47 Comments

Refs, Gaffs and Guff.

Here is me and @shotta_gooner trying to make sense of the latest setbacks and general nonsense going on at the club. It’s grim, but it is what it is.

Pedantic George

47 comments on “Refs, Gaffs and Guff.

  1. leeds 2-0 up on crystal palace, if they win they go above us and push us down to 11th, and they will still have a game in hand on us. We play them on Sunday

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  2. Unfortunately Referees and the Referring association think the game is all about them, they are arrogant and aloof answerable to no one but themselves and regardless of how many inept performances there referees put in and how poor and inconsistent they are they ignore public opinion the opinion of ex professionals and pundits and just carry on.
    Changes need to happen they cannot be allowed to keep ruining our beautiful game simply there not good enough and need to be controlled by an independent body who can then look impartiality at the situation, conduct reviews for appeals and use ex players to control VAR (at least they understand the game which most English referees don’t).
    Our referees used to be the best in the world now there a laughing stock. Prior to Covid I have watched matches in many countries across the world and there standards are way above what we get, I wish we could use European referees our game would improve instantly. But while we continue to give jobs to the boys with good referees to scared to stand up because they are either forced out or banished to the lower leagues nothing will change. To demonstrate the arrogance of these people I have sent 2 emails to the refereeing association in the last couple of weeks asking as a fan if they could explain the action of the referees in the Man utd v Southampton game and the Wolves v Arsenal game and why and how the decision on the appeals was reached given the opinion of respected ex refs and ex professionals. Have I had the courtesy of a reply of course not I’m only a fan and way below what they think of themselves not even an acknowledgement of my enquiry would have been nice but this sums up the problem.
    It’s wholly wrong that Mike Dean has received death threats but he is one of the worst case of arrogance out there he should have been retired years ago. Hopefully after this we will never have to put up with him spoiling game ever again, we also saw the referee in the Wolves Arsenal game fist pumping a Wolves player after awarding them a Penalty just insensitivity stupidity or bias.

    IF YOUR A FAN I SUGGEST AN ORGANISED CAMPAIGN NEEDS TO BE FORMED TO TAKE BACK OUR GAME.
    IN THE MEANWHILE COMPLAIN TO YOUR CLUB THE FA AND BOMBARD THE REFREES ASSOCIATION WITH EMAILS TEXTS PHONE CALLS AND ANY OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA YOU CAN USE UNTIL THEY ACKNOWLEDGE THEY HAVE A PROBLEM.

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  3. more redundancies at Arsenal

    Arsenal fan groups urge CEO Vinai Venkatesham to change course over further job cuts at Emirates Stadium
    Arsenal are streamlining their ticketing department after redundancies across the club six months ago
    James Benge
    By James Benge
    6 hrs ago

    Several fan groups have written to Arsenal chief executive Vinai Venkatesham urging the club to reverse course on their plans for further redundancies at the Emirates Stadium within their supporter services department.

    Arsenal are planning to streamline their ticketing & services and premium departments, a process which is expected to result in further job losses after 55 redundancies were made at the club last summer, including the supporter liaison officer who is responsible for communication with the club’s 250 supporter groups around the world.

    The Gunners insist that the steps they are taking, which are not yet concluded, are necessary to offer an “effective service” to their global fanbase and that they will be “increasing the level of resource” in that area.

    An Arsenal spokesperson told CBS Sports: “We are looking to improve the service we offer to supporters and are bringing our Ticketing & Services and Premium operations together as one combined team. This will provide a more efficient service to our Premium, General Admission and Supporters’ Clubs around the world.

    “Providing an effective service to Supporters’ Clubs is central to our thinking here. The duties of the Supporter Liaison Officer, which is a requirement of both the Premier League and UEFA, will not disappear and are very important to the club. In fact we will be increasing the level of resource in this area.”

    However there is concern among fan groups at the departure of Mark Brindle, who has served as the club’s supporter liaison officer since May 2014.

