by .

Every season there’s a game that you play where you are utterly f*cked by circumstances beyond your control. It hurts. It’s unfair. It stings. That game was last night against Wolves.

The game hinged on a very poor decision from a very poor referee.

David Luiz was adjudged to have fouled Willian José when his foot clipped the Brazilian’s knee. Craig Pawson, desperate to give the penalty, was backed up by VAR and he issued a red card, going against double jeopardy ruling. This is Mark Clattenburg on the incident.

David Luiz was incorrectly sent off after giving away a penalty at Wolves — it should have been a yellow card.

The Arsenal defender made accidental contact with Willian Jose as he ran clear on goal and that caused the forward to fall. No one can dispute it was a foul and the award of a penalty was the right decision.

However, a law exists that protects teams from conceding a penalty and losing a player to a red card if a genuine attempt to play the ball has been made.

It was a horrible decision and it completely ruined the progressive football we’d been playing for the previous 46 minutes.

The penalty was scored and shortly after kick-off in the second half, Moutinho let off a screamer that beat Bernd Leno from about 25 yards. Saka and Partey should have done more, but really, it’s quite harsh to apportion blame, the strike was lethal.

Things got worse for Arsenal, Bernd Leno, an absolute rock for us, misjudged a long ball and was sent off when he handled outside the area. Matters were made worse when we gave the ball boy keeper gloves and played out the game with an amateur between the sticks.

We lost. It was rough. The game shone an light on a harsh reality… Premier League referees are awful.

I don’t want to be a conspiracist, but simply put, if you cannot make good decisions when you have the luxury of technology to support you, there needs to be a change. Arsene Wenger had it right, he said that no one wants to have this conversation, but when it comes to the World Cup, FIFA don’t exactly line-up for our referees. How could they be good, the managing director for PGMOL is Mike Riley, a bad referee famed for incompetence is leading them.

PGMOL lacks accountability. The standard of officiating in the UK is terrible. This isn’t mere gripping, it’s fact. Technology is used poorly, bad refs keep ruining important games, and there seems to be no one competent in charge to drive improvement.

Back to Arsenal. David Luiz needs to take some accountability. If you know the refs are shit, don’t take risks. If he were a driver, he’d be the guy going 80mph on a country road, 3 inches behind the car in front… chances are, that sort of motoring is going to get punished at some point. It was, and it happens too often. Still, the simple fact is, history doesn’t matter here, we were totally fucked by a shit referee… again.

However, let’s put some things in perspective, especially for all the ghouls that showed up after the game to condemn the project.

Arsenal are going places under Arteta. We all had our doubts before Christmas, but the transformation on the pitch has been nothing short of electric. If you can’t see it, it’s because you don’t want to see it.

That first half was the best half of football we’ve see all season. The energy was outrageous, we looked powerful, we pressed with intent. The attacking football at times was sublime. We’ve gone from one power-play to a whole plethora of options when we move forward.

Thomas Partey made amends for his average performance at the weekend. He was world-class. He is the balance between attack and defence. His instincts for the game are unreal. He was everywhere. Can you believe that people said they wouldn’t take him on a free? Embarrassing carry-on.

Bukayo Saka, you absolute beauty. He’s so, so important to us. He dominated in attack. His finishing was off, but my oh my is it clear that we missed him for the United game.

Xhaka was very impressive. Cedric had another good game. Lacazette played that false 9 role like a demon.

Nicolas Pepe… OH MY… is it starting to look like I bet on the wrong opinion. He should live on the left. He was unplayable at times. He is working like his career depends on it. His body language was excellent, his desire to be involved felt different, and he showed up with a goal. He won the ball back with the press, he held of challenges, retained balance, and smashed home with a clinical finish. A thing of beauty.

We’re shaping up nicely. Every issue we’ve had with Arteta is being resolved one game at a time. We’re still defensively resolute, even with 9 men, just look at what happened to Southampton. We’re getting better and better in attack, some of the football was scintillating. We are starting to look elite even without our best starting 11. Our bench had Martinelli, Gabriel, Auba and Odegaard… true strength in depth. We’re also rattling the naysayers… which makes me happy. Too many Arsenal fans hate it when we’re doing well, a shame, but the reality of the modern-day superbore.

