Webb Highlights Official’s Failings As A Point Will do

Under the circumstances, a point is a decent return. Beforehand, it was billed as a “must win” but the dismissal of Adebayor and Cesc’s injury may have far more telling consequences on the season rather than two dropped points.

A nervy start from Arsenal, the verve and fizz on the home match against Manchester United was missing but they grew as the game went on, taking more control. Liverpool for the most part were content to keep it tight. No complaints can be made about that for it is a tactical policy that has served them well away from home this season.

This culminated in van Persie popping up with a crucial goal. Created by a superbly picked Samir Nasri pass, his control, swivel and right footed drive highlighted all that is good about the Dutchman’s game. Criticism of Carragher and Agger diminishes van Persie’s effort. It was as good a goal as will be scored by Arsenal all season.

And it seemed that the interval would come with that lead in tact. Liverpool did not throw caution to the wind in search of an equaliser yet they found one. A route one goal if ever one will be scored this season. And a preventable one at that. Djourou is guilty of ball watching, not seemingly entirely sure where Keane was whilst Gallas was culpable for not being close enough to his defensive partner, evidenced by the fact that he nearly caught Keane as the Liverpool striker lashed the ball home. Could Almunia have reacted and charged out? I doubt it for he would probably have been beaten to the ball and lobbed, before being hung, drawn, quartered and tarred and feathered for good measure.

The goal shook the confidence of the home side and for the spell immediately either side of the interval, they were in the ascendency and had the chance to take the lead but despite controlling possession were surprisingly lacklustre in their application.

The impact of the equaliser was to mute the crowd for a while but once the second yellow for Adebayor arrived, the noise and intensity was as impressive as The Emirates has ever generated. And what of the two yellows? There can be little complaint about the first. Adebayor went over the top of the ball and caught the man. If the roles had been reversed, we would have been up in arms at the tackle.

My initial reaction was that the second was for dangerous play, a similar over the top tackle but seemingly harshly arrived at. To find out that it was for the theatrics of the Liverpool defender simply intensifies the dismay that the English FA’s highest ranked official can get decisions seemingly so wrong. The sense of injustice is heightened when Keane, Gerrard and Carragher all get away with varying degrees of foul play lightly by comparison.

The decision galvanised the team. Song had been quietly doing his job but stepped up into a higher gear as did Denilson. van Persie forraged on his own effectively. Had Cesc been on the pitch I do not doubt for one minute that an Arsenal win would have occurred. Instead, a supreme irony, one of the players earmarked for partnering him challenged (fairly) and Cesc came off worst.

Injuries to El Capitán come at bad times in the best of circumstances. This year though with visits to Hull and Villa do not bode well. His natural replacement would, for me, be Denilson but it leaves a hole on the right. Maybe Eboue will step up to the plate and put his torrid time behind him. More likely though is that Diaby will be brought into the centre with Bendtner partnering van Persie on Friday. The initial reports suggest anywhere up to a month’s absence. Scans will no doubt reveal the true extent of the damage today or tomorrow.

Wenger will still have concerns about the defenceA point means a certain madam’s vocal chords are still tingling but a win on Friday would change the complexion of the Christmas break.

’til Tomorrow.

160 thoughts on “Webb Highlights Official’s Failings As A Point Will do

  1. Marc says:

    Can someone please explain to me how John Terry’s tackle on Sagna a couple of weeks ago warrented the same punishment as either of Ade’s bookings yesterday. Certain England players are allowed to do what ever they please. Steven Gerrard should join the ballet the number of times he does his dieing swan act.

  2. Yogi's Warrior says:

    Marc

    The fundamental problem is the inconsistencies of referees. They rarely apply the same punishment to similar offences. I’ve just seen Sky’s post-match analysis and Arca’s tackle on Saturday was a straight red and most referees would have given it as such. Arca though got a yellow. It is this type of inconsistency that has to be eradicated.

    The disappointing thing about Adebayor’s sending off – aside from the decision made by Webb – is that the player made a challenge that was open to such interpretation. He had been booked for a similar type of incident earlier so where was the logic in trying the patience of the referee with the second. Whilst being caught up in the game gives him some excuse, it is something he was surely aware of?

