A Hard Fought Draw

This was on paper always going to be the most tricky game of our run in and chase for a Champions League spot. Added to the normal nerves of entertaining United was the return of Brave Sir Robin, and the indignity of having to give said Dutchman and his new teammates a guard of honour on to the pitch after winning the title last Monday. As a mark of my disgust I did not enter the living room until that silly business had been completed.

On to the match, Arsene had picked the side most of us would have expected before the game. Podolski in for the suspended Giroud and with a chance to prove that his future in the team rests in a central striking position.

I posted the following comment before kick off yesterday:

What do I want today? 3 points obviously…..but more importantly I want us to take the field showing a belief that we can win. Too often this season we have gone out in games against Top 4 competitors with a look of a team destined to lose and given a performance to match.

From the start the team set about United in a fashion we have not seen for quite some time. We pressed the ball, were quick to the tackle and competing for the second ball, so much so that within 1 and a half minutes we got our reward, Brave Sir Robin gifted possession to us in the centre circle, Cazorla picked out Podolski who moved it on to Rosicky who picked a lovely pass in to the feet of Theo, despite the tight angle he dispatched the ball past a static De Gea.

theo v united

Maybe this would be a good day after all, the best thing about this was that we did not stop or slow down for the next thirty minutes, continuing to press and fight for possession and being quick to block out United attacks.

Cazorla tried a curler to double the advantage but De Gea saved well (although a bit dramatically) and Ramsey breaking fed Podolski who shot from a tight angle when perhaps he should have squared it to where Theo was waiting, perhaps he was trying a little too hard to prove a point. Maybe young Aaron chose the wrong option with Theo looking better placed to shoot.

United started to get in to the game, but in the main were restricted to crosses and deep runners trying to get on the end of them, Szczesny saved well with his face from the Dutchman in the one clear chance they created.

The second goal of the game would be vital and it looked like it was only going to be ours but from half hour onwards we seemed to be paying the price for our frenetic start opportunities to counter attack were being slowed down, a few loose passes appeared when previously we had been precise and quick.

With the half time whistle approaching Bacary Sagna made a poor backpass to BFG, he has played in the same team long enough to know BSR would be looking for it, he picked up the ball and raced towards goal, Sagna worked hard to get back and the angle for any shot was tight but Sagna, red mist fully descended, lunged into a risky tackle, his outstretched studs made contact with the ball but from behind as he was the tackle would be a foul anywhere else on the pitch. In Sagna’s defence he must have been surprised to see BSR as he had been firmly tucked in Koscielny’s pocket up to that point. The Dutchman picked himself up and scored the penalty to level going in at half time.

The goal could not have come at a worse time. With legs starting to tire we needed to go in ahead and to be able to be lifted to push on, unfortunately we went in to the break heads down and regretting yet another individual mistake that have cost us too often this season.

From the restart it was clear United had been given a piece of the managers mind, it also looked like any rebuilding of confidence in the home dressing room in the second half had not worked. United were waiting to kill us on the counter attack, that they didn’t was testament to the defending of Koscielny and BFG and the keeping of Szczesny.

Mertesacker so often taking up positions to deny passes or make a large obstacle to surpass, Koscielny was his normal dynamic self quick into the tackle and clean interceptions, it is a shame that the appointment of Vermaelen as captain robbed Koscielny of so much game time this season. We have sorely missed his pace and power and it has been an important feature of our recent form.

Sagna had some more troublesome moments and most of United’s threat came from that side combined with midfielders struggling to match runs.

Going forward we were toothless, the ball got in the final third but there was no zip around the pitch either passing or running. Podolski appeared to have run out of steam after 55-60 minutes, he was failing to win any high ball or compete meaningfully. We missed Giroud’s workrate and ability to occupy defenders….he is an aerial threat that centre backs have to actively mark, which opens more space for the technicians in the team to use.

By the end it appeared that neither defence wanted to lose it and both attacks wanted to win it, there were large amounts of space from defence to defence and that gave us less chance to create a winner.

