Arsenal 0 – Chelsea 0: Progress?

In the comments following this match I stated that I thought there was some progress made last night. Whilst the point may not look that great as we could not lift ourselves back to the top of the Premier League, the way we approached the game was different to past meetings with a Mourinho Chelsea.

That’s not to say it was a great performance, the part the conditions played cannot be underestimated, against a strong wind in the first half we struggled to control possession, Chelsea were content to follow the game plan that has worked against us so often in the past ten men behind the ball, let us take possession to the half way line and them press to try and get the ball back and counter at pace with red and white shirts stretched between the half way line an their 18 yard box.

Bearing in mind we were playing against the wind I couldn’t fathom why we were trying to hit so many high balls, surely we have all played in conditions like this at some point in our lives and so must the players and the way we have all been taught to play against the wind is keep it on the deck.

I can’t really discuss the first half without mentioning Mike Dean, he seemed to have decided pre match that due to conditions he would allow a few tackles to go by without punishment, and so it was that Azpuiceleta (I had a go at spelling it right 🙂 ) got away scot free for upending Ramsey about half a second after Ramsey had played the ball, that set the standard for the rest of the half. He also allowed Lampatd to slide through the back of Sagna and take man and ball and have a throw. The two key decisions followed a little later first he allowed Mikel to get away with what looked like a dangerous lunge on Arteta, and immediately after with Arteta still lying on the floor waved away appeals for an Arsenal penalty when Theo was clearly tripped by Willian in the Chelsea penalty area, a big decision and one he got wrong, although he clearly was in a mood not to give anything controversial.

Chelsea had the clearest chance of the half and probably the match when Arteta allowed Lampard to run past him while no one pressured Hazard on the ball, he found Lampard but thankfully the ball cannoned back of the bar to safety.

The second half we promised more pressing further up the pitch and having more of the game in Chelsea’s half. I spent most of the second half urging us forward but worrying about Chelsea countering every time we over committed men forward. This is what Mourinho’s Chelsea teams have done to is over the years, and in years gone by we would get carried away trying to break them down and give away an easy counter attacking goal, and although Chelsea did muster a few attacks in this way we were rarely playing 2 on 3/4 at the back which we have seen in the past, we were not playing for a draw but we were making sure we didn’t lose if we couldn’t win. Is that progress? Well from naivety shown only a few weeks ago when playing Dortmund at home I’d say yes.

We did manage to create two chances for Giroud, the first following a lovely chip pass and great movement from the big man, but he snatched at his shot and sliced it wide, the second chance came from good work from Gibbs on the left but Cech and Terry combined to present Giroud finding the net.

The game petered out to a 0-0 draw with Mourinho replacing attackers with less adventurous players and finally a centre forward with a centre back.

So a point at home, putting us back level on points with Liverpool who face a trip to City on Boxing Day, that game will help us one way or another.

The biggest annoyance to me was not Ramsey’s off day or Giroud’s failed attempts it was seeing the basic errors made by senior pros, gambling when they should play safe, trying passes when Row Z an reorganising is a better option, I want us to play attractive football (and win obviously) but there is a time and a place, and sometimes the boot through the ball is the best option. That is the biggest lesson we need to learn, it’s down to the players on the pitch to do it, no one is going to complain of they do that on occasion, it’s how you win League titles.

Gooner in Exile

95 Responses to Arsenal 0 – Chelsea 0: Progress?

  1. Manthan says:

    I am happy with a point against a team who came for draw.. Pathetic tatics by MOUR. Why can’t Owen shut his mouth again he has commented about OZIL on twitter as if he is legend #BENCHWARMER

  2. kelsey says:

    I need to digest this post GIE and I will be back.

  3. LB says:

    Morning GIE

    That’s a clever angle to take for this post, not one I would have thought of myself but I enjoyed pondering yours.

    Have we progressed? Yes, like you, I think we have and the Dortmund home game is a good yard stick to use.

    I am amazed at the degree of negativity Chelsea showed in their approach to this game. I think we should correctly assume that they did so out of respect.


