The ten reasons why Arsenal’s campaign has gone wrong this season

By Tony Attwood

1: The attempted robbery of Ozil and Kolasinac.

I think it shocked every member of the team,   Of course their hearts went out to their colleagues and friends, but there was more, because this made it clear that given the incredible increase in knife crime on Britain’s streets, following the dramatic cut in police funding over the previous six years, they were all in real danger.

There were 43,516 knife crime offences in the 12 months ending March 2019.    According to the BBC this is an 80% increase from the low-point in the year ending March 2014, when there were 23,945 offences.  It is the highest number since comparable data was first compiled.

If having two of your work colleagues attacked isn’t going to “cast a cloud over Arsenal’s pre-season” as the Express (ever anxious to tell us that Britain is a wonderfully safe place to live because of the caring governing that we have) tells us, I am not sure what is.

2: Xhaka’s response to being substituted

…and having the captaincy removed was far from good.  But the cause of his anger was in part the constant booing and jeering of him by alleged fans, and the negativity in some of the press, always quick to pick up on any negativity at Arsenal.

I’ll try for the nth time to make my thought on this clear – it doesn’t matter how badly a player plays booing him and ceaselessly criticising him is never ever a helpful thing to do.  It always makes it worse

3:  Attacks by fans on club

It doesn’t stop, ever.  It goes on day by day week by week.  It happens inside the ground, outside the ground with the videos made, and on blogs, on radio stations etc.

The radio stations to give one example love it – running a phone in show is about the cheapest form of radio there is, and Arsenal fans are queuing up to get on.  There was a time when the radio shows found other reasons for certain clubs having problems.  Now, with Arsenal, there is just one.

4.  Remourceless deluge by media

With the radio stations running this all the time, TV, newspapers and the blogs join in because very very few “outlets” will ever question the dominant approach of the media at any particular time.  Standing out against the dominant view simply brings abuse.

So the media unite.  Arsenal are failing because of the manager, and poor players.  Nothing else.

5.  The English “sack the manager” culture

Clubs across Europe can on occasion sack the manager when things go wrong.  But I doubt that any country goes into manager sacking with the speed and regularity of English clubs.  It is as if no other reason for failure can be imagined, so the manager is sacked.

And if the next manager doesn’t work, sack him.   And if he doesn’t work out, sack him.

It is the sack the manager culture that is a central cause in clubs failing.   Fortunately for Man U they let Ferguson fail and fail again, without sacking him, and thus they gained the most successful manager in the history of the League.

6.  Lack of luck

Luck does play a part in all games.  The ball just inside the goalpost is brilliant, the hitting the post is inaccuracy.   But in fact some of this is luck.  The occasional diversion, the tiny fraction of extra spin… it happens, and luck does not even out over time when there are so many variables as there are in a football match.

The cards you get in playing a classic game will even out between good and bad hands, as long as the dealer is not bent, but football has so many more variables that very long runs of bad luck can be found.

7.  PGMO on VAR

The implementation of VAR this season has been weird.  A year later than much of the rest of Europe, and then implementation in a way very different from that which was seen in the rest of Europe.  And for what purpose was there a delay?   None positive, at least when one looks at Arsenal’s situation.   At the very very very least, one of our draws of late should have been a win – a win which itself might have given enough confidence to the club and its players for performances to improve.  Personally I think we have lost four points through VAR.

Nothing reduces the players’ determination and drive as much as the feeling that there is something wrong with officialdom.

8.  Media refusal to mention Uefa match fixing

Throughout the rest of Europe, Uefa’s report on the fact that match fixing is now out of control and getting worse has been reported and analysed.  But not in the UK.

The question as to “why not?” is one that is occupying a lot of minds in the game beyond England, and a few within this country, and the only explanation I have heard is because the PGMO and League are petrified that evidence will emerge of match fixing in the PL.

That of course affects all clubs, but clubs on a bad run of “luck” are always affected worse when it comes to psychological matters.

9.  Rumours on Aubameyang and Ozil

The rumour mills have been going berserk this season and have spent a lot of time working on two of our best players.   I doubt that this has helped Ozil, or that it is currently helping Aubameyang.

