton.
    Stoke is a different story of course. I detest them encompassing their club, manager, players locale. I see stoke on TV and think of that implosion device in the film “outbreak” and what a great idea it would be to deploy it.

    Of course hate is irrational which is probably why I have been banned from all the Stoke supporter blogs. They apparently object to having their current league position and points tally highlighted as a direct result of their lack of talent, ability, etc.
    The only way this could be a better football weekend is if Villa hammer them 2moro night.
    If that happens I might consider putting on my best pie-eating, sheep-shagging inbred accent and ringing up the football phone-in suggesting that Pulis has to go.

    It is after all the little things that make life really worthwhile.

  18. relating to yesterday though, The attack on Diaby was bad but worse was Davies’ flying headbutt on Kos.
    They glossed over it on MOTD but for once on RTE Ray Houghton said that in his opinion it deserved a red because he knew he was going to be late and he made a conscious decision to hit the player as hard as he could anyway.

  19. Some of the tackeles were disgraceful, quite a few actually, they were extremely dangerous, I think the refs take a big responsibility for not stamping it out, the challenage on Diaby was a straight red, there wasn’t even a booking was there? It seems they only seem to react when there is a serious massive injury, but they should be reacting to the tackles not the injury sustained. I very much hope Diaby is ok. Horrible tackling from some of the Bolton players yesterday.

  20. “But the general point remains: Diaby, Eduardo, Ramsey have all been crippled by dreadfully reckless tackles which have been defended by the managers of the opposition. Yesterday we were within about half an inch of another one.”

    Yesterday we were about an inch from another one… that is exactly true, if these are not stomped out mark my words there will be another career threatening or 6 month – a year injury this season, you cannot tackle like that…. commited yes…. hard yes….. extremely dangerous to the health of the player no.

  21. Its suprising to see that Owen Coyle who used to teach proper football at Burnley, is using such tactics. I have seen bolton’s other games in this season and they seem to play normal football. But against Arsenal ystrday, they seemed to have changed their whole gameplan deliberately.

  22. Something else that really concerns me is the so called pundits on TV who pretend to be a technical expert on the game and yet make stupid comments such as, “he did not go in with intent to maim him”. It is this sort of attitude that kills English football. The sooner that these sort of pundits are removed from TV the better. All the fuss was made over the fact that Song supposedly made a foul that was not called and this in turn incensed the Bolton players and caused Cahill to be sent off. Now how ridiculous is that? No one (the pundits) were concerned about the brutality of the foul on Diaby and were more concerned about Bolton being hard done by, pathetic really pathetic. Get these clowns away from the TV and stop paying them to make stupid comments.

  23. May I add DFG that if the pundits realize what they say it even get worse.
    1. the ref gives not a foul (not a penalty outside the box)
    2. because of a foul from the ref they seek revenge
    3. the revenge themselve with a tackle from behind on a player who has nothing to do with it.

    and also if this would be right this mean that those pundits actually think it is okay to try to hurt a player because of the ref making a mistake?????

    Yes let us please remove such players from the field.

    Also I saw that they compared another tackle which didn’t get a red card in some other game. I thought the player came in with a bit more angle in that other match but fin then the solution should have been : give them both red cards. Yet those pundits just ask for concistency. But they don’t say which sort of consistency: the red card or the we all let it happen and hope that no one gets hurt.

    Do they really understand what they are saying themselves???? Once again it is a fact that most players do know nothing about the rules. It is not because of the refs who close their eyes for some tackles that those tackles are allowed according to the rules.

  24. Both the tactics of the Bolton players, and the response to them by the pundits, were disgraceful. It just shows the neanderthal attitude we still have towards football in this country.

    The tackles by Cahill and Robinson, and the headbutt by Davies were all disgusting. And what is even more disturbing was that their immediate reaction to making such assaults was not to admit their mistake, but to engage in play-acting and feign injury in order to escape punishment!

    And anybody who says Cahill’s sending-off was harsh must be completely off his rocker. By lunging in with both feet FROM BEHIND, the player on the ball has no way of knowing the challenge is coming in, and cannot get out of the way of it. Chamakh was very, very lucky to escape injury. Had he tried to bring that ball under his control he would have suffered a crunching challenge on his ankles that could have broken bones. By playing the backheel and leaving the pitch he has probably avoided a horrific injury.

  25. I’d like to say that Davies committed 3 yellow card offences before finally being booked, yet Gibbs got a card for his FIRST foul.
    Davies would also, no question about it, have got a card for the head butt if he didn’t have a card already.
    Therefore the ref bottled it.

    Once again (rolls eyes)

  26. I thought the Cahill sending off was harsh, until I saw the replays. I honestly felt the sending off was more because Attwell had let Davies get away with 3 bookable offenses, and was looking for a way to make up for it a bit. But then, seeing the replay, I can’t imagine how anyone could argue Bolton should not have been down to 9 men at that point. Throw in the assault and battery on Diaby by Robinson and Bolton were lucky to not have 3 players sent off that game. To be completely fair, Gibbs could have been sent off for us too.

