Sunday, 30 August 2009

15 months on, the same refereeing injustices, the same result

Okay, lets try and be rational here. I'll tell you a little story.

Fifteen months ago, Arsenal also went to play at Old Trafford in a League game. Except this game was even more important. Arsenal lost 2-1 that day and United were champions. The table at the end of the season read United 86, Chelsea 84, Arsenal 82.

So if you flip just that one result and make it an Arsenal win, we would have been champions - Arsenal 85, Chelsea 84, United 83.

And from that match where I perceived some very dodgy refereeing decisions, Arsereview was born.

A year and a bit on, we have a similar scenario. Two goals, one from a penalty and one from a free-kick have cost us three points.

But before I go mental, this does have to be said: in one of the most difficult matches of the season we committed suicide.

Was Rooney going over before he reached Almunia? Yes, absolutely. And Almunia wasn't wrong to come, it wasn't a goalkeeping howler. But his crucial mistake was that he went to ground too early. It has to be said that it was understandable: it was pretty much the first time he has been called upon this season. And his decision was the correct one: Rooney was going away from goal but Almunia's charge was going to force him even further away. It was just he didn't execute it well.

So was it a penalty? Andy Gray on Sky said there was nothing in the rules saying a player had to hurdle the keeper to stay on his feet. But frankly that argument is completely redundant.

If Rooney had run into Almunia and then gone down, fine, I can accept its a penalty. But that's not what happened.

Let me put it in absolute terms rather than beating around the bush: Wayne Rooney chucked himself to the ground yesterday before any contact with Almunia. There was no difference between what him and Eduardo did except Rooney was worse because he appealed for the penalty.

And will we hear any criticism of Rooney? Will we fuck. It will be brushed under the carpet because he's English. And what makes that even worse is that Rooney has a proven history of diving in this fixture. Just on Friday I included in the post a video of Rooney diving to win a penalty in 2004. Its good to see that old habits die hard and five years on, he's still a conniving cheat.

Yet, for an hour - until the penalty incident I thought we were quite good: United set themselves out formation-wise to spoil which made it difficult for us. It also showed how much they feared our early-season form. And we had coped admirably having pretty much all the play.

Until in the 40th minute, Arshavin was played in before being pole-axed, chopped down, ploughed, scythed down - whatever you want to call it. Never before in the history of football has one penalty been obvious to so many and not given by just one cretinous referee. And then to compound Fletcher's disgusting tackle, he then handled the ball in the box.

To me, its astonishing that we have to hear from Sky about how wonderful Fletcher was. He should have been sent off for deliberate hand-ball and committed at least twenty fouls so he should have gone at the very least for two bookable offences. It's not good football to run around the pitch fouling the other team. But as the truly moronic Mike Dean let him get away with it, it must be good tactics.

Fletcher told the BBC that he was due some luck against Arsenal - for what? You still deserved to go in the Champions League semi-final whatever you say. I think he may be one of the dirtiest players in the Premiership.

What's more, to claim its all irrelevant because Arshavin scored 30 seconds later is ridiculous logic at its very best. It was, as Goodplaya points out, an entirely different passage of play.

The idea of shooting at the near-post is that it takes the keeper by surprise. So Arshavin used his one great shot at the near-post up then, whereas he could have used it later if we had been given the penalty. It was a great hit by Arshavin but its worth pointing out that Foster palmed it in and probably should have done better.

In fact, lets be unequivocal, it was shit goalkeeping. It was a great hit by Arshavin but Foster makes it look better than it is. He pushes it further towards the top corner. No doubt if it had been Almunia he would have been castigated for terrible goalkeeping but as it was the holy England No. 1 we hear no such criticism.

I suppose something has to be said about the own goal. It came from a free-kick by Giggs, won by Darren Fletcher. Now I watched this on super slo-mo on my TV last night and Denilson does foul Fletcher but Fletcher is fouling him at the same time and what's more Dennis does nothing different from what Fletcher got away with throughout the game. Its the refereeing inconsistency which is galling.

But then Abou Diaby did one of those things which are just unexplainable. I watched it and thought the ref must have blown for a foul and Abou had been having a bit of fun. And then I realised, no, he actually did just do that. The new haircut makes him look like Will Smith; do you think he was a double agent?