10.  The “We care do you” protest.

Before the season started Arsenal Supporters Trust said that Arsenal had a maximum of £40m in transfer funds.  They then produced a document which attacked Arsenal stadium as being a soulless place, and then attacked the transfer policy of the club, and its playing style, along with the manager and virtually everyone else.   Arseblog, Black Scarf, The Gooner, Le Grove, Redaction, 7am Kickoff and many of the rest all joined in what was the most negative unified campaign against Arsenal I have ever seen.

Did they really think that they could come out with such a strongly negative report on the club, and that it would have a positive effect, or a neutral affect?

If so, they are sillier than I have ever thought.

They stoked the fires of negativity in the press, and that fire has become a roaring, raging furnace ever since.  They have a lot to answer for, and a few lines of apology at this stage would not go amiss.

And that is why Arsenal are doing poorly, and why some players are not playing as well as we might have hoped.


40 Replies to “The ten reasons why Arsenal’s campaign has gone wrong this season”

  1. The most likely reason why Arsenal is not winning is neither the supporters, media, English culture of “sack the manager” or players. IT IS THE COACH
    > last season it was high line attack
    > this season is play from the back
    > still no first eleven- every game has a different 11
    > no regular formation- every game has a different one
    > playing players of position- eg Torreira, Niles,Ozil
    > dividing the team- coach’s open declaration last
    season that in spite of having Lac & Abu, he told
    the media that he wanted Abu to be top goal
    scorer in the premier
    > discriminating Laca by not playing him on him
    on important matches or substituting him

  2. Are you saying the club and management have had no part to play.

    Club strategy to drop Ozil, withdrawning Aaron Ramsey contract, playing 8 defensive minded players against lower half teams, hanging player’s out to dry in the media, getting rid of Sven etc.

    Sorry but it is not wrong to look at and critic the manager and the club if it is warranted and you cannot say that performances and some decisions taken by the club and management have had an affect.

  3. VAR and the off side lines.

    When is the off side actually measured? The passer of the ball makes contact with the ball before it is passed and so the actual time that should be used is the initial contact of the passers shot. Not the point where the ball has left the passers touch!! There is nothing in the Laws of the Game that states the exact snapshot of when the ball is deemed to have been passed. The Gods that braodcast, claim the lines are evidence, but the lines are placed on a still that shows the ball already in progress toward the receiver.

    In athletics the starters gun is given a gap before the athlete can react. If the athlete reacts inside the gap, it is deemed a false start (even though it is afier the shot).

    There is no leeway for ‘human error’ in the point of the lines on a off side still.

    The handball decisions are another area of contention. The IFAB Law stated that contact of the ball and hand was hanball irrelevnt of its position. Riley’s Law states handball is only when my PGMOL officials decide the hand is in an unnatural position!! (*writing out a cheque makes it unnatural. Cash is natural).

    The probability of corrupt selection is endless.

  4. Lol @ Tony. This is such a load of bullshit. So it has nothing to do with the quality of the team and its management

  5. Once again, I really do not agree with all of your arguments. Of course there is a lot of negativity from the media and this is influencing everything, I’ll give you that. And the Özil & Xhaka incidents didn’t help either. But that’s it. If you mention luck, it was in our way formost of the games. We were so lucky to get wins or points in our first matches against Newcastle, Aston Villa, Burnley, Watford, Wolves, Crystal Palace, Manu, Vitoria, and many more. We were inferior in all of these games. VAR is still a mess and robbed us from a few points, I’ll give you that too, but in those games we should have won anyway. And finally the core problem is Emery. Look at what Rodgers did at Leiceater in far less time with a weaker squad and tell me why it is not Emery’s fault that Arsenal is in this abysmal state on the pitch. His team selections, his managment of Özil, his tactics, his playing out from the back, his attacking, his midfield selections, his substitutions: we got worse all over the pitch and then hesays after every game: it was good, they did what I wanted and the opponent was so strong and organised. Even if we play against Watford away, an newly promoted Sheffield orAston Villa at home, or Vitoria at home or away he says these kind of things. This makes everyone sick. We are not a fucking midtable team trying to survive the group stages of the el. We used to think about how far we can go in the cl.

