Monday 26 October 2009

Frustration and English cheats

I have deliberately taken 24 hours to calm down following the West Ham result, I thought that I would see reason and become more objective upon reflection. Strangely I am still seeing things as I did yesterday, my frustration at our ability to hold onto a comfortable lead is still somewhat raw.

The game was a strange one. West Ham knocked it around nicely in the first ten minutes but as the first half wore on only one team looked like scoring. We controlled the midfield, West Ham found it very difficult to string anything together, Song and Diaby were breaking things up nicely. The first goal came after a great cross from Sagna was flicked on by Green's despairing lunge, RVP did the rest. The second came from a strong header by William Gallas, 2-0 and we were cruising.

I disagree with the general interpretation of the match by various others, we looked very solid and comfortable in the second half, West Ham created nothing until yet another incredibly soft free kick was given by the inept Foy. This time Hines was fairly tackled by Diaby who simply stood his ground and got the ball, Hines then ran into Diaby and Foy blew up, an atrocious lack of understanding of the game shown once again. Foy had a quite awful second half, he seemed to think that if a West Ham played went down to ground in a theatrical fashion then it must have been a foul, he should have watched the challenges as often there was simply no tackle and certainly no foul. Behrami was routinely cheating the ref, he lost the ball on several occasions and each time he went down as if shot, Foy have free kicks for every single of his exaggerated falls.

The fault with the first goal lies very squarely at Mannone's door, it was an awful attempt to make a very moderate free kick look much more dangerous than it actually was, he could have caught it, but instead he punched it straight to Cole who easily headed home. An awful error gave West Ham hope when there should have been none, one should certainly not forget Foy's assist with yet another poor piece of officiating.

The second goal from the penalty spot was a complete and utter disgrace. Foy had just seen Parker attempt to cheat his way to a penalty with an utterly pathetic dive when no contact had been made, he stupidly failed to punish Parker, maybe a yellow then would have made Cole think twice before he went down like a sack of spuds. Song barely made contact with Cole as the ball was played into the box on the ground, he certainly didn't make a challenge, it was a brush of legs at most, if that. Cole is a massively strong horse of player who can knock several men down when he so chooses, so to see him go down like this was nothing but a Drogba-esque piece of cheating. RVP almost snatched it for us at the death with a powerful low header, but even if he had I am sure Foy would have had time to fist one in past the hapless Mannone to salvage a draw for those honest hammers.

The fact that two such blatant dives were performed against Arsenal by two Englishmen means that the media have barely commented on these pieces of gamesmanship. Compare and contrast this to the Eduardo incident and you can see just how very biased the media can be. The numpties on Sky even had the audacity to accuse Eboue of going to ground easily when he was tripped and then had his shirt tugged in quite blatant fashion by Parker. The penalties we have given against us you would never see Manu or Liverpool subjected to, there just seems to be no consistency in the world of the Premiership. If Cole did not dive then Gordon Brown is not a fat Scottish twat, I am frankly flabbergasted at the repeated poor decisions we have had to put up with in recent seasons.

I know we are partly to blame for this surrender of a solid two goal lead, however emphasis should remain on the word 'partly'. Foy was the chief architect of West Ham's goals, without him West Ham would not have scored and this is a point that the media have completely failed to pick up on. Other than Mannone's error we defended solidly and looked comfortable, this was very different to the Alkmaar draw in midweek. I am still fuming, these two points were important, hopefully they won't be crucial when things are added up in May, if they are then I think a certain Mr Foy should be kept behind at refereeing school to be taught that you do not judge whether a foul has taken place solely by the way in which a player goes to ground.


Unknown said...

Y shld v blame foy.watevr the odds r a true champion always finds way to win.i dnt c manure ,chelsea gvng up a 2-0 lead evn if the world is against them.
Lets face it v dnt have the killer instinct,the final blow ,the ruthless aggresion u need to win such tricky games n the premiership.
Arsene if u listening its high time to sign some 'evil devil' in january who doesnt show ne mercy n kills such games.

Leskov said...

Hello, I agree with you on the poor refereing against Arsenal in this game and in general.
But we knew since the Eduardo ban that decisions would go against us during the whole season.
So we had to kill the game earlier. I don't blame the defence or Mannone, I just hope our forwards will understand the problem: they must score or at least keep the ball up front.
Last week, Birmingham nearly drew and we have waited till the very end of the game to earn 3 points.
Tiredness will be the main problem for these reasons.

Obsinho said...

Misplaced rage here 1979, but understandable. We lost because we did not deal with West Ham well enough - we should have been further ahead, and should have done more to keep them way from the box.

