by .

We’ll kick the day off with the disappointing news that the 18-year-old that sent death threats to Ian Wright was let off with probation.

White privilege my friends. The judge rolled out the usual nuggets that come with this sort of thing. The mega racist was doing well at school. He had a law-abiding family. Still young, a life to live for. He’s shown remorse. He’s a ‘good boy.’ Sure… let’s sweep under the rug that this kid is a massive racist menacing people with death threats in his spare time.

These sort of let-offs are why the internet continues to be a shitty place for a lot of people. If this disgusting human was doing that to you in real life, he’d be in prison… but because it’s on a phone, it’s perceived as being softer. When you do things like that, you are setting out to emotionally terrorize someone, it should not be trivialised.

He walks away without a record. This is a massive miss by the judge and a total misunderstanding of the harm this sort of behaviour inflicts on people.

Onto a trivial form of injustice… the conversation continued today around Dave Luiz. I think most fans realise the decision was an abomination. Arsenal are planning to appeal the red card, but who knows if it’ll be overturned. The bigger question Premier League clubs is how long are they prepared to accept such unbelievable mediocrity in their officials? Why is Mike Riley in charge of PGMOL? He was a shit ref, apparently very dim. Why is there no accountability? Where is the plan to make things better?

Improving the standard of reffing in this country should be a major agenda point. The straw the broke the camel’s back has been VAR. Not because video is bad for the game, but because even with tools, more accuracy, and more eyes… the refs still get it wrong regularly. It’s a circus. Officials should blend into the background. It should be an absolute rarity that we’re talking about them… yet week after week, they are the focal point, and it is not fans being unfair.

Reed Hastings who runs Netflix believes the better the talent you have, the less rules you need. This should apply to refs. We keep solving their lack of good judgment with more and more rules and sub-rules. Football should be simpler. Refs should use their initiative. The game would be better for it.

A penalty shouldn’t be distilled down to ‘any contact.’ It makes the game boring. It allows shit sportsmanship to be palmed off as ‘clever.’ If penalties were given for clear foul play and strikers were rewarded for staying on their feet, it’d take so much controversy out of the game. If you throw yourself at a bootlace, no penalty. Contact should be meaningful. Refs should be able to decipher between a real penalty and one that was played for… but they can’t, can they? Pawson didn’t even want to look at that Luiz decision, his main aim was to make the game about himself and stick rigidly to his gut instinct. It was appalling to watch. The very base level of being at the top of your game as an official should be to challenge your own ego because the truth is the most important outcome… Pawson wasn’t interested, because he knew he didn’t have to, because there is never a day of reckoning for these folk. They don’t even have to speak to TV after.

The whole officiating things has been broken for years. We need better talent. Smarter innovation. Training courses. More accountability. It is staggering a league that generates so much money can be so casual about how average it all is.

Anyway, enough whining about refs.

Joe Willock has gone to Newcastle. It’s always amusing to read how highly players who have done absolutely nothing with their chances rate themselves. This was what he said.

‘He spoke about how he was going to use me, where he sees me in the team, he had a whole plan for me already. I was really shocked, it’s the first time I’ve had a manager who had a whole plan for me’

‘I was disappointed with the number of games I have played for Arsenal in the Premier League.’

Mate… come on. You’ve blown every chance you’ve been given! Don’t whine about opportunities.

The good news is that you get the other side of the story from ESR.

‘I had a knock on my hotel room door on the day of the game. And it was one of the coaches telling me the manager would like to speak to you downstairs. I was thinking, am I in trouble, have I done something wrong. I went down and he [Arteta] was sat down in a chair and he’s basically looking at me saying I’ve got good news for you, you’re starting tonight against Chelsea. He had the tactics board in front of him and showed me where I was playing and what I should do. He gave me so much confidence.’

The idea that Arteta doesn’t have a plan for players is off the mark. Joe Willock has to take his chances. He has to be more focused than he is, rumblings I hear aren’t that great about his focus at training. Still, he can always do a madness and blow-up where he is.

Right, before you go, I’ve dropped a podcast with Away Day Gooner, Lee Meadows… it’s a good one. We cover a lot of ground on Wolves, the squad, and what we’re looking for from the season. ENJOY!

Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Play


Jump to comment form ↓

  1. Goobergooner

    Tony that optical analysis is very interesting.

    I’m not sure how the ‘old’ GPS data tracking compares to this new analysis, but it’s definitely playing a big role in the modern game.

    It also makes it very interesting as a fan to look at those ‘new era’ stats which gives literally everyone 1000 different way to view the game.

    But when it comes down to it, it’s really just good to watch and hopefully see your side win in an entertaining game. That’s the hope of most fans every time their team runs into the pitch.

    In saying that there were a lot of people on here kicking up a stink because Ozil got dropped despite running more (and assisting less) 😂😂😂

  2. Guns of SF

    I felt that Ian Wright’s reply was really honest. It highlights the disparity with those in charge ( white society) and how those who are minorities are treated. The long lasting effects cannot be quantified and qualified by those who have not faced this adversity.