A bad day at the office, but plenty to be pleased about.

This season is done. That’s terrible. It wasn’t on the bingo card this year. So we have to move on, we have to look to next season, we have to start thinking about how we can best used the remaining months as a preseason to a normal year in 2022.

We were robbed. 3 points would have been ours had it not been for that pesky ref. Time to show we have the strength to come back from it at the weekend.

Onwards and upwards, ignore the melts, we’re progressing very nicely.

Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Play


Jump to comment form ↓

  1. rollen

    BS. Studio ref said red card and pen. Full blame on Luiz and Arteta.
    Told u all Pepe is class just wrong system for him.

    Tets Luiz out.
    Pepe Laca Saka in.

  2. Crabregas

    Southampton have requested referee Mike Dean does not officiate their upcoming fixtures and will appeal the red card shown to defender Jan Bednarek in their 9-0 loss to Manchester United.

    Saints also do not want Lee Mason, who was the fourth official at Old Trafford, to officiate their games.

    Mason was the referee in Saints’ recent controversial 1-0 loss to Aston Villa.

  3. Sid

    ‘Bergkamp, imagine the rage if we’d conceded 9 goals for the second time?’

    Is our benchmark midtable teams now? Standards really dropped

  4. AFC Forever


    You’re the one who runs the negativity police. You do it all the time.

    Every time someone wants to talk about something you don’t like you try to shut them down. Not your blog mate. You hate positivity, as you have said on many occasions, which is your right but a bit weird. However, sly digs, insults, trying to get others on your side is pretty childish stuff.

    Man up, stop trying to bully me and control the conversation and accept you have a very narrow-minded view. We can all act big behind our computers but it’s not a good way to behave mate.

  5. Northbanker

    Gutted by last night’s result when it all looked so good for so long. Also really pissed off by the offside rule which really is brought into question when Laca’s foot is the only thing offside and not relevant to the play. Really ridiculous and stopped a goal of beauty by Saka.

    Luiz might be unfortuante but he was still at fault and still overall a liability. Gabriel looked much better when he came on and should have been on from the start.

  6. Dissenter

    From the premier league website
    VAR can be used to overturn a subjective decision if a “clear and obvious error” has been identified.

    The standard of “clear and obvious” is part of the problem because a lot of the controversies are based on differences in interpretation or perception.

    That threshold of “clear and obvious” has to be reduced. The VAR official is often hamstrung by that high standard.

  7. AFC Forever


    Southampton showing some balls there. Be very interesting to see how PGMOL as it is only Southampton. They submitted on numerous occasions when Fergie did this.

  8. Upstate Gooner

    “Staggering views on here.”

    If by “staggering” you mean suggesting to replace a manager who’s completely out of his depth with a better one, then yes, it’s staggering alright.

  9. S23

    Still annoyed about last night ,then I see that muppet Dermot Gallagher pop up and back the decision to send off Luiz.
    What a can of worms,, now we can just run into players in the area and decry “he should have got out of my way, and made no attempt to play the ball, send him off”
    Pawson wasnt the referee that had to rescind ESR red card was it?
    Hopeful that it galvanises the boys and we smash Villa.

  10. AFC Forever


    “The standard of “clear and obvious” is part of the problem because a lot of the controversies are based on differences in interpretation or perception.That threshold of “clear and obvious” has to be reduced. The VAR official is often hamstrung by that high standard”

    This is true.

    The other problem is the fact that for whatever reason PGMOL have never been keen on overturning the off-field decision. I still think wherever possible the referee should use the pitchside monitor. I would still like it to be more like Rugby or Cricket so we could hear the conversation between the referee and whoever is behind VAR, along with pictures. It would also make it a bit more entertaining than the silence.

