If You Think Cazorla Wasn’t Fouled You Must Be Blind

In fact if you think he dived, I know you won’t be offended by this piece because your lack of ocular ability means you can’t even read it.

At the match, in real time, I thought Santi skinned his defender and was fouled for a clear penalty.

Arsenal's Cazorla challenges West Bromwich Albion's Reid during their English Premier League soccer match in London

Admittedly our Number 19 was at the Clock End and I was in the Upper West towards the North Bank, but still…

Later on Saturday, after several pints taken and a fine curry, I had a quick look at it again on my laptop.

“Just as I suspected,” I said to myself: “A bang-on pen.”

Then on Sunday morning I read several reports of the match, I heard what the Match of the Day commentators said and I began to worry that I was using the old Rose Tinteds again (even Denilson looked good through those babies).

So when I wrote up the match report for Arsenal Arsenal I hedged my bets, saying: “The consensus seems to be that Santi dived.  If so, I don’t approve but we’ve been on the wrong end of enough penalty-dives recently (Bale and Young last season to name but two) that I’m not going to lose sleep over it.”

Sunday was a busy day. I had people to do, things to go and places to see. So it wasn’t until late Sunday that I finally got round to properly watching the incident again.

I was expecting to see that, after all, it was a dive. Let’s face it, the media all say it was a dive and they don’t lie, do they?

So I got the incident up on the laptop again – full screen – and watched it LOTS of times. Not that I needed to. From my first viewing it was clear that Reid toe-ended Santi on the shin. Really hard.

Check for yourself.

On the close-up shot looking across from the direction of the West Stand you can see at the 5 second mark Reid’s wild swing hits Santi’s shin and changes direction. Not much, but enough to show there was contact.

I’m not in the slightest bit surprised that Santi went up in the air after being hit by that haymaker of a flailing foot.

Some might say there was no need for his other leg (the right) to go up in the air too. Maybe, maybe not. The exact effect of that contact on his body given the speed of his turn would be hard to judge.

But I have watched Cazorla play all season and he is not a diver

Of course it’s no surprise that the media want to demonise as a diver a foreign player who turns out in Arsenal colours. We’ve been round that block several times before haven’t we? While there’s seldom a whisper against Gerrard, Rooney and Bale.

Let’s be clear: Santi Cazorla was fouled and the referee got it right.

To say that there was no contact and that West Brom were robbed is the most patent rubbish.

Contact. Foul. Penalty. End of.

Get over it.



161 Responses to If You Think Cazorla Wasn’t Fouled You Must Be Blind

  1. Big Raddy says:

    Until I saw that pic I was convinced it was a dive and thought so from first viewing.

    It’s Specsavers for me …..

  2. Rasp says:

    Morning Rocky, well said, I’m sick of our players being witch hunted, the treatment of Eduardo when he was accused of diving was ridiculous, Bale dives every game.

    I remember when Henry handballed against Ireland in the WC qualifier, he was described as an Arsenal player even though he was with Barca.

    This is what I said yesterday about the alleged dive….

    ..December 9, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    As regards the ‘dive’, I think Cazorla saw the swinging leg coming in at shin height and anticipated a painful contact and so jumped out of the way to avoid injury ….

    There was contact across his shins and rather like Na$ri in the wall yesterday, he took evasive action …. but obviously Na$ri is a lilylivered fatboy whereas Santi an anagram of Saint 😛

  3. mike says:

    At last.. I thought i was going mad!

  4. Panic says:

    Can you send this out in braille please?

  5. Rasp says:

    … .. . ….. .. ….. …. .. ….. … …… .. …. ….

  6. richard morgan says:

    It doesn’t matter whether he dived or didn’t dive. we got a penalty for it and it gave us a lead we deserved. I don’t care if he dived the players job is to play his best for club and get results if that means you go to ground for a penalty under minimal contact or no contact and it wins a penalty then fair play its down to the ref and linesman to make those decisions. Don’t blame the commentators or media because from the angle shown on the initial shot it did only in slow down did it look like no contact had been made however that angle shows contact. had they seen that the reaction would be different.

  7. slime says:

    Diving or ‘losing balance’ (as seems to be the popular phrase these days) is probably the thing I hate most in football….after John Terry that is. Every team does it though, and the Cazorla dive will be forgotten about as soon as the next muppet embarrasses himself in front of TV cameras.

    Did he dive? Yes
    Do I care? No
    Is he the only one? No
    Will it happen again? Yes
    Do the FA do anything about it? No
    Should I stop writing questions? Yes

  8. Rasp says:

    The worst dive of the game was by a W Brom player who should have been carded. Cazorla’s was not a dive since there was contact and it is only human nature to take evasive action. He hadn’t lost control of the ball which is often the case when a player opts to dive rather than play on.

    The attention given to it in the media is typical of the way Arsenal is treated over such issues and about as cheap as the ridiculously quoted ‘I did not see it’ by AW when in fact more managers lie when they claim to have seen something on the far side of the pitch from the dugout. Refs don’t even see things when right under their noses.

    The lino below me on Saturday gave 3 throw ins in a row to WB that should have been ours.

  9. Rasp says:

    Oh and no team deserves anything from a game when their keeper is still wasting time when they’re 1 nil down. The irony of him showing extreme urgency when it was 2 nil was highlighted by the ironic cheers from all around. Presumably at one nil they thought they could still nick a lucky draw – I thought these guys were getting paid to entertain the supporters, their attitude was no better than Stoke.

  10. ashir says:

    Santi is not a cheat

  11. Morning all, I was going to direct you all yesterday to that picture that showed up on my twitter feed around 11 on Saturday night, so well done to the Rock for bringing it up.

    It shows that from certain angles the contact made can be completely masked, as it was from the angle MotD used – however to be fair to them they did show the ridiculous dive by the Baggies player later on.

    There was a guy on an american channel covering the game that demanded Santi gets an 8 game ban – that’s twice as long as what JT got for racial abouse, go figure !

  12. slime says:

    The fact there was contact doesn’t mean he didn’t dive. That is the kind of ‘coaching’ that has got football in this sorry state. Players are told ‘if there’s contact, go down’ and it’s wrong.

    A dive is when someone falls over, contact or no, when they could’ve stayed on their feet.

    Cazorla was touched, granted, but to then pull his other leg off the floor in order to fall over makes it a dive.

  13. LB says:

    Never a doubt in my mind…..stone wall penalty; in fact, we should have been awarded two penalties for it.

  14. RockyLives says:

    Morning All
    A bit provocative in the headline area I know…
    Redders – replying in braille 😀

    I honestly thought I must be wrong until I watched it again last night and there is quite clearly a significant contact.

    So then it’s only a matter of whether he “went down too easily” which is a splitting hairs exercise.

    Funny thing is, as Chas pointed out in yesterday’s comments, there doesn’t need to be contact – just intent – for the ref to award a foul.

    I re-watched it on Arsenalist.com. If you look at his clip of the goal you can see the contact at the 5 second point.

  15. It makes me laugh how the so-called experts say that “if there wasn’t contact it can’t be a penalty” which shows up their ignorance of the rules of the game as pointed out by someone yesterday((and above) that there only has ot be an attempt to impede and attacker for it to be worthy of a PK.

    It’s similar to the use of excessive force in tackles, many experts seem to think that winning the ball exonerates any tackler from using excessive force and committing a foul.

  16. Max says:

    If he had dived also we dont care every player dives… When any arsenal player do such kind of things there is a big issue.. Anyhow we deserved that goal way we had dominated the game we deserve little luck on our side and saturday luck was with us even god wanted arsenal to win 😀 which is very rare nowadays with arsenal we never get any benifit from refree if we got one what a big deal…. Many times MANU has got offside goals and silly penalities noone complaints…… once arsenal player got something whole world is critizing.. we dont care… 3 points is what matters….