    He is among those set to leave the club but the presidents of the official Arsenal supporters clubs in Denmark, Sweden and Norway — who between them represent over 10,000 fans — have written to Venkatesham urging him to reverse the process.

    “He keeps the support evergreen and alive, and he connects us to a football club many, many miles away,” their letter says. “Mark is not only the greatest Arsenal supporter, you’ll find. He is the very definition of a Mr. Network.

    “He corresponds with nearly all departments in Arsenal FC, and even though he’s not busy at this minute, he will be busy again, when our football is coming back. We all know that.

    “But he’s more than that. He’s also Mr. Network towards around 250 Arsenal supporter clubs around the globe… I can hardly count the number of supporters, he keeps loyal, supportive and organized.”

    Arsenal have one of the most sizeable global fanbases of Premier League clubs and fan groups from as far afield as Belarus, Malta, Egypt and Kuwait have also offered their backing to the plea from Nordic fanbases.

    The Gunners have been undertaking a widespread review of their business over the past year as they battle with the impact of COVID-19 on their finances. The Arsenal Supporters Trust predicted that a season of behind closed doors fixtures –two home games were played with 2,000 fans at the Emirates in late 2020 but these were run at a loss — would see the club register a loss of over $200million for the 2020-21 campaign.

    In August Arsenal announced plans to make 55 redundancies within their permanent staff whilst also parting ways with several senior scouts. The following month Venkatesham said: “Unfortunately we see a different economy ahead and we needed to restructure our organization and make a really tough decision, and unfortunately my job is about making hard decisions to make sure that we have the right structure going forward to make sure we are leaner, faster and equipped to deal with a different economy and that’s really tough.

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  4. reports that our EL tie with Benfica will remain a two legged affair but with both games at neutral venues

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  5. Tomas Soucek’s red card in Saturday’s Premier League fixture against Fulham has been overturned on appeal.

    so two games in a row that a red card issued by Mike Dean has been overturned on appeal, yet Mike Dean is untouchable

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  6. Death threats to anybody is deplorable; full stop. Yet it must also be acknowledged that such reactions to PGMOL refereeing is the result of growing anger at the way refereeing is managed in this league. It can be legitimately argued, such a noxious actions are desperate attempts of long suffering frustration that seems to have no end in sight. This simply begs the question. Should the PGMOL not be looking at changing their own actions that are provoking such detestable reactions? I put the coterie of media “pundits” and apologists of PGMOL in the same boat.

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  7. Surely these dodgy characters have some form of guarantee from their paymasters of protection and immunity? Apparent death threats do rather take the spotlight off of the aggregate reason for such things. Bent refereeing at a Tory Cronyism scale of brazenness.

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  8. Death threats to a referee and his family need dealing with by the appropriate authorities.
    But don’t let a small minority deflect from what is really going on with the PGMOL. The Mike Dean fiascos and many others recently show how badly they are doing
    If they don’t reform, and get rid of Mike Riley and his band of useful idiots, can only see things getting worse

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  9. So many pigs at the trough. Too many people to fall.

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  10. Honest refs trying their best must be pretty disillusioned with the criminality / incompetence at the top, as are we all, seeing what we see then hearing/ reading the likes Walton and Gallagher, retired but firmly on the gravy train, embarrassing themselves every week on the media trying to defend it all.
    Mike Riley is making the job for every referee in the land that much harder, someone should realise that and rid us of him, but unfortunately, it won’t be anyone connected with the EPL, FA, Liverpool, Utd, LCFC or THFC or a few “plucky” teams and managers that do rather well under these refs

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  11. Any twitter users seen the clip going around of Gallagher in action against us in a defeat to Newcastle?

    His performance looks on par with Riley game 50 and there’s an incident which eclipses anything from that game.

    Shearer puts in a hideous knee high foul from behind on Campbell with no hope or intent of getting ball. Gallagher initially reacts in a natural-ish way, quickly whistling and moving with a bit of speed towards incident. Then demeanour changes, and acts as though nothing much has happened.

