The Elephant in the Room

@ReverendGooner leads the congregation into the Feast of St Basil the Great 


Well hello parishioners and welcome to 2018 hopefully a year full of promise and success for each and every one of you. I know I said I would not be back in the pulpit until mid-January but needs must & our Lord Gooner is a most severe task master & came to me in a vision telling me to write this 1st Psalm of 2018. Well actually id hit the communion wine a bit hard the night before and it dawned on me in my dishevelled and un-holy state to write about this topic. I guess we all sat there in total disbelief as that wretch of a referee Mike “Vlad The Impaler” Dean awarded West Brom a penalty for what can only be described as a decision which was ludicrous beyond belief. Not that I need remind you most learned of scholars but the rules for hand ball are very clear.

  • the movement of the hand towards the ball (not the ball towards the hand)
  • the distance between the opponent and the ball (unexpected ball)
  • the position of the hand does not necessarily mean that there is an infringement
  • touching the ball with an object held in the hand (clothing, shin guard, etc.) counts as an infringement


Regarding this incident Callum Chamber 1stly was very close to Kieran Gibbs when the ball was struck and had no chance of avoiding contact. The ball clearly moved towards the hand and not hand towards the ball and lastly his body was not in an unnatural position so what in god’s green earth was Mike Dean thinking as this clearly was not a penalty. When Petr Cech attempted to ask the Dean about the incident at the end of the game Dean said nothing and simply booked the goalkeeper even though Cech was clearly polite and respectful in his approach & manner. Furthermore, Cech whilst being interviewed states that Mike Dean had clearly gone against the latest FA directive on what constitutes handball in awarding the penalty but this this nothing new is it. Mike Dean has made a name for himself in football by making the game about him and his erroneous decisions rather than about the game itself. The issue here though is not about Mike Dean who many Arsenal fans rightly or wrongly believe is a cheat and openly tries to influence games with his decision making Its about the FA & the professional Referees Association’s (PGMOB) almost inquisition like vigour & secrecy in protecting itself & its officials from any comment or scrutiny even after a match official has had an absolute shocker of a game. Any manger. club official or player who dares to question the almost holy and divine right of the match official’s refusal to comment of clarify on a poor or wrong decision is immediately sanctioned without impunity.

Mike Riley the chief inquisitor rarely speaks publicly and even more rarely acknowledges that his match officials have fouled up & this all leads to allegations of corruption, favouritism or incompetence from the attending press and fans alike. His case has not been helped in recent times either with retired referees like Mark Halsey stating in his book that he used to chat to Sir Alex Ferguson on the phone prior to a game or Clattenburg’s recent tell all about looking the other way during an important Spurs match. Accusations that Howard Webb played favourites and was very anti Liverpool & who can ever forget Graham Poll’s 3 yellow cards at the World Cup. Whether the FA likes it or not the monster they have created in the EPL has too much money in it and more importantly too much money at stake. Those 2 points dropped or should I say robbed from Arsenal could mean the difference between top 4 & CL football and missing out on Europe altogether, the cost of that could be staggering in terms of both financial loss and competitions that they cannot play in. Referees should never be the reason why teams fail but all too often we are seeing more and more of it which is at the absolute detriment of the Premier League. In the Everton Utd match there was an identical incident to the Callum Chambers penalty and the referee just waved it away and played on. Where is the consistency from the FA & PGMOB? How can one referee adhere to the current directive yet Mike Dean basically do as he pleases. The FA have proven with the Kane & Ali incidents that they rule the game & the rules of the game at their discretion and they are the ones that need calling to account over the state of the refereeing standards in the PL and as for Mike Dean I’ll leave the last word to Garth Crooks and his famous rant. “It’s not about you Mike the game is not about you so just ref the game & stop seeking attention”.



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126 comments on “The Elephant in the Room

  1. anicol as Wenger said of Dean – “he sees what he wants to see”

    Liked by 2 people

  2. BBC Sport Wales
    ‏Verified account @BBCSportWales
    7m7 minutes ago

    #Swans manager Carlos Carvalhal admits the linesman apologised at the end of the game for awarding Fernando Llonrene’s offside goal

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I heard that too eddy – cryptic – unfortunately while Arsene is no doubt free to say “you see what you want to see” to his face when he moves on to the c word then he gets into hot water – again.


