Arsenal’s indiscipline led to defeat, not Lee Probert.

WTTGT Writer: Vivek Arulnathan

While it is always difficult to accept defeat, it is not a reason to blame everyone else for the loss while there are visible loopholes within your squad. Arsene Wenger’s anger against Lee Probert is highly misplaced as it was his side’s indiscipline and lack of organization that led to defeat. Not Lee Probert. Not Martin Jol.

Even as a staunch Wenger loyalist, it is disappointing to see Wenger blaming the referee and shielding his players when they really should be held accountable for the debacle last night. That doesn’t mean the referee made all the right calls yesterday.

 Gervinho was tripped in the box early in the game and it probably should have been a penalty. There was only minimal contact and I wasn’t surprised that the referee ignored it. Djourou deserved his first yellow card for a clumsy tackle from behind. He should have known better and the referee had no choice but to book him.

Now that he was in the referee’s books, Djourou should have treaded the line carefully. When Mertasacker’s poor interception set Zamora free, Djourou decided that it wasn’t wrong to have his hands around the Fulham striker on the edge of the box. Though Zamora went down too easily, the referee again had no option but to book Djourou for a second time. Johan didn’t pull Zamora down, in fact there wasn’t any contact at all but a player of Djourou’s experience should have known that putting a hand in front of the striker was just asking for trouble.

Our lack of discipline has repeatedly cost us this season. Newcastle and Liverpool early in the season are prime examples. Arsenal players should seriously start learning how to tackle and defend once they’re booked. You can’t keep throwing yourself around and expect to stay on the pitch. It is important to make sure you don’t get yourself into situations which opposition players can take advantage of.

And Arsenal could still have saved the game yesterday but we lacked the defensive organization needed to give ourselves a chance of victory. Thomas Vermaelen and his leadership at the back was sorely missed. Koscielny and Szczsney were having really good games before they were found wanting during Fulham’s equalizer. No one closed down Zamora as he volleyed a weak clearance from Squillaci and Coquelin wasn’t even in the picture.

What’s more frustrating is that we are another defender down for our next game. Injuries have played a huge part in our lack of defensive personnel but it doesn’t help when you force yourself out of matches due to silly mistakes. It’s like me missing an A grade in my Mathematics paper by writing 20 as 2 when turning over to the next page and getting an entire answer wrong.

It is these lapses of concentration and failure to do small things like marking and clearances that cost us the match and Wenger has to realize that to make sure mistakes aren’t repeated. Blaming the referee is the easier way out and it doesn’t help in the long term. The shortcomings in our defensive tactics have to be worked on in the training ground for them not to haunt us every week.


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9 Responses to Arsenal’s indiscipline led to defeat, not Lee Probert.

  1. November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am #

    Do your research and you will find refs have caused Arsenal to lose 16 points this season through bias. Add to that an agenda that has been going on now for at least 4 seasons which costs Arsenal 20 points per season on average and then talk to me about squads, team selections etc. I don't know if it has got through to your incy-wincy yet– but the better Arsenal do, the more enforcer refs they get and the more they get cheated. Do your research instead of mouthing off. A cheating ref can stop any team in it's tracks. They would'nt do that would they? You had better believe it!! I have never been near the Emirates– I support a club miles away- but I know cheating when I see it and I know nothing ruins sport so quickly. Italy? Juventus!!

  2. January 3, 2012 at 1:03 pm #

    ITS really disturbin to see arsenal in the pitch sometimes with higly school footbal. But the annoying part is luck of wenger visionary view and see the quality of his players than just giving them match. I totally dnt recommend coquelin and i wish he dosent again show up wih arsenal shirt, This is danger butreferess abd think of quality than keeping bunch of late loosers.

  3. January 3, 2012 at 1:24 pm #

    Spot on

    I was their and we played well first half and should have put the game to bed. DJ is out of his depth and not a premiership right back (he is not a centre half either).

    He was getting roasted and was lucky to stay on the pitch as long as he did, if Wenger had any game instinct about him he would have subbed him after he got booked.

    We failed to come out second half and Fulham so wanted more than we did, all I can say is the half time team talk must have sent them all to sleep.

    Forget the ref they all make mistakes, some times in goes in your favour some times against its part of the game.

    Get real and get some quality into that side, too many average players.


  4. January 3, 2012 at 3:07 pm #

    I find it difficult to believe that an Arsenal fan actually wrote this article! As a matter of fact, the referee had a massive negative impact on the game on our side. If you have played football before, you should be able to understand that whenever the referee ignores very rough challenges and waves play-on, the players who feel offended get more and more frustrated, killing their effectiveness, much to the advantage of the opponents. The 2004 loss to Man U that ended our unbeaten run should serve as a good example.

    Turning to the game last night, the referee clearly mishandled the game, much to our disadvantage. First, Arne Riise shoved Theo off the ball at the left touchline and the ref so nothing wrong with that. I have watched the Gervinho incident over and over and, no doubt, it was a penalty, The ref 'saw nothing', unfortunately. When Djourou and Van Persie were almost assaulted by Fulham players, the ref only waved 'play-on'! After all that and you say the ref had no problem? I don't think your assessment was fair on Arsenal!