Wenger tried to force the issue bringing on Wilshere for Rosicky, Gervinho for Podolski and Ox for Ramsey. This did inject some more pace in to our play but we were restricted to more long shots, one from Cazorla just not carrying enough pace to beat De Gea.

Dowd brought the game to a close with a point acceptable to both. It was a shame that we could not get a winner, but as I have said before you get what you deserve in football and if you make mistakes like Sagna’s you do not deserve to win a game of football.

But the performance especially that in the first half was what I was looking for when I posted my early morning comment, we refused to be bullied, we stood up to the challenge, and we matched them physically man for man.

Only a fool would argue that BSR would not make our team better, but on yesterday’s performance not many of them impressed me enough to think they would make us better in other positions.

Ratings

Szczesny – 8 some good saves and a confident unflashy performance from the under fire young keeper

Sagna – 4 offensively poor, and cost us the equaliser

Mertesacker – 7.5 another solid performance from BFG, his experience and reading of the game makes him a far better defender than people give him credit for.

Koscielny – 8.5 (MotM) tucked BSR in his pocket where many other top strikers have sat before. Quality performance from the best Centre Half at the club

Gibbs – 7 not his attacking best but kept Valencia quiet most of the game

Arteta – 7 because of the way United play his defensive role was different today requiring him to track runs rather than intercept and clean up loose balls. He didn’t do this to the required standard too many late runners hitting the box untracked. With the ball he was his same reliable self.

Ramsey – 7 looked to tire early, some good passes and touches early on, was getting in good offensive positions all game without always being picked out.

Cazorla – 7 a relatively quiet game but forced De Gea into two good saves.

Rosicky – 7.5 good pass for the goal, lively about the pitch and unfortunate not to get a bit more curl on a well imagined shot.

Walcott – 8 great finish for the goal, and a constant threat to slower defenders. Needs to be much better without the ball. Did Evans a favour by keeping him at arms length when Evans appeared to want to come in and rub foreheads.

Podolski – 5.5 very poor in the centre forwards role, hope he improves over next two games, we will need him to help bring the midfielders into the game.

Subs
Wilshere – 6.5 very quiet didn’t really get into the pace of the game

Gervinho – 7 we became much more mobile with him on the pitch but with United defending deep there was little or no space to exploit.

Oxlade-Chamberlain – 7 looked to get hold of the ball and attempt to influence the game.

Written by Gooner in Exile

90 Responses to A Hard Fought Draw

  1. Sai says:

    Good post GIE. But the title “Hard fought Draw” might be true only for United. I feel, the way we pressed the ball and had possession in their half was worthy effort and we well and truly deserved a win. Having said that, they had their clear cut chances and that might have entailed justice to the topic here.

    The traitor’s got 2 in 2 against us. Interestingly, the final pass was from an Arsenal player in both the goals (Home and away). If memory serves me right, it was Verminator who did the Sagna thing last time around at Old Ladies’ toilet.

    Better crossing from Sagna could have made the difference. Our corners were too predictable with the ball curling inwards towards their first available defender.

    IMO, Rambo was the motm and he was unlucky not to play 90 minutes. He kept prssing the ball and boy, his combination with Arteta was a treat to watch yesterday. Wonder why you felt he was tired early on!

  2. GIE

    As regards the goals, which are the two most important points of the game:

    1. You forgot to mention that Theo was offside at the precise moment the ball was played to him.

    2. Sagna’s studs made NO contact with the ball.
    The slow-motion replay that I saw on a 49-inch LED flat screen TV on the wall of ‘Woody’s Bar’ showed perfectly clearly an excellent close-up of both players’ legs, and the ball; Sagna’s foot went over the ball catching van Persie.

    100% penalty!
    Everyone in the bar agreed. It was impossible to disagree when viewing arguably the best close-up of a penalty decision I’ve ever seen. Great camera work.

  3. Manthan says:

    Big Al,
    It was penalty no doubt in that. But Theo was marginally offside if you think Theo was offside for that goal then RVP was offside in previous 4 goals he scored you can check the replays.