  4. Mike dean is a useless cunt. I have evidence to prove it.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. did he call him a c word,


  6. Anyway – going back to the Tottingham offside goal from Llorente do you think the lino could see the free kick ? Seems to me even if he could he would have had to have concentrated on picking the ball and Eriksen out rather than watching the line of players in front on him ?


  7. They should have used the lino that saw Lacazette’s toe-nail was offside .

    Liked by 3 people

  8. “ integrity” that is the c word

    Let’s face it referees get called everything – and larrgeiy take it on the nose without a murmur – but call one a cheat and you get punished

    Liked by 1 person

  9. But that lino was well positioned G – able to make that millimetre decision – he may have even been right

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Another bloody good effort from Palace tonight – that 3 points is looking unquestionably useful

    Liked by 2 people

  11. john Cross reporting that Wenger is actually facing a stadium ban if found guilty by the FA,


  12. Wenger rails against ‘dark ages’ refereeing after clash with Dean
    Mike Dean ‘saw what he wanted to see’ on contentious penalty award, says Arsenal boss
    11 minutes ago
    David Hytner

    Arsene Wenger remonstrates with referee Mike Dean. Photograph: Jason Cairnduff/Action Images via Reuters

    Arsene Wenger remonstrates with referee Mike Dean. Photograph: Jason Cairnduff/Action Images via Reuters

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    Arsène Wenger has revealed his exasperation at limelight-seeking Premier League referees, reminding them of their responsibility to promote the spectacle rather than oversee something from the “dark ages”.

    Wenger railed at their inconsistency, claiming they “don’t look to have the same rulebook”, while he bemoaned the lack of clarity from the top, regarding the implementation of the laws. He dismissed the visits that referees pay to the clubs as not worth bothering with, “because they never respect what they say” during matches, and he advocated a system in which officials could be relegated for poor performances.

    The Arsenal manager faces his second touchline ban in 12 months – which could be extended to incorporate a suspension from stadiums – after he clashed with Mike Dean in the referees’ room on Sunday following the 1-1 draw at West Bromwich Albion. He has been charged by the Football Association with using abusive language or behaviour and has until 6pm on Friday to respond.

    Wenger had been incensed by Dean’s decision to award a last-minute penalty for handball. The former Arsenal player Kieran Gibbs struck the ball at Calum Chambers, who argued he could not get out of the way, and Jay Rodriguez scored the equaliser from the spot.

    Wenger was still smouldering yesterday at his press conference to preview the visit of Chelsea on Wednesday night, and he offered his most inflammatory soundbite when he was asked whether he had been given an explanation from Dean about the penalty. “No, he saw what he wanted to see and we have to deal with that,” Wenger said.

    The FA takes a dim view when it believes the integrity of a match official has been questioned and is expected to ask Wenger to explain himself. It is possible the FA could charge him over his comments but it would be a separate – and less serious – matter to his bust-up in the referees’ room with Dean. Charges that arise from remarks in the media tend to result in fines.
    inRead invented by Teads
    Stadium suspension possible

    Wenger was given a four-match touchline ban in January last year following his altercation with the fourth official Anthony Taylor at the end of Arsenal’s 2-1 home win against Burnley. He was also fined £25,000. Wenger had been sent to the stands when he put his hands on Taylor, which is one of the most serious offences in the FA’s eyes. Taylor is the referee for the game against Chelsea.

    The FA will take into account the fact the post-West Brom flashpoint with Dean represents Wenger’s second offence in less than a year and, as such, it is likely he will be suspended from the touchline. It would be within the governing body’s gift to impose a stadium ban.

    Wenger had said in early December he was impressed at how Daniele Orsato refereed the Serie A game between Napoli and Juventus. “If you want to analyse well, watch the difference between them and us [in the Premier League] and then you will see,” he said. Wenger was asked to elaborate on those comments. “He made quick, clear decisions and he showed an authority to get the game respected. Sometimes I say to the fourth official, when the goalkeeper starts to waste time after five minutes: ‘There are people who pay a lot of money to watch football. You are responsible to make sure football happens on the pitch.’ They have to serve the game, like we do. They have not to be the star.

    “It’s not [appropriate] any more, in 2018, that the referee calls a player and speaks to him for half a minute or a minute. That is the 1950s, where the referee talks to the player and says: ‘If you’re not nice, I might punish you.’ Come on, let’s not waste time. That is not the rhythm of a modern society. People want crisp, sharp action, and the referee has to make sure that happens. We don’t live in the dark ages.”

