Ban The Divers

Lightning may never strike twice, but cheating scumbags certainly do.

It beggars belief that less than a week after Gareth Bale pulled off a forward pike with tuck to win a penalty against us, Luis Suarez went and did exactly the same thing with the same effect.

Both executed perfect examples of what’s known in coaching circles as “The Rooney.”

It works like this:

You’re closing on goal but the opposition ‘keeper has come out and spread himself to narrow the angle.

You have slightly overrun it, or you’ve taken a touch too many, so now you’re too close to the goalkeeper to chip it over him.

You’re going to have to try and go round him, but at the speed you’re running, and with the touchline looming, it’s virtually impossible to round the ‘keeper and still be in control of the ball with a shooting angle.

You try it anyway, but the touch is too heavy and the ball is heading out for a goal kick.

However, the goalkeeper has had to commit himself and here, if you happen to be of a dishonest persuasion (medical term: gerraditis), is where you seize your chance.

Following behind the now wayward ball, you trail your foot to try and effect a contact with the ‘keeper’s arm or leg, depending on which way he has gone down.

As you trail the foot, you start falling forward like a tree that’s just been felled. Whether or not you actually make contact with the ‘keeper is irrelevant now because momentum and gravity have taken their course.

TIMBER!!!!!!

Over you go… and as you lie prone, the extent of your appeals for a penalty depends only on the extent of your shamelessness.

The two penalties against us in the last two weeks have certain things in common and certain differences.

Let’s take the Tottenham one first (although before we do, does anyone have the time? Oh yes, thanks – five-to).

Primatologists have managed to get monkeys and great apes to do many remarkable things in recent decades: reasoning, reading, doing maths puzzles, even speaking. But full credit to the trainers at Tottenham for producing the world’s first ever diving monkey.

As monkeyboy bore down on our goal there was a coming together between him and Gibbs. Ironically, if Bale had chosen (note the use of the word ‘chosen’) to go down then, he might have had a more justified penalty shout because there was some upper body contact between the two.

Instead he kept going, pushed it too far past Szczesny and went for the Rooney. As the replays seemed to prove, there was either no contact or negligible contact between our young Pole and the primate, even though the latter went down as if pole-axed.

The ball was going away from goal, which probably helped keep Szczesny on the pitch once Mike Dean had bought the dive.

Bale’s appeal for a penalty was a little half-hearted, as if he knew he was trying to pull a fast one. He just sat on the turf and raised one paw in the air in mute appeal. In fact, given that he has been booked for diving twice already this season, he must have been worried about a third yellow coming his way.

Dean, it should be noted, was a good 30 yards behind the incident and could not possibly have been able to see clearly what happened. He did consult his linesman, who was theoretically better positioned, but according to one account I read all the lino wanted to do was moan about something having been thrown from the crowd.

And so to Saturday’s penalty for Liverpool. Suarez, a man with more baggage than Victoria Beckham on a world tour, hared in towards our goal from the left of the penalty area.

When Szczesny narrowed the angle Suarez took a concrete-boot touch with his right foot, sending the ball straight towards the touchline and a goal kick.

Realising this, he too switched immediately to Plan B – the Rooney, dragging his feet and falling as if he’d just been hit in the back by a sniper.

Once again the referee, this time Mike Halsey, had no clear view of the incident. He was closer than Dean had been but his line of sight was obscured by a cluster of three players.

Suarez compounded his initial act of dishonesty (the dive) by putting on an elaborate show of having been badly injured. It was pure theatre, but perhaps helped convince Halsey that there had been genuine contact.

Similarities between the two dives: both players had lost control of the ball; both went for the Rooney; in both cases the referee could not possibly have seen the incident properly.

Dissimilarities: Bale had had some upper body contact from Gibbs, whereas no-one touched Suarez; Suarez showed his out-and-out dishonesty by putting on some real theatrics.

Both were pretty awful, but the Uruguayan racist’s was particularly heinous.

So what do we do about this?

For a start, some players are now so good at this sort of fakery that the referees’ association needs to aggressively counter it. I always thought that if a ref had not clearly seen an incident he could not act on it. That certainly wasn’t the case with either Bale’s or Suarez’s penalties, where Dean and Halsey seem to have made their decision based on probability or instinct.

If refs get together to try to clamp down on this sort of cheating, the net effect will probably be fewer penalties given in these sort of circumstances (including some genuine pens which will be missed because the ref cannot be certain there was contact).

It’s not perfect, but the consequences of not awarding the occasional genuine penalty are not as great as those of giving too many fake penalties (which usually means a goal for the cheating side and often a red card for the victims).

But refs aside, the real answer to the problem is retrospective video analysis by the FA, followed by severe punishment (bans) for cheating.

Then, and only then, will cheats like Bale and Suarez know that the consequences of doing what they do will outweigh the possible benefits.

The FA already hands out retrospective punishment for serious foul play when the referee ‘did not see the incident’. So they would not need to stretch the rules too far to also come down hard on cheating in circumstances where the ref could not possibly have had a 100% view and where the offender’s play-acting has been deliberately aimed at misleading the officials.

RockyLives

184 Responses to Ban The Divers

  1. Rasp says:

    Brilliant stuff Rocky. It will come as no surprise that I am in complete agreement with every word.

    Maybe refs should get training in body language. If you look at the 3 pictures above, it is obvious by the arm positions that the perpetrator’s fall/dive is premeditated. It is a natural human reaction to use your arms to protect you as you fall. If your arms are outspread in a pleading posture or clamped to your side, it is clear evidence that the scenario is orchestrated to deceive.

    The conclusion should be that retrospective action based on video evidence be introduced to stop the cheating which is an insult to fellow professionals but also can make a difference of millions of pounds to a club’s revenue – and we all know how relevant that can be these days.

  2. ClockEndRider says:

    It might also help if the expert pundits employed by television stations support such a stand rather than back up such odious behaviour with partiality and disingenuous attempts to justify balatant dives. Please see below the quotes taken verbatim from the Sky Sports “expert” commentary at half time on Saturday re the penalty.
    Commentator:”….so it’s difficult for the referee to give (the pen)?”
    Redknapp Junior. “Very difficult. if you look at Mark Halseys view here, he’s looking through players, Arteta’s there, and there’s players coming across his view… Dirk Kuyt’s there…its a hard one, this is how difficult it is for the referees….he’s almost guessing…”
    Alan Smith: “Well if you’re not certain, you can’t give it.”
    Redknapp Junior: “Of course you can’t. But I think he actually got it right in the end”.
    Am I the only one who can see the, ahem, inconsistency in this pillocks argument?
    Try as he might, he just cannot keep the bias out. As indeed was the case when he claimed the Bentley goal for Tottnumb in the 4-4 should have stood, despite a foul in the build uo, because it was such a good strike.
    Jeez, even Gary Neville can display self control and impartiality. Time for Sky to ditch this ridiculous homunculus.

  3. chas says:

    Brilliant, Rocky.

    It’s so incredibly galling that we are still the only club to have had a player hung, drawn and quartered for diving. And that was a player who had nearly lost a foot because of a previous incident. Unbelievable.

  4. 26may1989 says:

    ClockEndRider: Perhaps Redknapp Jr is actually engaged in a complex existentialist analysis: the decision to award a penalty cannot be and yet it is. Brilliant stuff if you think about it.

    Or he’s a biased muppet, determined to call it the way of his old club, which did after all pay him vast amounts of money for just a handful of games (he being the Abou Diaby of 1990s LFC), so he may feel he owes them some apologetic commentary.

    Excellent piece Rocky, agree with every word.

  5. Brigham says:

    For me, Jamie Red Crap just highlighted even further what an odious toad and proved his biased towards anyone playing Arsenal .

