The Battle at The Bridge

The morning after the game, and still my anger is strong. Arsene Wenger said Gabriel was wrong to retaliate, perhaps he was right, but if you do not retaliate, then somehow that also seems wrong.

As a kid at school, we had a school bully, this kid from the off didn’t like me, I don’t know till this day, what it was that he found offensive about my presence, but from that day till I left school, we fought regularly, I lost every time, I got nose bleeds at the slightest touch, so usually there was a mess after a tussle, perhaps he got excited at the sight of my blood I didn’t really know.

The trouble with me, was I found it hard to walk away from a bully, and I never knew I would lose, until I did , how many times do you lose but still not know, that was me. The strange thing was after I left school we met again and of course the habits of a lifetime, we fought again, strangely the battles ended after that fight, but I showed weakness, or should I say mercy, as I had the upper hand after all those years of defeats, and when he said he’d had enough I stopped hitting him and walked away. I realised that day that bullies are like mad driver’s, they meet themselves one day coming the other way.

I suppose Wenger would have said I was wrong to have fought in the first place, but if you are sought after, what do you do, walking away got you a clump round the head, so you have to protect yourself.

Gabriel was goaded, he took it for so long, but the man is only human. If he was guilty of anything it was trying to get away from him.

The game itself was a spectacle until the first half ended, both sides were evenly matched, chances for both sides. the second half Chelsea seemed to have found extra space down the left hand side and Arsenal’s defence was looking a little shaky, it has to be said that Chelsea’s fast attacks were picking up pace, and Arsene would need to bolster up somehow.

On one of those attacks the sequence of what was going to change the shape of this game a tussel between Chelsea’s Costa who had been a pain in our side all game and Koshielney, where off the ball Costa was all other our man, hands in the face a forearm pushed in Koshielney’s face and then an elbow. The Officials missed all of this action, but when the action stopped Koshielney looked to have said some thing to Costa and Costa retaliated with a chest charge where Koshielney was barged to the ground, Koshielney raced to his feet where it looked like the two players were to square up, When Gabriel turned up and stood between them, Costa Looked at Gabriel, they too had had a few tussles leading up to this incident, Costa looked to be saying something to Gabriel but he stood his ground and tried to ignore him , that seemed to antagonise Costa and he looked like he was getting more infuriated, the Referee intervened, he had words with both players and as they walked away, the two player looked like they exchanged little slaps to each others body, but the slaps did seem to look as if they wasn’t friendly slaps .

Again the referee stepped in again but this time he branded yellow card to both players. Had he seen the whole incident from the start I feel he may of acted differently but of course he hadn’t. The two players walk away again, but Costa would still be talking in Gabriel’s face until Gabriel turned his back on him Costa still continued until Gabriel retaliated with a lame raise of his foot backward and in full sight of the referee Gabriel was then issued a red which seemed to calm Costa down.

Now of course a game against last years Champions is always a tough game but down to ten men even tougher now, Pressure was to build up as Chelsea seized the advantage, the Arsenal players felt aggrieved for what had happened but they now had a battle on their hands They battled valiantly until Arsenal was pushing out from the back Ramsey who was trying for a little space was adjudged to have fouled a Chelsea Player I must have missed that, and couldn’t understand the decision, but a free kick was given in Chelsea’s favour, a well flighted ball to the far post saw a rushing in Zoumer to glance a header past the hapless Petr Cech many said that Arsenal should have covered him but with a man down almost impossible to cover 11 men with your ten.

Wenger made changes as the players were working hard and some looked out on their feet but just before the changes Cazorla was adjudged to have committed a reckless challenge that would be his second so out came another red and Santi was on his way, changes came on and still the pressure mounted but now and again the Arsenal still showed this game was still alive even with 9 men, Arsenal held out to the 91st minute when a ricocheted shot came off Chambers who diverted the ball past a stranded Cech and that was to be our fate, 2.0 to Chelsea.

I felt I had watched a stage managed game, where decisions were made without the full facts being known, Decisions that seemed to go against one team only where many would feel we were harshly dealt with. Whether the powers at be will look at the video and feel the same as me i am not sure but Gabriels possible 3 match ban will undoubtedly be challenged by Arsenal. Cazorla will be difficult to argue with.

I felt this competitive match was handled atrociously, if there is any justice in sport this is a game that needs investigating. Of course Chelsea may see the outcome differently but a fair FA must surely step in – but will they?

