Manchester City v Arsenal: The Team

by Bulldog Drummond

According to the BBC website Arsenal don’t have a chance as they suggest, “As much as Arsenal have improved, and as good as their home record is – only Manchester City’s is better this season – there is still a huge gulf between these two sides.

“The difference is not going to be as big as it was when City beat the Gunners 5-0 at Etihad Stadium in August, but taking on the leaders is a heck of an ask for Arsenal’s young side.    When I look at how City have been playing during their run of 10 straight league wins, I can only think this is going to be victory number 11.    Prediction: 0-3″

WhoScored tell us that Ben White may have to play at right-back once again and that contrary to what the Mirror has been pushing of late, “Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang won’t be considered by Arteta until after AFCON and even then there are no assurances he will play again.”

WhoScored also make the point that “Arteta has a big decision to make between Emile Smith Rowe and Gabriel Martinelli on the left wing on Saturday. Smith Rowe has dropped out of the side of late but has scored off the bench in three straight appearances.”

There is also the thought that Ainsley Maitland-Niles may return to contention after recovering from Covid.

Meanwhile the BBC site continues the bashing with

  • Arsenal have lost the past nine league meetings – their longest ever losing streak against a particular club.
  • Manchester City are on a run of six straight away victories at the Emirates Stadium, including four in the Premier League.
  • The Gunners have failed to score in their previous five top-flight games with City, one short of their longest such streak against any opponent.

So no chance at all.

But we did find one moment of solace when comparing (as we do for every home game) our home record with their away record.  And what we found was not exactly an Arsenal win, but something a little bit less soul destroying…

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
2 Arsenal home 9 7 1 1 17 6 11 22
1 Manchester City away 10 8 1 1 20 6 14 25

And to be fair to the BBC they have a section on their website that is slightly more positive.

  • The Gunners have won their five most recent Premier League home fixtures, keeping a clean sheet in each of the last four.
  • The last time they won five consecutive top-flight home matches without conceding was between January and April 1999.
  • Emile Smith Rowe, 21, is vying to score in a fifth consecutive Premier League appearance – he would become the third youngest player to achieve this feat, behind only Nicolas Anelka (in 1998) and Jose Antonio Reyes (in 2004), who coincidentally both also did so while playing for Arsenal.
  • The last English player to score in five successive league games for Arsenal was Ian Wright, who netted in seven straight matches in 1994.

As for the team news the Guardian goes with


White Holding Gabriel Tierney

Xhaka Partey

Saka Odegaard Smith Rowe



Which is exactly the same team as Sportsmole.

Talk Sport are running the radio commentary in the UK so we can imagine what that is going to be like.  They don’t give a team but do say, “As well as Arteta watching from home, defensive quartet Cedric Soares, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Calum Chambers and Ainsley Maitland-Niles will also miss out due to Covid.”

The Daily Canon offers up


Tomiyasu White Gabriel Tierney

Partey Xhaka

Saka Odegaard Martinelli



The Radio Times offer


White, Holding, Gabriel, Tierney;

Saka, Partey, Xhaka, Smith Rowe;



which is at least somewhat different.

But elsewhere there is just the over-excited statement that everything we need to know is the kick off time and where it is and how you can follow the details on a particular site.

We can but hope.

54 Replies to “Manchester City v Arsenal: The Team”

  1. ramsdale
    … why not?
    what would we we RISK? – losing ? against guardiola’s city?
    unleash hell, mikel!! it’s the only way to surprise/disturb them

  2. Happy New Year everyone.

    I posted the following in an earlier article. I hope you don’t mind but I’ve re posted here as it is much more relative to this article and puts into perspective the typically lazy analysis we get from the BBC, who say:

    “When I look at how City have been playing during their run of 10 straight league wins, I can only think this is going to be victory number 11″.

    Which may be the case. But they then go on to say:

    “As much as Arsenal have improved, and as good as their home record is – only Manchester City’s is better this season – there is still a huge gulf between these two sides.”

    Is there ?

    As my following analysis confirms, yes Arsenal have improved, and if, as I have done, you look at the last 7 matches, (which given most media ‘current form’ tables use the last 6 matches, is not without president) there certainly isn’t a ‘huge gulf’ as the BBC claim.

    And if you do as I have done and look at both teams last 4 matches, Arsenals Home and City’s Away, everything suggests a tight high scoring game that City will probably just shade.


    Their last 7 matches consisted of 3 Home and 4 Away resulting in 7 victors, scoring 24 and conceding 5. That’s an average of almost 3.4 goals scored per match.


