Referees are the fall guys

Yesterdays excellent post by weedonald prompted many good comments. One of our overseas bloggers – shard – sent this in as a response to that post and he includes his ideas for how the problem could be addressed.

The question to ask is, why do referees not enforce the laws properly, and if they don’t, why don’t their associations sort it out? And also slimgingergooner said, referees need support and to be backed to call a penalty for what is an offense (shirt pulling).. Why so? Why do referees face censure for following rules?

Partly, it’s because the football pundits propagate nonsense like ‘he got the ball’, ‘6 of one, half a dozen of the other’, ‘in the good ol days, it won’t even have been a free kick’ etc. This, increases the pressure on the referees, but for all the wrong reasons. Conversely, where referees do act contrary to at least the spirit of the law, the media looks to make excuses, or over scrutinise the player..’he should know better, he had to be careful having already been booked’.

I also agree with slim that referees’ mistakes are shown up more compared to rugby, and as such they have less respect from players and fans. But that is the authorities fault, They refuse to make all available resources an option for referees to get the call right, they put referees on a pedestal, and they refuse media access to the referees. In Germany, where referees speak to the media after the games, they can explain why they gave a certain decision, or even admit they made a mistake, and largely, the public accepts it and I’m sure players respect them more too. If someone refuses to accept mistakes and carries on as per usual, that’s when respect is eroded.

In summary, referees don’t respect the laws, the players don’t respect referees, the media perpetuate myths about the laws, the public understand neither the laws nor the referees’ actions, leading to confusion and arbitrariness all around with football being the loser.

Changes I’d like to see

Video replays – I know this is controversial, but it is perverse that when I , sitting halfway across the world, can see in 5 seconds that a wrong call was made, the referees themselves can’t rectify it. Fears of the game slowing down might be exaggerated even if they are real, and in any case, we should have trials in the lower leagues/friendlies to see how it works and how it can work better.

Referees being miked up – Like in Rugby. You have the referee explaining his decision in real time to the players, the people at the ground, as well as people watching on tv. This increases understanding among all, and also acts as a major incentive for referees to get their calls right. The only reason so far that I’ve come across, of why this can’t be done is because apparently footballers use colourful language which will outrage anyone watching on tv. Firstly, I don’t think football fans are that sensitive. Secondly, they can always ensure players mind their language. The NBA does it and it took a while, but now players behave themselves as a matter of course. A couple of fines and things will be sorted.

Committee of Ethics – Ok. this was actually Wenger’s term and idea, but it is based on the recognition that even with video replays, let alone without, referees make mistakes, and football authorities reserve the right to set those right. Actually, this is already so. The FA CAN act when it wants to, and its claims of FIFA rules, are a convenient lie. The problem with this is, that it is used arbitrarily. Wayne Rooney’s elbow onto the Wigan player’s head, Balotelli’s leg breaker on Song, cannot be punished. Derry’s red card cannot be overturned. Song’s stamp on Barton gets retrospective punishment. Middlesborough, a few years ago, got an extra game ban for their player, for a frivolous appeal, when in my opinion it was anything but. How to solve that problem, I have no idea and welcome suggestions. But the principle of overturning the bad calls such as for given/not given cards must be established, rather than deeming referees infallible.

Ref Observer Reports – The FA has referee observers at every match. Their reports, or at least the methodology they use to grade referees, as well as their results at the end of the season as regards which referees placed where, should be made public. Any referee consistently finishing below a certain grade must be ‘relegated’. While the claim is that this is done, it should be done in a transparent manner.

For the rest, of course, the existing laws must be applied fairly, judiciously, and at all times. That’s what the referee training and selection process is for after all. Training them to do their job. And although I am a very harsh critic of referees, I think most referees want to do a good job but are either let down/overlooked by their associations, and/or left as convenient targets to absorb all the criticism. The crisis in refereeing, is something I see as a crisis of administration.

Written by Shard

249 Responses to Referees are the fall guys

  1. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Great piece of writing Shard.
    Can someone clear up a point for me. Ref’s wages/fees. Am I right in saying they are much higher in Italy? I’m getting at the “you pay peanuts” line of thinking. I really have no idea of the facts here.

  2. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Oh come out and play nice dog people πŸ™‚

  3. Rhyle says:

    Great, balanced article on the declining standards of refereeing…there must be two Shards…lol…

    Two things I’d note, also, are that I feel referees have an almost impossible task in terms of delivering consistency in that the laws of the game have been tweaked to the point of ambiguity…when those involved in the game can’t decide what is or isn’t offside what chance do the refs have?

    Secondly is your point about putting mics on refs. They tried it. Once. It was an Arsenal game. As you say, it was because the language was SO BAD (paricularly Tony Adams) that it was quickly abandoned. Tie the mics in to a law stating that only captains can address the ref and you may be able to apply it without that fear!

    I feel odd. I’m going for a lie down…

  4. Scott says:

    The video ref system sucks.
    I will say it until I’m blue in the face,and then again.
    I watch In action weekly,and it’s crap.
    I agree on the other points though.

  5. Scott says:

    Rhyle,I thought Tony Adams was our captain.

  6. Rasp says:

    Thanks Shard, welcome to our list of authors. That is an excellently presented case for the much maligned referees. It has to be right, referees are human and therefore fallible. They will make mistakes and they will exhibit bias albeit subliminal.

    The simple use of video replays and on field communications will not slow the game as previously argued. In fact, if the players know that an incident has been analysed on video, the time wasted in mock indignation (trying to con the ref) would be saved and perhaps the technology could actually speed the flow of the game.

  7. Rhyle says:

    Scott…lol…he was, but that’s beside the point and in no way detracts from the spirit of it!

  8. Scott says:

    You get my point though Rhyle πŸ™‚
    I do agree with the skipper being the only player to speak to a ref and said so yesterday in fact.
    Refs with a microphone is a positive thing.

  9. chas says:

    Nice one, Shard.

    Are you suggesting that people watching video off the field speak to the ref through a headpiece? The problem with video replays in football matches is waiting for the ball to go dead. Otherwise you would have to stop the play to review recordings.

    Elleray miked up.

  10. Scott says:

    Chas,referees carry a mic in Rugby League (in Australia)so we can hear them explaining to the captain why a decision was made….and it helps us fans.

  11. chas says:

    Did you watch the video, Scott?

  12. Dick Swiveller says:

    It’s not that their pay is naturally higher in Italy, it’s just that the refs get a little extra for making the ‘right’ calls. Allegedly.

    The consipracy theorist in me says that there is no way they’ll allow the power to come out of the refs discretionary hands when a handful of men are easier to control than an entire rulebook, but I think a good part of it is their refusal to change anything as change is scary. Something needs to be done though as a fair chunk of fans simply don’t trust any refs and when competition is seen as a farce it’s one step away from the fans walking from the sport i.e. the Death of Football to put it in more melodramatic terms.

  13. Dick Swiveller says:

    Chas, for any truly controversial incident (i.e. the kind that needs a right decision) players will usually stand around shouting at each other and trying to get touched in the face so as they can plunge to the floor, that’s plenty of time for a guy to take a look and make a decision.

  14. Rasp says:

    Hi chas, obviously the devil is in the detail, but it surely is not beyond the wit of the technical experts o devise a system that works.

    I think even the old stalwarts accept that sooner or later some form of video technology is inevitable.

    It may evenually include an official watchng at the game on a monitor and with the ability to view slo-mo replays and then communicate with the ref,. I expect goal line technology to be the first step in the process.

  15. Scott says:

    Just watched it Chas.
    You can’t have it where the players don’t know about it though…thats asking for trouble.

  16. chas says:

    I understand the need for goal line technology. It’s just the rest I can’t see working. I often watch slow mo replays and disagree with what’s being said about it on TV. People can’t even agree what’s a good/bad tackle, dive/not dive after umpteen replays from multiple angles.