    Excellent synopsis GIE, one that I fully concur.

    There is a maturity and structure to our play that in seasons gone by has not be there. A couple of years ago we would have lost that game.

    Progress is evident, however I advise caution to those who are of the belief that we “must” win something this season. We dont.

    Are you an incrementalist GIE? I am. Baby steps at first, followed by quick steps, and then full out legging it.

    Its like little George GIE. Arsenals progress can be measured to the development of a child

    You and your good lady will watch in awe as he takes those first steps, all smiles and graces. Then he will pick up speed and curiously roam the house. Your good wife will, with slight panic, yell “were is he GIE”?. and you will dwell “Ive only just sat down”.

    Eventully, little George will be sprinting around the house, but as you watch family fortunes, wont see him as he sneaks up behind you striking a lethal blow to your backside with a stick he found in the garden. You and Mrs GIE will chase him with a net, but you wont catch him.

    For little George read Arsenal. Wengers philosophy is built on attack, free flowing football played with panache and grace. that wont change.

    It is only 12 months since we have turned the corner. To try and build a side to beat all by playing adventurous football is difficult and in my view the pinacle of sporting acheivment.

    Some will say, it cant be done, we have to be more pragmatic. I do not accept that. It can be done, and we will do it.

    The Ghosts of the Thirties are Stirring

  5. kelsey says:

    Firstly as I didn’t attend the game I don’t know how much the conditions affected the game but I would agree that everything said about Mike Dean is 100% correct.
    Yes we are joint top of the league which I am sure not many would have envisaged at the start of the season but we have now gone 4 games in a row without winning.
    I found the opening 15/20 minutes rather disappointing as there was no real urgency by either team and I had hoped we would lay a marker down after 9 days rest.Instead we got two teams playing at a modest pace just testing each other out.
    The game reminded me a lot of the Everton game for when the opposition play a high line it nullifies to an extent our midfield fluidity and forces them back.

    Stoke and Sunderland have both put three past Chelsea this month yet not for the first time we failed to have a direct shot at goal, though Ozil did have two attempts that were blocked.

    If we are going to play one up front against the other title contenders we need a better player than Giroud. his work rate is tremendous, he is strong , often lays the ball off well,but lacks a yard of pace and to me is not a clinical striker with foot or head.

    That we made no substituations was strange yet despite several thinking Podolski should come on, he is ring rusty and by then I feel both managers were happy with a point.

    Not a spectacle by any means and to me a draw was a fair result.

  6. brian the gooner says:

    Could somebody just now and again let one fly from distance.Who knows these wonder goals do happen and then the game opens up and changes so that we can have more space playing in our normal style.

  7. Rasp says:

    Thanks GiE, I am always educated by your analysis of games. My gut feeling is that (as AW suggested) it was 2 points dropped since we were at home. It is testament to our progress that Maureen sent out a side with such negative intent. If justice defined the outcome of games, we’d have won 1 nil and they’d be down to 10 men – but it doesn’t and things didn’t go our way. We will need to get better results from the other top teams in the second half of the season if we aspire to win the league.

    One last point. I don’t understand why we didn’t use any subs. cazorla for Theo and Podolski for Rosicky was surely worth a punt -and maybe Flamini for Ramsey to allow others to go forward.

  8. EIE says:

    Wenger is a disgrace, all summer he had to buy a striker and he spent silly money on a player we didn’t need, Wenger Out!

  9. LB says:

    I used to get quite annoyed by comments like that, nowadays I find them funny, in the kind of way you think of a five year old when they accidently say something funny.

  10. Norfolk Gooner says:

    ‘morning AAers, I watched the game on TV, so the effects of the weather conditions weren’t that obvious and that may colour my comments.

    Too many long balls played forward,
    Too many “hit and hope” passes.
    Not enough attempts to play the ball on the ground.

    I know it’s considered “bad form” to criticise Arsenal players on AA, but Ozil looked lost and should in my opinion have been subbed at half time in favour of the more robust Podolski (if he was fit enough). Ramsey was poor, by his own standards, and could also have been subbed at halftime in favour of Flamini.

