The total failure of VAR, yellow cards and the team: Arsenal v Everton

By Bulldog Drummond

One of the key factors of the weekend is the issue of yellow cards, in the Chelsea 2 Tottenham 1 game.   The BBC website says, “Giovani lo Celso should have been sent off for a dreadful second-half challenge on Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta. The video assistant referee decided against punishment, although officials in Stockley Park later admitted a mistake had been made and he should have been sent off.”

However, anyone listening on the radio would have heard 15 minutes of utter, total and complete outrage from the commentators who fumed and shouted continuously about the fact that Giovani lo Celso  was not instantly sent off.  They not only called into question the ability and competence of the referee, but also (as they repeatedly mentioned them by name) PGMOL (or PGMO as their name was reworked last season).

There may have been an occasion in which the ultra-secretive refereeing organization has been attacked by a body that is licensed to commentate or report on matches, in which an all-out attack on the organization by name has been made, but if I must have missed it.

The standard rule seems to be that of Fight Club in the famous movie; the first, second and third rule of Fight Club is you don’t talk about Fight Club.  Same with PGMO.  But that broke down.

The fact that the BBC report deleted all serious mention of the outrage and reduced it to a simplistic comment suggests that PGMO intervened immediately they became aware of what was in the live broadcast where five commentators, co-commentators and hangers-on all expressed the view that VAR was completely wrong at around 1.35pm, and expressing a view that could not be justified.  A typical comment made on air at the time was, “I don’t get what VAR is not seeing.  It was a leg-breaking tackle.”

And later, “We are talking to PGMOL to find out why it was not a red card.”

The reason then came back that it was “not a clear and obvious error” because the defender had “nowhere else to put his foot”.   On air the commentators called this “utter rubbish.”  One reporter said, “He’s standing still, it’s a downward stamp.  Not even a yellow – a straight red.”

The removal of any sense of controversy on the BBC website subsequently, however, strongly suggests PGMO reminded the BBC of its agreement not to criticize referees.

Quite what will happen now, of course, remains to be seen, but the way the matter was dealt with on BBC Radio 5 Live later in the afternoon suggests this sudden outrage and criticism will not remain part of “the debate” as broadcasters love to call it and the matter will be dealt with in private between PGMO and the BBC, with BBC being reminded strongly that its agreement never to criticize the referee extends to the officials at Stockley Park running VAR.

What is particularly difficult for PGMO however is that VAR was introduced to remove controversy.

Before the games of the weekend, the yellow card total showed Arsenal way out in front – again an issue that is not mentioned by commentators.  Here’s the table.

Rank Club Stat
1. Arsenal 62
2. Watford 56
3. Tottenham Hotspur 54
4. AFC Bournemouth 51
5. Sheffield United 51
6. Manchester United 50
7. Chelsea 49
8. Norwich City 49
9. Aston Villa 48
10. Manchester City 47
11. West Ham United 47
12. Burnley 46
13. Everton 44

The endlessly bizarre Football London are trying to become more mainstream these days and have come up with this team below, as does the Standard…


Bellerin, Mustafi, Luiz, Saka;

Torreira, Xhaka;

Pepe, Ozil, Aubameyang;


The Guardian gives us a very similar team with one variation


Bellerin, Mustafi, Luiz, Saka;

Ceballos, Xhaka;

Pepe, Ozil, Aubameyang;


Squawka offers a variation on the variation


Bellerin, Mustafi, Luiz, Saka;

Ceballos, Xhaka;

Pepe, Ozil, Aubameyang;


But really, everyone will be wondering what on earth VAR is going to get up to during the course of this match in order to hinder an Arsenal victory.

78 Replies to “The total failure of VAR, yellow cards and the team: Arsenal v Everton”

  1. Instead of one blatant error in judgement regarding a decision we now have two ( ha ha ) , don’t worry it won’t be talked about , it didn’t happen .
    All we want is consistency , which with teaching I’m sure could be put right if PGMO want to put it right , don’t think it will happen though they have too many favourites .

  2. Getting the impression that results are entirely based on PGMO shenanigans.
    And the mere fact that 22 people are on the pitch is a mere sideshow to the real outcome of any match.
    The new outlook is “what’s our chances today?”
    Answer “Whatever the ref decides”.

  3. what we are seeing is total incompetence. Nothing more, nothing less.
    But then this incompetence starts at the top of the FA and percolates all layers below.
    Remember Wembley ? Wolrd Cup bid ? Football pitches accross the country ? Number of FIFA coaches ? Charity Shield ?

    The FA and all that revolves around it is an old boys network in its most splendid form. Competence is not wanted.
    But then, the gravy train is here, so many people are profiting from it and no change is wanted.
    and fans are being considered as a stupid lost, a real social racism by the so-called ‘elites’.