    As for Suarez, the replays clearly showed he was not touched at all and the fact he then carried out the feigning of injury to his shin compounded it even further. I really hope referees spotted this and he will never win another penalty again, just like we suffered post Eduardo against Celtic.

    To be honest, a lot of players do dive, it seems to be part of the modern game, but Suarez is a cheating master of it. Coupled with his racist remarks and general misdemeanour put him top of my shit list and I hope he gets all that is coming his way.

  6. brian waldron says:

    TheFA needs to use COMPETENT referees,not blind old hasbeens. A blind man would have seen that Suarez was diving for the olympics and was not fouled. The ROONEY has become a trait of the modern game , and is making a mockery of any fair hard defence. Suarez and his like should be cited for unsportsmanly conduct and should face harsh severe penalties if found guilty. The refs need to take control of the games and cut out the endless ranting and raving which has become a common occurence in major high stakes games ie. rooney and evra at man u – spend more time remonstrating with the referees when a descision goes against them. As stated a wrong descision can have a terrible effect on a clubs future and the only way to instill a fair play enviroment is to pu7nish the actors severely. I would like to suggest a citing commisioner be used as in Rugby Union.

  7. Archimedes says:

    Spot on!

  8. chas says:

    Eureka!

  9. We need penalties and redcards given after some tv assesment like in rugby. But the fa is in platinis shirt pocket and cannot master such bravery. The only bravery they have is to sack Capello and bring in a stooge like wolves did.

  10. slimgingergooner says:

    Hilarious photos!

    The referees are as much to blame as the players in my view. They give god-awful decisions for minimal contact. If they refereed games in a weekend pub league then the game would be abandoned for too many sendings off. However, it is up to the FA to back the refs in getting rid of diving and cheats.

    They have come down very hard on the 2 footed lunge and got a few decisions wrong, but overall, it is helping to get these tackles out of the game. The same needs to be done for diving and its down to the FA to back the refs in the same way as they have for the wreckless challenges.

  11. pat says:

    television replays with an official to provide a decision in near real time has got to be part of this. Cricket / rugby / league have all embraced technology its the dinosours in charge that impede real progress here.

  12. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Top notch again Rocky.
    Gerrarditis 🙂 This must be a Scouse only condition, deep within their DNA, born from years of robbing Semen off their Brothers and Dads !.

  13. renoogami says:

    Spot on!

    Why not introduce the video replay as per cricket and rugby when the ref is unsighted as were Dean and Halsey. I cant see that play would be held up any longer than at the moment what with players surrounding the officials and the ‘diver’ rolling around feigning injury.

  14. pat says:

    have to say the linesmen seem to do a good job, maybe because they have more specific jobs but they also seem to have a bit more an air of competence about them…

  15. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Nice stuff Rocky,

    To be honest, i find the diving quite amusing. When Suarez went over the other day my initial reactions were to wish upon him a slow and painful death. If i could have jumped through the TV and got to him i would have beat the crap out of him with my slipper. On hindsight however, upon reviewing the incident in slowmotion i couldnt help but piss myself at the theatrics of the whole thing and then there was his face, and what a face it was. Forget De Niro and Pacino, if ever you want to see the boat of a man just shot then that was it, superb oscar winning stuff. If Sergio Leone ever makes any more spaggheti westerns and requires a villian, Suarez is surely the man.

  16. Double98 says:

    A few things:
    Refs don’t buy dives unless they are in the market for them
    You don’t reactively dive – i.e you don’t miscontrol and then hang a leg out – there isn’t enough time… bale and suarez made the proactive decision BEFORE they touched the ball past the keeper.
    why not red card the divers? A striker cheating for a dive is like a keeper cheating for a betting syndicate…or a bowler in cricket throwing a no ball.
    red card, ban

  17. chas says:

    Hahahaha Terry,
    “beat the crap out of him with my slipper”

  18. oz gunner says:

    well done Rocky, typical monday special.

    Like Rasp said every word is spot on. How video technology hasn’t been brought in yet it beyond me! It’s there, it won’t hold the game up too long, and it can cut out these ridiculous decisions that can decide matches.

    but hey rooney, ronaldo, and gerrard have made careers out of it!

  19. oz gunner says:

    Perhaps the biggest screw over of them all:

  20. chas says:

    What I’m worried about is if slow motion replays were introduced, there would still be no consensus as to whether something is a dive or not.

    The number of times I’ve heard the phrase, ‘but there was contact’ regardless of who initiated the contact. Even worse is, ‘there doesn’t have to be contact if the intent was there’.

    When they put that magnifying thing on the rat-boy incident on Saturday, they were searching for the minutest of movements in his sock to prove that it was legitimate for him to behave as if he’d been pole-axed. Ridiculous.

  21. Chico Guerrera says:

    Any ref that gives that Cilla Black lookalike a penalty should be taken out and shot.

    He is the worst simulator in English football, period.

    I hate the fucker.

  22. Brigham says:

    Chas, totally agree with your post at 1048 mate. It was almost like they wanted to ‘make’ it a trip and a penalty. Even the BBC did it on Saturday night.

  23. oz gunner says:

    the ronaldo manual shows all the different types of dives. I love the twist in mid air dive to show your athleticism (bonus points, look at ref, and crying in pain when your on the floor).

    Chas your right every time i see a dive the commentators always rationalize how the contact was there, and why it was a foul. Do they get extra $$$ by FIFA for siding with the ref because it’s a disgrace how often it happens

  24. slimgingergooner says:

    90% of people hitting the ground these days in the PL are dives. Players are told to go down under the slightest contact and its the refs who give them the decision.

    The refs need to find a backbone (which can only be provided by the FA) and stop gifting players free kicks for sod all. This is supposed to be a contact sport!!!

  25. chas says:

    This video is from someone trying to prove Fletcher didn’t foul Arshavin in the penalty area because the ball grazes his shin as Arshavin slips the ball round him.

  26. Morning all, I see where the Rock is coming from on here(and very chortle-worthy his piece is, as ever), but sadly because of Eddy, all the oppo fans will accuse us of hypocrisy.

    Remember the guy yesterday who said that Eddy pretended to have his leg broken by Birmingham City ?

    We are dealing with this level of idiocy.

    Chas/Evonne – where am I going/not going tomorow ??

  27. chas says:

    chary,
    Have you got your late pass stamped? Evonne is sitting in one of the seats and she was hoping the Beast would sit in the other!

  28. evonne says:

    Rocky – how did you manage to report such serious issue with so much humour? Absolutely fabulous piece!

    “Primatologists have managed to get monkeys and great apes to do many remarkable things in recent decades: reasoning, reading, doing maths puzzles, even speaking. But full credit to the trainers at Tottenham for producing the world’s first ever diving monkey” – too funny for words

    Micky has rightly called Suares – Seweres, disgraceful little so and so. Even 26may wanted to take a cricket bat to the racist’s face, and that was before the game. FA should do something about it, but will they? I think not. It is up to us fans show how much we hate such antics, booing, yes justified booing.

    My ‘favourite’ was that Babel incident, the worst case of cheating scumbagging trollope

    Thank you Rocky x

  29. chas says:

    What does everyone think about these two?
    I think the first is a dive and a penalty is awarded.
    I think the second is a definite penalty and he’s booked for diving.

  30. evonne says:

    Oi Beastie, did you see my comment before today’s New Post?

  31. Chas, I haven’t got a pass yet, I’ll try and ask ‘er indoors tonight, but it doesn’t look good (the prospects of getting a pass, not the other half)

  32. chas says:

    Ok, in that case you’ll have to get someone else, Evonne.

  33. Brigham says:

    Chas, totally agree once again, first was a dive and the second was a penalty. How the ref could not see that the second was a penalty is beyond me and to book him just rubbed salt into the open wound.

  34. chas says:

    Haha Chary, I’m sure she’s lovely.
    Presumably you didn’t get a chance to ask last night. Timing is everything I know!