    Having said that the game was really decided by the awful refereeing of Mike Dean, surely the worst official on the PGMB list.

  11. Norfolk Gooner says:

    My apologies to GiE, I didn’t acknowledge his excellent match report. Very well written and interesting. Thank you.

  12. LB says:

    Morning Rasp

    Fair question about the subs, GIE touched on it so this is not entirely original; he suggested that by not playing those players he has them 100 per cent fit for West Ham.

    The other point that was made was had we gone chasing the win we would have increased our vulnerability to counter attacks — and this was Maurinho’s game plan in a nut shell.

    In fact I would go as far as saying that yesterday’s game was a microcosm of Maurinho’s game plan for the season — don’t get beaten by the big teams and thrash the smaller ones.

  13. LB says:

    I mean this politely but I think people are missing an important point about Ozil.

    Every time the ball comes to him he controls it perfectly, creates space and nine times out of ten will play the ball to feet. The criticism should be aimed at the players of a lesser skill set who cannot control it anywhere near as well as he can.

    I think of the team as a stage coach pulled by ten horses, within this we have a thoroughbred who is being made to look average by a bunch of cart horses around him. Giroud and Walcott’s control is amateurish compared to Ozil.

    The solution to getting more out of Ozil is to get better players around him, not replacing Ozil with more prosaic, thuggish, cart horses.

  14. Rasp says:

    Morning LB,

    I get your (and GiE’s) points. I can’t see much damage to our defensive capabilities by replacing Ramsey for Flamini. Cazorla for Theo and the Pod for a tiring Rosicky makes sense to me.

    My point is that it was a home game and therefore we should have been looking to win. We had very few shots on goal and the Pod and Cazorla are players who will take on a shot given half an opportunity.

  15. LB says:

    All fair points Rasp, I don’t have the answer, just putting forward a possibility as to why subs weren’t made.

  16. Rasp says:

    LB @ 11:26 – spot on re Ozil.

    I cannot give too much away but I have a contact who has discussed this with one of Arsenal’s top fitness coaches. When asked how they trained Ozil the answer was “we don’t, we just sit back and admire, he’s that good, and on a different level”. There were several times last night when Ozil looked pretty disappointed that others were not on his wavelength – another reason why I’d have like to see Cazorla on for the last 20 mins.

  17. Thanks Gooner In Exile, a good analysis of what sounded like a dire game. Definitely progress, the dynamic of the game were dictated by Mike Dean, and I believe if we’d have had an honest referee Arsenal would have won the game.
    The only disappointment for me was Dean for allowing Chelsea to physically intimidate and try to kick us off the park, but put in context and taking into consideration the horrible conditions, a 0-0 draw against Chelsea is a decent result.

  18. Rasp says:

    Another positive to take from the game was that TV looked solid and composed – the player that AW decided to select as captain.

  19. Big Raddy says:

    GIE. Your analysis of games is always interesting.

    Progress? Yes, we weren’t suckered.

    Much written that I agree with ….. Why didn’t we try shooting from distance – Ramsey vs L’pool shows we can do it.

    I was fascinated by the two managerial interviews post-game. Jose said the Chelsea were in total control of the game from start to finish, and his plan worked. AW said we were too tentative in the first 20 mins but took control from half-time and from then on only one team could win it.

    Given that Terry & Cahill were joint MoM Wenger’s assessment holds more water

  20. TT says:

    Agreed it’s progress, GiE. As you and other have mentioned, one can just compare last night vs the Dortmund match.

    I was rewatching the dangerous Ivanovic high boot to the face of Ozil, which started the shoving match around the 67 min mark. Can the FA review that? I guess they would claim that Dean saw that as well? Good to see Ozil stood up against such tactics. If only Dean wasn’t such a .

    Liverpool will have to travel to ManCity then Chelsea. Hard to see them get all six out of those two trips. Arsenal have better odds with their two corresponding matches, away to West Ham and Newcastles.

