Arsenal – Gli scioperi scorpione*


Good morning Positives,

Palace swept away with little difficulty yesterday and one of those relatively rare occasions when we just about controlled the game from first to last and collected the three points without ever really needing to get into flat-out, handbrake off mode. Palace were a sorry sight yesterday, with a look of the “Championship” about them.

The mainstream media this morning are noisily salivating over Larry’s goal, and so they should. Our Frenchman has never let his head drop once in what is now a long Arsenal career, 200+ appearances. Every game he is in the fight, from first minute to final whistle. The embodiment of POSITIVE Arsenal. After a half season in which he has spent more time on the bench than he would like it is massively to his credit that in the past two games he has scored decisive goals. He is receiving a little of the acclaim his unrelenting effort deserves. He seemed much more relaxed yesterday, much happier, smiling. It may purely be impression on my part but happy footballers tend to be better footballers. Clearly I do not like to put too much down to our chance pre-Christmas encounter on the Selfridges’ escalator but …. well ….. just co-incidence and all that.


Elsewhere about the pitch Hector put in a mighty 90 minutes and one game the boy will get the two or three goals his incisive attacking and shooting deserves. I was pleased too with Granit Xhaka who, now four games as a starter, who seems more composed on the ball, tackles more cleanly, and more confident generally. I sense he has got his head around the Premier League fully now, in particular in how physical he can be and reading the referee. An attractive contribution from Lucas Perez too, commendably no nonsense as he flattened Zaha on one occasion. I would like to see more of the flinty Spaniard. And did we “miss” Ozil ? Not at all, although no doubt the German would have enjoyed his afternoon against Sam’s feeble fumblers.

On the topic of Zaha I thought referee Andre Marriner played a blinder by the way, totally neutralised the Palace winger whose increasingly desperate efforts to earn a free kick petered out to almost nothing. The Referees Union has your card marked, my son. Cease and desist. Give up the diving Wilfried, you will probably be a better player for it.

A short break now before the trip to Bournemouth and almost certainly a far more vigorous work out from the Cherries than we faced yesterday. Our opponents tomorrow night have the look of Premier League mid table solidity about them, a decent home form and the ability to batter the relegation sides on the road. Another professional performance required.

A short one from me today. Perhaps I am not in top gear !

Enjoy your Monday.


  • The scorpion strikes – a phrase for special occassions

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79 comments on “Arsenal – Gli scioperi scorpione*

  1. AA isn’t it funny that no such fuss about Dean was made by these same pundits when he done Arsenal in the Chelsea game last season, and this despite the FA actually overturning the red card for Gabriel, and handing out a suspension to Costa, that Dean failed to take action on during the game.

    Also AA, Dean certainly is not single-handedly bringing all the refs, the league and their entire brand into disrepute. He has many accomplices, from other refs, even the guys running the pgmol, and of course even some managers, and the pundits and journos who pass off any complaints about the pathetic match influencing antics of the refs, as it just being sore losers.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Guys: I gave up wrestling, then boxing when I realized the officials were irredeemably crooked and corrupt. I am only hanging onto the PL because of AW and AFC. I am giving a lot of time and coin to this League for what? Corrupt, incompetent refs and linesman. That red card by Dean and Ibra scoring when 3 players are clearly offside is emblematic of a failed system. What chance did West Ham have? Look at that City goal by Sane. What chance does a team have if they don’t spend gazillions of dollars to win favors from the league and its officials?

    The PL can dismiss people like us as irrelevant but most of us are core supporters who follow the League and our clubs win, lose or draw, not the casual fan who only cares when their club is winning, e.g. many United fans. Lose core supporters and sooner or later the whole thing falls apart.

    In this day and age when a high def video can spot a pimple on a player’s face it is the epitome of backwardness that we still have officiating based solely on the whim and fancy of the Mike Deans of this world. I am not sure I will be here when AW quits and the officiating remains as biased.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Shotta

    Pawson one of a couple I had decent hopes for. Gone down a bit after a 0-0 at Stoke where he let them get away with a lot of fouls, and also felt mightily aggrieved he didn’t send off Carroll for his ludicrous foul on Kos. *

    Still, I don’t fear him like Atkinson, Dean, Mason, Moss and, now, Clattenberg

    *a topical one for today. It’s well known refs are reluctant to produce early reds and players try exploit this. Just a kick in the balls that Dean produces one of those rare early reds when it wasn’t merited, especially when we had that Carroll one and Cahill’s on Sanchez, which was even worse.