    Pedro, Brock Turner was at Stanford when he raped that girl. About 2 miles from where I live right now.

    But alas, Judge Persky was recalled by a strong grass roots movement.

    It does not mean this stuff will continue to happen. It will. The saddest part is that it tells society that you can get away with this if you are x y and z

    Forgiveness and how that was intrepreted by the white judges is shameful. That is for the victim and should not impact any sentencing or punishment. The crime remains regardless if the victim forgives or not.

    It is white privilege all around.

    Not sure who the judge is, but that person should be recalled or removed. Not sure how things like this work in UK. But cancel culture is strong and is the game now.

  3. Goobergooner

    Why is it so hard to have respect and mind your own business? What the fuck does it matter what any other human being does unless it affects you negatively and personally.
    Social media is the epitome of weak mindedness, where everyone tries to out do each other in the stupidest ways possible and where everyone gets offended in place of someone else.

    It’s about following celebrities rather than actual truths or facts. It’s about stubbornness and massive ego’s, and proving you’re better than the next person aka all your followers.

    People are fucking shit.

    There is still good people here on earth. But the larger the population gets, the more dumb cunts there are. Especially in this day and age following social cultures instead of learning from the absolute endless avenues where you can gain information, even compared to our parents.

    It’s easier to follow the herd than think for yourself and this new generation are lazy, gutless cunts hiding behind the internet.

    It makes me sick that it’s 2021 and people are still racist/feminist/homophobic etc etc.

    We need to get a fucking grip. Live your own life and fucking stop pretending you’re more important than anyone else. We are all trying to live and be happy at the end of the day.


    Sorry guys just hate people and the bs that is able to be gotten away with

  4. Goobergooner

    Also refs at most levels are just absolute nerds of the game who couldn’t make it past the div 6 Sunday division subs bench.

    They are a special breed, but the pgmol had outdone themselves with that Mike Riley leadership role.
    Their interpretation of the rules and use of var is appalling. I would prefer the dad reffing the under 6s at my local club to ref than most refs in English Premier league games.

    It didn’t even start with the ending of the invincibles run. It was going on well before that with just absolute shite officiating

  5. Goobergooner

    Football in Australia is more brute and athleticism rather than technique. We are slowly changing that trend since Kewell and viduka were in the epl. But that is why our refs are all shit here too. Couldn’t deal with thugs in the lower divisions

  6. Gonsterous

    The weekend game just became a 6 pointer. I stated before, we need to be beating teams above us, if we are to get top 6, villa sit one position above us with a game in hand, we need to make it difficult for them and get the three points.

    At the start of jan, we were 10th, at present we sit at 10th, not much improvement to talk about in terms of the table, which sadly doesn’t lie.

  7. Gonsterous

    I don’t normally watch the local league but the refs are mostly biased and fans are always waiting round the corner to jump on them. Refs though seem well protected within the league.

  8. Gonsterous

    I don’t normally watch the local league but the refs are mostly biased and fans are always waiting round the corner to jump on them. Refs though seem well protected and respected within the league and clearly have more power than the PL or European refs.

  9. Pierre

    Everybody jumping on the refs/pgmol are shit/biased least 5 years too late.

    I tried to educate Le Grove but unfortunately , in typical Le Grove fashion, they reverted to abuse and ridicule.

    Unfortunately they were blinded by their wenger obsession and they found it impossible to admit that biased refereeing against The Arsenal was happening for years

    Anyway, they have got there in the end, and now their eyes are fully open to it, I expect many more Arsenal blogs to highlight the glaring bias against The Arsenal now that Wenger has left the building.

    Shame the Wenger obsessives like Pedro weren’t honest enough to make it an issue back then..

  10. Aussie+Gooner

    That O’Brien kid is obviously unhinged to launch such a tirade of abuse over a FIFA game. The law still hasn’t come to terms with modern technology, there is always a lag. This was a criminal offence that required a criminal conviction – period! Why should players and ex-players have to put up with this type of racist shit with no consequences for the perpetrators? – sickens me to the core. I bet the little prick wouldn’t have the balls to say it to Wrighty’s face! The joys of the internet age!

  11. Pierre

    “Pierre why don’t you give a prediction about Saturday upcoming game?”

    That’s easy …

    I predict that if we concede the first goal , there will be a deluge of Arteta out comments accompanied by the usual personal abuse aimed at our manager.

    Personally, I think our game is coming together.

    At this present time , I would rather see progress in performances than sneaking a lucky win…

    For me, It’s all about getting the team ready for next season…
    I’d like to see Arteta take more risks with his selections.

    Balogun, Azeez, Eddie and Martinelli given more game time , let’s see if they can cut it..

    We know what players like willian , Lacazette and xhaka can( or can’t) do.
    The next 4 months is the perfect time to give the kids some game time as we can’t reach top 4 or get relegated..

  12. Samesong


    Fair enough.