First goalwas terrible from Vito, but Arsene takes the blame for persisting with him. Vito will make mistakes and cost us goals,so the risk is calculated and foolish.

Yes the ref was poor, but he was poor throughout. The press should be criticised for not blaming English players of but not sure it is worth getting angry about.

Anonymous said...

I thought we could have used more assertiveness in midfield in the second half. perhaps it was the 2-0 lead, but we got sloppy and unorganized. I like that we take 30 yard shots, but that became our preferred method in the 2nd half.

I think Eduardo should have been brought on somewhere around 65-70 minutes to kill the game off.

It is even more annoying, since Man U lost, we could have basically been 3 pts back with a game in hand.


Anonymous said...

I also thought the ref wasn't bad. the Pk wasn't the best, but between the the parker incident, it is not unreasonable to call one of them.


1979gooner said...

agree with rahul,

eduardo earlier would have added something,

disagree obs, west ham created bugger all other than the mannone error and the non penalty,

you can't blame a defence when the back four did so little wrong,

maybe we didn'y play quite as well in midfield in the second half, but really overall to keep west ham to so few chances was a decent overall defensive display,

you cannot legislate for such refereeing and such a poor mistake

Ted said...

I don't think Foy had a bad game. In real time, from the camera angle on the TV, I would absolutely have given the Gallas incident on Parker as a penalty. I was therefore not surprised when the Song contact on Cole was given.

It is not the referee's fault that a foul in the box leads to a penalty. I have thought for a long time that there should be free kicks in the box and penalties should be reserved for incidents where the ref is happy that it is a deliberate foul so that a mandatory yellow or red card would follow.

On the subject of diving, I thought cesc and eboue were guilty of several exagerated fouls under minimal contact from West Ham players.

The general level of the game was also very physical and it was virtually impossible for any ref to tell the difference between a foul, a dive, and a play-on, let alone get it right all the time.

West Ham were a spent force until Diamanti came on. Arsenal took their feet off the gas and paid the price. It better not happen against Spurs.

1979gooner said...

disagree completely ted,

the ref was toss,

he routinely gave free kicks not based on what foul had been committed but on the player's reaction

this was epitomised with cole going to ground for the penalty,

you are going to have to give about 100 penalties a game if you start giving pens for that

it was a pathetic decision

although there was contact, it was not even enough to put cole off balance, it was a calculated bit of cheating

marcus said...

It's no good blaming Mannone. He's young and inexperienced, it was inevitable he'd make mistakes, big ones. That's what young, inexperienced keepers do. He's actually done pretty well given his level. But teams challenging for trophies can't afford to rely on young keepers to mature and develop.

Blame the manager (or his financial constraints) in his choice of keepers. Almunia's a good keeper but not good enuf for a team chasing titles. I have no faith in any of our keepers. It's wrong to say that Fabianski and Mannone "will never" become top class, we just don't know that yet. But we can't afford to rely on either one of them as #1.

I'm not one to demand that AW splash the cash but it was inevitable that his gamble on the keeper position would catch up with us. It would be one thing if in front of Almunia we had a team of solid, reliable, mature players who track back consistently, don't make stupid individual errors and who know how to hold onto leads and who are clinical and efficient in the final third.

Last season Barca's weakest player was Valdez in goal (he can't even get called up to the national team) but in front of him were players who defended and attacked collectively (the front players committed more fouls than the defenders), who were clinical in front of goal.

It's very clear AW has lost confidence in Almunia. The fact that he's risked the team on a 3rd choice keeper when both his #1 and#2 are available is a strong statement. It tells you how much faith he's lost in his #1. It may well be that AW has finally realized that the keeper position has to resolved.

As for West Ham, ONCE AGAIN, the players got complacent and arrogant, coasting thru the game when it wasn't yet won. That's twice in one week. We've done that several times in the last 11 months. In all the previous years of AW's tenure, I can remember maybe 3 times where we've lost strong leads. We keep hearing how they'll learn from these lessons but they NEVER DO. It keeps happening over and over and over again.

This season we've conceded a lot of very cheap goals due to very stupid indivdual errors. And I see no evidence of the attitude and mentality of this team changing.

marcus said...

Nor is it any good blaming the referee. I agree about the double standards re English/foreign players but it's totally irrelevant to the pathetic attitude of this team that keeps taking inferior teams for granted.

1979gooner said...

i don't think we took anything for granted

we didn't play brilliantly second half but we defended well and restricted west ham to very little

it really was pretty unfortunate,

i do agree that alkmaar was poor