Arsenal v Southampton, the team, Xhaka, the injuries, the stats

by Bulldog Drummond

We have one injury listed by Physioroom: Dani Ceballos with a thigh injury.  It is not reported as being a major injury, but may well keep him out of the team for the game against Southampton.

Tierney did not play for Scotland, as Arsenal requested that he should be allowed further time to recover from his long term break at the start of the season.  Everyone else seems to be fit.

Trying to get the latest low down on Southampton I went to the web page of the local paper for information on injuries, and it was… blank.   Ah well.

The Guardian has published a piece on Xhaka which says he is likely to return to the team and may even be involved in the game against Southampton.

Emery is quoted as saying, “He is coming back better in his mind.  His mindset is better to help us and to be closer to playing when we need him. I spoke to him this morning and we had a very good conversation. He trained very well before the international break and he trained very well this morning.

“My objective is going to be … to convince every supporter of his commitment with us and [that] his performances will be better, and they will be proud of him in the long or short future with us.

“We are going to decide tomorrow but I want to do that comeback, give him confidence and make him comfortable,” he said. “And when we can connect with our supporters with a good moment and a good performance, being strong with them.

“He is feeling better and also feeling that his team is Arsenal now.  He wants to come back with confidence with the supporters, and we are going to decide. But I think, little by little, we can help him come back and connect with us and our supporters.”

Last month there were suggestions Arsenal had lined up José Mourinho to replace the under-pressure Emery, only for the media to be proven utterly wrong yet again, and yet again fail to issue any form of apology for misleading the public.

The Evening Standard offers us a line up of…


Chambers, David Luiz, Holding;

Bellerin, Torreira, Guendouzi, Tierney;


Lacazette, Aubameyang

And Stats Zone seems to be in total agreement with that.

But moving on we see Squawka comes up with just one variation…


Chambers, Luiz, Holding;

Bellerin, Torreira, Guendouzi, Kolasinac;


Lacazette, Aubameyang.

Sports Mole gives us a different sort of line up…


Bellerin, Sokratis, Holding, Tierney;

Torreira, Guendouzi, Ozil;

Pepe, Aubameyang, Lacazette

Leno; Chambers, David Luiz, Holding; Bellerin, Guendouzi, Torreira, Tierney; Ozil; Lacazette, Aubameyang

In the stats Aubameyang has slipped down in the goal scoring charts

  Player Club
1. Jamie Vardy Leicester City
2. Tammy Abraham Chelsea
3. Sergio Agüero Manchester City
4. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Arsenal

The top Southampton scorer is Danny Ings with 5.

Our top passer of the ball is as you might expect Guendouzi who is also the Arsenal player who has touched the ball more than any other, so far this season.

Meanwhile across the Premier League David Luiz is the fourth most proficient passer of through balls, having knocked forward eight thus far, according to the Premier League’s own stats.


64 Replies to “Arsenal v Southampton, the team, Xhaka, the injuries, the stats”

  1. You have Leno listed as the goalkeeper in 3 of the rosters. Is that the same Leno who apparently has made the most saves of any goalkeeper in the EPL? I think there was a “story” on that during this forsaken international break, I could be wrong.

    Oh, for all those negative medja and pundits to go bankrupt (financially). They are already bankrupt morally.


  2. I think Arsenal currently have the superior 1st team capacity on ground at the moment that’s far above that which Southampton seem to have that can incapacitate the Saints in the game forcing them to surrender in the match in crumbling defeat fashion to the Gunners this afternoon at the Ems in the PL. But if the Gunners play in the game to the superior team capacity that they have far above the Saints’ team capacity.

    Therefore, for the Gunners who their head coach Emery will select to play in this match to force the Saints into submission to defeat in the match to Arsenal in today’s afternoon PL match between the duo club sides taking place at the Ems to happen, the Gunners MUST play to the superior team capacity that they have utterly above that which the Saints have to parade in the game which is too inferior to the Arsenal superior team capacity that they should play in the match.