    He doesn’t even book the player. Doesn’t even seem to look at nor talk to him.

    He’d already sent off Gilberto with a 2nd yellow earlier in the game, for a foul that by looks of it could be a yellow, maybe, but wasn’t violent, dangerous, wild etc

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I Hate that bastard Shearer and will forever hate Poll for giving him the opportunity to score at Highbury with a non penalty. I console myself with how bitter the twat is to have been beaten by us in the FA cup final.

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  13. Yes, have seen that Newcastle clip, disgusting.
    Fergie is long gone as a manager, but it seems those who looked after him get rewarded with paid work long afterwards, as Dermott Gallagher certainly did
    And there are still so many Arsenal supporters convinced there has been no bias against this team

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  14. Bit suss that all the threats sent to Dean were on social media and I’ve not seen anything.

    I’ve no doubt plenty crossed line into abuse and sometimes worse, but impression is that, sadly, that’s pretty routine.

    Certainly seems to be with players and racist comments at the moment.

    Just seems weird, as thought commonplace when papers running stories on online abuse etc they include snapshots.

    Dean won’t have social media either so won’t be anything sent directly to him.

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  15. Uefa has confirmed the venues for Arsenal’s Europa League last-32 tie against Benfica.

    The matches are being held at neutral venues due to the current COVID-19 regulations.

    The first leg, which is Benfica’s ‘home’ fixture, will be played in Rome on February 18th, at 8pm (UK time).

    Arsenal’s ‘home’ fixture will be played at the in Athens, Olympiacos’ stadium, on February 25. Kick-off has yet to be confirmed.

    *Uefa has stated that in the event of a draw over two legs, away goals will count doubl

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  16. Simon Collings
    @sr_collings
    ·
    3h
    #afc Obviously situation is what it is, but not ideal Arsenal now travelling to Greece ahead of playing Leicester away on February 28.

    Schedule now:

    Benfica in Italy
    Man City at home
    Benfica in Greece
    Leicester away

    Busy 11 days.

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  17. Notion of “away” goals being doubled in value makes absolutely no sense in this scenario. Would it not have been better to simply decide the tie through penalties?

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  18. Great podcast Shotta and George. This is the type of stuff everybody on this planet should listen to or atleast who watch Epl.
    People who didnt believed that Arsenal.and Arsene Wenger were always up against 12 men since the arrival of Mike Riley as the head of Pigmob. The podcast describes in detail how we were robbed of the title in 2015 and Leicester were favoured with dubious calls through out the whole season.
    One thing i would like to point out to George that why he cant figure out the reason Arsenal were treated differently under Arsene Wenger. For me it is quite obvious that we were treated harshly mainly due to the reason that Arsene Wenger belongs to France and everone know about English & French rivalry. Sorry for being so blunt but for me itl was the biggest handicap for Arsene Wenger since 2008 onwards.

    Any way great job Shotta.
    Look forward for your blogs and podcasts.Keep it up.

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  19. Personally I think it was his being successful without excess spending, That’s the PL brand.

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  20. I think Arsene’s problem was that not only was he French but he took on the Scottish Bully and won despite all his underhand tactics. So Sluralex went to town to ensure he and the team (didn’t need much encouragement as Arsenal were already targets) were smeared and maligned to the max while also getting as many favours as possible. All about Sky, Prem League revenue and after all Yanited were the biggest earner for them.

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  21. I’ve thought about it all an absurd amount in my time and best guess is a perfect storm of factors working against us.

    Not popular to start with. Immense power Ferguson came to have. Dislike of Wenger. Inauguration of pgmol. Transformation of English football through unprecedented tv deals. Riley, somehow, getting top position. Downright poor national media, much of it shaped in figure of most powerful figure, Murdoch.