  17. Max says:

    Rasp 10:01 spot on man when myhill went running behind the ball around 70+ minute whole crowd where cheering it was v funny incident 😀 we deserved to win and we won….

  18. RockyLives says:


  19. GoonerB says:

    Agreed Slime that you could class it as a dive if the player could have stayed on their feet. I don’t like the diving culture anymore than you but the problem is that sometimes the intended tackle by the defender or keeper can stop a goal-scoring opportunity (not necessarily in this case). When that happens and they put out a leg or attempt a tackle in a situation they were always going to be second best, the attacking player is forced to avoid the tackle rather than just concentrate on getting a shot off. I would still then class that as an illegal infringement on the attacking player. How often have you seen a ref recognise that infringement and award a penalty anyway, even if the attacker admirably stays on their feet. They don’t and the players know this so they have a choice of avoiding the intended illegal tackle, which is all very admirable but has likely cost them an opportunity that they should have had, or they think you shouldn’t be diving in like this if you can’t get the ball and you have illegally stopped me from having an opportunity so I will take the opportunity in a different way.

  20. Rasp says:

    Hi Slim(e), the fact that Santi didn’t wave his arms round pleading for the pen is significant I think. Imagine someone swinging a golf club across your shins, you’d jump backwards. I think Santi anticipated contact (and that was the intention of the defender) and although the contact was minimal, the result was that he fell over as a result of the defender’s challenge …. or am I clutching at straws? 😳

  21. Twig says:

    Congrats bro – You’ve just redefined Diving! I guess if the penalty was given against us you would have had a different opinion. And why on earth was Cazorla clutching his foot as if it had been hit by a hammer?! The guilty look on his face said it all.

  22. Big Raddy says:

    Lest it be overlooked…..

    After all the talk of Podolski being a lethal striker and German-ic/ly efficient and a shoe-in as central striker, his miss at the end of the game was the worst of the season so far

  23. mickydidit89 says:

    Investigative Journalism at its very best. Bravo Clouseau 🙂

  24. RockyLives says:

    If the penalty was given against us and everyone texting those of us at the ground said it was a dive I would be furious.

    Then, on watching it carefully at home and seeing the contact, I would regretfully conclude that our defender had booted the player on the shin and therefore the pen was valid.

  25. RockyLives says:

    A late entry to the celeb game…

    When I was a student in Manchester I spilled a pint of beer on Bobby Charlton’s shoulder (crowded bar that he had “officially opened”, mate passing me the beer over people’s heads, Bobby in the wrong place at the wrong time).

    He wasn’t amused when I said “sorry Nobby”.

  26. Paul says:

    If this article is an exact parrell to the ridiculous articles we’ve seen over the last 48 hours portraying Santi Cazorla as the biggest and only culprit of diving in football, then I applaud it. I hate diving, it’s shit and makes a mockery of the game, but when our players do it it’s the end of the world apparently. Gareth Bale gets booked three times in one season (not to mention the countless dives the refs missed) and no-one batters an eye lid. Little Johnny Foreigner goes down and he’s public enemy number one.

    If this article is serious then I’m sorry, but there was no way that contact was enough to take Santi down or for the Brum to gain an advantage. Football is a contact sport, not every piece of contact warrants a freekick.

  27. 26may1989 says:

    Hello friends: long time, no see! Sorry about neglecting the web’s sanest Arsenal forum, life has just been dominated by work and a bit of recent illness, all of which broke my need for an AA fix!

    Always good to see a Rocky post, even better to see that he’s managed to escape the wilds (ok, calm suburbs) of Toronto to be with us. Am just sorry not to have around for Saturday’s fare, would have been great to have met up.

    Re Santi, there was contact but even with the turn was that enough to justify Santi falling over and then rolling around? Very doubtful. It wasn’t the worst example but, if we’re only talking about the contact that was made, I thought it was exaggeration, especially given the double-roll afterwards.

    However, there is an argument, a pretty strong one in my opinion, that even if Santi did exaggerate, it was still a penalty, and not on account of the contact Reid made. Law 12 of the Laws of the Game says that it is a foul (amongst other things) if the referee thinks a player has carelessly or recklessly (1) kicked or attempted to kick an opponent, (2) tripped or attempted to trip an opponent, or (3) tackled an opponent. To my eye, Reid’s swipe falls within the bounds of that description, being at the very least a careless or reckless attempt to kick his opponent or a careless or reckless tackle.

    As Rasp, points out, anticipating a foul is pretty natural, instinctive stuff – you make a sharp turn (because you’re a talented, tricky, Continental type) and see the flailing leg of an honest yeoman of a British-Irish defender coming towards you and you think it’s going to hit you. Seems pretty natural to jump up or try to avoid the leg. The double-roll after? No excuse for that.

    But where are all these moralisers when domestic heroes, like Rooney, Owen, Gerrard and Terry, really are chucking themselves to the floor the moment they cross into the penalty box? I don’t think there’s any anti-Arsenal bias but the xenophobic treatment of anyone who doesn’t have a UK passport veers between the nauseating and the comical.

    I hope Santi doesn’t repeat the exaggerations, it doesn’t seem to be part of his character, and I hope this latest wave of anti-foreigner hypocrisy passes through quickly.

  28. Bukarolz Chuks says:

    Voluntary act by Reid and reflex response from Santi. Let them keep on flogging dead animal!

  29. Big Raddy says:


    Hope the illness problems have been resolved.

    You have been much missed.

  30. 26may1989 says:

    Sorry, didn’t realise everyone was already well up to speed from yesterday’s thread on the attempted kick point.

  31. 26may1989 says:

    Cheers Raddy! Am most of the way back to recovery – the weirdest bit is having lost my appetite – being a bit of a greedy bastard, I find that pretty unnerving!

  32. 26may1989 says:

    Ignoring the pain of seeing RvP continue to score in the wrong shirt, I take it plenty of you lot enjoyed seeing Nasri screw it up for his current employers. One decent pass aside, he was woeful yesterday. He certainly doesn’t seem to have progressed since he’s been trousering Abu Dhabi wealth. I imagine he’ll be told to bugger off some time soon.

  33. Rasp says:

    Hi 26, let me add my best wishes to Raddy’s for a complete recovery, your definitive words of wisdom have been greatly missed.

    We’ve discussed retrospective analysis many times on AA. From where I was sitting it looked a nailed on penalty. On further analysis, the contact was far less than it appeared. There was contact and the defender’s actions impeded our player in the box … so it’s a 50/50, you win some you lose some.

    AW said something along the lines of it being ‘a bit soft’ or words to that effect. It certainly doesn’t merit the response from the media. I was searching for a youtube clip to add to the post but every one had a title along the lines of ‘Cazorla diving cheat’ and there was no way I’d have that on the site.

  34. Rasp says:

    They’ll probably pay for Na$ri to go to totnum 26, to join his mate barndoor.

  35. RockyLives says:

    Hello 26
    Sorry to hear you’ve been unwell and glad to hear you’re recovering.

    When Na$ri went to Citeh I predicted he would be back in the French league within two years.

    He can be an exciting player, but he on only ever really had a one good half-season with us. And in the second half of that same season (his last at Arsenal) he disappeared when we really needed him to step up.

  36. RockyLives says:

    The Spuds is a likely destination for Na$ri if he doesn’t go back to France – good call.

  37. Rasp says:

    Hi Rocky, Nobby, Bobby, Schmobby, one slaphead looks pretty much like the next 😆

  38. 26may1989 says:

    I reckon AVB has a bit more nous than to agree to sign damaged goods like Nasri. Not that I would mind, seeing him miss out to Aaron Lennon would be quite funny.

  39. Rasp says:

    Michu continues to impress, I wonder where he’ll be playing next season?

  40. Gooner In Exile says:

    Welcome back 26, good to see you on the blog.

