When side roads and roundabouts get you nowhere

Written by Wonderman

There are  some Gooners who will have seen today as a missed opportunity to put pressure on Man U, and would have their disaster faces all ready to show the world. Would they be wrong? Probably not, but was it a serious blow to our title charge? Again probably not.

Was Arshavin off side before he rounded the keeper and slotted? Didn’t look so to me, should the same player have been granted a penalty? Possibly, but I also think that Bramble did what an experienced centre half would have done and was given the benefit of the doubt.

With a 0-0 it is always a ‘challenge’ to produce a match report, but from my perspective before the match I was not expecting an easy game, especially as a little research told me that Sunderland had lost their previous 4 games. It wouldn’t take a rocket scientist to work out, what with their lack of form and having a manager who knows a thing or two about defending, to guess what their tactics would be. But lets look at our own team.

I always worry when I see Denilson and Diaby in the same midfield, add Bendy to that ( more on him later) and it would come as no surprise why we did not win today. The first half to use a cliché was nothing to get excited about. Sunderland defended rigorously closing us down aggressively in central areas and doubling up on our full backs. Other than Nasri dancing into their 6 yard box and going near post, their goalie was fairly comfortable, Why ? because our centre forward wasn’t running channels today and when he was put in delightfully by Arshavin in the 8/9th min his touch deserted him (as it does more often than not). His other party trick was to be on the other side of the pitch to the ball.

With all of that taken into account Sunderland’s defence was in dream land no threatening movements to alarm them and everything going to plan. But to be fair to Nikki B when you have Denilson passing sideways and backwards 99% of the time and Diaby twisting and turning himself into a tizzy then slowing play right down, it left only Jack to look for a forward pass….a big problem if you are looking for goal scoring opportunities and he cant do it on his own. Defensively we looked quite solid with the exception of the odd underhit back pass we kept Gyan quiet.

Arshavin was having on and off success , but as I have already said when you keep making runs and the ball doesn’t come, you soon stop making runs. The first half came and went  and Chesney had his palms stung once. Nasri was trying his best to make penetrative movements but Sunderland had done their homework and at the break it was 0-0.

The second half  saw us begin to exert more pressure on their final 3rd. Denilson was replaced by Cham to ironic applause, bushing Bendy out to the right. Cham immediately started running Channels and moving defenders giving them something to worry about and creating more space for his team mates the effect was instant. We forced corner after corner but could not break through other than Chams header against the post. Some good interplay in midfield led to Arshavin being set 1v1 with the goalie and he slotted coolly but was incorrectly given offside.

Shortly after, another forward ball sent him on a sprint to goal closely followed by Bramble who fell and made sure Arshavin made no further progress in the box, the crowd screamed for a penalty but the ref refused. By this time Rosicky was on the pitch but again did not add to our forward momentum. With a few minutes left Sunderland started forcing a few corners and the concern for conceding a late sucker punch was tangible. But we held firm long enough to put a final flurry of corners which were fruitless.

I left the stadium wondering….

Why Ramsey wasn’t introduced as that boy knows what a forward pass is…..

Why was Jack again our man of the match trying to drag everyone forward and battling from start to finish…..

Why Denilson doesn’t have a North on his compass……

Why Djourou seemed to trip over his own feet every time he came over the halfway line in possession of the ball…..

Why Bendtner doesn’t do simple things well enough for us when we need him to…….

Whilst most of us would have expected  3 points at least we got 1 and kept a clean sheet…the title race is still on.

137 Responses to When side roads and roundabouts get you nowhere

  1. Morning all

    Thanks to Wonderman for coming up with a match report which as he says is quite ‘challenging’ when the result is 0-0.

    Yesterday the gods weren’t smiling on us, on another day, any one of Nik’s chances would have found the back of the net or Arshavin’s goal would have stood or we would have had a penalty. It wasn’t pretty but if we’d won 1-0 we’d have said that’s the stuff of champions ……… its a fine line isn’t it?

    I’ll be humming ‘You’ll never walk alone’ all morning, fingers crossed 🙂

  2. chas says:

    Well done Wonderman.
    The Denilson situation is very worrying. At least we know Diaby can play much better.

    The dippers couldn’t do us a favour, could they?

  3. Morning chas – nice to meet you yesterday

    I was surprised and disappointed that Denilson had reverted to type, I thought he played much better against Orient and was successfully driving play forward. With Kozzer and Djourou behind him he could have been more adventurous.

  4. chas says:

    Likewise, peaches.

    I agree, in fact we looked more dangerous when Kozzer and Djourou drove forward out of defence. That kind of forward impetus was virtually non-existent in the first half.

    Btw, sorry to have missed you too, chary. When I saw you on the list of attendees, I thought I’d somehow been introduced to you and not realised. I’d only had 3 pints!

  5. Gooner in Exile says:

    Right all go out nick some car tyres in support of our Liverpudlian friends.

    One thing I noticed yesterday sitting in the Upper tier is how rarely we switch the play, there were times where there was acres of space on the opposite side of the pitch with glorious space for the “winger” to run into but we continued to lass triangles in tight spaces.

    Few players in our current squad seem to have the ability to lift their heads and see a 80 yard pass.

    As Wonderman says it is no surprise some stop making runs as if the ball never comes you may as well conserve energy.

    Good report btw Wonderman, in difficult
    circumstances.

    Will be absent for much of today as I try to clean a patio…..joy!

  6. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All.

    Fine and very interesting post Wonderman.

    I will revert to type and make a case for Nik who I though had a decent game. One loss of control over 90 minutes and that with a difficult long ball coming over his shoulder shows how well he played. As a lone striker with no-one close to him to pass the ball to, he was always going to struggle. IMO Chamakh was able to run the channels precisely because he was playing with another striker.

    I complained at half time that Nasri and AA had to get closer to Nik if we were to progress, that happened with the sub of Denilson which allowed Nasri to roam.

    And the best moment in the game for us came from Nik’s control and fine shot which produced a fantastic save.

    But as he didn’t score then I guess his performance is open to criticism.

    To me AW had a stinker. Why wait until 60 mins to change things? Why didn’t he get his Captain to order Diaby to get higher up the pitch? Why were the CB’s the players pushing the team forward?

    What is the point of Denilson? If Diaby is to play what is his role? – it certainly wasn’t obvious to the spectator.

