The Sound and Fury of the Crowd- How to Foil a Masonic Plot!

Written by Carlito11

En route to meeting Peaches, Rasp, Chary and Harry pre-match I popped into “Drayton Park” Pub for a pint to find it had a majority Evertonian clientele.  Some friendly good-natured banter ensued- mostly at Liverpool’s expense but when we came down to the serious matter of the night’s game we were all able to agree – the first goal would be crucial and make it very difficult for the other team to get a result.

The game started off with plenty of pressure from the Everton midfield and we struggled to get our passing game going. A yellow card for Jack in the opening minutes for what looked an innocuous challenge – this set the tone early for a refereeing debacle – stifling his ability to get stuck in and Everton had the upper hand in central midfield for large parts of the first half – mainly through Fellaini who was everywhere.

The referee, Lee Mason, has a  surname that lends itself well to conspiracy theorists. He managed not to book blue players for similar or harder tackles than Jack’s and when he allowed Louis Saha in a clearly offside position to pick up a ball played through via a deflection off an Arsenal player and score the stadium and players were incredulous. When the big screen played the full replay including the offside pass the place went ballistic! Mason was forced to consult his linesman whilst the crowded howled and bayed but then allowed the goal to stand! Could we pull off a result? The doomers who sit by me informed me that Everton hadn’t lost this season when getting the first goal.

In truth the outlook at the end of the first half was bleak, an injury to Song, Jack tamed by the early yellow card and staunch defending by the Toffees could have left us with the familiar feeling at home this season that it was not be our night. But a sense of righteous anger prevailed and rarely before have all the spectators at the Emirates been so united and galvanized in their support of the team with every call the ref made being called into question, and for once it was wholly justified.

26May1989 summed it up beautifully in comments yesterday (and I believe he is a qualified referee):

“Don’t let anyone say that was anything other than offside. Under Law 11, a player is offside if he “gains an advantage” from being in an offside position. “Gaining an advantage” is explained in the FIFA handbook as including “playing a ball that rebounds to him off an opponent having been in an offside position”. There is even a diagram (diagram 12 on page 107 of the Handbook) that fits the position Caldwell, Saha and Koscielny were in perfectly.

As for the rest of Mason’s performance, absolutely woeful. Playing an advantage? No, won’t bother with that. Booking Arsenal players for minor fouls? Yup. Not booking Everton players for cynically stopping an attack? Nope. Missing a number of fouls on Arsenal players? Sure.”

Second half – the boys come out early to roars from those already in their seats. With the crowd united and decisions going against us, time flew by without enough chances for us but not many for them either. Diaby came on for Song in the second half. I feel the man is a kind of anti-Fabregas: where a simple pass is open he opts for close control and riskily taking on opponents- fine qualities in an attacking midfielder but a worry when shielding the back four. Nonetheless we started to exert more of a grip on the game.Tomas Rosicky was having an ineffectual night and was replaced by Arshavin in the first of 2 excellent attacking subs by the manager , the other being Bentdner for Jack.

The breakthrough came with 20 minutes to play. Fab4 was driving the team on, as he had been all game, and aimed a through-ball which deflected off Rodwell into Arshavin’s path. Showing no doubt he calmly beat Howard from the 6 yard box to cue relief, celebrations and a feeling that although everything was against us we could triumph!

Soon after our mercurial Russian enigma restored hope. Van Persie swung in a peach of a corner which was met emphatically by Koscielny and thereafter we displayed grit and confidence to hold on, bar a scare as Rodwell headed a corner just past the post in the dying minutes.

Much of the media today will focus on Moyes comments that Fabregas should have been sent off at half time for comments made to the ref.  Firstly, what a great smokescreen for defeat from Skeletor. Secondly, with that performance drawing allegations of bribery from even the meekest and most fair-minded fans around me, Fabregas would have had to be struck dumb not to have an angry word. An enquiry into the ref’s performance should ensue but I have a feeling that the press attention will mean our captain is under the spotlight again.

So today is a day we can bask in the feeling that our team can fight for a victory against the odds, that we have a genuine 12th man and that Arshavin is back. Team spirit and righteous anger can defeat even the most determined Mason!

112 Responses to The Sound and Fury of the Crowd- How to Foil a Masonic Plot!

  1. London says:

    “A big, gutsy performance from the boys tonight, the stuff we can feed off for a while. Everton played very well and beating them took a lot.”

    This sentence by 26m sums the night up perfectly. There was much talk before the game about how Everton would arrive and park the bus, I for one am guilty of believing that but nothing could have been further from the truth. Everton came to the Emirates with the far more noble aim of playing football and not only did they achieve that but it should be recognised that for the forty five minutes they played far better than we did.

    Our midfield of Fàbregas, Wilshere and Song was second best to Arteta and Fellaini and Rodwell. We were unable to bring Rosicky or Walcott into the game which left Van Persie isolated. Turning this situation around was not going to be easy but it was made even more difficult by the worst referee I have ever seen at a football match.

