Saturday 5 February 2011

Dowd 4 Arsenal 4: is the game corrupt?

It is hard to be angry with the team today because they deserved the three points for an excellent overall performance, in the end they were undone largely by an absolutely terrible refereeing performance from Phil Dowd. Arsene has been pretty coy following the match but he knows this too, I am impressed that he has controlled his words so well, he was 'surprised' with the penalty decisions, a cleverly worded response.

We killed Newcastle in the first half and this should not be forgotten. Some outstanding play and some truly excellent goals. It could have been more than the four. Walcott's tidy opener, Djourou's powerful header, RVP's powerful finish from Theo's cutback and the best of the bunch for me, RVP's thumping header from Sagna's delicious curling cross.

Then came Dowd. Joey Barton was lucky to be on the field after just the first half, a shocking tackle on Diaby missed by Dowd, then another reckless one through the back of Arshavin, not a free kick and not even a card. Then early in the second half Barton went through the ball in a way that was designed to break Diaby's legs, Diaby was then sent off for a rather tame shove in the back of Barton's lower neck. Barton escaped completely unpunished. Diaby deserved a yellow and Barton a red, instead down got it hopelessly wrong and leg breaking was again encouraged by our incompetent officials.

It is easy for some to have a go at Diaby and judge him. He was stupid to a degree but he has almost lost his career to tackles like this, he is bound to get angry, it's instinctive, and his reaction was pretty mild, certainly not enough to justify a red card, especially in the context of Nolan doing worse to Szczesny late in the game. Unfortunately Dowd didn't stop there.

He handed Newcastle the initiative with an incredibly soft penalty, Koscielny barely made contact and the contact that was made was minimal, Best played for it and the incompetent Dowd provided, even though he was in a poor position to see the lack of contact made. This changed the game as the sending off had done earlier, Newcastle had been gifted a man advantage and a goal.

The second goal was probably the only one where our defending can be blamed. Best was slightly lucky with the way the ball broke and he finished well, Clichy dived in a bit and the centre backs didn't cover well enough.

The second penalty was even more of a joke than the first and that is saying something. There just wasn't a foul, the players went up and Dowd simply donated Newcastle their second goal of the day from the spot. I was watching on foreign TV and the commentators burst out into laughter, that says it all really. The fourth was academic, Dowd had been the primary driver behind Newcastle's comeback, although it was a fantastic hit from Tiote, Newcastle would have been nowhere near this goal being meaningful if it had not been for Dowd's shocking partisan decisions. Interestingly the fourth Newcastle goal came following yet another non free kick when Barton dived over after shoulder to shouldet contact with the powerhouse Tomas Rosicky!

It is so hard for us to win the league when we are up against incompetent decision making like this from officials on such a regular basis. It is easy to try to deflect attention elsewhere, Diaby was silly, our defending was not perfect, I know these things, but it is undeniable that the main reason for our demise today was the recurrent incompetent decision making of a terrible terrible referee. Phil Dowd is either useless or corrupt, I do not say this lightly. The only decision that went our way all day was when Newcastle incorrectly had a goal given for offside.

Manu simply do not have to climb these kind of mountains, in fact the reverse is often true. We have thrown some games away this season, but this was not one of them, Phil Dowd wrestled it from us and handed it to Newcastle on a plate, there is only so much one can look to blame ourselves when we are up against this kind of rank bias. In fact I am f*cking proud of the lads today, I would have been tempted to walk off the pitch today had I been playing, RVP played on and scored an excellent goal which was chalked off by the linesman despite him being level.

It was just one of those days when we were beaten by the referee, shame on you Phil Dowd, you were beneath a disgrace today, if the game had any credibility there would be a formal investigation into your performance today, it was so bad that it has left me questioning the honesty of the Premier League. A sad sad day for football indeed.


Anonymous said...

Hahahaha. 4-0 up and you blame the ref - blame Wenger for his inability to sign a decent goalie and central defender

Anonymous said...

excellent blog , spot on! phil dowd is the worst , howard webb a close second,, there s a been a clear bias against arsenal or should i say pro manU,, guess with chelseas russian connection,, premier league is afraid to take on them ..but one has to wonder how many titles won by manU in the last decade and half have been deserved!

Anonymous said...

dowd was shocking... from a football purist i couldnt believe his inability to Newcastles dirty tactics.

The goalkeeper was not to blame and neither the centre back. Did you watch the game anonymous??

Anonymous said...

And you thought the refereeing community were not going to get their pound of flesh following Everton.? Dowd I don't think is corrupt just inept , he has always reffed like this reacting to retaliation rather than instigation. I don't know how he passes the so called stringent fitness tests because he always seems to be out of position when making contentious decisions.

Anonymous said...

great article- cheers mate! goal for everton last week, super man utd sub-howard webb they all play in one team. and the worst thing is it aint gonna change until this bribed fuck blatter will be in charge...