    And in addition, while the Gunners are playing in the match, they should be mindful of the ugly interventions that the PGMO appointed match officiating officials and their VAR cohorts who are appointed to officiate in the match are capable of doing during the playing of the match to cause problems in the game to Arsenal. But the Gunners should not in the game bow to any PGMO match officiating officials obstruction to justice and fairness in match refereeing in the PL match refereeing directed to Arsenal in the game today to harm them. But instead, the Gunners should persevere hardships and suffering during the match and resist to the core any form of anti-Arsenal campaign in match refereeing that the PGMO match officiating officials have planned to unleashed on Arsenal during the playing of the match but have it absolutely negated.

  3. The early game: State Aid v Spuds

    Fouls are 12:15, but yellows are 3:2. Statistically both ratios are the same, but it is fishy. The spuds finished scoring at 49m, State Aid didn’t start until 73m. The game ended with the spuds winning by a goal. Both teams required a treatment just before extra time in the firsthalf. The spuds scored while State Aid was temporarily short handed. The spuds required 3 treatments in the second half, two for Kane the diver.

    Was field tilted? Michael Oliver was the twit in the middle.

  4. I was outside. Come back, and Livescore was showing Arsenal behind, while the live game pop-up showed us ahead. After a minute or so, the main page finally showed us even. According to the PGMO twit, Arsenal doing more of the fouling. And we are significantly behind on shots again.

    How to go Lacazette! I gather unassisted.


  5. My impression of the game so far:

    Arsenal are playing with energy and are determined to fight for the initiative. This is by far the biggest take away. Instead of being passive we are going forward and trying to create…Finally!! 🙂

    The referee is having a difficult match. We have received at least 2 questionable yellows. At least twice he called us back for fouls when he should have played the advantage. Both times negated good counters.

    Southampton started wasting time around the 10 minute mark.

  6. It is so damned sloped !!! I’m amazed that this cheating can continue.

    Saints get a free kick for a nothing foul and play it quick with a moving ball. Ings received the ball & was possibly off side but VAR didn’t look at anything as it was against Arsenal. It is a sham this VAR bollocks. The goal should have been disallowed and the free kick retaken as it was a moving ball. The Laws do not allow for false advantage.

    The ref keeps booking Arsenal players for anything but lets the saints off from the dirtiest tackles. Ings is so damned lucky to be on the field. With VAR he hit out at the back of the ref. The penalty shout was genuine and any other team would have had one.

    This is just not sporting but corruption at its worst. Yet there are supporters that doubt cheating is actually going on!!

  7. @Gord the ref & saints are time wasting. He is such a blatant cheat supported by the commentators who see all the fouls and condone the official cheating.

    The moving ball before a goal is scored from the free kick is not in VAR remit!!! That really takes the biscuit.

  8. Of course, we get the first yellow. Xhaka didn’t start or make the bench, so it was Torreira who gets the “honours”.

    I thought the fouls counter was showing that Soton had some fouls, but apparently now (34m) Arsenal have committed 6 fouls for 2 yellows and Soton have 0 fouls for 1 card. Now corrected. I believe it was 6 fouls each, when the Soton was booked.

    Just before half time, the fouls are now 9:11, and the yellow cards are 3:1. More crap from PGMO I assume. We are still way behind on shots.


    OT: Luck Index

    This week in the “news”, was an early look at the “Luck Index”.

    The Luck Index was in part started by a research at Bath, who I suspect has now moved to the College of London. I believe the first time it was used, was the 2014/15 season.

    This index has some problems. It’s biggest problems are that thee is no historical repository for the data (gee imagine that, The EPL losing old data?). It is only the original work in 2014/15 which shows all of the data used to calculate it. Other problems are that these intermediate results are not shown for other uses of this index, and that I do not believe it catches all aspects of “lcuk”. One thing which occurs to me, is that goals scored when a player is off the field for treatment may involve “luck”. Another is that some own goals probably involve “luck”.

    I think the first season, the 3 students looking at data (in order for a luck incident to be detected, 2 or 3 of the 3 students needed to agree on the incident being an aspect of “luck”) found 158 of 380 games involved “luck” incidents (about 40%). Some of the other years also mention how many games involve luck incidents, and they are typically in the same vicinity.

    In that first year, the incidents spotted by the 3 student committee were “verified” by a PGMO “expert” (I believe this was Peter Walton).

    If a Luck Incident took place, the Luck Incident was removed, and the game was “remodelled” to determine what the most likely score would have been (my interpretation – that they would attempt to find the modes of goals for home and goals for away).

