From ground access to VAR and the booing of Xhaka, it is total chaos at Arsenal

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By Tony Attwood

If you were  not at the game yesterday it is possible you’ve not really appreciated how chaotic things were at the stadium yesterday.  From getting into the ground to the VAR situation played out in the stadium it was mind blowingly mismanaged.

Starting with VAR, Arsenal had scored, the crowd and players celebrated, we were getting ready for the re-start and then suddenly without warning the VAR notice appeared on the screens.

We waited for what seemed quite a while (although of course it seemed longer than it really was) with absolutely no information of what was wrong with the goal) and then it was disallowed.  And we still had no idea why.  And we never got that information.

And then with the fourth Arsenal goal it happened all over again.

This is not entertainment but simply treating the crowd (the paying customers) with utter contempt.   And this on a day when we had already been treated badly by a change to the way in which we got into the ground with a membership card which led to massive queues all round the stadium.

Goodness knows how many games I’ve been to at Arsenal Stadium, following the ritual of meeting friends at the pub, and then going to the ground in plenty of time to get in.

But this time as we approached the stadium it was clear something was very wrong – for the crowds outside were so vast that it was nigh on impossible to make our way around the ground to get in.   As a result we were later getting to the queues, which then were so vast I, and many others, missed the kick off.

It was chaotic and it was dangerous, and whoever was responsible for the mess should be out of the club by now.   Such a situation is ludicrous and completely unsafe, and totally the fault of Arsenal’s stadium management.  The crowd outside was so vast and so unmanaged that if anyone had slipped over they were likely to be trampled.

It not only raises the question of who the safety officers of the stadium are, and whether they are being allowed to keep their jobs after this affair.  And indeed whether the management of Arsenal as a whole are aware of how awful the situation was on Sunday.

So in effect we had mismanagement upon mismanagement.  And indeed for once the Guardian agrees – at least in relation to the workings of VAR (although of course because they take no notice of how us mere mortals attend games they wouldn’t know about the chaos outside the ground) for they said of members of the paying public, such as my group of friends and myself…

“they are entitled to ask why an apparent winner from Sokratis Papastathopoulos seven minutes from time was disallowed after a lengthy VAR review with no explanation offered to anyone in the stadium, replays later showing a possible infraction by Calum Chambers in trying to reach Nicolas Pépé’s corner but nothing fitting a definition of “clear and obvious”. The level of communication with the paying public, not to mention those physically involved in the match, was diabolical and it cannot be right that the pitch of confusion is heightening, rather than abating, nearly three months into the season.”

The only thing that gave rise to a smile was that after the first VAR incident the microphone from the VAR studio was left on, and over the PA we got some jolly chitchat from the person in charge of communicating with the referee.   All very droll and amusing but not really enough to compensate for a day of gross incompetence at Arsenal Stadium.

Arsenal had a turnover of over £388,000,000 in the figures for the last financial which has been published, but they can’t manage to make arrangements to get us into the ground safely, nor tell us why a goal was disallowed on a VAR call.   And those two failings are before we consider what happened about Xhaka.

When he was substituted he was booed constantly by the crowd showing what of course we have known for a long time, that there is a mass campaign against him.   And just think for a moment about players who are perhaps thinking about a transfer to Arsenal.   For there was also the singing of the Ozil song through one part of the match, and all this follows, of course, the long campaign to get rid of Arsene Wenger.

The players who might come to Arsenal in the future won’t be aware of the turmoil outside the ground, but they might notice the dissent inside including the jeering of Arsenal’s captain and VAR incompetence, and quite possibly decide to go elsewhere when a transfer possibility comes around.

The problem is, having successfully combined with the media to get rid of Wenger a lot of a crowd are now working hard to get rid of Emery.   So I guess the “get rid of” mentality is pretty much with us for a while.

I can’t do anything to stop that. But if only that approach to Arsenal could be extended to the notion of getting rid of the people who administer the stadium, then some good might come out of it all.

(And I haven’t even started on how long it took me to get some food at half time).

You might also enjoy our Match Fixing Exclusive…

Uefa admit match fixing is now too big for them to fight it.

40 Replies to “From ground access to VAR and the booing of Xhaka, it is total chaos at Arsenal”

  1. Check out the Daily Express it will give you an explanation for the disruption before the game yesterday , a car going through barriers .

  2. I do not share the view of the commentators and pundits that Xhaka was wrong to react to abuse by sections of “supporters”. Why are they not being criticized for their behaviour?