    So once again, I understand where you are coming from, but some of your arguments are so invalid, as is your defending of Emery. And please do notention luck again, besides saying that we are lucky to be in 6th place this season.

  6. With respect, I cannot see how too many of your points explain the way our teams have be set out to play or how it is that our ability to create scoring opportunities, let alone take them and our inability to defend has been affected by them.

    Please confirm which of your 10 points has resulted in the regular farce created by the playing out from the back requirement by ue.

    Please also confirm which of the 10 has destroyed our ability to pass the ball accurately to other members of our team.

    I appreciate your reluctance to criticise ue and to seek his removal as you did with regard to aw. However there is a world of difference between the 2. I doubt whether too many of us did not agree that aw’s time had come. The objection was the way it was being done and the fact that it was rushed without a proper attempt to ensure an adequate succession.

    What is happening now, with the rapid decline, needs immediate attention. Waiting until the summer is likely to cause irreparable damage

  7. Not being able to defend properly and defend as a team.
    Menace you would have been laughed off every other Arsenal messageboard years ago,its no wonder you stick to this one.I dont know if you are Tony or Walter in disguise.Blaming Var and referees once again unusual of you

  8. There are clearly issues this season, and unfortunately scenarios have enveloped Arsenal players.
    Would add to this, losing excellent players and leaders Within the team, Kos, Nacho, Ramsey, not easily or quickly replaceable.
    Also agree the likes of AFTV don’t help, but reading this morning on Mr Arsenic twitter feed that Ornstein in The Athletic saying some of the squad are not only pissed off with Xhakas treatment, but also that Auba has been made captain. Further, Auba has been told to stop engaging with the likes of Troopz and liking posts against the club and figures within the club. As much as I like him as a player, If Auba really has been doing this, astonishing, he certainly should not be captain,
    For the record, think they have made a big mistake in handling the Xhaka situation, considering what has come out about threats to his family, he should have been backed to the hilt and conspicuously so.
    There are external factors, but the club doesn’t seem the calm place it once was, ok, maybe a few years ago!
    As for sacking managers, really don’t want to see us with a revolving door policy, but strongly suspect it is only a matter of time for this manager, albeit the problems are not all his fault or his making

  9. thick nick – the VAR I referred to is not Arsenal specific but with general implementation in the EPL. In one game, ball to hand is handball next it isn’t. One game offside is not in phase next game it is because the defending team didn’t have time to reset!! The whole PGMOL officiating scam needs addressing.

    As regards Emery, I agree that his whole approach is hindering progress rather than improving the teams consistency or momentum. I dislike the way our defence play from the back without understanding the objective. If the objectives are not laid down, the processes cannot be structured. It is pretty obvious that the basics are not there for the team to follow. Every thing should be written down so that at least the basics can be implemented.

    Structures & Processes. Each team structure needs a relative process.

    Personally I don’t feel there is any constructive set up implemented that the team has to follow.

    That together with the media rubbish lends itself to the sad state where everything breaks down.

  10. @Mandy, if you ask me I’d say the real mistake was giving xhaka the arm band in the first place. He had already been booed previously so it was obvious he wasn’t the man for the job. In my opinion the captain is supposed to be the mediator between the fans and the players. Dzeko did it when Roma fans were being racist towards koulibaly in a match against Napoli, Ambrossini as captain of ac Milan was the one delegated to beg fans to show up for a derby with inter. Hojberg as captain of Southampton was the one to apologize to fans after the 9-0 humiliation against Leicester. How do you think arsenal fans would receive xhaka if we were in a similar position? It was always a mistake to make him captain. Though in fairness it didn’t seem as though the coach had plenty of options. It may be true the messages he had gotten, I doubt that is a strange occurrence with the anonymity the internet provides, many footballers i believe get that,even Tony claims to receive threats. A captain should be above that. Where his position as captain became untenable was when he refused to in the immediate aftermath of the incident, tender his apologies or explanation. This was the same mistake ozil made in the aftermath of the Turkish president issue. Gundogan did that, ozil didn’t.

  11. Yilch:The most common comment we get on Untold Arsenal is along the lines you have written – that we think it is all the refs faults. Quite why it is so hard to understand what is written here is beyond me. It is written time and time again and explained in so many different ways.