  4. Somehow Oliver Holt in the Mail on Sunday still manages to turn this VAR farce into an attack on Wenger, calling his comments on offside calls ‘Wengers crazy idea’.

    The referees aren’t crazy ?

    The guys at Stockley Park aren’t crazy ?

    Nope, it’s Wenger that is crazy.

    And what is his ‘Crazy’ idea?

    Well as far as I can see when it comes to these offside VAR calls, what people are getting all hot under the collar about is goals, some fantastic goals, being ruled offside for the want of an errant toenail, and as we all know, what we all want to see is…….goals.

    So yes it is all a bit frustrating, but offside is offside, whether by a yard or a toenail, so in actuality VAR is doing nothing wrong, it is JUST FRUSTRATING.

    But you cannot change the nature of a ‘matter of fact’ call, no matter how marginal, offside is offside.

    So it seems to me all Wengers idea is, is not to address the marginality of the call, because you cannot change that, but rather to shift the benefit of the doubt, so to speak, in the favour of the attacker rather than the defender. In other words rather than being offside for the want of an errant toenail, he’ll be onside for want of a convenient toenail. Still marginal. Still controversial. But, surely giving the benefit of any doubt there may be to the goal scorer, and as a result seeing more goals, is what we want.

    Of course it is not perfect and people on the wrong end of the final tight call will moan, but surely it would be a step in the right direction to relieve the frustration many feel at how it is implemented at the moment.

    As far as I’m concerned it seems a perfectly reasonable ‘tweak’ to a difficult situation, and not in the least bit ‘crazy’, but hey, if Holt or any of his cronies can find an opportunity to have a pop at Wenger they will.

    You know what the frustrating thing is, Holt is one of the better journalist, and yet he’s still a complete numbnuts, that’s how utterly appalling these hacks are.

    Moving on and talking about VAR and the offside calls more generally, I must admit I do find it a little odd why there is all this controversy. Surely what we have all wanted for a very long time is just to get them right? Before VAR did we look at a replay and say, yes he was offside but only by a toe so that’s alright then? I don’t remember us ever saying that. Nope, if it was offside it was offside, and now that that is what we are getting many are up in arms about it. Why is that? I don’t get it.

    Is it because a human is involved, because I don’t hear this discontent when a goal is ruled out or given by goal line technology, for the want of a hairs breadth ?

    As long as the correct call is made, goal or no goal, for the want of a metre or a hair, everyone seems happy. No outrage. No frustration. Again, why is that?

    Is it because goal line decisions are made entirely by machine? A machine we seem to trust implicitly, whilst offside calls requires human intervention, therefore we have someone to ‘blame’? Raging at a machine simply leads to insanity does it not?

    Would there be this controversy over VAR offside calls, if, like goal line technology, the entire process was in the hands of a machine and no human was involved? I don’t think there would.

    The bottom line is, there is nothing wrong with VAR, but there is very much wrong with the people in control of it.

    So it seems to me the answer to all this is simple. All we need is a robot to referee the matches and all our troubles will be over.

    Rage against the machine indeed,

  5. VAR is a shambles that is open for corruption, as is the PGMOL.
    The old establishment refs have been around for years, never changing. Dean and Atkinson will be refereeing when in their 70s. Very few new refs coming through. Some clubs are clearly favoured in a pecking order , would suggest Liverpool, Utd, Spurs for starters.
    It may be incompetence, but it is not even handed incompetence. You don’t see mistakes costing Liverpool, which suggests bias, or fear of upsetting the powerful, or an agenda.
    They may be hard to get at. They might have silenced the media.
    But, once people start realising there is something wrong with our game, they will switch off, not as if there aren’t other distractions, especially for the younger generations. Why invest money and time in something run by the incompetent, biased, or bent?
    Football needs to get its house in order in this country, starting with Mike Riley and his PGMOL.
    For those , maybe elsewhere ,wondering why Stan hasn’t invested his own money, well, would you invest in something run by the FA EPL FA EUFA when your club is clearly well down the pecking order of favour? I suspect either Stan or his advisers know exactly what is going on, and run things accordingly.
    In the mean time, just hope the boys can overcome what Atwell on the pitch and the appalling Craig Pawson in Stockley Park throw at them today.
    This has been a bad weekend for the PGMOL, they really shouldn’t make it any worse for themselves, they aren’t even subtle in what they are doing, a true embarrassment to our game

  6. Maybe the fact that the cricketing video replay works relatively well, as it does in rugby is down to the fact that valid criticism was acknowledged and dealt over a period of time whereas VAR as run by PGMOL/PGMO is like some sort of secret society headed by the biggest cheat ever to enter a football field. So far as I’m aware we never know at any given time who is in charge of VAR at games and therefore cannot direct critiscism in their direction. So many major decisions are a joke. So many major decsive moments are left unjudged. So much time is wasted on margin offsides. Worst of all is that the fact that those attending are left almost totally uninformed with no visual check on what’s happening and what is being reviewed. I see no reason why VAR shouldn’t be judged openly by the paying audience unless PGMO is aware of just how shit their decision making is.

