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Manchester Dean v Arsenal. A preview. Of sorts.

By Tony Attwood

We won 5-7.  I mention it for the 2% of the away support who left before the end.  Mike Dean is the ref.

Does anyone have anything we can say about this match which doesn’t rattle on about the 8-2 defeat last season?  If not, then fine, here is a vague approximation of the teams…

Mannone

Santos Vermaelen Mertersacker Sagna

Wilshere Arteta

Carzola

Walcott   Giroud  Podolski

On the beach (sorry bench)… Martínez, Jenkinson, Yennaris, Djourou, Koscielny,  Coquelin, Gnarby, Arshavin, Chamakh

And the injured list:

  • Ox-Ch
  • Szczesny
  • Gibbs
  • Rosicky
  • Diaby
  • Gervinho
  • Fabianski

The Penalty Story

And this story is that in the matches between Arsenal and Manchester U there have been nine penalties.

  • All of them have been at Old Trafford
  • Seven of them have been for Manchester United
  • Five of the nine penalties have failed to result in a goal

But the real problem is the ref.  Just read the review from last season to see a level of bias so extraordinary that it is well, just extraordinary.  PGMOL have failed to respond to this, no commentary on this is ever made on the mass media apart from when the BBC did their piece on us, and yet here is a man who…

Well, why don’t I just reprint the conclusion of the review of this referee last year….

Strange referee decisions can be

a) random – just having a bad moment

b) the result of poor refereeing – the ref is not good enough

c) the result of the ref trying to help his own career

d) because of a match being fixed by a club

To look for a moment at c) there are people who have a great feeling on doing what is best for their own personal career. They don’t do things because they dislike a team or a person. But they think, “who can I make happy so he can help me along with my career.”  And when I look at the career of Dean I have the impression he is one of those people who have a great feeling of serving the right person at the right time.  I stress that is just a personal feeling – there is no evidence other than the evidence that something is wrong.

Of course it could be a coincidence that Arsenal almost never lost a game under him when Dein was an important person in the FA. Of course it could be a coincidence that Arsenal started dropping points under Dean when Dein was no longer at the FA.

Likewise it could be a coincidence that he gave Manchester United and their manager a few happy moments when turning a blind eye since Mike Riley became the head of the referees. Of course it could be a coincidence that QPR, who sponsors the referees in the PL are the team that gets most of the decisions under him. Of course it could be a coincidence that Harry Redknapp the media’s favourite club manager/destroyer/next England manager got more wins than normal when Dean was in charge of his games.

It all could be coincidences. Coincidences do happen.  But if you look at the bigger picture you also could ask yourself: are they really all coincidences?  Or are we seeing a very clever man who does what he feels need to be done to launch his own career?

But at the end we come back to the fundamental basic point: we have no independent evidence.  We just have the views of a group of referees monitoring another referee on the pitch.

Latest stories:

Comparing this season with last year: Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea, Liverpool, Newcastle, Everton, Man C, Man U
Everyone is somewhere most of the time (and dancing with Elaine)

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The books…

The sites…

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Comparing Arsenal, Tottenham, Newcastle, Man C, Man U, Chelsea, Everton, Liverpool: this year against last season

So how are we doing? An updated comparison against last year.

by Stuart Higgins

We’re at 9 games played now and in follow up to the earlier article I wrote comparing this year to the equivalent fixtures last season I have added a little twist.  I have added in the result for game 10 from last season so we can look at what needs to happen to be in a better position this season.  In case you missed it or for a recap, the original article can be found here:-

http://blog.emiratesstadium.info/archives/25433

Quick recap, in the case of relegated / promoted teams for last season, I have used the result from the alternative fixture based on the following:-

Finishing Positions 11/12 Season

Championship

Premiership

Reading

1st

18th

Bolton

Southampton

2nd

19th

Blackburn

West Ham

3rd

20th

Wolves

 

So first let’s take a look at the team by team figures, starting with the current champions:-

Man City

Last Season

This Season

Blackburn

H

3-0

3

Southampton

H

3-2

3

Liverpool

A

1-1

1

Liverpool

A

2-2

1

QPR

H

3-2

3

QPR

H

3-1

3

Stoke

A

1-1

1

Stoke

A

1-1

1

Arsenal

H

1-0

3

Arsenal

H

1-1

1

Fulham

A

2-2

1

Fulham

A

1-2

3

Sunderland

H

3-3

1

Sunderland

H

3-0

3

West Brom

A

0-0

1

West Brom

A

1-2

3

Swansea

H

4-0

3

Swansea

H

1-0

3

Wolves

A

0-2

West Ham

A

 

TOTAL POINTS

17

 

TOTAL POINTS

21

 

Man City are 4 points up on this stage last season.  Man City you could say are doing remarkably well, 4 points up on their championship form of last season, definitely title contenders in my opinion.