Written by Steve Palmer

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108 Responses to The Battle at The Bridge

  1. goonerjake says:

    Can step in? No! They hate us. As does dean he only gives us decisions when he has no option. Great post by the way

  2. Angry of Avignon here…. the ref was a fucking disgrace, no other way to express it really.

    Steve, you’re from Islington… did you go to Barnsbury, Laycock or Highbury boys school???

  3. goonerjake says:

    Dam predictive text that was supposed to be fa step in not can step in

  4. stevepalmer1 says:

    GoonerJake, we know what you meant mate thanks for the comment,

    Angry, i was a Shorditch lad , only for two years though Moved out to the country and went to school, in civilisation, Why was you a bully who liked the sight of blood. 🙂

  5. njstone9 says:

    Costa should have been sent off for :

    1. The first hands to the Koscielny’s face.
    2. The repeat of this moments later.
    3. The slap.
    4. Scratching Gabriel.
    5. Kicking out at Ox.

    All violent conduct.

    He could easily have been booked for waving the imaginary card and arguing with the referee. (though if the referee is in your pocket it’s not really arguing, is it?)

    I think one pair of stats sums up the match: Cazorla committed two fouls in the game and got yellow cards for both. The first was marginal at best, the second was more concrete. But you’d think at that point the referee might try to even things up. Perhaps he still thought Arsenal might get an equaliser.

    Then the other stat: according to the game as Mike Dean refereed it, Diego Costa didn’t commit a single foul all game.

    There should be an investigation into this game. How can so many decisions go against one team? It’s ludicrous.

    Despite all this Cech kept us in it with some good saves that I doubt Chezzer would have made under extreme pressure. Gabriel also played well and showed we do have a spine.

    I am really concerned about our inability to finish chances though. In this type of game you rarely get many chances against Chelsea, who always seem, like Man U, to massively raise their game against us. So you have to take them. If Sanchez had scored I wager we’d have gotten a draw that would, under the circumstances, have seemed and felt like a victory.

    Nevertheless we were not outplayed and I’m proud of the team. We will come good. We will.

  6. fatgingergooner says:

    Shard,

    I totally agree with you about what suits the press narrative. We are seen as little boys and Chelsea are the real men, and if Costa is punished then that goes against what the media want.

    some fans have said that Gabriel was at fault but I have no issue with anything he did. In fact, I’m annoyed that more of our players didn’t jump in to protect him and Kos from the Chelsea mob. If there had been a big ruck then Mike Dean may have had more to deal with than a tiny flick of Gabriel’s leg. I think this goes along with your point about Keown etc. like you said, they weren’t dirty as such but they definitely stuck up for themselves, as did the whole of that team if I remember rightly. I didn’t see that same willingness to fight for each other from our boys yesterday.

  7. njstone9 says:

    As refereeing performances against us go, how does this one rate?

    Newcastle 4-4 bad?
    The home loss to Villa?
    The one v Barcelona where RVP got red carded?

    And I’m genuinely interested to know, have there been any reverse instances where we have massively benefited from a spree of ridiculous refereeing decisions? Maybe some opposition fans can enlighten us.

    Even Michael “I hate Arsenal with a passion” Owen tweeted that the referee was terrible!

  8. fatgingergooner says:

    Let’s not forget that it was the whole of the refereeing group that cheated us yesterday and not just that little c*** Mike Dean. He spoke to one of his assistants before deciding Gabriel’s little leg flick was a straight red card!

    I’ve had handshakes more violent than that. Silly little f***er.

  9. No Steve, I wasn’t a bully…. but I enjoyed seeing the blood of a bully. 🙂

  10. fatgingergooner says:

    If anyone wants to know what small man syndrome is then just show them a picture of Mike Dean. Nigel Pearson was spot on when he called him the most arrogant man he’s ever come across.

    My heart sunk when I saw he was ref yesterday. There was a run of about 18 games upto 2013 where we won 7% of games that he was ref! 7 f***ing %!

  11. stevepalmer1 says:

    Nice answer NB 🙂

    Nj9 thanks for your tuppence mate, i share your concerns, i believe the situation got out of hand very quickly, yes you are right in your assessment but to try and be unbiased, i f he hadn’t seen the previous actions, and he wanted to gain back control, the only way was a sending off, and the way it panned out our man gave him an outlet.

  12. RA says:

    Excellent Post, Steve, and enjoyable to see how you rationalised how the game evolved. 🙂

    You have obviously understood, very well, that altho the referee was poor, which frankly cannot have been a surprise to Arsene and the team, and overall it is much more complex than the simplistic view that everything was his fault alone.
    It does not take much brainwork to realise there are always any number of other matters that came into play in these sort of incidences, and they all need to be looked at.