  35. evonne says:

    Chas – my nephew will probably go; he is still drinking in Dublin, but should be coming over tonight,will ask him later.

    Perhaps it is worth letting others know that there are 2 tickets going to a good home tomorrow. I am just the last option

  36. She’s lovely to someone Chas, just not me !

    Was a bit frantic last night so I didn’t rate my chances of anothe ringht out as I’ll be going to the bar codes game next Monday. I’ll still be at the Tavern pre match tomorrow though.

  37. oz gunner says:

    that second one chas is as clear cut of a penalty you’ll ever get, he got poll-axed!

    How that can’t be given and yet other dives can is ludicrous.

  38. evonne says:

    Beast – exactly!! Be at the Tavern for prematch!! No wonder you are not allowed out, any game and you disappear for 8 hours! Skip the Tavern and come to the game, will only take you 2 hours

  39. El tel says:

    Slim,

    Who says it is supposed to be a contact sport. Although there is contact made and so there should be this shouldn’t mean that fouling is ok.

    Pulling, pushing and worst of all body checking is killing the game. Stop start football isn’t what I call exciting.

    For me the inconsistency of the Refs is the biggest problem, it is so bad that we are questioning their integrity every week.

    I for one am certain there are bent Referees and Halsey is close to the top of my list and always has been since he sent Sol off at against who else- the Mancs for supposedly decking another serial diver in Solksier (wrong spelling).

    I think the Refs in England allow far to much contact and give fails for when there is minimal contact way to often.

    I think Refs are definitely bent or at worst bias towards certain Clubs/players.

    The thing that made it clear to me on Saturday was when Rosicky had studs up in midfield, he won the ball and made no contact with any opponent. Verdict. Free Kick.

    Minutes later Rosicky was done in the shins with a studs up over the top tackle. Halsey was a couple of feet away with clear sight of the foul. He played on. This should have been a free kick with at least a yellow card.

    Disgraceful indifferences within minutes of each other.

    Regarding us being the only team punished (Eduardo) for simulation. We are also the only team punished for Managers giving bungs and we are also the team who got deducted 2 points in a fight at the Mancs when they got 1 deducted.

    We are also the first team to get a player on a long ban (Davis 9 matches) for an off the ball incident in the days of fewer cameras.

    Seems to me that the Arsenal have always had the piss taken out of Them by the North loving FA.

  40. oz gunner says:

    @ Jamie, GiE

    sorry thought this might be interesting for those who play FIFA 12.
    Follow the instructions underneath the clip and you can have arsenal chants while you are playing the game.

  41. LB says:

    “More baggage than Victoria Beckham on a world tour”

    I love it, great stuff as ever Rocky.

  42. goonermichael says:

    Great post. The referees are corrupt and biased. There is no way the refs themselves would do anything to eradicate this. If yesterdays game had been at old toilet and the mancs had scored like adebayer (using a helping hand)did. webb or dowd would have given the goal 100% They obviously have an agenda. The press also have an agenda. They will never slate a British player for diving. Look at the different coverage from the suarez and bale incidents. jamie redknapp is just a fucking knob. I can’t believe I actually rate neville as a pundit.

  43. 26may1989 says:

    El Tel

    I agree, the root-source of the problem is the standard of refereeing. There’s plenty that can be done (technology, rule changes etc) to improve things but we do need to see the standard of refereeing improve. The thing that winds me up most is the lack of understanding of the game they are officiating. If they could interpret play better, they would spot cheating and real fouls more effectively, and would play the advantage properly.

    But all of that said, there are those who say refs do a good job. Football Unlimited had an interesting piece recently (http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/blog/2012/mar/03/referees-winning-percentage-game-managers), suggesting that even in the difficult environment of fast-paced PL football, and without the support of technology, referees get the vsat majority of their decisions right. That may be right, but it’s bloody galling when you see dodgy penalties given against your team in consecutive games. Our anger may be tempered by the fact we won both games, but we could have lost both games because diving isn’t spotted, and that in turn could have meant no CL football next season. It could have even meant Wenger’s job coming under increased pressure.

    Re that Football Unlimited article, the reference to Jeff Winter’s autobiography was brilliant: “Winter reveals he deliberately played a bit of extra time, waiting until the ball was at the Kop end. Then, with everything in position, he blew his whistle. ‘The fans behind the goal burst into spontaneous applause. It was longer and louder than normal, even for a home win. Did they know it was my final visit? Was it applause for me? They are such knowledgeable football people it would not surprise me’.” Either Winter has a great sense of irony or he is spectacularly deluded.

  44. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    El tel,

    interesting comments about us setting precedents for punnishment. Ive always believed (though i admit to paranoia) there is an agenda against Arsenal. When you think about it we are a club without many friends. Hated by the other London teams because, well lets face it, we are London football. Hated by the Northerners coz of jealousy going back to the 1930’s.

    Arsenal is basicly a class and cut above all other clubs, and i include Utd and Liverpool in that.Our traditions and values from the 30’s persist to the current day, how many other clubs can claim such a legacy?

  45. VCC says:

    I’ve said for years there is a bias against Arsenal from the predominantly northern based referees.

    Too many incidents to be a coincidence.

    How many on here think if that was a Manc instead of Adebarndoor yesterday (hand ball incident), it would have been given? I for one, say a stone bonking certainty it would have been allowed.

  46. oz gunner says:

    @ VCC

    no doubt about it.

    It’d be okay if averaged itself out (hey you win some, you lose some), but more often than not we don’t get the decisions. Yet when it’s a team like manure it seems when in doubt they get the decision. It’s criminal because as El Tel says the last two weeks could have cost us a chance at winning 20+ million in Champions League Money, not to mention Arsene given his marching orders

  47. VCC says:

    I think referees should be interviewed after games.

    What do you think Dean would have said after watching the replays of Monkey boy taking a dive. Would he feel conned or could he not even be bothered?

  48. Rasp says:

    Congratulations Rocky on producing the first ever post that has received universal approval and agreement.

    And congratulations to ClockEndRider @ 9:51 on his use of ‘homunculus’ – that would have sent even RedArse scurrying for his dictionary 😛

  49. Northern Reffs Rule says:

    This is a petition signed by :
    Martin Atkinson ( Yorkshire )
    Mark Clattenburg ( Tyne & Wear )
    Mike Dean ( Cheshire )
    Chris Foy ( Merseyside Plasma Sceen Stockists )
    Phil Dowd ( Staffordshire )
    Mike Jones ( Cheshire )
    Mark Halsey ( Lancashire )
    Mike Riley ( Yorkshire )
    Alan Wiley ( Staffordshire )
    Howard Webb ( Yorkshire and MU supporters club )
    Anthony Taylor ( Greater Manchester , not as Great as Greater London )
    Neil Swarbrick ( Lancashire )
    Jonathan Moss ( Yorkshire )
    Michael Oliver ( Northumberland ).

    We are impartial, you Cockney Bastards.

  50. Gooner In Exile says:

    Cracking read Rocky.

    I think there are a couple of things that piss me off about ex pros when it comes to judging these incidents pr The Rooney as you have aptly named it Rocky.

    1) The stupidity of saying there is contact therefore it is a penalty (this is also used when defending a high tackle that doesn’t make contact should not have got a red card).

    There is contact all over the pitch that players do not go down for or get penalties for, also the fact that he played the ball is often used to justify why a penalty should not be given. The only question should be is it a foul worthy of a direct free kick anywhere else on the pitch, special rules do not apply to the 18 yard box although you would think they did sometimes.

    2) Stating that X player has “been clever there” to win the penalty.

    This is bollocks of the highest order. Players used to buy fouls in a very similar way. You are on the ball, you make sure you toe it past someone and wait for the contact, that is being clever, if the contact doesn’t come you are on your feet and away to score a goal or play the cross, 9/10 you were chewing dirt. There is a cost to being honest in this situation, trying to hurdle the incoming tackle to avoid contact often knocks you out of your stride and leads to you losing the ball. Because no contact was made the ref didn’t give a foul, so you should have taken the contact.

