The Untold ref review : Chelsea – Arsenal. Ref score: 30%

by Walter Broeckx, the untold ref

When I looked at my TV seconds before the game I saw a to me unknown ref. It turned out to be one of the assistants and when I saw the smiling face of Mike Dean I was thinking  this could be an interesting game for the ref review. Was it? Just find out.

PENALTY: Chelsea shout for a penalty for handball from Koscielny but Mr. Dean wants nothing of it. Correct the ball hit him in his stomach and not his  hand. 1/1

OTHER/GOAL: Song gets tackled from behind with what we call in my country a scissors tackle. When you clamp both your legs around a player and certainly when you coming in from behind it is always a foul. Mike Dean sees nothing and give Chelsea the advantage and from the resulting possession they score the 1-0. A goal that never would have come when the ref had given the first foul. But the ref was some 20 meters away when the first foul was made on Song. Way to far Mr. Dean, couldn’t cope with the speed of the game anymore?  Mr. Dean is the first ref this season who has caused us to concede a goal. 0/1 and 0/1.

OTHER/CARD/OTHER: Sagna tries to clear a ball and Malouda comes in late. Malouda who seconds before had a nice exchange of words with the ref.  Mr. Dean gives no foul. A first miss in this situation. The ball comes back to Sagna who kicks the ball out and Malouda comes in standing with his foot over the ball and studs showing and going down on the leg of Sagna. Again the ref sees no foul. Malouda who knows what he did turns immediately away and plays the innocent party, putting his arms in the air expressing: I know nothing, what happened. Well played Mr. Malouda for me the signal that you did something really dirty.  Mr. Dean in my country when you are standing and coming in on a player like that you can expect a red card, I have seen legs breaking after such attacks.  0/1 and 0/1 and another 0/1.

OTHER/CARD: seconds later Diaby beats Essien when both go for the ball. Essien goes in on the ankle of Diaby and hits him hard. It looks really bad. And what does our beloved Mr. Dean? Nothing at all. No foul seen by him.  Now you might think that from the angle he was looking he couldn’t see it. Well  I really suggest you should look at Wilshere who was not that far away from the refs point of view. Wilshere immediately waves with his hand to signal there could be something terrible wrong with the situation. But I think Mr. Dean his hair was in front of his eyes, was it?.  Foul and a yellow card mr. Dean. 0/1 and 0/1.

OTHER/CARD: Sagna goes in on the ankle from Malouda just after the start of the second half. And again the ref doesn’t see the foul and doesn’t give a card. 0/1 and 0/1.

PENALTY: Chamakh goes down after contact with Cech. I would call it a Rooney penalty for Mr. Dean. Last year he gave it in favour of United against us in almost the same circumstances. Now he doesn’t? What would you have expected from Mr. Dean. So he was wrong now or last year. And as he thinks such foul is a penalty last season then he should give one now. Yes I know Chamakh went down in a nice style but fact remains that Cech touched him from behind. 0/1

CARD: Song is hanging on Drogba for some 20 meters before bringing him down. The ref shows no card? Amazing, amazing, amazing. A short pull can be left without a card. From the moment a player keeps hanging and pulling on his opponent you should always give a yellow card.  0/1

PENALTY: Koscielny brings Drogba down with a scissor tackle. Should have been a penalty. Again mr. Dean sees nothing. 0/1

PENALTY: Chamakh goes down but Ramirez got the ball so no penalty. Correct decision. 1/1

OTHER/OTHER: Foul from Terry on Wilshere, play on says Mr. Dean but then he sees the shirt pull from Drogba and give a foul. 0/1 and 1/1

GOAL: goal from Chelsea disallowed for offside. Great work from the assistant. He was correct. 1/1

CARD: Booking against Ferreira correct decision. 1/1

CARD: Koscielny gets a yellow card. Koscielny was lucky that Squillaci and Clichy were not that far away.  Correct decision. 1/1

GOAL: correct decision. 1/1

And this gives us the following totals:

OTHER: 1/7


CARD: 2/7

GOAL: 1/2

TOTAL:            6/20 (30%)

As a ref this was a match where the ref lost it after half an hour. Was he getting tired from the high tempo that both teams played? Because in the first half hour he did very well. I was just thinking of writing this down in my match report. I was even asking myself: is this another ref but as Dean in disguise?  But then he suddenly lost it and he turned in to the Dean we got to know in the last years.

