The Good, The Bad and The Diaby.

Hmmmm where to start with this one? Do I focus on the first half; do I focus on the embarrassing Phil Dowd or do I focus on the much maligned Diaby?

Well, the title works anyway, the first forty five minutes were not just good they were great and certainly the best we have seen since Blackpool at the beginning of the season. Newcastle went in at half time having been ripped apart, totally embarrassed and left for dead or so we thought.

The Bad, yet again dreadful refereeing, two penalties for things that only people who wear special 3D glasses handed out at Old Trafford are able to see.

And then there is Diaby, I hope your leg is alright Abou, I hope there is no lasting damage because your school boy behaviour will certainly cost us dearly by way of points at the end of the season. Bit harsh? The man was charged with holding the midfield together, it was his job to suffer the rough and tumble of that heated battle zone and if you are not hurt, you get up and get on with it. I don’t care how close you come to having your leg broken if it doesn’t snap you get up and carry on doing your dandiest to win the game for your team, the one thing you don’t do is get yourself sent off.

I guess it’s decided then — Diaby catches the lot.

How did the match report become to be so painful to write? This was one of those games that at 3-0 you sat back relaxed with a cold beer and gave your poor old nails a rest from the ravages they have suffered in recent past after being viciously chewed while watching one tense game or another.

This was one of those games when a family member could walk in or someone could phone mid-game and you would speak to them in a calm, pleasant tone. What’s the score? 3-0, GOAL, no make that 4-0, Van Persie has just scored again. Yes, of course, you can borrow some money.

How on earth did it go from that to screaming at the telly, chewing my nails like a demon, kicking the cat and generally being horrible to anyone who was foolish enough to come near me?

I just don’t know, I just don’t have the answer.

As for the game, I could mention what a superb pass it was from Arshavin for Walcott to score, I could complement the Russian again for his second assist inside five minutes by way of the free kick that allowed Djourou to score his first goal for the club, I could praise Theo for the wonderful cut back that gave Van Persie his first; or, of course, I could rave about the quality of the cross by Sagna that gifted Van Persie his second goal but I won’t because you can read better descriptions in the Sunday papers by people capable of describing them far better than I, but what you won’t get in those very same papers is something to read that reflects your pain your suffering and your down right hatred of Joey Barton.

Written by London

135 Responses to The Good, The Bad and The Diaby.

  1. Morning all

    Thank you London for having the courage to write about what will surely go down in history as the worst capitulation by any side in the premiership.

    Some have already chatted on the previous post and it will be interesting to see where the blame gets apportioned now that the dust has settled.

    I find myself still thinking that any team that loses a four goal advantage must be complete pants and then I remember that the ref helped Newcastle gain an advantage which is entirely unfair.

    Referees are there to do a job. They shouldn’t have any bias towards either of the teams or have enough knowledge about any of the players to cloud their judgement. The FA insists that only English referees are used and therefore the handfull of men who officiate end up having history either with players or clubs, this presents unfair advantages.

    I think referees should be anonymous and that there should be a pool of European referees so that there can be no accusations of bias. I read yesterday that Lee Mason is to referee one of our next 4 games at the Emirates, how will he treat our players, fairly or unfairly? We shouldn’t have to worry about that, the players shouldn’t have to sorry about that. Its one thing to know that a player has the dead needle to you but quite another to know that the ref has too.

  2. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Good read that London.

    I really reckon its time that AW invested in some raw boned stand over merchant types who he can put on the bench ready to bring on & intimidate the piss ant ankle tappers like Barton & Shawcross, etc.

  3. Ibrahim says:

    his is very hard to take. Against how many sides should we fight. I know every one would say we must learn how to control games. That is also right. BUT sending off only arsenal`s player, many silly bookings for us, letting them go without their bookings and even their deserved red card, very funny penalties (not PL standard). through these actions is the ref. actually the only one who dictate the game.

    Do not be harsh on Fab, I know for sure he would have done mutch more to try to correct the direction of the desicions of the ref. but he know he must be calm because the media issue about him and the ref.

    It is not a disaster for our title challenge. BUT I hope there will be no psychological damage … difficult to repair. The next three fixtures should see us leading the table. Man united have three difficult games in a row. Song must come back soon, we need him a lot.

  4. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    This is what would happen to Barton if he annoyed Big Bustling Barry Hall

    Mind you Barry can handle himself against anyone.

  5. 😆 nice one gnarley

    Just read LG’s post and Pedro also talks about bias and european referees http://le-grove.co.uk/

  6. Mark says:

    Barton’s tackle was fair, he’s a top player and he was the reason for Newcastle’s comeback, Nolan helped with the sending off, he come over and pushed Diaby slightly, then turned his back on the Arsenal player knowing he would shove him back and probably get sent off, very clever on Nolan’s part! I’m not encouraging this behaviour but Newcastle are fighting to stay in the league and will do what it takes despite not turning up for the first half!

  7. London says:

    Morning all

    Squillaci seems to be taking the brunt of the criticism, if I look at it from one angle it makes sense we were all over the place when he came on but as there wasn’t a mistake in particular by him that led to a goal I am not convinced. On balance I don’t think it is really possible to judge a player objectively when there is only ten men on the field. With the loss of Diaby, Newcastle were coming though the middle as easily as a hot knife through butter, just how much did we miss Song at this point? Ironically Denilson probably would have been a better person to bring on after Diaby’s departure at least he offers some sort of defensive shield.

  8. London says:

    Mark

    Writing comments like that is what happens when you take your Red and White tinted glasses off, please put them back on.

  9. Big Raddy says:

    Fine write up London and pretty much as I saw it.