  7. Mandy

    “This has been a bad weekend for the PGMOL, they really shouldn’t make it any worse for themselves, they aren’t even subtle in what they are doing, a true embarrassment to our game”

    Quite right.

    But what will get VAR right back on track is seeing it being used to utterly screw us. As long as they get that right VAR will be all the rage again.

    Can you imagine for one second VAR ruling out an Everton goal and going back to a handball penalty call in our favour, as per the Burnley/Bournemouth incident?

    Can you imagine xhaka getting away with that stamp when he gets booked for taking a deep breath?

    VAR is not the problem, it’s the cheats behind the monitor and the incompetent men in black that are the problem.

  8. I fear you are correct Nitram, and if they screw us over, the media won’t jump to the teams defence either, as they would for some I could mention. Can you imagine Carragher and the massed legions of LFC pundits if Liverpool we’re screwed over by VAR/ the PGMOL?
    But, as I say, whatever is behind all this, perhaps restoring Liverpool Utd rivalry for the brand, Northern bias ( tho that doesn’t explain Spurs treatment) , incompetence, powerful club agendas, illegal gambling, criminality or whatever, they are treading a fine line. Push it too far, people realise something is wrong, it could bring in law enforcement, or more likely, people just lose interest, download the box sets, play online games, go out for a walk, or spend time with loved ones rather than indulge in something that gives the impression of being rotten to the core. If Mike Riley is the face of something else going on, he isn’t doing a very good job, he is bringing attention to these issues .
    Not everyone supports Liverpool , Utd or other favoured teams

  9. Mandy

    “Can you imagine Carragher and the massed legions of LFC pundits if Liverpool we’re screwed over by VAR/ the PGMOL?”

    Unfortunately I can.

    Leicester, another of their favourites, were on the wrong end of a VAR call last night, at least according to the commentators on the radio, and they didn’t stop banging on about it.

    “But, as I say, whatever is behind all this, perhaps restoring Liverpool Utd rivalry for the brand, Northern bias.”

    That’s exactly what it is.

    “tho that doesn’t explain Spurs treatment”

    I think the simple fact they are our neighbours is enough to get the Arsenal hating media behind them. In other words, maybe not so much a love of Spurs but a hatred of Arsenal.

  10. I am sure that is a big part of what Spurs get away with relative to us, Nitram, I also suspect they are perhaps better, or maybe just more interested than us at courting the media, and building up relations with a number of journalists, giving them leaks, exclusives and getting positive write ups back. They even get to put us negatively in the ridiculous change in North London power balance stories….us against, erm, a team who haven’t won anything for ages.
    Not in Liverpool’s or Utds league but Spurs seem to have a big media presence amongst ex players, who generally back the club, unlike many of our ex players. Talk sport even wheel out Graham Roberts from time to time, for reasons best known to themselves.
    If Spurs court the media, certainly Under Wenger, who could be charm and reason personified, but saw right through the media, he regularly made idiots of them, led them up blind alleys, suspect even wilfully deceived some of them. Now, the club seem to put everything through Ornstein or Lawrence, with the likes of John Cross, and even the once favoured Sammy Mokbel feeding for second hand scraps
    Only my impression though, could be very wide of the mark

  11. John Cross is the guy I wrote to over 10 years ago questioning why he hated Arsenal so much, and what was behind his endless critisism, only to be mocked by one of his lackies because apparently “you couldn’t meet a bigger Arsenal fan”.

    You could of fooled me.

    Oh, and no he didn’t answer me himself, or even get a lacky to explain his endless moaning.

  12. Doesn’t surprise me with these people.
    If memory serves me, Cross loved Arsenal when things were going well , but absolutely slated them , right out of context, when things weren’t quite so good , post stadium, post Riley and post Oligarchs/ launderers
    Fickle isn’t even a start

  13. Mandy

    Again, quite right.

    But I’ll tell you what used to wind me up was how he kept turning up on tv when Tom Watts used to host it.

    He was a fawning sycophantic p***k when he was on that, only to revert to type the second he put pen to paper. Nasty little man.

    On the subject of Arsenal TV, I must admit I did enjoy it more when Tom was the host. Cant get my head round this ‘Arsenal Nation’ nonsense.