    I cut Coyle a bit of slack. From what I’ve seen, he tries to play football the right way, and it’s gotta be a pretty massive task to take Bolton from the stone age to playing proper footy while still staying in the top flight. He’s stuck with a certain type of player there, and you do have to play to your strengths a bit. Disappointed he took a moan after the game, but then as the manager, he’s supposed to defend his players and direct attention somewhere else. Again, to be fair, the foul should have been given for the Song tackle on Lee Chung-Yeong. Never an excuse for the Cahill tackle that followed, but if that foul had been called, maybe Cahill wouldn’t have been in a position to stupidly go flying in like a drunk rhinocerous, and thus avoided that sending off.

  27. I have to add the proviso that I’m typing this before I read Walter’s article, but the thing that wound me up at the game yesterday was not the Bolton players as such, but the ref.

    He seemed to let so much go that the consequence was that the players went in harder and harder. Of the 3 really bad tackles, the only one I got a good look at was the head-butt on Kos (was in block 22), and that should have at least got a yellow. The second one looked bad from the way Chamakh went down, but I think he only got a red because the crowd had been baying for his blood for maybe 5 minutes and he felt he had to do something. The tackle on Diaby really scared me, because at the distance I was, all you could see was him flying through the air, and then his reaction afterwards. Stunned that it didn’t get a card, and more so when seeing replays.

    In the end, if a few tacles had been pulled up on earlier, and maybe an early card, perhaps none of the really nasty stuff would have happened.

  28. By the way, anyone know what Diaby’s condition is? I know Wenger said he “couldn’t move his leg or ankle” but I sort of took that to mean that until scans were done, he was keeping his leg immobile so as not to aggravate any potential injury. I could be completely off-base with that.

    Anyone have any news?

  29. and thats tackles, apologies for the crappy spelling.

    On a connected note, its wonderful how much better the atmosphere is getting. Blocks 22 and 23 gave as good as they got yesterday, and in fact shut up the Bolton fans after the first goal.

    Considering the crap we get for our lack of atmosphere, its amazing how loud and hostile we can get when we feel wronged.

  30. @Taeryn,
    I think what Wenger meant was that his ankle swelled up, and the joint became immobile because of that swelling.

  31. Poor reffereeing over-all deturmined the way that yesterdays game was played. Atwell’s idea of imposing himself on the game took the form of insisting that throw ins & free kicks were re-taken rather than letting the Bolton team know from the off that he wouldn’t tollerate dangerous challenges.
    I feel sorry for Coyle. His Burnley teams played good football but in defending Boltons performance yesterday he made himself look a fool.
    As someone’s already noted though, beware Henry at Wolves. An animal of a player guided by a dinasaur of a manager!!!!

  32. The red card tackle on Chamakh was horrific.

    Chamakh was very, very lucky, because he could have lost a foot there.

    This is getting so bad now I wonder if it is eventually going to dissuade youngsters from coming to play for us?

    Would you risk it as a young player, to come to a team where you know you’re going to get battered week in, week out, with little or no protection from officials?

    I know Nasri’s was an accident on the training ground, but the others, as detailed above, were not, and I know we just signed a Japanese kid who had his leg pre-broken during a trial at Ajax, but seriously, what is the answer?

    Perhaps boycotting the games of such teams is already happening (less than 60K attendance for this one)?

    Perhaps that’s the way forward, especially for the away, er, legs. Don’t give the Stoke, Bolton, [insert team name here] thugs ticket sales if they play like this.

  33. I have always wondered how some commenters on tv can divine “the intent” of a player who commits a horrible tackle-I’m not sure they teach that in psychology class!
    Warren Barton(ex Newcastle) on Foxsoccer here in the US called it right when he said Cahill was undisciplined for an international player. It looks like the favorite refrain from these guys are-“he got the ball”, “he did not mean any malice”. I must confess my heart skipped a beat at the Diaby tackle yesterday.

  34. Something really needs to be done regarding these tackles because they are gonna threaten players careeres, I’m very worried because I can see much worse things happening if they allow this to continue, not everyone will recover like Ramsey, imagine how we would feel if Wilshere/Wellington/Theo/etc have their career ended, it would be sickening, we are not far away from something like that.

  35. true very true every word truth and nothing but truth……HE PEOPLE LIKE THEM ARE REAL DISGRACE AND SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO PLAY FOR ATLEAST 14-15 MATCHES IN EPL AND NONE IN CUPS…f**** disgrace..

    and a really good linking that with managers without any personality…

  36. I think if a player puts another out, for a period exceeding a month, then he too should be suspended for a period of one month minimum and only able to return when that player is ready for selection. The FA should set up a dubious tackle panel, they have the resources to look at dubious goals so why not protect their players from physical assault?

  37. Tony, another article from you that has hit the spot. Some of the so called football played during the game is actually embarrassing and downright ugly. Well looks like Arsene Wenger was wrong about one thing, Kevin Davies played real dirty ( . The most disappointing thing here is that every year there seem to be more teams adopting this philosophy. I actually used to hold Owen Coyle in pretty high regard, thought he did some good work at Burnley and he would finally get a club like Bolton to play some “football” (if they even remember what that is). I didn’t see the wolves game but I am sure that would not have been pretty as well. To put a completely different spin on this, most, if not all the players involved in these nasty tackles are English. Now, dont get me wrong I support England as a team, but the overall quality seems to keep falling where players believe that playing such ridiculous football is okay. And couple that with some bad refereeing in the EPL, they get away with it. Such things come under a lot more scrutiny at the international level and hence they are not allowed to continue. English Football is the loser if this does not stop !!! The managers along with the players must be held responsible !!!