    As Kelsey states in yesterdays comments, it is time to stop the Rosicky torture. So sad to see a once great player reduced in such a fashion. Let’s face it, when the going gets dirty who do you want to see? LAst on the list would be TR and yet that was AW’s decision. We needed an enforcer and someone with height.

    By losing both JD and Diaby who are tall and effective in the air, we invited Newcastle to play long balls into the box which caused chaos. To bring on TR and then EE was never going to assist the beleaguered central defence.

    IMO AW has to take some of the blame. I would have brought on Gibbs in place of AA and then Nik for Theo – thereby adding some grit and height for set plays.

    But ultimately this loss of two points was the responsibility of Diaby. Would Song have responded in such a stupid manner?

  10. Rasp says:

    Morning,

    Thanks for the post London. I agree Denilson would have been a better replacement for Diaby. I think that (unfortunately) Rosicky was more culpable than Squillaci for 2 of their goals. He tried ridiculous ‘clever passes’ out of defence which went straight to toon players instead of clearing the ball decisively.

    Mark, on a different day with a different referee, we would have won 5 nil and Barton and Nolan would have been red carded. Had Barton received the yellow he deserved for scything through Arshavin he probably wouldn’t have made the reckless challenge on Diaby. It’s all history now, but please don’t try to tell us that Newcastle deserved their point.

  11. Morning London

    Squillaci wasn’t effective in the air and thats why I think he’s getting some stick. As a team, without both Diaby and Djourou, we weren’t able to be strong in our penalty area.

    I agree that Denilson would have steadied the mid-field, Rosicky just handed the game to Newcastle IMO.

  12. Rasp says:

    Is there any news on Djourou’s injury? Where did the report come from that said it was knee ligament damage?

  13. We’re all agreed on that then 😆

  14. Mike says:

    Mark you’re right Nolan did help in the sending off. The thing is, Dowd indicated that Diaby was sent off for TWO pushes. So why didn’t Nolan receive a card for the push on Diaby then he would have been off for the head lock on Szczeny (which should have been a red in it’s own right).

    Sure we capitulated but that has to be one of the worst refereeing performances in history.

  15. I saw it on twitter last night Rasp

  16. Rasp says:

    I don”t think we should look to twitter for reliable information unless it is from the player himself. Unfortunately the look on Djourou’s face as he walked spoke volumes. He was very p’d off and had a look of resignation as though he feared the worst.

  17. mickydidit89 says:

    London,
    Thanks for post. Not a pleasurable task!
    I agree with your last comment. Squillaci was not at fault for any of the goals, but it was a clear lack of organisation, chaos and panic that ensued his arrival that was not altogether suprising. Rosicky was again shocking and you are right that Denilson would have brought an air of calm to the tumult. Undoubtedly the referee was shocking, but that should in no way mask the appalling collapse. Some of us spoke during the window of bringing in a CB or a DM, or a utility player that could perform both duties. However, it was additional leadership qualities that some of us mentioned that would not have gone amiss yesterday.
    Oh well, Wolves saved our bacon. Fingers crossed for JD and a swift (but not rushed) return for Verm. Now, come on you reds, and I mean Liverpool!
    Have a good day everyone. We will still win the league.

  18. Raddy – good point about bringing Nik and Gibbs on, the team lost its shape anyway when Diaby went off but the loss of height was also crucial against newcastle.

  19. Big Raddy says:

    Sad when the game becomes about the referee. As Rasp says, it is water under the bridge – hopefully we will get the refereeing breaks in a game further down the road (MU at home please)

    Next weekend will be very interesting and I will be looking for the lads to thank Wolves by giving them a good tonking.

  20. Good for Jack having his say on Twitter about Phil Dowd – he’ll probably get fined and AW will take away his iphone but he’s young enough to not be bothered about that.

    He’s English and uber talented and it will be interesting to see how the media react to his outspoken behaviour.

  21. Rasp says:

    We’ve suffered from 2 atrocious refereeing displays in succession. Motd and other TV analysts have shown the failings of the officials ……. what effect will this have on the refree for the Wolves game?

    I think if the refs and their governing bodies want to be treated with respect, they should publish the findings of the official who monitors their performance at games.

    I am in favour of using foreign referees because they are less likely to have a personal agenda or to be affected by the perceived reputation of a player.

    Barton was initially treated harshly by refs after he returned but he kept his nose clean and it became apparent that the feeling changed from ‘watch him he’s a scumbag’ to ‘give the lad a chance’. Yesterday he was a complete scumbag. Did you see the way he moved across in front of Diaby when he was trying to leave the pitch and the ref had to run over and push him to one side? He made at least 5 tackles worthy of a yellow and one or two possibly a straight red.

    Having said all that, we threw away the two points. If we had been clever (Diaby had rolled around in agony?) we’d have won easily.

  22. London says:

    Last sentence, so true Rasp.

  23. dandan says:

    Here we go again looking to apportion blame, has any one thought how difficult it is to change your mindset from running gun ho, (4 goals in 27 Min’s) now lets have a hatful. To manning the barricades, none shall pass, over my dead body which is what we are asking for. A whole team defends in those circumstances without the ball your opponents cant score
    No doubt the players were unhappy and resentful after a sending off and the award of a dodgy penalty, given what had happened last week and the resultant media witch hunt highlighting Cesc and our supposed negative attitude to refs.
    In their minds the perceived unfairness of the refereeing would only have served to fuel the panic that ensued.

    To my mind the real problem was losing both JD and Diaby probably the two tallest players available yesterday, this opened us up to an aerial bombardment we were unable to cope with.

