Saturday, 29 December 2012

Villas-Boas hinted at corruption in Premier League

The Ferguson influence story is going to run and run, and I thought it was a good time to delve back into the archives to examine some words of the Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas from earlier this year:

"'It would be brilliant to be able to talk about this, but I paid a very high fine last season and I don't want to do it again.....In this country, it is impossible to respond to it"

It is extremely worrying that the referee selection process for Premier League games is so biased and completely hidden from public view.  Chris Foy has an interesting record of bad decisions against Villas-Boas, and his appointment for Tottenham's trip to Old Trafford appeared to be yet another interesting coincidence.  Strangely these interesting coincidences seem to be so regular that it makes it very hard to ignore the way referees are influenced by Ferguson's intimidation, as Jeff Winter, an ex-PL referee, points out:

"I'm not a psychologist so I don't know how that has affected referees' performances in the past or what impact it will have in the future when it comes to debatable decisions. But it is fair to say that it can't be a healthy situation when he gives referees so much stick and human nature is bound to be a factor so his criticism could rebound on him."

One must remember that after Tottenham won at Old Trafford Chris Foy was bizarrely relegated to League 2 for his next game, the FA told us this was not a punishment, but it simply couldn't be anything else.  Of note Foy, after presiding over a United defeat at the Emirates, did not referee a Manchester United game again for another year.  Another random coincidence?

Events speak for themselves and the grim picture of bias in Premier League refereeing is becoming clearer by the week.  The facts are clear.  The process of referee selection is biased and hidden from public view.  The FA selectively enforce the rules in a manner that allows certain clubs to remain immune from prosecution while others are routinely silenced for openly speaking the truth.  The system is bent, and this is sad for football in this country.

Friday, 28 December 2012

Pardew spot on as Ferguson shows his nasty colours

The fallout from the Manchester United - Newcastle game continues.  Alan Pardew said some very reasonable things in very reasonable fashion including:

"I think Mike Dean might feel slightly disappointed he didn't do something about it, I think the pressure that was on him was tough for a referee to take......Sometimes when you reflect on a game you think you might have acted differently. You do that as a manager and I think he might have done that as a referee......But it's an emotional game and apparently they had a cordial discussion. I've had a few of those myself and sometimes I've ended up in the stands as a result of that cordial discussion.......I think there were a lot of things the FA could look at. But it seems they are looking at none."
Pardew's words are understated and entirely reasonable given what was obvious to anyone that saw the appalling aggression with Ferguson showed towards the match officials.  Unsurprisingly 'Sir' Alex has responded in typically aggressive fashion.  As always Ferguson took zero responsibility for intimidating the officials and tried to attack Pardew.  It was fascinating that Ferguson hints at 'help he gave' to Pardew, it appears Ferguson will use his power to make Pardew's life difficult in football circles from now on, standing up to Ferguson's bullying has severe consequences it appears.
Interestingly Arsene Wenger has made some very cryptic comments which hint at what many of us have known for a while, it has become clear that the rules are selectively enforced, that Manchester United can do what they want and that the system is corrupt.  The FA are either scared or corrupt, neither being good for the future of football, with their 'respect' campaign being an utter shambles, discipline will always be non-existent if rules are not consistently enforced.
'Sir' Alex Ferguson is a cowardly bully who cannot bear to look at his own ugly behaviour in the mirror.  A key part of his success has been down to his, his players' and his clubs' systematic manipulation of referees and officials.  The intimidation is clear, it is unpunished and it influences results.  The referee selection process is also dodgy, hidden from public view and arguably subject to huge bias.  The PGMOL, Mike Riley and the Premier League seem to have a lot to hide.
In Alex Ferguson's eyes it is all someone else's fault, the disgusting abuse and intimidation that he and his players have been guilty of over the years is just someone else's problem, it is just because of his club's profile, is he so stupid that he expects us to buy this?  Does he really think he is harshly treated by the media?  What utter cods wallop   His aggressive reaction smacks of his guilt, he knows that the momentum against his nasty tactics is building.  I suspect Ferguson's legacy will not be one of great football, it will be one of the nasty side of human nature and of a corrupt bully being exposed for what he is.

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Ferguson intimidating his way to another title

How much longer can the pathetic footballing authorities allow this to go on?  The disgraceful abuse and intimidation dished out to the match officials yesterday at Old Trafford was typical of the bully who has built his success on fear.  Even Gary Lineker commented on Ferguson's disgusting behaviour yesterday, although MOTD stopped short of really dealing with the issue properly.

Alex Ferguson, his managerial staff and his players have done this for years and will continue to do so until the authorities clamp down on it, unfortunately there is precious little chance of that happening given the weakness and clear vested interests in football's governing bodies.  Yesterday the officials had to back away from the abuse as the physical element of the intimidation was obvious.