    The again, perhaps I’m just resistant to change. πŸ™‚

  17. chas says:

    We sometimes play this game in the pub where everyone puts a pound in a pint pot and the glass is moved on every time the ball goes dead. If the pot is in front of you when a goal is scored, you win the money and the kitty is refreshed.

    This hasn’t got any particular relevance to today’s discussion except that sometimes it takes a very long time for the ball to go dead. Would we really want the game stopped just for there to be a decision that no infringement of the rules took place? If you didn’t stop the game and replays later showed that there should have been a penalty, for instance, how on earth can you go back and award one?

  18. Red Arse says:

    Very good Post, Shard.

    There is an element of ‘smacking’ the ref expressed within the Post but then too empathizing with them for the lack of support.

    Now that is both a fair assessment and therefore balanced. Well done.

    The Post and the following comments have covered most of the salient points regarding solving the obvious problems, but I think not enough weight has been given to the role of FIFA.

    Before commenting on the FIFA aspect, can I say, that there are some fans out there, including me, who are of the opinion that football, like in all other sporting aspects, is played by, managed by, administered by, and watched by fallible members of the human race, and should simply be allowed to carry on as it has done since its inception, with all the attendant feelings of ecstasy at winning and dejection at losing, regardless of good or bad fortune, good or bad refereeing decisions and to hell with changes commensurate with the modern day demands of the all seeing eye of television.

    Let’s have football as it is, warts and all, because technology as Scott and others have said will bring its own trials and tribulations.

    Back to FIFA. All the comments on improving the lot of the poor, hard done by, misbegotten referees by the increased use of technology will come up against the dead hand of FIFA.

    It has taken more than 20 years of Sky broadcasts in the UK to move the argument for goal line technology a little closer. And still they dither — system A or system B — hmmm, decisions, decisions.

    No one Football Association in any given country has the authority to implement such changes without them being introduced in all countries. This allows FIFA and its corrupt and incompetent management to play one off against the other.

    Look, I accept that the genie is out of the box, and the majority of fans are crying out for the ‘improvements’ in decision making that technology promises to bring.

    So I would go along with it if it can be shown to work. But I caution all you optimists out there, that the current structure of FIFA and the political skulduggery attendant on all major changes that are proposed means you should not hold your breath waiting for them.

    You may all be too old and incontinent to care before the bright new technological era is ushered in! πŸ™‚

  19. Missed yesterdays post but excellent it was as is todays.
    All football fans can see the problems and the fixes, why can’t the people upstairs?
    Theres always an argument against amendment for example – grass roots, they say video tech couldn’t be used at grass roots level, so what i don’t see cameras in the stumps at village cricket.
    Its a simple world if simple people could run it.

  20. slimgingergooner says:

    You do realise there is a charge for using my name in Post’s Shard!!!?


    Will let you off seeing as it is such a good read!

  21. Red Arse says:

    Good point Tommy, tho’ I am sure you never believed that bollix for one moment.

    Bladder, that oily politico, simply used that excuse to show technology was elitist and not acceptable in an egalitarian society.

    Come to think of it, there is no (pending) goal line technology in the local parks during the footie season. As I say – bollix! πŸ™‚

  22. slimgingergooner says:


    ‘simple’ people do run it, thats the problem!


  23. Danny says:

    I don’t know if anybody mentioned this yesterday but the offside rule has got to be changed. Back in the early 70’s there was a summer competition called the Intertoto cup and in it the white line runnning across the goalmouth was extended to both sides of the pitch and only in this area could a player be offside. This meant the linesmen didn’t have to run as much e.g. no need to be between the goalmouth and the half way line etc and made the matches more exciting. Maybe this type of offside should be tried?

  24. Red Arse says:

    Hi Danny,

    I mentioned it yesterday in the context of the misunderstanding of the rules for offside, by nearly everyone in the game.
    It is my belief that misunderstood laws are bad laws and should be amended.

    The current system was introduced, allegedly, to improve the ratio/number of goals scored by the ‘attacking’ team, in an effort to make the game more attractive to TV audiences.

    There are statos on AA, and it would be interesting to compare the goals scored pre and post current offside rules, making a weighting allowance for other factors such as heavy leather balls versus the current lightweight ‘swervy’ beach balls, etc, to ascertain whether or not the ‘new’ offside rules achieved their objective.
    I bet Bladder and co never checked!

  25. chas says:

    wouldn’t that lead to defences sitting deeper i.e. never pushing up to the halfway line? Also wouldn’t there be goal hangers, long punts up field and teams more reluctant to commit men forward? Doubt Wenger would buy it.

  26. Red Arse says:

    TA, where are you?

    I hope you have not committed Hari Kiri yet, the Netherlands can still go thru in a blaze of glory.

    Come back and talk to me! πŸ™‚

  27. chas says:

    It might create more space in midfield though. πŸ™‚

  28. morning red morning slim, thanks for the comments

  29. Scott says:

    Chas,you won’t find anone more anti video technology than I am.
    Goal line is the only one I’d cop on game day,followed by a review after games into diving.
    I can handle the ref being wired for sound though.

  30. Danny says:

    It would definiely change the game as we know it and as far as goal hangers are concerned, I think SuperMac’s retired?!
    By the way, does anybody else remember the Intertoto competition with that offside rule or did I just imagine it?

  31. Red Arse says:

    Hi Scott, πŸ™‚

    Now let me see if I have got this straight. Reading your comments over the past couple of days, would it be true to say that you are against video technology, by any chance? πŸ™‚

    You must be a Luddite – just like me! πŸ™‚

  32. gunnern5 says:

    Here we are 14 games into Euro2012 and the refereeing has been superb. We are not only watching the top football teams in Europe but we are also watching the best officials.

    This leads me to suggest that the general calibre of officiating is the issue that needs to be addressed.

    Goal line technology is far overdue and video replays could also be used to validate all penalty calls and straight red cards, the third official could be responsible to review the video and make the final call. As in American Football, an on field decision should only be overruled with conclusive video evidence.

  33. glic says:

    Before I go out and test my calfs with a run ( yes Scott, I will be checking my backside for a pork chop ) . First, greatly worded post Shard , we really are blessed with some technically gifted writers on AA, I`m just here to make you all look good ! πŸ™‚
    Secondly, I forgot to say this yesterday. My biggest gripe with the rules is, wait for it, steady……..The Offside Law, as I`ve always said , I see thing`s simple ( too late, I have previously already said , ” it helps being simple ” πŸ™‚ ) and the most simple solution is, if your in an offside position, your offside. Bollix to all this ” not interfering with play ” and then the ball deflects off something or someone and the non interfering player scores, thats cheating imo. If your offside , your offside , simples !.
    Right offoutside for a run. πŸ™‚
    I shall read your commments to my revolutionary idea when I come back onside. Later.

    If there`s no comments when I get back, then your a bunch of Golden Retrievers ! πŸ™‚

  34. Scott says:

    Hi Ra…..the video ref holds up play whilst invariably coming to a decision that half the fans agree with and half don’t….
    Yep,you’ve nailed,I hate the thing lol.

  35. Scott says:

    Glic,I hope you return with both cheekls intact πŸ™‚

  36. Bayonne Jean says:

    Two items to be implemented: a) goal line technology for the obvious “is it a goal or not?” decision, made by the video referee based in a central location, much as is done in the North American National Hockey League; b) video review AND appropriate (harsh) punishment retrospective punishment for diving/simulation on not only penalty calss but for acting anywhere on the pitch. Make it a three match suspension for first offense, and escalating punishment for repeat offenders.