    What is occurring now is premeditated, the worst in recent examples was Adam Johnson going over and then moving his leg in the air to get contact. Maybe they are just wimps now and don’t want to take the hit, maybe it is just ingrained in the culture of football, but it has to stop, the FA need to take action. Now heres the final thing the FA will need to judge and balance, just because a player falls over (goes to ground) it doesn’t mean he is diving or has been fouled he could have just slipped.

  51. Rasp says:

    Well said GiE, “there is contact therefore it is a penalty” ranks up there with “he got the ball” after a free kick has been awarded for a tackle that could have/has injured another player. Just getting the ball does not excuse a player committing themselves to a tackle that is likely to injure a fellow professional by virtue of follow through or any other by-product.

  52. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    I think Alex Ferguson has to take the majority of blame for the current Utd bias. Ever since he took that job he has been squeezing peoples balls. He squeezes the refs balls, FA’s balls, TV& medias balls, other managers balls(Though Fat Sam likes having them squeezed), you realy need a cod piece to be safe from this man. His ball squeezing is worth 10 points a season to Utd every year, the mans a low life cheat. In a perfect world of justice, he would be tied to a rack were his own balls would face a spanish inquisition……with Rafa Benitez asking the questions.

  53. Rasp says:

    The worst dive I ever saw perpetrated against Arsenal was Pedersen a few years ago when he was a good yard away from our player and still did the sniper

  54. Red Arse says:

    Afternoon, Dudes, 🙂

    First, thanks to those who wished me well. 🙂

    Second, apologies for being a blog blabbermouth.

    I was jokingly outraged that I had to miss the big game over the weekend, as well as all the AA chat, and let my written ‘tongue’ flap.
    I should not have mentioned my medical checks. Sorry!

  55. chas says:

    Ey up RA,

    Was your weekend improved by the result at Anfield? 🙂

  56. Red Arse says:

    Great Post, Rocky Boy, 🙂

    Excellent, as usual!

    Just a small question arising from the Post.
    When you referred, in the Post, to our young Pole and the primate — were you implying that Bale was an Archbishop? I only ask because the alternative definition of primate is “the highest order of mammals that includes man”, and I would not like to be associated with him, please!!!! 🙂 🙂

    The Rasper, quite rightly, commended Clockendrider for the use of the scrumptious word ‘homunculus’.

    The homunculi I am most familiar with would include Tom Thumb, Pinocchio, Tiny Tim and TerryM. 🙂

  57. evonne says:

    RA – when will you have results of the tests?

  58. Red Arse says:

    I am going to watch the recording a bit later on, Chas. 🙂

    Wonderful result and I will savour the game at leisure.

  59. Northern Reffs Rule says:

    Welcome to AA Matchday live !, Arsenal stiffs Vs Chav stiffs at Chavs Cobham training ground.
    A few changes for the gunners,
    no 1st team squad members this week and were also without the highly rated GiE and Total. GiE is suffering from a last game clash of spirits and is currently on a Peroni intravenous drip. Total has a fist injury and is currently in surgery having it removed from Benik Afobes arse ( get over it Total, so he missed a penalty ).

    Today I have some co – commentators, first up , just back from Celibate in a reasonably priced brothal, some say he`s more clever than Einstien and funnier than Frank Spencer and goes by another name of Einstein Frank and that he`s the first Human Computer hybrid being the Love child of Stephen Hawking and a Calculater, we know him as Redders.
    Hi Redders, What do you expect today ?
    Redders : {**%} (@*^}][>:$}}{_*% = Win.
    glic : right, ok, and how do we do this ?
    Redders : {*&8@{][]><* = Goals.
    glic : Ok Redders, you go and have a rest with the nice men in white coats in the little room, back in a mo` after a word from our sponsors.

    "Sufferring from Hemorrhoids ( piles )?, take Humourhoids an "award winning" potion from Dr glic". Harry says " Since taking Humourhoids, I`ve been laughing all the way to Monaco with my Piles ( of cash ) "

    Ok ,were back, 10 mins gone and Its 0-0 , Lets bring in another guest for some tactical knowhow, It`s TMHT !.
    Terry what sort of tactics do you fancy ?
    Terrry : The green ones !
    glic : okayy, this is not going how i expected, how about you going off with the nice man in white and joining Redders !.
    Terry : Not the Red ones ,the Green one`s !
    glic : Right back to the match, 22mins gone and still 0-0, Arsenal playing into a strong wind.
    We will be taking calls and heres our first caller, your through to AAMDL what would you like to say : "{:*54(}{0@//[]*^^&##:}{)(” = Bastard !.

    29 mins, Goalllllllllllll, Yennaris plays in Aneke who rounds the `keeper, 1-0 Arsenal !

  60. Red Arse says:

    Hi Evonne, 🙂

    Not for some time, but I just want to forget all about it, and I should not have mentioned it on a footie blog.

    The ‘iron curtain’ on matters medical has now come down! 🙂

  61. SharkeySure says:

    Cracking post Corky.

    I was dumbfounded that Halsey happily gave a pen to ‘you know who’ after such a theatrical tumble. There simply wasn;t enough momentum to generate a fall of that height and speed.

    Not to mention surely any ref with a brain reciognises who he is dealing with when ‘you know who’ hits the deck, and adjusts his assessment accordingly.

    As others have said, if the refs view is blocked then there can be no penalty awarded, as he simply CANNOT be certain.

  62. evonne says:

    Sharkey, do you want to go to the game tomorrow? Mail me

  63. evonne says:

    RA – ok 🙂

  64. Red Arse says:

    Northern Reffs, 🙂

    You are as funny and as potty as an award winning friend of mine!! Who funnily enough has an identical avatar to yours.!! 🙂

    Anyway, I refuse to to be put into a room alone with TerryM and his abominable telescope!! 🙂

    You, being an award winning analytical genius, might well point out to me that being in a room alone with TerryM is an oxymoron, because if I was in a room with him, then, definitively, neither he nor I would physically ‘be alone’.

    Thank you, in advance, for pointing out that philosophical anomaly to me! 🙂

  65. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    hahahaha, welcome back Redders.

    Cornwall, keep up the good work. hahahahah

  66. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    The chavs are like Terry in a Harlow Gilf club , Doing a lot of “Probing ”
    Ok ,It`s Halftime 1-0 to the Arsenal, back after a commercial break.

    ” If there one Movie to see this year make sure you dont miss , “THIRD”. From the makers of “50 years, It Hurts “, in association with Deluded Shit Fucks and N17 shirtlift productions an Epic Movie of one clubs Jealousy and Envy ”

    Plug of Edmonton says, ” It doesn`t get better than this , we may even get 2nd ”
    At a car boot sale near you ,”THIRD”. ( the producers of this film regret to say that the title may change to , “FORTH”, “FIFTH” or “SIXTH” and take no responsabillity for a shit club )

  67. Red Arse says:

    I share the righteous indignation of the many AA’ers regarding the diving and cheating that goes on in the game, but I do not share the views as to the benefits that the use of technology would bring.

    Consider: although we seem to unanimously agree that both Bale and Suarez ‘dived’, there are just as many who believe he did not, including many journalist pundits.

    Further: the use of technology in cricket (and yes I do watch some games) has not really helped in the case of whether, or not, a ball has ‘carried’ when there is a disputed low catch.

    A flat 2D picture, cannot because of the foreshortening effect, and the lack of clarity even with HD pictures, is rarely definitive.

    Perhaps when Super HD becomes available the situation may change.