    Lee Mason started badly and got steadily worse; inconsistently handing out yellow cards; completely misreading the game as to when there was and wasn’t an advantage to be played, culminating in the collective misunderstanding of the off side rule by Mason and the linesman which lead to Saha putting the ball in the net after being two yards off side. I am not going to call it a goal because it wasn’t. As a man I felt embarrassed in view of the recent accusations about women not knowing the off side rule.

    The pressure was mounting, the players were frustrated, United were winning, and then to make things just that bit worse Song got injured, half time couldn’t come quick enough.

    Diaby appeared for the start of the second half, the big question on everybody’s mind was which Diaby was it going to be: Good Diaby or Bad Diaby? One of my group I go with every week said: “he always plays better on midweek games than he does on the weekends” to which we all said really, very impressed by this statistic, yes he said much better on Wednesdays than Saturdays, someone asked what day is it? Tuesday, damn, we have probably got Bad Diaby.

    This sums up the humour of the group of mates I go to games with, we needn’t have worried Diaby helped enormously; he completely changed the dynamic of the midfield giving it a more cohesive form. But we were going to need a bit more than that, enter the Russian and the Dane, why Arshavin wasn’t playing from the outset is beyond me but as we all know Wenger works in mysterious ways. Big Nikkis inclusion changed the system once again and with the good old four, four, two in place we were good to go.

    We now controlled the midfield and were pressing forward. The break through came when the orchestra leader Fàbregas chipped a ball over the defence to the waiting Arshavin to deftly place it beyond Howard. Queue, bedlam in the Emirates, we were in the ascendancy, Bendtner was trying over head kicks and Van Persie was shooting on sight.

    The winner came from the MOTM no other than the fastest rising star we have: Laurent Koscielny; a superbly taken corner met by our Kozzer to head home and secure the three points. This fight back was worthy of making some ground up on the mancs but that was not to be, nevertheless, it turned out to be one of those nights when you like me were proud to be an Arsenal supporter.

  2. London says:

    Bloody London buses.

    I wrote this just in case.

    Good read Carlito.

    Morning all

  3. Carlito11 says:

    Hi London- I thought no one had done one so cobbled it together this morning on the way to work. Yours is a far better tactical analysis of the game perhaps they work well in tandem! I thought Moyes post-match comments were scandalous but I see most of the papers have picked them up and run with them 😦

  4. dandan says:

    Nice write up sounds like it was a good crowd to be part of.

    Was good to see AA looking more like his old self, Thomas is not fit, he needs a break, a week with Irish would see him right I reckon.
    Thought Diaby also looked up for it. Theo’s becoming very important to us interesting that Moyes paid him the compliment like Cesc. of including serial fouling in Everton’s game plan.
    As an afterthought on the transfer window, you have to laugh, Newcastle ask 35 million for Carrol with half a season in his boots and offer 17 mill for a class act like Nic. Bet Nicky lets his boots do the talking at their place on Saturday, mind you doesn’t matter how well we play, the headline blaming Carroll for the defeat is probably already written.

    On the subject of money lovely stat in this mornings papers, the whole Arsenal team last night cost less than Torres, puts Wengers achievement in perspective I think

  5. London says:


    No probs, I am happy with the way things work, sometimes I write them sometimes I don’t, good for me very annoying for admin.

    Think of it as if we have given people a treat this morning.

  6. tommystout says:

    Good morning
    good report Carlito (and London),
    it seems there is a media frenzy about fabregas this morning, a witch hunt, i think some people are scared we might win things this year.
    I was proud of the boys last night, the widget on the right is looking better!

  7. Carlito11 says:

    I like that we both quoted 26M in our write ups- top comments from him last night!

  8. London says:

    Morning Tommy

    Good to hear from you again.

  9. London says:


    Yes I chuckled at that, his post was practically a report in itself. We could have just copied and pasted that up there and saved ourselves the trouble. lol

  10. tommystout says:

    good comment DD
    the cost of arsenals team in relation to torres, should be applauded by the media, but they choose to take the stance of wenger having a go at the chelsea hypocrits, what is wrong with this country… why are they all against what is surely the right & honourable way of running a club.

  11. Rasp says:

    Morning all,

    Carlito/London – thanks for your excellent match analyses.

    Just a couple of quick thoughts that you’ve both touched on:

    Rosicky was several yards off the pace.
    Diaby did very well and I’ll be happy to see him deputise for Song against the toon if he can play like that again.

    Koscielny was immense, but for me, Sagna was MotM. He had to deal with Fellainy who looked like a giant in comparison and worked/battled all night – laterly whilst in obvious pain from the various knocks he’d collected during the game.

  12. tommystout says:

    Thanks London
    Theyre not mentioning Arteta’s yellow card waving.
    Theyre not mentioning the refs abysmal performance.
    Good atmosphere guys.

  13. chas says:

    Great match reports, superb photos, thanks all.