    If anything, I am more angry this morning than yesterday. Sure Sunderland defended well,but I expected more. And I am sorry but Liverpool will roll over today – they always do.

    p.s. The comments about the officials were too considered. The referee was bloody hopeless. He is not there just to blow for fouls, his role is also to control the game and he allowed our players to get an awful kicking, then he booked JW for dissent!! Apart from having a linesman who was clearly corrupt(ed).

  7. goonermichael says:

    The bindippers won’t rollover Raddy. The ref will send one off and give the mancs a pen or two

  8. Femi Jacobs says:

    Well spoken or written. I have another perspective. Wenger seem to have 65mins and above covenant. He always wait till then to push or reawake. Wenger was late in removing Diaby. Kept dribbling unecessarily

  9. Big Raddy says:

    A more likely scenario GM !

  10. Rasp says:

    Morning all.

    Clinical match report Wonderman – we were ineffectual in midfield, the ref was crap and AW made AW-type decisions.

    I don’t know Arsène’s views on video technology, but I’d estimate that the incorrect decisions in favour of Manu and against us would make a difference of about 10 points and we’d be top of the league today..

    The bad news is that because Cesc wasn’t on the pitch to absorb the multiple ‘nasty little tackles’ that refs allow opposition players to get away with, they were all focused on Jack. He is apparently ‘doubtful’ for Barca and Song is also unlikely to play. If ever we needed a bunker mentality, the Camp Nou is the place to demonstrate it.

  11. Red Arse says:

    Hi Wonderman, 🙂

    A masterpiece of calm reporting cogently written.

    I can find nothing to disagree with frankly.

    Perhaps Chezzer was deserving of a mention, for a couple of match saving stops, especially the shot from Welbeck that he turned around the post. After the last minute shambles of the CC Final that showed class and guts!

  12. Red Arse says:

    Raddy,

    We all have our favourite players and Bendy is one of yours. And why not? 🙂

    For me, he is an enigma, capable of wonderfully dextrous goal scoring touches, mixed with the most abysmally clumsy control.

    Added to that, as Wonderman has said, he shows very little positional anticipation.

    To be fair, he does score very good goals too, although not as many as he should, perhaps. And there lies the enigma.

  13. Thanks for your considered match report Wonderman and your sentiments agree largely with my own match report :http://www.7amkickoff.com/2011/man-at-the-match-chary-arsenal-suffocated-by-wearsiders/#comments and it is hard to make a nil nil sound good to read.

    I was disappointed that Nasri was not tried in the middle earlier and Aaron was not introduced at some stage, especially as a replacement for Denilson.

    Feeling a bit grumpy today as I have a horrible feeling the refs will be trying to get back into Fergie’s good books again.

    Also an old cricket injury re surfaced this morning and my left shoulder is bloody painful, the legacy of an attempted square cut that I failed to connect with.

  14. Big Raddy says:

    RA. There was a moment in the second half when Chezzer and Kos both went for the same ball and Chezzer didn’t hesitate in kicking it into the satnds. There was a collective intake of breath!

    I thought Koscielny was our MoM

  15. eve says:

    i guess the refs were feeling sorry for manure after losing to chelsea so they didnt give us the decisions. we realy need line technology as at the moment its the refs who decide who wins the league, i know we had other chances to score but we would of won 2-0 if we had got the pen and the not offside, lets hope the ref today is fair and doesnt go in favour of manure, i wont hold my breath.

  16. Red Arse says:

    Good point Raddy,

    Wonderman made the observation that JoDu and Kozzer were driving the game from centre back, rather than the midfield players.

    I think Kozzer looked really effective in making what were attacking midfield sorties from the back.

    You are right, Kozzer was my MOTM too, and like Chezzer a very worthy performance after last weekend’s CC Final’s freakish calamity. (And it was a freakish event, that we will not see again!)

  17. Danish Gooner says:

    For my money this title race is over,we have seen the true colours of Arsenal and winning 10 on the trot is simply out of the question.

  18. Eve, I sometimes feel that the FA and Refs association have bet a lot of money on ManUre winning the Premier League and they are simply guarding their investment.

    Probably paranoid, but it’s hard to find an alternative explanation for consistently skewed officiating.

  19. Big Raddy says:

    Danish G is so funny 🙂 He only comes on to spread doom and gloom. Let me tell you, not all Danes are like him!!

  20. Big Raddy says:

    Chary. Before we go into bunker mentality about ref decisions; what about the second minute at Wembley? Or Messi’s non-goal at the Grove. I could continue ….

    However, what is beyond dispute is that MU get more than their fair share of positive decisions from both the officials and the FA. Can you imagine if it had been Cesc who elbowed a chap off the ball in the centre circle? The FA would have deported him.

  21. Charybdis1966 says:

    What I hate Radders is we get given a yellow for a tackle which is waved on if the opposition makes it. That’s bias, the off side and penno calls can happen though.

  22. Red Arse says:

    Thing is CharyB, everyone thinks they are hard done by.

    At the moment Red Nose is up in front of the beak (see where I went with that?) 🙂 so he would not agree with you.

    Of course, the word “paranoid” was made for that man.

    I happen to agree with you though that Manpoo get more than their fair share of “beneficial” decisions.

    The yellow cards our lads got yesterday were a joke, especially after JW, in particular, was kicked from pillar to post, but I don’t buy the conspiracy stuff about refs ganging up to favour one club over another.

  23. goonermichael says:

  24. Big Raddy says:

    CHary. I agree. We get cards for silly ankle taps (Song/Nasri) and dissent (JW/CF) and yet our boys take a battering every game.

    The tackle that almost broke JW late in the second half was certainly worthy of a card and yet the ref didn’t even se a foul. 10 mins later the ref wrongly blows for a foul throw by Clichy (which put AA beyond the defence). JW complains and gets booked!!

    That the ref will probably get rested for a few games is of no assistance in our quest for silverware.

  25. gunnern5 says:

    The one thing that can be guaranteed after a loss or a tie is that all of the “experts” tell us what either AW or the officials did wrong.

    Consider this; the official’s go through copious hours of training and testing to earn their right to officiate, they are watched by an official observer, and are subjected to a post game review.

    Of course mistakes are made but they have to make split second decisions without the aid of multiple slo mo replays which at times can make them look really bad or really good. Overall their calls are more right than wrong.

    Arsene Wenger’s whole world is ARSENAL and so say that he eats sleeps and breathes Arsenal would be a classic understatement. This man conducts every training session, manages every game from mere feet away, knows every players strengths and weaknesses, knows their mental condition, knows the players every knock and bruise. But most importantly he has, arguably, done more for our club than an one other individual in our history.