    Hence, for each game there are adjustments to goals for and goals against, and the points distributed could change. Summed over the season, there are 3 adjustments: points, goals for and goals difference.

    Papers on modeling football at arXiv in the past have mentioned the large contribution of luck to results. I think Tony has wondered how this statement can be true.

    I don’t think this particular body of work (especially since it is largely hidden, just like all PGMO activity) is perfect; but it is a start. Or could be, if all the data since it was first started was archived somewhere.

    My feeling is that if _ALL_ of this work was publically available, it might be easier to show tilting of the field by PGMO. At the moment there is the “fair” play of the two teams involved, the tilting by the PGMO and “Luck”. Hence the “Luck” could be removed, and we could pick out the PGMO contribution more readily.

    In its initial incarnation, a luck incident involves:
    1. Incorrectly awarded goal (offside, foul in build-up, etc).
    2. Incorrectly disallowed goal (offside, handball that was not, etc.).
    3. Incorrectly awarded and converted penalty.
    4. Incorrectly awarded and converted free kick.
    5. Penalty not awarded which should have been.
    6. Incorrect red card.
    7. Red card that should have been given.
    8. Goal scored outside of alloted time.
    9. Deflected goals.

  9. Looking at the other games, some now restarted.

    Leicester only has a single foul? And Brighton have now received 2 yellow early in second half. Leicester has needed a treatment, Mike Dean noticed nothing.

    Liverpool scored the first goal early in the second half. Fouls are 7:2 to CPalace, no cards. CPalace needed a treatment in the first half, Kevin Friend noticed nothing.

  10. So far Arsenal fouls 8. Southampton 15. Cards Arsenal 3. Southampton 1. And I’ll be a pound to a penny the media say nothing as will many of the “fans”.

  11. Well, Greg what do you think of his entry into the water?

    Great, Fred, his twisting and turning was first class and he spread his arms to minimize the splash!!

  12. Something happening. The twit in the middle gives Soton a penalty which misses, next comment is a shot saved, and the comment after that shows Soton scores. Did the referees kick the ball in our goal?


  13. The softest of penalties given against Tierney plus a card. The fact that Ings was pulling Tierneys sleeve is not an issue for VAR (the of field PGMOL cheat).

    How Arsenal can allow this farce to be called sport is quite amazing. We are being pissed on by the whole lot of the FA comrades.

    Lacazette gets fouled; nothing seen. Auba gets fouled; nothing seen. Time wasting going on and the PGMOL mob joining in.

  14. There is a second treatment to a Soton player now. Are these players getting hurt? Are they hurting themselves? Is this just time wasting?

  15. The Arsenal fans singing ‘the referee’s a wanker’. Which means that the referee is cheating, but these fans think calling him a wanker is sufficient.

  16. Still 10 minutes left. We might lose, draw or even win this, yet. Regardless, I would have to say that I am proud of our team, today. Perfect? No. But they have put in a shift.

  17. If there ever was a case for stop time and a timekeeper off the pitch, today is it. 🙁

  18. Livescore doing another oops. Showing fouls as 18:0 as Guendouzi receives Arsenal’s 6th yellow.

  19. Fouls now adjusted to 13:18, and cards as 6:1. And I no sooner write that, and it is back to 18:0 on fouls.

  20. Leicester given the 0-2 away win by Mike Dean. Fouls were 8:1 and cards were 2:0.

    Liverpool given the 1-2 away win by Kevin Friend. Fouls were 8:7 and cards were 0:1.

    We tied it up to save a point? Lacazette with another unassisted goal?

  21. Time for legal action against the PGMO. There’s no wonder the team are lacking confidence when they know before they start that they’re playing against 14 men every game

  22. Martinelli made the Lacazette goal.

    Ref made Saints second with a pen for Ings pulling at Tierney. Tierney was brought to tears. He couldn’t believe how much cheating goes on against Arsenal.

  23. A few comments about VAR in CPalace losing to Liverpool, nothing yet about our game having any problems what so ever.

  24. This was an entertaining match. Arsenal were motivated and put in a great effort. It is too bad that this piece de theatre was ruined by the head usher pissing on the carpet.

  25. As for Emery. The team played better today BUT if Mourinho turns Spurs around and our form continues (poor refereeing or not), decisions will be made around the Christmas period, methinks.