    Forget dodgy refs, worry instead that Diaby (of whom I have been a great supporter) is so mentally fragile, scarred by the memory of his broken ankle. As to be a marked man attracting the attention of every hatchet man in the league. If this is the case then his career hangs by a thread, because a potential sending of will only be a tackle away. Remember retaliation is the greater sin in the eyes of the football law makers.

    Worry also that faced by instant and constant closing down and pressing we were unable to keep the ball, from front to back the ball became an object of fear to be dispensed with ASAP rather than a object to be loved and caressed as in the first half.

    Will it harm us, well two points would have been handy, but just maybe the last week as a whole will unite the squad in the bloody mindedness of us against the world that is the hallmark of winners. So sod the ref and Joey Barton there are four trophies still to play for and a cup final waiting to be won.

  24. Gooner in Exile says:

    Good report London, reflects my feelings this morning.

    The result is tough to take and Uniteds loss makes it worse in someways, we could have been 2 pts behind this morning. To go from a fully fit side 3 weeks ago to a side with 4 injuries to key players and 1 to a squad player is unimaginable even for the greatest doom mongers.

    I think Arsene needs to seriously consider preventing Theo, RvP, Cesc, LJ, and Kos from travelling to International games this week.

    It’s harder with Kos and LJ as they are starting their international careers but if they pick up knocks whilst away we will be barebones.

    No one can tell me Fergie didn’t look at our result and then decided being without Rio at Wolves would not cost them so a 2 week calf strain would ensure availability for next Utd game and sod International duty. Thankfully it backfired on him, but still think Arsene should be a bit cuter this week. 1/2 more injuries and we are struggling to win CC.

    Dont want to rake old mud but did everyone see how Moyes got in Webbs (4th officials) face following disallowed goal, how Neville barracked the ref, and how Hetinga also went to Webb on sideline? Did the media miss that one?

  25. Gooner in Exile says:

    We’ve had LJ’s and Chesneys comments on the ref, but by far the biggest comments came from two others:

    Bacary Sagna:

    “I’m even more hungry now……”

    RvP:

    “Shame about the result yesterday, Good thing that manU lost so everything is still in our hands!”

    I hope Bac wasn’t just talking about dinner after a poor in flight meal.

  26. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Well said dandan

  27. Gooner in Exile says:

    I think Jacks tweets are nowhere near Babel posting a pic of Webb in a ManU shirt, he has only asked for consistency, where’s the problem in that, most people commenting on the game agree.

    So perhaps the referee’s need to come out of their closed circle and start being held accountable and to give reasons for their decisions.

    The only reason I can imagine Chesser gets booked and Nolan get away scot free is that Dowd thinks Chezzer rolled to the ground to timewaste? Altho the linesman who gave the penalties was not to keen on telling Dowd what happened.

  28. dandan says:

    Sorry London was a good read mate thank you.

  29. Big Raddy says:

    DD. Very good point about the unity of the team in adversty. It worked in ’91!

    GIE. 🙂

  30. Red Arse says:

    London,

    Good write up of a difficult game to report on, you reflect my own pain in the last, agonising 20 minutes.

    I am afraid you, Raddy and perhaps others won’t like me disagreeing with you on an important point, and it would frankly be easier to say nothing. But I will not hide, and need to speak out on behalf of Diaby.

    The laying of a large chunk (all) of the blame for the loss of two points on Diaby is just not fair, in my view.

    Diaby has already been the victim of two terrible injuries as a result of “bad” tackles, in his short career. The first was inflicted on him at Sunderland, in his first season with us.

    Arsene said at the time the injury was career threatening and the psychological trauma, for a young man, pretty much at the start of his career, would have been substantial.

    As a consequence, to have a well known thug like Barton launch into him yesterday, after they both went for a misplaced pass from Squillaci, produced the inevitable, though mild, retaliatory shirt/neck grab.

    Even that doyen of fair minded managers, Pardew, (hah!) said it was a robust but fair tackle in which Barton got the ball first and the player only second. So if Diaby had had his leg broken after Barton “got the ball” that would have been alright then!!

    Then just to round off a total nonsense, Nolan came charging up to stick his nose in and, as Mark who I think is a Toon fan, said above, a push from Nolan on Diaby led again to the inevitable and expected counter reaction of a push back from him.

    As usual in these things, the victim of an assault who then retaliates is punished while the perpetrators get off with little or no punishment.

    And what did Dowd do to defuse the situation? Did he step in and order Nolan away? The answer is he did Nothing!

    I am not generally known as a violent person, but I am only disappointed that Diaby will get a 3 match ban for a paltry push, rather than allowing Nolan’s face to leap at his fist!

  31. Red Arse says:

    Dandan,

    I had not read your comment before I typed my Diaby “defense”. We appear to substantially agree, although I had not considered the point you made about potential future problems for Diaby if this becomes a tactic used against him by other teams.

    Though that begs the question, what is the point of poor quality refs like Dowd if they are unable to protect players from thuggish behaviour?

  32. Big Raddy says:

    RA. Disagreement is the essence of good discussion.

    Firstly, Diaby is not the only player who has suffered serious injury, far from it, and to respond as he has twice now (Sunderland at home?) is inviting players to “get in his face”. I can fully understand his anger at such treatment – this is his career – however, as Rasp said yesterday, he needs to have some anger management because his response not only affected him but also the whole team.

    IMO it is irrefutable that his reaction yesterday cost us two points and at a time when Song is injured could cost us more to come.

    Dowd despite a dreadful game had no alternative but to send Diaby off. That Nolan should have been punished is also true but Dowd was clearly influenced by the fervent Geordie crowd and the aggressive response of the Newcastle players.