  37. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi RA πŸ™‚

    Don’t mention ze war game – I am super disappointed in the way Holland played. Still have not watched the second half: cannot get myself to watch it, such was my disappointment with our performance in the first half. A total disgrace. We made those Moffen look good, which is unforgivable. BAH!

  38. LB says:


    That sounds like a good word.

  39. TotalArsenal says:

    Really well written, informative and refreshing sequential posts by WEE d and Shard. Welcome to the continuously growing squad of AA authors, and what treats you served us! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    Re video referees: asap in my view. Latest example for me is the Denmark – Holland game: two clear cases of hand to ball and despite additional eyes behind the goal-line, nobody appears to see anything. Spoilt the game, and video technology would have prevented this.

    Every team should have, say 3 calls per game, two maximum per half. Calls should only be made for red card, penalty or goal-line decisions. The vid referee would have three options: agree with the referee’s decision, overrule it, or say evidence is inconclusive and leave final decision with referee.

    I don’t think it would be that difficult to implement but, as RA stated earlier, certain parties are opposed to its introduction, or to even trial it. Those who are in power usually work towards strengthening their position, not weakening it. Choosing the referees and allowing for an element of subjectivity on the pitch, is the football governing bodies only possibility to have some power over the games themselves.

  40. LB says:

    I have only watched bits of the fourteen matches played so far but I think the standard of refereeing has been quite good.

    There is a clear attempt by the referees to ignore the acting, ok they may have gone a bit too far the other way on occations as seen in the first England game: many a tackle should have been a foul in England’s favour.

    But I would prefer to see teams loose out on the odd free kick here and there rather than see the likes of Busquets conning the referee by pretending to be fouled when he clearly has not been touched.

    So to put it simply, I like the line the referees are taking in this aspect of the game.

  41. Norfolk Gooner says:

    I’m firmly convinced that “knocking the ref” is a media “must do”. It adds controversy to even the most boring of goalless draws, it gives the broadcasters an opportunity to extend the length of time the punters are kept before they switch off the TV set. How many times have you heard this, “After the break, we’ll have another look at that controversial penalty decision” Meanwhile we sit and watch the ads (more money for the broadcaster) then some numpty who has never read the laws of the game expounds on why the ref got it wrong.

    It’s all about maximising revenue earning opportunites.

    I hope and pray that if goal-line tecnology is introduced it will not become the thin edge of the wedge leading to more and more decisions on fouls, diving, offside etc being revued during the game.

  42. TotalArsenal says:

    LB, the problem is those Moffen are behaving impeccably well nowadays. Where are the Vogts, Vollers, Matthausen, Brehmes who were so easy to despise, for whom it was so easy to swear at the TV at, or to pierce their football album photo-stickers with darts… I feel so let down by those modern-era Moffen! BAH!

  43. chas says:

    Herein lies the rub.
    Denmark v Holland handball as below. Take a look at the comments below the video (you’ll have to watch in YouTube).

    How would you feel if the video ref said that this was ball to hand and sod all the Dane could do about it?

  44. glic says:

    I see one of the remarks chas,
    ” Two of the worlds best teams playing “. Cant argue with that, the Dutch are one of the best and the Danes beat them, thats makes the Danes one of the best !. πŸ™‚

  45. glic says:

    Come on TA. Moffen ?, give us a clue !.

  46. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Chas, I understand the difficulty of making the right call. That’s why I added the ‘inconclusive option’. The video shows clearly to me the defender used his arms twice to stop the ball getting to Huntelaar, but I can see why others would argue differently.


    Thanks Shard. You have a great way of expressing your points. In keeping with your Indian roots i shall henceforth from this day address you as the “Guru”.

    You have to feel sorry for the Refs, they just cant win what ever they do. Lets face it, we as fans are just as responsible for there vilification as any one else, screaming blue murder if its a poor desicion etc.

    Sometimse you just cant shake it out of your system. In 1992 i went to the Lane, a game in which our dear neighbours beat us 1 – 0, refereed by a certain Alf Buksh. Man of the match for them was Buksh.I swear to all who read this that on that day if that idiot had ventured into the Park Lane he would have ben lynched. No technology, change of rules, support from football authorities would have made a difference to that mug. He was incompetant, useless, a complete Dick Head and as you can tell, ime still pissed off at him this present day. So there is the dilema, refs have my sympathy and support, but now and again we just cant help ourselves. “Fall Guys”, indeed.

  48. chas says:

    Hi TA, but you said “video technology would have prevented this”, but judging by the views of some of the commenters ( the ones that seemed to have looked at the rules, I hasten to add), the decision on this one would have been no handball!

  49. Alf Buksh says:

    I was thinking of coming to the “Tavern” to meet you guys one match day. Hoping for a good welcoming, see you soon .

    Kind regards

    Alfie ” Blind as a Bat ” Buksh

  50. glic says:

    Guess what happens on Monday ?.


    What happens? Alf Buksh becoming Totnumb manager?

  52. TotalArsenal says:

    Then that decision would have to be accepted Chas. More could not have been done, and I would not have felt so much that the game had been spoilt. πŸ™‚

    But, the defender does not retract his arm, or attempt to retract his arm and has has made his body as wide as possible with his outstretched arm, so the striker can not pull the ball back like that.

    He also used his arm to avoid the ball moving past him towards the goal just a fraction before the incident, but you cannot see that very well in the video.

  53. glic says:

    Possibly Terry, πŸ˜†

    It`s the Premier League fixtures for next season, yippeeeeee !.

  54. Red Arse says:

    Hi TA, πŸ™‚

    Glad you are back.

    It WAS handball, (at least once) and it WAS a penalty!

    Well done Chas for the vid ………… well all the vids, actually!! πŸ™‚

    Holland must put on a show in their 3rd game otherwise they will have let down not just the fans, but also themselves.

    I cannot understand what has happened to them. All that skill and they are all playing like copies of the Stoke Orcs.

    Alf ‘blind as a bat’ Buksh, good to hear from you.

    If I did not know any better, I think you might be the twin of our own award winning Glic ‘pork chop arse’! πŸ™‚

  55. Alf Buksh says:

    No I`m not related to that ludicrously handsome bastard .
    I say handsome, but then again, I am as blind as a Bat !.

  56. glic says:

    On Monday, If you could choose, who would you like at home for the first game of the season ?. Dont all rush at once !. πŸ™‚

  57. chas says:


  58. TotalArsenal says:

    Agreed RA, but I think Portugal will beat us as well. The team needs rejuvenating especially if they want to continue with 4-2-3-1.

    I have enjoyed watching the Italian pearl Pirlo though, and the Spanish were phenomenal yesterday. Plenty for to enjoy! πŸ™‚

  59. Red Arse says:


    Ironically, when Portugal scored their third and winning goal, in the other game, the defender tucked his arms behind his back and became fixed to the spot.

    If he had kept his arms out in a ‘natural’ position, the chances are that the ball would have struck his left arm, and Portugal would not have scored.

    Going by the refusal of the Dutch penalty claim, that ‘handball’ would have been refused too, and Portugal would have been in a difficult position in the group.

    Football, eh?

  60. Red Arse says:

    Ermm, TA, of course, if what I said above happened, then Germany would have 6 points; Denmark would have 4 points; Portugal would have 1 point and Holland with 0 points would have been out of the championship.

    Maybe the way it went was a signal for Holland to forget the past and give it a go! πŸ™‚

  61. glic says:

    Me too chas πŸ™‚
    But I will settle for beating the current title holders at Home .

  62. Red Arse says:

    Man Utd, Glicster. A nice 3:0 home win and we are off to a great start!


    i dont care who it is, we will thash the lot of them.

  64. glic says:

    Will you be going to any of the games this season Redders ?.