  26. Just couldn’t bring myself to watch the game! Phew, what another escape from jail. If the PigMob is going to continue to be this hard on Arsenal we will be lucky not to be fighting a relegation battle come May 2020. Still COYG, let the haters have their say but something is bound to give in the matter of AFC v PGMOL and the Other EPL teams.

  27. @Mickey playing against 14 was before VAR, now its against 16. The not given pens for us are just amazing. Handball with the hand high up stopping a shot at goal. Luiz brought down with a tackle across his legs. The whole damned sham goes on.

  28. @Bobome “but something is bound to give in the matter of AFC v PGMOL and the Other EPL teams.”

    Maybe, maybe not…a news website has been running a Impeach-O-meter about the US president. Every week or two a special guest is invited to give their opinion on whether it will happen or not. And the line graph continues (almost 2 years now)

    It would be an interesting thing to add here. Instead of always Tony et. al writing about what is self-evident, we could invite guests (even from outside the Arsenal family) to comment on all things PGMO and ask if there will ever be an investigation into corruption in the PL).

  29. Everything still about Liverpool in the medja. One headline was that Liverpool left it late. Liverpool did _NOT_ leave it late, Keven Friend left it late.

    Kevin Friend scored 2 goals for Liverpool today, Mike Dean scored twice for Leicester, and Stuart Attwell scored twice for Southampton.

  30. I usually don’t whinge about the refereeing as much as most, but this match was almost unwatchable for me. Fouls, yellows, time wasting all acceptable for the opposition. If you just look at fouls, cards and treatments you’d think Southampton played at Stoke City today. And bollocks to VAR. While reviewing the call on Tierney, they supposedly looking for offside but didn’t see it. The foot of the Saints player on the outside left was fully offside. We’ve seen that called this season, after review,to justify a PGMO decision with barely a toe offside. Why not for Arsenal? WE ALL KNOW WHY.

    I won’t comment on Arsenal’s play. With neutral officials they win. Period.

  31. That was a soft penalty for sure, but we got played off the pitch by relegation fodder. Our defense is an absolute travesty. We gifted them three sitters, thankfully they couldn’t finish one of them.

    AT first, I was puzzled why we felt the need to go three at the back against a terrible side at home, but after seeing how we looked after taking Chambers off, I’ll never bitch about that again. It’s a shame we’re wasting all of this attacking talent by having nothing resembling a defense.

  32. For the U23, they managed to win their game against Soton (1-0). John-Jules with the goal (44m). Congratulations U23!

  33. Yes, our defence is not strong BUT we DID NOT get played off the pitch. They for sure had their chances, but so did we. We took the game to them and they countered…fair play to them. At 1-1, I was certain we were getting the better of the play and looked certain to score 2…which we did. Their 2nd came completely against the run of play.

    I’m not saying that we dominated the match, but our team played hard; they were motivated and put in a shift. This false narrative that our team were outplayed is rubbish and plays into the hands of all the Arsenal haters out there.

  34. Scuba

    You may well have a point about the quality of our game, but as I said before, how can any sort of definitive assessment be made of either our manager or team, when the pitch is being tilted to such a degree ?

    What must it be like to go out on to the pitch every week knowing even before you start how the odds have been stacked against you ?

    For years we’ve been accused of being soft and not putting a foot in yet somehow despite this we seem to rack up cards like they’re going out of fashion. How must it feel to know you cant even put in a challange ?

    We score a goal and we all know it will be reviewed with a fair chance of it being turned over.

    We appeal a penalty and we know it wont even be reviewed.

    Who can say how much all this has on the confidence of the players ?

    Look, I know things are not perfect but I refuse to make my judgements until we are playing on a level playing field.


    City have just had a goal chalked off for what looked like the width of a shirt. Amazing.

  35. The first goal was scored after a soft foul and was taken with a moving ball. The VAR should have chalked it off because a foul start to a goal scoring moment cannot be allowed – that is except by the cheating corrupt PGMOL.

    What the fuck is VAR for if not to correct blatant errors. A few millimeters makes an off side but a whole moving ball is OK!!! THe penalty was soft compared to the foul in their box that wasn’t given. How can football be acceptable in this form of corrupt officiating?