  11. Crabregas

    The thing with the Luiz penalty. If the ref didn’t give the penalty then VAR wouldn’t have overruled him as it wouldn’t have been a clear and obvious error. That alone makes is quite ridiculous.

    But, we all know Luiz isn’t our first choice centre half so let’s look at it that at least Gabriel will come and we will get back to our best CB partnership. Glass half full, right??

  12. Dissenter

    Every opinion that differs from your pie-in-sky viewpoint is negative to you
    I stated that the entire game was farcical and it’s the type you laugh about and move on. I stated that Arteta is BLAMELESS other than subbing in Auba.I stated that we did well to limit the score line but you only see what you wish to see,

    You’ve proceeded to start a refereeing conspiracy war around that game and won’t let any other opinion stand.
    I didn’t even direct the Luiz comment to you but you had to jump in and label is as “nonsense” because I don’t share your conspiracy beliefs.

    Let dissenting opinions breathe and stop auditioning for an Arsenal PR job here.

  13. AFC Forever

    “Pawson wasnt the referee that had to rescind ESR red card was it?”

    No, Chris Kavanagh from Manchester. That highlights just how incompetent they are because Emile was falling backwards. He couldn’t wait to get that red card out.

  14. TheBayingMob

    Comment from earlier :

    andy1886 @ 12:23:01

    For what it’s worth I think it was unconscious bias on the part of Riley. I believe that referees go into games with preconceptions that influence their decisions such as certain players dive (Pires), others simulate being fouled (Reyes), certain players are clumsy (usually defenders like Luiz), and others are hot-heads (Xhaka). I’m not saying I agree with those assumptions, just that is what is beind some of the decisions that have gone against us in the past.”

    Spot on. I think this unconscious bias also directly contributed to some of the horrendous injuries we suffered under Wenger, namely to Eduardo, Ramsey and to a lesser degree Diaby.

    The Eduardo injury is still a problem for me; he was just starting to find his rhythm in the league and truly believe we would have won the league had Stephen the gentle giant Taylor not left his foot hanging by courtesy of his fucking sock – but why did that happen? So I don’t believe the Pulis’ and Alladyce’s of the world specifically sent their players out to do that, but I am 100% sure they sent them out with 70s inspired instructions like ‘they don’t like it up them’ and ‘let them know you’re there’/’let them know they’re in a game’. With that comes this bias, I believe the referees are more lenient to underdog teams, I believe they let more of those challenges go based on a broad media perception – and at that time it was Arsenal were French and soft and so those challenges should be more allowed against us.

    It’s a dangerous line to tread, being physically committed is one thing and it’s fair but it’s too easy to go too far. When the ref’s allow it or show weakness early on, it causes injuries when limp c0cks like Shawcross get a bit angry with a better player = Ramsey out for the best part of a year of his career. The media have a part to plat, because Shawcross shed a tear leaving the field and he loves his mum they essentially let him off. Scandalous.

    It’s incompetent officiating.

    Here’s my opinion I thought a few years back, why not have a pool of elite referees from across Europe to officiate the top leagues on a rotating basis? A team that would do the match and VAR. So at any given time a PL game could have a German team with a Serie A game having a French team, etc.

    I’m not saying it would improve the officiating standards necessarily and immediately (we see terrible decisions at the World Cup which is largely officiated like this), but I think we would see an immediate reduction in bias and the sense that an underdog team should be allowed to kick the shit out of us to level the paying field.

  15. Nelson

    Now that this rule becomes a hot topic, some forwards could take advantage of it. If I have the ball inside the box and see a defender coming close, it could be more profitable to slowdown and initiate a contact with the defender instead of shooting.

  16. AFC Forever


    “You’ve proceeded to start a refereeing conspiracy war around that game and won’t let any other opinion stand”

    I didn’t start a refereeing conspiracy, it was something being discussed on ‘not your blog’ by Arsenal fans. You called it a conspiracy theory, threw your dummy out of your pram and start castigating people for discussing it. You probably would prefer to discuss Mourinho or that Spurs team that was possibly going to win the league. Seriously mate, the contributors on the blog determining the conversation, not you.

