What do Freddie, Adrian Clarke and Arsenal.com all have in common?

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By Nitram and Tony Attwood

The answer is that all are hinting, one way or another that one solution to Arsenal’s current problems could be to adopt a more cynical approach to playing than we have seen in the past.   More cynical as in, akin to that adopted by Manchester City in the recent game at Arsenal Stadium

Indeed, all three sources suggested in the post-match comments after the Man C game that Arsenal could learn a lot from how the opposition approached the game with their approach to fouling.

There could be something in what they say, except for one thing: the way in which the match was refereed.  That is to say, “Would Arsenal get away with it?”

Now of course refereeing has long been a bone of contention on this site, both in terms of the way Arsenal is refereed, and the way other teams are approached by the referees.  Indeed our detailed analysis of the first 160 games shows this in detail.

As much as we might appreciate Adrian Clarke’s analysis as a ‘critique’ of Arsenal’s performance, he vwry rarely, if ever, comments on some of the diabolical refereeing performances we have endured.

We might perhaps remember him making reference to how the high-press intensity of Southampton was such a big part of their draw without ever mentioning the fact they got away with just 2 cards for 19 fouls and we received 6 cards for just 13 fouls of a similar level and type.

Now we can at least understand why he/they don’t want to be ‘controversial’, and to a degree we get it. We don’t agree with it, but we get it.

But these comments are different. These comments from Arsenal suggest either that senior members of the club can’t even see what’s going on under their very noses, or that they can, but agreements between the club and PGMO on what can and can’t be said, prohibits them from saying any more.  They are, in fact, speaking in code.

Certainly that would seem likely since with the present way we are being refereed to suggest we should be more ‘cynical’ is unbelievably naïve to the point of stupidity.

These are the statistics from our last 3 home matches.


  • Fouls = 32
  • Yellows = 10

That’s a card every 3.2 fouls.


  • Fouls = 54
  • Yellows = 7

That’s a card every 7.7 fouls.

The only possible explanation there could be for figures such as this would be that the intensity and seriousness of the Arsenal fouls was 2.5 times more serious than those of the opposition.

Now if we go back and look at the fouls, it is very hard to make that case out.  Some fouls, by each team, are more serious than others, but to argue that across the whole set of games Arsenal’s fouls are on average more than twice as serious as the fouls of the opposition is ludicrous.

So ludicrous in fact that no newspaper, website or TV station has ever one set out to argue that point.

Of course they might try it now that we have raised the issue, but then our suspicion would be that they are simply trying to justify unjustifiable figures.  If Arsenal’s fouls were 2.5 times more serious than anyone else’s we would have heard a lot about that by now, on phone-ins, in newspaper commentaries, and of course with action replays on TV.

No, in effect those figures are simply a disgrace and an absolutely damming indictment of the way we are refereed in comparison to our opponents.

If it is true that our own club can’t see what is going on (in the sense that they have no one out there counting the fouls) then that is a serious failing.  As if the fact that they do not comment upon it.

But what suggests that maybe, just maybe, Arsenal know what is going on perfectly well, is the craziness of their suggestion: that we should foul even more to catch up with the opposition.

Of course, they might have been serious, but perhaps it is more likely that this is a threat to PGMO.  It is saying, “we know what is going on, and we know we are not allowed to speak about it.  So now we are going to start calling you to task.”

Indeed it seems highly unlikely that Arsenal would ever take the risk of raising their fouling rate, because that could leave us with half a team on the pitch, and quite possibly further points deductions.

And we say “further” here because we must remember that the two point deduction we received in 1990, was a sudden invention of a new rule to punish Arsenal.  No other club has been punished for this sort of offence either before or since.  Only Arsenal.

So, messages need to be sent.  And as a clever message the “we ought to foul as much as they do” is a fair place to start.  Message 1 sent and delivered.


12 Replies to “What do Freddie, Adrian Clarke and Arsenal.com all have in common?”

  1. I hope that our team realises by now that we will not be getting any protection from the referees . And that they will be punished for non existernt fouls or for ‘very Soft fouls’.