    Met some Canadians in the pub before the game and they were going to the first Arse game. What a fantastic match at which to lose your spectating virginity!

    Wake up, it’s a beautiful morning.

  14. chas says:

    ** to their

  15. tommystout says:

    Hi Rasp i was gutted to see Rosicky starting instead of AA.
    Secondly i was gutted when Diaby came on but yes he did pretty well, when he dawdles on the ball and risks been tackled when he is the last MF protecting the defence, well i’m sure my heart stops temporarily.

  16. Gooner in Exile says:

    Great reports from both Carlito and London.

    As I got my tickets on Ticket Exchange last night I was evidently dumped in the middle of several other Season Ticket Holders, which made the evening all the more enjoyable as I didn’t feel I was amongst tourists.

    The rendition of “By Far the Greatest Team” after our second was truly electric and roof raising, goosebumps just thinking about it. But you could also see how the players responded to the atmosphere at 1-0 down, how they lapped up the songs after the final whistle. How a few stayed behind after Mason went down the tunnel to hear the boos from him turn to cheers for them. Lets face it we needed the 12th man last night as Everton also had that privilege but theres was dressed in black and balding.

    Moyes is trying to do a Brian Horton, perhaps Mason will regale us all with his version of half time tunnel talk, I am sure it will be in the match report and if a ban comes we will know Moyes is or isn’t a liar trying to deflect from his teams result, he needs to ask himself what he would be saying to the ref had the boot been on the other foot.

    A great great result, holding AA23 back was probably right idea, some around me were questioning his work rate and effectiveness, if he had started i fear the attention would have been turned to him as much as the referee. I told the guy behind me that he would be the man to break the deadlock and he was coming back to form, the man shook my hand when he scored. The crowd could do nothing but love him.

    By the way we need a song for Kozzer, outstanding last night!

  17. Rasp says:

    Hi tommy,

    Nice to have you back. I agree TR7 wasn’t working hard enough – only excusable if he wasn’t match fit.

    Diaby is at his best when he plays instinctively, the problem comes when he has time to think and that is when he dwells on the ball too long and often loses possession.

  18. Wonderman says:

    What an excellent title !! and great report. We have to give credit to Everton in the first half they not only shut our midfield down quickly and aggressively put they also shut down our full backs forcing them to come back inside, hence the reason Theo was so ineffective in the first half. They were definitely aided by the refs bookings/ failure to allow advantage/ not booking when required as it served to break up our tempo.The way he handed out yellow cards I was surprised that no one got sent off!!

    I keep seeing everywhere I look that our defence is this and that … after last night’s game the goals conceded in the prem read as follows

    Manu 22
    Arsenal 23
    Man City 20
    Chelsea 21

    The facts state that our defence which for the most part has had 1 player who has been out for more than a year and two players who are playing in the prem for the first time is more than holding its own

  19. king gooner says:

    as for the gutter press,what did you expect?

  20. Wonderman says:

    Hi Rasp

    I fear Rosicky will not be with us next season as he the number of injries he has sustained has caught up with him. It’s almost like watching Freddie’s decline all over again.

    I agree with you wholeheartedly about Diaby. For a guy with his stature he should be a monster, but last night like on so many occasions he slowed us down and did not show the required urgency

  21. dandan says:


    I have to take issue with you re diaby, last night he filled in well for song, is skillful and gives airial cover from set pieces and corners, he needs a few games and will I believe be superb.

  22. Brigham says:

    Both very good articles and last nights game was the sort I love to see us win, when the odds seem stacked against us and we turn it around.

    As for Lee Mason, more like Perry Mason.

  23. chas says:

    or Lee Perry even, so eccentric a refereeing performance it was.

  24. kelsey says:

    Great write up chaps.

    Lee Mason’s officiating last night was one of the worst I have witnessed this year.Saha was at least 2 yards offside before the ball was deflected off Koscielny,yet he let the goal stand.Furthermore he on countless occasions didn’t adhere to the advantage rule and stopped the game unnecessarily.Moyes admitted the goal was offside,yet lambasted Fabregas for his alleged comments at half time.Everton,could be a good side and for the first half had the upper hand,yet not for the first time this season, Arsenal with the right substitutions came more into a hard fought game and sneaked the win.I get the feeling that Fabregas is getting fed up with being hacked down game after game,and that ultimately may decide that La Liga may be better for him.He is no angel,but in several games this season he is being targeted and one can’t blame him for his reaction.We are still in the mix,but it appears we may have further injuries and not buying in the transfer window may just cost us in the long run.

    I know many will say that Fabregas’s gets chopped down nearly every game but I just wonder how long he will want to play in this environment.

    Mozart is dead, has been for a while,yet we will never really know how good he might have been.

    Jack needs a rest but have we the replacements in house.

    Chesney is gaining confidence,but still needs another couple of seasons to fulfill his great potential.

    So pleased for AA and bendtner looks to be getting sharper game by game.