    For the second half of the season, I hope to see a fit Podolski and Walcott adding to the goals.

  21. dhakka09 says:

    Good write-up GiE,
    Apologies for my brief hiatus from AA. Had a bit of traveling during the festive period.
    If we win our next 4 games with the help of rested subs for today’s game, this dour draw will quickly be forgotten and resigned to ‘for the greater good’ bin.
    Our good form against lesser sides could prove vital and will be tested in coming days. If we get going in flying colors in coming games, by the time bigger teams face us again, a draw vs us may not look as good on them as it does now; opening up the game and handing us the advantage.
    A toast to better days ahead 🙂

  22. Gööner In Exile says:

    Morning all, things to do today like put up my downed fence and now readying for a visit to the in laws.

    Interesting comments so far. Terry’s analogy is a good one.

    Arsenal win percentage since 2009/10 with Dean in charge 7%

    Equivalent others:

    ManUre 67%
    Shitty/Chavs 62%
    Spuds 50%
    Newcastle and Everton >50%

    Go figure……

  23. GunnerN5 says:

    The fixture list through Feb 01 is being kind of us – during this time we have 7 games against….
    West Ham (A)
    Newcastle (A)
    Cardiff (H)
    Villa (A)
    Fulham (H)
    Southampton (A)
    Crystal Palace (H)

    During the same period Chelsea play…
    Liverpool (H)
    Man U (H)
    Man C (A)

    Liverpool play…
    Man C (A)
    Chelsea (A)
    Everton (H)

    Man C play…
    Liverpool (H)
    Spurs (A)
    Chelsea (H)

    Everton play….
    Liverpool (A)

    Tottenham play…
    Man U (A)
    Man C (H)

    Man U play….
    Spurs (H)
    Chelsea (A)

    So of the 7 teams that I feel have a shot at the top 4 places we are the only team who does not play against the potential contenders. It is a period of the season where we can really capitalize on the fixtures as we have the possibility of gaining 21 points while some of the other contenders will have to drop points as they play against each other.

    This will catch up with us later in the season as we play Liverpool and Man U back to back in the 2nd week of Feb and then Spurs, Chelsea, Man C and Everton in consecutive games from Mar 15 to Apr 05,

    We need to take full advantage of our apparent good fortune during the next 7 games,

  24. Big Raddy says:

    Gn5. What this tells me is we are in for an exciting season – assuming we get a minimum 14 points from the next 7 games.

    GIE. If you can get these stats surely the FA can and take a look at why this anomaly happens? Dean’s performance was woeful.

  25. Gööner In Exile says:

    They actually mentioned them on TalkShite this morning on the Colin Murray show. Untold Arsenal probably have better stats.

  26. RA says:

    A very good Post, GIE.

    The game was unimpressive as a spectacle due to a number of contributory factors, not least the tactics of the over hyped Maureeno.

  27. RA says:

    Incidentally I agree with LB’s 11:26. 🙂

  28. GunnerN5 says:

    RA you are right on the money, so far this season we have won 70.6% of the points played for – that would equal 14.8 points over the next seven games.

    However given these fixtures I see us gaining at least 17 points by beating West Ham, Cardiff, Villa, Fulham and Crystal Palace and drawing with Newcastle and Southampton. Liverpool could drop points against Man C and Chelsea both away games and home to Everton.

  29. RA says:

    Hiya GN5,

    I would agree with you @ 1:35, that our chances of winning the title will be much clearer after those games are out of the way.
    As you say, 17 points is not beyond us certainly.

    I know that many fans are agonising over us only getting 2 points out of a possible 9 after the games against Everton, City and Chelsea, but equally we only gave away 5 points to top rivals for the Championship, during what has been a difficult period when our form has dropped below the levels we have come to expect, and which will inevitably return.

  30. GunnerN5 says:


    The last 3 games have all been below par with some of our early season stalwarts becoming average – well that’s to be expected after all they are not machines and deserve our full support whether they are in form or not.