  65. glic says:

    As long as Alfie Buksh is not Reffing Terry !. πŸ™‚


    If he is ime smuggling in my telescopic gun. hahaha

  67. TotalArsenal says:

    I hope so to RA – Hope springs eternal! πŸ™‚

  68. jnyc says:

    I say. To look at the aussie system, find out how it can be better, same for the nfl, all can be adjusted to fit epl. And slight tweaks can be made after its been tested and tried. Remember, how nice would it be if even only the most outrageously obvious wrong calls are corrected. There will be some that are too close to change, but the worst ones are the obvious ones. So maybe the greatest injustices can be overturned. Time to at least look into it. πŸ™‚


    Does any remember Durkin sending of Petit. When Durkin brandished the red, his orgasim levels reached such a peak he lept 2 feet in the air.

  70. Red Arse says:

    I honestly do not know, Glic. At the moment I dread going to the hospital once or twice a week, and that will continue for the foreseeable future. Difficult really.

    I cannot even get to a ball game in New York, to explain the wonders of the Yankees to the Rock star!! πŸ™‚

    Hopefully, I will get the opportunity to meet you and the Terry man at some stage, and give Rasper a kiss in the Tavern!! πŸ™‚


    TA, i think the Dutch have been a bit unlucky. They should have beaten the Danes, just simply missed there chances. That put extra presure on the next game and you dont need that against the Germans.


    Redders. My invite to get you a ticket for the game of your choice will always remain open. Let us know when you can make it.

  73. Red Arse says:

    Thanks Terry, you are a good man! πŸ™‚

  74. glic says:

    Yes ,It would be lovely to meet you at the Tavern with you in full fine health ,but kissing Rasp could be dodgy, he wears Red and White lipstick and has an enameled stud of a gooner peeing on a spurs shirt through his tounge !. πŸ™‚

  75. goonermichael says:

    I have a client who is a referee. He says you could always give the attacking player the benefit of the doubt when marginal offside. If it results in a goal and it was off he would get word from the video man in seconds and rule the goal out. If he calls offside when it’s not you can’t do anything about it.

  76. glic says:

    I cant help it, but I`m more excited about the fixtures coming out on Monday than I am for the England game tonight !.

  77. goonermichael says:

    Some refs are bent or just not impartial. This country is one of the worst. Howard Webb is the best we have and he gives 17% of pens to the mancs.

    graham Poll 3 yellows in the WC then sent home. Says it all really.

  78. goonermichael says:
  79. glic says:

    gm, Have you been moonlighting in Callington, Cornwall ? . I only ask as your comment is covered in Doggy hair !. πŸ™‚

  80. jnyc says:

    Btw , SHARD. i always enjoy your comments here also. keep it coming

  81. Red Arse says:

    Hi GM,

    Clearly a fake pic. Harry can’t spell big words like that……….well unless Rosie his terrier helped him, of course. πŸ™‚

    Glic, I think Rasper will fricassee your nuts if he finds you have been giving away his secrets!! πŸ™‚

  82. RockyLives says:

    I don’t think Rasp likes being kissed in the tavern (he’s a bit sensitive down there) πŸ™‚
    Also, I have never been to Ludd – is it nice?

    An excellent continuation of yesterday’s excellent discussion about refereeing, with excellent comments and general excellentness all round.

    My two ha’pennyworth is that (a) of course there should be retrospective video analysis to ban cheats, overturn mistaken red cards etc. The silly rule that “if the ref saw it and dealt with it during the game” it can’t be overturned also needs to be binned. And (b) video second-guessing should be allowed in game, but only for incidents where play has already stopped (debatable goals, debatable offsides where the whistle has blown etc).

    I watch a lot of NBA games. They use video evidence if necessary – but not very often. It just helps reinforce the fans’ belief that the system works.

    I’m sure one of the reasons “soccerball” has had trouble establishing itself in the US is that American fans can’t get their heads round the idea that a blatantly wrong call can give the biggest prizes to teams that don’t deserve them. It’s crazy when you think about it.

    Obviously some calls will always be debatable, but truly blatant ones (like Thierry’s basketball play against ireland, that denied Ireland a place in the World Cup) really should be capable of being overturned there and then.

    Weedonnie made the point yesterday that there are lots of long stoppages while players argue with the ref, fail to retreat at free kicks etc, so video referral need not be much more disruptive.

  83. glic says:

    Should go well with my Arse marinated pork chops then, I shall be eating well this night my fellow gooners !. πŸ™‚

  84. LB says:

    it’s not often we have the footballing high ground over the Dutch, this should last for all of, what, four and a half hours, still we should enjoy it while it lasts, let’s be honest TA your lot were a shambles.

  85. glic says:

    That is a fine two ha`pennyworth !.

  86. RockyLives says:

    Thankyou GLiC
    I’ve never understood “two ha’penny worth” – why not just say “a pennyworth”?

  87. Red Arse says:

    Rocket Man, πŸ™‚

    Thanks for the warning about where to kiss the Rasper! Learning from your experience is illuminating! πŸ™‚

    Reminded me about the two eggs.

    Two eggs were kissing on a bed when the female egg said, “I have to go change. I’ll be back in a minute.”

    Five minutes later, the the female egg walked back out in a slinky ‘egg’lige, rubbing her hands seductively up and down her smooth, oval-shaped body.

    Instantly, the male egg slapped his hands right on the top of his head, covering it completely.

    “What are you doing?,” the female egg asked.

    He replied, “The last time I was this hard, someone cracked me on the head with a spoon.”

    Kissing, eh? πŸ™‚

  88. Rasp says:

    Hi Alf Buksh, we look forward to meeting you in The Tavern. Only Red Arse is allowed to kiss me in the Tavern, for everyone else it has to be the Old Bull and Bush πŸ˜†

  89. Red Arse says:


    Enjoy your dinner, tonight. I might have to take a rain check on that myself. πŸ™‚

    I never understood ” a penny for them” or “I need to spend a penny”, why not 10 pence or a Β£pound? If I knew I would probably be able to work out the old poem, told to me by TA, “here I stand, broken hearted — spent a penny and only farted”. πŸ™‚

  90. glic says:

    I always thought it was ” Two Pennyworth “, but I could be wrong . We need someone of greater years than me , who might know. Now where`s that GN5 ?.

  91. Red Arse says:

    Rasp, πŸ™‚

  92. glic says:

    Without naming them ( `coz I cant remember who they are ), there are a lot of people from other countries who eat a lot worse ” things “. So get yourself down here quick ( before it piddles down again ) for an awesome BBQ ! . Oh and bring Rasp, he needs to prep the ” food “. πŸ™‚

  93. Big Raddy says:

    Shard. Fine first post.

    TA. Definitely not a penalty. You are seeing it through orange coloured glasses.

  94. gunnern5 says:

    For what it’s worth heres my – Two penneth.

  95. Big Raddy says:

    Glic. Inflation!

  96. glic says:

    Mrs glic said it`s ” tuppenceworth” or “twopenceworth”, I`m still not sure !. Who effing started this off ?……..Rockeeeeeeeeee

  97. glic says:

    Thanks GN5, it was driving me cuckoo !.

  98. gunnern5 says:

    In the NFL the referees can call for video evidence on certain types of plays – i.e. an indecisive TD, but more importantly the coaches are allowed to challenge three decisions per game.

  99. glic says:

    I predict that new saying you`ve invented will sweep across Holland.
    Orange tinted glasses. Simple but brilliant !. πŸ™‚

  100. goonermichael says:

    Nice pair of threepeny bits. That hasn’t changed with inflation

  101. goonermichael says:

    It’s actually “twopenethworth”


    not true GM, ime suffering from threepeny bits deflation.

  103. goonermichael says:

    I’m getting roght into ebay selling my records. I feel like a record shop

  104. glic says:

    True gm, but the coins have got bigger, funny enough with inflation !

