Football Is Down But Not Beyond Redemption

They tell we’re all going to hell in a handcart because English football is having its worst year for football-related arrests. But that isn’t the real issue here; I’ve just been served a cup of tea with a pot of coffee whitener. Not UHT milk but the powdered sweet creamy smelling stuff. It’s time the EU got their act together and banned this abhorrent practice. I shall write to my MEP who will…be unemployed in less than a month’s time.

The government is hell-bent of taking us back to the 1950s with their ‘unique’ take on Brexit but if they can’t do that, they will put football there first. Not by bringing back the maximum wage at its’ 1953 level of £15 while reducing ticket prices to 2s. No, sports minister Mims Davies – which is a very 1950s nickname – will tell the FA they are jolly naughty boys who must keep their children under control.

She’s supported by Chief Constable Plod from Bootboy Town said that the alcohol ban in football stadia was here to stay. Presumably the grass turns violent when it sees beer in the stands and those little tufts can’t be trusted. Cunning devils that they are.

There’s nothing like a little drama to produce a cacophony of over-reaction. Every solution I’ve seen – fencing – failed to act as a deterrent with horrific consequences previously. Or is easily prejudiced by the cunningly delusional fan. Take points deduction as an example. What’s to stop a Manchester City fan travelling to a Liverpool game and entering the field of play to change the outcome of the title race?

Calls To Arms

There were even calls to arms. Armed police was a way too American idea for me. It sounded too much like Trump’s ‘idea’ of having an armed policeman at school to prevent more mass shootings. I won’t even go into the simplest solution there; I’m probably in the wrong already for quipping about Brexit…

But don’t worry, Henry Winter felt the public are best placed to resolve the matter. Go home, light your torches, find your pitchforks: there’s gonna be a-burning. Somewhere in Transylvania, Dracula watches wearily as the townsfolk gather again the in the town square unaware that the butcher got a good deal a last-minute group booking to a Very British Burning.

The solution is, however, very simple. Each club should have a Rollerball-style track around the pitch. Instead of the metal ball scoring points, it should be fired at the transgressor without mercy. If they survive that punishment, then they are obviously a witch and we should drown them at the ducking stool.

I know that I’ve trivialised a serious issue but hey, pundits, politicians and the media started it. If the courts have a proper sentencing deterrent, would there be such a willingness to transgress? Set the minimum sentence at six months with no remission, trebled if they make contact with a player. I genuinely can’t see anyone interloping on the pitch knowing they have got a minimum six to 18-months inside ahead of them.

On Arsenal matters, Unai is taking the remnants of the squad for warm-weather training and a friendly in Dubai to keep the team spirit going. Which is nice. Or it will be if we finish in the top four which quite a few in punditland think won’t happen despite points and run-ins, etc.

’til Tomorrow.

29 thoughts on “Football Is Down But Not Beyond Redemption

  1. C says:

    Yup, forgot Sokaritis is suspended, I’m okay with Mustafi, unlike most, at least for this match.

  2. Masterstroke says:

    Yeah, the best solution without doubt is for a longer prison sentence for pitch invasion/assault. Bin the easily manipulated points deduction idea along with the other: ‘leg breakers get a suspension for as long as the victim is injured for’ suggestion. Who thinks of this stuff?

  3. TIKPO says:

    We will make top 4! Whatever pundits think, it won’t be the first time they have called it wrong. What with the ‘ easiest’ run in of the top 6 one would think it a foregone conclusion. Arsenal will always be under estimated and time and again we shall confound them.

  4. C says:

    Massive news!

    Lacazette is eligible to play Thursday night against Rennes after UEFA reduced his ban from 3 matches to 2.

  5. ferkov says:

    Never saw that coming.
    Only wish FA would take a more contextual view of Torriera’s 3 match ban , where he committed a foul the likes of which the ref had been ignoring all game.

  6. C says:


    Or if Torriera’s 3 match ban stands, maybe just maybe Rose, Kane or Sanches would get their proper punishment for their chest kick, headbutt or stomp

  7. ferkov says:

    The refs are shit. Most anyway, but don’t tell Bill.
    But karma is realised is many forms.
    We played exceptionally without Torriera, whilst Rose and Sanchez contrived to gift Soton the game. If they hadnt been on the pitch we’d still be 4 points adrift. And now We’re NOT.!
    Thank heavens for shit refs.