    YW

  3. Big Al says:

    I’d argue that airing your doubts all the time means you don’t really support the team.

    I’ve had bosses that scrutinised every decision I made and waited for confirmation of my ineptitude every time I tried something new. That sucked. Imagine having thousands doing just that and then telling the world exactly what they think about you in their free time.

    Nobody could hope to flourish in that kind of environment. Fans are meant to be partisan. And it’s the best thing we can do. The second half yesterday was very encouraging in that respect. It’s not very sportsmanlike, but I really enjoyed hearing Liverpool get booed.

    And this isn’t politics either. The use of ‘thought-police’ in this context is irrelevant and mildly offensive.

  4. Alex Ice Cream says:

    G4E,

    Quality analysis from you there.

    I told you why I am less of an Ade fan this season than last.

    Try reading my post.

  5. Alex Ice Cream says:

    Al,

    I agree with you. With 10 men we showed more fight than we have done in many games this season. Villa away is a huge game and we will know a lot more about where we are after this game.

    The thought-police stuff is aimed at anyone who tries to stop people expressing a view whether positive negative or neutral.

    I haven’t given up on this season. Just on the Prem (which I never thought that we would win).

  6. Howard says:

    Donkey midfield, that’s what we have. They run like tortoise, Song and Denilson unArsenal, no pace in them.

    Compare times with Viera, Palour, Petit, Gilberto, Edu, Hleb, Flamini and yet Arsene Wenger keep faith. They can’t deliver the killer pass, even passing 9 yards away is a problem for them.

    The average midfield is the cause of our problems all season. They’re just average.

  7. Yogi's Warrior says:

    Big Al

    I’d argue that airing your doubts all the time means you don’t really support the team.

    I am not so sure that is true although I totally agree that players cannot flourish if they are concerned that they will be criticised for every wrong decision made.

    Some people have doubts yet that should not mean that their support is questionable. Not everyone buys into Wenger’s philosophy, it is a matter of opinion.

    The use of ‘thought-police’ in this context is irrelevant

    Now that is true.

    YW

  8. Consolsbob says:

    Poor old Naga Gunner got all his views wiped off another site a couple of days ago for daring to disagree with the bloggers list of supposed good purchases for Arsene.

    That is a tad thought policeist (?).

  9. Danny says:

    Don’t agree with that Yogi!!

    If the lad feels he is doing nothing wrong by planting a leg over the other side of the ball and thrusting his big arse in their way,

    why would he not do it again???

    The lad has been doing that exact move since he came to these shores.

    What’s truly nice to see, is Howard Webb decide he no longer likes that or has now spotted it 2 years after he turned up here and apply that rule for the first time in a massive sky sunday big 4 game.

    Surprise, Surprise.

    Effin disgrace!

    Just watched it again and cannot believe it!

    Shearer would never have had a career and Rooney, well how’s he managed to ever last 90 minutes.

    It’s the simple distrust for foreigners and it’s a disgrace!

  10. Gunner4Ever says:

    So what do you suggest Ice? Sell Ade? Get a new toy?

    How can we be thought police, if we don’t have the ability to stop anyone from posting? The only one who has this ability is Yogi’s and he doesn’t do it.

    Just because I contradict your opinion doesn’t make me a thought police….You’re trying to deny me the same right you want for yourself.

    Howard keeps posting here even if the majority of us think he posts BS %99 of the time. No one stopping him, You, or the man with 21 arses from saying what you want…I still hold every right to oppose you whenever I feel like it.

  11. Howard says:

    YW

    Its all about pace, pace and pace. Toure has it and he could’ve stopped Keane. Gallas didn’t provide leadership for Djouruo for to deal with it since he’s capable.

    I’m happy to see Djourou grab the available CB position.

  12. Consolsbob says:

    Can we not reinstate the cap for persistent offences against common sense Yogi?

    Bit like a training game, you know? Worst performance of the week pays for next weeks hairdos (at Manu obviously), or here, gets the coveted cap.