    Cracking post Rocky, it has been proven by Sky sometime in the past how misleading camera angles can leave us viewing something that is not true, I remember they did one on cricket trying to show a catch was not grounded even though the high up camera angle showed otherwise, they took a camera to the pitch and close up to the ball and hands off the ground, they then showed the view from the high up camera and you would swear blind the hands were in contact with the grass.

    As for moving video images they are at 24 frames per second a Super Slow Mo camera that picks up 300 frames per second would be the only way of proving contact or otherwise.

    On the whole attempting to kick/evading the kick, Ox could have hurdled the challenge from Brunt, he would have lost the ball and would have been unlikely to get the ball, if he had done this would he have got the penalty? The answer almost certainly is no, andi wouldn’t be barracking the officials I would be barracking Ox for being too honest. It is encouraged that players go down as the referee can see its a foul.

    In the build up to that penalty Popov did the same thing trying to let the ref know he had been fouled by Oxputting hands on his back, did both his legs have to go up in the air? Again the answer is no, if he had stood his ground and waited for Ox to put his hands on him again it probably would have been a foul. Despite that the media say it was a push in which case they believe the movement of his legs was natural, ergo so was Santi’s …….. apparently not

  41. mrjide says:

    This is beyond xenophobia, it is rather “Arsenophobia”. The frenchman Evra successfully won a dubious penalty against Liverpool earlier in the season likewise Tevez against Villa. Are they Englishmen?No so whatz the difference? They don’t play for Arsenal, of course.

  42. Wonderman says:

    Morning all, great post Rocky….Falling over / throwing yourself on the ground when there appears to be no physical contact seems to be seen as cheating, but isn’t evading potential contact ( and resulting injury) a sensible thing to do ?

    I find the media double standard and football’s nonsensical morality annoying .It seems ok for defenders to have the shirt off of strikers backs week in week out, or players to be touched on the face in contesting an aerial ball to then collapse on the floor in a heap ala Drogba style but those behaviours are not vilified as so called divers.

    For me Carzorla’s fall was as much in expectation as anything else so the foul should have ben given for intent. Holding his ankle afterwards in my opinion was farcical, but these things happen in football because the authorities have refused to punish them consistently

  43. evonne says:

    thank you Rocky, I would hate to think Santi was a cheat

  44. franck says:

    I dont blame players for falling over wen fouled in the box even though the contact is nt enof to bring them to the ground,if u all can remember koscielny’s tackle on aguero in our box at the etihad stadium earlier this season,aguero did not go to ground he almost fell 2 d ground,it was a clear foul,and though he stil took a shot on it went wide,he culd have played 4 a penalty he did nt,did d ref see it,yes he did,was it a foul,definatley,but was it given,no,why ,cos he did not fall.i dont blame players that go to ground under minimal contact cos the ref wont give anything unless u go down.

  45. kelsey says:

    Nice to see 26th back and again Rocky saves the day with a post.

    I think one can over analyse this challenge as if it was or was not a penalty.
    We have all seen the inconsistencies by refs for many a year and it is possible another ref wouldn’t have given it or given Santi a yellow card for simulation or given the penalty which of course we were all grateful that it was given though initially I was surprised Arteta took it after his last effort,but apparently he is the named penalty taker by Wenger.

  46. kelsey says:

    If BR or whoever is doing the pre match post tomorrow here are some interesting facts, which surprised me.

    Arsenal have not won at Valley Parade for 90 years
    The teams have never met in the League Cup
    In three FA Cup games, the home side has always won (Bradford once, Arsenal twice)
    The away team has failed to score in each of those previous cup games
    Bradford beat Arsenal 2-1 at home in their first season in the Premier League
    Arsenal won both Premier League games at Highbury 2-0

  47. kelsey says:

    Huntelaar rumours I heard over here that I mentioned last week are gathering pace.I thought he was CL cup tied.

  48. kelsey says:

    Paddy and murphy on a building site. A slate falls off and chops paddys ear off. Murphy said “paddy Ive found it!”
    Paddy said “Noooo thats not mine, mine had a pencil behind it!”

  49. Red Arse says:

    Lovely and amusing Post, Rocky! 🙂

    Yesterday I appeared to be a lone voice on AA (and elsewhere) saying it was a penalty, even if the contact had been the merest lovers caress of the shin, so when I read the report this a.m. I thought I was hallucinating or had written it in compos mentis absentia. 😀

    Of more concern to someone (me) who assiduously trawls TV, Radio and the other media for arsenal related articles, is the dung heap of abuse poured on Santi’s head. He is a CHEAT – they all holler in unison. Deserves to have his ghoulies tickled with stinging nettles. [OK maybe not that last bit — anyway, I quite like that — don’t knock it until you try it – just ask chas!] 😆

    Apparently shirt pulling in the area; pushing a forward about to shoot so his shot goes wide; holding your face when someone has tapped you on the shoulder; ‘taking one for the team’ by handling the ball, or tripping an opponent; — none of this is CHEATING — oh, no that is just ‘professional gamesmanship’ and is somehow to be applauded.
    It is only lowlife Arsenal players like Eduardo or Cazorla who CHEAT by diving — for which read ‘getting out of the way of some schmuck who will break your leg if you carry on in the direction in which his thumping great size twelves have been aimed.

    What really gets me tho’ is the so called Arsenal supporting journos who join in with this mob mentality, apparently to show their even handedness, or worse still are the Arsenal fans who turn their noses up at such ‘underhand’ antics and publicly spew forth their outraged indignation on whichever rabble rousing show will have them, when surely the whole point of having a referee on the pitch is for him to arbitrate on the fairness or otherwise of such events.

    Refs sometimes get it wrong, we all know that, but at least they apply their own unbiased view (let’s not split hairs here), rather than allow the Arsenal hating, Manure or Chelsea arse licking media to decide what is or is not acceptable to them when it comes to Arsenal players.

  50. Gooner In Exile says:

    He is CL cup tied Kelsey, I fear if it happens it will be for Summer (like Pod)

  51. LB says:

    Huntelar probably is cup tied but how far were we anticipating on going in the CL to worry about such things?

    Good t hear from 26

  52. Red Arse says:

    Oh, and welcome back, 26M. Glad to hear you are feeling better.

    I was wondering where you were when I wanted a passionate debate [no point in trying to provoke Rocky – he is too nice to bite] — all is now explained — you had not deserted me!! 😛

  53. kelsey says:

    How are you 40 love 🙂

  54. GunnerN5 says:

    A tad late on the celebrity bit but nevertheless…….

    In July of 1962 my girl friend (now my wife) and myself spent two weeks in Liverpool. We stayed with her sister whose boy friend was a bouncer at one of the local clubs.

    On the Friday night he got us tickets to the club, a local group was in town and were playing that night.

    It turned out that the group were in fact the Beatles, and he was their strong arm at the club, he introduced us and we ate with them after the session.

    When we went back to London we never even mentioned it – as nobody knew them, it was not until some time later that their first release Love Me Do, started to become popular – then we started to talk about them………and obviously haven’t stopped

  55. Red Arse says:

    My understanding of the CL rules on whether or not a player is cup tied, having already played for another club in the competition, seem to be covered by UEFA as per the following.

    UEFA has relaxed its rules on players appearing for two teams in one season in the Champions and Europa Leagues.

    The executive committee has agreed that a player who appears for a club in any of the preliminary rounds of the Champions League or Europa League can play for another team in the competition proper, so long as his original team is eliminated in the preliminary competition.

    “The rules have been relaxed regarding what the English call ‘cup-tied’ players, that is players who have already played for one team in a competition in a season,” said UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino.

    “From next season, (2011/12) if a player’s club is eliminated and he signs for a new club by the end of the summer transfer window on September 1 he can play for his new club in either competition.
    “If he is not signed by the end of the summer window, he can move in the January window.”

    The one stipulation that remains is that clubs can add up to three new players in January, only one of whom will be eligible if they have previously played in the qualifying rounds.

    As Schalke are still in the competition that rules Huntelaar out, if he joins Arsenal in January.