  38. Robinson’s tackle was over the ball studs showing and very hard there was zero intention to play the ball it was almost as bad as Smith’s tackle on Diaby a few years ago and the ref didnt even give a foul and thats why these tackles keep happening to us because the refs are inconsistent Cahill got sent off for a soft foul which wasnt particularly high risk but deserved a yellow. The inconsistency with red cards is why people call Arsenal soft harsh red cards are often givin to our opponents but they get away with Robinson type tackles just as much if not more

  39. I think the time has come for a video evidence file to be sent ( and leaked to the public) to the FA for their ‘serious’ consideration. Arsene is not afraid of speaking his mind on contentious subjects.
    If the FA are truthful about refereeing standards and ‘cleaning up’ the game. Let them comment on each and every offence, week in and week out. Even they must act once public opinion gathers momentum.

  40. The red card tackle on Chamakh was not a soft tackle, ffs. Maroune had the wit to jump up out of it. Someone on another comment board, can’t remember where (?Goonerholic), says it looks as though he knows Cahill is coming in from behind, and thank god for that sixth sense, because if he hadn’t jumped, his foot would have been toast.

    I’ve watched the Diaby/Robinson assault on YouTube, and it looks as though Diaby’s knee took most of the punishment, which could mean a long while out, ligaments and all that.

    How his shin isn’t broken, I have no idea.

    What is the answer? They lost 4-1, so this kind of play definitely isn’t it.

  41. I’m relieved we bought Koscielny and Squillaci this summer instead of caving to the AAA and going after Cahill for that “English Spine” I’ve heard so much about. Even American football condemns contact that occurs as a player is moving out-of-bounds.

    The match announcers I heard (on Fox Soccer in the US) lamented that Davies was able to get away with two card-worthy tackles because the ref played advantage and Arsenal kept the ball until his second, which was small consolation there.

  42. @kiwigooner “I think the time has come for a video evidence file to be sent ( and leaked to the public) to the FA for their ‘serious’ consideration”
    and @CasualObserver “For those that missed it:

    This statement on youtube at the above address says it all: “This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by FA Premier League”

  43. What about Diaby breaking Campo’s foot?
    What about Diaby breaking Steinsson’s foot?
    What about Gallas jumping in on Mark Davies’ ankle?

    Do these not merit a mention? Oh no, because Arsenal are pure and virtuous. My arse!

    You’re a curse on this game, and the sooner Fabregas leaves and you sink like a stone the better.

    Oh, and it’s ALLARDYCE, not Allerdyce – you know-nowt cretin.


  44. Tony – i will get back to you shortly with a list of serious injuries that your Arsenal players have caused ours over the years. I guarantee you it is longer than the one you can give me, i can guarantee it.

    But obviously your blinkered view will see it as ‘retribution’…but i thought you didnt get involved in such nefarious activites?

    Your fans and manager are pathetic.

  45. Adam, when writing again could you please explain to me how it is that you know what I am going to think and say in advance. quite honestly most of the time I don’t know what I am going to think and say before I do.

    And could you also explain the logical route that you took to get to the final comment?

    Oh and while we are at it, let’s try this… Let me accept that repeatedly over the years Arsenal players have caused huge levels of injury to other teams players. (I don’t say I do accept that, but let me assume that you present the arguments and then I do accept it). What evidence do you have that at this point I would not condemn them as well as condemning players of other clubs who harm Arsenal players? Have you found me somewhere doing this?

  46. It is quite interesting running a blog. A while ago on this site I was accused of being a Tottenham supporter who was running this site just to cause chaos among Arsenal fans. Today I am accused of being “a curse on this game,” and I wonder quite how this is.

    I commented in the article on the way some players had committed serious fouls on Arsenal players and how I wanted that to end. I did not say that I condoned any player doing this.

  47. yeah your lot are so perfect they dont dive winge like babies and dont foul (gallas on mark davies last season 3 years ago diaby on campo about 3 arsenal player tryed to kick the crap out of nani wen you were getting stuffed by united as usal your all wearing rose tinted glasses

  48. This really is most curious. Where have I said that Arsenal players are perfect? The argument being put in about three posts now is that the nasty tactics of certain players should be excused because Arsenal players do it too. This is the most perverse and awful logic I can imagine, and speaks volumes about whatever team it is you support Wanderer. Your approach represents the end of football – to make it clear to you my view is that football should work to get rid of all terrible fouls that can end a career. It is dreadful that you feel that this is not so.