This was not only visible when he let the tackle on Song go but even more when Malouda planted his foot on the leg of Sagna, just before half time. I have seen this many times before and most of the time this ended with a red card. Now the ref did nothing at all. The signal for some kicking on ankles as the players felt he didn’t see it. From a refs point of view the foul from Malouda was the dirtiest.

The Essien on Diaby was more visible (apart for the ref) but this was more a challenge for the ball where Essien came late and was beaten by Diaby in speed.  As a result Sagna clearly paid back after the restart. This was all down to the ref not seeing things and letting everything go. Lucky for Dean the players thought it was enough and stopped kicking each other on the ankles.

The first goal from Chelsea was also a result from him missing a foul on Song. Yes he played the ball but the player was coming from behind going through Song and making contact with both man and ball. This is a foul. Forget the ‘he played the ball” mantra. You can only make such a tackle within the laws when you don’t touch the player. He touched him so it was a foul.

So for the first time I really feel that the ref has had an influence on the final result. And this is something that has happened before when we saw ref Dean on our playing field in the past. He really is one of the worst refs in the EPL and last year I have seen him in an European league game in my country and it was also a very poor performance that day.

But let me just add to this that I don’t think he wanted to favour Chelsea from the start. I really think it is down to incompetence and doing games above his weight. But he is a danger for the players on the field. Now the players stopped by themselves and went on to play football and stopped kicking each others ankles.

But when you get a team that doesn’t think and keeps on kicking because they feel they can do it without punishment,  you will see blood and I don’t think any of us is coming to the stadium or put on our TV to see blood.

PS: For those who think that this negative report was caused because I don’t like losing I just would suggest that you check my report on the ref of the Arsenal – WBA game where I gave excellent points to the ref despite our defeat.

PPS: The assistants yesterday did a great job! They had some difficult decisions to make but made the correct ones.

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48 Replies to “The Untold ref review : Chelsea – Arsenal. Ref score: 30%”

  1. IT is amazing how we always struggle when mr Dean is referee. Honestly when I saw he was ref I knew we had no chance to win. I just can’t trust him.
    One good thing about M.Dean is at least he does same everytime… making decisions against Arsenal (or team with Robin van Persie).

  2. You are being very unfair to the ref!! I dont think the ref had a bad game.

    Maybe he missed out on the Diaby tackle. But rest of the game was quite fair. Also the tackle on song for the 1st goal, i dont think the ref has to give a foul every time an arsenal player falls down to the ground. Remember, this is the most physical league in the world. The refs over here dont give a foul for light tackles that easily. We have to expect this and play better next time.

    I think all the goals were right. Infact the assistant too had a good game that called many offsides right. I guess you are not giving marks for that. I remember chelsea having 8-9 offsides.
    Also the penalty claim by Chamakh was outrageous. Infact i felt Chamakh had dived with a very minimal of contact. No penalties for theatricality i suppose.

    All in all Arsenal were just missing their best players, who would hav won this game with their clinical finishing. We have to accept defeat like men. The ref had a good game ystrday. All we can do is prepare for the next game and hope our best players return fast.

  3. Seriously, if this referee index has to be fair, all the decisions have to be counted. And when i say all, i mean all. This index should take into account for all the time the ref blew his whistle and for all the time he didn’t. Its not fair to judge a ref only on the decisions he got wrong. Coz then it wouldn’t be a index after all. For a better index, all the decisions, even the smallest, should be taken into consideration.

  4. Mike Dean is a disgrace to referees. In fairness to him he is an equal opportunities bufoon being generally blind to infractions by both teams.
    However Walter is 100% correct in pointing out that that the first goal most likely doesn’t come about if he blows for that blatant foul on Song.
    Until we have a video ref who can overrule this will happen perpetually. this wont happen until we have a governing body free of corruption so it isn’t going to happen. If DeJong were facing a 10 match ban after the video review of his tackle yeaterday, I am pretty sure those kind of tackles would vanish.

    Of course that would require sense and integrity from The Premier League, The FA and UEFA and they are all bereft of same.

