Why Are Referees Biased Against Arsenal?

Yes, you read the title correctly.

I’m not asking IF referees are biased against us. I want to know why they ARE.

On Saturday, at 4-0 up, we saw Phil Dowd do all he could to help Newcastle back into the game. This included:

  • Playing three-and-a-half minutes of stoppage time in the first half because Newcastle were attacking, even though the fourth official signalled for only two minutes.
  • Failing to send off Nolan for a similar (but worse) offence than Diaby’s.
  • Giving a very debatable penalty (the first one) despite there being a host of players between him and the incident.
  • Giving Newcastle the softest penalty in the EPL so far this year (again, from the opposite side of the penalty area).
  • Generally letting Newcastle’s players repeatedly foul Arsenal’s without punishment (Barton and Enrique being the main serial offenders).

In recent games we have also seen:

  • Lee Mason booking Jack Wilshere for his first foul in the game against Everton (after just five minutes), then not punishing Everton players for repeated fouling.
  • Mason, in the same game, mystifyingly ignoring the offside rules to allow Everton’s goal.
  • Mark Clattenburg allowing an Aston Villa goal against us when Carew was standing miles offside and blatantly impeding Fabianski’s view.
  • Clattenburg sending off Squillaci for a ‘last man’ foul 30 yards from goal, but leaving a Huddersfield defender on the pitch for a ‘last man’ foul in the six yard box.

There are many more examples and I’m sure every Gooner can rattle off loads of them.

Too many, in short, to be a coincidence.

At the same time Manchester United get more ‘rub of the green‘ than a self-pleasuring leprechaun: blatant penalties not given against them; physical intimidation of referees unpunished; added minutes always counted in Fergietime if United are chasing the game (like ‘dog years,’ one minute of Fergietime is the equivalent of three ‘real world’ minutes) and clear red card offences ignored.

So the question is why?

I believe one possible answer is a conspiracy among officials. By which I don’t mean that they have been bribed or that they’ve all had a collective bet on Man Utd to win the title: rather that when they get together for their referees’ seminars and the like and talk among themselves, they come to some sort of negative consensus about Arsenal.  And probably about Arsène Wenger too.

If it is a conspiracy it’s a subconscious one, but with obvious roots:

Arsène has a history of claiming that our players are not given sufficient protection. Every time he says this, he is directly criticising not just a particular ref for a specific incident, but every single one of them for the way they officiate week in, week out.

It’s human nature to dislike being criticised and to feel resentful towards the critic.

The referees also read the papers just like everyone else, so they soak up all the anti-Arsenal stories that are trotted out every week (from the utterly contrived Cesc furore this week to the Phil Brown lies and the shameful ‘Eduardo is a diver’ campaign).  You can’t tell me they’re not influenced by this stuff.

Added to that, all EPL refs are British. Arsenal is the most foreign influenced club in the country, both in our predominantly overseas squad and in the way we play football. Culturally, we have less in common with the mindset of the British referee than any other team.

English players like Rooney, Lampard and Terry are known to be chummy with some of the officials once the game is over (I wouldn’t be surprised if there are a lot of Howard Webb relatives with memorabilia signed by the Man Utd players).  I suspect that doesn’t happen with our players (the chumminess I mean, not the dishing out of ManUre tat to distant cousins).

Finally there’s what you might call the underdog factor. We are regularly written up as being the best footballing side in the country. When we play lesser teams I think the refs have a subliminal sense that it’s not fair for all these twinkle-toed little foreign wizards to dance round the lumpen midfielders and defenders in the opposition.

It’s the only explanation I can think of for the fact that we are far more fouled against than fouling, yet we get a higher proportion of yellow cards per foul than any other team. It’s because the officials feel sorry for our opponents.

That’s what I felt happened with Dowd on Saturday. It was evident in stoppage time at the end of the first half when he ignored an appalling off-the-ground lunge through the back of Arshavin from Joey Barton then immediately penalised Diaby for failing to make contact with the Newcastle thug. This was during the well-over three minutes he allowed for added time, even though the fourth official signalled for only two. I’m convinced he played this extra extra time because Newcastle had finally realised that there was a second set of posts up the other end of the pitch and that they were supposed to be attacking them.

It reminded me of when I have refereed kids’ games and one team is getting battered 15-nil. It may be time to blow up, but the losing team finally has an attack so you let them play on in the hope they’ll get a consolation goal.

In a kids’ game it makes you a sentimental old so-and-so.

In a professional match it makes you an embarrassment to your trade.

During the second half, as the Newcastle revival grew following Diaby’s sending off (with which I have no argument), it was like Dowd got all caught up with the excitement of the occasion.

For the second penalty you can see him look at the incident, then turn as if to run away. But then the Newcastle player makes a heated appeal for the pen and Dowd stops and gives it. What excitement! Refereeing a game with a great comeback story! He must have been beside himself.

Even the fourth Newcastle goal shouldn’t have counted, given that it stemmed from a free-kick against us for a non-existent foul. But when Tiote belted in the ‘once-in-a-career’ goal that so many players seem to manage against Arsenal, Dowd knew he would be one of the top games on Match of the Day.

Quite what we do about all this, I don’t know. Arsène Wenger has highlighted the cards-to-fouls stats in the past but it doesn’t make any difference.

I fear that until European referees are allowed into the EPL the subconscious bias against us will continue.

If we do go on to win the league this year (or any time soon), we will only do it by playing better than Man Utd or Chelsea would need to do in similar circumstances (because they do not have the built-in handicap of refereeing prejudice).

We need to go out for every game in the knowledge that we really are, to use the cliché, playing against 12 men.


121 Responses to Why Are Referees Biased Against Arsenal?

  1. W5 says:

    Agree with your post RockyLives. I think the assistant referee had a large part to play in the decisions here as i believe he (Massey?) called the second pen they received.

  2. simon says:

    I would have said this was bollocks – all teams get bad decsions – until Saturday. It’s been hidden amongst the pundits & journos creaming over the comeback, but it was without doubt the most corrupt officiating I’ve ever seen.

    I then see Arsenal “fans” slaughtering the team for no leadership etc.Even at 4-4 Arsenal went up the other end and had a perfectly good goal ruled out. RVP was not offside, he was level (despite where MOTD decided to position their yellow line!)