  49. I know these figures, and you may recall that for years the press said “50 red cards under Wenger” etc etc. In fact those figures show that although Arsenal did suffer a large number of red cards, they were less, over the period you have chosen to cite, than say, Chelsea, Blackburn, Everton etc (I gave up after that

  50. my approach represents the end of football wat are you on m8

    i dont c you mention diaby gallas in the list of criminals
    the way you describe Bolton wanders and owen coyle( QUOTE with a look of dumb despair of a man who knows he has no case and yet desperately needs to make one up) in your text i find laughable especially wen a incident happens involving arsenal player who has done wrong arsene claims in a french accent I DID’T SEE IT as i said it’s funny how you mention 4 players who none of which play for arsenal,committed fowls against your arsenal and they shoulsd be strung up so you should add diaby and gallas to the list


  51. The article was about a set of injuries on Arsenal players, not on all injuries ever committed anywhere. The key point is that I never once said that Arsenal don’t do this, and have never done it. I also think that when you choose to read a blog you should look back at the blog and realise where it is coming from, and how it is written. From the very start this blog has used literary quotes and humour to make its point. The fact that you don’t realise that the “dumb dispair” comment is a quote is fair enough, but you really ought to make an effort before criticising others.

    On the other hand commentaries to this site by people who have not got what the site is about has given a number of people a lot of smiles over the last few years, and we do welcome that.

  52. I would suggest that Owen Coyle and Wanderer read the full rules of football as they are made up by Fifa.
    Read them in full and then show me the place where its says:
    “Football is a mans game”. It’s on so just look for it.

    It’s only some 140 pages to read and maybe in the mean time you could try to onderstand the rules a bit.

  53. Tony – It’s more the case of you elevating Arsenal and its players above that of other clubs. Describing Bolton as a ‘a lower caste Northern club’ clearly suggests this, without using the word “perfect”, as does deliberately misspelling Allardyce and Pulis, and not your beloved Wenger and Mourinho. Also, without condoning the violent behaviours of Arsenal players, you defend Diaby, when, by your logic, his tackle on Ivan Campo should see him ‘in prison’ for attacking a footballer!
    Obviously vicious tackles with the intent of injury should be discouraged, but this really is a case of the kettle calling the saucepan black…

  54. Well, fine Owen Coyle, that is your opinion, and no problem with that. Untold does get a third of a million hits a month, and from what I understand a number of those people who read the site quite like it. And the four of us who regularly write the articles quite enjoy doing it too.

    All things considered, it might be easier if you didn;t read it, then we’d all be happier.

    but I would thank you and your colleagues, because your commentaries today and the comments made by Mr A (whose name I always seem to mis-spell) have given me an idea for another article, which I think might be quite amusing, and these days funny ideas seem quite hard to come by, so I am grateful for that.

  55. That’s your perogative Tony – but to end a blog with ‘I just hate Bolton’ then you cannot expect pro-Bolton types to just ignore that.

    I shan’t be returning to read your next ‘effort’, but considering the quality of this (and your previous blogs) then I don’t think I’ll be missing much.

  56. Maybe they are thinking because of Arsenal always standing first we have the most red and yellow cards. LOL.
    Maye they didn’t realise most of the tables are in alphabetical order….

    But if you want some facts:

    Red cards/season: Arsenal 2,9 and Bolton 3
    Yellow cards/season: Arenal 54 and Bolton 63.

    Anyway thanks for bringing that site under my attention as I can use it a lot.

    And I don’t know if Owen Coyle and Wanderer have seen the official Fair play league from the last seasons where Arsenal was the faires team in the league.

  57. You can’t argue with fools, Tony. Would Arsenal fans be gloating if another teams’s player(s) had their legs broken? No. Tony has pointed out that there is a history of over-physicality from certain clubs in the way that they have attempted to negate Arsenal’s superior skills, a history that cannot be denied: which other club has had the legs of three first-team players broken in this way? If it had happened to Bolton I think they’d have every right to complain too. And I’d support them. It’s not as though Arsene is saying there should be additional protection for ARSENAL players: no player, from any club, should have their leg broken in the kind of ‘tackles’ (violence) meted out by Taylor, Smith, and Shawcross. Bone-headed denials from these BWFC ‘fans’ is an attempt to muddy the waters, because there’s no denying the evidence of what Robinson tried to do to Diaby at the weekend. And who wants ‘no tackling’ in the game? Who at Arsenal or on here has ever said that? I watched the Burnely/Preston match on tv and saw Andre Bikey, the Burnley centre-back, make some terrific clean tackles. He won the ball, didn’t take the man. I don’t want ‘tackling’ to go out of football: but the systematic use of excessive force needs to receive its proper recognition and punishment, that’s all.

  58. On a final note, it’s good to see that Arsenal fans know their place in the order of things. They hate Bolton, Stoke, Sunderland….

    After all, it’d look silly for a club like Arsenal to have rivals amongst the group of clubs that actually achieve things.

  59. Tony – in response to your reply to my post earlier.

    Your entire blog consists of things other than the facts, judgements on our manager’s character of which you know nothing about, facecious comments, this surely is more than a reporting of the facts and this overstepping into the realms of mockery, well, it should be beyond a serious football writer.

    Anyway, how do you suggest the PL deals with teams being physical? WOuld you prefer to play Braga or Blackpool every week? Or do you accept that a certain amount of variety in your title assault is required? Given that you accept Arsenal players have caused equal damage in the past, what exaclty is this article calling for? Thanks 🙂

  60. it still stands are you gonna put diaby and gallas on the list stop coming out with a load of crap and reply with the reson

  61. Which point did I miss, Owen? The one written in big “ITS A MANS GAME?”

    But this wasn’t from you when I look back? or was it?