How do things look at Manchester United?

Man Utd

Last Season

This Season

Everton

A

0-1

3

Everton

A

0-1

0

Fulham

H

1-0

3

Fulham

H

3-2

3

Blackburn

A

0-2

3

Southampton

A

2-3

3

Wigan

H

5-0

3

Wigan

H

4-2

3

Liverpool

A

1-1

1

Liverpool

A

1-2

3

Tottenham

H

3-0

3

Tottenham

H

2-3

0

Newcastle

A

3-0

0

Newcastle

A

0-3

3

Stoke

H

2-0

3

Stoke

H

4-2

3

Chelsea

A

3-3

1

Chelsea

A

2-3

3

Arsenal

H

8-2

Arsenal

H

 

TOTAL POINTS

20

 

TOTAL POINTS

21

 

Man United are also fairing quite well, they are 1 point up compared to last season.  I bet they wish they had that extra point last season.  The next game is against Arsenal where they totally thrashed us last season, they could go 4 points ahead with a win again, let’s hope we keep them to just the 1 point ahead.

Things are a little different at Arsenal however.  Compared to the same fixtures from last season, we are down 5 points.  A win this weekend is not enough to get us ahead or even equal which is quite a worry.  One small consolation is that we have had 6 away games out of 10 compared to 5 for the two Manchester teams however this makes no difference for the purposes of this comparison.

Arsenal

Last Season

This Season

Sunderland

H

2-1

3

Sunderland

H

0-0

1

Stoke

A

1-1

1

Stoke

A

0-0

1

Liverpool

A

1-2

3

Liverpool

A

2-0

3

Blackburn

H

7-1

3

Southampton

H

6-1

3

Man City

A

1-0

0

Man City

A

1-1

1

Chelsea

H

0-0

1

Chelsea

H

1-2

0

West Ham

A

0-3

3

West Ham

A

1-3

3

Norwich

A

1-2

3

Norwich

A

1-0

0

QPR

H

1-0

3

QPR

H

1-0

3

Man Utd

A

8-2

Man Utd

A

 

TOTAL POINTS

20

 

TOTAL POINTS

15

 

And now for our friendly neighbours.  In my first article, they were 1 point behind on the same fixtures the previous season but now they are level on points so an improvement for them.  The key now is to match their win against Wigan from last year or fall behind again.

Tottenham

Last Season

This Season

Newcastle

A

2-2

1

Newcastle

A

2-1

0

West Brom

H

1-0

3

West Brom

H

1-1

1

Norwich

H

1-2

0

Norwich

H

1-1

1

Bolton

A

1-4

3

Reading

A

1-3

3

QPR

H

3-1

3

QPR

H

2-1

3

Man Utd

A

3-0

0

Man Utd

A

2-3

3

Aston Villa

H

2-0

3

Aston Villa

H

2-0

3

Chelsea

H

1-1

1

Chelsea

H

2-4

0

Blackburn

A

1-2

3

Southampton

A

1-2

3

Wigan

H

3-1

Wigan

H

 

TOTAL POINTS

17

 

TOTAL POINTS

17

 

Fortunes have changed for Newcastle, after falling 7 points behind they have now managed to claw this back and are 3 points away from break even.  They need to win their next game against Liverpool to maintain this.

Newcastle

Last Season

This Season

Tottenham

H

2-2

1

Tottenham

H

2-1

3

Chelsea

A

0-2

3

Chelsea

A

0-2

0

Aston Villa

H

2-1

3

Aston Villa

H

1-1

1

Everton

A

3-1

0

Everton

A

2-2

1

Norwich

H

1-0

3

Norwich

H

1-0

3

Bolton

A

0-2

3

Reading

A

2-2

1

Man Utd

H

3-0

3

Man Utd

H

0-3

0

Sunderland

A

1-0

0

Sunderland

A

1-1

1

West Brom

H

2-3

0

West Brom

H

2-1

3

Liverpool

H

3-1

Liverpool

H

 

TOTAL POINTS

16

 

TOTAL POINTS

13

 

Following on from their success of last season, Chelsea have got off to a cracking start and are looking un-catchable.  At present they have doubled their points total compared to the same fixtures last year.  Their next game against Swansea (away) was a draw last year but without disrespecting Swansea, I can’t see them coming home with less than 3 points although as they say, it’s a funny old game.  Hats off to Chelsea, they are doing fantastically.