    Theo needs a good run in the team,he will improve.I had my doubts but he appears to have got past puberty. 😉

  25. Wonderman says:

    Hi Dandan

    Did Diaby fill in for Song adequately last night ? agreed

    Does he give aerial cover ? with is his size/stature he should do. Have a look at the Huddersfield goal again and see what kind of cover he gives and that is not a one off

    Is he skillful ? Definitely but his turning on a sixpence 3 times often gives the opposition’s other players time to recover their shape

    Does he need more games to get back to his best ? agreed

    Diaby needs two things for me consistency and urgency he is a monster of a midfielder but I cant help but feel that he isn’t displaying his full potential

  26. kelsey says:

    I agree with dandan about Diaby.He wasn’t expecting to fill in for Song and did a good job and limited the amount of time he went forward.

  27. Rasp says:

    Hi kelsey,

    I am in two minds about Diaby. He is an imposing figure and defenders seem to naturally back off of him. Yesterday, as in many previous games, when he couldn’t see an obvious pass, he carried the ball forward into space. I was screaming at him to keep going as he has a fine shot on him, but the programmed ‘must pass’ training kicked in and he pulled up and waited for a passing opportunity.

    I believe he is most effective in the final third not as a DM. The problem comes when he is under pressure to defend, he sometimes gives the ball away too cheaply in dangerous areas.

  28. mjc says:

    Here’s an excellent pre-game analysis as to what we could expect from the ref last night.

    Perhaps someone could enlighten me as to how refs are allocated, and who decided that a referee who consitently favours Everton, and consistently penalises Arsenal would be “randomly” allocated to this match.

    Smells a bit like the Serie A scandal?
    Read this:

  29. Rasp says:

    Hi mjc,

    That article on Mason is frightening – it would seem to prove that referees (him in particular) are corrupted by personal bias – albeit maybe subliminally. Everton would be top of the league based on his record reffing their games and we would be in the relegation zone.

  30. London says:

    I am usually Diaby’s biggest critic, no wait, make that second biggest critic behind Rasp, no scratch that, I am usually Diaby’s third biggest critic behind Rasp and Peaches. Lol

    Last night we got a glimpse of what Wenger must have envisaged at the beginning of the season. Diaby added power that forced Everton onto the back foot.

    The system completely changed:

    Sagna, Djourou, Koscielny, Clichy

    This my friends is a plan B and a very effective one as well.

  31. 26may1989 says:

    Quick check in between morning meetings: not one, but two excellent write-ups of last night’s game, thansk to Carlito and London.

    Am flattered to be quoted re Masons’s reffing, and I completely agree he was diabolical last night. But, without shifting from my very firm view that Saha’s goal should have been disallowed, to be fair to Mason, the lino and officials generally, that part of the Laws of the Game isn’t as clear as it could be (as was the case when we were discussing GKs handdling the ball outside the penalty box). The lack of an explanation of the word “rebound” in the Law on offside is the key problem – FIFA’s diagrams in the book show that the defender’s contact with the call can be either accidental or deliberate, but the text of the rule itself doesn’t say that, so there is scope for misinterpreting.

    Really gutsy performance last night, I’m so impressed with the attitude shown by all concerned. Am just worried about Song’s injury coming on top of Nasri’s. Other than Barca, Feb and March won’t be as intense for us as Dec and Jan were, but with United and Chelsea already finding form, perhaps to be joined by City, we don’t need an injury crisis now. But all good so far, I still have a good feeling about this season……

  32. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Evening all

    North Queensland is about to be hit by a cyclone with over 300km winds 😦

  33. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    *per hour winds.

  34. Carlito11 says:

    Is that where you are GG?

  35. tommystout says:

    GG bad times, double whammy for QL, hope you are nowhere near :-/

  36. dandan says:

    Good luck GG hope all goes well, thoughts are with you

  37. mickydidit89 says:

    peachesgooner says:
    February 1, 2011 at 11:24 pm
    OK, I’m going to bed, maybe the fairies will bring me a match report
    Would they have brought two reports for Rasp. Sexism if you ask me.

  38. mickydidit89 says:

    Carlito and London,
    Thanks very much. Really great match reports.

  39. mickydidit89 says:

    I thought Clichy was outstanding. Back to Diaby. I had a chat with Rasp about him on the way to the ground pre Wigan. I agree that he is a major liability with defensive duties, so a Song stand-in he is not. Last season during our striker crisis, AW played AA alone up top, whereas I would have stuck Diaby up there out of harm’s way (harm to our defence, certainly not the opposition’s). I really like London’s Plan B. Certainly we need someone other than AD in the DM role, but I think he will prove a vital weapon in our assault on the summit this season.

  40. mickydidit89 says:

    My thoughts are with all in Queensland.

