CESC/DIABY snapped in NEW HOME/AWAY SHIRTS! Illegal Ref rules ruining Arsenal

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Here with the exclusives, as always, Le Grove can reveal the first official shots of the news kits.

Don’t ask how I got them, but it turns out the American kit makers aren’t too launch bothered about launching through unofficial channels. Why give Arsenal.com the exclusive when you can give it to a blog who’ll give you a fraction of the exposure!

As you can see, Arsenal are back to white sleeves… mainly because we normally have white sleeves. We’re sticking with the Arsenal logo and the sponsor… because we have to. We’re also going to go with a 1971 style shirt to celebrate our 125th year anniversary because I can’t find a colour picture of an older shirt to photoshop.

The away kit runs along similar lines to last years with the addition of some snazzy lightning bolts, a classy spread collar with double stitched buttons for playing those pesky shirt tugging Mancs.

Enjoy the pics… keep em’ crossed that Eboue isn’t too peeved at me for breaching his confidence!

Oops, did I just give away my source?

Anyone caught palming this off as their own exclusive will be sued.

No use trying to hide your face Diaby... busted!

Onto the serious stuff…

After reading the bile spouted by one of the most ridiculous, self promoting, calamitous referee of the last twenty years, plus the revelations long time Grover Chary uncovered over at ArsenalArsenal,  I started wondering… why do referees hate us?

Well, an obvious, yet controversial conclusion would be to point out the fact that all referees are English. Yep, it’s in the rules. We don’t allow foreigners to ref our games.

So, the simple solution for Arsenal getting back in the refs good books would be to remove our foreign players and get some good old British stalwarts in. Alternatively, we could send our players on a  ‘How to win friends and influence people’ course in the hope they can socialise their way into refs phonebooks. You know, like the United and Chelsea players have done.

Or, we could take a step back and review an earlier line in this post.

‘Yep, it’s in the rules. We don’t allow foreigners to ref our games.’

Yes, you read that correctly, your eyes were not deceiving you.


Sorry Mr Rossetti, despite being the best at what you do in the world, despite Italy being a member state of the European Union, you can’t referee today’s game, because you son, are a Johnny Foreigner.

Now excuse me for being ignorant but I thought one of the main benefits of being part of the EU was the freedom to work where you like within the member states?

I thought I’d check the EU website and this is what it says,

‘Firstly, the EU Treaty has always provided for some basic freedoms, such as freedom to work and travel around the EU’

So if that was true, then there is no way I’d find any press releases on the Official Referees website (PGMOL) that contradict EU Law?


“There are no discussions regarding the use of foreign officials in the English game and the Professional Game Match Officials Ltd (PGMOL) has no plans to do so.”

Cast your minds back to last year when UEFA were told by the EU they can’t discriminate on grounds of nationality with players.

“The parliament calls on the member states and sports associations not to introduce new rules that create direct discrimination based on nationality, such as FIFA’s 6+5.”

If the EU won’t allow clubs to discriminate based on nationality, why do they allow the referees association? That stinks of hypocrisy to me.

You’ve got ex-referees talking in the national press about Arsenal’s lack of British players plus the obvious lack of decisions we get in games. Every time Arsene Wenger makes a comment about a bad refereeing decision, there is an article from Graham Poll slamming him. Where are the Graham Poll articles hammering Steven Gerrard after he dives? Where are Graham Poll’s two pennies when Alex Ferguson takes a pop at refereeing fraternity EVERY WEEK!

Seems Mr Poll (and Jeff Winter) is only interested in slating Arsenal players or foreigners… that has to filter down to the referees still in the game. I feel we’re getting a sneaky peak into the mindset/culture amongst British refs when it comes to foreign teams/players/managers.

Arsene Wenger alluded to the close relationship refs seem to have with the Brit pack a few months ago after watching Alan Wiley refer to Rooney as ‘Wazza’.

‘‘I believe for them [referees] to do their job to do their job in an objective way they have to keep their distance as much as possible. From the players, from the English national players and from the managers.’

That statement couldn’t be truer and it couldn’t be any more evident.