    It’s that nasty feeling like the one at Chelsea last year when you think, ‘wow, this could be it. they’ve overstepped mark, ref had great view, we’re gonna benefit from an extra man early in a tough game, has to be… Fuck, should have known better.’


  4. one other thing on the refs, even if video replays are brought in it will only go a small way to sorting out the bias influence of the refs, as no amount of video rules will stop refs allowing things such as – time wasting, leaving the foot in, allowing bullyboy tactics, rotational fouling and many other things.


  5. Fascinating when it isn’t a display of bad refereeing with Arsenal involved, but Mike Dean showed why we fear him.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. look as long as those running the pgmol are who they are and do what they do, the actual refs themselves are only part of the problem. We’ve seen this season a manchester ref actually ref games with utd and city playing in. I don’t know if its happening this season, as I’ve not kept an eye on it, but for a few season now Arsenal on a regular basis were getting the 4th official from one week, being our ref the next week, this was not happening to any other club anywhere at near the rate afc had it. Can you imagine the opinion and feelings that 4th official would be bringing into our next game as ref, after having possibly had an ear bashing from Wenger the week before, due to the sort of shit reffing we normally get. It would be almost impossible for him to be unbias.

    how many times has anthony taylor done or tried to do us over, the same anthony taylor whose evidence v Wenger in a disprepute charge, when he was either a linesman or 4th offical was dismissed by an independent panel, in other words he lied his ass off. But he still gets afc games.
    On the subject of taylor, he has got stood down from BPL duty on at least 2 occasions after his awful displays in AFC games, and he aint the only one, but these refs keep getting brought back, and not only that, they get afc games again.
    As stated before, the fact that there is only one southern based ref on the BPL list, and not a single London ref, clearly shows a major problem within the PGMOL, and shows they are very northern bias. A bit odd that all those former refs from the midlands and north of england who run the PGMOL are bias towards midlands and northern refs. who would have thought.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. DC, I’ve said it before, it is right for us to highlight these bad refs, in games we win and in games we are not involved in, so that no one can put it down to sour grapes. but to our actual disgust at the whole shower of crap the PGMOL are raining down on us.


  8. Eddy
    I need to see MOTD. Tonight but Mr. Taylor appears to have made the right calls at Sunderland, obvs. Him being a manc he would have decided against Liverpool.

    The northern refs hatred of The Arsenal goes back to the 1930’s I’ve been told.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Positively Arsenal ‏@Blackburngeorge 49m49 minutes ago
    Dean at CFC last years was beyond the parameters of incompetence.


  10. well dc going on irish radio commentary, Brian Kerr was the pundit, he said both sunderland penalties were spot on, and only doubtful call was that they maybe should have had a third one, I think when the score was 1-1


  11. DC the northern refs hate for afc might go back to the 30’s, but its seems the pgmol even hate southern based refs.
    Not sure who it was, might have been Keith Hackett, who said last year that Southern Refs are not getting promoted cos they do not ref in the manner the PGMOL want. Now I always thought that those in charge of the refs, would merely want refs to implement the rules, but no, it seems they want games reffed in a “certain manner”, I can only assume that means, none of this fancy dan football, but good old northern grit football.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Paddy Power ‏@paddypower 3h3 hours ago
    In fairness, Man Utd are playing in white today, it’s close enough to Tottenham for Mike Dean.


  13. Peter N ‏@gooner1947 1h1 hour ago
    Awful decisions by officials today but all in favour of same team. Not for the first time either

    this is a good point, and for me highlights that it is not a matter of refs being inept, if they were merely inept, both sides would still get mistakes in their favor.
    In my playing days (GAA and Soccer), I remember once our team being asked who our favorite ref was, and I named a guy who basically was so overweight and unfit he could not keep up with play and he used to ref from ten yards either side of the half way line. His lack of fitness was quickly pointed out by several of my team mates, as they scoffed at the notion that he was the best ref we had in charge. But when I countered with the fact that the ref was always fair to both sides, and basically gave what he saw, with no bias involved. And that you knew that every decision was an honest call, not one of my team mates could disagree, and in fact several of them changed their answer to the guy I had named.


