The wife says I’m not always impartial on these matters, but sometimes I really do believe the collective world of football (note, the game played by kicking the ball with the feet, not throwing it with the hands while dressed in layers of body armour) have it in for Arsenal. Take Saturday’s game against the South East’s favourite team, Manchester United – ManUre committed 21 fouls but had just 3 players booked. Arsenal committed 15 fouls but had 6 players booked. ManUre were awarded a penalty, while Arsenal’s penalty claim (just as clear-cut) was waved away. And the perpetrator of the foul got away with that one and two other bookable offences, so should have been off the field.

Yes, Arsenal did concede a penalty and an own goal, and therefore lost fair and square, but many were in agreement that Arsenal were the better side. An injury-time goal was disallowed for offside, and yes it was the correct decision… but don’t you wonder what would have happened if the situation was reversed, if ManUre were 2-1 down and scored a dodgy last-minute goal at home?

Now consider the fate of Eduardo. In February 2008 he suffered a broken leg during a match against Birmingham, an injury so horrific that a surgeon’s first reaction was that amputation was a possibility. Of course that didn’t happen and he was playing again within 14 months. Last week Eduardo ‘dived’ during a game against Celtic, winning a penalty in the process. Whether he did dive intentionally to win a penalty, or whether he was making an evasive move to get his legs well out of the goalie’s way, only he will know. The question is, why would UEFA choose this incident to start a witch-hunt against the art of diving? I’ve seen far more blatant examples of diving and play-acting that have received nothing more than a booking. If UEFA have condemned Eduardo to a 2-match ban, are they going to go back over all of the other alleged diving incidents over the past few years? If so, a certain Mr C Ronaldo had better get his defence case ready… perhaps the ManUre fans, when they shouted “cheat” at Eduardo, had forgotten that that the greasy winger often went down like a sniper victim if someone coughed within 3 yards of him.


  1. I would say you’re wife is right. Arsenal, Man U, (Glasgow) Rangers and Celtic fans all seem to think the world is agin them.

    You should be an Aberdeen supporter – then you’d know the world was against you!


  2. And Tony Mowbray, the Celtic manager, blames Eduardo for Aiden McGeady’s sending off against the Hibs at Easter Road on Sunday:

    Aye, it’s a funny old game 🙂

  3. What makes it even worse is that I recorded the Man U game and went back later and watched the Rooney penalty incident again. Yes he was caught by Almunia but at the point of contact, Rooney had no chance of actually catching the ball before it went out and more importantly, he was already on his way down making sure that Almunia did make contact with him. UEFA has just taken a small step onto the top of a very slippery slope where these incidents are going to be looked at much more closely. It could be either be very good for the game where the likes of CR are made aware of the consequences of feigning a life threatening injury and stop them doing it or UEFA making a s**t load of work for themselves by opening this can of worms by going along with this complaint against a player.

    On a lighter note…… Arshavin…. phew what a scorcher !!! Pick that out of the old onion bag.

  4. On a more general lighter note, the fact that the Arse more than matched ManUre at Old Trafford gives me confidence for the season. I just hope they can find that consistency that was missing last season. The Spuds must be feeling very pleased with their opening games, their best start to a season for over 300 years… of course, it won’t last.

  5. Of course you were robbed. The Mighty United were played off the park. But the great teams that win premierships are the ones that come away with 3 points when they are playing badly.

    And you still have Burnley to worry about 😉

  6. Ports… ManYoo were better in the second half, some better finishing at both ends could have made it a lot more interesting.

    If video evidence will now be condemning players, I hope it will also condemn that nasty rat-boy in the crowd who was flicking two fingers at Mr Wenger and giving lip-readers an unexpected treat.

  7. Your wife is right !!…. I was at the match and while you played better in the half we were better in the 2nd…..

    As for
    ‘Yes he was caught by Almunia but at the point of contact, Rooney had no chance of actually catching the ball before it went out and more importantly’ what matters is the contact and where it happened…..
    boys….Results count!
    up the Reds

  8. Dear UEFA,

    Please can I have one of your officials at every Man U game this season.
    Please pay particular attention to the clock when Man U are 1 down in time added on, the amount of fouls mssrs Carrick, Fletcher and Scholes dish out unpunished and especially the strange old man with the red nose with the watch fetish who seems to turn up with alarming regularity and give the 4th official a very hard time if his team are not 4-0 up at half time.;o)


  9. Interesting…. a report on bbc.co.uk today in the sports section agrees with me that Rooney may well have been guilty of a little Sir Lawrence Olivier himself when he won the penalty.

    I hate to say I told you so but…. I told you so.

    @9….. Brown envelope… large suitcase more like 😉

  10. I see Sir Alice has given his support to Eduardo’s ban today. Yes you would now wouldn’t you, now that 5 time Oscar winner Ronaldo has headed for sunnier climes.
    Bet you wouldn’t have done that if he was still on your books.

  11. Could be worse, you could be a Saints fan and wondering if your team will ever have a positive points total. I’m looking forward to those trips to Accrington Stanley already 🙂

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