  62. I will try and explain how I see this, but I do so without too much hope that it will be understood (although I am sure that is due to my inabilities as a writer rather than anything else).

    This blog has from day one had the headline “supporting the Lord Wenger in all he does” and it has never varied from that mission. That’s what it is about. It aims to do this through a mixture of humour, serious writing, totally over the top ranting, and explorations of writing forms that are not to be found on many (or even any) other football blogs. In short it tries to expand what football blogging is about.

    As such two things happen. First, it often fails in its targets, because you can’t run experiments and have everything work all the time. Second, it doesn’t conform.

    At the same time, I have the view that many articulate football supporters easily swing between two approaches to football. One is the totally over-the-top vision of their own club as perfect, pure, wonderful. We had a brilliant article on here a couple of weeks back that expressed that so perfectly, comparing the abuse that fans gave to the writer when he was playing, and the almost schizophrenic contradictions that came from a single fan who had given up a day and a night to support his team who performed so badly.

    The other is our ability to step aside and have serious balanced conversations about different teams.

    This web site is primarily about the former – it can hardly be anything else given the fact that it supports Lord Wenger in all he does. Many Arsenal fans find that pathetically stupid. Many others enjoy that starting point.

    But equally I regularly have conversations with fans of other clubs in a serious way in which openly debate without prejudice how our respective teams are doing, and what else is going on in the league. To do this it takes both sides to be talking in the same way, but it is perfectly possible, and reasonable educated fans can always do that.

    On this site I might rant at Tottenham and make fun of their manager, but on Supporters Direct I am delighted to receive valued information from a Tottenham fan about the way it treats supporters over a certain issue – so that I can use that information to take to Arsenal in my campaign to change a policy that the club has.

    In short I am not writing articles here which are supposed to be balanced, or which are supposed to be unbiased. I can well understand that many readers won’t pick up on the odd quotes I sling in here and there – some do, and I think the articles are readable even if you don’t. But quite why Bolton fans don’t understand that I am writing a pro-Wenger pro-Arsenal blog, in the way that many other people write blogs in favour of their club or their manager or anything else, I still don’t understand.

    I’d like to think that might make it clearer, but somehow I doubt it will.

  63. An interesting article, but fails to omit some key incidents

    Diaby savaging Ivan Campo
    Diaby savaging Steinsson
    Gallas savaging Mark Davies

    Bunch of handbag chuckers

  64. m8 you really talk some shite is this your attempt at being funny i would give it up m8 leave that to peter kay

    balanced and unbiased wat the feck as i said m8 are you gonna put DIABY and GALLAS ON THE LIST i put it in caps so you would c it through your rose tinted specs that’s my attempt at humour hope you get it but some how i doubt it wil

  65. Who is Dan Smith? Seriosly……….who is Dan Smith?

    Another mistake ridden attempt at ridiculing BWFC.

  66. Shevchenko I think it might have helped if you read some of the earlier comments to that article – or see how it was subsequently promoted on this site. The fact that you haven’t means you won’t understand why some at this end will be having a little chuckle at your comments.

  67. Wanderer – Gallas plays for Spurs now and what the hell has Diaby ever done to make this so-called list?? I’m not sure I have ever seen him commit anything resembling a malicious tackle or attempt to deliberately injure a player.

    Also if Arsenal fans and players are the ones who can’t take it like a man and should take up tiddly-winks instead. Why on Earth are YOU on here bleating and crying like a baby that lost its dummy?

  68. Not funny. Factual.

    But looking at the comment above and what Tony has a “chuckle” at, I can see where our humour’s poles apart

  69. OK gents from the north, I am sorry to have misled you and sent on you a bit of a merry jig, but you have asked me about my view on Arsenal players and the way they play, and what I would say if they committed terrible crimes on the pitch…

    And in reality the answer has been on this site all the time. I wrote the piece about this about a week ago, and the promotion of that article has been on the home page of this site ever since. You only had to look.

    So, sorry to have got you all so worked up, but I couldn’t resist. And really gents, when visiting the site of fans of another club it is only polite to take a look around the site, read the banner headline, and just get a fix on where the readers and writers are coming from. Otherwise you could end up on an Real IRA site and start praising the DUP. And that might be unfortunate.

  70. Jonny – that’s exactly the problem. You bunch of hypocrites remember what is done against you, because let’s be honest not everybody is innocent. But Arsenal fans have this knack of forgetting the crimes committed by their own.

    Diaby has broken legs. Gallas, regardless of where he is now, broke a leg.

    It’s not all cotton wool blankets and keepy-uppy at Arsenal, despite what you might want to think.

  71. Jonny – No, I’ll admit Diaby’s challenge on Steinsson was a bad one. It is exactly the type of two-footed tackle we are talking about that should be stamped out of the game. But Diaby got a red card for it.

    Gallas could have hurt Mark Davies badly had he followed through his stamp. He didnt. Davies was unhurt.