  8. Blue Yonder says:

    It’s strange how Emery goes from devoid of ideas, strategy and team formation (after a loss) to ticking all the boxes (when we win.) It’s still the players who control his destiny and from week to week we don’t know which team will show up. It continues to be a work in progress and it will take a few transfer windows to effect the overhaul.
    That said, and if this type of performance is repeated, Arsenal fans have every right to anticipate a top 4 finish. Some pundits are proclaiming either MU or Chelsea will finish 4th and cite Arsenal’s poor away record as the chief reason. However, Arsenal have a reasonably kind closing schedule and a determined finish should see them claiming fourth, or even third.
    Which team wants it the most will determine things.

  9. thrillbo says:

    Hilarious listening to these jabroni’s complaining and whinging about the penalty. We’ve been playing the good guy too long trying to stay on our feet while rats like Suarez, Kane, Son, Costa etc win penalties for fun. Might as well play the game too. My lesson learned is, dont touch the other player when in the box. Doesnt matter if it’s a contact sport. You cant give the ref any reason to believe you touched the opponent b/c they will fall down like they have been sniped.

    Up the gooners, we looked seriously on it while Man U was sluggish. Still, match could have gone either way if Laca/Lukaku wanted to score early on. Feels amazing to be on the winning side of a match like that for once, especially against those butt munchers.

  10. Bill says:

    Thanks for the post Yogi

    Great result on Sunday. We have talked about this a lot over the years with regards to Arsenal and Wengerball and during this years World Cup but its pretty clear that having more ball possession is often not a good thing. If memory is correct the only other time we have won and kept a clean sheet against ManU in the last several years was a 3-0 when we still had Alexis Sanchez and in that game I think we had about 33% of the ball possession. We won on Sunday with less then 50% of the ball. I don’t think its a coincidence that our defense seems to be much more solid when we don’t have the ball. My own theory (and its just my opinion) is that we lose focus and concentration when our midfielders spend to much time pinging useless short passes in the opponents half of the pitch and we become more vulnerable to counter attacks. We have seen the same thing for many years. The vast majority of our signature wins against top opponents over the years have been games where we had less then 50% of the ball possession.

    I am not saying that dominating ball possession is always bad because it works well for Pep but the difference is that his teams always have a significant talent advantage. We don’t have the talent to impose our game on the rest of the world and we can’t play the way Pep’s teams or Barcelona does.

  11. Bill says:

    Its impossible to know for sure wheather Lacazette really took a dive or not. I don’t blame the ref for calling it a penalty because I am sure from the angle he saw the play it looked like a penalty. However if you have the luxury of watching the play in slow motion from several angles its clear there was not much contact and if the ref had the same advantage I doubt he would have called a penalty. If that same penalty had been called against us we would be endlessly screaming about diving. If we are going excuse Lacazette then we need to stop whining and complaining about the rest of the players we call divers.

  12. Bill says:

    My point about the refs has always been that its not realistic for us to pass judgement on the calls they make while we are sitting in front of a big screen TV in our easy chairs watching dozens of ultra slow motion muti angle replays. Those replays are no where close to the reality of what the ref has to work with.

  13. Bill says:

    I understand that it is inconvenient but if we want our ideas to have any credibility then we can’t have it both ways. It can’t be ok for us to do something but wrong for everyone else to do the same thing.

  14. thrillbo says:

    Bill, my takeaway is simple. If your man is dribbling at you in the box, dont touch him. No little pushy, no shoulder bash. Sure you can push and shoulder bash at midfield but in the box the rules are different (unfortunately). It sucks but it’s easy in my mind. If you are defending a man in the box, assume he will flop himself to the ground like a bitch at any sign of contact. Done, it sucks but that is the mental state we need to be in..