Anonymous said...

Man I love your blog and you are spot on .. Thank you for that many fans are going ballistic ..

Hari Nair said...

Forget all the ignorent muppets that talk without thinking like anon above. I am proud of the 3 titles we have won against such odds. The alex ferguson back rubbing association has done him so many favors through the years it is a shame that our hierarchy is not fighting them at that. The world is not an ideal place. And none of our English figure heads are doing enough to win that battle or at least reduce the advantage. To every arsenal fan that blames our players - keep in mind the odds they play against. Will any other title chasing team have faced odds like we faced today? But for one goal every other was the result of a loaded call by the ref. Instead of directing the anger at the players, see what you can do to help them win this battle that is not confined to a football pitch.

Anonymous said...

Why the FA let this idiot control a premiership game is beyond me. Dowd is the worst referee ever. Throw him out.

Anonymous said...

It's impossible to have a serious conversation about corruption in English football. You'll just be called a bad loser etc. Its pointless. I strongly suspect todays game was bent. Whether it was bent purely in the context of the match (ie someone had money on the draw) or whether the league as a whole is played to an agenda, I simply dont know. We either have the most corrupt referees in the world or the most incompetent. I know which I think it is.

Anonymous said...

I don't often feel sorry for Arsenal but today I did, begrudgingly. Arsenal and their woes aside, The performance of the referee today was rather shocking and not good for our the future of our game. I think that there should be action taken. If this referee can so blatantly manipulate the outcome of a game, what stops another from doing the same to my team?

What do we do?

I think the Football authorities would be unwise to let this slip by without giving it some serious thought. A performance like the one by this referee today brings the entire sport into disrepute. Action is needed. Anybody who watches this game impartially and in the cold light of day will recognize that something is not well in the house of football officials. Action is demanded!

ToonAndy said...

This account of the game is totally inaccurate. The first was a penalty just watch it on the TV tonight. The second was probably not but that makes up for a wrongly disallowed goal. Typical Arsenal fans think they have the right to win and don't like it when luck deserts them. You have been so lucky in the cups its about time it deserted you. How many pens you had this season also?? I was at the game and so many decisions also went your way particularly from the linesman. You got soft free kick after soft free kick given to you. You take it - we have to nearly every week. You can't be lucky every game. In many ways you were lucky to survive withe the draw. As for proud of your team I would be a cross with your lot for the second half as I was with our for the first.

Danish Gooner said...

I would have loved to take out that scum of the earth called Joey Barton,the innocent look on his face when tackled by Diaby made me physically sick,what a scum,he better not meet me in the streets of Copenhagen vile scum.

Anonymous said...

Dowd cheated.
Allowing Barton to go straight through our players, sending Diaby off and not Nolan, and the first penalty.

The second penalty wasn't corruption but incompentence. It was given by the linesman, he also disallowed a perfectly good Newcastle goal....

Dowd should be sacked for gross misconduct but he won't be. Can't help feeling this ref performance had something to do with what went on with Cesc last week.

Anonymous said...

After his impeccable performance, referee Phil Dowd will receive an "Excellence Award" from an unnamed football enthusiast & philanthropist, reported to be in the region of around 5 million.

Another 30 million will be donated to the RA & FA respectively for their continuous efforts to raise the standard of the game.

Anders said...

I Never try to blame the ref but now it has gone to far. 1st the offside goal against everton, one of the worst offside goals i have seen. then this! I never seen 2 so silly penelties in one game. And that barton got through the game without even a yellow card is just sick.
How come they didnt gett a red card after what they did to Szczesny?

Either he really hate arsenal or he was payed off.

Anonymous said...

Ha HA HA Love Everton

arsenalsteve said...

How can anyone not see that Dowd is horrible and cost us 2 points? Even if you are not a Gooner any honest person can see the crap display of officiating. It's disgusting. Thank God Man U lost today.

By the way, the Howard Webb Man U Super Sub... Priceless!!!!! How he can referee a United match is beyond me.

Let's go Arsenal. This one is behind us on to the next.

Check out Jack Whilsire's twitter he is hilarious!. I love the little guy. said...

Hey guys, he did the same to us when he refereed against Arsenal and tottenham. We were leading 2-0 at half time. He given them fouls time and time again. We should protest against this corrupt idiott

Anonymous said...

Arsenal FC should refuse this man to referee their games. As the guys said he is weard. He does this to us time and time again. Remember tottenham?

1979gooner said...



The one decision, ONE, was the offside, but remember we had an onside goal disallowed too!

Both pens were non pens. Best dived for the first and Barton for the second.

The fourth goal came from a free kick from a Barton dive.

The Diaby red was a joke, Barton deserved a straight red, shocking tackle, while a shove in the back of the neck is a very soft red, most of the time a yellow is given for that kind of hand bagging.