    Particularly cruel is Wenger apparently worked hard on the case for refs turning pro and that could well be most damaging factor of all. It meant they became inextricably tied to premier league, paid for by them near enough, sharing offices, prem in charge of selecting or firing pgmol boss. No doubt that would also make it much easier for a certain manager/club with huge power to influence them.

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  22. For me a good guide to change brought about by pgmol taking over is to look at Keane and Rooney.

    Keane had 7 red cards in prem (would guess one of those at Forest), Rooney three (one I know was Everton), but for me they were very similar in terms of violent challenges and the like. Rooney would quite regularly start diving into crazy challenges when frustrated and I expect there were a number of times offences were as clear as time he gave Mccarthy of Wigan a solid elbow or forehand to face. I’d guess he had 10-20 at or above level of Xhaka’s first two reds with us.

    In FA days, while they may still have done well, it was relatively normal by contrast.

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  23. Widening scope, while I’ve often seen Real Madrid win plenty of soft soft penalties, especially in Ronaldo time, Sergio Ramos has been sent off 20 times in league alone for them.

    Even if you believe that’s indicator of it being too easy to see red there, or that he is much dirtier than Rooney (don’t think he is), well, it would be extremely hard for a Utd player to get a quarter of that now, even in 10 years or more, though, like vidic, maybe you could get a few against Pool, where typically the biases, or whatever, cancel each other out.

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  24. Firstly, in multiple ways, the football pitch and its activities are a microcosm of our society; relationships, rules(laws), judges(referees), rewards, and punishments. Secondly, football has been revolutionized into a corporate-style multi- billion pound business in the neoliberal mode. It is it’s own entity but also serves as a platform for many other related and unrelated business concerns. Thirdly, the enshrouded secrecy and lack of any meaningful transparency in the PGMOL and Premier league makes accuracy of insight difficult; so that we can only pursue truth through the patterns of conduct that emerge. In reflecting on the managing of the game, my thoughts move in the direction of how the Premier League is branded and marketed to have a global reach of influence. Perhaps MU and Liverpool are the preeminent symbols of that brand. And protected as such. And, as in most news, interest is much furthered through managed controversy, the story of an arch villain, (Arsenal?)….I feel these larger relations will better yield answers to our frustrations. Yes, our frustrations are lived and felt on the field of play, but I sense they are rooted in the soil of deeper social relations.

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  25. Thanks for a great pod.
    Shotts that was a nice description of the nature of this company managing the officials.

    The Kronke’s know how to make money but when it comes to running a football club at times over the last few seasons it’s been like watching the steroid pumped modern remake of the Damned Utd. It’s a great novel/movie TBF heh.

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  26. FT: Everton 5-4 Spurs

    AET

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  27. Entertaining game with delicious ending we all deserve.

    Alli pulled up for a bad dive also nice.

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  28. “Bias” — as opposed to “conspiracy” — is an excellent way to think about the match officiating.

    I may not be treading any new ground here, but I wanted to try to synthesize the observations I have found compelling on this subject.

    It is entirely understandable that match officials exhibit bias. The are human, so even unconsciously may engage in favoritism. A player is personable to them, so that one gets the benefit of the doubt in a borderline call. Where the bias becomes systemic is at the point where institutional power becomes involved.

    We can’t know all the dynamics of power within the Premier League. What seems apparent, though, is that Liverpool and Manchester United, due to their commercial reach, have outsized influence.

    The subservient relationship the PGMOL has to the league (they are not separate entities, as officials’ unions and professional sports leagues are in the US, for example) means bias toward the powerful is likely. Lack of transparency and accountability mean that this bias goes unchecked and can affect match outcomes and league positions over a long period.

    These dynamics are going to be very difficult to break, because they are both structural and cultural. The structural part is actually the easiest part to fix, in theory: You just separate the officials’ association from the league. But the powerful forces won’t want to do that.

    Cultural change will be even harder. Culture is embedded in the actions, behaviors, relationships, and rituals that connect the individuals involved. You can’t just say, “Be more transparent” to a group of people who have lived and in many cases profited from being the opposite. And certainly you can’t bring about this kind of change if the leadership does not champion it.