  41. Carlito11 says:

    MJC that is an incredible article on the ref last night- nearly every prediction came true! Amazing stuff. Micky- liking the new avatar. London- plan B worked well last night- Theo really got stuck in to the challenges- hopefully his “ankle knock” is only that and nothing more serious… such a great team effort all round I could not be happier with how we are evolving. Although I wouldn’t argue with a return to “touch/move/bamboozle” easy wins like Wigan the other week!

  42. Carlito11 says:

    Another positive from the game- I’ve never seen so few leaving before the end of the match. I would say over 90% were still there at the final whistle. That’s with a late midweek kick off and 5 added minutes to the second half. Are we starting to do this properly en masse now or was it just the added emotion of the game? If it was “just” the latter- I hope it can contribute to more of the former

  43. Red Arse says:

    Two very good Posts with slightly different perspectives making for a nicely rounded report! Well done both! 🙂

  44. Red Arse says:


    The furore surrounding last night’s “offside” goal and your attempt to explain/ameliorate the ref’s decision, (not that you in any way condoned it) reminds me of a very interesting discussion we had some time back.

    It has always been my opinion that the current offside Law, brought in by Herr Bladder, made a simple black and white “factual” Law into another simple Law plagued by individual official’s subjective and instantaneous “interpretations”.

    I see no reason to change my view that the current Law is both divisive and frankly ludicrous. 🙂

    (I hate “I told you so smart arses” unless it’s me doing it … obviously). 🙂

  45. Carlito11 says:

    Hello RA- how goes the recuperation?

  46. Wonderman says:

    H Carlito, your post @12:54 spot on !! I noticed that too , long may it continue as the team need us behind them

  47. London says:

    Andy Gray’s Letter of Resignation

    Dear all,
    I am so sad to be leaving a company that I have served long and hard for, for over 20 years. In fact I would like to go out on a high and so……….

    A blonde gets a job as a physical education teacher of 16 year olds. She notices a boy in the field standing alone at one end of the field, while all the other kids are running around at the other end having fun. She takes pity on him and decides to speak to him.
    “You ok sweetheart?” she says.
    “Yes Miss” he replies.

    “‘You can go and play with the other kids if you want” she says.

    “It’s best I stay here Miss.” he says.

    “Why?” asks the blonde.

    The boy replies: “Because I’m the f***ing goal keeper”

  48. London says:

    I know you are laughing.

  49. mickydidit89 says:

    Brilliant 🙂 It has been copied and pasted and dispatched as all my own work!
    That is great news about the crowd. They sounded in good voice from the comfort of my sofa.
    I am afraid a little of my sympathy evaporated when you revealed that you were in the company of both a nurse as well as a bottle of DP under the pillow. Nevertheless, hoping all is on the mend.

  50. Red Arse says:

    Micky, Carlito, all is going well, touch wood, and I am trying to catch up with some work, while taking things easy. Thank you for asking. 🙂

    Sadly I am not permitted to touch alcohol, at the mo’, so no meths and definitely no Dom Perignon for a while! 🙂

  51. mickydidit89 says:

    A gritty performance like last night, and it doesn’t half raise my levels of optimism. A win at St.James’s on saturday and we then have Wolves, Stoke and Sunderland all at home in that order.
    They play tonight, so we do have the extra days’ rest. Also, they will be Carrolless.

  52. Carlito11 says:

    They banned the Meths! Don’t stand for it! There are some things up with which a man must not put! 😉

  53. Red Arse says:

    Quite right Carlito, and not a split infinitive in sight! 🙂

  54. 26may1989 says:

    @ RA at 1.01pm: Bladder is an utterly corrupt, self-serving bastardo, a leach on us and the game generally, but we can’t blame him for the offside rule. Rule changes are made by FIFA’s International Football Association Board, half of the members of which are reps of the UK FAs. So half any criticisms of the rules should be put at the doors of our very own (self-serving) bureaucrats.

    I also don’t object in principle to changing the way offside works to one that is based on interpretation of attacking advantages etc etc. It does inject subjectivity and therefore variation but the old rule, for all its predictability, ended up penalising attacking play.

    My real gripe is in the drafting of the rules. With the billions of euros/dollars/pounds/roubles passing through FIFA on their way to dodgy Swiss bank accounts and gargantuan expense allowances, you would have thought someone could pay a decent lawyer or two (ahem) to draft rules that are clear enough to cover obvious scenarios.

  55. dandan says:

    26May @2:06
    Don’t pull any punches, say what you really mean mate LOL

  56. Red Arse says:


    Bladder’s lackey’s do his bidding, without quibble, out of blatant pecuniary self interest.

    The Law was changed ostensibly to encourage attacking football, and no one could argue with that, but the interpretative aspect often works to defeat this objective.

    It is human nature to avoid being humiliated/ridiculed by the “Andy Grays” of the TV world. A linesman ruling out a goal by flagging offside may get an irritable review, whereas a linesman (I know assistant referee, thanks Mr Bladder) who allows a goal, which may be off side, is subjected to heinous incredulity and accusations of not knowing/understanding the offside legislation.
    (More credit to that lady lino for not only getting it right but also having the guts not to take the easier option).

