Ranieri at the Lane minutes after his team have conceded a penalty on a controversial decision by the referee “If the referee gives the penalty then it is a penalty” Excellent. Love it. Why can’t Wenger do the same? Why does he have to gesticulate on the touchline when decisions go against us and engage with the 4th official?
Two possible reasons; the first is that he simply cannot accept the bad decisions. Wenger knows in football you win some and you lose some, but he is myopic and only sees one side. It is a weakness. The second reason – he is trying to bully the referee. He knows the 4th official will say something to the referee. Referees and linesmen are human – and if they have dropped a clanger, then let the official know as there is more chance of getting the next 50/50. I still prefer Ranieri’s approach – maybe not so good for his club, but it sure is a great message for soccer.
Did you hear Morgan on 606. He loves to tell you half the story. “Wenger failed for nine years. He should be sacked”. The other half? – what a great achievement to keep us in contention when we are selling players to make ends meet while building a top stadium that guarantees long term financial security. Thanks, Arsene.
Good to see Benik Afobe proving his worth. Down to Wolves and now in the Premier League with Bournemouth. Good for him but maybe bad for us if he plays a blinder when we go to the Cherries for the return fixture. He will have a point to prove and will really challenge our defence.
There is a link with my next item – Gavin Hoyte. He finally scored his first senior goal for Barnet in their home win against Bristol Rovers in League 2. He tried his best at Arsenal but never quite made it. Still good if he can make a future at Barnet. Need them to climb up the table. He has an Olympic connection? Guess who.
I don’t care for Piers Morgan and Paul Scholes falls into the same category. It is like Alan Shearer. During all his homilies on Match of the Day do you ever hear him say “Actually I was unsuccessful as a manager”. And he was. One attempt at Newcastle and down they went. Why when he is pontificating about this team selection or that substitution does he never say “when I was given my chance I failed”. Scholes is another who knows his comments will get the headlines but he prefers the comforts of the Stand to the onerous responsibilities of actually doing the job – signing the players, settling training, arranging tactical formations, dropping players out of form. Something about the harlot have power without responsibility…
Sunderland, FA Cup 3rd Round – a good win for our team. Needed to be focused 100%. Allardyce made a real challenge of it and his team were even Stephen up to 70 minutes. If Whatmore had hit the target instead of the bar what would have happened? All teams play the passing game and break quickly and can grab a goal. Anyone can beat anyone as Villa will show before the end of the season. But we came through the test. Iwobi showed touches. Adeleyde got his start. The Ox hit the post and then the most sublime pass to Bellerin for the third goal. He stuttered. He got things wrong but full marks he did not hide. He knows he is playing through an uncertain patch. Bear with him. With him will come the fruit.
And with the players to return it is an exciting time for us. We are Daring To Think. So are City and don’t overlook THFC. Real solidity at N 17. Feet on the ground. No one is crowing but they know they are on the radar. A lot of us selected Arsenal because a relative took us to our first game and the Love Affair Began. But it could have been THFC. The choice is that tight for most of us. I was stirred by seeing Joe Mercer when I was aged five. Others were stirred by seeing Ron Burgess. Ron Who?
A Chelsea youngster actually scores. This underlines one of the big weaknesses in Mourinho. All those years at the Bridge and no youngsters coming through. He always wanted the big money solution. Don’t get me wrong. He was a top manager but he was never a top man. To be both you have to be special.
I still want to know why Howard Webb gave up refereeing. Remember the 5th Round Cup Match in 2014. He failed to give Liverpool a definite penalty. He then “evened up” by failing to send off Gerrard for a second yellow card. did he lose his nerve and prefer the safety of the commentators box to the danger of the match official. Will he write a book? Will he address the subject?
Roll on Wednesday – the tension build up begins at about midday on 12 January. Wonderful this game of football. Love it.