  12. reading all the comments, I believe the owners ought to go one step further and invent a new way to manage a team.
    How about crowdfunded management ?

    Each would be manager gets an app and UE is the one just doing what the popular vote dictates :

    – do not play from the back
    – send this or that palyer back to the country they came from
    – decide who the captain is
    – decide which player to substitute

    At least we’d be getting what the crowd wants and maybe the ceaseless BS we get on radio, TV and internet would have to stop, after all the manager just executes…
    No more manager would want to come to the Emirates, with them being made redundant, which in turn would clear a few millions a year for players.

    A huge naming contract for the Emirates from Nintendo or whichever games producer would follow.

    Apart from that, there is so much lack of respect oozing from the comments of all those world class specialists… as if they participate in training, hear the manager’s explanations, listen to the players, are in the know and have so far superior knowledge ( the fact that the UK has only 3’000 UEFA coaches mst be fake news – there are at least 50’000 registered with Arsenal FC. Untold Arsenal ought to start looking into that, really).
    The team elected Xhaka as captain and what is the answer from the specialists : to hell with the team, they have no idea anyway, same for the manager and the organisation.
    What is the message there ? You 25 guys are too damn stupid to be deciding who represents you, just concentrate on kicking the ball ?
    Why in the world is the team as such not getting respect for it’s decision ? Or polite aknowledgementand acceptance of their choice.

  13. @Tony, why you’re replying a comment that’s addressed to menace is beyond me. I’m sure he’s capable of telling me whether for him it’s all the refs fault or not. Till then allow me hold my opinion. Although Nick seems to suggest menace might just be one of your monikers

  14. An ill judged headline for an article, if ever there was one – unless the objective was to draw fire. If it had been “the ten factors outside UE’s control that contribute to why things have gone wrong”, it might have been half credible. As to the Xhaka mistake (appointing him as Captain), that’s down to UE. A secret ballot of players is laudable, but not the defining criteria. To appoint someone who much of the fan base seemingly had lost confidence in was an unnecessary risk. And it backfired.

  15. “as if they participate in training, hear the manager’s explanations, listen to the players, are in the know and have so far superior knowledge ( the fact that the UK has only 3’000 UEFA coaches mst be fake news – there are at least 50’000 registered with Arsenal FC. Untold Arsenal ought to start looking into that, really).”

    Comments are peoples opinions, weather you agree with them is neither here nor there but what you are saying is that a football fan has to have all this background information thats only available to internal staff to make comments or form opinion, otherwise they should just shutup and not even express thoughts?

    If the club has no backbone and flip flops between peoples opinions then it shows weakness and lack of direction from the club for listening and reacting to people who have not got a clue but people have the right to form opinions.

  16. Sorry, Chris, but I am not sure I understand where you are on the issue at hand.

    The proof of the pudding is in the eating.

    In the end, the goals are scored or conceded and the points gained and lost by the players.

    And, in the end, the way players play as a group is down to the coach and the way he coaches them.

    So, on behalf of those of us who are the butt of your sarcasm, can we please hear from you with your personal opinion as to whether you are happy with the way the players are playing and their overall progress during this season.

    If, as I suspect you are, not, then can we hear from you what you think the prime cause for that is. Is it the refs? The media? Luck? Match-fixing? Or What?

    I have no doubt at all that our colleagues here bear no malice to UE. No one here has threatened him or his wife or wished him or his family ill. for my part he was the wrong man for the job and that he has shown this in the last 18 months and that, for the benefit of the club, and, indeed, himself, the time is now for a parting of the ways, with goodwill from everyone.

    In my humble opinion, we are witnessing the destruction from within of our beloved club.

    No doubt we will all survive if it ends up doing a “Leeds”, but please do not expect us to stand around and watch it happen without saying anything.