Teams with a British core have an unfair advantage over teams that choose to look abroad in their quest for Premiership dominance. This is unfair and by the looks of it, against the law.

How long before someone picks up on this and puts an end to this injustice?

* The Times nicked our Sorenson story a few weeks back, so hopefully, not too long!

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We are on our way and a gap is appearing, but what about Eboue?

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So we beat Sunderland, great stuff, we are back in the race, we have the easier run in, but we still have to put the points on the board, so what do we make of Eboue?

So the boss does his trademark smirk and says we were booing him a year ago and now we love him.

Okay, Eboue has indeed been a revelation at right back this last 2 games, but we always said he was a good right back, so what’s changed then? What is different since the Wigan game when he got booed off the pitch?

Well first of all we always said his best position was right back, not right wing, nothing’s changed there, when he got booed off, he was not playing right back, he was playing left wing and giving the ball away, I was at that game and the rumblings were beginning long before he got taken off, the rumblings were for Wenger and his crazy selection that day, Wenger subbed the sub and in my opinion cynically put Eboue there in the firing line. Yes he was woeful, but in my opinion poor old Eboue was just made the scapegoat.

Go back to my post the day after and read it! If you don’t believe me that is.

Now if Eboue plays that well in training and then plays rubbish on match days then he needs hitting hard with a cricket bat. That’s why they are paid so much, to play like he did on Saturday. Me, I would play him all the time at right back because this last two games, he has made the difference, credit where credit’s due, keep it up Eboue.

If I had to ask him a big favour though, it would be to stop the rolling around in pain rubbish, it’s the one thing that does stop him being as popular with us as he is with his team mates, stay on your feet mate, it’s not that hard.

I had a problem with a steward again, just when we said they were getting Ok, one comes out and treats me like a football hooligan, these guys need to remember who pays their wages, I let him know that, and hope he accepted it, he did look a tad shocked. Remember the days when they were just there to show you to your seat???

We’re good mates with 3 or 4 of them at Highbury, we even used to get them a beer and we knew each other by name.

Half time entertainment at the Grove

I read a letter that Paul, a Grover got from Arsenal regarding Club level next season, from next year we’ll all get a free programme, if we renew before the 8th of March, we’ll get a brass plate on out seats with our name on it, but hurry, there’s a waiting list, why do Arsenal continue to lie? If we had a waiting list, we wouldn’t be offered all these trinkets, Ivan, save your money, buy a few players that will see us competing on 4 fronts, that will see me renew, not a programme and a name plate. Bah, piffle!

A lot to think about before we play Stoke, but let’s enjoy the Sunderland win first, well played Eboue, keep it up and you could end up becoming a legend!

Have a great day Grovers, it will be a slow week I reckon!

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Messi lands at the Emirates / Arsenal beat the Crap Cats. Ratings and Review

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I don’t know whether it was the abundance of beer, or just the reality. I’m hoping I’ll get some clarity. But I’m sure I just witnessed the greatest right back performance of the season and it came from a player I dislike with full blooded passion.

Yesterday was all about Emmanuel Eboue. He showed the skill he probably demonstrates in training every day and put on a master class in attacking full backery. His mazy runs and tireless work rate were a wonder for the home crowd to watch. If he could do that every week, not only would he start as our right back, he’d be the best one in the country!

Sunderland lacked everything a Steve Bruce side normally has. They played like a team who believed in their own hype after a nice 10 game streak at the start of the year. A real lack of effort on their part combined with a sparky and resilient performance from Arsenal… well, the result was only going one way this afternoon.

The first goal came when Eboue burst into the box with a penetrative run, he jinked in and out turning three Sunderland defenders inside out, he shot across goal allowing Nik to nip in at the back post to tap into the empty net.