  36. Us all already have known that when it comes to Arsenal in the PL, the PGMO will always pigmob Arsenal to stop them from getting the win they deserved to get in their PL matches. Save, if they find a way round the PGMO to nullify them in their efforts to pigmob Arsenal when the Gunners play in the PL will the PGMO constantly pigmob Arsenal will stop.

    Therefore, the PGMO anti-Arsenal match refereeing agenda that us are witnessing being unleashed week in week out on Arsenal in the PL by the PGMO should no longer be an excuse tendered for points dropped by Arsenal in their PL matches whenever they played to a draw game. For, the Gunners should by now have overcome the PGMO negative antics that are directed against Arsenal in the PL to be complaining by crying over the spilled milk. The Gunners should find a way by all means possible to nullify the PGMO efforts from pigmob Arsenal in their PL matches whenever they play in it to start winning their matches regularly unhindered anymore by the PGMO anti-Arsenal match refereeing in PL matches agenda.

    In their today’s PL match at home against Southampton, the Gunners almost pay dearly for their submitting the control of the match to the Saints immediately after they went ahead in the match when they converted from the spot to take a 1-2 goal lead in the game with 15 minutes of normal regulation time left to play for.

    In fact, the Gunners and us Gooners a like should thank God as Southampton didn’t score another goal in the match. Which if they had done will be their 3rd goal in the match when they attacked to score to beat Arsenal convincingly after taking a 1-2 lead in the match which if they had they scored it could turnout to be a defeat to Arsenal in the match. But alas! That God! It wasn’t to be for them to win the match as Arsenal rally round to force a late attack down the centre midfield to score a late equalizing goal almost at the death which ends the match at 2-2 draw game.

  37. the only sour advantage of VAR so far is that everybody with some kind of function eyesight, can really see now how Arsenal is treated unfairly. Week in week out. Incredibly blatant and shameless but somehow even the pundits from Arsenal turn a blind eye. And the ‘ neutral’ pundits seem to couldnt care less. For me this is corruption, the premier league refereeing is a sad joke. It should be called out by more people and media-outlets, but at least the Arsenal fans and supporters should show unity in condemning the double standards instead of focusing bad energy on coach and players. no matter what team or coach, it will never be good enough if this cheating in broad daylight continues

  38. At this point it’s not even about Emery, it’s about a hierarchy that are letting this rot set in and the ire should be directed at them – not a manager who has already shown us he’s not up for the job.

    Sort it out Raul, Edu, Josh and Vinai. This is your mess.

  39. Atmosphere at the Emirates is completely toxic now. Performances get worse and worse every week. It’s not going to get better under Emery and it’s absolutely not healthy. Sack him now before any more damage is done.

  40. Poor performance, Some bad defending but shocking officiating. He gave them everything he could, early bookings for first tackles effectively neutralised some players.
    Must be difficult to play with such officiating week in week out.
    But the club, even with possible dark arts schemer Raul do nothing about the officiating, or nothing we know about. I doubt any other club would be so passive on this.
    I used to think the PGMOL wanted this team out of the top four, I now wonder of they want it in the championship.

  41. Yes, the officiating was pretty poor, but if you think for one second that that is why we failed to win, then you’re deluded. We only got one point because, with the possible exception of the 20 minutes after the interval, we were second best in almost every department. Second best to a team with a fraction of our resources from the bottom half of the division. A team that recently lost 9-0 to Leicester City, those other economic giants of the game. The first goal was so badly conceded I actually laughed. A free kick taken outside the box and I counted at lease 5 Arsenal players with their backs to the ball. If that was an under 11 match , then the teacher would have been pulling his hair out. But no, these are international footballers!
    A truly awful performance, where we were lucky to scrape a point in injury time. Southampton should have buried the game long before. Are you trying to tell me, you couldn’t see that?

  42. @Mark Mywords – you obviously didn’t notice the moving ball. You’re a candidate for PGMOL.

    A free kick that was soft taken with a moving ball and the officials all ignored it, including the VAR Madley & Smart (two PGMOL clowns), who should have picked it up in review and disallowed the goal, with the free kick to be retaken.

    The commentator said the moving ball was outside the remit of VAR!! What an absolute joke. Everything is within the remit of VAR when it comes to a goal, including the Referee’s eyesight. That is why VAR was accepted.