    I actually think this will help galvanise Arsenal, the bias is now so obvious

  3. Play Money says:

    Absolutely hit the nail on the head.
    Refs need to look at the challenges and the intent to “break” our players legs week in week out. When you have arsenal keeping the ball for 70% of the game and making the opposition look stupid, its pretty natural for a lot of the thugs we play against to start getting more physical and rough. Its killing the game; even Barca wouldnt finish in the top 3 of the premiership and would get beat off the likes of Bolton, Everton, Newcastle, etc…

    Referrees need to wake up or at least we need UEFA or FIFA stepping in and haviung a word. The bad calls of English refs may have also been a significant reason into why the 2018 world cup went to Russia……

  4. gunnerwilliam says:

    The article is spot on. Allow me to highlight how the refs have helped the red faced directly and indirectly
    A) a certain balding ref gave the red faced at least ten to fifteen penalties in one season 2002-03
    B) Same ref gave the red faced a penalty a for trip by Campbell on the ugly bull dog ouside the box in 2005 50th match
    C)the gunners were deliberately injured or even maimed.No action taken at Bolton Feb 2003
    D)Reyes was repeatedly kicked by Neville bros . YC given after 5th foul in 2004-05 50 th match
    E)Ball had crossed MU goal line by at a yard. No goal given. in the Spurs game. GK was one Carroll
    F)Gk felled David Dunn.Last defender was not sent off. season 2002-03 .Yc given.Dunn failed to score penalty.
    G)MC were level with the red faced. Two minutes were added to aet.Owen scores winner.season 2010-11
    H)Ashvin was brought down. No yc.Feb 5 2011
    I)In the Liverpool vs Chelsea game on Feb 7,Mikel was give a yc for a foul less violent than the one by Barton on Diaby.
    No wonder the red faced cunt has been winning titls all the time.
    If this is not a conspiracy to stop the gunners,then
    I don’t know how Arsenal won in 2004.
    Btw I forgot to add that the red faced cunt aint so successful in the cl. Draw your own conclusions.

  5. you also forgot:

    Fabregas booked for being bundled to the floor by huddersfield player

    Fabregas booked for protecting his face on a free kick against spuds (incedentally by Phil Dowd)
    Then given a penalty as well by Dowd

    the ghost free kick from which spuds scored the winner…wait for it…given by Phil Dowd.

  6. tru_life says:

    I agree with you pay money, barca would not survive in this premier league against these kind of tactics. No disrespect to la liga but the spanish league is too obvious theres no competition and the lower teams are too inferior to barca/real madrid. The bias against arsenal makes my blood boil, i hope we can get european referees in the future as it seems lumps of flesh need to be ripped off arsenal players before a foul is given. I dont mind opposition playing with heart, passion, in a fair manner to get something out of the match against arsenal but seeing this match made me sick. For all those who knock wenger, the premiership would be dull if he were to quit, he brings fresh air to the league, breaking the mould of tradition with his style of play which will reap the rewards that is craved. I

  7. Smith14 says:

    I’d stop short of saying it was cheating or out and out corrupt officiating but I agree comepetely with the idea that referees are subconciously influenced by the media and the general consensus around Football that Arsenal are a bunch of whingers who aren’t man enough to play good old English style Football. I get the feeling that if an opponent puts in a tough tackle on us and our player goes down, the ref is influenced to think that it’s just typical Arsenal moaning.

    Equally, when an underdog, like Newcastle on Saturday, get a bit of a head of steam up referees go along with it and start favouring that team. They get easily swept along with the atmosphere and the prevailing mood. There is no way we’d have got the 2 penalties they got on Saturday because if it had happened the other way round we didn’t have 50,000 shirtless idiots screaming into the refs ear demanding the penalties be given.

    Refereeing has become far too much of an issue in modern Football. Every week we come away from a game mystified as to what the ref was doing. Whilst our players should focus on the game and getting results from comnfortable positions, I think it would be naive to suggest we aren’t going to be influenced negatively by a raft of poor decisions against us. Hopefully we can just turn this to our favour and add it to the seige mentatlity we all agreed we were beginning to develop.

  8. Dagenham Gooner says:

    I was there and it will be a game I will never forget it even surpases Wigan away last year another one I attended but I agree with Simon this will make the team stronger for Wolves and a week is ample time for the team to compose itself. I hope now Song will take our centre back leaving perhaps the Verminator for a Barcelona comeback. I wont talk about Newcastle the amount of issues that need to be discused in that game is stagering.

  9. The Happy Gooner says:

    I think you’re right, what I don’t get though is that if we had got either of those penalties, we would be “diving cheating Arsenal” and it’s because of this I have to taken issue with the media.
    I watched a bit of the Man U game on ESPN and near the end Chris Smalling elbowed Doyle in the mouth (not even a free kick). It was nasty and looked intentional, I have seen nothing about it since. You could see Doyle’s swollen lip in the post match interview and you could see the blood as he was treated by the physio. If Koscielny had done it, straight red, or if it was missed by the ref (as in this case) it would have been all over Sky Sports News for 3 days making sure the FA gave him a ban on video evidence. But nothing for a Man U player.
    However Jack Wilshire makes a (pretty justifiable) comment on Twitter about consistent refereeing and countless media are reporting he should be banned.
    I have got to the point where I don’t want to watch MOTD as I know that nearly every bad tackle against Arsenal will be met with a chuckle and “there’s nothing wrong with a good strong tackle”.
    I’m getting annoyed now, so I’m going to stop.

  10. clockendjim says:

    Spot on. We are all aware of this prejudice and unfortunately it spreads to the media too. No-one seems to have outright condemned two such ludicrous penalties and just why did Nolan not get sent off for an almost identical foul to that of Diaby ?
    Can you imagine those penalties being given against Manchester United – of course not.
    There was one occasion when Van Persie was sent flying by a tackle from behind and Dowd gave a free kick against VP – how can you logically understand that.
    The most frustrating thing about it is that as a fan (and no doubt also as the manager of Arsenal) you feel so helpless. Dowd’s performance was the most biased I have ever seen yet no further action can be taken.
    However we should have won that match by a mile and sadly it was not just down to the referee. We may be playing the best football ever seen on an English pitch, but there is still the Tony Adams factor missing when the going gets tough. I feel we need a couple of hard men to stiffen up defence and midfield to enable the more skilled of our squad to weave their magic.
    When will Wenger ever dust off that cheque book

  11. Femi Jacobs says:

    The only answer you are looking for is that Arsenal is dominated by French players. Wenger should stop using Arsenal to train French Players. He should stop bringing every dick and harries from France.

    If Arsenal can bring in some other english players like Chambalin, get one english defender, you will see that things will change.

  12. Red Arse says:

    Excellent and evocative article Rocky. 🙂

    The problem is that no matter how correctly you have called these poor refereeing decisions and evident inconsistencies, the neutrals (i.e. everyone not a Gooner), will simply put our outrage down to whingeing.

    This reaction is heightened because of the peculiar jingoism in the reactions of so many other “British” managers.

    There is an unhealthy clique surrounding and fawning over Ferguson and ready to place a verbal stiletto deftly between Arsene’s ribs, whenever the opportunity arises——No, scrub that—-“stiletto” implies an unwarranted degree of sophistication in the small minds of these philistine managers and their acolyte journalists—–meat cleaver more accurately reflects their tired semantics.

    Our teams collapse in the second half at Newcastle is mitigated by these refereeing peccadilloes, the sending off of diaby and JoDu’s knee injury, but their inability to respond to these events, to knuckle down and tough it out was very disappointing indeed.