    — To start with, the FA and the PGMO are at fault for allowing such a sub-standard referee as Dean to enter the professional game, and seem to have no other way to redress his failures than to ‘drop’ him for a week or two, and not send him off for retraining — if they agree that he was crap – which is doubtful.

    — The standard of refereeing needs no further discussion — Dean was lamentable,.

    — Maureen is a disgrace as a manager, and it is clear that he encourages his players to ‘win at all costs’ including sly fouling, aggression bordering on thuggery, and blatant diving when possible to gain a cheating advantage.

    — Arsenal need to assess their own performance, and that includes the manager, and the selection of the team with players out of position or simply not mentally up for the game – possibly after such a disappointing CL result.

    The predictable winding up of our defenders should have been anticipated before the game, and responded to by the captain immediately, he represents the manager on the pitch and with his authority should have taken charge, ensuring our guys did not get suckered into retaliating, and falling foul of a ref known for his poor judgement. This was not evident .

    Again, Steve, your Post was well judged, and thank you for a good focal point. 😀

  13. stevepalmer1 says:

    Thank you RA, words of wisdom there mate, I can see in all you say the positives, of course we have to also understand the many supporters who are visibly upset by their tactics but even so a win in a a very competitive league is invaluable where money is the motivation.

    I share your concerns for the state of the sport, Wenger himself has to take responsibility for his own actions or lack of actions, but that has been expressed for many years.

    English football has been shown in the worst possible way and action needs to be sorted.

    At the end of the day retaliation is not allowed, and we can offer no explanation. I would like to think that Gabriels 3 match ban would be reduced but a red card has been issued and what ever happened prior will almost certainly become secondary.

  14. ha ha ha FGG

    Small man syndrome. When I worked in the Probation Service in London I had a client who been given a probation order for violently attacking the car of a bad driver who’d nearly run him over. He pulled the ariel off the car, broke the wing mirror and made several dents in the car with his boots.
    He was a small man who had a ‘hero’ complex, he wanted to save the world. But the funniest thing was, when I did the report on him, he wanted to make sure it didn’t get into the press because he was an actor and his main role had been the Hoffmeister Bear in the beer adverts 🙂

  15. RA says:

    NB,

    I popped over to your Blogosorearse, and saw your exciting Post. 🙂

    Have you applied to NewNow to be included in the ‘collection’ on their summary yet?
    That would greatly increase the number of ‘client’ bloggers.

    You have been going long enough now, and I am sure that Rasper could give you tips on how to go about it! 🙂

  16. stevepalmer1 says:

    Ginge, its a wonder why we always get these kind of refs, only the referees committee can answer those kind of questions

  17. wally says:

    It’s not whether you respond, it’s how you go about it. Biding your time, patience is important. Doing it now, in front of the world is stupid. It reflects the impatience of a child.
    If Costa can get away with that nonsense then simply wait ’til late in the game, have a look around and good kick behind the knee will level the playing field.

    At this point if the FA don’t step in then it will become a free for all. Wenger was right to challenge them and i think he should have been more direct. State plainly that the FA are afraid of dealing with Costa, that they actually prefer to see the game played in this fashion. Let the FA fine you, there is a far larger principle to be made. And we have a boatload of money anyway.

    If wenger won’t stand up do really think any of the players will?

  18. Has anyone ever thought how much Garth Crooks looks like….

  19. Redders

    NewsNow wouldn;t accept the vocabulary I use in the main post. you know, the little f’s and c’s and stuff like that. I can’t suffer censorship 😀

  20. stevepalmer1 says:

    Wally, i share your frustrations but two wrongs do not make a right. Bringing ourselves down to their level never cures the problem although it may eases the pain.

    The game has to look at itself and determine where and what it wants to portray. If the powers at be leave it as it is, we can all realise that the game of football will become a free for all.

  21. Shard says:

    I agree with you Steve. Gabriel did nothing wrong. He merely stood up to a bully and was unfairly allowed to be continuously targeted until he made a tiny mistake for which he was sverely punished. Even before that, he got a yellow for nothing.

    I’ve never been bullied in school, so I don’t know what it would be like. The closest I got was three of the shool ‘thugs’ surrounding me and one of them slapping me. I asked him not to, and he did so again, following which I dared him to try it again. 3 strikes and you’re out approach. Guess what, he didn’t do it. So I don’t know what it’s like, but I can imagine being as pig headed as you.

    The fact is that if there were no referee there, Costa would back down double quick. Like all bullies, he is a coward. Anyone who criticises gabriel must also criticise gabriel for swinging his arm back at arnautovic. That was a ‘reaction’ too. But on that occasion the ref wasn’t intent on cheating.