  56. kesiena apete says:

    Yes you are right, come to think about it, was there no intention from reid to bring him down? Yes there was, he only withdrew it at the last minutes still any intention in football in means u have already done it.

  57. Red Arse says:

    I am 40:love, my love, and how are you — and how is your barnet?
    I washed mine this morning and it is blowing in the breeze in the most eccentric way. 😳

  58. Gooner In Exile says:

    RA does that mean it detached itself from your head?

  59. Red Arse says:

    No, GIE, but it is not controllable, a bit like my libido, and also like my libido it has a mind of it’s own and points in an unnerving way at any attractive female hair that it takes a shine to.

    Damn! There are so many Freudian indicators in that statement that I am concerned in case Telescope Terry turns up! 😀

  60. slime says:

    Hi GB,

    I fully understand why Santi, and any other player, goes down easily these days.

    I remember watching Carlton Cole being pulled all over in the box when clean through on goal and he stayed on his feet and got nothing. It cost him a goal scoring chance when he could easily have fallen over and got a pen.

    I watched Toure skip past 3 desperate lunges down the Man U left yesterday, which were all fouls, yet he stayed on his feet because he knew that he was running into an advantageous position. If he was doing exactly the same run again but it was in the box he would’ve gone down.

    It’s all about getting an advantage.

    To me, it’s up to the refs and the governing bodies to do something about it, and if they aren’t willing to do that then players will keep doing it.

  61. Cheadle says:

    We are no longer in the Vinnie Jones era (love his movies by the way) where taking one for the team means getting yourself kicked and knocked across the pitch. Yes football is a contact sport and players must try and get in a tackle.

    Yet players (i.e. Ramsey and many others) now realize that a potential challenge could be ill-timed, clumsy or plain malicious, they anticipate a challenge by aligning their anatomy with its trajectory to minimize impact. You can take responsibility for your own safety.. ie get hacked by what might seem like a terrible challenge but also rise up (like the Undertaker) to dispatch the resultant “penalty”……. Or absorb the full force of the challenge and wait for the stretcher….oxygen… ambulance….theater… next season!!!

    If Messi waited obediently to get clipped by every challenge he would not be the record breaking goal scorer he is today. Messi is challenged at least a dozen times as he runs with the ball.He rides each challenge swiftly by re-distributing its impact across his entire body.

    He is not the only one in football history to achieve this streamlined effect, Pele, Maradona, CR7, Iniesta, Gigs, Berbatov, Bergkamp and Henry but eventually they go do down… when Messi goes down its an actual dive because he gets tired of being kicked around. His dives are so poor… so obvious….but i guess if nobody could bring you down over 60 meters why not just oblige them when you get into their penalty box?

  62. Rasp says:

    Hi Cheadle, you make some interesting points. Does the ref encourage diving by playing the advantage? Does a player who gets kicked but play is allowed to continue get fed up with the physical attention and say to himself, right next time I’m going down?

    It is more about the individual. No-one would accuse Messi of being a diver whilst Bale patently is. The ethos of the club and the will of the manager must also play a part. I’m sure Brian Clough would have dropped any player who dived – Mourinho might give them a bonus 😕

  63. Steve of Chiang Mai says:

    Loving the retrospective 3 match ban talk….Rooney, Young and Bale may never play again…..

  64. Terry White says:

    I hope you have all sent a complaint to the BBC, I have to complain about biased reporting, and insults to Cazorla & Ref

  65. Muzaffar says:

    I agree,, he was fouled… N those who say there’s daylight between them need to get there eyes checked.. CONTACT.FOUL .PENALTY

  66. kelsey says:

    The following questions were set in last year’s GED examination These are genuine answers (from 16 year olds)…………and they WILL breed.

    Q. Name the four seasons.
    A. Salt, pepper, mustard and vinegar.

    Q. How is dew formed?
    A. The sun shines down on the leaves and makes them perspire.

    Q. What causes the tides in the oceans?
    A. The tides are a fight between the earth and the moon. All water tends to flow towards the moon, because there is no water on the moon, and nature abhors a vacuum. I forget where the sun joins the fight.

    Q. In a democratic society, how important are elections?
    A. Very important. Sex can only happen when a male gets an election.

    Q. What are steroids?
    A. Things for keeping carpets still on the stairs. (Shoot yourself now , there is little hope).

    Q. Name a major disease associated with cigarettes.
    A. Premature death.

    Q. What is artificial insemination?
    A. When the farmer does it to the bull instead of the cow. Q. How can you delay milk turning sour?
    A. Keep it in the cow. (Simple, but brilliant)

    Q. How are the main 20 parts of the body categorised (e.g. The abdomen)?
    A. The body is consisted into 3 parts the brainium, the borax and the abdominal cavity. The brainium contains the brain, the borax contains the heart and lungs and the abdominal cavity contains the five bowels: A, E, I,O,U.. (wtf!
    Q. What is the fibula?
    A. A small lie.

    Q. What is the most common form of birth control?
    A. Most people prevent contraception by wearing a condominium (That would work) Q. What is a seizure?
    A. A Roman Emperor. (Julius Seizure, I came, I saw, I had a fit)

    Q. What is a terminal illness.
    A. When you are sick at the airport. (Irrefutable)

    Q. What does the word ‘benign’ mean?
    A. Benign is what you will be after you be eight. (brilliant)

  67. kelsey says:

    These are from a book called Disorder in the American Courts, and are things people actually said in court, word for word, taken down and now published by court reporters that had the torment of staying calm while these exchanges were actually taking place.
    __________________________________________________ ______________________________________________

    ATTORNEY: What was the first thing your husband said to you that morning?
    WITNESS: He said , ‘Where am I, Cathy?’
    ATTORNEY: And why did that upset you?
    WITNESS: My name is Susan!

    ATTORNEY: What gear were you in at the moment of the impact?
    WITNESS: Gucci sweats and Reeboks.

    ATTORNEY: Are you sexually active?
    WITNESS: No, I just lie there.

    ATTORNEY: This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all?
    WITNESS: Yes.
    ATTORNEY: And in what ways does it affect your memory?
    WITNESS: I forget..
    ATTORNEY: You forget? Can you give us an example of something you forgot?

    ATTORNEY: Do you know if your daughter has ever been involved in voodoo?
    WITNESS: We both do.
    ATTORNEY: Voodoo?
    WITNESS: We do..
    ATTORNEY: You do?
    WITNESS: Yes, voodoo.

    ATTORNEY: Now doctor, isn’t it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn’t know about it until the next morning?
    WITNESS: Did you actually pass the bar exam?

    ATTORNEY: The youngest son, the 20 year old, how old is he?
    WITNESS: He’s 20, much like your IQ.

    ATTORNEY: Were you present when your picture was taken?
    WITNESS: Are you joking?

    ATTORNEY: So the date of conception (of the baby) was August 8th?
    WITNESS: Yes.
    ATTORNEY: And what were you doing at that time?
    WITNESS: Getting laid

    ATTORNEY: She had three children, right?
    WITNESS: Yes.
    ATTORNEY: How many were boys?
    WITNESS: None.
    ATTORNEY: Were there any girls?
    WITNESS: Your honour, I think I need a different attorney. Can I get a new attorney?

    ATTORNEY: How was your first marriage terminated?
    WITNESS: By death..
    ATTORNEY: And by whose death was it terminated?
    WITNESS: Take a guess.

    ATTORNEY: Can you describe the individual?
    WITNESS: He was about medium height and had a beard
    ATTORNEY:&nb sp; Was this a male or a female?
    WITNESS: Unless the Circus was in town I’m going with male.

    ATTORNEY: Doctor, how many of your autopsies have you performed on dead people?
    WITNESS: All of them.. The live ones put up too much of a fight.