  13. clockendjim says:

    Further to my comments above, I would love to see Scott Parker in our midfield. He has been incredible in a poor West Ham team, giving just the sort of bulldog committment that we lack right now.
    It looks as if the Hammers are heading for the drop and should mean that Parker could be available.
    Is he too English for Wenger though ?

  14. Morning RA – But it wasn’t just the sending off of Diaby – obviously deserved – and the injury to Djourou, it was the signalling to the Newcastle players that the ref was definitely on their side by allowing Nolan to stay on the pitch after wrestling Chesney to the ground. That was their gift, it was right in front of the linesman and replays showed Dowd standing with his arms folded watching the incident.

  15. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by jcp085, EpiKnightz. EpiKnightz said: Why Are Referees Biased Against Arsenal?: Yes, you read the title correctly. I’m not asking IF referees… http://bit.ly/eTrndO #Arsenal […]

  16. Smith14 says:


    I totally agree with your last point. The referreing of late has been atrocious and we are justified to have a huge chip on our collective shoulder however, at 4-0 up you should still be able to see that out. The ref didn’t help but it’s our own fault.

    I’d still like to add that asking for Arsene to “dust of his cheque book” of find a new Tony Adams is far too simplistic a response. If someone can tell me where the new Tony Adams is I’ll maybe agree but I have yet to see him. I don’t think you can just buy 1 or 2 players that change the mentality of the 15/20 players that already exist in the squad. A winning, fighting mentality has to be fostered amongst the players, you can’t buy it in, it grows organically out of bad experiences. These set backs either make you wither or fight back. I think we have more players now who will improve as a result of this than will crumble.

    All in all, we had a deeply embarrassing Saturday but we’re still better off than we were. We’ve been let off the hook so it’s up to us to make it count from here. No moaning, no looking back. We’re still right in it.

  17. Goonerman says:

    Dowd was anti – arsenal this week because of the Cesc / Mason incident. Thank you Moyes he got Cesc in the end.

  18. Ryan says:

    Christ what an utter load of bollocks. Your team capitulated. Again. After taking the lead the arrogance of Arsenal is unbelievably. How dare anyone score against us mentality. Its happened against so many teams in the last few seasons. Stop blaming the ref, start looking at your players! A few decisions went against your team? BOO HOO! Every team gets bad decisions against them, DEAL WITH IT. 4-0 up a few bad decisions should NEVER result in total capitulation! Absolutely pathetic article.

  19. dandan says:

    Well researched article Rocky well done. Will enable many to let of a lot of steam

  20. Martin says:

    Did any one else see fletcher of utd trying to get a wolves player sent off for a 2nd yellow? when cesc asks why a player is not sent off as last man (v huddersfield)the press slag him off repeatedly (esp talksport) but no mention of fletcher anywhere.

  21. Togba says:

    I will say this to all Arsenal fans including myself. It is very hard when you have to swim against the tide. Many people have lost their minds trying to do this. Before any fan go claiming that the boys should have toughen up and seen the game out, think of when you’re the odd one out at your job and not appreciated for your work. Someone gets promoted over you when you know you’re better qualified than them. This is what is happening.

    Now I can tell any one of you Arsenal fans, it is no longer down to English or French players, but rather down to kiss ass. Wenger is not part of the Ferguson clique, but has been an astonishingly successful manager that base his success on his hard work and his third eye for cheap talent. Worse off most Arsenal players are treated differently by the media and as such gets both ends of the spectrum when it comes to being criticized and being praised. That is why the media preaches for more English players to play under Wenger. They respect his intellect but hates his demeanor. It’s like a smart kid that sits in the front of the class and always passes. No one likes a smarty pants.

    Finally, look at it this way, Theo, Jack, Kieran, Eastmond, Ramsey are all British, but they too get the stick. It’s because the rest of the league hates that air of superiority, in fact they detest it. They refuse to see why Arsenal trot about like kings when they haven’t won anything for the past 5 years but yet claim to be one of the best. So they do everything in their power to make Arsenal fell human. It’s human nature.

  22. Rasp says:

    Brave post Rocky. Let’s all agree that even down to 10 men etc etc we should have been able to hold onto a 4 goal lead.

    That said there are questions that need to be answered regarding the performance of the officials.

    I’d like to hear what Dowd has to say to justify his decisions and what action his governing body are taking if they believe he was inept.

    Let’s get one thing straight: there is a world of difference between a MISTAKE and an INCORRECT DECISION.

    A mistake would be something like the ref being in the wrong position and in so doing not being able to see an incident. An incorrect decision(s) (which is what Dowd was guilty of) is a matter of making a judgement that does not apply the laws of the game correctly = Nolan should have been sent off/Sz should not have received a yellow. If a ref makes multiple mistakes in a game, he is not capable of doing the job (impartially) for which he is being paid.

  23. goonermichael says:

    Hi everyone
    Any news on Djourou?

  24. Rasp says:


    I’ll allow your comment and any that follow as long as they are polite but more importantly, as long as you state which team you support so we can judge your impartiality as well as the refs.

  25. freshprince says:

    Lovely post!! u forgot to mention the penalty we conceded against tottenham for the handball by cesc, fabregas also took a freekick against wigan in the 2 all draw with wigan which was blocked by a wigan hand but still wasn’t given. Gary neville commited a red card penalty offence which was never given, blackpool should also have been given a penalty when 2nil up against utd but it wasn’t given!!! As far as I am concerned the whole of england wanted man ure to go unbeaten giving them 5mins extra time against utd even without stoppages so I don’t know where those minutes came from. Against arsenal rooney was offside when he tried to chip the ball over sczecny for a goal and it was never called which means the goal would have counted!! The penalty we conceded at united was very cheap cos it was clear for all to see that the ball was played against the hand of clichy who was already on the floor!!! The officials should know it isn’t fair. And the whole of england should encourage our type of soccer and they’ll see how good england would become

  26. Rasp says:

    Morning gm,

    I can’t find any. I think it is true that it is a knee injury rather than hamstring, but beyond that no-one seems to know. I would assume he is undergoing tests and hopefully intensive therapy.

  27. Togba says:

    Ryan says:
    February 7, 2011 at 11:06 am
    Christ what an utter load of bollocks. Your team capitulated. Again. After taking the lead the arrogance of Arsenal is unbelievably. How dare anyone score against us mentality. Its happened against so many teams in the last few seasons. Stop blaming the ref, start looking at your players! A few decisions went against your team? BOO HOO! Every team gets bad decisions against them, DEAL WITH IT. 4-0 up a few bad decisions should NEVER result in total capitulation! Absolutely pathetic article.

    It’s easy for you to make that comment since the shoe is not on the other foot. Anyone will complain as much if every single time they had to face some of the battering that Arsenal and their fans faced week in week out. I will say this though to all the Manu, MC, and Chelski fans, “When you see your neighbor’s beard burning, put some water beside you, cuz yours might start burning soon.” There are some refs that Arsenal have issues with and Manu enjoys, Phil Dowd, Mark Clattenburg, Howard Webb, Paul Mason, etc. Why did Manu lose on Saturday, because of a fresh young and impartial ref – Michael Oliver. Anyone knows this guy?