    Not exactly optimistic stuff. I’ll be thinking more about what might be done and will try to share those thoughts if they come together at all.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Here’s our team news update ahead of Sunday’s Premier League match against Leeds United:

    Bernd Leno
    Available for selection after one-match suspension.

    David Luiz
    Available for selection after one-match suspension.

    Thomas Partey
    Thomas sustained a strain to his left hamstring during last Saturday’s match at Aston Villa and will miss the match against Leeds United on Sunday. Thomas will continue to be assessed and rehabilitate from this injury.

    Kieran Tierney
    Kieran is recovering well from a strain to the right lower leg and is aiming to integrate back into training next week.

    As part of Premier League protocol, all members of our first team squad and support staff continue to be regularly tested for COVID-19.

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  30. Arteta on… Leeds, Tierney, Pepe, Balogun
    Rob Kelly 12 Feb 2021

    Mikel Arteta was back in front of the media on Friday to look ahead to our weekend clash with Leeds United.

    Our manager discussed the latest team news, plus Nicolas Pepe, Folarin Balogun, Kieran Tierney and more.

    Read on for a full transcript:

    on whether there is an update on the team news…
    Not really, we will know more in the next two days on the injuries we have and how they are evolving, and whether they will be available for Sunday or the next game. Be patient because it looks like a lot of players are breaking down.

    on how long Partey will be out for…
    It is a difficult one, he felt something during the game and we didn’t think it was too bad but after the scan looked a little bit worse. He won’t be available to play against Leeds and we will see how it evolves in the next two days but it is a muscular issue.

    on how frustrating it is for him…
    He was devastated, we were all devastated because we know the importance of Thomas and we haven’t had him since we signed him, we haven’t had him in three games consecutively. I think he has only played 90 minutes once since he has come back from injury, so it is a big blow for us but he is adapting to the league, he has been very unlucky as well and he is very frustrated because he is a very competitive guy who wants to feel important and be important for the team and at the moment the injuries are restricting a lot of game time for him.

    on the competition for places between Leno and Ryan…
    I think Mat played a really good game, and for a first game he played for us after so little training I think he was really good. I really like the way he reacted because conceding that goal on your debut so early, and still reacting the way he did showed a lot of character from him. That is why we brought him here because he has to be an option and he has to keep pushing Bernd.

    on having a week on the training pitch…
    We couldn’t work some days because of the snow and the conditions on the pitch, but it was unusual for us to have a week to prepare. But we reviewed a lot of things we have done in recent weeks and the reasons we have won a lot of games and the reasons we lost in the last few games in a strange way when we didn’t deserve to do it. It is completely down to us and what we have to do better.

    on what he thinks about Leeds…
    They are a really brave, dynamic and attacking side. I think they are a really exciting side, a great coach, great coaching staff who are all involved and a bunch of players who believe 100 per cent in what they do and they just go in every game with the same energy and enthusiasm to get the points. I think they deserve more points than they have in the table at the moment.

    on Kieran Tierney…
    We have to see how the knee reacts when he starts to get a bit more load. He hasn’t had much left but he is very positive at the moment, he is in good spirits and he is desperate to get back in the team and we will see in the next few days, the moment he starts to train with the team and se how he is feeling and how he reacts.

    on how frustrating it is to not have him involved…
    To be fair we are getting used to it because we are missing so many players all the time, I don’t remember we were all to play the same starting XI two or three times, I can’t even think about it. But it is what it is. The players are making huge efforts, even the ones who are injured are willing to come back to play and this is what we demand of them and the ones on the pitch had to give their best and make it difficult for the ones who want to get back in. That is what we are trying to do.