    Now we lose a game by a fluke and tie a game where we were the better team and what happens……..out come the “experts” with their all knowing POST game reviews.

    Wrong tactics.
    Players playing in the wrong positions.
    Poor team selection.
    Biased referee’s.
    Blind linesmen.
    and so on……..

    Well folks my opinion may not be popular (it rarely is) but what drives me crazy is neither the losses or the ties but the post game experts who have the idiocy to be critical of the officials and the management.

    Game reviews and slo mo replays are both after the fact and have the wonderful benefit of hind sight.

    The officials have to make instant decisions and on many occasions they need two sets of eyes. The poor old linesman is expected to see the moment a ball is kicked and in the same instance note the position of all of the attacking players, with a team as fast as ours I reckon he has no more than a 70% chance of making the right call.

    My thought on the critisisms of AW will be left to your imaginations but suffice to say I find them to be way off base.

    Just the thought of a 73 year old who bleeds Arsenal and has played, coached, managed and refereed our wonderful game and someone who still does not consider himself to be an expert

  26. Red Arse says:

    GN5,

    An impassioned and accurate view from someone of great experience and knowledge.

    I have made my views known about the difficulties for officials in administering the current offside rules in many debates on AA, as you might have seen.

    I have also got a post waiting to go offering an analysis of refereeing decisions from a scientific approach, which I hope you will find interesting once it is published.

    In short, how can anyone disagree with you? 🙂

    The only allowance you might want to make, is the human condition of immediately wanting to rationalise things when they are disappointed.

    Usually, in the cold light of day these views are ameliorated and commonsense comes to the fore.

    Actually, without that divergence of opinions there would not be too much to discuss! 🙂

  27. The officials have to make instant decisions and on many occasions they need two sets of eyes. The poor old linesman is expected to see the moment a ball is kicked and in the same instance note the position of all of the attacking players, with a team as fast as ours I reckon he has no more than a 70% chance of making the right call.

    Exactly gunnern5 and that’s why with modern technology in our modern game we shouldn’t be having to rely soley on their judgements.

    Time to move on, cricket, tennis and rugby have all shown that the use of instant replays hasn’t destroyed the flow of the game.

    Not having instant replays puts added pressure on the officials, the players and the management. Although where would we be if we didn’t have something to moan about 😉

  28. Big Raddy says:

    Well said Peaches.

    Gn5. I understand your point of view but do not agree with you. To me one of the best things about being a football nut is the post match discussion. Lots of rubbish talked but so what? – it is the entertainment of diverse opinions.

    Would that we could all be so dispassionate and even handed.

  29. Charybdis1966 says:

    Wise words Redders and N5, still we pray for merseyside salvation. Oh dear.

  30. Rasp says:

    I can’t remember his name but a newly retired top Prem referee stated recently that HE believed that referees decisions are affected subliminally by a number of factors.

    I have not analysed this like RA (sorry your post will be published at the earliest opportunity) but there is evidence for this belief – although not definitive.

    The idea of ‘home advantage’ – pressure from the crowd.

    The propensity for a ref to ‘level things up’ when he realises he has made a poor decision.

    The reputation of a player or club.

    Personal bias towards a club.

    The Fergie factor.

    The argument that referees are human and therefore make mistakes is totally accurate as is the argument that referees are human and are therefore subject to subliminal influences.

    What can be argued successfully is that all supporters believe their team is prejudiced against because of their own personal bias, however the treatment of Eduardo and numerous other examples (we were connected with the Henry handball even though he didn’t play for us at the time) would suggest that Arsenal are a special case in the eyes of some officials.

  31. London says:

    A very passionate comment GN5 but I feel you are misunderstanding the point and the function of a football blog. We are all arm chair experts, no one is pretending to be anything different, and many of us use blogs like this as an outlet, a place to discuss, a place to vent, a place to do pretty much all the things that you have stated above that seem to annoy you, notably to analyse and criticise. Please consider this: how long do you think a blog would last if we all said after yesterday’s game, for example, that the football was great and everyone played well?

  32. London says:

    Wonderman

    Please excuse my manners, a very interesting and an extremely well written post.

  33. Rasp says:

    I completely agree London, and in fact GN5’s comment is excellent because it has expressed an opinion and in so doing stimulated a debate which is what it is all about as you quite rightly say.

    I wrote a post back in October on a quiet news day with my moans about certain aspects fo the game.

    https://arsenalarsenal.wordpress.com/2010/10/09/im-an-arsenal-supporter-and-windows-7-was-my-idea/

    Three points I made in particular were the ability of the FA to review incidents even if the referee has seen them, the use of technology and the offside rule. Subsequent games this season have proved to me that all those issues need to be addressed.

  34. Gooner in Exile says:

    It is hard to take the offside call yesterday, the penalty altogether different as Bramble did well to make it look like he was stumbling.

    The point on bookings is valid, did you see Richards yellow card assault yesterday, compared to a petulant ankle tap by Baird for Fulham in another game, which also got a yellow. One could have ended a players career.

    Sunderland committed the clever dark arts yesterday, holding shirts/arms for just long enough to slow our progress but not sufficiently to get a foul, forcing loss of ball control. Occasionally we would break from two half fouls and be dispossessed by a third fair tackle, yet if any if our players got close to theirs and they were on the deck and the ref was blowing, he even brought one back 10 yards for them but never for us. It appears he was a ref who only looks at incidents from waist down. Apparently he is a fast track ref, having only officiated something like 100 or so professional matches. Why do we get him? Why is he not allowed to ref mid table nothing games until they’re comfortable he is good enough (and unbias).

    But there it is we and the players have to learn to live with it. That we only created one chance like AA’s offside is a concern, as Peaches said they might get those wrong 30% of the time, so if we had created 5 chances like that we would have been allowed onside on 3-4 of them and we wouldn’t be worried.

    Here’s a question for all the doom mongers…..

    Did you write us off at the start of the season when AW had not strengthened the squad as you would have liked?

    Did you write us off when we lost to Newcastle and WBA at home?

    Did you throw your toys when we lost to Manure away?

    If the answer to any of those is yes surely we are over achieving to be in 2nd place and still mathematically it is in our hands. AW can’t be doing too much wrong if the squad that experts considered not good enough for a CL qualification place is STILL performing better than Man City, Chavs and Spuds.

  35. Rasp says:

    The other interesting point that GN5 makes is that Arsenal is Arsène’s whole life. I believe this to be true, but sometimes being too close to something can affect ones objectivity.