  4. Manthan says:

    Great REport GIE,

    I saw whole match yesterday with my roommate who is MANURE Supporter. TO be frank we rule MANU in all department. If Sagna has not commited that mistake we would have won the match. Kozz and BFG have kept RVP in his pocket. Are we taking corner and free kick for formalities this season I have not seen many Pinpoint corner and free kick taken surely Wenger has work on this..

  5. Gooner In Exile says:

    Morning all….well two of you.

    Sav, Rambo has an astonishing work rate and I just felt he was fading away from the press, but in reality that was probably lack of support from others as much as me….and I am willing to admit on many occasions this year I have expected Rambo to stop totally only for him to find his second wind.

    Big Al, official records say he was onside 🙂 and I do not protest the penalty but on the same replays viewed on my 37 inch plasma* there is a clear movement of the ball when Sagna’s boot passes it, it doesn’t change the direction of it you see it bobble up slightly, all of which is irrelevant because as I say in the post he tackles from behind and it’s a foul whether he touches the ball or not.

    *which is better at showing movement than LCD (as that’s what most LED TVs are, the LED provides the light for the LCD a 49″ True LED TV would cost around £10,000 and are rare as rocking horse dodo) Plasmas are better for fast movement.

  6. GoonerB says:

    Great report GIE and you more or less called it as I saw it. Like Sai I also think Rambo had a good game and was always showing for the ball and always trying to make things happen. Even if he doesn’t have a good game I like that willingness to never try and hide in a game and just play it safe. We need players with the ambition to make things happen in a game and i wish some of the Ems faithful would recognise that quality in Rambo and not just start panning him when his first pass is intercepted. hang your head in shame Mr whoever you were sitting behind me. I still agree that Kos was MOTM though.

    Big Al 11.16, I will have to take your word re the camera angle because on MOTD they showed an angle with both players coming towards you and it looked like Sagna just made contact with the ball from that angle. further it looked like the ball slightly altered direction at that point. Whether he made contact or not you can’t argue with the pen from where the ref would have seen it, and we shouldn’t have put ourselves in that position anyway.

    I also agree that Theo was marginally off side but conversely an incident that seems to be unmentioned is when Ferdinand clattered into Gibbs in their box. It looked to me like Gibbs slipped the ball between his legs and past him and Ferdinand’s momentum just took out the player. There was no outstretched leg admittedly but does there need to be? For me if you go through someone like a bowling ball through a skittle and make no contact with the ball that is a foul, and a foul in your own box is a pen.

  7. Manthan

    I don’t THINK Theo was offside. Has WAS offside.

    And comparing an offside goal to 4 others, 400 others, or 4,000 others is simply too ridiculous for words. Two wrongs (or more) do not make a right. What the **** does RVP’s goals have to do with yesterday’s goal in question?

    Because his offside goals were allowed, Theo’s should be allowed too?

    I think today might turn out to be “Red Specs Day”.

  8. GIE
    “official records” 🙂

    GIE
    “Plasmas are better for fast movement.”
    I did mention “slow motion…” 🙂

    GIE
    Good post overall, btw, as usual.

    GoonerB
    Fair enough comment as regards the ‘BBC Match Of The Day’ footage. I don’t get that programme.
    Mine is ‘Sky TV’ and official records state that’s better than MOD 🙂 if only because Linneker and Hansen are not ‘Sky’ blokes.

  9. Thanks for the report GiE – before kick off yesterday I would have taken a draw, but the fact we got an early lead and dominated up till half time makes me feel we should have got a second during our good spell and perhaps this is 2 points dropped.

    BTW, did anyone see that on the post match interview you could actually see the purple veins on Fergiescums claret coloured nose ? The pissed old, sweaty git.

    And 6 yellows for the mank scum – we stood up to them and they reverted to type – a bunch of cheating, fouling, scummy shiesters in the mould of their equally vile manager.

