The Man in Black

January 8, 2019

World Cup 2018. The England team, despite playing some of the most boring football since Mourinho arrived at MU, did well.  Who were missing? PL referees, that’s who.

I love football, always have, and football is a game of rules, rules which have to be adhered to and judged by a referee. He has a very important role in the sport (as do his linesmen). A crap ref can ruin a game and frequently does, a good one is rarely noticed.

This season we have seen some of the worst refereeing performances I can recall.


It is not an easy job, they run huge distances making snap decisions without recourse to VAR (more later). This requires a skill level few of us can match. And it doesn’t help that players spend hours thinking about how to fool the ref to their advantage.

Players cheat. Almost all of them. How often do we see a player running with the ball into the penalty area with a defender chasing only to see the attacker slow down forcing the defender to touch him? Penalty. This is blatant cheating and almost impossible for the referee to identify. Salah is an expert, so is Sterling and so was Bobby Pires.

Some of the refs are pedants, perhaps it is a requirement for the job, after all they are Onanists in the Black :-D. Some are narcissists, some are wannabee bullies (if you haven’t seen the film Kes, I recommend, the football scene).


I can immediately think of two methods to improve the standard:

  1. The PL is International with players from all over the globe. There is enough money in the PL, even for teams in the relegation zone, to attract the world’s best players. Why do we only have UK refs? Surely it makes sense to bring in the highest rated referees, wherever they come from. Referees are professional and the PL can afford the best
  2. VAR.  Think of cricket. Is it improved by the use of technology? Of course it is. But it took time for the tech gremlins to be sorted out and the same will happen with football. There will be disputes, there will be mistakes but eventually it will work. Perhaps it will be to the detriment of the attending fans who do not have access to TV screens but I am sure this can be resolved, it has been in every other sport especially in American Football.

It is no good complaining about the standards, words will not change anything, only action helps and these poor sods need help. Investment is needed, technology is needed,  a change in punishment of cheating is needed, though this is more difficult as it requires the authorities to prove intention.

Or do we keep things as they are and enjoy the lambasting of the poor chap in the middle? There is a gratifying unity when the whole crowd sing “You don’t know what you’re doing” or “the referee’s an onanist”.  It wouldn’t work so well with VAR, would it?

written by Big Raddy

Can Sterling play as a number 9 for Arsenal?

May 31, 2015

I mean, has he ever played in that position at all? I find this an interesting debate. Why do we seem to always compare Sterling with Walcott, surely Sterling plays in a position more akin to Sanchez and if this is the case then I certainly do agree with the suggested ratio that Sanchez is worth at least 2 Sterlings but if Sterling can play CF then things change for me. Walcott worth at least two Sterlings; hmmm, not so sure about that………………..

The main problem that stops us from winning the league as I see it is our inability to get past the parked buses and I don’t mean those leaky old things that teams such as Tim’s nice but dim’s Villa rock up in; I mean, proper dour northern buses such as Sunderland. In these situations Theo is not blessed with enough quality in the close control department to offer a solution and neither does Giroud, so the popular suggestion that each should be picked to start depending on the opposition doesn’t work for me.

So my point is, I don’t believe we have enough up top to win the league with both Walcott and Giroud and if that really is the aim of the club next season then this problem needs to be addressed.

We are being propped up by Sanchez, Cazorla and Ozil but they should be playing with someone up top blessed with the same level of close control that each one of those three have. Not sure who it should be mind you, any suggestions?

Written by LB

Theo or Raheem ….. who would you prefer at Arsenal?

March 31, 2015

Theo Walcott was looking to be developing into the player we always hoped he could be just before he was injured in the infamous game against Tottenham and lost another year out of his career. Since being eased back into the side recently, he has got into very good positions and made excellent runs but so far his shooting (which is usually pretty accurate) has been poor.

Theo seems to have lost none of his pace after the injury. We know he scores goals, so it is reasonable to expect him to start banging them in again soon.

Raheem Sterling is out of favour with many at Liverpool due to his reluctance to sign a new contract, allegedly because he wants more Sterling! We may be doing him a disservice, maybe he wants CL football and it’s not just about the money.

Sterling looked very good against Lithuania in the second half and has a level of control and ball skills above Theo. Is he such a good finisher – not at the moment.

Yesterday it was all over the media that Arsenal want Sterling. I’d put that down to hyping up Saturday’s game rather than anything remotely originating from Arsenal sources – but still with Theo’s contract also up for negotiation it does beg the question, could even some kind of swap deal be on the cards?

Compare the stats:

Theo is 26, 5ft 9ins and has scored 47 goals in 202 games for Arsenal = 1 every 4.3 games

Raheem is 20, 5ft 7ins and has scored 17 goals in 88 games for Liverpool = 1 every 5.17 games.

Theo is a thoroughly nice fella. He has married his childhood sweetheart and they have a baby son.

Raheem’s public image is not so squeaky clean. Despite internet stories of fathering multiple children he has only one daughter.

None of that is relevant to performance on the pitch ….. so which of the two would you prefer to see playing for Arsenal next season?