  33. 26may1989 says:

    Tough job to have to write that up London, well done.

    I don’t understand how we can identify individuals for throwing away that lead. Players get sent off, there are dodgy decisions etc etc but four goals? No, it’s not just Dowd or Diaby or Wenger or Squillaci – it’s every single one of our players yesterday plus the manager and the referee. We have players who say they’re hungry for success, but their failure to dig in after the red card and the first goal or two conceded to a poor and injury-ravaged barcode side reveals a profound weakness in all of them. They have a lot to prove now.

    And dandan’s 11.14 is excellent.

  34. London says:

    That is a sterling bit of defence of Diaby guys but having your leg broken in the past is still not a good enough excuse for the unprofessional behaviour displayed by Diaby. He is a midfielder playing in the combatative EPL, did he expect Barton to go easy on him because he had hurt his leg before? Get over it, if you want to play in this country and earn the kind of financial rewards that come with it, man up or at least learn to roll around on the ground a bit better, had you done so we would be two points better of.

    This just made me think of an interesting question: is it better to act like Diaby and push Barton or would it have been better to act like Eboue and roll around the ground as if you had been shot by a sniper?

  35. harry671 says:

    London, absolutely quality write up, remove cat and put in dog and that could have been you were writing about…..At half time i was buzzing, by 90mins I wanted to explode and wasn’t in a very socialable mood………………..
    Wolves cheered me up and it helped that we gained a point, but two concerns, the injuries and the pyschological affect on the players……

    Mark, sorry disagree, that was a shocking tackle on diaby and even worse on arshavin and no card?
    Wilshere got carded in the Everton game for tickling arteta……….

    Consistency is all i want, nolan should have seen red the same as diaby……..

    Onwards and upwards, game gone……….Next Match the Wolves are howling into town,must learn a massive lesson from this, never relax score as many as you can when on top, you just dont know what will happen next….

    The troops are down trodden, littered with injuries, blood is still flowing from the open wounds, get your heads up boys, be proud stand tall……..
    Stand as one Stand Together Conquer all…..

  36. a oliver says:

    is just a disgrace to loose a 4 goal lead doesnt matter how bad the referee was. just hope djourou is not out for long. off topic guys but check out http://www.soundcloud.com/kneedeep is the new up and coming band from staines. join our facebook page if you like what you hear.

  37. mickydidit89 says:

    Sorry to one or two of you, but there is without doubt blame to attribute. Chucking away a four goal lead cannot be swept under the carpet with poor old us and blaming the ref(however appalling). We showed a catastrophic lack of leadership, and Diaby’s petulence was pathetic and highly irresponsible. This is not the first time we have blown points that with more discipline would have been in the bag.
    As I have said before, I really do have high hopes for Diaby, and still believe we will win the league.
    It may appear cowardly that I am clearing off now, but we have to go.
    Love Micky!

  38. Red Arse says:

    Raddy,

    I think you have used the gentleman’s device in the past, of agreeing to disagree, and I would like to invoke that now too. 🙂

    On another tack, a number of bloggers, on other sites, have blamed Rosicky for being a less than useful substitution.
    This may have been true, to some extent, but I would defend him too, because, as 26 has pointed out, the result was the culmination of a number of events.

    Our team took their foot off the peddle in the 2nd half and were poor;
    the ref was poor;
    and in fairness, Newcastle eventually got up a good head of steam, urged on by the crowd that came alive in the second half;

    This led to what felt like an appalling loss, from our perspective.

    This latest team seems to have a capacity for letting slip leads, (Wigan, Spurs, Newcastle etc) where in the past “One nil to the Arsenal” was enough. Why?

  39. Red Arse says:

    Finally, I have just realised that I have not mentioned what I believe was the tipping point for yesterday’s upset.

    I think the real catalyst for our collapse was the injury to JoDu so early in the 2nd half.

    What is worse, if I am right, is the possibility that his knee injury could be a long term one. Oh woe is me!!

  40. Gooner in Exile says:

    DiMatteo sacked…..another victory for anti football what odds Fat Sam gets the job?

  41. Big Raddy says:

    What should be highlighted and in capital letters is that yesterday was a fantastic game.

    OK, it wasn’t a dazzling display of fluent football but it had passion, controversy, fine goals, tension, so many talking points, non-stop excitement and was a testament to the English game.

  42. Big Raddy says:

    GIE. That is awful news. Who next …. Martinez?

  43. valenciangooner says:

    Excellent post and agree with your decision that “Diaby catches the lot”. I am a Diaby fan (I think !) but what he did yesterday was unforgivable .Arsene said that he hadn’t spoken to him yet as it’s better to let him alone for the moment . I find that astonishing . Surely he should have bollocked him rigid for an act of crass and self indulgent stupidity which may yet cost us dearly. Is it possible that Arsene hadn’t warned them beforehand as to what to expect ? The football world knows that Barton is a badly behaved chimp dressed up in a football kit and he WILL go over the top.Surely the Arsenal players expected that – and if they did then Diabys over reaction was an even greater act of stupidity than it initially appeared.
    The officials were indeed a disgrace , but to be winning 4 – 0 and in cruise control, and finish 4 – 4 is difficult to swallow .Arsenal imploded and had it not been for out ‘keeper we would not have taken a point !
    I watched it on TV in a bar with about 10 Valencia and 5 Barca fans and they were drooling at Arsenals football when the half time whistle went and the Barca fans were actually expressing concern about the game on 16th at the Emirates . Sadly, I was glowing with pride – but pride comes before a fall , no ? Boy did I fall ! At the final whistle they were as bemused as I was, and angry and baffled about some of the refs decisions , but the Barca fans were also crowing about how easy they think it’s going to be to brush us aside and out of the CL.
    In a short time I will be returning to same bar to watch Chelsea v Liverpool and they will all be there. Now why do I think they are going to want to ask me if I saw the Barca/Messi demolition of Athletico Madrid last night?
    The weather is nice here, but when Arsenal play like they did yesterday (second half)it’s not easy living here surrounded by Barca fans !!!! But hey , UPTHE ARSENAL.We’re a point closer to the Mancs too.