  5. I agree with Walter – Mike Dean was crap… and I think you could go further with a couple of offsides given against Chelsea when they would have been clean through – it was like he was always trying to compensate for the previous fuckup.

    I’ve seen a lot worse though from Mr. Dean in the past!

  6. I actually saw the ref wink at Ashley Cole when he was tackled by song and gave Cole the free kick. A*sh*le

  7. I said weeks ago that if all PL teams are measured on the same yardstick, then may be we would not have had all this trophy lull. If you watched other matches, just to compare with what is given or not in our games, then you would see what i mean. But, I want to say that the Arsenal picture is not all doom and gloom, by December we will be back in the hunt and our relative squad depth will give us some thing this year.

  8. walter gave a fair analysis of m deans performance yesterday, was a crap, just that players from both teams stopped the bad tackles at a point in the game. left alone with dean half dozen of players would leaped off the field. two fouls on chamakh in penalty box, fouls on diaby, wilshere, sagna, etc… and fouls on drogba and malouda were just coverups. poor performance, inconsistant decisions (penalty awarded to man u for tackle on rooney but not to arsenal for same tackle on chamakh)slow pace, and several more. need to be sent on attachment in liberia.

  9. I just think they have a better finisher than us, no disrespect, we’re good but they are better and luck has nothing to do with it.

  10. I agree with DarkPrince completely. I was watching the game as well and I thought it was one of the better displays of refereeing I have seen in some time. I am, almost every time, the first one to say that Arsenal have been hard done by referees in the past, but I felt the referee didn’t influence the game either way this time.

    I also saw all the decisions and replays as well and it wasn’t a case of things balancing out either, it was just the right decisions.

    I’m not a referee myself, but I’ve seen my fair share of games to know when its the referee who wins/loses the game. This wasn’t it.

  11. La Shiz, if this is what you think is good refereeing then you have a low expectation level.

    I do agree that he made a lot of good decisions. But the things I talk about are the decions that as a ref you cannot let go or you have to punish. Like against Song who was hangin on Drogba for some 20 meters and he didn’t gave a yellow card. This is one of the examples where you must give a yellow card. This is on of the examples that is explicite told in the Fifa instructions that you must give a yellow card. Never mind of the game was fair until then or not. It is like a defender that punches the ball out of goal and prevents a goal. It could be his first foul of the game, the game could have been as fair as can be: he still must go with a red card.

    Consistency, how many times have we heard this before and the pulling for 20 meters should be punished by all refs in the same way: by giving a yellow card. The reason is that a short pull can be an instinctive reflex (but can be punished with a card when you prevent a goal scoring chance) but haning on a player for 20 meters is deliberate and a deliberate foul should be punished with a yellow card.

  12. And to be honest after completing my preview I have had a deep thought and a bad night sleep over it. To see if my mind had changed after a night sleep, but it didn’t for 99% of what I had written the night before. I did this to see for myself if I hadn’t been to harsh on him.
    But the things he missed are things that a good ref shouldn’t have missed.

    The stamping on the feet by Malouda, Essien and Sagna are 3 such incidents in some 5 minutes time that he didn’t see at all. Or even worse, let them go. They were dangerous, malicious and should have been punished from the first moment you have such a thing on your field. Dean not doing this was very much neglecting his duty as a ref so I had to mention them and they cost him a lot of points. But it was up to him to make those calls.

  13. @ LA shiz : maybe we watched different games, mate you saw the tackle that led to the 1st chelsea goal? I agree we should not be moaning all the time and i also disagree with walter on this one. His stats on the game are little misleading i.e it did look like to me that the ref did much better than a paltry 30% although the impact that foul on Song not being called was immense.

  14. Dark Prince, most of the decisions a ref has to make can be made by every one.
    But the difference between a ref at the top is that he must make the important decisions correct.
    In the system we use for reviewing a ref in my country you can have a great game and make 50 correct decisions. But if you miss the player that pushes the ball out of his goal with his hands in the last minute of the game when its 0-0, I can promise you that all those good decisions are in the sewer with the rest of your game.
    So I have to stick to the decisions you must make as a ref. Like I have done with the other refs so far. The “big” or important decisions if you want to name them like that. What good is it as a ref you can see who is going to take a throw in which all of us could see which way it goes. That’s fine and a good start but you will get counted on the important decisions at the end of the day.