  22. wally says:

    Steve i’m not worried about being right. And it’s irrelevant to the larger issue.
    As you have learned the only way to stop a bully is standing up to him. Personally delivering the medicine. Leaving it for someone else won’t solve the problem.
    The message would’ve been delivered. Two can play that way. Or we can play properly. Your choice.

  23. RA says:

    Being censored, Norther, would wreck your unique style. 🙂

    It’s a shame tho as you deserve a wider audience, and you started out more ‘artistically’, as I recall, so maybe you can show them a bit of your art work! Might change their minds – especially as Le Grove one of the biggest blogs is replete with similar cuss words, etc, every 4th word or so.

  24. stevepalmer1 says:

    Wally, you make good points mate, the difference with me and Arsenal is there was no referee to keep order, had there been i probably would have a straight hooter now, As you know Wally no rules in a punch up with a bully, but we were kids, these guys have got rules and know what they are, break those rules and pay the penalty

  25. stevepalmer1 says:

    Thank you Shard. 🙂

  26. Big Raddy says:

    Steve. Thank you for a fine post on a difficult morning.

    chas said something which really resonated with me

    “I don’t know how anyone else is feeling this morning, but I have this overwhelming sense of pointlessness as far as football goes.

    You eagerly await the next game, two well-matched teams are playing a fairly end to end and attractive spectacle, then it suddenly it all becomes a joke decided by cheating and incompetence.

    I know I’ll be up for an away trip to Leicester next weekend but at the moment I couldn’t give a rat’s arse. What’s the point when shite like that determines a football match?”

    I hate the injustice of it. I hate that Me-rinho promotes a cheat. I hate that the media are too weak to go against their Special One.

    The first half was a terrific game of football between two evenly matched very good footballing sides. Costa changed that and Dean allowed it to happen.

    Back to the rugby

  27. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Nice one Steve

    Your right mate, we need to start sticking up for ourselves

    Like you I was tormented by a bully at school. I grew up in Stepney so you had to learn to look after yourself. My tormenter was a kid could Shaun Fitzpatrick. I suspected of him been Irish but could never prove it

    He was a fat Bastard with abnormally big hands and for some reason could not grow hair on the back of his head? Obviously the sign of a pyschopath. After school I learned that his old man would lock him in a cupboard and use him as a spare tyre for the white van

    Anyway, he would sit on me at lunchtimes and demand I sing the Human Leagues “Dont you love me Baby”. I could never work out if this was due to his psycopathic relationship with his dad or the fact that he was a big fat poof.

    This went on for years so one day I just snapped and offered him money to leave me alone. It worked, I soon graduated to buying his lunch, holding his toilet paper, and acting as a guinea pig for chemistry experiments involving corosive substances.

    Did you know that if you have hydrochloric acid poured down your trousers the after effects include a penis that shines bright green in the dark?

    I still see the geezer now. He comes round when he needs pocket money or some one to bend over as he fantasises about Phil Oakey.

    If we dont sort ourselves out and bring some carachters into the club of the mould of Keown and Adams soon, we will end up with a massive wedge cut, leather trousers, and win f*uck all.

  28. stevepalmer1 says:

    Thanks Raddy, I believe that Chas is an honest football man, he saw what he and us felt was an injustice, but i feel he also feels like some of us that the powers at be must respond to what has happened on prime time television.

    My view on the Mourinho outburst, is that he felt he needed to try unsuccessfully in my mind to divert attention from his player, he had been snubbed by another Manager and must have felt humiliated.

    I honestly feel that Mourinho is headed for the door, Abramovitch is in my eyes looking for good publicity for his club, Good publicity is a way that keeps people focusing only on the football, but his Manager has brought the game into controversy, which in turn could bring in investigators, I feel Abromovich would not welcome that kind of publicity.

    When the man in the street who is not a football supporter talks about a certain players antics and show a feeling of repulsiveness, then even he would see the danger signs. He is ready to make huge investment in a new facility and this will not go down well.

  29. stevepalmer1 says:

    Terry, you have come out trumps again, a story that lifts the gloom of the day. Bloody magic mate. That has brought a huge smile which i didn’t think i would have till our next win,

    Terry please write some of this stuff down and get it in book form, i could read this stuff all day, magic mate.