    I’m sure nobody on here wants to be bored by us digging at each other. So let’s call it quits and behave like sensible adults.

  17. G

    Keep seeing this ..out of his depth quote.. if fans can’t see the progress ( even Neville n Rio can) then Cary on wishing for another manager…But ur gona have a long wait

  18. Bergkamp63

    It’s not even a foul, let alone a penalty or worse still, a sending off.

    It’s done, we have to pick ourselves up and carry on.

  19. Captain Tierney


    Thats exactly what I was thinking about. Nobody talked about playing by the book back then. It was a clear non-malicious attempt to get the ball.

    Yesterday he wasn’t even attempting to do anything.

  20. AFC Forever


    “Here’s my opinion I thought a few years back, why not have a pool of elite referees from across Europe to officiate the top leagues on a rotating basis? A team that would do the match and VAR. So at any given time a PL game could have a German team with a Serie A game having a French team, etc”

    Brilliant idea. I have wanted foreign referees for a long time. I think it would not only improve refereeing standards but help us in International Competitions.

  21. Captain Tierney

    I think one of the reasons we are so bad in getting Cards and other teams escaping cards(especially against us) is because our appeals are too passive.
    For example yesterday Luiz didn’t even plead his innocence when the incident happened. He was sitting there like he was the guilty party and this helped the referee make up his mind. Most defenders in these situations would be giving the striker a good earful for diving like a friggin dolphin.

    When our players get fouled or are brought down we hardly see anyone appealing. Especially Lacazette. Even when he is brought down in the penalty area he rarely stays on the ground and appeals for a penalty. Having no other teammate appealing doesn’t help the cause either. Instead Lacazette chooses to get back up on his feet like a ping pong ball and chases after the ball. This makes ref a little bit unsure about the tackle.

    We need to appeal more actively.

  22. Captain Tierney

    On another note

    Fabrizio says

    Balogun loves Arsenal and wants to stay but he wants playing time. If Arteta shows him in the coming weeks that he will get minutes then he will put pen to paper.

  23. Valentin


    That scenario happen about 4~5 years ago in a game in Belgium I think.
    The injured had a broken leg and was screaming on the pitch which meant that most had stopped playing. I can’t remember exactly what happen, but a goal was scored and the injured player sent off.
    Both parties were so incensed that the referee had to be escorted and the game abandoned.
    The red was subsequently rescinded and the injured player received official apology with the referee sacked.

  24. TheBayingMob

    Captain Tierney @ 16:33:48

    We need to appeal more actively.”

    Ye I think there’s something in this, but it’s a fine line. United under Ferguson were incredibly agressive in their pursuit of the referee, so much so that it must have been a concious tactic. We should do more, but we are not United. Rooney could scream in referee’s faces and use all manner of offensive langauge with inpunity, we would see our players sent off the same.

    Henry19 @ 16:36:56

    Eduard had only scored 4 goals up until his injury.

    Granted (if that stat is true, can’t be arsed to look it up) but IMO he was just starting to find his feet in the league, I believe he would have gone onto be a good striker for us; just gut feeling from that time, no way to prove it one way or another.

  25. Pierre

    After the Eduard leg break Wenger said ” It goes along with the idea that to stop Arsenal you have to kick Arsenal .”‘

    How true..

  26. Crabregas

    Arteta brought Luiz back into the team because Mari got injured. At that point Gabriel was dealing with his COVID issues so could not be selected.

    He didn’t bring Luiz back in whilst other CB options were available

  27. Tom

    Pedro all that link shows is Luiz trailing directly behind the player and clumsily making contact with his legs. Extrapolating a ball challenge from that is totally dependent on ones point of view and not evidence.
    Ask yourself this, why would you deliberately chose to run directly behind an attacker when it’s easier to win the ball coming in from the side, unless maybe you think you don’t have the speed to keep up or close him down.

    The weird thing about the last incident though, Luiz wasn’t outpaced but still chose to run behind and across Jose to initiate contact.