    ATTORNEY: ALL your responses MUST be oral, OK? What school did you go to?
    WITNESS: Oral…
    _____________ ____________________________

    ATTORNEY: Do you recall the time that you examined the body?
    WITNESS: The autopsy started around 8:30 PM
    ATTORNEY: And Mr. Denton was dead at the time?
    WITNESS: If not, he was by the time I finished.

    ATTORNEY: Are you qualified to give a urine sample?
    WITNESS: Are you qualified to ask that question?

    And last:

    ATTORNEY: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?
    WITNESS: No.
    ATTORNEY: Did you check for blood pressure?
    WITNESS: No.
    ATTORNEY: Did you check for breathing?
    WITNESS: No..
    ATTORNEY: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?
    WITNESS: No.
    ATTORNEY: How can you be so sure, Doctor?
    WITNESS: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.
    ATTORNEY: I see, but could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?
    WITNESS: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practising law.

  68. kelsey says:

    PARAPROSDOKIANS. I had to look up “paraprosdokian”. Here is the definition: “Figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected; frequently used in a humorous situation.” “Where there’s a will, I want to be in it,” is a type of paraprosdokian.

    Ok, so now enjoy!

    1. Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

    2. The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it’s still on my list.

    3. Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

    4. If I agreed with you, we’d both be wrong.

    5. We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.

    6. War does not determine who is right only who is left.

    7. Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

    8. Evening news is where they begin with ‘Good Evening,’ and then proceed to tell you why it isn’t.

    9. To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.

    10. A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk, I have a work station.

    11. I thought I wanted a career. Turns out I just wanted paychecks.

    12. Whenever I fill out an application, in the part that says, ‘In case of emergency, notify:’ I put ‘DOCTOR.’

    13. I didn’t say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.

    14. Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.

    15. Behind every successful man is his woman. Behind the fall of a successful man is usually another woman.

    16. A clear conscience is the sign of a fuzzy memory.

    17. I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn’t work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.

    18. You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.

    19. Money can’t buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with.

    20. There’s a fine line between cuddling and holding someone down so they can’t get away.

    21. I used to be indecisive. Now I’m not so sure.

    22. You’re never too old to learn something stupid.

    23. To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.

    24. Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.

    25. Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

    26. Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.

    27. A diplomat is someone who tells you to go to hell in such a way that you look forward to the trip.

    28. Hospitality is making your guests feel at home even when you wish they were.

    29. I always take life with a grain of salt. Plus a slice of lemon, and a shot of tequila.

    30. When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water.

    Words of Wisdom “The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.”
    Edit/Delete Message

  69. Cheadle says:


  70. Steve says:

    Blinkered fans like you give us all a bad name. Shame on you

  71. jnyc says:

    Happy to see 26 back. Now we just need evonne. Whats amazing is that we got a penalty finally, incredible how few we get, still.

  72. 26may1989 says:

    Steve says shame on Rocky – and here I was, just thinking Rocky was expressing an opinion.

    Get a grip Steve, I know it’s Monday but life can’t be that bad.

  73. kelsey says:

    Did you read the Post Steve and I hazzard to guess you haven’t been on AA before ?

  74. dandan says:

    Nice read Rocky although I have to say I saw no contact and still believe that it was an out and out dive and as such in sporting terms was worthy of a booking. Even though we may have suffered from these ourselves, a number of times in crucial matches, two wrongs as they say do not make a right.
    Today’s article and the responses to it has only served to highlight for me the constant double standards that intelligent people display when they allow the tribal instinct engendered by their loyalty to club to override their common sense and notions of fair play.
    Looking back over recent weeks at some fans constant criticism of the board and its actions,” because we are a team not a business, a sporting entity not a commercial enterprise”: I am amused by the conundrum that becomes apparent when a sporting question like this one arises. Where is the sporting ethos in procuring an advantage through an act of fraud? Surely cheating is not part of the armoury of a bona fide sporting establishment as many would have football clubs to be, more it is the action of a business to try to gain a pecuniary advantage as the recent corporation tax machinations that have driven so much anger have shown.
    Are we then a sporting club abiding by the rules or a sports business striving at all costs to increase our profile by winning by whatever means and consequently capitalising commercially by increasing our fan base and market share worldwide.

    Interesting thoughtful article from today’s Times by Alyson Rudd

    Goals win games and winning is a good thing. The win is everything. Had Arsenal lost against West Bromwich Albion then the jeers would have echoed ominously around The Emirates. Manchester United would not right now be considered favourites to win the Premier League had they not won at the Etihad. Liverpool would today officially be a club wholly dependent on Luis Suarez had they not beaten West Ham United.
    And so football moves on. Arsene Wenger is smiling, Roberto Mancini is seething and Brendan Rodgers can emit a self-satisfied “I told you so” sort of glow.
    The extrapolation of meaning from winning goals is at the heart of most football reports but what if the goals are bogus or freakish or just plain lucky? Clubs react to victory no matter how it is earned so there is little point pretending they should not or might not have won. Quite a few matches are settled in favour of the team who held less possession, committed more fouls or won fewer corners, so why does it matter if the winning goal was a fluke. There are flukes all over the pitch after all; boots come loose, cramp sets in, back-passes bobble and fail to reach the goalkeeper.
    Still, it niggles. Arsenal should not have been awarded a penalty when Santi Cazorla fell in the box. It was a dive – a clever one – but a dive all the same. Had the referee seen it as such, the Spaniard would have been booked and the mood would have soured. It was already becoming jittery. Arsenal were either too eager or too edgy in front of goal and their fans were fearful of a repeat of the performance given against Swansea City. It is not fanciful to state that had the grumblings become louder Wenger’s players would have stuttered and a conservative West Bromwich Albion would have grown in confidence.
    It doesn’t matter though now does it? Because someone had to take the penalty a new narrative was born. Mikel Arteta displayed the sort of steely resolve most of his team-mates lacked and scored from the spot. He will feel a few inches taller now having swiped from memory the penalty he missed against Fulham and the players around him will feel relief that the midfield is in such calm and capable hands. There were doubts aired about Arsenal’s second penalty as a foul was committed against Goran Popov but that niggles less. It was the absolute nature of the invalidity of the first goal and its mood-changing properties that were unsettling.
    No doubt City fans will feel indignant about Robin van Persie’s winner. The deflection that diverted the former Arsenal striker’s free kick beyond Joe Hart will not annoy neutrals, though, as Nasri had loitered ineffectually behind Edin Dzeko and stuck his left leg out, which was an error of judgment and such mistakes are at the heart of all manner of goals.
    There are “if onlys” in every game. Sam Allardyce was miffed by what he called Liverpool’s “freaky own goal” which won the match. But there was nothing freaky about Jordan Henderson’s fine cross or Jonjo Shelvey’s eagerness to reach the ball. More confusing was the fact that Joe Cole was brought on for the injured Jose Enrique and Rodgers left Upton Park feeling vindicated when he might easily have been humiliated. Cole was dreadful – off the pace and overeager – and his presence seemed to drag his team-mates down to his inept level.
    Why have defenders on the bench if, when one is injured, they are ignored? Rodgers appeared to be perversely ignoring the point of having a balanced set of substitutes. Cole, though, scored a sweet goal and his previous mistakes will now be mere detail, seen as his way of clearing out the cobwebs to make a case for regular inclusion in the side.
    All of this explains why, when Match of the Day 2, for example, rounds up Saturday’s action by showing just the goals I cannot watch. Goals are the truth of a game but not the whole truth and sometimes the missing truths are more intriguing. It almost hurts to have to leave them behind.

  75. evonne says:

    26 – but did Santi dive?
    I am half blind, so cannot tell, you tell me 9-10sec :

  76. Rasp says:

    Hi dandan, we are apparently not “a sporting club abiding by the rules or a sports business striving at all costs to increase our profile by winning by whatever means” as you suggest

    …… Tom Fox, Arsenal’s chief commercial officer, will have infuriated the already discontented Emirates faithful with his ill-advised and ill-timed comments after back-to-back defeats for the troubled club.