    I think what the Bolton fans fail to grasp is that Arsenal knew exactly what kind of game it would be against Bolton under Sam Allardyce. Dirty and spiteful. It seems to have continued under present management if last weekends match was anything to go by. Only one team was playing football.

    So Diaby committed a couple of bad ones over the years.

    We have lost count of the number of Kevin Davies tackles that could have injured someone seriously (the lastest being his tackle on Wilshire and the assault with the head on Koscielny). I always remember the leg-breaker he put in on Clichy a few years ago, where the only thing that saved Clichy was the fact he jumped five feet in the air.

    I think we should all just chuckle in amusement at Bolton fans coming on here calling our players the dirty ones. They seem to have missed the point of this blog rather badly.

  72. Ah yes I do remember that Diaby tackle – I don’t condone it all. I think, selective memory aside, there is a difference between players like Diaby who have committed the odd bad tackle and football’s self-acknowledged ‘hard men’ who look to hobble players week in week out.

    It is widely accepted that Davies is just such a player and Robinson seems to serve no other purpose as a footballer.

    It’s one of the reasons I am glad Maschaerano left for foreign shores – he was just a horrible, horrible player.

  73. i was wondering wen the davies debate was gonna start typical of your lot how many times has he been sent of in his whole career as i said diaby gallas even keown viera just to name a few of the past that has played for your lot

    we could go to every team in the league and pick 1 or 2 players who by your logic should’t be playing football anymore there’s a massive difference between whole hearted and thuggery we could do with a few more in the england squad that’s for sure not a bunch of whineing diving idiot’s

  74. Firstly, Gallas broke Davies’ ankle, he was therefore not ‘Unhurt.’

    Furthermore, this so called assault on Koscielny obviously wasn’t that as Davies is a doubt for Saturday and Koscielny played last night. Go figure.

  75. Tom – what are you talking about? This is one of hundreds of quotes that you can find on the internet from news sources:

    “Midfielder Mark Davies did not suffer a serious ankle injury after being the victim of a controversial tackle from William Gallas during Bolton’s 4-2 defeat at Arsenal on Wednesday night.”

    He missed a couple of weeks with a bruised ankle. That was it.

    Who cares if Davies is out and Koscielny fit? Davies came in very late with his head down against a defender finishing the act of heading the ball. That could have easily been a broken jaw or broken nose. If he had been that late with studs up he’d have been sent off. If Davies is suffering a concussion after that challenge then it is his own fault because Koscielny headed that ball away cleanly.

  76. Okay, I am mistaken in calling it a broken ankle but he still wasn’t ‘Unhurt.’

    And fair enough but it wasn’t anywhere near as bad as any of your fans make out.

    Just a point for thought, I wonder what you’d think of Diaby if he played for us and made the sort of tackles he made against Steinsson and Campo on Sagna and Song for instance.

  77. Damn I just lost a bet!
    Somebody said Bolton fans had posted here.
    I said “No way those pie eating inbred shitbags have mastered the opposing thumbs problem”.
    “It’s true!” they said .
    “You’re having a laugh!”, says I. ” How did they drag their knuckles up from the ground? Where did they get the crayon to write with?”
    “£20 quid says its true” was the challenge.
    “DONE!!” says I! Everybody in Bolton is illiterate anyway”.

    Imagine my shock!
    Must be one of those New Labour programmes that spends millions to try to educate a few grimmers from up north up to the intellctuale level of a retarded chimpanzee.

    The really funny part is that they are trying to input an argument on a blog that specifically talks about football. This is a subject that nobody from the tenament hamlet of Bolton has any working knowledge of, certainly not their team or manager although the latter is an improvement on that jabba the hut looking slug that they used to have.
    Fat Sam used to manage Limerick FC back in the day. He was a fat gobshite then and he is still a fat gobshite.

    The closest that Bolton peasants come to football is when they see it played by the visitors that they are kicking and striking with their elbows. Like stoke they will eventually return to their spiritual home in the championship.
    They are beneath the standards that represent the Premiership.

    The standard of Bolton is best described by the fact that a 17 year old from the Arsenal youth team can walk into their first team and hold his place.

    Sad really

  78. Personally, I think a little bit of team loyalty needs to be taken out of this discussion. Gallas’s tackle was reprehensible and he should have had a straight red and extra games suspension. Robinson’s tackle on Diaby should have the same. Cahill’s was a marginal red and no extra games suspension. Davies headbutt challenge on Koscielny, straight red and extra games. The Arsenal v Blackburn game showed that you can play physical without playing dirty. Bolton showed the dirty side.

    Almost every game has at least one bad tackle, and unless they (the refs/FA) do something about it more players will be getting career threatening injuries. It is the coaches responsibility to teach their players how to tackle and the league’s responsibility to hold them accountable for their actions on the field. I played div I college ball in the US and I know we were taught both the right and wrong way to tackle. I can’t imagine the pro’s aren’t taught that as well. They make the choice on the field. Suspension’s or fines are both options for player accountability. If the player has to pay a 100K fine for a straight red tackle, I bet you’d see alot fewer bad tackles…

  79. Oh Dear Mr McGovern………I would love to invite you to spend the next 6 months in Bolton, Just like Mr wilshere, you will arrive a child, but return a man.