  10. Rasp says:

    Super report GiE, thanks. I only saw highlights and read live text reports during the game. My conclusions are:

    1. We played with intensity and commitment – we need to reproduce that level in very game.

    2. We deserved a draw, only the mistake by Sagna prevented us from getting all 3 points

    3. Ramsey has a fantastic engine

    4. Strangely we didn’t become more attacking when Jack came on?

    5. Kozzer is a diamond and perfectly complimented by the BFG

    6. Either Pod’s injury is hampering his performance or he is not match fit or unsuited to the central striker role

    As AW hinted, we need manure to play to that level when they take on the chavs, everything is still in the balance. Win our next 3 games and we’re home and dry.

    P. S. Happy Birthday evonne for last week 😉

  11. Shard says:

    Big Al

    I agree. It was a penalty. Pity we don’t see such great camerawork very often eh?

  12. johnny says:

    Ramsey and Walcott were poor against a poor United side who would have won the League even without Van Persie because the League is so weak.

  13. GoonerB – I thought it was Oxo who got clattered into by the turtle faced drug cheat ?

    Of course refs aren’t allowed to give PK;s against ManUre -as evidenced by the fact they haven’t concede one all season – the ONLY team not too.

    34-5 games into the season and not a single PK against them, total coincidence, of course.

  14. RockyLives says:

    Good report GiE
    I was out all day yesterday so didn’t watch the match until late (I’d recorded it), by which time I knew the result.

    I thought that for the first 35 minutes of the first half, and then from 45 to about 78/79 in the second we were the better team, which is encouraging.

    Yes, they had a few chances – but so did we.

    The most annoying thing is the way we gave up the goal. One of the features of our recent run is that we have mostly cut out the suicidal individual mistakes that were costing us so many points earlier in the season. But Sagna’s was a classic. A stupid, lazy pass that just happens to go to the league’s top scorer… and then you could just see that Bac was going to bring him down when there was every opportunity to try and just shepherd him wide. It was truly, truly awful play by Sagna, who had been our weakest link up to that point anyway.

    A few other thoughts:
    I loved the way we took the physical battle to them in the first half.

    Arteta was absolutely outstanding and I would give him an 8 or 8.5. Towards the end when the game stretched out and we were pressing for the winner it was harder for him to stick to his defensive role, but even late on he was sprinting back like a 20-year-old to try and stop ManUre breaks.

    Rosicky was fantastic. I love his tackling in midfield as well as his “thrust”. He didn’t seem to be tiring, so I was disappointed when AW took him off for Jack.

    Kozzer and BFG have formed a great partnership and the former is a great shout for MOTM.

    Ramsey was excellent again. If he can add a smidgen of extra composure to his game he will become undroppable.

    With the Spuds having drawn, this was an OK point. But it’s still going to be squeaky bum all the way home…

  15. RockyLives says:

    One other thing – yet again our crossing – whether from open play, free kicks or corners – was utterly abysmal. We are worst crossing team of any in the EPL and probably of any team in any division right down to Sunday League.

    It’s so bad that it’s actually starting to really hurt us.

    Hopefully next year’s right back (Jenks) will improve things.

  16. Manthan says:

    RL,

    Agree.. Our crossing is very poor. I never supported OG much but I have to confess now we missed him yesterday his chip,pass,flicks always open opposition.. Poldi has prove himself to be in center.. Can anyone confirm how many goal we scored this year with freekicks and corners?????

  17. johnny says:

    If you’ve followed Arsenal over the years you should know that they don’t practice freekicks, crosses or set plays in training only tippy tappy passing.

  18. Manthan says:

    I mean Poldi has to prove himself. Now I understood the importance of OG in our team He will get better and better next season..

  19. Manthan, that was something I noticed when I was at the Reading game, whenever Chesney hit a goal kick OG was getting on the end of it for every flick on, but once he was subbed off the opposition won those headers and we gave possession straight back. Pretty much everything in the air was won by OG.

    Shows how much we are golng to miss his ariel power as no one else in the team wins anywhere near as many headers.

  20. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Good day to you all,

    A fine match report GIE, like Rocky I was out for most of yesterday, so I watched a recording this morning. As I already knew the result I was able to watch the game with a certain amount of dispassion. Theo’s goal was the result of a great build up and a cooly taken chance, Of course it was offside. Marginally doesn’t come into to it, you are either offside or onside.