    Alas Mandy I think that’s just an age thing. I’m just getting old.

  14. Mandy, other than from your understandable bias as an Arsenal fan, where do you get the idea that Spurs are one of the favoured teams? Sure, the Lo Celso decision yesterday was farcical. But that’s just the one (non) red card decision in Spurs’ favour. In the previous five PL games over the course of just one month, Capoue (Watford), Robertson (Liverpool), Cantwell (Norwich) and Sterling (Man City) should all have been sent off against Spurs but weren’t.

  15. OT: Arsenal Women v Lewes FACup

    The game has started. I hate when information is only presented in images, but the lineup is:
    Arsenal XI: Zinsberger, Maier, Quinn, Beattie, Schnaderbeck, Roord, Nobbs, van de Donk, Grant, Foord, Filis
    Beach: Peyraud-Magnin, Williamson, Evans, Dawbarn, Albuquerque, McCabe, Miedema

    Spelling mistakes are probably mine.


  16. Well where I’ve been watching, the whole of yesterday has been a constant criticism of the ref/var. In Almost all the weekend matches, they have been repeatedly criticised(so much so that pgmo has had to comment on several decisions, that should make you excited Tony). The Lo Celso fiasco was and is still being criticized. Lampard has had his say, mourinho couldn’t deny it, only asked for the same criticism when his team is on the wrong end of var. Dermot Gallagher has critised it, all the pundits on TV- Hargreaves, Mcmanaman etc. Even pgmo has and David Coote the VAR for the match have accepted being wrong, pgmo blamed it on the human factor. In the city vs Leicester match, var has been criticised roundly for its inconsistency, DeBruyne’s wasn’t a handball but Praet’s was, the Leicester’s manager’s interview is being shown over and over. Pgmo has even had to explain/ defend itself on the Debruyne incident, saying they felt his hands were close to his body in a natural position to protect his face. Even the officiating of the Burnley vs Bournemouth match is still being criticized.
    So I’d say if you didn’t see all this, what media have you been following? Is it media from another planet? If you have seen this, what more do you want?
    …from a journalist

  17. Offside

    I don’t know if it is possible to write an unambiguous offside law. There will always be situations where a determination causes problems. The players don’t have any means (at the present time) to determine their orientation with respect to the sidelines. If an attacking player is running perpendicular to the sidelines and is onside by about one foot (12 inches), they have a significant advantage to a defender that is stationary defining the line of offside.

    An attacking player whose feet and torso are even with the last defender’s feet and torso, could be called offside if they lean forward and hence their head is advanced towards goal with respect to the defender. Close to goal, some attackers can take advantage of that slim an advantage. For most players, that is not enough advantage to say that a goal which scored because of that was unfair.

    Wenger’s idea, is just a manifestation of the “daylight” interpretation; the attacker has pushed forward so far, that there is daylight between the attacker and the defender. This is far enough forward, that it has to be the result of a conscious decision to take advantage; and not an error in quessing just where the line perpendicular to the sideline touches the defender.

    The biggest problem I have with Wenger’s idea, is that most pdunits commenting on it assume that because Wenger was Arsenal that somehow this has to benefit Arsenal.

  18. OT: Arsenal Women v Lewes FACup Half time

    Foord on her debut has had a number of chances, as have other Arsenal players. So far, no score.


  19. OT: Arsenal Women v Lewes FACup 60m

    Foord scores at 54m. Shortly after, Arsenal see another goal bound ball cleared off the line by a header.

    BBC coverage has a pdunit there ready and waiting to provide a comment as to how terrible this is for Lewes. Which is fine, as long as they do that in all equivalent circumstances.


  20. Gord

    “Wenger’s idea, is just a manifestation of the “daylight” interpretation”

    That is indeed exactly what it is. In other words just a way of tilting the balance in favour of the attacker, almost certainly allowing more goals to stand and hence taking just a little of the frustration out of it.

    At the end of the day, no matter where they draw the line, the width of a hair is still going to be the difference between on and off side. That is the nature of the offside law.

    Unless they want to bring ambiguity into it of course, which is in effect making an objective decision subjective, which surely will just make matters worse.

    Gord, perhaps you can explain why goal line technology can disallow a goal on the width of a hair, without a whimper of discontent, yet an offside call made over a bigger margin is greeted with howls of derision.

    As I said, I think it’s because a human is involved in one, giving a target for your frustration, where as the other is simply done with technology with no human input at all.

  21. OT: Arsenal Women v Lewes FACup 60m

    BBC has mentioned that Lewes brought a brass band with them to the game, and they are playing up a storm.