    Tactically though, I think Wenger made a number of errors that probably cost us the game. First, by taking off Theo Ramsey and Gervinho, the manager had ejected the pace and attacking threat Arsenal had on the night, as Van Persie had increasingly become more and more isolated upfront. Secondly, As Djourou was put to the sword by the trickery of Frei, Wenger never ran to his rescue, yet I think, having been booked already, with 20 minutes to go, Wenger should have asked Koscielny to move to right back and Djourou to the center as the latter should have dealt with Frei much better. I also don't understand why Chamberlain is not played at all, yet to keep Fulham on the defensive, Chamberlain should have been played at least from the bench to replace Theo, but we had no glimpse of him. Consequently, we were left with only one option-to defend, something we are not known for doing, and we failed.

    Yes, we defended poorly, but again the coach is to blame for some of his decisions, but, as Wenger stressed, the ref was to blame, clearly!

  5. gunnerviv January 3, 2012 at 3:19 pm #

    I've made it clear that the ref was poor but Djourou should have known better given all his experience. He invited trouble and Zamora made sure he capitalized on it.

    @Patrick I agree that Wenger got a few tactical decisions wrong and I've been a Wenger supporter long enough to know that he wouldn't accept that. But still, I think you would agree that the ref wasn't the only reason we lost, wouldn't you?

  6. January 3, 2012 at 4:00 pm #

    Of course I would, and, as Van Persie put it, Tony Adams should be brought back and given the full mandate to coach that defense of ours, because with the defenders we have, a better organiser would make it impenetrable, wouldn't they?

  7. January 3, 2012 at 4:12 pm #

    Lets please be realistic.Look at the team we have and what more could you ask ?The big name Arsenal is gone long time ago.Big name top performance no is gone.
    It is only a very good team spirit that kept us so far other than that tell me me how many player we got that can make an immediate impact or let say the opposition team can run scared off.
    It is the only known few ,GERVINIO harasses continuously the defence with his dribbling skills.Van Persie the untouchable one and the lovely Song.Only this they merit to wear the arsenal shirt.

    Theo : This guy is with as for almost five season.Five season,five season five season.Hear that ????
    In five season with all this top medical -top instructors -top wages what we got ???
    Because is an english player the usuall hype of the media will not foolish forever anyone.Southampton they sold as a sprinter and not a footballer.Bolton Usain the quick runner on earth has been visiting the Oldtrafford but RED NOSE did not sign him or try to convert into footballer.One cannot convert a Jew to Islam even though theyr both human being in the eyes of many.The Olimpic 2012 is not that far and please somebody tell this Theo go and do the sprinter there please.

    Sometimes i look at our summer buys and the only explanation i can get in regard Park and MYACI are not a buy of Wenger but of that Ivan Gazidis.The whole purpose rather than to sell few shirt in ASIA surely nothing has been demonstrate in terms of football in the last six months or so.Blame endlessly to Wenger you foolish guys but i can see clearly that is not and never will be Arsene buy.
    Ramzi : This endless Hype has to have an end.The usual excuse is “learning his trade” .Thank you if the migthy ARSENAL is a place to learn your skills……In my opinion this type of player must be loaned in the premirship and not in europe.That is what he does the red nose and look at WellbeK
    Add to all this the dead woods ARSHAVIN -CHAMAK-ROSICKY-SQUILLACI ………. What more can we expect?????

    Through tick and thin always a gooner.

  8. G January 3, 2012 at 7:23 pm #

    Vivek you are being overly critical of JD regrading the Zamora foul. I agree that wenger left him exposed but not in a million years is that a foul let alone a booking. Zamora regularly puts his arms across players to gain an advantage or shield the ball. I am not sure if you even watched the game with your comments. Zamora had been using his arms the entire game and career. The incident in question if you watch the video again Zamora is the first raise his arm to block dj and then dj responds in kind. At that moment Zamora falls down. Should have been a yellow for simulation on Zamora. This kind of incidence happens week in and week out in the epl and it is rarely a foul let alone a caution. Secondly, you are over critical of wenger. He fully acknowledges that the players got it wrong on the day and we should have been more clinical in the first half. He has every right to complain about the ref. They were appalling and it should be acknowledged. Wenger is right that over the first half of the season the calls have not evened themselves out and they won't over the season. In my view when you are missing your star midfield and all four fullbacks we know what to expect from games but we should also expect equal treatment from the officials. I am equally convinced that if those calls were against manu you would have heard and equally upset SAF if he had bothered to respond.

  9. seenitall January 3, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    I'm really surprised that only a few of you even watch the games ,you are so busy brown nosing the media..if you never saw anything wrong with the ref, then you're blind as well as stupid..had the ref been card happy with fulham then four maybe five of their players would have been booked and running that fine line you were talking about. he missed a blatant penalty and various serious play if it was an arsenal player he was booked open your eyes to what is actually going on than sniffing the brown stuff

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