  44. RockyLives says:

    Well done London – I wouldn’t have liked to have to do the write-up from that one.

    I also (like Redders) think the JD injury was more significant than the sending off (but also agree that Diaby should have known better). And don’t get me started on Dowd.

    The Wolves result was an unexpected boost and, on Friday, I would have taken being a point closer to the Mancs at the end of the weekend.

  45. 26may1989 says:

    I’d quite like to know why our club captain hasn’t come out and apologised on behalf of the players to the fans for the worst act of capitulation in a long while. It’s no good just blaming the referee.

    As for Diaby’s red card, sorry, but how many times have we seen 10 men see out a draw or narrow victory? The remaining players were perfectly capable of doing what was needed but they failed. The three points were won and then thrown away.

  46. Hi 26m,

    A small note of consolation, your favourite graphic now shows us 1 point ahead of the same time last year.

  47. Red Arse says:

    Hi Rocky, 🙂

    26May, you are spot on. There are all sorts of reasons/excuses we have explored today for what happened, but frankly it was unprofessional/gutless to squander a 4 Nil lead.

    I think we can all agree with that.

  48. Red Arse says:

    Am watching Rambo on BBC1 HD, playing for Cardiff at the mo’, and he is doing well. Thanks for the heads up yesterday Peaches.

  49. RockyLives says:

    Hi Peaches 🙂

    Two big issues from yesterday:
    First, we have to somehow deal with this propensity to collapse – it is starting to get hard-wired into the team. Do we now need a five goal lead to be safe?

    Second, we have to start every game assuming that we will get worse treatment from the ref than our opponents will.

  50. London says:

    Valencia, bienvenido.

    Gracias por el cumplido, ojala que pudiera escribir tan bueno en español como puede escribir en inglés. Poco a poco eh. Espero que vuelva al sitio.

  51. RockyLives says:

    London
    That’s the worst case of typinsons I’ve ever seen 🙂

  52. Red Arse says:

    Su español parece bastante bueno para mí, London.

  53. 26may1989 says:

    Thanks Peaches, small consolations! In fact, there was one other thing that cheered me up: the thought of those Geordie fans who left the match before half time. Never, ever leave before the end of the game!!

    Having caught up with the highlights (lowlights?) this morning, I am so bloody angry. The decisions from Dowd were at least as bad as everyone said, absolutely shocking calls on both pens, and the free kick against Rosicky was a poor too. I didn’t even think it was essential to red card Diaby, it was stupid petulance, but it’s not like he punched Barton or did anything that was going to hurt him, though Barton still stayed down to leave a hint of injury. And as others have said, what Nolan did was just as serious, but no card at all, not even a yellow. Truth is old pros like Barton and Nolan know how to play the refs whereas our bunch are just naive.

    But most of my anger is still reserved for our players’ spineless inabaility to maintain control of a game when the going got a little bit tough. I was pretty disturbed by the complacency of our midfielders, especially Fabregas, after Diaby went, and Squillaci and Rosicky were just awful. Bizarrely, given four goals conceded, the only one who seems to emerge with much credit for me was Szczesny. I should acknowledge the magnificent attacking performance, especially Arshavin, Walcott and van Persie, in the first half but it’s very very difficult!

    Well done for Newcastle for continuing to press, even from four and three goals down. Yes, they cheated a lot, but they showed also passion and appetite that we could have done with.

  54. barumgooner says:

    As bad as the ref was, I think Diaby was getting away with a yellow til the 2nd shove on Nolan. I make no secret of my feelings towards him. As good as he can occasionally be the sad truth is that he’s inconsistant, often lazy and you only have to look at him to know there isn’t a lot going on between those ears of his. I said before the game that I worry when I see his name on the team sheet and for me the only good to come out of yesterdays game was that at least he will get a ban.

  55. Before I put the post up this morning I wondered whether I should create a poll to go with it – Who do you feel is to blame for Arsenal throwing away a 4 goal lead?

    I wondered how many would change their mind during the day after reading persuasive arguments from others and so decided not to – has anyone had their eyes opened and feel differently now than they did earlier in the day?

  56. Gooner in Exile says:

    No I still feel terrible!!

    Hoping Liverpool will put one over on Chavs today and we will remain in 2 horse race and Chelsea needing to beat ManU to keep CL place alive in a few weeks.

  57. 26may – your 2.04 is spot on – Arsenal are well rehearsed in playing with 10 men and no apology from the club captain is just crass.

  58. Thats ok GiE I still feel terrible too – meant to ask you earlier were you there?

  59. London says:

    Thanks for the heads up on Rambo, that young man will be in our first team as a regular next season if not before.
    As for JET, I can’t work out what his natural position is; he is not a winger, he is not a striker, neither a DM, hmmmm I don’t quite get that one. The other thing that struck me is that he is quite far back in the pecking order to get the Wilshere treatment, Ramsey will resume his shortly and then I suppose it will be Lansbury’s turn.