    Wenger has selection problems for the Chelsea game, particularly in defence, with Sead Kolasinac and Nacho Monreal (both ankle) out and Laurent Koscielny (achilles) a major doubt. Mesut Özil (knee) is also doubtful while Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud (both hamstring) remain unavailable. But Wenger was more interested in the topic of referees.
    Bad decisions

    He described it as a “concerning coincidence” that Arsenal had, to his mind, suffered bad decisions in away matches this season against Stoke City, Watford and Manchester City, as well as West Brom. He neglected to mention how Albion were denied a penalty at Emirates Stadium, Shkodran Mustafi’s offside goal against Tottenham and Aaron Ramsey’s winning of a soft last-minute penalty at Burnley.

    “It’s unbelievable what has happened this season,” Wenger said. “Have they been the worst decisions of my 21 years at Arsenal? No. We had some good decisions at Old Trafford. The referees should spare that visit to our training ground and stay at home, because they never respect what they say. They gave a clear directive on handball but that changes, always, during the season because they must watch the television and say: ‘Oh, he has given a penalty – maybe next time, I do it.’ They need a clear guidance.

    “There is a shortage of referees and the system of promoting young ones doesn’t work. We should have a bigger league of referees and the guys who have a bad patch can go down to the second division and we promote young refs.”

    Wenger was asked whether certain referees had egos and craved attention. “We want them to respect the game and make the right decisions and the ego should not interfere in that. After, does it happen? Maybe, I don’t know. It is just surprising sometimes that at that moment of a game this decision can happen. Maybe he [Dean] might explain it one day.” – Guardian

    Liked by 1 person

  13. more fa charges incoming

    Liked by 1 person

  14. i hate to even think it, but have for a while had a horrible nagging feeling Wenger might just call it a day at this club at least, in the summer, depending on certain events, but if there are any such thoughts in his mind, or even if hopefully, I am wrong and there are not, hope he carries on doing what he is doing, raising awareness, asking questions, doing damage to those who ruin, sorry run the English game.
    He won’t have proof of things he has most likely accused Dean, and others of, but a man of his standing, influence, intelligence and ability with words could certainly spread the seeds of doubt in some of these organisations, for instance, no English refs at the WC is now widely known and just doesn’t look good on Riley.
    Hopefully, to an extent the likes of the FA and PGMOL will, one day, bought under much more scrutiny and accountability

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Wenger on the VAR

    “It’s inevitable [VAR being introduced] because the referee can get help and become more efficient – and he can gain time, contrary to what people say.

    “Of course, if we go the way where the referee walks down the side of the pitch and watches a screen, I say, ‘Leave it at home’. That means, ‘I just want to make every single decision. I want to be the boss’. [In that case] let’s forget it because that is not serious, and not the way we want to see the game going.

    “If somebody upstairs quicker than he does tells him, ‘Go, let it go,’ that’s what we want. It’s not that he walks down the side of the pitch and watches a screen, and the people in the stand freeze up there until he has made a decision. That’s not what we want. If it’s [like] that, I personally am against it.”

    Liked by 2 people

  16. yeah Mandy, I do wonder is Wenger being more outspoken this season, cos he is getting it all of his chest before he rides off into the sunset, or he is just trying to get fair play for what ever time he has left with us. Either way I am delighted he is doing it, and I hope he goes much further with it.
    would add that here we are with another great opportunity for Arsenal blog world and twitteratti to get the AFC fans united, and build a siege mentality, but sadly they don’t see the clicks in it, or have any desire to help the club the claim to love. Every AFC blog should be standing firmly behind Wenger/the players/the club on this, and take the fucks at the pgmol and the fa head on

    Liked by 2 people

  17. I Feel bad for even writing that Eduardo, but a nagging doubt that won’t go away, the ref decisions, some of his demeanour, and him assosting usher in structures to help the club in the future, and a horrible,unaccountable gut feeling. He has never broken a contract, but equally, cannot see him seeing out a final year as almost a lame duck manager of his contract is not extended this summer, especially after him admitting uncertainty hit the players last season.
    Still, we shall see and I am probably massively wrong, hope so any way.
    I am sure we will be hearing a lot more from Wenger, bans fines or whatever, on the – erm -problems- with the English game, the gloves seem to be off, perhaps for good . This is a man who can do some serious damage to certain people should he choose

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Always been the only think that makes me doubt my more extreme views on Pgmol : if it’s as I see it, how could Wenger not see the same thing? And if he did, how could any man be, for one, that resilient?