  14. next 4 rounds of BPL will see

    man ut v liverpool

    man city v spurs

    liverpool v chelsea

    chelsea v arsenal


  15. ah I’ve just noticed that we are all the way to 8 rounds of fixtures before we see a weekend without two of the top 6 sides facing other, as rounds 5, 6 and 7 sees

    liverpool v spurs

    city v utd

    liverpool v arsenal

    we then have 8 rounds off arsenal v the reigning champions lcfc

    we then have

    city v liverpool

    arsenal v city

    chelsea v city

    and we are all the way to April 8th before we have a full clear round of bpl fixtures without a big clash, that is a full 12 rounds of fixtures to come with 11 of which sees a top 6 side face off, and the odd one out sees us v the champions.

    you know its almost as if the fixtures are not at all as random as they would like us to believe, but are actually designed so that the pay tv have at least one big game to show each and every week.


  16. I mentioned earlier in a reply to ArsenalAndrew, that Dean does not act alone, and I said journos were part of it all, and here is a clear example of what I mean, from John Cross.

    John CrossVerified account@johncrossmirror
    No wonder Jose Mourinho hugged David De Gea at full time. Two sensational saves. Mourinho’s substitutions were brilliant game changers.

    you see, totally complicate, its lets ignore that Dean was the deciding factor in the game, and pretend it all came down to the manager and his subs. It would never do to suggest that the refs are deciding the games.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. The PGMO see themselves as ringmasters and working with the FA and PL marketing departments they meet for script run-throughs on a weekly basis to decide how they want the season to progress.
    Basically they try to make sure the season hold interest for the full 38 games (at least for the pundit believing simpletons). Lots of little rivalries (we wos robbed by the ref against those cheating scum, but we’ll get them in the return) and a plucky little club (only one of them) punching above their weight etc etc.. But they try to keep the viewing figures as high as possible. They aren’t really interested in the rules of the game except how to use them to keep the great unwashed watching, so refs poor decisions are rarely punished provided the viewing figures aren’t effected.
    Bear in mind that MaureenO is manager of the PL team with the biggest international following/viewings and (Like the FIA in F1 with Ferrari) they need them to be in the top 6 and to win the PL every few years. If the PGMO don’t arrange that this season then they’ll put some serious effort into making it happen next season.

    Liked by 4 people

  18. I thought Antonio missing two good chances, admittedly the second was down to smart work by De Gea , was a deciding factor. Did no one else see them ?


  19. Arsene Wenger vows to rotate heavily as Arsenal travel to Bournemouth and questions ‘uneven’ Christmas fixture list
    Arsene Wenger – Arsene Wenger vows to rotate heavily as Arsenal travel to Bournemouth and questions ‘uneven’ fixture list
    Arsenal face a quick turnaround as they travel to Bournemouth CREDIT: REUTERS
    Jeremy Wilson, deputy football correspondent
    2 JANUARY 2017 • 10:30PM
    Arsene Wenger is preparing to change much of his outfield team against Bournemouth tonight amid what he calls the “most uneven” fixture schedule of his 21 Christmases managing in England.

    Arsenal will be playing their second match in three days at Dean Court tonight, whereas Eddie Howe’s team have had an added 25 hours to recover following their 3-0 win in a 3pm kick-off at Swansea on Saturday. There have been even wider fluctuations in preparation for others, with Chelsea’s three-match festive scehedule spread out over 10 days and Southampton forced to play their three games in less than six days.

    “The differences in rest period are unbelievable in terms of all the teams,” said Wenger. “In 20 years it is the most uneven Christmas period I’ve seen. I don’t really know if the Premier League masters the fixtures. We have sold the rights to TV for a lot of money so we have to accept TV chooses the games. But some teams have more luck than others. We go into a game with a big handicap on the fixture and I have to find fresh legs.”

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    The parameters of what broadcast companies can do are decided before the television rights are sold and so, in theory, the clubs could have collectively demanded certain parity in their festive schedule. A deal worth more than £5 billion over three years was agreed.

    “We are privileged in our job; we get a lot of money to play football and sometimes it goes for you and sometimes against you,” said Wenger, who said he watched Chelsea’s win against Stoke live on Saturday but “not on English TV”.