  15. I do not expect ref to be without mistakes, its impossible, but I do expect to see obvious things. Other mistakes which Walter mentioned here, I don’t know, maybe they weren’t such obvious from place mr Dean was standing. But in Chamakh case, he had clear sight, he could see legs of both players and actually it wasn’t really crowded situation.
    I don’t mind, or let me say, some mistakes doesn’t bother me too much , as long as they aren’t decisive, but this one was. I believe things would go different if result 25 minutes before end of game was 1-1.

  16. Let us say that the points I give at the end of the day are the points that a ref has to make on those important decisions. I think it would be a total disgrace if he could not make the decisions that you and I could make. I think I had said this at the start of the season in the first game that I would only take the important decisions in my review.
    So if you want you could say that every ref gets 100% on the small decisions index and I will judge him on the “important” decisions.

    And like I said before: if people are willing to pay me I would love to take them all, the decisions I mean. 😉

  17. Walter, just hope you can clarify when you said Ramires’ tackle on Chamakh was not a foul because he got the ball, then you say afters it’s not about playing the ball? If I’m not wrong Ramires bowled Chamakh over first to get the ball. Thanks

  18. It never arsenal win if scrap dean is there, just compare this game and the game we play man u last season

  19. On de Jong:

    Van Marwijk himself appeared unimpressed with the clash with Ben Arfa, telling Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad: “I’ve seen the pictures back. It was a wild and unnecessary offence. He went in much too hard.

    “It is unfortunate, especially since he does not need to do it. The funny thing is that the referee did not even show a yellow card for it. Apparently, there are other standards. But I have a problem with the way Nigel needlessly looks to push the limit. I am going to speak to him.”

    Van Marwijk has said it all: “Apparently, there are other standards.”

    It’s not just Wenger, you stupid media. And for good measure, f%$ off, Pulis and Shawcross.

  20. @walter- i think we have to accept the fact that the refereeing decisions change from person to person and time to time and place to place. I believe that if we were in the spanish league, then we would have given more protection from referees. But in EPL, its different. I’ve seen that in EPL even tugging a shirt for 20 meters wont be given a foul unless the victim player falls down hardly. We have to accept that refs in EPL give more freedom to tackling especially in big games. And its not a mistake that they make, its a deliberate decision on their part. And in Arsenal’s case, its more a problem bcoz we are normally more tackled upon. Even the stomping on the feet of Sagna by Malouda wont be given as a foul half of the time in EPL.

    Its unfair to blame the ref for the 1st goal conceded. Surely there was a tackle on Song, but with the physical competition in EPL, such fouls wont be given consideration. Also in the clear missed chance by Anelka, Anelka had tackled hard with Squillaci. Now if we were in the Champions League game, it would have been given as a foul on Squillaci. But in the EPL, such tackles happen week in week out. And Arsenal has to learn to live and play in such environment.

  21. PENALTY: Chamakh goes down but Ramirez got the ball so no penalty. Correct decision. 1/1

    Walter, when is taking the ball and then the man not a foul?

  22. Dark Prince, well, that’s the difference between you and someone who knows the rules of the game. This bollocks about in Spain they call fouls but this is the hard, English game where it takes men to play is just that, utter bollocks. The rules, and refereeing, exist for one reason only. They do not change no matter where you are. Is there license to interpret, yes, but not as much as you seem to think. Again, the hallmark of someone who is schooled in the rules against someone who just has an opinion. As Walter points out again and again even this application of the rules does not matter so much as the consistency with which you apply them. Call every little foul, call nothing…if you are consistent then at least the players know what to expect. However, as Walter also points out what separates a competent referee from a good one is the application of the proper rules at big moments. Just like people like to slate Fabianski for howlers while disregarding the stops he does make the one clanger the referee has can also turn the game despite the numerous correct calls.

  23. I started writing having seen Tony’s article on Sunday evening. At that time no comments appeared after his article. I was trying to write about Dean’s performance, which I found upsetting, and yet – predictable. I ditched my comments because I was thinking: I need to see Walter’s ref report, as I might include too many of my previous views of Dean’s “refereeing”. I needn’t have held back. I disagree with you Walter on the idea that Dean was OK for “half an hour”.