  36. Rasp says:

    Hi GiE, nice comment. I agree with your points. Maybe we’re forgetting that rather than building a team that is about to peak, Arsene is building a dynasty – a conveyor belt of talented players that will continually reinforce the team and ensure continuity for the future.

    This set of players may not ‘peak’ until next year, but we’ve progressed significantly this season compared to last. In recent years come Feb/March, we would have been worrying whether we’d finish in the top four and qualify for the CL, not win the Prem.

  37. Gooner in Exile says:

    Twitter update from Jack:

    “Afternoon everyone..just to let you know i am not injured and if selected will be fit to face Barca! Few kicks but nothing too bad!”

    God love him!

  38. Come on Liverpool yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees

  39. Just me excited by this then ………. 🙄

  40. Gooner in Exile says:

    Different gravy from Suarez.

    I fear Nani will have to remove SAFs boot from his rectum for the whole of next week 😀

  41. gunnern5 says:

    «It don`t get much better –2-0 Liverpool after 39 mins…

  42. Rasp says:

    I’d much rather see his boot up Evra’s rectum 😛

  43. Rasp says:

    You can see the headlines if Dirk gets a hattrick …. Kuyt flying high …..

  44. goonermichael says:

    Fantastic assist by nani. Couldn’t happen to a nicer person

  45. goonermichael says:

    Hope the injury is serious (but not life threatening)

  46. Gooner in Exile says:

    More reds for Mancs please!!

  47. goonermichael says:

    I’m excited Peaches. I’ve been cheering Arsenal evrytime they score.

  48. Red Arse says:

    Really interesting, though not unexpected, comments about AW from GIE and Rasp, probably shared by most AA’ers.

    We are having a wonderful season, full of hope, despair, excitement, intrigue, skills, goals, involved in all four competitions up until last week, and everything still to play for. Wonderful! Wonderful! 🙂

    Now just imagine if Arsene could go out and blow millions on players like all the other “Big 5” clubs.
    He/we would rule the world …… and we are not far off that even with limited funds.

    Great man, great manager! 🙂

  49. Gooner in Exile says:

    So how does Nani manage to get up run to the ref and then fall over again when tickled.

    Anyone else see the tears?

    Hospital was safer option for him than dressing room at halftime 😀

  50. Red Arse says:

    Listening to the Mekon, sorry Wilkins, talking out of his rectum about Rafael’s tackle at the end of the half.

    Apparently, he believes that Rafael lunging in with his studs showing, in what would have been a leg breaking tackle, if contact had been made, was OK because no contact was made. And “the young man”, as he referred to Rafael, was upset after Maxi’s earlier attempt at tackling him.

    Wilkins is not just ignorant of the laws of football, he is an utterly stupid Ferguson arse licking prat!

  51. gunnern5 says:

    It just got better 3-0

  52. Red Arse says:

    Our on loan centre half Kyle Bartley scored the only goal to give Glasgie Rangers the win over St Mirren.

    Good lad! 🙂

  53. You know those footballing gods that don’t appear to be smiling on us well maybe they are but just not when we play – the manks losing to the chavs and bindippers in the same week 😛 😀 😆

  54. chas says:

    Hahahahahahahahaha. Lovely

  55. RockyLives says:

    Win our game in hand by three goals or more and we go top.

  56. RockyLives says:

    Come on Wolves to make it a splendid day after yesterday’s disappointment.

  57. London says:

    Couldn’t it be just a little bit life threatening?

  58. What’s that London? This supporting lark 😉

  59. …….. and I’m a happy bunny, just found a ticket for the Mank game on the ticket exchange, don’t all rush there was only one …… and its mine now

  60. Red Arse says:

    I don’t know about a happy bunny Peaches, I think you are a little tyro in ticket hunting! 🙂

    Well done you!!

  61. chas says:

    This supporting lark is hard…….but where would the fun be if it was easy all the time? 🙂

    Nani getting up so quickly to complain and then going down again had me in stitches. Maybe a little life threatening, London. I think he was actually crying at one point. 🙂

  62. Wonderman says:

    Afternoon all, apologies for my late appearance a) I have had both my u9’s and u11’s playing today and b) its my wife’s birthday today.I have only just got in and we are about to go out for a family meal…..Thanks for your kind responses, I will read in more depth and respond later…..but hey the Mancs have been beaten !!!
    as they say funny old game football….catch you all later

  63. I am RA, you’re right there, a ticket hunting tyro 🙂

  64. gunnern5 says:

    Wolves take the first bite 1-0

  65. goonermichael says:

    Nani was sobbing the pussy.

  66. chas says:

    Nani’s injury looks really bad….perhaps I was a bit harsh.

  67. Big Raddy says:

    Once again it takes MU losing to cheer up my weekend! It was a really good game, full of what I live about The Pre as opposed to the Italian/Spanish leagues. All out attack, tough but mostly fair tackling, 2 20 man brawls (handbags), a fervent crowd and a Man Utd loss.

    What worries me is that L’pool looked very good and we have still to play them. Suarez reminds me of Reyes when he first came.

  68. Gooner in Exile says:

    Raddy I have it on good authority that Dalglish wants anything but ManUre winning 19 titles so he’ll happily send a weakened team out at the Grove

  69. Big Raddy says:

    GTE Unlikely but wouldn’t that be great.

    Another awful ref at Wolves. and needless to say two match changing decisions go the way of Spurs

  70. Red Arse says:

    Excellent! 3:3

  71. Harry says:

    afternon all,been at my u12 and u18 matches,probelm with missing out all day takes ages to read all the posts from all of you……

    Quote of the day, GIE ” Wenger cannot be doing much wrong…….performing better than the chavs, spuds and man city……….”

    Well done to the bin dippers beating the scum today, there is a long way to go…….

    Gooner N5, your post was passionate and reasoned, i understand your view point and others have stated thats what a blog is all about, this site is far more stable in its views than others, who can go over board with criticism……But the question to you then, How and what would you do to improve our chances of winning silverware?

  72. 26may1989 says:

    Evening all.

    First things first: cheers Wonderman for a top write-up of a less than top game.

    I managed to drop in on the AA crowd that had gathered at the Tavern for a pre-match jar. Was excellent to put some faces to names – some were more surprising than others!

    As for the game, I can’t add too much to what’s been said. I came away feeling like I’d seen that game so many times in recent months and seasons: a well organised, defensive side sits deep and waits for us to bring the game to them, we start off cagily but build in intensity. Sometimes we get a winning goal, sometimes we don’t, sometimes we even manage to lose. Ignoring the Orient game, in the last few matches we’ve played three of these games in a row, and have won one (Stoke), drawn one (Sunderland) and lost one (Brum).