    Our last 7 matches also consisted of 3 Home and 4 Away resulting in 5 Victories and 2 defeats, scoring 19 and conceding 6. That’s an average of 2.7 goals scored per match.

    So points wise Man City exceed our tally, but we had arguably a more difficult set of fixtures, including playing 2 top 6 teams in the shape of Man Utd away and West Ham at Home. On the other hand Man City played nobody in the top 6 at all. By league position their hardest Away fixture was Villa, currently 12th, and their toughest Home fixture was Wolves, currently 8th.

    Despite our arguably very slightly tougher run of games, goals for and against are pretty close.

    I think Man City are the best team in the Premier league, I have no doubt about that, but what these figures suggest is that we are closer to them now than we have been for quite some time.

    Next thing I looked at was what Tony looked at last. How we compare over our last 4 Home matches to Man City’s last 4 away matches, but in a bit more detail.

    ARSENAL played West Ham, Southampton, Newcastle Utd and Watford, scoring 8 and conceding 0

    MAN CITY played Brentford, Newcastle, Watford and Aston villa, scoring 10 and conceding 2

    Again extremely closely matched with an identical points return and goal difference.

    So both of us are not having any problems scoring and we are both conceding very few. So what lies behind those goals in the last 4 matches ?

    ARSENAL : Total Shots = 74 = 18.5 per match.
    MAN CITY: Total Shots = 73 = 18.0 per match.

    ARSENAL : Total Shots On Target = 25 = 6.25 per match.
    MAN CITY: Total Shots On Target = 30 = 7.50 per match.

    ARSENAL : Ratio of Shots On Target To Shots = 1.00 in 3.00 per match.
    MAN CITY: Ratio Of Shots On Target To Shots = 1.00 in 2.50 per match.

    ARSENAL : Total Goals = 8 = 2.0 per match.
    MAN CITY: Total Goals = 10 = 2.5 per match.

    ARSENAL : Ratio Of Goals To Shots = 1.00 in 9.25 per match.
    MAN CITY: Ratio Of Goals To Shots = 1.00 in 7.20 per match.

    ARSENAL : Ratio Of Goals To Shots On Target = 1.00 in 3.00 per match.
    MAN CITY: Ratio Of Goals To Shots On Target = 1.00 in 3.00 per match.

    -We have both managed the almost identical amount of shots.

    -We both score an identical amount of goals in relation to our shots on target

    Where Man City achieve a slight advantage is that from the shots they have they get 0.5 per match more on target than us and that results in them scoring 0.5 more goals than us per per match.

    These more in depth figures suggest that Man City are slight favorites to edge a game with goals, perhaps 1-2 or 2-3. But Tony’s prediction of a 1-1 or 2-2 draw is not a million miles away from what we might well see.

    I think to achieve that we will have to be at our very best, and we will have to be brave and play our game, and if we do, we may well snatch a draw, and like Tony I would certainly take that right now.

    Either way everything points to a great match with goals. Lats hope for a New Year treat.


    PS: Please excuse any mistakes. Their will be some. Please just point them out.

  3. Arteta being absent for this match due to his Covid isolation shouldn’t stop him from selecting the Arsenal team for this match. As he can do the Gunners team selection for the match through communication means by instructing his 2 assistant coaches standing in for him for the match select the Gunners he wants to start the match and the ones he wants to be the substitutes on the bench.

    I think the Gunners should be at all their heavy artillery firepower at their disposal firing at Citizens to down them in the match. ESR who has been the super sub for Arsenal coming off the bench and scored in each of these last 4 EPL matches, should start the Man City match today? Yes, I think he should and together with Saka, Martinelli and Odegaard startimes the match. The four of them starting the match together will increase the Gunners firepower goals scoring threats on the match that will the Citizens defending in the match cracked to concede goals to the Gunners.

    Us don’t know for sure if Tomiyasu will be in the Arsenal match squad today to start the match or not as there is no any latest update on from Arsenal. But whatever be the case, even if he is not available for the match, Arsenal the strong defenders in place in the team rearranging them that will adequately take care of the absence of Tomiyasu for the match as if nothing has happened in Arsenal defence for the match.

    Arsenal will spank Man City 1 nil at the end of the proceedings bringing the match to an end. And take home all the 3 points at stake in the match. Thus, bring an end Arsenal 4 EPL match losing run at home to Man City. And also put an end to their 10 EPL match winning run this season.