    Having read a report of the game I was expecting to see some wild tackles and flying boots, as Old Rednose had been whingeing to the press. What I saw were largely fair tackles and a win the ball attitude, from Arsenal, rather than a take the player out style of play usually employed Manure.

    There was no doubt about the penalty, Sagna did not touch the ball so Dowd had no difficulty in awarding a spot kick. I have liked and admired Bacary ever since he arrived, but this season he has been well below his best. No professional footballer with his experience should ever play such a devastatingly poor back-pass, I fear we will see his departure in the summer.

    Overall our attitude and effort were spot on and although I am loathe to say it the result flattered Arsenal just a tad.

  21. johnny says:

    Good to see Red Arse come round to my way of thinking and ask for Usmanov to heavily invest in the team so that we can compete once again.

  22. While there’s no one else around(sorry Mdi89 if you are lurking) I have to say I’ve just got my tickets to see Saxon on Sunday – another group I’ve waited 30 years to see. \mm/

  23. IanRealGunner says:

    Whether Bacary touched the ball or not is irrelevant. My personal view is that he did touch the ball in the tackle, and the differing opinions on here also show some of the potential issues even if video replay technology was introduced. The key issue here is that the tackle gave Dowd the opportunity to award a penalty and we all remember what happens when he is presented with this option (4-4 at Newcastle instantly springs to mind). 1-1 a fair result overall.

    Be aware that Spectrum has raised his head again on Online Gooner so expect some diatribes soon!!!

  24. torel says:

    I say bring in Usmanov for a radical overhaul and stop censoring peoples views.

  25. Torel, you only get censored for being rude/abusive/disrespectful.

    Or if you support ManUre ! 🙂

  26. And if we need further proof what a front bottom ManUre players are Evra said this about VanJudas:
    “1 still don’t understand why the fans boo him. I am disappointed that the fans have quickly forgotten what he did for the club. I think he felt it as well.”

    So I’m sure you castigated your own fans/plastics/glory hunters for booing Tevez in exactly the same situation then numb nuts ?

    Just STFU – you’re just a shit Rafael back up.

  27. RockyLives says:

    chary
    Evra is one of my least favourite players in the league. I want him to stick around at Manure so I can watch his face when we take their title next year.

    Saxon eh? Are they any good?

  28. He is an obnoxiously odious piece of slime, Mr Rock.

    Saxon are great live, I was pondering whether to go or not, read a few “customer reviews” on the ticket master website and they were by all accounts in tip top form.

    “Power and the Glory”, “and the bands played on” “Dallas 1pm” “Princess of the night”.”Wheels of steel”. great stuff.

  29. Bayonne Jean says:

    GIE, solid report, but do have to take issue with one of your ratings…
    Theo an 8?? OK, he got the goal. But I really didn’t see him as any sort of constant threat to anyone other than his own side after that. And another thing about Theo….true, Ramsey should have opted to pass to him rather than to Podolski, but does he have to pout like a spoiled brat every time someone makes the lesser choice when he’s the aggrieved party? If Theo had to give a shilling for every time he made a wrong choice, even at his current wages, he’d be bankrupt in short order. Just get on with it if a play breaks down!

    Two other things:

    Podolski is clearly not at 100%, for whatever reason. He can be productive, but at this juncture only as a second half game changer.
    Have Gervinho start against QPR, which is a side tailor made for him to play against.

    Is it me, or did Jack Wilshere play as if he were gun-shy? If so, it must be that he’s carrying a much more serious injury than we’re being led to believe, and if that’s the case, maybe the better course would be for the club to have him sit, for if he doesn’t play “Jack Wilshire style”, then it doesn’t help at this point.

  30. sherlock says:

    Glad to hear you don’t censor people with contrary views, l take then you’ll be turning off moderator on johnny as i don’t recall him being disrespectful.

  31. Sherlock, how do you know if the moderator has been turned on for johnny ? Unless you are trolling as him ?

  32. RockyLives says:

    Who are all these boring people with their boring one-line non-comments?