  17. What Tony has written here is an attempt to give a set of reasons for why we are not where we should be. We have the players, the resources, the Manager to be way above where we are. At the start of the season, many were very optimistic, so it is understandable that anger and frustration is growing. But how? This anger and frustration has been shown in the most foul and unproductive way. As usual, it seems to me (and many on here) that the club would have been much better served by our supporters actually supporting the club, instead of criticising any player who does not perform excellently every single week, criticising the management, the board etc. People should look at themselves and look at what it means to be a supporter. There is nothing wrong with our players and management which a bit of cheering and a few results (bits of luck) wouldn’t remedy. I cannot criticise the away support because it is the best in the premiership without fail. It is so much better than a large proportion of the home support. If I could do one thing to improve Arsenal it would be to work out a strategy to improve the atmosphere at the Emirates.
    Tony mentions luck. Without 2 insane VAR/Referee decisions, we would have been 3rd, pushing for 2nd in the table. We might well have maintained that momentum and won a few of the games since. The difference in what happened to stop us being exactly where we should be (3rd) or as we are now, languishing in 6th is so narrow. The biggest difference and what people have to put a stop to is that sections of the support and AFTV (and the other webs and blogs mentioned) have had an incredibly detrimental effect on the players, the league position, the manager, all of us who follow this greatest of football clubs. Be a supporter. If you don’t have anything constructive to say, shut up. It’s often the most impatient or even ignorant people who make the most noise. We need to support our club through thick and thin.

  18. Well, I am sorry it is beyond you Yilch, but maybe the fact that it is, is the problem. The point of a blog is that we have a discussion between people who are not on line all the time, and everyone can join in. I saw your post, I replied.
    One to one’s do happen, and can happen, but they are not ideally suited for a blog.

  19. @Sally Pally – hear hear! Well put and correctly finished.

    Yilch your proposal to nick has obviously been accepted. I will gladly arrange for your vows at the next home game. You will make such a lovely couple with Riley as best man.

  20. Sally Pally

    Another great post.

    I’m not an idiot and can see things are not perfect by any stretch of the imagination but I find it very difficult to make any true evaluation whilst we are being screwed over by PGMOL, the refs and VAR.

    I said 3 years ago it would be used to screw us and so it is.

    As for Tony’s article l, I don’t believe He’s suggesting for a second that everything in the garden is rosey with regards to the manager, the players or our form, but what I think he is saying is that there are many other factors feeding into the manager/player issues and those factors need considering and where possible addressing before proper judgement can be made on Emery and the team.

    That’s how I red it anyway.

  21. Before anyone asks, I didn’t put a capital ‘H’ because I think Tony’s God, just a ‘typo’ you understand 😃

  22. Nitram, how about for ‘red’? 🙂


    Headline: Klopp hails ‘focused’ Michael Oliver after Man City win

  23. Do any of you actually watch Adrian Clarke dissect the Gunners’ performance game after game, in a professional and expert manner, unlike what most of you do on UA? How many of you actually have any professional managerial or officiating experience and know anything about VAR, EPL managerial skills or professionalism?

    I don’t agree with all tony’s points but I accept that some of them have an influence on the team’s performance. Emery is having a difficult time building the chemistry and unity needed to produce winning results and it is obvious the players have lost confidence and motivation after failing to win key games. This is definitely down to Emery’s failure to get his tactics and strategy permanently right but Guardiola and Klopp went through exactly the same thing in their first 2 years as managers.

    The lovers of whining and moaning pile it on here as if they actually knew what they were talking about but the reality is that NOBODY on this site has the slightest idea of a complete and well-proven strategy to remedy what ails AFC and they never will. Walter, Nitram and I have officiating experience and certainly k now the letter and the application of the Laws better than anyone on this site who has not officiated long-term and at a high level. However we don’t pretend that we know how to manage a professional Football Club and will only offer our observations about tactics and managerial strategies as amateur opinions.

    Until things are changed by the BOD, the manager and the owner, I’m supporting our Club, our manager and OUR team through thick and thin…..if you lot don’t want to that’s your choice but don’t pretend to know more than others.

  24. Everybody is entitled to express their opinion, the world would be in a poorer state if it’s restricted. However, is it necessary to abuse, vilified, threaten, or ridicule the manager, players, or the Club? The manager, players, and Club has already express they accept criticism and acknowledge it’s part of football but there’s no need to be childish and rude.