Chelsea

Last Season

This Season

Wigan

A

1-1

1

Wigan

A

0-2

3

Bolton

H

3-0

3

Reading

H

4-2

3

Newcastle

H

0-2

0

Newcastle

H

2-0

3

QPR

A

1-0

0

QPR

A

0-0

1

Stoke

H

0-0

1

Stoke

A

1-0

3

Arsenal

A

0-0

1

Arsenal

A

1-2

3

Norwich

H

2-1

3

Norwich

H

4-1

3

Tottenham

A

1-1

1

Tottenham

A

2-4

3

Man Utd

H

3-3

1

Man Utd

H

2-3

0

Swansea

A

1-1

Swansea

A

 

TOTAL POINTS

11

 

TOTAL POINTS

22

 

Everton are up next and they too are seeing a good increase in points.  Three points up on last season, they won the next fixture last year so the worst that could happen for Everton after this weekend is they break even.

Everton

Last Season

This Season

Man Utd

H

0-1

0

Man Utd

H

1-0

3

Aston Villa

A

1-1

1

Aston Villa

A

1-3

3

West Brom

A

0-1

3

West Brom

A

2-0

0

Newcastle

A

3-1

3

Newcastle

A

2-2

1

Swansea

H

0-2

3

Swansea

H

0-3

3

Blackburn

H

1-1

1

Southampton

H

3-1

3

Wigan

A

1-1

1

Wigan

A

2-2

1

QPR

A

1-1

1

QPR

A

1-1

1

Liverpool

H

0-2

0

Liverpool

H

2-2

1

Fulham

A

1-3

Fulham

A

 

TOTAL POINTS

13

 

TOTAL POINTS

16

 

Now for Liverpool whom in the last article we discovered they had declined by 3 points after 7 games.  Unfortunately for the Reds their fortunes do not get any better as they now lay a total of 5 points behind.  To ensure they don’t slip any further behind a win to match lasts year win against Newcastle is required or they could drop back as far as 8 points behind last season.

Liverpool

Last Season

This Season

West Brom

A

0-2

3

West Brom

A

3-0

0

Man City

H

1-1

1

Man City

H

2-2

1

Arsenal

H

1-2

0

Arsenal

H

0-2

0

Sunderland

A

1-0

0

Sunderland

A

1-1

1

Man Utd

H

1-1

1

Man Utd

H

1-2

0

Norwich

A

0-3

3

Norwich

A

2-5

3

Stoke

H

0-0

1

Stoke

H

0-0

1

Bolton

H

3-1

3

Reading

H

1-0

3

Everton

A

0-2

3

Everton

A

2-2

1

Newcastle

H

3-1

Newcastle

H

 

TOTAL POINTS

15

 

TOTAL POINTS

10

 

Moving on to a quick analysis of both the number of points gained / lost compared to last year together with total number of top 8 teams played.

After 9 games

After 7 games

Team

No of top 8 teams faced so far

+/- Points this year / Last Year

Team

No of top 8 teams faced so far

+/- Points this year / Last Year

Chelsea

3

11

Chelsea

2

10

Man City

2

4

Man City

2

2

Everton

3

3

Everton

2

2

Man Utd

5

1

Man Utd

4

-1

Tottenham

3

0

Arsenal

3

-2

Newcastle

4

-3

Tottenham

2

-2

Arsenal

3

-5

Liverpool

3

-3

Liverpool

5

-5

Newcastle

4

-7

 

Chelsea again are the dominators of the pack and the league having improved their points tally further.  United and Tottenham are also both out of the red but most worryingly sees Arsenal being leap frogged by Newcastle whilst we drop down and join Liverpool.  I think the season is truly for Chelsea to lose whilst on this form, Arsenal will not be making top 4 I’m afraid.  Come on boys, the true comeback kings!

Last story: 

Everyone is somewhere most of the time (and dancing with Elaine)

——————————–

The books…

The sites…

 

Everyone is somewhere most of the time, and dancing with Elaine

by Tony Attwood (tony.attwood@aisa.org)

Last night I went to my local jive club and had a number of extremely pleasant dances with Elaine who works in a senior medical post at the local hospital.