  105. evonne says:

    i hope the game is not going to be called off

  106. evonne says:

    GM – why are you selling your records?? Don’t love them anymore?

  107. goonermichael says:

    I used to collect David Bowie evonne. They’ve been in a box since the 80s

  108. evonne says:

    Must be worth a few bob. I have little collections of mostly shit, but cannot part with them. Still have a pair of shoes I wore when I was 1, too small now

  109. goonermichael says:

    Mostly shit evonne? lol. I’ve got a collection of about 30 wishbones chicken, pheasant, duck, goose turkey and partridge. My wife banned them so they are in the shed. I’m putting them on ebay though.

  110. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I still have a few Bowie bootlegs knocking around, just no turntable.

  111. goonermichael says:

    Bootlegs fetch quite good money Micky. I’ve got a turntable but no amp or speakers πŸ™‚ My Turntable is a Sony one. It’s the only turntable I’ve ever owned. My son wants it. It must be 35 years old.

  112. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Wishbones!!! Weird.

  113. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I think I’ve still got a green one recorded in Berlin. Then some more ordinary bootlegs. Hammersmith ’74, the last ever Ziggy gig is a good one. Its where he says it might also be his last ever concert after shooting threats.

  114. MickyDidIt89 says:

    When can I go on ebay and look for wishbones?
    Just something to add to the “done that” list. πŸ™‚

  115. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Back to football at 6 I think.

  116. Big Raddy says:

    Those Bowie bootlegs are vauable and rare. Look after them.

    Why aren’t thet playing? A little rain and they go off. Probably ruins the hair styles – or the gel gets in their eyes.

    Not like the old days. I once watched aArsenal away at Everton when there was an earthquake that split the pitch with a 15 ft gap in the earth. Did it stop the game? No.

    And can you remember the Saturday afternoon we played Man City at Highbury when there was so much rain the second half started with the players swimming to kick- off.?

    Today’s players are too spolit

  117. evonne says:

    Raddy πŸ™‚ it was a little bit more than rain, players couldn’t see one another, I think it was a sensible decision to stop πŸ™‚

  118. evonne says:

    Wishbones?that’s exciting, proper voodoo. I have my son’s milk teeth, not selling though

  119. glic says:

    I`ll try it another way then . πŸ™‚

    e va va vonne @5:32pm
    Have you thought about buying a toilet !. πŸ˜†

  120. Irishgunner says:

    Evening all,

    England match delayed by 15mins cos of the France, Ukraine thunder storm.

    I’m still hung over from last night, we got thrashed but the country was hopping. Shouting for the Poles tomorrow Evonne πŸ™‚

  121. evonne says:

    glic – yes, now I have 4, just nowhere to install them πŸ™‚ Also, a spare beautiful huge bathroom basin, nowhere to install.

  122. evonne says:

    Bless you Irish! I was very sad too, what went wrong? There are many talented young players in Eire, has Trap fecked up?

  123. Irishgunner says:

    I think Trap did call it wrong in starting Cox, Keane and McGeady. Would have went with Long and Walters up front, and McClean on the wing.

    But the goals were silly, we made mistakes we normally don’t, same as the Croatia game. But Spain are on two to three whole different levels to us. Hopefully we can get back some pride against Italy.

    I see Given, Keane, Duff and one or two more retiring from international football after this tournament so hopefully Trapattoni will blood in some of the new guys properly – Clarke, Duffy, Coleman, McClean, McCarthy etc., we have some decent players coming through.

  124. goonermichael says:

    evonne I’ve got milk teeth and a toenail from my kids. My Grandad’s false teeth and an old ponytail of mine.

    I’ll let you know when the wishbones are on ebay Micky

  125. Big Raddy says:

    Evonne. ROI lost because they were simply not good enough.Fairplay to them, they gave everything but the gulf in class was enormous.

    The Irish fans were sensational – wish we could take them to the Emirates

  126. evonne says:

    The way French are playing reminds me of Arsenal

  127. Big Raddy says:

    Irish. You could have taken any player from any era of Irish football and they would still have lost. Spain are just too good.

  128. Irishgunner says:

    BR – Even the pubs were hopping, when the fans started singing the Fields of Athenry at the stadium, we all joined in in the pubs. It was rather surreal.

  129. evonne says:

    Irish – yeah, I thought that he brought McClean too late. Oh well, there is always next time.
    Raddy – they are not that bad, but they played particularly badly this year. And Shane Given had one disaster after another, for a goalie to score a header is pretty rare.

    GM – your grandmother’s false teeth??????????? No, that really takes a biscuit, I am going to pee myself laughing πŸ™‚

    My mum has a jar full of her gallbladder stones, what shall i do with it when she dies?

  130. Irishgunner says:

    Given is injured and shouldn’t be playing – he is minding his shoulder.

  131. Big Raddy says:

    This is probably the worst England lineup I can recall. Milner, Gerrard, Parker? Awful.

  132. Big Raddy says:

    evonne. This is said with respect and affection ……you are completely wrong about Ireland. When their best player is at West Brom then things are awry. Ireland did well to get to the competition but they are not good enough to get further. It is like expecting Cheltenham to compete in the PL. One game they may get a result, overall they are not good enough.

    That said, hope ROI beat Italy πŸ™‚

  133. RockyLives says:

    Red Rag to those of us of an Irish persuasion.
    Here’s my Irish team from all eras that would beat the Spancelonas:

    Finnan O’Leary McGrath Irwin
    Houghton Giles Brady
    Stapleton Aldridge

    Easy win for the boys in green πŸ™‚
    Giles, Brady and Keane all in the same midfield… just as talented as the Spanish midfield but 15 times as hard.

  134. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Tomorrow I’ll go to the damp box out in the damp shed and retrieve those albums.
    Wow some of you keep some weird shit!

  135. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Despite me having Β£100 on France to win the thing at 20-1, I really wanted Ukraibe to win.
    This result will make Englands last game very difficult.

  136. MickyDidIt89 says:

    M’Vila on.

  137. goonermichael says:

    Milner is pony Raddy.

  138. RockyLives says:

    You’re right about that Micky. England really need to win today because the Ukrainians will be hell for leather against us.

    The England team is exactly as you’d expect: we’re clearly planning to mount a similar campaign to the Chavs’ ECL campaign.

  139. MickyDidIt89 says:

    My money says Arsene is watching this πŸ™‚

  140. evonne says:

    Rocky – Tony Cascarino, Nial Queen were good too. McGuidy still is

  141. MickyDidIt89 says:

    M’Vila, Martin and Giroud !!!

  142. RockyLives says:

    Giroud on.

    I like the name “Marvin Martin” – he sounds like a Motown singer.

  143. evonne says:

    Raddy – ok they are hardly the best team in the world, but they play with heart and determination seldom seen in other teams, English including

  144. RockyLives says:

    True evonne – Cascarino and Big Quinny on the bench – along with Moran, Hughton, Staunton et al.

  145. evonne says:

    Irish fans in Poland are not too disappointed; they love it over there and many are talking about staying πŸ™‚

  146. Irishgunner says:

    We’ve had some good players in our time – Charlton’s teams should have been playing proper football, but sure give it a lash Jack and all that.

    I was in a national tabloid today – out on the lash last night πŸ™‚

  147. evonne says:

    Lovely picture! Polish media are full of admiration for the Irish fans – singing till the end, having good time despite shocking defeats, have been voted best fans!

  148. Big Raddy says:

    I am not trying to be controversial. I firmly believe that the team Rocky chose would get thrashed by Spain , who are World Champs and Euro Champs.

    I can only assume emotion has got the better of logic.

    That said, the Irish give everything and ego is never on the agenda (apart from Keane – both of them). The win over Italy in New York was fantastic.