    Arsene’s job is to pick out in training sessions those that have entered his “red zone” and frankly several players looked as though they were zoned out yesterday.

    I remain optimistic that this team will achieve – the unanswered question is when? But the next 7 games give us a great opportunity to prove that we are in fact real contenders and not continual pretenders.

  31. Manthan says:

    GN5, I agree our next game is not that tough than our opposition. IF we get 17 points we will be in good position.. I don’t care about yesterday’s result as chelshit played for draw.. One good thing this season is we have won against all small teams expect Villa & WBA. If you continue the same title is not far because small teams are more than big teams. 😀 😀

  32. Rasp says:

    The Mike Dean win % is truly shocking. Its about time Arsenal asked the FA to exclude him from consideration to officiate our games. A reasonable variation in percentages is acceptable, but 7% compared to manure’s 67% is evidence of bias – whether actual or subliminal.

  33. Norfolk Gooner says:

    In case anybody is unaware of the organisation and it’s aims, taken from The Premier League’s own website, The Professional Match Game Officials Ltd descibe their aims as follows :-

    •PGMOL stands for Professional Game Match Officials Limited.
    •Objective is to enhance the game through developing and delivering excellence in refereeing
    •Responsibilities include the recruitment, appointment, training and development of referees.

    After Mike Deans latest appalling performance it should be re-named T. U. F. P.

    Totally Unfit For Purpose

  34. GunnerN5 says:


    Arsenal fans are not alone in believing that referee’s have a bias against them, most other sets of fans have the same belief. A referee’s decisions are nullified if we score more goals than the opposition – so if we don’t outscore the opposition then we should look internally and not externally.

    I also feel that Mike Dean had a reasonable game yesterday, but I realize that I’m in the minority here on AA.

  35. Norfolk Gooner says:

    I’m sorry GN5 but Mike Dean did not have “a reasonable game” yesterday, obviously Arsenal fans will largely disagree with you, as do the majority of journalists who have written match reports in the National press.

    I will rely on the evidence of my own eyesight when I say that Dean had an appalling game.

  36. GunnerN5 says:


    Being able to only watch on TV you don’t always get a true perspective of what the referee see’s and he only has one view and a split second to make his decision. That is not to say that I think he is a good referee it’s simply to say that yesterday was not one of his worst days on the pitch.

    I was a referee here in Canada for a few seasons in minor league football, frankly I hated the job as I was, like all referee’s liable to make the wrong decision at any moment. I quit out of pure frustration as the job was so bloody difficult.

    By the way I have no problem being the only one that feels this way.

  37. arnie says:

    Lovely report, GiE. Back later, but just to wade into the debate. Dean had a shocking game. During the game I was more disappointed with our game, but ex post when I thought again, with the benefit of hindsight I realised how much injustice was done to Arsenal. What is worse, our expectations from the pundits, and more importantly the refs, is so low that it is really shocking. We as fans have started going into games expecting to play against 11 mercenaries, supported by 3 officials. It is really shocking. 😦

    The best thing about yesterday was that we tried to play a game, and despite all odds, we managed to come out of it without injuries. The situation is really shocking. Rant over, for the moment. 😀

  38. Norfolk Gooner says:

    GN5, On the contrary watching the game on television gives an excellent insight into referee’s decisions. The replays, slo-mos, and different angles provided by the many cameras are able to disect the action and in most cases reveal the true nature of the alleged offence. I know the Ref’s don’t have access to the videos and have to make quick judgements, but what matters is the ultimate decision, did he get it right or wrong?

    Video evidence from yesterday shows that Dean got the big decisions wrong, therefore, he could not be said to have had a “reasonable game”

  39. GunnerN5 says:


    Camera sight, given multi angles and slo mo’s is obviously superior to eye sight. But the poor old referee only has the benefit of his eyesight – which by it’s very nature will be more prone to errors.

    We can debate all day but my opinion remains unchanged – your view can only mean the Mike Dean is purposely or subliminally fixing the games – and I refuse to join that school of thinking.