    I felt disappointed at the result of course, but not too depressed. Even before United’s game today, it was obvious there’s plenty still to play for, despite the hysterics of some like Danish. (I know everyone’s supposed to be entitled to their opinion but you have to wonder about some people.) But Liverpool’s marvellous victory today really has put the cat amongst the pigeons of United’s season. When was the last time United lost three games in five during the title run-in?

    That said, we still have to play Liverpool….

    I didn’t think we played especially well or badly. It remains a worry that we still seem to need Fabregas so much, when players like Nasri and Arshavin are around, but there are few criticisms I would make. The one player I thought really was poor was Diaby: the game slowed down so much whenever he got the ball, and he added little. Perhaps it would have been better if he and Wilshere had swapped, since LJ seems to have blossomed in that deeper lying role. But the pessimist in me thinks Diaby would have been just as bad higher up. As for Bendtner, I (like Raddy) remain a fan, despite B52’s flaws (especially in the control department) and felt he did pretty well yesterday.

    A word about referees, linesmen and gunnern5’s 12.20pm post. I’m often critical of referees, and feel the English game is especially badly served, but I have a lot of time for what gunnern5 said. Offside decisions have an in-built propensity for error, even without the astonishing pace of the modern game. We’ve benefited from errors at times (e.g., Szczesny wrongly not being red carded in the first few minutes last weekend when an errant offside flag went up, or the wrongly disallowed Messi goal a few weeks ago). How can we with a straight face complain when a call goes against us? Something like Saha’s goal is different: that showed a basic misunderstanding of the rules by supposedly top level officials, but misreading the positions of player and ball is just going to happen.

    The extent to which Wilshere was booted around yesterday was very poor. But seeing how rubbish the current refereeing stock is, I’m still willing to wait and see how this one develops. Christ knows, he can’t be worse than some of the fools we see week in, week out.

  73. valenciangooner says:

    Puyol out of this weeks game !! Pique suspended !!

  74. 26may1989 says:

    And a quick word for Chary, hope your shoulder recovers quickly.

  75. Harry says:

    Firstly apologies, wonderman great post on a insipid display, never easy…….JUst read my last post….

    26m great to meet you, pre concieved impressions often fail us all, lol……

    To your comment about officials, your right about the fact we benefit one week then suffer the next…..
    Its not that gets up my nose, its the inconsistency on the day, stoke at home prime example,in space of 5mins they committed 4 fouls, not even a free kick, clichy slides in wins ball and gets booked….
    I wont go over the everton game,even worse….so one sided ref decisions…Jack got kicked all over the park and gets booked for moaning…..

    The major decisions probably even outover the season, not that i subscribe to that theory, as it doesnt make it fair…

    All I want is a fair consistent game…..

  76. Big Raddy says:

    Fine comment 26May.

    I have to disagree about the refereeing. It is worse this season than I can remember and not just in Arsenal games. It seems every game has some disputed decisions and the worrying factor is that the title may well depend on who gets the breaks from the ref & linesman.

  77. Big Raddy says:

    For example, if I were a Wolves fan today I would be spitting feathers at another inept display from Halsey.

    Last man takes out the attacker in the box – this is a clear red card. No leeway with a decision like this, it is the letter of the law. Hutton had to go. I realise it may not be within the spirit of the game, but the rule is clear.

    Then he disallows a goal for a push on the Gomez when the Wolves player got to the ball ahead of the Spurs GK who then manhandled him. Another awful decision which was not assisted by the linesman.

    The problem as I said in my previous comment is that this happens an almost all games. Something must be done.

  78. chas says:

    BR, playing devil’s advocate, there may have been some doubt in the ref’s mind that the Wolves player was going to reach the ball before Gomez.

    Therefore, not a clear goalscoring opportunity.

  79. SharkeySure says:

    Very good write up Wonderman. More strong arm tactics from Peaches..?

  80. Hi Sharkey – where you been?

    Someone is going to need to volunteer for the big one this week …….. who fancies it I wonder?

  81. SharkeySure says:

    N5 – I have to respectfully take issue with your 12.20. Firstly I found the tone of it pretty condescending, almost to the point of being insulting. I agree with your comments in so far ad therefs have a difficult job, but most peoples most serious complaints are not over very tight offside decisions, but are over the major errors, ie the ones where we struggle to see how they could get it so wrong.

    Personally I understand Arsh being given offside (for exactly the reasons you state), whereas I struggle to see how the same linesman does not see the contacts made by Bramble on Arshavin and put his flag across his chest.

    Today I watched Hutton conced a penalty and deny as clear a goal scoring opportunity as you will ever see. I see Gallas practically wrestle Ebanks-B to the floor for no card. Do you really expect those two decisions alone from Mr Halsey to pass without censure from us bloggers, who want to see the rules applied in a fair and consistent manner.

    I stopped watching that game just after Stearmans disallowed goal (dinner time, not in disgust!)m and was mightily relieved to hear latwer of Wolves equaliser. Again, how do you explain Halsey calling a foul from his position, without any input from his assistant..?? I don’t think anyone can. Therefore we complain and moan.

    What are your views on Rooneys ‘assault and pardon’ of last weekend..??

  82. SharkeySure says:

    Funnily enough Peaches I’ve been out of work for two weeks now and almost blogging less than ever. First week was half term, I took an exam last week which required a fair bit of study, and I’m going for another next week.

  83. 26may1989 says:

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not the great defender of PL referees, far from it. On the specific issue of offside calls, I am sympathetic, and gunnern5 nailed it for me. But I agree with Raddy and Harry that the overall standards of refereeing are way too low. I don’t actually think it’s worse now than in recent seasons but I don’t think it comes close to being acceptable, especially in terms of consistency and in dealing with tactical violence.

    Who knows what motivates referees’ dodgier decisions, all teams have their grievances so any bias that might underlie those decisions must have multiple causes, but the treatment we see Arsenal get must, in my opinion, have something to do with the non-English, too-clever-by-half view many have of our team. It shouldn’t be acceptable but it seems we just have to battle on, through the inability of referees to apply the rules of the game.

  84. Oh dear Sharkey thats not good I didn’t mean to scratch a sensitive spot 😦 Forgive me

    I do on the other hand have to say thank you for sending us Wonderman 🙂

  85. SharkeySure says:

    Harry, I don’t subscribe to the evening out (with Beyonce?) theory.