    Isn’t it better to say I would like to see Ozil to do more defensive work instead of ‘his f’ken useless and can’t defend, he’s a waste of money, get rid of him’ or I would like to see Xhaka cut down on his defensive errors instead of ‘ the f’ken guy can’t play football and he’s killing the club,he deserve to die, get f out of my club’. Which expression method is more helpful?

  25. That’s okay Nitram!

    I am just taking breaks from clearing my driveway of snow (1500 feet, 24-36 feet wide of 6 inches of snow).

  26. Headline: Klopp tells UEFA seminar that VAR must improve

    They must give every foul, every offside, to the better team.

  27. Headline: Sterling dropped after he doesn’t dive in England practice

    I had 😈 Mike Riley there, to show Sterling just what he needs to do. And he didn’t dive (this time). So he was sacked. Next time when he is presented with an opportunity to dive, he better dive. Or he will never play for England again!

  28. I can clearly state that any negative Arsenal fans are due to die in an event of a war. Their pessimism and lack of deep thought will ruin them and people around them. Why war you may ask. Since sugar daddies came to England, the principle of Arsenal was damned by media. The borders were created and weapons were massed. It’s either our way or their way. The Arsenal way was in danger of imploding in England whereas it was prospering in Germany. Arsenal FC is struggling and all within the club are committed to find the light in the tunnel. As history taught us, we always do. Perhaps these fickle fans should have monitored how bad was JÜRGEN Klopp in his first season and first half of the second season. The owners covered him and the fans supported him. We would like to do the same. Unai Emery has great track record in overachieving so just give him more time. The players are doing something different this season and a lot of encouraging moments in their game still have me hoping. There are many of us feel, we the fans can make a positive different in a difficult situation for the manager, players and club. Mr Tony started this website for this exact reason. We don’t really need emotionally unwarranted comments here because we already know the problems and issues. The solutions being seek is logic and common sense, not the wimps or tears of the dumb.

  29. @ Polo

    I accept that everybody is entitled to an opinion. But people don’t (or shouldn’t) have an opinion on brain surgery which is carried out by well qualified, highly experienced people who have spent a lifetime learning their job.

    I may be able to comment that surgery didn’t work if the patient doesn’t survive but that may or may not have anything to do with the work of the surgeon so it would patently be absurd to guess.
    There could have been a whole array of factors involved. Some of which I may be aware but many of which I patently would not be. Hence I don’t pass an opinion.

    By my reckoning, top football management is undertaken by well qualified, highly experienced people who have spent a lifetime learning their job. Hence I wouldn’t even think of trying to suggest I knew what he should or should not do.

  30. Michael Ram

    “Since sugar daddies came to England, the principle of Arsenal was damned by media. The borders were created and weapons were massed. It’s either our way or their way.”

    Very simplistic but a theory I definitely subscribe to.

    The influx of foreign mega bucks fills the trough in which the snouts of the media forage on a daily basis. It is a trough I am certain they are determined will be constantly filled and filled again. The mere notion that something, somebody, someone, some CLUB should be self sustaining and living within their means is without doubt a concept that has the regulars of the Toppled Bollard sobbing into their favourite pint of cheap scotch.

    “Arsenal FC is struggling and all within the club are committed to find the light in the tunnel. As history taught us, we always do.”

    I’m sure they are too. We are having a tough time of it at the moment but you know what they say, when the going gets tough….?

    Alas, if admittedly on the back of a lot of media agitation, too many of our fans are failing dismally to show the support and fortitude required when indeed the going does get tough.

    “There are many of us feel, we the fans can make a positive different in a difficult situation for the manager, players and club. Mr Tony started this website for this exact reason. We don’t really need emotionally unwarranted comments here because we already know the problems and issues. The solutions being seek is logic and common sense, not the wimps or tears of the dumb.”

    Well said.


    “Mr Tony started this website for this exact reason. We don’t really need emotionally unwarranted comments here because we already know the problems and issues.”

    Exactly. As I said earlier, I am not blind, I can see things are not perfect.

    Of course people have different opinions. Of course people can have a moan. When I’m sat watching I’ll have a moan about this that or the other. I’ve done that since I started watching Arsenal under Bertie Mee. No manager or player is perfect. The issue is how you voice those opinions and opinions.