  40. Big Raddy says:

    GN5. In that case explain how we only have a 7% success rate when Dean referees us?

    I agree it is subconscious but in my opinion he is biased against us and yesterday’s performance once again proved it.

    Early in the game GIE said we should watch Dean because we would get nothing from him and so it proved.

    However, as you rightly say, had we scored the goals it would have been irrelevant

  41. GunnerN5 says:

    There are lies, damned lies and statistics.

    Mark Twain

    BR who knows where the actual truth lies – but I prefer to believe that it is at worst subliminal. I cannot believe for one moment that the
    stats are not known to the officials who control the referee’s – so by default they cannot think that it by intent.

    And this from a man that eats stats………..

  42. andy bishop says:

    We all have the benefit of hindsight and action replays and become instant experts on refereeing decisions. It amazes me that the referee who is the most important person in these decisions is the last of millions to see all that has taken place. For example in real time it looked that Walcott had scythed down the Chelsea full back before he was booked….thanks in part to the theatricals. On a replay it clearly showed that Walcott pulled out at the last minute. Dean could not possibly be 100% sure it was a foul only deciding upon what it looked like. I used to believe that refereeing decisions balanced themselves out over a season and dismissed the “bias” theorists. Deans performance last night changed that for me. Several challenges by Chelsea players were much worse than Walcotts and Rosickys bookings but never even drew a foul from Dean. It can only be bias against the Arsenal.

  43. RA says:

    I know that there have been cases where officials have been found guilty of ‘fixing’ games, so malpractice by referees is possible.

    Do I believe that Dean or any other referee in the PL are corrupt — then the answer is a definite NO. Can I prove that? No.

    Are some referees simply poorer than others, well yes, and is Mike Dean one of the poorer ones, then again the answer is a definite YES. Can that be proved? Well if statistics such as GN5 has produced be used as evidence, then Dean is a serial incompetent.

    Are statistics sufficient to prove this? Human beings are very complex and I would not be comfortable condemning anybody this way and using the profitability theory, which is the analysis of random phenomena and proves that the outcome of random events such as whether or not Mike Deans will choose this or that decision in the future cannot be predicted.

    Can I wish all the good folk of AA and that includes fans who read the blog a ;


  44. RA says:

    profitability = probability 🙂

  45. chas says:

    Excellent summary of a dire game, GIE.

    The other day I saw the stat that GIE has reproduced about Dean’s refereeing of Arsenal.
    This is where it’s from (I think) …….

  46. Räsp says:

    Hi chas, I agree. Dean is clearly an incompetent and even if he is not displaying bias be it conscious or subliminal – he is a shit poor ref and we have been on the wrong end of his decisions far more than any other top team.

  47. chas says:

    I couldn’t believe the evidence of my own eyes, so I decided to have a further look.

    These are the games he has refereed for us since the start of the 2009/10 season until the end of last season.

    As you can see

    2 are to Chelsea (both away)
    3 are to Man U (1 home 2 away)
    1 to Man C (home)
    1 to Spuds (away)
    1 to Newcastle (home)
    1 to QPR (away)

    2 against Man C (1 home 1 away)
    1 against Chelsea (home)
    1 against Fulham (home)
    1 against Burnley (away)

    1 versus Spuds (home)
    1 versus Wigan (home)

    There are a couple of anomalies in there, but 6 of the defeats and 3 of the draws are against top 4 teams (of the last few seasons) so not really a huge surprise as we’ve been finishing 4th on average.

    Now I’m not saying that Dean is as bent as Steve Bruce’s nose, but who we’ve played when he’s been reffing is a factor.

  48. chas says:

    Sorry, Rasp, I hadn’t finished and didn’t expect anyone to comment in between my comments as the blog seemed quiet; just as it should be on Xmas eve. 🙂

  49. Rasp says:

    No problem chas, one mustn’t confuse the stats argument with plain facts, either he or all the Arsenal players change their behaviour when he refs our games – I know which I believe it is!

  50. chas says:

    Should be Dean isn’t as bent as Bruce’s nose, soz.

