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Posts Tagged ‘Arenal’

Bias balls: Arenal mistime a tackle as West Bromwich Albion howl for a penalty

Media bias: a look at biased football reporting. Last night Arsenal beat West Bromwich Albion 2-0 in the Premier League. Tired at 0-0, Arsenal Shkodran Mustafi appeared to bring down West Brom’s Jay Rodriguez with a sliding challenge in the box. No penalty was given. Rodriguez got back to his feet and curled a shot at goal, hich Petr Cech did well to save, pushing the ball onto a post. What do the clubs say:

Arsenal official website:

…we survived two huge let offs along the way. Petr Cech made a excellent fingertip save and Nacho Monreal cleared off the line – both from Jay Rodriguez – during an eventful first half.

Is the penalty appeal mentioned at all?

Shkodran Mustafi mistimed his tackle on Rodriguez inside the area, but rather than give the penalty, the referee allowed play on…

Not  foul, then. It was a “mistimed tackle”.

West Bromwich Albion official website:

The forward used his pace to burst past Mustafi into the area, cut inside and appear [sic] to be brought down by the Gunners defender. Rodriguez quickly stood up and subsequently saw his shot tipped on to the far post by Petr Cech…

What about the managers?

Tony Pulis (WBA manager): “I think the challenge on Jay is a penalty and a red card.”

Arena Wenger (Aresnal manager): “The referee left the advantage and they nearly scored from that, they hit the post and I think the decision is defendable on both sides had he given a penalty or not. He left the advantage, if he gives a penalty and doesn’t give the advantage and they miss the penalty then you say why did he not leave the advantage, it’s this kind of situation.”

And the local papers?

Islington Gazette (Arsenal): “Tony Pulis and his men could feel aggrieved by referee Bobby Madley turning down a cast-iron penalty for the Baggies in the first half …”

Verdict: It should have been a penalty – but not if you’re on the Arsenal website.

Posted: 26th, September 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Arsenal balls: Wenger wants love as the Gunners as two more years of torpor looms

Arsene Wenger will remain at Arsenal for another two years if the fans show him ‘love’. Wenger’s current deal expires at the season’s end, and there is talk of a new two-year contract on the table, says the Mirror. And that’s odd because it wasn’t all that long ago the Mirror and its writer John Cross were telling readers that Wenger was leaving Arsenal in June. He had ‘set the date’.


Daily Mirror wenger quits Arsenal


Now over two pages, Cross says the Arsenal board and Wenger are ‘privately mystified’ why fans are unhappy that their team lost to Watford earlier this week. The Gunners had the chance to close the gap with table-topping Chelsea to 6 points but blew it. So limp was Arsenal’s performance that the Sun says Wenger gave his players’ two days off to recover.


arsenal watford the sun


Cross says that’s untrue. The players ‘did not have two days off after the game’. But they did have 45 minutes off during it. The first half was dire.

Over in the Express, Matthew Dunn says Arenal are ‘soft’ in the centre. The bad news for Gunners fans is that at Chelsea this weekend they will most likely field Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in central midfield, one of the game’s politest tacklers.

Since last winning the title, Arsenal have finished an average of 13 point behind the Premier League winners. Lose to Chelsea and they will 12 points behind.

Plus ca change, as they say at the Emirates, where board members made rich and lazy by Wenger’s top-four finishes continue to duck the kind of brave decision that gave brought the Frenchman to the club all those years ago.


Posted: 3rd, February 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer balls: Manchester United’s Rashford To West Ham; Payet to Arsenal; Draxler to Liverpool; Virgil to Manchester City?

West Ham United are, says the Daily Telegraph, keen to transfer Manchester United squad members Anthony Martial or Marcus Rashford to their goal-shy team. It’s an “ambitious” bid, says the paper. No kidding.

Failure to lure either of them to London will mean West Ham turning to – deep breath – Sassuolo’s Grégoire Defrel, Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi and Porto’s Laurent Depoitre. Yeah, pretty much anyone who can score a goal is on West Ham’s radar.

The Express says West Ham will make space for any of the above by getting shot of six players, including loan strikers Simon Zaza (loaned from Juventus) and Ashley Fletcher (Manchester United). One player not leaving is Dimitri Payet. Or as the Star puts it: “JOSE’S PAYET RAID – United boss in fight with old foe Wenger”. Will Payet leave West Ham for Arsenal or head to Manchester United in a deal involving Marital or Rashford?

In other Manchester United transfer news, the Mirror says Benfica’s Swedish defender Victor Lindelof could be heading to Old Trafford for £37.8million. If he arrives, Chris Smalling will leave United, says the Express. Smalling will be beaten to the United exit by Morgan Schneiderlin and Bastian Scheweinsteiger.

Away from United, the Guardian says Arsenal are keen on Valencia’s super-fast left-back José Gaya.

The Mirror says Liverpool are looking to sign Manchester City and England goalkeeper Joe Hart. The Times says the Reds are also keen on Wolfsburg’s Germany midfielder Julian Draxler but face competition from PSG and, of course, Arsenal, who seem to have been chasing the player for every one of his 23 years.