    Anyway, as I suggested, we might be in danger of re-running our previous discussion! Not that I am adverse to that.

    I suppose a re-drafting of the current Law by a decent lawyer, ably supported by a good looking accountant, 🙂 would perhaps be a perfect compromise! 🙂

  57. Carlito11 says:

    A quick aside but London- did you predict the correct score again last night? I have ask if you have been communing with the spirit world! 😉

  58. Red Arse says:


    Someone predicted a 2:1 scoreline, but the idea of London sitting with a tumbler and a ouija (?) board is a bit spooky!

    On the other hand I think CharyB forecast a 20:0 scoreline for the Ipswich game. 🙂

  59. 26may1989 says:

    Does anyone else think Moyes’s whinge about what Cesc did or didn’t say, whether in the presence of the esteemed referee or not, was more than a little lame? He said the “failure” to red card Cesc during the half-time break (has that ever happened in top flight football?) “broke the flow of the game” – what?! How was the flow of the game broken by not red carding Cesc? I can see the argument if a player were to be sent off at half-time, but not the other way around.

    I like Moyes, he’s a good manager working with limited funds who does a good job, but he let himself down with that whinge.

  60. dandan says:

    The FA have confirmed that there was no mention of A Cesc rant in the referee’s report, so as far as they are concerned nothing happened, leaves Mr Moyes with nowhere to hide really.

  61. SharkeySure says:

    Two good write ups there lads, gracias amigos !!!

    I would have have only mentioned the ref and the crowd had I written the report, oh and maybe Kozzer and Sagna. Two proper warriors those two.

  62. SharkeySure says:

    “I am usually Diaby’s biggest critic, no wait, make that second biggest critic behind Rasp, no scratch that, I am usually Diaby’s third biggest critic behind Rasp and Peaches”

    Top quality that London

  63. mickydidit89 says:

    Chary is in league with exceedingly dark forces. Beware.
    Off to watch my son play the beautiful game. I have a feeling my daughter may be making her first team debut. God have bountiful mercy on the opposition. Wellies on! Bye.

  64. dandan says:

    No doubt he felt he was helping his mentor the Red Knight of Old Trafford.

  65. charybdis1966 says:

    Afternoon guys, great to meet up with usual crowd and a new faces last night(Harry, Carllitto and another chap who’s name escapes me due to me being well into my 3rd beer by the time we spoke) and spiffing double-pronged reports there.
    Hopefully we won’t always need a refereeing howler to get the crowd up for it but I saw good signs of fight in our team.
    Not sure about Peachy’s plan to send me to an Everton pub before hand. I thought you liked me! 😦

  66. Carlito11 says:

    26May- I find it very hard to like Moyes as everytime I look at him I get this image!

  67. SharkeySure says:

    Lol Carlito. Thats deffo Moyes’ manic stare !!

  68. 26may1989 says:

    And Carlito, that’s Moyes on one of his more relaxed days.

    Did I read somewhere that there are more Glaswegians managing in the PL than Englishmen? Maybe it’s that lunatic, Buster Bloodvessel persona that serves them so well.

  69. London says:

    London says:
    February 1, 2011 at 3:55 pm (Edit)

    My prediction is 2-1 to the good guys.

    Read em and weep boys, read em and weep. That is three in three only interupted by my 26-0 prediction against Huddersfield.

  70. London says:

    Hi Sharkey

    I have had that Keyser comment you posted last night running around my head and it triggered a new name for you know who: Itchy and Scratchy. lol

  71. London says:

    Bloody hell Chary what are you doing writing a report for other sites? You should have posted it here and then we could have had three match reports 😉

    Good report Chary, loved the clip as well lol

  72. charybdis1966 says:

    London, me and Raspers both agreed it would be a narrow, hard fought 2-1 win before we took our seats last night.
    I wrote reports for the other site before AA had started, so I’m contractually bound to continue.
    Tim does some great work over there.

  73. Carlito11 says:

    Enjoyed the report Chary- Not sure I could keep up with white text on a black background for long tho- hurt my eyes a bit!

  74. Carlito11 says:

    Injury update from the reserves game against Chelsea today: Shea and Miquel can now be added to an injury list of Nasri, Fabianski, Vermaelen, Song and Walcott. It wouldn’t be Arsenal without this happening would it? Hope we can get at least the latter two back for Barca. We have definitely lost Nasri for the first leg and he’ll be lucky to be fit for Wembley 😦

  75. 26may1989 says:

    Bleedin hell Carlito…. What was the result in that reserve game?

  76. charybdis1966 says:

    Cheers Carlito.Yim;’s the guvnor over there so he decides all that side of things but you get used to that style of presentation.
    I’m hoping ot have Nasri back for Wembley, 3 weeks form the injury(30th Jan) puts his return at Feb 20th – a week in advance of the CC Final to allow for the Wenger optimistic view of recovery times.
    Still, you never know. We could well me looking a tmid mMarch for Nasri’s return.
    Didn’t he come back from a broken leg quicker than expected ?