    Arsenal have won only two of their last ten matches

    The American, who joined Arsenal in 2009 said: ‘Arsenal Football Club is not only about winning……..

    Also I think you have misunderstood many of the responses to Rocky’s article. Most do not condone diving but simply consider that Cazorla didn’t dive as the toe of the defender’s boot impacted on his shin. The ref chose to give the penalty.

  77. Rasp says:

    evonne, I can clearly see the toe of the defenders boot hitting Cazorla’s shin.

    The question that should be asked is why is such a huge fuss being made – because its Arsenal, the Bale’s of this world commit such acts (booked 3 times this season foir diving) on a regular basis.

    It would seem that we are penalised for trying to maintain high standards whilst those who make no attempt get off scot free.

  78. evonne says:

    Yes Rasp, nobody would utter a word if it was a Chav or a Spurs player. We are proud of our high standards and others are happy to take us down a peg or two, at every opportunity.

    Did Santi get kicked just below the blue stripe on the sock? Is that it?

  79. Rasp says:

    I agree evonne. How can we hope to see an improvement when the focus is put upon those who are considered to be above such actions rather than those who do it perpetually.

  80. dandan says:

    Afternoon Rasp, no I have not misunderstood today’s comments and really can find no evidence of Caz being caught. You as a guy who takes photos and who like me enjoys and watches cricket on sky, must be well aware of the foreshortening effect of lenses. The picture above is a classic example. All the movie pics I have seen from a number of angles show an air shot being taken advantage of by Caz. I was not criticising by the way just as the current term appears to be Saying 🙂

  81. evonne says:

    Human nature Rasp, we love to put down those who claim to be superior to us in any way.It makes us feel less guilty when others are not so saintly. The only answer is ‘if you cannot beat them – join them’. For that reason even if Santi did dive, I would happily take the 3 points.

  82. RockyLives says:

    Thanks for the comment but I think you may have misunderstood my article.

    You say: “Today’s article and the responses to it has only served to highlight for me the constant double standards that intelligent people display when they allow the tribal instinct engendered by their loyalty to club to override their common sense and notions of fair play.”

    I very happy to call a dive a dive when an Arsenal player has performed one.

    If you re-read my article you will see that I spent a lot of time studying the incident and – as I’m sure anyone else who does so will agree – it was a foul and a penalty.

    Did you look at the clip I recommended earlier in comments (on Arsenalist.com) and watch especially carefully at 5 seconds in? I did. I watched it about 50 times (although the clear contact it shows was apparent from the very first viewing). If not, can I suggest you do so before making accusations of double standards.

    If it had been a dive I would probably have written a Post about how disappointing it was to see one of our players do a Rooney.

    As for the Alyson Rudd column – I’m sorry, but that’s the biggest load of twaddle I’ve read in a long time.

    Firstly, she says: “Arsenal were either too eager or too edgy in front of goal and their fans were fearful of a repeat of the performance given against Swansea City.”

    As every fan in the ground could quite clearly see, there was absolutely no similarity between Saturday’s performance and the one against Swansea. On Saturday we created chance after chance, controlled the game and fought for everything. Against the Swans we are as toothless as a granny convention and weren’t making any chances at all. Obviously the real facts didn’t suit Rudd’s narrative so she just made some new facts up instead.

    Then there’s this comment, which really takes the Digestive:
    “It was the absolute nature of the invalidity of the first goal…”

    The absolute nature? Philosophers have spent the last 2,000 years trying to establish the absolute nature of anything (let alone truth) without coming up with an answer. In Rudd’s it becomes an absolute truth because she says it is. The only way she could know for certainty whether it was an absolute truth or not is if she happened to briefly inhabit the body of either Cazorla or Reid at the moment of contact/non-contact and thereby felt the contact/non-contact.

    But she’s not much of a journalist so I doubt she’s much cop at out-of-body temporal possession either.

    I despair at what’s happening to journalism. Once upon a time a sub-editor would have made her put in a qualifying sub-clause (“on the balance of properties” “according to most observers” “as far as I could tell from the available camera angles” etc) to stop her making such a fool of herself. Instead we have to read her “absolute” truth. Dear oh dear.

  83. Rasp says:

    Hi dandan, well for once my specs must be more rose tinted than yours as I can detect contact 😛 Moreover I contend that the act of swinging his boot as if to kick Santi would have been enough to make Santi move backwards and lose his balance when running at such pace – but neither of us will ever be able to prove it. It was a soft penalty as AW admitted. It was a 50/50 and the refs decision to give the penalty. If he hadn’t given it I wouldn’t be on here today moaning about it, you win some and you lose some.

    However isn’t the fact that their goalkeeper systematically denied us playing time by timewasting an act of cheating that went unpunished?

  84. RockyLives says:

    *balance of probabilities

  85. dandan says:

    Hi Rocky Going back for another look at Arse player, I will as the man said be back. 🙂

  86. dandan says:

    Rasp Indeed it was, and ever is it so at the Emirates it seems. My comment if you read it again was a bit more general than just yesterday game, it was a summation of some of what has been voiced in recent weeks. Incidentally the last person I would disrespect on here would be Rocky as I find his input generally balanced and informed.

  87. Rasp says:

    Thanks dandan, I understand what you are saying but of course it fails as an example of ‘double standards by some commenters’ if one does not consider that Santi dived. I think it was a soft penalty but probably one the ref had to give if he followed the letter of the law. The defender’s actions denied our player a scoring opportunity (Santi fell over), he did not make contact with the ball.

  88. Rasp says:

    This is what you call a dive, at least a foot between the players ……

  89. RockyLives says:

    No disrespect felt at my end – but I wanted to emphasise that I genuinely believe he didn’t dive, so it’s not a “rose tinted’ view of things (even though I’ll freely admit to regularly using the RT specs).

    Didn’t mean to sound aggressive/defensive.

  90. dandan says:

    Oh dear Rocky now you have got me worried, having spent a fortune in the Dentist’s this month and over 2 grand on hearing aids for the wife last week, it now appears I have to go and be fleeced by an optician.
    Because try as I might I can see no contact on that swing, in fact it reminds me of me and my three iron. Although I do agree with Rasp that a swing of that velocity does constitute intent and as such is worthy of a penalty.
    I have an independent 3 man tribunal, constituting A City, A Pool And a Hammer fan all under 45 with perfect sight due here this week. I will ask them to judge pass judgement on whether my long suffering wallet should be further depleted.

  91. 26may1989 says:

    Without wishing to undermine the exalted independent tribunal constituted by Lord Justice Dandan (bows in deference….) before it begins its work, I have to ask whether contact has much to do with this. The more I see the replay, the more it looks to me like Santi saw Reid’s foot swinging across his line of sight, expected the clumsy swipe to take his left leg and so instinctively he did what little his momentum permitted to withdraw his left leg, which caused him to lose balance. None of that excuses the rolling around or holding of the shin/ankle, but I do think there was little meaningful contact AND that the penalty call, though marginal, was justifiable.

  92. dandan says:

    Welcome back 26 you have been missed. As for me everything appears to be wearing out so what’s another little bit to worry about.
    As for Santi you could well be right.

  93. Rasp says:

    Like Rocky dandan, I don’t want to sound like were ganging up on you. One thing is for sure, the fact that the AA bunch of balanced individuals 🙂 cannot agree means that it is disputable and far from the widely reported “he’s a diving cheat” that has been almost universally broadcast.

    We should remember that they dropped the action against Eduardo when proper slo-mo analysis showed there was contact, but by that time it was too late and his reputation had been tarnished.

  94. dandan says:

    Fear not Rasp I dont offend easily, unless that Kelsey starts bullying me. 🙂

  95. Rasp says:

    😆 dandan, as Dennis Healey described it referring to Geoffrey Howe? “like being savaged by a dead sheep”

  96. Red Arse says:


    They say fools rush in where Angels fear to tread …………. so here I go.