    Yes Sz might have gone last weekend, but I think most people accept that offsides with a runner from deep, is just about the hardest call to make. Even so, lets count that as one for us. You started a list of those bad calls against us, and I just do not have the time to add to it, as I know it will take quite a while.

    I’m pretty convinced that there is an agenda underpinned by the joint forces of Sky, the wider media, and the Fergie Mafia that is seeing us repeatedly being treated unfairly, in terms of both major decisions, and general refereeing bias (ie fouls per yellow for and against etc)

  86. …….so the chance to re-appraise a referee or linemans dodgy decision immediately it happens must be a move forward. We’ve all seen how it sometimes takes up to 1 minute to get a wall set up for a free kick while everyone faffs around – it would take less time to review a strange decision.

  87. Gooner in Exile says:

    I was thinking about video technology, in game it can only be used for goals and offsides IMO, matters of fact.

    Whether a tackle is a foul is clearly subjective, so should not be ruled on during the game by a Third (or should that be 4th, 5th, 6th or 8th i lose count) Eye Ref.

    But if a player is seen to have cheated the ref with a dive, committed an offence worse than judged by the ref. Then the authority must bring punitive judgement. Every clear dive should be given a four match ban, I’m not talking I’ve been touched I’m going down I’m talking zero contact diving. Soon that would stop players going down looking for a touch if that happens and no touch comes they are out for four games.

    The referees have to be assessed post match, Clattenberg who judging by his new gelled hair thinks he is the star should have been stood down this week.

    And regarding Halsey apparently AW and Arsenal were very supportive of him during his illness, I guess we won’t get him in charge often.

  88. gunnern5 says:

    N5 – I have to respectfully take issue with your 12.20. Firstly I found the tone of it pretty condescending, almost to the point of being insulting.

    Sharkey: So let me get this right. You consider it respectful to call me condescending and insulting?

  89. SharkeySure says:

    Forgive you for what Peaches..?? I’ve always done contract work, and should be in a new role in time to gloat about beating the Manks next weekend !!

    Perhaps I should have said ‘between jobs’ or ‘resting’ as opposed to ‘out of work’.

    The little sharks are all still being fed. A houseful of hungry little sharks could prove to be quite dangerous I think.

  90. chas says:

    I’ve just looked at the Hutton one again and a clearer red card ‘twould be impossible to see.

  91. SharkeySure says:

    GN5 – “the tone of it pretty condescending, almost to the point of being insulting” is what I actually said.

    Maybe it’s semantics on my part, but I felt your overuse (?_) of ‘experts’ was definitely patronising and yes ‘almost insulting’.

    I completely stand by my use of ‘condescending’, just re-read your last paragraph again if you think thats harsh.

    ‘Respectfully’ in this case was to state that I do not mean for my remarks to be taken as a personal attack against your good self, but against those particular comments that you made.

  92. SharkeySure says:

    Chas agreed, its either no foul or a red card. One of the easiest ones ever.

    I think Radders said earlier, that we might actually wish to see that rule changed, but until it has been, then Hutton has to walk.

    I almost think his disallowing of the Wolves goal is the worst one of the two. Clear clear howler from Gomes. I’d love to hear his explanation of what phantom infringement he saw.

  93. gunnern5 says:

    Harry: Re you question at 6:20pm. As I’ve already stated I am not an expert but I’m happy to give you my non- critical opinion.

    Here are some statistical facts.

    2nd best points won per game at 2.04
    2nd best goals per game also at 2.04
    2nd lowest games lost at 5.
    3rd best goals against per game at .96
    tied for 1st in games won at 17.

    So it’s obvious, even to the casual observer that given those stats that there is not much wrong with our game and we only require some fine tuning.
    But even saying that I’m a firm believer that if we were not kicked around as much and therefore had less injuries we may not even need any fine tuning.

    Most people talk negatively about our defensive capabilities but I would prefer to see a concentration on improving our ability to convert goal scoring opportunities into goals.

  94. SharkeySure says:

    GN5 – small apology. For some reason I started my response with ‘what I actually said’. You actually had that bit spot on.

    I’m not too sure what happened there.

  95. Harry says:

    Beyonce? I would prefer an evening out with………Kelly Brook….

    But back to the football…..

    GunnerN5, Could you answer my question that I posed to you please……

    What would you do to improve our chances of winning silverware?

  96. SharkeySure says:

    Chas 8.29. Good point, but I still think that if he feels that Gomes is fave to get there first then surely its not a penalty either.

    It is as if Halsey has tried to hedge his bets by only making ‘half a howler’. Its odd.

  97. SharkeySure says:

    Fair dos Harry. I look at Kelly Brook, and think, now thats a woman. I look at Beyonce, and I think high maintenance and crap music.

    I stand corrected, and will from hereon in use Ms Kelly Brook for all my distractional metaphors.

  98. Wonderman says:

    Hi Big Raddy, the great thing about football is that everyone has an opinion and as far as I am concerned every opinion is valid. I respectfully disagree that he had a good game, because for me he did not display good habits you would expect of a top striker consistently.

    He did not run the channels to disturb Sunderlands’ defensive unit, He did not hold the ball up to feed on forward running midfielders, he came deep into the bodies when we needed him to go long and was often on the otherside of the pitch to where we needed him. Granted he looked better when Cham came on because he was doing most of those things.

    In short I dont think Bendtner’s qualities are in line with our playing ethos, there is no doubt that he scores goals, but then in a team like the current arsenal side he should do

  99. Wonderman says:

    Hi Gunner N5 @ 9:22 I absolutely agree spot on

  100. gunnern5 says:

    Sharkey; Looks like we are doomed to disagree as I find your 1st post and your response to be most disagreeable.

    My post was intended to give an alternate view to those that believe that official bashing and mostly AW bashing is fair game. I agree with some views expressed such as, what fun would it be if we don’t have banter or we need to vent our frustration. But I find it to be a tad juvenile and will never indulge myself in that sort of debasing dialogue.

    My view will never be changed by offensive responses, but is very likely to be changed by valid well thought out viewpoints.

  101. chas says:

    JC, the 85 year old who comes to the home games with us, says that Kelly Brook looks a bit rough first thing in the morning before she’s put her make-up on. 🙂

  102. Rasp says:

    GN5, as a master statistician, can you tell me how our away form compares to our home form this season. Do we even have such a thing as home advantage in terms of poor results this season at the Emirates?