  77. Carlito11 says:

    Nasri was confirmed as needing 21 days yesterday- match fit for the 27th is an ask. But I’m with you in hoping it’s a reasonable ask! I think the reserve game is still playing, 2-2 last I heard.

  78. Red Arse says:


    I saw the Moyes interview and was as flabbergasted as the shy, sly Sky reporter was.

    It was unbelievable innuendo. He maligned Cesc by saying that if he made such comments on the pitch he would be red carded, and then refused to say what the comments were.

    I immediately feared the worst and imagined Cesc had told Mason that he cut a fine figure of a man in his tight manhood revealing shorts, a perfect knob match with his bald pate, and then, flashing those smouldering, long lashed, dark Catalonian eyes, whispered he was desperate to replace the tarnished whistle and kiss those enticingly plump, burgundy stained but cherubic lips of Senor Mason.

    Obviously if it had been vile, disgusting swear words, curses and common or garden invective, Moyes, a gentle Glaswegian, would have revealed all.

    Alas, I fear Cesc deserves the death penalty for those sweet endearments! Blast!!

  79. London says:

    It shouldn’t be a quick death either, definitely some form of torture before hand.

  80. Red Arse says:

    Totally agree London.

    Cesc should be forced to let Moyes kiss his arse!

    Anyone got any better ideas? This referee endearment lark has got to stop, or Moyes will start crying, again!

  81. 26may1989 says:

    Thanks Carlito.

  82. Red Arse says:

    In fairness, I think Cesc did inadvertently agree to my suggestion at 4:32, when he said “Moyes can kiss my arse”, so that seems fair enough.

  83. 26may1989 says:

    What is it about Cesc and the tunnel though? Pizzagate vs United (no charges), Gobgate vs Hull (acquitted, Horton the Hoo condemned as an unreliable witness) and now Mason-and-his-linesman-are-utter-cretins-gate (no charges).

  84. Rasp says:

    Hi 26m,

    Some of the answers will be revealed in a ‘Rocky Special’ we shall be publishing tomorrow.

    RA – hope you’re feeling better.

    Carlito – great headline, great post

    London – also great post … I can’t decide whether Diaby is a leg end or a legend in the making

  85. Carlito11 says:

    Following on from RA’s homoerotic diatribe: “What is it about Cesc and the tunnel though?” No sniggering at the back! 😀

  86. Rasp says:

    😆 Carlito,

    I quite like the quote from football folklore attributed to ‘arry. He was apparently asked by an interviewer “did you consider pulling the player off at half time?” to which he replied “No, he can have an orange like all the others”

  87. Carlito11 says:

    Thanks Rasp- great pics- I meant to ask you about all that last night… Remind me next time! Cheers all- I’m off!

  88. Gooner in Exile says:

    Anyone else listening to the hatchet job Talk Spite are doing on Cesc right now?

    Not sure why I’m still listening because it’s making me angry, but I don’t want to contact them and justify their existence.

    Basically they want us to go back to being a pushover, and Cesc should not question any decisions.

    Hmm I have a similar word to describe them as I used at the ref last night but this is a clean site!

  89. Red Arse says:

    Carlito, Rasp, 🙂 🙂

  90. Carlito11 says:

    Quality that Rasp! Reminds me why I quite used to like him!

  91. Carlito11 says:

    GiE I heard the reverberations of it on twitter. If anyone tweets, use the hashtag #boycotttwitter as a mini campaign started earlier when Jack got upset listening to it. The idea is they’re always winding Arsenal fans up- if we all stopped listening it would ruin their listenership and thus advertising revenue. Let’s make it happen!

  92. Carlito11 says:

    that should be #boycotttalksport I am a dozy git and need to drag myself away from this screen- ta ta all!

  93. Rasp says:

    Great to meet you Carlito. Hopefully we’ll share a beer again soon.

  94. Red Arse says:


    Should you not have prefixed all those “charges” with alleged?

    For example, because Moyes made his snide comments they are now taken as gospel, despite the ref not including any such charge in his end of match report and the FA taking no action. Of course if TalkCrap say it’s true then …

    Arsene, when asked about this last night said that he had spoken to the ref (politely) not Cesc. He maintained Cesc had not spoken to the ref at all.

    Guess who I believe?

  95. 26may1989 says:


    Being the metrosexual, eyebrow plucking (or as Peaches told me ages ago, threading) guy that he is, I’m sure Cesc is very comfortable with his tunnel.

  96. 26may1989 says:

    Oh you’re right RA, I was just enjoying getting into the Daily Mail, “there’s no smoke without fire” mentality.

  97. Red Arse says:

    How about this for humour?