    Arsenal have made all their changes now, and Miedema wsa in the earlier set of substitutions. No more scoring, we still lead 1:0.


  22. Comparing the attacker at speed one foot onside against a stationary attacker, to a stationary attacker and stationary defender with the attacker being 1mm offside shows that definition of offside is too hard for players to manage in game time (well, maybe Messi could manage it).

    The daylight definition, is giving advantage to the attacker; which is where most people want it. If the defender wants to give the attacker that much advantage and gets burned by it; give the goal to the attackers.

    I think the goal line technology can be fooled. First, it needs to “see” the ball. I think the goal line technology more or less asumes the ball is always spherical. The most obvious case where the ball is not spherical, is when a ball crossing the goal line suddenly has weight of the goaltender start to push down on it deforming the ball. And the deviations from spherical depend on knowing the pressure of gas in the ball.

    There will be situations where the assumed spherical ball has crossed the line, but the actual deformed ball has not finished crossing the line.

    I think the goal line technology is of a form, that skilled operators (or PGMO idjuts) cannot be asked to calculate what is happening. VAR is something that the idjuts were meant to twiddle with, being able to draw two different lines meant to represent attacker and defender that are visibly not parallel.

  23. OT: Arsenal Women v Lewes FACup

    Last report was more like 72m, not 60m.

    Van de Donk scored a second goal at 84m. I believe the game is now finished, so Arsenal are off to the FACup quarters.

    Congratulations Arsenal Women!

  24. OT: Arsenal Women and unbiased BBC reporting

    Man City 1-1 Chelsea

    There are 45 minutes to go at the Academy Stadium.

    One of these teams will have the destiny of the WSL title firmly in their hands by 16:00 GMT…

    Is Arsenal mathematically eliminated from winning the title at this point?

    Sounds to me, like AAA agenda. Not reporting.

  25. It doesn’t matter what the PGMOL do. They are a corrupt organisation that select a group of people without any open competition to officiate in football. VAR is just another tool that they have to fortify their corrupt agenda,

  26. VAR

    The medja does NOT want good officiating.

    This article has 2 images at the top, one being the leg breaker from the Chel$ea Spud game.

    Does the medja seriously expect people to believe out of all the cameras at the game, the _BEST_ image about the leg breaker is the one in this article? The only thing this image does, is present the name of the spud that did it.

    What is with the medja and this word “admit”. To admit something, means that the person has secret information or information given in confidence and they are now releasing. Former referee Chris Foy may be of the opinion that the tackle was a leg breaker, but there is no way that Foy can admit this.

    Other coverage points out that Oliver did not view the pitchside monitor. I believe Oliver is the only EPL referee who has viewed the pitchside monitor at any point this season (and probably only the one time). He has no doubt been instructed by 😈 Mike Riley that he shall NEVER view the pitchside monitor. The only reason those monitors are present, is because all FIFA/UEFA/… VAR set ups have pitchside monitors. PGMO has measures in place to ensure that the decision best in line with PGMO policies will come from Stockley Park.


    Not related to VAR, Darren England seems to be in hot water again in a game not in the EPL.

  27. Chel$ea are currently leading the game with Man$ity (after Man$ity missed on a penalty), and as it stands will be in first place. Arsenal are 3 points and 2 GD behind Man$ity, with a game in hand. The BBC were showing their dislike in reporting Arsenal are out of the race. Arsenal would be 5 points behind and 10 GD behind Chel$ea.

    Arsenal and Chel$ea should have 7 games remaining and Man$ity should have 6. ManUre have 8 games remaining, but they are 13 points behind Arsenal, and the spuds are 16 points behind Arsenal.

  28. When the arm is by the side of the body and the ball hits it, how can that be a handball?

    It is under PGMOL laws because your arm should not be attached to your body. It should be stuck up somebodys…………………

  29. OT: ManUre 3 0 Watford

    Atkinson is the twit for PGMO. Fouls are 5:6 and yellows are 0:1. At 40m, Atkinson gifts ManUre a penalty, which is scored. No treatments that I can see.


    OT: Wolves 3 0 Norwich

    Kavanaugh is the twit for PGMO. Fouls are 11:6 and yellows are 2:3. Something fishy about those 2 ratios. Norwich inflict a treatment on Wolves at 45m. It is possible that Kavanaugh gives a yellow for this infliction. Norwich inflict another treatment at 79m. And lordy, lordy; it looks like Kavanugh has issued a second yellow for a second infliction. And the Wolves player is not fit to continue.

    We are past the 2/3 point of the season, and it looks like this is the first game where discipline as a result of treatments has been handed out.

    97% PGMO accuracy, I doubt it. This particular game, maybe.