  3. Yes Steve I’ve heard that. What was bad was that clearly there was no contingency planning to alleviate the chaos, there were no announcements, and with thousands outside the ground at kickoff there was no decision to delay the game by 15 minutes which would have reduced the annoyance and inconvenience outside. But most certainly the introduction of the new entry system didn’t help. Watching the queue ahead of me it was clear that many people were using the old system of entry then turning to a steward for help as people pushed forward, expecting people to move quickly through the turnstile. It is not a safe system when a disruption occurs – in my view (and of course it is only my view.)

  4. Fair point about players coming to Arsenal, but also concerned about keeping the best we have, our two strikers have yet to renew, and are approaching Rauls sign or sell time.
    Ornstein has spoken in the Athletic, apparently the powers that be are furious with VARyesterday, they really need to take this further, we give Mike Riley too easy a ride, or at least seems from outside looking in.
    Would have thought the Manchester Guardian would have been quite pleased with VAR yesterday, almost as if Mr Riley had a special VAR day yesterday just to help the red half of Manchester out

  5. Amy Lawrence tweeting that several senior players visited Xhakas home last night. And that Torriera watched from the tunnel area in complete disbelief.
    Really going to help our performances! Could result in yet another player put in an unplayable situation, like Ozil, just when the Xmas fixtures dictate we will need them all
    A few in that stadium need to take a look at themselves, whatever the speed our captain made his exit
    It was Mike Riley / VAR that did for us yesterday, not Xhaka
    Xhakas only crime was taking clear matchfixing via VAR away from the headlines

  6. I rarely comment but feel I have to now.
    I am season ticket holder since the 1980s and was at the Emirates yesterday and have never felt so embarrassed to be an Arsenal fan.
    Xhaka was one of our better players in the first 60 mins, playing some clever if unspectacular balls forward, including the quick free kick that gave Pepe a chance. The booing at his substitution was just moronic scapegoating.
    Most of the rest of the team were equally poor and worse in many cases. The front three in particular were ineffective. PEAs mis-control when pout through by Guen was a typical example.
    I am now thinking about staying at home on Saturday as I do not wish to be surrounded by the mindless idiots who boo their own players; Eboue, Chamakh, Walcott, Giroud, Ramsey have all suffered.
    I love Arsenal but hate the match day experience.

  7. From the outset it seems that the PGMO have been against the introduction of VAR and have seemingly been doing everything they can to discredit it. The anti-Arsenal bias in normal refereeing decisions has continued unabated and is seemingly reinforced by lengthy and unexplained delays and inexplicable decisions from the remote VAR officials.

  8. This is what some of our wonderful fan base do to talented young players , who should be the future of the club, players we need,

    So perhaps two or more players who in their hearts, might want out as a result of yesterday
    Some fans yesterday need to take a hard look at themselves, they are doing the bidding of the anti Arsenal media and PGMOL .
    And those who run the club need to get on top of the situation to ensure we are never exposed to such cheating again, via litigation if necessary.

  9. Video assisted rigging in full effect this weekend, if only our media had some cahones and reported on just how poorly it is used. I feel that the city goal was allowed due to the fact they have had robberies in most matches this season as the pigmob are clearly engineering the prem to go to liverpool. I have yet to find any clear definition as to why the winner was stolen from us yesterday only speculation, we played against 15 in the stadium plus those in the video assisted rigging bunker. Why don’t fans vent their anger in the right direction? I think if all suppporters of the clubs suffering got together there would be a noise that can not be ignored until then I do not know how to continue watching the prem

  10. One big issue for me is that now we have VAR it formally gives the media the opportunity to question refereeing decisions. Yet still they remain virtually silent and complicit with the agenda against Arsenal and in favour of other clubs. It’s an utter farce.

  11. If the club have anything about them, they will come out with a statement totally backing Xhaka today

  12. According to the Times the ref who administered var was an Australian one.

    That shows how seriously PGML are taking var. Even if, as also suggested by the Times the var technology came from Australia how can a ref from there be entrusted with making such decisions here.

    By the way, I did not see the match but all reports I have seen only refer to one goal disallowed by var. You are saying 2.

  13. Clattenburg and Peter Crouch (thumbs up!) in disbelief at the decision to disallow our 3rd goal and very clear about what was wrong. Time for Kroenke’s friends at the FBI to come in and sort this sh1t out once and for all. No, it has been a joke for a long time but this time, the cracks are appearing and there is just no defending those decisions. Arsenal are in reality on 3rd, one point behind City and 10 points (or 11) ahead of United, who have had as many favourable decisions for them as we have against and it’s only been game 10….It beggars belief.
    The whole corrupt edifice is foul and depressing but we have to hope that once the bricks start to crumble, it will topple. It only takes one or two of these referees to say that they are threatened and forced to work against Arsenal week-in, week-out. I do not blame them, I blame the dirty money brought in by big oil. They are under threat of losing their jobs and livelihoods and possibly worse.