    A school in the antipodes received the following letter following a sponsored lunch for seniors, at which an elderly lady won a radio. 🙂

    Dear Lions Bay School,

    God bless you for the beautiful radio I won at your recent Senior Citizens luncheon. I am 87 years old and live at the West Geelong Home for the Aged.
    All of my family has passed away so I am all alone.
    I just want to thank you for the kindness you have shown to a forgotten old lady.

    My room mate is 95 and has always had her own radio; but, she would never let me listen to it.
    She said it belonged to her long dead husband, and understandably, wanted to keep it safe.

    The other day her radio fell off the nightstand and broke into a dozen pieces. It was awful and she was in tears.
    She then asked me if she could listen to mine.

    I was overjoyed that I could tell her
    to fuck off.

    Thank you for that wonderful opportunity.

    God bless you all.



  98. Gooner in Exile says:

    Ok so away from the media loathing of Arsenal I thought I would contribute some loathing on ourselves.

    Last night the Grove was undoubtedly rocking. The best atmosphere i’ve experienced there, I am sure some of you will tell me games against Tottenham and Chelsea have probably created better noise.

    But here’s the thing, IF we were 1 nil down and it had been of the players own doing would the crowd have responded in the same way?

    Last night was a clear demonstration of why the players need the fans to be on their side and creating an atmosphere that lifts them to achieve results in the face of adversity. So here’s a plea to all those who go to the Grove more regularly, make that kind of noise from the first minute, as the players walked off the pitch the songs were still drowning out the PA (no small task).

    In the opening 10-15 minutes there was some noise, but nothing like we created after going one down to the referee.

    Even sitting down we managed to keep the songs going, so lets carry that on for the rest of the season and make the Grove a noisy, intimidating atmosphere that other teams fear to come to and our players love to play in front of.

  99. dandan says:

    David Pleat has bemoaned spurs current injury situation, don’t remember the spuds ever commiserating with us in recent years, so I think I will have a little smile on my face when I talk to my Lilly-white brother
    What price Europe for the twitchy men next seaason now that Chelsea are back in business.

  100. Gooner in Exile says:

    Shed a tear for Mr G Neville he has finally decided to retire.

    Sorry did I say Shed a tear? I’m breaking out the Rioja

  101. Irishgunner says:

    Evening all – I’m still smiling for last night’s game, what a win.

    There was a lot today on the radio about Cesc – feck sake, he says something to the ref, he is a moaner, he doesn’t say anything, he’s not captain material 🙄 The meeja are starting to really dislike us again and going down the route that we are dirty and cheating – a sign we’re doing things right 🙂

  102. Harry says:

    GIE, Exactly 100% agree, this is what I have been saying for as long as I can remember, the atmosphere was electric, it had an edge to it and gave the team the impetus to get back in the game, us against the world mentality…….

    The atmosphere at the Chelsea was great and probably more vibrant at times as we were enjoying the play in front of us, but last night the crowd got behind the team and helped spur us on (hate using that word)…..Its a unwritten contract that as a fan you sign upto, when the team needs a lift and support, you stand up and respond, as you say GIE lets have that for every game now till the end of the season……

    Some other Points on last night:

    1. Should have strengthen in the TW…..Song’s injury depletes 2 positions.
    2. Some people are too harsh on Rosicky.
    3. Arshavin is coming to the boil nicely…
    4. Cesc has a burning desire to win, he must stay fit….
    5. Diaby could be important for the run in and we must get behind him and the others. He has massive potential……Dont slate him………
    6. Sagna is immense……….Clichy is much improved last couple of games.
    7. Kosser is getting better and better…
    8. Referees are getting worse each season….Mason has my vote as the worst I have seen…..
    9. Moyes is bitter and twisted and always looks to turn the focus on others……..
    10. I love Arsenal more each day……..


    Great to share a beer with Rasp, Carlito, Chary, Peaches and Alice……

  103. 26may1989 says:

    Re Exile @ 6.58pm: HEAR BLOODY HEAR, well said that blogman.

  104. Charybdis1966 says:

    26 may, and it’s a massive hear hear from me too on that.

  105. 26may1989 says:

    Man Shitty only draw at Brum, significant blow to their title hopes.

  106. Frothing Inarticulate Loon says:

    Me and all lads…

    And to Harry’s point no.10 !!

    And to SharkeySure and London’s two bezzie mates – Itchy and Scratchy !! Double dates..??

    Nite all

  107. SharkeySure says:

    I’ve never had Manchester down as a source of too much joy – rains a lot, women are rough (and common?) etc etc

    Then tonight we get City’s draw and Nevilles retirement, and now I’m having a rethink.

    Nite all

  108. Rasp says:

    There are reports that Fabianski is out for the rest of the season – if true, thank goodness we didn’t let Almunia go in January.

  109. 26may1989 says:

    Very good point Rasp, and Almunia becomes what we all know him to be, an honest, capable, back-up keeper.

  110. Morning all

    There’s a New Post

  111. dandan says:

    Times Matt Hughes had a right go at Fab and Wenger today. Another Chelsea luvvie pumped up by the Ruskies wallet.

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