    Finally: there is a peculiar view put forward by many that if a goal keeper comes out to block the ball and a forward runs into him it is intrinsically a penalty. How can this be? Is the GK supposed to remove himself from in front of the forward to avoid any contact, in circumstances like on Saturday, and allow free access to the goal, on pain of giving away a penalty and perhaps suffering a red card dismissal? Absolute nonsense!!

    Finally – Part Deux: We all know and understand that GKs can and do, on occasion, deliberately trip advancing forwards by use of their hands or feet, and it is clearly a pen.
    But usually the momentum is with the forward and not the static GK and it is basic physics that the forward can and will fly thru the air in an eye catching dive when desired.
    Perhaps, in future, GKs should start to dive too, and the resultant aerial display can be marked by an independent jury of assessors who will give appropriate marks to decide who will be awarded a foul.

    Silly idea? Yes. But no more so than the widespread ignorance of the rules and so much else that goes on in football, and which frequently leads to one man’s shout of ‘definite penalty ref’ and another man’s scream of ‘absolutely never touched the b*stard’.

  68. Big Raddy says:

    RL. Another cracker. Had me laughing out loud particularly the Bale line.

    Who could argue with this post. Any neutral would say that both penalties were clearly dives.

    It was good of Chas to point out that we are not whiter than white in this area. I can recall a few “soft” penalties awarded to us.

    RA. Perhaps Chesney could have numbers written on his shin pads, then when a player dives Chesney can go to his socks and pull out a 5.9. May well get booked but must be worth it.

  69. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Excellent Rocky, thanks. Some superbly funny lines as ever.

  70. chas says:

    This one made me laugh.

  71. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rasp,
    Not sure if we were meant to laugh at the Pederson dive, but it worked for me.
    This gets low marks for “technicality”, but very high on “you have to be fucking joking”

  72. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Sadly not in the penalty area, but seriously classy

  73. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Back to work.
    Good to see you back RA.

  74. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Ok, Still waiting for the teams to come back out, so I can take another caller, welcome to AAMDL(AA Match Day Live ).
    caller : Green ones !
    glic : Terry ?, while your here, are you going to watch that movie about the spuds ?
    Terry : I will have to think about this,mmmm , I have to see Tourettes Tony, who gives me a pubic trimming with a chainsaw and then I have a Blow job session with a hungry angry crocodile, I think I`ll give it a miss !
    glic : thanks Terry ,wise words,. Back to the match and It`s the second half starting.
    I have another guest and hopefully this ones more sensible, welcome Micky of the didits.
    glic; Micky, First I will have to give you a test because of the last 2 loons, just a bit of word play, I will say a word and you say the first word that comes into your head, OK.

    Glic : Cat
    micky; Pussie
    glic: Hairy
    micky: Pussie
    glic: chinrest
    micky: Pussie
    glic: shaven
    micky : Pussie
    glic : Beaver
    micky: Pussie
    glic : Wet
    micky: Pussie
    glic :Vagazzle
    micky: Pussie
    glic: right ok
    micky: Pussie
    glick : so your normal
    micky: Pussie
    glic: no micky we`ve stopped now
    micky : Pussie
    glic : Ok lads another one to take away !
    micky : Pussie
    glic : Right ,61 mins still 1-0 to the Arsenal.
    Sound from behind door : Pussie.

    Right sorry about that AAers, time for another call, Welcome to AAMDL, what do want to say,
    caller : ” PUSSIEEEEE”

    Goallllllllll, 2-0 to the Arsenal, Bellerin heads in after 79 mins !

    and I`m off to get help !

  75. chas says:

    Rooney dive

    Graham Poll’s verdict……
    Rooney – NO dive – This is not simulation despite Rooney’s legs crumbling before being hit. Emmanuel Almunia (sic) missed the ball completely and would have wiped Rooney out potentially causing a nasty injury.

  76. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Full time , Arsenal 2 – 0 Chavs

    I `d like to thank todays sponsors and also thank my co-presenters for their professionalism and knowledge. Special thanks to the carers.
    Another Cuckoo Club Production. 😯

  77. Rasp says:

    Here’s a cunning thought 👿

    How about awarding the penalty the other way if a player is guilty of diving. A sort of an eye for an eye footballing situation. You dive in an opponents box and I’ll award a penalty against your team in your box.

    It’ll never happen, but would be poetic justice and just think of the abuse the diver would get from his own teammates.

  78. VCC says:

    GLiC. The men in white coats are coming to get you NOWWWWWWW.

    “Ding dong” Dont answer the door GLiC.

  79. Rasp says:

    Love the shenanigans between Drogba and Lehman in this clip

  80. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    How can you say that VCC, If you follow the AAMDL broadcast, you will see I was the normal one unlike ,Redders , Terry and Micky ( that man Is spending too much time with his Cats ! ). 🙂
    PS, and dont forget Rasp@4:30pm, the men in white coats from FIFA are ringing his bell as we speak !

  81. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Rasp , before you answer the door, wheres that one of Pedersen against us ?

  82. Rasp says:

    Hi glic,

    I put the youtube clip of the Pedersen dive up @ 2:01

  83. VCC says:

    Rasp, did that dive by Pederson result in a penalty? I can’t remember.

  84. Red Arse says:

    Glic, 🙂

    I popped on for a sec, (I have company) and my two friends were quite concerned when I almost dropped my laptop while falling about laughing at your Micky interview. (they thought I had lost my marbles) 🙂

    What a loss to show business you are Glicster — altho it’s probably just as well as you would probably end up in clink for your non-PC humor!!! 🙂

    Thanks, Micky, 🙂 nice to be able to read the comments of the AA stalwarts, again.

  85. Rasp says:

    No VCC, the ref wasn’t fooled as far as I can remember – I’m not sure whether Pedersen received a card for the dive.

  86. VCC says:

    GLiC 3:48. More of the same please, that was so funny.

  87. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Thanks Rasp, I was a bit pre-occupied earlier, you see the sort I have to work with, at least Lineker gets Hanson and Lawrenson !.
    Hi Redders great to see you back, I was thinking of you over the weekend ( just well wishing stuff none of that broke back stuff like Micky and Rocky ! 🙂 )
    Off to pick up a cake for glic jnr`s 19th tomorrow !.

  88. VCC says:

    GLiC.. Get him one from ASDA, you can have a picture of Arsenal on the top, with your mug on top, oops sorry I meant to say cup. Lol.

  89. goonermichael says:

    That clip of the game (with the team in red and white stripes) would be funny if he hadn’t given the pen. He wasn’t fooled at all, he is obviously corrupt.

  90. evonne says:

    Did anybody enjoy handbags throwing yesterday between those 2 nice guys, ie Martin O and Pardew Rascal? I loved it

  91. LB says:

    Rasp

    Your 4.30pm……what a really good idea.

  92. Jamie says:

    Rocky – I don’t like divers either but it’s always been there. I remember David Oleary once telling a story of being furious with Franny Lee over a dive in the box. Lee patted his back and told him he had been doing it for fifteen years.

    I try not to judge too much on those that do.

    Players still get away with tackles from behind and two footed tackles, for me thats more serious and king thug Pulis complaining to the FA is a joke.

    Stoke foul the keeper at every set peice and Our strikers are constantly the victim of persistent fouling. Nothing changing there.

    Does it wind me up? It does, but the reason no one does anything is that we all have one in the team. Theo has admitted it before, Gervinho takes a dive.

    I get the point though the weight of certain rules need to be changed for the modern game. Maybe diving should be a straight ban.

    But it’s also crazy that you can get a yellow for breaking someones leg and get the same for arguing with an incompetent ref.