  4. How long is it since we last had such a great Arsenal team?
    A clear, ambitious plan; committed, talented players who feel free to invent, create.
    Marti’s touch of madness is exhilarating.
    Partey’s best game in an Arsenal shirt, by many miles. Welcome, lad, you had me waiting (Tom, if you feel like wrestling with Jesus, at least don’t do it in our 6-yard-box, my heart’s too old for this. Thanks).
    What a warrior our boy of the rising sun is, amazing scouting job, really.
    And of course Bukayo, high up there with the very best in the history of this sport …
    Happy New year to all Arsenal fans indeed; I also think fitness-wise our absence of Europe starts paying off, at a crucial moment in the season.
    Now, either we win this, or the PGMO, not City, will.

  5. What a first half. What a team. What a capability at breaking up play, recovering the ball.
    And what a goal.

    I’m having a good time in front of the TV. Even the french commentators are not into their negative Arsenal commenting.
    They do have a problem admiting Arsenal are playing better which is the reason City are not playing well, but apart from that, for once the bashing is gone.

    Let’s hope the Gunners come back with the same mindset. I do wonder how ESR will fit in, but I’m sure that will be very interesting to watch.

    Ah yeah…we’ve got such a bad defense, right ?!?!? ;=)

  6. 13.48 GMT; 1-1, Gabe walks off
    PGMO win
    it didn’t take long, did it?
    but of course oil dough has nothing to do with it

  7. 14 Arsenal heroes (and their staff)
    Rarely been as proud of an Arsenal team but …
    F..k Silva
    F..k Rodri
    F..k Pep
    F..k City
    F..k that corrupt League, and its PGMO minions

  8. Absolutely robbed.

    I said years ago VAR would be used against us and so it turns out.

    We were the better team. Not even really in trouble down to 10 men.

  9. LE GALL

    100% agree

    I here certain people are already having a pop at Xhaka.

    FFS the guy dived. He was NOT fouled by a leg or by touching the shirt.

    If every touch of a shirt to that degree was a foul we would have penalties at every corner.

    Xhaka was immense. Give the guy a break. Jeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeez.

    Again,proud of the lads.

    By the way, I think Pep looked embarrassed.

  10. The PGMO and by extension the Premier League go to the well of corruption once more. The do not see that they are making a mockery of this competition.

    I was proud of the boys.

    The penalty was given for…a tug on the shirt that did not affect the attacker? Perhaps he had garters attaching the shirt to his feet as they flew up in the air?

    The red card was given for … knocking over a player…not dangerous play.

    3 points gifted to that monied lot. Or perhaps, given in exchange for services rendered.

  11. I have just seen the final score. I am not surprised! However, this Arsenal side was wonderful to watch. Yes I gave up watching after Gabriel was sent off because I could no longer stomach the PGMO representatives after the City dives! Why were Xhaka and Gabriel carded? Why was Rodri still on the pitch to score a winner. As I said in an earlier reply, I am a biased football follower and I am replying with blinkered glasses. However, the VAR performer today should be held to account! Why did Odegaard not gain a penalty if City did? How can we honestly say that Premier games are not severely influenced by referee belief systems such as, “Book Xhaka because he fouls all too often….” He arrived at Arsenal with this belief supported by the media.
    It seems now that Arteta has managed to produce a team which is hard and wonderful to watch. A very entertaining side to watch and a side that can forge great things in the future. However, how long does one have to watch games change due to the performance of representatives of the PGMO. It has not just happened to Arsenal! There are a number of VAR decisions in other Premiership game sthat remain questionable without any justification! Where is the transparency?

  12. This performance, not of our boys but PGMOL and the cheating man in black, has left me feeling more down (football wise) than I have for a long time.

    We were playing a team that is absolutely swimming in money, and can, and do buy any player they want.

    They are way clear at the top of the table. They don’t need any help FFS.

    We have a young side full of talent, a few of which could be the future of Englands international team.

    And still we get cheated out of a match.

    I don’t even blame City. They go out there and do what they do. They aren’t the only team to have a player go down easily. Their keeper caught Saka. It happens.

    It’s up to the officials to get it right between them, especially the big calls. They have VAR to help for pities sake , and still they get it wrong!!


  13. Praiseworthy play by the team. The ref team not so much. Nice to see the support by the fans even and especially after the final whistle.