  60. London says:

    26m

    Supurb 2:39

  61. Gooner in Exile says:

    No I couldn’t get tickets only 2000 odd released all went to Gold and TC members 😦

  62. Rasp says:

    The ‘news’ regarding Djourou’s knee ligament injury is apparently coming out of Switzerland. Since he cannot possibly have gone there and had a medical assessment I assume they are conjecture following telephone converstations/emails etc. It is a toss of a coin whether TV or JD will be back first. If Djourou’s injury is severe he could miss the rest of the season.

  63. Gooner in Exile says:

    Thanks for the cheery news Rasp

  64. Rasp says:

    Sorry GiE,

    What’s that about the next game being the biggest of the season? Wolves on top of the world and us down in the dumps….. let’s hope the next time Arsène mentions ‘spirit’ it will be because we have fought and overcome adversity.

    Don’t mind me, I’m having my usual ‘day after depression’ – I’ll try to be more upbeat tomorrow 😕

  65. kelsey says:

    can’t wait to see kos and squill against stoke

  66. dandan says:

    Come of it Kelsey stop winding Rasp up,
    Rasp who’s down in the dumps, speak for yourself.
    We have three home games coming up, so we had a bad day yesterday, it ain’t the end of the world. we closed the gap on the Mancs. Chelsea are losing
    You said your class was half full yesterday, whats changed for christ sake, if we stay this high in the league you gonna get a nosebleed.

    And you are going to Wembley

  67. RockyLives says:

    dandan
    Hurrah! Well said 🙂

  68. London says:

    I may have had a bit of luck in my predictions recently but not in my wildest dreams could I have imagined that this weekend would pan out the way it has.

  69. London says:

    And Liverpool weren’t even any good.

  70. Rasp says:

    dandan,

    I was speaking for myself and I’m sure I’m not the only supporter who is having a tough day. I have come to the realisation that although the ref was rubbish, our players (not just Diaby) were guilty of letting us all down – a bitter pill to swallow.

    Sadly, I don’t have a ticket to wembley, but I am overjoyed our boys will be there. Brum will be like toon in the 2nd half for the full 90 minutes and so we will have to defend as a team, which definitely wasn’t the case yesterday.

  71. Gooner in Exile says:

    I fell asleep in second half.

    Can’t help thinking that victory had more to do with Steve Clark than Dalgleish.

    Chelsea don’t like playing teams who play like them do they?

  72. Big Raddy says:

    Good w/e for Man City

    Liverpool were no more than average but Chelsea were awful particularly Torres. I assume he was signed to augment their ageing attack but he was woeful today 😀

  73. Big Raddy says:

    GIE, Or is it the Wilkins factor? …… yawn

  74. Geoff Strong says:

    All is not doom and gloom ………

    1. We are now 8 games unbeaten in the league.
    2. A point closer to the top.
    3. The invincibles record is safe.
    4. My year on year results comparison forecasts the final table as :-

    Arsenal 83 pts
    Man Utd 79
    Chelsea 75
    Man City 70
    Tottenham 66

    “Always look on the bright side of life…..”

  75. mickydidit89 says:

    London,
    JET is a natural goalkeeper. Obviously!!!
    Nice one Liverpool.

  76. mickydidit89 says:

    When would we expect news on JD?

  77. kelsey says:

    surprise surprise. gerrard has pulled out of the england game with a groin strain.hence my early morning comment.

    i agree that the chelsea v liverpool game was poor but chelsea had a stone wall penalty turned down in added time.

    going back to being half full or half empty,the players must or should be devasted by our result and will it play on their minds. we now put extra pressure on ourselves with chelsea losing the top 5 get closer to each other.

    leaders on the pitch are imperative.

  78. kelsey says:

    JD will be out for three weeks or three months according to press reports.

  79. mickydidit89 says:

    Thanks Kelsey,
    So I guess three months, or season, if it is the ligament. Next question then, Verm?
    Realistically, we have what we have. Song back will help massively.
    Nite all.

  80. Big Raddy says:

    Can we win the PL with Denilson in the side?

  81. Red Arse says:

    OK I confess!!

    I knew you were all upset about yesterday’s result, so I slipped today’s ref a fiver to ensure the ‘Pool won.

    See it’s easy! 🙂

  82. dandan says:

    Likes Geoff Strong’s 6:31 cant understand all this doom.

  83. This is how we’ll probably line up against Wolves

    Chesney

    Sagna Squidgy Kosser Clichy

    Cesc Denilson Jack

    Theo van Persie Arshavin

    That team doesn’t look too bad Raddy ………

  84. Red Arse says:

    Raddy we won’t win or lose just because Denilson is in the side.

    He is neither a great nor a terrible player.

    We will win if our key players perform; in goal, at CB and in midfield. i.e Chezzer, Kos/Squid/TV, Fab, Arsh, Nasri.

    (and if Manu stop being bl**dy lucky!) 🙂

  85. dandan you’re just too sunny 😉

  86. I don’t think Denilson will be the downfall of the team, Song will be fixed soon and if he’s not Diaby can play against Barcelona.

    We only have to be 5 clear goals in front and we’ll sweep everyone before us 😆

  87. London says:

    My understanding is that Song will be back for the next game.

  88. London says:

    How many games is Diaby out for?

  89. Rasp says:

    I believe Diaby gets a 3 match ban for violent conduct.

  90. Irishgunner says:

    Hello – belated Happy Birthday to the site

    I couldn’t face coming on yesterday evening, just couldn’t face it!

  91. dandan says:

    Not sunny Peachey, but have seen far to many real black Arsenal days to worry about this little hiccup

  92. London says:

    I think bewilderment is slightly more accurate and a fairer way of describing the mood of the site rather than the more fatalistic doom.