    I think he let fouls go right from the start, including what looked like obvious ones from Arsenal players (not particularly serious fouls). This lets players know what they can get away with, and like little kids at nursery, some players will keep pushing to see where the limit is.

    The way I view Dean’s reffing is that he loves to let things go – even if it’s Arsenal players committing the fouls, providing such fouls aren’t made in significant areas of the field. However, the team Dean “prefers” will get the softest calls in areas which are dangerous to Arsenal. I reach this conclusion not only by watching Dean when he’s reffing an Arsenal game, but when he refs other games too. (Check ManU v Anyone, though, if I remember correctly, he didn’t favour ManU over Chelsea at OT last season. But I could have the wrong game there).

    Many refs in this leauge do this sort of thing. There were times last season when Song was booked for almost nothing – this often happened despite many clear and more serious fouls from the opposition – happening before Song’s caution. Generally, it continues this season.

    There is no “It’ll all even itself out”, for Arsenal.

    The Gunners have to become much better at turning their fantastic posession into goals – and thereby “murder” other teams. I hope that will come.

    Walter, this is an excellent post, as always. Thanks.

  24. Cape Gooner, I really had the impression Ramirez had the ball and not the man. Will have another look. It was late last evening when doing it after an eventfull evening (not related to football at all). But surely I cannot lower his score anymore??? 😉

  25. On the Dejongh incident: Van Marwijck has decided not to call him for the Dutch team. A wise and good decision from Van Marwijck.
    Compare this to the English Fa and Shawcross….

  26. You can go on whinning.The battle is lost and won.Excuses all the time.”If this did not happen,this would not have happened”.I’m sick and tired of all these rubbish.We should learn to be man enough in games like this.Or are our players different from the rest?

  27. @Gris Gris- i kno what is a foul and wat is not a foul according to the books. But what is written on the books rarely happens in EPL!! And its not for this match, i’ve seen this since last 10 years since i’ve been watchin EPL. English football is much more physical and hence so many of these so called ‘fouls’ (according to the book) are not given as one bcoz they happen very frequently.

    Infact, we used to commit such fouls during the invincibles era too. So we cant complain now jus bcoz our players are more light weight. We have to cope up with such physical challenges bcoz how much ever we complain, its not goin to change. The only way is to adapt with it. That means, firstlt we’ll have to become stronger in our physical presence and make some good hard tackles and secondly, we’ll have to become stronger so that such tackles dont injure us badly.

  28. EPL is much more physical hence you see leg breaking all the time. So if it happens enough we should let them go? I cannot accept such an argument Dark Prince? Or should we stop when legs are hanging in strange positions?

    No the rules are the same in EPL as in any other league. Maybe the standard of the people who run football are wrong in England? Maybe the standards of the pundits are wrong in England? Maybe people like pundits talk about the rules not as a ref but as the former player they have been and give their own interpretation of those rules who are miles away from the intention of the rules?

    And as a result maybe the standard of some referees are wrong? A foul is a foul and if we did them in the past the refs should have acted and not let us get away with it.
    I must say I didn’t do articles in those days….

  29. For those new people this is a weekly serie so nothing to do with winning or losing a game. Just read to the bottom of the article please

  30. I’m no referee, but watching the game yesterday, I was shocked that it took him that long to bring out his first yellow card. It seemed to me that while he called a not-unreasonable number of fouls (this being Dark Prince’s argument, I think), he never worked to keep the tackles from escalating. After that unbelievable scissor-kick tackle in the first half, it was unsurprising to me that Sagna went after Malouda following the break. Without intervention from the ref, this cycle of bad tackles is what happens, and no fan wants to see their team targeted in that way.

  31. The statistic

    This one came from World of Arsenal, so again, I can’t leave it on here. A shame really because it was an interesting point, and involved a misuse of statistics, but well, I’ve set the rule about plagiarism so that’s that.

