Awful refereeing and a fine win. It was almost like the old days

By Tony Attwood

As you can read from the comments made by readers following yesterday’s final article, that most readers who commented were not impressed by the referee.  And of course nor was I.  But I would still like to stick to my theme that Mr Arteta and co must learn that this is how it goes, and they must from that point on, learn how best to deal with it.  There is no point sending out teams over and over again expecting a balanced approach.

We now know why and how it happens, so there is no excuse.   If you want to know more, try these articles

And if those are still not enough there are some more at the end of the article.

As for now, we have of course played more games than most, but still the fact is that we are creeping upwards, aided and abetted by those slipping down.

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 19 12 5 2 36 13 23 41
2 Manchester United 19 12 4 3 36 25 11 40
3 Leicester City 19 12 2 5 35 21 14 38
4 West Ham United 20 10 5 5 30 24 6 35
5 Liverpool 19 9 7 3 37 22 15 34
6 Tottenham Hotspur 18 9 6 3 33 17 16 33
7 Everton 17 10 2 5 28 21 7 32
8 Arsenal 20 9 3 8 26 20 6 30

We are going to have to keep this up for quite a while now, but with the way clubs are rising and falling, if we can keep up the momentum then we might just earn not a trophy.  (We could of course also win the the Europa which would be nice).

And we do have the fourth best defence in the league which is a solid base to build on.  If some of our “fans” could also abandon their constant attack on and moaning about Pepe and one or two others, that might help as well.  How anyone can ever think that moaning about players in ones own team is helpful, is utterly beyond me.

But it is strange how things evolve.  Who would have imagined that Liverpool! would have got to this point of the season and have such a poor away record (just two wins away from Anfield while at home they have only had one defeat.   Something in the grass at Anfield?)

Anyway from Boxing Day on we have played six league games, won five and drawn one.  Along the way we have scored 14 and conceded two.   Which is rather good going by my reckoning.

The next one against Manchester United is tough, but thereafter it gets slightly easier with Wolverhampton, Aston Villa and Leeds before the Europa League comes back with the away game in Portugal.

And because we are not dependent on just one person to score the goals, that causes the defences to have more concerns about us and gives us more choices in the way we play.

Mr Arteta also gave a negative injury update saying, “From Saturday … in the FA Cup game we had five players that they were not available to play. I just want to make clear that we made seven changes and five of them were because they were not ready to play the game.

“Tierney was one of them and Thomas was another one of them. You could see today that he could not even hold for 60 minutes. So, we have to manage those players, we have to protect them. But sometimes they are not fit. I cannot explain every single day how everybody is feeling.”

Meanwhile the Martin Ødegaard should be completed today, and with the way Mr Arteta is talking up the injuries we could see him play in the next match.

9 Replies to “Awful refereeing and a fine win. It was almost like the old days”

  1. Yes the ref was dreadful. Bellerin yellow carded for his first challenge (it was a foul, but only worthy of a free kick), yet countless Southampton players fouling without any hint of a yellow for worse offences. I recall one of their players stamping on I think Xhaka; he got booked, but I have seen players sent off for similar intent. I think Bendarek alone committed circa 5 fouls that were every bit the equivalent of Hector’s but of course no card.

    The Pepe booking was bizarre and should be challenged in my view. The performance of Mr Friend was no surprise and predictable; perhaps worth having a bet on yellow card numbers next time (I wonder if that is the problem, perhaps the betting syndicates are involved; just a thought).

  2. @ Brad

    I agree with everything you say although I think Bellerin was late and perhaps did deserve his card. But certainly there were 6 or 7 bookable offences committed by the opposition.

    The thing that annoys me the most is the complete lack of attention to the absurd and unjust booking to Pepe. It would have been headline news across the media if it had been Rashford, Kane or any other of the media favourites probably leading to a campaign to have the card rescinded (although they would never have been booked in the first place of course.)

    The double standards are not just among the refereeing fraternity but the media who allow such ineptitude/corruption (it has to be one of those two) to go unquestioned.

  3. Sorry to repeat myself but this is more relevant to this article as it is specifically about how we are refereed. Hope you don’t mind.

    I have no issue with the Bellerin card. Even Pepes was possibly merited within the ‘the letter of the law’ as he ambled off, although of course as events played out it should be rescinded. Cant see that happening, but we’ll have to see.

    All those foul throws we get pulled up on. Every one was probably correctly called by ‘the letter of the law’.

    But as many have pointed out we’ve all seen loads of foul throws by others that haven’t been called.

    And that’s what’s at the heart of it.

    We seem to be held to ‘the letter of the law’ far more often than others.

    Where others get a warning for their first ‘bookable’, we often get a card.

    Where Xhala will get a card for persistent fouling after his 3rd transgression others get to their 4th or 5th.

    It’s not an exact science but you get the picture. All those little nuances in how we are refereed result in us getting a card every 4 fouls (ish) whilst others need to commit 9 (ish) before they get a card.

    I’ve banged on about this for years. It’s all to do with the subjective nature of football that enables the referees to cheat like this without actually cheating.

    Lets say within a match you have 20 subjective 50/50 calls. If a referee is applying the laws of the game with complete impartiality 10 decisions should go our way and 10 not. If we get a soft card and our opponent gets away with one, fine, as long as it balances out and WE get away with one and THEY get a soft card. If only !

    But as we see, time after time after time, it very rarely works out like that. So often we seem to be held to a far higher level of account than our opponent. Last nights performance was a perfect example of a referee cheating without cheating. There were no leg breakers. No rotational fouling that I saw. But I think it is undeniable that Friend applied the Laws of the Game in 2 completely different ways according to which team he was judging.

    This discrepancy in the application of the laws of the game manifests itself in penalty calls as well as cards and has been thus for years now, as we have shown on here many times.

    Despite the subtlety of how it is done, it is cheating, and we are being cheated.

    But the the problem is, despite stacks of ‘evidence’ supporting this thesis, even our own fans come on here denying this bias exists. And as for hoping for any support from the media. Don’t make me laugh.

    I bet they thought Friend played a blinder last night.

    What a sad state of affairs it is that we as a team have to adjust how we approach a match to allow for refereeing bias. To allow for cheating referees.

    Leave a Reply

  4. @Nitram As I have said numerous times it is infuriating that referees referee “teams” and not “games”

    I find it amazing that other sports dont have nearly as many inconsistent decisions regarding the laws of the sport.

    And as you say it is odd the way fans can say there is no bias. I am looking at most incidents from a neutral perspective but I can see it – This begs the question what rules are they following?

  5. Nitram – you know that this group of officials are the most consistent cheats that ever disgraced sport in our lives. Quite honestly if they changed, I might get a severe issue with my heart.

    They have improved my swearing both in terms of vocabulary and in phrasing of select grammatical innuendo that would make most whores and Donald Trump blush.

    So in conclusion I will suffer the system and watch Arteta make these penguins dance and blow whistles while we gracefully climb the table and remain in profit.

  6. OT but not quite! It was lovely to see the Blades disguised as flamingos whup the Compost heap (aka Man U) with their penguin on top and Fungus in the stands by 2-1. Some things besides Arsenal winning, still have joy.

  7. @ Menace

    Interesting that Ferguson was in the stands. I would severely question whether a retired manager going to watch a game of football constitutes “essential travel”. He should be prosecuted surely!

  8. Mikey

    Great point………as usual.

    But then again, perhaps he’s in the referees ‘bubble’ ? Maybe it’s payback for all the time they spent in his pocket !!

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