Nik Bendtner had a great chance to prove his value to the team today and I’m afraid he didn’t give us his best performance. His control isn’t crisp, the ball usually ends up off the ground disrupting his ability to do anything thing with pace. His lack of instinct for the goal is also worrying. We can talk about work rate till we’re blue in the face but banging them away has to come into the picture at some point. 2 occasions today sparked cause for concern. The first was when Nasri crossed into the box, Ferdinand mistimed the header, Nik didn’t even bother to anticipate this and missed out on a simple header. The second was when he was cut in with a pass from out on the left, he controlled the ball with his left foot instead of his right, then duffed his chance onto the bar. Chances like that should be creeping in and in big games, you’re only going to get one… worrying from the Dane.

There were the usual lapses in concentration at the back. Almunia had to make a tidy save when Bent got through one on one, then Kenwyne Jones beat the offside trap, surged into the box and luckily hooked his shot wide. Bruce said his star striker was worth £30mill. Seriously, it’s that type of talk that gets Premiership clubs into trouble!

The second half was all Arsenal in the main. Sunderland did scare the Arsenal back 4 a few times but Almunia was out to impress today and he wasn’t going to allow the ball the chance to get cosy with his net today!

Arsenal huffed and puffed, but Craig Gordon was in an equally defiant mood and pulled out some classy saves to keep his players team in it. He looks very similar to Ian Curtis of Joy Division… errily so!

Our reward came late in the half, Cesc was bundled over in the box, the ref pointed to the spot! Up stepped Cesc to bury a pin point penalty into the bottom right corner. He ran over to the faithful and did some impressive air punching.

The ref blew up and Arsenal had taken an important 3 points. 2 points behind United, 6 behind Chelsea… and we’re really back in the mixing pot again!


Almunia: A top performance from our keeper. It seems silly that I have to praise our keeper for making 3 or 4 good saves in a game, but I will, because normally one sneaks in. 7

Clichy: I still don’t think he’s playing very well. He’s developed Howler Syndrome and I heard he caught it after sharing a towel with Senderos. I hope he can shake it off because if he doesn’t, Gibbs will surely step in next season. 6

Vermaelen: Had a powerful day at the office. He was quicker to every ball than the Sunderland pair were and he led the back line with much aggression. 8

Silvestre: He didn’t have a Sol Campbell type performance, but he did ok. He dropped a clanger when he set a poor offside trap that Jones took advantage of… but that is the Frenchman for you. 6

Eboue: If he could cut out the theatrics, I’d really like him as a player. Today he let his football do the talking with a superbly constructive afternoon of free flowing attacking full back play. The Sunderland boys didn’t know how to handle him because he was literally unplayable. Superb assist, deserved a goal. 9

Cesc: Not his best game of the season. His passing was sloppy at times and he got caught in possession on occasions. Still… he won a penalty and buried it. 7

Song: I thought he had a very solid game today, breaking up play where he could, distributing with efficiency. 7.5

Aaron Ramsey: Showed straight away why he should always get the nod over Denilson. He made surging runs, crunching tackles and had a few shots. He’s what you call real young talent. Shame he’s Welsh… 7.5

Nasri: I felt we got more for our money today. He covered his full back today, he put himself about and he made some telling attacking contributions. I just wish he’d do it more consistently. 8

Bendtner: He scored the tap in for the goal, which has to be credited. Bar that, it was a pretty cart horse like game for the Danish hitman. He needs to start scoring goals more regularly and he needs to work in his touch and alround play. He also needs to give up his penchant for hitting the wing… he’s not Thierry. His performances seem to have dropped from last season, he’s only got a few games left to prove us wrong. 6

Theo: £60k a week to watch him run up blind alleys, cross to Song’s imaginary friend and generally do very little. Today he did look like scoring twice, something I haven’t seen him threaten to do for a while. However, for the hype surrounding him, he’s really not delivering. If he can fuse that pace with any sort of productivity, we’ll have a top player on our hands… at the moment, it doesn’t feel like we’re anywhere near that. 6

So all in all, an expected win and a solid performance. Roll on Stoke City!

P.S. If you have any spares to the Burnley game coming up, I have plenty of Grovers looking! Drop me an e-mail! Oh, and I’ve noticed it getting a little narkey in the comments section, lets keep it friendly… we’re all gooners and a multitude of opinion helps the blog go round.