The Mail says Manchester City will offer £50m for Southampton Virgil van Dijk. There have been “discreet talks” between the clubs, says the Mail all over its back page. The Dutchman is “aware of City’s interest”.

Well, yes.

Posted: 22nd, December 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Liverpool, Manchester City, manchester united, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Harry Redknapp, angry Newcastle fans, sunshine Spurs and Arsenal failures

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Tottenham Hotspur v Newcastle United - White Hart LaneA few days before Newcastle United fans hymned their team to a 5-1 thrashing of fancied Spurs, former Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp told his Evening Standard readers:

Angry Newcastle fans can help Tottenham finish above Arsenal

He went on:

Newcastle’s relegation should ensure a hostile atmosphere which Tottenham can take advantage of to secure second place in the Premier League…

Spurs…are still a top side and you would fancy them to win at St James’ Park against a team with nothing to play for under a manager who is probably going to leave… The fans up there will be angry at how things have panned out after Sunderland beat Everton and the Newcastle players will just want the season over with.

Here’s what George Caulkin had to say about the match in the Times:

This was a peculiar day at St James’ Park, where a relegated side played with the zeal of champions and their supporters sang merrily in the sunshine and when Spurs, for so long an embodiment of promise and quality, simply imploded. Old, tired, perennial failures Arsenal — or so the narrative goes — hopped above them and a campaign that has featured upset at its core ended in a suitably perplexing manner.

More expert inside knowledge from Harry Redknapp all over the media every week.

Posted: 16th, May 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports, Spurs, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Arsenal balls: lose to Bayern Munich and the Premier League goes too (just ask Liverpool)

Arsenal are playing badly in the Champions’ League. With the table reading ‘played 2; lost 2’, Arsene Wenger’s team need a win in their home match with Bayern Munich.

Steve Howard has a theory that you can win when you lose. He writes in the Sun:

Should Arsenal suffer back-to-back defeats against Bayern Munich — P11, W11 and 24 goals in their last six games — they could well finish bottom of the group and not even qualify for the Europa League. Arsenal, free of other distractions, will then never have a better chance of winning their first title since the Invincibles in 2003-04. Just call it forward planning. And they never do anything in the Champions League anyway

Can losing matches help to win matches? What about winning being a habit?

In 2014, Liverpool were pushing to the title. With a home match against Chelsea looming the Daily Mirror asked its writes to take a view:

Will Liverpool win the Premier League title? Our reporters have their say…



Martin Lipton:


…the Anfield clash comes slap in the middle of Chelsea’s Champions League semi-final games with Atletico Madrid. That surely gives Liverpool an advantage.

Joe Mewis:


While there’s surely a few twists and turns awaiting us, the fact that the Chelsea game comes in the middle of their Champions League semi-final tips the balance in favour of the Reds for me.

Paul Wilson had more in the Guardian:

There can be no doubt, as Liverpool home in on a possible first title in 24 years, that their chances have been enhanced by non-involvement in Europe.

Managers in the know such as José Mourinho and Manuel Pellegrini have been saying all season that it is easier to play once a week, it is clearly less tiring not to have to travel abroad in midweek and you do not run the risk of “hangovers” when disappointing results in Europe affect your confidence in Premier League matches…

The Anfield game falls right between the two legs of Chelsea’s Champions League semi-final against Atlético Madrid. Mourinho’s players will arrive in Liverpool having played in Spain, and have the home leg at Stamford Bridge three days after Anfield. Given that victory over Liverpool will not necessarily confirm Chelsea as English champions – another slip-up by Manchester City will be required for that to happen – it may be the case that European progress is prioritised…


He then adds wryly:

At the very least some seem to feel that if a 24-year gap is closed and Gerrard gets his title wish, an asterisk should accompany the achievement in the record books to denote that Liverpool played fewer games than most of their rivals that season. If Liverpool do win the title and seventh place is established as the ideal launchpad for domestic success, can we expect teams to be fighting to finish outside the European positions from next season onwards? It could be Manchester United have been ahead of the game all along.




There is plenty of room for argument about whether a Championship season is actually easier or less taxing than a Premier League one, but missing from my correspondent’s analysis of the Wembley situation was the consideration that Arsenal, of the Champions League, were nine minutes from being humbled by Wigan, of the Championship. A team that though relegated at the end of last season had gone to Manchester City in the previous round and put out a side that at the time were favourites to win the Premier League title. You can produce statistics to support almost any argument in football, but Danny Blanchflower was right about the game being about glory. If you don’t see that, if you can’t even be a little bit excited about teams upsetting the odds, you might be missing the point.

Liverpool never did win the title that year, losing t0-2 to Chelsea in that home match. Chelsea lost 3-1 to Atletico Madrid.

Does defeat in the Champion’s League help a team win the title? No. It just means you lost.

Posted: 16th, October 2015 | In: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Reviews, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer balls: Arsenal sign Lars Bender for the second time

Transfer Balls: a look at the rumour and rubbish dressed up as new by the mainstream media. Today Lars Bender is an Arsenal player.

Well, so says the Metro newpaper:

Arsenal set to beat Barcelona to Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Lars Bender



Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 19th, February 2015 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0