    You said; “Today’s article and the responses to it has only served to highlight for me the constant double standards that —— intelligent people ——– display when they allow the tribal instinct engendered by their loyalty to club to override their common sense and notions of fair play.

    Is the corollary to that ‘only stupid people get it right?’ 😀

    Perhaps I fall into the latter category because I said there was contact immediately after seeing the game, and before Rocky’s Post!

    As you are a fair man, don’t you think this has not so much to do with ‘double standards’, which, probably unintentionally, sounds a bit disrespectful, but simply that you are putting your belief ‘there was no contact’ over the view of others, like me, who are genuinely convinced that there was contact?

    Oh, dear ……………. whoever made that comment I would have responded in exactly the same way ……….. but I particularly do not wish to offend you. 😦

  97. Red Arse says:


    Is Sheep Hagger a gonner, a deceased sheep, a moribund love dispenser? 😆

  98. Rasp says:

    Haha Redders, I’ve no idea but he’s a colourful character and our first first Welsh gooner on AA so ‘Yucky Dah’ to him

  99. Shard says:

    Hello all,

    I’ve been away from home, spending some time attending a wedding in Mumbai (or Bombay as I still call it) I missed the match, and ended up watching it today. I was aware of the whole diving storm and on viewing the game on Arsenal Player, I was sure it was a dive. I tried watching on arsenalist like Rocky suggested but apparently that video has been removed. So I have no option but to stick by my contention that it was a dive, and I don’t like to see Arsenal players doing that. By and large we are a clean team. It just highlights the hypocrisy of the media when they pick on Arsenal players despite other teams doing it much more regularly. Anyway, we won, and that is what counts.

  100. dandan says:

    Red Arse the key word in that line was constant, that took the comment wider than yesterdays game, in fact whether there was a touch or not was not really what I took issue with, rather the attitude to it anyway Bearing that in mind all that follows still stands.

    If I deserve offending RA offend away, though in this instance you surely did not.

  101. 26may1989 says:

    Doesn’t the league table look a bit odd right now? Usually, around this stage things would have settled down so that there would be a top two or three (which there is) followed by a group of four, tops five other teams.

    Right now, United are storming away, City are keeping up just about, Chelsea are off the pace of the leaders but ahead of (if you forgive the plundering of cycling terminology) the pelaton. And then there’s a group of nine teams, stretching from Everton in 4th (on 26 points) to Norwich in 12th (22 points).


    The under-performances of Arsenal, Spurs and Liverpool certainly have some part in it. But the classy openings of Swansea, Norwich and West Brom, plus the more utilitarian efforts of Stoke and West Ham, have had a big say too.

    There are threats and opportunities in this for us. If we don’t start stringing results together, we could easily find ourselves off the pace, not only for the the top spots, but also for CL or even Europa qualification. But if we can get our act together, and play like we did in the first six or seven games, we could very easily be competing for 3rd and 4th places, and who knows, with a bit of a following wind, maybe even higher than that. The recent run of games has sapped the confidence of players and fans alike, but with so many in jitttery form, we may not suffer harsh consequences for it.

    We really need that consistency though. Hopefully Saturday was the foundation for some of that.

  102. 26may1989 says:

    Shard, I still call it Bombay too. Am off to India next week, to take my half-Gujurati kids on their first visit to that particular ancestral homeland (plus a nice holiday in more relaxed Kerala!).

  103. Red Arse says:

    Well said, DD, 🙂

    There are a couple of items that apply to my own view of things.

    I dislike cheating. The old English sporting values as portrayed in the cricket based adage “it’s just not cricket” is where I hang my hat.

    I dislike cheating. I call ‘incidents’ as I see them, even if it is against my own interests, or in contradiction to the views expressed by others.

    I dislike cheating. Especially when it is dressed up as ‘professional gamesmanship’ by those with their own agenda. It is still cheating.

    That is a mantra that I am sure others could add to, and I doubt you would disagree with any of it. 😛

  104. Shard says:

    any chance you will be spending time in delhi? If so, I would like the honour to buy you a beer (if you drink that is)

    Kerala is nice. Will you be doing the whole backwater vacation, or going up to the hills and tea farms in the Western Ghats?

  105. mickydidit89 says:

    Vingt-Six, Bonsoir.
    How good to be typing on the same page again.
    The “Pelaton”. Love it.
    Meaning we’re still in the saddle. Quite right.

  106. mickydidit89 says:

    Cheaters in The Traditional English Crciketting Scene are not “Cheats”, simply “Dashed Rotten Eggs, Cads and Bounders”.

  107. 26may1989 says:

    Shard, a very nice offer, and one I fully intend to take up as soon as I can – but I won’t be in Delhi on this trip. I will however probably be in India for work in the first few months of 2013, and that would usually involve some time in Delhi – it would be excellent to meet up then.

    But I should warn you, I may still be going on about the cricket….. 🙂

  108. Red Arse says:

    Thanx, Micky, and here I was thinking that cheaters were four legged, furry, sharp clawed cats that the peasants were thrown to.

    Sheesh, that was a lucky escape for my man Friday!! 😆

  109. 26may1989 says:

    Good evening, Monsieur Didit (or should that be “Monsieur l’a Fait”?). Lovely to see you too.

  110. LB says:

    Steve says: December 10, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    “Blinkered fans like you give us all a bad name. Shame on you.”

    Sorry Steve, you are of course right, forgetting to say that Steven Reid should have been sent off for that tackle on Cazorla is inexcusable.

    I know I am merely one of many regulars on this site but in my minor capacity please accept my sincere apologies.

  111. mickydidit89 says:

    Listen and learn RA 🙂
    26, Damn I wish I had exotic roots to explore.
    Sounds like a great trip. I was lugged off to visit my ancestral homeland, and it was ten minutes down the f…ing road. Cold wet and miserable when we left. Cold wet and miserable when we arrived. Never been back.

  112. Shard says:


    Haha..Do you mean the whipping the England cricket team have been dishing out to the Indians? If so, I wouldn’t mind. Mostly I think of Indian cricketers as spoilt brats who forget their rightful place in the world. So no complaints from me there. Although I would remind you that England are yet to win the cricket world cup, something India has now achieved twice 🙂 (20-20 doesn’t count)

  113. mickydidit89 says:

    I have been trying to formulate a brilliant theory on how we can start to score freely from open play. Just spent twenty minutes viewing Giroud’s goals for Montpellier, hoping to unlock the secret of optimizing the french fella.
    Nothing to report yet.

  114. Gooner In Exile says:

    Rasp that dive by Bale was laughed at on MotD as was Neville’s in the Merseyside Derby. I wonder why……actually I don’t wonder at all.

    Most Spuds said that Bale has been kicked so many times he instinctively sways out of the way and loses balance and falls. I guess we can now use same excuse for Santi as a result of Adebayor’s assault.

  115. goonermichael says:

    Some mention earlier about Huntelaar. Being cup tied isn’t the problem. The problem is why he would leave a club that’s still in the CL. I said yesterday that if it wa a pre meditated dive iot was the best I’ve ever seen. Ox’s looked more of a dive and he was clearly fouled.

    Great post. Loved the Braille

  116. kel says:

    I can’t believe your trying to say carzola didn’t dive, shocking!!!!!!
    shame on you!!!!that’s why he will not get a next penalty for the season hypocrite

  117. 26may1989 says:

    Shard, I’m afraid I was referring to the current state of play in the Test Series – not very classy of me, sorry! But I do agree about Indian cricketers: they should dominate every form of the game, but the players lack the hunger and drive, and the BCCI selectors lack the guts, for India to come close to that. The way India field is one example, and the failure to face up to the fact that Sachin long since ceased to justify a guaranteed place is another.

    ODI World Cup? So yesterday! 🙂

    Am really looking forward to the Fourth Test, now that some of the older players have been dropped, we might see some of the younger Indian guys get a look in.