And that was it in terms of goals. Once United got ahead, they kept it very tight for the rest of the match. RVP barely had a kick between the second United goal and the end of the match.

In the 96th minute, Gallas nodded down to RVP who slotted home only for it to be ruled offside. It was particularly unfortunate as Gallas had come back to an onside position when he headed the ball.

After he realised it was offside, Arsene Wenger kicked an empty water bottle along the touchline, threatening nobody and venting his frustration on an inanimate object.

Because of this, we had to endure a ridiculous denouement to the fixture. The fourth offical in his jumped up moment of wisdom decided to inform Mike Dean who sent Wenger from the touchline.

As far as I understand it, the point of this punishment is that the manager can no longer interfere with tactics. But what tactical change was he going to make which would stop Foster's goal-kick being the last action of the match?

Mike Dean and his 4th official were like Hitler and Goebbels together in the way they were determined to use their power. It was then the laughable situation where Le Boss had nowhere to go to. Except it wasn't laughable. Because the United fans, being the excrement of society decided to sing that disgusting song which I refuse to repeat. As Goodplaya noted, this wasn't a tiny minority or United's vocal away support; it was almost every United fan in the stadium. And frankly, its inhuman. I don't condone Hillsborough songs but at least then the people are dead. That man can hear it and how do you think it makes him feel?

And Dean and his 4th offical knew exactly what they were going to put this man through. But apparently it was necessary. For kicking a water bottle. Of course Wenger behaved with enormous dignity, but that does not disguise the behaviour of the United fans.

When Fergie had a few Arsenal fans call him a red-nosed wanker he blew his top. And that chant is at the least half-correct. But every time Arsene has stood up at that stadium for the last 13 years he has had to endure that song. It is an endemic problem which should be stamped out. You'll never hear hissing at a North London derby anymore; now we also need to stamp out the other vile chants.

It was all in all, a dreadful day but we showed we can compete and the League isn't won against the Big 4. No doubt after Eduardo being charged Wenger will face an FA misconduct charge but it is all frankly ridiculous.

This team shouldn't lose heart from one result, particularly when we threw it away.

Keep the faith,


Away Boy Sami said...

good blog, i say we should return the favour of thoes dirty salfordian bastards not only before and after the game with them but getting into block 1/32/6 and singing dirty rednose cunt songs galore.

charlie said...

Charlie, Kenya

We all know Man U are favoured. Thats for the objective observers. Its unfortunate there is this antiArsenal feeling even in Champions League. Football scores should not be decided in board rooms.

Terhide, Nigeria said...

We play excellent football and make alot of profits out of the game. I cant still understand why it pisses these people up. There all bunch of riduculous and fustrated losers. Keep the spirit guys ARSENAL4LIFE.

rednev said...

sit down you pedophile!

Frank, Tanzania said...

Adam, when people say that Arsenal fans can never accept that their team was at fault after a game, they are right. You, and so many of your 'colleagues' shall we say, seem to find it impossible to admit that Arsenal are ever at fault. The fact is, it was a pen. Both of them. Yes, Arshaver got unlucky, but to try and say that Rooney dived when he was clearly pulled down by Almunia's outstretched arms is ridiculous. Yes, he was playing for a penalty, but only because Almunia gave him the chance. He was going nowhere and Almunia made a awful tactical error.

Stop whining and whinging please. Yes, Arsenal seem to get a fair bit of bad luck, but you know what? Man up and deal with it. What goes around comes around, and no doubt you'll soon be singing your team's praises after you win some game on the back of a dodgy pen.

Elanoku, Democratic Republic of the Congo said...

'You'll never hear hissing at a North London derby anymore'

Unless you're sitting next to bernie..

hilarious blog though, your best i'd say

Dov said...

This is your blog at its most delusional bernie...and thats saying something.
Of course it was a penalty, obviously if referees used abit more common sense and cared that rooney was playing 4 the penalty and was going nowhere then it wouldnt be given but thats just not how it works.
In reference to the wenger taunts, you're telling me you've never been at the emirates and singled out a single person to taunt.
Terrible blog!