    I was just listening to Five Live (big mistake) and the presenter had the audacity to suggest that the team most likely to suffer from the after effects of this weekend is Arsenal, I was really irritated with the caller who had the perfect opportunity to say: I always knew you were a manu supporter but I had no idea just how much.

  93. dandan says:

    Try Leeds, Luton,West Ham, Spuds in the semi’s all proper pee you off days, Yesterday, just a little test of supporter character, never mind the teams,

  94. Red Arse says:

    London,

    I listened to 5 Live yesterday and Alan Green said either AW or Moyes was lying. He said he did not believe Moyes was lying and Wenger was always backing his players and it was not acceptable.

    He implied Cesc was an unreformed thug who was out of control. It made me even more sick when another reporter agreed with him.

    I switched off!!!!

  95. Gooner in Exile says:

    http://the1steleven.com/2011/02/06/alternative-premier-league-table-19/

    This table always cheers me up.

    Almost as much as Geoffs did.

    I will leave til next week to go through the Beebs predictor again to see if we still beat the Mancs to top spot.

    I need news on JDs injury, hopefully we will hear good news soon.

  96. Rasp says:

    New banner, courtesy of Harry

  97. dandan says:

    Now that I like, well done Harry Thank you

  98. Rasp says:

    Actually I made the banner 😳 , Harry used the phrase earlier today and it stuck in my mind

  99. Irishgunner says:

    Rasp – do we have an e-mail for the City fan that was on recently?

  100. Rasp says:

    Hi Irish, do you mean BlueMoon?

  101. London says:

    Looking at those teams above I realise that I went to the Leeds final that we lost, I went to the Luton final that we lost, work stopped me going to the West Ham final but I did fly in to see the spuds semi that we lost and yes they were bad days but yesterday was still bewildering.

  102. dandan says:

    GOI, Green is a well known verbal bully boy who lives in the Manc territory of Macclesfield, he has never recovered from the realisation that his aggressive opinionated commentating, would never be accepted by TV. who would pass him bye.
    Radio 5 covers so many matches now, that he has managed to hold a job down with them, as far as I am aware the only other show besides the excruciating 606 phone in, he is involved with is World football, which can be heard as a podcast, but goes out I think on the world service. Mr Green is definitely not a media superstar, just a a radio commentator seeking attention and recognition by any means.

  103. dandan says:

    Well done Rasp great stuff

  104. dandan says:

    London and Swindon????????? LOL

  105. Irishgunner says:

    Rasp – yup.

    If you have one could you e-mail it to be pretty please.

  106. Irishgunner says:

    *to me

  107. Rasp says:

    OK Irish, we’ll have to go back and search. Will email it to you asap 🙂

  108. Irishgunner says:

    Thanks so much Rasp – no hurry with it, won’t be e-mailing him until tomorrow 🙂

    I’m doing a new series on Sports Haze called “Terrace Talk On Thursday” where I take what I view as the weekend’s biggest match and get a fan from either team to give their views – but I want rational people.

    I liked him when he was on, seemed a top bloke who gave rational, thought out posts. This week I’m doing the Manc derby.

    I’ll be back here when I’m covering the Arsenal 😆

  109. Rasp says:

    Irish,

    If you go back to the post on 5th Jan (pre-match for arse v city) and scroll don the coments looking for BlueValentine and then just click on his name (as long as you are logged in to wordpress) and his email address comes up. I assume it is genuine. If you have any trouble, let me or peaches know. He was a food writer I believe and a decent blogger.

  110. London says:

    Don’t get me started on Swindon, I trusted my Dad up until then, he told me we were going to win, it was the second most traumatic experience after finding out that Father Christmas doesn’t exist.

  111. Nice banner Rasp 🙂

    Shall I do the email address for Irish?

  112. dandan says:

    LOL London…. off to bed now, new and brighter day tomorrow Gnite all

  113. harry671 says:

    Nice one Rasp, thanks, I feel I have really added some real positivity, there is some really great people on here, best site I have been on…….and I am still proud to be an Arsenal Fan, gooner 4 life…….

    As I said earlier than Man Utd loss made me facing my mates today so much easier…..Had a few comments, but hey ho, point closer….

    Good day today, the U12’s I coach won 1-0 great defensive performance, held their shape well, worked for every ball and gave me committment….

    Then this afternoon, my U18’s who I manage and Coach won 3-1, struggled in the first half with the wind, but with some tactical changes at half time (This is allowed Arsene) and we had a cracking second half and ran out easy winners with some quality football been played.

    Then I got home just as Cech wanted to punch Ivanovic, lol that was funny…Liverpool rubbed torres face in it…..Lol….

    I was chatting to our ref (Gooner) this afternoon about yesterday and Dowd, he did feel that he was shocking and made him feel good about his decision making…..

    I am calm now compared to yesterday and am been more pragmatic about the performance, I hope Wenger and the boys have really learnt a lesson, from yesterday…

    We will only really know the damage when we are next leading in a game and put under pressure and at the end of season, when the table is complete…….

    I like the look of Geoffs table, we have in the PL we have 3 home games in a row, all winnable but all of them Wolves, Stoke and Sunderland will have noted yesterday how we got kicked off our stride……

  114. Gooner in Exile says:

    I think the thing for the team to do is defend higher in all situations. I’ve been threatening to write a post about it.

    Some of our goals conceded yesterday stemmed from it. As did the goals Sunderland conceded at Stoke.

    I will submit it sometime this week but I warn you now there will be diagrams and hopefully some YouTube clips to demonstrate.

  115. Rasp says:

    That’s great GiE, we need material for next week. Add as many pics/diagrams/clips as you wish.