  51. chas says:

    Rasp, so you don’t think who the games were against has any significance at all?

  52. chas says:

    Right enough stats rubbish from me.

    Here are the games he’s refereed for us……..

  53. Rasp says:

    Sorry chas, no I think it is highly significant – I agree with you. I was referring to the oft quoted line about stats and lies. The stats in this case are simple facts that are only open to a couple of interpretations – the most likely is that for some reason, Dean had a different mindset when he officiated in games involving Arsenal and other top teams

  54. chas says:

    Or that the stats are slanted against us because we’ve had a shite record against the other top 4 teams for the pat few seasons.

  55. chas says:

    past not pat.

    Anyway, I’m boring myself now.

    Happy Doo Daas to all (well nearly all).

  56. Rasp says:

    On the evidence of last night, I prefer my version 😕


    I am not sure about Deans bias, but the man does suffer from the terrible and inexcusable affliction of been a cock.

    He referees games like hes just broken down on the motorway and some teen in a passing car has offered his assistance by egging him.

    A pemenant scowl, Nuremburg arm gestures, and condesending head movements dont go down well with anybody, especialy on a Midland train enthusiast like him.

    This man is an obvious threat to animals and probably devours insects.

    Apart from that, hes alright. hahaha

  58. chas says:

  59. chas says:



  61. Räsp says:

    Hi TMHT, Dean suffers from little man syndrome. Yesterday there was a foul by a chav player that he could not ignore. But instead of defusing the situation and getting the yellow card out straight away, he carried on some kind of pantomime that wound up our players and encouraged dissent just so he could appear to be ‘big man’ and tell them off because HE was in charge. The good refs keep players calm, he delights in winding them up.

  62. GunnerN5 says:

    Looking at the stats supplied by Chas @8:53 we scored only 13 goals in those 15 games do you guy’s seriously believe that he stopped us scoring? We normally score over 2 per game.

    We also had the most goals scored against us at 22 – sounds to me like we just play very poorly when he is in charge – I guess that begs the question does he allow the opposition to bully us and therefore cannot play our own game?

    I simply cannot buy into a corruption theory as that would also mean that the FA are also complicit.

  63. Räsp says:

    Hi GN5, I don’t buy into the corruption theory either, but I do believe the way he officiates games in which we are involved is detrimental to the outcome


    Hi Rasp, totally agree. One thing I have noticed about him is that he is consistent in his awful approach.

    I am not convinced he is biased against us, but maybe his terrible referring style effects our players more than most? I dont know.

  65. Here’s wishing everyone on ‘AA’ a very Merry Christmas,

  66. Rasp says:

    Thanks WATA, and a very Merry Christmas to you too

  67. GunnerN5 says:

    Cheers to all the posters and a very very Happy Xmas and more importantly a Healthy and Wealthy New year…………..

  68. Gööner In Exile says:

    Merry Christmas all…..except Mike Dean.

    Here’s the thing the win percentage is one thing the teams we have played is a bone of contention.

    But what do we know of the teams we lost to? They all employ rotational disruptive fouling, Dean as we saw last night allows a few free ones before getting the cards out….so can he stop us scoring goals, well yes, because if he laid down the law and booked players for what are card worthy offences the fouling would have to stop and we would be allowed to play our game. It’s very subtle difference but we are the victim of many unpunished highly fouls.

  69. GunnerN5 says:

    Well — Mike Dean I am going to wish you a Merry Christmas as long as you promise to be good to Arsenal.


    Happy Christmas Dean

    Hope you get a visit from Jacob Marley, you horrible git.

  71. Sav from Australia says:

    Happy Xmas from Sydney to all AAers!

  72. Sav from Australia says:

    RE: Mike Dean

    Is there even a debate about him anymore? I thought Untold Arsenal already showed through their referee reviewers he is bad for Arsenal. He is either biased or corrupt, but he is by no means incompetent. He is a clever little shit.

    But its Xmas and I’m off to eat and then eat some more.

    Catch you guys later.