  30. Unfortunately, Attwell did not get sick and need to be replaced. But who would you replace him with? So, Attwell will be the twit for PGMO.

    Arsenal XI:
    Bellerin Mustafi Luiz Kolasinac
    Cellabos Xhaka
    Pepe Ozil Aubameyang

    Beach: Martinez, Sokratis, Lacazette, Torreira, Nelson, Guendouzi, Saka

    Martinez had concerns about staying at Arsenal at the beginning of the season with Emery. Having not played in the Europa game, I wonder if Arteta has considered the Martinez may see greener pastures elsewhere this summer?


  31. Hmmm, we seem to have dug ourselves a hole on this game.

    Let’s get some goals Gunners! Eddie, fancy a hat trick?


  32. Same old PGMO.

    At 17m, fouls are supposedly 3:0, and at 15m Kolainac is in need of a treatment. Sargeant Attwell Schultz sees NOTHING!


  33. Oooops must be awkward for the BBC reporter that Man City and Chelsea drew 3-3. I highly doubt it.

  34. When the fouls are committed by Everton they seem to be missed. The high foot that scored the goal was above Luiz and the heel hit his head. The VAR didn’t see a foul. Kola was elbowed on te shoulder but VAR saw nothing. Calvert Lewin slid into Bellerin followed by Richarlisons studs on Ceballos.

    VAR will not see anything to allow Arsenal justice.

  35. The free kick in the first minute was not justified and Ceballos was puzzled by the decision. The resultant kick that scored was a foul anywhere on the pitch specially in the goal area. High foot that landed on the head of the defender!!!!

    Whats the point of commenting on the officiating when we know it is going to be biased.

  36. Half a treatment. It seems that Ceballos was needing treatment when the goal was scored? And Sargeant Attwell Schultz missed it? Imagine that!


  37. If what I surmise is accurate, it is a miracle that VAR did not call back to goal to punish the foul on the treatment.


  38. Hmmm, Leno requires a treatment in last minute of regular time. There will be 5m of time added on.


  39. Yippee, we win against Everton+PGMO!

    Fouls are supposedly 12:12, yellows are 0:4.

    Congratulations Gunners!

  40. In an alternate reality:

    Interviewer 1: Alex Iwobi, how did you like playing against your old team, Arsenal?
    Iwobi: It wsa a fantastic experience!
    Interviewer 2: Can you expand on the Alex? How was it better?
    Iwobi: For the first time, I did not have to worry about getting called or booked for the tiniest of infractions. There were so many times I was called or booked playing for Arsenal in the EPL for breathing on an opponent. It was ridiculous.

  41. Personally I thought the ref did okay.

    Not perfect, but as I say it’s a bit much to expect perfection. What we should expect is balance and I thought by and large that’s what we got.

    We didn’t pick up a yellow for our 12 fouls, which is unusual, but to be fair we didn’t commit any bookable fouls and none of our players were particularly persistant.

    On the other hand Everton picked up 4 for their 12 fouls and I don’t think they can complain. They got away with some flailing elbows as well.

    As for the match. Honestly a draw would of been a fair result on the balance of play but the boys battled till the last, worked their socks off and reaped their reward.

    As I said the other day, we look like a proper team. A way to go but we are heading in the right direction.

    Great and desperately needed win. Well done lads.

  42. I am intrigued when you say the ref did ok, when their first goal should not have been allowed.

    The scorer could not have got his foot any higher and his boot was right in Luiz’s face.

    Richarlson’s foul on Callabos should also have been red for dangerous play.

  43. I agree it was a high foot.

    But VAR was again at fault. The ref had one look and perhaps thought their was more space between foot and head. Kos scored a similar overhead a few years ago and I don’t remember any moaning.

    But yes it probably should of been called a foul but my impression is, more often than not when a goal is scored like that it is allowed to stand.

    Yes it was a yellow/red. He went yellow. I’m okay with that.

    I think it was okay and not biased, which is the main thing as far as I’m concerned.

    If you think that was a poor refereeing performance that’s up to you.

  44. Very happy with the 3 points and NO cards (esp. Xhaka, guess he didn’t breathe on anyone). Is there any word on the severity of Kolasinac’s injury?

  45. Maybe the worm is turning. I’m posting a link to VERY positive article on AFC after the win. Mind you, is usually negative toward Arsenal so this is refreshing and maybe the start of a media turnaround. At least on one site.

    P.S. Tony, My last post on this thread is in moderation and I think it’s because I used an alternate email. I’ll post this with the email I usually post from.

  46. Part of the high foot foul, is consideration of whether the defender moved his head down, so as to be in “better range” fo the foot. If the defenders head stayed still (so to speak), then the defender is the only one at fault.