    (All the same person)?

    No attempt to make a reasoned argument; no courtesy to engage with others’ ideas; just inane one-line opinions (incredibly ill-informed ones at that) posing as “facts”.

    Can I urge all AAers to just ignore them. The posters are like naughty toddlers trying to evoke a response from the adults.

  33. sherlock says:

    Or i could be johnny knowing how to bypass your moderator.

  34. Rasp says:

    Sherlock, phil and Johnny are one and the same. We reserve the right to ban anyone whose sole aim is to be abusive and who hide behind false personas.

  35. So you are trolling then Sherlock, why hide behind multiple log ons and one liners ?
    Explain and discuss your opinions and refrain from insults then perhaps you’ll be taken seriously.
    Otherwise, you’re just (yet)another keyboard warrior.troll…..wow, we’ve never seen one of THEM before….yawn…zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  36. OK Sherlock – I’m bored of you already(that’s my point).

  37. Rasp says:

    I’ve cleansed the site of his presence chary

  38. sherlock says:

    I hardly consider my considered views on all things Arsenal trolling

  39. Oh right, Raspers, it was like arguing with a pre-teen. haha

  40. Adrian says:

    Food for thought with regards to Van Persie. Would Ferguson be so kind to grant a player who left United in the same manner that Van Persie left Arsenal the privilege to go into their dressing room after the game like Wenger did? Van Persie pretty much told our club to go f*** ourselves after refusing to stay with us and leaving to United and I must say I am uneasy with how Wenger made it seem that all is right and lovely between him, the club and our players.

  41. evonne says:

    GiE – very good match report, I can tell you enjoyed the game! I think it was childish of you not to enter the room until after the guard of honour shenanigans; I simply shut my eyes tight 🙂

    Yes, we played very well in the first half, I was terribly proud of the lads. What impressed me most was the fighting spirit; when they gave the ball away they immediately fought back to regain control. They look technically better than the opposition and physically as strong. No more boys against men, we matched them and outplayed them for large parts of the game.

    Sagna’s mistake was unfortunate, but shit happens and we only took a point from the game that was ours to win.

    Yes again, we will definitely be serious contenders for the title next season. Yesterday performance confirmed the ability and desire to play at the highest level.

    Rocky – yep, Evra is an abomination, cannot stand him, yuuuuuk

  42. evonne says:

    Adrian – resentments kill, not good for your health. So Wenger’s attitude towards the Judas is probably the right thing to do. I wish I could grasp the concept of forgiving rather than wishing that p**k 2 broken legs

  43. evonne says:

    one more thing – Fergie’s complains about Arsenal’s aggression made me smile, broadly 🙂 good lads 🙂

  44. Red Arse says:

    Good man, GIE, I thought you captured the essence of the game very well! 🙂

    I would just like to say, with some temerity let it be said, that I think Theo is — as someone (you?) said — just Theo.

    His main claim to fame is his pace, and yet throughout the game he just laid the ball off, and only a couple of times [the goal] did he try to outrun their defence.

    I know I sound like a broken record, and I am almost certain to irritate Rocky, but if he doesn’t use his pace, and he gets brushed off the ball so easily, and does not tackle back to help Sagna — what does he do? Rating – 5.

    Sagna has not been at his best this season [haven’t changed my mind since yesterday] but there is no surprise that one of his back passes went astray. My unconfirmed impression is that 95% of his passes go back, either to Mert or the GK. [Rating – 5 and a bit]

    Look I was busting with pride during the game, as forgetting the individual performances, the team, overall, played their hearts out, and you cannot ask for more.

    Before the game I would have gladly taken 1 point from the game, but ended up being disappointed that a truly unprofessional and stupid error by Sagna cost us (and a really spirited team) two more points, and that would have really made both Chelsea and Spurs squirm.

    Not a popular comment, I suspect, but a genuinely held view, and it is important at this time of the season to stop labelling all our ducks as swans. 🙂

  45. Red Arse says:

    Et tu Rocke.

    Blog farticus maximus!! 😦 😦

  46. Shard says:

    max-i-mus!
    max-i-mus!
    max-i-mus!