    England playing like Stoke

  149. Irishgunner says:

    I’m not sure why people are surprised we got hammered by Spain, they put so much money and effort into football. In Ireland, we largely rely on England to do that for us – i.e. produce the players in their clubs. Only in the last few years has there been any sort of effort to develop the underage game here. When Kerr took the U18s to the European Championship all those years ago it was incredible.

    There is very little money put into the game here – rugby, GAA, golf, horse racing, athletics come ahead of football here.

  150. Big Raddy says:

    Irish. There is also the question of population. Like Denmark there are 5m citizens which is less than North London!

  151. Irishgunner says:

    Great header by Carroll

  152. Red Arse says:

    As a predominantly logical person, Randy, I sometimes have a high regard for those who place emotion over logic………..that’s football.

    Actually, I do not think Rocky was being particularly emotive.
    It was his opinion that the team he set out would give Spain a run for their money. Yours was that they would not. Both are valid.

    Logic (and I would say this too, if pushed into an unprovable, hypothetical choice) is that Spain would win, but that Ireland team would certainly make them work for it.

    Just an opinion, mind! πŸ™‚

    Well done England. Great goal!! πŸ™‚

  153. Big Raddy says:

    Wow. That is some header!

  154. Irishgunner says:

    Yeah, that’s true too BR and given the low population and when young fellas can make a living off rugby and stay in Ireland you can see why some might choose that over football, our club rugby scene is very strong here and we don’t have the money of the French sides.

  155. Red Arse says:

    I agree with TA that Elm looks a very good young player.

    Is he a Dutch Elm?

  156. Big Raddy says:

    RA. The question has to be …. could RL’s Irish team win the World Cup and I doubt you would find anyone outside ROI who would say they could.

    Therefore, my opinion is not emotive – however given that this is impossible to prove, it is as you say purely an opinion πŸ™‚

  157. Big Raddy says:

    BR highlighted Elm before the tournament. He is the Scandi correspondent!

  158. evonne says:

    Irish – I thought drinking was a national sport in Ireland. And Poland πŸ™‚

  159. Big Raddy says:

    Surely it is time the BBC retired Lawrenson. He is embarrassing

  160. Red Arse says:

    I’m glad you said that BR, Lawrenson’s lugubrious demeanour, and to me, almost indecipherable mumblings are anathema.

    [Never said you were emotive, O great Dane with the Dutch roots and Anglo Saxon leanings!] πŸ™‚

  161. Shard says:

    Sorry guys (and girls).. I’m having problems with my net connection.. Hell of a day huh? What can you do? Hope you’re all enjoying the Euros.. Thanks to the guys running the site for publishing my comment as a post, and thank you to all the guys who commented on it. Haven’t been able to look through all the comments in depth, but I’ll be sure to do it when I can. Thanks again.

    TMHT..Guru Shard.. LOL.. Had to laugh at that..

    Rhyle..It’s the same Shard you love to hate.. πŸ™‚

    Also, I’d just like to add.. the goal line’technology’ in my opinion is a red herring, and the 4 or 5 incidents in a season that require it, do not justify the sort of drama played out over it. Technology is flawed, but anything that stops referees deciding the result of games rather than the players and managers should at least be given a chance..

    Anyway.. I’ll (hopefully) be back in the comments tomorrow. See you there.

  162. Irishgunner says:

    BR – Greece won the Euros not too long ago. Our team in 1990 got to the quarter finals and were only beaten 1-0 by Italy, who also happened to be hosts. I know that was an oddity, but that Irish team above has quality and it would do well.

    Look at Holland, all the star names and doing jack in this tournament. Spain are very lucky in that their players are willing to put in the effort and work as a team as well as being excellent individual players. Their actual defence is suspect but they work so well as a unit its fine.

    International football is not as clear cut as club football imo.

    Evonne – don’t talk to me about drink πŸ˜†

  163. Irishgunner says:

    BR – Apparently Lawerson made some comment the other night about Podolski declaring for Germany over Poland – yes, he born in England who played for Ireland Lawerson.

  164. evonne says:

    Irish – I won’t, I have nothing to say on the subject, haven’t drunk a drop in 12 years πŸ™‚

  165. Gooner In Exile says:

    Bugger me two debuts in two days both on non Arsenal subjects and both great reading and well argued. This site gets better in the off season by refusing to headline post every transfer rumour. Well played Shard today and Weedonald yesterday and Rasp and Peaches for their continued hardwork on the admin side.

    As much as I’m enjoying the fact England are 1-0 up im not enjoying the game. I know winning is most important but our lack of technique in playing keep ball is there for all to it really that hard to pass 5 yards to feet and move to receive the ball again? Terry nearly had another RvP falling over moment when Ibra chased him down the flank.

  166. Red Arse says:

    Similar to English born, Italian stock Tony Cascarino who also played for Ireland then. πŸ™‚

    There was a time when Jack Charlton (an Englishman) placed adverts in the PFA magazine saying anyone who could answer the following question was qualified to play for Ireland.

    Which Ocean was Ireland in? A) The Paciific; B) Another one.

    Of course half the England cricket and rugby teams are South African! πŸ™‚

    Nationality ……………..funny business! πŸ™‚

  167. Irishgunner says:

    Evonne – you are better off πŸ˜†

    RA – Charlton did actually send a note to all teams in England asked them to post it on their message boards, it stated that anyone with Irish heritage who would like to play for Ireland should give him a call.

  168. Thanks GiE πŸ™‚

    We haven’t got anything for tomorrow, well we have but it’s from Rocky and it’s too good for a Saturday I think 😳 so does anyone want to write a small match report – volunteer now cos when Ox and Theo come on you know your gonna want too πŸ˜†

  169. Big Raddy says:

    Come on Roy, It must be time for Theo …. take the useless Milner off

  170. Big Raddy says:

    I really like Mellberg. Top man at AV and deserves tonight.

  171. Irishgunner says:

    O_O G’wan Theo

  172. Big Raddy says:

    Theo should have started. Now bring on The Ox.

    And while we are at it —- shoot Lawrenson

  173. Irishgunner says:

    These officials are pointless

  174. Irishgunner says:

    Theo playing really well – great assist

  175. evonne says:

    Theo’s price is going up!!

  176. evonne says:

    Irish – he’s brill, isn’t he? It always worries me when a player starts playing exceptionally well towards the end of his contract. Hope Theo won’t do a na$ri on us

  177. evonne says:

    Injured!!! feck feck feck! Well, at least he won’t go to chavs

    Come on Ox, do Arsenal proud

  178. Irishgunner says:

    Nah, I think Walcott has done that time and again, plays really well and then goes off the boil. Its a confidence issue I think.

  179. Big Raddy says:

    Theo was superb. ANd the Ox brings a real smile to the team.

  180. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Great result.
    Excellent work from Roy Hodgson.
    Swedish fans…haha
    English fans…brilliant

  181. LB says:

    That would have been so much easier if the Ox had started instead of Young.

  182. Gooner In Exile says:

    Apart from a fantastic goal and a great assist there were two other occasions Theo was running into space and ignored by first Stevie Me and then Carroll.

    Then at the end Stevie Me managed to screw up Ox’s chance of bagging a goal.

    For me tonight’s ratings:

    Hart – 7
    Cole – 7
    Lescott – 7
    Terry – 6
    Johnson – 6
    Milner – 5
    Young – 5
    Parker – 6
    Gerard – 6
    Wellbeck -9
    Carroll – 8


    Theo – 20
    Ox – not enough time

  183. Gooner In Exile says:

    My twitter timeline:

  184. LB says:

    If it weren’t for the fact that Carrol gave away that free kick that led to the Swede’s first goal I would have made him MoM by some distance. I thought he really battled tonight.
    Great goal by Wellbeck but the rest of the time I thought he was on the wrong side of average.