    Olivier Giroud- Arsene Wenger vows to rotate heavily as Arsenal travel to Bournemouth and questions ‘uneven’ fixture list
    Olivier Giroud’s ‘scorpion’ goal helped Arsenal ease past Crystal Palace CREDIT: PA
    Wenger rested Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Aaron Ramsey, Francis Coquelin and Shkodran Mustafi from the starting team that beat Palace 2-0 on Sunday but they are all expected to play tonight. Mesut Ozil, Theo Walcott and Kieran Gibbs were also hoping to return following various illnesses and injuries. Olivier Giroud’s place as the main central striker is under threat from Alexis Sanchez even following a spectacular strike against Palace that left his team-mates open-mouthed in awe.

    “I have never seen a better goal than that live,” said Alex Iwobi. “A lot of people were coming in with their mouths open. They couldn’t believe it; they were all congratulating him but it was only half-time. We have some special players and you do see the odd crazy thing but nothing like that has ever happened in training.”

    Ozil was in bed for the Palace game but Wenger wants to give him the maximum opportunity to play, even after Iwobi impressed against Palace in the Number 10 position. Iwobi scored his second goal of the season and, after establishing himself in the first-team during 2016, hopes to get further opportunities in that more central attacking role.

    Alex Iwobi – Arsene Wenger vows to rotate heavily as Arsenal travel to Bournemouth and questions ‘uneven’ fixture list
    Alex Iwobi impressed in the Number 10 role against Palace CREDIT: REUTERS
    “It is where I have grown up playing, and where I enjoy playing the most,” he said. “But wherever I am put on the pitch, I will do my best. It’s more intense [in the centre], more thinking to it but it’s always hard to play in any position. There are a lot of players who can play number 10; a lot of ball players in the team. Every day in training I am always learning and trying to add it to my game.

    “This time last year I was just playing in the cup games and happy to be there. To be starting almost every week is just amazing progress for me. I’m still young, still learning and there is still a long way to go. We have got the momentum, we are confident now and hopefully we can keep up our winning streak.”


  20. Giroud is not a patch on this Arsenal great


  21. Arsenal Andrew, really hope they do look at Dean.
    His performance certainly helped Utd gain 3points today. He did the same for Spurs, no need for me to repeat his recent history for Spurs in terms of penalties for said neighbours, and red cards for their opponents.
    I think anyone can see that refs can make honest mistakes, it’s just when every key mistake goes in favour …of certain….shall we say, favoured teams , over a period of time, one has to question whether they are actually honest mistakes.
    When watching Utd, worth bearing in mind there are some who have been in positions of power that admit the league needs a strong utd
    As far as I know, Scudamore has never said such things about other teams
    We all know what the current head of the PGMOL once did to help Utd, who is to say he is not putting pressure on refs to do the very same.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. West Ham Central ‏@WestHam_Central 2h2 hours ago
    Mark Halsey on TalkSport: “When Mike pulled out a red card, I thought it was going to be for Phil Jones!”


  23. Positively Arsenal ‏@Blackburngeorge 4m4 minutes ago
    The “experts” are hanging Dean out to dry, but he was miles worse in the CFC game last year, and AFC got blamed for being “too soft”


  24. Interesting how the media are picking this moment to throw Dean under a bus…..and to me at least, quite surprising in that he has this week helped a couple of teams traditionally favoured by the media. That does not bode well for him.
    But agree, he was worse in the Chelsea vs Arsenal game, where, again, he altered the course of a perfectly good game.
    Maybe West Ham fans will also start a petition!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Nathan Staples ‏@NathanJStaples 11h11 hours ago
    Merson: Send Payet away for £30m, buy Martial for £20m.

    He gets paid to say things.


  26. Andrew, perhaps most people had switched off, changed the channel (to watch the wrestling or horse racing?), by that stage of proceedings?

    Good saves from the keeper but the simple fact of the matter that the sporting spectacle had already been ruined by this unrespected (he’s no Dickie Bird, for some unfathomnable reason) pgMOB representative:

    Adrian Clarke ‏@adrianjclarke
    That joke of a decision by Mike Dean wouldn’t have ruined this game had West Ham been able to use video to appeal. Why are we waiting? (For thirty years…)

    Clarky’s a professional football plundit and former professional footballer who writes a column for a sports betting company.

    The football match was ruined.


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