Dowd was biased and got you a point.

Barton is scum, his tackling is reckless week in week out.

We aren't lucky every game, if you bothered to watch us more often you would see that we are treated very harshly like this week in week out.

If you get your opinion from various biased media outlets like Sky/Talksport then you will come up with lame arguments like your own, they are based in bias, not objectivity I'm afraid.

Anonymous said...

After watching Dowd today I have no doubt at all that this game is corrupt.Just read that he has been the referee for our game against spuds, wigan away, sunderland away and today. My counting thats 6 points minimuim he has take from us with wrong decisions.That is very had to swallow.

Anonymous said...

holy c*a* .... how is this even possible... of all people wolves & maccarthy to the rescue... even within men, a team should b able to close shop & wlk away with the three points.... very very worrisome, but then it is what it is! ee do have some weaknesses, and the way i c it , they r not being addressed.... unfortunately ,right now we don't have our destiny in our own hands, & other teams r helping us, stay in the race for league champion...... here's to better days and an arsenal team in full potential & potance.... ul the GUNS of ARSENAL.... !!! goonerkam Out. la,Ca

Anonymous said...

Surrendering a four goal lead is humiliating, blaming the ref is just classless and embarrassing - particularly as the worst decision was to disallow a perfectly good NUFC goal. 20 mins in and most gooners probably thought it would be a record victory in the premier league ( 10-0, 11-0, maybe even 12-0 ?), instead it turned into a record collapse. Oh dear.

Anonymous said...

We, of all clubs, can't moan about referees. How many penalties have we had this season?

This result isn't a disaster. We'll still finish in the top four.

desigooner said...

If the FA will not do anything about corrupt inefficient referees, do we any legal recourse? Can someone approach UEFA to look into this mess?

libero said...

Absolutely hilarious comments. Do you realise how ridiculous you all sound? Who is exactly is in on this conspiracy against Arsenal? Presumably the press, the government, Mossad, who knows.... Do you realise that every single team thinks the press and referees are against them? I think you'd all be better off on the following website

Anonymous said...

All the English defending their horrible refs in this game should reflect that this kind of completely incompetent refereeing that allows the game to turn into MMA is why you will never see your country win a World Cup again.

You can look forward to multiple 3 and 4 goal losses to Germany and Argentina when you celebrate untalented hacks like Barton.

Go watch how La Liga is refereed, learn.

Anonymous said...

it needs to b said, yes we r judged by different standards.. who wants to c a foreign coach with mostly foreign players from his country, to come on, introduce a more pleasing football time, & succeed in the process too.... not a new story.... anyone with an unbiased view point could c this going back to when we had a regime change.. still, UP 4-o with 45min to go, & we let it slip . for the umpteen time this season.. yes if we win, it will b saint all odds stacked against us...... & that is why it will b the sweetest of all championships,,,, done the right way, playing ideal football, in a team run efficiently and not on verge of going bankrupt... we don't buy championships, we earn them..... i just wish Arseane could have brought himself to help this young team with an strategic buy here & there, and kept dome of the player we developed through the yrs with proper deals so they wouldn't leave just when they were starting to pay dividends,, i net you all, we would have won an extra one or two tournaments.... but, it is what it is,,, i wouldn't change wenger for anyone, even though at times i felt he put too much on the shoulders of this grt. young team..... UP the GUNs of ARSENAL.... goonerkam LA,CA

Anonymous said...

Dowd must be investigated!!! seriously! this is not normal anymore. I think all officials must be investigated. This things just happens against us!! that's why FA won't do anything about it... corruption at it's highest level.

Anonymous said...

I'm from Oz and my mate showed me this page, although a lot of this blog is well written they reality is if Arsenal had a true leader this wouldn't happen.

I am not saying Fabregas isn't a good captain but if Vieira was in charge of a team that was 4 nil up he would put his foot on the ball and tell Newcastle to come and get it.

Everyone knows that Barton is like he is and if Arsenal can't prepare themselves for it then the coaching staff need to look at bring in some different coaches to prepare the team mentally.

FFS they have been getting kicked forever - deal with it Diaby or go to another league

Mark said...

Firstly, I do sometimes get a bit fed up of some of the excuses we give for poor performances, don't get me wrong I totally support Wenger and what he's done but sometimes he just needs to admit we were shit and do something about it. No one likes to make excuses about not getting a result e.g. the referee, but this game and others recently clearly show there's something more sinister at work.

4 up after 26mins and cruising, half-time comes and all looks comfortable, what could possibly happen ? Errr the Dowd shambles, that what !

The turning point was clearly the Diaby sending off, easy to say he shouldn't have reacted, but given the injuries he's suffered and faced with another potential leg breaker from the cunt that is Barton, wouldn't you react ? Another serious injury could easily end Diaby's career. Step forward Dowd - result Diaby off, Barton gets absolutely fuck all for a potential leg breaker, so the Dowd show begins !