  43. Watched the ‘foul’ leading to the Saints first goal and if anything it was a foul against Arsenal. The Redmond barges into Chambers and drops down. It was never a foul but then some of these things look almost set up by PGMOL. The ball is dropped about 5 yards to the side of where the ‘foul’ occured and a moving ball was passed to Ings.

    What the fuck was VAR looking at? The foul was wrong; the ball was moving; the kick was taken from the wrong place; Ings was possibly off side; the PGMOL cheating goes on.

  44. I feel sorry for Emery, I wish he would stabilize this mess and hang on till the end of the season, but I doubt he can make it happen. He seems to be a great and accepts responsibility (unlike a lot of managers). Results are bad and this leads to a toxic atmosphere which further worsens results. A real vicious cycle. The players are low on confidence, the opposition high on it. Its a difficult situation, like an ambush, the only way to come out of it alive is to fight your way out. He has to find a way to get more fight out of this team. Though I’m afraid his body language these days seems like even he is giving up on the fight

  45. With the referees cheating us as they so clearly are, it is effectively asking Arsenal to play like a boxer with one hand tied behind his back, and as such it is impossible to make a valid assessment as to how good, bad, or indifferent we really are.

    If said boxer failed to lay punches or was regularly knocked to the ground would it really be fair to criticise him ?

    Every Arsenal fan should be utterly outraged at what is happening regarding our treatment by the refs and VAR, yet they still prefer to vent their spleen at the players being asked to perform under such debilitating circumstances.

    Whether we played well or not yesterday is largely irrelevant, as under such conditions we have no idea what may be behind such under par performances, as we were yet again cheated out of 2 points by the officials, as we were against Palace.

    Those 4 points alone would have us in a clear 5th. Ok still not where we would like to be but at least were we deserved to be.

    As I keep saying with and only with fair officiating can we make fair judgement on our manager and players because none of us know quite how much this situation is effecting how the team is picked, set up and plays.

    Yet still some of our own fans choose to come on here and pretty much ignore the diabolical officiating, preferring to go straight at the manager and players.

    I ask, would they perform to their best at work under similarly disadvantaged conditions? Well would you? I know I wouldn’t.

  46. Is it the referees fault that In every game we play we allow the opposition more shot on our goal than we have on there’s .

  47. Of course it is Steve. We’re also required to face the other way when a free kick is taken. Only good manners.

  48. Global warming? Referees again! All that whistle blowing depletes the ozone layer. Everybody knows that. Still, when the revolution comes, I’m sure they’ll be the first ones up against the wall.

  49. I think if I was watching my team robbed blind by the officials every week I’d lose heart, and I believe he has. I too this body language has changed. He looks resigned.

    I think the players too are not mentally at the races so to speak.

    And that’s my point. How can a realistic assessment of the manager and the team be made whilst operating under such duress from the officials ?

    And to make it worse, rather than back them to the rafters many fans chose to jeer, boo and abuse.

    Of course it is their right but surely not helping matters one bit, and as a ‘supporter’ isn’t that we not only should do but should want to do.


    This isn’t to say I cannot see things are not wrong, of course they are, I just think:

    a) We must have a level playing field before making such harsh judgments.

    b) We should stand together against this endless assault from the officials.

  50. The team are obviously short of confidence, so they need our support. That’s obvious. The problem with blaming the ref, is that you’re giving the players an excuse. I’ve obviously never managed a professional club, but if I had to guess, giving players a ready made cop out is never a particularly good idea.

  51. I ve done sports all my life at a competitive level. One thing counts: confidence is everything. Its not only about getting robbed which does not help. But when you have to defend wih the handbrake on because you ll get surely yellow or a pen against. You cannot defend with confidence.
    If your opponent can harras you lwith impunity it will give him lots of confidence. So that cannot be overlooked in the assessment of our team.

    You are so right Nitram, shame not more people see it: because they are so true I repeat your words:

    We must have a level playing field before making such harsh judgements!

    We should stand together against this endless assualt from officials!

  52. rondejonge

    Thank you for your support.

    It breaks my heart to see our Club in such turmoil.

    There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that for whatever reason the media have been determined to bring Arsenal football cub down for a long long time, and this is the closest they have come. I feel they sense blood and are going for the kill, sadly with the support of far too many of our own ‘supporters’. I don’t know why, but as Tony has shown with many an article it is nothing new.