  47. Gooner72, Arteta by the sound of it is pretty worried about Kolas injury. Says he will know more tomorrow, but sounds like fears of dislocation for now, hope that is unfounded.
    Only a team as unlucky with injuries could have two left backs out with dislocations!
    If this is true, Saka is going to be a busy boy

  48. It was a tough match as Everton under Ancelloti showed good character but Arsenal under Arteta matched well as the boys bounced back after the early shock.
    Ozil Mustafi Xhaka all had a good game.

    Though we lack the control of the match as we usually had under Wenger at the home soil we still showed some good passing skills.

    Last but not the least with the club taken over by the Wenger boys once again as we see Edu Arteta Bould Metersacker Freddie at the different level of Hierarchy may I ask the WOBS who said Wenger left us with the club in decline do they have any ounce of dignity to say sorry to Wenger and the bloggers at PA UA and Uncensored who defended Wenger for his services to the ARSENALS.

  49. WOO HOO , HOO ! Another hard earned 3 points . Some great play for our goals .
    As was observed by our regulars , VAR ( and its failure )was the focus of the weekend.
    I had to laugh out when Andy ” Get in there !” Townsend was livid and foaming at the mouth for quite a while at that yuge fax pas in the Chelsea/Spud game.
    Am sure the EPL and the PIGMOB will soon get it revoked , due to its many shortcomings !
    Even though it was self inflicted and calculative.

  50. After a difficult away game on Thursday night I feared we might drop in the second half. We did drop and looked tired but we battled with all what was left in the tank to secure the result.
    I hope Tierney will be back soon (I thought he was out till the end of February) as Saka needs a breather playing match after match at such a young age.
    Also Leno with some superb and important stops to give us the 3 points.

  51. And the serie continues, in fact I don’t know how many matches in a row it makes but it’s a lot. 62′: Saka is considered offside by the referee while he wasn’t. When it is so tight the refs have to let the action go and see retrospectively if the offside must be called or not.
    It is so frustrating it happens in each matches played by Arsenal in the PL. It shouldn’t happen at all with VAR, like in Germany, Italy, Spain and France at least. Is this blattant incompetence?

  52. OT: Leg Breaker

    The Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) justified the decision, saying in a statement: “(It was) not a clear and obvious error because the VAR didn’t feel there was anywhere else for Lo Celso to put his foot.”

    The laws say nothing about a need for any player to have a place to put their foot.

    Let’s change the situation just a little, to show how silly PGMO is being on this. Let’s say he placed his foot on the other players throat, and as a result kills him.

    There is no requirement of needing a place to put a foot. PGMO wanted to let the spud player stamp on the Chel$ea player. They are making stuff not in the laws of the game to try and justify this nonsense.

    The solution is to get rid of PGMO, all of it. Ban them for life from football. For disrepute.

  53. Nitram, according to the Times report, Calvert’s foot actually touched Luiz, albeit on this hair.

    Surely, whether Luiz moves his head (which could have been to head the ball) or not, must be irrelevant. what is relevant is whether the kick was potentially dangerous to Luiz, which because it was so close, must have been.

    Overhead kicks that one sees usually do not involve the boot of the player doing the kick actually close to the face of another player.

    In any event, this was not an overhead kick, just a high one.

    Of course, what I say is also irrelevant because Attwell and VAR allowed it.

    Then PGMOL should make a statement clarifying the law on this point, as they did with the scum stamp on Saturday and state that Calvert needed to put his foot somewhere.

  54. jjgsol

    I said it probably should of been a foul but the ref didn’t see it that way.

    If it was a foul, which I agree with you it probably should of been, as we’ve said, VAR should of picked it up.

    Not only was it not given by the ref or VAR, apart from yourself I haven’t heard a single comment (media) that it was even debateable.

    Not from the match commentators on SKY or the BBC.

    Not in any post match analysis anywhere.

    Not on during the half time debate. (although they are way too passive for my liking anyway to be honest).

    Not in the commentry.

    I didn’t listen to the radio and I haven’t seen a paper but I doubt it was ever suggested it was a foul there either. I would be interested to know if it was.

    Look, I agree after the first 10 minutes I thought he was going to be bad but I honestly believe after that he was okay.

    Maybe I am being a little magnanimous because I’m so used to ‘diabolical’ that when I see just okay I’m relieved.

    But honestly, after that initial start they had 4 cards for 12 fouls which I believe reflected the severity of their fouls. I don’t believe they merited a straight red.

    We had no cards for 12 fouls which reflected the nature of our fouls.

    Anyway, Whatever you or I or menace or any other untolder thinks, the mere fact nobody (that I know of) in the media even CONSIDERED it a foul for a second shows exactly where we still are with them.

