Arsenal 2 Leicester and ref 1

This article appears on the History Site, because Untold Arsenal is still down.  Apologies for that – we hope to be back up soon.

By Tony Attwood

I thought we had seen the end of this type of refereeing back in the 1970s with the appalling Don Revie side, whose activities were so outrageous that the FA actually announced they would have an enquiry into the club’s behaviour on the pitch and its relationship with referees.

But then nothing happened and the FA and League backed off, Revie moved on, and eventually Leeds went down and down, financially and in terms of football success.

Now we have the scourge of football back with the most blatant Type I match fixing I have ever seen since those days with Revie and Leeds.  First 15 minutes or so, moderately even handed, or so it seemed to me, (and as usual I was there to watch the match not there to monitor the match.)

But then suddenly everything changed and it was Leicester Leicester Leicester all the way from the referee.  Exactly as the Untold Arsenal ref preview predicted.  I will of course leave Walter and Obama to write up the full report on this referee, but I must say I was stunned to see such a blatantly lopsided approach.   Match fixing?  It looked like it to me.

Then, he eased back, having giving Leicester the lead and got the Arsenal yellow cards ranking up, it was as if he thought, “there you are Leicester, I’ve given you the lead, now it is up to you.”

After that he started catch up for Leicester’s card tally, and indeed Leicester’s yellow and then red card tally should have been higher, but the ref put on the breaks and decided that even he couldn’t actually give Leicester what they deserved.  Certainly they should have been on 9 men, if not eight.

So they were allowed the fouls and endless, endless, endless time wasting for which the keeper should have been given a yellow and then a red.  The ref kept pointing at his watch as if extra time was being added for the imitations of Allerdyce’s bus parking activities, but as we saw at the end, he didn’t even add enough time to cover the subs and injuries.

And so the fairy tale ending for Danny, and what better way to come back and show us that you still know how to play.   And a well-taken goal from Theo.

Leicester will probably end up in the top four – if fourth I suspect they will go out in the knock out round before reaching the Champions League and so face the Europa.  If they end up third, then they will face a different type of referee, and indeed a different type of rules.  Either way the extra games will probably do for them, and they will sink back from whence they came.  Surely they can’t find that many referees in the league to support them for a second season.

Meanwhile I failed to notice any sort of protest against Sky, and that was probably reasonable, because it would have done no good.   Untold has put forward a proposal for live TV for every game which could reduce ticket prices, and that is the best solution – it will solve all the fixture movement and bring Arsenal’s games to many more viewers.   I’ll come back to it later.

The press will of course say something like “Arsenal fans were already outside the ground when Arsenal scored,” but believe me that was not true.   Certainly none of the regular early leavers around me had left.

Leicester have an easy run in, but they will have realised that no matter how much money they have available, there is a limit to what they can do.  That ought to unnerve them a bit, and referees watching that match today will realise that this was a step far too far and recognise how closely they are being monitored in Leicester games from now on.

I’m just back home and not had a chance to gather my thoughts, but I hope the above rushed commentary (from one who doesn’t normally write post-match commentaries – but Walter won’t be home until midnight) make just give a little of the flavour of what it was like.

And hopefully Untold will be back tomorrow.


13 Replies to “Arsenal 2 Leicester and ref 1”

  1. It was noticeable that in the first 20mins or so the most punishment for a foul given to a Leicester player was a talking to.

    We have the philosophy that you don’t want to spoil the game by refereeing correctly if it means issuing cards to the offenders. This philosophy doesn’t apply to Arsenal of course.

    The big surprise of the game was the sending off of a Leicester player.

    The last possible moment goal and agonizing wait while you wait for the ref to find a reason for disallowing the goal. Time may not stop but the heart does.

    Then the ecstasy of being an Arsenal supporter.

    Its natural, its normal, its wonderful.

  2. Funny the stoppage time was insufficient to cover for all the wasted time – I’m sure Leicester would have wanted the ref to account for all of it. Reminds me of a home match against Newcastele, when they wasted time to no end and we scored in the last minute of stoppage, leaving them with the regret of having wasted too much time and not being able to mount a comeback. Funny the way football works.

  3. Thank you Tony.
    The ref did seem to change in the second half, Drinkwaters assault aside,but full credit to the team from coming back from this. And the fans…..did their noise get to MA after a while?
    People talk about Leicester as some sort of romantic fairy tale….what I saw today from their players and ref was complete cynicism …..fitting they got nothing from this game. They certainly have some excellent players, but they clearly did their homework on this ref, but if anything, took it out of even Atkinsons comfort zone.
    Notice the Spuds got a nice friendly ref as well. And Atkinson and Clattenberg are supposedly the cream of English refereeing.

  4. Thanks for the quick report Tony.

    Simpson’s two yellows for the red did not surprise me. The ref had been so bad in the first half, so blatant and obvious, it must have frightened the hell out of the PG mob. When accurate predictions can be made beforehand, almost to the minute, that wrong decisions will be made against you, the writing’s on the wall.

    It’s no longer the fact that the ref swaggers around as the most important person on the pitch – it’s that you can now start placing bets on how corrupt the ref actually is.

    Loved the winner.

    If you need a line for an important moment in life, you make your own or go to a Dylan song.

    If you’ve got your back against the wall and need a lawyer, you go to Michael Mansfield.

    If it’s the last moment of added time, and you need to win the title, and you need the ball placed precisely on the head from a free kick, you go to Mesurt Ozil, world cup winner and playmaker. Quality.

  5. Thanks Tony and welcome back,how far do you think this will go on this season? Because if the Noisy neighbours are so close as they are ,we will be in lots and lots of problems,hope i’m wrong.

  6. Believe me I get absolutely no pleasure in being proved right yet again. I really had my heart in my mouth when the Coq encouraged Mahrez to hurry up off the pitch, that was stupid of him and could easily have resulted in a second yellow. Was pleased when Arsene took him off soon afterwards.

    A word about Chambers, a number of supporters around me were on the point of giving up when he came on at the start of the second half, I thought he did really well, maybe without the highest workload but quite at home. Well done lad you’re coming on well.

  7. Tony…..its Usama not Obama, one is a writer for UA, the other is the president of the US :)))

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