  185. Irishgunner says:

    Stevie Me was very selfish at the end, should have left that for the Ox

  186. Big Raddy says:

    GIE, Not sure abut the CB’s ratings given Mellberg’s two goals. Gerrard was better than Parker. Milner and Young were rubbish 3’s.

    hart 7
    Cole 6
    Lascott 5
    EBJT 5
    Johnson 7
    Milner 3
    Gerrard 6
    Parker 5
    Young 3
    Welbeck 7
    Carroll 7

    Theo 1000
    Ox 150

  187. Gooner In Exile says:

    Maybe right LB but I don’t like Carroll πŸ™‚

    Thought they both ran the line and held the ball as well as they could with average service and poor support.

  188. LB says:

    Obviously very pleased for Theo, it needed a bit of Arsenal involvement to sort it all out.

  189. RockyLives says:

    Well done England – nice to see Theo make a game-changing appearance. How Milner gets picked ahead of him is mystifying.

    LB – I also thought Carroll had a very good game as an “old fashioned centre forward”. He fought all night and held the ball up well and was often back to win headers in the England box against the tallest team in the tournament.

  190. LB says:

    Don’t like Carroll GIE. That’s good enough reason for me πŸ˜‰

  191. Gooner In Exile says:

    Raddy do I detect an Arsenal bias in those ratings? πŸ˜€

    I struggle to mark down centre backs for goals conceded from set pieces as I see it as a team defending problem. (as I do with Arsenal) biggest mistake made was the way we conceded ground before the ball was kicked so allowed them to deliver deeper into the area with too many bodies on top of Hart preventing him coming to claim.

  192. Big Raddy says:

    GIE. I agree but Terry is the defensive leader and both goals were shambolic.

    Welbeck gets a high mark for a sublime finish … Kanu-esque.

  193. LB says:

    Yeah, I agree with BR’s ratings save for Wellbeck getting 6 instead of 7, pedantic I know but hey ho.

  194. Big Raddy says:

    Who gets dropped for Rooney?

  195. LB says:

    It was a very good goal. Must be because he is a manc.

  196. RockyLives says:

    With respect πŸ™‚ I really don’t think my “Ireland from All Eras team to beat the current Spanish team” is emotional.

    Rather, I would say that you are in thrall to what one might call “the glamour of the now.”

    Spain are the team of the moment and seem all the better for it. Rather like the “greatest rock band of all time” poll conducted by NME in the 1980s that had Duran Duran at number 1, ahead of the Beatles, Stones, Beach Boys etc.

    I’m not sure you have looked closely at my team.
    Liam Brady? Do I need to say anything about Liam? Do you think Liam bears comparison with the Spanish midfielders?
    Roy Keane? Ultimate warrior and a very decent player.
    Johnnie Giles? One of the most gifted midfielders ever to grace the English top flight – and tough as nails too.
    I dot believe it’s emotional to suggest that that threesome would be a match for Iniesta, Xavi and Busquets. I think they’d be better.
    O’Leary and McGrath at CB? They are better than their Spanish equivalents.
    Arguably Spain would be stronger up front, but Stapleton and Aldridge were no mugs.
    As Redders says, all such comparisons are by nature spurious, but I think that Irish team would edge it.
    Brady to get the winner in the 89th. πŸ™‚

  197. LB says:

    Gerrad looks like he is on his last legs.

  198. LB says:

    I reckon Hodgson will make alot of changes: Walcott for Milner, The Ox for Young and Rooney for Wellbeck.

    No Arsenal bias there then.

  199. RockyLives says:

    I doubt he’ll start the Ox, but definitely Rooney for Welbeck and Theo for Milner.

  200. Big Raddy says:

    RL. You are entitled to hold a wrong opinion πŸ™‚

    Off to see a man about a dog. A Demain.

  201. LB says:


    You are probably right.

    Interesting idea about an all time best Ireland team could beat the current Spanish team. I must admit I thought you must have been drinking when I first saw the claim but then I looked closely at the team and thought Hmmmm, maybe you have a point. Interesting idea anyway.

  202. LB says:


  203. SharkeySure'sGhost says:

    I still don’t rate Carroll, but a great header is a great header and I fully applauded it.

    Other than that I thought Johnson put in a very good shift. For me Englands biggest problem is that the two CM’s have no concern for keeping possession.

    One hares around like a madman when England don’t have the ball, and the other runs away from his CB’s when the def’s need someone to pass to. Carrick is no world beater but he knows how to play triangles and keep ball with his CB’s and FB’s.

    The selfish behaviour of Stevie-Me reached a new nadir this evening. What a complete and utter tosser.

  204. glic says:

    Great result . This tournament is getting quite exciting and all with an exciting fixture list Monday coming up !.
    I`m going to add my half a crown`sworth about this Ireland / Spain debate, I`d like to put one of those , hahahahahaha`s right across the page, but out of courtecy for my fellow AAers I wont, hehehe, but I have to side with Raddy on this and even nick one of his saying`s, ” take the green tinted glasses off ” !. Sorry, hope that wasn`t painfull. πŸ˜†

  205. RockyLives says:

    You mean, off to listen to some Duran Duran, right? πŸ™‚

  206. SharkeySure'sGhost says:

    I agree with Randy’s earlier comments about Robbie Keane – he really looked like the odd man out in a team of spirited battlers yesterday.

  207. RockyLives says:

    Haha Glic
    Go and borrow BR’s Duran Duran

    But maybe you’re too young to have seen Giles, Brady etc

  208. RockyLives says:

    Glen J played Sweden on for their second goal. The whole defence moved up except GJ.
    Apart from that he had a good game.

  209. glic says:

    The Re….flex,flex,flex. πŸ™‚
    Same age as chippy, caused me some depression when he left. 😦
    Never mind Spain whipping your Irish allstars , that Giles Leeds team would have done it aswell !. πŸ™‚
    Giles, Brady and Keane would probably got in the Spanish squad, not sure if any would have made the team though. Dont think any of the others would even get in Arsenal`s current team !.

  210. RockyLives says:

    Oh Glic – wash your mouth out!

    Brady wouldn’t get in the first team for Spain?

    Brady and Giles would be as good as iniesta and Xavi at the tika-taka.

    As for the Arsenal comparison…

    O’Leary would be first name on the team sheet if he was at Arsenal now. Great defender who could read the game and play football like a midfielder.

    Santos/Gibbs ahead of Irwin? I don’t think so, even though he’s a filthy Manc.

    Bonner’s better than Szczesny (although that may change in the years ahead).

    Stapleton and Aldridge are not better than RvP – but then not many are. However they’re both streets ahead of Chamakh and Park.

  211. glic says:

    Sorry Rocky , I cant agree.
    I said Arsenal team, Chamakh and Park dont feature in it.
    O`Leary only got all them appearances because it was an average team ( early years one ).
    Brady, possibly,but not at the expense of Iniesta and Xavi.
    Didn`t see much of Giles ( Highlights once a week in them days )
    Roy Keane , possible as DM instead of Biscuits. πŸ™‚
    Irwin agree on that, he`s a filthy Manc !.
    Szczesny, best prospect I`ve seen.

    Ps, I dont possess any Tinted glasses. πŸ˜†

  212. RockyLives says:

    You’re using pork chop tinted rear spectacles GLiC πŸ™‚
    Watch out for the dogs!

    Giles was a cross between Cesc Fabregas and Roy Keane, with the best of both rolled in together.

  213. glic says:

    πŸ˜† I shall now go to bed with a smile on my face, nite Rocky.

  214. RockyLives says:

    nite GLiC πŸ™‚

  215. oz gunner says:

    great post Guru, as GiE stated it’s a amazing how people on this site keep it continuously fresh without resorting to transfer talk constantly (although i do like that also).