  32. @walter- obviously, i’m sad that that referees in EPL lower their standard. But its a fact that this happens. We cannot change it unless a few important england players get their legs broken. Plus, not even the English Football Association is concerned about this. Just look at the Spanish Football Federation, they banned a player for a bad tackle on Messi. Why?? Messi doesn’t even play for Spain but still they protect their players. But in EPL, that doesnt happen unless, as i said, some important england players get a broken leg, maybe like Lampard, or Rooney, or Terry. But thats something we cant wish for. And we cant the system either. So all we can do is to adapt to this physical environment. We had done this b4 in the invincibles era, hence we can and we should do it again.

  33. Change of subject… apologies… but Arsenal related.

    Look at what Holland’s coach had to say about De Jong’s tackle…. “I just informed the squad and told him I saw no other possibility,” said the Holland manager of De Jong’s removal. “I’ve seen the pictures back. It was a wild and unnecessary offence. He went in much too hard. It is unfortunate, especially since he does not need to do it. “The funny thing is that the referee did not even show a yellow card for it. Apparently, there are other standards. But I have a problem with the way Nigel needlessly looks to push the limit. I am going to speak to him.”

    WOW. I shouldn’t be surprised but when surrounded by neanderthals and half-wits I supposed I am used to the warmed over phrases that go with this sort of situation… you know the ones… “he’s not that kind of player”… “he didnt intend to break his leg/ankle/etc”… “football is a contact sport”

  34. @walter-I kno it isn’t fair on the our young players. But i’d be the happiest to see our players play their game, get bullied and get decisions against them and yet still come out winning in the end of the match. Thats the mark of a true champion – when everything goes against you and still there’s no stopping you to be victorious.

    This is another reason why i want our players to perform more better everytime they get bullied and get all the decisions against them. We should stop thinkin that the ref will ever be fair and he would give fouls for hard tackle the opponent makes and start thrashing teams even when everything is against us. Thats what Champions do.

  35. Wenger needs to

    Sorry this is a piece nicked from another web site (Goonernews) and I have deleted it. tony

  36. I walked away from the bar where I watched it thinking that the reason Arsenal lost was that we played well but had too many injuries and they had Drogba. I remembered the penalty we should have gotten, but didn’t dwell on it. I didn’t realize the ref was Vladimir Putin, who seems to be moonlighting as Mike Dean. Seriously, Dean looks like Putin, and, of course, he would favor the Russian, and I don’t mean Arshavin!

  37. All the old chestnuts are

    Another one copied from another web site. Not something I really like to encourage on Untold

  38. Dark Prince I can wish for that. i wish for it every time there is a game on. I fervently hope that there is a challenge on Rooney, gerrard or Ferdinand that shatters their tibia/fibia with bone out through the flesh.
    I wish this because then and ONLY then would the FA take action on these x-rated challenges.
    Fair play the Bert Van Marwijk. That act just oozes class and shames the FA who chose to interpret their rules conveniently again. In similar circumstance except Diaby making the leg-breaking challenge, you can be sure that a video evidence ban would have resulted whether the ref saw it or not and the media would be jumping all over the player and the club.

  39. Chelsea v Arsenal was like watching a boxing contest where the challenger prances around with deft footwork and clever jabs but has no killer punch and all it takes to end the fight is for the champion to sling a knockout blow. Arsenal probed well at Stamford Bridge and were more dangerous than on last season’s visit, but we failed to step up the tempo. Chelsea just picked us off when they felt like it. Arsenal floated like a butterfly, Chelsea stung like a bee.

    As I’ve said a trillions times, Arsenal can beat any club home and away domestically other than Chelsea and Manchester United. Against either of those clubs, Arsenal are all mouth and no trousers. We look good but produce very little. Faced with Chelsea and United, with their tactics and their clinical ruthless attitude, Arsenal are all cock and no balls. We have lots of great possession but play sideways when met with a deep backline. Against Chelsea and United, Arsenal are football eunuchs.

    We lost to Didier Drogba at Chelsea last season and every man, his dog, both cats and several goldfish knew that Arsenal at least needed stronger defenders in order to handle him this season. One season later and nothing is different. We signed Laurent Koscielny and Sebastien Squillaci, but Koscielny is currently far too slight to make a physical impact and Squillaci looked very at sea. That is not progress.

    That is also not primarily their problem. We have no defensive organisation and that can only be down to the boss. Buying great defenders, big strong lumps, won’t solve our Drogba dilemma – knowing what we are doing and why will make that impact. You could sign top-drawer international defenders but if we place them into a backline that has no defensive organisation they too would look shambolic.