    The law is an ass

  93. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GliC,
    “Thank you to the carers” 🙂

  94. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Rasp,
    Genius idea.
    I also appreciate your use of the words “poetic justice”. I used them myselfduring the Pool game when I said how it would be pj if we scored in the 92nd.
    I don’t think anyone picked up on that bit. Strictly for the hard core class of ’89 🙂

  95. Gooner In Exile says:

    WTF Jack?

    https://twitter.com/frimpong26afc/status/176734665758093312

    Evonne, Peaches and Irish stop looking at Thomas

  96. evonne says:

    GiE – never mind Jack’s Pool shirt, who is that naked in the background? Is it Vermalean? Gorgeous body 🙂

  97. goonermichael says:

    Villas-Boas still had two years and two months of his £4.5million-a-year deal to run, so his short reign could cost Chelsea £27.3m in total, counting compensation they paid Porto last summer.

    Madness

  98. goonermichael says:

    God Vermaalaen is fit. Shame I’m not a woman or gay.

  99. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Honestly there`s no privacy, I was just getting changed after a workout when someones taking a picture of Jack in a `pool shirt standing in front of me ! 😳

  100. RockyLives says:

    Hello everyone and thanks for the comments.

    Busy today ( 😦 ) so can’t stay long.

    Rasp – thanks for putting such brilliant pics into the Post.

    And thanks to everyone who uploaded all those hilarious diving clips. Wasn’t there a comically bad dive by Gary Neville a while back? Surprised that one got overlooked!

    Redders
    Good to have you back.

  101. RockyLives says:

    And thanks to all for some uproarious humour today.

    The match commentary was brilliant. As VCC says, more of that please…

    Chas
    I noticed “eureka” – very clever 🙂

  102. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Someone will probably know or find out. I bet the Chavs have paid out more in compensation in the Abramobitch era to Managers than we have have spent on Players !. Makes me proud to be a gooner.

  103. evonne says:

    Rocky – yes, chas was very fast after Archemedes’ comment

    Chas – my Irish nephew is back from Dublin and would LOVE to go tomorrow. So it looks like I will be taking him there. See you at the Tavern?

  104. evonne says:

    GM – is it TV though? I cannot zoom in on the face. I wish I had a body like that, even a woman would lookj good with that sixpack

  105. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Noooo Evonne,
    Six packs on woman are very very bad

  106. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I’m so happy, happy, happy,
    Only learnt this afternoon Newcastle is monday, so have swung a meeting London way Tues morning requiring night in London. Sometimes I can be so damn clever 🙂

  107. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I still think Rasp’s idea of awarding a pen at the other end for a dive is brilliant. Open to the usual northern ref bias abuse, but brilliant nonetheless.

  108. evonne says:

    Sometimes I can be so damn clever 🙂 Ha ha ha 🙂 I thought you sent all the funny gear to Raddy

  109. Gooner In Exile says:

  110. Gooner In Exile says:

    Hahahaha

  111. Gooner In Exile says:

    Hmmm twitter stuff not working now? Well on my screen anyway

  112. Irishgunner says:

    GIE – 😆 I was about to post that picture of TV5 … I mean Jack 😆

    Adds that to my “eeeeeeeeeemh look at that body” list

  113. evonne says:

    GiE – I cannot open any of the 3 links 😦 is there more naked boys?

  114. Gooner In Exile says:

    They are working now back in the blog comments Evonne, no more naked team mates just banter now

  115. evonne says:

    oh, I see 😦

  116. chas says:

    Evonne,
    Yes in the Tavern. Should be there by 6 hopefully.

  117. evonne says:

    Thank you Monster, see you at about 6:30, Tom doesn’t finish work till 5:30. Will text you xx

  118. slimgingergooner says:

    The problem with professional football is that it no longer resembles the football played by the masses. It is almost a sport in its own right, with it’s own rules, own players and own officials.
    It makes it difficult for players of the grass roots game to relate to.

    Yes, the majority of what goes on is cheating, if you compare it to the football matches that most of us fans have been involved in over the decades, but unfortunately, it is now so much part of the game that professionals see it as ‘gamesmanship’.

  119. chas says:

    Doesn’t everyone’s body look like that? 🙂

  120. Irishgunner says:

    I’d be a bit worried if my body looked like that 😆

  121. evonne says:

    Irish – I wouldn’t, despite Micky’s protest I’d love to have my body looking like that. Mind you, all the sports Chas is doing, he probably has body like that, I’ll check it out tomorrow

  122. chas says:

    Haha, Irish.
    Six-pack or Watney’s Part Seven?

    Wigan Pier - Watneys Party Seven

  123. Irishgunner says:

    I’m grand as I am Evonne 😆

  124. Gooner In Exile says:

    I dunno slim I reckon I got two players sent off and a few others booked in my time, was I cheating or clever?

    Most memorable was a forward already on a booking who had lost his rag, I was running (I know stop laughing) out of my area to clear a ball he was rushing to get it, I won the race (I said stop laughing) but slowed my momentum and left one leg behind after I cleared it, he ran through my leg I pirouetted 360 and landed in a heap, he got a second yellow and I waved him goodbye.

    Others normally involved me challenging forwards to make their challenge worthwhile next time, especially when collecting balls at the edge of the area with them sprinting into me..first time they would end up on their arse and I would give them a little verbal riposte…next time they tried it with a bit more force I would jump a little before impact and get knocked in the air they would get booked.

    Cheating or being clever?

  125. chas says:

    Do you like my other tattoo?

  126. RockyLives says:

    Ugh… women body builders.

    About as sexy as a dose of the piles.

  127. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    My body looks like that .About 10 years ago i was on a beach in Spain when some muscle bound jerk kicked sand in my face. That sand kicking forced me to take up a fitness regime that i still do to this day. Every summer since, i prowl the Spanish beaches looking for the ugly git.

  128. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Listen Ladies, my body is like my Temple, and I`ve got tiny little Lesbo Nuns running about inside driving me wild, I shall use my “award winning” shrinking ray gun later and join them.
    TV, he`s nothing, glic is your man, I`m a cross between Russel Brand, George Clooney and Brad Pit !………..Whats that ?, Mrs glic agrees, she says, ” yes, you look like an old greying hairy arm pit “.
    😳

  129. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Rocky,
    You need some “award winning ” Humourrhoids, contact my stockist Terry.

  130. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Cornwall, is it just me or does jodie marsh look quite fit in those pics?, i wouldnt say no. hahaha

  131. Irishgunner says:

    What are in those cans Chas? Beer? 😆

  132. evonne says:

    Sorry Rocky, as much as I like you, I am not going to stop, I am very proud of my biceps

  133. slimgingergooner says:

    GiE,

    🙂

    A dive is when a player throws himself on the floor when the contact he receives is not enough to knock him over. If you watch a game in the PL these days you will see dives all over the field during the 90 minutes, but players do not react to them anymore, and referees give the free kicks. The game is being ruined by the players and officials. I used to love playing and watching the game, but I can honestly say that the enjoyment levels have reduced massively in the last 10 years due to the pathetic diving and the even worse play acting that goes on these days.

    I have broken my arm and leg whilst playing sports and I can honestly say that I was not rolling around on the floor clutching my leg like Suarez did at the weekend. If the player isn’t moving (ie Arteta) then he is most likely injured. If he’s hoping around like he’s stood on a plug, then he’s a fucking wanker and should be booked or sent off! FACT!!!!

    🙂

  134. dandan says:

    Terrific stuff Rocky, keep it up, apart from agreeing with the sentiment it gave me a damn good laugh, thanks
    Here is an article from todays times to make all gooners smile.

    As White Hart Lane’s stands bristled with anticipation, and excitement, and fear, as Harry Redknapp’s players tensed and twitched in the tunnel, the sharp, melodramatic strains of John Williams’s work blared out into the North London twilight. The pre-game music here has long featured the Duel of the Fates, composed for The Phantom Menace. How fitting, for Tottenham Hotspur’s game, and for Tottenham’s season.