  28. Ryan says:

    Sorry if my original post was offensive, I just feel its wrong to suggest referees have agendas against any team. We all get decisions against us, if the team then folds, thats not the referees fault. Unfortunately, officials are human and therefore make mistakes, as do players. However, it just grates that Arsenal fans are blaming the referee fully for the defeat. With a 4 goal advantage, the referee cannot be blamed, even if one or two decisions were incorrect. In this case, the decisions made by the ref were arguably correct, albeit inconsistent. However this does not make him culpable for a four goal capitulation.

    Also, I support my local team, Palace, this article just caught my attention

  29. Rasp says:

    Ok Ryan, thanks for coming back and clarifying your stance. By definition, it is impossible for a supporter to be impartial, but it is imperative that a referee is.

    I’m sure that if you had witnessed the string of unfathomable decisions that Arsenal suffered whilst watching Palace, you would be as angry as we gooners are.

    No-one is denying that we should have been able to hold onto the lead, but that does not deny us the right to discuss something that was clearly wrong.

  30. Togba says:

    Oh yeah and Wolves were ready for Manu 2.

  31. goonermichael says:

    Thanks Rasp. If he’s out I fear the worst and Wenger will have a lot to answer for. If he’s back very soon I think we’ll win the league and I’ll worship the ground Wenger walks on. How fickle am I?

  32. goonermichael says:

    RVP has pulled out of Hollands freindly because of “flu” are we finally learning to do what the mancs always do?

  33. Rasp says:

    Incidentally, I would point out that the unofficial ‘Referee’s Union’ is a very cohesive body. Most refs be it professional or over the park will try to defend another referee’s decision as it is ‘a hard job’ and ‘they take a lot of abuse’ etc etc. My son is a staunch gooner and a qualified ref and even he tried to justify Dowd’s performance.

    It is only when you quote the exact wording of the rule book back to some refs apologists that they are backed into a corner and have to admit that a decision was incorrect. Their job is to APPLY not INTERPRET the rules.

  34. Red Arse says:


    Your clarification helped to explain your earlier comment.

    In fact you are wrong in saying we put all the fault for the draw down to the referee.

    Look at the final para of my comment at 10:28 and the first para of Smithy’s comment at 10:40.

    Our outrage at the ref is genuine and justified, but our team should not have lost the plot the way they did in the second half despite this.

  35. gunnerwong says:

    The scorer of NU”s fourth goal said such a comeback would not be possible in Europe. Yes because the refs there will give Barton a red card for his tackle and there will be ten goals scored by Arsenal. The first team to score ten in the epl.

  36. Rasp says:


    Let’s hope we all love Arsène at the end of the season then.

    I have completely lost interest in International football after the injuries to Theo, RvP, TV etc etc and seeing our players play for 90 minutes in a friendly on a different continent and then miss our game at the weeked through fatigue. The decision to give the WC to Qatar was the final straw. I sincerely hope international football ceases to exist in the near future. We have an international team, that’s all I need to support.

  37. Robin out of Hollands international this week 😀

  38. RockyLives says:

    You said it earlier: most of us accept that even with the refereeing bias we still should not have squandered two points and (for any visitors here today) most of us accept that, as you will see from yesterday’s post and comments.

    But I wanted to put that to one side today and move on, because the consistency of poor refereeing performances (from an Arsenal perspective) is now self evident.

    Togba makes a brilliant point earlier that the ref for the Wolves victory over ManU was a new young ref, Mark Oliver. Can you imagine Howard Webb having allowed bottom placed Wolves to end the United unbeaten run? Not in a million years.

    Btw Rasp – I’m with you on international footy for all the reasons you state, plus the fact that I can’t bring myself to cheer for low-lifes like Terry, Rooney, Ferdinand, Cole etc.

  39. RockyLives says:

    And Fab has pulled out of the Spain squad with a ‘stomach upset’ 🙂

    At last we’re doing what the likes of Fergie have been doing for years.

  40. kelsey says:

    Hi Robin, how are you ?

    Oh Hi Jack, I am fine thank you.

    Jack. Oh did you say you have have got the flu, never mind have a few days rest and I am sure you will recover by Saturday 🙂

    Tell the others they better stay in bed as well don’t want anyone catching it, do we ?

  41. kelsey says:

    Now I know the players read my comments on Arsenal Arsenal 🙂

  42. goonermichael says:

    Fabregas has pulled out of the Spain squad “upset stomach”. It gets better

  43. goonermichael says:

    One sit say Djourou out for a month. That’s not so bad. I’m not that bothered about the barca match anyway.

  44. London says:

    Haha, I got it.

    Nice one Kelsey.

  45. Red Arse says:


    Well said, altho’ there will be many who disagree with you re applying rather than interpreting the Laws.

    I have often discussed the nature of the football Laws with 26May who is also a qualified ref, and we have agreed to differ about this very point, in respect of the Offside law 12.
    The Laws are couched in such a way as to demand an interpretive/subjective decision from assistant referees and referees.

    When awarding penalties, a similar interpretive requirement occurs; taking handball for example, when a player handles the ball in the penalty area, it has to be “deliberate” as a pre-condition, (mind reading skills would be helpful), before we then get into the “was it ball to hand?” or “was it hand to ball?” interpretation.

    The example is unlikely to be a penalty offence, whereas the second is a definite penalty offence subject to the “deliberate” condition mentioned above.

    I understand what you were correctly saying about the need to “apply” the laws as stated, but the practical application of the Laws requires interpretation of the facts, as in the handball example above, which can be subjective.

    The lino, on Saturday, thought Rosicky had pushed the Toon defender and flagged for a penalty. Millions thought he was wrong but he “interpreted” the facts as he saw them, the ref concurred and we suffered!

    I might sound like I am disagreeing with you, but I am not. 🙂

    The Laws are clear and should be properly applied without interpretation.
    However, what the lino and the referee see as being factual is subjective and this is where the problems arise.

    JoDu out for at least 4 weeks! 😦

  46. Red Arse says:

    Keep up the good work Kelsey.

    You must have got thru’ to Gibbs as well because he has dropped out of the U21’s with a strained thingy. 🙂

  47. Carlito11 says:

    Afternoon all. Emerging from my bunker slowly! Great news about Robin and Fab having their priorities straight! Hopefully LJ + Theo will come through against Denmark without any worries although that Poulsen clogger is a worry!
    Well-written and balanced article Rocky- the actions of some refs this season have been hard to take and I think we aren’t the only ones- Wolves also felt they’d had a horrendous run of refs earlier in the season. I find the whole topic desperately sad as I was brought up to believe in fairplay as an inherently British quality and having an Italian wife, I have followed the calciopoly scandal closely always being secretly proud that those things don’t happen here. Yet the circumstantial evidence seems to be mounting that we have a similar situation developing before our eyes and me wishing it were not so doesn’t change it.
    I pray it is merely incompetence and that we’ll get the rub of the green sooner or later. I don’t think bringing in foreign refs is the answer- just look at what’s happened to a couple of them involved in Chelsea games in the Champions League! Much the same accusations but of course the British media was behind Chelsea and not in the refs’ corner. That would make their job intolerable on a weekly basis, so I can’t see it working.