  116. barumgooner says:

    Peaches@7.22.. Diaby for the Barca game…. Aaaaaaaarrrrrrgggggghhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  117. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    GiE says:

    DiMatteo sacked…..another victory for anti football what odds Fat Sam gets the job?

    Bang on. If I had my time again I’d pick bank executive or football manager. No other professional is rewarded so much for be so mediocre.

    Football managers are just a merry-go-round for the likes of Fat Sam; the dopey git now @ Newcastle; Paul Jewell, etc etc. Younger visionaries like Zola, DiMatteo, Houghton, etc will never get a look in as long as the English mind set is, kick the shit out of ’em & park the bus. And is it any coincidence why Engalnd win sod all Cups @ footy 😉

  118. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Sacked one week for being poo @ your job. Picked up in 3-6 months by a desperate Board from another club because it has lost a couple of games in a row.

    Sam:
    Oh high, heres my CV, my name is Sam Alladyce, I’ve been sacked from 6 Clubs coz I’m shit, but what I can bring to you is more crap in the long term.

    Club:
    Are you willing to park the bus & kick the poop outa clubs like The Arsenal, coz we are so jealous of them & what they have?

    Sam:
    Yes!

    Club:
    Sign here, you’ll do just fine. Our rabid, red neck fans will sing your praises.

  119. London says:

    Evening gnarley

    That’s funny but scary at the same time becasue it is probably true.

  120. London says:

    Does anyone know what Jack’s twitter message was that has caused so much fuss?

  121. Morning

    🙂 bg – I just snuck that in to see who was awake 🙂

    London – Jack took the message off his twitter but there are a couple of articles that reproduced it, I’ll see if I can find one for you.

  122. This is from the Daily Mail

    Before taking it down after it attracted a great weight of comment, Wilshere said:

    ‘Inconsistent refereeing needs to stop. It’s killing the game. If Diaby is sent off, what’s the difference between that and Kevin Nolan’s challenge on our keeper!?? #Joke’

  123. Femi Jacobs says:

    As for me i learnt several lessons from that match:
    1. That wenger’s refusal to buy defender can hurt.
    2. That Wenger only have a pattern and cant change
    3. That Wenger can be confused as to who he should being in or removed on such ocassion
    4. That Wenger needs to see Morinho and learn how to defend
    5. That Diaby is Diof’s brother and not Eto class. He behaved like a baby and he purnished his mates
    6. That other clubs will target our key man in difficult matches to ensure they get victory
    7. That Squillaci was a square peg in round hole. He is the worst i ever seen
    8. That if Djorou is sidelined our title hope is in shamble
    9. That the referee was a paid to hurt Arsenal.
    10. That when arsenal is playing anything can happen.

  124. London says:

    Just when I was starting to feel a bit better, starting to focus on the positives again, the manu loss, the Chelsea loss, then up pops Femi.

  125. Rasp says:

    The last of your points is certainly true Femi

  126. It was a great weekend to be a gooner London, the manks and the chavs both lost and we didn’t it 😀

  127. Rasp says:

    Only thirteen games to go. Every game we get maximum points in is a nail in the coffin of those beneath us. Every point manure drop puts pressure on them and makes us more determined. The players should read our banner, look at the picture of Keown, remember the Invincibles …. play as a team, defend as a team.

  128. Rasp – you sound positively excited 😀 Shall we do a countdown again – 10 games?

  129. Rasp says:

    Maybe peaches. If we win our next 3 home games, we will be favourites for the title.

  130. New Post ……..

  131. Hush your mouth 🙄

  132. Wonderman says:

    Morning all, Peaches spot on ! Saturday at 6 I felt awful , by 7:30 I was feeling better. Roll forward to Sunday at 6pm and I’m shaking my head with a smile at the fact that £75m doesn’t get you 3 points. Whilst drawing a game after being 4 nil up can never be brushed under the carpet, it happened because of our own actions rather than anything Newcastle did.

    1. If Squilacci doesn’t give Diaby a hospital ball the incident doesn’t happen
    2. If Kosser merely stands his man up rather than try to win the ball , there is no penalty decision
    3. If we don’t give away free kicks in wide areas close to our goal they don’t get the chance to put crosses in then dive for non existent penalties. BUT !!!!! We are 1 point better of than at the same stage last season and 5 points closer to the league leaders …. It is all still to play for

  133. Disred4ever says:

    London
    thanks for the heads up about the site and the article .
    Totally agree with what you said about Diaby , if your going to play CM you need to learn how to take a tackle, get up and get on with it . If he has discovered a new angry streak thats great as previously you could say thats whats been lacking a lot of the time but use it to win tackles .
    It seems refs are going to continue to turn a blind eye to the niggling Bartons and Bowyers of this world when they play against us .Song and Jack stand up for themselves and are not saints but i think Diaby might be a bit too soft or laid back for the holding role. A bit worried about the next couple of games Squillaci and Koscielny are not the CB pairing to face an aerial bombardment .
    Talking of Squillaci i agree with what you said also , he came on at a time when the tide had turned and with 10 men (though we should be used to that )he wasnt directly at fault for the goals .Earlier in the season i thought he was better than Koscielny who does have a tendency to jump in or make a rash challange .Wolves and Stoke next up in PL both are going to be up for it so lets hope we are busy practising defending corners , throw inns and the ball over the top .
    As Wonderman says its all to plat for…..

  134. SharkeySure says:

    Cracking write up London.

    I simply shut down on Saturday, couldn’t hear/see anything about football

  135. bowja the ninja 2…

    […]The Good, The Bad and The Diaby. « Arsenal Arsenal[…]…

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