    What sort of Archaic world do we live in when people don’t want to introduce technology for the betterment of the game! Come on RA you are young roll with it. It should be introduced but in a tasteful manner, as in it cannot take over the game. We have to wait for softies to roll around on the ground and then the physios to come on because ‘i hit my head sniffle sniffle’ then they slowly walk of the pitch, yet we can’t wait 3 seconds while an extra referee reviews a red card decision or penalty. Fix these divers, and time wasting and it’ll balance it out nicely.

    As for your video Chas easily sorted, a video team only turns on the mic when a ref is explaining a decision. Those who swear are fined…simple.

    A match review panel with unbiased people running it irons out a lot of the flaws in the game. To not want it around because it changes the game is very very naive.

  216. TotalArsenal says:

    Wenger is having a great tournament. Of the 41 goals until now, seven were netted by (ex)Arsenal players: one by Walcott, RvP, and Nasri and two by Bendtner and Fabregas. That is 17%.

  217. TotalArsenal says:

    Good morning Oz! How’s the weather?

  218. oz gunner says:

    Sorry TA, that is an amazing stat. He’s a genius no doubt!

    Weather is dismal, I don’t know how you all do it, it’s 12 degrees in the morning and I’m rugged up like an eskimo!

  219. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Bit of late night light entertainment @ Totties expense, again!

  220. dandan says:

    Rocky back in the day, The West stand at Highbury used to shake whenever Storey and Giles would meet in midfield, crunching tackles? They would both be off today after the first one. Storey the defensive midfielder who played with all the finesse of a JCB and the effectiveness of star ship phaser and Giles the granite warrior with the flint edge and touch of DB10 were awesome enough to make Kean and Vieira want to pay to watch and learn.

  221. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Have you been reading poetry dandan? πŸ™‚

  222. Big Raddy says:

    DD. With respect. I grew up watching that Dirty Leeds team and there was no doubt Giles and Bremner were fearsome opponents but to compare them to a modern player like Vieira is fruitless. Vieira would outmuscle, out-run, and out-pass both of them especially given a modern referee.

    This is one of the games I play whilst wandering about and is one of my faves … How would the teams/players of my youth fare in the PL? Could a combined 70’s/80’s Arsenal team beat the Invincibles? Was Brady better than Fabregas etc etc

  223. Talking of players being outmuscled – Ibrahimovic is like a super tank, even Lescott and Terry were bouncing off him last night.

    Anyone want to write something short sweet and fab about Theo for today?

  224. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Morning BR,
    The 70’s/80’s lot would get thrashed for sure. It would be like Arsenal Arsene against Basset Wimbledon.

  225. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Honest M’Lady I have to go and take Oscar to a sports day thing in 10 mins, by which time I need to drink much coffee.
    Last night was the first time I’ve been really impressed by Ibrahimovic.

  226. Shard says:

    AAnnnnnnnnnnddd…I’m back.. πŸ™‚ Damn Theo. I had backed a 2-2 draw between the Swedes and the English. I suppose I should damn Welbeck too, but I do that anyway cos he’s ManU scum πŸ™‚

    Probably a little too late for any discussion on the post, but there were one or two things I wanted to address from the comments.

    Red Arse, Football has changed. The very fact that there is no vast amounts of money floating around in the game makes it different. Money changes things. For one, people deserve better quality from the product. For another, certain ‘biases’ seem to sprout up. Keeping football like it was, is not really possible anymore. We just need to make sure we make the right changes to move with the times.

    I agree with Total Arsenal about managers having the right to question 3 calls in a game, at whatever time. Yes there’ll be issues as to will the game stop, within how much time of an incident does he have to issue his challenge etc, but in my opinion these are details that can be worked out as and when video refs are tried. I also agree with Dick Swiveller (awesome monicker) that the associations and authorities do not want to lose their ability to influence matches. The lack of clarity in the rules is also something which helps them keep their control since they arbitrarily determine punishments and no one can challenge them on it.

    RockyLives. My comparison with the NBA was to do with players being fined for swearing. The NBA uses video to check certain calls only in the last 2 minutes of games. This is because they realise that calls at that point might be more crucial. However, they still get things wrong. Just yesterday in Game 2 of the NBA Finals, they didn’t call a foul on Durant which would have given him a chance to tie the game. It happens. Still, in basketball you get about 30-50 baskets and about a 100 possessions. A few wrong calls should still not overly affect a team’s chances. In football, often you get only a couple of chances to score. One goal alters the match completely. Incorrect calls can have much more impact.

    The point of my post was neither in support of refs nor against them. It was that refereeing is at a low, and that this needs addressing. In my view, there are corrupt referees around. But why they are allowed to be there is what I find more interesting. All blame for poor/biased refereeing, and the lack of transparency in decisions both on the field and off (ref selection for games etc) must lie with the people behind the scenes. And I think the spotlight needs to be on them. Without that, no amount of videos or change in laws will help. You can still have corrupt video refs.( I’ve seen it in cricket). So next time you swear at a referee, spare some of your anger for those who allow such referees to continue, and in some cases, even prosper.

  227. Shard says:

    Oh and slimgingergooner…Thanks for making an exception over the use of your name. I shall be sure to purchase your image rights next time

  228. Big Raddy says:

    Shard. Another superb comment.

    On the BBC website it states that Walcott was on the pitch 34 mins and was in possession of the ball for a total of 17 seconds! This is the first time I have seen a stat about time on the ball and it is shocking. Milner was on the pitch 60 mins and had the ball for 1.01 mins.

    Amazing how Theo could influence the game with so little ball time

  229. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Are you there and have you collared anyone. We are rain delayed so time for a quickie πŸ™‚

  230. Big Raddy says:

    Peaches. Any response yet?

  231. Thats ok Micky, we have something we can use today, I just thought Theo would be topical and I’m just rushing out myself ………. have a nice day πŸ™‚

  232. Gooner In Exile says:

    Im on it peaches

  233. Can you do a quickie Micky?

  234. Thanks GiE ………….. Micky and Raddy you’re free to make another coffee πŸ™‚

  235. Other people use mobile phones for this sort of conversation 😳

  236. Big Raddy says:

    Good boy Micky

  237. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GiE, Are you “on it”?
    I need to know and fast

  238. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GiE is “on it”. Top man.
    I’m off now.

  239. Big Raddy says:

    I’m still making the coffee!

  240. Before I go, the post is scheduled to go up at 10 and neither Rasp nor GiE nor I will be around so can someone put New Post on here please at 10 if folks are chatting.


  241. dandan says:

    Morning BR, please dont treat me with respect mate I am of the same opinion as you, given your provisio of a modern ref, but were it the other way round πŸ™‚

  242. dandan says:

    Just driven twenty miles each way to fetch the gardener since my last post and as soon as he starts the mower, it begins to rain, Grrrrrrrrr

  243. Red Arse says:

    Morning peeps, πŸ™‚

    Loved the chat between RL and BR last night on Old Irish versus modern Spainelona, all nicely finished off by that man Glic! πŸ™‚

    Oz, Shard, I was expressing a forlorn personal preference for sport to remain as sport without the gimmicks.

    That said, I also mentioned that was not now possible and that we have to accept that technology will eventually prevail………………in about 50 years if FIFA/Bladder get their way.

    So we are all singing from the same hymn sheet — so to speak! πŸ™‚

  244. Gooner In Exile says:

    New post………

  245. Shard says:

    Red Arse,

    True enough I suppose.. But someone must have gotten the tempos mixed up. You seem to be accepting of a largo, while I’m very much with the allegro here, if not a Hey Presto!.. I guess you could put it down to the impetuosity of youth.

  246. I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest but your blogs really nice, keep it up!
    I’ll go ahead and bookmark your website to come back in the future. Many thanks

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