    They have to be more cunning in their play. Avoid all forms of contact that may give an excuse for the trigger happy referees to blow their whistle . Especially in our box and at corners and free kicks.

    So no more holding , pulling,pushing or blocking the opposing player with the hands. I would also love our players to concentrate on attacking the incoming ball , rather than in trying to slow down , chase or block opposition players.Keep your eye on the ball . Literally.

    By all mean distract them , without any physical contact . Let them dive or throw themselves about , but pull back when they do this . It will look so comical on the replays.

    I would love our players to be more positive , and move forwards quickly , and let the opposition players commit balant fouls and get them carded instead. Work smartly to get the scum to be sent off .

    The opposing players are NOT you kin. If they are out to get you, use all your guile and cunning to earn them their just rewards – an early bath and hopefully a suspension .

    Goad them if need be , without outwardly swearing , shouting or visibly gesticulating. Be snide , provoke them just as they do. All this with a smile.

    Remember , we are at war ! We have had enough of cheaters .

    Up the Gunners !

  2. If you are neutral in situations of injustice , you have chosen the side of the oppressor .
    – Desmond Tutu.

    He who defends the guilty , accuses the just.

  3. Another interesting stat so far this season is that we commit a below average number of fouls. In fact we are 14th in that table. With only six clubs committing fewer fouls than us. Yet we have been given more cards than any other team.

    Another interesting observation is that Leicester are doing very well in the league. This may having something to do with the freedom there players are allowed by refs as they commit more fouls without receiving cards. Their players can therefore play with 100% intensity when not on a yellow. For us it is the other way round, if you have players on cards they have to hold back a little. Arsenal have received 40 cards (counting a red as two). Even though they have committed more fouls than us, Leicester have just 17 cards and in over half their games they have received no cards at all. In one of those games where they received no cards, they committed 14 fouls which is 33% higher than the average per game in the league this season and the third highest that week.

    Only once this season have we committed more than 14 fouls. Ironically we were treated quite leniently that day with only two cards. Having said that the opposition got no cards and it was Palace where Chambers was adjudged to have committed a foul in the last minute meaning we were denied a winning goal.

  4. Te dislocation of Tierneys shoulder by Antonio at State Aid – not shown but claimed to have happened after a fall in the penalty area!! The shameful reporting and the VAR selective blindness is just toooo much.

    Will Arsenal ever show some balls and sue for loss of ernings following a wrong VAR decision (v Crystal Palace) that the referee accepted as goapel.

  5. The obvious tactic from the prees is to demoralise our fans, our seportive base. They know it will filers through to our supportve base in general, our players and even out couching staff in the long run. This is how you construct a toxic, spiritless and broken environment. What can we as supporters/fans do? Change our negative banners with banners that give support and be a motivation for our players like: We are behind you, When the going get tough the tough gets going, ect. Liverpools Your never alone is a tipical excample and dont tel me that did not lift the team. I am not saying that we must look away where we may be at fault. But let us not be dictated in this regard by the press. We KNOW it is in most cases utterly unbalanced if not even outright lies. Up the Arsenal!

  6. The press is having a field day with the fact City$ maybe really upset at Arsenal… I mean, this is really ironic. They have acted so blatantly outside the rules, even treathening UEFA with distruction when facing the charge of not adhering to financial fairplay. End now the ‘poor’ guys come complaining – if what is written is true, I must say ?!? Give me a break….

    I’d put that side effect of the deal in the positive column, if it happens ;=)

  7. Am I the only person to have noticed that there were no VAR calls in the Man$ity game, despite their 24 fouls and a penalty call?

  8. @jjsol – there were ‘calls to VAR’ but nothing was seen apart from piggy in the middle pressing his ear piece. Blind mice are visibly challenged. PGMOL are just challenged except for the vast sums that are totally invisible. There are off course Strictly courses that are wasted on some.

  9. Stupid news headlines

    > How Arsenal Could Line Up if Arteta Axes 35 Stars

    Sure, we would have to send the U23 team. Just stupid headlines one after another. Throw a dozen words into a cup and toss them on the table. There’s your headline.

    Just like all this crap that references twitter as an attempt at justification.

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