    He’s just a bad one v one defender.

  28. zacharse

    in baseball there is a thing that we call the ‘make up call’ when the umpire screws up a call, he’ll deliberately fix the next call to make up for it
    what we saw yesterday was a ridiculous make up call for luiz ending wolves’ season last time we played (jimenez)
    that’s the best i can rationalize what happened.
    as for the rest of you, get a fucking job

  29. Rich

    We’re appealing the Luiz red card

    Which must mean we have a valid claim

    Unless we’re deliberately attempting to get Luiz an additional game ban, so he’s suspended for Leeds as well…..

  30. Pierre

    “Ask yourself this, why would you deliberately chose to run directly behind an attacker when it’s easier to win the ball coming in from the side, unless maybe you think you don’t have the speed to keep up or close him down.”

    Simple really…
    Luiz knew he was beaten and was heading for goal line as the striker may have tried to go around the keeper…

  31. Tom

    The whole idea of not appealing a decision for fear of additional penalty is a bit weird to me.
    Does the panel tasked with reviewing those decisions consist of some supremely qualified beings who’s time is so valuable as to not be wasted with such banalities like possibly overturning decisions 50% of former refs themselves disagree with?

  32. Jamie

    Extra suspension is only added on to an unsuccessful red card appeal if the appeal was made frivolously and with no chance of being overturned.

    Even if Luiz’ red card is upheld, it is incredibly unlikely he’ll get an extra match added to his ban.

  33. Uwot?

    Southampton requesting our “ old friend Deano” no longer officiates any of their fixtures( along with Mason,I understand) Very Fergie like.Hav3 Arsenal ever attempted this or we do we just take on the chin,or bend over with the usual stiff upper lip & the pompous we’re Arsenal ,we’re better than this?Because it’s about time the PGMOL cartel have a bit of pressure sacked on them.Because in relation to us Riley & his cartel( There’s at least six in this group) clearly have it in for Arsenal.why else does Atkinson get more Arsenal games than anyone else?

  34. Pierre

    ” Willian Jose is new to the Prem and hasn’t scored a goal for wolves yet.
    Let him try and beat the keeper if he can.”

    You asked the question ““Ask yourself this, why would you deliberately chose to run directly behind an attacker”

    And i gave you the reason, Luiz did what any defender would do in that situation and headed for the goal line, unfortunately the striker kicked luiz’s knee.

    Luiz had no interest in the striker , his only intention was to protect the goal line.

  35. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Var has become as inconsistent as referees are.
    Time to allow the managers/ players to call when it should be used.

    It’s making the refs to powerful when really they should go unseen.

    Each team had 4 call a game on issues.

  36. R.S.P.C.Arsenal

    Arsenal should but won’t request a ref rodent officiate any of their games… Just not our way.

    But it should be.

  37. Northbanker

    Even Martin Keown thought Luiz was a red card. We won’t get anywhere as as some have said on here, The angle of his defence meant a foul was the only likely outcome

    Luiz is and always will be a liability. We need to say good bye as quickly as possible. Gabriel came on and immediately looked 3 x more effective, despite still being a bit rusty. We should have plated him from the start as I’ve stated before. He is the future, Luiz is the past.

  38. I hate Green Bay

    I wish Pedro was able to publish age, domestic situation and estimated IQ of All the posters.

    I can point out the ones that would record:
    Living with parents

  39. AFC Forever

    I think that this terrible decision will galvanise the team.

    Sometimes when you feel you have been done over by injustice, it makes you stronger. Our team has a good spirit, they appear to be close and this could make them even more together as a group and determined.

    They know they played well in that first half and probably should have been three goals to the good, so it won’t affect confidence. Partey looked fitter, Xhaka was continuing to impress, even doing drag backs, Saka showed us how much he has improved under Arteta and Pepe looked like a new player. The finish for that goal, on his so-called weaker foot, was of the highest quality and he showed great strength and determination to create the chance.

    We have to move on now and continue our improving form.