    In a week, Spurs’ campaign has foundered, its vibrancy stilled. Last Sunday, they disintegrated at Arsenal, shipping five goals in 28 minutes, throwing away a two-goal lead, unable to stem their old foes’ vengeful tide. Yesterday, they overpowered and overran Manchester United for an hour, and somehow found themselves chastened, chastised.

    Going into last week’s match, they were ten points clear of Arsène Wenger’s side, the buccaneering ambassadors of a new Tottenham, bearers of a new hope. That once gaping chasm is now down to a mere sliver, no more than four points. All of the old demons are running back.

    It would be the most kneejerk of responses to suggest that Spurs’ season has been anything less than a resounding success simply because they have lost their last two games, because they have faltered at what Redknapp insisted yesterday was a period he had identified as a turbulent one.

    “The problem is that we have played a couple of top teams,” he said. “Whether you think Arsenal are any good or not, they are still capable of beating teams like that. I looked at the fixture list and knew this would be tough.”

    It is entirely rational, though, that there should now be a slight downgrading of Spurs’ rating: they are not yet, not quite, triple A stock. Their challenge to Manchester’s monopoly of the Barclays Premier League has burnt brightly but briefly, their insurrection brutally snuffed out by the division’s established elite.

    Redknapp, in truth, is probably not that surprised. It was only as late as January 12, after a routine victory over a desperately dispirited Everton, that the 64-year-old comprehensively broke from his accustomed character as the downtrodden outsider — “I’ll be happy to finish fourth,” “we’re down to the bare bones,” that sort of thing — to acknowledge that his team should be considered title contenders.

    Even then, he could not quite bring himself to admit it openly, preferring instead the slightly surreal approach of blaming the introduction of such an alien concept to a club proud of its traditions of glorious failure on William Gallas.

    “I wasn’t there,” Redknapp said. “But someone said William Gallas came in the other day and said to everyone we have a chance.” And, for a while, they did, their manager’s boldness ensuring that they clung on to the leaders’ coat-tails, became the standard-bearers for a third way. Where City stood for the acquisition of success and United the continuation of it, Spurs were unpredictability and adventure, the great unknowns.

    But it was a role they never quite seemed comfortable with. Their edge grew blunt, their sparkle dim. The illusion lasted less than two months.

    Redknapp has cast aside any ambitions above his station. “I want to finish third,” he stated after his most inexplicable defeat of the season. Anything grander will have to wait. He has accepted that the menace was fleeting, phantom.

    It is not hard to see why. Spurs’ collapse over the last week is no humiliation, but it does give pause to the narrative that sees this group of players as the coming force at the peak of the English game and their manager as the next victim sacrificed on the altar of national pride.

    There remain questions over how well Redknapp organises and trains a defence, particularly against high-calibre attacks, borne out by his results against Arsenal and both Manchester clubs this season.

    He is no great tactician — he himself admits as much — but international success, and triumph at the very highest levels of the club game permit no such weakness. It would jar with his entirely admirable vision of the game, but there are times when the stifling dark side must be embraced in pursuit of success.

    It is for the FA to take such things into consideration while they ponder who is to succeed Fabio Capello. Redknapp remains the outstanding candidate, but his is a far from flawless beauty.

    For Spurs, there are rather more pressing issues, somewhat more familiar troubles, borne out by defeat to United. This was not simply a chance to reassert their new-found superiority over Arsenal, or an opportunity to end a decade-long hoodoo against a side who Redknapp felt were “there for the taking”.

    This was Tottenham’s moment to cast off their shadows, to prove that the days when they could be guaranteed to crumble and collapse as the mercury rises were gone for good. This was, as the music suggested, a duel with their fate. They lost. They were the better side, they created the clearer chances. But they lost.

    And they lost to a side who possess the one thing Spurs seem condemned never to have: that steely, unbending resilience that means that arguably the poorest United side in almost two decades remain just two points off the summit.

    Quite how Sir Alex Ferguson’s team won here, Redknapp said, cannot be satisfactorily explained. The 64-year-old said he had never seen the Scot “on his feet” more, so clearly agitated was his counterpart by his side’s callow surrender of possession, their anonymous midfield, their misfiring attack.

    And yet, there was something empty when Ferguson, generous of spirit to his vanquished opponent, described the result as “unbelievable”. It was anything but, in fact: as the hordes trudged from White Hart Lane, brimming with sorrow and disappointment and resentment, it will have seemed entirely predictable.

  135. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    dandan, thanks for that.The article is so good and correct, it can only be described as delirously delightful. Deep down, spurs fans know there place.

  136. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Not sure Terry, I think Jodie Marsh has seen more tackles than the Hackney Marsh.!

  137. evonne says:

    Dandan – good article, thank you for that. Fergie wasn’t surprised, he is being nice to the next England’s manager.

  138. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    hahahaha, still wouldnt say no. hahahaha

  139. gunnern5 says:

    Only the Times would take a thousand words to say that Spurs are a disillusioned bunch of overachievers who are suffering from nose bleeds.

  140. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Rocky, another beauty of a post and I completely agree with you. It is written in their names that they are cheats: a combined anagram of Bale and Suarez is ‘Abuser Zeal’!

    Although I agree with you re introducing retrospective punishment for divers, I do also believe in karma sorting the problem out. Not only did Kuijt waste the subsequent penalty after the dive, a bit later Suarez’ shot hit the woodwork, and Bale did not only end up on the losing side last week but also got himself injured missing out on Sunday’s important game for them. Rooney used to be the bees knees of the PL, but now our Boy Wonder is well ahead of him. Instant Karma got them.

  141. RockyLives says:

    Thanks dandan – always enjoy those Times articles, although Gn5’s observation is quite funny…

    TA
    “abuser zeal” brilliant 🙂

  142. 26may1989 says:

    Excellent article dandan, despite coming from Murdoch’s stable. Who’s the author?

    Re the FA sleepwalking to appointing Redknapp as England manager, I think Woy Hodgson would be the better choice. Better tactician, savvier at spotting potential talent and has buckets of international experience. Plus he pays his taxes.

    On another management topic, I saw that California Gooner suggested AVB as an apprentice to the Professeur. The idea didn’t seem to be picked up but I just wanted to say I like it. There, I said it. Any interest in that? Thought not.

    PS: Exile is a dirty rotten cheat….. 🙂

  143. TotalArsenal says:

    26, you should put your money on AVB taking over from Ranieri at Inter very soon 🙂

    The idea of an apprentice to Wenger is a good one though. I like Rodgers (?) at Swansea, even Martinez at Wigan has great potential, and let’s not forget Bergkamp who needs to be saved from the continuously sinking ship of Ajax.

    Anyway, good night to all fellow AA’ers. 24 hours from now and we could be celebrating the most famous CL victory of our history. My prediction: 6-1 to the mighty Arse 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 COYRRG!!

  144. Gooner In Exile says:

    Rodgers was at Chelsea under Mourinho…possibility he will go back there?

    They were talking about Guardiola on the radio today with a view to him
    going to the Chavs, general consensus from journos there is only one club in London he would go to in the future, I’ll give you a clue it was in North London, and the fans don’t live in swamps.

  145. kelsey says:

    Surely Di Matteo and Eddie Newton having worked with AVB won’t change the basic principle of how Chelsea play .
    If player power was the the straw that finally broke the camel’s back, what will change.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if a new manager is appointed before the end of the season, regardless of what the club say.

    Taking away the amount of obscene money Abramovich has wasted, good players don’t suddenly become bad players and I can’t accept that the phrase “that chelsea are an old team” with players in decline, is actually justified.
    Any manager taking the position will be asking have I got complete control, have I got a reasonable time scale and additional funds to blend the team my way but at the same time knowing by the recent track record of sackings that if it doesn’t work out I get a nice lump sum from the owner.
    IMO, Chelsea are still a very good side but with an owner who not many would want to work for , and with Sven throwing his hat into the ring, tells a lot.