    Don’t worry RA. The crowd’s all behind you… (Unfortunately downwind as well)

    🙂

  47. Gooner In Exile says:

    Evening all, wouldn’t be a match report without a couple of ratings quibbles. And maybe I did rate Theo a little too high, but it was a fine strike…. 😀

    I agree on the tracking back but I thought he did it a bit more yesterday (even picking up a yellow card!!) but his rating was more for his attitude than his performance, he squared up to a few ManUre players and that’s good to see if your smallest player is standing tall it’s hard for others not to follow.

  48. Big Al if you are still around. Watch this and tell me Sagna didn’t touch the ball

    http://www.101greatgoals.com/gvideos/gif-bacary-sagnas-tackle-on-robin-van-persie-penalty-awarded/

  49. he gets to the ball before judas and the bastard makes sure he trips over him.

  50. I disagree about Theo. Apart from the goal I thought he was awful

  51. Shard says:

    ok..Sagna definitely gets a heavier touch on the ball than it seemed from the angle they picked to show repeatedly on the tv.

  52. I’m not saying it isn’t a penalty as I don’t know the laws inside out but he definitely got it.

  53. I thought dowd was shit

  54. Shard says:

    I agree gm.. I’m not saying it wasn’t a penalty either. It might well have been. Oh he definitely did get a touch on the ball before making contact with RVP, even on the angle they showed from behind the goalline. But it seemed to be only a very slight touch. This angle shows the touch as a little more hefty.

    It might still be a penalty, but I think this clearly demonstrates the power of TV over us, and why even with use of TV replays by referees, I think they’ll manipulate decisions through use of certain angles, as they do already in shaping public perception.

  55. If they had someone looking at a video replay then there’d be less chance of a mistake. If they are corrupt then there’s not much we can do.

  56. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Evening all.

    Before I get onto the post and sensible comments, can I say that my ROLFOMETER went through the roof with this gem from Rocky:

    “Saxon eh? Are they any good?”

    Rocky, you were ‘king joking weren’t you? 🙂

  57. Shard says:

    Sky definitely manipulates video.. I’ve noticed it for years to the point that I could basically accurately predict what the video verdict would be based on whether they showed the replay or not.

    As for referees, I think if given the opportunity, most would want to be fair.

  58. MickyDidIt89 says:

    GiE,

    Great work on the excellent report. Thank you.

    2 things. Wilshere on for Rosicky was a bad move in my book.

    Another that raises an interesting question or two was your line:
    “on yesterday’s performance not many of them impressed me enough to think they would make us better in other positions”.

    I read your post much earlier in the day, and have been thinking about that. I wonder what Fergie’s take would be. Which of our players would he genuinely like in his side?

    I think Santi may be the only one.

  59. MDi89, of course. Mr Rock was joking, it’s a silly question, Saxon are bloody good ! 🙂

  60. Shard says:

    I’m not a huge fan of Saxon, but I’d go watch them play live.

  61. MickyDidIt89 says:

    RA,
    You are not alone about Theo 🙂
    I was vocal during the “sign da ting” days, as you are always left with the option of turning a profit. Just wish someone would teach him about running where and when.

  62. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Shard,
    Your sucking up to Chary, and it’s completely unnecessary 🙂
    You are clever, and that noise is for idiots and fatties.

  63. Red Arse says:

    Who the eff is Saxon? 🙂

    No, no, not to worry, it would be wasted on a pillock like me! 🙂

  64. MickyDidIt89 says:

    You’re 😦

  65. Shard says:

    Micky, only hippies don’t like heavy metal 😈

  66. MickyDidIt89 says:

    RA
    Its a kind of physical noise that comes layered in sweat and BO.

  67. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Come on Shard, you wash, so you cannot like Saxonloaf.

  68. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Bugger, I’ve lowered the tone in a matter of minutes.
    Clear pen GM 🙂

  69. Big Raddy says:

    GIE. Just as I saw the game. We did enough and deserved a draw.