  40. Vintage Gun

    What we need to do now is regroup, get Mat Ryan fit ( or play Okonkwo) and cave in Villa’s head on the weekend.

    A repeat performance of our 1st half should do the trick

  41. AFC Forever


    PGMOL don’t like going against their own ‘men’, they are pretty much a closed shop. I think they will downgrade it to a 1 match ban, as a compromise. They know this looks bad on them. The fact Southampton are pissed off too and now want to have two referees pulled from their games, puts them under real pressure.

  42. Terraloon


    He is not quoting the rules as written.

    Here’s the rule


    Where a player denies the opposing team a goal or an obvious goal-scoring opportunity by a handball offence the player is sent off wherever the offence occurs.

    Where a player commits an offence against an opponent within their own penalty area which denies an opponent an obvious goal-scoring opportunity and the referee awards a penalty kick, the offending player is cautioned if the offence was an attempt to play the ball; in all other circumstances (e.g. holding, pulling, pushing, no possibility to play the ball etc.) the offending player must be sent off.

  43. Vintage Gun


    Fair point but if they uphold luiz’s red then it opens up a large rotten can of worms due to the fact that Luiz was two feet behind Jose and it was Jose’s studs that made contact with Luiz’s knee. Moving forwards all the attackers have to do now is swing their leg backwards to create contact and thus a red card t the opponent.

    The pen that Southampton conceded was blatant corruption. Martial anticipated contact not realising that Bareback .had pulled out and went down under no challenge.

    For the ref (Mike Dean) to view that on VAR and still give the Pen and red card is cheating to put it nicely

  44. AFC Forever


    Mike Dean is just incompetent. His ego is the problem, he has to be the centre of attention. Blatant dive by Martial, he was on his way down before the start called challenge. It comes down to incompetence and lack of accountability

  45. Marc


    “Mike Dean is just incompetent. ”

    I think that’s an insult to people who are incompetent – Mike Dean doesn’t get close to being that good.

  46. MGooner

    The season Ramsey had his leg break, we were on course to win the league …. but after his leg break every ref decision went against us.

    I remember during those days we would says refs get some decisions right and some wrong and during the course of the season they even out. I think there were some blog posts on these too 😉

    So lets not drag the ref into this.

    We lost because we were pedestrian. There was no urgency at all in our play. The players did not believe that we could go on and win that game.

  47. Henry19

    “The season Ramsey had his leg break, we were on course to win the league …. but after his leg break every ref decision went against us.”

    That’s the season Arsenal lost 6-3, 5-1 and 6-0

  48. Hitman

    Wasn’t even a foul let alone a penalty.
    The forward makes contact with Luiz. Not the other way around. Contact mimimal, not enough to go down. Went down in installments.
    Referee gives the penalty based on brain reflex not what actually happened.

  49. Words on a Blog

    For all those who claim that people complaining about refereeing are subscribing to a “conspiracy theory”, please be aware: there does not have to be a conspiracy on the part of referees.

    There just has to UNEQUAL TREATMENT. This may or may not reflect a conspiacy.

    Just like a black guy is more likely to be stopped and searched (or in the US, shot a by the police) than a white guy, an Arsenal player is more likely to get carded, or to have a blatant foul against him disregarded) than, say a Man U player.

    It’s called “systemic prejudice”, or in the EPL case: bias.

  50. Vintage Gun

    “I have watched United closely this season and analysed each of their 11 penalty awards.

    There are as many as five where I believe contact was invited or even initiated by the United player.

    Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Paul Pogba and Mason Greenwood are the players involved.”

    Mark Clattenberg Jan 13th

  51. I hate Green Bay

    So all a player has to do is run with the ball in the penalty area, slow down, defenders crash into him and it’s a penalty and red card???

  52. Thorough

    ‘occurs.Where a player commits an offence against an opponent within their own penalty area which denies an opponent an obvious goal-scoring opportunity and the referee awards a penalty kick, the offending player is cautioned if the offence was an attempt to play the ball; in all other circumstances (e.g. holding, pulling, pushing, no possibility to play the ball etc.) the offending player must be sent off.’