  30. The Cockie Monster says:

    The match only backs up my main pet hate about football ( and I know nobody will agree ) that the game should always be 11 Vs 11 !……9 (or less) against 11 makes it a no contest, a no level playing field, a handicapped game !……why not blind fold our keeper as well !.
    My idea for fairness is to send a player off, but then to be replaced by another player, the sent off player will then get a longer ban than usual !.
    I know you will say anything then could happen like players punching each other etc`, but to keep the punishment so that it stops such behaviour would be to deduct points for premeditated violence etc`.
    I`m sure that there is enough intelligence out there to come up with a solution to it always being 11 Vs 11. If a violent game like Rugby can have less players sent off than our game, it must be possible !.
    If my plan was in, we would have possibly not lost the CL Final and Van Pussy would have been replaced in another CL game Vs Barca !.
    Like a few on here I felt like giving up on football as it can be so unfair at times and wished I had another past time like Transplant….. who goes to some extreme levels of looking through brothel windows etc` around Kings Cross as a Wig Spotting Anorak …….but there`s always the next game of hope that we can get back to winning ways !.

  31. RA says:

    That is absolutely bloody spot on CockaDoodleDoo. 🙂

    We pay thru our TV Pay subs, or Chas and his ilk buy tickets to see a game, that is then wrecked because of caveman tactics by one of Maureen’s Troglodytes and with the help of an idiot referee we are forced to watch a game depleted by one or two players and that was never the intention of its founders.

    Well it was the intention of someone, of course, because the FA rules allow for up to 4 players from any one team to be sent sent off and still play on. 5 Players off and the game is abandoned and the points awarded to the other side.

    Anyway, the way the rugby authorities handle it is to give 10 mins in the sin bin during the game for actions like yesterday’s and, if necessary, repeat it for other players and that certainly makes players careful over their actions.

    The red card is limited to serious offences like those players who deliberately kick, or punch, or bite, an opposition player or disrespect the referee.

    It is pretty effective, and red card are backed up by varying lengths of suspensions ranging from 3 weeks to 12 weeks or even months.

    Nice one Glicster – and it will never happen in footie, of course. 😦

  32. Big Raddy says:

    Bloody hell. Half time in the rugby and Uruguay are beating New Zealand!

  33. stevepalmer1 says:

    Been out to wash the car, just got back in and see a very good idea by Cocky, I would of course add to that punishment that wages are stopped as well, as a player has to lose some thing other than time playing. Players would see that a loss of position then a hit in the pocket does make you think before you punch. Money can make the difference.

  34. stevepalmer1 says:

    Out for dinner catch you later.

  35. Er, actually that’s Argentina leading NZ.

  36. The Cockie Monster says:

    True Redders !…………………………It will never happen, but it`s what I would love to happen !……just like me in bed with Beyoncé, J-Lo, Carol Vorderman and I give them a vowel of French letters !….that too isn`t going to happen !.
    Thing is !………….when we were two players down with the game in a mockery state of no chance, we might as well have had another three other players get sent off for gang bang arse raping Costa and had the game awarded to the Chavs !………..yes we would have had 3 more players suspended, but it would have been worth it for the on the spot justice handed out to Costa !.
    We could have got away with the Cech`s in his arse instead of the post and for Steve Bould to go Bouldly where no man has been before……..up Costa`s Kebab rancid rectum and Arteta slipping his bandana one eyed mini Zorro in for good luck and Le Coq in the mouth !….ok ok I think you get what I mean !. hahaha

  37. Just got home, eight hour drive from Pembrokeshire to home, including stops, long delay on the M4.

    Fine post Steve it made a good read.

    I doubt that anything the FA can do will in anyway benefit Arsenal. Gabriel’s dismissal will stand despite the provocation. If any action at all is taken.against Costa it will be long over before the two teams meet again.

    Having said that, he should be hung, drawn.and quartered. His head should then.be stuck on a pike and used to replace that Spanish git’s flag on the Emirates bridge.

  38. The Cockie Monster says:

    Ahh yes Stevie Pee !……..the most important one, lighten their wallets !. Nothing makes todays footballers cry more than seeing their bank balance down to the odd couple of million or so !.
    In Costa`s case, the threat of The Foods Standards Agency turning his Kebab chop over !.

  39. The Cockie Monster says:

    shop !

  40. kelsey says:

    World class by de gea not once but twice.

    Micky, that sounds absolutely horrible,here’s to a speedy recovery.

    I would rather have discussed us losing 5-4 than the whole blogworld and media talking about how inept all the officials were, but after countless reruns it’s clear we don’t have any real leaders to give the oppo or in some cases our own players a right bolloxing.

  41. Big Raddy says:

    NG 😀 I must learn to control my lunch time drinking.