    Saxon. I saw them play Gloucester Town Hall in 198?. They were the loudest band I had ever seen and quite frankly were awful. It should be said this was very early in their career. The week before I had seen U2 at the same place (must have been the Boy tour) and they were outstanding.

    Chary. Take ear protection and drink heavily.

  70. Big Raddy says:

    Micky You forgot the patchouli oil

  71. MickyDidIt89 says:

    “early in their career”
    Fine wine may improve with age, warm larger I’m not so sure

  72. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Raddy
    Mention Bono and I’m off
    Mind you now that laptop battery has kicked the bucket, i may not survive much longer either

  73. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. You will have to take my word for it but U2 when they first toured the UK were just magnificent.

    Very happy to see the return of Liveonlinefooty. Superb stream.

  74. Gooner In Exile says:

    Micky interesting point….I notice a lot of people have been countering this “not the best team” accusation with “it’s his best squad” which may in fact be the truth and the key to their title success. Evans has stood in well for Vidic, they have probably only got three players that would be on the team sheet week in week out, other than that they have been able to cover injuries without significant dips in overall performance.

    This was the main difference between the other top 4 contenders and United, any first eleven of Chelsea, City, Spuds and us are capable of beating United, but rest some players in games against lesser teams or be without key players through injury and cracks appear in all but United this season.

  75. evonne says:

    Raddy – Liveonlinefooty are back? what’s their address?

    Great game Villa v sunderland

  76. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Good points GiE
    Utd also “turn up” for more games in a season than the rest. Sad but very true.

  77. MickyDidIt89 says:

    I’m not coming down with anything nasty but I genuinely believe Utd are the only team that deserve the title on effort alone
    They are far from a great team and I certainly think City have better players and a better squad but they are a bunch of poofs

  78. evonne says:

    you might not be coming down with anything nasty but you make me feel ill by saying anything good about the worst champions I recall. wash your mouth son

  79. Big Raddy says:

    evonne

    hd-streaming.tv

  80. maverick says:

    Leaving Arsenal aside the Premier League has always been won by the richest Club of the day. United are a poor outfit with only an Arsenal reject as a genuine quality player.

  81. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Son ROLF
    Ok, here’s the deal Evonne
    We add two leaders and winners. One striker and one midfielder and we’ll go and whip their arses next time around

  82. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Raddy
    Last thing. Next time you are at the Tavern, will you lead us to the ground, closed umbrella held aloft? 🙂
    Nite all.

  83. evonne says:

    nite babe x

  84. Big Daddy, Saxon are a very well oiled (or BO’d) machine nowadays and are as technically proficient as all good metal bands are. I’m seeing them in a smallish venue so I doubt there’ll have their full PA out.

    Shard,, if you’re in the Oxford area on Sunday you can come and get some Saxon loaf in.

    Mdi89 – your 8.17 encapsulates why so many like metal. Well put sir !

    Also, why are we getting so many trolls nowadays ? It’s certainly detracting from the blogging experience it has to be said.

  85. Merseforever says:

    The fact that Wenger allowed RVP to enter the dressing room after the match shows me the complete lack of a winners mentality that has infected our club. it goes from the boardroom right down to the players. Do you think George Graham or the Wenger of ten years ago would have allowed such a thing. Would Tony, PV4, Keown, Lauren, Davis, O’Leary et al have allowed a judas to enter the locker room. Not a chance. We’ve become so subservient, and that goes against everything I ever loved about Arsenal growing up. We were the horrible ****s who never gave up and fought to the last.

    Add in Wenger’s recent comments about how he is ‘scared’ of Chelsea’s spending power… well it just shows me he is pre sorting his excuses for conservative spending again this summer instead of truly going for it and running the risk of failing.

    Forget all the b******s about this utd team not being good. They’ve been by far and away the best team in the division this year. That’s all that matters. They deserve to have won it and that winds me up more than anything. I hate that club with a passion.

  86. Apparently PSG are really after Wenger

  87. Merse. I bet you don’t hate the mancs as much as me and Chary 🙂

  88. Rasp says:

    Morning all …..

    ….. New post …….

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