  13. Passenal says:

    “Fans are meant to be partisan. And it’s the best thing we can do. The second half yesterday was very encouraging in that respect.”

    This is what those who constantly criticize just don’t get. You are doing the opposition’s job for them if you spend all your time undermining the confidence of the players you purport to support.

    Constructive criticism is fine and there are those who do so and I have no problem with it. I do have a problem though with the constant destructive criticism, which is probably what drives me to being even more positive and supportive in order to counter that negativity. I really believe that negativity only breeds negativity whereas a bit of partisan unconditional support goes a long way as we saw yesterday.

  14. Non Edible Nacho says:

    which is probably what drives me to being even more positive and supportive in order to counter that negativity

    That’s exactly what happens to me. No one thinks this team is perfect but we don’t think it’s crap either and want to support it and enjoy it, two things many people don’t seem to like doing.

    Oh, and Song was very good yesterday! Everyone gave 110% with 10 men, I was even disappointed that we couldn’t win it because it looked as if we could.

  15. Consolsbob says:

    Passenal, NEN

    Sceptic I may be on occasion but I believe that you are both absolutely right.

    Up the Arsenal.

  16. Gunner4Ever says:

    It’s all about Ego Passenal, some have to criticize and keep going on about it, so they can say “I told you so” at the end. I wonder what kind of reward they get doing that?

    I for one think we will not win the title this year, but I still doubt myself and hope that I’m wrong everyday. I keep saying nothing is impossible until it’s mathematically impossible.

    Yes, I know we have some weaknesses but it’s not due to Eboue or Denilson…it’s due to confidence which is a very fragile thing.

    I criticize players but I don’t go on about it everyday…it’s not going to change anything, and in fact it makes things worse.

  17. Poliziano says:

    Are you suggesting that AIC has a swollen ego, G4E?

  18. London says:

    Clutching at red and white straws.

    A funny thing happened to the team yesterday when Cesc went off; it was if the remaining midfield players went into a large phone box, span around really fast and came out wearing red and white superman capes; enabling them playing better than they have ever played before.
    I have been walking around all day asking myself why, because, the most obvious answer that the dismissal of Adebayor galvanised the team into action just didn’t seem adequate – and then it hit me – the last time we witnessed such a surge of improvement from a group of players was after the departure of Thierry Henry. No longer did everything have to go through the great man; players could express themselves with out fear of the belittling effect of those Gallic eyebrows being raised to heaven. And so it was yesterday, the normally mild mannered, much maligned midfielders were released from the constraints of having to go through El Capitano and the change was tangible. Now read the title.

  19. Poliziano says:

    I disagree with that, London. I don’t think Henry had a belittling effect on the other players. We don’t know what would have happened last season if Henry had still been at Arsenal. Maybe his departure had an effect similar to removing the stabilisers from a child’s bicycle. I don’t know. Fabregas has a completely different personality from Henry. He is as modest as any modern footballer. He also has a lower stature in the game than Henry had, although that might well change in the future.

    The improvement yesterday came after the red card, not after the substitution of Fabregas. Perhaps, though, the difficulties the team faced yesterday forced each player to take on his own share of the burden. They are good enough to carry that burden, but they sometimes seem to doubt themselves.

  20. Paulie Walnuts says:

    D`jourou got done by Keane`s speed of thought as much as anything & Gallas was too far away to cover.

    Hopefully Johan will learn from this – you can`t switch off for a second , even against Liverpool.

    I thought the side battled manfully with ten men. Nice performance from Song & Denilson did well too (some quality niggly fouls as well – the boy is learning) but Diaby was his usual enigmatic self.

    All in all, more plusses than of late but we`ll have to batton down the hatches at Villa.

  21. Passenal says:

    “They are good enough to carry that burden, but they sometimes seem to doubt themselves.”

    This is the crux of everything Poliziano – the criticism of the team is so widespread even amongst the fanbase that they are really struggling to remember just how good they can be. I still cannot forget that CL final with Diaby, Cesc and Denilson in the midfield – they were outstanding for most of the game. If they could re-discover that spirit and belief they would be unstoppable.