    on what more we can expect from Nicolas Pepe…
    Again, that he can maintain that level now for months, not weeks. I think he’s done much much better. I think there has been a click with him, even in his mentality, how he’s approaching every training session, the importance of every action in the game and how he can sustain his focus and his determination during games. I really like his attitude. What’s he’s done in the last few weeks I think it’s been much better. He still has a lot of room to improve and grow and he’s willing to do that so I’m expecting him to go to the next level very soon.

    on the online social media abuse directed towards players
    Of course, we’ve spoken internally to the players and tried to give them some advice and tried to protect them as much as possible. The incident that occurred a few days ago with Mike Dean is completely unacceptable and I think we should all stand for him and support Mike and the referring community as well. They have a tremendously difficult role in the league at the moment with a lot of key decisions that effect teams and leagues one way or the other, but at the same time they try to do their best. They prepare in the best possible way and we all make mistakes and I think we have to support them.

    on if social media abuse has got worse…
    I think if we read everything that was written about us we’d probably have to stay in bed a lot of days. It’s part of it, I think it’s great that people have the ability to communicate on so many platforms and give their opinions. The only thing I’m asking is to be respectful, you know? Do it in a respectful way, you don’t have to batter anybody or try to hurt anybody. Yeah, just give your opinion with the best intentions and when it’s constructive I think everybody can take criticism. It’s part of our job to look at it and think and reflect on it but when people just have the intention of hurting, that’s when it becomes a little bit silly in my opinion. It’s just finding that balance. There are a lot of positives, but I think there are things we can do better as well.

    on if Kieran Tierney was expected to be out for this long…
    Well, we didn’t know. At the end of the day when you have pain and you are not comfortable and you are someone like Kieran who does everything 100mph you need to be in the right condition. When someone like him says it doesn’t feel right and that something is wrong you worry because you know how much he wants it as well. He’s in a much better place now, in the last few days he’s feeling better, he’s training, he’s positive, he’s willing to come back early and help the team and hopefully we can have him soon.

    on if the league position can be explained by the amount of absentees we’ve had this season…
    I don’t know. I don’t like to use any excuses. It is what it is. We have to adapt and we have other players trying to do the job but at certain moments you need some consistency, you need a team that has to play and you see all the successful teams and you need some consistency in your starting XIs and get that chemistry, that cohesion, that togetherness there and we haven’t been able to do that. It’s the context, it’s the situation, it’s COVID, it’s a strange year with no pre-season, there’s a lot of factors there but I think still we could be in a much better place just looking at what we’ve done in games ourselves and what we have given away.

    on Marcelo Bielsa’s ‘murderball’ in training…
    Yes I’ve heard about it. I’ve seen it. Marcelo has some incredible methods. You just have to see the way the team plays and some of the things they do constantly, some habits that they have that they implement throughout the game with such a conviction. There’s a lot of things that young coaches like me can learn from people like him who have been in the game for a long time and have been really successful.

    on whether he’s had any online abuse…
    I’d prefer not to [speak about it] but I think we’re all exposed to that in this industry. That’s why I’d prefer not to read it because it would affect me personally much more the moment that somebody wants to [harm] my family. Because it happened, the club was aware of it and we tried to do something about it. That’s it. We have to live with it. It’s not going to stop tomorrow, we know that, but medium or long-term can we do something about it? That’s what I am pushing for.

    on whether we should have had bigger squads this season given injuries…
    We could and I think we did have as well. The issue we had is the balance of that squad, the proportions in positions where you have the same numbers and you can all feel part of it, feel important, still share some minutes. Being in four competitions, maybe it made sense, but in two competitions now I don’t think it makes that much sense. You never know. It’s unpredictable, you lose players every week. At the moment, how we’re going to look in May, we don’t know. We have a long week and now you are tempted to say, ‘OK, let’s train so hard because this is the first long week we’ve had for a while’ but as well players need to recover, they need to freshen up. Now they’ve come back and the next six to eight weeks is absolutely crazy, so there is a balance that we have to find out there as well.