  48. Red Arse says:

    In the Mail today, Poll said the Rosicky penalty was inexplicable and wrong.
    He also said Diaby was rightly sent off, (and no Gooner can seriously dispute that).
    He also said Nolan should have been booked at least, and possibly sent off for his neck wrestle on Chezzer.
    He finished with saying Jack should not be punished for his tweet on inconsistent refereeing, because he was right.

    Rather proves the point about subjectivity, above! One ex-referee disagreeing with a current ref’s interpretation of the facts.

  49. Halgan says:

    Fa, english media n people are never fair on arsenal fc bt God is always very fair and there comes a time when conspiracy and incosistency of the refs will come out as a day light!
    The reason why i will never wonder the failure of english national team against big national sides (germany, france, brazil, Spain, potugal etc etc).

  50. Carlito11 says:

    Has anyone seen the story on a French website that Interpol are looking into the game following suspicious betting patterns? It also mentions TR being questioned! Obviously a scandalous allegation to make and, not knowing the website where the story started yesterday (foot365) they may feel they can make such accusations without fear of libel action but the story is spreading to UK media now…

  51. London says:

    It’s smacks of a betting scam.

    Hong Kong betting syndicate person to TR: can you ensure that this is a 4-4 draw, you will be paid very well for your work.

    TR: sure no problem, I will give away a penalty to make it 3-4 and then set up a wonder strike from a completely unknown to make it all square, will that do?

    Betting syndicate: oh yes that will do nicely, we will make lots of money betting on a 4-4 draw.

  52. arun says:

    from wat I’ve seen of football in so many days, Why is the ref treated like a God!!! He gives his stupid decisions & teams have to suffer for it. Its big time we invest in Technology as other sports like Tennis, Cricket do. I know some people will say it’ll slow the tempo of the game, but wat is the use of playing such a game wen each & everyone of u out there knows that the other side was cheated. People talk about fair play but I would say please “Play Fair” with ur decisions ref!!!! Arsenal didn’t lose the match, the beautiful game lost it infact the Refs lost the game!!!!!!

  53. RockyLives says:

    Fair point. If football had the same sort of ‘decision review’ that’s allowed in rugby and cricket, most of these injustices would not stand.

    As for the ‘betting scam’ – I assume someone posted this as a joke to have a pop at Dowd, and it has been copied by other organisations who took it seriously.

  54. Jimmy goldfinger says:

    That there is no consistency in the referring of the epl is obvious. Anyone watching the Chelsea Liverpool game must have seen the swift action taken when Mikel fouled a liverpool player.Why no action was taken agaginst Barton is beyoond belief.
    NU may have staged the greatest comeback of all time. But it has to be remembered the ref was incompetent.
    Too many of these guys in black are getting away with
    crucial blunders affecting the outcome oa game.
    I won’t be surprised the incompetent ref will be relegated to a minor league.
    Now with the stakes so high,the FA should ensure that the ref perform with competence.

  55. goonermichael says:

    reports that JD is out for the season are surfacing

  56. alex says:

    I totally agree. I couldn’t believe it when Arshavin didnt’t get a free kick as Barton ploughed through the back of russians feet and clearly yellow card-fouled him Instead, Newcastle got a freekick… That was totally insane! And the 2 penalties were the most non-penalties i’ve ever seen. The tackle on Diaby was reckless and dangerous and Barton should have seen red! It has to be said thought that Diabys reaction is what you expect from a kindergarten footballer, not someone who gests paid to play. Embarrasing stuff. Nolan, as Wilshere pointed out, should have been sent off. Fortunately, Dowd himself admitted that he should have sent Nolan off. But what good is it now?!

    It should also be mentioned that with the kind of lazy loser mentality Arsenal team showed in the second half, they will never ever win anything. Thinking that all is won and ready, they were pegged back even with 11 v 1 from the kick off in the second half. The gunners didn’t make a tackle, they lost all challanges in the second half and never made any attempt to work for it. They were the ones giving it away, of course with good help from the ref, proving once and for all, that all the doubters are right about Arsenal’s weak mentality. A game is 90 minutes +, not 26, even if you lead by 4 goals! Embarassing really. All from Sagna to van Persie, including the ever impressing Fabragas and Wilshere, they were piss poor in the second half, with no desire to even walk another step, all thinking “can’t this game be over, I mean 4 – 0, we just don’t care anymore”. With that kind of lazy mentality they will never lift any sort of trophy, unless EPL starts giving trophies for 4th place… Wenger need to take a good hard look at his diciples…

  57. kelsey says:

    To cary on from london.

    Only flaw is that Rosicky had no idea he was on the field at that time,so he and Diaby arranged a mutually convenient time for Diaby to get sent off, then rosicky had to have a short warm up period as he has only played 9 games in the last 4 years and has been on full pay and of course needs the money.

  58. Sid says:

    Forgot to mention another poor ref, Mike Dean, ref for the league cup final (I think he’s sent off an Arsenal player this season?). He’s another hater. At the end of the day we should have closed the game out, but at the end of the weekend we’re one point closer to Utd. The worst thing we can do is get paranoid about refs, however true the subconcious bias might be. We know the dodgy refs. We should play accordingly i.e. don’t push players because you know the consequences before kick off. I like Diaby, but he was stupid. He was already on the floor. He should have just rolled around and maybe Barton may have been booked. Played into Toon’s hands unfortunately.

  59. RockyLives says:

    Well said. We need to learn to play the refs the way other teams do. Although even then we would get more stick. If Rosicky had been tumbling over the way Barton was I doubt the ref would have bought it (and MoTD would probably have a pop at another Johnny Foreigner diving and feigning injury).

    But like I said at the end of the post, we need to go into every game assuming there’ll be no favours from the ref. We don’t need to be paranoid – we can use it as a motivating factor.

  60. kelsey says:


    apologies for not acknowledging your article, but alas thngs will not change over in England.

    corruption has been proved in italy and germany with refs,players and UEFA officials and if you turn the clock back some 15 to 20 years ago which coincided with football becoming a game to be seen literally allover the world (live) the book makers branched out from traditional horse and dog racing and found a new avenue in football.There are several cases of irregular betting patterns in usually low level games in the countries mentioned.

    Another point which many may dispute is that a top class ref earns 60K a year in the PL and then compare that to the wages of the top players and we get “small man syndrome” coming into all this as well.

  61. RockyLives says:

    Thanks Kelsey
    When you have billionaire owners it’s certainly not beyond imagining that one of them might decide to use his money to tip the odds in his team’s favour. If you find a ref on £60k a year and offer him £100k to ensure a few results go the right way, sometimes that person will be tempted.

    Not that I’m suggesting anything of the sort has happened this year. I prefer to subscribe to my ‘unconscious bias’ theory. Basically, there’s something about Arsenal that sticks in their craw.