  103. SharkeySure says:

    Does he also reckon that she moans when he leaves her at home to go and watch the Arsenal. I guess he’s old enough and wise enough to get his priorities straight.

  104. SharkeySure says:

    “Sharkey; Looks like we are doomed to disagree as I find your 1st post and your response to be most disagreeable.”

    That pretty much illustrates my point GN5.

    I’m not about to tell you that finding those posts of mine diasgreeable means you are claiming to be an ‘expert’ on blog posts, or tell you not to air your opinion.

  105. 26may1989 says:

    Rasp, we have a marginal advantage in our home performance but not by a lot (2.1 points per game at home versus 1.9 points away). Have no idea how that compares with others but the discrepancy at United must be much greater.

  106. Rasp says:

    Thanks 26m, I don’t have the figures but I just got the feeling that our home form compared to away form was not as good this year as in previous seasons. I had thought we’d only got 2 difficult games between now and the end of the season, but after watching pool today, the home game against them is going to be testing.

  107. gunnern5 says:

    Sharkey: Give it a rest – you are now getting annoying.

    Or are you one of those people that need to be the 1st to criticize and the last to have a express an opinion?

  108. 26may1989 says:

    It’s going to be Suarez that’ll be the test – plenty (I seem to remember you in particular Rasp) were singing Suarez’s praises last summer. And he’s vindicated that praise – from day one at Liverpool he’s shown real quality. For the first time in years, I’ll be taking Liverpool seriously next season.

  109. Harry says:

    Sharkey,quality mate…..lol…

    Chas, does she cook a good breakfast?

    GunnerN5, still no response??????

    Rasp, I was thinking that our away form is better this season and with 6 away and 4 home, felt good about our run in…..

    But your right we have more than 2 difficult games, we have 10…Because we make the easy hard……

  110. Harry says:

    Apologies GN5 just seen your reponse, when I rattled through missed it, shall go and read, sorry about that..

  111. chas says:

    Harry, JC says she’s handy with a sausage and a couple of boiled eggs!

  112. gunnern5 says:

    Rasp: I’ve e mailed one of my spreadsheets to arsenalnuts. It will show all of our home and away results by season for our entire EPL history.
    I’ve had to remove all of the formula’s as this sheet is part of a larger spreadsheet that shows our results by team by season.

  113. 26may1989 says:

    Rasp

    I was curious about your point, and think the home vs away points per game figures stack up like this:

    Home Away

    2005-6 2.37 1.16
    2006-7 2.21 1.37
    2007-8 2.47 1.89
    2008-9 2.00 1.79
    2009-10 2.47 1.47
    2010-11 2.13 1.92

    On refereeing controversy, I’m just watching MOTD2 now, and for me Hutton’s foul wasn’t a definite red card, it’s one of those that depends on interpretation. But Carragher’s foul on the admittedly horrible Nani was a savage piece of play, and how Phil “It’s all about me” Dowd failed to produce a red is beyond me. He should also have red carded Rafael but his failure to do to Carragher what he should have done made it impossible to punish Rafael properly. He is a terrible referee.

  114. 26may1989 says:

    What if is of course a mug’s game………….

    But if we’d held on at 4.0 versus Newcastle and had beaten Sunderland yesterday we’d already be top. And with a game in hand.

    Looks like we’re determined to take this one down to the wire.

  115. Harry says:

    GN5, thanks for that response, sorry I didnt see it, must have come on inbetween my posting…..

    I agree with alot of your sentiment and thoughts, I too believe its not so much a defensive fraility, but an inability to convert our chances to goals….

    How many times have we out played chelsea, to see them take their first chance…..Birmingham last week were gifted a chance by a defensive mistake, but had we taken our chances, it wouldnt have been an issue….

    The 03/04 team had the ability to kill an opponent off before they knew what hit them….

    We’ll get there, that I am sure of, I believe in Wenger’ and his methods, I just feel at times he fails to see when certain combos just dont work, or a particular player doesnt suit a position or is having a bad day and needs subbing, earlier than 65mins etc.

    The other thing I would concentrate on is sorting out the negative blanket the unfurls across the emirates due to the crowds inbility to get behind the team….

    Shouting shoot does not and will not help any player, I am sure inthe first half yesterday LJ was about to shoot and all of the clockend (apart from me)screamed shoot and he screwed his shot wide……it might have been poor techinique….who knows…..

    Overall I agree its just a case of fine tuning and less getting kicked……

  116. Harry says:

    Chas: she can scramble my boiled eggs anyday……

    26m: do we not always make things hard……Spurs, Newcastle…..Down to the wire is a given…..

    And 26m, yes Phil Dowd is the worse ref I have come across……although they are many vying for top spot….

  117. 26may1989 says:

    Harry, remind me, who was reffing in our game at Newcastle, when Barton was allowed to pile through Diaby, who was then sent off for a girly little push?

    That would be Mr Philip Dowd, who lives (surprise, surprise) in Stoke.

    He is an utter cock.

  118. Gooner in Exile says:

    You are all right about Dowd. I mean if Diaby is a red why isn’t Skertel for jumping on Rafael like he did and grabbing him. Much more aggressive than Diaby pushes on Barton and Nolan.

    But one starts to wonder how much effect the media is having, Dowd had Evra in his ear as soon as Carragher makes the challenge, if he red cards him what does it look like. Same goes for Rafael’s lunge and resultant Liverpool complaints.

    Now when that second set of handbags ensued Dowd stood still and watched it all continue, the pundits seem to applaud him for not trying to intervene and instead watching all that happened, to me it looked like losing control, but they can’t win.

    All we ask for as fans is consistency, if Dowd can see too very similar incidents Diaby/Skrtel and give two different cards.

    I know people will say Diaby was red carded for two pushes, well if thats the case he should have got two yellows, not a straight red.

  119. gunnern5 says:

    Harry:

    We must be two peas in the same pod.

    I watched many (how many would be a guess) games at Highbury starting in Nov 1947. I simply cannot remember supporters turning on our team as they do today.

    The silence is deafening at the Emirates and the LOUD moans and groans that can be heard when a player does something wrong must be crucifying to the player involved.

    Do these booers and moaners and groaners think they are helping our cause or boosting their pathetic egos.

    I’ve watched the Arsenal live or on TV maybe as many as 1600 times and I have NEVER booed my team. I’ve always given positive and not negative reinforcement.

    If only our “supporters” could recognize that they are our biggest failure.