I mention it because it was a very enjoyable evening, during the course of which I didn’t think about Arsenal.  The 7-5 win over Reading is over, I’ve watched the iplayer version twice, I’m not ready to try and work out who, if anyone, we have available for the Manchester United match amidst all the injuries, and anyway I’ve had enough of the doom and disaster stories.

Elaine danced beautifully, she told me about the vital work she does in medicine, and I blurbled a bit about Untold, the books like “Making the Arsenal” and my life in advertising.

And that is what life is – being places, doing things, having fun.  It is what most of us manage to do most of the time.

But…

Two percent of Arsenal fans (apparently) left the Reading game at 4-0 down shouting “we want our Arsenal back”.

Two percent of the shareholders present at the AGM voted against the re-election of the board.  Shock horror, tidal waves, the moon collides with the earth, the end of civilisaton etc.

Both events (the Reading game and the AGM at Arsenal) combined with those mentioned here in recent days (ref charged with racist comments, Serbia arrests England internationals etc etc etc) just makes me think… well, actually I don’t know what it makes me think.  But they make me think.

I support Arsenal because my mum and dad and their families supported Arsenal, because we were a north London family, and you either supported Tottenham or Arsenal.   That was it.   Tribal.

I still support Arsenal, but the media, aptly aided by the blogs have bought into this supporter revolt scheme, for getting that there was a strong Anti-Arsenal movement even at the Manor Ground in the 19th century.

Yes the revolet is nothing new.  Remember the “Arsenal have had 50 red cards since Wenger arrived”… that story (with obviously the total varying from time to time) ran for ages.  No one actually checked that the number was right, no one compared with the number of red cards from anyone else.  The story was actually a load of old cobblers.

Same with the “years without a trophy”.   Technically it is correct, but as Wenger said, if we had beaten Birmingham and had our trophy, but not ended up in the top four that season, what then?   Birmingham, as you may know, are now on the slippery slope, and last I heard the auditors had resigned because they couldn’t get hold of the figures.  Expulsion from the league because of failure to submit accounts is a possibility.  Money laundering, broken promises of wealth, disappearing directors…  Ah but never mind.  They won the league cup.

It all comes down to priorities, and the way you see your world.

Life is out there – it happens – it is real (unless you are a member of one of those cults that thinks that it is all a fantasy and we are all of us stuck inside a video game being played on a galactic scale).

What changes between us is the interpretation of events.  I interpret life (at least today) as being OK.  Good, even.   A great dance last night and the chance of another tonight following a text from Lorraine saying she and her pals are going to a dance in Bedford tonight and hopes to meet me there.  (No, I don’t have a lady in every town that has a dance hall, I just like dancing and fortunately I am moderately good at it – as opposed to football at which I am crap).

The fact is I can go and watch the Arsenal and they lose and I get a bit down.  I watch them win the most incredible league cup match of all time, and I get rather up.   The Reading boss said something like it being the worst night of his life.  Same match.  Same reality.  Different lens.

Arsenal is central to my life, but it is not all my life.   Jive is central to my life, but not all my life.   Somewhere, somehow we need a balance, which takes us away from football being more than life, from half of football being fought in the courts, from 2% of fans leaving at half time and making the headlines.  From the racism and the homophobia.

Put another way: it is not a case of “I want my Arsenal back” but of “I want my fun back.”

If you watch the film of the Arsenal end at Reading when the fifth goal went in you will see total joy, delirium, excitement, enthusiasm and above all screaming disbelief.   If those of us who jive regularly were filmed you would see smiles and pleasure as we meander around the dance floor trying to express in wrist and arm  movements exactly what the hell we are going to do next.  Less emotion maybe, but still lots of pleasure.

There is no pleasure when Arsenal lose, or when a dance turns out to be less exciting than I had hoped.  But it is life.  Life is like this.   Stuff happens.  The aim is to be happy some of the time.

We are all of us somewhere looking through a lens and interpreting the results.  We all of us see things in different ways.  But that does not mean we have to descend into the sort of stuff involving court processes, demands for the manager’s head, arrests of players, or anything else.   We can campaign against Fifa, but still smile.

Everyone is somewhere most of the time.  It is just that for some of us that somewhere is a) varied and b) not something that turns us into raging racists or people who will demand another man loses his job just because we are 4-0 at half time.

There is so much more to life than walking out of a ground shouting abuse at the manager after 45 minutes, or voting against the reappointment of members of the Arsenal board.   There is a world out there.  Most of us are in it, having fun some of the time.  Sadly, some people are not.

 Last story…

England run by idiots, players arrested, racism untouched

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The books…

The sites…