    Things are only going to get worse.

    Back in the 70’s the endless media mantra was ‘Lucky Lucky’ Arsenal.

    Back in the 80’s it was ‘Boring Boring’ Arsenal.

    They constantly referred to our Stadium as Highbury the Library.

    No matter what we do, how we play, what we win, there is always an angle to knock us.

    I do believe we had a bit of respite in Wengers early years but that of course eventually turned into one of the most disgraceful media witch hunts I have ever had the misfortune to witness.

    Regarding how we are refereed I have never subscribed to the ‘corruption’ theory in the normal sense of the word, though of course how we are refereed certainly looks ‘corrupt’. But what I mean by that is I don’t believe they are ‘bribed’ or subjected to betting scams etc. or though of course that is possible.

    No, I believe it’s as simple as following the path of least resistance.

    POGMOL and in it’s wake the Referees are simply following the guidelines of the media who are in effect their judge, jury, and executioner.

    They know by screwing Arsenal they will NEVER be critisised. In fact screwing Arsenal historically has been a fantastic way of fast tracking your career.

    And woe betide you give Arsenal something that doesn’t fit the agenda and Siberia is waiting.

    It seems I’m not the only one to have this notion. The following from regular Mandy Dodd on a different article:

    “I seem to remember a few years ago, think it was Atwell giving us a penalty at Old Trafford in an FA Cup game, we won that game and went on to win the cup. Every performance I have seen since with this ref for us suggests to me Atwell got in a lot of trouble for his decision in that game”


    I remember Michael Oliver have a particularly good game also at Old Trafford. He stood for none of their antics. We won. He’s never refereed us like that again.

    It beggars belief our own fans cannot see it, and even if they can, choose to push it all aside as a mere triviality, but who can really tell how much it effects the club, from top to bottom?

    But there you go.

  53. The problem with most supporters is they watch the game blindly just looking at what the teams do with the ball. The odd few watch the officials as well as the game including technique and other details such as off the ball incidents. The PGMOL started early in Premier League and seemed destined for a bent future. There were a select group of corrupt officials making obviously wrong decisions. These were wrong according to the Laws of the Game but not according to the Laws of PGMOL. It is this 98% that they quote.

    I worked with a top referees ascessor in the 70s who told me that many referees know they are making wrong calls but do not get punished. The ones that get punished do so for political reasons – like Uriah Renee for the correctly given Red Card to Alan Shearer. He was very quickly dropped from PGMOL. I have noticed very few Asians or ethnics getting ‘selected’ and if selected quickly disappear. There’s a lot written about racism but nothing mentioned about strategic racism in selection processes of managers, board members or sporting officials.

    Transparency in all public facing organisation should be mandatory. Post match reports by officials must be made a requirement just as it is for coaches untill transparency makes them redundant. The on field radio communication should be broadcast for those wanting a more rounded understanding.

    I love a good quality game and the under 17 World Cup when it was played in India delt up some beautiful football with good officiating.

  54. If the fans at the matches were to put one quarter of the effort into booing the disgraceful officiating that they seem to expend in directing misplaced abuse at their own players, I think we would see a rapid turnaround in the club’s fortunes. During/after the Palace game the fans should have been expressing their ire against the officials’ sub-standard efforts, but instead chose to waste the moment and abuse GX, who seemed to have a decent game.

    If the club/supporters allow this situation to persist, it is only a matter of time before the number of televised games will be curtailed. At which time the media coverage will be reduced to “highlights” shows, making it even easier for the officials to make their “mistakes” without fear of exposure.

  55. seismic


    Stop these cheating b*****ds robbing us blind first and foremost and then see how we set up, how we play, and where we stand on a level playing field, then and only then can we look at everything with the clarity required to make accurate assessments.

    Yes things are not perfect on the field, that is obvious, but what is behind it is the question?

    Is the manager just incompetent ?

    Somehow given his record I doubt it. He may not be the brilliant manager we hoped for, but incompetent ?

    Are the players just not good enough ?

    Of course this is very subjective but personally I think this isn’t just a good squad but a great squad.

    So both those answers lead me to believe there just HAS to be more to this.

    Either way my point is making these judgements whilst we are playing under such conditions is nigh on impossible.

    As for those denying this bias exists all I can say is really?

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