  22. steve says:

    Does anyone remember Adebayour’s dismissal during the Carling Cup final. He was accused completely falsely of punching a Chelsea player.
    The referee was Howard Webb, the assistant was Darren Cann.

    Just a coincidence or some sort of agenda ?

  23. Poliziano says:

    “You can`t switch off for a second, even against Liverpool.”

    I like that.

  24. Passenal says:

    I don’t think it’s just a coincidence Steve. They probably haven’t forgiven the fact that they were shown up for what they are. They not only lied, but they compounded the lie by refusing to back down when the clear video evidence was put in front of them. They probably haven’t forgiven Arsene for his comments at the time even though he was heavily and unjustly fined, they are still looking for their pound of flesh.

  25. Poliziano says:

    It’s very unpleasant for officials to remember that kind of thing.

  26. Poliziano says:

    Maybe clubs should be able to black-ball two or three referees from their matches.

  27. Ole Gunner says:

    Quick thought: Does anyone remember any instance in which a striker was sent off for two offences similar to the ones Ade was penalised for? I was chatting with a mate and neither could remember one instance in which a striker was sent off or booked for shielding the ball from the defender.

    Any dice?

  28. Passenal says:

    I see the great Chelski couldn’t beat Everton and wonder of wonders JT finally gets his marching orders

  29. Passenal says:

    Ole Gunner – strikers usually get the benefit of the doubt ask Alan ‘elbows’ Shearer!

  30. Passenal says:

    Another random thought, but I thought the transfer window opens Jan 1st? How comes Diarra has not only been sold, but also passed a medical before that date? Or don’t the rules apply to Real Madrid?

  31. Poliziano says:

    Well, well! I’d forgotten Chelsea were playing. It seems that is the first time Chelsea have dropped points away from home this season. It’s a tough league at the moment.

    Everton are one of several second rank teams that I believe are better than Villa.

    Liverpool, united, and Chelsea will all drop plenty more points before the season is out. It’s high time Arsenal show what they are made of.

  32. Poliziano says:

    No idea about the Diarra deal. I presume he is a Portsmouth player until January. Isn’t he?

  33. Passenal says:

    Technically yes, but I’m just surprised about how open all this dealing is before the window has officially opened. I don’t recall this type of pre-transfer window signing before.

  34. Paulie Walnuts says:

    Very strange to see `Lass` posing in his Real kit in December, well before he can officially join them.

    Just as well he`s not a Hammer.

  35. Poliziano says:

    Diarra must be something of a trouble-maker. Clubs usually feign coyness in their transfer dealings, but they seem willing to dispose of Diarra at any cost.

  36. Passenal says:

    Just reading more on the Chelski game apparently Graham Poll on the Setanta commentary admitted that sending off the England captain is frowned upon by the powers that be! Colour me surprised! (that he would admit what we all know!).

  37. Gunner4Ever says:

    He should’ve been sent off in our game, so obviously it takes 2 to 3 games for an English player to get sent off?

    Does that prove “Howard Palmer” is correct about referees? Even though it’s shameful and disgraceful.

  38. California Gooner says:

    intereseting mini-debate above on how to account for the fantastic performance put in by Song and Denilson in the 2nd half. Was it Cesc going off or Ade being sent off that made them raise their level? I tend to think the later. But more importantly, let’s hope it was a ‘learning moment’, something they can reference in the future. If so, they will have made a big step up in their development. But they were also playing smart. Denilson really looked like Cesc in his orchestration of attacks and Song, of course, was everywhere.

  39. Gunner4Ever says:

    RVP….Click Click Click…….click…clic….cli

    I can hear my echo in here!

  40. Gunner4Ever says:

    It could be both CA Gooner, feeling injustice for Ade’s red and playing extra to show their Captain they’ll fight in his absence….I love our young men, they’re great special talents from abroad.

  41. Frank says:

    Can hardly speak….I have laryngitis from yesterday….great atmosphere…great game of football….great support…..these players are real battlers….

    Rvp is world class and Denilson and Song soon will be……I love this squad….and AW still looks relaxed…pure class.