    But hey …. they are all South Americans 😀

  42. That’s true BR, just like the Welsh, Sots and English are all the same really. 😀

  43. Herb'sArmy says:

    Stevo – well done, someone needed to step-up, so well done to you.
    I can’t believe no-one has gone with the headline crying out to be written – ‘Mad in Chelsea’.
    No excuses for Mike Dean or Diego Costa, both despicable, but probably the worst thing to come out of the game was the injury to Coquelin.
    No doubt Arsene would have been fuming yesterday, but as is usual in these crunch games, the attention has been diverted from him. And just as no-one can blame him for yesterday’s defeat, I have no doubt that the perfect excuse will arrive at OT in a couple of weeks time to excuse yet another loss. This is part of the reason for fans being divided and at each other’s throats. It is a horrible messy situation that shows no sign of being resolved.
    Going back to my email to Rasp about performance-resources correlation, Arsene is right down in the bottom four with Brendan Rodgers, Dick Advocaat and Steve MacClaren.

    Micky – Wow! Sorry to hear about your personal woes, get well soon.

  44. Shard says:

    herb

    By what metric is Arsene Wenger in the bottom four when it comes to performance wrt resources?

    It’s so outlandish that I have to know. Please give me the parameters and timescales of your study.

    And please, no going back to the 30s again.

  45. chas says:

    We’re playing the mancs at home, Herb, but don’t ever let the truth get in the way of a good story. 🙂

  46. chas says:

    Thanks for the post, Steve.
    So strange to read a match report with so little of it about the actual football.
    A perfect correlation with yesterday’s game.

  47. Just looked back through previous comments, tough luck Micky, all the best for a quick recovery.

  48. William McGoonagal says:

    Who was that pillock sitting next to Shearer on MOTD last night suggesting punching other players in the face (twice) is acceptable????

    worth every penny of my license money…not, on a par with the saville scandal imho☻!!!

  49. chas says:

    Danny Murphy – complete and utter cnut.

  50. Herb'sArmy says:

    Really shard?
    I know you’re happy because you have little to no expectations. I also know that Arsene is like a demi-god to you who can do no wrong. Whatever I say you will criticise and have the last word. Supporting Arsenal is currently painful enough without arguing about it with fellow supporters.
    You have your opinion and I have mine.

  51. Shard says:

    Herb

    But I am asking you for a basis of your opinion. Not countering it, except by saying I find it outlandish. You made a statement which was quite specific. That wenger is among the bottom four managers in making efficient use of resources. Is it too much to ask for an explanation of how you can make that statement?

    If that is just your ‘feeling’ then I’d say you misrepresented that as some sort of factual study than simply an opinion with little, or no basis.

    Nice to hear your thoughts on the subject of my expectations and feelings towards Wenger. They sure held up a mirror. Great insight.

  52. Shard says:

    By the way, those that actively seek to deny the existence of God are often more obsessed by God than those that simply believe.

    When Arsenal get a player sent off because a referee decides to protect a Chelsea cheat, only someone who considers Wenger omnipotent can see it as an opportunity to insult him.

    You, Herb, are a closet Wenger-ite. You just don’t know it 🙂

  53. Herb'sArmy says:

    Stop being lazy shard, think for yourself.
    Here’s the PL clubs and managers, you decide who Arsene is out-performing with the vast resources he has.
    Arsenal – N/A
    Aston Villa – Tim Sherwood – nowhere near Arsenal’s level
    Bournemouth -Eddie Howe – ground only holds 12,000 punching well above their weight.
    Chelsea – Jose Mourinho – N/A
    Crystal Palace – Alan Pardew – vastly inferior compared to Arsenal, 1 point behind, better GD.
    Everton – Roberto Martinez – same as Palace.
    Leicester – Claudio Ranieri – unbeaten
    Liverpool – Brendan Rodgers – one of the four I mentioned.
    City – N/A
    United – N/A
    Newcastle – Steve MacClaren – one of the four
    Norwich – Alex Neil – relatively small club compared to Arsenal, just back from the Championship.
    Southampton – Ronald Koeman – much smaller club than Arsenal with a brilliant youth academy.
    Stoke – Mark Hughes – small Midlands club for whom Tony Pulis vastly over-achieved and may now be reverting to their expected level.
    Sunderland – Dick Advocaat – one of the four.
    Swansea – Garry Monk – Amazing feel-good story who keep confounding their detractors.
    Tottenham – Mauricio Pochettino – when did they last have the same resources as Arsenal?
    Watford – Quique Sanchez Flores – provincial home-counties club where some of our players used to go to finish their career – Pat Rice is probably the highest profile ex-player.
    West Brom – Tony Pulis – Yo-yoed for years between the PL and Championship.
    West Ham – Slaven Bilic – do I need to add anything to this?