    This could as well have read’ If a player is close to the ball and was contesting it then he’ll be given a yellow aside the penalty against him’

    Meaning if that was a 50 50 challenge no way in hell would Luiz have been sent of.

    From the above, and what Dermot Gallagher said, whom I respect a lot btw, it’s obvious it was a penalty and a send off.

    And BTW we’ve been discussing this for 24 hours non-stop and we’re just observers, aren’t the players supposed to be aware of these rules?

    And BTW the real decisions we should have more problem with included the infringement on Saka in their box (which according to the rubbish rule above should have been a penalty and a yellow card) and the Saka’s goal that was dissalowed.

    But we’re too nice to contest the decisions. We just swallow everything the referee sends our way. Where were our players surrounding the ref when the Wolves player was signaling a card in his direction?

    I’ll hazard a guess, maybe the non-negotiable and supposed class is making us subservient.

  53. AFC Forever

    Words on a blog

    ‘Conspiracy theorist’ is a phrase used to discredit an opinion. As old as the hills that insult. My own view is based on what I see with my own eyes. Our players appear to get less leeway and I think the stats regarding the correlation between fouls to bookings backs that up. There is definitely a mixture of incompetence & bias.

    Can you remember the Sokratis goal against Palace? VAR disallowed it citing a non existent foul by Chambers. Replays showed Chambers being held by 3 players, yet it’s supposed to be clear & obvious. They apologised but too late.

  54. Vintage Gun

    “Klopp wasn’t doing this last season when Liverpool were winning every week.

    “He does not like losing, he never has. He gets prickly. But he is wrong to suggest there is an aura around United that sees them given favourable decisions. There used to be when Fergie was there, but that has eased massively since he left.”

    Clattenberg admitting that refs gave Man U favourable decisions due to the “aura” of Fergie


  55. andy1886

    Vintage, you can’t run without your leg moving backwards, try it. As long as the movement is a natural one if a player impedes that motion it’s a foul. Seriously, I find it hard to believe that anyone who has played the game hasn’t seen exactly the same thing happen. It may not be deliberate but it is careless and that’s enough for it to be given.

  56. andy1886

    “Clattenberg admitting that refs gave Man U favourable decisions due to the “aura” of FergieCorruption???”

    Corruption is an agreement for gain outside the law. The above is just refs being chicken shit scared about upsetting Fergie.

  57. Vintage Gun


    He was about to shoot and pulled his leg back to shoot. Luiz didn’t clip Jose, Jose’s back lift kicked Luiz.who was two feet behind him

    Thats why i expect the appeal to be sucsessful

  58. Vintage Gun

    “Corruption is an agreement for gain outside the law. The above is just refs being chicken shit scared about upsetting Fergie”

    If you give a decision KNOWING it’s the wrong one then your corrupt to me

  59. AFC Forever

    “The above is just refs being chicken shit scared about upsetting Fergie.”

    Graham Polls book covered this. He said the Man Utd staff would start the intimidation as soon as they arrived Who did what, who to look out for etc. Then the players would all be at them during the game. He said it was really difficult & intimidating, no other team did that. I think Riley was so ‘chicken shit” he bottled that 50th game. He couldn’t have got more wrong.

    Poll said referees knew that if they upset Fergie there was a risk he would have them removed from future games. As MUFC then played all the big games, not good for a referees career. Who knows.

  60. IQ

    Now that I’ve had time to cool off I can’t blame Luiz at all and I’m proud the team held up even when they went down to nine.

    People are talking about the rules but its not the rules at fault here. If a player has the ball and kicks a defender he doesn’t get a penalty and get the player sent off. That’s what happened here and it was clear as daylight.

    Any other job people so incompetent are shown the door. How can these guys still be in a job??

  61. AFC Forever


    It’s just to shut down debate, ignore it, classic tactic.