  73. arnie says:

    Merry Christmas, everyone. Sorry AA ers, apologies GiE, could not return to blogging today. 😛

  74. RockyLives says:

    Whether or not there’s anything dodgy going on with Dean, one thing is sure:
    If any ref had had such a negative record for ManUre when Ferguson was manager, that ref would never have officiated one of their games again.

  75. RockyLives says:

    Merry Christmas to all AA-ers – the site organizers, the Post writers, the commenters and the readers.

  76. weedonald says:

    EIE…..Wenger stays, YOU get lost… everyone is happy!

    As usual, finishing opportunities is our downfall. Giroud is a fantastic player for AFC but his clinical finishing is desperately in need of refinement. The Dean fiasco has begun to raise some eyebrows in the media and among Football aficionados who treasure a level playing field. Dean is so obviously anti-Arsenal that it beggars description.
    I expect to see more player rotation over the next 7 games and to see Bendtner given another opportunity to start ahead of Giroud. Ozil is in his first season and still adjusting to the AFC way of playing and the pace of the EPL….I expect to see a rapid improvement in his game simply because that eternally in jured benchwarming croc called Owen is criticizing him.

  77. weedonald says:

    Season’s greetings and Happy holidays to all AA bloggers worldwide from snowy Canada.

  78. Shard says:

    Regarding corruption. I would find it a minor miracle if the richest league in the world, which works under such an opaque, semi dictatorial framework had no corruption going on. It goes contrary to everything we know about human nature. If there’s profit to be made, rules won’t matter without any repercussions for breaking them. The fact that Mike Dean, and Anthony Taylor in the opening match of the season, and Phil Dowd in the 4-4 against Newcastle made the decisions that they did can be incompetence. That they are allowed to not only get away with it, but repeat it, where they get not just the small decisions wrong, but even get decisions wrong post-match, where they apply rules in a selective manner etc suggests that it goes beyond incompetence.

    I don’t blame Dean. I blame the organisation that employs him and doesn’t uphold the standards that they claim to aspire to. Not refereeing standards and not standards of transparency. It doesn’t have to be corruption in the form of brown paper bags full of currency making their way to referees. Atkinson and CLattenburg not getting ManU matches after high profile losses is a form of manipulation. That is corruption, and it sends a signal to the other referees as to what is expected of them. That leads to further corruption. The referee too is liable to be corrupted by offering free hotel stays, holidays, professional favours such as airing certain views in press conferences, use of private yachts etc We already know that happens. Whether it is enough to be considered corrupt, is for society to decide I guess. But that sort of influence exists, and is allowed to exist. Frankly, I have no confidence that football is exempt from corruption. There’s too much money and too little regulation. Like I said, it would be a miracle.

    But it’s Christmas so I suppose a miracle is a possibility. Merry Christmas everyone!!

  79. Big Raddy says:

    Yo Ho Ho. Merry Christmas One and All.

  80. Gööner In Exile says:

    By the way if I told you that Mike Deans record took a turn for the worse when Mike Riley probably the most awful referee towards Arsenal was appointed as head of PGMOL?

    Anyway season of good will and all that…..waiting for George to emerge after a very long Christmas Eve opening presents from the in laws. I think me and Mrs Exile are enjoying the toys as much as George 😀

  81. chas says:

  82. chas says:

    It’s not always a happy xmas for all…….

  83. chas says:

    Even Mike Dean couldn’t stop us winning this one……..

  84. chas says:

  85. chas says:

  86. chas says:

    Great banner, Rasp.
    Happy Xmas to everyone on here, be you visible or silent.

  87. evonne says:

    Merry Christmas to all AA bloggers!!

  88. mickydidit89 says:

    Very happy Christma. To everyone.

  89. Rasp says:

    Merry Christmas everyone, we don’t have a post for today as such, but we’ve just published a message to you all 😛

    …. New post …

  90. Big Raddy says:

    Rasp. Lovely banner.

  91. Лидеры проката!

    Смотрите фильмы лидеры проката

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