    One thing we all know is if it was the other way round either the ref or VAR would of disallowed it and if it didn’t the minimum we could expect was an endless debate about it and most likely outrage.

    But what we are doing here is really my point.

    That call is to me the only really contentious call, and even that is really VAR’s fault.

    I cant believe I’ve written that much in defence of a PGMO agent, but I just thought I’d explain my thinking, but if you think he had a stinker that’s fine, maybe it’s just me feeling overly generous.

  55. Maybe it isn’t all of PGMO that has to go, but I expect most of it. And it might mean clearing out a bunch of people at The FA and EFL as well.

    I think all the officials should be in a sense, interchangable parts. It should not matter who is a referee, assistant referee, 4th official or VAR; the “result” is the same.

    The result is a complex thing. Simplistically, the right team won (or it was a draw). If careful analysis of the game shows that there were 15 fouls committed by both teams; we want their to have been 15 fouls called on both teams. None of the fouls that were called, are phantom (imaginary) fouls. If rotational fouling is happening, card the captain. If delay of game is happening early in the game, call it. If it continues, book people.

    All the statistics of games should be publicly available. Commercial companies can be prevented by contract from disclosing corruption. Citizen scientists cannot. All referee assessments should be publicly available.

    Do quality control on the referees and assessors. Have 100 officials distributed approximately uniformly around the stadium, who are wired up (similar to polygraph). Have them wearing a microphone (to hear crowd noise), and a 9 or 10 DOF IMU so that we know what direction their head is facing. Maybe sensors for facial muscles to track where the eyes are pointed. And let them make notes during the game. Compare the various sets of data: TV cameras, the officials doing the game, the accessors, the notes of the monitors and the physiological data of the monitors.

    It is important to know if officials have positive or negative biases against teams, players, ethnicity, language, race, sexual preference. Do we need to add things like player height?

  56. @Nitram, please be honest. If you were doing your usual analyses and both arsenal and Everton committed 12 fouls apiece, with Everton getting 4yellow cards to our zero, wouldn’t you have come on untold after the match to complain of ref bias? Yet today you haven’t criticized the ref for being biased towards arsenal, instead you make a statement which I have always alluded to. You said “we didn’t commit bookable fouls”. I maintain that the foul:card ratio is not a valid statistic as their is no relationship between quantity of fouls and number of yellow cards, rather the relationship is between quality of foul and cards. Arsenal committed 12 fouls today, we both agree they weren’t bookable fouls, so I don’t expect yellow cards. Everton committed same number and the ref felt 4 were bookable (even though menace felt the 18 players in the match day squad should have been carded)

  57. Nitram,

    To my great surprise, Souness did actually say that the head-high boot was dangerous play, and a foul awarded, as would have been in any other part of the pitch. – therefore that the “goal” should have been disallowed.

    Than he reverted to his more familiar talking rubbish.

    My view was that the original decision to award the free-kick against Ceballos in the first place was also wrong.

    I also felt that there was an argument for a penalty in the first half, when Saka was brought down. Commentator said it was OK because the ball was touched, but it seemed that the ball was touched by Saka himself, after the defender had tripped him.

    There would have been a big discussion in the studio if that incident had been in Arsenal’s penalty area.

  58. John L

    I didn’t hear that so fair enough. No surprise he soon returned to type though is it?

    And I also thought the foul on Ceballos looked soft. The fact SKY didn’t show a close up or different angle, allied to Ceballos’s reaction, suggests it was indeed soft.

    Perhaps my expectation of being totally screwed has clouded my judgement, but as I said to jjgsol, I did fear the worst after the first 10 minutes, but I honestly felt after that he was okay. No more but okay.

    I recall the Sake incident and indeed it was a tight call that could of gone either way.

    More to the point is of course as you say, just imagine the forensic investigation there would of been had it been at the other end. As usual with us it’s ‘nothing to see here’ and on they move.

  59. @Deb you are obviously trying to create chaos or just deluded. I felt that Calvert-Lewin should have been booked for a high foot that made contact with Luiz’ head. Richarlison should also have been booked for a deliberate kick to Guendouzi that the assistant saw but the Referee didn’t.

    Please refrain from your humour as it exposes your stupidity.

  60. Sorry Tony, I’ve read the article and I’m yet to find the mathematical relationship between fouls and cards, you even allude to that yourself. Maybe I’m the one but could you oblige me and explain from the article the mathematical relationship between fouls and cards

  61. @Menace

    Regarding the Guendouzi incident. I got the impression that the referee was not best pleased with his linesman, as he (Atwell) had waved play on and signalled “No Foul”. It was the linesman’s persistence that caused the free-kick to be awarded. It was quite an obvious foul as well.

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