    Having said that, the thing that saddens me the most about last night is the diabolical treatment of Xhaka by the home support. He is loved by the players and is perhaps the reason that the team is so together at the moment. These guys can and will deliver once the corruption is rooted out once and for all. As was stated above, he had a solid performance last night. Not great, but solid and the effect he has on the team is obviously positive. If Emery bows to idiot fan pressure and removes him of the captaincy, it will be a mistake. Xhaka knows well that he reacted wrongly and that should be enough. I’m glad that 3 of the other players paid him a visit last night to console him.

    Unfortunately We have a small but very loud bunch of ignorant scumbag fans who make a lot of noise and yet haven’t got a clue about football. They are nothing to do with Arsenal and what Arsenal is about. They should be ashamed of themselves. They should be dispersed and banned from the ground, so that more well-mannered and knowledgeable fans can take their seats.

    Us decent fans who are easily the majority should keep the faith and support the team, the Manager and the fans above all else. We have everything in place for a great season, albeit 5 points behind where we would have been if not for corruption. What’s new there? Only that this time, something may hopefully be done. 150 million people are begging for an end to the sh1te from the referees and a return to the beautiful game, played aon a level playing field, not one favouring oil money or Manchester United.

  14. James

    “I am season ticket holder since the 1980s and was at the Emirates yesterday and have never felt so embarrassed to be an Arsenal fan.”

    Generalisation is a dangerous thing as quite obviously you simply cannot tar everyone with the same brush.

    I wasn’t there yesterday and I cant bring myself to watch MOTD as I just know how they will deal with yesterdays events, but I would guess the booing actually came from a minority of fans.

    The problem is that the minority is becoming quite a substantial minority, and what’s more they are relentless in their pursuit of there prey, whomever that may be at the time.

    Today Xhaka and Emery, tomorrow who knows, but as you say the list of victims is long and shameful.

    You never, I repeat never get this level of abuse at Liverpool or even Spurs, who do actually have a history of intolerance, despite the former being trophy less for over 10 years prior to last year, and title less for 30 years, and the latter having won nothing for over 10 years and no title since the 60’s.

    But here’s the thing. What is the difference between Liverpool and Spurs compared to Arsenal?

    The media.

    Liverpool and Spurs are adored by the media.

    Spurs’ form for over 6 months has been pretty poor. Yes they reached a CL cup final but yet again failed to deliver. Their manager has never won a trophy. They never got/get abused by their fans or the media as we are.

    Liverpool have obviously come good but they were also pretty poor for quite some time. They never got abused by their fans or the media as we are.

    And yet it is still us that suffers the endless attacks in the media.

    And these attacks have 2 major effects.

    1) Like propaganda it eats away at our fans. Eventually they buy into it and believe every negative thing said about our club, manager and players. They are basically encouraged to abuse their own and that’s exactly what some of them do.

    Conversely, with Liverpool and Spurs, despite how bad they may be doing they are always encouraged to believe a golden dawn is just around the corner. They are basically told to keep the faith and that’s what they do.

    2) The PGMOL and the referees know exactly what the media think of Arsenal and know that no matter how they screw us they will never be derided for it, more over screwing us will be highly beneficial to their careers.

    Yes some of our fans are shameful but I honestly believe their utterly disproportionate anger and angst is more often than not a result of the endless tirade of negativity and vitriol spewing from the media on an almost hourly basis.

  15. Yes Mandy. I blame the crowd. The reaction to his substitution reminded me of Eboue who also once got treated that way by the crowd. Some of our supporters are terrible.
    And yes VAR/Riley did it. Their usual cheating. An article is underway….

  16. Jgsol, an Australian who appears completely unqualified, but I am going to shut up and wait for Walters article!

  17. Walter

    Thank you.

    Did you see my reference to your VAR article back in 2017 on the previous thread.

    We had it nailed back then.

  18. Sammels, Eboue, Almunia, Fabianski, Walcott, Ramsey, Giroud, Mustafi and now it’s Xhaka’s turn to be the target.

    If he did tell them to f… off, good for him!

  19. Arsenal board seem powerless and I seriously wonder if the money from the EPL is so good that they won’t consider damaging “the product”. Week after week its the same yet no word from them.

  20. John L

    Yep, good on him.

    If you take a look at the last thread you will find a link to an old VAR article by Walter back in 2017 containing some wise words on VAR from the young(er) John L.