    Anyway, he’s called me a lot worse than that!! Someone called me a pom pom waving fanboy, which was quite funny. What are we blokes like, too much testosterone to be debate sensibly, we all say some daft things

  62. Valentin


    That’s not entirely correct.
    If a referee knows that given advantage to a team will result in PGMOL providing him with a better career. Better career means better money and more status, then it is conspiracy and corruption. There is no need to have an agreement for that specific game.

    In the US, the RICO act allows people to be convicted of crime on charge of conspiracy to commit crime even they are not aware of the precise crime as long as they was an understood agreement to benefit.
    Taken from a judgement by the US Supreme Court.

    The government or a private civil RICO plaintiff need not establish that each conspirator explicitly agreed with every other conspirator to commit the substantive offense; it is only required that the defendant know the general nature of the conspiracy and the conspiracy extends beyond his individual role.

    During the Calciopo trial, that’s what was demonstrated. Some referees were paid, but some were not. They just knew what to do. Many were never explicitly told to give penalties to Juventus in exchange for money. They just knew that given penalties to Juventus would result in better career prospect. There was even an example of one of the usual corruptors complaining during a wired conversation about an unpaid but too eager referee who had given a too visibly favourable treatment. They were afraid that his eagerness were going to throw suspicion!

  63. Samesong

    Who told the players to be so high up the pitch before half time?

    Was it Luiz?

    Did it come from the touchline?

    Is it something we always do? David Luiz was knackered before he went off.

    That telegraph piece was good.

  64. andy1886

    VG, I hear what you say, unfortunately I think that the thought process will be that movement of the leg as part of striking the ball is a legitimate thing to do – if a player were to inhibit that action from the side or the front without contacting the ball first it would be a foul so same thing if it happens when a player is behind the guy in possession. If neither player was in possession then you could say it’s a ‘coming together’ but if a player has the ball he has every right to perform that shooting motion without being impeded.

  65. andy1886

    Interesting stuff Val. I guess you’d have to prove that there was reasonable expectation that a benefit might be gained by acting in a certain way. As you point out there was evidence in that case that people understood they would gain something. In the case of United it seems more like it was one of those things that was ‘understood’ but there was no overt acknowledgement of that or any evidence that anyone within the game even indicated that it was the case. A bit like an old wives tale that people believe but no one is actually promoting it.

  66. Dissenter

    You may want to dial back these Q stuff that’s pervading your blog now.
    You know very well what can happen when a mob is roused to action over non existent plots.

    24 hours after the game and the embers of anger still glow.

  67. AFC Forever

    “Pedro You may want to dial back these Q stuff that’s pervading your blog now.. You know very well what can happen when a mob is roused to action over non existent plots.”

    Lol, missed this. Grow up you big girl and stop being such a snowflake. Are you Bamford, that’s what he used to do.go crying when he didn’t get his own way?. Jesus mate, that’s poor really poor.

  68. Dissenter

    Mr Serge
    There’s always luck with transfers imo.
    I think they just bought him for his midfield work, they couldn’t have seen this goal scoring part of him.
    He finishes better than a lot strikers.

  69. Dissenter

    Westham are currently the best London club on the league table.
    Is this just a fluke run or does it portend something else? I think they go back to fighting to stay up next season.

    They looked good even when we beat them earlier in the season

  70. Dissenter

    We got got zero transfer fee for Fabianski
    He came to us as an 18 year old and we gave him a -platform to polish his game. He’s been a premier league perennial for about a dozen years now..

  71. WengerEagle


    Not that they weren’t/aren’t a fantastic side but last season, literally everything broke their way in terms of decisions and popping up with winners.

    Their GD was remarkably low despite putting in nearly one hundred points, they were winning nearly every single game by a single goal.

    Opposite of Sheffield United this season. They aren’t nearly as bad a side as Derby County of 08′ were and have proven that in recent weeks. Were losing most of their games by a single goal and were shafted by VAR a few times, just like Liverpool were the benefactors of VAR on a few occasions last season.

  72. WengerEagle

    Origi is shite for the most part.

    Made his name off of those CL SF and Final goals. He’s not the only bang average player to score decisive goals, look at Eder for Portugal.