  14. Arsenal back in contention for a top 4 spot…. out come the PGMO brigade once more….

  15. But the team is growing and it has been a while since we have played such a good game against a top team. Only the PGMO and a stupid action (grom Gabriel for his first yellow card) was too much. On the other had we had the best chances and we should have scored at least 2 more goals. Martinelli will be kicking himself tonight but he was great apart from missing the 2-1

  16. it’s hard to argue that had Xhaka not grabbed his shirt Bernardo would have gone down anyway. The penalty was soft but Xhaka gave them the opportunity to screw us . During the first half he was playing further forward and indiscretions were not dangerous but I wonder if he just can’t help himself
    We have a trip to Tottenham coming up and that will be the defining point of whether we are top four or top six .

  17. Porter

    The City player was already diving. Not every single touch of a shirt is a foul. It was NOT a penalty. Funny how you don’t come here outraged at the penalty we wasn’t given but choose to have a pop a Xhaka. I’ve had 2 mates, fans of other teams, telling me what a joke it was, yet you, an Arsenal fan, choose to single out Xhaka.

    It’s why my mates at work think Arsenal fans are a joke.

  18. According to the Arsenal coach the second yellow card for Gabriel was for dissent.
    ‘After the game, Stuivenberg confirmed that Gabriel was shown a second yellow for dissent towards the referee.’
    “He made a remark to the referee. A normal comment. The players confirmed that and he gave a yellow card.”
    “He mentioned about the first decision about Odegaard and he said ‘what happened there then?’. No dirty language was used.”

  19. mick shelly

    A f******g disgrace.

    I haven’t been this p1$$3d off for a long time.

    None, and I mean NONE of our players should be reproached for anything today.

    We were being screwed. They could see we were being screwed. I’m surprised they didn’t react worse.

    Proud of them.

  20. After 15 minutes I said to Mrs N that this ref is giving us nothing. Every 50/50 went City’s way.

  21. Gabriel’s yellow was for dissent? I reviewed the incident and that is Absolute Bollocks! The referee was reaching for his card from the start…before Gabriel had a chance to say anything! On top of incompetence or corruption, the referee is a bald faced liar.

  22. Proof if needed that the game is corrupt.

    Arsenal by far the better team, unlucky to be only 1-0 up at half-time. Denied a clear penalty and given no protection against repeated fouls. Still the better team in second half, even with 10 men.

    Ref + VAR had to work extra hard to make sure that Oil City got the 3 points.

    On the plus side, all our players were magnificent and at least the crowd could be heard calling out the ref.

  23. If old mother Riley was worried that when Dean Moss Atkinson etc were tired of doing what him and certain clubs wanted he has no need to fear because today we saw Atwell did him and his PGMOL cronies proud from the moment they realised our boys werent going to roll over Atwell began to use the anti Arsenal rule book and the longer we stayed in front the more he made sure he influenced the game. Before we scored our claim for a penalty was always going to fall on deaf ears had that been a City player Ramsdale would have been lucky to stay on the field but Ederson was deemed to have done nothing wrong and they got away with it ,how many times have we saw City players win penalties in the same situation and without looking into a crystal ball we will see the master diver Kane on the 16th try his best to do the same , sadly we all know this to be true .Up until the 50th min I thought Xhaka was quiet composed sadly 10 min. later he gave the ref the chance to even the game will he ever learn I think not Gabriel was silly to pick up 2 yellow cards all credit to those who remained on the pitch and Holding was superb when he came on .We dont want to read about moral victories and the future being bright what we do need is a journalist who has the balls to come out and call the PGMOL & Premier league for the corrupt way in which they are ruining football.

  24. Yes Nitram I haven’t watched every game but every time I do I get livid which is bad for my health. John L yes proud of the team playing with passion and surely levelled up from 5-0 dribbling last time on wards and upwards boys you did well.

  25. We are young, heartache to heartache….sings Pat Benatar.

    Whatever the truth with the penalty, the collective meltdowns Arsenal are experiencing following referee decisions against them (them being correct or not) are costing way too much.

    Having seen how Arteta has been able to reduce takling, too easily given away corners for example, i feel it is time the team get some psychological teachning in how to handle PGMOL adversity. They need to learn : don’t get mad, get even.

    Gabriel’s first yellow was totally un-necessary. And in the end it costs us.

    Sure enough there is a lot to be said about the way referees allow reckless behaviour against Arsenal to go unchecked and pile up fouls and cards on rather menial incidents coming from Arsenal players. But this is the actual landscape Arsenal has to face. The Arsenal players cannot change a damn thing about this. They need to learn to swallow their pride and emotions and show steel ins ettling the game by scoring.