    As for your thoughts on defense… When we are passing around we get opened up so wide, spaces all over, you’ve got Lichty standing in RW, mustafi at RCB. There is literally a 40 yard gap between those two for the opposiing striker to run into. Recently against Spurs you could see our back 4 essentially holding hands most of the time, while Iwobi & Mhki tracked back almost forming a back 6. When your CBs are holding hands at the edge of 18yd box, there is no space for tippy tap. Spurs got thru one time but thankfully Eriksen shot it right at Leno.

    That solid base gives you the ultimate counter attack power. It’s literally what teams have been doing to shut down wengerball for years. I do enjoy when we employ this tactic. We have skill & pace to try to play wengerball. But i would argue it is “easier” to play solid D. You need work ethic, hustle, discipline. You dont need to be the fastest cat with the most step-overs. We thankfully have the skill & pace, and when combined with the defensive discipline you have a really killer formula.

    Lets hope it continues. Solid D, no mustafi, strikers gotta put them boots on though and give us a couple 3 or 4 goal games not the 1-0, 2-0 stuff!

  15. Bill says:


    My only point is we have to be reasonably consistent in our assessment of what players do. We can’t call Harry Kane or Mo Salah dirty rotten cheats and then not say the same thing about Lacazette when he does the same thing they are doing. Myself I think the exact same things have been happening for as long as there has been football. The difference is that before Ultra slow motion multi angled replays we had no idea what actually happened. The refs were probably just as bad in the past but we did not know it.

  16. Bill says:


    If Gnabry continues to produce he will continue to be a regular starter. The decision a few years ago was whether we should give the regular minutes to Gnabry or Iwobe. Gnabry didn’t want to go back on loan or back to the U21 reserves. Arsene almost always favored the technical creative player like Iwobe instead of the more direct player who was more of a goal threat likeGnabry. Its just my opinion but I think the goal threat is usually the player you want to keep and I think it was another in a long line of bad decisions by Arsene

  17. Bill says:


    Spurs is another game where they had more possession and our defense was much better. My theory has always been that our defenders lose concenttstion and tend to drift out of shape and lose focus when we have 70% of ball possession and the defenders are watching our midfielders making hundreds and hundreds of short passes. They try to drift into spaces further forward and hope to add something to the passing game and that pulls them out of position

  18. Bill says:

    In the 6 England vs Germany games in the round of 16 the composite score was 17-3.

  19. Dukey says:

    Barcelona, Bayern, Milan, Monaco, pale shadows of the top top teams they were when we were playing them. How lucky to be an English side in that cl thingy at this present time.

  20. Mattack says:

    Morning all

    The best teams need to be able to play counter attack and possession football. Quick counter if teams attack you and move the ball around to work overlaps and space if the opposition are sitting deep. Adapt as the match dictates. You can’t counter at speed if the oppo are sitting deep and not commiting men forward themselves. Concentration and focus are the key so we don’t get caught up the pitch if the opponent is set up to defend.

  21. Masterstroke says:

    I think the weather will make a significant contribution to tonights game. It’s storm force where I live in the West & headed East (if it hasn’t already arrived). This might be a slight advantage for us.

  22. consolsbob says:

    I hate all cheating and I do not applaud anybody who dives to get an advantage but there is a clear difference between Laca going down softly on one occasion, after being exemplary upto then in trying to stay on his feel after he has been fouled, and the likes of Kane who goes down every time anyone touches him.

    As for refs, it’s a tough job but they are well paid and needto be better than they are . Nor do I beleive in any organised conspiracies against us but do believe that unconcious bias towards certain teams and players is present. Don’t we all make decisions influenced by our own likes, dislikes and bias? Nothing strange about that thought.

  23. Bill says:

    Cbob @ 11:59

    You may be right about Harry Kane but its my suspicion the idea that they do it all the time and we have only done it once might be influenced by our predetermined bias and not be accurate. You mentioned that same phenomenon in the second paragraph of your comment.

    With regard to the refs I agree with your idea that they might be influenced by their own likes and dislikes. The thing I don’t understand is what possible reason could their be for a institutional love of all the other big teams especially ManU and even stranger is the idea that the refs favor Spurs but for some reason the refs have a fraternity wide subconscious dislike of Arsenal? That makes very little sense to me. Again its just my opinion but I suspect our own likes and dislikes influence the way we see the refs performances.

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