    on Leeds using attack as the best form of defence…
    When you look at a lot of the game they’ve lost and how they’ve lost them, it’s pretty incredible as well. Maybe they haven’t deserved those defeats. They’ve been really punished on set-pieces as well, which is one key area there. But overall what they’ve produced in open-play compared to the opponent, it’s difficult to see games where they have produced less than the opponent.

    on whether he’s a Bielsa disciple…
    No I’m not a disciple because I don’t know him that well! Pep knows him much better than I do but obviously you try to learn, to try to pick up things from other teams. I will be interested to learn how they develop their teams, their ethos, their way of playing. Marcelo’s got a lot of positive things to look at.

    on whether we will now start to prioritise the UEL…
    The priority is Leeds and then we go back to Europe. Obviously it’s a competition that we know can give us access to what we want. There’s still a long way to go, still a very strange year as well with the locations of where we’re going to be playing those games. Let’s go step by step.

    on whether threats on social media have impacted his day to day life…
    But it’s part of the job. I’m not the only one who that is suffering these types of things. When you’re winning, everything is beautiful and you are incredible and you are the best coach, but when you lose it’s completely the opposite. That’s reality. It’s not pleasant when they go personal against me, but I can take it. When family is involved, then it’s a different story.

    on whether the priority for Mikel is protecting those around him…
    Absolutely, but we are lucky enough as well that the club is very supportive. We do what we have to do when those things happen. My only purpose is just, it’s not going to happen tomorrow, but can we do something about it in the medium to long term to protect the people that are involved in the game, and maybe in other industries it happens in the same way.

    on why Martinelli isn’t starting most games…
    Well, he came back and did really well, but then he picked up another injury. It took him a while to come and now it’s about getting in his rhythm and getting his place in the team like anybody else. Don’t forget that we played him last time against Manchester United and he started ahead of other players, so it’s not like he’s not having the opportunities. We know that he’s got a huge potential and he’s done some really good things since he’s come back. He has a lot of things to develop in his game because of course at his age it’s normal.He came here from a different league and physically it’s much more demanding than the Spanish league. He got injured, he wanted to get back, he got back and then he got injured again, so his rhythm has been in and out. He hasn’t had a pre-season and he hasn’t had the type of that is needed for such a change. Then it’s probably anxiety from being so willing to do well and to feel important because he’s a big signing. All those things add up and he broke down again, so we have to be patient now and he needs to recover properly because he’s going to be key for us.

    on whether Balogun will leave at the end of the season…
    No, I’m still very positive that Flo is going to stay with us and it’s what we’re trying to do as a club, and it’s what I’m trying to do as a manager. As far as I know from last week, the player wants to be here, so I’m positive. I think he’s made some big progress in a few months.

    Copyright 2021 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to http://www.arsenal.com as the source.

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  31. Dan Critchlow
    @afcDW
    ·
    36m
    Oyegoke has just been shown almost exactly the same red card for the u23s that Luiz got. Okonkwo saves the penalty but massive advantage to United now.

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  32. Dan Critchlow
    @afcDW
    ·
    19m
    United are 1-0 up and dominating the chances against 10-man Arsenal. Balogun had a decent opportunity a minute ago but couldn’t beat the keeper.

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  33. Phil Nevilles boy scored manures goal and I’m having to watch it on mutv with all the bias commentary not good

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  34. Balogon nearly scores within 45 seconds of the restart good Dave from their keeper

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  35. Crap we nearly score from a corner

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  36. 2-0 to utd now, another error from okonkwo, who has been very good, with some great saves, but both goals have been very poor from him, both through his legs

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  37. Two visits to Manchester for u23’s. 15 mins total from two games with 11 men.

    Saw replay of sending off. Very hard from angle to see if there’s any contact but seems certain that if so no way in world it could be interpreted as deliberate- Utd player cuts across, our player doesn’t grab nor trip and stops running at earliest possible (fraction of) second.

    Who the fuck are these people who think they’ll send a kid off in an incident like that minutes into u23 game?