    Liverpool fans must, over the last 25 years, of had many moments similar to that of our current situation, but did they ever abuse their players, manager or Club in a way that ours do? I don’t remember if they did.

    Lets not pretend this started just when we dropped out of the top 4 under Wenger. We were winning trophies and planes were being flown over the stadium. We ere winning trophies and the calls for the managers head were endless. We were winning trophies and our players were constantly being singled out as rubbish and ‘not fit to wear the shirt’.

    Some of our fans need a serious reality check. Some of our fans need to have a look at themselves and ask ‘what would a real fan do at a time like this’ ?

    Maybe they should talk to some of those loyal, never give up on the team, manager, or Club, Liverpool fans.

    Maybe it’s something they’re smoking up there !

  31. @omgarsenal – Adrian Clarke’s analysis is excellent but he has to remain diplomatic when it comes to skewed officiating, so he only airs views about the play of the Arsenal with this critical officiating layer removed, giving the pitch the look of a level playing field.

  32. @jigsol, @gee,

    my point is rhat, having a discussion is one thing. And sure enough opinions diverge, and beer helping sometimes arguments get louder.
    But this is what happens outside the stadium.
    Supporters ought to be supporting, not destroying, threatening, villifying their own team.
    That energy ‘against’ would be better used letting the referee know what is being thought of him. And the home team should have a 13th player with the supporters. As is the case in so many stadia accross Europe.

    I have no idea if you have read Mustafi’s interview, or some of Xhaka’s comments – and I am not talking about bits and pieces finding their way into the british so-called press, but what you read is how this kind of behaviour can totally disrupt a player.

    I am all for exchange of opinion, but what good ist that is in the stadium, it becomes just an excuse to disrupt ?

    Am I happy with the way things are going at present ? far from it, but on the other hand I see positives. I’ve had my enjoyment in games. Is there one reason we think things go wrong ? No, there is a whole set of things happening, and some are totally outside UE and the team’s perimeter. Do I have the feeling the players or one particular player is not professional and does not work hard enough ? No.

    To me the wholesale comments of some of the ‘knowalls’ are short of insults. And not many try to understand the context. One quick example : In my professionnal life, I’ve been to Africa for more then 25 years. As life is, i’ve had close encounters with death twice. Once with the barrel of a 9mm pressed onto my forehead, the other time with to AK47s aimed from close range at my guts from rebels. I came away with no physical harm. But the psychological side effects lasted for months. Ozil and Kolazinac had such an encounter. Yes, it was no gun, but I do not believe it was any more fun and I can absolutely imagine the fear taht can get into you. And each seems to have coped differently. As far as I am concerned, I cannot imagine that UE would keep a player like Ozil on the bench for some stupid reason. He can bring too much. But tell me, has Ozil gotten any kind of ‘love’ back from the fans ? Were there some banners wishing him well ?

    And what effect do you believe have the threats that Xhaka has received on the other players ?

    Yes the context is a very important factor, it is absolutely part of the game as there is always the talk of the home and the away game. Yet with the steam’ situation, the context is forgotten, ignored.

    And I am not even talking about strange things like number of warnings per foul, number of times a same ref is in charge, VAR procedures invented for Arsenal. Where are the fans to support Arsenal there ? Why are they not just flodding the switchboards of all radio and TV shows, twittershere, the physical maiboxes of MPs, the FA, PGMO, whatever a crowd can do peacefully to let it be known there is an issue and a disagreement ? Arsenal supporters ought defend the club and players as well. Other clubs are being ripped off like Arsenal. Why are supporters not uniting and taking action ?

    And, I totally agree, AFC as an organisation, from owner to coach, has been totally absent and cowardly in not defending its players, worse, they have a tendncy to throw them under the bus.

    Again all this is an opinion, but based on the facts I see and read. It is no criticism of people discussing issues here in good faith, but it is of people just not behind the team and just in zap/destroy mode.

    I’ve lived some time in Wisconsin, home of the legendary NFL team the Green Bay Packers. It is the only NFL franchise that is owned by the supporters. When it snows on game day, people line up early in the morning to shovel the snow off stands and the field – voluntarily…. then again…they own the club….

    PS : @Nitram : RIGHT ON !

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