  146. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Morning all,
    On AVB to Arsenal. I have a feeling that it was Raddy that first suggested the idea, but I cannot see it unless AW really does have plans to stand down soon. I am also very much against the idea of AW moving upstairs at a later date. For me any new manager needs total control and the opportunity of making his own mark. Having AW in the background would be too big of a shadow to work under.

  147. Gooner In Exile says:

    Morning Kelsey, any manager who wants cash would take the job (Arry?), sign a 3 year deal, get sacked after 9months put your feet up for 2.5 years and still earn £10m. Lovely where do I sign?

    According to some papers it was the players that did for him. Whilst I agree that good players don’t become bad overnight there seems on the surface to be a lot of disharmony, and it would appear that the more senior players did not like the young managers new fangled ideas or the timekeeping monitoring etc.

    It must be hard for the likes of Terry, Lampard and Drogba to be coached by someone only a year or two older than them with no real football playing credentials.

  148. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Hi Kelsey,
    Given the very short termist nature of the Chav job, and the guarranteed enormous pay off, it would appear to be right up Svens street 🙂
    I do agree that they are not a bad side or suddenly bad players, but I do wonder how many of the more senior campaigners might be looking for one last big money move.

  149. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GiE,
    I was on it before you. I just type three minutes a paragraph slower!

  150. kelsey says:

    Micky/GIE

    Good morning.

    I agree with that Micky.AW will leave in 2 years,hopefully putting the club on a fantastic footing for the future and let the next man take some of the glory. I still think AW will end up as PSG chairman or an outside chance as French National Manager as the stress and strains he is under at the moment plus the smal matter of contract negotiations coming up with RVP and others is a big priority and I don’t think CL football next season is entirely dependant on playing staying or going.it’s the clubs wage structure which maybe the stumbling block.

  151. kelsey says:

    Re Sven, that’s exactly what I meant,micky. 🙂

  152. LB says:

    Abramovich seems a bit bored with his play thing; do you think he has an exit strategy

  153. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Interesting Kelsey,
    I have a feeling that everything about PSG is very un-Wengerlike and a bit prima donnary. I always thought somewhere like Bayern was more up his street.

  154. LB says:

    Sven for Chelsea………..we can do but hope.

  155. LB says:

    I think the idea that RvP’s agent hasn’t at least hinted at what he would be looking for Robin in terms of wages and length of contract is unrealistic — he has.

    The club cannot and will not be able to afford it. A potential replacement has already been identified. That is one of the reasons why we support one of the best run clubs in the world.
    (replacement identified, not the fact that we won’t be able to afford him lol)

    If I had to guess as to whether Robin will stay, my answer would be sadly no?
    .

  156. LB says:

    But, let’s play the game of where would he go.

    Manu – no way, they do not have the money.

    City — maybe not, they really are top heavy with strikers.

    Barcelona — does he really play their style of football.

    PSG — I would lose all respect for him if he went there.

    Real Madrid — this is the danger club.

  157. evonne says:

    Foocking, foocking wordpress!!! typed a long comment and it is gone, cannot be arsed to type it again

    In a nutshell – morning all, I said from the start that AVB was a strange choice and will not last;

    Micky – the idea of AW moving upstairs – I thought you meant Arsene going to heaven 🙂

    Abramovitch – I always suspected he will sell the grounds, make up for his losses and move Lamps to St Peterburg, JT to Moscow and Torres to Siberia

    Match day! I am glad I’m going, AW cannot see any reason why we should not score 4 goals tonight 🙂 have to love him

  158. Gooner In Exile says:

    LB I have heard stories that Abramovitch for the last few years has been withdrawing money back from Chelsea (the element not changed to equity) how much and whether there is any interest attached is anyone’s guess. Whether Roman does not enjoy his plaything anymore I don’t know, but I do hope so. A Chelsea fan rang up 606 and demanded Roman leave and stop making them a laughing stock, when he was asked what they would do without his financial backing he said that he would hope for a Sheikh Mansour like billionaire.

    Looking at the sad state of affairs at Portsmouth and Rangers I kind of think a full flotation of Arsenal plc on the FTSE is more preferable than being sold in the future to another billionaire.

    Man Utd paid £100m in interest last season on the Glaziers debts from buying them plus paid off about £100m of said debt. Frightening numbers for the red half of Manchester.

  159. LB says:

    Morning Evonne

    4 goals tonight….oh yes we have a game, thanks, I had completely forgotten.

  160. Gooner In Exile says:

    LB your summation of the RvP situation is probably fair, but of all those clubs you mentioned I can’t see him in their shirts, my only thought is Munich (although they have wage caps in Germany) or one of the Milans?

    As I said the other day of we hope he wants to stay we have to believe he is not in it for the money, especially of he wants a contract over two to three years.

    We hear on the wire that Podolski is almost certainly a done deal, I’ll believe that one if he arrives in June 😀

  161. LB says:

    Morning GIE

    What’s this (the element not changed to equity) ?

  162. LB says:

    GIE

    Length of contract is going to be key, the Italians had slipped my mind, one of them would almost certainly go as far as to offer a five year deal, as they did with Vieira.

  163. Red Arse says:

    Morning Guys,

    In case GIE has gone, LB, he meant that the money Abrrrrrrmchhhh put into Chelsea as a loan to buy players was converted into shares, and cannot just be taken back.

    The loans + interest not converted can be taken back (repaid). Unlikely in my view. 🙂

  164. evonne says:

    LB – silly you, forgot a game 🙂 Are you coming to the Tavern?

  165. LB says:

    Thanks for the explanation RA

    I was being more playful than serious when I was talking about his exit strategy. Although, I bet he does wonder from time to time how he got hiself into that mess.

  166. evonne says:

    GiE – Podolski! We are heading for a Polish speaking dressing room. Except for TV and his six pack

  167. LB says:

    Evonne

    Can’t make the Tavern, I am on children duty until 7.

  168. evonne says:

    LB – enjoy the game! let’s hope Raddy hasn’t forgotten it is the Match Day today 🙂

  169. kelsey says:

    Evonne,

    but Abramovich can’t sell the ground as the chelsea trust own the majority and won’t sell. 12 acres in prime central london is worth an estimated 4 billion in 2016. Chelsea have made enquiries in Earls Court,Battersea and Clapham. This is a real problem as they can’t expand their ground.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2011/oct/27/chelsea-pitch-owners-stamford-bridge

  170. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    Kelsey.
    How much will Earls Court cost the chavs to buy as It Is prime location aswell and Battersea would cost more surely as It Is a riverside location. They can build up at the bridge but have said It will cost too much and take 3 years and would have to play elsewhere. All this from a club that have spent probably a £1Billion saying It would cost too much !.

  171. evonne says:

    Kelsey – that would explain why he hasn’t sold yet. He’s waiting for the trust to change their mind and then recoup his losses ++++ Bastard

  172. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    I was speaking to a Chav Head Hunter at a Funeral on Friday, he said that they struggle to fill the ground now let alone fill a 60,000 stadium . I said they will coach load in even more plastics !

  173. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    e va va vonne,
    Surely he only has to keep buying their shares and their minds will be changed for them !

  174. Gooner In Exile says:

    GliC you’re not too far away what I guess they will do is move out to somewhere like Heathrow, that way harnessing a new area of fans, plus not being too far from major transport links for the corporate boxes (and the stockbroker belt)

    But it can only be funded if those fans agree to sell the existing ground.

  175. gooner lost in cornwall says:

    GiE,
    Whats stopping the shares being bought by Abramobitch, he`s been doing it sneakly already, only a matter of time I think !

  176. TotalArsenal says:

    Now look into my eyes, look into my eyes: 6-1! Now, look into my eyes, look into my eyess: 6-1! Now..

  177. Rasp says:

    Morning all…….

    ….. New post …….

  178. Roopesh says:

    no team dives more than Arsenal

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