  118. Gooner In Exile says:

    Kel how many penalties did Bale get last year? I can think of at least 2, what about Young?

  119. 26may1989 says:

    Micky, love your version of “Who Do You Think You Are?”! I have similarly vanilla ancestry (East Anglian peasants combined with Scottish peasants and Geordie slum dwellers). But in my family, we seem to have cured that by making a habit of marrying more exotically, which (combined with a penchant for divorce in my parents’ generation) has made things interesting: my first stepdad was from New Zealand, my second one from Trinidad (and his dad was Finnish); my first stepmum was Mauritian; my wife is East African Indian; my sister married a guy from Louisiana, where she now lives; and one of my brothers headed to New Zealand 20 years ago.

    Trouble is we now seem to spend all our time visiting rellies!

    As for getting the best out of Giroud, my guess would be going 4-4-2.

  120. chas says:

    Splendid post, Rockstar.
    I can’t believe the number of Arsenal supporters willing to condemn their own player.

    Here’s a freeze frame from Arsenal Player.
    If you can swear there’s no contact, then you are a liar.

    Not one pundit or expert has questioned Reid’s part in the incident. What exactly was the WBA player trying to do?

    On a different note, the Fat French Bench Warmer hiding behind his fellow team mates in the free-kick wall and managing to deflect the free kick past Hart made me laugh.


  121. chas says:

    Welcome back, √676.

  122. 26may1989 says:

    Kel, are you struggling with the fact that someone expresses a view that’s not yours? And not that of Alan Hansen or any of the other oh-so-wise pundits? It’s just an opinion, relax.

  123. 26may1989 says:

    Cheers chas – and that is the best mathematical play on my name yet! Redders will have his work cut out now……

    Completely agree about Reid (a player I’ve always quite liked). He had lost control, and couldn’t have known what he was doing with his leg.

  124. I agree. It seem there was contact, minimal though.

  125. Sheep Hagger says:

    Hi are we still going on about the penalty ,move on life’s to short.
    Roll on Bradford and reading.
    Much love Sheep

  126. me love sheep too!

    Lamb kebabs, its the Aussie way at 4am in the morning after a night on the frothies.

  127. Sheep Hagger says:

    It’s cold tonight in s Wales even my sheep or cold

  128. a pint of cognac should do the trick, Hagger 😆

  129. I find it very amusing that ever since Pardew was offered that obscene long term contract at Toon, his team have found the self destruct button..

    The hunger has gone

  130. And just as i say that, Hatim Bum Farta equalises..

  131. evonne says:

    Chas – some Shitty fans were moaning about lazy, useless Ballotelli. But most admitted that Na$ri is even worse, good for nothing fat bastard 🙂 Bless them 🙂

    Then again, some Arsenal fans were saying that AW is not a Professor, but a saboteur whose mission is to destroy Arsenal; the Club stopped being a big club when we sold R$P to ManYoo, I am sure they are not real people, just decoys

  132. 26may1989 says:

    If we lose Walcott, Ben Arfa would be top of my wishlist for replacements.

    And if we really are in the market for a keeper, there couldn’t be many better options than Tim Krul.

    That contract for Pardew was an odd one.

  133. RockyLives says:

    Fifth of 130
    It’s a lesson in not making long term decisions based on emotion or short term feelings.

    Pardew had a good season, but many teams have a single good foray in the EPL that they can never subsequently replicate.

    It makes you realize what a good manager Moyes is.

  134. Sheep Hagger says:

    Jose maurino summed up super mario
    He said ‘he’s un manageable
    Correct the special one

  135. SharkeySuresGhost says:

    Slime and Panic (just before 10.00am)…..two very good chuckles (thats one each) generated. Quality work !!

  136. Sheep Hagger says:

    On the Walcott debate I’d get rid of him .
    He does nothing for me like arshivin he can go as we’ll and chamak
    Soz about spelling

  137. 26may1989 says:

    Moyes is a superb manager, no doubt.

    This Fulham v Geordies game is a good watch isn’t it…..

  138. Sheep Hagger says:

    I’d rather watch the X factors

  139. 26may1989 says:

    Sheep, we may not be on the same wavelength……

  140. Sheep Hagger says:

    We may not be nice to meet u
    Much love SH

  141. Sheep Hagger says:

    I’m watching faulty towers ,it’s funnier than spurs losing

  142. 26may1989 says:

    Fawlty Towers, now I’m with you. Which episode?

  143. Sheep Hagger says:

    The one with the shrink

  144. Another loss for Toon.. my oh my !

    Its all gone Geordie shore.

    To sack Pardew now, that Nani statue loving owner would have to pay him out 9 yrs worth of celery… salary 🙂

  145. Sheep Hagger says:

    Sheep off 2zzzzzzzzz
    Catch u all Tom
    Much love mr Bradford

  146. Sorry, confused Newcastle owner with Fulhams (on the Nani statue).

    Too many frothies for PPP.

    Good night Britain

  147. 26may1989 says:

    That is an epic one, bloody love it!

  148. 26may1989 says:

    Night night Stralia.

  149. RockyLives says:

    Just watched it again.

    How anyone can not seen the contact (in evonne’s uploaded video above) is beyond me. All it needs is a comedy “boiiiiiinnnggg” effect as Reid’s toe bounces off Santi’s shin.

  150. Gooner In Exile says:

    Scary for toon fans, Pardews original contract was 5 and a half years in 2010, the deal he signed in the summer was listed as an 8 year extension does that mean 8 on the 3 remaining which means until 2023. Bet even 2020 looks a long way off for Toon fans right now.

    To be fair to Pardew demanding the original contract was a wise move the way Ashley was getting through managers. And he wanted a chance to develop a squad which he had not had before (and is rare in the PL). His bargaining position for latest deal was made all the stronger with his LMA and PL Manager of the Season awards.

  151. Jim says:

    It’s embarrassing enough that Cazorla dived, now you want to compound that by pretending he didn’t. You only see what you want to see. It was a fucking dive – not touched. Get a grip for fuck sake.

  152. haohaohaohtc says:

    Remember he tumbled a few steps after being kicked, before finally found his balance in the spud match? The ref waved play on and he centered for Giroud to score? He had a batter chance on that spot!

  153. Big Raddy says:

    Amazing how we can have a debate about very little!

    Did Reid make contact or not? It doesn’t matter a hill of beans does it?

    What mattered was that Arteta had the cojones to score both penalties.

  154. Gooner In Exile says:

    ROLF at the FA!!!

    “Football’s governing bodies are considering the introduction of cultural lessons for foreign players as part of a series of measures to tackle the recent increase in racially related offences in the English game.”

    That statement sounds….er…….inherently racist.

    The bans of Suarev vs Terry appeared racist. Maybe they should make sure they know what racism is before they start accusing “foreign players”.

  155. Big Raddy says:

    GIE. Could this refer to Clattenburg and is the FA showing willing to back the referees with a neat backhand swipe at Chelsea 😀

  156. Gooner In Exile says:

    Hadn’t thought of it like that Raddy. 🙂

  157. Sheep Hagger says:

    Morning all
    Roll on mad brad ford tonight it’s on sky so I will be watching
    Hope at aa members are all ok this Cold Morning in swansea.
    Off to work soon ill be wearing my 30 year old arsenal scarf around the city this morning.
    Catch u all tonight I’m off to work
    Much love

  158. Manthan says:

    Predication guys for todays Bradford vs Gunners.. mine is 3-1 arsenal will win..

  159. evonne says:

    Would you call your kid Lanesra?? Apparently there are many little Lanesras running in North London 🙂
    I don’t know, I love Arsenal but I would not insist that my children/future grandchildren loved AFC too, would you?

  160. Morning all,

    There’s a new post ……..

  161. 2020vision says:

    I’m sending printout copies of reid’s shinkicking Santi to Alan (“he was nowhere near him”) Hansen! to think I pay his effing wages!!

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