  62. augustino says:

    well i would suggest Arsenal fans at matches days at the stadium wear t-shirt “WE PLAY AGAINST 15 AND STILL WIN”

  63. London says:

    Nice touch augustino

  64. 26may1989 says:

    RA @ 12.45pm: Most would disagree, I know, but I don’t back up the idea that Diaby had to be sent off. The definition of violent conduct is the use of “excessive force or brutality against an opponent when not challenging for the ball.” Dowd certainly was within his rights to interpret Diaby pushing Barton to the ground as falling within that definition, and there is no question of an appeal being possible, but Dowd didn’t have to interpret what Diaby did in that way. Diaby was stupid but he didn’t lash out with a fist, elbow or boot, so Dowd could have looked at that and said it wasn’t “excessive force or brutality”. There have been all sorts of occasions, especially when there’s a mêlée involving lots of players, when similar things get done but only a yellow card results. I’m not saying Dowd shouldn’t have sent off Diaby but in the circumstances he had enough discretion to keep it to a yellow card.

    But what is beyond argument, given the decision to send off Diaby, was that he had to send off Nolan for putting Szczesny in a headlock and wrestling him to the ground. Possibly his worst decision in a truly terrible performance.

    But as many of us have said here since Saturday, multiple times, even Dowd’s crappy performance cannot excuse the players’ pathetic, spineless capitulation.

  65. 26may1989 says:

    And Rocky, many thanks for your post, you make a lot of very good points about the very low quality of refereeing in this country. Like Peaches, I think we shoudl make refereeing multinational, because (a) the pool of talent we’ll have access to would be wider and (b) it would create a situation where the rules actually get enforced, because we, in our anglosaxon warrior way, have this tradition of cultivating the violent aspects of the game, whereas referees in other countries actually see the violence used by many British and Irish players for what it is, against the rules, dangerous and anti-football.

    I also agree our foregn-ness and Frenchness create a subconscious bias against us from officials, as with journalists, pundits, other managers etc. They all see us clever but effete, whingeing, cheating Johnny Foreigners, a club that has, more than anyone else, taken away the game of yore, with its “men are men” attitudes and which rewarded different styles of cheating, like raking someone down the achilles, treading on feet or, best of all, provoking the foreigner into an open act of petulance. Diaby being goaded into action by Barton was one example, but remember Neil Ruddock getting Patrick Vieira to spit at him – Ruddock was absolutely ecstatic at that. I feel sorry for our players facing all this rubbish from the likes of Nolan, Kevin Davies, Barton, Ruddock etc, but the one area where they haven’t learned is how to deal with these provocations, they just keep falling into the traps.

    I make no apologies for saying this, despite the undeniable fact that our players aren’t above cheating in the form of diving etc, but our players are far more honest and far more cheated against than others, they just don’t know how to show that, at least in ways that the more retrograde elements in football acknowledge.

  66. Red Arse says:

    Really interesting to read your comments guys.

    If I take my Arsenal hat off for a minute, I would have to admit that there have been some pretty awful refereeing decisions against other teams too.

    At base I think there is too much going on in a game for just one ref to handle.

    Some freeze in front of a huge crowd; some are intimidated by the vitriol of Ferguson &Co; some are just not up to it due to a combination of human frailties including just being crap.

    With all the money in available in football I subscribe to having an additional referee.
    There should be one in each half of the pitch.
    That way there would be no excuse for not keeping up with the play, or of being out of position and unsighted, and it would also reduce the likelihood of any single poor, dubious or biased ref influencing the game too much.

    I might slip Bladder a couple of quid and get him on board! 🙂

  67. Red Arse says:

    Hi 26,

    With the Diaby sending off, I meant to exclude myself when saying he had to go.

    Yesterday I risked the wrath of London and Raddy for disagreeing with them about his getting himself sent off and causing the collapse.

    I did not say it as eloquently as you, but I find myself in your camp, in as much as Diaby (the victim of a crap tackle) stupidly allowed himself to be provoked, but Dowd could have stepped in before Nolan interfered by pushing Diaby and provoking a further retaliation.

    In short, Dowd should and could have handled the situation much better.

    I also agree with the introduction of a pool of European refs to the EPL list!

  68. London says:

    “Diaby (the victim of a crap tackle) stupidly allowed himself to be provoked”

    This is what I said and although I am not certain I would be amazed if BR said anything different.

  69. Red Arse says:


    I did not intend to infer any disrespect. But what I said yesterday was almost identical to my comment to 26 today.

    The salient comments from yesterday’s disagreement are;

    In your Post you said the following.

    –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.

    Raddy said; @10:44

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

    To which I replied; @11:40

    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!

  70. Hi all

    Just popping in to say that we have a post for tomorrow but will need offers for the rest of the week.

    micky and GiE can you email me if you think yours will be ready for this week 😀

  71. London says:

    It never even crossed my mind that you might have meant any disrespect RA. I used your comment above: “Diaby (the victim of a crap tackle) stupidly allowed himself to be provoked” to try and show that we are on the same page, you may be at the top of it with your inference that having had his leg broken previously some how justifies his actions where as I am at the bottom and think he should have known better.

  72. Gooner in Exile says:

    Well done Rocky cracking post as ever, and can’t disagree with it.

    Others have mentioned what I believe in terms of refereeing bias:

    Popular consensus is Arsenal players are soft, therefore….

    Arsenal player pushed over = no foul ‘cos he is weak

    Arsenal player causes opposition to fall over = foul as weak Arsenal player couldnt possibly push win ball from that strong fella fairly

    I have seen too many refs wave play on as another Arsrnal player is dumped on the floor.

    However hard it is Wenger and the players need to stop complaining, as Rocky says refs don’t like being criticised.

    LJ has not been charged by FA so they must think his tweet was fair comment, and I assume Dowd will be dropped a few games for that performance.

    However somehow Mason was allowed to ref on Saturday after the abysmal performance on Tuesday night so maybe not.

  73. Gooner in Exile says:

    From Twitter

    JohanDjouro says
    “Hello. Thanks for the support. I was hit on my knee on saturday as you saw it. I’m feeling better. For more infos check arsenal.com. Cheers”

    No news there yet, assume it’s not too bad …. Fingers crossed

    Glad to see 5 players pulled out of Intl games, is NB playing for Denmark? I’m worried he’ll do LJ or Theo in a clumsy challenge!

  74. Red Arse says:

    London, I am relieved we are broadly in agreement. 🙂

    Watching Carragher playing a mighty game for Liverpool yesterday, made me wish we had someone with his attitude.

    He has limited skill, (by comparison with other top flight professional players) and is comparatively slow, but he has a determined, never say die attitude and is prepared to block the ball with his face, if necessary.

    We need someone like that!

  75. Geoff Strong says:

    Retaliation has been a problem for us for some time, the hacks like to trot out the number of sendings off under Wenger, many of which have been for retaliation. Since the invincibles got a kicking at Old Trafford, it has become the norm for teams to rough us up and our patience has been tested more than most.