    One just had to hear the Liverpool supporters today to understand just how big a role the supporters can play. But all we hear from the Arsenal attendees is that it’s the person next to them that’s the problem.

    Drives me CRAZY.

  120. RockyLives says:

    Peaches Rasp
    Post in drafts. I tried to insert a couple of pics but made a hash of it (I think). I’ll email them to arsenalnuts to be on safe side.

  121. Gooner in Exile says:

    GunnerN5 2:39 bloody well said!

    One problem is lack of understanding of football (always has been). Sometimes a defence splitting pass doesn’t work is collected by a defender and fans moan, when they should be encouraging the idea, appreciating the vision/attempt.

    What then happens is Diaby and Denilson start passing sideways as they are not going to get pelters for giving the ball away.

    Maybe I do not go regularly enough, but the difference between the atmosphere against Everton and Barca inspired greatness, compared to the performances against Stoke and Sunderland where the subdued atmosphere led to a subdued performance. It’s difficult being in the minority of 60000 fans trying to change the tune though.

  122. dandan says:

    Quotation from this mornings Times..

    Ferguson could have just accepted that United were beaten by the better side — “no excuses”, as Rio Ferdinand tweeted — but measured reaction comes hard enough, particularly at this time of the season after an afternoon of raw intensity. So the only noise from the United camp was a backside emitting a tiny squeak.

  123. chas says:

    GIE, my experience of going to the Grove recently is the complete opposite. When the team plays progressively and moves forward with speed, the crowd have given loud applause even if the move has broken down.

    To my eyes it’s been the passing sideways and backwards or dithering on the ball slowing everything down that has been the cause of the crowd’s disgruntlement.

    Fabregas always has more failed passes than Denilson. Surely it’s the lack of through balls that frustrate the crowd?

    I bet the atmosphere at Liverpool v Stoke was similar to that at Arsenal v Stoke. It’s easy to get up for Man Yoo at home.

    Btw, I’m definitely not saying the crowd at the Grove is good.

    The chicken and egg discussion about team performance and atmosphere in the ground has been had many times. To expect the same atmosphere against Stoke as we had for Barcelona, well it just isn’t going to happen.

  124. Big Raddy says:

    I’m with Chas on this one. From the armchair it appeared as though the crowd were really willing the team on on Saturday, particularly during the second half as we built up a head of steam.

    It has always been the way that big games attract more noise.

    And being the most urbane, cultured and educated fanbase in football has it’s downside …. hence “The Highbury Library.” !!!

  125. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    gunnern5

    Well said!

  126. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    And being the most urbane, cultured and educated fanbase in football has it’s downside …. hence “The Highbury Library.” !!!

    Rugby people turn their noses up @ “association football”.

    But don’t get me wrong, I only follow Rah Rah when we look like winning the WC.

    I’m taking interest in 2011 as it happens.

  127. Big Raddy says:

    GG. I wrote – “in football” !

  128. Gooner In Exile says:

    Chas i guess thats correct, but i think the certain players are in a position where they can do no right, forward and lose it, sideways and go nowhere. They are cramped by fear of the reaction in my honest opinion.

    Raddy i agree in the second half there was more positive encouragement, but it should have been there from the first whistle.

    I put my suggestion of random seating in North Bank and Clock End lower tiers to Harry and Carlito on the weekend, both seemed to agree that it would enable those who wanted to make a noise a place to gather and try out new material pre match, it would also mean that to get the prime spots you would have to get there early.

    I’m not suggesting a change in prices for the block, just taking off seating numbers, I noticed that the Kop seemed to stand for most of yesterdays game, i’m sure the same would happen at the Emirates given the chance of not offending anyone sitting close.

    All the club need to do is let anyone who wants to have a guaranteed seat sit in the East and West stands and Upper Tiers, the rest can claim a seat in the North Bank or Clock End.

    Anyone know a good way of getting this to someone at the club who may be interested, perhaps a campaign we should start with the players (who via Twitter are calling for a greater atmosphere in the ground).

  129. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    BR

    Oh! Fair point 🙂

  130. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    I believe that if Arsenal can beat man utd in that FA Cup tie, they will do what utd did in 2007, win the PL Title.

    All Arsenal people should get behind the entire squad & give them the lift to the finishing line.

  131. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Humility from all Gooners till the chequered flag will mean Karma shall shine on the Red & Whites.

  132. Big Raddy says:

    From today’s Guardian.

    “Manchester United reacted to their 3-1 defeat at Liverpool by imposing a media blackout, with Sir Alex Ferguson refusing to share his thoughts about a dismal afternoon for the Premier League leaders during which the club’s chief executive, David Gill, became embroiled in a heated exchange with the referees’ chief, Mike Riley.

    Gill sought out Riley in the directors’ box at half-time to voice his complaints about the referee, Phil Dowd, not sending off Jamie Carragher for the challenge that left a tearful Nani being taken off on a stretcher. Riley is understood to have robustly defended Dowd in an argument that sums up United’s belief, since the 2-1 defeat at Chelsea last Tuesday, that key refereeing decisions are going against them.”

    More evidence that experienced football men are concerned about the current standard of refereeing.

    And that perhaps MU are not getting full value from their slush fund 😀

  133. Big Raddy says:

    GIE. I am sure the club have done research on this. They want the best atmosphere possible – not just to help the team but also because it enhances the experience for all who attend.

    I suggest:

    Anyone talking about work/family gets a yellow card from the stewards for a first time offence, and then a dead albatross around the neck for the second (ok, that may be taking things a little too far!!).

    Colours MUST be worn,

    Get rid of the DJ who does absolutely NOTHING to build the atmosphere.

    Find ways to get the fans into the seats earlier. Perhaps allow drinks to be taken to the seats – you can do it at every other sports event.

    Singing sections

    Plus your excellent proposals

  134. Morning all

    The sun is shining here in North London and Rocky’s post is going to have you splitting your sides 😉

    NEW POST ………………

  135. dandan says:

    Big Raddy, Re colours must be worn. Many on here know people who have paid dearly for wearing colours.

    IMHO nothing looks more ridiculous than middle aged and above, overweight men wearing replica shirts.

    To each his own I suppose but for me no thank you

  136. 26may1989 says:

    Can definitely see where GN5’s views on the crowd come from (just try sitting amongst some of these football illiterate, glory hunters). But in my 30 years of going to games, we’ve never been consistently noisy fans. In fact the early 80s was worse than now.

    But I do agree, the fans have a big role to play in driving the team forward to success yet too often, in the unglamorous but tricky games, we the fans are passive.

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