The bottom line is that officials are afraid of Ferguson and Manchester United.  This means that Manchester United continue to get the rub of the green with the big decisions and the small decisions, and anyone who understands statistics will tell you that this adds up over the course of a season, it most definitely doesn't even out.  It is like having a weighted coin, even if the odds of a heads being tossed are 60% versus 40% for tails this quickly leads to some very significant differences.  The penalty statistics, the lack of ref cards and other evidence all points to a clear systematic bias in favour of Manchester United as a result of this systematic intimidation of officials.

I have no respect for the scum bag that is Alex Ferguson.  He is a pathetic coward and a bully.  His success has been built on his unpleasant personality traits and on scaring people into doing what he wants them to do.  This is not a human being we should look up to and respect, this is not someone who is a good example to our children, this man is an appalling human being and it is about time that the FA stood up to him.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Massive problems but keep your heads

Last night was a night that summed up many of the manager's and the club's failings.  Great credit to League 2 side Bradford for a true battling performance and congratulations to their supporters.  We played a strong side but in truth we were not at the races for much of the first half and most of the second, although Vermaelen equalised late on, we could not make our complete domination in extra time count and narrowly went out on penalties, two of our spot kicks rather unfortunately cannoning back of the inside of the post.

I have to say that I am slightly ashamed and embarrassed at the way many of our own supporters are behaving and reacting.  Fine, criticise the manager, criticise the board, criticise the players, but there is a way of doing this without sinking to offensive abuse and mocking.  We also should be supporting these players when they are on the field and the negative support of some fans at home games is actually having a real detrimental effect on performances.

I know our squad is weak and several players are not good enough.  However I do not buy the lack of effort or the mentality issue, we simply aren't good enough, there's no need to claim some of our average failing players are not trying when they appear to be putting in a lot of effort.  Gervinho is the perfect case in point, he is a frustrating player no doubt, but last night he was probably our most dangerous player going forward, yet in the eyes of some supporters he was to blame for everything including third world famine.

The manager has certainly lost the plot in recent years.  The 4-3-3 system, the way we play it, is an abject disaster area.  Again last night we had no pace and width in attacking areas.  I barely noticed Podolski in his left sided berth, surely he must play centrally?  Gervinho is not a centre forward, while there was no one on the right flank in the first half.  Ramsey was anonymous, Cazorla only came to life later in the game, again we had numerous central players in midfield and attack, and no proper width.

The lack of depth in the centre forward position was again demonstrated.  Chamakh's movement did show us what we had been missing to a degree, alas his poor finishing did not.  Gervinho was far more at home on the left and it begged the obvious question - why as Podolski playing wide and Gervinho centrally, again?

Sacking Arsene now mid season with no replacement lined up would be utterly stupid.  Change for the sake of it without any serious plan for what will happen afterwards is the stuff of idiots.  Arsene needs to sort this mess out and if he doesn't then he has to go in the summer.  We need better players in certain areas and we need to stop playing numerous central players in the same team without having any attacking width.  I would be fully in favour of switching back to a 4-4-2, or perhaps a 4-4-1-1 with Santi off the centre forward.  Arsene needs to remember the importance of width and bring in some quality in January.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Diving and our pathetic biased xenophobic media

I have absolutely no problem with anyone criticising Santi Cazorla's dive yesterday against West Brom.  There was minimal contact and it was not a penalty.  Reid did get nowhere near the ball and try to kick him though.  It was also rather evident that despite being a dive, there are far worse dives every week which are routinely ignored by out pathetic media.

The problem I do have is the ridiculous overreaction whenever an Arsenal player is caught out diving and it has to be said it doesn't happen very often as we get few penalties compared to regular cheats like Manchester United, and we don't dive as much as many other sides.  The reaction to Cazorla's dive in the media shows quite beautifully how morally bankrupt, inconsistent and hypocritical many of the morons covering football in this country are.  Interestingly last week many of our esteemed footballing pundits were trying to justify Gareth Bale's diving as he was simply 'anticipating' contact, funny how this logic is not applied to Arsenal players.

Gareth Bale is a terrible cheat, he does it week in week out and has already 4 bookings to his name for diving this season.  Yet the media have never hounded or ganged up on the cheating Welshman as they have pathetically bullied Eduardo and Cazorla.  This inconsistency gives their game away.  For example take Bale's pathetic dive at the Emirates last season, the media largely ignored this clear act of cheating.

The media have never been honest or objective on diving.  We have seen ritual cheating ignored from many domestic cheats like Rooney, Owen, Gerrard and Young.  There is clearly a xenophobic element to it.  However this is not the whole explanation, some clubs get away with it, look at Cristiano Ronaldo and Van Nistelrooy, two of the worst cheats I have ever seen, but as they played for Manu the media largely let it go and never hounded these serial cheats.

Interestingly Alex Ferguson's stupid comments on the matter help perpetuate this myth that it is just foreign players that are to blame, the fact that he has had several of the worst home-grown cheats in his squad make his logic seem utterly retarded (Beckham, Owen, Rooney, Young etc).  I agree to a degree with Kun Ageuro, referees are generally a bit biased against foreigners when it comes to diving, they are also a bit biased to certain clubs such as Manu.  The penalty statistics prove this pro-Manu bias clearly.