    With these lads confidence is a must. So I’m hoping for a win regardless of the performance.
    Agreed would like to see Balogun and Azeez.

  13. Samesong

    I predict that if we concede the first goal , there will be a deluge of Arteta out comments accompanied by the usual personal abuse aimed at our manager.

    With Runnarson in goal though. We have to be realistic.

  14. Ken

    Here’s some educational information for Pierre; you’re a condescending stain on the comment section of Le Grove. That’s the nicest way I can put it. Consider yourself educated.

  15. Sid

    Odegaard should play false #9 flanked by Pepe and Saka with ESR as #10
    If Auba is our CF then replace one of Saka,Pepe with Odegaard and ESR as #10.

  16. Dream10

    Pierre – agree with your comment regarding the biased refereeing over the past seasons being ignored.

    Villa will look to target Runarsson tmrw. I expect Arteta to put out a more defensive XI. Either with Ceballos as the #10 or a 343. Won’t be surprised if Smith Rowe and Odegaard are both on the bench. Partey didn’t have the best game against Wolves. Does he leave him out of the XI tmrw to manage his fitness? Back to back games against Leeds and Benfica in eight days time. Not sure if Partey can handle three high intensity matches in succession

  17. shaun

    “The long lasting effects cannot be quantified and qualified by those who have not faced this adversity.” that’s exactly the problem bet the judge has been racially abused millions of times (not) or is it more likely he identifies more with young well brought up racist … silly boy but seems to be from a good home and a good family , it really is a joke but that I am afraid that is the society we live in ….plain and simple , just not fare. That said I don’t have a great feeling about the Villa game and after thinking about it I thought to myself what a mistake to put Artetea in charge , he is a novice and it shows the problem is he is not a better manger than Dean smith , david moyes , carlo Ancelotti and Brendan Rodgers or actually any of the guys currently above him he does however have better players than most of them . you kinda get the feeling that Arteta had his wondeful process about how to play the game and probably even kept from Pep as he secret to success but really wasn’t aware of how hard it would be to implement as he has never ever managed so what where seeing is a guy starting again being more humble and learning the basics of football management he is a novice and reeks of it so unfortunately I don’t think we are going to see anything remotely resembling success for three or four years if we stick with Arteta just an opinion but was looking at the other teams above us and how the other managers have there team’s performing just can’t help but think this was a really ill thought out appointment that looks like being really costly to Arsenal . People are saying wolves had nothing to do with the manger but we all know Luiz we have seen it many times and that mistake was always coming he should have put Gabriel back in straight away luiz cannot be thought of as your main defender and should be just a stand in when your team is ravaged by injury , the continual use of willian and I bet he will put pepe on the bench and play Auba this weekend well maybe not he might have seen the error in the way he has been handling pepe , there have just been so many issues with this guy I am hoping he doesn’t break Saka and ESR but what do you guys think , do you have faith in Arteta ?

  18. Valentin

    I was surprised by Pires comment that Pepe was not suitable for the EPL. Usually he is a lot more circumspect about criticising Arsenal players. Maybe now that Wenger is gone, he does not think that he has to tip toes around the bush.

    I think that there is a player in Pepe, but that at his age and price paid for him, he should not be that raw. The amount of coaching to make him starts to do basic runs and take correct easy decision is baffling. He looks like one of those former star child prodigy who never learned to play as part of a team. At U18, he must have been like Messi, able to dribble and beat entire teams on his own, but unlike Messi at senior level he can’t do it on his own.

  19. Valentin

    I have said before white AND class privilege is an issue. Brock Turner the convicted Stanford rapist is the epitome of it.
    Until old fashion judges and racists police officers are removed from their position of power, the same unjust events will take place.
    Social media is cancer as it allows such attitude to go unpunished. However the good side is that now once exposed those guys will find very difficult to get on with their life without public opprobrium.
    Brock Turner potential dating pool has been reduced to naive and uneducated women without friends and without access to internet.

  20. Graham62


    I’m not getting into a discussion on refs being biased but what I will agree with you on Pierre, is that the standard of the officials has deteriorated these past few years.

    VAR has highlighted this even further.

  21. Graham62

    Pepe should be loved not ridiculed.

    Over these last three games we have seen just how effective he can be when he’s given the green light to start games.

    He can help us progress.

    Let him breath.

  22. Valentin

    Since Ross Barkley has returns from his injury layoff, Aston Villa has conceded a lot more goals. I think that with Grealiash exiled on the wing and Barkley in the middle, sometimes they are too open. They lack a defensive minded player in the middle of the pitch. They seem to be susceptible to counter-attack.
    I wonder if Arteta will set us up to play a more aggressive pressing system against them, knowing that we have the players to score from swift movement. Retrieving the ball high up the pitch and not let Grealish take free runs at our defense is key.
    If that’s the case I can see a 3-1 win, if not and Grealish has a field day that could be embarrassing with Runarsson in goal (Matt Ryan is unlikely to be 100% fit).