    I don’t f**ing care what the press and media say…or what the ar**hole blogs and their a**hole commenters say…f*** the pundits…f** the commenters..this side will prevail..and the youngsters just breaking through will be world beaters…

    It is a a great night to be a gooner….and my man RVP is the best.

  42. Frank says:

    We can do this on Boxing day…we can really kick on with a result against Villa….we are the underdogs in that game…and we will win….we are not out of the Prem by a lomg way yeat…

    Arsenal, Arsenal, Arsenal….Arsenal, Arsenal, Arsenaaaa lll…Arsenal, Arsenal, Asrenal…Arsenalll…croak, croak, croak…sorry…ARSENAL

  43. Frank says:

    Sing it loud and sing clear…do not ever stop backing this side …..

  44. KLV says:

    I heard Howard Webb is the best ref England has! What a joke! That truly sums up the game in England! He was biased in many decisions in the game. If he is still the best ref come end of season, god save England cos English football cannot!

  45. Arse21 says:

    I suppose were going to get a chance to find out how good, Song, Diaby and Denilson really are now without Cesc’s presence to make teams sit back. I really hope I’m not proved right, I really do, but I fear we could crumble like franks profit margin in the current climate.

  46. Poliziano says:

    I already know how good Song, Diaby, and Denilson are, and it’s a lot better than Villa. Handbrake off on Friday. It’s time to put the villains in their place.

  47. Poliziano says:

    I want to see Arsenal Rampant. We haven’t seen that for a while. Ecrasez l’infâme!

  48. Luke says:

    Arse21

    If you are an Arsenal supporter, why are you also a doubter? It’s kind of illogical to keep having negative thoughts, and then hope that all these negative thoughts are proven wrong. That’s just my opinion.

    Regards

  49. Arse21 says:

    Luke,

    I’ve supported Arsenal for a very long time, and spent a hell of alot of maney on them, so I think i’ll say what I wish regarding my thoughts on the team. I believe Denilson, Song, Diaby, Eboue and Djourou to be wank and not Arsenal standard, but thats only my opinion.

    Regards

  50. Arse21 says:

    And Almunia, the worst keeper in the premiership (except for Gomes)

  51. Luke says:

    Arse21

    You cannot be enjoying yourself then.

    Anyway, have a happy Christmas.

  52. Arse21 says:

    Luke,

    I enjoy myself more by sticking things in my ass.

    What the hell are you talking about

  53. Poliziano says:

    If you think Denilson, Song, Diaby, Eboue, and Djourou are wank, I can only assume you are unusually lacking in self-knowledge.

  54. Arse21 says:

    Diaby runs around like a headless chicken trying ti be Dynamic but all he’d a giraffe with the heebie Geebies and is technically awful.

    Merry xmas, ho ho ho, green giant

  55. Alex Ice Cream says:

    Arse21

    You don’t have to justify yourself to people here. I have also been a Gooner for years and years but because we are worried about the current state of the team we are branded traitors.

    Why is it so difficult to understand: our support is there but we have doubts about the team. The 2 are not mutually exclusive.

  56. Arse21 says:

    Poliziano,

    Would Diaby, Denilson, Song, Djourou or Eboue get anywhere near the top four tems, including aston villa

  57. Arse21 says:

    AIC,

    exactly, if you cant be harshly critical on these types of blogs then where the hell can you?

  58. Alex Ice Cream says:

    Arse21,

    I have always defended people’s right to an opinion here and that includes everyone. Hell you and I disagree with most people but you don’t see me dictating what people say.

    Unlike you, I don’t think that the players you mention are wank but they are not good enough to be starters for Arsenal on a regular basis (Eboue) but I wouldn’t rule out the others yet as they are al still young. They are not ready to mount a Prem challenge yet though.

  59. Consolsbob says:

    I was watching Diaby play in highlights of a few matches from last season and before he was injured on the box last night. He was a different player from the one we see now

    He did look the business. Is it just confidence he is lacking or is he one of those that promise much but do not mature into top players.

    I don’t know.

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