    All done for you shard. You will note that I’ve marked our ‘rivals’ as Not Applicable.
    So of the other 16, who is Arsene out-performing with his vastly superior cash advantage?

  54. Shard says:

    All of them.

    In past years the list you would have compiled would have included Owen Coyle, Martin O’Neill, Alex Mcleish, David Moyes, Laudrup and I don’t know who else.

    So anyway, the basis of your argument is a table which is 5 or 6matches old?

    I think i prefered the argument that went back to the 1930s as more substantial.

  55. Shard says:

    Plus, you keep going on about our massive resources, but seem to not understand Arsene’s role in us having them in the first place.

  56. Herb'sArmy says:

    Nothing to do with the 1930’s shard, bang up-to-date as you requested.
    It’s arguments like yours that split the fan-base and prevent the club progressing.
    God forbid we ever demand change from our complacent malaise.
    Let’s just carry on forever falling just short and making Arsene out to be a heroic hero fighting against over-whelming odds as you tuck into your prawn sandwiches.
    The thought of winning the PL or CL must be the ultimate insult to someone as idealistic as you.
    I almost want to apologise for wanting more.

  57. Shard says:

    Herb

    Up to date does not mean small sample size. Learn the difference.

    There is also a difference beyween wanting more and having the vision, the dedication and the patience to get it.

    ‘I want it, I must have it’ is not a recipe for growth in itself. Neither is change for change’s sake. And frankly, following the herd is not a recipe for greatness. I want Arsenal to be great. Not be the Tottenhams of this world, chopping and changing at every setback, real or perceived.

  58. Herb'sArmy says:

    This is how you draw people in to long-winded discussions that go nowhere because there is a counter-argument to every point.
    Arsene didn’t make Arsenal a big club, we would always have needed a bigger stadium whoever was managing the club.
    Arsene has wasted quite a few million on duds too, but let’s gloss over that, because we’re on the verge of greatness, right?
    I’m gone Shard, bloggers deserve better than to be bored by our to-ing and fro-ing circular discussion.
    We’re both Arsenal fans, just with very different opinions, and point-scoring off each other resolves nothing.

  59. Shard says:

    I never claimed wenger is perfect, gets every transfer right, and makes no mistakes. If you want to deny Wenger’s contribution towards putting Arsenal onto the path of becoming a modern superclub, that’s your call. Just don’t expect me to accept that or always let it go without questioning your fundamental understanding of what you claim.

    I didn’t draw anything. I simply challenged your assertion and even with that ridiculous 5 match league table, you were nowhere near illustrating the veracity of your claim. If it’s drawn out is because you refuse to back up your claims with what any reasonable person would contend relevant facts.

  60. Herb'sArmy says:

    Shard

    Look at Europe’s elite clubs, look at their recent success and tell me how many of them have stuck with the same manager for 19 years.
    We shouldn’t chop and change after every little set-back?
    Since 2006, Arsenal have had a whole series of set-backs, some out of Arsene’s control, but mostly through repeated mistakes from lessons not learned. (We’re six league games in having lost two).
    It is just my opinion, nothing more, if your opinion differs, fine, there’s no definitive way of proving who is right or wrong, but as it stands we’re not title or CL contenders. Top four and CL Round of 16 is where Arsenal are and have been since the stadium move.
    Progress?

  61. Red Arnie says:

    nice one, Steve. well done on a very nice post on a dark day. 🙂

    Just couldn’t get myself to come on. off again. back soon.

  62. Clock End Gooner says:

    Problem is that bent refs have turned the EPL into a game of “Bunce Roulette” between the Chavs and the Oilers, with the winner getting the favoured services when Mike Riley pimps his refs butts off to the clubs.

    That’s not sport anymore, it’s a waste of time and money and nothing will change until either a whistleblower steps up or the EPL has it’s reputation ruined by these bent refs.

  63. That’s Dave bringing home the bacon.

  64. chas says:

  65. That reminds me of the picture of Miliband eating a bacon roll.

  66. Beat me to it! Damon.

  67. Damon? Should be damn.

  68. mickydidit89 says:

    Morphine and codeine
    Mmmmm yummy yummy
    Quality products 😀

  69. Micky, if you’re in hospital I’m sure you’ll be awake and I have some good news for you.

    Wesue4U Injury Lawyers are prepared to take on you’re case for compensation. No Win no Fee is their promise. Just a £100 admin charge.

    Chin up Micky the reddys will soon be rolling in. 😀

  70. njstone9 says:

    Petitions like this are pointless. You can’t pick and choose your referees. A better petition would be for an equal distribution of referees for a club’s matches so one cannot unduly affect your season.