    Got to say, though, fuck the FA. The temerity to go on, though I suppose they have to, about integrity.

    What did they do about the integrity of the game after Riley’s abomination for game 50?

    If that was merely disastrous incompetence, they, and all the relevant authorities really, would have urgently sought to discover how any professional referee could produce such a performance.

    All lights and sirens should have been flashing that, just maybe, the integrity of the game was in trouble. We can say with near certainty nothing of the sort can have taken place.

    Though if you ever put yourself through the highlights again, it is very noticable that Gray is frequently caught off guard with what he’s seeing, while Tyler tries to flow with it and play it down.

    And then, somehow, that same person ends up as the head of pgmol, no doubt as the personal choice of the entity who pay 90% of pgmol funding, the premier league. Halsey mentioned a few times that as well as sharing offices, the Premier League are pgmol’s bosses, and are the ones who fire the head if they so choose; so presumably they also hire who they want.

    The FA surely have far less power than most think, but still, they’ve done nothing to stop it, so fuck them and their integrity.

    Keep going Wenger.

    Impossible that he sees it as i do, and he’s surely far more likely to be right than I am, but unless he stops talking soon we might be meeting past the halfway line.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. the FA safe guarding the integrity of the game is laughable, when you consider all the things they turn a blind eye to, and when the BPL chairman says it needs Man Utd to be successful for the good of the BPL, integrity, they don’t know the meaning of the word

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Unlike managers and players with whom the integrity of the game is in safe hands, with their incessant diving, cheating, whining to get opponents carded and intermittent acts of extreme violence against fellow professionals. And even those managers who should know better are prone to turning the ‘blind eye’ are apparently incapable of criticising the misbehaviour of their own players.


  21. the fa and the refs have everything needed to enforce all those things anicol, but do not, if the enforced the games rules and used the diving panel and the retrospective disciplinary panel correctly the game would be sorted very quickly, unlike the clubs, both the FA and the Refs are actually charged with doing it, in fact its what the Refs get paid for, whilst the managers and players get paid for results, the problem is that too often it looks like the refs are the ones that get paid for results

    Liked by 1 person

  22. if Koscielny and Ozil don’t make it tonight then the likely squad will be

    Cech, Ospina.
    Mertesacker, Holding, Mustafi, Chambers, Debuchy, Bellerín. Maitland-Niles
    Wilshere, Xhaka, Coquelin, Elneny, Iwobi.
    Alexis, Lacazette, Welbeck, Walcott.


  23. reports in Greece suggest Arsenal are about to sign 20 year old CB, Konstantinos Mavropanos, and that the lad is already in London to complete the move, although his agent says the story is an “invention”


  24. “the problem is that too often it looks like the refs are the ones that get paid for results”

    Not results. Not sport. In their own words:



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  25. Professional wrestling is a form of performance art which combines athletics with theatrical performance.[ It takes the form of events, held by touring companies, which mimic a title match combat sport. The unique form of sport portrayed is fundamentally based on classical and “catch” wrestling, with modern additions of striking attacks, strength-based holds and throws and acrobatic maneuvers, much of these derive from the influence of various international martial arts.

    The matches have predetermined outcomes to heighten entertainment value and all combative maneuvers are executed with the full cooperation of those involved and carefully performed in specific manners intended to lessen the chance of actual injury These facts were once kept highly secretive, but are now a widely accepted open secret. By and large, the true nature of the performance is not discussed by the performing company in official media to sustain and promote the willing suspension of disbelief for the audience by maintaining an aura of verisimilitude.

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  26. arsenal fc can just help arsene for once by writing to the premier league that they wont allow mike dean to referee their games anymore and show reasons and evidences to support their stand. arsenal football club isnt doing enough in my opinion. even the dotcom as well do not show enough support to the manager. you see several times on the official club website when they clearly give publicity to blogs that are clearly oppose to anything and everthing about the manager while blogs like positively arsenal dont get mentioned. sometimes i think this club works at cross purpose to the manager. if they are tired of him, they should let him go if not, then they should give him the support other top clubs give their top managers.

    Liked by 4 people

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