    Add to this the perception, true or not, that we are not protected by refereees, plus the number of bad injuries suffered by our players it is no surprise that our players have, on occasions, reacted badly.

    This cannot continue.

    We are seen by a lot of the media as whingers, as we claim that we are not protected (justified or not), they then jump on any indiscretion by an Arsenal player claiming “look they are not whiter than white either”. Referees are human, they must hear the complaints of under protection and react on the pitch, much as the media do, dishing out cards to our players for lesser offences.

    The answer, start befriending referees instead of being thought of as their enemies. Let us be the team that they like to referee.

  76. Pat7 says:

    Great post Rocky, as was yesterday’s summing up of the game & some super comments here today. Keep up the good work all you authors as I love reading. Promise I’ll get involved when I have time………….

  77. Red Arse says:


    Diaby was stupid and should have known better, I agree.
    I just think Dowd could and should have done more to defuse the Nolan pushing nonsense, which was apparently the nail in Diaby’s red card coffin.

    Let’s hope Diaby learns from it. Our players have got to be more cute about how they respond to these strong arm tackles and go down squealing like all the opposition players do.

    (Goes against the grain to say so tho’). 😦

  78. Red Arse says:

    Hi Pat7,

    Is the sun still shining in Cyprus? 🙂

  79. Carlito11 says:

    Hi Peaches- put something together for a slow news day- sent to the usual.
    Geoff- a practical and sensible comment. We need to start “playing the game” more- Wenger should probably do the handshake and a glass of wine more too. It can’t hurt to conform to some of the niceties- no-one likes an aloof bighead and perhaps that has something to do with our negative press too? I’m not saying Wenger is an aloof bighead but if you met someone obviously doing a far better job than you in your field and they wouldn’t extend usual professional courtesies to you how would you characterize them?

  80. dandan says:

    Rasp I dont know if you are aware but I put a post into draft this morning

  81. Red Arse says:


    You have a point.
    However, practically all the journalists who comment on Arsene say what a gracious, engaging gentleman he is, and always available with a quote.

    But did you notice Arsene’s cryptic “my opinion is not relevant”, repeated over and over when questioned.

    The journos won’t like that, but neither can they twist or misquote him.

  82. 26may1989 says:

    I see where you’re coming from Carlito, but that ship’s sailed I reckon – as Mr Arse says, when they’re asked to comment on Wenger directly, journos are very flattering about him. But when it comes to copy, their agendas kick in.

    As regards pundits and managers, if AW did start partaking in this fabled glass of wine (what a crock of you know what that whole thing is) the Fergie Gang will find another way of excluding him. Wenger just can’t win that game, esp when you’re thinking of losers like Tony Cascarino, Tony Pulis, Phil Thompson and Stan Collymore.

  83. mickydidit89 says:

    All refs should be Jehovah’s Witnesses. End of problem. Or Granny’s maybe. Hey, how about the Dalai Lama?

  84. mickydidit89 says:

    Thought provoker Rocky. Thanks.

  85. mickydidit89 says:

    Rocky = Think Provocateur.

  86. mickydidit89 says:


  87. Red Arse says:


    Who you provocatively calling Kooey?

  88. 26may1989 says:

    I met the Dalai Lama once, seems a nice guy but I have my suspicions about Chelsea tendencies……!

  89. Red Arse says:

    Micky, 26,

    A little IQ test for you both! 🙂 Don’t fail! 🙂

    I guess there are some things that some brains cannot handle. 🙂

    1). Without anyone watching you (they will think you are GOOFY….) and you can do this now while sitting at your desk in front of your computer, lift your right foot off the floor and make clockwise circles.

    2). Now, while doing this, draw the number ‘6’ in the air with your right hand.

    Your foot will change direction — It really will! 🙂

    And there’s nothing you can do about it! You and I both know how stupid it is, but before the day is done you are going to try it again, if you’ve not already done so.

    Do not mess with Mr Arse!

  90. Sid says:

    Re Wenger not partaking in the traditional glass of wine, he has to do twice as many interviews than everyone else. French, Spanish, basically the whole of Europe wants to have Arsene’s opinion after an Arsenal game. Therefore unless other managers are prepared to wait for hours I don’t think the man has time. Do you think these people want to speak to hear from Pulis after we’ve just played Stoke. Imagine what Europe thinks of that twat and his style of play..

  91. SharkeySure says:

    Great read that Rocky. I went into footy exile after Sats game. By the time Wonderman rang my house phone at around 7pm, after failing to get me on my mobile for a while, my wife found me undressed and in bed (alone !).

    I just wanted to sleep and forget IT had happened.

    I’ve now read thru London’s cracking post of yesterday and the comments, and can see that I really should have around with you fine people and shared the pain so to speak.

    I didn’t even know that Wolves had beaten Man U til about 10.00pm that same night.

    I’ll catch up with todays comments tomorrow.

    Night all

  92. SharkeySure says:

    Thats quality Sid !!!

  93. SharkeySure says:

    I caught a glimpse of drawing six in the air in Red’s post. I thought it was some sort of calling for celestial protection thing to keep him fit.

    Well and truly suckered. I had six goes at it!!

    I’m really going now, before I morph into a Frothing Inarticulate Loon. Btw Red, FIL says howdy (yeah, he really does talk like that!) and hopes you really are over the worst of your ailment

  94. Gooner says:

    The greatest comeback in epl history. Well I hope the FA will send a strong message that incompetent officials will be banished to some insignificant league. These guys in black are getting away with crucial cock ups and obvious blunders.
    There should be a sliding scale of punishment for such blunders.The FA should hit these incompetent officials with 50 % pay cut and termination of services with immediate effect.
    Otherwise we will next have how nine men yes nine guys prevailing over a full strength team despite a five goal handicap.How it can be done must be due to the refs giving six penalties. I’m exaggerating of course. But I believe these guys have ingenius methods of evening the odds.

  95. London says:

    Great stuff Sharkey.

    You, like Micky, put the smile to this site’s face.

  96. Irishgunner says:

    Fine post today as usual – I read nearly all the posts, just don’t get on early enough to join in, in conversation. Catch ye all soon 🙂

  97. Jimmy goldfinger says:

    Reference May 26 about the Dalai Lama. In case you don’t know,his brothers are US citizens still used to the lordly ways practised in old Tibet.I would like him to watch Tibet on YT and maybe his opinion of the DL will change from that of the nice guy to that of a tyrant before the Chinese took over and abolished virtual slavery for 90% of the population.
    Now on the subject of refs,it aint going to surprise me if the FA demotes the NU Arsenal game ref to some
    unknown league.It’s about time the FA really discipline some of these guys in black to show it won’t tolerate unacceptable blunders in the game. NU may have scored four goals but the second penalty ,in the opinion of the majority of neutrals,should not have been given. There you are.
    I believe had the second penalty not been given,NU would have lost 6-3. I am waiting for the FA to make an example of a high profile game match official to make a statement of intent.This would in some way pacify teams who have been wrongly penalised by the ref.