    As my title says : they are young. They will learn.

    So, yeah, it was a bad loss, but yet it was a loss to the probable coming champions and not many of our competitors will be winning against them. And The first half and moments in the second half were just gigantic.

    So, to me, it is ‘screw the result’, and get ready for the next game. Arsenal are getting better game after game. They way they enven made City kind of panic in their own half with just 10 players proves it.

    I’m seeing my glass half full. And hope the team get to learn out of this that they need to be much more level-headed and get even instead of getting mad.

    Happy New Year everybody

  26. Just seen way way more shirt pulling by a West Ham defender on a Palace player waved away, exactly as it is 99% of the time.

    As I said, touching, even small pulls, even tugs on shirts are not always a foul, unless it’s Arsenal, unless it’s Xhaka, and as I say, even our own fans come here to berate him.

    Honestly I don’t know what annoys me more, the incompetent officials, or our own fans who somehow find a way to blame our own player for the incompetence and cheating officials.

    It wasn’t a foul. He dived. End of !!

    Stop blaming Xhaka

  27. Shame is not de rigeur these days. People don’t hold themselves to a higher level of conduct and apologize when they fall short. Winning or making money is all that counts no matter how it is done. But winning or being rich does not equal class. It is important that our youngsters do NOT put the rich or the ‘winners’ on a pedestal. Aim and search for character and class and those will serve you well as stepping stones to a high pedestal.

    The referee today should be ashamed of himself. Pep Guardiola, and Bernardo should be ashamed of their conduct. But, as money is inanimate, the monied lot up north have no shame.

    Our lads can hold their heads high.

  28. @Nitram


    Xhaka is not a perfect player; he makes mistakes and has limitations to his game.

    But, he is an important leader on our team. He sticks up for the younger players on the pitch when the other teams would bully them. He gets stuck in and makes sure that other teams know where he is. He is from what I hear, THE leader in the dressing room.

    Most importantly, he is wearing red shirt and I will support him.

  29. Sounds like peps been honest and fair as he normally is, so hats off to him.

    To be fair I haven’t blamed City at all today. My wrath is for the incompetent officials and the Arsenal fans on here that still look to turn on our own player even after a performance like this.

    City will win the league. They are the best team, and we just gave em a real fright.

    Still proud.

  30. Do you remember a couple of years ago v C Palace we had a late winning goal by Sokratis ruled out by VAR for an imaginary foul by Chambers in the build up play. It was an appalling decision which mystified and angered everyone. No one else could see the alleged offence. The VAR official who came up with that ridiculous decision that day was an unheard of Australian called Jarred Gillett.
    Guess who the incompetent was in charge of VAR today? The very same Jarred Gillett!!!!
    He must of been hand picked by Riley with instructions to f**k us up again, and by God he did just as he was instructed.
    It’s amazing how Riley can find an official from the second rate Australian league, but cannot find one from the London or Home Counties regions.

  31. Obviously pro Manchester officiating was decisive in this game.As for VAR – the problem is it’s being interpreted by already biased officials.
    English referees are the worst in Europe.

  32. GoingGoingGooner

    RE Xhaka

    “He sticks up for the younger players on the pitch when the other teams would bully them”.

    If he played for any other team he would be lauded for this trait. For Arsenal he’s berated, even by our own fans.

    RE Bernardo and Pep

    “Pep Guardiola, and Bernardo should be ashamed of their conduct”

    Not so sure about that. Okay he went down easy, be better if he didn’t, but players do that. It’s up to the referees to know their job well enough to deal with that sort of thing.

    As for pep, to be fair as I said immediately after the match I thought Pep looked a little embarrassed, at the very least sheepish, and his post match comments seem to suggest he knows he and his team got away with one today.

    Whether he’ll have the balls to say that VAR f*****d up I doubt, but at least he knows.

    At the end of the day we were done by incompetent officials. That’s the long and short of it.

  33. More controversy.
    When Martinelli hit the post instead of hitting the target to give Arsenal a second goal Attwell runs across the front of Martinelli as he is running in to take his shot, an action which surely put Martinelli off.
    More evidence of Attwells incompetence, what on earth is he doing running into the middle of the action like that and getting in the way at a vital moment.