  80. Just what is the point of the article? I have re-read it and still had trouble isolating any humour. Maybe you could highlight it for me.
    You come across as a hypocrite. Martin Keown, Patrick Viera, Ray Parlour, Tony Adams… all played under Wenger, and all of them knew how to mix it. Today’s Bolton team are no more reckless than that motley crew. The team is 100% committed in every challenge and tackle, and I see no reason to apologise for that. The premier league is the toughest league in the world, and completely unforgiving.
    In a world where so much evil pervades, I’m perplexed as to why you hate Bolton Wanderers.
    You need to get out more.

  81. Terrence, considering we’re the illiterate ones it’s a shame you didn’t have one decent insult or even an intelligent point to make about the article.
    And Nobody has answered me this yet; If Diaby played for us and made sickening challenges on two of your players would you just accept him or would he be a ‘criminal’ as well?

  82. The article is based on a bit of PG Wodehouse, mostly from the Code of the Woosters. If you don’t find Wodehouse funny, or indeed you have never read any, or alternatively if you have not read much of the other humour on the site you wouldn’t get it I guess. But then it is a bit like turning on Doctor Who for the first time in your life, without any interest in sci-fi and any knowledge of the shows last 60 years, and saying, “it’s not very realistic”

  83. Tony, you’re a very poor blogger, I suggest you give it up as a bad job, and concentrate on your junk mail career (as per your suspiciously ‘not-written-by-yourself-at-all-oh-no’ wiki page).

    I see a career for you as a judge on Strictly Come Dancing.

  84. Kevin davies:

    Spend 6 months in Bolton? Are you fking kiding me? I like the luxuries in life like …Paved streets, electricity, pasturised dairy products, cuisine where lard isn’t a foodgroup and an environment where english is the first language. I would rather set myself on fire than spend time in Bolton.

    Tom: I would have thought some of those insults were of a reasonable standard but I could refer you to the above comment if you require more. I specifically refrained from engaging in the debate because it would have been pointless.
    Trying to debate footballing philosophy with Bolton fans would be like trying to teach algebra to farm animals. neither have any potential ability to learn.

  85. Dear (lost) Bolton fans (or maybe AAA), your statements are not factual and valid arguments. This blog is the most unbiased blog ever. This article is about over-the-top tackles, the cultural perspective behind it and its consequences to the victims and the assilants. Let me explain. Diaby did not break Campo’s leg. As new raw Premier League freshie, his overly committed challenge left Campo with a fractured TOE and was out for 9 weeks. Diaby escaped with a yellow card and got lambasted in every newspapers on the land and even critized by his manager and arsenal blogs. Fact. Diaby injured Sneijder’s knee ligaments during a pre-season’s tournament and got a yellow card for that. That season, he just came from a lengthy injury lay-off and was TOO eager to impress. During that tackle, he got the ball as well as the man. Nevertheless, he apologized to Sneijder and Real Madrid personally and got away nicely. Fact. Gallas tackle on Mark Davis was actually nothing. The type of tackle everybody sees in a ‘NORMAL’ Premier League game. Clumsy and late. In a recurring game where Arsenal players who truly got assaulted in Reebok. Remember Taylor’s love affair with Fabregas’s head. Not if you are bias. Most online videos of it is removed now for SOME reason. All the accusations and outburst did not stop Mark Davis from appearing in their next game less than a week later. As we all know, Gallas got ‘slaughtered’ from Bolton and the media for that. Wenger in fact apologized for Gallas. Fact. The commotion of news coverage for these THREE tackles alone sold newspapers for days and even weeks. Now, during those period alone, how many opponents had literally injured Arsenal players? I even lose count. Any media support for the victim? No. The assilants got glorified instead. If Rooney got tackled, ohhh…. ahhh…. pity Rooney, let’s kill the guy who tackle him. Even if Rooney actually murdered someone, ohhh… no…. he is not that kind of player, he is the XXX man, he does kick back. If Gerrard dives, HEY!!! It’s a penalty, god dammit!!! We, Arsenal supporters are frustated because the consequences are different if you are an Arsenal player. If opponents tackle Arsenal, love them, but if Arsenal tackle opponents, f**k them. I really don’t wanna waste cyber space by typing the list of Arsenal players who got critized, crucified and discriminated by other teams and the English media. However, Arsenal FC, its ‘true’ supporters, its manager and the players got over it and moved on. You know why… Because true men forgives and forget… And real men never shows to the world that they are really men, cause they got nothing to prove to fa**ots… So, what’s your story, Bolton ‘duds’?

  86. An amazing article.

    I didn’t get annoyed (I’m one of those b*ggers who supports their local team – fans of the Emirates should take note), it was more a ‘coffee over monitor’ moment.

    In days gone by ‘The Arsenal’ (that’d be the football team, not the author of the blog itself) had players in their midst who would have been more at home at Her Majesty’s Service………sorry, I forgot, the Arsenal legend, Mr Tony of Adams, spent time in there for drink-driving and therefore risking the lives on innocent people.

    It’s a shame such wonderful football over the past five years has amounted to NOTHING in the trophy cabinet, but that isn’t the fault of Mr Wenger, perish the thought.