    British refs is who, pgmol hopefuls.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. See defenders grab Balogun all the time. See his calls for pens rejected very frequently. So asymmetric the game we play when opponents will throw themselves over with any touch, and get their pens and reds for it.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. yeah rich, even that second penalty was of the very soft type, one our lads don’t get

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  40. Find the last man stuff very painful. Pretty sure every time one of ours gets past a defender who is in touching distance the opponent will make a grab of some sort, and our player invariably stays on their feet.

    But with reverse we’re in situation where opponents are near certain to go over, and as certain to get a pen.

    Sadly think the only possible way it changes is if we were to commit long term to acting exactly as players from all the other big clubs, and, only a little less so, the rest, do. Over years and years of doing it, and putting on pressure behind scenes and publicly might we, just maybe, get reasonably close to parity.

    Grim, but this is fucking grim, too. Pick your poison I guess.

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  41. Realistically, think it means that when weighing up how to play, anything that isn’t sitting deep needs to be at least equal to the points it will cost us conceding pens and reds by not doing so.

    The change to rules is meant to decrease likelihood of last man/ denial of goalscoring opportunity reds, but hasn’t done that at all with us.

    Pretty unbelievable that tonight’s one came so soon after they justified Luiz one by twisting intention of new rule so that not making any challenge at all equals no intention to play ball or challenge when can’t win ball.

    Made it nice and easy for tonight’s shitbag to do same thing.

    Ah, they are such cunts to us.

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  42. rich earlier in the season or was it last season, David Luiz got sent off v Chelsea cos he did make a challenge but it was deemed he could not get the ball, so making it a red. When its Arsenal the refs can apply the rules as the please, and no matter who is in commentary or who is the studio pundits, they will all act like nodding dogs, even the former AFC players, it disgusts me that they are willing to be poodles of the pgmol, you don’t see ex utd or liverpool or chelsea or spurs players refuse to stand up for their club, the last Arsenal man to take the clubs side in these things was Frank McLintock, and how long is he gone from our screens. It says it all when we see more defense of our players and club from the likes of Rio Ferdinand than we do from any of the so called Arsenal legends working in the media.

    Liked by 1 person

  43. Wow EMI Martinez is a really good keeper, Leno is a good keeper but Emi is really good. I can understand why a new manager would be scared to go with the in form keeper thinking Leno the more experienced was the safe bet but it’s turned out to be another mistake.
    If Mikel had of kept Emi as number one and Leno didn’t want to stay and fight for his place back we would of got more money for him and would of saved on wages as well.
    It’s a real shame that when rebuilding the best way is to do it is with as many ARSENAL players as possible and with most decisions we just haven’t done that.
    As we look more and more likely to finish outside the top eight, I cannot understand for the life of me why we haven’t gone youth plus the already established stars we already had e.g. Mesut Aaron etc.
    The money we have wasted during a time when we simply couldn’t waste money is simply criminal.
    I am seriously worried this could be a terrible February.

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  44. Emi is excellent, even if he has learned cheating ways. In fairness to the club, if Leno was the first choice, Emi too good to be a number two, I suspect bigger clubs than villa now looking at him.
    But it does raise bigger issues of players Arteta/ the club have jettisoned, with seemingly indecent haste.
    I can’t add any more to the Ozil debate, but with clear signs of issues with Tierney availability/ injuries, why on earth was Kola loaned out? Surely he would be a better option than a RB playing as a LB. and don’t get me started on AMN.
    Hope Arteta knows what he is doing here , Leeds best player is Rafinha, he will give the out of position Cedric an interesting time.

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  45. Mandy.The club is in a bad shape on and off the field imho. The way players like Ramsey and Ozil have been shunned out is unforgivable. They even didnt spare a long serving club captain Koscielny. Now we are paying the price being in the bottom half. Did the idiot fans learn their lesson that parting ways with Wenger was the biggest mistake of their lives.

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