There then follows a series of events which leave you in shock and unsure if you're still awake or if this is a nightmare :

Newcastle's first penalty - probably was
Nolan's rugby tackle on Szczesny, worse than Diaby's push, why wasn't he sent off ?
Newcastle's disallowed offside goal - wasn't offside
Newcastle's second penalty - there is no way whatsoever this was a penalty, if it was then we woild have about 30 penalties a game
RvP disallowed offside goal - very marginal, looked like he was in line when the ball was played
In addition to this just the huge number of soft free kicks Dowd gave Newcastle was unbelievable

You can argue about corruption or favouritism, if that's not the case then just the sheer amount of incompetence by referees & assistants in shocking. We've seen shocking performances from Webb, Mason and Dowd, you accept a certain amount of "human error" but after a while things start to appear a bit sinister and a pattern emerges. Not saying being a referee is easy, far from it, it's not something i'd want to do, but they need to be accountable and there should be an investigation in to some of them.

That said, no team should let a 4 goal lead go under any circumstances, it's been said many times but this clearly highlighted that we have no leadership on the pitch when things get tough, Cesc is an exceptional player and a good captain but he is not (and doesn't pretend to be) a natural leader / organiser / motivator, which is what you need at times like this, could you imagine Adams allowing this to happen ? No chance, we had the chance to sign a more commanding CB during January but passed it up. This squad has talent in vast quantities but doesn't have tru leadership on the pitch to direct and organise it.

Anonymous said...

Dowd is not corrupt,just incompetent,he had a really poor game. Any team who spire to be champions should never let a 4 goal lead go. Be honest,do you think this would EVER happen to a manu team or even chelsea. What is the difference,What makes manu win even when they are playing crap. There is a steeliness to manu that we do not have. It comes from the manager.We lack leadership on the pitch and we have a soft centre. The realist amongst us knows this to be true and it has been apparent for years and wenger has done nothing to address it. one or two astute signings would have made all the difference. We will only win 1 trophy this season (providing wenger picks the right team,no guarantee) This might placate some supporters. I would suggest you stop this incessant whinging. The officials are not corrupt, there is no conspiracy against arsenal.Respected journalist like Paul Hayward who question Arsenals weaknesses do not hate arsenal,on the contrary they are usually fulsome in their praise of the football we play. The Newcastle game told us a lot about arsenal and it is very worrying and does not bode well as we approach the business end of the season when leadership,character and gut are required

DrShaglove said...

We collapsed because we lost both Djourou and Diaby and we have a 20 year-old keeper. There was nobody taking command of the middle of defense to help us navigate the obstacles placed before us by Phil Dowd. How does Wenger justify taking no action in January to shore up this persistent achilles heel that is our defensive backbone? I don't recall sending any young CBs out on loan, so its not like we have any ready-mades waiting to join the first team. Surely there were some suitable Championship, MLS, or Asian Center Backs available, cheap, that we could have signed in January. Why the hell did we let Senderos and Gallas, plus young Havard Nordtveit leave in 2010? Our inability to close out games (losing 9 points from winning positions against Sunderland, Wigan, Scum, and now the barcodes) has cost us the premiership this season, unless ManU begin consistently punching AT their weight like they did yesterday against Wolves and ManCity collapse.

Alex N said...

There was nothing wrong with Barton's tackle, he went down on the ground and made a block tackle and won the ball. However, Kevin Nolan should also have had a red for grabbing Szczesny round the neck.

Some of the crap you guys come out with is sad. You really need to get a life. I hate Man U and really really don't want them to win the league again, but comments like this:

'there s a been a clear bias against arsenal or should i say pro manU,, guess with chelseas russian connection,, premier league is afraid to take on them ..but one has to wonder how many titles won by manU in the last decade and half have been deserved!'

'and the worst thing is it aint gonna change until this bribed fuck blatter will be in charge...'

'Dowd cheated.'

'Hey guys, he did the same to us when he refereed against Arsenal and tottenham. We were leading 2-0 at half time.'

Just get a life, seriously. Some of us fans of lower league clubs would give anything to be playing Barcelona in a couple of weeks. But if they play you off the park again probably someone will blame the ref, someone will blame Sepp Blatter and no doubt Howard Webb will come in for it in some way or another!

Anonymous said...

hay, it is obvious as hell,,,, this was payback for last week,,, Dowd coming to the aid of 4th official, @ the Everton game,,, Cesc should not have incinuated that that linesman was on the take.... we can thank effin david moyes for blabing about things said in tunnel, heat of battle,,,, lets hope the refs. have had their pound of flesh, and judges the rest of our games on merit, not politics...... up the GUNS of ARSENAl...... goonerkam/LA/CA