    I could blame the media, who nod along like the Churchill dog to his bitter comments whenever any team has the audacity of ‘getting stuck in’ when playing the dirty, niggling, imaginary-card-waving foreigners in the Arsenal team.

    I could blame the man himself, who’s popularity has dipped alarmingly in recent years. Since taking over from Bruce Rioch in 1996, he’s spent less money than his rivals, established a production line of young, usually foreign, footballers, and his teams down the years have played some wonderful football.

    No, I don’t blame him either, although he’s installed a mindset of ‘everyone is against us’, not just with his players, but also supporters of Arsenal football club.

    I blame the opposition, how dare they attempt to win games against Arsenal, how dare they attempt to win the ball, and how dare they attempt to compete with such world-class footballers like Emmanuel Eboué, Nicklas Bendtner and Bacary Sagna. It’s an absolute travesty that Arsenal have gone half a decade without any success, and if I was Arsene Wenger, I’d continue putting pressure on referee’s before and after games, despite being the manager of such a petulant and dislikeable club.

    The Arsenal supporters are an unusual bunch, they have an obsession with the word ‘thug’, which isn’t surprising when you’ve had Martin Keown in your team for over a decade. They complain everywhere, phones-ins, on silly blogs written by men of retirement age, even other halves often are stopped halfway through passionate moments ‘don’t play so rough, did you see what happened to Aaron Ramsey?!’.

    By next summer, Arsenal will have gone another year without a trophy, and Fabregas will be off to sunny Barcelona, and the rest of us will have endless hours of chuckling at bitter Arsenal fans crying themselves to sleep for another year………roll on summertime.

    Nat Lofthouse and his band of merry men

  87. The seven dwarfs are

    This comment has been removed as it has nothing to do with the debating point and consists of a rather silly joke and some generalised abuse

  88. OK guys from the north, I agree. It’s crap. It’s rubbish. It’s not funny. So, let’s all stop reading it, and do something else.

  89. It’s all a bit of fun, Tony.

    One day you’ll be back challenging the ‘big two’, but with Manchester City (another pesky Northern club) on the rise, I wouldn’t hold your breath.

    Enjoy the delights of Corby…… 🙂

  90. Actually Tony, I think that you should change the tone of the blog after all these wonderfully helpful posts. The next article for the website that sets itself up as “Supporting Lord Wenger in everything he does” should be “Sack the f****n’ manager, he’s got no clue” followed by an article by the name of “kick the s**t out of us, we dont care” and tommorrow maybe an article headed “Places like Bolton are full of agreeble chaps with a sense of humour”.

    No, wait a minute. There is a limit to how far this can go. That last idea should be crossed off. This thread has shown that there are very few in Bolton who have a sense of humour or are in the least bit agreeable.

    So, instead of that you should do an article entitled “Dirty, rotten Arsenal f***ers, how can any of us support such a rotten, cheating, sack of s**t”?”

    They really have missed the entire point of the blog and this particular post havent they?

  91. Brian said:

    September 16th, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    “You can’t argue with fools, Tony. Would Arsenal fans be gloating if another teams’s player(s) had their legs broken? No.”

    Diaby’s tackle on Mark Davies last year caused many a gunner to have a chuckle at the lad’s expense.

    Either way, to sum up my feelings on the whole charade in tabloid headline form:


    You lot see football as some kind of theatre, a method of entertainment above all else: “the world of popular entertainment,” that Tony alludes to in the article. It’s like you guys place the desire to be entertained over the desire to follow your team. “your” football isn’t a divine right, and sod knows what will happen when the entertainment goes

    We’re kinda the opposite, as are 99% of football fans.

    You don’t like us, and we don’t like you, so let’s leave it at that until the next gooner gets precious.

  92. Look, this is a football blog, written by a football fan who partakes in football banter. We get it. Mocking other clubs is fair game, we support you in that. Bring it on.

    But you’ve provoked our ire by your delusional sanctimony and faux outrage; the passionate response is simply down to the impression you put forward that Arsenal are whiter than white. It’s rather like a career burglar coming home to find his home ransacked. What? You want sympathy!?

    OK, we witnessed some bad fouls last week, yes one or two were reckless, but to suggest that there is an agenda in place is disrespectful and farcical. We do aspire to be entertained by a more technical approach, instead of the one-dimensional Megson way. But we also appreciate honest, hard-working and committed play too. Coyle’s squad is still a work-in-progress.

    Maybe there was humour somewhere in that article, but subtle references to P G Wodehouse just go straight over the head of us thick uneducated thugs.

  93. Bottled it ‘up North’ again.

    And a sending off too.


    I hope your lads were well ‘protected’ throughout the game.


  94. shut up you senile knob or have you forgotten arsenal’s entire history of being dirty shits? for even the majority of arsene wenger’s reign even too with keown, adams, pires, petit, vieira and horrid “tacklers” like diaby now. selective vision is one thing but the serious level of self delusion and constant bleating here is just an embarrassment for the rest of us fair fans of the club who can appreciate the bigger picture. fuck off wenger and fucking get a grip, you’re a legend and a hero but you need to stop making excuses and pulling the wool over the eyes of people like tony attwood here.

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