Overall diving is a serious problem in world football that is being ignored as the governing bodies, which include the Premier League and the FA.  If football were not a corrupt sport then we would have introduced video technology, we would have reduced refereeing bias and error in doing so, and we could have introduced retrospective punishment for diving and violent tackling.  Alas as things are at the moment, we have a corrupt sport in which a clear bias exists in refereeing, as well as a pathetic biased mainstream media which simply perpetuates common myths and preconceptions in a lazy manner.

Back at the races

This was just what the doctor ordered after the terrible display at home to Swansea.  Although the victory was clouded in a smidgeon of controversy, nothing could really take away from the fact that West Brom were distinctly second best to an Arsenal side that had rediscovered a bit of attacking zest.  Steve Clarke may have tried to blame the defeat on the ref but this was merely to distract from the fact that West Brom were hammered, they managed only 2 shots on goal in the entire match.

The penalty that did not turn the game should never have been, Reid took a swing at Cazorla but made little if no contact, with Cazorla throwing himself down, not a penalty in a million years.  The second half spot kick was stonewall, Oxlade-Chamberlain was hacked down by Brunt, the claims that a foul was committed in the build up were weak, Oxlade-Chamberlain's pressing was perfectly legitimate.  Arteta showed a lot of character to step up and dispatch both spot kicks after the Fulham disaster.  The referee Jones was dire, so many wrong decisions, so many soft free kicks and very lenient in dealing with a lot of rather nasty cynical West Brom fouls.

The back four were decent, Arteta and Wilshere were particularly impressive in front of them, dictating the play and breaking it up as needed, while the work rate and pace of Oxlade-Chamberlain and Gervinho on the flanks really made a difference.  We had that bit more width and pace on the field, Giroud led the line well too, and some of the dynamic attacking play was very encouraging.  It was also heartening to see some more direct play with longer balls seeking out our wide forwards, the way we mixed it up with short and long play made it much less predictable than in previous home games, we must continue in this vein.

Unsurprisingly we did not miss Theo today, and there is no way we would have got the work rate out of him that we got from the likes of Gervinho and Oxlade.  That eleven is starting to emerge as our first eleven and hopefully we can now build on this much better performance.  If we need anything in the window it is some more pace and width in midfield and in attacking areas.  It would be good to see Chamakh and Arshavin out, and to bring in a couple of younger pacier fresher faces instead.  Well done the Gunners.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Twitter 'muppets'

"Still out with loads of gooner in shadow of Emirates. Those who go home and away are voice on future of Arsenal. Not 606 or twitter muppets"

These are the words of Tim Payton, a board member of the AST (Arsenal Supporters Trust), taken from Twitter last night.  If these were the words of an individual Gooner who was nothing to do with the AST then it would be one thing, but they are an absolute disgrace for someone who is the official 'spokesperson' for the AST.  

There are so many deeply disturbing elements to the views of Tim Payton.  All Arsenal fans should have a say, who is anyone to judge who has more right than others?  The arrogance and condescending nature of Payton's comments are utterly deplorable.  

I will not rant on because Tim Payton's words tell the story beautifully, they tell the story of someone who is clearly not fit to be representing the AST, a man who seems to have a massively inflated opinion of himself and his own views, a man who has embarrassed himself massively with his comments and his complete failure to apologise to the massive number of loyal Gooners who he has shown such contempt for.

As a Fanshare member I shall be writing to the AST to express my opinion on their spokesperson's arrogant and senseless comments.  Tim Payton should do the right thing, he should either apologise properly to those supporters who has has offended, or he should resign from the AST.  The choice is yours Tim, show some backbone and moral fibre for once, do the right thing.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Tired, predictable and recurrent

As a one off today would have been just that, but in the context of the season so far and recent seasons, we are seeing a worrying trend, a sad demise, a great manager reaching the end of the road and a team that is failing on many levels on a repeated basis.  Recent performances against Swansea, Villa, Everton, Manu, Schalke, Fulham and Norwich have been concerning, to say the least.

We lack quality and certain attributes in the squad, however the players we have are still not as bad as recent performances would suggest.  The most worrying thing in my eyes is that Arsene is not managing the players well.  Our formation and tactics are tired and predictable.  Teams have worked us out, we lack an attacking cutting edge, we are poorly organised in terms of the team's whole defensive shape and we are tactically naive.  The sum of our parts is mediocre, and this is not good enough given the size of the club and our expenditure in terms of wages.

I am not angry, I am just sad at what we have become and how our manager has lost the plot.  There is little more to say.  The end of the road is not a pleasant place to be, I have massive respect for the manager but it is obvious that he does not have long left at the helm.  Finally great credit to Swansea who are an excellent side and thoroughly deserved the win today.