Saturday 22 March 2008

An uphill battle

Having returned from a fantastic week of holiday, I fed my Gooner paranoia my watching the highlights of the Arsenal Boro game from last weekend. I came away with the distinct impression that lots of little marginal decisions may well cost us dear, and these are decisions that very rarely go against the likes of Manchester United.

Firstly Adebayor had a good goal ruled out incorrectly in the first few minutes, secondly Aliadiere was clearly offside for Boro's goal, and thirdly Eboue was clearly hauled over by Pogatetz in the penalty area. These kind of decisions turn games and may well have cost us another two points in this case.

The same has happened many times previously in the Premiership this year, just one example was the Birmingham game in which the referee gave Birmingham two goals with very very poor decisions. I am not saying that we get no favourable decisions at all, however overall we do not get a fair share going our way over the course of the entire season.

This goes in stark contrast with Manchester United, against whom it is made especially tricky to score when referees disallow goals for no apparent reason, as happened against Bolton the other night, while penalties are dished out for blatant dives by the likes of Ronaldo.

We need to start playing better, no doubt, however we do need to start getting the rub of the green from officials if we are to pip Manchester United to the league this year. Chelsea will be tough to beat on Saturday, but it will be eminently possible if the referee sets the correct standards by punishing cynical play appropriately from the off. However if he allows tackles like Ashley Cole's irresponsible straight legged lunge to prosper, then things may well conspire against us again. Come on you gunners.

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