  34. If City have the best team fair enough but that is not the case , I wrote some time ago about the way they are given an easy ride by PL media refs even uefa Im referring to the offside goal against Villa a couple of years ago which changed the game ,a few days later we were told such a goal will never stand again FFP doesnt apply to them as we have seen in the past while Chelsea had to play while serving a transfer ban and refs DO give City players a certain amount of leeway last season at the Emirates Sterling threw the ball at Moss he just laughed a few minutes later he hacked down Saka and was booked but should have been sent off because of the manner in which he threw the ball was a yellow card earlier this season La Porte punched Chambers and nothing happened .Before Christmas City got a penalty against Wolves for hand ball anyone who saw it will know it was harsh but they keep getting these decisions maybe having rich owners is just a coincidence. No matter how many titles or cups city win they will be tainted by the fact until they hit the financial jackpot they were a nothing club and before any one says Chelsea are the same they were always able to win cups while City were not.

  35. Mick Shelley wowsas didn’t see that attwell blocked the rebound shamefull. xhaka is alway passionate so I’d only balme him at all. Slight Shirt pulls never get penalties unless your arsenal it’s just so blatant with VAR now as I thought it doesn’t help as they will still make a meal of it before it came in to play just wondering has it made it even worse?

  36. Analysis needed –

    In his seasons at Arsenal, how many 50:50 balls has Xhaka been given the decision by the referees of the EPL?

    In his long career as a Swiss international footballer, how many 50:50 balls has Xhaka been given the decision by international referees?

  37. @ Mick Shelley, @ Nitram,

    glad to find you repeating what I have said for a long time and happy I’m not banging my drum alone

    the PGMOL referees officiating in the PL are a buch of incompetent idiots, with a similar incompetent management in charge of them.

    This needs to be repeated, become a soundtrack until finally wht wole world gets to realise it.



  38. @Zedsaunt,

    you need to remember where Xhaka is coming from. And he has always stood up for his team, alas his mediterranean/balkan blood has a lower boiling point. His sense of family/clan is hyper developped.

    In the dictionnary, there is an entry for ‘team player’ that says : look under Xhaka.

    And as for your question about 50/50, I cannot remember him ever getting that kind of incompetent treatment in the swiss, german championship, nor in international games. This is a PGMOL thing. He inherited the position from Gabriel and Koszielny.

    Apart from that, the Guardian of all outlets has a piece online that lauds Arsenal and even more Saka.

  39. Zedsaunt

    It’s interesting to see you bring up the subject of 50/50’s because they have been the foundation of my argument regarding how referees can cheat us without actually appearing to cheat us.

    Without going in to too much detail my argument revolves around just a few key points.

    1) Most decisions in football are subjective. A matter of opinion.

    2) As such there are many decisions that fall in to the category of, ‘I’ve seen them given’ or conversely, ‘not enough for me’. Could of gone either way. 50/50. Etc.

    But as long as you get 50% of those 50/50’s you cant really complain. But my argument is that it simply doesn’t happen that way for us. My argument is that 70, 80 even 90% of 50/50’s go against us, which means something is wrong. The problem is, as these 50/50 decisions happen in isolation, they are evaluated in isolation, and as I have said, by the mere nature of them, taken in isolation the referee cannot be wrong, because it could of gone either way, this time it went against us.

    But what if the next 50/50 goes against us ? And the next ? And the next? None of them in isolation are wrong, but now we have 4 50/50’s in a row going against us. By the end of the match we have 10 x 50/50 calls of which 8 go against us. Does that seem right ?

    I don’t think so and I think that’s what happens to us way too often. I think that is what happened with the referee today. A massive proportion of the close calls went in favour of City.

    That is cheating……..without actually cheating.

    VAR on the other hand cheated….full stop.

    I have done in depth posts about his before but unfortunately I seem to get very little support. I don’t expect it to be any different today.

  40. You’re very clear Nitram.
    There’s no argument I can readily see against your assumptions.
    The keypoint has to be that the single 50:50 decision is experienced as a single 50:50 decision, the whole game pauses and waits for the decision, not as a decision in a sequence of decisions which all go the same way.

    The subjective rules.

    Xhaka is a troublemaker.
    Xhaka is a lout.
    Xhaka is a foreigner.
    Xhaka is crude.
    Xhaka is stupid.

    Xhaka as an international player is one of twenty-two on the pitch. He therefor gets treated with respect.

    It is this failure to treat people with respect that defines the quality of the PGMOB referee.

  41. Apart from the Jared Gillett oddity, there is one other interesting fact relating to the match officials for the City game.

    Stuart Attwell was demoted from the PL select group to the Championship in 2012. He did not regain his “Select” status until 2016. Quite what “Select” means in this context is unclear.

    Remember 9-bob notes?

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