  21. Unfortunately AFTV and its offshoots have had an appalling effect on the fanbase who now think that by shouting and stamping their feet the club will do their bidding. Just look at the comments under Stuarts Torreira post; most of them just parrot Emery Out with no bloody awareness at all of the point of the post. How can we expect the playing staff to perform when they are abused like this by their own fans? Unfortunately we are living in a world where fans can give up their jobs and make a living setting up youtube channels devoted to Arsenal. Negativity gets more suscribers and likes and therefore more dosh. These people say the same thing over and over again ad nauseum but are influencers who get to sit with the players at matches. Unfortunately this club lost its class along time ago. I can see Jose Mourinho as the next manager when the club bow to fan pressure and sack Emery and then our transformation will be complete.

  22. The Australian referee who was doing the VARiness yesterday was officiating at the highest level in Australia. I believe he was also working on a degree (or postgraduate work). At some point, he decided to move to Liverpool for work (possibly postdoctoral) related to what he was doing in Australia at a university there. He decided to see if he could also continue to work as a referee, and for some reason was hired on. The early articles about him (months ago) said that he was to be officiating in the Championship. I don’t ever remember reading about him being possibly used for VAR.

  23. The Sun has this about Gillett:

    The 32-year-old came to England to begin a doctoral research programme on cerebral palsy in children at Liverpool John Moores University.

  24. Might of guessed that nasty piece of work wright would be sticking the boot in as that’s all he seems to do whenever it comes to Arsenal.

  25. I didn’t boo Xhaka, I’ve never booed our players. But I was angry that when his number was called he strolled off the pitch. He is the Arsenal captain, he wears the armband and the shirt so he has responsibility. The fans who booed him, others, and called for Wenger out (and may be publicly be calling for Emery out) are expressing their opinion (however misguided). They all contribute to Granit’s wages. Like it or not (and I don’t ) this is the reality of modern football. Tony writes: ‘When he was substituted he was booed constantly by the crowd showing what of course we have known for a long time, that there is a mass campaign against him’. He wasn’t booed constantly, there was ironic applause and then anger and then some boos. Personally I clapped him at first because he is our player coming off and I always do that, I expect many did. Don’t feed the media that is already sated on anti-Arsenal stories.

  26. From CaughtOffside:

    I’ve got an awful feeling it’s because the FA are so fearful of their incompetent referees showing themselves up and making matters even worse by getting things wrong and talking everybody through how they are arriving to the wrong conclusion.

  27. Why is it the Refs refuse to go to the tv monitor,yet ,during the World cups it was used to good effect.
    Call out Riley.I do believe with the way var is at present,with these guys in Stockley Park,it makes it very easy for bribery,something I believe has been going on for years.Get Riley out.

  28. Masterstroke

    That’s good to hear if surprising. Doesn’t give us the 2 extra vital points back though.

    And more than that it doesn’t reverse the massive psychological damage that yesterday seems to of had on the players.

    A late winner like that would of been a great boost to counteract the negativity created by the Xhaka incident.

  29. Absolutely hope the Unai has the courage to select Xhaka against Liverpool and that our skipper has the courage to play. What better way to tell the pathetic mob of lowlifes masquerading as arsenal fans to disappear up their own rear ends.

    GX34 is of Arsenal and deserves the same respect every other player that has worn the shirt and especially the armband through the years.

  30. In my view Xhaka was right in telling those fans to eff off. Disappointed by Ian Wright’s comments that Xhaka was solely to blame. Yes, he may have been to a certain extent (difficult to justify as he had not put a foot wrong all evening), but wright should also have blasted the moronic fans, but didn’t. Now they feel entitled, they will just target the next player when Xhaka leaves, thank you mr wright.

    As for VAR I have always been of the opinion the pigmob don’t like VAR and would do anything to discredit it. Other sides will get favoured heavily (Mane’s penalty against Leicester being a good example; he fell to the ground clutching his right ankle when it was supposed to have been his left ankle that was trod on, something VAR should have picked up with easy) while others get robbed even more (unfortunately for us we belong in the latter group).

    As for myself, I am going to watch the PL less and less. No point in causing myself pain and anguish over something I cannot control.

  31. The players may have voted, but Emery sealed the deal of Xhaka being captain, he should stick by it and back a human being who has been under pressure.

  32. I just cannot understand how people could waste their money to get season tickets to boo the players . Do they really think that this is helpful to the team , or even carthatic in some way for themselves.

    I’m hoping that our players react the right way by playing well and supporting each other and the manager . Screw the pundits and the media .
    Up the Gunners !

  33. The same toxic that removed Arsene Wenger is at play again. For me, unless the players united together with the manager, the season is over for Arsenal FC. Thank you very much Arsenal Toxic Inc.

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