    I’d also like Mike Dean to apologise for his poor performance. He either didn’t see the events, in which case his supporting team are guilty of incompetence, and he must be blind not to have seen them – that’s worthy of an apology – or incredibly he saw it all and only deemed Gabriel’s flick to be violent conduct.

    The latter is the more serious charge as there is far more physical contact during perfectly legal tackles than what Gabriel did.

    I’d like there to be a fourth video referee. If he spots something on camera even a few minutes after it occurred, a sending off or booking could still occur within the game. If players knew there was someone watching everything and not only the referee on the pitch, players like Costa would not dare to misbehave.

    I’m a teacher and children only get away with what you let them get away with.

  71. chas says:

  72. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Micky I hope you are not in too much pain

  73. Big Raddy says:

    Rasp/Peaches. I have written a short filler post for today or tomorrow but am not here to publish

  74. chas says:

  75. Eddie says:

    Gorgeous piglet 🙂 🙂 looks like my pug

    I wish you didn’t post those snaps of Costa. I want to kill him

    Shard and Herb – fantastic, both at your best

  76. chas says:

    Ah, so you want to go back to being pacified by photos of cute dogs, cats and children.
    Fair enough.

  77. Eddie says:

    micky – you must be in a private hospital, I was only given pathadone twice

  78. RA says:

    Micky,

    You have not explained how you broke your arm – I suppose you were being modest in not wanting to admit you fell from Micky Towers while hanging your family crest from a turret.

    I have realised for a while that you and Randy are part of an underground capitalist clique, him with his Umbrian estate and you with your Duchy of Devon.

    Chas wants his CL tickets back. 😀

  79. Eddie says:

    by children I mean scantily dressed young and very young ladies 🙂

    anything but costa please. If the FA take no action today I will write to them

  80. RA says:

    I wonder if Shard and Herb got anything out of their conversation last night? 🙂

  81. RA says:

    Eddie?? What?? 🙂

  82. stevepalmer1 says:

    Morning all,
    I would just like to wish Micky a fast recovery, and of course a detailed report of what happened. 🙂

    I am not a great admirer of Petitions, I like to think that the FA has seen the incidents for themselves, and will wait for the officials reports and anything else appertaining to this fixture and review their findings.

    I feel that should the referee have stated that he was unaware of actions taken before he stepped up. The committee have very little to blame him for.

    Costa of course, although involved with with the dispute was guilty only of carrying on verbally, where Gabriel was carded by a petulant flick of a foot, The situation needed dealing with a it was spiralling out of control, and the only way to bring about order was to punish one of them with a sending off as both had been issued yellow cards. Gabriel although his flick could hardly be described as damaging, did offer the referee an outlet which he took.

    A 3 match ban will be what the punishment should be for an offence of this nature, but because the referee had not seen prior incidents, i feel that Gabriels punishment will drop to just the one game.

    Costa will receive a reprimand, but will not receive Punishment. That’s how i see the the outcome..

  83. Eddie says:

    RA – I enjoyed reading their comments, such opposing views you will not find if you looked for it, and we get it for free.

  84. Cissoko did the right thing in that video… someone nuts you it’s natural to lash out, good on him.

  85. Eddie says:

    monster 🙂

    nb – absolutely. Someone should kick the shit out of that front bottom. Sadly, everyone is going to be afraid of risking of being sent off. I will have to do it

  86. I’m sure you would Eddie… you scare everyone on here 🙂

  87. Costa reminds a lot of that feck shite Barton…. they’re like the bloke in the pub who starts a fight and when you fight back and give ’em a whack… they call the police to have you arrested. I hate that.

  88. Eddie says:

    who is scared of me?? are you mad? I hate violence and would never hurt anyone, well, perhaps Costa

    He deliberately winds players up provoking them. Watch how he walked backwards saying something to Paulinho; we can guess they were not pleasantries

  89. I am Eddie… ha ha.

  90. Eddie says:

    you missed this one chas

  91. Eddie says:

    of course you are, that’s why you asked me out last time you were in London 🙂

  92. What can I say…. I’m attracted to strong women 😀

  93. And not with muscles and abs…. but psychologically

  94. Eddie says:

    you are barking up the wrong tree then 🙂

  95. …. I like a good a good challenge though lol

  96. Right, enough of that malarky… let’s get back to football………. where’s the Hippo’s filler for today?

  97. Morning all

    Something else to think about while waiting for the FA to make it’s decisions.

    We have a New Post …………………..

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