  98. Muslim gunner says:

    There are many thugs in th epl.Note these guys are skilful players and will tackle in such a way as to injure an opponent without making it obvious.Eduardo’s injury is a good example.The problem is Arsenal have lost the services of a valuable player for at least one season and twenty games.
    The punishment for the perpetrator was a nine match ban.This lop sided punishment is too good to be true.My suggestion is for teams causing Eduardo type injuries to be docked ten points.I believe this ill have an instant impact. However it’s very hard to prove intent.It’s the same like Barton’s challenge. Ho do we know Diaby could not be out of action for at least half a season bearing in mind he had been injured similarly before.He was stupid to retaliate. That is what Barton set out to do. Now if Dowd had taken action earlier on Ashvin’s challenge,I believee Barton would not have been so reckless.
    It’s up to the FA to take action against refs who do not punish such injury threatening tackles.I believe if the FA were to make an example of a high profile ref, the ref frternity would start to punish the thugs. Otherwise we will have more Eduardo type injuries. If I aint wrong,there are more injuries in England than on the continent.

  99. Arsenal 4 ever says:

    As muslim gunner pointed out the thugs in the epl are smart.Having started a provocative tackle,he will remain lifless until the victim confronts him.He will goad the victim who by then incensed at the injury threatening tackle will lash out.
    This unwittingly for the victim results in a red. As for the perpetrator/terminator,he has accomplished his task.If he gets a yellow he can stll play and if no card is given in Barton’s case it’s a bonus.Then he can cause more mayhem.
    I believe the FA should order refs in such cases to send both players off.It’s akin to this law which I
    think is appicable in Australia. If you see somone in your car,you cannot call the police. If the thief drives off your car and you attack him you will be prosecuted by the police . The thief gets away scott free.
    It’s crazy isn’t it.The law is supposed to protect the victim of a crime/injury threatening tackle and you get punished. Weird is the word.There are many instances of this in the fw. Suffice to say the FA must update its diciplinary/criminal code to fight the thugs.

  100. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Look out manchester united, we’re coming for you with both barrels cocked. BOOM! BOOM!

    I have said it before on blog world that I don’t rate manchester united; the chavs are over the hill; the spuds 😳 how did they get in this, next; man city may do an Arsenal 1998 but don’t have the balls. That leaves the Club sitting 2nd that is the best chance of winning the PL Titles.

  101. mickydidit89 says:

    Morning all,
    26 May,
    “I met the Dalai Lama once, seems a nice guy but I have my suspicions about Chelsea tendencies……!”. Love it. You meet one of the planets’ great men, and you manage to swing the conversation around to footie. Similarly, I very unexpectedly found myself in a room alone with Mandela having a cuppa with the man, for a full twent minutes. We too, ended up talking footie!!! I do look back with one or two “why did I not ask…”.
    I have just had the whole family twiddling legs and making number six movements!!

  102. mickydidit89 says:

    You say you wanted a post from me. Sure about that? The only thing I mentioned was, in chatting to GG about hair, that I felt there was a post in it! Still, if that is the direction you wish these hallowed pages to go in, then that would be your call.

  103. gnarleygeorge9 says:


    When I saw Strawberry Johan trot, I mean limp off, I felt sad.

    I have a different emotional feeling for Electric Yellow, I miss him 😦

  104. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    I actually think that the change of hair colour for Alex Billabong Song adds abit of edge to him. The guy could be actually quite crazy, & he plays for my team 😈

    MDI89 you’ve the Dalai Lama & Mandela. But have you ever looked EY in the eyes. I wonder if he has the same type of black dolls eyes a great white shark has, just before it hits you.

  105. Big Raddy says:

    I met the Dalai Lama in Copenhagen last year. We had a few quiet moments during which he asked me what was my passion in life? I told him the truth (could have lied and said World Peace and Harmony) – The Arsenal , and I watched him give an enigmatic smile !!

    My interpretation of that smile is that he is a died in the wool, rabid Gooner and would love to swap the Peace business and the wearing of Orange for an Arsenal season ticket and a red and white shirt/scarf 😉

    Some of this is true ….

  106. Big Raddy says:

    Morning GG. I am slow today …. who is EY?

  107. Red Arse says:


    I think GG is referring to SingaSong, aka Electric Yellow. But I am probably wrong! 🙂

  108. Morning all

    Something calming and serene today from dandan

    New Post

  109. Fairplay Tony says:

    We need to complain on radio and stop blaming Wenger for not buying in the January window.Five live love hearing disrespecful things about Wenger.

  110. Goonbag says:

    Update on the above…. Barton and Newcastle again 2011.

    Gervinho goes down in the box, the ref. waves play on…. Barton picks Gervinho up by the neck / Shirt in an agressive manner, whilst the ball is still in play – No penalty for the initial contact or the man handling. Hand bags break out Gervinho slap Barton, so Barton goes down like a whore in an alley.

    Result = Gervinho sent off violent conduct. Barton gets a yellow meaning the FA are powerless to look at the incident again.

    Conclusion. English Football is corrupt and Bent. There is to many incidents for it to be called a coincidence.

  111. Jacobs says:

    The Bias also include racism. Why is Barton not disciplined for jacking Gervinho in a derogatory manner? If he earns yellow card why is Song earning syspension for offence that wasnt seen at all. If Song was purnished because he did that, what is thepurnishment for Barton? After the confession of Barton that there was a slight touch, what is the purnishment for the referee who did not blow? Arrant racist i call FA officials in addition to hating Arsenal as a club. Wenger, please dont do economy if the FA needs to be bribed, give them something out of Fabriga’s deal.

  112. […] Rocky Lives has written a much better account on bias and the reasons for it than I can. […]

  113. Mode Fotograaf…

    […]Why Are Referees Biased Against Arsenal? « Arsenal Arsenal[…]…

  114. strani says:


    […]Why Are Referees Biased Against Arsenal? « Arsenal Arsenal[…]…

  115. Right away I am going away to do my breakfast, after having my breakfast
    coming yet again to read additional news.

  116. A Song says:

    I’m in agreement basically with your article – but have to disagree with the notion that it is just the referees. They are not the power in the game, after all they just follow orders. In my opinion this obvious bias is driven by those in the charge of the game, the referees and the media (talk sport/Radio five live etc.) are just their little helpers.

  117. So I learned how to add a Facebook comment box to my Blogger site (with the help of a code from Facebook social plugins site), but the problem is, the same comments appear for each of my posts. It’s like a feature targeted as a comment box for the entire site, but is shown at every single post, which is stupid! How do you get to have Facebook comment box in Blogger but different comments for each post?.

  118. Every career event is filled with fully interactive,
    AI-controlled time-shifted versions of your friends, as well as other players from around the world.

  119. Loo Roll Messi says:

    Show me another industry (billion dollar) that self regulates, refuses to face the media, refuses technology over their controlled employees that isn’t corrupt.

    FIFA….? Oh wait a min…

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