    This is not going to change fast, not at the very earliest until the next transfer window, when we could feasibly sign better defenders, or until Wenger allows the defence to be run properly. The full-backs can’t defend, the centre-backs try to and the rest of the team just guesses how to protect the back four.

    When we shift to fast-passing forward mode we kill teams, but we only do this sporadically and that is such a frustration. No team can live with that. There appears to be no rhyme or reason for when we start this method, against which teams and when we ignore it , in favour of incessant sideways passing.

    Perhaps we can rekindle our fast-passing forward mode when Theo Walcott returns and get back to ripping teams open with attacking speed. Perhaps we lack the confidence to do it against Chelsea and United. Until anything changes, on defensive organisation and attacking tempo, we’ll beat the teams we can handle beating but not the biggest two that matter.

  40. @Terence McGovern- I can understand. Even i have those thoughts sometimes. But i feel its wrong to think like that. As my mom always used to tell me, dont ask God to reduce the burden that you carry on your back, instead ask him for a stronger back!!

    In the same way, we cant expect the refs to be fair to us. All we can do is to play better and better to a point that even the likes of Chelsea and United will fear us and we wil bcom so strong that such hard tackles wont even create a scratch on our players.

  41. DArk Prince maybe I am a fool and naive but I do expect refs to be fair to everyone. Also I don’t think it’s good point to argue “everyone else does it too”, meaning it’s fine with referee to not follow rules as other refs so so too. I’m sure Walter will take points from other refs too when they do same thing.
    And about De Jong I just got lot more respect for Van Marwijck And Dutch. Now I’m getting as proud fan of Oranje as Arsenal. I really hope Holland will win the group (I have hoped that whole time as I do not have any faith on Finland)

  42. Just for Walters defence it’s not that when Arsenal lose refs points go down. I think best referee points has been the ref in WBA match. Also in match Arsenal won a ref got quite low points (can’t remember which match it was). So really whatever scoreline has been it has not affected on Walter’s points (not that I have noticed anyways).

  43. @FinnGooner- I just wanna ask you one thing, its normal to expect the ref to be fair, but do they always give fair decisions?? Are they always right?? No,they aren’t. And you cant expect them to be. They aren’t Robots which makes correct decisions all the time. And there will many instances where they will make a wrong decision which will lead to a goal. So we cant do anything about it. All we can do is to be prepared for a wrong decision and play better. We can only expect ourselves to improve.

  44. @Dark Prince No I don’t expect referees to be always right, and scoring 100% (that would be impossible) so ref scoring 88% is pretty good IMO (and in that match won’t blame ref).
    I do except referee to treat both teams same way Mike Dean does NOT do that. As I mentioned earlier I have lost all my faith of him being fair now. And when he is ref I can’t see us winning the match, no matter how good we would be he will ignore faults against us but punish us from any little thing, and ignore our penalties and give others one for diving (like in ManIOU last year)
    I do hope that even ref’s (if they are professional, fair and want to be good one) want to improve.
    I am not saying that reason we lost is completely because of ref but he had his part in it (we also did miss players or players missed their chances).

  45. @FinnGooner- i think scoring 88% would be one in 10 games. But what for the rest of the games?? Mike Dean will eventually be involved in some other arsenal game. Then you cant expect to say that he’d be fair again. These things we cant change. We have to play and win even though all these things are against us. And I believe that the only reason we lost to Chelsea was because we were not clinical in our finishing in our final third. Sure we can say that some decisions went against us, we had injuries, etc but the fact remains that our attack wasn’t good enough to penetrate their defences. We had to do more. We just had one shot on goal!! We have to be better than that.

  46. Well Dean has proved that he is against us so no I don’t expect him to be fair. I don’t think I have seen him being fair for both sides ever. World Cup final both teams played ugly and commited things that are against the rules and Dean ignored them (especially Spanish teams diving, and pretending to be almost dying until referee did something and then suddenly got all bettter). Honestly when I see him as referee I know Arsenal will lose. We would need miracle to win (scoring goals would not help as Dean would give penalties to other team so they can score more).
    So the matches when ref is either Dean or Webb I can’t see those being fair. With others I still have hope.

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